Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wednesday, March 26 - Michael Langwald

In a post last month, Orange mentioned Michael Langwald's crossword debut with a puzzle featured in the LA Times. Today marks his debut with the New York Times. Congratulations, Michael.

You might not want to solve this one on an empty stomach, though. The theme answers are punned specials of three well-known celebrities, all of whom have last names that are homonyms of cooking methods.

20A: Breakfast specialty of a rock singer? (Glenn Frey's eggs).

39A: Lunch specialty of an Emmy-winning actor? (Peter Boyle's stew).

57A: Dinner specialty of an R&B singer? (Sam Cooke's steak)

The theme answers should have been easier to figure out. I'm not sure where I can place the blame. I had a busy day...yeah, that's it.

The theme wasn't bad. It wasn't great, either, although many of the nontheme answers were. Some of my favorites:

9A: Off the wall (daffy). That brings this guy to mind.

29A: Constant complainers (cranks).

46A: Topple (depose).

6D: Purim's month (Adir). [Update: Read SethG's comment...this should be Adar. I Googled for confirmation after completing the grid, and came up with this...but Seth's answer is correct.]

9D: Makeshift bookmark (dogear). This is never acceptable to a serious lover of books. Isn't there something called Dogear that allows one to bookmark favorite blogs and the like?

10D: Angered and enraged, e.g. (anagrams). I absolutely love anagrams...but tonight I absolutely could not see it until I had most of the letters in place.

34D: Le Pew of cartoons (Pepé). He was a favorite character in my childhood...and he still is. What a lover boy.

40D: More than big (enormous).

54D: Director Sergio (Leone).

56D: Rubber hub (Akron). Fellow blogger Wendy will no doubt be proud that this was a gimme. I especially like the geographical cross at 53A: Arkansas River city (Tulsa).

Favorite clues include 14A: Word before luck or cluck (dumb), 24A: King of the stage (Lear) and 47D: It may be under your hat (secret).

I haven't seen Saturday Night Live in forever, so I wasn't sure about 51A: Clinton cabinet member satirized by Will Ferrell...although Reno was my first guess. This picture is just too funny.

I just noticed the cross between Reno and crossword staple Eno at 48D, clued as [Brian of ambient music].

Our book club read Pride and Prejudice this month, and we're meeting tomorrow night to discuss it. If it's a late night, you'll likely see the grid and an abbreviated post...with the possibility of more written on Thursday morning.

That will be one of my new blogging rules...no more staying up until midnight to solve and blog if I've had something going on that night. That should help me stay rested...and sane.

That's it for tonight. Here's the grid... [Update: Since Adir was incorrect, so are its crosses. I misspelled vise, which gave me rich (rather than the correct rash) for 18A: Ill-considered. My wrong answer seems to fit the definition, though...Wasn't that rich?].

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


SethG said...

So just yesterday, with the ALEF, I was thinking about putting together a comment about the Hebrew stuff every crossword solver needs to know, something along the lines of JimH's music lesson post.

Top of the list were months, and the most common Hebrew crossword month is ADAR. (Which, along with VISE, I think should cross RASH.)

We're in Adar now, and Purim was just this weekend. It's also the most common month temporally--the Hebrew calendar is lunar, and 7 out of every 19 years an entire leap month is added, also called Adar, to keep it roughly in line with the solar year.

I love the Reno photo--couldn't find a copy of the skit, but if I recall that's from just after she broke through a brick wall, shouted "It's Reno time!", and started to dance.

Anonymous said...

Linda, another peeve about books: removing the price if they are a gift. The price is part of the overall gestalt of the book experience, in my unabbreviated opinion, and of historical significance to collectors.

The ANAGRAM clue threw me a bit. I wanted it to say "of each other". By the way, Angered and Enraged are also anagrams of Grenade and Derange.

Linda G said...

Thanks, Seth, for straightening out my mess. It's been corrected and you've been given due credit ; )

Good catch on the additional anagrams, KarmaSartre.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Linda G said...

Anonymous, I corrected that section after Seth pointed out that the month was actually ADAR.

You all certainly keep me on my toes ; )

wendy said...

Again with the Rubber Hub! If the clue had been:

Rubber Hub, formerly
Rubber Hub, historically
Rubber Hub, back in the day

maybe AKRON would be a good answer. But it hasn't been a 'rubber hub' for so long that when I looked at the clue, AKRON was not my first thought. Then I saw that it was a 5-letter answer, and since I was doing the downs first, I checked a few crosses, and it was obvious what the answer was to be.

Attention, all personnel. AKRON doesn't make tires anymore. We make things out of polymers now, in fact we can be correctly referred to as a Polymer Hub. All of the rubber companies moved their HQs and plants to non-union southern states, except for Goodyear, which is staying put HQ-wise, but still, their tires are made somewhere else too (only exception is some racing tires).

Rant over. More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.

Liked the puzzle though, and the theme was amusing. The reference to Will Ferrell as Janet Reno was outright DAFFY.

Bill from NJ said...


Short sabbatical - welcome back!

You are now officially my first stop after finishing the puzzle.

Again, welcome back.

Bill Haddick

Linda G said...

I guess maybe Wendy isn't all that proud of my gimme ; )

Thanks, Bill...nice to be your first stop again.

wendy said...

Oh I'm proud of my town, you may be sure, and proud that you even know there is an Akron. It's just so misunderstood ;) Or poorly researched and most of the time stereotyped.

When I moved from Columbus, Ohio, to Akron years ago, I was telling someone of my impending move, and the automatic reaction was, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" I inquired why that would be and asked if she'd ever actually BEEN to Akron, to which the response was No, and the conversation deteriorated from there. It's a great, green, hip town. We just don't make tires anymore or have rubber fumes spewing into a black sky.

I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning ... chalk it up to that. And the day didn't get much better. But I'm home now and hope to take a big chill pill.

Sandy said...

I managed to get the ADAR but was embarrassed by the comment AKRON was a gimme:-)

Linda G said...

Sandy, don't be embarrassed. As you can see from Wendy's comment, she wasn't all that thrilled with the clue for AKRON...so I'm a bit embarrassed that I got it ; )