THURSDAY, May 14, 2009 — Gary Steinmehl

Theme: "Lincoln Center" — Four theme answers are phrases that contain President Lincoln's first name, ABE.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: *Era in which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays (ELIZABETHAN).
  • 60A: *Put in order, as files (ALPHABETIZE). Also books, CDs, and canned goods.
  • 11D: *With no tags (UNLABELED).
  • 33D: *Veggies of Andean origin (LIMA BEANS). I think we're all pronouncing it wrong.
  • 37A: Performing arts site where ground was broken 5/14/1959, and a hint to the shared feature of the answers to starred clues (LINCOLN CENTER).
Crosswordese 101: Today's word is French! NÉE (16A: Originally called). Literally, it means born. It's used to indicate a married woman's family name (sometimes called a "maiden" name, but seriously, it's 2009, let's be done with the "maiden" stuff already). I don't know if this is true, but as far as puzzles are concerned the primary place you'll see this word is in "society pages." It might also be clued as a word found in a "bio," particularly a "bridal bio," or as a way of identifying an "alum." Other clues you'll see are: "formerly," "formerly known as," "originally," "once called," or "once named." And that's what you need to know about NÉE.

Hey, everyone. Just got done watching "American Idol," and after all that excitement, I must say I'm a little BLASÉ (22A: Indifferent) about this puzzle. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing really sparkled for me either. Also, it was kind of a long day and I have another one ahead of me tomorrow, so I'm sorry if this doesn't meet the high entertainment standard that we try to set around here. At least I'll get you started, then you can talk it up all you want in the comments.

  • 11A: Official in black (UMP). And white. Black and white. Right? Or is that just refs? The home-plate umpire doesn't just wear black though, does he? This one confuses me.
  • 15A: Communion bread holder (PATEN). I can never remember this word. Anyone have any ideas about how to make it stick this time?
  • 29A: "Rocky III" actor (MR T.). Had a hard time parsing this for some reason. So obvious, once it's in there.
  • 31A: Quick-drying paint (TEMPERA). I was thinking tempura for some reason. What is that? Paint?
  • 36A: Article in Elle France (LES). Elle France is a magazine. But we don't want a word for a magazines article. Instead we're looking for a part of speech. The word LES is French for the, which is grammatically an article.
  • 45A: A followers (BCD). Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Never like seeing these letter strings. I suppose there are times when it can't be helped.
  • 59A: "Ghost" psychic __ Mae Brown (ODA). Not to be confused with Ola Rae, the female lead in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
  • 66A: Cobb and others (TYS). Others like who? Come on. Let's name some more Tys. Who wants to go first?
  • 68A: Breezy bye-byes (TATAS). BEQ would clue this differently. Also BOOB [45D: Nincompoop]. Heh heh. You said boob.
  • 2D: El Niño feature? (TILDE). The tilde is that little squiggly mark over the n.
  • 4D: Tasseled topper (FEZ). I can't see this word without picturing Akbar and Jeff.
  • 8D: Only team besides the Yankees to win three consecutive World Series (ATHLETICS). You just HAD to bring that up, didn't you?
  • 37D: Symbolic end of summer (LABOR DAY). And don't even think about wearing white shoes after that.
Everything Else — 1A: Sign in a reserved parking area (STAFF); 6A: Time's Person of the Year 2008 (OBAMA); 14A: Screen dot (PIXEL); 19A: __ Palmas (LAS); 20A: Hullabaloo (ADO); 21A: Danger (PERIL); 24A: __ Sabe (KEMO); 26A: Unadorned (NAKED); 28A: Border (ABUT); 33A: Grazing ground (LEA); 34A: Jumps (out) (BAILS); 40A: Photo taker (CAM); 41A: Gives out (EMITS); 42A: Auction action (BID); 43A: Leave in the lurch (ABANDON); 46A: Choir garb (ROBE); 47A: Keats's "__ Psyche" (ODE TO); 50A: Kennel chatter (YAPS); 54A: Victimizes, with "on" (PREYS); 56A: Work on the cutting edge? (STROP); 58A: English __ (LIT); 63A: Wasn't colorfast (RAN); 64A: Foolish (GOONY); 65A: "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer (LISZT); 67A: Idlers in a jam (AUTOS); 1D: Command to Fido (SPEAK); 3D: Geometry truth (AXIOM); 5D: Wing movement (FLAP); 6D: "Fidelio," for one (OPERA); 7D: Dyeing art (BATIK); 9D: __ culpa (MEA); 10D: "The Brady Bunch" actress Davis (ANN B.); 12D: Calibrated tool (MEASURER); 13D: Old dinero (PESETAS); 18D: Crooked (BENT); 23D: Computer site, sometimes (LAP); 25D: Portent (OMEN); 27D: Editing mark (DELE); 30D: Hurried (RACED); 32D: "Hardball" airer (MSNBC); 34D: The right side-view mirror compensates for it (BLIND SPOT); 35D: Farm crawler (ANT); 38D: Melville novel (OMOO); 39D: Neat (TIDY); 40D: Garage alternative (CARPORT); 44D: Marshal at Waterloo (NEY); 48D: Culture: Pref. (ETHNO); 49D: Fast-food carriers (TRAYS); 51D: Elite group (A LIST); 52D: Lunch slice (PIZZA); 53D: Leaves in (STETS); 55D: It's a long story (SAGA); 57D: Hide (PELT); 61D: Manager Piniella (LOU); 62D: __ Maria: liqueur (TIA).


Sandy said...

Hey, I actually voted for Kris, so I'm pretty happy.

PATEN. Can't help you there. Never heard of it. Not been to a lot of masses in my life.

Had some nice tempura soup in a Japanese restaurant in Costa Rica, but it got a bit soggy before I could finish.

John said...

There's Ty Pennington from ABC's Extreme makeover show.

Stan said...

Ty Burr: Film critic for the Boston Globe -- highly recommended!

I also looked up Buster Brown's dog, but that turned out to be 'Tige'.

Always nice to see MR T and ANN B Davis in puzzles -- somehow they fool me every time.

I agree that putting tempura into soup defeats the purpose...

Rex Parker said...

Had ANNE where ANNB belonged, which had me staring at ELASE going "what the @Q#$#?"

Love love love that the ABEs are in fact Dead Center in their answers.


jeff in chicago said...

Smooth solving for me. Didn't notice the ABEs were dead center (dead...Abe...joke?...too soon?) until Rex pointed it out. Merl Reagle has sent a C-L note saying there are three levels of theme. I cannot find the third. Anyone?

NAKED, BOOB, TATAS...Are we sure this isn't a BEQ puzzle?

PG...You think of me when you see FEZ?

Oh, and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer.

SethG said...

A big early court case about internet addresses and trademarked domain names was between TY, the company that makes Beanie Babies and such, and a guy who used TY.com for his computer consulting business after naming his son Ty. So there's that kid. And TY is one of my best friends, but her first name is Trish.

NAKED ATHLETICS is Olympic. But what is TEMBERA?

Brendan Emmett Quigley said...

Former Notre Dame coach Willingham?

Justin said...

Thought this looked familiar. The WSJ ran a 2/15/08 puzzle called "Lincoln Center" with ABEs in the middle of thematic entries, for Presidents Day, I guess . .

Orange said...

Ty Treadway, host of the erstwhile Merv Griffin's Crosswords. He has lovely eyes.

I can't find the other hidden level to the theme. Wait, is it that MR. T and ANN B. Davis appeared in an OPERA at LINCOLN CENTER on LABOR DAY? I'll bet that's it. Or maybe Abraham Lincoln was known to be a BOOB man. No, wait, it's rumored that he might've been gay, so scratch that. No, don't scratch the BOOB unless you're home alone.

Gareth Bain said...

Is it not that it's a 50th anniversary puzzle? Is that the third or the second level?


Joon said...

north carolina point guard TY lawson. good shoot, good pass, great handle. i'd use a late lottery pick on him for sure.

(i knew orange would comment about treadway's eyes.)

seth, it's TEMPERA, and a computer can go in your LAP as well as in a LAB.

PG, as sandy and others have alluded to, tempura is deep-fried japanese food. TEMPERA is paint.

also, BLASÉ? about this puzzle? are you kidding? it's terrific. just on a thematic level: four nice long theme entries each with ABE dead-center, LINCOLN CENTER itself in the center (intersecting two of the other theme answers), and the 50th anniversary thing. plus, it has excellent fill including long triple stacks in the NE and SW, and last but not least, the dynastic 1972-73-74 A's. yeah, i'll take that.

Joon said...

oh yeah, PATEN. the best way to know this word and all the ones related to it (PYX! ALB!) is to have spent years serving as an altar boy (or girl, although not everybody had that option, depending on when and where they were girls).

Jeffrey said...

Ty Cline, obscure Montreal Expos outfielder.

Scortch said...

There's a current baseball player whose first name is Ty...that would be Wigginton.

The cross of LAP and TEMPERA got me as I went with computer LAB. But I should know better as TEMBERA didn't seem quite right and my instincts are usually correct about that.

*David* said...

Ty Murray, rodeo champion, husband of Jewel, and just voted off DWTS.

I liked this puzzle alot other then the alphabet string which wasn't as painful since it was right above ALPHABETIZE. My only mistake was with "Kennel Chatter" I put YELP, it could be YIP/YAP/ARF(s) but I was in a groove and thought the xword gods were watching over me.

Anonymous said...

How about my hero, Ty Wonon?

Jeffrey said...

Ty a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.

SethG said...

If you're going there, Crosscan, why not go all the way to Ty Babilonia?

Still waiting for the ["Rocky III" actor and others] clue for MR TS. Sorry, I'll stop my jibber jabber and treat my mother right.

obertb said...

@PG: I'm with you on the quaintness of "maiden" names (code for maidenhead?). But let's stop snickering over tit and boob, too, OK? Not to mention this whole "breakfast test" thing.

Rex Parker said...


chefbea said...

@DAVID you beat me to Ty who got booted from dancing with the stars

Good Thursday puzzle. Is the third thing the fact that Lincoln Center is in the center of the puzzle and the Abes are in the center of their answers???

The only thing to eat today is pizza

David Marlow said...

2 things:

1.) If no words in the clue are abbreviated, then the answer shouldn't be abbreviated. E.g., "Official in black" should be UMPIRE. UMP's clue should be "Off. in black", or "Offcl. in black". Maybe.

2.) I've been wondering this for years, but have been afraid to ask. But why are movies, books, plays, TV show, &c., not italicized but put in quotes instead? Quotes are for songs, chapters and whatnot. It annoys me.

Orange said...

@chefbea, Merl (like Joon) counts three levels of the theme: LINCOLN CENTER in the dead center, ABEs in the center of the theme entries, and the 50th anniversary. Me, I give half credit for LINCOLN CENTER's placement and decree that this theme has 2 1/2 levels.

@switters, the various online crossword systems tend to have trouble with italics, so quotation marks are used instead. If a printed newspaper also uses quotes, it's probably because it's too much trouble to have multiple versions of a puzzle, and once you start monkeying around with a final version, you run the risk of introducing new errors. Many crossword books follow standard style for the use of italics vs. quotes for titles, though.

As for UMP, hmm. I wonder how often REF and UMP have abbreviation signals in their clues. Both are stand-alone words labeled "informal" in the dictionary I checked, so one could argue that neither one merits an abbreviation cue.

David Marlow said...

Thanks, Orange. That makes sense.

Still, it does make CAM for "Photo taker" very disingenuous. Very disingenuous. [<--"Word that's hard to type"]

*David* said...

I can't help but mention after yesterday's conversation, that PIE HOLE is a fill in the Newman puzzle today clued as "mouth slangily". I got a real kick out of that.

mac said...

Pretty nice puzzle, I enjoyed it. Only, I have never seen "goony" clued like that, I think of a big ape when I hear good.

@switters: the CAM for photo taker is correct, because the unabr. word for photo is PHOTOGRAPH.


mac said...

Sorry, "goon"

chefwen said...

Ty Webb,the guy in Caddyshack played by Cheve Chase. "Can I tie you up with your tie, TY"?, or something like that

EconJohn said...

@ Justin, I'm just amazed that you would recognize a repeated puzzle that "The WSJ ran a 2/15/08 puzzle..." Do you archive these and how do you crossreference and file and retreive? I throw all my old puzzles out after only 13 months, but still couldn't find an old one if I had its reprint half done! Awsome filing system.
Or you joshing me Justin?

Also liked Pie Hole and Boob in the same blog. Those go together.

JohnKThompsonisis@gmail.com said...

OK, Justin, I was Joshin you. I toss a puzzle each day after I've checked my work so I never go back more than two days.
I've come clean with you.

But did you really see this Feb before last and are you going to make me research this and see that its true?

Q) 1 Down. Leg Puller.
Answer: Justin

Lemonade714 said...

Ty Hardin, who played BRONCO when Clint Walker went on strike from CHEYENNE in the 50's, has the most absurd real name ever. TY.

John C. said...

@SethG: Not only is the company that makes Beanie Babies named TY, but the guy who started said company is named Ty Warner. Which I know because he is one of the few notable alums of the tiny school I went to (Kalamazoo College, yeah!).


There's a fifth ABE LINCOLN.
You forgot OBAMA, who thinks he's Abe Lincoln.

Joon said...

econjohn, it's true. read orange's writeup from that day if you don't believe me (or justin). that puzzle ran before i started doing the WSJ puzzle every week, but only barely (maybe a week or two), so i didn't remember it, but yeah, even for those of us who solve 30 or more puzzles a week, the "i've seen this theme before" sensation can be pretty strong. then it's just a matter of searching through various puzzle databases or blogs to find the date.