9.29.2009

TUESDAY, September 29, 2009
Dan Naddor


Theme: Combo Meal — Theme answers are common food (and drink) pairs.

Theme answers:
  • 16A: Breakfast pair (COFFEE AND DONUTS). With the D and the N in place, I entered coffee and danish at first.
  • 24A: Lunch pair (SOUP AND SANDWICH).
  • 41A: Dinner pair (MEAT AND POTATOES). And don't mix 'em together. (That's my grandpa's rule — the man never ate pizza in his life.)
  • 54A: Evening ball game snack pair (BEER AND PRETZELS).
Crosswordese 101: Not much crosswordese to choose from today (yay!) and the only two we've covered already are OBOE (61A: Orchestral reed) and ARNO (36D: River of Florence). So today let's talk about ESSO (53D: Old U.S. gas). Because ESSO is no longer a brand name used in the United States, it will most often be clued as a "bygone" or "old," or the clue will specifically refer to Canada, where the brand still exists. (It also exists elsewhere in the world, but the go-to clue country is Canada.) You should know that ESSO was replaced in the U.S. by Exxon and that its slogan is "Put a tiger in your tank."

This is a great, solid Tuesday puzzle. Nothing particularly flashy, but not a huge reliance on crosswordese and awkward fill. Not too hard, not too easy. Very smooth — which is exactly what we're looking for on Tuesday. The only real problem I had with this puzzle is that I was hungry and had already decided it was too late to eat when I solved it. Figures it would be all about food. I need to manage my meal schedule a little better.

Side dishes:
  • 19A: Apt to shy, as a horse (SKITTISH). Now this is a great word. Another great horse-temperament-related word is fractious.
  • 32A: Don, as apparel (PUT ON). Fa la la la la la la la la.
  • 46A: Fancy burger beef (ANGUS). Sort of wanted an AC/DC clue here. But maybe that's just me.
  • 2D: Understand, in slang (GROK). Pretty sure I learned this word from Orange.
  • 10D: __ Julia, who played Gomez Addams (RAUL). Several years ago RAUL started to be clued more and more often as Fidel Castro's brother. I remember commenting over at Rex's blog something like, "What ever happened to Raul Julia?" Of course someone responded that he had died several years previous, which I knew. I was really just asking why he wasn't in the puzzle so much any more.
  • 14D: Football's "Prime Time" Sanders (DEION). Love me some sports nicknames. Sweetness, Charlie Hustle, Dr. J. I especially like the ones that are said in between the athlete's first and last names. I have no idea if I actually like the guy himself, but Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield has an awesome nickname.
  • 37D: Where to see wild animals in cages (AT THE ZOO). Not a particularly in-the-language phrase, but I like it anyway. It kind of surprised me. Fortunately in a way that made me chuckle.


  • 40D: "America's Funniest Home Videos" host Bob (SAGET). If you like completely disgusting humor, you should really see "The Aristocrats." Bob Saget has never been funnier. (But, seriously, you have to get through some pretty repulsive stuff to get to his part in the movie.)
  • 56D: Brylcreem bit (DAB). A little dab'll do ya!
Everything Else — 1A: Leaders in the dugout: Abbr. (MGRS.); 5A: Univ. hot shot (BMOC); 9A: Saran, for one (WRAP); 13A: Layered cookie (OREO); 14A: Dainty embroidered mat (DOILY); 15A: McKellen and Fleming (IANS); 20A: Like a dark room (UNLIT); 21A: HBO competitor (SHO); 22A: Japanese sleuth Mr. __ (MOTO); 33A: Keep one's __ the ground (EAR TO); 34A: Miracle-__: garden product (GRO); 35A: Bickering (AT IT); 36A: When Juliet drinks the potion (ACT IV); 37A: Former Fed chairman Greenspan (ALAN); 38A: Incite to attack, with "on" (SIC); 39A: Rocket engineer Wernher von __ (BRAUN); 40A: Pilot light site (STOVE); 44A: Lotion ingredient (ALOE); 45A: "Gross!" ("UGH!"); 49A: Just in case (IF NEED BE); 57A: In __ of: replacing (LIEU); 58A: Abated (EASED); 59A: Feedbag fill (OATS); 60A: "Benevolent" fraternal order (ELKS); 62A: Estimate phrase (OR SO); 1D: Comfy soft shoes (MOCS); 3D: Mortgage payment-lowering strategy, briefly (REFI); 4D: Sentimental place in the heart (SOFT SPOT); 5D: Fluffy stoles (BOAS); 6D: Ho Chi __ (MINH); 7D: Ancient (OLD); 8D: Dancer Charisse (CYD); 9D: Separate grain from chaff (WINNOW); 11D: Opposed to (ANTI); 12D: Hissed "Hey, you!" ("PSST!"); 17D: Wharton's "__ Frome" (ETHAN); 18D: Perform better than (OUTDO); 22D: Former quarterback Dan (MARINO); 23D: Being aired, as a sitcom (ON TV); 24D: Muscle cramp, e.g. (SPASM); 25D: Noticeable navel (OUTIE); 26D: City near Syracuse (UTICA); 27D: Ten-year period (DECADE); 28D: Stopped slouching (SAT UP); 29D: Domed Arctic home (IGLOO); 30D: Want badly, as chocolate (CRAVE); 31D: Sharpens (HONES); 39D: Modeler's wood (BALSA); 42D: Zodiac bull (TAURUS); 43D: Adjusted the pitch of, as a piano (TUNED); 46D: Skilled (ABLE); 47D: Armstrong in space (NEIL); 48D: Nerd (GEEK); 49D: __ facto (IPSO); 50D: Gratis (FREE); 51D: Start of many a letter (DEAR); 52D: Diner orders, for short (BLTS); 55D: Prefix with natal (NEO-).

39 comments:

Toady said...

I was kinda hopin' for a Simon and Garfunkel clip for "At The Zoo".

Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries,
Pigeons plot in secrecy,
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas! you gotta come and see
At the zoo.

mac said...

Agree with your write-up, puzzlegirl! Very professional puzzle. Orange's son probably couldn't say that this breakfast would be his friend....

I just noticed BMOC, and have no idea what it means. I guess I did that area Across only. Any help?

Orange said...

Years ago, Evander Holyfield was on "Saturday Night Live." One of his skits was an infomercial for "The Dancer," an exercise contraption. He shimmied and gyrated with an abundance of gusto and it was the funniest thing on the show.

Orange said...

@Mac: Big man on campus.

James said...

"SIC on?" I have always heard "SIC 'em."

Anonymous said...

Great insite, nice puzzle.
But I do not understand "GROK" ... must be an age thing (I'm over 50).

SethG said...

Today is National Coffee Day, while National Donut Day is the first Friday of June and National Pretzel Day is April 26.

Every day is National Beer Day.

shrub5 said...

I worked this entertaining puzzle at bedtime last night and it made me hungry too, starting with OREO, ending with BLTS. Had to settle for a banana.

I puzzled over 36A: When Juliet drinks the potion (ACTIV). Big AHA moment when I figured out it meant ACT IV. GROK is a new one for me.

Off to fix some COFFEE AND CEREAL (no donuts here.)

Parsan said...

I found this just too easy, filling in the theme answers with only two or three letters in from down clues.

@Orange--read your blog and adjective describing Bob Saget. What a contrast between his PG rated long running TV show and his version of "The Aristicrats",considered by critics to be the funniest and most obscene. An un-named young friend wanted me to see just his version. Raised in the staid 50's, I'm too old and I guess too strait-laced to have found this anything but appalling. I know several people who thought it was very funny.

Good solid, if easy, clues with little fill. Never heard a DOILY called a mat. Only write-over dork for GEEK, quickly corrected by crosses.

Nice write-up PG. Liked the video and also like S&G's "At the Zoo".

Parsan said...

@SethG--April 26 is my birthday and I say &%#@ the pretzels, where's the chocolate?

Parsan said...

@PG--Forgot to say how nice it was to see the picture of "The Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. I bought the book recently for my grandson.

crazycatlady said...

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Loved OUTIE. Also liked the theme. I am now ready for breakfast. No DONUTS here either, just cereal and a peach. I don't GROK GROK. Could someone please explain? I once had the pleasure (not) of spending the night in the UTICA bus station when I was in college. What a delight that was. There was one of those nasty, upstate NY blizzards happening.

imsdave said...

Re grok: "Stranger in a Strange Land" - Robert A. Heinlein, early sixties. As I recall it's a verb meaning deep understanding or empathy.

Orange said...

@crazycatlady, read all about GROK here. Also, don't forget that Google is your friend when it comes to finding out what a term means.

crazycatlady said...

Thanks Orange for info on GROK. Actually I did read Stranger in a Strange Land. However my memory of details from that DECADE and the early 70's is somewhat lacking. That was about the same time I was sleeping in the UTICA train station LOL. I promise I will google from now on.

Sfingi said...

@Parson -So agree with all you say. I love all green toys except frogs.
Paper came late -new paper boy. I don't understand why anyone would take that job, anyway.
Today, actually got the theme, and the sports clues! Super easy.

Utica, my home town. Yesterday, the front page of the OD said, "Serial Slum Lord." Two of the houses are on my street. Has another bunch in Lynn, MA. Would be funny if 4 people hadn't just died in a fire.

@Crazycatlady - The beautiful Union Station (Amtrak)- has been totally spiffed up and has the DMV and businesses in it. My maternal g'pa was a civil engineer during its construction (nineteen-teens) and took photos of the workers which he sold as postcards for extra $. One was my husband's Uncle Carmen from Sicily. In the '40s, my paternal g'ma came in from Baltimore to a very busy station.

bluebell said...

Balsa wood reminds me that during WWII my two brothers collected models of airplanes to be found in cereal boxes. They assembled the planes and hung them from the ceiling in their bedroom. I think they also bought larger planes in kits as time went on.

Charles Bogle said...

agree good smooth puzzle and great write-up PG; also thanks toady for S&G..hard to believe Bobbie Gentry got credit on that song Taylor drowns her out so-was hoping for a link to an old Brycream jingle "a little dab'll do ya" but thanks for what you gace. Also liked SKITTISH..must learn more about GROK

housemouse said...

I had to laugh when I saw "grok". I haven't seen or heard that word in more years than I care to claim. "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Heinlein was a good sci-fi novel, and most sci-fi aficionados were using "grok" back in the 60s. Not lately, though.

Nice puzzle: not too easy, but not too obscure either. What would be great would be if someone would do a puzzle with a Star Trek theme. There are 5 different series to draw from, plus movies!

crazycatlady said...

@sfingi thanks for the Utica update and the history of Union Station. At the time I thought there was no place more depressing than Utica in a blizzard except for maybe Rochester which was where I was headed... good old U of R. So glad I live in SoCal now!

split infinitive said...

"Dan Naddor Doesn't Disappoint" could be his new motto. More often true than not, especially for someone who produces so many puzzles. My caloric intake is sure to score on the high side, after all the food phrases. Craving carbs seems to hit when the weather's cooling off.

Anyone remember the smell of Brylcreem? We had a neighbor in the old days who went to town with that stuff; smelly even 10 feet away. I'm sure his hair was highly flammable.

The theme's paired food items (e.g. "meat and potatoes") seem to be set phrases, like "bacon and eggs" or "salt and pepper." with one food almost always coming first. -- Ever notice that no matter how well foreign-born people speak (American)English they seem to come up with phrases like "jelly and peanutbutter" that just sound "wrong" or "off"?

Thought about this a while, chased my tail around Google and Bing, and there doesn't seem to be much order or logic to it. A friend's mom says that in her native Norwegian, the "more important" item comes first. I can't tell with her if she's just pulling my leg, but it doesn't appear, in USA-ese to be for the sake of logic, rhythm or euphony. Hmmmm....

However,"Pretzels and beer" sounded more "normal" to me that the reverse order, but my head is sort of spinning today so everything sound awkward!

Gentlemen and ladies, old or young, true and tried, kisses and hugs to the found and the lost, the skins and the shirts, blue states and red states....see what I mean?
Time for a nap....

Sfingi said...

@split - Germanic languages (Norwegian) always have more logical rules, or at least more rules that aren't illogical and are tacit. One rule is "time before place," and another is "double negatives cancel out by twos" - like math. Not so in Italian, for instance. English's base, Anglo-Saxon, is Germanic, so some rules are crypto, but nevertheless, operating. The serendipic thing about 1066, was that the conquerors had the polysyllabic language, thus those words were the "big" words in two ways. Also, although conquerors take over courts, armies, etc. persons are given their mother tongue by - their mothers! English ended up twice as big as any other language, with 2 words for every idea, long words getting the more sophisticated. (beef/cow; library/book, etc.)

@Crazycat CA is too scary for me. Wait til you run out of water.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Puzzlegirl, I GROK your writeup, but where the heck does this slang word come from? This old fogy needs to learn this stuff.

I love any crossword that has to do with food, but please leave all the football and baseball clues out.

OH BOY! There's OBOE again. Why do I get tired of certain fill words?

Loved the Bobbie Gentry/James Taylor clip...cute animal pics too (animal photog is my hobby).

@Toady... Enjoyed your S&G song.
I also, love all the Animal Kingdom poems of Ogden Nash. He wrote hundreds of them.
e.g.

"Moose makes me think of caribou,
And caribou of moose,
With, even from their point of view,
Legitimate excuse.
Why then, when I behold an elk,
Can I but think of Lawrence Welk?"

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

BTW, Lawernce Welk was a member of the BPOE.
Also, several of our Presidents were ELKS.

Orange said...

JOHN, are you...skipping the other people's comments? Click the link I posted in an 8:12 comment for the skinny on GROK.

*David* said...

Loved the puzzle but what is the background of this word GROK.....was that Asimov, Dick, Farmer, hmm...

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

@Orange, I did, but the wikipedia etymology doesn't do a very good job explaining these weird words.
I guess us earthlings will always struggle with the language of space aliens.

Nano Nano !

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

At least good old American words, like GORP, have some meaning.

GLowe said...

@ SI;
Brylcream smells like my Dad, to this day, although I haven't seen it or him in 25-odd years, may he rest in peace.

And I'm surprised you didn't say 'I'm tiredly going to have a nap ....'

Carol said...

GROK was a word I had never heard of - thought I had made a mistake on the crosses when it appeared. Asked hubby & he hadn't either. My word for the day, I guess. It sounds like a name for a Stone Age man or for an ET or something a frog would say. Thanks for the enlightenment. I'll try to figure out how to use it in a sentence - wonder if anyone would understand.

Can't you just picture it? "Did you just say GROK?" "Why yes, I did. Are you having difficulty GROKKING me?"

Okay, maybe not!

Carol said...

@JOHNSNERHOME - I believe what Mork said was "Nanu-Nanu." :)

JN said...

Grok was also new to me. I kept checking my answers so it had to be correct. Thanks for the link to explain it. I'm sure I read the book but don't remember the word.

Pete M said...

Are "if need be" and "just in case" really the same? To me, the first implies only if necessary, while the second implies whether needed or not.

"If need be, we can make more."
"No, let's make more now, just in case."

crazycatlady said...

@sfingi Yes, we have drought, fires, earthquakes, mudslides and now even a tsunami advisory today, but the weather is delightful 85% of the time and scenery is often spectacular. Actually, I really do love upstate NY, just not in the winter.

split infinitive said...

Split here from the after-hours clean up crew!
@Sfingi, thanks for the reminder abouit how the Normans forever Frenchified English. My guess is that you have read Bill Bryson's book on the history of English, if not it's a good read although he simplified a few things that had the Linguistics bloggers foaming at the mouth. The question remains why we prefer "bacon & eggs" over "eggs & bacon." Not a question, I realize, we can answer here, but fun to ponder.

@JohnAintHome: thanks for the Nash. His "one L" lama" was clued recently in a puzzle. Good stuff to introduce kids to poems and wordplay.
@GLowe. How's this? "I tried to not nap but failed to really sleep"? I do need to try AND live up to my monicker --which I got from my editor & better half .
@Carol. Much of what people under 25 say is "ungrokable."
@PeteM. Agreed! Never thought about that, that way.

Now it's time for milk and cookies. Or lettuce, bacon and tomato... SI

Joon said...

a pete M sighting! whoa.

i agree with you. {Should circumstances warrant} would have been a more accurate clue.

Glowe said...

@SI: got your totally message. I need to wickedly sleep, which is to nicely look forward to.

split infinitive said...

Be that as it may,
I have within 72 hours exchanged bloggish comments with three titans of all puzzledom: Orange, Joon and Pete(r)M.
I am humbled. The only other celebs I ever exchanged greetings with are a daughter of Sidney Poitier, a daughter of South African (Arch)Bishop Tutu and the local Weather Guy, Tom Skilling.
Wait, wait, I add Janie, too.
Make that 4.

P.S. Orange, I think that I talked a New Hampshire tourist into buying your book while at Borders on Mich. Ave. this evening. I was buying a Sudoku thing for my mudder-in-law and she was looking at NYT xw books.

Orange said...

@split infinitive: OMIGOD, YOU'VE TALKED TO TOM SKILLING? An ex-Chicago friend loves him. She's particularly fond of his "winds aloft" maps with hand-drawn arrows. He seems so much more upstanding than his Enron brother. (And thanks for touting my book!)