01.25 Tue

January 25, 2011
Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Only Ifs and Buts — Theme answers are familiar three-word phrases where the middle word (AND) is removed. Then … wackiness.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: *Worm change? (BAIT SWITCH).
  • 37A: *Relocation company's cocktail mixers? (MOVERS' SHAKERS).
  • 60A: *Court mistake? (TRIAL ERROR).
  • 68A: Word usually found in the answers to starred clues (AND).
Happy Tuesday, everybody. What a fun little theme for us today. I kinda wish there was more of it! And I really mean that. I mean, three theme answers is plenty, but this one is really cute and there must be more phrases that would work. No, as a matter of fact, I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure there are some!

Highlights of this puzzle for me include:
  • 26A: Hardly a tough decision (NO-BRAINER).
  • 2D: "C'mon sport, help me out" ("BE A PAL!").
  • 18D: Coordinated fan effort at a stadium (THE WAVE).
I once wrote an English paper about THE WAVE. Yep, got away with it too.

Unfortunately, PuzzleDaughter is BarfyDaughter tonight, so I'm gonna try to finish this up and get to bed since I doubt I'll have the opportunity to sleep all the way through the night. Ugh.

  • 4A: Slopeside structure (CHALET). This answer can only remind me of one thing today: Girl Scout cookies. Yes, that's right, I'm the Cookie Mom this year. Pretty sure I had some sort of brain damage the day I signed up for that. One of the types of cookies we have here in the DC area (not all Girl Scout troops across the country have all the same cookies — weird, right?) is Lemon Swiss Chalet Cremes. I actually need to get the troop's cookie order in tomorrow so I've been "WGSC: All Girl Scout Cookies All The Time" the last couple days. God help me.
  • 15A: Dugouts, e.g. (CANOES). I could not not think about baseball here.
  • 24A: Lender's product (BAGEL). I'm not sure I've ever eaten a Lender's bagel, but I've heard of the brand. For some reason, I have in my mind that they're not very good. Of course, once you have an H&H bagel, you're ruined for life.
  • 29A: Decelerate (SLOW UP). Who else went "SLOW DO…Hey! It won't fit!" I'm more likely to say "slow down" or "hold up," but SLOW UP strikes me as legit.
  • 33A: Words before "Here's to," perhaps (A TOAST). We sure do have a lot of toasting going on around here these days. Skoal! Salud! Here's to, I don't know … SAM (23D: One of the Warner Brothers). (Who knew?)
  • 55A: "How Do I Live" singer LeAnn (RIMES). We've talked about this song here before, haven't we? It has my vote for Sappiest Co-Dependent Song of All Time. She's not even singing about having lost her man. She's singing about how bad she would feel if he did leave. Which he hasn't. Drama Queen much?
  • 5D: Hesitating sounds (HAWS). Couldn't get past ER and UM in my head, so this one came through crosses. I guess this is like "hemming and HAWing"?
  • 9D: Top at the beach (T-SHIRT). I'm fairly confident that I'm not the only one who tried BIKINI here first.
  • 10D: St. __ Girl beer (PAULI). You never forget your first girl.
  • 39D: Biblical mount (ASS). I literally laughed out loud at this one. My brain was so focused on trying to think of a mountain's name that even with the first two letters in place this didn't come to me immediately. My D'oh moment of the day.
  • 40D: Foreign Legion cap (KEPI). Here's the weird thing. I was fairly certain it started with a K, but even now that I see the whole word it doesn't look familiar to me at all. I'm tucking this one away in my brain though. Looks like it might come in handy.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 14A: DDE opponent (AES).
  • 20A: Shimmery sushi fish (OPAH).
  • 43A: Nice vacation time? (ÉTÉ).
  • 58A: Architect Saarinen (EERO).
  • 65A: Canapé topper, perhaps (ROE).
  • 52D: Wickerwork willow (OSIER).
  • 57D: On the sheltered side (ALEE).
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Everything Else 1A: Utah Jazz's gp. (NBA); 10A: Sodas (POPS); 16A: Frizzy do (AFRO); 19A: Sci-fi saucers (UFO'S); 21A: Lush (SOT); 22A: Speck in the sea (ISLET); 31A: Dough dispenser, briefly (ATM); 32A: Craps cube (DIE); 36A: Remain unsettled (PEND); 41A: Without accomplices (LONE); 42A: Didn't run the ball (PASSED); 44A: Old word of annoyance (FIE); 46A: Twitches (SPASMS); 50A: Kentucky's state flower (GOLDENROD); 54A: Sacro- ending (ILIAC); 56A: One of a salty seven (SEA); 59A: Start of a coconut cocktail name (PIÑA); 63A: Former Israeli president Weizman (EZER); 64A: Shoelace holder (EYELET); 66A: Corporate freebie (PERK); 67A: Breaks down in English class? (PARSES); 1D: Pooh-bahs (NABOBS); 3D: Cheese from Italy's Veneto region (ASIAGO); 4D: IV amounts (CC'S); 6D: Negatively charged atom (ANION); 7D: Game with scratching (LOTTO); 8D: Treaty of Rome org. (EEC); 11D: Lawbreaker (OFFENDER); 12D: Dietary needs found in beef (PROTEINS); 13D: Titanic signal (SOS); 25D: Bard's instrument (LUTE); 27D: Bubbly soothers (BATHS); 28D: Wine choice (RED); 30D: __ favor: señor's "please" (POR); 34D: According to (AS PER); 35D: Retirement org. (SSA); 36D: One on a bike (PEDALER); 37D: Add an engine to (MOTORIZE); 38D: Quick joke (ONE-LINER); 41D: Hose filler? (LEG); 44D: Giant's first word (FEE); 45D: Arched foot part (INSTEP); 47D: __ Nevada mountain range (SIERRA); 48D: Strand on a 22-Across (MAROON); 49D: Made a basket, say (SCORED); 51D: Old German money, for short (D-MARK); 53D: Antes precede them (DEALS); 59D: Vim (PEP); 61D: Shaggy Scandinavian rug (RYA); 62D: Sci-fi invaders, for short (ET'S).



Nice Tuesday-level puzzle... quick solve and a NO BRAINER.

When I can learn a new word early in the week, now that's a plus... KEPI.

As soon as I filled in BAIT SWITCH, I knew the theme was going to have something to do with AND.

Great clues: "Lender's product" (BAGEL) and "Biblical mount" (ASS).
Now today I had my LOL.

I know it's legit, but there just seems to be something wrong with the phrase SLOW UP. Seems like you should SLOW DOWN and SPEED UP, but oh well, our language is goofy.

It's off to Apple Villa for my breakfast... Dutch Baby... yummm!

Have a super day y'all.

Queen of the Prudes said...

Some time ago, over at Rex's blog, Ulrich pointed out that St Pauli was a red light section of Amsterdam, well know and beloved among the sailors of Europe as a place for taking their pleasures. Hence, a St Pauli's Girl was a putative hooker, though possibly a virtuous barmaid. Seems an inappropriate name for a beer. Or, maybe not.

twg said...

NOBRAINER, MOTORIZE, ONELINER and of course THEWAVE were great fills in addition to the theme. I thought DMARK (for Deutsche mark?) was one of the weaker entries. Good puzzle.


Anonymous said...


SethG said...

I'd thought it was Fie Fi Fo Fum.

Tuttle said...

QotPs; St. Pauli is the port district of Hamburg, Germany which includes the Reeperbahn, both the red-light district and the city's nightlife center (on opposite ends of the street). This is the place where The Beatles got their start and led John Lennon to remark that "I was born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg".

Also home to my very favorite soccer club, FC St. Pauli whose home stadium, The Millerntor, is a block away from the Reeperbahn giving it the nickname of "The Bundesliga Brothel". Their fans are a bunch of punks and hippies, their colors are black with a skull and crossbones and they enter each home match to the sounds of AC/DC's "Back In Black".

Now if they could just start scoring some goals ...

Anonymous said...

I can't stop saying "wickerwork willow."

Wickerwork willow, wickerwork willow, wickerwork willow...

I love it!

C said...

Good Tuesday puzzle. Some good words and phrases and the clue for ASS was good, real good.

@Tuttle, my brother actually played for St. Pauli for a season in the mid 90's. Played mainly for the reserves but did get a few games in the Pokal and trained with the first team. He had nothing but good things to say about the interesting fans that attended the matches.

Avg Joe said...

Pleasant Tuesday level puzzle. Theme answers could have been more plentiful, but the loop was closed with the final across answer, so that worked out well.

My biggest gripe is with Goldenrod. That's the Nebraska state flower. Kentucky stole it. :-)

Anonymous said...

So I'm the only one who's never heard of a "rya"? "Nabobs" threw me too. This one was a struggle for a Tuesday.

Peter said...

Yeah, four words I've never even heard of (RYA, LOTPO, OSIER, KEPI) seem a lot for a Tuesday.

MPPuzzler said...

I enjoyed the theme, but also could have used one more entry on it.

Spiro Agnew made nabobs a 'household' word in 1970 calling his opponents 'nattering nabobs of negativity'

John Wolfenden said...

I've never heard of RYA either, and I'm half-Swedish. Seemed like a mostly easy puzzle with a lot of standard cluing and a few hard spots like South Central.

Hand up for thinking "Biblical mount" was a mountain. That's a good clue. Ditto for "Lender's product" and "Hose filler."

I don't think of HAWS as the actual sound you make when faced with a tough decision any more than HEMS.

Rube said...

@MPPuzzler, the NABOB expression was coined by William Safire, who has been canonized as a Saint of the English Language.

I thought KEPI and RYA were more later-in-the-week words, maybe crosswordese 201. But, you can't complain about them without mentioning EZER and RIMES. EERO and OSIER are so common now that they are becoming overworked fill.

I'm on record as a fan of St. Pauli Girl Dark. Beer that is!

The theme? Mediocre, but an enjoyable quick puzzle nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this puzzle I now understand why DeGaulle's hat was a kepi. That was in one of last week's puzzles and it was meaningless at the time. I do learn a lot from crosswords, most of it not too useful except when solving crosswords, but still fun.
em jay

mac said...

Loved this little puzzle! My favorite clues are the ones for "scored" and "ass"! Had to dig really deep for that rya. If Marti had squeezed in a j and a q it would have been a pangram.

The Foreign Legion will forever be connected with Laurel and Hardy in my brain.

@Tuttle: thank you! Ulrich's team, Koeln, is doing very well! Ha, my captcha is: krouto

@Peter: I think you mean "lotto".

Sfingi said...

Though I knew RYA, KEPI, EERO, OSIER, NABOB, I consider them level 201 crosswordese. Got EZER and RIMES from crosses.

However, I, typically, HTG for NBA (sports). I asked Hubster why there would be jazz in Utah. Not that we aren't all entitled, but... So he told me the history - that it used to be in New Orleans. That's a big jump. I was trying to make something out of NOA for New Orleans. Once I got the NBA, I then got the BAIT SWITCH and HAWS. And the TSHIRT instead of bikini.

Interesting red-light port stuff. I always think of the Jacques Brel song, "Amsterdam." Very strange. And sweaty.

For NABOB - Before "natering NABOBs of negativism," was the 1909 song Rings on Her Fingers from G'ma's time. I'd give the words, but some a racialist.

For RYA - In the '70s, I ordered a RYA rug from a Scandinavian place in Syracuse and the entire truckload and truck was heisted in NYC.