Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Monday Sun

This week's entries will probably be a little shorter than usual. I am gearing up to go on vacation (-- yes, I do take a lot of vacations, but that's because I work hard; and this is only a mini-one -- a long weekend in the mountains. No doubt I will figure out some way to get sunburned up there, since I'm just now healing up from my week at the beach.) But don't worry, good things come in small packages and even if the entries are shorter we'll still maintain our usual high journalistic standards. No effort will be spared to ensure that you get the finest in crossword bloggery.

SPOILER WARNING: Watch your step; it's getting deep in here.

ANOTHER 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.

"Business Founding Fathers" is by Jack McInturf, and he's got three of our founding fathers' names currently being used by businesses.

18: Patriotic Name in home furnishings (ETHAN ALLEN) Keep in mind that history is written by the winners, and when the clues in this puzzle say "patriotic" they mean "revolutionary." And probably the best example of that is Ethan Allen, who led a bunch of wild-eyed Vermont radicals against the state of New York, which was encroaching on Vermont's territory -- at least as Allen saw it. After the Revolutionary War and after a period of imprisonment in Britain, moved back to Vermont where he became dissatisfied with the new nation's policies and negotiated with the governor of Canada to see if they couldn't get Vermont status as a British province to gain military protection from the US. As a result he was charged with treason. Today he is a patriot, a "founding father" and namesake of a furniture company, although as you can see, nobody ever accused him of being overly handsome.

26A: Patriotic name in insurance (JOHN HANCOCK) Hancock is famous mostly for writing his name real big on the Declaration of Independence -- and everywhere else he signed his name. In fact his name has become synonomous with signature as in "Put your John Hancock right there." Handwriting analysts say that people who sign their name in large letters like that have an outsized ego. If so, then Hancock would be pleased to know how many things in America are named after him -- in addition to the insurance company, there are cities in Massachusetts and Michigan, Hancock counties in at least 10 states, the John Hancock Tower, the tallest building in Boston, the John Hancock Center in Chicago, and several USS John Hancock Naval vessels.

41A: Patriotic name in beer (SAMUEL ADAMS) Well, now you're talking. I can't tell you much about Ethan's furniture or John's insurance but I can attest to the fact that Sam Adams makes one heck of a good beer -- well, actually, several good beers. I am particularly partial to the Sam Adams Summer Ale, which is only available from April to August (which, now that I think about it may be partly why I suffer from Winter depression.)

And just in case you missed the point 53A: Loyal employees, or what 18-, 26- 41- Across are (COMPANY MEN)

Other entries of interest:

37D: Place to catch some Z's (CRASH PAD) Wow, that's an old-fashioned term. I don't think I've heard it since the 70's and I think the only people who said it then were behind the times. I never hear a residence referred to as a "pad" anymore.

5A: Skier's lifts (T-BARS) I know as much about skiing as I do the construction business. I never can remember which is a T-bar and which is an I-bar. I usually put an I there but stay ready to cross it.

31A: First, do no ____ (HARM) Contrary to popular belief, this is not a part of the Hippocratic Oath and never has been. You can read the ancient and modern versions of the Oath here, but I can tell you it's not there.

That's all for today. Enjoy your Monday.


Austin said...

My friend is a flight attendant and she had a crash pad for a while. It literally was only a place to sleep. I don't think she spent any time there not sleeping.

Some good words in there today with VAGRANCY and AMETHYST.

BETCHA threw me for a loop for a bit there.

Austin said...

Also, no picture of the puzzle today?

Norrin2 said...

The absence of the puzzle pic is an oversight. I'll try to post it later.

Pete M said...

As one who has been a skier for 40 years, let me enlighten you in a way that might stick. While nowadays most ski areas use high-speed chairlifts and gondolas that carry skiers in the air, there used to be many more slower, ground-based lifts that essentially pulled you up the hill. The J-Bar is basically a vertical pole with a horizontal "seat" that pulls you by the butt as you stand on your skis. The T-Bar is similar, only with "seats" on both sides of the bar (like an upside-down 'T'), so two people can be pulled simultaneously. If an I-Bar were a ski lift, it would have no seat and thus would pull 0 skiers up the hill. Probably not a great design... :)

Check out the images here:

Hope this helps.

Norrin2 said...

Thanks, Pete. After looking at the T-bar -- which looks to me like a pogo stick attached to a wire by a goose neck -- I think if I ever do ski I'll just walk up the mountain.
It's embarrassing to admit, but I think I've been confusing T-bars with I-beams (another word that comes up in crosswords a lot). Hopefully I've got it straight now.

Anonymous said...

Was that Tuesday's completed grid I almost saw?! But now it's gone!

I need to be dropping less acid.

Norrin2 said...

If you drop acid you might end up with an etching -- hope you've already done Tuesday's puzzle, or that joke is going to make no sense. Yes, Tuesday's completed grid was up briefly this afternoon due to a technical snafu.