T H U R S D A Y   November 25, 2010
Don Gagliardo

Theme: Electric Circuit — All words around the outside perimeter of the grid can come after the word "electric" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 1A: Racer's privilege (POLE).
  • 5A: Group of contestants (FIELD).
  • 10A: Heart, basically (PUMP).
  • 13D: Kind of nap or tie (POWER).
  • 39D: Common observer (EYE).
  • 58D: Bach's instrument (ORGAN).
  • 73A: Make it official (SIGN).
  • 72A: Rhythmic element (METER).
  • 71A: Spelunker's aid (LAMP).
  • 52D: Machine with bits (DRILL).
  • 32D: Summer cooler (FAN).
  • 1D: Brahms's instrument (PIANO).
  • 7D: What the perimeter answers in this puzzle literally create (ELECTRIC CIRCUIT).
Happy Turkey Day, everybody! I'm grateful to all of you for hanging out with me and indulging me in my crossword ramblings. So far I'm still having fun. I hope you're getting a little something out of it too.

I'm not going to say too much today — like you I'm sure, I have a lot of family togetherness to get to. Also football. And food. So let's start off with the couple of things I didn't know at all:
  • 36A: Three-time U.S. Women's Open champ Berning (SUSIE). Never heard of her. But I haven't paid close attention to tennis in a while. Is she a current player? HAha! She's a golfer. So I guess my inattention to tennis is irrelevant.
  • 62D: German fantasy author Michael (ENDE). I feel like I've seen this name before, but it must not have made much of an impression on me.
  • 18A: "Camelot" composer (LOEWE) / 19A: "Camelot," e.g. (SHOW). I like the consecutive "Camelot" clues with rhyming answers. Seems appropriate somehow.
  • 21A: Prog. discontinued at some campuses during the Vietnam War (ROTC). Apparently it wasn't discontinued at PuzzleDad's college. Legend has it that Dad once beat a guy at pool who, because he didn't have the money on him (!!!), offered to mark my dad "present" in his required ROTC class for the semester. It was only after the semester ended that Dad discovered the guy had moved away. Ouch.
  • 48A: Martini's partner (ROSSI). I guess I was thinking of tennis because of that golf clue I mentioned (sheesh!) and misread this as "Martina's partner."
  • 52A: Baseball SS's stats (DP'S). I guess this means Double Plays. If I had been forced to come up with it, I probably would have, but I just got it through crosses.
  • 69A: Take for __: fool (A RIDE). I had the problem here that SethG talked about yesterday. I read the clue and thought the answer would be "take for … a fool."
  • 3D: Scofflaw of a sort (LITTERBUG). I tried "loiterer" but came up short on letters.
  • 60D: "Your time __!" (IS UP). Yes, indeed, it is.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: China's Zhou __ (ENLAI).
  • 47A: Perry's creator (ERLE).
  • 55A: Copycat (APER).
  • 70A: Agora portico (STOA).
  • 4D: Dinner duo? (ENS).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 14A: Victor's claim (I WIN); 16A: "Bug off!" ("SHOO!"); 17A: Tiny colonists (ANTS); 20A: The Wallendas don't use one (NET); 22A: Insensitive (OBTUSE); 24A: Had too much of (OD'ED ON); 26A: Adjust, as wheels (TRUE); 28A: Sailor's pronoun (HER); 29A: Designer Gernreich (RUDI); 30A: Church observances (RITES); 32A: Watch pockets (FOBS); 34A: "Hulk" star Bana (ERIC); 40A: Lie alongside (ABUT); 41A: Ali G portrayer __ Baron Cohen (SACHA); 43A: Depend (RELY); 44A: Bruce who played Dr. Watson (NIGEL); 46A: Bakery curlicue maker (ICER); 50A: Unlike Miss Manners (RUDE); 56A: Former NBAer Mourning (ALONZO); 59A: Sanction (RATIFY); 61A: Red amount? (CENT); 63A: Like BMWs: Abbr. (GER.); 64A: March time (IDES); 65A: Connie of "Weekends With Maury and Connie" (CHUNG); 67A: Cold water hazard (BERG); 68A: Party with ukes (LUAU); 2D: Finished paying off (OWNED); 5D: Serious crimes (FELONIES); 6D: Trying to settle a score, for short? (IN O.T.); 8D: __ of averages (LAW); 9D: Fade to nothing (DIE OUT); 10D: Sound made with a cupped hand (PSST); 11D: Compliant sound (UH-HUH); 12D: Bullwinkle J. __ (MOOSE); 21D: Fishing tool (ROD); 23D: Queen's offspring (BEES); 25D: Sporty '70s Plymouth (DUSTER); 27D: Nouveau __ (RICHE); 31D: "And how!" ("SURE DO!"); 33D: __-Wan Kenobi (OBI); 35D: Bring up (RAISE); 37D: Tanzania wildlife reserve (SERENGETI); 38D: Bad (ILL); 42D: Orchestrator, perhaps (ARRANGER); 45D: Rye buy (LOAF); 49D: Cloak-and-dagger gadget (SPYCAM); 51D: Nth: Abbr. (ULT.); 53D: "The Taming of the Shrew" setting (PADUA); 54D: Locomotive propeller (STEAM); 57D: Cause of some floating, briefly (ZERO G); 66D: Charlemagne's realm: Abbr. (HRE); 67D: Undergrad degs. (BS'S).


Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, I thought that was an excellent write-up.

Now I'm PUMPed up to watch Rocky and the MOOSE later in the parade.

OK, that 22A was just OBTUSE.

FUN THanksgiving Day puzzle.

howardlwatson said...

Happy Turkey Day to you also. And I'm grateful to you for hanging in there and continuing to grace us with your crossword ramblings. I look forward to them every day.

Anonymous said...

66D HRE? Whatzat?

backbiter said...

Happy Overindulge Day!! Um, wait. That's everyday over here. I have the dvr set to record Bullwinkle every weekend. Yes, I've seen them all before. I just never get tired of it. I had Sasha for Sacha which kinda screwed me up. Also, I misread "And how" as "And now" which screwed me more. I kept tring to think of emcee and announcer sayings. Other than that, no prob. Try not to injure you internal organs today.


v-man said...

The cluing didn't seem that difficult for a thursday nor was it very festive but not bad. Fob just seems like a strange made up word to me. Anyway Happy Thanksgiving to all fellow crossworders.

Tinbeni said...

HRE = Holy Roman Empire

oops, Forgot to mention ...

Cheer's and a "toast" to you all later as I watch my
West Coast of Florida Sunset at 5:34 pm.

Hey, it's in the 70's here ... time for a walk on the beach.

Anonymous said...

The watch fob is not the pocket It's the chain or strap that is attached to the watch.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Now today we have a lovely puzzle to be thankful for.
One that starts out with Brahm’s PIANO and ends up with Bach’s ORGAN.
The only thing that spoils it… seeing SACHA Baron Cohen right smack-dab in the middle (ugh!)

Loved the ELECTRIC CIRCUIT theme and wow, all those amazing fill words, like: LITTERBUG, SERENGETI, ARRANGER, SUSIE Berning, NIGEL Bruce, and SPYCAM.

The only things I didn’t like (besides SACHA) were: ODED ON, IN OT, DPS and ULT.

I too am thankful to Puzzlegirl for HER hanging out with us. I know it’s not always easy to prep a writeup when you have tend to a family and career. Thank you, sweetie… we love ’ya. Your writeups are always very inspirational and entertaining.

It’s also a day to be thankful for my nice family and friends and yes, that’s YOU, my fellow commenters. For the most part I really enjoy reading all the non-OBTUSE comments, even with the gentle banter.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend y’all

*David* said...

I like these types of puzzle, they are a nice change of pace and give you a different look in a puzzle. There was a bit too much short fill for my taste but I can live with it.

Fob can mean either the pocket or the chain that holds the watch. First defintion is the pocket.

Mr. Ende recognition occurred when I realized we always see him as The Never Ending Story writer; Never Ending/Ende, what humor.

PG your running of the show as ringmaster is greatly appreciated by hedonist, syncophant, and narcissist alike.

badrog said...

Paraphrasing what, in 1621, William Brewster, William Bradford, Priscilla Mullins, Miles Standish, John Alden and the other Pilgrims may have said to Squanto, Samoset, Massasoit and of course to God, "Thanks very much!", to PG, to those who occasionally substitute for her, to CW constructors, editors, and even to the solvers who post here, for the bounteous harvest of commendable commentary that so regularly makes my life a little more enjoyable.

Sfingi said...

@Badrog = Don't forgot my ancestor, John Howland, the ship's carpenter, who fell in the Atlantic (was rescued), no Saint, and the most prolific of all the Pilgrims. It's been said 1/8 of the whole US is descended from the Pilgrims. For a couple generations we all just got along. It's that third generation (as we see in Cuba) that forgets what it was all about, and for whatever reason or motive, has its own ideas.

Anyway, DNF the NE, mostly because of that UHHUH thing, and also, I didn't know Bullwinkle's last name was MOOSE.

As Sylvester said, "Succatash." (American Indian word)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation about "trying to settle a score" as being "in O.T." I was thinking, "I not? Does that mean, not me?"

Eric said...

There were a few times I was sure I wasn't going to finish this one, but lo, I finally did. No Googles even -- crosses and guesses fell just right for all the pop-culture and sports clues (SUSIE, NIGEL, DPS, etc.)

The theme baffled me until @PG explained it. Besides which, I don't think I'd ever heard the phrase "electric POLE". Up here we call them "hydro poles" or, incorrectly, "telephone poles".

To me there's a subtle distinction which, judging by Google hit counts, a lot of people don't recognize: I tend to use "electric X" to mean "an X that's powered by electricity", as in DRILL, ORGAN, etc. For some other usages, I want to say "electrical", as in FIELD. Except that I'd say "electric POWER". Does this make any sense at all to you?

Speaking of POLE, I don't know anything about racing, but there was a racing video game back in the 70s called Pole Position. I never knew what that name referred to. Is it the case that there's only one pole, and it's at the inside end of the starting line?

Bach's instrument I knew; Brahms's I had to get through crosses. Nice that the two answers fill symmetrical slots on the grid.

- For "March time" I first had FOUR, as in beats to the measure
- For "Martini's partner", I started with OLIVE
- For "Cold water hazard", I wanted "cramp" or such like. "Hypothermia" was right out...
- For "Tanzania wildlife reserve", I wanted NGORONGORO Crater, but it didn't quite fit
I'm guessing that the first two were intentional misdirections.

Isn't it odd that "sanction" can mean either thumbs-up or thumbs-down: RATIFY, "approve of", "severely chastise"...

Capcha: gambroun. Sounds like something that might roam the SERENGETI :-)

Rex Parker said...

I would have done anything — anything — to get rid of ENDE.

IN O.T. hurts too.

Theme is kind of cool.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for doing this every day, Ang.

CarolC said...

Puzzle Girl, thank you SO much for doing this every day! Now retired, I was a working mom with 2 daughters for many years and can't imagine how you cope with everything AND still make the time to educate and amuse us, including research time to find the snippets and videos you give us. Kudos! We are most grateful!

@badrog, Roger that! (I couldn't help myself!)

Enjoyed the theme, liked the musical "bookends" of Brahms PIANO and Bach's ORGAN (though harpsichord or clavier might have been even more appropriate, obviously they didn't fit).

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

SethG said...

ABIDE/HBO/MOTOR/ENDO is maybe the easiest way. Didn't remember ENDE, but IN OT hurt me more.

Fantastic write up, PuzzleGirl, and Happy T!

badrog said...

FWIW/TMI: An archeologist familiar with ancient Greece might question why there was no ", e.g." after the "Agora portico" of 70A.
1. There are quite a few STOAe that are located near temples, etc. but not in the agora. The agora (plaza?) was a feature of every ancient Greek city-state, not just Athens, and its nature varied over the years (as well as regionally) from being a marketplace to being a civic center.
2. Perhaps omitting the ", e.g." is just a way to increase the difficulty on Thursdays by leaving solvers to read the clue as if with an implied indefinite article rather than with an implied definite article.
3. Or perhaps more of us took survey courses in Greek Philosophy than in Greek Architecture, and can remember little more than that "Stoicism" derives from STOA.
4. Personally, I enjoyed finding both Agora and STOA in the same clue/answer combo.
5. LBNL, who cares?

I'm almost certain that in one of those "How to construct a CWP" blurbs that abound on WWW, I once saw the comment that a good grid should never have just one entry leading into a block of squares.
If that's legitimate, today's puzzle violates that "rule": 22A and 59A are the only entryways into the NE and SW, repectively.
I have doubts that this is at all important, except that it's the 2nd time this week: On Monday, 5D and 42D were the only routes into the NW and SE respectively.
Does anybody know if this was ever really a "rule"? If so, has it recently fallen by the wayside?
Once again, Who cares!

Mokus said...

I'm thankful for PuzzleGirl because she help me to improve and always puts a smile on my face. The Martini & Rossi boys also partner well with Bombay Sapphire, garlic and jalapeno double-stuffed olives and/or tipsy onions. At least in my house. They help to celebrate the glorious sunsets over the Pacific.
Loved Connie Chung when she was a local newsperson in LA during the 1970s. Enjoyed the comments above. Like some of the fill they make me either smile in agreement or groan in depair.

Eric said...

@CarolC: In his lifetime, Bach was mostly famous as an organist and "organ consultant" (I guess to organ builders and their clients?), so yeah, ORGAN does work as "Bach's instrument".
For several decades after Bach's death (in 1750), his music fell from favour -- it was considered old fashioned. It was only in the 19th Century that it started to gain the respect it so well deserves.

@PG: I don't often say it, 'cause that'd be pretty repetitive, but yes, thanks so much for informative and witty writeups, and delightfully off-the-wall pics and clips (I loved the picture of the band Abba a while ago, in reference to the politician Abba Eban).

Sfingi said...

@Badrog -
1.What is LBNL (Not Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, I assume).

2. I've been wondering about that one entrance thing recently and again. I know I find it lame.

badrog said...

LBNL = Last, but not least.