Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sunday, September 23 - David Levinson Wilk

Good Sunday morning, everyone! Evad behind the blogger desk for a vacationing Linda G. today. And welcome to fall...summer officially ended early this morning with the Autumnal Equinox *sighs* How many of you did all the things during summer that you had hoped to?

Today's theme is a shout out to one of the icons of departing summer, Flip-flops.
The theme entries take phrases that have the word FOR in the middle and switch what precedes the FOR with what follows it; in essence, doing a flip-flop around the word FOR.

The theme entries were a bit awkward, but a few gems were to be found:

- BROKE FOR GO - "Rolled sixes while on Water Works, in Monopoly" which is a pretty long clue for a short phrase...the mathematician in me wonders why Water Works was chosen--it's 12 spaces away from "Go", so one could possibly get there in one roll.
- KEEPS FOR PLAY - "Doesn't throw away, as a stage prop?" I'd prefer a "the" before play to have this make more sense
- COMPLIMENTS FOR FISH - "What a sushi chef loves to hear?" Getting better with this one

- THE BEST FOR WORKOUT - "'8 Minute Abs,' according to some?" Well, not me--I can hardly expect anything taking 8 minutes to be a good workout!
- A DAY FOR KING - "January 15" another good entry
- LOST TIME FOR MAKEUP - "Was late to an appointment at the cosmetician?"
- KNOWLEDGE FOR THIRST - "What scientists working for Gatorade have?" Here, the "for" is trying to work as "about" and isn't as effective
- APPLES FOR BOB - "Dylan not liking Dell computers?" What would Bob Dylan be using a computer for, one wonders?
- ALL FOR FREE - "Like pro bono work?" Hurrah for those who work for the underprivileged!

That's a lot of theme to stuff into a 21x21 grid--125 squares by my count. Despite that, some nice fill ties it all together. JUMBO SIZE and APARTHEID straddle the central theme entry, with the trio of GOOD OMEN (anyone know why the Greeks think birds flying by on the right is one?), UNKEMPT, and NO EVIL; and then the corresponding PARTERRE (which, along with a rear seating section in a theater, can refer to flower beds of different sizes), WISTFUL and HENRY I standing guard at the far corners. I've heard of a papal NUNCIO, but didn't know the term was derived from the Latin for "envoy." Speaking of foreign words, the foreign dictionaries did get a bit of a workout (and more than 8 minutes for me!) this morning: BUONO, JOIE, EIN, BAJA, BASTA, FLOR, FINI, and OUI OUI all find their ways from foreign shores to our puzzle today.

Some good clues--I always enjoy the "40% of fifty?" clue (EFS, or the letter "F"), TOTAL for "Unadulterated" (I think of pure first, but I see that absolute or out-and-out are related meanings), and GOSSIP for "Dish."
COCKLE shells remind me of my father, who loved the Irish ballad of sweet Molly Malone with the line, "Crying cockles and mussels, Alive, Alive-O." We learn that TET is a "Three-day holiday" (American puzzle solvers probably know more about TET than the Vietnamese do!) I also learned about the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Shirley Ann GRAU, who hails from New Orleans. A clunker for me was TENONER, which seems like a made-up word for something a carpenter does at times.

So, here's the filled-in grid. See you folks on Thursday, when I fill in for Linda again. And let's give it up for the other guest bloggers who will guide you through the other puzzles while she is away.


Anonymous said...

Really nice write-up, Dave! Thanks for filling in. I also enjoyed the puzzle. I had in mind that "flip-flops" would be switching the order of words but it took me awhile to figure out exactly what the deal was. Once I did things got easier : )

I know I'm going to kick myself after I hear the answer but what is 1D BBB?

Anonymous said...

I think Better Business Bureau, but questioned that one too, Kitt.

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how good all of you are with the puzzles! I virtually gave up on the Sun. NYTimes one b/c the definitions were so esoteric, if you will, sort of reaching beyond the outer limits of their meaning. I don't think it is particularly clever to be so obscure. But the fact that you all seem to do so well makes me feel I have to keep trying. Good job for today's solution.


Anonymous said...

Paul - one thing that helped me get the theme entries is if you have one side of the FOR (KING on the Jan. 15 clue, eg), think of FOR phrases that flip the terms and work back into the clue (KING FOR what?). Those original phrases will be the familiar ones to you ear.

Keep at it! It gets easier with practice.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there are lots of superstitions related to birds, which must have seemed magical to ancient cultures. I would like to know more about this GOOD OMEN, one of the last sections that I could fill in.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm Dave I think you're right about BBB. I can say, though, that I have never heard of that abbreviation. What can ya do?

Keep at it Paul. It took me awhile to get the hang of this stuff too. And it is so rewarding when you do~ Puzzles as a hobby is just like any other thing....the more you do it the better you get at it.

FX, if you want to hit home runs in your softball league you better be out doing batting practice several times a week : ) Just to say....

Take Care

Tom King said...

Hey, the NY Times Crossword and Obama....maybe it's because he's more of a puzzle than McCain?


Anonymous said...

My puzzle writer finally has written a McCain themed puzzle to make it a little more even.

Right at the bottom of the page.