MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2008 -- Oliver Hill (SUBATOMIC PARTICLE MADE OF THREE QUARKS / AWARD WON BY ROGER CLEMENS SEVEN TIMES)
Monday, August 4, 2008
Relative difficulty: What, are you kidding me? It's Monday! No sweat!
Hi, everybody. Angela (or "PuzzleGirl," as I understand you call her) asked me to fill in for her tonight. I'm her husband, Jeff (or "PuzzleHusband," as I understand I may be known. Christ, you people are weird.) Anyway, there seems to be something wrong with our new dog and she feels it's best if she stays overnight with him at the vet's. I wasn't aware that there were in-patient veterinary hospitals with accommodations for owners, but that's Angela's department. Sorry, I mean "PuzzleGirl's" department. Good grief. (I wish we'd never gotten that damn dog. He's some kind of Shepherd mix we got through a rescue program in Texas. Thinks he owns the place. All he ever does is whine and lick his testicles. I know, I know: Because he can. Also, there's some red-headed kid who recently showed up, and anytime he comes into the room the studio audience hoots and applauds at the wry zingers he throws my way. Irritating, to say the least. This marriage may have officially jumped the shark.)
Anyhoo, I don't usually do these things--crossword puzzles, I mean--but she tells me Mondays are easy so I figure it shouldn't take long. Plus she says this kid Oliver Hill who made the puzzle is like 12 years old. What could he possibly put in this puzzle that a smart guy like me can't figure out?
It started a little rough for me when BEER didn't fit at 1A, SMIDGE didn't fit at 4A, and 7A was in some foreign language. I thought this was an American puzzle. Sheesh.
I finally got my break with ICE AXES (18A: Mountain climbers' tools). I've been known to climb a mountain or two in my time and those bad boys can sure come in handy. I was a little surprised to see the answer was two words though. I guess that's allowed?
Here's the other stuff that was easy for me:
- 33A: Hip-hop greetings (YOS). I might look like the whitest guy in America, but I'm all about the hip-hop yo.
- 39A: Award won by Roger Clemens seven times (CY YOUNG). Still thinking about the beer from 1A. Ya know, Clemens, his former trainer McNamee, steroid injections, disposing of hypodermic needles in a beer can.... Allegedly!
- 6D: Subatomic particle made of three quarks (BARYON). When I was a kid I invented a word for the little crumbs under the toaster: "subatomic toasticles." But back to the puzzle. This clue is a little too generic. Any strongly interacting subatomic particle composed of quarks with spin an integral multiple of the reduced Planck's constant is a baryon, not just the ones with three quarks. And many, notably T. Nakano et al., S. Stepanyan et al., and J. Barth et al., have claimed photoproductive evidence for the existence of pentaquarkal baryons. I think this needs to be more specific, especially if you want beginning solvers like me to be able to solve the puzzle on a Monday.
[REX sez: the only proper response to this whole BARYON business is: "WTF IS A BARYON!?!?!" There is no way on god's green earth BARYON should be in a Monday puzzle. The whole NW was pitiful ...]
- 7D: Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (NEIL). Quick! Top five Crosby, Stills, Nash, and/or Young songs: (1) Southern Cross, (2) Suite Judy Blue Eyes, (3) Love the One You're With, (4) the Teach Your Children Well song, (5) Needle and the Damage Done.
- 14D: Quarterback Namath (JOE). Broadway Joe.
- 20D: The Sex Pistols' genre (PUNK).
- 38D: Rock's _____ Fighters (FOO). Important fact: it's not THE Foo Fighters. It's just Foo Fighters.
- 47D: Gov. Schwarzenegger (ARNOLD). I could go off on a rant here but PuzzleGirl made me promise not to talk politics. Or "Terminator" movies.
The rest of the puzzle:
- 10A: T.L.C. giver (MOM). I thought this had something to do with Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. And speaking of moms, I know I don't have to tell you how excited we all are around here about BabySeth, due any minute now. [Note from Seth: Jeff, the baby was born Saturday, and it's not my baby. Remember I explained that to you, about how I have two friends staying--] Yesiree, we just can't wait to hear how Seth takes to fatherhood.
- 48A: Moments, in brief (SECS). Moments? Not me! All night long, baby! (Oh, you mean S-E-C-S.)
- 17A: One offering kudos (HONORER). That's not a word. [Rex: I concur]
- 19A: Books for jotting down appointments (WEEKLY PLANNERS). Two words again. Huh. When I had some of the letters done (crosses I think you call them?) I thought this was going to end with CALENDAR.
- 21A: Lendee's note (IOU). Lendee? That's not a word either. [Rex: Again, you are correct, sir]
- 22A: Pretentious (ARTY). Arty! Now there's a good name for a boy, Seth. When you and Mrs. Seth get ready to start picking names-- [Jeff, it's not my baby. I'll have no say in choosing the name.]
- 23A: Hospital imaging devices (CAT SCANNERS). Didn't I already have ... oh, no, that was WEEKLY PLANNERS.
- 31A: Author Wharton (EDITH). Yo, Edith Wharton rulez! You know, many of her novels are characterized by a subtle use of dramatic irony. Having grown up in upper-class pre-World War I society, Wharton became one of its most astute critics. In such works as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence she employed both humor and profound empathy to describe the lives of New York's upper-class and the vanishing of their world in the early years of the 20th century.
- 44A: Miniature hooter (OWLET). How would I know? I'm married to PuzzleGirl. If ya know what I'm sayin'.
- 45A: Burping and slurping in public (POOR MANNERS). Sez you.
- 66A: Florida island (KEY). That's what that means??
- 4D: Dagger (DIRK). Isn't that Mark Wahlberg's character in "Boogie Nights"? So it's okay for them to give you the last name of a fictional character and expect you to come up with the first name? That doesn't seem fair. [Rex: Aargh, this is that damned NW I was talking about; DIRK indeed ... it's standard xword fare, but not Monday, and certainly not anywhere near BARYON for god's sake]
- 25D: Marshal _____, Yugoslavian hero (TITO). Of all the Yugoslavian heroes out there, Marshal Tito is my favorite.
- 34D: Lollapalooza (ONER). Again with the made-up words. Plus, I thought Lollapalooza was a big concert. [Rex: I am going to create a list of 10 (at least) most hated xword words, and this one is going to be (surprise) number ONE(R)]
- 48D: Command to Fido (SPEAK). "Leave" also fits. So does "Scram." Couldn't make "You're ruining my life and wrecking my marriage, you worthless mutt!" fit.
- 56D: French bean? (TETE). Heh heh. You said "tete."
Theme: A bunch of words that rhyme. [Rex: Putting the theme answers at the end! Way to mix things up!]
- 19A: Books for jotting down appointments (WEEKLY PLANNERS)
- 23A: Hospital imaging devices (CAT SCANNERS)
- 45A: Burping and slurping in public (POOR MANNERS)
- 53A: Places for antiwar slogans (PROTEST BANNERS)
[Rex: As far as this blog is concerned, the boy will hereafter be known as LOKI]
Seth will be here tomorrow, unless he's too busy changing diapers or something.
Peace Out, PuzzleHusband