Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday 7-6-07

Well, tomorrow is supposed to be a lucky day to get married 7-7-07. So if you're not already wed, grab yourself somebody that looks interesting and cut a cake with them. You can't miss.
Or you could just do crossword puzzles.
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 puzzles check this out. Or if you're ready to decide for yourself you can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here
I had a lot of fun with this Weekend Warrior from Patrick Berry even though it contained people I'd never heard of: 16A: Ballerina Riabouchinska (TATIANA) and phrases I was unfamiliar with 17A: In the afternoon, in British military slang (PIP EMMA) which, according to the Word Detective, derives from a British Army manual published in 1913, where it stated "the letters T, A, B, M, S, P and V will be called toc, ack, beer, emma, esses, pip, and vic respectively, so as to distinguish them phonetically from letters of similar sound." So, in this scheme, "pip emma" would translate as "p.m.", and "four pip emma" would mean simply "four o'clock in the afternoon." If we were doing it in America it would be Papa Mike -- except that our military has a 24 hour clock and doesn't need a.m. or p.m. If I was in the British military every time somebody said "Emma" I would think of the letter E (or maybe Jane Austen) but not an M.
My favorite answer was 20A: Factory worker who's paid in cacao beans (OOMPA LOOMPA). Love those guys from "Willy Wonka." If you are wise you'll listen to them. I also liked 23D: They work with numbers (BOOKKEEPERS) This was the answer to a recent Car Talk puzzler, where they asked for the only common English word with 3 consecutive sets of double letters. I also liked 36D: Become fire-proof (QUIT) and the combination of 41D: Song that Tommy sings in "Tommy" (I'M FREE) and 8D: Finally (AT LAST)
and TRAMMELS were a tough side-by-side combo to crack -- the only Trammell I know used to be the shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. It didn't help that I didn't want to give up on the incorrect AERO at 5D: Air: prefix.
That's all for today.

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