Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wednesday, January 23 - Henry Hook

Henry Hook's puzzle was on the difficult side for a Wednesday...despite the fact that two of the long theme answers were absolute gimmes.

20A: "She's Like the Wind" singer, 1988 (Patrick Swayze). I was definitely a "Dirty Dancing" fan. There was just something about the way Patrick Swayze moved. If I'm not mistaken, he didn't just sing the song...he also wrote it.

55A: Like some days of summer, in song (lazy, hazy, crazy). Those days of sodas and pretzels and beer. Nat King Cole, 1963.

I struggled a bit with the third one...36A: Aster (Michaelmas daisy). It didn't help that I had a wrong answer for 31D: Stylish (smart)...had sharp instead.

I'm not really clear on the theme. Obviously the last word of the answers all rhyme...but I'm sure there's more than that. I guess it's that each theme answer has a different spelling for the same sound...AYZE, AISY, AZY.

It probably goes without saying that I loved that Z appeared four times!

Things I absolutely did not know and would never have gotten without doable crosses:

9A: Some Spanish Surrealist paintings (Mirós)...that's Joan Miró i Ferrà. I've never heard of him...but this is one of his paintings. Surreal.

49A: Hadrian's predecessor (Trajan). Emperors are not my strong suit.

1D: Michael of R.E.M. (Stipe). Don't know who he is...or what R.E.M. is.

9D: Its motto is "Manly deeds, womanly words" (Maryland). What kind of motto is that?

10D: Resort island near Majorca (Ibiza). Never heard of it...but I'd probably like it.

38D: Sister magazine of Jet (Ebony).

50D: Title girl with a gun in a 1989 Aerosmith hit (Janie)...never was a big Aerosmith fan, but I liked "Dream On."

54D: English drama critic Kenneth (Tynan).

I had some really good guesses that panned out...43A: Part of the Dept. of Homeland Security since 2003 (FEMA), 51A: Musical based on a T. H. White novel (Camelot), 58A: She said "Don't get mad, get everything!" (Ivana), 3D: Travis who sang "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" (Tritt)...Randy was the only Travis I could think of, 7D: Willa Cather's "One of __" (Ours), 11D: Longtime "Hollywood Squares" regular (Rose Marie) and 33D: Winter carnival structure (ice palace).

I was pretty sure that 8D [Hasenpfeffer, for one] was stew. Here's how to make it...if you're so inclined. I'm definitely not.

Favorite clue...24A: C's in shop class? (clamps).

There were some excellent answers in the grid. It was hard to pick the very best...

15A: Delete (X out).

23A: Understanding (entente).

27A: Something detested (anathema)...it gets the award.

45A: Tabby (house cat).

62A: To say in Spanish? (decir)...two years of Spanish paid off handsomely.

4D: Public relations effort (outreach).

5D: Bettor's option (exacta).

40D: Despite expectations (after all).

46D: Dermatologist's case (eczema).

47D: Caribbean's __ Islands (Cayman).

There's one answer that doesn't make sense to me...37D: On the line (at hazard). Should AT be in caps...or am I parsing something wrong? I give up.

I was very saddened by the news of Heath Ledger's death today. I'm especially sad for Matilda, the little girl who will grow up without her Daddy.

He was an incredibly talented young man...his acting in both "Monster's Ball" and "Brokeback Mountain" brought me to tears.

Rest in peace.

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

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

R.E.M. is a rock band popular maybe 20 years ago...

Anonymous said...

With all the answers you don't know, how can you possibly be good at crossword puzzles? Search engines? How could you not know Miró? Ok, at first I had Dali but when I realized we were looking for z's I figured out it was Ibiza. Just a bit of geography - Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean between Spain and North Africa. The others are Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera. I've been living outside the States for almost 40 years and even I have heard of R.E.M. On a kinder side, I do enjoy quite a few of your comments!

Anonymous said...

The thing that's the most fun about this blog is seeing where others had gimmes and trouble. I didn't know any of the long answers, but Miro was a gimme. Even though I'm a total dud on pop culture, I was able to fill in the things I didn't know from the other clues. I had at least heard of Patrick Swayze, though I had some trouble spelling his last name.

Thanks for all your work, Linda.

Anonymous said...

Linda...after two very easy puzzles, my fears are coming to pass...today's puzzle was awfully hard for a Wednesday...without Google I would never have finished...At Hazard makes no sense to me either...I did know 20A and 55A off the bat as well as Ork which gave me Miros and Rosemarie...did not like the clue for 13D...it was a hard and not very clever puzzle...I hope tomorrow's is better, but I fear we are in for it the rest of the week!!!!

Anonymous said...

I object to "Lana" as "Superman's girlfriend" - Superman's girlfriend was Lois Lane, Lana Lang was Clark Kent's childhood sweetheart. I got so stuck on the bottom righthand corner because of this!!!


Anonymous said...

Dan...the clue was correct...it states SuperBOY's girlfriend...I read it wrong the first time too

Linda G said...

Thanks, Anonymous 11:43. I just looked up REM...the only song I recognized was Losing My Religion. I liked it, but if you had asked me at the time who did it I wouldn't have known...I might have thought it was a one-hit wonder!

Anonymous 3:08...if I use a search engine to finish a puzzle, I'll say so. This one took longer than I'd like, but I finished it with crosses that I knew and guesses that panned out.

Anonymous 5:09, you're welcome. I enjoy doing this, but I especially like getting comments to see what you liked and disliked about a puzzle. If you write a first name in your comment, I can respond a bit more personally ; )

Bob, I think your prediction may be right ; )

Dan, LANA was another I didn't know...SuperBOY's girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

at hazard = at risk = on the line

as in "my job is on the line/at risk/at hazard if I spend too much time on puzzle blogs".

MBG said...

Not the most difficult of Mr. Hook's puzzles, but with some interesting fill. Two of the theme answers were gimmes - my gram had Michaelmas daisies in her garden, and I was a new high scool graduate when Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer came out, it was our theme song that summer - but I had never heard of Patrick Swayze's song.

I first went for Dalis over Miros,
and didn't know decir or Michael Stipe, or Janie, but they all came from crosses.

My favorite answer was anathema and I loved the clue for sty.
A nice Wednesday puzzle.

Anonymous said...

On 61A, I used "soon" until I started working down. I always pick the wrong one!

Unknown said...

Hello Linda G

I "Googled" for an answer to a clue and I found You ! You are definitely a keeper ! I am glad Our paths have come together.

Smiles -Daniel

Linda G said...

Daniel, I'm glad too...and I hope you'll come by often ; )

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