09.18 Sun

September 18, 2011
Pawel Fludzinski

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme: "Idiom's Delight" — Contradictory adages.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Great minds think alike, but ... (FOOLS SELDOM DIFFER).
  • 38A: Ignorace is bliss, but ... (KNOWLEDGE IS POWER).
  • 95A: Birds of a feather flock together, but ... (OPPOSITES ATTRACT).
  • 110A: Two's company, three's a crowd, but ... (THE MORE THE MERRIER).
  • 16D: Don't judge a book by its cover, but ... (CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN).
  • 33D: He who hesitates is lost, but ... (LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Looks like this is Pawel Fludzinksi's debut puzzle. Congratulations! And congrats also on having one of the coolest names ever to appear in a crossword byline. Even cooler than two of my favorite crossword names: Pamela Amick Klawitter and Xan Vongsathorn.

Mr. Fludzinski teaches us that you can find a suitable cliché to support any argument or position. Do you like to dress like a slob? Don't judge a book by its cover. Do you like to watch "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"? Ignorance is bliss. Are you an animated, rapping cat who's in love with Paula Abdul? Opposites attract.

I noticed an odd feature of the grid today. All six theme answers are clustered around the edges, leaving the center of the grid theme-free. It's too bad that Mr. Fludzinski didn't tuck a short axiom into the middle. Any suggestions? I've always wondered what the opposite of "A stitch in time saves nine" would be.

  • 34A: Boolean operators (ORS). Boolean algebra uses "and" for multiplication and "or" for addition. Something like that. Close enough for crosswords.
  • 48A: Like some silences (AWKWARD). Umm...yeah...I should probably say something about this entry...umm...a little help here?
  • 54A: Pro ___ (BONO). Phrase that describes most U2 fans.
  • 60A: Big Easy quarterback (BREES). Drew Brees is the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
  • 80A: One of Esau's wives (ADAH). Bonus points to anyone who can name another of Esau's wives.
  • 81A: Stud alternative (EAR DROP). An earring shaped like a drop, I presume.
  • 84A: Texas city named for a Kansas city (ABILENE). Interesting bit of trivia. The one in Texas is a lot bigger.
  • 15D: Veggie chip brand (TERRA). They make those blue potato chips they give you on JetBlue flights. Good stuff.
  • 77D: 1987 All-Star Game MVP Tim (RAINES). A gimme for anyone who was a baseball fan in the '80s. For the rest of you, good luck.
  • 107D: Helen of Troy's mother (LEDA). Leda is mother of Helen, Castor, and Pollux. Leto is the mother of Artemis and Apollo. And of course, Zeus is the baby daddy for all those kids. He really got around. I seem to remember PuzzleGirl giving us a mnemonic to differentiate between LEDA and LETO. Let me go back in the archives and find it... OK, about a year ago, PuzzleGirl wrote: "I think I'll try to remember that the one that doesn't end in A is the one whose children's names begin with A. We'll see if that works." No that doesn't work. Just makes it more confusing. Write in the LE part, and use the crossings for the rest. That's my system.
Have a puzzly week. See you all next Sunday.


      tutu said...

      The baby daddy!! that is sooo funny, thanks for making my day!!!

      Gene said...

      A stich in time saves nine or "haste makes waste? Maybe.
      Anyway, a delightfully fun Sunday puzzle makes up for yesterday horrible DNF.

      JIMMIE said...

      Heck, everybody must know about Oholibamah and Basemath, the other wives of Adah, but we don't see the in cws, for some reason.

      Note that Oholibamah can be pronounced O holy 'bama, as Obama with a holy stuck in.

      JIMMIE said...

      I meant the other wives of Esau, but maybe they were also wives of Adah, because you never know.

      CoffeeLvr said...

      @Doug, as one of the rest, I did not have good luck with Tim RAINEp. Didn't look right, but hey, it's a proper name and PULpED looked good for "beat." I learned to cook without fancy electric gadgets, although I have some now. Plus PULpED seemed to tie in with the idea of beaten up.

      My big beef with this puzzle is MES crossing ESTA; not fair to have Spanish crossing Spanish. Maybe that is a regional bias; this is the LAT puzzle. I did guess right, however.

      I liked the theme well enough, at least there were no insert/delete letters or bad puns. Good puzzle, just a few tricky intersections.

      The highlight of the grid for me was the clue for 30D ACROSS, Down's opposite.

      mac said...

      I enjoyed this one, very good! I also had to laugh when I got 30D.

      I'm afraid I will always need crosses for all those wives....

      Thanks, Doug, you are funny.

      Joon said...

      LEDA was ravished by zeus in the form of a swan. hence all those paintings called "leda and the swan" (you can google it yourself) as well as this great yeats poem.

      so here's the weird part: according to the myth, zeus is actually not the baby daddy for all of leda's kids. leda bore two sets of twins: castor and pollux, and helen and clytemnestra. zeus is the father of helen and pollux, but the father of castor and clytemnestra was leda's husband tyndareus. the biological details are left as an exercise for the reader.

      let's see if i can come up with a useful leda/leto mnemonic. in some versions, leda's two sets of twins were born from a pair of eggs that she laid (i guess because she mated with a bird). so if you can remember "leda laid a pair of eggs", that might help.

      LETO is usually clued as actor jared anyway.

      Tuttle said...

      How can people not know Boolean operators, at least the simple ones, in the internet age?

      In Google searches, for example;

      x AND y returns all results with, you guessed it, both x and y.

      x OR y is obvious as well. It returns any result with either x or y in it.

      x NOR y returns results with neither x nor y.

      x NOT y returns results with x but not y.

      Now we get fun (and Google stops supporting them with simple notation);

      x NAND y returns results that don't have both x and y but may have one or the other.

      x XOR y produces results that contain x or y but not both x and y.

      x XNOR y returns results that have either both x and y or neither x nor y but not just one or the other.

      Electronic transistorized versions of these operators, called logic gates, are what makes your computer... compute.

      Steve said...

      As "opposite" to "A stich in time saves nine" I can only think of a much more modern idiom "Don't sweat the small stuff".

      Nice puzzle.