FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2009 — Dan Naddor

THEME: Double-N — familiar phrase with an "N" in it has that "N" doubled, creating new, wacky phrase, which is then clued "?"-style.

Best vanity theme ever. Don't you see it? Double N. DaNNaddor. Whoa, dude's only got six different letters in his whole name, and his first six letters palindromize. Weird.

Gotta be very brief today, as I have a NYC-bound bus to catch in, oh, less than two hours.

This was one of my favorite DN puzzles. I wish his clues were snazzier. Sometimes there's a listlessness that pervades his puzzles. More swagger, DN! All these theme answers work pretty well, and only SARNIA made me want to cover my ears and scream for dear life (47D: Lake Huron port in Canada).

Theme answers:

  • 17A: "Cimarron" actress Irene's carriage? (DUNNE BUGGY)
  • 23A: Makers of knockoff artillery? (CANNON COPIERS)
  • 32A: Nordic winter wear? (FINNISH COAT)
  • 40A: Airer of fashion infomercials? (COCO CHANNEL)
  • 50A: Film festival city guidebook for pedestrians? (WALKING CANNES)
  • 59A: Cruise down the Rhine, perhaps? (BONN VOYAGE)

Crosswordese 101: OBEAH (25D: Belief involving sorcery)n., pl. o·be·ahs also o·bis.
  1. A form of religious belief of African origin, practiced in some parts of the West Indies, Jamaica, and nearby tropical America, involving sorcery.
  2. An object, charm, or fetish used in the practice of this religion. (answers.com)
Don't ask me how it's different from VOODOO, 'cause I'm not sure I could tell you. OBEAH is more like Crosswordese 201 or 301. It's a bit exotic to be an everyday kind of crossword word, but at 60% vowels (and mixed vowels at that), it will stand a constructor in good stead if he's gotta get from O to H in five letters. Nobody wants to see ORACH. Or OPRAH, for that matter.

What else?

  • 16A: Aunt with a "Cope Book" (ERMA)you're welcome.
  • 29A: Film director Petri (ELIO) — eeks. New one on me. Or else it's an old one that I totally forgot. I have no aptitude for the EZIO, ELIO, ENNIO, etcetero names.
  • 53A: "80's Ladies" country singer K.T. (OSLIN) — why do I think I would laugh out loud if I heard this song?

[Not nearly as sassy and upbeat as I'd hoped ... and what's up with those gloves? Did she just commit a crime?]

  • 18D: Activist Chaz (BONO) — Post-op name of Cher's daughter (now son), née Chastity. I believe I'm the first person to put CHAZ in a puzzle, but I can't release that puzzle until a specific date later in the year — which, frankly, is killing me.
  • 42D: Leeward Island north of Nevis (ST. KITTS) — this clue meant nothing to me. Got the "ST." and then waited to see which one it would be.

OK, see you Monday, assuming I survive the xword tournament in Queens this weekend.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Dear columnist? (ABBY); 5A: Neighborhood near TriBeCa (SOHO); 9A: Alternative to Hires (DAD'S); 13A: SST nose feature (DROOP); 15A: À tout __: at all costs (PRIX); 16A: Aunt with a "Cope Book" (ERMA); 17A: "Cimarron" actress Irene's carriage? (DUNNE BUGGY); 19A: Worker's end-of-week cry (TGIF); 20A: Abbr. in some Canadian place names (STE.); 21A: 2002 Best New Artist Grammy winner Jones (NORAH); 22A: Cook in a pan (SAUTÉ); 23A: Makers of knockoff artillery? (CANNON COPIERS); 26A: Masters partner (JOHNSON); 28A: Highwayman (BANDIT); 29A: Film director Petri (ELIO); 30A: D'backs and Cards (NL'ERS); 32A: Nordic winter wear? (FINNISH COAT); 36A: Devilish sort (IMP); 39A: "Bambi" character (ENA); 40A: Airer of fashion infomercials? (COCO CHANNEL); 42A: Promotes (SELLS); 43A: Prefix meaning height (ACRO-); 44A: "No kidding!" ("THAT SO!"); 47A: With sophistication (SUAVELY); 50A: Film festival city guidebook for pedestrians? (WALKING CANNES); 53A: "80's Ladies" country singer K.T. (OSLIN); 54A: Eager, in dialect (RARIN'); 55A: Mineo of "Exodus" (SAL); 58A: Fish's last meal? (BAIT); 59A: Cruise down the Rhine, perhaps? (BONN VOYAGE); 61A: "__ the picture!" (I GET); 62A: Car with a four-ring logo (AUDI); 63A: Greek New Ager (YANNI); 64A: Deep-six (TOSS); 65A: Column-lined pedestrian way (STOA); 66A: Spunkmeyer of cookie fame (OTIS); 1D: Contributes (ADDS); 2D: Moët et Chandon label word (BRUT); 3D: Elegant tableware (BONE CHINA); 4D: Over there, old-style (YON); 5D: Encourage (SPUR ON); 6D: Heart, e.g. (ORGAN); 7D: Impressive note (HIGH C); 8D: Moronic intro? (OXY-); 9D: Holds for questioning (DETAINS); 10D: Debated (ARGUED); 11D: Composer Shostakovich (DMITRI); 12D: Like AAA-rated bonds, as bonds go (SAFEST); 14D: Actor Sean et al. (PENNS); 18D: Activist Chaz (BONO); 22D: Peloponnesian War victor (SPARTA); 24D: Auth. unknown (ANON); 25D: Belief involving sorcery (OBEAH); 26D: Boss, in Spanish (JEFE); 27D: "thirtysomething" actor Ken (OLIN); 30D: Some PX patrons (NCOS); 31D: __ cit.: footnote abbr. (LOC.); 33D: Strands at a chalet, perhaps (ICES IN); 34D: Athenian reformer (SOLON); 35D: Acid in gastric juice, chemically (HCL); 36D: Nonstop (INCESSANT); 37D: Jazzman Saunders (MERL); 38D: Bit of trickery (PLOY); 41D: Church area (NAVE); 42D: Leeward Island north of Nevis (ST. KITTS); 44D: Small-time (TWO-BIT); 45D: Tries one's hand (at) (HAS A GO); 46D: Unites (with) (ALLIES); 47D: Lake Huron port in Canada (SARNIA); 48D: Harvard, e.g.: Abbr. (UNIV.); 49D: Bug (ANNOY); 51D: Tiler's need (GROUT); 52D: Positive-thinking (CAN-DO); 56D: Lambs: Lat. (AGNI); 57D: Floral rings (LEIS); 59D: Box score figs. (BAS); 60D: Shanghai-born NBAer (YAO).


Crockett1947 said...

Have an enjoyable tournament!

Joon said...

i didn't know SARNIA either, but it didn't make me cover my ears and scream. the clue for BAS did. is that supposed to be batting averages? *cringe* give me ___-relief any day.

nice puzzle, though. good use of a 16th row not out of necessity, but just to space out the grid.

Anonymous said...

Good puzzle here. Have fun, Rex!

Orange said...

Joon, I just reviewed a batch of baseball-themed crosswords for a client. BAS was in one of those, too, and I didn't recall seeing it before with a clue hinting at batting averages.

imsdave said...

Excellent, just about perfect. My only gripe is that it felt about Wednesday level. I also wanted to apologize for not wishing my best to PG on "that other blog", and to all the other blogmates who will be participating in the upcoming tournament - wish I could be there with you all.

Kick butt.


Wow...I knew Sarnia... I guess I've driven through it on the way to Ontario.

Rex, I think K.T. did commit a crime by singing that awful song, or should I say "twanging that awful song"? Wish you had included a clip from NORAH (21a) Jones instead of Oslin. "Come Away with Me" by Jones is "da bomb".

This puzzle lasted one omelet and three cups of coffee. Probably a record for me. I was fairly easy for me, but I sure had to dig into that grey matter (or is it gray matter?).

Struggled with and guessed the OLIN & ELIO part.

A few LOL clues: OXY (4d), BAIT (58a), CANNONCOPIERS (23a).

I'm getting tired of seeing NLERS (30a) in just about every puzzle.

Interesting that yesterday we had NOHO for a NYC place and today we have SOHO (5a). What's next? TOHO?


To those of you who are attending Lollapuzzoola 2, have a super bangup time and please tell us all about it when you return. GO FOR THE GOLD !!!!

PARSAN said...

Knew SARNIA from fishing vacations in Canada but ELIO was a guess. Learned new words JEFA and OBEAH. JOHNS-----8:07am-Also wish it had been Norah Jones. This was a workout for me. A very clever puzzle. Good luck to all going to NY! I know you will have some great stories to tell us (or not) on your return.

eileen said...

Have missed you guys the last few weeks-computer issues and vacation.

Really enjoyed today's puzzle but have to say that it was quite easy for a Friday. Typically I am clueless while tackling them but today sailed along with only a little help from Prof. G.

Good luck to all!

SethG said...

THAT SO (with the exclamation mark) and AGNI bothered me even more than BAS. But that was saved and more by crossing YAO and YANNI. (A new phrase for the internets!)

I'm finding pleasure in the little things.

shrub5 said...

Like JOHNSNEVERHOME, I too laughed at 58A....as I confidently entered WORM instead of BAIT. Just one of the missteps I had in that SW corner. I had detected the theme and figured that 50A would start with CANNES. Eventually though, I beat that area into submission.

I know we had Bambi's aunt ENA from a puzzle not long ago, but could I remember it now? no... I'm just worried that it was a crosswordese 101 topic and someone is going to be very disappointed in me. That, along with the Spanish boss JEFE (come on....not exactly a word common in rudimentary Spanish for gringos) messed me up there, necessitating a visit to Google for the translation.

Hope y'all have fun at Lollapuzzoola 2. Sure wish I could join you!

Anonymous said...

why do I always think K.T. Lange when no one else does! obeah nope I couldn't go there- 2nd cup of coffee and Dad's came to me ! pretty eay for a friday YGIF and good lick to all participants !

GLowe said...

One thing I learned today: I think I know who Orange is!

obertb said...

@Anon 9:37
Maybe because it's kd Lang?

PurpleGuy said...

My biggest gripe -actress Irene's last name is Dunne, pronounced to rhyme with "fun." So that Dunne Buggy makes no sense at all. Should have used Lorna Doone to get the right pronunciation.

I'm in the minority, because I didn't care for the puzzle at all.

Sorry Mr. Naddor, but not one of your better attempts IMHO.

Orange said...

PurpleGuy, the theme is about doubled letters, not sound-alikes. COCO CHANNEL and WALKING CANNES also have significant sound changes when the N is doubled.

That said, I wasn't crazy about this puzzle, but I'm not sure how much of that is the puzzle and how much is the migraine putting me in a bad mood.

choirwriter said...

@orange: sorry about the migraine - hope you feel better soon.

Anyone else write "finnishline" first instead of "finnishcoat"?

I thought the baseball stat was ABS for at bats, so the BAS was disturbing.

Either this was way too easy for a Friday, or I'm getting way better -- sadly, I'm afraid it's the former!

Good luck to all this weekend in NY - have fun!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't a big fan of this one like a few others. Agree with Rex about the dull cluing. The fill as a whole was pretty lifeless as were .the theme answers. Not a great Friday puzzle in my books, but more of a Tuesday/Wednesday one.

jazz said...

Did anyone else notice that the 4 central theme answers have the N's symmetric? And that the two sets of cornered triple N's (NORAH and CANNON..., ANNOY and ...CANNES) are symmetric as well?

I nneed a hobby...

jazz said...

Sorry, that should be PENNS and CANNON...

Bohica said...

I smiled several times whilst solving this puzzle. I thought it clever, though I caught onto the theme immediately. Given DN's prolificacy producing puzzles one cannot expect them all to be perfect, nor to please everyone all of the time. My only gripe is that it was easy for a Friday, but it seemed to follow suit after yesterdays easy solve.

Damn Nucks! said...

As far as I'm concerned

Anonymous said...

Is it bad luck to say Good Luck, Rex.
Break a pencil!

@jazz This is your hobby.

I found this difficult. Once I got the theme it was much better. I didn't like the little tangle of initials at 30A, 30D,31D and 35D.

I penciled in Laing, first. Never heard of K.T. She can do the 2-glove thing, but not the 1-glove.

Glad you spared us from a Yanni Youtube.

Sarnia. I feel like a stupid American. It's the largest port on Lake Huron (that I never heard of).
There are 100 cities that have more than 3 million people, most of which I don't know.

Elio makes up for prix. Petri was an anti-Nazi communist who caricatured Aldo Morro before Morro was murdered. Since Elio is 75% vowel, another is Elio Vittorini, Sicilian verist and friend of Hemingway.

Some clever stuff: bait, oxy, and the theme.

Sfingi said...

Sorry, that last one was mine. I haven't mastered this blogspot stuff yet.

KJGooster said...

@Damn Nucks!: Exactly. I had SAGNIA/RAGIN for the longest time -- it wasn't until my third time or so through the alphabet that it finally clicked that SARNIA/RARIN made a bit more sense.

Still, it's a nicely executed theme, though like many others I felt this was a pretty easy solve for a late-week puzzle.

Charles Bogle said...

Boy am I bummed...I just valiantly completed the Aug 21 LA Times xword by Elizabeth A. Long, in today's Bennington, VT Banner. Alas, it has nothing in common w the puzzle Rex and the gang have done!

mac said...

A good Friday puzzle, with a couple of new words for me, including Obeah. I would love for someone to explain the Hires and Dad's thing!

I thought the 58A clue was decidedly Quigleyesque. I have to admit that K.T. also brought Lange to mind.

@SethG: you're wise.

@Joon: agree re. bas

shrub5 said...

@mac: Hires and Dad's are two brands of root beer.

A cold frosty mug sounds good right about now!

chefwen said...

Sorry to say that I did not FINNISH, but I had a great time getting as far as I did. I don't like to Google on a LA Times puzzle and got miserably hung up in the ELIO/OLIN/JEFE section. Sigh!

ddbmc said...

@Charle Bogle-(W.C. Fields?) here's a link to the LA Times on line. You can print it out.

After all that "mage" talk yesterday, it was interesting to see Obeah. Sorry, @Crosscan, I should have know Ste, but did know Sarnia,--son played a Silver Stix tourney there years ago.(@Sfingi-that's the ONLY reason I knew it...!) Hand up for "worm" instead of "bait." And with all that's been written about "Chaz Bono" over the summer, I misread and kept thinking "Che" Guevara, which obviously wouldn't fit! Solon was new to me and hand up, too, for Elio Petri. Really enjoyed the NN's-and yes, we had Ena a few weeks back. Good luck to our Lollopuzzoolars a demain! Hope the storms don't knock the power out in Queens-bring your wireless illumination, just in case!

ddbmc said...

That would be "known Ste!"

Anonymous said...

Funny before Rex dubbed 'DN' prolific, I enjoyed his puzzles for the most part. Since then, I've found the quality lacking. Quantity isn't necessarily a good thing.

Orange said...

Dan Naddor was prolific before this blog began, and he was making terrific puzzles. Just sayin'.

housemouse said...

A lot of the clues were rather stilted , even clumsy, in their wording. It was hard to tell what he was getting at. And I really get tired of being tied down to Google! Ought to save this sort of puzzle for Saturday or Sunday, when maybe more people have time to camp out in Google-land..