1976 blaxploitation film that was sequel to Dolemite / SUN 4-16-17 / Made-for-TV western co-starring Travis Tritt / Oz figure for short / Nickname for Angel stadium / Vox co-founder Klein others / Native Rwandan / Moved jocularly / Group lampooned in Django unchained
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Constructor: Timothy Polin
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "Saddle Up!" — "Figures" on top of their horses (literally):
- CISCO KID / DIABLO
- ZORRO / TORNADO
- LONE RANGER / SILVER
- ROY ROGERS / TRIGGER
- TONTO / SCOUT
- DALE EVANS / BUTTERMILK
The Cisco Kid is a fictional character found in numerous film, radio, television and comic book series based on the fictional Western character created by O. Henry in his 1907 short story "The Caballero's Way", published in the collection Heart of the West, as well as in Everybody's Magazine, v17, July 1907. In movies, radio and television, the Kid was depicted as a heroic Mexican caballero, even though he was originally a cruel outlaw. It was also referenced in the popular 1977 television show, CHiPs. (wikipedia)
• • •
LONE RANGER" bomb notwithstanding). I had this strange realization just now that I don't even know who the CISCO KID is. The name is familiar enough, but I realize now that my familiarity with it is probably due almost entirely to my having seen Gene Wilder in "The Frisco Kid" when I was ... a kid. That's pretty weird, as puns go. "Disco Kid" I can see—it takes things in an unexpected direction. But "The Frisco Kid" is a totally plausible cowboy name. (/digression). So the whole thing was mothbally and the fill itself was no great shakes either—even the "original" longer fill was about as interesting as ECRU: AX HEAD? BAR MAGNET? FRET SAW? How are these answers exciting? Items from some old prospector's tool shed don't strike me as scintillating fill. PAH (?!?). Also, GRANPA? Look, it's GRAMPA or it's GRANDPA, but it is not GRANPA. That is terrible. I guess a really old GRANPA would say PAH, though, so ... nice crossing?
The painful icing on this one was the thick layer of "?" clues. Actually, I think they were truly thick only in one part of the grid, but at some point I was literally swearing at the puzzle as, everywhere I turned, another stupid "?" clue. Was MENDEL really a [Pea nut?]. He was a genetics nut. Are PEALS really heard at modern weddings? (32D: Wedding rings?) Is life at all improved by this clue for SKI: 95A: Go on a run? It's so dull and literal it hardly needs a "?". The ones that really *work* today are 37D: Is Greek (IOTAS) and 59A: Down in front? (SUB-) and maybe 62D: Top secret? (WIG). Cluing was too often off today. ALLAH is a [Prayer figure]? I mean, sure, but that's a terribly generic clue for ALLAH. And then there's ugsome stuff like BEERY and WE LOST (I had WOE IS I!) and Arnold Schwarzenegger's ****ing middle name!? (ALOIS). Come on.
Further: a BUTTERMILK DONUT is not a "breakfast item." Donuts, while frequently eaten in the a.m. w/ coffee, are not not not parts of "breakfast" or any meal. I go to diners with extensive "breakfast" menus and I don't even know if there are donuts on there. I've never seen anyone eat a donut *at breakfast*. I know Dunkin' has a "breakfast" menu now but please, stop. No. Also, < 1% of solvers are going to have seen "THE HUMAN TORNADO" (24A: 1976 blaxploitation film that was a sequel to "Dolemite"). I've seen many, many blaxploitation flicks (they're an important part of the history of American Crime Fiction, which I teach) and I don't even know this title. "Dolemite," yes. "THE HUMAN TORNADO" ... no. I mean, I kinda like it here, since at least it's original and not dull, but it's weird that something that obscure passed as a themer. See also "RIO DIABLO," the clue for which is hilarious in its "no seriously this is a thing guys I swear!" pleading (42A: Made-for-TV western co-starring Travis Tritt).
["I used an earthquake to mix my milkshake!"]
The SE has some nice stuff going on, like the loopy LOCOMOTED (86D: Moved, jocularly) and the so-awkward-it's-cute partial ON ONE HAND, as well as the colorful PILE IT ON. But that corner was not enough to counteract ... everything else.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]