Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wednesday, October 17 - Paula Gamache

Well, ILE be darned. I don't usually do well with Paula Gamache's puzzles...they're more than fair, but they're often more than I can handle.

Today's puzzle has the letters ILE inserted somewhere within four in-the-language phrases. The new phrases are then clued.
And the theme answers are:

17A: All the rockets in existence? (MISSILE UNIVERSE).

26A: "Dry-clean only," e.g.? (TEXTILE MESSAGE).

44A: Cooking utensil from central Spain? (CASTILE IRON PAN).

58A: HAL 9000, in "2001: A Space Odyssey"? (HOSTILE COMPUTER).

When the puzzle has long theme answers, I generally start with the down clues...so I ended up with the ILE in the first theme answer. When they appeared in the second one, I knew where Paula was going with this one, and it wasn't too difficult to flesh out the other theme answers once I had the first two. All in all, I liked the theme...clever new phrases, clever cluing of the new phrases.

I managed to pull 1A: The Velvet Fog (Torme) out of somewhere in my brain. It helped that I had TO from the downs...1D: Tabbies' mates (toms) and 2D: Mayberry boy (Opie).

There were a few names I wasn't familiar with...got them from crosses:

28D: Stahl of "60 Minutes" (Lesley). I keep thinking I should start watching television, but when would I have time to solve puzzles, blog AND watch TV?

31D: Astronaut __ Bluford, the first African-American in space (Guion).

37D: First N.F.L. QB with consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons (Y. A. Tittle). I know we've had the name before, but I just couldn't grab it from the recesses tonight. Well, I just Googled him...after a successful football career, he started selling insurance. Read about him here.

46D: Subject of the 1999 film "Le Temps Retrouvé" (Proust).

In order to pull this off, the puzzle is full of three and four-letter words. Some of them are just plain good.

23A: Noughts-and-crosses win (OOO). I've never heard it called that before.

43A: Piggy (toe)...that took longer to come to mind than I'd like to admit.

48A: Alt. spelling (var.). Good one.

52A: Debtor's letters (IOU).

62A: Restaurant chain acronym (IHOP). The local IHOP is one of 35 restaurants that contributed 35A: First course option (soup) to our Empty Bowls fundraiser last Saturday. We raised more than $25,000 to operate the Soup Kitchen...which feeds more than 200 men, women and children every day.

33D: Mil. option (ROTC).

Several non-crosswordese words I haven't seen appear often.

14A: Smuggler's stock (opium).

41A: Marzipan ingredient (almond).

4D: Animal with a shaggy coat (musk ox). Are they not the cutest looking things? Such sweet little faces.

9D: Mutual fund redemption charge (exit fee).

10D: Deep fissure (crevasse).

25D: Relative key of C major (A minor). I know just enough about music that this was a gimme.

41D: Acid neutralizers (alkalis). My favorite word in the puzzle. Just because.

The only answer I don't understand is 61A: First-year J.D. candidate. I don't even know how to parse it to list it here...ONEL. Is that One L? If so, what does it mean? I worked in law for many years, and I can't make sense of it.

And I'll close on that note. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...


It's One L, first year of L aw School. It's been in the puzzle before. It's also the title of Scott Turrow's first book, before he wrote his legal novels, about his first year at Harvard (I think) Law School.

Anonymous said...

It's been many, many years, but I don't recall any reference to "One L" in law school.

coachjdc said...

Always love when OPIE comes up, because that's my dog's name (not named for Opie Taylor)
And as a big NY Giant fan, thought YA TITTLE was a great answer.

Linda G said...

Thanks for clearing up the mystery. And now that you mention the Turow novel, I remember it...and remember seeing it in a recent puzzle as well.

ONE L and YA TITTLE are now committed to memory forever ; )

coachjdc said...

Famous photograph of Tittle here:

Anonymous said...

JD ,

I too did not use the term 1L in Law School but remember reading the Scott Turrow's book One L before I entered Law School as it describes the horrors of Law School's first year. One of y students who plans to go to Law School was reading it during a class break so it still is being read by Lawyers manque.

Anonymous said...

Profphil: Thanks for the information; the book came out a long time after I graduated law school, but I'm sure I would enjoy reading it now. The first year was pretty scary. I'll look for it at Borders.

ggirl802 said...

Hey all,

Linda - I like reading your blog! I definitely come here when I'm stuck in a puzzle and Google, Wikipedia, and Thesaurus.com aren't helping me. So, thank you!

I'm a semi-recent law school grad and we used 1L, 2L, and 3L to denote where we were in the law school food chain. And Turrow's "One L" was actually required reading before we stepped foot on campus. That dude's legacy is all set.

Anonymous said...


The horrors of first year pale in comparison to practcing law.

Anonymous said...

Profphil: Today's practice has got to be a nightmare; every other person you meet today is an attorney. The competition is fierce and the clients are (think) they are smarter. They watch too much TV. I've been retired fifteen years. I stopped practicing five years before that. My life is spent travelling the world, reading the times, doing the puzzle daily and checking with Linda to get some great insights.

Stef J said...

In law school, they refer to students as 1L, 2L, or 3L based on what year of law school they are in.

Linda G said...

Thank you all. I can promise that I'll never forget ONE L again.

I can't believe how many of you are law school graduates. I'm honored to have such esteemed company on this blog ; )

By the way, I was originally introduced to the NYT puzzle in 1974 by a lawyer with whom I worked. We frequently went out for coffee after work and solved the puzzle. We're still in touch after all these years...I'd better call him soon and see if he's still doing the puzzle, maybe get him to join us on the blog.

coachjdc said...

Note to self: No lawyer bashing, there seems to be a lot of them here LOL

Unknown said...

Dear profphil,

Manque is a great word! But isn't it a little harsh for one of your students aspiring to get into law school?


Anonymous said...


I was just using the word to be playful, did not mean to be judgmental.

Unknown said...

Dr. Phil -

I often take things too literally.

Manque, I just love the word, and words in general, despite being a bit dyslexic. In fact, I'm somewhat a manque wordsmith and my blogger name could be Ms. Malaprop. This is probably why I was overly sensitive.