Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunday, January 13 - Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke

I can't imagine constructing a puzzle...but I really can't imagine constructing one with someone else. This is the third joint effort by Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke since I started this blog...the last one was in September.

I'm fairly easily entertained, and I love a good pun, but this puzzle...Baby Talk...had some that made ME groan. Once I caught on to the theme, though, it was somewhat easier to get most of the theme answers. One exception...more about that later.

The eleven theme answers are in-the-language phrases...but the L sound has been replaced with talk. The new phrases are then cleverly clued.

28A: The old frontier you and I don't remember? (west we forget). I don't know why, but I found this funny...and one of the top three clues/answers.

45A: Climate that's copy-protected by law? (patent weather). Hmm...this one, too.

65A: Merlin on an Imax screen? (giant wizard).

89A: Eyelid moistener at a museum? (Art Winkwetter). The very last one to fall, and the one that elicited the loudest groan. Must have been the double W.

107A: Rouse a beloved English queen? (Wake Victoria).

3D: Better half takes the stage? (wife goes on).

6D: Married in error? (wed astray) of the top three clues/answers.

16D: Tush made of shuttle thread? (weft behind). It helped to have a little knowledge about weaving...warp and weft are the two to remember.

69D: Stick one's foot in Chardonnay? (toe the wine).

75D: Development of amnesia? (memory wane)...the best theme clue/answer.

81D: Fabric that needs serious mending? (sick weave).

Some of my favorite clues...20A: Bean town? (Lima), 38A: Donkey Kong, for one (ape), 49A: Ralph Nader and Ross Perot (also-rans), 73A: Lose one's marbles (go mad), 96A: Asian school of thought (zen), 105A: Mover left or right (arrow key), 113A: Buggy drivers (Amish) S at the end of that one, 11D: Able to be followed (coherent), 25D: Grabbed surreptitiously (swiped), 34D: Not just ask (coerce), 47D: Didn't walk or go by subway, say (took a cab), 51D: Enjoy the theater (see a show) and 65D: 3.5, e.g.: Abbr. (GPA).

There were several things I didn't know and wouldn't have gotten without crosses.

7A: Kind of jacket (flak).

27A: Mark who won the Masters and British Open in 1998 (O'Meara).

35A: __ d'amore (oboe). Maybe someone can explain that.

60A: Like some grasses (awned). Here's a picture of awned canary grass.

82A: F.B.I. director appointed by Clinton (Freeh).

116A: National airline of Afghanistan (Ariana). That sounds vaguely maybe I knew it at one time.

5D: "S.N.L." alum Cheri (Oteri)...must have been after I stopped watching it.

44D: Harriet Beecher Stowe novel (Dred). I only know "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

48D: __ Epstein, Red Sox G.M. starting in 2002 (Theo).

61D: Painter Mondrian (Piet). This is one of more subtle pieces I found.

63D: Former Israeli president Weizman (Ezer).

79D: Illustrator for Charles Dickens (Phiz)...knew that once but forgot.

Some of my favorites:

23A: Like some titmice (tufted)...because I love birds. I thoroughly enjoyed my day at home and spent at least two hours just watching birds at the feeders and playing in the snow.

30A: Is covered in dew, perhaps (glistens).

53A: Sound from a fan (whirr). In the past, that clue has referred to fans in a crowd at a sporting cheer.

57A: Richness (opulence). It's just a beautiful word.

78A: What to follow in the forest (foot path).

117A: Coca-Cola trademark (Fanta).

120A: Boasts of (vaunts)...not a word I hear often, but I knew it. And liked it.

124A: Tangle up (in) (enmesh).

4D: Christmas on Capri (Natale).

12D: Bath scrubber (loofa)...I usually see it with an H at the end, but either one works.

76D: In __ (stunned) (in a daze).

84D: Bequests (legacies).

91D: Tricks (knavery). KN words are among some of the best ever.

I can't believe I fell for 46D: Elite (A-list). I thought I was past that...and it came along again and tripped me.

I didn't know 83A: Jimmy of DC Comics...but guessed Olsen. I remember him from Superman on TV in my younger days, but I didn't know he had his own comic book...little Jimmy Olsen.

I've scrapped the idea of picking up the car tomorrow. Things only got uglier, and I'm not up for more conflict. I wish that this had never happened. It's a bad situation...seriously bad.

I'm beat and ready to call it a night. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


DONALD said...

Put that car completely out of your mind -- it's not going anywhere!

It's always sad when good friends go bad...

I have birds in my backyard, but no more, new neighbor (since this summer last) has outside cats -- so now I'm told I can't do anything about it -- my yard belongs to the neighbor. Each morning I stand in the backyard and guard the distribution of peanuts for the bluejays and the one woodpecker -- when they have finished, I leave -- whereupon the cats take over -- they've killed all the doves!

I'd rather have a wrecked car!

Anonymous said...

Oboe D'Amore is a wood wind instrument. It is similar to an Oboe but larger.

That was the easiest Sunday puzzle in a while. Artwinkwetter was really bad and I also love puns.

Anonymous said...


Is it your yard or your neighbors? As if it is actually yours and (only figuratively your neighbors) I would assume that letting one's cats go on to othe'rs property is a form of tresspass and perhaps can be legally stopped.

MBG said...

This puzzle was fun, but some of the answers were terrible groaners. Artwinkwetter? Please! All the same, it made me laugh.

A shame about that car situation, Linda.

Linda G said...

I think we can all agree that ART WINKWETTER was the real groaner in this puzzle ; )

Entertaining nonetheless.

DONALD said...


Is it my yard surrounded by a six-foot wooden fence, about half an acre. I have been informed by the local Animal Shelter that there is nothing I can do, and that if the cats are confiscated by trapping or otherwise, I would be in legal difficulty if I were involved in same. To boot, they are unaltered and multiplying fast! I have no remedy of which I am aware -- there are so few birds left now that I hesitate to feed them as it puts them in jeopardy!

DONALD said...

"Is it" s/b "It is" my yard, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda- Love your site. While I am not bothered by cats in my backyrd I am bothered by the faintness of the clues as printer in our local paper. They are so faint we can hardly read them. do you know of anyway we can download a decent copy off the web. Thanks for your help. Calcanuck.

Linda G said...

Calcanuck, thanks...that's always nice to hear.

I subscribe to the NYT online, as do many of the readers of this blog. Not only do we get the current day's puzzle (as opposed to the syndicated puzzle, which appears in any paper other than the New York Times), but we have access to hundreds (thousands?) of archived puzzles. You can try it for a month (about $8) or for the whole year for about $40. Just go to their

Look forward to hearing from you again.