08.29 Mon

August 29, 2011
Jennifer Nutt

Theme: So sue me! — Each theme answer is a familiar phrase in which the last word can mean something filed in a court of law.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: *Not animated, in filmmaking (LIVE ACTION).
  • 23A: *Like replays that reveal bad calls (SLOW-MOTION).
  • 49A: *One who can't function under stress (BASKET CASE).
  • 10D: *Ineffective executive (EMPTY SUIT).
  • 33D: *Hunk or babe's attribute (SEX APPEAL).
  • 59A: Where the ends of the starred answers are filed (COURT OF LAW).
Hey, everyone. Hope y'all had a good weekend. I made it through the hurricane completely unscathed, so I'm feeling very grateful today. It was definitely raining and blowing hard out there, but I didn't see any trees down in my neighborhood and I didn't ever lose power, so I'm one of the lucky ones.

Smooth solve this morning. Considering that I've worked in law firms most of my adult life, it took me far too long to figure out this theme. In my defense (see what I did there?), I only worked in litigation for a very short time, so the Perry Mason stuff isn't exactly right there in the front of my brain most days. I hope BASKET CASE was the seed entry for this puzzle, because it's awesome. EMPTY SUIT is also really nice and SEX APPEAL adds a little, um, sex appeal to the grid.

Other favorites for me include:
  • 21A: Disco dance (HUSTLE). Can you see a reference to this dance without hearing a bunch of guys yelling "Do the hustle!" at you in your head? I can't.
  • 66A: Online business review site (YELP). I've just recently discovered YELP and it's been super helpful. So far, we've used YELP to find a moving company and a mechanic and we haven't been disappointed.
  • 14D: Rascal (SCAMP). I don't know what it is about these types of words (also scoudrel and … I can't think of the others right now) but I love them. They sound old-timey and highfalutin' and, well, perfect.
  • 30D: Central Washington city (YAKIMA). I'm sure YAKIMA is a beautiful city but I don't think I could live somewhere whose names brings to mind a cat coughing up a hairball. But maybe that's just me.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 13A: Lake into which Ohio's Cuyahoga River empties (ERIE).
  • 39A: Doves' homes (COTES).
  • 65A: Movie lioness (ELSA).
  • 6D: Quarterback Manning (ELI).
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Everything 1A: Cookie holders (JARS); 5A: Baseball feature (SEAM); 9A: What gears do (MESH); 13A: Lake into which Ohio's Cuyahoga River empties (ERIE); 14A: Alabama march site (SELMA); 15A: Austen novel (EMMA); 16A: *Not animated, in filmmaking (LIVE ACTION); 18A: Rotating cooking rod (SPIT); 19A: Grassland (LEA); 20A: Plunked oneself down (SAT); 21A: Disco dance (HUSTLE); 23A: *Like replays that reveal bad calls (SLOW-MOTION); 27A: "Affirmative!" ("YES!"); 28A: Traveler's guide (MAP); 29A: Dental fillings (INLAYS); 31A: "A Doll's House" playwright (IBSEN); 34A: __ noire: literally, "black beast" (BÊTE); 35A: Enveloping glow (AURA); 38A: "I __ Pretty": "West Side Story" song (FEEL); 39A: Doves' homes (COTES); 40A: Do-it-yourselfers' buys (KITS); 41A: __-Coburg, Bavaria (SAXE); 42A: Like speaking (ORAL); 43A: Wee parasites (MITES); 44A: Word with power or reactor (ATOMIC); 46A: "Casablanca" pianist (SAM); 47A: iPhone download (APP); 49A: *One who can't function under stress (BASKET CASE); 53A: Mealtime lap item (NAPKIN); 55A: "That feels great!" (AAH); 56A: Org. issuing many refunds (IRS); 58A: Garden of Eden's __ of life (TREE); 59A: Where the ends of the starred answers are filed (COURT OF LAW); 63A: Emblem of authenticity (SEAL); 64A: Proverbial waste maker (HASTE); 65A: Movie lioness (ELSA); 66A: Online business review site (YELP); 67A: Cut with acid (ETCH); 68A: Medvedev's "no" (NYET); 1D: Come together (JELL); 2D: Astrological Ram (ARIES); 3D: Opponent (RIVAL); 4D: "Get it?" ("SEE?"); 5D: Spat (SET-TO); 6D: Quarterback Manning (ELI); 7D: __, amas, amat ... (AMO); 8D: Ways to get under the street (MANHOLES); 9D: Army meal (MESS); 10D: *Ineffective executive (EMPTY SUIT); 11D: Look happy (SMILE); 12D: Can't stand (HATES); 14D: Rascal (SCAMP); 17D: Nile dam (ASWAN); 22D: Italian "a" (UNA); 24D: Brunch staple (OMELET); 25D: Neckwear pin (TIE TACK); 26D: Santa Clara chip maker (INTEL); 30D: Central Washington city (YAKIMA); 31D: Uncertainties (IFS); 32D: Actress Arthur (BEA); 33D: *Hunk or babe's attribute (SEX APPEAL); 34D: '90s Russian president Yeltsin (BORIS); 36D: Numbered hwy. (RTE.); 37D: Barnyard brayer (ASS); 39D: Old buffalo-hunting tribe (COMANCHE); 43D: Like a he-man (MACHO); 45D: Kimono accessory (OBI); 46D: One of 50 (STATE); 47D: Unable to sit still (ANTSY); 48D: City of Light, in a Porter song (PAREE); 50D: Mars neighbor (EARTH); 51D: Goofy (SILLY); 52D: Wipe off the board (ERASE); 54D: Brown seaweed (KELP); 57D: Whack (SWAT); 60D: Cheerios grain (OAT); 61D: Trojans' sch. (USC); 62D: Quagmire (FEN).


Anonymous said...

Every time you post that picture of Charlie Hustle I think it's Johnny Damon. Johnny, forgive me.

The entire NY/NJ/PA/CT area formed one huge BASKETCASE yesterday. Thanks Weather Channel.

nola-girl said...

PG I am so glad that you came thru Irene safely but Anon is so right about The Weather Channel whipping everyone in NY/NJ/PA/CT into a frenzy.

I'm sure Gov't-(local, state and fed) was overly cautious as noboday wanted another Katrina to contend with.

I lived in new orleans during katrina - but did heed the warnings and evacuated prior.

Sfingi said...

Irene flooded some areas near me in New York Mills and Whitesboro near Sauquoit Creek. I didn't watch the Weather Channel, just local ones, and they pretty much said it would be just flooding.

We dropped off a friend at Amtrak on her way to IA on Fri., and an unusually large horde of people from The City got off - escaping the storm.

On Sunday, I heard an older woman with a Downstate accent complaining on her cell that she was "trapped" in Utica at her son's house because of the storm. I guess home is home.

The puzzle was cute. I had mEet before JELL so had to do same clean-up in NW. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Great relief that you rode out the hurricane with little discomfort, PG. Found this downright easy, which is nothing to complain about, as far as I'm concerned. Finding both a Jane Austen and an Ibsen reference in the same puzzle warms my academic heart, with Sam and Elsa adding a little movie class. Sweet way to start the week.


Steve said...

Glad you left-coasters all made it through unscathed.

Really nice Monday - very smooth, nice theme, no scrappy fill. Agree @Anon 9:08 about Ibsen and Austen.

Factoid I always like to share - why are MANHOLE covers usually round? It's the only shape that can't fall down it's own hole.

Another MANHOLE reference which makes me chuckle - (children, please avert your eyes here) - the captain of the England Women's Cricket Team was interviewed once on the BBC, and was asked if the Ladies wore the same equipment as the Gentlemen - especially regarding -ahem- "athletic protectors". She responded that they did, but they didn't call them protectors, they called them Manhole Covers.

Steve said...

That would be right-coasters. No wonder I always get lost when I go out.

CoffeeLvr said...

Fun puzzle, got off to a rough start with Join at 1D; JELL still looks wrong to me, I want "gel".

I also thought I knew the theme when I had the first two Across answers, something to do with filming or cameras or such. Wrong!

I can tell you this: if you work for an EMPTY SUIT you may become a BASKET CASE.

COMANCHE is great. When I only had COTES in place I thought it might be CHEROKEE, which fits the grid, but not the clue. Per Wiki: For meat, the Comanche hunted buffalo, elk, black bear, pronghorn, and deer.

Rube said...

Like @CoffeLvr had Join before JELL and agree that gel looks better. My other write-over was EMMA/Eyre. Yes, I know, but hey, I'm a guy.
Lived in Yakima for a year when I was 4. Of course, it's fame nowadays is roofracks.

Quick, pleasant puzzle, but nothing interesting.

John Wolfenden said...

An above-average Monday IMHO. I liked EMPTY SUIT and PAREE.

One small nitpick: MESS describes a military eating facility, not the meal itself.

Anonymous said...

You must save a lot on dictionaries.

andrea carla michaels said...

Great puzzle, Jennifer!
And I really like PG's write-up...esp bec she did double-duty today (two OTHER SF'ans made the NYT puzzle, so West Coast rocks!) and managed to be funny in both AND make bad cat funnies!

For those who don't know, Jennifer Nutt IS a lawyer...and this was awfully smooth and SIX theme answers in one little Monday grid!!!
And the fact she did indeed totally liven up APPEAL, SUIT, CASE, and had the twin film-y LIVEACTION/SLOWMOTION is wonderful!

I also liked COMANCHE and that there wasn't one abbreviation in the whole puzzle! SEAM-less!

Bravo, Jennifer!

Anonymous said...

FEN is a new one 4 me