Why this puzzle is like Seinfeld / MON 5-5-14 / Dixie school affectionately / Political commentator Colmes / Traffic signaler near highway construction / Stan's partner in comedy
Monday, May 5, 2014
Constructor: Lynn Lempel
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (**for a Monday**)
- WURLITZER ORGANS
- TRINI LOPEZ
- JOHN ADAMS
- LAUGH TRACK
- WURLITZER ORGANS (17A: Instruments played at theaters during silent films) —
The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, usually referred to as simply Wurlitzer, was an American company started in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1853 by German immigrant Rudolph Wurlitzer. The company originally imported stringed, woodwind and brass instruments from Germany for resale in the U.S. Wurlitzer enjoyed initial success largely due to defense contracts to provide musical instruments to the U.S. military. In 1880 the company began manufacturing pianos. Eventually the company relocated to North Tonawanda, NY and quickly expanded to make band organs, orchestrions, nickelodeons and pipe or theatre organs popular in theatres during the days of silent movies. (wikipedia)
• • •
FLAGMAN (?) (not a word I'd use) and TIN MINE. At first I thought this corner was a bit aberrant fill-wise because the constructor was trying to shoehorn an "F" in there in order to complete the (ugh) pangram. But then I noticed that the (otherwise beautiful) grid does not contain a "V." So I don't know what's up with FLAGMAN and TIN MINE. Maybe they're perfectly fine terms that were just slightly harder than normal to come up with (on a Monday). But god bless that missing "V." Never ever ever let your (misguided) desire to use every letter of the alphabet dictate your fill choices. Ever.
Now that I think of it, some of this puzzle's (relative) difficulty may have been related to the core joke/concept's not being familiar to people, i.e. maybe there are people who don't know that "Seinfeld" has (pretty famously) been described as "a show about nothing." I never really watched the show, and I had no problem with the revealer. Still, it's the kind of pop culture revealer that could leave some solvers stranded and befuddled.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
Update: while I still love this puzzle as a puzzle, I now despise it as a bit of corporate tie-in commercial nonsense. Check out this (I'm sure) Completely Coincidental juxtaposition in today's paper: