May 06, 2007

Monday, 5/7

Linda G here, taking a short break from my blog to fill in for the globetrotting Orange.

I've only been doing the New York Times since October. I always solve on paper, in purple ink if I'm doing it in the newspaper, pencil (medium lead mechanical) if I've downloaded and printed. I rarely time myself, because it just takes away too much from my enjoyment of the puzzle. And I'm a random thinker, so it follows that I don't go through the clues in order. I generally start at 1A, but I'm all over the grid. Whenever something catches my eye, I'm there.

That said, the New York Times puzzle probably took me 12-15 minutes. Part of the problem was that I read the clue for 23A as Preceder of corn or dog. What it actually said was "Preceder of com or org" -- a much easier clue to answer.

Some of you may not have enjoyed Twistin' to the Oldies (Millhauser/Clinton), but let me tell you...I could relate. Especially to 97A: Boomer's update of a 1972 Johnny Nash hit? (I can't see clearly now). My two favorites were 50A: Boomer's update of a 1972 Carly Simon song? (You're so veiny) and 62A: Boomer's update of a 1971 Judy Collins song? (Amazing grays). I will admit to some visual difficulties, but I've never had a problem with veins, and I don't have gray hair. Rob knows how to take care of that.

On to the puzzles.

Janet Bender's NYT puzzle has lots of scrabbly letters. The four theme answers are two-word phrases, all beginning with E.

20A: "The Breakfast Club" actor (Emilio Estevez). The Z intersects beautifully with 11D: Floor between first and second (mezzanine).

31A: More work than required (extra effort). Just an okay phrase, but the X makes it worthwhile.

41A: It may come as a shock to a diver (electric eel). We were snorkeling in Hawaii a couple of years ago, and I came face-to-face with one. He was u-g-l-y, with beady little eyes. I knew to move as s-l-o-w-l-y away from it as I could, and the little bugger never saw me.

55A: Domain ruled from Constantinople (Eastern empire).

I liked seeing 52D: Tickle, as one's interest (pique), which shared its Q with 61A: Pastel shade (aqua).

Two television clues:

58A: Actor John of "The Addams Family" (Astin). I'll bet Rex remembers him this time.

62A: Michaels of "S.N.L." (Lorne). I was a die-hard Bonanza fan. There's only one Lorne.

I didn't much like the clue for 40A: "My mama done __ me" -- but I loved the answer (tol). My best friend is also named Linda. For the last 25 years, we have each referred to the other one as TOL (the other Linda). We even have matching fleece throws embroidered with "our" initials. A few other people are in on it, but the rules get very complicated.

Mark Feldman's Sun puzzle, One for the Ages, has four theme answers, each referring to one of the four ages of man:

20A: Bas-relief tourist attraction near Atlanta (Stone Mountain)
30A: Prize for third place (Bronze medal)
40A: Symbolic political barrier (Iron Curtain)
54A: Asteroids alternative (Space Invaders)

Hands down, my favorite clue was 60A: Cream dispenser, maybe? (iPod). Brilliant. Just brilliant.

45D: Sweetheart (my dear) made me laugh. If Rhett Butler had said, "Frankly, sweetheart, I don't give a damn," he would have sounded like Bogart.

Thanks, Orange, for the opportunity to join your impressive cast of guest bloggers--and they are impressive! Constructors and ACPT trophy winners. Yikes! What was I doing here!

I hope you'll come visit me some time. Lurkers are always welcome, although I love comments!

Linda G