Saturday, July 10, 2010
This derives from the Latin infra dignitatem, literally - 'beneath (one's) dignity'. It is first recorded by William Hazlitt in Table talk; or, original essays on men and manners, 1822 …. The first person to put the shortened infra dig. version into print was Sir Walter Scott. He uses it in his 1825 novel Redgauntlet …. It is now more commonly written without the full stop. Even most of those who realize it is an abbreviation now consider it to be well-enough established not to require it ….
[The Phrase Finder]
• • •Hi, everyone. PuzzleGirl here with you for this week's Saturday puzzle. Rex is off, I don't know … doing something somewhere. Who cares? The important thing is that we're here and there's a puzzle to talk about.
As you might know, I'm always nervous when I cover for Rex late in the week, because it's not a sure thing that I'll even be able to finish the puzzle. And as much as I know it's nice once in a while to read someone who's, ya know, mortal when it comes to puzzle solving, it still feels like a big drag to me to have to admit my failure so publicly. Fortunately, I didn't have too much trouble today. Yay, me! I mean, I wasn't 100% sure FRELENG (30A: Looney Tunes animator Friz) and INFRA DIG were right (HAha! Just mistyped INFRA DOG), and I still don't get why OTC is 23A: Share letters?, but the crosses on all three of those words looked solid so I put my pencil down and called it good.
This was a typical late-week solving experience for me. First time through the clues, I only had a couple I was sure of: like ALE TAP (12D: Fixture in a pub), OVATION (24A: Big hand), and FIN (43A: 1950s car feature). I built from those few gimmes and plugged away long enough to put it all together. Sure, I mistakenly entered wise men for THE MAGI (49A: Storied gift givers), metals for STONES (14D: Precious ones, possibly), and WBA for IBF (33A: Pugilists' org.), but that all worked itself out eventually. (Just in case you're interested, I did not have that kind of luck with today's L.A. Times puzzle. The post on that puzzle — which, as of right now, I haven't written but I'm sure will be completely pathetic — will be over on my blog. Damn you, Doug Peterson!)
Favorite answers in the grid for me were SOUP BONE (1A: Stock maker's addition) and FAKE TAN (20A: You might have one after spraying yourself). I thought SOUP BONE was going to be some kind of barn or ranch … field or something. (Is there such a thing as a ranch field? It looks pretty dumb now that I've actually typed it out.) And when I got SOUP BONE I thought to myself, "Now there's an awesome 1 Across answer." You know what else that would be awesome as? A blues musician's nickname: Walter "Soup Bone" Hutchins. (I just made that up, but it sounds pretty good, right?) And FAKE TAN makes me think of The Ohio State University wrestling team, which I'm sure no one reading this blog understands or cares about at all. (Let's just say that there's not enough sun in Columbus, Ohio, in the dead of winter for those boys to be that toasty looking.)
- 9A: Field's pair (OSCARS). I assume this is Sally Field. I'm kind of surprised she only has two.
- 15A: Site of a college stadium that seats over 100,000 (ANN ARBOR). I thought this might be referring to the stadium at Penn State (which I've seen and is massive), but ANN ARBOR's is twice as massive. Wow! Oh wait, that's wrong. Beaver Stadium started out at under 50,000, but has been renovated since then and is now the third largest stadium in the world. Michigan Stadium has room for about 200 more people. So I was close! (Also: Hi, foodie!)
- 17A: Not taken in (YET TO SEE). I have YET TO SEE "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," and the second movie in the series is already out, so I believe I'll get my butt in gear and see it this weekend.
- 41A: Big pistol maker (BERETTA). I misspelled this at first as BaRETTA. Which reminds me: Sammy says "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
- 51A: Detective's question (WHO DID IT). For some reason, this really tickled me. I was thinking "Where were you …?" "Can you describe him …?" "Did you notice anything unusual …?" But WHO DID IT? That's a little on the nose, don't you think?
- 4D: "Ah, But Your Land Is Beautiful" novelist, 1981 (PATON). This is an anti-Apartheid novel by South African Alan Paton. Sounds interesting.
- 6D: London weekly, with "The" (OBSERVER). Tried Guardian first.
- 10D: Upset (SHAKEN). Not stirred.
- 22D: Artist's place (ATELIER). I distinctly remember learning this word from Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
- 42D: Extremely (EVER SO). Does Dorothy use this phrase in "The Wizard of Oz"? Because whenever I see it, in my head I hear it in her voice.
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