Longtime Burmese PM / THU 12-11-14 / Togs with red tags / Brand name in immunity boosting / Fox's partner on X-Files / Ancient site of Luxor Temple / Old service site informally / Aerial anomaly / Cat Stevens surname now / 1975 Tony-winning play with Latin name /
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Constructor: Joe DiPietro
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: [THROUGH] — phrases that go "___ through ___" are represented by the first part of the phrase literally passing through the last part of the phrase:
- NACHO [through] THEBES
- EXPELS [through] LIP
- IS NOT [through], DINGBAT!
- SMUT [through] ISLAM
Ed Ames (born Edmund Dantes Urick; July 9, 1927) is an American popular singer and actor. He is best known for his pop and adult contemporary hits of the 1960s like "When the Snow is on the Roses" and the perennial "My Cup Runneth Over". He was part of a popular 1950s singing group called the Ames Brothers. […] In the early 1960s, the Ames Brothers disbanded, and Ed Ames, pursuing a career in acting, studied at the Herbert Berghof School. His first starring role was in an Off Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, going on to starring performances in The Fantasticks and Carnival!, which was on Broadway. He was in the national touring company of Carnival.
Ames' dark complexion and facial bone structure led to his being cast regularly as a Native American. He played Chief Bromden in the Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, opposite Kirk Douglas.Talent scouts at 20th Century Fox saw Ames in the production and invited him to play the Cherokee tribesman, Mingo on the NBC television series, Daniel Boone, with Fess Parker, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, and Veronica Cartwright. His character's father was an English officer. In an episode of Season One, Ames also portrayed Mingo's evil twin brother, Taramingo. Ames' main character was actually named Caramingo, but went by Mingo throughout the entire series. Ames played a bandit on a 1962 The Rifleman episode and guest-starred as Kennedy in the 1963 episode "The Day of the Pawnees, Part 2" on ABC's The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, with Kurt Russell in the title role. He guest-starred in 1963 on Richard Egan's NBC modern western series, Redigo. (wikipedia)
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PULLS [through] IN THE CLUTCH much, though. The IN just glitches the whole effect. IN is fighting "through" for directional primacy. It just feels like a clunker to me. Also, that section has PLU, which is D-grade fill. I honestly didn't know what it meant when I was finished (47A: Like arts and crafts: Abbr.). Couldn't think of anything it could possibly mean. Turns out it's an abbr. for "plural." Not anywhere I've ever seen, but somewhere. You can bet if it's in the grid, some dictionary somewhere has confirmed that it's legit. Still, PLU = ugh. I think the theme answer / grid set-up just gets you in a tight jam from the get-go, as you have very limited options where H---G is concerned (37A). And since PULLS and SLIP are also immovable, it's probably lucky that PLU is the only real casualty in that middle section. This puzzle has some junk, but it really doesn't make the puzzle creak and groan too much. Even the obvious Scrabble-f***ing in the SW *and* SE doesn't in fill that's *too* bad. NAM and NDAK and ATTN are not good, but we see them pretty frequently, and ESTERC … also, in my book, not good, but at least it's unusual. So mild thumbs-up for this one.
- 60A: Longtime Burmese P.M. (U NU) — old-skool crosswordese. Up there with U THANT. U NU is the shortest full name you'll ever see (at least in a crossword grid).
- 24A: Togs with red tags (LEVI'S) — About the last thing I got. I own LEVI'S. Several pairs, I think. I don't know what "red tags" refers to. I had no idea that was an identifying feature. Also, "togs," ugh. Sounds like a word ED AMES or one of the guys from The BOX TOPS would use. Actually, no, those guys are too hip.
- 18D: Ancient site of the Luxor Temple (THEBES) — I always (and I mean Always) forget that there is another THEBES besides the one in Aeschylus's "Seven Against Thebes" and Statius's "Thebaid" (i.e. the Greek one).
- 26A: Aerial anomaly (UFO) — gave me trouble. Thought the "aerial" was the thing your analogue TV used to need to get reception.