Winter autobahn hazard / MON 3-21-11 / Joint woe afflicted Benjamin Franklin / Underground vegetable edible greens / Bottle-throwing occasion
Monday, March 21, 2011
- "YOU BETCHA!"
- "BY ALL MEANS!"
- "RIGHT ON, BROTHER!"
- "AIN'T IT THE TRUTH!"
- "DARN TOOTIN'!"
- "SURE THING!"
Word of the Day: John TESH (32D: John who once co-hosted "Entertainment Tonight") —
John Frank Tesh (born July 9, 1952) is an American pianist and composer of pop music, as well as a radio host and television presenter. His 10-year-old 'Intelligence for Your Life Radio Show' reaches 14.2M listeners/week, and is syndicated by Teshmedia on 400 stations in USA, Canada, and the UK. 'Intelligence for Your Health' (with Connie Sellecca) was launched in 2010. Tesh has won 6 music Emmys, has 4 gold albums, 2 Grammy nominations, and an Associated Press award for investigative journalism. Tesh has sold over 8 million records. His live concerts have raised more than $20 million for PBS. In 1995 Tesh sold 50% of his record company, GTS, to Polygram for $8 million. Tesh then created Garden City Records, which he still owns today. He is also known as the longtime host of the television program Entertainment Tonight. He has previously worked as a sportscaster for the Olympic Games, a news anchor and, a reporter. [his main genre of music: NEW AGE (50A: Enya's kind of music)] (wikipedia)
• • •A fine Monday puzzle, with nice theme density. I wanted a "YER" at the beginning of "DARN TOOTIN'," but other than that, all the theme answers felt very natural. Non-theme fill is no great shakes, but given the structure of the grid (very high on 3- and 4-letter words), that's pretty much to be expected. If you want to accommodate that many theme answers *and* make the puzzle an easy early-weeker, then there's no real way around the preponderance of short stuff. Don't have much else to say about this one, which is probably just as well, as I am dead tired after two days in Brooklyn and a bus station / bus ride experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone—hours standing in Port Authority with hundreds of other people waiting for buses that never came, with no official information to be had except by a few people who ventured out and back ... all of whom got conflicting information (no buses upstate at all until tomorrow? all the buses are actually here, they just can't get inside because a half-marathon is obstructing their path? Etc.). Very nice but overworked man at Port Authority nearly got into several altercations trying to keep people from jumping the line. All in all, an adventure I'd just as soon not have had—unlike my American Crossword Puzzle Tournament adventure, which was fabulous. About which, more later (when I wake up and have more energy). The short version: I am the 31st Greatest Crossword Solver in the Universe. Also, I am the 2nd Greatest Crossword Solver in New York State (outside NYC), and I have the *hardware* to prove it. Here's a picture of me shaking Will's hand after hearing my name called by Roz Chast:
I had no expectation of winning anything, so I was laughing out loud as I walked up to get my trophy. Best part was walking up to Will, shaking his hand, and having him ask, "Now ... what did you win?" I then panicked and thought I had walked up there mistakenly (that trophy he's holding was Not for me), but it turns out Ms. Chast had just been reading names faster than the trophy wranglers could set them up, and so ... confusion. My trophy is a bit smaller than the one in the picture, but no less trophyish. Overall, the ACPT was super good fun. Got to see lots of top constructors and lots of blog readers and other really friendly people. Had dinner last night with half of today's constructing team, in fact (the Blindauer half). Ate too much. Drank too much. Played iPhone-APP "Celebrity" too much. But again ... more later, when my wits are more about me.
See final results from the tournament here.
- 1A: The Stones' "Sticky Fingers" and "Tattoo You," e.g. (LPS) — Neither this nor PROBE (2D: Exploratory spacecraft) (nor LOYAL, for that matter) came immediately. Had to pull out and back my way back into that corner.
- 27D: Joint woe that afflicted Benjamin Franklin (GOUT) — a little trivia for you on this Monday morning (Sunday evening for me). Clue could just as easily have stopped at [Joint woe], but no—you get a little edification with your GOUT.
- 37D: Underground vegetable with edible greens (BEET) — I could've sworn I had some this weekend, but I think I just *talked* about the fact that I had an "heirloom BEET salad" (delicious) the *last* time I was in Brooklyn for ACPT.
- 44D: They're worth twice as much as fins (TENNERS) — wanted TEN SPOTS. Wouldn't fit. TENNERS was my next guess—one of two Down answers in this puzzle that run through three different theme answers.
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P.S. a huuuuuuge thank-you to treedweller for covering for me on Saturday and Sunday. I had stupidly forgotten to arrange for a substitute, so his last-minute offer to step in and cover for me was an invaluable gift. I love writing the blog, but at ACPT, I want to spend time with people, not my computer.
P.P.S. biggest Fail of ACPT awards ceremony was the non-announcement of D and E division winners.
D Champion was Jeff Stacey (overall finish: 115) (Caleb Madison was 2nd!)
E Champion was Joseph Longa (overall finish: 159) (Marion Strauss, who comments here as @mac, was 11th!).