SATURDAY, May 1, 2010—Robert H. Wolfe

THEME: No theme today—It's a themeless puzzle, just like every other Saturday.

With a 4:06 finish, we remain in the Thursday/Friday NYT difficulty zone.

Nothing particularly grabbed me in this one. Nor did anything repulse me. The puzzle's sort of just there for me. Let's check out the content:
  • 1A: [Beachgoer's pursuit] clues a SUNBATH. Very few people say that a sunbather is taking a SUNBATH.
  • 8A: [A film may be shown in it] clues THREE-D. Yep, it looks like the mysterious THREED in the grid. ONED and TWOD confuse people even more. The World's Best Movie Critic, Roger Ebert, has been vocal in his opposition to slapping 3-D on too many movies for inorganic reasons. I love his enthusiastic embrace of Twitter. If you're on Twitter, you should follow @ebertchicago.
  • 25A: [Trois counterpart] is DREI. Weird to use a French word in a clue for a German one. Trois and drei both mean three.
  • 35A: [Mobile home site] isn't a TRAILER PARK here but a TRAILER CAMP, which is a term that I don't recognize but my kid says he knows it. I don't know how that can be!
  • 38A: [Actress Benaderet who first voiced Granny in Tweety cartoons] is the hard way to clue BEA. The more accessible pop-culture route is Bea Arthur, and there's also the two-word partial approach (BE A).
  • 39A: ["Count on me"] is an awkward clue for "I WON'T LET YOU DOWN," necessitated because the word "you" can't appear in both the clue and the answer.
  • 43A: [Sound of locks being changed?] is the SNIP of a hairdresser or barber's scissors.
  • 47A: ["Flash of Genius" actor] is ALDA. Alan? Did anyone see this movie? I remember hearing nothing about it. Alda plays a supporting role. This, I say, is not a great way to clue ALDA. Luckily, the crossings aren't obscure names.
  • 49A: ["I ran away from you once. I can't do it again" speaker] is ILSA Lund in Casablanca. She's not in this scene:

  • 50A: [Russian emperor after Catherine II] is PAUL I. Who?
  • 53A, 1D: [Pops] means DAD and [Pop] is SODA.
  • 23D: [Forward raises strengthen them] clues your DELTS. I don't know what "forward raises" are. My physical trainer has spared me that.
  • 30D: [Scale notes, e.g.] are an OCTET. Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do = 8.
  • 34D: [Aster family plant] is a TANSY, rhymes with pansy.

Crosswordese 101: COTE is clued here as 56D: [Dove shelter]. Maybe the rest of you are more involved with doves and sheep in your daily lives, but I seldom encounter COTE outside of crosswords. Other common clues: sheep shelter, pigeon coop, farm shelter. It's also CÔTE, French for "coast," as in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa and Côte d'Azur of the South of France.

Everything Else — 1A: Beachgoer's pursuit (SUNBATH); 8A: A film may be shown in it (THREE-D); 14A: Like some bandits (ONE-ARMED); 16A: Item in the news, perhaps (COUPLE); 17A: "Be realistic" ("DON'T KID YOURSELF"); 19A: "I'd hate to break up __" (A SET); 20A: Salon stuff (GEL); 21A: Thin piece (SHEET); 22A: She played Carmela in "The Sopranos" (EDIE); 25A: Trois counterpart (DREI); 27A: Return recipient (SENDER); 30A: Dedicated verse (ODE); 31A: Influential Harper's Weekly cartoonist (NAST); 35A: Mobile home site (TRAILER CAMP); 38A: Actress Benaderet who first voiced Granny in Tweety cartoons (BEA); 39A: "Count on me" ("I WON'T LET YOU DOWN"); 41A: Lip (RIM); 42A: Promotional campaigns (SALES DRIVES); 43A: Sound of locks being changed? (SNIP); 45A: "Unlikely!" ("NOT!"); 46A: Queen of fiction (ELLERY); 47A: "Flash of Genius" actor (ALDA); 49A: "I ran away from you once. I can't do it again" speaker (ILSA); 50A: Russian emperor after Catherine II (PAUL I); 53A: Pops (DAD); 55A: Some mil. personnel (NCOS); 59A: "Who knows?" ("IT'S A MYSTERY TO ME"); 63A: Put (together) (PIECED); 64A: Arrive, with some difficulty (MAKE IT IN); 65A: Highlight (STRESS); 66A: "Ozymandias" et al. (SONNETS); 1D: Pop (SODA); 2D: Ones in Madrid (UNOS); 3D: Island goose (NENE); 4D: Driven home (BATTED IN); 5D: Chest with tablets (ARK); 6D: "More than I need to know!" ("TMI!"); 7D: Waffle (HEDGE); 8D: Fort Worth sch. (TCU); 9D: Dressage trainee (HORSE); 10D: Raid the joint, say (RUSH IN); 11D: Olympics weapon (ÉPÉE); 12D: Cosmo rival (ELLE); 13D: Handy (DEFT); 15D: Color (DYE); 18D: Past (OLD DAYS); 23D: Forward raises strengthen them (DELTS); 24D: Cork's place (IRELAND); 26D: Do over (REMODEL); 27D: Moves slightly (STIRS); 28D: "Desert Fox" Rommel (ERWIN); 29D: Woman in the Book of Ruth (NAOMI); 30D: Scale notes, e.g. (OCTET); 32D: Over (ABOVE); 33D: Escape site in "Les Misérables" (SEWER); 34D: Aster family plant (TANSY); 36D: Puts in a new clip (RELOADS); 37D: Knitting stitches (PURLS); 40D: Anticonvulsive drug (DILANTIN); 44D: Regal residence (PALACE); 48D: Bartender's supply (LIMES); 49D: They can be bright (IDEAS); 50D: Card marks (PIPS); 51D: Busy (AT IT); 52D: __ ID (USER); 54D: Cash source, briefly (ATM); 56D: Dove shelter (COTE); 57D: Cut (OMIT); 58D: D.C. VIPs (SENS.); 60D: NFL gains (YDS.); 61D: Old MGM rival (RKO); 62D: Hunger (YEN).


Tinbeni said...

This puzzle start SUNBATH was my first Huh? moment. Sun tans or sun sets I could see (pun intended).

PURLS got me the TRAILER CAMP, wanted trailer park.
PAUL I, who? Another WTF moment.
THREE D, well that brought a groan.
DELTS, forward raises was clever. I do a lot of these at the gym.
TANSY, had no idea, all crosses. I hope @JNH tells me about these. I think they are a yellow flower.
COTE I guessed at, the CW101 confirmed this word is used for shelter often.

The 47A clue in my newspaper was:
"Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself" memorist. If Alan ALDA wrote this book, OK.
Otherwise ITS A MYSTERY TO ME ... since I never received "Flash of Genius" actor, clue.

LIMES, Bartender supply ... well just once I would like to see Scotch. Trust me, that is the only "supply" I care about. And my bartender knows this.

@Orange: Loved the finger photo and informative write-up.

Tinbeni said...

SO I google my 47A clue.
"Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself" memorist.
Turns out Alan ALDA did write that book.

shrub5 said...

With _ANSY in place, I wanted PANSY but I knew NAST was right so...a new word for me: TANSY. Also did the TRAILER PARK thing before CAMP emerged. I tried to make it a themed puzzle by figuring that the 3 long phrases were some new generation Magic 8 ball responses, but then I remembered it was Saturday - so no theme (never mind.)

@Tinbeni: It's hard to fathom a newspaper would change a clue in a syndicated crossword puzzle. Don't they have better things to do?

Tinbeni said...

Funny thing is when I read @Orange's write-up, saw the movie referenced, I said to myself, Huh?

That movie (and book, also) reference, well neither would have given me Alan ALDA. Noticed I had not crossed it off. So that is how I got it.

I doubt the St. Petersburg Times would change the clue.

Either way, it did work out.

Margaret said...

Hand up for TRAILERPARK instead of TRAILERCAMP, but I knew the OPTET I came up with had to be wrong...

Margaret said...

PS Thanks for the Casablanca clip -- one of my very favorite scenes ever!

lit.doc said...

Hand up for:

a TRAILOR belonging in a PARK (no self-respecting White-Trash-American would be caught dead living in a foofy-sounding CAMP;

never having heard of a TANSY (thought maybe the Astor family had taken to naming their potted plants);

and SUNBATH never actually being used as a noun. "In the language", it's used as a gerund or a present-progressive verb. "Beachgoer's pursuit" should clue SUNBATHING.

In fairness to Robert Wolfe, though, the puzzle was so easy that all the above are mere cavils, not criticisms. I mean, we've gotta have something to kvetch about, right?

mac said...

I agree with Orange: fine puzzle, at a pretty decent difficulty level. Sunbathe, yes, sunbath no. Don't like it in any shape or form, anyway. Too bad we need the vitamin D. Plenty of that today, it's in the 80s in Connecticut.

Are we really expected to know the name of the anti-convulsive drug? The chest with tablets was a cute clue.

Hope ChefBea does the puzzle today!

JIMMIE said...

It was fun but TRAILERCAMP threw me - I never heard it called that.

Also, DILANTIN was far too obscure for a CW. Great Bogart clip.

auntie-em said...

For some reason my issue had 47-A as "Things I overheard While Talking to Myself" memorist - and not "Flash of Genius" actor. I'm stumped as to why that happened.


Tinbeni said...

Thanks for the confirmation since I mentioned it in my first comment.
Turns out ALDA was the answer either way.

I get my puzzle only in the newspaper. Maybe it was changed for print but not for the internet edition.

Joyce G said...

I'm just calling this one a day long journey that eventually "made it in."

lit.doc said...

@mac, @JIMMIE, worse than being expected to know an obscure prescription drug is thinking that you do know it. I slammed in DILAUDID without hesitation. Luckily, the effects wore off rapidly.

mac said...

Got a little report on the tournament in LA: a friend's son was there for the finals as a reporter. He met PuzzleGirl who was very nice and helpful (no surprise!) and told him about the ins and outs of the tournament. He told me he was amazed how exciting the finals were.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad puzzle overall, but 35A = "trailer CAMP" ???!!! Um, who - honestly now - has EVER, EVER used this term? Yeah. That's what I thought. This kind of nonce goofiness is something I've seen become more and more prevalent over the past ten or so years, and - as I think is clear - I'm not a fan. I had no problem getting it (30D = "octet" was easy) but...VERY annoying. I have to say, while "punny" clues often annoy me (especially the more obscure ones), if the creator HAD to have "trailercamp," then this would've been the time to be "punny." Otherwise, I thought the puzzle was pretty blah.