Monday, May 1, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, David J. Kahn


It's a veritable feast of Broadway musicals! The awards won by these shows are of course the BESTMUSICAL Tony award. Nothing to do with the Oscars, which should have been apparent to me because there are two clues referencing the two Oscar winners for "Hannah and Her Sisters" (CAINE and WIEST - nice that both are 5 letters long, eh?). Let's just say that even after I'd filled in the revealer, I was stuck on the idea that somehow there was an Oscar for best musical movie. Which I know not to be the case.

Okay, now that I've revealed my thickheadedness, let's rank these six musicals.

1. Hamilton. Yes, I've seen it, and it's an outstanding musical. It's almost blasphemy that I'm putting
2. Company - second?! Yes, Sondheim, my all time favorite musical composer goes second here. If it had been Sweeney Todd, it would have outranked Lin-Manuel.
3. Rent. A super fun musical about AIDS and drugs and living in Alphabet City.
4. Once. Okay, I've actually only seen the movie, not the musical. But I did enjoy it very much.
5. Annie. A highly competent musical, with some great tunes, if you overlook "Tomorrow".
6. Nine. Never seen it or heard it. Maybe it would be higher if I had, but I haven't. So there.

The phrases the musicals are embedded in are almost all solid. Could I nitpick with ANNIEOAKLEY, as she is the main character of Annie, Get Your Gun (another musical)? I suppose I could. I also don't love RENTROLL as rent is used in exactly the same way in both the musical title and the phrase.
Painted by my ancestor
Otherwise, the form of the grid is brilliantly done, separating out the theme answers and allowing a few interesting longer answers. HAYFEVER is better than LAPROBES. There's a lot of meh short answers down the NW-SE diagonal, which were necessary to separate the five across theme answers.

1A: Like some basketball shots and unwanted calls (BLOCKED) - B+. Fun clue.
Fave: ESTONIA (70A: Country north of Latvia). I have been to Tallinn, which was a gorgeous city. Also, I thought of "Finland" first, which is technically north of Latvia, but not directly north...
Least fave: NRA. Nuff said.

- Colum


  1. 38:15
    Well, this took me forever in the NE. I was completely stuck with OHM and COB, and even though I had N_NE____, and have played more NINEBALL than I can mention, the clock just ticked and ticked until things dawned on me, slowly. The rest wasn't too bad, and I probably had the bulk of the puzzle filled in by the 10:00 mark, but that is what happens sometimes. I've never seen any of the musicals save for "Annie," but I'm reading "Hamilton" currently. Does that count? Nice that OBEYS crosses OBOES.

  2. The only one I've seen is RENT. But it was an enjoyable puzzle nonetheless. This one skewed a bit old and stuffy - as evidenced by the boy not being able to finish it. But I helped him mop up the last few clues (WIEST, CAINE, and so on).

    I'm guessing NRA did not go over well with most of today's solvers, since we learned from the polls at this year's ACPT that about 93% (give or take) of avid NYT puzzle solvers are liberal.

  3. 9:09
    I saw the movie "Once," but that's it for me. Never even seen Annie! OHM and COB were surprising in the NE. My last square was the G of EGO - and I got it by running the alphabet again!

  4. 17:32 with 3 errors.

    Just wanted Once to be start of Once Upon a Mattress, but I see everyone is confirming that there really is a musical called Once. HAYFEVER and HEISTS were nice.