02.08 Tue

T U E S D A Y Date, 2011
John Lampkin

Theme: John Lampkin Likes Butts — The end of each theme answer is a word that can be a synonym for "butt."

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Side-to-side skid (FISHTAIL).
  • 24A: Have no place to go but up (HIT ROCK BOTTOM).
  • 50A: Bus driver's request (STEP TO THE REAR).
  • 62A: Idler at the shore (BEACH BUM).
  • 39A: Pistol handle, and what 17-, 24-, 50- and 62-Across each have (BUTT END).
Cute theme. About halfway through I'm all, "Wait a minute, the theme is butts? Awesome." Nothing particularly sparkly about the long downs: MASTHEADS, REROOTED, CAMERA BAG, BELTLINE(??). They're long but that's about all I can really say for them. I also noticed quite a bit of that "themed cluing," which I really enjoy in small doses but find a little annoying after a while. What do I mean? Check these out:
  • 16A: Cosmetics giant founded in 1932 (REVLON).
  • 20A: Cosmetics giant Lauder (ESTÉE).
  • 64A: Nonsupporter's political sign words (VOTE NO).
  • 54D: Supporter's political sign word (ELECT).
  • 6D: Chum in Chihuahua (AMIGO).
  • 28D: Chihuahua greeting (HOLA).
  • 47D: Chihuahua, e.g. (TOY DOG).
I also noticed a little thread of violence weaving its way through this grid. Did you see that?
  • 14A: Rat-__ (A-TAT).
  • 55A: Point, as a pistol (AIM).
  • 32D: Big bomb blasts (N-TESTS).
  • 50D: Round of gunfire (SALVO).
Did I mention the theme is butts?

  • 5A: Big Apple line (MAC). I was taken in by the "Big Apple" trick. My first thought was "Circle Line," which is a tourist boat ride around Manhattan. (Not sure if it actually goes all the way around Manhattan, but anyway.) Of course, if Circle Line was the answer, the word "line" wouldn't be in the clue. D'oh!
  • 8A: Buster who played Flash Gordon (CRABBE). Buster CRABBE is a cool name. I know a few people I wouldn't mind calling Buster CRABBE.
  • 21A: Doodad (GISMO). I prefer to spell this word with a Z, and I did that first.
  • 65A: U.N. Day mo. (OCT.). Whenever I see one of these clues for a particular month I always think it's April. I don't know why.
  • 1D: Hard Rock __ (CAFE). A little unusual that the word "rock" is in this clue and in the grid (at 24A).
  • 2D: Bluesman Redding (OTIS).
  • 7D: What drives a baby buggy? (COLIC). That's a cute clue. So grateful the PuzzleKids didn't suffer from COLIC.
  • 61D: "__ Blu Dipinto Di Blu": 1958 hit (NEL). No idea.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 20A: Cosmetics giant Lauder (ESTÉE).
  • 44A: To be, in Bordeaux (ÊTRE).
  • 45A: FBI guy (G-MAN).
  • 36D: Morales of "NYPD Blue" (ESAI).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 1A: Unconscious state (COMA); 15A: Texter's "I think ..." (IMO); 19A: Top-priority (URGENT); 23A: In the past (AGO); 27A: Old man's domain, in a Hemingway work (THE SEA); 29A: "¿Cómo __ usted?" (ESTÁ); 30A: With perfection (TO A T); 31A: Bite like a rat (GNAW); 34A: Get all A's (EXCEL); 38A: From the past (OLD); 41A: Gentle-lamb connector (AS A); 42A: Wallpaper goo (PASTE); 46A: Mtn. stats (ALTS.); 48A: Virgil epic (AENEID); 56A: Disinfectant brand (LYSOL); 57A: Port near Kobe (OSAKA); 60A: Ex-Soviet leader Brezhnev (LEONID); 66A: Wild West's Wyatt (EARP); 67A: Monopod feature (ONE LEG); 68A: Mo. town (STL); 69A: Some NCOs (SGTS.); 3D: Newspapers' staff lists (MASTHEADS); 4D: Nonbeliever (ATHEIST); 5D: Athletes for Hope co-founder Hamm (MIA); 8D: Cookie jar morsels (CRUMBS); 9D: Transplanted successfully (REROOTED); 10D: Batting no. (AVG.); 11D: Lamb's greeting (BLEAT); 12D: Salsa drum (BONGO); 13D: Bug sci. (ENTOM.); 18D: Head, to Henri (TÊTE); 22D: Cookout holder (SKEWER); 25D: Maker of Mama's Special Garden Sauce (RAGU); 26D: Invoice add-on (TAX); 27D: Sports car option (T-TOP); 33D: Courtroom VIP (ATT.); 35D: Photographer's tote (CAMERA BAG); 37D: Arrive, in a way (LAND); 39D: Spare tire site? (BELT LINE); 40D: About to arrive (NEAR); 43D: Light hit (TAP); 45D: Grinds, as teeth (GNASHES); 49D: Fair-hiring org. (EEOC); 51D: Attach, as to a hitching post (TIE ON); 52D: Ham it up (EMOTE); 53D: Vagabonds (HOBOS); 58D: Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Warner (KURT); 59D: Gig gear (AMPS); 63D: Eur.-North America divider (ATL.).



Fast solve online 04:14.
Again, I'm a little disappointed with the amount of crosswordese that we're seeing in LAT puzzles. I'm usually a huge fan of John Lampkin's, but I found less interest today. Too many bad abbrevs. for one thing... for example, ENTOM. and ALTS. But, having said that, I really got a kick out of the BUTT END theme. How often people incorrectly refer to their rear end as their BUNS (sic). I like how John avoided the sexism usually associated with GMAN clues, by using FBI "guy". I always misspell GISMO as GIZMO.

Great misdirect clue: "Big Apple line" (MAC)... kept thinking MTA, IBT, or LIR.

Of course my favorite entry would be CAMERA BAG, but I also liked seeing REROOTED... pretty soon I'll be doing a lot of transplanting of trees and perennials... PRETTY SOON!!!

I've always had an affinity for the romantic vagabond, the American HOBO. We always suspected my dad as being a HOBO for one year when he was in his early 20s (before he got married). My family always denied it in shame, however last week I discovered a bunch of old photos of my dad and yep, there it is, the evidence. I found pics of him riding on some old railroad boxcars with four of his buddies. I guess that same wander-lust that I have, is in the genes. JOHN'S NEVER HOME.

Gotta go... guys are here, picking me up for breakfast. Swedish pancakes today... YUM!

Avg Joe said...

The theme was hilarious. I especially liked the tie in for 67A...."Useless as a one legged man in a...."

The only real gripe is that S in gizmo. It seems British, and would have benefited from being clued as such.

SethG said...

Uh, why is "buns" incorrect? It's, like, in dictionaries and stuff. Maybe it would help constructors if you compiled a list of all the words you don't like so they can email you if they want to remove them from their databases.

This could have been Sunday-sized. Lose the reveal, go with CIGARETTE BUTT, and bring in KICK THE CAN, WINDOW SEAT, PIRATE BOOTY, DOMESTIC ASS, HAMBURGER BUNS, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, probably 50 others. Too bad FANNY FARMER is in the wrong order...

I looked a bit for the video of that city councilman from Ohio or something that wanted to ban depictions of "buttlocks", but I couldn't find it.


I think that was Councilman Seymour Butz.

"NEL Blu Dipinto Di Blu" is a line in the 1958 hit VOLARE most often sung by Dean Martin. Sometimes the song is titled with that name. It's translated as "In the blue, painted blue" referring to the beautiful sky.
I love that song!

*David* said...

@JNH On occasion you make me smirk but I'm afraid I rarely believe a word you write, are you just funning us?

I liked the theme and COLIC but that was about it.

Tuttle said...

To be pedantic, monopod means one foot. But I'm guessing this is a C.S Lewis reference to the one-legged dwarves in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

I'm more positive about FISHTAIL being clued incorrectly. There's no side-to-side in a FISHTAIL. It's just an over-steer event or, as the NASCAR folks put it, "getting loose". If you FISHTAIL one way, over-correct and then FISHTAIL the other way (side-to-side skidding) you are "penduluming"... and getting ready to wreck.

Merriam-Webster said...

1: to swing the tail of an airplane from side to side to reduce speed especially when landing

2: to have the rear end slide from side to side out of control while moving forward

C said...

This one suits my emotional maturity quite well, heh, heh, he said butts. This crossword supplies a new answer to the old joke, 'What's a buttfor?' To make a crossword puzzle theme, of course. Not as funny as the original answer which is why you should never mess with the classics.

MPPuzzler said...

I liked the BUTT theme. My favorite answers for some reason were MASTHEAD and COLIC. There were some other interesting 'mini-themes' as well - BUM/HOBO, HEADS/TAIL, THE SEA/ATL/BEACH. The ONE LEG answer brought to mind Ogden Nash's The (One-L) Lama - anyone else familiar with it?

Nighthawk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nighthawk said...

OK. Fun and smooth, well, mostly, Tues.

But what's the deal on body parts, or in this case one part, lately?

Hand up for falling for the Big Apple misdirection. I too was thinking Mta or something. Perhaps the bonds Felix Royhatn organized that saved NYC. Double D'oh! With a palm slap to the forehead.

Also for too long had HITs the BOTTOM, which kept me from filling in AMIGO on 8D, though I knew it had to be that. Finally gave in and chuckled when COLIC became clear.

I always liked Alex Chilton's tongue in cheek poke at Volare from his 1987 "High Priest" album, a great one worth checking out, post BoxTops (The Letter, Cry A Baby, etc.), Big Star, and Panther Burns, with that fun blue-eyed soul subtext, as in all his tunes. He died last March in NOLA, where he had survived Katrina. RIP, Alex. Here's the tune: Nel Blu Depinto Di Blu/Volare

Anonymous said...

OK, a bit OT, but I wanted to share a clue from today's USAT CW:

Clue: Where to find precooked bacon?

and yet...

mac said...

I needed some crosses for mac.
Have to say I'm very tired of those estos, estas, esos, esas and similar words. Typed in logic instead of colic when I had -ogi-....

Sfingi said...

@Nighthawk - How is the Chilton tongue in cheek? - He has a pretty good accent.
There're at least 80 covers for NEL blu. This was originally Domenico Modugno, and he won the 1st ever Grammies for song and recrod.

Hubster says the original meaning of BUTT was the gun end. He was told that in the army.

Around these parts and times, you can FISHTAIL without doing a darn thing, steering or anything else. Ice alone. It's been an astoundingly bad winter.

Stan said...

Nice, lively puzzle -- the theme is fundamentally good!

CrazyCatLady said...

HOLA AMIGOs. IMO this was another fun John Lampkin puzzle. Loved the BUTT theme. Had a few write overs - MOVE TO THE REAR instead of STEP, RAT FINK before ATAT and Buster KEATON before CRABBE. Liked LYSOL crossing HOBOS (I'm a germaphobe). Hated ENTOM.

My first kid had COLIC. It drove *me* buggy. Couldn't get more than two or three hours of sleep at a time for six months. I was existing in a COMA-like state. Thank goodness the second one "slept like a baby."

@Mac liked your shout-out and agree with you about the estas, etc. Hope your having a nice stay in Holland.