Monday, November 26, 2007

Tuesday, November 27 - Julie Ann Bowling

This is the first puzzle by Julie Ann Bowling since I started this blog...wonder if it's a debut.

The theme is clever, but it's difficult to put into words. The theme answers are all common two-word expressions...the first word's vowel sound is changed (long to short, or vice versa)...then the new expression is clued.

20A: Number one #2? (LEAD PENCIL)...change to a long E sound, and it takes the lead.

57A: Little woman? (MINUTE MAID).

9D: What a comedian might do before going onstage? (POLISH JOKE).

29D: Fish-shaped musical instrument? (BASS GUITAR). It sure didn't help that I had bass fiddle.

My favorite clue in the whole puzzle...13A: Workplace for some clowns (rodeo). Too funny. Second favorite is 37D: Queue after Q (RSTU).

There are so many good answers that it's hard to choose one...but I'll have to go with 51A: Empty, as a stare (vacuous). When I had the UOU, though, I was sure something was wrong.

I liked both of the long nontheme answers...6D: Hard porcelain (ironstone) and 34D: Made impossible (precluded)...and the almost-as-long ones:

26A: 2 and 12, e.g., in dice (doublets). Don't know why, but I don't recall the word.

49A: Puts together hastily (scares up)...that's what I often do for dinner. The other night I scared up a great minestrone with a can of diced tomatoes, a can of white kidney beans, two small cans of chicken broth, 1/2 cup small pasta, and half a bag of fresh spinach, chopped. Add garlic and onion, if desired. Twenty five minutes later, dinner's ready. For the best flavor, top each bowl with Parmesan or Romano. Mmm, mmm.

For a Tuesday puzzle, I was pleasantly surprised to see so much atypical fill.

22A: Hunchbacked assistant (Igor).

24A: Manorial worker (peasant).

35A: Oslo is on one (fjord). I remember encountering the word for the first time in school. I just loved pronouncing it.

42A: Northamptonshire river (Ouse). Never heard of it but got it from the downs.

65A: Persian tongue (Farsi). About two years ago, I met a woman who speaks seven languages, including Farsi. Before that, I'd never heard of the word. Thanks, Rabeejah...because of you, it was a gimme.

66A: Cuzco native (Inca).

5D: Matthew or Mark (Gospel).

10D: Alphabet ender (Omega).

11D: Carpentry joint part (tenon). The same friend who originally introduced me to the New York Times puzzle also taught me about mortise and tenon joints, as well as ogees...words that appear from time to time.

12D: Angry bull's sound (snort). I just like the word. I have been known to snort when I laugh.

50D: Really sorry (rueful). I've always thought that was a funny word...I'm so full of rue if that offends anyone.

52D: Intense pain (agony). It may not be agony, but my shoulder pain has returned with a much so that I'm willingly going in on Wednesday for another cortisone shot. I didn't really enjoy the first one, but it sure did make a difference. I'm also starting another round of physical therapy. Groooaaan.

53D: Jim who sang "Time in a Bottle" (Croce). I remember the day he died...I had just bought another of his albums when I heard the news. I still enjoy listening to some of his music.

A few things I didn't know but got from crosses: 32A: Bart's teacher, __ Krabappel (Edna), 26D: China's __ Xiaoping (Deng), and 58D: Ibsen's __ Helmer (Nora).

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

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


coachjdc said...

Thought this was pretty tough for a Tuesday. The DOUBLETS/IRONSTONE cross hung me up for a while.

Anonymous said...

not your typical Tuesday puzzle, but it was fun...cleaver theme...would have finihed quicker if I knew how to spell FJORD...knew the answer but had an I instead of a J

Anonymous said...

I think the technical term for today's theme is heteronyms. I thought it was a little harder too for a Tuesday Coach. Thanks for the writeup Linda and the minestrone soup suggestion-sounds like a good idea!

Anonymous said...

Don't think that displayed the page correctly so I'll try again.Heteronym. Hopefully that will.

Linda G said...

Thanks for the link...if I'd ever heard of heteronyms, I've forgotten it. I've said it before, but I'll say it again...we learn so much from one another ; )

Le Master said...

25D: Auf Wiedersehen

My favorite vocalist of all time, Bing Crosby has an amazing rendition of this tune over on YouTube.

Linda G said...

That is a beautiful song...and reminds me of a funny Bing Crosby story. During my senior year (a long time ago) I worked for a law firm in Palm Beach. I answered a call that was for one of the secretaries, and the caller identified himself as Bing Crosby. I thought it was a joke and put the call through to her...found out later that they were old friends. I could have asked him to sing me a few lines. Oh, well...

Sue said...

Rodeo clown is a real job!

Le Master said...

Oh my God, that's crazy! You actually exchanged words with Mr. Harry Lillis Crosby. I wouldn't have believed it either. Yeah you should have told him that the only way you'd put the call through is if he sang his words instead of speaking them.

Sue, one of my best friend's dad was a rodeo clown. In a little nook of their house they have all of his old costumes and props and some pictures on display. Every year my friend dresses up in his dad's garbs for Halloween.

cornbread hell said...

i always look forward to seeing how you describe this type of hard to describe theme, linda. in fact that's exactly why i came here today.

yep, i'm still computer-less. am using the one at my mom's residence right now. i'll post a blog later (if i don't get thrown out first.)