01.08 Sat

January 8, 2011
Harvey Estes

Theme: None

I'm sorry, gang, but it's just one of those days. All I can do today is post the grid for you. Please have at it in the comments. Doug will be here with your Sunday puzzle tomorrow and I'll see you back here Monday. Have a great weekend!

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 16A: Thames landmark (ETON).
  • 56A: French 101 verb (ÊTRE).
  • 3D: Floral gifts (LEIS).
  • 53D: Sputnik coverer (TASS).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Worker with many keys (VALET); 6A: Fleece (CLIP); 10A: Nick Saban's team, familiarly (BAMA); 14A: Motel convenience (ICE MACHINE); 17A: Quicker picker-uppers? (STIMULANTS); 18A: City on the Rhône (LYON); 19A: Pigeon (EASY TARGET); 20A: Actress Anderson (LONI); 21A: Guilty and more (PLEAS); 22A: Dodge (RUSE); 23A: Juice carriers (WIRES); 28A: Go astray (ERR); 29A: Fountain contemporary (HIRT); 30A: Foolishness (INANITY); 32A: Spot remover, at times (SPONSOR); 35A: Surfing equipment (MODEMS); 36A: It purrs when it's cared for (ENGINE); 37A: Got ready for a big date (PRIMPED); 39A: Stepped on it, with "up" (SPEEDED); 40A: Boxes of calendars? (DAYS); 41A: Mountain West Conference athlete (UTE); 43A: Code subject (DRESS); 44A: Builder's truckload (FILL); 45A: High school math calculations (AREAS); 47A: One fighting something (ANTI); 48A: Mixed condiment (GARLIC SALT); 54A: Early exile (CAIN); 55A: Cause of senselessness (ANESTHESIA); 57A: "Don't waste your time" ("IT'S USELESS"); 58A: Driving aids (TEES); 59A: Biweekly tide (NEAP); 60A: Trip interruptions (FLATS); 1D: Workbench item (VISE); 2D: Court records (ACTA); 4D: Peabody relative (EMMY); 5D: Having no play (TAUT); 6D: Pride of country music (CHARLEY); 7D: Extend one's stay (LINGER); 8D: Visibly moved (IN TEARS); 9D: Raid targets (PESTS); 10D: Churches with carillons don't need one (BELL RINGER); 11D: Being supportive (AT YOUR SIDE); 12D: Opalescent gems (MOONSTONES); 13D: Warbucks's charge (ANNIE); 15D: What fans do (CLAP); 23D: Unlikely hero (WIMP); 24D: Extreme (INORDINATE); 25D: Automotive innovation that improved fuel economy (RADIAL TIRE); 26D: Front borders (ENEMY LINES); 27D: Ninnies (SIMPS); 29D: Perfected (HONED); 31D: Japanese financial market inits. (TSE); 33D: Dash (PEP); 34D: Film for which Warren Beatty won a Best Director Oscar (REDS); 38D: Mrs. Calabash's creator (DURANTE); 39D: Shrink-wraps, e.g. (SEALS UP); 42D: Mother in Calcutta (TERESA); 44D: Aspect (FACET); 45D: Over (AGAIN); 46D: Is in session (SITS); 49D: Frequent taster (CHEF); 50D: Push, in a way (SELL); 51D: Cruising (ASEA); 52D: Where guests may be ticked off? (LIST).



Now we're talking!
This is my kind of puzzle.... stacks of great 10-letter words, lots of misdirecting clues, AND NO STUPID THEME!!!
Lots of double and triple word entries made this a very hard solve for me... but I did finish without Googling and got everything correctly.
Only one problem--- it took me and hour and a half to solve.
Thank God for the morning STIMULANTS (good coffee) to prop me up.
There were no unusual or arcane words, so no need for Mr. Google.
Also, the lack of a lot of crosswordese made the crossing tactics a challenge.
I'd give Harvey Estes a B+ for a nicely constructeed Saturday-level puzzle.

Since I'm planning a big trip to San Antonio, I thought I'd throw in a vid clip of CHARLEY Pride singing "Is Anybody Goin' To San Antonio". I really love his smooth country style.

Have a great weekend y'all.


@Avg Joe
I read your email and I'll get back to your questions a little later.
I am (like @PG) a bit swamped this morning.

Avg Joe said...

I struggled right out of the chute wanting TUNER for VALET. And it never got much easier. Lot's of erasures, so I was pleased with my habit of using a good old #2 pencil. :-) WOTD was ACTA. Very few gimmies, but at least there was CHARLEY, LONI, FACET and TEES. Nearly everything else required a few crosses. But in the end, no blanks, errors or googles. Victory was declared. Solve time was similar to JNH, but what's time to a pig?:-)

The one answer I flat don't get is FLATS. What's that about?

JNH, I'll look forward to hearing from you. Take your time. We're bracing for a 3 day 12" snow here, so whenever you find time will work for me.

Anonymous said...

FLATS as in flat tires, trip interruptions...

Avg Joe said...

AH! Thank you. Doh!


I guess today with the RADIAL TIRE, the occurance of FLATS is pretty rare. I'm old enough to remember tires in the 40s when the first thing someone would ask you when you returned from a road trip was, "how many FLATS?". I remember so well how we used boots and inner-tube patching kits and just the other day while cleaning out my garage I found a bunch of these.

CarolC said...

EASY TARGET for me since for once I solved a Saturday without googling. Favorite clue, ENGINE purrs when it's cared for. Thought at first it would be some kind of cat. In addition to the car theme, we've got STIMULANTS and ANESTHESIA. And the WIMP and the SIMPS who PRIMPED for their dates are IN TEARS when they failed to meet the DRESS code. Just couldn't help myself.

I'm new to this crossword world, and y'all probably already know this, but I see in the LA Times that Sylvia Burstyn has died. It says her last puzzle will appear Sunday. I'll go read the FAQs and see if I can figure out how to post the link.

mac said...

Good puzzle with a Saturday bite, I enjoyed it. Good old Loni!

Nice to have a little confidence boost after being chewed up by the NYT puzzle. Not good when you've just signed up for the tournament....

SethG said...

Hardest part was convincing myself it couldn't be CLAY target.

CarolC said...

As mentioned above, here is the link for the obituary for Sylvia Bursztyn for those who may be interested.

Obituary for Sylvia Bursztyn

sjok said...

I despise puzzles like this. Too much marginal use of language and almost non-clues. I could not get started. A stimulant is a stimulant - it does nor need to be quicker. I hope noone ever says "speeded up" - proper language is "sped up". Garlic salt is a seasoning, not a condiment. Who - except citizens of Gilroy, CA - put garlic salt on the table?? Also, I sincerely hope that calculating area is taught prior to high school. One thing I do not like is the use of so many different three to five letter words that are answers for clues or clues to answers like "ninny" and "fleece", etc. Its been so long since valets actually used keys that the clue is virtually useless for those of us who do not dwell in the past.

Anonymous said...

Agree with SJOK, as a grammar geek 'speeded up' never entered my mind; I erased 'area' twice because I also told myself that's a fifth-grade lesson! However I do have a garlic/sea salt grinder on my table and I live in Kentucky.

Anonymous said...

You also study areas in calculus, and how do valets park cars with no keys in them?

Mokus said...

Enjoyable Saturday puzzle for me. Even though I look at tide logs daily I don't recall seeing NEAP tide so it's my WOTD.
With two fill letters in place my favorite cause of senselessness was surely oNEtoomany. My least favorite is aNEsthesia due to a much longer recovery period.
In sixty years of boating on three coasts I have never heard the word ASEA which appears almost weekly. I know it's used for the vowels but have any of you ever heard it? Anywhere?

Sfingi said...

Like @Sjok said. I've decided not to waste my day on what I call tangential puzzles.
I'll work on my crosswordese mosaic graphic.

@Anon - not too many fifth graders do that. Especially in the US, as recent stats show.

CrazyCatLady said...

Took me a while to get started in the NW again today. I think I'm going begin my solving in other AREAS from now on. Nothing that I really loved or that had me in IN TEARS.
@CarolC I also read about Sylvia in my morning paper. It's sad and somewhat mysterious.
@Mokus I learned NEAP from CWs. I have never heard anyone say ASEA either. It used to bug me, but I'm over it.

JIMMIE said...

It was a sad surprise to open up the LAT this morning to find that Sylvia had passed. I enjoyed every Sunday that I worked on her clever CWs. We sunscribers will miss her dearly.

Rube said...

This was a really enjoyable puzzle. Just the right level of difficulty to make it a challenge, but doable w/o Googles.

Learned that Eton is on the Thames and read up on Peabody Awards. At first was impressed with Peabodys as they are given for electronic media excellence to PBS, NPR, BBC, news specials, and other quality work. Then, saw that Fox's Glee was also honored and wondered, what's going on here??? This has to be either a misprint, or you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet.

Ah well... at my age DURANTE was a gimme. Really wanted ewers for juice carriers, but all worked out in the end.

For those who care, Harbaugh is going to the 49ers... yessssss! (Fist pump)

Van55 said...

Good, solid, enjoyable, themeless Saturday puzzle. Bravo!

ddbmc said...

So sad to read about the mysterious Sylvia Burztyn. Enjoyed her puzzles and will miss them!

Not sure how I feel about today's puzzle. Was certainly tougher for me, than normal. The "Mrs. Calabash's creator" clue was somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain, being just old enough to remember "The Schnozz," But just young enough to have not watched him much or listen to his radio show. Hand up for a "google" on that one. Yet, knew HIRT immediately, as dad was a fan of both Pete Fountain and Al Hirt.

Some good long words, but cluing was overly vague. Agree that GARLIC SALT is seasoning, not a MIXED CONDIMENT.

ACTA was my WOTD. Wasn't just a Bostonian tawking about Matt Damon or Ben Affleck being Osca winning Actas....

Dave in Bend, OR said...

Thought "spot remover, at times" was pretty clever for sponsor.....

Rube - congrats on Harbaugh although he has a mess to clean up...You are better off than me as I am about to watch my poor Seahawks get clobbered (another college coach turned pro)

"Speeded up" can be used as follows - The taped replay of the event has been speeded up to get to the part you wanted to see. Just my spin on it.

stimulants clue was a stretch...oh well go seahawks and more importantly....GO DUCKS!!!

Eric said...

This one was a bear for me! Long struggle; nothing flowed. I was so thrilled to finally get a section (SE), but the rest was still (@Mokus, @CCL) A SEA of white :-) At one point I had to turn on hints, which showed me about three words I'd got wrong; but then turned them off again and plugged away till it was done. So DNF, but in a less unsatisfying way than DNFs usually are.


Gripe: SPEEDED [sic] UP. That never occurred to me either, till many crosses forced it on me. I had HURRIED, one of the mistakes the hints showed me. Other gripe: AT YOUR SIDE. If a puzzle's going to have a "you" phrase, it should be in reference to the solver. Likewise, if it's going to have an "I" phrase, it should be about the constructor. In retrospect, that was the other thing wrong with yesterday's I RATE MOVIES; if Roger Ebert were to construct a puzzle, such an entry would be brilliant. But Gary Steinmehl doesn't, so, well, it isn't.

When the sun, moon, and earth are aligned (full and new moons), tides are more extreme -- high tides are at their highest, and low ones at their lowest -- because the sun's gravity reinforces the moon's. Those are called "spring tides". At the moon's first and third quarters, the sun's gravity interferes with the moon's, and the tides are at their least extreme. Those are "NEAP tides".

@ddbmc: LOL at your ACTA comment.

Bursztyn's obit: she wrote puzzles :-( I'll miss her work too.

Capcha: GRETH. Shout-out to Mr. Bain?

Anonymous said...

I seem to be slipping a bit in my old age...missed the whole western section of the puzzle before I hit the Google button...two weeks in a row I've been stumped. RIP Sylvia, you will be missed.

D said...

Got a diff paper-carrier and didnt get a chance to start this puzzle till late today. Had trouble with SW corner, but otherwise OK.

@Avg Joe

"so I was pleased with my habit of using a good old #2 pencil. :-) "

forget the #2 pencil...head on down to Office Depot or your fav store and buy some PaperMate "Eraser-Mates" erasable ink pens.....greatest thing since popcorn.

Anonymous said...

Stupid waste of time - as are most Sat. puzzles. Where do these constructors get their defs?? Sad how low they have stooped lately. Puzzles USED TO BE a test of ENGLISH word knowledge - now they're a survey of inane pop culture, inane slang phrases and esoteric bits of forgotten lore. I have better things to do with my time.


This puzzle was cleanly divided into distinct quadrants with only one connecting letter from one corner to another. Solving each quadrant was like completing a puzzle in itself.
I found a little trick when solving a difficult puzzle like this one. As a rule, if the clue is plural, then so is the entry. Also, if the clue is past tense, then the entry usually ends with ED. If I go thru each clue and write in all the S's and ED's, I find that I have a thin structure upon which to throw in some good guesses, especially on the 4 to 6 letter words. Today I started off with 22 letters of S and ED filled in with no sweat. Also sometimes you can fill in the words that end with ER too (not today though).
The next thing I do is to fill in all the gimmes and crosswordese.

Hey, it works for me.

Anonymous said...

Color me stupid, but I still don't get how "Spot remover, at times" leads to SPONSOR. A little help?

KJGooster said...

@Anon: For example, an advertiser (or SPONSOR), of a TV show might remove one of its ads (spots), if it didn't like something about the show.

Avg Joe said...

@Anon 4:23. The spot referred to is an ad. An ad sponsor can remove promotions at their discretion. Weak....really weak. But that's the basis as I see it.

@D, regarding the pencil. I'm getting old and reveling at having license to be crotchety in the process. I carry a pen in my pocket at all times while dressed and don't use a pencil of any type for any other purpose than solving CW puzzles. Out in my smokers lounge (a heated garage) I have a spartan table, a stool, a pencil holder and an old Boston model KS sharpener circa 1940 mounted on the wall. My mother died 6 years ago and I was bequeathed with an unopened package of 10 #2 pencils from her home when we cleaned it out. I see it as my sworn duty to use up those pencils cuz it would piss my mother off to no end if they went to waste. (Depression era survivors had that proclivity.) Thus, until I either run out of her #2 pencils or they simply stop making them altogether, it'll be my weapon of choice for the process of solving my daily optional challenges. I'm far more adaptive to using new tools for dealing with the challenges where I have no choice, but for now the #2 pencil is one of the few remaining bastions of a world I'd prefer to live in. :-)

mac said...

@Dave in Bend, Ore: you happy now?

Rube said...

@Dave in Bend. I think I just saw a pig fly by my front window.

Dave in Bend, OR said...

Touche' Rube and Mac!