Brother Antonio Girolamo in music history / THU 5-26-16 / Foe of Ottomans / Nursery bagful / 1777 battle site / When shortened topic in sexology / 1836 battle site / white one said to symbolize I'm sorry
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Constructor: Andrew Zhou
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: transformative compressions — two-word phrases are clued as if they were "[first letter of first word]-second word" words, "[w]hen shortened." Thus, for example, [When shortened, June 1944 offensive] might clue the answer DORIS DAY (because "when shortened," "DORIS" becomes "D"...). And so:
- VITAL SIGNS (4D: When shortened, winning symbols)
- QUICK TIPS (18A: When shortened, ear swabs)
- FOXHOLE (24D: When shortened, violin feature)
- ONION RING (11D: When shortened, rocket seal)
- GUEST SPOT (34D: When shortened, topic in sexology)
- TAPAS BARS (58A: When shortened, ski lifts)
- BLINDSIDES (one-word verb? two-word plural noun?) (31D: When shortened, lesser-played songs)
[ˈpɑːvo ˈjærvi]; born 30 December 1962) is an Estonian conductor.
Järvi was born in Tallinn, Estonia, to conductor Neeme Järvi and Liilia Järvi. His siblings, Kristjan Järvi and Maarika Järvi, are also musicians. After leaving Estonia, the family settled in Rumson, New Jersey. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein. // From 1994 to 1997, Järvi was principal conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 1998, he shared the title of principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Andrew Davis. Järvi was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 2001 to 2011. The orchestra made a number of recordings for the Telarc label during Järvi's tenure. In May 2011, he was named the orchestra's Music Director Laureate. Since 2004, he has been the artistic director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Bremen and an Artistic Advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Järvi became the principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and served in the post until 2014. In 2010, he became music director of the Orchestre de Paris. He is scheduled to conclude his tenure with the Orchestre de Paris at the conclusion of his current contract, at the end of the summer of 2016. In June 2012, the NHK Symphony Orchestra named Järvi its next chief conductor, beginning in the 2015–2016 season, with an initial contract of three years. Järvi recently starred in the documentary Maestro, directed by David Donnelly, which followed Järvi and an array of brilliant musicians as they performed across the globe. (wikipedia)
• • •TAJ really really limits cluing possibilities, leaving you only with proper noun / fill-in-the-blank cluing options (here, the banal 58D: ___ Boston (luxury hotel), yawn). TAN or TAB or TAG or TAP beats TAJ any day. Any. Day. It is *bizarre* that there is no "Y" in this grid, because the only way I can understand that corner "J" is if the constructor was actually going for a pangram (i.e. a puzzle with every letter in the alphabet represented at least once). But there's no "Y". There's no Y!!! It's so weird. I feel like there must've been one that got edited out. Wait, where was I? Oh, right. I actually enjoyed this theme, and most of this grid.
TAPAS BARS was both my favorite answer and the hardest (for me) to get. This is partly because of TAJ (?) [shakes fist], partly because I don't think of a BOT as a "harvester," partly because that [Remover of dirt...] clue was doing nothing for me, partly because I wasn't *entirely* sure of the spelling on PAAVO. But I just hacked at it wildly and finally things fell into place. Two other trouble spots were a. in the north where ETAS and SALE were not at all apparent to me. The latter really looked like it would be OPEN, and the former was just inscrutable; and b. in the east, where the BILGE / ASTER / LILT / DEBRIS mash-up was mildly befuddling. Clue on DEBRIS was particularly vexing (30A: Refuse). Other than that, I had TOYS for 10A: Nursery bagful (LOAM) at first, but not many other hiccups. Finished in somewhat under my average Thursday time.
I think QUICK TIPS is the weakest themer here, in that I don't really know what those are. Or, I do, probably, but that answer just doesn't stand alone as well or seem as snappy as the others. I mean, yes QUICK TIPS are a thing the way GREEN PAINT is a thing, but ... HELPFUL TIPS googles twice as well, and no one in their right mind thinks *that's* a great phrase (HELPFUL HINTS, however, would be good ... but I (really) digress). I'm not faulting the answer so much as noting its wobbliness vis-a-vis the other answers. It's good enough—not much else you can do to pick up the Q-TIP reference. Weird, inventive, interesting. FINE!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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