10.05.10 — American Pie

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Puzzle by Paula Gamache, edited by Will Shortz

BYE-BYE, MISS AMERICAN PIE by DON MCCLEAN is well known for its cryptic lyrics that have long been the subject of curiosity and speculation. Although McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly, none of the musicians in the plane crash are identified by name in the song itself. When asked what "American Pie" meant, McLean replied, "It means I never have to work again." Later, he more seriously stated, "You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me... sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence." ~ Wikipedia.

SAY BYE BYE (17A. *Bid adieu, informally), NEAR-MISS (26A. *Failure by a narrow margin), AFRICAN-AMERICAN (40A. *Like Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan), APPLE PIE (51A. *It’s often ordered a la mode) and DON MCCLEAN (62A. Singer of the lyric formed by the ends of the answers to the four starred clues) are the interrelated group of this well-done Tuesday tribute crossword.

Other — CEREMONY (41D. The Changing of the Guard, e.g.), DIET SODA (5D. Coca-Cola Zero, e.g.), PROWLS (24A. Is on the hunt), NO TASTE (26D. Characteristic of bland food and bad dressers), ROY ROGERS (3D. King of the Cowboys), SCOOP NECK (37D. Cleavage-revealing dress feature), TAMPER (55A. Meddle [with]), UNDER PAR (9D. Like a good golf score).


Short stuff — ADES, AHA, ANY better?”, ARM, ASIP, CORE, CPU, CROP, DOTE, DRAG, ECHO, ELEV, EMIR, ERA, FRO, GOT, IDEE, IONE, KNEE, KOKO (29A. Gorilla famously taught to use sign language), KONA (30D. Coffee cultivated on Mauna Loa ), LOG, MARC, MPS, MSN, NEW, NOT, ODD, OLE, PCS, PERU, REL, ROBS, SAC, SKAT, SSE, TRIM, YOLK.

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
"bye-bye, miss american pie."
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "this’ll be the day that I die.
"this’ll be the day that I die."


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games. If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. Andean land; 5. Race for hot rods; 9. Open, as a pill bottle; 14. Photoshop option; 15. Actress Skye; 16. Indira Gandhi’s family name; 20. Family beginnings; 21. Boise-to-Phoenix dir.; 23. Thanksgiving invitee, commonly: Abbr.; 28. Captain’s record; 31. “Brain” of a computer, briefly; 32. Topographic map notation: Abbr.; 34. Lavish affection (on); 36. Beasts of burden; 44. Take ___ of (sample); 45. Where a pear’s seeds are; 46. Spot for a shot; 48. Not a major haircut; 50. Flamenco cry; 57. “Do that one would rarely wear a hat with; 58. Online portal since Windows 95 was launched; 59. Book of divine guidance; 60. Argot; 66. Building wing, e.g.; 67. French brainchild; 68. It may be off the wall; 69. Irritable; 70. Fruity drinks; 71. Card game popular in Germany. — DOWN: 1. Mac alternatives; 2. Never-ratified women-related measure, for short; 4. Violinist’s stroke; 6. Rips off; 8. Fliers in V’s; 10. Novel; 11. Dear, in 12-Down; 12. Van Gogh locale; 13. Attracts; 18. Fatty part of an egg; 22. ___ fly (certain baseball hit, for short); 24. Answer, in court; 25. Husband of Pocahontas; 27. Swing or rock; 33. Life-or-death; 35. Mideast noble; 39. Malfoy’s look, in the Harry Potter books; 42. Abstracts; 47. Brit. Legislators; 40. Painter Chagall; 51. Chopin’s “Polonaise in ___ Major, Op. 53”; 52. Group of lions; 53. Places for ornamental fish; 54. Neighbor of Bhutan; 56. No enrollees at Smith College; 59. Joint for a beggar?; 61. Caught; 63. Bizarre; 64. “I caught you!”; 65. Word after waste and want.

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