11.10.2009

TUESDAY, November 10, 2009
Donna S. Levin


Theme: "Sunday Drive" (okay, "Tuesday Drive") — First words of the theme answers describe four different types of drives.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: One-hit wonder (FLASH IN THE PAN).
  • 28A: Controversial school subject (SEX EDUCATION).
  • 49A: President's selective rejection (LINE-ITEM VETO).
  • 59A: Pact addressing nuclear proliferation (TEST-BAN TREATY).
  • 68A: Hit from a tee, and word that can follow the first words of 20-, 28-, 49- and 59-Across (DRIVE).


Good stuff today. Donna's name is definitely one you want to see on your puzzle. She's a real pro. Today's theme is the old standby word-that-comes-after-part-of-the-theme-answer which I know some people get tired of, but in Donna's capable hands, it works out just fine. We've got SEX DRIVE in the puzzle, for crying out loud. How bad can it be?

Short Putts:
  • 14A: Building passage (HALL). I've been working on a puzzle lately and have confirmed that I get a big kick out of using names as answers. I probably would have clued this one in relation to Monty Hall. I know some people don't like so many names in their puzzles. It's something I struggle with when constructing.
  • 19A: Love, to Luigi (AMORE). I entered amour at first, completely forgetting that Luigi is not French but Italian.
  • 25A: Hitter's stat (RBI). Hideki Matsui had six of 'em in Game Six of the World Series. He's had a few more throughout his career. Like when he hit a grand slam in his first game at Yankee Stadium. Wow!
  • 37A: VCR successors (TIVOS). So I went to find the Hawkeye football game this past weekend and it looked to me like it was going to be on Sunday night so I completely missed it (their first loss of the season!). Why I didn't just look for their schedule online, I don't know. I just thought I could find it in the TV schedule. But I couldn't. It might simply be because we have so many channels now, but I tend to blame it on Verizon FIOS, which I ... hate. Tivo is so much better.
  • 64A: Gemologist's weight (CARAT). Can never remember if this is spelled with a C or a K. Aha! Just looked it up and found that both are acceptable. And here I thought carat-with-a-C and karat-with-a-K were two different things.
  • 67A: "__ and Away": 1960s hit (UP UP). Ladies and gentlemen, The Fifth Dimension.

    • 64D: Swine flu watchdog agcy. (CDC). Timely clue!


    Crosswordese 101: When it comes to operatic slave girls, there's no one more popular in CrossWorld than AIDA (61D: Verdi's slave girl). As we learn today, AIDA is a Verdi opera. That's the first thing you need to know — it's the name of the opera and the name of the main character. The story takes place in Egypt and premiered in 1871 in Cairo. Elton John and Tim Rice remade the opera into a Tony award–winning Broadway musical in 2000. You might also see AIDA mentioned in a clue for another piece of important crosswordese — ARIA (17A: Diva's number).

    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Labor union foe (SCAB); 5A: 1999 Ron Howard film (EDTV); 9A: Clunker of a car (LEMON); 15A: Retired Cunard flagship, for short (QE II); 16A: Atlanta campus (EMORY); 18A: Samovars (URNS); 23A: Stylistic judgment (TASTE); 24A: Fishing aid (NET); 33A: Deface (MAR); 36A: It may be copped in court (PLEA); 38A: Oodles (A LOT); 40A: Mlles., in Spain (SRTAS.); 43A: Soccer immortal (PELE); 44A: Like thick carpets (PLUSH); 46A: Beehive State college team (UTES); 48A: No-goodnik (RAT); 53A: Finale (END); 54A: European toy dog, briefly (POM); 55A: Enter, as data (INPUT); 66A: Perjurer (LIAR); 69A: Rim (EDGE); 70A: Trim with a knife (PARE); 71A: Hood's scheme (CAPER); 72A: Halloween cover-up (MASK); 73A: IRS IDs (SSNS); 1D: Mine passage (SHAFT); 2D: "Cheers" waitress (CARLA); 3D: Fictitious name (ALIAS); 4D: Explosions (BLASTS); 5D: Prefix with lateral (EQUI-); 6D: Actor Bruce (DERN); 7D: Windshield option (TINT); 8D: Four-armed Hindu deity (VISHNU); 9D: Eagerly took advantage of, as an opportunity (LEAPT AT); 10D: Jane Austen novel (EMMA); 11D: Song with the lyric "I'm crossing you in style" (MOON RIVER); 12D: NHL legend Bobby (ORR); 13D: TV's "Science Guy" (NYE); 21D: Dickens schemer Uriah (HEEP); 22D: Common Mkt. (EEC); 26D: When repeated, Yalie's cheer (BOOLA); 27D: Map in a map (INSET); 29D: T-shirt sizes (XLS); 30D: Eternally, in poems (E'ER); 31D: Bit of information (DATUM); 32D: Bit of advice (TIP); 33D: Canada's national tree (MAPLE); 34D: Do-or-die poker bet (ALL IN); 35D: There and back (ROUND TRIP); 39D: Mao __-tung (TSE); 41D: Off-road ride, briefly (ATV); 42D: Observe (SEE); 45D: Cool cat (HIPSTER); 47D: Mix (STIR); 50D: Wee one (TOT); 51D: The Democrats' donkey, for one (EMBLEM); 52D: Outdoes (ONE-UPS); 56D: Half of the "California Dreamin'" singers (PAPAS); 57D: One-eighty (U-TURN); 58D: Works on a keyboard (TYPES); 60D: Icicle site (EAVE); 62D: Pesters (NAGS); 63D: Difficult journey (TREK); 65D: Coach Parseghian (ARA).

    48 comments:

    chefbea said...

    Easy Tuesday puzzle

    As for carat and karat...carat is the gem weight and karat refers to the metal, as in... I have a ten carat diamond and it is set in 18 karat gold. I wish!!!

    Anonymous said...

    For 24A I got NET not ROD.

    Anonymous said...

    The puzzle picture has ROD, the text has NET for 24A.

    PuzzleGirl said...

    It's fixed now. Thanks!

    Anonymous said...

    Today's subject: Was Aida an odalisque?
    Discuss.

    Carol said...

    Interesting theme with a good variety of clues.

    Easy breezy Tuesday.

    Thanks for the Fifth Dimension, @PG. Hadn't heard that in awhile. How fashions for singers have changed! I, personally, prefer the more dressed up look for performers rather than the "just out of the barn" look of many of today's singers.

    gjelizabeth said...

    @Anonymous a7:09 The definition of odalisque refers specifically to a female slave in a harem and has a vaguely Turkish feel in usage. Aida was a member of an enslaved race in Egypt but lived with her own people. So, not an odalisque.

    Sandy said...

    I always want to spell c/karat with an "e." But I can't spell.

    And I dislike the senorita abbrevs - always have to wait for the crosses to see which letters have been taken out today.

    Thanks PG. You sure must love puzzles to spend this much time on them.

    Sfingi said...

    Got middle North all discombobulated because I didn't have 5A EDTV. Don't much care for Ron Howard's product. Had to Google to clean it up.

    Got the theme from the clue, which helped me with 20A FLASH(drive), the last one I got. Liked theme.

    I know some will hate 67A UPUP crossing another ---UP-, but I rather like that sort of thing. What I don't care for is overused words, such as 17A ARIA and 73A SSNS, and questionable abbreviations, such as 40A SNTAS. They become garbage fill. Don't mind oft-seen fill if it's something I like, such as 61D AIDA if I like the subject! Not fair to puzzle builder, is it.
    SNTA could be Santa, sanitation; My dictionary says Srta.

    Liked everything the 5th Dimenison did. That was new and clever, as was 26A BOOLA, 11D MOONDRIVE.

    Had input/keyed-in "keyin" for 55A INPUT at first.

    @Eliz - Picky, picky. Was my cat-of-old an Odalisque? It was her pose, certainly not her qualities as a slave (cats are a lazy race - but of course, they were the royalty of Egypt - just ask 'em.)

    @Puzzlegirl - loved the library in the video - that's what I need, book shelves all the way up all the walls. My house could be neat - and cozy.

    Sfingi said...

    @Ach - I mean MOONRIVER! Freud messin with my mind, again.

    JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

    Enjoyed Puzzlegirl's writeup even more than Donna's great puzzle.
    Often I find that the entertainment begins at the completion of the puzzle.
    What a nice way to start the day with "UP UP and Away" and the fabulous five.

    This puzzle had some great long word fill (ROUNDTRIP, MOONRIVER, VISHNU), but the 3 and 4 letter fill was also very good. Once again we see TSE (Mao) and not clued with that cursed "half of a fly"...thank you, Donna.

    Building passage HALL (horizontal) crossing with Mine passage SHAFT (vertical) was pretty clever, I'd say.

    Now the funniest TV series of all time was Cheers and Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman) made that show--
    CARLA

    Boola Boola !

    @chefbea
    Thanks for clearing up my CARAT/KARAT confusion.

    jazz said...

    Thanks for the writeup, PG. I found the puzzle Tuesday-good, not great, partly because of the straightforward clues! For the most part, they were "Read the clue, write the answer" style, with no "Think about what possible twists there could be" step in the middle.

    After months and months of LATimes, I guess I'm kinda used to the "?" clues now.

    I liked the theme OK, appreciated the alliteration of UPUP crossed with PAPAS. And if @JNH likes CARLA in Cheers, I like Kramer, the HIPSTER doofus in Seinfeld.

    Cheers, all, and happy Tuesday. Thanks PG, Donna and the unseen ed.!

    hazel said...

    Taking a break from saving the world to make a quick comment about this puzzle.

    Agree with @jazz re straightforward cluing - nice to have that step in the middle! but still nice puzzle.

    Thought the theme phrases were pretty catchy - the big reveal - DRIVE - not so much. Did we really need hit from a tee in the clue?

    Burner10 said...

    On puzzles with name - if its difficult, then its usually (but not always) easier to Google the answer that is a name than to try to puzzle through - unless its the usual suspects (Orr, Esai, Ara, Ott) I never can remember anyone. So I vote for not names - that said, I probably would have figured out Monty.In summary, will leave constructing to constructors. I'm all in for a nice Tuesday puzzle - favorite clue - Maple because its fall!

    B Obama, Pres said...

    Boy, don't I wish I had a LINEITEMVETO, but I don't. Gotta accept/reject the whole kit and kaboodle.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm by no means a good solver (yet), still working on it. I try to do USA Today and LA-times online each day, and rarely finish without google.

    I was extremely close today, except for middle north, which I never figured out. Didn't know the Ron Howard film, had QMII for the Cunard flagship, didn't even know what a Samovar was, couldn't think of the actor Bruce, and couldn't remember how to spell VISHNU.

    That was really tough, with no help from crosses because I couldn't figure them out.

    I liked this puzzle though, and I love your write-ups. I always come here right after I finish the puzzle. I like to see if other people felt the same way I did, and had trouble with the same things.

    shrub5 said...

    Loved the theme answers in this puzzle but the rest of it gave me a strong feeling of déjà vu.

    @chefbea: thanks for the carat/karat explanation. I thought they meant the same thing and were merely acceptable spelling variations.

    Does the President have LINE ITEM VETO authority? I thought that presidents always wanted it but were never given the power by Congress.

    Anonymous said...

    Happy 234th birthday to all you Marines out there. Golfballman

    tinbeni said...

    @Shrub5

    Reagan wanted it in 1986. Never got it.
    Clinton got it in 1996. But it was Judically Revoked in 1998.

    McCain/Feingold re-introduced it March 2009, but it still lingers in some Hall or Shaft of Congress.

    Since the "Line Item Veto" makes sense, I doubt that Congress will ever pass it again.

    As for today's exercise, nice LAT Tuesday puzzle. Almost too easy but I think this Blog is helping me get better at these things.

    My only bitch is that today's puzzle did not present one single new thing for me to learn.

    (Like Sunday's Rope-v-Sail SNAFU I had, @JNH: as 'God is my witness' I always thought the Sheets were the Sails not the lines, thanks. But then again I am NOT a sailor)

    Nice clips (again) PG

    Donna L. said...

    @Shrub5: I don't believe the president has a line item veto anymore -- but he did at one time, 'til it was determined to be unconstitutional. My original clue was "Executive branch prerogative" because many governors currently have a LIV, but Rich must have thought that his clue sounded zippier -- and as long as you don't construe "Currently, ..." to be implied, his clue is correct.

    Rex Parker said...

    As "Word that precedes/follows" puzzles go, this one's OK. Forgettable, but not bad by any means. Just saw a documentary (or part of one) on Johnny Mercer, so "MOON RIVER" has been in my head. Good answer.

    rp

    B Obama, Pres said...

    Why doesn't anyone believe/listen to me? Are you all out listening to that fat idiot bastard Rush or something?

    GLowe said...

    A few years back I was out buying something on a Friday nite, I think I was the victim of a MOONDRIVE by some kids, I got FLASHEDINTHEVAN.

    Good solid puzzle. VISHNU's that guy with 4 arms, right?

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks to everyone who writes on this site. This morning my poor old on-its-last-legs newspaper did not print 2 1/2 of the columns on the right of the puzzle. Because I learned here (never noticed it myself) that there is a pattern to the black areas, I was able to figure out what should be there! Bless you all.

    tinbeni said...

    @Donna L
    Your original clue "Executive Branch Prerogative" was a better clue and your Editor RN should have left "well enough alone."

    That explains a whole lot about what Constructor's have to endure since their editor's tweak your efforts and sometimes they probably do not check out their zippier repartee.

    Nice puzzle !!!

    Anonymous said...

    @GLowe - Always remember, to be forewarned is to be forearmed, but to be four armed is to be Vishnu

    C said...

    Nice smooth Tuesday puzzle. Not meant to be hard but still fun to solve.

    GLowe said...

    @ Anon (that always seems to be a stupid address, like "Hey, nobody - listen here").
    With this post, VISHNU will be a four mentioned deity.

    JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

    @PG, I'm just glad you didn't show the Full Monty in your writeup photo.

    @Rex Speaking of MOON RIVER, who could forget Andy Williams?

    @All Let's all remember tomorrow to celebrate Veteran's Day and to honor the many valiant servicemen and servicewomen who fought for our country.
    Also, today is the 234th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps (USMC to all you CWP solvers).
    My son was a Marine sarge.

    Bohica said...

    Got the reveal clue through crosses, so didn't even read it therefore the theme was obscured until I came here. Spent ten minutes staring at the grid trying to parse a theme, should have reviewed the clues instead. Live and learn.

    Joon said...

    i agree with chefbea: karat is a unit of purity used for gold (24k = 100%), and carat is a unit of weight (1 carat = 0.2 grams). wikipedia claims that carat is sometimes used for purity, but not in this country.

    sandy, caret is the name of the ^ character. karet is nothing, to my knowledge. and the "which letters taken out" is 100% consistent. señora = SRA, señorita = SRTA. always. that said, i don't love this abbreviation in the plural.

    my other gripe about this puzzle was the INPUT clue {Enter, as data} with DATUM in the grid. then again, with TYPES also in the grid (crossing INPUT, in fact) it's not trivial to come up with a solid clue for INPUT that doesn't use data, type, put, or in. {Two cents, metaphorically}? not wild about that one either.

    overall, though, i dug the theme answers even though the theme reveal itself was a little underwhelming. that's really the key to making an enjoyable puzzle with this theme genre (or i guess any theme genre).

    shrub5 said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    crazycatlady said...

    Enjoyable puzzle today and enjoyable comments as always. I had a major mess up when I read Spanish Mlles. as Spanish Miles. I had to google EDTV which was totally off my radar. Thanks for the explanation of KARAT vs CARAT. I missed the theme because I was solving in down mode and didn't even see DRIVE. My favorite clue was I'm crossing you in style MOON RIVER. That song evokes fun childhood memories of my parents dancing together around the living room. Also love Breakfast at Tiffany's. I wrote in HIP DUDE instead of HIPSTER. I guess that's a CA thing.

    Donna L. said...

    @tinbeni: Please, don't ever think I have to "endure" Rich's editing. He's terrific, and 99% of the time he's spot on. Every now and then, I don't understand the reason for a change -- but on balance, I'm delighted to have him edit my puzzles!

    mac said...

    As I've come to expect, a nice and solid Tuesday puzzle from Donna Levin. No problems, smooth solve.

    @ChefBea: thanks for that carat/karat explanation. I also waver every time it comes up.

    tinbeni said...

    @Donna L
    My reference was NOT a slight at your Editor, Rick Norris. He has his job to do. An editors job is just that, to edit. But on this ONE cluing, I think your original was more percise.

    But it also reminded me that the Constructor's are sometimes accused of vague clues or formats in this blog when that may not have been the case in the first place. That was the 'endure' I was referencing.

    I look forward to more of your puzzles.

    Charles Bogle said...

    Had same problem as @sfingi in middle north--EDTV has to be one of Ron Howard's forgettable movies and I had to google it and VISHNU. But thanks @donnal for a treat of a puzzle, nice theme answers (well, any time I can figure out and successfully deploy the theme is good in my book) and generally solid fill

    Anonymous said...

    I am getting tired of all the profanity on this blog lately. Can't we clean it up and let's leave the politics out!

    Sffingi said...

    @chefbea - 2 Mnemonics. I'll think carat=calories=chubby=weight;
    and with your visual: gem on metal - carat on karat - both alpha in same direction.

    That reading of the roll call was very moving. I didn't know they did that.

    tinbeni said...

    @anon 5:31pm
    Glowe probably said it best in an earlier comment @ 10:04 am "Anon IS a stupid address, meaning "Hey-Nobody, Listen here" ... in other words post with a real (fake) idenity.

    I re-read the comments today, and in all due consideration this blog has quite tame profanity or political reference. Not only today but over the past 2 months since I found it. All I wanted (originally) was to check-out how I did solving a puzzle before tomorrow's paper hit my curb.

    SOOOOO, if you are getting tired of all the profanity and politics here ... just don't go to the comments. Check our guide's adroit, learned insight. Enjoy getting better at solving CW's (and that is actually very important since you like them also) ... and then check out something else.

    Anonymous said...

    Of course I don't need to go to the comments anymore, which makes me sad because I have learned alot from the comments such as Karat and Carat. Up until the last couple of weeks I haven't noticed the profanity and politics and now it comes up more frequently and I have read the daily blogs since this whole thing started. There are still a few dinosaurs out there who appreciate civility and kindness. Ann

    JOHNSNEVERHOME said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

    People tell me I'm foolish for using my real name, but then I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of... I prefer to take the high road and to keep this blog reasonably pleasant for everyone. There is no reason for anyone here to resort to disgusting name calling (of ANYONE).
    It's a very simple process to assign yourself a screen-name (real name or cute alias), and possibly even an avatar in a blog. That makes it a lot easier to make a polite reply to someone else... saying "Anonymous" to someone is tantamount to having a nice discussion at the supper table and saying "Hey you!".

    tinbeni said...

    @JNH - You are amazing !!!
    To you, I'm "a kid" ... only 57, but it never ceases to amaze me some of these comments. Like I said earlier, I originally came here to expedite my process of whether or not I solved the puzzle before waiting until tomorrow's paper.

    I've been doing these things for a very long, long time, yet in 2 months I learned a whole lot of subtle reasonings for why I missed a word or two. And CW's are more fun if you get them right.

    Our guides are astonding, and most of the other commentators provide good/great insight.

    As such, when a "anon" appears ... I figure they may have something to say, such as Ann, but they make it hard to reply.

    And I really did think on Sunday, that 'sheets' were sails ... not the lines, thank you !!!

    JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

    @tinbeni
    Much like you, I learn a lot from the blog hosts from their informative (and very entertaining) writeups. But we also learn much from each other in the comments. It would be a shame if someone, like Ann, feels intimidated by other commenters. I hope we can all continue to stay together like a fun family.
    I want to thank everyone who has contributed to my CW enlightenment. Like I said the other day... if you just solve, and you don't blog or comment, then your missing out on 2/3 the fun.

    crazycatlady said...

    profanity on this blog? WTF?

    Soozy said...

    Ooh I had big trouble with middle north as well...still don't know what this Cunard flagship business is all about--anybody have an explanation?

    Also, has anybody noticed the preponderance of SCAB (1A: Labor union foe) recently? I feel like it's come up at least a couple times each of the past two or three weeks.

    As always, thanks for the write-up, @PG!

    Crockett1947 said...

    @soozy QEII stands for the Queen Elizabeth II, the flagship Cunard liner that is now apparently retired.