Classic German camera / MON 7-4-11 / Type who's always causing trouble / Publicly gay / Cowell formerly of American Idol / CBS forensic drama
Monday, July 4, 2011
Constructor: Paul Johnson
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: (Non-) Motion Pictures — movie studio logos, clued as the given studio's "picture?"
Word of the Day: Leonard COHEN (46D: Songwriter Leonard) —
Leonard Norman Cohen, CC, GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships. Famously reclusive, having once spent several years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, and possessing a persona frequently associated with mystique, he is extremely well regarded by critics for his literary accomplishments, for the richness of his lyrics, and for producing an output of work of high artistic quality over a five-decade career. (wikipedia)
I'm mostly on a strict Unplugged Sunday regimen these days. This is designed to give me a day off from the damned Internet. But I have a few minutes and I need to do the Monday write-up, so here I am. If I don't get sucked into the Facebook / Twitter / email / Google reader vortex, then I won't feel too bad about violating my self-imposed Sabbath.
The puzzle: a real winner. A cute idea that is completely consistent and original and playful and yet still solidly Monday-level. Grid tends to lead toward drinkers (MARTINIS, CHASER) and Democrats (OBAMA, CARTERS), but there's lots here for everyone to love. I like the inclusion of FLICK in this puzzle (21A: Movie, informally); you could've upped the movie ante by cluing the symmetrical answer, MULTI-, as [Prefix with plex] as opposed to 47A: Prefix with task or grain, but "plex" doesn't stand alone very well and anyway I'm mostly kidding. Personally, I'd have gone with ACURA over MEGAN instead of ACUTE over METAL in the SE corner—gets rid of both abbreviations (ETA, REL) down there. But this is a very minor detail. All in all, I'm very impressed with this 76-word gem. Mondays are easy to solve, but hard to construct (good ones, anyway).
- 17A: 20th Century Fox picture? (SEARCHLIGHT)
- 11D: TriStar picture? (FLYING HORSE)
- 36A: Universal picture? (GLOBE)
- 25D: MGM picture? (ROARING LION)
- 51A: Columbia picture? (TORCH BEARER) — "THAT HOT LADY" fits as well.
- 28A: Type who's always causing trouble (BAD EGG) — clue should've added [archaically], as I don't hear this phrase used much anymore, except perhaps facetiously, by someone ironically using olde-timey speech.
- 12D: Classic German camera (LEICA) — Don't think I could've told you it was German. It's an important brand to know for solving crosswords.
- 42D: Publicly gay (OUT) — Great, contemporary clue for OUT. Also great clue for FLAMING (though that's more "ostentatiously" or "flamboyantly" than just "publicly." Wait, FLAMING's not a slur, is it? I mean, it isn't among people I know—more just a descriptor. Anyway, I'm pro-FLAMING, is what I'm saying. In case that was unclear.
One reminder: Lollapuzzoola 4, the funnest crossword tournament of all, is coming up on Aug. 6 in New York City. I'll be there, as will lots of other folks whose names you might recognize. Registration information here.
One announcement: Crossword goddess Liz Gorski has a new, independent crossword-constructing endeavor, and a brand new website to go with it: it's called Crossword Nation. You could do worse. She's smart and funny and one of the best constructors on the planet. (She'll also be at Lollapuzzoola 4—yet another reason to go)
See you tomorrow,
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld