Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday, April 27 - Randolph Ross

It's about time I had a puzzle that kicked my keister (see Tuesday's puzzle). And this one did. Lots of stacking, both 8-square and 6-square words. A few 9-squares thrown in for good measure.

I sat down with it last night, read over all the across clues -- and wrote nothing. Then I read all of the down clues and wrote in two answers, one of which turned out to be wrong. The right answer was 23D: Many Molly Ivins writings (opeds). I thought it should be anti-Bush, but that wouldn't fit. Unless we had another rebus and ANTI was in one square. Digression ahead...Molly Ivins was something else. She came to our little city and spoke at our little college. At the time I was friends with a former professor--a bleeding heart liberal (his words)--and he suggested/insisted that I go. Despite having a ton of studying to do that night, I went. And I will never regret it. RIP, Molly. We'll get a Democrat in next time.

Back to Randolph Ross's puzzle.

Here's my modus operandi when I get completely and utterly stuck. I move out of my comfy chair to my computer (that's the place to think, not to nap) and pull up Dogpile (All the best search engines, piled into one). I still say I Googled something, though, because it sounds gross to say I Dogpiled it.

I'd gone completely blank on 21A: 2000 film "Billy __" (Elliott). I'd seen it, I could picture the cover, but nothing came to mind. That was my first search, and it gave me somewhere to start.

Should have remembered 22A: Author of "Oedipus at Colonus" but my long-term memory wasn't kicking in. Of course, it was Sophocles. If any of my professors run across this blog and see how little I remembered, they'd be disappointed.

Next Dogpile: 35A: Reagan adviser Michael (Deaver). Never heard of him. I wasn't much into politics in the eighties. We were busy building a house in the Ozarks--no radio reception, no TV.

Fortunately, there was one 15-letter answer that I could Google/Dogpile. 45A: Resort town northwest of Naples. Unfortunately, I was thinking Italy, and I should have been thinking Florida. I had spent 25 years of my life there, and my only connection to Italy is that my mother's parents were born there. The only way I moved to Florida (in my head, that is) was when I ended up with Springs--definitely a Florida word. I'd never actually been to Sarasota Springs, and I'd really only heard of Sarasota, but it fit.

From there, I just started guessing like crazy, and it all came together. My favorite guess was 16A: Rock's Dee Dee, Joey, Johnny or Marky (Ramone). If there's an obscure (to me) rock clue, and I haven't a clue, then I guess Ramones. It works most of the time.

Some of my favorites:

17A: Got going after a crash (rebooted). Favorite clue, not a favorite thing to happen.

32A: On point (apropos). It's such a cool word. I'm going to use it in conversation today.

57A: When many Veterans Day ceremonies are scheduled (eleven am). I picked this up with just the V in place. I knew 49D: Sitarist Shankar (Ravi) but had somehow missed the clue on my initial read-through.

6D: Billboard listing (hit record).

26D: Magical in (open sesame). I got this with very little in place. Fun clue and answer.

55A: Type of salad dressing (Catalina). My husband's favorite.

28D: Highest point on the Ohio & Erie Canal (Akron). Wendy, this one's for you. You probably knew it...I had to guess it.

There was no way I was going to figure out 19A: Sign before a crossing. I was sure it had something to do with a railroad crossing. Wrong again. The correct answer (which I didn't get until I had most of the Downs in place) was Drawbridge Ahead. I have never seen that sign in my life.

Have never heard of gnar (52D: Growl), but it sounds good and angry. I'll definitely stay away from anyone today who does it.

34D: Trying person (attempter). I was initially thinking along the lines of prosecutor. Then I started thing it was someone annoying, like an irritater. Hey, they've done worse!

So many other good things, but they'll turn up in the other blogs today.

Have an A-one (46D: Dynamite) day!

Linda G


DONALD said...

Amazing how these puzzles bring out our thoughts -- we all see them differently -- loved your blog today!

I had never heard of dogpile as a search, I'll have to look into that!

TGIF? Saturday can be hell!

Linda G said...

Your comment reminded me that I should have linked to Dogpile, so I did. And added their byline -- All the best search engines, piled into one.

Their dog graphics change with the season, sometimes for just one night. The night of the Oscars was especially cute. Throughout tax season, he's struggling with IRS forms. Very entertaining, in addition to being informative.

Anonymous said...

I have Linda's blog first on my "favorites" list and go there first thing. A very pleasant and stimulating way to start my daily reconnect with the V-family of crossworders. If I see your link in the comments, then I visit your blog next. Your blog is always interesting although the type face and background make reading it a struggle. Wish you could make it more legible without compromising the integrity of your Gothic theme, which I find attractive. As for commenting, I keep getting a "page not found" notice when I try.

Keep on keeping on.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is so friendly. Thanks for all the time and effort that you put into it. I knew about Dogpile but now with your link to thank, I have added it to my list of favorites (but way down the list from your site which takes first place).

Enjoy your weekend -- puzzle on.


Linda G said...

Jo, you made my day!

Anonymous said...

GNAR...I was totally stuck on the upper left sextant (? I know it's not a quadrant.) Had TOP RECORD instead of HIT, BOND instead of WORD and went downhill from there. And I use a Mac which never, ever crashes, so...I forgot about that kind of crash. I was thinking financial, mental, auto - those kinds of disasters.

Still and all, a good time. I've been in Sarasota Springs for a summer festival. It could have been clued as Most humid city in U.S., IMOO.

Donald, I second what Jo says about the white on black. My aged eyes can't take it, but I would love to spend time there. Any compromise on the design?

Linda G said...

I have never once missed the humidity since I left Florida, although the dry Colorado air is tough on skin.

Donald, I'll have to echo the comments made by Jo and Ultra Vi. I thought it was only my aged eyes. If I squint a little and move back a few inches, it somehow makes it more readable. I don't know why that is, but I do know that getting old is not for sissies.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog Linda! I like your pic!

Linda G said...

Welcome, AWD. I'll bet I can guess one of your favorite comments : )

I'm heading off to work. Will check out your blog once I'm home.

Norrin2 said...

Linda, there is a Beatle connection to the Ramones (greatest punk band ever, by the way). They took the name Ramone because that was the name Paul McCartney used to use when he checked into a hotel -- Paul Ramone.
And now you know the rest of the story.

DONALD said...

Linda, jo and ultra vi

Thanks for the tip on the readability -- I have added the following note to my blog:

Trouble reading white print on black background? Right click on mouse in black area and then select “Select All” to give page a white background!

When finished, left click to return.

DONALD said...


Do you have the same problem accessing Comments as jo states?

Perhaps I have a wrong setting or something -- let me know.


Oh and thanks for Dogpile!

Anonymous said...

Linda, great comments. Writing a blog on a late-in-the-week day has to be quite an undertaking.

I think we thought alike (as usual) on the Molly Ivins thing. [I have a feeling we're almost the same age, given your recent comment about a certain birthday coming up in a few months; that same birthday will happen to me in the same few months.] Anyway I definitely wasn't thinking OP-ED because that's too generic for the likes of her. Great that you got to see her before she died, too young.

Yes, I knew the AKRON reference, but was kind of dumbfounded that the city has shown up again in the puzzle so at first I was suspicious that it might be some other answer. It is rather odd, I think, that it gets so much attention from the constructors. But I'm not complaining. It's a delightful and quirky city where I've made my home for the past 16 years.

Linda G said...

Finally getting back to this. Robert, thanks for the info on the Ramones. I love them already! Must listen to something they've done. Recommendations?

Norrin2 said...

My recommendation for your first Ramones listening experience would be "Acid Eaters" which is their version of several great 60's songs such as "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" "Somebody to Love" "Surf City" and others.
Warning, they are an acquired taste.
Here you can hear snippets of every track off the album: