Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friday, September 21 - Paula Gamache

Hello, friendly readers. Howard B here. I'm doing my best to stand in for Linda, who is happily vacationing even as you read these words. Speaking of words (not to mention bad segues), we're here today to enjoy the Friday offering by Paula Gamache - a crazy little themeless construction which includes nine 15-letter Across entries.

Ready? Off we go.

Some of those fun Across answers:

1A: Just the pits (AS BAD AS BAD CAN BE) - Special today, you get six words for the price of one! Great, commonly heard clue and answer pair.

Political mini-theme, including:

37A: The "Randi Rhodes Show" network (AIR AMERICA RADIO) - I believe this is the first reference to this station that I've seen in a puzzle. Pretty cool. Also,

53A: Left-of-center party member (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT) - Just as I was noticing these two answers representing one side of the aisle, crossing this answer was 47D: Rove in politics (KARL). That's some democracy in action right there.

(Edited): I completely missed the political reference in 16-Across, so I've moved it to the mini-theme section. Thanks!
16A: Classic line of debate? (THERE YOU GO AGAIN) - This one stumped me for a while. Thanks to fellow blog denizens Crossword Fiend and Rex Parker, I now know this is a Reagan reference. Also check their sites for more info.

And a smaller answer, but just as much fun,
23A: Food whose name means "little sash" (FAJITA). To think they never taught this in Spanish class. On top of that, now I'm hungry.

Other acrosses included LITTLE OR NOTHING, OVER AND DONE WITH, MAKE A RESOLUTION, ANY PORT IN A STORM, and the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. Fun stuff, for the most part. Congratulations to Ms. Gamache for fitting all this in there.

Not to ignore the Down answers, but many of them were clued very straightforwardly. Here's a couple that stood out:

11D: String player? (CAT): Awww, cute :).

21D: They may give you a seat (CANERS) - OK, I groaned at that one, but I'm a sucker for that type of clue.

Also the DARK ARTS, split between 52D and 4D.

Here's the puzzle in AcrossLite, as I was a bit short on time and couldn't do the handwritten/scanner thing today.
If anything is wrong, feel free to comment - got in late last night, and my thoughts were likely a bit fuzzy (as if you can't tell from my writing).
Have a great day, post away, and make Robert feel welcome when he guest-blogs tomorrow.

Howard B


Anonymous said...

Great job. I would never have known you weren't Linda.

Norrin2 said...

Great job, Howard. "Fajita" and "Tamale" were the last words I got in this puzzle. "Little sash" sounded so Italian I couldn't think of anything but pasta. Thomas PAINE should probbaly be considered part of the political mini-theme and unfortunately, getting caught "in a lie" probably should too.

Anonymous said...

What about "inept"? About as political a word as one can get these days.

Howard B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard B said...

(My own previous comment deleted due to some horrendous typos).

Thanks much. Hope it helped a few stumped solvers out there. Despite having never met Linda in person, I think the odds are still fairly good that we are not clones or long-lost identical twins :).

Very good points on those other "theme" entries. In my bleary-eyed solving/blogging session last night (after returning from a friendly get-together at a local brewpub) I neglected to notice the connections.

Considering my alcohol tolerance level, it's really a wonder the whole post didn't resemble Swedish, Esperanto or possibly Klingon Pig Latin. I'll depend on the kindness of solvers to find any other gems in there.

To say nothing of running face-first into a Byron Sun puzzle after that, but that's more of an experience for your blog, Robert :).

meme said...

thanks for your help. best thing for me, i was able to read the answers which were boldly printed. linda uses a pencil (i think) and old tired eyes need more help.

Anonymous said...

Norrin -- I agree I was SO thinking about pasta for that. Wrong dang country! I hate it when that happens : )

Howard -- great write-up! Thanks so much for filling in.

I loved 1A, 16A, and 17A.

Great puzzle all around IMO.

Glad Linda is getting a much needed vacation but happy to have the guest bloggers.


Howard B said...

Kitt, meme, you're quite welcome. It's always good to help in some small way.

I believe Linda writes in pen, but remember, if you have trouble viewing any grid, click on the grid itself to view the larger version of the picture - that should help you out with viewing all of the puzzles.

Have a good night, and good luck with tomorrow's puzzling.

Anonymous said...

I am one of thoe seeing the puzzle 6 weeks later. Is there anywhere that the time to complete a given puzzle is posted ? - TIA, chazzchezz

Linda G said...

chazzchezz...six weeks later and Hawaii is a memory. Sigh...

As far as I know, there are no time limits posted for nontournament puzzles. If you visit Diary of a Crossword Fiend (click on link in sidebar), she posts her times for NYT and several other puzzles. But she is a super-fast solver...most people are happy with three times her solving time.

Hope that helps.