Tuesday, September 18, 2007

September 19 - Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke

Before I go any further, I want to wish my younger brother, Tom, a very happy birthday. You might think that I just did that two weeks ago...but that was Michael, the older of the two. Growing up, I thought it was funny that they were one year and two weeks apart. Now I just feel sorry for my poor mother. Tom is spending his birthday in Las Vegas. He's one of the few successful gamblers I know. Happy birthday, Tom.

And now...on to the puzzle.

This isn't the first time that Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke have paired up to construct a puzzle, although it's been a few months since we've seen one. Until just this minute, I thought this was a themeless puzzle...but the theme just jumped out at me.

Baby animals.

18A: "Pretty Woman" and "Waiting to Exhale" (chick flicks).

28A: Actor who got his start on TV's "Gimme a Break!" (Joey Lawrence). This was the one that confused me. I totally spaced that a joey is a baby kangaroo.

48A: Shooter of westerns (Colt revolver).

62A: They're exercised when cycling (calf muscles).

The theme answers were relatively easy, but some of the non-theme answers had me stumped. I absolutely did not know 12D: Clinton adviser Harold (Ickes). I don't know why I thought Frisky was a dog...maybe because ours have been frisky with the recent cooler weather. Anyway, I had catnap for 8A: It makes Frisky frisky, rather than the correct catnip. They guy could have easily been Harold Ackes. In fact, that sounds like a much better name to me.

Other stumbling areas were remedied by crosses. I wasn't familiar with 45A: Hit Sega title character (Sonic), 55A: Gladly (leif), 67A: Opera's __ Te Kanawa (Kiri), 68A: Useful insect secretion (lac)...that's icky (57D: Totally gross)..., 21D: Old Turkish title (Bey), 25D: Fashion designer Elie (Saab), or 29D: Land on the end of a peninsula (oman).

Tripped over 47A: Gene material (RNA). Had DNA originally, which was making it near impossible to get an answer for 35D: With shaking hands, perhaps (nervously).

There were some excellent clues and answers in this one. My favorites include 26A: Like harp seals (earless), 40A: Archie Bunker, famously (bigot), 59A: Part of a metropolitan area (exurb)...I only got this because we just had it..., 70A: It's hard to believe (yarn), 3D: It's embarrassing to eat (humble pie), 10D: Those who don't behave seriously (triflers), 11D: Mother-of-pearl (nacre), and 39D: Automatic-drip machine maker (Mr. Coffee).

I just realized I'm doing the head-bob as I sit here, so I guess that means it's time to wrap it up and head for bed.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


QP said...

FRISKY from FRISKIES (cat food) I guess

Anonymous said...

One of the little things I check your post for is to find out what day it is. Today you just had the date. Oh, well.

I had no clue as to the theme. I need to do more critical thinking. Once you point it out, it all becomes clear. Why didn't I see that?

Kiri Te Kanawa is/was a big opera star in New Zealand. Although she's not a Maori, her husband is. Spent 2 weeks there 4 years ago;going back in January.

Never heard of leif or Elie Saab.

Linda G said...

I've been away from the computer for most of the (very long) day.

I don't know how I missed the day of the week in the heading. I hope you weren't confused all day, JD ; )

Anonymous said...

My husband, the antique music and record collector, says that Columbia made the first 33 1/3 recording in 1948. Since it was 3 letters, I told him the answer wd be RCA--and it was-- but it's wrong. He is seldom a help with clues, but THIS time he knew the right answer ...and the puzzle makers did not!
Elaine in Arkansas