WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2009—Jack McInturff

THEME: "Glass Things"—Five phrases begin with words that can follow GLASS. I know my co-bloggers have a knack for making up a fun title for the puzzle but "Glass Things" is the best I can do at the moment. Have you got a catchier description?

Hey, did you watch the "literal video" I posted a week ago of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge"? I'm quite fond of that song so I was inordinately pleased when the plumber put me on hold and that song was the hold music! (It's the bathtub. It's draining slowly.)

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Paintings and such are WORKS OF ART. Glassworks are factories where glass or glass things are made. I have a small collection of glass paperweights, so I do like the output of certain glassworks.
  • 26A: If something's Causing heads to turn, it's EYE-CATCHING. Glass eye! Let's get some Sammy Davis Jr. in here:

  • 38A: BLOWING OFF STEAM means Releasing stress, in a way. There may well be a lot of glassblowing going on at the glassworks.
  • 52A: JAR JAR BINKS was a Gungan general of "Star Wars" films? Apparently he did get promoted in Episode 1. I had a college boyfriend named Binks. Oh—glass jars are handy for storing spaghetti sauce.
  • 61A: Yes, a JAWBREAKER is a Very hard candy. A boxer with a weak, easily broken jaw who is particularly susceptible to being whomped by an opponent's blows is said to have a glass jaw.
  • 72A. Dinnerware item that can precede the start of 17-, 26-, 38-, 52- or 61-Across is GLASS.
Favorite bits 'n' pieces: I liked a lot of words in this puzzle. Such as these ones:
  • 1A: World-weary (BLASÉ). Who doesn't like French accents from time to time? "Marion Cotillard was blasé about updating her résumé, even though it was quite passé."
  • 67A: Its state bird is the common loon: Abbr. (MINN). I daresay it is much easier to buy knickknacks with loons on them in Minnesota than to buy cardinal trinkets in Illinois. Some states get more worked up than others about their state birds.
  • Speaking of birds, 70A: Early birds? are EGGS.
  • 11D: Like fascination with the dark side (MORBID). Morbid curiosity and a morbid sense of humor are also fun.
  • 27D: Gigantic statues (COLOSSI). Did you pencil in an S at the end and eventually have to switch to a Latin plural ending? Yeah, that'll happen. As the week progresses towards Saturday, you need to be more wary of assuming -S and -ED word endings.
  • I thought of Winnie the Pooh's pal when I read the clue 30D: Piglet's mother, so the answer, SOW, was a little jarring. No, there's no A.A. Milne character named Sow.
  • ZAFTIG is from the Yiddish and means 46D: Alluringly plump. The Yiddish word derives from the German saftig, meaning "juicy." Anyone else getting hungry for a peach now? (Sculpture by Fernando Botero. I love his work!)
  • 48D: Islamic genies (DJINNS). This is a variant of jinns or jinnis. We don't have a lot of words that start with DJ. Django Reinhardt, Djibouti...
  • 55D: "Shrek!" author William (STEIG) also wrote the C D B! books.

Good gravy, I almost forgot today's Crosswordese 101: ARNE is clued as 42D: 18th century composer Thomas. He was British. He composed the patriotic tune Rule, Britannia! as part of an opera called Alfred. I get the idea he's far more important to crosswords than to the classical music world. ARNE! Be on the lookout for Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan, to make an appearance in the puzzle some day.

I'll be back on screen Saturday. Behave yourselves in the meantime, will ya?

Everything Else — 6A: After a short time (SOON); 10A: Feature of a bad air day (SMOG); 14A: Bay Area county (MARIN); 15A: Fairy tale opener (ONCE); 16A: Heart (CORE); 19A: Ship of Greek mythology (ARGO); 20A: Offended (HURT); 21A: House party convenience (WET BAR); 23A: Roll of dough (WAD); 29A: Alimony recipients (EXES); 31A: Negatives (NOS); 32A: Watch readouts, briefly (LEDS); 33A: Lament (BEMOAN); 36A: Soup bean (LIMA); 44A: Kinfolk: Abbr. (RELS); 45A: A flat counterpart (G SHARP); 46A: Ending letters, in Leeds (ZEDS); 49A: Suffix with expert (-ISE); 51A: Sicilian spouter (ETNA); 56A: Sargasso, for one (SEA); 57A: Kilimanjaro site (AFRICA); 58A: River islets (AITS); 60A: "Put __ writing" (IT IN); 68A: Fourth person (ABEL); 69A: Wishful words (I HOPE); 71A: Hydrant attachment (HOSE); 1D: Munich-based automaker (BMW); 2D: __-tzu (LAO); 3D: Bus depot posting: Abbr. (ARR); 4D: Punjab sect member (SIKH); 5D: Happen next (ENSUE); 6D: Ease (SOFTEN); 7D: "__ clear day ..." (ON A); 8D: Text-scanning technology, briefly (OCR); 9D: Contents meas. (NET. WT.); 10D: Verbally attack (SCATHE); 12D: Instruments with stops (ORGANS); 13D: Conductor Szell (GEORG); 18D: Direct ending? (-ORY); 22D: Mercedes sedan category (E CLASS); 23D: LPGA star Karrie (WEBB); 24D: Skating maneuver (AXEL); 25D: Part of a rep's spiel (DEMO); 28D: "Like, no way!" ("AS IF!"); 34D: Respiratory cavity (AIR SAC); 35D: Dir. from Wichita to Omaha (NNE); 37D: Factory work: Abbr. (MFG); 39D: Smooth-talking (GLIB); 40D: First word of many titles (THE); 41D: Vittles (EATS); 43D: Film-rating org. (MPAA); 47D: Getting it wrong (ERRING); 50D: Empower (ENABLE); 52D: "My Name Is Earl" Emmy winner Pressly (JAIME); 53D: Indian prince (RAJAH); 54D: Cassis cocktail (KIR); 59D: Humorist Mort (SAHL); 62D: Blood-typing system (ABO); 63D: Unseld of the NBA (WES); 64D: Campground org. (KOA); 65D: Mini-albums, briefly (EPS); 66D: Legal thing (RES).


SethG said...

Broken glass phrases?

"Glass jar" seems a bit weak to be a something. Too bad there are no good "figurine" phrases.

HOUSES OF THE HOLY is 15 letters, and ya mama's got a glass eye with a fish in it.

Sfingi said...

Briefly,too many abbr.; in short, I counted at least 10.
A little connection I saw was Sicily:
Etna and Colossi (the Telemon of Agrigento).
Very clever creation.

Charlie said...

Some good, tough fill for a Wednesday. Puzzles seem to be getting harder -- perhaps someone out there is listening...

mac said...

Nice but easy, and I learned a new expression: glass jaw. Cute. My husband laughs sometimes when I use terms I learned from crosswords. Not as much in the (common)language as we think...

I like Botero, too, and this one is particularly beautiful. I loved it when a lot of his pieces were installed on Park Avenue in NY. I still know of one (Cat) in front of an appt. building. Then of course there are the two large nudes in the Times Warner building's lobby; lots of people have their pictures taken with them.

gjelizabeth said...

Sitting here in lovely MARIN (home of JARJARBINKS' creator), visiting RELS. I stopped at the DeYoung on the way up to look at WORKSOFART, happy to be away from the SMOG the hot weather has brought to San Jose. Apart from that I really like the words BLASE and COLOSSI.
@SethG: I felt fine about GLASS JAR as my daughter and I spent a good bit of my last trip googling "glass jars" in a search for cheap kitchen storage containers. It's nice to be able to see the flour and sugar and oatmeal.

*David* said...

I know that there will be moaning about the abbrs. but it didn't bother me all that much. There should be a maximum amount of letters for an abbr. NET WT hmmm.

I thought the STEIG/AITS cross was gnarly. I know my geog but I've never heard of an AIT, I guess Dickens used it. AFRICA for Kilimanjaro locale is a bit lame like saying Mt, Everest locale is Asia or maybe the Earth.

Orange said...

Rex or PuzzleGirl or I will definitely have to give AIT the Crosswordese 101 treatment sometime. It's a classic! Do you have much use for a chiefly British word referring to a small island in a river? I sure don't. Except in crosswords—you will be seeing it again.

Gary Lowe said...

"Looking Glass"
"Glassified Information"
"Glass Action"
"May I have the glassed word"
"A Glass, Poor Yorick"

... OK, maybe not number 5.

Gareth Bain said...

This foreigner had a comic turn with "Its state bird is the common loon..." went Conn, Penn, Tenn... oh Minn. Didn't occur to me were so many states with the double n... Even after just doing the sporcle.com U.S. States quiz (ashamed to say only got 42, forgot about those ones in the middle and those ones between New York and Maine somehow...)


Rex Parker said...

Agree with @sethg that "glass jar" is weak as a something. Where are SLIPPER and HOUSES (not good phrases start with those, I guess)?

Anonymous said...

@Rex - It would take you how long to come up with a phrase HOUSE____ on a par with JARJARBINKS? 15 seconds?

shrub5 said...

I had trouble with 34D) Respiratory cavity. Started big with thorax, then to airway and finally to the tiny airsac. I thought Abel was fun for 68A) Fourth person! I'm about an hour from Marin County, a beautiful spot. Bring your hiking shoes and a fat wallet.
How about Glass(ceilingfan)?

Jet City Gambler said...

"Common loon" could also describe a certain Representative from the state of MINN...

GLASS JOE was the easy first boxer in the old NES game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.

Anonymous said...

@Orange: Theme = A First Glass Puzzle

eileen said...

@shrub5: I also take issue with 34D-RESPIRATORY CAVITY/AIRSAC. The proper answer would be either thorax or alveoli. However, the rest of the puzzle was fun.

@orange: thanks for a super write up.


I'm sitting here with a GLASS half full... or is it half empty?
Anyway, I thought this was a well constructed puzzle and I enjoyed working through it.

I especially like COLOSSI. I right away thought, "there is no colossi quite like Rhodes." Isn't that one of the Seven Wonders of the World?

JARJARBINKS.... hmmm, now of all the weird characters in Star Wars, I disliked him the most. I'm not sure if it's because I'm such a Star Wars purist (he just didn't fit in) or maybe it's because he reminded me too much of my clumsy brother-in-law.

I just love those funny yiddish words, like shlemiel, schlock, nosh, kibbitz, and chutzpah. Like zaftig, they're just so fun to say.
Oy vey iz mir!
Anyone care to add their own fave yiddishese?


Oh I just thought of a yiddish word which describes JARJARBINKS (and my bro-in-law):


Alex said...

I saw a great cartoon with a hippopotamus and a giraffe discussing art, with the giraffe saying "I like Modigliani" and the hippo saying "I prefer Botero." Sure, not everyone will get it, but I think it's a wonderful joke.

Sfingi said...

Going beyond a glass jaw:
Old people's query,"Is your father a glazier?" when someone is between you and the screen.

Wayne said...

I was also pleased to see a Yiddish word in the puzzle. Although, it's usually pronounced zaftik so I had to make an adjustment to get it to fit.
I live with a Jew whose family was from Russia so we do use some Yiddish words around the house. To me, there's just something so humorous about the sounds of the words while at the same time they're so meaningful.
Some of my favs: Shlep, "I've been shlepping (dragging, carrying) this bag around all day". Meshuge=crazy. There's a great episode of the 3 Stooges in which they are cooking up some kind of mixture in a pot and Moe is rattling of the ingredients, one of which is meshugaas (insanity). If a person didn't know the Yiddish word they would have missed the joke. I got it and busted out laughing.

mac said...

@Alex: I get it, it's funny!

Jan said...

My favorite Yiddish word is farblondzshet which my parents pronounced "ferBLUNjid", meaning lost, bewildered, confused. They also used it to mean finding something by accident "I just farblondzshet into it". Lovely language!

barboid said...

Ah! I finally found you again! My mac borked so I'm borrowing my husband's laptop. (Now you're bookmarked on the bar).

You know the clue for SMOG? I thought it said bad Hair day. When I finally solved the words around it, I re-read the clue: and felt like an idiot! Other than that, I did fairly good on this one. I figured out (eventually) everything except ARGO and the middle of AITS I've never heard of KIR and I wasn't sure if it was SLeig or Steig.

BTW, hubby likes to call KOA "Kamping on Asphalt", but most of them are really nice places--especially for someone like me who needs a real bathroom when camping. I really like all the Yiddish lessons here! It's fun to find these things out.

Oh, and I agree with eileen and shrub5 with the alveoli vs airsac answer. When I was hospitalized last year, I was told my 'job' was to fill those alveoli as much as possible to bring them all back.

Anonymous said...

7/24 58A - Bizet's only symphony was "Unfinished", i.e. INComplete.

Orange said...

Anonymous, I fear you're making things up. Bizet's "Symphony in C was started—and finished—when Georges Bizet was just 17 years old. He wrote a couple other symphonies later on.