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Author Topic: Diving in to the May 29 crossword  (Read 1432 times)


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Diving in to the May 29 crossword
« on: May 29, 2016, 05:57:23 PM »
Singer/songwriter Pancho Harrison spent 35 years performing in the Denver area. In 2001, he released a CD, Teaching My Imagination:

While briefly incarcerated for a traffic offense, Harrison began solving newspaper crossword puzzles as a way to pass the time. Later, after seeing the 2006 movie Wordplay, which documented the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Connecticut, and featured Will Shortz, Merl Reagle and other crossword creators, Harrison decided to try making his own puzzles. He succeeded. His crosswords have been appearing in the New York Sun, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal since 2009. Today's is titled "Pool Party" and includes phrases with a last word which can precede POOL:

Track runner? TROLLEYCAR
Pickup spot: BOXOFFICE
Removable engine: OUTBOARDMOTOR
Undeveloped ability: RAWTALENT
Pond prohibition: NOSWIMMING
Unscrupulously competitive: DOWNANDDIRTY
Certain trait carrier: RECESSIVEGENE

"Keystone officer" is KOP, although the incompetent police force which appeared in many silent comedies from 1912 through the 1920s was actually called the Keystone Cops. The name is often misspelled by people who prefer alliteration. The team was created by producer Mack Sennett, who owned Keystone Studios in Los Angeles and was known as "The King of Comedy" for his innovations in slapstick films, including the first "pie in the face." There were usually seven or eight Cops at a time and the members varied, depending on which actors were available for filming. Among the many who portrayed Cops at various times were James Finlayson, Charlie Chaplin (once), Chester Conklin and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. The Cops' films always included a frantic chase, filmed at a slow speed so it would look more manic when shown at normal speed.

"On the fritz" is KAPUT. "Kaput" derives from an 1890s German word. It comes from the French capot, which derived from the Latin capio ("to seize"). In the card game piquet, a capot is a winning of all the tricks and is worth 40 points. The word can also be used as a verb. When one player capots, all the other players end up with a score of zero. A capot meant winning.....but when the Germans changed the spelling to "kaputt," they inexplicably gave it an opposite meaning: "destroyed or no longer working." In English, the word is spelled "kaput." In France, capot" also means "cape" and originally referred to a long hooded cloak or coat worn by French sailors. "On the fritz" dates from 1903 and is likely derived from the 1880s slang word for a German soldier. "Fritz" is the familiar form of "Friedrich."

"K through 12" is ELHI, a word which I have never seen or heard anywhere except in crossword puzzles. "Room next to la cocina, maybe" is SALA. The words mean "kitchen" and "living room," respectively, but are not used in English. "'60s singer Sands" is EVIE, who never had a top-40 pop hit but reached #30 on the adult contemporary chart with a 1970 remake of Kenny Rogers' But You Know I Love You.

"Conductor Klemperer" is OTTO. The German-born conductor (1885-1973) held positions at several opera houses, including the Cologne Opera House, the German Opera House in Prague and the Kroll Opera House in Berlin. He also conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl in 1939. His son, Werner Klemperer, co-starred as Colonel Wilhelm Klink on the 1965-71 tv series Hogan's Heroes. When asked to comment about the Colonel, Sergeant Schultz's only reply was "I know noth-ing!" :)


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