Sunday, May 13, 2007

Skool's In

Hello, happy Monday, everybody. Make yourself comfortable, here, have a SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as good as the more well-known New York Times, and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. You can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.

Madison Avenue Skool of Spelling features misspellings from commercials and advertisements. God knows there are plenty to choose from in a country that spells relief R-O-L-A-I-D-S and cheese K-R-A-F-T. Robert E. Lee Morris wisely chooses to limit his entries to misspellings of words that rhyme with fright, i.e.

17A: Toothpaste brand (ULTRABRITE)
30A: Golf ball brand (TOPFLITE)
42A: Soda brand (DIETRITE)
55A: Beer brand (MILLERLITE)

Which means he left out:

And my favorite:

and probably a bunch more

Other entries of note:

10A: "Anatomy of a Murder" director Preminger (OTTO) And in addition to "Anatomy" he also directed "The Man With the Golden Arm" "Laura" and "Advise and Consent" but to those of us of a certain age and a certain mindset he will always be remembered as one of the three actors who played Mr. Freeze on the 1960's Batman television show.

14A: Last word of "Humpty Dumpty" (AGAIN) I really need to come up with a word for this type of clue, where the answer is something you know you know, but you have to mentally sing most of a song or recite most of a poem before you can get it. I think I'll call it a Humpty-Dumpty from now on.

You know a lot depends on where 2-word answers break or are hyphenated. 22A: He played Mingo on "Daniel Boone" (EDAMES) must have been one I got from the down entries because i don't remember the clue, and when I looked over the puzzle after finishing it, I thought for a second this must be a new E-word (like E-tail and E-commerce, etc.) -- E-Dames would be women you meet on the internet, I guess. (Ed Ames makes more sense.)

A couple of old friends pop in to say hello on this Monday. Our favorite accused-of-spying-but-innocent 3D: ____ Hari (MATA) (an e-dame if there ever was one) and everybody's favorite comic strip MD REX Morgan makes an appearance at 22A. Here's something you may not know about the good doctor:

Morgan has enjoyed reasonable success as a comic strip, but hasn't ventured far from the newspaper page. It was never adapted into a movie or TV show, and in its only comic book reprint (published by Harvey Comics in 1952) the title was subordinated to the far more compelling Teen-age Dope Slaves. (from the invaluable Don Markstein's Toonopedia.)

25D: Tref sandwich, for short (BLT) Not hard to figure out a three-letter sandwich, but I don't know what tref means and after five minutes of Googling I still don't. Any help would be appreciated.

38D: Pilots make them go up (GASBILLS) This one made me laugh. I especially appreciated the absence of a question mark in the clue.


Rex Parker said...

I learned the meaning of "TREF" at the ACPT, when I ultimately had to accept that it was a word and turn my puzzle in because I couldn't get anything else to work. Lost a minute anguishing over that answer. Today's puzzle (the BLT clue) is the second time I've encountered it since then. The other time was when Christopher Hitchens used it in passing on "The Daily Show" a couple weeks ago.

Your list of -ITE products made me laugh out loud. I kept scrolling down wondering how long this could possibly go on. Weird - I never thought of RITE in DIET RITE as being a deliberate misspelling of RIGHT.

Since when are TERM LIMITS a "hot-button political topic?" Someone really should have appended "before 1994" to that clue...

I loathe all flavors of CSI, but CSINY looks Great in the grid. And always good to see REX, esp. REX of the Morgan, M.D. variety.

Rex Parker said...

Oh, and TREF means "not kosher."

Linda G said...


I completely forgot I told Amy I'd do the Sun. I just downloaded it, probably too late to blog it, though. I hope she'll forgive me.

I will let you know what I thought.

Linda G said...

Okay, I finished in record time and blogged a bit. Referred folks to you for more detail.

I'll read your commentary when I get home tonight, and we'll chat later ; )

Norrin2 said...

Sounds good, Linda.
Thanks, Rex, I guess the ACPT must be where I saw this word bgefore. I'm definitely going to get this one next time.

Linda G said...

Not kosher because it's from an unclean animal. Too bad it tastes so good.

Zan said...


mgeorge said...

"Tref" can also be spelled "treif" "treyf" "traif" or "trayf" depending on who's transliterating. My comedy group got a big laugh with it on a sketch we wrote called "The Redneck Gourmet" with his featured guest, Henry Kissinger

Norrin2 said...

mgeorge said...
"Tref" can also be spelled "treif" "treyf" "traif" or "trayf" depending on who's transliterating

Oh, great, I hope no constructors see that.