Body Enhancement (7-10-11)

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!)


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).


  • 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.


  • 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!



3 Responses to “Body Enhancement (7-10-11)”

  1. Megan L Scarborough Says:

    Slippin’ pink things in, eh? Eh?

  2. Steve Bardwell Says:

    Eric … Abbie … Where are you ?

    The puzzle (End is in Sight) was tricky, but not that tricky.
    We are missing your pithy analysis of WS and Will’s wily ways.

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