07.10 Sun

July 10, 2011
Julian Lim

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme: "4 x 4" — Phrases made up of four four-letter words.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: "We'll find out in due course" (ONLY TIME WILL TELL).
  • 39A: Hotel ad phrase (HOME AWAY FROM HOME).
  • 53A: "Stay alert!" (KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN).
  • 72A: Act rashly (LEAD WITH ONES CHIN).
  • 88A: Cry to players in hiding (OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE).
  • 106A: Often skeptical words of encouragement (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Today's theme is quartets of four-letter words. It doesn't sound that exciting, but it worked out pretty well. The six 4x4 phrases are all good, and I especially like the last one, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. That's exactly what PuzzleGirl said to me when I told her I'm going to make millions by starting the next big puzzle craze. She's skeptical, but I think my Ziggy-themed sudoku variant is going to take the puzzle world by storm. Look for it in a newspaper near you!
  • 27A: 2002 hit for Cam'ron (HEY MA). I've never heard this song, and I don't know whether Cam'ron is a guy or a girl. I like the apostrophe though.
  • 23A: "We'll find out in due course" (ONLY TIME WILL TELL). OK, this is a song I know.
  • 36A: One who harnesses the power of midi-chlorians (JEDI). Some "Star Wars" gobbledygook. I gave up on that series after "The Phantom Menace."
  • 48A: Letter-shaped track (T-SLOT) / 48D: Semicircular moldings (TORI). Ouch. I think the T crossing is going to cause some problems here. Plenty of letters sound good for the beginning of the "Letter-shaped track" and TORI (plural of TORUS) is a toughie.
  • 18D: Words of support (WE CARE). I'd put this phrase in the same snarky category as GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.
  • 63D: It was once described as an "odious column of bolted metal" (EIFFEL TOWER). Great entry and clue.
  • 73D: Target Field team (TWINS). At first, I didn't like the name Target Field, but it's grown on me. Better than U.S. Cellular Field or O.co Coliseum. And in 2010, ESPN The Magazine ranked Target Field as the #1 stadium experience in North America, beating out 121 others. Sweet.
  • 83A: Town in a Carlo Levi title (EBOLI). The book is "Christ Stopped at Eboli." I always find this entry disturbing. It looks like a cross between E. coli bacteria and the Ebola virus. That can't be a good thing to catch.
  • 106D: Clock std. (GST). Usually this is GMT, Greenwich Mean Time.
Sorry this is a little short today. Feel free to amuse yourself in the comments. 


    mac said...

    Nice puzzle, I usually have a good time with Julian Lim's work.

    "Christ Stopped at Eboli" is a memorable little story. Target field? Had to count on a few crosses. I had GMT also until snug straightened me out. I'm an hour East of GMT.

    Thank you, Doug!

    P.S. What's a Ziggy?

    Tom W. said...

    This is Ziggy.

    CoffeeLvr said...

    I really did not want to let go of GmT, but was certain of BONO and mN?? was not yielding any answer, much less one that matched the clue.

    Fine for a Sunday romp; all the theme answers are in the language, except the ONE'S part of LEAD WITH ONE'S CHIN.

    I visited the Petrified Forest last fall, so 16D was a gimme.

    Lots of names I did not know, but mercifully, none crossing each other. My hardest area was the extreme NW; I only had the two long answers filled in. Did not know HEYMA, and won't remember it. UPDO still doesn't link up with pin curls in my mind. And a big mental blank for PANE and DULY. Set the puzzle down and sorted out the ads from the paper, then the light dawned. Slowly.

    @Doug, if you want to hear a snarky version of "WE CARE," watch Craig Ferguson and his robot side kick Geoffrey late some night. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCqrDTeHo1g

    Steve said...

    Loved the EIFFEL TOWER clue - I'd never heard the quote before, but had no doubt what it was referring to.

    NE took me the most time and the most head-scratching. I didn't fall for the GmT mistake for some reason.

    Never heard the "OLLY OLLY" phrase (I'm not from the US) so needed the crosses all the way along there.

    Nice puzzle, thanks Mr. Lim.

    Vega said...

    I'm surprised at how enjoyable the theme was, given it wasn't much of one. It's true that it works because the expressions are all so in-the-language. You're right, though, @CoffeeLvr. It's always distressing when constructors are forced to put a ONE'S into a phrase. Just ruins it. Why couldn't they have gone with LEAD WITH your CHIN, I wonder?

    So many Xs!

    JaxInL.A. said...

    Hey, Doug! Your CrosSynergy puzzle in the Washington Post was a treat. I got a very nice smile out of that Tutu, e.g. Answer. You are rapidly becoming one of my favorite constructors so, while I wish you every success, I hope that this Ziggy sudoku thing doesn't distract you from the really important work of keeping me (personally) amused with your puzzle work.

    Do we know much about Julian Lim? Is he one of the youngsters who have wowed us lately, or a long-time constructor, or something in between?

    This was good, clean fun. Liked the 4x4 theme for all the reasons already stated, especially OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE. I filled that in expecting to have to adjust or take it out, bit it turned out to be right. Some clever cluing, and loved the Eiffel Tower quote. I agree with @CoffeeLvr and @Vega on the niggle about that CHIN phrase, but it's a small complaint in a worthy offering.

    Enjoyed PRATE and all those Xs. And yeah, Doug, Star Wars went off the rails when it started resorting to weird "science" like midi-chlorions.

    Joon said...

    funny—i thought the T of T-SLOT was fine, but the O was troublesome, because T-SLIT is also plausible, and the crossing could just as easily be LOG IN as LOG ON.

    PurpleGuy said...

    Guess I'm in the minority here.
    This was a DNF and a BIG did not care.
    Total failure and waste of time.

    Julian said...

    @JaxinLA: Not a long-time constructor here, I first started submitting puzzles slightly over 2 years ago. Also, I'm 31 this year, so not part of the Caleb Madison/teen constructor movement either (how sad to miss that boat).

    JaxInL.A. said...

    Thanks for the info, Julian! Congratulations. I know that there is a way to look up constructors and their history, and it might be on Cruciverb, but I have not taken the time to figure that out. Thanks for not calling me lazy for that lapse.

    31 is practically a wunderkind from my perch at 52, so i wouldn't lament missing Caleb's teen revolution. I'm glad that I'm assured of a steady supply of puzzles into my dotage from the likes of you. Thanks again.

    Bill said...

    A little tough because there were no down clues between 67D and 72D on the online print version.

    Never heard of OLLY OLLY OXEN FREE - guess I lived an abnormal childhood.

    Other than that, pretty straightforward for a Sunday.