09.13 Tue

September 13, 2011
Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Not so fast! — The last word of each theme answer is a synonym for "hinder."

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Shareholder's bonus (DIVIDEND CHECK).
  • 29A: Kitchen island material (BUTCHER BLOCK).
  • 46A: Wrap for leftovers (ALUMINUM FOIL).
  • 56A: Laundry convenience (CLOTHES HAMPER).
Solid Tuesday offering today. After I got the first two theme answers, I thought the other two might also be sports related, but they weren't. Not a complaint; just an observation. Remember how I was saying yesterday that with this type of theme it's more elegant if the operative word in each entry has a different meaning in the theme phrase than the synonym? Well, this is what I'm talking about. The "check" in DIVIDEND CHECK is an actual thing that's not related at all to hindering. Same with the "block" in BUTCHER BLOCK and the other two entries as well. Good stuff.

I'm always a little nervous when I see two crosswordese entries right at the top of my grid (ROCS / ATRA), but, fortunately, the puzzle wasn't particularly crosswordese heavy. Obviously a few crosswordese entries, but that's to be expected in early-week puzzles.

We've got a foreign language vibe going with these French, German and Portuguese entries:
  • 17A: Word on a French postcard (AVION).
  • 65A: Everyone, to Ernst (ALLE).
  • 9D: Lisbon mister (SENHOR).
And some flat-out fun words in both clues and answers here:
  • 36A: Brief fisticuffs (SET-TO).
  • 28D: Smidge (SKOSH).
  • 30D: Balderdash (HOKUM).
  • 25A: Throw easily (LOB). One last remnant of the U.S. Open. Did you see Serena on Sunday? She was LOBbing insults at the chair like nobody's business. I always laugh when stuff like that happens and John McEnroe is up in the booth going "Um, ah … er …." I mean, he can't really say anything, can he?
  • 44A: "I could win on my next turn!" ("UNO!"). I think they should rename the game "I could win on my next turn!"
  • 63A: Garlicky sauce (AIOLI). Mmmm, AIOLI.
  • 5D: Two-seated carriage (LANDAU). Did Mercury once make a car called a Landau. Pretty sure my grandma drove one.
  • 6D: Jeff Foxworthy jokes about them (REDNECKS). This one gets my vote for sparkliest entry in the grid. Which seems weird, because I don't generally think of REDNECKS as particularly sparkly.
  • 8D: Word with sewing or traffic (CIRCLE). PuzzleKids always beg me to go all the way around traffic circles. Sometimes I act like that's the most ridiculous request in the world and then I do it anyway. Cracks them up.
  • 11D: Created a study aid in class (TOOK NOTES). That makes it sound a little … deliberate, doesn't it?
  • 27D: Large wedding band (OCTET). Nice play on the word "band" here. Not the ring, but the musical entertainment.
  • 33D: Nametag greeting (HELLO).
  • 47D: Crunchy snack (NUT BAR). [Insert your own Michele Bachmann joke here.]
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 6A: "Arabian Nights" birds (ROCS).
  • 10A: Big name in razors (ATRA).
  • 4D: Madame's "mine" (À MOI).
  • 10D: Actor Baldwin (ALEC).
  • 58D: Jazzy Fitzgerald (ELLA).
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Everything 1A: Yawn-inspiring (BANAL); 6A: "Arabian Nights" birds (ROCS); 10A: Big name in razors (ATRA); 14A: Alpaca kin (LLAMA); 15A: Pop singer Brickell (EDIE); 16A: Washerful (LOAD); 17A: Word on a French postcard (AVION); 18A: Laura of "Jurassic Park" (DERN); 19A: Forever, so to speak (EONS); 20A: Shareholder's bonus (DIVIDEND CHECK); 23A: Dir. from Memphis to Nashville (ENE); 24A: Something to grind (AXE); 25A: Throw easily (LOB); 26A: Phone bk. info (NOS.); 29A: Kitchen island material (BUTCHER BLOCK); 32A: Spinning sound (WHIR); 35A: "It's a Wonderful Life" studio (RKO); 36A: Brief fisticuffs (SET-TO); 37A: It has lots of slots (RENO); 38A: Invite to one's penthouse (ASK UP); 41A: Some necklines (VEES); 42A: Macaroni shape (ELBOW); 44A: "I could win on my next turn!" ("UNO!"); 45A: Bk. before Job (ESTH.); 46A: Wrap for leftovers (ALUMINUM FOIL); 50A: __-Tiki (KON); 51A: Wimple wearer (NUN); 52A: Window units, briefly (AC'S); 53A: Mud bath venue (SPA); 56A: Laundry convenience (CLOTHES HAMPER); 60A: Empty room sound (ECHO); 62A: Roll of fabric (BOLT); 63A: Garlicky sauce (AIOLI); 64A: In __ of: replacing (LIEU); 65A: Everyone, to Ernst (ALLE); 66A: Stops bleeding (CLOTS); 67A: Sail support (MAST); 68A: Meg of "Courage Under Fire" (RYAN); 69A: Have an inkling (SENSE); 1D: Little shaver (BLADE); 2D: Troublemaking chipmunk (ALVIN); 3D: Too trusting (NAIVE); 4D: Madame's "mine" (À MOI); 5D: Two-seated carriage (LANDAU); 6D: Jeff Foxworthy jokes about them (REDNECKS); 7D: Pigged out (on) (OD'ED); 8D: Word with sewing or traffic (CIRCLE); 9D: Lisbon mister (SENHOR); 10D: Actor Baldwin (ALEC); 11D: Created a study aid in class (TOOK NOTES); 12D: Was on the ballot (RAN); 13D: Program breaks (ADS); 21D: One in a crowd scene (EXTRA); 22D: Goes back to sea? (EBBS); 27D: Large wedding band (OCTET); 28D: Smidge (SKOSH); 29D: Witch craft? (BROOM); 30D: Balderdash (HOKUM); 31D: Flat (LEVEL); 32D: Inflict, as havoc (WREAK); 33D: Nametag greeting (HELLO); 34D: How grapes grow (IN BUNCHES); 39D: Remove the chain from, say (UNFASTEN); 40D: Doggie (POOCH); 43D: Skid row regular (WINO); 47D: Crunchy snack (NUT BAR); 48D: Not at all sacred (UNHOLY); 49D: "Compromising Positions" author Susan (ISAACS); 53D: Gazpacho eater's need (SPOON); 54D: Furrier's stock (PELTS); 55D: Hop out of bed (ARISE); 57D: Boorish sort (LOUT); 58D: Jazzy Fitzgerald (ELLA); 59D: __ High City: Denver (MILE); 60D: Shade source (ELM); 61D: "The Bourne Identity" org. (CIA).


Matthew said...

Nice and easy solve today. I liked BANAL at 1A -- don't get many opportunities to use that word in conversation. Also liked the shout out to Princess Bride in PG's write up -- gave me a chuckle. So, all in all, no complaints.

Roadiepig said...

Ford used to call their half vinyl roofs Landau tops. Very much a 1970's thing. Never heard the word used for a small carriage but that's what's nice about crosswords- learn something new every day...

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who's never heard the word skosh?

Tuttle said...

Lot's of coach-building terms morphed into automotive terms. How a LANDAU became a simulated convertible roof is hazy though. Ford did build two cars that were badged "LANDAU" rather than trimmed as such, but neither was sold in America (one was a Brazilian Galaxy, the other an upscale Australian Falcon).

"Foil" could be a sporting term as well; a fencing sword. Hamper, not so much.

I've never heard the word SKOSH either.

slypett said...

Some jeans brand for men once had an ad aimed at the newly middle-aged that claimed its pants had a "skosh more room."

Pete said...

I'm all for learning new things, and I'm equally for fresh cluing of tired crosswordese (I'm looking at you, UNO), but I have to say I resent having to have read the entire Wikipedia entry for UNO to get how the clue fit.

LANDAUs generally seat 4, plus the driver, plus one or two grooms.

Ron Worden said...

Nice,easy Tue. Never heard pigged out on refered to as oded "He pigged out on heroin?" To Pete you havent lived till you played Uno.

C said...

Enjoyable Tuesday puzzle. I liked the UNO clue, it made me instinctive reach for my skip cards ...

Misty said...

Glad I'm not the only one who's never heard of "skosh." Never heard of "Uno" either, sad to say, and also found "oded" a weird answer for "pigged out." But everything else fell so smoothly into place that it felt like a great Tuesday puzzle. And I agree with PG about the sparkle.

Anonymous said...

@anon 7:24 No, see Tuttle at 7:27

CoffeeLvr said...

@Pete, I looked up UNO post-solve also. I've played several card games, but don't recall playing UNO.

Pretty good puzzle, although I had trouble sussing out the theme. Thought it had something to do with words ending in CK at first, and saw REDNECKS as a vertical entry.

I wasn't crazy about these: INBUNCHES, UNHOLY, UNFASTEN, especially all hanging out together.

I liked WREAK, WHIR, ALVIN, and always LLAMA.

Anoa Bob said...

I recall first hearing what I think is the source of SKOSH (28D) while in Japan where "suko shii" meant small or little. The "u" gets elided in pronunciation to give it a "skoshee" sound. Further shortened, it migrated, via military people I'm guessing, into English slang as "skosh".

You need a SPOON (53D) to eat gaspachos? Really?

Favorite entry: UNHOLY (48D).

Anonymous said...

Nice Tuesday puzzle. Misread 65A as "Everyone, to Ernest" and wrote in Vern. Knowhut I mean? RIP Jim Varney and Ernest P. Worrell.

Anonymous said...

Hated this puzzle: skosh, oded, hokum never heard of. Ironically the long ones were ez

Anonymous said...

Anoa bob: I've never eaten gazpacho without a spoon. Lol soup

Nighthawk said...

Nice Tue., although it took me a while to get the hang of it all.

Oddly, filled in with almost no crosses, 56A and thought the theme would be objects whose names inferred the opposite of its clue -- here: laundry convenience--->clothes hamper. Turned out not to be the theme, but if I were a constructor, this idea would pique my creative interest.

Is "Actor Martin" too hard for a Tue.? At least it might eliminate the number of seats issue in that carriage.

Seen skosh, but is it a short o like slosh, or long like poach?

Mid-Sept., and the start of the run-up to Halloween already? Reminds me of my favorite Halloween flic, Hocus Pokus. Like "I Put a Spell On You" better than the clue.

Great nametag, @PG.

Anoa Bob said...

@Nighthawk, it's a long "o" as in "go" or "pro".

Sfingi said...

Never heard of SKOSH, but I'll bet plenty of Young 'uns never heard of HOKUM.

MaryPatOR said...

"Skosh" is from Japanese for small. When it first entered our language, it was always "skoshee bit": I'll have just a skoshee bit more!

That was the swingin' 70s, though. I'm also old enough to remember HOKUM, and I drove a 1975 Monte Carlo LANDAU, which sported a white leather half-top.

Guess this puzzle is just in my wheelhouse!

Rube said...

I learned the term SKOSH in the early 50s from my BIL. He said the troops picked it up in Japan while in transit to/from the Korean war. He himself didn't go, but was in the Navy Reserve at that time. It may have helped that we lived in Seattle, a port of embarcation for that war.

Took me a bit of looking to figure out the theme. Certainly didn't help in the solve. Nice easy Tuesday solve with no writeovers. Best clue was "witch craft" for BROOM.

MannyO said...

ODED= OverDosED?

It seems I've been TREXED again.

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