Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thursday, June 14 - Donna Hoke Kahwaty

Donna Hoke Kahwaty--I haven't heard the name before, but I think I'll remember it. Her themed puzzle left me puzzled!

I finished it with no major problems (and no Googling!) but it took me at least ten minutes to see--and completely understand--the theme, revealed at 38A: (Ingenuous...or like 17-, 24-, 50- and 60-Across (artless). The four theme answers, each a commonly used expression minus the letters ART, are:

17A: Con man's pay? (sting salary) -- st(art)ing salary

24A: Satan? (he of darkness) -- he(art) of darkness

50A: Slapstick staples? (surprise pies) -- surprise p(art)ies

60A: Parts of dollhouse dinner table settings? (mini glasses) -- m(art)ini glasses

They made sense to me in roughly that order...heart of darkness was actually the first one I understood, although I initially thought we had a rebus on our hands. I've heard Satan referred to as the prince of darkness, so I tried for a while to get PRINC in the first square, but 4-Down just made no sense that way.

In addition to the theme answers, there are four 10-letter answers in the grid, two of which were gimmes.

11D: Jailed (up the river). Most likely without a paddle. Nice tie-in with 10D: Transportation around the Aleutians (kayaks).

12D: Dry season danger (forest fire). That was an answer back when I guest blogged for Rex Parker in April. It started a major discussion about what constituted a shade of green. Anyway, that was one of the gimmes. We live in the desert, get very little rainfall (duh!), and fires are all too common.

29D: Cartoon beeper (Road Runner). Likely a gimme for many of you.

30D: Restaurant companion (dinner date).

Some of my favorites--because of clever cluing, clever answers, or just because:

41A: Joie de vivre (vim). I just love the expression. A couple of weeks after I quit my job at the homeless shelter, one of the guests commented to a staff member that the joie de vivre was missing from the place. That's one of the nicest compliments I've ever received.

49A: Disturbs the peace, in a way (snores). It's clever, but it's really not funny to some of us (wink).

3D: Polish locale (nail). Yeah, I was trying to think of a place in Poland for the longest time.

18D: Symbol of blackness (soot) and 23D: Symbol of whiteness (snow). Very cool, although I wanted coal.

58D: Verbal elbow? (psst). That gets the award for the most clever clue and answer.

61D: "Where did __ wrong?" (I go). It seems we had a rather lengthy discussion on this answer once before...although this was a better clue for it.

62D: Bert Bobbsey's twin (Nan). That's been in the puzzle in the last few months. If we're ever asked about the second set of twins, their names are Flossie and Freddie. They're the blonde twins; Nan and Bert were brunettes. I loved The Bobbsey Twins...and Nancy Drew. I don't know how I feel about a new Nancy Drew. Well, actually, I do. I don't like it at all. It's like Betty Crocker. They should have left her alone. This woman is not Betty Crocker.

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
Just dropping in to compliment you on another good blog. You're #1 with me even if I don't always comment.

Thanks for your response on Rex's Wednesday blog about Della Street (and Gregg shorthand).

Concern over my husband's health has me up at this hour. But a visit with you is comforting. Thanks.


Linda G said...


Thanks for another reason to keep this blog going.

Concern over a loved one's health can be so's good to know that you find comfort here. My best to both of you.

Howard B said...

It's always nice to know that there's people that share your interest, especially for a pastime that although is pretty popular, is a bit difficult to talk about and share socially. That's where it's great to have people like yourselves who enjoy writing and sharing opinions - so thanks for the blogging :).
Jo, best wishes from here. My thoughts go out to you both. I know I'm just a stranger randomly wandering through the blog world, but I do hope everything turns out alright.

Anonymous said...

Awww, that is so sweet of you, Howard B. But I am not surprised; your reputation (for goodness) precedes you thanks to posts and comments on other blogs as well as this one. So you are not a stranger at all. Thank you so much.

I really do feel that I find a virtual family here with Linda G.


Anonymous said...

From the time warp (and thanks again for the shortcut HERE.)
I liked PSST too, when the elbow finally hit my ribs. Didn't see it coming . . .
I spent what seemed like a long time trying to find out where in SURPRISE the ART would go. Where's the symmetry in having the trick occur in the last word of only one of four themed answers? (Or is it just some rigidity in my aging brain.)
Never mind. Liked this one, and since I didn't have to google it couldn't have been a real Thursday!


cornbread hell said...

the betty crocker composite image concept is just bizarre. and she's not even holding a cake!

i 2nd the thanks for the HERE button.