07.26 Tue

July 26, 2011
Jeff McDermott

Theme: PB&J, Hold the PB — Each theme answer is a familiar phrase that either begins or ends with a word for a fruity spread.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Filled to capacity (JAM-PACKED).
  • 27A: Certain wildlife refuge (STATE PRESERVE).
  • 47A: Hit from the "Moulin Rouge!" soundtrack (LADY MARMALADE).
  • 62A: Spineless one (JELLYFISH).

Random Thoughts:
  • 9A: Drink in a Dixie cup? (JULEP). The question mark hints that the clue doesn't refer to an actual "Dixie cup," as you would normally think of it. But rather a cup that's in the south. Where they apparently drink JULEPs. I used to know an old guy who was, I think, from Arkansas. He had a real low, gravelly voice and he used to say "I didn't get this accent from drinkin' outta Dixie cups." I was never really sure what that meant, but I laughed anyway.
  • 15A: ___ breve: 2/2 time (ALLA). This is a reference to a time signature in music. I was going to explain it to you but, as it turns out, I don't really understand it myself. I was going to say it means two beats to a measure with a half note equalling one beat. But I can't really get that to make sense in my head. It's been a while ….
  • 34A: Annoying kid at the pool (SPLASHER). I believe this is one of those entries Rex would call an "odd job," which basically just means it's a plain old word with ER tacked on the end. Yes, there is such a thing as a SPLASH and yes, it's something people do. But SPLASHER isn't really a word you hear very often. See also LADLER (8D: Soup kitchen volunteer).
  • 59A: Summer pitcherful (ICE TEA). Yes, yes, I know, I know ….
  • 66A: Collette of "United States of Tara" (TONI). I'd never heard of this show before. Sounds like a bizarre premise — Tara is a suburban housewife who suffers from dissociative identity disorder — but Ms. Collette won several Emmys, so I guess she figured out how to make it work.
  • 68A: White House maiden name (TODD). Struggled to remember Michelle Obama's maiden name, just to find it didn't fit anyway. (It's Robinson.)
  • 22D: Words before "of rules" (A SET). Weak sauce.
  • 55D: "See you," in poker (I'M IN). I can't decide if I like this or not. It's awfully cute. Not sure if it's too cute. When a poker player "sees" another person's hand, they're "in" and might even say "I'm in." In that situation, though, the player wouldn't actually say "see you," so I don't think this really works. There you go. My mind is made up.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 65A: Latin 101 infinitive (ESSE).
  • 7D: Guinness of "Star Wars" (ALEC).
  • 11D: Pre-euro Italian currency (LIRA).
  • 12D: Harrow rival (ETON).
  • 33D: Oklahoma city (ENID).
  • 57D: Hot times in the cité (ÉTÉS).
  • 58D: Anka's "Eso __" (BESO).
  • 60D: Young newts (EFTS).
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Everything 1A: Aaron of Cooperstown (HANK); 5A: Fast ender (MEAL); 9A: Drink in a Dixie cup? (JULEP); 14A: Lotion additive (ALOE); 15A: ___ breve: 2/2 time (ALLA); 16A: Get under one umbrella, so to speak (UNITE); 17A: Filled to capacity (JAM-PACKED); 19A: Panel member (JUROR); 20A: Soaking and relaxed (IN A TUB); 21A: One seeking repayment (CLAIMANT); 23A: Form W-4 fig. (SSN); 24A: NFL mike wearer (REF); 26A: Ballpark fig. (EST.); 27A: Certain wildlife refuge (STATE PRESERVE); 34A: Annoying kid at the pool (SPLASHER); 36A: Catch, as a podcast (TUNE IN); 37A: Panache (ELAN); 38A: What a fluid oz. measures (LIQ.); 40A: Half of MCDII (DCCI); 41A: Geometry measure (LENGTH); 44A: Was in pain (SUFFERED); 47A: Hit from the "Moulin Rouge!" soundtrack (LADY MARMALADE); 49A: Ending with Cray (-OLA); 50A: CBS's Rather (DAN); 51A: Shakespearean exclamations (AYS); 54A: Ticking danger (TIME BOMB); 59A: Summer pitcherful (ICE TEA); 61A: Stradivari's tutor (AMATI); 62A: Spineless one (JELLYFISH); 64A: Star in the same constellation as Betelgeuse (RIGEL); 65A: Latin 101 infinitive (ESSE); 66A: Collette of "United States of Tara" (TONI); 67A: Ouzo flavoring (ANISE); 68A: White House maiden name (TODD); 69A: Name-dropper, often (SNOB); 1D: Pilgrims to Mecca (HAJIS); 2D: Greenspan and Turing (ALANS); 3D: Area of uncertainty (NO-MANS LAND); 4D: Held on to (KEPT); 5D: Shakespeare's shortest tragedy (MACBETH); 6D: Yellowstone grazer (ELK); 7D: Guinness of "Star Wars" (ALEC); 8D: Soup kitchen volunteer (LADLER); 9D: Martial art emphasizing throws (JUJITSU); 10D: Word on a dime (UNUM); 11D: Pre-euro Italian currency (LIRA); 12D: Harrow rival (ETON); 13D: Cheeky (PERT); 18D: New Age-y emanations (AURAS); 22D: Words before "of rules" (A SET); 25D: Have a hunch (FEEL); 28D: Like some barbecue sauce (TANGY); 29D: Periscope part (PRISM); 30D: Wrapped up (ENDED); 31D: Hiking or biking (RECREATION); 32D: Nasty habit (VICE); 33D: Oklahoma city (ENID); 34D: Broker's order (SELL); 35D: Entreaty (PLEA); 39D: Four-sided campus space (QUAD); 42D: BlackBerry network choice (T-MOBILE); 43D: Saintly ring (HALO); 45D: Made things harder for the lifeguard (FLAILED); 46D: Ornate (FANCY); 48D: Engine for missiles (RAMJET); 52D: Like some easy questions (YES/NO); 53D: Indian honorific (SAHIB); 54D: O'Hara plantation (TARA); 55D: "See you," in poker (I'M IN); 56D: Star-struck trio? (MAGI); 57D: Hot times in the cité (ÉTÉS); 58D: Anka's "Eso __" (BESO); 60D: Young newts (EFTS); 63D: Source of some '60s trips (LSD).


Anonymous said...

This crossword sucked...

Anonymous said...

Whereas that comment was awesome.

Nighthawk said...

Liked the fruit spread theme. Other than those clunkers @PG mentioned, I would add the Latin arithmetic of 40A (which I bypassed and waited for crosses).

The long downs gave me fits, but finally fell and were great. Doesn't seem we see JUJITSU much anymore (replaced maybe by Tae-bo?), but nice to see it here.

Had spelling hesitations on HADJIS, RIGEL (more a confusion of the Baltic seaport of Riga). And, with _AH_ _ filled, SAHIB took a while to sort from Rahja or Rahnee.

Wasn't clear which first lady was intended by 68A until I filled LSD. Then, seeing the crossing D, immediately thought, who else but the, fittingly, spirit contacting Mary TODD Lincoln? I guess the real question is why do we remember her maiden name more than most other first ladies? Only a few others stand out for me: Custis, Bouvier, and Rodham.

Fun as it was, this took way more time for me than a normal Tuesday. But, oddly, not frustrating but satisfying.

Mari said...

9A was cute, even though I was trying to spell it "julip". However, I really don't like 22D.

This puzzle wasn't good or bad, it just made me hungry for toast and jam.

JaxInL.A. said...

For years I made up words to LADY MARMALADE because the real ones were so indistinct. Always got the French, though.

Tuttle said...

A fluid oz. measures volume (as opposed to mass). Saying it measures LIQuid is like saying a square ft. is a measure of RECtangles rather than area.

Now I can't wait for lunch. Leftovers of the ham with marmalade sauce I made last night!

Ruth said...

Toni Collette is awesome overall, GREAT in United States of Tara. (one of her "alters" is a motorcycle riding dude named Buck--incredible how she does it)
And, the show features John Corbett too! What's not to like?

badams62 said...

Liked the puzzle. Agree with @Tuttle about LIQ.

@PG you are correct on the 2/2 time signature.

Didn't mind SPLASHER, thought it was cute, or LADLER. Took me a while to figure out LADLER and ICETEA.

Agree that A SET kind of sucked.


Loved the clue for FLAILED and NO-MANS LAND. Not so much for TIME BOMB. Wanted something better.

CoffeeLvr said...

When I solved this, I promised myself I would not say anything to criticize 59A . . . oops.

Anonymous said...

How come we never hear of iceD cream or iceD water??

Steve said...

Liked it!

The long downs were nice, JUJITSU was very nice, for no good reason I can put my finger on. Agree with the others about ASET.

Had the 21A "C" and had no hesitation in jumping in with CREDITOR, but that lasted about 10 seconds before it all came out again.

Not sure RAMJET is only used in missiles - doesn't the clue imply that?

Fun Tuesday though.

Rube said...

Had natureRESERVE at first. I question whether periscopes have PRISMs -- mirrors, yes.

Never heard of ALLA breve. Pleasant puzzle.

CP said...

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Liked the theme--hit all 4 types of spreads. Lots of crosswordese to help along the way. Nice wordplay on 9A-JULEP.
JAMPACKED IN A TUB stacked....sounds like a some sort of California event back in the day...

CrazyCatLady said...

This was a pleasant enough and easy Tuesday. I have enjoyed TONI Collette in the various movies she's been in ("Little Miss Sunshine", etc), but have never seen "The United States of TARA" because I'm too cheap to pay for Showtime.

Yesterday we decided to visit a couple of Edna Valley wineries in San Luis Obispo. My daughter wanted to try one called Claiborne and Churchill. The first thing I noticed was that they had a wine called "Clueless" that had a crossword grid for the label. I asked the woman behind the tasting bar about it and she pulled out a blank copy of a puzzle and said her husband had his first CW puzzle published last week in the LAT. Turns out he is Claiborne (Clay) Thompson and his puzzle was the wine quip puzzle from last Thursday. It was his first puzzle to be published and he explained about the many changes it went through. It was a great "small world" experience.

CrazyCatLady said...

Wine making crossword constructor

Anoa Bob said...

Is there such a thing as a STATE PRESERVE (27A)? Doesn't quite ring true for me and a quick google didn't help.

Was a little surprised to see TARA as an entry (54D) and as part of a clue (66A) "Collette of 'United States of Tara'".

Played a lot of poker but never heard anyone say "I'm in" (55D). To see someone's bet is to match the amount of money/chips that they put into the pot. This is usually accompanied by "I call". If one wants to raise the bet by putting in all one's chips/cash, the phrase is "I'm all in".

I thought of a completely different clue for "I'm in", but I don't think it would be LAT appropriate!

Jeffy said...

Hey, ICE TEA haters, check out today's Family Circus.

*David* said...

You may be on to something we call some of our parks, RESERVES not PRESERVES in California. It may be a difference in terminology by location.

KJGooster said...

Weaksauce is right. So much crosswordese and bad fill to make a mediocre theme work: SSN, EST, DCCI, -OLA, AYS, ETON, ENID, ELAN, BESO, EFTS, LSD, ETES, ESSE, A SET.

Like @Anoa Bob I also noticed TARA in 54D and 66A. Certainly there are other other clues for Toni (though Toni Collette is a great actor.)

The theme seemed sloppy as well, with the answers spread over the start, middle, and end of the phrases randomly. Also, does anyone ever call jam a fruit PRESERVE, in the singular? All I've ever heard is PRESERVEs.

@Rube: Wikipedia says submarine periscopes "typically employ prisms instead of mirrors, because prisms, which do not require coatings on the reflecting surface, are much more rugged than mirrors." I did not know that.

mac said...

Well, I enjoyed it, although I also had a few critical moments. It's a good thing it was Mary Todd, because she is one of the only first ladies I know by her last name. The clues for julep and unite were great!

Having the preserves at the front and the back isn't impressive. This many long answers is.

Anonymous said...

I actually liked both SPLASHER and LADLER -- I was able to figure out both without many boxes filled in.

"A set of rules," however, doesn't seem like a good clue at all.

brainylagirl said...

i'm sorry, but one does not TUNE IN to a podcast. poor cluing.

Rojo said...

I was kind of meh on the puzzle as a whole but I'll defend the I'M IN clue and answer. I play poker alot and have both said and heard both "I'll see it" and "I'm in" many times, as well as "I call," "Sigh, ok," "Fine, whatever," and "Ha ha, you're bluffing, I will now destroy you."

badams52 said...

@Rojo love your last one. Made me laugh.

I'll second what @brainylagirl said. I was looking for download. That is commonly what you hear when they advertise the podcasts - download it.