Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thursday, March 27 - Joe Krozel

Joe Krozel has a solid theme with his Thursday puzzle...three 15-letter answers, wrapped up and revealed at 49D: Word defined by 20-, 36- and 51-Across (crane). All three are clued identically...[See 49-Down]...and the answers are:

20A: Stretch one's neck

36A: Novelist Stephen

51A: Large wading bird

There was nothing forced about the nontheme fill, which included some good long answers. Among my favorites:

18A: Federally guaranteed security (Ginnie Mae).

22A: Showy shrubs (azaleas). They're definitely one of the most beautiful shrubs, but I haven't been able to grow one since I left Florida. In our gardening zone, they're pretty much confined to pots...and that's just not how they're intended to grow.

56A: Private chats (one-on-ones). I'm sure I've never heard it used as a plural before, but it works for me given the overall complexity of the grid.

2D: Faint, in slang (plotz). That's a new one on me.

10D: Engagement agreement (prenup). That took forever to see, even when I had most of the letters in place.

11D: Hard to take? (camera shy). So did this one...I was trying to get something that ended with -ashy.

19D: Wagner princess (Isolde).

21D: Designer for Jackie Kennedy (Cassini). Everything he designed for her worked beautifully. He was a classic designer...she was a classic First Lady.

27D: What "knock knock" may mean (let me in). At first I thought it would have something to do with a joke. I'm sure I'm not alone there.

31D: Celebrated Sigmund Freud patient (Dora). A much better clue than the more current Explorer.

32D: Oscar-winning song from "A Star Is Born" (Evergreen). I absolutely loved that movie and cried hysterically for hours after it ended. I may have told this story before...I stopped at the Chevrolet dealership on my way home, and it was obvious I'd been crying. The salesman brought me some coffee...and I ended up buying my Camaro. Anyway, here's Barbra Streisand singing Evergreen...accompanied by Kris Kristofferson.

37D: Perfect-game pitcher Don (Larsen). I didn't know it, but I had enough letters to guess correctly.

38D: Graph of the equation y = ax2 + bx + c (parabola). I couldn't explain that if my life depended on it...the clue or the answer.

43D: Leave in a hurry, slangily (bug out).

There were a couple of things I didn't know and couldn't have gotten without crosses.

6A: A good breakfast, but a bad supper, according to Francis Bacon (hope). I don't have a clue what he meant by that. If you do, I'm sure there are several of us who'd like to know.

15A: Robert of "The Sopranos" (Iler). Never saw the show.

46A: "Donald's Cousin __" (1939 Disney cartoon) (Gus). Never heard of him, but he fit.

50D: Best and Ferber (Ednas).

52D: Black cuckoos (anis). We have several birds in this puzzle. In addition to crane, this guy is joined by crossword regular erne, appearing at 9D: Marine eagle.

Favorite clues include 25A: Diamond setting (ball park), 40A: It's often played before playing (anthem)...nice tie-in there..., 62A: Unlikely valentine swappers (exes) and 47D: Dukes (fists) in, put up yours.

Also wanted to mention 42A: Cary Grant played a male one in 1949 (War Bride)...mainly because I downloaded this picture. I've seen several Cary Grant movies, but that's not one of them.

Well, this was supposed to be a short post, but I guess I got carried away. Now I'll be late getting to bed...must do better tomorrow.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

By the way, I left it up to Will to decide whether to clue the theme entries by way of 49-Down (CRANE). If that was too difficult for the typical solver, we were prepared to change that entry to CRONE and move "Crane" into the theme clues. I'm thinking the hidden clue was quite appropriate for a Thursday puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Linda, you didn't get PARABOLA because the Across Lite version doesn't show the superscripted 2 in ax SQUARED. Feel free to use that as your excuse. :)

Nice to hear from the constructor. And I agree; perfectly appropriate for a Thursday.

Anonymous said...

After yesterday's puzzle, I wanted the 1-across "fries" answer to be GLENN.

I had a couple of know-without-knowing-how-you-know moments: PARABOLA and HOPE. Parabola is also a very good magazine.

The War Bride movie thing is a joke, right? Mr. Krozel made it up, and you, Linda, photo-shopped the picture. It can't be real....

I know a dog-trainer who teaches the "Plotz" command, kind of a severe down/stay for when the dog is in immediate danger, e.g. from a car.

No idea what you mean about Dora Explorer. Four-dora explora? I'll google this one.

wendy said...

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” That was one of the late Arthur C. Clarke's three laws of prediction, and I used it in something I was writing for work earlier this week.

It's relevant because just when I think I've bottomed out in my solving abilities, I nail something impossible like this with nary a google or peek here.

Last night I was cursing like a sailor; how in the hell did I know what these three long answers were supposed to be, with nothing to tie them together except that they were all defined by one five-letter word? Then this morning I kept hacking away at it, and suddenly it all comes into view. S-W-E-E-T!!!

Loved seeing Jay & the Americans in the puzzle too. CAMERA SHY, WAR BRIDE, PARABOLA, CASSINI and DATELINE are beautiful. PLOTZ is Yiddish, but I don't think of it as meaning to faint, closer to coming unglued, going to pieces, that sort of thing.

Thank you Joe! And thanks for your nice 'brief' post, Linda! ;) Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back has been a while since I checked you blog and it is nice to see you are back!...I have two issues with todays puzzle...Penn is an abreviation and should be noted as such and Ginnie Mae is an acronmy and further more Ginnie Mae's are not federally guaranteed securities. Ginnie Mae is a publicly traded company and not part of the US Government...sorry Joe bad clue

Anonymous said...


Linda G said...

Joe, you and Will made a good call on CRANE...definitely appropriate for a Thursday.

Jim, thanks for the excuse...and I see that you used the same Cary Grant pic, although mine didn't show it with the movie name.

KarmaSartre, I can't tell if you're kidding about Dora...but if you Google it, you'll laugh.

Wendy, thanks for sharing the law of predictions. Yes...very relevant to puzzles such as this.

Bob, I wondered when you'd wander back to Madness...I couldn't stay away ; )

Anonymous, I left Florida in 1980, moving slowly westward. In spite of hay fever, I love having a change of seasons...and I detest humidity. I've been back to visit many times since then...the last trip (and probably my last ever) was in 2002 when my father died.

But, hey! It was sunny and in the seventies yesterday here in western Colorado. Life is good!

Anonymous said...

Linda, I'm sure that by now you've figured out that I steal all my best ideas from you. Why else do you think I was so anxious to see your blog return?

Anonymous said...

The last theme answer I got was 36A.

20A - Crane can be "defined" as to stretch ones neck.

51A - Crane can be "defined" as a large wading bird.

To "define" the word crane as Novelist Stephen ??!

I kept fighting with the Down Clues/Answers to get something like "to hoist supplies" to fit in and "define" crane.

Of course, I could never construct a puzzle. They still amaze me.

Unknown said...

Plotz is Yiddish for faint or "have a cow"!

Anonymous said...

Sean, I can understand your frustration with the theme. This actually follows a prototypical model that pops up in puzzledom from time to time. As I researched for this puzzle, I observed some of the following (in other puzzles): AUTHORLARDNER clued as "Ring", SINGERBOONE clued as "Pat", and on and on. So, heads up for the next time around!! I hope the trouble didn't spoil your fun too much.