WEDNESDAY, July 21, 2010
Dan Naddor

Theme: In a Rush — Theme answers are familiar phrases that start with a word meaning "fast."

Theme answers:
  • 17A: It may be drawn without thinking (HASTY CONCLUSION).
  • 22A: Sylvester Pussycat nemesis (SPEEDY GONZALES).
  • 38A: Dubious diet ad promise (RAPID WEIGHT LOSS).
  • 51A: Mentally agile (QUICK ON THE DRAW).
  • 59A: First out of the gate, and what 17-, 22-, 38- and 51-Across all get (OFF TO A FAST START).
Hi, everybody. I'm back from a lovely weekend in North Carolina with friends. And when I say "lovely weekend in North Carolina with friends," I mean, of course, "successful spy mission."

I'm obviously a little rusty on the crossword stuff. For the first theme answer I threw in "HAPPY" CONCLUSION, thinking it sounded a little off but letting it go. It wasn't until I got to the theme reveal that I really questioned it. "HAPPY? How does that mean fast?" and checked the crosses. And when I checked the crosses I was super excited to find … HUSH PUPPY (3D: Item in a fried side with catfish)! I had hush puppies for the first time Sunday night. I know! How have a lived this long without those delectable balls of fried goodness?!?

Talking points:
  • 14A: Nobleman's mistress (COURTESAN). Great word.
  • 16A: Artist Neiman (LEROY). Forever confused in my mind with Leonard Nimoy.
  • 42A: Record needles (STYLI). I haven't finished reading all the comments from the last couple days, but I believe we have now solved a mystery. Wasn't this clue mistakenly printed in Monday's puzzle?
  • 48A: Powder parter (SKI). Read this as "powder partNer" and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
  • 5D: Delt neighbor (PEC). Muscles!
  • 7D: Co. that has sponsored many soaps (P AND G). Procter & Gamble. See also 27D: Ivory units? (BARS).
  • 31D: The purple one is New Hampshire's state flower (LILAC). I didn't realize there were non-purple LILACs.
  • 33D: Fire preceder? (AIM). As in the phrase "Ready, aim, fire."
  • 54D: Big name in air conditioning (TRANE). Not big enough for me to have heard of it.
  • 61D: "So that's your game!" ("OHO!"). This little guy always makes me think of Sherlock Holmes. I'm reading a great book right now about Sherlock Holmes and his mentoring relationship with a young girl. The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Recommended.
  • 65D: Three times, in Rx's (TER). Let's try not to talk about this all day. There always seems to be a lot of controversy over these "medical" abbreviations. I don't know enough about it to have an opinion and don't care enough about it to form one.
Crosswordese 101 Round-Up:
  • 1A: Turkish title (AGHA).
  • 28A: Paul's "Exodus" role (ARI).
  • 29A: MGM co-founder (LOEW).
  • 50A: Asian occasion (TET).
  • 57A: Long-jawed fish (GAR).
  • 58A: ICU test (EEG).
  • 68A: Poet's Muse (ERATO).
  • 1D: German cry (ACH).
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Everything Else — 5A: Kind of appetizer platter (PUPU); 9A: Refs throw them (FLAGS); 19A: In the know (HIP); 20A: Buck's partner (DOE); 21A: Emergency PC key (ESC); 27A: A/C unit (BTU); 30A: Fridge or freezer: Abbr. (APPL.); 32A: Pollution-policing org. (EPA); 34A: Fountain orders (SODAS); 43A: Response of feigned innocence ("MOI?"); 44A: Spill the beans (SING); 45A: Con (ANTI); 56A: Network absorbed by The CW (UPN); 66A: Synagogue scroll (TORAH); 67A: First felony conviction, in some states (ONE STRIKE); 69A: Certain squad member (GEEK); 70A: "__ off?" (ON OR); 2D: ___ few rounds (GO A); 4D: "The Sopranos" chef Bucco (ARTIE); 6D: GI entertainers (USO); 8D: Not 19-Across (UNCOOL); 9D: __ shot (FLU); 10D: Guitarist Paul (LES); 11D: The Little Mermaid (ARIEL); 12D: Ninny (GOOSE); 13D: Matches audio to video, say (SYNCS); 15D: Aggressive sort (TYPE A); 18D: He preceded and followed O'Brien (LENO); 22D: March VIP (ST. PAT); 23D: Attracted (DREW); 24D: "Holy Toledo!" ("YIPE!"); 25D: Energy (ZEST); 26D: Mil. truants (AWOL'S); 35D: "Encore!" ("DO IT AGAIN!"); 36D: Good __: repaired (AS NEW); 37D: USMC rank (SSGT); 39D: Drop shot, in tennis (DINK); 40D: "No kidding!" ("GOSH!"); 41D: Increase (HIKE); 46D: Frat party attire (TOGA); 47D: Dazed (IN A FOG); 49D: Latin clarifier (ID EST); 51D: Bit of term paper color (QUOTE); 52D: Enthusiastic about (UP FOR); 53D: Prefix with structure (INFRA-); 55D: In once more (RETRO); 60D: Sylvester, to Tweety (TAT); 62D: "What'd I tell ya?" ("SEE?"); 63D: "That wasn't nice!" ("TSK!"); 64D: Early MGM rival (RKO).



Welcome back Puzzlegirl!
Sounds like your mission was successful.

Thought this was going to be easy. But when I saw it was a Naddor puzzle, I realized that I had made a HASTY CONCLUSION. This was of a late-week level.

“Ninny”… hmm, that means mule, donkey, ass, jack, burro, ET AL. Nope! GOOSE???
YIKE ! Hey wait, that’s YIPE.
IVORY, nope, that’s P AND G.
GEES, wrong, it’s GOSH.
PATE, nah, who the heck would eat an appetizer called PUPU?
The theme for this puzzle should have been DO IT AGAIN.

Anyway, even though I was mostly IN A FOG this morning, I found this to be an enjoyable puzzle. And, why not? It’s a Naddor (but, without all his usual puns).
This must have been one of Dan’s later puzzles, because of the clue for 18D.

Picker LES Paul, was one of the most innovative musicians of all time!

Have a great day, y’all!


I think TER should definitely be a candidate for CW101. It's been used many many times in CWs, but few people know what it means.

Syringa, or LILAC, can come in many colors.

backbiter said...

JNH basically posted everything I was going to say. From IVORY to PATE he covered everything I was going to say. The only thing I'll add is I despise with every fiber of my being "OHO". I've never said it. Don't know anyone who has ever said it. So f'ing annoying!


Tinbeni said...

I love a PUPU platter.

Saw it was a Dan Naddor and searched out the theme reveal which took a bit of time to sush out so I was not OFF TO A FAST START.

Later, Buck's partner, DOE was SOOOO obvious it became my last fill. Sometimes I think I fall into "reading between the lines" when solving.

First felony, ONE STRIKE was my fave.
Also liked the HIP & UNCOOL connection.

@Backbiter, I agree with you on the OHO thingy. How does this answer the question "So that's your game!" ???

@PG I too read 48a as "Powder partNer." Circled the clue when I wrote in SKI and thought "Huh?"

I think that Rich Norris changed the cluing for 18d, LENO, "Preceding and following O'Brien." Dan left us 12/28 and this was only then being determined.

Burner10 said...

Hand up for partner. A couple wrong letters for me but overall a fine solve with fun clues - a personal favorite being spill the beans.
Welcome back!

*David* said...

A little more difficult then a usual Wednesday. I enjoyed having the 9 letter stacked above/below the theme especially in the North. APPL was a particularly ugly abbr.

GoG8rs said...

Tough, but doable for me. Worked down the Atlantic coast and then westward. Getting the tail end words, GONZALES, LOSS, and DRAW led to the fronts of the phrases. Finished the bottom and worked up the Pacific coast.
NE block was the last to be filled. Did get snarled in the HIKE, GOSH and MOI area, but it sounds like I'm not alone. Fun!!!

Rube said...

Putting in COncubine got me off to a very slow start. Did the lower half of the puzzle quickly, then HUSHPUPPY showed me the error of my ways.

Kept thinking of Tweety Bird as Sylvester's nemesis. Don't associate SPEEDY GONZALES with any other cartoon character, (only off-color jokes).

I agree, this is a "later-in-the-week" puzzle. However, once you get the theme, the rest of the theme answers come quickly, making the end of the puzzle go faster than the start.

I'll bet @Chefwen makes excellent PUPU trays.

After my root canal a few weeks ago, the dentist used the term TER for my antibiotic prescription. I knew immediately what he meant and thought, yes, there is a practical use for solving crossword puzzles.

Margaret said...

I was also in North Carolina (Wilmington) last week, visiting for the first time, and also had delicious hush puppies for the first time! Yum. Hush puppies and pulled pork sandwiches. Double yum.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice is fabulous and all the rest of the Mary Russell books are, too. Highly recommended. I like Laurie R. King's other work, as well.

Uh, on topic? I enjoyed Dan Naddor's many exclamations in this puzzle: MOI? YIPE! GOSH! SEE? TSK! and of course OHO! And, yes, I do use OHO in my daily life. I'm a nerd.

John Wolfenden said...

Having grown up in North Carolina, I do miss the HUSH PUPPIES from time to time.

A serviceable but unremarkable Naddor puzzle. I'm trying to think of a better Wednesday-appropriate clue for GOOSE. "Flying honker?" "Silly one?"

chefbea said...

So everyone was in NC!!! and didn't call me?? @PG was that foto taken at wrightsville beach? Were you in Wilmington? Hush puppys are great here!!!

The puzzle - was pretty easy. Did it while waiting for a doctor's appt.

C said...

More bite than a usual Wednesday puzzle and I appreciate the extra spice.

I liked COURTESAN, don't recall having that word as an answer in a LAT puzzle.

Good puzzle.

Zeke said...

Found this to be a blah puzzle. If one is mentally agile, one is QUICKONTHEUPTAKE. If one has a short temper, one is QUICKONTHEDRAW. One's first felony conviction is STRIKEONE, not ONESTRIKE. Your delts are in your back, your PECs are in your front, i.e. on opposite sides of your body. Are they really neighbors? You've got a rib cage and a lot of innards between the two.

Chorister said...

PuzzleMom tried the print version in the Monterey County Herald. Threw it down in frustration. And no wonder. They printed today's clues with some other day's grid. Off to see if it is possible to print off a copy for her from my computer. I've never looked into it. Plus, being on vacation who knows what we'll find in the printer area.

Jeff said...

Loved it! Great theme with a nice reveal. Only comment I have is that I would have loved to see ONESTRIKE taken out. If having such an ugly phrase is the price to pay to get a 76 (vs 78) word puzzle, I would gladly, gladly take the 78 word puzzle.


Van55 said...

Again I didn't notice the byline until I came here and didn't recognized this as a Naddor work.

Enjoyed it, but "servicable" is a great adjective for it.

Anonymous said...

As a retired physician, I was puzzled by ter. So I googled it. It is the t in tid which means three times a day.
And the delt actually intertwines with the pects. The delt is the muscle on top of the arm.

Tinbeni said...

@Zeke said
"If one is mentally agile, one is QUICKONTHEUPTAKE. If one has a short temper, one is QUICKONTHEDRAW."

Just curious, how would one fit the QUICK ON THE UPTAKE into the grid?

"THREE STRIKES LAWS" are statutes enacted by States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense on three or more separate occasions. These statutes became very popular in the 1990s. Twenty four states have some form of habitual offender laws.
Therefore ONE STRIKE is a great answer.
Though I did see the umpire call "Strike one" on Casey, this isn't baseball it's just a puzzle.

Finally, the Delt (deltoid muscle) is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder.
Very close to the PECtoral chest muscles.

Anonymous said...

The Philly Inquirer incorrectly had 42A on Monday as "record needles," which seemed to be common among many papers.

Today, 42A was clued in the Inquirer as "record players."

I filled in styli when I had _T_LI, but couldn't figure out why it was right.

Zeke said...

@Anon, @Tinbeni - you're correct about delts/PECs of course. I read delts, thought lats, opened mouth, ...
@Tinbeni - I wouldn't put QUICKONTHEUPTAKE in the grid. I would clue QUICKONTHEDRAW more appropriately. I know what the three strikes laws are. I just question whether any judge has ever said anything but "That's strike one", because that's the phrase that is in the vernacular.

This comment has been removed by the author.
chefwen said...

PUPU was my first fill as I do love me a good PUPU platter. Working on a mini one for lunch including the worlds most perfect snack, the humble potsticker.

Good puzzle with no errors, it did take some time to figure P AND G, kept staring at PANDG, what the heck? Finally got it!

blectub - what your bathtub is after washing the dog.

a-pat said...

Johnsneverhome, "Record needles" in no way describes that hip-hop band. Sometimes, "normal" people do know best.

Sfingi said...

Got the theme, but the fill killed me.

I never heard of DINK (sports - don't even know what a drop shot is), PUPU (not very appetizing), UPN.
Never called Proctor and Gamble PANDG.

Didn't know that "powder parter" was a sports clue and thought "certain squad member" was one.

Don't understand BARS.
What does it mean when a ref throws a FLAG? It's late, but I hope someone tells me these two,

Had rIsE for HIKE, AmAna for TRANE, cOlAS for SODAS, aHa for OHO.

I did get PECS (hurray!).

TAT was great.

@Zeke and @David - agree.

My son admires LES Paul so much, I had to get that. Of course, I got ONESTRIKE because of Hubster, retired criminal lawyer.

Aesthetic comment:
Poet:Poetaster::Artist:LEROY Neiman.

As I often quote Henry Adams, "One sees what one brings."

May Dan Naddor rest in peace.

shrub5 said...


BARS = bars of Ivory soap

FLAGS = in football, when a ref observes a penalty / infraction, he throws a small yellow cloth (flag) onto the field to indicate it. The flag is wrapped around a weight so it can be thrown some distance if necessary to indicate where the infraction occurred. When a flag is thrown, the play stops. (I'm no football expert, so hope this explanation is accurate!!)