EV 1510 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
No comments

EV 1510

Enigmatic Variations 1510

Contrasts by Skylark

Setter’s Blog

Extra letters give A WORTHLESS CHECK, A TOTAL WRECK, A FLOP from Cole Porter’s YOU’RE THE TOP (replacing I’M THE BOTTOM); six words and phrases from the song are highlighted.

I have long enjoyed the wit and sarcasm of Cole Porter in You’re the Top. It contrasts the singer with the subject:

But if, baby, I’m the bottom,

You’re the top.

Suddenly realising that You’re The Top is the same number of letters as I’M THE BOTTOM, I wondered if I could find intersecting words to fit each. Pleasingly “a rose” and Ovaltine crossed unchanging letters, but I was grateful for Chambers.com leading me to ASSAI and PILOUS, for example.

It was a matter then of fitting some of the other phrases describing The Top into the rest of the grid. I picked one description of The Bottom (a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop) as extra letters, and hoped the almost antique song could still amuse some solvers.

The preamble mentions the original version of the song must be used, both because of the extra letters, which as in Porter’s lyric, spells cheque the American way, but also because of the huge number of parodies You’re The Top inspired, which has resulted in many online sites mangling the lyrics. The song was rewritten officially by PG Wodehouse, who was asked to anglicise the lyrics for the UK launch of Anything Goes, the Cole Porter musical which features You’re The Top (and which is coming to the end of yet another successful London run as I write), but also just about everyone else who enjoyed words in the 1930s had a stab at a verse or two.

A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.