10.27.2009

TUESDAY, October 27
Fred Jackson III


Theme: Playing for Both Teams — Theme answers start with homophones of BYE.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Furthermore (BY THE SAME TOKEN).
  • 33A: 1961 Tony-winning musical inspired by Elvis being drafted (BYE BYE BIRDIE).
  • 43A: 7/4/1976 celebration (BICENTENNIAL).
  • 59A: Retail store financing come-on (BUY NOW PAY LATER).
Have any of you been room parents for your kids' elementary school classes? In a moment of what I can only explain as temporary insanity, I signed on to be the room mom for PuzzleSon's fifth grade class. Turns out that fifth graders do a lot of stuff together as a grade (instead of individually in classes), so all the fifth grade room moms have to coordinate. We held our first meeting at a coffee shop last week and I pretty much sat there with a dazed look on my face the whole time. These women have unlimited energy, hundreds of ideas, and an apparently inexhaustible store of craft supplies.What I'm saying is that they are — how should I put it? — intense. They actually kind of freaked me out. The good news is that they're unlikely to notice that I'm not participating quite as eagerly as they are and if I miss any of the meetings I'll be kept up to date with the inevitable blizzard of emails that will follow. What I'd really like to do is ask them if they might consider that we're overdoing things a little, but I'm pretty sure their heads would explode. So I'm just going to do my best to lay low without actually shirking any responsibility. Should be interesting. But, hey, let's talk about the puzzle.

This is an awesome Tuesday puzzle. The theme is straightforward and easy to grok, but the theme answers are pretty sparkly for a Tuesday. I guess BICENTENNIAL is the dullest of the group, but for me it brings to mind decorating my bike for the Fourth of July parade around the quad at Moorhead State University when I was a kid. So no complaints there. Other than that, the puzzle is a little heavy on the crosswordese in the bottom half, but the fill includes plenty of fun words as well. I don't remember seeing RANKLE in a puzzle before (11D: Fester in one's mind). Even though I wanted Crush, FANTA is kind of fun to say (4D: Classic orange soda). I always like seeing colloquial phrases in the grid and NOT A BIT is perfect today (47D: Cooperative response to "Do you mind?"). What else? Oh yeah, RAKISH (48A: Debonair). Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is an excellent word.

More:
  • 10A: Mouse catcher (TRAP). I read this one as "Moose trap" and thought "That's odd. They use traps ...?"
  • 72A: Ball-bearing gadgets? (TEES). Cute!
  • 5D: Seafood cookout (FISH FRY). I was going to pull a picture off of Facebook of a fish fry one of the Hawkeye wrestlers held recently and found out that he has unfriended me! Oh the indignity of it all! (I'm guessing he wasn't crazy about my politics.)
  • 10D: The Dixie Chicks, e.g. (TRIO).


  • 60D: Indian breads (NANS). I do not like this word spelled with only one A, but I think I'm going to have to get over it.
Crosswordese 101: I took a few minutes to learn a little something this morning and I'm glad I did. I've been plugging 14A: China's Zhou ENLAI's name into the grid for a while now without really knowing who he was. Turns out he was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, he was at least partly responsible for Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China, and it was conflict between the Chinese public and the Communist Party surrounding Zhou Enlai's death that led to the Tiananmen Square Incident in 1976. You don't need to know any of this for crosswords because he is always clued straightforwardly as today. Although sometimes his name is spelled CHOU in the clues.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

P.S. If you missed all the excitement around this Sunday's New York Times puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, you can read about it here. (Scroll down to items 10(c) and (d). Includes spoilers!)

Everything Else — 1A: One-person boat (SKIFF); 6A: College athlete (JOCK); 14A: China's Zhou __ (ENLAI); 15A: Clickable symbol (ICON); 16A: Compete in a meet (RACE); 17A: Ghostly noises (MOANS); 18A: "Let It __": Everly Brothers hit (BE ME); 19A: Peruvian empire builder (INCA); 23A: Barbary ape's cont. (AFR.); 24A: Necklace clasp resting place (NAPE); 25A: Baton Rouge sch. (LSU); 26A: Implore (BEG); 29A: Coastal inlet (RIA); 31A: Take to the clink (ARREST); 37A: Rig on the road (SEMI); 38A: John, to Ringo? (LOO); 39A: Trivial, as chatter (IDLE); 51A: Dr.'s group, maybe (HMO); 52A: Adobe file format (PDF); 53A: Cockney's main Web page? ('OME); 54A: Bears or Cubs (TEAM); 57A: Suffix with Israel (-ITE); 64A: Rick's love in "Casablanca" (ILSA); 65A: Mayberry moppet (OPIE); 66A: Con game (BUNCO); 68A: Nuremberg no (NEIN); 69A: Elbow-joint bone (ULNA); 70A: Embodiment of perfection (IDEAL); 71A: RR stops (STNS.); 73A: Short-winded (TERSE); 1D: Divinity sch. (SEM.); 2D: Drawer projection (KNOB); 3D: "Now __ me down ..." (I LAY); 6D: Triangular sails (JIBS); 7D: Blue part of a map (OCEAN); 8D: Cause for a pause (COMMA); 9D: Patella protector (KNEEPAD); 12D: Way to get in (ACCESS); 13D: Planters logo Mr. __ (PEANUT); 21D: Buffalo-to-Albany canal (ERIE); 22D: Actress Garr (TERI); 26D: Air rifle ammo (BBS); 27D: Needle feature (EYE); 28D: Precious stone (GEM); 30D: Proficient (ABLE); 32D: Coachman's control (REIN); 34D: Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly (BIBI); 35D: Particle with a charge (ION); 36D: Philip who wrote the Zuckerman novels (ROTH); 40D: Chip go-with (DIP); 41D: Young man (LAD); 42D: Christmas helper (ELF); 44D: Analogy words (IS TO); 45D: Give a tongue-lashing (CHEW OUT); 46D: Runner Zátopek (EMIL); 48D: Spring chirpers (ROBINS); 49D: Lucky charm (AMULET); 50D: Enters, as data (KEYS IN); 55D: William Tell's target (APPLE); 56D: Largest New England state (MAINE); 58D: Piano exercise (ÉTUDE); 61D: Supporting votes (YEAS); 62D: Cabinet dept. with a lightning bolt on its seal (ENER.); 63D: Some HDTVs (RCAS); 67D: Corrida shout (OLÉ).

31 comments:

imsdave said...

Agreed on the puzzle. Nice stuff. BICENTENNIAL could be clued as:

1999 Robin Williams film "_____ Man" juicing it up a bit.

Weepy tearjerker that I absolutely loved.

jazz said...

What a nice puzzle!

John, to Ringo? LOO! Classic! (I know, seen before, but I had prefilled "LAD" and it took the crtosses to make me see the error of my ways).

"Ball bearing gadgets?" Again, great clue!

If this is Tuesday, I can't wait for the rest of the week! Have a good one, all (and as usual, thanks for the writeup, Puzzle5thGradeMom)

Sandy said...

I have two words for any class mom: Glue Dots

I am an assistant class mom, which means I bring in snacks for the parties and pick up tiny pompoms off the floor after the craft extravaganzas.

"ome"! Really? I call lame.

Carol said...

AMULET - another great word.

Good luck with the 5th grade moms @PG!

One year our older daughter wanted to be an Orange Crush bottle for Halloween (where that came from I haven't a clue). Hubby copied the logo from the bottle onto iron on pellon which we colored green with a felt tip pen. I made an orange "bottle" with elastic at the neck. We then made the cap with cardboard and foil which she wore at a RAKISH angle. Won 1st place for 5th graders in the school contest!

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

A nice, slightly harder, Tuesday puzzle with lots of good fill and fodder for PG's superb writeup.
I love the personal touches in PG's writeups, makes the blog feel more friend-like. PG, is that photo of you? If so, you were a cutie! Brings back memories of my kiddos during that momentous occassion... the kids marching in the huge Elmhurst parade, then their going over to our church and ringing the bell for two hours. What a great day that was! I often wish that same spirit of patriotism and elan would return to our country.

FISHFRY, Yoo-Hoo, and FANTA also conjures up nice images. But most of all, visualizing Ann Margaret singing BYEBYEBIRDIE was over the top for me.

I don't know why JOCK was clued as a "college athlete". Aren't high school athletes also considered jocks?

Oh, wow! I just learned a new word a few days ago, BIBI {Netanyahu of Israel} and here it is again. This sort of thing happens all the time, where a word is reused and it becomes a reinforcing factor.
But even though I've seen RIA a thousand times, I still want to spell it REA. I think I must be getting it mixed up with LEA.

When I plugged in SKIFF, JIBS, and OCEAN, I thought "oh, oh, this is a nautical themed puzzle"...NOT!!!

Fred used several very funny clues:
John, to Ringo? (LOO)
Ball-bearing gadgets? (TEES)
Take to the clink (ARREST)
Cockney's main Web page? ('OME)
Cause for a pause (COMMA)
Now that, in my book, makes a fun puzzle.

I didn't like ITE (57a) or ENER (62d), but otherwise this was an enjoyable puzzle.

Sfingi said...

@John's list, Agree, t was a funny puzzle - despite dubious abbrevs. 71A STNS and 62D ENER.

@Carol - I also prefer Orange Crush (Lemon Ice, Hit 'em once, Hit 'em twice).

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Oh yeah, and there were more warm fuzzies---
OPIE (who could forget Mayberry?)
MR PEANUT (still used by Planters...amazing)
BB'S (every boy loved his air-rifle, but "you'll shoot your eye out, kid !!")
ILSA in Casablanca (the all-time best movie)
Okay John, reminisce on!!!

tinbeni said...

BUNCO ~ Con game 66A, brought back to me Dragnet with Sgt. Friday. I remember him saying "he was a bunco artist" not sure if they still call it this but a great crossword.
ENER for the Dept. of Energy is a stretch.
Good Tuesday puzzle,

shrub5 said...

What I like best about the picture of the little girl with the decorated bike are the gloves with the fingers cut off! Very RAKISH.

LOL'd at 'OME and TEES clues.

Along with by, bye, bi and buy, there is BIBI and BBS.

crazycatlady said...

@Puzzle Girl I was room mom for both of my children for more years than I care to remember. And, yes, I ran into quite a few of those overzealous types. I can't tell you how many parties I planned and field trips I chaperoned. The one that really stands out in my memory is the time I spent the night on the Pilgrim, the replica of Richard Henry Dana's ship in Two Years Before the Mast with 60 fourth graders. I think about 3 of them actually went to sleep. I finally became the room mother coordinator for the whole school and could just delegate all the cupcake making etc. It was a good move.

Loved the Dixie Chicks video. They are my favorite. I love to load up my car's cd player with the Chicks and drive up the coast to visit my daughter in San Luis Obispo (I go through LOMPOC).

Nice write up. I love the cat in the bag and that cutie on her decorated bike. This was a fun Tuesday puzzle.

Rex Parker said...

Really hoping for BICURIOUS. Haven't seen that in a grid yet (have I, Brendan?).

rp

Joon said...

PG, is that photo of you? If so, you were a cutie!

no, no. the one on the left is nixon, and the one on the right is zhou EN-LAI. the moose is ann-margret.

i liked this puzzle very much. bit of a ho-hum theme, but the fill had a ton of pep and the clues had a lot of sparkle for a tuesday.

bluebell said...

@pg having refused to be a room mother ever, I now watch my daughter play the role with her children. Heredity is interesting because unlike me she is a fantastically creative baker who does Martha Stewart like Halloween cupcakes--and for that matter unique things for every holiday.

The mind is a funny (strange) thing--I immediately said "Lennon" after John and it took me the longest time to change to a 3 word possibility. And we lived in England for a time!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that the monthly, bimonthly or trimonthly dice game "Bunco" that I play is also a con game! I would say it can be a competitive game, and lots of fun. Roll those 6's!!

chefbea said...

Good puzzle. loved ball bearing gadgets!!!

Charles Bogle said...

Agreed--awesome Tuesday puzzle..lots of clever mis-directing (?) clues (can't believe I at first blanked out on "John, to Ringo"), and wonderful words noted by PG and earlier writers including RAKISH, BUNCO, AMULET...CHEWOUT, RANKLE...quite a mental work-out for me but thoroughly enjoyable

bullmktman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carc90405 said...

Good Tuesday puzzle. Monday's took me longer. Also disliked 62d ENER.Could have used --Solar power Co. on Nasdaq =[Energy Conversion Devices Inc.whose stock symbol is ENER] OR [1996]Ransom's Russo reversed = [Rene spelled in reverse is ENER] with the bonus of an Alliteration. Comments? Be kind!

Neo-Con said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Orange said...

Hate speech will not be tolerated on this blog. @bullmktman, take it elsewhere.

chefwen said...

@bullmkman - No class whatsoever, or as one of my friends would say, NCW!

One of the things I miss (and there are precious few 9 months out of the year} about living in Wisconsin are the great Friday night perch fries.
Sometimes have to make the trek back just for that. Yummm!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Amy
HT

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

If this blog has degenerated to one of crudely expressing political opinions and members attacking each other, THEN I'M OUTTA HERE !!!!

Orange said...

@JOHN, that's exactly why we deleted those comments. This should be a fun place, a refuge from the uglier corners of the internet. Don't leave!

mac said...

Nice puzzle! And JohnsNH, you're right, I like the personal anecdotes, too. From all three of our gurus.

Love the cat and the little biker.... Even I knew Fanta! Very popular in Holland.

I have a little Bibi Netanyahu story. Some years ago we walked into a little Italian restaurant underneath a major hotel in NY, and spotted him there. He was seated all the way in the back, against the wall, with a young female (I charitably said it was his daughter by a much earlier marriage who was studying in the US), within reach of the back entrance, and with a view of the doors. My husband told me that was a strategic location.

mac said...

@PG: the trick is to never get on a committee. That is a lot of time spent doing nothing at all. I always told these overachievers that I would cook and bake and do odd jobs, just no committees.

tinbeni said...

Like almost all of the individuals who check out this blog I just like to do crossword puzzles. It keeps the brain "fit" and if they are done right ... you can actually learn a little bit about the world around us. Maybe jog your memory of an old movie, place or even another culture.
These three guides who prepare this space make me laugh with the obtuse, arcane reference's they come up with. And they also teach me a little insight into how to do these things just a bit better, remember a tense or a phrase.

I also enjoy the reparte of the comments by other crossword enjoyer's (if that is not a real word, well ... oops !) and occasionally I add my 2 cents.

It is a pleasure to know that comments like the earlier one are not appreciated and are quashed.

Johnsneverhome you keep on here, you get it and add additional insight.

Rex, Orange & Puzzlegirl you all are commended for this blog.

crazycatlady said...

Apparently I missed the ADO today. Hope it didn't have to do with the Dixie Chicks. At any rate, I concur with the preceding post.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Thanks, Orange, I appreciate that you monitor the comments and had judiciously removed those that were totally out of character for this congenial group. I don't mind hearing controversial viewpoints that are pertinent to the constructs of the puzzle... everyone's entitled to their opinions, but this is no place for hurtful and hateful remarks. None of those insane remarks were aimed at me, but the reason I became so sensitive was that my email (from this blog) was loaded with lots of disgusting bile when I returned from work... four no less. Hence, I thought the blog had gone totally berserk. It's good to know that there are plenty of decent folk here to keep the blog standards high. Thanks.
John H.

ddbmc said...

Thankfully, I missed the bile on the blog! Late to the gate tonight, with a busy day. (Hey, my favorite Uncle turned 97 today-had lunch with him, so didn't get to solve until after dinner.)

Golfer husband got a kick out of the "ball bearing gadgets,"clue. Love that the clues are a tad more thought provoking. Tried kayak first, before I got skiff. That was the corner that vexed me a bit. It's so funny how certain words come right to mind and some really simple ones escape the synapses!

Some HDTVs? RCAS? They used to be the most trusted name in television! Remember-"Wow, I've got color tv. RCA Victor Color TV! If my friends could see me now! Wow! I've got color TV!
Now it's Sony, LG, Samsung, Vizio....No more Zeniths, Philco's.

@PG-did the Class Mom thing. I tried to be the voice of "less is more," but for some of these ladies it was a "work replacement." They'd all worked prior to moving to the "mommy track" and everything was managed like a small corporation! Not just cupcakes, but SUPER cupcakes with fondant, spun sugar and gold leaf! (ok, I'm exaggerating!)

Always enjoy the writeups and MOST of the fellow blogcommentors.

BEQ is quite the character! Went to an event a few years back, where Peter King spoke. He was very interesting and entertaining! Don't think he mentioned then, his interest in being a clue in a CW!