07.02 Sat

July 2, 2011
Barry C. Silk

Theme: None

Holy Z-Fest, Batman! Did you get a load of all those Zs? Near the end of my solve, it actually started to help. I'd read a clue and go, "Hmm. Let's pretend it's a word with a Z in it — now can I think of anything?" I admit I've never heard the phrase ZOMBIE BANK (56A: Insolvent bailout beneficiary), but I'm glad I know it now. YOWZAH! (32A: Cry of delight.)


  • 1A: Extraterrestrial factor in creating much of Earth's carbon-14 (COSMIC RAYS). I tried COSMIC RAIN first because I was flailing around with those two three-letter downs at the end and I didn't have 15A in place yet. Is there such a thing as COSMIC RAIN? Have I mentioned that science isn't exactly my strong suit?
  • 15A: "The Defense Never Rests" co-author (F. LEE BAILEY). It's kind of sad that I could come up with about six "celebrity lawyer" names before I finally got this answer. Also, I filled it in from the front and I wasn't sure about the cross on that second E, so I had FLEA for a while and thought "The Red Hot Chili Peppers guy wrote a book?"
  • 18A: Five-time Wimbledon winner (BORG). Ah, the good old days.
  • 20A: Firenze field (CAMPO). (!!!)
  • 21A: "__ to Canaan": Carole King hit (BEEN). I've always thought of myself as a big Carole King fan but, as it turns out, I really only know the "Tapestry" album. And this song's not on it. So I had a little trouble here is what I'm saying.

  • 47A: Miss Hungary of 1936, familiarly (ZSA ZSA). I had no idea.
  • 61A: Michelle Phillips was one in the '60s (MAMA). Lots of "oldies" music in today's puzzle. You know that's one of the hallmarks of Barry's puzzles, right? (See also, 33D: 1962 chart topper whose title subject "doesn't do what everybody else does" (HE'S A REBEL)).

  • 64A: Coconut-flavored cocktail (PIÑA COLADA). I'm including other music in the post today so that you won't get this song stuck in your head. I'm not even going to say what song I mean. But you can already hear it in your head, right? Quick! Go listen to something else. (And, for God's sake, do not — I repeat NOT — listen to "Copacabana.")
  • 11D: Word from the Turkish for "roasted meat" (KEBAB). Again with the learning!
  • 21D: Coach of Nadia and Mary Lou (BELA). More good old days of sports. BELA Karolyi coached gymastics Olympians Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton.
  • 25D: Martin's partner (ROWAN). Laugh-in!
  • 37D: "__ With a 'Z'": 1972 TV special (LIZA). We had this album when I was a kid and I'm pretty sure I could sing you every single song it. If you wanted me to. Which you don't.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up: We haven't had a real honest-to-goodness CW101 lesson in a while, but there are two great examples of crosswordese in this grid that we haven't covered yet. ORYX is almost always clued as it is today — 55A: Desert antelope. You might see the qualifiers, African, large, straight-horned or endangered, but you'll pretty much always get tipped off by antelope. And today's clue for AJA — 58D: Grammy-winning Steely Dan album — tells you everything you need to know about this album. I think it's interesting that there's actually a song called AJA, but clues always cite the album and not the song itself. Other tidbits that might come in handy: the album came out in 1977 and includes the hit "Deacon Blues."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 63A: Hot times in 48-Across (ÉTÉS).
  • 5D: Spoonbill's cousin (IBIS).
  • 32D: Busybody (YENTA).
  • 60D: Mauna __ (KEA).
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Everything Else 11A: '90s TV toon therapist (KATZ); 16A: You may bid on it (EBAY); 17A: Circulation aid (CEILING FAN); 19A: American Fur Company founder (ASTOR); 24A: Harris trickster (BR'ER RABBIT); 27A: Sin tax, e.g. (EXCISE); 29A: Take-charge type (DOER); 30A: __ Genevieve: Missouri county or its seat (STE.); 31A: __-ovo-vegetarian (LACTO); 34A: Low life? (AMOEBAE); 36A: Remote drivers? (AA CELLS); 40A: Attached, as some decals (SEWN ON); 42A: Certain elephant (ASIAN); 43A: Dander (IRE); 46A: Pro __ (RATA); 48A: Where Massenet's "Don Quichotte" premiered (MONTE CARLO); 51A: Grate (RASP); 52A: Obscured (HAZED); 53A: Edge (SIDLE); 1D: Ozone-threatening compound (CFC); 2D: Word of support (OLÉ); 3D: Half of dodici (SEI); 4D: Black garnets (MELANITES); 6D: "No way!" ("CAN'T BE!"); 7D: Inflexibility (RIGOR); 8D: Served with a creamy cheese sauce (ALFREDO); 9D: Word of support (YEA); 10D: Lexicon abbr. (SYN.); 12D: Subj. of Cold War tests (A-BOMBS); 13D: Asphalt trap (TAR PIT); 14D: Fallopian tube traveler (ZYGOTE); 20D: Bolívar's birthplace (CARACAS); 22D: Physical, e.g. (EXAM); 23D: Danish shoe brand (ECCO); 26D: Iran's Mohammad Shah __ Pahlavi (REZA); 28D: Dried out, with "up" (SOBERED); 35D: "Never Wave at __": 1952 film (A WAC); 38D: Miss (LASS); 39D: Breeze (SNAP); 41D: Crew members (OARSMEN); 43D: Arrival announcement (I'M HOME); 44D: Find very funny (ROAR AT); 45D: Catalytic protein (ENZYME); 47D: Group of signs (ZODIAC); 49D: Gulf state (TEXAS); 50D: 47-Down member (LIBRA); 54D: Block brand (LEGO); 56D: Reheat, in a way (ZAP); 57D: Duct opening? (OVI-); 59D: Doze (NOD).


Rojo said...

This was a really easy Saturday for me, finished in about a third of my average Saturday time. I also found it thoroughly enjoyable. Was pleased with almost all the cluing and answers. I did have a small bit of trouble with the NE corner (can we call it Maine?). I had BORG in there (although I always want this to be a Star Trek clue and not a tennis clue) and STE, but had the incorrect KABOB instead of the correct KEBAB. But that all got fixed when I remembered CAMPO from yesterday!

I was particularly pleased with ZOMBIE BANK (which I have heard before) and wondered for a moment if it was an editorial comment that the ZOMBIE BANK was exerting downward pressure on the AVERAGE JOE supporting it?

Gareth Bain said...

Much like the nyt, found this puzzle mostly easy except topleft and middle rightish where names i didn't know (lawyer, rowan, reza etc) complicated matters.

with all those z's in place i guessed zebra off the bra of libra before i had read the clue. Alas there is no constellation zebra though i wish there was!

Unlike you rojo i was happy to see Kebab. It's the only spelling i've seen in the wild, though yours predominates in crosswords!

SethG said...

I've read "The Defense Never Rests", eaten Kebab in the wild, and been to a bar called O'Malley's.

I've also eaten rabbit, but it probably wasn't br'er.

Sfingi said...

I started out in the NW so well, throwing in the first 4 lines, that I got a swelled head and scribbled in:
LaBrea, not TARPIT
LeWis, not ROWAN, and
pedestrian, not AVERAGEJOE.

HTG to correct the mess (BELA, MONTECARLO, AJA, AWAC, KATZ). So, it was a typical Friday for me, after all.

But, thank you for the memory of Dr. KATZ! How we loved him and totally forgot him!

Met Atty Bailey once, and he's short.

Genealogy of Bugs Bunny (my favorite) - from BRER RABBIT, from Ugandan/Tanznian trickster rabbit tales.

Gene said...

My hats off to Rojo and Bain. I'm just a novice and found this difficult and barely doable. I finished with an incorrect "cooling fan" in a sizzling 90 minutes.

Boona said...

Another week in which Saturday's was easier for me than Friday's. Maybe I'd depends on how tired I am.

"He's a Rebel" reminded me of "Leader of the Pack" and now the latter is stuck in my head.

Boona said...

Oops! That should have been "Maybe it depends..."

Guess I am still tired.

Tom said...

With all those Zs I would argue that this is one of those rare Saturday puzzles that actually has a theme, and it's revealed by the down clue "__ spelled with a Z: 1972 TV special." But maybe I'm reaching here.

Rube said...

This one went fairly smoothly except for the NW where I slowed to a crawl. I didn't know that COSMICRAYS created Carbon-14. Will have to investigate this.

After finishing the puz, stared at AACELLS for the longest time trying to figure the connection to remote drivers. Kept thinking of the drone airplanes so much in the news these days. Finally it dawned on me that we're talking remote controls. I don't think I've ever called them anything other than AA batteries.

Thanks @PG for the Carole King clip. I guess it's time I add her to my (very short) list of current good singers. Since she's a year older than me, it's way overdue time.

Good puzzle. Good write-up.

Fowler said...

It was OK. I got it. But my downfall for what seems like forever was AVERAGE JOE. It was stupid, I know, but I got stuck on a wrong ending, "DE JOI." I thought it had to be a French phrase. It would have helped if I had ever heard of a ZOMBIE BANK. Eventually I got that & the crosses set everything in place, even reminding me that Mauna KEA is not KIA.

CoffeeLvr said...

Great puzzle, thanks Mr. Silk. And thank you PG for reinforcing ORYX and AJA. I have seen them both, but still need crosses to remember the full spelling.

@Rube, I learned to call some batteries C cells and D cells, but just say "double A's" for AA cells. Nevertheless, easy enough to see off the ending LLS. (I had that section done early off . . . see next paragraph.)

Somehow, I knew about Zsa Zsa's beauty queen past, so that was a very helpful early entry. Also EBAY.

A lot for me to like: MAMAs and the Papas, Carole King, Pina Coladas, CEILING FAN (mine are running constantly now.) Some great words: SIDLE, EXCISE, ZYGOTE, KEBAB, and of course, YOWZAH!

If there are more Carole King fans here, you might like a book titled "Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--and the Journey of a Generation" by Sheila Weller. I got it as an audio book from the library. The only disappointment was no music, and very little use of lyrics, probably due to copyright issues. So I bought some of the music I didn't have. My son transferred my "Tapestry" vinyl to CD for me.

Anonymous said...

Was I in a coma during the bailouts? Never heard the banks called ZOMBIE (isn't that carrying out the "Twilight" fetish a bit too far??). And, are batteries (AACELLS) really "drivers??? How about "powers"?

CrazyCatLady said...

I had a hard time getting started up there in the NW so was just jumping all over the place. Kept putting it down and picking it up again. It's weird how those little AHA moments happen. This one had more science than I like, but fun just the same. Liked the oldie stuff. HE'S A REBEL just popped out immediately. MONTE CARLO was timely since the "other royal wedding" is happening there this weekend with the "tried to runaway" bride. I always get OREX, IBIS and IBEX confused.

@Boona Thanks for "The Leader of the Pack" earworm! I met him at the candy store....
@CoffeLvr - A Carole King 2 CD set came out a couple of years ago called "The Living Room Tour." It pretty much covers her entire career except "BEEN TO CANAAN." Really good. I want to read the book you mentioned.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

Well done Mr. Silk and ALMOST a panagram (less q and u). Loved YOWZAH and BRERRABBIT..And now I know CAMPO because of yesterday. If CAMPO continues at this pace it just might become crosswordese! DNK ZOMBIEBANK but without googling it, it certainly seems to be self-explanatory in this day and age. Nice point Rojo with the AVERAGEJOE/ZOMBIEBANK crossing. On to the NYT........

Mokus said...

Fun puzzle, amusing and informative write-up by PG and interesting posts from everyone above. What better way to spend a summer afternoon!