Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday, November 30 - Henry Hook

When I see Henry Hook's byline on a Friday puzzle, I know I'm in for some serious Googling. I think this is his fourth since I've been blogging, and I know that I struggled with every one of them.

I was kind of hoping for a Mike Nothnagel puzzle today. That might not have been much easier, but I'm generally more on Mike's wavelength.

If I only write about the gimmes, this will be a very short post...but here they are:

20A: Syrup of __ (ipecac). Nasty stuff...used to induce vomiting. I've never had to take it, thankfully.

40A: Cloth workers? (clergymen). A bit sexist, but it came to me immediately for some reason. One of my favorite clergy persons is a woman, and we spent an hour visiting last night...maybe that's why it popped into my head.

51A: Island nicknamed the Gathering Place (Oahu).

1D: Olympics item...or the winning word in the 1984 National Spelling Bee (luge). This was probably more of a good guess than a gimme, but it panned out.

2D: Civilians eligible to be drafted (One-As). I was researching how to write that out correctly and ended up on all kinds of strange sites...including a few about resisting the draft. I hope I don't end up on somebody's list because of it.

13D: "I did it!" (ta-da).

29D: Tentlike dwelling with a conical roof (yurt)...although I thought it was spelled yert.

31D: Be angry as heck (boil).

38D: Hybrid fruit (Ugli). That's a registered trademark for tangelos from Jamaica. You can read more about them here. They are absolutely delicious.

44D: Locker room habitu├ęs (jocks). I spent a lot of time in locker rooms in college, but I wouldn't call myself a jock...just a compulsive exerciser.

45D: Rain gear brand (Totes).

49D: Plural suffix with beat or neat (niks). I was one, but not the other.

Not much of a toe-hold anywhere. I also had an almost answer...32D: "Nothing to it" (easy as ABC). I had easy as pie, which made the vertical stacks in the southeast extremely difficult to get. Almost impossible, in fact.

I ended up Googling some of the more obscure names, which opened up a few areas. One thing led to another, and it was finished. Some of my Googled-for answers:

23A: Sci-fi author McIntyre (Vonda). Never heard of him, but the V was enough for me to get 23D: Appearances (visages). [Update: Thanks to Anonymous for letting me know that Vonda McIntyre is a female.]

43A: Sculptor Oldenburg (Claes). He's done some really neat stuff. It was really hard to pick a favorite...but I'll go with this one. The ice cream cone on top of the building was another good was the tube of toothpaste.

3D: __ Line (German/Polish border) (Oder-Neisse). I'm not much into that kind of trivia, and I don't expect to retain it. But it opened up the northwest.

14D: Pianist Templeton (Alec). With only the C in place, I wanted Eric.

41D: Fritz the Cat illustrator (R. Crumb). I would never have gotten this one...was sure something was wrong with the RC at the beginning. I always got Fritz and Felix confused...Felix was cuter.

Now on to the good stuff...the long answers that were stacked top and bottom.

1A: Show signs of improvement (look better).

15A: Indication of stress (underscore). That kind of stress...I was thinking something about blood pressure, especially with the RE at the end.

17A: "Well, duh!" (Gee, ya think). That's just too funny.

52A: Jump the gun (anticipate). When I had easy as pie, I thought this was something that started with panic. That area was a complete disaster.

56A: One who's happy when things look black (bookkeeper). I have always loved that word...double o, followed by double k, followed by double e. Just too good. But it wasn't coming to me tonight, because I thought it began with an I. I knew the two Ks were right...and couldn't come up with anything.

58A: Undergo a change of habit? (cross dress). I had dress, but since the first letter was supposed to be an E...

Other things I liked, once I finally got them, include 11A: Second in a series (beta), 26A: With eyes open (mindfully), 33A: Marker (IOUs), 46A: Game craze of the late 1980s and '90s (Tetris), 49A: Direct (nonstop) favorite way to fly, 55A: Senior moment? (prom), 4D: Bitter fruit (key lime), 6D: Name on a bottle of Beyond Paradise (Estee), 10D: Sparks a second time (rekindles), 11D: Department (Bureau), 24D: Classic Packard model with a numerical name (One-Ten), and 27D: Prerecorded (live on tape).

And that's it for tonight. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


coachjdc said...

That was tough. Google is my friend ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that Vonda McIntyre is female. Good writer.

Linda G said...

I usually say him/her if I don't know, but in this case I made an (incorrect!) assumption. The only Vonda I ever knew was a carpenter (male) who built a house for us 25 years ago.

Thanks for straightening me out ; )

Anonymous said...

with out Google and some decent guesses I would never have finished
Can anyone explain Pompadour/Madam?

Anonymous said...

Madame de Pompadour--courtesan of King Louis 15th of France. According to Wiki, courtesans were prostitutes in the sense that sex was one of their obligations, but unlike the average prostitute, sex constituted only a facet of the courtesan's array of services. For example, they were expected to be well-dressed and ready to engage in a variety of topics ranging from art to music to politics.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight kratsman...I was hung up on pompadour being a mans hair stlye from the 1950's

Anonymous said...

I must have been on the right wavelength, I got it without the googles. But it was tough and took 4 hours of work.

Linda, just want to say thanks for this blog. I love the way you write.

Linda G said...

jimd, you must be very patient...four hours is a long time! Thanks for your kind words. That was just what my day needed ; )