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A Night at the Opera

Wednesday, July 26, 2007

Puzzle by Ed Early, edited by Will Shortz

A quotation from Marx Brothers first MGM film,
“A Night at the Opera“, “I’d give you my seat, but I’m sitting in it”, spoken by Chico Marx, is the main feature of this crossword puzzle filled with a great number of people in attendance, including Thomas Alva Edison, Raul Julia, Irma Rombauer, John McEnroe, Houdini, Orson Bean, Oliver North, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Bud Selig, Imus, Noah, Enos Slaughter, Bobby Inman, Jimmy Carter, Elton John, Saudis, Floria Tosca, Sgt. Snorkel, General Tso, Norm Peterson, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Chico’s brother, Harpo Marx -- but no Groucho, Zeppo or Gummo, much less a Karl.

There were two operas in the film “A Night at the Opera” -- "Il Trovatore" and "Pagliacci", but no TOSCA (1A “Vissi d’arte” opera), this puzzle’s first entry.

The quotation, broken up as IDGIVEYOUMY (17A Part 1 of a snaky quote by 54-Across), SEATBUTIM (38A Middle of the quote), and SITTINGINIT (64A End of the quote) ANCHORS (41D Firmly ties to) this very likeable and pleasant ONEA (23A Prime status) ACT (41A Take steps) by puzzle constructor Ed Early.

PSYCH (10D Coll. course), CLIMAXES (4D Punch lines, e.g.), TRIVIAL (43D Worth bubkes), PALED (44A Showed fright), SIN (36D Thing to confess), SNAGS (35A Picks off, as a pass), "It's nobody ELSES business" (33A),
GRILL (14A Not just question), and SSS all seem to MOBILIZE (40D Put into action) emotions in this far from LACONIC (21A Unwordy) wacky Wednesday puzzle.

The people who COHABIT (42D Share digs) today's puzzle and make it their OME (23D Cockney's abode) for the day include HOUDINI (47D Master escapologist), IMUS (57A Celeb fired in 2007), Baseball exec Bud SELIG (51A) (
oh, what to do about Barry Bonds?), and OEDIPUS (12D Antigone's father) -- a foursome that would complement the MARX (28A With 53-Across, noted comedy group, in brief) BROS (53A See 28-Across) by adding sheer TEARS (15A Evidence of pain) and escapism, perhaps on TNT (65D "We know drama" channel).

Although this puzzle has a SOUS chef (kitchen #2)(32A) and OVENS (69A Some are Dutch) the only thing on the menu is
HAVARTI (58A Pale yellow Danish cheese). Offering a SCRIP (6A Rx, for short) and a PESTLE (25D Apothecary tool), the only doctor in the house is SEUSS (29A Geisel's pen name).

Today's quote from "A Night at the Opera" will do fine for today --but next time give us Chico's reply to Groucho about SIGNERS (3D Parties to a contract) -- "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!"

To view a trailer for the film, go