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

Included Herewit (05-15-2011)

Posted in Least Bitchy on May 15, 2011 by ericandabbie
This week’s blog is brought to you by 42A: Hit show with New Directions singers (GLEE).  Question: Has anyone jumped off a building in an attempt to defy gravity?  Was Wicked and/or Glee sued for this attempt?  We don’t know, but we bet the answer is yes.  People these days are, well, stupid.  In other news, BenJed was in town this weekend and he brought his expertise to the puzzle, which resulted in us STILL NOT GETTING BEER AND SKITTLES.  DAMMIT BENJED!  It’s okay though.  We believe that BenJed did everything he possibly could, but, what with John being there too, there’s only so much you can do.  Two wrong today.  In conclusion: BenJed is great.  John sucks.

 

Speaking of sucking, Cathy Allis wrote a pretty good puzzle and ruined it with a TERRIBLE theme.  Today’s theme was to drop the “th” sound and convert it to a “t” sound like Cousin Vinny (remember that movie!?  Neither do we) thereby creating a terrible pun as in 24A: Salt Lake City athlete’s dear hawk mascot? (SWEET BIRD OF UTE) which is a pun on Sweet Bird of Youth, a play by Tennessee Williams that you’ve never heard of.  (Fun Fact: Tennessee Williams choked to death on the cap of a bottle of eye drops he used.  Sorry.  Did we say ‘fun?’)  So, let the festivities begin…

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 74A: Baseball : Oriole ∷ Football : _____ (RAVEN).  Did you know that the Baltimore Ravens were named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem?  No, not Lenore.  It’s named after The Raven.  It’s true.  They’re the only pro sports organization named after a poem.  In keeping with their roots, they only play intellectual juggernauts like Ray Lewis (please don’t kill us).
  • 120A: Org. in a big race of years past (NASA).  Fuck Russia.
  • 1A: Jewish grandma (BUBBE).  A puzzle with both NASA and Jews in it!  Cathy Allis is a rockstar!
  • 98A: What we may be? (ROYAL).  As in the “royal we!”  Very clever clue!  (Note to Dianne: Your daughter does not know what the “royal we” is.  We have obviously failed her.)
  • 94A: Wordy (PROLIX).  Not a highlight for obvious reasons (we got this one wrong).  It’s a highlight because according to dictionary.com, prolix derives from pro-liqui, which means “for liquor”, and, by extension, “given to speaking or writing at great or tedious length.”  Now that’s a word.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • 52A: Train part where sorting was once done (MAIL CAR).  Too soon.  Ultimately this clue had nothing to do with the Holocaust, but for a second there we were like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
     
  • 119A: Many a Bush military advisor (NEOCON).  Based on _ E _ _ _ _ we put in YESMAN.  Even though it turned out not to be the right answer, we have now associated the New York Times with calling all of Bush’s Cabinet “yesmen” on the Internet.  Dear Glenn Beck: you’re welcome.
  • 38D: Interjection of disinterest (MEH).  Really?  Meh?  That’s the word you came up?
  • 84A: Former SoCal N.F.L. team (L.A. RAMS).  Only a mistake because we looked back at it halfway through the puzzle and went: Shit!  Something is wrong in the middle!  What the hell is a laram?

    Are we crazy? Or is that not a crater?

  • 40D: Home of Punchbowl Crater (OAHU).  Apparently Hawaiians are easily confused between craters and not craters. 
     

     

     

The moral of the story is that Beer and Skittles is still on hold.  But we can almost taste it.  We’re going to dump a bag of skittles in a pitcher of beer and then drink / chew on it.  It doesn’t sound delicious, but apparently it’s fun.
ericandabbie

Working in Opposition (05-08-2011)

Posted in Bitchy on May 8, 2011 by ericandabbie

Our Fellow Americans:

Tonight, we can announce to the American people, and to the world, that ericandabbie have attempted the NY Times crossword puzzle, and, finally… no wait, again… failed to reach Beer and skittles.  In retrospect, we don’t know why we called this press conference.  Just seemed like the thing to do this week.  Puzzle below…

 

Kinda crappy puzzle.  Not as bad as Paula, but Daniel A. Finan… don’t quit your day job.  The theme was lame.  Remember when you were four and you loved naming opposites?  No?  Just Eric?  Well.  It’s not fun now anyways.  The theme answers include 23A: Capris? (LONG SHORTS), 38A: Pre-2004 purchase from GM? (NEW OLDS), and 121A: Best-looking rear ends? (TOP BOTTOMS).  Note: We puzzle at a gay Starbucks.  Eric, quote, we should make a gay joke.  Abbie: I mean, there are probably a lot of ‘top bottoms’ in here.  Eric: 66D: How some practical jokes go (TOO FAR).

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 107A: Rick who sang “Never Gonna Give You Up” (ASTLEY).  NY Times apparently just caught up to the fad of rick rolling.  That was so 2008. (http://youtu.be/zIcx_rxTstc)

    Why does this picture exist? It's so good!

  • 79A: Famous answer giver (TREBEK).  Trebek is great.  Except that Lars said he was a creeper.  True story.  He asked if she went to football games topless.  Which, if you know the context, still only sorta makes sense.
  • 44A: “Spaceballs” and the like (SPOOFS).  Why isn’t it spooves?  Leaves… knives… lives… calves… (Abbie wants ‘strives’ on the list as the plural of ‘strife.’  For the record, it is not.)  Abbie was just trying to help because she just wants to talk about “Spaceballs.”  It’s a good, real good movie, y’all.

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKES

  • It wasn’t fun.  Nothing clever.  We had to make our own fun this week.  See, for example, 121A.  Abbie: Seriously.  There are [counting] two girls in this Starbucks right now.
  • 20D: Doo-wop syllable (SHA).  Doo = acceptable.  Wop = acceptable.  Other = not doo-wop, therefore not a doo-wop syllable.  This is so fucking simple, Will Shortz.
  • Nothing about moms.  Will Shortz apparently has some issues to work out with his Mama.  We had a theme puzzle for a lunar eclipse, but we can’t get one for moms.  My goodness.  $20 we get one for Father’s Day.  Pig.
  • 32A: Southern city known as the Horse Capitol of the World (OCALA).  Horse Capitol of the World?  More like Glue Capitol of the World!  Am I right!?

    Remember this guy? Abbie doesn't.

  • 91A: B and O, for presidents #43 and #44? (LAST INITIALS).  In this week’s edition of Abbie knows it right-off the bat but Eric doesn’t believe her for a couple hours (AKIROTBBEDBHFACH for short), that happened.  Also, Abbie wasn’t going to mention it, but she was confused because ‘B’ is not the initial of Clinton.  Abbie: I blocked Bush out… okay!?
  • 33D: Part of L.A. (LOS)  The only positive about this is that, unlike “Chess opener?” and “Garage opener?” (CEE and HARD G, respectively), we got this one.  No push-ups for us!  Still.  Will Shortz.  Drop and give us 20!  (PS – Paula… 40!)
  • 88D: Windblown soil (LOESS)  Who knew that had a name?  The Greeks had 64 words for love.  We’ve got one for windblown soil.  Suck on that Socrates  (PS – The Romans had a word for “Have anal sex with me and, oh by the way, you will be the one taking it up the butt.”  Those Romans were efficient.  Also, only one word for love.  But, I mean, we think this one pretty much means love anyway.  In conclusion, two words for love in Latin.)

To all the moms reading this (presumably just Claire and Dianne), thanks for sticking with us after what was, admittedly, a pretty anal sex heavy post.  We’re pretty pumped about the Google hits we’re going to pick up this week.  A crossword loving demographic that we have so far missed… anywho.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! 

Never gonna give you up,
ericandabbie

PS – Never gonna let you down

Look on the Bright Side! (05-01-2011)

Posted in Least Bitchy on May 1, 2011 by ericandabbie

One wrong.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  To eric’s credit, he got it right.  But, to abbie’s credit, eric wasn’t sure.  Also, we had a guest performer who rocked it out until she voted with abbie and ruined the whole fucking puzzle.  Thanks, Karen! 

 

Great puzzle!  Really, really super.  Xan Vongsathorn really used his Asian-Scandinavian (Scandiasian) might to put this juggernaut together.  Cute theme—wasn’t totally obvious, but abbie really rocked figuring out the theme.  Lots of good clues: clever puns, well-placed question marks, non-obscure trivia (fuck you, Paula), and general merriment had by all.  We completed the puzzle in record time (we didn’t even eat our Fruit and Cheese plate… which has never happened before).  Karen’s presence is ultimately a net zero for her brilliant showing on the puzzle and total destruction of our Beer & Skittles party.  We can feel it though.  We’re having a Mother’s Day Beer & Skittles party.  Dianne and Claire, you’re invited.

 HIGHLIGHTS

  • 17A: One who may be removed (COUSIN).  Does anyone know how that system works?  Eric’s mom’s mom’s dad has a youger sister whose daughter has a son.  How is Eric related to said son?
  • 22A: Most awful thing you could imagine (WORST NIGHTMARE COME TRUE).  For a while there, we were just guessing worst nightmares.  Eric was afraid of being up a tree.  Abbie was more worried about suffocating in a tub of shrimp.  Your turn audience!
  • 25A: One with a deadly tongue (ANTEATER)  Karen got this one.  Really, she just guessed.  Anteaters use their tongues to kill ants.  Abbie uses her foot.  She’s just one small step away from being a basilisk.
  • 72A: Pluto, to Saturn (SON)  Abbie was focused on planets cuz she’s a nerd, and thus missed a Roman mythology clue… her other forte!  Great misdirection, Xan!  (That was the Asian side.  Crafty Asians!)
  • 78A: Doctor whose patients never pay the bills (VET)  Cuz animals don’t have money!  So silly!
  • 96A: Burger King vis-à-vis McDonalds, fittingly (ARCH RIVAL) Ha!
  • 14D: Almost every puppy has one (LITTER MATE).  Karen was pushing for a tail.  Seriously, she spent like two solid minutes trying to name puppies that are born without tails.  It was very sad.  Karen, quote, I’m gonna find them!  Then you’ll be sorry!
  • 30D: #2 or #3, say (LOSER) In this week’s edition of Eric doesn’t believe Abbie until ¾ of the way through the puzzle when half the crosses are there, Abbie suggested this literally two minutes into the puzzle.  It was probably the third-to-last clue we actually filled in.  Fuck you, John.  I mean, Eric, but still, hey John!  Miss you!
  • 41D: Kiss, in 34D (SNOG).  We should probably specify that 34D was LONDON.  We knew this from Hogwarts (Eric), Bridget Jones’s Diary (Abbie), and lots and lots of royal wedding coverage (Karen / 2 billion people).
  • 43D: Mohawked muscleman (MR. T)  Those are three great letters!  How is he not in every puzzle!?  Thinking of three great letters, where has Brian Eno been?  Is he alive still?  God we hope so.
  • 113D: Nickelodeon dog (REN)  Given our collective 90s upbringing, we should have gotten this sooner.  But, in our defense, did you know that he was a dog?  We’re not sure that he has a tail, which, I guess, proves Karen’s point.  What was Stimpy then?  And, what kind of a name is Stimpy

WILL SHORTZ’S MISTAKE

  • 26A: Rapscallion (IMP)  Waste of a great word.
  • 32A: Declaration upon checking oneself into rehab (I NEED HELP).  We think this is Xan’s secret cry for help.  Scandinavians are proud folk.  They won’t come out directly and say it.  But if anyone reading this is close to Xan, please check-in on him today.  It crosses really close to WORST NIGHTMARE COME TRUE.  I mean, this screams of desperation.
  • 3D: Surprise birthday parties often involve them (RUSES) Is it technically a ruse if you flat out lie to your friend.  (“Yeah, no, you definitely, uh, need to go get a haircut at 5:00.”)  Clarification: For those of you wondering the difference, Abbie has distinguished them as follows.  Ruse: a lie in which the person being lied to receives cake at the end. 
  • 4D: Wirehair of the silver screen (ASTA).  While doing some research, this quickly became a highlight (thanks Wikipedia!).  We are now proud to inform you that Skippy the Wire-Hair Fox Terrier (aka. Asta the Pooch) appeared in a 1934 classic, The Thin Man.  Turns out, he was credited with eight roles.  Wikipedia however has done some serious sleuthing and we are now excited to reveal that those bastards in Hollywood have shorted Asta the Pooch of three other Oscar-calibur title-roles.  AND, Skippy is uncredited in his one soundtrack, which is called (we are making none of this up) “Irish Washerwoman.”  Further, Skippy earned $250 a week by placing his paw on a contract.  His trainer–an actual human!–got only $60.  (Remember, all of this is true!  We checked Wikipedia!)  That funny business about the vet earlier… SKIPPY COULD PAY‼  Thank you Xan for introducing us to one of Hollywood’s most overlooked and undercredited stars of the Golden Age of Cinema.  The end (of this bullet point).
  • 74D: Big Apple media inits. (NYT)  We already bought your fucking paper.  You don’t need to pimp yourself, too.
  • 101D: Specks of dust (MOTES)  The one we got wrong.  Correction, the one that ericandabbie disagreed on and Karen fucked us over with.  To be fair, what is a “mote”?

We have nothing significant to add.  Good puzzle.  Go Skippy!  Next week: B&S.
ericandabbie