08.22 Mon

August 22, 2011
Kelly Clark

Theme: For the Birds — The first word of each theme answer is something birds do.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: *Resolve once and for all (LAY TO REST).
  • 38A: *Savings for later in life (NEST EGG).
  • 11D: *Like unreliable short-term businesses (FLY-BY-NIGHT).
  • 27D: *Do some scheming (HATCH A PLOT).
  • 56A: Lyric in a Porter song that ends "Let's fall in love," and a hint to the starts of the starred answers (and 1-Across) (BIRDS DO IT).
Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you enjoyed your weekend! We're starting off the week with a very cute theme that begins with a well-known lyric and literalizes it for puzzle purposes. Great idea! (If you're new here, don't worry if you've never heard the word "literalizes" — sometimes I make up words.) As an added bonus, the theme answers are all pretty colorful phrases. I especially like FLY-BY-NIGHT and HATCH A PLOT.

[I couldn't find a video of anybody actually performing this song, but I wanted you to hear it anyway.]

The cluing is really straightforward today. I don't see much that warrants an explanation. It's probably worth noting that the clues for both NYC and AWOLS (42A: B'way setting / 69A: Illegally off-base GIs) contain "shortened" words, which is your hint that the answer will also be a short form. Speaking of AWOLS … I'm pretty sure every time AWOL is clued as a noun someone questions it. It used to sound all kindsa wrong to me too, but now I've seen it in puzzles so often that I'm used to it. Anyone out there know if AWOL is commonly used as a noun in the military?

  • 1A: Sound from a tree (CHIRP). Bonus non-theme theme answer!
  • 14A: Flamboyant evangelist __ Semple McPherson (AIMEE). I felt like this is someone I should probably know, but it turns out she was a media celebrity back in the 20s and 30s. Of course there are people from back then who I am familiar with, but I guess my knowledge of flamboyant evangelists is limited.
  • 17A: Baseball's Nolan and actress Meg (RYANS). Nolan RYAN is CEO of the Texas Rangers, you know.
  • 28A: Arrive after a tough trip (MAKE IT IN). This answer shows up in the cruciverb.com data base only one other time. I think it's a great entry.
  • 10D: Italian sandwich (PANINI). PANINI is a fun word to say. I thought the PANINI was just the bread for some reason, but I guess it's the whole sandwich.
  • 40D: "... or __ thought" (SO I). If we have to have a partial in the grid, I'm glad it's clued in a way that makes me laugh. For some reason, I picture this phrase being said in a cartoonish way, like the same way someone might say "If that is your real name!"
  • 49D: Simpsons neighbor Flanders (NED). One day I'll do a crosswordese entry about all the Simpsons stuff you need to know for puzzles.
Crosswordese 101: There are three different ways to clue UTE(S) that you will see often in puzzles. First, it may be clued as a short-form of "utility vehicle" with clues such as 4x4, versatile vehicle, or all-purpose truck. Second, UTES may refer to an American Indian people who now live primarily in Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Clues for this meaning of UTE are likely to include the words Western, Rocky Mountain, Beehive State, or Colorado modifying either Indian or native. And, finally, we get to today's clue (50A: Salt Lake City college team, aptly). University of Utah athletes are nicknamed Utes. For this meaning of Ute, you'll typically see the words athlete, player, or team modified by Beehive State or Salt Lake City.

Other crosswordese in today's puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 16A: Inter __: among others (ALIA).
  • 43A: Slender woodwind (OBOE).
  • 62A: Rani's garment (SARI).
  • 67A: Italian noble family (ESTE).
  • 39D: River of Spain (EBRO).
  • 47D: "__ Fideles": carol (ADESTE).
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Everything 1A: Sound from a tree (CHIRP); 6A: Range between soprano and tenor (ALTO); 10A: Cpls.' underlings (PFC'S); 14A: Flamboyant evangelist __ Semple McPherson (AIMEE); 15A: Boston Bruins or Chicago Bears, e.g. (TEAM); 16A: Inter __: among others (ALIA); 17A: Baseball's Nolan and actress Meg (RYANS); 18A: Bath towel word (HERS); 19A: Natasha's no (NYET); 20A: *Resolve once and for all (LAY TO REST); 22A: Many an October baby, astrologically (LIBRA); 23A: A __ alfa (AS IN); 24A: Nairobi native (KENYAN); 25A: Satirical Mort (SAHL); 28A: Arrive after a tough trip (MAKE IT IN); 31A: Schoolroom group (CLASS); 33A: Travelers' lodgings (INNS); 34A: Hypotheticals (IFS); 37A: PC key (ALT); 38A: *Savings for later in life (NEST EGG); 41A: Miracle-__: garden brand (GRO); 42A: B'way setting (NYC); 43A: Slender woodwind (OBOE); 44A: Reacted to fireworks (OOHED); 46A: The Beatles' George (HARRISON); 50A: Salt Lake City college team, aptly (UTES); 51A: "Happy I can oblige" ("GLAD TO"); 53A: Cop's route (BEAT); 55A: Lassos (ROPES); 56A: Lyric in a Porter song that ends "Let's fall in love," and a hint to the starts of the starred answers (and 1-Across) (BIRDS DO IT); 61A: "__ well that ends ..." (ALL'S); 62A: Rani's garment (SARI); 63A: Cease-fire (TRUCE); 64A: Coagulate, as blood (CLOT); 65A: Treater's words (ON ME); 66A: Levels, as a building (RAZES); 67A: Italian noble family (ESTE); 68A: Fava or lima (BEAN); 69A: Illegally off-base GIs (AWOLS); 1D: Poet Sandburg (CARL); 2D: Breezy greeting (HIYA); 3D: "__ be wrong, but ..." (I MAY); 4D: Avis offerings (RENTALS); 5D: Cuban cash (PESOS); 6D: Zeus' daughter (ATHENA); 7D: Popular jeans (LEES); 8D: Small fruit pie (TART); 9D: Mantric syllables (OMS); 10D: Italian sandwich (PANINI); 11D: *Like unreliable short-term businesses (FLY-BY-NIGHT); 12D: Olds Cutlass model (CIERA); 13D: The devil (SATAN); 21D: Canyon edge (RIM); 22D: "Come on, we're late" ("LET'S GO"); 24D: Goal in checkers (KING); 25D: Read, as a bar code (SCAN); 26D: Treaty partner (ALLY); 27D: *Do some scheming (HATCH A PLOT); 29D: Flying toys (KITES); 30D: U-turn from WSW (ENE); 32D: Stable sounds (SNORTS); 35D: Available for a date (FREE); 36D: Puts in a lawn the fast way (SODS); 39D: River of Spain (EBRO); 40D: "... or __ thought" (SO I); 45D: Beat in a Western showdown (OUTDRAW); 47D: "__ Fideles": carol (ADESTE); 48D: Conan of "Conan" (O'BRIEN); 49D: Simpsons neighbor Flanders (NED); 51D: Pre-meal blessing (GRACE); 52D: Lounges around (LOLLS); 54D: Stars, in Latin (ASTRA); 56D: Undoing (BANE); 57D: Cookbook writer Rombauer (IRMA); 58D: Greek liqueur (OUZO); 59D: Its cap. is Reykjavik (ICEL.); 60D: Tracy's Trueheart (TESS); 62D: Cry out loud (SOB).


Sfingi said...

Glad they forgot my least favorite: _ _ _ _ on my clean car window.

Monday and easy. It's raining and we're surrounded by skunks all night, but at least the temperature finally dropped. Caught a black and white cat in the skunk trap Sat. night.

Nature has taken over.

Mari said...

Not a single drop of white-out! Must be a Monday.

CoffeeLvr said...

Found this one surprisingly tough for a Monday. Really needed the Down entries. Wasn't feeling much love for the puzzle, but my frustration eased as soon as I saw HATCH A PLAN appearing. The theme totally redeemed the grid.

A lot of my frustration was due to two issues in the first row: had CHeeP before CHIRP at 1A, and only entered the P in 10A because I didn't know if the answer was PFCS or PvtS.

Odd to see two entries starting with NY (19A and 42A)

Someone has to say it: ICEL is super ugly; quite a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Since the correct answer was HATCH A PLOT (not plan) are you still frustrated?

Steve said...

Wasn't such a breeze for me as it appeared for the others - also had to wait for quite a few crosses.

Agree @CoffeeLvr about ICEL - I've seen this before and don't like it any more than the first time.

Liked the theme!

VirginiaC said...

Super easy, whichnisnnice sometimes. but only got ICEL through the crosses. Yep, it's ugly!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful when crossword puzzles become music to your ears? Yesterday's Merl Reagle with its Lara's Theme ("Somewhere my love") and now this morning that fun Cole Porter tune! A great way to start what I hope will be a really good week for everybody!


Gareth Bain said...

Funny, I really frowned at MAKEITIN. That despite really enjoying the puzzle: cute theme, esp. the revealer! Subtle Ramones nod too!

ddbmc said...

Monday-Monday puzzle gave us a warning of what was to be: Clue 1a-Tree sounds-CHIRP. It was off to Bird land!

AWOL-Absent Without Official Leave, but most know that.

@Sfingi-agree! Glad the birds weren't "dropping" clues!

ICEL was a "skid," but really my only gripe.

Nighthawk said...

@PG. Wonderful write-up. I'd forgotten about Aimee Teegarden from Friday Night Lights. And thanks again for including the reference to one of the all time great flics with "two utes" having been the unseen antagonists.

Nice start to the week. Quick and easy. Some clunkiness (that'd be you ICEL) and some close seconds (OMS and OOHED).

Nice touch having SATAN in opposition to GRACE in the NE and SW corners.

Doug P said...

Fun theme today! Perfect for a Monday.

Anonymous said...

What - isn't anyone going to call out BEAT as an answer and BEAT in the clues? Different meanings, sure, but still...

And I agree with Coffeelvr - should be HATCH A PLAN.

C said...

Nice smooth puzzle, no problems with ICEL though the first time I saw it in a puzzle, I was not happy either.

Margaret said...

Gotta agree with @Nighthawk: the picture of the "two utes" was an excellent illustration! My favorite part of the write-up. I actually Laughed Out Loud, a rare thing indeed (so often people say they LOL, but they don't really mean it...)

Hand up for hatching a plan before hatching a plot.

hebow44 said...

Yep. Hatch a plan ... as in "The Monarch hatched a plan to trap Dr. Venture." Current Netflix choice.

Anonymous said...

Older citizens of Los Angeles, where this puzzle is printed, definitely remember the flamboyant evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson. Her former temple, in Echo Park, is still in use.


pandamonium said...

I enjoyed the picture for Utes ...