09.06 Tue

September 6, 2011
Peter Koetters

Theme: Pigtails — The first word of each theme answer can follow the word "pig" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: *Typical Valentino roles (LATIN LOVERS).
  • 59A: *Cold War symbol (IRON CURTAIN).
  • 3D: *Quaint means of communication? (PEN AND PAPER).
  • 5D: *Was in charge of (HEADED UP).
  • 26D: *To whom "Howdy, stranger" is often said (OUT-OF-TOWNER).
  • 40D: Girlish hairstyle (and what the starts of the answers to starred clues are?) (PIGTAILS).
Another smooth offering today. We seem to be on a roll this week. Cute theme! The "word-before/word-after" themes are hard for me to see while solving because I just don't take the time, but it's fun to look at them afterwards. It's a bonus when all the theme answers are fun/colorful/interesting phrases. Unfortunately, today's theme answers don't really qualify, except for LATIN LOVERS which is awesome. But the fill was "like butta" — no write-overs! — so no complaints from me today. In fact, the only two entries that made me think at all were SOLEMN (4D: Like vows), where I had SACRED in my head and couldn't get rid of it, and TUTTE (37A: Mozart's "Così fan __"), which I always think might be spelled TUTTI, so I have to check the crosses.

Oh wait, I also paused at [39A: Cheesecake on a wall]. My mind went completely blank on this one. "Why the hell would anyone have cheesecake on a wall? Is it a painting of cheesecake? Was somebody angry?" No, cheesecake in this case refers to, well … I'm not sure exactly what it refers to, but it has to do with a picture of a sexy person pinned up on your wall, also known as a PIN-UP.

Several cute "?" clues today. My favorites:
  • 63A: Org. for piece lovers? (NRA).
  • 28D: What keeps bloomers up? (STEMS).
  • 60D: Microsturgeons? (ROE).
The clue for BBC (51A: English channel, briefly) might also have taken a question mark. I'm sure there's a distinction there that I'm missing, but whatever. It's still a clever clue.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Grape grower's prefix (OENO-).
  • 26A: Western treaty gp. (OAS).
  • 35A: __ Mountains: Eurasian border range (URAL).
  • 37A: Mozart's "Così fan __" (TUTTE).
  • 65A: Wheel attachment (AXLE).
  • 66A: Aussie runner (EMU).
  • 12D: Suffix with musket (-EER).
  • 60D: Microsturgeons? (ROE).
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Everything 1A: Tuck's partner (NIP); 4A: Carpet type (SHAG); 8A: Summer brew (ICE TEA); 14A: Stuff to be smelted (ORE); 15A: Grape grower's prefix (OENO-); 16A: "It's unnecessary" ("NO NEED"); 17A: Word with marked or masked (MAN); 18A: *Typical Valentino roles (LATIN LOVERS); 20A: Declared (STATED); 22A: Itch scratchers (NAILS); 23A: Full sets of chromosomes (GENOMES); 25A: Potpie piece from a pod (PEA); 26A: Western treaty gp. (OAS); 29A: It's up when you're angry (DANDER); 31A: Safe and sound (UNHURT); 33A: Race circuits (LAPS); 35A: __ Mountains: Eurasian border range (URAL); 37A: Mozart's "Così fan __" (TUTTE); 38A: Med school subj. (ANAT.); 39A: Cheesecake on a wall (PIN-UP); 41A: Crane component (BOOM); 42A: Conveyed, as water through a main (PIPED); 44A: Centers of attention (FOCI); 45A: Corp. money VIPs (CFO'S); 46A: Audiophile's setup (STEREO); 48A: Bothers persistently (NAGS AT); 50A: Musical ability (EAR); 51A: English channel, briefly (BBC); 53A: Swing by for a visit (STOP OFF); 56A: Former CBS News anchor Couric (KATIE); 58A: Response (ANSWER); 59A: *Cold War symbol (IRON CURTAIN); 63A: Org. for piece lovers? (NRA); 64A: Poses (for) (MODELS); 65A: Wheel attachment (AXLE); 66A: Aussie runner (EMU); 67A: Pint-size (PEE-WEE); 68A: For fear that (LEST); 69A: Free (of) (RID); 1D: Chinese menu assurance (NO M.S.G.); 2D: Hopping mad (IRATE); 3D: *Quaint means of communication? (PEN AND PAPER); 4D: Like vows (SOLEMN); 5D: *Was in charge of (HEADED UP); 6D: Picnic crasher (ANT); 7D: Enter (GO IN); 8D: Taking the place (of) (IN LIEU); 9D: Car radiator need (COOLANT); 10D: They may be self-sealing: Abbr. (ENVS.); 11D: Kickoff aid (TEE); 12D: Suffix with musket (-EER); 13D: Spots on TV (ADS); 19D: Cat's pause? (NAP); 21D: Place for Pop-Tarts (TOASTER); 24D: Letter flourish (SERIF); 26D: *To whom "Howdy, stranger" is often said (OUT-OF-TOWNER); 27D: Threepio's buddy (ARTOO); 28D: What keeps bloomers up? (STEMS); 30D: Talked a blue streak (RAN ON); 32D: Wheel covers (HUBCAPS); 33D: Run out, as a subscription (LAPSE); 34D: Santa __ racetrack (ANITA); 36D: "Star Wars" mastermind (LUCAS); 40D: Girlish hairstyle (and what the starts of the answers to starred clues are?) (PIGTAILS); 43D: Fiasco (DEBACLE); 47D: More than right, in triangles (OBTUSE); 49D: Shakespearean verse (SONNET); 52D: Columbus in N.Y.C. or DuPont in D.C. (CIR.); 54D: Nuclear pioneer Enrico (FERMI); 55D: Hoax (FRAUD); 56D: Was aware (KNEW); 57D: List-ending abbr. (ET AL.); 59D: Little devil (IMP); 60D: Microsturgeons? (ROE); 61D: Poem of praise (ODE); 62D: Logger's tool (AXE).


Sfingi said...

@PG - and Beef Cake is the male version.

Didn't get the theme, but it didn't matter in the solving. Didn't see PIG in there. Hope that isn't a new trend.

What keeps bloomers up? Modesty? Chastity? So, I had STiMS for a while.

Why is it TUTTE rather than TUTTi? Because it's referring to women. I just learned that, never having thought about it before.

CoffeeLvr said...

Very smooth. I only had two type-overs with TUTTi and PEtitE before PEEWEE.

You have to like any puzzle with PIGs, especially PIG LATIN and PIGOUT!

Three auto parts: COOLANT, HUBCAPS, & AXLE, plus the PIG IRON in the engine block.

Mari said...

What keeps bloomers up? I was thinking BELTS. Cute clue. I also liked 63A: Org. for piece lovers: NRA. Very funny :)

slypett said...

I was going to point out the difference between FIASCO and DEBACLE, but, in thinking over how to phrase it, I realized that one man's DEBACLE is another man's FIASCO.

Matthew said...

Fairly smooth solve today. Only hiccup was putting SUNTEA before ICETEA. Cute theme -- didn't see it until getting to 40D. Too bad they couldn't work in "inkwell", but I guess you can't have everything.

Gene said...

Re: Pinup. Am I the only one out there who remembers the Varga Girl? Betty Grable? Dad's girlie" magazines in the basement? (Which were about as naughty as todays lingerie ads.)

VirginiaC said...

Nice smooth solve and I agree, gotta love anything with pigs. but I have a problem with icetea - it's not ice tea, it's iced tea. Silly little thing drives me nuts! (or is that a short putt?)

Brian said...

Microsturgeons? was the most clever clue in the puzzle today imho.

Steve said...

@VirginiaC - do you have icecream or icedcream? :) I think your iced tea is going the same way.

Nice puzzle again today, liked the theme, some good fill - I think DEBACLE was my WOTD. Had the same head-scratching with Cheesecake until the crosses got there for me.

Anonymous said...

I believe the BBC clue would require a capital C in 'Channel' if it was referring to the body of water.

Gareth Bain said...

This puzzle wasn't kosher...

Also had TUTTi, guess I can't tell my Little Richard from my Mozart...

VirginiaC said...

Yeah, I guess you'e right Steve. Sad what happens to language over time!

mac said...

Very fun puzzle, with some great clues. When I started to read PG's write-up, I thought she was joking about the theme!

I knew someone would start the iced tea discussion.

Steve said...

Agree with @Anon 11:00AM about the "channel" non-capitalization.

The French callit "La Manche" (it would kill them to call it "La Canal Anglaises", let's face it) because they think it looks like a sleeve (manche=sleeve). Their capitalization of "Manche" leads you to understand they're not trying to tunnel under part of your shirt :)

Sfingi said...

@Gene - I remember. The Vargas/Varga girls were drawings. Betty Grable was a real actress famous for her legs.
The Peruvian, Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chavez, used his wife as a model, and others continued the drawings after his death.