11.17.2010

W E D N E S D A Y   November 17, 2010
Fred Piscop

Theme: Sausage Fest — Theme answers begin with types of wurst.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Lennon had one (LIVERPOOL ACCENT).
  • 25A: Go from pillar to post (KNOCK ABOUT).
  • 50A: Josephine Tey title orphan (BRAT FARRAR).
  • 66A: Based on the starts of 17-, 25- and 50-Across, what this crossword might be? (WURST PUZZLE EVER).
Cute theme. Somewhat diminished for me because I can't say I've ever heard of BRAT FARRAR. (Also, is the orphan pronounced like "brought"? The other theme answers keep the pronunciation of the "wurst" word. I just don't know about this one.) Also, I don't think of a LIVERPOOL ACCENT as a stand-alone phrase. Oh, and the clue for KNOCK ABOUT feels a little old-timey to me. So, yeah. Cute theme idea but I'm not a big fan of the execution. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

I got both ANITRA (19D: "Peer Gynt Suite" dancer) and EMMA (37D: "Bone Dance" sci-fi author Bull) totally through crosses and only had trouble when I tried "diced" for RICED (9D: Reduced to bits) and "bout" for SUMO (57D: Heavyweights' ring contest).

I had to laugh when I got to EVAS (63D: NASA "walks"). You may recall that I just covered EVA in yesterday's Crosswordese 101. In fact, I'm sure you do remember because a lot of you wanted either to add an EVA to the list or give me a hard time about "dissing" one of the EVAs already on the list. Forgive me if I take a moment to respond to those comments. First, yes there are other EVAs. But my goal in CW101 is to introduce you to the EVAs most likely to appear in puzzles. I didn't mention EVA Green because as far as I can tell she's only appeared in one major crossword puzzle and it was a late-week New York Times. EVA Braun? Has appeared five times in various puzzles. She is sometimes paired with EVA Perón, which puts her in an historical context which is perfectly legit. I honestly don't think you're going to see much of her in puzzles, not because of any queasiness about who she was, but because there are many (more interesting?) choices. Second, I'm well aware that there's a lot to know about the talented EVA Marie Saint. But in crossword puzzles you only need to know her name and that she's an actress. Please don't shoot the messenger.

This all brings me to the point I want to make today, though. (Finally!) EVA can stand for Extra-Vehicular Activity, a term used in astronautics. In the major puzzles, this version of the clue has been used only a handful of times so I didn't include it in my write-up yesterday. Yes, I feel horrible about it.

Bullets:
  • 1A: Baron Cohen's Kazakh journalist (BORAT). From what I've been able to determine, you either love him or you hate him.
  • 36A: Nasty boss (OGRE). Funny, I always called my nasty boss something totally different.
  • 45A: Chuck (HURL).
  • 47A: "All in the Family" spinoff (MAUDE). Weren't we just talking about her?
  • 71A: Gave a shot, say (DOSED). Tried "tried" first.
  • 7D: New pedometer reading (OOO). Not a fan of the letter O being used as a zero.
  • 10D: Like bill payments? (IN CASH). I thought "Who pays their bills in cash?!" Then realized the question mark means that the payment itself is in "bills," i.e., cash.
  • 13D: Adam's third (SETH). I saw a Twitter conversation going on the other day in which one person repeatedly referred to Adam and Eve as having only two sons (Cain and Abel, duh) and using that fact to "wonder" aloud how the earth was subsequently populated. Not being a religious person, I don't believe in the whole Adam and Eve thing, so I actually agree with the guy who was arguing against it. And yet my first thought was simply, "Um … Seth?"
  • 29D: "How'm I Doing?" mayor/author (KOCH). He was mayor when I lived in New York so this was a gimme for me.
  • 32D: Pianist Rubinstein (ARTUR).

  •  
  • 40D: One may be thrown at a pothole (HUBCAP). I do not know what this means.
  • 64D: Euro fraction (CENT). Very tricky! I honestly didn't know. But now I do — yay!
Crosswordese 101:We talked about ERN last year. I mentioned how sometimes it's spelled ERNE but totally forgot about TERN! ERN(E) and TERN clues are often indistinguishable: "Shorebird," "Coastal flier," "Beach bird." With those kinds of clues, you just have to wait for crosses. There are a couple words that don't cross over though, so look for these:
  • ERN = raptor, eagle
  • TERN = fork-tailed, gull, swallow
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 6A: Dickens alias (BOZ).
  • 38A: Sigma preceder (RHO).
  • 11D: Wroclaw's river (ODER).
  • 58D: "Topaz" author (URIS).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.] Everything Else — 9A: National Guard challenges (RIOTS); 14A: Publicist's concern (IMAGE); 15A: Bettor's note (IOU); 16A: Art film, often (INDIE); 20A: Undying (ETERNAL); 21A: Bring to light (UNEARTH); 22A: Handle clumsily (PAW); 24A: Wallet items, briefly (ID'S); 31A: Rodgers's partner (HART); 35A: Part of a TV feed (AUDIO); 39A: Eggy bun (BRIOCHE); 42A: Vibraphone virtuoso Lionel (HAMPTON); 44A: CIA forerunner (OSS); 48A: One of Alcott's women (BETH); 53A: Old Gremlin maker (AMC); 55A: Fannie follower? (MAE); 56A: Not surprisingly (AS USUAL); 60A: Esteem (RESPECT); 68A: "South Pacific" hero (EMILE); 69A: Museum-funding org. (NEA); 70A: Origami bird (CRANE); 72A: "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)" author Coulter (ANN); 73A: Ready to snap (TESTY); 1D: Ill temper (BILE); 2D: Jump over (OMIT); 3D: All-night bash (RAVE); 4D: Stress, so they say (AGER); 5D: Bird that migrates from the Arctic to Antarctica (TERN); 6D: H.S. experiment site (BIO LAB); 8D: Pilot's alphabet ender (ZULU); 12D: Sunroof feature (TINT); 18D: Bearded Smurf (PAPA); 23D: Romance (WOO); 25D: Barbecue fare (KABOB); 26D: Sip (NURSE); 27D: Praiseful poet (ODIST); 28D: Gp. in a 1955 labor merger (CIO); 30D: "This is awful!" ("UGH!"); 33D: Ida Morgenstern's daughter (RHODA); 34D: Office machine supply (TONER); 41D: Drop a brick, so to speak (ERR); 43D: It's often two, in mini golf (PAR); 46D: Hotfoot it (LAM); 49D: Give grief to (HASSLE); 51D: Burroughs swinger (TARZAN); 52D: Have a hunch (FEEL); 54D: Softened, in a way (MUTED); 56D: Blown away (AWED); 59D: Moon goddess (LUNA); 61D: Shiites, e.g. (SECT); 62D: French pop (PÈRE); 65D: Long basket, in basketball lingo (TREY); 67D: Path to enlightenment (ZEN).

32 comments:

Rex Parker said...

Way thornier than normal LAT Wed. Name pile-up in east was kind of a disaster. Theme is cute. I am lucky enough to know of "Brat Farrar" (tho' I haven't read it), but I agree that's a toughie.

Your "Everything Else" is strangely incomplete (37D?).

SethG said...

"And the days of Adam after he begot Seth were eight hundred years; and he begot sons and daughters." So there were more, and according to the bible's internal logic we can exist, we're just inbred.

I don't know Brat Farrar, and I don't know Liverpoolwurst. That east was ugly. It's possible the best thing about this puzzle is the title you gave it.

PG: HUBCAP.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Funniest puzzle ever!
Fred Piscop has a wonderful sense of humor to entitle the theme “WURST PUZZLE EVER”. So, because he cheered me up on this dreary Wednesday morning, I’ll forgive him for some of the crappy fill… like, OOO for “New pedometer reading” and UGH for “This is awful”.

Then, just for some additional chuckles, he threw in BORAT, PAPA Smurf, RHODA, and MAUDE.

This puzzle took me a tad over an hour to solve, which IMO is more like a weekend level. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I worked on it late last night when I was a bit groggy.

Well the words PAW and FEEL sure have become prominent in view of the recent HASSLE in airport security procedures.

PG, I liked your lengthy explanation of the EVA CW101.
I mentioned EVA Peron, but I honestly think most people think of her as EVITA.
"Extra-Vehicular Activity" for EVA is a refreshing way to think of EVA.

In the midwest here we pronounce BRATWURST as brötwurst... not at all like BRAT sounds.

AS USUAL, I throw in a great musical video-clip just to show my RESPECT for the legendary jazz virtuoso, Lionel HAMPTON playing “Flying Home” (1957).

Great puzzle from ALPHA to ZULU !

Have a pleasant Wednesday y’all !

Anonymous said...

Totally gave me a run for my money. Many words I have never come across before. I agree that it was one of the Wurst Puzzles Ever

Darryl said...

@Rex - She covered Emma Bull (Bull Emma? WTF do I know) in the writeup. I never understood why she bothers to eliminate the answers she specifically covers from the "everything else section", seems like unnecessary work.
I'm not sure that religious/not religious is the criteria for believing, literally, in Genesis, I think it tilts more towards crazy/not crazy. Sure, you have to be crazy religious to believe it, but that's a differrent story. Do they really think that God doomed us all to be incestuous from the very start? Seems too much of a chump move for God.

gespenst said...

If you hit a pothole right (or wrong!) you may end up losing (throwing) your HUBCAP.

I was amused by MAUDE crossing RHODA.

Also got messed up w/ dICED and bout for SUMO.

I do Mon-Wed online since cutting back on newpaper delivery so I know this one took me 15 minutes, which is long for early week (8 minutes more typical), plus I did check to see where I was wrong a couple times. So it was harder than expected.

Being of German heritage, though, I iked the theme :)

B Childress said...

@PG I usually get your pix, but is Favre a play on BRAT or or WURST? Either fits, but I just want to know which one to bring up in meetings today.

Joon said...

i think it's there because BRAT FARRAR is pretty close to bret favre sound-wise. but she probably isn't as self-absorbed or turnover-prone.

oh, rats. just looked it up and apparently brat farrar is a he. whatever.

i don't usually let the fill or clues get in the way of a nice early-week theme (and i really do like the theme), but the insane name pile-up rex alluded to (HAMPTON ARTUR RHODA MAUDE EMMA) was ... odd. i mean, why a pianist crossing a vibraphonist? (also, vibraphonist?!?) there are plenty of other HAMPTONs. porky's nephew. steelers nose tackle casey. ___ roads. etc. MAUDE and RHODA ditto: why cross old TV with old TV? i was guessing on both, as well as both of the As in FARRAR. and who the heck is this EMMA?

i don't think i would've minded all those names in one puzzle. just not all in the same place, crossing each other.

bad mood slightly mollified by the picture of the loveliest EVA ever.

Van55 said...

29 proper names! That's quite a few, even for a late-week puzzle.

I loved the self-deprecating theme reveal, but there's not that much else to love about this one IMO.

*David* said...

Cute theme but what an unfortunate mix of cluing and proper names in the Mid-Atlantic, completely unnecessary. BRAT FARRAR was a problem but I dimly remembered it. EMMA and HAMPTON could've been clued easier to make that section more manageable, what a mess.

John Wolfenden said...

Some interesting stuff in this puzzle and definitely a challenge. I knew early on that WURST was part of the theme but it took me a long time to figure it out.

I liked HUBCAP...it's a fun mental image and one of those clues that make you think, "What could that possibly be?" when you first read it. Had HOT CUP at one point.

Never heard LAM as a verb before. RICED instead of DICED is a bit annoying.

For all the times we've seen EURO in crosswords, it never occurred to me what fractions of a euro were. I need to travel more.

Darryl, interesting thought re: original sin. I've always found it odd that Christianity (especially Catholicism) dwells on the amorality of humankind and describes all the positive aspects as God. It seems pretty obvious that humans are inherently social creatures whose default behavior is to get along. Of course, telling people that they're doomed sinners and that religious belief is their only hope is a good way of controlling them.

Alex Scott said...

I struggled for a while with this one, but ultimately enjoyed it. WURST PUZZLE EVER was a great theme. Made me think of the Simpsons' comic-book-store guy. Once I figured that out, the rest was much easier.

Did anyone else get tripped up trying to fit in CHALLAH for 39A: "Eggy bun," with AFL for a cross? Once I saw the clue for KOCH, I knew CHALLAH was wrong. CIO was the easy alternative to AFL, but it took me a while to come up with BRIOCHE. If not for that and BOUT for SUMO, I would've had a clean page.

For 51D: "Burroughs swinger," my mind at first went to William S. Burroughs. Glad I thought of Tarzan before trying to rack my brain for characters out of Naked Lunch.

Btw, if you've never tried liverpoolwurst, you should. It's delicious.

ddbmc said...

50A BRATFARRAR-totally clueless on this, but got with the crosses. Googled afterward and sounds like an interesting read.

40D-ONE MAY BE THROWN AT A POTHOLE? Odd cluing. Why not BY A or FROM A? In days of old, a gentleman would "throw his cape" at a pothole, for a lady to step over. CAPE was two letters short!

Charles Dickens pseudonym was BOZ?
Nice to learn. Only read Dickens, not about him. As I now learn, his own life greatly informed his writings.

57D-HEAVYWEIGHTS'ring contest-wanted SPAR, BOUT or TKOS. Nice misdirect, there. SUMO came with the crosses.

No need to get TESTY with @PG about her EVAs! Have a little RESPECT! Have to agree with JOON, Eva Green is very lovely!

Liked CHUCK's picture for HURL, but BRETT is a BRAT who could make one HURL with his alleged texting of some brettwurst. Retire, already! I guess his next job might be doing color commentary?

Good word wrestle with the cw, today!

Jeffrey said...

Just did an old puzzle with a 3 letter word clued "Wagner soprano". Had no idea until the crossings revealed the answer is...EVA

JaxInL.A. said...

I commend Josephine Tey to your attention. Her mysteries are lucidly but intricately plotted, her prose engaging, and her characters very compelling. She is best known for The Daughter of Time, a clever investigation by a modern cop laid up in the hospital and bored, into the deaths of the Princes in the Tower, historically believed to have been ordered by King Richard III.

Since I'm new to this blog I may be wrong, but it seems that the great majority of people posting here so far today are male. Need more estrogen!

Love the theological thread. I, too, can't figure a way around the incest angle on the literal interpretation of Genesis. Doesn't mean that there are not deeper truths there, but it does make you go "huh?"

Sfingi said...

Had to look up TREY to understand it.

@Seth - So, we needs must be inbred, unless either 1) we're from (many) monkeys or 2) there was another creation in the next county.
Not all inbreeding bears idiots. The Darwin-Wedgewood family was inbred and resulted in genius.
Once I commented on a family that was inbred and idiotic around here, and my father-in-law said, "That's good. They'll keep away from the rest of us."

CW puzzlemakers love ricing, but how many of them actually own or have used a ricer?

C said...

This puzzle was so far from my sweet spot that I thought I was doing a Saturday puzzle on steroids. All of the proper names of people I did not know makes a puzzle difficult for this dude. I gutted through this one and finished but I don't really know how.

In regards to the stacked proper name eastern area, I was at sea (heh, I just used a cross word phrase there) until my mind somehow pulled RHODA out of it's depths then MAUDE, two TV references I am too young to really know.

CrazyCatLady said...

I tend to agree with JaxinLA. I wish other commenters wouldn't refer to @PG as "she." She's Puzzle Girl, PG or Angela. It may just be me, but I don't think most women appreciate being called "she."

The WURST PUZZLE EVER was trying for me, although I thought the theme was funny. Love BRATs, especially topped with a big helping of kraut.

That stack of names in the East made me TESTY too. Haven't heard of BRAT FARARR and ARTUR always trips me up. I know MAUDE and RHODA though. ANITRA and EMMA Bull were also unknowns got purely through the crosses. TREY and EVAS were WTHs.

@Alex Scott "Burrough's" swinger also had me headed in the "Naked Lunch" direction. LOL.

@Sfingi I dug out my ricer yesterday in preparation for ricing major mounds of mashed potatoes next week.

Avg Joe said...

Brat Farrar gave me the most trouble by far, but was able to get it through the crosses once I got unstuck from "The Jeffersons" for the spinoff. I also got tripped up on Tao for Zen, but Ms Coulter fixed that in a hurry. EVAS came to me instantly and enjoyed seeing different cluing on that answer. Watching our home state hero Clayton Anderson on his two trips to the ISS probably helped.

@Sfingi, I had and used a ricer decades ago. Never has a torture mechanism been devised that is it's equal. I also had 2 or 3 of it's smaller cousin, the garlic press. Technology and common sense finally prevailed with a hand held blender and a chefs knife.

imsdave said...

I had a personal Natick (and fail) on the FARRAR/EMMA cross, as I knew neither one and thought FeRRAR/EMMe was plausible.

Oh well. It didn't dimminish my enjoyment of this puzzle though. That is one of my favorite theme reveals ever.

Nighthawk said...

Another great write-up @PG! Loved the EVA discussion, and all points well taken in the always helpful CW101. Prior comments about one of the more briefly clued EVAs was only meant as a gentle bit of HASSLE.

This one just kicked my MAE! I wasn't just on a different wavelength, but a totally different band.

For example, was thinking "fred" for 31A, though I knew it was mismatched with Ginger's last name; after realizing chemLAB was one too many letters for 6D, kept thinking about how to sqeeze in something like "backseat"; had "exposed" for UNEARTHED; in my part of the world, barbeque means pulled smoked pork, so was stuck with "beans" as the usual side fare; had heard of Ed KOCH, but never had heard of his book; knew that the South Pacific hero was French, but blanked on EMILE; had TEnse for TESTY (but got it from the EVAS cross).

Liked the revealer.

Finally sorted everything out, but tough sledding. Mr. Piscop, and @PG's sparkling write-up, really earned my RESPECT on this one.

I totally agree with AvgJoe about the dastardly RICER and garlic press. But I like my potatoes more smashed, for the different consistencies, than the blander, creamier, one-note, mashed results of a handblender, so still use the old fashioned masher hand tool.

coven: Christine O'Donnell's former party.

Anonymous said...

Throw a hubcap means to lose one, and that often happens when hitting a pothole. That's what it means.

Avg Joe said...

Nighthawk, I wondered if that would come up. I have an old wire masher for potatoes that probably dates to the 1930's. It would have to be pried from my dead cold hands, as it can't be "beat". The only time I ever used a ricer was for creamy potato soups, like vichyssoise. It's a lot of work and an enormous clean-up for a job that can be accomplished in about a minute with a hand blender. Same with the garlic press. It takes 5 times as long to clean the damn thing as it does to do the work...and the results aren't any better than just using a chefs knife to bludgeon a couple of cloves. We get too soon oldt and too late schmart.

Larry S said...

Way to many Googles and vague clues for a Wednesday for my taste. (And for my taste, you can have the liverwurst.)

As to the implausibilities of the book of Genesis, for me it works this way. I believe from reading the Bible's clearer parts that Jesus is God come as a human so that God can graciously act not only as judge of us moral failures, but the one who pays the judgment in Jesus' death and invites us into relationship with him. That God is good as well as great. Now I can trust that he will sort out the head scratchers for me some day--most of which are a lot more important than those mentioned today.

I guess I could say I've got the theme but I'm still working on the fill.

mac said...

Very good puzzle! Love the wursts/worst, especially baked in brioche. I also thought of challah first, also very eggy.

Liverpool accent? I would call it Liverpudlian.

@Sfingi/Avg Joe: the ricer or "boerenkoolstamper"/masher works the best on potatoes. Handmixers, especially the stem one, turn them into a paste, not very good. Apparently Ikea makes the best garlic press.

I just took out my Euros, cents and all, and am getting ready to be scanned not patted down tomorrow on my way to Holland.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Avg Joe and @Nighthawk

The ricer's not that much work - a little elbow grease perhaps. I prefer a fluffier potato and it accomplishes the job. For everyday potatoes, I use the old wire smasher. That being said, maybe I'll try the hand blender this year. I love mine for soups.

Interesting that we have a ricer thread and a Genisis thread going on - one of the reasons I love this blog.

Sfingi said...

@Anon210 - I like that explanation.

I agree, ricers are meant for potatoes with the idea of making them look kinda like rice. Or maggots.
A ricer makes a nice decoration on the wall over my unused thousand dollar stove.
Garlic presses come in so many colors you can work them into your theme.
Did I tell you I have a funnel collection?

CrazyCatLady said...

@Sfingi LOL! After you rice the potatoes, you fluff them with a fork and add the butter or cream or whatever and fluff a little more.They don't look like maggots for heaven's sake.

mac said...

@CCL: add melted butter, hot milk and a raw egg and beat really hard. Then grate on some nutmeg. Best mashed potatoes ever!

Scully2066 said...

Thank you PG for another great write up especially since I missed all the EVA dicussion from yesterday.

I finally got my laptop up and running again just in time to sink my teeth into this very tasty puzzle! Have to say I loved the theme but felt the clues were marginal and the puzzle itself was a doozy!!

I am always happy to learn new things but felt the puzzle had way too many proper nouns.

Glad to be back and on to tomorrow!!

Eric said...

Never heard of a potato RICER, so couldn't get past dICED, so DNF all due to that one letter. (dIOTS? Some weird American military term? Slang for "idiots"? How was I to know?)

I knew what 1A was looking for, but forgot the name BORAT so had to wait for crosses to clue me in.
I guessed ODER from crosses too -- those, and knowing that Frankfurt an der ODER is out that way someplace. (It's in what was East Germany at the time I was visiting Frankfurt am Main in the 80s. I thought it was appropriately named; from my point of view, Frankfurt an der Oder was definitely the "other Frankfurt" :-))
Still more crosses: 35A could be either AUDIO or VIDEO.
I thought of challah, but rejected it as I've only ever seen it in loaves (those nifty braided ones), not buns. Didn't know what else it might be so had to ... you guessed it ... wait for crosses.

Challah makes amazing French toast, by the way!

Oddly, that name cluster gave me no trouble at all! I figured Rodgers-with-a-"d" was the guy who worked a lot with Hammerstein, but the latter's about three times too long, so I guessed his other collaborator, HART.
I'm not a big jazz fan, but I hang out with some -- enough, anyway, to know the name of Lionel HAMPTON, and vaguely recall that he played vibes.
MAUDE was like HART -- JEFFERSONS sure wasn't gonna fit. (Don't know where I dredged MAUDE up from, but I sure wouldn't have done if BEA ARTHUR hadn't come up recently.)
ARTUR Rubenstein, I had enough crosses to spell correctly :-)
RHODA, well, I had no idea of her mother's name, but had enough crosses to know beyond the proverbial reasonable doubt that that's the Morgenstern the puzzle was looking for. (RHODA x RHO is kinda cute, btw.)
The only one that flummoxed me was BRAT FARRAR. I got FARRAR from crosses and BRAT from the theme.

That leaves EMMA Bull. Geez, am I the first person here to know of her? Bull is a fantasy author, one of the crop who came along in the 80s to breathe fresh life into the genre. She's one of the contributers to the shared-world Borderland series of anthologies, which I'm a fan of (even though they're nominally aimed at teens -- well, so is Harry Potter, but a lot of grownups are huge HP fans. (Me, I'm more into HP sauce:-)). I'm pretty sure I've read Bull's Finder, a novel set in the Borderlands universe; if it's the book I'm thinking of, I very much enjoyed it.
As for her non-Borderlands work, War for the Oaks is a totally gripping urban fantasy; Freedom and Necessity (a collaboration with Stephen Brust) is a good, if rather slow-moving, epistolary novel that takes place in the Victorian ERA. I don't know Bone Dance; guess I'm gonna have to track it down...
This is one of those awesome coincidences. Just last night I was, for some unknown reason, looking up Borderlands stuff online, and discovered that there's an anthology of new work coming out next May, including a story by Emma Bull. And today, here she is in the LAT puzzle. How cool is that?

choirwriter said...

Worst. Puzzle. Ever.
'Nuf said.

PG, thanks for that brilliant clip of Artur Rubenstein. Now THAT made my day!