Sunday, July 29, 2007

Monday, July 30 - Elizabeth A. Long

These are the kind of sports clues even I can get!

The three theme answers are plays on the names of well-known stars, all clued as sports-related puns.

20A: Game equipment for an old sitcom star? (Lucille's ball).

35A: Game location for an actress? (Sally's field).

52A: Game site for a popular singer? (Neil's diamond).

Not a particularly exciting theme...but until I construct a puzzle myself and see all the work that it entails, I'm not about to criticize one that's been completed AND published in the New York Times. Instead, I'm more likely to focus on what I found to like (and sometimes flat out admire) in a puzzle.

The only word I didn't know was 24A: Organic salt (oleate), but it was easy to get from pretty fine crosses, all words you don't often see in a puzzle.

6D: Faithfulness (fidelity). A very important word in relationships...all of them.

7D: Licoricelike flavor (anise). My favorite hard candy flavor, although it's often hard to find.

8D: Hand-to-hand fighting (combat) and 9D: 8-Down ender (treaty).

An expression I remembered from my days as a paralegal is 42D: A __ (kind of reasoning) (priori).

Other good fill:

2D: Prefix with suppressive (immuno).

29D: Go all out (splurge). My prescription for something for others (besides your spouse and/or children) every day, but splurge on yourself at least once a week. This could include going to a spa (38D: Place for a mud bath). It's a fact (6A: Fiction's opposite)...a mud bath is an excellent use of an hour or two.

45D: Bellyache (grouse) reminds me that I did that too often this week. It really doesn't get me anywhere.

50D: Winston Churchill flashed it (V-sign). Thankfully, this wasn't an R-rated answer. I mean, the thought of Winston Churchill flashing anything else is just...not something I want to imagine.

We have two Bible words in this puzzle. 23A: Son of Seth (Enos) and 49A: Carved, as an image (graven). Those Old Testament folks were warned not to worship graven images, but that didn't stop them. It really ticked God off. I'm not telling the end of the need to read it yourself.

It made me laugh to see 58A: When repeated, classic song with the lyric "Me gotta go" (Louie). We used to think the lyrics were so bad. Actually, what was bad was what we thought they were saying!

It's nice to see a Pantheon favorite make another appearance. 57A: Mélange (olio). I don't remember if Isis is in the Pantheon...she appears at 59A, clued as Rainbow goddess. [Update: Thanks to profphil for pointing out that the rainbow goddess is Iris. See comment for detail on Isis. That makes the down cross ERA, rather than ESA...what Donald called Earned Strike-out Average!]

My favorite word in the puzzle is 38A: Major mix-up (snafu). Situation normal, all fouled up...or however you choose to say it.

We had a very enjoyable dinner with Elaine and her new boyfriend, Mike. He's a likeable young man with impeccable manners, a strong work ethic, and an obvious devotion to our daughter. I'm a believer in love at first sight, but falling in love is the easy part...staying in love is the challenge. I hope they're equal to the task.

Here's the completed grid... [ISIS/ESA should be IRIS/ERA as noted above.]

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Good job. However, isn't Iris the rainbow goddess?

DONALD said...

ESA? Earned Strike-Out Average? Change that to ERA -- Earned Run Average -- a baseball-related way to give "time" a different clue.

Nice write-up!

Linda G said...

More proof that I don't know anything about sports!

My mythology professor would be sad to see that I confused my goddesses. Isis was one of my favorites. Her husband, Osiris, was killed by Set, and his body scattered all over Egypt. Isis found 13 of the 14 pieces, then constructed a gold penis (to replace the one swallowed by a fish). She then put his body back together and they conceived a son, Horus.

I am not making any of this up. I just confirmed the story on Wikipedia. I didn't know how many pieces there had been.

Anyway, thanks, profphil and Donald.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about Churchill is even funnier in light of the specifics of Osiris' story. Heehee. Thanks for a smile, Linda, and have a nice Monday!

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Iris but Isis is
not in the (Greek) pantheon. She and her buddy Osiris are Egyptian. Frankly I filled in ERA and never gave the resulting 'Iris' a second thought until I read the Blog.

Anonymous said...


Linda was not referring to the Greek Pantheon but to Rex Parker's list of oft-used crosswordese which he playfully has dubbed "The Pantheon." However Isis is part of the Egyptian Pantheon.

Linda G said...

Thanks, profphil. I was in the process of writing a comment to that effect.

drbob, I've gone back to the post and linked to Rex's Pantheon for your reading pleasure ; )

Anonymous said...

Hello Linda,
Since everybody else is talking about iris and isis and era and esa...I thought I would share how I came upon your site and your blog, which is SO fun to read. Last Wednesday, July 25th '07, I was googling "Cockney abode" and was directed to your link.
Again, it's been really fun to come to your site. Thank you.
Jaya B

LindaBudz said...

OK, I looked at your grid and that is exactly what I had (with the iris/era thing correct), but the NYT site kept telling me it was incorrect (I was solving online). I went over my whole puzzle three times and did not see a typo, so I'm not sure why it was doing that! Would be interested in knowing if any other online solvers had a problem yesterday.

BTW, I finished tonight's puzzle correctly, in 10 mins. and 37 seconds. Not exactly a record for a Tuesday puzzle, I guess, but at least it accepted it!

Loving your blog, Linda, and thanks for letting me vent! :)

Linda G said...

Jaya, it's nice to 'ave you visit and comment...and thanks for sharing 'ow you found the blog ; )

Lindabudz, I haven't a clue what the problem might be. I haven't read comments anywhere about problems on the site yesterday, but that doesn't mean they didn't occur for others.

It's after nine...I'd better get on the Tuesday puzzle myself. Not that I'll beat your time. Good job.