07.12 Tue

July 12, 2011
Bill Thompson

Theme: Miller Time — The last word of each theme answer can follow (i.e., chase) the word "beer" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Type of government spending typified by the Bridge to Nowhere (PORK BARREL).
  • 25A: "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer (EDDIE MONEY).
  • 37A: (At) maximum capacity (FULL BLAST).
  • 51A: Classic candy bean (JELLY BELLY).
  • 62A: Brew after a shot (and, in a way, what the end of 17-, 25-, 37-, or 51-Across can be) (BEER CHASER).

Starting off our Tuesday with a fun little romp. Cute theme. Obviously a type of theme that's been done a million times but that's perfect for a Tuesday. The great thing about the execution of the theme today, though, is that the theme phrases are all interesting and lively. I particularly like FULL BLAST. I'm not sure I've ever seen that in a puzzle before and it made me chuckle.

The triple stacks of 7s in the northwest and southeast corners are pretty flashy too. ALPACAS / LEONORA / LARCENY are all great entries (1D: Llama relatives / 2D: "Il Trovatore" soprano / 3D: Grand or petit crime). And I think it's possible there's a mini-theme going on in that other corner with BREASTS, "I LOVE IT!" and T-SHIRTS (45D: Chicken choices / 46D: "That's perfect as is!" / 47D: Casual tops). Just sayin'.

Two answers were complete unknowns to me.
  • 55A: Michelle of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (YEOH). I hope her name is pronounced like "Yow!"
  • 5D: Birds' bills (NEBS). Pretty sure I've never seen this word before. Good to know.
Those two answers could have derailed the fun, but the crosses were all totally solid and that's how it should be.

The only other thing I have to mention — and I apologize in advance for this — is that 22A: Disco __ (ERA) brought to mind an unfortunate association for me. Again, so sorry ….

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 64A: Poet Khayyám (OMAR).
  • 8D: "SNL" alum Cheri (OTERI).
  • 26D: "Splendor in the Grass" director Kazan (ELIA).
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Everything Else 1A: Detective Pinkerton (ALLAN); 6A: Bug-eyed with excitement (AGOG); 10A: Formally give up (CEDE); 14A: Let, as a flat (LEASE); 15A: Place for doves, not hawks (COTE); 16A: x or y line (AXIS); 19A: Tach measures: Abbr. (RPM'S); 20A: Very old: Abbr. (ANC.); 21A: More furtive (SLIER); 23A: Unlike Wabash College (COED); 29A: "Gunsmoke" star James (ARNESS); 31A: "We're outta here!" ("LET'S GO!"); 32A: Doctor's request (SAY AH); 33A: Studio warning (ON AIR); 36A: Long, long time (EON); 40A: "Because I said so!" elicitor (WHY); 43A: Bad time for a procrastinator (TODAY); 44A: Planet's path (ORBIT); 48A: Big honey brand (SUE BEE); 50A: Fishing line tangles (SNARLS); 56A: 57-Across brand (LEE); 57A: Casual pants (JEANS); 59A: Bird: Prefix (AVI-); 60A: Flat-topped rise (MESA); 64A: Poet Khayyám (OMAR); 65A: Beige shade (ECRU); 66A: Absorb a loss, slangily (EAT IT); 67A: Responsibility (DUTY); 68A: Eyelid affliction (STYE); 69A: Spars on board (MASTS); 4D: Look for answers (ASK); 6D: Pungent (ACRID); 7D: Injured in the bullring (GORED); 9D: Hair-holding goo (GEL); 10D: Metaphorical incentive (CARROT); 11D: Broad area (EXPANSE); 12D: Lower, as lights (DIM); 13D: Twisting shape (ESS); 18D: Quaffs in tankards (ALES); 22D: Rock music's __, Lake & Palmer (EMERSON); 24D: Unwilling to listen (DEAF); 27D: Self-esteem (EGO); 28D: Over there, to Milton (YON); 30D: Sleep, informally (SHUT-EYE); 33D: Like the hills? (OLD); 34D: Miami Heat gp. (NBA); 35D: Prince __ Khan (ALY); 38D: Leopold's co-defendant (LOEB); 39D: Butler's carrying aid (TRAY); 40D: N.Y. financial paper (WSJ); 41D: Color (HUE); 42D: Bawls out (YELLS AT); 49D: Clouded, as vision (BLEARY); 50D: Harmony (SYNC); 52D: Unique button in 007's Aston Martin (EJECT); 53D: Suspicious (LEERY); 54D: Oater star Lash (LARUE); 58D: Noah's firstborn (SHEM); 60D: Stylish, in the '60s (MOD); 61D: Outback runner (EMU); 62D: Teachers' degs. (BE'S); 63D: Little battery (AAA).


Eric said...

Bill Thompson in the NYT today also. I liked this one much better although it took a little longer than his NYT puzzle. Pretty solid effort.

Tuttle said...

Michelle's last name can be pronounced "yow!" or "yo!". Both of which are fairly common things to say when seeing her anyways.

Odd that they always clue her with Crouching Tiger... rather than Tomorrow Never Dies, especially with another Bond clue in the puzzle. Also check her out in Jackie Chan's Super Cop and Yuen Woo Ping's Wing Chun.

Does any one else only know OMAR Khayyam from a goofy joke on Bullwinkle And Rocky?

[At an antique dealer valuing a toy boat covered in red jewels]

Rocky: Bullwinkle, this ship is covered in rubies! And look what's written on the side! O-Mar Khay-yam. Bullwinkle, do you know what this is?

Bullwinkle: Well, if youre waiting on me to say it, I wont.

Antique Dealer: Me neither.

Rocky: OK, then this must be ... "The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam".

Bullwinkle, Antique Dealer: OOOOH!

Brian said...

Definitely a Guy theme today - beer and breasts in the same puzzle! Too bad there wasn't "Hooters" in the grid somewhere.

chefbea said...

Usually don't have time to do the LAT puzzle but when I heard that it was the same constructor as NYT had to do it. Liked them both and lots of food and drink here for another buffet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tuttle. I really miss Rocky and Bullwinkle!


C said...

Nice puzzle. I found the theme bubbly, something that cures what ales, stout in its implementation, pret a porter in its accessibility and trippel strength in its ability to let me be punny.

NEBS is an old timey NYT crossword answer, well, that's where I first saw the word so I am branding it as such.

Anonymous said...

Tee Hee he said breasts.

Rube said...

I liked this Thompson much better than the one in the NYT, despite having no idea who EDDIE MONEY is. Saw the movie, but had no idea of Michelle's last name. But, all gettable from crosses.

Didn't anyone else have FULLhouse before FULLBLAST? It's words like SHUTEYE that add sparkle to a puzzle.

In my youth, a friend introduced me to "Burgie and Beer" one night. That's a shot of cheap burgundy in a mug of draft beer. Haven't drunk them since.

Bill said...

I consider NEBS to be almost CW101.

CP said...

Perfect Tuesday puzzle. EDDIE MONEY, EMERSON, ALPACAS, and BEER CHASER. Good Theme and filler.
LEE JEANS on same line.
WHY TODAY on same line.
Just awesome!!!

Sfingi said...

@Rube - Eddie Money (Mahoney) is in his 60s. Most famous was 2 Tickets to Paradise. I rather liked his sound.

Liked the puzzle. Disagree with one thing - most teachers I know do not have Bachelor of Education degrees. Maybe because I taught HS level, most I know have their BAs/BSs, in their area. Then they get an ME. My 1st BA was Philo, and ME was Reading, which was available around here, and was interesting precisely because I did not have an undergrad Ed. degree.

CoffeeLvr said...

Nice enough Tuesday; no problems, except a typo I had to search for, and still MUCH faster than today's NYT. Which was a DNF with one letter wrong.

The most amazing thing about this puzzle is that Bill Thompson was also published in the NYT on the SAME day.

Liked seeing ARNESS and SUE BEE.

@C, loved your punny summary. You must be a beer lover, too.

mac said...

This feels like a man's puzzle alright. Nice and easy, with some funny answers.

Anonymous said...

I got jammed up in the north-west corner - basically finished the whole puzzle and somehow couldn't get up there. Then I hit "lease" and it fell apart.

BTW, I recall a joke where the punchline was "The Rhubarb Tart of Omar Khayam"

Rojo said...

This one was fun and I was pleased myself for knowing every single person that showed up in the puzzle, even if I view ALLAN Pinkerton with some antipathy because of his and his minions role as violent union-busters.

I too had never heard NEBS before, I wanted NIBS, but LEASE helped me out.

Did not like the clue for COTES, even if it didn't pose any solving problems. "Place for doves" by itself would have worked just fine, and the misdirection of "not hawks" felt clumsy, not clever.