Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thursday, January 24 - Matt Ginsberg

I loved this puzzle...on so many levels. Matt Ginsberg might become one of my new favorite constructors.

The theme was revealed at 63A, and I didn't have any of the theme answers until then. And it finally began to make sense. When I read the clue [Words missing from the answers to the eight starred clues], it dawned on me why I hadn't been able to figure out 15A: 1961 chart-topper for Ray Charles. HIT THE was the answer to 63A...and the hit song was [HIT THE] (Road, Jack).

The other seven theme answers, which fell into place rather quickly at that point, were:

13A: Party game [HIT THE] (piñata).

19A: Vie for votes [HIT THE] (campaign trail).

37A: Get off to a quick start [HIT THE] (ground running).

55A: Get it exactly [HIT THE] (nail on the head). You gotta love a gimme that long.

62A: Shoot perfectly [HIT THE] (bullseye).

28D: React to gunfire, maybe [HIT THE] (floor).

31D: Fail [HIT THE] (skids).

There were a few things I didn't know, but the crosses were doable...and I managed to finish without resorting to Dogpile. I love when my guesses pan out...that happened a few times as well. Good guesses include:

9A: Phil who sang "Draft Dodger Rag" (Ochs). Had *C*S, and I knew the first letter was a vowel. Guessed the O in the cross at 9D: California hometown of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (Ojai)...not familiar with either show or California. That gave me HCL for 11D: Stomach acid, to a chemist...Hydrochloric acid?

35A: "Mother of all rivers" (Mekong).

59A: Vein locale (coal mine)...although I had gold mine at first.

61A: Classic Studebaker whose name means "forward" in Italian (Avanti).

38D: __ Jeeves of P. G. Wodehouse stories (Reginald). I had enough letters that nothing else would have worked...but I've never heard of the stories.

53D: Walter who wrote "The Hustler" and "The Color of Money" (Tevis). The first letter didn't come easily, though. I was missing something on the cross at 51A: Calif. setting (PST)...finally had my aha moment.

Favorite clues include 27A: You, to you, or me, to me (self), 43A: Swell place? (sea), 3D: Zooid (animal), 14D: Largest of a septet (Asia), 20D: 10 Benjamin Franklins (grand), 26D: Ticker tape letters? (EKG), 30D: Chapter's partner (verse), 58D: Doth own (hath) and 60D: Unsafe? (out).

The best nontheme answers:

18A: How trapeze artists perform (aerially).

31A: Where Wounded Knee is: Abbr. (S. Dak.).

42A: Hockey great Jaromir (Jágr). Never heard of him, but what a great name.

2D: Capt. Sparrow, e.g. (pirate). Not my kind of movie...but he's definitely my kind of pirate.

7D: Morgue ID (toe tag). Morbid, but a good answer.

43D: Mrs. Woody Allen (Soon-Yi). They're definitely not my favorite couple, but her name works well in the grid.

46D: Abominate (loathe). I like both the clue and the answer...great words.

I also liked some of the multiword answers. 40A: Corrida chant (ole ole), 10D: Selected (called on) and 45D: Entertaining (open to)...appropriately deceptive clue for a Thursday. Nice.

That's it for today. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Matt Ginsberg said...

Holy cow, Linda! You are way, way too kind -- but I'm delighted that you liked my work!

Anonymous said...

P.G. Wodehouse's stories are very funny and very British! Try one, any one.

Anonymous said...

I loved this puzzle, too, Linda (and Matt). It was all around fun, especially when I figured out the theme and got to fill in all the answers I was trying to squeeze into too few boxes. I love a big aha. But then when I thought the theme was done, there were still more theme clues going down. Also loved swell place, being a surfer and prone to checking and sitting out in the swell. Dolly = cloned sheep = ewe. Eeeewwww. Me to me you to you was great. And then there was snood. I love that word. It makes me laugh. Snood. A day with swell and snood in it is a good day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda, Hi Bob,
Relatively easy CWP for a Thursday. Bob your fears on yesterday's post did not materialize at least for today. We'll probably get clocked w/ Fri & Sat's puzzles!

Anonymous said...

Norman/Linda...well I was certainly wrong...todays puzzle was fun...I got the first * clue from it had to be "road jack" and from there is was easy sailing on the theme answers...this was probably the first time I did not need to Google to finish a Thursday puzzle!

wendy said...

Fabulous puzzle, and I did it all on my own too, Bob. Beautiful construction, Matt. No offense, google. But when I don't need you, I leave you high and dry! My aha moment was with the CAMPAIGN TRAIL answer - I'm clearly too immersed in the political goings on at the moment.

Linda, Phil OCHS was the quintessential anti-war folk singer. I'll always remember arriving on campus just a few short months after Kent State to the strains of his songs being sung by a fellow student perched under a tree outside my dorm. You might remember his "I Ain't Marching Anymore" more readily. He committed suicide when he was 35.

Also, unless British humor isn't your thing, please put P.G. Wodehouse on your reading list. I have laughed til I cried reading his writings. His command of the King's English is the stuff of legend. I usually read it out loud, it is such a joy.

Thought the "Mrs." Woody Allen and Dick Cheney conceit was funny. Now there's two wives I wouldn't care to be ...

Agree, Rikki, SNOOD is just one of those superfab words.

Btw, that's some kooky PINATA you've got pictured there. And love the BULLSEYE; it jumps off the screen!

Unknown said...

More like a Wednesday than a Thursday, but a lot of fun. Once I got the theme (from Nail on the Head) the rest fell into place easily.

My mother used to wear a snood.

Linda G said...

There you go, Matt. I was pretty sure I wasn't the only one who thought this puzzle HIT THE spot!

I'm wrapped up in "A Thousand Splendid Suns" for book club right now. I'll probably be ready for some light reading after that, so I'll check out P. G. Wodehouse...I do enjoy British humor.

Phil OCHS still doesn't ring a bell...nor does the name of the song. Maybe when I hear it. I'll try to track it down tonight.

I agree on SNOOD. I couldn't find a picture that did it justice, though. The best one was on a dog, and I would never humiliate the dog by posting it.

wendy said...

Light reading is the correct characterization - considering it's all about the hilarity that ensues when you're too rich for your own good and your manservant can't keep up with how you bollix up your life despite having nothing in particular to occupy your time. Sounds like it wouldn't be worth reading about, but it SO is!

Orange said...

Wendy's first comment raises a troubling question: If you had to choose between being married to Woody Allen or Dick Cheney, who would you pick?

Linda G said...

There is no lesser of two evils in that case...and it makes the best argument for celibacy that I've ever heard!