08.23 Tue

August 23, 2011
Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Four Little Hogs — Each theme answer is the definition of a phrase that includes the word "hog."

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Road hog (DANGEROUS DRIVER).
  • 27A: Hog heaven (ABSOLUTE BLISS).
  • 44A: Hog wild (OVERLY EXCITED).
  • 56A: Whole hog (WITH NO RESTRAINT).
Another cute theme — looks like we're on a roll this week. I'm a big fan of the "definition" theme. As long as we don't see it every day, I think it's fun to have a little something different. I think we usually see this theme using a single word for each clue, so seeing phrases looks like a fresh idea to me. Now that I think about it, Tuesday is a great day for the "definition" theme. I hereby declare Tuesday the Ultimate Perfect Day for Definition Themes. So there's that.

I'm not going to dwell on this, because I really like this puzzle overall and I hate to be negative (You: "Since when?"), but there sure are an awful lot of plurals in this grid. There are even two places (IOU'S / IV'S and RBI'S / ELIS) where the plurals cross at the S, which is a pet peeve of mine. Now that I've mentioned it, maybe it will start bugging you too. Maybe if you start reading this blog often enough, you'll eventually become so irritated at every little thing that you'll be a miserable, hollow person like me. You're welcome!

My favorite clue/answer pairs in this grid are:
  • 6D: Kowtow (GROVEL), and
  • 38D: Stew (FRET).
I am taking it as my personal challenge to use all four of those excellent words today in normal conversation.

  • 15A: Colosseo city (ROMA). Did you notice the Italian spelling of "Colosseum" in the clue? That should have told you that the answer would also be an Italian spelling.
  • 22A: Arm-twisting (DURESS). It took me a while to piece this together, but this is a great clue/answer pair.
  • 34A: Diddly, in Durango (NADA). I've never been a fan of the word "diddly." It sounds nasty to me.
  • 37A: Truth-in-advertising agcy. (BBB). The Better Business Bureau.
  • 39A: Candy with collectible dispensers (PEZ). Did you all get this one this time? I seem to recall last time it showed up several of you said you had never heard of PEZ.
  • 40A: Flying start? (AERO-). The prefix AERO- can be used to "start" a word that relates to "flying."
  • 42A: I-beam, e.g. (GIRDER). With the two Rs in place, I tried CURSOR here first. Sometimes it does look like a little I-beam, right? I'm not just making that up?
  • 2D: "A watched pot never boils" is one (ADAGE).

  • 11D: Auel's "The Clan of the __ Bear" (CAVE). We've been seeing a lot of Ms. Auel lately, haven't we? She's usually the answer, though, not the clue.
  • 13D: Viking's landing place (MARS). Had a conversation recently with the PuzzleKids where we told them they had Viking blood, which made them very tough and growly, so I couldn't think of any other type of Viking.
  • 19D: Cuban dance (RUMBA). RUMBA, SAMBA, SALSA — I always have to wait for crosses. I can already see the comments: "Um … you do know, PuzzleGirl, that SAMBA and SALSA are not Cuban, right?" Well, in my brain, they're all stored in the same place. (By the way, I have no idea if they're Cuban or not.)
  • 42D: Beanstalk threat (GIANT). So be careful if you're out in the garden today!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 35A: Nietzsche's "never" (NIE).
  • 36A: Bush's undergraduate classmates (ELIS).
  • 47A: River in central Germany (EDER).
  • 43D: Hairy TV cousin (ITT).
  • 54D: Hairy Himalayan legend (YETI).
  • 58D: Legal thing (RES).
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Everything 1A: Close-up lens (MACRO); 6A: Jazz jobs (GIGS); 10A: Con game (SCAM); 14A: The American dream, e.g. (IDEAL); 15A: Colosseo city (ROMA); 16A: "__, Can You Hear Me?": song from "Yentl" (PAPA); 17A: Road hog (DANGEROUS DRIVER); 20A: Pvt. driller (SGT.); 21A: Drips in the ER (IV'S); 22A: Arm-twisting (DURESS); 23A: Ritzy apartment feature (TERRACE); 26A: __ mater (ALMA); 27A: Hog heaven (ABSOLUTE BLISS); 32A: Frank topper (RELISH); 34A: Diddly, in Durango (NADA); 35A: Nietzsche's "never" (NIE); 36A: Bush's undergraduate classmates (ELIS); 37A: Truth-in-advertising agcy. (BBB); 38A: Disconcert (FAZE); 39A: Candy with collectible dispensers (PEZ); 40A: Flying start? (AERO-); 42A: I-beam, e.g. (GIRDER); 44A: Hog wild (OVERLY EXCITED); 47A: River in central Germany (EDER); 48A: Diamond-patterned structure, as a trellis (LATTICE); 51A: Black suit (SPADES); 54A: Hither's partner (YON); 55A: Beach shade (TAN); 56A: Whole hog (WITH NO RESTRAINT); 60A: GI's supply (AMMO); 61A: Mindless learning (ROTE); 62A: Shrink in increments (ERODE); 63A: It's history (PAST); 64A: Rephrase, say (EDIT); 65A: South-of-the-border sir (SEÑOR); 1D: Center (MIDST); 2D: "A watched pot never boils" is one (ADAGE); 3D: Bring under a single control (CENTRALIZE); 4D: Dusting aid (RAG); 5D: __ Miss (OLE); 6D: Kowtow (GROVEL); 7D: Chits in the pot (IOU'S); 8D: Baseball VIPs (GM'S); 9D: Got ready to ride (SADDLED); 10D: Slinky shape (SPIRAL); 11D: Auel's "The Clan of the __ Bear" (CAVE); 12D: King Kong's kin (APES); 13D: Viking's landing place (MARS); 18D: Big name in copiers (RICOH); 19D: Cuban dance (RUMBA); 24D: Baseball scoring stats (RBI'S); 25D: Shrek's sidekick Donkey, e.g. (ASS); 26D: Run __: postpone the bar bill (A TAB); 28D: Take out of the carton (UNBOX); 29D: Also (IN ADDITION); 30D: Fitting description? (SIZE); 31D: Nostradamus, for one (SEER); 32D: Auto taken back, briefly (REPO); 33D: Topog. map stat (ELEV.); 37D: Uncle Remus appellation (BR'ER); 38D: Stew (FRET); 40D: First Mayflower passenger to set foot on Plymouth Rock, so it's said (ALDEN); 41D: Neighborhood improvement target (EYESORE); 42D: Beanstalk threat (GIANT); 43D: Hairy TV cousin (ITT); 45D: Sizzling (RED-HOT); 46D: Room for a broom (CLOSET); 49D: "No prob!" ("CAN DO!"); 50D: Sign up to compete (ENTER); 51D: Trade (SWAP); 52D: Arizona tribe (PIMA); 53D: Bread machines, for short? (ATM'S); 54D: Hairy Himalayan legend (YETI); 57D: Valance holder (ROD); 58D: Legal thing (RES); 59D: "__ you serious?" (ARE).


Mari said...

Beanstalk Threat (42D) and Black Suit (51A) had me thinking for a bit.

Bread Machines (53D) was a cute clue. but my favorite word? Eyesore! (41D)

Mari said...

PS: Two days with no white-out! My correction fluid is getting lonely.

Interesting Fact said...

The Better Business Bureaus aren't agencys, they are local organizations comprised of the local businesses. They have a national structure, but are not agencys of any greater authority, state or otherwise.

Tuttle said...

47D is a clue that gets harder the more you know. Half the rivers in Germany are four letters! I mean, just in Westphalia there is the EDER, Alme, Afte, Bach, Bega, Beke, Brol, Else, Erft, Ilse, Inde, Kyll, Ruhr, Sieg and Wurm rivers.

Tuttle said...

That would be 47A. Gak!

*David* said...

Didn't feel very Tuesdayish to me probably due to the long answers being descriptive rather then known phrases. The theme was based off of a centrality of the cluing versus an actual theme in the puzzle.

CoffeeLvr said...

Given that all of the hogs in this puzzle are metaphorical, I was glad to see that there weren't any extraneous literal hog related entries (STY, SOOEY, BOAR, SOW, etc.)

Lots of words to like: SPIRAL, EYESORE, CLOSET and a LATTICE on the TERRACE.

Good job on keeping the cluing at a Tuesday level, especially since the long answers need a few crosses to appear. Nothing spoils a fun early week solve like grinding to a halt in one sector at the crossing of two unknowns.

Except for DANGEROUS DRIVER, the other three theme answers can be seen as REDHOT.

CP said...

@Interesting Fact. You're right BBB is not an agency, and at first this had me stumped 'til I did the crosses.

The Federal Trade Commission FTC is the agency at the federal level charged with such matters.

Otherwise, very nice work for a Tuesday. Great theme. Is there a Cousin ITT PEZ dispenser?

Anonymous said...

Somebody please clue me in on the hairy cousin ITT? It's not at all familiar and I have no idea what it(?) is. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:42 - From the Addams' Family - Comics by Chas Addams, TV Show, a character was Cousin ITT, covered in hair

Steve said...

Really nice puzzle, kudos to Marti and Rich. Excellent fill too, I'm not so upset about a few plurals as @PG.

Waiting for Sfingi to mention RBIS and GMS :)

Didn't know PAPA, ITT or ALDEN, but that's what good crosses are for.

Had ruhR before EDER, I think I knew that the Ruhr isn't in central Germany, but that didn't stop me rushing to put it in. It soon came out when EYESORE emerged.

C said...

Me? I like the plurals, partials, poorly clued, etc. Anything that sparks @PG towards a righteous diatribe, I'm in.

Nice puzzle today, I enjoyed the theme, simple but fun. Like bubble wrap.

Anonymous said...

I liked this more than the NYT's straight definition theme! I dunno, found it more fun to write in definitions for four lively idioms all tied together by involving "hogs."

'Did you notice the Italian spelling of "Colosseum" in the clue?' No, I did not. My brain adjusted the spelling to "Colosseum" so I wrote ROMe, luckily SeDDLED was quite obviously incorrect!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous for explaining ITT- not in the US in the sixties so did not watch The Addams Family. I will remember 'ITT' as crosswordese.

Matthew said...

Had a little trouble with the NW corner -- was sure it was something to do with "callous", and then "obnoxious", before finally getting "dangerous" from the crosses. And 54A had me for a while too. Thought is was "tuxedo". I think I'm overthinking these a bit.

PuzzleGirl said...

@Anon: ITT is definitely crosswordese, which is why I included it (ITT - haha) in the list of crosswordese at the bottom of the post. :-) If you click on the link there, you'll be taken to the post where that word was first discussed. Check it out!

bdaben said...

why are the word's RED HOT highlighted and the R in red .
am i not getting somthing .
i just dont see the reason for this in any of the cross words
please advise?

Anonymous said...

bdaben, somebody has to be last.

It doesn't mean anything. Doing the puzzle online results in the current word you are solving is highlighted and wherever your cursor rests is red, (color optional).

Anon 8:24 said...

@bdaben - Or, sometimes they do mean something. Like the little joke that REDHOT crosses OVERLYEXCITED. Yes, PG can be that subtle.

That being said, this is just an instance where it means something, mostly it's as above,a remnant of the solve process, as explained in the FAQ, item# 1. (See @PG I got it in there this time).

Sfingi said...

@PG - that's the Vikings I thought of first. My husband has Viking blood via Sicily! Yes, Sicily. The Normans, who took over Palermo about the same year they took Britain (1060s) were Norsemen who took over part of France (Normandy), then moved on for more. Sicily didn't roll over like the other 2, but subtly turned them into Sicilians, the way Chinese do to conquerers. In China, it's called Sinification. In any case, it explains his blue eyes and his uncle's red hair.

I found a public service message from the '30s telling people not to be "road hogs." I asked my mother what they were, and she said they drive in the middle of the road. We have new menaces, these days. Tailgaters, texters, etc.

German rivers - I had RuhR, then ODER, then EDER.

@Steve - got them - asked Hubster what GM was after I got by crosses.

hebow44 said...

First time through I was stumped until near the bottom. One of those fun days where it flows uphill. The stuff in my brain that is. Trivia?

John Wolfenden said...

To second Coffeelvr's thought, this was to me an unremarkable but very consistent puzzle with nothing irksome to be found.

Interesting tidbit from Sfingi about Sicily. My sister-in-law is Sicilan so I learned a little about its history before traveling there for their wedding. Occupying a strategically important spot right in the middle of the Mediterranean, it was fought over and conquered many times by different cultures, and as a result you can find a crazy quilt of different art there.

Steve said...

@Everyone wondering about world domination in history - I think you'd all get a kick about a book "Salt" by Mark Kurlanksy.

Ever wondered why the Sicilians/French/Norwegians/Chinese ..(insert your own country here) got a step up on the rest of us?

There's your answer. It's an awesome read.