02.14 Mon

M O N D A Y February 14, 2011
Ian Livengood

Theme: Happy Valentine's Day — Last words of the theme answers make the phrase HEAD OVER HEELS.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Bounty, to the hunted (PRICE ON ONE'S HEAD).
  • 38A: Examine quickly (GIVE THE ONCE OVER).
  • 53A: Frolic vigorously (KICK UP ONE'S HEELS).
  • 69A: With "in," what can follow the phrase formed by the ends of 20-, 38- and 53-Across (LOVE).
Cute theme for Valentine's Day with three fifteen-letter phrases. Aside from the Scrabbliness, I don't see much to get excited about with the fill. Craig STADLER seems a little harsh for a Monday (46A: Golfer Craig known as "the Walrus"). I mean, I needed a couple crosses in place to remember his name and I even know who the guy is. Seeing TA-TA right above TALLY-HO (23A: "Cheerio!" / 28A: Fox-sighting cry) did make me chuckle. My favorite entries in the grid have to be FIASCO (9D: Total flop) and ZEVON ("Werewolves of London" singer Warren __). The only place I ran into trouble was down in the southwest where I tried SPINS before SKEWS (50D: Depicts unfairly, as data), but that didn't take long to sort out.

  • 1A: Hearts, e.g. (GAME). A little non-theme bonus answer for our V-Day.
  • 18A: Kind of nut (KOLA). I saw a tweet the other day from someone who mistyped KOALA as KOLA. It ended up making the tweet pretty funny but it would be totally inappropriate for me to share it with you here. Sorry.
  • 24A: 2011 Rose Bowl champs: Abbr. (TCU). Texas Christian University. Their mascot is the horned frog. And I thought being a terrapin was lame.
  • 50A: Disco __ of "The Simpsons" (STU). Not being a Simpsons fan, I used to have a hard time remembering this. It helped for me to learn a little something about the context, so I'm going to pass it along to you in hopes that it will help you as well. Now I'm sure I don't have all the details but apparently there was a jacket that was being customized for Homer that was supposed to say "DISCO STUD" on the back. But they ran out of room and it ended up saying "DISCO STU." So now you know. (If you didn't already.)
  • 7D: Western necktie (BOLO). I have to say that I really do miss living in a place where you see men wearing bolo ties and/or cowboy hats as just a normal everyday thing.
  • 29D: Architect Frank __ Wright (LLOYD). Weren't we just talking about him yesterday?
  • 47D: Stay out of sight (LIE LOW). I know this is grammatically correct, but I'm pretty sure I've heard people use the incorrect "lay low" more often.
  • 54D: Robert of "The Sopranos" (ILER). Runner-up for today's Crosswordese 101 entry.
  • 57D: Nick Charles's wife (NORA). Pop quiz for anyone who's just starting out on crossword puzzles. What's the name of Nick and Nora's dog?
  • 60D: "For Pete's __!" (SAKE). This is funny but I can't tell you why yet.
Crosswordese 101: There are two ELIHUs you need to know for crossword puzzles. ELIHU Root is described as a statesman, Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner. You might also see the words "law" and "government" in clues for ELIHU Root. ELIHU Yale, on the other hand, was a philanthropist and the founder of Yale University. For both Root and Yale, you will almost always see their last names in the clue, so they're pretty easy to spot.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 36A: Hawaiian neckwear (LEI).
  • 44A: Skating jumps (AXELS).
  • 49A: Once called, in wedding notices (NÉE).
  • 62A: Silents actress Negri (POLA).
  • 58D: Sailor's patron saint (ELMO).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 5A: Soft pats (DABS); 9A: Physicist Enrico (FERMI); 14A: Sink cleaner (AJAX); 15A: Straddling (ATOP); 16A: Hipbone-related (ILIAC); 17A: It's quite a story (SAGA); 19A: Bridal path (AISLE); 25A: From A __ (TO Z); 31A: Dallas hoopster, for short (MAV); 34A: "Tosca" or "Pagliacci" (OPERA); 37A: Gradually lose color (FADE); 42A: Strong as __ (AN OX); 43A: Wall climber (IVY); 45A: One of a D.C. 100 (SEN.); 51A: Followers: Suf. (-ISTS); 61A: Being not from 41-Down (ALIEN); 63A: Appeal (PLEA); 64A: Meas. of the cereal without the box (NET WT.); 65A: Helen of __ (TROY); 66A: Run __: go wild (AMOK); 67A: Lock of hair (TRESS); 68A: Cuts, as logs (SAWS); 1D: [Heavens!] (GASP); 2D: Cracked open (AJAR); 3D: Nativity trio (MAGI); 4D: Right on the money (EXACT); 5D: Former territory where Mount Rushmore is (DAKOTA); 6D: Lacking a musical key (ATONAL); 8D: Time period (SPAN); 10D: College benefactor Yale (ELIHU); 11D: Greet the judge (RISE); 12D: __ fide: in bad faith (MALA); 13D: Topped a cupcake (ICED); 21D: Really bug (EAT AT); 22D: Set of moral principles (ETHIC); 25D: Colosseum garments (TOGAS); 26D: Think aloud (OPINE); 30D: Itch (YEN); 31D: Expert (MAVEN); 32D: Fred's dancing sister (ADELE); 33D: Limericks and such (VERSE); 35D: Stout of whodunits (REX); 37D: Sly critter (FOX); 39D: Asked boldly, as for money (HIT UP); 40D: Actress Longoria (EVA); 41D: Planet nearest Mars, usually (EARTH); 46D: Daring feats (STUNTS); 48D: Blue book exams (ESSAYS); 52D: Flower leaf (SEPAL); 53D: "Critique of Pure Reason" writer (KANT); 55D: Refer to (CITE); 56D: Chooses (to) (OPTS); 58D: Sailor's patron saint (ELMO); 59D: Pope before Sergius III (LEO V).


mac said...

Ian Livengood is having a good few days!

I liked the puzzle, just thought at first that it would be about homonyms: ones, once..... but then ones came again.

Nice to have the puzzle end in "love" on this day.

When will we find out about "For Pete's sake"?

imsdave said...

I thought the theme was centered around ONES (with ONCE being a very bad homonym) until I got to the reveal.

My wife got me a Valentine's Day card with a heart made out of bacon, and the inscription "Ignore the surgeon general and have a sizzling Valentine's Day"

She knows me all too well.


Cute theme and a nice Monday level puzzle. Starting with the GAME of hearts and ending with LOVE was pretty clever too.

Never heard of Warren ZEVON, but got it okay from crosses... other than that, nothing gave me snags.

Finally we get a constructor who gets NET WT right.

I too wonder about this guy "Pete".

Had HIT ON instead of HIT UP.

The correct definition of ATONAL here.

We counted 32 male robins in our crabapple tree this morning... is that a good sign or what?

Anonymous said...

John -- If you're serious about not having heard of Warren Zevon, you should look into him a bit, as he was one of the best songwriters.

Nighthawk said...

I liked the holiday theme, fun and nicely executed. And little crud fill.

Got hung up on the NW until the last, when I finally put in GAME.

"I saw a werewolf drinking a pina cola at Trader Vics... and his hair was PERfect!" Aaaoooow! One of the most bizarre lines in pop lyrics, but somehow - unforgettable (with apologies to Nat "King" Cole). The catchy syncopated piano tune is going to be my earworm all day.

Had "babo" for AJAX at 14A initially. Hand up for brain hiccup on Craig STADLER. Liked IVY and ELIHU together. Wanted 61A to be "Angel" to go with EARTH, in keeping with the Valentine theme.

SethG said...

Seeing TA-TA right above TALLY-HO (23A: "Cheerio!" / 28A: Fox-sighting cry) was nice. Seeing (28A: Fox-sighting cry) right next to FOX (37D: Sly critter) was not.

Add in the ONES/ONCE/ONES, the partials in the west, the crosswordese from the 1930s section, and about the most awkward theme-reveal ever, I thought this was way sub-par.

Avg Joe said...

My only serious hangup was really, really wanting "suit" for Hearts, instead of GAME. I got over it. Otherwise a fun, simple Monday puzzle that fits the day nicely.

I'm surprised not everyone has heard of the mayor of Aspen, but I guess it's possible. @Nighthawk, if you want a different ear worm, try Keep Me In Your Heart It's off his last album when he was getting pretty near death. Not overly maudlin, and a great tune.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify about Disco Stu. He is a recurring character, decked out in a leisure suit and afro. In the reference you provided, you missed the punch line. The Simpsons were having a garage sale and the jacket was one of the items for sale. A friend of Disco Stu holds up the jacket and asks what Stu thinks. He replies, "Disco Stu doesn't advertise!"

Fox Hunting Fool said...

@SethG - At least the FOX went down the hole and was safe.

C said...

Monday puzzle with a little bit of bite. I like it. Truthfully, didn't expect to see ZEVON in a Monday puzzle or POLA for that matter. Even more rare that I learn a new answer from a Monday puzzle but KANT say that I am disappointed.

Rube said...

Like others, I was surprised to see ZEVON and POLA on a Monday. Robert ILER and STADLER were pretty advanced too. All very gettable with crosses 'though.

Thought the complete theme answers were not very romantic: Price on one's head?? -- Give the Once Over?? Of course, EATAT is not in the least romantic and, IMO, crosswordese at it's worst. Didn't like the clue for DABS either.

But, FERMI, KANT, and most of the rest more or less made up for the weak points... OK puzzle. Looks like I'll have to turn elsewhere for a WOTD.

Joon said...

mac, you might say that ian is livin' good.

PG, don't get me started on LAY LOW, which means "knock to the floor." i'm continually amazed at how many people don't know how to use lie and lay. i can understand it being confusing as all hell for somebody learning english, but it seems like the sort of thing native speakers should have picked up on at a very early age. it's not like its/it's or they're/their/there, which only differ in the written form.

Sfingi said...

Didn't notice the theme. I must have a stone cold heart.

It was Fast and Easy. Didn't know ZEVON, STADLER or STU. So decided to take @Twangster's advice. I prefer his words to his music. Is this his first crossword appearance? I'll expect to see him again.

@Joon - And Brer Rabbit, he lay low.

Didn't know ELI was really ELIHU. MR. Root is from my county and often heard of.

@Rube - EAT AT is very romantic to some people.

Captcha inglizin - speekin dee ingliz.

shrub5 said...

Nice Valentines Day puzzle.

The singer/songwriter Warren Zevon is (was) my mother's best friend's son-in-law, married to her daughter Crystal. He was a frequent guest on David Letterman and sometimes substituted for the bandleader Paul Shaffer. His music is an acquired taste, often having funny lyrics. The Wikipedia article is an interesting chronicle of his (tough) life and career. Sadly, he is no longer with us.

@Joon: I have problems with lie and lay but not at all with the other examples you cited. I don't know why. Maybe I was absent from school that day. At least I know I have the problem so can usually get it right!

Anonymous said...

Ah, just let sleeping dogs lay ...

Bob Dylan said...

"Lie Lady Lie"

Joe Wilson said...

You lie!

Anonymous said...

To Joon - My mother was forever correcting people's grammar. Lay/lie were among her most frequent corrections. Below is what we wrote on her headstone:)

Helen Lois Schultz, nee Jacobs

A very special person whose greatest joy was giving of herself. She is fondly remembered as a most gracious, devoted and special wife, mother, grandmother, friend and for correcting everyone’s grammar. Does she lay here or lie here?

mac said...

I think having learned the difference at age 12-13 makes it a little easier to remember.
There are several such verb pairings in Dutch as well (leggen and liggen, translation of lay and lie, is one), and many people get them wrong.

Don Ho said...

Lei Lady Lei