“S&L Deposits” by Charles Oldham – 13:01
Here’s an actual quote from an email sent to a colleague today:
Thanks […] but I didn’t just fall off the back of the turnip truck…..I have a long time friend who is a mucky muck in the …
Suffice to say that my colleague was correct and the emailer was wrong despite his friend.
Xwordinfo.com tells me that TURNIP TRUCK has appeared once in a New York Times. It was a theme answer, with the clue being [Food transportation that a rube might fall off] (Randolph Hartman, Sept 25, 2007).
Mucky muck seems wrong. MUCKETY MUCK has also appeared once, also a theme answer (Peter Gordon, September 25, 2000). Is Turnip Truck Guy wrong again? What’s the verdict on Mucky Muck? Who would you describe as a Mucky Muck? Does anyone use this term? Wonderboy? Wow, how did this escape me?
Speaking of Mucky Mucks, I suppose some work for Savings & Loans (S&L’s). Today’s puzzle cleverly “deposits” the letters S and L into the theme answers to create wacky new phrases.
22A. [Invention for lazy equestrians?] – SADDLING MACHINE from adding machine. I used an adding machine when I could barely count to help my father balance ledger sheets and today I’m an accountant.
34A. [Fowl that’s not too demanding to raise?] – EASY GOSLING from easy going.
41A. [Store specializing in coaching equipment?] – WHISTLE HOUSE from white house.
63A. [Place to keep a starter’s pistol?] – SPORTS ARSENAL from sports arena
69A. [Reach an acquittal in a police brutality case?] – ABSOLVE THE LAW from above the law. Does police brutality pass the breakfast test?
90A. [Charity for naked young sheep?] – SHEARLING AID from hearing aid. Do naked young sheep pass the breakfast test? (see also 124A. [Get naked] – STRIP)
98A. [Sales pitch that eschews boasts?] – HUMBLE SPIEL from humble pie
115A. [Studio of a designer who forbids the use of sequins?] – NO SPARKLING ZONE from no parking zone.
21A. [Intend to] – SHALL from 91D. [Computer voiced by Douglas Rain] – HAL
30A. [America’s Cup entrant] – SLOOP from oop which rhymes with 70D. [Betty of cartoons] – BOOP
40A. [Acts like a bear] – SELLS from els
17D. [David’s weapon] – SLING from ing
28D. [Company man?] – SOLDIER from odier
35D. [Screw feature] – SLOT from ot
46D. [Idyllic valley in the Kunlun Mountains] – SHANGRI-LA from hangria
56D. [Good place to dye] – SALON from aon
58D. [Agronomists’ samples] – SOILS from ois
74D. [Contract stuff] – SMALL PRINT from malprint
90D. [1973 Woody Allen movie] – SLEEPER from eeper
(I suppose it is possible some of these aren’t actually theme answers. I just want to be complete.)
1A. [Toothy swimmer] – PIRANHA. When there’s a PIRANHA at 1 across you had better stay alert for the whole puzzle.
33A. [___ Michele of “Glee”] – LEA. My favorite music show now that American Idol is off the air. (See 105D. [Tongue-in-cheek humor] – IRONY)
68A. [Identify] – PEG
109A. [Saturn’s fourth-largest moon] – DIONE. Top three are Titan, Rhea and Iapetus.
6D. [It may come down hard on you] – HAIL. Breakfast test!
10D. [Cornbread item] – ASH CAKE. What a horrible name for something to eat.
14D. [“Of course it was me”] – WHO ELSE? I take all the blame for this post.
43D. [Experiencing a bad situation] – IN THE SOUP. I prefer kreplach in my soup.
47D. [Waterloo setting] – IOWA. Also Ontario.
63D. [Chowderhead] – SCHMO. See Mucky muck.
99D. [“Yup”] – UH HUH. You have 5 spaces and can only use H and U. Go!
4D. [“Your point being?”] – AND…5D. [Nothing] – NIL…
Not sure which novel I learned “high muckety-muck” from. Maybe Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, or Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, or something by Toni Morrison. So it feels like an old-timey phrase used by African-Americans to me, since I rarely encounter it elsewhere. Except in my head, where I do like to use the term.
Didn’t Mucky-Muck sing with the New Kids on the Block?
Are you asking about the word WONDERBOY? That was the bat used by Roy Hobbs in Bernard Malamud’s novel The Natural. It was mystical as it was the product of a lightning strike on an ash tree, playing off the Excalibur legend in King Arthur. Or am I off base here?
@Bill if you click on Wondeboy, you’ll see a song of that name by Tenacious D with lyrics:
High above the mucky-muck, castle made of clouds,
There sits Wonderboy, sitting oh so proudly.
Not much to say when you’re high above the mucky-muck.
Wonderboy, what is the secret of your power?
Wonderboy, won’t you take me far away from the mucky-muck man?
To quote Emily Letella, “Nevermind”