Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sunday, May 20 - Seth A. Abel

As far as I'm concerned, the best way to do the Sunday puzzle is a bit Saturday morning, a little more in the afternoon, and finish it up after dinner.

Yeah, the headlines made me go "huh?" -- and each was funny in its own way. But they were impossible to get without a lot of the downs in place.

So here's how I tackled it.

Went with the acrosses, skipping the theme entries, and was able to get:

10A: Former Connecticut governor Ella (Grasso). I was born in Hartford and still have several cousins there. I remember that Ella Grasso was governor at a time when very few women held public office.

21A: Swenson of "Benson" (Inga). I always forget whether she's Inge or Inga.

30A: Level of care (intensive).

72A: Fall setting (Eden). The best clue I've seen for this often-repeated answer.

88A: One with a thick skin (hippo). I think it was clued the same way in the not-too-distant past.

Several fill-in-the blanks. 35A: Santa __ (Ana), 54A: Take __ breath (a deep), 59A: "What __?" (gives), 89A: "...__ saw Elba (ere I), 108A: Broom__ [comics witch] (Hilda), 109A: "__& Stitch," 2002 animated film (Lilo), and 128A: "__ of Destruction," 1965 protest song (Eve).

130A: Words said with raised arm and glass (a toast).

149A: Like the rim of an eyecup (oval).

153A: It's not held when it's used (mayo). Clever cluing.

Then I moved to the downs and was able to get several, opening up some of the theme answers, all clued as "Ambiguous headline about..."

25A: ...a man charged with killing his attacker? (Court to try beating victim)

39A: ...a protest? (March planned for August)

63A: closings? (Teacher strikes idle kids)

81A: ...a California drug bust? (Feds discover crack in LA)

101A: ...a vagrancy statistic? (City's homeless cut in half)

120A: ...attorneys' pro bono work? (Lawyers give poor advice)

142A: ...a stolen Stradivarius? (Man gets year in violin case)

Most of them were easily flushed out, once you had some of the letters in place. The last one to fall for me was 39A. I didn't know 41D: Composer Ned (Rorem) and had guessed Torem. That made Match planned for August, which didn't make me go "huh?"

126D: Silver quarters? (stall) eluded me for far too long. Mostly because I wasn't seeing 125A: Do-do connector (as I). I was thinking Do-si-do, or do-wah-do. And I didn't know 150A: Earthenware pots (ollas). But it was clever.

Other clever clues:

127A: Jump in the rink (axel). That's been clued a lot of different ways, but this was good. I was thinking of jump as a verb, rather than as a noun.

3D: It'll douse a fuego (agua). Two years of Spanish...definitely worthwhile.

98A: Rating of a program blocked by a V-chip (TV-MA), tied to 113D: Reason for a 98-Across (sex).

115D: Not neat (over ice). If I drank Scotch, that's how I'd drink it.

123D: Hip locale (pelvis). I was trying to think of words for clubs, etc. that might be considered hip places to hang out. Can't remember if I got the P or the V first, but it made the answer pretty obvious.

There's so much more to talk about, but the other bloggers will fill the void. Orange returns to Diary of a Crossword Fiend tonight. I enjoyed guest blogging there, and reading what the others wrote, but it's good to get back to normal.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Linda, I was born in Hartford too! Since I think we're the same age, wouldn't it be bizarre if we went to the same school or lived near each other? We lived in West Hartford and my dad worked in East Hartford. His job changed though and so I moved on to Maryland when I was 10.

Nice post ... I enjoyed this puzzle immensely, chipping away at it over many hours (now that I know the puzzle is available online earlier on the weekends). You're right that the theme answers required massive success elsewhere overall, although I could infer occasional words for parts of them early on. This is the first Sunday that I haven't had to google extensively, which is a good feeling.

I did go astray on some answers - most notably Visa for CITI, Edie for KYRA (oh brother), and I don't believe SLIEST is spelled that way, it should be Slyest. Also Kalb for SHAW. Anyway thanks for posting early because I have to leave to fly to Baltimore soon and I didn't want to miss my daily no-longer-silent pursuit.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda G
Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I hadn't come across your blog until recently. I always find in your page something that I was looking for and was not 100% sure.
I'm writing to you from Chile, and like you, and the others, I'm addicted to the NYT puzzles, New York is home.
I do agree with you that Rex Parker's blog is great, but you have a way for being nice without showing how truly smart you are.
Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Wendy -- where is puzzle post available earlier?

Am at home sick so had time to keep going back to puzzle and got it finally -- except for 5 across which I think may be Mocha. Will look up if I don't get it. My granddaughters are in MD. One works at Johns Hopkins, the other is in U of MD. You are right about sliest. Have a good trip -- and thanks to host of this blog. A pleasure.

Anonymous said...

spent time "talking to Wendy and didn't say thanks, Linda, for your excellent blog and the good work you did subbing for crossword fiend. So kudos and roses (no brides) to you.


Linda G said...

Paul, you can subscribe to the NYT online for something like $7.95 a month or $39.95 for the year. The next day's puzzle is available to you at 10:00 p.m. New York time during the week, and about 6:00 p.m. on the weekend. Well worth it.

Wendy, we lived on Green Manor Drive in E. Hartford. Moved to Florida when I was five because my mother and sister had severe asthma and developed bronchitis and pneumonia every winter. No fun.

Also had CITI, but this time put in KYRA (although it's usually EDIE).

It's nice to have new commenters. Thanks for your kind words.

DONALD said...
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