Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sunday, April 27 - Oliver Hill

OOPS! is right. I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a tough time spelling all of the theme answers incorrectly. And I'm willing to bet this will be a tough post to write. I may end up spelling them correctly...that is, wrong.

Oliver Hill is one of the young crossword wonders...and also Will's neighbor. This is his third New York Times puzzle...and I believe his second Sunday. This young man definitely has a future in this business...probably another one as well.

The theme is revealed at 65A: Like the answers to the 10 asterisked clues, more often than any other English words, according to a 1999 study (improperly spelled).

26A: * Long, long time (millenium).

32A: * Stick with a needle, maybe (innoculate).

34A: * Absence at a nudist colony? (embarassment).

44A: * Bugs (harrasses).

51A: * Wee (miniscule). This one looks the most fact, I had to look it up to see that it's minuscule. That looks as wrong.

82A: * Conspicuous (noticable).

87A: * Supplant (supercede).

94A: * Doggedness (perseverence).

97A: * Oblige (accomodate).

107A: * Event (occurence).

Just as I suspected...I wanted to spell them correctly.

Steppe reappears in the grid...just four days after its last appearance. Today it's at 122A, clued as [Plain]. On Wednesday, it was [Part of the Kazakhstan landscape].

Favorite answers in the puzzle include:

14A: Casual attire (Levis). I had jeans at first...because I wanted the cross at 16D [It's bowed] to be arrow, rather than the correct viola. That answer always makes me think of Ultra Vi, a frequent past Madness and other crossword blogs. It really stinks when real life has to take precedence over reading blogs.

23A: Turn away (alienate). I was hung up in that corner and had to walk away for an hour before I began to see the light. 1D: Symbol of happiness (clam) finally revealed itself, and that began to open things up.

42A: Stuck (in a jam).

50A: Jazzy Jones (Norah).

55A: X-ray __ (Spex). That was the last answer to fall...that is, the S was the last letter I filled in. Don confirmed it...but denied having ordered a pair. While Googling for a picture, I discovered a group by the same name...haven't a clue who they are or what they've done.

58A: Whatchamacallit (gizmo). Love the the answer.

71A: __ choy (Chinese vegetable) (bok). After our morning at the spa, TOL and I went to the new Mongolian grill in was the best! I have finally learned how to fill the bowl to overflowing so that it cooks down to a reasonable amount of food. Bok choy was only one of the many vegetables I piled in. I'll be going back there soon...and often.

77A: Spicy cuisine (Thai). They also have a separate Thai menu...that will have to wait for another time.

113A: Root used in perfumery (orris). I had no idea that was an iris. That's odd...because when I pick irises and bring them into the house, they smell kind of rotten.

117A: Attempts (has a go at). I love it because it's four words...and because I kept seeing it as has a goat.

120A: Like some pens (erasable). Doesn't that look like it should be a misspelled answer?

2D: Long-haired sheepdog (Puli). I can't believe this is really what they look like. I'm in no way advocating cruelty to animals, but this guy looks like a moving dustmop. Some of the pictures I found were of stuffed animals, but I think this one is real. At least, the tongue looks real.

14D: 1950s Braves All-Star pitcher Burdette (Lew). This is the other corner that caused a few problems...mostly because of the aforementioned jeans/Levis dilemma, but also because I didn't know this guy.

18D: Cubic meter (stere). This word was a complete unknown to me. I just checked in the dictionary...that's the definition...verbatim.

34D: Karl Marx's one (eins). How clever is that!

37D: Product with TV's first advertising jingle, 1948 (Ajax) the United States anyway. According to Wikipedia it was "You'll stop paying the elbow tax, when you start cleaning with Ajax." I guess that was considered pretty catchy at the time.

51D: Orator's no-no (monotone).

85D: __ profundo (basso).

88D: Rare imports, maybe (exotica).

112D: Somme times (etes). I have finally caught on to this one.

Last night's date night was rescheduled...and will now be Sunday brunch. There's a fairly new (three years or less) golf course in town, and I just heard they have the best Sunday brunch, so we're going to try it out. The food sounded good...but what sold me was that they don't just include champagne with brunch. I do love a good Bloody Mary, and I haven't had one in years.

That's it for this one. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


karmasartre said...

Somme time....and the livin' is easy. That upper left corner was tough, as you say. Puli and Gro and Shel all appeared but didn't seem to be of much help. Had no idea about Lutheran. Enjoyable puzzle and theme.

Anonymous said...

Karmasartre -- clever name and clever pun on ete. The left hand corner was tuff (oops -- tough). Looked up sheepdog on google and puli never came up so I waited for Linda's solution. Happy as a clam is seldom used so that whole area didn't have enough redeeming clues to guess at solutions. The young puzzlemaster who created the puzzle is getting better. His prior efforts belonged to the ilk of MIT post-grads and not a closer-to-average puzzler like me. Since I have been doing them for so long, answers like orris root and stere were a snap -- it was Lutheran, puli and clam that were the problem. Linda, thanks again for your answers and comments. They are much valued in this corner of the puzzle world.

wendy said...

Oliver, MY MAN! You are subversive, subversive, subversive. Lotsa too-easy gimmes at the outset, which was rapidly pushing me into a feeling of ennui, then suddenly it devolved into impossibility. Save for PULI/CPUS and SPEX/EINS I did finally finish on my own. More than once, I had to get up and go do other things to shake new areas loose in my brain.(That PULI makes me think today would be a good day to dust. Never heard of the creature.)

Very mind-boggling trying to misspell the words, then not being sure if they were misspelled or not (at least in some instances).

Speaking of which, DOPY doesn't look right (I would spell it Dopey) and I had the same reaction to HAS A GOAT! Oh those crazy parses.

CLAM was really difficult because, although I use that expression all the time, appropriated from someone in my childhood, I don't think of the clam as a symbol, just part of a simile. Completely eluded me for a long time for that reason.

Anonymous said...

Um what the duece is EINS? and how does it pertain to Karl Marx?

Linda G said...

Anonymous, it's the number ONE in Karl Marx's native language. Aren't they devious?

Anonymous said...

that IS devious. I thought Karl Marx's native language would have been German, and the German word for one would be "einE". Where are I wrong?


Linda G said...

Buck, I'm as confused as you are. According to the article I just skimmed, he was born in Germany, lived in Paris and Brussels...then spent the remainder of his life in London. Wherever you're wrong, so are I.

Anonymous said...

i just took a quick run through Wiki-pedia and found both "eine" and "eins" translated as "one", so your original answer is right; I had just never encountered "eins" before. No surprise, there's lots I don't know.


dee said...

buck -
'eins' is the cardinal number form in German, as in when you're counting 'one, two three' = eins, zwei, drei. 'eine' is the feminine adjective form, as in 'eine kleine Nachtmusik' (=a/one little night music).