W E D N E S D A Y   October 27, 2010
Dan Naddor

Theme: Tools of the Trade--Each theme entry begins with a tool. Cool.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Track and field event (HAMMER THROW).
  • 23A: Agreed (SAW EYE TO EYE).
  • 39A: Lou Gossett Jr. played one in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (DRILL INSTRUCTOR).
  • 49A: Air traveler's need (PLANE TICKET).
  • 61A: Folder holder (FILE CABINET).
Howdy, folks. PuzzleGirl asked me (Doug) to fill in again today. I think she needed a little extra time to finish her Halloween costume. It's a combination of a crossword puzzle grid and the state of Iowa. I hope she posts some pictures!

I was pretty excited to see that we were getting a Dan Naddor puzzle today, and he didn't disappoint. Solid theme and plenty of cool words throughout the grid. I always pay attention to the long Down answers, and they don't get much cooler than PAT BENATAR and ADIOS, AMIGO. I thought this one was fun from top to bottom. One thing I've noticed after doing a few of these blogs is that I tend to look at the puzzle as a whole rather than a bunch of separate words and clues. If I'm enjoying solving the puzzle, I barely notice clunky entries like CDE and LTR. Every grid's going to have a few clunkers, but a skilled constructor will make sure that the good stuff drowns out the bad stuff.

  • 1A One of a "Sesame Street" duo (BERT). When we were kids, my sister had an Ernie puppet and I had a Bert puppet. Sorry, that's the only Bert story I have, but I really wanted to post this freaky picture.
  • 19A Double standard? (TWO). Hmmm, not sure I buy this one. Yeah, two is the "standard" number for a double. It's a stretch. 
  • 32A Baby Arp's first word? (DADA). OK, I bagged on the TWO clue, but I love this one. It refers to Jean Arp, one of the originators of the Dada art movement. We usually get a "Father of Dada" or "Dada pioneer" clue, so this was a nice change of pace. If you want to brush up on your Arp, read this excellent Crosswordese 101 entry: ARP. (I hope I don't get fired for linking to old CW101 entries and never creating any new ones!)
  • 42A Ketel One alternative, familiarly (STOLI). Ketel One and Stolichnaya ("Stoli") are brands of vodka. Do people actually call it "Stoli" or is that just a crossword thing? The other crossword vodka you need to know is Skyy. That one shows up in grids every now and then. I'm going to try to use Pyatizvyozdnaya in my next themeless puzzle.
  • 6D MirĂ³ on the wall (ART). I love this clue too. Joan MirĂ³, Spanish artist who, according to Wikipedia, was influenced by Dada.
  • 11D "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" singer (PAT BENATAR). Fire away! Back in my high school days, my friend and I got the idea to create a "Weird" Al Yankovic-style parody of the Pat Benatar hit "Love is a Battlefield." Ours was going to be "Love is a Cattle Field." We never got around to writing any lyrics, but I know it would have been awesome.
  • 57D How some NFL games are resolved (IN OT). Short for "in overtime." Pretty ugly. I wanted to mention this one for the non-sports folks, but let's not dwell on it.
  • 59D Prince William's school (ETON). If the clue mentions an English guy and his school, it's going to be Eton. Or maybe Hogwarts.
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Tinbeni said...

Doug P. thanks for filling in.
Excellent write-up.

I thought this was one of our departed friend, Dan Naddor, best puzzles.

Like Doug said, all crosswords have some trite fill, ORT, CDE, but they are sort of like the glue to hold everything together.

One thing I noticed, Dan liked to have a few drinks in his grid, that TALL ONE at Happy Hour, the STOLI instead of Ketel One, which he made into a double, TWO (for two shots Doug, great clue).

He even worked my initials, ARI, into this Wednesday FUN.

Rating, SI SI !!!
Would be surprised if anyone rates it a NO NO.

Sfingi said...

I never heard of CUEUP, TSU or KETEL. When I got STOLI, I thought, "Oh, another abbrev for booze, a category that might as well be sports, for me.

I thought ART was lame for Miro. But, then, I'm very into art. I've decided to donate my art library to the college across the street, a branch of Pratt. Then, I can visit it. I'm checking the prices on Alibris. I'll keep a couple. The "Salvador Dali Cookbook," is worth a bit. I traded an ebony and ivory recorder for it years ago.

I always thought it was poor advertising if you remember the punch line but not the product. I had LI_E before I remembered LIFE cereal, but certainly remember Mikey. I remember LIFE cereal as being gassy.

From this old, non-sports, almost teetotaler, art-lover: Dan, rest in peace.

badrog said...

Thanks for the nice "tool" graphic, Doug. Thought for a moment it was a Halloween mask!

Finished the whole darn thing before I even thought to look for a theme. Upon review, I noted that there wasn't a single "?" or lousy/great pun in the whole set of theme clues and answers.

If the title is "Tools of the Trade", would the "trade" be carpenter?

Nice to see "Miro" in the clue rather than as the answer; and "on the wall" rather than "muralist". ART, lame though it may be, at least let me know that 5A was LATHER, not dither.

Smiled at the .....TICKET/STUB cross.

Have seen and heard many references to STOLI outside of CW, although my own drinks of choice are day-old coffee and bottled water.

68A had me thinking courtroom lawyer until crosses gave me CAMPER.

Maybe someday I'll remember how to spell ATTILA!

Also noticed all the Ts and Ns, and the consonant/vowel checkboard in the SE corner, but I'd bet it was not intentional.

Overall, nice puzzle.

Van55 said...

Yes some lazy fill like an alphabet run or INOT or FCC or LTR can be forgiven if the puzzle is otherwise brilliant. For me, this one is not. Hand tools as a theme is just ok.

LORAX is fun. But nothing else jumps out at me as particularly original or sparkling.

Anoa Bob said...

I was a bartender for a couple of years and rarely heard a customer use the full "Stolichnaya", especially after they'd had a few. So "Stoli" isn't crosswordese to my ear but is the preferred term.

John Wolfenden said...

As far as I know (and I've knocked back my share of vodka), Stoli and Ketel One are made by different companies. Stoli would only be familiar for Stolichnaya.

A breezy, enjoyable Wednesday nonetheless. Got hung up in the West wanting COLD ONE instead of TALL ONE. Particularly liked "Crash site" for COUCH.

It will be a sad day indeed when there are no more new Naddor puzzles.

*David* said...

Yep it's called Stoli, nobody has time at a busy bar to be saying Stolichnaya.

Easy puzzle, I'm not into playing with power tools so I FILE this one under unremarkable.

Tuttle said...

Had "hyper" instead of TYPEA. My utter disdain for pop psychology claptrap finally bites me in the ass.

C said...

Enjoyable Wednesday puzzle. PATBENATAR answer was cool, BERT not so cool, I always liked Ernie and thought it should have been billed Ernie and Bert. My problem, I'll deal with it ;^)

And my CAPTCHA is straight out of crossword 101 - STERE What do I win?

CrazyCatLady said...

I didn't notice that this was a Dan Naddor puzzle until I was finished and looked at the byline. I thought it was fun and most of it fell smoothly except for the central west coast. I had POST for 28D Trading Center and then guessed CYCLONE for 30D thinking maybe it was some kind of STOLI containing cocktail. That led to the Baby Arp saying DODY.

The whole area was such a mess. I erased it all and tada! I finally got DRILL (I had wanted Flight) INSTRUCTOR. That was the point where I saw the theme. Then the R gave me MART which then led to DADA. I still didn't get the baby Arp/DADA connection until Doug explained it. TRES bien! Liked the cross of ADIOS AMIGO and PLANE TICKET. Also liked SI SI and NO NO. I also had HYPER before TYPEA.

Thanks Doug!

Rube said...

Very enjoyable Naddor, one of his best, IMO. Got slowed down in the Dakotas 'cause I'd forgotten ORT. Got. To. Remember. These. Things.

For me, the only bad fill was ABOO. Boo.

Had to use every cross to spell PAT BENATAR. Listened to a bit of the Heartbreaker clip to find out who he/she was. I'd say there was misdirection in the clue. She's a yeller, not a singer.

Thx Doug.

Crosscan said...

Doug, what is it with you and cows? I just did a fun puzzle of yours titled "Just Be Cows" in the latest Simon and Schuster Mega Puzzle collection. Seems this cow thing goes way back.

Eric said...

I wanted HYPER instead of TYPE-A, but BAHT was a gimme, so that left me pretty confused.

My misguess for 5A was BOTHER instead of LATHER.

I got misdirected for both words in the FCC/CAMPER cross: I had LCD for the former ("TV monitor"), and for the latter ("Counsellor's charge"), I, like @badrog, was thinking lawyers.

I can never remember whether it's ATTILA or ATILLA, so I just fill in AT__LA and wait for crosses :-) But looking at them side by side, the latter is clearly wrong, so maybe I'll remember it now. (I knew an Attila when I was a kid. He was appropriately named; 'nuff said.)

@C: I'm with you on BERT vs. Ernie.

@Sfingi: A disk jockey CUE[s] UP the next song on device B, while the current one's playing on device A ("device" = turntable, CD player, etc.)
I'd never heard of Ketel One either, but had heard of STOLI, so it only took a few crosses to get it.

Clue of the day: "Baby Arp's first word?" -> DADA.

@Doug: Thanks for giving us a video from PAT BENATAR's first album, In the Heat of the Night (no relation to the Poitier/Steiger movie of the same name). Everyone forgets that record, but it's my favourite.
@Rube: That video is a live version, so it's not surprising that she's rocking out. Here's the studio version, for comparison.
Still, you're right; after that first album, Benatar turned into more of a "yeller [than] a singer", which is why I lost interest. (Excellent summation, btw.) The thing is, she'd had some classical training, so I can only assume that going in that direction was a considered decision. Too bad. (Like Bob Dylan, who for the most part I can't stand; he can sing, so it's such a pity he chooses not to!)
I'm thinking I should give Benatar another chance, though; I've known We Belong since it came out in the 80s, but never gave it credit until listening just now. If she's done more work like that, she's worth reconsidering.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you Doug for a fabulous write up. I didn't even notice it was a Naddor puzzle until I got here. I wish I could have solved more of his. His puzzles always seem to be a big hit.

Lots of sparkle in today's puzzle. Loved seeing MOROCCO and ATTILA (my fav Hun)and have always been a PATBENATAR fan. While there were no food references today - liquor sure did pop in and was able to fill those quickly.

The theme was very straight-forward and I learned about how deep Lake TAHOE is - all in all a great day.

Happy Hump-Day All!

Rube said...

@Eric, thx for the link to the studio clip. Much better. I listened to a full minute.

Go Giants!

Sfingi said...

@Eric - I also had AtilLA first. And when I saw the STOLI, I figured it was Stolichnaya. But, what's with all this owie, uie, thisee, thatee? This cutesyfying of everything? My Dutch teacher said that everything in Holland has been suffixed with a "je" meaning small: staatje, hondje. So maybe it's everywhere. Or maybe things are getting smaller and smaller.

Everyone still loves PATBENATAR. It appears she's touring Australia, now.

Doug P said...

Yeah, cows were a big part of life when I was growing up in Montana. We were either driving by them or eating them. And I lived in the city.

As for that Pat Benatar clip, I like yelling. :)

mac said...

Very good puzzle, and such a lovely, thoughtful, civilized write-up! Thank you Doug, my husband is watching the news in the background.....

Who knew Lake Tahoe was the deepest?

Sorry, Sfingi, we use diminutives a lot (it's easy for foreign students of the language, it makes sure you can use the particle "het") but certainly not on everything.

I think "Hit me with your best shot" still sounds excellent.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Eric - Thanks for the "We Belong" clip. One of my favorites (and there weren't many) from the 80's. Only problem was I had to watch a Carly Fiorina ad first. OMG I can't wait until this election is over. The wait was worth it though.

Sfingi said...

Apparently Crater Lake is our deepest.

I thought it was sad that Tahoe was all rocks and you had to wear special shoes to swim in it.

@Mac - so that's it. I always wondered what the rules for het/de were. I just looked it up. Does it go back to some long-gone neuter thing, like German? And is "ten" used only in names?

mac said...

@Sfingi: I have no idea about the long-gone neuter thing. "ten" means "at the" or basically "at".