Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A to Z

Yesterday we had ZZZ all over the grid. Today we have A to Z. I know it wasn't eight weeks ago that we had the QWERTYUIOP puzzle, so I was kind of surprised to see it again.

John Farmer took a different twist with his Wednesday puzzle, though, with circles appearing randomly in the grid. The first thing I did was count the number of circles. When I counted 26, it was an alphabet giveaway.

The theme is revealed at 7D: Places to find the letters circled in the grid (QWERTY keyboards), cleverly followed by 8D: Use 7-Down (type).

The other three long answers are:

17A: Teleologist's concern (ultimate purpose)

38A: Figuring something out (using one's noodle). My favorite, although I had noggin at first.

61A: Part of a city code (zoning ordinance)

A bit of fun fill, as well. 10D: Zoo heavyweights, informally (hippos), 26A: Part of the verb "to be," to Popeye (yam), 56A: Make worse (exacerbate), and 57D: Eliminate (X out).

And some clever cluing. 54D: Strips for breakfast (bacon), 51A: Cries during a paso doble (oles), 1D: Like two dimes and four nickels (equal), and 59D: It both precedes and follows James (Bond).

I was delighted to see Ava Gardner return today, at 49A in the New York Times puzzle, and in the Sun puzzle as well. Both clues referred to Ava as an actress, rather than as anyone's ex. That's the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it.

I'm always pleased when I get any sports answers, even those as simple as 7A: Game period: Abbr. (qtr) and 67A: Some ESPN highlights, for short (TDS). I feel so well rounded.

As always, the completed grid (along with his unique commentary) appears at Rex Parker Does the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. For the complete Sun puzzle grid and commentary, visit Green Genius.

Time to end (64A: Give the coup de grĂ¢ce).

Linda G


DONALD said...

Just lurking!

DONALD said...

Your linked to Rex today -- "fellow blogger" is the name of the link.

Also, you're linked to "AVA" in my blog.

Anonymous said...

You were really USING YOUR NOODLE today. Thanks a bunch for a very pleasant discussion.

I don't know the meaning of teleologist. Anybody know without looking it up?


Linda G said...

Welcome back, Jo. Teleologist is a philosophical term that has to do with the belief that there is an end purpose to everything. Rex said more about it in his blog.

Linda G said...

Oh, and thanks, Donald -- for the link to Ava : )

Linda G said...

Driving up the comment count...

Sorry, Jo, should have previewed before I published. Teleology is the belief. That probably went without saying, but someone might have pointed it out.

Norrin2 said...

Thanks for the plug, Linda. BTW, for the record, my favorite Ava Gardner movie is The Barefoot Contessa.

Linda G said...

Ooh -- I'll add that to my queue.

The origin of the Ava Gardner thing is this photo which appeared on Rex's blog last month. It's sort of a campaign (in my mind, anyway) to have her clued for the actress she was, rather than the husbands she had. So happy to see it happening in both the Times and the Sun.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Linda--

Just a quick note to say that I love your blog and only wish I had time for more puzzles and more lurking; I only just now read your entries for all of last week.

The comments about family are really true - somehow there is a connection with fellow puzzlers that sometimes feels even stronger than those with actual family. When you go to ACPT (and you can bring as many pairs of shoes as you want there!), you'll feel it, too. I promise.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever encountered GAMIN except in connection with Audrey Hepburn (and maybe some other gamin-like girl or woman). Oliver Twist? I was thinking HUNGRY or maybe URCHIN. (I understand that the feminine in French is Gamine but in this country that distinction is largely ignored in my experience.)

Also thanks for clueing me in about teleologist.

Anonymous said...

I didn't quickly get Carrier with the in-flight magazine Scanorama (SAS).

A look back at one of Rex's early blogs finds that someone who signed as "Grandpa Mike" did not think a blog was a good idea. I have a feeling that "Grandpa Mike" was Rex's alter ego for the occasion. But it added to the comment count which up to that point was still in the low (very low) digits.

Keep blogging. Say hello to the V-Family for me.

Rex Parker said...

I have never padded my own comment count with alter egos (unless you count "Mex Parker").

"Grandpa Mike" is (I assume) very real.

It took a while before anyone commented, and then much longer before more than just a small handful of people did.


Anonymous said...

In my own (ham handed?) way I was trying to encourage Linda G to keep on keeping on. Certainly it was not my intention to impugn Rex in any way. My hope was that Linda G's lurkers would do 2 things: seek out Rex's early blogs (which are worth a visit even after the fact of the puzzles' publication) and speak up on Linda G's blog. Lively comments enhance the educational and entertainment value of these crossword blogs.

Can I come out of the timeout corner now?


Orange said...

I join your crusade to have Ava Gardner clued with respect to her body of work rather than who she married.

I have a mini-crusade for IDA Lupino, who's almost always clued as an actress but had some noteworthy achievements as a director (read the discussion at Wikipedia). Her film, Outrage, was included in a "Women in Film" class I took at the Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Howard B said...

Forgot to say that I hope your volunteering went well - I've done the 'soup kitchen' helper thing before, and that's tricky enough (even if I was just serving, and not cooking - had I cooked, there would be some very unhappy people). It's always good to know that the people you help appreciate your time and effort.

Back to the puzzling - just wanted to add that :).

Anonymous said...

From six weeks ago ...
So did YOUR paper contain the subtle graphic clue? The stupid Vancouver Sun did not.

I'm a lurker who seldom comments because of the time lag, and I have to dig into your archives to find "today". This is made harder because you had Tuesday's date over a Wednesday puzzle--I see why but I'm just sayin' ...
You could get a leg up on Rex and Orange by leaving a pointer in your archives to "six weeks ago", and be user friendly into the bargain.

BTW, I see both AVA and OJ as fill today. I don't suppose ... no, surely not. The Queen of Crossword would never allow such questionable familiarity as a nickname!


Linda G said...

Hello Time Traveller,

I subscribe to the NYT online, so I don't know about the subtle graphic clue...unless it was the circles, which was more than subtle.

I do the puzzle as soon as it becomes available online and blog before I call it a night. Unfortunately that throws the dates off. Instead of a catchy title, though, I'm now using the puzzle date and author's name, with the author's name also appearing as a label. When I blog tonight, I'll link to the puzzle that appears in the syndicated papers. Thanks for the idea : )

But please feel free to comment, regardless of the time lag. I always know when a new comment's been posted, and you never know when it will spark a lively discussion...even in the past!