Archive for May, 2011

You’ll Get Through This (05-29-2011)

Posted in Least Bitchy on May 29, 2011 by ericandabbie

For all of our loyal, long-time readers who have been with us, since, like February, thank you.  For all of our Roman fetishists who have been disappointed, week-in and week-out, by our lack of see-thru togas, we’re sorry.  For those of you who make USS Wasp the most popular search term in our  blog every week for the past like six months, it’s a ship guys, Google-Image it and move on.  But mostly, for those of  you who check every Sunday to see if it’s a beer and skittles week, which, for the record, means you need a life… THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!

WE DID IT!!! Shout-outs to Jon and John for coming up big down the stretch and getting the final five spaces to complete this puzzle. Also, for sharing beer-and-skittles despite being, in the case of Jon without the 'h', not technically 21. Thanks Berryhill!

That’s right, kids!  ericandabbie did what we said we would do on February 20, 2011.  We keep our promises.  We wrote then:

Eric and Abbie here. For the first time since January we have puzzled together at our beloved Starbucks. Two mistakes. Still not perfect. God dammit. We are sooooooo close.  One day… one day… when we get it all, by the way, there will be a party at Eric’s place with, you guessed it, beer. And skittles. Beer and skittles. FUN!

Today, at long last, we combined a one-pound bag of skittles with two pitchers of Dos Equis, and we are still feeling the effects.  Speaking of effects, the coloring on the skin of the skittles dissolves into the beer making the head turn all sorts of fun, vomit-like colors (with chunks included), while the skittles become super-chewy, pale whispers of their former selves.  Dear Science: You’re welcome for this groundbreaking research.  We must admit, though this blog is about correcting Will Shortz, he was spot on.  Beer and Skittles is, as he prophesized on January 9, 2011 in 108D, FUN.

But you know what was even more fun?  This puzzle!  The puzzle is laid out as a house that looks kind of like Clue.  There are sixteen “rooms” in the house, which are each connected by one DOOR.  Here’s the catch: the DOOR is part of the answer to a clue.  So, for example, a four-letter word for 146A: Chrysler 300, eg. followed by a five letter word for 147A: Chair toted on poles is actually a full ten-space answer (FOUR DOOR SEDAN), with DOOR being the block between the two words.  Each room has two doors (an entry and an exit), creating a complete maze wrapping through the puzzle.  If the maze is completed successfully the quote “Every wall is a door” is spelled out, which was said by Emerson.  We’re not blown-away that the quote is in there, but it definitely helped us out at the end.  Yeah.

If only the Conservatory had a trapdoor to the Kitchen, we would have gotten this puzzle in no time!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Us.  ‘Nuf Said!
  • 1A: Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, eg. (QUAKERS).  We didn’t know that.  We’ve had two quakers, one Catholic, one black, and still no Jews.  Given the amount of covert anti-Semitism seeping out of the NY Times puzzle it’s no surprise that we’re still waiting for a Jew [see all of our posts].

    I am rich. Kill me now. - RL Stine

  • 66A: Author R.L. ___ (STINE).  Oh, man!  How great were all 165 Goosebumps books?  Question: Did you think that R.L. Stine was the penname of a group of people publishing the Goosebumps series, á la Carolyn Keene of Nancy Drew fame?  You’re wrong.  This son-of-a-gun has written over 300 books in the last 22 years!  As you can tell from this picture, he’s extremely satisfied with his life choices.
  • 67A: Hot (SEXY).  Writing this clue may havebeen the most aroused Will Shortz got all week! (Though we can tell that he is often quite excited while being the PuzzleMaster on NPR.)
  • 104A: Creator of Genesis (SEGA).  We initially had YHWH, but, Sega is a waaaay better answer (sorry G-d).
  • 13D: Musician Brian (ENO) BRIAN, WE’VE MISSED YOU SO.
  • 91D: Its winner beats the loser with a stick (POOL) Super clever clue. Pool might actually be interesting to watch if folks really beat each other with their cues; then, and only then, would it warrant the ESPN2 playtime it gets.
  • 121A: Rice pad (DORM).  Get it!?  Probably not, since Rice is not that well known outside of Houston.  But, from our perspective, HEY-OH!

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • 121A: Rice pad (DORM).  Dammit, Will!  They’re called “colleges,” and they’re way better than dorms.  HFH!
  • 137D: Capital of Zaire? (ZEE).  Again?  We get it. It has a capital ‘z’.  In case anyone didn’t know how to spell Zaire with a capital ‘z’, it’s written in the clue.  Stop doing these!
  • 93D: Bygone missile with a tribal name (NAVAHO). Really?  You chose a peace-loving people as the name for a missile, and then also misspelled it?  We don’t even know which is more insulting.  You took their land, isn’t that enough for you?
  • 77A: Light reflector (PRISM) Correction: prisms refract light.  Mirrors reflect light.  To be fair, in the case of refraction, you always get a small percentage of reflected light.  But, overall, the effect of a prism is refracted, dispersed light, not reflected light.  Even Pink Floyd knew that, and they did a lot of drugs.
  • 111A: Moolah (KALE).  Interestingly, the first definition of kale, before even the definition of kale as, you know, kale, is an “informal term for money.”  Who knew?  Well, now we do, and you do tobecause we Googled it.  See how that works USS Wasp folks?

On a sentimental note, I (Eric) would like to thank Abbie for making me do this puzzle every Sunday.  I would not have taken the time out of my work life to spend time with you, and it has been the best part of my year.  The fact that we completed the puzzle on the last Sunday before graduation is a sign that the gods want me to work less and spend more time with my friends.
I love you, Eric.

I (Abbie) read that and said “awwww!” I would like to thank Eric for teaching me everything I know about crosswords (THERE ARE SO MANY GRAMMAR RULES TO FOLLOW, GUYS) and indulging me by actually spending a lot of time writing this stupid blog with me every single week after we made some jokes about doing one and I took thosejokes too seriously. It’s been loads of fun and a super chock-a-block way to force you away from your schoolwork.
LICKSPITTLE, Abbie.

We (ericandabbie) would also like to salute John for his tireless efforts to help with the puzzle almost every week.  Though he is a wretched failure at life, and we wish he would just go away, the blog wouldn’t be the same without him.  Thank you for not suing us for libel and still speaking to us on Monday.
You suck, ericandabbie.

Hellz yeah we got it framed at Walgreen's for less than the cost of the NYTimes. What about it?

ericandabbie

Happy Birthday, New York Public Library!

Posted in Most Bitchy on May 22, 2011 by ericandabbie

If you are an afficianado of the New York public library system then you really liked today’s puzzle, which is nice since you obviously don’t get to ever enjoy the company of friends.  (Except, apparently, Norbert Pearlroth, who spent 60-hours a week for 52 years in the library researching Ripley’s Believe It Or Note.)  Other fun facts we learned include, nope, that’s it.  Puzzle sucked.  On a scale of 1 to 10 Bob Klahn ranked below Paula.

Not only was the puzzle hard, but the theme was not gettable.  It was, incidentally, obscure, pointless, and uninteresting factoids about a library 1500 miles from where we live.  We like gimmick puzzles (stay tuned for the one we’re writing for when Hef dies), but it needs to be something that doesn’t blow.  When 2D: “Informal talk” isn’t slang or jargon or chitchat but CAUSERIE and 124D: “Communication syst. for the deaf” isn’t ASL (it was TTY), then your puzzle is too obscure.  And when 2D crosses with your needing to know that there is a misprint on the original Star-Spangled Banner such that it claims to be “a pariotic song,” your puzzle is TOO OBSCURE.  When ericandabbie, two crossword Jedis-well, Jedis in training-are stumped ten minutes in…

Gah!  Nothing fun.  Nothing.  We got about two-thirds of the puzzle and undoubtedly would have gotten more if we were at our regular gay Starbucks (there are way too many chicks here and not enough guys in tank-tops… the vibe is all wrong) instead of this third-circle-of-hell Starbucks up the road.  (Which, we should clarify, is not the Starbucks across the street or the one in the bookstore next door.) 

Yup,
ericandabbie

Included Herewit (05-15-2011)

Posted in Least Bitchy on May 15, 2011 by ericandabbie
This week’s blog is brought to you by 42A: Hit show with New Directions singers (GLEE).  Question: Has anyone jumped off a building in an attempt to defy gravity?  Was Wicked and/or Glee sued for this attempt?  We don’t know, but we bet the answer is yes.  People these days are, well, stupid.  In other news, BenJed was in town this weekend and he brought his expertise to the puzzle, which resulted in us STILL NOT GETTING BEER AND SKITTLES.  DAMMIT BENJED!  It’s okay though.  We believe that BenJed did everything he possibly could, but, what with John being there too, there’s only so much you can do.  Two wrong today.  In conclusion: BenJed is great.  John sucks.

 

Speaking of sucking, Cathy Allis wrote a pretty good puzzle and ruined it with a TERRIBLE theme.  Today’s theme was to drop the “th” sound and convert it to a “t” sound like Cousin Vinny (remember that movie!?  Neither do we) thereby creating a terrible pun as in 24A: Salt Lake City athlete’s dear hawk mascot? (SWEET BIRD OF UTE) which is a pun on Sweet Bird of Youth, a play by Tennessee Williams that you’ve never heard of.  (Fun Fact: Tennessee Williams choked to death on the cap of a bottle of eye drops he used.  Sorry.  Did we say ‘fun?’)  So, let the festivities begin…

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 74A: Baseball : Oriole ∷ Football : _____ (RAVEN).  Did you know that the Baltimore Ravens were named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem?  No, not Lenore.  It’s named after The Raven.  It’s true.  They’re the only pro sports organization named after a poem.  In keeping with their roots, they only play intellectual juggernauts like Ray Lewis (please don’t kill us).
  • 120A: Org. in a big race of years past (NASA).  Fuck Russia.
  • 1A: Jewish grandma (BUBBE).  A puzzle with both NASA and Jews in it!  Cathy Allis is a rockstar!
  • 98A: What we may be? (ROYAL).  As in the “royal we!”  Very clever clue!  (Note to Dianne: Your daughter does not know what the “royal we” is.  We have obviously failed her.)
  • 94A: Wordy (PROLIX).  Not a highlight for obvious reasons (we got this one wrong).  It’s a highlight because according to dictionary.com, prolix derives from pro-liqui, which means “for liquor”, and, by extension, “given to speaking or writing at great or tedious length.”  Now that’s a word.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • 52A: Train part where sorting was once done (MAIL CAR).  Too soon.  Ultimately this clue had nothing to do with the Holocaust, but for a second there we were like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
     
  • 119A: Many a Bush military advisor (NEOCON).  Based on _ E _ _ _ _ we put in YESMAN.  Even though it turned out not to be the right answer, we have now associated the New York Times with calling all of Bush’s Cabinet “yesmen” on the Internet.  Dear Glenn Beck: you’re welcome.
  • 38D: Interjection of disinterest (MEH).  Really?  Meh?  That’s the word you came up?
  • 84A: Former SoCal N.F.L. team (L.A. RAMS).  Only a mistake because we looked back at it halfway through the puzzle and went: Shit!  Something is wrong in the middle!  What the hell is a laram?

    Are we crazy? Or is that not a crater?

  • 40D: Home of Punchbowl Crater (OAHU).  Apparently Hawaiians are easily confused between craters and not craters. 
     

     

     

The moral of the story is that Beer and Skittles is still on hold.  But we can almost taste it.  We’re going to dump a bag of skittles in a pitcher of beer and then drink / chew on it.  It doesn’t sound delicious, but apparently it’s fun.
ericandabbie

Working in Opposition (05-08-2011)

Posted in Bitchy on May 8, 2011 by ericandabbie

Our Fellow Americans:

Tonight, we can announce to the American people, and to the world, that ericandabbie have attempted the NY Times crossword puzzle, and, finally… no wait, again… failed to reach Beer and skittles.  In retrospect, we don’t know why we called this press conference.  Just seemed like the thing to do this week.  Puzzle below…

 

Kinda crappy puzzle.  Not as bad as Paula, but Daniel A. Finan… don’t quit your day job.  The theme was lame.  Remember when you were four and you loved naming opposites?  No?  Just Eric?  Well.  It’s not fun now anyways.  The theme answers include 23A: Capris? (LONG SHORTS), 38A: Pre-2004 purchase from GM? (NEW OLDS), and 121A: Best-looking rear ends? (TOP BOTTOMS).  Note: We puzzle at a gay Starbucks.  Eric, quote, we should make a gay joke.  Abbie: I mean, there are probably a lot of ‘top bottoms’ in here.  Eric: 66D: How some practical jokes go (TOO FAR).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 107A: Rick who sang “Never Gonna Give You Up” (ASTLEY).  NY Times apparently just caught up to the fad of rick rolling.  That was so 2008. (http://youtu.be/zIcx_rxTstc)

    Why does this picture exist? It's so good!

  • 79A: Famous answer giver (TREBEK).  Trebek is great.  Except that Lars said he was a creeper.  True story.  He asked if she went to football games topless.  Which, if you know the context, still only sorta makes sense.
  • 44A: “Spaceballs” and the like (SPOOFS).  Why isn’t it spooves?  Leaves… knives… lives… calves… (Abbie wants ‘strives’ on the list as the plural of ‘strife.’  For the record, it is not.)  Abbie was just trying to help because she just wants to talk about “Spaceballs.”  It’s a good, real good movie, y’all.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • It wasn’t fun.  Nothing clever.  We had to make our own fun this week.  See, for example, 121A.  Abbie: Seriously.  There are [counting] two girls in this Starbucks right now.
  • 20D: Doo-wop syllable (SHA).  Doo = acceptable.  Wop = acceptable.  Other = not doo-wop, therefore not a doo-wop syllable.  This is so fucking simple, Will Shortz.
  • Nothing about moms.  Will Shortz apparently has some issues to work out with his Mama.  We had a theme puzzle for a lunar eclipse, but we can’t get one for moms.  My goodness.  $20 we get one for Father’s Day.  Pig.
  • 32A: Southern city known as the Horse Capitol of the World (OCALA).  Horse Capitol of the World?  More like Glue Capitol of the World!  Am I right!?

    Remember this guy? Abbie doesn't.

  • 91A: B and O, for presidents #43 and #44? (LAST INITIALS).  In this week’s edition of Abbie knows it right-off the bat but Eric doesn’t believe her for a couple hours (AKIROTBBEDBHFACH for short), that happened.  Also, Abbie wasn’t going to mention it, but she was confused because ‘B’ is not the initial of Clinton.  Abbie: I blocked Bush out… okay!?
  • 33D: Part of L.A. (LOS)  The only positive about this is that, unlike “Chess opener?” and “Garage opener?” (CEE and HARD G, respectively), we got this one.  No push-ups for us!  Still.  Will Shortz.  Drop and give us 20!  (PS – Paula… 40!)
  • 88D: Windblown soil (LOESS)  Who knew that had a name?  The Greeks had 64 words for love.  We’ve got one for windblown soil.  Suck on that Socrates  (PS – The Romans had a word for “Have anal sex with me and, oh by the way, you will be the one taking it up the butt.”  Those Romans were efficient.  Also, only one word for love.  But, I mean, we think this one pretty much means love anyway.  In conclusion, two words for love in Latin.)

To all the moms reading this (presumably just Claire and Dianne), thanks for sticking with us after what was, admittedly, a pretty anal sex heavy post.  We’re pretty pumped about the Google hits we’re going to pick up this week.  A crossword loving demographic that we have so far missed… anywho.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! 

Never gonna give you up,
ericandabbie

PS – Never gonna let you down