10.03.2011

10.03 Mon

M O N D A Y
October 3, 2011
Janie Smulyan


Theme: Most important meal of the day — First words of the theme answers create a well-known phrase related to a popular cereal.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: "Get a grip!" ("SNAP OUT OF IT!").
  • 37A: Crafts technique for an old-fashioned look (CRACKLE FINISH).
  • 60A: Connector that completes a phrase made from the starts of the three longest across answers (AND).
  • 61A: Get the front of one's bike off the ground (POP A WHEELIE).
My girl Janie is back today with a solid Monday for what I believe is her second published crossword puzzle. Congratulations, Janie! I actually had a little trouble here and there with this one, which is odd for a Monday. I know I can't be the only one who tried TACOS where TAPAS was supposed to go (4D: Noshes in Nuevo Laredo) and then found TACOS in the grid later (35A: Folded Mexican snacks). I guessed the wrong last letter on DECA- (30D: Ten: Pref.) — I tried DECI-, which really caused problems for the crossing RAGED (42A: More than fumed). I misread the clue for SCRAPS as "college materials," not [45D: Collage materials] and assumed there must be a comedian named Badger that I wasn't familiar with (11D: Badger at the comedy club (HECKLE)). Overall, the puzzle put up more of a struggle than the typical Monday, but it didn't take long to figure out all those missteps.

Sparklers for me today include:
  • 3D: When presidential elections occur (LEAP YEAR). Great piece of trivia. I'm all "November? … Tuesday? … Huh?"
  • 40D: Like some gestures or logic (SYMBOLIC).
  • 49D: "I'm so not impressed" event (BIG WOW).
And, finally, I just want to remind everyone that there is no "dot" in the spelling of DOT-COM (30A: Internet company). You're welcome.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 15A: Play-of-color gems (OPALS).
  • 16A: Bambi's aunt (ENA).
  • 67A: Muse for Browning (ERATO).
  • 2D: West ender? (-ERN).
  • 10D: Colorado's __ Park (ESTES).
  • 50D: Exotic sushi fish (OPAH).
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Everything 1A: What ice cream does in the sun (MELTS); 6A: Mythical weeper (NIOBE); 11A: With it (HEP); 14A: "Terrific!" ("GREAT!"); 15A: Play-of-color gems (OPALS); 16A: Bambi's aunt (ENA); 17A: "Get a grip!" ("SNAP OUT OF IT!"); 19A: Albums kept in jewel boxes, briefly (CD'S); 20A: Dogpatch dad (PAPPY); 21A: Eat like a bird (PECK AT); 23A: Anti-alcohol types (DRYS); 25A: Greenish-blue hue (TEAL); 28A: Room for Renée (SALLE); 29A: Stubbed extremity (TOE); 30A: Internet company (DOT-COM); 32A: Bear's advice (SELL); 33A: Screen partner (STAGE); 35A: Folded Mexican snacks (TACOS); 37A: Crafts technique for an old-fashioned look (CRACKLE FINISH); 42A: More than fumed (RAGED); 43A: Trifled (with) (TOYED); 45A: Green eggs and ham lover __-am (SAM-I); 48A: Scrape, to a tot (BOO-BOO); 51A: __ culpa (MEA); 52A: Pizza's outer edge (CRUST); 54A: Scissors sound (SNIP); 55A: With competence (ABLY); 56A: Cardinal's headgear (RED HAT); 58A: Film idol Greta (GARBO); 60A: Connector that completes a phrase made from the starts of the three longest across answers (AND); 61A: Get the front of one's bike off the ground (POP A WHEELIE); 66A: Bro (PAL); 67A: Muse for Browning (ERATO); 68A: Super Bowl hoverer (BLIMP); 69A: Opposite of NNW (SSE); 70A: Spread widely (STREW); 71A: Big name in foil (ALCOA); 1D: Brit. sports cars (MG'S); 2D: West ender? (-ERN); 3D: When presidential elections occur (LEAP YEAR); 4D: Noshes in Nuevo Laredo (TAPAS); 5D: Passenger pickup point (STOP); 6D: Reply to "Is it soup?" (NOT YET); 7D: Wall St. headline (IPO); 8D: Clumsy sort (OAF); 9D: Radar screen spot (BLIP); 10D: Colorado's __ Park (ESTES); 11D: Badger at the comedy club (HECKLE); 12D: Ultimate goal (END-ALL); 13D: Muted, as colors (PASTEL); 18D: With 62-Down, at a satisfactory level (UP TO); 22D: Othello's lieutenant (CASSIO); 23D: Sot's woe, briefly (DT'S); 24D: Military prep org. (ROTC); 26D: Did something about, as an informant's tip (ACTED ON); 27D: Bread unit (LOAF); 30D: Ten: Pref. (DECA-); 31D: Former telecom firm (MCI); 34D: Overly ornate (GARISH); 36D: Aware of (ONTO); 38D: CIA Cold War counterpart (KGB); 39D: Some summer births, astrologically (LEOS); 40D: Like some gestures or logic (SYMBOLIC); 41D: Cad (HEEL); 44D: Week segment (DAY); 45D: Collage materials (SCRAPS); 46D: Convention sites (ARENAS); 47D: Work clumsily (through) (MUDDLE); 49D: "I'm so not impressed" event (BIG WOW); 50D: Exotic sushi fish (OPAH); 53D: Carton sealers (TAPES); 55D: "Does this ring __?" (A BELL); 57D: Legal wrong (TORT); 59D: McEntire of country (REBA); 62D: See 18-Down (PAR); 63D: Put away at dinnertime (ATE); 64D: Texter's "Here's what I think" (IMO); 65D: Clean air org. (EPA).

32 comments:

Ruth said...

Well, except there was an election in 2000 and that wasn't a leap year, remember? I know it's like a once-in-the-millenium adjustment but it did happen in our lifetime!
Maybe that election just WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Maybe that's why everything turned out so weird. Just thinkin.'

Matthew said...

Actually, Ruth, 2000 was a leap year. The rule is, years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400. Thus, 2000 was a leap year (although 1900, also an election year, was not). Nice Monday puzzle. Particularly liked 34D. And I noticed that RED HAT made a reappearance, although clued differently. So, we know that Papa Smurf and cardinals both wear red hats. Food for thought ...

Gareth Bain said...

Third, by my count including one nyt. Have seen this theme before, but three lively theme phrases = win. Same two missteps of tacos and deci!

Howard B said...

Great to see Janie's name there again. Congrats! Tacos and tapas in the same puzzle both get a thumbs-up here, despite the constant confusion on which to enter.

Start with the "C/P" square and see if that crossing helps to decide which to enter. If not, you can at least fill in the TA--S with some confidence. Every letter helps :).

VirginiaC said...

I thought this was a fun puzzle with lots of good stuff. Great way to start the week.

Tinbeni said...

DT's crossing DRYS ...
I'll drink to that!

janie said...

great solving tip, howard -- and thx, all, for the lively discussion.

wishing "the best to you *each* morning"!

;-)

Misty said...

Had the same problem with 'tapas' and 'tacos.' I guess that's what we get for not knowing the difference between Spain and Mexico? Had 'raved' for 'raged' and wondered what the heck the KVB was? Monday morning dopeyness--sign of a better than usual weekend. Like PG, found the puzzle a little harder than most Mondays, but 'Snap, Crackle, and Pop' made my day.

Margaret said...

Hand up for TAPAS/TACOS. My bigger issue was confidently entering rococo where GARISH was supposed to go, without checking a single cross in advance. It was the CRoCKLEFINISH that tipped me off!

Joon said...

another tip: DECI is probably going to be clued as "tenth", not "ten". a DECImeter is one tenth of a meter, but a DECAmeter is ten meters. (not that anybody ever uses either of those units, but still.) maybe an easier way to remember it is DECImate (a word people actually do use, albeit imprecisely), which originally meant that somebody suffered casualties to one tenth of their troops.

PuzzleGirl said...

Thanks for the tip, Joon. And here's a tip for the rest of you: If I'm not mistaken, Joon will be on Jeopardy tonight! You should watch it.

Ruth said...

Whoa! I remembered it totally wrong about the leap year in 2000. I would have sworn there wasn't one! Maybe that's why things have seemed a bit off ever since. Must reset calendar. . .

Steve said...

Very nice Monday. Didn't get trapped by TAPAS/TACOS for no good reason other than I didn't think of TACOS when I was filling in TAPAS, then later was "oh, look - that's neat" when TACOS appeared.

Something in me says that a Cardinal wouldn't ask for something so commonplace as his hat, but I liked the clue. It started me on flights of fancy such as Henry VIII saying "Where's me hat? You know, the one with the gold and sparkly stuff on it? I've got to go see the Missus get her head chopped off with that big knife thingy and I can't go in this floppy one".

Can someone educate me about the "NOTYET" soup clue? I got it, but I'm wondering if it's a known phrase from a TV show or something ...

Conrad said...

Hm, I didn't even blink at TACOS/TAPAS and DECA was a gimme (I've always used "decathalon" and "decimate").

No real trouble today, though I needed crosses to finish CRACKLEFINISH; just not very artsy, I suppose. Also, I've never run across the phrase "SYMBOLIC logic".

Speaking of "SYMBOLIC", some nice fill today, particularly the top-right and bottom-left corners (minus ARENAS)

@Joon- are you really going on Jeopardy? If so, good luck! That is super bad-ass. If you can, make it a true Daily Double, Alex.

John W said...

I think notyet is from an old soup commercial. Kids excited about getting soup and asking "is it soup yet?" then mom answering "not yet"

Anonymous said...

Close, Steve. TV ad.

CoffeeLvr said...

Well, the theme here certainly helped me speed up at the end of the solve. When I got to AND (and how many 3 letter connectors are there, maybe BUT and NOR) I looked up at SNAP and CR???? and immediately slammed in POPAWHEELIE, and finished CRACKLE (needed some crosses for FINISH.)

However, the actual lyrics of the jingle go "Snap, Crackle, Pop -- Rice Krispies!" So that took a bit of the polish off this grid for me.

Another nit: MGS, CDS, DTS; however I can forgive that on a Monday.

SNAPOUTOFIT & POPAWHEELIE are snappy. I also like SYMBOLIC, MUDDLE, GARISH, HECKLE, PASTEL & NOT YET.

All in all, a good start to the week.

@Joon, I jumped up and set my DVR for this afternoon's Jeopardy! Excited to find out what happened; hope I need to set it again for another show. Thanks for letting us know, @PG.

Anoa Bob said...

Hmmmm, TACOS y TAPAS! Pass the pico de gallo (PEE ko day GUY yo)! Down in these parts---TexMex border--- TACOS are more than "Folded Mexican snacks" (35A). They can be meals in themselves. Taquitos are small rolled or folded snacks that might be a part of a TAPAS spread.

I really dislike seeing an early entry clued to some other entry way down in the grid when it isn't absolutely necessary. Here it's 18D clued to 62D, for no good reason. Each could easily be clued separately. It disrupts the flow of the solve without adding to the puzzle's quality. Irritating.

Hey, isn't BOOBOO GARBO Greta's great-granddaughter?

Joon said...

yes, it's true. thanks for the well-wishes. it's a strange feeling to have a ... i guess you would call it a fan base? i'll retroactively try not to let you all down.

conrad, "decathlon" is a great mnemonic for 10x. good one.

and janie: nice puzzle! some unusually interesting clues for a monday, i thought. i didn't know CRACKLE FINISH but as soon as the first half of it fell into place i knew the theme. and yes, this definitely passes the breakfast test...

Anonymous said...

Popa Wheelie's was the name of the Biker Bar in a Simpson's Episode.
The site/sign gags on this show are outstanding.

kerrys said...

As far as I could tell from GOOGLE there is no Nuevo Laredo in Spain. From Wiki, tapas are mainly found in Spain. I think tacos is the correct answer for 4D and 35A. I really don't think this a nit

Mari said...

Not feeling "Big Wow". Must be the Monday blues.

Steve said...

@Anon 11:38 - A friend of mine has been a background artist on the Simpsons for many years and she sometimes slips in some "in-joke" references for her friends, especially in Mo's (we all hang out in the same local bar in the area).

Go Joon! Tell Alex Trebek he was an answer in the NYT Sunday puzzle yesterday as a "shape-shifting" supplementary answer to the original "ALERT REBEL".

Tuttle said...

I was literally thinking to myself as I inked it in that 'galero' (the broad-brimmed hat Catholic cardinals used to wear) was awful obscure for a Monday. And I was right!

mac said...

I just saw Joon in a promo for Jeopardy! Definitely watching tonight. Belated good wishes!

Congratulations Janie! Crisp Monday puzzle, especially like the heckle, big wow and "snap out of it". Somehow can't imagine you using that expression, you are much too nice. Crackle finish is especially pretty on celadon ceramics.

juststeve said...

Best of luck Joon.

Avg Joe said...

Joon, Where I live Jeopardy is on in 2 minutes. Timing couldn't be better. I'll get on it. BEST OF LUCK!!

Avg Joe said...

I won't spoil the finish for Jeopardy viewers that haven't seen it, but it's a great show and Joon is most impressive. The best part is that he didn't once laugh at the other male opponent's hair. What was that anyway? A bale of hay? A sheaf of wheat? A dead muskrat? Anybody?

ddbmc said...

Oh,darn! Finished the puzzle too late, to watch Joon! But here is his "promo" from the web site! Hope all went well!
Joon Pahk promo

Fun puzzle! Took me a while today. MITRE definitely did not fit for Cardinal's head gear (Pope and Bishops get to wear them too, as part of the Catholic HOI Poloi!)Also wanted RED CAP, as in the St. Louis Cardinals...Handup for the TACO-TAPAS tango!

"Is it soup yet?" was from an ad campaign for Lipton dried soup mixes and was a slam against Campbell's canned condensed soup. Mom would add the soup mix to hot water and "cook" the soup. It actually was one of their more successful ad campaigns.

Tin, when'ja get back from the USSR?

jheaton said...

The previously noted factual error in the clue for LEAP YEAR notwithstanding, there's another problem. [When presidential elections occur] would seem to call for a plural answer, but LEAP YEAR is decidedly singular. It might also have been nice for the clue to specify what country's presidential elections it referred to.

Sfingi said...

Saw Joon on the show. Said he does 40 puzzles a week. He looked great. The other guy was pretty smart, too, notwithstanding said hair.

Another tip: Numbers over 1 are named Greek, under are Latin.

Misty said...

Congratulations, Joon! Just watched "Jeopardy" in California, so trust I'm not spoiling the results for anybody. But was totally excited to hear about all the puzzles you solve and construct! Again, Congratulations!