Title: Toe Tags
Theme answers end with the sound “toe,” thereby changing common expressions into silly ones. Interesting that only one of the answers ends with the word “toe.”
23A. Magic word that never loses its power? = Permanent Presto
28A. 1970s Ford on the move? = Rolling Pinto
39A. Enthusiastic enjoyment of one’s unhappiness? = Gloomy Gusto
41A. The Josip Broz Memorial Trophy? = Cup of Tito
58A. Stingy snack vendor’s special offer? = Buy one get one Frito
75A. Big Apple cop who’s looking to bust Popeye? = NYPD Bluto
77A. Learn all about the capital of Ecuador? = Master Quito
88A. Portion of Dante’s “Inferno” that was wisely excised? = Garbage Canto
96A. Christmas decoration that automatically steers towards lovers? = Guided Mistletoe
New York City
Union Square Café
Eleven Madison Park
New York City
Union Square Café
Eleven Madison Park
Drew’s Bayshore Bistro
The Ryland Inn
The Chowda House
New York City
Tocqueville (Rosh Hashana)
Eleven Madison Park
Trattoria Il Mulino
Drew’s Bayshore Bistro
The Peacock Inn
Ada’s Latin Flavors
Photo sets for all these meals can be seen on my Flickr here.
Title: Bumper Cars
Theme: Answers are a string of automobile names.
23A. Search for a cradle-robbing woman in New York City? = Park Avenue Cougar Quest
37A. High-handed ambassador stationed off the Italian coast? = Cavalier Capri Diplomat
55A. Peace treaty between a predator and its prey? = Bobcat Rabbit Accord
67A. Tom Brady, in the 2002 Super Bowl? = Intrepid Ram Challenger
78A. Musical piece for a “Star Wars” battle scene? = Storm Trooper Sonata
98A. Advocate for pro-am tournaments? = Celebrity Golf Defender
116A. Diminutive Aborigine? = Midget Outback Explorer
69-Across provides a clue to the theme of this puzzle: Gray areas, maybe…or a hint to 12 incomplete answers in this puzzle. Answer: Borderlines
Every word around the edge/border of the grid must be followed by LINE in order to make sense.
1A. It may come down in a storm = Telephone
10A. Divider in a musical score = Bar
13A. Hang-out locale? = Clothes
19D. Hobby activity = Side
42D. Court stripe = Free throw
100D. Bottom of a contract = Dotted
125A. Means of one-to-one communication = Dedicated
124A. Draw a mark through for cancellation = Red
123A. Supermarket time saver = Express
107D. Locale for finished works that haven’t yet appeared = Pipe
50D. Quarterback protectors = Offensive
1D. Movie theater sight = Ticket
Title: Added Satisfaction
Theme: Adding “Ah” to familiar phrases makes them wacky re: the clues.
26A. Where most things rank in importance to a Muslim? = After All[ah]
42A. Webster’s directive to the overly formal? = Just say No[ah]
62A. Equipment list for a hashish-smoking fisherman? = Hook[ah], line, and sinker
86A. Departed from Manama, maybe? = Left B[ah]rain
102A. Niece’s polite interruption?= Auntie [ah]Em
25D. Welcome look from a Bedouin? = S[ah]ara Smile
52D. What many Bay Area skiers do on winter weekends? = Head to T[ah]oe
The clue to the theme is provided by 41-Across: Instrument that hints at missing parts of certain answers to this puzzle. Answer: Clock.
In order for border answers to be complete, each must be preceded by a number on the clock face, 1-12 in order around the grid starting with the upper right section.
10A. 50% = (1) Half
13D. Acid-burned Bat-villain = (2) Face
38D. Like some circuses = (3) Ring
63D. Like barbershop harmony = (4) Part
72A. Fin = (5) Spot
71A. Like a die = (6) Sided
70A. Sailors’ domain = (7) Seas
58D. Length of a Beetles “week” = (8) Days
26D. Popular women’s shoe seller = (9) West
1D. Annual Car and Driver list = (1) Best
1A. It has a red stripe in pool = (11) Ball
5A. A gross = (12) Dozen
The clue to the theme is provided by 58-Across: Like M&M’s … or four words to describe 17-, 24-, 35-, and 50-Across. Answer: Candy Coated = C and Y coated.
So, the four other answers are familiar phrases with “C” affixed to the beginning and “Y” tacked at the end making the phrases wacky to match the clues.
17A. Ability to survive freezing temperatures? = C[old Master]y
24A. Selected a certain fabric softener? = C[hose Down]y
35A. Sprite who helps find a shopping vehicle? = C[art fair]y
50A. Super-choosy about timepieces? = C[lock pick]y
Theme: The first word(s) of the theme answers are homophones of the letters(s) circled in the last word of the theme answers.
19A: Sea of Cortez (“C” is circled.)
22A. Eye of the tiger (“I” is circled.)
42A. Bee in one’s bonnet (“B” is circled.)
47A. See you in court (“C” and “U” are circled.)
Today is the first day of the Jewish holiday Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles). It begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Tishrai and lasts for 8 days (7 in Israel) ending with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The Hebrew word “sukkot” is the plural of the work “sukkah” (booth or tabernacle), a walled structure covered with leaves. Meals are eaten there, and some people sleep there.
Back in the 1950’s, The Downtown Talmud Torah, the Hebrew school I attended on the Lower East Side, built a sukkah each year on the roof the four-story building. I have very vague recollections of my classes being taken up to it.
Two important symbols of this holiday are the “lulav” (palm tree frond) and the “etrog” (yellow citron).
Walking back from lunch through Madison Square Park this afternoon, we discovered that there is a sukkah (erected by Chabad) on the park’s northern side.
Last year, we celebrated the first night of Rosh Hashana by going to Tocqueville, one of our favorite restaurants, for their special Rosh Hashana dinner. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to make it a new tradition, and so we did it again this year.
Rosh Hashana fell this year the earliest it can ever be on the Jewish calendar, which meant Erev Rosh Hashana was on September 4th! This also meant that the special menu included wild Coho and Copper River Salmon and heirloom tomatoes which would have been out of season had it been much later in the month.
First to be brought to the table were the traditional Round Challah and Greenmarket Apple Slices with Honey,
There was, as always when dining at Tocqueville, an amuse: Chickpeas, Watermelon, and Goat Cheese.
Then, on to the main 3-course meal….
For the first course, Michael and Louis chose the Smoked Arctic Char, Salmon Roe, Cucumber Consommé, and Shaved Greenmarket Vegetables while Jen and I selected the Creamless Cauliflower Soup, Marcona Almonds and Caramelized Endive.
For the main course, Michael had Dry-Aged Prime Sirloin of Beef and Braised Beef Cheek Duo, Potato Rosti, Smoked Onion Soubise, Spring Vegetables, and Red Wine Jus;
Louis had Pan Roasted Sockeye Salmon, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Pine Nuts, and Basil Emulsion;
And Jen and I had Schmaltz Roasted Chicken, Panzanella Salad, Arugula, and Balsamic Reduction.
When it came time for dessert, Louis had the Chocolate Soufflé with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (the soufflé being to his delight gluten-free). Michael, Jen, and I had the other of the two options, an Apple Almond Galette with Acacia Honey Ice Cream.
Dinner at Tocqueville always ends with mignardises.
I really like this new tradition a lot! Delicious food — and no work for me!
To see all the photos of this Rosh Hashana dinner, click here.
Title: Should I Call the Repairman?
Theme: Clues are the beginnings of sentences about common objects followed by ellipses. Answers finish the sentences with puns describing how the objects are broken.
27A. The jigsaw… keeps cutting out.
40A. The elevator… just went down.
53A. The mosquito zapper… has still got bugs.
77A. The quiz-grading machine… failed some tests.
89A. The crosswalk signal… is on the blink.
104A. The film-processing machine at the studio… developed a short.
A cute puzzle! I didn’t have too hard a time with it. The only theme answer that gave me a bit of trouble was 40A. I got “went down” but had trouble getting “just” because of two spelling mistakes. For 33-Down, I knew the answer was “Dubois” (W.E.B.) but had an “e” instead of a “u.” But much more dumb was spelling “fjiord” wrong (32-Down) – an “i” instead of “j.” Once I corrected those mistakes, “just” fell into place.
There were quite a few interesting answers:
3D. Place to find a date. My first thought was the social date. I toyed with writing in “Matchdotcom,” which would have fit. Then as I filled in some letters, I switched to thinking of the food dates, especially since the word “store” seemed to be the second half of the word. However, I couldn’t think of what the first part of the word might be. Finally, I realized that it was date as in a time factor, so it wasn’t “store” but “stone” and I quickly filled in the first half. Answer: Cornerstone.
14A. Military cap. Answer: Kepi. I first saw this word in a French article I read many years ago about the Dreyfus Affair and the trial of Emile Zola.
68A. Glands on top of the kidneys. Answer: Adrenals. It took getting a few letters before it came to me.
75A. Muslim headdress. Answer: Taj. Fits the “learn something new every day” category.
6D. High Muslim honorific. Answer. Aga Kahn. I thought this was the name of a specific person. Guess not.
16D. Paddington Bear’s country of origin. Answer: Peru. Another new bit of info for me.
78D. Car make whose name sounds like a Cockney greeting. Answer: Audi. Maybe a Cockney cowboy….
90D. Pride of St. Louis. Answer: The Rams. Really?!! I was set to write in The Arch. Unfortunately, “Stan the Man”(Musial) wouldn’t fit.
110D. Fig. near an m.p.g. rating. Answer: MSRP. I had no idea what the answer’s initials stood for. A commenter on Rex Parker’s site had the answer: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.
Theme: Physics Formulas (60-Across: What the three sets of circled squares in this puzzle represent)
17A. With 22-Across, fail to cope with difficult circumstances = Crack under force/Area
27A. With 35-Across, highway sign meaning “slow down” = Reduce distance/Time
45A. With 51-Across, Monaco has the world’s highest = Population mass/Volume
I’m totally physics-challenged since I didn’t take physics in school. So, it’s beyond amazing to me that I was able to complete this puzzle at all – much less do so without any errors. However, once done, I had no clue what the formulas represented. Fortunately, Rex Parker provided the explanation (for which I thank him!):
In familiar phrases, “Pressure” “Speed” and “Density” are represented visually in the grid by their formulas (FORCE over AREA, DISTANCE over TIME, and MASS over VOLUME, respectively)
With regard to 17-Across, I do think the usual phrase is “Crack under pressure, but whatever….
There are a lot of interesting fills:
20A. _____Diruna (daily Roman notices). Answer: Acta.
23A. Tolkien’s Dark Lord of Mordor. Answer: Sauron. I’ve not read the books nor seen the movies.
41A. British poet laureate _____ Day-Lewis. Answer: Cecil. The father of actor Daniel.
64A. Too much. Answer: De trop. Knowing French helped here.
68A. Greek night goddess. Answer: Nyx.
10D. Sif’s husband in myth: Answer: Thor
12D. South America’s _____ Trail. Answer: Inca
28D. Old A.C. Gilbert toy. Answer: Erector set
43D. Golfer Poulter. Answer: Ian.