THURSDAY, July 15, 2010 — Jerome Gunderson

Theme: Street Names — Theme answers are familiar names for various types of roadways, with the first word of each defined in a different way and clued accordingly.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Routes to work for a bell ringer? (TOLL ROADS).
  • 32A: Routes to work for a water company engineer? (MAIN STREETS).
  • 41A: Routes to work for a window treatment installer? (BLIND ALLEYS).
  • 59A: Routes to work for a diet guru? (FAST LANES).
I really enjoyed this breezy little puzzle. The theme is clever and there's enough good stuff in the fill to distract from all the crosswordese. (And I don't mean that as a backhanded compliment. I honestly didn't notice all the crosswordese while I was solving. I only saw it afterwards and was kinda surprised.) Obviously, the LA Times puzzles are still ending up on the "Too Easy" end of the spectrum, but I have a feeling (oh God please) that I will be eating those words tomorrow and Saturday.

Talking points:
  • 5A: "Fernando" singers (ABBA). I heard Mr. Big on the radio yesterday. Remember that sappy little hit they had, "I'm the One Who Wants to Be With You"? "Fernando" replaced it in my head for about two minutes and now it's back. Grateful I don't know any songs off YANNI's "Dare to dream" album (23A: New Ager with the album "Dare to Dream").
  • 16A: Mayflower employee (MOVER). Were you thinking Mayflower the ship? Well this is Mayflower the big truck.
  • 25A: View from la costa (AGUA). Spanish!
  • 38A: Peace personified (IRENE). My very first thought was … Gandhi. And I hadn't even seen 49D yet! (49D: Widow of Rajiv Gandhi (SONIA)).
  • 58A: Ornament (ADORN). Ooh, the old word-you-think-of-as-a-noun-used-as-a-verb trick. Well played, sir.
  • 62A: Unlucky fisherman's catch, in comics (TIRE). I tried boot first.
  • 2D: Nice school? (ECOLE). Again with the trickiness. Nice, of course, is a city in France. Maybe you remember when we talked about Nice a while back when we covered ÉTÉ in CW101.
  • 10D: "The Teflon Don" (GOTTI). I lived in New York in the mid 80s, when GOTTI was in the news a lot, so this was a gimme for me.
  • 12D: Emperor Atahualpa's land (PERU). My eyes sort of skimmed over the emperor's name while I was solving, but now that I have time to look at it — that's an awesome name.
  • 30D: Like sap (OOZY). Has this word ever bugged me before? I can see where it might, but today it just made me laugh.
  • 33D: Early Jesse Jackson do (AFRO). Problem here was that I pictured Jesse James instead of Jesse Jackson. (Jesse James the dirtbag motorcycle guy, not Jesse James the outlaw.)
  • 46D: Who's on it (FIRST). Is it possible I've never used this clip on this blog? I know I've used it somewhere. Well, even if you've seen it before (and, honestly, why would I think you haven't seen it before?), enjoy it again! It's classic!

Crosswordese 101: And the award for Scrabbliest car name ever goes to … [drum roll] … XKE'S! Woo-hoo! The reason I picked this for CW101 today is that I always think there's going to be a J in there somewhere. So I figured if I had to write a little bit about it, I'll remember next time that there's no J. To reiterate: No J in the Class Jag XKE. So if you see the clue "Classic Jag," "Vintage Jac," or "Jaguar of the '60s," remember: The answer is XKE, which does not include a J.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 19A: "SNL" alum Cheri (OTERI).
  • 45A: Divided sea (ARAL).
  • 3D: J.E.B. Stuart's boss (R.E. LEE).
  • 5D: The whole kit and caboodle (A TO Z).
  • 8D: 1950s political monogram (AES).
  • 13D: The Auld Sod (ERIN).
  • 50D: Hägar's dog (SNERT).
  • 56D: City founded by King Harald III (OSLO).
  • 57D: Proofer's mark (STET).
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Everything Else — 1A: Balkan native (SERB); 9A: Obviously impressed (AGAPE); 14A: Maker of Java Freeze (ICEE); 15A: No bull (TRUE); 20A: Mourned poetically (ELEGIZED); 21A: Leave in the dust (OUTRUN); 22A: Do an usher's job (SEE IN); 28A: Hood's heater (GAT); 29A: "Sour grapes" critter (FOX); 36A: Proceeding normally (A-OK); 37A: Rubs out (OFFS); 39A: Shipwright's tool (ADZE); 40A: Response to "Speak!" (ARF); 43A: Cracker Jack bonus (TOY); 44A: Tyler of "Jersey Girl" (LIV); 46A: Knocks for a loop (FAZES); 48A: Like a milquetoast's spouse, often (BOSSY); 52A: Wish for (DESIRE); 55A: Payload's place (NOSE CONE); 60A: Gadget on a pad (MOUSE); 61A: Bug and more (RILE); 63A: It's hard to run on it (EMPTY); 64A: Tons (A LOT); 65A: Chows down (EATS); 1D: Developer's offerings (SITES); 4D: Antwerp natives (BELGIANS); 6D: Scottish hillside (BRAE); 7D: One to hang with (BUDDY); 9D: Is equivalent (to) (AMOUNTS); 11D: State firmly (AVER); 18D: Audi logo quartet (RINGS); 21D: Painting the town red (ON A TEAR); 24D: Chairman's list (AGENDA); 26D: Put into play (UTILIZE); 27D: Make it big (ARRIVE); 29D: Lose vitality (FADE); 31D: Classic Jags (XKE'S); 32D: Zoo barrier (MOAT); 34D: Up in the air (IFFY); 35D: Bard's nightfall (E'EN); 39D: Parcel out (ALLOCATE); 41D: Flattery (BLARNEY); 42D: Bar code's place (LABEL); 47D: Spiral-shelled creature (SNAIL); 51D: Toadies' words (YESES); 52D: Title for Kiri Te Kanawa (DAME); 53D: Nation of Esau (EDOM); 54D: First course, sometimes (SOUP); 59D: Monk's title (FRA).


Lemonade714 said...

SNERT is crosswordese? Does that mean any frequently used proper name is also? How frequent does it have to be?

I also thought cluing R.E. Lee in conjunction with J.E.B. Stuart was nice (not the city in France).

Linus said...

Puzzle Girl,
I have been learning from you all summer. Thanks for your blog.

Van55 said...

My experience/reaction parallels PG's. Would have liked a bit stiffer challenge for a Thursday.


A pretty good theme, but I wasn't particularly AGAPE. The usual crosswordese names of people (and a dog)... R.E.LEE, OTERI, SONIA, IRENE, LIV, GOTTI, YANNI, ABBA, and SNERT (yep, the same old vowel makers). Sometimes I get tired of these theme-type puzzles because they have to sacrifice really good good fill in order to make up cutesy themes. Give me a good old non-themed Brad Wilbur puzzle any day... one with 15 letter entries. Now that's a real puzzle!
As disappointed as I am with Jerome's puzzle today, I have to say that Puzzlegirl's writeup was a totally redeeming factor. Extra special today, and of course I always enjoy her little personal touches like the "my-grandma-irene" photo and weird comments about her friend Doug Peterson, yada yada.

I had a blood test earlier this morning, so I had to be in the FAST lane for 12 hours. Geez, I sure enjoyed that Egg-McMuffin and coffee right afterwards.

Rex Parker said...

This puzzle is solid.

SNERT is klassik crosswordese. A tertiary "character" in a might-as-well-be-dead comic strip that yet Many, Many, Many solvers know because of crosswords. Its letter combo makes it far more common in xwords than it is the minds, mouths, writing, etc. of the general public—the epitome of crosswordese.

*David* said...

Breezy is the right word for it, nothing to really slow you down and nothing that really made me go ick. RE LEE was probably the largest reach for me.

C said...

A puzzle that was worth solving yet, like I feel after eating Chinese food, 30 minutes later, I feel like I haven't solved a puzzle today.

For some reason, ADORN cluing irritated me. Nothing wrong with it, must have hit a sub-conscious button or something. Good news, 30 minutes later, it's like it never happened.

Rube said...

Really enjoyed this puzzle. Thought the theme clues/answers were very well done. Had a little trouble in the NE with inAwE for AGAPE, which got me niTTI for the teflon don and Eire for the auld sod. PERU cleaned it all up. (BTW JG & RN, I take extreme umbrage with the use of Auld and sod together.)

Have a different kind of objection to OOZY. Just plain lazy. Makes me think of leady. New words were Esau and the EDOMites, serene IRENE, and Cheri OTERI. It looks like I'm going to have to learn the names of all the SNL grads in order to do late week puzzles. (And all Old Testament names and the Hebrew letters/calendar, and...) And no, I didn't fall for the old Nice school trap this time.

I had never really thought about the verb FAZE before. Have only heard it used negated, as in "...didn't faze..". That's why I'm here.

John Wolfenden said...

Excellent cluing. Just once I'd like to see the answer to "Classic Jag" be ETYPE since to me that's the most classic of them all.

Little did Cheri Oteri know when she was on SNL that she would remain in the pop culture lexicon through crosswords. That's what happens when you have a 5-letter surname with 3 vowels.

Tuttle said...

Just once I'd like to see the answer to "Classic Jag" be ETYPE since to me that's the most classic of them all.

Same car. The name "XKE" only appeared in American advertising for the E-Type since it was the follow-up to the XK-series roadsters. No Jaguar has ever actually been badged as an "XKE".

Lots have been badged as XJs of some sort (XJS, XJC, XJR, etc.) so PG's yen to put a J in there is totally understandable.

Tinbeni said...

R.E.LEE, J.E.B. Stuart's boss was a great clue for this History buff. Also, the last INCA name yielding PERU.

Liked that the TOLL ROADS crossed RINGS.

Wasn't familiar with the DAME Kanawa or SONIA Gandi but the crosses did their job.

FIRST, Who's on it. was my fave today.

FUN Thursday.

CrazyCatLady said...

I liked this puzzle A LOTonce I got going. I had LETT before SERB. I get Balkan and Baltic mixed up. Like @Rube I had IN AWE before AGAPE which gave me NOTTI and WERU. Figured it out and finished in normal Thursday time. Me too for favorite clue being 46D Who's on it? I also liked 48A Like a milquetoast's spouse, often - BOSSY. I just like the word milquetoast for some reason. I'm having a SNAIL problem in my garden. They're eating my basil. Those slimy slugs really RILE me.

Sfingi said...

I thought it was difficult enough for Thur. since I had to do a little Googling.

When I figured out the theme, I Felt like saying, "How funny you talk. I forgot to laugh," etc. So, for me, it was lame.

Googled for SNERT.
I started reading the comics after I retired, and decided Hägar the Horrible is cute sometimes. They do use the umlaut correctly for pronunciation of long A. But I never knew the other names. Are there toys of the other characters?

Googled for OSLO. Did not know King Harald III Sigurdsson Haardraada of the 11th century. Where's the accompanying Roman numeral question?

Google for ICEE. The only one up here is in WalMart and has 2 flavors, red and blue.

Googled for LIV Tyler. Too young for my knowledge. She's the daughter of fish-face, of Aerosmith, so her mother must be pretty.

Forgot SONIA, the Italian wife of Ravij. Had to Google.

Didn't know the ARAL Sea was divided. There wasn't room for Galilee.

At the Kiri Te Kanawa clue, I thought it was 52A and wrote in "Elvira," making a little mess for awhile.

Knew the Mayflower was MOVERS, since the ship had no employees. Recommend the book, Saints and Strangers. My guy, Howland, was a stranger. He was the carpenter and fell off once.
Howland probably had the most descendants. Don't think I like them all. Cheney just had half his heart replaced. Now he has half a heart.

@Wolfenden - Otherwise, she was a one-trick pony.

FIRST was good. RINGS was new.

@CrazyCat - have you tried shallow bowls of beer? They work. It helps to check them in the AM before some manage to crawl out. Then throw them in the road. They like my hosta.

This heat, humidity and inversion is making me very testy. Lots of things FAZE me today. Sorry.


Easier than the beer trick--
Just spread old coffee grounds or crushed egg shells around your basil. Snails don't like walking (slithering?) on sharp stuff...cuts up their tummies.

NJ Irish said...

I thought it a little easy for a Thrusday. I actually got the theme so it went pretty fast. Liked 37A rubs out, offs and 10D The Teflon Don, Gotti in the same puz.

@CCL in NJ we shake some salt on them, they curl right up!

thrid try for this post. It never takes on the first try.

CrazyCatLady said...

@sfingi,@JNH and @NJ Irish: Thanks for all the snail tips. I've tried beer, copper tape, salt and snail bait which almost killed my dog a few years ago. There is Sluggo now, a pet friendly snail bait. Haven't tried egg shells or coffee, but I will. I also throw them in the street and smash them. I'll never enjoy escargot again. Creepy little SNAIL critters!

gespenst said...

I think I'm missing something w/ the PEACE/IRENE clue/answer pair ... please explain?

If it's really obvious, I'm going to plead mommy brain.

Other examples: I left my daughter's shoes on the hood while driving to an event, then ran out of gas on the way. Finally got there (an hour late) and then had to carry her while maneuvering the stroller b/c of course we didn't have any spare shoes in the car and the original pair were no longer on the hood @@

So yeah, it's been one of those days!