Mon Apr 9, 2007 -- J.K. Hummel

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The King of CrossWorld is on vacation, and I'm excited to be Queen for a Day. Actually, for two days, since I'll also be here Tuesday. I found this blog while Googling for answers several months ago and have been a faithful fan ever since. You've probably seen my comments, appearing as Linda G, along with my photo. A lot of people think I look like Ava Gardner : )

One of the easiest puzzles ever. The 2:18 time shown above the puzzle is how long it took me to type the answers in, though. It actually took me longer to do on paper--my preferred method of solving.

Today's puzzle theme was shades of green. The six theme answers all begin with a word that describes a different shade. The clue that revealed it (GREEN) appears at 39A--right smack in the middle of the puzzle. Theme answers are:

  • 18A Park ranger's worry (forestfire). Only you can prevent one...

  • 23A Conifer exudation (pinesap)

  • 51A Metaphor for dense fog (peasoup). I'll just skip the grade school joke that reminds me of.

  • 61A Large seed of the alligator pear (avocadopit). Am I the only one who didn't know it was called that? I'll remember that because I love avocados.

  • 4D Peace offering (olivebranch). By far, the worst shade for me to wear, since that's the color of my skin.

  • 27D Crunchy item at a salad bar (celerystalk)

I especially like that celery stalk intersected pea soup. I always put celery in my pea soup. But I don't put pine sap on my olive branches.

I would be remiss in my blogging duties if I didn't include a photo of the King of Things Green, even if he wasn't in the puzzle, and even if there isn't a shade of green named after him. There probably should be. Hail, Kermit.

15A Distress signal (flare) reminded me of flame (or flaming?) and flame war from a couple of days ago. Kind of like shortspeak, where you combine the letters of different words. Maybe you had to be in my head when I thought of that...

I don't know how names that have been in memory for years can suddenly surface (seriously, no pun intended) when I need them. Andrea (31A: __Doria, ill-fated ship) came right to mind.

A couple of often-repeated clue/answer pairings. 59D Church recess (apse), 37D Explosive inits. (TNT), and our good friend 31D Dadaist Jean (Arp). Here's a piece called Before my Birth. Interesting...

38A Gossip queen Barrett (Rona) is back, as is 29D Gen. Meade's foe at Gettysburg (Lee).

Not too much in the way of exciting fill, but it's always nice to see a blast from the past. 46A Mama __ of the Mamas and the Papas (Cass) and 66A: 1970s music fad (disco). Which would you rather see a picture of? Me, too. I just loved John Travolta back then. Not too many men would look that good in a white suit, but he pulled it off nicely.

42A Lively horses seemed an odd way to clue prancers, but I guess they could have done worse.

29A Come in last (lose). Next year at this time they can clue it "Guest blogger Linda G at ACPT." I just got my packet of tournament puzzles yesterday. I got through the first one under the time limit, but I had a total brain freeze on the second, and I wasn't in a room full of competitors.

Here's another regular. 30D Rococo (ornate) appears quite often. I've often wondered exactly how ornate it was. I'll never have to wonder again--and neither will you.

What I didn't know: 7D Caleb who wrote "The Alienist" (Carr). Come to think of it, that's the only word I didn't know. That's why I signed up for Monday.

43D was one of those clues I didn't even see. Words before spell, shadow or wide net (casta). I like that kind of cluing. It's great for random thinkers.

69A Shuteye (sleep). What I need to get tonight. It's tough being back in the workforce, but I'm lovin' my new job. What's really the best is that they approached me two days after quitting my job in November. I wasn't supposed to start until June, but they asked me to come on board earlier. Woo-hoo!

This little guy is a Lhasa Apso (1A). He kind of looks like my Barnabas, who is sleeping on the floor by my feet. Buzzie, as we affectionately call him, and his brother, Dooley, wandered up to our house several years ago. They've been our loyal companions ever since.

Hope you all had a Happy Easter and ate a sufficient amount of chocolate and jelly beans.

Linda G


Norrin2 6:58 AM  

Good job, Linda, the Queen for a day (or two) tiara fits you very well. Kermit probably missed the cut because his theme song is "It's Not Easy Being Green" and today it was.
By the way, Rona Barrett is long retired from the gossip business. She now runs her own lavender business (Lavender teas, lavender soaps, etc.) So maybe she'll show up again on the alll things purple puzzle.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

Fun, very congenial post. I was going to say "It's not easy bein' green..." but norrin beat me to the punch. I think it was also one of trombonist Urbie Green's theme songs. At any rate, he played it. That and the Green Hornet theme (a jazzed-up version of "Flight of the Bumblebee," which turned up in another movie recently...was it Kill Bill?...yes, performed by Al Hirt). "Random thinkers..." Boy, that's me...about to go off on a tangent on Eric Rohmer's "Rayon vert"...but I'll just stop this now. Green grow the rushes, oh....aaaaaah! Somebody help me!

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Queen Linda! Nice ring to that.

Have fun with the ACPT packet. As one veteran competitor there advised me, figuring out the theme(s) quickly will help! (That is not to say that I always figured it out in time to benefit me on a particular puzzle.)

Mmm...celery and avocados. Maybe it's time for breakfast...

Howard B 9:51 AM  

Kermit, disco, and the Andrea Doria - what a combination! ;)
Thanks, oh Queen of the Crossword. It doesn't hurt that green happens to be my favorite color; it's nice to see it receive some appreciation in the grid (the other colors in the spectrum are always teasing poor green...).

And if you take 'a sufficient amount of' to mean 'twice your weight in', then yes, it was indeed a Happy Easter.

DONALD 10:05 AM  

"Forest fires", "pine sap" and "avocado pits" are not green, nor are "pea soups" (how about fog or black-eyed) or "olive branches" (gold laurels) necessarily. Celery stalks are, but "celery" is not a shade of green. So, "It's not easy being green!" My vote for the GREEN OSCAR award goes to -- who else, green Oscar on Sesame Street!

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Fun puzzle. Very spring-ish. Fun blog. I'll be humming Kermit's song all day -- a favorite of mine from childhood. The lyrics are actually quite introspective. Kermit starts out admitting, "It aint easy bein' green," but at the end, he muses, "I wonder whyyyyyy, I am green, but it'll do fine. It's just what I want to be." Later, gators :)
ps "alligator pear" is a new one on me, too. Love it!

Linda G 10:37 AM  

Green is also the favorite color of my older daughter, Elaine. To give equal press, Kris, the almost-18-year-old, loves purple.

Howard, I believe I'm behind about 200 pounds of chocolate and jelly beans, so I'd better have some with my next cup of coffee ; )

Orange 11:05 AM  

Donald, celery is a shade of green. As are pine green, forest green, pea green, avocado green, and olive green. Many themes hinge, as this one does, on the first or last word in each theme entry rather than the entire phrase.

Good job blogging, pretender-to-the-throne Linda! (Sorry, I reserve the position of crossword-blogging queen for myself in a most imperious fashion.)

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Easy as pie (key lime pie, that is)!

Linda G 11:40 AM  

Oh, esteemed Orange, you are truly the Queen. I was merely being Queen for a Day at this site. I would never presume to usurp the title from you, its rightful owner.

I remain your faithful servant.

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

I sort of assumed that "Fiend" and "Queen" could coexist in this little universe. Sad that the title of 'Tsarina' remains unclaimed.

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

I sort of assumed that "Fiend" and "Queen" could coexist in this little universe. Sad that the title of 'Tsarina' remains unclaimed.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Sorry about that - no idea what happened :(

DONALD 1:01 PM  

Orange: I know all that -- however, you may also wish to enlighten Wikipedia about "celery" green, which is obviously a rather new commercial tag for an already-named green -- just has a better ring to it! Officially, however, I can find no reference in any dictionary or the like to a shade of green called "celery". I read "the starts" notation, of course, but one must admit it is rather odd that none of answers including "start" is a green thing except CELERY STALKS and "celery" is not in any dictionary I have consulted including my own gargantuan Websters Third New International Dictionary Unabridged. One does find references on Google to pillow cases, sheets and home furnishings on E-Bay and other commercial sites (although we have an Amy Orange!) but no official reference in the English language with which I have conferred lists "celery" as an official shade of green. Do quote me an official reference, as I am happy to be wrong when the other guy is right!

Oh, don't you just love all the references to orangeness over the past week -- flaming, flame, flame war, now forest fire! Things are getting hot!

P.S. I have not prfoeaord this comment.

Linda G 1:04 PM  

Tsarina is good, but in a household with two daughters, it was well accepted that I was the Queen here. Our girls were 5 and 6 when they came to live with us and were excited about being Princesses. I do remind my husband from time to time that he is only a Prince, having married the Queen.

Fiend is good, and it ends up in crosswords fairly often, but it doesn't have the royal ring. I'm happy to surrender the title of Queen to Orange--for crossword purposes only ; )

Anonymous 1:19 PM  

Seems to me CELERY is just as much a color as are BISCUIT and ALMOND. Gosh, its almost lunchtime here, and I am salivating like Pavlov's dog. How dull would our lives be if we could only see and speak in primary colors and their qualifiers (ex. are Rex's eyes light green, dark green, or just plain green... can't tell from his picture)? Zzzzzzz. As a language lover, I'd rather someone describe them to me as sage, celadon, chartreuse, absinthe, jade, moss, mint, serpentine, or yes, even olive or avocado!

Orange 1:24 PM  

Celery doesn't need to be in the dictionary to be considered a color—hell, just leaf (leaf green!) through a few clothing catalogs and you'll probably run across it. The New Yorker recently had an article about the maven of commercial color trends, and wasabi green (and all related bright, light green shades) were the last big trend. The NYT does cover fashion in the style section, so clothing and paint colors that aren't in the dictionary ought to be fair game for the crossword.

I hereby lay claim to the titles of crossword empress and sultana.

DONALD 1:52 PM  

Oh, like the emperor's new clothes or the Pope's infallibility. What a wonderful word is the crossword world, rules for no rules and no rules for rules, a veritable Charles Ludwidge Dodgson a priori!
"Can you play crocquet?"

DONALD 1:55 PM  


DONALD 1:56 PM  

The quote is from the Queen!

DONALD 2:03 PM  

Here, chew on this (from my blog):

This little lost Monday puzzle states its “theme” as “GREEN” (39A Like the starts of the answers to the six starred clues); however, none of the “starred clues’” answers are green per se, except CELERYSTALK and “celery” by itself is not a shade of green -- see Wikipedia "Shades of Green". Maybe that doesn’t matter. This looks like a construction that got completely re-clued before going to press. It’s almost an Earth Day or St. Patrick’s Day puzzle (neither of which we had this year). Hollywood gave Al Gore an OSCAR for “An Inconvenient Truth”, but the New York Times doesn’t give it to anyone (5A High Hollywood honor), so let’s take that election away from Gore also and in trying to help the “GREEN” theme, give it to that other “OSCAR” on Sesame Street. At least he's the right color!

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

Every leaf of every stalk of celery I have ever eaten was green, and every piece of celery I have ever eaten has been a nice, light shade of green on the ribs (except, of course, at the wide end where it fades to a very bleached, almost translucent, shade).

Dearest Donald, what color is your celery?

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

Maybe it is a list of things that simply are green:

A forest are green,
A pine is green,
A pea is green,
An avacodo is green,
An olive is green (unless it is black),
A celery stalk is green.

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

A forest is partly green.
A pine is partly green.
Peas are many colors.
An avacodo is green and its pit brown.
Olives, yes, both black and green.
A celery stalk is green.
A forest fire is many colors.
Pine sap is transparent amber.
Pea soup (like fog) is what -- pea soup depends on the color of the pea used.
An avacodo pit is brown.
A celery stalk is green.

No one is debating the color of a celery stalk.

It's undebatable it's debatable that use of celery as a "color" is in the same category.

Perhaps the confusion arises from the definition of "celadon" is defined as a delicate green (or a tender lover) and as a pale grayish green, whereas "celery" is defined as a biennial plant of the parsley familywhose long, crisp leaf-like stalks are eaten as a vegetable.

Anonymous 3:23 PM  

A tisket, a tasket
A celery-colored basket,
I left a comment on this blog,
And someone lost a gasket!

Rex Parker 3:34 PM  


It´s costing me $10 an hour to type this, but I had to check in to see how things are going. And register my approval.

Solved puzzle in 5:18 despite having conversation with stepbrother and working insane Euro-keyboard simultaneously - RETURN turns into "}" and left SHIFT gives me "<" - over and over. And space bar sticks.

Haven't had chance to read weekend commentaries yet, but yours, Linda, is so spot-on that I´m feeling a little threatened. Actually, truthfully, a little touched. The emotional kind of "touched," not the insane kind.

Mexico is beautiful - at least my little part of it is. More when I get back. Well, of course.

Of all the pictures to illustrate ROCOCO, you get the world's ugliest bed. VERY in the spirit of this blog. Nice.

Mex (not a racial slur) Parker

Anonymous 4:19 PM  

Rex is alive and well! Long live the King!

Anonymous 5:22 PM  

re female crossword royalty: *ahem* *cough* 14 A finals *cough* (but I don't really BLOG about crosswords)

I don't see any problem with the theme. The starts of the theme answers are all types of green.

(sorry if this posts twice; it disappeared the first time)

Anonymous 6:06 PM  

HTML Color Names
The follow list below provides a list of the color names that are supported by all major browsers:

Alice Blue, Antique White, Aqua, Aquamarine, Azure, Beige, Bisque, Black, Blanched Almond, Blue, Blue Violet, Brown, Burly Wood, Cadet Blue, Chartreuse, Chocolate, Coral, CornflowerBlue, Cornsilk, Crimson, Cyan, DarkBlue, DarkCyan, DarkGoldenRod, DarkGray, DarkGrey, DarkGreen, DarkKhaki, DarkMagenta, DarkOliverGreen, DarkOrange, DarkOrchid, Dark Red, DarkSalmon, DarkSeaGreen, DarkSlateBlue, DarkSlateGray, DarkSlateGrey, DarkTurquoise, DarkViolet, DeepPink, DeepSkyBlue, DimGray, DimGrey, DodgerBlue, FireBrick, FloralWhite, ForestGreen, Fuchsia, Gainsborg, GhostWhite, Gold, GoldenRod, Gray, Grey, Green, GreenYellow, HoneyDew, HotPink, IndianRed, Indigo, Ivory, Khaki, Lavender, LavenderBlush, LawnGreen, LemonChiffon, LightBlue, LightCoral, LightCyan, LightGoldenRodYellow, Light Gray, LightGrey, LightGreen, LightPink, LightSalmon, LightSeaGreen, LightSkyBlue, LightSlatGray, LightSlateGrey, LightSteelBlue, LightYellow, Lime, LimeGreen, Linen, Magenta, Maroon, MediumAquaMarine, MediumBlue, MediumOrchid, MediumPurple, MediumSeaGreen, MediumSlateBlue, MediumSpringGreen, MediumTurquoise, MediumVioletRed, MidnightBlue, MintCream, MistyRose, Moccasin, NavajoWhite, Navy, OldLace, Olive, OliveDrab, Orange, OrangeRed, Orchid, PaleGoldenRod, PaleGreen, PaleTurquoise, PaleVioletRed, PapayaWhip, PeachPuff, Peru, Pink, Plum, PowerBlue, Purple, Red, RosyBrown, RoyalBlue, SaddleBrown, Salmon, SandyBrown, SeaGreen, SeaShell, Sienna, Silver, SkyBlue, SlateBlue, SlateGray, SlatGrey, Snow, SpringGreen, SteelBlue, Tan, Teal, Thistle, Tomato, Turquoise, Vilet, Wheat, White, WhiteSmoke, Yellow, YellowGreen

Anonymous 6:11 PM

Anonymous 7:00 PM  

Who would have thought that GREEN would inspire such output in the blogosphere? Very EPT pictures (and commentary), Linda! (Well, EPT was from the other day, but you know... )
Love Kermie sitting so primly on his director's chair.

Anonymous 7:01 PM  

And that bed is TOO FUNNY. From where on earth did you unearth it?

Linda G 7:57 PM  

I looked long and hard for the ugliest piece of Rococo I could find. Apparently I was successful.

So good to hear from our King. Rex, don't be threatened at all. Two things: (1) I've been reading this blog long enough that I can mimic your style; (2) You and I have similarly sick minds--I mean that in a good way ; )

Who'd have thunk that we'd have such a conversation about what does and what does not constitute the name of a color.

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

To those who have posted lists of colors:

There is no data incumbent or intrinsic in your posts to suggest that these lists are either consistent or complete. And if you thought there were, you may wish to consult the work of Kurt Godel. Follows a comment provided by Frank J. Welte, University of Massachusetts Medical School:

It is now believed that humans can perceive on the order of millions of colors. Most estimates are around 10 million. This makes sense when we consider, for example, computer monitors: We notice a difference when we switch from "thousands" to "millions" of colors. Millions in this case corresponds to 2 to the 24th power —or 16,777,216—colors for a 24-bit display. Of course, this simple test only tells us that we can see more than "thousands" of colors, but it doesn't give us an upper limit. According to Kandel et al, "The superiority of color perception over brightness perception is evident in the fact that we can discriminate only 500 gradations of brightness but we can discriminate more than 7 million gradations of color."

Or, as my daddy always said, "Just 'cuz you can't find it, don't mean it don't exist."

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

Really good job today, Linda! Rex has reason to be scared (just kidding!) Looking forward to tomorrow, Linda.

Just wanted to say so : ) Can't always post as often as I would like.

See you tomorrow!

Orange 9:16 PM  

All right, Ellen is the undisputed queen of Stamford. It remains to be seen who becomes the queen of Brooklyn. I call dibs on crossword blog queendom...

DONALD 9:39 PM  

STALK OF THE CELERY MONSTER is a 1979 short animated film written, directed and animated entirely in pencil by Tim Burton during his time as a student with Cal Arts. The film caused such a stir among his class, which included future Pixar director John Lasseter, that it attracted the attention of Disney, who offered the young Burton a position as animator for their studio.

Anonymous 9:57 PM  

And according to imdb, if you enjoyed Stalk of the Celery Monster, they also recommend Doctor of Doom, The World of Stainboy and Frankenweenie.


sonofdad 10:01 PM  

I guess all those years of being green really took their toll on Kermit. Poor little feller.

(Note: Don't click that link if you're offended by Muppet debauchery.)

Anonymous 7:52 AM  


What's that?

Pen Girl :)

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