Ziegfeld, Florenz (1869-1932) -- famous last words “Curtain! Fast music! Lights! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good. The show looks good." Florenz Ziegfeld was a famous Broadway producer whose musical reviews featured fantastic sets and beautiful women. He died hallucinating that he was directing one last show. In the 1936 Oscar winning movie, The Great Ziegfeld, William Powell plays the producer, and Ziegfeld's last words are "I've got to have more steps. I need more steps. I've got to get higher. Higher."
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Puzzle by Karen M. Tracey, edited by Will Shortz
Jambalaya is certainly a duplicitous clue for GRABBAG (58A), and an odd one for OLIO (32D), but no farther fetched than Hank Williams singing “Jambalaya” with a Betty Boop cartoon running in the background. This classic Shortzesque double-entry clue easily defines this Saturday crossword puzzle -- a grab-bag olio of words in motion, swirling in a witch’s brew!
Slicing across the center of the grid is FLORENZZIEGFELD (36A Biographical subject of the Best Picture of 1936) and cutting through that entry is ALJAZEERA (20D Mideastern news source), leaving a Z in the center of the the grid, like the mark of Zorro! EZIOPINZA (34D Co-star of Broadway's "Fanny"), JOEISUZU (27A Fictional salesman of '80s ads), along with BENITEZ (59A Relief pitcher Armando) and (Morris B.) ZALE Corporation (jewelry retail giant)(29D) provide this puzzle with plenty of proper-name Z's, totalling SEIS (14D Number of wives of Enrique VIII).
Above that central Z is the entry EASYA (34A It's hard to fail) -- these minimal utterances are joined by the less reticent MTSINAI (18A Tablets site); RAP (35A Grammy category); the noisy SOFTSHOE (42A Tap type) and OVATION (56A Hero's welcome); DINS (21A Headache intensifiers); the quieter ETUDES (3D Exercise of a sort); and the SPEEDEE (62A McDonald's mascot before Ronald) remark TATA (9D Cry before disappearing).
ADDISABABA (19A Where the African Union is headquartered) and ADIDAS (11D Sportswear company whose logo is three parallel stripes) are of no relation. Continuing with our jambalaya, little SYMBIOSIS (8D Mutualism) is inherit between such entries as BASINGER (4D Best Supporting Actress of 1997); WOLFSBANE (33D Monkshood); OLESTRA (61A Substitute for some snack foods); GIANTPANDA (54A Resident of Chinese highlands); MAGEE (51D Patrick with a Tony); STJAMES (8A Place on a Monopoly board) or a HORDE (2D Group of 6-Down) of NOMADS (6D See 2-Down); and I'm sure there was no attempt to do so in this Whole SHEBANG (1A)!
For the NTH (37D Indefinitely large) time, we get ATTS, CFOS, DELI, DIEM, EGAN, ENGRS, EVEL, EYE, GDS, GOER, ITT, JRS, OIL, PANE, PRES, SHY, SRTAS, STIES, and UPDO -- along with TSTRAP (44D Pump alternative) which appeared just this Wednesday clued as Woman's shoe style -- very DRESSY (26D Smart). Also seen recently was RODEO (41A Place for a clown) and REBA (52A 1988 chart-topping country album) and less frequently, ROTATOR (15A What goes around) and YARDAGE (16A Gain or loss) -- TRUST ME (17A Line from a scam artist) and COWER (31A Shrink) somehow pair off nicely. I wanted VAC (24A Little sucker?) to be TIC, of course.
ROBO (52A Cyborg's beginning?) must refer to "Robocop", the movie, THATIS (43D Clarifying words). Nice that RANLATE (60A Went over) sits atop SPEEDEE. INBAD (49D On the outs [with]) and EDATE (50D Virtual meeting of a sort) join the final odd-couple, VIAGRA (24D Sex therapist's suggestion) and GREBE (7D Relative of a loon)!
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.
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