TUESDAY, Sep. 30, 2008 - Allan E. Parrish ("Sic semper tyrannis!" crier / Abbott and Costello movie based on a Ziegfeld musical / Part of PRNDL)
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy
Theme: Where one might sit in a restaurant - three theme answers end with COUNTER, BOOTH, and TABLE, respectively
Simple theme with colorful theme answers. I really like it. Took me a few seconds, once I was done, to figure out what, in fact, the theme was. GEIGER COUNTER + JOHN WILKES BOOTH = ???? In the middle of the puzzle, I had a feeling of being sucked into a very depressing vortex. First, there's JOHN WILKES BOOTH straight down the middle of your puzzle, which conjures up the not-so-nice image of a president getting shot in the head. Then there's the fact that BOOTH cuts through not one, but two hurricanes. These answers conjure up images of ... well, look out your window, Houstonians. The devastation is still all around you. There's this guy I know, kinda cranky ... he only just got his power back two days ago. So IKE was ... well, it was timely, I'll give it that (34D: Hurricane of 2008). But, RITA? ... that's just piling on. (21D: Abbott and Costello movie based on a Zeigfeld musical - "RIO RITA"). This constellation of depressing answers had me looking around for DESPAIR, DEVASTATION, and APOCALYPSE. Got a little freaked out at 29D: Creator of a branch division? (saw) because my mind saw "Branch Davidian," but ... false alarm. Thankfully, most of the rest of the puzzle was as soothing as sipping AMARETTO (11D: Almond-flavored liqueur) in HYDE PARK (38D: Franklin D. Roosevelt's birthplace), whatever that means.
- 20A: Particle-detecting device (Geiger counter)
- 36A: "Sic semper tyrannis!" crier (John Wilkes Booth)
- 54A: Chemistry class poster, perhaps (periodic table)
- MEDEA (14A: Jason jlited her) - not someone you want to cross.
- OMAR Minaya (16A: Baseball exec Minaya) - apparently he will still be "baseball exec," despite having just presided over Collapse, The Sequel.
- Michael IRVIN (17A: Wide receiver Michael, nicknamed "The Playmaker") - part of the '90s Cowboys team (the one that could win big games). Now he is a commentator.
- Sholem ASCH (23A: "The Nazarene" novelist Sholem) - never read him; I just love his last name. You can spell his first name with or without a "c."
Other areas of interest:
- 6D: Atlanta gridder (Falcon) - yesterday MALTESE, today, FALCON. Cool.
- 8D: Caesarean rebuke ("Et tu?") - here I was imagining an exclamation made in an operating room.
- 26D: "There'll be _____ time..." ("a hot") - whoa. Did not see that coming. Hard to know when to sing your clue. The HOT time was in "the old town," which, in a parody version of this song, referred to CHI (58D: A.L. or N.L. city, in brief), set afire by Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
- 30D: Bard's "before" (ere) - Starting tomorrow, I'll be teaching the "Bard" to students who are also prisoners.
- 31: Like Knights Templars (Masonic) - don't like the "s" on the end of "Templars" here. Plus, the Knights I know are not MASONIC, but MALTESE - Crusading creators of the FALCON.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld