Quirky bandleader with City Slickers / MON 11-11-13 / U-shaped bend in river / Shakespeare in Park founder/producer Joseph / Domelike top / Volleyball star Gabrielle
Monday, November 11, 2013
Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL — first words of three theme answers form this famous phrase coined by 18th-century English poet ALEXANDER POPE (56A: Author of the verse that starts with the beginnings of 20-, 34- and 42-Across)
- 20A: Friendly comment after providing information (HOPE THAT HELPS)
- 34A: Goes "pop!," as a jack-in-the-box (SPRINGS OUT)
- 42A: Rome's nickname, with "the" (ETERNAL CITY)
Word of the Day: SPIKE JONES (29D: Quirky bandleader with the City Slickers) —
Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones (December 14, 1911 – May 1, 1965) was an American musician and bandleader specializing in performing satirical arrangements of popular songs. Ballads and classical works receiving the Jones treatment would be punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and outlandish vocals. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, the band recorded under the title Spike Jones and his City Slickers and toured theUnited States and Canada under the title The Musical Depreciation Revue. (wikipedia)
• • •
- Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
- Man never is, but always to be blessed:
- The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
- Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
"Hope springs eternal…" is the most famous phrase from Pope's "Essay on Man" (which is a poem, not an essay as we understand the term, but whatever). I also recall "The proper study of mankind is man" and "Lo, the poor Indian something something," but "Hope springs eternal" definitely wins, fame-wise. This is a cute, simple theme—no great "wow" moment, but it's Monday, so an "oh, hey, whaddya know?" moment seems perfectly acceptable. I cast a side glance or two at the fill (mainly when I encountered OPEL *after* having encountered OREL, which is a bit like encountering AFTA after having encountered ASTA, only worse somehow), but for the most part everything is solid. Long Downs give the puzzle added color and oomph—big ups to FLIP BOOK and SPIKE JONES in particular. I wanted B-SIDE instead of SIDE B and had a brief brain malfunction while trying to recall the word OXBOW, but other than that, everything just went right in. CREPE PAPER off the "C." CUPOLA off the "C." CLOCK off the "C." CEDE off the "C." You get the picture.
Quick and enjoyable. Thumbs up. Onward.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld