Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday, January 17 - Matt Ginsberg

I don't think I've ever blogged this early in the morning...I hope my brain and fingers will cooperate. The coffee just finished brewing, so that will help.

This was moderately difficult for a Thursday puzzle, with [---] appearing as the clue four times. Some of the tougher answers had equally tough words crossing at a questionable letter...things that I expect of a Friday or Saturday. That said, there were an awful lot of gimmes...more later about both of those.

The theme wasn't revealed until the end of the down answers, but we had a clue at 6D: Fill in the __ (a hint to this puzzle's theme) (blank). I had already guessed (correctly, it turned out) one of the theme answers at that point. 55D: What each completed pair of theme answers in this puzzle is (film).

The paired theme answers are:

15A: Jose Cuervo, for one (Tequila) and 16A: --- (Sunrise). Tequila was a gimme, and I don't even drink it. At that point, the Eagle's song came into mind, and I filled in the blank.

34A: Prize (Treasure) and 35A: --- (Island). I didn't immediately guess the blank on this one, and a wrong down answer really threw me...38D: St. __ (common hospital name) was Luke's...I had Mary's.

41A: Brute (Animal) and 42A: --- (Crackers). Absolutely nothing came to mind for that blank.

63A: Of tremendous fervor (Blazing) and 64A: --- (Saddles). Blazing just couldn't come to me, even when I had the Z from 47D: Sauce (booze). Once Saddles appeared, I knew the answer. I didn't see the movie until twenty or more years after its was disgustingly racist and we didn't even watch the whole thing. Were people really so insensitive in the seventies that they found that entertaining?

In addition to Tequila, other gimmes included 8A: 1958 sci-fi classic starring Steve McQueen (The Blob), 24A: Rice dish (pilaf), 27A: Place for a houseplant (sill)...although I don't have a single one on a sill, 39A: Supporters of the arts (patrons), 43A: Altoids holder (tin), 1D: Pivoting razor (Atra), 4D: So last year (out)...the clue made me laugh, 5D: Country singer with the 1997 triple platinum hit "How Do I Live" (Rimes), 12D: It may be on a property (lien), 13D: Bone: It. (osso), 21D: Flexible blade (epee) many ways to clue that one, 27D: Parade honoree, briefly (St. Pat)...only because it's appeared that way in the past, 28D: Tabriz native (Irani)...that appears quite often, always clued in slightly different ways, 45D: Risqué beachwear (thongs)...I was going to leave the visual to your imagination, but this one was too good...54D: Famous Mama (Cass) and 56D: Frozen drink brand (Icee).

The 18A: (Most monstrous) (ugliest) crosses were:

17A: Director Ivan (Reitman) and 3D: 1/64 of a checkerboard, maybe: Abbr. (SQIN) that as sq. in. and it will make sense. Since I don't know Ivan, he could have been Rentman, Restman, Reltman...and I was clueless on the cross. The additional cross at 19A: Taylor, Wilson or Harding (Ann) fouled up that answer even more.

20A: Rear-__ (ender). I had ended...and the cross at 8D was no help. "Oy, vey!" cause (tsuris). I don't get that one at all.

44A: Saint of dancers (Vitus), with 35D: Dry white (Soave). Not familiar with Vitus (guessed Titus when I had the rest of it), although Soave is beginning to sound slightly familiar this morning.

Things I didn't know but got from crosses include 47A: Letters before gimels (beths), 53A: Jazz's Peterson (Oscar), 58A: 1984 film with the tagline "It's 4 a.m., do you know where your car is?" (Repo Man), 25D: Classic camera (Leica)...I think I should have known that, and 59D: "O patria __" ("Aida" aria) (mia).

I also had a few problems in the southeast corner. 55A: It may be said while crossing the fingers (fib). I had lie, but 57D: Former first lady (Bess) fixed that. Also struggled with 61A: A deadly sin (avarice). That's not on the list that I memorized years ago.

I still can't make any sense of 52D: Boom (spar). Can anyone explain that?

Well, it's time to get ready for work. Barnabas is very [50A: Oh so] disappointed that I didn't sit with him in the big chair this morning.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Boom/spar is a structural member that could be part of a ship's mast or part of a crane (as in construction)

bougeotte said...

Linda, Boom or spar are nautical terms for parts of a sailboat. A boom or spar is attached to the mast at a right angle and supports the foot of a sail. People have to watch the boom when they come about or they may get clobbered.
Tsuris is another yiddish term -like oy vey. It is something that aggravates you.
Hope that helps and that you don't have any tsuris today.

Anonymous said...

Saint Vitus is an intresting character. In addition to Dancers he is also the patron saint of Actors, Comedians, Czechoslovakia, Snake bites, Storms and people with Epilepsy!

In the old days the neurological condition Chorea was called "St. Vitus Dance". It involves involuntary movements and resembles a dance.

Just a little trivia for your Thursday!

Anonymous said...

I agree Linda it was a bit tough for a Thursday...there were a few Saturday type Linda I did not understand the SPAR/BOOM relationship, so thanks for the anwer ANNON and BOUGEOTTE...I did use Google for some answers!!!

Anonymous said...

8D: tsuris is yiddish for troubles or ills. If something bad happens, you say Oy,Vey

Anonymous said...

Growing up with some Yiddish Oy Vey and Tzuris came easily.

It wasn't until I heard Bach's cofee cantata performed with the libretto (not sure that's the correct term) in my hand that I realized the etymological source of Oy Vey: Oh Weh (pronounced veh) German for Oh Woe as in Oh Woe is me (German: oh weh mir in Yiddish : Oy vay iz mir). I couldn't help giggling because of the cognitive dissonance: a classical music piece performed in a Gothic style church accompanied by an elegantly begowned diva singing operatically and my visualizing Yenta saying : I've got such tzuris, Oy vay iz meer.

For those of you unfamiliar with Yiddish, (prounounced yiddish from the German forJudisch ,prounounced youdish meaning Jewish) it is a language based on High German with some Hebrew and Slavic elements mixed in depending on where the speaker resided in mostly Eastern Europe after being thrown out of German speaking countries and written using the Hebrew alphabet. It also has a simplified grammar. It is basically a Judeo-German

MBG said...

A fairly easy puzzle for a Thursday. Took me a while to parse sqin properly, and I had a bit of trouble with tsuris. Thanks everyone for explaining, and especially thanks to profphil for the delightful image of the gowned diva singing, "Oy Vay". Made me laugh.

Linda G said...

Thank you all for explaining the mysteries. There seemed to be more than usual.

The gowned diva...a nice visual.

Unknown said...

Tsuris, as with most Yiddish words, has a lot of conotation in addition to the definition of ills or troubles; in this case there is the aura of "worldly woes" which may be exaggerated (Oy, such tsuris with my tailor, he made the hem a half-inch too high) or not (my son has given me such tsuris with his choice of shiksa (non-Jewish)girlfriends).


Ted said...

The one answer that still puzzles me is "I dest." (OR is it "Id est?"


Linda G said...

Ted, it's ID EST...literally, that is.

Improper parsing can often be comical...the recent AS HARP, instead of A SHARP, I FEVER, instead of IF EVER. Pretty humbling sometimes ; )

Anonymous said...

id est, sometimes seen as i.e. is a latin term, much like e.g.(exempli gratia)
id est means in other words....e.g means an latin teacher said to remember it by the"i" in id est is the first letter of "in other words", and "e" of e.g. is the first letter of example

Anonymous said...

Blazing Saddes was supposed to be a wry commentary on the racism of the day. Richard Prior actually had alot to do with the script writing and development.