Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thursday 9-20-07

Today we're going on a treasure hunt with one of the Green Genius's favorite crossword constructors Patrick Blindauer. The name of this puzzle "Booty Call" really got me off on the wrong foot, especially after I got 17A: Comic book sobriquet (MAN OF STEEL). After I had the first letter I thought it might be MIGHTY THOR, one of my favorite comic books when I was a kid, but when I saw that wasn't going to work, and realized it was one of Superman's many nicknames, I wasn't any better off. Keeping the title of the puzzle in mind, I thought of the popular exercise program from a few years ago "Buns of Steel," and I thought "Aha, that's the theme -- phrases where one would substitute the word "buns" or some other synonym for the body part known in some quarters as "booty". "
Needless to say, I was barking up the wrong dog. This is pirates' booty -- loot, plunder, swag. Part of the reason I think I was confused was because yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Forget Superman and pay attention to the puzzle instructions at 23- and 45- Across: CONNECT THE X'S WITH TWO LINES, and if you don't see the buried treasure just refer to 34A: After following the instructions to make a big one, hint that tells you where to look around to find hidden booty (X MARKS THE SPOT) . And in the center of that big X you made when you connected the four little X's, reading clockwise from space 49 is the word GOLD. Which is a lot better than finding BUNS, especially if you NEED CASH (8D: Subway ad come-on).

Other entries of interest:

38A: Naval noncoms (CPOS) (Back on September 5th, Patrick Berry did a puzzle called "Reinitializing the Program" wherein he changed one letter in the title of popular TV shows with initials or acronyms in the title. One of the ones he used and that I discussed was CPA SHARKEY, which was a take-off on an old Don Rickles sitcom called "CPO Sharkey." I got a comment from someone who'se never commented here before or since, and all he or she said was Don Rickles didn't play an accountant. It was "CPO Sharkey, proving that they hadn't read the blog entry where I talked about the joke. The only thing I could think was that this person had a blog alert for "CPA Sharkey" and he or she flies in every time they find an example of such and "correct" the ignorant blogger. I just thought I'd try it again and see if this person showed up again.)
So -- Remember that great old Don Rickles accounting sitcom "CPA Sharkey"? That was a great show.

40A: Kind of thermometer (ORAL) The best kind, as far as I'm concerned.

49A: Sheila's greeting (G'DAY) Sheila of course is Australian slang for woman.

26D: Only Stratego piece with a letter on it (SPY) Another great game from my childhood, Careers on Tuesday, now Stratego. In this capture the flag board game, the spy was the weakest piece, anybody could capture him, but if he was stealthy enough to sneak up and attack the Marshall (the most powerful piece on the board) the spy could take him out.

36D: Baby shower (SONOGRAM) That shower (that which shows) shower (involving wetness or presents) and the flower (that which flows) flower (which grows) thing is an oldie but a tricky.

Thanks, y'all are my pride and joy, et cetera.


mellocat said...

Aaah, OK. I had a really hard time seeing where the center of the big X was with just the puzzle on the screen. I was focused off to the right a bit and even though I figured I should be looking for a hidden word, I didn't see it. Thanks for clearing it up!

Orange said...

I had the L and D, but also the I and A to their right. Whoops.

Ear thermometers rule.

akakii said...

I connected the wrong Xs and couldn't figure out what in the world was going on. D'oh!

Pretty good time for me for a Thursday puzzle.

Rex Parker said...

Really admire PB's ambition, but sometimes his puzzles get a little too fussy / showy for my tastes. I tend not to follow directions that tell me to do anything besides simply solve the damn puzzle.

Found cluing at 34A incredibly clunky.


Austin said...

Loved loved loved this one. Kind of easy for a Thursday, unless I'm getting better. But, that I doubt. At least not that much. lol

Good one, patrick. :)

Norrin2 said...

Part of the problem with finding the GOLD was that the X was kinda lopsided. I had to use a ruler to connect them.

rachel said...

I think it went really well with the title that you could also end up with L, A, I, and D.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll admit to writing some showy puzzles, but fussy? What does that mean?

Since nobody else brought it up, yes: I was hoping folks would have **AL when getting to the thermometer clue. What can I say? I'm a big kid.

Rulers were definitely recommended for this one. Wait until you see the one that requires a protractor, a gyroscope, and a GPS unit ...


altony55 said...

Ah, Stratego. Among my favorite games from childhood. Your pieces are from a later version of the game. Are the figures silkscreened? I had the original version, whose pieces were made from wood and the figures were painted on which created an elegant texture. My older sister would always straighten out my pieces as we played. It didn't take me long to realize she was fingering the texture of the paint to determine my pieces. (My "Miners" were the easiest to determine.) When I fingered her pieces, she called me for cheating and beat me up.

What a fun game Stratego was.