WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2008 -- Joe Krozel (1889 Jerome K. Jerome Comedy Novel / Carlo who married Sofia Loren)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
- 20A: MT (Montana, Big Sky Country)
- 27A: TN (Tennessee, The Volunteer State)
- 47A: KS (Kansas, The Sunflower State)
- 56A: UT (Utah, The Beehive State)
- 6D: MO (Missouri, The Show-Me State)
- 11D: AL (Alabama, The Heart of Dixie)
- 62D: OR (Oregon, The Beaver State)
- 63D: ME (Maine, the Pine Tree State)
Tuesday seems to be going through a ... phase. He's been spending a lot of time in his room (what is he building in there?), we don't know his friends, he's on the internet all the time, and where did that sullenness come from? It seems like only yesterday he was cute, adorable little Monday, so full of joy and surprise ("What does the mama cow say, Monday? What does the mama cow say?" "Moo! Moo!"), and now he's turned into this unrecognizable ... thing. (But what is he building in there?)
We hope for the best. We hope he'll grow out of it. We hope our regularly scheduled programming is not interrupted someday because of something Tuesday did.
But that Wednesday! Straight As! Working ahead in the textbook! Those little hearts dotting her i's! Why can't you be more like Wednesday? the mothers all ask their puzzles.
All right, enough of that.
Purists are gonna have a beef with this puzzle in that it gets to break the two-letter answer rule. And it's not like it brought a note from the doctor that excused it from having to play by the other kids' rules; no, this puzzle is somehow inherently special. It's got a theme, see? State abbeviations! So, coach, the rule doesn't make sense for me, because ....
Okay, I bought it. The states are randomly chosen and their placement in the grid doesn't approximate where the states would fall on a U.S. map, and states or their abbreviations don't really have anything else to do with the puzzle as far as I can detect, so really this puzzle gets a free pass to make some otherwise illegal letter combinations. But it pays off somewhat gloriously. If I gotta put up with eight two-letter combos to get eight 15-letter answers square around the grid, seven of which I've never seen before, I'll take that deal. This time. Even if the cluing is not always something to write home about.
The Long Answers
- 1A: 1889 Jerome K. Jerome comedy novel (Three Men in a Boat). I wonder if Jerome K. Jerome is related to Ford Madox Ford. Or maybe a cousin to William Carlos Williams. (Shouldn't it be "comic" novel?)
- 16A: Undesirable alternatives (horns of a dilemma). I never thought of the two horns of the dilemma as being alternatives, undesirable or otherwise. The dilemma is what's undesirable, and the horns are just the poky things that make it undesirable, right? I'm saying a dilemma is itself undesirable. It's like sitting on some horns. The horns aren't the thing you have to choose between. I'm overthinking this. I should look this stuff up before I start shooting my ignorant mouth off, but I have too much stuff opened up on my computer -- the puzzle, this site, Rex's posted site so I can check formatting, Outlook so I can keep up with PuzzleGirl telling me I'm a failure because I can't figure out how to paste the puzzle into this post, and I'm scared to death I'm going to lose what I've done so far and have to start over, because I tried to "save as draft" a while back and it posted what I'd done so far. Don't tell Rex. I got it deleted in time, I think. But you can see the horns of the dilemma I'm sitting on.
- 61A: Dessert not for the calorie-conscious (chocolate mousse). Great. We'll have some recipes to talk about today. Great.
- 64A: Some awards for accomplishment (honorary degrees). Bob Dylan got one from Princeton in the sixties, I think. My father-in-law's gotta a garage-ful of the things. He's not doing so well, healthwise. My wife and kids are over in Scotland with him now. Here's a shout-out to Neil and hoping he's feeling better.
- 1D: Outline (thumbnail sketch). Great answer. The clue's not so adventurous. Not like I got anything better.
- 2D: Whence the line "A person's a person, no matter how small" (Horton Hears a Who). This is the one I'd seen before. It was in a puzzle not so long ago, maybe clued the same way. I didn't know it then and didn't remember it today.
- 14D: Something customary (a matter of course).
- 15D: Pushing beyond proper limits (taking liberties).
- 18A: Some feds (T-men). Always makes me think of George Jones's "White Lightnin'." I've listened to that song a thousand times in my life and I still can't tell whether he's saying "T-men" or "G-men," just like you never know which it's gonna be in the puzzle.
- 23A: Carlo who married Sophia Loren (Ponti). I know it's a crossword staple, but I never remember it, and I'm calling Natick on the cross with the painter Piet Mondrian, who probably also is a crossword standby.
- 28A: New Orleans to Indianapolis dir. (NNE). Dang. We just got there yesterday.
- 36A: Schubert's "The ___ King" (Erl). There's a guy from my hometown named Earl King. I think he's somebody's stepdad.
- 26D: Heel style (stiletto). I first heard this word in the Billy Joel song of that name on the album 52nd Street when I was about twelve or thirteen. I thought he was talking about a knife. It was a long time before I knew it was a shoe. Billy Joel gets a bad rap. I've said that before. I've said most stuff before.
- 32D: Light ______ (as air). I had YEARS, which along with the incorrect TORES (31D: Joe who was twice A.L. manager of the year (Torre)), made that little interior bit kind of tough for a few minutes. There's a level in Brickbreaker that looks like this grid, by the way.
- 33D: Forward (remail). Wednesday's feeling her oats!
- 41D: Footwear giant Thom (McAn). I peed my pants sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap at a Thom McAn's in Sikes Center Mall in Wichita Falls. It wasn't all that long ago, either.
- 48D: 1973 War hit "The ____ Kid" (Cisco). I don't know this song. Weird way to clue CISCO. The first Hilton hotel was in Cisco, Texas. (Yes! Got it in! Finally!)
- 55D: Shoot in a swamp (reed). Nicely clued. Seems I've seen it before, though.
Man, this internet blog-html designing and coding and writing stuff is nerve-wracking. I probably didn't use any of those words right. I'm going to post a video, just because I can.
Rex is back tomorrow. This was fun. But somebody's gotta stay and help me clean this place up.