Title: Nosy Nonsense
For each of the theme answers, two letters with the “z” sound are tacked onto the first word of a familiar phrase resulting in a silly phrase apropos of the clue.
26A. One unsatisfied with a “She loves me, she loves me not” result? = Daisy trader
28A. Picky little dog?= Choosy toy
36D. Barely remembered seaman? = Hazy sailor
44D. Sports score most likely to be on the highlights reel? = Doozy point
52A. Business transactions free from government regulation? = Easy commerce
73A. Carefree dairy product? = Breezy cheese
101A. Optimistic theater audience? = Rosy house
103A. Marvel from Idaho’s largest city? = Boise wonder
I’m shocked that I finished this one! And with no mistakes!! Though I didn’t have too much trouble figuring out the theme, I did have difficulty coming up with several of those answers. And the rest of the puzzle was not exactly a picnic in the park. I filled in answers in several spots on the on the grid that were wrong. Eventually, I figured out what the problems were and corrected them. i.e., lots of erasures.
File these for me under: “You learn something new every day”:
8A. Isolated hill surrounded by lava. Answer: Steptoe
49A. Lake _____ (Australia’s lowest point). Answer: Eyre
80A. Radiohead head Yorke. Answer: Thom
40D. Detective writer Earl _____Biggers. Answer: Derr
90D. One of the Balearic Islands. Answer: Minorca
Title: Oscar Double Feature
Theme: The names of two movies – winners for Best Picture and nominees — are combined to make silly phrases.
23A. Nelson Mandela? [1995, 1985] = Braveheart Out of Africa
30A. One giving unreliable testimory? [1976, 1985*] [* = nominee] = Rocky Witness
53A. Reason for missing a flight? [1970*, 2000*] = Airport Traffic
68A. Part of a line at O’Hare? [2000, 1976*] = Chicago Taxi Driver
86A. Cheesy pick-up line? [1944, 1995*] = Going My Way Babe
106A. Reason why all computers are down? [1976*, 2005] = Network Crash
118A. Seaside Outing? [1955*, 1954] = Picnic On the Waterfront
A fitting puzzle since the Academy Awards were presented that evening. (I didn’t watch.) The theme answers were not exactly a strain on the brain. Overall, this was an easy puzzle though there were a few answers that were a puzzlement to me. I got them by filling in the surrounding answers.
27A. Strike the ground in a golf swing. Answer: Baff. I golfed many years ago and should have known this answer. I did not exactly excel at this sport, and had my share of baffs.
104A. V-shaped fortification. Answer: Redan.
128A. Early Apple computers. Answer: Lisas
10D. Daughter in “The Sound of Music.” Answer: Louisa. My first thought was Liesl who is more of a major character.
85D. “No one’s _____ than me” (Eminen lyric). Answer: iller. Though I’ve heard of him, I’m not familiar at all with his music.
The snow had actually melted off our front lawn and part of the back lawn several days before Snowstorm No. 7 (8 for others) arrived late Sunday and overnight. By Monday morning, it was gone. NJ weather folks admitted to having difficulty determining the exact track of this storm. At one point, they were showing 6 to 10 inches for our area. However, the storm tracked further south with southern NJ getting the brunt. The snow booby prize went to Ventnor City near Atlantic City: 7 inches.
So, we lucked out! One inch — just enough to coat the front lawn so that the grass still peeked through.
The snow had melted off the patio table. After this latest event, a one-inch “wedding cake.”
While the wave of snowstorms has been bad, the real story of this winter is the constant frigid temperatures. The pattern has been a day or so of respite and then right back into the freezer for days! We’ve had cold winters, but I can’t remember one with this kind of sustained sub-freezing cold. Everyone we talk to is totally fed up!
Usually in March, it isn’t beastly cold. Normal daytime temperatures should be in the mid-40′s. So, even if we do get a big snowstorm — and there have been some doozies in March — the snow quickly melts. Futurecast is showing a warming trend.
Here’s hoping it will continue into the weeks ahead. But to be honest, I’m not optimistic.
Several weeks ago, we had dinner at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro. It’s a BYO, so Michael took along a bottle of Paulaner Wheat Grass Ale to go with his favorite main course: (VERY spicy) Jambalaya. Since he only drank about 5 ounces (the bottle holds 17 ounces), we took the rest home, and I kept it in the frig with the intent of using it in future recipes.
For last night’s start to the meal, I used this recipe, White Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup, substituting yellow cheddar for white and the ale for beer. Delicious!
Tuna Croquettes with Fried Spaghetti has been a part of my cooking repertoire for a long time. It’s one of Michael’s favorites. When I‘m occasionally stumped about what to make for dinner and ask him for his preference, this is the combo he invariable chooses.
The ingredients for my croquettes are as follows: canned tuna, chopped onions, chopped pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped parsley, lemon juice + grated rind, Dijon mustard, egg, and bread crumbs.
The fried spaghetti has an interesting history. Michael told me that his mother served spaghetti coated with ketchup. That was it! Nothing else! My mother never served spaghetti for family dinners because my father didn’t like spaghetti. She did, however, occasionally make it for lunch when my father wasn’t around. Her idea of how to “sauce” it was to sauté some chopped onion in butter, add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, coat it with – yes, you guessed it! – ketchup, and heat it through. (What was it with our Jewish mothers and ketchup for spaghetti?!) I thought this fried spaghetti “recipe” was her invention, and that nobody else could possibly be coming up with it. That is, until I went to Israel in 1965. While in Tel Aviv, I stayed for two weeks with an Israeli family. One day, I came into the kitchen when the mom was preparing lunch for her two little boys. Shock of shocks to discover that of all things I could ever imagine, she was making “our” fried spaghetti. Amazing! There was one difference: she added some crushed fresh garlic to the sautéed onions. She offered me some of the finished spaghetti. The garlic really zipped things up. It thus became part of the recipe. I also use lots of freshly ground black pepper for added spiciness.
15-, 24-, 48-, and 58-Across: Sign at a neighborhood bar, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Answer: Don’t talk about/yourself. We/will do that/after you leave.
I find puzzles with non-famous quotations difficult to solve, so I was surprised that I was able to figure this one out. I got parts 3 and 4 first and more easily than 1 and 2.
A few interesting fills:
3D. “Hit ‘em where they _____.” Answer: Ain’t This one stumped me at first as I’d not heard of this ending to this expression but rather two others: “hurt” and “live.”
10D. Columbus stopping point of 1493. Answer: Azores
11D. Active when the sun shines. Answer: Diurnal
62A. “Anything Goes” composer. Answer: Porter (Cole)
Title: Reel-life Anniversary
In the spot to the right of the title where we would normally see the name of the puzzle’s constructor, it says “A namesake of 119-Across.”
119-Across: Director of the eight starred films in this puzzle, who was born on 2/23/1889. Answer: Victory Fleming.
24A. *1939 Judy Garland film = The Wizard of Oz
37A. *1933 Jean Harlow film = Bombshell
54A. *1943 Spencer Tracy/Irene Dunne film = A Guy Named Joe
68A. *1939 Vivian Leigh/Clark Gable film = Gone with the Wind
89A. “1942 Spencer Tracy/Hedy Lamarr film = Tortilla Flat
103A. *1948 Ingrid Bergman Film = Joan of Arc
5D. *1932 Clark Gable/Jean Harlow film = Red Dust
98D. *1925 Percy Marmont film = Lord Jim
When I looked at this puzzle’s title, it was immediately obvious that there was a movie theme. For anyone who knows anything about movies, 24A. and 68A. were ridiculously easy to fill in. And Gone with the Wind made it easy for me to get the name of the director in question since I’ve read books and articles about what took place during the filming. Actually, three directors worked on the film. The original director George Cukor was fired shortly after filming began (because of disagreements with producer David O. Selznick). Victor Fleming replaced Cukor though Sam Wood stepped in as temporary director when Fleming briefly walked out in a huff. Fleming was given sole directorial credit and received an Academy Award as Best Director.
Last night’s supper had a Mediterranean theme.
A few days ago, I made a soup that included chickpeas (I use the ones in a can) and had some of them left over. So, I made hummus. The recipe is from The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, by Claudia Roden (Published in 1997) — a fantastic cookbook, not just for the wonderful recipes but also because of the interesting and informative text provided throughout.
After I ate some of the hummus for lunch, there was still enough leftover for yesterday’s first course. I plated the hummus with cut up raw veggies, Kalamata olives, and a bit of Feta cheese.
To scoop up the hummus, there was warm pita. I like Toufayan’s small “Pitettes” that come 8 to a package.
I adore lamb and eggplant in any way, shape or form, so this Lamb and Eggplant Casserole is right up my gustatory alley. The recipe comes from Jewish Cooking Around the World, by Hanna Goodman (Published in 1969). I can’t remember how this book became part of my cookbook collection. It’s possible I bought it at a book sale. In any case, this is my favorite recipe in the book. I’ve made it countless times. It’s easy and quick to assemble. It’s delicious!
Rice pilaf lightly flavored with cinnamon is the perfect accompaniment.
The clue to the theme is provided by 37-Across: First name of a former president… or read another way, what each of the circled lines is. Answer: Woodrow. There are four lines with three circled words in a row, and each of those words can follow the word “wood.” Ergo, a “wood row.” Cute!
1A. One may follow a long drive = Chip
5A. CNBC topic = Stock
10A. Tidy sum = Pile
26A. George Washington, for one = Carver
29A. Do the trick = Work
30A. Trash collector = Bin
43A. “Phew!” = Man
44A. Empty talk = Wind
45A. Patrol boat = Cutter
63A. Reel in = Land
64A. Origami, e.g. = Craft
65A. Drop, as pounds = Shed
Note: For any of you out there who don’t know which president this is (and if that is the case, shame on you!), it’s Woodrow Wilson.
Title: Passing Grades
All theme answers are phrases with one word which would normally start with the letter “F” but is changed to a “D” thereby forming a silly phrase commensurate with the clue.
23A. One who turned Cinderella’s pumpkin into pumpkin cheesecake? = Dairy godmother
49A. Snorkeling bargain? = Two dives for a ten
77A. Transportation company that skimps on safety? = No drills airline
105A. Steohen Hawking’s computer-generated voice? = Science diction
15D. Two things seen beside James Bond at a casino? = Dish and chips
58D. “Oh, yeah? Let’s see you hold your breath for TWO minutes!,” e.g. = Dare increase
This puzzle was fairly easy, and I didn’t have much trouble filling in almost all the answers. It finally came down to needing one letter — a vowel — where 107-Across (Church vessel) and 90-Down (Eucharist holder) crossed to complete it. I’m definitely not any kind of maven with regard to church-related matters, so I had no idea what either of these things are. However, after being stumped for a while, I had something of an “Aha!” moment when it occurred to me that incense is used in church services. So, I filled in an “e” for 107A. Censer and thereby got 90D. Paten, both of which turned out to be correct.