04.04 Mon

April 4, 2011
John Lampkin

Theme: Um … rhyming things? — Yeah, rhyming things.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Feeling of uneasiness (HEEBIE JEEBIES).
  • 27A: Hand-held two-way communications device (WALKIE TALKIE).
  • 47A: Up-tempo jazz piano style (BOOGIE WOOGIE).
  • 56A: Symbolic nosegays (TUSSIE MUSSIES).
I was pretty much just floating through this puzzle, admiring how smooth it was, noting the crosswordese but not being bothered by it because it's Monday, wondering if it would turn out to be a pangram, saying the theme answers out loud because they're fun to say and then … Whoa, what? TUSSIE MUSSIE? What the …??? Ne-Ever heard this phrase before. Now, granted, horticulture isn't exactly my forte, but … really? TUSSIE MUSSIE? Now, if there's one thing I've learned since becoming involved with the crossword community through Rex's blog and continuing over here, is that just because I've never heard of something that doesn't necessarily mean it's obscure. (Also, that the things I know aren't necessarily universally known.) But TUSSIE MUSSIE? Can't wait to hear what you all think of this one. Is this something that people know? It might as well have been, I know … SILKY RILKY or NOOTIE TOOTIE or (hey, this is kinda fun) JIGGIE BIGGIE. Or even better, it could have been something more common like NAMBY PAMBY, which isn't the right length, but hey at this point I'm reworking the whole theme anyway and would consider replacing HEEBIE JEEBIES with TINKY WINKY and calling it good. So yeah. That's what I thought of the theme. Pretty fun … to a point.

Highlights for me today include:
  • 1A: Cotton swabs originally called Baby Gays (Q-TIPS). This one made me laugh. I mean, first of all it's awesome to start right out with a Q at 1-Across, but also, I'm all, "Hmm, I wonder which cotton swabs this clue could be referring to. Maybe the … waaaait a minute! There's only one kind of cotton swabs!"
  • 37A: Reprimander's "reading" (RIOT ACT).
  • 3D: Fully informed (IN THE LOOP). Even though I tried IN THE KNOW first.
  • 11D: Murphy of "48 HRS." (EDDIE). Love love love this movie. I could probably recite this whole movie to you if, ya know, you wanted me to.
  • 45D: Stumble across, as an idea (HIT UPON).
  • 50D: Part of wpm: Abbr. (WDS.). Words per minute. I can type a lot of 'em.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 6A: Actor Guinness (ALEC).
  • 19A: Poet __ St. Vincent Millay (EDNA).
  • 33A: Mashed luau staple (POI).
  • 61A: Isaac's eldest (ESAU).
  • 5D: Eyelid problem (STYE).
  • 60D: Dublin's isle (EIRE).
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Everything Else 10A: More than stumbled (FELL); 14A: Basic belief (TENET); 15A: Capital surrounding Vatican City (ROME); 16A: Falco of "The Sopranos" (EDIE); 17A: Shabby (RATTY); 18A: $3 million, 30-sec. Super Bowl feature (TV AD); 23A: Jungle swinger (APE); 25A: Fla. hours (EST); 26A: Cummerbund fold (PLEAT); 32A: Cheering noisily (AROAR); 34A: "M*A*S*H" staff (RN'S); 40A: Leave for a bit (STEP OUT); 43A: Mind reader's skill, briefly (ESP); 44A: "How beautiful!" ("OOH!"); 46A: Oil refinery input (CRUDE); 51A: Ami's good-bye (ADIEU); 54A: Tiny bit (TAD); 55A: His-and-__ towels (HER); 62A: Knucklehead (DOPE); 63A: Close, as a parka (ZIP UP); 66A: Hollywood success (STAR); 67A: Hollywood favorite (IDOL); 68A: College town near Bangor (ORONO); 69A: Nanny's charge (TYKE); 70A: Bills with Hamilton on them (TENS); 71A: Rehab step (DETOX); 1D: Super Bowl div. (QTR.); 2D: Green or black brew (TEA); 4D: Sampras of tennis (PETE); 6D: Manet or Monet (ARTIST); 7D: Affectionate bop (LOVE TAP); 8D: Key with four sharps: Abbr. (E MAJ.); 9D: Give up formally (CEDE); 10D: Weak (FEEBLE); 12D: Top of a form, perhaps (LINE A); 13D: "It's the __ I can do" (LEAST); 21D: Honey maker (BEE); 22D: Prefix with center or cycle (EPI-); 23D: Informed (of) (AWARE); 24D: Capital on the Seine (PARIS); 28D: See 31-Down (KAT); 29D: Lyricist Gershwin (IRA); 30D: __ Angeles (LOS); 31D: With 28-Down, layered chocolate bar (KIT); 34D: Glitch in need of smoothing out (ROUGH SPOT); 35D: Film with nakedness (NUDIE); 36D: Cattle drive critter (STEER); 38D: Pigeon's sound (COO); 39D: Dress (up) (TOG); 41D: Green prefix (ECO-); 42D: Athlete who isn't green? (PRO); 47D: Have no doubt (BE SURE); 48D: "Yes, mon ami" ("OUI"); 49D: Props for Monet and Manet (EASELS); 51D: "This is only __" (A TEST); 52D: Like the trail on a cattle drive (DUSTY); 53D: Singer Chris (ISAAK); 57D: Change text (EDIT); 58D: Pie à la __ (MODE); 59D: Former Lacoste partner (IZOD); 64D: Half of dos (UNO); 65D: Chicken __ (POX).


SethG said...

Piggly Wiggly also fits the rhyme scheme, but not the *IE *IE pattern. I don't even understand what it means for a nosegay to be symbolic.

Sfingi said...

Also never heard of TUSSIE MUSSIES.

We used to say, "If you walk on my WALKIE TALKIE, I can't talk on my WALKIE TALKIE."

Many mini-themes (many minnies):
ARTIST EASELS (for Manet or Monet)
(Hollywood - and next to each other)
DUSTY STEER (on the cattle drive)
EPI ECO (3-letter prefixes beginning with E - and one above the other)

There may be more.

Cute, Mr. Lampkin!

Mari said...

One of my joys in doing crosswords in learning new words. Therefore, I had to look "Tussie Mussies" up.


the redanman said...

EDIE and EDDIE crossing

TUSSY MUSSY and NOSEGAY were both new to me, on a Monday LAT, yet.


Very civil puzzle

CarolC said...

@PG, good writeup and my sentiments exactly.

@Mari, excellent citation! I set it up as a link to make it easier (see @PG's FAQs for how to)

Tussie-Mussie indeed - thx @Mari

VirginiaC said...

I googled Tussie Mussie - historically a Victorian bridal boquet. A small, compact cluster of flowers. Wonder what would happen if you walked into a florist and asked for one.

But with only two problems (I too wanted "in the know") it was a smooth, fun puzzle.

Dare I say "Bye bye"?

burner10 said...

Haven't checked in for a while. A nice quick Monday for me-definately liking the mini themes.

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle. Hands up for no clue on Tussie Mussie, but it fell without struggle. Liked the clues for RIOTACT and ROUGHSPOT. All told, Monday level of difficulty, but a bit more clever than typical.

Captcha: Outies. I'm serious.

Anonymous said...

I'm doubt the 'Victorian Era' attribution of TUSSIE MUSSIE. If Google ngrams is to be believed, and we all trust Google 100%, TUSSIE WUSSIE didn't appear in print until the 1930s/'40s, when people apparently made up the notion that it dated from the Victorian era.

At least we didn't have to go through the Fuzzie Wuzzie racist or no? question.

Rex Parker said...

Yet another "wha?" for the TUSSIEMUSSIES. There should Not be a theme answer that is THAAAAAT much of an odd man out. Give me TIGHTY WHITIES any day. LOOSEY GOOSEY? DOUBLE BUBBLE? Maybe there's some idea that spellings of both words in the phrases should be same (except single letter change at beginning)? But a. that's not interesting and b. two answers add "s" at end so it's not even consistent. I gotta believe there was a better option out there than TUSSIEMUSSIES (which would be fine in a Saturday themeless, but sticks out sorely here).

CrazyCatLady said...

Fun, smooth Monday. Liked all the mini themes.

I knew that TUSSIE MUSSIES were Victorian bouquets somewhere in the back of my brain. What I didn't know was that they had an herbal component. To tell you the truth, I wanted to write in Bouquet Garni, but knew it wouldn't fit in with the theme.

I read up on TUSSIE MUSSIES and found that the reason for the herbs was to fend off the stench of the streets and disease, so it seems that they might help to prevent HEEBIE JEEBIES.

CrazyCatLady said...

Disregard my link. It went to some other part of the article.

mac said...

Never heard of Tussie Mussies, but what a great idea to put herbs in a little bouquet, lavender for instance, or rosemary. Most other ones go limp too quickly.

Good puzzle, good words.

Margaret said...

Hand up for INTHEknow before INTHELOOP. Had no idea on TUSSIE MUSSIE. TUSSIE MUSSIE? Humph. I always enjoy seeing (and saying) BOOGIE WOOGIE, however!

I'd also like to say, regarding ADIEU/OUI: French! (That's always one of my favorite parts of PG's write-up and I missed it this time!)

PS Captcha is hischin -- makes me think of Bruce Campbell.

Margaret said...

PS I just realized my puzzle has the clue "herbal nosegays" rather than "symbolic nosegays." Neither one being helpful for me in getting TUSSIE MUSSIES, however.

John Lampkin said...

Just my luck. All of the people who have never heard of TUSSIE MUSSIES happen to be crossword solvers.

Anonymous said...

@John - Probably just a vocal sampling :) Nice of you to pop in though.

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

Yes, Q-tips, which many people use to clean their ears, used to be called Baby Gays. It is Tussie Mussies that used to be called Baby Nosegays.

CrazyCatLady said...

The LAT paper version has 56A clued as Herbal nosegay.

Nice puzzle John. I liked TUSSIE MUSSIES. Can't remember why I knew it, but know it's from my pre-crossword puzzle days.

JaxInL.A. said...

As I said over at Orange's place, clearly you folks have not been reading enough trashy period romance novels. Tussle mussies show up there pretty regularly. And the crosses were very fair. So what the heck? Something new on a Monday isn't such a terrible thing.

Anonymous said...

The puzzle I did from the LA puzzle page was completely different. First answer down--beapal. Did no one else find that one?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11:24 That was Sunday's Syndicaated puzzle.

Rube said...

TussieMussie, eh? Sounds like something... aw, never mind.

I do have an issue with TOG. Never seen it used as a verb. Togs, yes. To TOG, no. Bet I could find it used as a verb in some dictionary, but still won't like it.

Couldn't get the puzzle to come up on the LAT website this morning - only the Sunday puzz. Went to an alternate site and did this Lampkin puzz online. Now, ~1/2 hr later, the Monday puzz is up on the LAT site. Anyone else have this problem?

Fun puzzle anyway. Thx, JL, for commenting.

Rube said...

Obviously Anon 11:24 had this problem.

Anonymous said...

Originally had DRS, not RNS, in 34a, which made 35d (Film with nakedness) a RUDIE. Plausible, even if I'd never heard the term. 34d DOUGHSPOT (glitch in need of smoothing out) might have been a lump in the pie crust that needs a rolling pin, but looked odd enough that I switched to RNS.

mac said...

@Rube: I had that problem too, had to go to Cruciverb.

CrazyCatLady said...

Ah, so the online version is now available and 56A is Symbolic Nosegay. Now I know what @SethG was talking about. Many herbs are symbolic like rosemary for remembrance and sage for wisdom and long life.

Avg Joe said...

Can't let the Boogie Woogie entry pass without posting this classic by John Baldry. Enjoy!

Anoa Bob said...

I didn't know TUSSIE MUSSIES but got it from crossings. I'm in the school that thinks it's good to see a new word or phrase in a puzzle. More so on Monday.

Two medical conditions, STYE and POX, show up today. These produced some unpleasant images for me. I vote for a limit of one disease per puzzle.

The NE struck me as a tad FEEBLE, what with 12D LINE A and 16A EDIE crossing 11D EDDIE.

Lots to like also. IN THE LOOP is nice but my favorite is LOVE TAP. Fun puzzle.

Anonymous said...

@rp - The addition of the "s" in two of the theme answers was balanced in the puzzle, so I was OK with it.

I also like that every letter of the alphabet was used.

After completing the puzzle, I kept looking at RIO TACT as a great name for a border river between two disagreeing countries...

C said...

I like to learn, learning is good. I now know what TUSSIEMUSSIES and nosegay's are, double bonus (whoa, check out that double bonus*) for me.

Fun puzzle with lots of little themes as pointed out earlier. Nice start to the week.

*Please read parens with the double rainbow guys voice and intonation.

ps CAPTCHA is telling me my post is obtuse and what I should do: paring

florida grandma said...

I guess I'm the only Southern reader here. Tussie Mussies are small nosegays carried in a silver cone. Cone may have a delicate chain to wear around the wrist. The cone also may be ornately engraved, monogramed,or have other silver adornments. I have always understood that small flowers made up the nosegays, not herbs, but could be flowering herbs also. They were very popular with Victorian ladies.
This puzzle had more pizzazz than usual for a Monday puzzle. Fun.

mac said...

@florida grandma: just remembered that I gave my mother in law a broach once that was a little silver vase with a pin, in which she would put a little wet cotton and some tiny flowers. She used to love picking the flower of the day.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Never Heard Of Tussie Mussies.