06.06 Mon

June 6, 2011
Jack McInturff

Theme: Did I stutter?? — Hard to explain, just look at the answers and you'll get it.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Mechanic's excessively affected gadget box? (TOO TOO TOOL CHEST).
  • 26A: Fashionable farm nestling? (CHI CHI CHICK).
  • 47A: Dance contest winner? (CHA CHA CHAMP).
  • 61A: High-kicking dancer at an audition? (CAN CAN CANDIDATE).
Pretty cute theme for a Monday. I kinda wish they had all either changed the pronunciation or not changed the pronunciation, but since there are two of each I can't really complain. The only thing I guess I could complain about is the crosswordese. Whoa Nelly! there's a lot of it in this grid. I mean, I know it's Monday and everything, so I'm expecting a smattering, but this sure seems like a lot. On the other hand, we get "IT'S A TRAP!" (52A: "They'll ambush you if you go in there!"), which is an awesome phrase, and BLURT (64A: Reveal impulsively), which is an awesome word, so all in all I'm going to say fine.

  • 67A: Fibber of old radio (MCGEE). I'm not old enough to really know who Fibber MCGEE is except that he (he?) has something to do with old radio.

  • 1D: Former Yugoslav leader (TITO).
  • 11D: "The Cosby Show" boy (THEO). PuzzleHusband and I just started watching "30 Rock" this week. I know, I know. We're a little slow. Anyway, there was a reference to THEO Huxtable in one of the first couple of episodes. I know you're thrilled.
  • 63D: Blonde's secret, maybe (DYE). Is it really a secret? My hair was very blonde until my mid 30s, and I always kind of felt like the fact that the blonde was natural was my little secret. I just assumed everyone thought it was dyed.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Most fit to serve (ONE-A).
  • 16A: Sodas for Radar O'Reilly (NEHIS).
  • 21A: First Japanese golfer to win a PGA Tour event (ISAO AOKI).
  • 22A: Rajah's wife (RANI).
  • 31A: Gallantry-in-combat mil. award (DSC).
  • 41A: Letters on a cross (INRI).
  • 66A: Tar Heel State university (ELON).
  • 68A: Terrier variety (SKYE).
  • 10D: "The Merry Widow" composer (LEHAR).
  • 13D: Italian wine city (ASTI).
  • 18D: Colorful fish (OPAH).
  • 29D: Cola's first consonant (HARD C).
  • 49D: Mozart's "__ fan tutte" (COSÌ).
  • 50D: Mother-of-pearl (NACRE).
  • 59D: Thames school (ETON).
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Everything Else 1A: "Gone With the Wind" plantation (TARA); 5A: Interactive Facebook feature (WALL); 9A: Prefix with sonic or violet (ULTRA-); 14A: Press, as pants (IRON); 20A: Ready to be drawn from a keg (ON TAP); 25A: Damaged, as mdse. (IRR.); 34A: Dryer screen target (LINT); 35A: Collaborating group (TEAM); 36A: Blacksmith, at times (SHOER); 38A: "The King __" (AND I); 39A: Take everything off (STRIP); 42A: City near Syracuse (UTICA); 44A: Blade's sharp side (EDGE); 45A: Wildebeests (GNUS); 46A: Govt. ID issuer (SSA); 50A: Revival prefix (NEO-); 51A: Easy gait (TROT); 57A: Agreed (with) (SIDED); 65A: Cafeteria carrier (TRAY); 69A: Emailed or faxed (SENT); 2D: Presley's middle name (ARON); 3D: Cheer (for) (ROOT); 4D: South Pole continent, with "the" (ANTARCTIC); 5D: Seek as a spouse (WOO); 6D: Tiny hill crawler (ANT); 7D: Sainted fifth-century pope (LEO I); 8D: Cambodia neighbor (LAOS); 9D: Opens, as wine (UNCORKS); 12D: Insurer's exposure (RISK); 19D: Of the flock (LAIC); 23D: "Picked" complaints (NITS); 24D: Summer drink (ICE TEA); 26D: Santa __ (CLAUS); 27D: Clues (HINTS); 28D: Taj Mahal home (INDIA); 30D: "Put me down as a maybe" ("I MIGHT"); 31D: Designer Karan (DONNA); 32D: Inoculated fluid (SERUM); 33D: Like well-cooked bacon (CRISP); 37D: Times when sand castles are destroyed (HIGH TIDES); 40D: Tree fruit (PEAR); 43D: Film material (ACETATE); 48D: Traffic jam honker (HORN); 52D: Long-range warhead carrier, briefly (ICBM); 53D: Soft mineral (TALC); 54D: Like a bug in a rug (SNUG); 55D: Play divisions (ACTS); 56D: Amusement __ (PARK); 58D: Carnegie or Evans (DALE); 60D: Fender damage (DENT); 62D: Rejecting vote (NAY).


Gareth Bain said...

When Jack McInturff appears later in the week I'm guaranteed to take about an extra 25-50% timewise - his puzzles always catch me with their early 20th century cultural references! This is a Monday though, so not a lot of that going on! Just a fun made-up theme (pleasant surprise for a Monday!), an evocative if transparent clue for HIGHTIDES, and a rather convoluted one for ITSATRAP.

Re the crossword-ese: Didn't frown except at DSC while solving. I take your point that it's a lot, but IMO it's of the pretty benign kind.

Re DYE, really unobservant guys like myself don't notice such things, unless we're told!! It's true!

PJ said...

Did not know 21A or 10D. So I was left with one single blank square.
Liked puzz.Theme answers not hard, and helped complete grid. Nice!

VirginiaC said...

It was fun, made me think. I have one pet peeve: it's not ice tea, it's iceD tea.

VirginiaC said...

We're leaving tomorrow for a 3 month cross country road trip. where, on my iPad, can I find LA Times puzzles daily? Apparently cruciverb isn't compatible with the iPad,

Sfingi said...

Fibber MCGEE and Molly was a situation comedy about a married Mid-Western couple. Probably the first spinoff in history was Throckmorton Gildersleeve.

They have several recurrent gags, such as the stuffed closet. One expression I still use is, "Tain't funny, McGee," for obnoxious jokes.
Much of what we see in modern TV started with this show. I think it was 15 minutes long!

UTICA - we need a new T-shirt with the following: Tomato Pie, Chicken Riggies, Half-Moons, Saranac Beer and Inner City Ski Slope. Rah!

CoffeeLvr said...

Like @PJ, I have not yet memorized the spelling of the composer or the golfer. Homework for today! But I did guess right at that square, knowing it couldn't be E, and nothing but A looked right. Where I got tripped up was in Italian wine country, had carelessly entered ASTa, and didn't see it when I was searching the grid for errors. So finally used Reveal to end the suspense. Dagnabbit, to sanitize my thoughts, a Monday DNF.

@Sfingi, I Googled your Utica specialities, and now I am hungry!

@PG, your writeup and Janis clip helped to ease my DNF funk. Thanks.

Brian said...

The CHICHICHIck...answer put the Chia Pet jingle earworm in my head

hazel said...

@virginiac - i download the LAT puzzle from cruciverb every day on my iPad. Occasionally, there's a hangup and the puzz won't download, but its the exception rather than the rule.

Cute puzzle. Breezed over all the ESE so agree w/ @Gareth - must have been of the "benign" kind. Or maybe I just got up on the right side of the puzzle today.

C said...

OK puzzle today. I am not a big fan for a theme that once revealed makes the puzzle simpler. It is Monday and I was expecting straight forward and straight forward is what I got.

Anonymous said...

So, my mdse. is damaged, and it's so irr. ? Irr.? what? replaceable??


Anonymous said...

@VirginiaC. I always solve puzzles directly on-line at the LA Times web site. LA Times Crossword.

Vega said...

I liked this one less than others here seemed to. Too much mechanically filling in answers to dictionary definitions.

Anonymous @9:08: "irregular." Staple of outlet mall stores.

Nighthawk said...

This one was weird to me. Perhaps because I tackled it last night and my brain had already turned off the lights? Took twice as long as completing the NYT puzz this morning.
Go figure.

IRR crossing LEHAR was a personal Natick for me.

Oddly, sorting out the theme answers was more a hindrance than a help.

Steve said...

I liked it today, a little more challenging than the usual "fill everything in as you go" Mondays, and I thought the theme was cute.

@PG, I'm not really sure it's fair to tag poor Isao Aoki as crosswordese - he might have an over-preponderance of vowels in his name to Western eyes, but he was a golfer of international renown in his day. I think the same goes applies to Mr. Lehar too.

BLURT - great word.

Now - The Antarctic - I'd never thought about this before, but the name of the continent is Antarctica. If I was being a stickler I would say this should not be clued as a continent, but a region, but that's probably a "Picked" complaint!

(My first thought for NIT when I read the clue was ACNE, closely followed by SCAB. That probably wouldn't pass anyone's breakfast test - eww).

mac said...

Nooo, let's not do that iced or ice tea discussion again!

Nice Monday puzzle, where my only hangup, just for a few seconds, was the M in McGee. Never heard of the fellow, and I do not like those acronyms/can't remember them.

Just made a necklace out of nacre, a very popular material in the summer. I tend to call it mother-of-pearl.

Puzzle Mom said...

That would be Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve -- just in case you ever need to know it. I laughed every time he opened that closet and everything in it came crashing. The brilliant sound effects of old radio are only heard these days on Prairie Home Companion.