Sunday, March 23, 2008

Monday, March 24 - David J. Kahn

Two thoughts came to mind after finishing this puzzle. First...I didn't think David Kahn did Monday puzzles. Second...where the hell did the last fifty years go?

The theme of the puzzle is revealed at 39A: Notable Army inductee of 3/24/58. I was only in the first grade, so I have no independent recollection of that being the date that Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army. The rest of the puzzle's theme answers are all about the Elvis the soldier.

17A: Like 39-Across's fans on his induction day? (All Shook Up).

56A: Last movie 39-Across made before his Army stint (King Creole).

11D: Army officer who met 39-Across in 25-Down (Colin Powell).

13D: Last Army rank of 39-Across: Abbr. (Sgt).

23D: Much-photographed event after 39-Across's induction (haircut).

25D: Where 39-Across was stationed overseas (West Germany).

30D: First movie 39-Across made after his Army stint (G.I. Blues).

54D: Record label of 39-Across (RCA).

I'm slightly amazed that there's so much trivia about Elvis joining the Army...and fairly astounded that David Kahn put them all together in one puzzle.

Noteworthy fill includes 5A: La __, Milan opera house (Scala), 16A: Phileas __, who went around the world in 80 days (Fogg), 32A: Layers (strata), 42A: Flexible (pliant), 49A: Legendary Chicago Bears coach George (Halas), 50A: Singer __ Anthony (Marc), 65A: Novelist Seton (Anya) and d66A: Artist who liked to paint dancers (Degas). He also painted alternate way to clue him.

Also liked 4D: Openers for all doors (pass keys), 8D: "Ally McBeal" actress Lucy (Liu), 9D: Some computer software checks (alpha tests), 24D: City with a Penn State campus (Altoona), 27D: Like seawater (saline), 32D: Defeated soundly (shellacked) and 33D: Actresses Shire and Balsam (Talias).

For those who may not know, I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida...close to Fort Lauderdale, the home of 63A: 1975-78 U.S. Open champ Chris (Evert). We were all quite proud of Chrissie, the teenager who faced (and beat) champions who had been playing professionally for years. That two-handed swing of hers was something to see.

We had the same clue tonight at 18D and 49D...[What the "H" of H.M.S. may be]. The answers were His and Her, respectively. I only knew that Her Majesty had ships.

In a comment earlier today, Wendy mentioned the second Sunday puzzle. In the past I haven't regularly done it, but after today's, I just might. Eric Berlin filled every square in the puzzle, including the 37 gray squares. Notepad gave you this information about Going Too Far: "Many of the answers in this crossword are one letter too long and won't fit in the spaces provided. Each of these answers will either begin or end in the gray square immediately before or after it. When the puzzle is done, all the gray squares will have been used exactly once, and the letters in them (reading left to right, line by line) will spell out a quote by fashion editor Diana Vreeland." It was tough, but it was good...and lots of fun.

And speaking of Wendy, be sure to check out her blog for insight into the music of the baby boomer generation. Her picks are always good, but yesterday's feature was one of my favorites...Bell Bottom Blues by Derick and the Dominos. I don't know how she decides who to feature (and what song she'll use)...but you'll want to go back often.

I stayed up past my bedtime and I'll pay dearly for it come morning. Elaine and a friend joined us for Easter dinner and just left a little bit ago. Leslie and Candy will be here tomorrow for a belated celebration. It's so hard to get both of the girls here at the same time, but it's actually kind of nice to have one-on-one with them.

That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Yeah, fifty years indeed. If I knew then....

Speaking of not knowing then, my understanding was that Colin Powell thought he was meeting Elvis, but it was really a mobile weapons laboratory.

Made my usual mistake with Seton (trying Alain), other than that pretty smooth sailing.

Now, I think I'll hit the sack, and not think about little Chrissie with Greg Norman....

wendy said...

One of my favorite puzzle gimmicks is working the whole thing around facts about a person or current event. So even though I was also a first-grader and didn't know who Elvis was at that point, later knowledge made this fun and doable. I will admit that I was initially parsing ALL SHOOK UP as something ending in HOOKUP, however ;)

Thought it was funny that, with all the military emphasis, AWOL was the word immediately following ELVIS, despite its lack of relevance to him personally!

A youtube video worth watching is this one, a late performance of his that, despite the preposterous getup, reminds us why Elvis' stardom was so deserved. Even though at this point he was on the decline, his vocal powers were still staggering; the first time I saw this I was sobbing by the end. What a horrible waste.

Thanks for your continued support of my blog, Linda.

DONALD said...


right you are!

Anonymous said...

When there is a reigning king H.M.S. stands for His Majesty's Ship (So for now all British ships belong to Her Majesty, but when Prince Charles assumes the throne they will immediately change to His Majesty's Ships with no paint job necessary)