Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday, October 11 - E. J. Platt

An enjoyable puzzle by E. J. Platt...don't know who he/she is, but I'm sure someone will check it out elsewhere and let us know. promised, here's one of my favorite photos from the trip...sunset over the Napali coast. This was the only time we were on the west side of the island at sunset, but we picked a good one. About five minutes later it started to rain.

I didn't get up early very often, but I managed to get two or three sunrises. I'll probably frame four pictures, including a sunrise and sunset, plus a couple of others that really represent life on Kauai...maybe the chickens. If you don't know that story, you can get the details here.

And here I am with my sweetie. The yellow flowers are plumeria, and they are some of the sweetest-smelling flowers on the island.

When we were in Hawaii the first time, we each bought a couple of Hawaiian shirts. Most everyone there wears them, locals and visitors alike. Don and I tried hard not to clash when we'd go out.

Well, it's almost 10:00, so I'd better get to the puzzle. The theme was revealed at 61A: Wishful things?...or a literal description of 16-, 17-, 32-, 44- and 60-Across (falling stars). The last few letters of each theme answer dropped, falling to the down position. The stars that fell were:

16A: "You've Got Mail" actress (Meg Ryan), sharing her last three letters with 13D: Presidential candidate who said "No one can earn a million dollars honestly" (Bryan).

17A: People's 2006 Sexiest Man Alive (George Clooney), who shared his ending with 9D: Insincere (phoney). This was the answer that gave away the theme for me, although it didn't make it any easier to get the rest of the answers. I'm not 100% sure that I agree with People's decision, but I very definitely agree with Esquire naming Charlize Theron as the Sexiest Person Alive. Yes, Charlize! This will be the first issue (maybe the last) of Esquire that I'll buy.

32A: Julius Caesar portrayer, 1963 (Rex Harrison), with 26D: Construction worker (mason). I had no interest in Rex Harrison or Julius Caesar in 1963, but I ought to watch that movie some time.

44A: Frat Pack actor (Ben Stiller), with 37D: Blast constituent? (beer). That brings up two Kauai memories. Ben Stiller has a home there...and we drank a lot of Keoki beer.

60A: R & B singer with a hit 1990s sitcom (Brandy), with 55D: Annual May event, informally (Indy). I'm much more familiar with Indy than I am with Brandy...don't know her or the show.

My favorite answer in the puzzle appears at 35D: Computer technicians' positions (help desks), mostly because I love the three consonants in a row. When I had the LPD, I thought I probably had something wrong.

Other answers I liked:

5D: Robes, tiaras, etc. (regalia).

12D: Shoelace tip (aglet)...even though I struggled to bring the damn word to mind again!

25D: Repeats (echoes). Just because.

Clever clue at 49A: Fertilized things (ova). Don't you just love (hate?) those plural clues with answers that don't end in S?

Great double Italian answers...and they cross one another. 40D: Historic Umbrian town (Assisi) and 56A: City with una torre pendente (Pisa).

Some good side-by-side answers as well...46A: Tasty (sapid) and 48A: Smirk (simper).

And introducing a new feature at Madness...the Word of the Day (WOTD). Every day (as long as I remember to do it), I'll define a word that's very similar in spelling to an answer but has a totally different meaning. Today's WOTD is vapid...which means tasteless, flavorless or flat; also dull or boring.

Time to wrap things up for today. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


cornbread hell said...

fun, interesting puzzle. i didn't realize BRANDY was a theme answer so was questioning the symmetry. d'oh!

but, er...uh...that photo's a little dark, ms. g., so i lightened it up in a software program.

i wouldn't dare post the more clear version out of respect (read: fear.) and besides, it ain't none of my business. :)

cool new WOTD feature. your blog could well serve as an antonym for vapid.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

I used "epigone" the other day because it's a word I learned in recent crosswords.

I had a tough time with this puzzle but finally got it without breaking down to Google except for "Brandy." I ended up with Braday and figured the May event would be I-Day, not that I knew what that was.

I enjoyed the pics from Hawaii. I'll still see you as Ava as that's whats fixed in my memory.

coachjdc said...

Wow- almost threw in the towel on this one. I knew something was up with the crosses, but was trying to fit multiple letters in one space.
BRANDY/INDY was the last I got as well. VERNE was the only thing I googled.
Great puzzle!

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda G

Was doing some research as to why the search term.
'No one can earn a million dollars honestly'
had become popular today over at Google Trends.

Thanks for ending my search, Hope you don't mind that I have borrowed your scan of the answers in return for some Link Love and credit back to your blog!


QP said...

FROM EARTH TO THE MOON was one of my favorite books as a teen (preteen i guess), must have read it at least 50 times... lost this book and all of the other Verne's in an ugly break up... going to Amazon to order them again. I'm glad I was reminded !!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your pictures Linda-thanks for sharing them. I had trouble in the southwest corner too. Tried too hard to make OVOID fit at 49D. Glad your blog was here to help me out of the jam. Sapid tasty, vapid tasteless-spellcheck just underlined sapid-hmm.

dann walsh said...


good t' "see" you!


Norrin2 said...

I can't tell -- is that Artie, Mickey or Frank with you?