D'oh! I just got a comment on the original Friday post from Pancho Harrison, the constructor of the February 22 Chronicle of Higher Education crossword. I completely spaced on doing that puzzle, and not even the "tba" tag reminded me that I'd forgotten. So Pancho's puzzle will get its very own tardy post.
Like the Oscar-themed puzzles in the Sun all week, this one features movies, but not Oscar-caliber ones. The "Universal Pictures" theme relates to the components of Aristotle's universe, with the Bruce Willis/Chris Tucker/Gary Oldman/Milla Jovovich/Ian Holm movie, THE FIFTH ELEMENT being one essential component along with EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and AIR, which appear in other movie titles in the grid. I have no idea how this fifth element relates to the others, but I can tell you that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was coming out in Austria when I was there in 1997, so I also got a kick out of the movie posters for Das Fünfte Element:
I like the high/low combo in this theme—Aristotle partying with a bunch of movies that the critics mostly did not rave about. I don't recall seeing a clue like [The Congo River's ___ Falls] for INGA before. It's nice to give the Nordic women the day off, isn't it? There's more low culture with a Hall and Oates reference, CSI, and TYRA Banks, but quotes from SHAW and Shakespeare to academitize the puzzle. I liked [Get smart?] for PREEN, related to [Dressed to the nines]/SPIFFY, along with the two-entry ESKIMO PIE. Is it time for ice cream? I think it is. And with that, I'm off.
February 23, 2008