2.23.2010

TUESDAY, February 23, 2010 — Joy C. Frank


Theme: People that Like Something (this is how tired I am) — The second word of the two-word theme answers is a synonym for someone that really likes something (and again with the tired).

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Devotee of a Sistine Chapel feature? (CEILING FAN).
  • 24A: Devotee of green ice cream? (PISTACHIO NUT).
  • 44A: Devotee of thunderstorms? (LIGHTNING BUG).
  • 54A: Devotee of a classical language? (LATIN LOVER).
I'm exhausted. Completely beat. I got very little sleep this weekend up at the crossword puzzle tournament (more than Orange, but still). Saturday night around 1:00 I got up from my chair in the lounge, said good-night, and was about halfway to the door when Doug Peterson caught me: "You can't leave now. Ryan and Brian are still here." He makes a good point.

Best story of the weekend for me? I left my phone in the bathroom at the hotel bar and really the only reason I got it back is because Andrea Carla Michaels gave Elizabeth's chicken to a blind man on the subway. That's the kind of crazy weekend it was. I must remember next year to take the Monday off as well. I could have definitely used another day to recover before going back to a place where people expect me to work hard and be efficient. I intend to do a full write-up of the tournament for you all, but there's no way I can do it today.

The puzzle? Frankly, I enjoyed it very much. (See what I did there? Too much Merl.) Awesome, awesome theme. I don't recall seeing it before. Okay, CEILING FAN isn't the most exciting entry, but for some reason the rest of them tickled me.

Just poke me if I start snoring:
  • 1A: Have status (RATE). Ya know who has some serious status after this weekend? That's right: Dan Feyer. It was amazing to watch him tear through that final puzzle. The man is a freak of nature.
  • 38A: Top of the glass (BRIM).


  • 2D: Suit toppers (ACES). Suits as in clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades.
  • 6D: Special lingo (ARGOT). I always have trouble with this word. It seems like it should mean something else. Like some kind of snail or maybe a small piece of treasure. (Random!)
  • 13D: Best man's offer (TOAST). I tried rings first.
  • 33D: Rock star Clapton (ERIC).


  • 35D: Metal band's equipment (AMPS). I believe several other types of bands use AMPS as well.
Crosswordese 101: I usually only do a round-up when I'm super short on time, but today, I swear, every word I thought was a candidate for CW101 is one we've already covered. Plus there were two CW101 words in the clues. So, let's review:
  • 19A: Charles Lamb's nom de plume (ELIA).
  • 39A: __ out: barely make (EKE).
  • 42A: Capital where "Aida" premiered (CAIRO).
  • 49A: Fish eggs (ROE).
  • 4D: Sushi choice (EEL).
  • 8D: "Bambi" doe (ENA).
  • 9D: Oater landowners (RANCHERS).
  • 55D: Class clown, often (APE).
Everything Else — 5A: Less adorned, as walls (BARER); 10A: Wordless singing style (SCAT); 14A: Land parcel unit (ACRE); 15A: Big gig venue (ARENA); 16A: Heading for a chore list (TO DO); 20A: Sixth sense, briefly (ESP); 21A: Carnival city (RIO); 22A: Portage vessels (CANOES); 27A: Final furniture coat (FINISH); 30A: Round at the tavern (BEERS); 31A: Pennsylvania Dutch group (AMISH); 32A: Buddy of Tom and Dick? (HARRY); 33A: Important time (ERA); 36A: Pop choice (COLA); 37A: Numbers after the decimal point (CENTS); 40A: Tadpoles' milieus (PONDS); 41A: Like fresh celery (CRISP); 43A: Trained animal's repertoire (TRICKS); 48A: Idolizes (ADORES); 50A: In the style of (ALA); 53A: Hand, in Juárez (MANO); 58A: "Beg pardon" ("AHEM"); 59A: Express a view (OPINE); 60A: Uncooperative contraction (WON'T); 61A: Annoyed (SORE); 62A: Looks after (TENDS); 63A: Stopping points (ENDS); 1D: Meet event (RACE); 3D: Vacation option (TRIP); 5D: Send into exile (BANISH); 7D: Arbiter with a whistle (REF); 10D: Workers with pads (STENOS); 11D: Punctuation in play dialogue (COLON); 12D: French farewell (ADIEU); 18D: Joyce's countrymen (IRISH); 23D: Like a screened porch (AIRY); 24D: Tower city (PISA); 25D: Leave high and dry (ABANDON); 26D: "Two mints in one" sloganeer (CERTS); 27D: Confront (FACE); 28D: "No harm done" ("I'M OK"); 29D: River where baby Moses was found (NILE); 32D: Artist Matisse (HENRI); 34D: Insurer's exposure (RISK); 37D: Vending machine feature (COIN SLOT); 38D: Place to hold mutineers (BRIG); 40D: Cracker spread (PATÉ); 41D: Inhumane (CRUEL); 42D: Auto trim (CHROME); 43D: Rare orders, perhaps (T-BONES); 44D: Eastern priests (LAMAS); 45D: Potato source (IDAHO); 46D: Casualty (GONER); 47D: Nine-to-five routine, to many (GRIND); 50D: Ringer of many bells (AVON); 51D: Allow to use for a while (LEND); 52D: Creative fields (ARTS); 56D: Anchovy holder (TIN); 57D: Be in the hole for (OWE).

34 comments:

Sfingi said...

Best man's offer - when we got married 40 yrs ago, our best man suggested it wasn't too late for my husband to escape. He (the best man) later spent three years at Allenwood for stock parking.

And BANISH and ABANDON are nearish on the grid.

@PuzzleGirl - SO great to see what Andrea looks like! So what's the rest of the cellphone-blind man story?

Sandy said...

Thanks PG.

I felt the same way about CEILING FAN, then LATIN LOVER made it all ok again.

hazel said...

Snappy little puzzle. Topped off by some super snappy Tracy Chapman. Thanks for the clip, @PG. The Brim commercial too - brings back some memories.

Is this the type of theme that usually gets summed up with a WACKY descriptor? Although the phrases are normal phrases, isn't there something WACKY about the combination? Maybe its actually Rex who's the WACKY-phile? Can't remember.

Sheri said...

Great video choice with Clapton and Chapman! It had me dancing in the kitchen after finishing my coffee and the crossword. Chicken? Blind man? There's a short story in there somewhere. I personally liked pistachio nut and ceiling fan. I had forgotten all about Brim Coffee. "Only half a cup?" "It's the caffeine"...."But this is Brim!" "Decaffeinated?" "Then fill it to the rim!" "With Brim!!!" Do we still have stenographers who use a steno pad and shorthand? I know that court reporters are in demand, but they use the steno machines. Happy Tuesday, ya'll!

Van55 said...

I enjoyed the theme. Nice Tuesday puzzle.

Minor quibble with REF next to ENA and with IMOK.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Zipped through this puzzle like a Toyota!
Aside from the cute theme clues, this puzzle generally lacked creative clues, but then it does RATE a Tuesday level.
Some good words though: ARGOT, CERTS, CAIRO, OPINE, and HENRI. The only clue I liked was “Rare orders, perhaps” for TBONES.

Tinbeni, tell us what ROE really means.

It is said that the real reason Ella Fitzgerald started scattering was bec. she was so excited that she forgot the words to the song and just started saying anything that came to mind. I think I’ll try that with crossword words that I forget.
SCAT

I’m a huge fan of CHROME on old 50’s cars. In fact I have a gallery in my Route 66 Museum called “Fins & Chrome”.

It's always good to read Puzzlegirl's writeups... especially the personal touches.
I enjoy reading about ACPT and the apres.

It’s off to Mother’s Diner with the guys… hmm, maybe just a Spinach & Feta Omelet today.
Have a delightful day!
ADIEU y’all.

Sheri said...

@johnsneverhome: LOL, Toyota!

Orange said...

Yeah, I really liked this theme. Perfect easy-puzzle fare: easy but not dumb. The fill wasn't, you know, packed with exciting stuff, but it was also very low on the crap-o-meter, which is (a) hard to pull off and (b) perfect for an early-week puzzle.

I'm sleepy too. It usually takes me a week to get over being tournament-lagged.

lit.doc said...

Another hand up for easy but not boring, and the theme brought Joy to my day.

And if I ever spot Ena, I'm gonna go Godzilla on her with my pedal-to-the-metal-band Tundra.

*David* said...

This puzzle was built for speed, theme answers fell with minimal crosses. Most long fill could easily be filled in from the cluing. There was virtually no garbage fill in this one and minimal amount of abbreviations give this one a Mr. Smooth approval.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

@PG & Orange
Now tell us the truth, was it the tournament itself that exhausted you, or was it all the soirées and socializing that did it?

And @PG please give us the unabridged version of the cellphone/chicken/blindman story.
You've got us all in suspense now.

ARGOT always conjurs up a ship in my mind, not a lingo.

I also love PATE on CRISP TOAST triangles.

Having said that, I'm also trying to lose some weight, so I always eat a handful of PISTACHIO NUTs before a big meal in order to kill my appetite. It really does work! Besides, I love poking open those nuts.

Of course, as a huge Ogden Nash nut, I must quote this poem---

~ The LAMA ~
The one-l lama,
He's a priest.
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.

crazycatlady said...

I'M OK with this puzzle - fast and easy, but nice theme, some clever clues and answers. I always want to write in Jargon for ARGOT, but it never wants to fit. Used to work with a woman who used STENO -The Gregg Method. BRIM clip was a flash from the past. Nice Tracy Chapman and ERIC Clapton clip. I once saw ERIC Clapton in Restoration Hardware in Santa Monica. That was a TRIP. Have a lot on my TO DO list so I'm out of here.
@PG you need to tell us the rest of the phone, chicken, blind man on the subway story.

Orange said...

@JNH, it sure wasn't the puzzles. My social line-up was three dinners, two lunches, three breakfasts, one Tipsy Tourney, one party I attended and two parties I skipped. I got 7 hours of sleep on Friday and Saturday nights combined. My main victory was staying awake during all the puzzles.

the redanman said...

@PG many thanks for the write(s)-up especially today whilst beat. I rather liked this theme, the word plays and they weren't gimmes like some themes. I think this puzzle took me longer than it would have if I had done it first (my usual oreder is LAT then NYT, but I reversed them today)

Anyway, vertical answers are sometimes hard for me to see so I check them by laying a pencil on the gris to visualize a column to make sure all the words/answers still make sense.

Doing so today I got
RANCHERS over TBONES and
TOAST over AMPS over ARTS
fun juxtapositioning (I am easily entertained?)

NO beefs except the tasty T-BONE

lit.doc said...

Speaking of TRIPs, the trouble I have coming up with ARGOT is that "ergot" is so firmly fixed in my memory. Can't remember why.

chefbea said...

fun easy puzzle. Loved ceiling fan!!!

Can't wait to hear the whole cell phone story

Parsan said...

Fun and easy puzzle. I liked the theme. 11d. COLON? Don't get the clue. No problem with ARGOT. Love Aida and did not know that it premiered in CAIRO. BRIM did not taste good, IMHO.

You need to be a FAN to view the CEILING of the Sistine Chapel. Once in the Vatican, it is usually a long winding route of over an hour to get to it (but many interesting things to see along the way). Once there, the room is
usually hot, very crowded and noisy. Of course the work is beautiful, minutely detailed, and overwhelming. One wishes to see it under different circumstances.

Glad to know Orange, PG, and Rex had fun at the tournament. Must have felt like college years when sleep sometimes felt like a waste of time.

C said...

Fun puzzle, nothing challenging so I invented a challenge in trying to get the theme clues without crossing. Got them all except for LIGHTNING BUG, I really wanted to use CLAPPER. I have no idea why I wanted to use CLAPPER but I did. Go figure.

Good write-up today, thanks for working through the tiredness.

Tinbeni said...

@JNH
ROE = Return On Equity
Other than fish eggs or the Roe Liquor Stores what could it be?

I liked all four theme answers, practically wrote them in without hesitation.
As such, this offering seemed more like a Monday with too much CW101.
@Van55 EKE, EEL, ENA, ERA = yuck. Was sure you would note these drab fills.

Yesterday was Ale & Mead. Today some BEERS.
You know after tomorrrows Rose or Port it can't be long before my Scotch appears.

Wanted Patois but it didn't fit so I went with ARGOT. Nice to see a fresh term in a puzzle every now and then.

Best part was @PG write-up & clips.
As to the cellphone story; I need details, details, details.

Joon said...

i loved CEILING FAN. it also reminded me of one of my favorite clues from a tough NYT themeless, {Sealing fan?} for POLAR BEAR. LATIN LOVER, of course, is also frequently used in tricky clues, typically something along the lines of {Sentiment from a Latin lover?} for AMO.

two days after returning from the tournament, i am roughly 75% caught up on life (and maybe 50% on sleep), but the puzzles just keep coming. this one was very entertaining. a really nice theme. it could have been a boring "these phrases all end with synonyms" theme if they had been clued straight-up, but the extra effort makes it shine. the only one that didn't work for me was LIGHTNING BUG, just because i'm not familiar with BUG used to mean devotee. i'm sure it's legit, just unfamiliar.

Parsan said...

@Joon--One common usage of BUG is in reference to a auto enthusiast, car BUG or sports-car BUG. It doesn't work for football bug, wine bug, book bug, etc.

And if you didn't read this blog yesterday, again my congratulations on your performance at the tournament!

Tinbeni said...

@Joon
If you were a hockey fan here in Tampa Bay,
Lightning Bug would have made you LOL ...
it's the name of the team mascot.

I little gripe about a clue/answer.
Class Clown = APE?
C'mon, Wit, buffoon, jackass, fool, goofball, whatever but ape would indicate to mimic or being large to me.
Even if someone was a ginormous clumsy oaf that wouldn't equate to being the class clown. Goofy maybe, JMHO

lit.doc said...

@Joon - add "shutterbug" to the others.

@Parson, in a play (or any kind of script), each change of speaker => paragraph break, Character Name: "Dialogue..."

But I couldn't help considering for just a moment that scene in Blazing Saddles where the dialogue is punctuated with, well, sounds *related* to a COLON. But this isn't a BEQ puzzle. :)

Tuttle said...

One common usage of BUG is in reference to a auto enthusiast, car BUG or sports-car BUG.

Combining the terms "sports-car" and "BUG" will gain you some chuckles in the enthusiast community unless BUG is immediately followed by "-eyed".

(VW Beetles, aka BUGs, are hardly sports-cars, but bug-eyed Sprites most certainly are. Bug-eyed Imps are debatable.)

Anonymous said...

@johnsneverhome
A "Three-l lllama" is a really big fire

chefbea said...

@anon 12:24 lol very good!!!

chefwen said...

Easy, fun puzzle. Like @chefbea - CEILING FAN was my favorite.

Why, oh why do I always spell SCAT with a K first? Grrr!

waxwwom?????

Parsan said...

Tuttle--Long ago, we were members of a VW group the Beetle Bugs. Years later joined a Corvette weekend touring (partying) group who used the term to indicate anyone really into the cars. Maybe it's a regional thing.

Joon said...

parsan: thanks!

lit.doc: shutterbug is good. although that's really its own word, and not quite the same as, say, "photography bug."

chefwen: SKAT is a card game. shows up in the grid every now and then. it's for 3 players and only uses about 2/3 of a regular deck.

mac said...

I have to admit that the Latin lover was my favorite, and I enjoyed the whole puzzle.

If a bug is allowed for an afficionado/a, how about rat? Know a lot of gym rats.

I think I know where the chicken came from: Queen.

Anonymous said...

ACPT related...

http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/garchik/

Tinbeni said...

To All:
The ACPT 2010 website has a complete list of all competitors, rankings by Division, interesting articles, interviews (incl.the one cited by Anon above), info on CW tournaments, etc.
Including a 'You-Tube 16+ minute clip' of the finals with very funny commentary. Must see Web-TV!!!

Orange (13) & Joon (16) VERY impressive.
Plus, Joon was the Rookie of the Year.
Looks like a lot of fun.

gespenst said...

Enjoyed the puzzle, if late (somehow it got left to 11:00 pm ... hate when life gets in the way of my puzzling!)

I always want to spell SCAT w/ a K, too ... maybe b/c I spent time in Germany (but never learned to play Skat).

@Tinbeni - you forgot ROE v Wade ... that pops up sometimes.

@PuzzleGirl and @John ... argot as a small snail (b/c of escargot), argot as a piece of treasure (b/c of ingot), argot as a ship (that'd be Argo as in Jason and the Argonauts)

@Lit.doc you probably know ergot is used to treat migraines. Or used to be, not sure anyone uses ergotamine these days.

@anonymous ... loved your 3l lllama :)

Oh, and as to the theme, once when my parents were visiting me in Berlin, my mom mentioned something about being an opera nut. She may have tried to Germanize the word, in any case hilarity ensued when it was discovered that "Nutte" is a woman of the evening ... so an Oper-Nutte would be someone hanging out by the opera hall waiting for a "date" ;)

Hopefully I'll get to today's puzzle a little sooner than 11 pm :)

Jan said...

@johnsneverhome: Have you read David Sedaris' short story “Solutions to Saturday’s Puzzle” (in his book When You Are Engulfed in Flames)? He has an altercation with the woman sitting next to him on a plane, and starts filling in his crossword puzzle with words of (unspoken) responses to this woman, which of course don't match the clues at all. Hilarious!