Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday 7/2/07

I'm running late so let's get right to the 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.

"Info Please" is by Doug Peterson, and Mr. Peterson has stuck three slangy synonyms for "news" or "information" in front of four themed entries. To wit:

17A: Feature of some dresses (SCOOP NECK). I got off to a slow start on this puzzle primarily because I read this clue as "Feature of some dressers" and I was trying to think of something in the bedroom furniture line.

27A: Pool activity for the uninhibited SKINNY DIPPING. If you've ever wondered where the term originated and why you don't have to be slim in order to skinny dip, it comes from an archaic word for "having to with skin." The skinny -- as in information -- is from the same sense of the word and implies that what you want to hear is the naked truth.

42A: Popeye's father (POOPDECK PAPPY)
A gimme for anybody who grew up watching the great Fleischer cartoons on the Sailor Bob TV show and later came to appreciate Elsie Segar's original comic strip "Thimble Theatre" and the world's first comic book superhero -- a squint-eyed grizzled old tar named for his optical shortcomings. Poopdeck Pappy looks a whole lot like Popeye only with a beard. Like a lot of parents Poopdeck is not crazy about the woman his son is involved with. He thinks Olive Oyl is too skinny (imagine that.) He's probably adjusting to it now however, as she and Popeye tied the knot a few years back. You might not have heard about it. It wasn't a huge media event, but it took place in this comic book written by the very talented Mr. Peter David, who I got to spend some time in Charlotte last month.

57A: Priced very low (DIRT CHEAP). "Poop" and "dirt" I guess pretty well sums up our feelings about news.

9D: Scuttlebutt (GOSSIP) also fits in with the theme. Back in the early 90's, Chuck D of Public Enemy said that rap music was the "Black CNN" so I guess 5D: 50 Cent piece (RAP SONG) might belong too. And stretching it almost to the breaking point, how about 53D: Gutter location (EAVE), as in eaves-dropper?

Other entries of interest include:

Popeye is not the only physically-challenged seafarer in today's puzzle. 43D: Captain Ahab, for one (PEGLEG)

1D: Lickety-split (FAST) I had ASAP here, because 'lickety-split" just seemed too jazzy for a mundane word like "fast."

4D: Lance of L.A. law (ITO) You gotta watch your step sometimes even on a Monday. The only way you know that this clue refers to the O.J. judge and not an 80's Dramady star is the fact that "law" is not capitalized."

31D: "Much obliged" in a text message (THX). I had TKX till I saw that KARE wouldn't work for 35A: Cocky Aesop character. I'm still adjusting to a world where we need an abbreviation for a six-letter word.

28D: Venue for "American Idol" wannabes (KARAOKE BAR). I talked about the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" a while back when the lead singer of the Tokens passed away. What I didn't mention was that when I sing karaoke, that's the song I usually choose to do, even though I can get nowhere near those high notes. I just figure if I'm going to make a fool of myself, I might as well make a complete fool.

That's all for today. Hope to see you tomorrow.


Linda G said...

It was so nice to come home on Monday afternoon and sit down with the Sun puzzle. Light and fun. I never knew Popeye had a father, but his name was easy enough to guess once I had the theme and a couple of downs.

You know I'll have to read The History of Love after that review. I'll be starting Wicked soon...have you read it or heard anything about it?

And I've never had anyone correct my grammar either. Does you supposes that I ain't never made none misteaks?

Norrin2 said...

Of course Popeye has a father -- he was even in the Robin Williams Popeye movie of a few decades ago, played by that guy who played the martian on "My Favorite Martian." Not only that but Popeye has four nephews too -- Peepeye, Poopeye, Pipeye, Pupeye. (You thought it was bad somebody naming their kid Poopdeck? how about Poopeye or Peepeye?)
Wicked is one of my oldest daughter's favorite books. I was less impressed -- probably because I'm such an Ozophile and I don't like things that try and improve upon or modernize anything from that wondrous land across the Deadly Desert.
And I've got a feeling someone will come by Madness. . . and nitpick your grammar real soon.

Austin said...

I haven't read Wicked, but both my sister and my best friend loved it.

And I absolutely loved The Time-Travelers Wife, as well, so I may have to check out The History of Love, too.


Linda G said...

I can't believe that the lover of comics did not name two of his children Poopeye and Peepeye. But I'll bet they're relieved!

And a green schoolmarm...the very best kind ; )

Norrin2 said...

I never considered naming any of my children Poopeye, but I did consider naming my son Norrin after Norrin Radd the Silver Surfer. My wife did not think this was nearly as cool an idea as I did.
Austin, let me know what you think of The History of Love. If you liked The Time Traveler's Wife I think you'll like it a lot.