Title priestess of opera / FRI 10-25-13 / Gershwin biographer David / Allure alternative / Tempest to Theodor / 1931 Best Picture / Old French epics / Painter della Francesca
Friday, October 25, 2013
Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: "LAKMÉ" (39A: Title priestess of opera) —
Lakmé is an opera in three acts by Léo Delibes to a French libretto by Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille. The score, written in 1881–1882, was first performed on 14 April 1883 by the Opéra Comique at the Salle Favart in Paris. Set in British India in the mid-19th century, Lakmé is based on Theodore Pavie's novel (including "les babouches du Brahamane") and novel Le Mariage de Loti by Pierre Loti. (wikipedia)
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Quad stacks. Saw the grid and knew who made it without even looking. It's officially a shtick.
MEL'S at 1D: 1970s-'80s sitcom setting, and then Nothing except CCLI and a tentative ERTES and a so-tentative-I-didn't-write-it-in ORES. Went to work on the little pockets in the middle. Failed in the east, but then finally struck oil with FFF at 22A: Blasting, musically, followed quickly by FEDEX, FEES, and BEEFS. Still, that was not enough to blast me out of there. Had to restart in the west, with OJS, TOJO, URSA and the rest, which finally gave me the center 15 (weakest 15 of the bunch), MORSE CODE SIGNAL, and from there I got going in earnest.
MASTIFFS took me up. Gave in to AFIRST and then got -WARFARE, then all its crosses, and then backed into all those 15s up top. The one nice thing about stacks of 15s is that once you make a little headway with the Downs, esp. adjacent Downs, you can do some real damage very quickly. It's getting in that's the tough part. Bottom half proved much much easier than the top. The crosses were just so much more gettable. Only hiccup down there was PUTS rather than SETS ON A PEDESTAL. Oh, and I somehow thought SILVER ERA instead of SILVER AGE (32D: Second-greatest period in the history of something). The comic book fan in me was so proud to have thrown that one down off just the SI-, but ... ERA? Dumb mistake.
Back to baseball.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld