05.10 Tue

May 10, 2011
Doug Peterson & Angela Olson Halsted

Theme: The Runs — Two theme answers are clued "Good place for a run" and two theme answers are clued "Bad place for a run."

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Good place for a run (WRIGLEY FIELD).
  • 34A: Bad place for a run (NATIONAL BANK).
  • 41A: Good place for a run (VAIL, COLORADO).
  • 56A: Bad place for a run (SILK STOCKING).
Happy Diez de Mayo, everyone! Your friendly neighborhood PuzzleHunk is back, this time with a review of a crossword co-constructed by our regular hosts, Doug and PuzzleGirl. Yes, the most exciting tag team since Larry Owings and Dan Gable is back with another fun puzzle. I guess they're too modest to brag about their own creation (unlike certain crossword bloggers), so they trusted me to steer the ship for the day. Ooh, what's that block of ice floating in the horizon? Hmm, let's get closer and find out!

The contrast between "good" and "bad" places for runs provided a nice balance, and alternating the "good" and "bad" places from top to bottom was an elegant touch. Sure, I didn't have to dig deeply to discover the theme, but the fact that this wasn't the usual game of "what do these long entries have in common" made the solving experience feel more unique and, thus, enjoyable. Had the puzzle been four "good places" or four "bad places," it would have felt much more stale. Instead, this one was kicked up a notch.

The theme entries themselves are also better than what I would expect for a puzzle with this theme. A duller puzzle would have used BASEBALL PARK instead of WRIGLEY FIELD, for example. Sure, Wrigley's a good place for a run only if you're a Cubs fan (or a fan of the visiting team, when it scores), but the answer's much more interesting and fun to figure out. The same goes for VAIL, COLORADO, a much livelier entry than MOUNTAIN SIDE (or some other 12-letter entry that refers to skiing).

The overall difficulty struck me as the perfect Tuesday puzzle. Were it not for some errors early on, I might have been able to finish in a normal Monday time. A Tuesday puzzle should have a couple of write-overs, though, so no complaints here. Thanks, Doug and PuzzleGirl, for the fresh approach and an entertaining solve!

  • 5A: Dairy Queen treat (CONE). Ever try to make an eight-letter word (like, oh, say, maybe BLIZZARD) fit into four squares? It's not as easy as it looks.
  • 23A: "Doesn't bother me" (I'M COOL). And I'm a sucker for multiple-word phrases in my grids.
  • 29A: Lethargic (LOGY). Yogi was logy after eating a hoagie in the pic-a-nic basket he stole from an unsuspecting camper.
  • 47A: Sweet companion (SOUR). Anyone else try SOFT at first? You know, as in "soft and sweet?" Anyone? (Sigh.)
  • 2D: Provides with more heat? (RE-ARMS). Terrific clue (heat = guns).
  • 6D: Passe wedding vow word (OBEY). Today we use "submit."
  • 21D: Love interest in the song "Copacabana" (LOLA). Here's where my adoration of Barry Manilow works against me (well, here and at pickup bars). As any "Copacabana" fan knows, this could have just as easily been TONY or arguably even RICO. In fact, TONY is the better answer because the song is about Lola and Tony is her love interest.
  • 31D: Chuckleheads (YOYOS). I just like to say "chucklehead" aloud--it makes me smile every time.
  • 44D: Horn & Hardart eatery (AUTOMAT). I've heard of automats but never Horn & Hardart. Fortunately this was gettable from the crossings. This seems like the type of clue and entry that turns a Monday puzzle into a Tuesday puzzle.
  • 59D: Chestnut's stablemate, perhaps (BAY). I so wanted HAY for the answer to this. It didn't occur to me until just now that BAY, like chestnut, is not just a hair coat color on a horse but also a term used to describe horses of that color. In other words, it's perfectly normal for horse people to refer to horses as "chestnuts" or "bays." But I still want the answer to be HAY. If only there was a football play called a HLITZ.
Crosswordese 201 Round-up:
(a little harder than your normal 101 lesson, but you're ready for it)
  • 64A: Lofty abode (AERIE).
  • 66A: Oklahoma tribe (OTOE).
  • 22D: Sicilian volcano (ETNA).
  • 33D: River through Aragon (EBRO). Aragon is a purty state. It's the one jes' northa Califore-nye-ay.

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Everything Else-- 1A: Colorless (DRAB); 9A: 1972 Olympics star Mark (SPITZ); 14A: Get a better int. rate, perhaps (REFI); 15A: Genesis victim (ABEL); 16A: Hidden repository (CACHE); 17A: Qualify for (EARN); 18A: "Jeopardy!" creator Griffin (MERV); 19A: Clay who was the "Idol" runner-up to Ruben Studdard (AIKEN); 24A: Logo on many a Richard Petty race car (STP); 25A: Inventor Whitney (ELI); 28A: Bug-loving org. (NSA); 32A: Schindler portrayer (NEESON); 36A: Raced (TORE); 39A: Reuben bread (RYE); 40A: Hairpieces, slangily (RUGS); 46A: "Portnoy's Complaint" writer Roth (PHILIP); 48A: Aptly named Quaker cereal (OHS); 51A: Gloomy guy (GUS); 52A: Eastern philosophy (TAO); 54A: Danshui River capital (TAIPEI); 59A: It might end in a sack (BLITZ); 62A: Molecule part (ATOM); 63A: Singer with Crosby and Stills (NASH); 65A: Discipline with poses (YOGA); 67A: Long (for) (YEARN); 68A: Hostage-rescue acronym (SWAT); 69A: Travel (WEND); 1D: Attracted (DREWIN); 3D: #1 Toto song that mentions Kilimanjaro (AFRICA); 4D: Game played in a hall (BINGO); 5D: Arthur's castle (CAMELOT); 7D: Soft ball (NERF); 8D: Lisa Marie's dad (ELVIS); 9D: "Going under the knife" knife (SCALPEL); 10D: What dues need to be (PAID); 11D: "Gross!" (ICK); 12D: Pop __ question (THE); 13D: Meditative sect (ZEN); 25D: Biblical twin (ESAU); 26D: __ Island (LONG); 27D: Signs, as a deal (INKS); 30D: "The __ With the Dragon Tattoo" (GIRL); 34D: 1994 role for Jodie (NELL); 35D: Fiddling emperor (NERO); 36D: Common sitcom rating (TVPG); 37D: Honolulu's island (OAHU); 38D: Reformer Jacob (RIIS); 42D: Inhabitant (CITIZEN); 43D: Autumn birthstone (OPAL); 45D: Neck-biting nickname (DRAC); 48D: Morphine or codeine, e.g. (OPIATE); 49D: Muppet man (HENSON); 50D: Sounded relieved (SIGHED); 53D: Signs off on (OKAYS); 55D: "You don't have to remind me" (IKNOW); 56D: Cooking instruction (STIR); 57D: Pack away (STOW); 58D: Forum attire (TOGA); 60D: Wrangler competitor (LEE); 61D: 401(k) alternative, for short (IRA).


SethG said...

It's about 150 miles from Kilimanjaro to Serengeti National Park, but AFRICA was my first answer. And that made my day.

Nice work!

JaxInL.A. said...

I liked this one very much, regardless of who made it. I'm surprised that I'm only the second poster here since several people over at Rex's place said they were headed to do this puzzle last night.

I agree with our host today (thanks, Sam) that alternating good and bad places to run made this puzzle more interesting, and the non-obvious answers made me work a bit. The NW gave me the most trouble. I had AFRICA crossing I'M COOL and CIA for the longest time. Then I ditched CIA for NSA and things started to make sense.

I liked seeing old TV (MERV) neighboring new TV (AIKEN). Not sure why, but BLITZ and SPITZ in the same puzzle tickles me. Very nice Tuesday. Thanks, Doug and PG!

cw stewart said...

Interesting concept for a theme and a very enjoyable solve. Nice to see you two together again. How many more puzzles do you have waiting for us?

Charles said...

Does anyone know what's going on with the version of the LAT puzzle that actually appears in the LAT? Both yesterday's and today's puzzles had them written by "ATTENTION!" and today's had two clues for 1 Across, "1 Across" and "1 Colorless." Yesterday I just assumed that "ATTENTION" was just a goof, there to get the, um, attention of the guy who was supposed to find the constructor's name and put it in. After today I'm not so sure.

Thanks and best wishes,
Charles Young

VirginiaC said...

Fun puzzle, thanx PG &Doug. I so wanted sweet's companion to be Sue but there was that pesky fourth letter. It all worked out. All, in all a pretty satisfying Tuesday.

burner10 said...

The "attention" thing is very annoying. Otherwise - need second cup of coffee - I'm having a low puzzle day.

Tuttle said...

Very nice. My only issue was due to my own inattention. I misread 34D as Jolie instead of Jodie and was trying to remember Angelina's character's name in Hackers. Got it with crosses and it turns out Hackers was a 1995 film anyways.

*David* said...

I had the same issue with my LAT copy apparently the gremlins are at work. I thought the ATTENTION was to help wake me up in the morning. Really like the theme do not like LOGY.

Doug P said...

Great to hear from you, CW. Yep, Angela & I are working on some new themes. She's my #1 puzzle partner.

Thanks for the L.A. Times tip, Charles. I picked up a copy of the paper this morning and saw that the puzzle was "By ATTENTION!" I want my 75 cents back.

Anonymous said...

@Sam - I'm guessing 23A wasn't really your last entered answer

Catechist said...

LOGY is an ugly word but the rest of the grid was great. I was wondering how a NATIONALPARK was a bad place for a run, but I see it should have been BANK -- I don't know how I missed the LORG down.

Doug P said...

@JaxinLA - Check Rex's comments for a possible .jpz/iPad solution I posted. You don't want to miss out on those CS puzzles!

Still no love for the LOGY.

Fowler said...

This was a whiz, maybe even too easy for a Tuesday. But what's with this DRAC? I was seeking a 4-letter pest, like a GNAT that bites, or some version of a mosquito, when the crosses gave me DRAC. I guess this is short for Dracula. I am not a fan of the latest wave of vampire lore, but do folk really call him DRAC these days? What a come-down for the mighty Count, the dignified aristocrat of yore!

C said...

Fun puzzle today and I liked the different theme style, different is good.

WRIGLEYFIELD for a good place for a run is a tough sell for me but I think it is just me as I immediately developed a mathematical model to describe the bad/good as a function of puzzle solving population which returned that runs at Wrigley, in general, are bad (a joke, no such model was constructed). Yes, this theme answer is covered in the excellent writeup but like the mole in one of the Austin Powers movies that people couldn't stop commenting on, I can't stop myself from typing. By no means did it distract from my puzzle solving fun, though, and if it was clued as "At AT&T/PacBell park", I would 100% endorse the clue/answer ;^)

Anonymous said...

Great puzzle! I'm curious about the "Danshui River capital" clue -- was that made by you guys or by the editor? Seemed like a really hard clue for a Tuesday puzzle.

lizzyrox3 said...

Very nice Tuesday, @Doug and PG.

Lots of range in cluing/answers and no dreck fill, with, maybe, LOGY as the sole exception.

Themes were tough enough, but not obstinate, and I agree with Sam about the nice balance between good and bad.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling a bit obtuse today, so can someone tell me why National Bank is a bad place for a run?


Mr. Wells and Mr. Fargo said...

Here's an explanation of Bank Run.

syndy said...

Pretty sure going up to a vampyre and saying whasup DRAC -bad idea!LOGY is a perfectly good word .try using it on your friends.I would think that running down hill through the snow would be a bad thing also but maybe I'm a gloomy Gus!

Anonymous said...

Vail, Colorado took me a while - I was stuck as I didn't know RIIS or EBRO, and the Z in the BLITZ / CITIZEN cross was giving me grief as well.

Anonymous said...

All New Yorkers born by the 1950's know Horn and Hardart Automats. Ah, nostalgia!

corinne said...

I couldn't for the life of me understand one across "across." And when I saw the answer was "drab" I really scratched my head. I was glad to learn that some of us had a misprint.
Thank you for the National Bank link. That's what happened in the Movie "A Wonderful Life."

Sam Donaldson said...

@ Anonymous at 8:48AM: Indeed not. (When making a screen shot of a puzzle, I almost always try to highlight the best / most interesting / funniest entry. This time, I highlighted the entry that I'm sure Doug and Angela intended as a shout out to me.)

fergus said...

A Run of colors, Run the table, a run of bad luck ... I bet there are a ton more in the dictionary, so now I'm wondering when the meanings are different enough to warrant a different superscript? (My RH lists 135 separate definitions, with no alternative superscripts.)

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the clues for 2D "Provides more heat" (REARMS), 59A "It might end in a sack" (BLITZ) and 65A "Discipline with poses" (YOGA), could do with out WEND (69A), RIIS (38D), and LOGY (29A). I wonder if we'll have to pay ATTENTION! again tomorrow? Nice to see Jim Henson in the puzzle!!!

badams52 said...

After learning how a bank can have a run (thanks for the link), loved the theme. I too had NATIONAL pArK in there thinking that WRIGLEY FIELD was a set up for a bunch of baseball parks. Then I erased the ones I didn't know and BANK seemed to fit, though I had no idea why.

Hardest part for me was the OAHU, RIIS, GUS, TVPG area.

Sure TAIPEI was a difficult one, but the crosses were easy enough. Once I got _AIPEI, I knew what the capital had to be :)

Never heard of LOGY before, nor WEND. I got them through crosses. Actually, didn't even notice the word WEND was in the puzzle till I came here.

John Wolfenden said...

This was an interesting approach to theme, and a welcome change from the theme formats we've come to know.

I particularly liked "Bug-loving org." for NSA and seeing AUTOMAT. I'd love to go back in time and eat at one.

Very consistent level of difficulty and not much crosswordese. And I for one will never be disappointed seeing LOGY in a puzzle. Good work.

brainylagirl said...

Nice puzzle; fun theme. Annoyed by the two 1-across clues in the LAT print version of the puzzle, but other than that, good times.

I don't understand all the griping about "logy" -- it's a common enough word.

CoffeeLvr said...

After having dessert at lunch, I am too LOGY to post much. Liked the puzzle a lot; was excited to get into it as soon as I saw the constructors.

A roan would also be a stablemate for a BAY or a chestnut.

Steve said...

Very nice - loved BLITZ and SPITZ, the theme felt new and fresh, and some really nice fill.

DRAC made me laugh when I got it, for some reason. Easily amused day today?

Steve said...

On the ATTENTION point, I wonder if this is some way of drawing the notice of the page editor to the fact that the copy editor didn't have all the details he needed.

Back in the old days of "real" typesetting in metal, if a typesetter made a mistake on a line, he'd strum down the keyboard (not a QWERTY keyboard) and type ETWAIN SHRDLU, these being the first letters of each row of keys. The compositor was meant to notice the phrase and throw out that line of type. As you might imagine, the notation wasn't always picked up, and you'd even get front page headlines reading something like


Anyway, just wonderin' about the ATTENTION

Anonymous said...

Am I wrong or aren't Wranglers made by Lee?

mac said...

Congratulations, Doug and Angela! Fresh and crisp Tuesday puzzle.
Learned about Gus, figured out Drac, but I still don't know what logy means, or how to pronounce it.

Doug: are you serious when you say the LA Times is only 75 cents?

@Steve: that's interesting about the typesetting.

We still use automats in Holland for hot and cold snacks. Have to visit one at least once during a stay.

Steve said...

@mac - I've got fond memories of the FIBU automats (spelling?) in Amsterdam - just the thing after a night out!

mac said...

Febo!! Yes, Steve, their kroketten and bamiballen are quite good.

Now I want a midnight snack...

Vega said...


the redanman said...

I found this quite good although very challenging for a Tuesday LAT.

Sneaky and well done

backbiter said...

I'm so late, but I have love for the Logy. After Jimmie Rainwood has to shank Jingles, one of the first things Virgil says to him after solitary is he's feeling a bit logy. Awesome word! You guys make a good duo. Keep up the good work. I know what it's like to have a run in the ol' silk stockings. And it ain't good. *looks up to the sky and whistles*



Mary said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle; that business about a good place for a run (WRIGLEYFIELD) and a bad place for a run (SILKSTOCKING) were great aha! moments.

Anonymous said...

If anyone confused logy with loggy, that explains why you were "stumped"

From Webster's....
Rhymes with LOGY.....
bogey, hoagie, stogie, yogi