S U N D A Y   November 14, 2010
Jeff Chen (syndicated)

Theme: "Physical Therapy Session"— All the theme answers are two-word phrases with the initials P.T.

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: It begins with H (PERIODIC TABLE).
  • 29A: Place to take a date? (PALM TREE).
  • 35A: Worker with a fork (PIANO TUNER).
  • 46A: Wood shop item (POWER TOOL).
  • 57A: One may be used in child support (PATERNITY TEST).
  • 69A: You can't put it down (PAGE TURNER).
  • 75A: All-bark, no-bite type (PAPER TIGER).
  • 83A: Windshield downer (PARKING TICKET).
  • 97A: History feature (PAST TENSE)
  • 106A: Intimate exchange (PILLOW TALK).
  • 115A: Number that may be shocking (PRICE TAG).
  • 126A: Endurance level of a sort (PAIN THRESHOLD).
Howdy, folks. Doug here today. I thought it might be fun to devote a little more attention to the syndicated Sunday puzzle from time to time. PuzzleGirl gave me the keys to the place, but she likes to sleep in on Sundays, so try to not to disturb her with any loud comments.

Very straightforward theme today. The title had me thinking we were going to get some physical therapy-related puns. (Lady of Sprain, maybe?) No luck there, but apparently physical therapy is often abbreviated PT. OK, that works. I was impressed with the number of theme entries (12) in this one. Not quite Naddoresque, but impressive nonetheless. I'm sure the constructor had lots of PT's to choose from, and he put together a nice set. The most surprising to me was PAIN THRESHOLD. Interesting entry that I've never seen in a crossword grid, and you could even say it's related to physical therapy. Ouch.

  • 23A: It begins with H (PERIODIC TABLE). I really liked this clue. I had no idea where it was going. Lots and lots of phrases start with H, right? Very clever. In case you're still in the dark, the first element in the periodic table is Hydrogen (H). My favorite periodic table is the Periodic Table of Comic Books.
  • 50A: Chopin's Opus 10 works (ETUDES). For some reason, I read this clue as a complete sentence. "Chopin's Opus 10 works." "Works for what? Huh?"
  • 103A: The toe of an Asian "boot" (OMAN). Hmmm, I didn't know Asia had a boot too. OK, I guess the Arabian Peninsula could be considered a boot. Italy's boot is definitely more stylish. Arabia looks like one of those Ugg boots.
  • 125A: 1881 Pasteur vaccine target (ANTHRAX). An easier clue (for me) would have referenced the thrash metal band Anthrax. They were one of the "Big Four" thrash bands of the '80s, along with Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer. I was going to include an Anthrax video here, but I think I've already exceeded the allowed level of Anthrax content for this blog.
  • 131A: Discordant to many an ear (ATONAL). Yep, this clue would also work for ANTHRAX.
  • 69D: Dorm wall art (PINUP). Feels like an anachronistic clue. I think of pin-ups as more of a WWII era thing. Betty Grable, Lana Turner, etc. On a side note, I just found out that Judge Wapner of "People's Court" fame dated Lana Turner when they were both students at Hollywood High.
  • 99D: Critter on Australia's coat of arms (EMU). Three-letter word with "critter" and "Australia" in the clue? It's got to be ROO or EMU. Whaddya know, they're both on the coat of arms! The koalas and dingos must be ticked off.
  • 109D: "Black bird" pursuer of fiction (SPADE). The "black bird" in question is the Maltese Falcon, and it's pursued by Sam Spade. One of my favorite books and movies. "The stuff that dreams are made of."
  • 117D: Pop ___, Chok'lit Shoppe owner in "Archie" comics (TATE). This one was a gimme for me. I read a lot of "Archie" comics when I was a kid. It's hard for me to believe that they're still being published, but they're out there. I see "Archie" digests at the grocery store all the time. Do kids today read "Archie" comics? I hope there are at least a few young comic book geeks out there.

Have a great Sunday!

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 28A: Hip-hop doc (DRE).
  • 32A: Skipper's direction (ALEE).
  • 44A: Looked for lampreys (EELED).
  • 56A: NY tech. school since 1824 (RPI).
  • 90A: Actress Thurman (UMA).
  • 91A: Island at the edge of the Bering Sea (ATTU).
  • 12D: Capital of Poland? (PEE).
  • 51D: While lead-in (ERST).
  • 59D: Daly of "Judging Amy" (TYNE).
  • 72D: "Bambi" doe (ENA).
  • 116D: Eagle by the shore (ERNE).
Everything Else — 1A: Target (AIM FOR); 7A: Zany (MADCAP); 13A: Standout in a small pond? (BIG FISH); 20A: "Pizza by the slice" chain (SBARRO); 21A: Cactus bump (AREOLE); 22A: Centers for Disease Control headquarters site (ATLANTA); 25A: Soaked up, as a spill (BLOTTED); 26A: Barnyard abode (STY); 27A: Fit together (MESH); 30A: Detection device (SENSOR); 34A: A very long time (EONS); 39A: Some are narrow (ESCAPES); 43A: Rice-A-__ (RONI); 53A: One of seven (ASIA); 55A: Video game giant (SEGA); 61A: Blotch (STAIN); 63A: VAIO computer maker (SONY); 64A: Took to the airport, say (SAW OFF); 68A: BrontÎ who wrote "Agnes Grey" (ANNE); 77A: Present-day Persia (IRAN); 78A: Swarmed (TEEMED); 80A: U.S. dept. concerned with radioactive waste (ENER.); 81A: "Inception" filmmaker Christopher (NOLAN); 95A: Face-off (DUEL); 96A: Beethoven's "Waldstein," e.g. (SONATA); 100A: __ toast (MELBA); 104A: From way back when (OLDTIME); 109A: __ City: Baghdad suburb (SADR); 112A: "__ said!" ('NUFF); 114A: Essence (NATURE); 119A: One way to sway (FRO); 121A: Chapeau site (TÊTE); 122A: __ tai (MAI); 129A: Cold War follower (DETENTE); 130A: Harshly criticize (SCATHE); 132A: Paris's Champs __ (ÉLYSÉES); 133A: Sommelier, e.g. (SERVER); 134A: Pestilent fly (TSE-TSE); 1D: Lethal snakes (ASPS); 2D: "As if!" ("I BET!"); 3D: Mrs. Lincoln (MARY); 4D: Calendar abbr. (FRI.); 5D: Words from a balcony (O ROMEO); 6D: Squirrel, for one (RODENT); 7D: Speed of sound (MACH ONE); 8D: Pianist Tatum (ART); 9D: __ in the water (DEAD); 10D: Lethal snake (COBRA); 11D: Gene variant (ALLELE); 13D: Ali the woodcutter (BABA); 14D: "__ cost you!" (IT'LL); 15D: Grab, in slang (GLOM); 16D: Most plump (FATTEST); 17D: Preamble (INTRO); 18D: "Card Players Quarreling" artist (STEEN); 19D: Underworld god (HADES); 24D: Time edition (ISSUE); 29D: Cowboy legend __ Bill (PECOS); 30D: Catty (SNIDE); 31D: Send along (RELAY); 33D: Uncanny ability (ESP); 35D: Get set (PREP); 36D: Itty-bitty bit (IOTA); 37D: "Sometimes you feel like __ ..." (ANUT); 38D: See 127-Down (REST); 40D: Amaze (AWE); 41D: Cribbage piece (PEG); 42D: Some are named for presidents (ERAS); 45D: "__ Irae" (DIES); 47D: Borneo rainforest dweller (ORANG); 48D: Offer a thought (OPINE); 49D: Big boat (LINER); 52D: Muzzle (SNOUT); 54D: Memo order (ASAP); 58D: Memo opening (IN RE); 60D: It flew its last flight in 2001 (TWA); 62D: Clavell's "__-Pan" (TAI); 65D: Start the bidding (OPEN); 66D: __ shui (FENG); 67D: Worries (FRETS); 70D: Wavy lines, in comics (AROMA); 71D: Bashes (GALAS); 73D: Brit. or Byzantine (EMP.); 74D: Pore over (READ); 76D: The Stooges, e.g. (TRIO); 79D: Jazz combo member (DRUM); 82D: Pertaining to all 50 sts. (NATL.); 84D: Opposite of spoil (KEEP); 85D: Bad, in rap slang (ILLIN'); 86D: 100 simoleons (C-NOTE); 87D: __ Sutra (KAMA); 88D: List-shortening term (ET AL.); 89D: Place to put a tiger, in old ads (TANK); 92D: Media mogul Turner (TED); 93D: "Rizzoli & Isles" station (TNT); 94D: Manipulating (USING); 98D: Primitive light sources (TORCHES); 101D: Gibberish (BLATHER); 102D: Adjust (ALTER); 105D: Obliterate (EFFACE); 107D: Consume more than (OUTEAT); 108D: Jerks (WRESTS); 110D: Synthetic fabric (ARNEL); 111D: Simple tune (DITTY); 113D: Brother in a hood? (FRIAR); 118D: Cancels (AXES); 120D: Airing, as a sitcom (ON TV); 122D: The Alps' __ Blanc (MONT); 123D: Regretful word (ALAS); 124D: Not doing anything (IDLE); 126D: They're usually under signatures: Abbr. (PS'S); 127D: With 38-Down, what's left (THE); 128D: Work the soil (HOE).



Omigosh! I finally got a Sunday 21x21 that I was able to solve in less than an hour. I found that this puzzle had very direct clues, lots of crosswordese, and a simplistic theme. I did, however, enjoy working through it… the P-T theme words were pretty nice. I usually start off a puzzle by doing the first and last corners just to set the tone. When I saw AIM FOR, ASPS, TSE TSE, and IDLE I drew the conclusion that I wouldn’t like this one, but after I got into it I changed my opinion. I give it a big “WOW” for having 12 good theme entries.

Some really great words: ALLELE, BIG FISH, ANTHRAX, O ROMEO, DÉTENTE, and GLOM.

Loved the Maltese Falcon / Sam SPADE clue (109D).

Then after a very pleasurable solve, I came to this blog and found a very nice treat, Doug’s writeup. Thank you Doug for letting Puzzlegirl catch up on her beauty-REST.
Really enjoyed your “Josie” clip and yes, I’m one of those comic book geeks.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t embed a clip of Freddy Kempf playing Chopin’s ETUDE, Opus 10, No. 3.
What a lovely way to wake up on this beautiful Sunday morning.

But then, Cziffra playing Beethoven’s “Waldstein” SONATA isn’t so shabby either.

I’m so glad that I got to finish this puzzle before finishing my MacDonald’s Big Breakfast.

Have a funday Sunday y’all!

Argyle said...

There seems to be a problem with the Crosswordese 101 links. They aren't working for me, at least.

badrog said...

Thanks, Doug, for the commentary.

At 50A, Spent much more time cogitating on your bulleted comment than on actually filling in the answer.
1. Would "Chopin's Opus 10 opi" have been better?
2. No, 'cuz the true plural of opus, at least in musical usage, is "opera", and "... Opus 10 opera" would've been still more confusing.
3. And also 'cuz the cataloging standard is "Opus nn, No. nn".
4. So maybe "... Opus 10 numbers" would've been better, both accurate and sorta punny.
5. And finally, I just had to go to YouTube to see if the melody that was running thru my head was in fact Opus 10, No. 3. Yes, it was indeed, the one that starts off the same as "My Grandfather's Clock".

Re 69D, I agree with you. Perhaps "Barracks art" would've been better. And then I thought, wait a minute... Where was it that you saw those pin-ups just recently? And I remembered that it was at a nearby garage named "Oscar's Auto Repair." And the pix were of a Marisa Tomei look-alike in "My Cousin Vinny" costume holding mechanic's tools.

"Have a great Sunday"? OK, but I'll also have a great sundae, down at Trevino Fountain. Oooops ... wrong puzzle.

Van55 said...

Decent enough puzzle without a really clever theme or any great sparkle for me. Nothing at all to hate, but not much to love, either, for me.

Doug P said...

Crosswordese 101 links have been fixed. Sorry about that!

Eric said...

I didn't get the theme at all, till I came here -- I was completely taken in by PAIN THRESHOLD.

Gimmes were ALLELE, DIES, and HADES.

@Doug: I'm glad you posted the link to the Comic-Book Periodic Table, so I didn't have to :-)

On the subject of comics, Archie made news earlier this year, for introducing their first gay male character ever. (Does that mean they've had gay female characters before this?)

For "Brother in a hood?" I thought it was looking for, well, the sort of person who says ILLIN :-)

Did you know they've found TSE TSE fossils in Colorado? I didn't, till just now.

And on the subject of nasties, it's nice to see another poisonous snake, COBRA, along with the everpresent crosswordese ASPS.

And not-so-nasties: ANTHRAX doesn't make me think of thrash metal; it makes me think of this :-) Bonus: it even has TORCHES in it...

Anonymous said...

If you couldn't solve this puzzle, you're not ready for Prime Time....