Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Thursday Never Looking Back
I've mentioned before that I like to get 1 Across, and I got it today, (Frequent celebrity mag topic BRANGELINA) thanks to the gossip magazines my son subscribes to. For those who don't know, Brangelina refers to super celeb couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Other Hollywood uni-names: Bennifer (Ben Affleck and first Jennifer Lopez and then Jennifer Garner), Tomkat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) and even Romber (for reality show stars Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich.) All of which goes to show that crossword solvers need a good dictionary, an encyclopedia, a Bible and a subscription to Us Weekly.
Didn't get 5D: Its logo is an eighth note with a star behind it GRANDOLEOPRYfor a while, and I should have since I am a country music columnist and critic. I know I've shown the considerable holes in my musical knowledge before, but
what makes this a eighth note? Don't all notes look like a tadpole that turned a corner too quickly?
I've never heard the expression "tickle the palm" (1D: BRIBE) and Thesaurus.Com does not list Tickle the palm as a synonym for BRIBE, though it does list Grease and grease the palm. Maybe it's obscure and maybe constructor Graham Meyer was in a hurry to get done with this puzzle so he could go grease the ivories on his piano and get a tickle job for his car.
24A: 1995 Stallone Role (DREDD) refers to Judge Dredd, a movie that few people saw. When people learn that I'm a comic book fan, they invariably ask me how how I liked the new X-Men movie or the Fantastic Four movie and they're always surprised when I tell them I haven't seen them and have no intention of seeing them. Movies almost invariably screw up comics (and I say "almost" because the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies did it right) and for all the talk about "comic book dialogue or plot" they always have to dumb something down for a movie audience. (Ask me about Alan Moore and "V for Vendetta" or "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" sometime.) I knew they were going to screw up Judge Dredd as soon as I heard about it. Judge Dredd lives in a future dystopia where police are judge and jury too. Judge Dredd never ever takes off his helmet. Never. I mean not even to sleep or to bathe. I knew Stallone couldn't do a whole movie without showing his mug and I knew if they didn't have any more respect for the character than that they were not going to get my seven dollars.
Okay, this is me getting off my high horse:
I had a hard time with 40A: They're clumsy (LUMMOXES) I had _UM_OXE_ and alll I could think was DUMB OXEN, but I've never heard oxen referred to as clumsy, even the dumb ones must be pretty graceful.
And I don't know about 32D: Uncertain (DOUBTABLE) I know it's in the dictionary, so I guess you could say it's just as good a word as doubtful, but I'm dubiable.
22D: Song originally from Broadway musical "Everybody's Welcome" (ASTIMEGOESBY) is a perfect crossword clue. I knew this song made famous in "Casablanca" was originally in another show, and somewhere way back in the back of my brain was the name of that show, but I didn't know I knew it until I had almost the entire entry filled in.
If you don't love baseball you probably had a hard time with 53A: 1986 World Series chant (DARRYL) I love baseball and as a Red Sox fan I will not, can not, ever forget the 86 Fall Classic, and I had GOMETS for a long time. It refers to a chant from the Fenway faithful meant to rattle rightfielder Darryl Strawberry. Mets fan got the last laugh however when, in a decisive 6th game, the Red Sox' Bill Buckner erred on an easy grounder to first. (There you go, Rex, some baseball commentators do occasionallyuse the word "erred".)