Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday, February 25 - Randall J. Hartman

I'm not sure if this was easier than most Mondays, but I fairly zipped through it...not even reading many of the down clues until after the fact. In some cases, I was guessing the down answer based on the letters I already had. Amazingly, it worked every time.

The theme of the puzzle...revealed at 55A: Object of the actions suggested by the starts of 17-, 30-, 47- and 66-Across (wood) was furniture refinishing. I was impressed that the four steps were in the proper order. The theme answers:

17A: X-rated dance (striptease). That will always remind me of "The Stripper," a #1 song in 1962...and used in a 1967 Noxzema commercial. "Take it off...take it all off."

30A: Beach find (sand dollar).

47A: Initial power source (prime mover). I had never heard the expression...don't know where I've been.

66A: Pinto (paint horse).

I enjoyed seeing both olio (16A: Mixed bag) and oleo (56D: Margarine) in the same puzzle. I hope JimH can tell us if that's ever been done before...I know I haven't seen it.

We don't have a pangram, but there are plenty of Scrabbly letters. Interesting clue at 40A: Rotcut (booze). I particularly love its cross at 34D: Sky-blue (azure). I'm sure I've said before that I have a great-nephew named Azure...and it's the perfect name for him. Check out those eyes. Are the girls gonna love him?

Two long entertainment-related answers...10D: 1990 Macaulay Culkin film (Home Alone) and 37D: Competitor of "The 5th Wheel," in reality TV (elimiDATE). Knew the former but not the latter. Elaine confirmed that I didn't have something wrong there.

I couldn't choose an absolute favorite answer. It's a tie between 31D: Israeli desert (Negev)...I like both the way it looks and the way it sounds...and 46A: __ jacket, 1960s fashion (Nehru). Here's Sir Paul McCartney himself wearing one.

Other favorites, because of clues, answers, or whatever:

1A: Boston orchestra (Pops).

27A: Some Caribbean music (ska).

39A: __ Speedwagon (1970s-'80s band) (REO) favorite treadmill CD is their greatest hits.

69A: Ryan of "The Beverly Hillbillies" (Irene). I am extremely embarrassed to say that I watched that show religiously...and I can't for the life of me explain why. But Irene Ryan was a class act.

4D: Slide, as a credit card through a reader (swipe). I still think of swipe as meaning steal, so it sounds strange when they tell me to swipe my card. It's already mine...why would I swipe it?

13D: Cappuccino head (foam). That's one I didn't see until just this moment. Good one.

24D: "Streets of __" (classic cowboy song) (Laredo).

27D: Little rascal (scamp).

32A: Sharp turn on a golf course (dogleg).

48D: Chatterbox (magpie). This was an exceptional weekend at the bird feeders. We had a hairy woodpecker at the feeder for the first time, a small flock of grosbeaks, and chickadees and goldfinches galore. I get so much enjoyment from watching them.

49D: Spoiled (rotten). Why, yes, I am.

This wasn't much of a movie year for me, and I didn't see any of the films that received major Academy Award nominations. I'm renewing my Netflix membership, though, and I'll start adding them as they're available. I've been checking for far, the hottest dress I've seen was on Renée Zellweger.

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

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience -- filling in answers without checking the clues. Pretty zippy. I wrote down my starting time but abandoned the puzzle completely when the Oscar show got to a quick reiteration of all past best movie winners. No offense intended, Sly fans, but Rocky seemed pretty out-classed.

Still unclear about Elimidate, but I recommend Feb. 29 as the one to go.

Anonymous said...

Linda, thanks for the challenge! OLEO and OLIO have appeared together seven times in my database. I have links to the puzzles here.

Anonymous said...

Linda, I argree this was one of the easiest Monday puzzles I have seen in years...did not need to refer to the down clues very often...was confused by ELIMIDATE but like yourself my daughter confirmed it for me....I did not care for the last two theme answers...a PRIMEMOVER is, in my opinion a person who is primarily responsible for getting a project refer to it as an initial power source is a streach... an a pinto is a PAINTED horse, not a PAINTHORSE...Norman see that the put DEL into today's puzzle too!

MBG said...

Super easy Monday puzzle. I never read most of the down clues, either, Linda.

Your great-nephew is a doll, a heartbreaker-to-be.

Prime mover may refer to a philosophical argument for the existence of God.
See Wiki article

Anonymous said...

Anna...Thanks for that reference. I have never seen it used in that context before. Used in that manner I can see how it would fit

MBG said...

Happy to oblige, Bob. :)

I meant to add: it's a good thing I never saw the Fifth Wheel/ELIMIDATE clue/answer pair. I would not have known either. Reality TV turns me off big time!


Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I have never seen even one reality TV show.If what passes for realtity on those types of shows is reality we are in big trouble as a country!

MBG said...

Amen to that, Bob! ;)

I have suffered through a few of them just to see what my kids were talking about. The few I saw seemed to revel in the humiliation of of the participants. Not my cup of tea.

Linda G said...

I've never seen a reality show, either. I wrote a paper for Contemporary Social Theory about one without ever having seen it. It was the worst one ever..."The Littlest Groom"...a dozen dwarf women vying for a date with the 4-foot-5-inch bachelor. I'm not kidding. You can see for yourself at

And I have GOT to learn how to do links in the comments section.