Senin, 08 Agustus 2011

08.08 Mon


August 8, 2011

Janie Smulyan

Theme: Me, Me, Me! Three golden oldies with ME in their titles (not you, me!)

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Polite egotist's musical request? (Beatles) (PLEASE PLEASE ME!).
  • 36A: Adamant egotist's musical request? (Doris Day) (LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME).
  • 47A: Needy egotist's musical request? (Supremes) (COME SEE ABOUT ME).
Gareth here, for the third and final time. Your regular blogging service will resume Tuesday! Thank you for your patience!

Readers of the blog Diary of a Crossword Fiend will know Janie Smulyan as a regular commenter, and former author of zesty blogposts about the Crossynergy crossword. Her crossword debut was in fact yesterday, in the NYT, on Sunday no less, with Tony Orbach as co-pilot. Now Janie flies solo with her LAT debut today!

I must confess I only know the first of the trio, but also that I only found the third one tricky to parse. They seem genuinely well-known so I guess it's just my broken retrospective knowledge-base that's at fault. Wikipedia tells me the Day song was originally recorded some 30 years earlier than her 1955 rendition by one Ruth Etting and that her version was from a biopic of the same title with Day as Etting. I'm guessing you'll be wanting to have a listen, though again I can't play Youtube from where I am:

The fill, except maybe for one or two answers in the bottom-left (and actually that's probably a bit harsh), is flawlessly clean, with that cleanness at the expense of very few flashy answers. I reckon that to be a plus on a Monday though! The one big misstep I had in the puzzle was briefly having whiteSAUCE for 55A: Fettuccine Alfredo topping, e.g.(CREAM SAUCE). I suspect I won't be alone here!


  • 40A: Wild and Zany (ZANY). Rhymes with Janie!
  • 57A: "The Threepenny Opera" composer Kurt (WEILL). Didn't know him. He also wrote "Mack the Knife" apparently. I'm beginning to suspect a generation gap or two that might make meeting Janie on a Friday a bruising encounter!
  • 3D: New York canal (ERIE). "Low Bridge! Everybody down!"

  • 37D: Convenience for Northeastern toll-paying drivers (EZ PASS). How familiar is this to people in the rest of the US? I had seen it previous puzzles, though forgot what it was. The last 4 letters are at least completely inferable.
  • 49D: Packs away dishes? (EATS). Certified fresh clue! And, despite the "?" not that hard to figure out.
  • 50D: Dollar rival (EURO). I find it weird to think of currencies as rivals (I'm not saying it isn't a totally legit clue though...)
Crosswordese 101:

I can't believe it, but I found a Crossword-ese answer that hasn't yet been discussed! If you don't know CREE yet, make a note. In my (slightly out of date) copy of Matt Ginsburg's "Clue Database" it has appeared 56 times in the Los Angeles Times alone. Scanning the most common clues, it seems what you need to know is that a) They're native to the plains of Western Canada, b) They have a language, and c) They're of the Algonquian group. This should be sufficient information 95% of the time! Other factoids that have cropped up in the past are that famous Cree include Buffy Sainte-Marie and Chief Big Bear; and that their language gave us "pemmican," "Saskatchewan" and "Winnipeg."

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 39A: Barely made, with "out" (EKED).
  • 3D: New York canal (ERIE).
  • 54D: "__ Brockovich" (ERIN).
So there you guys have it... But what did you think of it?

Everything else 1A: Treble symbol (CLEF); 5A: Knock for a loop (DAZE); 9A: Red Delicious, e.g. (APPLE); 14A: Fishing need (LURE); 15A: [Lightbulb!] (IDEA); 16A: Bay Area county (MARIN); 17A: Landed on a perch (ALIT); 18A: Confidence-inspiring (REASSURING); 22A: "Just ___ naturally" (ACT); 23A: Dr.'s field (MED); 24A: Paranormal (OCCULT); 28A: Uppercase letters, briefly (CAPS); 30A: Weep and wail (SOB); 33A: "___ turn is it?" (WHOSE); 34A: Paper towel unit (ROLL); 35A: GI no-show (AWOL); 41A: They may be faith-based or quantum (LEAPS); 42A: Boxing count (TEN); 43A: Quick on one's feet (SPRY); 44A: King's are __ gods": Shakespeare's "Pericles"; 45A: Red, Yellow, or Black (SEA); 46A: "So-o-o-o good!"; 56A: A mere step away (NEAR); 58A: Walked heavily (TROD); 59A: Sandwich seller (DELI); 60A: Box for Beeb watchers (TELLY); 61A: William and Harry, to Charles (SONS); 62A: Black cat, to some (OMEN). 1D: Show appreciation at a show (CLAP); 2D: Quiet time (LULL); 4D: Greek salad cheese (FETA); 5D: Run the show (DIRECT); 6D: Really good (at) (ADEPT); 7D: Fervor (ZEAL); 8D: Leisure (EASE); 9D Gets a smile out of (AMUSES); 10D Peeled with a knife (PARED); 11D Puritanical (PRIM); 12D Bit of poetry (LINE); 13D: Subj. including grammar (ENG.); 19D: Sales rep's giveaway (SAMPLE); 21D: Oregon's capital (SALEM); 24D: Little hooter (OWLET); 25D: Fail in the clutch (CHOKE); 26D: Group of witches (COVEN); 27D: Like many flea market items (USED); 28D: Groanworthy, as a joke (CORNY); 29D: Friend in war (ALLY); 30D: "Don't __ the small stuff!" (SWEAT); 31D: Punchiness (OOMPH); 32D: Make holy (BLESS); 34D: Lion's warning (ROAR); 35D: Declare with confidence (AVER); 38D Remember the ___ (ALAMO); 43D: In good taste (SEEMLY); 44D: Fixes securely (in): (EMBEDS); 45D: T-shirt size (SMALL); 46D: City nicknamed "The Heart of Georgia" (MACON); 48D: Eye, to Yvette (OEIL); 51D: Reverse, in word processing (UNDO); 52D: Rain really hard (TEEM); 53D: Like 61A (MALE); 55D: 100 lbs. (CWT.)

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