“Table Talk” by Harvey Estes – 14:51
Hi, it’s Jeffrey. The Daily Beast puzzle is no more (sniff) but at the Crossword Fiend Annual General Meeting I was assigned the Wall Street Journal so I can keep my coveted Friday morning timeslot.
But first: Birds do it. Bees do it. Even Cs, Ds, and Es do it. Let’s do it. Let’s write an ACPT recap.
Actually, not really a recap but random thoughts that I had:
- Left home Thursday 4:00 am PST. Yawn.
- Taking your watch, belt, keys, shoes and coins out at security is a good thing. Leaving your IPod in your shirt pocket is not. Beep!!!
- Everyone loved my red Olympic mittens. Perhaps if I had taken them off while solving I would have finished even higher.
- The hotel bar had the Olympics on the small TV, basketball on the big one. Hello!
- Tim Hortons has arrived in Brooklyn! Yay!
- Conversion rate: Canadian medium Tim Hortons coffee = American large Tim Hortons coffee. Makes everyone so hyper that they cross the street on red lights.
- Friday night, seven guys ate at “Five guys”. I forget some of the names, but it’s not like I track this stuff. I think two were named Tyler and Dan and a few rhymed with Mayan.
- Saturday night dinner – five guys and an Amy.
- Friday night dinner with Dan Feyer (A division champ). Saturday night dinner with joon I-don’t-need–no-stinkin’-capitals pahk (B division champ). Who wants dinner with me next year?
- Gave Howard Barkin his winning Expos hat. Perhaps he should have worn it at the finals? Howard, dinner next year?
- Hey, Vancouver is on TV!
- Canadian television shows Olympic events live. You’d think this would be the universal method.
- If you stand in the lobby for five seconds Peter Gordon will pose a rude riddle.
- Rex Parker was at the hotel, but not competing or a judge. That leaves groupie.
- Attempting to tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 3 hours is not a great strategy.
- Swedish puzzles are difficult to understand. True or false?
- I won the most important Friday night event – first one at the food table.
- Speed only matters if you are perfect. Otherwise, accuracy is where it’s at. (Solving not eating. Well maybe both.)
- Amy knows everybody who has ever been connected with crosswords.
- Jim Horne reads my blogs! The reverse is also true, but less noteworthy.
- Before each puzzle, refill your water, take a Life Savers and check the lead in your pencils. You will win a trophy.
- Giving a second copy doesn’t really help lefthanders. Why not hand out some grids with the puzzle on the left? Or better yet, give everyone a left handed version on one or two of the puzzles. Fair is fair.
- Leaderboard after 3 puzzles had my name in the top 10 of B’s. Wow.
- Found two wrong letters in extra two minutes reviewing puzzle 7. Turned out to be huge!!!
- Sat next to nice guy Doug Peterson at finals/awards. Will henceforth curse Stan Newman instead of Doug during Saturday Stumper meltdowns.
- Why does last year’s trophy say “Foreign” and this year’s “Canada”? It should say “The Entire World (except the USA)“
- Despite Sam Donaldson’s best efforts, I won the coveted West Coast Tax Expert division.
- Travel tip – attempting to get an earlier connection home through Vancouver during the Olympics is not a great strategy. Unless you enjoy watching it snow in Toronto for six hours.
- Proudest accomplishment – several subway rides without getting lost or killed.
- Second proudest accomplishment – First in Foreign/Canada/rest of world, 61st overall.
- Third proudest accomplishment – crossing the street without getting lost or killed.
- Will Shortz and crew rock. All of them.
- Arrived home Tuesday morning, 12:02 am PST. Yawn.
- My staff was supposed to be working in my absence. Instead they came up with a cake and a ribbon.
OK, on to the puzzle.
The theme is described at 63A. [Table request, and this puzzle's theme] – PASS THE BUTTER and 110D. [Apply 63-Across to this word in three pairs of answers] – PAT. Take PAT out of three phrases in the top of the puzzle…
23A. [Avian alopecia?] – PATTERN BALDNESS
33A. [Object thrown at a demonstration?] – PATRIOT MISSILE
47A. [Howard as a museum supporter?] – PATRON OF THE ARTS
and add it to three phrases in the bottom of the puzzle:
81A. [Check mugs for lumps?] – PALPATE FACES
92A. [Asset for bronze cleaners?] – PATINA SENSE.
109A. [Money that makes the heart beat faster?] – PITAPAT BREAD
Clever theme that takes a while to sort out.
I’m running long, so quick other stuff:
1A. [Parisienne, par exemple] – FEMME
12A. [Entertainment for Old King Cole] – FIDDLERS
21A. [Fishes' partner] – LOAVES. I didn’t understand this, likely because it’s not something you learn in hebrew school.
31A. [Confectioner of fiction] – WONKA
50A. [Congo's Thomas Lubanga, for one] – WARLORD. Ok. I’m not up on my Congolese warlords. Also, a DC Comic by Mike Grell.
53A. [Frasier's clientele] – CALL-INS
68A. [Last in a series] – ZEE. Zed if you wear the red mittens.
74A. [2009 portrayer of Scrooge] - Jim CARREY. Canadian content!
114A. [Did some lawn work] – RESEEDED. Every puzzle is gonna have one of these.
116A. [Opera's Simon] – ESTES. Nice try Harvey. I caught you sneaking your name in there.
6D. [Paula's replacement] – ELLEN
19D. [Mustard, for one] – SUSPECT. A Clue clue.
37D. [Hedge fund manager James Harris ___] – SIMONS. I’m not up on my hedge fund managers.
49D. [Turner of records] – TINA
76D. [Role for Valerie] – RHODA. Valerie Harper. My favorite Valerie is Bertinelli.
78D. [Celia Cruz's music] – SALSA
83D. ["Love Story" composer] – LAI
95D. [Yards, e.g.] – SPARS. A yard is a spar on a mast from which sails are set.
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom. See you next week!