09.22 Thu

September 22, 2011
Betty Keller

Theme: For the Birds — Each theme answer consists of a familiar two-word phrase that starts with a type of duck, then the second word of that phrase is used as the first word of another familiar two-word phrase. Put them all together, clue wackily, and voilà!

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Daffy trying to hit the piñata? (DUCK BLIND FOLDE).
  • 25A: Survey response at the farm? (CHICKEN FEED BACK).
  • 43A: Tom fooler? (TURKEY LEG PULLER).
  • 57A: Loosey's cake-making aid? (GOOSE EGG BEATERS).
Fun solve today. The theme really helped me on this one (which doesn't always happen). The cluing was definitely amped up a little to make this a late-week puzzle. Let's get right to the details.

  • 1A: Clips for trailers (SCENES). When I saw the word "trailers," the first thing I thought of was movies, but then I second-guessed myself and tried to think of the equipment people use to hitch trailers to their cars/trucks/RVs. Have y'all seen the trailer for "Moneyball"? I can't wait for that movie. Loved loved loved the book. Seriously, one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. And I'm not crazy into baseball. I mean, I like it, and I follow it a little, but I'm not sitting at home crunching numbers this time of year. Anyway, looks like it will be good.

  • 11A: Triangular sail (JIB). This one was a gimme, and only from solving crossword puzzles regularly. In real life, I don't know my JIB from my SPAR.
  • 15A: Dagwood's pesky kid neighbor (ELMO). See what I mean about the clues being toughened up? Today must be Tertiary Comic Strip Characters Day. See also IRMA (23A: "Garfield" waitress).
  • 22A: Pops (DADDY). Sometimes the one-word clues are really frustrating. When the answer provokes a chuckle, though, then I think the frustration is worth it. That's what happend for me today on this one.
  • 37A: Sends regrets, perhaps (RSVP'S). That's right, folks: RSVP'ing isn't just about saying "yes"! It's also about saying "no"! The point is to let the host know how many people to expect. If you don't respond with regrets then the host really doesn't know if you'll show up or not. Manners, people! Manners!
  • 54A: Likely result of failing a Breathalyzer test, briefly (DUI). When I was growing up, it was always a DWI. Then somehow it became DUI. Then when I moved to Iowa they called it OWI, which sounds all kindsa wrong, but whatever.
  • 62A: Blanche Dubois's sister (STELLA). [Insert obligatory yell here.]
  • 6D: Strauss opera based on a Wilde play (SALOME). No idea. Totally crosses.
  • 7D: Flat bread? (RENT). My first thought, of course, was NAAN, but if NAAN were the answer, the clue wouldn't need a question mark. "Bread" in this clue means "money" and "flat" means "apartment."
  • 23D: Brain freeze cause (ICES). I entered ICEE without thinking about it too much. Had to go back and fix that S.
  • 55D: Bing info (URL'S). Do people actually use Bing?
  • 58D: Bulldog booster (ELI). An ELI is a student at Yale University, where the mascot is a bulldog.
Crosswordese 101: Apparently, William Shatner wrote some sci-fi novels. The series is called "TEK War," TEK being a drug of some sort. And that's all you need to know about TEK to recognize it in a crossword clue.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 52A: Mountaintop home (AERIE).
  • 60A: Dedicatee of Lennon's "Woman" (ONO).
  • 58D: Bulldog booster (ELI).
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Everything 1A: Clips for trailers (SCENES); 7A: Fridge incursion (RAID); 11A: Triangular sail (JIB); 14A: Kia model (OPTIMA); 15A: Dagwood's pesky kid neighbor (ELMO); 16A: Japanese salad ingredient (UDO); 17A: Daffy trying to hit the piñata? (DUCK BLIND FOLDED); 20A: Campfire remains (ASH); 21A: It originates from the left ventricle (AORTA); 22A: Pops (DADDY); 23A: "Garfield" waitress (IRMA); 24A: Detective Spade (SAM); 25A: Survey response at the farm? (CHICKEN FEED BACK); 33A: Stows in a hold (LADES); 34A: x, y or z (AXIS); 35A: Many a Louis (ROI); 36A: Supplies for Seurat (OILS); 37A: Sends regrets, perhaps (RSVP'S); 39A: Entry in a PDA (APPT.); 40A: Maui strings (UKE); 41A: Waterfall sound (ROAR); 42A: Not at all good at losing? (OBESE); 43A: Tom fooler? (TURKEY LEG PULLER); 47A: Only reason to watch the Super Bowl, some say (ADS); 48A: Like a pretentious museumgoer (ARTY); 49A: Plane parking place (APRON); 52A: Mountaintop home (AERIE); 54A: Likely result of failing a Breathalyzer test, briefly (DUI); 57A: Loosey's cake-making aid? (GOOSE EGG BEATERS); 60A: Dedicatee of Lennon's "Woman" (ONO); 61A: Jazz singer Laine (CLEO); 62A: Blanche Dubois's sister (STELLA); 63A: Place with presses (GYM); 64A: It may be a peck (KISS); 65A: "Mustn't do that!" ("TSK! TSK!"); 1D: Fizz in a gin fizz (SODA); 2D: PC "brains" (CPU'S); 3D: Make quite an impression (ETCH); 4D: Beat back? (-NIK); 5D: Boards at the dock (EMBARKS); 6D: Strauss opera based on a Wilde play (SALOME); 7D: Flat bread? (RENT); 8D: "M*A*S*H" actor (ALDA); 9D: Currency-stabilizing org. (IMF); 10D: Thingamabobs (DOODADS); 11D: Hirsch of "Numb3rs" (JUDD); 12D: Picked from a lineup (ID'ED); 13D: Shampoo ad buzzword (BODY); 18D: Shah's land, once (IRAN); 19D: New ewe (LAMB); 23D: Brain freeze cause (ICES); 24D: Juanita's half-dozen (SEIS); 25D: Leverage (CLOUT); 26D: 17-syllable verse (HAIKU); 27D: Slugabed (IDLER); 28D: Green Bay legend (FAVRE); 29D: Abbr. on food labels (EXP.); 30D: Adrien of cosmetics (ARPEL); 31D: Small woods (COPSE); 32D: Bad-check passer (KITER); 37D: Acuff and Clark (ROYS); 38D: Actor Mineo (SAL); 39D: With skill (ABLY); 41D: Scapegoat in some down-home humor (REDNECK); 42D: Downs more dogs than, in an annual contest (OUTEATS); 44D: "Get Smart" evil org. (KAOS); 45D: Shirts and skirts (GARB); 46D: Mass leader (PRIEST); 49D: Visibly wowed (AGOG); 50D: Chincoteague horse (PONY); 51D: Sufficient space (ROOM); 52D: Sits in a wine cellar (AGES); 53D: Inflatable items (EGOS); 54D: Shoulder muscle, for short (DELT); 55D: Bing info (URL'S); 56D: Writer Dinesen (ISAK); 58D: Bulldog booster (ELI); 59D: Shatner's "__War" (TEK).


Bill said...

BTW...Bing.com is great for aerial views. Try entering your address, then hit the "Maps" button, zoom in and select "Birdseye View". Unless you are in a rural location, you can "fly" around a point with orthagonal views from four different directions.

Matthew said...

Went pretty smoothly for a Thursday. No real head scratchers. I did think the cluing was very clever, for the most part, although IDED (at 12D) did make an unwelcome reappearance. I don't know why, but that word really bugs me as an answer.

CP said...

Straight forward solve for a Thursday. Theme made it much easier. Have learned once and for all that it's FAVRE not Farve.
Does ISAK (Dinesen) qualify for crosswordese?
Best answer is OUTEATS ala Kobayashi and other extreme eaters.
Wasn't Siegfried the head of KAOS?

Alexscott said...

Pretty easy for a Thursday, maybe because of the theme. Once I got DUCKBLINDFOLDED and CHICKENFEEDBACK, I knew the others would include commonly eaten poultry/waterfowl, and those provide a lot of cross material.

I remembered SALOME was a play by Oscar Wilde mainly because of the U2 song of the same name. Although, when Bono sings it ("Salome, shake it, shake it, shake it, Salo-omay"), it actually sounds more like "salami," which is kind of gross if you think about it.

Sfingi said...

Easier than yesterday; for me, easy for Thrus. Only 2 Googles - OPTIMA, TEK.

Had write-overs: cabin before AERIE, molD before RAID, lap before ELI.

Didn't understand Loosey. Do tell.

@Bill - thanx. One problem - when I went to print it, it printed 90 degrees to the roof, with this statement, "Bird's eye view maps can't be printed, so another map view has been substituted."

zoe said...

Sfingi -

'Loosey Goosey' is a phrase used to describe someone who is a bit scatter brained.

My mom uses this phrase a lot.

Maybe it's just a midwestern saying ...

*David* said...

Pretty smooth Thursday write-overs were FAVRE for STARR and AERIE for CABIN. The theme actually didn't help me much in the solving process, only really understood it after I finished.

Anonymous said...

I had the same misstep that PG had: ICEE instead of ICES. Considering the clue was singular (cause), I'll note my protest here and move on. Otherwise, enjoyable, even though it took me far to long to see the theme.

C said...

Simple theme, well executed. Now, taking the degree of difficulty. multiplying by the weighted judges scoring (throwing out the high and low), incorporating the bribes, I come to a score of 54.32 for this puzzle. Bravo!

John Wolfenden said...

I like the cut of Betty Keller's JIB. She's put together an entertaining and consistently Thursday-level puzzle. I particularly liked "Flat bread?" for RENT.

LADE always makes me think of the bottling plant in Cartago, CA, a tiny town on the 395 on the way to Mammoth. There's a big sign on the wall saying, "ALL DRIVERS MUST PRESENT A BILL OF LADING." It's stuck in my head for some reason.

I'm reading Tony Bramwell's "Magical Mystery Tours" about his years with the Beatles, and it's no surprise that Yoko ONO comes off as a vulture. What I never knew was how horrible John was to his first wife. Treated her with no respect and was quite a cad.

Had MOLD at first for "Fridge incursion."

Why is IRAN clued as "Shah's land, once?" I guess it means that he was once its ruler, but that clue makes more sense for SIAM.

mac said...

I only now figured out "nik"...

Very nice puzzle. Nice how the plural little woods becomes the singular copse. Kiter is a new word for me.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Goosey Loosey is a character in the old fable "Chicken Little", remember the sky is falling? So the clue answer should have been "goosey" not "goose", but of course that wouldn't work in the puzzle. A better clue was needed here. Like a famous basketball player or a Top Gun character?
And I agree, the clue for 23 down is a singular word, not plural. Overall, kinda sloppy clueing.

mac said...

@John Wolfenden: do you mean Perzia?

PuzzleGirl said...

There's nothing sloppy about the cluing for 57A or 23D. "Loosey Goosey" is a goose, so goose is perfectly fine in the answer. ICES can cause brain freeze. Nothing wrong with the plural there.

Misty said...

Did okay on this delightful puzzle and realized afterwards it was because of the cartoon clues. Tells me something about myself. Thank goodness I got Strauss's Salome or I'd feel like a total lowbrow. On the other hand had trouble with the computer clues. But it all evens out and I've even learned things like "Favre" from this blog, even though I have no idea who he is. So cool way to start a Thursday.

Steve said...

I liked this - I was dipping around here and there trying to get something going for a while, I like it when it's not all plain sailing.

I thought the clues were great, as others have already mentioned. Loved "Flat bread?" particularly.

@Misty - I didn't know the cartoon clues or Salome, does that make me "mid-brow"?

Funny how Brett Favre is now the Green Bay legend when it used to be Bart Starr. I wonder if anyone has actually asked the Green Bay faithful about this? Favre was not well-liked when he left GB and signed with the Jets, and absolutely excoriated when he subsequently signed with the divisional rival Vikings.

Steve said...

Oh - also meant to point out the lack of an Oxford comma in "x, y or z" referring back to the topic earlier in the week.

Rube said...

My only problem was guessing whether it was JeDD or JUDD in the NE. Figured UDO was better as I don't think they named a vegie after old Tokyo.

Good puzzle. Used the theme to get GOOSE as I didn't know what Loosey meant at first. When will someone clue "X, y or z" as unknowns instead of AXIS? Wanted something to do with Georgia for the bulldog clue. Never heard of "Tek Wars" -- is it worth reading?

CoffeeLvr said...

@Bill, thanks for the Bing tip; I have been "spying" on my son's new place and school, but could not see his backyard with Google maps.

Nice puzzle, smooth and pretty even in terms of difficulty. Too bad 25A "Survey response at the farm" couldn't have been clued with a character, too, but Little by itself doesn't really make me think of CHICKEN. Robot doesn't really work either. Popeye's does make me think of chicken!

Like others, last letter in was changing ICEe to ICES. I looked at OILe and thought French?!?

@Matthew, I hate IDED too. I would never write IDed, I would either use ID'd or identified. Even the Blogger spell check function agrees!

I love the last two Across entries, KISS, TSK TSK.

Misty said...

@Steve--let's just say our brows are all over the place when we do these puzzles. That's what makes them so much fun for such a diverse set of solvers, and what makes this blog so instructive to all of us. PG even has me dipping into the Sports page of the newspaper every now and then, these days.

H. Locklear said...

I can't tell you whether the TekWar books are worth reading, but I can tell you they weren't written by Shatner. They were ghostwritten by Ron Goulart - though it's been said that Shatner came up with some of the concepts and basic story lines.

I'm personally holding out for the TJ Hooker novelizations...

Sfingi said...

@Misty - you actually know less about sports than I do! of course the things I know about FAVRE are - 1. he sent pics of his bits and 2. He kept quitting and coming back. That's all.

Oscar Wilde had some wonderful line drawings by Aubrey Beardsley. to go with SALOME. A 1929 silent film attempted to mirror them. Really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

That is, of course, VINCE Lombardi

Anonymous said...

My first time commenting on here! I have often checked in to read your comments- thanks for all the insight. Can someone explain the -nik answer?