Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thursday, August 16, 2018, Alan Arbesfeld


Today's puzzle is dedicated to one ROBERT DENIRO, who turns 75 tomorrow. I quickly realized that many answers were movies, and I also realized that they were DENIRO movies, but the first thing I tried to put in at the bottom was "Martin Scorsese." Idiot. "Martin" fit, and I actually left that in for a hot minute thinking that maybe they'd somehow squeeze his last name into the other space...

Anywho... it wasn't Scorsese.

I've grown up with DENIRO movies, and I am one of the many of my generation who think of him as one of the greats. So am I going to raise a fuss about a few things that CLOG the grid? Like ABIE (48A: Title lover in a 1922 Broadway hit) (from that classic "Abie's Irish Rose"), SADR (51D: Baghdad's ____ City), ARNE (35D: Obama education secretary Duncan), BIER, ISIN, ATIT, OISE, PROSY, ENTR, APER, BRRR, EDD, ALMAY, and AMMETER (37A: Current measurer)? (YOW!) No! I'm going to be happy for the good trivia in the clues for OBERLIN (17A: First coeducational college in the U.S.) (since 1837), and DOUGLAS (62A: Justice with the longest Supreme Court tenure) (36 years!), and about having dropped in ORLANDO (16A: "As You Like It" hero) as my first answer thanks to having seen my brother play the part in a college production many years ago. Ahh... memories.

It's a tribute puzzle, and sometimes one just has to sit back and enjoy the theme density that comes with STARDOM.

- Horace


  1. Spot on review. The joy here is reflecting on the "work" as the puzzle filled in.

    3 things:
    - I, too, thought first of directors.
    - I have no recollection of "The Fan" coming out and actually watched the trailer after finishing the puzzle. It looked like an awfully predictable plot and a money grab movie. Maybe because of Snipes's well documented tax problems..?. Are he and DeNiro buddies?
    - First thing I put in was CLOG, having spent a lot of time with that type of snake lately at the rentals (good times!), and then LEOPOLD off the L.

  2. This was going to be tough for me (although the film titles are familiar, wouldn't have any idea which ones DeNiro is in). But I did mostly make it without googling. Hadn't heard of Time TRAX so I had TRek there and TAkeDRIVER which.... well by that time I was kind of losing steam so I was willing to take finished with 3 errors over trying to fix it.

    Agreed that the fill suffered from all those themers. On the plus side, was having lunch today with a fellow OBERLIN graduate today and he was like "did you see what college was in the NY Times crossword today?" Fortunately I already had that answer by then so I didn't need to have a moral dilemma about whether it was more important to be nice to a friend or Do Something About People Who Thoughtlessly Emit Spoilers.