08.09.10 — Idioms and the Iceman

In American culture, many bawdy jokes focus on wives who commit adultery with a mailman, milkman, plumber, traveling salesman, or any other man who knocks on the front door while the husband is away. In 1912, the year in which The Iceman Cometh is set, one of the deliverymen who stopped frequently at homes was the iceman. He delivered blocks of ice used to refrigerate food. Like milkmen and traveling salesmen, icemen became characters in these bawdy jokes. — Study guide for Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh by Michael J. Cummings


Monday, August 9, 2010

Puzzle by David Poole, edited by Will Shortz

Four idioms utilizing the digestive system, BITE THE BULLET (20A. Accept an inevitable hardship), CHEW THE SCENERY (27A. Ham it up), SWALLOW THE BAIT (43A. Fall for a flimflam) and DIGEST THE NEWS (51A. Understand what’s happening) are the interrelated group of this amusing Monday crossword, but alas with nothing to eat but CRABMEAT (3D. Stuffed sole stuffing), tempting empty TINS (33A. Sardine containers) and ALES (41D. Pub quaffs) for SOTS (34A. Boozehounds).

ANAIS NIN (38D. “Delta of Venus” author) receives full billing today and leads the people parade ATTLEE (10D. Churchill’s predecessor and successor), CYRUS (5A. “Hannah Montana” star Miley), DEB (37D. Society girl, for short), EZRAS (35A. Poet Pound and others), GERE (42D. Richard of “Chicago”, HENSON (47D. Jim who created Kermit the Frog), HOPI (4D. Indian doll maker), 13D. Clifford ODETS, “Awake and Sing!” dramatist, OTT (25A. Giants great Mel), RUTH (7D. Babe with a bat), SETH (40D. Actor Rogen of “Knocked Up”, 46D. “THELMA & Louise,” 1991 film, ULEE (8D. Beekeeper in a 1997 film), YVETTE (6D. Actress Mimieux of  “The Time Machine” ).

“The Iceman COMETH and “Comin’ THRO the Rye” bring on the mid-size group including ALAMO, ARETES (45D. Craggy mountain ridges), COOLER (11D. Hoosegow), GENRE, METER, ODIUM, O’HARE, OVULE, REEDS and REELS, REMEDY (12D. Cure), SEDAN, SHINTO (43D. Japanese for “the way of the gods”), STREW, TRADE, WAGONS (44D. Conestogas, e.g.).

Short stuff — ACRO, ACTS, ALOE, ATM, CIA, CLAP, DAIS, ELI and ELL, ENS, HEAD, HER, INC, INOT, IRISH, ISH, ITCH (1A. Something to scratch), KNIT, MOSS, ONUS, RIPE, SET, TEL and TELE, TOED, TOME, TRAS, UPI, URNS, UTNE, WDS, WORK and Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran the ZOO.


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.

If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 10. Height: Prefix; 16. ___ the line (obeyed); 17. Applaud; 18. Taxi’s ticker; 19. Any volume of the Oxford English Dictionary; 23. Source of after-hours $$$; 26. Clarinet, oboe and saxophone; 32. Swap; 33. Sardine containers; 34. Boozehounds; 37. Emcee’s spot; 41. Succulent houseplant; 42. Comedy, sci-fi or romance; 48. Site of many Chicago touchdowns; 49. The other woman; 50. Suffix like -like; 56. “How could ___?”; 57. Film vault collection; 58. Burden; 61 ___ Reader (alternative magazine); 62. Davy Crockett died defending it, with “the”; 63. Fully red, as a raspberry; 64. Peat source; 65. Alternative to a convertible; 66. Furrow, as the brow. DOWN: 1. Abbr. at the end of a company’s name; 2. ___ Aviv; 4. Indian doll maker; 21. Carry; 22. Vases; 23. Is a cast member; 24. “Comin’ ___ the Rye”; 28. Vocabulary: Abbr.; 29. Toss (about); 30. “Alias” org.; 31. Warrant officer’s superior: Abbr.; 35. Building wing; 39. What the white of an eye surrounds; 41. Pub quaffs; 52. Chorus syllables; 53. The “T” in TV; 54. President; 55. Cry made while cracking a whip, maybe; 59. Wire service inits.; 60. “Quiet on the ___!”

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