Archive for July, 2011

Body Enhancement (7-10-11)

Posted in Bitchy on July 14, 2011 by ericandabbie

Ugh we know, we know. We’re late AGAIN. We’re not sure how you’ve made it this far in your week without knowing how many letters we missed in the crossword and we are truly sorry for any agony we’ve caused. We have a couple of good excuses: Eric traveled all the way to Fort Worth on Sunday to learn things about teaching an AP class…or something. Let’s be real, we all know teachers just booze it up and talk about how much they hate their students at these conferences. Meanwhile, Abbie’s been working a lot and also has spent every free hour moving in with Eric (and some Persian guy)!! That’s right, ericandabbie are now both a crosswording machine AND housemates. We imagine that this amount of symbiosis can only be extremely beneficial to our honed crosswording craft (or totally detrimental; only time will tell!!) Abbie’s been trying to live up her title of John 2.0 (we miss you, John!) while also slipping in as many pink things as possible into the apartment (surprise, Eric and Sam!)

Anyway, ON WITH THE SHOW:

Body Enhancements. Tee hee. Wait, damnit – we’re not talking about boobs?!? Yeah, this puzzle seriously didn’t live up to the hype. Basically, take a body part (like FINGER) come up with a phrase that involves said body part (like CHICKEN FINGER) and now add a random letter that turns that phrase into a zany answer (56A: Disorderly poultry workers? CHICKEN FLINGERS). Hilarity ensues! And by “hilarity,” we mean disgruntled groaning.

Easy theme aside, the puzzle was really difficult!! A lot of the clues/answers were really obscure, lots of long answers that weren’t themed, and it took us almost 2 hours to complete. BUT we struggled through and only got three wrong (which, trust us, had you seen our grid about 20min before we finished, you’d be proud of us too).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 25A: Mount for the god Neptune (SEAHORSE) So first off, pumped for the Roman god name instead of the Greek Poseidon! Yeah, Rome! Second, Abbie was pissed at herself for not recalling some undersea mountain…until she remembered everyone riding around in Seahorse-pulled chariots in The Little Mermaid. Disney to the mythological rescue, as per usual.
  • 62A: Opera (WORKS) Eric would like to give Abbie some mad props for getting this one near the end and opening up a flood gate to a tricky area of the grid. Abbie would like to note that she’s embarrassed that it took her 1.5 hours to remember that ‘Opera‘ is the Latin plural of  ‘opus‘ meaning ‘work’ but she never turns down praise and attention so thanks, Eric!!
  • 109A: Point in the right direction? (EAST) Eric thinks it’s hilarious that Abbie has cardinal direction dyslexia and still has to say “Never Eat…” aloud before knowing that EAST is to the right. Whatevs, y’all; there’s no “East” in outer space.
  • 121A: Senders of some Christmas gifts (AUNTS) In this weeks addition of Abbie Knows the Answer 10 Minutes Into the Puzzle but Eric Disagrees and Won’t Write it in til the Very End – Eric wanted ANON here (like…anonymous?? Who sends ‘anonymous’ Christmas gifts?? Even Santa signs his name or eats all your cookies to let you know he’s been there) but obviously since Abbie’s the Christmas celebrating one here, Eric should have defaulted to her. Fail.

Notice how none of these highlights have to do with actual clever clues? Yeah, this puzzle blew.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • The theme answers: major groanage here. You’ve got LIMP SERVICE to describe a tired waiter, FACET POWDER as dust on the edge of a diamond, BROWN BEATEN as a headline in a Providence sports section, and RABBIT PEARS as ‘fruit for lagomorphs.’ Just yuck all around.
  • 71A: There may be many in a family (GENUSES) Calling you out, Will, for the severe missed opportunity of PENISES here. Especially since it’s crossed with 16D: Hinged Implements (NUTCRACKERS)
  • 120A: Didn’t just spit (SHOWERED) Ew. Will Shortz, that’s gross. Take your “say it, don’t spray it” jokes back to 4th grade where they’ll still be unappreciated.
  • 70D: Morse T (DEH) We had DOT, which made sense. But apparently you need to sound out the noise that morse code machines make when they beep out letters and the one singular note makes a DEH sound. Duh, guys. We got the H later due to the cross so we even knew we were looking for the sound and STILL didn’t guess the right vowel. Blerg.
  • 74D: Stale Italian bread? (LIRA) So…we think there’s a “we call ‘money’ dough” joke here…but like, it’s stale because they don’t use LIRA anymore, they use the euro? Or…um…we got nothing.
  • 85D: Maintaining one’s composure, say (TEARLESS) Oh come on, that’s just awful. Have you EVER described someone as “tearless” in this context? Like, “Yeah she took the news really well, she was totally tearless.” No, that’s horrible. Stupid word, Will.

Side note: we got home from Starbucks after what, we thought, was an epic performance given how hard the puzzle was. And then Sam told us about how the US women came back against Brazil and we watched those highlights and basically our performance maybe wasn’t as epic as we thought. Here’s to a repeat for us and the women this Sunday!

USA! USA! USA!

ericandabbie

My Treat (07-03-2011)

Posted in Most Bitchy on July 3, 2011 by ericandabbie

Happy 4th of July (almost)!  In typical Will-Shortz-Hates-America fashion, today’s puzzle will never reference America’s 235 birthday, though we do get ANAL crossed with LOINS, right next to DAMN, which, um, we just don’t have anything to say about that.  I mean, granted, the puzzle is about ice-cream, and thus obesity, which is just as American as apple pie, which, really, we should probably lay off.  We think that if Michelle Obama wants to curb obesity then she should start the movement towards “as American as Carrots!”

Yup.  The theme was Ice-Cream Sodas, which, do they even exist anymore?  The theme answers were witty comments about things having to do with ice cream sodas like CHOCOLATE and SELTZER WATER.  Other clever answers included FLEXIBLE STRAW and even TALL GLASS.  Good work, Pete Muller!  You’ve included all the ingredients with random hints like TWO SCOOPS.  And if after all those clues we were still confused, thanks for the picture.  So realistic, we gained weight looking at it.  Also, we learned some new things about the physics of ice cream sodas.  Did you know that while glasses are see through in terms of seeing straws and spoons, ice cream just hovers near the top.  You can see a little bit through the glass, but mostly not.  Wow!  You can make the picture by connecting random Ds, Is, Ns, Es, and Rs (which spells DINER, where you might get an ice-cream soda if you lived in 1947).  Note that you don’t connect all the Ds, Is, Ns, Es, or Rs, just the ones that Muller wants you to.  It’s not like he designed a puzzle where the letters made a picture.  Instead, he made a puzzle then drew a shitty picture on top.  Ours is already on the fridge.

It's an Ice-Cream Soda! Get it? Note: If you do, please consider taking antipsychotic medications.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mary.  Despite her best efforts, Mary was somewhat helpful today.  She nailed 68A: French kings’ coronation city (RHEIMS) and 31D: Meas. of screen resolution (DPI), which we were stuck on for quite some time.  She was over an hour late, and her insistence that 92A: ___ Fields was CAS, (it’s MRS) detracted from our ability to think.  But still, thumbs up for Mary’s last crossword.
  • Abbie.  We don’t know for sure, but Abbie may have gotten the whole puzzle if not for Eric’s shitastic performance and general insistence that Abbie was not only wrong, but TOTALLY OFF.  We have counted, and there were honest-to-God 10 of our 14 errors that Abbie was trying to change to the correct letters.  Unfortunately, Eric was holding the pen today, and we ended up with 14 mistakes.
  • 69A: Imprudent (RASH).  Haha.  69.
  • 129A: Versatile utensil (RUNCIBLE SPOON).  No, the answer was SPORK, but loyal readers will know that a runcible spoon is a spork!
  • 100D: Artist whose name is an anagram of ‘artisan’ (SINATRA).  Puzzles turn out to be much easier when they give you the letters in the clue.  Also, who knew!?
  • 41D: Jewish deli order (KNISH).  Question: What order at a deli isn’t Jewish?  Answer: BLT.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • 34A: “_____, danke” (NEIN).  Detracts from the pro-Jewish slant to include Nazi words, don’tcha think?
  • 5A: Start of a nursery rhyme (ABCD).  That is not a nursery rhyme!  Jack Sprat… There was an old woman… Little Miss Muffet… Humpty-Dumpty… Jack be Nimble… really, when you think about it, _ _ C _ should be JACK.  Any parents who are using the alphabet as a fairy tale for their kids at night should not be surprised when their kids are good readers with no morals.
  • 24A: Spanish for “rope” (REATA).  Eric was dissapointed with himself for not knowing this word since Abbie totally rocked her Latin clue.  Then we looked up the definition and determined that REATA is the Spanish word for a lariat, which is a fancy word for “lasso”.  Lassos are made of rope, but it’s like saying that chair is synonymous with wood.  Very, very weak, or should we say, debil.
  • 4D: Container for a 117-Across [which was ICE CREAM SODA] (TALL GLASS).  Really?  A GLASS isn’t good enough?  It has to be tall?  Although, to be fair, you wouldn’t be able to fit a 84D: Utensil for 117-Across (LONG SPOON) in a regular glass.
  • 37D: Possible response to “You’ve got spinach between your teeth” (SHUT UP BITCH!  YOU DON’T KNOW ME!)  We’re not kidding.  That was the answer in the puzzle!  Just kidding.  It was not.  DO I?  Yes, you do, that’s why I said it in the first place.  No, sorry, I think it’s fun to tell people randomly about the spinach in their teeth and watch them pick.
  • 60D: Pots and pans for baking (OVEN WARE).  Note to chefs: If you are putting your pots in the oven, you might want to consider a career change.
  • 42A: ____ honor (IT’S AN).  Blech.  We don’t like pronouns in the puzzles.  It’s just lazy writing: be specific.  ____ honor (BEING HERE WITH YOU, MR. PRESIDENT IS AN), that we’re fine with.
  • 94D: Bit of gymwear (SNEAKER).  This is not a ‘bit’.  It’s 50% of your footwear.  A ‘bit’ is like a piece of rubber on the sole of a shoe.
  • 18D: Bristle (SETA) Well that’s not fair.  We thought SETA was Latin for “morbid internal growth.”  How were we supposed to know it had a double meaning?  Actually, according to William Whitaker, SETA has a heptuple meaning: hair; coarse; stiff; bristle; brush; morbid internal growth; and fishing-leader.  We should find excuses to use ‘heptuple’ more often.
  • 116D: Old U.S.P.S routing codes (RFDS).  This is probably not a mistake, and we’re fine with this clue.  Here’s the problem: when we read the clue to Mary and showed her RF_S, she started shouting “D!  R-F-D-S!”  We excitedly thought she knew the answer and asked her what it meant.  Still yelling, she declared “ROUTE FORWARDING DIRECTION…S”  We doubted her, and it turns out she knew nothing.  “Rural Free Deliveries.”
  • 14D: Obscure things (ESOTERY).  Google asked us if we meant “esoteric”, and we’d like to ask Will Shortz the same thing.
  • 9D: Baby baby? (EMBRYO).  Whoa.  We don’t need this to be a debate on the merits of abortion.  This just got real heavy.  Although, to be fair, obesity and abortion debates pretty much sum up America.  Happy Fourth, y’all!

ericandabbie