7.23.2010

FRIDAY, July 23, 2010
Donna S. Levin



Theme: Hat Puns — Hat puns!


Theme answers:
  • 20A: Opportunity to examine some headwear? (CLOCHE ENCOUNTER).
  • 33A: Call-in broadcasting for chefs? (TOQUE RADIO).
  • 40A: Northerners who dress with Scottish flair? (TAM YANKEES).
  • 47A: Hats that are soft and angular? (BOWLER OPPOSITES).
Today's puzzle was a snap compared to yesterday's. Definitely on the late-week side for the LAT, but I didn't feel much resistance anywhere. Really the only clue I pondered at all was 3D: Miss Gulch's bête-noire, somewhat literally. First, I didn't really know the meaning of bête-noire. I had it in my head that it meant enemy or foe or something along those lines, but the "somewhat literally" part didn't compute at all. Second, I thought Miss Gulch was that banker lady on "The Beverly Hillbillies." But no, that's Jane Hathaway, secretary to the banker (and Clampetts' neighbor) Mr. Drysdale. Why I got her mixed up with the bike-riding neighbor/wicked witch in "The Wizard of Oz" (whose bête-noire is, of course, TOTO) is a mystery. Apparently they occupy the same space in my brain. (Oh, and bête-noire can be literally translated as black beast.)

There was a lot of stuff I didn't know in this puzzle, but the crosses took care of everything:
  • 19A: Pachacuti, for one (INCA). Never heard of him.
  • 40D: Lady Hillingdon is a cultivar of one (TEA ROSE). I don't know who Lady Hillingdon is and I don't know what "cultivar" means.
  • 46D: Victor Vasarely's genre (OP-ART). Can't say I've heard of Mr. Vasarely either.
Other:
  • 14A: Multilayer farm site? (COOP). I am no longer fooled by the use of "layer" to mean "hen."
  • 24A: Recycled T-shirt? (RAG). Not sure why this clue needs a question mark.
  • 36A: "Seinfeld" actress Julia __-Dreyfus (LOUIS). Love her.
  • 38A: Idol whose fans are known as Claymates (AIKEN). Clay Aiken took second place on the first second season of "American Idol."
  • 42A: Condiment for pommes frites (SEL). French!
  • 1D: Versatile, electronically (AC/DC).


  • 28D: Apple or ale lead-in (ADAM'S). Of course I've known forever what an ADAM'S apple is, but I learned ADAM'S ale from crosswords. (It's water!)
  • 29D: Pierre, e.g. (CITY). Me: "Well, it's the capital of South Dakota. It's also a French name. Hmmm … What could they be getting at here?" Duh.
Crosswordese 101: I've been filling in ADESTE every time I see a clue like 25A: Carol beginning for a while now not having any idea what it means. So today I looked it up. It's my little gift to you. "ADESTE Fideles" is a Latin hymn that you and I know as the Christmas carol "O Come All Ye Faithful." It's typically clued as carol starter, seasonal song opener, Latin carol starter, or simply as a fill-in-the-blank "_____ Fideles."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 46A: God attended by Valkyries (ODIN).
  • 22D: Seven sheikdoms fed. (UAE).
  • 46D: Victor Vasarely's genre (OP-ART).
  • 48D: It's found in tubs (OLEO).
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Everything Else — 1A: Stage routines (ACTS); 5A: Full of spunk (SASSY); 10A: Shenanigan pullers (IMPS); 15A: Twaddle (TRIPE); 16A: "Ta ta!" ("CIAO!"); 17A: It's entered and processed (DATA); 18A: Needle bearers (PINES); 23A: Grub (EATS); 28A: Proactiv target (ACNE); 30A: One of a cup's 48: Abbr. (TSP.); 35A: Pampas weapon (BOLA); 37A: Posed (SAT); 39A: Gray area?: Abbr. (ANAT.); 43A: Livens (up) (PEPS); 44A: Delicate (DAINTY); 45A: Mendicant title (FRA); 55A: Plant used for first aid (ALOE); 56A: More than 70% of Earth's surface (OCEAN); 57A: Stretched just short of the breaking point (TAUT); 58A: Tidings (NEWS); 59A: Sudden movement (START); 60A: Gumbo ingredient (OKRA); 61A: "Gee willikers!" ("GOSH!"); 62A: Keep an __ the ground (EAR TO); 63A: McJob performer (PEON); 2D: Historic Newcastle resource (COAL); 4D: Garb for Apollo (SPACE SUIT); 5D: Religious guardian (ST. PETER); 6D: Astrological ovine (ARIES); 7D: __ Fein (SINN); 8D: Blueprint item, briefly (SPEC); 9D: "Just give me an answer already!" ("YES OR NO?"); 10D: Hockey infraction (ICING); 11D: After-dinner item (MINT); 12D: Step (PACE); 13D: Look down on the clouds, perhaps (SOAR); 21D: Can't take (HATES); 25D: Rand's shrugger (ATLAS); 26D: Shortbread cookie surname (DOONE); 27D: Peer (EQUAL); 30D: Perfunctory (TOKEN); 31D: Wintry woe (SLEET); 32D: Flower name derived from the French for "thought" (PANSY); 34D: PDQ cousin (ASAP); 35D: Halter, perhaps (BIKINI TOP); 38D: "Henry & June" role (ANAÏS); 41D: Enlarge, as a house (ADD ONTO); 43D: Ante- equivalent (PRE-); 45D: Meat (FLESH); 47D: Explosion (BANG); 49D: Awes (WOWS); 50D: Tetra- times two (OCTA-); 51D: Fruit with a "check the neck" ripeness test (PEAR); 52D: Steal (TAKE); 53D: Slovenia capital (EURO); 54D: Ollie's sidekick (STAN).

22 comments:

Irritated_Prof said...

I was stumped, but then amused, by four down-- "Garb for Apollo." What do Greek gods wear that isn't a toga? Getting the last five letters,"SUIT," finally clued me in that we weren't talking about the Greek pantheon but "Battlestar Galactica."

And it took me freaking forever to remember who Miss Gulch was, after going through Miss Hathaway, Miss Preen, Miss Squeers, and a whole bunch of other unhappy fictional spinsters.

D said...

For 4D Garb for Apollo, (not being a watcher of Battlestar Galactica) I took this to mean the Apollo moon missions.

Miss Gulch's bete noire came easily.

28D Apple or ale lead-in
It means water? Never heard that before
However, Sam Adams is a well-known ale

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Okay, yesterday was quite difficult, so today we get a "walk-in-the-park" puzzle, although I wouldn't want to go walking today, it's raining hard here.
I actually finishing this puzzle while eating my omelet.
Loved the fun and pun puzzle.
Thought the PANSY/DELICATE/AIKEN cross was pretty funny.
I didn't know that about PANSY in French. So next time I'm working a CW with a Frenchman, I'll just say "I'm deep in pansy".... hmmm.
The only word that I needed the cross for was SINN Fein. I can never remember how it's spelled.
I didn't like FLESH for "meat". When was the last time you went into a "flesh market" and ordered some FLESH? Oooo, that sounds bad.
Most of the cluing was very good (e.g. "Rand's shrugger" and Garb for Apollo").
GOSH! We get old ODIN again (and again).
If we call the woman with 8 new-borns an OCTA-mom, then do we call one with quintuplets a TETRA-mom? Sounds kind of fishy to me.

WOWS! The sun just came out... maybe I'll go for that walk after all.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

A good entry for CW101 or maybe FAQ:
The word capital in a clue often refers to money, instead of the capital city name, as we see today in 53D "Slovenia capital" (EURO).
Just another little deceptive trick that constructor's use.
I know that CW101 is for entry words, but I think we need something for hints to common clue misdirections also.

Tinbeni said...

First off, my After-dinner item is not a MINT.
(see Avatar!!!)

The gimmies; TOTO, ARIES, SINN Fein, UAE.
ATLAS, DOONE & EQUAL got me my first theme pun, TOQUE RADIO.

Lady Hillington's TEA ROSE, never heard of it.
"Henry & June" role, ANAIS. No idea again. My PANSY (thought) was ... Henry?
Both completely via crosses.

As for that pun on my TAM YANKEES, well we lead the Major Leagues with 60 wins.

Learning moment, the CLOCHE hat.

I drove from Zagreb, Croatia to Ljubljana, Slovenia at least once a month for two years but that EURO messed up my McJob teen for PEON. Probably something I would never call that kid getting me my McMuffin. Plus ALL work is honorable.

SO @JNH, you had your funny-bone in rare form today but I'd hardly call this a "walk in the park" though it was easier than yesterday.

Donna, excellent puzzle.

hollyhock said...

Filled in over half the clues completely on my own today. Unusual for a Friday puzzle. Could mean two things: 1) I am getting really good at this, or, more likely 2) this puzzle was not as difficult as other late week puzzles. Had water for OCEAN, zits for ACNE and food for EATS (gotta watch those plurals). Fixed them pretty easily. Fore some reason, I always want to write in rice as an ingredient for gumbo. Caught myself this time. Does gumbo even contain any rice at all? I don't know about anyone else, but I am quite sick of the abbreviations for various groups/organizations. I always have such a hard time with those.

Van55 said...

Decent enough puzzle, but it had too many obscurities (pointed out by PG) to be much fun for me. Got them with crosses.

Gene said...

Off the top of my head, I didn't know what "toque" or "cloche" were. Crossed it out.

*David* said...

I'm not a hat guy so this one didn't go to my head or any other part of my body. Made a couple silly mistakes that took a while to unknot but easier then yesterday.

Ruth said...

I barely follow "American Idol" but I know Clay Aiken wasn't on the first season (some kid named Justin was runner up to Kelly Clarkson). Just to keep the record straight.
At first it seemed hard to imagine there was any grade school anywhere that didn't have all the kiddies singing a verse of "O Come All Ye Faithful" in Latin, but now that Christmas isn't allowed in schools so much, maybe not. I was raised a not-very-active Unitarian and I know just about every Christmas carol there is, thanks to the public schools circa 1957-1969.

Burner 10 said...

A nice dessert to top off yesterday's brain course.

C said...

I haven't ever seen American Idol, yet, somehow, I knew the AIKEN answer without thinking. I don't know how I feel about that, mildly disturbing.

OK puzzle, pretty straight forward except for some obscure hat names used in the puns.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking Parachuti was some sort of pasta, shaped like parachutes I guess. Acutally reading the clues seems to help.

Rube said...

Really enjoyed this puzzle. Much more so than the NYT today with all of it's proper names. This one was doable.

Was thinking about Apollo as the messenger of the Gods when I put in trackSUIT. Dumb. That was Mercury.

Just saw "Tin Man" and realized that I don't remember Miss Gulch in a spinster role. There was a wicked witch of course, and a Toto, but no Miss Gulch. If you haven't seen "Tin Man" yet, do.

Adam's ale is a prevalent term in Utah.

I, too, have heard of Clay Aiken, but the clue made me think of claymation. Never havig watched "Idol", I was thinking he did some claymation shorts. I must focus.

A cultivar is, according to the free dictionary: "A race or variety of a plant that has been created or selected intentionally and maintained through cultivation". And per some rose site, the "Lady Hillingdon" is a large flowered tea rose hybridized by Lowe & Shawyer in 1910. That corrects my original thought that Lady Hillingdon cultivated tea roses. Oh well.

chefbea said...

Fun easy puzzle. Couldn't finish yesterday's.

At first had Fran for ollie's side kick.

Better get my toque on and start dinner

Sfingi said...

No Googling, and a tight but corny theme, but was slowed down by several initial writes:
FrAN for STAN, stEak for FLESH, tEeN for PEON, SRi for FRA, food for EATS.

Did not actually know Pachacuti, ICING (sports, and don't know why it's called that), Lady Hillingdon, Miss Gulch, Henry and June. Will try to remember.

The TOQUE includes your basic ski hat.

Never watched those Idol-type shows (and can't tell them apart), but heard Ruben Studdard, the guy who beat him, on SNL and bought his CD. I miss Barry White, and rue the lack of deep voices.

@Ruth - agree on Christmas Carols. We also learned religious songs "of many lands," as it were. There's no music or art in schools, either. Further, kids who just do rap/hip-hop can't carry a tune.

Some good clues for SPACESUIT, ANAT,COAL.

After a year, I find I know the answer by just looking at an unfinished word, kind of like Wheel of Fortune. A year ago, I didn't do that.

chefbea said...

Just did the puzzle in the Wilmington Newspaper...

The clue was...Stan's buddy

John Wolfenden said...

I know salt is technically a condiment, but it's just never felt right to me. I think of spices as one thing and condiments as another. Would've gotten SEL a lot sooner if I had let that go.

I love the word PEON and am always excited when it finds its way into a puzzle.

CrazyCatLady said...

Enjoyed a slightly easier puzzle today. Favorite theme answer - TOQUE RADIO. That gave me the theme and the rest were fast to fall. Had a few problems in the north since I totally forgot SINN Fein. Had a hard time getting ST PETER. I wanted God parent, but too many letters. Both my kids are ARIES so that was easy. I didn't know ICING or the INCA guy. Clay AIKEN was Idol's second season. ANAÏS Nin wrote "Henry and June," or it was taken from her diaries. I saw the film not too long ago. As I recall she was having affair with both Henry Miller and his wife June. And she was married at the time. It was during the time that he was writing "Tropic of Cancer." She pops up in CWs fairly often. A TEA ROSE is also called a hybrid tea. I like florabunda roses better since they are less finicky. TOTO was clued as Miss Gulch's bête noire in a fairly recent puzzle. I laugh when I think of TOTO as being a "black beast."
Love your write up PG.
Thanks for a nice puzzle Donna.

Irritated_Prof said...

D: "For 4D Garb for Apollo, (not being a watcher of Battlestar Galactica) I took this to mean the Apollo moon missions."

Oh, major d'oh!

Rex Parker said...

Dislike. Puns have no consistency. Consonants changed here, vowels changed there. Grid looks lifted out of a "Generic Grids for Crosswords" database. 40D = who and what? Found very little to like here.

Generally hate puns, and find it takes a very delicate touch and decent sense of humor to pull off a pun-based puzzle. Merl is the greatest. Few others can do it well.

Anonymous said...

For the multilayer farm site I believe it is meant to be "co-op" not "coop" like a place for hens.