SATURDAY, Jul. 12, 2008 - Myles Callum (1999 CLOROX ACQUISITION / AROMATIC HERBAL QUAFF)

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

This puzzle was EZ except for the CA/NV region, which took over a third of my time. I was going to finish my Saturday puzzle in around 10 minutes (a good time for me), but writing in SEEM SAD instead of LOOK SAD (38A: Be down, apparently) put a quick end to that possibility. Here are all the ways I screwed up the long Downs after that

  • HOUSEMATES (!?) instead of STALEMATES (26D: Play halters)
  • OBOE SONATA (that's a thing, right?) instead of TRIO SONATA (27D: Any one of Handel's Op. 2 pieces)
  • TAMILS instead of PEKOES (33D: Sri Lanka exports) - I was thinking that maybe TAMIL Tigers were actual animals, which were exported to ... zoos, I guess.

It's amazing how quickly the puzzle went from intractable to simple once I put in LOOK SAD. The "K" made all the difference (as it often does). I thought this puzzle was SASSY (25A: Flip) and amusing. Lots of odd, cool words and very little crap. I wonder if a lot of people today are going to be wondering what PWTS are because (like me) they wrote in PRANK CALLER instead of CRANK CALLER (1A: 911 pest, e.g.). The impossibility of PWTS led me to CWTS (1D: 100-lb. units), which is fortunate, because I wrote in PRANK CALLER with utter confidence. I do not like FUNSTER (40A: Clown), but it's such an absurd word that I can't work up a lot of anger. Watching FUNSTER try to be a word is like watching my puppy trying to be a dog - it's sort of cute. I somehow got SHEBAT with only a couple of crosses (22A: 30-day winter month). Ooh, maybe people will crash and burn in and around SHEBAT - after all, it's got the ultra-absurd KNEEHOLES (5D: Desk features) running through it. What are KNEEHOLES!?!?!?! How do you put your KNEE (and not your leg) through a hole (without hurting yourself)? There's also the near-violation of the "Natick Principle" that happens when ELENAS (23D: "Uncle Vanya" wife and others) meets AILEEN (36A: Quinn who played Annie in film) - but since their intersection couldn't reasonably be any other letter besides "N" - no foul! Anyway, I can see that SHEBAT corridor being tricky.

Still in pre-vacation mood, so my schedule is stacked today. Must dash this off, list-style:

  • 12A: V.P. between Wallace and Barkley (HST) - grumble grumble. Names in clue should parallel name in answer, so I do not like the initials here. I don't care if "V.P." is supposed to tell me they're coming. Yuck.
  • 15A: D. H. Lawrence novel made into a 1969 film ("Women in Love") - I think I read this in college. Nope, I read "Sons and Lovers." Nevermind.
  • 16A: Time for Tours tourists? (été) - ridiculously easy for a Saturday
  • 17A: Many a first course (tossed salad) - this particularly food item has a name that has forever been ruined for me. Let's see if I can find you a link to explain why. Oh yeah, this is it. CAUTION: profanity and adult subject matter abound in the following clip:



  • 20A: Had sum problems (misadded) - one of many cute clues today
  • 26A: 1999 Clorox acquisition (STP) - do you know how many three-letter detergents there are? A lot.
  • 34A: Home of the Museum of International Folk Art (Santa Fe) - no idea. My go-to answer for all clues of this nature is OSLO, and that didn't fit.
  • 41A: Idaho motto starter (Esto) - state mottoes is one of my least favorite brand of clues.
  • 45A: Ones with shovellike forefeet (moles) - not too hard. I like "shovellike," as a word
  • 47A: What a virtuous woman is worth more than, according to Proverbs 31:10 (rubies) - hence this movie.
  • 49A: Aromatic herbal quaff (anise tea) - yuck. Might go well with a TOSSED SALAD, though.
  • 51A: _____ Dove (the constellation Columba) (Noah's) - never saw the clue, but now that I do see it, I like it.
  • 60A: Fruit with a pit, to a Brit (avocado pear) - oh you Brits and your wacky names for things. No end of fun, you are.
  • 61A: Got into the swing, say (sat) - I love this clue so so much. One of my favorites in recent memory.
  • 62A: Clandestine classroom communicators (note passers) - I was once one of these, as late as my senior year of college.
  • 6D: Enemy of the Moors, with "the" (Cid) - more horribleness. THE CID? I know only "El CID." This Anglicized version hurts my head.
  • 24D: What directors sit on: Abbr. (bds.) - [me making a disbelieving cringe-face]
  • 8D: Cud chewers (llamas) - the proximity of LLAMAS is about the only thing that makes LOLITAS, esp. as clued (9D: Alluring adolescents), remotely tolerable. "LLAMAS and LOLITAS" could be the title of a memoir of a very disturbing man ... or a LLAMA-loving bibliophile.
  • 10D: NASA spacewalks (EVAs) - stands for something, I'm sure.
  • 11D: "Yet do thy cheeks look _____ Titan's face": Shak. ("red as") - super easy. No need ever to have read Shak. to get it.
  • 14D: Comforters on kids' beds (teddy bears) - great clue
  • 21D: "The Count of Monte Cristo" hero (Dantes) - REVENGE!
  • 30D: Mashed potato alternative (watusi) - had the "W" and got it almost instantly, much to my shock.
  • 35D: They're hooked up to some TV's (Nintendos) - I played with the Wii the other day. That sentence really does not sound like what it means. I like that another TV attachment, TIVO (50D: It can stop the show) is also in the puzzle.
  • 46D: French city that shares its name with a car (sedan) - my first guess; saved me from running through every five-letter make or model of car I could think of.
  • 57D: "To Helen" writer's inits. (EAP) - Poe, who has the bronze medal for literary initials. Gold goes to TSE, silver to RLS. Honorable Mention goes to GBS.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

59 comments:

hereinfranklin 8:28 AM  

Feeling extremely smug for getting WATUSI so easily. Same for NOTEPASSERS. Alas, the only two highlights for me.DOUBLE Dates instead of DINNER tripped me up for a while. Has MISADDED right off the bat, but didn't trust it. A couple of Googles, but that's par for the course for me for Saturday.

Crosscan 8:36 AM  

This went very quickly for a Saturday.

I tried to fit TEXT MESSAGERS for NOTE PASSERS. Had _RIOSONATA and still had trouble getting that last letter.

I put SHEVAT instead of SHEBAT as BDS means nothing to me. Is that for Boards? I don't get it.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

@Rex

EVA= External [or Extra-] Vehicular Activity aka space walk

@crosscan

yup, directors sit on Boards [of Directors]

In all, not a bad Saturday puzzlefor me.

.../Glitch

jannieb 9:03 AM  

A great Saturday puzzle! Medium+ for me, but finished it all sans google. For once I was happy to see "ETE" in the fill - it gave me a much needed jump start in the NE. I started there, then down the east coast, back to the NW and finally stared at the SW much like RP. I had look sad, then seem sad, then back to look. Never heard of trio sonata, but it was the only thing that finally seemed to fit.

I agree the HST clue was foul, likewise Cid. EVA stands for "Extra-Vehicular Activity". Loved Teddy Bears, Pilot Light, and most of the other longer fill. Nice weekend so far!

Crosscan 9:04 AM  

@glitch

Thanks. D'oh! I was stuck on movie directors.

Pinky 9:26 AM  

Apparently a Kneehole Desk. is just a regular desk with a space for your legs.

Never heard of it before.

I had Prank instead of Crank too.

steve l 9:37 AM  

The SHEBAT clue should definitely have had "Var." in it. The normal spelling is, as crosscan guessed, SHEVAT. In Hebrew, the same letter (bet) is pronounced b when written with a dot in its center and v without the dot. Some transliterators use b in any case (c.f. NEGEB with "var." recently [5/22] as opposed to 21 instances of NEGEV since 1995). SHEBAT, however, has appeared 5 times without "Var.," but never with it, and SHEVAT has never appeared (V being a less useful letter.) The Wikipedia article "Shebat" does say it is Arabic for February (cognate of Hebrew) but the Wikipedia article "Arabic Months" shows that there are various names for the months, some sets being English cognates, in different countries. Only in some countries do they use "S(H)UBAT" (notice U for E) for Feb.

PhillySolver 9:41 AM  

A Prankster makes a Prank call, right? Does that imply a crankster makes a CRANK CALL? Ok, just tried Google and entering Crank Call returns PRANK Call for the first two listings and most of the ones on the first page. Nevertheless, a dictionary site reports it is a call by a crank. Trying 'crank' at Google gets you a discussion of meth. Put in 'crank definition' and at definition number 4. you get
'informal
a. A grouchy person.
b. An eccentric person, especially one who is unduly zealous'

I see why many entered Prank Call, but that pwts sure looks odd. I got cranky when I had to deal with my hiccup entry of WASABI. Still, a very nice puzzle and one that I completed in record time due to some lucky guesses.

Barry 10:14 AM  

Morning, all!

Well, after yesterday's crash and burn session, I redeemed myself today and managed to get through the entire puzzle unassisted. Of course, I did make one teeny, tiny error in the area that Rex pointed out, namely putting SHABAT instead of SHEBAT. Oops. Not being familiar with Uncle Vanya's wife, I figured Alena was a perfectly valid name...

I actually approached this puzzle with great trepidation after getting my butt whipped so soundly yesterday, but I amazed myself by coming up with CRANK CALLER right off the bat for 1A. The rest of the grid had some challenges for me, and there were a few unknowns I had to get solely via the cross-clues (DANTES, ANISE TEA, etc.), but I was able to keep plugging along until I got it all. Except for SHEBAT, of course.

Like Rex, I initially had SEEM SAD for 38A, but unlike Rex I quickly recognized my mistake and fixed it. I wanted CHECKMATES for 26D and OBOE SONATAS for 27D, but once I had LOOK SAD they both fell into place. And fortunately I was able to pull AILEEN out of the deep recesses of my memory for 36A.

I was thinking that the SE corner was going to violate the Natick Principle, since 51A and 54D seemed equally obscure, but 51A ended up being extremely guessable despite the fact I've never heard of the constellation in question.

Ah well, a nearly perfect puzzle. I'll just have to file SHEBAT and ELENA away for later usage....

Kathy 10:18 AM  

I loved a lot of the clues in this puzzle, but unlike Rex, it was the Texas to Florida stretch that stumped me, even though I got note passers without any crosses. I blame Nintendos, despite the fact that I spent about 30 minutes this morning shopping for a Nintendo DS for my son. Brilliant.

Loved the comments on llamas and lolitas! I was a bit taken aback when I saw the clue for 9D.

Kathy

chefbea1 10:26 AM  

good puzzle for a saturday - i had to google a lot though

I thought avocado pears were avocado pears here. Why is it clued " to a Brit"?

think I'll have a tossed salad for lunch and include the aforementioned avocado pear.

@foodie - thanks for the recipe of yesterday

MargaretR 10:27 AM  

Fun puzzle today, but I will never do the Saturday puzzle in 10 minutes!

One of these days, I'll have the Hebrew calendar down pat, thanks to crosswords. It's good to get beyond Elul and Adar, for a change. The spelling variations come down to writing Hebrew characters in the Latin alphabet. There are different systems, plus I think some of the month names have acquired a commonly accepted spelling in English for yet another variation. We saw the same thing in transliterated Chinese this week with Lichee or Litchi or whatever it was. This is probably TMI for many, so I'll quit now!

Bill from NJ 10:40 AM  

I got off to a great start as I knew C started 100-lb unit so I had no problem getting CRANKCALLER from KNEEHOLES as I used to order office equipment for a company I once worked for and recognized the term. I cracked the NW with WOMENINLOVE as I am familiar with Lawrence's work.

I moved down the West coast, guessing TRIPLES, knowing AILEEN and figuring PEKOES from realizing Tea was probably the answer to 33D which allowed me to get LOOKSAD and not SEEMSAD.

I knew DANTES and NTSB and was able to piece together the NE from the 3-letter clues. I figured out HST because I didn't think there were any 3-letter people that would satisfy the clue.

I had most of the beginning in the SE and guessed at NOTEPASSERS and had DINNER***** and AVOCDADO****. When I realized SOAPS at 48D and corrected SSTS, the puzzle fell.

This was a very satisfying puzzle and I used logic to figure this one out, more so than usual.

Joon 10:40 AM  

lousy hebrew months. i thought with ADAR, ELUL, and even NISAN i'd be covered. not so. at least i knew uncle vanya's wife.

nevertheless, the northern california area was where i spent over half my solving time on this puzzle, despite having TRIOSONATA, LOOKSAD, and everything below ANISETEA already in place. i just couldn't figure out STALEMATES or PILOTLIGHT or PEKOES (partly because i had ESSE instead of ESTO).

today's puzzle, like yesterday's, was really rather good. but you know what? i miss quarfoot.

Barry 10:56 AM  

@chefbea1 -- I've only ever heard them called avocadoes, never avocado pears.

Margaret 11:02 AM  

One of my best Sat. performances. If I weren't visiting my sister and her grandkids, I think I'd have worried to the ground without a Google. As it was, 2 Googles and one mistake (I for E in the ELENA/SHEBAT crossing -- which was a total coin toss.)

Biggest gimme was SANTA FE since I have not only been to the Int'l Folk Art Museum but also to their one-weekend-a-year Folk Art Festival -- which is going on this very weekend! Fantastic festival with a couple hundred artists from around the world selling their local type of folk art.

Favorite clue by far was WATUSI. Now I'll be singing "Do you love me [now that I can dance..]" for the rest of the day!

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

I've also heard them called alligator pears, due to the texture of the (avocado) skin.
And Rex, my respect for you rose even higher when I saw the Chris Rock clip. Another reason why this is so much more than a crossword blog.
Thanks.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

dk 11:33 AM  

Died the same death as you Rex; had seemsad tried to put in operettas and had sos as the acquisition. Getting LOOKSAD, then STALEMATE finished this one off for us this morning.

My lovely wife nailed CRANKCALLER and WOMENINLOVE before one sip of coffee. Those answers coupled my favorite SMOTE (NOTEPASSERS beware) finished the top half for us in short order.

Great start to the day, which happens to be my birthday. I am turning a LOLITA-like....

@chefbea1 it is lobster for us tonight with a TOSSEDSALAD.

Ideas for other lo-fat/lo-carb pairings will be appreciated. I have a big bike ride coming up and the extra poundage that I got for x-mas is not getting a free ride from me.

Shamik 11:34 AM  

Wow...finished this one fairly quickly!

Also went from PRANKCALLER to CRANKCALLER...right at the end just 'cause it didn't look right. Also had SSTS and am always wondering about the Britspeak, so thought AVOCADOPEAT might be something. But then...again right at the end...changed to SSRS and the pears made more sense.

LOOKSAD was a gimme early as was FUNSTER and DANTES. Even with PRANKCALLER...paired with an immediate WOMENINLOVE had the NE falling quickly.

Rex...I'll never look at a TOSSEDSALAD quite the same way.

JC66 11:49 AM  

Rex,

Agree wholeheartedly on HST.

Thought the "mashed potato" clue was the best.

Also, thanks for the Chris Rock clip. Like you, I'll never think of TOSSED SALAD the same way, again.

misterarthur 12:15 PM  

I liked mashed potato, too. ( I think "nintendos" was a bad clue, because it refers to the parent company, not the actual unit (wii, gamecube, etc).

Ulrich 12:27 PM  

A total of three googles, all culture-related, is good for me on a Saturday. Had anisette for a while--is there really a thing like anise tea?

Most enjoyable to me: the graphical pattern formed by the black squares that seem to swirl around the cross in the center.

foodie 12:30 PM  

I felt I had flashes of brilliance punctuating stretches of stupidity-- which means it was a perfect Saturday puzzle. SHEBAT came easily-- it is indeed Arabic for February. But the clue must be referring to the Jewish Calendar. Because in Arabic, Shebat conforms to the western calendar and is therefore 28 or 29 days. There is a lunar calendar with 29 or 30 day months, but those have different names (e.g. Ramadan).

Like Chef Bea, I thought AVOCADO PEAR was also an American term, although it's true I haven't heard it in a while.

ANISE, called "Yansoon" (love the name) in Arabic, is made into a tea to soothe an upset stomach. I hated it as a child, and would immediately claim to feel better when offered... It's called "flight into health".

@Philly, Mac et al, as Chef Bea kindly mentioned, I posted the recipe for Kanafeh last night. You can click on my avatar and go under my so-called "blog" to find it.

Joon 12:40 PM  

misterarthur, sure the contemporary consoles have other names. but i can't count how many hours i've spent on the original NINTENDO entertainment system. plus, the wii and gamecube themselves are also NINTENDOS, just as the camry and corolla are toyotas.

foodie 12:46 PM  

@Ulrich, your comment about the crossword pattern reminded me-- Just as you left to Germany, I mentioned that I attended a taping of the Charlie Rose where he had a discussion with four architects who were Pritzker Prize winners (it was on the occasion of awarding the Pritzker Prize to Jean Nouvel). They discussed, among other things, the use of computer assisted design, which made me think of you. Here's the link in case you missed it:
Charlie Rose Architects

wade 12:55 PM  

HST is what kept this from being an easy-medium Saturday for me. I've bragged, nay, gloated on this board about my vice-presidential knowledge, and I knew those two VPs were FDR or thereabouts, which left Garner and Truman as choices, but neither would fit. Plus, for TEDDYBEARS, I was looking for BED-something, so the B had me wondering what VP was three letters and ended in a B.

If AILEEN/AEENA is a Natick violation, I also cite SHEBAT/ELENA. I put in SHABAT and didn't know it was wrong until I checked here. Shabat sounds more like a word. I think it means something in Morkian.

I was trying to figure out how WASABI could be an alternative to mashed potatoes for awhile.

Other temporary missteps:

ZIPPOLIGHT (which worked with BIZ detergent)

ANISETTE (which gave me the infinitely cool DASTNOT.) I don't know what Anisette is, but I figured it could be a drink or maybe one of those "grrl" singers from the nineties.

OSHA for NTSB.

Leon 12:57 PM  

Nice Puzzle Mr. Callum.

I liked that 11 down from Titus Andronicus REDAS, was answered by 47 across RUBIES.

Joel 1:08 PM  

Unlike Rex, I found "Alluring adolescents" to be a perfectly fine clue for LOLITAS. Of course, the only thing I can think about when I see that word is the old Allan Sherman song "Sarah Jackman," which has the line:

JERRY: How's her daughter Rita?
SARAH: A regular lolita!

I can't find any videos of Sherman doing the song, but here's a terrible cover of it.

alanrichard 1:29 PM  

I take my mom to the beaury parlor, (SALON in todays vernacular), every saturday morning. While waiting for her, I do the puzzle. Usually I have about 1/2 hour. Today I was glad I brought a Sudoku with me because I finished early. Women in Love opened up the entire NW for me. CrankCaller and Tossed Salad were quick. All the long ones, Teddy Bears, Head Starts, etc were easy and logical answers. Watusi was a great answer but I knew it began with a W because of old saw. I got stalemates, so I had no trouble with Looksad. This was the easiest Saturday puzzle I can remember. And Monday night - A Night At The Opera is on!!!!!!

Wade 1:29 PM  

"I child-proofed my house but they still get in."

Foodie, I'll see your Charlie Rose and raise you a Charlie Rich. This is a 1965 clip of the Silver Fox apparently getting himself confused with his old Sun label-mate, Elvis (speaking of Elvis, and trying to justify this post as relating to the puzzle, THECID instead of El Cid reminded me of the Mexican Elvis impersonator "The Vis"):

http://youtube.com/watch?v=WUG4eCTO5WY


Here's my favorite Charlie Rich song, a sublime example of the tail end of the melancholic countrypolitan stuff that was pretty much gone by the late seventies. Songs like this remind me of when my dad, multiply-divorced, in a dustbowl bid for sophistication, would sometimes put on his one leisure suit and drive eighty miles to Fort Worth to drink "cocktails." The video is just plain weird, though:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eWaPkmAh58M

Dang, the AC in the office just went off for the rest of the weekend and I've pissed the morning away on the internets again.

Orange 1:37 PM  

Good catch, Wade—alANIS morissETTE would be a good wordplay question.

chefbea1 1:56 PM  

@wade anisette is a liquor like sambuca (licorish tasting) A shot of either in your cup of espresso yummm

Wade 2:00 PM  

chefba1, thanks, I seemed to remember that that's what it is--I actually worked in a liquor store for several years and sampled most of the wares. Alas, those days are behind me, as Puzzlegirl made me stop drinking.

foodie 2:29 PM  

@wade, wow that's an amazing video with the passed out dogs!!

Back in the 70's a friend took me to a concert in the SF Bay Area with both Charlie Rich and Crystal Gayle (who was new on the scene)--it's the only country music concert I ever attended, but it was great fun. The music really gets in your head...

wade 2:33 PM  

Foodie, that brings us back to yesterday: Crystal Gayle is Loretta Lynn's sister. She was no Loretta. Nice voice, though. And she's to be congratulated on the hair.

Ladel 2:46 PM  

@Rex

STP, tho owned by Clorox is actually an automotive oil additive. The proper name is scientifically treated petroleum, tho when I did my own work on cars, we called it stop that pounding. It was one of Andy Granatelli's great marketing gimmicks, the stuff is actually worthless and has no known useful value when added to your car's oil. Law suits and major fines have all but eliminated the wild claims they used to make, Granatelli laughed all the way to the next business venture.

matty lite 2:50 PM  

Wow, first one in weeks I actually finished. Thanks in no small part to the NINTENDO (that is indeed the casual name for the original NES console, just as ATARI was for the 2600) currently hooked to my very own TV.

I didn't give Brits enough credit, at first, thinking they'd be so silly as to call their avocados PEAS. But luckily Monday-level clue number two (SSRS, the other one was ETE) came to the rescue before I had to go get a drink from the BUBBLER or turn on my TORCH or, um, uh, eat some AUBERGINES I've got growing in my front GARDEN between some old TYRES. Heh, crazy Brits and their "English."

miriam b 2:52 PM  

I never heard the term "prank call" until possibly the '70s or'80s. I bet it was a spinoff from CRANKCALL. Not in an investigative mood right now, but I might do some delving at some point.

imsdave1 2:58 PM  

Wandered around with the small crosses until getting Women in Love and notepassers. Fell fast after that.
Guess I'm the only one who immediately put in OSHA for NTSB.

My unique moment for the day. Great puzzle.

Doc John 3:15 PM  

Picked my way through this one, as yesterday, but unlike yesterday I took a lot less time to finish it.

Guessed CRANK CALLER right away and knew that that was a good sign.

Knew KNEE HOLE from the Hardy Boys books because they were always hiding in one when the suspect came home unexpectedly.

Just now figured out why SAT fits the clue. Ugh!

"The WATUSI, the twist... Eldorado" (Number 9, number 9...)

@Philly- "Crankster" is what my friend Holly calls me when I get whiny.

@DK- Happy Birthday!

Finally, I'm posting early enough today to tell my SD friends about my band's concert at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion at 6:15PM this coming Wednesday (the 16th). It's free so hope to see you there! (I'm on trombone this time.)

fergus 3:24 PM  

PEKOES was my key to the puzzle. And yet that led to TOPPLES, which led to SOLO SONATA, avery garbled sort of ___LIGHT and no end of stress up by Crater Lake and Mt. Shasta.

NOTE PASSERS supplied a great flashback to 7th Grade ... the lovely Sue Applequist and I shared desk in different periods and we would leave little notes for each other in what could reasonably be called KNEEHOLES. I might have even saved some of her notes, so now it's time to fritter away the afternoon shuffling through the archives.

Very fine puzzle, by the way, Mr. Callum.

jae 3:34 PM  

Found most of this fine puzzle straight forward but like Rex got hung up in SW. Had STANDINGOS for 26d and it seemed to good to let go. Like bill from nj I did a lot of inferencing/deduction to finish this. For example, my last move was to change the A in SHEBAT to E as ELENA is a fairly common Russian name.

I also grimaced at FUNSTER and thought that HST didn't fit the clue.

Very nice Sat. challenge but it took me way to long to unravel the SW.

Michael 3:56 PM  

The very first answer I got was "home of the International Folk Art Museum." I knew that writing a book about Oaxacan wood carvings would some day help with crosswords...

I am not enthusiastic about "funster" and could do without Hebrew month clues -- especially variants! (maybe I should just memorize these months some day). But all in all a nice, fair Saturday puzzle that I managed to get without googling.

Rex Parker 4:14 PM  

I can't believe I'm having to say this, but for the record, I know what STP is. I assume everyone does. My point about three-letter detergents had only to do with the number of logical-seeming wrong answers available for the Clorox clue.

rp

karmasartre 4:57 PM  

@fergus -- Not the story I heard. Sue Applequist did, as you say, leave little notes for you. But the ones you left for her were quite lengthy, according to the buzz.

becky from hatch 5:14 PM  

I started with CRANK CALLER followed by NOTE PASSER, which tells you how I acted as a youngster.

I too had SEEM SAD and somehow decided that Sri Lanka had a lot of LEMONS which messed me up for quite awhile!

PLAY HALTERS gave me fits. I kept picturing some sort of thing you wear to carry a child around for some reason. KNEEHOLES was awful; I cannot ever hear the term TOSSED SALAD without thinking of the HBO Special and then Chris Rock's HBO Special that you included here!

Thanks to the commenter who explained "BDS" - I still was not getting it - I kept wondering if it was referring to a porn director directing from a bed!

andrea carla michaels 6:22 PM  

Loved the puzzle, and thought I did it correctly till I came here and see that AVOCADO PEAT is not actually a term!
(I thought it odd there were only 15 SSTS, or maybe there were as many as 15!) (ie I didn't know from SSRS)

I too had BED... something for a long time.
Loved seeing WATUSI in a puzzle.
I have it about once a week on my Scrabble rack (it's no good in Scrabble, I guess it must be capitalized or something) and there ain't nothin' to play otherwise with those letters!!

I still don't get how folks like Myles can do 6 stacks of elevens
and not have any awkward initials ...save maybe CWTS!
(Oddly putting in KILS led me to KRANKCALLS initially!)

Ulrich 7:14 PM  

@foodie: Just found the tidbits of varying tastiness--thx!

qv 7:57 PM  

My first successful Saturday after about a year of learning the ropes so naturally I'm stoked. The 'mashed potato' made me chuckle, but we non-US devotees are still awaiting an explanation for BDS - short for 'bottom dwellers' perhaps?

Barry 8:04 PM  

@qv: BDS is an abbreviation for Boards, as in "Boards of Directors."

Myles Callum 9:07 PM  

Hi folks, thanks for all the nice words. Hope to see you in Alameda, Fergus!

Myles

fergus 9:40 PM  

Karmasartre,

Did the charming Miss Applequist betray my loquacious missives, or were they exposed by some other agency? Damn, I'm really distressed about this. Good thing I wasn't tuned in to D.H. Lawrence at that age or I might have been too frightened to woo the lovely Sue.

fergus 9:46 PM  

Myles -- I'll be there in Alameda, along with the Green Mantis, I hope. Quite a few others who chime in here seem to have some Bay Area connection, including the celebrated Andrea Carla Michaels, who has given the impression that she lives in the City, or close by. I would expect that constructors would have a keen interest in attending this inaugural tournament.

Myles Callum 10:54 PM  

Fergus -- Yes, I meant to include the Green Mantis in that too. I wouldn't be surprised if Andrea were there too, if she doesn't have a Scrabble tournament that day.

Myles

mac 10:54 PM  

This was a medium for me - didn't need extra help but I'm not happy when I have to chip. Got some of the long answers easily, like crank caller, women in love, stressfree and teddybears, and some others with a few crosses.
Some of the little ones were tougher: esto, doubles instead of triples, vim vs. stp, double date vs. dinnerdate, and who ever heard of ntsb?
Love smote, moles, anise tea and rubies, not so much note passers....
All in all, it was a real Saturday puzzle, congratulations Mr. Callum!

Orange 12:35 AM  

Mac, the NTSB is the National Transportation Safety Board. These are the folks who investigate after any sort of plane or train crash, retrieving the black box and trying to identify the cause of the crash.

Yancy 1:47 PM  

I loved "shovel like forefeet" and "anise tea."
Missed the B in shebat for a V and was stumped.
I need to understand RDA for Salt std.,e.g.
Thanks..

embien 5:43 PM  

5wkslater:
@yancy: RDA is Recommended Dietary Allowance (for vitamins and minerals). Interestingly, when I went to look at a bottle of vitamins, I find the term used is now DV (Daily Value). Who knew?

Yancy 8:26 AM  

Thanks embien--
Wasn't sure anyone blogged 5wkslater happy for the info.

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