Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monday, April 21 - Janet R. Bender

Janet Bender hasn't had a New York Times puzzle since I started solving, but I discovered one of hers from February 9, 1999. According to this site, that puzzle holds the record for the most E's in a New York Times puzzle...78 of them.

Overall, this was an average Monday puzzle with an average Monday theme, but there were a couple of answers that had me wondering if I had an error.

32A: Fugard's "A Lesson From __" (Aloes). The cross at 27D: Baseball's Felipe or Jesus (Alou) wasn't much help. I think I should have known that, at least from a previous puzzle...but I didn't.

50A: Hasty glance (aper├žu). I can honestly say I have never heard this word used in my life...or seen it in print.

The theme was housework...the first word of each theme answer was a household chore.

18A: Symbol of a new start (clean slate).

20A: Low-growing tree found typically in rocky soil (scrub oak).

33A: It indicates the seconds on a clock face (sweep hand).

40A: Small whirlwind (dust devil).

52A: Stock transaction done at a loss for tax purposes (wash sale).

57A: Old radio part (vacuum tube).

There must have been something subliminal about the theme. After solving the puzzle, I spent the next three hours cleaning out my office...and I made great progress.

The most noteworthy answer in the puzzle is 49D: Local theaters, in slang (nabes). We had it just a few days ago, and it baffled a lot of us...every blog had comments about it. I found it very exciting that it appeared again before I had a chance to forget it.

Other answers were gimmes because of previous puzzles...some more recent than others...3D: Banned spray on apple trees (alar), 24D: Actor Tom of "The Girl Can't Help It" (Ewell), 29D: Legendary Washington hostess Perle __ (Mesta), 34D: Asia's __ Sea (Aral) and 46D: Sudden outpouring (spate).

Favorites include 16A: Actor Murphy of old westerns (Audie), 26A: Dangerous cargo (hazmat), 43A: "As You Like It" forest (Arden), 59A: "Stronger than dirt" sloganeer (Ajax), 64A: "Hey!" (psst), 9D: Old-fashioned light (gas lamp), 30D: Lover (swain), 41D: Bram Stoker novel (Dracula), 42D: Central part (pith), 51D: Go to rack and __ (ruin)...love the clue...and 52D: Pantywaist (wuss).

The most newsworthy answer in the puzzle is 11D: Red who fought oil well fires (Adair). I remember him from the awesome film "Fires of Kuwait," which we saw on an IMAX screen. Red Adair was truly an amazing man...read more about him and his firefighting career here. R.I.P., Red.

I'm exhausted and ready to call it a night. Thanks, Janet...it was a fun puzzle...and my office needed a good cleaning.

Here's the grid...



...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G

4 comments:

wendy said...

I just used the term rack and RUIN on my blog yesterday. What are the odds?

My moratorium on the word ETAIL has been ignored, apparently.

karmasartre said...

Whoops! There was a theme. Didn't even think about it until I read your blog. Looking at the grid now, I see lots of familiar Roos and Eries and Magis, but while doing it, it felt different than the standard fair. Not sure why, it wasn't particularly hard. Fresh, I guess, and enjoyable. Your statement about NABEs really captures the feeling...another day or so and it could have been gone forever (for me).

Anonymous said...

What am I missing in 45 Down "Roof's Edge"....shudn't the clue be in the plural as in Roofs' edge or Roof's Edges...?

Bob

rick said...

Bob,

You only have one roof (I assume) and it has EAVES.