Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gift Returns
by Natalia Shore
edited by Mike Shenk
December 25, 2009 (or so)

Full answers available on WSJ's crossword puzzle page or with the following week's puzzle on WSJ's online Leisure Weekend or Lifestyle Arts pages.

Those more knowledgeable than I inform us that this week's constructor is the editor under the anagram of Another Alias. Or for me, yet more proof that I have no business playing Scrabble. I couldn't anagram my way out of a baper pag, no matter how much I enjoyed Stephan Fatsis' Word Freak (Houghton Mifflin 2001, Penguin 2002) or the documentary Word Wars. (On a completely off topic aside, Word Freak lives on my desk. Specifically, under my printer's paper tray, so when the Blog Supervisor sleeps on the printer, she doesn't break off the tray.)

Theme: Two-word nouns with the first word amusingly reversed.
FLOG CLUBS {23A “I'm returning these woods – I beat myself up every time I use them”} - A coincidence I'm sure, but ya gotta wonder.
NIT SOLDIERS {25A “I'm returning these toy fighters – they're really lousy”} - Bugs do not pass my breakfast test.
MINED JEANS {39A “I'm returning these pants – I don't dig them like I used to”}
EVIL RECORDING {48A “I'm returning this concert CD – it's profoundly bad”}
SAG HEATER {63A “I'm returning this room warmer – it makes my floor bend downward”}
DEB LINENS {69A “I'm returning these sheets – I tuck them in, but they're always coming out”}
MOOR FRESHENER {78A “I'm returning this scented spray – it smells like a bog”}
GOD COLLARS {86A “I'm returning these pet accessories – they're quite holey”}
TOPS REMOVER {106A “I'm returning this laundry product – it only works on blouses”} - Throughout her life, my grandmother feared for my wardrobe. Whenever I visited, she wanted to buy me tops. Not shirts, not blouses, but tops. Memory can attack from the weirdest angle.
RAW BONNET {110A “I'm returning this feathered headdress – it's just not refined”}
Some weeks, the theme answers need crosses to get got. This week's were detailed enough that they could be determined on their own & then used to help with the downs.

Cool Crossings:
It cannot be an accident that BOA {111D Fluffy wrap} crossed feathers with WAR BONNET.
Or that
RNS {108D ER personnel} were around the corner from the ICU {100A Hosp. section}.
Or that
DIRTY {117A On the take} was in the laundry aisle near TOPS REMOVER.

Repeats of the week: ENYA {118A Irish New Age star}
NYT Friday [12/25/09] {16D “And Winter Came ...” artist} Co*mm*en*ta*ry.
LA Times Thursday [12/31/09] {52D One-named New Age singer}. Commen*tary.
INCA {19A People who honored the creator Viracocha}
appeared as INCANS in NYT Thursday [12/31/09] {70A Pachacuti's people}. Co*mm*en*ta*ry.

I confess to being new enough to regular puzzling that crosswordese & crosswordese people still constitute happy gimmes.

Puzzle on the web: HIS NIBS
{43D Mock title for a pompous boss} or a source for fountain pens.

Fusspot Peeve of the Week:
J DATE{40D Online singles service available in English, French and Hebrew} – What, no Oxford comma?!? Compulsive menu proofreaders will enjoy Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris (Farrar 2000). I have only read a review of The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of "Proper" English from Shakespeare to "South Park" by Jack Lynch (Walker 2009) but it is now firmly on my wish list. I too “get afflicted with that crankiness when a TV anchor describes a Chihuahua rescued from drowning as 'very unique' or...” Of course, the must-read for grammar geeks remains Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (Gotham 2006 pb). Even if she is soft on the Oxford comma [p85].

News To Me [I got 'em but I didn't get 'em]: 0
Opportunities To Learn New Things: 0
Admissions of Defeat: 2
TEED {74A Prepared for a drive}/ORMOND {50D Julia of “Legends of the Fall”}
Drive = golf is almost what the Englishman calls crossword Pavlovian. Witness the LA Times Wednesday [12/30/09] {32A Driver's aid} TEE. Commen*tary. However, one still needs to read the clues. PrepareD past tense, not prepareS -> TEEs.

RAITT {55A “Something to Talk About” singer}/MINT {39D Source of change}
Knew of Bonnie, couldn't spell her. MINe {Source of change} as in silver mine, kinda, sorta, please?

STTA was also the title of a movie in which a gentleman of my acquaintance was the stunt rider for Robert Duval.

Katherine Walcott
Puzzle Fan

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.