Friday, August 26, 2011

Ripley's love / Sat 8-27-11 / What Faroe Islands granted 1948 / Oblong temptation / Camels' resting places

Constructor: Ashton Anderson

Relative difficulty: Easy


Word of the Day: ORLOP (16A: Lowest deck on a ship) —

The orlop is the lowest deck in a ship (except for very old ships). It is the deck or part of a deck where the cables are stowed, usually below the water line. It has been suggested the name originates from "overlooping" of the cables.

It has also been suggested that the name is a corruption o
f "overlap", referring to an overlapping, balcony-like half deck occupying a portion of the ship's lowest deck space. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word descends from Dutch overloop from the verb overlopen, "to run (over); extend".

From Wikipedia (natch)

• • •

I’m Wade, and I’ll be your blogger today. (Fresh ground sarcasm, sir? Zest of buffoonery, madam?)

We’ll tune in to the regularly scheduled puzzle write-up in a moment. But first:

I got a charge yesterday out of Seth’s friend’s Kickstarter video. I don’t know the guy from Adam Rich, but I’m generally eager to sign onto any cause or crusade I only vaguely understand (which is how I wound up babysitting a howler monkey one Easter weekend. Man, those things are loud! And real territorial and belligerent when it comes to hidden eggs), so I want to continue the plug here. Filmmaker Whit Scott has until next Saturday to meet the final $7,871 of his $30,000 goal for the making of Rolled: Thirty-Two Years of Toilet-Papered Houses. If he falls short of the $30,000, he gets none of the money. It’s like Who Wants to be a Millionaire except that that irritating music doesn’t play constantly.

Let’s get him there, crossword people! We’re the phone-a-friend lifeline! Some of y’all

sound pretty rich, what with your talk of artisanal cheeses and private islands on the moon, so fork over! I ponied up yesterday after determining that the kids’ shoes could hold out another couple of months if I just lopped off the end caps with my Old Timer. Yeah, there are plenty of other worthy projects, I know—-Millions of them! It’s staggering!--but you could sit around and die on a big pile of money before you figured out the perfect allocation of all your resources, so why not just give this guy $20 now? Or $50? I sold some blood and gave him a hundred bucks. (Not my blood, of course.)

This is the way

stuff works now, the way stuff gets done. We got what we said we wanted—-we banished the gatekeepers and got internet democracy out the wazoo—-but instead of free ice cream for everybody all the time we get an unlimited supply of YouTube clips that serve up every single precious moment of Pink Lady and Jeff.

You satisfied?

Hell, no, you’re not!

That’s where filmmaker Whit Scott comes in. He’s going to make some new stuff.

About today! Well, about a weirdly well-organized toilet-papering commando unit with institutionalized membership going back 32 years. Suburban anthropology sounds to me like! Will it be any good? Beats the hell out of me. But it will probably be better than Pink Lady and Jeff. (I hope he uses that as a blurb on the DVD case: “Better than Pink Lady and Jeff! Maybe!”—-some guy on internet.) And it’ll be new and about right now or at least about what 32 years ago looks like right now to one guy, which is close enough. Can’t have everything!

I know what some of you are saying: “What’s so wrong with Pink Lady and Jeff?” You aren’t the people I’m talking to. I’m talking to the skeptics with their arms crossed who are grumbling something about hmmph hmmph hmmph why can’t he make it in the marketplace hmmph hmmph hmmph.

This is the marketplace! That’s my point! This is the marketplace! We broke the old one! The one everybody was a part of. It gave us great things (Andy Griffith Show and The Red Headed Stranger) and it gave us not so great things (Pink Lady, but everybody calls it Pink Lady and Jeff for some reason.) Whatever, we didn’t like it so we threw the whole thing out, and now this is what we got: (a) an apparently talented and driven guy over there (say hello to Whit Scott) who has something he wants to make for us but not all the money the various vendors and governmental entities require in order to enable him to make the thing he wants to make for us, and (b) some people over here (that’d be us) with nothing but Pink Lady to watch while we munch on our Grey-Poupon-covered artisanal cheeses in our teak-decked moon houses.

That’s the marketplace. We’re it.

Send Whit Scott some money for his movie.

Send me some money too while you’re at it.

And Rex!


I flew through this one in pretty top Saturday time for me: 19:00 flat, and I was screwing around making some notes now and then, though I doubt that added much to the time. I wound up with one wrong letter through not checking the grid: I had OSS/TASS instead of OAS/TAPS (42A: W.W.II Agency and 34D: It causes lights to go out). Anything under twenty minutes on Saturday rates an easy from me. (“That's what she said!”)

I got footholds throughout the grid on the first pass: PAT (19A: Bit of consolation); NABORS (24A: “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Star); CLAN (44A: Group sharing a coat of arms); ADUE (53A: Not apart, in scores); SSNS (56A: ID figures); RAP STAR (44D: The Notorious B.I.G., e.g., plus various partials like 60D (Like Beethoven's sixth),which experience hath taught me would be IN something (IN F in this case.)

Early missteps included SHY for COY (4D: Far from forward); LENIN for PALIN (6A: Author of “America by Heart” [I'm sort of kidding, but I did think of that with the IN in place]); GOV for DMV (58A: ID issuer); KEEL for HULL (43A: Bottom of the ocean)[What's a keel then?]; the afore-alluded OSS for OAS; and (best trap of the puzzle) EROTIC for XRATED (3D: Beyond suggestive). I feel like I've fallen into that trap before. In other puzzles, I mean.

All of that adds up to a puzzle that turned out easier than I would have liked for a Saturday (but it means I won't be up til 2:00 a.m., unlike most times I've subbed on a Saturday), but I can't really fault anything about the puzzle. I don't think I've seen IT'S GO TIME before (60A: “Let's roll!”), which in the context of the puzzle sounds like somebody's uncle trying to be hip. I don't think I've seen GLAMROCK in a puzzle before (12D: 1970s music genre.)

  • 10A: Times up? (HIGHS). Damn right question mark. Hardest clue for me to parse at the end of the puzzle.
  • 20A: Google rival (BING). Is anybody using Bing? Or anything other than Google? Why do we need more than one search engine? Dogpile still exists, I just found out. Do people still ask Jeeves stuff? These are not rhetorical questions despite my not really caring about the answers.
  • 21A: Scriveners (PENMEN). I don't buy this at all.
  • 40A: Black-and-white (SQUAD CAR). I like this one. Wasn't thinking cop car at all. “Kojak with a Kodak” would have also been good. I heard that one on Smokey and the Bandit the other day. (Whit, make your movie!)
  • 50A: Offensive time? (TET). Damn right question mark! What does that mean?
  • 2D: Oblong temptation (ECLAIR). This puzzle is really trying to be dirty up there in the NW, isn't it?
  • 13D: What the Faroe Islands were granted in 1948 (HOMERULE). I'm guessing that wasn't real controversial. Whoever granted them homerule probably forgot they even ruled them. (“The Faroe Islands? What? Want homerule? What are the Faroe Islands? Oh. Way the hell up there? Sure, tell 'em to knock themselves out. Homerule away.”) I married a Scot and we had our pre-marriage honeymoon in Orkney, where the map is actual size (“one mile = one mile”), and Orkney is way up there. North of that are the Shetlands. North of the Shetlands, and it's a long way north, are the Faroes. North of that and you're going south.
  • 35A: Camels' resting places (ASHTRAYS). This one didn't fool me for a second. That's probably why the puzzle was as easy as it was. It's a down answer giving the first letter in eight across answers.
  • 47D: Ripley's love (ODDITY). I had a wrong letter in there and didn't see ODDITY for awhile so was thinking of Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien.

  • 52D: Fireplace (INGLE) and 55D: Shoulder (BERM) are simply unpalatable words. They sound like the names of Swedish muppets.
If Whit Scott makes his goal and at least some appreciable portion of it came from Rex's readers I will have my son take a video of me singing "Bennie and the Jets" with the uncorrected lyrics I've misheard for the past 35 years. Or not do that. Your choice.

P.S. Hey, it's Rex here, coming to you from the rough streets of Minneapolis (actually, it's one of the most beautiful, livable places I've ever spent a significant amount of time in, and very much on our short list of "Places We Might Move Once the Girl Goes to College"). Two things: One, I love this grid. Freshness abounds, and the addition of ACROBATIC into the whole SEXCAPADE / X-RATED nexus is worthy of special commendation. Two, for those of you who haven't already been bombarded by my announcements on Twitter and Facebook, Huffington Post Books is now featuring a slideshow of some of the more interesting / salacious / ridiculous covers from my vintage paperback blog, "Pop Sensation" (view slideshow here). Enjoy, tell a friend, and I'll see you back here on Monday (barring hurricane-related complications). ~RP

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