Tuesday, June 6, 2023
HomePuzzleSinger/activist Billy / TUE 1-17-23 / Phrase sung 36 instances in a...

Singer/activist Billy / TUE 1-17-23 / Phrase sung 36 instances in a 1970 Beatles hit / Electrical transformer named for its creator / Furnishings large whose title is an acronym

Constructor: Erika Ettin

Relative issue: Straightforward

THEME: “LET’S CALL IT A DAY” — themers all start with letters that spell out the phrase for “day” in different languages:

Theme solutions:

  • DIAMOND WEDDING (19A: Couple’s sixtieth anniversary [Spanish])
  • DAGNABBIT!” (26A: “Aw, rats!” [Dutch, Swedish])
  • DENTIST (35A: Whom one may go see at “tooth hurty,” per a basic joke [Czech])
  • TAGS ALONG (42A: Goes with another person [German])

Phrase of the Day: Billy BRAGG (25D: Singer/activist Billy) —

Stephen William Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist. His music blends parts of people musicpunk rock and protest songs, with lyrics that principally span political or romantic themes. His music is closely centred on bringing about change and involving the youthful era in activist causes. […[ Hearing DJ John Peel mention on-air that he was hungry, Bragg rushed to the BBC with a mushroom biryani, so Peel played a song from Life’s a Riot with Spy vs Spy albeit at the wrong speed (since the 12″ LP was, unconventionally, cut to play at 45rpm). Peel insisted he would have played the song even without the biryani and later played it at the correct speed. […] Although by no means launched as a Bragg single, album monitor and stay favorite “A New England“, with an extra verse, turned a Prime 10 hit within the UK for Kirsty MacColl in January 1985. Since MacColl’s early dying, Bragg all the time sings the additional verse stay in her honour. (wikipedia)

• • •

Spring (?) semester begins immediately, so my Tuesday and Thursday mornings impulsively get a lot tighter, time-wise (gotta catch that bus at 7:15am). So if the T/Th write-ups appear considerably terser than others, now why. You most likely would not even discover if I did not let you know, however I am telling you anyway, and in doing so spending up treasured morning writing time *not* speaking concerning the puzzle. So … the puzzle. Does not appear a lot to it. That’s, the idea appears actually skinny, and the revealer appears oddly … not APT. All of the “days” seem on the beginnings of their solutions, however nothing within the revealer offers with begins or beginnings … I believed the revealer was going to be one thing like OPENING DAY, however no, we’re “calling” it a day, for some cause. Possibly the “calling” is ultimately, very obliquely, referring to the thought of translation? I just like the revealer phrase quite a bit, as a standalone reply, however I simply do not suppose it really works nice right here. I additionally thought the Diamond Anniversary was referred to as the Diamond Anniversary. As a result of … it is an anniversary. Anniversaries commemorate weddings (my twentieth is later this 12 months!). However DIAMOND WEDDING = “Diamond Anniversary”? That is a brand new one on me. Is the phrase getting used adjectivally? “It is our DIAMOND WEDDING Anniversary!”? Google’s not a ton of assist, since, as you may count on, nevertheless you google “diamond” and “marriage ceremony” and “anniversary,” you simply get loads of jewellery websites, as a result of diamonds … just about *the* stone of all issues marriage ceremony. In order that first themer made me go “huh?” I do love a very good DAGNABBIT!, although. That reply received me again on the puzzle’s aspect. However nonetheless, there was one thing slightly limp about each idea and execution right here. Why these languages? Why all the time on the begins of solutions? Simply did not appear sufficiently cohesive. Additionally, the entire thing the place there are lengthy Throughout solutions (right here, NOTONEIOTA and OCEANSTATE—longer than half the themers) which can be *not* themers? Probably not a fan of that, both. At all times appears inelegant—although if the theme actually crackled, I most likely would not discover (a lot). I did study the Czech phrase for “day,” although, that is one thing.

The fill form of creaks alongside. Possibly slightly extra subpar stuff than you wish to see, esp. in a straightforward early-week (e.g. AMOI ANACT ASATEAM and so on.). Principally it is just a bit on the boring aspect. Why does BCCED look so ugly? I am certain it is legitimate, however … I wrote it in considering “nicely that may’t be proper.” I believe that “e” often will get changed by an apostrophe, does that sound correct? CC’D … “DAGNABBIT, Invoice, I CC’D you on the memo, you need to’ve recognized to deliver the pie chart!” Yeah, I believe I would apostrophize it. I’ve seen CCED within the puzzle for certain, and although it appears to be like unsuitable, it is brief and I do not actually discover. In some way the additional letter in BCCED makes the entire mess appear extra grotesque. I like TESLA COIL, although I confess that earlier than wanting on the clue I believed “oh expensive lord are they gonna attempt to make TESLA CARS occur!?” Fortunately, no. The Kings of LEON by some means fell into the house in my private musical historical past that’s the equal of “between the cushions.” Like misplaced change. They had been enormous, I missed them totally. I believe they peaked once I was doing all of the early job / marriage / child stuff, i.e. once I was least attuned to mainstream fashionable tradition. However at the very least my mind registered their title, which is usually all that is required for crosswords. Billy BRAGG is approach approach Far more in my candy spot, regardless of being (apparently) a lot much less fashionable, gross sales and chart-wise. I’ve listened to BRAGG’s “Again to Fundamentals” roughly a jillion instances, because the late ’80s. Simply him and an electrical guitar and these brief, wry, humorous, even candy songs about issues and emotions I did not know pop songs might be about. Plus he sang in his full unsuppressed Essex accent (the place so many British singers appear to cover or simply lose their native accents after they sing; or else my ear merely cannot hear it). Simply nice stuff. Stunned he is displaying up on a Tuesday—would not suppose he’d be thought of suitably well-known. However I am joyful to see him.

Actually gotta run now. Feed Alfie make espresso (sit for a couple of minutes listening to “Wake” with Clay Pigeon on WFMU and doing Wordle/Quordle) pack lunch bathe costume pack backpack out the door bus cease. Beginning … now. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. the Venmo app was down for a number of hours yesterday, so these of you who wrote or posted that you simply could not discover me: that was why. I believe it is mounted now. 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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