Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016, Fred Piscop


I solved this puzzle at an all-day staff retreat. I thought I'd have plenty of time to work on it while the bigwigs talked at us, but it turned out that we were supposed to participate and contribute the whole time - like animals! On the upside, I learned that our director is also a NYTX solver. Maybe I'll get a raise. :)

The anagram clues had me wondering for a minute or two. I wasn't sure how an eight-letter word could anagram into an 11-letter word, but it soon became clear that it could anagram easily into two shorter words joined by "and." GINANDTONIC and KISSANDTELL might be my favorites. Maybe those two even kinda go together. :)

I wasn't super sure how to spell LAMOUR (24A. Dorothy of "Road" movies). I had LAMaUR in there because my first thought for Sired, biblically (39A) was BEGaT, but that looked a little funny, so I fixed it up, and then it wasn't funny. It was correct.

I was intrigued by PANAM's "flying boats" from the thirties and forties (1A: B- (clue too explain-y)), so I looked them up. Pan Am had a series of planes called Clippers. According to the Wikipedia, a Boeing 314 flying boat flew from LaGuardia to Lisbon in 29 hours 30 minutes. A direct flight from JFK to LIS now takes 7 hours. I was happy to see Cribbage mentioned in the puzzle - a favorite game from days gone by. I also liked MOT for witty rejoinder, even though I rarely see it without its 'bon' companion.

I found EMBED as a noun a little UGLI. I hope no one gives me the EVILEYE for this, but I started to wonder if any EMBEDs had ever taken PANAM to see the EBOLA river. But I suppose that's MOOT.

 ~ Frannie.


  1. Unknown time, but around 15 minutes, I'd guess (I forgot to check the clock).
    I starred GINANDTONIC for obvious reasons and thought that the anagram theme was excellently carried out. I entered deEds instead of LIENS at first, which slowed me down very slightly, but quickly corrected that little problem. There was nothing to MIRE me down, and I enjoyed the Zs in the NE (ZIN and KAZOO crossing JAZZSINGER, which I've yet to see). LIPO crossing OIL is a nice touch.

  2. I agree with you, Frannie, about EMBED. Can't say as I've ever heard or read that word used as a noun. Pretty easy answer, though. How about the clue for FOUR? With all of the possible ways to clue the word, is that bonkers or brilliant? "Near impossible" seems a tad strong, doesn't it? As we all remember, I'm sure, the Steelers led the Vikes at halftime of Super Bowl IX by a score of 2-0. With that defense you're telling me that a second-half safety was "near impossible"?? Poor Vikings. Interesting to see a second four-letter state in just over a week. Loved the cluing for this one. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, indeed. Thanks for the background on the flying boats. I will be on a real flying boat in a little over a month. Shortly after that I wouldn't mind enjoying a GINANDTONIC with a lake view. Not a ZIN, though.

  3. I liked the anagrams in this puzzle just fine, but I have serious issue with BEGOT as it was clued "biblically." BEGOT may, indeed, be a legitimate past tense and BEGaT an arcane variant, but if you're talking biblically it's "the begats" not "the begots." Do a google search on "The begots in the bible" and google insists that you meant, and shows you, the results for "the begats in the bible." There are many versions of the Bible out there, but has anyone seen one that uses BEGOT instead of BEGaT?

    I also frown at RARED. I eventually found confirmation that it isn't straight up wrong for "reared," but it is a pretty weak variant.

  4. This one was playing pretty easy for me until I spent minutes searching for the jingle and eventually getting it by changing BEGaT to BEGOT (the cross wasn't going to help much on that one, cue my usual moaning about my movie knowledge, or lack thereof), thus narrowly avoiding my second DNF in a row.

    On the other hand RES judicata was a gimme for me (although i suppose it comes up most often in crosswords; I should probably try to promote stare decisis and other more common legal jargon: stare has 2 vowels and 3 common consonants, so it probably would be medium-helpful as fill). Or NANO for that matter: maybe that's not so hard given the number of fields which would use it (nanoseconds and computers, in my case). Or FLORA. Are you seeing a pattern here? Non-movie related subjects?

    I liked the theme better than I usually like anagrams. Must gave been the X and Y formula.

  5. BTW, everyone, I *did* get a raise. The system works!