Showing posts with label Comic actor shares name Washington suburb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comic actor shares name Washington suburb. Show all posts

Legendary 1920s-'30s Harlem nightspot / MON 7-18-11 / Comic actor shares name Washington suburb / Cutlass Super 88 bygone autodom / Promgoers car

Monday, July 18, 2011

Constructor: Kevin Donovan

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: FIVE CCS (25D: Small amount of blood serum ... or a title for this puzzle) — theme answers are two-word phrases or names where each word starts with "C"

Word of the Day: BEL Paese (7D: ___ Paese cheese) —

Bel Paese (Italian pronunciation: [bɛl paˈeːze]) is a semi-soft Italian cheese. It was invented in 1906 by Egidio Galbani who wanted to produce a mild and delicate cheese to sell mainly in Italy. The name Bel Paese comes from the title of a book written by Antonio Stoppani. It is Italian for "Beautiful Country".

Originally produced in Melzo, a small village near Milan in the Lombardy region, it is now made in both Italy and the United States. Bel Paese is a cow's milk cheese. It matures for six to eight weeks, and has a creamy and light milky aroma. The color is a pale, creamy yellow. It is made in small discs, and is very similar to the French Saint-Paulin cheese and to German Butterkäse.

It has a mild, buttery flavor for which it has been popularly eaten with fruity wines, such as dry red or white. It is favored by many as a snack or dessert cheese and melts easily for use on pizzas or in casseroles. It is often used as a substitute for mozzarella cheese.

Genuine bel paese cheese can be determined by the wrapping. It has an image of the Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani, whose geological treatise Il bel paese gave its name to the Galbani cheese; but while on the wrapping of the cheese made in Italy Stoppani's image comes with a map of Italy, cheese made in the United States has a map of the Americas. (wikipedia)

• • •

Hardly stopped at all as I moved through this one, and probably only looked at a clue without failing to answer it immediately a small handful of times. Grid was lively enough to keep from being a total bore, with interesting words like PUCE (27A: Dark purple) and STRAFE (23A: Attack from above) and SUCTION (53A: Modus operandi of a toilet plunger) and OBTUSE popping up here and there. Little corners were pretty dull, though, as little corners can be, and the theme feels phenomenally unambitious—you could make puzzle after puzzle after puzzle with this theme, but why? FIVE CCS isn't even a thing. Now 10CC ... that is very much a thing.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Legendary 1920s-'30s Harlem nightspot (COTTON CLUB)
  • 11D: Comic actor who shares a name with a Washington suburb (CHEVY CHASE)
  • 29D: Capital of Nevada (CARSON CITY)
  • 39A: Popular Massachusetts vacation area (CAPE COD)
  • 61A: Pioneering French designer with her own fragrance (COCO CHANEL)
I like how the OLDS (59D: Cutlass or Super 88 of bygone autodom) and the SAAB and the prom-going LIMO (1A: Promgoers' car) have all parked neatly in the corners of this puzzle. I don't like how I can never remember how to spell SID Caesar's first name (30A: Caesar of 1950s TV). SYD seems plausible. I mean, I've seen "Y" in weirder places (see, for instance, BAYH) (67A: Evan or Birch of Indiana politics). I have heard of ASTRAL plane and (less often) ASTRAL projection (50A: Kind of plane or projection). Turns out they are both as imaginary and New Agey as I thought they were (though they are also ancient ... like druids and ankhs and other New Agey things). I wrote in ELBA for [German river to the North Sea] (ELBE). I want to say it's because I didn't read the clue properly, but in reality, I think I get the river and the island confused. I do, however, know my PASHAS from my DACHAS from my K$SHAS, which is something, albeit not much.

Congratulations to the Japanese Women's Soccer team. Great match, marred only by having to end in the most disappointing possible way: penalty kicks. They should have judges, like in boxing, and if no one has won after regulation and extra time, then it should go to the judges. Points for style and dominance and not flopping like an obnoxious loser. But I (really) digress.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[The following announcement will be up all week]

I'm coming to NYC for the Lollapuzzoola Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 6 (you should go—info here). But you know that. What you don't know (yet) is that I'm coming several days early to do some interviews for a crossword project I'm working on, and I'm hoping to interview some of You (New Yorkers) about your xword habit. I'm especially interested in talking to people who think they are unlikely solvers, or who solve in weird / interesting / iconic places, or who have good solving anecdotes, or who are famous / prominent in their fields, or any combo of the above. I'm also interested in ordinary everyday solvers. I'm not looking for fast or accomplished solvers. Just interesting solvers. If you live in NYC, this (probably) means you! If you are going to be in town on Aug. 4-5 and are willing to talk to me for a few minutes, drop me a line at rexparker at mac dot com. I'll be exceedingly grateful. I'll see what kind of response I get and set up a schedule from there. If I don't hear from you, I'll just have to wander the streets harassing anyone I see solving a crossword, even though this may result in my getting punched, or worse. So help me out. Thank you!


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