08.27 Sat

August 27, 2011
Kyle T. Dolan

Theme: None

Good morning, gang. I'm pretty sure there will come a point in the next 24 hours or so where my power goes out and I have a few things to do before that happens. So let's take a quick run through this puzzle and get on with other things. Lots of good stuff in this grid. My favorite entries are HANG TIME, SKYPED, and ROCK BALLAD (7A: Seconds in the air, to punters / 56A: Phoned on a computer, in technospeak / 4D: Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," e.g.). Stuff I just flat-out didn't know includes:

  • 20A: Second crop of a growing season (ROWEN). You would think having grown up in the midwest I would know the farm-related jargon, but no.
  • 37A: New Jersey river (RARITAN).
  • 20D: "__ to the Top": Keni Burke song (RISIN'). Who? Oh, wait a minute. This slow jam sounds a little familiar to me.

  • 1A: Gum with a jingle that began, "So kiss a little longer" (BIG RED). Thanks for the earworm.
  • 34A: Calls at home (BALLS AND STRIKES). Baseball!
  • 48A: Air Force pilot who became a pop star (DON HO). Who knew?
  • 14D: Rose point (EAST). This is a reference to a compass rose. If you don't know what that is, for God's sake, Google it.
  • 30D: Married couple? (ARS). And if you don't understand this one, take a look at the crosswordese round-up down at the bottom of this post. Down there, you'll see that the word ARS is a link and if you click on it you'll be magically transported to a day in the past where this type of tricky entry was explained, in this case by the lovely and talented Orange.
  • 49D: Object of ogling (HUNK). Okay, this is funny. It didn't occur to me for a minute that women would be oglers. I'm always a little startled when my brain does that to me. It's like that old riddle with the doctor ("This boy is my son!") that makes you really think about assumptions and the fact that we, ya know, have them. Even if we don't think we do.
Sorry if this post isn't as entertaining as what you typically find here (You: "Wait, it's usually entertaining?"). I mean, I got damn near philosophical there at the end. I guess I just have a lot on my mind with the storm coming. And that reminds me. I remember back in the day when, here in the Washington area, the TV people would go all nuts about the coming BLIZZARD and then it would snow for 20 minutes. We really didn't used to have to take these people seriously is what I'm saying. But that seems to have changed. I dare say I'm none too happy about it.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 36A: Etta James classic (AT LAST).
  • 10D: Fed personnel (G-MEN).
  • 23D: French Revolution figure (MARAT).
  • 28D: Co-composer of "Johnny's Theme" (ANKA).
  • 30D: Married couple? (ARS).
  • 32D: Cantina cooker (OLLA).
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  • 1A: Gum with a jingle that began, "So kiss a little longer" (BIG RED); 7A: Seconds in the air, to punters (HANG TIME); 15A: Wicked (UNHOLY); 16A: Penance component (AVE MARIA); 17A: Poker chips are often seen in them (STACKS); 18A: Chocolaty treats (DOVE BARS); 19A: Some charity races (TEN-KS); 20A: Second crop of a growing season (ROWEN); 21A: Reason for a prep course (SAT); 22A: Healthy piece (SLAB); 23A: Picky person? (MINER); 24A: Brought down (ABASED); 26A: Bangladesh capital (DHAKA); 31A: Guiding light (POLARIS); 33A: Longhorn rival (SOONER); 34A: Calls at home (BALLS AND STRIKES); 36A: Etta James classic (AT LAST); 37A: New Jersey river (RARITAN); 38A: Exhilarating (HEADY); 39A: Folly (LUNACY); 40A: Threadbare (RATTY); 41A: Words spoken after Polonius says, "I hear him coming: let's withdraw, my lord" (TO BE); 45A: Tie up loose ends? (SEW); 48A: Air Force pilot who became a pop star (DON HO); 49A: Right to play first, in golf (HONOR); 50A: Grace (ELEGANCE); 52A: One of Penelope's 108 in the "Odyssey" (SUITOR); 53A: Disdainful (CAVALIER); 54A: Chant (INTONE); 55A: Diving concern (THE BENDS); 56A: Phoned on a computer, in technospeak (SKYPED); 1D: Marble works (BUSTS); 2D: Espionage aid, for short (INTEL); 3D: Country that eliminated the United States at the last two World Cups (GHANA); 4D: Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," e.g. (ROCK BALLAD); 5D: FDR and Truman, fraternally (ELKS); 6D: Bad opening? (DYS-); 7D: Could choose (HAD ONE'S DRUTHERS); 8D: Swore (AVOWED); 9D: Word heard before and after "say" (NEVER); 10D: Fed personnel (G-MEN); 11D: Someone has to pick it up (TAB); 12D: Savings choices, briefly (IRA'S); 13D: Sorvino of "Mighty Aphrodite" (MIRA); 14D: Rose point (EAST); 20D: "__ to the Top": Keni Burke song (RISIN'); 23D: French Revolution figure (MARAT); 25D: Having strong low tones, as headphones (BASSY); 26D: Column style (DORIC); 27D: Highfalutin (HOITY-TOITY); 28D: Co-composer of "Johnny's Theme" (ANKA); 29D: Not dull (KEEN); 30D: Married couple? (ARS); 31D: Spread with drinks (PATÉ); 32D: Cantina cooker (OLLA); 33D: Pickup for a pound (STRAY); 34D: "Nuts!" ("BAH!"); 35D: Pedro o Pablo (SANTO); 39D: Pierced surgically (LANCED); 40D: 1998 De Niro thriller (RONIN); 42D: Leading (ON TOP); 43D: Cumberland Gap explorer (BOONE); 44D: Stumbled (ERRED); 45D: Branch (SECT); 46D: Valley where David fought Goliath (ELAH); 47D: Bob Seger's "__ Got Tonight" (WE'VE); 48D: Low area (DALE); 49D: Object of ogling (HUNK); 51D: Speak idly (GAB); 52D: Cheer syllable (SIS).

    exTiffany said...

    I had RookieSong for 4D and that had my entire northest corner stopped up!

    RodeoToad said...

    ATTAGIRL! You're a PRO. Thanks for the help yesterday EEN. (Don't know if those words are in the puzzle but I'm just assuming.)

    Gene said...

    Brainbuster today! Rowen? who knew? So much for Sat.a.m. chores.

    CarolC said...

    @PG stay safe. I think you're riding Irene out alone. Take care!

    Anonymous said...

    Didn't Japan just eliminate USA in women's world cup?

    Anonymous said...

    When I lived in the DC area, I was just around the corner from the local Ruritan Club. The similarity between that club and a vaguely familiar river in New Jersey, combined with my near total ignorance of Spanish, led me to have no qualms whatsoever about accepting SUNTO as the proper answer to [Pedro o Pablo].

    Anonymous said...

    Went to the link for ARS but didn't find an explaination for it.

    PuzzleGirl said...

    From the link:

    "Crosswordese 101: EMS is one of those answers that tend to confuse people who aren't familiar with the recent convention of super-literal clues that require the solver to ignore a word's meaning and instead look at the individual letters it contains. 44A: Mummy's threesome? means the three letter Ms in the word mummy. Some people hate these clues and their "hey, nobody spells that letter out like that" answers. Even some constructors disdain these spelled-out-name-of-a-letter answers, your CEES and ENS and ESSES. I kinda like the game that hyper-literal clues play, so I don't care that nobody talks about the letter ESS."

    Steve said...

    @Anon 8:55 - Yes, they did, but they didn't do it two World Cups running, so that makes GHANA the answer for the men.

    My gripe today was AVEMARIA. Super technically I suppose it could just about conceivably be deemed correct, but it's a real stretch. When you're given your penance at confession, you're given "Hail Marys" to say, not "Ave Marias". I know that Ave Maria is the Latin translation of Hail Mary, but unless there's some allusion to Latin in the clue, this is wrong.

    Take our SANTO answer today - if I clued something like "Harbor next to Long Beach" and gave the answer "SAINT PETER", I'd be wrong, because it's San Pedro, whether or not it means Saint Peter in English.

    OK, grump over. Be safe with the little breeze you've got blowing over there @PG.

    Anonymous said...

    I had a lot of trouble with this one, too. Had Mars Bars for the chocolate even though it looked as though it would have to be Dove Bars--I guess because I think of Dove bars as a kind of odd-shaped white soap bar.

    I have the same gripe about Ave Maria as Steve. Kept thinking it should be "atonement" or "remorse" or something like that--or even a rosary, if you were really sinful.

    But Okay--enough griping. No hurricane in California, so we have nothing to complain about. Our thoughts and hearts are with PG and all our friends and relatives on the East Coast.

    Rube said...

    Thoroughly enjoyable puzz, although it took me much longer than it should have. Then again, I'm normally a paper solver and I did this online sitting in a hotel room in Seattle... and I might add that the weather is marvelous here. FWIW, August is the only month in the Pacific NW that people can (hopefully) plan outdoor weddings.

    Never heard of DOVEBARS or ROWEN, (my WOTD), but my hangup was RISeN and trying to figure out how PATE means "Spread with drinks". Stil don't understand PATE, but POLARIS for "Guiding light" is my favorite clue.

    Sfingi said...

    What happened to my comment? Guess I'll have to start over.

    As I said, I had 10 Googles and DNF.

    But, my biggest problem was figuring out the sports answers I got from crosses.
    TENKS - I said, "but no tenks." But I've figured that one out: TEN Ks, as in 10 kilometer races.
    HONOR - right to play first in golf. Whatever to the indoorsman.
    GHANA - Which World Cup was this? Soccer, Sailing, Cricket, or another? Google couldn't help w/o more info.
    BALLS AND STRIKES. Guess these are calls. Whatever.
    HANGTIME - again, got it through crosses.
    I have a list of teams. Now I need a list of sports expressions.

    Finally, ARS was a mystery to me. Unless Dolan expects to raise a vison of rear-ends, maybe he should have spelled it with a z: ARz - more than one R.

    mac said...

    Nice puzzle, lovely words, my favorite new one "rowen".

    @Rube: just put an accent on the e in pate, and you'll know.

    @Sfingi: you can be very funny. Tenks!

    All set for this storm, I think. Friends have mandatory evacuation, so they are arriving here soon. Hope the generator holds up when the power fails, and that we have enough gas for the duration. Food and drink is fine!

    Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

    @Rube, since you are at a hotel, I am assuming it is not YOUR wedding. By chance if it IS your wedding then congrats! If you can consider Bend, OR part of the Pacific NW, wedding plans can be scheduled a bit more liberally here (although ours was in August).

    Really liked HADONESDRUTHERS although can't say that I have ever heard it that way. "If I had my druthers" more appropriate as it doesn't neccesarily indicate one could actually choose but is indicating what there choice would be. If that makes sense.

    Just wondering if the RARITAN will be in flood stage (if at all) with oncoming Irene. Rex posted on facebook that now he has a new cluing for IRENE. Always thinking Xwords, that guy.

    PG, Please stay safe and let us know how you fare tomorrow, Unless Doug posts, then we will wait for the report on Monday. Again, our thoughts are with you (sounds kinda dramatic when I put it that way but it does sound a bit dangerous per CNN) Hope the Washington Monument holds up!

    CrazyCat said...

    Puzzle took me too long, but did have a lot of great words. I always love seeing HOITY TOITY. Liked CAVALIER too. Hated ARS grrrr! Those clues always trick me. ROWEN and RONIN were both new to me. Got RARITAN right away, because I had just been looking at a map of Irene. Weird.

    @mac - be safe. It looks really scary back there.
    @Rube - what mac said. Think foie gras.

    Gareth Bain said...

    What, still with the soccer world cup?? The rugby one's a little over a week away!

    Anonymous said...

    yep. there are a couple of R's in the word married alright.

    *David* said...

    Puzzle went pretty quickly with long fill helping me get into each sector but DNF with ABATED incorrect for ABASED and then filled in GIT IN not knowing ROWEN or the song. Other then that section and that bizarre river fill it was a really lovely puzzle.

    Anonymous said...

    Here it's almost 2 AM - worked this travesty (off and on) since about noon. Gave up and copied answers. Good goin' guys! Another victory for mediocrity and silliness! What a waste of time.