10.04 Tue

October 4, 2011
Ed Sessa

Theme: Kinky sex … oh wait, no …. — The last word of each theme answer is a type of prop used by Harry Houdini.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Understand how things are done (KNOW THE ROPES).
  • 36A: Places to see links (FRENCH CUFFS).
  • 42A: Simple floral garlands (DAISY CHAINS).
  • 58A: Stage name of Ehrich Weiss, for whom the ends of 20-, 36- and 42-Across were props (HARRY HOUDINI).
Did you all see Joon on Jeopardy last night? Pretty exciting! The good news for anyone who missed it is that he'll be back on tonight. (I guess that's pretty good news for Joon himself too.) Those of you who did see the show last night might have chuckled, like I did, at 1-Across. Joon missed the first of his three Daily Doubles the correct answer to which was LAMB (1A: Its "fleece was white as snow"). In his defense, the reference on the show wasn't quite as simple as a nursery rhyme. But it was about someone named Mary. Weird how stuff like that happens.

But now let's turn our attention to Dr. Sessa. Nice solid Tuesday puzzle with a interesting theme and a wholly inappropriate sub-theme. I'm sorry. I don't usually highlight all the double entendre–type entries in a grid, because I don't like to get all nasty, but I really can't help it today. I mean, come on … we've got ROPES, CUFFS, and CHAINS in the theme. There's no way I'm not going to raise an eyebrow at KAMA (Sutra), SLID, SLIT, T-BONED, LICKS, BLEW IT, PUSH and NOT ONCE. No way around it, guys; sorry for the stumble into the gutter.

I had the most trouble over on the eastern seaboard where I entered SIMPLE where SIMILE was supposed to go (31A: As plain as day, e.g.). I can't be the only one who did that. That P caused all kinds of problems, but it eventually worked itself out.

  • 18A: Got one's uniform dirty, maybe (SLID). For some reason I was picturing a nurse's uniform here and couldn't make sense of this. Duh. It's baseball. By the way, PuzzleSon played his first baseball game in several years last weekend and hit a stand-up, RBI double. He felt pretty good about himself.
  • 54A: Broadsided (T-BONED). I had actually never heard this term used in this way until PuzzleHusband was involved in a car accident earlier this year in which his car was T-BONED. (Lots of damage to the car; no damage to the husband.)
  • 65A: "__ Three Lives": TV oldie (I LED). Since I had no idea, I wanted this answer to end in an S, like "[Somebody's] Three Lives."
  • 1D: The home team gets the last ones (LICKS). I do not know what this means.
  • 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO). A little high-end crosswordese to add to your repertoire. We've talked about it here on the blog before. I Ne-Ever remember this one until I have a couple crosses in place.
  • 5D: Former Asian state known for goat wool (KASHMIR). Oh yeah. You know what's coming.

  • 27D: Pasta topper (PESTO). Mmm, pesto ….
  • 43D: Steinway alternatives (YAMAHAS). Okay, I have wondered this for probably 40 years now. Is the YAMAHA that makes pianos the same YAMAHA that makes motorcycles? I literally think of that question every time I see a reference to either the pianos or the motorcycles and I've never bothered to look it up. Well, that ends today. Let's see … what does Wikipedia have to say? …. Okay, interesting. Yes, it's the same company. Kind of. Yamaha Corporation is the parent company and Yamaha Motor Company is part of that conglomerate. Yamaha Corporation began as a manufacturer of pianos and organs and — get this! — their logo is made up of three tuning forks. That's awesome. Who knew?
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 47A: Fair-hiring initials (EEO).
  • 64A: Long, long time (AEON).
  • 67A: Pear variety (BOSC).
  • 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO).
  • 6D: Wheel holder (AXLE).
  • 30D: Pioneering computer (ENIAC).
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Everything 1A: Its "fleece was white as snow" (LAMB); 5A: __ Sutra (KAMA); 9A: Go with the flow (ADAPT); 14A: Pastoral verse (IDYL); 15A: Pink-slipped (AXED); 16A: Ladies' man (ROMEO); 17A: Nicolas of "Adaptation" (CAGE); 18A: Got one's uniform dirty, maybe (SLID); 19A: Mississippi, e.g. (STATE); 20A: Understand how things are done (KNOW THE ROPES); 23A: Many frozen dinners are high in it (SODIUM); 24A: Taker of vows (NUN); 25A: Def Jam genre (RAP); 28A: Native American group (TRIBE); 31A: As plain as day, e.g. (SIMILE); 33A: Tax pro (CPA); 36A: Places to see links (FRENCH CUFFS); 38A: Friend (ALLY); 40A: Cancún uncle (TIO); 41A: 36-Across opening (SLIT); 42A: Simple floral garlands (DAISY CHAINS); 47A: Fair-hiring initials (EEO); 48A: Forensic facility (DNA LAB); 49A: Spy wear (CLOAK); 51A: Sí or oui (YES); 52A: Do-favor link (ME A); 54A: Broadsided (T-BONED); 58A: Stage name of Ehrich Weiss, for whom the ends of 20-, 36- and 42-Across were props (HARRY HOUDINI); 61A: Wife of Abraham (SARAH); 64A: Long, long time (AEON); 65A: "__ Three Lives": TV oldie (I LED); 66A: Michelangelo work (PIETÀ); 67A: Pear variety (BOSC); 68A: Charity (ALMS); 69A: Suisse peaks (ALPES); 70A: Like an animated Pea? (SWEE'); 71A: Cold-cock (KAYO); 1D: The home team gets the last ones (LICKS); 2D: Hersey's "A Bell For __" (ADANO); 3D: "Nearer, __, to Thee" (MY GOD); 4D: Messed up (BLEW IT); 5D: Former Asian state known for goat wool (KASHMIR); 6D: Wheel holder (AXLE); 7D: Golda of Israel (MEIR); 8D: Supplement (ADD ON); 9D: Poison in some whodunits (ARSENIC); 10D: Kids' book connectables (DOTS); 11D: GP's gp. (AMA); 12D: Gently stroke (PET); 13D: Place for a ring (TOE); 21D: Racetrack surface (TURF); 22D: Door sign (PUSH); 25D: Go through energetically, as drawers (RIFLE); 26D: 1966 Michael Caine title role (ALFIE); 27D: Pasta topper (PESTO); 29D: "Little Women" woman (BETH); 30D: Pioneering computer (ENIAC); 32D: Letters before nus (MUS); 33D: Tea leaves holder (CADDY); 34D: Wood shaver (PLANE); 35D: Fake name (ALIAS); 37D: Slinky's shape (COIL); 39D: Fashion monogram (YSL); 43D: Steinway alternatives (YAMAHAS); 44D: Trucker with a handle (CB'ER); 45D: Never (NOT ONCE); 46D: "Elephant Boy" actor (SABU); 50D: Alaskan brown bear (KODIAK); 53D: Iraqis, usually (ARABS); 55D: Nabisco brand named for its flavor (NILLA); 56D: The Penguin, to Batman (ENEMY); 57D: Playground retort (DID SO); 58D: Can't stand (HATE); 59D: "Ouch!" ("YEOW!"); 60D: Fire truck item (HOSE); 61D: Mineral spring (SPA); 62D: Feel sick (AIL); 63D: Workout unit (REP).


Anonymous said...

DAISYCHAINS is a crossover from the theme to the sub-theme. LAMBs is optional.

Apparently the Allies didn't find it necessary to bomb the crap out of a piano maufacturer in WWII, so YAMAHA was still standing after the war, and expanded to fill Japan's immediate post war needs.

Joon's next puzzle has to include Vishnu's fish stew. I was disappointed to see him use capitals in his answer to Final Jeopardy.

Matthew said...

Well, I have to say, unlike PG, I was not feeling this puzzle today. I thought some of the clues and answers were pretty awkward and/or obscure (I'm looking at you, 1D, 10D, 13D, 44D and 71A, among others). Just not a lot of sparkle to this one, other than TBONED, which I did like. I confess that I didn't catch the double entendres -- perhaps that means I don't have quite the salacious turn of mind as our dear host. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

J.J. said...

Licks refers to last at bats in baseball

kate said...

Am I the only one who doesn't understands the clue and answer to 32 down?

Matthew said...

@kate -- think Greek alphabet (or fraternities, if that helps). Mu is the letter before Nu.

Sfingi said...

I also always wondered about Yamaha.

Had SIMpLE before SIMILE, and since I didn't know RAP (in every sense of that musical genre), and as an oldster didn't think of PESTO right off. So, I had trouble in the DC area, and it's Tues.

Matthew must be a Youngster, since the things he missed are more my time. LICKS might go back to jazz.
Remember Peewee? "Connect the dots, lalalalala." As in kids' coloring books. You connect the DOTS and fill in the shape.
CB-ER is someone who drives a truck and communicates over a CB or citizen band radio. There is all sorts of lingo with it, and I guess it's still used.

Got theme right away.

Joon ended up with >$28K. I'll have to tune in to Joon tonight.

10-10 everybody.

Lime D. Zeze said...

I knew! About Yamaha that is. Being a musician and a fan of some of their motorcycles, I am aware of the connection, and I like the fact that the three tuning fork logo was used on their motorcycles as well.

I thought Vishnu Fish Stew was an awesome answer!

Misty said...

Delightful write-up, PG, and congrats to Puzzle Son!

Got everything except 'mus' and 'slips.' Kept thinking of a word that comes before 'French cuffs' rather than the opening they go into. And had no clue about nu.

But everything else fell into place pretty easily--even got 'simile' right away.

Great fun watching Joon last night; can't wait to tune in tonight! Never blogged with a celebrity before! Well, okay, never blogged before.

Steve said...

Whenever AXLE crops up in a puzzle I always have to wait for the crosses to remember the spelling this side of the pond - I'm never sure whether it's AXLE or AXEL.

As @JJ said, licks are at-bats in baseball, and the home team bats second, therefore they get the last licks.

Congrats @Joon - the worst part must be not being able to tell anyone what happened being as the shows were probably taped a couple of weeks ago?

HumbleBrit said...

@ Steve - AXLE is spelled the same way on our side of the pond - only other version I've ever seen is AXEL ROSE

PuzzleGirl said...

AXLE/AXEL is spelled both ways on this side of the pond, but the two words mean different things. We covered them in Crosswordese 101 and even included a helpful mnemonic. (P.S. AXL Rose doesn't have an E in his first name at all.)

HumbleBrit said...

So "pond"er no more......

HumbleBrit said...

Never seen that version before (AXL), but I did Google it and was surprised - and yes, I had forgotten about the skating jump.

Rube said...

Like Our dear hostess and others, had SIMpLE at first. Only other writeover was DIDSO/canSO.

Have never heard of TBONED as a verb referring to auto accidents but can certainly understand it.

I always chuckle whenever either KAMA or sutra appear in crosswords. Unfortunately, my second thought today was how this work has been mentioned frequently in recent episodes of "The Big Bang Theory".

FYI, read last night that the ENIAC had 18,000 vacuum tubes.

*David* said...

I did this puzzle and the first thought in my head was Rihanna. My first thought after I wrote that sentence is that none of you will understand what I mean.

Alexscott said...

I was completely offended by @PG's salacious write-up. Offended that she left out HOSE and YEOW! Not to mention YES and PET. CAGE is a bit SM-y, and KAYO is nearly dirty, as is ARSENIC, if you leave off the NIC. I think that's about it. Just disgusting.

CoffeeLvr said...

I got really off the grid when I solved, because 36A "Places to see links" had me thinking golfcourseS, which fits, and I had no crossing entries yet. So when I soon reached 41A "36-Across opening" I entered HOLE! Needless to say, the Down entries soon took all that out!

Nice puzzle, with some good entries. SIMILE, PIETA, ROMEO, KASHMIR, SODIUM, ALFIE. I notice we got the short version of IDYLl, and the long version of KO.

I am looking forward to watching Joon (again) tonight. I wasn't surprised that he won. He did the crossword community proud.

hebow44 said...

OK Who is Joon? I've seen his name on this blog from time to time. Need to get it straight before I call my Mother who watches Jeopardy EVERY night. Not looking forward to explaining what a blog is.

tutu said...

*DAVID* yes I understand, also know the song.

Hooray for PuzzleSon!!!!

You know how to tell who is the head nurse?
Dirty knees!!


Anonymous said...

Glad I wasn't the only one who had golf courseS in place, but BETH and MUS came early to me so it didn't hurt too much.

Steve said...

@PG, @HumbleBrit - thanks for the clarification, now I can sleep easier :)

Regarding AXL ROSE, and totally befitting today's salacious sub-theme, I remember how to spell his name because it's an anagram of ... um .. how shall I put this? Oh - look at @tutu's comment above and you'll be on the right track.

Go @Joon! Repeat!

Mr Brownstone said...

You know, I always thought that guy played for the other team. Now I know...
Welcome to the jungle, indeed.

mac said...

What a fun puzzle with all the double-entendres! You can write your own dirty little story!

Hand up for simple. Now trying to time dinner so I don't miss Joon!

Avg Joe said...

Again, no spoiler I. But do not miss Joon tonight. He's fantabulous. Go Joon!!!

Hoyt said...


Nighthawk said...

Hand up for SIMpLE.

"I LED Three Lives" was a mid 50's TV series about a Boston advertising exec who infiltrated the Communist Party for the FBI, Herbert Philbrick. It was produced by one of the most successful and prolific radio and television producers of early TV, Fred Ziv (his earliest was The Cisco Kid; others included - Sea Hunt, Ripcord, The Man And The Challenge, Highway Patrol, Bat Masterson).

Fred was a fascinating guy. Son of Russian immigrants, he grew up and lived in Cincinnati his entire life. After a law degree from Michigan, he started an advertising business, with Cincinnati headquarted Proctor & Gamble as his main client. He began to produce radio shows for them, then TV shows. He sat on the board of United Artists and his TV production company later became UA Television. Interestingly, the networks did not produce much original programming at the time, instead taking programming produced by or for its sponsors and only in the late 50's (after the quiz show scandals) did they begin to, asserting the right to control scripts and casting, at which point Fred got fed up and sold most of his company. He remained in Cincinnati lecturing at the University of Cincinnati on advertising and broadcasting for the next 20 or more years, retiring for good in the mid 80's.