TUESDAY Dec. 30 - Doug Peterson (Tolkien brutes / Tony winner Lenya / Sicilian hot spot / Big name in grills / Marathon handout)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Hi! Andrea Carla Michaels here again. I know. I know. It's a long story. Suffice to say the heroine once again is PuzzleGirl, by day a mild-mannered mom, editrix-extraordinaire, non-ironic mud-wrestler ... and when you need her, answers the Orange bat-phone, tears off her pantyhose, lets out the invisible dog and becomes Angel-A!
Need a sub-blogger? Who ya gonna call? Angel-A! Stuck at the airport? Need a warm meal? Who ya gonna call? Angel-A! Playmate for your daughter? Clue-solver for your repetitious Harry Potter clues? Who ya gonna call? Angel-A!
Virginia is for Lovers. What happens in VA ... stays in VA. That's all I'm gonna say. So, I'll leave all that to your fervid imaginations. Suffice to say, Rex et famille are safely tucked into Carmel, Angel-A's work is all but done (except, of course, for making my ramblings coherent, complete with videos) and you're stuck with me again. ☺ Thank you, Angel-A!
Today's puzzle is talkin' about my g-g-g-g-g-generation.
- 20A: Incentive aimed at golden agers (senior discount)
- 31A: Chocolate-coated candy (Junior Mints)
- 40A: 1949 Orson Welles film ("The Third Man")
- 52A: Ivan Turgenev novel ... and a hint to 20-, 31, and 40- Across (Fathers and Sons)
I began by not getting any of the first ten or so Acrosses, (other than 14A: Actress Petty (Lori)), who seemed to disappear after "Tank Girl."
Altho today she reappears atop of ALEX Rodriguez, so maybe that's where she is, now that things have cooled off between him and Madge. (Those with subscriptions to the New York Times and not People may have no idea what I've just said, but what are you gonna do about it? Who ya gonna call? Tank Girl? NO! Haven't you been paying ANY attention??!! You're gonna call Angel-A!)
I'm so used to having him referred to as A-ROD, that when confronted by his real name, I was momentarily stunned into silence. Not an easy trick for any of you who know me.
Another over/under combo that was nice was ON ICE (60A: In readiness) over WATER (63A: Marathon handout) ... tho not nearly as exciting as LORI atop ALEX!
Plus, I started to "pencil in" with my papermate pen Early Bird Special for 20A: Incentive aimed at golden agers till I ran out of letters … now that's a theme dying to happen.
I thought I got some traction when I confidently wrote in cinchpin for 26A: Key Element, but 26D: Most of Santa's mail looked bad later as cists. That should have been a tip-off, but I rationalized maybe it's only one perverse, sick, illiterate TYKE (10A: Youngster) that writes to him … I don't know from Christmas LISTS. Don't ask me, I'm Jewish, as I write this on the 9th day of Chanukah! (I actually invited my neighbors in to light the candles last night and to teach them how to play dreidl, only to not realize till this very second that I thought it was only the 7th night. But I count this as a Chanukah puzzle, what with BIBI (7D) clued as Nickname of Israel's Netanyahu when Doug Swedish-sounding Peterson could have easily gone with the Bergman Actress/Shiksah Bibi Andersson.) (Shiksah? I so don't use that word, it's not good in Scrabble, I don't even know how to spell it and I am not going to look it up!)
Which of course brings me to my fave answer of the puzzle: 44A: Easy dupes (schnooks)!!!!!!!! SCHNOOKS in the New York Times crossword puzzle! I had the SCH- in place and at first thought SCHEMERS? That makes no sense. But Doug Swedish-sounding Peterson has SCHNOOKS? What next? SCHMUCKS? SCHLMIELS? SCHMEGEGGIES? (That last one's for you Bill from New Jersey!) And crossing NOSH (33D: Light snack) no less!
NOSH/TOSH. PALM/PSALM. No comment, just fun to say. I was a bit suspect of ELS crossing RAIL. But I loved the energy of 1D: Reduce drastically, as prices (slash).
I'm sure, as there was inexplicably no "Simpsons" clue today, there will be lots of discussion about the Seinfeld JUNIOR MINTS episode, so I (and when I say I, I mean Angel-A) might as well provide a link to that. [Note from PuzzleGirl: Sorry. None of the clips I found were very good, so I'll just include a still photo.]
Seriously, after SCHNOOKS, I'm SCHNOCKERED and don't know what else to say. I've never heard of HOME ROW (41D: Where touch typists begin) and I do have a HYANNIS story (23A: Massachusetts tourist spot), which I'll save for if Caroline actually becomes Senator.
She was a college classmate of mine. I once spent a weekend back in 1977 with her family in Hyannisport (and have the scar to prove it!). She is now potentially the next Junior Senator from the Great State of New York, and I'm blogging for Rex Parker, having been stood up for dinner. And you know what? I may have made the better life decisions! Not.
Ah, life decisions, college, choices, and long journeys … I had forgotten (or maybe never knew) that ODYSSEUS (which along with Turgenev is classy to have in a puzzle), designed the Trojan Horse (38D). Although, back in the day, when I was a stand-up comic (when I could have run for the senate! Damn it!) a reference to the Trojan Horse was one of my signature UN-PC (32D: Potentially offensive) jokes:
"Why would they call rubbers "Trojans"? I mean the whole idea of the Trojan Horse was to sneak inside the walls of Troy.... Once inside, everyone jumped out and attacked!!!! Doesn't make me feel real safe…" Ba-da-bum. Thank you folks! I'll be here all week! (Only kidding. Rex will be back tomorrow. Promise!)