February 21, 2011
Angela Olson Halsted & Doug Peterson

Theme: Three Petes. (Not to be confused with "Three-peat", which is a term trademarked by Pat Riley). Each of the long answers starts with a word that is also the last name of someone named Pete. Speaking of which, this is Pete Mitchell guest-blogging for PuzzleGirl, as she didn't have the heart to dis her own puzzle. Well, okay, it's not that bad, but for the sake (Pete's sake?) of full disclosure, I don't really care much for Monday puzzles to begin with, so don't expect a rave. Also, I really, really, really dislike Pete Rose. He and Don King are the two vilest creatures in sports, in my opinion, and I have felt this way long before any gambling scandal came to light. So, please bear with me if I come across a little on the grumpy side.

Here, click on this. It'll be good background as you read the rest.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Legendary spring that creates spring chickens? (FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH). Pete Fountain is the world-reknowned jazz clarinet player that you're listening to right now if you clicked the above link.
  • 38A: Grammy revoked from Milli Vanilli (BEST NEW ARTIST). Pete Best is best known as the original pre-Ringo drummer for the Beatles. The friend that got kicked out of the band before they became the biggest thing since sliced bread. Would they have been as successful with Pete instead of Ringo? Here, judge for yourself. Milli Vanilli achieved infamy when it was discovered that the front-"men" weren't actually singing on the Grammy-winning songs; they had been lip-syncing the whole time.
  • 60A: Portland Trail Blazers' home (ROSE GARDEN ARENA). Pete Rose played baseball.
  • 71A: Name that can precede the first word of 17-, 38- or 60-Across (PETE).
So, my first gut reaction here was "Really, those are the best Petes you could come up with?" But when I started thinking about it, most famous Peters go by Peter, not Pete. My second thought was "Why two musicians and a baseball player?" Ideally, themes tie a little tighter than that. But while there are other famous Pete musicians (Townshend, Seeger, etc.), none of them lend easily to a theme phrase. So, we'll give a pass to the theme and look at the rest of the puzzle.

  • 30D: Girl group with the 1986 #1 hit "Venus" (BANANARAMA). Done originally, and more famously, by Shocking Blue, in 1970. But I love the band name and the 80's reference. Nice fill.
  • 15A: Old Geo model (PRIZM). Cool way to get a Z into the puzzle.
  • 42A: Polite "Ready to go?" ("SHALL WE?"). In-the-language phrases like this always punch things up more than straight dictionary answers. Same with 54D: "Obviously!" ("NO DUH!") and, to a lesser extent, 19D: ''I agree, however ...'' ("YES, BUT"). 21A: "I'll treat!" ("ON ME!") fell a little flat for me, as it feels like it's missing an "It's...". The only way I can make it work as written is as a continuation: "Let's go to dinner. On me."
  • 4D: Hawaiian who sang "Pearly Shells" (DON HO). Can you name another singing Hawaiian? Me neither.
  • 1D: DOJ division (ATF). It's now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but they still use the ATF acronym. DOJ is, of course, Department of Justice.
  • 11D: Justice replaced by Sotomayor (SOUTER). Souter is from New Hampshire, so I gotta give him props.
  • 27A: Mighty long time (EON). Occasionally spelled AEON, as well.
  • 28A: Stat for Mariano Rivera (ERA). Funny that these two show their heads side by side. Many times you'll have a vague clue like "Span of time" that's three-letters beginning with E, and you don't know whether it's EON or ERA. Here, we already have EON, so ERA was clued as Earned Run Average. Sometimes it's a detergent ("Tide rival"), which throws those 'Bama fans for a loop. Oh, and here's a bit of trivia for you: In 1972, the Dodgers retired Jackie Robinson's #42. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired it across all teams, the only number for which this has ever been done. There were a dozen players currently wearing the number, and they were grand-fathered. Today, there is only one active player left wearing the #42 — Mariano Rivera.
Not much else to talk about. This is one of the problems with Monday puzzles. 78 words, but 23 of them are 3-letters long and another 22 are 4-letters long, and one of the two longest non-theme answers is AM/FM STEREO (9D: Car sound system). This means a lot of boring fill for only three theme answers. The only way to make short words sparkle is with tougher clues, but you can't do that on Monday, so you're basically hosed.

Crosswordese 101: Even if you know nothing of foreign languages, you should learn how to count to at least three (preferably ten) in the major European languages, French (un, deux, trois), Spanish (uno, dos, tres), German (eine, zwei, drei), and Italian (uno, due, TRE [22A: Three, in Turin]). These show up a ton.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 10A: Employee protection org. (OSHA).
  • 50A: Paranormal showman Geller (URI).
  • 6D: Magnate Onassis (ARI).
  • 10D: El Dorado gold (ORO).
  • 61D: Heart test letters (EKG).
Well, that's it for me. I've probably overstayed my welcome as it is. Thanks, PuzzleGirl, for having me. It's been a while since I've done this kind of thing and I must say, I don't really miss it that much. :)

- Pete M.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else1A: Grew older (AGED); 5A: American __: Pacific territory (SAMOA); 14A: Chore list heading (TO DO); 16A: Carrot or turnip (ROOT); 20A: Garment border (HEM); 23A: College concentration (MAJOR); 26A: Pungent salad green (CRESS); 29A: CEO's degree (MBA); 31A: Ford classics (T-BIRDS); 33A: Carvey of "Wayne's World" (DANA); 35A: Karaoke singer, usually (AMATEUR); 43A: Linger in the tub (SOAK); 45A: Start to melt (SOFTEN); 48A: Bordeaux brush-off (NON); 51A: "Fresh Air" airer (NPR); 52A: Rear end (FANNY); 55A: Political aficionado's station (C-SPAN); 57A: Absorbed, as a cost (ATE); 58A: Circular cookie (OREO); 59A: Stable tidbit (OAT); 66A: Good fortune (LUCK); 67A: Cursor controller (MOUSE); 68A: Diabolical (EVIL); 69A: Fawn's father (STAG); 70A: Campfire remains (ASHES); 2D: Bit of baby babble (GOO); 3D: Academic URL ender (EDU); 5D: Inbox junk (SPAM); 7D: 23-Across opposite (MINOR); 8D: Atmospheric layer (OZONE); 9D: Car sound system (AM/FM STEREO); 12D: Souped-up ride (HOT ROD); 13D: Aegean capital (ATHENS); 18D: Time in office (TERM); 23D: __ school (MED); 24D: Part of U.A.E. (ARAB); 25D: Dick's storybook partner (JANE); 26D: Caravan creature (CAMEL); 32D: Spring blossom (IRIS); 34D: Admin. aide (ASST.); 36D: Pointy tool (AWL); 37D: Like a lion's coat (TAWNY); 39D: It "comes on little cat feet," in a Sandburg poem (THE FOG); 40D: Campbell's product (SOUP); 44D: Reunion group (KIN); 45D: Entangles (SNARLS); 46D: Decline to participate (OPT OUT); 47D: Grapefruit-flavored diet drink (FRESCA); 49D: Academic sports org. (NCAA); 53D: Detective Wolfe and an emperor (NEROS); 56D: Throat bacteria (STREP); 59D: Tip jar bills (ONES); 62D: Suffix with Canton (-ESE); 63D: Anticipatory time (EVE); 64D: Trivial point (NIT); 65D: Drink by a dartboard (ALE);


Anonymous said...

Bet you do know another singing Hawaiian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

mac said...

Thank you, Pete. Why does it say evil above the reveal? You beat me to the Shocking Blue mention.

Perfectly fine Monday. I knew two of the Petes, Fountain was a very nice introduction.

You're now a bona fide constructor, PG. It must be so much fun to work with Doug. He's a very generous man, I've heard from other new constructors.

Vidwan827 said...

Puzzle Girl and Mr. Doug - very nice puzzle - throughly enjoyed it - Thank You, Thank you, for such a lovely offering. Have a nice day and the rest of the week.

Pete, very nice blog - learnt a lot - and thank you very much for the lovely link ups - throughly enjoyed them too.

Rex Parker said...

I know another singing Hawaiian, but I couldn't hope to spell his name. Iz ... something.

Forgot who PETE Fountain was.

This grid has much more sizzle in the non-theme fill than most Mondays do.


Anonymous said...

Pete, your grumpy side is funny. Thanks for all the details about the obscure and obtuse clues as well as the obvious ones! It's nice to have a few chuckles on a Monday morning.

John Wolfenden said...

Nice Pete Fountain clip! I'd never heard of him until I started going to JazzFest in New Orleans.

RP, I assume you mean Israel Kamakawiwo Ole', who did that amazing ukelele cover of "Over the Rainbow."

JaxInL.A. said...

Congratulations, @PG! This is published puzzle #2, right?Very cool. Thanks, PM, for a fun write up, a chance to hear Pete Fountain in the morning, and for all that info about baseball, Jackie Robinson and Mariano Rivera. I don't follow sports but need to know something about them for crosswords, and this is a very painless way to learn.

As to Hawaiian singers, I know that no one would be able to name him offhand, but I love Mark Keali'i Ho'omalu who sings Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride from Disney's Lilo and Stitch (though all those vowels ought to make him useful in a crossword, right?) I could not find a clip that plays on an Apple device, so I'm sorry I can't share it with you, but the song is not that hard to find. He has recorded other stuff that is very compelling and engaging.

Oh, and I liked the puzzle. Plus it is just a Q and an X short of a pangram. Well done. Thanks.

Avg Joe said...

Thank you Pete for the host Emcee gig. I enjoyed the baseball trivia and the opportunity to actually hear Pete Best drumming. Gotta say, Ringo was a better choice.

And thank you Angela and Doug for a pleasant puzzle, as well as congratulations. Yes it was pretty easy, but it was a fun solve and as good as a Monday can get. My suspicions were confirmed about all the hints dropped earlier.

For those that missed it, the first Anon poster linked the Over the Rainbow cover by Iz. Nice tune. Thanks, Anon.

Rube said...

Thx @PG and DP for an enjoyable Monday morning puzzle. Loved seeing Pete Fountain in a puzzle... used to listen to him on the radio. Which makes me think that I used to hear all sorts of different instruments and types of musical groups on the radio. Now it seems to be only amped guitars.

Rube wife is big into Iz. She must have 5 or 6 of his CDs. Me, not so much.

Nothing really stands out here. Did have one writeover, starting to write Fanta before seeing it wouldn't work and then immediately putting in FRESCA.

I guess my only complaint is CRESS. I think of it only as watercress.

Thx Pete for the trivia about #42. I didn't know that.

Sfingi said...

Ya mean Arthur Godfrey isn't Hawaian?

NO DUH was my last in. Now I've heard of it, but not before now.

Too much initials for me. OSHA, NPR, ERA, MBA, ATF, EKG (in response to DOJ) NCAA.
FANNY doesn't translate well across the pond.

However, the longer entries were fine, as were SOUTER and AMATEUR, which I've never seen used.

StudioCitySteve said...

I get grumpy when I see answers which are shortened forms of the actual word and not clued as such, although I shouldn't really get worked up about this on a Monday.


I'm learning, I guess

SethG said...

Pete M's a nice choice; my guess had been PuzzleHusband.

Pete, not sure why Shocking Blue's version is more famous. Both were Gold sellers, both number 1 hits. And either would make a fantastic grid entry. Unlike CRESS, but YES BUT makes it worth it.

I used to play the clarinet, and Sonia Sotomayor is a Yankees fan.

chefbea said...

Great puzzle PG Although I never heard of Pete Best.

mac said...

Is puzzlehusband called Pete?

@SethG: Shocking Blue made the original, and don't you think Mariska Veres' voice is a lot stronger?

CrazyCatLady said...

A fun Monday puzzle. Thanks PG and Doug P. Didn't know the PETEs Fountain or Best, but enjoyed it anyway. Thanks for the clip@Pete M. Didn't PG talk about the missing FANNY in last week's BUTT themed puzzle? My only NIT today was MED school (speaking of shortened answers).

Iz music gets played in my yoga class.

Sandman said...

Nice job, PG/DP.

Thanks for the ROSEGARDENARENA entry from this Blazers season ticket holder. If you know a good orthopedic surgeon, send him/her our way.

Joon said...

i'm also surprised at the choice of guest blogger. did you guys pick him just for his name?

i'm kidding, of course. for those of you who don't know (and didn't track down his rather oblique reference), pete mitchell used to host a crossword blog called sun blocks, for the daily new york sun crossword (RIP).

which reminds me—the FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH clue reminds me of probably my favorite theme clue/answer pair from the new york sun days: {Sign at the Three Seasons hotel?} = NO SPRING CHECK-IN.

never heard of pete fountain, but the rest of the puzzle was pleasant enough. rex is right about the long fill. most monday puzzles don't even have long fill, let alone this much sizzle in it.

ddbmc said...

I always preferred Shocking Blue's version of "Venus" the BEST. Thank's, Pete, for sending me on a magical mystery tour of my past, on YouTube! As Angela says, it's so easy to get lost on there for an hour....

Knew all the PETE's--helped that dad had many of PETE Fountain's records. HUGE Beatles fan, so PETE BEST was a gimme. And PETE Rose? Unfortunately, I know him. He'll probably never be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, even tho' he was a good player. The "Roid players*" shouldn't be either....

Easy Monday. Sure a lot nicer than shoveling that frozen white crap for the umpteenth time! I'm a tad grumpy, too, at this point! :)
Nice to see a puzzle by our own PG and Doug!

Sfingi said...

@StudioSteve - agree, but get used to it.

@ddbmc - I prefer Frankie Avalon's version.

@Chefbea - Pete Best was the Beatles' 1st drummer. He was fired. He eventually made some money from the connection.

Below zero (F.) here, again. But they promised!


Nice job!
Puzzlegirl and Doug... what a cool duo that is.

I vaguely recall doing a puzzle a while back that had somewhat the same theme, but I remember that I liked it too.

MAJOR, MINOR, MBA, EDU, and MED school makes me think this was constructed by a college professor.

The only thing that made me groan a little was NO DUH.

Oh yeah, and I didn't want to be reminded of this... AGED.

Some of the entries were a little weak, but the cluing was absolutely superb!

When I worked in England, I was warned that the word FANNY over there refers to an entirely different part of the female anatomy... I blushed. Then and there I decided to never refer to my rear end with that word again. Maybe I'll just stick with "butt".

Thanks, Pete M, for a terrific writeup. I especially liked the "Shocking Blue, Venus" and Pete Fountain clips. Who needs a blue Monday anyway?

Gotta get going. I have a huge TO DO list for today.

Have a pleasant President's Day y'all !

Anonymous said...

Even if you aren't into Hawaiian music ... any true fan of ER cried when Iz's version of Over the Rainbow played as Mark died ...

Anonymous said...

How about Jack Johnson?

mac said...

Last time I heard that version of Over the Rainbow was at a memorial service, performed by 14-year old grandson.... It was very moving.

Avg Joe said...

Well, since we're on the topic of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I have to throw in Harry's version. I'm a big Harry fan!

It can be argued all day who did it best. I'm of the opinion that exposure to as many interpretations as possible is a good thing.

Nilsson, singing Over the Rainbow

Sfingi said...

@John USA Today has "booty" = REAR. I think today is some sort of universal change in what's allowable - the puzzlers have got together and decided.


27 % are 3-letter words.
28 % are 4 letter words.
Clearly a majority of this puzzle is composed of crappy little words.
Even for a Monday that's excessive.

Stan said...

Very smooth puzzle. And more interesting than a Monday needs to be. Had me barking up the wrong tree with with YOUTH and NEW...

Prefer Shocking Blue to Bananarama (tho both versions are fine) and appreciate @mac citing the lead singer's name.

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, totally different song, but Frankie always brings a smile to my face--even tho he's just a tad before my time. Can you say "Beach Blanket Bingo and Annette Funicello?" :)

Anonymous said...

Grumpus majoris.

Anonymous said...

one in German is "eins" not "eine"