9.15.2011

09.15 Thu

T H U R S D A Y
September 15, 2011
Ed Sessa


Theme: Silence of the Lambs — Each theme answer is a familiar word or phrase with one silent letter. From top to bottom, the silent letters spell LAMBS.

Theme answers:

  • 14A: Corner-to-corner lines (CROSSWALK).
  • 18A: Brand with a cuckoo mascot (COCOA PUFFS).
  • 34A: Recall aids (MNEMONIC DEVICES).
  • 55A: Disapproval (THUMBS DOWN).
  • 60A: Nassau Coliseum NHL team (ISLANDERS).
  • 39D: Characteristic of this puzzle's circled letters, which suggest a 1991 Oscar-winning film (SILENCE).
Very clever theme today from Dr. Sessa. I saw the random circles and wondered what the heck we were getting ourselves into. Once I had solved the puzzle, it still took me a minute to figure out the whole theme. I'm all "Okay, the letters are silent, got it. There was a movie called 'Silence'?" Well, no, PuzzleGirl. There was a movie called "Silence of the LAMBS." Aha! I am predicting right now that several commenters will complain that one or the other of these so-called silent letters isn't really silent. If I was a gambling person, I would actually bet quite a lot of money on that. Oh wait. I am a gambling person. Well, if it was at all customary or appropriate to gamble on crossword blog comments, I would actually bet quite a lot of money on that.

Bullets:
  • 1A: Cabernets, e.g. (REDS). I thought this might have been a bonus non-theme answer having to do with a memorable line from the movie, but it turns out the actual memorable line (which apparently wasn't all that memorable, to me anyway) refers to chianti.
  • 40A: Adams's "Nixon in China," for one (OPERA). Did y'all know there was an opera about this? I had no idea. And weren't we just talking about him yesterday?
  • 3D: Prehistoric critters, briefly (DINOS). It was hard for me to think of anything other than T-REXES, which we saw in a puzzle earlier this week.
  • 37D: Trump has an elaborate one (COMB OVER). Ha! Okay, I just found this on Wikipedia and I'm having a hard time believing it's actually true: "A variation of the comb over where baldness is concealed by long hair combed in three separate directions has a U.S. Patent 4,022,227 by Donald J. Smith and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida. The Smiths were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in Engineering for their effort." Oh, okay, I followed the link for the Ig Nobel Prize and found out it's a joke. Whew! (Oh, I get it. Ignoble. But is there really a patent?!)
I'll be traveling for a couple days and will see you back here Monday. Pretty sure someone will be here to open up tomorrow morning, but you'll need to come on back to find out for sure.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 22A: Literary schnauzer (ASTA).
  • 49A: '40s film critic James (AGEE).
  • 53A: Concert wind (OBOE).
  • 4D: Dreamcast maker (SEGA).
  • 9D: Belarus, once: Abbr. (SSR).
  • 31D: Genre of the band Jimmy Eat World (EMO).
  • 50D: Icelandic source of mythology (EDDA).
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Everything 1A: Cabernets, e.g. (REDS); 5A: __ Ababa (ADDIS); 10A: It's in poetry? ('TIS); 13A: Ray's mom on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (MARIE); 14A: Corner-to-corner lines (CROSSWALK); 16A: Blowing away (AWING); 17A: Small smoke (CIGARILLO); 18A: Brand with a cuckoo mascot (COCOA PUFFS); 20A: Enunciate poorly (SLUR); 21A: Spanish liqueur (ANIS); 22A: Literary schnauzer (ASTA); 23A: Invitation sender (HOST); 24A: Took care of (DID); 25A: Last pres. born in the 19th century (DDE); 26A: Fish and chips fish (COD); 29A: Jazz guitarist Montgomery (WES); 30A: IM user, perhaps (AOL'ER); 32A: News distributors (MEDIA); 34A: Recall aids (MNEMONIC DEVICES); 40A: Adams's "Nixon in China," for one (OPERA); 41A: Rice follower, at the market (-A-RONI); 42A: Colorful subway poster (MAP); 45A: Reagan era acronym (SDI); 46A: Load (TON); 48A: CCCX x V (MDL); 49A: '40s film critic James (AGEE); 51A: Injury reminder (SCAR); 53A: Concert wind (OBOE); 54A: Herring prized for its eggs (SHAD); 55A: Disapproval (THUMBS DOWN); 57A: Not easily comprehended (HARD TO SEE); 59A: Like some pride (CIVIC); 60A: Nassau Coliseum NHL team (ISLANDERS); 61A: Coeur d'__ (ALENE); 62A: "The X-Files" extras (ET'S); 63A: Proposal rarely made on one knee (TOAST); 64A: Arctic hazard (BERG); 1D: Salad veggie (RAW ONION); 2D: "Spamalot" co-creator (ERIC IDLE); 3D: Prehistoric critters, briefly (DINOS); 4D: Dreamcast maker (SEGA); 5D: Impeach (ACCUSE); 6D: Go with the tide (DRIFT); 7D: Having a mug like a pug (DOG-FACED); 8D: "A miss __ good ..." (IS AS); 9D: Belarus, once: Abbr. (SSR); 10D: Soapmaking material (TALLOW); 11D: Treat like dirt (ILL USE); 12D: Hybrid apparel (SKORTS); 13D: Crushed-stone surface (MACADAM); 15D: Words after a splash in a fountain, maybe (WISH); 19D: Artificially inflate (PAD); 25D: Dilating application (DROPS); 27D: Poetic dedication (ODE); 28D: Place to recline (DIVAN); 31D: Genre of the band Jimmy Eat World (EMO); 32D: __ Nashville: record label (MCA); 33D: Mattress filler (AIR); 35D: "Waking __ Devine": 1998 film (NED); 36D: DĂșn Laoghaire's waters (IRISH SEA); 37D: Trump has an elaborate one (COMB-OVER); 38D: Providing funds for (ENDOWING); 39D: Characteristic of this puzzle's circled letters, which suggest a 1991 Oscar-winning film (SILENCE); 42D: Old golf club name (MASHIE); 43D: White as a sheet (AGHAST); 44D: Diver's quest (PEARLS); 46D: Least likely to bite (TAMEST); 47D: Globe (ORB); 50D: Icelandic source of mythology (EDDA); 52D: Callers at round dances (CUERS); 53D: Ballet's Black Swan (ODILE); 55D: Uproar (TO-DO); 56D: Unpopular worker (SCAB); 58D: Blast cause (TNT).

32 comments:

Gareth Bain said...

The photo of Nixon is hilarious!

"7D: Having a mug like a pug" wanted so badly for it to be BRACHYCEPHALIC, but alas!

lawman said...

22A: Asta was a Wire Hair Fox Terrier! Not a Schnauzer! Let's get it right!!!

Wok This Way said...

PG - you should have ran a picture of Anthony Hopkins as Nixon. That would have left more room for a picture of a sports book. Because...

How the heck is the "L" in walk silent?!

Pete said...

@Lawman - Asta was a Schnauzer in Dashiell Hammett's book. Book trumps movies, 100% of the time.

Anonymous said...

And that's why 22A. Literary schnauzer was clued that way. Aha!

Daytona said...

Wok, that's "You should have RUN a picture of ....." not "should have ran". That makes this old teacher's teeth curl.

*David* said...

Haven't we done the ASTA conversation before, that question always crops up.

I'm not sure about that RAW ONION clue, I don't think of that as being a specific veggie, could've been clued differently. NE was the hardest for me to finish since I put in CIGARETTE despite seeing small and had LES for WES. I've seen MACADAM before but had no mnemonic to remember it.

Anonymous said...

@PG Apparently there is a patent. I ferverently hope they've received billions from The Donald.

Tuttle said...

On the online version the circles are missing. Did they really not circle the B in COMBOVER? It's no more or less silent than the B in THUMBSDOWN. The H in AGHAST might count too.

Homer Simpson said...

Tuttle do you grok the theme or if not, you can read the recap.

Ron Worden said...

It's thur. so getting tougher. Silence of the lambs is one of my favorite movies I have to watch it whenever it is on. Didn't like cluing for aghast seems to me it is more of being taken aback reaction than fear.

Wok This Way said...

Daytona,
Thanks for the grammar lesson! I guess that's my Midwestern upbringing shining through. Oops - did I just end a sentence with a preposition? At least I said "should have" rather than "should of." Btw, the "L" in should is a lot more silent than the "L" in walk.

Coming this fall...Chuck Norris stars as a Southwestern Chinese chef in: Ranger, Texas Wokker.

C said...

Ah, I did this crossword with some fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti. My printout had no circles as usual which makes my perception of the puzzle a bit different than most. Kinda cool.

Misty said...

Proud of myself that I got everything, except--it turns out--understanding that the circled letters were silent in each word. That's why we need you, PG!

Liked "Waking Ned Devine" a lot better than "Silence of the Lambs," which creeped me out a little. A great performance from Jodie Foster, notwithstanding.

Good way to start a Thursday! Have a good trip, PG.

shrub5 said...

After I got the central MNEMONIC DEVICES, I figured the circled letters were going to be such a device for, say, the Great Lakes or... five somethings. But the actual theme was much more interesting than that. Liked the clue for WISH. West side of puzzle was hard to get going because I knew neither MACADAM nor MASHIE -- needed every cross. Pic of Trump's COMBOVER = ridiculous. It truly makes me wonder about him.

Tuttle said...

Totally didn't get the LAMBS part (silent B!). What I get for eliding the write up.

This was easy even without the theme. Yet still kind of lame.

jheaton said...

Misty, if The Silence of the Lambs only creeped you out a little, you have a higher tolerance for creepiness than I did the first time I saw it.

And Tuttle has a point, it'd be a more elegant puzzle if the only silent letters were the ones circled.

Misty said...

Okay, "The Silence of the Lambs" actually creeped me out big time. I just didn't want to sound like the scaredy-cat I am. Glad I'm not the only one.

CoffeeLvr said...

@RonWorden, I wholeheartedly agree with you about 43D AGHAST; really slowed me down since it took quite a while for a 42A MAP to occur to me as a possibility for a colorful poster.

@*David*, I stuck with 17A CIGARette for a long time - the "ette" implied small CIGAR to me.

There are no circles on the LAT's online site; so it was 57A HARDTOSEE the theme! That's okay, I ran through this one pretty quickly.

Rojo said...

*raises hand for also putting in CIGARette*

No circles in my online puzzle, so the theme did really do anything for me. Plus, I feel like I pronounce the L in CROSSWALK. The fill was pretty great though. Liked seeing ERIC IDLE.

Never heard of MASHI. Had to write over ACCoSt with ACCUSE, and hst (Truman) with DDE.

Anonymous said...

Loved the puzzle today and PG's write up!!

Hate the movie SOTL. No entertainment value in that for me.

If you are a golfer you would know that a Mashie is a club from way back when.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Steve said...

No circles online, therefore no complaints (silent or otherwise) about the theme.

MNEMONIC DEVICES - my WsOTD.

Funny, I didn't fall into the CIGARette trap, but I can see it could easily be an equally good answer uncrossed.

Anonymous said...

Just have to add my two cents: As a speech pathologist, there is no l sound in either should or walk.

mac said...

Liked the puzzle, worked without the circles, but no problems here.

For 37D, I was certain at first it had something to do with prenup(t)s.

Sfingi said...

Took me a while, but I got it with 3 Googles - ISLANDERS (sports), WES and NED. WES Montgomery - seems the poor kid died of a heart attack at 45.

Up here, we don't pronounce the F in "often."

Had CIGARette first, rCA before MCA.

@Tuttle - Doesn't CIGARILLO have a Y sound? Not quite silent, but different.

@David - I always remove the raw onions from salads. I like my onions cooked.

Once had a professor at Syracuse named DiRoccaFerrera who had an even more complicated combover. It had a variety of flattened curls and must have been sprayed with plastic.

@Wok - or "shoulda."

@Steve - What'd you say?

Steve said...

Apologies for the multiple posts - no idea what happened there, I'll delete thedupes

Steve said...

Except I can't delete the dupes because Blogger doesn't seem to think they're mine. Sorry!

@Sfingi - the record got stuck, I had to kick my needle out of the groove