Colonnaded entrance / TUE 7-8-14 / Duettist with Elton John on 1976's Don't Go Breaking My Heart / Former Israeli president Weizman / Bankrupted company led by Kenneth Lay
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Constructor: Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: BARS (67A: Signs of cell service … or a word that can follow both parts of 18-, 23-, 36-, 52- and 58-Across):
- HIGH ENERGY
- SIDE SALAD
- OPEN SPACE
- SPORTS NUT
- COFFEE ROLL
Ezer Weizman (Hebrew: עזר ויצמן, 15 June 1924 - 24 April 2005) was the seventhPresident of Israel, first elected in 1993 and re-elected in 1998. Before the presidency, Weizman was commander of the Israeli Air Force and Minister of Defense. (wikipedia)
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OPEN SPACE isn't going to rock anyone's world, and I had to look up what a COFFEE ROLL even was. Fill is mostly adequate, though it dips into ugliness perhaps a bit too often. DOI and RUEDE are rough, and ONCDS (plural!?) feels very forced. Then there's your standard (that word again) spate of uber-familiar but not particularly lovely stuff like SPYS and STS and REUPS and EZER and REATA. The PORTICO / YOGA MAT pairing is pretty nice (11D: Colonnaded entrance / 12D: You might sit cross-legged on one), but most of the rest of the grid is just OK, at best.
- 3D: Duettist with Elton John on 1976's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (KIKI DEE) — 1976 is the summer I first started paying attention to pop music, and this song (along with "Afternoon Delight") are seared into my memory for that reason. I remember moving into our new house, which had an intercom system (!?) (which never got used ever as far as I remember), and it somehow could also play the radio, and so … yeah, you're 6 years old and you move into a new house and you fiddle with the crazy gadgets on the wall and there's KIKI DEE and Elton John and also a song about mid-day sex that you have no idea is about mid-day sex, but then again you are six and you think "making love" means "kissing on the couch" (the couch, for some reason, is crucial), so no one is surprised that "Afternoon Delight" is over your head.
- 9D: Former Israeli president Weizman (EZER) — I've been putting this guy's name in the puzzle for years, but never knew who he was. His dates (very recent) startled me. I think … I think I don't know what an "Israeli president" does. Prime minister, familiar. President … ?
- 47A: Fashion designer Gernreich (RUDI) — someday this name will stick. Not today. But someday.