Friday, September 7, 2007

Saturday, September 8 - Brendan Emmett Quigley

I know many solvers who are excited to see Brendan Emmett Quigley's name on the NYT puzzle. I'm one of them. But when I saw seven entries that spanned the grid--each fifteen characters long--I was ready to call it quits.

I'll be the first to admit that I Googled several answers. I also had some help from Don. He's not usually in the room when I solve, but he was tonight...and he knew a couple of things that had me stumped.

Every one of the long answers was a masterpiece...typical BEQ.

17A: It has a fast, easy gait (Tennessee Walker).

19A: Things you enjoy doing (active interests).

29A: Dish with tomato sauce (Spanish omelette).

36A: Area of W.W. II fighting (European Theater).

37A: Like Dacron (crease resistant). Once I had a couple of letters in place, this one was fairly easy.

47A: One working for a flat fee? (real estate agent). I was trying to come up with something a tow truck driver. Wrong kind of flat...

54A: Has an accommodating spirit (is eager to please).

I didn't have too many wrong answers, although I had an awful lot of blanks for an awful long time. The only wrong answer I remember is 3D: Wedding rentals (tents). I had tuxes...I'll bet more of those are rented than are tents.

With a puzzle like this, I start with the down clues. I would guess that many of you had the same approach. I had a few gimmes...not that they were very helpful.

1D: Spanish 101 verb (estar). I still confuse it with ser when I'm speaking Spanish, but I always get it right in the puzzle.

32D: Longtime "All Things Considered" host Adams (Noah). I know his name because I read a book he'd written, called "Piano Lessons." On a whim, he bought a Steinway piano ($11,000 +) and began taking lessons so that he could play Schumann's Traumerei as a Christmas gift for his wife. He did this in twelve months. I can't speak for any other piano student, but after twelve months of lessons, I was still in the beginner books. Hell, even after three years. Anyway...a good book and a fast read.

33D: Itself, in a Latin legal phrase (ipsa) in res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself). That's not to be confused with ipso facto (by the fact itself).

25D: Drink preference (neat). I don't drink Scotch, but if I did, that's how I'd drink it.

27D: Antique gun (sten). A word I learned from crosswords.

47D: Popular U.S. board game since 1959 (Risk). It was a toss-up between that and maybe that's more a good guess than a gimme.

43D: Some moldings (ogees). I learned this from the friend who started me on the New York Times puzzle more than thirty years ago. Carpentry was another of his active interests.

Other good clues/answers:

8A: Riddle ender (What am I). But it took me forever to get it.

16A: Still oblivious (no wiser).

21A: Marxist quality? (zaniness). I didn't notice the question mark, so I was thinking of the wrong Marx. Sheesh!

57A: Activity of an organism in response to light, e.g. (kinesis).

5D: Music symbol (breve). Alla breve is a term that's been in the puzzle more than once in the last couple of months.

30D: Reverse movement, of a sort (purl). Clever.

I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I'll wrap this up.

See you tomorrow.

Linda G


coachjdc said...

Had to google quite a bit on this one. The upper right really had me. I couldn't get past 17A not being WALTZ. After I checked here & spied TennesseeWALKER, I was able to finish that corner. Ended up doing this one in reverse. Got the bottom 1/3 first, then the middle and finally the top.

Linda G said...

Coach, I also tried to fit in WALTZ after I had TENNESSEE in place. My husband reminded me that gait probably meant horse. Without Google, I wouldn't be solving the weekend puzzles...although I have managed to do several Sundays without its help.

coachjdc said...

Never heard of a Tennessee Walker LOL

coachjdc said...

BTW- I found this blog by googling an obscure clue from some NYT puzzle & it popped up :-)

Linda G said...

And I'm glad you did :-)