Distillery eponym Joseph / FRI 5-13-16 / Sardine relative / Big name in energy bars smoothies / Celebrity with fashion line V / Targets of president Taft / Punch line instrument / Celebrity whose name sounds like drink
Friday, May 13, 2016
Constructor: David Phillips and David Steinberg
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: IMAGINE DRAGONS (14A: Band with the 2012 double-platinum album "Night Visions") —
Imagine Dragons is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The band gained exposure following the release of their debut studio album, Night Visions (2012) and first single "It's Time". According to Billboard, Imagine Dragons topped the year-end rock rankings for 2013; Billboard named them "The Breakthrough Band of 2013", and Rolling Stone named their single "Radioactive" "the biggest rock hit of the year" MTV called them "the year's biggest breakout band". Night Visions peaked at number two on the weekly Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart. The band's second studio album Smoke + Mirrors reached number one on the Billboard 200, Canadian Albums Chart, and UK Albums Chart. // Imagine Dragons won two American Music Awards for Favorite Alternative Artist, a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance, five Billboard Music Awards, and a World Music Award. In May 2014, the band was nominated for a total of fourteen different Billboard Music Awards, including Top Artist of the Year and a Milestone Award, recognizing innovation and creativity of different artists across different genres. (wikipedia)
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JANIE's got it, but then I remember the Aerosmith video, which featured Alicia Silverstone, who really looked much more like a JAMIE than a Janie, but then I look it up and Alicia Silverstone wasn't even in that video; she was in different Aerosmith videos ("Cryin'," "Crazy," "Amazing"), so I don't even know anymore. My whole world is upside-down. Anyway, JANIE is the one with the gun. That was my one and only hiccup up top. Oh, given that I encountered IMAGINE DRAGONS, I sort of expected the Vanessa in question in 16A: Celebrity with the fashion line "V." (VANESSA WILLIAMS) to skew much younger. That clue had me trying to remember how to spell "Hudgens" (of "High School Musical" fame). It wouldn't have fit. Still, I did consider it. I did not consider SPRAT until the last cross was in. SPRAT is like SMELT and SHAD in that it is an improbable-looking fish word. To me, sardines are related to anchovies and SPRAT is Jack.
As with JANIE, I misspelled SICHUAN at first, but that seems infinitely more understandable. I spell the cuisine SZECHUAN. That didn't fit, so ... SECHUAN? ["incorrect" buzzer sound]. Strangely (to me) SICHUAN appears to be the preferred spelling (at wikipedia, anyway). I spent a long time trying to figure out the trickiness of 13D: Punch line instrument (SNARE DRUM). I thought "punch" was related to the act of drumming somehow ... and "line" was musical (as in "bass line"). It was only after I was done that I realized that the stereotypical punch line follow-up is a rim shot, played (presumably) on a SNARE DRUM. 15D: Little something for the road? (SMART CAR) also baffled me until most of the letters were in. Still, no real problems moving through that NE area. The only place I got stuck in the mud was the SE, where I couldn't come up with AGENCIES (I was thinkingn "apps" or "services" ... somehow AGENCIES seems like a pre-internet word). Speaking of mud (which I was, sort of), I thought 29D: Mud spot? was the best clue / answer pairing in the whole puzzle. Very misdirecty, very accurate (candidates throw "mud" at each other in TV ads, also called "spots"). 'Tis the season.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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