S A T U R D A Y   November 6, 2010
Timothy L. Meaker

Theme: None

Happy Saturday, everybody. Nice to start off the weekend with a challenge like this one. I knew I was in a good place to solve when I looked at 1A: Hawaiian for "strong," saw that it was four letters, and thought, "Hmm … I wonder if it might be MAHI." Totally random! Confirming through crosses, I wasn't thrilled with the clue for MARE, but knew right away that it was right. 1D: Colt source? Source? I don't know. Just seems like a weird word to use. I had the same feeling about the clue for DNA TEST (19A: Proof of ownership?). Not exactly sure what that's all about, but assume it has something to do with my feminist upbringing.

  • 17A: Libertines (RAKES). I know we've talked about this before, but all these words for undesirable people are awesome: cad, scoundrel, knave, scalawag, varlet. Today we come up with words like asshat, which is fine but doesn't quite have the same aura of condescension.
  • 21A: Ranch handle (TEX). "Handle" in this case means "name." So a person working on a ranch, might be called Tex.
  • 31A: Punched-out pieces (CHADS). So funny that this word has become part of the country's consciousness.
  • 33A: 16-time Gold Glove-winning pitcher Jim (KAAT). No idea.
  • 38A: Old-time soprano Lehmann (LOTTE). No idea.
  • 39A: A lime-flavored version of it came out in 2004 (DIET COKE). I was thinking this was going to be a beer. I remember when Gen. McChrystal did that interview with Rolling Stone, he and the interviewer were drinking some type of lime-flavored beer.
  • 42A: Stanley of "Julie & Julia" (TUCCI). Love him.
  • 58A: Iowa Straw Poll city (AMES). Home of the Iowa State University Cyclones. Booooooo!
  • 3D: Driver's ultimate destination? (HOLE). Golf!
  • 4D: Noted 19th-century lithographer (IVES). I had the Exact Same reaction to this clue as I had last time I saw it, which was just over a month ago. Here's what I wrote back on September 17:
    This made me laugh. I'm all "I'm supposed to know lithographers now?!" And then it's our old friend from Currier & IVES, who I most certainly do know.
  • 11D: Nueve's square root (TRES). Spanish!
  • 12D: Subtle signal (PSST). Here's the thing. I totally get this clue and I totally get why people do this. Hell, I've done it myself. But come on. There's nothing subtle about it. When you try to get someone's attention with "psst," everybody within earshot looks, amirite?
  • 26D: One might be dedicated to Mom, briefly (TAT). Short for tattoo. I'm still kinda mad at myself for never acting on my impulse to get a tattoo of the name Joey. I don't know anyone named Joey or anything, I just thought it would be funny.
  • 31D: Where a small hand might get caught (COOKIE JAR). In our house, it's big hands (i.e., PuzzleHusband's) that get caught in the COOKIE JAR.
  • 38D: Slightly (LITTLE). I had some trouble with this. When it became clear that the answer was LITTLE, I thought "But that needs an a at the beginning." There are times when it doesn't though. Maybe someone can give us an example in the comments.
  • 45D: Chihuahua howdy (HOLA). Did you think this was going to be a dog sound? I did.
  • 47D: Pod opening? (DECA-). I don't know what a DECApod is, but I assume it's a pod with a whole bunch of sides. [before you start correcting me in the comments, I'm kidding!]
Crosswordese 101:
  • 24D: Onetime Coleco competitor (ATARI).
  • 48D: Dutch export (EDAM).
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Everything Else — 5A: In __ (A FOG); 9A: Internet letters (HTTP); 13A: Positive (ABOVE ZERO); 15A: Many are imagined (FEARS); 16A: A great teacher might be one (ROLE MODEL); 18A: Urban renewal target (EYESORE); 22A: River through New Mexico (PECOS); 23A: Castigates (BASTES); 27A: Environmentalist's goal (CLEAN AIR); 30A: Stock phrase (AT PAR); 32A: 'Hood handle (BRO); 34A: Layers (COATS); 35A: Aero-X automaker (SAAB); 36A: Commit catcher's interference, e.g. (ERR); 37A: Faulkner's "__ for Emily" (A ROSE); 41A: Acted after a coin toss, maybe (WISHED); 43A: Chocolatier's container (VAT); 44A: Takeout option (CHINESE); 46A: Style revived in the '60s (ART DECO); 51A: 1961 Best Actress (LOREN); 52A: In disorder (JUMBLED UP); 54A: Umiak builder (ALEUT); 55A: Metaphorical victim of an upset (APPLE CART); 56A: Stinger (WASP); 57A: Spring (from) (RISE); 2D: "About __": Hornby novel (A BOY); 5D: São Miguel is the largest of them (AZORES); 6D: Golf's __ Cup (FEDEX); 7D: Bauxite, for one (ORE); 8D: Oscar's covering (GOLD PLATE); 9D: Romano's "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star (HEATON); 10D: Loses big (TAKES A BATH); 14D: One acting badly? (EMOTER); 15D: Donnybrook (FRACAS); 20D: They're not optional (NEEDS); 23D: Potato choice (BAKED); 25D: Rolls seen at the beach? (SPARE TIRES); 27D: Go after (CHASE); 28D: Burning up (IRATE); 29D: Dressed for court (ROBED); 34D: Holey footwear (CROCS); 35D: One might be picked up in a storm (SOS); 37D: Stress (ACCENT); 40D: Mechanic's offer (TUNE-UP); 41D: Bird's song (WARBLE); 43D: Sirens (VAMPS); 44D: Scratch (CLAW); 49D: Salt, perhaps (CURE); 50D: Gets off the fence (OPTS); 53D: Gp. co-founded by publisher E.W. Scripps (UPI).


Van55 said...

A bit of a toughie today. I agree with PG that the cluing was a bit off here and there.

Why is a VAT a chocolatier's container? Proof of ownership for DNATEST? BASTES is more associated in my mind with cooking or sewing than castigating, but it's fine. "Colt source" is strained. Ditto "Acted after a coin toss."

I had RYDER instead of FEDEX. ROUES instead of RAKES. AFIRE instead of IRATE. Things fell into place eventually but without much fun for me.

backbiter said...

I tried so hard to make TRASHCAN LID or GARBAGE LID fit into 8D. Nothing doing (not enough letters). The Academy Awards ceremony sucks on so many levels it's embarrassing. On the other hand Oscar The Grouch is sublime.



I enjoyed this puzzle, but I thought it was rather easy for a Saturday LAT (and that’s okay with me). I always prefer a puzzle with stacks of cool words to a corny theme puzzle. This one had many great words: ABOVE ZERO, ART DECO, FRACAS, COOKIE JAR, and SPARE TIRES (don’t want to be reminded of mine).
Not a lot of trite crosswordese either. I noticed that Puzzlegirl only identified two CW101s.

Never heard of Jim KAAT.

Forgot about Stanley TUCCI, but thought “Julie & Julia” was a delightful movie… thought Amy Adams (my heart-throb) should have won an Oscar also.

Speaking of Oscars--- When I was in Hollywood, I went to the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars are handed out… saw the huge Oscar statue covered with GOLD PLATE. I was told that several actors have had their Oscar statuettes stolen.

New WOTD for me: MAHI, meaning “strong” in Hawaii.

I laughed when I read your comment about Oscar the Grouch.

I’m planning a trip to the AZORES. Have any of you been there? If so, what’s your opinion of them?

I have a funny story about Tattoos or TAT. On my Morton Arboretum website (Flickr) I have a beautiful wild rose photo that gets a lot of comments. One day a woman wrote to me to compliment me on that photo, saying, “Oh I love that flower pic and I’m thinking of having a little tattoo made of it.” Me being sort of facetious wrote back with just one word “WHERE?” Much to my chagrin, she actually sent me a photo of where the tattoo was placed… blushing ensued.

Nice puzzle. Thanks Tim.

Gotta go… my Bacon-Cheddar Omelet is waiting. I think I’ll go for a nice long walk on my 73rd birthday.

Have a wonderful Fall weekend y’all !

mac said...

Happy birthday, JNH *<:-)! First time I got to use that.

When I now look over the puzzle, it doesn't seem so hard. Must have been some of the clues.

I had Caron before Loren, and bashes for bastes. I like the two "handles", spare tires, role model, takes a bath and warble, and I love Tucci!

CartBoy said...

Accent/Aleut not accenr/aleur

DB said...

Having written BASHES instead of BASTES I was left trying to figure out how a HAT would be dedicated to mom.

Anonymous said...

pod means foot/leg, not sides. gon = side ex. polygon hexagon. arthopod, octopod(octopodo, octopus = 8 legs)

SethG said...

I don't think Colt 45 comes from a mare. Not sure why coin tossing is like candle blowing-out, why I should know a Lotte other than Lenya, or why a rose was clued as a partial when we already had a boy and a fog.

I've always wanted an Herve Villechaize tattoo. Because meta is how I roll.

badrog said...

This may not be the best example of "slightly"/LITTLE, but it is certainly the most famous: "The world will little note, nor long remember ...." A. Lincoln. The only problem is that if I try to substitute, I want to make it "only slightly". So, in this case at least, I guess LITTLE is more diminutive than "slightly".

Also, re the 2 "No idea"s:

LOTTE Lehmann has been on the cover of Time magazine (1935) and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Recording Industry). She was also the actual discoverer of the Trapp Family Singers (1936) whose story was heavily fictionalized in The Sound of Music. Altho she is noted for several Wagnerian roles; she was definitely NOT the fat lady who sings just before the opera is over.

Jim KAAT: MLB career, 1959-1983, mostly as a starter, and mostly with the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins.
For 15 of the 16 seasons that he won the Gold Glove Award (for defensive prowess), he used the same glove.
He is also a sportscaster/commentator (since 1965 in Minnesota, and for various networks since 1981; not everyone enjoys his clipped speaking style, however) and best-selling author. And, of all things, he runs 2 baseball blogs!

Brain Cramps: At 41A I had WaSHED instead of WISHED for far too long, 'cuz long ago we kids would flip/toss a coin to decide who would clear the table, wash, and/or dry the dishes. Since there are still dishes in the sink today, one wonders if Audrey, Anita, and all those other actresses whose names I don't remember, are still waiting at the Trevi fountain.

Afterwards, I had to google a bit to find a DECApod (10-legged animal). The 5-on-each-side thorax appendages of many crustaceans apparently qualify.

rz said...

@Van55 - agree that several clues were mightily stretched

@DB - like you i really, really, *really* wanted BAShES instead of BASTES. it's a much better answer to "Castigates". not knowing who Jim KAAT was had me dedicating a HAm to mom (a very real occurrence at our Sunday brunches)

also really, really,*really* wanted "beehive" for 46A (love ARTDECO and didn't believe it's ever required "reviving"). i must've erased and rewritten JUMBLED UP 10 times before abandoning the 'hive'do.

"handles" could be a mini-theme if you include SPARE TIRES as a "love" variant

@PG - thanks again for a great write-up.

.... can't wait for tomorrow's CUREd meat dedication to mom .....

Rube said...

Happy Bday @JNH.

Had 2 major writeovers: OPTS/acTS and FEDEX/ryDEr. Also, misspelled CROCS/CROkS. For a pop culture challenged guy, Tucki looked perfectly good to me.

You probably have to an opera fan for LOTTE Lehmann to be a gimme. (It was.) Did not like BASTES for Castigates, although it probably is OK in some dictionary, somewhere.

Alaskan king crab is one well know DECApod. MAHI is my WOTD, definitely. Caught one of these of the Big Island once. An absolutely gorgeously colored fish when first caught.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's probably OK in every dictionary, everywhere.

C said...

Good puzzle, bit easy for a Saturday IMO.

"that child isn't mine"
"oh yeah, that's not what the DNATEST says"

Dave in Bend said...

I guess it is a stretch in the slightly/little conundrum but you could replace slightly with little in the following: Joe is slightly/little more than a figurehead. Sheeesh now that I look at that it sure is clumsy so maybe an argument can't be made.
On board with the "wished" issue. Since a coin toss is to decide who gets to act/opt then it wouldn't be a wish but a demand.

Had the same ryder/fedex act/opt issues as Rube.

One (Not Un-PC) way to argue ownership for a DNA test would be that if DNA evidence is found, one could argue that the accused "owns" it. Another stretch at best but better than the alternative rationale.

Never was much for the err bit when referring to baseball. Either he committed an error or he didn't. I've never heard Vin Scully announce that Ron Cey (showing my age here) sure erred on that play. Oh well sunny and windy in Bend, OR and kind of missing the beaches I grew up on in Santa Monica. Happy 73rd John!

CrazyCatLady said...

Hand up for Ryder first before FEDEX. This was a DNF for me since I left one square empty. It was T at the cross of TAT and KATT. I wasn't able to CLAW my way out of that one. I went through the alphabet and when I got to the T, all I could think of was the making lace kind of TAT. It was a true d'oh moment. But KATT is kind of cool even though I've never heard of him.

Happy birthday JNH. Have a great one.

Sfingi said...

So agree with @Vans today.

Not only did I have Ryder Cup, which I got after Googling, but this led to ArOw rather than AFOG and I wondered endlessly what sort of metal coated old Oscar. Can't possibly know that much sports. Ever.

I am glad to know what MAHI means.

Frankly, I don't understand WISHED.
@CrazyCat - That's KAAT not KAtT, even more obscure than FEDEX. And sports. Your cAT, on the other hand, is quite agreeable.

@Rube - not opera. German cabaret. Die Dreigroschenoper or 3-Penny Opera, is not high opera, but a high Marxist Anti-Fascist musical, based on the English John Gay's Beggar's Opera. All great stuff. See it if you can. And the shark has pretty teeth, dear, and he keeps them out of sight (literal translation - And the shark, he has teeth and he keeps them in his face).

My inmates said that the story, A ROSE for Emily, was sick. They may be murderers, but they wouldn't do that!

I went to a book sale today and saw a Hamilton prof. finishing today's NYT w/o lifting his pen. Sigh.

mac said...

@PG: it's not too late.


To all of you who are having a problem with 41A "Acted after a coin toss. maybe" (WISHED):
You have football on the brain.
Haven't you ever tossed a coin (or three) in a fountain or a wishing-well and then wished for something?

Anonymous said...

You are obviously very young. I am 73 and have been doing crosswords since age 20....I have found that the older you get, the more you read, the more you listen, the more you watch, the more you know. I love reading your comments, even the very naive ones, and I know you will continue to learn as you work through crossword puzzles and life.

Rube said...

@Sfingi, I believe you are thinking of the Austrian Lotte Lenya, who married Kurt Weill of Three Penny Opera Fame. The confusion is natural as how many people do you know with the first name Lotte.

(Sorry for this late post, but I've been busy.)

Dave in Bend said...

Doh! re: wish/fountain versus coin toss

*David* said...

I found this one much easier then usual for a Saturday, had a couple of incorrect fills but they cleaned themselves up pretty quickly. The KAAT/TAT was the last section to fall. Many of the longish fill came to me with one letter in play which moved this along nicely.

Laura Engels said...

26d. TAT [One might be dedicated to Mom,briefly]
I can't believe I'm just learning of this!:
Groucho Marx sings "LYDIA THE TATTOOED LADY" from the 1939 film "At the Circus."

His 1969 reprise on the Dick Cavett Show is a joy.

Anonymous said...

Bastes is what he does to a turkey,
lambastes is castigates (heavy criticism)