THURSDAY, Jul. 31, 2008 – Allan E. Parrish (1979 AC/DC seven-time platinum album / Author of a once-popular book of quotations)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Oh, it’s really too bad that Rex is still on vacation; I’m sure he’d have some Danteësque explanation for the theme that really pulled it all together and which might mystify my math-major mind. And it’s really too bad that PuzzleGirl’s not up today, because the theme entries are expressed musically, and I’m sure she’s all over that. Me, I had quite a bit of trouble with this puzzle, but I still generally enjoyed it.
This was one of my slowest Thursdays of the year, and only part of the reason can be attributed to the distractions of my houseguests, the PBS show we were watching about an aircraft Carrier, or the continuing arctic-like conditions in my living room. Though when I look back at my other relatively slow times, often the puzzles seem to be not bad for lots of people. But I know PuzzleGirl had some problems today, too, so I don’t feel bad.
THEME: From Heaven to Hell – answers are musical and include Heaven, Earth, and Hell.
- 19A: 1979 Bee Gees chart-topper (Too Much Heaven)
- 34A: Band with the 1970 hit “Get Ready” (Rare Earth)
- 50A: 1979 AC/DC seven-time platinum album? (Highway To Hell) – I recognized all of the songs once I heard them, but this is the one I knew the answer to right away. Though I like Get Ready more...
Lots of stuff to talk about, and I’ve let Rex and morning people down by being so late so I’ll just get to it.
- 1A: Temple activity (worship) - wanted PRAYING. Or, really, lots of other stuff. This was one of my last fills. Don’t tell my mom.
- 2A: Tex-Mex treats (tamales) - My first answer, and very surprised to find I was right. In honor, I will try to make it to the market today for tamales for lunch.
- 18A: Bach work (cantata) – isn’t that a cat food commercial? Really didn’t help me to cross that with 12D: Michael ___, Bush secretary of health and human services (Leavitt) and 14D: Suffragist Elizabeth Cady ___ (Stanton).
- 21A: Civvies (mufti) – Uh, huh? I guess it’s accurate:
▸ noun: a jurist who interprets Muslim religious law
▸ noun: civilian dress worn by a person who is entitled to wear a military uniform
But...it’s ridiculous. Mufti sounds like a sandwich, or an endearment for a small woman in a nursery rhyme. Maybe Ken dresses in mufti, GI Joe does not.
- 25A: Great Plains tribe (oto) – crosses 22D: Multipurpose truck (ute). Lotsa cluing options here.
- 30A: Professor Lupin in Harry Potter books, e.g. (werewolf) – Also, Michael J. Fox and Jason Bateman. I always want this to have more letters.
I feel a little bad because my posted picture isn’t actually from Harry Potter, but I’ve never been into the series…I read the first, and saw that movie, but it didn’t draw me back for more. But...Frisbee!
- 39A: Many Latin compositions (epitaphs) – Not epitaths, and not at all what I was expecting to put here. I’m only a little embarrassed to admit the trouble I had getting to 40D: Military wing (phalanx). I had (T)HALAN_ for a long time, crossed with 62A: Takes over (anne_es). I finally had to run through the alphabet, then I chuckled with pity at, well, me.
- 47A: Author of a once-popular book of quotations (Mao) – when it wasn’t Bartlett, I was thinking it was maybe from Cats.
- 55A: Blow up (enlarge) – Someday, I will not think explosion with this common clue/answer.
- 59A: Smaller than small (teenier) – Does this work? I don’t think this works. What’s that second small doing in there? Does this make anyone else think “ice cold”?
- 60A: Where the buoys are? (channel) – While you’re there, watch out for 10D: Harbor danger (mine(s)).
- 1D: Fighters’ org. (WBC) – three letters, put a B in the middle and work on the crosses.
- 5D: Radio ___ (onetime propaganda source) (Hanoi) – A bit older and I’m sure this was a gimme. I had HAITI for a long time, along with To Touch Heaven, a perfectly plausible Bee Gees song title. PuzzleGirl just sent me an email joking about Bee Gees music to make fun of the fact that I’d never heard of some country dude she likes and for another reason.
- 9D: Menotti title character (Amahl) – Is this opera? Then the answer must be ARIA or OTELLO or FIGARO? No? Then I don’t know it.
- 11D: Architectural pier (anta) – Is this architecture? Then the answer must be...actually, I don’t even know a standard answer here. (Sorry Ulrich!)
20D: One that’s “perky” in the morning (coffee pot) – obvious, but still fun.
- 26D: Chess tactic that involves attacking two pieces at once (fork) – That makes a lot of sense. In retrospect. But this was the last area I solved. My problem: I had ST MARY for 36A: One of the four evangelists, briefly (St Mark). And the chess tactic could easily have been named after someone, and 26A: County of St. Andrews, Scotland (Fife) could have been lots of stuff. I think my first stab was FORY, but I think I tried TORY and maybe WORY before changing my saint. I’m an ordained minister, but I never had to study evangelists or anything.
- 37D: Drill instructor’s charge (trainee) – I got to this exactly when the carrier-folk on tv started taling about their new trainees.
38D: Got around at a get-together (mingled) – I’m a good schmoozer, maybe the situation in which I’m most socially competent. Mingling is much harder if you don’t know everyone.
- 42D: Hardly a chug (sip) - Again.
- 44D: Football Hall-of-Famer Gale (Sayers) – His career was cut short by injury, but when he played he was one of the best ever. He’s also famous from the movie Brian’s Song, which detailed his close friendship with his (white) teammate, Brian Piccolo, during Brian’s struggle with cancer. A great movie and story, but I’ll post this Sayers video instead.
- 49D: “Walkin’ After Midnight” hitmaker, 1957 (Cline) – I assume she wore her boots.
- 51D: Mandlikova of tennis fame (Hana) – I have yet to fully define my wheelhouse, but 80’s tennis stars (and she was, absolutely) are definitely in it.
Sorry this was late, all. Wade tomorrow!
Signed (contritely), SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld