Thursday, February 7, 2008

Friday, February 8 - Mike Nothnagel

Today wasn't the best day. As I downloaded the puzzle, I thought that all would be okay if it was one of Mike Nothnagel's.

It was...but it wasn't. That is, it was one of Mike's...but it didn't make everything okay. It was one of his tougher puzzles, and I had a hard time getting a toehold anywhere.

After my first run-through, I had just a handful of answers, including:

19A: Wrangler rival (Lee).

22A: Person after a lifestyle change, self-descriptively (new me).

31A: Old hippie hangout, with "the" (Haight).

38A: Singer Lennon and others (Seans). Had the too-obvious Johns at first, though.

59A: Club: Abbr. (ass'n.)

5D: Kind of resin (epoxy)...a very good guess.

7D: Natives of Noble County, Okla. (Otos). Another one...I knew it wasn't Utes.

8D: Big __ (Ben).

I also had a partial answer at 16A, clued as [Bad mark]. This is similar to a clue from Wednesday's puzzle...[Like Beethoven's Symphony No. 8]. I knew the answer to that was in [some key] that case, in F. Today, I was pretty sure it was either D Plus (which it was)...although it might have been C Plus, a grade I would have thought was bad (for me). So I just wrote in Plus until I had a few more answers up in the northwest.

My favorite answers were the two long ones. 9D: Short-term relationship (one night stand) and 17D: Ultra-obedient companions (Stepford Wives)...although I thought that one would have something to do with dogs.

Other good ones include 5A: Results of compliments (ego boosts), 15A: Invention convention (patent law), 33A: "Start doing your job!" (Get on the stick!), 52A: Africa's westernmost point (Cape Verde), 56A: Like some salesmen and preachers (itinerant), 58A: Brushes off (sends away), 1D: Laugh-producing game popular since 1958 (Mad-Libs), 2D: What ethylene may be used for (ripening), 3D: Conspiring (in league)...some of that going on today, 12D: Much-studied religious writings (Talmud), 24D: Measure that resulted in multilingual labeling on goods (NAFTA), 27D: Sect governed by the Universal House of Justice (Baha'i ), 31D: Web code (HTML), 35D: Turns over (capsizes), and 39D: Pinch-hit (stood in)...a little confusion on the tense, which looked more like present than past.

I had so many favorite clues. 1A: Ways to get inside hip joints? (MRIs), 14A: Is not misused? (ain't), 18A: Opening on an environmentalist's agenda? (ozone hole), 27A: Modern vent outlet? (blog), 37A: Restaurants are full of them (aromas), 43A: Where a tongue can be found (deli)...had shoe for some time, 28D: Storyteller's pack (lies), 36D: Jersey workers (knitters) and 42D: Spare part? (one pin).

Didn't know but got from crosses (and Dogpile, in a couple of cases):

48A: Fragrant resin (elemi).

49A: Cornerback Sanders (Deion).

51A: Torch-lighting skater at the 1998 Winter Olympics (Ito).

57A: Ryan of "Boston Public" (Jeri). Another show I've never seen.

40D: Abstract (precis). Abstract, as in summary or abridgment...not this kind of abstract.

It's been an exhausting day, so I'll wrap this up. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I agree, tough puzzle. Any idea what "get on the stick" means? What stick? It's a colloquialism that never made sense to me.

coachjdc said...

Wow, that was a tough one! Almost threw in the towel. I did google Cape Verde and Bahai, but beyond that, dug it out.
TGIF: Have a great weekend!

wendy said...

Worst I've ever done on a Mike, but I still admired it. Had a lot of the same snags as you, Linda.

My biggest thrill was getting GET ON THE STICK with no crosses; it just seemed right, and it was! No idea where it comes from either, Jim, although I'm sure the answer lurks somewhere on the Internets ;)

Major error where I had Means to instead of PLANS TO. Had no reason to believe that was wrong, but it bollixed up a lot since I wasn't getting CAPE VERDE, ITINERANT and SENDS AWAY on my own.

Stepford Wives - bwahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

For me that was an easy hard puzzle. I mean, like you, Linda, I came up relatively empty on the first pass but the fills seemed to pop out. Nice way to start a Friday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Anonymous said...

Like jimd and Linda I had very little on the first paas through, but stuck with it and with a bit of help from Google yesterdays puzzle it was a good one for the day of the week.

Ben said...

Here's a curious comment from a regular reader of/solver for Linda's delicious blog -- I've just discovered that, for my job, I need to find someone to create a reasonably hard (let's say Wednesday to Thursday-ish) crossword puzzle centered on science and technology.

(I'm working for a non-profit creating a public conference on science and technology in New York City this May.)

When Linda posted her note yesterday about "Google-stalking" Kenneth J. Berniker, I thought perhaps someone here might know of a way to reach out to and hire a puzzle writer. They would ideally need to be interested in or familiar with science & technology.

Any thoughts? You can email me at the link below or at



wendy said...

Ben, did you see my post of the other day about the grandson of the founder of the firm I work for seeking a constructor for a memorial puzzle for his dad? He solicited that via the Cruciverb site and got good response.

Anonymous said...

This was one of those puzzles where I started with nothing -- one word (Haight) and some esses. Somehow I managed to build from that and was only wrong on the Jeri/Aja intersection. For some reason I guesses Peri/Apa.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks.

I like jimd's phrase "easy hard puzzle"...I like the idea that just because it's a Friday, it doesn't have to be skull-crushing. That certainly doesn't mean it should be a Monday-level themeless puzzle, of course.

The JERI/AJA crossing: it always makes me happy to know that there are people out there whose brains are filled with important stuff, unlike mine -- the cesspool of useless trivia -- which would have started off with those two answers. Takes all kinds.

Until next time...

Orange said...

This resource says "get on the stick" means "Start working, as in 'I have to get on the stick and start preparing dinner.' This synonym for 'get going' or 'get busy' alludes to getting a car going by manipulating the gearshift, or stick. [Slang; early 1900s]"

Hope today was better than yesterday, Linda!