TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2008 - Joon and Caroline Pahk (Author/illustrator who used the pseudonym Ogdred Weary / Superboy's crush)
Monday, August 4, 2008
me: Nice work young man!
Sent at 9:10 PM on Monday
Joon: did they really name him odin?
that's so awesome
me: they really did
You know what else was awesome: this puzzle.
- 17A: Writer who created the character Vivian Darkbloom (VLADIMIR NABOKOV). Clare Quilty's writing partner and eventual biographer in Lolita.
- 27A: Singer who nicknamed himself Mr. Mojo Risin' (JIM MORRISON).
- 48A: Author/illustrator who used the pseudonym Ogdred Weary (EDWARD GOREY).
- 62A: What the clues for 17-, 27- and 48-Across all contain (ANAGRAMMED NAMES)
I started this puzzle the way I often do, going through the first across row and then moving back through the downs that cross that row. I think I got only STAR going across, but then quickly got several key downs that gave me a good letter pattern for the first theme answer. I think I incorrectly started with ROAM for 13D: Travel the country (ROVE), but then ran through several more at first glance.
- 11D: "Kon-___" (TIKI). Speaking of Thor, as we were yesterday, this is the raft on which Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific, and it's a not uncommon crossword answer.
- 9D: Samuel Barber's "___ for Strings" (ADAGIO). I'm only fair to middling with my classical music knowledge. But this is one I can name. Barber wrote this when he was even younger than Joon is now, which makes me wonder what I've been doing with my life.
- 8D: Superboy's crush (LANA). Learned it earlier this year from a puzzle.
- 7D: Walter Scott title (SIR). That's pretty much what I remember about him, his title. I think I sometimes confuse him with the other Sir Walter, Raleigh.
- 5D: Late newsman Russert (TIM). Timely, and sad. I'm guessing WS changed this clue recently.
I quickly filled in the rest of the top. Including
- 4D: Snorri Sturluson work (EDDA). As Icelandic-sounding a name as can be. Didn't need to know who Snorri was to understand what he might have written. With that and 3D: Fervor (ZEAL) in place I finally came up with...
- 1A: Woodworking tool (ADZE). I know the names of lots of tools, but no matter how specifically they're clued it always takes me several crosses to figure out which one they're looking for. Also, I'm not sure who the "they" is whot is doing the looking, but someone chastised PuzzleGirl a few days ago for using the passive voice so I didn't want to say "that is being looked for". I apologize in advance for the math-majorish quality of the rest of my writing...
- 27A: Singer who nicknamed himself Mr. Mojo Risin' (JIM MORRISON). This was in The Doors' L.A. Woman, and because someone will ask that part starts around the 5:00 mark of
I thought for a second about what JIM MORRISON and VLADIMIR NABOKOV could have in common, but I quickly remembered a discussion we had in the comments here back in March about the anagram. I checked, Vivian Darkbloom looked good with the K and some Vs, and I immediately jumped to the next theme entry.
- 48A: Author/illustrator who used the pseudonym Ogdred Weary (EDWARD GOREY). You had me at "author/illustrator"!
A very fun and creative theme to the puzzle, which marked the NYT debut by frequent reader/commenter Joon and his wife Caroline. Congrats, guys!
There was very little I didn't like about this puzzle, and most of what was new to me I learned from googling after. I had a fast, smooth solve, and never saw the few things I didn't know. And, as usual, I'm running a bit late, so here, quickly, is
- 15A: Work that begins "Sing, goddess, the wrath of Peleus' son ..." (ILIAD). I think Rex teaches this seemingly every term; I relied on help from the crosses.
- 16A: Older brother of Michael Jackson (TITO). Just yesterday Andrea Carla Michaels was telling us (again) about a cartoon Venn diagram in which the overlap between Yugoslavian dictators and The Jackson 5 is Tito. It's not (that I could find) in the New Yorker Cartoon Bank or on GraphJams, but if anyone happens to find a copy let me know.
- 22A: Keep ___ on (TABS). Sometimes, I highlight an answer just so I have an excuse to post a picture. In this case, I had trouble deciding which one to use. I settled on the cans. But then I decided to use both to give you guys a taste of just how hard this crossword blogging can be. How would you decide? This is a real dilemma!
- Another dilemma occurs when 40A: "Saturday Night Live" bits (SKITS) crosses 31D: "Saturday Night Live" genre (SATIRE). So many skits, how can I decide which to show you? Do I go with something underappreciated like Census Taker? An old classic like Word Association? Or do I look for something to honor someone on our minds right now, like Down By The River, featuring Christina Applegate, who we're all pulling for? Turns out, I zig and not zag, and don't embed any of them. That SethG--you never know which way he's gonna go!
- Heck, I'm not even going to post a link for 43A: Mr. T series, with "The" (ATEAM).
- What you'll get, because PuzzleGirl requested it: 5A: Real-life scientist played by David Bowie in "The Prestige," 2006 (TESLA). Enjoy!
- 45A: Inter ___ (ALIA). Could this be a hidden theme entry? I suppose someone could dig up some dictionary, somewhere, which includes ALIA as a plural of alias. All it takes is one!
- 53A: Unidentified man (MISTERX). Yet again, as I go through this I picture what Rex would say about each entry. And I feel slightly guilty that I don't have the appropriate comics background to really do this justice.
- 66A: Teeming (with) (RIFE). This always makes me think of L. Bob Rife, from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, which BeckyWow got me for my birthday once.
- 71A: Revolutionary car part? (AXLE). I wasn't sure if the axle actually spins or if it stays steady while a shaft inside the axle rotates. Turns out, the answer is "yes". "A pin or shaft on or with which a wheel or pair of wheels revolves."
- 6D: With 10-Down, ABC series starring Jonny Lee Miller (ELI) and 10D: See 6-Down (STONE). Yeah, never heard of it.
- 23D: They may be drawn with compasses (ARCS). Typing now, I'm picturing the Spirograph, which doesn't really draw arcs at all.
- 27D: Fanatics wage it (JIHAD). I like a little holy war with my morning coffee as much as the next guy. This is not quite symmetric with 32D: Doha's land (QATAR). I'm pretty sure QATAR is our ally in the war on terror, and don't remember what I meant to say here.
- 30D: Badlands sight (MESA). I went camping in Badlands National Park once after we rescheduled a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area because of storms. Turns out, we had tornadoes and the BWCA had perfect weather. We slept in a truck, stuck on the top of a hill.
- I didn't understand what 58D: One-L person, in an Ogden Nash poem (LAMA) was even asking. It makes sense once you watch
- 44D: "The Great Gatsby" gambler Wolfsheim (MEYER). Glad I never saw this clue.
- 49D: Lower the allowed electrical capacity of (DERATE). Glad I never saw this clue.
- 59D: Big movie fan's option? (IMAX). The movie is big, the fan may or may not be.
- 63D: Cambridge sch. (MIT). Without a doubt the best sch. in Cambridge. Come to think of it, I think Joon works in Cambridge.
But, since it's baby (and child) picture day, we'll let Yggdrasil Pahk get the last word. And if you want, you can call him Sam.
46A: "Toodles!" (TATA),