7.30.2011

07.30 Sat

S A T U R D A Y
July 30, 2011
Neville Fogarty


Theme: None

Looks like we're ending the week with a tough, fun Saturday romp from Neville Longbo… er—Fogarty. As I write about this puzzle I'm going to try to forget that Neville is responsible for the completely irritating song that's stuck in my head right now. You really don't wanna know. Okay, okay, if the suspense is killing you, go ahead and click on this link. I wouldn't recommend it though. You Have Been Warned!

There are some pretty nice stacks in this grid. I think my favorite is LADY GAGA / ALGEBRA I / PIERRE, S.D. (12D: Singer known for unconventional outfits / 13D: Basic math course / 14D: Second-least populous st. capital). Other stand-out entries to me include BANANARAMA (60A: Female pop trio since 1979 — was it really that long ago??) and RV HOOKUP (36D: KOA amenity). That last one was a gimme for me. When I took my epic road-trip across the country mumble-mumble-teen years ago I camped at KOAs along the way and was kind of surprised to learn that there's a whole RV culture out there. I had no idea! Some of the nicest people I've ever met too. They thought this (relatively) young woman traveling alone and sleeping in a tent was a little on the nutty side, but they looked out for me, which was really nice and comforting.

This next part I'm going to write is a little … sensitive. Please select the text here and you can see what I've written. Neville, you should just skip this and go on to the bullets. [TIR? AMOY?? Seriously?? WTF?? Those entries are completely ridiculous! Blech!]

Bullets:

  • 1A: Revisiting the past? (TIME TRAVEL). Immediately brings to mind "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Back to the Future," both of which are awesome.
  • 11A: __ shot (SLAP). Who knew how many different kinds of shots could come into a person's head at one time? Bank shot, drop shot, rim shot, etc., etc. Of course this particular shot is from one of the few sports I know nothing about (hockey). Fortunately (?), PuzzleHusband often quotes from the movie "SLAP shot," so the phrase was knocking around in my brain somewhere.
  • 15A: "Been there" ("I CAN RELATE"). If you know anything about me, you know I love seeing colloquial phrases in the grid. This one is awesome, as is "AS I SAID …" (<39A: "To reiterate …").
  • 34A: Tales you can also read backwards? (SAGAS). You can't actually read the tale itself backwards, but you can read the word SAGAS backwards. Cute!
  • 42A: Jenny Fields's son, in a 1978 best-seller (T. S. GARP). Man it must be a hundred years since I read this book and the answer came to me immediately. Now if I could only remember what I came in here for ….
  • 58A: Whitman of "Arrested Development" (MAE). I always get this show confused with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in my head. They're both on my Need To Watch List.
  • 65A: Only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist (EVERGLADES). Look how this kinda boring answer is dressed up with a cool clue.
  • 2D: Mariner from Japan (ICHIRO!).
  • 11D: Duck in the Eurasian taiga (SMEW). Duck in the Eurasian what-ga?
  • 35D: Shepherd-protecting org. (ASPCA). One of two misleading dog clues in this puzzle. See also CANINE (29A: Like some boxers).
  • 38D: Pioneer in side-scrolling video games (NINTENDO). Who knew?
  • 50D: One may come with wings (BREAST). Mmmm… chicken.
  • 63D: Emulate Sir Mix-A-Lot (RAP).

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Everything 1A: Revisiting the past? (TIME TRAVEL); 11A: __ shot (SLAP); 15A: "Been there" ("I CAN RELATE"); 16A: Country with a green, yellow and red flag (MALI); 17A: Israelites, to many (CHOSEN ONES); 18A: Hone (EDGE); 19A: The sport of shooting, in Soissons (TIR); 20A: Took in (ATE); 21A: Finn's friend (SAWYER); 23A: Sarah McLachlan's record label (ARISTA); 25A: Chinese port also known as Xiamen (AMOY); 27A: 2012 games host country, in Olympics code (GBR); 28A: Come to (COST); 29A: Like some boxers (CANINE); 31A: "Who __ we kidding?" (ARE); 32A: Personification (AVATAR); 34A: Tales you can also read backwards? (SAGAS); 36A: Fakes (RINGERS); 39A: "To reiterate ..." ("AS I SAID …"); 41A: Notable Nixon gesture (V-SIGN); 42A: Jenny Fields's son, in a 1978 best-seller (T. S. GARP); 44A: Luv (HON); 45A: Talked up (TOUTED); 47A: Certain dieter's concern (CARB); 51A: Go (for) (OPT); 52A: Objects (ENDS); 53A: Glassy-eyed one (STARER); 55A: Brand named for two states (ORE-IDA); 57A: __ favor (POR); 58A: Whitman of "Arrested Development" (MAE); 59A: Essex neighbor (KENT); 60A: Female pop trio since 1979 (BANANARAMA); 64A: Go back, in a way (UNDO); 65A: Only place on Earth where crocodiles and alligators co-exist (EVERGLADES); 66A: Lowly worker (PEON); 67A: Pans, and how (TEARS APART); 1D: Popular mint (TIC TAC); 2D: Mariner from Japan (ICHIRO); 3D: "The Piano" extras (MAORIS); 4D: USNA grad (ENS.); 5D: Pay for (TREAT); 6D: Airport offering (RENT-A-CAR); 7D: Succulent genus (ALOE); 8D: Cargo carrier (VAN); 9D: Summer abroad (ÉTÉ); 10D: Good thing to learn (LESSON); 11D: Duck in the Eurasian taiga (SMEW); 12D: Singer known for unconventional outfits (LADY GAGA); 13D: Basic math course (ALGEBRA I); 14D: Second-least populous st. capital (PIERRE, S.D.); 22D: Bridge response (AYE SIR); 24D: Immortal college coach (STAGG); 25D: Santa __ (ANA); 26D: Illusion (MIRAGE); 30D: Ready to father (AT STUD); 33D: Let it all out (VENTED); 35D: Shepherd-protecting org. (ASPCA); 36D: KOA amenity (RV HOOKUP); 37D: Petroleum processing by-product (ISOPRENE); 38D: Pioneer in side-scrolling video games (NINTENDO); 40D: Tearjerkers of a kind (SAD SONGS); 43D: 61-Down crossers: Abbr. (STS.); 46D: How some stunts are done (ON A BET); 48D: Fighting force (ARMADA); 49D: Hole widener (REAMER); 50D: One may come with wings (BREAST); 54D: Refrain from singing? (TRA-LA); 56D: "Bring __!" (IT ON); 57D: Tudor widow (PARR); 61D: See 43-Down (AVE.); 62D: Gp. for teachers (NEA); 63D: Emulate Sir Mix-A-Lot (RAP).

20 comments:

Rojo said...

This was a tough, but successful, Saturday for me. That NW corner was my bete noire. At various points I had I CAN bE LATE, instead of I CAN RELATE. CanaaNitES instead of CHOSEN ONES (although I knew that was wrong), and of course TIR just killed me (but AMOY I thought was ok, I guess because I got it quickly through crosses).

After failing to think of a reasonably common Japanese word for sailor, I realized that the clue was asking for the Seattle Mariners pitcher (he was/is a pitcher yes? I don't do sports) and then had to slam my head on the desk trying to remember his name for a while, but that's what eventually saved me from the dreaded DNF.

I was a bit annoyed at ALGEBRA I sitting right next to PIERRE SD, but SAGAS was great cluing.

Am well familiar with OREIDA, but it had never occurred to me that the name came from my current home state, Oregon, and of course our neighbor, Idaho.

Finally, is it just me, or REAMER a bit disturbing?

Gareth Bain said...

Funny, the RINGERS/RVHOOKUP crossing was the last letter in my x-word. Had to do the 26-letter shuffle to finish! Personally would've gone with the drip solution for RINGERS, but that might be just a personal thing... Very nicely done, agree quality stacks!

Steve said...

Very nice except for TIR - I'd go super-blech on that one.

Had to wait for GARP's initials from the crosses - could not for the life of me remember those.

It's funny how some answers just go straight in, no thinking required - BANANARAMA was one of those, even without a single cross.

The OREIDA/Washington State region was the hardest for me (hee hee, I used OREIDA in a sentence). I knew ARISTA, goodness knows how, the rest came very slowly.

Great fun though, nice Saturday, thanks Mr. Fogarty and @PG for a great write-up again. I was wondering why the ASPCA had taken it on themselves to protect shepherds until the "duh" moment reading the blog.

@Rojo - I hadn't thought of the REAMER disturbia, but alongside ATSTUD you might shudder a little.

Anonymous said...

Ichiro is a left hand hitting outfielder, former rookie of the year.

Gene said...

I could have sworn MATSUI was the japanese mariner. Stopped the NW corner until ICHIRO came to mind. I'm a sports guy but never heard of Coach Stagg. Good puzzle. @pg Nice blog as usual.

slypett said...

Only writeover was ISOPRENE/kerosene. Otherwise, perfectly straightforward.

TIRer means, I believe, "to pull", in France and other French-speaking nations. If you were shooting clay pigeons you would command, "Pull," in order to release the disc

Alexscott said...

I started off by entering Suzuki instead of ICHIRO at 2D. Soon realized that was probably wrong but couldn't for the life of me think of his more commonly known first name. (I even tried to cheat by looking him up in the sports section, but he's not among the batting leaders this season.) It finally came to me, which opened up the NW section.

To add to @Anon's bio of Ichiro, he was also the AL MVP in 2001, the year he was Rookie of the Year. He also set the single-season hits record in 2004 with 262. He has over 2,300 hits in 11 years. Not too shabby. (While we're on sports: @Gene, Amos Alonzo Stagg was a pioneering coach for that football powerhouse, the University of Chicago, back in the early 20th century. Go Maroons!)

After ICHIRO, I breezed through this puzzle until trying to finish in the SE. For some reason, the singular CARB just doesn't seem right to me. Is a dieter on a low-carb diet really just concerned with the one carb? I think this could've been clued better. So I resisted that, as well as REAMER, for obvious reasons. And I was really hoping 53A "Glassy-eyed one," was going to have something to do with Sammy Davis Jr. or someone with a glass eye. STARER just kind of sits there.

But I did really like SAGAS. Plus, for the second day in a row, the puzzles have referenced one of my favorite books (The World According to Garp). I remembered T.S. immediately (stands for "Technical Sergeant"--or "Terribly Sad" or "Terribly Sexy," according to Garp). Great movie, too, with Robin Williams and Glenn Close et al. (probably the last great George Roy Hill film). "Garp? T.S. Garp? Not the bastard son of Jenny Fields?!"

Tom said...

Fun puzzle, today. I, too, had trouble in the NW corner, but once I got TIMETRAVEL I was home free.

BTW, "The Time Travelers Wife?" "Awesome?" Really, PG? I did a little time traveling myself while watching that movie...I fell asleep. One of the worst movies ever!

PuzzleGirl said...

@Tom: Oh, I didn't see the movie -- I was talking about the book!

CP said...

Fun 'n tough puzzle. Finished but it took some work. SE corner is what had me, Couldn't think of many female pop trios (Wilson Philips? dixie chicks?) hadn't heard of PARR. SLAP Shot was a great movie, who can forget those Hanson Brothers, they looked like Kurt Rambis on ice.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry -- but cannot see sensitive writeup -- please publish.

Neville said...

Anon: The part I'm not supposed to read is...

[TIR? AMOY?? Seriously?? WTF?? Those entries are completely ridiculous! Blech!]

And frankly, I agree! I actually pointed those out to RN as weak points, but we agreed that they were legitimate entries and that the crossings were all gettable and well known. (Though were I solving, I'd be in the WTF camp, too!)

Now go watch Arrested Development! :)

Rube said...

This one got me... HTG. In addition, ended up with ONAsET crossing sANARAMA. Pop culture is obviously not my thing. However, Amos Alonzo STAGG is, and besides, he was in another xword recently. Thought the triples in the four corners were great, (except for the aforesaid BANARAMA, but that's just me).

Doug P said...

Nice puzzle, Neville! I enjoyed all the stacks. And I liked the RVH mash-up at the beginning of RV HOOKUP. It's fun to see weird letter combinations that look completely wrong while you're solving.

I can live with AMOY, but TIR brings a tear to my eye.

CoffeeLvr said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned how ugly SMEW is; not so much as an entry, as the crosses are all gettable, but just saying it!

I enjoyed the struggle with this one, as most of the results were crisp. Thanks, Neville.

Had to look up GARP's initials, having never read the book; after reading the source of his name, I will probably remember.

This grid and clues seemed heavy on the geography; that's okay with me.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding write-up puzzle-girl!

What a great puzzle to wrap up a week of especially well crafted LA Times x-words.

Anyone else struck by the unusally handsome grid construction today? Wow. Neville L. Fogarty, you are a formidable x-word constructor and artiste in my book.

Despite a mighty shaky start, I surprised myself in finishing today's challenger offline correctly on my own without help. That is, except for the naticky TIR/ICHIRO crossing, the last square for me to finish. I had wagged an "A" rather than "I" (getting TAR/ICHARO). Guessing the Japanese mariner would be the name of a sports figure I didn't know, I had reasoned that maybe the English word "Target" might loosely translate in French to "Tar". At least I knew Soissons as a city in France.

I had "stoner" for awhile on 53A, but eventually I saw the error of my ways. I was also stymied for awhile on 17A with Canaanites or ???semites. Like Rojo, I hadn't ever considered Oreida's etymology, but it was fairly easy to intuit with a couple of perp letters in place.

Fowler said...

I don't know why I got SMEW instantly, without thinking. I don't remember ever reading/learning about "the Eurasian taiga."
I with PG agree that TIR and AMOY are weirdly bothersome. I accepted AMOY after a few minutes, but TIR still bothers me. Seems un-French, too short, too blunt. So I entered TIR into my iMac's instant translator, and the answer came right back: "Shooting"!
I guess my junior high French just isn't equal to the task.
I got it all in the end, but this one was a real challenge. The SE corner was my last. It is probably a generational thing, but BANANARAMA took forever to come through.

~Kf

C said...

Fun Saturday puzzle. I found it much easier than yesterday's, go figure. Some awesome answers as pointed out by all.

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Just copy the answers - why waste time on inanities like this???

mac said...

Sorry, Neville, almost missed your puzzle! Busy day, etc. Really enjoyed it, tough and fresh and daring. Couldn't believe: ready to father!

Tir was a gimme, Amoy not so much, but gettable. As does PG, I like those in the language expressions. Love Bananarama but would probably not know their music.