Tuesday, December 1, 2020

$69.95

I was teaching a novel, an enormous novel, at least four inches thick, by a Latin-American writer whose name I had picked up from reading Jorge Luis Borges. Do you like this novel? I asked my students. Oh yes, everyone really liked it. I explained that I had decided to teach the novel before reading it and that I too was now reading it for the first time. The list price: $69.95.

I knew that I would have to “use” this novel for at least two more semesters — a condition of the university’s textbook rental system — and I had no idea how I might manage that. Perhaps I could just add the novel to future book orders and have students hold on to their copies.

The novel had a reference to the Marx Brothers, so I was looking forward to showing a clip from one of their movies.

Related reading
All OCA teaching dreams (Pinboard)

[This is the twentieth teaching-related dream I’ve had since retiring, and it’s the rare dream in which the work goes well, even if improbably. I taught at a university with a textbook rental system (a hangover from “normal school” days and an anti-intellectual selling point: rent your books, then turn them in at semester’s end). The three-semester rule was grounded in reality, not my dream life.]

Here’s where I live

A bowling alley and “lounge” to its customers:

TO EVERYONE WONDERING AND ASKING YES WE ARE STAYING OPEN AS IS WE JUST ASK TO TAKE YOUR SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND WE WILL AS WELL. WE RECOMMEND YOU TO HAVE A MASK WITH YOU FOR SAFETY BUT NOT REQUIRED. HOPE TO SEE EVERYONE OUT ABOUT THIS WEEKEND AND LETS HAVE SOME FUN.
No, let’s not.

Recently updated

Words of the year Now with pandemic.

Monday, November 30, 2020

¿Quién es más confiable?

¿Joe Namath, o Tom Selleck?

Joe Namath did call the Medicare Coverage Helpline, or at least he said so in an earlier version of his commercial. Maybe he called, maybe he didn’t. But I’m pretty confident that Tom Selleck has never looked into getting an AAG reverse mortgage for himself. And I doubt that he’s even done his “homework.” ¿Quién es más confiable?

Such questions come up when one has watched too much cable news.

[Who is more trustworthy?]

Mystery actor

[Click for a larger view.]

Do you recognize her? Leave your best guess in a comment. I’ll drop hints if needed.

*

Here’s a hint: She’s best known as the co-owner of a Santa Monica aoartment complex.

*

The answer is now in the comments.

More mystery actors (Collect them all!)
? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ? : ?

[Garner’s Modern English Usage notes that “support for actress seems to be eroding.” I use actor.]

Recently updated

Words of the year Now with doomscrolling.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Hi and Lois watch

[Hi and Lois, November 29, 2020. Click for a larger view.]

I don’t know where the colors come from, but it’s weird and wonderful to see resonator guitars in today’s Hi and Lois. And the guitar on the far left, is that supposed to be a Gibson? A Stella?

Related reading
All OCA Hi and Lois posts (Pinboard)

Garry Trudeau Mongols

Garry Trudeau chooses ten strips that define Doonesbury (The Washington Post ).

If you look closely at the photograph, you’ll see that in 1972 Trudeau was using Mongol pencils.

Related reading
All OCA Mongol posts (Pinboard)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, by Matthew Sewell, is exceedingly difficult. It's also hard, rough, tough, knotty, thorny, Herculean, and uncompromising. I’d say that this puzzle is synonymous with “difficult.” I missed by one letter, unable to rethink an answer that I knew could not be right. Oh well.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-A, ten letters, “Growth profession.” I defy any solver to get this answer first thing.

4-D, eight letters, “Dollar stores.” Clever.

10-D, eleven, letters, “Augustus collected them.” Nobody expects the Roman Empire!

13-D, six letters, “Bird that eats oranges (!).” This feels like a giveaway, but I’m not sure it is.

15-A, ten letters, “Brief romances, e.g.” Here’s the clue that messed me up. I never suspected that the first letter of my attempted answer could be wrong.

18-A, four letters, “Go along with, in a way.” Adding a noirish atmosphere to the puzzle.

21-D, five letters, “Candlelit performance.” Possibly. But I like the suggestion of coziness.

37-D, eight letters, “Stevenson’s ‘gift which cannot be worn out in using.’” RLS is in the air in our house, as Elaine is one of the many composers who have set his poems to music.

51-A, six letters, “Curated cuts.” I thought there must be a pun on deli meats here, but no.

58-A, ten letters, “Casual canvas shoe.” Seems very 1960s to me. I know that’s not accurate.

64-A, ten letters, “Rumble in the Jungle pairing.” At least one giveaway in this puzzle. Thanks for that.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Domestic comedy

[Shouted from floor to floor.]

“Jonathan Capehart is growing a beard!”

The people on the news, it’s like we know them now.

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)