Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cinco de mayo -- David Quarfoot

For the first time since I started this blog in mid-April, I didn't finish the puzzle. I'm not talking about a couple of blank squares--that's happened before--I'm talking huge sections of white space.

So after I got what I could from Dogpile, I visited Orange's blog and got a few hints. And worked a few more answers...but the vast white squares remained.

As a result, I'd feel quite the phony if I wrote much about the puzzle, so I won't. I'll just mention the two or three things I knew.

15A: Versatile weapon (poleaxe). Was too old for D&D by the time it came out and know nothing about it--except this. Rex has probably mentioned it in the past.

30A: One with concrete ideas? (mason). Earlier in the day, I'd been scanning the want ads for my future son-in-law who will be moving here this summer. The construction section had several openings for concrete finishers and formsetters, and I guess the mason thing just stuck.

63A: Henry Wade's opponent in a famous court case (Jane Roe). Everyone who was around then would remember this landmark case. Those who weren't should know about it anyway.

My husband is not a crossword fanatic, but he has a wealth of information stored in his head. He was able to figure out that 18A: (Entertainer whose last name is the past tense of a synonym of his first name) was Rip Torn. In less than five minutes. With no letters yet in place. I'm in awe.

He also figured out 14D: Nudist's lack (tan line) with just the N in place.

It's good that one of us was thinking last night.

After I put the puzzle aside, I poured a glass of wine and chilled with Elaine, our older daughter. She'd spent the last year and a half at Job Corps, a phenomenal U.S. Department of Labor program. While there she earned her GED and learned a trade that will pay a living wage. She's now a whiz at facilities maintenance--inside and outside. Until she gets a job, she'll be taking care of our lawn and yard, as well as doing some plumbing and electrical work around the house. It's time for payback, sweetie! Her fiance, Josh, is just about finished with the carpentry program. Between the two of them, they'll be able to build just about anything.

And now I'm off to drink coffee and watch the birds. Later this afternoon I'll drink some Mexican beer. Enjoy your day!

Linda G


DONALD said...

Will Shortz wrote sometime back that using references is entirely up to the solver, it is not "cheating", it is doing the puzzle -- these days with so many constructors utilizing Google themselves to construct a puzzle, how is it unfair to Google for answers -- I will on occasion when time is limited, and at other times I'll use Google to verify my spelling or suspicion of an answer -- if I can't get a concrete answer from Google (which would be a determination one needs to make -- Google has many false leads and errors) -- then I lug out my heavy tomes and leaf away.

That said, I am sure many solvers will be comforted by your "confession" in today's blog -- it's better than wasting time on a pretentious puzzle! and we all really do, in our hearts, know it!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Hola Linda,
Happy Cinco de Mayo (we've got snow falling fast for our BBQ this afternoon)! I don't think googling is cheating, although (being a bibliophile) I always try to use my folio-sized Natl Geo world atlas, my threadbare Webster's Collegiate, and various dog-eared foreign language paperback dictionaries first. Then googling is a choice considered while trying to strike a delicate balance between allowing time for the COGS in the old brain to turn, and, as Donald said "wasting time". Nice write-up!

Linda G said...

I totally forgot that I was supposed to have a Mexican beer, and I drank a Hefenweizen! Which isn't too bad, really, since it's one of my favorites.

I didn't stop to think that constructors used Google. D'oh! How else could they come up with some of the more obscure answers?

Snow in Wyoming in May...not too surprising. We've had rain for the past few days. Hardly used the patio furniture all week.

cornbread hell said...

wow. this was a toughie. even with a few long gimmies like stephen colbert, emirate and jane roe (the real jane roe went to the unitarian church i attended) i had to google the gajeebus to finish.

i truly don't understand how some of those other bloggers can post such ridiculously fast times and assess a puzzle like this one as being of *medium* difficulty.

Linda G said...


Keep in mind that Orange and Rex Parker have been doing puzzles for a long time. When they assess a puzzle's level of difficulty, it's for that given day. I thought that this puzzle was harder (for me) than most Saturdays...but I've never been on David Quarfoot's wavelength. If I see his name on a puzzle, I'm pretty sure I'll have a hard time with it.

Hang in there. I'm in the middle of the current day's puzzle (Sunday, June 17), and I have about 3/4 of it finished. It's time to Google a couple of obscure (to me) things, then I'll tackle it again.

Thanks for coming by -- and for commenting. Lurkers are always welcome, but commenters are nice : )