Archive for the Most Bitchy Category

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

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

All-Pro (04-10-2011)

Posted in Most Bitchy on April 10, 2011 by ericandabbie
 After discussion, we have decided to post a picture of this week’s puzzle.  The reason it required a discussion will be obvious if we tell you that we did not change pens halfway through.  Rather, anything in black was a fail on our part.  (Check out the SE corner!  Yikes!)  Eric voted to hide a picture and pretend that we are better than we actually are.  Abbie ASSERTED (112A: “Declared”) that we respect you, our loyal readers, too much to lie.  (Except for whichever one of you found us via the search term “effing pigs” earlier today.  We have no respect for your shenanigans.)

 

The theme was Latin (WHAT-WHAT!).  But it was so poorly done as to be almost Punic, or Gallic, take your pick.  The name “All-Pro” refers to the Latin word “pro” meaning “for” (kinda-sorta… William Whitaker gives it nine definitions… Romans were all about efficiency.)  Anyhow, you add the word “for” into somewhat common phrases to get a new one.  (eg. 23A: “Skip Thanksgiving leftovers?” FORGO COLD TURKEY).  Could have been cuter, but it’s not a terrible theme.  What really screwed us was the fill, which required an encyclopedic knowledge base of obscure trivia that our charm and charisma cannot, alas, fake. 

HIGLIGHTS

  • 1D: “’Back to the Future’ family name” (MCFLY).  Good name.  Good franchise.  Christopher Lloyd has not been nearly as exploited as he should have been since then.  Doc Brown!
  • 7D: “Sled dog with a statue in New York’s Central Park” (BALTO).  Good film!  Really underrated Disney film.  Also, Eric’s been there, he has pictures with Balto (his bro was really into it).
  • 10D: “Chart-topper for Ke$ha” (TIK TOK).  Wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy cuz he’s prolly not good at crosswords either.  Or something like that…

 Note that there were three highlights.  Not a good day for ericandabbie.

 WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • 99A: “Fairy” (ELF)  Do you know what a fairy is?  Follow-up question: Do you know what an elf is?  Fairies are like REALLY tiny.  Elves are at least midget-sized.  Fairies cannot make toys, and elves can’t make you fall in love in the forest.  Also, Will Ferrell did not make a movie called “Fairy” because that would be gay.  (PS – Elves don’t make gay jokes.  They are super accepting.  Fairies on the other hand… BITCHES)
  • Shit we didn’t know.
    • 52A: “Abbr. on a cover letter” (ENC)
    • 37A: “Chacon of the 1960s Mets” (ELIO)
    • 114A: “Maurice of Nixon’s cabinet” (STANS)
    • 91D: “’La Môme ____’ (‘The Little Sparrow’) (PIAF)
    • 17D: “Place in a Carlo Levi memoir” (EBOLI)
    • 29A: “Singer Sumac” (YMA)

      Even Google doesn't know what's what!

    • 24D: “Western tribe” (OTOE)
    • 9D: “Abbr. following op. and loc.” (CIT)
    • 4D: “Scottish poet James known as the Ettrick Shepard” (HOGG)
    • 14D: “Old Ottoman governor” (BEY)
    • 75A: “Burial site of early Scottish kings” (IONA)
    • 102A: “Steven who co-wrote ‘Freakonomics’” (LEVITT)
    • 113A: “Dammed river in North Carolina” (PEEDEE)
    • 25A: “Early spring bloomers” (CROCI)
    • 93D: “Sword lilies, for short” (GLADS)
    • 70A: “Italian sportswear name” (ELLESSE)
    • 26A: “Operagoer’s accessory” (LORGNETTE)
    • 64D: “Bravura” (ECLAT)

 C’mon.  If once we see the answer we’re still like “WTF!  Didn’t know that!” then it’s too hard.  ericandabbie are a combined pretty smart cookie.  What the fuck are croci?  Who calls ‘gladiolas’ GLADS?  Where is Eboli?  Is it related to Ebola?  Has this hurt tourism?  Why is Carlo Levi going to a place called Eboli?   Does he have a death wish?  Does Maurice Stans feel terrible that Kissinger is the only Nixon cabinet member we care about?  Or that “Kazakh and Kyrgyz” would be a better clue for his name?  Does Yma Sumac even pronounce his first name?  Or does he just cough and say ‘hi’?  Do the Otoens know that they suck and should have joined forces with the Hopi a long time ago? 

PS – Dear North Carolina.  Classy name!  We are glad to have learned about your river.  We bet that sign gets vandalized a lot.  But thank you for your commitment to pee-pee and Crocodile Dun-dee at the same time.

  • 89D: “Like a hair shirt” (COARSE).  Granted, if there were a shirt made of hair, we imagine it would be coarse.  That said… who has a shirt made of hair?  Why are they
    This is a hair shirt. Looks coarse, huh!?

    not helping cancer patients instead of wearing that shirt?

  • 72D: “’_____ dignus’ (Latin motto)” (ESTO).  Isn’t anything in a Latin a motto for something at this point?  That’s not that helpful.  To be fair, had it been clue more specifically as “Motto of the Columbian squires”, we still would have been clueless.  For those of you wondering, the Columbian squires are the youth division of the Knights of Columbus.  Which is clever, though, again, the clue sucks.
  • 57D: “Baloney and then some” (UTTER ROT).  Oscar Meyer is pissed, and so are we!  His bologna has a first name, and it is not “Utter”. 
  • 42D: “Balloonhead” (ASS).  An example of how bad the puzzle was.  We got this one, but who the hell uses the term “balloonhead”.  There are soooooooo many better synonyms for ASS (many of which we use frequently).  What a waste?  (Like golf.)
  • 43A: “Hopelessly lost” (ALL AT SEA).  Like every cruise ship.  “Oh my God.  Guys!  We’re all at sea.  Like, every single one of us.  We are ALL AT SEA.  This is a disaster.”  Seriously, what the hell?

Sorry, y’all.  Bad week.  We’ll try to do better next time,
ericandabbie

PS – Tomorrow is John’s birthday!  Yay!  Eric will be taking him out for a night at a Norteñas club.  ¡Olé!

Get Ready to Roll (03-27-2011)

Posted in Most Bitchy on March 27, 2011 by ericandabbie

We rarely speak highly of puzzles, so when we began a post not too long ago with “THE BEST BESTEST OMG FRICKIN’ BEST PUZZLE EVER!” we were serious.  Indeed, we were so serious we didn’t even make fun of the puzzle maker, Kevin Der’s, silly last name.  Kevin, buddy, we thought we were pals; we thought you had our back on puzzles.  Where did we go wrong?  Why did you stop returning our calls?  I mean, we had a great time with you, and you seemed to feel the same way… And then, out of nowhere, THE WORST WORSTEST OMG FRICKIN’ WORST PUZZLE EVER!  Kevin, take us back!  Out of respect for the romance that we had, we will continue to not make fun of your last name, but we will rip you a new one over this puzzle.

So here’s the deal folks, it’s a bowling puzzle.  Four pin bowling it appears.  Also there are gutters, and a ball.  And the ball is apparently moving in quantum space wherein it appears four times in the puzzle in different locations.  Meanwhile, there are three clues in the puzzle that relate to bowling if you read Rex and he tells you that they in fact relate to bowling.  To the untrained eye 49D: “5-4 ruling, eg.” (SPLIT DECISION) looks like a clue about the Supreme Court.  To the psychic puzzler, it is obviously a reference to the 7-10 split in bowling, which, for the record, this puzzle doesn’t have because, again, there are four pins.  We also have 101D: “Suited to a person’s strength” (UP ONES ALLEY) and 9D: “A bit of free time” (SPARE MOMENT), which, again, have nothing to do with bowling, but presumably relate to bowling.  To be fair, the gutters were cool, and we got all four pins though we were missing two balls, because, again, we’re used to bowling with one at a time.

Also, WTF with the mini baseball theme on the right hand side where you have 81D: “Nine” (BASEBALL TEAM) and 69D: “Child-sized mitt” (T-BALL GLOVE) and 111D: “Said no fair!” (CRIED FOUL).  That threw us for a loop.  Also the overall suckiness, that didn’t help either.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 148A: “Cheat” (SHYSTER).  Abbie enjoys that it’s a fun word.  Eric insists it is misspelled.  Going to Wikipedia.  BRB.  We have confirmed the spelling in the puzzle, but we have also learned that it is an anti-Semitic word.  Fuck you, Kevin Der.
  • 117A: “Kind of gun” (NERF).  In this day and age, in which there is so much violence in the world, do we really have to bring guns into the Times puzzle?  Oh, wait!?  It’s Nerf!  Right on, bro‼
  • 80A: “Shot source” (BB GUN).  Ooooh.  Sad.
  • 64A: “Pooh’s pal” (TIGGER).  We had PIGLET, which was fun.  And then we changed it to T-Double Guh-Er, which was super beer and skittles.
  • 47A / 142D: Both reference the Dutch.  Hi Mom!

WILL SHORTZ’S KEVIN DER’S MISTAKES

  • 26A: “Off-white pottery” (CREAMWARE).  I mean, you got your plastic and your silver and your tupper.  Creamware?  Really?  Pottery is not “ware”.  You made that word up, Mr. Der.
  • 69D: “Child-sized mitt” (T-BALL GLOVE).  You mean SMALL BASEBALL GLOVE?
  • 19A: “Century in Amer. politics” (US SENATE) You have got to be kidding!  A century is one hundred years.  That’s it.  We Googled it.  It does not mean the number one hundred, that’s why we have the number one-hundred.  “American political entity with one hundred people”… we got your US SENATE right here.  “100 years of American politics”… we’ll go with the 20th, ‘cause it was good.  No Civil Wars and no 9-11.  So, overall, good century.  I mean, Pearl Harbor, but, you know, that was Hawaii which wasn’t a state until 1959 (a) and (b) we won that war, so… pretty good century.

    You want this guy giving you financial advice? Apparently yes!

Abbie: So, John, would you like to come do your guest bitch?
John: Sure.
Abbie: I forgot what it’s about.
John: Yeah.  Everybody forgets about me.
Eric: **hug**

  • 100D: “How some shares are sold” (AT PAR).  As our resident investment banker, to what kind of shares are you referring Kevin?  Shares of stock?  If so, you’re wrong.  Shares are legally issued by companies “at par,” an amount usually between $.01 and $1.00; however this is purely a legal/accounting definition.  Shares are actually sold way above par on an open exchange.  I would have accepted “at market value,” “OTC,” or any other reasonable response.  Please don’t confuse the masses Kevin; this is how credit crises occur.  Basically you are directly responsible for the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression.  Thanks jerk.
  • Technically this one isn’t Kevin Der’s mistake, but since his mistake led to that incredibly boring rant from John, it’s being included.  Folks, we’re sorry about that last bullet point, John’s a bitchy bitcher.  But, hey, we all learned something.  THE MORE YOU KNOW… DING‼
  • 1A: “Ornate” (BUSY).  Do you know what ornate means?  Apparently not.
  • 97A: “Howard’s End role” (EVIU).  Not actually a mistake as far as we know, but who the hell is Eviu?  Whoever named that character made a mistake.  Is he Elihu Root’s brother (see a post where we mentioned him… we don’t remember which one and we’re not going to look it up for you, you lazy shit).  We’re so upset, we’re not even going to Wikipedia for verification.  Eviu, we don’t care about you.  But we do want to remember your name for future puzzles.  (Also Tami Hoag’s name.  That comes up a lot.)
  • 105A: “Waited longer than” (OUT SAT).  Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.  That’s Survivor, and that’s great.  There’s a reason why the execs at CBS did not go with OUT SAT.  It’s stupid.  Also, ericandabbie are capable of waiting upright.  Why must you be sitting while you wait?  Perhaps there is an old lady who would like your seat, and that’s just rude.  Kevin Der, you bitch.  (We’re sorry.  Please take us back.)

17A: “Niña accompanier”
Abbie: I bet it’s the PINTA.
Eric: That’s the Nina stupid.  It doesn’t have the “y” sound.
Abbie: ….so?

(90 minutes later)

Eric: It’s the PINTA.
Abbie: I WIN!  I WIN!  I WIN!
John: Pound it.

ericandabbie

PS – It was the PINTA.  Apparently we’ve been saying “Niña” wrong for 500 years.  We should fix that, don’t you think?