Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday, April 24 - Michael Langwald

Michael Langwald's New York Times debut was just last month...and here he is with a late-week puzzle his second time around.

Four good theme answers which make up a rebus...minus the pictures.

18A: Summer arctic phenomenon (midnight SUN).

24A: 1890 battle site that's now a memorial (Wounded KNEE).

37A: Grandmother of Jesus (Saint ANNE).

56A: Measure of a company's dominance (market SHARE).

The theme is revealed at 62A: 1965 hit by the performers suggested phonetically by the ends of 18-, 24-, 37- and 56-Across (I Got You Babe).

In addition to a cleverly executed theme, there's the added treat of some really good fill.

4A: Former New York governor (Cuomo). I only know three of them, and the other two wouldn't fit.

15A: Big name in pest control (Orkin). The older I get, the more I freak out over bugs. Orkin (or someone like them) came and sprayed at things are coming out to die. At least once a day, some large thing crawls into my office, causing me to shriek (quietly) and find someone to dispatch it. I honestly don't understand why they bother me...I'm still okay with spiders. Go figure.

16A: __ Bowl (Aloha). My favorite of all. Guess why?

28A: Mayo can be found in it (año). How very clever is that? My first answer was BLT, although I skip the mayo on them.

41A: Hamilton who wrote "Mythology" (Edith). Never heard of it...or her. It was a good guess once I had the TH in place.

53A: "Ghostbusters" director Ivan (Reitman). Well, at least I've heard of the movie. I probably even saw it twice.

4D: Field for Fields (comedy). Totie Fields has been in the puzzle at least once since I've been blogging...maybe twice. This is one of her quotes. She was a class act...and one very funny lady.

11D: Proportionately (to scale).

12D: Condiment made with a mortar and pestle (chutney).

13D: Two-wheeled carriages (hansoms). I know we've had that before, but it continues to trip me up.

36D: Mother of Charlemagne (Bertha).'s not enough that we have to know the grandmother of Jesus.

43D: Tied up (in knots). Have you noticed that many of the two-word answers can be parsed incorrectly and still make two nots, in this case. 54D: "Honest!" (I swear) is another wear. They don't make any sense, but that's how I saw them when I looked back over the grid. Toscale (see above) could be the name of a city in Italy.

46D: Hobbyist (amateur).

48D: Israeli parliament (Knesset).

51D: War preceder (man o')...Raise your hand if you tripped over that one.

52D: Actress Andress (Ursula). She was a Bond girl...and absolutely gorgeous.

It's been a busy night. I came home and baked a big batch of my now-famous layered mint brownies for our volunteer appreciation dinner which is tomorrow night. Things have come together nicely for the event. We have about 400 volunteers, so this is a pretty big deal. I also baked a birthday cake for our director. She bakes a birthday cake for every addition to what we have at work on our birthday. Before I came along, no one attempted to bake one for her...they all said they were a bit intimidated. I was up for the challenge...and last year I made a German chocolate cake. This year I made a yellow butter cake, frosted with French Silk.

So I was late getting to the puzzle, and now it's 10:15...past my bedtime.

Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


Anonymous said...

Reading about the things coming out to die, I started thinking "Who ya gonna call", forgetting momentarily that Ghostbusters was about to make an appearance.

Loved the theme. I started to piece together the last sounds (e.g. UN rather than SUN), so it took a bit of doing to get S and C. I wonder what "suggested phonetically" really means.

Gee, Cher still looks good at 27!

Anonymous said...


Linda G said...

Anonymous, you're right. I worked the downs...ONIONS rather than ONIONY set me up for a wrong answer that I didn't notice. Good catch.

Anonymous said...

Loved that bug comment. Had that done to my house once. ONCE. Things were coming out everywhere. I didn't even want to know how many bugs were living quietly and invisibly with me. I can tell you its LOTS. (okay, well maybe that's only in the south.)

Anyway, great job on the blog. I try to read it every day. I'm new to crosswords and pretty hopeless with finding the themes - mostly because I never get all the correct answers. So your blog gives me inspiration that someday I'll actually finish one of these NYT puzzles completely and correctly on my own. And by then I'll be too old to see them anymore. Oh well.

Thanks for doing this each day! :)

Sue said...

A query -- Isn't it against convention for the clue to contain a word that appears in the answer? 29A clues "try to get in" for APPLY TO. Maybe "to" is such a little word that the rule doesn't apply, but I kept thinking I had the wrong answer!

Linda G said...

Anonymous 9:29...thanks so much. Glad to have you as part of the blog family.

Sue...I think in this case, the use of TO (in the clue) was pretty minor because of where it appears within the clue. It would be different if the answer ended in IN (when the clue was "try to get in"). I know what I'm trying to say...but I don't think I'm making any sense.

cornbread hell said...

major kudos to you AND your volunteers.

and ursula andress...