Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Django'ed nerves

SPOILER WARNING: 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. (Admittedly, today's puzzle is more fun if you are an expert in tennis and Belgian jazz.)

Django Reinhardt? Come on, give me a BREAK (31D: Eightball starter) Django Reinhardt? Am I supposed to know who this guy is? I don't think I'm too PICKY (44A: Captious), but I am not a BERET (22A: Soft Cap) wearing hipster SOBIG (34D: Pulitzer-winning novel of 1924) into jazz music that its history flows through my VEINS (26D: Ways to the heart). If you ask me if Django Reinhardt is good crossword fill I would have to SAYNO (50D: Decline

All right, I'm a little TAMER (11D: Chair person?) NOW (59D: Currently.) Maybe it's me. Maybe Bojangles Reinhardt is someone every AVERAGE (25A: Mean) crossword solver should know. After all, he was probably the most famous Belgian jazz guitarist ever and he probably would still be even if there were any other Belgian jazz guitarists. He wrote such timeless classics as "Djangology" and "Nuages." And according to Wikipedia, the 2002 video game Mafia used many of his songs on the soundtrack. Why he's even mentioned in the Captain and Tenille classic "Muskrat Love!" So obviously even a NEOPHYTE (65A: TYRO) should know who this immortal titan of music.

But what about the fact that he intersects with Goran Simun IVANISEVIC? A man with more umlauts and tildes in his name than in many Slavic dictionaries. A tennis player who once -- back in 1994 -- was ranked number 2 in the world and is famous now -- if at all -- mostly for his temper tantrums.

There were a lot of things I liked in this puzzle -- all the X's in the Northwest, 27D's ADDLEPATED (what a great word!) -- but Jingles and the Croatian John McEnroe (and that damn Aral-Ural thing at 2D) have left a bad taste in my mouth.


Orange said...

You're supposed to know Django because he has such a cool name, and you're supposed to know Ivanisevic because he's kinda hot.

Those Belgians—they created French fries and Belgian waffles, and they produced both Django Reinhardt and Eddy Merckx. Delicious food, delicious consonant combos!

Norrin2 said...

Well, I can go along with you that Django does have a cool name, but I'm going to make room in my already overcrowded brain for Ivanisevic I'm going to need a better reason than "kinda hot."

Matt M. said...

I absolutely loved seeing Django in today's puzzle. Try best guitarist ever, period! If you've seen the Woody Allen film Sweet and Lowdown (and I totally recommend it), you've heard of Django.

Anyways, I thought EAMES was a better answer for the "chair person" clue.

Norrin2 said...

Sweet and Lowdown is one of the few Woody Allen films I haven't seen. But I'm going to watch it this weekend. I'll be ready for Django next time.

mellocat said...

Sorry you didn't like Django (or Ivan...) but I thought the name was so cool I couldn't resist putting him in a puzzle. And it seemed like he was worth learning about in his own right. Glad to hear that some did like seeing him!

Rex Parker said...

What everyone else said about DJANGO. He is, in the world of guitar, superfamous. Where else are you going to get an answer with both "DJ" and "DH" combos in it?!

[Chair person?] took me longer to get than any other clue, and I had TA-ER. Never heard of LA MESA and still don't understand what that A&P clue is all about. Still, as I've said, Loved This Puzzle.


Norrin2 said...

Yes, I think I've shown my musical ignorance off quite well. I do like learning about people I should already know about, like Django, so thanks for that, Karen. I wasn't having a great day and I think I took it out on the crossword puzzle.
As for another DJ DH entry, surely there's a rapper out named DJ Hardhead or something like that.
And A&P stands for Atlantic and Pacific, hence ATL

mellocat said...

Hey, it's your blog, you're allowed to not like an entry/clue/entire puzzle, and to take a bad day out on the puzzle if that's your mood. I confess I too was ignorant of Django until I ran across him late last year in an entirely non-musical context. I figured people who didn't know him might find this puzzle hard going, but then late-week Suns are supposed to be a bit of a challenge. Thanks for the blog, I do like reading whatever people think about entries/clues/etc!

Norrin2 said...

Yeah, but it seems sorta churlish now to go on and on about something I probably should have known about.

Howard B said...

Late to the game here.

Never heard of that guy either, you're not alone. My musical ignorance runs pretty deep, I suppose. But I do think I want to change my name to Django now. And maybe add an extra Belgian 'x' on the end for good measure. Much cooler than my current moniker.

- Djangox B.

Anonymous said...

A hemidemisemiquaver is not a half half half note. That would be only an eighth note. Quaver means eighth note so the hemidemisemiquaver the half of the half of the half of the eighth note.