Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunday, August 19 - Elizabeth C. Gorski

The theme of Elizabeth Gorski's Sunday puzzle is BURIED TREASURE, with gold (AU) hidden in the puzzle.

The theme is revealed at 26A: With 113-Across, 1972 song lyric hinting at this puzzle's theme: I'VE BEEN A MINER FOR A/ HEART OF GOLD, with theme tie-ins at 64D: Like 113-Across (BY NEIL YOUNG) and 68D: Atomic number of the special parts of this puzzle which, when connected, form a 113-Across (SEVENTY-NINE).

The buried treasure is found in ten squares:

33A: Scene (TABLEAU), crossing with 27D: Lover boy (BEAU).

36A: Victorians, e.g. (AUSSIES)...with 28D: Overseas Mrs. (FRAU).

39A: Outdoor shindigs (LUAUS)...with 34D: Letters from Greece (TAUS).

41A: "Your mother wears army boots!," e.g. (TAUNT)...with 35D: Mideast's House of __ (SAUD).

58A: "Homage to Clio" poet (AUDEN)...with 58D: Author who wrote "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other" (AUSTEN). An exceptional literary cross.

59A: Some shavers (BRAUNS)...with 54D: Extol (LAUD).

61A: Pianist Claudio (ARRAU)...with 62D: Independent examinations (AUDITS).

77A: Child-care provider (AU PAIR)...with 77D: Sound (AUDIO).

79A: Capital city about an hour by plane from Miami (NASSAU)...with 80D: Carpentry tool (AUGER).

97A: European air hub (DeGAULLE)...with 100D: Park Avenue, for one (AUTO).

This was just plain fun. Once you got the gist of this theme, you pretty much knew that buried treasure would be in the symmetrically opposite square...well, except for one. Those nine squares in the center were the absolute last to fall for me...for that very reason.

A puzzle like this has to have left/right symmetry, similar to Tyler Hinman's a couple of weeks ago. It made it a little harder for me to figure out which square was the opposite, symmetrically speaking, but that didn't diminish from the overall pleasantness of the puzzle.

Clever cluing all over the place...

6A: Strands in a diner (spaghetti). A gimme.

21A: One who keeps a beat? (patrolman).

25A: Just above average (C plus). These typically trip me up, but not today.

83A: Music unlikely to be played at a party (dirge).

106A: It's often "proud" (sponsor).

119A: JalapeƱo feature (tilde).

3D: Tropical cave dwellers (fruit bats).

16D: Locked up (in prison).

70D: Kind of platter (pupu).

Several things were unknown to me. I got most of them from the crosses, but had to Google to confirm a letter when the crosses were equally unknown.

45A: Classic Atari game (Asteroids). Not something I ever played.

52A: "Typee" sequel (Omoo). Knew of Omoo, knew that Melville wrote it...just didn't know it was a sequel.

10D: Bill who created the comic strip "Smokey Stover" (Holman). Sorry, I've never heard of Bill Holman or his comic strip.

11D: Missy __ with the 2002 hit "Work It" (Elliott). Easy enough to guess that one, but I had no clue.

17D: Deep black garnets (melanites). Have never heard of them.

66D: 1954 Jean Simmons movie (Desiree).

There's so much more good stuff in this puzzle. How about commenting on one or two of your favorites.

Here's the grid. I'm happy that the heart of gold shows.

And I'm off to bed. See you tomorrow.

Linda G


DONALD said...

My comment is that I loved your commentary!

Anonymous said...

my name is janie and i'm a serial blog-reader... in case you aren't, apologies for what's going to look like deja-vu all over again, but -- learned via the nyt forum that today is chinese valentine's day. cool, no? the lunar calendar is responsible for the fluctuating date of the holiday (the article is old...), but read all about it:

be mine



Linda G said...

Donald, that's a comment that's always appreciated!

Janie, thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

I told Orange last night that I had exciting news that I'd share in the Sunday puzzle blog. It didn't seem appropriate at the start, then at the end...well, I was tired.

Elaine and her boyfriend, Mike, came down yesterday, and Mike asked Don for Elaine's hand in marriage. We were both touched by it. At dinner last night, Mike proposed to Elaine and gave her a ring. The funny part...the waiter came by to see if we wanted anything else. Just in time to see Mike slip the ring on Elaine's finger. He was so flustered! I guess he'd never walked in on that before!

July 26, 2008...I probably won't blog that day ; )

Anonymous said...

congrats, don and linda g!! let the games begin, indeed -- and all best to elaine and mike!



Anonymous said...

and could today's puzzle have been more timely or what?!


Anonymous said...

Linda g,

Thank you so much for drawing the golden color on the buried treasure so that I could follow the "seventy nine labyrinth!" Even though I finished the puzzle with all the aus in their slots, somehow I did not "take the treasure of the golden heart out of the mine." But seeing is believing so as soon as I saw what you had done, I knew what I also needed to do. I feel like a copycat but hey, if this supports the endeavor of completing the project with a reward, it is so worth it. After drawing the heart on my puzzle sheet, I become more aware of the importance of the "I" inside the heart, as well as the grid that looks like the pyramid.

I enjoy your blog and congratulations to a very proud mom and dad.

Note- another asymmetrical puzzle!

I'll visit you tomorrow again.
Jaya B

Anonymous said...

For the first 10 minutes or so of this puzzle I was feeling very annoyed. It was bugging me : )

As soon as I figured out the "au" theme(first, with Luaus)I started to like it a lot. VERY clever puzzle and fun.

Congrats Linda! I'm glad a few things are going better on the home front.

Anonymous said...

I found this very difficult. I'm ashamed to admit that since Rex evaluated it as "easy". I figured "au" pretty quickly with 97A "Degaulle". It went down hill from there.

The SE corner totally through me. I guess I'm having a bad day.

A belated Happy Anniversary.

cornbread hell said...

hardly asymmetrical. i loved the beautiful mirror symmetry and so much more of this puzzle. anything neil young wins my heart...

some favorites:

victorians = aussies.(i had austere for too long. dumb.)
"your mother wears combat boots" = taunt. ahahahaha i love it.
jalapeno feature = tilde.
pepper and others = sgts!
and loved seeing references to "mr. toad" and "smokey stover."

must go see what rex has to say about smokey stover.

oh, & congrats 6 weeks late.

cornbread hell said...

p.s. those 9 center squares were my very last, too.

and never heard of anna smashnova before, but thought, "what a hilarious name for a tennis star."

ok, now i'll leave you alone.

Linda G said...

If I said it was asymmetrical, I meant that it wasn't standard crossword symmetry.

And the Sunday puzzle's only a week behind, so you're only a week late with congratulations ; )

cornbread hell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cornbread hell said...

oops. no, that was in response a comment made above by *jaya b.*

hey, i'm seriously considering a guest-blogship post. what day(s) do you have open?
if you want, you can respond to: otis at livefrommayyberryjail dot com.

[thanks for the heads up on that email address thing, linda. i sure wouldn't want any crazy crossword types contacting me.]

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I don't like the puzzles that have two letters in one box, it irritates me. Especially on Sundays since they're so much bigger. BTW I couldn't get by without this blog, it's great.

Linda G said...

Tara, I have to admit that it took me some time to really appreciate the rebus puzzles...but now I love them. Thanks for your nice comment about the blog ; )