M O N D A Y   September 27, 2010
Betty Keller

Theme: The Three Little Pigs — Theme answers evoke the "Big Bad Wolf."

Theme answers:
  • 17A: High rollers (BIG SPENDERS).
  • 29A: "Do as I say, not as I do" speakers (BAD EXAMPLES).
  • 45A: Shrill "compliment" to a pretty woman (WOLF WHISTLE).
  • 61A: Catch your breath, or what the subject of this puzzle (found at the start of 17-, 29- and 45-Across) does (HUFF AND PUFF).
  • 39A: Like the house this puzzle's subject couldn't destroy (BRICK).
  • 26D: Like a house destroyed by this puzzle's subject (STRAW).
Really nice theme today. Awesome that Betty could work the "extra" theme answers into the puzzle. Nothing particularly flashy about the grid — except maybe TERRARIA (56A: Pet lizards' homes) — but we're not looking for flash on Mondays, so that's perfectly okay. I was only tripped up by LAP ROBE (5D: Carriage passenger's warmer) — that's a thing? — and LORN (48D: Forsaken) — that's a word? Other than that, smooth sailing.

  • 1A: Sign up (ENROL). I really don't care for the one-L ENROL, but I've resigned myself to it. You probably should too.
  • 50A: One, to Beethoven (EINS). I did notice a little German mini-theme going here. See also 60A: German conjunction (UND) and 39D: German road (BAHN).
  • 66A: Nightmare loc. of film (ELM ST.). I like the way this looks in the grid. I was filling it in through crosses and it looked totally wrong until I read the clue.
  • 2D: File target (NAIL). When I'm done here I think I'm going to go pay someone to target my NAILs.
  • 8D: Boater's pronoun (SHE). I've never understood this.
  • 30D: Idle and Clapton (ERICS). Put my iPod on shuffle yesterday and the first song that came up was this:

  • 31D: Actress Palmer (LILLI). I feel like I should know who this is.
Crosswordese 101: ELHI, a short form of "ELementary-HIgh school" is used primarily in the publishing business to describe books and software published for that age range. The majority of clues for ELHI will include "K-12" (like today's 41A: K-12 sch. years). Other words to look for in ELHI clues are "education" and "pre-college." If K-12 doesn't appear in the clue, there will be some other indication that the answer is an abbreviation/short form.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 24A: Morales of "Jericho" (ESAI).
  • 36A: Stimpy's partner (REN).
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Everything Else — 6A: "My Cousin Vinny" star Joe (PESCI); 11A: Cooperstown shrine: Abbr. (HOF); 14A: First lady before Michelle (LAURA); 15A: Revolutionary Allen (ETHAN); 16A: Tic-tac-toe loser (OXO); 19A: Pin for hanging (PEG); 20A: Election losers (ALSO-RANS); 21A: Observing (EYING); 23A: Musical scale unit (NOTE); 26A: Duped person (SAP); 34A: Deal in stocks (TRADE); 37A: Actor Brad (PITT); 38A: Thinker Descartes (RENÉ); 42A: On a cruise (ASEA); 43A: "The View" network (ABC); 44A: Dig discovery (RELIC); 49A: "How revolting!" ("ICK!"); 51A: Den or parlor (ROOM); 53A: One in a multiple birth (QUINT); 64A: Swearing-in words (I DO); 65A: Motionless (INERT); 67A: D.C. deal-maker (POL); 68A: Like a catching-up letter (NEWSY); 69A: Some towed vehicles, briefly (REPOS); 1D: Napoleon's exile isle (ELBA); 3D: Carpets (RUGS); 4D: Director Welles (ORSON); 6D: Confined, as pigs (PENNED); 7D: Approx. takeoff hrs. (ETD'S); 9D: Automobile (CAR); 10D: Crotch-to-ankle pants measure (INSEAM); 11D: Native Arizonans (HOPI); 12D: Plow pullers (OXEN); 13D: Verne's circumnavigator Phineas (FOGG); 18D: "I could __ horse!" (EAT A); 22D: "Yahoo!" ("YIPPEE!"); 24D: Biz VIP (EXEC); 25D: Went down like a stone (SANK); 27D: "Am not!" retort ("ARE SO!"); 28D: Group of judges (PANEL); 32D: Code of conduct (ETHIC); 33D: See 26-Down clue (STICK); 35D: Overwhelm with noise (DEAFEN); 40D: MLB scoring stats (RBI'S); 44D: Stock up again (REORDER); 46D: Live __ one's means (WITHIN); 47D: The "T" in NATO (TREATY); 52D: Source of Canada's symbolic leaf (MAPLE); 53D: Comical comment (QUIP); 54D: Cancel (UNDO); 55D: Fan club favorite (IDOL); 56D: Swaps between accts. (TFRS.); 57D: Type of roast (RUMP); 58D: In that event (IF SO); 59D: P.M. periods (AFTS.); 62D: A, to Berlioz (UNE); 63D: Not many (FEW).


Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl: There's also that house made of STICK.
Plus Betty had those pigs PENNED for a while.

Did not like the Abbr. TFRS for transfers or AFTS for afternoons.

All-in-all, an easy Monday.


Good Morning All !
And Happy Birthday, Uncle Google !

Nice speedy Monday puzzle (4:04) and a cute theme, but IMO some nasty fill. Lots of BAD EXAMPLES in this puzzle of cheap pluralizations: ETDS, ALSO RANS, RBIS, EINS, and AFTS.

I liked the French & German lessons: UNE, UND, and EINS.

We all know that RENE Descartes (my fave philosopher) said “I think; therefore I am”, but he also said this---
“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.” I like that philosophy !

Does anyone know why boats are tagged with SHE and not IT?

Well it’s that time of the year when our MAPLE (Acer) trees light up, so in a couple of weeks I’ll be real busy with my camera again.
Of course the trees on ELM ST. (Ulmus) aren’t so shabby either. Time to REORDER those leaf bags!

Thanks PG for the Clapton clip (or is that clipton clap?) I guess I overdosed on those spoonerisms from the other day.

Time for breakfast: freshly baked Swedish Cardamom Coffeecake and some Skåne roast coffee… mmmm!

Joon said...

maybe the {Boater's pronoun} is referring to hats, not boats. everybody calls their hat a SHE, right?

i didn't know who LILLI palmer was either. that doesn't really say anything about whether she's famous as an actress, but she's at least not particularly famous as a crossword answer.

overall, a very nice puzzle. i always appreciate it when a monday puzzle goes the extra mile thematically.

badrog said...

May I humbly suggest a subtitle? "Plethora of Plurals"

There are no less than 10 answers that ended in -s, and no less than 4 of those actually crossed at the S.

TERRARIA is, I guess, a good enough word, but has anybody ever used it?

And if 50A had been clued as "A's for Beethoven", not only would we have had another plural and another S-cross, but we'd've had a mini-theme (with 62): "Indefinite articles used by European composers whose names begin with B".

With all that nonsense in mind, I couldn't help but look for still more:

PESCI? All google gave me for "pescus" was what looks like the name of a Polish cigarette distributor, and misspellings of the anatomical "pectus", as in "pectus excavatus" (= sunken chest).

Couldn't find anything at all for "esaus" or "elhus"!

ICK! We must've gotten up on the wrong sides of the beds this mornings!

Ellesson said...


FYI: EINS is not a pluralization. It is singular for "one" in German.

badrog said...

You are right about EINS, of course, but I've noted over the years that CW constructors often add an English -s to foreign words to get them to fit.

And perhaps you didn't notice that it was all tongues in cheeks.

SethG said...

I looked up Lilli Palmer. She's German. There is no reason I could find that you should know who she is.

hazel said...

LILLI does fit into the German mini-theme, though. Another extra mile!

I liked this puzzle quite a bit. I will say that (1) EYING just looks wrong, and (2) seeing ESAI irritates me, though I'm trying to get over it. Everybody's got their things they don't like and mine are actors who take on a life in Crossworld that is out of proportion to their real (i.e., fake) world life. I need to remember that grids need supporting actors too.

Very nice Monday.

Tinbeni said...

Rex Harrison would disagree.

As to why are boats named after a SHE?
Well, most Captains were married ... soooo what else would they name their boats.

mac said...

Very good Monday. This time I liked the theme, probably because it was so dense.

Terrarium: normal word to me. What else would you call it? Tank sounds like it should be filled with water.

Sfingi said...

@Tinbeni730 - you scooped me on both points. 7:30? I'm still in bed.

This was a strange puzzle. I had many rewrites until I caught the (cute) theme.
I had forgot that ENROL could be spelled w/o 2 Ls, so at 29A I thought the one-L ROL was the deal. I had BADrolModEl instead of BADEXAMPLE.

My next wrong guess was thinking we were going Deutsch, today. At 35D thought a German infinitive was wanted.
Sie heiss Lili Marlene... Note the number of Ls, again. Anyone see her singing in the flicks? She grabs her throat and shakes it for the trill.

The MAPLE clue was odd. Why not just, "Canada's symbol"?
By the way, only the native maple produces the syrup. Not the Norway maple.

Other rewrites: BEYOND before WITHIN. I guess I'm judgemental about those non-hoarders;

hEeps before REPOS. My neighbor finally got rid of his 3 junkers on the lawn. He must have been afraid his mother would dig up the bodies. He's lived with her - and off her SS - until her recent demise. He drools.

@Badrog - great stuff; but, I have used TERRARIA. They were "in" for a while, w/o lizards. One tried to keep them dripping moist inside. Kind of like Biosphere II, which I couldn't have put up with for a day.

SethG said...

Rex Harrison had four more wives after her. He died over twenty years ago. I bet he'd be okay with it.

Tinbeni said...

The "Time stamp" on comments here is THREE hours earlier.
I posted at 10:30 am EDT this morning.
(Though I must confess, I'm a very early riser. 6:00 am is considered "sleeping-in").

Van55 said...


But the excellent and dense theme more than makes up for them. Good start to the week

shrub5 said...

@Tinbeni: Good catch adding PENNED pigs (and of course STICK) to the theme words list.

Too bad we couldn't squeeze in part of "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin" - what each pig said to the BIG BAD WOLF when he demanded to be let in.

Sfingi said...

@Tinbeni916 - So, he really gets up --- of course, he's an hour later than I am, since he's Iowa time. So, is the time based on Los Angeles?

I used to get up early - 5AM - to go to work. It's great to get the paper off the porch and see the school bus drive by.

ddbmc said...

Here is one of the more amusing answers as to why a ship is called a "she"-

"A ship is called a "she" because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about, she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and when coming into port, always heads for the buoys."

That, my friends, is why a ship is a she.

Of course, I've seen many a boat named: "My OTHER Woman...."
Or: "Because they(ships/women) are complicated!"

@Badrog-pesci is fish or haddock in Italian. It is also Italian for the 12th sign of the Zodiac, Pisces, I believe. @Sfingi can probably clarify this better than I can.

Raining here, today, finally! So we're in a bit of a FOGG.

Tinbeni said...

I'm in Dunedin, Florida.
Tampa Bay area where this life long
NY Yankee fan (27 World Series Titles, aka Murder's Row)has to listen to Rays fans carp about this baseball season and the standings.

Well there was that NAIL that held the STICKs together.
No glue ...
No Hair on their chinny, chin, chin. (and I haven't dragged that ATRA across my face today).

That RED SOX CAP let you down yesterday.

badrog said...

@Mac and @Sfingi, you're both right about 'terrarium', of course. It's a perfectly normal word. I built one myself long ago, and I never once called it a tank.

But I can't help but wonder how many people have used the Latin plural, TERRARIA in a real conversation about anything other than CW or Latin.

I can hear now, if only in my imagination, the sales person responding to an inquiry, "I'm sorry, we don't carry TERRARIAs, but I can show you eleven models of terrariums, if that's what you have in mind."

Does anyone know a folk remedy for getting one's tongues out of one's cheeks?

Crossword Afficianado said...

Do you people actually DO crossword puzzles - or just 'bitch' around ?

Does ANYBODY carry on a normal conversation around here - or do you just complain about something, you'all couldn't do in a thousand years ? Cant you (1) compliment the blog lady - (2) say something nice about the puzzle - (3) point out some 'delightful' clues ... anything ?

Its a Monday puzzle, for God sakes - get a life !

Sfingi said...

@Crossword Aficionado - when you learn how to spell your own name, tell us something about yourself. Then maybe we'll care!

@Badrog,ddbmc - pesci is masculine plural for fish and also means the Zodiac sign and pronounced peshee. The rules for pronunciation in the good Italian, unlike English, are very strict. "sc" is pronounced "sh" for instance. On the other hand, no one knows how it was decided what is masculine or feminine. The conjugation of the verb, "to fish" is more complicated. The hard c is used.

xxpossum said...

Whoa!Aficianado getting a little testy?Sounds more like he/she is bitchy.Anyway, I agree w tinbeni, tfrs and elhi clearly show that the author of this puzzle was grasping.And badrog points out correctly that Terraria isNot one archaic and not really tenable for crossword use.Not one the better puzzles but O.K. for a monday.

xxpossum@hotmail.com said...

Pzl Grl; That would be Lorne Greene by the way.

Really? said...

In what universe do you think that PuzzleGirl does not know that is Lorne Greene?

ddbmc said...

Dear C-A, 2:09,
We are most certainly devotees of our beloved @PG, along with @Orange and @Rex, who were former blog mates. We've been doing this for a while. You don't have to read this blog, no one is forcing you to. We compliment our constructors early and often and mourn one's we have lost (RIP, Dan). We don't need your approval to explore, parse or go off on the occasional tangent. @Sfingi is correct. We'll listen when you mind your manners and have something worthwhile to say.

Thanks, @Sfingi, for the pesci explanation!
@Tin, I fell asleep when the game went into extra innings! Time to throw my cap in the closet, for this season! Good luck to your Yanks.


Thanks @ddbmc for the ship/SHE thing.
I heard that years ago when I got my Seamanship Certification, but had totally forgotten about it.
It's cute.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice the flaw in 13D?
The character's name is actually Phileas Fogg. Not Phineas