T U E S D A Y   November 9, 2010
Julian Lim

Theme: I'm All In — Theme answers all end with words used to describe the cards dealt in the poker game Texas Hold 'Em.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: High jump technique created by 1968 Olympic gold medalist Dick (FOSBURY FLOP).
  • 27A: K-shaped reversal on the road (THREE-POINT TURN).
  • 45A: Longest Canadian waterway (MACKENZIE RIVER).
  • 60A: World Series of Poker Main Event no-limit game whose 2010 winner will be revealed tonight—the last words of 17-, 27- and 45-Across refer to the cards dealt between rounds of betting (TEXAS HOLD 'EM).
Slight issue. The 2010 WSOP winner was revealed last night. He is Quebec's Jonathan Duhamel.

So, yeah. Not really sure what to make of that. But anyway, I flew through this puzzle pretty quickly and didn't see the theme until I got to the reveal, which is a shame because I like it! If you're not familiar with TEXAS HOLD 'EM, this theme meant nothing to you. If you're interested in learning a little about the game (and what this theme means), here's a quick overview of how the game works. (Full Tilt Poker? Why that's just a random site I found. I swear I've never spent hours and hours (and hours and hours) (… and hours and hours) on Full Tilt Poker!)

  • 1A: One who's all skin and bones (SCRAG). There's that word again. Didn't we just see it recently?
  • 6A: Talmudic scholar (RABBI). I do some freelance work for a synagoguge, and I really have to concentrate hard to avoid adding a T every time I type the word RABBI.
  • 36A: "My Dinner With Andre" director Louis (MALLE). I know the movie, but didn't know the director.
  • 41A: Dahl's "Fantastic" title character (MR. FOX). Ha! If you were around yesterday, you probably got this one no problem!
  • 27D: Pageant crown (TIARA). Have you ever watched "Toddlers and Tiaras"? Each episode follows two or three young (very young!) pageant contestants. It's … horrifying.
  • 28D: Somewhat unhinged (HALF-CRAZED). Most interesting entry in the grid.
  • 33D: "That tastes great!" ("MMMM!"). This is something you really hate to see.
  • 37D: Norse trickster (LOKI). We'll cover LOKI in Crosswordese 301.
Crosswordese 101: If a clue refers to a type of music as Caribbean, Jamaican, and/or related to reggae or calypso, odds are you're looking for SKA (51A: Caribbean music). I learned about SKA from crossword puzzles. I've also found it to be a really useful word in Scrabble. I don't know much about SKA, but that's not surprising considering I had never heard of reggae until I went to college. People are like, "Do you like reggae?" and I'm all, "Um … yeah, of course. Love it! … Has anyone seen my dictionary? ..."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 34A: Leftover scraps (ORTS).
  • 53A: Eye layer (UVEA).
  • 65A: Popeye's creator (SEGAR).
  • 67A: Ppd. enclosures (SASES).
  • 32D: Maui goose (NENE).
  • 55D: River in the Bernese Alps (AARE).
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Everything Else — 11A: Attire in which to retire, briefly (PJS); 14A: __ donna (PRIMA); 15A: Startle (ALARM); 16A: Jay-Z's music genre (RAP); 19A: December 24th, e.g. (EVE); 20A: String ensemble instrument (CELLO); 21A: French greeting (ALLO); 22A: Lumberjack's tool (SAW); 23A: Street shaders (ELMS); 25A: Some nest eggs, for short (IRAS); 33A: Filmdom's Farrow (MIA); 35A: Chilling (EERIE); 39A: "__ a done deal" (IT'S); 40A: Victoria's lasted longer than that of any other British monarch (REIGN); 42A: Speak highly of (TOUT); 44A: Saldana of "Avatar" (ZOE); 49A: Puerto __ (RICO); 50A: Matching (SAME); 56A: Sales pitch (SPIEL); 59A: Candy in a dispenser (PEZ); 63A: Milne's "Now We __ Six" (ARE); 64A: Año beginning (ENERO); 66A: Get __ of: discard (RID); 68A: Utopias (EDENS); 1D: Sunscreen letters (SPF); 2D: Swamp beast (CROC); 3D: It may be meteoric (RISE); 4D: Slow walker (AMBLER); 5D: Charles de __ (GAULLE); 6D: Blu-__ Disc (RAY); 7D: With 18-Down, sporty Italian wheels (ALFA); 8D: Really good time (BALL); 9D: "W." star Josh (BROLIN); 10D: Tariff payer (IMPORTER); 11D: Prepare, as a bottle launcher (PRESSURIZE); 12D: Jakarta's island (JAVA); 13D: Expel with force (SPEW); 18D: See 7-Down (ROMEO); 24D: Perfume squirt (SPRITZ); 26D: Suit to __ (A TEE); 29D: 10th-century emperor (OTTO I); 30D: Comic books, e.g. (ISSUES); 31D: Hardship (RIGOR); 38D: Does, as a task (EXECUTES); 43D: Speak ill of (TRASH); 46D: Nine-day devotion (NOVENA); 47D: Levy, as a tariff (IMPOSE); 48D: Like many Muslim women (VEILED); 51D: Trade easy punches (SPAR); 52D: Skin lotion brand (KERI); 54D: Spouses no more (EXES); 57D: On __: nervous (EDGE); 58D: Far from fatty (LEAN); 61D: Urgent call at sea (SOS); 62D: __ Fields: cookie brand (MRS.).


Sfingi said...

I looked at those sportsy questions and moaned. But I got it all with nary a Google.

One writeover - PRIMA over bellA, and never heard of SCRAG.

Puzzle girl - Thanx for the site with the explains. Hope I remember.

By the way, SKA is a really neat kind of music - easy listening for oldsters.

Gotta go buy a NYT.

Neville said...

I'm convinced that Rich ran these two puzzles back to back in an effort to teach us all MR FOX as though he will be some extra Scrabbly crosswordese a few years down the road.

I ended up skipping the third theme answer and jumped to the meta (just the path I was taking in solving) so that made getting MACKENZIE RIVER nice & easy. Big ups to Julian for using MACKENZIE, the Scrabbliest of Canadian rivers :D

Could not remember FOSBURY's name for the life of me, so it was all downs, but FLOP was quite natural. Really enjoyed this Tuesday - and under 5 minutes, so I'll award myself a bonus :)

imsdave said...

I absolutely loved the theme - and actually caught it after FLOP and TURN. Needed a spoiler alert from PG however, as I missed the denouement of the WSOP last night. Oh well.

ps - I play at MSNGames and pokerstars.net with the same name, just in case any others do the same.

Happy Tuesday all.


Good morning y'all.

Enjoyed this puzzle and Puzzlegirl's fun writeup. Lots of unusual fill words, like: SCRAG, NOVENA, HALF CRAZED, PRESSURIZE, and SPRITZ. Never heard of a THREE-POINT-TURN referred to as a "K-shaped reversal". Didn't like seeing MMMM.

There is no way that you can convince me that FANTASTIC MR> FOX appearing two days in a row is mere coincidence. I still think those entries are discussed amongst the crossword constructors' fraternity.

You're right @Sfingi, for us oldsters SKA is the antithesis of RAP.

I'm a huge fan of TEXAS HOLD 'EM.
Wasn't too happy to see the Canadian punk win the WSOP though.
I too don't waste my time with Full Tilt Poker. Why should I, when I can waste my time better with CWPs. (big grin here)

Okay, how many of you still have your old PEZ dispensers? How cool were they?

Time for my second cup of JAVA.

Tinbeni said...

Now as to my short term memory test ... needed the crosses to get MR FOX.
Wasn't paying attention since I was laughing-out-loud watching "Way to Early" with Willie Geist while solving.

Being addicted to CNBC, for "Really good time" I put in boom before the crosses showed me I should enjoy and have a BALL.

Learning moments ... there is a substance called "sunscreen" and it has SPF rating letters.
Also, apparently, there is an "Attire in which to retire" (I assume this meant "to bed") called PJ'S.
Checked the Armoire ... Nope, none there.

Hey, and Julian even had a great entry for dispicable me, HALF CRAZED !!!

Not many SCRAGs at the 40th High School Reunion.

Screwed up my retirement (AGAIN !!!) and started doing consulting in Moscow.
Damn, "You try to get out, and they keep pullin' you back ..."

Sunset toasts start earlier ... I love Standard Time.

Cheers !!!

Mokus said...

Dick Fosbury invented the flop but Dwight Stones took it to new heights. He was the first to set a new world record in the high jump using the flop.
I thought that this was a fairly easy CWP until I hit South-Central. All those little words like UVEA, ENERO, SASES & NOVENA crossing each other. What are SASES?
Not as much fun as Monday's puzzle but an interesting theme. Thanks for all the poker websites y'all. I was wondering what to do after CWPs, Sudoku & KenKen.

Van55 said...

I thought this was right much of a struggle for a Tuesday puzzle. (Notice the Southern USA idiom?)

Twenty-six proper nouns by my count -- some of them on the obscure side: MALLE, MRFOX, MACKENZIERIVER. Needed plenty of crosses to get them.

HALFCRAZED is a great entry. So is PRESSURIZE.

Didn't care or MMMM or OTTOI or SASES.

Theme was OK for me, even though it required what HAS to be the world's longest crossword clue ever. The reveal didn't reveal anything to me, as I didn't use it to solve the theme answers at all.

Decent puzzle, if more Wednesday than Tuesday and a day late on the announcement of the WSP winner.

SethG said...

I like the puzzle and play hold 'em, but I worry that if the theme reveal requires a full paragraph of explanation in the clue than it's maybe too obscure to be a theme.

I think you've got to assume that either enough people are familiar with the subject that you can run it straight or that it's too obscure a theme.

virginia said...

Hi, I'm new here. Been following you guys for a while now. Just wanted to say SASES are self-addressed stamped envelopes. Love PG's comments on these things and am growing to love the puzzles! Thanks guys.

backbiter said...

Good Lord! Does the reveal have to be five paragraphs long where I have to turn the page to read all of it? I do not play at Full Tilt. I play at Bodog. Texas Hold'em and any Sports Book. Theme was eh. Half Crazed was my fave ans. 'Til next time.


Mokus said...

@Virginia, thank you. Sometimes it's tempting to send the SASES back as a protest, however small.

Tuttle said...

I love seeing the SKA in the grid. I think most people have actually heard SKA but aren't really aware of it. There are generally considered to be three "waves" of SKA:

1st Wave: 1960s to early 70s originating out of Jamaica, Desmond Decker was probably the most popular.

2nd Wave: late 70s to mid 80s, the "two-tone" movement in Britain. Madness was, by far, the most recognized.

3rd Wave: mid 90s to early 2000s, a far more punk-rock influenced version springing from southern California, No Doubt had the most success.

This is not to say that there's no-one making 1st wave SKA any more, artists like Linton Kwesi Johnson and Lee "Scratch" Perry continue to produce Jamaican-style SKA as well as its descendants Rocksteady, Reggae and Dub music. There's also the "Latin SKA" and "SKA Jazz" subgenres.

Can you tell I like SKA?

Howard B said...

Thanks Tuttle! First learned of SKA from 90s revival bands which were at least in part ska-inspired (Reel Big Fish, No Doubt, etc.), then dialed back to 80s bands I liked that were also ska-inspired. Not until perhaps a few months ago did I learn of Desmond Decker for the first time, hearing "Israelites" played on an independent radio program (linked above) - infectious, creative beats and sound.

Though I learned this in reverse chronological order than expected, still glad I did.
So it's well worth the time to check out Tuttle's links and references; more musical and entertaining than your standard crosswordese!

C said...

Good puzzle even with MMMM as an answer. Easy solve.

To add to @Tuttle's ska dissertation, Bob Marley played ska before moving to the roots Reggae sound he is known for. Ska is good music, you should give it a try.

xxpossum said...

In ink.Under 15min.No blemishes in grid. NOW WHAT??!!!???!!!Oh, a big cyber hug 2 Ginny, the newbie.Welcome fellow Xworder!!

virginia said...

Thanx 4 that xxpossum!

CrazyCatLady said...

ALLO all. Enjoyed the puzzle even though I know nothing about poker. Got to the revealer and thought Huh? What? Got TEXAS HOLD 'EM easy enough though.

Louis MALLE was a French director. He directed one of my all time favorite movies "Au Revoir, les Enfants." He also directed "Pretty Baby" the one with the 12 yr. old Brooke Shields . "Atlantic City" was his too. He was married to Candice Bergan from 1980 until his death at 63 in 1995.

I was glad I remembered that Fantastic MR. FOX today. So weird that he was in the puzzle two days in a row.

I am a big fan of PJS. They are my retirement attire of choice. This is probably TMI, but I usually do the puzzle in my PJS.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG always :)

Loved the puzzle today - great theme and cool clues. Loved seeing all the long crosses and have put Mr. Fox in my memory banks.

Have a great Tuesday all and on to tomorrow.

John Wolfenden said...

As the former supervising editor of the World Poker Tour I liked seeing a Hold 'Em theme quite a bit. The fad has cooled a bit since its heyday but it sure is a fun game.

One of the most high-energy bands I've seen on stage was a Boston-based ska band named Bim Ska La Bim, who played a gig at our college. Definitely a fun genre.

Joon said...

when i was 2, my older brother started school, and came home in the afternoon and taught me how to read. when i was 16, my older brother went to college and came home and introduced me to ska. it's ... not bad.

am i the only one who liked MMMM? goofy and fun. i'll take it over EEE or III any day.

Anonymous said...

@CCL - Or, as my BIL said this past weekend regarding all the young girls walking around town: PJs, not just for sleeping anymore.

Sfingi said...

@Vans - Louis Malle obscure? He directed my favorite movie of all time, Atlantic City. I watched it 40 times. He was married to Candice Bergen, sister of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. He died at 63, which I used to think was old.

ddbmc said...

As a fairskinned gal, I order vats of sunscreen with the highest SPF possible, for my beach forays! After a burn, tho, KERI helps!

The college sons were into Texas Hold 'em for a bit, 'til it cleaned out their meager savings. All of the poker terms came with crosses. The lads also clued me in on SKA. More familiar with NO DOUBT, Bob Marley and Sublime(not pure SKA), so thanks, @Tuttle, for sharing your passion!

Guess I'd be a SCRAG if I didn't like MRS.FIELD'S cookies so much...
Thanks, Julian and @PG, for a nice Tuesday romp.

Eric said...

Man, in the early 70s I searched for years for a copy of Dekker's "Israelites"! I finally found it in the delete bins at Radio Shack. Didn't much like the rest of the album, so never looked into them enough to learn that they were a SKA band.

Giving them another listen now ... well, I doubt I'll ever become as much of a fan as @Tuttle, but sure, I'll add some songs to my iPod.

mac said...

I enjoyed this puzzle, and I know nothing about poker, any kind of poker.

@SethG: it's too obscure a theme. Still like the puzzle.

Van55 said...

@sfingi -- Malle is not obscure to me either. But I think he is not well known to the average Tuesday solver.

Anonymous said...

In the LA Times? He might be more known than you think.

John Wolfenden said...

I agree with Van, Louis Malle is not obscure in the grand scheme of things, but like NOVENA a bit out of step with the difficulty of the other clues in this puzzle.