Singer O'Shea who shaerd stage with Beatles on 2/9/64 Ed Sullivan Show / WED 7-8-15 / Pale Prairie plant of central US / Collagist's supply / Sicilian province / Falafel sauce
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Constructor: Ryan Milligan
Relative difficulty: Easy
- THIRD DEGREE BURN
- INDIAN PLANTAIN
- SIGN OF THE TIMES
Welsh entertainer and actress. // Born in Cardiff to James Peter O'Shea, a soldier who was the son of Irish emigrants, and his wife Nellie Theresa Carr, Tessie O'Shea was reared in the British music hall tradition. She performed on stage as early as age six, billed "The Wonder of Wales". By her teens she was known for her popular BBC Radio broadcasts and appeared on stages in Britain and South Africa. She frequently finished her act by singing and playing a banjolele in the style of George Formby. While appearing in Blackpool in the 1930s, she capitalised on her size by adopting "Two Ton Tessie from Tennessee" as her theme song. In the 1940s, she was a frequent headliner at the London Palladium, and established herself as a hit recording artist in the 1950s. [...] In 1963, O'Shea was a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show, she was popular enough that she came back in 1964 and shared the billing with The Beatles. Their joint appearance drew what was then the largest audience in the history of American television, helping bring her to American audiences. She was a member of the repertory company on the short-lived CBS variety show The Entertainers (1964–65). In 1968, O'Shea was cast in the television movie The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama. (wikipedia)
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Not into this one. Too many unappealing things. First, the dreaded Non-Consecutive Circled Squares. There's just no joy in this format. There's nothing clever. There's nothing interesting about finding 5 or 6 letters inside of 14 or 15 letters. You can't claim that the circled squares are "hidden" on any level. I mean, you could claim there are all kinds of messages in virtually any grid you solve if you really wanted to. Also, you can't claim that anything is hidden in a grid where the allegedly "hidden" elements have what amounts to flashing neon lights around them. The circles say "LOOK HERE," thus negating the whole concept of "hidden." INDIAN PLANTAIN ... is that a thing? I know what a plantain is, but the "Pale" or "prairie" hints in the clue mean nothing to me. I have never heard of this thing. And then there's the nonsensical weird question/answer revealer. This seems like something that might've been a promising idea, but the execution is odd and void of joy or pop or surprise.
Fill is atrocious. ENNA ING ANAS (!?) ORMAN IAM NNE ESME (I haven't even left the NE yet) ... no. No. No. ATE LUNCH is a hilarious example of a "green paint" answer—of course you might say it, but you might also say ATE BRUNCH or ATE CHICKEN or ATE LISTLESSLY. Doesn't quite cohere enough to be a crossword answer. Also, TESSIE is hilariously non-famous. I read her whole wikipedia entry and she seems to be known on this side of the Atlantic *solely* for appearing, one imagines coincidentally, on "Ed Sullivan" when the Beatles were there. TESSIE isn't there to introduce us to something new. She's there because of all those enabler-letters (Ts and Es and Ss make constructing easier). On the up side, or the down side, or some side, this thing was very easy. My only real trouble was spelling SHAWN (I went with my best friend's spelling—the "U" version).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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