7.06.2009

MONDAY, July 6, 2009 — David W. Cromer


THEME: for all time ... — theme answers begin with words related to never-endingness

Whoa, how'd it get to be so late? One minute I was casually eating my early-morning breakfast on the couch with my dog, and the next ... it's nearly 10am. Stupid, seductive PBS documentaries about music and brain function! My morning is gone! Oh well, it was probably worth it. This puzzle, on the other hand ... not necessarily worth the three+ minutes it took to solve. Good idea, but ... adjective, adjective, noun/adverb, adverb = ouch to lovers of parallel construction everywhere. I thought these things mattered, at least a little. I see that with FOREVER STAMP you kind of, almost, get me to believe that FOREVER is an adjective, but ALWAYS? No. Love FOREVER STAMP as an answer (fresh, in-the-language), but that's one of the few things I love about this puzzle.



Theme answers:
  • 20A: Wrinkle-resistant after washing (PERMANENT PRESS)
  • 34A: Fabled fountain's reward (ETERNAL YOUTH)



  • 41A: You can still use it when postage rates increase (FOREVER STAMP)
  • 55A: "Semper fidelis," in English ("ALWAYS FAITHFUL")



Crosswordese 101: ARLENE Francis (2D: "What's My Line?" panelist) — where six-letter words are concerned, ARLENE is crossword royalty. Sadly, ARLENE is not a name without a lot of contemporary clout, so you gotta go back to "What's My Line?" to get a suitably famous clue, which is not going to be suitably famous for many people under 50, but those are the breaks. ARLENE Dahl (actress) is the puzzle's other favorite go-to ARLENE, and just to confuse you a bit, Dahl also made a couple of appearances on ... "What's My Line?"

Bullets:
  • 5A: Musher's vehicle (sled) — "Musher" makes me laugh.
  • 53A: Ghost-eating video icon (Pac-Man) — for those thrown by ARLENE, here's something a little more in your pop culture wheelhouse (I'm guessing).
  • 5D: Con job (swindle) — what a great word. Wish I saw it in puzzles more often.
  • 30D: Ladled salad bar item (soup) — not a fan of this clue. "Salad" in clue is too obviously and deliberately misdirective. Most salad bars I have been to do not include soup, though certainly some do.
  • 33D: Sports org. with six Canadian teams (N.H.L.) — this is no doubt for the Canadian solvers (Toronto? I forget where) who were whining that the syndicated L.A.T. puzzle was too Americo-Centric. Sorry, Canada: until you get a paper (or other outlet) that's willing (and able) to float its own puzzle, you'll get scraps like this clue, and you'll like it. (I'm baiting a Canadian friend of mine...)
  • 48D: Positive "How are you?" response ("I'm fine") — kind of non-committal, actually, despite the positive connotations of "fine" in some contexts.
  • 52D: CNN competitor (MSNBC) — I hilariously and wrongly wrote in C-SPAN.
  • 59D: Verdi classic (Aida) — she's everywhere today (see ... another puzzle that came out today)
  • 60D: Tycoon Walton with a club (Sam) — I like the idea of him in animal skins, carrying a club...
See you Friday,

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Maple syrup fluids (SAPS); 5A: Musher's vehicle (SLED); 9A: Did some chinwagging (JAWED); 14A: Elm or oak (TREE); 15A: Breaker on the shore (WAVE); 16A: Central Florida city (OCALA); 17A: Israeli carrier (EL AL); 18A: Light bulb, in a comic strip (IDEA); 19A: Reversed (UNDID); 20A: Wrinkle-resistant after washing (PERMANENT PRESS); 23A: Having disembarked (ON LAND); 24A: Sweetie (HON); 25A: Super __: Sega Genesis competitor (NES); 26A: "Dark Angel" star Jessica (ALBA); 29A: Reduce (LESSEN); 34A: Fabled fountain's reward (ETERNAL YOUTH); 36A: "Hurry up!" in memos (ASAP); 39A: German article (EIN); 40A: __ Mountains: Europe/Asia border range (URAL); 41A: You can still use it when postage rates increase (FOREVER STAMP); 46A: Rare blood classification (TYPE AB); 47A: Exxon predecessor (ESSO); 48A: Hosp. area for acute conditions (ICU); 51A: "Overhead" engine part (CAM); 53A: Ghost-eating video icon (PAC-MAN); 55A: "Semper fidelis," in English (ALWAYS FAITHFUL); 60A: Treat with contempt (SCORN); 61A: Depilatory brand (NAIR); 62A: Stir up (RILE); 63A: Room at the top (ATTIC); 64A: __ one's time: wait (BIDE); 65A: Pen fluids (INKS); 66A: Not quite foggy (MISTY); 67A: Decked out (in) (CLAD); 68A: Cong. meeting (SESS); 1D: Squash (STEP ON); 2D: "What's My Line?" panelist Francis (ARLENE); 3D: Gems from oysters (PEARLS); 4D: Alabama civil rights city (SELMA); 5D: Con job (SWINDLE); 6D: Stow cargo (LADE); 7D: Like 2, 4, 6, etc. (EVEN); 8D: "Murder by __": Neil Simon comedy (DEATH); 9D: Long trip (JOURNEY); 10D: Clearasil target (ACNE); 11D: Bankrolls (WADS); 12D: New Haven collegians (ELIS); 13D: June honoree (DAD); 21D: Medical sch. class (ANAT); 22D: Opinion survey (POLL); 27D: Uncle Remus's __ Rabbit (BRER); 28D: Liqueur flavoring (ANISE); 30D: Ladled salad bar item (SOUP); 31D: California's Big __ (SUR); 32D: Greek vowel (ETA); 33D: Sports org. with six Canadian teams (NHL); 34D: Blunt-tipped sword (EPEE); 35D: Tiny colonists (ANTS); 36D: Back, on a ship (AFT); 37D: Versatile bean (SOY); 38D: Dada artist Jean (ARP); 42D: Motel sign (VACANCY); 43D: Online bidding site (EBAY); 44D: Yearned (ASPIRED); 45D: Castle's defense (MOAT); 48D: Positive "How are you?" response (I'M FINE); 49D: Makes watertight (CAULKS); 50D: Except if (UNLESS); 52D: CNN competitor (MSNBC); 54D: "Hardball" host Matthews (CHRIS); 55D: Play opener (ACT I); 56D: Real estate parcels (LOTS); 57D: Habeas corpus, e.g. (WRIT); 58D: Not pass (FAIL); 59D: Verdi classic (AIDA); 60D: Tycoon Walton with a club (SAM).

27 comments:

Denise said...

I think this may be the fastest I have done a puzzle (5:18), and I did it from upper left to lower right. That was fun.

I didn't know that Pacman ate ghosts, but I figured it out --

John said...

What's wrong with Cruciverb?? I cant download the puzzle. I keep getting a Page not Found error message.

Charlie said...

Not that I fancy myself as much of a speed solver, but this one went down in record time for me too. I'll take that as a sign that I didn't kill too many brain cells over the long weekend.

John said...

Nevermind, I went to the LATimes website and did the puzzle in 7m45s. This was a fast puzzle, My usual monday time is around 10 min

Anonymous said...

Can't get it from Cruciverb.

Crosscan said...

If I see one more US senator clue...

You can Canadianize any puzzle:

ESSO - Gas station at the corner
SLED - How to get to school from Oct-May
MSNBC - Network not on our cable
EBAY - Place where half the vendors won't ship to you
ARLENE - My sister-in-law from Montreal

Tell your friend that Canadian crosswords do exist.

Orange said...

ARLENE is also somebody in the "Garfield" comic strip. Garfield's cat girlfriend? A waitress? Human Jon's girlfriend? Somebody.

*David* said...

I know one ARLENE, she's over 65, and I used to date her daughter.

Not too much to comment on this puzzle, went quickly. Mr. Cromer appears to be a popular constructor with the easy puzzles. He has done a bunch of ND ones.

Gary Lowe said...

@CC - you forgot the "Maple Syrup" clue. Also, "'Never', in Newfoundland" (NAIR).

Related to Canadiana: I had a rejection from Rich, which had the decidedly Canadian SMALLLLIBERAL crossing RECALLLIST (I didn't know that "small 'l' liberal" was a British/Dominion term until I went to clue it) - not because of the term, but because it was 4 L's in a theme of 3's.

I figured it was a long shot, but dayum that grid looked like 'ell when it was finished...

John said...

Arlene is indeed Garfield's girlfriend in the comic strip. Liz is Human Jon's love interest.

John said...

Arlene is indeed Garfield's girlfriend in the comic strip. Liz is Human Jon's love interest.

eileen said...

Wow Rex! Three video clips in one day! Expecially loved the Debbie Gibson Electric Youth vid. Simply hilarious!

mac said...

I didn't mind this puzzle. I had to laugh when the Forever stamps showed up, I just got back from the post office where I bought 2 sheets of 2 cent stamps.....

Gareth Bain said...

Lucky Canadians. But where's my South African clue? Ten to one if you do see "South African" in a clue the answer's 3 letters and it's ELS...

mac said...

@Gareth Bain: we see quite a lot of the ANC.

Charlie said...

@Crosscan, lol, good stuff.

Charles Bogle said...

I enjoyed the theme for a Monday as for once I was actually able to catch on to it before doing more than half the theme-related answers

The fill of "spoor" seemed particularly hackneyed even for a Monday eg URAL DAD HON NAIR (can we get a moratorium on the latter?)

Having been in three ERS the past week for three different people/pets, 48A threw me...ICU was my third pick (CCU was in-between)

Agree SWINDLE super word

Particularly appreciated seeing the legendary Dada artist Jean ARP here. It's a little known fact, but ARP was a huge crossword puzzle fanatic.. masterly Dada piece where Arp did a crossword puzzle on a urinal; thereafter, "John" became slang for toilet!

Joon said...

and the waitress is named either irma or erma. i think irma.

this went down in near-record time for me, too.

i feel like THABO and/or MBEKI have been in the puzzle sometimes. got to love any name starting with MB, no?

Gareth Bain said...

ANC... knew there was another 3 letter one...

Al said...

Arp was born in 1886, so that origin story is probably just an internet urban legend...

The first recorded use of John for a privy is in the college customs of Harvard College about 1734-5, which were written down by one Richard Waldron of the class of 1738. Rule 20 states “No freshman shall mingo against the College wall or go into the fellows’ cuz john”.

Anonymous said...

@mac: I hope you are not adding 2 cent stamps to your Forever stamps. No matter when you buy Forever stamps, they will be sufficient for 1st class postage forever. The only stamps for which you need to add the 2 cent stamps are those which are specifically marked 42 cents (commemoratives, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Lynda RN said...
Nice easy Monday puzzle. Our paper has been changing around different puzzles so I go online to Rex Parker and click on LA Crossword Confidential and then load down the applet to get the puzzle.
Haven't heard from ChefB - is she away for the 4th? My friend is going to Egypt with Smithsonoian Tours "Splendors of the Nile" anyone been there? I may join them.
Lynda RN

mac said...

@Charles Boggle: you trying to pull our leg again?

@anonymouse 11.18: I must have bought a whole roll of 42c stamps just before they raised the price.... How much did you pay for those forever stamps?

James said...

@mac: You pay the current first class rate for forever stamps. Additionally, USPS now guarantees that any first class rate increase will occur in mid-May of any year.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Charles Bogle said...

ok @al and @mac maybe I got a little mixed up w the facts on ARP...although ARP born in late 1880's, urinals were around at least by the mid 1920's when famous Dada artist Marcel Duchamp actually "made" one, passed it off as "art," and Dada was born! And we know Duchamp and ARP were colleagues/....ARP and Duchamp and their followers, educated in Western Europe, were I believe unfamiliar w the Harvard claim to genesis of the term...Thanks!

JaJaJoe said...

Ironically since yesterday, 7/5/09, when PuzzleGirl embedded the Norm Crosby & Bill Saluga Natural Light Beer "You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay ... " commercial video, coincidentally this evening I began viewing the Peter Sellers movie Being There (like a 1979 version of Forrest Gump) and about 14 minutes into it that same TV spot appears.

Joon said...

oh, one more thought: it's totally unfair to compare a 15x to a 21x, let alone a monday to a sunday, but when henry hook did this exact same theme in the boston globe a couple months ago, his theme answers included EVERLASTING GOBSTOPPER, which was pretty spectacular.