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Author Topic: Deep thoughts on the February 15 crossword  (Read 1733 times)


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Deep thoughts on the February 15 crossword
« on: February 15, 2016, 04:06:23 PM »
Today is February 15, 2016, the third Monday in February. Most calendars and many state governments say today is Presidents' Day. However, the federal government designates the holiday as Washington's Birthday. Most Americans erroneously assume the holiday is to honor both Washington and Lincoln. Because Alabama, Arkansas and Virginia do not celebrate Lincoln's birthday (February 12), Lincoln's birthday has never been a federal holiday. Washington's birthday is February 22 but the legal holiday always falls on a date from the 15th to the 21st. That's government for ya!

Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Robert Morris has DEEPEND ("Pool diving area") as the central answer. The first word of each theme answer can be preceded by DEEP to form a familiar phrase:

Scatterbrain: SPACECADET
'Sweet dreams': SLEEPTIGHT
The President's annual salary, e.g.: SIXFIGURES
Prince film featuring When Doves Cry: PURPLERAIN

Deep Purple was an instrumental written in 1933 by Peter DeRose. Mitchell Parish added words in 1938 and the song became a hit for many artists over the years, including Larry Clinton, Jimmy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo, Bing Crosby, Artie Shaw, Paul Weston, and April Stevens & Nino Tempo. The rock group Deep Purple took their name from this song because it was the favorite song of the grandmother of the band's guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore.

"Deep-six" is a colloquial verb meaning "To discard, cancel, halt; to put an end to something." It comes from a nautical term referring to a depth of six fathoms, which is equal to 36 feet or 11 meters. "Deep-six" originally meant "To throw overboard." Sailors figured that anything which sunk to a depth of six fathoms was irretrievable.

"Like a noisy stadium" is AROAR, a word which appears in many crossword puzzles and a word which I have never seen or heard anywhere except in crossword puzzles.

"1971 Eric Clapton hit" is LAYLA. Um...not quite. The original version was recorded in 1970 by Derek & the Dominoes, a British quintet with Clapton as lead singer. And the song was not much of a hit in 1971. In the US, it stalled at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it didn't even chart. A longer version was released in 1972 and reached #10 in the US and #7 in the UK. Clapton had a hit in 1992 with an acoustic version of the song. Before going solo in 1970, Clapton had also played with the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith. The poor guy just couldn't hold a steady job! :)


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