Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wednesday, 6-27-07

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 fun and challenging as the more well-known New York Times and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. If you'd like to read about an unbiased head-to-head competition between the Sun and the Times check this out. Or if you're ready to decide for yourself you can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.

"On the Other Hand" is by Francis Heaney, he of the nauseating neckwear. In this puzzle's themed entries every time the right hand (represented by the letter R) pops up it is replaced by the left (represented by the letter L), so that at 18A: Pour on the drinks DON LIQUORS is the other hand version of Don Rickles. You see how it works? Yeah, you have to change the spelling in each entry to get it to work, but that takes away from the wit and the elegance not one whit as far as I'm concerned.

Tony Blair becomes TONY BRAILLE at 23A: What posh books for the blind are written in?

Big Leaguer goes from the baseball diamond to the crossword grid at 32A: Popular crossword constructor Merl? BIG REAGLE. Is Merl Reagle enough of a household name that he can stand with Tony Blair and Don Rickles and be universally recognized? By casual crossword solvers?

The first three themed entries as you can see are about famous people. The next three are not, which takes away from the elegance just a whit perhaps.

41A: When babies are brought to the stadium? (RATTLE DAY)

: Blow a hole in the hull (CRIPPLE SHIP)

59A: Resting place for a woodsman? LUMBER SEAT.
A rumble seat, for those who may not know, was a feature of automobiles many years ago, an uncovered, fold-out seat in the rear of the car. It was also known as a mother-in-law seat, presumably because you could neither see nor hear the person sitting there.

Other entries of interest:

48D: Breathtaking part of a sentence? (COMMA.) Should probably be "breath-taking" with a hyphen, but I won't quibble.

62A: Places to find jack in a box? (ATMS)
45A: It has jets that cause turbulence (SPA) Clever ways to clue a couple of crossword perennials.

56A: Deadly sin that doesn't require much effort (SLOTH) Good point. I wonder why it's not more popular than lust or gluttony that really do require much more effort on the part of a would-be sinner.

5A: Scrabble players' "hands" (RACKS). In Scrabble your rack is the seven letter tiles you have to work with. When I play with my wife I always compliment her on her nice rack, cuz I'm not only corny I'm also consistent. Speaking of Scrabble, if you didn't see the Boston Globe article on one of my favorite constructors Brendan Emmett Quigley, check it out here and learn why he hates the game.

1D: Brad's beloved in "Rocky Horror" (JANET) Might be too trivial for all but the staunchest of Rocky Horror aficionados if the song "Dammit, Janet!" wasn't so catchy.

17A: Sud's opposite (NERD). I have to assume this is a misprint and should read "Stud's opposite." I'm not sure what a sud's opposite would be, but I guess it would be a beverage that was non-alcoholic and flat.
Come to think of it, I'm not even sure you can have you have just one sud.
(0700 update: It has been pointed out to me that the correct entry here is NORD not NERD and as such is the French word for North, exactly opposite of the French South -- SUD. A thousand pardons for this egregious error.)

57D: Shortening often used in cookie recipes (TBSP) This one looks like something's missing too. A tablespoon is not shortening by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe it's supposed to be "Shortening amt. often used. . . "

That's all for today. See you on Thursday.


Howard B said...

The NERD crossing (hmm, that sounds like an interesting street sign) is actually NORD crossing AB OVO. Tricky little bugger (SUD/NORD = south/north in French).
Times like that I wish I had taken French in school. Then I try to pronounce some of it, and remember immediately why I took Spanish instead.
Great theme, and enjoyed the writeup. Have a good night.


TBSP is indeed a shortening, of the word tablespoon. clever clue,IMO

Norrin2 said...

Thanks, Howard, I'll make a note of that.

Linda G said...

I got about 3/4 of this finished, including two theme answers that made no sense whatsoever...until I read this.

Robert, we've been through this before. Some of Francis's ties are way cool! That said, I loved the way you referenced it ; )

Francis said...

I'd be much more likely to clue NERD as a synonym for "stud" rather than an antonym.

Howard B said...

Robert - yeah, it's such a crime to be human and err ;). personally, I'll take NERD in a puzzle just about anytime over NORD.

Francis - I'm with you on that one - we have to take pride in our nerdiness!