8.17.2010

T U E S D A Y   August 17, 2010
Steve Salitan

Theme: Presidents' Day — Theme answers are famous singers each of whose last name is also the name of a U.S. president.


Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" singer (BRYAN ADAMS).
  • 29A: "How Glad I Am" Grammy winner, 1964 (NANCY WILSON).
  • 45A: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" singer (BONNIE TYLER).
  • 61A: 1971 Oscar winner for "Theme from 'Shaft'" (ISAAC HAYES).
  • 12D/36D: Patriotic song that's a hint to this puzzle's theme (HAIL TO / THE CHIEF).
I know I promised to give you details about Lollapuzzoola 3 and, believe me, I will. But for now I just want to tell you one little part of the day that relates to this puzzle. At the lunch break, a bunch of us decided to walk a couple blocks over to a little coffee shop type place. It was me and, like, six other people. Not to be a name-dropper but it was Rex Parker, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Patrick Blindauer, Tony Orbach, Ashish Vengsarkar and … (to get to the point) Steve Salitan! I met Steve at last year's ACPT. Super, super nice guy. Kinda shy but definitely managing to fit right in. So at lunch, Steve was like super attentive to me. He was opening doors for me, pulling out my chair, making sure I had a menu … he even asked the restaurant manager to turn down the air when I mentioned I was cold. And when the waitress brought me the wrong sandwich (no bacon?!?), Steve took care of it for me. Kind of weird how sweet he was being. Not really sure what that was about. So, anyway, awesome puzzle, right? Waaait a minute .… Do you think he was buttering me up so that I'd give him a rave review? That scoundrel!*

So the theme is pretty cool. Impressive that he was able to fit the reveal in the way he did — did you notice THE CHIEF crosses two theme answers? I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little bothered by NANCY WILSON. My first thought was the Nancy Wilson in Heart (who is awesome), but 1964 seemed a little early for her (just looked it up, she would have been 10 years old that year). So I decided it must be one of the Supremes, although I thought 1964 was early for her to have done anything solo that would have earned her a Grammy. Plus, as it turns out, her name is Mary Wilson, so all of the other wrongness doesn't really matter anyway. I'm gonna say if you know just a tiny bit more about jazz than the average person, you probably know Nancy Wilson. I know quite a few jazz musicians' names, but Nancy Wilson doesn't make my list. I'm pretty sure that says more about me than it does about her. Just perusing her Wikipedia entry makes me feel a little stupid for not knowing her. There's really only so much room in my brain though. You know what I think I'll do? I'm going to kick David Sanborn out and give his spot to Nancy Wilson. Done and done.

The only other thing I'm going to say about the theme answers is this.



As for the fill, it's really nice for a Tuesday. For some reason, TATTLE and PILSNERS (22A: Be a snitch / 40D: Pale lagers) jumped out at me as awesome. No one likes to see AGIN' (23D: Opposed to, in dialect), but I'm going to assume it couldn't be helped and not overthink it.

Misc.:
  • 14A: Preminger and Klemperer (OTTOS). I know OTTO Preminger is a director … or something. Right? But whenever I see OTTO Klemperer's name I think of Col. Klink.
  • 24A: Shower wall growth (MILDEW). It's not a coincidence that MILDEW ends in EW.
  • 36A: Tuckered out (TIRED).
  • 52A: Tuber also known as a New Zealand yam (OCA). Just a reminder of how much you can learn here at LACC!
  • 57A: 12/24 or 12/31 (EVE). That would be December 24 (Christmas Eve) and December 31 (New Year's Eve).
  • 64A: One of the HOMES lakes (ERIE). HOMES is a mnemonic for remembering the names of the five Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
  • 11D: Main arteries (AORTAS). I left the last letter off this answer until I could confirm it with crosses. Sometimes those medical terms that come from Latin (?) take an E for their plurals.
  • 46D: In flames (ON FIRE). This answer (like a lot of things) reminds me of a scene on the tragically canceled "Sports Night." Unfortumately, YouTube won't let me embed the video but here's the dialogue. (They're in the newsroom. Casey has just invited Jeremy to join them at a local bar called El Perro Fumando.)
    Jeremy: El Perro Fumando?
    Dana: The flaming dog.
    Casey: The smoking dog.
    Dana: Not the flaming dog?
    Casey: The dog's not gay.
    Dana: I wasn't suggesting the dog was gay, I was suggesting the dog was on fire.
    Casey: He's not smoking on fire, he's smoking a cigarette.
    Elliott: He's smoking a pipe.
    Kim: He's smoking a cigar.
    Dan: I say he's gay.
That's it for me for today. Very nice debut, Steve. Looking forward to seeing more from you!

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

* Note: All of this is a joke. Steve did none of these things.

P.S. Today's New York Times puzzle is a debut by our own Rex Parker. I hope you'll solve it and comment over at his blog.

Everything Else — 1A: Jib supports (MASTS); 6A: Apparel (GARB); 10A: Waikiki's island (OAHU); 15A: Skinned knee, to a tot (OWIE); 16A: Pained sound (MOAN); 19A: Where the pupil is (IRIS); 20A: School cheer (YELL); 21A: Tofu source (SOY); 26A: Fireplace fuel (LOG); 27A: Broke fast (ATE); 28A: TV network with an eye logo (CBS); 32A: Prefix with violet (ULTRA-); 34A: Gladiators' venue (ARENA); 35A: Mexican money (PESO); 38A: Gym iterations (REPS); 42A: Dislike big-time (ABHOR); 44A: Fess up (ADMIT); 50A: Tissue layer (PLY); 51A: Beatle bride Yoko (ONO); 53A: Does spectacularly (EXCELS); 55A: From the beginning (AFRESH); 58A: Ice cream holder (CONE); 60A: In apple-pie order (TIDY); 65A: Be deserving of (EARN); 66A: Techie's clients (USERS); 67A: In-basket stamp: Abbr. (RECD.); 68A: Pool table cloth (FELT); 69A: "One of __ days, Alice ...": Ralph Kramden (THESE); 1D: Melville's "__-Dick" (MOBY); 2D: Quaking (ATREMBLE); 3D: Hair salon staffers (STYLISTS); 4D: "... and __ a good-night" (TO ALL); 5D: Fig. in an identity theft case (SSN); 6D: Decrease in value (GO DOWN); 7D: On vacation, say (AWAY); 8D: Backboard attachment (RIM); 9D: Presented, as an honor, with "upon" (BESTOWED); 10D: Forget to include (OMIT); 13D: Not visible (UNSEEN); 18D: On the bounding main (ASEA); 25D: Evidence in paternity suits (DNA); 26D: Orpheus' instrument (LYRE); 28D: Sugar borrower's amount (CUP); 30D: Haul in one's arms (CARRY); 31D: Fat in the pantry (LARD); 33D: Horse coloring (ROAN); 37D: Greek "i" (IOTA); 39D: One on the payroll (EMPLOYEE); 41D: Porker's pad (STY); 43D: Life stories, for short (BIOS); 44D: Rainbow shape (ARC); 45D: Yachtsman, e.g. (BOATER); 47D: From Scandinavia (NORDIC); 48D: Pianist/actor Oscar (LEVANT); 49D: Corp. bigwig (EXEC.); 54D: Online shopping outlay (E-CASH); 56D: Watched warily (EYED); 57D: __ of Sandwich (EARL); 59D: Latin "to be" (ESSE); 62D: MS. enclosure (SAE); 63D: Crude abode (HUT).

34 comments:

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Tons of crosswordese and a ho-hum theme makes this Tuesday morning puzzle boring… no challenge whatsoever!
And then there’s that ECASH thing… yuck!
Lots of pretty bad clues… e.g. “Decrease in value” = GODOWN.
IMO--- Overall a poorly constructed puzzle.

The only good thing in this puzzle was Oscar LEVANT, the all-time best Gershwin pianist.

Time for breakfast.
Got me an ebelskiver pan… gonna attempt making blueberry-filled ebelskivers… oh my!

florida grandma said...

Had no problem with Nancy Wilson.
She performed at my alma mater in
the early '60's--guess that's dating me. Thanks for the tip about Rex's NYT puzzle. Will give it a try that is for sure.

SethG said...

Adams and Tyler weren't even American!

Afresh, atremble, asea, bright eyes. It's a balance.

Tinbeni said...

More like a Monday offering, but I learned about Oscar LEVANT, so there was that plus.

Well at least that SSN got AFRESH clue.

OWIE got a grin, then a MOAN. Nice line.

It's election season, so the *TIRED REPS* line makes me wonder if the electorate will actually make (some much needed) changes.
Is it time for some AFRESH ideas and representation?

I ABHOR ECASH !!!
Folks it's just the *normal* money you spend everyday for stuff.
Next thing they'll be trying to sell me Escotch.
Well that line has been drawn in the sand.

@SethG: ADMIT it. You're trying to incite the *birther's* against this grid?

Van55 said...

What the others said negatively. Not a great puzzle in my book: ECASH, SSN, ONO, ATREMBLE, ASEA, EXEC, SAE, AFRESH, CBS.

Anonymous said...

As a relative newbie I enjoyed getting my Tuesday time down to a personal best. Thanks for the HOMES reminder. One wonders if any of the themed singers share some DNA with any of the former chiefs. Too bad Jefferson didn't make it in.

Doug P. said...

I thought this was a nice puzzle. Congrats, Steve! Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you at Lollapuzzoola. I had lunch with Howard Barkin & Mike Nothnagel. (See, I can drop names too, PG).

A fresh twist on the old "presidential names" theme, and THE CHIEF crossing two theme entries is impressive. I also appreciate the wide-open NW and SE corners. And the fill was just fine. I didn't groan once, even for the much maligned ECASH. And I think ATREMBLE is kinda cool, in a quaint way.

Looking forward to your next one, Steve!

Burner10 said...

A smooth solve for me - seemed like everything connected and nothing too forced. I liked the theme - but (full disclosure)I'm the sort of person who has two children (Adams and Madison) and a nephew (Harrison) named after my father - my brother's (Grant)son.

Sfingi said...

Not only ECASH, which I knew someone would remark on - how about all the A- words? ASEA, ATREMBLE, AFRESH. And my pet peeve - SSN.

Hubster went to the HS on the other side of town - Proctor in East Utica - where there is a plural for you - youse. It was 85% Italian and one of the YELLs was:
Shkeeve, Shkeeve, for them there is no room,
And when they leave the field they'll be Shkoom, Shkoom, Shkoom.

Shkeeve means to look down on. Shkoom is from a verb (scumbare) which means to be so embarrassed you want to disappear. "They," of course, was my HS.

I knew ISAACHAYES and NANCYWILSON, but not the other two. We have several NANCYWILSON LPs.

Ralph Kramden. The rest of the quote is "Pow, right in the kisser," which was directed to his wife, and which I took offense at, even then. Couldn't stand that show. Can you imagine that, now? Good riddance to Jackie Gleason.

Ratty said...

Anyone else think this was just about the easiest puzzle ever? And I don't know a thing about popular music - but at least I did know ISAAC HAYES.

Rex Parker said...

Nice debut. Clean grid. Want to know how clean? Just hold it up next to mine. Congratulations, Steve.

OK, ECASH still sucks, but other than that, all is well.

rp

Van55 said...

@sfingi

While I share your strong disapproval of the Kramden character's spousal abuse depicted on The Honeymooners, I refuse to project the fiction onto Jackie Gleason. He was an enormously talented actor and entertainer whose body of work easily eclipses Kramden for me.

Van55 said...

@Rex

That's some nice humility there. I respectfully disagree and congratulate you on your NYT debut.

CrazyCatLady said...

This is the first puzzle I've finished in less than six minutes. I thought it was fine, but more like a Monday. Didn't really like AFRESH, ATREMBLE, and ASEA, but those are my only objections - oh and ECASH. Liked OWIE. OCA seems to be showing up a lot lately. MILDEW and LARD=double EW.

@PG that Bonnie Tyler video will have me laughing all the day long. Thanks for explaining HOMES. I had forgotten that one.

Sfingi said...

@Vans - His body eclipses lots of things, too.
Ralph Kramden was his greatest creation, and he pushed it from a bit to a series. In his private life he was a womanizer and a drunk. Not exactly endearing.
One good thing he did - took over from Jerry Lester, who was worse. And now we're talking old stuff.

We can disagree, occasionally.

But, one I forgot to mention - I enjoyed Oscar Levant as a neurotic comedian. Some quotes:
"Behind the phony tinsel of Hollywood is the real tinsel."
"I remember Doris Day before she was a virgin."
"Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic and so am I."

imsdave said...

That is one nice puzzle, debut or no.

I looked for Nancy Wilson's "What Now My Love" on youtube without success, but there are a number of other gems available. Just type in Nancy Wilson Jazz to keep the names straight.

I can't top DougP or PG, but did have a lovely lunch with Deb Amlen, frequenter commenter here 'Mac', a couple of other buddies from Rex's blog (Philysolver and Bob Kerfuffle), and two charming ladies who were helping to run the tourney.

Congrats Steve, and keep them coming.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Did the NYT puzzle and OMG Rex, you are far too modest... you should never compare your debut puzzle to this one.
This guy, Steve Salitan, may be a nice polite guy, but he needs to go back to the drawing board for a while.
Adding A's and E's (ECASH) is just as cheap as pluralizing everything to make it fit.
I also think a good puzzle should have a low croswordese ratio and have more interesting clues than Greek "i".
It shocks me that the old pros: Doug P., Rex and PG think this is a nice puzzle.
I suppose Lollapuzzoola has jaded them all.

Zeke said...

This was a nice puzzle, more than nice. Solid theme, (since it had one, let's admit it was solid), some fresh fill (when's the last time you saw PILSNER in a puzzle), good solid work. You can complain about "A" and "E" words, but only some, as others are valid. People actually say afresh, atremble, these aren't instances if arbitrarily adding an A to something.
ECash sucks, not because it's a random "E" word, but because it's a real live thing, and if someone is demanding ecash for their product, you're getting screwed. Demanding ecash for a product means either a) you'll never get it, or b) you'll just be stuck throwing it away because it's crap.
Puzzle critiques isn't 99.9% counting the three letter crosswordese and if you get past 5 saying the puzzle sucks.

C said...

I liked this puzzle, it made me ahappy. The theme was interesting and made me athink before writing in my answers.

All fun with a- words aside, I did like the puzzle and theme. Not challenging from a puzzle aspect but enjoyable for uncovering the answers contained within. Anything with beer in it is good to me.

CrazyCatLady said...

I neglected to say that I found the theme very clever what with HAIL TO and THE CHIEF along with the presidents names. Didn't exactly set me ON FIRE, or ATREMBLE, but very good nonetheless.

Van55 said...

@sfingi

I am over my limit, but I risk that to state that I have zero knowledge of Mr. Gleason's private life and therefore will defer to your expertise thereon.

Tinbeni said...

@Sfingi & @Van55
Here's the thing I do NOT understand.

It was around 6:00 am when I started this puzzle.
After 3/4 of my Mug of Java I came to:
69a "One of____days, Alice ...". Ralph Kramden
Seeing that it was 5 letters (and knowing the phrase)
I wrote in THESE as the answer.

All I was doing was finishing a crossword puzzle.

So I'm curious, why do clues and their answers bring up such untoward feelings or memories.

This isn't the new AMC show RUBICON where hidden messages are imbedded in CW's. Maybe I'm just too Non-PC to read something between the lines.

Today it was Gleason. Yesterday Uncle clues, both yielding NIECE were in the LAT and NYT. Here it was OK, there it was deemed *Creepy* ... both times I just entered the fill and moved to the next one.

(tee hee hee ... 68a "Pool table cloth" was FELT. Did the construtor just secretly generated images of kids playing doctor behind the barn?).

PILSNERS did make me realize "Everyone's got to believe in something, I believe I'll have a beer.

Anonymous said...

Yet when IN A PINCH was in the puzzle, you immediately thought of scotch...

Zeke said...

@Tinbeni - You may be blissfully unaware of being threatened by a spouse with physical violence, but not all are. Hence some people, quite rightly, react strongly to Ralph Kramden's weekly threatening his wife with a punch in the face as a staple of a TV sitcom. You may also choose to be unaware of childhood sexual abuse, but "Uncle's special little girl" does have a creepy overtone to it. People comment on it, and limit their comments on it to specific instances, unlike some about Scotch.

Sfingi said...

@Tinbeni - Don't believe that it is far out for a woman born during the war (The Great One - war, not guy) is not just a bit sensitive to certain issues. This has made me aware of other minorities' feelings.
Also, I did realize there were other meanings of FELT, since I try to keep aware of the various parts of speech a word might take in a CW.

Let me bore you with my motto, "One sees what one brings." I'll call it OSWOB unless someone knows the Latin for it.

Back to the Shkeeve YELL, Hubster reminded me that it was created by the male cheerleaders who later turned out to be an item, and are still together. HS sweethearts. Male cheerleaders were common then. They had them at Williams College, for instance. I admit I avoided sports, gym, etc. everywhere, though.

Anonymous said...

@Sfingi - you knew the Latin for it yesterday, in fact you made me translate it.

Anonymous said...

As I recall Didn't the show end with 'ALICE YER THE GREATEST'

Tinbeni said...

@Zeke
I'm well aware of the ugly sides of this world. Be it wife-abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, poverty, war ... the list is very long.

I just don't inculpate a clue/answer as being more than what is just there.

Oh well, I'll just have to wait until sunset and toast your "schtick of sardonic humor, bordering on snottiness."

Cheers !

Jack Bristow said...

John may never be home, but he is always a tool.

You know what they say about opinions and a$$holes.

wilsch said...

Good Tuesday puzzle. I did it in ink pretty quickly. I believe Otto Klemperer was Werner Klemperer's father; he was some sort of a musical conductor. Werner Klemperer played Commandant Klink in the sitcom "Hogan's Heroes"

Eric said...

I never did get the "presidents" theme, but it didn't matter. BONNIE TYLER and ISAAC HAYES were gimmes, and I got NANCY WILSON and BRYAN ADAMS from crosses. (I too thought of the Nancy Wilson from Heart. I guess this paragraph dates me pretty precisely :-))

Hilarious Total Eclipse video! The literal-video meme had escaped me; thanks for changing that. BTW, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was written and produced by Jim Steinman, who also wrote the songs for Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell album -- and it shows!

I liked PILSENER in the puzzle, seeing as I like Pilseners in real life :-)

Werner Klemperer was indeed OTTO's son, and did some conducting in his own right. Though he was Jewish (the family fled Germany in the 1930s), he portrayed several Nazis, in serious roles in Judgement at Nuremberg and Operation Eichmann as well as in the comedic one on Hogan's Heroes. As for that last, as his IMDB mini-bio puts it, "Klemperer agreed to take the role of Col. Klink ... only on the condition that none of Klink's schemes would ever succeed and that he would always wind up looking foolish."

Am I imagining things, or have these comments taken a nasty turn of late? First, there's the repeated sniping by at least one Anonymous. Then today, there's personal insult.
@Jack Bristow: It's totally fair to disagree with someone. But name-calling is not OK.
You also wrote: "You know what they say about opinions and a$$holes." The irony needs no comment.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Eric "Total Eclipse of the Heart" always reminded of Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." Now I know why. The video today totally cracked me up. I'm glad I wasn't the only one.

Today the LAT blog comments seem a bit vitriolic, especially compared to Rex's blog where a virtual love fest is going on.
@Burner10 Love all the presidential names in your family. You have a trend going there. Keep it up. Kennedy and Reagan make great first names too, especially if you're from EIRE (oh wait, that was yesterday).

CrazyCatLady said...

reminded ME (always correcting my typos).

Anonymous said...

Nancy Wilson as one of the Supremes; that's funny. Her classic album was "Hollywood My Way" esp. the "Days of Wine and Roses". Another single..."Guess Who I Saw Today".