07.22 Fri

July 22, 2011
David Poole

Theme: THEME — "ST" is changed to "TS" in familiar phrases, creating new wacky phrases clued "?" style.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Scene in "The Hustler"? (FATS BREAKS).
  • 23A: Adam's apples? (EATS OF EDEN).
  • 38A: Tubby tabbies? (BROAD CATS).
  • 52A: Visitors to the Winter Palace? (TSAR GAZERS).
  • 58A: Tusk warmers? (IVORY COATS).
Big thanks to Doug for stepping in yesterday. I finally got my van into the shop to get the air conditioning fixed. That's right, I've been driving around with no air conditioning in this God-forsaken heat. It's been unbearable. Anyway, with both kids going to camps in different directions we had some logistical "issues" which made yesterday a little stressful (plus the day started rather earlier than I would have liked). The good news is I have AC now. It's like heaven. So let's talk about this puzzle ….

Took me a while to get the hang of this theme. With one or two crosses in place, reading the clues to the first three theme answers allowed me to come up with half the answer, but I didn't know what was going on with the other half. Oh, and that's not totally true because I had the first E on 23A and plopped EDEN down at the front instead of the back of that answer. Created some problems, but it all worked itself out.

Several people I didn't know in today's grid:
  • 9A: "The Maltese Falcon" actress (ASTOR).
  • 15A: 1970 N.L. batting champ Carty (RICO).
  • 8D: Arens of Israel (MOSHE).
Good thing MOSHE looks like an Israeli name to me — it occurred to me that Carty might be a first name and that his last name might be RICE. I'm guessing that cross probably caused problems for some. It would have been much better had RICO been clued as Lola's love interest in "Copacabana," right? Wait, what? That clue would have gotten the song "Copacabana" stuck in your head all day? You wouldn't have been able to stop yourself from singing "Her name was Lola / She was a showgirl / But that was 30 years ago / When they used to have a show …."? Yes. That would have been unfortunate.

No entries jump out at me as particularly sparkly, but the cluing was definitely jazzed up in places to make up for that. My favorites include:
  • 65A: Lima's home (OHIO). I started to enter PERU but I had this nagging feeling ….
  • 10D: Northerners with a lot of pull? (SLED DOGS).
  • 39D: Cheaters, to teachers: Abbr. (ANAG.). The letters in the word "cheaters" can be ANAGrammed to "teachers."
  • 53D: Bar goer's option (STOOL). You wanted this to be a drink, didn't you? I know I did.
  • 61D: Thing that comes to those who wait (TIP). Can't believe I found this clip. The part I was looking for doesn't happen until the end, but it's short (plus this is a great movie — if you haven't seen it, check it out.)

  • 1A: Penicillin source (MOLD). Ew.
  • 17A: Debussy's dream (RÊVE). I assumed this answer would be the word "dream" in French (French!), but I didn't know that particular word off the top of my head. That V might have caused some trouble, but I just thought of the word "reverie" and decided it must be right.
  • 47A: "The Tempest" king (ALONSO). Saw a production of "The Merchant of Venice" last weekend and promptly downloaded a bunch of Shakespeare onto my Kindle. Such good stuff and it's been way too long since I've read it.
  • 66A: Start of an intermission? (ENTR). More French! ENTRE'acte is a French word we use to mean "intermission." So ENTRE is the "start" to an intermission.
  • 1D: His clown alter ego was Bip (MARCEAU). How is it possible that I was just reading something about Marcel MARCEAU the other day and now can't for the life of me remember what it was. Thank goodness the "Bip" part stayed in my head anyway.
  • 7D: The planets, e.g. (OCTAD). Never sure if this word is going to be OCTAD or OCTET so you need to check the crosses.
  • 29D: Roy Halladay or the Red Baron (ACE). For some reason, my brain read "Roy Halladay" or "Doc Holliday." Me: "Did Doc Holliday … fly??"
  • 38D: Voice of Puss in Boots in "Shrek" sequels (BANDERAS). ::Sigh:: It's a crime for him to be in a movie where we can't look at him.
  • 41D: Thrilla in Manila winner (ALI). If you missed the discussion about Muhammad ALI in yesterday's comments, go check it out. Rojo told an awesome story about seeing him in an airport once.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 33A: "A Challenge for the Actor" author Hagen (UTA).
  • 9D: Pearl Mosque setting (AGRA).
  • 54D: Popular Japanese beer (ASAHI).
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything Else 5A: Wee bit (ATOM); 14A: Say it's so (AVER); 16A: Gather (GLEAN); 20A: Not wilted (CRISP); 22A: In the future (AHEAD); 26A: Duchamp genre (DADA); 30A: Orlon, for one (ACRYLIC); 31A: Hot and humid (TROPIC); 34A: Grover's veep (ADLAI); 37A: Correspond (AGREE); 40A: Faith symbolized by a nine-pointed star (BAHA'I); 43A: Blemish (TAINT); 44A: Off-rd. transport (ATV); 49A: Canal problem (EARACHE); 51A: Even (TIED); 55A: Gives off (EMITS); 57A: Provide with lodging (PUT UP); 63A: Sommelier's selection (ROSÉ); 64A: Plum tomatoes (ROMAS); 67A: Apprehension (ANGST); 68A: Mr. Potato Head piece (LIPS); 69A: Mtg. (SESS.); 2D: Be heavy-handed, in a way (OVERACT); 3D: Viagra competitor (LEVITRA); 4D: Stylish (DRESSY); 5D: Response from 24-Down (ARF); 6D: Familia member (TIA); 11D: Mad Hatter's offering (TEA); 12D: Iowa's state tree (OAK); 13D: Hosp. workers (RN'S); 19D: Proclivity (BENT); 21D: Part of the Little Dipper's handle (POLARIS); 24D: Rover's pal (FIDO); 25D: Fanfare (ECLAT); 27D: Abbr. in car ads (APR); 28D: Gaming cube (DIE); 32D: Fleabag (RAT TRAP); 35D: Nabokov novel (ADA); 36D: More unfriendly (ICIER); 40D: It may be held by one on deck (BAT); 42D: Gardening aid (HOE); 44D: Nail polish remover ingredient (ACETONE); 45D: Fencing moves (THRUSTS); 46D: Evening service (VESPERS); 48D: Suffix with psych (-OTIC); 50D: Common blues (AZURES); 56D: Games magazine's 1994 Game of the Year (MYST); 58D: Author Levin (IRA); 59D: Word in many German names (VON); 60D: Online "Yikes!" (OMG); 62D: "Mamma Mia!" song (SOS).


Gareth Bain said...

Can we have Fernando rather the The Tempest king? Just once.

Gareth Bain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rojo said...

"Her name was Lola/She was a showgirl/With yellow ribbons in her hair/and a dress right up to ...... Curse you Puzzle Girl!!"

I once had some other song stuck in my head and after complaining about it to a friend, this exchange took place.
Friend: "Well, I can fix that for you, but you might not be happy about it."
Me: "Anything! Anything!"
Friend: "Her name was Lola..."

The theme jumped out at me immediately for some reason when I got down to the third theme answer. All I had was the T and no other crosses, and my brain just went "TSAR GAZERS, obviously." The rest came almost as easily.

Despite that though, this one was a DNF because I could not remove STOut and think of STOOL, so than I had Utah instead of OHIO (even though I actually know there's a Lima, Ohio and never have heard of a Lima, Utah. And all of that just made the Mr. Potato clue taunt me to tears.


The rest of the puzzle was pretty fun though. I was particularly pleased with MARCEAU and BAHAI for some reason. Oh and FATS BREAKS because I'm a pool junkie and a fan of the movie and Minnesota Fats.

Glad you liked the story PG! I guess I'll forgive you for the Copacabana thing.

Bill said...

The Teachers - Cheaters anagram abbreviation cluing is extremely lame.

*David* said...

A quick Friday for me felt much easier then Friday's of the recent past. I got the theme right away starting at the bottom and filling in IVORY COATS.

My last fill was the bottom where it was STOUT nope, hmm STOLI, nope OK then. I felt the ease of the puzzle was that much of the long fill fell with ease BANDERAS, LEVITRA, ACETONE, EARACHE, SLED DOGS, and POLARIS. Teese allowed bulkheads into each section of the puzzle. My biggest head scratcher was the "other" ADLAI.

Tuttle said...

Given the increasing number of extra-solar planets being discovered, I think 7D needs to be a bit more specific.

Had a lot of write-overs. Fresh instead of CRISP, -osis instead of -OTIC, Peru instead of OHIO, wine instead of ROSE, torrid rather than TROPIC.

SESS and ANAG are horrible.

Tom said...

Agree with Bill above on ANAG. The cluing was a failed attempt at cleverness. Didn't understand it even after I got it. Had to read PGs write up. (Thanks, PG, BTW.)

C said...

DNF for me due to using ATad in stead of ATOM. Never heard of MOSHE so DOSHE was kosher with me and I was hoping that ACTAD then had something to do with Holst's The Planets suite (which I only know from crosswords hence my wishful hoping)

RICO was a slam dunk, first word entered into the puzzle gimme. What? Everyone can't recite the last 50 years worth of AL/NL batting champs? Huh? How do people ever make it through a day without key knowledge like this ;^)?

Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.

Anonymous said...

I second the recommendation on "Midnight Run."

Also had FRESH sted CRISP. To team up with NY Times puzzle today, how about cluing 47A as Two-time F1 champion Fernando? Not likely, I know.

Agent Foster Grant

Rube said...

It took me way too long to get the theme here. Was down to TSARGAZER before it dawned. I particularly liked EATSOFEDEN. Like many had ATad, but knowing of MOSHE Dayan, figured this Ahrens guy had the same first name.

I hate to admit it, but had LipITor before LEVITRA. Maybe I should pay attention to more commercials instead of fast forwarding all the time.

Also had STein before STOOL, but it didn't look right next to ASAHI, which I put in then took out for Peru, then put it back in and tried OHIO... success.

Enjoyable, doable puzzle with just the right level of difficulty. ECLAT is my WOTD.

Fowler said...

Strangely easy for a Friday puzzle. Or maybe it just hit areas with which I'm familiar, from mime to movies, Shakespeare to Ohio.

The theme came across right away (1st with EATS OF EDEN) and that made it easy to solve the other four.
I got ANAG but didn't understand it until Puzzle Girl's explanation. Thank you!

And very happy to see that PG has AC! Stay cool, PG! Chill!

CrazyCatLady said...

Quite a few write overs today. Avow, before AVER, Iota, then A tad before ATOM, Stout and Stoli before STOOL, Tio, before TIA, etc. Got the theme though at EATS OF EDEN. BROAD CATS was, of course, my favorite. HTG for ASTOR, RICO and ADLAI. It wasn't that easy to find ADLAI since he was VP in Cleveland's second term and buried deep in the wiki article. I didn't know there were two ADLAIs. Or maybe I did and forgot. He was ADLAI II's grandfather. So a big DNF today, but still enjoyable except for, as mentioned, SESS and ANAG.

@PG Pleeeeeze! No more gratuitous Manilow : )

CrazyCatLady said...

Here's an ear worm for everyone. I have The View on in the background and the (old) Monkees are performing "I'm a Believer" Oh no! Now I'm a goner.


Anoa Bob said...

ASAHI beer (54D)! I knew that living in Japan for two years would eventually pay off! Actually Asahi was my third or fourth favorite beer; I did extensive research on this subject. Sapporo is way the best with Kirin coming in a distant second.

Maybe I was primed by the SEX SCENE entry in today's NYT puzzle, but after 3D LEVITRA. I thought of another, more anatomically related clue for 45D THRUSTS!

badams52 said...

Loved the theme. Liek @*David* and unlike @PG was able to ascertain the theme quite quickly. Had TSAR but wanted something like TSARseeker or TSARsearch but they wouldn't fit.

Had to google LEVITRA, could only think of CIALIS and it wouldn't fit.

I thank Daffy Duck every time I have to come up with a fencing move: Poke Dodge, Parry, Thrust, or something like that.

Lastly, if you want get rid of the Barry Manilow earworm, try Richard Cheese's Star Wars Cantina.

Anonymous said...

Why "SESS" for "mtg"?

CoffeeLvr said...

After I solved the puzzle I still didn't understand two answers: ANAG & ENTR. Thanks, PG, for explaining both. Given that this is a Friday puzzle, I think ANAG. is terrific and fair. But for an answer to just be the first four letters of the French version of the word just stunk! And I am thinking another word that shares 4 letters with stunks.

Fell for Peru before OHIO, but know both. I entered Spot before FIDO, but that is all on me for not looking at a single cross. Blame it on the Dick and Jane readers. Fell hard for winE before ROSE, after all it worked with the gimme VESPERS. Also can't imagine a sommelier recommending a Rosé.

Now, I have vented. I liked the theme and the overall puzzle. Got it way down at IVORY COATS. Like the mini-astronomy theme with POLARIS, OCTAD of planets, and TSAR GAZERS. Like TROPIC (so fitting!) BAHAI, LEVITRA, and a CRISP new clue for ADLAI. Fun to think of Mr. Potato Head.

@CrazyCatLady, thanks for replacing the ear worm PG inflicted on me with one I can better abide.

@AnonBob, don't think you are alone on that. And thanks for the beer recommendation.

@Anon 12:04pm, SESSion.

Hoyt said...

I live in OHIO and know Lima but it took me forever to write it in because I couldn't get away from STOUT. RICO was a slam dunk, would much rather have a baseball answer than half a french word. SESS was a big klunko too. I did like the theme.

mac said...

Good Friday puzzle. Some good guesses and plenty of know things. Enjoyable!

CP said...

Yeah, seemed fair and square for Friday. Got messed for awhile had OCTET not OCTAD. Hot and Humid could have been anywhere is the US with six letters. LEVETRA and THRUSTS?!Oh my