My Mom

Sunday, November 25, 2007

TWO OUT OF THREE -- Puzzle by Trip Payne, edited by Will Shortz

This Saturday, after the dust settled from traveling, I spent the day with my mother on the occasion of her 88th birthday. How did we spend the day? Well, among the many and varied activities which occupy her time from dawn to dusk, my mom does crossword puzzles. So, my brother printed out the Sunday Times crossword from the internet, and we leisurely solved this pleasurable puzzle -- and that my friends is the best way in the world to solve a puzzle!

Nine inter-related entries are a bonus to the solver, yielding two letters out of three of series of three-letter words which comprise onomatopoeic sentences and/or statements.

ROBROYROT (24A Nonsense about a cocktail?);

MADMAXMANMAYMARMAT (25A Warning about Mel Gibson on a wrestling surface?);

BIGBICBIZBIO (41A Major book about a leader of the lighter industry?);

FOEFORFOX (67A Hound, typically?);

HAGHASHAYHAT (90A Why horses are attracted to a witch’s headgear?);

SADSAMSAWSALSAYSAX (106A Why guitar-loving Cooke was blue when his gal named her favorite musical instrument?);

PUGPUPPUN (112A Witticism about a wrinkly little dog?);

DIPDIDDIGDIN (3D A nitwit liked the loud noise?);

ADDADZADSADO (63D Complicate commercials for woodworking tools?)

All of the above entries were of good help in the solution of the puzzle because once one gets the idea that two letters are repeated for the entire entry and only one changes, et cetera -- well! Thanks for the good time!

Entries along the way that caught our collective eyes: GRIPS (5A Rigging technicians); TOOTOO (19. Affected); ELEARNING (20A Web-based education) (didn’t know there was such a term); SHMEAR (38A Bagel order) (in New York you’ll hear this, in South Dakota, not!); DIECUT (50A Like most jigsaw puzzles) (I could only think about how, as children, we were kept busy for hours with the most recent jigsaw!); OUNCE (51A Snow leopard) (Mom knew this, but we want to know why this isn’t it a measurement?); NOTBAD (56A Decent); ONION (74A Kind of powder); CLUING (76A Part of making a crossword); UFOS (78A They travel very long distances) (This got a good laugh!); KEYPAD (98D Feature of some locks) (We're still not sure on this one); CANUCK (115A Flame battler, at times) (Well, canuck has something to do with ice, but this is Canuck the Ice Hockey Team, as are the Flames -- we settled for a draw); ENROL (99A Join up) (Mom prefers two L’s); DOPED (122A Puzzled [out]).

Going for the downs, there was POEM (8D Gray lines); TIERED (39D Having multiple layers); BECKONING (43D Making a curling motion with the forefinger, maybe); PROSED (65D Wrote a novel, maybe); OLDE (81D Shoppe adjective) (this is one I knew); TUBA (92D “Symphonie Fantastique” need) (this is one Mom knew); “MAUVE is just pink trying to be purple”: Whistler (101D); and Exeunt OMNES (stage direction) (102D).

The remainder across: 1. Contractor’s offerings; 10. Traipse (about); 13. Diamond points; 18. Fashion’s Tahari; 22. Between green and black, maybe; 23. General assemblies; 28. Catchy tunes; 29. USDA prime; 30. Somewhere around; 34. Far from perky; 35. One who tells it like it isn’t; 39. Skosh; 47. Mr. Noodle’s friend on “Sesame Street”; 48. Ltr. With a period; 53. Capital of Honshu; 54. French Toaster Sticks maker; 55. Work with intaglio; 59. Margaret famous for painting waiflike children with big eyes; 62. Japanned metal; 63. Climber’s challenge; 66. Not for the masses; 69. Subject of the film “An Unreasonable Man”; 71. Sportscaster Dierdorf; 72. He spent 29 years in the Knesset; 75. Formerly did; 80. X-ray doses; 81. Takes too much, quickly; 84. Half of an animation duo; 85. Verdi’s “Don CARLOS”; 87. “ODIE Unleashed!” (cartoon volume); 88. Figure skating maneuver; 90. 93. Something “realise” lacks; 94. Overshadows; 96. Chang and Eng’s homeland; 97. 1987 Suzanne Vega hit; 100. Berserkly; 103. Diver’s milieus; 116. Cover, in a way; 117. Part of the answer to 36-Down; 118. Tannin source; 119. City that lost capital status in 1990; 120. Unable to pay the bill; 121. 1980s video game console, in brief; 123A DORA Spenlow (Dickens girl).

Down: 1. Road’s shoulder; 2. Its first word translates as “wrath”; 4. Apparently do; 5. “Eydie Swings the Blues” singer; 6. Some tomatoes; 7. Find ITIN one’s heart; 9. Dominican-born player with more than 600 homers; 10. Infection causes; 11. Get ALOAD of; 12. Messing of “Will & Grace”; 13. Open up, as a topic; 14. Whenever; 15. “My dear man”; 16. Musician Brian; 17. Rank below warrant officer: Abbr.; 19. Some crosstown trips; 21. Word before lock and load; 26. Swift’s “A Tale of ATUB”; 1980s Soviet leader Andropov; 31. Count (on); 32. Signed in, say; 33. Middle name of “the King”; 35. Red-shelled fruit: Var.; 36. R.N.’s locale; 37. U.S. dance grp.; 38. L.A.’s region; 40. German chancellor Merkel; 42. “Skedaddle!”; 44. Frenzied situation; 45. Like some jeans; 46. To-do pile’s place; 49. Promote; 52. Perfect places; 56. Italian saint Philip NERI; 58. Nut producer; 60. In AFOG (dazed); 61. Vote in Quebec; 64. End of a James Bond title; 65. Wrote a novel, e.g.; 67. Safari spottings; 68. Graveyard shift time; 70. Aviation-related; 73. Doldrums; 75. W.W. II American naval cruiser; 77. Slangy turndown; 79. “Feels good!”; 82. Temporarily not working; 83. Take to the skies; 85. William Petersen series; 86. “Oh, clever!”; 89. Flourish; 91. Calls (for); 95. Show off; 100. Clinton’s first defense secretary; 103. Beurre blanc, e.g.; 104. Rider of the steed Babieca; 105. Coupon user; 107. Two-out actions: Abbr.; 108. Plebe’s place: Abbr.; 109. Home to the Dr. Pepper Museum; 110. Velcro alternative; 111. Her sidekick was Gabrielle; 112. Greek consonants; 113. New England sch.; and 114. New Pontiac of 1964.

Now that was the way to do a crossword puzzle!