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August 28, 2008

What a (Kitchen) Tool!

NightscopeMousey.bmpI hope you didn't try to adjust your set. There were technical difficulties, but now Owl Meat has come through with Dining@Large Crossword No. 3, What a Tool! Here's what he had to say about it:

"Cars on the highway, planes in the air
Everyone else is going somewhere
But I’m going nowhere, getting there too
I might as well just sink down with you
- Fountains of Wayne

Glug glug.  Why so glum chum?  Not glum, in fact, ebullient that the summer heat is almost over and I'm taking scuba and spear-fishing lessons for a trip to Baku in November. With any luck I will bag one of those elusive Caspian Tigerfish -- ha tah!
Today's Funtastic Thursday clambake of merriment is the third and probably final crossword puzzle for a while.  These are hard to make! My brain box hurts a little and I think that the crossword-making area is depleted.  I'm depleted!  Oh well, on to other 'tastic pursuits. You will note that my new mastery of Photoshop has allowed for the return of some of our mystery friends. ...

This puzzle asks the perennial question, 'What kind of tool are you?' Today's theme is kitchen tools -- anything from a spoon to an electric cannoli stuffer. There are a few that might be called mythical kitchen tools, so hang 10 on this one. For example, even if  PorkForks and Hasenpfeffer-izers don't exist now, I'd like to think they will in some shining future. 
Today's prize? My manservant and scuba instructor Adobo Karilli will fashion an origami likeness of you -- under water! Or a box of Cuatro Carne Fiesta Hot Pockets, the new 'meat party in a pastry' with four kinds of 'meat.'  One of the ingredients is 'mechanically separated woodland creature.'   Go boldly.  Go boldly into that dark night of the microwaved soul.
I entered into unknowing,
yet when I saw myself there,
without knowing where I was,
I understood great things;
I will not say what I felt
for I remained in unknowing
transcending all knowledge

Extra points if you can tell me the source of the poem and what level of Hell I will be flung into for juxtaposing it with Satan's pouch of rue.
As always,
Larvatus prodeo"




Posted by Elizabeth Large at 12:18 PM | | Comments (50)


Holy guacamole! Did you catch some kind of Hello Kitty fever in Paraguay? Who are those weird dudes? You're a Photoshop freak now.

How cute are those guys? My daughter wants to know where the cartoons came from. So I guess we will never know who our mystery friends are. It looks like you figured out GIMP or Photo Shop. The puzzle sure looks cute, but I suspect it is still a brain scratcher.

Aaaaa!T hose are the demonds that lives in Sam Sessa's beard of lies! Kill killl killl them. their outtward exterior bemasks the interoir of menacement! Attack attack attack.

Oh, I forget laetly,

Ahhh, the puzzle looks good. Look at all that white space and the long words. I retire from crossword puzzle-making forever. I made some of the clues a little easier this week to give you a fighting chance.

There are a few short anagrams. You can spot them when the clue implies some sort of disorder, for example, mixed up lamb ointment could be BALM.

It's rainy, you don't need to work today, puzzle it away.

No VDP, I didn't get Hello Kitty Fever. Good one. I'm just featuring my more whimsical side today.

So what's the deal with the flaming happy banana doing the hula?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Rev Ed or MD Canon should be able to decipher that poem.

The poem reminds me of Meister Eckhard, but I think it's someone's knock off of the genuine mystical style, not the real deal. But perhaps owls are familiar with the Cloud of Unknowing.

St. John of the Cross is the poet.

I can't actually read the clues for the puzzle, so I won't be able to solve it.

Me posting fake mystical poetry? Why that's preposterous. No it's the real deal. It sounds Buddhist, but it's a Catholic mystic St. John of the Cross. I chose from about five translations, most of which were terrible. Saint Pockets!

I didn't see the crazy happy banana thing with the hula hoop up there. But think we were promised that the solution to today's funtastic crossword would reveal the crazy happy banana origin, yes? That true, Owl?

Honestly, I don't care anymore where the banana and these cuties all came from, it's been so long it's like they're old friends now. I just love all these happy little things floating around my mind on the thursdays they appear. Much better than the real world.

When my uber-idiot sexist boss starts blah blah blah-ing, I just look at the air next to his big fat balding head and see a little peach strawberry woman thing lying on her side with a lot of lipstick smiling, or the crazy happy banana thing whizzing around his big fat balding head hula hooping and I just nod and smile at whatever he is saying. Priceless.

Awesome Rosebud. You are correct. My friend said I couldn't pull it off, but I think it fit quite well.

BG, I said that happy flaming banana funguy's identity would be revealed in a future puzzle, just not this one. I liked your previous suggestion that he just be our mascot. And so it is. Plus his coterie of other funguys and fungals. (I can't really discern sexuality on them.)

Yeah, let's adopt them for our own.

That sounds like a fun technique, imagining our mascots tormenting our tormentors. So it is.

Now that I'm Photoshop literate, they can continue their adventures on Thursday without all the pesky words.

Bonus points for Bourbon Girl.

BG et al, our mascots need names. Suggestions welcome.

Rosebud, dear sister--way to go! I am so impressed!

Oh, Girl of the Bourbon, what a wonderful way to ignor the boss.

I'll give it a try today. I think the flaming banana hula hooping around his head would be particularly good, although it just might make me laugh in his face.

Rosebud, dear sister--way to go! I am so impressed!

Isn't it amazing the things we have in the back of our minds ready to jump forward when we least expect them?

I'm beginning to think that happy flaming banana funguy isn't actually a real logo at all, but just a creation of Owl Meat Photoshop-guy.

If so, he could retire a rich man by selling it to some company. I would buy anything with that logo. EL

I played the whose-logo-is-this game with a bunch of friends who are graphic designers a couple of years ago. They didn't get the answer either. It's a real thing, but I question its value since no one can guess its meaning. They are all very real.

Rob in PCB FL & Rosebud: At first I thought the poem was from "The Cloud of Unknowing," the popular anonymous 14th century Christian work. My daughter thought it sounded Buddhist. Neither one of us got much traction from our sources however. Rosebud, I'll trust your certainty.

MD, you can trust my certainty:

Coplas hechas sobre un éxtasis de harta contemplación.
-- San Juan de la Cruz
Nine verses made upon an ecstasy of high contemplation
-- St John of the Cross 1542-1591

For those of you with a good understanding of Spanish, it's an interesting exercise to compare the various translations with the original text. Some are ridiculously bad for poetry.

I liked the part I chose because it isn't overtly religious and does have a Buddhist ring to it.

OMG -- I am impressed! But shouldn't we be invoking somewhat more domestic luminaries, like Kitchen Saints.

I would quibble with their choice for wine, since the icon in my office identifies St. Vincent of Saragossa as such. I would also have included St. Augustine, Patron of Beer, and St. Nicholas, Patron of Cakes and Cookies (whose patronage icons also hang in my office).

Although I was baptised and confirmed as a young youngster and therefore have a lifetime membership in the Catholic church until the Pope says otherwise, it's a lot like the Mafia, I don't know squat about the Bible. My knowledge of St John of the Cross comes from years as a serious poet (implication: depressed and trying to score with chicks). I hate everything religious, but love mystics who slip the bounds of dogma and trip the light fantastic of spititual freedom, which always leads them away from the repression of religion and frequently gets them burned.

I know St. John of the Cross as a poet, not as a religious person. I woudl never sully Funtastic Thursdays with religion.

OMG wrote: "BG et al, our mascots need names. Suggestions welcome."

My first thought for the crazy happy banana thing with the hula hoop was Eliot. (Actually, it was Prufrock, given how beloved that love song is on this blog; but it didn't really fit the aura of our mascot, thus Eliot).

But I just woke up. The bourbon tonight will be better inspiration than my morning coffee.

Rosebud - so did you try the technique with your boss?

The other one I enjoy is to assign him theme songs. When I hear his voice, or hear his grotesque frame lumbering toward my office, or when he enters my office and starts blah-blah-ing, the theme song starts to play in my head.

The songs must be entirely retarded. Such as Boston's "More than a feeling..."

Rockchick probably has great ideas for this one. Let me know.

I think I could arrange for you to slip the surly bounds of the Catholic Church OMG.

Dear New Pope,
Please ex-communicate Owl Meat Gravy from the Roman Catholic Church. He is a heretic, possibly a superficial Buddhist, a fornicator, and just generally impious. He has no known acts of charity except what he calls mercy flirting. And he used St. John of the Cross to promote fictitious meat pastries. I personally have seen him kick three orphans for sport.

Your truly,
Voodoo Pork

Ooo, a shout out from Bourbon Girl. Nice. So we get to name the Owl Meat Smurfs? Is there more than one flamey dude or just that one. Are the happy strawberry teeth multiple or one aseuxal frollicker in different modes? Too confusing for now. This may require some Jameson's later.

Off the top of my head, for songs to distract one from the idiocies of daily life, I think catchy and silly would be good like carnival music. My phone ring is "Baby Elephant Walk".

I think almost any Ramones song would be great for zoning someone out. Plus you can count the person out like they do at the beginning of a lot of songs: 1 2 3 4 ... Lobotomy! Lobotomy!
Teenage Lobotomy has been in my head lately. RIP Johnny, Joey and DeeDee

MD Canon--Was San Lorenzo the one who was grilled and said "I'm done on this side--turn me over"?

Brilliant choice Owl - Crossword, St. John of the Cross, who was influence for T.S. Eliot, part I of The Waste Land in particular.

(Eliot was also a fan of Whitman)

I propose we name the happy banana thing "Robert of Chiquita."

Well, I can only speak for myself, but I'm guessing the other "Girls" also would not want happy flaming banana thingy to be named Robert. ; )

Oh great, now I have Teenage Lobotomy in my head. I'm going to try out your technique. The only problem is that I want to wag my head from side to side. I tried I Want to Be Sedated, but then I was bobbing my head up and down. Interesting phenomena. Any thoughts on how tempo might influence head bobbing and wagging Piano Rob?

I had to look up Baby Elephant Walk. Wow, that takes you from 0 to insane in 5 seconds flat.

"Alex Chilton" by the Replacements is a great mental diversion, especially the Chilton-y guitar solo.

I never travel too far
without a little Big Star.

Agreed CG, you're a gouda girl. No Roberts in my menagerie.

No Roberts in my menagerie. I don't know the Roberts should be hurt or glad.

"Gouda Girl"? Is there an emoticon for collective groan?

(okay, I did laugh).

Sorry RTSO, I didn't get this month's Bros Before Hos newsletter.

Who can tell what next week's Thursday Funquake will bring? It could be a Robertpalooza for all I know.

The song "Baby Elephant Walk" tormented me for years.
When I was a kid some tv fundraiser (I think Muscular Dystrophy Association) played that song as a theme for their beg-a-thon.
I swear I had nightmares for years.

Susan WNAJ -- I don't recall "Baby Elephant Walk" being associated with a given telethon, but, back in the 1960s, you could see a lot of animal acts on TV variety shows (such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Palace, and International Showtime). If an elephant act was featured on the show, then, more often than not, "Baby Elephant Walk" would be played by the show's house orchestra during the act.

Has anyone attempted to solve the crossword?

It definitely was played on some telethon in the very late 50's or very early 60's. I am 54 and still can't listen to that song.

They used to play Baby Elephant walk at every O's game.

What's with the girl power squad? You do a little kidney stealing in Europe for a couple of months and everything changes. Owl Meat, maye you should refresh yourself on the Bro Code. Also, St. John of Cross(word)? You need to get out more.

Dahlink -- for that matter, did anyone ever attempt to solve last week's crossword?

Despite the annoying strawberry teethers, I think I solved all of it. I needed some help with some of the Americanisms. It was more solvable than the last one for me, even if it isn't quite up to the standards of The Times. Quite good fun for the train commute. Rare and well done.

Oh the puzzle ... I was all wrapped in the diversions.

"Boolean Anti-Yoko word?" Is that "ONONOT"? Nerd. It took me forever to realize the "Roasts" = SKEWERS as in a comedy roast not a pot roast. Tricky tricky white boy.

Rosebud - so did you try the technique with your boss?

Not yet, BG. He decided he needed an extra long weekend and took off of OC Thursday evening. And guess who one of the people in that 4 hour back up was?

I'm going to give the puzzle a try today. I was bombarded with kids' school stuff this week. I printed it out, but my daughter liked the strawberry gremlins so much that she cut them out for a collage for school. I don't know what they mean. She just thinks they're cute. A spork is that weird plastic mutant utensil that's half spoon/half fork? For some reason I thought Spork was the Canadian version of Spam.

BG - I was just thinking Girlfriend in a Coma might be good one. I also think Bigmouth Strikes Again would work. Or just about anything from The Smiths/Morrissey. What do you think?

I swear I had nightmares for years.
When I was very young - toddler age - there was a show on local TV called Paul's Puppets. The theme music was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and it, along with the puppets, scared the living daylights out of me.

I believe that puppets are delightfull. Many people who are forcibly quarantined find them a whimsical diversion from the harsh realities of there predicamints. What person does not enjoy the delightfull antics of The Thunder Birds! Horray for puppetry!

Good call Rosebud. Morrisey's voice has a hypnotic quality will help you zone out. As an aside, some hotel chain did a survey of customers and found that the number one choice of music to help people fall asleep was Coldplay. I'm working on a visualization of dancing baby elephants to accompany the soundtrack.

I'm afraid that the puzzle is some kind of mind control device. I don't want be a slave in Owl Man's dungeon! Eek.

Uncustomary swerve: Puppets can be a little freaky. My great aunt went through an extreme-craft phase a while back and croqueted some lovely finger puppets for everyone. (Hand modelling by VDP). Unless you are eating some magic mushrooms, I just can't see how finger puppets could amuse you for long.

I thought spork was the Science Officer on a version of Star Trek using utensils. You know, Captain Dirk, Mr. Spork, etc.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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