FRIDAY, Jun. 15, 2007 - Nancy Joline

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Objections:

66A: Angels (messengers)

This is like Dogs (shedders), in that the answer is appropriate only for some dogs, some of the time. Angels are other things besides MESSENGERS, so there's just not enough synonymity here for me to assent to this answer.

61A: One who deals in futures (horoscoper)

I refuse to believe that that is a word. ASTROLOGER, I would buy. This, I don't. And please don't dictionary me to death on this one. It's a bad "word" and you know it.

27A: Certain campus Greeks (Delts)

Aren't they usually some kind of DELTS, like TRI-DELTS or PHI DELTS or something? DELTS are muscles, as far as I'm concerned.

40D: Singer with the 1975 #1 hit "Lady Marmalade" (LaBelle)

While Patti LABELLE was indeed the lead vocalist on the song, LABELLE was a group, so technically they had the "#1 hit" in question. "LaBelle" with capital "B" = singer's last name. "Labelle" with lower-case "b" = group.

6D: Object of a miracle of Jesus (leper)

You can be sure that Jesus wouldn't have called him an "object."

OK, so my major complaints are out of the way. Much of the rest of this puzzle, I liked. I am especially happy at some of the great guesses I made, including:

19A: 1899 gold rush site (Nome) - with just the "E" in place. I guess not that many cities of note are four letters ending in "E," but still, I'm mildly proud of the guess.

34A: Political payoff, perhaps (sinecure) - a great word. Had the -URE and sifted through some more ordinary words before SINECURE sprang out at me. Tenure can be a kind of SINECURE. In fact, there appears to be an acrimonious debate out there on just this topic.

24A: Machu Picchu, for one (ruin) - Not terribly hard, but still, got it with no crosses, so it makes me happy.

45D: Highlands relative of an elk (red deer) - OK, so I had ROE BUCK, and then ROE DEER, but still, I was on the right track, in a way, so I am going to count this as a great guess, even though the initial guess was pretty wide of the mark.

Unknown to me were:

16A: Self-styled world salsa capital (Cali)

49D: Some hogs (Durocs) - thought this might be a brand of motorcycle, but no: pigs. Very cute pigs (when they're young, anyway)

53D: Villa _____ (D'Este) - I have heard of this, but don't know what it is. Now I do.

38A: _____ P. Halliburton, founder of the Halliburton company (Erle) - somebody scoured the globe to find an ERLE who wasn't also a STANLEY GARDNER. Good job.

50A: 1994 Peace Nobelist (Peres) - Shimon PERES? Yes. Alright, then I did know this one. Nevermind.

I got lucky on VANUATU (12D: "Survivor" setting, 2004), because I have a "Survivor"-addicted wife, and EOCENE (26D: Dawn-of-mammals epoch), because I've seen it in the puzzle before. I misspelled it here as EOCINE at first, possibly confusing it with EOSINE, which has also been in the puzzle. Maybe EOCENE hasn't been in the puzzle, but some other -CENE has. Anyway, I feel as if I've seen it before. I got thrown by 11A: Troy Aikman, John Elway and others, in brief (MVPS) because, like many of you (probably) I thought the answer had to do with their being quarterbacks ... only QBS was a letter short and I'd never heard of quarterbacks being abbreviated any other way (though I did entertain QBKS for a few seconds). Lastly, I'd like to commend the stack of three 10-letter words in the NW, all of them good:

  • 1A: Energy source (granola bar)
  • 15A: Home of the National Automobile Museum (Reno, Nevada)
  • 17A: First lady who was once a prominent radio actress (Evita Peron) - I think "lady" should be capitalized, shouldn't it? It's a title. My favorite part about this clue is my initial (wrong) answer: BESS TRUMAN.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

25 comments:

reb_daniel 12:49 AM  

While today angel has more meanings than messenger, both the original Greek (angelos) and the Hebrew meant messenger. There was often considerable ambiguity about whether or not the messenger (as opposed to the message) was divine; in fact, there are stories where "angels" clearly had no clue that they were serving as messengers of the divine. (Sorry about being longwinded here -- as a rabbi, I so rarely have special knowledge about the cross-world that I got excited about actually knowing something.)

mmpo 1:07 AM  

I wrote HOROSCOPE, there was one letter left..."no," I thought, then "what else could it be," so I typed in the R, thinking, "oboy, Rex is going to love this one..." (I agree with you entirely, but I supposed I've been influenced!)
On MESSENGERS, I was even more doubtful. With HORSCOPER, I just thought "another made up word." With MESSENGERS, I thought "this can't be right. No. Wait. Is it?..." I decided to let it stand, pending evidence to unseat it.
Had the same reaction as you, Rex, to LABELLE. Don't know why I know the difference between Labelle and Patti LaBelle--my knowledge of pop music of my youth is spotty--but I do.
Didn't really think of the leper saying, "you just see me as a miracle object" though.
Ever heard this one? "What did the leper say to the prostitute?" (Hope that doesn't get me barred from the blog.)
49D With the R in place, I first attempted HARLEYS, even momentarily considered spelling it HARLYS...DUROCS were unknown to me also, and I have only the vaguest notion that TED is an airline (remember, I haven't lived in the States for quite some time, and this occasionally proves to be a minor handicap when solving the puzzle).
For 11A, not really knowing which team each of those players played for, (when QBS wouldn't fit) I formulated 9ERS in my mind--which would have fit! But I think if they come out with a puzzle that includes Arabic numerals, it won't be in just one square...
I really liked ERECTOR SET in the southeast for some reason (between those two dubious solutions--HOROSCOPER and MESSENGER).
Not familiar with DUSTUP as a synonym for scrap. Wanted a verb here, so I resisted filling in a word that looks like a compound verb, except that the S comes after the UP--whaaaat?
All in all, it was a fun puzzle, and the somewhat dubious cluing in spots didn't spoil it for me.
...

profphil 2:20 AM  

Rex,

I had the same complaints except for angel. I, like RebDaniel, got it immediately as I knew that both in Hebrew (malach) and Greek (Angelos) the word for messenger and angel are one and the same. An angel is a messenger from Gcd. I just taught it to my religion class last week.

profphil 2:24 AM  

Rebdaniel,

was that a pun when you denied knowledge of "cross-world" as opposed to "crossword?

R. Kane 6:29 AM  

The word "Angel" is taken from the Greek word "Angelos" which means "Messenger".

Anonymous 6:57 AM  

In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel was pretty busy as a messenger, as I remember.

Orange 8:24 AM  

I'll leave religion, Hebrew, and Greek to others and head straight for style. Why isn't the L capitalized in [First lady who...]? Because it's not being used as a specific person's title here, before her name. We say that Bush is the president, but he is President Bush.

However, this 1999 reference suggests that it is NYT style to always capitalize both First Lady and President, even when used generally. I don't think it's still that way, though.

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

At the risk of overemphasizing the point about angels, I would add that the Greek "angelos" was the perfectly ordinary word for someone delivering messages in any secular context, notably, the stock messenger in nearly every Greek tragedy come to announce some unpleasant or unexpected development ("Alas! The queen is dead by her own hand! And the wretched king has lost his grief-gripped mind!")--for which these angels of sad tidings must not be blamed, shot, killed...

Liffey Thorpe

mmpo 9:16 AM  

I for one am glad to have all the etymologycal, historical, etc. information about the word angel. It's amazing how much can be said about a single word. I also like how the messages brought by those angel messenger dudes are "tidings." Nice word.

campesite 10:52 AM  

My campus had DELTS, big drinkers who often got in DUSTUPS, so I'm ok with those answers.

(... "Keep the tip!")

Pete M 10:53 AM  

Got stuck with STAY instead of STUD for "Gambler's option", giving me DAROCS and Villa YESTE, both of which look just as reasonable as the correct answers... :)

Like "Pops" for OLDTIMER, especially coming up on Fathers' Day.

mmpo 12:05 PM  

Thanks, campesite.
Hey pete m, I also had STAY and YESTE (which I confirmed with a Google search!), and was searching for the first letter of the hog type, since I didn't really know TED (MAROCS seemed plausible...dessert hogs?)
Liked the pops/OLD-TIMER thing too.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

The only trouble I had with this puzzle was TED for 48A "jet blue competitor". Got it on crosses but had to google it to confirm that it's the name of a commuter airline owned by United. How cute can you get?

Wendy 1:29 PM  

Right there with you on that LABELLE issue. I knew the answer was right, but objected to the way it was clued.

I was trying to unearth TED from the recesses but came up with SKY instead (which is a charter airline in Turkey, go figure), so I had Yamaha in there for the hog. I still haven't recovered ;)

Also had EPA, which Nixon created in '74, instead of NRC, despite knowing that the word "protective" probably knocked EPA out of the running.

Another objection is this phenom of cluing things ala "Pennsylvania, e.g." to get answers like AVENUE. There've been a few others like that recently and they get me every time. It seems slightly underhanded to me.

Not one of my faves. I didn't know much to start with - only about 9 things filled in, 3 of which were wrong - and had to google way too much, which I'm now to the point of wanting to avoid as long as I can in any solving experience.

But in a situation like today, unless I want to stare at the puzzle for hours on end, it's my only option. I just don't know things like pineapple GRENADEs (!) and salsa capitals and for that matter, SINECURE, although now that I do know it, it's a great word.

Anne 1:35 PM  

Could someone explain the answer for DRUB? I don't get it even after google.

Wendy 1:47 PM  

Anne, according to some sources, PLASTER does mean either to inflict heavy damage or injury on, or to defeat decisively. Not one I see often in the sports pages, but whatever ...

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

I too could not understand drub and plaster although I had completed the puzzle. After looking both words up it was clear that they could both mean to beat or defeat. I'm more used to whip than drub or plaster. Since I'm not a sports fan I have never heard either term.

The same for grenade, that is I filled it in from the acrosses but had no clue as to why a pineapple would be called a grenade. After Googling, discovered that because of the pineapple like impressions on a grenade it is called a pineapple. As a kid I'd play with toy grenades and I can see why they would be called pineapples.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

i'm a sportswriter. "drub" is often used as a synonym for "rout." one basketbal team drubbed/routed/plastered(?) another club by 30 points. that said, i thought plaster was kinda shaky as an answer for drub. i've more often heard of someone getting plastered -- as in drunk.
(thanks whoever from yesterday for your take on the NYM crossword. i'm glad, though, that will S. views it as the equivalent of an NYT thurs puzzle. i thought i was wednesday-to-thursday-ish. and i was starting to feel dumb.) cheers. - nunyo

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

i'm a sportswriter. "drub" is often used as a synonym for "rout." one basketbal team drubbed/routed/plastered(?) another club by 30 points. that said, i thought plaster was kinda shaky as an answer for drub. i've more often heard of someone getting plastered -- as in drunk.
(thanks whoever from yesterday for your take on the NYM crossword. i'm glad, though, that will S. views it as the equivalent of an NYT thurs puzzle. i thought i was wednesday-to-thursday-ish. and i was starting to feel dumb.) cheers. - nunyo

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

i'm a sportswriter. "drub" is often used as a synonym for "rout." one basketbal team drubbed/routed/plastered(?) another club by 30 points. that said, i thought plaster was kinda shaky as an answer for drub. i've more often heard of someone getting plastered -- as in drunk.
(thanks whoever from yesterday for your take on the NYM crossword. i'm glad, though, that will S. views it as the equivalent of an NYT thurs puzzle. i thought i was wednesday-to-thursday-ish. and i was starting to feel dumb.) cheers. - nunyo

Orange 6:25 PM  

Patti LaBelle was in a group? Huh. Live and learn.

Ultra Vi 12:45 AM  

Good challenge, with a nice ratio of the unfamiliar (CALI, TED, VANUATU), the ANIMAListic (RED DEER, DUROCS, STUDs) and the obvious (BLUE NOTE, SATIRE, PET STORE).

For a few moments, I had DOTER instead of VOTER for someone who makes X's, at times, as in the signoff xoxoxoxoxox!

As as for PLASTER, I prefer the usual meaning, ala nunyo's definition. Is anyone besides me seeing triple?!?

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

any sports writers using this blog?
eb

Anonymous 2:07 PM  

6WL :::::

Actually, Patti LaBelle was in two groups, the first being Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells who had a minor hit with "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" in the 60's.

A duo (Ron Nagle and ?) recorded under the name the DUROCs in the mid-70's. The album pictured a pig on the cover, hence the gimme. They wrote comedy-date songs made semi-famous byt other groups (Pablo Cruise's "Not Tonight" and The Tubes' "Don't Touch Me There". They did a great cover of Gen Pitney's "It Hurts to Be in Love" on their eponymously-named album.

Had WATER where LEPER goes for way too long. Never heard of SINECURE. There were some OK areas, but in general, this puzzle was not very satisfying. More "Ohs" than "O-Hos". Looking forward to Saturday.

I hope this goes through -- the Server has been very touchy this morning.

katya 2:27 PM  

THANK YOU, Rex, for hating HOROSCOPER.

I've suffered from these "wordese" abominations for years now. And I've always wondered why others don't scream at the puzzlers. Well now the voice of the almighty hath spoken and we are glad.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP