NYT Thursday Puzzle – August 27, 2015

August 28, 2015

NYT Thursday Puzzle - August 27, 2015

Theme: Names that begin with two initials. The two letters are alphabetically in reverse order.

6A. Box with handles? = C.B. Radios
17A. “The Invisible Man” author = H.G. Wells
22A. Washington M.L.S. team = D.C. United
35A. “The A-Team” character played by Mr. T = B.A. Baracus
49A. Educational institution near Plano, informally = U.T. Dallas
60A. Some return addresses = P.O. Boxes
64A. “Four Quartets” poet = T.S. Eliot

This seemed way too easy for a Thursday puzzle (I had more trouble with Wednesday’s), and I completed it in under an hour. I quickly figured out the initials theme, but the reverse alphabetical component escaped me. Found that out when I checked Rex Parker.

NYT Sunday Puzzle – August 16, 2015

August 16, 2015

NYT Sunday Puzzle - August 16, 2015

Title: As It Were

Theme: Found at 124-Across: Back then … or a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues. Answer: In the past. The last word in each of the theme answers is the past tense of that word.

22A. *Pricey wrap = Mink stole
23A. *Triple Crown winner who himself sired a Kentucky Derby winner = Seattle Slew
51A. *Carpenter’s tool with a cord = Power saw
94A. *Deep Throat’s identity – Mark Felt
122A. *Start a construction project = Break ground
13D. *Smidgeon = Little bit
36D. *Tom Seaver = New York Met
45D. *Dr. Seuss’ genre = Kiddie lit
48D. *Challenge for a right-handed golfer = Dogleg left
83D. *W.W.II propagandist = Tokyo Rose

I didn’t “get” the theme and had to go to Rex Parker for the explanation. Still, I was able to fill in just about all of it in about an hour-and-a-half last evening (Saturday). This morning, I realized I needed to correct a couple of errors that were keeping me from filling in the remaining answers correctly. Ergo, another perfect puzzled!

In the category of “I learn something new every day”:

14A. Island near the Mariana Trench. Answer: Guam
82A. _____Hall, shortest Harlem Globetrotter. Answer: Too Tall
16D. Luxury Hyundai. Answer: Azera.
30D. Wielder of the hammer Mjolnir. Answer: Thor.
95D. Danish king who conquered England. Answer: Knut.
125D. Oscar-nominated Joaquin Phoenix film. Answer: Her

NYT Sunday Puzzle – August 9, 2010

August 11, 2015

NYT Sunday Puzzle - August 9, 2015

Title: Help Wanted

Theme: Each theme clue begins like a “Help Wanted” ad seeking to fill a position for a particular profession. Answers are familiar phrases that complete the ad by describing the job in a silly way.

23A. Need rural real estate investor to… buy the farm.
25A. Need retail marketer to… fill the gap.
45A. Need cocktail waitress to… call the shots.
56A. Need bakery assistant to… take the cake.
80A. Need cruise ship band to… rock the boat.
89A. Need orchestra leader to… face the music.
114A. Need blackjack dealer to… hit the deck.
116A. Need magician to… do the trick.
37D. Need stunt pilot to… flip the bird.
41D. Need control tower operator to… clear the air.

The theme was quite obvious, and I didn’t have much difficulty coming up with the answers. Overall, an easy Sunday puzzle.

NYT Sunday Puzzle – August 2, 2015

August 2, 2015

NYT Sunday Puzzle - August 2, 2015
Title: Literally Speaking

Theme: The letters in the circled squares follows the directions given by the full answer.

(Note: The letters in bold are in the circled squares.)
20A. Result of a successful audition = Callback
25A. Instant = Split second
37A. In bits = Torn to shreds
46A. Kind of pie = Mincemeat
54A. Lose that loving feeling = Drift apart
62A. Diner offering = Scrambled eggs
72A. Art type = Mixed media
83A. # # # = Hash marks
90A. Like 0’s and 1’s in binary numbers = Intermingled
105A. Card sharp’s deception = Fast shuffle
112A. Whole – Unbroken

Sunday puzzles become available on-line at 6 p.m. on Saturday. I print them out and use a pencil. (Yeah, when it comes to doing puzzles, I prefer the old-fashioned way.) I started working on this one just after 6 yesterday, continued off and on until I took a break to prepare dinner, came back to it, plugged away, and finished before midnight. I did struggle a bit with a few of the theme answers and others. But overall, this was a fairly easy puzzle.

Some answers I didn’t know or didn’t remember:

18A. Part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Answer: Aruba.

19A. Grammy-nominated song by Alanis Morissette. Answer: Thanku.

30A. “Fifty Shades of Grey” woman. Answer: Ana

31A. Boat on “Jaws.” Answer: Orca.

110 A. “Red” Holy Roman emperor. Answer: Otto II.

113A. “Taken” star. Answer: Neeson (Liam). .

32D. Foe in “Rocky.” Answer: Creed (Apollo).

64D. Adorn, in old literature. Answer: Dight.

72D. Country once known as French Sudan. Answer: Mali.

NYT Thursday Puzzle – July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015

NYT Thursday Puzzle - July 30, 2015

Theme: 45-Down: Creator of the characters added in 17-, 28-, 44-, and 57-Across. Answer: Alcott (Louisa May). Characters’ names added on to the four familiar phrases are the sisters in Little Women.

17A. Hardy brown spice? = Tough nutmeg
28A. Company that will get you a second spouse? = Bigamy business
44A. Extremely tacky production of a Shakespeare play? = Macbeth n cheese
57A. Country instrument played by a migrant? = Travel banjo

Not too difficult for a Thursday puzzle. Before I figured out the theme, I already had some letters for 45-Down and considered filling in “Alcott” but didn’t do so. However, it became immediately apparent that it was the correct answer when I got the first of the theme answers, 57-Across. Since I next got 17-Across, I presumed the other two names had to be at the end of the phrases. Obviously not.

Some interesting answers:

1A. Chronicler of the English Restoration. Answer: Pepys (Samuel). I was an English teacher. Enough said….
10D. TV news host Melissa _____ -Perry. Answer: Harris. I watch very little TV news so don’t know her.
43A. Lexington’s _____ Arena. Answer: Rupp. No idea. Via Wiki, named for University of Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp who died in 1977, a year after the arena opened.
53D. Duncan of Obama’s cabinet. Answer: Arne. I follow politics.
62A. Actress Gunn of “Breaking Bad.” Answer: Anna. Watched and enjoyed this series.

NYT Sunday Puzzle – July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

NYT Sunday Puzzle - July 19, 2015

Title: The Short Form

Theme: Familiar phrases in which one word is abbreviated. That abbreviation becomes a word helping to form a silly phrase that relates to the clue.

23A. “Belt it out, Adam!”? = First person sing (singular)
38A. “I forbid you from providing special access”? = Don’t give an in (inch)
42A. Your father’s blockheadedness = Pop density (population)
66A. Coin flip with a penny? = Turn of the cent (century)
92A. Emotional problem that’s surprisingly fitting? = Apt complex (apartment)
94A. Prepared some amazing Mediterranean fruit? = Cut quite a fig (figure)
112A. Do a bad job as a watchman? = Lookout for no one (number)

I filled in the upper right section of the puzzle almost immediately, including 38-Across. Once I had that, the theme became quite obvious. For some reason known only to my brain, I had the most difficulty completing 92-Across. I got “Apt” right away, but “complex” eluded me for quite a while. Overall, this was an easy and enjoyable puzzle.

A few answers in the “you learn something new every day” category:

21-Across: Border river between China and Russia. Answer: Amur.
87-Across: Title parrot in a 1998 film. Answer: Paulie.
74-Down: Math set with an unspecified number of elements. Answer: N Tuple.
88-Down: Flower that symbolizes immortality. Answer: Amaranth.

At Home: July 4th BBQ on the 3rd

July 4, 2015

Jen and Louis were off yesterday, so they came out to the house for the annual July 4th barbecue. From the train, Jen texted me: “We’re hungry!” My reply: “Everything’s ready!”

Instead of having lunch and dinner as we’ve done in past years, we had decided to have just one early afternoon meal. The weather was perfect for eating on the patio.

While Michael went to Matawan Station to pick them up, I skedaddled to Staatl’s Farm to get some corn. It will be a couple of weeks until their own corn is ready, but they have Jersey white corn from further south.

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

We started things off with gazpacho and guacamole – both homemade – along with tortilla chips that are gluten-free, a necessity for Louis, but which also happen to be delicious.

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)
Food Should Taste Good Brand All Natural
Multigrain Tortilla Chips

For the main part of the meal, there were Missouri-style babyback ribs (recipe from The Thrill of the Grill, by Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby), homemade barbecue sauce, the aforementioned corn, and “Clairmont Diner Health Salad.” The health salad recipe was given to me years ago by Michael’s mother. She got it from one of her sisters who lived near the diner and swore it was authentic.

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

Dessert was kept simple: various flavors of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet.

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)

At Home:  July 4th Cookout (2015)
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

The ice cream was the last of the batch made from strawberries I pricked myself at Battleview Orchards in late May.

Happy July 4th to all!

Dining Out: April – June 2015

July 1, 2015



New York City


Braised Lamb Shank
BLT Prime

Roasted & Braised Chicken

Cara Cara Orange Salad
Union Square Café

Cole Slaw

Carpentras White Asparagus



Picnic Basket Fried Chicken
Blue Smoke

Super, Duper Stack Burger
Genuine Superette

Plain Pie
Rocky Slims

Spring Veal
Eleven Madison Park

Late Supper:

Hemant's Tandoor Grilled Lamb Chops


New York City


Bien Cuit


Sugar Snap Peas and Charred Beets
Untitled at the Whitney Museum

Eleven Madison Park


New York City


Tomato Salad
The Clocktower

Foie Gras Torchon

La Gamelle

Compliments of the House

Anniversary Gift
Eleven Madison Park

Seared Foie Gras


Lord Baltimore Cake
The Simone

Pesce a la Griglia

Keens's Coffee Cantata

Striped Bass “en Paupiette”
Café Boulud


Rocky Slims

Roasted King Salmon
The Clocktower

Chicken Liver Cavatelli

Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium

Sigara Boregi
Turkish Kitchen

Foie Gras Sautéed with Rhubarb
The Modern Dining Room

Lobster Ravioli
Del Posto

Sturgeon & Sauerkraut Tart
Gabriel Kreuther

Pink Lady Apple Tarte Tatin for Two
The Clocktower


Burgers and Fries
Shake Shack

Pastry Basket

Late Supper:

Eggplant Timballo
The Leopard at des Artistes

Harissa Charred Yellowfin Tuna
Boulud Sud


The NoMad Library:  Scotch Olives
The NoMad Library


The NoMad Library
The NoMad Library

Click here to see the complete photo sets of all the places listed here on my Flickr.

The Foie Gras Queen Returns!

June 30, 2015

Well, she hasn’t really been gone. But considering that since the beginning of this year, I’d had foie gras just seven times – a rather paltry number by Foie Gras Queen standards — you might say I was on a semi-hiatus.

In fear of losing my queenly status, I needed to do something about it toute de suite. An excellent opportunity presented itself earlier this month when we celebrated our 47th anniversary. During our week-long stay in NYC, I had foie gras in some way, shape, or form six out of the seven days. Thus, in one week, I was just one foie gras short of the number I’d had in the previous five months.*

Monday: My week of foie gras started on our anniversary at Daniel. Quite the production number, the foie gras was flambéed and plated tableside.

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Foie Gras

Foie Gras
Kirsch Flambéed Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Bing Cherries, Almond Cream, Anise Hyssop, Dandelion Salad

Tuesday: As I detailed in this previous post, we were at EMP. The tasting menu-only format always includes foie gras. Diners are given the choice between foie gras cold or hot. Since we’d had the spring menu’s cold version during a prior visit, we both chose the hot.

Foie Gras
Foie Gras
Seared with Sorrel and Horseradish

Wednesday: Dinner was at NoMad. Though there is a foie gras torchon dish on the appetizer list, Michael and I decided to have the new Charcuterie Board for two. Lucky for me that among its various items was a jar filled with – Yes! — a torchon of foie gras.


Charcuterie: “The Butcher’s Block”

Now, here’s the thing. When I made the reservation via OpenTable, I didn’t mention our anniversary. However, since NoMad is the sister restaurant of EMP (both under the Made Nice company umbrella), turned out that little EMP birdies told the staff at NoMad about it. So, NoMad’s executive chef James Kent, who was previously the chef de cuisine at EMP, hatched a surprise. Along with the charcuterie, he sent out a seared foie gras dish he created especially for us! We were totally floored and extremely appreciative of this gesture.

Seared Foie Gras
Seared Foie Gras with Rhubarb

Thursday: We did the tasting menu at Betony. Before opening Betony a little over two years ago, Chef Bryce Shuman was the executive sous chef at EMP. Like the tasting menus there, Bryce’s tasting menus always include foie gras. In this one, that would be twice.

Foie Gras Bonbons

Foie Gras Brulée
Foie Gras Brulée

Friday: The Modern Dining Room was the setting for lunch where another EMP alum, Chef Abram Bissell is in charge of the kitchen. His menu there always includes both hot and cold foie preparations. Though I like torchons and terrines, I do favor seared or roasted foie gras, so that’s what I chose.

Foie Gras Sautéed with Rhubarb
Foie Gras Sautéed
With Rhubarb, Basil, and Lime

Saturday: We had dinner with Jen and Louis at The Simone. While the regular menu did not include a foie gras dish, happily for me, it was one of the specials.

Sautéed Foie Gras
Sautéed Foie Gras with Apricot

Thinking about this variety of foie gras dishes, I realized something interesting. While hot foie gras is traditionally accompanied by something sweet, fruit being a favorite choice – as at Daniel and The Simone – you might have noted that in several instances, the accompaniments were savory in nature, for example, the rhubarb at both NoMad and The Modern. In those cases, there was enough of a hint of sweetness added to make the dish work very well.

Which was my favorite? Honestly, I’m hard-pressed to choose. Each and every one was seriously delicious. All in all, a terrific comeback for the Foie Gras Queen!

*P.S. I actually ended up equaling the previous five months’ total with another foie gras dish at the end of the month. However, rather than include it here, I’ll discuss it in an upcoming post about the brand new restaurant where I had it. Have I piqued your interest? If so, stay tuned!

Links to the complete photo sets:
Eleven Madison Park
The Modern Dining Room
The Simone

NYT Sunday Puzzle – June 28, 2015

June 28, 2015

NYT Sunday Puzzle - June 28, 2015

Title: Getting in the Final Word

Theme: This one’s a bit complicated to explain. Answers are familiar phrases containing the word “in,” but “in” is not written out. The first part of the phrase crosses the last part which is a single word.  Ergo, the first part is “in” the second part. Also, one letter in the final word needs to be mentally dropped to make it the correct word for completing the phrase.

3D. With 18-Across, “To be on the safe side…”/18A. Gay rights, e.g. = Just/Cause = Just in case

16D. With 21-Across, remembering/21A. Like some enemy waters in wartime = Keeping/Mined = Keeping in mind

30A. With 13-Down, shorthand pact for a wild trip/13D. Unlikely butchers = What happens/Vegans = What happens in Vegas

52A. With 49-Down, 1995 Oscar-nominated Pixar theme song/49D. Good name for a lawn care guy = You’ve Got a Friend/Moe = You’ve Got a Friend in Me

80A. With 58-Down, request for an official document/58D. Twisting = Could you put that/Writhing = Can you put that in writing?

101A. With 90-Down, reacting to a gut punch, perhaps/90D. Bristol, for one = Doubled over/Palin = Doubled over in pain

87D. With 104-Across, talking with a fake rasp, perhaps/104A. Cleverly crafted = Calling/Slick = Calling in sick

109D. With 125-Across, got the booby prize/125A. Tiniest thing = Came/Least = Came in last

It’s definitely been a dry spell — a whole month, actually — since I last posted a puzzle. So. it was nice to finish this one error-free. Clever and entertaining.

Uppity Woman

I'm just one of those Uppity Women. Live with it.


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