Archive for March, 2011

Get Ready to Roll (03-27-2011)

Posted in Most Bitchy on March 27, 2011 by ericandabbie

We rarely speak highly of puzzles, so when we began a post not too long ago with “THE BEST BESTEST OMG FRICKIN’ BEST PUZZLE EVER!” we were serious.  Indeed, we were so serious we didn’t even make fun of the puzzle maker, Kevin Der’s, silly last name.  Kevin, buddy, we thought we were pals; we thought you had our back on puzzles.  Where did we go wrong?  Why did you stop returning our calls?  I mean, we had a great time with you, and you seemed to feel the same way… And then, out of nowhere, THE WORST WORSTEST OMG FRICKIN’ WORST PUZZLE EVER!  Kevin, take us back!  Out of respect for the romance that we had, we will continue to not make fun of your last name, but we will rip you a new one over this puzzle.

So here’s the deal folks, it’s a bowling puzzle.  Four pin bowling it appears.  Also there are gutters, and a ball.  And the ball is apparently moving in quantum space wherein it appears four times in the puzzle in different locations.  Meanwhile, there are three clues in the puzzle that relate to bowling if you read Rex and he tells you that they in fact relate to bowling.  To the untrained eye 49D: “5-4 ruling, eg.” (SPLIT DECISION) looks like a clue about the Supreme Court.  To the psychic puzzler, it is obviously a reference to the 7-10 split in bowling, which, for the record, this puzzle doesn’t have because, again, there are four pins.  We also have 101D: “Suited to a person’s strength” (UP ONES ALLEY) and 9D: “A bit of free time” (SPARE MOMENT), which, again, have nothing to do with bowling, but presumably relate to bowling.  To be fair, the gutters were cool, and we got all four pins though we were missing two balls, because, again, we’re used to bowling with one at a time.

Also, WTF with the mini baseball theme on the right hand side where you have 81D: “Nine” (BASEBALL TEAM) and 69D: “Child-sized mitt” (T-BALL GLOVE) and 111D: “Said no fair!” (CRIED FOUL).  That threw us for a loop.  Also the overall suckiness, that didn’t help either.


  • 148A: “Cheat” (SHYSTER).  Abbie enjoys that it’s a fun word.  Eric insists it is misspelled.  Going to Wikipedia.  BRB.  We have confirmed the spelling in the puzzle, but we have also learned that it is an anti-Semitic word.  Fuck you, Kevin Der.
  • 117A: “Kind of gun” (NERF).  In this day and age, in which there is so much violence in the world, do we really have to bring guns into the Times puzzle?  Oh, wait!?  It’s Nerf!  Right on, bro‼
  • 80A: “Shot source” (BB GUN).  Ooooh.  Sad.
  • 64A: “Pooh’s pal” (TIGGER).  We had PIGLET, which was fun.  And then we changed it to T-Double Guh-Er, which was super beer and skittles.
  • 47A / 142D: Both reference the Dutch.  Hi Mom!


  • 26A: “Off-white pottery” (CREAMWARE).  I mean, you got your plastic and your silver and your tupper.  Creamware?  Really?  Pottery is not “ware”.  You made that word up, Mr. Der.
  • 69D: “Child-sized mitt” (T-BALL GLOVE).  You mean SMALL BASEBALL GLOVE?
  • 19A: “Century in Amer. politics” (US SENATE) You have got to be kidding!  A century is one hundred years.  That’s it.  We Googled it.  It does not mean the number one hundred, that’s why we have the number one-hundred.  “American political entity with one hundred people”… we got your US SENATE right here.  “100 years of American politics”… we’ll go with the 20th, ‘cause it was good.  No Civil Wars and no 9-11.  So, overall, good century.  I mean, Pearl Harbor, but, you know, that was Hawaii which wasn’t a state until 1959 (a) and (b) we won that war, so… pretty good century.

    You want this guy giving you financial advice? Apparently yes!

Abbie: So, John, would you like to come do your guest bitch?
John: Sure.
Abbie: I forgot what it’s about.
John: Yeah.  Everybody forgets about me.
Eric: **hug**

  • 100D: “How some shares are sold” (AT PAR).  As our resident investment banker, to what kind of shares are you referring Kevin?  Shares of stock?  If so, you’re wrong.  Shares are legally issued by companies “at par,” an amount usually between $.01 and $1.00; however this is purely a legal/accounting definition.  Shares are actually sold way above par on an open exchange.  I would have accepted “at market value,” “OTC,” or any other reasonable response.  Please don’t confuse the masses Kevin; this is how credit crises occur.  Basically you are directly responsible for the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression.  Thanks jerk.
  • Technically this one isn’t Kevin Der’s mistake, but since his mistake led to that incredibly boring rant from John, it’s being included.  Folks, we’re sorry about that last bullet point, John’s a bitchy bitcher.  But, hey, we all learned something.  THE MORE YOU KNOW… DING‼
  • 1A: “Ornate” (BUSY).  Do you know what ornate means?  Apparently not.
  • 97A: “Howard’s End role” (EVIU).  Not actually a mistake as far as we know, but who the hell is Eviu?  Whoever named that character made a mistake.  Is he Elihu Root’s brother (see a post where we mentioned him… we don’t remember which one and we’re not going to look it up for you, you lazy shit).  We’re so upset, we’re not even going to Wikipedia for verification.  Eviu, we don’t care about you.  But we do want to remember your name for future puzzles.  (Also Tami Hoag’s name.  That comes up a lot.)
  • 105A: “Waited longer than” (OUT SAT).  Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.  That’s Survivor, and that’s great.  There’s a reason why the execs at CBS did not go with OUT SAT.  It’s stupid.  Also, ericandabbie are capable of waiting upright.  Why must you be sitting while you wait?  Perhaps there is an old lady who would like your seat, and that’s just rude.  Kevin Der, you bitch.  (We’re sorry.  Please take us back.)

17A: “Niña accompanier”
Abbie: I bet it’s the PINTA.
Eric: That’s the Nina stupid.  It doesn’t have the “y” sound.
Abbie: ….so?

(90 minutes later)

Eric: It’s the PINTA.
Abbie: I WIN!  I WIN!  I WIN!
John: Pound it.


PS – It was the PINTA.  Apparently we’ve been saying “Niña” wrong for 500 years.  We should fix that, don’t you think?

Chick Lit (03-20-2011)

Posted in Most Bitchy on March 20, 2011 by ericandabbie

Happy Purim Everybody‼  (Abbie would like to add the First Day of Spring for Secular Atheists and Persian New Year for terrorists.)  Abbie: We’re attacking Libya right now.  We can’t say things like that.  They’re watching our computers!  Anyhow, this week’s puzzle blew (as per youjh—that was Eric’s attempt to spell the first syllable of the word “usual”… we’re not too chock-a-block with abbrevs, but we find them beer and skittles!).  The theme is unimpressive, and four (correction… FIVE) answers contained the word “the” which is just cheating.  Notice on the left hand side STOUT is next to TOUTS.  Right above that, ATTEST crosses with ATEST, just lazy.  Also, the fill was so crappy we got nine wrong despite having two of last week’s champions return (Golds and Peter) and 6th Man of the Year, Manu Ginobli, stepping up.  Just kidding about Manu, but seriously Eric’s mom was there, and she was just as clutch as a three pointer from half-court with two seconds to go… basically Robert Horry is what we’re trying to say.  And we still got nine wrong!  So clearly the puzzle sucked!

The theme was, get ready for this, books with a bird in the title.  For example, “UGLY DUCKLING”, “THE MALTESE FALCON”, and “THE STERILE CUCKOO”.  Really?  The Sterile Cuckoo.  To give you a sense of the impact The Sterile Cuckoo had on our modern consciousness (outside of this puzzle), we have attached the Wikipedia article below… in its entirety.  This is not a joke.  Our blog needs more of Google’s server space than references to this book.  You’re welcome for doubling your fucking Google hits, Sterile Cuckoo.  (It is also worth noting that Abbie, upon getting this clue, mused: “Well, it’s better than an STD-riddled Cuckoo.”  Touche, Shmabbs.  Touche.)


  • 30A: “A nut might go on one” (RAMPAGE).  That was fun.  Nice little play on words.  We had SUNDAE in our heads, but then it wasn’t.  Well done!
  • 81D: “2005 World Series Team, for short” (STROS).  Hey, at least we got something from that series!
  • 20A: “Biofuel option” (ETHANOL).  So, ethanol is the common form of alcohol, which one is commanded to imbibe on Purim, and I’m willing to bet that it’s in the puzzle as a celebration of Jews and their Festivals!  Abbie is in agreement (as soon as Eric typed that, Abbie cussed at him).
  • 14D: “Famous bathrobe wearer, informally” (HEF).  Yay!  He needs to be in every puzzle!
  • 38A: “Down with thee!” (FIE)  Fee down-with-thee Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.  Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but we like it.
  • 59D: “Rock singer Dee” (SNIDER) Abbie watches too much shitty television; he’s on VH1 all the time.
  • 77D: “Clear of charges” (EXCULPATE) ericandabbie had EXONERATE (which, to be fair, is also a good answer).  Eric’s Mom sat down, and BOOM, we had EXCULPATE and we were cooking.  Again.  Robert Horry.


  • 15A: “___ Works” (KRUPP) So, we disliked this because we didn’t know what it was.  From Wiki: “After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Krupp works became the center for German rearmament.”  So that fun reference to Purim… we, um, we don’t think that was intentional anymore… Damn you, Will Shortz.  (PS – Our initial guess was DREAM Works – boy were we off‼)
  • 25A: “Italy’s longest river” (THE PO).  Bullshit.  Po is two letters, so it cannot be in a puzzle.  This accounted for two of our mistakes.
  • 56A: “P.R. locale” (ATL).  Public Relations?  Personal Record?  Pineapple Rinds?  And somewhere below those guesses is Puerto Rico.  Which, to be perfectly honest, isn’t really in the Atlantic Ocean any more than Galveston is.  Also, even if it were, why is ATL the answer?  You could have clued “Worst airport in the world” and Abbie would have known immediately, but the ocean?  Ugh.  Last guess – I mean, not even a guess.  (Remember, we got this one wrong.)
  • 116A: “Spread, as rumors” (BRUITED) Do you mean GOSSIPED?  Abbie: I went to an all-girls school, so I know a few things about rumors.  They don’t get BRUITED.  This clue sucked.
  • 4D: “Down, with up” (LAP) Abbie is so flummoxed that she can’t even formulate a guess.  Eric thinks the connection is “going down” could be similar to “lapping up”.  (If you don’t believe me, do the gesture with your tongue.)  Abbie would like for Eric to now return to his gay softball team.
  • 24D: “Chess opening?” (CEE).  Yep.  That’s right.  It starts with a ‘c’.  So it’s hard to refute this answer.  But really!?
  • 83D: “Classic sandwich” (HAM ON RYE).  Uhhh.  Not if you’re Jewish.  We had REUBEN.

In conclusion:

John was not here,
which was sad,
but Eric’s mom was,
which made us glad.
The puzzle sucked
real real bad,
And not even brunch
Could make us less mad.
And we learned that 74A: “Pip, of Great Expectations”
is a LAD.

You are welcome.  Poetry snaps,

Reverend Spooner, U.S.P.S.

Posted in Most Bitchy on March 13, 2011 by ericandabbie

Oh em gee. Could this puzzle have sucked more?? Maybe it’s just Abbie’s problem with homophones, or the fact that none of the theme answers make ANY sense when inserted into the sentence they supposedly go with, or perhaps it was Eric’s absence but WOW she sucked at this puzzle.

That’s right folks: Eric and Abbie did not complete this puzzle together. And much like Samson without his hair, Abbie was completely and utterly helpless without him. It was still a pretty fun week at the Hawthorne Starbucks as many of our beloved friends and avid blog-readers were in town and wanted to play with us. We ended up with two teams of four and after an hour and a half, these were the results:

Team 1: Claire, Kristen, Peter, and Golds. AKA Seriously, y'all got this?? I don't think we can be friends anymore


Team 2: Me, Lela, Mary, & Robert. AKA Team Fail.

That’s right – one team finished the puzzle with just one mistake. The other, Abbie’s team, failed at life. Failed with a capital F, really. But obviously this failure is due completely and totally to Will Shortz’ prolific suckiness so let’s talk about the good and, mostly, the bad.

Probs better than actual dirt cakes


  • 4A: “Overall Composition?” (DENIM) Get it?? Like over-alls that you wear while milking a cow or because you were in elementary school in the mid-nineties?? Pretty darn cute.
  • 27A: “‘Dirt Cake’ ingredients” (OREOS) Fellow teammate, Robert, and I start listing garden components: “Ummm ok dirt, mud, mulch, water….gravel, maybe?” Lela reminds us that “dirt cake” is a name for those delicious treats with the oreos and gummi worms. Clearly, Robert and I were those kids eating grass on the playground that the teachers all worried about and the other kids stayed away from.
  • 114A: “Fountain drinks” (COKES) If you’re from the mid-west, the answer is POP; if you’re from most parts of the country, it’s SODA; if you’re from the South, the only answer – and clearly the correct answer – is COKES. Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Pepsi – they’re all called COKE and nothing y’all say will ever make me change my mind.
  • 121A: “Acid” (LSD) I was informed that the other team struggled with this one mostly because they were really trying to make HCL (hydro-chloric acid, obvi) fit. Eric would have been really proud.
  • 73D: “Striking Player” (BOWLER) Cute enough for some HIGHLIGHTS props.


  • The theme. It’s awful. SO AWFUL. Ok, let me explain because there’s just no way that anyone got this (minus the team that I wasn’t on today…clearly a lucky guess). Basically you need to know what both “spoonerism” and “homophone” mean to get this puzzle. That’s gotta cut out a good, what, 97% of the population right there (my faith in the American school system is astounding, I know).  There was a very forced story, much like in “High School Reunion” a few weeks ago, about a pastor who apparently likes delivering the mail. And you had to fill in the blanks with the answers but the beginnings of the first and last words were switched and the last word was changed to another spelling that sounded like the original word. Confused? Yeah, you should be. For instance, 23A: “I suppose it might seem odd that a reverend like myuself would suddenly begin ...”  (MARRYING THE KALE). What? Seriously? That’s the answer? YUP. Ok so it should be “CARRYING THE MAIL” right? But switch the beginning and last sounds and change the final word to something that sounds like “CALE” but is actually a word – KALE. What the hell??? This makes NO sense at ALL. It doesn’t make sense when you insert it into the blank, it doesn’t make sense as it’s own phrase (Gays can’t even get married in America but we’re ok with seaweed tying the knot??). It’s literally the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. My group even had “MARRYING THE KA E” and couldn’t get it. BECAUSE UGHHHHHHH I’M JUST SO MAD.
  • Let me throw some other choice theme answers your way (keeping in mind that they’re all supposed to kind of do with the mail): CRACK YOUR PATE, GROUND HOWLING, TRAIL MUCK, STAIR RAMP, and

    This came up when I google-imaged 'RAIMENT' so that was neat

    BETTER LOCKS. I just can’t….I just can’t even….I just don’t know

  • 28A: “Equine-related” (HORSY) Yup. Horsy. Considering how fucked up all of the theme answers are, I’m just not willing to excuse crappy fill answers.
  • 56D: “Wardrobe items” (RAIMENT) Did you misspell GARMENT, Will? Maybe fall asleep on your keyboard? Apparently this comes from Old English from 1350-1400AD. And I’m willing to bet that no one’s used it since then…until now.
  • 111D: “Not straight” (WRY) The answer is clearly GAY. Eric called me in the middle of the puzzle to see if I needed help and, obviously, given his familiarity with the subject matter, I asked him what he would put for this one. Eric: GAY. Abbie: But maybe like ARC or something… Eric: GAY. Abbie: But what if… Eric: GAY.
  • On that note, I clearly don’t even need to tell you what I think about the missed opportunity of 61D “It’s closeted” (LINEN)

Just ugh. Excellent job by one team today; clearly we have some smart friends. As for my team – well, y’all are pretty.

Til next week,


For Your Edification (03-06-2011)

Posted in Bitchy on March 6, 2011 by ericandabbie

So, right off the bat let’s notice that Will Shortz changed the font for the crossword (KIND OF LIKE HOW WE CHANGED OUR SITE!!).  It’s awful (but hopefully you feel differently about our change…).  The whole page is laid out like it’s the 80s.  It’s so bad (said in Abbie’s Minnesotan accent).  Also, this puzzle sucked.  There was apparently an ‘ed’ them to it, but not at all related to any of the Eds clued other than the name Ed.  For example, 23A: Be willing to apprehend Mr. Bradley at any cost? (WANT ED DEAD OR ALIVE).  Here’s the thing, Ed Bradley was on 60 Minutes.  Who is so upset at that show that they’re trying to apprehend Ed “dead or alive”.  That seems crazy.  If it were WANT OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE, we’d be all over it.  But this doesn’t make sense!  How about 103A: Perform brain surgery on Mr. Begley? (TOUCH ED IN THE HEAD).  Ed Begley was in Pineapple Express.  Does he have a brain tumor?  This is just very confusing…


  • It was easy, so we felt good about ourselves!
  • 2D: “U.S. president whose mother’s first name was Stanley” We had the fourth letter as an M and immediately went with ADAMS.  Later, when we discovered the first letter was an O, Eric said exasperatedly, “What the heck president starts with an O??”  For those of you who still don’t know, that would be our current president. Life: 1, ericandabbie: 0. 

    Shown above: Speaker of the House, John Boehner

  • 10A: “Pirates’ home” (PNC PARK) It will always be Three River Stadium.
  • 28A: “Oh, baloney!” (PSHAW).  Yup.
  • 100A: “Pool organism” (ALGA).  Just the one.  You can’t see it, but it’s there.
  • 35D: “Noted John Boehner feature” (TAN).  We tried ORANGE SKIN and OOMPA-LOOMPA before settling on TAN.  Seriously, how has an aide not told him to ease up on the cancer box?


  • Publishing this puzzle.
  • 80A: “Montaigne work” (ESSAI).  We were confused because we live in America.  Fuck France.

    Learn to spell, dumb baby.

  • 85A: “Act of coming out” (EMERSION).  So, Abbie got this because apparently an ‘i’ means going in, and an ‘e’ means coming out in Latin (and with that we salute you, RFs… you know what it means…), thus immersion is going in and emersion is coming out.  However, Eric played his first ever gay softball game today, and, well, we had DECLOSETIZATION for a while.  It’s in the gay dictionary, don’t worry about it.
  • 70A: “___ Carter III” (THA).  Technically not Will Shortz’s mistake, but someone needs to pay for misspelling the most common word in the English language.
  • 130A: “Star Alliance member” (AIR CANADA) We were pumped about an intergalactic showdown.  Biggest letdown answer ever.  Canada!?  Really!?
  • 114A: “Military march” (ETAPE).  We guessed and got it right.  Then we Googled it intensely for like, I donno, 20 seconds, and an “etape” is definitely not a military march.  It is, however, supplies issued to troops during a march and, more interestingly, a Russian stockade used to hold prisonerswhile they are in transport.  In America, we use handcuffs, but whatevs.

    See?!? You suck, Will!

  • 55D: “Greece to Greeks” (ELLAS).  Correction, EΛΛAΣ.  In English, this is transliterated as Hellas.  However, the former would have caused trouble with the cross 71A: “Smallest member of the European Union” (MAΛTA).
  • 19D: “One side’s retort to ‘No, you don’t’” (YES WE DO).  First off, why not just say “retort to…”, what is this “one side’s” bullshit.  Secondly, stupid answer, who gets into this argument in the plural?  One kid says to the other “No you don’t” and the other replies “Yes I do.”  Why are twenty children being allowed to fight like this on the playground?  Where are the teachers?  And why are we glorifying a shitty school with shitty discipline with shitty clues in a shitty puzzle‼?  This is what’s wrong with America… it begins with you, Will Shortz.

An actual conversation that just happened…
Eric: I hope Will Shortz knows that we actually really enjoy doing the puzzles and we like him.
Abbie: I don’t.  I hope he reads this and cries.
Eric: Yeah… Lickspittle.


Have a chock-a-block week,