Use It or Lose It (4-24-11)

A day late AGAIN. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol (Abbie’s excuse: it was her birthday weekend! Eric’s: it was…Easter? Jews can take shots on Easter, right?) But, despite (or maybe because of?) our varying states of sobriety, we did really well this week! Still no beer and skittles for us but only three letters wrong – definitely an improvement on our poor showings recently. The three letters we missed were literally the last three letters we put in the puzzle. We had absolutely no idea what any of the words were so John and ericandabbie each got to choose a letter at random to put in; all of us were wrong. Still,  a really solid Sunday evening effort. Let’s get to the specifics.


  • The authors of this puzzle: Caleb Madison and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class. Ericandabbie were all like “WTF is J.A.S.A. and who takes crossword classes?? Ericandabbie’s talent is completely free of any sort of learned skill!” So we looked it up and this is actually really awesome: Caleb Madison is an 18 year old who teaches a class on crosswords at the Jewish Associations of Services for the Aged. So basically he teaches old people how to be just like

    Some people might have a hard time making fun of the crosswording skills of such kindly-looking folks. ericandabbie are not those people.

    ericandabbie. You go, Caleb Madison! We like thinking about a group of old Jewish people arguing over the clues and which words to use and stuff. This isn’t going to stop us from making fun of y’all later but we’ll still give y’all some mad HIGHLIGHTS props.

  • 92A “Understood, man” (I DIG) Abbie was really upset that the answer wasn’t WORD but I DIG was still pretty cute and now that we have this vision of 18yr old Caleb trying to explain this joke to the old Jews, we like it even better.
  • 121A “Ball boy?” (DESI) This took us forever to get but, man, is that a great clue or what?
  • 123A “Homey’s rep” (STREET CRED) Again with the 18yr old convincing the old folks that “No really guys, this is great. All the kids will dig it.” Ericandabbie disagree with the spelling of Homey but otherwise, a super  beer and skittles clue.
  • 3D “One who sees everything in black and white?” (BIGOT) We enjoy awkward-turtle clues.
  • 7D “Art, nowadays” (ARE) Fabulous. Old English clues like “long ago, to a poet” and stuff can get really old (this puzzle had 3 of them – OPE, ERE, SEEST) but this was a really good use of Shakespearean syntax in a misdirection clue. We art amused.
  • 42D “Sibyl, for one” (ORACLE) Reading the Aeneid twice in English and once in Latin helps Abbie in real life like, maybe once every six months. Watching some movie about a woman named Sibyl with multiple personalities did not help Eric in this instance.
  • 108D “Sash go with” (TIARA) Abbie wore both of these at some point this weekend.
  • The theme: “Use It or Lose It” Popular phrases that can mean something else if you add or take away the word “it.” For example: 63A “Preacher’s lies?” (PULPIT FICTION), 33A “Spill a Cuban drink?” (LOSE ONES MOJITO), and 94A “Hairdresser’s first do?” (LEARNER SPERM….we mean LEARNERS PERM). Not hideously gimmicky and we laughed a few times. Good theme.
  • John’s clutchness. We promised him a shoutout after he showed up about an hour into the puzzle and delivered a much needed second wind. John, we usually rag on you quite a bit because, hey, we can and what the fuck are you gonna do about it get your own blog and then we’ll see what’s up but you rocked this puzzle. Good job, buddy.


  • 15A “Gds.” (MDSE) What? Google’s confused too. We’ve gathered it’s something to do with distribution or factories but for the life of us can’t figure out what either of these groups of letters mean and Abbie’s work requires her to be pretttttty good with acronyms so we call BS on this. You see what we did there? Figure out that acronym, old people.
  • 53A “Noblewoman” (PEERESS) Quite possibly the last thing we ever would have guessed. We had baroness, countess, heiress, and even lioness in our heads and would have been totally lost on PEER if not for the crosses. Yuck we just don’t like this word.
  • 112A “Pizza topping” (SALAMI) Who puts salami on their pizza? That’s not kosher, Jewish folks!
  • 11D “Stores after cremation” (INURNS) Is this really a word? Like, y’all couldn’t clue that for the answer IN URNS? Like, who actually uses this world? “Grandma got inurned today.” Can’t blame the old folks for having death on the mind but y’all can do better than that.

Really not too much to bitch about this week – solid puzzle overall. Some easy fill, some tough but all doable, and a cute theme. What more could you want from a Sunday puzzle? Paula Gamache should take notes.

ericandabbie, out

4 Responses to “Use It or Lose It (4-24-11)”

  1. Dad (old person) Says:

    Gds. = Goods
    MDSE = Merchandise

    • Thanks, Daddy! Though I still call BS on abbreving a monosyllabic word. Even typing “Gds.” only saves you one keystroke over “goods”. Lame.

      • I always thought it was “god damn shit.”

        As in, “Pierre, please put the gds. in the storage closet.”

        Of course, I thought mph was pronounced “oomph” for the longest time. I.e. when people would say put some oomph into your pushing, they meant miles per hour.

  2. Gds – MDSE

    Goods? Merchandise?

    I didn’t do the puzzle. I was looking for something else and saw this.

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