Friday, November 23, 2007

November 24, 2007 - Victor Fleming

The only downside to not cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my leftovers. I'll probably have to cook a turkey next week just so I can have a proper sandwich. The saving grace was that I'd made an extra pumpkin pie, so we at least had that for dessert tonight. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites. I also made a pecan pie this the request of our southern hostess...and it turned out pretty darn good. I might have to make one for Christmas.

Enough about food. Time to pay attention to Victor Fleming's delightful puzzle. If I haven't already mentioned it, he's another of my favorite constructors...and I'm not just saying that because he reads this blog. Check out the vertical stacks:

1A: Called for (necessary)

15A: Common bank deposit (O positive)...I think that's mine, so the blood bank likes me.

17A: 1976-85 sitcom setting (Mel's Diner). I wanted to come up with a city name...this is so much better. If you weren't a fan of Alice, you can kiss my grits! Actually, I preferred the movie to the series. Ellen Burstyn was incredible as Alice...and have I mentioned that I love Kris Kristofferson?

51A: Drop off (go to sleep). With several letters in place, I had hit a slump...that works with the clue but not with the downs.

54A: Clumsy (inelegant)...a clumsy word, but the fact that it's clued as it is makes it okay in my book.

56A: Some Mozart works (serenades). I did not know that. Maybe someone can name one of them.

I just saw two gross answers. 3D: They may accompany fevers (cold sores) and 30D: Game sticker? (arrowhead)...I didn't get that one until just now. Ick.

I loved the cross of 10A: Not get along (clash) and 14D: They frequently become locked (horns).

Favorite clues include 24A: Where things may be neatly ordered? (tavern), 28A: Lash with a whip (LaRue), 39A: They may be done in a salon (nails), 40A: Results of some glances (caroms), 50A: Lead-in to phobia (agora), 5D: It's usually spun first (side one), 6D: Performs awfully (stinks)...countered with 34D: Perform superbly (shine), 13D: Draft holder (stein), 40D: King of pop (Carole)...Tapestry was my favorite album of hers, and 51D: They're found in a mess (GIs).

Things I absolutely didn't know...or even have a clue:

16A: Slow in scoring (lento)...a musical term I haven't heard.

19A: Philologists' work, for short (OED). I didn't get the answer until just now when I looked it up. Why, what an ass am I! (Hamlet soliloquy line, at 55A). Oxford English Dictionary...appropriate for one who studies written records, especially literary texts. [Update: Thanks, anonymous...that was really more of a typo.]

35A: Israeli opera conductor Daniel (Oren). I'm okay with not knowing that one.

38A: __ Diamond, author of the 1998 Pulitzer-winning book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" (Jared). Haven't heard of him or the book.

1D: Pitcher who was the 1995 N.L. Rookie of the Year (Nomo). Also 7D: 1980s-'90s N.B.A. star Danny (Ainge). Are these guys obscure, or am I completely out of touch with things? I thought I'd at least heard of the more well-known 34A: Three-time 1990s French Open winner (Seles).

42D: Duke of Cornwall's wife (Regan).

Some clues and/or answers I really liked...some just because they're multiple word answers.

29A: Source of political support (power base).

36A: Encore setting (music hall).

44A: Fast-food chain known for its floats (A and W).

10D: Butcher's need (cleaver).

11D: Display at a golf tournament (leader board).

23D: Open competitors, often (touring pros).

38D: Star of TV's "The Fugitive" (Janssen). My mother and I were both big fans of the show. I don't think we ever missed an episode.

43D: Massey of film (Ilona). We just had her a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn't have gotten it without the crosses. Must remember her...good crossword letters in her name.

I'm off to bed. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

NOMO and AINGE are very well known.

Nomo was the second Japanese player to make it to American pro baseball. He had a few stellar years and then faded. He was extremely well know in 90's baseball.

Danny Ainge played baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays and basketball for the Boston Celtics, where he participated in many championships. He is now the GM for the Chicago Bulls.

Anonymous said...

It's Oxford English Dictionary, not Old.

coachjdc said...

Yeah! This is the 1st Saturday puzzle I've completed in weeks! A lot of "googlable" stuff LOL

Unknown said...

Easy puzzle for Saturday.Gobble Gobble.

wendy said...

I felt like AN ASS today as I could do barely any of today's puzzle; I just hate when even googling gets me nowhere. Everything I filled in had Es in it and did not reveal much if anything at all about adjacent answers. Blech. And I'm sorry, but COLD SORES?

On a more amusing note (perhaps) I was going to watch The Music Man the other night as we had been discussing. I opened up the netflix envelope, the sleeve described the film, I popped the DVD in, and lo - who came up on the screen? Matthew Broderick????

It was some horrific remake! Stuffed into the wrong sleeve. I watched a very few minutes, but realized I wanted the real thing and was not going to settle for anything else.

I called Netflix and they sent out the correct one right away (which arrived just now) - and awarded me a bonus dvd for my trouble. So can't give a report yet, but hope to before the weekend is out.

Orange said...

I just polished off a plate of leftovers. Yum! Shall I send you a couple pounds of turkey, Linda? There's too much turkey in my fridge.

I hadn't thought about ARROWHEAD's clue—I agree with your "ick" determination.

Howard B said...

And my trouble spot was with JANSSEN / JARED, both completely new to me, but could eventually be figured out (_ARED doesn't leave too many possibilities).
Names aren't my forte either.
Fun, once you get a toehold into it.

wendy said...

Howard, I honestly don't understand how you can get so far with these puzzles not knowing names. I'm learning how regular words can eventually be inferred, but how can you infer proper names? It's a mystery ... you must be a savant of some type. :0

Howard B said...

Well, some of the other names I couldn't tell you a thing about, but remember them from other puzzles. (ILONA Massey, for example). If I'm curious, I'll look a person up and read their biography, or at least a list of films or books they were involved in.

In that crossing, I left it alone and came back to it at the end of solving, once I had a few more crossings. There's been more than a few times on a Friday/Saturday puzzle that I couldn't finish because of a couple of names. You're right, with names there's just no inferring a square, but you can just make your best guess at a possibly name or Google it for the future. Either way, it's something new to be tucked away somewhere in your memory. Do enough puzzles over time, and you're bound to run into some of those names again.

In my mind, I think I personally filed JARED in a musty box somewhere between "names of Smurfs" and "Trig formulas I've forgotten since college". I really need to vacuum up there. I'm no savant, trust me ;).