Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Thursday, July 5 - Elizabeth C. Gorski

The fireworks are almost over. In an effort to keep Dooley calm, we watched a movie tonight, so I didn't even start on the puzzle until 10:15. He's still under the effects of a tranquilizer, so he's happily snoozing as I write.

The puzzle's theme is revealed at 45A: Cable channel...with a hint to the answers to the five starred clues (TBS). The five theme answers--all TBs--are:

20A: Undersized bats and gloves, e.g. (T-ball equipment)

30A: Chophouse order (T-bone)

37A: Founder of Mesa Petroleum (T. Boone Pickens)

42A: Alternatives to rope tows (T-bars)

55A: Caucasus capital (Tbilisi, Georgia). This is my favorite answer of the bunch, and I got it with only two letters in place...the second G and the A. A few days ago I didn't know the place, but yesterday I had a reader from Tbilisi on this blog. It's such a kick to know that readers come from all over the world, and we all have the New York Times puzzle in common.

After an initial read-through of the clues, I had very little in place. I had a partial answer for 10D: Like Romulus and Remus (twin born). I originally had twin boys, then erased everything except twin. Another incorrect answer up in the NE at 16A: Like one leg of a triathlon (swum). I had swim, but that wasn't getting me an answer for 11D: Southern Methodist team, with "the" (Mustangs). That corner finally fell into place.

For some reason, though, the SE came together rather quickly. 45D: Turn on and off (toggle) was a gimme (or a good guess), as was 47D: Didn't split (stayed). Those were the two letters that gave me the long theme answer at 55-Down. I initially struggled with 53A: J.F.K.'s command (PT boat)...I was looking for something like "ask not." I know it wasn't a command, but it was a pretty strong suggestion.

62A: Serving from a grill (kabob) is my preferred spelling. I remember seeing it as kebab a few weeks ago. That just looks wrong.

When I see a clue like 14A: April Fools' Day baby and think astrological sign, it usually means I've been doing more puzzles than usual. It paid off this time...Aries.

Liked the cross of 23A: Accountant's advice (tax tip) and 3D: Mountaineering aid (ice axe).

Was very relieved to see that 23A: Accident letters was EMS, rather than my first thought...the very morbid DOA.

Some fill that you don't see every day:

41A: Dirty campaigner (smearer).'s such an ugly word.

5D: Strategies (game plans).

7D: Lubricate (oil up).

35D: Makes a very modest living (scrapes by).

37D: Stretchy attire (tube tops). I wanted something with lycra or spandex, but no dice. This works.

56D: Logical start? (ideo).

Did not know 63A: Relative of a plum (sloe). I know the word, and it's been clued several other ways...didn't know it was related to a plum.

Didn't recognize the quote in 18A: "A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly." It's from a poem called Cottleston Pie, by A. A. Milne. That's news to me.

Way past my bedtime, so I'll wrap it up. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


DONALD said...

Good to hear Dooley got a little treat for the 4th -- "Like...oh wow!...what's that noise...duh!" Mine is so old he just doesn't know what's going on -- so he made it through o.k.

Gorski's post-fourth of July puzzle really took a beating!

She'll get us good next time!

Anonymous said...

I wish someone would have "tranqued" me :) The "after fireworks" didn't end til after midnight here and I was trying to sleep.

Thanks, again Linda. Good write-up!

cornbread hell said...

i particularly liked this puzzle.

at first scan i had *t. boone pickens* because i set miles and miles of tile and stone at his manse a couple of years back. newspaper version had cut off the numbers for all of the across clues, which gave me an extra challenge and kept me from having *swum* through it too quickly!

alas. until i came here, i was wondering how/why *relative of a plum* could possibly be *slee.*

*bailOr* not i owe you a dollar?

Linda G said... can keep your money ; )

I just love getting comments from the past! If you ever subscribe online, I'd miss that.