Alan Arbesfeld has constructed a crossword whose theme might well make you sigh with exasperation, as it isn't obvious. The themed answers all begin with the phoneme group /sī/, all spelled differently. CYBERSPACE, "SILENT NIGHT," SAYONARA, CITATION ("1948 Triple Crown winner"), SCIENCE FAIR, and PSYCHED OUT are such answers. Unmindful all the signs, I did not catch on to this theme until I looked at the finished puzzle to begin this post.
Some nice extra fill here too, like SVELTE, SYNOD, URBAN MYTH, ZILCH, SNOOT, and GO IT ALONE.
I have not heard of the Russian ballet company KIROV. That's the Soviet name for the Imperial Russian Ballet, now also called the Mariinsky Ballet. It was named after the Bolshevik leader Sergey Kirov, who was assassinated likely by Big Joe Stalin.
I have not heard of actress SELA Ward, nor her show, the '90s NBC drama "Sisters."
I've watched my share of "The Addams Family," but couldn't recall that Gomez Addams calls his wife, Morticia, TISH.
Paul ANKA had a hit with "Puppy Love" in 1960. He wrote it for Annette Funicello, whom he was dating at the time. Donny Osmond covered it in 1972.
I know what ROSIN is, but I don't much associate it with being on a pitcher's mound. Apparently it is commonly used to get a better grip on the ball. And is legal, unlike pine tar and other gunk.
"Longfellow's bell town" is ATRI, a totally new one on me. It's from his poem "The Sicilian's Tale; the Bell of ATRI," part of his 1863 Canterbury Tales-like poem sequence, Tales of a Wayside Inn.
At Atri in Abruzzo, a small townThe bell is for everyone to ring in case of trouble. One day an abandoned horse rings the bell, and his former owner, a rich but miserly man who had no use for the horse, is publicly shamed and censured.
Of ancient Roman date, but scant renown,
One of those little places that have run
Half up the hill, beneath a blazing sun,
And then sat down to rest, as if to say,
"I climb no farther upward, come what may" --
The Re Giovanni, now unknown to fame,
So many monarchs since have borne the name,
Had a great bell hung in the market-place,
Beneath a roof, projecting some small space,
By way of shelter from the sun and rain.
John HERSEY was a journalist and author of Hiroshima, a 1946 book covering six survivors of the atomic bomb blast.
"Score before deuce, maybe" did not slow me down this time, because I remembered the appearance of AD IN on November 21, 2017.
Quite a bit of new material for a Tuesday. I did pretty well on time, but then, it's not ERASE.