T U E S D A Y   November 2, 2010
Bruce Venzke

Theme: Doing Something — Idioms that start with a gerund about reshaping.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Being convincing via coercion (TWISTING ONE'S ARM).
  • 27A: Making a comeback, say (TURNING THE TIDE).
  • 45A: Sneering (CURLING ONE'S LIP).
  • 60A: Telling a little white lie (BENDING THE TRUTH).
Good morning, everyone, and Happy Election Day. Hope you all are planning to VOTE today. The PuzzleKids are off from school today, and I need to get out and vote and then figure out how to keep them entertained today, so no time for a long write-up. Today's theme really doesn't do anything for me and the fill is … okay. Now that I know what LORAN is (35A: Ship-locating system — learned it from crosswords), I always like seeing it. Other than that, SPITFIRE (5D: One who's quick to anger) is the only entry that sparkled for me.

So, do you all know about the Fireball Crosswords? Peter Gordon, who used to edit the New York Sun puzzles, now has a subscription-based service where he provides a weekly puzzle by email. This past year, he constructed most of the puzzles himself, although occasionally we'd get a puzzle by someone fantastic like Patrick Blindauer or Trip Payne. Next year, Peter plans to raise the cost of the subscription to $16 (for 40 puzzles total, not sure exactly what weeks he won't be providing puzzles) in order to pay top dollar for other constructors to contribute. The Fireballs are top-quality puzzles on the difficult end of the spectrum. If you already subscribe to Fireball, you received an email from Peter this morning asking you to let him know if you will continue to subscribe at the new rate. Please answer that email! If you're just hearing about Fireball puzzles now and are interesting in subscribing for next year, please shoot Peter an email (xwords@optonline.net) and let him know. I've really enjoyed the Fireball puzzles this year and encourage everybody to pony up a couple more dollars to keep them going!

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 34A: Vintage car (REO).
  • 49A: "Was __ loud?" (I TOO).
  • 68A: Melville's "Typee" sequel (OMOO).
  • 3D: Opera star Pinza (EZIO).
  • 24D: Dagger of yore (SNEE).
  • 32D: "Orinoco Flow" New Age singer (ENYA).
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Everything Else — 1A: Throaty attention getter (AHEM); 5A: Contemptible person, in slang (SLEAZE); 11A: Brewery cask (KEG); 14A: Mideast's __ Strip (GAZA); 15A: Set in waves, as hair (PERMED); 16A: Prompt on stage (CUE); 20A: Ski resort grooming vehicle (SNO-CAT); 21A: Yves's yes (OUI); 22A: Bow-toting god (EROS); 23A: Boxer sounds? (ARFS); 25A: Food package meas. (NT. WT.); 33A: Gossipy Barrett (RONA); 34A: Vintage car (REO); 36A: Yiddish laments (OYS); 37A: Sticks to, as a task (KEEPS AT); 40A: One of the "Little Women" (AMY); 41A: Part of a front-end alignment (TOE IN); 43A: Mississippi or Mersey: Abbr. (RIV.); 44A: Water shade (AQUA); 49A: "Was __ loud?" (I TOO); 50A: Drawer feature (KNOB); 51A: Actress Chase (ILKA); 54A: Miner's find (ORE); 56A: Genetics pioneer Mendel (GREGOR); 63A: Pasture call (MOO); 64A: Wobble (TEETER); 65A: London art museum (TATE); 66A: When one hand is up and the other is down (SIX); 67A: Doctor's directives (ORDERS); 68A: Melville's "Typee" sequel (OMOO); 1D: FBI investigators (AGTS.); 2D: Goldie of "The Banger Sisters" (HAWN); 3D: Opera star Pinza (EZIO); 4D: Lash cosmetic (MASCARA); 6D: Sportscaster Berman (LEN); 7D: Therefore (ERGO); 8D: Total (AMOUNT); 9D: Nadir's opposite (ZENITH); 10D: Netherlands city (EDE); 11D: Plymouth Reliant, e.g. (K-CAR); 12D: Continental currency (EURO); 13D: Jeweler's stock (GEMS); 18D: Mountain lake (TARN); 19D: Brief fight (SET-TO); 24D: Dagger of yore (SNEE); 26D: Whip mark (WELT); 27D: "Happy birthday __!" (TO YOU); 28D: Racers Al or Bobby (UNSER); 29D: Decide to play for pay (GO PRO); 30D: Kuwaiti neighbor (IRAQI); 31D: Keep from flowing, as a stream (DAM UP); 32D: "Orinoco Flow" New Age singer (ENYA); 33D: Univ. military program (ROTC); 37D: Heal, as bones (KNIT); 38D: Pile-of-dishes place (SINK); 39D: Steed and Mrs. Peel's show, with "The" (AVENGERS); 42D: Homeric war epic (ILIAD); 44D: __ VO5: beauty product (ALBERTO); 46D: Twelve o'clock meeting (NOONER); 47D: Stuffed with food (GORGED); 48D: Do a laundry task (SORT); 51D: Certain PCs (IBMS); 52D: First of 13 popes (LEO I); 53D: Fort featured in "Goldfinger" (KNOX); 55D: Cigar suffix (-ETTE); 57D: Largest of the Mariana Islands (GUAM); 58D: Director Preminger (OTTO); 59D: Prefix with stat (RHEO-); 61D: Skater Midori (ITO); 62D: The Beatles' "I Saw __ Standing There" (HER).


Sfingi said...

Easy, though I don't know why a TOEIN would be good for a car or why one hand up and one down is SIX, or if ITO is a girl or a guy (looked her up - a girl).

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, I liked both today's and yesterdays write-ups very much.

(Yeah, I went back and read yesterdays ... had MAJOR snafu with my "old" internet provider. SOOOO I how have AT+T anywhere PC Connect for the laptop ... easy to get the gizmo and install).

Liked both Monday's and Today's puzzles very much.
Great RAH-RAH theme yesterday, Election theme today. Those politicians do like to TWIST (your arm), TURN and BEND (the facts) as they are CURLING my stomach with their political ads of "mis-information and lies".

Will NOT be voting today ... since I voted 15 days ago.
Here in Florida I hope SINK gets elected.

For 5A, Contemptible person, in slang, I tried, and tried but TINBENI just would not fit. (Hey, Bruce, it is SEVEN letters not SIX!).

NOONER? GORGED? does this constructor know Gal-Pal and I ???

Got a laugh from the MOO and OMOO, REO and RHEO.

EUROs, currency I get paid-in from Moscow for the consulting work. Idiots didn't realize I was billing in USD so they paid in Euro's. (Thanks for the extra 39%).

FUN Monday & Tuesday puzzles.

Cheers to everyone at sunset.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG for another great write up. I agree theme is just OK and again noting in the puzzle that really stands out our is super sparkly or tasty.

Hope everyone picks a winner today and looking forward to tomorrow's puzzle.

Happy Election Day!


I love goofy idioms and Bruce Venzke sure “turned the trick” on that.
If you are ever puzzled by the meaning of some goofy or obscure idiom, The Free Dictionary by Farlex has a tab just for idioms… it’s good… try it. I also use A Dictionary of American Idioms by Adam Makkai, et al. So often when I’m teaching my international students (ESL), I refer to idioms using these excellent resources.

A well constructed puzzle with good oldies like: Goldie HAWN, EZIO Pinza, LEN Berman, and ILKA Chase.

Cute clue: “When one hand is up and the other is down” (SIX).
Now that clue reminds me that we need to set our clocks back one hour next Saturday night.

Who do you think of when you say “CURLING ONES LIP”? Elvis, of course! But then there’s Dick Cheney, the master-of-sneers.

I just want to say how much I appreciate Puzzlegirl. She is so dedicated to getting nice writeups out and I know it must be difficult at times with the demands of a new job, a Puzzlefamily, and the day-to-day routine. I think we all owe her a big round of applause!!!
And I want to thank you for that Fireball Crosswords lead... when I get bored with the LAT and NYT puzzles, I now have an alternative.

Gotta go, the breakfast guys are waiting for me.

Have a super Election Day y’all!
(glad that the ugly TV campaign ads will be over)

Captcha: BESORT (kind of goes along with 48D)


For TOEIN, this might help.
For the 66A clue, think "clock".

Sfingi said...

@Tinbeni - didn't notice the mini-themes. I must say, NOONER has a different meaning to me.

@John - have you seen (mine and Obama's cousin) Cheney lately? Either he's on his way out or is becoming a Zombie for real. And where the H--l were you, yesterday?
Oh, those kinds of hands! Duh.

Mokus said...

Back in the 60s and 70s my VW bug had to have its TOEIN adjusted periodically to reduce tire wear and improve handling.
Speaking of nostalgia, didn't the Kuwaiti neighbor clue bring back fond memories of Desert Storm, George the First's war?
Enjoyed watching George II's team lose last night. Happy for Renteria the World Series MVP.

Tuttle said...

Suspension geometry is the blackest of the automotive arts. It's all very complicated math. And while the vast majority of vehicles are, indeed, set to TOE-IN (think pigeon-toed) so that wind resistance dissipates the toe at highway speeds, some cars with sophisticated suspensions are set to toe-out so as to increase turn-in speed since toe-out makes the rear-end more lively and rotation of the vehicle easier. At highway speeds these cars use other settings - caster, shock rates, anti-sway bars - to keep strait (and pretty much sacrifice tire-life to the Gods of handling).

Rube said...

I guess this was sorta Election Day puzzle. What with the four "waffling" theme answers topped by SLEAZE. I hope your elections are more civilized than the ridiculous gubernatorial campaign here in California.

Any puzzle with the AVENGERS in it has to be alright. Learned that GUAM was the largest of the Marianas.

Let's hear it for the Giants!

Eric said...

Well I for one kinda liked this puzzle. Yeah, there was the usual boring overused stuff (REO, ORE, TATE), but it was cool seeing SNOCAT and GREGOR and LORAN and SPITFIRE. GAZA, ZENITH, and MASCARA were all fresh too.

Cute __OO minitheme: MOO, OMOO, ITOO.

My main complaints are:
- NT WT (isn't it typically abbreviated "Net Wt", with the "e"?)
- "Boxer's words?" -> ARFS. I love the doggie cryptic clue, but it doesn't fit the answer. Boxers are too big to say "arf"; they're more "woof"ers, y'know?

I'd forgotten all about LORAN; I had RADAR. I was going to ask: "Is LORAN still around?!?" But on looking it up, I find it isn't. Not in the U.S. or Canada, anyway; both countries decommissioned it this year. GPS (or, just guessing here, perhaps it was the ever-decreasing cost of GPS receivers) made LORAN obsolete. (The two systems use the same basic idea: "triangulating", to use the word very loosely, on radio signals. But LORAN's transmitters were land-based, so only gave regional coverage, not global, as GPS's satellite-based transmitters do.)

Compare these two maps, of the Middle East in 830 BCE, and present-day -- in particular, the Philistine-controlled area then vs. the GAZA Strip now. Depressing, no?

@Mokus: You're forgetting that other George with the big nose and bad hair, back in the 18th Century. I always thought Dubya should have been known as President George III. Would have been appropriate, as well as factually correct :-/

On a brighter note... @Sfingi: Well, the NOONER I think you're thinking of is still a meeting -- just not (one hopes) at the office! :-)

CrazyCatLady said...

Puzzle girl I'm voting for you as best CW blog host. Thanks!

IMHO I thought the theme was quite apt for election day. Throw in the SLEAZE factor and there you go. I'm looking forward to tomorrow - no more obnoxious ads and robocalls. I wonder if prop 19 (legalization of pot) will go through here in CA? The other day I saw a fellow with a sign that said, "Yes We Cannabis."

Back in my working days, if my boss had asked me to schedule a NOONER, I'd be a little worried. I'm happy to report that I've finally got LORAN committed to memory.

@Tuttle thanks for the explanation of TOE IN. That was a new one for me.
@Rube just before I was publishing my comment, I read yours and we are on the same wave length as far as the theme. The Giants did great last night.

Eric said...

Woops, forgot to mention: baseball junkies might want to check out today's Globe and Mail crossword. It's a fairly work-a-day puzzle, but at least it provides a fix :-)

C said...

Puzzle? I have a one tracked Giants mind right now. To quote
Giants closer Brian Wilson ... "Delicious"

SPITFIRE was a good clue in a good Tuesday puzzle.

Did I mention the Giants?

Van55 said...

My only cavil over this puzzle is the dreadful ITOO partial. Otherwise it was a pleasant Tuesday solve. I rather enjoyed the theme even if it's not particularly "clever." Good job!

Van55 said...

To the best of my recollection, I haven't posted on this blog that I appreciate our hostess and the daily blogs that she and her agents put up for us. Unless otherwise stated in the future, I loved the writeup. No need to waste pixels saying so every day.



Orphan Annie's dog Sandy was thought to be a large mixed breed dog, probably an airdale terrier and part collie ... a large mutt.
Sandy said "ARF" all the time. But then my 120# Newfoundland told me that little sissy dogs don't say WOOF.

I agree with you on NET WT vs. NT WT:
I randomly took 40 boxes of various products off my shelf and every one of them said NET WT, but I've seen that before in CWs.

Sfingi said...

No more political ads! Hoo-ray!
Hope marijuana passes. We need more people moving to CA. If it passes, they can pay their bills, too. Knowing criminals (from teaching in a NYS prison for 17 yrs.), people commit crimes not just to make money, but because they are crimes.

@John - I still think the CW makes it sounds like one of the front end alignment tests is a TOEIN, not just toeing in general, in or out. That was my poorly explained point. Whatever.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Sfingi - Nooooo! We don't need more people moving here. Pot's practically legal here already. Most of Humboldt County is pot farms to supply the medical marijuana industry. It's incredibly easy to get prescriptions. Check out this column by Steve Lopez of the LA Times Medical Marijuana