Sylvia of jazz / SAT 5-4-13 / Chiropractor on Two Half Men / Flavoring compound / Creator of Wildfell Hall / Fireflite of 1950s / Tennessee Waltz lyricist Stewart / Mulberry cousin / Quaint toe clamp tighteners / Resident of Angola Brazil Lebanon / #5 of American Film Insitute's all-time top 100 movie villains / Mr moniker for Andrei Gromyko
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Constructor: Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: Andrei Gromyko (61A: Mr. ___ (moniker for Andrei Gromyko) => NYET) —
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Громы́ко; Belarusian: Андрэ́й Андрэ́евіч Грамы́ка; 18 July [O.S. 5 July] 1909 – 2 July 1989) was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1957–1985) and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1985–1988). Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1988. In the 1940s Western pundits called him Mr. Nyet ("Mr. No"), because of his frequent use of the Soviet veto in the UN Security Council. (wikipedia)
• • •ATTAINTS (11D: Stigmas). What is that? Besides a word no one would ever use? But criticism-wise, that is *all* I've got. This thing is rock solid and uniformly delightful. I had a very, very eerie mind meld with the puzzle today. I mean, I could do no wrong. My guesses were (almost) all sterling. [Twinkling]? How about TRICE! (it worked). [Flavoring compound]? Uh ... ESTER? (yes-ter). And on an on. Off the terminal "I" I guessed ROSSINI (47A: Composer who said "Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music). There have to be other composers that fit there. SALIERI? BELLINI? MENOTTI? But I went ROSSINI, REST, AT PAR, LAMB ... just laying waste to clue after clue. Things slowed down a bit at the halfway point (west half done, east half remaining). SE corner was a little resistant, but DEAD LETTER seemed right for 60A: Law still in effect but no longer enforced, and once the first few letters were in place, I got "HOWDY DOODY" (62A: Show with a peanut gallery), and all of a sudden that section was done. NE was by far the hardest, but that's largely because I had a serious error that I didn't notice til almost the very end. I had (I thought) IN A SEC at 24D: "Almost there..." What I really had written down was INESEC. My brain just didn't register the problem. So I had 23A: Resident of Angola, Brazil or Lebanon starting HIO-, and I *know* I don't know anything that starts that way. But rather than stress, I decided to work my way back. But no HOOSIER meant a somewhat harder time getting into that corner. Guessed RIATAS (seriously) from the "R" and then got ASST because I knew 14D: Sounds of admonishment was either TUTS or TSKS. Had INN for SPA at first (43A: Getaway destination), but then noticed the apparent plural at 12D: Quaint toe clamp tighteners and realized terminal "I" was likely not right. Changed it to "S." Got SPA. Between the S, T, K, and S, I managed to get SKATE KEYS, and then it was all but over. Only when grid was completely filled did I notice HIOSIER. Letter changed. Game over.
MAUVE). I thought it was a bush. "Here we go round the mulberry bush ..." What the hell am I thinking of. "All around the mulberry bush / The monkey chased the weasel..." Is that right? Why do I want to continue that song with "B-I-NGO, B-I-NGO..."? OK, now that we've exhausted my knowledge of mulberry and children's songs ... Sylvia SYMS! Still haven't committed her to memory (38A: Sylvia of jazz). Ditto ELSA (28D: Jewelry designer Peretti). Their intersection would've been very unfortunate if it hadn't been easily inferrable. NURSE RATCHED, on the other hand, I know well. I just can't spell her (wanted RATCHET) (44A: #5 on the American Film Institute's all-time top 100 movie villains). ANNE BRONTË is the least well known of the sisters; she wrote just two novels, "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (56A: Creator of Wildfell Hall). I've never read either. But I've also never read "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights." I'm reading "The Great Gatsby" right now because (you guessed it) I've never read that either. I could play this game all day. I've also never seen a complete episode of "Two and a Half Men." I feel less bad about that (29D: Chiropractor on "Two and a Half Men" => ALAN). I have, however, read "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Several times. Reread it just last summer. So TESS I knew (7D: Angel Clare's wife, in literature). I did not know there was a viable non-Foxx REDD clue out there, but I see that I am wrong (53D: "Tennessee Waltz" lyricist ___ Stewart). Oh, wait, there's also NBA player Michael REDD. He was an All-Star once. You'll probably never see him in your puzzle, but it can't hurt to know he's out there ... waiting.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld