08.15 Mon

August 15, 2011
Jeff Chen

Theme: I think YOU'LL like this puzzle — The last words of all theme answers rhyme, even though the rhyming sound is spelled differently each time.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: 1956 #1 hit for Elvis Presley (DON'T BE CRUEL).
  • 27A: Mr. T catch phrase (I PITY THE FOOL).
  • 47A: Cornerstone principle of democracy (MAJORITY RULE).
  • 61A: Eight-time Best Actor nominee who never won (PETER O'TOOLE).
Well, what have we got today? Simple theme, executed well, with interesting theme answers. Not much more you can ask for on a Monday. Lots of pop culture in this grid that I'm only vaguely familiar with. Thought 20A: DREA De Matteo of "The Sopranos" was a little tough for a Monday but then I remembered "The Sopranos" was a wildly popular show and just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it's obscure by any means. I also never watched whatever show URKEL was on (22A: '80s-'90s "Did I do that?" TV nerd), but the character has found its way into my consciousness by osmosis somehow. I also didn't ever see the LARA CROFT movie (32D: "Tomb Raider" role for Angelina Jolie) but remember thinking the movie posters looked kick-ass.

My favorite entries today are ROCK SOLID, RIFF, and LEGWORK (11D: Dependable beyond doubt / 23D: Jazz motif / 46D: Out-of-the-office detective duty). How about you?

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 18D: Morales of "La Bamba" (ESAI).
  • 55D: Fencing swords (ÉPÉES).
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Shish __ (KABOB); 6A: 2008 "Yes We Can" sloganeer (OBAMA); 11A: ACLU concerns (RTS.); 14A: Prefix with -clast (ICONO); 15A: Group of secret schemers (CABAL); 16A: Neighbor of Wash. (ORE.); 17A: 1956 #1 hit for Elvis Presley (DON'T BE CRUEL); 19A: Cartoon collectible (CEL); 20A: De Matteo of "The Sopranos" (DREA); 21A: Fat-based bird feed (SUET); 22A: '80s-'90s "Did I do that?" TV nerd (URKEL); 24A: Having one's day in court? (ON TRIAL); 26A: "Revenge is __ best served cold" (A DISH); 27A: Mr. T catch phrase (I PITY THE FOOL); 31A: Choir section (ALTOS); 34A: Cold War country, briefly (USA); 35A: Chimney passage (FLUE); 36A: Scratch or scuff (MAR); 37A: Ostracized one (OUTCAST); 41A: Prefix with metric (ISO-); 42A: Recipient of a princess's kiss (FROG); 44A: Suffix for no-good (-NIK); 45A: Like days gone by (OLDEN); 47A: Cornerstone principle of democracy (MAJORITY RULE); 51A: Henry __ Lodge: WWI senator (CABOT); 52A: Final stage of a chess match (END GAME); 56A: "Sesame Street" resident (ERNIE); 57A: "Get lost, kitty!" ("SCAT!"); 59A: Adorn, as a birthday gift (WRAP); 60A: Below-the-belt (LOW); 61A: Eight-time Best Actor nominee who never won (PETER O'TOOLE); 64A: Musician's deg. (MFA); 65A: Dodge, as the press (EVADE); 66A: Address the crowd (ORATE); 67A: Cellos' sect. (STR.); 68A: Flew off the handle (RAGED); 69A: Gumbo vegetables (OKRAS); 1D: Friendly term of address (KIDDO); 2D: Oak tree-to-be (ACORN); 3D: Lisa of "The Cosby Show" (BONET); 4D: Easternmost Great Lake (ONTARIO); 5D: Reggae's Marley (BOB); 6D: Supernatural (OCCULT); 7D: Au naturel (BARE); 8D: Stand next to (ABUT); 9D: West of the silver screen (MAE); 10D: Refer (to) (ALLUDE); 11D: Dependable beyond doubt (ROCK SOLID); 12D: Kids' secret club meeting place (TREEHOUSE); 13D: Dispose of via eBay (SELL); 18D: Morales of "La Bamba" (ESAI); 23D: Jazz motif (RIFF); 25D: __ facto (IPSO); 26D: Cries of triumph (AHAS); 28D: Totally gross (YUCKY); 29D: Luggage-screening org. (TSA); 30D: "Exodus" author Uris (LEON); 31D: Car radio button (AM/FM); 32D: "Tomb Raider" role for Angelina Jolie (LARA CROFT); 33D: Conflict involving a fake horse (TROJAN WAR); 38D: Workbook chapter (UNIT); 39D: __ for tat (TIT); 40D: Sang like a canary, so to speak (TOLD); 43D: Mongolian desert (GOBI); 46D: Out-of-the-office detective duty (LEGWORK); 48D: Ebert's partner after Siskel (ROEPER); 49D: Parented (REARED); 50D: "Do __ others ..." (UNTO); 53D: Bustling with noise (AROAR); 54D: Island nation near Sicily (MALTA); 55D: Fencing swords (ÉPÉES); 56D: Shade trees (ELMS); 57D: Just for guys (STAG); 58D: Formally relinquish (CEDE); 62D: Perón of Argentina (EVA); 63D: As well (TOO).


Sfingi said...

Easy, never noticed the theme.

It's about time the Academy gave O'Toole something. My favorite was The Ruling Class.

We need to see Miss DREA de Matteo in more than TV series.

Mari said...

Mr. T and Steve Urkel in the same puzzle? Now that's Rock Solid!

Anonymous said...

@Sfingi - They broke down and gave him a Lifetime Achievement award some time ago. Sadly, I don't know whether that was for the combined worthiness of his major motion picture work or some schlock movie he made for the Lifetime tv network.

@PG - I'm suspecting you're not in the target audience for a Laura Croft movie. The attraction of these seem singular. Well, maybe a pair.

Anonymous said...

I always spell it shish kebab - so that meant a minor hiccup - wikipedia offers both spellings.

imsdave said...

@Sfingi - "Becket". O'Toole and Burton at the top of their craft.

Great simple theme solidly executed. Kudos to Mr. Chen.

On a side note, I had a late post yesterday in support of DougP's wonderful Sunday blogging. Join that party folks - it will put a smile on your face.

@PG - didn't seem right to put up a rave about Doug's work without giving you the same props. Thanks for all you do - we're lucky to have both of you!

Sfingi said...

@Anon620 - so glad! I admit I don't watch the awards. And, @Becket - another good one, definitely.

Steve said...

Didn't notice the theme either until I read the write-up - thanks, @PG

Hand up for kebab before KABOB.

Personal natick for the BONET/DREA cross - was my last letter. Guessed at the E, apparently it was a good guess.

Nice Monday. I thought the fill was ROCKSOLID.

Nighthawk said...

Great Monday. Smooth, solid, fun.

DREA was my WOTD. ROEPER was a close second.

Oddly, Lisa BONET, URKEL, and Mr. T were dimly familiar. It must have been around then that we pretty much turned the tube off.

Liked RIFF and SCAT together.

Tombraider on a Gameboy was my daughter's first foray into the world of computers. Next came a lime green (her favorite color at the time) iMac - the first in the home.

imsdave said...

@Steve - KABOB is one of those words that I write in K-B-B and wait for the crosses. It is akin to:

Inscribed stone: STEL- (wait for the cross of A or E)

Inter ____: ALI- (wait for the cross of I or A)

____ Kong: --NG (wait for the cross of KI or HO)

Idle: L--- (wait for the cross of OLL or AZE or OAF)

There are a zillion of these in crossworld - I just call them "wait for it's"

Just an amateur solver musing.

Jeff Chen said...

I obviously watched way too much 80's TV. Ask me anything about Urkel (and his suave counterpart Ur-quel) or The Cosby Show or really any detail about Gilligan's Island...

Is it wrong that I still want a big A-Team black van with red stripes?

Jeff (quitting his jibber jabber now)

shrub5 said...

Very nice puzzle. Not too easy and not too hard. Just right!! Loved the rhymes!

Hand up for KEBOB to KABOB. Also had BFA before MFA, IPSE instead of IPSO, and RAISED before REARED. All were promptly fixed.

I've never thought about the plural of okra but OKRAS doesn't sound right. I think OKRA is both singular and plural. ? Most on-line dictionaries agree but I did find one that has okras. By the way, most of the definitions include the phrase "mucilagenous seed pod." Ew.

I was looking up the source of "revenge is a dish best served cold" -- various sources/origin is uncertain -- and came across this : "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." Confucius.

CoffeeLvr said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. I liked the puzzle; nice Monday romp. I watched less TV in the late 80's, early 90's than at any other time in my life. Working mother and all that, including limiting my KIDDO's screen time. Having said that, yes, I remember URKEL, and I could hear Mr. T utter his catch phrase as I typed it in.

I put in KABOB without thinking of any alternative, but the K was sticky and I put in kABAL on my first pass. KABOB, CABAL, CABOT, all very similar patterns. ACORN, URKEL, YUCKY, SCAT, OKRAS. This puzzle is ROCK SOLID, packed with K's and hard C's.

Anonymous said...

Took about 10 minutes but I also didn't get okras. Reminds of a friend that pluralizes shrimps

John Wolfenden said...

The URKEL reference reminded me of the Simpsons episode in which Bart appears on the Krusty the Klown Show, accidentally knocks down the set, and when caught like a deer in the headlights says, "I didn't do it."

Everyone loves the catchphrase and it becomes a regular feature of Krusty's show. Never realized what it was a reference to until now.