Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sunday, July 29 - Brendan Emmett Quigley

Th-Th-Th-That's all folks! is the theme of this delightful puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley. After my disaster with yesterday's puzzle, this was a welcome sight.

The eight theme answers are all common phrases, with TH added at the end. The new phrases are then clued in sometimes amusing ways.

23A: Somebody else's soaking dentures? (not one's cup of teeth). This one may be my very definitely made me laugh more than any of the others.

37A: Ghost in a battery? (cathode wraith). This was one of the last to fall. I had to look up wraith, though, as I'd never heard of it.

62A: Avoid being captured by guitarist Richards? (escape Keith). I got this one right away. Since I didn't get the theme at that point, though, it made no sense WhatSoEver.

70A: Baby twins? (double youth). I got this one after 62A, and then the theme began to take shape.

92A: Sherlock at the Space Needle? (Seattle sleuth). I had just blogged the other day about wanting to visit Seattle again so I could go to the Space Needle. This blog is infused with ESP.

109A: Billionaire's last dollar (bottom of the wealth).

16D: Good eating and clean living? (highway to health). This is the road I'm on...most of the time.

43D: Very detailed scope? (thorough breadth). I really struggled with this one. I had no clue that 42A: Wing: Prefix was pter, and the only Comedian Jay (48A) that I know is Leno, which did not help. Jay Mohr? Never heard of him.

Was also stumped by 48D: Wife, colloquially (Missis). I've never cared for the expression, but I spelled it Missus--the preferred spelling. Without the I in 69A: Fed-up cry (I quit), I was in a mess of hurt over there. Here's how I got out:

I used Dogpile, (All the best search engines piled into one.) to figure out pter. Then I guessed that H was the second letter of 43D. Knowing the P also opened up 42D: Some residents, by census classification (POSSLQS), the plural of a 1970s acronym for Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters. Read more about POSSLQ here, including a cute little poem that you can share with your POSSLQ. Once I had the Q in place, I was able to get I quit...and then I didn't have to!

As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with Googling (or Dogpiling) to get through a roadblock. Once I cleared up that section, the puzzle was finished.

I also committed a major faux pas at 1A: Basis for the first commercially successful video game (ping pong). I knew the answer, and I thought I had written the answer...but when I was working the downs, I was having problems in two areas. Couldn't figure out 1D: Remains undecided (pends) or 5D: Batter's material (pine sap). Then it hit me. While thinking ping pong, what I actually wrote was King Kong...and kends made no sense, nor did kinetar (which I was pronouncing in my head with the accent on the first syllable...KIN-e-tar). I can't explain what happened, but I may have had Donkey Kong on the brain as I was writing.

44A: Their mascot is Handsome Dan (Elis) may have thrown a few people. If the answer had been Yale, the clue word have said "its" mascot. In this case, then, plural meant Elis. Hooray!

I was totally embarrassed to write the answer for 9D: Farm animal, in kidspeak (moo cow). I'm even more embarrassed to confess that it was a gimme.

My best wrong answer of the puzzle (well, aside from the huge areas described above) was at 29A: One who might stand in front of a map (teacher). I remembered being in New York City and staring at a Metro map, when a kind local offered to help us out. For that reason, I had tourist...a very good wrong answer.

An interesting progression from the northeast corner...moving south and west from there we have 16A: Mugger? (ham), 54A: Whence the phrase "Brevity is the soul of wit" (Hamlet), and 79A: Skywalker portrayer (Hamill).

Two things from recent puzzles that didn't trip me up this time. 76A: Isolate (enisle) and 116A: Get set (orientate). Orientate still bugs me, but I got it, and I'm happy.

63D: Spitting sound (ptui) made me laugh. It also reminded me of Rex Parker's Great Pfui Controversy. You can read all about that here. Who would have thought that either of those words would rhyme with something?

Growing up in West Palm Beach, Florida, I knew 28A: Palm Beach county city, for short (Boca). Its full name is Boca Raton, which means Rat's Mouth...isn't that delightful? While we made the trip up the coast and back several times, we didn't usually take 73D: Route from Me. to Fla. (U.S. One). That would have taken forever.

Deity times two...39D: Egyptian god of wisdom (Thoth) and 68A: Deity featured on California's state seal (Athena).

I knew 87D: Apostle known as "the Zealot" was Simon, but there were seven spaces...took but a few seconds to realize St. Simon was what they wanted.

I didn't know 24D: Quinces, e.g. was pomes, but I was able to get it from the crosses. My favorite cross was at the M...33A: Life stories (memoirs).

Well, it's close to midnight, so I'd better wrap this up. Our older daughter brought her new boyfriend home to meet us (thankfully, she broke the engagement we weren't too happy about), and we took them out to dinner. They'll head back to Colorado Springs tomorrow--about a 6-hour drive. Don and I were both very impressed with Mike. He's six years older than Elaine and is gainfully employed with an excellent work ethic. I guess time will tell where this goes.

Here's the completed grid, which I didn't check on AcrossLite. If you see any errors, please post in the comments section.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


DONALD said...

It was, as you say, a fun puzzle -- I have reservations, but maybe it 's just me. I did so much outside work yesterday that my brain was drained -- have awonderful Sunday afternoon!

Anonymous said...

I was patting myself on the back for a job well done when I read your answer to 92A, Seattle Sleuth. I'm ashamed to admit it but I had "seat the sleuth". To me it made perfect sense since 93D "hit out" also made perfect sense. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.

rock rabbit said...

I had tourist, too! A better answer, I think. And thanks to your previous blog, I nailed Seattle sleuth!

My most embarrassing almost-wrong answer was NYE. There is a blvd in my town named Bill Nye, and for that reason, I resisted the urge to fill in the correct answer for a long, long time. Why would our little town have a blvd named after a PBS science star? I have since found that there must be two "famous" Bill Nyes. The first one is a Western character who lived here in the 19th century.... Doh! Maybe I shouldn't be admitting this? Well, that's what I love about the puzz. I keep larnin' and it don't feel like work.

Fascinating about the origin of Boca Raton's name..... why in the world would anyone name it that? I only got the answer because I used to be a big fan of BOCA burgers, ie. save the MOO COWs, ie. NO MEAT.

Thanks for your fun blog.

marybishop said...

Hey thanks so much for explaining what on earth posslqs meant. I do the puzzle every Sunday and usually have no problems but even though I did end up with the above letters, I still didn't know what on earth it meant and it bothered me enough to do a blog search to see if someone else was going insane over that clue.

Again, thanks.

spedlady said...

Diamondbacks are Arizona baseball team.

stucknkc said...

Brutal. I misinterpreted the theme and thought there would be stutters in the theme answers. So I had NOTONESCHCHOPPERS and ELUDEKKEITH. I was sitting there thinking "This isn't very PC." Should've went farther with that thought.

Not that it would've have made much difference, but:

1. I had MISSUS also, MISSIS seems like a stretch
2. POSSLQS is beyond the pale - too obscure
3. OFFYEAR doesn't correlate well to slump, slumps would generally be considered shorter than season-long.

Sour grapes? Yes.

Can relate to the children's significant other rollercoaster ride. Have two in their early 20's.


coonbillybob said...

I stumbled on your blog while looking for help....what a cute puzzle....only thing....I got pinetar instead of pinesap for 5d...

Anonymous said...

94D Not impressed

Only in America!!!!