Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sunday, June 17 - Tony Orbach & Patrick Blindauer

Tony Orbach and Patrick Blindauer put their heads together on this puzzle--Rear Axle--and came up with a winner. Challenging, but not impossible, and just plain fun.

I ended up with a theme answer that I didn't understand. Once I got the second one, it was clear what was up, Doc!

How did the theme play out? The letters LE are omitted from commonly used phrases, which are then clued in amusing ways.

23A: Yosemite Sam's cursing of Bugs Bunny's food? (dang carrots). This was the one I didn't get until later. Oh! Dangle carrots!

28A: Explanation for why some pillows do weird things? (trick down theory). I did pay attention in class when we learned about the trickle down theory.

47A: Basic food choice? (bread and butter pick). I love bread and butter pickles, so I saw it with only a couple of letters in place.

68A: Short-term worker who causes utter disaster? (the temp of doom). The funniest answer...hands down. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a favorite in this house.

86A: Jazz-loving young entomologist? (Boogie Woogie bug boy). My favorite of the bunch. I enjoyed singing along with Bette Midler's version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

112A: Meal for the Three Little Pigs? (family sty dinner). This was the last one to fall into place for me. Family style dinners are not my favorite--I tend to eat way too much.

118A: Work on analytical psychology? (The Jung Book). The psych student in me found this one amusing. In a class called Deconstructing Disney, I saw The Jungle Book in a new light.

Not just great theme answers...there's some pretty terrific fill to boot.

I always enjoy seeing the Beatles and/or their songs clued in the puzzle. They got me on this one, though. 47D: "P.S. I Love You" and "Revolution," e.g. (B sides). Didn't help that I didn't know 55A: Noontime service (sext).

Also didn't know 49D: Bet to win and place (exacta), although I think I saw it in a recent puzzle. The only betting word I know is trifecta--besides JaiAlai, that old puzzle standby.

I love anagrams (so does my friend, Spherical Ham), so it was a real pleasure to see 63D: Position that's an anagram, appropriately, of "notes" (steno). We've had steno a couple of times recently, but this is the best clue ever.

Also liked seeing 18D: "Gilligan's Island" castaway (Mary Ann). She was my favorite of the female characters. The professor was my favorite of the men.

In no particular order, some clever clues that deserve mention:

3D: Stuntwork? (bonsai). Almost laugh-out-loud a way.

12D: Cover for a grandmother (shawl). I wore shawls in the 70s, but I wouldn't dream of wearing one now!

13D: Hot spot (kiln)

48D: "Be saved!" (Repent!)

61D: Like Limburger cheese (stinky). I have never smelled Limburger cheese, but I think I'd rather not.

90D: Lose in one's drawers (misfile). Too funny. I didn't have a clue where they were going with this one. Saved by the acrosses.

91D: Not oral (on paper). Had written at first--a good wrong answer. And that's all I'm sayin' on that.

I liked the way they clued 34A: "Stupid," in Spanish (!). Mensa is the Latin word for table. According to Wikipedia, the Mensa Society was meant to indicate a round-table society of equals. Does that mean we're all in that 98th percentile?

I could go on and on with this puzzle, but I'm sure the other bloggers will cover the ones I missed.

Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there!

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
Since I can't get back to sleep, I'm checking out your funny treatment of the Sunday puzzle. Love it.

Were you ever a TEMP OF DOOM? Or even a TEMP? Doing or having once done temp work at one time or another seems to be part of the common culture.

Until tonight I imagined the MENSA Society name must have come from mental. I never bothered to check it out. Table, indeed!

Well, I don't want to overstay my welcome. Thanks for blogging.


DONALD said...

Great read -- smooth, sharp, on the money, ain't that a nice comment on a comment?

Don (and yourself) and company, have a greaat Father's Day!

Anonymous said...

Didn't "get" the theme till after solving the phrases -- the title of the puzzle was funny-punny and quite clever. Missing singer (77A). Anybody?

Enjoyed the commentary -- as I do whenever I come to your blog.

Linda G said...

Paul, the singer is K. T. Oslin. Had to get it from the downs and a guess, but Googled to confirm it. Never heard the name before. Thanks for coming by -- and for commenting : )

Donald and Jo -- always nice to hear from you. Yes, Jo, I was a temp, although thankfully not of doom! Both placements turned into full-time jobs, as well as two long-time friendships.

Anonymous said...

I was a temp for some time, and Indy flicks were a big influence, so I confess to adding TEMPOFDOOM to the mix. It was Tony's idea, tho, and he had lots of great entries right off the bat. SINGWHITEFEMALE was a personal fave that didn't make it into the grid ["You go, Beverly Sills!"?].

Thanks for the swell write-up. I'm not a father myself, so my puzzles are my children, I guess, and you gave this one a might fine birthday present. Thanks!


Linda G said...

Patrick, you unknowingly gave me a fine birthday present! Thanks for coming by -- and for taking the time to comment.

SINGWHITEFEMALE would have been good!

Anonymous said...

WOW -- happy birthday Linda -- hope you had a good one!

I enjoy the blog~

Peter said...


My wife and I enjoyed this one thoroughly as well. No real groaners, and quite a few great and funny clues. I wish you could have dropped Bugs and added singwhitefemale though..

Anonymous said...

Linda G,
I only just now finally "got" Spherical Ham. I suppose I am the last one to catch on, huh?

Pretty neat birthday presents to and from. Congrats!


Anonymous said...

Linda, many happy returns of the day!

Anonymous said...

Not getting "spherical ham" -- anyone help me out?


Linda G said...

Jon, it's nothing most people would know...the anagrammed name of a fellow crossword lover. I just wanted to see if he was paying attention. He wasn't ; )