02.24 Thu

February 24, 2011
Harvey Estes

Theme: Goooooooooooooooole! Huh? — The first words of familiar phrases are misspelled using a rhyming word with the pattern *OLE. Then? It's all wackiness from there.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Money for the Warsaw government? (POLE TAXES).
  • 25A: Foot-tapping songs? (SOLE MUSIC).
  • 35A: Songwriting, to Porter? (COLE FIELD).
  • 49A: Actor's messages from an agent? (ROLE CALLS).
  • 58A: Grain for bagels? (HOLE WHEAT).
I really enjoyed this fun theme today. It was at the perfect difficulty level for me: not so hard that I couldn't figure out the trick and got frustrated, and not so easy that I could fill them all in without crosses. The six- and seven-letter downs in the corners range from acceptable (SELECT) to awesome (ONE-STOP). Even the three-letter words didn't bother me today. Sure there are a few stale three-letter entries (ET'S, -ENE, EEO), but those are countered with some Scrabbliness in REX, LOX, and OWL. An overall enjoyable solve today.

  • 9A: Gets ready (PREPS). I recall somebody complaining earlier this week about shortened answer words not being indicated by shortened clue words. Whoever that was doesn't like this one.
  • 15A: Role for Carrie (LEIA). Star Wars! Princess Leia was, of course, played by Carrie Fisher.
  • 19A: Letter alternative (LEGAL). If you're going to try to trick me, you're going to have to do it with something other than paper sizes. 'Cuz I know my paper sizes.
  • 27A: "1984" protagonist __ Smith (WINSTON). It's been so long since I've read this book that I didn't get this answer until WINST was already in place. And then I guessed the ON.
  • 31A: French mystic Simone (WEIL). No idea.
  • 38A: G-note (THOU). This is a money reference. One thousand dollars is sometimes referred to as a "G," sometimes as a "thou."
  • 56A: Rob of "90210" (ESTES). Any relation, Harvey??
  • 62A: Old Boston Bruin nickname (ESPO). Phil Esposito, a professional hockey player from 1963–81, played most of those years for the NHL's Boston Bruins.
  • 2D: Vacation for the vain? (EGO TRIP). Great clue.
  • 3D: Smoked deli meat (BOLOGNA). With the B in place, I tried BRISKET first. Is a brisket even smoked? I don't know.
  • 8D: Drawing support (EASEL). It took me a minute to shift from thinking of "drawing" as a verb to realizing it's a noun in this clue.
  • 12D: Rachmaninoff, e.g. (PIANIST). I suffered from over-thinking here. I know Rachmaninoff was Russian and composed during the Romantic period, but I thought the fact that he was a PIANIST was too simple to be the right answer. Sigh.
  • 25D: Look from Snidely Whiplash (SNEER). If you can't appreciate the name "Snidely Whiplash," then there's something wrong with you.
  • 32D: "__ picture paints ...": song lyric (IF A). I was going to post a video here, but ya know what? I'm going to have enough trouble getting this song out of my head.
  • 36D: Shunned ones (OUTCASTS). Maybe this will help.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 53A: TV's Alf and others (ET'S).
  • 63A: Newbies (TYROS).
  • 57D: Fair-hiring abbr. (EEO).
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Everything Else 1A: Lee followers (REBS); 5A: Works in the Uffizi Gallery (ARTE); 14A: "__ Rhythm" (I GOT); 16A: Singer Gorme (EYDIE); 20A: They may be precious (STONES); 21A: Divulge (TELL); 23A: Hydrocarbon suffix (-ENE); 24A: Fluorescent bulb filler (ARGON); 29A: Cut it out (DESIST); 30A: Place to be pampered (SPA); 34A: Maundy Thursday period (LENT); 40A: Increase in intensity, with "up" (RAMP); 41A: Previously (AGO); 44A: Weather map features (FRONTS); 46A: Ardor (PASSION); 52A: __ asada (Mexican meat dish) (CARNE); 54A: Skin-soothing stuff (ALOE); 55A: Bouquets (POSIES); 60A: Sport with clay pigeons (SKEET); 61A: Auth. of many quotes? (ANON); 64A: Following (NEXT); 65A: Remarriage prefix (STEP-); 1D: With-the-grain cutters (RIPSAWS); 4D: Dictators' aides (STENOS); 5D: Wistful word (ALAS); 6D: "Wonder Dog" of comics (REX); 7D: Relate with (TIE TO); 9D: Willy-nilly (PELL-MELL); 10D: 3-Down might be on it (RYE); 11D: Enters carefully (EDGES IN); 13D: Prime (SELECT); 18D: Certain caterpillar's creation (TENT); 22D: Was in front (LED); 26D: Broken in (USED); 28D: Rice University mascot (OWL); 33D: Walks with a cane, perhaps (LIMPS); 35D: Road marker (CONE); 37D: Clean air org. (EPA); 38D: October Revolution leader (TROTSKY); 39D: It can facilitate drawing (HOLSTER); 41D: With the most open windows (AIRIEST); 42D: Flipped (GONE APE); 43D: Convenient, shoppingwise (ONE-STOP); 44D: Least constrained (FREEST); 45D: Erie Canal mule (SAL); 47D: Flat-bottomed boat (SCOW); 48D: Ornamental bands (SASHES); 50D: Lindsay of "Labor Pains" (LOHAN); 51D: Sierra __ (LEONE); 55D: Cooped (up) (PENT); 59D: Bagel topping (LOX).


Sfingi said...

Way easy for Thurs. Didn't know OWL, ESTES or ESPO (2 were sports), but got easily from crosses.

Cute theme - all homophones, all rhymes.

Avg Joe said...

Everything you said, PG. I enjoyed the theme and the puzzle overall and didn't have many nits to pick. Well, OK. Maybe one. Is bologna smoked??? To answer your question, Brisket can be, but usually isn't. It's more often corned or barbecued.

Gotta go early today. I'm serving as a pallbearer 75 miles from home.


Way easy for a Thursday puzzle, but a fun homophonic theme, and all the clues were straight-forward. Hence, the theme was quite easy to figure out.

Note that the constructor managed to sneak his name (ESTES) into this puzzle at 56A. Is that an EGO TRIP or what?

"1984", written by George Orwell (a genius), was the subject of my thesis while I was in college, so WINSTON Smith was a gimme. My concentration was on language and thought (Newspeak).
Ironically, Orwell also wrote a lot about Leon TROTSKY in his essays.

New WOTD: CARNE asada. Never heard of it, but it sounds yummy though.

Perhaps my favorite classical piano piece of all time is Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.
In this clip we have Rachmaninoff himself playing the first movement (Moderato). This was recorded by RCA Victor (1929) with Rachmaninoff's favorite orchestra: The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski.
Music-wise, we have many great composers and performers to thank the Russians for. I could go on and on with this.

Have a wonderful Thursday y'all!


Oh thank you, thank you, Puzzlegirl, the LEGAL versus Letter clue was driving me nuts... kept thinking "Letter of the law". Duh!

The song title "I GOT Rhythm" grates on me almost as much as "You Got Mail". It's funny, but everyone has their favorite grammatical irritants that haunt them forever and that's one of mine.
What's yours?

Doug P said...

I like any puzzle that has PELL-MELL, because it reminds me of "The Poky Little Puppy." I must have made my mom read that book to me a thousand times. "Roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble..."

Greg said...

PREPS, which is derived from the word prepares, is in itself a word much like one can call New York's basketball team the "Knicks" or "Knickerbockers." "Knicks" (and PREPS) aren't abbreviations, but synonyms and shortened versions of Knickerbockers and prepares.

On the other hand, REBS took me awhile. I immediately thought of the answer when reading the clue "Lee's followers," but didn't know if it would be shortened. I guess the fact only Lee's last name was used (not his full name) was cause for the answer being just REBS.

Overall, enjoyable solve.

Rube said...

Did not know how to spell EYDIE, thought Letter alternative was email, and was sure Hydrocarbon suffix, (and still am), was aNE. Putting Rachmaninoff as a PIANIST cleaned up the whole mess, making the NE the hardest part of an easy puzzle.

I'd heard that Rachmaninoff had large hands but not until playing one of his compositions did I realize how large. I had to use the Sostenuto (middle) pedal on the piano in order to to play some of the chords. This was the only time I've ever used the middle pedal. It "sustains" individual notes allowing one to make a chord with separate keystrokes.

With the exception of partials IFA and IGOT, the fill in this puzzle was very good without relying on obscure crosswordese and with very little pop culture. The theme was OK, but not exciting.

John Wolfenden said...

I liked the puns, especially the nearly-a-theme "Drawing support" for EASEL and "It can facilitate drawing" for HOLSTER.

Doug P, I also love the term PELL MELL. And RIPSAW is pretty cool too.

I had two big gripes: TIE TO and EDGES IN. TIE TO just should've been clued differently ("Hitches up"), but EDGES IN just isn't a phrase I've ever heard used. EASES IN, maybe.

I can't help but think that Harvey ESTES deliberately put his surname into the puzzle. But I guess that's your prerogative as a puzzle creator.

SethG said...

Doug, too bad some of {PALL MALL, PELL MELL, PILL MILL, POLL MOLL, PULL MULL} exist and some would be wacky.

Bologna is as smoked as brisket (or cheddar) is. I liked the bagel cross.

JIMMIE said...

It was relatively easy but with some good stuff: TROTSKY, PELLMELL, and RIPSAWS!

Hoyt said...

Smoked bologna??
Didn't like this one as much as you all seem to but I did know CARNE from the Taco Bell commercials!

CrazyCatLady said...

Agree with @PG and all above about this puzzle. It was a remarkably smooth solve for me on a Thursday with a fun theme. I also questioned if BALOGNA is smoked, but then the Pennsylvania Dutch variety, Lebanon BALOGNA, came to mind. That definitely has a smokey flavor. I think PREP has almost become a word in itself, especially if you watch the Food Network. Had email before LEGAL, and Sierra Madre before LEONE. Liked DESIST. Didn't like TIE TO. WEIL was my WOTD.

@Doug "Pokey Little Puppy" was one of my favorites. Saved my Golden Book and read it to my kids as well.

@JNH - when you're in Palm Springs area get yourself some CARNE Asada or go to this guy's restaurant in Chicago.


StudioCitySteve said...

Very enjoyable.

I think PG was referring to me about the shortened answer (PERPS) not being clued with a shortened word, but as someone else mentioned last week - it happens, so get over it. I'm over it :)

Loved RIPSAWS, TROTSKY, WINSTON and PELLMELL, and ANON was a cute clue.

With BOLOGNA, LOX, RYE and CARNE I'm getting hungry - it must be lunchtime.

My captcha today is RECLUE - I'd RECLUE "LOX" as "Bagel Filling" rather then "Bagel Topping", but I'm just being pedantic on that point.

mac said...

Good write-up PG; I felt the same. The ego-trip was the winner for me.
Since you know your paper sizes, would "letter" be the same as A4?

I think Bologna is emulsified meat and other things we don't want to know about, then the little strips of fat are added and the whole thing is shaped and cooked/steamed/baked. It certainly doesn't taste smokey.

@DougP: that's a sweet story.

Crosscan said...

I've done a lot of Harvey ESTES puzzles lately (mostly in the Simon and Shuster collections) and ESTES appears frequently in the grids. Still looking for Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Dont really like puns in puzzles or shortened proper names like espo. Not sure what deli Harvey goes to but bologna is made like hot dogs, and on rye bread thats kinda weird

CrazyCatLady said...

@mac - you're right. Bologna, or 'baloney" is pretty unpalatable in any form. At least we haven't seen "head cheese" in a puzzle lately. That always grosses me out.

Anonymous said...

Like this puzzle was a good thursday carne asada is a staple for hispanics in ca in the central valley there are taco truck everywhere there are other things besides asada that I wont eat but thats because I know what they are uck

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julio said...

Never heard of Maundy Thursday period. What is the reference?