M O N D A Y   October 18, 2010
Don Gagliardo

Theme: E's Please--Each theme answer is chock-full of E's and only E's.

Theme Answers:
  • 20A: Was disappointed, as with a performance (EXPECTED BETTER).
  • 25A: Out-of-the-ordinary brews (EXTREME BEERS).
  • 37A: Attorney General under Ronald Reagan (ED MEESE).
  • 44A: Calm by nature (EVEN-TEMPERED).
  • 52A: She replaced Paula Abdul as an "American Idol" judge (ELLEN DEGENERES).
  • 56D: "Buy It Now" online site (and where vowels were bought for 20-, 25-, 37-, 44-, and 52-Across?) (EBAY).
Howdy, crossword fans. Doug here again. There were some technical difficulties in Crosswordland tonight, and we couldn't track down a copy of the puzzle for AcrossLite. It's late now, so this will probably be a short write-up. I'm sure you can all pick up the slack in the comments.

Fun Monday puzzle, and I like the fact that we got to see five theme entries. If I were more clever, I'd do this writeup using E as the only vowel. Is that even possible? I know there are a couple of novels that use every letter except E: Gadsby and A Void. That's pretty crazy. OK, I'm already off on a tangent, so let's jump straight to bullets:

  •  25A: Out-of-the-ordinary brews (EXTREME BEERS). I've never heard this term before, but the clue was straightforward enough. One beer website tells me that extreme beers "exceed the ordinary, usual, or expected." One of their examples is "ale brewed with oysters or seaweed." In other words, beers invented by people who are already really drunk.
  • 52A: She replaced Paula Abdul as an "American Idol" judge (ELLEN DEGENERES). I saw Paula Abdul at the airport a couple of years ago, and let me tell you, she's gorgeous! More beautiful in person than she is on television. 
  • 58A: 1999 Ron Howard film (EDTV). This movie's always playing at the the Crossword Cineplex as a double feature with Ulee's Gold
  • 9D: Attack à la Brutus (STAB). Yeah, it was horrible the way he used to go after Popeye with that bayonet. Don't forget to eat your spinach, kids!
  • 56D: "Buy It Now" online site (and where vowels were bought for 20-, 25-, 37-, 44-, and 52-Across?) (EBAY). Wow, that's a mouthful. And I'm not sure it makes sense. Are we supposed to imagine a "bay" where E's are sold? Yeah, I guess that kinda works. And I do think it was wise to include an explanatory entry, especially on Monday.
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Solved with great E’s.
I’d get an EASY A on this quick solve (5:25 online).
… however, I didn’t really understand the theme until I read Doug’s writeup. Now I see there are 42 E's in this puzzle. BTW, nice writeup, Doug!

Fave clue: 67A “Spud’s buds” (EYES)

I also liked 49D, ALDER (Alnus glutinosa), one of my favorite trees in the Betulaceae (Birch) family.

Which BEATLE is your favorite and why?
I liked John and Paul because they were such great songwriters, but I guess I favor Paul because he tended to stay more in touch with reality, whereas John’s were more mystical and psychedelic in nature. Having said that, I do think Lennon’s songs were more fun-filled (e.g. —"tangerine trees", "cellophane flowers", "marmalade skies", etc.).

Thanks Don, for a nice Monday “perk-up”.

Tinbeni said...

Doug P, thanks for filling in for PuzzleGirl. Nice write-up.

I loved this EASY A, I mean 'E' theme. EERIE how EEE snuck in there and didn't suck ...

I always like seeing SANTA in the grid but I gotta tell ya, by the time he gets to Villa Incognito he really isn't very jolly.

That nip of scotch and "special" brownie gets him back in the Holiday Spirit.

Liked seeing 'Moi' in the grid, that "NE'ER-do-well."
Don't believe me?
Just ask my brother or sister. Then again, they never understood how their youngest sib. ("The Hippie") became an Int'l Tax Accountant, lol.

Hardest part today was remembering, sussing out, how to spell Ilie's last name NASTASE.

FUN Monday puzzle.

Van55 said...

Yup. Fun Monday puzzle all the way around. No complaints from me.

Loved NEER and CREE crossing LEER.

badrog said...

Last solve/Believe it or not: 28A, SANTA. Not because of any difficulty, but simply from following the Applet cursor around the grid, which left this as the last one.

For the record: Excepting the 5 theme entries, there were 14 other solves where E was the only vowel, as follows:
6 letters (3 Es): 45D
5 letters (1 E): 28D
4 letters (2 Es): 43A, 67A, 33D, 34D
4 letters (1 E): 10A, 58A, 8D, 26D
3 letters (3 Es): 29D
3 letters (2 Es): 22D
3 letters (1 E): 30D, 62D

Ebenezer made me do it!

SethG said...

TUSK is a Fleetwood Mac song, Eazy-E a rap star, and Olive, SANTA's other reindeer, was Popeye's girlfriend.

Scully2066 said...

Thanks Doug - Loved the puzzle and breezed straight through -

Happy Monday to all!

John Wolfenden said...

An enjoyable Monday. I particularly liked being reminded which of the seven dwarves was beardless.

I'd never heard the expression "living the life of Riley" until I heard my mother-in-law use it describing my wife's pampered dog.

I know it has multiple spellings but I've always thought it was NAER DO WELL. It always seems to appear in puzzles as NEER. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

It also appears in dictionaries as NEER.

Mark said...

Um. Bluto was the guy who was always after Popeye. Brutus stabbed Caesar. As in, "Et tu, Brutus?"

JIMMIE said...

ABBES is French for abbots, or head monks. But not all abbots are clergymen, who are ordained, unlike most monks.And clergymen are seldom abbots. A better clue to 5A would be "Some Cannes clergymen."

a guy said...

Um, Bluto's full name was Brutus. Why would someone stab a salad?

plesse said...

Uh, Doug, I think you're overdoing the niceness bit a little in finding EBAY and acceptable reveal. Are you Canadian or something?

KJGooster said...

Lots of EEEEEEEEEEs but nothing else to tie the theme answers together -- guess thats OK for a Monday.

Never heard of EXTREME BEERS.

And where's PEE WEE REESE? (guess he doesn't start with an E though...).

Sfingi said...

@John - Paul also stayed alive.

At first, I thought this would be an a-e-i-o-u thing. OK, so now this E-thing has been done. E is the commonest letter in the alphabet; the clue expressions have only "E"s and begin with E. "E"s constituted 23% of the puzzle.

Never heard of ELVIN (sports), EDTV or EXTREMEBEER. Apparently there's an EXTREMEBEER fest in Boston. Or, maybe they meant EXTREME MEMBER.

Wanted to see my sister, the artist, DEDREE DREES in the grid.

@Wolfenden - As in NE'ER do-well, as in never do well.

Tuttle said...

Why would someone stab a salad?

You gonna eat it with your hands?

The British comedy show Mighty Boosh had a running gag concerning Fleetwood Mac's TUSK (some NSFW language in the link).

Tinbeni said...

Forgot to mention ...

EBAY is crossed by IBID ... or was that I BID.

ELLEN was crossed by that "Come out" EMERGE.

Yup, this was good stuff.

C said...

Fun puzzle today, lot's o' e's

I do the puzzle at work, strange seeing work in my puzzle. I never get used to that.

mac said...

OK puzzle but really funny write-up, thank you Doug.

Ellen Degeneres is pretty amazing, 6 syllables with just es.Is it Monday today?

ddbmc said...

Even tho' FIJI is spelled with "i's", the "i's" still SOUND like "E's!" Enjoyed today! Easy Peesy Lemon Squeezy!