Friday, April 18, 2008

Saturday, April 19 - Bob Klahn

This was one tough puzzle. I had to walk away from it a few times...and had to Google a few things.

Many of my answers were nothing more than guesses that panned out...including:

16A: Compulsive shopper (oniomaniac). I didn't know there was a word for it...although I should. I'm a recovering oniomaniac. It's been more than a year since I found bags of clothes bearing their tags on the closet floor.

18A: 20th-century scandal (Teapot Dome). I must have heard it at one time in my life...or maybe nothing else would fit.

26A: Birthplace of Sert and Miró (Barcelona).

29A: "A Clockwork Orange" instrument (moog).

36A: Dawn observance (matins)...couldn't remember if it had an I or an E.

38A: Folds (plies). The ballet move would have been an easier clue, but it is Saturday.

39A: Giant perissodactyls (rhinoceri). That's probably never been in a NYT puzzle.

50A: Mixture (salmagundi). I was clueless and only got it from crosses...but still thought it must be wrong.

2D: "The Last Don" sequel (Omerta). I thought it was "The Last Don II."

8D: City whose name is Siouan for "a good place to grow potatoes" (Topeka). I didn't know that's what it meant, but with the K in place, it was a very good guess. I'm thankful I knew 24A: Product once advertised as "Ice-cold sunshine" (Coke). Sometimes it pays to be old.

13D: Flattering courtier who changed places with the tyrant Dionysius, in Greek legend (Damocles).

32D: Defensive structure (palisade).

33D: Person not easily budged (stickler). Love the word...maybe because I am one at times.

There was so much I didn't know in this one. The crosses helped me get 5A: "L'Orfeo" composer (Monteverdi), 30A: "La Bohème" setting (garret), 31A: "Casablanca" screenwriter Julius or Philip (Epstein), 55A: Lassie creator Knight (Eric), 4D: Boxing-related (fistic), 7D: "Love Jones" actress, 1997 (Nia Long), 12D: Western Sahara region (Rio de Oro), 20D: Only starting pitcher since 1971 to win a league M.V.P. award (Clemens), 27D: "Such Good Friends" novelist Gould (Lois), 28D: Writer of the story upon which "All About Eve" is based (Mary Orr), and 30D: "Treasurer Island" character (Gunn).

Favorite clues include 1A: Lock combination? (coif), 15A: It means everything (omni), 17A: Seeks change? (begs), 21A: Court calls (lets), 25A: Bicycle pack (deck) of just a few gimmes, 46A: Like M, L or XL (Roman), 56A: Windy? (serpentine)...a long I sound when I was thinking short I, 57A: Check for letters (rent), 1D: Network seen in many homes, and not proudly (cobweb), 9D: Engage in cabotinage (emote), 14D: Blade holder (ice skate), and 31D: What "!" provides (emphasis)...another gimme.

There are a few answers that I can't make any sense of. I just checked Harris's grid at Water and Waves, and the answers are right. They still make no sense. Can anyone explain 25D: Hamlet (dorp), 37D: It could end up in a fiasco (chianti) and/or 51D: Relief provider, maybe (map). It seems as though there are more, but I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open any longer.

With that, I'm calling it quits for this one. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


MBG said...

Tough puzzle! The first things I filled in were 5A MONTEVERDI and
18A TEAPOT DOME. The fist I learned recently and the other for some reason I have never forgotten since learning it in high school an age ago. Isn't it weird what our brains hold on to? RThe only other gimme was 20D CLEMENS the only starting pitcher to win the MVP since Vida Blue won in 1971.

From there it was a long slog and I had to google a few things. I don't get 25D DORP either, Linda, and like you I am a recovering
16A ONIOMANIAC. I've been good for 18 months, but oh, the temptation!

Anonymous said...

Linda, think TOPO for map relief provider. Can't help on the other two.

"Windy?" was one of the most devious clues ever for me. Don't think it needed the question mark though.

"'Casablanca' screenwriter Julius or Phillip" was one of the oddest clues ever for me. Couldn't get a sense for whether the screenwriting part applied to both of them. Still don't know.

Some wonderfully clever cluing. Good puzzle but a touch too esoteric to be ultimately satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Dorp is a word of Dutch origin that means village (in German it is dorf). The word shows up in place names in former Dutch colonies such as South Africa and New York.

Fiasco is the type of bottle with a straw covered bottom that used to be a fixture of every Italian restaurant.

Linda G said...

Thanks for the explanations.

FIASCO is the strangest one. I have never once heard that...and we drank plenty of chianti growing up in an Italian household. I'll have to test my sister when we talk later today ; )

Unknown said...

Fiasco refers to a type of bottle often used by Almaden, that has a rough protrusion of glass. This was originally an error, a fiasco!

Anonymous said...

Re. a MOOG in A Clockwork Orange: I cannot picture this. Does anyone remember the scene? I can picture the MMcDowell character playing Beethoven on a Transcriptors turntable (quite a piece of engineering in its day, very beautiful), but not the synth.

Anonymous said...

Linda, I forgot to mention "The Last Don II". Guffaw out loud.

cornbread hell said...

toughest puzzle i can remember. i must be a glutton for punishment because i loved it. (couldn't quite finish it, but...)