02.03 Thu

T H U R S D A Y February 3, 2011
Annemarie Brethauer

Theme: Variation on a Quote Theme — Last words of the theme answers are part of an historic quote.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Normal damage (WEAR AND TEAR).
  • 32A: End zone dance preceder (TOUCHDOWN).
  • 38A: "Pay attention!" ("WATCH THIS!").
  • 49A: Extensive Asian landmark (GREAT WALL).
  • 63A: With the ends of 18-, 32-, 38- and 49-Across, an historic demand (MR. GORBACHEV).
  • 54D: Born 2/6/1911, speaker of the demand (REAGAN).
I'm distracted this morning by a migraine and by the fact that the principal of PuzzleSon's school has resigned amid some controversy. Hard to know (a) how to appropriately explain it to the kids and (b) how involved to become in the drama. Never a dull moment!

I think I like this treatment of a quotation better than a typical quotation puzzle. The type of puzzle where the quotation itself makes up the theme answers is often relatively difficult to solve, but for some reason this way feels more interesting to me. I'll be eager to hear from "younger" solvers if they had any trouble with this. I feel like no matter your age, you should be familiar with this quotation, but that's easy for me to say because I was old enough to pay attention when when the actual speech was delivered.

  • 1A: One not standing after a strike (PIN). Tricky clue right at 1 Across. Were you thinking of a picket-line kind of strike? I was.
  • 15A: Tater Tots maker (ORE-IDA). Mmmm, Tater Tots.
  • 20A: Object held by some Monet subjects (PARASOL).
  • 55A: Jockey rival (HANES). I'm thinking "Isn't a jocky rival just … another jockey?" But this clue/answer pair is referring to brands of underwear. Awesome.
  • 59A: Logician's "E," perhaps (ERAT). We've covered this in CW101. The "E" in Q.E.D. stands for ERAT.
  • 67A: Where Dover is: Abbr. (ENG.). You're forgiven if you tried DELaware first. I know I did.
  • 69A: City WNW of Boca (ST. PETE). The city names are, of course, Boca Raton and St. Petersburg. The fact that Boca Raton is referred to "slangily" (a word you only see in crossword clues) in the clue is a hint that the answer will also be a shortened version of the real thing.
  • 10D: Foul-smelling (PUTRID). Did you wrinkle your nose at this one? It's funny how certain words can cause physical reactions.
  • 26D: Plum pudding ingredient (SUET). I only know SUET as bird food and it doesn't look all that appetizing to me. Which might be why I've never tried plum pudding, I guess.
  • 29D: Pacers' home: Abbr. (IND.). The INDiana Pacers of the N.B.A.
  • 31D: Balneotherapy venue (SPA). I do not know what "balneotherapy" is. Well look at that, it's just a big old fancy word for a bath.
  • 35D: Burgoo, e.g. (STEW). Ne-Ever heard of Burgoo.
  • 39D: Bit of dough (CLAM). "Dough" and "clam" are both slang terms for money.
  • 40D: Org. with an interlocking rings logo (IOC). The International Olympic Committee. But you knew that.
  • 63D: Moonstruck (MAD). I'm not sure I knew that moonstruck = MAD. I think I've always assumed it was the same as starstruck. But it's not. Which is why it's a different word. (I know. Sometimes it takes me a while.)
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 4A: "Così fan tutte" composer (MOZART).
  • 16A: Humerus neighbor (ULNA).
  • 45A: "Livin' Thing" rock gp. (ELO).
  • 59A: Logician's "E," perhaps (ERAT).
  • 70A: LAX listing (ETA).
  • 51D: Peter the Great, for one (TSAR).
  • 64D: 17th Greek letter (RHO).
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Everything Else 10A: Fuel used in smokeless briquettes (PEAT); 14A: United (ONE); 17A: School gp. (PTA); 22A: "Born to Fly" singer Evans (SARA); 23A: __ out: barely makes (EKES); 24A: Bribes (SOPS); 27A: Exodus landmark (SINAI); 30A: Cubicle items (DESKS); 34A: Way to get up (STEPS); 36A: Party drink (TEA); 37A: Like Mars (RED); 42A: Nimitz letters (USS); 46A: Horde member (NOMAD); 53A: Worker with rattan (CANER); 56A: Israeli prime minister, 1969-'74 (MEIR); 58A: Diet brand word (LITE); 61A: Thames neighborhood (CHELSEA); 68A: Jezebel's husband (AHAB); 71A: Jobless benefit (DOLE); 72A: Assembly sites (PLANTS); 73A: Man cave, maybe (DEN); 1D: Visited unannounced, with "in" (POPPED); 2D: See 7-Down (INTAKES); 3D: Most convenient (NEAREST); 4D: Does some yardwork (MOWS); 5D: Droxies used to compete with them (OREOS); 6D: Extremist (ZEALOT); 7D: With 2-Down, engine conduits (AIR); 8D: Nutritional amt. (RDA); 9D: Darkens in the sun (TANS); 11D: Aquitaine duchess (ELEANOR); 12D: Women's tennis star Ivanovic (ANA); 13D: Sailor (TAR); 19D: Track event (DASH); 21D: Out of line (ASKEW); 25D: Road hazard (POTHOLE); 28D: Blow away (AWE); 33D: "Come Fly With Me" lyricist (CAHN); 41D: Trivial (SMALL); 42D: "That's disgusting!" ("UGH!"); 43D: E. Perón's title (SRA.); 44D: It nearly surrounds Gambia (SENEGAL); 47D: Liqueur flavoring (ANISEED); 48D: Cold War thaw (DÉTENTE); 50D: Oxygen-loving organism (AEROBE); 52D: Fungus-alga union (LICHEN); 57D: Butler at Tara (RHETT); 60D: 1/2 fl. oz. (TBSP.); 62D: Halloween et al. (EVES); 65D: Falcons, on scoreboards (ATL); 66D: Yr.-end adviser (CPA).



One of our most popular of U.S. Presidents, Ronald Reagan admonished Mikhail Gorbachev to "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL" . Within 2 years the Soviet Union collapsed.
President Ronald Reagan's final public speech was on this date, February 3, 1994.
Next Sunday would have been Reagan's 100th birthday.
He was quite a great man!

KJGooster said...

I don't generally like quote themes, but I liked the way this was done (although the theme answers are very short.) That famous speech occurred right in the middle of high school for me -- I remember it well.

Interesting parallel at work today: one of my partners must resign amid some controversy, and I'm about to go to a meeting where I must figure out (a) how to appropriately explain it to the other partners and (b) how involved to become in the drama. Never a dull moment here either!

No migraine for me, though. Yet.


How could I pass up posting this?
MOZART's Cosi Fan tutte 1996 - Trio "Soave il vento".

Just another reason to love this puzzle.

And then seeing Puzzlegirl's posting of the Monet painting of the Woman with a PARASOL.

Those things and a little sunshine that POPPED through on this bleak winter day, makes me just wanna kick up my heels in joy.

I hope you all begin to feel that way this morning, especially you, Puzzlegirl.

Avg Joe said...

I enjoyed this puzzle. Hard enough to make you work for it, easy enough to be entertaining. I had the same type of hangup on PIN, but was thinking of boxing rather than labor relations. Kept wanting some college (ending in U) for the IND answer since I don't pay much attention to NBA. Didn't get trapped by Del over ENG, but had the N in place to help with that. The one thing I question is ANISEED. Is there an S missing in that answer??

Today's Dennis the Menace is a hoot for CW fans:-)

mac said...

Good puzzle! Wish I had done it first today, might have helped me with the other one...

I'm in Eng, so that came easily. Beautiful weather here, but I'm sure our house in CT is covered in snow again...

@AvgJoe: I think Aniseed is correct, but if you were thinking anise seed, there's more than an s missing!

Anonymous said...

I liked this puzzle Much better than the other type of quote puzzle! And the quote wasn't as abscure as they usually are!

Yes, he was a great man and I miss him!


Anonymous said...

oops! that should be obscure keyboard on iPad gives me fits.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say how much I love this blog! I'm from Kentucky and Burgoo is our native stew. Let the roadkill jokes ensue...

SethG said...

I initially had WAKExxxxx in place and was annoyed that the puzzle included both ASKEW and SKEW. Ah, stew, my bad.

Now my only (minor) annoyance is that down isn't a separate word in touchdown, while the tear, this, and wall were. It should have been clued with an airplane or something, but I can see why you'd avoid referring to a space shuttle in a puzzle about the 80s. Detente is theme-related, Meir probably not.

Wow, PG, that's quite a letter...

*David* said...

I found the puzzle quite easy and wasn't thinking of theme when I got down to GORBACHEV, so it gave me a start when I realized the quote, quite enjoyable. The Boca/ST PETE clue seems to have quite a few miles of separation.

imsdave said...

A great write-up for a great puzzle featuring a great line from a great man.

Arkansan said...

@Anon from Kentucky- In Arkansas we don't refer to it as road kill, we call it an alternative wildlife harvesting modality. It's what puts the goo in Burgoo.

John Wolfenden said...

Also liked the theme and how the speaker was one of the answers.

My wife and I used to buy ORE-IDA tots until we discovered that Whole Foods tots are way tastier.

Our favorite bar serves a classic drink called the Corpse Reviver #2, which comes with an anise floater in it. AvgJoe, I'd never seen it as ANISEED either but apparently it's the same thing.

My daughters were watching Little House on the Prairie the other day, and there's a long discussion of plum pie and how their version of it didn't contain plums at all, only SUET. UGH.

I have two small gripes:

(1) Does anyone really call the track event a DASH anymore? It's just "the 100 meters" or whatever.

(2) CLAM stumped me, and part of the reason was that clams are dollars (or at least are referred to as singular or plural) whereas "dough" is the partitive, no article involved.

lit.doc said...

@Arkansan, as a Texan I fully agree with your assessment of "road kill". I would just add that freshness is always an issue with that harvesting modality--the wildlife has just gotta still have a surprised look on its face.

C said...

First off, cool puzzle and I do like the way that the quotation was concealed in the puzzle. PUTRID is a good answer.

Everything is perspective. Mine of Mr. Reagan and his administration is not a positive one. I am not denying any of his administration's successes, that is foolish, rather I would hope they are balanced with the excesses, criminal acts and complete disregard for the lower income classes that the administration exhibited. I still laugh at the phrase "trickle down". All my opinion and I respect other people's opinions on the matter. No right answer here.

CrazyCatLady said...

Very enjoyable puzzle. The quote came to me at GREAT WALL. CNN has been running an ad a lot lately featuring this quote by REAGAN so it just POPPED into my brain. I had ROTTEN before PUTRID. Both are apropos to this road kill conversation. Would you put an armadillo in BERGOO?

My other problem was spelling SENEGAL with two As which left me with ARAT. That was pretty dumb considering there was an E in the clue. Other than that all was good.

Anonymous said...

I thought this puzzle was great. I'm in my 20s (not sure if that makes me part of the younger set or not). I don't remember this speech when it happened, but I am familiar with the quote. (Sort of like "One small step for man" - I wasn't alive for that either, but everyone knows it.) My only problem (embarassing to admit) was that I spelled his name "Mr. Gorbachov" and that mistake messed me up for a while. And, I can't believe it, but because of that mistake, I was actually fooled by the Butler at Tara clue into thinking it was the name of the butler!!! Got it eventually.

obertb said...

@PG--I don't understand why not being around when something important was said is an excuse for not knowing it. I hear this a lot. "Oh, you wouldn't know such-and-such because it was before your time."

Caesar said, "Veni, vidi, vici." It was before my time (and in Latin!), but I know it. I know that Teddy Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," and that his fifth cousin Franklin said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," but both were before my time. Et cetera, ad nauseam.

I know that we live in a country where a significant proportion of the population couldn't name the three branches of government, but why make excuses for them?

Anonymous said...

obertb, I agree. But, please define important? What makes "big stick" important? What makes "fear itself" important?

Anonymous said...

@obertb - Exactly how does "I feel like no matter your age, you should be familiar with this quotation, but that's easy for me to say because I was old enough to pay attention when when the actual speech was delivered" constitute an apologia for people not knowing the quote? It was, perhaps, a humble musing about the fact that we can't presume to say what people should and should not know, but not an apology.

Mortuorum said...

Good Wednesday puzzle, maybe a bit easy. That said, am I the only one who tried to make PLAZAS fit for 72A?

John Wolfenden said...

C, I agree about the trickle-down effect...the consensus among economists seems to be that tax cuts for the rich don't create jobs or spur the economy, and yet they keep being proposed.

The Soviet Union was already collapsing from within when Reagan spoke those words, but his greatest legacy to me is not "defeating" the USSR but beginning the era of deficit spending. Our nation had incurred large amounts of debt before, during the Civil War and both World Wars, but we had always tried to pay it down. The Reagan Administration marked the first time we had deliberately put ourselves into debt for reasons other than financing war. There's a spiffy Wikipedia graph illustrating this.

Deficits don't matter in the short term, but kicking the can down the road to subsequent generations isn't responsible leadership. I believe it also set a bad example for Americans that debt is O.K., and the 80s was when per capita credit card debt started soaring.

Bill from NJ said...

My brother was diagnosed with HIV during the Reagan years and I will never forget the attitude the Right and Mr Reagan had towards the victims of this horrible disease. Again, I don't mean to rain on the lovefest being directed toward Mr Reagan today but to demonstrate that there are other opinions about him alive in this culture.

I loved the way the puzzle laid out this famous quote on its anniversary

Avg Joe said...

@John Wolfenden, yup. Shoulda googled first. Anise seed and aniseed are the same. Star anise is a different plant entirely, but contains the same compound. I've worked a lot of CW's, but have never seen aniseed.

I'm enjoying the Burgoo conversation:-) Did somebody mention Armadillo ?

Greg said...

I'm a younger solver (22) but a Reagan fan who of course has heard the quote before. I love how the quote was incorporated into other words, with "Reagan" as an included down clue.

And yes, I answered "DEL" for 67-across, before "realising" what it was referring to ;).

Sfingi said...

The puzzle was very good, but I agree with @C, @Wolfenden, @Bill on Reagan.

@Greg- many of us saw a different Reagan, before you were born, than the media has been trying to create recently. I respect his widow's devotion. That being said, I wanted New Hampshire for Dover.

Had STair before STEPS; otherwise, smooth and clear. Any unknowns (BURGOO, BALNEOTHERAPY) were solved by crosses.

I've begun to skeeve LAX listings and scoreboard names.

CrazyCatLady said...

RE: The STEW conversation - This is what POPPED into my addled head.


Happy Chinese New Year!

Avg Joe said...

@CCL, I'd thought of that too, but my sick mind just wouldn't let me post it. Speaking of Louden Wainright III, he's actually a very good songwriter. I have one of his more recent albums and it's great.

Check out Homeless or better yet Primrose Hill You will be very surprised.

CrazyCatLady said...

@Avg Joe - I'm sorry. I couldn't resist. I do like Louden Wainwright III. There's a public radio station in Philly, WXPN that plays his music a lot. When I go back to visit my family I tune in all the time. I will check out those links. Thanks!

This comment has been removed by the author.

The best place for BURGOO stew is the Roadkill Cafe in Seligman, Arizona (on Route 66). Their motto is, "You Kill It, We Grill It."
No kiddin'.

Anonymous said...

Mr. M...it's Thursday...and my first all by myself Thurs. solve...thats why I'm sure about the day.And, much to do and eat on Route 66..a good place to think about during this winter storm season!

NJ Irish said...

Liked this Thurs. puzzles theme. Got it right away and everything fell into place. Had Del before Eng but that was the only write over. On a thurs. that's very unusual for me.

@ Arkansas and Kentucky in Jersey we just call it Road Pizza

Like CC I'm enjoying the conversation.

HUTCH said...

To John Wolfendom. Amen! Bro!

Nighthawk said...

Yet another fun write-up, @PG. About the school principle, part b, I'd say stay out as much as possible. Unless you happen to be on the board of the school and that's part of your job. In most schools, the students really aren't too aware of who the principle is or what she does from day to day. Their focus is on the class room teachers. I'd try to keep it that way.

I too liked the quote, and filled in MR. GORBACHEV after TOUCHDOWN and GREAT WALL. What gave me fits was the NW because my first fill for 20A was "flowers". First fill, working with acrosses, for 10A was "wood" (kinda same idea-but no cigar). Both worked out once I started on the downs.

In addition to the puzzle including the speaker of the quote, I thought 48D - DETENTE- was a really nice bonus to the theme.

I've had plum pudding, and thought it was pretty good, though wasn't inspired to ever want to try to make it. But I never thought it had, as an ingredient, the same sort of SUET that we think of with bird food. Or if so, certainly not in the same amount. Foodie? ChefWen? Others? Can you shed some light here?

Speaking of blasts from the past and food, I'd forgotten about Hydrox (slangily-Droxies) and got a tickle out of it being part of the OREO clue.

John Wolfenden said...

Thanks, Hutch...it's something that had been rattling around in my brain for a long time. Never thought I would finally express it in a crossword blog.

Eric said...

I read @PG's younger-solvers comment not as condescension, but as genuine uncertainty as to whether the quote was in fact important enough that younger folks should be expected to know it, or was on the other hand, just part of the stream of ephemera that flows past us all, and is meaningful only to those who were there.

Such things can be capricious. "One small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind" was clearly marking an important occasion, and Armstrong planned appropriate words (though he flubbed his line -- it was supposed to be "one small step for a man..."). Likewise Marconi's "What hath God wrought?" Balancing those, though, are "Four score and seven years ago..." and "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." Lincoln didn't expect his words to become iconic -- he says as much, later in the speech -- and although I don't know what Bell was thinking, his words suggest that it wasn't about posterity.

Now consider "Yes we can!" If Obama pulls it out of the fire, gets reelected, and goes on to be regarded as a transformational figure, those words will rightly be taught in American schools for centuries to come. If he doesn't -- if he's limited to this one term, and history sees him as the underperformer (at best) that many people now seem to see him as -- those words of his will be remembered only with irony, and not nearly as well. But if McCain had won in 2008, "Yes we can!" would already be well on its way to oblivion -- or at best a question in Trivial Pursuit: The Y2K Edition.

Personally, I'm surprised that Reagan's "... tear down this wall" is considered to be a quote for the ages. To me, as one who was there, it's just another bit of 80s trivia. This is not to minimize in the least the fact that the Berlin Wall did come down less than three years later. I was as spellbound and hopeful as anyone during that whole drama. I just don't believe that Reagan's words, or his actions, had much to do with it.