TUESDAY, November 24, 2009
Gary J. Whitehead

Theme: Homophones! — Theme answers are (common?) phrases that end with homophones.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Sophisticated taste, foodwise (REFINED PALATE).
  • 36A: Studio item with a thumb hole (PAINTER'S PALETTE).
  • 47A: Portable shipping platform (FREIGHT PALLET).
PuzzleDaughter is home with a fever today, so this is going to be quick. Which is probably good. I'm not a big fan of this particular theme. Yes, the word can be spelled three different ways and mean three different things, but ... so what? This one gets a big "whatever" from me. Luckily, there was some pretty cool fill to offset the drab theme.

First, we've got the awesome entries TEXAS TEA and EARL GREY (9D: Oil, informally / 37D: Tea named for William IV's prime minister). Add in a little ICE-T (11D: Rapper-turned-actor) and we've got a mini-theme going here. Cute!

I do enjoy me some people in my puzzles:
  • 22D: Actress Tyler (LIV). Daughter of Steven Tyler from AEROsmith (14A: Prefix with space). I'll never understand how anyone was confused about the identity of her father. She looks exactly like him! But in a good way. Which is Very hard to pull off!
  • 28D: Jimmy of the Daily Planet (OLSEN). Remember the Spin Doctors?

  • 30D: Gangster dubbed "The Teflon Don" (GOTTI). I lived in New York in the mid 80s so this was easy for me.
  • 34A: "Night" author Wiesel (ELIE). Has anyone here read this?
  • 42A: Guitarist __ Paul (LES). May he rest in peace.
  • 47D: Wilma's mate (FRED).
  • 58A: Els on the links (ERNIE).
  • 61A: Dublin-born poet (YEATS).
  • 5D: California senator Feinstein (DIANNE). Did you know she spells her name with two Ns?
  • 50D: "Saturday Night Live" alum Fey (TINA). I couldn't decide if anyone would be offended by a Fey-as-Palin clip here.
Crosswordese 101: There are two four-letter-last-name Leon authors. Luckily, Leon Edel only show up in the puzzle occasionally. Typically, you're going to see Leon URIS (53A: "The Haj" novelist). He's pretty much always clued with a reference to one of his books, most often: Exodus, Trinity, QB VII, Battle Cry, Redemption, Topaz, or Mila 18.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Job detail, briefly (SPEC); 5A: First appearance (DEBUT); 10A: Irish dances (JIGS); 15A: Really peeved (IRATE); 16A: Campus south of Sunset Blvd. (UCLA); 17A: Investor's goal (GAIN); 18A: Subsidiary building (ANNEX); 19A: Thoughtful (DEEP); 23A: B&Bs (INNS); 24A: Jane Fonda, to Peter (SIS); 25A: Ping-Pong need (PADDLE); 28A: Airing, as an ESPN game (ON TV); 30A: Schmooze (GAB); 33A: See eye to eye (AGREE); 35A: Nod off (DOZE); 39A: Datebook entry: Abbr. (APPT.); 40A: Improves in the wine cellar (AGES); 41A: Western (OATER); 43A: 1982 Disney sci-fi movie (TRON); 44A: Pessimistic types (CYNICS); 45A: Sidekick (PAL); 46A: Sargasso et al. (SEAS); 54A: Racetrack borders (RAILS); 55A: Giant screen format (IMAX); 57A: Vitality (ZEST); 59A: Free from doubt (SURE); 60A: Foreboding date for Caesar (IDES); 62A: Romanov ruler (TSAR); 1D: Droop (SAG); 2D: Anjou or Bosc (PEAR); 3D: Toledo's lake (ERIE); 4D: Free from doubt (CONFIDENT); 6D: Maritime raptors (ERNES); 7D: Robin Hood's merry men, e.g. (BAND); 8D: Longhorn State sch. (UTEP); 10D: Biblical traitor (JUDAS); 12D: Tickled-pink feeling (GLEE); 13D: Maple yield (SAP); 21D: Bay or cove (INLET); 25D: Of the Holy See (PAPAL); 26D: Showing shock (AGAPE); 27D: Plumbing problems (DRIPS); 29D: Playful bites (NIPS); 31D: Ancient Mexican (AZTEC); 32D: Tavern round (BEERS); 34D: Consequently (ERGO); 35D: Academic honor (DEAN'S LIST); 38D: True-blue (LOYAL); 43D: Mai __: cocktail (TAI); 44D: Breaks off (CEASES); 45D: Roaches, ants, etc. (PESTS); 46D: Bowler's headache (SPLIT); 48D: Greet the day (RISE); 49D: Cocksure Aesopian racer (HARE); 51D: Outback runners (EMUS); 52D: O'Hara home (TARA); 53D: Action film gun (UZI); 56D: Gen-__: boomer's kid, usually (X'ER).


The Corgi of Mystery said...

I absolutely agree with your write-up PG, flat theme, nice fill.

I'm not sure I like [Pessimistic types] as a clue for CYNICS -- I would have gone with jaded or sneering types instead. I guess it's not technically inaccurate, but pessimism and cynicism just seem to have different flavors to me.

Seem to have gotten into a strange rhythm of finishing the LAT Tuesday faster than the Monday -- this is my 3rd week in a row. Maybe I'm grumpier/not as awake on Monday mornings or something.

Gareth Bain said...

Yeah, TEXASTEA and EARLGREY are cool entries. Less wild about the fact there's "tea" in the latter's clue though... BTW, just read Mr. Uris' "Trinity". It's highly recommended if you want to get a historical perspective of the events leading up to the Irish Revolution, but find plain history books too dry. Haven't read "Night" though...

Orange said...

Gareth, I read Trinity when I was in high school. The Irish subject matter attracted me—never read any of Uris's other titles.

Now I'm thinking about Leon Spinks.

Rex Parker said...

Spelled GREY and OLSEN wrong and initially went with NITTI over GOTTI, but otherwise breezy and forgettable. Love TEXAS TEA, but fav. part of grid is definitely the part with the CYNICS and the BEERS.



Didn’t find the theme too inspiring, but then this puzzle was a step up from yesterday, and to me it was just okay.
I knew most of the words and the clues lacked sparkle.
Maybe I was just too over-CONFIDENT like the “Cocksure Aesopian racer”, but I was hoping for something more DEEP. I guess us bloggers are just perennial CYNICS, and we’ll never just AGREE on what makes for ZEST in a puzzle.

Fave word(s): TEXAS TEA for “Oil”.
(So that’s where the tea parties started!)
Unfave word: ICET (we see this far in CWPs too much)

PG, I don't think even Sarah herself would be offended by the TINA Fey clip. BTW, I started reading her book and it's pretty entertaining so far, but I haven't gotten to the politicin' parts yet, so I'll reserve my judgement for now.

Now the late LES Paul was perhaps the greatest guitarist that ever lived, certainly he was most innovative as a musician. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible. He is credited with many recording techniques, including overdubbing, delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multi-track recording. His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences… he was indeed a champion shredder.
Both my musician sons think he was one of the finest musicians of our time. I cried when I heard he passed away a few months ago.
Just take a listen to this:

Tinbeni said...

Ho-Hum, forgetable, easier than Monday, LAT Tuesday puzzle.
Learned nothing, no new words, straight-forward cluing. Wanted some ZEST (57a) became a CYNICs(44a), maybe it's time for some BEERS(32d).

Read Weisel's NIGHT in college. Its his true story of his view from his last year at Auschwitz (short & VERY depressing). Along with DAWN & DAY (both fiction) it became considered his trilogy of the Holocaust. Definitely NOT holiday reading material.

PG Nice write-up, would have liked a Fey/Palin clip, but you get yourself better. Take 2 aspirins and drink plenty of scotch, it works for me.

shrub5 said...

I liked that there were two clues "Free from doubt," though my initial entry for 4d was CONVINCED before correcting to CONFIDENT. "Cocksure Aesopian racer" is a wild clue; I didn't even get Aesop at first! I think my groggy brain was thinking along the lines of 'utopian.'

I have not read "Night" yet but it's 'on my list' -- this list that gets considerably more titles added than ever get taken off..... Like @Orange, my introduction to Leon URIS was in high school. We read "Exodus" which I loved. Hey, I think I'll add it to my list to reread some day!

@JNH: Great info on Les Paul. What a genius and what a legacy of innovation he leaves.

Nice to learn who EARL GREY was! Guess I thought he was a tea maker.

SethG said...

CYNIC is a BEER. Surly!


Rex, I was surprised that you, a New Yorker, would think of NITTI (of the Chicago "Outfit"), before you thought of GOTTI (of the NYC mob). We Chicagoans think we have a corner-on-the-market with the Mafioso. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor was Fiore "Fifi" Buccieri. They were a lovely family and I played with their kids... we never even realized that they were mobsters till years later.

Corgi, I agree with your complaint about CYNICS vs. pessimists. I'm seldom a pessimist (except for my comments yesterday), but often I'm a cynic. The dictionary says a cynic is a "faultfinding captious critic"... hey, wait, that describes Rex to a T.

Rex Parker said...

I'm not a New Yorker. First 21 years (mostly) in CA. Next 8 in MI. Last 10 here, upstate. And honestly I don't know a lot about the real mob. What I know, I know from James Ellroy (i.e. it's all from mid-2oth c.). And xwords (where I first saw NITTI).


Burner10 said...

@TCOM I too am quicker Tuesdays lately. Snoozey Toozeday.

*David* said...

I hadn't heard of Texas Tea so that one threw me off but it was nice to have Earl Grey in there. The homophones deserve more credit because those are probably the only three there are.

Every where I post Orange does kind of creepy.


Hey, it's okay to be a "New Yorker."
I always get a kick out of how upstate New Yorkers (you) quickly disassociate themselves from NYC.

I always thought James Ellroy centered his work around crime in the LA area and not NYC or Chicago. But, I think I too knew NITTI from former CWs.



ORANGE--- We were always taught as kids that there are no words that rhyme with ORANGE. I'm a poet (but I don't know it), and so I took up the challenge to write some poems with the word ORANGE in them. I found two words that do rhyme, but they really lack inspiration. 1) SPORANGE: I use this in botanical references to the case or sac in plants (sporophytes) in which the spores are produced and reside (sort of the equivalent to the seeds of flowering plants). 2) BLORENGE: A mountain range in Wales. I'm not sure that homophonically it sounds like ORANGE though... the Welsh pronounce it a little differently. But then the Welsh do weird things with most words.

Anyways, I thought you'd like to know that I won't be writing any poems about you for a while... till I find that third rhyming word that describes you better!

ddbmc said...

Definitely a quicker solve than yesterday, for me. Younger son's name came from "Trinity," not because it was the IT name. Conor means King in Gaelic. Older son is Devin-Poet. Actually fits their personalities to an (Ice)T. They don' like to jig, but I imagine they like jiggers of adult beverages....And their ping pong needs are tavern rounds (Keystone Light) and 16 oz cups and ping pong balls. I'm just saying, no paddles necessary!
(This too, shall pass, right?)

Why, oh why, can I never remember the "El Paso" part of U of Texas? Mental block.

Liv Tyler is just beautiful. Steve, not so much. His music is great filler at the hockey games, tho.

Speaking of Robin Hood's Merry Men, caught a bit of "Men in Tights" the other day. Incredibly silly movie from Mel Brooks. Good for a few laughs. Not like Gotti or Robin and the Seven Hoods. Actually had "Richie the Boot" Boiardo near where I grew up. The drive way gate has two lions and had very creepy painted busts of his family members along the wall. Scared the bejesus out of us kids esp. after a big write up in Life magazine about him! Apparently had an incinerator on the property! He was the alledged inspiration for Don Vito Coreleone. And Tony Soprano, as David Chase grew up in the town next door. I hear Jimmy Hoffa (Chi-town boy?) is holding up part of Giant's stadium. Maybe they'll find him when they tear it down?

@Orange, I agree, purple digits would definitely be TMI. Gotta go warm the core! :)

@JNH-two words, "door hinge" rhyme with Orange! Les Paul was "The Man."
Feel better, @PG. No fun being sick for the holidays. I'm sure the relatives will leave me with some lovely germs after Thursday! @Tinbeni, if I have enough scotch on Thursday, does it work as a "preventative?" :)

Tinbeni said...

I have always considered it to be aqua-vitae, the 'water of life.'

Single Malts (12yo+) work best if the disease you are trying to avoid is due-to a house full of adult relatives.
If children enter/become part of the 'germ pool' then larger dose's are required. An eight ounce glass works best with, at most, one ice-cube, and a nice Blend will be both sufficient & will suffice.

GLowe said...

I watch(ed) probably everything Bill Kurtis puts on AANDE, so I knew the Teflon Don.

Q: Is Teflon outlawed now? Can't remember. It would take about 5 more keystokes to find out than I care to spend.

Whitney said...

@Puzzlegirl RE: Night by Elie Wiesel I read it my freshman year of high school (also on the reading list: Tale of Two Cities, All Quiet on the Western Front and Kon Tiki - not a very exciting curriculum for a 15 year old). What @Tinbeni said. It's short but terribly depressing. I'll always remember it, though, thanks to ELIE being in xwords so much. Wikipedia has a pretty good synopsis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_(book)

I think this was my fastest LA Times puzzle EVER. I finished it in quite possibly under 3 minutes. That makes me very very happy and makes me want to love the puzzle, but I just can't muster that much appreciation for the homophone theme. Ah, well.

After finishing it I thought it might be a pangram what with all the J's, Z's and X's but it wasn't. Drat!

chefbea said...

Easy Tuesday puzzle

@JNH Have you ever seen the comic strip "Rhymes with Orange?" It is priceless. You can also see it on line

Went to camp with Leon Uris's niece way back when

Orange said...

I have one or two "Rhymes With Orange" book collections of comic strips. Love it!

Back in grade school, nobody called me Orange. They had a hard time rhyming Amy, though. "Lamy" was the best they could come up with. For my sister Laurie, there was the taunt "poor spor' Laur." I rather doubt that any of our classmates developed into word puzzle creators.

Tinbeni said...

re: NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
Pretty heady stuff for a 15yo's reading list. Your others seem about right, as to age specific.

But that book, which should have taken "one brief sitting' to get through was a total ball-buster. I always figured that if you didn't break down and cry every 5 or 10 pages you lacked any human emotion.

It amazes me that there are actual people who say the Holocaust didn't happen. And it wasn't just the 6 million Jews, there were another 6 to 7 million 'others' also eradicated by the world's biggest A-Hole's thugs.

Elie had to literally "go through hell" as a teenager to get to the other side.

hazel said...

Haven't read Night yet, but can highly recommend Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi for those interested in eye-witness Holocaust perspectives. What these people endured is incomprehensible - it reads like science fiction.

Re the puzzle - Like the "tea" theme PG pointed out more than the official one.

DataGeek said...

I hear you guys on the ho-hum homophone thing, but really? Palette and palate and pallett? I thought those were pretty interesting examples of homophones. Maybe I'm just in a good mood because I'm off for the next few days... Yes, very easy, but I for one enjoyed the theme.

Charles Bogle said...

@PuzzleGirl: Hope PuzzleDaughter feels much better by Thanksgiving. But, if you follow our friend @tinbeni's well-meaning but errant advice (scotch for the kid)...well, she does mean well

Puzzle seemed even breezier than yesterday's. Clearly, I'm learning from PG, RP and Orange; like @Whitney, this was my fastest LAT finish ever even counting two phone calls and spouse coming home--but several multiples at least of Whitney's time! e.g., OATER came right away. TEXASTEA a remnant from The Beverly Hillbillies

@jnh: great info on Les Paul. Permit me to add a fn: in or about 1945, a young Les Paul persuaded the very ill and dying W. C. Fields to record his famous "lectures" on the evils of water, etc...as you listen to this priceless recording today, you hear a very appreciative, laughing audience, and music...all of that came from additional tracks Les Paul made and later overlaid..I've been told it was a very inventive and creative process for its time--two true geniuses

Anonymous said...

My favorite Les Paul fact is that his arm was shattered in an auto accident, and was told that he would never have any motion again in his right arm. He had the doctors set it in a position that would permit him to still play. That's dedication to one's art.

Anonymous said...

My favorite Les Paul fact is that his arm was shattered in an auto accident, and was told that he would never have any motion again in his right arm. He had the doctors set it in a position that would permit him to still play. That's dedication to one's art.

Joon said...

cockamamie amy, naught she says can sway me.

i liked this puzzle, too. these are pretty surprising homophones. this isn't air/err/ere territory. it was easy, yes, but if my records are to be believed, the tuesday LATs have been easier than mondays for a while now.

Tinbeni said...

@Charles Bogle
You are SOOOO right re:My advice to PG on how to get the PuzzleDaughter on the road to wellness. I should/would never suggest giving Scotch to a kid. Its too good for them.

But like W.C.Fields once said:
"I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it."
"I never drink water, that is the stuff that rusts pipes."
"I never drink water. I'm afraid it will become habit-forming."
"I drink therefore I am."

My philosophy on the subject of Scotch is probably unique since it is coming from a man whose 2nd wife was kill by a drunk driver in 1985. (fill in the Gilbert Sullivan song here ...)

Or as WC added: "The best thing for a case of the nerves is a case of Scotch."

As to the care of children, I have absolutely no clue.

Ergo, one last WC Fieldism:
"I like children - fried."

mac said...

Easy puzzle and decent theme. It is only Tuesday at the LA Times.

Son has a Les Paul guitar so that name is familiar. Amazing about the shattered arm!

The Texas tea is cute, hadn't seen it before. Started with convinced before confident.

@PG: when Puzzledaughter gets a little better, you may need the Scotch.


Something smells gamy,
I think 'twas Amy !

~ by a huge Ogden Nash devotee


You guys have infected me with lots of chuckles and chortles today.
Did I ever mention how much I appreciate everyone's comments... not only for all the good CW info, but mostly for all the fun and frivolity you bring?
If not, here's a big shout out for all my blogger-buds... THANK YOU !

ddbmc said...

@Charles Bogle, @Tenbeni's comment re: scotch was not a suggestion to have children imbibe! He was addressing my concerns that my Thanksgiving crowd would not only be bearing foodstuffs, but a plethora of germs as well!

@Ten's suggestion was to increase the adult intake of the scotch quotient- to counter act the germs brought in by the cute little darlings!

I had pondered, in an earlier post, whether having a scotch would work as a "germ preventative." I know it certainly works as a preservative and a pickling agent! There was no suggestion to allow children to sip from the aqua vitae!... Just checked the cabinet and as I feared, the Glenfiddich probably made its way to one of the college campuses I help support! Darn, they have good taste!

I usually try to grab an hors d'oeuvre early, before tiny little fingers double dip or are licked and re dipped. Bring on the H1N1 appy, please! Kind of gives new meaning to "pigs in a blanket."

Loved the WC Fields quotes! Did you know that "Charles Bogle" was another name that W.C. Fields used? And to think we have our own Mr. Bogle right here!

@PG, in all seriousness, hope Puzzle Daughter is on the mend, soon!

mac said...

Since I think "Charles Bogle" is a Nutmegger, he probably knows about W.C. Fields's alias!

Tinbeni said...

Alas, I must admit that my first comment to @PG was made in error. I mis-read and thought SHE, not the kid had the 'fever'. So kids, no imbibing.
Though I do contend that Scotch IS the perfect remedy for a 'cold-and fever' proper age-restriction should always be followed.(Yeah, right. What do I care, I'm 57, don't know any kids, the Bar is OPEN, the car-keys off-limits)

But to get through the "joy of a house-full of relatives, w/kids included," I believe the 1.75 liter bottle IS A NECESSITY! Duggan's Dew (86.6 proof) and NOT sips, deep long GULPS !!!!

If possible, you can also have Thanksgiving Dinner ... but never, ever, under estimate the power of your loved-ones to get on your nerve's in these gathering's.

The panacea is ... Scotch. It will relax YOU enough so you can enjoy the day, family distraction's notwithstanding.

And I haven't suffered from the flu in at least 24 years! (could it be the obvious reason?)

Also, I read your comments at the end of yesterday. I do hope you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

@tinbeni: thrilled to know you too are a Fields fan and thanks for the quotes! @mac: ok you've outed my nom de plume, but what's a nutmegger? Charles Bogle