9.11.2009

FRIDAY, Sep. 11, 2009 — Dan Naddor




THEME: "TWO FOR ONE" (61A: Restaurant special, and a hint to this puzzle's theme) — familiar expressions involving words signifying "one" have said words replace by equivalent words signifying "two"; wackiness ensues ... cue "?"-cluing.

Sixteen wide. Interesting. I have this weird aversion to puzzles where non-theme answers are as long or longer than any of the theme answers, esp. when said theme answers appear in banks with non-theme answers of similar length, as is the case in the NW and SE. Means those theme answers don't stand out enough (for my tastes). That said, this is a clever concept and the phrases are cute and the fill is mostly strong. So thumbs up. Oh, except ... I had an error. You can see it there, in the grid, represented by the red triangle in the corner of the one (previously wrong) square. STREUSEL is the weirdest-looking word (13D: Coffeecake topping) ... I feel as if I've seen it before, but can't remember when the last time was. STREUDEL went in so nicely that I never stopped to question it. Something sweet, STREUDEL, crosses are working, moving on ... I did notice that DIN made no sense (to me) at 32A: Wrong thing to do, but I figured there would end up being some strange phrase, some colloquialism, "to do DIN to someone," so I didn't reflect on the issue much. And paid the price. Oh well. The ODETTE / ODA crossing feels a little iffy to me, if only bec. ODA is high-end crosswordese (i.e. a lot of solvers today won't know it, and for good reason), and the ballet heroine (65A: "Swan Lake" heroine) ... well, ballet heroines tend to be unknown to most people these days. But the "D" is highly inferrable, so no real problem.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Not quite Barcelona's best? (NUMERO DOS) — I wrote NUMERO DUO ... very confidently. DUO is not Spanish. It's Latin.
  • 24A: Four-handed piano piece by a French emperor? (NAPOLEON DUET) — this is the most awkward of the bunch. The "four hands" part was tripping me, and then there was the fact that I briefly forgot who NAPOLEON Solo was (and wondered how DYNAMITE was the singular form of DUET). NAPOLEON SOLO was a character on the 60s TV spy show "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Not exactly common knowledge any more (unless you lived through that show). I have many vintage paperback tie-ins to that show, which is the only reason I know NAPOLEON Solo.
  • 37A: Movie gigolo Bigalow struggling with debt? (DEUCE IN THE HOLE) — this reads scatological to me, so I do not care for it.
  • 52A: Multitasking, but just barely? (DOUBLE-MINDED) — cluing feels a little awkward.

Crosswordese 101: ODA (60D: Harem room) — there's much ADO in an ODA. Maybe you can remember it that way. Me, I always want OBA. No idea why. Somewhere between OBI and the correct ODA. ODA is quintessential crosswordese, in that it's a. in the dictionary, so valid, but b. not in general use, not generally known, not by a looooooongshot. Who knows it? People who solve crosswords and, I'm going to guess, harem historians.

What else?:

  • 16A: Proverbial worm catcher (EARLY BIRD) — like the tie-in with SLEPT LATE (1A: Hardly emulated the 16-Across), but can't believe how easy this NW is. Way, way too easy. Look at 1D: It has 100 seats (SENATE) and 2D: Hardy partner (LAUREL). Those are shamefully easy. Gettable with zero crosses from just about any solver. If you couldn't get EARLY BIRD equally easily, then the "EA" you get from these two Downs make it patently obvious. NW was done in a few seconds. More resistance on Fridays!


  • 31A: Support provider? (BRA) — this is literally true, so why the "?"?
  • 59A: Not strict about (SOFT ON) — love this one. It and RICE PAPER are two of my favorites today (66A: Delicate spring roll wrapping).
  • 10D: Key in which "Chopsticks" is usually played (C MAJOR) — anyone playing "Chopsticks" probably has no idea what a "key" is.
  • 39D: Tennis great Lew who won three of the four majors in 1956 (HOAD) — What a horrible-sounding last name. Never heard of this guy. His name makes me chuckle. It's like a mix of CHOAD and HUD.
  • 51D: Shirk one's duty, in a big way (DESERT) — spent a good hour this afternoon talking about how Aeneas DESERTed Dido. He had another, bigger "duty" to attend to — when Jupiter says go, you go.

See you all again on Monday.

~RP

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Hardly emulated the 16-Across (SLEPT LATE); 10A: Skeleton's place? (CLOSET); 16A: Proverbial worm catcher (EARLY BIRD); 17A: Fountain treat (MALTED); 18A: Not quite Barcelona's best? (NUMERO DOS); 19A: Ovoid tree nuts (ACORNS); 20A: La Scala highlight (ARIA); 21A: Swear falsely, with "oneself" (PERJURE); 23A: Olympic perfection (TEN); 24A: Four-handed piano piece by a French emperor? (NAPOLEON DUET); 29A: Chic (ELEGANT); 31A: Support provider? (BRA); 32A: Wrong thing to do (SIN); 33A: Conductor Toscanini (ARTURO); 36A: Impudent (PERT); 37A: Movie gigolo Bigalow struggling with debt? (DEUCE IN THE HOLE); 42A: R.E. Lee, e.g. (GENL.); 43A: Puts away (STORES); 44A: Batting stat. (AVG.); 45A: Sch. with a Phoenix campus (ASU); 48A: Dolt (AIRHEAD); 52A: Multitasking, but just barely? (DOUBLE-MINDED); 56A: Versatile vehicle, for short (UTE); 57A: "The Three Tenors" tenor with JosÈ and Pl·cido (LUCIANO); 58A: Picked hair styles, briefly (FROS); 59A: Not strict about, as crime (SOFT ON); 61A: Restaurant special, and a hint to this puzzle's theme (TWO FOR ONE); 65A: "Swan Lake" heroine (ODETTE); 66A: Delicate spring roll wrapping (RICE PAPER); 67A: Future officers (CADETS); 68A: How references may be available, in a résumé (ON REQUEST); 1D: It has 100 seats (SENATE); 2D: Hardy partner (LAUREL); 3D: Fur source (ERMINE); 4D: Arraignment response (PLEA); 5D: Norse war god (TYR); 6D: Debt-heavy corp. deal (LBO); 7D: Give a hand (AID); 8D: Prefix with sphere (TROPO-); 9D: Car bomb? (EDSEL); 10D: Key in which "Chopsticks" is usually played (C MAJOR); 11D: Gap (LACUNA); 12D: Opening hymn words (O LORD); 13D: Coffeecake topping (STREUSEL); 14D: Darkening time in verse (E'EN); 15D: NFL scores (TDS); 22D: Yank's foe (REB); 24D: Dealer's adversary (NARC); 25D: Start a pot (ANTE); 26D: Spitting sound, in comics (PTUI); 27D: Cork's home (EIRE); 28D: "We know drama" station (TNT); 30D: Franks' conquest (GAUL); 34D: ER personnel (RNS); 35D: Giant among Giants (OTT); 36D: Fancy-schmancy (POSH); 37D: "Whip It" band (DEVO); 38D: Inundated (ENGULFED); 39D: Tennis great Lew who won three of the four majors in 1956 (HOAD); 40D: Lackawanna's lake (ERIE); 41D: Stampeding group (HERD); 42D: Zooks lead-in? (GAD); 45D: "Little Women" author (ALCOTT); 46D: Fishing nets (SEINES); 47D: Thurman of "Pulp Fiction" (UMA); 49D: One in an international septet (EUROPE); 50D: Makes amends (ATONES); 51D: Shirk one's duty, in a big way (DESERT); 53D: Seat of Montana's Silver Bow County (BUTTE); 54D: Foreword, briefly (INTRO); 55D: Like a choice between evils (NO-WIN); 58D: Bavarian title (FRAU); 59D: SPCA part: Abbr. (SOC.); 60D: Harem room (ODA); 62D: Elec. text-reading method (OCR); 63D: Charge (FEE); 64D: N-R connectors (O-P-Q).

40 comments:

PARSAN said...

So proud of myself that I did Fri. puzzle so easily. Either I'm getting better or they are getting easier. Probably the latter. Also had struedel, even though it made no sense, and had dis for "wrong thing to do", which did make sense, but left me with TST, which didn't make sense. Finally got it. ODA was easy because it is always in the baby puzzle in my paper. Also think DOUBLEMINDED could have been better clued. Old enough to remember Lew HOAD. Loved ODETTE in Swan Lake, performed by the NY City Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Wonderful score! Rex, thought we might have DEVO.

PARSAN said...

Just listened to the Buddy Holly. You picked a great "get-up-and-get-going" song which put a smile on my face. Good selection and good write up.

Carol said...

Never heard of Napolean Solo, but didn't matter as the only emperor I could think of was Napolean and got duet as I have played many four-handed pieces (including CHOPSTICKS) with friends & family. And yes, I do know what CMAJOR is.

Kind of easy for a Friday. Didn't know HOAD. Managed ODA from crosswords.

Loved the Buddy Holly. Thanks for the EARLYBIRD write-up.

Orange said...

This is a great puzzle. Never watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. so I know Napoleon Solo strictly from crosswords—but not well enough that I was making any sense out of NAPOLEON DUET.

Strudel (no E beside the U) is more like a pie, pastry around fruit. Streusel is that crumbly topping, or a dessert featuring said topping. I will eat either one. Is it weird that I'll eat strudel but don't much care for fruit pie?

@Rex: DEUCE, hah! Is that about dropping the kids at the pool?

PARSAN said...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a wonderful series during the Cold War with spies Solo, an American, and Illya Karyakin (David McCallum),a Russian hottie; blond, cute, and wildly popular. McCallum is now "Ducky" on NCIS and alas, now some 40 years later, not the sex symbol on the show. "O! call back yesterday, bid time return." (King Richard 11)

Anonymous said...

Very easy for a Friday puzzle, so I'm not as enthusiastic about it as others. Not a fan of the 16 wide grids either. Theme answers were okay, but definitely not lively enough for a Friday puzzle.

Buddy Guy said...

I bet my last DEUCE on a racehorse,
He left leading in the stretch,
Took one look at my wrong-doin woman,
Then he fell and broke his neck.

That's why I'm goin build myself a cave.

jazz said...

Good one. Agree with Parsan, that we're getting bettter or they're getting easier.

Not complaining much, though, because getting stuck in a hard puzzle is s-o-o-o discouraging.

Still not fond of alphabet-sequence fillers (OPQ) though.

*David* said...

Easiest Naddor puzzle I have ever done, which didn't take away from the enjoyment. I knew both ODETTE and ODA so that crossing wasn't an issue. My only area of any slow down was in that STREUSEL/SIN/EIRE or would it be ERIN area. I had not heard of fishing nets being called SEINES. The other one I have to look up is OCR.

shrub5 said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and its theme. Found a few new words and noted the return visit of some old ones. ODA and HOAD were unknown to me but were filled in from other words. Yesterday we had SABLE, today it's ERMINE. And the AIRHEAD came back after visiting us in the Tuesday puzzle. I was glad I remembered TYR and SEINES, both of which I learned from previous puzzles/blogs.

@RP: I am one who "lived through" "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." which was very big in the '60's. Napoleon Solo was a character created by Ian Fleming as a small-screen version of James Bond. U.N.C.L.E. was a fictional secret international law enforcement agency: United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.

Here's a bit of info I gleaned after wondering about the origin of GADzooks: From the late 17th century, it is an alteration of "God's hooks", i.e., the nails by which Jesus Christ was fastened to the cross.

I liked SOFTON (crime), EDSEL (car bomb) and LACUNA (gap). The latter I knew only from its use as a medical term (a cavity or depression, esp. in bone.)

@RP: I'm still chuckling at "harem historian." Never heard of anyone who had that particular calling!

crazycatlady said...

I enjoyed this puzzle very much and appreciated it's pleasant level of difficulty since I did it at 3:30 a.m. Got stuck for a while on the STREUSEL/STREUDEL, but figured it out when SIN came along. Thanks for the write up and the explanation of ODA. I had no idea what SEINES were. That was the hardest part for me. Agree with RP about DEUCEINTHEHOLE. Sounds like something my 20 something son would say. Lived through the Man from UNCLE years as well.

Toady said...

Napoleon Solo: [calling on the intercom] Illya, we have a situation here that needs your special talents. Are you free?

Illya Kuryakin: [from intercom] No man is free who works for a living. But, I'm available.

JN said...

I was able to get through this puzzle fairly easily once I got the "two for one" clue. Streusel fell in easily because I had sin going across first. I just couldn't remember the third tenor and had to google that. After that, it was a breeze.

I believe that the blog has enhanced my ability to do the Friday and Saturday puzzles. I used to stop at Thursday and work at that for two days until Sunday. Now I can finish all fairly easily.

So, thank you very much and keep up the wonderful entertaining and educational work!

mac said...

After I got the Napoleon duet I was at a complete loss... No, didn't cry uncle, just filled everything in systematically. To me little disappointing, usually I love Dan Naddor's puzzles. What is deuce in the hole, or what was it before? Liked Lacuna, oda and seines.

@Orange: I'm with you, I never eat the crust when I have fruit pie. With Strudel the crispy, thin crust is delicious!

shrub5 said...

@mac: Deuce in the hole refers back to "ace in the hole" which is a figure of speech meaning a plan or piece of information kept secret until it becomes necessary or advantageous to use it.....a playing card reference similar to "having an ace up one's sleeve."

All this discussion of STREUSEL and strudel and fruit pie has made me hungry!!

Florida Grandma said...

@chefbea and @Parsan:
Thanks for your encouragement. I tried to post with my name we will see.

Had good luck with today's puzzle. NW quad even easy for me had more trouble with SE. Thought 52A clue a bit lame, but overall an enjoyable puzzle.

Can't wait for tomorrow's puzzle!
Florida Grandma

Florida Grandma said...

@Parsan--
Success!! thanks for your tip!

C said...

Am I the only one that tries to work oda into everyday conversation?

Easy but fun puzzle.

ddbmc said...

Worked in Congress-not the Senate-years ago. The Congresswoman I worked for was involved in getting the Marine Mammal Protection Act passed-to outlaw Purse "seine" fishing.This type of tuna fishing (drawing nets together like a purse) caused dolphin populations to be decimated. They were suffocated/killed and tossed as an "unwanted by-product."

@Shrub5, thanks for the Gad Zooks explanation;Loved Illya Kuryakin over Napoleon Solo, but probably liked Han Solo better! Arturo Toscanini conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra-when ddb's mom worked there. She always spoke quite reverently of him. Oda as harem room,was a new one--tho' Oda Mae from "Ghost"was used a few weeks back. Didn't know Mel "Ott." I guess he's a CW 101, to be remembered for his 511 home runs. Cork's home could have been wine, before the crosses nixed that. Guess we can buy our jeans at the Italian Gap, Lacuna? @Florida Grandma, welcome! @Rex, sorry I clicked in on choad!lol.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

A pretty good Naddor puzzle for Friday.
Thought the top half was too simple and the bottom half was too hard... hmm, I sound like Goldilocks.

Wow, there's two NEW-WORDS-OF-THE-DAY for John's vocabulary. Never knew ODETTE, the "Swan Lake heroine" (65a) and never heard of LACUNA (11d). Now I got TWOFORONE in my CW education.

Technically the U.S. Senate has more than 100 seats... I tried to count them last night during the President's speech...Oy!

Thanks, Rex, for the cool Buddy Holly clip.

Now I'm gonna head for my ODA to relax.

Charles Bogle said...

@shrub5-you score big again giving us nifty explanation of GADzooks; thanks. Had exact same problem w STREUDEL that @Rex had..figured "din" would turn out to be something fitting. Overall, like everyone I enjoyed the theme and most of the fill, although some opf it (eg, ARIA etc) struck me as somewhat tired for a Friday. Then again, any Friday puzzle I can complete, even w din, is an absolute pleasure!

SethG said...

If you google [Lew Hoad], one of the first results is a Sports Illustrated article. The title is 'lew[sic] Hoad's Big Serve Carried The Load'; the second sentence includes the phrase "cocking of the snoot".

I visited a harem, and none of the rooms were called odas. In English--in Turkish several of the chambers were odası. Which I think is just Turkish for room, and 'oda' doesn't appear in most English dictionaries, so Rex is right, it's quintessential crosswordese. And quintessential just makes me think of My Cousin Vinny, while LAUREL makes me think of Blazing Saddles.

ddbmc said...

@SethG-Positraction!

Gespenst said...

I have to say, reading this blog has helped my solving abilities as well. I used to resort to google pretty regularly in the latter part of the week (Thurs-Sat) but now I often get through Saturday w/ only a couple holes (individual letters where I missed both the crosses) to look up, and Thursday-Friday are usually google-free :)

Napoleon Duet threw me off b/c I've never heard of Solo. Must have just missed being of "U.N.C.L.E.-age." Luciano I got w/ a couple crosses. "Fros" made me giggle :) Odette/Oda I got b/c no other letter fit in my mind for O-ette.

The ones I pencilled in (well, wrote lightly in pen!) and had to write over were RBI for batting stat (AVG) and IMPEACH for "swear falsely" (PERJURE) even though I knew that wasn't quite right.

I really liked "ON REQUEST" for how references may be available :)

PuzzleGirl said...

I had the same streusel/streudel issue, but fixed it before I finished. I knew that NAPOLEON SOLO was something, but I didn't know what.

@JN: Congratulations! It wasn't that long ago that it became more likely than unlikely that I would finish a late-week puzzle. So I know how great it feels! Glad we can help!

Higgins said...

Thank you, PARSAN, for your instructions given yesterday on how to register - they worked, and here I am! I've been following the blog for about a month, thoroughly enjoying it, and somehow increasing in confidence and speed. I enjoy puzzles that fall somewhere between a snooze on the beach and my memories of taking the GRE's. Thank you all for adding to the experience. And now, GO JETER!

mac said...

@Higgins: welcome and GO JETER!

Joon said...

i learned about lew HOAD ... yesterday! i was reading an article about rod laver's grand slams, and the article mentioned hoad coming within one match (the US open final against ken rosewall) of winning the slam in 1956, and how laver was watching as an 18-year old. was glad to put that to use.

i've threatened in the past to clue ODA using this guy instead of the harem room. he's actually important. but i haven't done it yet, at least not in a puzzle any of you will ever see.

Anonymous said...

Figuring out how to register as something other than anonymous has been harder for me than a Saturday puzzle -- could someone please provide again?

I wasn't crazy about some of the theme clues but I thought this was a fine puzzle (if a bit easy) otherwise. Never heard of the trophosphere. Even better is the tropopause, which I learned about upon Googling the former.

QuentinC

Higgins said...

Here's what I did, Quentin, hope it works for you: 1. Click on Name/URL 2. Type in your chosen name in NAME slot 3. Type your comment in Comment slot above 4. Click on Publish Your Comment.

shrub5 said...

Another option for name creation:

I created my identity at Blogger.com. You do NOT have to create a blog to create your identity at this site. Those that have done this have the "B" on a little orange square background by their "names." You can also create a profile which I think is nice. Others see the profile by clicking on your chosen name. You only need to enter info you want to reveal about yourself. I am by no means a pro on the computer yet managed to come up with what you see! Once you create your identity and are logged on to Blogger.com or Google.com, the "name" will come up as a choice when you are ready to publish your comment.

I did this several months ago and hopefully I haven't left anything out in describing the process. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Artists and bartenders are familiar with the odalisque. These harem members are often painted as reclining nudes that are a staple pose for figure models and a stock image to hang above the bar.

housemouse said...

For a Naddor puzzle, this was refreshingly clearly defined in most of the clues. Deuceinthehole and napoleonduet only make sense after the puzzle is already solved. I didn't even connect napoleon with Napoleon Solo, even though I was a big fan of Man From Uncle back in the day. I especially liked David McCallum, and still do. He's much older now, but so am I!

I was puzzled and still am by 56a: UTE. ???? I've heard of ATVs, but to me a ute is a tribe of American Indians! At any rate, it was nice to have a Naddor puzzle that had only a few confusing clues. It's not the words themselves that are hard to get at, it's the roundabout way he sometimes phrases the clues. We just aren't in sync. Today is good, though.

FWIW, you can also use your gmail account info to register, if you don't want to go through the details on the Blog place.

Gespenst said...

@housemouse: "ute" as in "sport ute" as in "sport utility vehicle" = SUV!

Quentinc said...

Thank you Higgins. If this works it will be a real deuce in the hole.

Caddie said...

Shrub5 -- thanks. As you can see from this alternate name, Quentinc has a split personality, and obviously both of them have serious short term memory loss (I had already created a blogger name, it seems!).

Quentinc said...

Agree with everyone that this was awfully easy. I wonder why the LAT publisher thinks it necessary to "dumb down" the clues. It seems to imply that the LAT readership is less sophisticated than that of the NYT (and I'm speaking as an Angeleno here).

Orange said...

Quentinc, it's not about Angelenos. Last spring, the Tribune Media Services crossword was discontinued and since TMS also syndicated the L.A. Times puzzle, the L.A. Times puzzle was offered to the newspapers that had run the TMS crossword. The discontinued puzzle had its adherents, some of whom seem to be quite vocal in their preference for the sort of puzzle they had before. I'm not sure whether easing up on the clueing is satisfactory to them, though—we've seen housemouse and a few others complain here about the sort of clues the L.A. Times crossword has. The clues I like the best, they loathe.

Quentinc said...

Orange, thanks for the explanation. I do now recall your mentioning that before (just like I now recall I already had a Blogger name -- sheesh). With the setting of the sun, it sure is sad watching the more inventive type of puzzles dwindling. I guess it's really more about the newspaper business in general.

Quentinc said...

That was supposed to be Sun with a capital "s!"