Friday, October 19, 2007

Saturday, October 20 - Patrick Berry

Patrick Berry kicked my butt today. It probably wasn't the first time, and I know it won't be the last. His puzzles are fairly difficult...but exquisite.

After my first run-through, I had five answers:

16A: Available if needed (on call).

20A: "Mr. __," 1983 comedy (Mom).

26A: Object of Oliver Twist's request for "more" (gruel). I remember this from an earlier puzzle.

43A: Economist who wrote "The Theory of the Leisure Class" (Veblen). I remember Thorstein Veblen from Sociological Theory.

52A: Book before Job (Esther). I don't remember too many of them in order, but for some reason I knew this.

With that for a start, I knew I was in for a long solve...and time with Dr. Google. I checked my grid on the NYT site a few minutes ago and was just amazed to see that some people (real solvers, with real times) finished this in under seven minutes. I probably spent a good 45 minutes, then had to take a nap because I was dozing off. When I came back to it, I tackled the last remaining area...the southwest...and finished it off.

Since it's after 11:00 now, I'll need to keep this short. I'll divide the grid into a couple of general areas, with brief comments.

Clues/answers I loved:

1A: Small suit (Speedo). Too small, if you're talking about a man's suit. I'll be kind and refrain from posting a picture.

32A: It's "heavier freight for the shipper than it is for the consignee": Augustus Thomas (hatred). I couldn't even find this answer with Google, but when I had the H, it seemed the likely candidate.

45A: Goshen raceway's length (half mile). This was the first answer that came to me after my nap. I had the L from 40D: Guys (fellas) and figured it had to end with MILE. Since there wasn't an S at the end, it had to be less than a mile.

47A: It's cleared for a debriefing (throat). Clever...and far too long coming to me.

51A: Details (minutiae). One of those words that looks wrong no matter how you spell it.

3D: Laudations (encomia). Like many of you, I put an S at the end of the word, which made it very difficult to get 27A: Semimonthly ocean occurrence (neap tide)...not that I would ever have known that one. According to this article, it's an especially small ocean tide on the Earth which occurs at first or third quarter when the moon is at a right angle to the Sun-Earth line. Good luck remembering that one, Linda.

6D: Eloise of Kay Thompson books, e.g. (only child). I don't remember the girls being into the Eloise books, but I remember one about her at The Plaza.

10D: Figure seen in a store window (sale price). I really wanted mannequin, but I knew that gruel was right. Okay, I did second-guess myself on it.

26D: Typically green tube (garden hose). I was trying to think of something in a science lab.

And some things (other than those mentioned above) that I've never heard of:

7A: Cheese with a greenish tint (sap sago). Well, I'll be. It's flavored with ingredients from clover. Homestead Market says this cheese is for the more adventuresome...if you are, you can order some at their site. Let me know how you like it.

14A: "The Outsiders" author (Hinton).

19A: "The Blessed Damozel" poet (Rossetti).

30A: "__ and Janis" (comic strip) (Arlo). Never heard of it, but I was surprised to get this much of a clue on a Saturday.

31A: Linguist Okrand who created the Klingon language (Marc).

35A: Poem whose first, third and seventh lines are identical (rondelet). I ended up with everything except the first letter...ran through the alphabet two or three times before I figured it out.

5D: National chain of everything-costs-the-same stores (Dollar Tree). We have The Dollar Store, as well as Dollaroos...but I couldn't make either of them fit.

28D: Gaffe at a social gathering, in modern lingo (party foul). Either I've never made one, or I'm not modern.

33D: Pan's realm (Arcadia). I'm sure I knew that at one time...but this was not the time.

36D: Country of two million surrounded by a single other country (Lesotho). I just admitted yesterday that I was geographically impaired. I had to Google this one...but I forgot to find out the name of the single other country.

The clue/answer that gave me the most trouble was 43D: See (visit). It just sounds so simple now, but I was going in a completely different direction. See = Pope = Vicar...and I had the VI so I was sure I was right. That one clue is responsible for the miserable time I had in the southwest.

Barnabas just came into my office to tell me it was time to curl up with him. He looks so cute that I can't resist.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


cornbread hell said...

1st run-through i had 5 answers, too, but ELLIS island ended up being RHODE...

went to bed, woke up and finished it. so i guess it took me about 9-10 hours. Difficulty factor: VERY

under 7 minutes. sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Linda...Great job on this way very tough...without you and Google I would not have finished....seems Saturday puzzles are becoming way harder of late!
Have a good weekend

wendy said...

Linda, we had many of the same reactions today. At first, all I had was HINTON and FILLE. And I almost said, god, do I have the energy for this today? But "once more unto the breach ..." Very nice puzzle.

I just looked up LESOTHO, which I got from crosses. It's surrounded completely by South Africa.

PARTY FOUL - same as you, must not be modern, never heard this term.

Also wanted Manniquin and was amazed that HATRED wasn't googlable (not a word, I'm sure). I know a lot about theater, but never heard of this playwright, Augustus Thomas. Ya gotta wonder about the degree of research that goes into these late-week puzzles.

Love the word MINUTIAE and use it all the time. GENTEEL is also a great word.

Dollaroo? What a kooky name. We have the DOLLAR TREE here.

Linda G said...

Cornbread, at least you thought about ELLIS. I couldn't come up with anything until I had crosses.

Bob, either Saturdays are getting tougher or we're getting older ; )

Wendy, thanks for confirmation on LESOTHO. Keep on hangin' in there.

Anonymous said...

I thought of Ellis also, Cornbread. I found the whole thing really difficult. I gave up during the SW.

Anonymous said...

I thought of Ellis also, Cornbread. I found the whole thing really difficult. I gave up during the SW.

Anonymous said...

I thought of Ellis also, Cornbread. I found the whole thing really difficult. I gave up during the SW.

Brian said...

Ahh... I'm 24, and can perhaps explain "party foul." It isn't like a standard faux pas or anything like that, but usually what someone does when they're too drunk, i.e., knocking over a beer. When that happens, someone yells "party foul" and in general, though contrary to good judgment, the person who made the gaffe has to drink in atonement. What will we think of next?

wendy said...

AHA! Thanks, Brian. I'm going to try that out on my younger co-workers next week and see if it resonates with them.

Linda G said...

Thanks, Brian. I don't have any young co-workers, and my children aren't yet 21, so...

coachjdc said...

I started this Sat. morning & got nowhere with it. Had a busy weekend & didn't pick it up until Monday (after doing Monday's & Sunday's puzzles) With more than a little help from google, was able to finally grind it out.