Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This themeless Thursday is by Patrick Berry and I got off to a great start by knowing 15D: 1937 film about Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush's travails (A DAY AT THE RACES). I love the Marx Brothers and although "Duck Soup" is my favorite of their films, if you want to watch "A Day at the Races" I'll watch it with you. Other Groucho character names include Prof. Quincy Adams Wagstaff in "Horse Feathers" Rufus T. Firefly in "Duck Soup" Otis B. Driftwood in "A Night at the Opera" and God in probably the weirdest movie ever made, Otto Preminger's "Skidoo".
I also got 7D: TV show based on the novels of Robert B. Parker (SPENCER FOR HIRE) I was never really into Parker's writing, but like Mr. Parker, I am a huge fan of Raymond Chandler, Parker named his detective Spencer in homage to Chandler's Phillip Marlowe, because both Marlowe and Spencer were Elizabethan poets.
That gave me two of the four 14-letter words in this puzzle. RUBBERSTAMPING (31A: Automatically approving) was not too hard to puzzle out, and TURNS TO THE SIDE (35A: Prepares for mug shot #2, say) was only slightly more difficult. One of the many professions I have followed was police officer, and when I attended the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy one of the questions I remember from our final exam was "How many pictures do you take of a suspect who wears glasses?" and the answer was 6 -- from the front, left side, right side, with and without glasses, proving yet again that there is no such thing as useless knowledge.
It was the shorter words in this puzzle that gave me trouble -- as you can see, some I never got. (I'm pretty sure 24D is ODETTA Sings Dylan, but then that gives me CARIES for 41A: Dental problems and what the heck is that? 10D: Casino poker game, I have no clue. It looks like it should be OMAHA, but that gives me H-BAR at 21A: Symbol for Dirac's constant, never heard of Dirac don't know what his constant is, and I hate all the I-bars and T-bars that mar crosswordland.
Following up on last week's festival of board games, Risk makes an appearance here at 36D: Region next to Afghanistan on a Risk board, I originally had IRKUTSK, my favorite Risk region to pronounce, but it's actually UKRAINE. And following up on yesterday's beer blast: 32D: The Cardinals' stadium (BUSCH).
35D: Elastic band (TUBE TOP) made me smile, then made me sad to think that Summer's over.
57A: Song from the 1977 reggae album "Exodus" (ONE LOVE) There are certain songs that always make you feel good when you hear them. This song is one of mine.
"One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love)
So shall it be in the end (One heart)
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
And on that note I will bid you adieu.