Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, Jeff McDermott

"Yo, V.I.P., let's kick it!" 

Who doesn't love remembering ICEICEBABY? It was the first #1 hip hop song on the Billboard Hot 100, and it is sometimes listed among the top ten "One-Hit Wonder" songs of all time. But really, there have been a lot of those, and it kind of depends on your age. Since Mr. Van Winkle (aka Vanilla) was born within a year of me, his song is embedded somewhere deep in my coding. 

Can I use this for AWE? As in, I was in AWE of all the orange?
Happy Koningsdag!

What I did not know before today was A. His real name, and B. That ICEICEBABY was actually released as the B-Side to his cover of "Play That Funky Music," and a single disc jockey is credited with the decision to play side B, leading to its eventual popularity. How likely is that in today's music world?

Then there's the whole copyright infringement issue stemming from his sampling the bass line from "Under Pressure." He eventually settled with Queen and David Bowie, but shortly after that, lawyers for 2 Live Crew successfully argued that their parody of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" was protected by law. The case, which reached the Supreme Court, helped establish the importance of transformative fair use in copyright cases. 

Fascinating, I know, but ice ice is only the beginning of what goes into the delicious mint JULEP. We've also got the BOURBONSTREET, the MINTCONDITION, and the SUGARDADDY. In past years, I would have been drinking one at a Derby party this coming Saturday, but alas, for the second year in a row, that's not going to happen. Just one more sad consequence of a global pandemic.

Those who attended the A.C.P.T. this year will remember CHI (Second letter before omega) from Patrick Berry's Puzzle Seven, where it was clued with the slightly more tricky "Antepenultimate letter." Here, antepenult is glossed for us, and we're even warmed up with "Letter before omega" (PSI). 

NABOB (Bigwig) is always fun, and ripe for a resurgence, and it's funny to think of HUCK Finn beside JUNO. What would they say to each other? And finally, RAINYDAY seems especially inappropriate in a puzzle centered on the JULEP. Instead, may the sun shine bright on your old home, wherever it is. And have fun watching the race on Saturday. CLIP CLOP!

- Horace

p.s. Congratulations, Mr. McDermott, on your debut. And happy birthday! You share it with the king of the Netherlands. :)



  1. Well I was about ready to ScARF down this puzzle until I hit the top middle. And I knew about that war novel about the bell in Italy (from crosswords) but couldn't remember the name of the town. And I probably would find supreme court decisions on copyright and parody more familiar than the song which apparently led to one such case. Oh and who is this LEON character anyway? I know, I could look it up, I already looked up (again) the war novel.

    Anyway, enough about me and my struggles. I thought the theme was nice and tidy and was particularly taken by FAXING. Partly because I was amused that I immediately thought "fax but that isn't six letters" but also because I work in an industry where fax machines are still a staple (for a variety of reasons, not all of them completely bad).

  2. Like Mr. Kingdon, I entered ScARF at my first reading of the clue, but luckily knew that nABOB wasn't appropriate for the down. I've now, thanks to Horace, had enough information for a lifetime on ICEICEBABY, a song which I don't need to ever hear again. Similarly, FAXING, unlike Mr. Kingdon, is something that I feel no need to ever do again. Isn't that why scanning is a thing? Always nice to be reminded of bourbon and of HUCK/FINN. I'll take the former neat, though.