1913 Literature Nobelist from India / SUN 9-1-13 / 1954 film septet / Gossip well told per Elbert Hubbard / Star of 1981 Broadway revue subtitled Lady Her Music / Star of four Spike Lee films / Rapper who feuded with Ja Rule Nas / Pop/rock group with 2002 hit co-written with Mick Jagger / Acronym for hearing-impaired / Burj Khalifa locale
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Constructor: John Farmer
Relative difficulty: Challenging
- DENZEL (Washington / 1) SEC
- LOU (Grant / 50) CENT
- BO (Jackson) / MATCHBOX (20)
- ARETHA (Franklin) / HAIRCUT (100)
- ELMO (Lincoln) / HIGH (5)
- LINDA (Hamilton) / HANGS (10)
- GEORGE (Jefferson) / AGE (2)
Born Otto Elmo Linkenhelt, the actor is best known in his silent movie role as the first Tarzan in 1918's Tarzan of the Apes as an adult -- (Gordon Griffith played him as a child in the same movie). He portrayed the character twice more—inThe Romance of Tarzan (also 1918) and in the 1921 serial The Adventures of Tarzan.Following the end of the silent movie era, Elmo left Hollywood and tried his hand at mining. In the late 1930s, he returned to the film industry, most often employed as an extra. He appeared, uncredited, in two Tarzan films in the 1940s—as a circus roustabout in Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942), and as a fisherman repairing his net in Tarzan's Magic Fountain(1949).His final work saw him also playing a brief, uncredited role in Carrie, starring Laurence Olivier. According to Tarzan of the Movies, by Gabe Essoe, Lincoln was quite proud of his work in this film, as he was an admirer of Olivier.
• • •
HAIRCUT 100 album back in the day. Owned it. An album. I have no idea how you would know this band if you are a. an American and b. did not watch MTV in the early '80s. They did have a couple of minor hits, but ... wow. I laughed Out Loud when I wrote them in. And I thought MATCHBOX 20 (earlier in my solve) had been tough to uncover—their clue was beyond useless, but at least that group was a. very popular and b. made music in recent memory. HAIRCUT 100!? Oh, man. I would love this puzzle for that answer alone. Thankfully, there are many more reasons.
But first, here's HAIRCUT 100's big hit, "Love Plus Washington":
The gimmick here, as well as the revealer, was really wonderful. I like that the Sundays appear (lately) to be getting tougher. They've had a tendency to be kind of tedious. I mean, just fine, but long. I feel like Sundays need to be very funny/clever and/or need to have these added levels or layers to them in order for them not to feel like a slog. This puzzle had obscurities in it, yes, but I think they were all work-outable, and the puzzle had so much ridiculous weird attitude that I couldn't help but love it. I mean, I have Never heard the phrase HIT IT FAT, but how am I supposed to knock it? It's too awesomely colloquial for me to do anything but just tip my hat, hold the door, and say "after you, sir."
Here's the stuff I'd never heard of:
- HIT IT FAT (53A: Strike turf before the ball, in golf)
- AMESLAN (!?!!) (91D: Acronym for the hearing-impaired)
- ELMO LINCOLN (ha ha ha, seriously? Read the wikipedia snippet above to see how "big" he was)
- Rabindranath TAGORE (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! x infinity) (98D: 1913 Literature nobelist from India)
- USX (84A: Steel giant, formerly)
- ZOE Kazan (4D: Actress/screenwriter Kazan)
- DUBAI (70A: Burj Khalifa locale) (to be clear, heard of DUBAI, but not "Burj Khalifa")
And the stuff I'd barely heard of:
- ERNST (2D: Bond villain ___ Stavro Blofeld)
- DOOD (1D: "I ___ it!" (Skelton catchphrase))
- GODEL (spelling = hard for me)
I spent a lot of early energy just eating up answers where I could, with no real idea about the theme. I thought 1A Star of four Spike Lee films should be DENZEL, but he didn't fit. I thought it was DENZELL for a bit, but didn't like that at all, since nothing in the clue was cuing "first name only." Eventually I cornered that 1/Washington square, and the theme was apparent. But even then, the puzzle was still Tough. So you've got two toughness layers—picking up the theme, and then just solving the damned thing. Lots of places to get bogged down if not outright stuck. But all good fun.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. If you've got some extra time, here's a free, very current puzzle for you from Andy Kravis, Cruciverbalist at Law—Enjoy!