Japanese PM executed in 1948 / FRI 6-12-15 / Sylvia ballet composer 1876 / Ski resort that prohibits snowboarding / 2001 sports flop for short / Jay British singer with 2009 #1 hit down / Infant rocketed to earth from Krypton / Studio with horse logo / Literally elbow / emulate esne
Friday, June 12, 2015
Constructor: David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: Stan GETZ (56D: "The Sound" of music) —
Stanley Getz (February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991) was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor saxophone, Getz was known as "The Sound" because of his warm, lyrical tone, his prime influence being the wispy, mellow timbre of his idol, Lester Young. Coming to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Herman's big band, Getz is described by critic Scott Yanow as "one of the all-time great tenor saxophonists". Getz went on to perform in bebop, cool jazz and third stream, but is perhaps best known for popularizing bossa nova, as in the worldwide hit single "The Girl from Ipanema" (1964). (wikipedia)
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TOJO) was actually a clue about a former Sony exec (which is a clue you do see from time to time in crosswords, another four-letter Japanese name … I think my brain turned "P.M." into CEO and then just ignored the "executed" and "1948" parts … oh, and I still can't remember that Sony exec's name). And I've literally never heard of Jay SEAN until just now. Big SEAN, yes. Jay SEAN, no. So turning that particular corner was rough.
This puzzle started with IOTA (wrong) at 1A: Minute bit, which was quickly fixed by crosswording's favorite fisherman, the EELER, and then I went through the NW without much trouble. NE proved much tougher, as I got ANEW up into there, but then couldn't get much to work, Across-wise or Down-wise, on first pass. KAL-EL, NEXT, and AGOG—that's what I had. I thought the Hulk might be in a RAGE, but too few letters. I figured the [Land bordering western China] was a -STAN, but I wasn't sure which one. And of course TOJO, who would've helped a lot, was still a Sony exec in my mind, so I abandoned that area for the center, which then got me IRENE DUNNE, which sorted the NE out pretty nicely. Very tough clues on I'M READY (10D: "Let's roll!") and SPY (11D: Invasive plant) up there. Love the SPY clue, actually.
From there I could not get into the SE. I couldn't see DESKS in a library and I had no idea YALIEs sang like sheep, so … I got a few little answers. Crosswordese retrieval skills were on point as I brought down ISERE off the "I" and then SILAS (never seen or read "Da Vinci Code," never will). Then ALTA. But the answer that finally got the Downs down there to fall was … a comics sound effect. ZOT! Hurray! ZOT! to SLEAZEBALL For The Win!
After that, an easy SW, and done.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. LA VIDA LOCA as a partial? (29D: Subject of a 1999 Ricky Martin hit). No. Come on.
P.P.S. best wrong answer of the day: 18A: A cameo may be seen in it (GOOGOLPLEX). I seem to have confused "cineplex" with a very large number.
P.P.P.S. Happy Birthday, Jamie B. Fowler, wherever you are!
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