WEDNESDAY, July 18, 2007 - Tibor Derencsenyi

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Linda G here again for the vacationing Rex Parker.

I'll be the first to admit that I let out a long groan when I saw that the six theme answers were clued as "Example of 41-Across."

Fortunately, I knew the trick was to start with the downs, and before long, I was on to it.

The theme, running horizontally through the grid at 41A, is FAMOUS LAST WORDS...and the six theme answers are:

1A: So long

7A: Gotta run (the northeast corner was the first to come together for me, so this was my tip-off to the theme)

39A: Sayonara

45A: Au revoir. Not sure I could have spelled it correctly without some of the downs. I learned Spanish, not French.

73A: Time to go. I wanted toodle-oo here, but the downs wouldn't work with that.

74A: Bye bye

In addition to the theme answers, there were three multiple word answers: 16A: "That's fine" (okay by me), 19A: Not fighting (at peace), and 71A: "Be delighted" (I sure can). I had a problem with the last one, though. "Be delighted" sounds more like I'd love to, and that's what I initially entered.

I loved seeing 17A: __ Quimby of children's books (Ramona). My girls loved the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary...Beezus and Ramona, Ramona the Pest, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were our favorites.

One of the things that stumped me also turned out to be one of my favorite clues/answers in the puzzle...1D: Rock bands? (strata).

Other favorites include 51D: Black Russians may go on it (bar tab) and 72A: Low tie (one all).

Didn't know 24D: Actress Dawson of "Rent" (Rosario). Thank heavens for acrosses.

Also didn't know 55D: Buffalo hockey player (Sabre). Don wasn't much help with this one. Again, it came together with acrosses.

I liked the side-by-side polar clues...26D: Polar denizen (bear) and 27D: Polar explorer (Byrd).

Thought that 28D: Salty septet (seas) was pretty clever as clues go.

Mr. Ed is back in the grid (43D: Four-footed TV star), as is kabob (57D: Barbecue offering). By the way, kabob is my preferred spelling. I think it was recently spelled kebab. That just looks wrong.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we had eel just the other day...although maybe it was in the New York Sun. It appears today at 20D (Unagi, at a sushi restaurant). Count on me not to eat it...ever.

I'm not the pickiest (18A: Most finicky) when it comes to analyzing a puzzle. If I can find a half dozen things to love, I'm a happy solver. And I'm a happy solver today.

The King of CrossWorld will be back tomorrow, most assuredly with some good Boston and Fenway Park stories for his loyal fans. I'm sure he missed us as much as we missed him. Welcome back, Rex.

Linda G

This post also appears at Madness...Crossword and Otherwise.

29 comments:

profphil 1:11 AM  

Linda,

I should have known it was you and not Rex when you did not know the hockey team the Sabers. My first thought was, Rex doesn't know a sports clue? I on the other hand almost never do. When I got to the end, I realized it was you and not Rex. Good job.

Alex 1:25 AM  

After it was mentioned the other day I've been trying the trick of starting with the downs so I hadn't seen the theme stuff until after trying all the downs.

Get to 1A, read the clue for 41A and see that because the middle downs were pretty easy I had: -A-OUSLA-T--RD-

Needless to say, the theme of the puzzle was had before I'd even given though to the first theme clue.

I found this to be a pretty easy Wednesday. The only real difficulty came from having LIP not LID (Jar part) and misspelling SABRE as SABER.

Just one of those days where I seemed to be on the exact same wavelength as the constructor so none of the misdirection clues misdirected me.

If you eat sushi but are resistant to the idea of unagi, I'd encourage you to give it a try. First it is a cooked item so that hurdle goes away (for people who view raw as a hurdle) and it really is very good. Not masochistic "I've trained myself to like it so I can lord over others" good but actually simply good.

Anonymous 5:46 AM  

Many years ago "Bye Bye Love" was a hit song by the Everly Brothers.

Linda G 8:29 AM  

Profphil, I forgot to start out the blog by identifying myself. I'll go back and fix that. Thanks.

Alex, we just got a new sushi restaurant in town...maybe I'll give it a try. I hesitate to try raw anything...had food poisoning once, and that was one time too many!

Good catch, anonymous...I completely missed that cross in the southeast. And I do remember the song well.

Scott 9:32 AM  

I second Alex on the deliciousness of Unagi. It's not only cooked, it's broiled in a teriyaki sauce so it's a real treat. Certainly among the most accessible of sushi options, alongside smoked salmon.

Now, if you want a disgusting culinary experience with eel, go to Hamburg and order a bowl of Aalsuppe: oily, round little bones-and-all cross-sections of eel floating in a vegetable soup.

Flailer 9:48 AM  

I also had "ID LOVE TO" in for "I SURE CAN" which sounds contrived to me. And I eat sushi all the time-- but never, ever unagi. ew.

EASL 10:39 AM  

Maybe you can find a bistro that specializes in sushi, but I don't think you'll find one that is a dance hall (70A DANCING LOCALE - BISTRO).

Michael 10:52 AM  

It helps to have a little crush on Ms. Dawson, star of the recent Grind House. She used to be a client of a entertainment firm I used to work at. Very cute. Rosario was the first clue I filled in here.

Bryce 10:58 AM  

I thought "STRATA" was cute as well. I sillily entered the plural S in the last square though, and I spent a while with __R_TS, trying to deduce whether CARATS or KARATS would solve "rock bands."

I enjoyed the puzzle all around, except "Be delighted." Does anyone ever just say that phrase, instead of "I'd be delighted?" I found myself trying similar grammatical fragments like "BE GLAD TO" or something. When I saw it started with IS, I even considered "IS NO PROB" briefly, which would've been awful (and isn't really the same kind of phrase). Sorry if such nitpicking is considered annoying...

In the song "Part-Time Model" by Flight of the Conchords, the word "kebab" is pronounced kuh-bab (with a short a), implying that spelling. They are, I believe, from New Zealand, so maybe the spelling/pronouncing is regional...or being done for the sake of humor. I would write kabob.

Add me to the don't-like-the-raw-stuff-but-love-the-eel-sushi crowd.

Linda G 10:58 AM  

Good to know I had company with "I'd love to."

Michael, I only have one female crush...and it's Charlize Theron ; )

panda 11:01 AM  

Transliteration...anything goes: Kebab or kabob or kebob or kabab!

Alex 12:10 PM  

flailer said:
but never, ever unagi. ew.

Have you tried it and didn't like it or just haven't tried it because you don't think you'd like it. The latter kept me away from unagi for a long time but when I finally did try it found I was wrong. But if you've tried it and didn't like it then that's fair (and it should be noted that I'm talking specifically about unagi as generally presented in sushi; there are other unagi dishes that I'm not so keen on).

As for shish kabob, yes all if fair in transliteration but I've always wondered how "kabob" came to be the catch-all for skewered food when "shish" is the part that means skewered. Kabob means meat. To a vegetable kabob (readily available in most places tha sell kabobs) is an oxymoron.

I don't think I'd ever truncate "I'd be delighted to" to "be delighted," but rather "delighted to."

campesite 12:13 PM  

Nice to read you over here for a couple days, Linda.
Have to concur with the pro-unagi crowd: perhaps the easiest entry into sushi.
(I'm also pro-Rosario and pro-Charlize.)
Mark

frances 1:02 PM  

In the rural, northwest part of Greece, I once saw a fish-and-seafood restaurant that clearly wanted to attract English-speaking tourists. The sign said "Try our Ills."

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

I wonder if anyone else was as dense about the theme answers as I was today. I got "so long," "sayonara," and "au revoir," and thought we had a multilingual thing going here. So I sat for the longest time scratching my head over what "gottarun" literally meant in German. Oy!

Fergus 2:33 PM  

As the number of Bs kept mounting I figured the theme was heading the the 'Words with two bes' or something like that. When SAYONARA fell, however, that supposition tanked. Figured GOTTARUN was German or Dutch until of course adding the space.

This was the first time in a while where the theme made much of a difference to me. Good puzzle, though I had no idea that a BISTRO was a Dancing locale.

jae 4:19 PM  

Try unagi, you'll like it!

I've been playing catch up so I'm doing puzzles from June. I SURE CAN was clued in an early June Friday puzzle as "confident affirmation."

I've had a beer at a BISTRO but never saw anyone dancing.

Kim 4:46 PM  

Hi Linda!

"Fortunately, I knew the trick was to start with the downs, and before long, I was on to it".

Can you enlighten me? I've gone back through the posts and can't find any allusion to the trick. (I need all the help I can get!).

Thanks!

green mantis 5:01 PM  

Kim-

I think the "trick" they're talking about has to do with the fact that most theme answers travel across, so if you work the downs first, you can get a toehold even without having yet figured out the theme.

I enjoyed "salty septet" and "rock bands?" in this puzzle, didn't love "be delighted," and don't love unagi because it's a little too mush-tastic and sweet. It always makes me sort of suspicious, like when Mom tried to slip some unfamiliar food into the menu by dressing it up with sauce or by frying it to within an inch of its life. Had a live scallop entree two days ago though, which was amazing--sweet, clean, and still doing aerobics on the plate. I'm not squeamish.

karen 5:27 PM  

My local sushi restaurant does a roll up with warm eel, cream cheese, and crunchy tempura bits that I find is great. I know the purists hate the idea of cream cheese in sushi, but it's great with unagi.

Puzzle was nice. I had YOWLS for HOWLS, and MEME for BYTE, but fixed em quickly enow.

'Conical bore'? Is that just the oboe, or do the clarinet and bassoon have the same?

Wendy 6:20 PM  

Who is this Tibor Derencsenyi? I am apparently on his/her wavelength and enjoyed the puzzle much. Unusual cluing for standard words is always a treat.

DEET was funny and new. ROSARIO Dawson was in both the stage production and film of Rent, btw. Nice to see an actress clued who isn't one of the usual suspects - no offense Ava ;)

I cannot bring myself to try EEL. I mostly eat veggie sushi. I'm just too freaked out by the possible digestive disorders. I once sat with a friend who scarfed down two plates of eel sushi in one sitting. I was practically gagging just thinking about it, but it is purely projection on my part that there's anything disgusting about it.

Beezus and RAMONA ... Oh if that's not a trip down baby boomer memory lane, I don't know what is.
*I* loved those books.

Maybe for BISTRO they were thinking that patrons may dance ON the table if they get too hammered. I also do not think of it as a dancing locale. I kept wanting Disco even though that didn't fit, obviously.

Thanks for your stint as a Rex surrogate, Linda!

Anonymous 6:43 PM  

What discriminating palates. I am a Homer Simpson of sushi consumption, but I put so embarrassingly much wesabe on each piece, that the only thing I really notice is texture. Unagi is soft and therefore good. Octopus is too chewy and therefore not so good.

Nice job, Linda

Steve M.

Linda G 9:08 PM  

It has been so much fun blogging here the last couple of days. Thank you all for your kind words and the sushi encouragement! Based on your recommendations, I'll try eel and report on it later.

If you don't normally visit at Madness, please stop by now and then. Shameless plug, I know. It's one of the perks of guest blogging ; )

Alex 10:34 PM  

ROSARIO Dawson was in both the stage production and film of Rent, btw.

Hate to correct, but Rosario Dawson was one of the two main characters in the movie who had not originated the role on Broadway.

Mimi was played by Daphne Rubin-Vega in the original Broadway cast (and received a Tony nomination). Rubin-Vega was pregnant at the time the movie was filmed so had to be replaced.

Wendy 10:54 PM  

Of course you're right, Alex. Thanks for the correction. I jumped the gun, remembering an interview I'd read with her and now that you mention it, it was about how apprehensive she was about joining a cast that largely was all the same people from Broadway who knew and were comfortable with each other.

puzzler 12:28 AM  

This is my third try to post for the first time. Didn;t think I would be commenting on food first but eating eel is not such a good idea. The times just had an article that China processes 85% of the eel we eat and s contaminated. I don't eat unagi any more and it was my favorite dish at Japanese restaurants. On the brighter side, I wish I had found this site sooner. Rex Parker and the bloggers have made puzzling so much more fun. It's great to read about others with trial and tribulations. I've been doing the TIMES puzzles for over 50 years. Sundays aren't as hard for me now but Fridays and Saturdays can be killers.

Catherine 12:07 PM  

It's sad to me that I still couldn't see ONE ALL in 72A, even with all the letters. Instead, "O'neall? O'neall? What the heck is that?!" Sigh. Besides that, I thought it was a fun Wednesday, although I couldn't get the SW until coming here and finding "I SURE CAN".

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

6WL ::::

Serving EEL KABOB at a BISTRO maybe makes people dance.

Anonymous 4:29 PM  

Some nice wordese here today, on August 29th. Loved Strata and seas. Breezed through this one pretty easy. No eel for me and I do like sushi, especially ahi sashimi. Dance the dance of what at a bistro?

- - Robert

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