Chick Lit (03-20-2011)

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,

One Response to “Chick Lit (03-20-2011)”

  1. I don’t think that even having PSteff and myself work on that puzzle could have made the sterile cuckoo any less… sterile.


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