Broadway musical 1919 1973 / SAT 5-14-11 / German region viticulture / Title woman 1975 #1 hit / Organ appendages / Emission in cloud chamber
Saturday, May 14, 2011
of or relating to grapes; especially of wine : having the taste or aroma of fresh grapes (merriam-webster.com)
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This played like two completely different puzzles for me: the NE corner, and everything else. I started in the NW, and had that whole quadrant done in under a minute. Then tried to enter the NE—no dice. Reeeeealy would've helped today if I knew a lot about wine. As it was, --APY was giving me only nonsense possibilities, I got gun shy about BLARE (24A: Loudspeaker's sound), I convinced myself that 21A: One in la famille could be FILLE or FEMME *or* FRÈRE ... so I turned around and went the other way. Guessed LADED off the -ED, "DEAR ME" off the D-, and TEETERS off just that second "E," so that SW corner didn't last long. Slowed down slightly when I got carried away with the Zs and had 29D: Lightheaded as DIZZY (it's WOOZY). But no worries: BASENJIS was a gimme (32D: Barkless dogs), with no crosses needed. That led straight to TIP JAR and shortly everything was done but the NE. At this point, maybe we're five or six minutes in. And then, with (it turns out) GRAPY and MOSEL (25A: German region known for viticulture) guarding the gates, I just sat. Not pat. Just sat. Then I flailed a bit. My general tactic for solving a corner I just CanNot get into is to throw stuff at it. Hard. Threw in ORBITS (wrong) and TSE (correct!) and something-ISH (wrong). That was leading me toward MOSHE for the German viticulture region (wrong), which sounded more Israeli than German. Tore all that out. Had "ANNIE" as the musical (wrong) (8D: Broadway musical of 1919 and 1973=>"IRENE"). Tried HANGS ON / HIDDEN (wrong / wrong) (really SITS PAT / SECURE). Tried SPIN (wrong) next to SLOW (correct!). Finally, finally, went with FRÈRE over BLARE and from that -RE went with SECURE at 7D: Encrypted, perhaps). Also, after trying "TOP STORY..." (wrong), I decided to TEST "WE'RE LIVE!" (15A: Opening words from a TV news reporter). And that was that.
Clue on ICES OVER is just brutal (17A: Makes negotiating difficult, in a way). I was like "wow, I've never heard that expression before." And then I realized the "negotiating" was referring to driving. A car. Or truck, I guess. "W" from SLOW gave me the WORK part of GRUNT WORK (19A: Job for base pay?), and "K" gave me TERKEL (13D: 1985 Pulitzer winner for "The Good War"). Even as my brain kept trying to plug in football positions at 15D: Linemen, some other part of my brain was telling me "it's the 'Wichita Lineman' kind of 'lineman,' you idiot ... what the hell was Glen Campbell singing about!?!?" Did not figure out the answer til the very, very end (WIRERS).
Weird (which I just mistyped as "Wired"...): I was all set to tell you how today is Saturday the 14th and I have a very vivid memory of being at USC in the very early '80s with my mom, who was there for something having to do with her MPA, when they were filming a spoof horror movie called "Saturday the 14th" that featured Tommy Smothers ... only I found out just now that he wasn't in "Saturday the 14th" (1981). He was, however, in a different horror movie spoof called "Pandemonium" (1982), which was originally titled ... "Thursday the 12th!" That must have been the movie that was filming when I was in L.A. Anyway, the weird part is remembering the role Tommy Smothers played in this (slightly false) memory, and then calling up that Glen Campbell clip, and seeing that in it, he's performing on the Smothers Brothers show.
- 1A: Organ appendages (PEDALS) — first thing I guessed; this led immediately to AVIAS, LARVAE, etc.
- 23A: Animal ordered to "be angry, and dispatch," in Shakespeare (ASP) — Cleo, presumably. Never saw this clue.
- 52A: Nissan's first hybrid vehicle (ALTIMA) — was thinking LEAF, but that's the all-electric model. This is just ... a model.
- 3D: Product whose name lost its period in the 1950s (DR PEPPER) — Periods being well-known symbols of Communism. Another triumph for HUAC.
- 25D: Title woman in a 1975 #1 hit ("MANDY") — if you were expecting that I'd play this, well, you were right (got it off the "Y," by the way):
- 26D: Pull from the ground, quickly? (ONE G) — wow, that is some good cluing right there.
- 33D: "Doubt" co-star, 2008 (AMY ADAMS) — massive celebrity crush.
- 43D: Entertainment giant with a 1995 I.P.O. (PIXAR) — off the "R." Just felt right.
- 34D: Emission in a cloud chamber (DELTA RAY) — it will surprise no one that I had no idea what this was. Very easy to get from crosses, though.
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