T H U R S D A Y   November 18, 2010
John Doppler Schiff

Theme: Oh-Oh — Add an O to familiar phrases turning the last word into a famous person's name.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Marx as a Druid? (CELTIC HARPO).
  • 55A: Well-dressed Swedish actress? (FORMAL GARBO).
  • 11D: Godfather portrayer turned shop owner? (STORE BRANDO).
  • 25D: Beatle in a bout? (BOXING RINGO).
I'm in a foul mood today for no apparent reason, so we're gonna go straight to bullets then I'll go have breakfast and see if I can readjust my attitude.

  • 14A: More of a novice (RAWER). The W here is the last letter I entered into the grid. The only word I could see here was "rarer." Looking at the down (3D: Athena's attendant) didn't help, because all I could see there was "oil." Had to do an alphabet run to come up with RAWER / OWL. Seems obvious now.
  • 16A: A victory may break one (TIE). Something about the wording bothers me on this one. Seems to me breaking a tie causes a victory, but this clue implies the cause and effect are reversed. Hmm.
  • 26A: Cell component (BAR). I assume this refers to the BARs on a jail cell. Reading it as signal strength BARs on a cell-phone is probably a stretch.
  • 31A: Parts of personal music libraries (MIX TAPES). For all you young whippersnappers, back in the old days before we had playlists, we had mix tapes. Making one was a stressful time-consuming process. Especially if you wanted it to be perfect. Which you did.
  • 33A: Musical intervals (THIRDS). Random!
  • 40A: Classic breath freshener (SEN-SEN). Not to be confused with Fen-Phen. Totally different things.
  • 42A: Certain counter's woe (INSOMNIA). I was thinking bean-counter until sheep-counter became clear through crosses.
  • 44A: Iron supplement brand (GERITOL). Forever associated with the fantastically patronizing line from its television commercial: "My wife. I think I'll keep her."
  • 53A: There are pins at the end of one (LANE). Bowling!
  • 18D: Vinyl successors, briefly (CD'S). Haha. I thought the clue meant that CD's succeeded vinyl only briefly. It wasn't until I was typing up this list that I realized the clue is letting us know that the answer is an abbreviation. Prersonally, I don't think we need that hint with CD. Anyone ever call them compact discs?
  • 29D: Musical seconds (RES). As in "do, re, mi …."
  • 30D: Not charging for (THROWING IN). PuzzleParents used to live a couple blocks from the real guy who inspired the "Soup Nazi" character on "Seinfeld." PuzzleDad reported at the time that sometimes the guy would THROW IN bread or fruit and sometimes he wouldn't. You really never knew what you were going to get with him.
  • 38D: Like a USN volunteer (ENL.). That's an ugly abbreviation for ENListed.
  • 47D: Its southern border is about seven times longer than its northern one (IDAHO). Now, see? There's some good trivial information. Love it.
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Everything Else — 1A: Encircled by (AMONG); 6A: Persian faith (BAHÁ'Í); 11A: One with a cover (SPY); 15A: Lunch hr. end, often (ONE P.M.); 19A: Rio hello (OLA); 20A: PD precinct boss (CMDR.); 21A: Chants of a lifetime? (MANTRAS); 23A: Works (LABORS); 27A: Lift with effort (HEFT); 28A: Win by __ (A NOSE); 29A: Built up charges (RAN A TAB); 36A: ASCAP rival (BMI); 37A: First rabies vaccine creator (PASTEUR); 39A: Interior decorator's concern (ART); 46A: Spread out (WIDEN); 47A: Memo opener (IN RE); 49A: Bengals, on scoreboards (CIN); 50A: Noble address (MI'LORD); 51A: Question of advisability (DO I DARE); 54A: Columnist Landers (ANN); 60A: Biker's chopper (HOG); 61A: Bullwinkle nemesis (BORIS); 62A: Stravinsky and a lab assistant (IGORS); 63A: Barcelona bear (OSO); 64A: Bright (SMART); 65A: Not schooled in (NEW AT); 1D: Ring piece (ARC); 2D: West of Hollywood (MAE); 4D: Discounted price (NET COST); 5D: Antonius Block's chess opponent in Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" (GRIM REAPER); 6D: Nuclear Nobelist Niels (BOHR); 7D: Prefix with gram (ANA-); 8D: Author Wouk (HERMAN); 9D: Paraphernalia (APPARATUS); 10D: "That's my cue!" ("I'M ON!"); 12D: Dinner side, perhaps (PILAF); 13D: It can raise dough (YEAST); 22D: Chiang Mai resident (THAI); 23D: Ewe kids (LAMBS); 24D: Asian cartoon genre (ANIME); 26D: Fortification (BASTION); 32D: Safe place with a counterintuitive name (PANIC ROOM); 34D: Less soggy (DRIER); 35D: Stop asking for cards (STAND); 41D: Parakeet's eats (SEED); 43D: Distance on a tank (MILEAGE); 45D: __ del Fuego (TIERRA); 48D: Prohibitions (NO-NOS); 50D: Bad start? (MAL-); 52D: HQs for B-2s (AFB'S); 53D: Not leading anyone (LAST); 56D: Highest Russian territory, once? (MIR); 57D: Kerfuffle (ROW); 58D: Grille cover (BRA); 59D: From Essen to Leipzig, locally (OST).



OLA y’all!

O My !
What fun theme words! All were nice puns on famous entertainment stars.
Not only that, but they were in a cute pinwheel form. I sort of expected that the center would be the reveal, but no. I also liked all the 9 and 10 letter cross fill.

It’s because of INSOMNIA that I’m able to do these puzzles so early in the morning.
Still a little groggy, but it took me only 11:21 minutes online, which is very good for me. Maybe it’s due to the GERITOL that I’m taking.

DO I DARE slip in a YouTube clip of a GERITOL commercial? Oh what the heck---
Whenever I see GERITOL, I think of those goofy old commercials on the Lawrence Welk Show.

For 29A, “Built up charges”, I kept thinking of IONS and ANODES, then I wrote in STATICS. Duh! Took me a while to get to RAN A TAB.

Now tell me, has anyone ever referred to a more novice person as a “RAWER”? Come on!

The BAHAI Temple in Wilmette Illinois is an architectural masterpiece… I remember going there as a kid and how awesome it seemed to me.

Would someone please explain the clue for 26a “Cell component” (BAR)? Is that referring to one of the steel rods enclosing a jail cell, or is it one of the little reception bars on a cell phone? Or is it something else?

I was looking for a video clip in ANIME of the marvelous singer, Datengoku SENSEN, but all I could find was this one of her with the recent Poison Tour. Enjoy!

Da Doppler Done Did It! Thanks, John, for a nice puzzle.

Off to Denny’s for my favorite… Moons Over My Hammy®… Yum!

Tinbeni said...

I loved this puzzle and these themes. 'nuff said!!!

Doppler, I'm blown away! Great Job!

RAN-A-TAB ... Moi? NEVER!!!
I prefer to "pay-as-I-go" SOOOO when I want to leave I can do so without having to find the bartender.

Wanted Scotch for 'Dinner side, perhaps' ... alas I had PILAF. Which is fine with me, too.
Got to have a veggie.

Fave was SPY, 'One with a cover.'
Hmmm, Hey, Tin wasn't your's being a boring accountant? Maybe yes, maybe no ...

Also like the MILEAGE for 'Distance on a tank.'
Yup, I check this every time.
Part of my nature I suppose.

Today is the "Great American Smokeout Day" ... I guess I'll get a carton and smoke Two Packs (for a change of pace).

Toast to all at Sunset !!!

SethG said...

John, explanation of BARS is here. And RAWER is not a noun.

I found none of the theme answers amusing. I did learn that MILORD is a word.

Anonymous said...

INRE 31-Across, did anyone else find themselves looking at it with the fill showing "_ _ xtapes" and then wondering if this were an R rated puzzle?

Maybe I'm just too NEWAT puzzles, but considering that BRA was AMONG the fill, I think I was justified to wonder.

gespenst said...

Until the very end I didn't think I was going to finish!

I wanted Binaca for "classic breath freshener," but I guess that's not classic enough ;)

Hard time parsing DOIDARE. Couldn't figure out what "DOID" meant ;)

I did like the theme w/ the -O's.

Van55 said...

Crunchy Thursday puzzle for me. Big stall at the upper left where I didn't know Antonius Block or his chess opponent or that Athena's pal was an owl and struggled with sussing out Ring part as ARC.

23 proper nouns made it a bit tough as well -- including those in the them answers.

I liked the theme puns, myself.

I, too, found the cluing a bit off in places, including for RAWER, BAR, TIE and CMDR. Maybe it's a local thing, but where I come from the top dog of the police department is CAPT.

IMON and ENL are pretty weak as well, I think.

John Wolfenden said...

Nice writeup PG. I liked the Wii Bowling pic...there's a variant of the game my daughters like to play with 100 pins instead of 10.

Remarkably smooth for me, the NW being the last to fall. Had CLERIC HARPO.

Minor quibble with NET COST: net isn't a discount. Back me up, business-savvy puzzlers.

Nice to see Antonius Block in a puzzle. An unforgettable moment from one of my favorite directors: Max von Sydow playing chess with death on the beach.

"Highest Russian territory, once?" for MIR is very clever. A big thumbs up.

Joon said...

i kind of wish the theme answers had been funnier.

a victory in a game can break a TIE in the standings. on a thursday, i don't mind a clue that makes you think about how it works, as long as it does work.

THIRDS clued as musical intervals, plus {Musical seconds} for RES in the same puzzle, made me wince a bit.

sethG always makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

I had SERUTAN (Nature's, backwards) for Geritol for a bit until I figured out the right answer via crosses.

I think "sen-sen" is mentioned in the song "Trouble" from "Music Man."

Avg Joe said...

The whole puzzle was a slog for me, but I got through it. Had the most trouble in the NW. First theme solve was BoxingRingo and already had Harpo, to I was onto the add-an-o idea, but Celtic took a long time to appear.

PG, I vividly remember the "My Wife.." ads, but had completely forgotten they were from Geritol. When I hear Geritol, I can only think of "Twice the iron of a pound of calves liver." Prolly the result of being force fed Lawrence Welk as a kid too often.

Anon, you are right. Sen-Sen is mentioned in "Trouble", at about the 3 minute mark:


I remember those too...tasted like kerosene! Bleh!

imsdave said...

This puzzle took me longer than the NYT - and that's a good thing. Love the way the LAT is ramping up the difficulty level. Only comment really related to the puzzle is how much I liked the triple-entendre cluing for BAR.

Great work as always PG, and hope your mood has improved.

captcha? challi - multiple loaves of challah? This is a good thing :)

CrazyCatLady said...

This was a slog for me too. NW was a problem for a long time with the cross of OWL and RAWER. I really didn't like the clue for RAWER. RES and THIRDS bugged me, as did AFBS and ENL. Got the theme at CELTIC HARPO so the theme answers fell easily enough, but I had a bunch write overs. The MIR clue Highest Russian territory, once? was cute. Thought of cell phone BARS before jail cell BARS.

Finally, I am always glad to see BORIS Badenov. Love that No-Goodnik!

C said...

Good tension on the puzzle difficulty today. I didn't run through the puzzle but didn't really have any areas that stopped me cold.

I have never heard of SENSEN but that is why they give you down clues along with across clues.

hazel said...

I've had a very long vacation from the LAT puzzles, and was kind of disappointed to have this one as my reentry puzz. Seemed kind of lame-O. Every time I had to put that O in, it was like swatting a pesky mosquito. Not all bad, for sure, this "genre" is just not my cuppa.

Although @SethG doesn't ALWAYS make me laugh, he definitely did so today.


This is the SEN SEN that I remember so well. I still have the tiny metal box on the right in this photo, but its empty. They were little 1/8" black squares that smelled like creosote and tasted awful... but as a kid they covered my cigarette breath perfectly.

badrog said...

Mini-theme? Centenarian wishful thinking, per 40A & 44A, & of course, 2D as well.

ddbmc said...

Got the "add an "O," with STORE BRANDO. Had an uncle (RIP) who used to say: Oh oh OOOHHH! Upon our arrival at whatever family festivity was going on. Used to drive me and my brother, tdb, crazy!

Agree with @PG and @CCL today on "the not so keen on" words,YET, got a chuckle from @MAC's word, KERFUFFLE, being used as a clue!

NW was a slog, as RAWER just could/would not be congered. "RAW, RAW RAW! That's the spirit at More Science High!"~~Firesign Theater, circa 1970. I don't think it was Nick Danger, Third Eye, who said that, tho'

Funny, GERITOL made me think of the "TED MACK AMATEUR HOUR!"
Ted Mack Hour

@PG, hope the afternoon has improved your mood! Hopefully the smile inducing @SethG, worked his wonders. Will Kate Middleton have to start using that phrase: "Yes, Mi'lord?(BTW,you all make me smile, at one time or another!)

Captcha-dicre--disolved inorganic compound, a note to follow Doh?

Eric said...

The theme made me think of this (well, actually this, but the way he spells it, the link isn't quite as obvious). This is a different tune with the same name -- Celtic folk as performed by fümf Stuttgartern (I'm sure I botched that plural, but o well...).

Never heard of SEN SEN. Remembered that childhood TV-watching that GERITOL was some ELIXIR for old folks, but only learned from this puzzle that it was an iron supplement.

Liked "Stravinski and a lab assistant" -> IGORS.

xxpossum said...

@ddbmc; Did you mean conjure? From my crosswording experience,"conger" is an eeler.Whatever the F that is.Was gonna rip on your spelling, but you came through on the correct "Mi'Lord" with apostrophe insert.As for 2day's puzzle, got me good on Sen-Sen.Classic? That's arguable. L8R,y'all!

Sfingi said...

@Eric - that fellow has a pretty good voice.Friend of yours? Reminiscent of Burl Ives.

I knew a Deutscher with a last name of Sensen. As far as the breath improver, that's an oldster thing. Before toothbrushes, I think.

PASTEUR - don't forget his sidekick, Roux, which would be a good CW.

Speaking of old, my personal music library is sheet music.

Good puzzle.

Nighthawk said...

Rainy and overcast all day here. Just kinda blah. Perhaps where you are too @PG. Hope things improve.

Liked the theme (got it at CELTICHARPO though got the HARPO long before the CELTIC.)

I too wondered why they didn't pinwheel around something other than PASTEUR.

Not too sure how I got to the finish line, but get there I did. Some things came easily, then just plugged along.

Had a few bumps along the way. Thought 29A was "ionized" for a long time, goofing up the middle.
Drew a blank at, oddly, 29A when had _A_. Was thinking, at first, it must be CW101 "ova" (but perhaps due to the persistence of memory of 2 prior days of "Eva" discussions.) Then just couldn't get past also having PASTEUR in the puz, so was thinking, "how do I fit "Mitochondria", "Golgi body", "nucleus", "endoplasmic reticulum", or "ribosome" in three spaces! On no, not a Rebus! Please, no!" Later, RAN A TAB appeared and relieved me of such nonsense. (Liked that RAN A TAB was UNder the bar! My kind of tab!)

Also liked BORIS and IGORS side by side. GERITOL was a blast from the past (agree with @PG about the slogan - but that was the time of Mad Men - surprised it hasn't appeared on the show iconicly). Clever clue for MIR, but thought the grille BRA was, while certainly in the language and provided an Aha! moment, a bit of a stretch.

Minor chaff fill like CIN, SENSEN (though latter actually sorta fun). Wondered when "sin, sin, sin!" right here in River City would appear.

All in all a pretty easygoing and enjoyable Thursday from the O SO SMART Mr. Schiff.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG as always - needed your help today especially with RAWER - still don't know if I get that one.

I fumbled all through the puzzle today - it was tough! The theme was OK but some of the fill just left me clueless??

On to Friday and the end of the week!!

Eric said...

@xxpossum: Almost. Conger is a kind of eel, not a person who fishes for them. Wikipedia says they're a genus of marine eels, one species of which is often used in sushi. I guess that makes the people who fish for them congerers :-)
But thanks; I was wondering what eels had to do with anything. Then again, the ones used in sushi are RAWER, so maybe that explains it :-)

@Sfingi: Nope, never heard of him till I went searching today for renditions of that song. When the page came up, I was expecting to be underwhelmed -- just some guy in his den with his geetar -- but was quite pleasantly surprised; besides a good singing voice, he has a great sense of timing. Yah, his looks remind me of Burl Ives now that you mention it, but it was Sean Connery I thought of; similar-sounding voice, including the accent. (Not that I recall ever hearing Connery sing...)

Eric said...

Nope, not the voice; just the accent is like Connery's. I should have listened again before writing that :-/

Lee-Roy said...

Thanks for this blog. I'm enjoying LAT puzzling a lot more since I found it.

Didn't have an issue with this. I think a victory can most definitely break a tie. Imagine a World Series. The tie can be a result of both teams having the same number of victories. Team A has won two games. Team B has won two games. They are 2-2 in the series. In game 5 of the series, Team B has a victory and thus breaks the tie. I think I get your thinking on this, though. If a baseball game goes into extra innings, there can be no victory in the game until the tied score is broken. Whoever breaks the tie is victorious.

A thought regarding BAR:
"Cell," when used as a name for a type of phone, is actually a shortened form of "Cellular." Since the answer is not a shortened form of a larger word, I'd venture to guess that the clue is specifically talking about a jail cell and that the double meaning is just bonus fun or a coincidence or both.

I'm not too familiar with the hierarchy of police, but I'm guessing CMDR is specific to a precinct, rather than captain, which is perhaps more specific to the entire department.

This is where I screwed up. I put NEWTO and I guess I was so sure of the answer I totally ignored the fact that 58 and 59 down didn't make sense. Oh well. 99% Win! :-)

ddbmc said...

@xxpossum-guilty as charged! Totally missed that spelling error! Thanks! Guess, based on the Friday cw theme, I was CLUELESS.