Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sunday, December 23 - Adam G. Perl

Yule Outsourcing. I didn't think the title was much of a giveaway, until I finished the puzzle. The four-part holiday verse took longer to get because it certainly wasn't a familiar one.

The verse appears at 23-, 48-, 78- and 106-Across.

Santa's had an easy season
lying in his big recliner.
If you ask him for a reason,
every toy is made in China.

Most of it came together fairly easily, but there were snippets that just wouldn't give. I was missing much of the northwest corner, so the S*N*** became St. Nick...causing havoc with the downs. Then the aha moment...when 1A: Literary slips became errata, and 1D: Once, old-style became erst...and everything opened up in that corner. I must say that I was shocked by 20A: Joint (reefer) this a first for the New York Times?

Also escaping me until the bitter end...14A: Grade school administration, maybe (IQ test) and 22A: Fashion's Bartley (Luella). With the last four letters in place, I wanted her to be Estella. I can't say that I think much of her fashion sense, though...this was one of the better-looking styles I found.

Several Christmas-related clues/answers, including 55A: __ the mistletoe (under), 58A: Nicholas and others: Abbr. (Sts.), 77A: Christmas __ (pie), 112A: Fruitcake and plum pudding, e.g. (edibles), 114A: Source of "we three kings" (Orient), 2D: Where the bag of gifts is stowed on a sleigh (rear), 3D: Auberjonois of "The Christmas Star" (Rene), 8D: Home of Christmas Lake Village: Abbr. (Ind)...well, sort of Christmas-related, 13D: Word repeated in "Now __ away! __ away!...!" (dash), 36D: Straps in a sleigh (reins), 37D: Number of lords a-leaping (ten), 47D: Christmas __ (tree), 62D: Like the Christmas story, often (retold), 64D: Christmas cookie ingredient (pecan), and 108D: Word left off the end of the clue at 13-Down (all).

The strangest-looking answer in the 15D: Line former (queuer). I was sure I had something wrong, even when I figured out what they were getting at. It just looks so wrong.

There were some unknowns that I had only because of the crosses. In addition to Luella:

99A: Decorative gateway in Japan (torii). Oh, I guess I've seen dozens of them...just didn't know them by name. Here's a seasonal depiction.

101A: Classic role played by Gerard Depardieu in "The Man in the Iron Mask" (Porthos). I think I saw the movie, but I don't remember much about it...including that he was in it.

6D: Fictional detective Lupin (Arsene). Never heard of him.

49D: Garfield's assassin (Guiteau). I only know the names of assassins in my lifetime. Sadly, there have been too many.

53D: French-named city on Galveston Bay (LaPorte).

Answers I liked include 21A: Former Acura model (Integra)...good guess on my part, 26A: Locks (tresses), 34A: "Being and Nothingness" writer (Sartre), 56A: Audibly (aloud), 57A: Expirate, with "for" (atone), 59A: Ticks off (ires)...that's its third appearance in the last couple of weeks, so I might as well like it, 61A: Intrinsically (per se)...anyone else try to read it as perse?, 69A: "What to do? What to do?" feeling (panic), 76A: Implied (tacit), 86A: Porters (redcaps), 90A: Unemotional type, slangily (iceman)...until that appeared a few months ago, I hadn't heard the expression, 93A: "Little Miss Sunshine" co-star ((Arkin)...who won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and 111A: Jack of "The Apartment" (Lemmon) of my all-time favorites.

Best clues...30A: Way overdue to take off? (obese), 115A: Puts a new bottom on (resoles), 10D: Of fast times? (Lenten), 40D: Made a long story short? (edited), 42D: Difficult period (teens), 51D: Initiation rite (Baptism), 63D: What snow shovels may produce (paths), 70D: It's a wrap (Saran), 88D: Big pickle? (crisis) and 89D: Out-elbowed? (akimbo).

I've taken all the advice I was given about resting and taking care of myself. I didn't leave the house all day...spent time wrapping gifts, making cookies (yeah, I'm definitely feeling better), doing the puzzle...just chillin' with the family.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


DONALD said...

Welcome back, we all missed you!

Anonymous said...

Torii is in puzzles a few times a year as is Porthos and his buddy Athos. Once in a while you'll get the third one, Aramis.

Glad you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that you are doing better!

I have a question, what is anent referring to in 38 Across? I don't think I've ever seen that one.

Anonymous said...

Linda...glad that you are feeling better and back to bloggging...the day does not feel complete unless I have read your blog...yesterdays puzzle was more than difficult but I did get through it,,,finally!!!
I do not do the puzzle on Sundays so I will look forward to reading your blog tomorrow.
Stay well

TimD said...

Hey I found your blog through my "google recommended" box. Very cool. I have to get back to the NYT puzzles; I never could get passed Thursdays. That's quite a glamorous shot of you. Take care.


Linda G said...

Google recommended? How cool is that!

Definitely come back to the New York Times, Tim. The more you do them, the easier they get. That's relative, of course...I still struggle on some Friday and Saturday puzzles.

If you read way back when this blog began (in April of this year), you'll see why I've chosen the lovely Ava Gardner as my avatar.

Anonymous said...

jimd - Just when you think your Engish is above the crowd, Shortz has to throw you a curve ball!


Main Entry: anent
Function: preposition
Pronunciation: &-'nent
Etymology: Middle English onevent, anent, from Old English on efen alongside, from on + efen even

Anonymous said...

One more….
For those of us that are aficionados (or better yet, “junkies”) of the NYT’s CWP, the LA Times offers a daily freebie, edited by Rich Norris, that can sometimes throw you for a loop. I believe he and Will Shortz teamed up for last Saturday’s nightmare. Also, the site has a daily puzzle on the house in the Arts & Entertainment section. Enjoy.
PS: Linda – sometimes your site pops up on Google, when you enter the clue verbatim as a search.

Linda G said...

I know...I just liked the way "Google recommended" sounds ; )