Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thursday, November 29 - Elizabeth C. Gorski

When I can't make sense of several answers in the puzzle, I should immediately think it's a rebus...or a cram-a-lot according to a favorite blogger friend.

I definitely should have thought something was up when the four corners just wouldn't come together.

And I can't believe I didn't get it even when I was sure the answer to 1D ["You sure said it!"] was AMEN to that...but I didn't fill that in. It wasn't until I had ***TOTHAT that it finally hit me.

The word AMEN is in the outermost corners of the puzzle, and it's all wrapped up with 55A: It ends with something found four times in this puzzle (prayer).

In addition to 1-Down, the other seven AMEN answers are:

1A: Parts of churches appropriate to this puzzle (AMEN corners). I've never heard the expression...maybe they weren't in Catholic or Episcopal churches.

9A: TV news crew (camerA MEN), crossing with 14D: Adds to or subtracts from (AMENds). I had been content with camera, even though that gave me add for 14D...which didn't make sense.

65A: Factor in a hotel rating (AMENities), crossing with 60D: Filament holder (stAMEN). Again, I actually thought of amenities, but it wouldn't fit...or so I thought.

66A: Egyptian royal (TuthankhAMEN), crossing with 46D: Citizen soldiers (militiAMEN). Again, I was satisfied with militia, and I couldn't remember King Tut's full it looked fine.

In addition to the mighty fine theme, this was chock (9D: Wood block for holding an object steady)...okay, wrong definition...full of great fill, including my favorites...multiword answers: 17A: Really bizarre (out there), 36A: Consequence (end result), 61A: Graphic in a business report (pie chart), 44D: D, for one (low mark), personal favorite...45D: Where "Thy will" will be done, in part (on earth).

A few things I didn't know and had to rely on crosses to get: 18A: Loads (onuses)...still doesn't sound right, 30A: Italian leaders (duces), 5D: It meant nothing to Nero (nihil), 25D: Imitative (mimetic)...not familiar with the word, but it seems to make sense, 29D: Mahler's "Das Lied von der __" (Erde)...which means The Song of the Earth, 50D: Tony winner for "Sweeney Todd," 1979 (Cariou)...I want to see Johnny Depp's performance, and 53D: Edvard __, Czech president and patriot (Benes).

I never saw Gilmore Girls, so had no idea about 56D: Setting for many episodes of TV's "Gilmore Girls" (Yale). To make things worse, I was picturing "The Golden Girls" in my mind...and Miami Beach wouldn't fit.

Once I realized that, and with *AL* in place, I confidently entered seemed to work. I guess Gilmore Girls must have been a little older than middle schoolers. Who knew?

Favorite clues include 19A: Angular opening? (tri), 21A: Ones with cool jobs? (icemen), 31A: Quick change artist? (teller), 63A: Rare play (triple), 7D: Like favorite books, often (reread) and 37D: Buzz (rumor). The jury's still out of 34D: Sitting spot (tush)...seems kind of iffy for the New York Times, but I kind of liked it.

I'm often confused by identical clues appearing in a puzzle...and today it happens twice. At 11D: Roomy dress is muumuu...great Hawaiian word, to tie in with 38D: Hawaiian root (taro)...and at 58D it's tent. I actually remember tent dresses being popular when I was in junior high. I don't remember that they were all that roomy. Then again, I was tiny, so there wasn't much fabric. The second set of clues...Trattoria order...appears at 40D (Campari) and 48D (scampi).

Other answers I liked include 15A: Decks (topsides), 22A: Veronica of "Hill Street Blues" (Hamel), 43A: Winter Olympics event (slalom), 47: "Midnight Cowboy" role (Ratso)...although I had Rizzo at first, 60A: Writer Rushdie (Salman), 3D: Best (optimal) and 12D: Perfume (essence).

I had planned to make this a short post, but the puzzle was just too good. I had a second cortisone shot in my shoulder today and will start a second round of physical therapy next week. If that doesn't do it, then we're looking at surgery. I officially feel old...high cholesterol that continued to climb (despite a healthy lowfat diet) plus a coronary scan that showed mild atherosclerosis = a part of my daily routine. After three weeks on blood pressure meds, I'm happy to say that it's working...I was 120/80 for the first time in forever.

The good part of being old is that today was senior day at Kohl's, so I got an additional 15% off everything I bought...a tow truck and Thomas the Train flannel pajamas for grandson Franklin, both already at 50% off. Some days they have to pay me to take stuff out of the store.

That's it for today. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I thought the plural of onus was onera, or something, but onuses? Give me a break.

And what is "mich" for 49D, Thumb locale, abbr.? Give me another break.

coachjdc said...

I believe MICH refers to Michigan which is shaped like a mitten.
My favorite part of Hill Street Blues was when Frank's ex-wife would burst into the office and rant for liek 30 seconds and he'd just look up and say, "Hello, Faye" LOL
Amen Corner refers to the section of the congregation (ususally in Evangelical churches) where the most vocal worshippers sit; calling out "AMEN"

Linda G said...

Yeah, there were a couple of odd ones, but I'm usually willing to let them slide. I tried to construct a puzzle once, and it was probably one of the most difficult (and nerve-wracking) things I'd done...right there behind raising teenagers ; )

Michigan, that one was truly okay. That was the abbreviation for many years before the two-letter ones came along. And didn't they look odd to us at the time!

Linda G said...

Forgot...thanks for clearing up AMEN CORNERS. Definintely didn't have them in any of the churches I've attended. In retrospect, though, I can picture scenes in movies.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain how Reno to LA is SSE not SSW or is this just a bad clue?

Sue said...

Hey, Bob. I wrote this one in wrong at first, but when things didn't work out I decided to doubt my geography. Check out a map. The California coast does curve around.

Anonymous said...

Right you be Sue...Boy do I feel stupid!!! Thanks for straighting me out!!!Have a good day

Anonymous said...

Liz, Welcome to the creak and groan age! I personally am doing the BP and cholesterol pills PLUS one you'll never need called FLOMAX - because I don't!
I am still smarting over AMEN CORNERS. I was trying to make the usual church parts fit, but when I finally got to PRAYER I figured out AMEN and then the (puzzle) corners all fell into place. I never heard of an "Amen Corner".
Because my daughter went to U of M, I knew that people from Michigan describe where they live in the state by holding out their right hands - fingers together and thumb extended. Then they point out where they live with the left index finger. The thumb represents the Upper Peninsula (called the U.P.). In spite of knowing all that I was trying to make some anatomical name for hand or hand part fit. Finally just filled it in.
I loved TUSH - it's such a New York word! - but again I only got it by filling in. I'm old enough to remember the egg shaped IMAC (see pharmocopia in 1st graph).

BTW it's Thomas the Tank Engine not Thomas the Train - a British phrase. Happy Holidays! DrBob -AKA Grandpa Bob!

Anonymous said...


The thumb doesn't represent the U.P., it represents the SE part of MICH above Port Huron that extends NNE into Lake Huron.

There is no representation of the U.P. on the right-handed-palm-up- quasi-map.

If you want to stop taking Flomax try the diuretic add-in to Lisinopril. It'll have you Flomaxing way more than you want to.

We must be the average age and above of the NYT puzzlers.

Anonymous said...

Michigan's lower peninsula is mitten shaped all by itself without any help from the upper peninsula. Yet another example.

Linda G said...

Quite a geography lesson today. I still need to get a map of the western states to see that for myself. The only reason I had SSE was that I knew W wasn't going to work at the end of 17A.

Now I'm off to see what Flomax is for...

Anonymous said...

For Michigan's Upper Peninsula, one uses one's left hand, palm up, fingers pointing right. The thumb then is the Keweenaw Peninsula, sticking up into Lake Superior, about as far north as you can go in Michigan. I should know. I went to college there for four years. One year summer came on a Tuesday.

cornbread hell said...

i haven't been here in a while. checked in today because i noticed some recent hits on my blog came from your blog. thanks for the link, linda. i'm humblored. (neogistically speaking, that means *humbly honored.*)

i will recede into the past to do *today's* puzzle and come back to see how i did.

luckily for me, my memory is poor enough not to let this brilliant post and lively commentary ruin my puzzling experience 6 weeks in the future.

Linda G said...

Welcome back, cornbread. I sure have missed your comments.

Humblored...great word. And you're welcome ; )