09.05 Mon

September 5, 2011
Andrea Carla Michaels

Theme: Water, Water Everywhere — Each theme answer is a movie with a body of water in its title.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: 1981 Fonda/Hepburn classic (ON GOLDEN POND).
  • 27A: 2006 Bullock/Reeves romance (THE LAKE HOUSE).
  • 48A: 1994 Streep/Bacon thriller (THE RIVER WILD).
  • 56A: 2004 Kevin Spacey tribute (to Bobby Darin) (BEYOND THE SEA).
Now this is how you want your week to start. Monday with Andrea Carla Michaels? Now you're talkin'. Andrea's Monday puzzles are sooooooo smooth. It really gives you a taste of what Mondays can be. Yes, straightforward cluing. Yes, a little crosswordese here and there. Yes, a simple theme. But every cross is solid, not a single clue makes you go "wtf?" and there are even a few sparkly entries thrown in for free! Ya know what, though, I can't say that for sure about the clues because there were a lot of clues in this puzzle that I didn't even see. I threw ON GOLDEN POND in without any crosses and then pretty much worked all the downs from that top row. Same deal with THE LAKE HOUSE. The other two movies weren't familiar to me, but they appeared pretty easily anyway.

The only things that slowed me down at all were GATEAU (I just couldn't remember the French — French! — word for cake) K'NEX (I've heard of them before but still struggled), and EIRE, where I first tried ERIN and even as I was writing it in thought to myself, "Oh I don't think that's right …." But everything else was just smooth smooth smooth.

Looking back through the grid, I certainly would have had trouble with LILI, seeing as the clue — 32A: "Hi-__, Hi-Lo" — might as well be in Japanese, that's how much it means to me. But I never did see that clue so I was saved from feeling ignorant. (It's a song, in case you were wondering too.) Best word in the grid is clearly ZIPPIEST, although I'm not too terribly fond of the clue — 10D: Having the most pizazz — because I really really prefer my "pizzazz" to have four Zs. When it only has three, I feel cheated somehow.

With any luck, Andrea will be along at some point today to tell us more about this puzzle and to entertain us with her lovely self. So see you in the comments!

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 17A: Composer Stravinsky (IGOR).
  • 1D: Israeli submachine gun (UZI).
  • 3D: Yoko from Tokyo (ONO).
  • 29D: "Evil Woman" gp. (ELO).
  • 46D: Celtic language (ERSE).
  • 58D: Galway's land (EIRE).
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Everything 1A: E.T. carriers, theoretically (UFO'S); 5A: Fetch (BRING); 10A: Last letters in London (ZEDS); 14A: Calamine mineral (ZINC); 15A: Where one's name might go, on a form (LINE A); 16A: "Out of Africa" author Dinesen (ISAK); 17A: Composer Stravinsky (IGOR); 18A: Eight is enough for one (OCTET); 19A: Spitting sound (PTUI); 20A: 1981 Fonda/Hepburn classic (ON GOLDEN POND); 23A: Mac maker (APPLE); 26A: "I Ching" readers (TAOISTS); 27A: 2006 Bullock/Reeves romance (THE LAKE HOUSE); 31A: Back talk (LIP); 32A: "Hi-__, Hi-Lo" (LILI); 33A: Annual sports awards (ESPYS); 37A: In re (AS TO); 39A: Designer Karan (DONNA); 42A: Donkey's need, in a party game (TAIL); 43A: Low on funds (SHORT); 45A: Winged peace symbol (DOVE); 47A: Director Ang or Spike (LEE); 48A: 1994 Streep/Bacon thriller (THE RIVER WILD); 52A: Sleeve opening (ARMHOLE); 55A: Puts in the mail (SENDS); 56A: 2004 Kevin Spacey tribute (to Bobby Darin) (BEYOND THE SEA); 60A: Yankees superstar, familiarly (A-ROD); 61A: "Old MacDonald" refrain (E-I-E-I-O); 62A: New Zealander (KIWI); 66A: Mafia boss (CAPO); 67A: Dog's warning (SNARL); 68A: Michener novel, typically (EPIC); 69A: Tinkertoy alternative (K'NEX); 70A: Playable on a VCR (TAPED); 71A: Do, re or mi (NOTE); 1D: Israeli submachine gun (UZI); 2D: Source of Eve's leaves (FIG); 3D: Yoko from Tokyo (ONO); 4D: Dead Sea find (SCROLL); 5D: Web opinion piece (BLOG); 6D: Puerto __ (RICO); 7D: Part of IMF: Abbr. (INTL.); 8D: Must (NEED TO); 9D: French sponge cake (GATEAU); 10D: Having the most pizazz (ZIPPIEST); 11D: These, in Tijuana (ESTOS); 12D: Intimidate (DAUNT); 13D: Loses control on the ice (SKIDS); 21D: Host Conan of NPR's "Talk of the Nation" (NEAL); 22D: Rudolph's is red (NOSE); 23D: Book of maps (ATLAS); 24D: Engage in an online scam (PHISH); 25D: __-Bismol (PEPTO); 28D: Tease (KID); 29D: "Evil Woman" gp. (ELO); 30D: Delhi tongue (HINDI); 34D: "Going Rogue" author Sarah (PALIN); 35D: Give way (YIELD); 36D: Mushers' vehicles (SLEDS); 38D: Greek __ Church (ORTHODOX); 40D: Oct. follower (NOV.); 41D: D.C.'s Pennsylvania, e.g. (AVE.); 44D: Suffix with tele- or Dance-A- (THON); 46D: Celtic language (ERSE); 49D: Firstborn (ELDEST); 50D: Light-sensitive eye part (RETINA); 51D: Debilitate (WEAKEN); 52D: Taken __: surprised (ABACK); 53D: Showed again (RERAN); 54D: Mr. Magoo, e.g. (MYOPE); 57D: Jalopy (HEAP); 58D: Galway's land (EIRE); 59D: Word after "going twice ..." (SOLD); 63D: NASDAQ debut (IPO); 64D: Dorothy Parker forte (WIT); 65D: Arctic pier material (ICE).


Sfingi said...

Lili is an oldster's movie.

Never heard of GATEAU. Had GiTEAU since I put my name on LINE 1.

Never heard of KNEX, as in connects. Almost went for blOX. Turns out KNEX came out in 1993 and looks pretty neat. By then, I was almost 50. I do try to keep up on toys, but I missed this one.

Yoko from Tokyo. Say that fast 10 X.

FETCH = bring (not quite) reminds me of my mother trying to instruct me in the difference between bring and take. What should I bring/take to the picnic?

pauer said...

Great job, Andrea! I know how much you like movies and water (growing up near 10,000 lakes as you did), so this was a natural fit. Well done!

joho said...

Loved it, Andrea! Seamlessly smooth ... your trademark, for sure. Plus packed with lots of scrabbly letters, another of your admirable traits.

And for some odd reason I loved starting 1A with UFOS!

Fun Monday, thank you!

chefbea said...

Haven't done the LA puzzle in a while and I'm sure glad I decided to do it today. Great puzzle Andrea. Had I known ahead of time you were the constructor...I would have baked you a gateau!!!

imsdave said...

Always a treat to start the week with Andrea and Angela! Well done. Looking for a Bobby Darin clip of 'Beyond the Sea' I found this (music only, no video) version that is wonderful:

Bobby Caldwell

Then looking for Richard Chamberlain's 'Hi-Lili...' I found this:

Paul Desmond

And while I'm in a musical mood, LINEA reminded me of my first girl friend, Linnea. Which reminded me of our favorite band:


Virginia C said...

Fun puzzle, great way to start a week! PG! if you haven't see "The River Wild" you should! It's an amazing movie! Great acting, beautiful scenery and lots of suspense.

Anonymous said...

Is it time for Zeds and Isak to move to 101 status? I'm fairly new to the crossword world but these both appear often. Enjoyed seeing PTUI rather than hearing it!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the puzzle and got it easily, which is great for a Monday morning. And it was lovely being prompted to remember all those great movies--especially "On Golden Pond" and Leslie Caron as Lili.

But can somebody tell me more about Knex? My son is in his late forties at this point so I can barely remember what a Tinkertoy is. But I've truly never heard of a Knex--or is it a K'nex? (Kleenex?)


mac said...

Wonderful, smooth typical-Andrea Monday!

I needed all four crosses for ptui. K'nex was new, I didn't graduate past Lego.

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:28 / MN K'Nex is a constrution toy, akin to an Erecter Set, and well beyond Tinker Toys, but of the same type. My 10yo nephew has enough to fill several land fills.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon 8:53. That's what I love about this blog: I learn something new almost every day!

ChunkMark said...

Great puzzle. I, too, was stumped by K'Nex and I loved ptui.

Stan said...

Very pleasant solve, working from simple crosses to the zippier material like GATEAU. The "Ang or Spike" clue was my favorite. Also liked the slippery right edge: SKIDS, SLEDS, ICE.

Rube said...

Enjoyable puzzle even though I only knew one theme answer, ON GOLDEN POND. Of course, at my age, LILI was a gimme. Never heard of K'NEX either. It is punctuated like this, isn't it? Good job ACME

@VirginiaC, you convinced me to NetFlix THE RIVER WILD.

CoffeeLvr said...

I made several small errors, but found them easily enough. OCTad before OCTET, didn't know if NEiL needed an i or an A, PALeN before the correct spelling. Almost entered growL, but looked at crosses and came up with SNARL.

My favorite answer is EIEIO, so Andrea. As is ZIPPIEST.

Most surprising answer, to me, was ARMHOLE; don't know why.

My son never had K'Nex, but his friends and cousins did. He wanted and got and Erector set, but never did much with it. Moved on to making things with real objects. He and his best friend made a hovercraft, using my leaf blower. It worked, but not on water.

CrazyCat said...

Nice smooth Monday puzzle. My trouble spot was CAPO over K'NEX. I've never heard of either, but easy enough to get. I agree "The River Wild" is a good one. It made me never want to go white water rafting. The same way "Deliverance" made me never want to go canoeing.

Good puzzle Andrea. Thanks!

butchkgs said...

A nice cup "o" joe, holiday monday and a self satisfying puzzle to start my day.
Now this is strange- thunder and lightning at the beach and it's Labor day!
Well I guess I'm staying in for a while, was going to start the BBQ. Guess I'll look for another puzzle and have another cup. Cheers.

O some gateau with my coffee don't mind if I do.

Anoa Bob said...

A solid outing from Acme but not as smooth for me as apparently others felt it was.

Not much of a movie buff so I only had heard of ON GOLDEN POND. Okay, that's my problem, not the puzzle's.

Lots of names it seems for a Monday: Yoko ONO, IGOR Stravinsky, ISAK Dinesen, NEAL Conan (who?), DONNA Karan (who?), Ang/Spike LEE, and WIT clued as Dorothy Parker forte.

There's a fairly robust array of crosswordese for a Monday, led by ESTOS, ERSE and EIRE. And throw in IPO and ELO.


I tried to find a picture of an Arctic pier made of ICE. No dice.

Not knocking this puzzle. I just think that since Acme's wit and charm are so much in evidence in her regular blog comments here and at Rex's, it's difficult to be totally objective in critiquing her puzzles. So maybe the same puzzle with an unknown constructor would have been more open to critical comments about names, crosswordese, foreign words, etc.

Rojo said...

I found this a fun little Monday.

Never heard of GATEAU or KNEX before.

One complaint though, and I'm surprised no-one brought it up, particularly on this BLOG. A BLOG, is not really a web opinion piece, is it? It's place to post web opinion pieces.

Steve said...

Nice Monday! Way to go!

@Rojo - I think BLOG is fine - it's derived from Web Log, an opinion piece on whatever topic. I've seen BLOGOSPHERE as the collective noun for many blogs, which I love, and BLOGROLL for a list of links to other blogs.

I love how the language keeps evolving.

Rojo said...

@steve I don't think I'm convinced. A log, including a web log, generally has multiple entries, doesn't it? A web opinion piece is singular.

I P Standing said...

@ACME - What with 5 being the new 4, how could you have left out that children's classic from the '60s "The Little Yellow Puddle" and thus completed the cycle?

Z said...

@ACME - Nice puzzle. I had to do it online, as my Freep arrives by mail M-W.

backbiter said...

It's funny how something can drip down into the creases of you brain and you can't let it go. I was actually listening to "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" while starting this puzzle. I couldn't get Mac as Raincoat out of my head. It caused me problems. And I couldn't shake it. Stupid me. Then I had "Peppiest" for "Zippiest". Another road block. I finally finished, but damn do I feel dumb.

andrea gateau michaels said...

backbiter, at least ONO was in the puzzle!
PG thanks for the smooth write up!!!
but oh dear, two weeks in a row where you didn't know TWO of my four theme entries! On a Monday, no less!

That actually was my fear, if folks would feel the films were too obscure. I wanted MYSTIC RIVER but the letter count was wrong, and I wanted the bodies of water to increase in size as you went along.

So the original fourth theme entry was OCEANSELEVEN. But it was pointed out that it was someone's name, not the body of water and plural.

That left me with the dilemma of finding a fourth film, with a body of water bigger than a pond, lake, river, that had 12 letters AND was well known enough for a Monday puzzle (tho of course I thought I was making a Tuesday! When will I learn that no matter what I write, they will make it a Monday???)

So that was quite the tall order.
I mean, I didn't want it to just be bodies of water (I started with WATERWORLD) I wanted them to grow in size.

Thank god Rich came up with BEYONDTHESEA... (SEAOFLOVE too short)...not that well known by name BUT if someone said, "You know, that movie Kevin Spacey made about Bobby Darrin..." it would ring a bell...even tho NO ONE went to see it, it was widely talked about at the time, with KS going on every talk show and touting he had even sung all the songs...

But it felt like a miracle to me that there was another film that fit the bill...sometimes that's what makes it all worth it, a dollop of serendipidity like that, but the solvers just shrug and say "cute, but I haven't seen it" or whatever...
which is why again I appreciate Puzzle girl's not necessarily knowing the films but feeling it wasn't crazy to have included them and that they were indeed gettable with the crosses.

For the record, since we had to redo the whole bottom half to accomodate the new fourth entry, II needed help in that corner, and I didn't know K'NEX myself!
But of course loved that we got extra Ks and Xs in there!

@anoa bob
Thanks for the honest feedback, I don't know if folks are giving me a free pass or not!
I mean ERSE.SENDS could have been ERTE/TENDS for example, and seemingly less crosswordese, but then perhaps folks would cry foul on ERTE being too hard for a Monday.
When you are crossing two theme entries, you don't have as much room to play around with as you would think
(How else would MYOPE have ended up in this puzzle!) ;)

Now if only someone would notice that Michael Blake and I got the word SHMEAR to rest atop the word BAGEL my life would be complete!

Actually, it's almost complete...today has been a perfect day...
A puzzle published, sweet feedback, a long walk in the sun with close friends, Lebanese food...and now off to the monthly Beatles Karaoke!
(@Backbiter, if you are in SF, come down to Post and Leavenworth from 8-10 and sing "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and we'll ALL sing along!
Obla di obla dah Life goes on, bra!)

(I'll probably do "If I fell"! I have almost no fears in life except singing in front of a group, so I'll face that one down again tonight! Esp now that I faced my other, that PuzzleGirl wouldn't like my crossword and say so!)

Steve said...

@Rojo - I see your point, but I'm going with the "substitute in a real sentence and see if the result makes sense" rule-of-thumb.

If I said "I read in PG's blog yesterday that ..." I could substitute "I read in PG's web opinion piece yesterday that ..." and I'd feel that I was conveying the same information.

"I read in PG's place to post web opinion pieces yestarday that ..." doesn't sound right to me.

IMHO, of course.

skua76 said...

acme, I really enjoyed the puzzle and your comments, even though I never saw any of the movies (?) I had a lot of Tinkertoys as a child but never heard of KNEX. OR GATEAU. Maybe I can find one tomorrow...

Steve said...

@Acme - I don't think there's an issue with the obscurity of any of the movies - I'm not a movie buff by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd heard of all but THE RIVER WILD, and once the theme started to become clear, the crosses filled in most of the blanks for me.

In keeping with using the crosses to correct mistakes, I first had BEside THE SEA.

I wanted THELMA AND LOUISE early on when I had THEL....OUSE completed but couldn't squeeze 8 letters into space for four, then noticed that you don't spell LIOUSE like that anyway :)

Nice puzzle!

Anoa Bob said...

Mademoiselle Gateau,

Thanks for giving us some behind-the-scenes insight to how this puzzle developed into the finished product. Most enjoyable. And helpful for those of us who might be thinking of trying our hand at constructing.

CrazyCat said...

I love GATEAU with Ganache.

CrazyCat said...

Classic movie scene

acme said...

@anoa bob,
if you have an idea and want help, I'm always open...
Bye, Monday!

Rojo said...


Well, I'm a cantankerous cuss, as all my friends tell me, so I'm going to continue to take issue.

Your rule of thumb, it seems to me, amounts to saying that since both "Well, I read in the LA Times today...." and saying "Well, I read in an Op-Ed in the LA Times today...." make perfect sense, than "the LA Times" and "an Op-Ed in the LA Times" are exchangeable, if you were to follow the same logic. This strikes me as wrong even if one were discussing the exact same piece in both sentences.

Nighthawk said...

Was off yesterday, so just now getting to ACME's super smooth work.

Thanks for explaining the process, ACME. I was thinking the theme was "wet bodies" and liked the progression and the work it took to get there. Brill!

Plus, I liked the other wet and wild things like ICE, SKIDS, and SLEDS.

And how would this have smelt had these bodies not contained at least one glimmering-scaled PHISH?

As for PTUI, though it may have been graded a D- on the breakfast test, I loved it, particularly as the wild start of things wet, and say that with a smile, pardner, and breathed a huge sigh that the oft used needle case was avoided.

And, I also liked the "two way Steep" oblique reference to one of her other flics in ISAK.

Just lots to savor long after the chewing was done.

And cake for dessert!

Ms. Parker is smiling, and somewhat piqued, somewhere.

backbiter said...

@Andrea: I really like it when constructors come here and explain their thought processes. It's extremely interesting. But now it's official. From now on when I see your name I will not fill in one entry without playing a Beatles album. My favorite is Revolver, but I love them all really. Looking forward towards the next one. Thumbs up all the way.