W E D N E S D A Y   November 10, 2010
Pamela Amick Klawitter

Theme: Give-and-Take — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with a word meaning quid pro quo.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: Flea market cousin (SWAP MEET).
  • 24A: Mickey Mantle or Mark Teixeira, notably (SWITCH HITTER).
  • 39A: Fill in at school (SUBSTITUTE TEACH).
  • 51A: Currency differential (EXCHANGE RATE).
  • 62A: Commercial imbalance (TRADE GAP).
This puzzle is a little unusual in that we don't often see eight-letter theme answers. The theme is totally solid although not particularly sparkly and the fill is smooth with a touch of scrabbliness. Overall, thumbs up.

  • 1A: "60 Minutes" correspondent (SAFER). I tried STAHL first.
  • 44A: Friend's pronoun (THEE). Friends as in Quakers.
  • 60A: Smack back? (-EROO). EROO can go on the "back" of the word smack. Smackeroo.
  • 64A: "The Sound of Music" quintet (OSCARS). I only know a few things about "The Sound of Music." One is that there's a family with a lot of kids named Von Trapp. I actually had it in my head that there were more than five children and, obviously, Von Trapp didn't fit anyway, but the misdirection definitely worked on me.
  • 68A: Golf commentator Pepper (DOTTIE). Yeah, it figures. I've been bragging so much about knowing all the golf answers that we were bound to get one I had no clue about.
  • 70A: Texter's sign-off (TTYL). Talk To You Later. I actually tried TTFN first (Ta-Ta For Now).
  • 9D: Danced like Bojangles Robinson (TAPPED).

  • 19D: Sportscaster Albert (MARV). This is a pretty common "trick": using a person whose last name can also be a first name. I thought of Al Michaels first but don't recall him ever being called Albert.
  • 29D: Apple touchscreen computer (IPAD). Want!
Crosswordese 101: Luckily for us, there's only one guy named EBAN we have to know, so he's pretty easy to see once you know what to look for. Abba EBAN was an Israeli statesman who died in 2002. He was Israel's first ambassador to the United Nations. EBAN is often clued as simply "Israel's Abba" or "Abba of Israel." Sometimes — like today — he's clued with a reference to one of his books, typically "My Country," "Voice of Israel," or "Diplomacy for the Next Century."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 32A: "__ Gold": Peter Fonda film (ULEE'S).
  • 8D: Ticketing place: Abbr. (STA.).
  • 57D: Name on a razor (ATRA).
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Everything Else — 6A: __ Helens, Wash. (MT. ST.); 10A: Setup punch (JAB); 13A: Pump option (PREPAY); 15A: Tad (IOTA); 16A: L.A.-based oil giant, familiarly (OXY); 17A: Get there (ARRIVE); 20A: Soccer VIPs? (MOMS); 21A: Source of low-alcohol wines (ASTI); 23A: No longer newsworthy (PASSE); 27A: Diet successfully (LOSE); 28A: Counsel (ADVISE); 35A: Helper: Abbr. (ASST.); 38A: Lobbying gp. (PAC); 43A: Modern __ (ERA); 45A: "Then ..." ("AND SO …"); 46A: Karate instructor (SENSEI); 49A: Glued to the tube, say (RAPT); 57A: Shoelace protector (AGLET); 61A: It's wet in Oaxaca (AGUA); 66A: "Awesome!" ("RAD!"); 67A: Botanical junction (NODE); 69A: Poet Lowell (AMY); 71A: Many Miley Cyrus fans (TEENS); 1D: Sends unwanted e-mail (SPAMS); 2D: Road sign symbol (ARROW); 3D: Nuclear pioneer Enrico (FERMI); 4D: Bible letters (EPISTLES); 5D: Toyota __4: SUV model (RAV); 6D: Peruvian volcano El __ (MISTI); 7D: Namely (TO WIT); 10D: Stereotypical diner name (JOE'S); 11D: Forest choppers (AXES); 12D: Unit of computer memory (BYTE); 14D: Slangy assents (YEAHS); 22D: Knife holder (SHEATH); 25D: Budgetary concern (COST); 26D: British art institution (TATE); 30D: Anatomical pouches (SACS); 31D: Return from a cave? (ECHO); 32D: Finds a purpose for (USES); 33D: Dangle a carrot in front of, so to speak (LURE); 36D: Seek damages (SUE); 37D: Buffet heater (STERNO); 40D: Suffix with meteor (-ITIC); 41D: Finish line indicator (TAPE); 42D: Play break (ENTR'ACTE); 47D: Watermelon bit (SEED); 48D: Magnitude (EXTENT); 50D: "... 'What __ boy am I!'" (A GOOD); 52D: Exciting (HEADY); 53D: Adrien of cosmetics (ARPEL); 54D: Colorful quartz (AGATE); 55D: Shroud city (TURIN); 56D: Lets up (EASES); 58D: Fat measure (GRAM); 59D: __ Luck (LADY); 63D: Understood (GOT); 65D: Heavy drinker (SOT).



Pamela has constructed a very RAD puzzle for today… a nice solid grid, five good theme entries, and some new words for me to learn (MISTI, SENSEI, and ARPEL).

I find it interesting that there’s actually a technical name for that little thingie on the ends of a shoelace (AGLET).

Words that I love: ENTR ACTE, HEADY, and LADY Luck.
Words that I dislike: STA, OXY, and ANDSO.

I never have any trouble remembering Enrico’s name because I live real close to the National Accelerator Laboratory, known as FERMILAB. It’s in Batavia Illinois, has a wonderful prairie restoration, is great for bird watching, and has a herd of bison which roam the grounds. It’s nearly 7,000 acres and so I go hiking there quite often.

If you’ve never seen Bill “Bojangles” Robinson perform, by all means check out this wonderful video clip of him. He and cute little Shirley Temple TAPPED on a staircase… it’s precious!


Sfingi said...

The theme was fine, but I had to Google on a Wednesday, on the LA?
Well, I'm going to Red Lobster with the Home today. That'll help me feel better.

If you haven't had breakfast,stop reading here.

Never heard of DOTTIE Pepper (sports). Is that when the mice get into the salt and you think it's pepper? Since it crossed ENTRACTE which I guess is French for intermission, intermezzo, Zwishchenspiel, that was a Natick. Does everyone else know ENTRACTE?

Another one at EBAN crosses SENSEI. My IA sister has a cat with that name.

Had roll before GRAM. Another way of measuring fat. The actual word for such a roll is the panniculus, pl. panniculi. Grade 5 covers the knees. Pannilulectomy suggested. Lots of CW possibilities here.

Mokus said...

Having just started CWPs earlier in the year I felt like this was a final exam in crosswordese 101. Didn't know that "back" was a synonym for suffix so EROO was a head-scratcher. Fortunately crosses allowed me to finish the test w/ only an IOTA of time left.

badrog said...

At 46A, would've preferred an ", e.g." at the end of the clue, 'cuz SENSEI as a stand-alone Japanese word means "teacher", often with a connotation of "master of" whatever. Perhaps the karate usage is the most common one that has made it across the Pacific, but it's also used for teachers of tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy, etc., as well as for regular school teachers and professors. It almost always replaces "-san" after a personal name when speaking to or about any kind of teacher, and is often used as a term of respect even when the person is not an actual teacher.

Among the various things that regularly boosted my ego during the years I lived in Japan were: 1. being about 7 inches taller than the average Japanese; 2. being told "You speak very good Japanese" even when I was pretty sure I didn't; and 3. being called SENSEI, mostly by bartenders.

FWIW/TMI: The "kara-" of "karate" and the "kara-" of the oft-mispronounced "karaoke" are the exact same word, meaning "empty",
as in "empty-handed" (i.e., weapon-less) combat, and "empty orchestra" as in the lyric-less tapes, etc. made for amateur vocalists. Hence the "correct" pronunciation of the latter is "kah-rah-oh-keh" with the "-oh-keh" coming from the English "orchestra".

*David* said...

I liked this one, lots of theme and not too much ugh, quite smooth with easy themes to work with. Last spot to fill in was ITIC/THEE.

Kevin from UMich said...

EROO made me really mad. The whole bottom right, actually, below EXCHANGERATE and to the right of HEADY, made me really mad. I always look forward to coming home from class (where I pay attention to my puzzle more than the prof) and having this blog steaming about the same things I was steaming about.

When the things I hated aren't mentioned, I get either more mad at the words, or start to second guess myself that I should be struggling with an apparently PASSE word.

It always seems like the people or terms I've never heard of can only be found using crosses, and those crosses are always also people or terms I've never heard of. Case in point: ARPEL, STERNO and EROO (I even knew back was being clued as suffix. Still couldn't get it.) I have never heard of ARPEL or STERNO. I'm 20, maybe that's why the people in CrossWorld are always foggy for me. I've tried construction a few times, and I always try to leave them out, or I either google random names or use youthful references that no one will know just to stick it to the man.

I like the puzzles laden with Spanish (and any foreign) words, though. AGUA was weak for me though. It's wet? Uh, yeah, water is pretty wet most of the time. But not just in Oaxaca... AGUA is wet in Oaxaca, Villadolid, Madrid, Buenos Aires... really anywhere en el mundo. Except maybe Antarctica, where it's just frozen. I went with GULF for this one at first.

John Wolfenden said...

Liked it overall but METEORITIC/THEE made me seethe a bit.

CrazyCatLady said...

Nice Wednesday puzzle, although as @PG pointed out, it didn't have much pizzaz. As I was solving, I was watching Ann Curry of the Today show interviewing the original cast of "The Sound of Music." It's the 45th anniversary of the movie and they are releasing it in blu-ray format. It's another one of my favorites. I've always wanted to go to one of those showings where the audience sings along. People come dressed as nuns or wear lederhausen.

@Sfingi I had the same problem with the cross of DOTTIE and ENTR'ACTE. I think I've encountered ENTR'ACTE before in CWs, but forgot it. Same with AGLET. Had no idea who DOTTIE was.

MeteorITIC was new to me too. Got it through crosses.

CrazyCatLady said...

I think lederhosen is the correct spelling.

C said...

I liked this puzzle, smooth solve, good answers. I am a caveman texter so TTYL or TTFN are outside my skill level these were new to me.

@Sfingi, Most of the time I encounter Entr'Acte in a puzzle, it is usually in the clues as ____'Acte or Entr'____ with the answer, of course, being the word that fills in the blank. I can't say that I recall ever using the whole word as an answer. Doesn't mean that it hasn't ever been done just that I can't recall off hand ever using the full expression as an answer.

Van55 said...

Ms. Klawitter has gotten some distinctly mixed reviews of her puzzles the last few entries.

I put this one down as about average.

I think ITIC is IDIOTICIC. I know METEORIC and METEORITE but never heard of METEORITIC. Spell check doesn't reject it, but I'm just sayin'.

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG for the great write up as I needed the EROO explanation to understand it. Endings and Beginnings always give me trouble. One day I will learn!

Theme answers were easy fills and I sailed through. The overall theme popped out right away. I wish there could have been something tasty included but will have to settle.

Happy Hump Day All!

Eric said...

I was also bugged by the EROO x ARPEL cross -- that R was my last letter, and a total guess. Never heard of ARPEL, and smackEROO seems to me to be really reaching.

I was going to say the same about METEORITIC, but it's actually OK. One wouldn't use it in the metaphorical sense "meteor[it]ic rise, e.g. to fame", but in the literal sense of or relating to or caused by meteorites, it makes perfect sense. (The metaphor itself doesn't make much sense, actually -- meteors aren't really well known for rising...)

EBAN x SENSEI, on the other hand, didn't give me any problem at all -- not quite gimmes, but close.

ENTR'ACTE didn't leap to mind, but was familiar enough once some crosses pointed the way. Wikipedia says that entr'acte can be synonymous to an intermission, but it more often indicates a piece of music (interlude) performed between acts of a theatrical production.

@Sfingi: Laughed at your "roll for GRAM" :-)

"Friend's pronoun" -> THEE might work on two levels. First, as @PG said, it works where "friend" is understood to refer to the Quakers. But there's another possibility.

In Middle and Early Modern English, thou/thee/thy/thine were the standard second-person-singular pronouns -- and had the same sense of informal familiarity as "tu" and "du" still do in French and German respectively. (T-V distinction has a long, long list of languages with such a distinction, and says that modern English, having lost it, is "comparatively rare among the languages of Europe"). Those Wikipedia pages don't go into a lot of detail as to exact usage, but it's at least plausible that at one point in history, one would call one's friends "thee", but strangers (in particular, one's social superiors) "you" or "ye", thus satisfying the "friend's pronoun" clue. (Because the King James Bible uses "thee" and "thou", most people's main exposure to them these days is in a religious context. Thus, they sound to our ears more formal and respectful than "you" does, which is pretty ironic given their original connotation.)

Larry S said...

I too expected more complaints about the cross of EROO and ARPEL. I might have been appeased if the clue were "Switch back?" instead, tying it into the theme--but is that precluded because SWITCH appeared as part of an answer?
Enjoyed watching Bojangles, most tap dancing leaves me yawning, but he shows a high degree of both skill and charm.
Badrog, thanks for the FWIW, I love that kind of TMI! But considering how often karaoke is musical hara-kiri, mispronunciation seems appropriate!

Sfingi said...

@KevinUMich - There're plenty of things in CW land that are youngster oriented, so, I guess get over it, Grandson. Notice I have problems with sports and French. You'll get used to your blind spots and learn, but my motto is, "One sees what one brings," from the Presidents Adams' grandson.
And keep feeding those squirrels!

@Vans - agree on ITIC. It's icky. Ickyitic.

@Eric - I also took Friends for Quakers.

Anonymous said...

I had a lot, and I mean a lot, less love for this than evinced here. This started with MTST - Come on, a double abbreviation in a partial? That's got to be some kind of record, and not the good kind. OXY as slang for Occidential Petroleum? Additionally, the clueing was largely definitional. Boring clues, iffy content, no love.

Tinbeni said...

Really enjoyed this theme.

Always like to see NY YANKEE's in the clues.
Especially Mickey Mantle (childhood fave).
Both he and Teixeira were/are excellent SWITCH HITTERs.

OK, today's Politically Incorrect moment:
I wanted "No longer newsworthy" to be Palin before the crosses showed me it was just PASSE.

Whenever I see FERMI, I wonder where is our latest best buddy Tesla.

Last to fall was TTYL, all crosses, since I have never texted ... and it seems to me that if you are doing this you aren't really "talking to each other" in the first place, let alone "later."

Pamela, thanks for getting me in the grid ... SOT.
(More of a persona ... not a reality).

FUN breezy Wednesday.

Cheers to all at Sunset !!!

mac said...

Nice puzzle, very quick and easy for me. It had a lot of words I know from Xwords and never use in real life. Also had to look twice at meteoritic, but I guess it is correct. Thanks for the interesting post, @Eric.

Karaoke is my nightmare.

xxpossum said...

Entracte for "Play Break"? REALLY??DUH!!!Surprised Anonymous didn't rip on Meteoritic.That turned a decent puzzle into garbage.I'm with Vans on that one.Never heard of a Trade Gap,but then again I'm not a know-it-all (even though I act like one). C yawl L8R.

Rube said...

My problem with Entr'Acte is I can't rember how to spell it, (viz. Entre'act). Must learn French some day.

Got AGLET from crosses, then looked at my crosswordese list and there it was... sigh.

Only real writeover was COST/CaSh.

Checked MISTI on XWordInfo and it has appeared 5 times since '93 in the NYT, so I guess it's worth adding to my list, (and trying to remember).

Also, didn't know that ASTI wines were low alcohol content.

All I could think of was VanCleef and Arpels, so ARPEL wouldn't work. Turns out they are jewelers. Got ARPEL from crosses.

Good puzz. (Except for SmackEROO.)


Crossword puzzles are definitely a part of my continuing education. I enjoy learning about new things. Constructors sometimes use pop culture clues or esoteric literary words which force me to do some research (if nothing more than Wikipedia). If puzzles weren't a stretch, I would soon get bored. Reading Puzzlegirl's writeup is ALWAYS enlightening for me, but I just want to also add how much I aprpeciate the education I get from other commenters. I am most grateful for the contributions of people like @Eric and @badrog who always add meaty material and to others who provide color and humor. Thank you all! You make crosswording both educational and fun.

CrazyCatLady said...

Adrien ARPEL is an expensive line of skin care products and make up that has been around forever, well actually only since 1962. There used to be stores that sold that line only. I don't know if the stores exist anymore. The products now may only be available on line. I was never a fan. Their make up was too heavy for my taste.

Anonymous said...

Teachers say -"Often angry, never mad".

Eric said...

@JNH: Thank you!

Nighthawk said...

Got to the puz finally.
Like many, thought ITIC was a stretch, and got tripped on the VonTrapps' OSCARS (had, at first, simply TRAPP).
Never heard of DOTTIE.
I did remember that there was a name for that shoelace tip thingie, thanks to @PG, who has it in her CWese 101 I think, but couldn't remember what it was actually called. Had to wait for crosses.
Was thinking Getty instead of OxyPete, so had GOC at first, even though it didn't really pass the smell test.
Thought MTST Helens crossing El MISTI was sorta fun.

Speaking of Japanese words that wind up mispronounced by English speakers, a radio show yesterday was touting a local floral show that the announcer said would feature BANZAI trees. I thought, "Yikes! I hope there will be plenty of EMTs on hand!"

@Kevin - to keep chafing dishes warm, you can either use an alcohol burner that uses denatured alcohol, or the brand name alcohol gel that comes in a small tin called STERNO.
Because it comes in the little tin of its own, it is often called CANNED HEAT.

@PG Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey was in the soundtrack for ULEE'S Gold so thanks for the link. It's a good flick. Peter Fonda had a Best Actor Oscar nom and won a Golden Globe for it. A 14 year old Jessica Biel played Fonda's granddaughter.