Troi on Star Trek TNG / TUE 8-16-11 / Gee follower / Farcical 1960s sitcom Indian character Roaring Chicken / Invisible writing on computer screen

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: HIDDEN TEXT (57A: Invisible writing on a computer screen ... or a component of 18-, 23-, 36- and 52-Across) — common text abbreviations are "hidden" (in circled squares) inside theme answers.

  • GO TO HEAVEN (18A: Be rewarded for a pious life, as the devout believe) => OTOH => "On the other hand..."
  • HONEY, I'M HOME (23A: Stereotypical sitcom greeting) => IMHO => "In my humble opinion..."
  • TOWER OF LONDON (36A: Castle on the Thames) => ROFL => [rolling on the floor laughing]
  • KITTY LITTER (52A: Pet store purchase) => TTYL => "Talk to you later!"

Word of the Day: Anita EKBERG (44D: Anita of "La Dolce Vita") —
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born 29 September 1931 in Malmö, Skåne) is a Swedish model, actress and cult sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Sylvia in the 1960 Federico Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, which features the legendary scene of her cavorting in Trevi Fountain alongside Marcello Mastroianni. (wikipedia)

• • •

As I said on my Facebook page last night, this is one of those "can't believe it hasn't been done before"-type themes. Pretty contemporary, pretty interesting. The only grumbling I had was about the short stuff (its quality and its cluing—see, e.g., TSE, 61D: Syllable after 6-Down; "Syllable," really? Again, I say, don't call attention to your junky fill with junky cluing). A lot of the 5-letter and shorter fill is painful, but the mid-range fill (6- and 7-letter stuff) is lively and interesting, so I can forget the bumps in the road. I blew through this in just over 3, which puts it well on the easy side, but I'm not sure it'll play that way for everyone, esp. given the proper noun pile-up in the SE. My wife was left wondering what FT. ROOP was. She's from New Zealand, so "F-TROOP"'s not really in her wheelhouse (48D: Farcical 1960s sitcom with the Indian character Roaring Chicken). Three consecutive pop culture Downs is a lot on a Tuesday, esp. names of that length. Could add a little resistance for some. But not much, I imagine.

I could live my whole life never seeing AITCH again and be very happy (7D: Gee follower). Ditto NOMSG and XIN. It's a very mild shame that HONEY in "HONEY, I'M HOME" is in no way involved with the circled squares, because every other theme answer does a nice job of getting the circles to touch every word in the answer. There are several other common online abbreviations that would've made for interesting "hidden texts"; sadly, at least two of these have letters that stand for profanity in them. The best known is probably LMAO. There's also the popular FML. I recently saw SMH for the first time and had to look it up — "shaking my head" (used as an expression of disappointed disbelief). But now that I think about it, these are all virtually impossible to "hide" in common phrases. Nevermind.

  • 31A: Satellite-based car option (XM RADIO) — Got it off the "XM," which isn't terribly surprising, since those two initial letters Really limit your options.
  • 43A: A girl was from there in a 1964 hit song (IPANEMA) — and when she passes each one she passes goes "Aaah." Like at a SPA. (68A: Apt rhyme of "aahs" => SPAS)

  • 39D: Memorable 1995 hurricane with a gem of a name? (OPAL) — I'm not sure getting cutesy with a deadly natural disaster is in the best of taste.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


foodie 12:13 AM  

One of the easiest Tuesdays in recent memories. And fun.

Rex, I vaguely remember a Sunday puzzle that played with texting abbreviations. It had Lap Of Luxury for LOL. But I don't recall the rest. Or I made it all up!

Never saw La Dolce Vita. The clip makes me want to...

Agarn 12:21 AM  

Actually, it came alarmingly close to being Ft. Roop. It was originally Ft. Poop, but that was too crude for the time, and to save some of the graphics, Poop became Roop, the T moved over one, and history has never been the same.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  


raittd 12:26 AM  

I suppose it had to be syllable instead of (middle) name in 61D because somewhere along the line (ie after I left school) Mao Tse Tung became Mao Zedong. Probably about the same time Peking became Beijing.

foodie 12:34 AM  

@Anonymous 12:25, THANK YOU! It would have bugged me all night, not knowing for sure. I guess it was all about LOL. But at least I didn't make it up! Still a few synapses percolating along in there...

Anonymous 12:37 AM  

All invisible writing should, at least, be hard to see. Acronymic writing? Maybe?
Also, hidden texts should be hidden, not highlighted. IMHO, of course. That would have made this puzzle at least a little interesting.

Tobias Duncan 12:54 AM  

I agree with Rex about some of the crappy fill, but NOMSG seems very "in the language" to me.
In case you have not heard, the whole MSG allergy thing as been pretty well debunked. Even a study that selected people who claimed to be allergic, showed no significant difference in exposure to MSG or placebo.
That being said, its damn hard to cook with.Too much and you get a very odd, unpleasant aftertaste.Best thing to do is buy fish sauce with MSG added to it.

PurpleGuy 12:55 AM  

I had a fun time with this. Very fast and easy-breezy.
Agree with @foodie- one of the easiest Tuesdays in a long time.I had fun,too.

Glad to be back in the neighborhood with all my favorite Rexites. It's been harrowing but things are looking better now.

PurpleGuy/Robert Joseph cain

PurpleGuy 1:01 AM  

Also,FWIW- I always thought the expression was:
In My Honest Opinion.

Happy Tuesday all.

Shanti -

syndy 1:37 AM  

I don't text so the theme did not do much for me-otherwise pretty modayish! I knew better but still had FT ROO? I also had IDEO at first but DINO put me straight.Oh well if you HAVE to have circles might as well fill them with random letters

andrea clichee michaels 1:44 AM  

Why does Astrud look so sad? Are her arms broken?
She needs to go see "Senna", IMHO.

I didn't know TTYL: Talk To You Later. My fave is WTF? There was a funny facebook thing going around for text abbreviations for the middle-aged...I'll try to dig it up.

Anyway, well done...tho I can't imagine "HONEYIMHOME" without the "Hi!"

andrea chlorox michaels 1:52 AM  

Found it!

MIDDLE AGE TEXTING CODES: ATD -at the doctor. BFF -best friend fell. BTW -bring the wheelchair. BYOT -bring your own teeth. FWIW -forgot where I was. . GGPBL -gotta go, pacemaker battery low. GHA -got heartburn again. IMHO -is my hearing aid on? LMDO -laughing my dentures out. OMMR -on my massage recliner. ROFLACGU -rolling on floor laughing and can't get up.TTYL -talk to you louder!

second request 2:39 AM  

@andrea: did you see Senna at the theater or is it out on DVD?

CoffeeLvr 2:45 AM  

@PurpleGuy, glad to see you back.

@Andrea Clorox, LMAO.

At least TAPE and TAPAS didn't cross.

ARNESS is always a gimme for me, and given that, the crosses gave me the rest of the SE.

I somehow got switched to the Down entries early on, and entered IDeO also, @Syndy.

FWIW, I found this Tuesday much easier than the puzzle I solved yesterday; oh, was that Monday, didn't seem like it.

chefwen 2:51 AM  

@PurpleGuy - Welcome back, we have missed you, I was about to comment as to your whereabouts. Speaking of which, does anyone know where @ArtLvr is? I miss her comments.

Did the puzzle in about half the time as yesterdays. Liked it and don't think I would have gotten the trick without the circles.

Good one Mr. Steinberg

shrub5 2:56 AM  

I'm not a texter either but knew these. Cute theme!

Took me awhile to figure out MYEYE which had filled itself in, though it seems obvious now.

@agarn: I don't believe that story....

acme 5:04 AM  

@second request
Saw "Senna" at a screening, it's opened in NY and LA, but it was made a year ago. It is available on DVD with subtitles, but needs to be seen on a big screen

QV 6:59 AM  

Two revelations today...

1. Rex's wife is a New Zealander. Seems like his entire life might be devoted to erotic marginalia.

2. Astrud Gilberto's beehive

joho 8:14 AM  

I get HIDDENTEXT as the reveal but I must be dense with the "invisible writing" part of the cluing. How is the writing ever invisible on the computer screen? I know it's invisible here in the puzzle. Obviously I need more coffee.

I still thought the theme was cute and definitely seemed new.

Loved MYEYE.

@andrea clichee michaels ... "Are her arms broken?" LOL.

Orange 8:40 AM  

I calL MAO "the guy with syllable TSE." Or "Chairman My Ass Off."

jackj 8:59 AM  

After yesterday's BILLMAZEROSKI, perhaps this puzzle should have upped the ante with CARLYASTRZEMSKI to make it more interesting.

This one may be looked upon as the "tuna casserole" of Times crosswords.

Acme's Middle Age Texting Codes saved the day!

John V 9:08 AM  

Meh. Apart from F-Troop, and the SE in general, pretty average Tuesday, not much to say. Liked repeat of having an unfair advantage with Girl From Ipanema; the Getz Gilberto LP is one of my prizes from late high school.

Re: Chinese restaurant, why would anyone want to watch the Madison Square Garden in the first place?

Brian 9:17 AM  

Cute and breezy and fun. Not a bad way to start the morning.

I think I would have been more impressed if all the texts were hidden in answers such as TOWEROFLONDON and KITTYLITTER instead of the two phrases; although HONEYIMHOME is far, far better than the weak GOTOHEAVEN.

But it came together smoothly with few hang ups.

I've never heard of ATSTUD, though. Is that what they call it? Seems odd.

Anyway, my hat off to Mr. Steinberg for a clever one!

chefbea 9:25 AM  

Easy puzzle even though I hadn't heard of a couple of them.

@Andrea.thanks for the laugh.

@Purple guy. welcome back

jesser 9:45 AM  

Any puzzle with XM RADIO, F TROOP and AT STUD is going to be a fine puzzle for me. Loved it. But now I must get to work. Why do I keep not winning the Powerball?

archaeoprof 9:50 AM  

Agree with @JohnV. So-so puzzle.

My new Prius has XMRADIO. It's got like six different country channels!

Two Ponies 10:19 AM  

I liked this one OK. Agree that hidden text doesn't really describe abbreviations.
I don't text so TTYL had no meaning to me. I only know the others from this blog.
@ Andrea, thanks for the chuckles.

Mel Ott 10:27 AM  

@Andrea LMAO

@Rex: Thx for the clip from La Dolce Vita. I'm not a big movie guy, but that was a memorable film and one of the greatest scenes ever. I thought of it often a few years ago when my wife and I stayed in a hotel just a couple of hundred feet from the Trevi Fountain.

quilter1 10:27 AM  

Liked it, easy and fun, and I don't text so the theme meant nothing to me, but it was a nice solve.

I thought some of the cluing was a little odd but enjoyed seeing FTROOP and MYEYE.

hazel 11:00 AM  

this puzzle fell a little flat for me. The texting abbrevs. are kind of yesterday's news - they just sit there trying hard to be with it - posers.

no baseball /:( so the only thing i really liked was the Flintstones pet DINO. "WIIIILLLLMMMMAAA "

Agree with @rex re: cutesy hurricane clue. yuk. also, want to point out another missed opp to play an A3 song - Mao Tse Tung Said.....maybe one day - we sure see The Chairman enough..

retired_chemist 11:13 AM  

Standing AT STUD is a commonly used phrase in both horse and dog breeding circles.

IMHO - take your choice, HUMBLE or HONEST for the H. Uriah Heep would use 'UMBLE and not mean it. I suspect some (not meaning present company) who use HUMBLE for the H wouldn't mean it either.

@Andrea - Also LMAO. All of us of a certain age get it.

Easy-medium Tuesday here. Decided to go for a ton of short downs to get the theme answers and it cost me time - probably 90 seconds or so.

Thanks,Mr. Steinberg.

Chip Hilton 11:31 AM  

I remember that great song "Barcelona Dreamin'" by the MAMAs and the TAPAS.

Matthew G. 11:34 AM  

Mostly easy, although that IPANEMA/EKBERG crossing was tough -- I've vaguely heard of the song and never heard of the actress, so I wasn't sure which of the five vowels rounded out IPAN_MA/_KBERG.

This is one of those themes where it's boringly transparent with the circles but would have been impossibly opaque without them, making the circles obligatory but the whole thing kind of meh either way. Not bad in any way, but also not anything I'll remember a day from now.

Evan K. 11:37 AM  

Three utterly unfamiliar entertainment references in the lower-right means I'm glad the Acrosses weren't NATICK-esque.

The theme answers were lively today -- varied answers, nice stuff. ToweROFLondon and KiTTYLitter? Very cool.

The young kid's got a lot of talent!

CAPTCHA: pyrolor. Sounds like some shirt pattern from the '70s, like pyrocolor.

Janet 11:39 AM  

Found this one tricky as I don't text or even own a cell phone, so the mumbo-jumbo of highlighted letters drew me to a complete blank.

Loved Anita and Marcello, and think the opening scene to La Dolce Vita one of the best ever - how can you beat an enormous plaster cast of Christ transported by a helicopter flying over Rome's roof tops?

Like Rex's better half, I am also from the antipodes - but from the big island to the west of NZ - so had trouble with Ft. Roop too. Also - thought SMH was short for Sydney Morning Herald? Go figure!

Masked and Anonymous 11:54 AM  

@31: Your dejavuscosity may partly stem from a fairly recent NYT puz that did a ROFL theme. Done by Liz Gorski, mayhaps?

TTYL was all new to me, so immediately started trying to dig up a plausible translation. ("They'll Take Your Lunch", "Try Taking Your Licks", "Time To Yahoo Lookup", etc.) Thought Andrea Darlin' had the best alternative, tho.

Pretty good puz for a 14 year-old. Just imagine what this dude will be pumpin' out, when he's 15.

Fave fill: XMRADIO and FTROOP. Hard to pronounce as single words, without coughing something up.

Fave clue: Big Apple? Mighty hard to find these little gems, in a TuesPuz. (Tough Titties, You Lunkhead)

Inigo Montoya 12:05 PM  

@Will re HIDDEN "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

See, the texts in questions aren't hidden, they're highlighted. With circles. I'm sure if you could have swung it they would have a red background and a silver glitter foreground. They're not HIDDEN.

diane 12:11 PM  

My friend used TTYL in an email. Obviously a closing, I translated to TaTa You Loser.

chefbea 12:18 PM  

Forgot to my puzzle,PDF print out, there were no circles, just gray squares

Masked and Anonymous II 12:24 PM  

P.S. This whole "HIDDEN TEXT" thing didn't bother me much. One can certainly imbed hidden text on a computer screen. And the component of TTYL (for instance) that gets "hidden" (in another sense, admittedly) is the "alk o ou ater" part. QED. ("Quick, Eat Dessert!")

mac 12:53 PM  

Wow, everybody, I missed you during this party-and-forget-about-sleeping weekend in Spain. Great write-up and hilareous posts!

Now in Holland with a working computer and a Herald Tribune from across the street. Listening to the Dutch equivalent of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan (so wordy it also reminds me of current rap), Boudewijn de Groot. From the 70s. Fantastic....

I loved the puzzle today. I had some problems at "my ear", wanted "hat" and "ear" first, and also thought 48D had to be Ft. Roo-. Finally figured out spas, so the day was saved.

captcha ledbsera: let be, sera?

mac 12:54 PM  

P.S. I meant "my eye".

thursdaysd 12:58 PM  

I don't text, but I do use and see abbreviations on travel forums. But not TTYL, which I thought must be Ta Ta something or other. I always figured the H stood for Humble, but with tongue in cheek. There's also IMSNHO - in my not so humble opinion.

Had no idea about FTROOP - had to google it.

Sfingi 1:19 PM  

Puzzle was easy to complete, but I didn't know what it was all about 'til I got here. Like many here, still unsure about "invisible."

Strangely had many false starts: Loo for LAV, CliP for CROP, TAcoS for TAPAS, KenneL for KITTY L-, Garner for ARNESS. Didn't watch much cowboy stuff after the Cisco Kid. Wanted MerdE for MY EYE.

@Foodie - Anything by Fellini or starring Marcello Mastroianni is worth seeing, but La Dolce Vita is a real curiosity. Among other things it's the source of Paparazzi, a nickname for reporters in the film, meaning bugs.

@Andrea - if I ever can see small enough to text...I think I'll invent a cellphone with a magnifying glass built in. Have a hard enough time with the numbers on the crosswords.

600 1:29 PM  

I'm born and bred American, of an age I should have known better, and still wondered how I missed the show Ft. Roop. At least Rex's wife has an excuse.

When AITCH appeared, I was certain I must have an error in the center north. I looked and looked, but everything fit. I finally convinced myself it must be some command to horses (Isn't "Gee" somehow horsey?) and moved on. It wasn't until I finished and looked AITCH up that I discovered the error of my thinking.

Did the puzzle in decent time, but could not figure out the theme until I came here. I don't text or IM, so that's my excuse, but in fact I do recognize IMHO and OTOH, and I've seen ROFL, but with MAO added at the end. As for TTYL, no idea what it meant till Rex told me.

So this time I got all the references I often need RexWorld to help me see, but the theme escaped me. That's a new reason to be glad I found this site.

Oh, yes, and thanks for the Anita Ekberg to remind me of that beautiful movie. Time to see it again. The Girl from Ipanema is now an earworm, but a nice one. (I guess that means it's not an earworm. Oh, well.)

Finally, @jackj--Actually, I would have known CARLYASTRZEMSKI. No idea why, but I would have--though I'm pretty sure I couldn't have spelled it.

CaseAce 1:34 PM  

There are those who long to scale Mt. Everest, K-2, and perhaps the Matterhorn, but most real men back when La Dolce Vita came out, yearned to only Mount Ekberg!

m 1:35 PM  

I wasn't bothered by "aitch" because it reminded me of an old friend who used to have a hamster.
She always signed her letters
Juliet and Mr. Aitch.

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

OMG! I think her arms ARE broken!

retired_chemist 1:58 PM  

@ Sfingi - the Jitterbug has very large numbers and its keypad is easy to see. I don't think they have a smart phone version, however.

Lewis 2:01 PM  

@chiphilton -- made me laugh

Quick and easy solve for me. I'm still new at this, but now I pretty much make it through Mondays and Tuesdays without Googling, and sometimes on the later days as well...

andrea carLMAOchaels 2:22 PM  

Thanks for the note! I had always thought Paparazzi was from the Italian for "parrots" but that's papagallo...
ANd if you are here in SF and see the Parrots of Telegrapgh Hill swooping around and screaming it makes sense...but I'm wrong!
I see that Paparazzo was the name of the photographer in the film and that in turn was taken from a character in a 1901 book and was a nickname (maybe, as you can't trust Wikipedia) for Fellini, akin to "mosquito".
Learn something new every day! And if it's about Italian men, all the better!

@600, @Jackj
At least most of us would have a fighting chance with Yazstremski (sp?) as YAZ is in the puzzle every few months :) but I couldn't tell you how to spell his full name or what he is known for. (Olivebranch/Lob/popup to the baseball fan/ners out there)

retired_chemist 2:37 PM  

Carl Yastrzemski has nothing on Mike Krzyzewski. I just did an old puzzle with Coach K, Joe Btfsplk, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr as the theme.

maxwell 2:41 PM  

My printout of the puzzle didn't have any circles. Even with circles, the theme would have been a complete mystery.

jackj 3:29 PM  

With all the joshing about Astrud's broken arms I decided to check out the "Girl From Ipanema" video.

Not once, in the entire 3:02 minutes of her song, did she move her arms; they just hung like dead appendages at her side.

Must have been a demo for a Twilight Zone theme song. Spooky stuff.

sanfranman59 4:51 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 7:24, 8:54, 0.83, 7%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:06, 4:35, 0.90, 15%, Easy

shrub5 5:52 PM  

@retired_chemist (or anyone else)
Do you have a link to that puzzle with unpronounceable names? I would like to try it.

william e emba 6:06 PM  

Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr? Well, what do you know. I thought Hfuhruhurr was an enemy of Superman all this time.

I believe the only Anita EKBERG film I've seen is 4 for Texas. This tells you something about my priorities: the movie has a lengthy Three Stooges cameo.

Cheerio 6:49 PM  

I didn't understand the answer to 28D which was SOO. Now that I've thrown my paper away I don't remember the clue either, but do remember that I didn't get it ...

foodie 7:58 PM  

@ JackJ, I'm really trying to resist listening again. I'm the kind of person who checks things for myself. But I can't stand looking at her again. It's kinda disturbing. That broken arm bit that Andrea Carla (that's her real middle name!) started is really funny...

@sfingi, thank you, that's so cool to know. Now I really do need to get this movie on my very sporadic Netflix lineup.

@SanFranMan, you have a blogger account! Nice to see you in color. It reminds me of Phillysolver, who used to encourage people to create one and welcomed them to "the world of orange and blue". If you're lurking, Phillysolver, we miss you.

And I agree with ChefB's query about Artlvr. We can't have the old timers eroding away. I love all the new voices, but I feel like I've gotten to know people over the years, virtually. Actually, I met Phillysolver in person, and thought he's be such a great neighbor and friend.

Enough nostalgia. How did I get started?

retired_chemist 8:13 PM  

@ Shrub5 - it was on paper and the NYT archive seems not to include it. Sorry.

@ cheerio - the SOO canal allows ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year.[4] This is achieved in spite of the locks being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes. The winter closure period is used to inspect and maintain the locks. [Wikipedia]

JenCT 8:52 PM  

Wow, I never paid much attention to that Ipanema song before, but the "dead arm" comments made me curious. Apparently, Astrud Gilberto is alive & well and still performing: Astrud

Had ACTS for DONS and WELL for NONE for a while.

@ACME: loved your version of IMHO.

jackj 9:31 PM  

When Peter Gordon first offered his subscription puzzles he gave those who joined the choice of various $ levels, including a top level, which allowed the subscriber a chance to recommend one entry for a new puzzle Peter would construct.

One of the first subscribers chose Mike Krzyzewski as their entry and Peter built a puzzle around it with out breaking a sweat.

I have no way to retrieve it but, remember it fondly.

Sorry if this seems to be a tease; that's not why it was posted.

santafefran 10:32 PM  

Text slang for Baby Boomers by William Sorenson in the Aug. 15 New Yorker:

NSR = Need some roughage 
T4W = Time for whiskey 
TXT L8R = Can’t find reading glasses
WWIS = What was I saying? 
IV-NV = My kid’s going to big-name college, neighbors jealous 
JDTV? = Which channel has a Judi Dench movie tonight?  
3dickPM = Read three detective novels this afternoon  
M = Margaritaville 
X2EZ = Crossword puzzle too easy 
WILMA! = Lost my keys 
WSWS = Wearing socks with sandals 
RxV-->BW = Got Viagra prescription, just need Barry White cassettes 
GOTMG = Going out to mulch garden 
VROOM! = Got tires rotated  
RB<DM = Russell Brand is no Dudley Moore  
80/20 = Spouse doing more and more of the talking 
NPR = Sleep aid; no prescription required 
ARF :-) = Dogs don’t talk  
]CVG[ = Stuck in Conversational Vise-Grip 
DdoTH = Don’t do the Hustle, ever 
VCR Rut = Watching “Caddyshack” tonight 
M = Mojitoville 
Ahhh = Memorable smoke smell wafting from my kids’ rooms 
Brrr = Wearing socks to bed 
TN2WMP = Trying not to wet my pants 
PNP = Peeing in pants 
SEXTING? = We sure as hell didn’t need smartphones to get laid 
[------] = Another funeral, can’t play poker/bridge/Scrabble

Detour 11:56 PM  

FYI. Soo (or The Soo) = Sault Ste Marie. (Sault is pronounced Soo). There are 2 SSM's. One in Canada and one in Mi on either side of the border / river ( where the locks are).

+wordphan 2:28 AM  

@600: thanks for the aitch, no idea. Easy Tuesday, Election Day here in Macon. Stressed to the max but this helped my jangled nerves, or "noives" in Brooklyn.

Cheerio 9:37 AM  

Thanks for the SOO explanations!

Brian 12:51 AM  

Disney dog = LADY? shouldn't that be Disney bitch?

acme 12:52 PM  


And I found out what the deal is with Astrud and her arms...
Apparently she was a teacher or something, married to Joao Gilberto and in the studio a singer didn't show up and they needed a light female voice to fill in.
She did..."The Girl from Ipanema" became an international sensation and her career, unwanted/unplanned, was born...
She totally popularized the light airy way to sing over Bossa Nova, but remained completely and totally wooden on stage.
(She's still alive, in PA or somewhere with her son and a bit of a diva according to the friend who sometimes plays for her)

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

here's one more for you:

Gingrich blogs
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

18a would have been better clued as "1980 Grateful Dead album"

I like the right turn at HAMM/RADIO, also the MAMAs and the TAPAS. Very much a musical sub-theme in the center, in fact: DINO and IPANENA, Pearl Jam's debut at 51a and almost an XTC song.

Okay, now that the crossword is out of the way it's time to start reading those COLMA OBITS .

Anonymous 8:51 PM  

Hand up for HI to precede 23a--although IMHO, the whole phrase seems pretty ridiculous. Your front door opens--so it's at least somebody who has a key--and then a familiar voice identifies its location. I mean, I don't think you'll ever hear, "Hi honey, I'm still at Mcgillicuddy's making the absolute most of happy hour!"
What the AITCH (close relative of WTF) do we have at 7d? I need to go to the LAV after that one. Strange that Astrud's song should cross with ASTUD; I like that.
I do have a major bone to pick: ING is not a "suffix." It's either a troubled insurance company or a participle, and either way, it's awful fill. A minor bone is XIN; I just can't imagine that coming up in real conversation. "Did you vote for me?" "Sure did, bro--I Xed in your name!" Yeah.
Overall, the Spacecraft gives this one a Thumb-and-a-half up. The delivery of the theme is clean and clever. And I can't rate any less a grid that contains my man HAN Solo.

Deb @ 9:42 PM  

I'm embarrassed to admit I never even saw the theme today, and I'm sorry I didn't take the time to do so because I think it's a pretty fun one. Mostly I'm popping in to say thanks to all the folks who posted such interesting info today. This blog really does make my daily xword a much fuller experience.

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