08.19 Fri

August 19, 2011
Jeff Louie

Theme: Crazy Cuisine — Hard G sounds are changed to hard C sounds in familiar foods, creating a madcap menu of outrageous edibles.

Theme Entries:
  • 16A: Dairy food for a haunted house? (CREAK YOGURT).
  • 23A: Boxed Brie? (CRATED CHEESE).
  • 38A/41A: Pancake-flavored drink? (CREPE JUICE).
  • 50A: Snacks for an all-nighter? (CRAM CRACKERS).
  • 62A: Dinner dish decorated for a king? (CROWNED BEEF).
Hey, puzzle fans. Doug here, filling in on a Friday. PuzzleGirl is away on important business. She called me last night from an undisclosed location. There was a lot of loud music and laughter in the background, so I didn't catch everything she said. Sounded pretty important though. OK, let's get to the puzzle.

Unless I'm mistaken, this is Jeff Louie's debut puzzle. Congratulations! This is an ambitious theme. You could come up with a decent theme by finding a bunch of phrases that start with GR & then changing the G sound to a C sound. But Mr. Louie kicked it up a notch by only using food-related phrases. Nice work.

I like CREPE JUICE the best, because it sounds kinda gross, in a good way. It reminds me of some of the strange sodas that Jones Soda puts out around the holidays. Sodas with flavors like Turkey & Gravy, Dinner Roll, Christmas Tree, Green Bean Casserole, and Herb Stuffing. When I'm invited to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I always bring the Jones Soda. The kids love it! I get out the fancy glasses, and we all have a sample of each flavor. (And yes, I'm always assigned to sit at the kids' table for some reason.) I remember the Turkey & Gravy soda was especially vile. It was like licking an ashtray. And Christmas Tree tasted like Windex. Best flavor: Pumpkin Pie.

  • 1A: Espresso concoction (LATTE). Aren't espresso and latte two different things? I'm not a coffee drinker, so I may be completely off-base. That's right. I don't drink coffee, but I occasionally drink Mashed Potatoes & Butter soda.
  • 10A/13A: Coming-out phrase? (IT'S A GIRL). Because the baby girl's "coming out" of the mother. Moving on...
  • 14A: Surprisingly, the Rays don't play there (TAMPA). The Tampa Bay Rays play in St. Petersburg, Florida. The New York Giants and New York Jets play in New Jersey. And the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? You can figure that one out.
  • 16A: Dairy food for a haunted house? (CREAK YOGURT). I wasn't familiar with Greek yogurt. Wikipedia tells me that it's "yogurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt and cheese, while preserving yogurt's distinctive sour taste." Uh, that almost sounds worse than the crepe juice.
  • 34A: Sask. neighbor (N. DAK.). If PuzzleGirl was here, I'm sure she'd have something interesting to say about North Dakota. Let's see... It's the birthplace of Roger Maris. That's all I've got.
  • 40A: Priest's vestment (ALB). That's a vintage Crosswordese 101 entry. Check it out here: ALB.
  • 9D: Weather forecast word (PATCHY). This is one of my favorite clues today. Rather than giving us a boring synonym, the constructor came up with a clever way to make us think of "patchy." The only place I ever hear that word is in weather forecasts. Patchy fog, patchy clouds, etc.
  • 10D: Sundance entry, usually (INDIE). Independent films at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • 22D: Name that means "cool breeze" in Hawaiian (KEANU). That's the most interesting thing I've ever read about Keanu Reeves. My name in Hawaiian is Kouka. I learned that from a keychain in a Hawaiian gift shop.
    PuzzleGirl will be back tomorrow, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to blog. Or you'll be stuck with me again. Enjoy the rest of your Friday.


    backbiter said...

    Jeezuz, Doug. I was already a little sickened about Crepe Juice before your Jones Soda write up. UUGGHH!! *run away run away*. I don't like to be grossed out while I'm having my morning cigar.

    I liked this puzzle. But I breezed through it to easily. I'm supposed to have resistance on a Friday. Oh well.




    Orange said...

    Now I'm thinking I need to bring the Jones Soda on Thanksgiving myself. Thanks for the idea, Kouka!

    North Dakota is, of course, best known as the place Iowa wrestler Dan Gable was slated to give a speech in 2010. (http://dakotagrappler.com/simplemessageboard/index.php?topic=9110.0)

    Bill said...

    Really easy for a Friday - nothing spectacular, though.

    SFPRA said...

    We of the SFPRA (Society For the Preservation of Rampant Alcoholism) host a free 12 course Thanksgiving day dinner every year in the Bowery where Jones Soda plays a major role. We start with Leftover Turkey Soup soda, Arugula Salad soda, those SS Doug listed among others, all the way through to finishing with Apple, Pumpkin and MinceMeat pie sodas.

    It's a highly popular and well attended affair, though I think that the fact that we only use these as mixers with gut-rot Vodka plays a major role in this.

    Mari said...

    Good puzzle. It kept me challenged, yet with minimal white-out (especially for a Friday). Easy enough theme.

    I enjoyed 26A "shower head", and 52D "One of Nixon's vices". I'd nerver heard of the term "goldbricks" before.

    Sfingi said...

    Not bad for a Fri. Googled twice - HAGUE and KEANU.

    Had PicTure before PORTRAY, deaD before EYED (gross, but the puzzle theme didn't pass the breakfast test, anyway).

    However, when it came to the sports clues, I post-Googled JEER and learned what a Boobird was - pretty cool word.
    Then, I got the word ERR, but didn't "get" it. So I asked Hubster. After a long explanation of "boots a grounder," which I didn't totally understand, I had to conclude that it was not possible to kick a ball as well as one could throw it. That must be for futball. Whatever.

    Mari said...

    SFPRA, Are you recruiting new members?

    Gene said...

    great Wednesday puzzle, Friday, not so much.

    VirginiaC said...

    I enjoyed the puzzle but it took me a while to get going. Had partly for patchy and I still don't get 62A. If the theme holds true, that would normally be "growned beef" What is that??

    I liked crepe juice too. And would love to join SFPRA if there's an opening.

    Oh, Backbiter.......morning cigar? you're kidding, right?

    Anonymous said...

    @VirginiaC - Ground beef. The theme is phonetic, so the spellings can change.

    Anonymous said...

    Great comments Doug. This was easier for me than yesterday's. Maybe folks from Quebec drink CREPE JUICE? Given their attendance figures, I'm surprised the Rays still play in St.Pete. Maybe a move to TAMPA would help? They are welcome to come to LA anytime and play at Dodger Stadium.

    *David* said...

    Nice solid puzzle with a cute theme. Had a couple of write-overs and corners that gave me pause but nothing too difficult. I kept on reading DOGS IT as DOG SIT and was wondering what was going on there.

    mac said...

    Nice, smooth debut, congratulations Jeff Louie.

    I read Nixon's voices, but still figured it had to Agnew.

    I'm about 40 minutes by train from The Hague at the moment. Hofvijver means "court pond", there is a royal palace. Lovely breezy summer day in Holland. Almost cocktail hour in the sunset.

    mac said...

    I have no idea what "goldbricks - dogsit" is about.

    Anonymous said...

    @Mac - Gold Bricking is taking it easy, not doing your share of work. As is Dogs it.

    Gareth Bain said...

    One tricky area: HOYA/KEANU/JUICE/JEER for me. Made me have to stop and figure out the theme! "One of Nixon's vices" is sheer brilliance, as is "Coming-out phrase?" those two clues justified the puzzle alone for me!One tricky area: HOYA/KEANU/JUICE/JEER for me. Made me have to stop and figure out the theme! "One of Nixon's vices" is sheer brilliance, as is "Coming-out phrase?" those two clues justified the puzzle alone for me!

    It's odd that DOGSIT can also mean, if one word, "to look after someone's dogs" or "to sit in a manner similar to a dog, as a cow "

    C said...

    First, a big thanks to our guest Blogger, Kouka Omicron. Very entertaining read.

    I second @Gareth, "One of Nixon's vices" is a brilliant clue. Otherwise, the puzzle was pretty easy today but enjoyable.

    CoffeeLvr said...

    Clearly, I am the expert to enlighten you, @Doug. A LATTE is made with one or more shots of espresso and milk. Flavoring may be added, but I prefer the natural sweetness of the milk.

    @Mac, your post puts the World in www.

    ddbmc said...

    Been out of the loop for a while, with work, but nice to jump back in on a debut puzzle. Grape Scott! Took me a tad longer, but again, out of practice.

    Everytime I see "Agnew's" name, all I can think of is: ...Nattering nabobs of nepotism." Nice job on the speech writer's part!

    Happy weekend, all!

    CoffeeLvr said...

    Got interrupted. Congrats to Jeff Louie on a fine fun debut.

    @Doug, very creative titling with Crazy Cuisine!

    I did find it easy, for a Friday. The only thing that left me scratching my head last night was KEYS clued as "ring jingler." This morning it is obvious. Doh!

    Steve said...

    Hand up for not finding this one particularly easy, I was doing a minor Saturday jump-around before things started to fall into place.

    @Doug - nice write-up. Greek Yogurt is actually delicious - if you're fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe's they stock it. Don't fall for the "low fat" variety trap and get the "loaded with all the fat you will ever need" version.

    Didn't know that about the Rays, now I do!

    PUMICE is spelled pummice in the Old Country, I didn't know there was a US version until today. I think the missing "m" changes the pronouncifierization - shouldn't it be "PEW-MICE" spelled like that? I'm thinking like "luminous", "cumin" or "human".

    I'm expecting the "San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles" to turn up here shortly.

    Keith Fowler said...

    @ddbmc - It was William Safire, that great wordsmith, who wrote many of Agnew's speeches, including the phrase "nattering nabobs of negativism."

    Puzzle was just OK today, as others have noted. I did like CROWNED BEEF, though.

    CrazyCat said...

    Kouka - you should really try Greek Yogurt. It's the best - way more appetizing than turkey soda.

    Pretty smooth solve for a Friday with a fun theme. I also had the most trouble with the KEANU/HOYA/JUICE section. Also misread the 5D clue as Burglar with horns. We have seen DOGS IT or DOG IT quite a few times lately. Still looks like DOG SIT to me.

    CRAM CRACKERS was my favorite.

    @Mac Sounds wonderful!

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks, guys. Here I was so proud of myself for getting a clever Friday puzzle without any problems or snags, just to have everybody tell me how easy it was. Nuts. But a pleasure to do it, anyway--and the Jones Soda comebacks are hilarious! Also, haven't thought about the "nattering nabobs of negativism" in years! Don't we have a bunch of these around right now--except that maybe they don't know what a nabob is?

    KJGooster said...

    Very easy Friday, more like a Tue/Wed for me, time-wise (sorry Anon). Good puzzle, though. Took me a while to parse 16A, as I was trying to find a CREAKY- something.

    Some Jones Soda trivia: In 2007 Jones Soda won the contract to supply the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest field, becoming the first
    non-Coke and non-Pepsi soda firm to win the rights to supply soda drinks to an NFL stadium.

    Anonymous said...

    The most ridiculous crossword I've encountered, in years. Louie is trying to be too "cute".
    An annoying waste of time.

    Rev Graham said...

    Did you all know that Graham Crackers (I pronounce Graham with two sylables, making the clue/answer pair not so hot) were developed to help young boys supress their carnal desires? That they were part of the great palm-wart free movement of the late 1800's?

    shrub5 said...

    Like others, I had to work my way out of PARTLY for PATCHY and PICTURE for PORTRAY. Really slowed me down in these areas.

    @KJGooster: I was trying for CREAKY (something), too.

    Hand up for DIED (checked out) before EYED. Both are good answers!

    Jeff, terrific debut. Hope to see more soon.

    Sfingi said...

    @Gareth - the "One of Nixon's vices" clue appeared a few days ago in another puzzle. It was a tad funnier then.
    This was the USA Today 20A August 16.
    I like that puzzle quite a bit, and this is another reason why it shouldn't be bad-mouthed. It has some very funny cluing.

    Dog sitting is easy for old dogs, but I just visited an 8-mo old Golden Retriever, who is work intensive.

    ddbmc said...

    @Keith Fowler, thanks for the reference. Safire's wordsmithing was sublime, even though I was never a Nixon/Agnew fan. Just thought he wrote for Nixon (and of course the NYT, until his passing). The alliteration does fall trippingly off the tongue!

    A cousin brought a Jones Maple Syrup soda or something like that to Thanksgiving dinner one year. Although it sounded enticing, it was wretched. Vodka didn't help it! Down the drain it went, along with the rest of the bottles. Who knew it would eventually be worth something on Ebay!

    Doug P said...

    @KJGooster - Did you know Jones Soda put out a special set of sodas to honor the Seahawks? The flavors were (no joke) Perspiration, Sports Cream, Dirt, Natural Turf, and Sweet Victory.

    mac said...

    I want to taste Sweet Victory!

    KJGooster said...

    @Doug P - Yeesh. Now that you mention it that does sound vaguely familiar. I'll have a Sweet Victory, you can try the rest.

    Here in Portland they sponsor the Trail Blazers as well. I believe they have done some custom labels with fan photos, but no flavors I can remember. If they did, they would probably be Pain, Cartilage, and Out In The First Round ;(

    Or from a few years ago, Mary Jane...