Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday, December 15 - Rich Norris

Some days I nail the puzzle. Some days the puzzle nails me. This is the third day in a row that the latter has occurred. No fault of the constructor...they were all really good puzzles. I've been so tired the past few nights that I just couldn't get on the solving wavelength...ended up napping in the middle of solving, then had to clear those cobwebs before I could get back to the puzzle. Nothing on today's agenda, though, and the R AND R (not in today's puzzle, but it's a recurring answer) will do me good.

Rich Norris's puzzle is full of multiword answers, which I love. I don't think a single one came to me right away...usually there are a couple.

9A: 6'5" All-Star relief ace with identical first two initials (J.J. Putz). Google didn't even help me with this one...I needed the crosses to figure it out.

15A: Pretty poor chances (one in ten). That might be my favorite.

15A: Pro's remark (I agree). Didn't get the clue until just this minute. Nice tie-in at 55A: Pro fighter (anti).

Other multiwords...31A: Words of expectation (odds are); 39A: Ingredients in a protein shake (raw eggs)...ick; 56A: "Enough!" (quit it); 58A: Fail to keep (go back on); 2D: Warned (on notice); 41D: Beginning with vigor (going at); 36D: "Probably" (I think so); and 37D: Gets the job done (sees to it).
Similar cluing at 19A: They're lit (sots) of only a few gimmes and 63A: They're fried (tosspots). That's not a word I'm familiar with and had to look it up to confirm it. Has anyone heard that used?

Favorites or otherwise noteworthy entries include 1A: They get sore easily (hotheads), 33A: Raise canines? (teethe)...all I could think of was open up, 35A: Meanie (sadist)...rather mild clue, 53A: What reindeer do (prance), 61A: Dessert of chilled fruit and coconut (ambrosia) only gimme in that corner, 62A: Liszt's "Paganini __" (Etudes), 7D: Muscle named for its shape (deltoid)...not a gimme, but a very good guess that panned out, 12D: Sci-fi author Le Guin (Ursula), 14D: Took dead aim, with "in" (zeroed)...gimme that didn't even help me get Putz, 21D: They come and go (fads), 27D: Buddhist teachings (sutras), 28D: Eponymous theater mogul (Loew)...another recurring answer, 42D: Composer Puccini (Giacomo), 44D: Certain ball (masque), 44D: 1957 RKO purchaser (Desilu), and 57D: Rx instruction (tid)...that stands for the Latin ter in die, meaning three times a day.

There were a few things I didn't know and got from crosses or Google...18A: 1970s-'80s Australian P.M. (Fraser), 22A: __-Aztecan language (Uto), 43A: Part of a French 101 conjugation (etes), 48A: Mother of Hades (Rhea)...learned that once but couldn't remember, 50A: "A Chapter on Ears" essayist (Elia), 52A: Paris possessive (ses) fair, two French clues!, 34D: "I'm sorry, Dave" speaker of sci-fi (Hal)...Hal appears often, but I didn't see the movie and didn't know the quote, 40D: __ Peterson, lead role in "Bells Are Ringing" (Ella), 50D: "Symphony in Black" and others (ertes), and 59D: "__ sine scientia nihil est" (old Latin motto) (Ars)...but I have no idea what it means.

The grid will have to do for the third picture. Here it is...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


MBG said...

This seemed like a pretty easy puzzle and it must be because it's the first Saturday I've finished without Googling. That book of NYT puzzles I bought and doing two or three of them a day is paying off. :)

Linda, I have seen tosspots used, maybe in one of the many historical novels I've read over the years, and definitely in Shakespeare. From the last scene of Twelfth Night:

"When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey-ho, the wind and the rain;
A foolish thing was but a toy, toy
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
With hey-ho, the wind and the rain;
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,

For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came, alas, to wive,
With hey-ho, the wind and the rain;
By swaggering could I never thrive,

For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came unto my beds,
With hey-ho, the wind and the rain;
With TOSSPOTS still had drunken heads,

For the rain it raineth every day.
A great while ago the world began,
With hey-ho, the wind and the rain;
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day."

If it doesn't work, please forgive my attempt at HTML. I'm learning it, but slowly. Sometimes it would be very nice to have a young, agile brain again.

Off to decorate the tree. Have a great Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

I thought of you when doing this puzzle because of the plethora of multi-word answers: oneinten, housesat, onnotice, gobackon, raweggs, quitit, ithinkso, seestoit, goingat, I didn't know tosspots, but managed to fill that and the rest of the things I didn't know from crosses, making this a rare non-google Saturday for me.

Have a warm weekend!

Anonymous said...

Tosspot refers to a drunkard
John inDC

Howard B said...

I think it was pretty classy of Mr. Shortz to include the duplicate initial clue on J.J.PUTZ. If you're not a fairly avid baseball fan (or local to the Seattle area), it's not an answer you can figure out, especially with all the Scrabbliness going on there. So at least if you can get one crossing, you're getting a kind of two-for-one sale on those initials. Nice cluing touch for a tough answer in a fun, quirky puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda...I was able to solve the puzzle because there was a fair amout that I could use Dr. Google for...after I looked at the puzzle and gulped I Googled some answers and todays puzzle was solved more like a Sudoku!!!...spent the day with the family in the mountaind getting a Christmas tree and tomorrow will be spent decorating !!!

Linda G said...

Thanks for the TOSSPOTS lessons...and Shakespeare to boot!

Rikki, I'm touched that you thought of me when doing the puzzle. And plethora is one of my favorite words ; )

Howard, I never gave that a thought...of course, I didn't have much of a brain left by the time I was blogging.

Bob, you're a brave man. We did the tree in the mountain thing about 20 years ago, so we never have to do it again. Happy tree decorating to you and Annielee!

Anonymous said...

The latin saying translates to Art without science is nothing.

Linda G said...

Thanks, anonymous. No one had answered that, and I never went back to check ; )

Anonymous said...

Whew! This on killed me and I've been doing these for years. I forgot that Charles Lamb's narrator was Elia...still don't know what "ertes" is and the triple words baffled me this time. I thought the yoga Sutras were Hindu and tosspots? I'm just glad it's done!

Linda G said...

jahc...some time has gone by since I solved this one, so I've recovered. But it definitely kicked my butt (and others) weren't alone.