Sunday, October 28, 2007

Monday, October 29 - Fred Piscop

Now that the World Series is over, life (and blogging) will return to normal. As much as I wasn't a Rockies fan...that's how much I became one in the last couple of weeks. They played well, and there's no shame in being the best in your league and the second best baseball team. That said, the Red Sox are an incredible team. Sometimes I found myself cheering for them because they were just so damn good!

Truthfully, I'm relieved that the World Series is over...on several counts. In no particular order:

  • The knots in my stomach will go away.

  • I'll be able to solve and blog at my regular time, instead of waiting until the game is over.

  • We can eat dinner at the table again, instead of in front of the TV (which most of you know we never watch).

  • We don't have to watch those asinine commercials even one more time (some were pretty good, but the lame ones were so very lame).

  • I won't have to watch baseball players spit...sometimes it just turned my stomach. Don says it's a baseball thing, but I don't get it and I find it disgusting.

Okay...the puzzle. I may have said this before, but a Fred Piscop puzzle was the first published by Will Shortz when he took over as the NYT puzzle editor. Today we get a very doable (even while watching the game) but not incredibly easy puzzle. I had trouble understanding a couple of the theme entries, but they became clearer once I started writing.

Puns are featured (again) in the four theme tion words that are clued in clever new ways. [Monday morning update: That's not explained well, but I still can't come up with anything better.]

17A: Allotment of heredity units? (generation). That took me forever to understand...gene + ration.

56A: Preacher's sky-high feeling? (revelation). Just now got this one...rev (as in reverend) + elation.

10D: TV channel for golfers? (forestation) now I'm sure you're following.

25D: Pasta-and-potato-loving country? (carbonation). My favorite.

We also get a decent helping of multiword answers:

1A: Started a cigarette (lit up).

36A: Is false to the world (lives a lie).

37A: Get from __ (progress slightly) (A to B).

40A: Studied primarily, at college (majored in).

43A: Caveman's era (Stone Age).

9D: Bikini wearers' markings (tan lines). I remember that from a puzzle long, long ago.

And a few words that I don't think have appeared in a least not in the past several months.

24A: Nuclear power apparatus (reactor).

29A: Slender cigar (Panatela).

50A: Stewed to the gills (blotto). Love the word but not the feeling.

2D: Jim Carrey comedy "Me, Myself & __" (Irene). Never saw it. I can only take him in small doses.

3D: Kingdom east of Fiji (Tonga).

38D: Equine-looking fish (seahorse).

49D: Sunken ship finder (sonar).

Some standard crosswordese, some of which sported fresh new clues.

10A: Rooters (fans).

15A: Gumbo vegetable (okra). Batter-dipped and fried...the only way to eat it.

38A: Battle of the __ (men vs. women) (sexes). I don't think the parenthetical clue was necessary, even for a Monday. Sure, bands would have fit, but not for long.

42A: Holder of 88 keys (piano).

46A: Mediums' meetings (seances).

60A: Twistable cookie (Oreo).

62A: Decaf brand (Sanka).

11D: State frankly (avow). It never fails that I will enter aver when they want avow...and vice versa.

Some of my favorite answers, not already mentioned, include: 22A: Room to maneuver (leeway); 1D: Hearty brew (lager); 27D: Safe place (haven); 29D: Mischievous sprite (pixie); 30D: Director Kazan (Elia); 33D: Scots' caps (tams); and 47D: Nickels and dimes (coins)...thought they might have been looking for a verb there.

I have to mention 51D: Dr. Zhivago's love (Lara). Before Dooley and Barnabas came along, we had two female dogs...Tasha and Lara. Lara lived to be 18...the vet said that no one had ever told her she shouldn't live that long. They were the sweetest little girls, and I never thought I could love another dog (or dogs) that much...but I do.

It's time to wrap this up. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I believe the baseball tradition of spitting comes from chewing tobacco. Doing so causes excess saliva which must be gotten rid of. Obviously, the batter, pitcher, etc. could not light up --cigarettes, cigars, pipe, etc. Remember, the US Congress used to be fitted with spittoons---imagine if baseball had a spittoon at every player's place on the field.

QP said...

i belive so too...

cornbread hell said...

yesterday i mentioned hideki (35A)TOJO out of the blue. is tojo a common bit of fill or should i start humming the twilight zone theme song?

why is 65A: sticky problem (POSER)?
somebody please give me that "d'oh" moment.

Anonymous said...


My widget dictionary gives this definition for POSER: "a difficult or perplexing question or problem." Think of the phrase "posing a question."

cornbread hell said...

thanks sue. that makes sense.

i started looking up "sticky problem" and got sidetracked with google hits relating to alzheimer's research. see my blog for a brief summary...

MBG said...

This one was fun, and fairly easy or mabe it only seems that way after Friday's and Saturday's puzzles. I kept wanting to make 25D carbonara instead of CARBONATION.

I have a soft spot for LARA too, Linda. I saw Dr. Zhivago on my first date with my husband.

Ah, the spitting. Gross, but it's just a baseball thing. They all either (maybe most is more accurate) chew tobacco or a big wad of gum, hence the spitting. Thankfully tobacco seems much less common than in days past. If they're not doing that they eat sunflower seeds and spit the husks.

Anonymous said...

It's really only Boston that chews their cud -- example being set by their manager Francona, who has sworn he is going to kick the habit -- hey, what's in that cud, steroids!?

Anonymous said...

If you've ever played competitive sports I think you would realize that the spitting comes from the constant adrenalin flood.

Anonymous said...

If you've ever played competitive sports I think you would realize that the spitting comes from the constant adrenalin flood.

Linda G said...

rick, thank you. Constant adrenalin flood makes sense. I never got why they always had to have something in their mouths...chewing tobacco is definitely the grossest!

cornbread, I agree that POSER was a bit on the weak side, but not so much that it made the puzzle any less fun.

Orange said...

Linda, I once kissed a man who chewed tobacco. Believe me when I say that floating tobacco bits transferred to your own mouth are significantly grosser than a televised spit! (I was midway through college, he was about 27, what can I say?)

I hate AVER and AVOW. I rarely fill in anything beyond the AV before I check the crossings. Same with SEETHE/SEERED.

Crossword people trivia: I think Fred Piscop brews his own beer.

Linda G said...

Orange, that is absolutely disGUSTing! Good advice, though (as always) regarding AVER/AVOW and SEETHE/SEERED.