"Funeral Blues" poet / TUE 6-10-14 / Sheryl Sandberg best seller / "The L Word" role for Katherine Moennig / Carne ___ (Mexican dish) / Harden (to)
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Constructor: Pamela Klawitter
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: — Famous historical figures' names anagrammed into pithy obituary notices.
- 20A: MONROE NO MORE (Brief 1831 headline?)
- 27A: NEWTON WENT ON (Brief 1727 headline?)
- 44A: EDISON IS DONE (Brief 1931 headline?)
- 52A: PASSING NOTES (Secretive classroom activity ... or what 20-, 27- and 44-Across are anagrammatic examples of?)
Decent Tuesday puzzle today. Very Tuesday-ish in my opinion. I was a little confused by the two long non-theme across answers, both of which are very nice entries, but being so long it kinda felt like they should be theme answers. And then they weren't. (Additional, unrelated note: I get confused easily.)
I'm not sure if there's supposed to be a connection among the three dead guys in the theme answers. My sense is that they're just three guys from history who all did different things and whose names can be anagrammed. Please let me know if there's something else I'm missing!
- 1A: Alexander Graham Bell, for one (SCOT). How is it possible that I'm as old as I am and didn't know Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish? I'm going to guess that history was taught in a very US-centric way when I was coming up and that this fact was never mentioned. That's possible, right?
- 19A: Vegas hotel transport (TRAM). Second- and third-guessed myself here. Started with TAXI, then changed it to LIMO. Got to the down and saw it needed to be a T and figured I had been right in the first place. No dice. (See what I did there?)
- 25A: Golf ball's position (LIE). Entered TEE at first here. That's a horrible answer if you think about it. The actual answer is much better.
- 33A: "I am woman, hear me ROAR." Middle-aged women! Represent!
- 38A: Alternative if things don't work out (PLAN B). I have a former boss who would only refer to Plan B as "Another Plan A." I like that philosophy.
- 41A: Badger's home: Abbr. (WIS). Not a fan of this abbreviation, but it was easy enough to figure out. Also reminds me of how dumb I was when we moved back to the Washington, DC, area in 2008. I saw all the people wearing red caps with Ws on them and wondered why there were so many Wisconsin fans here. (In my defense, when we left in 2004 there was no baseball here.)
- 43A: Employee of TV's Sterling Cooper & Partners (ADMAN). I knew this was a "Mad Men" reference but I thought we needed to know a character's name. Since I haven't watched the show, I just cruised on by this one and picked up the second time around with a head-slap.
- 51A: AER Lingus. PuzzleKids will be flying Aer Lingus this summer when PuzzleMom and PuzzleDad take them to Ireland. If you want my parents to adopt you, you're gonna have to get in line.
- 58A: Where the Carpenters "long to be" in a 1970 #1 hit (CLOSE TO YOU). If you were upset about not having an earworm yet today, you're welcome.
- 7D: Bit of praise, in modern usage (KUDO). Super clunker (klunker?). Really the only one that jumped out at me though.
- 10D: Gotham City V.I.P. (BATMAN). Did you know that Batman is an actual, honest-to-God, legitimate last name? How cool would it be to have the last name Batman? (I believe Doug Peterson is on his way down to the courthouse right now.)
- 22D: Set up, as a chair (ENDOW). Very tricky clue. One of those academia things.
- 36D: Piano man, maybe (TUNER). Funny story. The PuzzleFam and I were watching the Times Square coverage this past New Year's Eve. They were also broadcasting from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where Billy Joel was putting on a show. The PuzzleKids LOVE to give us a hard time about our "old people music" and couldn't resist taking some (ill-advised, as it turns out) shots at Billy Joel. PuzzleSon: "Do people even know who he is??" About 30 minutes later a Facebook friend of mine who happened to be at the Barclays Center posted a video of "Piano Man." Only Billy Joel wasn't *performing* it so much as he was leading a sing-along. Every person in the arena was singing every word. I looked at PuzzleSon and smirked, "Yeah. They know who he is."
- 45D: Old West "neckties" (NOOSES). I was looking for BOLOS here. Turns out the correct answer is quite a bit more morbid (morbider?).