T H U R S D A Y   October 21, 2010
Ed Sessa

Theme: 3.14169.... — Familiar phrases are clued as if the first word is a type of pie.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Pie flop? (CHERRY BOMB).

  • 23A: Pie taste-test site? (CHOCOLATE LAB).

  • 39A: Pie to-do? (MUD FLAP).

  • 50A: Pie charts? (APPLE RECORDS).

  • 60A: Pie patter? (MINCE WORDS).
Mmmmm. Pie. Cute theme and I like how the clues are all short and to the point. Two elements of the theme are a little off to me. First, MINCE WORDS is, unlike the others, a verb phrase. And second, "Pie charts" is an actual thing while the other clue phrases are simply made up. Those two things definitely detract from the theme's elegance, but the puzzle is still enjoyable. At least it was for me.

Except down there in the southwest corner. I had a heckuva time down there. The trouble started with me wanting the first word of the 60A phrase to be an adjective and continued with my inability to think of anyone but Lola and Tony at the stupid Copacabana. (And, yes, thanks for the earworm. Really appreciate it.) Once I got MINCE in place, my guess of CRANIAL seemed wrong because of the consonant collision at the front of 56D, but when I got past that, the rest of the section fell pretty easily.

  • 9A: Spring bloomer (LILAC). Tried ASTERS first.

  • 14A: His epitaph reads "And the beat goes on" (BONO). That's pretty sweet.

  • 17A: TV role for Bamboo Harvester (MR. ED). Wait, what? It never occurred to me that I didn't know the real name of the horse who played MR. ED. Horses, as I'm sure many of you know, are often named by combining the names of their "parents." Bamboo Harvester's sire's name was The Harvester, but his dam's name was Zetna Hara which doesn't look to me like it relates to bamboo, but maybe it does. I mean really. I don't know what I'm talking about half the time.

  • 22A: Travelers' burdens (VALISES). Are you still burdened by VALISES? I usually carry a suitcase.

  • 38A: Buckeyes' home: Abbr. (OSU). Boooo! (Nothing personal, I just always feel the need to boo all Big Ten teams other than the Hawkeyes.)

  • 64A: Days of Hanukkah, e.g. (OCTET). Did I tell you all that PuzzleDaughter asked if we could celebrate Hanukkah this year? She swears it's not just about the eight days of presents. (Yeah, right.) I think we'll probably do it. We're not Christian and we celebrate Christmas every year so why not? Need to get myself a menorah.

  • 1D: High-tech debut of 1981 (IBM PC). With the I in place all I wanted was a Mac product but couldn't get one to fit.

  • 5D: 1980s-'90s slugger Fielder (CECIL). Unfortunately, he played first base. I wish he had been an outfielder.

  • 9D: Clapton title woman (LAYLA). Maybe this will help get that awful Copacabana song out of our heads.

  • 13D: Male swans (COBS). The things you learn!

  • 29D: Tunnel entrance of sorts (GOPHER HOLE).

  • 54D: Mild expletives (DANGS). Very mild indeed.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 33D: Name meaning "hairy" in Hebrew (ESAU).

  • 36D: Airline to Oslo (SAS).

  • 62D: Grammy-winning Dr. (DRE).
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Everything Else — 1A: A party to (IN ON); 5A: Quite the fashion plate (CHIC); 15A: Faulkner femme fatale Varner (EULA); 16A: BP merger partner (AMOCO); 20A: Italian deli sandwich (PANINI); 26A: X, at times (TEN); 27A: www bookmark (URL); 28A: Film director's headaches (EGOS); 32A: Luther's lang. (GER.); 34A: First Amendment lobbying gp. (ACLU); 36A: Numbers game (SUDOKU); 41A: Post- opposite (PRE-); 42A: One in distress? (DAMSEL); 44A: Slug or song ending (-FEST); 45A: Loft material (HAY); 46A: Apartment manager, familiarly (SUPE); 47A: Quaff for Andy Capp (ALE); 48A: Curling setting (ICE); 56A: Like the auditory and optic nerves, e.g. (CRANIAL); 59A: Aspen topper (SKI HAT); 63A: Prohibited thing (NO-NO); 65A: Flag (TIRE); 66A: First name in Olympics gymnastics (OLGA); 67A: Like beer halls, usually (NOISY); 68A: Eyewear, in ads (SPEX); 69A: Raid target (PEST); 2D: Grammy winner Jones (NORAH); 3D: Bridge opening (ONE NO TRUMP); 4D: "Fuggedaboutit!" ("NO DICE!"); 6D: "Whazzat?" ("HUH?"); 7D: Seine sight (ILE); 8D: Longtime ice cream cake brand (CARVEL); 10D: Wet one's whistle (IMBIBED); 11D: Johns, to Elton (LOOS); 12D: Top (ACME); 19D: "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-__": Irish lullaby (RAL); 21D: Hardly distinguished (NO-NAME); 24D: Nostalgic song title word (AULD); 25D: Godiva product (TRUFFLE); 30D: Gumbo ingredient (OKRA); 31D: Chop __ (SUEY); 32D: Mars and Venus (GODS); 35D: __-de-sac (CUL); 37D: Slight market improvement (UPTICK); 40D: Disconcerting glance (LEER); 43D: Hand-holding events (SEANCES); 47D: Parcels out (ALLOTS); 49D: Requiring change, briefly (COIN-OP); 51D: Reverence (PIETY); 52D: A pad helps protect it (PAW); 53D: Elizabeth I's beloved (ESSEX); 55D: Brown ermine (STOAT); 56D: "Get real!" ("C'MON!"); 57D: Guy who "wore a diamond," in the song "Copacabana" (RICO); 58D: ABM component? (ANTI); 61D: Scary current (RIP).


Dick said...

Nice writeup. I thought it was Sonny Bono - at least I got the last name right.

Tinbeni said...

Of course it was Sonny BONO.
PuzzleGirl putting in the pic of the "other" Bono is her "wink" with a laugh to us ...

Man-O-Man did I like this puzzle.
Especially the theme CHERRY BOMB.
Set off "more than a few" as a kid.

Then there was IMBIBED and that NOISY beer hall where I quaff ALE. Yup, I'm familiar with these.

OLGA as that first name in Olympics gymnastics seemed mis-clued. I thought of NADIA first, Olga would be second.

ONE-NO-TRUMP is my fave openning in Bridge, ergo a gimmie.

My Yankee's, aka "Evil Empire" shut THAT singing "Fat Lady" up.
No singing until (hopefully) Saturday Night.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG for another great write up - I was thinking of BONO and not Sonny BONO - now it makes sense :)

I loved this theme - is there anything better then pie? And then just to add a little ice cream and whipped topping we have CARVEL (the best ice-cream cakes period from down Florida way)and TRUFFLE crossing CHOCOLATELAB - it was wonderful! Lately we have had all these great puzzles and all this great food.

Today I learned about COBS and ESAU and added a PANINI before dessert.

Happy Thursday All!

badrog said...

Very much agree with PG's critique of the theme entries, although it didn't bother me too much since MINCEWORDS and APPLERECORDS were the first two that I solved.

Was so hoping to see a pic of an ad for SPEX, 'cuz I've never seen one. Maybe I need glasses.

CECIL Fielder is perhaps the best example of a player whose excellent record (stats and popularity) in Japan (Hanshin Tigers of Osaka) preceded his success in US MLB.

Entries of the Day: ONENOTRUMP and GOPHERHOLE. So nice to see 10-letter words not be theme answers.

Outrageous misreading of the 24A clue led me to WCTU before ACLU.

20A PANINI was a gimme because they're all over the grocer's frozen food section these days.

Van55 said...
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SethG said...

What is 3.14169...? Nice try, PuzzleGirl, but I'm onto your numbers game.

You should remind PuzzleDaughter that 8 days of presents means like 5 days of socks and underwear, a calendar, some small chocolate coins, and maybe one bigger gift.

LILA C. CHERRY PIE? What's Rich's middle name?

PuzzleGirl said...

@Van55: I deleted your comment because it contained a spoiler of today's NYT puzzle, which some people (like, for example, me) might not have gotten to yet.

ddbmc said...

Ok, I'm a tad confused. APPLE RECORDS was the Beatle's record company and a MUD FLAP is one of two flaps on all the trucks I ride behind, on the way to college (and other) hockey games. They aren't made up. They exist. Or am I being too literal?

That said, enjoyed the theme and desperately need to have a slice of some sort of pie, with ice cream!

Prefer Bono's music to Sonny BONO's, fer sure.

Great bit of trivia on MR ED!
America had a song "Horse with NO NAME." MR ED had two! (trying to change the earworm...) Horse with No Name

@Tin, the Evil Empire lives another day! ( THEY...MAY...GO...ALL...THE...WAY)

Loved the 3.14169..! Never could remember beyond the 3.14, tho'

My uncle was Tom CARVEL's attorney! Yum, Fudgie the Whale! Lot's o' good eatin' in today cw.

Anonymous said...

Pie flop isn't an actual phrase, cherry bomb is. Pie taste-test site isn't an actual phrase, chocolate lab is. But pie charts exist. The clue could have been [Pie feats?], for example, and it wouldn't have been a problem.

KJGooster said...

Flavorful puzzle today. Seeing those CRANIAL nerves takes me back to anatomy class where we med students learned any number of inappropriate mnemonics to remember all twelve.

@PG, your pi is tasty but has a typo -- 3.14159 is correct.

BTW, the current Guinness World Record holder for memorizing pi is a Chinese grad student named Lu Chao, who took just over 24 hours to recite 67,890 digits without an error. There's also a Ukranian neurosurgeon who has claimed to have memorized the first 30 million (!) digits of pi.

This comment has been removed by the author.

WOw! This puzzle was a little CRANIAL for me. Well done though and I'm glad I stuck it out to the end. I solved it at the cafe, so I had no Google to lean on, but it's always a good feeling to come to this blog and see that you got it all correct, despite lots of write-overs. I think the thing that threw me the most were all the names of famous people... I counted 10 that were a challenge. Then when I saw NO NAME in the puzzle I just about ROFLMAO!
For 22A I wrote in LUGGAGE... nope, tried BAGGAGE, and eventually got to VALISES because of the V from CARVEL. Now I'm an old geezer, but you'd never catch me calling my luggage VALISES.

Thanks Puzzlegirl for explaining the MR ED / Bamboo Harvester thing.

All in all I thought this was a very creative puzzle and it also had lots of fresh fill.

Enjoy your Fall FEST and your HAY rides because the time for donning your SKI HAT is coming soon. Today I'm taking a day off just to go for a nice long leisurely walk at the colorful arboretum... usually I'm working there.

Have fun y'all!

C said...

I liked this puzzle, the theme is interesting, good answers, competing ear worms, pie, mmmm, pie. Good continuation of a Buster Posey type LAT puzzle week.

Lime D. Zeze said...

Enjoyed this puzzle. MUDFLAP had me giggling (thanks Spinal Tap!).
The only issue I have with your write-up is that you used JCM's "Cherry Bomb" instead of The Runaways:


(just kidding, it didn't really bother me that much, but The Runaways song is just so...awesome)

pamela said...

Only discovered the blog recently, and am really enjoying it. I love seeing the ways we all think differently, and then the ways we think the same.

#56 "Like auditory and optic nerves" had me confused for a bit, because SENSORY would have fit. Finally got it when I remembered (woefully, because that tune!!) that Rico wore the diamond.

But I'm still very bugged that there's a picture of Bono, and not Sonny on this post. :-/

ddbmc said...

Thanks, @Anon, for the explanation.

Is PIE FLOP, then, a compound verb, as it is an action that occurs? Some of the food shows make reference to it. I can see that PIE TASTE TEST SITE is a creative way to clue CHOCOLATE LAB. I guess I should leave this parsing to all the language mavens! :)

...Then there is Warrant's "Cherry Pie.Cherry Pie

Kevin said...

Nice puzzle and great write-up. This puzzle reminds me to never go more than six days without pie because seven would make one week.

Van55 said...

@ PuzzleGirl --

Sorry about the spoiler. Suffice it to say that I noted an interesting coincience between the puzzles today and wondered of Norris and Shortz had conspired. As I should have, I will leave to you discovering what that coincidence might be.

As for this puzzle, I enjoyed it despite that it starts 1A with the sad partial INON.

In my opinion, COB should be addeded to the crosswordese glossary. I have seen it often.

CrazyCatLady said...

What a food FEST we have here today with all those pies, TRUFFLE, chop SUEY, gumbo, PANINI and CARVEL. Sadly all of the above are NO NOs on my current low carb regimen.

Like PG I had a real challenge in the SW due to that PEST RICO whom I had to Google. Had Tony first. Liked CRANIAL across from SKI HAT and PIE ETY too. Lots of good music with both BONOS, LAYLA, NORAH Jones and those CHERRY BOMBs. I had no idea what MR. ED's real name was. Male swans/COBS=WOTD.

PG great write-up. Loved the pic of Bill Murray and the GOPHER HOLE.

Anonymous said...

Thought I wasn't going to finish today. Stuck with about half the puzzle done, then I got LAYLA and the rest of the puzzle fell. Did have SKIHUT/DUNGS though...

John Wolfenden said...

The rare puzzle that I didn't finish, but wasn't frustrated by. I knew the answers in the SW corner would make sense, I just couldn't figure them out.

MINCE PIE made me realize I hadn't had a savory pie in quite awhile. Or a banana creme pie. Or...gotta stop or I'll be thinking of pies all afternoon.


@All good bakers

Okay, we need one really really great pie recipe today (or a link to one).

Sfingi said...

@CrazyCat - Re: last night's comment - He claims he only slept 4 hours. He was allowed to watch tv, but decided not to because he was afraid the Yankees would lose again. So far, they've concluded his oxygen intake is low.

Found the puzzle Googly for me for proper names - DRE, EULA, MRED, RICO, CARVEL, OHU, AMOCO.

HAd Tony before RICO, tuLIp Before LILAC.

Strangely, got the sports' names, CECIL and OLGA.

@Pamela - I was thinking along sensory lines, too. But, don't grieve for Sonny.
The Sicilian-American, Sonny BONO, left his mark with the infamous Sonny BONO Copyright Term Extension Act, a.k.a., the Mickey Mouse Act. Oddly, he had very little of worth to copyright. As a shill for corporations, he dug a big hole in public domain. At least Pinocchio got in under the wire. My sister and I are particularly interested in that for children's books.

@PG and Vans - after yesterday's NYT, I decided not to buy today's. Can't spoil mine.

@Kevin - thanx for the chuckle!

CrazyCatLady said...

@JNH I'm more of a tart baker than a pie baker. The crust process is easier. This a great autumn tart.
Pear Almond Cream Tart

Nighthawk said...

@Lime D. Yea, I thought of that video too, but also the recent flic gave it pretty good treatment. Plus, the "home made" vid of the Budokan concert doesn't exactly have the best sound quality. You can actually hear the words in the version from the flic. Here:
Cherry Bomb
But no doubt, the original footage has much more of the electricity the flic tried, with some success, but not entirely, to capture.

Tom in the D said...

Woohoo I finished today!!! Must be all the ginseng I drink in my 7-11 coffee finally paying off! Nice puzzle today, theme was fine, clueing was okay. My main beefs with the fill were......SUPE? Should be super, and SPEX?? Are u serious? We all know its (sexy) SPECS, DANGS. Other than that, meh. Oh yeah, 69A raid target should be nest, as in insect nest, not pest. CMON PG, can't I get some love for my Michigan Wolverines? They need all the help they can get. OSU SUCKS!!!!! Nice write-up as always. Go Blue

Fowler said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

BTW, why is one row always filled in purple? Is it the first (or last) that PG filled in?

Sfingi said...

@Fowler - Cuz that's the last one that was keyed in. Just happens.

CrazyCatLady said...

@mac Stock up on those pear tarts otherwise they may disappear soon.
Trader Joe's song

Rube said...

A Late post. Thanks Ed for the shout out to me at 24D.