5.26.2010

WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2010—Dan Naddor



THEME: "World Leader Pretend"—Seven of the eight interlaced theme entries begin with words that can precede "world"



Theme entries:
  • 17a. [*Happy-go-lucky] means FREE AND EASY. The free world costs less than the expensive world.
  • 26a. [*Scandal involving plumbers] is WATERGATE. Waterworld! This Kevin Costner movie presaged Costner's smartness with water-and-oil issues. He's come up with a technology that BP might need to use to clean up its horrible mess.
  • 45a. [*Something to touch before getting home?] is THIRD BASE. I know the U.S. is part of the first world, and the third world consists of developing nations. So, what's the second world? And how many of you thought of making out rather than baseball when you got this answer? And if the latter, how come there's nothing for a girl to touch on a guy that constitutes each base?
  • 5d. [*Genuine article] is the REAL MCCOY. Real world is generic and also MTV-specific: The Real World.
  • 11d. [*Baseball fan's dream come true] is FANTASY CAMP. Are you living in a fantasy world? In my fantasy world, this answer related to fantasy baseball, and the WORLD ___ answer had to be WORLD SERIES, and baseball was hiding everywhere in this puzzle. Er, no.
  • 25d. "I, the UNDERSIGNED," am a [*Letter writer, formally]. Do you prefer your underworld to be mob-related, vampire-related, or hell-related?
  • 35d. [*Veterans] are OLD TIMERS, and the Old World is Europe, Africa, and Asia.
  • 54a. Tying it all together, WORLD LEADER is a [Summit attendee, and what the first word can be in each answer to a starred clue].
That's a lot of thematic material for a 15x15 crossword, people. Dan even squeezed in some 7- and 8-letter fill. It was mildly confusing that the 8s are compounds that sound like they fit in with the theme entries—DEAD MAIL and SIDECARS don't have asterisked clues, though, and "dead world" and "side world" aren't familiar "worlds" like the theme results.
A number of the 3s are abbreviations, but all familiar ones.
Eight more clues:
  • 14a. Marvelous [Marvin of boxing]'s last name is HAGLER.
  • 34a. [Koala kid] is a JOEY. I think I was completely guessing on that, but what do you know? It turned out to be right. Maybe I have heard it before.
  • 59a. [Some people lie about theirs] clues AGE. Not me—I only lie about PuzzleGirl's age.
  • 63a. [Exxon, once] was called ESSO. I am in no mood to see oil conglomerate names in the puzzle, people.
  • 18d. [J&B alternative] clues DEWARS. I, for one, do not wish to hear an exposition on which brands of Scotch are the best. But I can tell you where to go for killer margaritas in Chicago! (Cesar's.)
  • 22d. AGLEAM means [Shining]. This is part of the family of a- words that are encountered more often in crosswords than in the REAL WORLD. Agleam, abeam, agape, aslant, alee? Meh. But amok, awry, and akimbo rock.
  • 33d. [Est founder Werner __] ERHARD always makes me think of that woman named Marilyn I babysat for when I was 12. She had Est things posted on her fridge, and I still don't understand. Props to Dan for using Est to clue ERHARD rather than using Werner Erhard to clue EST.
  • 39d. [XCII x VI] is DLII. You know what I usually do with Roman numeral math clues? I multiply the end numbers to see what the answer will end with. 2 x 6 = 12, so the last two letters are II. I let the crossings fill in the rest.

Crosswordese 101: ALB! You may remember the ORALE, and now here's the related ALB, or 16a: [Priest's robe]. It may be clued as a priestly, liturgical, mass, or Vatican garment or vestment. Less often, it's clued as an abbreviation for Albania, such as [Tirana's country: Abbr.] or [Yugo. neighbor].

Everything Else — 1A: Hook-and-loop fastener (VELCRO); 7A: Masterpieces (GEMS); 11A: Lucrative (FAT); 14A: Marvin of boxing (HAGLER); 15A: Carbon compound (ENOL); 16A: Priest's robe (ALB); 17A: *Happy-go-lucky (FREE AND EASY); 19A: Sgt., for one (NCO); 20A: Natural emollient (ALOE); 21A: Use a crib for (CHEAT ON); 23A: __ und Drang (STURM); 26A: *Scandal involving plumbers (WATERGATE); 28A: Part of BYOB (OWN); 29A: Controversial 2000 election issue (CHADS); 31A: WWII transport (LST); 32A: Brandy cocktails (SIDECARS); 34A: Koala kid (JOEY); 36A: Oppressive (ONEROUS); 37A: Tightened, as shoes (RELACED); 40A: Actor John __-Davies (RHYS); 41A: It's undeliverable and unreturnable (DEAD MAIL); 42A: Civil War letters (CSA); 43A: "I __ born yesterday!" (WASN'T); 44A: Radiology staple, for short (MRI); 45A: *Something to touch before getting home? (THIRD BASE); 48A: Louvre Pyramid architect (I.M. PEI); 50A: #1 hit for the 4 Seasons (RAG DOLL); 51A: Appoint (NAME); 53A: Bed-and-breakfast (INN); 54A: Summit attendee, and what the first word can be in each answer to a starred clue (WORLD LEADER); 59A: Some people lie about theirs (AGE); 60A: Theater souvenir (STUB); 61A: Directions from the brass (ORDERS); 62A: Directed (LED); 63A: Exxon, once (ESSO); 64A: Home to online newsgroups (USENET); 1D: TV channels 2-13 (VHF); 2D: Pencil holder? (EAR); 3D: Bigger than med. (LGE.); 4D: Exonerate (CLEAR); 5D: *Genuine article (REAL MCCOY); 6D: "Yes __?" (OR NO); 7D: "How about that!" ("GEE!"); 8D: Passes (ENACTS); 9D: Israel's Dayan (MOSHE); 10D: More devious (SLYER); 11D: *Baseball fan's dream come true (FANTASY CAMP); 12D: "Little Women" author (ALCOTT); 13D: Steakhouse order (T-BONE); 18D: J&B alternative (DEWARS); 22D: Shining (AGLEAM); 23D: Ho-hum (SO-SO); 24D: Bed in old sitcoms (TWIN); 25D: *Letter writer, formally (UNDERSIGNED); 27D: Much spam (ADS); 30D: Fräulein's residence (HAUS); 33D: Est founder Werner __ (ERHARD); 34D: Composer Sibelius (JEAN); 35D: *Veterans (OLD-TIMERS); 37D: React to an e-mail error message, maybe (RESEND); 38D: The Auld Sod (EIRE); 39D: XCII x VI (DLII); 41D: Perp prosecutors (DAS); 42D: Adapt (CHANGE); 43D: Critter in a John Lennon title (WALRUS); 45D: Dry run (TRIAL); 46D: Look for water (DOWSE); 47D: Dries gently (BLOTS); 49D: Gettysburg general (MEADE); 52D: Baseball's Moises (ALOU); 55D: Wall St. deal (LBO); 56D: Barcalounger site (DEN); 57D: Prepositional palindrome (ERE); 58D: Queue after Q (RST).

22 comments:

Tinbeni said...

On more levels than space will allow I think this is the perfect Dan Naddor LAT puzzle.

Seven themes, all good ones, leading to the reveal clue's answer WORLD LEADER. I was mesmerized!

Had a minor glitch when I popped in IPO before the Theater STUB made me realized it was a LBO (leveraged buyout).

Then there was the one clue and answer I have been waiting for. IMHO the best clue/answer of all time.
J&B alternative. DEWARS.

Not my brand, but I will purchase a bottle of the DEWARS 12yo to celebrate that SCOTCH, aka Avatar, finally made it into a grid.

Yeah, there is an Ear-to-Ear grin on my face.

backbiter said...

I liked today's puzzle. Only gripe is Veterans clued for Old Timers. That left a bad taste in my mouth. @Tinbeni I'm a Bourbon man myself. Sipping on Knob Creek smoking a Decade and all is right with the world. Well, not really, but I don't think of the world that much at that particular time.

hazel said...

I prefer my UNDERWORLD to be Don DeLillo-related. Phenomenal work.

Nice puzzle too. Just the right amount of Wednesday sussing for me.

GoG8rs said...

@Tinbeni-- I thought about how happy you would be as I filled in DEWARS !!! Also like you, I put in IPO before figuring LBO. Got WORLD LEADER before most of the other clues as I usually work up from bottom for some reason...maybe clues are easier in the South?!

lit.doc said...

Really good Wednesdayish puzzle, even better write-up. Thanks, @Orange.

I thought JOEY was specifically a young ‘roo, but now I see that it ref’s any young animal (presumably of the mammalian persuasion). Had EYELET before VELCRO, and, like @Tinbeni, IPO before LBO.

@Hazel, me to re Underworld. Love DeLillo’s work. Have you read White Noise?

True confessions. When I got to 41A with D_A_____, the first thing that popped into my head was “ohgodpleease don’t let this be a DEAD BABY joke!!”

*David* said...

Seven themes like the seven seas. Dan is the king of cram, getting the maximum amount from a 15X15 that you can get.

JOEY for a Koala kid and ERHARD were learning points for moi.

Joon said...

1st/2nd/3rd world are cold war terms. the 2nd world was the communist bloc (USSR + much of eastern europe). i don't know if anybody today would refer to china or cuba as "second-world" nations, so i guess only two of the original three terms survive.

Zeke said...

@Joon - I always thought it was Europe (Old World), the New World (Americas), then the rest, the 3rd World. Not that it probably makes too much sense discussing something which is completely outdated, and originally oversimplified to the point of irrelevence.

Rube said...

@lit.doc, that was terrible.

Very enjoyable puzz if a little too easy for Wednesday. Only writeover was REALthing for REALMCCOY, (and misspelling DOWSE). WOTD is ENOL. DEWARS is a Highland scotch. J&B is from London. 'Nuff said.

Toady said...

Since I finally saw "Alice in Wonderland" last night, my underworld is "Hatter-related". On a side note, I thought the movie was a great take on the stories. Had heard bad reviews but found it very entertaining.

Van55 said...

I knew Tinbeni would love this one. I was left cold by the Roman arithmetic, the alphabet run, and the ubiquitous ALOU

Tinbeni said...

@Rube
Justenni & Brooks, aka, J&B Rare, is a blend of 42 different Scotch whiskies; the heart is formed by Speyside Malt.
Speyside is recognized as the superior area in Scotland for making Malts.
So whereas the J&B history dates back to 1749 in London the Scotch is from Scotland.
It is the #1 brand in Europe, #2 in the world.

A little light for my taste, I prefer my Avatar on the darker side.

Whatever the brand though, if it is Scotch, it is
Agua Vitae, the water of life!

@backbiter
Bourbon is nice too.
Though I would say Bourbon Street in New Orleans is way over-rated.

CrazyCatLady said...

First of all @Tinbeni Hooray! Knew you would be happy with18D DEWARS. It's a step in right direction.

Loved this splendid Wednesday level Dan Naddor puzzle. There were a few rough spots for me which resulted in one google for 52down Baseball's Moises ALOU - again!! I can't seem to remember ALOU or ALB. Had a little problem with the cross between RHYS and ERHARD. I wanted a vowel where that H was. Guessed at JOEY. I just bought a plant called JOEY this weekend. It's from, you guessed it, Australia. Also had REAL THING before REAL MCCOY.
As to OLD WORLD - I once stayed at a B&B cottage in Carmel that was billed as having OLD WORLD charm. What that meant, apparently, was that it came with a multitude of resident spiders and an electric coffee pot with a frayed cord that almost electrocuted my husband and knocked out the power.
Great write up Orange. Thanks for co-hosting the blog all these months.

shrub5 said...

Enjoyed this Dan Naddor puzzle, jam-packed with theme material as usual. Another hand up for REAL THING before REAL MCCOY and I had quickly entered PERFECT GAME before correcting to FANTASY CAMP. I'd heard of SIDECARS but didn't know just what they were until now.

@Tinbeni: Congrats on seeing your beloved avatar in the puzzle at long last!

I was curious about Velcro -- it was developed by the Swiss inventor George de Mestral after studying the natural hook surface of a cocklebur under a microscope. The brand name Velcro is a portmanteau of the two French words velours (velvet) and crochet (hook) /wiki.

@Orange: I'm with you, outraged at the apparent ineptness/slow pace of those involved in trying to cap that oil well. It just makes me sick every time a news story comes on about this tragic situation.

Jeff said...

Wow, very impressive grid! I had to stare at it for a while to see how Dan managed to fit in so many theme entries. And usually a "constructor's feat" isn't very fun to solve, but this one was pretty good. Didn't care for DEADMAIL or CHEATON but otherwise a fun puzzle.

hazel said...

@lit doc - yep. i've read White Noise, The Falling Man, Libra, and maybe a couple of others that aren't coming back to me at the moment. I obviously like him very much, but think Underworld stands apart - I can read that opening "chapter" or prologue or whatever it is called again and again and again....

Sfingi said...

Waterworld was a disaster, not a scandal.

@Backbiter - Yesterday, I went to a JRNROTC ceremony to give an award. There was an OLDTIMER from WWII who was wearing his navy outfit. He had a full head of gray and black hair. He had survived the bombing of the Oriskany. If I had a frontal photo of him, I'd include it.

@Rube- Apparently DOWSE and DOuSE can be used for either meaning, but the former is preferred for finding water, and the latter for dumping it on someone.

@Vans - At first, I thought the queue after q was UES. Then moaned, when it was alphabets.

@Dan Naddor, il fu - is there a HAG world or a RAG world? SIDE world, DEAD world, CHEAT world? Probably, in all parallel worlds.

I've developed a close relationship with VELCRO. They use it at the Home, but never clean it up. By that, I mean take the lint out so it will work! So I sit there, all OCD, picking it out on bibs, slippers, etc.

@Hazel - tried to peek at page 1 on Amazon. They gave me page 11. Is there a memorable search phrase? I'll try to remember at a book store.

@Shrub5 - thanx for the Mestral info. Love the history of stuff.
And Perfect World would work.
Recommend Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power. The Place of Sugar in Modern History.

@Tinbeni - LBO is no joke. The great
Asher B. Adelman LBO'd MDS (Mohawk Data Sciences), the company I worked for in the early '80s. Many people were put out of work, robbed of their pensions or bankrupted. For a few years, he hid out in Switzerland, but hear he's back. LBO POS.

Tinbeni said...

@Sfingi
I was involved in 2 IPO's and they proved very profitable.

With Management LBO's the idea is those that are running the company know the true value.

When LBO's happen with "outsider's" who are using the Company's assets to make THEIR purchase, they have the idea that breaking up the entity will work better. They are usually wrong.

But the puzzle, after my long campaign, finally had my libation of cloice ... Scotch! A salute to the Avatar.

It brought tears to my eyes.

So I went to my favorite store and bought a bottle of DEWAR's 12yo and will be TOASTING Dan at Sunset.

It is a nightly ritual, and you, @CCL, @Shrub5, @Lit.doc., @Chefbea, @PuzzleGirl, @Orange, even @Rex and all the other "Usual Suspects" are included.

Cheers !!!

CrazyCatLady said...

@Tinbeni Cheers to you too! Maybe someday my sauvignon blanc will show up. I enjoyed your comment regarding the NYT puzzle about the Spirit Rug. Given the tender age of the constructor and the fact that she goes to Swarthmore, jeez give the girl a break. Growing up, many of my friends parents were profs there. For the most part, one has to be an ├╝ber genius to get in (or have a parent who teaches there). Enjoy your Dewars! Too lazy to go to Rex's blog to make another comment.
@Sfingi let us know if @Dan answers you. Thought that was cute. Still sad he's gone.
@Rube Welcome back. How was the bass fishing?

CrazyCatLady said...

@lit.doc I too, thought a JOEY was a baby roo, but it turns out that all marsupial babies are called JOEYs.

hazel said...

@Sfingi - well, the good news is that you can buy the "thing" I love so much - which begins Underworld, but is also sold separately - is a novella called Pafko at the Wall.

the bad news (I think, for you, who is not a sportster) is that this novella/prologue/whatever its called - is centered on a baseball game.

I can't say for sure - because I love baseball so much - but I believe even a non-baseball-lover would still think this writing is awesome.

Either way, I'd be interested to know your thoughts if you decide to read.

mac said...

This may be my favorite Dan Naddor puzzle. So many interesting clues and answers, some of them painful (chads).