Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Wednesday Sun

For the second day in a row the New York Sun puzzle takes my breath away. Yesterday because I was awed by the technical proficiency and today because I am laughing so hard. I was looking forward to it just from the title Capital Pun-ishment (by Alex Boisvert), knowing I was probably in for some wordplay -- and boy, was I ever!


14D:MADISONCHEYENNE made me laugh out loud. It's the perfect crossword humor. If you just look at the answer, it looks like two state capitols -- or maybe a President and an Indian tribe -- or maybe even a famous New York avenue and an old TV western (sorry, I mean oater). To get the joke, you need the clue (Comment when interviewer Lauer pulls no punches with a timid princess), and you need to think for a minute until those two capitals become "Matt is on shy Anne." And that's funny.

So is "ANNAPOLISALBANY" for 3D: "Only one Granny Smith for you, Bugs? This one made me chuckle again just now as I was typing it. Maybe it's just me, I mean your funny bone probably needs to be made of mostly maize, but I think most crossworders appreciate wordplay.


9D: What the disappointed fan said after Rome’s first emperor sang “Yesterday.”: AUGUSTASTPAUL took me longer to figure out than the others, but that's okay, it just made the payoff that much more rewarding. "Augustus ain't Paul! Ha ha!" I know the people in the park today must have thought I'd lost my mind, laughing like that over a crossword puzzle.

And my favorite is 7D: “Are you aware that young men dine at our house?”: JUNEAUBOISEDOVER

Less hilarious to my mind is 21D: Gave orders to, then defeated?”: BOSTONCONCORD just because you have to change the accent to make it work, so let's not dwell on that, shall we?

I missed three letters in this puzzle 65A: Bandleader with the Dixie Syncopaters was not something I knew. I had KIN_OLIVER, and I guessed Kinn Oliver rather than the correct King Oliver. BTW, it intersected with 66D: Futbol Score , which I should have guessed was GOL, but I figured a lot of soccer games in a 0-0 tie or NOL. Okay, okay, I missed it. Just like I missed 36D: “Monsoon Wedding” Director Mira. Just didn't know it and got no help from the intersecting clues.

I knew 17A: Novelist Jaffe: RONA however. Rona Jaffe’s first book “The Best of Everything” sold a bajillion copies back in the late 50’s and was made into a movie starring Joan Crawford. It was also about the raciest book my mother owned and so hungry was I for lusty literature that I read the whole thing even though the page-to-sex ratio was extremely disappointing. The book is memorable to me now only as where I first encountered the word “buxom.” I think it was on page one, and that was probably what kept me slogging through. If it had a racy word like "buxom" right there on the first page it had to be pretty sexy, right? None of Rona's other books ever sold as well, and she finally lost whatever credibility she had when she wrote "Mazes and Monsters" in the early days of Dungeons and Dragons, purporting to show how role-playing games make people satanic and psychotic.

I loved the clue for 6D: Piece that moves orthogonally: ROOK, just cuz I love the word "orthogonally."

58A: Creator of Detroit: RUNYON took me longer than I would have liked. I knew nobody created the city in Michigan, but I blanked on "Guys and Dolls" and Nathan Detroit. Too bad cuz I am a big fan of Runyon.

This puzzle also had two 2-word, 3-letter names: 5A: NBA MVP of the 1980-81 season: DRJ and 34D: 1982 costar of Sylvester Stallone: MRT. Boisvert almost ties them together in the same year. Almost.

8D: Treat similar to a s'more: MOONPIE. Well, not really, if s'mores didn't taste any better than moon pies, they never would have caught on around the campfire.

That's it for today. Tune in again tomorrow for the best of everything crosswordy.

1 comment:

Ultra Vi said...

Just "finished" the Wednesday puzzle after a busy week with not nearly enough time for puzzles. I say "finished" because in this case, finishing meant reading your blog in order to fill in all the missing letters. Too many clues requiring knowledge of unfamiliar people!

Keep up the blog - I think it'll catch on...