04.18.07 -- SHH

Puzzle by Jim Page
A “small” theme -- DONOT (12D)“_____ disturb” (and a hint for 17-, 40- and 65-Across, and 10- and 30-Down) is not much of a “hint” for a rectory, a worthless pile, the Feast of Trumpets, sprigs from the garden, and deli selections. However, if one gets the "hint", SHH, for one or even two of the entries, it might not help much in getting those remaining, as all of them -- PARISHHOUSE, FRESHHERBS, ASHHEAP, ROSHHASHANA, POLISHHAMS --are quaintly unrelated to DONOT disturb, or to each other, are long , and have no unified relationship to SHH as a whole. I saw only "HH" half-way through and when I finished wondered what-the?
Much more to my interest was the appearance of Robert MITCHUM “The Night of the Hunter” star, 1955, a haunting, terrifying film, and a work of brilliance, especially when considering the time of its release, it remains a cautionary tale to today and features MITCHUM's best performance. The screenplay was by crossword favorite James Agee, directed by Charles Laughton with Shelley Winters as the doomed widow, Lillian Gish (why isn’t she in the puzzles, give us Gish!), a young Peter Graves as the children’s father, and a host of great character actors. I digress, but Jim Page, today’s puzzler, has made my day with that one entry. MITCHUM, as the “preacher” never had a PARISHHOUSE in the film, but he did spend time INPRISON, pursued the children to a FARM trying to get the CNOTEs and when Lillian Gish shoots him he goes YAWP!!!!!
Other stuff -- can’t remember seeing DIDSO before, which joins am too, are so, etc. as a playground retort. BATH as a pre-bedtime ritual is subjective, the Cleveland Indians made an overthrow say, ERRED last night at Yankee Stadium, all the way into the fifth row and it was caught by a fan with a regulation glove; what need would one have for more than one OED (OEDS, multivolumn refs.), Natasha Kinski title role,TESS at her best, foot specialist? POET, groan. I’m wearing down quickly here -- isn’t OO-SHAY pig-Latin for “Amscray!”, another Mid-East capital SANA, and then there’s ZAZU (not Zasu), NONA (not Nina), DOPA (not dope) and CZAR (not Tsar). Oh, and AROD came on the television just as I made his entry -- odd!
Illustrations: "The Night of the Hunter", 1955

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head!