Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monday, October 15 - Andrea Carla Michaels

Super-easy puzzle, even for a Monday. The theme was clever, though...all in-the-language expressions that begin with a common activity and end with the name of a bird or an animal.

17A: Taking back one's words in humiliation (eating crow). I'd bet that most of us have done that at least once.

27A: Negotiating in a no-nonsense way (talking turkey). So much better than beating around the bush. Just say what you mean.

43A: Pretending to be dead (playing possum). If you've ever seen a possum play dead, you know that the expression is dead-on...so to speak. While this one looks gross, as well as very dead, it is truly playing dead. According to this site, "The opossum has an involuntary comatose-like state induced by extreme fear...an inert opossum does nothing to excite [a predator's] appetite, and they will leave it alone. Somehow the opossum’s body knows when the danger has passed, and the opossum 'comes to' again."

58A: Raising a false alarm (crying wolf). I don't remember how many times the boy got away with it in the story, but I typically don't fall for it a second time.

Most of the non-theme answers are three and four letter words. Most are standard crossword fill, but there are a few notable exceptions.

1A: Indifferent to pleasure or pain (stoic)...like the guards at Buckingham Palace.

34A: Joel who directed "Raising Arizona" (Coen). After a long absence, Raising Arizona is back...fresh from yesterday's puzzle.

36A: One-named Art Deco designer (Erte). Here's a sample of his work. Click on it to enlarge so you can fully appreciate it.

61A: Roman statesman __ the Elder (Cato).

6D: Cell centers (nuclei). The only reason I didn't automatically put an S at the end of this was that I'd already had the across answer in place.

25D: Put into cipher (encrypt). Both cipher and encrypt are very cool words.

27D: Four: Prefix (tetra). I haven't been able to come up with a Word of the Day (WOTD) for the last two puzzles. Today's no different, so I'll give you an alternate clue for tetra: any of a number of brightly colored, tropical American, characin fishes, often kept in aquariums. We had a zillion of them in our aquarium when I was growing up. They were about a dime then...now they cost $1.50.

29D: Casey with a radio coundown (Kasem). This guy, like Dick Clark, never seems to get any older. I'm beginning to think the two of them are robots.

44D: Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary (Yarrow) was new to me. I knew Paul's last name (Stookie) and Mary's (Travers). While in Kauai, we spent some time at Hanalei Bay...home of Puff the Magic Dragon.

I'm generally pretty random in my puzzle solving, jumping all over the grid. That usually works to my advantage, but this was one of those days when it hurt me. I spotted the clue for 46D (Actor Penn), then wrote the obviously correct Sean...but in the wrong place. With that answer appearing at 49D, clued as Marina fixture (dock), it made for some strange answers for 49-, 57-, 61- and 64-Across. Sometimes it made for no answer at all. I don't remember how I finally noticed the error, but it slowed me down for a couple of minutes.

That's it for today. Here's the grid...


...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G

10 comments:

JD said...

40D Didn't Yarrow spend some time in jail, or was arrested, or indicted for something inappropriate with a young person, girl?

29D I only saw Kasem once, and he looked pretty old then. Clark is really looking long in the tooth these days.

wendy said...

ohmygod how cute is that possum! I don't usually like the looks of them, particularly not when they're trespassing on my property, as one did some years ago, clambering up my lilac tree at night while I quietly had a heart attack on my screen porch.

I had a major beef with STOIC, which, at least in common usage, I believe to mean *unwilling* to show pleasure or pain. Not indifferent to it. But the original philosophy of Stoicism might mean that more precisely, I don't know.

Keep the pictures coming; they do enhance. ERTE isn't clicking enlarged, though, at least not for me. Hey, I have an idea for what to do instead of WOTD, which is probably not an idea that has legs as defined or it would have gone places by now. Why don't you do the Alternate Clue instead like you did today? Then any of us can chime in with what we think a better clue would have been for other words that day, humorously or otherwise. I know I've done that on Rex's site before and it can be pretty funny if a lot of people get into it.

True confessions: I couldn't finish the puzzle because I didn't know COINER and thus never got COAT or THEE either. Bloody Monday!

Linda G said...

JD, I don't know about that, but I guess anything's possible. Maybe I'll check it out.

True confessions, Wendy. For some reason, the picture doesn't enlarge...and I forgot to put the link to the article on the possum. Oh, well.

I suppose the alternate clue would work. Might be easier than trying to find a word that sounds similar to a puzzle answer.

I do like including pictures, but it screws up the spacing something fierce. It usually takes me fifteen minutes to fix it, often accompanied by much swearing. Maybe I could just lose the OCD and let the spacing be haywire...single here, triple there.

wendy said...

Yes, Peter Yarrow actually did time in the slammer for taking liberties with a young girl who came to his hotel room after a concert. Delightful.

cornbread hell said...

WOTD - 6D. NUCLES

hahahaha

Anonymous said...

http://postersquare.com/images/Starstruck---Erte.jpg

coachjdc said...

funny possum story. one night when I was a kid my dog was out in the yard fixated on something & he would come when called. so I go out & there's this horrid looking rodent carcass (GROSS) so I drag the dog in and get a shovel to move it. lost my nerve and went to get my brother to help. we go back out & there's nothing there! the darn thing was playing possum!! :-P
if I had gotten that thing on a shovel and it "came to life" I would have died LOL

Bach Pham said...

Woot! We finished our first puzzle today, even though we got 2 wrong. *d'oh!* But we decided it was good enough. Yarrow??? Bah! Either way, it was great to actually get through a puzzle, in pretty decent time also. There's hope for us yet i guess.

Linda G said...

Thanks for sharing the possum story. Too funny.

Hurray for you guys finishing the puzzle! Two wrong is okay...you're making progress. Keep at it.

kratsman said...

coach...pretty much same possum story as yours, except my dog grabbed the "carcass" in his teeth and shook violently back and forth. Little baby possums went flying everywhere. They are incredibly small and cling to the underside of the momma possum. Being a good kid, I gathered up all of them I could find and took them to the local animal shelter, where I'm sure they got flushed down the toilet as soon as I left the building. (Momma possum made it back to the woods, physically ok, but probably traumatized emotionally.)