Apr 1, 2009

Wednesday April 1, 2009 BOAP

Puzzle Title: "Get the Lead Out"

Puzzle constructor: Barrel of A Pencil (BOAP)

BOAP has been fascinated by crossword puzzles for thirty years. And he has been a dedicated collector and user of woodcase pencils for the past several years. Big fan of Dan Naddor, whose puzzle we solved on March 24, 2009.

Please come to the Comments section and let him know your thoughts on his puzzle.



(Updated on April 7, 2009: Answer Grid.)


Southern Belle said...

Hello BOAP - Well, I'm not a novice, but this puzzle was out of my league. I'd like to say the problem was because it printed out on two pages; ah, me, if that was only true! Anxious to see the solution.

Anonymous said...

Hi Belle, I'm not a novice solver, but I am almost a novice constructor so the fault may well lie with me. I cannot disguise the fact that in my zeal to stuff as many pencil-related answers in the grid as possible I violated the canons of construction. I tried to give fair warning in my cluing, but there are unfortunately some real clinkers in the grid which will never pass editorial scrutiny and will probably garner some well deserved disapprobation from the general puzzle solving community. I made this puzzle mostly for the enjoyment of those who collect pencils, enjoy their use, and like reading about them on the web. To gain a fuller appreciation of my mania I suggest that when the answer is posted next Tuesday over at by all means tour Stephen's (the blog originator) wonderful blog, but also take a gander at the pencils on offer over at Pencil Things. There you will see many of the usual suspects that I rounded up in my theme. As a puzzle I'm afraid it is neither fish nor fowl, better than a mere curio, but not publishable in a general sense. Thanks for trying it out!

Barrel Of A Pencil

Anonymous said...

Barrel of a Pencil,

If you knew the crossword "deserve[s] disapprobation" -- and I would definitely agree -- why would you waste our time with it? Learn the rules of crossword construction, if you're interested, and bring us a real pencil puzzle!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, in the same spirit you offered your criticism let me gratuitously violate another canon of construction just for you. The clue is "anus", the answer is seven letters long and begins with 'a' (you won't find this one in your Penny Press or Kappa comic books). Thanks for playing.


Anonymous said...

(Spoiler Alert)

Notes On "Get The Lead Out!"

The pencil-related theme answers are:

20A 61A 122A 67D
24A 111A 39D
25A 113A 46D
51A 116A 52D

(The following also attempts to explain some of the non-theme clues and answers within the puzzle. For more information on pencils, please visit Pencil Talk and Pencil Things on the web.)

20A/39D Tombow is a Japanese manufacturer. The "Mono" is their premiere offering in woodcased pencils. 'R' and 'J' are two of the model lines bearing the "Mono" imprint.

24A The "Palomino" is a premium pencil from California Republic.

29A Zero degrees latitude

51A The "Mikado" is now a collectible pencil.

53A Bond villain "Auric" Goldfinger whose deadly hat-wielding henchman was "Oddjob". I was trying to be sly here. Did I succeed in making the solver think of a work responsibility and not a person?

55A "Meg" for "Margaret"

58A Michael Eisner helmed Disney synonymous with Mickey Mouse.

61A "Helix" Oxford pencil, a British offering with striking pink-tinged cedar.

65A Literally half of a cheerleader's "pom-pom".

107A The two U.S. Senators from New York are Hillary Clinton in the clue for 34A and Alfonse D'Amato in the answer for 13D ("Cus" D'Amato, also a New Yorker, was the young Mike Tyson's mentor).

111A The classic sitcom "Sanford And Son".

113A "Mitsubishi", the Japanese manufacturer of the Hi-Uni, perhaps the finest woodcased pencil being made today.

116A The Eberhard Faber "Blackwing" 602. Now quite rare and commanding prices upwards of $30 per pencil, the "Blackwing" with its superb waxy dark lead and distinctive flared brass ferrule housing a flattened rectangular eraser was the preferred implement of Steinbeck and many other creative types. "Rara avis indeed" is a little bit (a very little bit) of humor playing off the pencil's avian nickname. I have never seen one of these in the flesh.

122A Escher's timeless paradox. What? You were thinking of jujitsu?

1D The answer is literally one quarter of the opening line of the famous Alka Seltzer jingle "Plop! Plop! Fizz! Fizz!/(Oh what a relief it is)".

2D With its faint suggestion of a 'hangover', a lucky correspondence, as sometimes happens, with 1D.

11D This rare spelling, "coala" with a 'c', is found as a "minor word" in Webster's New International Dictionary, published in 1919.

15D A pun on "working for the man".

19D The imagery of a correctional facility is a deliberate red herring intended to put one in mind of a computer hacker, not a links butcher.

39D See 20A above

46D The "Musgrave Ritual", one of Doyle's immortal Holmes stories. Located in Shelbyville, Tennessee, "Musgrave" is one of America's last remaining pencil companies and proud maker of the outstanding "Musgrave" Natural HB.

52D "Kohinoor", also "Koh-I-noor", is a maker of pencils in the Czech Republic since 1790.

62D From Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life".

63D International Longshoremen's Association

65D I wish I could take this one back (and 69A and 11D as well).

67D The "Mongol" is another collectible pencil.

89D Political "mud" slinging during campaign season and a nod to Joe Klein's "Primary Colors".

104D Jack London Story "To Build A Fire" which he published in different versions in 1902 and 1908with different endings.

105D Here 104D reads "afire", as in 'burning', 'on fire', etc., not "a fire". Another lucky correspondence.

Barrel Of A Pencil

Dennis said...

BOAP, one of the toughest puzzles I've ever done, and I loved it! Thanks, and I look forward to your next one.

Crockett1947 said...

BOAP Thanks for a devilish hard puzzle. I didn't catch the pencil collection part. Don't feed the trolls.

Have a great Wednesday!

Argyle said...

I was all set to call this a Barrel of xizs#* but after reading your comments...Bravo!

I still don't care for 68A, oiled for 'over the limit'

Anonymous said...

Hi Dennis, Crockett, and Argyle. Thanks for doing my puzzle, I really do appreciate the feedback. You guys give me hope that we'll meet at the Corner again, thanks for that! And thanks to C.C. for generously allowing me to display my somewhat dubious wares in this excellent forum.

Barrel Of A Pencil