Small salmon Var / WED 5-7-14 / Will Realistic Joneses playwright / When doubled Billy Idol #1 hit / Pan producer / Tell 1962 hit by Exciters / Daily bread of eyes per Emerson / Letter between sierra uniform / French CD holder
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Constructor: Kurt Mueller
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "IT'S SHOWTIME!" (63A: Possible title for this puzzle) — theme answers are all "intro words" from famous shows:
- "HERE'S JOHNNY!" (17A: Ed McMahon intro words)
- "A ONE AND A TWO…" (24A: Lawrence Welk intro words)
- "LIVE FROM NEW YORK …" (39A: Chevy Chase intro words)
- "AND AWAY WE GO!" (51A: Jackie Gleason intro words)
Will Eno is an American playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. His play, Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 2005. […]
In his Broadway debut, The Realistic Joneses began previews at the Lyceum Theatre on March 13, 2014 and officially opened on April 6, 2014, after a run at the Yale Repertory Theater in 2012. The play is directed by Sam Gold with a cast that stars Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts. The New York Times reviewer of the Broadway production wrote: "But don’t come to the play expecting tidy resolutions, clearly drawn narrative arcs or familiarly typed characters. 'The Realistic Joneses' progresses in a series of short scenes that have the shape and rhythms of sketches on 'Saturday Night Live' rather than those of a traditional play. (Most are followed by quick blackouts.) And while the Joneses — all four of them — have all the aspects of normal folks, as their names would suggest, they also possess an uncanny otherness expressed through their stylized, disordered way of communicating... But for all Mr. Eno’s quirks, his words cut to the heart of how we muddle through the worst life can bring." (wikipedia)
• • •
LIVE FROM NEW YORK" is a massive outlier, in that all the other examples of "intro words" are the very last words of the intro. But "LIVE FROM NEW YORK…" needs the very crucial, show-identifying words "… IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!" to be truly parallel with all the others. I feel like Lawrence Welk is an outlier here too, but for reasons that have more to do with taste than anything else. All the other shows involve comedy somehow, and while I realize there are bits on the Lawrence Welk show that pass themselves off as comedy … no. All the other shows are comedically iconic. The Lawrence Welk show, well, isn't. But it is a show, and it was (probably?) on in primetime at some point (as opposed to now, when it is on weekend afternoons on my PBS station), so it's at least defensible, if not clearly fair.
OTHER) and 2D: Where the action is (ARENA). Neither clue computed. At all. Had -THE- and -REN- and still no idea. Also thought Charles on a piano was looking for a last name, not a (famous) first one (RAY). So my start was very rough. But the initial "AON-" on the Lawrence Welk opener made that one a piece of cake, and once I broke into the middle via the obvious SNL opener, the puzzle got much tamer. I'm startled by the absolute terribleness of COHOE (7D: Small salmon: Var.). You should tear out the whole section before you let an out-and-out loser (never-seen "Var.") like that into your grid. Real, massive, intolerable blemish. Yeah, you've got a bit of a challenge there with the built-in --H-E, but if you can't get something real like TAHOE or OCHRE to work there, then Build The Grid Better so you don't have this problem. Gah. Choppy grid leads to predictable mediocrity in the short stuff: and EELER crossing an ETUI, an EMAG not far from ENO, etc. (what the hell was up with that ENO clue? (33A: Will ___, "The Realistic Joneses" playwright)—ENO is ENO, and making it tough to get, with an absurd "know it or you don't and you probably don't" clue, only makes it More annoying). LOOSE LIPS is a winner, but otherwise, but overall this one comes in slightly less than enjoyable, despite the inherent entertainment value of the themers.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld