Golfer's gouge / MON 8-27-12 / Fan of Jerry Garcia's band / He played Hulk on 1970s-80s TV / Hops kiln / Frilly place mats / Spotted wildcat / Name that comes from Old Norse for young man
Monday, August 27, 2012
Constructor: Michael Farabaugh
Relative difficulty: Easy
THEME: A vowel sound progression puzzle
- LAYAWAYPLAN (17A: Purchasing system with payments made over time)
- LEE IACOCCA (29A: Former Chrysler C.E.O.)
- LIE DOWN ON THE JOB (34A: Goldbrick)
- LOW-FAT DIET (43A: Healthful food regimen, traditionally)
- LOU FERRIGNO (56A: He played the Hulk on 1970s-'80s TV)
Word of the Day: NAOMI (42A: Ruth's mother-in-law) —
Naomi (נָעֳמִי "Pleasant; agreeable; my sweet", Standard Hebrew Noʻomi, Tiberian Hebrew nåʿå̆mī) is Ruth's mother-in-law in the Old Testament Book of Ruth. Later, she called herself Mara, or "bitter" (Ruth 1:20-21), she said to the women on Bethlehem, "Do not call me Naomi call me Mara (מרה), for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me," referring to the death of her husband (Elimelech) and her two sons (Mahlon and Chilion). In Ruth 1:13, she had said to her two daughters-in-law "it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me," (ESV), but the NIV translates this as "It is more bitter for me than for you..." which indicates that Naomi is indeed bitter. Barry Webb points out that there is both an objective element in her life being bitter (bereavement, dislocation and poverty), as well as a subjective element - the bitterness she feels. (wikipedia)
• • •I'm all for vowel (sound) progression puzzles early in the week, but the bar seems pretty low on this one. You could make and remake and remake this puzzle, with this theme, infinitely. And it's not as if the answers themselves are stunning—though LIE DOWN ON THE JOB and LOU FERRIGNO are quite decent. It's a very smooth, competently made puzzle, but a bit drab and unambitious as well. Also, remarkably easy, even for a Monday. I torched it in 2:36.
OAST, probably, right? (26D: Hops kiln). Oh, yesterday I forgot to wish Will Shortz happy 60th birthday (I did on Facebook, just not here). So—happy birthday, sir.
- 44D: Spotted wildcat (OCELOT) — I was just thinking earlier today that OCELOT should be the next step in the Mac operating system cat progression.
- 21A: "Make ___" (Picard's command on "Star Trek: T.N.G.") ("IT SO") — partials are never good, but as partial clues go, this one is aces.
- 20A: Golfer's gouge (DIVOT) — I don't usually mind alliteration, but "gouge" is a truly awful word. This clue sounds like a disease. "Poor Bill—did you hear he got golfer's gouge?"
- 25A: Frilly place mats (DOILIES) — I always thought these were smaller; specifically, I associate them with a kind of coaster equivalent used in various chain coffee shops / diners I went to as a kid. Cocoa's ... do they still have Cocoa's ... ? Maybe it was just a '70s/'80s Fresno thing. Nope—they're national, and spelled Coco's.
- 49A: Name that comes from Old Norse for "young man" (SVEN) — cool trivia. Livens things up a bit. Puzzle could've used a little more livening like this.
- 4D: Fan of Jerry Garcia's band (DEADHEAD) — seen it before, but still like it. I also know this as a word from gardening—a verb meaning "to remove the spent flowers of a flowering plant."