Rapper in film 21 Jump Street / MON 3-25-13 / Frederick who composed My Fair Lady / Once-in-lifetime pilgrimage / Autobahn auto / Olympian sledder / Father biblically
Monday, March 25, 2013
Constructor: Adam Prince
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: CAPTAIN (37A: Title that can precede the starts of 17-, 23-, 49- and 59-Across)
- 17A: Recipe holders (COOK BOOKS)
- 23A: Irregular trial venue (KANGAROO COURT)
- 49A: "The Shawshank Redemption" actor (MORGAN FREEMAN)
- 59A: Basketball scoring attempts that are difficult to block (HOOK SHOTS)
Word of the Day: ICE CUBE (10D: Rapper in the film "21 Jump Street") —
O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, screenwriter, film producer, and director. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later joined N.W.A (Niggas With Attitudes). After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, he built a successful solo career in music, and also as a writer, director, actor and producer in cinema. Additionally, he has served as one of the producers of the Showtime television series Barbershop and the TBS seriesAre We There Yet?, both of which are based upon films in which he portrayed the lead character.Cube is noted as a proficient lyricist and storyteller and is regarded as a brutally honest rapper; his lyrics are often political as well as violent, and he is considered one of the founding artists in gangsta rap. He was ranked #8 on MTV's list of the 10 Greatest MCs of All Time, while fellow rapper Snoop Dogg ranked Ice Cube as the greatest MC of all time. About.com ranked him #11 on its list of the "Top 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time." Allmusic has called him one of hip-hop's best and most controversial artists, as well as "one of rap's greatest storytellers." In 2012, The Source ranked him #14 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. (wikipedia)
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Theme is basic and pretty dull, but the grid is wonderful, especially for a Monday (if you ignore EOCENE, which is always terrible—22A: Epoch when mammals arose). There's some mild Scrabble-f***ing going on with that "Q" and that "J", but no harm done. Lots of interesting fill, including, most notably, "SCREW IT!" (42D: "Ugh, who cares?!"). I am mildly stunned that this is now acceptable crossword fare. Pleasantly stunned, but stunned nonetheless. Swear words! KABOOM! It's a whole new world. Pass the GUACAMOLE (33D: Super Bowl bowlful).
I was done pretty quickly today, but Yet Again lost 10-20 seconds hunting down a stupid typo. I am lucky that tournament solving is done on paper, because I would have errors left right and center if those competitions required keyboard entry of answers. And of course the typo was at the *bottom* of the grid: HHOKSHOTS crossing FRHTH. Sure. That's plausible. Idiot. Besides that self-inflicted wound, my biggest hindrance today was, ironically, ICE CUBE. Usually the rap clue is the thing that gives me traction, the gimme, Old Reliable, but today I saw "21 Jump Street" and (of course) thought TV show ... Johnny Depp was not a rapper. That other big white dude was not a rapper. What's her name ... Holly Robinson Peete? Is that right? Yes, it is. Still, not a rapper. But even if I were thinking of the movie (which I saw), I don't think it would've helped. It's a weird, weird way to clue ICE CUBE, who is legitimately famous for lots of movies and songs and albums. He's not one of the two main stars of "Jump Street." I don't even remember which role he played. Of course I saw the movie on a 13 hour flight from L.A. to Auckland, so I might not have been the most attentive watcher, but still—weird clue. And it held me up. Not a lot. But some. That LOEWE dude held me up slightly too, but that's *much* more understandable (58A: Frederick who composed "My Fair Lady").