Bob Ewell's daughter in To Kill Mockingbird / SUN 5-22-16 / Tongue anatomically / Dance of Sugar Plum Fairy instrument / Limestone areas with sinkholes caverns
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Constructor: Victor Barocas and Andy Kravis
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: "Rise And Fall" — Circles form inverted "V"s in top half of grid—these hold the names of mountains; circles form "V"s in bottom half of grid—these hold the names of valleys. Two halves of the grid united thematically by central revealer: 70A: Classic song with the repeated line "if you need me, I will be nearby" ... shown symbolically in this puzzle ("MOUNTAIN HIGH, VALLEY LOW")
- Mount SINAI, Mount SAINT HELENS, Mount EVEREST
- SILICON Valley, SAN FERNANDO Valley, DEATH Valley
Pierrot (French pronunciation: [pjɛʁo]) is a stock character of pantomime and Commedia dell'Arte whose origins are in the late seventeenth-century Italian troupe of players performing in Paris and known as the Comédie-Italienne; the name is a hypocorism of Pierre (Peter), via the suffix -ot. His character in contemporary popular culture—in poetry, fiction, the visual arts, as well as works for the stage, screen, and concert hall—is that of the sad clown, pining for love of Columbine, who usually breaks his heart and leaves him for Harlequin. Performing unmasked, with a whitened face, he wears a loose white blouse with large buttons and wide white pantaloons. Sometimes he appears with a frilled collaret and a hat, usually with a close-fitting crown and wide round brim, more rarely with a conical shape like a dunce's cap. But most frequently, since his reincarnation under Jean-Gaspard Deburau, he wears neither collar nor hat, only a black skullcap. The defining characteristic of Pierrot is his naïveté: he is seen as a fool, often the butt of pranks, yet nonetheless trusting. (wikipedia)
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MOUNTAIN HIGH, VALLEY LOW," such as "River Deep, Mountain High" (by Ike & Tina Turner) and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (which contains the lyric "Ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low..."). Both those songs are light years more famous than today's song. Seriously, did *anyone* but Eartha Kitt sing it. When I put the title into YouTube, it understandably wants to give me the two songs I've already mentioned. Not ... this:
It's a real song, so I can accept it as the revealer. But "Classic" is a s t r e t c h.
Proper noun clusters seem like they could've gotten some people into trouble today. I was lucky enough to know (somehow?) PIERROT, 'cause I sure as heckfire didn't know that "To Kill a Mockingbird" cross (MAYELLA) (!?) (92D: Bob Ewell's daughter in "To Kill a Mockingbird"). And thank god I got the wordplay in the clue at 87A: It's least palatable when raw (DEAL), because I had No Clue about the "A" or the "L" cross. EAGAN??? (81D: Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb) LIAO??? (88D: Chinese dynasty of 1,000 years ago) Yipes. That's playing fast and loose with marginal proper nouns. Dangerous. But not too dangerous—not for me, anyway. CELESTA over OCA also gave me some trepidation. The former I couldn't pick out of a line-up 54A: "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" instrument), the latter I know only as a South American tuber, which I assume is not the meaning here (65A: "L'___ del Cairo" (unfinished Mozart opera)). But educated guesses and solid crosses made things work out in the end. No idea who SCHMITT was. Or PROTAGORAS (23A: Greek philosopher who wrote "Man is the measure of all things"). Lucky enough to have OSWEGO in my backyard (broadly speaking) (76A: Upstate SUNY campus site)—that is a name that likely baffled a few of you. But somehow I managed to gambol through this proper noun minefield without any significant damage. All in all, a fine, entertaining, solid Sunday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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