Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Relative difficulty: Medium
Theme: Jack-of-all trades
17A: LIFTING TOOL
59A: PLAYING CARD
11D: MALE DONKEY
28D: PLUG INSERT
All definitions of 55D: JACK
Hi! Andrea Carla Michaels and PuzzleGirl again, as Rex escaped a couple of nights ago through the backdoor and he hasn’t come home yet. We’re sick with worry and have put up posters around the neighborhood, but as my therapist always says, “Imagine the Best Case Scenario. Just as likely as the worst case, but this way you won’t expend all this negative emotional energy.”
I love my therapist … and I’m going to need her after two days of blogging. Instead of “What Would Jesus Do?” I always think “What Would Nanette Say?” I should have followed the advice from her new bestseller “My Answer is No … If That’s OK with You” and said no to blogging again, because this is going to be way harder than yesterday!
I guess it’s a typical Wednesday, took me three minutes longer than yesterday, but lots more mistakes initially. This puzzle could have been called “You Don’t Know Jack.” Even tho I was filling in answers left and right, I didn’t really feel I KNEW the answers … the puzzle made me feel like a phony, a pseudo-intellectual.
Here are all the things I didn’t know know (sic) but “got” anyway:
- 11A: “Next” network (MTV). I think it might be a dating show? I don’t have cable, but sort of know who Tila Tequila is. Hmmm, on second thought, I’m not even sure that’s her name.
- Clueless what a BRIAR pipe is (14A: Pipe type), I originally lightly wrote in BREAK, not that I know what a BREAK Pipe is either … for all I know it could be another kind of Jack!
- 20A: Prefix with -cardial (EPI). Here in San Francisco, I prefer my EPI clues to be connected to EPICENTER.
- 24A: Rapper Kanye WEST I know from his rants on award shows, but not his actual music. (PuzzleGirl, can you help a sista out here?) [Note from PuzzleGirl: Sorry, but I haven't paid much attention to rap since Run-DMC days! Here's a picture though.]
- 29A: Capote wearers (MATADORS). The only Capote I know from is Truman. I’d look up what part of a matador’s outfit this is, but I am so morally, physically, emotionally against bullfighting, I refuse to even learn. I think the “spectators” for those animal cruelty sports should have THEIR ears cut off! Olé Olé indeed!
- 32A: Munch Museum’s home (OSLO). I think I only learned this when they had those robberies recently. I had “The Scream” hanging in my college dorm room, as I am assuming half of the class of ’80 did … Along with the Matisse print of hands drawing hands (or was that Escher?) and I think a copy of Picasso’s “Guernica.” (My poster of Raquel Welch in “One Million Years B.C.” must have gotten lost by the Minneapolis movers en route to Boston!)
- 35A: Marshal under Napoleon (NEY). Again I got thru the crosses … being totally ignorant of things Napoleon except for one famous palindrome … I’m not even going to put up a picture of the pastry! Although I did google NEY post-solve so I wouldn’t put something wrong in the blog and saw he is buried in Pere LaChaise in Paris, which I once spent an uncomfortable afternoon in looking for a place to throw up. Long story, but suffice to say there are no discreet places to throw up in Pere LaChaise. You would think at least by Jim Morrison’s gravesite, but, alas, no.
- 51A: ___ Gailey of “Miracle on 34th Street” (FRED). I toyed with BRAD. I’ve never seen it. Ok, so shoot me, I’m Jewish and am not big on Christmas movies. Even tho, of course, as a Jew, I spent Christmas going to the movies, but it’s usually something like “Platoon.” [PuzzleGirl: I’m not Jewish, but one year my sister, parents and I saw 14 movies in 3 days over Christmas.]
- 5D: Yalta peninsula (CRIMEA). Got it, but again, an educated guess, not something I actually know/care a fig about. Again confirming what a pseudo-intellectual I am.
- Same for 44D. I know Philosopher Kierkegaard’s first name is SOREN. I know “Kierkegaard” is Danish (or something Scandanavian) for churchyard or cemetery … but I’ve never read Kierkegaard … tho I know people who have … and was even in love once with someone who wrote his thesis about him … does that count?
- Same deal for 8D: Writer Umberto ECO. Saw the movie, tho.
- Same deal for 30D: A Chaucer pilgrim (REEVE). Got it, play it in Scrabble lots of times, but I’ve never read it. Jeez, I hope “they” don’t revoke my diploma retroactively after reading this blog. I mean last year, I only read books that friends wrote, or even books that I’m IN and even then I only skimmed the chapters.
- 13D: Pioneering General Motors electric car (VOLT). I would think as a namer I might have even heard of that. Sort of cute and fun … but, nope.
And, despite having been a standup for ten years, back in the day, and a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune,” HAHAS (34D: Comedy club outbursts) and AN O (38A: “I’d like to buy _____”) were the last letters I filled in. HAHAS reminded me of the lame club names I used to perform at … like when the Holy City Zoo in SF changed its name to HAHA-A-GO-GO or something like that. I choose to block that out and blame it on drugs, even tho I’ve never done any.
Oh, as for Malapops (I’m going to force this into the language!), I’m going to count misspelling ABEL as ABLE yesterday, only to have it turn up today as 1D: Up to it! Perhaps some of you had your own Malapops with 4D and 47D both being defined as a three-letter word for Granola morsel and yes, I tried putting OAT in for both!
And I’m going to count MAMA (52D: Word from crib) as a repeat of yesterday’s word from the crib, DADA. See! I told you. There is one thing that is repeated each day and it’s not my imagination or the drugs I’ve never taken!
I’ll try to end on a high note. I immediately got ANGST (6D: Recurring Woody Allen theme) because as a 14-year-old, I met him and we had a running correspondence (I know, I know … but I didn’t know then!) and he turned me on to Robert Benchley and SJ Perelman. Whenever I would go to NY to visit my grandparents, we would go hear him at Michael’s Pub. This was before he was so famous that they had to literally rope him off. There’s more to this story, needless to say, but I’ll just leave you with a picture from one of those nights.
Thank you again to PuzzleGirl, whose boundless enthusiasm and skillsets (a word I swear I’d never use) made this all possible. Now I have to go grab a flashlight and find that Rex! “Here, Rex! … Rex?! … Rexxxxxxxx!”