Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Away from the Storm

Got a good one for you today, so let's get the SPOILER WARNING out of the way: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as good as the more well-known New York Times, and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. You can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.

Gimme Shelter is by Pete Mitchell, and the conceit here is revealed in 69A: Last name for the starts of 17-,27-,46-,and 61-Across LEE.

So we get 17A: Rock, e.g. STANDUPCOMEDIAN

(And yes, Stan the Man Lee is having a big week; he was in yesterday's Sun puzzle too. Well, okay, it might have been Stan Musial, but it looked like Stan Lee to me.)

27A: 1992, to Queen Elizabeth II ANNUSHORRIBILIS. (Anybody else would have just said it was a bad year.)(Ann Lee was one of the founders of the "Shaking Quakers" or Shakers religion. At one time they had 6,000 members but they forbade any "sexual expression" whatsoever, so they didn't make any baby Shakers and it's kinda hard to recruit new members with those kind of rules. At last count they had 4 members.)

46A: City in upstate New York with horse racing SARATOGASPRINGS
(My sixth-grade teacher Miss Chewning was fanatical about the double-negative rule. She HATED Sara Lee's jingle "Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee."

61A: 2003 film with the tagline "Feel the love" ANGERMANAGEMENT
"Eat, Drink, Man, Woman," is my favorite Ang Lee movie, but he also directed "Sense and Sensibility" and "Brokeback Mountain."

Even after I had figured out the theme and finished the puzzle I wasn't sure why it was called "Gimme Shelter." When I realized that it was because every themed entry gained a "Lee" and alee means away from the wind or toward shelter, I got a delayed chuckle out of it. Much

Some entries of note:

I found 4A: Essayist who wrote "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once" LAMB interesting, mainly because it seems the only time Charles Lamb comes up in a puzzle, it's just a reference to his pen name Elia, so it's kinda cool to actually hear from the man. In addition to the lawyer quip, Lamb also said:

" T'is sweet to think that where'er we rove
We are sure to find something blissful and dear;
And that when we 're far from the lips we love,
We 've but to make love to the lips we are near."

(which makes me think Lamb might want to sue Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their "Love the One You're With" was a complete rip-off.)

He also wrote:

"The greatest pleasure I know, is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident." (Which is profoundly true)
"Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts." (Which isn't.)

39A: Noted dump truck manufacturer TONKA. Love those clues that take you unexpectedly back to childhood. 48D: Toy that'll give you a lot of bang for your buck (POPGUN) had much the same effect.

7D: Org. led by a Grand Exalted Ruler BPOE. That's the Elks Club, y'all, more formally known as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

24D: Tea type OOLONG The word oolong means "black dragon" in Chinese, supposedly because the leaves resemble dragons awakening when hot water is poured on them.

45A: Question in a long-distance relationship MISSME.
This one took me unexpectedly back to my adolescence, where I had a couple of long distance relationships.

The trickiest entry in the puzzle for me was 40A: Trivial Pursuit piece. I had _IE and knew that it had to be PIE. I was still sure even though I couldn't make the intersecting LAPEN (32D: Heavy) make any sense. Finally by playing the alphabet bet I realized that you also need a DIE to play Trivial Pursuit and LADEN made a whole lot more sense than LAPEN.

A lot of great clues in this puzzle even for some pretty common entries 53D: They might yell at their privates and 62D: Like a fat mule both gave me an interesting visual and a mid-puzzle chuckle before I got SGTS and EEE.

And finally we have this clue 49A: Letter that resembles the "y" of Disney's signature PHI. Does it? Decide for yourself.


Matt M. said...

I always thought the (annoying) jingle was "Nobody does it like Sara Lee."

The toughest part for me was the "Lose color, in a way" / "Edge" crossing. I originally had AIL and LIP, then ROT and TIP. Crossus horribilis.

Rex Parker said...

Why was 1992 bad for QE2. I feel like an idiot for asking...

Finished the puzzle with an error. Had PIE for DIE in the Trivial Pursuit clue, resulting in the ridiculous LAPEN instead of LADEN for the Down cross.


Norrin2 said...

Matt, according to the FAQs at Sara Lee's website (where I learned that they also make Ty-D-Bol and Kiwi shoe polish, and that Sara Lee is a real person, the daughter of the baker of the original line of cheesecakes that became the Sara Lee Corporation) their motto is still "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." (But I happen to know they didn't ask EVERYbody)

Rex, Re 1992 and QE2 (from Wiki)

Her most immediate reference was to a fire in Windsor Castle just four days before, (20 November 1992) but this occurred after the publicity of several negative events had damaged the reputation of the Royal Family: In March of that year, it was announced that the Queen's second son, the Duke of York, would separate from his wife Sarah. Later in the year, scandalous pictures of a topless Sarah being kissed by her friend, John Bryan, were published in the tabloids. In April, the Queen's daughter, the Princess Royal, divorced her husband Captain Mark Philips. Still another painful event occurred in November when one of the Queen's homes, Windsor Castle, caught fire. The Castle was seriously damaged, and several priceless artifacts were lost. Originally, it was planned that the Government would pay the £40 million bill for repairs, but there was much public outcry against having the Government pay. Later, the Queen agreed to open up several royal residences to tourists, and used the funds raised thereby to pay for the repairs. Finally, in December, the Royal Family faced further difficulties when the separation of the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana was announced

m said...

Thanks for the jingle clarification.

To say that "nobody doesn't like [blank]" is not (IMOO) the same thing as "everybody likes [blank]". Perhaps most people are ambivalent to Sara Lee.

DONALD said...

Sort of resembles, subjective, who'd ever stretch clues into autograph scribble? Ha!

Linda G said...

It's 8:30 Wednesday evening and I've just finished the Wednesday Sun puzzle.

I see that I was in good company with my incorrect PIE rather than DIE.

Wonder what Rex was doing in 1992? I didn't remember the fire, but I remembered everything else. And I'm not a big Royal Family fan.

On to the Thursday NYT...

Pete M said...

A few comments for the record (sorry I'm late):

"Lee", as a noun, means "shelter".

The Charles Lamb quote appears, notably, at the beginning of "To Kill a Mockingbird".

The Disney autograph clue was all Peter Gordon. I never would have thought of that in a million years.


- Pete M

Norrin2 said...

Thanks, Pete, I knew about "lee" but since "alee" shows up so much more often in crosswords, that was what I went to.
And the Disney autograph clue was cool, whoever thought it up.
Thanks for a cool puzzle.