1990 Clint Eastwood cop film / FRI 9-16-11 / Actress Diana / Minnesota home of Martin Luther College / Morse who sang "Cow-Cow Boogie"
Friday, September 16, 2011
Constructor: Joe DiPietro
Relative difficulty: Challenging
Word of the Day: ELF OWLS (46A: Small night creatures) —
The Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi) is a member of the owl family Strigidae that breeds in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is the world's lightest owl, although the Long-whiskered Owlet and the Tamaulipas Pygmy-owl are of a similarly diminutive length. The mean body weight of this species is 40 grams (1.4 oz). These tiny owls are 12.5 to 14.5 cm (4.7-5.5 in) long and have a wingspan of about 27 cm (10.6 in). Their primary projection extends nearly past their tail. They have fairly long legs and often appear bow-legged. They can often be heard calling to one another just after dusk or at sunset. Their call is a high-pitched whinny or chuckle. The male and female dart around trees and call back and forth. (wikipedia)some fellow's wedding this weekend, so you've got some guest bloggers filling in for the next few day. I'll leave my identity a mystery until the end of this post - you can be like one of the owls in this post asking, "Who?"
THIN OUT (2D: Become sparse) and the cute (3D: Change one's image, in a way?) for RESCALE. That's something I'm fairly familiar with as a substitute blogger - grabbing pics from the net and rescaling them. Do we need both "in a way" and the ? in the clue? I don't think so. There was only one word crossing this one that I didn't think was completely fair, but the letter was guessable. We'll get to it shortly.
- When she was 20, she was the youngest registered owner of a Rolls Royce.
- She was once married to "Family Feud" host Richard Dawson and gave him two children.
- She was born Diana Fluck, but changed her name. Can't imagine why, especially since much of her work was borderline pornographic.
And who is ELLA MAE? She's Ms. (38D: Moore who sang "Cow-Cow Boogie"). There is not other option but to just simply let you listen to the song:
NOAM (22A: Pitlik who directed "Barney Miller" and "Mr. Belvedere")? Again, I guess I've answer the question myself. Prolific TV director and actor with many supporting/ancillary roles. How I'd know his name I'll never know, but he's won an Emmy for outstanding direction, so I guess that makes him fair game. His crossing are a subset of Stegner's no no great issue here. But we do have a big Where? to contend with.
You might remember Rex's Natick Principle from a few years back. Tell me: Where is NEW ULM? (Okay, it's the (29D: Minnesota home of Martin Luther College).) But have you heard of it before? Fact: There are more characters on the Wikipedia page for New Ulm than people in that town. (Admittedly, Tippi Hedren was born there.)
MFG, the (49: Abbr. before "Co." in some company names). Fairly fair, as I guessed right on all of them, but it felt like there was much more luck than I cared for here. This isn't a craps table; luck shouldn't be a big factor. And it looks like it should be New Elm, but you know HEINOUS has to be right for (37A: Worse than awful) - at least once you move past trying to fit HELLISH in. Did you have as big an issue with New Elm as I did? I feel like I'm channeling Angry Rex - perhaps he's displeased with his hotel accommodations. Let's go to a happy place.
No "who" necessary for HAN SOLO, though - that (47A: Reckless smuggler of sci-fi) was played by none other than Kris Kristofferson. What follows is perhaps the most memorable scene from all six films:
Han was the first thing to fall with 100% certainty, so I worked from there slowly but sure. Man this took a while and was just a bunch of jumping all over.
- (1A: Reduce to bare bones) STRIP DOWN — This is one of those entries where, were it not in The Times, I imagine the clue would been much more colorful, like (Pay a poker penalty) or something like that.
- (31A: Firm) AL DENTE — Too often I go to restaurants and they claim al dente but the word they are looking for is raw. Please don't undercook your pasta!
- (63A: Spread quickly over the Internet) GONE VIRAL — Like my favorite, Nyan Cat! He's so cute! Wait - did you think that was a real cat? Nope!
- (39D: "From my perspective...") I, FOR ONE — And this entry could clue answers like FIRST PERSON PRONOUN and ROMAN NUMERAL. I smell a chain theme coming in the future where theme entries are clued by the previous entries. Not sure whether I look forward to solving something like that.
- (37D: Alice Cooper's appropriately titled theme song for "Friday the 13th, Part VI") HE'S BACK — This is an appropriate one to end on as I reveal my identity - the song first, and then my name.