12.13.2009

SUNDAY, December 13, 2009
Joon Pahk (syndicated)


Theme: "Teeing Off" — The golf warning "Fore!" is hidden in familiar phrases.

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]



Theme answers:
  • 23A: Sharp rock used by early hominids? (BLADE FORERUNNER). Based on the 1982 Harrison Ford thriller, "Blade Runner."
  • 33A: Choose Mounds over Almond Joy? (FOREGO NUTS). From the familiar phrase "go nuts."
  • 53A: Like the elbow of Rodin's "The Thinker"? (FOREVER BENDING). This one took me a minute to figure out. The original phrase here is "verb ending." Tricky!
  • 70A: Anti-park service career advice? (DON'T BE A FOREST RANGER). HAha! From "don't be a stranger."
  • 87A: According to predictions in the show "Medium"? (AS FORESEEN ON TV). "As seen on TV."
  • 103A: What Ali did often at the Rumble in the Jungle? (HIT FOREMAN). "Hitman."
  • 119A: "Clear skies tonight," to an astronomer? (ALL-STAR FORECAST). "All-star cast."
Fun puzzle today! Clever theme with some hilarious theme answers. The first theme answer I uncovered was FOREGO NUTS and I still wasn't sure what the theme was because I was so focused on the "T," thinking the theme must be something about adding or dropping the letter T. It wasn't until I hacked my way through the NW corner (and it was a struggle!) that I grokked the theme. What was the problem for me up there? What wasn't?! ADOZE (6D: Napping) obviously wanted to be ASLEEP at first. And I had no idea on the Z words: ZEREX, ZEENA, and ZENO'S (7D: Antifreeze brand / 8D: Ethan Frome's sickly wife / 28A: __ paradoxes). It all came together eventually, though, and I had my "aha!" moment.

I always like it when people are referred to by both first and last name in the grid, and today we see that twice with AMY TAN (56A: "The Kitchen God's Wife" novelist) and ERIC IDLE (115A: "Spamalot" co-creator). I only saw one golf-related non-theme answer: PAR (81D: 72, often), but there were a couple tricky misdirecting clues that had a baseball feel to them. To me, a 129A: Farm team is a minor league baseball team, not literally a team of animals (OXEN) on the farm. And 46D: Joltless joes? (DECAFS) turns Joltin' Joe DiMaggio into coffee, which is appropriate because DiMaggio was the spokesman for Mr. Coffee back in the 70s.

More stuff to talk about:
  • 1A: Archie Bunker oath (JEEZ). This made me laugh. I can hear the inflection and see the look on his face.
  • 32A: It might be given orally (EXAM). Is this clue a little risqué or is it just me?
  • 40A: Rained out, e.g.: Abbr. (PPD). Postponed? Okay, that's pretty ugly.
  • 43A: Not gun-shy? (ARMED). Love this clever clue. Here, shy is used in the sense of not having enough.
  • 60A: Singer Vannelli (GINO). Well, okay.

  • 79A: Prefix with fauna (AVI-). I assume this refers to the prefix that relates to birds (avian, aviary, etc.).
  • 95A: Lasso (REATA). Sometimes (more commonly?) spelled riata.
  • 101A: "M*A*S*H" NCO (CPL.).
  • 107A: Teammate of LeBron (SHAQ). I guess I get kind of set in my ways when it comes to sports. It's hard for me to think of him as anything other than a Laker.
  • 111A: Ageless pitcher Satchel (PAIGE). He played professional baseball for 40 years and was the oldest rookie to every play Major League Baseball. I don't know a lot about the Negro leagues, but just scanning Satch's Wikipedia page makes me want to learn more.
  • 10D: "You eediot!" speaker of cartoons (REN). Hey! We just talked about this the other day!
  • 13D: 4 Seasons hit of 1963 (MARLENA). Anyone seen "Jersey Boys," the musical about Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons? I'm dying to see it. This is one of my favorite songs of all time:

  • 38D: Source of some '60s trips (LSD). Also the source of some '70s trips, some '80s trips, some '90s trips, and I'm gonna guess some '00 trips as well.
  • 44D: Richie's dad, to the Fonz (MR. C).
  • 69D: Marsh of whodunits (NGAIO). Learned her name from crosswords.
  • 88D: Arctic seabird (SKUA). Learned this one from crosswords too.
  • 104D: 1935 Nobelist Joliot-Curie (IRÈNE). Pierre and Marie's daughter. She and her husband were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of artificial radioactivity.
  • 114D: Spanish pronoun (ESTAS). I know there's going to be some confusion about this one. This word, which doesn't have an accent mark, means these. With an accent mark, estás is a conjugation of the verb to be. Two totally different words.
Crosswordese 101 Roundup:
  • 22A: Last Olds model (ALERO).
  • 37A: Former Giants manager (ALOU).
  • 62A: Reproductive cells (OVA).
  • 92A: Bald eagle relative (ERNE).
  • 117A: Turkish coins (LIRAS).
  • 127A: Fished using pots, perhaps (EELED).
  • 10D: "You eediot!" speaker of cartoons (REN).
  • 36D: Afore (ERE).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 5A: Spice (up) (JAZZ); 9A: Refracting device (PRISM); 14A: Fashions (MAKES); 19A: Mercury or Saturn (AUTO); 20A: __ fixe (IDÉE); 21A: Soprano Mitchell (LEONA); 26A: One paid to make hoops, briefly (NBAER); 27A: Get rolling (BEGIN); 29A: Refinement (ELEGANCE); 31A: Fields of study (AREAS); 35A: Cavs, on scoreboards (CLE); 39A: Prone to prying (NOSY); 47A: Scary movie reaction (SCREAM); 49A: West Coast wine valley (NAPA); 58A: Box (CRATE); 59A: Perfumer Chanel (COCO); 63A: Vino __: dry wine (SECO); 64A: Capital of Pakistan's Punjab province (LAHORE); 68A: Earth tones (SIENNAS); 75A: Monarch's spouse (CONSORT); 76A: 1980s timekeeping fad (SWATCH); 77A: Omnia vincit __ (AMOR); 80A: Speak hoarsely (RASP); 82A: Briny greeting (AHOY); 84A: Ocho minus uno (SIETE); 85A: Wet floor? (SEABED); 93A: Went two ways (FORKED); 96A: "That's right," quaintly ('TIS); 97A: MBA subject (ECON.); 99A: Language that gave us "khaki" (URDU); 116A: Major muddle (SNAFU); 118A: Family auto (SEDAN); 123A: Wind, as a river (SNAKE); 124A: When la luna rises, usually (NOCHE); 125A: Falafel holder (PITA); 126A: Blue-green hue (AQUA); 128A: Turn out (END UP); 130A: Reading material for some? (LIPS); 1D: "Star Wars" gangster (JABBA); 2D: Swiss mathematician (EULER); 3D: Floor, in France (ÉTAGE); 4D: 12-part belt (ZODIAC); 5D: Skippy competitor (JIF); 9D: And (PLUS); 11D: Electrified particle (ION); 12D: Scornful look (SNEER); 14D: Tropical fruits (MANGOS); 15D: Capital west of Boston, MA (ALBANY, NY); 16D: Reeves of "Speed" (KEANU); 17D: Upright (ERECT); 18D: Tender spots (SORES); 24D: Shackle (ENSLAVE); 25D: It's up the coast from Napoli (ROMA); 30D: Bloated condition? (EGOMANIA); 33D: Convergence points (FOCI); 34D: Boondocks possessive (OUR'N); 40D: 101-Across's subordinates: Abbr. (PFCS); 41D: Studied in detail (PORED OVER); 42D: Extremely unforgiving (DRACONIAN); 45D: African virus (EBOLA); 48D: Silly Putty holder (EGG); 50D: Amends (ATONEMENT); 51D: Vocalist who gave his farewell performance at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin (PAVAROTTI); 52D: Santa __: offshore winds (ANAS); 54D: Jackets facetiously called bum-freezers (ETONS); 55D: Not at all (NO HOW); 57D: Big name in showerheads (MOEN); 61D: Leb. neighbor (ISR.); 65D: __ pro nobis (ORA); 66D: Pave over (RETAR); 67D: Artist who explored infinity in his work (ESCHER); 71D: Rent (TORE); 72D: Primary author of the Mayflower Compact (BRADFORD); 73D: UFO pilots, ostensibly (ETS); 74D: More than that (THOSE); 75D: Docket item (CASE); 78D: Guns (REVS); 83D: "__, verily" (YEA); 84D: Drink with a Real Fact on each bottle cap (SNAPPLE); 86D: Some women's mag photos (BEEFCAKE); 89D: Common office plant (FERN); 90D: Uneven? (ODD); 91D: And so forth: Abbr. (ETC.); 94D: Like a road section with a flagger, maybe (ONE LANE); 98D: Neologized (COINED); 100D: Sen. McCain's alma mater (USNA); 102D: Not of the clergy (LAICAL); 103D: Frankfurt's state (HESSE); 105D: Word with basin or flat (TIDAL); 106D: Dieter's breakfast (MELON); 108D: Curly-haired pantomimist (HARPO); 109D: Paste on (AFFIX); 110D: Dealer's offering (QUOTE); 112D: Kirkuk native (IRAQI); 113D: Refuel (GAS UP); 116D: Procedure part (STEP); 120D: Calculator display, briefly (LCD); 121D: Moo __ pork (SHU); 122D: Dashed (RAN).

30 comments:

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

A little hard to “GET ROLLING”, but once I got past the FOREplay, and got ERECT, it was all JAZZ for me.

With the theme title of TEEING OFF, I just figured it had something to do with Tiger Woods… golf is not my forte, but I hacked through this puzzle okay anyways. Some dilly words: ETAGE, ZEENA, AMYTAN, and NGAIO. But, I never had to Google anything… hey hey!!!

Lots of nice Z’s in the NW, and a great ENDUP in the SE with the superb clue: “Reading material for some” (LIPS).

Joon Pahk is now on my fave constructors list.
And I want to also commend Mr. Norris and Ms, Lewis for a fine job of editing. And Puzzlegirl’s nice writeup was also a big PLUS !
Wonderful FOUR SEASONS clip!

A good alternate clue for (30d) would be “What some crossworders have”

It’s getting late for my coffee/ands (no DECAFS!), so I’ll be signing off.

Gareth Bain said...

Unusually large chunk of letters inserted! It does help that FORE's a prefix; anyway 87A and 33A were great! And the others no slouches either.

Surprised RIATA/REATA hasn't been covered yet CW101, it's a real sneaky one with 2 spellings plus it's more prosaic cousin the LASSO. I guess there just is SO MUCH CW you'll still be going for at least a coupla years!

docmoreau said...

Mr. Pahk. Congrats. This was engaging and clever. My last "doh" moment was when I finally realized what the title, "teeing off," had to do with the appearance of FORE in each of the theme answers. Back in the day, I worked as a greenskeeper at the Elmhurst Country Club and I can't tell you how many times I ducked behind a tree when the teeer shouted that word out.
Never came across NGAIO Marsh, mystery writer, but what a crossword gem with three vowels in five letters! Clever clues were: "wet floor" SEA BED; "Joltless Joes'" DECAF; "72 often" PAR and "bloated condition?" EGOMANIA.
Those that threw me was LAICAL (wanted layman), PPD, NOCHE and JEEZ (look at all those Zees in the NW corner!) Thanks a good Sunday morning challenge, Joon and a good write up, PG.
Oh, and @johnsneverhome: clever new icon!

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Didn't it seem like there were an unusual amount of Spanish and Latin words today?
NOCHE, SECO, SIETE, ESTAS, ALERO, REATA, FOCI, AVI, IDEE, ORA, AQUA, AMOR, and OVA.
Whew! At least it wasn't real Frenchy today. ETAGE was enough! I kept thinking of some variant of French flooring: PARQUET. Then there's ETAGERE (the shelves). I think ETAGE should be a CW101 word... maybe it is.
Thanks @docmoreau... my new avatar actually has 16 clues... and the theme is my screen-name. I was also planning to change my screen-name to "PUZZLE GUZZLER", but then I decided that the abbreviation "PG" might mix us up (Puzzlegirl). Getting all her nice compliments wouldn't be all bad though.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

@docmoreau
I just PORED OVER your Flickr site.
I've just got to visit Grumpy's Cafe. Seems we have a lot in common. In fact, you'll find a photo of your place on my Flickr site.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11311958@N06/3639352388/in/set-72157612636810119/

GLowe said...

I really like this theme. Good job, Joon.

RENT .... I'll never get this straight. I had a puzzle booted for (amongst other things) misunderstanding the term, and cluing RIPPEDANDTORN as [Rented]. Fair enough. In my my mind, I said "OK, it's like rent = sent, rend = send, as an example".

Now, here we have RENT = TORE = TEAR = TORN? Is there an english mechanic who can explain this?

Joon said...

thanks for the kind words, everyone. i'm pleased with the way this one turned out. rich's awesome clue for ARMED made me laugh out loud when i saw it.

gary: rend is a verb meaning "to tear or rip." the past participle of rend is RENT. the past tense is also RENT. however, for the verb tear, the past tense is tear ("i tore my shirt") and the past participle is torn ("i have torn my shirt").

the word RENTED is not related to any of these words; it's the past tense of the verb rent, which means to borrow for money and has nothing to do with tearing.

hope this helps.

Joon said...

gah. the past tense of tear is tore, of course, not tear. i will now rend my garments in frustration.

jazz said...

I really liked this theme...Joon used FORE in so many different ways!

As so many solvers have noted, there was lots of clever cluing today. Loved all the Zs in the NW. I wasn't familiar of eeling with pots, got EELED from the crosses.

All in all, somewhat easier than yesterday's and IMHO lots more fun! Happy Sunday, everyone...

John said...

An extremely clever and enjoyable puzzle! Fun,all the way around.

Very enjoyable writeup also. Go PG!

Are those HACKING remarks intentional?? Either way they're amusing.

lit.doc said...

Entertaining writeup, PuzzleGirl, thanks. Ditto to Joon Pahk. A relaxing Sunday a.m. following a couple days of (for me) Very Hard Work.

(soapbox alert) I wish we saw more puzz's like this one, where it's reasonably possible to see the theme trick early on, and then use it to solve the other theme answers.

@PuzzleGirl, so far as I know, REATA is invariant in Real Spanish. We see "riata" a lot in Spanglish, probably due to its use as a product name, and that probably due to the fact that English speakers are accustomed to our derivative "lariat".

@PuzzleGirl re 32A, no, it's not just you. Though I'd expect this sort of teehee (not TEHEE, dammit) clue from BEQ (e.g. his recent "Snatch recipient?").

@GLowe, might help to think "which part of speech?" Rent, ripped, and tore are past-tense verbs; rent, ripped, and torN are adjectives. Messy. Once saw a book on etymology the subtitle of which was "A Second-Rate Language that Slept Its Way to the Top".

mac said...

Very good Sunday puzzle with clever clues, actually harder than today's NYT, I think.

The "forever bending" made me laugh, as did "hit Foreman"!
The clue for "armed" was the best, and I had a "do'h" moment at the crossing of ppd and pfcs.... Quite a cluster of z's in the NW, with an x thrown in. Thanks, Joon, hope to see you in Westport.

Carol said...

Great Sunday puzzle! Thanks, Joon.

ddbmc said...

@Joon! Great job on the puzzle today! We were fore-tunate to have it. Wow! And it's a pangram,too, correct?

Timely theme-considering the Tiger Tango that has been going on. Guess his dropping out of the golf scene is going to wreak havoc on Pro Golf!

I noticed that you included lots of words and ideas that we've all mentioned on the blog or that @PG, RP and O have spoken of! (Yea, verily!)

@ PG, I've seen "Jersey Boys" and highly recommend it! The stuff I didn't know about Frankie Valli! (Joe Pesci was a friend) Band member, Bob Gaudio, was the major song writer. Great music, just a fabulous, fun show

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

@ddbmc
Where's the pangram? I just don't see it.

shrub5 said...

I heartily agree with @ddbmc about "Jersey Boys." I've seen it three times and just loved it. Have a friend working in the theater box office who told me they could have sold out several more weeks (due to the demand from lots of repeat business and great word-of-mouth advertising), but the show had to move on to the next stop in the tour. Even those who thought they didn't like musical theater liked it! A great story with fab music, funny, touching. And it's not just for those who grew up in the era of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons -- I have two 20-something nieces who enjoyed it immensely. Here is a website with info about the show.

@Joon: this was a first-rate puzzle, challenging and clever. I finished it all but the "Z" area in the NW. I didn't know ZEREX, ZEENA or ZENOS so left a few blank squares. Otherwise, I cranked through it going clockwise from the NE. AS FORESEEN ON TV was the answer that gave me the theme (I only had the partial ----GONUTS at the time.) Especially liked the '12-part belt' clue for ZODIAC and, of course, the three pro basketball gimmes: SHAQ, CLE and NBA-ER. I guess I could include BEEFCAKE as well (tee-hee.) Had a lot of trouble coming up with FORKED ('went two ways') and the crossing SKUA. Other fave answers were: PRISM, DRACONIAN and EULER. Overall: a lot of fun!

Orange said...

@John, if you scan the entire grid, you'll find all 26 letters of the alphabet are used. (That's a pangram.) I can't get worked up about a pangram in a Sunday-sized grid because it can't be that hard to work all the letters into a big grid.

And in daily-sized 15x15s, I don't go nuts for pangrams unless the fill is insanely great. If a puzzle has three Zs and a Q but there's no J and thus it's not a pangram, it's not remotely a shortcoming—often, getting that J in there would compromise the fill, and I don't like compromised fill.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Amy, thanks for the pangram info.

@PG
Sometimes the blog writeup becomes a puzzle in itself. Often I see a picture in the writeup and I can't quite figure out the connection. Today you threw in a photo of a blonde in blue. Who is she and how does she relate to this puzzle?

Orange said...

John, she's wearing a Snuggie, "as seen on TV."

Whitney said...

Really fun theme. Loved Don't be a Forest Ranger and Forego Nuts. Very funny!

My apparent lack of knowledge of all things Star Wars, Swiss mathematicians and All in the Family made the NW corner the hardest by far. Plus I finished but the little "Congratulations!" didn't pop up so I had to come here to see where I was wrong...I had BEFORESEENONTV (you know, cuz Patricia Arquette is a medium and all, I thought it was a pun on how she can see into the future...and Be Seen on TV seemed odd but OK...uh, yeah, that's my reasoning...). That gave me PBR for 81 down "72 often" which somehow I made sense out of. Like oh, yeah, I could totally drink 72 PBR's. Nerp. And I've never heard of a SKUA so EKUA seemed alright by me. Nerp again.

Anyway, I puzzled it out and had a great time. Thanks!

JaJaJoe said...

119A "Clear skies tonight," to an astronomer (ALLSTARFORECAST) is timely in that occurring around mid-night will be the Geminid meteor-shower; the visibility of which will be aided by the moon being almost new, i.e. unlit. Also, here in WNC the temp's not too cold along with clear skies.

BTW, nor do I care for all the foreign words - rozumieć?

Joe said...

Nice puzzle, Joon.

Like many, really liked the "fore" theme...I got that early on the "forest" ranger.

Two weeks in a row now we have pro sports "-ers". Last week, National League Baseball singular for "NLER"...today, the "NBAERS".

Fun.

GLowe said...

Joon;

I have to believe that once 'DONTBEAFORESTRANGER' hit the page, it was the equivalent of watching ball sail out of the park and calmly trotting the bases ...

ddbmc said...

@Orange, as a newbie puzzler, I was delighted I figured out the "pangram" aspect of the puzzle. I'm sure as I get more proficient, I'll be a little less awestruck! (lol)

I wanted Boba Fett for Star Wars "gansta." I guess he was just the bounty hunter that Jabba the Hut paid to find Han Solo. (or so #2 son relayed on his way past me...)

Joon said...

fyi, i don't really care about pangrams either, but i do like to pile on when i can, scrabble-wise. hence the ridiculous NW corner in today's puzzle. maybe it wasn't worth it because ADOZE is such an ugly word and it's kind of brand-name-heavy with JIF and ZEREX, but i couldn't really resist jamming one J, three Zs, and an X into a tiny corner. the only other place where i was able to squeeze in some scrabbliness was in the SE, although by far my favorite part of that area was being able to stack SHAQ on top of FU.

marry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
marry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tuttle said...

Interesting fact, Rome has only been up the coast from Naples since 1976 when Ostia Lido, the Roman district on the Tyrrhenian Sea, was incorporated into the city. Before 1976 Rome was an inland city.

32A may be a touch risqué, but 116A is downright dirty. Kind of surprised to see that one.

Tinbeni said...

Being a former golfer I really liked this puzzle, though I rarely ever had to yell "FORE"

Just one question, wasn't the reference to M*A*S*H an equivalence clue as to a character from one of my favorite movies -v- a rank?