F R I D A Y   October 22, 2010
Clive Probert

Theme: Art Puns!— Puns on the names of famous artists.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Baroque painter's study of a snack? (RUBENS SANDWICH).
  • 36A: Surrealist's portrait of a president? (DALI MADISON).
  • 42A: Synthetist's picture of a French author? (GAUGUIN ZOLA).
  • 57A: Impressionist's study of a washerwoman? (MONET LAUNDERER).
Pretty decent puns, I think, as far as puns go. I'm glad I didn't get the RUBENS and GAUGUIN answers first because I probably would have been looking for more food-related answers, which I wouldn't have found. But I'm just not going to waste my time whining about something that might have happened but didn't. Instead, I'll tell you that the first time I saw this constructor's name (which I'm pretty sure was not that long ago and it was his debut puzzle in the New York Times), I thought for sure it was a pseudonym. I mean, Clive Probert? That name is too awesome to be real. Then I saw a tweet from his daughter-in-law expressing how excited she was about his puzzle and I realized it was, indeed, his actual name. Congratulations to your parents, sir! They did an excellent job naming you!

I liked the two answer pairs: First HEAR HEAR paired with YADA YADA YADA (64A: When repeated, "I agree" / 7D: When repeated twice, "and so on"). And then YURI Gagarin paired with NEIL Armstrong (10D: First first name in space / 59D: First first name on the moon). I actually tried ALAN for YURI before I remembered that the Russians beat us! And then I found 26D: Country singer ALAN Jackson elsewhere in the grid.

  • 5A: __ ed (PHYS). My first thought? CRAZY. Because I once knew a guy called "Crazy Ed."
  • 18A: Karachi language (URDU). The PuzzleKids had a Pakistani babysitter for several years when they were little and knew how to count to ten in URDU.
  • 28A: Employees with a lot of keys (VALETS). Hmmm. Will VALETS help you with your VALISES? (That's a reference to yesterday's puzzle.)
  • 38A: Spanish pronoun (ELLA). It means she.
  • 41A: Org. co-founded by Babe Zaharias (LPGA). I did a lot of writing in, erasing, and re-writing in this section. My first thought here was LPGA but then I wanted SWEE' pea instead of 32D: SNAP pea and TEA instead of NAP for 47A: Afternoon break. It was a mess for a while.
  • 48A: Radiances (SHEENS). Not a fan of the random pluralization.
  • 49A: Mars candy bar (TWIX). On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of TWIX.
  • 50A: Pol. platform-promoting org. (DNC). Democratic National Committee.
  • 63A: Sheryl Crow's "__ Wanna Do" (ALL I). If you like Sheryl Crow and have never seen her live, I strongly suggest that you see her as soon as you can. I've always kind of liked her, but I found her to be much more impressive in person. See? I also provide concert-going tips. It's just another service I offer.
  • 66A: Land of 10,000 Lakes: Abbr. (MINN.). Or, as it's sometimes known, Land of 10,000 Rehab Centers.
  • 30D: "NBA on __" (ESPN). I can't get used to "NBA on ESPN." How many years has it been since the NBA was on CBS? "... When you watch the NBA on C-B-EEEESSS (C-BEE-ESS) ...." That was me singing. My point is that I still have that stupid song in my head however many years later.
  • 45D: Representing in drawing (LIMNING). Very strange word.
  • 56D: Oversight (ERROR). I kept thinking I was looking for a synonym of "monitoring" or "supervising" here.
Crosswordese 101: In early-week puzzles a clue for RIAL will, like today's 25A: Muscat money, have the word money right in it. Other choices for the modifier include Iranian, Middle Eastern, or Omani. Later in the week, you're likely to see the word capital in the clue instead of money because it's trickier. You see "Yemeni capital" and you try to remember the name of the capital city in Yemen, right? Also be on the lookout for the word bread. The clue "Iranian bread" is trying to trick you into thinking about Middle East cuisine when you need to be remembering that the word bread can be slang for money.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 14A: Hyalite, e.g. (OPAL).
  • 33D: Noodle tests? (EEGS).
  • 61D: Humerus neighbor ULNA).
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Everything Else — 1A: Bulletin board material (CORK); 9A: Human-powered Eastern cab (CYCLO); 15A: Realize (REAP); 16A: Arcadian (RURAL); 17A: Actress Andersson (BIBI); 19A: Popped up (AROSE); 23A: 1986 movie title trio (AMIGOS); 24A: Rib (KID); 33A: Go back (EBB); 40A: Suffix with polymer (-ASE); 52A: Après-dinner confection (MENTHE); 62A: Intense excitement (FEVER); 65A: Newmark with an online list (CRAIG); 67A: Delinquent's fear (REPO); 68A: Ma's forte (CELLO); 69A: Pre-wedding party (STAG); 70A: Pres. Reagan's "evil empire" (USSR); 1D: G.I. Joe foe (COBRA); 2D: Subject of Great Britain/China wars (OPIUM); 3D: Religious teacher (RABBI); 4D: Filmmaker's __ light (KLIEG); 5D: Berlin was its last capital (PRUSSIA); 6D: Bathrobe word (HERS); 8D: Mettle (SPUNK); 9D: Freshwater crustacean (CRAWDAD); 11D: Popular foam shoe (CROC); 12D: Mascara target (LASH); 13D: Shout of support (OLÉ); 21D: Gare du __: Paris railway station (NORD); 22D: Aria singer, often (DIVA); 27D: Symphonic poem pioneer (LISZT); 29D: Word in many a rap name (LIL); 31D: Frat party wear (TOGA); 34D: Yawn-inducing (BLAH); 35D: Sad (BLUE); 37D: "Please open a can for me"? (MEOW); 39D: Improve, perhaps (AGE); 43D: Have, as an operation (UNDERGO); 44D: Stevie Wonder's "__ She Lovely" (ISN'T); 46D: Let go (AXED); 51D: Quahogs (CLAMS); 53D: Type of jacket the Beatles helped make fashionable (NEHRU); 54D: Windbreak, often (TREES); 55D: Lots (HEAPS); 57D: Like mortals? (MERE); 58D: Track (OVAL); 60D: Landed (ALIT); 62D: Govt. broadband regulator (FCC).


Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, another excellent write-up.

Loved this theme and for lunch I will have that RUBENS SANDWICH.

DALI MADISON, we have a Dali Museum HERE in St.Pete. My fave day to visit is when they get these 8 or 9yo KIDs to explain each piece.
Sometimes they get tongue-tied and have to start over (it's kind of funny) but all-in-all they do a great job.

Learning moments were those KLIEG light and BIBI Andersson. Both all crosses and a few WTF's?

Been to Muscat, RIAL a gimmie.

My Apres-dinner confection ISN'T MENTHE. Yup, it's AVATAR.

LIMNING was in a recent puzzle, maybe it was the NYT, but it looked familiar.

OLE, GO YANKEE's and Cheers !!!


Sometimes I like a pun-filled puzzle and I guess Friday is about the best day to lighten up with them. Then being an art aficionado, I found the theme delightful. I AROSE early today, did a portion of the puzzle, got stumped at the bottom, set it aside, came back, and everything just fell in place. That happens so often… when I’m stymied, just wait a bit and the brain cells seem to get recharged.

When I read Puzzlegirl’s comment about the constructor’s name, Clive Probert, I just had to find out what made that name “too awesome to be real”. Turns out that the Probert Encyclopaedia is an extensive free online encyclopedia and dictionary of over 300,000 cross-referenced and interlinked topics. Well what a pleasant discovery for me. Another wonderful online resource that I never knew about before. Thanks for the spark @PG. Oh yeah, it’s here.

Thought the most clever clue-of-the-week is 68A “Ma’s forte” (CELLO).

This puzzle deserves a standing ovation!

Now that I’m standing, I think I’ll go have my breakfast.

Have a great weekend y’all. See ya’ in a week (back on the road for me).

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG for another wonderful write-up!

Again great food in today's puzzle - it has been a really yummy week.

Learned a lot today and smacked my head when I saw LIMNING - it has been seen recently and I still didn't get it.

Everyone have a great weekend - See ya Monday :)


I'm a huge fan of Salvador Dali and I've been to that marvelous museum down by you. Wish I had been there on one of those kiddo days.

@Rich Norris
Not even sure if Rich reads this blog, but if he does I'd like to say, "Thank you for a week of extraordinary LAT puzzles".

Tinbeni said...

8yo kid (with a VERY SERIOUS look on his face) swings his arm toward the panting and says:
"This is from when Dali began his "watch" period ..."
He or she has about a 100 word description they've memorized. If they get stuck ... well they just start over.

It's a hoot !

They're constructing a new builing.
Better 'Everything' including security. It will be on the waterfront, facing the upside-down pyramid ... pier.

badrog said...

Thanks, PG, for the info on RIAL (and all the other good stuff, too!)

Long-time CW-ers may know that the money/capital/bread game often applies as well to other geographical areas and higher(?) levels of intentional obfuscation. I've seen _I_A completed correctly as both LIRA and PITA when clued as "Mediterranean bread," and as both RIGA and LIRA when clued as "European capital."

Also, "Indian bread" seems to depend on the number of letters in the answer: 3 = NAN, but 5 = RUPEE or PAISA.

And I s'pose "Japanese bread" could be either YEN (Haven't seen SEN in several years, thank goodness!) or PAN, although I don't recall ever seeing that clue.

But, to me, all this is just another aspect of what makes CW-ing interesting (even educational)and fun (learning to avoid being stumped)!

Expected my usual pop-culture problem at the song titles of 63A and 44D, but crosses helped fill 'em both in quite quickly! BIBI not being Fifi, Mimi, or Lili (and RUBENS not being Durer's) took a bit longer.


Van55 said...

I wanted SWEE pea and TEA as well, so I got hung up over there.

The rest of the puzzle gradually fell into place, but not easily. A fine, fine Friday test from the LAT today. Positively loved the theme puns!


Sfingi said...

Help. Of what is MONETLAUNDERER supposed to be a pun?

Learning: Synthetist. Hyalite. Got by crosses, but new anyway. Got the sports, too!

Early astronauts: YURI, NEIL.

Repeated words: YADA, HEAR.

*David* said...

I'm not a pun guy but this one artistically, was creative enough for me to actually enjoy it. I like when the themes become part of the solving process and that is the problem with typical pun themes you usually have to wait for most of the crosses to be in place to fill them in. This one didn't have that and I could actually put in the artists after I got a couple of letters.

SethG said...

Yemen used to have two capitals, ADEN and SANAA. And two capitals, DINAR and RIAL. Now it's just SANAA, which is also San'a', or SANA, and RIAL. Maybe that information will leave my head now that I've put it somewhere else.

Agree, these were awesome puns. As puns go, which makes them a bit above mediocre. Martin and Charlie are SHEENS (though Emilio is still an Estevez), never heard of a CYCLO, and I still think ¡Three AMIGOS! is underrated.

John Wolfenden said...

Sfingi: MONETLAUNDERER = moneylaunderer.

As a new cat owner, I appreciated "Open that can, please?" for MEOW. They sure do make a lot of noise when is time for vittles.

The puns are groaners but quality wordplay nonetheless. This was a puzzle where knowing the theme really helped me crack the other theme answers.

Crawfish: My wife and I got married in New Orleans and the caterer made these amazing appetizers called crawfish sacks, which were little sacklike pastries filled with crawfish in a roux. Unbelievably delicious.

Today's learning moment: the Beatles popularized nehru jackets? News to me.

Anonymous said...

Sonny Bono, not Bono

Anonymous said...

Babe Zaharias, not Babe Ruth

ddbmc said...

Loved that DALI MADISON had a double meaning, as DOLLY MADISON (wife of).

Good laugh from GAUGUINZOLA.

Instead of PHYS, I originally had PISS(ED).Caused me all kinds of CRAZY, until corrected on the downs! We had MR ED yesterday.

Love the word: LIMNED. Actually have an artist friend who uses that in her email address.

I guess you could say this was a RIALly good cw day--and week. Gotta hit the Halloween candy for a TWIX bar!

Anon 9:33 and 9:42-You definitely are missing @PG's sense of humor! "Mildred Ella Didrikson always claimed to have acquired the nickname "Babe" (after Babe Ruth) upon hitting five home runs in a childhood baseball game, but she was called "Baby" as a toddler."

Tuttle said...

Had 'lumens' (a measure of radiance) instead of the awful SHEENS (which are reflective, not radiant, in my book) which produced the cross 'glum' instead of BLUE so that section was incomplete.

Rest of the puzzle was a blast though. DALIMADISON made me LOL.

Fowler said...

I really enjoyed this one.

I thought the puns were unusually good, especially GAUGINZOLA. The SW corner was the hardest. I wasn't free until I cracked Ma's forte--a very clever misdirection.

mac said...

Yup, I liked Gauginzola best, too. Very good puzzle week, and thanks for the write-up, PG!

Sfingi said...

@Wolfenden - Thanx. Hubster didn't get it either. I guess our French accent is too strong, which is amazing in my case since the only French I know is what we're assumed to in English literature.

Then there's Van Gogh's Woman Laundering.

C said...

@*David*, don't sell yourself short, I think you are a pun guy, always enjoy your posts. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Good puzzle, I like puns, these were some good ones. I liked the G.I. Joe clue and answer, brought back weekday afternoon TV watching.

Anonymous said...

valets- lots of keys I thought referred to car parkers??? Yummy puzzle took time but it was worth the laughs!

Anonymous said...

I got everything correctly completed and truly enjoyed 3 of the 4 puns, especially DaliMadison. But I can't for the life of me figure out what GauguinZola is referring to. Help.

Also a cat owner and didn't want to bite on the meow clue, but liked it when the crosses fit.

Lurker, 3rd time poster. Avg Joe

shrub5 said...

@PG and @ddbmc -- damn those grocery stores for putting out Halloween candy in early September. Does it "count" if you polish off a half a bag of TWIX bars when they are the mini size?

Had a ball with this puzzle! First theme clue/answer I got was DALIMADISON so I was in business. Promptly filled in the other theme answers except for a little slowdown trying to think of how to spell GAUGUIN.

Seeing SPUNK in the puzzle makes me recall the exchange between Mary and Lou on ""The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Lou is hiring Mary to work at the TV station, asking many inappropriate questions for a job interview. Mary objects to the questions, 'though eventually answers most of them --

Lou: You know what? You've got SPUNK!
Mary: Well, yes....
Lou: I hate SPUNK.

@anon 11:54 Gorgonzola (cheese).

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shrub. I'd never heard of it, but now that I know, yeah that's as punny as the others.

Back to cats. I've heard it said: "Dogs have owners. Cat's have servants."

Avg Joe

KJGooster said...

All the TWIX and Reeses peanut butter cups have somehow disappeared from our big bag-o-candy from Costco. And I do love me some Twix PB (peanut butter), but they're hard to find.

Also, you can't forget the NBA on NBC, with it's "Roundball Rock" theme written by John Tesh. The unintentional comedy in this clip is almost off the scale, especially when he starts dribbling his imaginary basketball...

shrub5 said...

@KJG -- The NBA on NBC video was interesting; did not know John Tesh wrote that theme music. Seems I've heard it recently even though NBA games are now (exclusively?) on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBATV.

Eric said...

Liked the theme puns. GAUGUINZOLA took a while because I'd never heard "synthetist"; got both names independently from crosses.

I had the same trouble with TEA and SWEA, plus SUPERS (as in, superintendents) for VALETS. I'm glad NBA is on ESPN, as that was a reasonable guess. If it were still on some other network, I'd have been lost!

Never heard of CYCLOs, but ... Google to the rescue ... here's a picture of one.

I also loved the "Please open a can for me" -> MEOW clue!

"ISN'T She Lovely" was a gimme; learned my lesson after putting AIN'T the last time around :-) "ALL I Wanna Do" was from crosses and a guess.
OPIUM was a gimme too (don't know anything about the Opium Wars other than the name, but it sticks in the mind somehow :-))
So was URDU: I talked about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan a couple of days ago; URDU is one of the languages he sang in.

Oh, and YURI and NEIL were gimmes too. Though strictly, the answer for "First name in space" should be LAIKA, a dog the Soviets sent up in Sputnik 2, the first animal in orbit -- and the first one to die there.

So ... "Surrealist's landscape of an assassination site?": anyone care to guess? Sorry, can't resist; I read Illuminatus back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Who was assassinated on a llama?

Anonymous said...

SIRENS instead of SHEENS hosed me for that side. Good puzzle

Sfingi said...

@Eric - So true about poor Laika. And wasn't there a monkey?

The CYCLO looks more comfy than the Riksha of old.

In parts of the Eastern seaboard, people say Gorgon and Gauguin the same, minus the syllable stress.

ddbmc said...

@Shrubb, if they're the mini size bars and you stand up, while eating half a bag, THEN walk to the closet to put them away, I don't think the calories count! I'm with you on relegating Co$t"100"co to purgatory! And now the Christmas and Hanukkah candy has arrived!...(BAH, YADA, YADA!) Might have to do some serious TOGA FEVER dancing to work the rest of the llbs. off. Do they make tap CROCS? Better yet, I'll just get me riding on a CYCLO!(killer, qu'est que c'est?)

Eric said...

@Anon 1:52: The answer would be ... DALI PLAZA :-) But you're on the right track; the Illuminatus reference is to a character who refers to himself as the Dealy Lama.

The one-L lama,
He's a priest.
The two-L llama,
He's a beast.
And I would bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-L lllama.
    - Ogden Nash

CrazyCatLady said...

Greetings from cold and foggy Lake Arrowhead. Well it's Saturday morning and I just got to Friday's puzzle. I had a hard time getting started in the NE with KLIEG and COBRA. Loved the artist puns, especially GAUGUINZOLLA AND MONET LAUNDERER. Got a chuckle from the clue for MEOW. My cats are the ones in charge in our house. One doesn't even say MEOW. She just says "Meeeee meeeee!" I've never heard of a CYCLO. WOTD.

@PG Wonderful write-up. I went to see Sheryl Crow last month. She was good, but more glitzy than I expected.

Jan said...

The MEOW clue is my all-time favorite! :D