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Author Topic: Er, it's the April 10 crossword  (Read 2099 times)


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Er, it's the April 10 crossword
« on: April 10, 2020, 08:00:37 PM »
Dick Schlakman was born in Brooklyn and practiced law for 20 years after graduating from Columbia University Law School.  He began creating crosswords in 2014. His puzzle today includes four familiar phrases with ER appended:

How to get buns of steel? TAKETHEATRAINER
"All these steaks are too well done"? NOTONEREDCENTER
Axes one of the market employees? BOUNCESACHECKER
Hilariously react to a butt-baring prankster? HOWLATTHEMOONER

"Take the 'A' trainer" references Take The 'A' Train, a 1941 instrumental written by Billy Strayhorn and recorded by Duke Ellington. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in 1899 in Washington DC and died in 1974. He began playing piano at age seven and formed his first band at 19. Take The 'A' Train became his theme song. It referred to the 'A' line of the New York subway. The train ran from Brooklyn to Harlem and on to northern Manhattan. Among Ellington's many other hits: Caravan, Moon Glow, Solitude, Cocktails For Two, Stormy Weather, Sophisticated Lady and It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing. Here is Take The 'A' Train:

"Mme. counterpart" is SRA, which is not used in English. "Stop on the Metro" is ARRET, which is not used in English."Support group?" is BRAS. Okay, that was cute. "Decide one will" is OPTTO. "Opt," same as "re," is a word I often see in writing but can't recall anyone ever actually saying.

"1886 debut at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta" is COKE. That isn't quite accurate. Pharmacist John Pemberton created Coca-Cola in 1886. Three years later, he sold the formula and the brand to Asa Candler, who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1892. For many years, the company encouraged consumers to ask for the product by its full name, not by "Coke." Nicknames encouraged substitutions and Coca-Cola did indeed have a lot of early competitors, including Koke, Co-Kola, Coke-Ola, Copa-Kola, Kaw-Kola, Koca-Nova, Koca Nola, Coca-Bola, Cleo Cola, Chero-Cola, Double Cola, Lotta Cola (in 16-ounce bottles) and Rola-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company filed trademark infringement lawsuits against most of these imitators and put them out of business. In 1941, the Coca-Cola Company gave up its fight against the nickname and trademarked the word "Coke." Here is a 1979 "Have a Coke and a smile" television commercial:

Unfortunately, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it's very diificult to get into a supermarket to be able to buy Coke. As for the 'A' train, it's probably been forced to shut down as a result of "stay-at-home" orders and "social distancing" guidelines. At least we can still enjoy our daily crossword puzzles. Stay safe, everyone!


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