THURSDAY, May 21, 2009 — Sefton Boyars

Theme: "I'll be baa-ck" — Sheep puns!

I have to be honest, I'm not a big fan of puns. I don't hate them as much as at least one of the other bloggers here, but unless they're really super fresh and clever, I'm just not going to get too excited about them. Unfortunately ....

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Wonderful sheep-fleecing job? (SHEAR [sheer] PERFECTION). This one is too common to get a chuckle from me.
  • 38A: Gets Dolly the sheep to defect? (MAKES A EWE TURN [u-turn]). Clearly the best of the bunch, mostly because of the way the clue interprets "turn." Clever!
  • 60A: Use a young sheep as a beast of burden? (TAKE IT ON THE LAMB [lam]). I might be talked into liking this one except it's based on a phrase that I don't like/have really never understood the reason for.
But even though the theme didn't do a whole lot for me, there was definitely some sparkly fill in this puzzle. For example:
  • 9A: To one side (ASKEW). This is just a cool word.
  • 68A: Man with a mission (PADRE). Makes me think of M.A.S.H. And that's always a good thing.
  • 1D: Agave liquor (MESCAL).
  • 48D: Critter in a Tennessee Williams title (IGUANA). We have one particular iguana we keep an eye on at my folks' place in Costa Rica. His name is Bob.
  • 53D: Crystal-lined rock (GEODE). This one is literally sparkly!

Crosswordese 101: EMIT means pretty much what today's clue says: [40D: Send out]. Merriam-Webster's defines EMIT as: 1a: to throw or give off or out (as light or heat) b: to send out : EJECT 2a: to issue with authority; especially: to put (as money) into circulation b: obsolete: PUBLISH 3: to give utterance or voice to . EMIT has a lot of synonyms. Here are some you might see in clues: send out, exude, issue, release, discharge, radiate, and release.

  • 4A: "If I Had a Hammer" singer Lopez (TRINI). Only know the name from crosswords. Thought it was a woman for a while. But it's not.
  • 15A: His 2,297 RBI is a major league record (AARON). That would be Hank AARON. Who was also an ALL-STAR in [22A: ... 21 of his 23 seasons].
  • 21A: Annoy (MOLEST). I remember we talked about this over at Rex's once. Nowadays MOLEST has a more sinister connotation than annoy. The only reason it comes to me readily is the use of the Spanish in this song:

  • 27A: Org. with some lightweights (WBA). World Boxing Association. Lightweights in boxing weigh 130–135 pounds.
  • 44A: Enter anew (RETYPE). They got me on this one. I was definitely thinking about entering a room or a contest or something.
  • 48A: Sitter's challenge (IMP).
  • 52A: Syncopated musical work (RAG). I thought this was going to be rap for a minute. Eminem is a pretty syncopated dude.

  • 59A: German bread (EURO). Bread = money.
  • 65A: Noodle products? (IDEAS). Noodle = head/brain.
  • 69A: Ivory's partner, in song (EBONY). Also ivory's partner on a piano.
  • 5D: Type of sheet or session (RAP). Or music!
  • 10D: They're potted (SOTS). I don't care for this clue/answer or 23D: What 10-Down do (TOPE). The SOTS that I know? They don't use these fancy words. They're drunks and they drink.
  • 18D: Balaam's carrier (ASS). I'm going to assume this is Biblical.
  • 19D: Jack of old Westerns (ELAM). Got this from crosses. I'm sure I've seen him in a puzzle before, but didn't think enough about him to retain his name.
  • 29D: Works on the wall? (ART). This is the old you-think-it's-a-verb-but-it's-a-noun trick.
  • 41D: Seville snack (TAPA). I'm never sure if the answer for this kind of clue will be TAPA or taco. Most of the time it's taco.
  • 49D: "Gypsy" star, 1959 (MERMAN). With only the M in place, I thought this might be Moreno. Did you hear that? That was Greene's head exploding.
  • 57D: Listen to (HEAR). Was just talking to someone the other day who described her husband as "hard of listening."
  • 62D: Tango complement (TWO).

  • 64D: English cathedral town (ELY). Didn't know this one.
How did this one go for you? Tell us about it in the comments!

Everything Else — 1A: Old boys (MEN); 14A: Computer program suffix (EXE); 16A: Second longest African river (CONGO); 20A: Heels (CADS); 26A: Way cool (RAD); 30A: Sheltered side (LEE); 31A: Wrapped up (OVER); 33A: Part of a celestial shower (METEOR); 35A: Offers a view (OPINES); 37A: Rodgers's partner before Hammerstein (HART); 42A: Old VHS alternative (BETA); 43A: Pack animals (LLAMAS); 47A: Quick cut (SNIP); 51A: Letters before a pseudonym (AKA); 54A: Cause to reel (STAGGER); 56A: Pursues (CHASES); 66A: Carpentry pin (DOWEL); 67A: Glasgow negative (NAE); 70A: Start of an afterthought (AND); 2D: Say "Whew!," say (EXHALE); 3D: Hypo (NEEDLE); 4D: Roofing material (TAR); 6D: Wilde country: Abbr. (IRE); 7D: Standard (NORM); 8D: About to endure (IN FOR); 9D: Give the nod (to) (ACCEDE); 11D: Most sweaters and jerseys (KNITWEAR); 12D: Source of chutzpah (EGO); 13D: Took the trophy (WON); 24D: Rent-a-car choice (AVIS); 25D: Kidney-related (RENAL); 28D: Brought into the world (BORN); 32D: Angler's gear (REELS); 34D: Ergo (THUS); 35D: Thumbs-up (OKAY); 36D: Elegant swimmers (SWANS); 38D: Overly compliant (MEEK); 39D: Went after (ATTACKED); 42D: Top of a two-piece (BRA); 45D: Commend (PRAISE); 46D: It's right on the map (EAST); 50D: Delved into (PROBED); 55D: Toothpaste type (GEL); 58D: Start to appeal? (SNOB); 60D: Waiter's reward (TIP); 61D: Nabokov novel (ADA); 63D: Egg source (HEN).


chefbea said...

Gee I'm first today!!! Easy puzzle but I was looking for clone in the dolly clue.

Haven't received my NYTimes puzzle yet. Second time this week that it's late. Guess I'll fire up the grill and get started with tonight's dinner .... leg of lamb, of course.

Jeffrey said...

Just an ovine commentary, Puzzlegirl. Ewe said it.

So what about the LLAMAS, KNITWEAR and NEEDLE? SHEAR madness, I say sheepishly.

Should we move to pigs next? As Ethel MERMAN sang, Let's go on with the Sow!

James said...

The story of Balaam and his donkey (a talking donkey, at that) is in Numbers 22:21-35 or so.

smev said...

IRE for Ireland bothered me - the abbreviation is generally IRL or IE.

Rex Parker said...

Wondered for a bit what TAKESAEWETURE meant ... looked for pun on FUTURE ... but worked it all out in the low 4's.

With just three theme answers, I would have liked to see the NE an SW open up (by having 56A and 21A be one letter longer each, for instance)


ArtLvr said...

TRINI Lopez? I know the name from xwords, but as "If I Had a Hammer singer"? Yuck! The song was written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, and is still performed by Seeger to this day. Second choices for singers of same would be Peter, Paul and Mary, or Odetta or Dylan or any of the luninaries of the '60s protest movement. Think first Newport Folk Festival -- I was there!

Orange said...

Ew, PuzzleGirl said "discharge."

Thanks, PG, for posting a pic of the superior of the two Mr. Noodles. I always forget if this one is "Mr. Noodle" or "Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle."

It was only this year that I found out TRINI Lopez was a man. Trini Alvarado, the actress, made a pretty compelling argument that the singer I knew only from crosswords would also be female.

*David* said...

Puzzle left me ice cold and its going to be over 80 here today. Puns and I mix like mescal and mesquite. The fill was also so-so and didn't give me any goosebumps.

Got stuck a bit near the DOWEL/ELY/TWO crossings otherwise the puzzle moved along. I liked the AARON/ALL STAR connection the most especially because you think of AARON with homers not RBIs. He is still the home run king isn't he?!

Carol said...

I loved MAKEAEWETURN and laughed out loud.

I taught business classes back in the 80's & 90's. 44A:Enter anew bothers me because if you are entering information into a computer you are keying (not typing) the information. Ergo, if you are typing you are using a typewriter and I don't believe that is called entering information into a typewriter!

Otherwise a pretty quick solve for me today, but nothing like you speedsters!

Anonymous said...

I guess you had to live thru the 60's to know Trini! Puzzlegirl probably does not know Lampchop either....too young. I hate the 54A: Cause to reel: STAGGER but it relates to the SOTS portion.

Rex Parker said...

I think of what I am doing right now as "typing." "Keying" is what vandals do to cars.


Carol said...

I know that lots of people talk about typing on a computer, especially those of us who have actually used a typewriter. However, if you are using a computer, you are using a keyboard to enter the information, thereby keying it in.

Picky, picky - I know!

James said...

@*David* Barry Bonds is now the career home run leader. He has 762 while Hank Aaron has 755. Wrong kind of forum, so I won't bring up the steroids issue. Oh, I just did.

Brandy said...

Trini Lopez is a man? I've heard of Trini Lopez but no idea he was male.

I think of keying in data but typing when doing something free form on the computer. I keyed answers into the acrosslite but typed an essay.

The Houston Chronicle paper prints the LA Times crossword but chron.com has a different crossword. Huh? I'd always assumed the one in the paper was on a time delay because I rarely solve the one in the paper (I never get to it first) but guess not.

Anybody know why they print LA Times but release CS? Rather than you know printing CS?

David Marlow said...

I thought REELING was STAGGERING? Is it not?

Barry Bonds: 762* home runs.

* Yeah, he had no idea those "vitamins" were illegal and didn't find it at all strange that they had to be injected. Right. Okay, I'll shut up now.

toothdoc said...

Ew - Orange beat me to the Mr. Noodle comment, loved the picture. Made my kids laugh. Nice writeup PG, educational as always.

john farmer said...

I must have fallen into every possible trap. SEALS for SWANS, TACO for TAPA, BORE for BORN, RAP for RAG. I found the puns all right, though I'm not the biggest pun fan either. One thought about the middle theme: if it had been another 15, it might have freed up the grid and allowed a few other things in (but even changing MAKES__ to MAKING__ falls one letter short).

Not sure what Kris Allen is doing here (Does he EMIT? or, does he do Crystal-lined rock?), and I'll admit I haven't watched a single Idol this season until this week, but I think the clear lesson is this: talent is nice, but being from the South is better.

Denise said...

I will always choose tapas for a snack over tacos!!

I don't see how "stagger" is a cause. It seems like a synonym.

I liked "escape" instead of "exhale," but filled in the right word to finish.


I found this one to be quite easy.
Actually got it completed BEFORE my omelet.
---Restaurant Crossworder

Anonymous said...

Dictionary.com clears up the whole STAGGER issue.

Ruth said...

Iowa has a state rock, and it is the geode. So designated in 1967 (when I was in high school there. I thought "how stupid, we have a state ROCK"). Must be material for a future clue in this factoid.

Orange said...

Brandy, maybe your newspaper's feature editor can explain why they use different puzzles for the print and online editions.

Ruth, Illinois's state mineral is fluorite. It's purple. State rocks are great. They rock.

mac said...

@PuzzleGirl: I don't think I have ever heard about "taking it on the lam", just: being on the lam. Odd.

I also paused with the reel / stagger situation. Fluoride is a pretty stone, I work with it sometimes. It goes from purple to clear to green, but it is quite fragile.

I liked this puzzle ok, but I too am not a great fan of puns.

Anonymous said...

Trini Lopez = "Lemon Tree" which I actually most remember as the song for the Lemon Pledge ads on TV in my youth (I remember being surprised when I actually heard the real song, Lemon Tree, and thought: "Hey, the lyrics are wrong here..."). Tope 'til yer a sot, bloke. Sounds very British and all.

- - Robert

Dan said...

Monkey On The Lam!!!

Karen said...

Things I've learned from comments today: Mr. Lopez, Mr. Noodle. State rock of Massachusetts=puddingstone.

And I'm happy that Mr. Allen gets to emit on my radio (although I love Mr. Lambert too.)

The puzzle itself was okay.

Rex Parker said...

Signed in as Rex, but really it's Sandy here (I know, I could log out and log back in, but what a lot of work...)

I've never heard the word "tope" ever.

I thought one *went* on the lam, I didn't know you could take anything with you.

Otherwise this seemed, I don't know, fine?

ps: see your photo of Kris. Didn't watch last night, but overheard enough conversations at work and dentist to figure out what happened.


Charles Bogle said...

Clever, perhaps too clever by half for me. Still, I was very pleased to get about 95 pc before coming here, even if things like TOPE made me wonder if I had left the flock....

My defeat was in the NW quad. Still don't know what LEE is and never would be funny enough on my own to noodle out SHEARPERFECTION. In fact, I was coming closer to something like a C-Section, for sheep...

PADRE/Mission..reminds me I'm in LA here, not NY

Enjoyed the numerous alcohol references..MESCAL, SOTS, STAGGER etc

Just my second time here and again all in all, a lot of fun and good head-scratching. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

TAPAs are Spanish; TACOs are Mexican. Both are delicious.

imsdave said...

somebody had to post this - too late for the masses but:

If I Had a Hammer

Anonymous said...

@ Charles Bogle - I live near the Leeward Islands and have always heard that the leeward side is protected and gets less wind so sheltered side - Lee or Leeward. Does that help?
@chefB - we had our first try at home cooked Brie Stuffed Filet Mignon - husband loves Brie cheese now but could never get him to eat it before - Real Men didn't eat Brie in his book. Puzzle took me a while as my lunch time at work was cut short - busy day in the Endoscopy Unit - I actually heard of Trini Lopez and was around for his music. Here in St. Thomas his "Lemon Tree very pretty and the lemon flowers so sweet" plays well on the steel pans down here.
I'll go hide my husband's Hammer so he won't be hammering in the morning, he'll hammer in the evening all over this town!
till tomorrow
Lynda RN

chefbea said...

@IMSDave thanks for the hammer video

@lynda Glad you made brie stuffed fillet. Gotta make those cookies!!! Forgot about Lemon tree - great song

Anonymous said...

Carol -- you seem to view the word "type" as a back-formation from "typewriter" and hence acceptable only for the act of using a typewriter to transfer letters to paper. This is wrong. The word "type" far antedates the invention of the typewriter. It even antedates the introduction of movable type. It was incorporated into such terms as "typeface," again before the introduction of the typewriter. The meaning of the word "type" has shifted with every innovation. Over time it has meant: (1) blocks with relief images representing figures or text, which could be inked and transferred to paper; (2) collections of such blocks (enabling movable type) and frequently also called a "typeface" or "font"; (3) the act of "typesetting" a document on a printing press; (4) the act of inputting data to a typewriter through its keyboard; and, currently, (5) the act of inputting data to any device using a keyboard. If you object to (5) on the grounds of "originalism," you must also object to (4), since both are very late adaptations of the word and, indeed, are much closer to one another than to (1)-(3). If you object on the grounds of "common usage," well (5) is nearly universal nowadays. In any case, the fundamental observation here is that the word "typewriter" derives from "type," not the other way around.