Friday, July 20, 2007

Saturday, July 21 - Raymond C. Young

Only twenty-five black squares in this puzzle. On top of that, four horizontal stacks of 10-letter entries top and bottom...and 7-letter vertical stacks left and right.

And only four 3-letter words in the grid!

Mama Mia, that's a spicy puzzle!

I was pretty excited to get 1A: Faux pa? (stepfather) right off the bat. As it turns out, there were very few other gimmes in this one. The others were:

42A: __-Meal (vacuum food storage system) (Seal-a). I'm surprised to see that much detail in a Saturday clue, though.

11D: Italian for "sleeves" (manicotti). Growing up in an Italian household was good for many things, including knowing how to make the best spaghetti sauce, meatballs, lasagne and manicotti.

36D: Dessert Calvin doesn't like in "Calvin and Hobbes" (tapioca). At lunch recess one day, Calvin announces that he has "a thermos full of phlegm." Calvin and Hobbes is my all-time favorite cartoon strip. I'm sure that if I had a son, he would be Calvin...thank you, God.

Some things I absolutely did not know:

16A: Not yours, in Tours (à moi). I need to learn some French basics.

30A: "Moesha" actress Wilson and others (Yvettes). The only Yvette I know is Yvette Mimieux, who played a surfer with epilepsy in an episode of Dr. Kildare. That was more than 40 years ago...why do I remember that but I can't remember why I went into the kitchen?

7D: Special-__ (football players used only in specific situations) (teamers).

8D: French novelist d'Urfé (Honoré).

25D: Abalone (sea ear). That just looked too strange when I had *EAEA*

Good guesses that panned out:

32A: Jump provider: Abbr. (AAA). I had to call AAA a couple of weeks ago when my car wouldn't start. I placed the call at 4:15...they said they'd be there at 6:30. I hope my membership will be more valuable another time.

1D: Stir-fry vegetable (snap pea). Although I first had spinach, then snow pea.

41D: Weave a raised design into (brocade). I know it more as a noun than as a verb, but it works. Having the B in place helped me get 38A: Something often looked for on a rainy day (taxi cab)...which helped me get 23D: Scaling aid (ice axe). I just love how that works.

They stumped me on 15A: Helpful figures? (nine one one). Until I had several of the downs (which, by the way, is how I tackled this puzzle after the gimmes), I was clueless about this.

Because I had stepfather, I had the A in place to help me with 6D: He's a doll (Andy). My grandmother sent a Raggedy Anne and Raggedy Andy for my sister and sister wanted Anne, but I was quite happy to have Andy. I don't know where he is now...

Clever clue award goes to 18A: One given a staff position? (note). I didn't really get that answer. I saw it after I'd filled in all of the downs. But it was clever. Tonight I played a few notes on my piano. I hadn't touched it in almost six weeks. My bad.

And there's the completed grid. It doesn't look so great, but at least the solution isn't spoiled for those who aren't ready to see it.

The weekend's here. Enjoy it.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

//That was more than 40 years ago...why do I remember that but I can't remember why I went into the kitchen?//

Hoo boy, that's the $64,000 question. I can't stand how often that happens to me these days. I think the answer, sadly, lies in your reference to "more than 40 years ago." ;)

Calvin and Hobbes is my all-time fave comic too. I still have old strips on my refrigerator, one in particular where a pile of gross vegetables on his plate morphs into a gruesome actor delivering the 'To be or not to be' soliloquy from Hamlet and then ends up singing Feelings. I used to roll on the floor when he would deliver the results of his "polls" to his father. Bill Watterson lives somewhere in my general area of Northeast Ohio and I often feel like trying to coax him out of hiding. Sort of like the pilgrimage Joyce Maynard made to J.D. Salinger.

Keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

Fun, foody puzzle! I had FOOD GALORE for a long time before I figured out PLENTY MORE.

Linda, thanks for the reminder about the thermos full of phlegm! I had forgotten that gem!

Wendy, to coax Bill Watterson out of exile, you'd be doing a great service to humankind! Boy do I miss that hilarious kid and his goofy cat!

Me too, Linda (need to brush up on my French) but two names I'll not miss next time (?) are Abbe de l'Epee and Honore d'Urfe. They rhyme too much to sound real.

Linda G said...

When I had H*N**E, I wanted HENRIE. Sounds like a nice French name to me. But I won't miss it when it appears again.

I, too, would be delighted if you could coax Bill Watterson out of his exile, Wendy. I have a couple of C&H books, and I often read through others at the book store when I'm lounging...which I may do today. It's only in the high 90s, but with a humidity level that we're not used to here in the desert. Icky...sticky...

Anonymous said...

I REALLY liked the puzzle today. Was so proud when I got step-father right off the bat -- good sign maybe (realized though that some may be offended by the clue).

Loved nineoneone, plenty more, no taste, secret code. Plus, I got manicotti not even knowing what it meant! Aha! I'm getting better at this stuff.

I agree with what folks have said on other blogs about taxicab -- not all of us live in big cities. I was searching for an umbrella :) That's what I use. I COULD call a taxi but my heavens that would be pricey.

My biggest downfall -- read 38 D as "Specialty" instead of "Specially". That was costly from a solving standpoint.

Thanks again, Linda.