01.27 Thu

January 27, 2011
Dan Naddor & Doug Peterson

Theme: Seething resentment! Four phrases end with nouns that double as verbs that partner with GRUDGE.

Theme answers:
  • 45d. A GRUDGE is a [Feeling of resentment associated with the last words of the starred answers]. Can you honestly say there is no one or nothing you hold a grudge against? Just a little bit?
  • 17a. The GRIZZLY BEAR is a [*Yellowstone Park beast]. In each of the theme phrases, the final word is a noun that doubles as a verb that is often paired with "grudge," as in "bear a grudge."
  • 28a. [*Fort McHenry defended it in 1814] clues BALTIMORE HARBOR. This is not the sort of trivia I have at my command, but I don't harbor a grudge against learning American history.
  • 43a. A REGISTERED NURSE is a [*Medical professional]. I would rather nurse a beer than a grudge, but I feel like an idiot when I nurse a Diet Coke. Why is that?
  • 55a. [*Feature of many customer service calls] is MUSIC ON HOLD. Phrase feels a little awkward to me. Wrestling fiend PuzzleGirl could tell us all the wrestling hold names that might've worked here, but I don't know any.
I bring tidings from PuzzleGirl, whose electricity went out Wednesday night. Doug co-constructed this puzzle and Seth is out sick, so she was forced to reach to the back of the bench and call me into the game. (Do the Chicago Bears have another backup quarterback after Caleb Hanie? That's my equivalent.) Forgive me for deviating from the usual format—I'm basically copying my Diary of a Crossword Fiend post as is. I could add photos and videos and whatnot but I am lazy. Sad but true.

  • 51a. [Seasonal pharmacy offering] is a FLU SHOT. I got a flu shot in September. I've had a cold since then, but nothing bad.
  • 3d. [Forensic test site] clues CRIME LAB, which I suspect is much more "in the language" than the DNA LAB that keeps popping up in crosswords.
  • 4d. I don't watch TMZ ON TV, but boy, what a fresh entry that is. It's a [Celebrity gossip show].
  • 37d. [Inexpensively] clues FOR A SONG. Isn't that a terrific entry? I like it.
  • 42d. [Sam Spade, e.g., slangily] is a GUMSHOE.
A few more clues:
  • 40a. [Curly smacker] is MOE of the Three Stooges. That Moe was so abusive. He really needed therapy.
  • 9d. HEALTH FOOD is clued as a [Nutritionist's recommendation]. Not necessarily. Depending on your medical status, you may be warned away from many of the healthiest (fine, fine, pedants: "most healthful") foods. True story!
  • 25d. ["We get letters" '50s-'60s TV singer/host] clues Perry COMO. I had no idea that phrase had a Perry Como connection.
  • 29d. [Group that goes through the motions?] is a MIME TROUPE. I've been leery of mimes ever since I saw The Aristocrats.

Note from Doug:

Benchwarmer? Hardly! Amy's the franchise.

When Rich offered me the chance to construct a puzzle using one of Dan's themes, I jumped at it. Then I got worried. What if it's a "seven-banger" (seven theme answers)? Fortunately, this was one I could handle. As most of you know, Dan loved to cram as many theme entries as possible into his grids. One of my favorite Naddor crosswords was a Sunday L.A. Times puzzle called "California Pros" that included 14 theme entries(!), one for each major sports team in California. Awesome.

I met Dan a couple of times, and of course, we talked puzzles. His face lit up when we started discussing themes. He seemed to have hundreds of themes, half-themes, and theme concepts buzzing around in head. And yes, I was a little jealous, because coming up with a theme is often the toughest part of the process for me. So I'm glad I got to dip into Dan's theme reservoir today. It's an honor to share a byline with him.



A puzzle constructed by two of my faves (DAD) Dan And Doug.

Very nice theme although it reminds me a lot about my ex-wife's EMOTION. GRUDGE is not something in my make up (as some of you know).

Anyway, fill words are fantastic: TMZ ON TV, FOR A SONG, CRIME LAB, MR MOTO, GUMSHOE and MIME TROUPE.

Then there's the super funny clues, like my fave: 40A "Curly smacker" (MOE).

Why do I always fill in OLAF when it's OLAV and vice-versa?

A puzzle that's far above the NORM for a Thursday LAT CW.

Today I will MOIL with cleaning out two closets. Is it spring house-cleaning already?

Have a super day y'all!


Doug, why don't you just ask your blog commenters for some theme suggestions?
Anyone? Anyone?

Sfingi said...

It seems my comment disappeared into the ether.

Was it my comment on the word MOIL? I guess it's really spellt MOhel. In any case it caused me to try to turn it to tOIL. Since I never heard of TMZ ON TV, I had some hope.

Also, had MUse before MULL.

In any case, nice crossword. Unique theme - many types of GRUDGefulness I don't believe was ever used before.

I still think Tues. was the hardest so far this week.

Mazel Tov.

mac said...

What a great piece of co-operation between all these crossword pros!
Wonderful to read about.

I found mull after wanting to put it in the other puzzle. What's that called, a malapop squared?

Learned moil today, and tried to stick in orgy and rave before bash. Must be all the snow and the cabin fever giving me ideas....

*David* said...

Pretty easy puzzle, I had the same feeling as Amy on MUSIC ON HOLD, it felt a bit Yodaesque. Nice to have a colloboration, those puzzles always interest me in trying to figure out who did what. I give this one a 7.

Eric said...

@Doug: Congrats on coconstructing with Dan Naddor! But on the down side, I guess this means there aren't any more complete ones of his left :-(

@Sfingi: MOIL always reminds me of this. A mohel, on the other hand, is, uh, something else entirely.

@mac: More like a mullapropism :-)

Doug P said...

@Eric - Rich Norris has a few more Dan Naddor puzzles left. The last one will probably run in April.

Vega said...

I too thought the fill was terrific and after all, who could *not* love a puzzle reminding us how many ways we can be pissy, but as others have pointed out, MUSICONHOLD isn't a thing.

Doug, thanks for sharing your process. Very cool to read.

Eric said...

@Doug: Awesome! Thanks for the info.

C said...

I found this puzzle to be ... different. I can't put my finger on it, exactly, nothing wrong with the puzzle at all, but after I finished, it still felt incomplete. Like there were two puzzles and I had only partially finished either of them. Strange.

Good to see @Orange back in the driving seat. GUMSHOE was an answer I liked.

The COMO answer sewed a few things up for me. In the SF Bay Area in the 80's, we had a FM DJ by the name of Alex Bennet who had a morning show where he had a portion of his show devoted to reading letters from the audience. He always started the segment by singing "We Get Letters" this was supposed to be funny in a satirical manner though it was lost on me. Now it isn't ... I guess.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Doug - Thanks for the great co-construction effort. Thanks also to Amy for stepping in for the electricity challenged PG.

Thought the GRUDGE theme seemed pretty original and enjoyed the fill. The MOE clue cracked me up. MOIL was my WOTD. The only nit I have is 21A PLYWOOD clued as flooring material. Isn't it *sub flooring* material? Other than that, very enjoyable.

Ed Ellesson said...

For those of you who think that MUSIC ON HOLD is not a thing, or is an odd phrasing: As a retired telephone communications engineer (30 years), I can assure you that MUSIC ON HOLD is exactly what we call it in the telephony biz. However, I would not expect this bit of jargon to be widely recognized.

BTW, I liked the puzzle, the write-up (thanks Amy) and the comments.

shrub5 said...

SENSEI (martial arts instructor) didn't look right but I was confusing it with sansei (person born in U.S. whose grandparents immigrated from Japan.)

LOL'd at 'Curly smacker' clue for MOE. I didn't want to accept MOIL because I wanted toil. I had all of CRIMELAB in place so it had to be an M. My WOTD.

My sympathies abound for all of you who are inundated with snow (BRR) and who are experiencing the associated troubles. All I have to complain about weather-wise is fog -- not even comparable.

Thank you Doug P. for the info on Dan and for masterfully finishing up what he started.

MPPuzzler said...

I guess I had more trouble than most, especially in NW corner. MOIL completely threw me - I got it from the cross and afterward looked it up in the dictionary. I agree that plywood is more for sub-flooring.

Avg Joe said...

Great puzzle Doug! I had a lot of trouble with it, but did complete the task. Moil didn't throw me, cuz I too am familiar with The Cremation of Sam McGee. It's weird how the littlest things can be helpful. Plywood is prolly a stretch, but there are a lot of finish floors made of laminated material.

Lot's of colorful fill and clever cluing. WOTD for me was TMZonTV.

Thanks Amy, and may PG soon be restored to the grid.

Orange said...

Hey, nobody said the PLYWOOD floor had to be nice.

MPPuzzler said...

Avg Joe - thanks for the reference about "The Cremation of Sam McGee". I was as entertaining now as when I read it many years ago. MP

SethG said...

Yet it can be nice: see here.

I remember Marsha Mason from a puzzle I use as an example of a boring theme when I'm giving my crossword talk. See, her name contains a wetland. Then I use that entry to further discuss the concept of bad crosses--the M in Marsha is pretty restricted to an M, but the M in Mason could be almost anything and so restricts you to a well-known cross, preferably from a different genre. It's at that point that polite excuses are often made or subjects changed. Wasn't there someone named Vicki Vale?

Crosscan said...

Vicki Vale was one of Batman's girlfriends. (Beat ya, Doug!)

Doug P said...

Nice one, Crosscan. I thought you only knew Disney and Superman trivia!

Emil Muzz said...

Are you sure that's not Connie Swail?

Sfingi said...

@Eric - some people pronounce Mohel MOIL. This week there was an article in NYT Science Tues on a fellow being a Mohel for a dead baby.

@Seth - when we saw MARSHA Mason on TV we wondered whose girlfriend she was. Had no obvious talent.

@C - Perry Como opened with:
"Letters, we get letters we get stacks and stacks of letters.
Dear Perry, would you be so kind to fill this request and sing the song I love best."
And he wore those Jimmy Carter cardigans - or vice-versa.

Some people never get past the sub-flooring.

Naddor - RIP.

Anonymous said...

Marsha Moore would work better for you, but not well known outside of certain circles

"Now Marsha Moore was know to pack a ound or two of fat;
But this spring she was all blowed-up, like a poisoned cat;
I pulled a-beam of Marsha, mindful of her bow;
And told Donna that I loved her in the best way I knew how..."

.... NFLD folk song (forget the title)

Anonymous said...

Really like Dan Naddor themes.
Re: Baltimore Harbor defense as trivia -- rethink this one -- early in your life you learned about it -- and all your life you have 'heard' about this battle -- even at sporting events!