Thursday, April 19, 2007
It's Friday I'm in Love
Four Corners in the Middle by Gary Steinmehl
I admit it, I don't get it. If "Four corners in the middle" means something, if there's a theme here I don't see it, and I've turned the puzzle sideways and upside-down looking for it. Anyway, I'm sure it's something simple that I've overlooked, so please make me feel like a fool. Tell me what's going on.
After I finished the puzzle I googled "Four corners in the middle". It was a time-wasting basketball strategy made irrelevant by the advent of the shot clock. That doesn't help me any.
Acute bandages, hazard drives, cowboy bon mot, second packing??!
Okay, while I wait for someone to enlighten me, I'll tell you that I still enjoyed this puzzle -- even though it's been sitting there on the corner of my desk calling me a stupidhead ever since I finished it. (And I did finish it, didn't I, Mister Big Scary Friday Puzzle? So who are you calling a stupidhead?)
I did not know that the Dead Sea was once known Lacas Asphaltities (37A). By the way, Lacas Asphaltities means just what it looks like it would mean -- Lake of Asphalt -- which means asphalt has been around longer than I thought. (Okay, okay, I'm dumb.) Evidently the thing to do when you visit the Dead Sea is to float in it while reading a newspaper.
Alone or with a friend.
And if you don't have a newspaper you'll have to pretend.
BORAX is a word I've seen many times (9A: Water softener) without ever really learning what it is. Maybe because it's used in so many things -- insecticides, cosmetics, fire retardants, furniture and a jungle from the 70's that lodged itself in my head and will not leave to make room for more important information: "Oh, Fab, I'm glad there's lemon-freshened borax in you!"
Steinmehl got me 42A: Dictator's phrase (INRE) I was thinking Idi Amin not the boss man, especially as that seems like it ought to be spelled "dictater." (I know it isn't. Despite what today's puzzle is telling you, I'm not stupid.)
65A: It might be on a roll (OLEO) Amazing how constructors keep coming up with new ways to clue this word that is unknown to margarine-loving non-crossworders.
Interesting to see LIPO clued as Chinese poet of the eighth century, rather than fat star's procedure or something similar. Li Po's most famous poem is "Drinking Alone Under the Moon" but most of his poems seem to be about liquor, and he died when he fell out of a boat while drunkenly trying to embrace the moon's reflection in the water. (And you thought Dylan Thomas was a drinker.)
I'm hoping that the theme will come to me as soon as I post this entry and reveal my ignorance to the world. But if not, I would seriously appreciate anybody who can let me know what I'm missing.
(Shut up, puzzle, I'm not talking to you.)