Archaeological find of 1974 / FRI 11-25-16 / Cello attachment near bridge / Actress Raines of Tall in Saddle / Pax century preceding WW I / West Lips Sofa Dali piece
Friday, November 25, 2016
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
Word of the Day: ELLA Raines (6D: Actress Raines of "Tall in the Saddle") —
Snoqualmie Falls, Washington, Ella Raines studied drama at the University of Washington and was appearing in a play there when she was seen by Howard Hawks. She became the first actor signed to the new production company he had formed with the actor Charles Boyer, "B-H Productions", and made her film debut in Corvette K-225 in 1943. Immediately following her role in that film, she was cast in the all female war film Cry 'Havoc', made the same year. In 1944, she appeared soon after D-Day as a most classy pin-up in the GI magazine, Yank. She starred in a series of big films including the film noir Phantom Lady, the comedy Hail the Conquering Hero, and the John Wayne western Tall in the Saddle. Soon, she began appearing in such films as 1945's The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry with Geraldine Fitzgerald and George Sanders and the 1947 thriller The Web. With the exception of Brute Force, in which Raines appeared with Burt Lancaster, none of her later films were nearly as successful as her previous movies and her career began to decline. (wikipedia)
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ELLA Raines was, or knew my cello attachments, or could see my way to any confident entries besides BOA and ARID, things might've been different up there, but ye gods. 1A: Strongly disparage (BASH) could've been many things. 14D: Marathon runner's bane (HILL) could've been many, many things. I went through all the 4x4s I knew, and while "piece of wood" crossed my mind, BEAM did not. Had RNS for MDS (32A: Ward healers, for short). Nice clue on TRAWL, but very hard (19A: Drag out of a bed?). So I had to claw for every damn answer up there. I think I got SEER and then inferred WAR at the end of 4D: Open hostilities (HOT WAR), and then put the "L" after the "W" before eventually getting TRAWL. Once IMPALA fell (23A: 1958 Chevrolet debut), then I crawled back up and across those long Acrosses (neither of which was anywhere near obvious).
But after that—no resistance. BYPRODUCTS went down easy (15D: Unlooked-for results). I stupidly went with RASSLE instead of RUSTLE at 25A: Take stock? and BAH instead of HEY at 9D: Affronted shout, and those errors caused some trouble, but not much. LEGOLAS helped me get the NE sorted (11D: Orlando Bloom's "The Lord of the Rings" role), and then I backed into LESSON PLAN and immediately dropped all those 5-letter Downs in the middle. Eventually, I was barely looking at clues. Got HEAVENSENT without looking (40A: Arriving at just the right moment). ESAU and TERM, same thing. HORATIO (37D: Speaker of the line in 40-Down) didn't even require my checking the cross-reference. I remembered "HAMLET" had come up earlier, so I assumed that was the reference, and was right. Had to wait a bit on the end of SPACE ___ at 56A: Landing gear? (SPACE SUITS), and had to change I'M FIRST to ME FIRST (39D: Selfishly eager cry), but no problems otherwise. Goes without saying that this is a well-made puzzle. Patrick Berry Fridays (or any days) are rarely anything else. Not exceptional by his standards, but his standards are ridiculous. And so to bed. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgivings. See you Saturday.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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