Base found in DNA and RNA / FRI 8-6-10 / "That greeny flower" in a William Carlos Williams poem / Bruce Springsteen ballad
Friday, August 6, 2010
any of several flowering plants belonging to the family Asphodelaceae. It is a variously applied and thus much misunderstood common name. The asphodel of the poets is often a narcissus; that of the ancients is either of two genera, Asphodeline or Asphodelus, containing numerous species in the Mediterranean region.
They are hardy herbaceous perennials with narrow leaves and an elongated stem bearing a handsome spike of white, pink, or yellow flowers. Asphodelus albus and A. fistulosus have white-to-pink flowers and grow from 45 to 60 cm (1 1/2 to 2 feet) high.
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Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here coming off the bench for the day and wondering how in the hell I got so lucky. Patrick Berry! I squealed when I saw his name! And then I got scared. Sometimes the really, really good constructors come up with stuff that I am totally not smart enough for. I had a lot of fun with this puzzle though. I actually got off to a great start in the northwest corner and really really had to try hard not to get cocky (knowing it would undoubtedly backfire on me). I sometimes tend to jump around a lot in late-week puzzles because I just can't get a foothold, but the way I tackled the NW felt, well, it just felt right. (Yes, I'm getting all mushy over my crossword solving experience. And yes, I have been called a nerd, why do you ask?) I was wary of 1A because I thought STUFFS for 1A: Prepares for the trophy room, say was just too easy. Then I entered SKI off the S (6D: Word with pole or jump) and, again, assumed I was totally missing something. I made an educated guess that 3D: Weak and craven started with UN, which allowed to make the totally wild-ass guess that 15A: Husband of Denmark's Queen Margrethe was HENRIK.
I was pretty lucky with several of my guesses, but I also had a number of false starts.
- 21A: Cheap roofing material (TIN). Wanted "tar."
- 22A: Wartime bridge builder (SEABEE). Tried SEA DOG which I believe is a thing, it's just not the right thing.
- 24A: Prevailing character (TONE). Wanted "ethos" which, obviously, didn't fit.
- 30A: A belligerent arguer may grab them (LAPELS). I tried "straws" first. But I realized at some point that straws are more "grasped" than grabbed.
- 50A: What phorid flies are imported to prey on (FIRE ANTS). I had the "ants" part and tried "army" first. I erased it when I tried "insults" for RETORTS (35D: "So's your old man!" and others) which was the right thing to do even if it was the wrong reason to do it.
- 36A: Walks aimlessly (TRAIPSES). Wow is TRAIPSES a great word! I had "meanders" at first, which was confirmed by LEANN (30D: Singer Rimes) but made me think I had SALIERI mixed up with someone else (37D: Composer who tutored Mozart's son).
- 18A: Dr. Eric Foreman's portrayer on "House" (OMAR EPPS). I always like it when people get both their first and last names in the grid.
- 20A: Carol king (WENCESLAS). Awesome clue.
- 46A: Item first marketed under the name Snurfer (SNOWBOARD). The things you learn.
- 48A: She won three Grammys for her 1989 album "Nick of Time" (RAITT). Two words: Bad. Ass.
- 7D: They reproduce via mitosis (AMOEBAS). I don't know when they ("they"!) decided to start spelling AMOEBA without the O, but it's always bothered me. So this made me happy.
- 13D: Catalán relative (ESPAÑOL). I have a hard time figuring out down answers sometimes when I only have some of the letters, so I write them out horizontally and it often becomes clear that way. That's what happened on this one.
- 29D: It sometimes covers first-time performers (FLOP SWEAT). Ew.
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