02.18 Fri

F R I D A Y February 18, 2011
Dan Naddor

Theme: Happy President's Day! I got you some puns! — Theme answers are puns on U.S. Presidents' names.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Presidential putdown? (GRANT SLAM). [grand slam]
  • 23A: Presidential advisers? (MADISON CABINET). [medicine cabinet]
  • 32A: Presidential ATM sign? (FORD DEPOSIT ONLY). [for deposit only]
  • 48A: Presidential university? (COOLIDGE CAMPUS). [college campus]
  • 53A: Presidential belt-tightening? (NIXON CUTS). [nicks and cuts]
I started this puzzle, as I'm wont to do, at 1 Across. I glanced at the clue (1A: Timeworn observation), thought to myself "ADAGE," checked 1 Down to see if it would work and … ugh. AGA. Remember how yesterday I said even the crosswordese seemed more on the high end of the scale? AGA is not on that particular end. I'm making a mental note right now for any puzzles I construct in the future: "Do not use tired old crosswordese at 1A or 1D." It really just turned me off immediately. But, ya know what? Sometimes I'll start off with a negative thought like "oh my God, this puzzle is going to be full of crosswordese" and then the puzzle redeems itself by proving me wrong. Not so in this case, unfortunately.

I guess the puns are okay if you like puns. The only one that really gave me a chuckle was COOLIDGE CAMPUS, but I'm not a big pun fan in general. The fill? Lots of abbreviations, suffixes, and other three-letter words. Nothing particularly sparkly except maybe GOOD DEEDS, BONIER, and I'M OKAY and the Sparkle-Meter isn't exactly jumping for joy with those. All in all a puzzle that's way too easy for a Friday with an okay theme that wasn't a complete waste of time to solve.

  • 6A: "Pronto!" (ASAP). Ran into a little trouble here because with ***EN in place, I tried yesterday's VIXEN for 7D: Femme fatale, but it needed to be SIREN. That V did not help at all. Obviously.
  • 20A: 1926 channel swimmer (EDERLE). When I first started solving puzzles compulsi– on a regular basis, Gertrude EDERLE showed up in the puzzle a lot. It's been a while though, so I needed some crosses today.
  • 30A: People person? (CELEB). The question mark gives you a hint something fishy is going on. In this case, the word "People" is a reference to the magazine. I caught onto the trick right away, but wanted the answer to be EDITOR. Which it wasn't.
  • 52A: Title subject of a G.B. Shaw play (ST. JOAN). I clicked on over to Wikipedia to find out the title of this play so I could share it with you and guess what. The title is "St. Joan." Huh.
  • 59A: Prefix with "Language" in a 1993 comedy best-seller (SEIN-).
  • 60A: Gaston's god (DIEU). The name used in the clue is French, which hints at the fact that the answer will also be French. French!
  • 63A: U. of Maryland athlete (TERP). Fear the Turtle! Maryland's mascot is the terrapin. The abbreviation "U." in the clue is a hint that the answer will also be a shortened form.
  • 10D: Mubarak of Egypt (HOSNI). Timely. I would have needed crosses for this one a month ago.
  • 19D: Typewriter feature (TAB SET).

  • 36D: Like some workers in an open shop (NON-UNION). Also timely, given the events in Wisconsin this week.
  • 49D: Interpol headquarters (LYONS). I did not know that.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 27A: Trains on supports (ELS).
  • 28A: "Discreet Music" composer (ENO).
  • 29A: Movie beekeeper (ULEE).
  • 62A: Scraps (ORTS).
  • 64A: Streisand title role (YENTL).
  • 1D: Turkish honorific (AGA).
  • 24D: Psychic couple? (CEES).
  • 50D: Glyceride, e.g. (ESTER).
I'll be back tomorrow, you'll see Doug on Sunday, and then on Monday we've got a guest blogger lined up for the holiday. Hope you'll all come on back and see what he has to say.[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 10A: Party person (HOST); 14A: Paganini's birthplace (GENOA); 15A: One of an historic seagoing trio (NIÑA); 16A: Not deceived by (ONTO); 17A: Los __: city near San Jose (ALTOS); 22A: Bernardo's girl in "West Side Story" (ANITA); 26A: Trademark cousins (PATENTS); 39A: "Contact" author (SAGAN); 40A: "Uh-uh" ("NOPE"); 41A: Ex-Saudi ruler __ Saud (IBN); 44A: Managed (RAN); 45A: Onetime California gubernatorial candidate Huffington (ARIANNA); 51A: Biblical words before and after "for" (AN EYE); 56A: Blitz attachment (-KRIEG); 61A: Perform penance (ATONE); 2D: Wilmington's st. (DEL.); 3D: Lover of armies? (ANTEATER); 4D: Acts of kindness (GOOD DEEDS); 5D: Enter cautiously (EASE IN); 6D: Americans in Paris, e.g. (ANGLOS); 8D: Book collector's suffix (-ANA); 9D: Put down in writing? (PAN); 11D: Surfing without a board, maybe (ONLINE); 12D: New York's __ Island (STATEN); 13D: T in a sandwich (TOMATO); 21D: Queue after Q (R-S-T); 23D: Opposite of bueno (MALO); 25D: "That's __ ask" (ALL I); 26D: Sta-__: fabric softener (PUF); 30D: Hoodwink (CON); 31D: Ruling family name in 19th-century Europe (BONAPARTE); 33D: Connecticut coastal town near Stamford (DARIEN); 34D: "Yikes!" ("EGAD!"); 35D: Qualm (PANG); 37D: HMO employees (LPN'S); 38D: Thumbs-up vote (YEA); 41D: Response to a doubting Thomas (I CAN SO); 42D: More scrawny (BONIER); 43D: Prohibitive door sign (NO EXIT); 45D: Misbehaves (ACTS UP); 46D: British rule in India (RAJ); 47D: Post-fall reassurance (I'M OKAY); 54D: Setting on the Mississippi: Abbr. (CDT); 55D: A lost driver may hang one, briefly (UIE); 57D: M.D.'s specialty (ENT); 58D: Styling stuff (GEL).


Pete said...

Not a fun solve. Might have been OK on Monday, but even that's iffy.
It was made worse by the fact that Interpol is based in Lyon. Not LYONS. There's no such thing as LYONS, anywhere in the universe.
Do the French really refer to Americans as Anglos?

wilsch said...

There is a LYONS - a very small town around 60 miles NW of Philadelphia

SethG said...

It's not Lyons? My dieu!

Madison had a cabinet. Did Coolidge have a campus? I guess "university" also refers to the physical plant of the school, but it's a bit weak. An ATM with a "Deposit Only" sign is weaker. These were not funny, and not consistent.

GOOD DEEDS has three double-letters in a row. Seems like a theme possibility, but I checked and it's been done. Sad face.

*David* said...

Talking about Anglo, LYONS is the Anglo name for Lyon.

Relativelyl easy puzzle for a Firday even though I realized I screwed up a square. I also put in VIXEN for SIREN. I really dislike seeing UIE.

Spica said...

De-lurking to say ON WISCONSIN! Was happy to see that in the fill, and that you noticed. This will be day four of protesting for me.

Love your blog by the way. As a compulsi...um.. regular puzzle solver since my teens, you have made it an even more enjoyable part of my morning routine.


I pretty much agree with what Puzzlegirl said. I too am not a big fan of punful themes, but usually Dan would get a chuckle out of me... not so today. I saw lots of worn out words and bad abbrevs.
Some good stuff found its way in though. Blitz KRIEG, HOSNI (ironic entry), TAB SET (few will remember that), NON-UNION (very relevant in WI), and my all-time favorite, the UIE (I know, I know).

@PG That vid clip of the "carriage return" was way funny for me.
Although I managed to get through this difficult puzzle (from crosses), I needed a lot of your explanations to help me make sense of certain stuff... like "People person". Duh! I too had VIXEN (7D) on my brain.

What are your thoughts on the MADISON Wisconsin fiasco?
Anybody! Anybody!

The ANTEATER is just too darn cute of a creature. "Tamandua", now there's a great CW word.

Going outside now to trim back all my trees and shrubs, before the sap starts flowing.

Have a nice day in the sun, y'all !

Anonymous said...

I liked some parts of the puzzle, but also hated UIE and felt that some of the clues were not as precise as they should be.

As was pointed out before, Americans in Paris aren't really Anglos -- they are anglophone, but they aren't anglais. I've spent a fair amount of time in France and have never heard anyone refer to Americans as Anglos. It's a sloppy clue. So is the ATM one -- would an ATM machine have a "for deposit only" sign on it? A bank wouldn't deliberately set up an ATM that you can't withdraw money from, and if it ran out of cash, there wouldn't be a sign -- there would be a message on the screen. Seems sloppy again.

Isn't this the third puzzle this week with AGA/AGHA?

Avg Joe said...

The video clip was REALLY funny!!

The puzzle, not so much. I usually like Naddor puzzles a great deal. This one I'd give a D.


Can someone please explain 54D (CDT)?

I have to admit that my day cannot proceed properly without having finished at least one crossword puzzle. I guess that's considered OCD by some, time wasters by others, but mental TAE BO for me.
I was trying to figure out how many puzzles I've solved in my lifetime and came up with a number just over 15,000. EGAD!
I remember how much I used to struggle to get through a puzzle, even on Mondays, but since I started reading this blog, "I've come a long way, baby"!
What has helped me a lot is keeping my own CW101 list of words I see often. I now have close to 900 entries.
I just want to thank Angela and Doug (and all you other juicy commenters) for helping me out.
I'm hoping that someday my own puzzle-creatin' will pay off.

BubbaGump said...

I liked this one quite a bit. Go figure.

JohnsNeverHome--Please don't encourage political discussions here. There are scads of websites for that sort of thing. Let's keep it on crosswords please.

Anonymous said...

CDT = Central Daylight Time. The clue refers to clock setting.

Anonymous said...

JNH.. Central Daylite Time

Anonymous said...

JNH - it refers to the Continental Divide Trail; and if you were on the Mississippi River, you would have to "set" off toward the west to get to it...

...or, it could possibly refer to Central Daylight Time, as the others have mentioned.

Tuttle said...


Yea. Rubbish.

C said...

Hard for me to dis this puzzle as it does include the town where I live in the puzzle (a hint, it isn't Lyon/LYONS) Yes, my puzzle support can be had regardless of quality as long as you include the town where I live in your puzzle.

Otherwise, not a very good Naddor puzzle.

John Wolfenden said...

Even Dan had off days apparently. I like me a good pun but these didn't fit the bill.

Nice to see ARIANNA in a puzzle. Couldn't decide whether I loved/hated "Lover of armies?" for ANTEATER but came down on the "love" side.

"People person?" for CELEB made a distinct clunking sound when I filled it in.

I have vague memories of using a typewriter when I was a teenager, but it took me a long time to come up with TAB SET.

This would've made a better Thursday puzzle.

Rube said...

Did both yesterday's and today's puzzles last night with a minimum amount of effort. Agree with @pg that these late week LAT puzzles are becoming easier.

Really had no problem with the puns, but then I don't really like puns unless they are really good... and these weren't. Well, Madison Cabinet was OK. The fill? AGA, ANA, & YEA were just the usual crosswordese. UIE? Execrable!

The TERP answer is fairly common. I'm waiting for the clue for ANTEATER to be "U Cal @ Irvine athlete".

Thanks @PG for the SEIN explanation. I had no clue.

I guess I never knew what a qualm was even though I use it fairly often. If asked, I would have said it's a "regret".

Mokus said...

@Rube: or, ANTEATER as "UCI mascot" as we call it out here. I noted that PG wasn't fond of mascots such as Horned Frogs & Terapins but what could be worse than the UC Santa Clara Banana Slugs?

Captcha "SHELOO" would be cw for ladies rest room?

Anonymous said...

That's UC SANTA CRUZ Banana Slugs, Nice job as always , PG. Happy weekend, everyone...

- - Robert

Anonymous said...

I thought Michael Huffington was a CA gubernatorial candidate, not Arianna; and it's Lyon no s. This one was disappointing.

Sfingi said...

Thought the theme was lame. Not very good puns. Sorry Dan. I'm thinking he was going to work on it some more.
@SethG said it all.

HTG for GENOA, PUF and TERPS (sports).
Did now EDERLE - I'm thinking my sports blackout doesn't include women.

Had Los GaTOS before Los ALTOS. Both in the Santa Clara Valley. Visited in the 80s when I worked for Mohawk Data Sciences, and again when brother-in-law lived there. Nice area.

I'm guessing CELEB referred to People Magazine.

I don't get CEES = psychic couple,

KJGooster said...

I agree with the general consensus: not one of Dan's best.

@Sfingi: CEES = the letter C, times 2.

Sfingi said...

@Gooster - Still don't get it. How is the letter C psychic? Or is it another lame pun, "sees"?

Anonymous said...

There are two C's in the word psychic.

mac said...

Not a great puzzle today. Agree with most of the commenters. Sloppy about Lyon, some uebercrosswordese like adage, ulee, Ederle and orts, and then LPNS, CDT and uie. Like the timely Hosni and Arianna.

@Sfingi: there are two c's in psychic.

KJGooster said...

@Sfingi: What anon & mac said -- two C's in the word "psychic." Kinda like the answer "DEE" for the clue "Double header?" -- the letter "D" spelled out. I'm not really a fan of this kind of clue, but I've learned to look for them.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad Dan Naddor is no longer able to explain or defend his puzzles. I'm new to crosswords but it seems unfair to pick on someone who has died. Friday puzzles are difficult for me, even this one.

Paras said...

Can some one explain UIE. Thanks.


It's slang for U-Turn, which is in itself a slang word.

Anonymous said...

My "I gotcha" moment was that it Arianas's husband, Michael that ran and lost for governor. But, alas, it seems that Arianna made an aborted run for governor in the 2003 recall election that Arnold eventually won.

But at least my little town of Los Altos is mentioned!!