Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wednesday, May 30 - Mike Nothnagel

I don't know if Mike Nothnagel reads this blog...but this is absolutely his best puzzle ever.

And if you didn't read yesterday's blog, you oughta do that before you go on! If you did, you probably had an easier time with this puzzle.

The clue at 53A (Speaker of the catchphrase that starts 20-, 27- and 47-Across) reveals the theme. The answer is Timothy Leary, the LSD advocate of the 60s, who coined the phrase contained in the first words of the three theme answers:

20A: Revolve (TURN ON an axis)

27A: "Don't miss the next episode..." (TUNE IN tomorrow)

47A: Become a recluse, perhaps (DROP OUT of sight)

Earlier this evening, Janie posted a comment on Rex Parker's blog indicating something very special about the Wednesday puzzle. I just assumed she was referring to an Ava clue that I'd like. Not so.

A nice tie-in is 28D: Go around and around (orbit), since Mr. Leary's ashes did that very thing. Well, he's had more than his share of press at this blog, so I guess I'll move on to the rest of the puzzle.

This didn't seem very Wednesday-ish, but maybe that's because I caught the theme early on. I breezed through it while watching Elton John's 60th birthday celebration at Madison Square Gardens. I'm a fairly good multitasker, but I don't normally attempt the puzzle while I'm doing anything else...except maybe breathing.

9A: Schindler of "Schindler's List" (Oskar) threw me the last time I saw it. I'm happy to say that it was a gimme today. The other one I remembered from past puzzles was 49D: Verdi opera featuring "Ave Maria" (Otello).

15A: Writer Ephron (Nora). If you haven't read her newest book, "I Feel Bad About My Neck," you should. You don't have to be sixty, or even female, to find plenty of humor in it. It's true! (23A: Honest!) I read parts aloud to my husband and 17-year-old, and we were all in stitches. I recommend it as a gift to anyone over 50.

37A: Start of many a pickup line (hey baby). This never worked with me. I'd like to know if anyone in the world ever fell for it. I don't want to know if any of the men out there ever used it.

1A: "I'm glad that's over!" (whew). I like that it begins and ends with W. The second crosses with 4D: On paper (written).

We have two types of humor in this one. 1D: Like some humor (wry), and 16A: Like some Groucho Marx humor (punny).

Two answers I especially like. 43D: Light muffin (popover) and 46D: Frog's perch (lily pad). You could put them together to create a better pick-up line, such as, "Why don't you pop over to my pad, Lily?"

Stumbled momentarily on 50D: Gave birth in a stable (foaled). I thought it might be referring to Jesus, but Timothy Leary saved the day...sort of.

32A: "Bye Bye Bye" boy band (N Sync) reminded me of a professor whose roll sheet always asked a question. Once it was "best boy band?" -- anyone who answered N Sync or Backstreet Boys was doomed for the rest of the semester. Since he was around my age, I knew I'd score points with Beatles.

I almost missed 57D: Big prowler (lion). Surely fellow blogger Donald will be happy to see that.

This is my Jubilee blog...yep, it's been 50 days. While there aren't many comments, the number of readers varies from 140 to 200 a day, some from as far away as Pakistan, Beirut and Switzerland. I enjoy doing this, but I'd like it to be fun for you. Madness...Crossword and Otherwise is still evolving, and I'd welcome comments about the direction you'd like to see it take.


Linda G


DONALD said...

Your blog has developed ESP -- it is very wild you asked yesterday why no one commented on LEARY in the center of the puzzle -- well, today I guess they will!

I find your choice of entries and clues for commentary excellent -- I try to restrain myself from reading your blog before I post, but remembering yesterday's remark about LEARY, I could not resist.

For the record (I know you don't want to know) I have never used HEYBABY, but I have used "Why don't you pop over to my pad, Lily?"

Not only LION, but linked with ROAR!

Congratulations on your 50th post!

Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda G,

Feedback is fuel, they say.

IMOO: Just have fun with it (your blog), as you seem to have been doing.

I still go to your blog first thing, even before checking my email.

Keep up the good work.

Signed, Jo

Anonymous said...

something else nice in today's puzzle: "wry" and "ryes" bookending the top row.

congrats on that 50th!



Anonymous said...

I just now clicked on the sitemeter link. Interesting. The Internet is somewhat deceptive. Sitemeter identifies my city as Nashville TN. But that is not correct. I live in a very rural area about 70 miles from Nashville. I believe that there is a sort of Internet hub or "cloud" as techies call it in Nashville that my nearest ISP feeds into and that is why Nashville is shown on sitemeter as my home. See what I mean about deceptive.

I suspect that you receive visits from other hicks in the sticks too but that they are not identified that way but as coming from the city of the Internet cloud that their ISP feeds into. Maybe you could do a Dogpile search on Internet Cloud and share your findings with us. (I wish I had a fast connection instead of this hayseed dial up.)


Norrin2 said...

Congrats on the 50th! That's quite a milestone. As far as the future of the blog goes, keep doing what you're doing -- but work on your pick-up lines; if "Why don't you hop over to my pad, Lily" is the best you can do you might as well preface it with "Hey, baby."

Linda G said...

Robert, my husband would prefer that I not work on my pickup lines ; )

Jo, I don't quite get it. Sometimes it shows that I'm in Denver, and I'm 200 miles from there. This time it shows me in Erie, and I don't even know where that is. I guess it will remain a mystery.

Al Sanders said...

Hi Linda,

I had missed the fact before now that you're a fellow Coloradoan! Erie is a small town about 20 miles north of downtown Denver, at exit 232 on I-25 to be precise (don't know why ERIE always gets clued as some place in PA :-). I only know that because I have the drive from Ft. Collins to Denver completely memorized, due to many trips to hockey rinks, Denver cultural activities, etc.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Linda! Happy 50th day! I love reading your comments on the NYTimes puzzles, my favorite diversion--and one I share daily with my mother in Texas. I'm a doc student in Laramie, a neighbor to the north of you. I appreciate the local color in your comments--and getting to know "Ava" through what you say about the puzzles.

Linda G said...

I get so excited when I see new commenters.

-s, a doc student! I'm impressed. I'm glad you came by and I hope you'll share the blog with your mother. My mother also loved crossword puzzles. She's the reason I'm hooked on anything having to do with words.

Al, I live in GJ, almost to Utah, but I still get to claim Colorado as my home. My brothers live in Longmont. I've driven by the Erie sign a hundred times--isn't it Erie/Dacono or something? Usually I'm on auto pilot. We'll be heading to Strasburg for the weekend (sister is there), but one of these days I'll drop you a line when I'll be in Longmont. Maybe we can meet for coffee...or a beer...and talk about puzzles. My husband would love to actually watch someone complete a puzzle in under three minutes : )

Anonymous said...

Dear Linda,

Keep on bloggin'! Your entries are entertaining and insightful!

One of the things I love most about blogs is the way they sometimes become more about the writer than the blog subject itself; in your case, when you write about the puzzles, revealing bits about yourself and your life while doing so, it is the most captivating.

I hope to meet you next winter!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda, congrats on your 50th, that's quite an accomplishment, especially in light of your disclaimer (this is a test, this is only a test)! I think your current direction is RIGHT ON, to turn a 60's phrase that O'Leary might have used.... Your blog is very personal (I love that your DARE to be so very PINK), and that's what keeps me coming back day after day. Just do what's fun. We love it!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, now Mike Nothnagel is going to read this blog! :)

Thanks for the kudos on my puzzle. The tale behind the theme: I was in my car listening to "Incense and Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock and the line based on Leary's quote hit me at just the right moment, and, well, you can probably fill in the rest of the story yourself.

I really like it when the theme fits together as nicely as this one did.


Linda G said...

Thanks for the comments. As much as I hate to say it, constructive criticism would also be welcome.

Rock Rabbit, I have always loved pink. When I saw this template, I knew it was mine.

Mike, you have the distinction of being the first constructor to comment on my blog...unless someone did so anonymously. I hope you'll come back again : )

cornbread hell said...

50 days + 42 days later.

the ava-lution of your x-word blog has become a daily pleasure for me.

[as it is 42 days later, you may not get the following guffaw i refer to: *I wish I had a fast connection instead of this hayseed dial up.*

now, That's a pathetic pickup line!]

Linda G said...

Cornbread, it's always nice to see your comments...even 42 days later!

Pathetic pickup line indeed ; )

Linda G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.