Silent screen vamp Naldi / WED 1-28-15 / Simple ragtime dance / Classic violinmaker / Gustav whose music was banned by Nazis

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: I bet you think this song is about YOU — Songs that have YOU in their titles, arranged in pieces, symmetrically, such that the YOU at the center of the puzzle is shared by every title:

Theme answers:
  • I'VE GOT / YOU / UNDER MY SKIN (1A: With 38- and 46-Across, 1966 4 Seasons hit) (I had no idea they did a version of this song; I don't associate with them At All)
  • I WANT TO TAKE / YOU / HIGHER (26A: With 38- and 67-Across, 1970 Sly & the Family Stone hit)
  • ALL / YOU / NEED IS LOVE (10A: With 38- and 50-Across, 1967 Beatles hit)
  • JUST THE WAY / YOU / ARE (21A: With 38- and 65-Across, 1977 Billy Joel hit)
Word of the Day: ODAS (39A: Harem rooms) —
Oda (Turkishoda, "a room, chamber") is a room within a harem found in the Ottoman Empire. // During Ottoman period the harem division of the Topkapı Palace was home to the Valide sultan (Sultan's mother); the odalisques and wives of the Sultan; and the rest of his family, including children; and their servants. There were nearly 300 odas in the harem and it housed as many as 500 residents, which sometimes amounted up to 300 women, their children, and the eunuchs. (wikipedia)
• • •

They all share that YOU, and they are symmetrical. But I don't see what's enjoyable about any of it, except if you happen to like some or all of the songs involved. Remembering songs can be nice. But as a crossword, it's just fussy. Multiply cross-referenced clues, chopped up answers … no pleasure there for me. It's architecturally interesting, in its way, but mainly it seemed messy. Titles smashed to bits. Interesting upon reflection, but not very pleasant to solve. The fill (once again) is remarkably poor in places. It's a 76-worder w/ cheaters, so why the RIV / IPSO, why the AWET / ODAS, why the ERES / ILO / AAU / KAI, why the EHLE / AROW / LOGY, and why the THE JETS? It all felt so terribly unpolished. Yes, everybody likes these songs. They are popular, they are old, they are going to play well with the NYT's core demographic. And there's definitely some decent longer, non-theme stuff in there (weirdly, unusually, that may be where this puzzle is strongest—RUN ALONG, GRAPE NUTS IMPOSTOR! You can have HAIR COMB (?) back, but the other longer stuff is pretty decent. But the short stuff is too often unbearable, and the theme has no appeal except nostalgia.

  • 14A: Scope (ROOM) — strangely, this little nook in the north caused me the most difficulty. Took me a while to get ROOM, in part because 7D: Makes a wrong turn seemed so … turn-specific. Took me a while to consider the general ERRS. Also ELK was well (and pretty nicely) hidden at 7A: Popular game? Is it popular? Really? Well, at any rate, I like the play on "game."
  • 48A: U.K. neighbor (IRE) — that is a nice attempted save, emphasis on "attempted": still no good to have IRE and IRATE in the same grid.
  • 47D: "6 Rms ___ Vu" (1972 play) ("RIV") — Honestly, I went with "WIV." Thought we were doing baby talk play on a Forster title. "Me want woom wiv vu!" I have never heard of this "play." It was probably a big deal when these songs were (more) popular. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:02 AM  

THEJETS would have been better with an Elton John or Benny clue. Or West Side Story.

Guile 12:13 AM  

Medium? Starting last Friday, Rex and I are on different planets. Most clues a gimme

Carola 12:19 AM  

Felt the same about the theme as @Rex. I had more fun making titles with some of the lines and word clusters:


George Barany 12:25 AM  

Nice to stroll down memory lane with the Four Seasons version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" (1966) -- instantly recognizable to anyone who spent part of his or her youth listening to "oldies" radio. It was enlightening to then compare to the numerous other versions that @Rex has posted, and finally, to scurry to the relevant wikipedia page which teaches that the song was originally penned by the great Cole Porter 30 years before the Four Seasons hit. Thanks @Gary Cee for the nice diversion.

John Child 12:26 AM  

I agree that THE JETS could have had a West Side Story clue, but not a musical clue. In fact ERES shouldn't be in the grid clued as a song either, not if the theme is songs. The Eger River would fit, though it and the crosses also suck.

It looks like HAIR Cell or HAIR Care would work instead of HAIR COMB, and either would have irked me less, though HAIR COMB Googles surprisingly well. It feels like "foot shoe."

RIV was another unfortunate item. That could be RAV [___ 4: Toyota Vehicle] and APSO.

Is there a fifth themer? RUN ALONG YOU IMPOSTERS sounds like [Posthumous Elvis hit with a message for those copying his style].

wreck 12:28 AM  

I'm ready for the argument of the day -- is it "imposter" or "impostor?"
The song titles came pretty easy once I figured out the common "YOU" connector.
Serviceable Wednesday in my opinion.

Steve J 12:35 AM  

At first, I was highly annoyed by the orgy of cross-referenced entries. Then, when I discovered they all shared YOU, I was merely mildly annoyed.

I suppose that it's kind of cute that these songs share a central YOU and fit the grid, but that wasn't enough to get me particularly revved up (RIVved up?) for this one. It was just kind of there.

Did like GRAPE NUTS, KON-TIKI and TEN SPOTS. Meanwhile, RIV should be an automatic sign to a constructor that something's gone wrong with your puzzle that must be fixed before unleashing it on the public.

jae 12:37 AM  

Easy-medium for me.  Knew the songs, no WOEs, and only LeNA before LINA and eeO  before ILO for erasures.

As a card carrying (AARP) member of the core demographic, nostalgia works for me, liked it!

Charlene 12:39 AM  

Or "they play at the MTS Centre", if you wanted to stay with sports.

chefwen 1:50 AM  

Again, I'm with@Steve J. Was annoyed when I saw the with xxx and xxx someones hit, and to boot, I am crazy stupid about remembering song titles, but I managed to pull this one off with no cheats. They all seemed to come back to me without a hitch. Found myself singing along with a few of them. Go figure!

HAIR COMB, really?

retired_chemist 2:11 AM  

What Rex said.

IMPOSTER is an alternate to the preferred IMPOSToR and ought to be clues that way.

JUST THE WAY YOU ARE is Sinatra. I can hear his voice in my head as I type. and nobody else's.

Thanks,Mr. Cee.

Joey Bishop 3:41 AM  

I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN - Classic iconic Sinatra

Sinatra's cover of Billy Joel's JUST THE WAY YOU ARE - Less classic, less iconic.

Sinatra's JUST THE WAY YOU ARE with these lyrics:

Just you, just me
Let's find a cozy spot to cuddle and coo
Just us, just me
I've miss an awful lot, my trouble is you
Oh gee, what are your charms for?
What are my arms for?
Use your imagination
Just you, just me
I'll tie a lover's knot 'round wonderful you
Oh gee, what are your charms for?
What are my arms for?
Use your imagination
Just you, just me
I'll tie a lover's knot 'round wonderful you
Just us

Not really that memorable, iconic, classic. 

Not the Core Demo 4:01 AM  

Coulda gone with Bruno Mars

Danp 5:14 AM  

The NYT puzzle website shows that 15 people did this in under two minutes (as of 5:14AM)
. I wonder how many followed yesterday's thread here and were just testing thei typing skills.

GILL I. 5:40 AM  

I'm WIV VU @Rex...except maybe I liked it a bit more. Not my favorite KODAK moment because I don't like my puzzles to hop skip and jump all over the place. Even so, this was pretty easy and fun to recall the oldies.
Speaking of oldies...loved recalling that Romantic Composer MAHLER and his "First Symphony." My musicologist brother introduced me to him. There is a similarity in looks and conducting style.....Much better than Frank Sinatra and better looking as well!
Why is a A WET hen mad?

John Child 7:33 AM  

@Gill. I. Dump a bucket of water on one and you will find out! "Mad as a wet hen" is common to me. Maybe regional?

Not a HAIRCOMB 7:42 AM  

Because she didn't have a cocksCOMB?

Unknown 7:48 AM  

Agree with Rex. The cross referencing was annoying.

Dorothy Biggs 7:49 AM  

I'm a huge MAHLER I understand it, his works all but died out until Bruno Walter (and others, but mostly Walter...who was Mahler's protege) worked to bring his music back into the rep. Obviously, the Nazi regime is most notorious for their wanton inhumanity (and for good reason), but it is often forgotten they sucked for other reasons too...this being one more added to the very long list. Hey, but at least the trains ran on time!

I had trouble with the LINA/LOGY/RIO crossing. My kids are now old enough to go with me to more "advanced" movies, so I'm no longer hip to the dozens of animated films like I used to be. RIO somehow got by under my dad radar. Three-letter movie starting with could've been anything. I confess I had to google LINA (LaNA/LeNA seems more common).

Got the YOU word quickly which made the songs pretty much instantly appear.

And please, in the name of all that is holy, if you aren't going to relegate ERES to the dust bin of crosswordese, at least not allow it to be used for at least year each time. We just had it a couple of weeks ago. With maybe an ERI thrown in

anyway, except for LINA, this was kinda easy for me. Took me just under a minute to complete. (minus the 10 or so for "prep" time).

Moly Shu 7:56 AM  

Finished, in spite of RIV, EHLE, LOGY and LINA, all unknowns. The solving experience was choppy, and the finished product left me a little unsatisfied. Ready for a rebus.

Anonymous 8:00 AM  

Rex's week of dick continues. Fun and clever Wednesday, thank you Mr. Cee.

Jeff 8:04 AM  

For a second, I thought the center bit was going to be "UUU", as in "(all U) NEEDISLOVE."

Would have been a lot more interesting.

Tita 8:06 AM  

@John Childs...there may be no foot shoe, but hand shoe in German (handshuh) means glove. I absolutely love how the Germans will slap words together till they get just the right meaning. any favorites?

Reminds me of a charming little book by our own @Ulrich ... a tiny book of illustrations of some of his favorites. Interestingly, one of our English compound words had a German counterpart...bookworm..., but they also have a "reader-rat" see the distinction, check his book!

I too am normally annoyed my x-refs, doubly so when they comprise the theme. But once I got that they all shared the central YOU, I had fun with this. Thanks, Mr Cee!

RooMonster 8:08 AM  

Hey All !
Nice puz, had THeSE first for THOSE, so that slowed me a tad getting YOU. Relooked (a new word!) at it, said Ahhh, must be THOSE/YOU, then things picked up from there. A few writeovers: ArEd for AWET (?), LazY for LOGY, StEw for SEEP, IsLATE for INLATE, and for some reason, HItHER for HIGHER.

Fun WedPuz, I agree about the excess dreck fill, seems like it shouldn't have been excepted by WS, but that's just IMO.


joho 8:26 AM  

First margin note: OMG cross-referencing: hate! But I got over it pretty quickly as the songs are all familiar and the puzzle fairly easy to figure out. The fill will always be compromised when the theme takes up so much real estate. I think it's amazing that Gary was able to make as much sense of things as he did as well as including some really nice long answers. GRAPENUTS!

Only other note: HAIRCOMB = green paint.

Is it INNATE to be INLATE?

Gary Cee, it had to YOU! Thanks!

joho 8:27 AM  

Oh, I wanted TENSPOTS to be the inkSPOTS.

Zygotic 8:35 AM  

Cross-Referenced clues are annoying. Mr. Cee did a nice job with the placement pattern of the answers, which helped later in the solve when I recognized it, but still annoying. It took until KAI/KODAK for the coffee to kick in, so I solved the themers from the rear.

I had LEAR first so I didn't notice the variant spelling of IMPOSTER and I got RIV from crosses (had to take a few seconds to realize it was RIVer VU). Therefore no stumbles with those. My only writeover was LazY to LOGY from the crosses. I'm a little embarrassed that ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE took me so long - I woke up to it this morning. Likewise, the article about Post buying Malt-o-Meal featured a picture of GRAPENUTS yesterday.

@NCA Prez - I appreciate that "um" - Our inveterate punsters show no shame nor mercy. Your gesture to modesty did not go unnoticed.

AliasZ 8:51 AM  

Oh look, it's a puzzle about YOU. Literally.

YOU should be ecstatic! YOU are at the center of the grid. The crossworld revolves around YOU. The sun rises and sets with YOU. YOU are the apple of Gary Cee's eye. There is only one YOU in the grid. When I grow up, I want to be just like YOU. Because of YOU, IRATE this puzzle A+.

HAIRCOMB is what harebrained people use.
IMPOSTER is one who posts comments via Instant Message.
EHLE sounds eely.
LOGY sounds low-key.
I wonder if vineyard owners have GRAPE NUTS.

For breakfast.

Now I RAHRAH rah my boat outta here.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

I confidently wrote IMITATER for IMPOSTER. Oh, and why does "IDO" need to be repeated as a response to "who wants dessert?"
Otherwise fun puzzle. Rex has been grumpy since his week of begging for money. Just coincidence?

pmdm 9:14 AM  

I'm not so sure that even if you like the songs the puzzle becomes any more enjoyable. For example, I like All You Need Is Love, but so what? And if you are young and don't know the songs, the puzzle must be ugly.

Anyway, NCA President, I'm not certain Mahler was ever forgotten. It didn't help that Toscanini didn't understand Mahler's compositions. And it didn't help that they were so difficult for orchestras to paly. And it didn't help that the length of the symphonies perhaps made recording them onto the 78 LP format problematic. But his works were played nevertheless (by Mitropoulis and Van Beinum, for example). Still, we can be thankful that Bernstein raised the public consciousness concerning Mahler's genius.

Mahlers works are exclusively symphonies and songs. But as a student, he did work on two other projects. So for those of you who would like a different side of Mahler, first his graduation composition, the first movement of a string quartet that he unfortunately never bothered to finish.

As a student, Mahler was assigned to arrange Bruckner's Third Symphony for piano duet. I believe Mahler worked in collaboration with someone else in doing this arrangement. Here is a recording of the arrangement.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I knew as I was doing the puzzle that the pretentious and pedantic self-proclaimed classical music "aficionados" would be present in all of their glory today on this comment board. I suppose when the blog is led by one cocky jerk, it attracts others.

Steve M 9:23 AM  


Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Can one find a HAIR COMB in the care home?

Ludyjynn 9:33 AM  

"6 Rms RIV Vu" starred Jerry Orbach and Jane Alexander on B-
way and Alan Alda and Carol Burnett in the follow-up tv movie. Not too shabby, eh?

Is KODAK still in business? That little Instamatic chronicled a significant portion of so many lives and was fairly indestructible.

Now I have the Carly Simon "You're So Vain" earworm in my head; thank YOU, Rex. Reminds me of the old Marx Brothers routine from "A Day at the Races": Thank YOU. No, thank YOU. Thank YOU. Thank YOU. and so on...

Thank YOU, GC and WS.

AnnieD 9:35 AM  

Time wise, this was an easy Tuesday for me...

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

Wow, this was just bad. Bad theme, bad fill. I was actually expecting a stronger rant from Rex today.

chefbea 9:38 AM  

Solved this doing the downs first . Hate going back and forth with all the accrosses . Loved all the songs

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

ADO/ARE or EDO/ERE or even ODO[meter]/ORE would have worked easily in place of the disapproved IDO/IRE.

Leapfinger 9:45 AM  

I do like @ex's theme thing: I bet you think this song is "about YOU"... esp since we recently had '[Mary] URE so VANE'...atop a barn, as I recall.

Others have noted that 'YOU is common', which seems insulting. 'YOU is central' is better, but still ungrammatical, so I'll just stay with YOU was pretty cool.

The symmetricality of the theme components was neat, but unfortunately incomplete. Taking it to a HIGHER level yields such as:
And the unforgettable

Very nice to revisit with NITA Naldi and the KONTIKI. MAHLER's relationship with the NY Philharmonic made hearing his Sixth at the Carnegie a great experience; unfortunate that it was Gilbert conducting.

It isn't exactly fodder for my Horatio Alger Hiss folder, but I often start out conflating LINA Wertmuller with Leni Riefenstahl. I probably owe someone an apoloLOGY.

Gary Cee KAI? ARE YOU a Louis Cee KAI IMPOSTER? Nah, YOU're too much of A GENT!

Thanks, very ODAlesque; I had fun.

quilter1 9:52 AM  

Not bad and I knew everything. Mad as a WET HEN is common around here. I enjoyed RUN ALONG, LOGY, MAHLER and GRAPENUTS. I must leave the house today so better go find my HAIR COMB.

Mathis der MAHLER 9:59 AM  

@Anonymous 0922

You are baring your behind.

Cocky Jerk 10:01 AM  

@Anonymous 9:22...I am another cocky jerk who does crosswords and enjoys Mahler. There are probably more of us than those do do crosswords and enjoy country or rap, but I find those clues much more frequent than classical music references.

noone 10:09 AM  

Medium for me. I thank Gary Cee for ODA. I've known J_A_D Ingres' Grand ODAlisque since high school, but not the origin of the word, which led me to Khan Academy, with a map of France's immense incursion on Africa in the 19c.
And I do remember the best ELK jerky homemade from one bagged by a FWS Asst Mgr—you can't buy stuff that good!

dk 10:12 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

I trip down memory lane. As a college radio dj (the no request show) I would often play Beatles tunes and at times Sly and the Family Stone. Although Sid Vicious singing My Way was more likely.

I am not sure that ELK would agree they are popular game. They see themselves as standoffish and not prone to joining in.

The rest of the fill was what was needed to make the theme work. In short this one had YOU in the center and that should appeal to the narcissists in the house --- that would be YOU.

Erred with aqua for TEAL until I looked at the downs.

Thanks Gary.

Leapfinger 10:13 AM  

Yeah, I was sort of mocking it at first also, but

CocksCOMB: the 'comb' on a ROOster; also a plant
CoxCOMB: a dandy, who's so vain
BeachCOMB: for the Shellseekers
CurryCOMB: on the Indian subcontinent
CataCOMB: for pet groomers
HoneyCOMB: Won'tchu be my baby

So HAIRCOMB isn't totally green paint.

Sir Hillary 10:24 AM  

Not the greatest puzzle, but it blows away the previous two days' themes. The cross-referencing didn't bother me

The Sinatra link from @Rex is my single favorite piece of "American songbook" music. Porter, Riddle and Sinatra all at their absolute peaks -- I don't see how that can be improved upon.

Tom 10:30 AM  

This puzzle got UNDER MY SKIN, but I did chuckle at IMPEACH next to NYS (Its govs. have included Mario and Andrew Cuomo)

Malsdemare 10:32 AM  

Puzzle was okay but the trip back to college memories was terrific. There was a Milwaukee DJ who used to play one of the Four Seasons songs for me late at night. Y'all can guess which one. Hint: YOU was not in the middle of the title.

@leapy, cataCOMB made my morning.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:32 AM  

58 D, LEAK before TEAR.

Fine puzzle, but had me imagining a more complex version where words like YOU, LOVE, BABY, ALWAYS, etc. would each be used several times in multiple song titles!

mac 10:40 AM  

Easy-medium, semi-annoying, very easy in some areas.

I never saw the clue for RIV, that filled itself in. Kontiki and grapenut are very nice.

Fine Wednesday, but I'm looking forward to a crunchy Thursday.

Just received some "gourmet" beef jerky: Krave Sweet Chipotle. Good stuff.

Leapfinger 10:54 AM  

um...I may have had a touch of glossolalia when I got to apoloLOGY.

@Malsdemare, I'm bury happy to hear that. I always get a little green around the gills when YOU appear.

Joseph Michael 10:57 AM  

Not a fan of cross referencing and not WOWED with the discovery that "you" is in a lot of song titles, so this one didn't do much for me.

Liked RAH RAH, KONTIKI, and GRAPE NUTS. Wonder If the cross of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE and IMPEACH is a Clinton reference.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

ROOM as an answer to SCOPE??? it did show up in my laptop's thesaurus as the SEVENTH possibility but had to parenthetically add "to maneuver". If obscurity is the goal, why stop at number 7? SOJOURN, the 10th synonym for ROOM could have been the (maddening) clue.

Notsofast 11:21 AM  

Easy-peasy and fun. But ROOM is a ridiculous stretch for"SCOPE."

Masked and Anonymo4YOUs 11:25 AM  

Let's not forget that great "bubblin under the hot 100" song:


And there was a great 1961 or so song by the Fleetwoods, called:
"(He's) The Great IMPOSTOR"

Note that the music industry went with the -OR endin, there. I checked the label. QED. A better controversy...

* U-Count. Five, but with yer three reuses of YOU, making a possible grand total of 8.


fave weejects: NYS. RIV. YOU.

Fun puz. Like havin a jukebox in yer pencil.


crossvine 11:33 AM  

I thought it was pretty ingenious how the constructor was able to find all four songs with you in the proper place for symmetrical placement in the grid. Plus, I love Oldies so it was a fun solve for me.

I did not like THE JETS. The clue made it sound like it was a trick question, but who doesn't know that they play in New Jersey--especially with the readership being so concentrated in New York.

Also I know Jennifer EHLE from the fabulous Pride and Prejudice miniseries (best version ever). But mostly I remember Colin Firth from that and more specifically Colin Firth stomping home all wet and running into the woman he's been trying to forget. I didn't even remember she was in The King's Speech. But I do remember Colin Firth in that (see a theme here).

But all in all, a fun solve and did it in my average Wednesday time.

jae 11:37 AM  

@Leapy -- Ah yes, the Leni/Lina confusion. That was my erasure problem.

GILL I. 11:38 AM  

@La leapster....I know I can always count on YOU for a morning chuckle (is chuckle a nickname for Charles?)
I was hoping our friend @Alias Z would post a goodie from MAHLER. Thank you @pmdm for filling in and for the memories....!

Benko 11:42 AM  

922: Like one or two people said something about classical music. You are a jackass.
1001: I happen to love Mahler, country, and rap. Why does it have to be a competition between genres?
Also, I agree with rex...."Under my skin" is much more recognizable as a Sinatra song than a Frankie Valli one,

sidneyellenwade 11:46 AM  

I have never in my life seen "imposter" spelled that way. Anyone else?

M and A Help Desk 11:49 AM  

Controversy 2: What to do about Thepatriots deflated balls?
In the SundayBowl, make em use the required pressure + 2 pounds. Let Theseahawks use whatever dayum pressure they feel comfy with. Karma, dude.

Proposed impostOr fix:

53-Down = LOLA, to complete the grouping of EHLE, LINA, NITA, SETH, and IRIS.


Martel Moopsbane 11:55 AM  

Factoid: Lina Wertmuller was born Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spañol von Braueichjob.

On the whole, I prefer Lina.

RooMonster 12:06 PM  

Hey, I heard the Patriots plane was delayed in taking off. Not because of the snow, because the planes tires were deflated. (RimShot)

Super Game predictions anyone?
Seahawks 36, Patriots 29


Carola 12:09 PM  

@Tita - Yes, there are so many delightful, graphic compounds. I remember my happy surprise when I discovered that one of the words for "placenta" is "Mutterkuchen" - "mother" + "cake" - what more perfect source of nourishment? :)

@pmdm - Distilling a Bruckner symphony to a piano duet - I'm definitely WOWED. Thanks.

Lewis 12:28 PM  

@jeff -- M&A was hoping for that
@M&A -- "Like a jukebox in a pencil" -- classic!

@leapy -- With respect, I'm just not buying your defense of HAIRCOMB. As someone said earlier, it's like FOOTSHOE. Or: HEADHAT, ARMELBOW, SKYCLOUD, etc.

Rex doesn't care for nostalgia in this puzzle, but up the road there will be one in which he sings praises to its nostalgia, I'm guessing.

I liked RUNALONG, KONTIKI, MAHLER. I loved both versions of UNDER MY SKIN, Sinatra's and the Four Seasons. A good workmanlike puzzle, a bit easy I thought, for a Wednesday. I would have liked some cleverer cluing. But this puzzle certainly passed my "enjoyed it" bar! Thanks, Gary and Will.

Lewis 12:40 PM  

Factoid: POI can be known as "one-finger", "two-finger" or "three-finger" poi, alluding to how many fingers are required to scoop it up in order to eat it. (Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians." -- Henrik IBSEN

Zygotic 12:43 PM  

Finally had a moment to check out a video or two. The juxtaposition of Neneh Cherry and Elvis Costello's wife is a fascinating example of Rex's sense of humor.

Fred Romagnolo 12:46 PM  

As to Mahler being better looking than Sinatra, not the young Sinatra. "Mad as A WET hen" is not regional, but maybe a bit dated. Not only MAHLER, but Mendelssohn also banned by the Nazi's, although both had converted to the Christian faith. Johann Strauss was almost on the list because he had a Jewish step-daughter. While we're putting down the Nazi's, let's not forget their supporters, who went on to successful careers after the war: von Karajan, Leni Riefenstal, Schwartzkopf.

Trombone Tom 1:16 PM  

No present or former hobbyists here? Its X-Acto folks.

AliasZ 1:22 PM  

IN NATE we trust, IN LATE we don't.

MAHLER is the 800-pound gorilla in the room today. Therefore, here are two brief examples of Gustave MAHLER's work:

His string-orchestra transcription of Schubert's String Quartet "Death and the Maiden", and the fifth movement from his Symphony No. 3.

But we cannot ignore Henrik IBSEN either, nor his drama "Peer Gynt", for which his compatriot Edvard Grieg composed perhaps the most memorable incidental music in the history of theater. The performance presented here is the version to have of you can only have one.

I searched TEAL the ewes came home, went through this puzzle with a fine-tooth COMB but it was all in VANE. I couldn't find any music relating to HAIR COMB.

Martel Moopsbane 1:29 PM  

@Z, it seems to me that HAIRCOMB music would have to be something played on the kazoo.

mathguy 1:41 PM  

Sir Hillary: Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle at their peaks. Absolutely.

The reason Rex and some others don't connect You've Got Me Under Your Skin with The Four Seasons may be that it wasn't in Jersey Boys.

chefbea 1:52 PM  

A friend of mine shared a video of the snow in Natick!!! I shared it but couldn't see was private.

Happy Pencil 1:53 PM  

Oh, @Z, I really don't mean to get in another beef with you, and perhaps I'm missing your own sense of humor here, but referring to a highly regarded pianist and one of the best-selling jazz musicians of all time as "Elvis Costello's wife"? Yuck.

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

Still waiting for @OISK to tell us how he's never heard of Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons, Sly and the Family Stone, Elvis Costello or Billy Joel. I'm guessing he HAS heard of Mahler and Frank Sinatra, however.

Roy 2:48 PM  

Agree with Rex, No enjoyment whatsoever in this puzzle. Cross referenced clues are annoying, especially when they are the theme.

Numinous 3:11 PM  

I think cross-referenced clues are a royal pain in the pencil. These weren't as bad as most since I knew the songs. once I got YTD I didn't need to fill in YOU and all the songs gave themselves up with a few crosses. Don't think I paid any attention to the artists until after I got the themers.

Elvis Costello's wife is Hawt and you got to love tha cheeky little excursion she takes down the keyboard after 6:34 or so. Y'all also have to wonder who did the arrangement behind her. Back in the day, I played a little bit with arranging and know how hard it can be. I was absolutely WOWED!
So to not upset @Happy Pencil any further, I've dug Diana Krall for years.

Rhino 3:18 PM  

Honestly, I'm just mad the puzzle broke my streak. KONTIKI, MAHLER and ILO beat me. I may have had a chance, but ROOM? Seriously?

Stupid puzzle.

Zygotic 3:27 PM  

@Happy Pencil - I imagine Diana Krall Fans singing
They say that looks don't count for much And so there goes your proof
every time they think about Elvis Costello. Elvis is King, though, and maybe he has put out an album Krall fans might enjoy.

xyz 4:12 PM  

I'm with Rex, pretty much rote and drudge, joyless for the most part

Happy Pencil 5:21 PM  

Hey, no slight on Elvis Costello, @Z -- My Aim Is True is one of my favorite albums. My objection is to taking a highly accomplished woman and reducing her to no more than an appendage of her (rightfully proud) husband. Can you imagine it the other way around?

Zygotic 7:14 PM  

@Happy Pencil - Calling Elvis Costello "Diana Krall's husband" isn't nearly as droll, otherwise I can't disagree. I'd have to think about it, but My Aim is True probably isn't in my top five Elvis Costello albums. Yet, "Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused," will probably be on my tombstone.

Fred Romagnolo 7:14 PM  

hey! @Alias Z: more memorable than Mendelssohn's MND?

Fred Romagnolo 7:16 PM  

@Alias Z: don't get me wrong, I'm crazy about the Grieg, but, still: perspective?

Teedmn 8:25 PM  

This puzzle played hard for me - the cross-referenced clues gave me a jerky solving experience so maybe 40% longer than a usual Wednesday but finished under my own power with no errors so it's fine.

Guess I have to quit eating when reading the write-up and comments. My iPad ended up with GRAPEfruit all over it from @Rex's baby talk!

@Tita, loved your handshoe. My favorite compound word in Swedish is " gronsaker" ( the o needs an umlaut). It is the word for vegetables and translates as "green things".

Thanks, Mr. Cee, for the puzzle.

Anonymous 9:12 PM  

Guess you didn't see "Jersey Boys"

Leapfinger 10:22 PM  

@AliasZ, I'm a little surprised that you were apparently stumped. There's always Richard Wagner's Processional, HAIRCOMBs the Bride...

Will now enjoy your selections for the day, and see what Thursday has in store.

ralph 11:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatrice 12:00 AM  

I'm late reading the blog today, but I wanted to get this in before pumpkin-time.

The wonderful poem by Heinrich Heine, 'Die Lorelei', ('The Loreley'), which contains these lines, in translation:

She combs her golden hair,
She combs with a golden comb...

was set to music, most notably by Friedrich Silcher, apparently -- it is called a 'folk song'. It is quite lovely, and is I think quite well-known in Germany. Clara Schumann also set it to music. Both versions are available on YouTube.

beatrice 12:18 AM  

Guess there's not really a pumpkin-time, as long as it's on this day's page.

The lines printed above should have read:

She combs her golden HAIR,
She combs with a golden COMB...

Dante 1:08 AM  

beatrice, you've done it again!

jberg 8:03 AM  

Still blizzard playing catch up. Liked this one less than Tuesday, but I was happy to learn that an odalisque is just someone who hangs around in a particular kind of room.

NYer 10:12 AM  

Quite easy for me, as the songs were all in my wheelhouse.
There is a movie, Death in Venice (1971), that used Mahler's compositions in the soundtrack.
Sorry @rex, I am proud to be part of the Core Demographic.
It also helps to have a lot of trivia running around in my brain.

spacecraft 10:41 AM  

I had to go around by Funston's to even get to this page. Wha hoppen to the syndi-link?

Anyway, this one has some issues:

1. I can't imagine Sly ever singing "I want to--" [sic] take you higher." "Wanna," maybe. Hard to imagine "I Want to" even as a printed title.

2. Speaking of which, how can that be a 1970 hit when they were playing it at Woodstock ('69)? I mean, I know I'm terrible at dates, but even I spotted that one.

3. opposed to what? Honeycomb? Coxcomb? How about Paul Edgecomb, hero of The Green Mile? See where I'm going? GREEN--as in paint. Yuk.

4. IMPOSTER: a real word, a variant spelling. It was asked above, did I EVER see it spelled this way? No, I did not. Ever. Reminds me of Inglourious Basterds.

But even these flaggables aside, there's too much bad fill to wade through here. The payoff is some good old-timey music, but the price is not right. As Drew would say, an overbid. Cue the trombone.

rondo 2:01 PM  

Recognized allof the tunes, but dislike the parsing by referencing other clues. Too much back and forth, and all around, and what goes with what again?

Also had probs with the Syndi-link. Hope someone's on it.

I need some CONSOLING after weeping over HAIRCOMB. IDO.

IVEGOT to RUNALONG, somewhat disappointedly after this puz.

Burma Shave 2:09 PM  


IRIS and NITA ARE hookers, who always come INLATE.
THOSE ROGUES aren’t exactly lookers, using a HAIRCOMB isn’t INNATE.
I took ONESTEP into their ROOM, I just wanted APIECE for some TENSPOTS.
“IVEGOT this ODAS PURIST womb”, IRIS said as she squeezed me ’til I had GRAPENUTS.
But AWET spot showed in VANE where I took her, ALL in ALL it just shows how IRATE.


DMG 2:28 PM  

Really, really hate cross-referenced clues, and nearly tossed this puzzle when I realized those dreaded clues referenced music recorded after I put my Victrola away. Then, somehow, UNDERMYSKIN appeared. Aha, don't know who did what, but do know the songs. Whatever it takes. One DNF square. Thought the lady was LeNA, and ReO makes as much sense as RIO for an unknown movie title. Also didn't know EHLE, but the crosses filled that one, as they did ROOM. Now to HAIRCOMB my hair and get on with the day!

2545 Not too bad!

leftcoastTAM 7:23 PM  



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