Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday, January 19 - David J. Kahn

When I told Dooley to let me sleep in this morning, I meant 7:00...not 9:00. I enjoy the time spent alone, drinking coffee and watching the birds...although blogging takes the place of birdwatching during tax season.

Don's also awake and now I'm all fouled up. While he's doing his morning warm-ups and stretches, I'll post something...then you can post your comments and discuss the puzzle if you'd like.


...and you did!

I had more than a few gimmes but still didn't get a good toe-hold...14A: Warm up, as leftovers (reheat), 19A: Look at a Playboy Club? (leer), 22A: Big name in sportswear (Izod), 34A: Long rides? (limos), 48A: Platters' platters players (Hi-Fi's)...I don't usually use an apostrophe to indicate a plural, but it just looks wrong otherwise), 66A: Having one's feet up, say (at ease)...although I could just have easily gone with at rest, so maybe that's more of a lucky guess, 2D: Love all (zero zero), 3D: Simon & Garfunkel hit after "Mrs. Robinson" (The Boxer)...sorry, Wendy, 4D: Affirmative action letters (EEO), 7D: Adolphe with an instrument named after him (sax), 12D: Certain diet restriction (no salt)...although I toyed with low fat and 39D: Father-and-son comedic actors (Stillers).

If I hadn't consulted with Dogpile to get some of the unknowns, I'd still be solving. They include:

29A: Fiat headquarters (Turin)...originally read it as flat headquarters...not that I would have known it anyway.

46A: "Dead Souls" novelist (Gogol).

58A: Univ. of __, alma mater of Joe Namath and Bart Starr (Ala.)

64A: Sportscaster with the catchphrase "Oh, my!" (Enberg).

23D: Actress Mazar and others (Debis). I have no clue who she is.

52D: Title role for Maria Callas in her only film (Medea).

62D: __ Lyman & His California Orchestra, popular 1920s-'40s band (Abe). Definitely a Saturday clue.

I ended up with Orient Express for 36A, clued as [See 15-Down]...then had to use Dogpile for the related 15D: Noted 36-Across passenger (Hercule Poirot). I remembered his last name but not his first. I don't think I'll forget it again.

This isn't a pangram, but there's a nice assortment of letters, some pretty Scrabbly. No Q or K, but V and Z appear twice...and X is in the grid three times, although it seemed like a lot more with the good crosses, including 27A: Battlers, at times (sexes) card game, by the way and 25D: Rabbit food? (Trix).

The clue that threw me the most was 37D: Water towers? (tugs)...unless you read a long O in the second word, you were probably equally confused. Once I finally did, though, I wrote jugs, used by women in Biblical times to carry water.
I was totally lost (understandably) at 21A: 1993 rap hit with the repeated lyric "Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay" (Dre Day). Unfortunately, Dogpile brought up the lyrics...which were way too disgusting for me. I have used every word in the song...just not that many times in a sentence, and certainly not in that context. Maybe I'm just getting old.

I also didn't know 26A: Role in a Tchaikovsky ballet (Odile) but I must have gotten it from the crosses without even realizing it. Maybe someone can explain why I think her name is Odette. Is that her name when she's a swan?

Also didn't know but got from crosses 1A: Mesoamericans of old (Aztecs), 7A: Mekong River sights (sampans), 17A: Embassy issue? (exit visa), 51A: Gulf of __, body of water next to Viet Nam (Siam), 56A: Jim Beam and others (ryes)...I'm only familiar with their bourbon, 9D: New York City transportation option (Metro North) and 28D: Christmas song favorite since 1949 (Sleigh Ride).

Loved the cluing for 15A: Freak out (have a cow)...even if the answer reminds me of this guy, 59A: Infer (read into), 63A: Put on the line, perhaps (aired out), 38D: Refuge (safe area) and 45D: What a game plan leads to? (safari).

I also liked the cluing for 42D: Comparatively bulky (as large), as well as the similarly clued 65A: Superlatively derogatory (snidest).

I was only slightly confused by 55D: Mercury-Atlas 5 rider (Enos). I thought initially we were talking about tires...sounded like a good name for them. But this little guy is much cuter than tires.

Today's my no-driving day. I am just loving this (so do the dogs) and highly recommend it to anyone who can pull it off. Even once a month helps cut down pollution, and it's so refreshing...maybe even stay in my pajamas all day when I'm not sick!

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


wendy said...

Just 4 toeholds before staring at the puzzle for what seemed liked a half hour and giving up. IZOD, GOGOL, DEBIS, and EOE (which was wrong even though you do see the initials in that order some of the time as in Equal Opportunity Employer) were my only gimmes. Was tempted to put in HIFIS, but it seemed like it would be wrong since it wasn't especially flagged as an abbreviation or colloquialism so I became risk averse at that point. I guess "platters" was the signal that it might be OK, in retrospect.

I couldn't even get THE BOXER, which really pisses me off, as you might imagine. I wanted I Am A Rock instead even though I believe I knew the timeline was wrong. Can I plead that I had to work until midnight last night as my excuse? Not really up on my HERCULE POIROT, sadly, so couldn't crack the case at all.

When I started googling I still went awry - I had Emissary for EXIT VISA, Go All Out for AIRED OUT, and after a while just gave up.


Anonymous said...

Wendy..I fared a bit better than you...had the same gimmies as you plus METRONORTH...I did put in HIFIS also TURIN which gave me a good toe hold before I needed to Google.... after Google things went smoothly until the SW corner which took me forever...there is one glaring error...Jim Beam is burbon not RYE!!!!....other than that not too bad a puzzle for a Saturday

Anonymous said...

I will note that Jim Beam is famous for and makes many varieties of Bourbon whiskeys. But if Jim Beam makes a rye whiskey (which it does, a yellow label), the clue is correct? Don't read more into the clue than necessary.

Anonymous said...

kratsman....I stand corrected!!!

MBG said...

Spent far too long in the NW trying to get started, then looked through the rest of the clues and got Orient Express and Hercule Poirot, which are right in my sweetspot since I'm an avid mystery novel fan and have read all of Agatha Christie. After that it seemed to be a fairly easy puzzle, althought there was lots I didn't know, like Dre Day, and the Gulf of Siam (isn't it now known as the Gulf of Thailand?), and Metro North. Got them all from the crosses though. A no-googling Saturday for me!

Linda, Odette is the princess who the hero, Prince Siegfried, discovers among the swans he's hunting and falls for. She's been enchanted by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart, and turned into a white swan. Odile is the daughter of Von Rothbart and is identical to Odette except that she is a black swan. Siegfried mistakes her for Odette, and announces he will marry her, etc. Much dancing ensues and no one lives happily ever after.

Linda G said...

Annielee, thanks for clarifying the Odette/Odile mystery. I saw Swan Lake when I was very young...loved the dancing but didn't get the story. Finishing this one without Googling was an accomplishment...way to go!

Kratsman didn't say if he struggled, but I'd guess that most did.

Anonymous said...

47 down clue: romantic narrative. I don't get the connection. Help?

Linda G said...

anonymous...I never even saw that clue or I'd have mentioned it in the post.

I was clueless, so I checked my dictionary for LAY as a noun..."a short poem, esp. a narrative poem, orig. for singing as by a medieval minstrel."

That's one to remember. Thanks for pointing it out.