1.04.2011

01.04 Tue

T U E S D A Y
January 4, 2011
David W. Cromer



Theme: Shoes, Glorious Shoes — Familiar phrases end with words that can describe types of shoes.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: How many fall in love (HEAD OVER HEELS).
  • 34A: Temperature control devices (HEAT PUMPS).
  • 40A: Bonneville Speedway terrain (SALT FLATS).
  • 53A: Abridged maxim about accepting an apt description, and a hint to this puzzle's theme found in 20-, 34- and 40-Across (IF THE SHOE FITS).
This puzzle reminded that I really, truly and desperately need at least two new pairs of shoes. I have some black slip-ons that I wear pretty much all the time that are falling apart. I think I'll buy another pair just like them. Then I need a pair of brown shoes suitable for the office. When I started working again, I went out and bought two pairs of pants — one pair I thought was black, but is really grey, and the other is brown. I can get away with black shoes with the grey pants, but not with the brown. Well, PuzzleHusband, who's the fashion expert around here, told me that it was probably okay to wear black shoes with these particular brown pants, but it makes me self-conscious, so I really need to get some brown shoes. The good news is I got a paycheck today, so the shoes might actually be in my future! Yee-haw!

I could probably talk about shoes all day, but let's talk about the puzzle instead. Um, let's see. The puzzle is fine. Pretty easy, serviceable theme, the sparkliest answers to me are RED SALMON, FLASHERS and GO PRO (11D: Fish also called a sockeye / 38D: Hazard lights, e.g. / 26D: Give up amateur status). The clue for FENCE (38A: Stolen goods dealer) makes that ordinary word kind of cool, which is always a good thing. And other than that … man, sometimes it's just really hard to keep coming up with stuff to talk about — especially on the early-week puzzles. Maybe we should talk about shoes some more.

Oh no, I remember what I was going to tell you. I was thinking that with the new year, maybe we could use a new look here at LACC. I thought I might have it ready yesterday — first workday of the new year and all — but turns out it's more work than I anticipated. Or maybe I'm just lazy. One of those two things, anyway. But you can just consider this a heads up: Don't freak out if you click over here one day and things look a little different! Everything's going to be okay! Change is good!

Bullets:
  • 42A: Less, in La Paz (MENOS). Spanish!
  • 46A: Duds in a lot (LEMONS). Cute clue. You might find some LEMONS (i.e., duds) in a used car lot. I suppose you could find one in a new car lot too, but that's not as likely. I don't think. (Look at me, acting all like I know something about buying cars.)
  • 48A: Tiny power source (ATOM). Last week Rachel Maddow interviewed the head of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (part of the Department of Energy), who is in charge of the massive task of securing loose nuclear material around the world. It's like actual super-secret spy stuff — really interesting! Rachel said this guy's title should be "Undersecretary for Saving the World."
  • 59A: Mound stats (ERA'S). Mound as in pitching mound. E.R.A. = Earned Run Average, a statistic kept on pitchers.
  • 60A: Golf rarities (ACES). The tennis references were getting kind of old for ACES, so the golf clue is welcome. (For the sports-challenged, an ACE is the same thing as a hole-in-one.)
  • 36D: Lone Star State sch. (UTEP). University of Texas at El Paso. But you knew that.
  • 41D: Type specification (FONT). Mmmmm, fonts ….
Crosswordese 101: SEGA is a video game company famous for games such as "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Super Monkey Ball" and "Mortal Kombat," and two game consoles called Genesis and Dreamcast. The company is often described as a Nintendo competitor/rival in crossword clues.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 19A: Arabian Peninsula port (ADEN).
  • 30A: Mauna __ (LOA).
  • 21D: Patron saint of Norway (OLAV).
  • 35D: Tolkien tree creature (ENT).
  • 54D: K-12 catchall (ELHI).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Like serious collectors (AVID); 5A: Ristorante staple (PASTA); 10A: Bristol baby carriage (PRAM); 14A: Fishing need (LINE); 15A: Turn red, as tomatoes (RIPEN); 16A: Genesis creator (SEGA); 17A: It may be enough (ONCE); 18A: Keats, e.g. (ODIST); 23A: Mule's parent (ASS); 24A: __ majesty (LESE); 25A: Adjustor's assessment (DAMAGE); 28A: Sought office (RAN); 29A: Dent or scratch (MAR); 31A: Israeli desert (NEGEV); 37A: Door-to-door company (AVON); 39A: Went like the wind (TORE); 43A: Do the math, in a way (ADD); 44A: Rowing implement (OAR); 45A: With it (HIP); 50A: Drama featuring a DNA lab (CSI); 56A: Course list (MENU); 58A: Spanish folk hero (EL CID); 61A: River through France (RHONE); 62A: Earth tone (ECRU); 63A: Sit for a shooting (POSE); 64A: Located (SITED); 65A: Fashionable way to arrive? (LATE); 1D: Hilo hello (ALOHA); 2D: Jungle growth (VINES); 3D: Pizarro victims (INCAS); 4D: Certain title (DEED); 5D: No longer in doubt (PROVEN); 6D: Helpers (AIDES); 7D: Kremlin feature (SPIRE); 8D: New Age musician John (TESH); 9D: Precede (ANTEDATE); 10D: Biblical hymn (PSALM); 12D: Candle count, on many cakes (AGE); 13D: Isle of __ (MAN); 22D: Wild West lawman (EARP); 27D: Lets up (EASES); 28D: Tenants' strike leverage (RENT); 29D: PC alternatives (MACS); 31D: Twangy (NASAL); 32D: Get around (EVADE); 33D: Places with valuable veins (GOLD MINES); 34D: Catch wind of (HEAR); 42D: Actor with nothing to say (MIME); 45D: Like some sweatshirts (HOODED); 47D: Helpful (OF USE); 48D: Fancy tie (ASCOT); 49D: Biblical possessive (THINE); 50D: Approximately, in dates (CIRCA); 51D: Onset (START); 52D: Debate subject (ISSUE); 55D: Sense (FEEL); 56D: It may be topographical (MAP); 57D: "The Name of the Rose" author Umberto (ECO).

18 comments:

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

I solved this puzzle in a little under 6 minutes. IMO, this was not a very good puzzle... inconsistent theme construction, excessive amount of crosswordese, and unimaginative fill & clues.

However!!!
Puzzlegirl's writeup was stellar and I sure got a "kick" out of those funny shoe pictures.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

The American architect Louis Sullivan, coined the phrase "Form follows function". Seems that the designers of women's shoes (and clothing for that matter) should subscribe to that philosophy. Can ridiculous shoe styles be healthy for your feet? Podiatry today is on the upturn... maybe there's a reason.

v-man said...

Very easy puzzle. The last two weeks ,as I have mentioned, I had DNF for the tuesday crossword. Bring on Wednesday.

Avg Joe said...

Really not much to say about the puzzle. Not overly trite, but hardly challenging.

The first theme answer brought Poco to mind A Song not quite from the right album

@Helpful Guy. Read the manual??? What a concept. :-) Thanks.

Van55 said...

Very easy and smooth solve.

SethG said...

The Bata Shoe Museum is fantastic. John Tesh, not so much.

gespenst said...

My point of pride today was #1: getting HEADOVERHEELS from the clue without crosses and then #2: getting IFTHESHOEFITS from just the first theme answer and no crosses.

Usually the theme is something I notice after the puzzle is done, and long answers need crosses. Not today :)

Sfingi said...

How did I miss this museum right over the border in Canada? Well, it's only 15 yrs. old. These days, I dress for comfort. My sister sold a pair of my old shoes. Vintage, you know.

I had a friend, alas, she's passed, who was "raped" on a train by a foot fetishist. Or, at least he had his way with her feet. His final act was to drink from her shoe that he had oiled with his special oil, after massaging her feet. I think she was wearing Pappagallos, which is what attracted him. I wonder what a foot fetishist FLASHER would do?

PRAM made its way onto both puzzles, today.
I had LurE before LINE. Otherwise, swift sailing.

Anonymous said...

Love the shoe pictures!
Ann

John Wolfenden said...

Great shoe pics, PG, let's hope you go with something a little more reserved for the workplace. Or not.

This puzzle contained two of my least favorite fill answers: ELHI and ERAS (clued as a baseball stat). On the other hand I loved the clues "Duds in a lot" and "tiny power source." Pretty inspired.

I knew next to nothing about the Isle of MAN until I started watching The Isle of Man TT, an annual motorcycle racing event with superbikes averaging 130mph+. Those guys are insane.

Larry S said...

I didn't finish by my ten-minute goal (got 10:45) because I got stuck thinking biblically for "Genesis creator." Finally went A to G to get candles to count AGE--double Doh!

mac said...

Easy and decent puzzle, a real Tuesday, so nothing to complain about.

Please let's talk shoes some more. You've discovered my greatest weakness. An idea, PG, get black ballerinas with brown noses (or brown ones with black patent leather noses), they go with everything.

KJGooster said...

OK puzzle today, though I definitely preferred yesterday's puppy theme to today's shoes. Must be that Y chromosome.

CrazyCatLady said...

Not to much to say about the puzzle except I finished in less than 8 minutes which is really fast for me.

The write-up, however, has motivated me to go to Nordstrom after my lunch meeting to stock up on a few new pairs of flats and pumps. I recently bought myself some new boots when I was supposed to be doing my Christmas shopping. Can't wear flip flops when it's this cold.

@Avg Joe Look in FAQ section at the top of the blog. There are instructions on how to post a link in your comment.

Nighthawk said...

A belated Christmas present for you, @PG.
Shoes and More Shoes
Another fun write-up, though I confess, I just don't get the shoe thing you ladies have. Guess that is just one of the wonders of life that will forever remain a mystery.

JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

Yikes! Too many shoes!

Avg Joe said...

I clearly failed earlier, but am gonna try this again. The first theme answer today reminded me of the album by that same name by Poco. Well, there were some good tunes on that album, but none that matched their cover of J.J. Cale's "Magnolia. So, here's another try at providing a hot link precisely per the instructions in the FAQ:

Magnolia

If that doesn't work and anyone is still curious enough to care, here's the cut and paste version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIPEhwNfY8M

CrazyCatLady said...

@AJ it worked! You and I must be the exact same age because the music you like is my music too. Loved Poco. By the way it took me about five attempts to get that link thing to work. It's all about copy, cut and paste. "Helpful guy" helped me also. He's should change his name to "patient guy."
@JNH There can never be too many shoes! My only limit is my closet (1947 house).