(Updated at 7:30pm Friday)
Good morning, everyone. It's PuzzleGirl again. Hope you're enjoying your Day After Christmas, or your Fifth (fifth?) Day of Hannukah, or, ya know, your Friday. Whatever it happens to be for you, I hope it's good. After today you'll only have one more day of me before our beloved Orange is back, so things are looking up! I'll be honest with you, I don't know how early I'll get to the rest of Friday's puzzles. If you want to talk about them — is anyone really even here? — please feel free, but I'll try to get them up before 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. But no promises!
When I saw Brendan Emmett Quigley's name on the Friday New York Times crossword, I suspected I was in for a workout. And I wasn't disappointed.
I admit I was troubled by duplicate words in the grid: CRATE UP, NEXT UP, ONE-UP and FIT IN, ONE IN TEN, KEPT IN. A year ago, I probably would not have noticed this, but since I've been doing a lot of puzzles on a regular basis, I know that there's a "rule" and I don't really expect it to be broken. So, although I knew that NEXT UP looked really good, I was hesitant to use it when I had already seen CRATE UP and that one seemed to be right as well. Obviously, the "rule" can be broken and I certainly don't mean to chastise BEQ or suggest in any way, shape, or form that I could have made this puzzle better, I'm just saying it affected my solving experience. So that and four dollars will get you a half-caf skinny caramel latté (no whip) at Starbucks.
Hip Hip Hooray:
Karen M. Tracey's Sun "Weekend Warrior" started out with a big ol' collision of seemingly unrelated letters at 1 Across. [The IJsselmeer was a part of it before construction of the Afsluitdijk]. Um ... WHAT? Got the answer — ZUIDERZEE — completely from crosses and still don't know what it means because I didn't look it up and now it's late and I'm going to try to finish this so I can get to bed. Just to be clear, I'm not complaining. Those are all awesome words.
Okay, this is going to be quick. I was up early this morning with PuzzleSon, who felt like he was going to throw up. He didn't, but I was up with him for quite a while. Then I went back to bed and didn't get up until 11:00. I'm getting my hair cut at 2:00 and the kids are clamoring for ... breakfast? It's basically lunchtime! I guess things are a little off today. What? You don't care about this stuff? Okay, sorry. Here are the rest of today's puzzles:
Don Gagliardo's L.A. Times crossword is filled with puns where the original phrase includes a word that ends with the letter T and resulting phrases change that T sound to a D sound. I'm not one of those people who loves puns, but I don't hate them either. I kinda liked these.
[Low digits] pulls double duty today as a clue for both ONES and TOES. Also a couple of golf clues today with JULI [Inkster of the LPGA] and ERNIE Els, [Rival of Tiger (Woods) and Vijay (Singh)]. I was having trouble getting out of a jam instead of a RUT for a while. Had limo instead of DICE for [High roller's rollers], signing up instead of SIGNING IN for [Registering]. Never heard of Kimmie Meissner, but her milieu is a RINK, so I guess she's a skater. I can never remember how to spell SHIH Tzu. I know how it's pronounced so I always think the first word is going to be shit and then realize that, of course, can't be right. Don't get me started on [Like many couples] = WED. I just don't have time for that kind of a rant today.
Love love love Alice Long's Wall Street Journal puzzle today! It's called "Boxing Day" and rebus squares contain the letters ALI. Like Muhammad Ali! A three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer! Awesome!
That's a lot of rebus squares! The only other thing I want to mention real quick is that if you haven't seen the HBO series "Entourage," you should consider it. Vince's agent, ARI Gold, played by Jeremy Piven, is the best thing about the show. PuzzleHusband and I just started watching it last year but are catching up with our sweet Christmas present of seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. (One caveat: If you're offended by bad language and sexually explicit humor, this is not the show for you.) I was completely tickled last month when in one of the episodes the actor/director Peter Berg had a cameo. Ari was taking a call from him and told the other people in the room "This is Pete Berg! He was my roommate in college!" Well, that was a shout-out to those of us who attended Macalester College in the early 80s and know that Peter Berg was, in fact, roommates with Ari Emanuel, the guy Ari Gold's character is based on (and, coincidentally, Rahm Emanuel's brother).
Gotta go for now. Back later with the CS.
I'm so late getting to today's CrosSynergy puzzle that I'm just going to post the grid for you and tell you that the theme is Puppet Duos. PUNCH AND JUDY, KUKLA AND OLLIE, and BERT AND ERNIE. I noticed an old-timey feel to the puzzle with the inclusion of LASS, GENT, and FELLA. See ya in a little bit with tomorrow's NYT....
December 25, 2008