Monday, September 10, 2007

Wednesday 9-12-07

I don't really have much to say about "Twist Endings" from Gary Steinmehl. It was a fine puzzle, but like the first two this week, pretty prosaic, thematically speaking. Today it's two-word phrases with the second word anagrammed and clued. Like so:

4D: Work on an octogonal sign (PAINT STOP) And I have to confess I don't quite get this one. What is it supposed to be? Paint pots? Paint spot? (presumably an attempt to turn your big white dog into a dalmatian) Paint tops? Paint TSOP? (Which stands for The Sound of Philadelphia, the theme song to the TV show "Soul Train.")

10D: Extra chin supporter on a helmet? (SPARE STRAP) Presumably referring to "spare parts" but possibly a groundskeeper's unneeded sheets -- "spare tarps" or a hunter's "spare traps." Or maybe it refers to those poor souls born with way too many buttocks, the tragedy of "spare prats."

32D: Letter decoration on a canvas? (BRUSH SERIF) Yeah, probably brush fires, but maybe it describes people the action of people who don't like to dip their French fries in ketchup, but instead prefer to paint that condiment on -- "Brush fries." Or maybe since constructors have been known to blur the distinction between the letter I and the numeral 1, it could be about stopping before you flick crumbs off of two poor people -- "Brush 1 Serf"

17D: Insincerely polite meddlers (GREASY SNOOPS) and 40D: Low-quality blade sharpener (BAD STROPS) and I'm pretty sure that's "Greasy spoons" and "Bad sports."

And then there's 16A: Messy frank (CHILI DOG) An anagram of "Chili God," the winner of the Texas cooking competition, as well as 26A: "That's no lie!" (I SWEAR) which I'm sure you all recognize as the words of the cockney cross-dresser when he confessed to being the notorious Queen of Crime -- "I was 'er."

Other entries of interest:

Speaking of anagrams, 42A: Actress in "The Fugitive" (SELA WARD) as was pointed out in a memorable NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle, you can reverse the name "Sela Ward" to describe something that bartenders do.

And speaking of actresses that I had crushes on, Sela Ward just gets better with age, but when I watch "Star Trek: The Next Generation" I can't figure out what I saw in Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor TROI (38-Down).

62A: Color similar to cranberry (GARNET) A couple of years ago I changed my birthday from January 21st to May 21st. I did this mainly because I hate, despise, loathe Winter and getting older was unpleasant enough without having to deal with it in the middle of these brutal South Carolina Winters. But another reason was that green is my favorite color and my new birthstone is emerald, much cooler than my old one -- the boring-ass garnet.

30D: Big supporter (D CUP) Cracked me up. (I never said my sense of humor was sophisticated.)

There are a couple of mistakes in my completed grid. 7D: "Foundation" author Asimov should be ISAAC not ISAAS. 24A: Court tie should be DEUCE not _EUSE, 24D: Partner of DeLuca should be DEAN not _EAN. 53A: Flash memory forerunner I was sure had to be CD ROM, and since I didn't know 54D: Alternative name of hopscotch was POTSY and not DOTSY I ended up with ED ROM.

12D: Popular brand of mints (CERTS) If they're so popular, how come I can't find them? All I see are those ones that blister your mouth in the name of breath freshness.

8D: Sartre novel (NAUSEA) I had NO EXIT, which is by Sartre, but it's a play. Sorry, I know as much about French Existentialists as I do about Dotsy -- I mean Potsy.


Matt M. said...


-Hilarious write-up today.

-Not sure if the juxtaposition of D-CUPS beneath the picture of Troi was intentional or not.

-Pretty sure that the second word of the two-word phrase is written in reverse, not randomly anagramized. (This would mean it is supposed to be "paint pots" (??).)

akakii said...

I'd never heard of POTSY as an alternative meaning for hopscotch. I really do learn something new every day. Unfortunately, now I have the other Potsy (or Potsie) stuck in my mind - the Happy Days character. As popular as the show was, I never really took to it.

I didn't really take to today's puzzle, either. It was okay but the theme answers were just a bit too contrived for my taste. Still a pleasant way to start my day, though.

Norrin2 said...

Regarding Counselor Troi and the D cups -- Oh yeah, now I remember what I saw in her!
Akikii, I think Potsy must be a NY name for Hopscotch. Whenever I hear the word "Potsy" I see Anson Williams -- or worse, hear him sing. This is why I never play hopscotch in New York.

Austin said...

This took me forever to do today. Started it in the morning, moved over to the times and finished that one, and finally came back to this one to finish it.

I'm going to attribute that to my impending head cold. Yeah, that must be it. :)

Orange said...

I Googled "paint pot" to see what exactly that meant--there's a link to a photo (paint jars, sometimes wee ones, apparently) at my blog.