Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tabbies (Sunday brunch: April 6, 2014)

Don’t know if Hot and Trazom planned it that way, but in 3,319, they had TABBIES in 2d intersecting CATS in 1a.  So let’s introduce the feline members of the family, who both happen to be tabbies.

First there’s Joey, whose given name is Job.  We got him from a rescue group five years ago.  Sabers and Bangle had been angling for a pet, but there were concerns with everyone’s allergies, so we first spent an hour or so with him at the apartment of the person who was taking care of him.  There was no sneezing or asthma or rash, so he came home with us a week later.

Joey is built like a defensive end: big and strong and fast.  Even his whiskers are big, and his tail is like a labrador’s.  He’s almost six now, so he’s more like a retired defensive end, but he still gets his way around the house.

A year after we got Joey, another cat came up to the front window and knocked very politely.  We gave him a bite to eat, ascertained that there weren’t any other humans in the neighborhood looking for him, and got him to the vet, but he was certain that this was home.

Bangle (who was seven at the time) named him Dusty because of his pale tabby coloring.  Dusty’s a big cat too, but not as athletic as his brother.  His coat is not as fine, and it looks like it doesn’t quite fit him properly (if you can imagine that!).  He bites his nails too, so his claws are constantly broken.  But he has the most pleasant disposition.  He makes a fine lap kitty (if your lap is big enough), and purrs at the drop of a hat.  But he doesn’t speak much.  About the only time he’ll meow is if someone goes down to the back door: he’ll go down, reach up to the doorknob, and ask to go out.  Once he’s out, his desires are quite simple: roll around on the driveway and nibble on some grass.  I’ve never seen a cat eat as much grass as this one.

Find a lap kitty and a clipboard, and work on these puzzles.

The Hex cryptic in the National Post was interesting and maybe a little harder than usual.

There were two acrostics: in the New York Times (by Hex, behind the paywall, and Deb notes that the web wizards of the Times now have a non-Java online version) and Wall Street Journal by Mike Shenk.  On the latter, I think this was the first puzzle where I solved the acrostic before I even looked at the grid, so try it out.

Not much else this week, but if you subscribe to PandA or to Aries’s Rows Gardens, or you’ve got Cryptic All-Stars, you’ve got puzzles to catch up on.  I know I do.

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