Thursday, July 26, 2007

Friday, July 27 - John R. Conrad

I don't remember the last time I saw a rebus on a Friday...aren't they usually reserved for Thursdays and Sundays?

It didn't take me long to recognize it, though. I knew that 31A: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee known as the White Lady of Soul was Dusty Springfield. I just didn't know how to make it fit in the grid. My first guess was that RING would fit in one square, but the downs didn't cooperate. I had the BI in place at 2D: Went kaput...and then I saw it. Bit the dust! By the way, there's a lot more to Dusty Springfield's career than You Don't Have to Say You Love Me or Son of a Preacher Man. You can read more about her here.

Other theme answers are:

4A: Medevacs, in military slang (dustoffs), with 4D: Quarrel (dust up). Lucky guesses on both.

9A: Shop coat? (sawdust), with 12D: Furniture protector (dust cover).

37A: Nebulous stuff (interstellar dust), with 42D: Black & Decker offering (Dustbuster).

43D: Classroom sneeze elicitor (chalk dust), with 62A: Janitorial tool (dustmop). I had dustpan, dustbin...who'd have thought there would be so many janitorial tools with dust in the name?

57D: Cleaning product with the slogan "It's that fast" (Endust)...I know the product but have never heard the slogan...with 63A: Big band era standard (Stardust). That reminds me of a great tearjerker...Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, starring Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning. I should probably watch it again and see if I still like it as much as I think I do.

Things I didn't know:

15A: Officer slain in the Old Testament (Uriah). The only Uriah I know is Uriah Heep.

21A: City of canals (Osaka). I think I may have seen this before...but when I think of city of canals, I think of Venice.

29A: Cow (hector). I had to look this up to see the connection. I'd never heard it used that way.

51A: Food whose name is Italian for "feathers" (penne). I know the word, just didn't know its Italian meaning. In just one week, we know sleeves (manicotti) and feathers.

37D: Metal in the points of gold pens (iridium). If I've heard it before, I've forgotten it, although I was able to get it from crosses.

I was delighted to see 1D: Half of a 1970s-'80s comedy duo (Cheech). We spent far too many nights listening to Cheech and Chong. "Dave's not here!" was classic, but Sister Mary Elephant was also a favorite...maybe because I spent seven years in Catholic school.

Multiple word answers include 10D: very, very hot (at a boil), 25D: Absorbed (sopped up), 48D: Get divorced (end it), 46A: Billboard listing (hit tune), 49A: Puts together in a hurry (whips up).

I usually second-guess myself when I see a long answer that ends in I. They didn't trip me up at all this time, though, with 22D: It contains the elastic clause (Article I). It's also known as the necessary-and-proper clause. You can read more about it here.

They did trip me up with 27A: Kind of therapy. I thought of mental therapy, marital therapy, equine therapy, art therapy, everything but hormone therapy...can't see the forest for the trees, I guess.

44A: People people (celebs) was a good clue, and it's a good answer. But it seems as though there should have been an indication that the answer was abbreviated in some way...maybe adding "briefly" to the clue.

Don't know why I knew 50A: Wood smoother (adz), but I did. And it's a very cool word. A three-letter word with a Z? It doesn't get any better than that.

So here's the grid.

I wonder why I wrote the "dust" in Stardust top to bottom, when all the others were written bottom to top?

That's all for tonight. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

You are great at this.

I Googled one of these words and found you.

Now the puzzle is too easy.

Linda G said...

Not great...just determined. I still Google on some Friday and Saturday puzzles to get past a roadblock.

When I first started doing the NYT last year, I found Rex Parker's blog (see link in sidebar) the same way you found this one. I'd start reading to get a couple of the theme answers in place, then go back to the puzzle. Pretty soon I wasn't looking him up until I'd finished.

Whatever works ; )

Anonymous said...

Thanks for filling in a few today...two that had me stumped that you didn't mention were shako (8 down) and bev (23 across). Those were way obscure for me....

Andy G

Anonymous said...

Yep - I discovered you googling for "ENDUST". I do these things while taking the 22 Bus going down Clark Street in Chicago, and I truly hope my Blackberry can't access your blog for cheats along the way!

Anonymous said...

Very nice work Linda..and by the way, has anyone told you you look like Ava Gardner :-) (that's a joke)...Today's puzzle was really tough for me...I really don't like when they use multiple letters or words for a single space....

Fred M (calpoet)

Anonymous said...

Linda: I really enjoy your blog very much. I found you through Rex, and I found him accidently. Do you have a ranking? Rex claims to be the 166th greatest. How did he arrive at that number? Maybe by now he's 165th or 65th.Although you admitted googling, I'm sure your rating is pretty high.

I didn't know White Lady of Soul answer. Dust buster put me on the right track. I should have remembered Article 1 from constitutional law, too long ago.

I enjoy your comments and observations. Thanks


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your effort and for posting the cwp grid (with the right answers!)It does help a lot.
Got a question for you: When do you get the puzzle...I see your posting time says 10:28 PM(Last night?) Keep up the good work Linda G.

Norrin2 said...

"I wonder why I wrote the "dust" in Stardust top to bottom, when all the others were written bottom to top?"

That's easy because stardust has no place else to go but down.

And, Anonymous, Rex knows he's the 166th greatest crossword solver in the Universe because that was his ranking in the 2007 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Next year's tournament is in Brooklyn, you should come, it's a lot of fun, and you can find out where you rank in the crossword universe.

Robert Loy (the 148th greatest crossword solver in the universe.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that information. I'll try to make it to Brooklyn; I was born there many years ago in Bensonhurst. JD

Linda G said...

Back home after a day away from the computer. So nice to see comments from new readers. I hope you'll come back often ; )

Andy, shako and Bev were two I only got from crosses. Keep at it.

Steve, getting a few answers from a blog isn't cheating...neither is Googling (refer to my comment above). I consider both to be learning processes ; )

Fred, I really look like that. That's REALLY a joke. A rebus is a bit tougher, but the aha moments are so much more rewarding.

JD, I didn't go to last year's tournament but am looking forward to Brooklyn. If I end up 600 out of 700, I'll be happy. Rex and Robert are rightfully proud of their finishing spots...but I don't think ACPT was attended by solvers from any other planet, much less any other solar system, galaxy or parallel universe ; )

Anonymous (at 12:58), I subscribe to the New York Times online. The puzzle is available at 10:00 pm their time, which is 8:00 Mountain time (earlier on the weekends). A yearly subscription is around $38, but you can try it for a month for maybe $7. They don't pay bloggers to plug their service...but it's well worth it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the "plug" for the online version. I actually do subscribe online, though wasn't aware it was available at 10 PM the night before. It's great to find someone like you who is so commited to improving the crossword puzzle skills as well as gaining more knowledge about different things in life.
Thanks again,
Jaya B (anonymous at 12:58)

Linda G said...

Jaya...that's a much nicer name than Anonymous at 12:58!

Now you can start solving the day before! And on Saturday and Sunday (for the Sunday and Monday puzzles), they publish at 6:00 EST.

Thanks again for the kind comments.

cornbread hell said...

I wonder why I wrote the "dust" in Stardust top to bottom, when all the others were written bottom to top?

it's the only one without a number in the upper left corner...given the choice, you are evidently a top to bottomer. whatever that means.

favorite things besides the fun of figuring out the theme: filch for cop, hose for rip off, the new-to-me-word shako (which i will feature in my blog later tonight) and DUSTY SPRINGFIELD.