SUNDAY, May 10, 2009 (syndicated puzzle) — John Lampkin

Theme: "Mothers of Invention" — Theme answers are familiar phrases clued as if they are related to inventors and their inventions.

Crosswordese 101: There are two contemporary actors that can often help you get a foothold if you're having some trouble, and they both appear in today's puzzle. I am, of course, referring to ESAI Morales and Omar EPPS. They are almost always clued the same way they are here: 95A: Actor Morales and 120A: Omar of "House," respectively. Morales will occasionally be clued by referencing his roles in "NYPD Blue" and "La Bamba." EPPS also appeared in "Scream 2" and 1999's "The Mod Squad."

I don't know. I liked this puzzle, but the theme was a little bland for me. I actually appreciate the puzzle's timely title more than I appreciate the theme. Maybe I'm just stressed from being home with StrepGirl the last few days (and listening to her cough in her sleep right now — is there anything worse?). Also, PuzzleHusband has been working way too many hours for the past ten days or so which means I'm not getting a lot of help around here. That tends to make me cranky for some reason. So maybe it's just me. I don't know. What do you think?

Theme answers:
  • 23A: When Harriet Farnam invented her "Non-Swarmer" beehive, she __ (GOT A HONEY OF A DEAL).
  • 44A: When Mary Walton invented sound dampers for elevated railways, she __ (TOOK THE HIGH ROAD).
  • 64A: When Amanda Jones invented the automatic safety oil burner, she __ (WASN'T JUST BLOWING SMOKE).
  • 87A: When Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate-chip cookie, she __ (SWEETENED THE POT).
  • 112A: When Ida Hyde invented the intracellular microelectrode, she __ (CAUSED A SENSATION).
  • 16D: When Hedy Lamarr co-invented a radio-frequency encryption system, she __ (MADE WAVES).
  • 78D: When Josephine Cochrane invented the dishwasher, she __ (CLEANED UP).
Stuff I didn't know:
  • 15A: Pianist Gilels (EMIL). A Soviet pianist who died in 1985 just before his 69th birthday. Sometimes is name is transliterated Hilels. Never heard of him.
  • 28A: Small Welsh river boats (CORACLES). Looked it up on Wikipedia and found out it's a "small, lightweight boat used mainly in Wales." Alrighty then.
  • 33A: '50s Reds slugger, familiarly (KLU). Ted Kluszewski. I'm sure I've seen him in a puzzle before, but would never have come up with his name without the crosses.
  • 80A: Opera conductor Daniel (OREN). An Israeli conductor and a protégé of Leonard Bernstein.
  • 118A: Bop (CONK). They both mean, basically, "to hit." I guess I've heard both words used in that way, but it wasn't coming for me tonight.
  • 40D: Violinist Mintz (SHLOMO). An Israeli violinist and conductor.
  • 69D: "__ Time": '70s musical (ONE MO'). Doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, so I don't feel so bad about not knowing it.
  • 90D: Possession (HANDS). I don't understand what this means. I'm sure one of you will be kind enough to explain it in the comments.
  • 6A: Doling out mil. rations (ON K.P.). Apparently depending on the branch of the military, this is military-speak for "Kitchen Patrol" or "Kitchen Police."
  • 10A: Jacket material? (BLURB). As in a book jacket.
  • 26A: Wedding pair (I DOS). Each of the two parties says "I do," so that makes a pair of them.
  • 39A: Saint called the founder of Scholasticism (ANSELM). Only got this because I've seen it in puzzles before. This is Anselm of Canterbury, who originated the argument that if we can conceive of God, he must exist.
  • 58A: Parisian passes (NONS). No (English) = non (French).
  • 59A: Popular cups (REESE'S). If you ever find yourself in the unlikely position of needing to get me a present, I will just say right now that you can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.
  • 73A: 130-lb.-plus ref. (OED). The Oxford English Dictionary.
  • 74A: Verified (TRUE). This is the old you-think-it's-a-verb-but-it's-really-an-adjective trick. You always need to watch out for that one.
  • 98A: Tach readout (RPM). The shortened word in the clue, tach(ometer) indicates that the answer will be an abbreviation, R(evolutions) P(er) M(inute).
  • 110A: K-12 (EL-HI). Short for elementary through high school. I've seen this word a lot in puzzles over the last year or so, but never heard it in real life. You can complain about it if you want, but apparently it is commonly used in the publishing industry, so you might as well just learn it and call it good.
  • 123A: They're often bored (HOLES). Bore as in "pierce" not as in "boredom."
  • 4D: Free-for-all (BRAWL).

  • 6D: Klutz's cry ("OH NO!"). Raise your hand if you first entered Uh-oh.
  • 12D: A, in Arles (UNE). More French!
  • 14D: AA co-founder (BILL W.). Bill Wilson. Ya know what else fits here? Bob Smith, the other co-founder. These two guys are actually pretty interesting. They created this amazing organization out of thin air and were apparently complete opposites personality-wise. It's said that if Bill Wilson alone had been in charge in the beginning, AA would now have franchises around the world like McDonald's. And if Dr. Bob had tried to do it by himself, AA never would have made it out of Akron.
  • 15D: Revisionist? (EDITOR). One who makes revisions.
  • 32D: Poses (ASKS). I wanted sits here.
  • 34D: Modern journals (BLOGS). Yee-haw.
  • 45D: Pen pal chatter? (OINKS). Pig pens, that is.
  • 58D: Silents star Nita (NALDI). Learned it from crosswords.
  • 63D: Social rumblings (UNRESTS). Ouch.
  • 67D: Suspect (BE ONTO). This is a variation of the trick we talked about earlier, but this one is called the old you-think-it's-a-noun-but-it's-really-a-verb trick.
  • 76D: Md. athlete (TERP). Go Terrapins!
  • 77D: Trusted (IN THE LOOP). I don't think of trustworthiness as the key feature of someone in the loop. I would have clued this "Aware."
  • 79D: Line at the Old Vic (QUEUE). The Old Vic is a theatre in London. And in London they call their lines QUEUEs.
  • 84D: Camper's aid (KNAPSACK). What's the difference between a backpack, a knapsack, and a rucksack?
  • 93D: Common Market inits. (EEC). European Economic Community.
  • 113D: Jr. Olympic Games sponsor (AAU). The U.S. Amateur Athletic Union.
Enjoy your Mother's Day, everyone!

[Four generations: PuzzleDaughter, PuzzleGirl,
PuzzleMom, and PuzzleGrandma in 2001.]

Everything Else — 1A: "West Side Story" dance (MAMBO); 19A: Nirvana #1 album "In __" (UTERO); 20A: Consider in court (HEAR); 21A: "Amazing" magician (RANDI); 22A: Chance it (DARE); 27A: Work on ribs (GNAW); 29A: Under the surface (LATENT); 31A: Dress down (YELLAT); 34A: Kin of kitties and fishies? (BOWWOWS); 36A: About one in three Bosnians (SERB); 42A: Lyre-playing Muse (ERATO); 49A: TV control (VOL); 50A: Leak results (DRIPS); 51A: Female gamete (OVUM); 52A: A joker might pull yours (LEG); 53A: Go to (ATTEND); 56A: Go on and on (RANT); 57A: Drop (OMIT); 60A: Wapiti (ELK); 61A: French cleric (ABBE); 62A: Latin lover's word (AMO); 63A: __ Reader (UTNE); 72A: Bullfight chorus (OLES); 75A: No. beginning with a "-" (NEG); 76A: Certs competitor (TICTAC); 79A: Sartre's "Huh?" (QUOI); 81A: Note (MEMO); 82A: Volunteer (ENLIST); 83A: Certain brewer (URN); 84A: Santa nickname (KRIS); 85A: Oil burners (LAMPS); 86A: AAA option (RTE); 91A: Cycle part (PHASE); 94A: Pulitzer-winning writer Welty (EUDORA); 96A: __ cordiale: friendly understanding (ENTENTE); 100A: "Whatever you want" (NAMEIT); 105A: Defraud (FLEECE); 106A: Foreshadowed (PRESAGED); 111A: Teased (RODE); 116A: Elton's "__ Song" (YOUR); 117A: 1999 Academy Honorary Award recipient (KAZAN); 119A: Inched (CREPT); 121A: Holst's "The Planets," for one (SUITE); 122A: "Trick" joint (KNEE); 1D: Humid (MUGGY); 2D: Compensate (for) (ATONE); 3D: Sodium, for one (METAL); 5D: "Impressive!" (OOH); 7D: When hell freezes over, in verse (NEER); 8D: Inuit boat (KAYAK); 9D: Declare (PROCLAIM); 10D: Hebrides hillside (BRAE); 11D: Boys (LADS); 13D: Inits. in nutrition (RDA); 17D: Heavy china material (IRONSTONE); 18D: "__ we forget" (LEST); 24D: Chamber work (OCTET); 25D: Hurled (FLUNG); 30D: Elicit a 5-Down (AWE); 35D: Medical suffix (OMA); 37D: Equilateral quadrilateral (RHOMBUS); 38D: Beauty groups? (BEVIES); 41D: Heretofore (ERENOW); 43D: Bygone GM line (OLDS); 44D: Refrain syllables (TRALA); 46D: Decide (OPT); 47D: Primitive home (HUT); 48D: Tranquilizing weapon (DARTGUN); 50D: Attracted (DREW); 54D: Linguist's subject (TENSE); 55D: Swarm (TEEM); 57D: Doesn't go along (OBJECTS); 61D: Book with legends (ATLAS); 65D: "The Little Red Hen" denial (NOTI); 66D: Got the show on the road (TOURED); 68D: "Let __!": high roller's cry (ITRIDE); 70D: Tidy (KEMPT); 71D: Some are inflated (EGOS); 80D: Forty-niner's find (ORE); 81D: 61-Down component (MAP); 85D: Darth's daughter (LEIA); 88D: Wrong, with "all" (WET); 89D: Stumbled (ERRED); 92D: Navigates (STEERS); 97D: Kisses and more (NECKS); 99D: Bricklayer (MASON); 101D: Prefix with -plex (METRO); 102D: Architect Saarinen (ELIEL); 103D: Optimist's phrase (IHOPE); 104D: Hues (TINTS); 105D: Popular boot brand (FRYE); 106D: Exam for pre-srs. (PSAT); 107D: Thinker Descartes (RENE); 108D: Code carrier (GENE); 109D: 1980s speed skating gold medalist Karin (ENKE); 114D: Commando's weapon (UZI); 115D: 6-Down, in Essen (ACH).


Crockett1947 said...

KLU was a gimme for me. He had such massive shoulders and arms. His signature "look" came from cutting off the arms of his jerseys at the shoulder seams. He was a childhood hero in the Cincy area.

No, Didn't have UH-OH, had OOPS!

Didn't understand OINKS until reading your entry.

Have a great Mother's Day, all of you who are fortunate enough to still have a Mother to celebrate with!

Rex Parker said...

I stopped doing this puzzle at BILLW. The puzzle was already annoying me with its cutesy theme and arcane little clues all over the place, but BILLW was the last straw. I have never heard of him in his full-name capacity, let alone this shortened version. I see that he is well known and that he went by BILL W. I see that he shared my birthday. But he is nobody to me, and the ridiculous non-last name thing just ... ended it for me today. I have stopped puzzles mid-solve about as often as I've walked out of movies. Maybe half a dozen times.

Clue on BOWWOWS is horrible, as kin of "kitties" and "fishies" is clearly "doggies." L'il BOW WOW was a child rapper. CORACLES? Ugh. Some violinist? KLU??? It's just unpalatable all around. Well, all around the places I actually solved. I have now spent longer typing this comment than I did trying to solve the puzzle.


Greene said...

@Puzzlegirl: I can certainly understand your not having heard of One Mo' Time; I think not many would remember this little off-Broadway show although it was quite popular back in 1979, running downstairs at the Village Gate Theatre for over 3 years and spawning numerous touring companies.

The piece billed itself as "An Evening of 1920's Black Musical Vaudeville" and celebrated the New Orleans Lyric Theatre which was one of the last stopovers on the Theatre Owners Booking Agency, then known as the TOBA circuit, a punative organization which specialized in booking African American performers during the 1920s and 1930s. Star performers included early jazz greats Bessie Smith, Gertrude Ma Rainey, and Ethel Waters. TOBA generally paid less and had worse touring arrangements than white vaudeville; black performers quiped that TOBA actually stood for Tough On Black Artists ("Ma" Rainey was quoted as saying it stood for Tough On Black Asses).

All of this flavor was captured in the show which featured four performers and a tiny band performing the rags, Charlestons, cakewalks, bluesy ballads, and boogie woogies of the period. Much of this savory stuff is long forgotten and probably the most famous numbers featured in the show are "Tiger Rag," "He's Funny That Way" and "A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight."

The Broadway hit Aint Misbehavin' appears to have been the prototype for One Mo' Time and the string of black revue shows to follow in its wake: Sophisticated Ladies, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Black and Blue, and on and on.

One Mo' Time had an off-Broadway sequel called Further Mo' which failed to capture the magic of the former show and had a short run. One Mo' Time was also revived on Broadway in 2002 for a rather disappointing 21 performances indicating, I suppose, that interest in such music had finally run its course.

And that is probably more than anybody really needs (or wants) to know about One Mo' Time. Happy Mother's Day all!

Brendan Emmett Quigley said...

Saw the title, and yeah, kinda hoped for some Zappa reference, so it was nice to see the pic on the blog. Might hafta go play "We're Only In It For the Money" now.

Agree with Rex on some of the iffy fill, however, I didn't feel the theme was all that bad. I guess the biggest complaint with it is that now that I'm through with it, I can't remember the names of any of the lady inventors or their inventions.

Rex Parker said...

"Lady Inventor" - wasn't that a Prince song?

Joon said...

really, you don't even remember hedy lamarr at 16d? yes, that hedy lamarr. and no, i don't recognize any of the other names either. maybe in a dim recess of my mind i knew ruth wakefield, but i'm glad i do know. god bless chocolate-chip cookies!

i'm more than a little surprised at rex's reaction. some of these entries aren't great, but it's a perfectly fine crossword. i didn't know BILL W either, but... it's AA. it totally makes sense that he was known by his first name and initial.

the only answer i had a real problem with was BE ONTO. that is just not a standalone phrase. ONTO, sure. what's the BE doing there? i don't like that at all. does that mean that IS TALL and ARE RICH would fly? no way.

alanrichard said...

The LA Times has 3 - THREE - Sunday puzzles. The daily, The Sunday and The Magazine.
Hedy Lamaar's invention was sort of a forerunner to the modern cell phone. She disappeared from movies after the mid 50's and I only saw one other picture of her from the mid 60's with her son after she was nabbed for allegedly shoplifting.

chefbea said...

Cute foto of the puzzle family!! As usual I have a different puzzle, and didnt do last sunday's so I'll try to chime in next week.

Anonymous said...

Too many ridiculous clues---and
"Billw" is a prime example.

Karen said...

I loved the theme. Perfect timing to celebrate unsung women of history, although at first I was thinking they were made up, pun related to answer names. Now if they'd given the invention and asked us to name the inventor, that would have been bad.

And I had OOPS, then ohoh, for ohno.

Bonus thank you to EUDORA Welty for having such a memorable name.

ArtLvr said...

In your HANDS, in your possession.... It's too bad the names aren't more familiar! Happy Mother's Day, and I hope your little one is well soon.

Rex Parker said...


Thanks for making me thinking about REESE'S (B-? C-?) "CUPS." Were you going for a boob joke with that photo, or was that just dumb luck?


mac said...

Very cute picture of the PuzzleLadies. Congratulations to Addy, by the way!

I had the most trouble with the bowwows/BillW crossing. Of course it should have been doggies! Didn't use this sort of language with my son, so my sister would teach him words like "horsey" behind my back!

So far I'm not having a really great puzzle Sunday, but there are two more to go.

Happy Mother's Day!

John said...

It took forever to get a decent hold in this puzzle. Very oddball cluing. The NYT was a whole lot easier and smoother to solve.

Anonymous said...

BILLW's whole raison d'etre is to get you to quit.
Oh, you meant the puzzle!

jeff in chicago said...

I liked this one. Funny that a Wikipedia search of the women indicates only one (Hedy Lamarr) was an actual mother. Others may have been; I'd have to do more research. Hariet Farnam doesn't even have a Wiki page!

Had no clue about Klu. (Thanks. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.)

PuzzleGirl said...

For the record, BILL W. is totally awesome fill.

@ArtLvr: Thanks for the hands/possession thing. I guess when I think of the phrase "in your hands," I think of it more in terms of responsibility than possession.

@Rex: I was totally going for the boob joke with that picture. I've been sitting here all day smirking to myself and waiting for somebody to notice.


Puzzlegirl (or anyone else who can help)---
I also get the Chicago Tribune on Sundays. They have a magazine section called the TRIB that has a real nice crossword... today's was authored by Doug Peterson and edited by Stanley Newman, entitled SOUND THINKING. Perhaps it's syndicated and in other newspapers.
I would like to get hooked up with a blog of the quality of LACC.
Can you please lead me to one?
Thank you.

PuzzleGirl said...

@JOHNSNEVERHOME: Stan Newman has a website that you might be interested in, but he doesn't blog each day's puzzle. And, unfortunately, I don't know anyone else who does either. Orange blogs the Newsday Saturday Stumper, but if you haven't tried it — hold on to your hat! It's super super hard. It can take Orange up to 15 minutes to solve sometimes! Me? I still have some from last November hanging around that I haven't been able to crack yet. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Anonymous said...

The word "coracle" might be familiar to C.S. Lewis fans (that's where I learned it). "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" has Reepicheep the mouse paddling off into the sunrise in a coracle.