by Harvey Estes
edited by Mike Shenk
October 9, 2009
[Pardon the lateness of this post. A combination of personal & electrical power outages.]
Full answers available on WSJ's crossword puzzle page or with the following week's puzzle on WSJ's online Lifestyle page.
Theme: Popular song titles changed to clued song titles by dropping a letter.
ROCK AROUND THE C[l]OCK (26A Song centered on a rooster?)
PIECE OF MY H[e]ART (42A Song about a venison serving?)
BA[n]D ON THE RUN (61A Song about evil in retreat?)
RAMBLIN MA[n] (80A Song about a jabberin' parent?)
GO[o]D VIBRATIONS (95A Song about a divine earthquake?)
DOW[n] TOWN (113A Song about New York City and its investors?)
which results in
LENNON (125A Letters dropped from six answers “come together” here). It would have been legendary to do this with six Beatles songs but a puzzle feat as is. One wonders how many song titles Mr. Estes had to search to find six that could supply the missing letter and still make sense in a clue. Of course, where there is John, there is Yoko ONO (76A “Double Fantasy” artist).
Cool Crosses: 1
EQUI/EQUINE (73A Prefix akin to iso-) crossing (67D Horsy) - okay, so I am a sucker for symmetry. Despite being the stereotypical horsey old lady, I wasn't familiar with this variant. The Googlesphere vets it.
Nomination for Word/Clue of the Week: POTATOES (7D Shoestring material). Leather? Cotton? Plastic? Huh??? Particularly since ___TOES came first. Honorable mention to CANNIBAL (90D One who has a guest for dinner).
News To Me [I got 'em but I didn't get 'em]: 4
ROTO (38A Old newspaper section) - Rotogravure is still used for “publications, catalogs, Sunday newspaper supplements, labels, cartons, packaging, gift-wrap, wall and floor coverings, and a variety of precision coating applications.”
MES (48A Octubre o noviembre) - Spanish for month.
VONDA (96D Pop singer Shepard) - I have no fears about being thought cool as I get older. I never was.
AUGUSTAN (108A Neoclassical) – 18thC England not 1stC Rome.
Opportunities To Learn New Things & Admissions of Defeat: 0
Only one hole this week but it could have gone either way. ROTO/HOOHA (38A) crossing (28D Commotion) sat around as R_TO/HO_HA for a while. Victory but not a slam dunk.
Commentary: Puzzle Redux
Certain words get puzzle replay. These three are on a short loop. WOE (115D Heartache) & AGER (62D Stress, for one) were both used within the last few weeks with the same clue. WOE was three weeks ago [9/18/09 47D]. AGER was last week [10/2/09, 78D]. However, since they gave me trouble worth noting, I felt smug rather than annoyed at seeing them again.
XXXXX (8A Raid target) was use two weeks ago used [9/25/09] as base phrase in the theme answer APPROACH MOTELS (82A What a mattress salesman might do?) Must we? I know the critters are ubiquitous in Manhattan but so are lot of thing we don't mention in Happy Puzzle World. I believe I spoke of a bug phobia? No, I won't write it out. I don't want those shift-number things skittering around my grid or my blog.
OTOH, it would be hard to make a puzzle blameless to all people. Someone who has lived through an tragic earthquake is not going to find them GODly. While I tend more toward Bourdain than the vegetarians, Hezbollah Tofu is not going to be happy about the Bambi burgers in the middle of their puzzle. [The “H-like splinter faction” quote is from p70 of Kitchen Confidential or here.]
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