Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wednesday, November 28 - Ray Fontenot

I could definitely tell it was Wednesday...no zooming through this one, although I was able to finish it without any outside help.

Ray Fontenot's puzzle features a four-part theme. The theme answers are:

22A: What you might do while driving to an unfamiliar place (get lost).

39A: What you might do next? (find a gas station).

55A: What you might do next? (buy a map).

The clue for the last theme answer was contained in Notepad: What you might do eventually to make up for lost time. The answer, diagonally from the northwest...take the shortcut.

I don't always like this kind of theme, but I thought this particular one was entertaining. I kept wanting ask directions to be a theme answer, but who does that?

Oeno appears again this week...and soon enough that I actually remembered it. Today it's at 36A, clued as Vintner's prefix. Other things I learned in previous puzzles and retained long enough to use again include 14A: Brewery fixture (oast), 20A: Bone-related (osteal), 32A: Ancient theaters (odea), 58A: Local lingo (patois), 42A: Water nymph (naiad), and 67A: Gull-like predator (skua). He doesn't look like much of a predator, if you ask me.

Some of the longer fill was on the interesting side.

5D: All out (whole hog)...nice tie-in with 7D: Fat-pig filler (as a).

10D: Volleyball spikes, say (kill shots). I don't know much about volleyball, but this gives me an idea of what it would look like.

35D: Not fixed (adaptable)...that kind of not fixed, as opposed to broken.

41D: Smokeys (troopers).

I'm getting used to the likes of clues like 28A: F equivalent (E sharp). I was going to try to explain this, but I'd just add to the confusion. Maybe someone else can do a better job of it.

Also liked 8D: Welsh breed (Corgi) and 9D: Cause for a blessing? (sneeze). 25D: Able to feel (sensate) looked good running vertically down the middle of the puzzle.

It's always nice to get the first answer, and today's was another gimme. 1A: "Jabberwocky" start ('Twas). For those who can't remember,

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

For some reason, I can still remember that...more than forty years later.

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

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

This one slowed me down, too, Linda. I seem to fly through Monday and Tuesday and then get slower and slower as the week goes on. Loved seeing the Jabberwocky clue. I can still recite that one, too. Kids love it.

I was lost in the New England part of the puzzle for awhile, not knowing the Kias and having "sang" for "sent"... and "jumpshot" for "killshot." Got it all sorted out, but I was ready to stop for an ale or two. I never saw a diagonal clued like that...at least not for awhile that I can recall. That was fun.

coachjdc said...

Funny. Thought this one was easier than yesterday's. My favorite word today was SKUA.

Anonymous said...

E sharp -- sharps and flats on the piano go up or down a half step. Typically that's from a white key to a black key or a black key to a white key. But there is no black key between E and F so e sharp moves up a half step to F. And F flat would be E though that's too short to be a puzzle answer. Another example -- A sharp and B flat occupy the same black key.

Anonymous said...

How did you figure out that diagonal answer? It never occurred to me. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

I missed the diagonal too-do you know when the last time was the NYT puzzle had a diagonal like that?

Linda G said...

When the puzzle came up in Across Lite, (SEE NOTEPAD) appeared before Ray Fontenot's name. If you clicked on that, the clue appeared.

You could have solved the puzzle without it...for me it put a few letters in the still-blank northwest corner, including the K that I needed to guess DIKE. After that, the puzzle was complete.

I may have forgotten to say this...to pull off the diagonal is quite a feat of construction.

Yes, there have been a couple of others since I started blogging. If you search the blog for DIAGONAL, it brings up a few. Sunday, July 1, was the last one.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone knows the reasoning behind 52D?

Anonymous said...

52 D refers to the testing of the Atomic bombs on the Bikini atolls.
Fun puzzle this week, the clues were a gimme since my husband always gets lost.

Anonymous said...

The syndicated version has, at the end of the DOWN clues, a category DIAGONAL with one entry. On or near the weekend one might see that clue; on an easy Wednesday it came as an afterthought AHA! Very nice.