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The Puzzle!In real time as we draft this, Blockhead's invocation plays throughout the coffeeshop. Oh fhuck yes. You're invited to click PLAY and feel the epic while reading further.
The Theme!Slowly revealed by inference, hrrrrm what were New Yorkers looking for … maybe Son of Sam? Hm, wassit gonna be and ooh! Some New York esoterica! Some New Yorker esoterica!
- 1A) HIRSCHFELDS NINA
In 1943, Hirschfeld married one of Europe's most famous actresses, Dolly Haas. They were married for more than 50 years, and in addition, they produced a daughter, Nina. Hirschfeld is known for hiding Nina's name in most of the drawings he produced after her birth. The name would appear in a sleeve, in a hairdo, or somewhere in the background. As Margo Feiden described it, Hirschfeld engaged in the “harmless insanity,” as he called it, of hiding her name [Nina] at least once in each of his drawings. The number of NINAs concealed is shown by an Arabic numeral to the right of his signature. Generally, if no number is to be found, either NINA appears once or the drawing was executed before she was born.Below was our puzzle at the end of solving.
Also, because we are prone to be annoyed by this puzzle and have a hair trigger threshold for such, it annoyed us that turn-corners and toroidal* solutions were excluded out of hand. C'mong!! We're ready, coach! Give us the juice!!
* edge-wrapping, like a Pac-man board
- 14A) Soup: a blessing, but it gets you finally sick in the stomach (8)
(a blessing = BOON) gets (you finally = U) + (sick in the stomach = ILL) = BOUILLON
- 15A) Reduce feather dimensions? (8)
(feather = DOWN) + (dimensions = SIZE) = DOWNSIZE
This lumbersexual definitely knows!
By our reasoning then, only the dude on the right is a “hipster.” The other three are just dudes who try.
- 19A) Producer of gore? (4)
GORE * anagram = OGRE
Kirk argues that the test itself is a cheat, since the program is unwinnable, and thus cheating is the only solution. Spock counters that the point of the test is not to win, but to face fear and accept the possibility of death, like Kirk's father did.
- 20A) Moving along in dissemination of bread? (7)
ALONG IN * anagram = LOANING
- 22A) Urge to do without a Saturn, for example (3)
(Urge = GOAD) without A = GOD
- 27A) Sending someone up to break palomino? No good! (10)
anagram * (PALOMINO + (no good = NG)) = LAMPOONING
- 33A) Find I am limitless in this country! (5)
Find I am = INDIA
- 35A) Writer in heading west acquires name (3)
(in heading west = NI) + (name = N) = NIN
- 39A) Fanny packs, female (3)
Fanny = ANN
- 43A) Right at the end, model mails jackets I like (7)
(MAILS I * anagram) + (Right = R) at the end = SIMILAR
But it's time to expand. So we've been reading fashion blogs. Tucking our pants into our shoes. Being hip/p/st/er. Yes.
- 47A) TV character who puts an end to children? (3)
end to CHILDREN = REN
- 3D) Artist, not deceased, comparatively amateurish (5)
(Artist = DRAWER) not (deceased = D) = RAWER
Also, if you're in Chicago, please do yourself a favor and see Improvised Shakespeare at iO. It's exactly what it sounds like: an improvised Shakespeare play with more or less era-appropriate language and rhyming. But wait: listen to this! No, listen to THIS: Patrick Stewart has sneaked into the cast when he's in town. Doesn't that immediately make you feel expansive and magical? Patrick Stewart, freely and generously using his Patrick Stewart powers for make benefit all.
this paragraph explains the reason we brought up Improvised Shakespeare
We saw the show last month, and at one point they portrayed a band practicing a coronation song. “Ok time to do the song ... ” and the song went:
Raw!We sing that coronation song ... a lot.
Get hard as hell!
You're gonna like it!
- 5D) I scrutinize stars in bad sitcoms, owning not one record (11)
(SITCOMS + (not one = 0 = O) + (record = LOG)) * anagram = COSMOLOGIST
- 6D) Pop sound turned up, if superior to sounds from the bedroom (4)
(if superior = FI) + (sounds from the bedroom = ZZ) = FIZZ
- 11D) Growth showing the significance of ABCFG? (4)
ABCFG = no D E = NODE
- 18D) Tarzan, in essence, is marked by comedy (8)
Tarzan in essence = ZANINESS
- 21D) Game for ninnies, organized to get a bit of peace (8)
(NINNIES + (big of peace = P)) * anagram = NINEPINS
- 22D) Part of a fat jazzed-up line: “Put a ring on it” (5)
(LINE + put a (ring = O) on it) * anagram = OLEIN
re: put a ring on it Here's a video of Joe Jonas in a unitard dancing and lip-syncing to All the Single Ladies:
- 26D) Miss L. unnaturally takes back reverses
Miss L. unnaturally * takes back = ANNULS
- 32D) Woven yarn that keeps one wet (5)
YARN that keeps (one = I) = RAINY
- 36D) Man out of line? (4)
LINE * anagram = NEIL
- 37D) “____, say it isn't so!”: exhortation to Romney to drop out (4)
(exhortation to Romney = oh, Mitt) * homophone = OMIT
sidenote Back when we lived in Boston, we worked at a sandwich shop for a year called the Oxford Spa (shout out to Heather Donut!) (shout out to Jessi-Pie who just got married!). “Spa” is old school Boston slang for “deli.” One of the sandwiches there was called the “O MITT” for then-governor Mitt Romney. It was bacon, lettuce, tomato, turkey, and thousand island dressing on white bread. “Because he's a pig and a turkey at the same time,” Boss E explained.
additional sidenote because we're thinking about The Spa now BUH we are sick and tired of hearing paranoid talk about how waitstaff “spit in the food.” It comes up maybe once a year from so-called friends and peers, and even once a year is often enough to yield our sick and tired feels. We've only ever heard it from people who have never worked in food service. Comes across as some frustrating classist bullshit. The fantasy that people who work on their feet are barbarians with no adult coping mechanisms. The fantasy that there's a stranger's saliva in your food cuz you're kinky, and into that. Every fear is a fantasy. Remember.
- 3A) It's a one-off—period! (4)
A ONE * anagram = AEON
- 16A) Until destroyed, partly part of a piñata (5)
Until destroyed = TILDE
- 30A) Little buffalo wings of American opera (4)
wings of (American opera) = ANOA
Anoa, also known as midget buffalo and sapiutan, are a subgenus of Bubalus comprising two species native to Indonesia: the mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) and the lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis). Both live in undisturbed rainforest, and are essentially miniature water buffalo.
- 42A) Seismic onset due three times at Pompeii? (3)
due three times at Pompeii = (due at Pompeii = 2) three times = 6 (at Pompeii, also) = SEI
- 45A) Nobody move! Butt off! Both hands up! (4)
(Nobody = NO ONE) butt off = NOON
- 49A) last night it came from vestry—EEE! (9)
VESTRY EEE * anagram = YESTEREVE
- 1D) Big bomb: corrupt N.Y. prodigal son finally gets taken in for slippery behavior (12)
((Big bomb = H) + NY PRODIGAL + (son finally = N)) * anagram = HYDROPLANING
- 2D) It provides music for a Lipoderm spot (4)
Lipoderm = IPOD
- 8D) Collective action, turning gray-brown? (7)
DUNNING (double synonym)
1.to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.
1. a brownish-grey colour
- 20D) Sign fronting Little Egypt's offering (3)
Little Egypt's offering = LEO
- 28D) Something hot and under pressure with a key addition is the making of Paganini (6)
with (A (key = G)) is PAGANINI = PANINI
- 39D) Article is for many showing one way to get through Switzerland (4)
(Article = A) + (is for many = ARE) = AARE
Not helped by another puzzle usual suspect,
- 4D) Gun very nearly seen in holdup (3)
(VERY nearly = VER) * holdup = REV
The Tacky!Two this month.
- 7D) Crazy Spanish female's place? Not half! (4)
(place = LOCATION) * half = LOCA
- 12D) Deacon diddled with classroom helper, producing stories (8)
(DEACON + (classroom helper = TA)) * anagram = ANECDOTA