04.25 Mon

April 25, 2011
Jennifer Nutt

Theme: Getting Your Ears Lowered - Things that that get covered in Hairstyling 101.

Theme answers:
  • 16A: Near miss (CLOSE SHAVE).
  • 22A: Boxer's fit condition (FIGHTING TRIM).
  • 37A: Neckwear accessory (TIE CLIP).
  • 49A: Specially edited version of a film (DIRECTOR'S CUT).
  • 61A: Establishment where the ends of 16-, 22-, 37-and 49-Across take place (BARBER SHOP).
Good morning, puzzlers - Neville here, standing in with scissors in hand while PuzzleGirl finishes up her move. (Poor thing - she's without Internet at the moment!)

So we've got your BARBER SHOP basics in this puzzle - SHAVE, TRIM, CLIP and CUT. None of these is directly related to hair as clued, and that's nice to see. As someone always in search of the perfect CLOSE SHAVE, though, this one could be construed in a hair care fashion. I still like it a lot though, because it's a great entry, and a great theme overall.

I suppose the partner puzzle for this moves down the body a bit: PLUCKED STRINGS, WAX POETIC... erm, STEVE MCNAIR? This needs work - I'll leave the hair removal puzzles to Jennifer, I think.

  • 9A: "___, poor Yorick!": Hamlet (ALAS)... I knew him, Horatio:

  • 15A. Tibetan spiritual master (LAMA). At the ACPT I was reminded of that gem by Ogden NASH (60A):
    The one-L lama,
    He's a priest.
    The two-L llama,
    He's a beast.
    And I would bet
    A silk pajama
    There isn't any
    Three-L lllama.
  • 25A: Texas city across the border from Ciudad Juárez (EL PASO). I hope you remembered Juárez from last Thursday's puzzle! Okay, enough blatant self-promotion.
  • 43A. It's younger than a yearling (FOAL) - not a MONTHLING.
  • 46 & 48A. Police action (RAID & ARREST). Hey, Jennifer - give it ARREST!
  • 54A. Regal pronouncement (EDICT). We've got a royal wedding coming up! I wish I had this Friday off.
  • 7D: Succeed in every way (HAVE IT ALL). Are the kids these days still listening to Jesse McCartney? I don't think this song is terrible:
  • 27D: Cut the peel from (PARE). With the P in position, I questioned if the answer could be PEEL, but that's not allowed.
  • 59D: Acme (APEX). see 27D above, but replace P with A.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • I don't think there's any real crosswordese in this puzzle? Think I missed something? Kvetch below!
  • Okay, on second thought, PG has deemed 21A. Glacial ridge (ARETE) as crosswordese in the past. Let's all remember it (and its classical meaning of excellence) from now on so we don't have to revisit this one. 
[I'm still not on it, but if you are, you should totally follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything else - To be updated!


mac said...

Hi Neville,
Very amusing write-up after an amusing Monday puzzle (which I couldn't open at the LAT site, had to go to Ephraim's. Wonder if more people had this problem and didn't do the puzzle/comments yet).

It always is a surprise when the NYT and the LAT have several identical answers!

hebow44 said...

As the novice here, I found the Amati/arete cross a bit difficult for a Monday. In fact, spell check on this blog just gave me a squiggly red line under arete. Though, of course, I did learn more today than other Mondays ... just didn't finish the darn puzzle.

StudioCitySteve said...

Nice Monday - gave me a few pauses for thought than usual, which is always nice.

Sort of agree with @hebow44 about the AMATI/ARETE cross but I've seen both of these a few times now and didn't really give me much hardship.

Some really nice fill today, and a refreshing change not to be filling in TV networks, roman numerals and text-speak, IMO.


C said...

Nice Monday puzzle with a bit more bite than usual. The ARETE clue was a bit different than usual with the glacier part, made me start wracking my brain for the glacier answer ESKER which proved wrong. ESKER in a Monday puzzle? Silly solver, ESKERs are for Saturdays.

Nighthawk said...

Nice write-up, Neville. Thanks.

Nice crunchy Monday from Ms. Nutt.

Liked that ARREST followed RAID and that RISEN and CRECHES were juxtaposed on the day after Easter.
Long downs were sparkling for a Monday.

Agree, AMATI/ARETE were the crux move for me too.

captcha: fugpinsi An Italian thinking of dustbunnies.


The last few days we've had several really good reliable stand-ins for Puzzlegirl. I hope that continues.

Puzzlegirl's blog is getting stale, and she's a bit NAIVE when it comes to understanding the puzzle world. I liked it so much better when the old pros, Michael Sharp (REX) and Amy Reynaldo (ORANGE) were doing this blog.

CarolC said...

Time For A Change,

May I beg to differ. I haven't posted for awhile for various reasons, but I like to come here every day and read through what can only be described as a labor of love by a very busy lady indeed!

So color me naive and unsophisticated, which I am, but appreciative.

If you don't like the blog, don't come, but don't slam the hard work that it takes to keep it going!

Captcha is "hoessed". Consider yourself hosed!

CarolC said...

PS, this is not to take away from the outstanding folks who help out, such as Neville today, Doug P, Seth G, and so many others. Your efforts are also much appreciated, not to mention your puzzles!

mac said...

The commenters on this site are visitors of PuzzleGirl's blog. You are one rude guest.

The Elephant in the Room said...

The last 2 weeks have been strained on this blog to say the least. That's probably a direct result of Sfingi being thrown under the bus. Couple that with JNH and Tinbeni being run off earlier and you have a recipe for unenthusiastic participation.

Just sayin'.

obsessed much? said...

Like mac says, this is Puzzlegirl's home and we're all visitors. If you don't like it, read Orange or CC or start your own damn blog.

StudioCitySteve said...

I'm relatively new to this blog and enjoy it - certainly I don't like to see any criticisms of the people that obviously spend considerable time putting it together for the enjoyment and education of the rest of us.

If I don't like coming here, I'll stop, pretty simple.

I also think it's a little spineless to make negative comments with new names or aliases.

I'm "just sayin'" also.

Doug Beach said...

You know who I miss? ... that guy ... What was his name? Always complained about Roman numerals. He was ... something.

chefwen said...

@Time for a change - I couldn't disagree with you more. Puzzle Girls write ups are very enjoyable to me, always light, airy and funny. Don't know what happened to JNH but Tinbeni wasn't run off, he moved to the Middle East.

I really liked this easy, breezy Monday, only write-over was TIE CLIP over TIE tack.

juststeve said...

I for one enjoy all of PGs work. If I didn't I'd surf on. for one

CoffeeLvr said...

Once again, I had a wandering answer. I had TIEtack in place, but needed TACK at 1D. Plus needed CLIP for the theme.

I appreciate PG's blogs, and her stand-ins this last week as well.

Agree with @StudioCitySteve, if you are going to sling mud, don't be anonymous about it, own it.

Neville said...

@Those with the TIEtack issue - I'd have had the same issue had I not approached it from the right-hand side. Whew - I got lucky!

tutu said...

Thanks for the puzzle and writeup, Enjoyed both. Happy Birthday to Puzzle Girl!!!! @Time for a change-Why are you here?

NJ Irish said...

I agree with what Nighthawk and CarolC said. I too stop by here everyday,
wouldn’t miss it. I found this blog a while ago while goggling for help with
a puzzle. PG is amazing, wife, mother, works full time and still makes time
for our entertainment and education. The remark about her being naïve is
just plan mean. I’ve learned so much from this blog.

She not only creates great write ups day after day she also has constructed a
few puzzles as have many of the great folks who have filled in from time to

I’d bet TIME FOR A CHANGE has none of these qualifications. Sounds like
sour grapes to me. IMHO

John Wolfenden said...

Dollars to donuts TIME FOR A CHANGE and The elephant in the Room are the same person. That's one thing Zuckerberg got right with Facebook...when you're forced to use your actual identity, it forces people to be more straight-up.

While I've also enjoyed the humor and perspective of some of PG's substitutes, she has her unique style and I like it. The pictures she chooses for the blog in particular make me chuckle on a regular basis.

While I enjoy RP's blog too, I find his perspective as a jaded, worldweary puzzle constructor a bit of a downer. I understand the need to strive for crossword perfection, but he tends to have little positive to say even about puzzles which are well above average.

JaxInL.A. said...

This puzzle is remarkably clean to my eye, but i would add STN, ISLA and SIBS to the stuff that appears in crosswords all out of proportion to their appearance in the language, which seems to make them Crosswordese. For some reason, seeing DEODORANT in the grid tickled my funny bone.

I wish I had more time just to stop by and read this stuff.. I can't imagine how PG finds the time to solve the puzzle, post a write-up, find clever illustrations, make it all look pretty, and do it every day. Even arranging to have someone (or several someones) cover takes time and dedication. She could just say, I have a life, gotta shut down for a week, see you later.

I'm very grateful to Rex and Orange and PG and all who have enriched my life by giving me a way to share with others what I have previously only been able to enjoy alone. As a pretty regular denizen of Rexworld, I know exactly what TFaC is refering to about tone, etc., and I enjoy a good snarky comment as well as the next gal, but find this blog a nice contrast. And it's a great place to send neophytes, as she does a great job teaching too.

Interestingly, this outpouring of support in response to the anonymous complaint give me the chance to suggest that financial contributions to keep this space going are completely appropriate. See the low-key sales pitch on the main page... We can help her get that new Internet connection going.

Thanks, everyone.

hazel said...

I pretty much always enjoy PG's (and her guests') writeups more than the puzzle itself. I generally like the LAT puzzles just fine, and am occasionally wowed by one - but always like seeing what our host has to say about it. Go PG!