09.20 Tue

September 20, 2011
John Lampkin

Theme: Gimme an I! Gimme an O! Gimme … an A? Wait, what about the W?? — Each theme answer is a three-word phrase where each word has three of the same letters and the fourth letter alternates I to O to A. If that makes any sense.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Hullabaloo over a sudden policy reversal? (FLIP FLOP FLAP).
  • 33A: Sign of table tennis tendonitis? (PING PONG PANG).
  • 42A: Bit of applause for an equestrian event? (CLIP CLOP CLAP).
  • 58A: Cry of frustration about a Hostess cake? (DING DONG DANG).
Super cute theme today. I like it when the theme answers are fun to say. Modifying the word dang seems like a stretch, but whatever! DING DONG DANG. It's fun to say so who cares?

  • 14A: Coif makeup (HAIR). A coif is made up of HAIR.
  • 25A: Legendary Chicago cow owner (O'LEARY). I seem to recall some question about this entry last time we saw it. Mrs. O'LEARY is supposedly the owner of the cow that started the Great Chicago Fire of whatever year that was. I believe there is at least one song about it.
  • 29A: Attack from above (STRAFE). I tried STRIKE first, thinking of the phrase "air strike."
  • 32A: Co. bigwig (CEO). The abbreviation in the clue indicates that the answer will also be an abbreviation.
  • 40A: Half of a double play (OUT). Did y'all see the baseball news yesterday? Mariano Rivera broke the career saves record with his 602nd save. He's so awesome. The New York Times had a picture of him smiling, which isn't really typical.
  • 64A: Snug ... bug in ___ (A RUG). Now this right here? This is an ugh-ly clue. The clue couldn't use all the words in the first part of the phrase because they include the word "a," which is also in the answer. To get around that, someone thought it was a good idea to use an ellipses. Ouch!
  • 70A: Iowa State's city (AMES). Sigh.
  • 4D: Make ready, briefly (PREP). The clue doesn't mean that you would briefly make something ready, it means that the answer is going to be a brief (i.e., shortened) form of the word.
  • 7D: Velcro alternatives (SNAPS). I tried LACES first. I guess when I think "velcro," I think "shoes."
  • 39D: Yummy but fattening (RICH). I actually read this clue as "Yummy butt fattening." HAha!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 57A: Inventor Whitney (ELI).
  • 65A: "Exodus" author (URIS).
  • 13D: Composer Rorem (NED).
  • 27D: Actress Russo (RENE).
  • 30D: For each one (A POP).
  • 37D: High point (ACME).
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Everything 1A: Word on a red octagon (STOP); 5A: Tree trunk greenery (MOSS); 9A: Channel covering Capitol Hill (C-SPAN); 14A: Coif makeup (HAIR); 15A: Queen Boleyn (ANNE); 16A: Partner of well (ALIVE); 17A: Partner of willing (ABLE); 18A: Like tilted ltrs. (ITAL.); 19A: Moderated, with "down" (TONED); 20A: Hullabaloo over a sudden policy reversal? (FLIP FLOP FLAP); 23A: Ball supporter (TEE); 24A: Little mischief-makers (IMPS); 25A: Legendary Chicago cow owner (O'LEARY); 29A: Attack from above (STRAFE); 31A: __ Grande (RIO); 32A: Co. bigwig (CEO); 33A: Sign of table tennis tendonitis? (PING PONG PANG); 37A: Bushy coif (AFRO); 40A: Half of a double play (OUT); 41A: Inventor's germ (IDEA); 42A: Bit of applause for an equestrian event? (CLIP CLOP CLAP); 47A: Big thing at McDonalds? (MAC); 48A: Samaritan's offer (AID); 49A: Game one (OPENER); 53A: Meditation instruction (EXHALE); 55A: Crossword hint (CLUE); 57A: Inventor Whitney (ELI); 58A: Cry of frustration about a Hostess cake? (DING DONG DANG); 61A: Montezuma, e.g. (AZTEC); 64A: Snug ... bug in ___ (A RUG); 65A: "Exodus" author (URIS); 66A: Musical pace (TEMPO); 67A: Easy pace (LOPE); 68A: Waiter's handout (MENU); 69A: Cuts and pastes, say (EDITS); 70A: Iowa State's city (AMES); 71A: Stage accessory (PROP); 1D: Great Pyramid passages (SHAFTS); 2D: One of two Commandments holders (TABLET); 3D: More greasy (OILIER); 4D: Make ready, briefly (PREP); 5D: Letter carriers (MAILMEN); 6D: Winning (ON TOP); 7D: Velcro alternatives (SNAPS); 8D: Note to __ (SELF); 9D: Book of available products (CATALOG); 10D: Hillside (SLOPE); 11D: Exemplar of neatness (PIN); 12D: Hail, to Maria (AVE); 13D: Composer Rorem (NED); 21D: Fido's poodle amie (FIFI); 22D: Pork cut (LOIN); 26D: Military sch. (ACAD.); 27D: Actress Russo (RENE); 28D: Class using mats (YOGA); 30D: For each one (A POP); 31D: Campus military gp. (ROTC); 34D: __ Samaritan (GOOD); 35D: Little Lab (PUP); 36D: Organ whistle (PIPE); 37D: High point (ACME); 38D: Source of linen (FLAX); 39D: Yummy but fattening (RICH); 43D: Parti-colored cats (CALICOS); 44D: Bank's claim (LIEN); 45D: Sprawls, as by the pool (LOUNGES); 46D: Take down __: humble (A PEG); 50D: Less remote (NEARER); 51D: Cause of odd weather (EL NIÑO); 52D: Equips for use (RIGS UP); 54D: Highly capable (ADEPT); 55D: PC data disk (CD-ROM); 56D: Gem grader's aid (LOUPE); 59D: Festive event (GALA); 60D: Trash destination (DUMP); 61D: Ended a fast (ATE); 62D: Alphabet ender in England (ZED); 63D: 1979 Pa. meltdown site (TMI).


Anonymous said...

There was also some nice symmetry in the theme answers with #1 & #3 being -LIP -LOP -LAP, and #2 & #4 being -ING -ONG -ANG.
However, this puzzle was almost too easy - like a Monday-lite. Was this in the Kid Pages today?
Nice little shout-out to our esteemed editor, though.

Anonymous said...

Having nothing much to say about the puzzle I feel obliged to inquire about the stellar example of the appropriate use of the 'Oxford comma'. It's kept me up at night.

slypett said...

"Oxford comma." What is it? Do I need one?

mac said...

Easy but good puzzle, and hilareous write-up! I also wondered about the interrupted clue for ARUG, that explains it.

@slypett: I'm not sure why this was mentioned here, but it basically is a choice between, f.i., "Paris, Rome, and London", or "Paris, Rome and London". I prefer the latter.

I read our editor doesn't think ping-pong and table tennis are interchangeable.

slypett said...

Thanks, mac.

Anonymous said...

@mac - You don't read the tweets? For shame. I know Will is the Ping Pong/Table Tennis nit-picker, not so sure about Rich.

Matthew said...

Just an okay puzzle. Cute theme answers, but pretty easy to get once I got the first one. Not much else to say about it, I guess.

Bill said...

Not challenging at all, but even though I generally dislike themes, this one made me grin with the silliness.

Steve said...

The Oxford comma is an optional comma placed before the "and" at the end of a list (as in @Mac's example).

Although it's perfectly OK to use it exactly as shown in @Mac's example, its real purpose is to clarify when the list is not just single items - for example "The Harley-Davidson comes in classic colors such as black and silver, white and gold, and blue and chrome". With out the Oxford comma it would be possible to read the last two color options as "white and gold and blue" and "chrome".

Tuttle said...

62D should have been clued "He's dead baby, he's dead".

shrub5 said...

Cute theme! For some reason, I started in the middle and went south. Figured out the theme and as I moved up north, I had enough to fill in FLIP FLOP FLAP before even reading the clue...assumed it would be a reference to flip-flop sandals. Momentarily had MEAL instead of MENU for the waiter's handout. Always have a hard time remembering STRAFE which shows up periodically.

C said...

Nice puzzle, easy but fun theme answers.

I love the oxford comma, every time I use one I feel powerful, like I can make a bunch of people cringe on command. But remember, kids, with great power comes great responsibility, diligence, and fortitude.

Anonymous said...

Way too easy

CoffeeLvr said...

Cute, cute. I like it a lot. Maybe I will add DINGDONGDANG to my vocabulary as an expression of mild frustration. The puzzle felt largely like a Monday. I didn't even see CALICOS until I reviewed the puzzle now. And I have one.

I am strongly in favor of the Oxford comma and I almost always use it. But I suspect it will die out as younger writers eschew any extra keystrokes.

Anonymous said...

During the late 40's and early 50's, the Oxford comma must have been taught in the Chicago area, because that is how I learned to use commas in a sequence.

Please, don't chide our busy Puzzle Girl for not reading the comments. She does have a job that pays the bills.

This puzzle was much easier than most Monday ones!

John Wolfenden said...

Unusual to have such a good theme on a Tuesday.

I can't be the only one who had CUP for "Ball supporter," right?

JIMMIE said...

The paper LAT did not credit John Lampkin today, but only the editors Rich and Joyce. Strange.

All of the style manuals I have say to add the comma before the and in a series, FYI.

Fun cw, nice and easy.

mac said...

Oops, I mixed up our editors.

Anon 6:13 said...

Oh, I should have followed the tweet link for the best argument for the 'Oxford Comma'". Man, these internet thingies are confusing.

CrazyCat said...

Thought this was an easy peasy, but agreeable Tuesday solve. Thought the theme was cute and it helped my solve time considerably.

I had a FLIP FLOP FLAP at the spa yesterday when one of mine went missing.

Did the puzzle poolside in Santa Barbara. It doesn't get much better. And yes, John Lampkin was not credited in the paper.

@John Wolfenden a CUP is more of a ball protector, no?

Anonymous said...

LAT maybe be too busy laying off people to give everyone credit

Steve said...

@Anon 6:13 - Awesome link!

Peter said...

I got the Tarantino reference, Tuttle, even if we are the only ones.