Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hi y’all!  Thanks for checking out our first video-post on Respectable Tournament Times!  Here’s a video with commentary, or you can scroll down for our write up.

Warning: spoilers below!


Will:  Angela and I decided to do a Thursday this week – and we feel pretty good about how it went, finishing with a time of 22:34.

Angela:  We started in the right hand side of the the puzzle, and we filled in the top and middle right sections relatively quickly. After that, we did the rest, only getting stumped at the end with COMEDY CLUB.  Our physics backgrounds are a bit weak, so we had AMPETER instead of AM METER for a while, which we corrected after we realized COMPEDO CLUB wasn’t, in fact, some cool Spanish club that we hadn’t heard of.  That made us feel better about YOW instead of the non-word OOW, though I’m pretty sure that no one says YOW either.

Crossword Theme

W:  The theme of today’s puzzle was – at first glimpse – some mystery movie man.  Once the ING of RAGING BULL revealed itself though, we were able to figure out ROBERT DENIRO, the glue holding the puzzle together.  Now, I know basically nothing about Mr. DeNiro, other than 1.) His name rhymes with Al Pacino, 2.) I get the two of them confused all the time, and 3.) Middle-aged men are always trying to convince me he’s great.  Regardless, given that I spent my teen years trolling around IMDB trying to make myself “cooler” and “more cultured,” most of the titles here were somewhat-recognizable.

A: I don’t think I’ve actually seen any of the movies in the puzzle, which is somewhat embarrassing, because I feel like it’s part of the “cultural lexicon” or something. (Or maybe that’s what middle-aged men are trying to convince me of!!) In any case, it’s entirely possible to have a passing familiarity with titles of things and still do crosswords well. I mean, I know what GOODFELLAS is – it’s the movie where that mafia dude says “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” I kid, I kid.

Favorite Clues

W:  As for my my favorite clue of the day – that goes to DEERHUNTER.  No, not because of the time I rented Bobby D’s three-hour opus from my local Family Video store…. only to return it unwatched a week later.  But rather for the Georgia-based indie rock group of the same name who I, in a rad coincidence, have tickets to see this week! I’m linking my fav DH track, Desire Lines, here, but their records Halcyon Digest, Monomania, and Cryptograms all rip from front to back.

A:  My favorite clue was ARNE, for the Chicago connections. Previous Education Secretary (under President Obama) Arne Duncan is from Hyde Park, which is where our alma mater UChicago is. He went to Lab Schools and worked for Chicago Public Schools for a long time. He also played basketball in the exact place we started our tradition of crosswords! Wait, what? Let me explain. When I was in my second year of college, I worked as a book scanner at the undergraduate library. I scanned books for 7 hours a week, which meant I listened to a TON of podcasts, including the Chicago-homegrown podcast The Axe Files, where David Axelrod interviews all sorts of political figures. I happened to listen to an episode when Arne Duncan talked about playing basketball in Bartlett Gymnasium as a kid. And you know what happened between when Arne Duncan was a kid and today? The university converted Bartlett Gym to Bartlett Dining Hall. And Bartlett Dining Hall had free copies of the New York Times with free copies of the New York Times Crossword. Boom. Mind blown.

Additional Reactions

W:  Angela and I ultimately had fun with this puzzle – I mean, c’mon, BURRITO was an answer (so was BRRR, but it loses points for not being a Gucci Mane reference).  But we were also left a queasy by some of the answers. Like, why did TEAT have to be here in the first place, and, more importantly, what is it doing right next to ASS in the grid??  The last thing I want to do when solving is get all hungry thinking of a BURRITO and then have my stomach turn over at the prospect of an ASS TEAT.  You a weird dude, Mr. Arbesfeld.

A:  Not to mention that the very first clue in the puzzle was CLOG, which is yet another gross thing that reminds me of all the times I’ve had to pull hair out of a drain. Ew. No thank you.

W:  So with that lovely topic closing us out – we wanted to thank y’all again for checking this out!  We plan on updating at least once a week, hopefully more as our schedules permit. In exciting news, we’ll be at LOLLAPUZZOOLA in NYC this weekend!  Which we can’t wait for, and hope to get some hot tips from our boi Rex Parker on how to conquer the Internet crossword game.  So stay tuned for some dispatches from the World’s Second Largest Crossword Tournament – and then weekly updates from there on out!

Solved Crossword



— Will and Angela



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