T U E S D A Y   October 12, 2010
Meredith Ito

Theme: D.C. Comics — Theme answers are comedians with the initials D.C.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Vicious Circle" stand-up guy (DANE COOK).
  • 25A: Stand-up guy who played Tobias Fünke on "Arrested Development" (DAVID CROSS).
  • 36A: Stand-up guy with his own sitcom, 1995-2004 (DREW CAREY).
  • 51A: Stand-up guy with multiple "SNL" personas (DANA CARVEY).
  • 60A: "Superman" publisher, and this puzzle's title (D.C. COMICS).
Love this theme. I mean, I really love this theme! See, the reveal answer is D.C. COMICS. And D.C. COMICS is actually a thing all on its own. But for the puzzle it's re-interpreted: the theme answers are all comics whose initials are D.C.! This is exactly what I want to see in a puzzle theme. And I don't even know who DAVID CROSS is. But I don't care! Because there are plenty of things that I don't know and he fits perfectly with the theme. Unless he's not a comic. Let me look him up real quick. ... Oh I totally know that guy. And he's totally a comic. I just didn't know his name. This is kinda sad, but I'm gonna go ahead and tell you anyway. I recognize him from "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel." He was the bad guy.

Now, I'm not going to lie to you. I'm not crazy about seeing two suffixes in the same grid — 14A: Suffix with stamp (-EDE) and 43A: Enzyme suffix (-ASE) — and the southeast corner is a little military heavy, but I'm not going to dwell on any of that. The theme is outstanding and the fill is above average. Oh, and did you see the two non-theme bonus answers?
  • 19A: Explosion sound (KABOOM). Straight of out D.C. COMICS, right?
  • 59D: "Isn't __ riot?!": "Funny guy!" (HE A). I have been amused at one time or another by each of the comedians mentioned, so this clue definitely works for me.
  • 4A/1A: Fix à la MacGyver (JURY / RIG). I so wanted this to be DUCT TAPE. Does MacGyver actually use duct tape? I've never watched the show, but when I think of MacGyver, I think of ... duct tape.
  • 15A: "Lonely Boy" singer (ANKA). Women around my age probably think of this as a Donny Osmond song.
  • 63A: Little laugh (TEE-HEE). I much prefer this spelling to the oft-seen TEHEE.
  • 65A: Rebellious Turner (NAT). Honestly? The first thing that came to my mind was IKE. Well, he was rebellious too, wasn't he?
  • 28D: Golfer Sabbatini (RORY). I know this one through PHGOO (PuzzleHusband Golf Obsession Osmosis). If you're not a golf fan, this guy probably isn't somebody you know, but the crosses are all solid so you shouldn't have had any trouble.
  • 40D: Potter's friend Ron (WEASLEY). Lots of Harry Potter this week. Glad I didn't have to know the actor's name today.
  • 43D: "Sweet" girl in a barbershop song (ADELINE). I tried to find a video of one of my favorite bands singing a song called "Adeline," but I couldn't. I found audio of it and I got super excited until it cut off right before the last verse. Unfortunately, for this particular song you really need the last verse. Anyway, if you like bluegrass music, check out The Mike & Amy Finders Band on iTunes. And if you're in Colorado, by all means go see them.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: "Lonely Boy" singer (ANKA).
  • 23A: River inlet (RIA).
  • 33A: Hot day coolers (ADES).
  • 18D: Mideast carrier (EL AL).
  • 37D: Semicircular recess (APSE).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 8A: "__ Bovary" (MADAME); 16A: Hypothetical primate (APEMAN); 20A: Spiral-shelled mollusk (WHELK); 21A: Uncover, in verse (OPE); 24A: Whit or bit (IOTA); 29A: Carpenter's fastener (NAIL GUN); 31A: Regis and Kelly, e.g. (CO-HOSTS); 32A: Big initials in nutritional supplements (GNC); 35A: Clear the chalkboard (ERASE); 39A: Horrendous (AWFUL); 42A: NYSE debuts (IPO'S); 46A: Predicting a market decline (BEARISH); 49A: Husky, e.g. (SLED DOG); 53A: Start from scratch (REDO); 54A: The Trojans of the Pac-10 (USC); 55A: Luggage-screening gp. (TSA); 56A: __ Lama (DALAI); 57A: Platitude (CLICHÉ); 64A: Large-scale work (EPIC); 66A: Iraqi neighbor (SYRIAN); 67A: Loser to paper and winner over scissors (ROCK); 68A: USN rank (ENS.); 1D: Joe Louis Arena hockey player (REDWING); 2D: Pocatello resident (IDAHOAN); 3D: Like some fingerprints (GENETIC); 4D: Tire-changing aid (JACK); 5D: Game with Draw Two cards (UNO); 6D: "King Kong" studio (RKO); 7D: Comedian Smirnoff (YAKOV); 8D: Just about manage (MAKE DO); 9D: Therapists' org. (APA); 10D: Society newcomer (DEB); 11D: Loving, to Luisa (AMOROSA); 12D: "Little Red Book" adherents (MAOISTS); 13D: How stadium crowds move (EN MASSE); 22D: Photo (PIC); 25D: "Bro!" ("DUDE!"); 26D: From the start (ANEW); 27D: Word preceding a 22-Down (CHEESE); 30D: Marinara clove (GARLIC); 34D: Lab subj. (SCI.); 36D: Commercial battery prefix with "cell" (DURA-); 38D: __-poly (ROLY); 39D: Kidnaps (ABDUCTS); 41D: More decorative (FANCIER); 44D: Recycled item (SODA CAN); 45D: Ones with I-strain? (EGOISTS); 47D: Glossy fabric (SATEEN); 48D: Noon and midnight: Abbr. (HRS.); 50D: Wee weight (DRAM); 52D: Skywalker's nemesis (VADER); 56D: Pier (DOCK); 58D: T'ai __ (CHI); 61D: Naval noncom: Abbr. (CPO); 62D: Pres. title (CIC).



DC-COMICS, hmm, I thought they’d be names of senators. Nah! That would fit EGOISTS better.
Had an AWFUL time solving this Thursday or Friday level puzzle, but I thought Meredith Ito did a fine job. Just an IOTA of CLICHÉ fill and lots of thoughtful clues make this a very entertaining puzzle.
Puzzlegirl, I loved your writeup today, especially your PHGOO thing... many of my close friends are golf-obsessed. And thanks for the lead on the Finders Band. I will be in CO soon and I will look them up, cuz I love good bluegrass music.
Yesterday we had EMMA Watson (Hermione) of the Harry Potter movies, today we get Ron WEASLEY. I found the H.P. movies (and books) to be delightful and appealing to my immature mind. Did anyone else enjoy those movies?
And now for a SCI lesson---
KABOOM!!! I’m outta here!

Scully2066 said...

Thank ou PG for your awesome write up for this great puzzle today - comics always make me smile :)

I have to agree with JOHNSNEVERHOME did seem more difficult then a Tuesday should be but then so was yesterday. At this rate Friday is going to be a lulu.

Have to admit, there were a few clunkers but overall loved the puzzle and learned today that Pocatello is in Idaho.

Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Joe said...

"""I recognize him from "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel." He was the bad guy."""

EVERYONE who was involved with "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" is a bad guy.

Tinbeni said...

I like to start my day with a Mug-of-Java, CNBC, LAT crosswords and a hardy laugh.

The DC COMICS theme gave me the TEE HEE's and they brought along that Russian DUDE ... YAKOV.

I guess the first time is a 'Do' then if you 'start over from scratch' it's a REDO.

Like the mini-theme, IPOS and BEARISH.
Moi? I'm a bull. I realize it is taking a bit longer than I expected but I believe our American Economy has turned the corner and IT IS still the world's juggernaut.

An AWFUL lot of Potter clues lately. I guess, like the Simpson's, I'm going to have to remember these characters.

Hmmm, Meredith Ito, another Rich Norris alias ... I'm the Editor.

FUN Tuesday.

Happy (the real) Columbus Day !!!

Orange said...

I love this theme! I am familiar with all of the D.C. comics, though I wouldn't mind forgetting DANE COOK. DAVID CROSS is hilarious! I loved him on "Arrested Development," where he played an analyst/therapist who combined those two approaches and put "analrapist" on his business card. The character was a "never-nude," who never fully disrobed. He's also on a new series on IFC called "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret," which is hilarious and gross.

Sadly, Cross's 1999 HBO hour of standup, "The Pride Is Back," is not on DVD. Plenty of profanity, obscenity, and blasphemy (quotes here). Husband and I still quote from it.

Plus, on "Mr. Show," he once played a model for a magazine called Taint. Ageless humor! You can find that one on YouTube, I think.

Van55 said...

Way too many abbrs. for my taste.

HEA is just awful. (sorry, Joon. I can't even limit this judgment to my own opinion. It's a dreadful clue and answer by almost anyone's measure.)

Joon said...

i'm not going to defend HE A, which is indeed fairly ugly as partials go, but i can overlook the grid's little faults because the theme is so ingenious. i'm fairly sure the only reason i know DAVID CROSS is because i remember orange waxing rhapsodic about him a year or two ago (maybe BEQ had a quote theme of his?), but the other three are very famous. amazingly fresh puzzle theme.

SethG said...

Awesome theme, and I gotta agree about David Cross. With Orange--I don't know him from no Squeakquel.

I wish there was a different way to clue YAKOV; as it is, he just gets in the way.

Doug P said...

I loved this theme too! Super puzzle from "Meredith" today. The DC COMICS reveal surprised and elated me.

Seems like Dane Cook gets a lot of bad reviews. I haven't seen much of him, but he is kinda annoying. I heard this once and it cracked me up: "Do you mean ha-ha funny or Dane Cook funny?"

Tuttle said...

Ugg. The problem isn't two suffixes, it's that one of them - EDE - is not a suffix! It does not modify the word stamp but is, rather, a loan word from Spanish: estampida, an uproar.

"Stamp finisher" would have been a fine clue.

*David* said...

Great theme, easy puzzle, and horrible fill, really bad. Arrested Development should be watched as often as Seinfeld so DAVID CROSS and his ambiguous gay character should be well known.

badrog said...

Although I watched 1964's Dr. Strangelove just last night (for the umpteenth time), I was not too surprised when 21A was not clued as "the secret 3-letter code that recalled all but one of the B52s that were about to drop nuclear bombs on USSR targets."

backbiter said...

I was cringing as I solved this puzzle. Theme is fine. I was all "Oh please oh please ,PG, do not post any vids of Dane Cook or Dana Carvey. They are not funny. Never have been, never will be." David Cross on the other hand... F'ing hysterical! I didn't even notice the DC initials until the reveal. I just thought a bunch of random comedians was the theme. So, that was nice. Drew Carey? Eh, he ruined my beloved TPIR. For that I will never forgive him. I still enjoyed this puzzle even though it's loaded with people I can't stand. And we all know Marvel kicks the crap outta D.C.


C said...

Cool puzzle theme. Enjoyable puzzle, some gnarly fill but my limit was not exceeded so thumbs up in my book.

Tobias Funke is a classic comedy character portrayed classically by David Cross. Heh, that last sentence sounded way pretentious, I'm always up for trying something new. Anyway, things that @Orange did not mention include Carl Weathers, 90's folk band, cat burglar skills, prison method acting and many more that made me laugh way too much.

Van55 said...

I have to agree that the theme is very clever, even though I personally don't know Dan Cook or David Cross. Still there's a heck of a lot that the theme needs to atone for today, in my opinion.

Ratty said...

Loved the theme. Best one in a long time. So nice to see TEEHEE for a change. I hate TEHEE almost as much as I hate TEPEE.

hazel said...

I'm with (virtually) everyone - completely fantastic theme - and (with a lesser subset) I don't think Dane Cook is funny. Great line @Doug P!!

I think this is a memorable puzzle in the sense that I will actually remember it for longer than a few days (kind of rare for me). One thing I won't remember is the fact that HEA was in it - for me HEA is a bit part, easily forgiven and forgotten.

RIP 2010 Braves!! You were a fun team to watch!!

CrazyCatLady said...

Loved the theme even though I'm not familiar with DANE COOK or DAVID CROSS. I hate to admit it, but I don't think I've ever seen Arrested Development. I have seen all the Harry Potter movies though. Crazy Cat daughter grew up on Harry Potter. She devoured those books.

Thought the fill was great for the most part especially AMOROSA, EN MASSE, CLICHÉ and GARLIC. The NW was the last to go since I didn't know REDWING, Pocatello or anything about MacGyver.

Cal plays USC this weekend. Go Bears!

@Tinbeni Thanks for pointing out "Meredith's" true identity. Somewhere on my computer I have a list of all his akas.

Rex Parker said...

Great idea for a theme. Sadly, this puzzle made me think about Dane Cook, so I am morally required to hate it (DURA didn't help). David Cross *almost* offsets the Cookness, but not quite.

Rex Parker said...

I second the rec. of IFC's "... Todd Margaret" series, starring David Cross. Also, I own and enjoy "Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!," a 2-disc Cross stand-up album

Tom said...

Hello gang and happy great theme Tuesday!!! Did not know David Cross, got it thru(what else)...crosses!! Always thought "jury rig" was "Jerry rig", some kind of wwI or wwII reference. NW came easy today since the "Joe" is only twenty minutes away from my house. And the red wings are off to a 2-0 start, long season tho. My biggest problem with the puzzle was 27d. Cheese? Pic??, cheesy I could understand. DUDE, to me, that is just AWFUL. Is Roly-Poly an accurate spelling? And yes, I also love the HP Books and movies, can't wait til the new movie comes out, Nov. Twenty -something-eth. And even tho it was clued differently, 67a. (Chris) Rock fits the puzzle well. Have a great day, Go Wings! !!!!!!!

Tinbeni said...

Your Atlanta Braves avatar is a wonderful salute to Bobby Cox.

Fave clue today was Darth VADER, a salute to my
"Evil Empire."

Yup, my beloved NY Yankees.

Waiting for (hopefully) Tampa Bay Rays (yeah, I also like "the kids") or the Texas Rangers.

(Seriously, this area of the country is crazy today. I went to the gym in a Yankee shirt and was booed!)

John Wolfenden said...

David Cross is one of the few celebrities I've met. I spotted him in first class on a flight to New York, and caught up with him on the way to baggage claim. I had to tell him how brilliant I thought Mr. Show was.

I had OLD SAW and CANARD before CLICHE.

Totally agree with Tom...CHEESE PIC is a stretch to put it charitably.

Doug P said...

@Tom & John-

The CHEESE clue is "Word preceding a [PIC]." Think about someone taking your picture. You might say "Cheese" right before they snap it.

KJGooster said...

I was not liking this from the start -- I don't mind linked clues like RIG/JURY, but I hate it when they are close on the grid but in the wrong order. But then the theme won me over. Really, really nice.

@Tom and John W: Doesn't everybody say "CHEESE" before a PIC is taken? The clue makes total sense to me.

And if you all will pardon a digression:
@Hazel: I grew up in Idaho (hello, Pocatello!) and there's no MLB for hundreds of miles, but we got TBS on cable so I became a Braves fan. Dale Murphy was my idol -- I've met him a couple times and he couldn't be more gracious. It's a melancholy time for me as far as baseball is concerned. The Braves are off TBS, and so many are gone: Bobby Cox, Leo Mazzone, Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, maybe Chipper too, and RIP Skip Caray, the baseball voice of my youth. I'll still follow them, but I fear my interest will never be the same.

Rube said...

I believe the expression is "say CHEESE" before a pic.

Despite the fact I've never heard of DANECOOK, (had DANECOOp), or DAVID CROSS and had heard of the other two guys, thought this was an excellent puzzle with a superbly executed theme. Only writeovers were Mulled/MAKEDO, mgm/RKO and popOV/YApOV/YAKOV. Popov and Smirnoff or both vodkas aren't they? Oops, also had AnE/ASE. Those chemical suffixes always get me. Probably why I avoided Chemical Engineering classes... too much memory work.

Had to dredge WHELK up from depths of memory. Will make AMOROSA my WOTD.

Haven't read a DC Comic in years. Sorta miss them.

@Hazel, sorry about your Braves. They fought well.

Go Giants.

Tom said...

Okay, cheese makes sense now, duh, talk about a brain fart. Thx Doug

Sfingi said...

I appreciated the theme, however never heard of DAVIDCROSS, DANECOOK, all 3 sports clues; never read Harry Potter or watched any Star---anythings. However, I got everything from crosses except WHEASLEY crosses USC, a Nattick for me. I took a quess using T and was wrong. Whatever.

YAKOV still writes for the Picayune, doesn't he? Could be a clue.

Anonymous said...

Please lighten up on Mon and Tues. so I won't feel stupid all week!!!

mac said...

Excellent puzzle, great theme, but I have to say I like it even better after reading the write-up and all the comments. So many more aspects to be admired!

hazel said...

@Tinbeni, @KJGooster, and @Rube - thanks for the kind words about the Braves!!

@Tinbeni - I'll be flying the colors until the Series is over.

@KJ - I miss Skip Caray as much as any former player. His call-in show before the games was classic. His patience got shorter and shorter every year (translation: he got funnier and funnier) with the same stupid questions over and over. He had a wicked wit. I went to his memorial/tribute at Turner Field (I can't believe it was 2 years ago!), and people had driven in from all over the South - no game or anything. Just to see the tribute.

@Rube - The Giants were a very classy opponent so I'll be pulling for them against the Phillies - they're going to need a bit of luck (maybe more than a bit) to get past them.

Sorry about the digression, puzzlers. Last one. Season's over.


I'm a huge huge fan of the movie "Dr. Strangelove".
I think that 3-letter code was POE (Purity Of Essence), so that wouldn't work for 21A (OPE).

HUTCH said...

My cousin, a photographer, said "cheese" was great,but "shit" was just as good. Sayanara!

badrog said...

Altho the CW-ish doodlings on the loony General's desk were indeed "Peace on Earth" and "Purity of Essence", the actual code that allowed reception of the recall message was a transposition of POE to OPE. It's announced in the War Room just after the B52s are actually recalled.

I can walk!