Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Wednesday, February 6 - Larry Shearer

We haven't had a Larry Shearer puzzle since November. My favorite was this one, where an across and its down shared more than just a first letter...they shared one clue. I recall having a good time solving it.

Today's theme: familiar phrases have the first letter changed...from F to H. The new phrases are then clued.

18A: Exec with no ideas? (hollow suit).

28A: Headhunter posses? (hiring squad). This is the one that tipped me off to the theme.

48A: First rule of lion taming? (heed the kitty).

61A: "Rapunzel" and others? (hairy tales).

All of this is wrapped up with the final across clue...70A: Angle (and a three-word hint to this puzzle's theme). FISH...for anyone who saw it and still doesn't get it...F is H.

I saw three-word hint and entered F TO H. Thought I was pretty clever until nothing worked in the downs. Then saw angle...and the error of my ways.

Favorite clues include 22A: Like Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 (in F), 24A: Next in line (heir), 39A: Flies off the handle (loses it), 42A: Flapper wrapper (boa), 69A: In-line item (skate), 8D: One's hands and knees (all fours), 27D: .45 or .22 (caliber) and 49D: Professor 'iggins ('enry).

I've gotten to really like identical clues for multiple answers. Today we have 66A: Cloud-nine state (bliss), and the same clue at 10D (ecstasy). I tried to write in euphoria before I realized there wasn't enough room. A similar thing happened with 54A: Mrs. Huxtable of 1980s-'90s TV (Clair)...I wanted an E at the end of her name. When that wouldn't fit, I tried to spell it Clare.

Some of my favorite answers:

15A: Detective Vance (Philo). I'm not familiar with him, but I like the name.

26A: Vast amounts (oceans).

43A: Flexible, electrically (AC/DC). According to Wikipedia, the Australian band of the same name chose it because of a sticker on the back of a sewing machine. Seriously. And while I'm on the subject of music, be sure to check out reader (and occasional guest blogger) Wendy's blog. See the link in the sidebar...or just click here. Wendy is a fellow baby boomer who was raised on rock and roll. Her musical insight makes for very enjoyable reading.

51A: Starbucks size (Grande). Small, medium and large become Tall (go figure), Grande and Venti®.

57A: Five Pillars faith (Islam).

11D: Quark-binding particle (gluon). Sounds like the name of a "Star Trek" character.

29D: Camaro __-Z (IROC). I had a chocolate brown Camaro...a 1975. It wasn't an IROC-Z, but it was a beauty.

31D: Adventurous expedition (quest).

41D: Sulu player on "Star Trek" (Takei). How in the world did Sulu get to be 70 years old?

47D: Dismissal, slangily (kiss-off).

I need to wrap this up for tonight. Serious eye strain caused, I'm sure, by my vision changing overnight. Fortunately, I can get in to see the optometrist tomorrow...with a little luck, I'll have new glasses in a couple of days.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Fun puzzle today...had some errors that I had to correct...TRY insteat of TOP THIS...WWW not URL and put in FEED rather than HEED...Linda I too had a Camero back in the day!!!!Also thanks for explaning FISH...I never got it until I read the blog

MBG said...

This was fun and fairly easy as Wednesday puzzles go. As always, I scanned the clues before starting, and picked up on FISH, and so got the theme right away. Clever. I especially loved HAIRY TALES.

I wondered about YIPE. Have only ever seen it as YIPES, but the dictionary says it's correct.

I too, tooled around in a muscle car, back in the day, as Bob says. But my day was ten years earlier than yours, Linda, and my wheels were a blue 1964 Mustang, the original. Then I married a man who drove a marina blue Camaro (not an Iroc). We could only afford to keep one car, so my Mustang had to go. Very sad. They were great cars.

wendy said...

Thanks so much for the endorsement, Linda! Will post later; very busy day ..............

wendy said...

Appropriately challenging puzzle; I think Wednesdays are so nice because they're not so hard they can't be finished, but still you can't breeze right through. I goofed on LILI (Gigi) and BOAT (duck) and it seems I thought ECSTASY was spelled with a second C. But I recovered.

HOLLOW SUIT was my favorite answer. Favorite clue - flexible, electrically.

Interesting thing about Larry Shearer; I happened to be on Cruciverb and lo and behold I saw that the grandson of the founder of the PR firm I work for in Cleveland was seeking constructors for a memorial puzzle for his dad, to share with his dad’s friends who knew him to be an avid solver. He would pay $300 for it, and supplied words, themes and pastimes that could be worked into the puzzle.

Larry Shearer was the winner. I wrote to Nat asking if he would be willing to share the puzzles (one version was harder than the other, but with the same answers). Isn’t that something? What a great way to remember somebody. Anyway he did send them but I haven't solved them yet. Looking forward to it!

Linda G said...

From what I've read elsewhere, others had trouble understanding FISH.

Camaros and Mustangs...they bring back memories. My first car was a 1965 Mustang. Alas, my brother wrecked it a few years later. I'd given it up for a new VW bug, but I was still heartbroken. I still gaze longingly every time I see one.

Wendy, I'd love to see/solve those puzzles if there's a way you can legitimately share them.