You’ll Get Through This (05-29-2011)

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!


  • 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!


  • 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.

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?


9 Responses to “You’ll Get Through This (05-29-2011)”


  2. Re: prisms: as a physics nerd I must point out that total internal reflection is also, well, reflection, and prisms do it too.
    Nice work.

  3. Way to go guys!! I knew you could do it. To be honest, the posts are never quite the same without John so congrats to John as well!

    Love the picture.

    P.S. Another reason why Pink Floyd is the greatest band ever (excluding The Beatles, of course!)

  4. Thank god you posted a photo of yourselves so all the creepers can come find you. OMG. CONGRATSSSSS!!!!!!

    B&S FTW!

  5. Timothy Faust Says:


  6. Megan L Scarborough Says:

    NICE WORK! An impressive one to beer & skittles on too; it was hard! Congrats!!

  7. HOO-RAH! Way to go!

    Also, 137D: Capital of Zaire? Will Shortz should know that Zaire is no longer a country; it’s officially the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So maybe that’s a special hint.

  8. I was about to write that Zaire DNE (wow, I haven’t used that acronym since calculus class), but I now see that Lars beat me to it! Darn it, Lars! But Lars was on Jeopardy, so she’s allowed to do that.

    Congrats ericandabbie and John! Almost teared up reading that last part. (Not really.)

    And, most importantly, why are you delinquent with the Sunday, June 5th crossword?!? What else am I supposed to do when procrastinating writing my ESPN article for the week?!?

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