THURSDAY, August 27, 2009 — Don Gagliardo

Theme: "Money Money Money Money" — Theme answers are puns on paper money denominations.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Lofty bills? (HIGH FIVES).
  • 38A: Superior bills? (TOP TENS).
  • 50A: Adored bills? (LOVED ONES).
  • 8D: Hated bills (that appropriately spoil this puzzle's symmetry)? (TERRIBLE TWOS).
I spent so much time writing up last weekend's unbelievably awesome Lollapuzzoola tournament that I don't have much left in me for this puzzle. The puns are cute. I totally get it that two-dollar bills are hated, but I've always wondered why. I think people don't like new things and a new kind of money is just hard to get used to. I mean, otherwise who cares? It's just weird to me.

Clues/answers that jumped out at me:
  • 10A/13D: Opportunity for better luck? (NEXT / TIME). Cute!
  • 21A: Irene of "Fame" (CARA). "I'm gonna live forever / I'm gonna learn how to fly (high!)"
  • 45A: "Jeepers!" ("HOLY COW!").
  • 52A: Julie Kotter's spouse, in a '70s sitcom (GABE). One day I'm going to fit Boom Boom Washington into a grid.
  • 62A: Author Allende (ISABEL). I just realized I've only read two of her books. Need to fix that.
  • 1D: "Dr. __" (PHIL). Like it that he's in the grid with OPRAH (26D: Chicago-based daytime host).
  • 27D: Liberal, to Archie Bunker (PINKO). I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, back when pretty much only white people lived there (it's changed since then, believe it or not). I had no idea what Archie Bunker was about.
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Everything Else — 1A: Type of large TV (PLASMA); 7A: Erwin of '50s TV (STU); 14A: Swinger in a box (HITTER); 15A: "__ making a list ...": Christmas lyric (HE'S); 16A: Et __ (ALII); 17A: Looking to be helped out, maybe (IN A JAM); 18A: Cardinal point suffix (-ERN); 19A: Go-go go-between? (TEAM); 20A: Strung along (LED ON); 22A: Teen affliction (ACNE); 26A: Shore shoe style (OPEN-TOE); 29A: "Incidentally ..." (BY THE BY); 33A: Excavated areas (PITS); 34A: Author Godwin (GAIL); 36A: __ Lama (DALAI); 37A: Messenger __ (RNA); 40A: Razor-billed bird (AUK); 41A: Curly-tailed dog (AKITA); 43A: Oklahoma native (OTO); 44A: To __ (A TEE); 48A: Ancient septet (WONDERS); 55A: Erotic deity (EROS); 56A: Gushes (SPEWS); 60A: Sign (OMEN); 61A: Toon Chihuahua (REN); 63A: __ Accords, 1993 Israel-PLO pact (OSLO); 64A: Word spoken with a head slap (D'OH); 65A: Swiss cough drop (RICOLA); 66A: Occupant of a tiny house (DOLL); 67A: Tokyo-born artist (ONO); 68A: One way to be aware (KEENLY); 2D: Ticket window sight (LINE); 3D: Somewhat (A TAD); 4D: The Red Storm of the Big East Conference (ST. JOHNS); 5D: Be dead serious (MEAN IT); 6D: Equip, as a posse (ARM); 7D: Bundle (SHEAF); 9D: SEALs' gp. (U.S. NAVY); 10D: Tony winner Richardson (NATASHA); 11D: It's usually pd. monthly (ELEC.); 12D: Ancient Chinese capital (XIAN); 21D: Tight (CHEAP); 24D: Disco adjective (GO-GO); 25D: Approximate leaving hrs. (ETDS); 28D: Amazon business, say (E-TAIL); 30D: Delight (ELATE); 31D: Eddie who founded a clothing chain (BAUER); 32D: "Jeepers!" ("YIKES!"); 35D: "Was __ blame?" (I TO); 38D: Folded fare (TACO); 39D: High time? (NOON); 42D: Acetaminophen brand (TYLENOL); 44D: Much of a Sunday paper (AD SPACE); 46D: Exert to excess (OVERDO); 47D: "It's our turn to perform!" ("WE'RE ON!"); 49D: Monster nickname (NESSIE); 51D: "Tiny Bubbles" singer (DON HO); 52D: Well-behaved (GOOD); 53D: Kid's assertive retort (AM SO); 54D: Ringer (BELL); 57D: "Heaven's __ vault, studded with stars ...": Shelley (EBON); 58D: Gusher source (WELL); 59D: Elicit guffaws from (SLAY); 62D: Vex (IRK).


The Corgi of Mystery said...

I spent about 4 minutes on 90% of the puzzle, and then 2 minutes on the NE quadrant because I had ALIA instead of ALII, and couldn't see what in heck was going on with the "better luck" clue. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson with that clue by now, but no.

Orange said...

Corgi, I just finished blogging about this puzzle at Crossword Fiend about 1 minute ago. That corner was a killer! The cross-referenced NEXT/TIME answers that intersected each other and had a question-marked clue, plus the is-it-ALII-or-ALIA conundrum left up in the air until you figure out NEXT/TIME, plus the not-a-gimme clues for ELEC and TEAM—and I didn't even mention the unlikelihood of most solvers immediately knowing that the [Ancient Chinese capital] is XIAN.

The TERRIBLE TWOS wrecks the grid's symmetry by turning a black square into a white one where the L lands.

Anonymous said...

I believe that two dollar bills were an indication that you spent a lot of time at the race track (the $2 bet). Maybe a fact that you didn't want made public.

Rex Parker said...

The 2s aren't really hated, any more than 1s are LOVED. That clue has a "?" on it. It's a cutesy clue for the familiar phrase, TERRIBLE TWOS. Enjoyed this puzzle more than the NYT.


Jeffrey said...

Never understood why you guys don't like the two. As usual, I returned from my trip with loads of ones (I left with 20s, just doing my part for the US economy).

Canada has one and two dollar coins and it has never been an issue.

Cool puzzle except the NE.

PARSAN said...

Good puzzle! I got gold colored one dollar coins back from the automated carwash yesterday, and when I tried to use them at a convenient store the young clerk said he had never seen them and called his manager for approval. I think these are probably not LOVED ONES by most people. NATASHA Richardson, a lovely actress. What a tragedy!

*David* said...

I completed this puzzle and said this should have been a smooth solve but it wasn't. My mind was on politics and I saw BILLS and kept thinking legislation. I had most of the puzzle filled out except the theme answers. I broke thrugh with HIGH FIVES and then I finished in relatively quick fashion.

Did anyone notice the GO-GO in the cluing and in the fill? I've got the beat.

shrub5 said...

@PG: I very much enjoyed your detailed description of Lollapuzzoola 2. I wish I could have been there. A standing ovation for Brian and Ryan and wives -- it's a ton of work getting an event like that off the ground. Sorry you got sealed into your bedroom....if Rex hadn't heard your pounding, I think it would have been time for 9-1-1.

BTW, why do some people have headsets on?

I made a dumb careless mistake at the bottom of the puzzle. I put WEREUP instead of WEREON for "it's our turn to perform." This led to DUH instead of DOH (which seemed OK) but I failed to notice that this left me with OPO instead of ONO. I don't even recall looking at it.

My Canadian cousin named her dog NESSIE. They thought she looked like the Loch Ness monster when she was paddling in the lake!

Anonymous said...

Loved the puzzle (fun theme), but a question for all you puzzle-solving regulars: Isn't it not kosher to have a clue ("go-go go-between") and elsewhere the answer GOGO? And what about different forms of the same word in a clue and answer? ("Erotic deity" EROS)

Orange said...

@Anonymous 8:47 (oh, how I wish the anonymice would type in fake names): Yes, those are both customarily non-kosher (crossword tref!) and such things do tend to stick in the craw when we notice them.


Well I clearly (or maybe unclearly) remember XIAN when I went to China in 2005. I nearly died of asthma there because of the horrible air pollution. Otherwise, the underground warriors site is quite awesome to see.

I loved this puzzle... it was cute and clever and the fill was pretty darn good, but it was a fast solver for me. Maybe it's because I have a attraction to money!
Or maybe it's because I'm too [21 down].

Thought TEAM (19a) for "Go-go go-between" was very clever, but the first thing that came to mind was DASH.

Can anyone explain Messenger RNA?

Isn't using "Jeepers" twice as a clue not kosher, when it isn't a theme word? I don't know all the constructor rules, but it seems like it ought to be.

When I was a kid, I was really into the "STU Erwin Show" on TV.
Originally the show was called "Trouble With Father".
Check out some of the clips on You Tube. He was one of those rare actors then (like Ozzie & Harriet) who really wasn't acting... he just played in his own persona. I guess that was the beginning of the so-called reality shows that have become so popular today.

ALII (16a) really bothers me. I could not find that word in the dictionary, only ET AL and ALIA.
This caused me lots of consternation in NE. I guess I'm not alone on this one.

Thank you, Don G., for a very enjoyable Thursday puzzle.


Oh, and thank you, Puzzlegirl, for the nice writeup on Lollapuzzoola 2... sounds pretty exciting.

Orange said...

@JOHN: I rather like it when a constructor uses the same clue twice, or similar words in more than one clue—especially when the answers require me to consider multiple meanings of the word rather than using the same meaning.

Et al. is short for et alii, which I think means "and others (people)," vs. et alia which is is "and others (things)."

PuzzleGirl said...

Of course Rex is right. The "hated" part of the clue doesn't refer to the actual two-dollar bills. D'oh! But they are sort of generally disliked, right?

@shrub5 re headphones: One of the guys is recording audio for Ryan and Brian's podcast (he's the one in the pictures that looks like he's interviewing people). Brendan Emmett Quigley is wearing headphones because he's just cool like that. And Dan Feyer is wearing noise-canceling headphones in the finals so that he can't hear anything going on in the room. (The other finalists are too. They're just not in the picture.)

@JOHNSNEVERHOME: It's actually okay to use the same word in two different clues. In fact, sometimes themes are actually built around that idea. What you don't want to do is use the same word in both a clue and an answer.

obertb said...

Merchants dislike(d) $2 bills because there's no place for them in a cash register drawer. Everyone else seemed indifferent to them because they were just unnecessary. I hope we NEVER adopt the EUROpean practice of using coins for lower denomination bills. I absolutely hate having 2 or 3 lbs. of coins rattling around in my pockets and pulling my pants down. And what's with the penny? Who needs that?

Cool puzzle. Easy, like the NYT, for a Thurs., but fun nonetheless.

john farmer said...

I liked the puzzle. It may have been nice to have 20s in there somewhere, but that's probably asking a lot. Giving up symmetry for TERRIBLE TWOS felt just right.

"Et al." is short for several Latin phrases. Et alii (masc.) can be used for groups of men, or groups of men and women; et aliae (fem.) for groups of women; et alia (neut.) for groups of things; and et alibi for places.

My problem in the NE was starting with MIRANDA Richardson, and I tried MTGE at first, but when I switched to ELEC, it all got worked out.

If anyone doesn't like their terrible TWO, I'll be glad to exchange it for loved ONE.

eileen said...

Super cute puzzle but I do take issue with AMSO (53down). I have little kids and they say "AM TO" rather than the aformentioned phrase. Is it just my kiddos?

Joon said...

this isn't the first time john farmer has beaten me to the punch with everything i wanted to say, but ... yeah. except for the part about MIRANDA richardson. i was fortunate enough to already have ____SHA in place when i finally got around to that corner. but miranda is pretty fabulous as rita skeeter, and possibly even more fabulous as pam flitton widmerpool in the BBC miniseries version of a dance to the music of time.

i'm anti-penny, pro-sacagawea. but $1 coins aren't practical unless there are also $2 coins. otherwise you get too many coins when you break a five.

eileen said...

Adding to my comment concerning AM TO vs AM SO, it just occurred to me that linuistically speaking (no pun), correct production of /s/ follows the development of correct /t/ production (at up to 8yo vs 6 yo). But in fairness, it is grammatically incorrect to say AM TO.
Sorry about beating this horse to death!

@PG: thanks for the enjoyable write up about the tourney!

jazz said...

No troubles today. For whatever reason the NE went smoothly, but making BATTER (orig) into HITTER, ADVERTS (orig) into ADSPACE and HIGHNOTES (orig) into HIGHFIVES took a little brainpower.

All in all, me likee! (and thanks for the daily writeups and forums)

Bohica said...

Pretty breezy puzzle, a welcome relief after Dan Nadddor's yesterday.

When will we adopt different bill sizes for the denominations as the rest of the world has? It's much kinder to the visually impaired. I do agree with Obertb however on the coins, everytime I go to Europe I end up with a pocket full of Euros and they won't accept coins at the currency exchange, as a result I have a jar of euro coins that I somehow always forget to pack with me on returns.

choirwriter said...

I'm with all the rest re NE corner, but my problem came with trying to get TOO cute-sy with the corner wrap "opportunity for better luck" by making it "NEWGAME." It fit for the crosses I already had, but I was uncomfortable with that dangling G on the across. Turned out the answer wasn't nearly that cute-sy. Still couldn't get "ALII" or "XIAN" though. Meh.

SethG said...

jazz, I actually switched BATTER to HATTER. LANE was still fine, and HAT would have worked, HATTER was definitely wrong. john farmer, ROARING TWENTIES is 15 letters.

choirwriter said...

@Boheca: "I gotta pocket, gotta pocket full of Euros..." (Natashia Bedingfield remix - LOL)

JIMMIE said...


Francis Collins, in The Language of God, explains messenger RNA as "an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell,"with the program being run by messenger RNA to produce a gene. That is, messenger RNA is the means of translation of DNA for the process of duplication of the rest of the DNA.
I know that this isn't very clear, but neither is Collins' book.

Ruth said...

The 2 dollar bill is widely considered to be bad luck--that's why it's "hated." Have heard all kinds of explanations of why this is, so it's a guess that the "reason" is lost in antiquity. Bettors at the track reportedly go ape when they get a $2 bill.

Anonymous said...

@ BOHICA does that stand for bend over here it comes again?


@Jimmie.. Thanks for the Messenger RNA explanation.
@Orange & @John Farmer... Thanks for the latin lessons. I use ET AL and ETC... et al, all the time, but never really knew what this latinese means.

I think the 2 dollar bill gained it's popularity at the race tracks.

I just came back from Canada and I like their Loonies and Toonies. They are One and Two Dollar coins, so named for the Loon on the $1 and I guess because of the Two on the $2. In this day of inflation the one cent coin (it's not a penny) is obsolete. The cost of copper makes minting this impractical, but then what will we use in our "penny ante" games?

Rex Parker said...

Again, just to be clear, the "hated" in the clue has nothing (zero) to do with whether people in real life "hate" $2 bills. People may indeed hate them for various reasons, but that is coincidence as far as this clue is concerned.


SethG said...

ROARING TWENTIES is 15 letters...and Orange also noticed that this morning.

Unfortunately, DROPPED HAMILTONS is 16.

*David* said...

DON G.'s interview with commentary about the creation of this specific crossword:


Bohica said...

@Anon 1:14: Why yes it does, are you a Navy vet too?

mac said...

Don Gagliardo, that sounds beautiful, operatic!

I liked this puzzle, very nice theme. I think I luck out in that NE area because I had next time right away, and acne, of course.

@Joon: how about a coin for 1 dollar and one for 2 1/2 dollars? Also, for many foreigners the fact that all American bills are the same color makes it a little harder to differentiate them. You can have so much fun with beautiful bills in different colors, with little raised dots for the blind.

Sfingi said...

Wednesday's LA puzzle was harder than the NYT and USA Today for either day. Today's LA lifted my spirits.

Everyone has said everything except that numismaticians love the odd $ as much as cashiers hate 'em.