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Monday, November 14, 2011

Classical guitarist with four Grammys / TUE 11-15-11 / Explorer of Rockies / TV heroine in leather skirt / Bygone Hollywood star known for tough-guy roles

Constructor: Gareth Bain

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: FISHERMEN (58A: What the answers to the four starred clues are?) — "famous" (I'm using this term very loosely) people whose last names are also kinds of fish

Word of the Day: David Allan COE (21D: Country music's David Allan ___) —
David Allan Coe (born September 6, 1939) is an American outlaw country music singer who achieved popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. He has written and performed over 280 original songs throughout his career. As a singer, his biggest hits were "Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile," "The Ride," "You Never Even Called Me by My Name," "She Used to Love Me a Lot," and "Longhaired Redneck." His best-known compositions are the #1 successes "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)," which was covered by Tanya Tucker; and "Take This Job and Shove It," which was later covered by Johnny Paycheck that was later a hit movie (both Coe and Paycheck had minor parts in the film). (wikipedia)
• • •

I didn't know who half these people are, so this was dreadful for me. Needed every cross for: ZEBULON PIKE, ALDO RAY (who I thought, at first, was AL DORAY ...), and JULIAN BREAM (!?!?!?!). I barely know that a BREAM is a fish—this "guitarist" does not pass my Sherman Alexie test. You must be more famous than Sherman Alexie to be a theme answer in the NYT. This rule exists because of a puzzle I once had rejected by Will because (in part) he didn't know who Sherman Alexie was, and thus didn't think him fitting as a theme answer (he didn't know who Sherman Potter was either, but that's another story). Apparently this BREAM guy is also lutenist—so, you know, if you're into that ...




Total guess at the COE / CESARIO crossing (21A: Olivia's love in "Twelfth Night"). No idea about former, clearly forgot the latter (all those damned characters with Italiany, terminal-vowely last names, ugh). So, yeah, I didn't like this at all and have nothing more to say about it.

Theme answers:
  • 3D: *Explorer of the Rockies (ZEBULON PIKE)
  • 18A: *Former 'N Sync member (LANCE BASS)
  • 37A: *Bygone Hollywood star known for tough-guy roles (ALDO RAY)
  • 25D: *Classical guitarist with four Grammys (JULIAN BREAM)



Bullets:
  • 52D: One-named New Age musician (YANNI) — I once had a girlfriend who owned some of his CDs. We didn't date long.
  • 33D: Sharon's predecessor as Israeli P.M. (BARAK) — Ehud. There's also an Ehud Olmert. I couldn't tell one Ehud from the other if my life depended on it.
  • 54D: Mrs. 55-Down on "The Avengers" (EMMA) (PEEL) — By far (and I mean faaaaaar) my favorite thing about this puzzle.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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