Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thursday, July 12 - Michael Shteyman

It's Thursday, and I was half-expecting a rebus...so I was pleasantly surprised to see a themed puzzle instead.

Michael Shteyman used his brain on this one. That was the theme, revealed at 65A: Word that can precede the starts of 17-, 35- and 54-Across and 16-Down. The four theme answers are:

17A: It might help you take a turn for the better (power steering).

35A: Ten minutes in a laundry, maybe (wash cycle).

54A: "You'll have to take my word for it" (trust me on this). For the record, I never trust anyone who has to tell me to trust him or her.

16D: Low pressure area (storm center).

Three of them were obvious--brainpower, brainwash and brainstorm--but I don't get brain trust. It is one of those things that will embarrass me when someone points it out?

Things I absolutely did not know:

30A: Emperor under Pope Innocent III (Otto IV). I knew he was either a IV or a V, because I had 31D: Letters on a Rémy Martin bottle (VSOP).

8D: Yellow spring flower (oxlip). I had oxeye...I would almost swear that's a yellow flower, too.

33D: Jewish month (Elul).

41D: Egg-laying mammal (echidna). I'd be surprised if very many people had heard of this, unless it's been in the puzzle more than once.

I remember the Lennon Sisters well, but I could only think of Kathy, Peggy and Janet. Because I knew 61D: Highest tile value in Scrabble (ten), I knew it ended with an E, but thought maybe it was Kathie. Eventually figured out it was Dianne.

Some things I loved:

14A: Wearing white after Labor Day, e.g. (faux pas). I don't just love the answer, I love the clue. That was always a big thing when I was growing up. To this day, when I see someone wearing white shoes in the fall (or, God forbid, in the winter!) I just shudder. Sometimes I even say Ugh! (38D: I hate it!). Because I do. And the only thing that's worse is wearing black hose with the white shoes...you know, to make it look more wintry.

32A: Early Surrealist (Max Ernst). I didn't just love this because it had another X, but that certainly didn't hurt.

49D: Titillating (juicy). What a juicy clue! I already had 48A: Pilgrim to Mecca (Hadji), so I knew that's what it had to be. Actually, I had Hajji for some time. That wouldn't have happened if they'd properly clued it as Jonny Quest's best friend.

And we have not just one--but two--of the infamous childhood taunts in one puzzle. 25D: Word repeated in a child's taunt (liar) and 50D: Kindergarten comeback (is too).

59A: Informal words of concurrence (me either) threw me off a bit. I had *EEIT*** and it didn't look as though anything would fit in there.

Well, here it is almost 11:00, and I have an early morning ahead of me. Be sure to check out Green Genius, where Howard B dishes up Sun commentary for the vacationing Robert.

Hope to see all of you tomorrow.

Linda G

6 comments:

Wendy said...

Linda, a brain trust is a group of people who act as unofficial advisers to someone or an organization, a term common in the business world, I guess. Another term I hear a lot in this context is 'kitchen cabinet'. Basically have no power on paper but often lots of power and influence in reality because they are trusted by the person or organization - for better or worse.

DONALD said...

Thanks for explaining "white after Labor Day" -- I couldn't imagine what was wrong with wearing same after that particular date.

Now I know -- ha, I wear black!

jlsnyc said...

the best "no white after labor day" reference i know is from john waters' serial mom:
---------
[Juror #8 is talking on a payphone, when Beverly comes up behind her and grabs the phone from her]

Beverly Sutphin: You can't wear white after Labor Day!

Juror #8: That's not true anymore.

Beverly Sutphin: Yes it is! Didn't your mother tell you?

[She whacks her in the face with the phone]

Juror #8: No! Please! Fashion has changed!

Beverly Sutphin: No... it hasn't.

[She hits her again]
-----------------
beverly sutphin -- kathleen turner. juror #8? patty hearst...

;-)

janie

cornbread hell said...

another great puzzle imoo, but you and i had totally different solving experiences.

-i left one square blank: the V in VSOP. never heard of it and didn't know if OTTO was a II or an IV.

-brain TRUST gave me the theme.

-ECHIDNA was a gimme having seen a story about them and their sticky tongues on the animal channel just last night. phew!

-kathy was Always my favorite lennon sister so you can bet i knew it wasn't *kathie.* (oh, such fond memories. hahahahaha)

...and speaking of some of y'all being tired of finding *bra* in the puzzle, how'd you feel about TITILLATING (JUICY) today?

Linda G said...

Good job on the puzzle, cornbread. You're such a pig...I'm so glad you visit (and comment) often!

cornbread hell said...

who you callin' a pig? ouch.

btw, i did blog the puzzle.

it's kinda clumsy, but at least i tried. and the effort gave me a whole new respect for you daily x-word bloggers.