04.16 Sat

April 16, 2011
Brad Wilber

Theme: None — It's Saturday!

This puzzle is pretty much exactly what I expected when I saw that it was constructed by Brad Wilber: Tough but fair. Okay, fair for the most part. OPPUGN? Who says that? I tried IMPUGN first. I don't really know what IMPUGN means, but (a) [2D: Call into question] seems like a reasonable guess and (b) it's a word I've actually heard of. I had all kindsa trouble in that northwest corner. At first I had WENT BAD for GONE BAD (1A: Turned to a life of crime) and DYE for DOT (7D: Bespeckle). My very first thought for [18A: Grant, for one] was LOU, but I was all "Nah. It couldn't be." But it was! It all came together eventually, but it was a struggle.

Before we get to the bullets, let me just mention that tomorrow's puzzle will be the final Dan Naddor puzzle. For those of you who don't know about Dan, he was a prolific constructor who I think just really had a gift for it. I don't know when he first started publishing puzzles in the L.A. Times, but the first of his puzzles that we blogged here at LACC was on the blog's second day of existence in March 2009. What a lot of people didn't know at that time was that Dan was constructing his puzzles at the same time he was going through a rough battle with cancer. Dan died in December 2009 leaving Rich Norris 37 (by my count) accepted/publishable puzzles. We have been treated to Dan's work a couple times per month since his death and tomorrow's puzzle will be his last. Doug will be here with the write-up and I hope you'll join us here.

As for today's puzzle:

As usual on a Saturday, there were some things I just flat-out didn't know:

  • 26D: "A Tiger Walks" star (SABU). Pretty sure I've seen this name in a puzzle before, but it meant nothing to me then and means nothing to me today. Sorry, SABU, whoever you are.
  • 50D: 2009 U.S. Open champ Glover (LUCAS). Not even sure which sport this is, though I suspect it's golf.
  • 53D: Eva Marie's "On the Waterfront" role (EDIE). Notice how the actress's first name is used in the clue to hint that the answer will be the character's first name.
Highlights of the grid for me today include:
  • 35A: Summertime response to a wave? (HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?). Such a dorky thing to say.
  • 61A: "Viaducts Break Ranks" painter (PAUL KLEE). I like it when both first and last names are used.
  • 63A: 6-Down, nowadays (USED CAR).
  • 5D: Puts up gates, say (BABYPROOFS).
  • 30D: Menacingly complex, as a bureaucracy (KAFKAESQUE).
  • 14A: Eugene O'Neill character? (CAPITAL O). We talked about these "literal letter" clues a while back in CW101.
  • 17A: NFL coach with the most career postseason wins (LANDRY). PuzzleHusband is always eager to help me with puzzles although most of the time he's pretty useless (nothing personal, honey!). So when I see a clue that I think he might know, I'll shout it out. He didn't know this one for sure, but LANDRY was his first guess and when I checked the crosses, it looked like it would work. That should hold him for a while.
  • 23A: Not flush (POOR). Did you want PALE here? I know I did.
  • 40A: Searched, in a way (FRISKED). Sent the PuzzleKids off to visit their grandma yesterday and went through one of those newfangled airport scanners for the first time. I didn't see the actual scan. That's probably a good thing.
  • 41A: Six-time Sugar Bowl victors, briefly (LSU). Louisiana State University Tigers.
  • 49A: Guernsey, for one (ISLE). To me, Guernsey is an office supplies store, so I had to shift gears for this one.
  • 54A: "Royal Pains" network (USA). I don't even know what "Royal Pains" is but it could probably be the title of a reality show right about … now.
  • 60A: Cocktail flavored with orgeat syrup (MAI TAI). Mmm, orgeat syrup. (Just kidding. I have no idea what that is.)
  • 12D: Harem (SERAGLIO). There's some high-end vocab in this puzzle, dontcha think? See also 33D: Murky (TURBID).
  • 20D: Big name in candy corn (BRACH'S). I'm all, "There's a big name in candy corn?"
  • 55D: Word heard after a countdown (AULD). After the countdown to midnight on New Year's Eve, there's usually a rousing rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Or something.
  • 57D: Nice address: Abbr. (MME.). We've talked about the tricky "Nice" clues before. In this clue, "Nice" refers to the french city.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 21A: Physics units (ERGS).
  • 4D: Itinerary nos. (ETA'S).
  • 6D: Olds introduced in '98 (ALERO).
  • 8D: City with the newspaper Aftenposten (OSLO).
  • 34D: Frequent producer for Eminem (DR. DRE).
  • 58D: "The Simpsons" Squishee seller (APU).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 8A: Become absorbed (OSMOSE); 15A: Scorched (SEARED); 16A: Order in a preschool classroom (ALPHABET); 19A: Half of the UAR (SYR.); 20A: Surname of 15th/16th-century Pope Alexander VI (BORGIA); 25A: Is wistful (for) (LONGS); 27A: 1959 winner of a record 11 Oscars (BEN HUR); 29A: Debauchee (RAKE); 31A: In imitation of (ALA); 32A: Kinsey Institute Library collection (EROTICA); 34A: Negligible amount (DRIB); 39A: Skeptic's retort (I BET); 42A: Literary ID (ISBN); 43A: Lineups (ARRAYS); 47A: Preeminent industrialist (TITAN); 51A: Citation space-saver (ET AL.); 52A: Sidestepped (DODGED); 56A: It had a hub at JFK (TWA); 57A: Took umbrage at (MINDED); 58A: Familiarize (ACQUAINT); 62A: Extra number (ENCORE); 1D: In abundance (GALORE); 3D: Biomedical research agcy. (NIH); 9D: Ambien maker (SEARLE); 10D: Chutney fruit (MANGO); 11D: Prosaic (ORDINARY); 13D: Joseph of ice cream fame (EDY); 14D: Canaan infiltrator (CALEB); 22D: Word with cake or metal (SHEET); 24D: Sources (ORIGINS); 28D: Catering dispenser (URN); 35D: Highest degree (HILT); 36D: Volcanic glass (OBSIDIAN); 37D: Frankfurter adjective (TEUTONIC); 38D: "Not stepping __ the bounds of modesty": Juliet (O'ER); 42D: Ready to roll (IN GEAR); 44D: Fifth-century invader of Gaul (ATTILA); 45D: Hardly a moving picture? (YAWNER); 46D: Group of candidates (SLATE); 48D: Augment (ADD TO); 59D: Pedigree-tracking org. (AKC).


Joe Cupito said...

Sorry to hear about Dan. I have enjoyed the Crosswords for many years.
Please continue them in the future.

Mokus said...

Loved Kafkaesque, Borgia and Paul Klee. Wanted the summer wave to be surfing or baseball fans so was disappointed to see the inane answer. Ben Hur was one of my all-time favorites but was sorry he became an NRA spokesman. A good workout and a fun puzzle.

Dennis said...

Royal Pains is a scripted series, not a "reality" show.


Mark said...

I liked this one. I think it was pretty good for a Saturday. ALPHABET at 16A was my favorite today. Is EROTICA HOTENOUGHFORYOU?

StudioCitySteve said...

Very nice, almost an hour of head-scratching and "aha" moments in equal quantities.

Loved KAFKAESQUE, ALPHABET and CAPITALO. OPPUGN - not so much, I had IMPUGN first also, and WENTBAD too, so a couple of do-overs there.

The other toughies I eventually got through crosses - OSLO had me stumped for a while as I saw "German" in the clue, not "Norwegian" and kept wanting it to be BONN, accepting that KOLN and WIEN would have been clued as the native spelling, so that had me pondering for a good ten minutes.

HOTENOUGHFORYOU was nice. @Mark - if EROTIC is not HOTENOUGHFORYOU maybe the SERAGLIO will take care of that.

Also sorry to hear about Dan, I enjoyed his puzzles.

syndy said...

When I filled in TURGID I remarked to self "thats not really what that means!" DOH! aside from that I was channeling PG exactly!hated to give up WENT BAD! Teutonic reminded me of MADELYN KAHN!

Alexscott said...

I liked this puzzle mostly, but hated that NW corner. I'm glad that I learned a new word, even though I doubt I'll ever use OPPUGN in conversation (or writing). I was sure the answer had to be impugn, but trying to figure out GI--BAD (figuring that maybe NIH and/or ETAS were wrong) was a painful exercise. My relative ignorance of the Torah led me to enter Jacob where I should have put CALEB, which led to Jap-Italo, a possible answer to some kind of WWII, axis powers clue, but which had nothing to do with O'Neill. Of course, CAPITAL O is almost as unrelated, especially if you read it as Capitalo, as I did. It also took me a while to get LOU from Grant, as I was fixated on President U.S. Grant. (Sot could have worked, since he was a famous drunk.) But I still would have finished unassisted if not for that OPPUGN. Though I would never impugn Mr. Wilber's character, I have to oppugn his judgment in picking such an obscure word that's so close in meaning and spelling to an incorrect entry.

corinne said...

I didn't understand the reference to Searle. I know ambien is a sleeping pill, and the maker isn't searle. It's Sanofi-Aventis. Can someone edify me?

Anonymous said...

I too wanted impugn and had some trouble dumping "went bad" for "gone bad". Also wanted CIC (Commander in Chief) or possibly Gen (general) for Grant before thinking of Lou. Never heard of Sabu, making drib more of a WAG for me. Definitely good to see a bit of higher end vocabulary in the Saturday xword again though.

I thought the cluing for "Hot enough for you" more late week misdirectional than inane. It's in reference to a summer heat wave.

Per http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/G-D-Searle-amp;-Co-Company-History.html

"G.D. Searle & Co. launched three products in 1993: Daypro and Arthrotec, two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) specially formulated for treatment of arthritis, and Ambien, an insomnia treatment."

mac said...

Geez, I had ---italo first, then the whole word, and still thought he had translated Das Kapital into Italian!

Very good puzzle for me, lots of bite.

@PuzzleGirl: have the identical husband situation.

Thank you, Searle.

Fowler said...

Like PuzzleGirl, it was that NW corner that did me in, and forced me (Aye, FORCED--against my will, Messieurs!) to peek at not one but two answers before I could "finish." Because the theater is my field, I felt obliged to give an actual character's name from one of Eugene O'Neil's many plays. Add, yes, OPPUGN is a real word but, unlike "impugn," I have never heard it used. I am sure that if any court functionary had to read it out loud as part of a required court case, he or she would have to pause to explain it.

Jerry said...

In trying to look up 20 across I always found it spelled Borja.

LongbeachLee said...

Sabu was a cute Indian boy actor of the 40s. I'd say he was about 10 at the time. He played jungle natives in films like Elephant Boy. He was sort of a phenomenon.