Monday, February 11, 2008

Tuesday, February 12 - Deb Amlen

Deb Amlen is no newcomer to crossword construction...her puzzles have been in the New York Sun, the LA Times and BUST magazine, among others...but I think this is her first for the New York Times. We'll see if JimH confirms that.

I loved this puzzle! It had the dazzling combination of an entertaining theme, Scrabbly letters, and plenty of spicy fill.

The theme answers consist of four in-the-language phrases, with RE added at the beginning. The resulting phrases are then very cleverly clued. The best part...each answer uses a different synonym for reminisce.

17A: Reminisce about a nice facial outline? (REMEMBER PROFILE).

27A: Reminisce about spring cleaning? (RECOLLECT DUST).

47A: Reminisce about working in a restaurant? (RECALL WAITING).

63A: Reminisce about a pig-out? (RECOUNT CALORIES).

Yep...I was way impressed with this one. But it's 10:45, so this will have to be a quick write-up.

Favorite answers:

14A: Vega of "Spy Kids" movies (Alexa), crossing at the X with 4D: Give the boot (axe).

21A: Cartoon villain Badenov (Boris). Before I started doing the New York Times puzzle, I don't think I remembered that he had a last name.

22A: Gangsters' gals (molls).

40A: Tense subject? (grammar).

60A: Not spoken (tacit). Nice cross at 45D: Salsa percussion (maracas).

62A: Buddhist sect (Zen), crossing with 30D: People rival (Us Magazine).

68A: Minister's home (manse). Thank heaven for crosses.

1D: Corday's victim (Marat).

2D: Actress Verdugo (Elena). Her name is in the grid often...remember her.

3D: Like a blue state (Democratic).

6D: Lagasse of the Food Network (Emeril). Tie-in at 44A: Catchword of 6-Down (bam).

7D: Big bully (gorilla).

18D: U2 frontman (Bono). This is my absolute favorite song by U2.

48D: Unlike this answer (across). My favorite clue in the puzzle.

Unless I'm imagining things, we recently had a discussion about oatmeal in the comments section of this blog...and here it is in the puzzle (maybe again?). Today it's at 37A, clued as [Common breakfast fare]. Definitely common fare for me...I have it at least five days a week.

The combination of a late night and an early morning isn't my favorite, so it's off to bed. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Goog puzzle. I was stumped about the bottom center until I got TACIT and then it all fell into place.

Kid friendly puzzle with references to "SPY KIDS" (14A), Bullwinkle (21A), and LEGO (58D)

Loved the theme. Once I got the first one it just got easy.


Anonymous said...

I agree Linda and Dan it was a fun puzzle...the theme answers were clever...yes Linda we did have an oatmeal discussion ...last week I was about cholesterol...I have a blood test this week and I'll find out if Red Yeast Rice works as a lowering agent.

wendy said...

I liked this puzzle's edginess, and the theme was clever. There was a fair amount of crosswordese, but it wasn't oppressive, and the cluing was inventive. Especially liked cluing for GRAMMAR and ACROSS. Glad BOAS wasn't clued in regard to a drag queen or whatever the usual is.

SIR was fab, yes, and that reference is going to come up in my blog soon, I sense!

We're about to get dumped on here in the great red-&-blue state of Ohio, and I'm feeling like a huge CRAB. I hate winter!

Have you ever been to a "Waikiki wingding," Linda?

Linda G said...

Kid-friendly...good catch, Dan.

Bob, I'm so happy to know I didn't make that up. I'll be curious to hear your outcome. Red yeast rice didn't work for me, but mine had been climbing for the last 25 years.

Wendy, you know I was tired last night if I didn't point out LUAU...and yes, I have. We went to the one in Lahaina on our first trip...rated THE best luau on all the islands. The food was good...the entertainment was incredible!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob / Hi Linda,

Bob I'll will be curious to see how you make out w/ the red yeast rice outcome on the "C" counts. In what form are you taking this? Reason I ask is that back a year or so ago I saw in one of my "wellness e-mail alerts" that this was "supposedly" available in tablet form and had very good results in lowering one's Cholesterol levels. Turns out that further research found the the pharms had this form banned by the FDA. Any surprise? Have a friend in Taiwan look into this and he found that it is sold there in tablet form. Kind of a vitamin suppliment. The interesting thing is guess where the product is made? Good old USA. Couldn't find the pics on my lap top this evening, but I know they're on my PC at the office.

nnn1 at aol dot com