Samuel Johnson's only play / SAT 10-13-12 / 1950s American Bandstand dance / Early idol of Warhol / Harp's home key / Six women at Penn programmed it / Roll in ze hay enthusiast / New model of 1999 / Concept in Hinduism Buddhism / King Gorm Old
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Constructor: Barry C. Silk
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: THE STROLL (47A: 1950s "American Bandstand" dance) —
The Stroll was both a slow rock 'n' roll dance and a song that was popular in late 1950s. The dance called the Stroll began in black communities to the songs "C. C. Rider" and "Betty and Dupree" by Chuck Willis. Willis was known as "The King of the Stroll" prior to the release of the song of that name.Billboard first reported that "The Stroll" may herald a new dance craze similar to the "Big Apple" in December 1957. Based on a suggestion by Dick Clark, who felt that there was no specific song for the dance, "The Stroll" was written by Clyde Otis and Nancy Lee and was recorded by the Canadian group The Diamonds (Mercury 71242).The original version of the song reached number four on the Billboard pop charts, number five on the R&B charts, and number one on the Cashbox charts.In the dance, two lines of dancers, men on one side and women on the other, face each other, moving in place to the music. Each paired couple then steps out and does a more elabarate dance up and down between the rows of dancers. Dick Clark noted the similarity of the dance to the Virginia reel.
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I like how the pop music vibe of the 15s is complemented by the SNARE DRUM (23A: Backbeat keeper) and THE STROLL (47A: 1950s "American Bandstand" dance) and the HIFI (52A: 1950s living room feature). In my imagined version of this musical mash-up, BRYAN Adams is just watching (50A: Grammy winner Adams), and STARSHIP is just a STARSHIP (17A: Sci-fi vehicle). It's just easier on my imaginary ears that way.
- 15A: Light work on a stage (OPERETTA) — as I was working out the BUNT/BEAU kink, I was fairly sure this answer would have to do with actual lighting. Like, you know, KLIEG lights or whatever.
- 33A: Former big player in trading cards (FLEER) — I collected as a kid. Right up my alley. God I loved the wax paper and the rock hard panes of bubble gum and the thrill of seeing what players you got.
- 40A: One of Ptolemy's 48 constellations (ARA) — may as well just write [One of them there constellations] because at three letters, there aren't many to choose from.
- 31D: Samuel Johnson's only play ("IRENE") — OK, this was hard, but the crosses were not, and since IRENE is the most common five-letter woman's name in all of crosswords, my instincts took me there pretty readily.
- 7D: The Pioneers of the N.C.A.A. (UTICA) — tricky, both because no one outside UTICA knows what the UTICA team is called, and because getting that first U makes you think U ... CONN? PITT? TENN? But once I got UTI-, the jig was up.
- 25D: Harp's home key (C FLAT) — FLAT, not hard. C, harder. But there aren't many potential Warhol idols ending in -OTE, so, again, even though I encountered a stumper, it just didn't do any damage, time-wise (25A: Early idol of Warhol = CAPOTE).