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Author Topic: A big hand for the March 14 crossword  (Read 1411 times)


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A big hand for the March 14 crossword
« on: March 14, 2017, 05:03:04 PM »
Crossword creators are clever when they make a puzzle with a word that can be combined with the first word of several different phrases -- but they're really clever when they make a puzzle with a word that can be combined with each word of several different phrases. Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Roger and Kathy Weinberg falls into the latter category. I assume they are husband and wife. This seems to be their first published crossword:

Immediately: FIRSTOFF
Like most TV dramas: HOURLONG
High stadium tier: UPPERDECK
Performer's exit direction: STAGERIGHT
Sports bet based on total points scored: OVERUNDER

In advance, and where you might find both parts of those answers: BEFOREHAND

"Dangerous Amazon fish" is PIRANHA, which is a Portuguese word deriving from the Tupinambá pirá ("fish") and ánya ("tooth"). The Tupinambá were a tribe that lived along the Brazilian coast. The tribe, and their language, are now extinct.

"December song" is NOEL. We sing The First Noel and perhaps don't really know what the word means. Noël is French for "Christmas carol." The word also refers to Christmas itself. It comes from the Latin natalis, which means "birthday" and is also the source of the word "nativity."

Damon Gulczynski's New York Times crossword includes SALADDAYS ("Youthful time in one's life"). The expression was coined by William Shakespeare in Antony & Cleopatra (1606). Cleopatra, expressing her regret over her youthful dalliances with Julius Caesar, refers to "My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood." Four crossword answers are names of actors -- and salads:

Road Trip actor, 2000: TOMGREEN
12 Angry Men actor, 1957: LEEJCOBB
Anatomy Of A Murder actor, 1959: ORSONBEAN
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World actor, 1963: SIDCAESAR

According to legend, the Cobb salad was created in 1937 by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. Sid Grauman, owner of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, was there late one night and was hungry. Cobb started throwing things together to make a salad: lettuce, romaine, watercress, avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, chicken breast, bacon, salad oil and olive oil. He chopped the ingredients into small pieces because Grauman was suffering from a toothache. Grauman liked it and started requesting a "Cobb salad" every time he ate at the Brown Derby. The salad became popular and was added to the menu. Is the legend true? Possibly -- but it is more likely that chef Paul Pesti is the one who created the salad.

One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is "Hollywood At Last" (1955), She is instantly starstruck upon seeing actor William Holden at the Brown Derby. She keeps staring and then.......well, I'm sure we've all seen it. Here is an excerpt:


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