THURSDAY, May 7, 2009 — Jack McInturff

Theme: "Moooo!" — The word HERD is "hidden" in three theme answers.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Ralph McInerny's priest/detective (FATHER DOWLING).
  • 27A: Place to order gefilte fish (KOSHER DELI).
  • 51A: Scarlett's last words (ANOTHER DAY). YouTube wouldn't let me embed the video, but here's a link.
  • 57A: Pressure to conform, and a hint to the hidden word found in 20-, 27- and 51-Across (HERD MENTALITY).
Crosswordese 101: There's no handier automaker in CrossWorld than KIA (64D: Rio or Rondo). KIA is a Korean company that has been clued as both a "subsidiary" and a "rival" of Hyundai. (Unfortunately, I don't have time to get to the bottom of it right now.) Other vehicle models produced by KIA that might appear in clues are: Sedona, Sportage, Spectra, Sorento, Amanti, Sephia, and Optima.

This is going to be a quick write-up today. PuzzleDaughter got sent home from school early today with a twisted ankle which means I didn't exactly get everything done that I had planned to do. (She's fine, by the way. Just limping around a little, but that's probably more because she's a Drama Queen than because it hurts.) So now it's late and here we are.

  • 15A: One of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" (OLGA). The other two are Maria and Irina.
  • 17A: Kotter portrayer Kaplan (GABE). I miss that show.
  • 19A: Winner over Alexander in 1804 (AARON). I believe this has something to do with a duel. I'm sure it's an interesting story, but again, sorry! Rushing through this! (Do notice, though, that the clue includes Hamilton's first name, indicating that the answer will also be a first name (Aaron Burr).)
  • 31A: Elected officials (INS). We had a discussion about this not too long ago — not sure if it was here or elsewhere. This is confusing to some people, and I'm not sure I've ever heard the word "ins" used in this way. It means, basically, that the people have been voted IN, so now they can be called INS. I always think of it like the in-crowd which I'm not sure makes any sense but it works for me.
  • 54A: Short change? (CTS). Abbreviation of cents.
  • 55A: Burt's costar in "The Killers" (AVA). That's Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner.
  • 56A: Port ENE of Cleveland, O. (ERIE, PA). Ooh, I like it that we get the city and the state here, although I'm not crazy about that abbreviation for Ohio. I would have made it the postal code: OH.
  • 66A: Negro Leagues great Buck (O'NEIL). After retiring from playing, O'Neil worked as a scout for the Chicago Cubs, who hired him as a coach — the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball — in 1962.
  • 67A: Deco notable (ERTÉ). Pseudonym of Russian-born French artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff.
  • 68A: Largest known dwarf planet (ERIS). Wondering who to blame for Pluto being demoted? Look no further. It's all Eris's fault.
  • 71A: Nutritional stds. (RDAS). Recommended Daily Allowance. I seem to remember some grumbling about the fact that RDAs are an obsolete standard? Not sure about that.
  • 3D: Choreographer with nine Tonys (BOB FOSSE). When I think Bob Fosse, I picture Joel Grey. What if life really is a cabaret?
  • 6D: Peter Fonda role (ULEE). "Ulee's Gold." You don't have to see it; you just have to know it.
  • 9D: Conductor Seiji (OZAWA). Music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 29 years (1973–1994).
  • 21D: Doctors' works (THESES). As in "I'd love to earn a doctorate someday, but writing a thesis doesn't sound like much fun."
  • 34D: "Great" czar (PETER I).
  • 40D: Spot for a garden (SIDE YARD). This is a phrase we actually use here at the PuzzleHouse, but I didn't think it was all that common.
  • 42D: "Divine Secrets of the __ Sisterhood" (YA-YA). I read this book and its sequel, "Little Altars Everywhere," and remember liking them both very much.
  • 48D: Blessing evokers (ACHOOS). Evokers? Ouch.
  • 52D: 1598 edict city (NANTES). Signed by King Henry IV of France.
  • 58D: MDCLXII ÷ III (DLIV). I'll take Random Roman Numerals for $100, Alex.
  • 60D: __ de vente: bill of sale (ACTE). French. Never heard of it. Got it from crosses.
  • 65D: Shaky start? (ESS). The word shaky starts with the letter S (ess). I know. Sorry.
Sorry to blog and run. Hash it out in the comments!

Everything Else — 1A: Features of some notebooks (TABS); 5A: Van __, Calif. (NUYS); 9A: Like most acorns (OVOID); 14A: Fumbling reaction (UHOH); 16A: Whinnying African (ZEBRA); 18A: Inert gas (NEON); 23A: Console (SOOTHE); 25A: Pie-mode link (ALA); 26A: That's a moray (EEL); 30A: Memo opener (INRE); 32A: Fly high (SOAR); 33A: Back (out) (OPT); 35A: Irish author Binchy (MAEVE); 37A: It has a legend (MAP); 39A: "A literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything": Huxley (ESSAY); 43A: Horned viper (ASP); 45A: Try (TEST); 47A: "This __ stickup" (ISA); 48A: __ were (ASIT); 61A: First toothbrush to go to the moon (ORALB); 62A: Diplomat's forte (TACT); 63A: Grab (TAKE); 69A: Clear up (SOLVE); 70A: Visionary (SEER); 1D: Harbor vessel (TUG); 2D: "Of course!" (AHA); 4D: Sword holder (SHEATH); 5D: Unlikely protagonist (NONHERO); 7D: Lab assistant in a 1939 film (YGOR); 8D: Bit of beachwear (SANDAL); 10D: Baby beef? (VEAL); 11D: Leno's successor-to-be (OBRIEN); 12D: One with pressing duties? (IRONER); 13D: Hang loosely (DANGLE); 22D: Mixed bag (OLIO); 23D: Take from the top (SKIM); 24D: O'Neill's daughter (OONA); 28D: River barrier (DAM); 29D: Love poetry Muse (ERATO); 30D: "__ on me" (ITS); 36D: Large container (VAT); 38D: Favorite (PET); 41D: "Pronto!" (ASAP); 44D: Finish the road (PAVE); 46D: Basic need (SHELTER); 49D: Canned heat (STERNO); 50D: Sabra's home (ISRAEL); 53D: Cowboy singer Tex (RITTER); 55D: Saunter (AMBLE); 59D: Container weight (TARE).


Rex Parker said...

YA-YA Sisterhood? Really? Didn't see that coming from you.

OMG I never even bothered to contemplate the AARON answer, and only just now got the Alexander Hamilton / AARON Burr connection. Wow. AARON and Alexander are both common last names, so this was weirdly confusing to me. Though it didn't slow me down much.


Loved full name answer BOBFOSSE.


SethG said...

My first thought on seeing Burt was Burt Reynolds. And once I figured out it was Ava Gardner, my thought was "how weird, no idea she was in a Burt Reynolds movie." Thanks for the picture of Loni Anderson.

I thought I learned of Nantes from The Count of Monte Cristo, but the dude's name was just Dantes. I must have learned Nantes from a puzzle...just like Ozawa and Erte and Eris and Oona and...

I know an African named Winnie.

John said...

In his ULEE years, Peter Fonda looks like James Taylor.

Orange said...

I think Seth is kidding about Loni Anderson and knows that it's a blonde Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers.

Crossword clues generally go with the old-style state abbreviations rather than postal abbreviations, but PuzzleGirl's right that OH would have been better here. PA is a postal abbreviation; O. would be best if the answer were ERIEPENN or ERIEPENNA.


For me this was one of the easiest.
Also, one of the cleverest...
eg. 26A: That's a moray (so cute).
Maeve Binchy is a wonderful Irish novelist. I'm not big on reading fiction, especially chick-books, but I thoroughly enjoy reading her novels, maybe because of the rugged Irish settings which are fascinating to me. Hey guys, here's some books for mom that you can read (without masculine guilt)before giving them to mom.

Anonymous said...

Before, during and after doing this puzzle, I thought it was a Themeless Thursday. I never even noticed the Reveal in 57A, since I filled in that entire horizontal from crosses. Does a "theme" like this improve life for either the constructor or the solvers?

chefbea said...

Easy thursday puzzle other than eris which I didn't know

jeff in chicago said...

During the Middle Ages, when I was a kid back in Ohio, we were taught that Ohio and Iowa were the two states that didn't get appreviations since the words were so short already. (Maybe Maine, too? I'm not sure.) We had Calif., Wash., Ariz., Penn., Miss., Tenn. Funny...all those look weird today.

*David* said...

Pizzle took me longer then it should have. I sat on the INS/SKIM/MAEVE section way too long. Other errors were OBRIAN/OBRIEN and IGOR/YGOR.

Daniel said...

Funny... when I think of a song called "Another Day," it's this one.

Dr.F.N.Stien said...

YGOR? Really? I don't know my California Cities, but I thought I knew IGOR!

gjelizabeth said...

Loved "That's a moray". Also liked the AHA, UHOH cross which sounded like much of life (and crossword solving): First you think you got it right, AHA, and then you realize you got it wrong, UHOH.
@Frances, I did find today's theme fun and helpful since I solved mostly from the bottom up. ANOTHERDAY gave me HERDMENTALITY and helped with KOSHERDELI and FATHERDOWLING.

eileen said...

I'm a newbie to the puzzle world. Started working them while taking care of my dad after he broke his hip. With that said, the blog has really helped me out--read: not googling as much:)

puzzled_in_pdx said...

@Frances: Yes it can improve things for me if I can get the theme. I didn't know the theme today but got the longer answers (my dad is partial to gefilte fish). It helps to fill in the rest of the grid when you can get the long ones. Less red letters and googling.

Karen said...

I had thought maybe there was a city called Eriepa. It even sounded familiar to me. (Hey, if there's a place called Oneida, why not?)

Nice trivia about the toothbrush.

Lemonade714 said...

Karen, I am with you about answers that are not only two words but include a word and an abbreviation. I finsihed from the perps, but did not get ERIE PA until I read it over. I guess I was psoiled by crostics and cryptics.

Unknown said...

Breezed through this one, with a couple of hiccups. The NE was difficult- more so because of a small tear in the newspaper which obscured the "EEL" clue. By the time I saw the reveal, I had all of the 'herd's filled in, so it helped me not at all.
YGOR? really?

Anonymous said...

Ygor, played by Bela Lugosi in the 1939 film Son of Frankenstein.

Blame the screenwriter.

Here's a pic: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4153448448/ch0002568

David Marlow said...

Nicely done.

Today's slight quibble (I know, I know; it's just how I am): "Pressure to conform" = HERDMENTALITY? If I were going to be picky, doesn't "herd mentality" presume a pre-existing condition as opposed to what may be being externally manipulated upon a group?

Anybody? It's probably just sour grapes on my part 'cause I had a couple road blocks.

David Marlow said...

On second thought, I suppose the very existence of a herd mentality would in and of itself be pressure to an outsider or newcomer.

Oh well. I should probably take a nap (at my desk).

Orange said...

@switters, a workplace nap is always the best plan. And I say that even though I have a nap impairment. (I can only manage to sleep in the daytime for a few minutes once or twice a year. Does that count as a disability?)

Mayer said...

Found this puzzle challenging today. 41D Pronto is not ASAP but a logical conclusion. Elected Officials 31A, really? "INS", deep as a dime, not good. 33A Back (Out), the clue explaining the clue is the only way to arrive at "opt". 21D Doctors works, confusing. MD's residency; PhD's thesis, anyway it's achievable. 48D Blessing Evokers, "achoos", priceless, my mind was on dream catchers, but didn't fit in the blocks. Tomorrow's another day, to get an earlier start.

Mayer said...

P.S. What is the significance of the red letter???

Orange said...

Mayer, your faithful L.A. Crossword Confidential blogging team does the puzzle in Across Lite (a puzzle-solving software program). The highlighted word/square merely show where the cursor was when we took a screen shot.

mac said...

Nice puzzle, but why did I think the theme was going to be the kosher deli? I must be pining for a Reuben sandwich, my favorite.
Yes, fun bit of information about OralB.
@PuzzleGirl: I liked the YaYa Sisterhood as, didn't know there was a sequel and am going to find it! This blog aids my other favorite pastime as well.
@Orange: I suffer from the same disability, which is a problem when your husband is a napper. Or not.

mac said...

@Mayer: I think the reference to the red letters is the "easier" format when you do the puzzle on-line, where it immediately tells you you are wrong by showing what you type in in red.