Sunday, August 26, 2007
My back was so bad yesterday I couldn't straighten up. So I went somewhere I rarely ever go -- to the doctor. After all the inspecting, detecting and rejecting, he told me that I was 50 years old and I threw out my back lifting something that would have been no problem for a younger, fitter person. (See why I don't like to go there?) Anyway, so I've spent the weekend intimately involved with an icepack, hopped up on muscle relaxers and watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" DVDs. This post will be brief.
Not so brief that there's no 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 -- No, you know what, they're better. That's right, I said it, the New York Sun's puzzles are better than the New York Times's puzzles, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be Peter Gordon and to keep putting out this superior product and have everybody just blog, blog, blogging and yak, yak, yakking about the Times, Times, Times. Look, if you don't have time for two great puzzles a day, do the better one, do the SUN -- (we now return you to your regularly scheduled spoiler warning) -- 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.
"Head of the Animals" is by Pancho Harrison and each themed entry is a phrase or compound word consisting of an animal followed by a body part -- more specifically a head part, but not in crown to chin order like Sunday's NY Times puzzle.
Without further ado:
17A: Wide-angle lens (FISHEYES) 26A: Reason to get braces (BUCK TEETH) which actually are not named after male deer, but after the act of bucking because it looks like the teeth are kicking up.
By the way, in France buck teeth are called dents à l'anglaise, literally "English teeth."
38A: Having a rounded cutting edge, as a tool (HOG NOSE) Not a real handy kinda guy. The only hognose I know is the hognose snake.
40A: Bookmark alternative (DOG EARS) No, it's not an alternative to a bookmark. It's vandalism. Don't dogear your books or the library books either. If you need a bookmark, let me know, I've got hundreds of them and I'll be glad to send you one.
50A: Nincompoop (BIRD BRAIN) 64A: City in Saskatchewan (MOOSE JAW)
Other animals or body parts in the puzzle:
20A: Snaky swimmer (EEL) 16A: Expensive caviar (BELUGA) 43A: One not invited to a stag party? (DOE) 67A: Colony insect (ANT) 22D: Boston seafood selection (SCROD) 66A: Low digit? (BIG TOE) Not technically part of the head obviously, but I'm going to allow it.
Other entries of interest:
5A: Prez who was in office for more than 12 years (FDR) Something about this one doesn't feel right right to me, maybe because FDR is an abbreviation and there is no corresponding abbreviation in the clue -- "Prez" is slang, not an abbreviation.
8A: Carter-era FBI bribery probe (ABSCAM) Mostly forgotten part of political history now, I guess, but we were mighty proud at the time that one of our own representatives -- John Jenrette of Myrtle Beach -- was involved in this felony, since South Carolina politicians aren't known for anything else other being old as dirt.
23A: Claude who played Sheriff Lobo (AKINS) My only misstep in this puzzle. I had __INS and I went to Casablanca rather than Orly County and put RAINS.
46A: Amused immensely (SLAYED) That reminds me -- I'm coming back to you, Buffy. I'll bring the muscle relaxers.