One of renters in Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat / FRI 1-13-17 / Family name in Sir Walter Scott's Bride of Lammermoor / First one was modified Ford D-Series truck / Author with restaurant at Eiffel Tower named for him
Friday, January 13, 2017
Constructor: Andrew J. Ries
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: WES Montgomery (13D: Jazzman Montgomery) —
John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery (March 6, 1923 – June 15, 1968) was an American jazz guitarist. He is widely considered one of the major jazz guitarists, emerging after such seminal figures as Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian and influencing countless others. Montgomery was known for an unusual technique of stroking the strings with the side of his thumb which granted him a distinctive sound.
He often worked with organist Jimmy Smith, and with his brothers Buddy (piano and vibes) and Monk (bass guitar). His recordings up to 1965 were generally oriented towards hard bop, soul jazz and post bop, while circa 1965 he began recording more pop-oriented instrumental albums that featured less improvisation but found mainstream success and could be classified as crossover jazz or early smooth jazz. (wikipedia)
• • •SPECIAL MESSAGE for the week of January 8-January 15, 2017
Rex Parker c/o Michael Sharp
54 Matthews St
Binghamton, NY 13905
Now on to the puzzle!
BUYER'S REMORSE (35A: New homeowner's feeling, maybe) from the B-Y, and PARODY ACCOUNT (39A: @fakechucknorris, for one) and MUSEUM EXHIBIT (40A: Diorama, maybe) fell almost immediately thereafter. I actually own "BORN THIS WAY" (27D: Grammy-nominated 2011 Lady Gaga album), so that was weird. I will always remember which March girl dies because of the "Friends" episode where Joey and Rachel spoil "The Shining" and "Little Women" for each other, respectively. "Beth DIES!" "Nooooooo!" So I threw BETH up in the NE and took that section out no problem. Occasionally I had to stop and think about something, like when I wrote in OSCAR and sort of thought it referred to the Sylvester Stallone movie of the same name ... (?!) ... (I know it doesn't) ... (now) ... or when I did the thing where you (wrongly) assume [President...] means "US President..." (48A: President who said "If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become president" => HAVEL). But those were just minor hiccups.
There was, however, one genuinely tough (albeit tiny) patch in the NE that stands out less for toughness than for uneven editing. I'm talking about ASHTON-over-PABLO (22A: Family name in Sir Walter Scott's "The Bride of Lammermoor") (26A: One of the renters in Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat"). Why would you stack literary obscurities like that? Virtually anyone solving this puzzle would put both those clues at the top of the list of either "things I didn't know" or "things I wouldn't expect others to know." Either clue on its own is OK, I guess, but stacked character names from not-terrifically-famous books?! Proper nouns are always dicey—if you're going to make them abut, at least draw from different spheres of knowledge. It's not like PABLO or ASHTON can't be clued other ways. PABLO, for instance, can go to rap (Kanye West's 2016 album "Life of Pablo"), art (good old what's-his-name), '70s pop music (Pablo Cruise), etc. Dollars to donuts at least one of the ASHTON / PABLO clues isn't the constructor's original clue. Oh well, very small, technical, editorial blemish on an otherwise really vibrant and pleasing puzzle.
- 17A: Very much (A TON) — I really hate ATON and ALOT because ugh, right, I know it's one of you guys, why are you making me guess, I hate this game... I guessed wrong this time, but I guessed MME right somehow (23A: Fr. title), so I could see 2D: Fall had to be AUTUMN, and thus changed A LOT to A TON. Pivotal yet boring, this moment.
- 54A: Ricoh rival (EPSON) — I actually did OK this time. Normally on a clue like this (as I've said), I just get an EPSOM EBSEN EPSON pile-up in my brain and don't know what to do. Terrible vowel trouble. See also EFR( )M (24A: Zimbalist of old TV).
- 21D: "Toodles" ("SEE YOU SOON") — "SEE YA LATER!" also fits here. Perhaps you found that out yourself.
P.S. like LEK, ADE has recurred (32A: Sweet pitcherful). Already. Clearly my "Let's Not" list is having no effect. Gonna be a long year.
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