Stadium divertissement / SAT 5-18-19 / Classic opera set in Cyprus / Conflict that saw sieges of Ladysmith Kimberley / Like lion slain in Herclues’ first labor
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Constructor: Andy Kravis and Erik Agard
Relative difficulty: Easy (5:04)
Word of the Day: Richard ADLER (4D: Richard who composed the music for “Damn Yankees” and “The Pajama Game”) —
After establishing their partnership, Adler and Ross quickly became protégés of composer, lyricist and publisher Frank Loesser. Their first notable composition was the song “Rags to Riches”, which was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in late 1953.Richard Adler (August 3, 1921 – June 21, 2012) was an American lyricist, writer, composer and producer of several Broadway shows.
At the same time Bennett’s recording was topping the charts, Adler and Ross began their career in Broadway theater with John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, a revue for which they provided most of the songs.Adler and Ross’s second Broadway effort, The Pajama Game, opened in May 1954 and was a popular as well as a critical success, winning Tony Awards as well as the Donaldson Award and the Variety Drama Critics Award. Three songs from the show were covered by popular artists and made the upper reaches of the US Hit Parade: Patti Page’s version of “Steam Heat” reached #9; Archie Bleyer took “Hernando’s Hideaway” to #2; and Rosemary Clooney’s recording of “Hey There” made it to #1.Opening almost exactly a year later, their next vehicle, Damn Yankees replicated the awards and success of the earlier show. Cross-over hits from the show were “Heart”, recorded by Eddie Fisher and “Whatever Lola Wants”, by Sarah Vaughan.The duo had authored the music and lyrics for three great Broadway successes in three years, and had seen over a half-dozen of their songs reach the US top ten, two of them peaking at #1. However, their partnership was cut short when Ross died of a lung ailment in November 1955, aged 29. (wikipedia)
ADLER and ELIAS specifically, though now that I think about it, I must have read or otherwise “known,” at some point, that ELIAS was Disney’s middle name. I know at least one ADLER (Irene) and at least one ELIAS (Sports Bureau), but not these ADLER/ELIASes. But no matter. I was able to move right through them anyway because of very gettable crosses. The biggest hold-up (again, predictably) was an unforced error on my part. Over and over, time and again, the biggest time loss I experience while solving involves leaving a wrong answer in place for too long. Today, it was a stupid ticky-tack coulda-gone-either-way foreign language error: UNE instead of UNO (27D: One overseas). “Overseas,” 🙁 Give me a crack at the damn country, you stupid clue. Anyway, Faced with UN-, I chose the French over the Spanish. That vowel was vital, as I could not parse TIGER-PROOFING at all until I changed it (I was coming at it entirely from the back end) (33A: Measures taken to make golf courses tougher in the early 2000s). Later, I also botched CAPOS (I was like “Ooh I know this!” … and wrote in COPAS). That made the SE probably the diciest section. But again, the confusion didn’t take long to clear up. Had SIN for MIN (confusing trig and calc, I guess) (54D: Calculus calculation, for short). But otherwise, not much resistance to be found in this one. Just a smooth good time.
I just saw another VR- answer recently (maybe it was actually in the NYT…) and so I’m super-on-the-lookout for them. Got today’s (VR HEADSET) off just the “V” (30D: Modern game equipment). Saw right through 1A: Jets are found in it, though did have to work crosses to see if it was NFL or AFC. Grateful for easy crosses because both E STREET and G CHORDS would’ve been total guesses for me at their first letters. “SEE IF I CARE” is a nice answer, but the one answer that really made me sit up and say “dang!” was “SOME PEOPLE…” which was the perfect Saturday combination of hard and clever (53A: “What a jerk!”)—brutal to parse, but then boom, a wonderful revelation.
Thanks to Rachel for subbing for me yesterday. I’ll be on every write-up from now through the very end of the month, at which point I will be at the Indie 500 Crossword tournament in Washington, D.C. and yeah, you’ll probably get a sub or two. I’m lucky to have so many able and willing back-ups. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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