6.10.2010

THURSDAY, June 10, 2010 — Dan Naddor

Theme: "Be Quiet!"Theme answers begin and end with silent letters.


Theme answers:
  • 17A: Rustic furniture material (KNOTTY PINE).
  • 23A: Jogging technique? (MNEMONIC DEVICE).
  • 47A: Pressure-sensitive control mechanism (PNEUMATIC VALVE).
  • 56A: "Totally tubular, man!" ("GNARLY, DUDE!").
  • 36A: Proverb for overwrought parents, and a hint to both ends of 17-, 23-, 47- and 56-Across (SILENCE IS GOLDEN).



I can't help thinking that today's theme would have been really really cool if the silent letter at the end of the words hadn't all been Es. Of course I can't think of a single word that ends with a different silent letter, but still. When I got down to the reveal clue and saw that it had something to do with children, I thought it might be some kind of homophone thing with KNOTTY / NAUGHTY. But no.

I hit one pretty tough spot and I've got to believe I'm not the only one. With a Schwarzenegger movie I've never heard of and an actress on a show I've never watched crossing a French word that could be just about anything, I was stumped. But not for long. I struggled between I and Y at the end of RED SONJA (22D: 1985 Schwarzenegger film about a sword-and-sorcery heroine) until I randomly popped an A in LEAL (39D: Sharon of "Boston Public") and then saw that the French word, DÉJÀ (45A: Already, in Arles), was actually pretty easy to infer even thought I didn't really know it know it, if you know what I mean.

Did the random federal agency crossing the abbreviated sports home caused anybody heartburn [30D: Fed. property overseer (GSA) / 40A: Braves' home: Abbr. (ATL.).] We've covered GSA in CW101 before, so maybe that helped?

I also had a very complicated explanation for why the answer to 10D: Digestive aid (on a side note: Eww) could very well start with an M. It involved the unknown-to-me natural enzyme MALIVA which, of course, formed the basis for the brand name Maalox. Disappointingly, my creative brain couldn't come up with a single reason why MALT would make sense for 10A: Skeptic's grain? (SALT). I'm sure if I'd spent more time on it I could have come up with something.

Quickly:
  • 16A: Simple rhyme scheme (ABAB). Whenever I see this clue, I want the answer to be ABAB, but it never is. Until it is.
  • 19A: Mother of Artemis (LETO). PuzzleSon is really into the whole Greek God thing these days, so I always ask him to "help" me with these questions.
  • 34A: 'Umble place ('OME). Yuck. Would somebody named OME please become famous?
  • 51A: Fred's first partner (ADELE). Me: "Ethel? Wilma? …"
  • 63A: Caltech sr.'s goal, often (ENGR.). Ooh, no likey. Is that the actual name of the degree? I would think the goal would be either a degree or a job. Not sure how ENGR. fits.
  • 4D: Emerson's "jealous mistress" (ART). Yesterday when I was looking for clips of an electric organ on YouTube, I kept coming across Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, so that's where my head went on this clue.
  • 11D: He played Fish on "Barney Miller" (ABE VIGODA). When I lived in New York, I used to see him all the time. He must have lived in the neighborhood. When I came back to visit once I'd moved away, I always saw Tom Wopat.
  • 35D: Canned twosome? (ENS). Ugh. There are two Ns (ENS) in the word canned.
  • 37D: Caesar's sidekick (COCA). I do not know what this means. Oooooh, that Caesar. Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca.
  • 49D: Event with a horse (VAULT). Oh that kind of horse.
  • 57D: Wizards' org. (NBA). The Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association. I can't believe I've never seen them live. Even back when they were called the Bullets.
Crosswordese 101: This is probably a grey area here, but I'm going to say that for people my age and younger, TRINI Lopez is crosswordese. TRINI Lopez is a singer who had several hit songs in the 1960s. Now, I can name a lot of musicians who had hit songs in the 1960s, but TRINI I only know from crosswords. Clues for TRINI are generally straightforward, like today's 7D: Singer Lopez. Occasionally, the clue will refer to one of his songs, almost always "Lemon Tree" or "If I Had a Hammer."

Other crosswordese in today's puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 6A: Raison d'__ (ÊTRE).
  • 55A: Hindu titles (SRIS).
  • 18D: Bela's "Son of Frankenstein" role (YGOR).
  • 26D: Phi followers (CHIS).
  • 50D: Icelandic sagas (EDDAS).
  • 58D: Peruvian singer Sumac (YMA).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: It may be scrutinized on a carousel (I.D. TAG); 6A: Raison d'__ (ÊTRE); 14A: Old Indian leader (NEHRU); 15A: Picture of health? (X-RAY); 20A: Elton John, e.g. (SIR); 21A: Mil. leader (GEN.); 22A: Split apart (RIVEN); 28A: Hardly Mr. Cool (NERD); 29A: Tried, with "at" (HAD A GO); 30A: Lake Volta's country (GHANA); 33A: Coal holders (BINS); 41A: Little hopper (TOAD); 42A: Closes in on (NEARS); 43A: Salad jellies (ASPICS); 52A: Skater Babilonia (TAI); 53A: Include (ADD); 55A: Hindu titles (SRIS); 60A: Sushi staple (TUNA); 61A: Accomplished (ABLE); 62A: Where to see Leonardo's "The Last Supper" (MILAN); 64A: Honduras native (MAYA); 65A: Fidgeting (ANTSY); 1D: Writing supplies (INKS); 2D: Casual fabric (DENIM); 3D: Sticker (THORN); 5D: Instinctive, as a feeling (GUT); 6D: Shell out (EXPEND); 8D: Campaigned (RAN); 9D: Check out (EYE); 12D: Theater annoyance, perhaps (LATE-COMER); 13D: Strip steak alternative (T-BONE); 18D: Bela's "Son of Frankenstein" role (YGOR); 24D: Feminine suffix (-ENNE); 25D: Interim (MEANTIME); 26D: Phi followers (CHIS); 27D: "Shoot!" ("DANG!"); 31D: Baseball strategy (HIT AND RUN); 32D: Like Big Brother in "1984" (ALL-SEEING); 33D: Auction action (BID); 38D: "It is the __, and Juliet is the sun" (EAST); 44D: Seiko brand (PULSAR); 45D: Silver Spring, Md., is part of it (D.C. AREA); 46D: Bad (EVIL); 47D: Cheap jewelry (PASTE); 48D: Birthplace of the Renaissance (ITALY); 50D: Icelandic sagas (EDDAS); 54D: Say it isn't so (DENY); 56D: Looker's leg (GAM); 58D: Peruvian singer Sumac (YMA); 59D: Racket (DIN).

33 comments:

Tinbeni said...

Got GNARLY DUDE and KNOTTY PINE early and still had no clue where the theme reveal was going.

DANG, a Dan Naddor without the puns.
Probably made more "wild ass guesses" just going with my GUT feelings.
NEHRU off of ----U
GHANA off of -H---
SALIVA off of S-----
This went on and on.
Then I hit that spot and knew RED SONJA, go figure.
No idea of the actress, all crosses.

ADELE and EDDAS are among the earliest CW101 I learned about 35 years ago. They are like old friends.

PULSAR, Seiko brand got a smile. I remember when they came out they were about a grand. Ohhhh, little red digits! Big Whoop. A few years later you could get a digital watch for the price of a Big Mac.

@Sfingi ~ I like your new Harp Seal.

Orange said...

Maybe the Caltech seniors are hoping to land an ENGR. for a torrid fling. Who says nerds can't try to sleep their way to the top?

PG, you're supposed to know RED SONJA! It's cheeseball '80s pop culture!

SethG said...

The Es were silent, but each effects a pronunciation change in its word. There's probably a name for that kind of silent letter.

You know what else is silent? Lambs.

Middletown Bomber said...

63A: Caltech sr.'s goal, often (ENGR.). Ooh, no likey. Is that the actual name of the degree? I would think the goal would be either a degree or a job. Not sure how ENGR. fits.


They Must have edited the clue for 63A The dan Naddor Puzzle in my edition was "Former Caltech sr., perhaps"

the SR. clued me into an Abreviation since Cal tech is famous for its engineers

The answer

Answer being ENGR an Abreviation for engineer.

and It is obvious that puzzle son is reading Rick Riordon's Percy Jackson Series

Robert said...

The Maalox name did not come from "maliva". It is a contraction of MAgnesium and ALuminum hydrOXide, the ingredients.

a guy said...

Yah, we got that.

*David* said...

I enjoyed this one wquite a lot I'm a sucker for those unusual silent letter words. I knew RED SONJA right off the bat but spelled it with a Y.

TRINI is crosswordese for myself, way before my time as is COCA. One day I'll remember LETO who should be clued as Jared from 30 Seconds to Mars that all the kids are listening to.

Van55 said...

I agree that the REDSONJA/DEJA/LEAL portion was a bit GNARLY, but because most people know the term "deja vu" means, literally, "already seen" it probably isn't unfair.

It didn't dawn on me that both the first and last letters of the theme answers are silent until I came here. LOL.

As a law student, I was often adminised that the LAW is a jealous mistress. So I had a big writeover there.

Nice puzzle from the late, great Dan Naddor, and another from the bin of unpublished gems bites the dust.

Zeke said...

I too didn't like the silent E as part of the theme. I feel the them would have been just the same if it referenced only the beginnings of the four answers. ADELE, ETRE, OME and ABLE all end with the same silent E, ADD ends with a silent D (unless of course it's the first D that is silent, I never knew which one it was). Less would have been more here.

Anonymous said...

Please help-Why is there always one entry highlighterd in purple in the answer grid?

C said...

I enjoyed the puzzle.

SALIVA was a good clue/answer combo along with GNARLY DUDE. My friends and I shortened GNARLY DUDE to gnarls in an effort to simplify our lives. Dude speak can be complex, there are times when the dude is implied and times when it has to be stated aloud and with proper intonation. Gnarls, as a phrase, helped simplify the argot.

birdie said...

I thought the silent letter was the first letter of 17-23-47 and 56 across. You certainly don't pronounce the K in knotty nor the G in gnarly, or the M in mnemonic or the P in pneumatic. The final e in pine is not silent - without the final e, the word would be pin. Am I confused?

Rex Parker said...

4:15

TRINI is xwordese.

Totally agree w/ Orange re: cluing of ENGR. !?

Knew (and loved) RED SONJA. I collected that comic for years. For the art, i.e. sexy pics of her in impossibly skimpy body armor. There's a parody comic version of her called RED SARAH (Palin) (to complement BARACK THE BARBARIAN).

Never occurred to me that SILENT E was an issue. Clearly the theme is the silent initial consonants ... right? IOW, what @birdie said.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:48 The Across Lite puzzle program highlights the current word/letter in your choice of colors so that you don't lose your place in the grid when solving. PG chose purple because of the purple flower in her avatar.

MaryPatOR said...

Another well-written puzzle from Dab Naddor. We'll surely miss his works when they run out. Today, the NYT Puzzle is also by Mr. Naddor, here in 5-weeks later syndication Oregon. A wonderful coincidence.

KJGooster said...

I wonder how many Naddors are left, and do you suppose there will be any mention of his last as it goes to print?

If you've ever taken an anatomy course, you no doubt learned a ton of MNEMONIC DEVICEs, many of which are not printable here.

Anonymous said...

The theme reveal specified "...a hint to *both ends* of [the theme answers]".

lit.doc said...

@Puzzle Girl, enjoyed the write-up, as always. Ok if I stand up for “’umble place”? Is it any worse than “’enry ‘iggens”, which is actually kinda cute? A big yes for heartburn from “Fed. property overseer”, though. Bureau of Land Management? The !@#$%?&*ing Minerals Management Service?

RED SONJA was a gimme, as I’ve always been an avid consumer of cinematic pulp like swords & sorcerers movies (yeah, saw Prince of Persia opening day). And zombie flicks of course.

Was still in WTF mode re “Caesar’s sidekick” when I read PG’s write-up. After running through Shakespeare’s cast to no avail, I was left thinking “Wow, so if snorking coke was Caesar’s side kick, how depraved was his main kick?!

@Middletown Bomber, thanks for the info re who to blame for the gimpy clue for ENGR.

hazel said...

This puzzle seemed like a bit of a stretch for me - kind of clunky, no snap. I mean mnemonic device, pneumatic valve - where's the pop? just dead mackerels.

The tie in to silence is golden (a motto I firmly firmly believe in!!) just seems weak at best. Not worthy of the master.

I do like Trini Lopez because I can remember my aunt playing 45s at her apartment, and swishing around the room in a loud muumuu and singing.

Boom boom. Boom boom.
Got along without ya before I met ya
Gonna get along without ya now.
Gonna find somebody twice as cute
Cause ya didn't love me anyhow.
Boom boom. Boom boom.

I vote for a Trini video the next time he appears.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Two huge huge pluses for today's puzzle. Firstly I'm a big fan of the late Dan Naddor, secondly I thought Puzzlegirl's blog was especially fine.

I solved the puzzle quite easily (no Google needed), but I never caught onto the theme until I came here. Didn't know Sharon LEAL and GLES (sp) kept sticking in my mind. Had trouble with the Y in YGOR.

Loved the clue 'Umble place for 'OME... some good cockney words. Reminds me of when I serendipitously ran into a group of PEARLIES in east London... oh was that ever fun. I had a nice long "Rabbit and Pork" (talk) with two delightful blokes who were costermongers.

syndy said...

Questioned the 'E' myself but bow to sesame street. Am not a pro ball aficionato but is HIT AND RUN a strategy? isnt hit-run throw-catch pretty much it? hit and runs sounds like advice for a six year old little leaguer.dont just stand there RUN!!

Anonymous said...

HIT AND RUN is a strategy. The RUNner referred to is not the HITter.

Jeff said...

Nice puzzle from Dan today. It's great to see a Naddor non "add a random letter for no reason" puzzle, and this one was particularly good. I was impressed at the quality of the fill. The "silent E" business seems odd to me, in that many, many words fit into this sort of description. It would have been really elegant if both words started with an odd letter that was silent?

Thakns for the writeup PG, keep up the entertaining work!

John said...

All kinds of trouble for me in the NW corner. And I'm a bit embarrassed to get RED SONJA so easily considering what a terrible movie it was. Little did Schwartezenegger know that his career nadir was still many years away as Batman enemy Mr. Freeze.

Anonymous said...

I understand why she chose purple,(although I might have said pink),but was that the last word she needed to complete the grid, when she chose WHICH answer should be purple?

Caltech Enginneering Graduate said...

Back when I was a Caltech, they actually had a postgraduate degree called "Engineer", different from BS, MS or PhD. As I recall there were maybe two of them getting that degree when I graduated, so it would be mind bogglingly obscure.

Rube said...

ADELE was new for me. Only knew of Ginger.

My mother used to always bring a crab ASPIC to holiday dinners. It was execrable, but she loved to make it, and we dutifuly nibbled at it. (@Tinbeni... bring back memories?)

Another pleasant puzz fron DN. Of a Tuesday NYTP level. Did most of it while giving blood this afternoon. Will be sorry to see the last one.

Tinbeni said...

@Rube
I'm thinking maybe our Mom's were separated at birth.

When I started doing xwords I asked my Mom why I should know ADELE danced with Fred. She expalined that before he made movies with Ginger, he and his sister were a "Big Act" dancing together.

All I could do was think how much I would dislike dancing with my sister. Definately a youthful "yuck" factor I suppose.

@JNH
Hope you had a great day celebrating the Blackhawks win.

mac said...

Sorry, but I did not like this theme and the execution much. The fill was ok, though. The "silence is golden" just istn't convincing.

Anonymous said...

don't think silent e is the theme.
silent consonants k,m,p and g at the beginning of each theme answer

PuzzleGirl said...

I'm gonna type this real slow, so everybody try to keep up. The clue for the theme revealer is "Proverb for overwrought parents, and a hint to both end of ...." BOTH ENDS. The front end AND the back end. Silent letters. (Yes, the "e" at the end is silent in that ... it doesn't have any sound.)

@Middletown Bomber: Thanks for pointing out the clue change. That happens sometimes and I like the clue you saw much better. But I like Orange's idea best of all.

@Anon 9:48: The highlighted word is random. And the flower is pink. :-)

Sfingi said...

Blogger is already messin with me and my new self/avatar. BTW - Thanx @Tinbeni.

The puzzle was challenging for me. I Googled for LEAL, GHANA, GSA, and REDSONJA (is she a Russian commie?).
I was so sure of Conan, I put it in at 23A.
Wonder what Schwarzenegger is going to do,now?

@Mac or Ulrich - What EXACTLY does his name mean. I'm almost afraid to ask.

Too much sports. That being said, I got them all, even the one I didn't know was sports (wizard's org).

OK, sportsters. I watched the screechfest of the Chicago Blackhawks since the impinged on my local news, and I had already seen Maddow. What's with all the redbeards? Scotsmen? Serial murderers? and those cartoon indian logos! I'd be embarassed to wear one, especially at the casino(s of this country of ours).

These old on-the-road family troupes (Astaire) took it all as part of the job.

Love fruit aspic.

I had a friend from college who was obsessed with Trini Lopez. which meant I listened to it all the time. I was more Bob Dylan, then. but I still sing Feliz Navidad at Xmas.

Vega said...

OMG, Luke Duke. Had the biggest crush on him ever. Thank you, PG.