I spent much of this day on my newest project that I’ll document in my weekly woodworking blog that drops every Tuesday at 10am PT. When the time changes after Halloween, it still will be at 10am PT, but t will be PST rather than PDT. I don’t know why we don’t have PDT for forever like we’d told the California legislature that we approve them to do.
I pulled out 76D Abacus piece: BEAD because I thoroughly enjoy the Arrested Development gag.
The title of this puzzle is Common Core. Because teaching to a test is always the way to make sure students learn, but if there are no standards, how do we make sure things don’t go off the rails? I’m just glad that I don’t have to make education policy. I’m sure that Joy Resmovits has more to say on this topic.
23A Meaningful work?: ROGETSTHESAURUS. Until I was in my early 20s, I thought that Roget was pronounced as written. Like Rodget’s. During a discussion with my dad, I said something about Roget’s (pronounced Rodget’s) Thesaurus, and he started to ridicule me. As this is an infrequent activity of his, I was confused as to why. “I’ts pronounced ro-ZHAY.” I didn’t believe him because why would that be? These are English words. But it was ro-ZHAY all along. 36A Ballet supporter, e.g.: PATRONOFTHEARTS. I know ballet is hard to do, but I know that I want to go to the ballet. I’d rather support the magical arts. 63A Present without being present: THEREINSPIRIT. Good name for a Halloween-themed band. 87A Ritzy transports: CHARTEREDPLANES. I want to take a private jet one day. I don’t want to pay for it, but maybe I’ll get to go on a trip with someone? 106A You wouldn’t want them to have a crush on you: BOACONSTRICTORS. This reminds me of a thing that was brought to my attention by William Goldman’s book Which Lie Did I Tell? More Adventures in the Screen Trade:
Okay. This is from a supposed U.S. Government Peace Corps manual. It is given to volunteers who work in the Amazon jungle. It tells what to do if an anaconda attacks you. In case you don’t know much about them, maybe this will help: they are the largest snakes in the world, they can grow to thirty-five feet, can weigh four hundred pounds.
This is what the manual said:
1. If you are attacked by an anaconda, do not run. The snake is faster than you are.
2. Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides, your legs tight against one another.
3. Tuck your chin in.
4. The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb over your body.
5. Do not panic.
6. After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles. Do not panic!
7. The snake will now begin to suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.
8. When the snake has reached your knees, slowly and with as little movement as possible, reach down, take your knife and very gently slide it into the snake’s mouth between the edge of its mouth and your leg. Then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake’s head.
Ugh the Dodgers lost tonight in a game I only caught the last three innings of. The game was 2-2 when I turned it on, and Dodgers blew opportunity after opportunity. In the top of the ninth, Chris Taylor’s baserunning error meant the inning ended prematurely. Then the Braves made them pay. Really lame. I hope tomorrow’s game will be better.
Yesterday I missed ANARCHIC, CHIA, and CHIC.
DACHA: A country house or cottage in Russia, typically used as a second or vacation home.
HARRIDAN: A strict, bossy, or belligerent old woman.
Letters: DALMNTY Final score: 13 words for 65 points. Final score: 14 words for 70 points. New word: MADAM. Genius minimum: 64 points. First word: MALADY. Pangram: ADAMANTLY.
I pulled out 8A Bright night lights: NOVAS because my friends Cat and Nick have a dog named Nova. Nova is very big and very friendly. If Nova ever sees this blog post, hiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Honorable mention clue: 15A “Sorry if you were offended,” e.g.: NONAPOLOGY because Calah and I were talking today about nonapology apologies and how annoying they are.
No theme for this Saturday puzzle, but the time was something exciting for me. I bested my personal record of 20:12 on July 24, 2021 with a new record of 20:11. I had to scramble to find when the prior record was, but I got there. So it bears mentioning again:
Today marks two months of marriage to my best friend, Calah. It feels like so long since our wedding and yet like it was yesterday. It was hard to do a wedding during COVID, but as sad as it was not to be able to have everyone there like we’d have preferred to do, I am happy that I didn’t have to spend longer not married to her.
Yesterday I missed ANTEDATE, ANTEDATED, ATTENDANT, ATTENDEE, NAAN, NADA, NANA, NATANT, TAUTEN, TAUTENED, TAXA, and TUNA.
ANDANTE: Music (especially as a direction) at a moderately slow tempo. ENNEAD: rare A group or set of nine.
Letters: HACDINR Final score: 20 words for 69 points. Genius minimum: 68 points. First word: CHINA. Pangram: ARACHNID.
I pulled out 55A Kind of moment worth recording: KODAK because I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten this if I had been much younger. Does anyone still even say Kodak Moment? Is it relevant enough for hipsters to want to use the phrase? I feel like it would work fine in a Post Malone song. I mean, think about it:
I wish I could change myself But I’m too broken We looked so happy In that Kodak Moment
I feel like there was a theme, but I’m uncertain. There were a bunch of quote clues.
17A “Losing some illusions … perhaps to acquire others,” per Virginia Woolf: GROWINGUP. So true. 30A Cutesy “I beg your pardon?”: EXSQUEEZEME. 34A “What a shocker”: BIGSURPRISE. 35A “Heaven forbid!”: GODIHOPENOT. 7D “Put a sock in it!”: SHUTYOURPIEHOLE.
DODGERS WIN!!!!! DODGERS WIN!!!!! That last strike was a strike because it was called a strike. That’s what makes a strike a strike, right? :/ Would I have felt like there was injustice if that last pitch had been ruled a ball? Unlikely. So I’ll take it!
Yesterday I missed INTO, MINOR, NONPRINT, OPTION, PINPOINT, PROPORTION, RIOT, TIPTOP, TORTONI, and TRITON.
PIPIT: A mainly ground-dwelling songbird of open country, typically having brown streaky plumage.
PIPPIN: A red and yellow dessert apple. PITON: A peg or spike driven into a rock or crack to support a climber or a rope.
Letters: ADENTUX Final score: 44 words for 241 points. Final score: 46 words for 267 points. New words: EXTENUATED, EXTENUATE. Genius minimum: 237 points. First word: ATTEND. Last word: TENANT. Pangrams: UNTAXED, EXTENUATED.
I pulled out 19A Unusual time to start a vacation: MIDWEEK because that’s what makes it the best time to start a vacation. Flights are cheaper, traffic is less cumbersome, hotels are looking for warm bodies. And you get the weekend after you’ve gotten over the jetlag.
Theme! And as a prominent podcast host asked my wife at the Magic Castle last night while I was wearing my has-Matt suit with two Giant Microbes plush COVID-19s pinned to me, “Has [your husband] ever been in the punlympic games?” this was one that I appreciated, even if some answers were strained or tired.
16A “My allergies are really acting up!”: BLOODYNOSE. 23A “That third strike cost us the game!”: FREAKINGOUT. Such a prescient clue! It’s like the umpires in tonight’s Dodger game did the crossword and were like, “We like Will Shortz more than we like the San Francisco Giants,” which is an understandable conclusion because no matter how terrible Will Shortz is–and it is a lot–the Giants always are worse. So enjoy your extended offseason lolz. 36A “I keep losing things in the dryer!”: DARNSOCKS. 56A “My iPhone never works!”: ROTTENAPPLE. 61A “This bug spray is useless!”: BLASTEDOFF.
Dodgers won last night in amazing fashion! Tomorrow is the rubber match in this series as of course the best two teams in baseball would have it all come down to the wire. I’ll be watching the game. Will you?
Yesterday I missed CEDE, CEDED, CHIC, CHICHI, CITE, CITED, DECEIT, DIETETIC, EPIC, ETHIC, HECTIC, PEPTIC, and TECHIE.
EIDETIC: Psychology Relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible.
“pertaining to the faculty of projecting images,” 1924, from German eidetisch, coined by German psychologist Erich Jaensch, from Greek eidetikos “pertaining to images,” also “pertaining to knowledge,” from eidesis “knowledge,” from eidos “form, shape” (see -oid).
Letters: IMNOPRT Final score: 41 words for 173 points. Genius minimum: 173 points. First word: PORTION. Pangram: PROMOTION. Tweet:
before vowels pale- word-forming element used in scientific combinations (mostly since c. 1870) meaning “ancient, early, prehistoric, primitive, fossil,” from Latinized form of Greek palaios “old, ancient,” from palai “long ago, far back” (from PIE root *kwel- (2) “far” in space or time).