07.29 Fri

July 29, 2011
Chris A. McGlothlin

Theme: Long Time No C — Each theme answer is a familiar phrase with the letter C removed from it, creating a new wacky phrase, clued wackily.

Theme answers:

  • 10A/42A/66A: Words to an old friend, whose end is a hint this puzzle's grid and theme (LONG / TIME / NO SEE).
  • 18A: Sailing attire for 1-Across? (ARGO PANTS).
  • 23A: Dearth of frost? (LOW RIME RATE).
  • 38A: Celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day? (USED ARS).
  • 40A: Regional poem? (AREA ODE).
  • 50A: Do some tweezing? (PULL UP A HAIR).
  • 61A: "I've completed the flag"? (ROSS WORDS).
Another good theme idea today. Not just randomly dropping a letter for no reason, but doing so on the basis of a well-known phrase (LONG TIME NO SEE). Too bad the resulting theme phrases are so boring. Obviously I was happy to see the reference to Talk Like a Pirate Day, which affirmed what I told you the other day, and ROSS WORDS is fabulous as clued, but the rest? Meh. I mean, they're okay, but nothing that really pops.

  • 15A: Offenbach's okays (OUIS). French! Also, wow. Offenbach doesn't look like a French name to me. NYET (31D: Dmitri's denial) was much more obvious from the clue.
  • 17A: The world according to Arp (MONDE). More French! Now this clue is definitely cute.
  • 26A: Rowan Atkinson character (MR. BEAN). I didn't know his name was Rowan Atkinson, but I have heard of MR. BEAN so, with a couple crosses in place, he presented himself.
  • 32A: Antenna shelter (RADOME). Pretty sure I've never seen this word in my life.
  • 55A: Players try to hit triples with them (Q TILES). This clue gave me fits. If I had just filled in the crosses I would have been okay — they're all super solid — but I kept trying to piece it together without that help. (This is a Scrabble reference, for anyone still wondering.)
  • 1D: Jazz pianist Ahmad __ (JAMAL).

  • 4D: It's often traded in (OLDER MODEL). Sure, if you're Donald Trump. (Thank you very much. I'll be here all week.)
  • 11D: "Think I'm kidding?" ("OH NO?"). Awesome colloquial phrase.
  • 49D: Ballets __: early 20th-century dance company (RUSSES). Got this through crosses. Assume it means "Russian."
  • 62D: Colorado sports nickname, with "the" (ROX). Any Colorado fans out there who can confirm this? It sounds perfectly reasonable, but I can't say that I've ever heard it.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 20A: Miracle Mets star (AGEE).
  • 21A: "From __ Zinc": vitamin slogan (A TO).
  • 35A: Hosp. test (EKG).
  • 60A: First name in courtroom fiction (ERLE).
  • 5D: Alumna identifier, perhaps (NÉE).
  • 24D: "__ la Douce" (IRMA).
  • 25D: "Diana" crooner (ANKA).
  • 29D: The orchestra tunes to one (OBOE).
  • 58D: WWII craft (LST'S).
  • 63D: Singer DiFranco (ANI).
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Everything1A: Golden Fleece seeker (JASON); 6A: Disputed strip (GAZA); 10A: With 42- and 66-Across, words to an old friend, whose end is a hint this puzzle's grid and theme (LONG); 14A: Nimble (AGILE); 15A: Offenbach's okays (OUIS); 16A: Kentucky border river (OHIO); 17A: The world according to Arp (MONDE); 18A: Sailing attire for 1-Across? (ARGO PANTS); 20A: Miracle Mets star (AGEE); 21A: "From __ Zinc": vitamin slogan (A TO); 22A: Gives a facelift (REDOES); 23A: Dearth of frost? (LOW RIME RATE); 26A: Rowan Atkinson character (MR. BEAN); 27A: Understood (KNOWN); 32A: Antenna shelter (RADOME); 35A: Hosp. test (EKG); 37A: PayPal owner (EBAY); 38A: Celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day? (USED ARS); 40A: Regional poem? (AREA ODE); 42A: See 10-Across (TIME); 43A: Funnyman Kinison (SAM); 45A: Run in (ARREST); 46A: Comes down hard? (HAILS); 48A: Sole man (HERMIT); 50A: Do some tweezing? (PULL UP A HAIR); 55A: Players try to hit triples with them (Q TILES); 59A: Mama bear, in Madrid (OSA); 60A: First name in courtroom fiction (ERLE); 61A: "I've completed the flag"? (ROSS WORDS); 63A: Had a home-cooked meal (ATE IN); 64A: Smack (SWAT); 65A: Pâté base (FOIE); 66A: See 10-Across (NO SEE); 67A: Sounds of disapproval (TSKS); 68A: Cans (AXES); 69A: Touch and shuffle (IPODS); 1D: Jazz pianist Ahmad __ (JAMAL); 2D: Disco era suffix (A-GO-GO); 3D: Tough tissue (SINEW); 4D: It's often traded in (OLDER MODEL); 5D: Alumna identifier, perhaps (NÉE); 6D: Chin hider (GOATEE); 7D: Sky lights (AURORAE); 8D: Turn sharply (ZIG); 9D: "__ of Homecoming": U2 song (A SORT); 10D: Put in a clip (LOAD); 11D: "Think I'm kidding?" ("OH NO?"); 12D: Evening, in ads (NITE); 13D: Former CIA director Porter __ (GOSS); 19D: Glance (PEEK); 21D: Some ales (AMBERS); 24D: "__ la Douce" (IRMA); 25D: "Diana" crooner (ANKA); 28D: Second or third, for instance (NEAR THE TOP); 29D: The orchestra tunes to one (OBOE); 30D: Bankrolls (WADS); 31D: Dmitri's denial (NYET); 32D: "The Book of __": Jane Hamilton novel (RUTH); 33D: Aral Sea locale (ASIA); 34D: Starting half? (DEMI); 36D: The old man's old man (GRAMPA); 39D: "Is there any group I haven't offended?" satirist (SAHL); 41D: Ranch addition? (-ERIA); 44D: French art song (MELODIE); 47D: Erupt (SPEW); 49D: Ballets __: early 20th-century dance company (RUSSES); 51D: Yank's home, briefly (U. S. OF A.); 52D: Playground retort (ARE SO); 53D: "Well ... not exactly" ("I LIED"); 54D: Magritte and Descartes (RENES); 55D: Queue before U (Q-R-S-T); 56D: Pulls along (TOWS); 57D: Writer Dinesen (ISAK); 58D: WWII craft (LST'S); 62D: Colorado sports nickname, with "the" (ROX); 63D: Singer DiFranco (ANI).


Mari said...

Tough puzzle for me. Good way to wake up my brain on a Friday morning.

I got LONG TIME NO SEE, but the rest of the theme lost me. I was looking for the missing C to appear in the same place of each clue – like the beginning of C-ROSS WORDS. Took me a while to figure it out. But I did like AREA C-ODES. Cute.

62D ROX Ugh! Never heard of this.
55A QTILES Ugh! Not a Scrabble player, I was trying to think of a baseball reference.

Conrad said...

Yeah, this puzzle stumped me. I didn't have time to really grapple with it, but I had a few too many "What?" moments to think I'd have made it through.

@Mari- same for me on QTILES, though I was looking for a darts reference.

Bill said...

A couple of wrong entries for me.

Had QRST for 55D - was thinking of the phone dial and not the alphabet. Couldn't fathom PTILES, although I would not have understood QTILES either.

Had GRAMPS instead of GRAMPA for 36D, and I didn't know enough Spanish to catch OSA versus OSS.

Anonymous said...

Nobody seems to have mentioned the fact that there are no "C"'s anywhere in the puzzle - not just the theme clues.

Lemonade714 said...

How funny you mentioned Donald Trump, my first thought was Ivana Trump.

Lemonade714 said...

No V's either. CV, Curriculum Vitae?

Anonymous said...

Rox short for Rockies, like Sox, both Red and White, makes sense but I have never seen it before...

Joan said...

It was clever but not tough enough for Friday.

Joan said...

Forgot to mention - THANK YOU FOR THIS BLOG!!! When the puzzles drive me insane this is where I come for help!

*David* said...

Whew what a workout for me, very odd solve. Got most of the fill but could not see the theme for the life of me. Kept on trying to add SEE into the phrases and not getting anywhere. Finally the C dawned on me by AREAODE and I was able to finish. Lots of easy fill mixed in with some tough stuff, really erratic solving process.

*David* said...

Oh yeah, felt RADOME crossing DEMI was a Natick, since it could just as easily be SEMI.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I thought this puzzle was brilliant! I got the "long time no see" pretty early on, but it wasn't until I got "argopants" and "lowrimerate" that it came together with all the missing Cs. However, I never did get Qtiles even though I'm an avid scrabble player because I was stuck on baseball. And I still don't understand "radome." Finally, I missed the answer to what "Natick" is yesterday, if someone could explain again.


Mari said...

@Joan, I second that!

Mary in Oregon said...

What Joan said! Even my very sports-minded husband didn't know the Rox. Anonymous NM: "Natick" refers to crossing two clues which reference extremely unknown places. From Natick, a small town in NY State, I think.

Thanks so much for this wonderful blog! I would never have figured out what "Qtiles" meant.

Tuttle said...

Never, ever heard ROX. I have heard "avs" (Avalanche) though. And you know what they say, 'Avalanche is better than no lanche at all.

Alexscott said...

I struggled through this one, even after getting the theme. I finally finished but with RchOME instead of RADOME for 32A (RC antenna, home). Not only could DEMI be "semi," I thought it could be "hemi." Don't ask me what I thought cSIA was. I guess it made as much sense to me as RADOME would have. This was a mixed bag for me. Some of the clues I liked (for Q TILES, World according to Arp), but many I didn't as, well as some so-so answers (OHNO, REDOES, and I'm looking at you, ERIA). Still, it mentions a U2 song, so it can't be all bad.

Fowler said...

Yeah, a tough one, but I liked it. Caught onto the theme before the end. If I hadn't I probably never would have gone with a phrase like LOW RIME RATE. That was weird, with not only the theme operating but the off-spelling of RIME.

I liked ROX. I agree that I have not heard of it or seen it before, but that's OK 'cuz I felt like I (well, me and McGlothlin) invented it!

Steve said...

I liked it, was a tough one for me, but persevered and got there in the end.

I thought the theme entries were pretty good, not sure why @PG had a "meh" on them. LOWRIMERATE, AREAODE, ARGOPANTS - all nice. Liked the back-reference to JASON too.

QTILES - hand up for staring at this for ages and thinking baseball.

Boo to ERIA. I'm a sports nut and never heard of ROX, so boo to that too. I watch so much ESPN that I would have heard it sometime, but nope, never have, and trust me, Chris Berman would have repeated it to death during the highlight reels.

AURORAE was nice.

Anonymous said...

I have heard ROX, a friend is a big Rockies fan. This was a tough solve after being away from crosswords for awhile. For some reason, the theme completely eluded me for 20 minutes and I gave up. I will chalk that up to rustiness. Couldn't remember LST. Also dont think ive heard of ISAK and 55 down clue wasnt clicking for me was trying to think of some sort of line or queue that made sense in the context..Didn't know RADOME or AGEE but got through crosses.

C said...

This one baffled me and I took the DNF. RUSSES (didn't know) crossed with HERMIT (didn't understand the clue, still really don't) did me in. It was a slog for me, definitely a lot of clues outside my knowledge sweet spots.

MPPuzzler said...

Fun puzzle. I got QTILES from the crosses, and it finally dawned on me that it was Scrabble reference. I caught the missing "C"s in the grid early on, which helped with some of the entries.

RADOME is short for RAdar DOME.

@C - a hermit lives alone, and sole can be another word for alone.

mac said...

Nice puzzle, similar experience to PG's. Especially like Jason and his argopants.

Tough to get that Q and the U wouldn't fit next to it. Beautiful that there were no Cs in the puzzle at att.

Jack said...

I think 32 across ... could be RAHome as in retractable antenna shelter and 34 down could be Hemi instead of Demi.

That would fit better, no?


mathcapt said...

A radome is what they use on ships and planes to shelter otherwise exposed antennas from high wind.

Rojo said...

I'm a couple days late commenting here, but have two points.

Agree that DEMI crossing RADOME was a Natick.

Also, GAZA is not a "disputed" strip. No one but the most right-wing, hardcore Zionists believe that Gaza is anything but Palestinian occupied territory (populated, for that matter, largely by people violently driven off land that is now Israel and their descendants). If I were the clue writer, I might have gone with "besieged territory," but I'm sure some more neutral clue could have been thought of. "Disputed territory" is just false though.