W E D N E S D A Y   December 22, 2010
Dan Naddor

Theme: Panel Discussion — End of the each theme answer can precede the word "panel" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Escapes dramatically from prison (GOES OVER THE WALL).
  • 28A: Narrow defeat, e.g. (HEARTBREAKER).
  • 38A: Warning about wind chill, say (WEATHER ADVISORY).
  • 46A: Steinbeck novel set in Monterey (TORTILLA FLAT).
  • 61A: The lead pipe, the wrench or the candlestick, but not the rope (BLUNT INSTRUMENT).
  • 54D: Discussion group, and a word that can follow the ends of this puzzle's five longest answers (PANEL).
I found this puzzle a really smooth solve. I was slightly — slightly! — bothered by the sheer volume of crosswordese, but for the most part just sort of made my way through it steadily. I didn't use the theme at all, which I always feel is kind of a shame. On the other hand, this theme isn't really all that exciting anyway. Panels? Well okay.

  • 9A: Energize, as a crowd (AMP UP). This didn't come to me easily. I think of AMP UP more as being hyper on drugs. I would be more likely to "rev" up a crowd. Well not me personally, but you know what I mean.
  • 15A: Nomo with two no-hitters (HIDEO). I have a really hard time with the Asian baseball names. I miraculously only needed the H to remember this one though.
  • 37A: Boxer's wear (ROBE).
  • 5D: Actress Tyler (LIV). Steven Tyler's daughter. Has "American Idol" started yet with the new judges? I'm pretty sure I can't bring myself to watch it.
  • 8D: Back porch luxury (HOT TUB). With HOTT** in place I thought "Hottie? Do rich people just keep hotties around on the back porch?"
  • 32D: Husband-and-wife creators of Curious George (REYS). Here's the thing about Curious George. The stories are very cute and that darn monkey is very entertaining but damn they can be long! I also recall raising an eyebrow once when I was reading to the PuzzleKids and got to a part where George drinks something in the doctor's office that he's not supposed to drink and he gets all drunk. I thought that was a little strange.
  • 35D: Sporty 1960s-'70s Plymouth (BARRACUDA).

  • 48D: "Hi-__, Hi-Lo" (LILI). I assume this is from a song. I also assume someone will enlighten us in the comments.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 56A: Gumshoe (TEC).
  • 58A: "The Time Machine" race (ELOI).
  • 60A: "Dies __" (IRAE).
  • 2D: One point from a service break (AD OUT).
  • 12D: Wrinkly fruit (UGLI).
  • 29D: 1921 sci-fi play (RUR).
  • 31D: Longest river in Spain (EBRO).
  • 34D: Vintner's prefix (OENO-).
  • 39D: Hanoi holidays (TETS).
  • 57D: Airline to Ben Gurion (EL AL).
  • 62D: Palindromic diarist (NIN).
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Everything Else — 1A: Is down with (HAS); 4A: Walk through puddles (SLOSH); 14A: Mean Amin (IDI); 16A: Europe's longest river (VOLGA); 20A: Laurie of "House" (HUGH); 21A: Vitamin __: PABA (B-TEN); 22A: Peke squeak (YIP); 23A: Torrid (STEAMY); 26A: Impulses (URGES); 33A: Blubber (SOB); 36A: Potentially slanderous remark (SLUR); 43A: Concerning, in memos (IN RE); 44A: 13 popes (LEOS); 45A: Part of UCLA (LOS); 51A: Computer data acronym (ASCII); 52A: Sandal parts (STRAPS); 66A: Dogpatch's Hawkins (SADIE); 67A: "Silas Marner" author (ELIOT); 68A: Opposite of alt, in Augsburg (NEU); 69A: Preferred option (PLAN A); 70A: "__ at 'em!" (LEMME); 71A: European peak (ALP); 1D: Euphoric feelings (HIGHS); 3D: Prolonged attack (SIEGE); 4D: HBO alternative (SHO); 6D: Tribute that usually rhymes (ODE); 7D: Belgrade native (SERB); 9D: Right, as a wrong (AVENGE); 10D: Do some yard work (MOW); 11D: Mr. Potato Head maker (PLAYSKOOL); 13D: Insect feeler (PALP); 18D: Bygone Mideast despot (SHAH); 19D: Frau's partner (HERR); 24D: Dovetail (MESH); 25D: Where Bill met Hillary (YALE); 27D: Canal zones? (EARS); 30D: Refrain syllables (TRA-LA); 33D: Houlihan portrayer on "M*A*S*H" (SWIT); 40D: Rock's __ Leppard (DEF); 41D: Encyc. units (VOLS.); 42D: "Time __ a premium" (IS AT); 47D: Summer cooler (ICE TEA); 49D: Big name in small trains (LIONEL); 50D: Svelte (TRIM); 53D: Gladiator's milieu (ARENA); 55D: Frame (SET UP); 56D: Recipe abbr. (TBSP.); 59D: Man, for one (ISLE); 63D: Tiny guy (TIM); 64D: Bulg. neighbor (ROM.); 65D: Versatile vehicle, for short (UTE).


imsdave said...

Pinch hitting for greene, "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" is from the 1950's film musical "Lili" which starred Leslie Caron. It was later turned into a stage musical "Carnival" that was the Broadway debut of Tony Orbach's father, Jerry. I remember that Richard Chamberlain had a big hit with the song in the sixties.

I'm hoping there's still more in the pipeline from Dan.

Tinbeni said...

Christmas week with a Dan Naddor FUN Wednesday puzzle.

Really liked the PANEL themes.

Plus, 1-Down was HIGHS, my favorite feeling.
Yippie !!!

Only write-over, I had "UP AND at'em!" (Mom's request to us to get 'Out-of-bed' many years ago) before that LIONEL train set got me on the right track.

I think this is the first time we've had PLAN A make an appearance.
Usually it's Plan-B that gets the shout-out.

Also like the EARS, Canal zones?
Dan at his clever best.

All-in-all this is turning out to be a great week.
(Makes me wonder if this year Rich will have a Christmas puzzle in a few days).

Cheers to all at Sunset.

Van55 said...

I was left cold by the theme and, unlike PG, I was put off by the huge volume of crosswordese needed (apparently) to get there.

Shall I start the ICEDTEA debate or shall we leave that one alone this time?

Here's a serious technical question of the experts. I have come to understand that a black square that could have been used as a white one in the grid without changing the total number of word answers is a "cheater square." If so, does that mean the square to the north of RUR and to the south of DEF are cheater squares today? I hardly ever notice cheater squares and I don't think they are flaws in the construction. Just wondering.

The Donald said...

Yes we do PG, yes we do. Usually in pairs, with twins highly preferable.

SethG said...

Yes, those are cheater squares. Either the one above RUR or the one below ODE could be removed and the puzzle would have the same number of words. On the other hand, removing the square below SERB, for example, would turn SERB/TRALA, currently two words, into a single, 10-letter word.

If you don't think in terms of word count, perhaps think instead that instead of having 18 3-letter words, 28 4's, and 17 5's we could have had 16/28/19. On the other hand, the fill is likely cleaner than it would have been without them.

The theme did nothing for me, but I liked BARRACUDA and HEARTBREAKER.

Mokus said...

Not a bad Wednesday CWP but I agree with Van55 about the theme, etc.

I did enjoy the wood-paneled station wagon, my era's minivan.


Of course I liked the Naddor puzzle, but I really laughed a lot with Puzzlegirl's comments, especially the HOTTies on the back porch.
I actually finished this puzzle before finishing my breakfast, but I give myself a DNF because of screw-ups in the NW. Had GETS instead of GOES for 17A and that messed up the 2D & 3D.

Is Mr. Potato Head still around? I'm sure if he is, it's an electronic version.

I'm certain some of you non-homeowners will say "what's a BREAKER PANEL?"
Just think about Clark Griswold!

Now I'm trying to remember the story of SADIE Hawkins.

I gotta get going... have to work today at the Plant Clinic. Seems nobody else wants to work this week, so I volunteered to fill-in.
Prolly gonna get sick Christmas tree inquiries today.


Um, I think those were affectionately called "Woodies".
I collect them... models, that is.

Doug P said...

Seth is right-on with his comments on cheater squares. And for the record, Rich Norris likes to call them "helpers" not "cheaters." When you see them in a puzzle, realize that the fill would have been much, much worse without them.

Awesome video, PG!

C said...

Smooth, quick solve. Theme wasn't much of a theme but that's OK with me, I don't do the puzzles for the themes though I am a sucker for the puns.

Favorite answer for today was BARRACUDA though now that I have the Heart song stuck in my head I am starting to rethink whether or not this is my favorite.

John Wolfenden said...

Anyone else have an issue with "Right, as a wrong" for AVENGE? Seems more like a clue for ATONE. I suppose in an Old-Testament way vengeance and justice are synonymous.

A higher SFI (Standard Fill Index) than most Naddors, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Kevin from UMich said...

Miss you, buddy. Wish every puzzle could be a Naddor construction, I honestly do.

Joon said...

PG: there are pretty big differences between the original 1930s curious george stories and the "new" curious george stories, from the 90s. the originals have all kinds of eyebrow-raising anachronisms. george is essentially supposed to be a toddler in monkey form, but damned if he doesn't smoke, drink, and raise all kinds of hell. (also, there's the disturbing idea that the man in the yellow hat actually kidnaps george from the wild in africa and brings him into captivity in america, where they become the best of friends.) in the newer george stories, he still gets into trouble, but it's usually more along the kinds of trouble you might imagine an unsupervised toddler getting into.

john wolfenden:

nope, the clue is spot-on for AVENGE but would not work for ATONE. you can't ATONE a wrong, but you can right a wrong or AVENGE a wrong. very clever clue, i thought.

Rube said...

Wanted pePUP, MEet, and LEtME before the crosses set me straight on AMPUP, MESH, and LEMME.

I wonder if ASCII seems archaic to you young'uns. Sort of like EBCDIC, never seen anymore.

The only word I didn't know was the pop culture DEF Leppard. Even knew HUGH Laurie although I think of him as Bernie Wooster... as many of you other oldies out there do, I'm sure.

Enjoyable Naddor. We'll miss him.

Avg Joe said...

I pretty much cruised through this one. A little too much 101 fill perhaps, but none that offended me. The only real trouble was the upper I in LILI, but figured it had to be right. I guess we got our Tue and Wed puzzled in reverse order this week.

That Gretchen Wilson/Alice in Chains video is AWESOME. I've never followed either, but they produced an extraordinary compliment to the original with that cover. Gretchen sounded exactly like Ann at her peak. It was nice to see Nancy in there as well.

Sfingi said...

Theme fine.

DNF. Left the space at 16 blank. I had marked it as sports, then Googled it only to have Google return that it was a band in Ann Arbor. So, I came here, and it was sports after all.

BTW, did we really win WWII, or was it like that Pyrrhic victory? Manga, Hideo, Ninja, Nissan.

@Joon - Curious George, as well as Babar, are colonial fairy tales. By that, I mean in the sense of Victorian British or other European colonialism or adventurism, as the Communists worded it. This includes a rationalization process that viewed the kidnapping or other repression as something that should be desired or appreciated by the victim, who needed to be both civilized and Christianized.

@Rube - I love Mr. Laurie's Bernie Wooster, esp. at the piano.

John Wolfenden said...


Okay, so ATONE is an intransitive verb. What I meant was, vengeance has the connotation of eye-for-an-eye and blood for blood. Smiting thy brother's killer is vengeance but doesn't right the wrong.

You could argue that the justice system is designed to avenge people who have been wronged, but the enlightened tenets of the law are ostensibly above simple vengeance.

A minor quibble, I suppose.

mac said...

I thought this was a lively, fun puzzle, just enjoyed it without paying too much attention to the theme. Does there seem to bee a lot of German in puzzles lately? And about 59D, isn't it "No man is an island"?
I know of Lionel, because of crosswords, but to me toy trains are Maerklins.

In hindsight, our son seems to have had a fixation with monkeys. He loved Curious George, and had toy monkeys called Monchichi and Zephyr.