T Mobile (06-26-2011)

Posted in Bitchy on June 26, 2011 by ericandabbie

T-Mobile blows, so you know it’s not going to be a good puzzle.  David Levinson Wilk, you are on notice.  The theme was pedestrian.  Take a phrase with a ‘t’ somewhere in it and move the ‘t’ one space left or right.  Now you have a new phrase that kind of makes sense.  Take, for example, 40A: Celebration after a 1964 heavyweight championship? (FETE OF CLAY).  So, take the incredibly common phrase “feet of clay”, move the ‘t’ one space to the left, and you have the celebration for Cassius Clay, or rather of Cassius Clay (good work with the preposition there, NYT).  So, yeah, basically, that.  We got five wrong, but two we just forgot to update after we caught our mistake.  So, three wrong.  Abbie only got two wrong, but she was outvoted by Mary who felt so confident that she promised us that we could choke her if she was wrong.  She was and then had a suddenly urgent appointment to get to.  Odd coincidence, no?


  • 20A: Cry from a balcony (O ROMEO).  Eric had LOOK OUT BELOW, HOW’S THE WEATHER DOWN THERE, and LOOK AT ME, none which were right.  Props to Abbie, as per yoush.
  • 25A: Penn State campus site (ALTOONA).  Hey Mr. Ryan!  Go Lions!
  • 68A: Shriners’ headwear: Var. (FEZES).  Fez is a great word, not used nearly enough.  And, more importantly, fezes are not worn nearly enough (which perhaps explains the uncommon usage).  Also note how we spelled the word.  The plural of “fez” should probably be “fezes”.  Why is this a variation?  Is there another spelling? (Fezzes?)  (Note: yes.)
  • 59A: Scarlett O’Hara’s real first name (KATIE).  Mary assured us that it began with an ‘s’ and her middle name is Carly, thus leading to S.Carly, thus Scarlett.  We’re not sure why we hang out with Mary.  (For those who are interested Scarlett was her middle name (good try Mary).  Her full name is Katie Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.  In retrospect, a better book would have had her marrying Misters Caldwell, Anthony, Harding, Thomas, Orwell, and Adams, making her Katie SOHCAHTOA.  Good effort, Margaret Mitchell, good effort.)
  • 110A: Team that once played at Enron Field (ASTROS).  Technically, every team in the National League once played there, the ‘Stros just a few more times than most.  Go Houston!
  • 102A: Love before war? (PRE-MARTIAL SEX).  Theme clue that didn’t suck.  We spent a while with PRE-MARTIAL LAW before Abbie pointed out that that didn’t make any sense in any way.  Hee-hee.
  • 107A: Shocking, in a way (TASING).  Abbie once saw a guy volunteer to get tased for two Tecates.  He was tased, he got the beers, it’s a win-win.  ericandabbie would not have agreed to this exchange.  Tasing for Andre’s.  Bring.  It.  On.
  • 3D: One hit by a tuba (LOW NOTE).
  • 18D: Thief, in Yiddish (GANEF).  Doctor Ganef, if you’re out there, not every malady requires four MRIs and a PET scan.
  • 88D: Southwest Africa’s ____ Desert (NAMIB).  We got this, and then Abbie pointed out that this might have something to do with Namibia being in Southwest Africa.  We don’t care enough to check it out, but it probably does.  We will be accepting this as fact from now on.


  • 31A: “Hang on ___” (A MO).  This is what you yell when you die before you can tell someone to hang on a moment.  We guess.  Also, AMO lends intself to a pretty classic clue.  “____, amas, amat” anyone?
  • 48A: Not so big (RUNTIER).  First, that’s not a word.  Secondly, it should be “not as big” since we’re using the imaginary comparitive of the imaginary adjective runty (runt with an arbitrary ‘y’ at the end).  When clueing fake words, grammar is key.
  • 24D: When doubled, a number puzzle (KEN).  Yes, we know you also make Ken-Ken, Will Shortz.  Stop whoring yourself out.  “____ Shortz, best editor in the world.”  That sucks.
  • 1980s music references.  1A: KDLANG, 79A: LET’S DANCE, 95A: ELO.  As far as we’re concerned, one is pushing it.
  • 1940s movie references.  54A: LOY, 59A: KATIE.  Seriously?  The people who enjoyed those films are dead.  Or senile.  Or Abbie, whose dream man is Jimmy Stewart, so…
  • 42A: Filmmaker Allen (IRWIN).  Irwin Allen?  Apparently he was kind of the shit in the ’60s and ’70s.  That punk-ass bitch Woody came in and stole the title of Filmmaker Allen.  Sorry Irwin.  Also, sorry that your name is Irwin.  Unfortunate.

That’s it.  Sorry we sucked.  Especially to John.  This was John’s last puzzle before he moves to Chicago this week.  He will be popping-in for some Skyped cameos, but we will miss his levity and ignorance.

Fuck you John,

Say What?! (06-19-2011)

Posted in Bitchy on June 20, 2011 by ericandabbie

Dammit.  Two wrong.

36A: Skunk, e.g.  We guessed DUD because, I mean, why not? Like, maybe you skunked something which means you fucked up and now everyone thinks you’re a huge DUD? Apparently the answer is FUR. Skunks have fur. And we suppose some people wear that fur right before having red paint thrown on it by PETA. Screw you, PETA. We’re blaming y’all for that mistake.  (Fun Fact: The new “blood splattering” is getting “glittered” by gay-rights activists.  We think this is fabulous.  Plus, how angry can you be when someone throws glitter at you?)

Otherwise, a pretty quick and dirty puzzle. Stupid theme – certainly not worth the exciting slang term + QUESTION MARK EXCLAMATION MARK that the title thew at us.  It’s basically expressions.  Like 104A: “Just keep doing what you’re doing, suitcases” (CARRY ON BAGS), but then you also get shit like 44A: “You’re in danger, tall hill” (LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN).  Not only is that not a term we’re familiar with, but suitcases is a viable alternative to ‘bags’.  Tall hill?  Really?  Patrick Berry, you are on notice.  We don’t hate you as much as Paula, but you’re certainly no Xan [Norwegian guttural noise].


  • 39A: Big-screen canine (ASTA).  Holla!!  Our favorite movie dog because he makes it rain, y’all.
  • 6A: Bates’s “Misery” costar (CAAN).  Abbie and her brother watched this movie when they were about eleven, and Will had to sleep under her bed for three nights because he was so scared of Kathy Bates.  True story.
  • 21A: Something well-preserved? (WATER).  Get it, guys?  Well?  Like in a water well?  Eric was thinking of Mimi’s cherry preserves, so this was kind of a let down for him.
  • 27A: What you might get by moving a head? (PEZ).  Yay!!  Pez!!  Cuz one, pez is delicious, and two, what a clever clue!?  PEZ: Bringing the nation toward a diabetic coma one little piece at a time
  • 107D: Life saver? (NOAH).  Clever pun.  Also, Eric knows a random line in Hebrew that is about Noah, so he feels pretty good about himself right now.  (Noah ish tamim hayah, b’dorotav).  Abbie is unimpressed because her people do it in Latin.  (That’s what ella said.)
  • 90A: Sistine Chapel ceiling figure (EVE).  Three-letters.  Not God.  This took us like an hour.  In our defense, Adam has four letters.  So, that’s pretty complicated.
  • 34D: “Rugrats” father (STU) Yay!  Rugrats!  Also, Happy Father’s Day.  We’re a little miffed that there wasn’t more Father’s Day cluing, but at least there also wasn’t any anal sex cluing (see Mother’s Day post).  We’ll call it a draw.
  • 99D: Wayne’s pal in “Wayne’s World” (GARTH)  Abbie was a little too excited about this clue.
  • 85A: “Goodbye, place I used to live” (FAREWELL ADDRESS).  Goodbye equals farewell.  We’re with you so far.  The “place I used to live” is your “address.”  Really?  What about the place you currently live?  In a puzzle of lame-ass theme clues, this one took the shit-cake.
  • 103A: Speak for everyone in the room (ORATE).  The preposition is not correct.  Abbie has memorized all forty-nine prepositions via a handy song, and after a quick rundown… ‘to’ is better.  Good try!  (Preposition, preposition, starting with an ‘a’…)
  • 97D: Runcible spoon feature (PRONG).  Oh.  My.  God!  We have always wondered whether “spork” had a technical name.  The answer is… no.  It’s called a fucking spork.   Runcible spoon, my ass.  Get in the cafeteria line with the rest of us, Will Shortz.
No pictures because Abbie has a date!  (Not really.  Sorry Dianne.  I know you got your hopes up there.  If it makes you feel any better, Eric doesn’t either.  But he’s totally going to go hang with Abbie’s dad, who, it turns out, is a baller!  Thanks for letting me crash!)

PULLET (06-12-2011)

Posted in Least Bitchy on June 12, 2011 by ericandabbie

Ladies and Gentleman –

Scratch that.  You’re reading THIS blog.  In that case…

Slackers and Loafers –

In my life, I have made mistakes.  I have let love slip away, and I have cowardly stood down when I knew I should stand up.  When they came for the Catholics, I didn’t speak up because I’m getting a little sick of Abbie and Dylan and, to be perfectly honest, Benedict.  But, I have never before stood with my head bowed in such disgrace as I do now, for failing to post a blog this past week.  Abbie had family in town and a business trip and she entrusted me (if you still don’t know, this is Eric) with the blog.  I wish I knew what General Rommel said to Hitler after D-Day.  I would use those words now to apologize for the shame I have brought on myself, my family, and my people (Jews and Gays… a double whammy) by not posting last week.  I know not how I will make it up to you, but I hope that you will be satisfied with this small entry:

Last week, we didn’t do good.  Mary was here, which was fun.  Maddy and Will were not helpful, and we were recovering from our BEER AND SKITTLES high the week before (did I say high?  I meant tummy-acheL).  The puzzle was written by a Jew‼  That is all.

Moving right along..

WE DID IT‼  We sat in the same seats we sat in two weeks ago, lightning struck twice in the same place (and it’s totally to blame for the fact that we broke two porcelain Starbucks mugs in our excitement today… our b), and we have a second framed puzzle for the mantle (to go with the Purple Glaze ceramic dragon, obviously).

The theme was (Abbie votes “ehh” and Eric votes “yucky-poo”) not great.  It’s things you pull: in an expression like ONE’S LEG, literally like a GUN TRIGGER, or via a mesmerizing machine like SALT WATER TAFFY.  No trick, no pun, we got half the clues and were still like “Dammit!  What are we missing?”  Turns out, nothing.  We are not celebrating with BEER AND SKITTLES today because when you win once in a while, it’s fun.  But when you win all the time, it just causes indigestion.  From now on, we are using the phrase “BLOG AND NAP” to describe the joy of winning.  GET PUMPED!


  • 9A: Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Tale of ____ Saltan” (TSAR)  Eric likes this spelling better.
  • 28A: Stickers? (SYRINGES).  It’s just clever, cuz they, you know, stick you.  Also, the Titty Towers.
  • 30A: ___ Day, May 1 celebration in Hawaii (LEI).  Pronounced “Lay Day”, and you presumably understand now why it’s a highlightJ
  • 49A: Something that’s drawn (BATH)  It’s clever cuz it’s true.  Although, really, who takes baths these days?  Why are they wasting so much water?  Do they want the world to end?  How much you wanna bet Will Shortz takes baths… gah!
  • 99A: Loughlin of “Full House” (LORI).  Eric was excited about “Full House” in sort of a general way.  Abbie was specifically
    excited that she got to run through the whole damn family-tree of the Tanner household (+ Kimmy and Steve).  FUN FACT: Steve was the voice of Aladdin in, um, Beauty and the Beast, we think.  No.  A different Disney film.  “Like seriously, Steve is like my dream man.  It’d be like Steve, Aladdin, and Jimmy Stewart.” –Abbie  (Note that two of them are not real and the other one is dead.  Dianne, definitely pin your grandchild hopes on the other two.)  (See below for what Abbie’s dream fantasy land might look like.)
  • 40D: Trolley sound (CLANG)  Technically, the trolley goes “clang clang clang”, but we accept.  It most certainly does not go “ding ding ding”, which would be the bell.
  • 66D: Ain’t fixed? (IS NOT)  “Well, he ain’t… I mean, he IS NOT”  Oh, Will Shortz!  You silly grammar Nazi, you!
  • 110D: Old NASA landers (LEMS) Whoot, whoot!


  • 14D: Old Church of England foe (_ _ _ IST).  Obviously the answer is CHRIST.  Henry VIII wanted to divorce and behead his wives. Jesus didn’t, so Henry declared war on Christ.  As far as we know, the jury is still out on who won.  PS – The answer was actually PAPIST.
  • 46A: Rest spot (COT).  You get no rest on cots.  That shit is uuuuuuuuuncomfortable.  You’re totes better off on the floor.
  • 47A: Place for a pickup? (NAPE).  At first, ericandabbie were trying to turn each other on by tickling the back of the other’s neck (which was met by some curiously excited stares at our gay Starbucks).  Abbie has since figured out that the clue must refer to how mama dogs carry their babies by the NAPE.  I mean, we guess that’s what it is.  Stupid though.
  • 107D: S.C. Johnson brand (RAID).  What isn’t an SC Johnson brand?  Basically the clue was “four-letter word (not THE four letter word, just A four letter word… or maybe THE, not sure if SC Johnson has managed to trademark that yet…)”
  • Roy.  We believe that Will Shortz used his demonic powers (where is Buffy when you need her!?) to direct Roy to the table next

    We didn't manage to snap a pic of Roy but we're pretty sure this is what he looks like. Do you know this man?

    to us.  He generously asked an old man reading a newspaper whether he could share the table to work (which was weird since there were empty tables), then he began peppering this poor guy with questions and talking about a play that he wrote or directed, or, whatever.  Then  he reaches over to the next table and starts talking to that guy about the books he’s reading.  He stopped a woman to ask if she bedazzled her own jeans or bought them that way.  And then, horror of horrors, when we were discussing 104A: Killjoy (SOURPUSS) he leaned over and asked us, “What’s sourpuss?”  Eric stared at the puzzle and pretended to concentrate.  Abbie, not being a huge bitch, said “It’s an answer.”  And he snootily replied, “Well, I know that!”  And we’re not so sure that he did know that!  Anyway, after two more minutes of trying to get rid of him, he found someone else to bother.  She maced him.  Not really, but we think that would have been a fitting end.  We’re going to go ahead and blame Roy for our wrecking two ceramic mugs, too.

Guess it’s time for a nap,


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!


  • 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?