SUNDAY, August 30, 2009 — Dan Naddor

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme: "Organ Transplants" — Words for organs of the human body are removed from familiar phrases in the top half of the puzzle and transplanted into familiar phrases in the bottom half of the puzzle.

Theme answers:
  • 24A: Pool hall "Better luck next time"? ([heart]FELT CONDOLENCES).
  • 30A: Sound of a breakup? ([ear-]SPLITTING NOISE).
  • 43A: Columbus college funds? (OHIO STATE BUCK[eye]S).
  • 52A: Temper tantrum? ([brain]STORMING SESSION).
  • 73A: Steinway's idea for a large piano? (GRAND BRAINCHILD).
  • 80A: Minimum for a Maybelline ad shoot? (FORTY EYELASHES).
  • 91A: Place-marking lessons for readers? (DOGEAR TRAINING).
  • 102A: Sorrows behind bars? (JAIL HEARTBREAKS).
Crosswordese 101: Today we'll focus on the official airline of CrossWorld, EL AL (79A: Airline to Tel Aviv). Forget your Delta, your United, and your American — there are plenty of ways to clue those words. But EL AL is going to be the Israeli airline every single time. What you need to know about EL AL: it's the national airline of Israel, Ben Gurion International Airport is its hub, its premium class passengers can enjoy the King David Lounge in several airports around the world, its planes are grounded on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, its company slogan is "Home away from home," and EL AL translates to "skyward."

Crosswordese in this puzzle that we've already covered includes ALAI (27A: Jai __), OLIO (47A: Medley), SST (90A: Concorde, e.g.), and SARI (97D: Delhi wrap).

We've got a really ambitious theme today and I think it turned out great! I love that each "organ" taken out of a theme answer in the top half of the grid is transplanted into its symmetrical partner in the bottom half of the grid. Elegant! I'm sure that's why Dan Naddor gets paid the big bucks.

  • 12A: Concert dancing areas (MOSH PITS). Oh to be young again.
  • 29A: Golfer Woosnam (IAN). I'm embarrassed I didn't know his first name.
  • 60A: They may be girded before battle (LOINS). Alrighty then.
  • 67A: Text alternative (PHONE). When I just don't feel like going all the way downstairs to talk to PuzzleHusband, sometimes I text him. Other times I call him on the phone.
  • 76A: China setting (ASIA). The country, not the dishes.
  • 99A: "24" superagent (BAUER). When Eddie Bauer was in the puzzle earlier this week, I thought to myself "I'd prefer to see a '24' clue here." Guess I just needed to be patient.
  • 106A: Cuban dance (RUMBA). I always want this word to have an H in it. Like rhombus I guess.
  • 110A: Distribution slips? (MISDEALS). If you slip up while you're distributing cards, that might result in a misdeal.
  • 4D: Meteorologist, at times (PREDICTOR). Because wild-ass guesser wouldn't fit.
  • 13D: Yoko et al. (ONOS). Ooh, ouch. This one hurts a little. Are there other Onos?
  • 16D: It's pressed in distress (PANIC BUTTON).
  • 46D: Half of an old radio duo (AMOS). I started filling in the A thinking "Oh, that's easy: AMOS," realizing half a second later it could just has easily have been Andy.
  • 63D: Will (SHALL). I know there's a difference between will and shall. I just don't know what it is.
  • 70D: The Kennedys, e.g. (CLAN). *sniff*
  • 73D: "Let's Get It On" singer (GAYE).

  • 93D: Rodeo rope (RIATA). Did you try lasso? I did.
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Everything Else — 1A: "Satisfied?" ("HAPPY?"); 6A: Controversial initiation practice (HAZING); 20A: What Mexican Olympians go for (EL ORO); 21A: "Kick it up a notch!" chef (EMERIL); 22A: Internal company info-sharing system (INTRANET); 23A: Rockies music festival site (ASPEN); 26A: Garish (LOUD); 28A: Rock outcroppings (CRAGS); 33A: Elmer, to Bugs (DOC); 35A: Squirreled-away item (ACORN); 36A: Supportive cheer (OLÉ); 37A: Fighters' home (AIRBASE); 41A: Body language? (TATTOO); 48A: Colombian city (CALI); 50A: Managed care gps. (HMOS); 51A: Abound (TEEM); 57A: N.J. town on the Hudson (FT. LEE); 58A: Junior (SON); 59A: Itty-bitty bit (IOTA); 61A: Zagreb native (CROAT); 62A: Furthermore (PLUS); 63A: Wall supports (STUDS); 64A: Comparison word (THAN); 65A: MP quarries (AWOLS); 68A: Romulus, e.g. (TWIN); 69A: AT&T rival, once (MCI); 72A: Minos' domain (CRETE); 77A: Play a mean sax, say (WAIL); 78A: Stretching discipline (YOGA); 85A: Surgical solution (SALINE); 87A: Back (ENDORSE); 88A: Fabrication (LIE); 89A: Words to live by (TENET); 97A: '50s song syllable (SHA); 100A: Markers (IOUS); 101A: Schlep (HAUL); 107A: Taxpayer's headache (IRS AUDIT); 108A: Go off on (RANT AT); 109A: Diarist Nin (ANAÏS); 111A: Ore appraisals (ASSAYS); 112A: Old lab heaters (ETNAS); 1D: Gets better (HEALS); 2D: 1940s-'70s journalist Stewart (ALSOP); 3D: Resident count (POPULATION); 5D: Hither's partner (YON); 6D: "Battle Cry" actor Van (HEFLIN); 7D: "You're __ one, Mister Grinch" (A MEAN); 8D: Woody Allen mockumentary (ZELIG); 9D: NYC subway line (IRT); 10D: Composer Paganini (NICCOLO); 11D: Morning __: flowers (GLORIES); 12D: Gnatlike insect (MIDGE); 14D: N.L. Central team (STL); 15D: Charlemagne's realm: Abbr. (HRE); 17D: Machu Picchu builder (INCA); 18D: Minor, usually (TEEN); 19D: Map abbrs. (STS.); 25D: "If I Ruled the World" rapper (NAS); 27D: Just plain awful (ATROCIOUS); 31D: Overly (TOO); 32D: "__ didn't!" (NO I); 33D: Goes kaput (DIES); 34D: Sun or moon (ORB); 37D: Hardly hardly (A TON); 38D: Amtrak's "bullet train" (ACELA); 39D: It's similar to sporting clays (SKEET); 40D: Salinger heroine (ESME); 41D: Discard (TOSS); 42D: Chorus line (ALTO); 43D: Gymnast Korbut (OLGA); 44D: Old what's-__-name (HIS); 45D: Dilutes (THINS); 49D: Farm workers? (ANTS); 53D: __ Bornes: card game (MILLE); 54D: John of England (ELTON); 55D: Rational (SOUND); 56D: Cassette half (SIDE B); 57D: Swiss capital (FRANC); 61D: Segment of the western Pacific (CHINA SEAS); 62D: Picnic side (POTATO SALAD); 64D: Nest component (TWIG); 65D: Illegal firing? (ARSON); 66D: Bizarre (WEIRD); 67D: __-dieu (PRIE); 68D: New Mexico art community (TAOS); 69D: Revolutionary soldier (MILITIA MAN); 71D: Loaf at work (IDLE); 72D: Bistro (CAFE); 74D: Loaf in a deli (RYE); 75D: "Twister" actress (HELEN HUNT); 77D: Wild place? (WEST); 81D: Jr. and sr. (YRS.); 82D: Subject with many unknowns (ALGEBRA); 83D: Milieu for John Muir, with "the" (SIERRAS); 84D: "Isn't __ bit like you and me?": Beatles lyric (HE A); 86D: Request to Sajak (AN I); 89D: Estate lawyer's specialty (TRUSTS); 91D: Dashes (DARTS); 92D: In the open (OUT); 94D: Wine mentioned in Hungary's national anthem (TOKAY); 95D: Egypt-Sudan region (NUBIA); 96D: Calm water metaphor (GLASS); 97D: Delhi wrap (SARI); 98D: Catcall (HISS); 99D: Leave quickly, in slang (BAIL); 102D: Dandy dude? (JIM); 103D: Shade (HUE); 104D: Author LeShan (EDA); 105D: USNA grad (ENS.); 106D: English singer Corinne Bailey __ (RAE).


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this one, but then I always like Dan's puzzles. Hmmm...this one gets rated up a notch!

Rex Parker said...

Cool theme. Reminds me a little of the BEQ puzzle we did last week in Queens.

Do it here.

Good stuff. One of my favorite DNs to date.


Fred said...

I lost a union arbitration that turned on the difference between WILL and SHALL many years ago. All I remember is one of them meant the employer was obligated to do and the the other meant the employer could do, but wasn't obligated to do.

Anonymous said...

I thought the theme was far fetched. I did not enjoy this puzzle at all.

Not Anon said...

The theme didn't do it for me as most of the answers just sound so forced. And not even funny either. On the plus side there was a good variety of interesting words, but on the down side the cluing for Dan's puzzles always seem to be rather dull - though a bit zippier this time around. Seems like Dan's puzzles were more fun to solve, in my case anyway, when he appeared once every week or two rather than 2-3 times a week.

shrub5 said...

I'm sitting here with ungirded LOINS (do I have more than one loin?), all pleased with myself that I finished this with no googles and no errors. Yahoody!

That is not to say I didn't stumble through a number of wrong answers before arriving at the correct ones. Those that are not too embarrassing to mention include: IRSAGENT for IRSAUDIT, ALSO for PLUS, ALOT for ATON. I did the puzzle from top to bottom, thought I knew the theme, but then realized that the "organs" removed from the top of the puzzle came back in the bottom half. Duh, I guess that's what "transplant" means in the puzzle title.

Regarding ETNAS (old lab heaters): I used Bunsen burners at work for 35 years, never once heard them called etnas. I looked this up and just find etna as a synonym for Bunsen burner. Why are they always clued as "old"?

PG: I didn't know golfer Ian Woosnam's first name OR his last name and I pay passing attention to golf.....as long as Tiger Woods is playing. And add several more "sniffs" from me re CLAN. [Insert heavy sigh here.] Thank you once again for providing a very informative PuzzleDiscussion.

Orange said...

No, the theme wasn't a hilarious one (so few of them are), but it was well-conceived and elegantly executed:

1. Theme entries 1, 2, 3, and 4 partner with their symmetrical opposites, 8, 7, 6, and 5. Working from the edges to the middle, 1/8 moved the HEART, 2/7 transplanted an EAR, 3/6 did the EYE, and 4/5 moved the BRAIN.

2. In every theme answer, the word that is or used to be attached to an organ makes a solid, familiar compound word or phrase. Look at 'em : heartfelt/heartbreak, Buckeyes/eyelashes, brainstorming/brainchild, ear-splitting/dog-ear.

3. The surface meaning of each theme entry works with its clue. If you've ever tried to come up with similarly contrived theme entries and their corresponding clues, you know that this isn't as easy as Dan Naddor makes it look.

I'm with PuzzleGirl and Rex: Cool theme, elegant. Plus, look at the fill that's 8+ letters long. PANIC BUTTON and MOSH PITS? HELEN HUNT and POTATO SALAD? This is good stuff. Remember these answers the next time you see a puzzle blighted with lifeless words like REASSESS and INTENSER. Today's fill is smooth.

Anonymous said...

I got this puzzle off the net but I can never find a theme. It might have helped if I knew it was a "transplant" any suggestions as where to find the theme.10Q Golfballman.

Orange said...

@Golfballman: Well, on the Flash version of the puzzle, it does say "Organ Transplants" up in the date/byline line above the puzzle. You'll want to make a note of that before you print the puzzle because it's not (but should be) included on the printout.

In the Across Lite version of the Sunday puzzle, the title's in the title bar.

Note: You're not gonna find a title on the Monday through Saturday puzzles. Only on Sundays.

gjelizabeth said...

Thanks for the transplant explanation. I printed this off and didn't note the theme, so puzzled and puzzled as I worked down the grid, since the top half long answers didn't seen to have any commonality. Then, when I reached the bottom half and the body-part-addition theme surfaced, I went back and spent a silly amount of time trying to find body parts in the top half answers. I was wondering if it's possible to have a half-themed puzzle when I came here and the obvious was pointed out. I so appreciate this blog and the work you all do. Without you I would have gone away wondering what I'd done wrong, or missed, with no way of finding it out. I'm getting better at this AND having more fun because of you. Thanks!

jazz said...

Needed to google OLIO (should've known ALTO though) and RAE/ANAIS, but otherwise, I was surprised: when I first scanned over it, it looked impossible...too many general clues (no/few gimmes), etc.

But it resolved itself nicely. Good job, Mr. Naddor!

Anonymous said...

@ Orange: Thank you, Thank you, I found it never really looked that hard at that line as I always was just copyright stuff. Golfballman

Anonymous said...

@ Orange: Thank you, Thank you, I found it never really looked that hard at that line as I always was just copyright stuff. Golfballman


Puzzlegirl, your writeups are such fun... I just chuckle when I see things like the Operation Game guy.

I thought this puzzle was one of Dan Naddor's best. It got lots of haha's from me and that alone gives a puzzle an A+ in my book.
It took me a while and did many guesses, but in the end I got 100% right, and on a tough puzzle like this, it makes me feel good about myself... I guess I still won't need that BRAIN transplant. I got part of the theme correct (the organ part), but I didn't notice the transplant part until I read this blog.

It got an A+ on the cutesy scale aslo: TATTOO=Body Language, MISDEALS=Distribution slips, ALTO=Chorus line, EL ORO=What Mexican Olympians go for, ANTS=Farm workers, ARSON=Illegal firing, ALGEBRA=Subject with many unknowns, are all fun clues; but the one that I loved most was FRANC for Swiss capital (not Berne). Wow!

I still think Paganini's first name is spelled NICOLO and not NICCOLO. And what's with RUMBA? Isn't that mispelled? I think it should be RHUMBA.

Some possibilities for future CW101's: HRE=Holy Roman Empire, PRIE-DIEU=Pray to God, and ANAIS NIN=Famous diarist. What the heck is a diarist anyway?
I've noticed that recently many constructors are using ANI, ANA, ANE, etc. and cluing it with a "Sajak request". I'll have to remember that.

Dan deserves a standing ovulation for this puzzle.

jeff in chicago said...

Liked it. Concepts moving from one half of the puzzle to the other half? Excellent! Quite a fast solve for me as well.

And other Onos? Sure! Yoko's parents, Isoko Ono and Eisuke Ono. Or how about orchestra conductor Kazushi Ono. Bossa nova singer Lisa Ono. Then there's Takashi Ono, who won won five gold medals in gymnastics for Japan at the Olympic Games in the '50s and '60s. Search for "Ono" in Wikipedia. I was quite surprised!

(Disclaimer: I was just going to go for the Yoko's parents joke here, then saw all the names at Wiki. I didn't really know any of them before this.)

Puzzled said...

I didn't enjoy this puzzle as much as some as you, but enough to give it a thumbs up. One of the better Sunday LAT puzzles as of late too, though I'm still prefer a tough themeless. Good variety of fill as well made it livelier than usual.

Crockett1947 said...

@johnsneverhome I puzzled over Paganini's given name spelling as well and consulted my "THE NPR LISTENER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CLASSICAL MUSIC," and right there on page 592 it gives NICCOLO as the correct version. If Ted Libbey says it's so, I'll believe him!

shrub5 said...


"a standing ovulation" ?

Is that a typo or some method of praise given by women only?

Joon said...

LOL at "standing ovulation."

johnsneverhome, a diarist is someone who keeps a diary. famous diarists include samuel pepys, anne frank, anais nin, ramona quimby, tom marvolo riddle, and crossword fiend.


"a standing ovulation"
It's an old Norm Crosby spoonerism.

Carol said...

I'm a day late on this one, but loved it! Once I caught on to the theme, could hardly wait to get to the next clue. Finished with NO Googles on a Sunday! Also finished in record time for me. All in all, very satisfactory.

John said...

Did this puzzle after talking with my friend who said, " I did not get what the title had to do with the puzzle,did not make any sense at all!"

After solving it, I stared at it for a second and the lightbulb went off. AHA!!
Had a fun romp for a sunday!
Loved the write up PuzzleGirl!