THURSDAY, Jul. 24, 2008 -- Matt Ginsberg (Jacqueline Susann novel, and the problem with some of the answers in this puzzle /Roughly triangular racket)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Relative difficulty: Easy
Hey, everybody. You've got the whole damn second string here today. I'm PuzzleGirl, and I'm coming to you from beautiful, sunny Costa Rica today. SethG is, well, he's in his living room. And Wade would love to blog from his new office except he and his dad couldn't quite get the whole thing built in time. Lots of good stuff in this puzzle, which is what you'd expect from a Thursday. But it's not just me here. Let's hear from the rest of the team:
SethG here. Hey, look! It's a picture of what PuzzleGirl claims is Costa Rica, but yo hablo enough español to know that Costa means coast, and she's sitting by a pool. Or is that even her? How are we to know? Maybe PuzzleGirl is actually a lonely 65-year-old man from Hackensack! I tried to take a picture of my living room, which is actually my living room, but my hair doesn't look good, PuzzleMomToBe looks like she feels, and PuzzleDadToBe Pbo was sitting at an angle we'll call "unflattering." Today is PMTB's 30th birthday, PuzzleBaby's 0th will be any day now. Also, I'll stop using those awkward names now. Sorry bout that.
This whole thing reeks of one of those fake duets that were obviously recorded in different studios at different times, doesn't it? Well, it's not. The real story is that PuzzleGirl and I were married in a private ceremony in Enid, Oklahoma this past weekend, Oklahoma being the only state in the country where it's legal for a woman to marry a dog. Yes, that's the other bombshell: I'm a German Shepherd. On the internet nobody knows that, of course. Our first order of business after our marriage ceremony, which was presided over by Fergus, who has that authority by virtue of being a sea captain on his home planet, was to fulfill our lifelong dream of adopting SethG. So now all three of us live in a yurt in Swampscott, Mass., raising organic beets and stuffing trouts with sage. Some people may think it's funny, a woman marrying a dog and the two of them adopting a grown man against his will. Well, I bite those people. We're no different from you. We do puzzles. It's what we do. It's who we are. This is your Thursday puzzle team.
THEME: Once Is Not Enough (35A: Jacqueline Susann novel, and the problem with some of the answers in this puzzle). Theme answers are phrases that should start with a repeated word, but in the puzzle the phrase begins with the word only once.
- 17A: Hollow-point projectiles (dum[-dum] bullets)
- 22A: Mutually beneficial interaction (win[-win] situation)
- 45A: Puerto Rican-born P.G.A. star (Chi [Chi] Rodriguez)
- 56A: Child's fair-weather wish (rain, [rain,] go away)
- 10A: Klingon on "Star Trek: T.N.G." (Worf). I do not like it when the Star Trek stuff turns up in the puzzle.
- 14A/46D: Writer of "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (Alex Haley). Got this one with no crosses. Reminds be of Gertrude Stein's "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" in that it doesn't really make sense, does it?
- 15A: Originator of the equation e to the power (pi * i) + 1 = 0. If it’s Math, EULER's a good bet.
- 21A: Pixie-esque. ELFIN is a word. ELVIN is not.
- 25A: Roughly triangular racket (crosse). Looked this one up and then felt really stupid. Yes, boys and girls, it's the stick used to play lacrosse.
- 28A: Chemistry Nobelist Hahn, who co-discovered nuclear fission (Otto). Remember this one -- he's sure to be back. My least favorite Nobelists are chemistry Nobelists.
- 51A: Impoverished (dirt poor). Have you read The Glass Castle? This phrase will forever remind me of that book. It's an awesome memoir about a girl who grew up, you guessed it, dirt poor. Her parents (alcoholic dad and mentally ill mom) are eccentric and brilliant. While the book describes neglect that can only be categorized as appalling, it also forced me to think hard about privilege and today's common practice of "over-parenting." I tried to find the video of “We ate sand” from Raising Arizona. I failed. You ate sand?!?
- 58A: Usher's offer (seat). Almost seems too easy.
- 60A: "Your Majesty" ("Sire"). I think Rex prefers Your Majesty.
- 1D: Synthetic (made). Wanted FAKE at first.
- 3D: Dole’s 1996 running mate (Kemp). Remember the bumper stickers that changed it to Dope and Hemp?
- 4D: River bends (oxbows). That’s a dang fine word. Never seen it in a puzzle. Long overdue.
- 5D: Like a leopard (feline). I'm glad this wasn't my first thought: SPOTTY.
- 7D: Incense resin (elemi). Another one to take note of -- you'll see it again for sure.
- 11D: Norwegian king who converted the Vikings to Christianity is OLAF I. Not Olav. Is that the same SIRE with two allowable spellings or was it two different dudes?
- 12D: Portion of an advertising budget (radio). Does this clue/answer really work? This really works. I used to do stuff with stuff like that, but now I do this.
- 13D: One of the Mudville players on base when the mighty Casey struck out (Flynn). Beautiful. Just beautiful. From the original version of the poem:
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,And we know that a LULU (6D) is a beaut.
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
- 21D: Taken in (eaten). Could have gone down so many wrong paths: altered, scammed, there must be more. Arrested, perceived. Furled.
- 26D: Slots spot (Reno). Reno is The Biggest Little City in the World, you know. This answer reminds me of the time I shot a man in Reno. Why? Just to watch him die.
- 31D: Preschoolers? (roe). I get it. Fish. Everybody’s against me. Even Roe. Not anymore, Wade.
- 34D: What you used to be (thee). But it yoused to be THOU, too.
- 37D: "You ____!" (cry while hitting oneself on the head) (idiot). At our house we cry "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" (hitting ourselves on the forehead three times for emphasis). See also 48D, idiom.
- 42D: Mass dismissals (purges). You do not want the visual image this answer gave me.
- 43D: Duke Atreides in "Dune" (Leto). Whatever you say.
- 49D: _____ Weasley of Harry Potter books. Let's see Ron, Fred, George … what the heck is the little sister's name? Oh yeah, Ginny.
- 52D: Toddler's cry of pain ("Owie!"). I know some of you don't like this word. You mentioned it last time it was in the puzzle. And the time before that. I think maybe it's time to let it go. "Owie" is a noun, not an exclamation. You get an owie. You don't cry "owie." Sit, boy, sit!
Pura Vida! PuzzleGirl, Wade and SethG