THURSDAY, August 6, 2009 — Dan Naddor

Theme: It's a Guy Thing — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with a synonym for (a presumably male) pal. [34A: Out with the guys, and an apt title for this puzzle (PALLING AROUND)].

Theme answers:
  • 17A: City slicker's getaway (DUDE RANCH).
  • 19A: Like some sharks (MAN-EATING).
  • 27A: Honoree in Don McLean's song "American Pie" (BUDDY HOLLY).
  • 43A: Kraft Dinner contents, familiarly (MAC 'N' CHEESE).
  • 55A: Maker of Flava-Craze lip balm (CHAPSTICK).
  • 58A: Casual wear item (SPORTCOAT).
Sorry, no Crosswordese 101 tonight. Here's the thing. It's 2:00am and I just got home from the American Idols concert in Baltimore. The show ended at 10:00 but the PuzzleKids wanted to stick around and try to get autographs and I thought: Hey, it's never too early to start working on your groupie skills. So we hung out until midnight, at which point six of the ten performers had come out to work the crowd and we were told that was it. So I now have two heartbroken kids because the only ones they really wanted to see were Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta — who, by the way, Rocked. The. House. It's late and I'm tired, is what I'm saying. So you know how I always apologize for a quick write-up and then write a whole bunch of stuff anyway? Not gonna happen tonight. This is really gonna be super-quick. I still have to solve the NY Times puzzle and cover Orange's blog tonight too. I know, I know. I have nobody to blame but myself.

This puzzle is, well, how can I put this ... fabulous. And I'm not just saying that because Dan Naddor now has my home phone number (it's a long story) and can harass me if I don't say nice things about his puzzles. Really, it's not that at all. Okay, maybe if it weren't for that I wouldn't necessarily say fabulous, but I did really like it. Straightforward theme with enough variety to keep it interesting. Also, seven theme answers. That's a lot for a 15x15. ONONDAGA (3D: Six Nations tribe) didn't exactly come to mind right away, but the crosses were fair enough. I also slowed down a little in the EDUCT / CUPOLA area (50A: Drawn-out substance / 45D: Feature of many a capitol) but, again, it worked itself out pretty easily. Hey, look what else is over in that corner: N. CAR. (46D: Tenn. neighbor), home of Anoop Desai!

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Everything Else — 1A: Products sold with earbuds (IPODS); 6A: Rudiments (ABCS); 10A: Four-time ABA/NBA MVP, familiarly (DR. J); 13A: As yet (TO NOW); 14A: City where "The Night Café" was painted (ARLES); 15A: Fair-hiring letters (EEO); 16A: Emulate Sarah Palin, nuptially (ELOPE); 21A: Griffin's rear (LION); 22A: LAX : Los Angeles :: __ : Chicago (ORD); 23A: Wish undone (RUE); 24A: Annoying spot (STAIN); 25A: March Madness org. (NCAA); 31A: Highest-ranking Boy Scout (EAGLE); 33A: Basie's "__'Clock Jump" (ONE O); 40A: Morales of "NYPD Blue" (ESAI); 41A: Prepare for a dubbing (KNEEL); 49A: He sang of Alice (ARLO); 51A: Tall runner (EMU); 53A: Divine one, to da Vinci (DIO); 54A: California county or its seat (NAPA); 61A: Bailiwicks (AREAS); 62A: N.L. East city (ATL); 63A: Part of a TV feed (AUDIO); 64A: Édouard's exploit (GESTE); 65A: Govt. decipherers (NSA); 66A: Cold one, so to speak (BEER); 67A: First name in cosmetics (ESTEE); 1D: Agenda opener (ITEM ONE); 2D: High-latitude formation (POLAR CAP); 4D: Info (DOPE); 5D: Incense the censor (SWEAR); 6D: Score __ (A RUN); 7D: Skyline part: Abbr. (BLDG.); 8D: Clamp shape (CEE); 9D: Ukr., once (SSR); 10D: Common defense mechanism (DENIAL); 11D: Display horror, perhaps (RECOIL); 12D: Host before Jay (JOHNNY); 14D: Continental farewell (ADIEU); 18D: Prefix with cumulus (ALTO); 20D: Scow (TUB); 24D: Offered a paw (SHOOK); 26D: SNAFU part (ALL); 28D: Roper's target (DOGIE); 29D: Chain letters? (DNA); 30D: "__ out!" (YER); 32D: Fall bumper sticker word (ELECT); 35D: Suffix with bull or bear (-ISH); 36D: "Go jump in the loch!" ("NAE!"); 37D: Acapulco article (UNA); 38D: Least cool (NERDIEST); 39D: Easily broken (DELICATE); 42D: Gander (LOOK SEE); 43D: Certain brainiac (MENSAN); 44D: Changes, in a Darwinian sense (ADAPTS); 47D: Cold War acronym (SEATO); 48D: Old Mex. ruler (EMP.); 52D: Copy editor's concern (USAGE); 55D: Cracker's target (CODE); 56D: "Aquarius" musical (HAIR); 57D: "__ chic!" (TRÉS); 59D: PC key with two arrows (TAB); 60D: Stage prompt (CUE).


MM said...

I wouldn't use the word "fabulous", but this one was definitely enjoyable. Actually the first answer I got was ONONDAGA, since I grew up in Syracuse (which is in Onondaga County). My Upstate NY accent cannot distinguish between the words "pal" and "pail".

Carol said...

I liked this puzzle, too. Remembered Onondaga, sort of, as I lived in Ithaca, NY for 3 years as a kid, but needed the crosses to spell it correctly.

Lots of great clues!

Anonymous said...

Fun puzzle!! I got the theme early on although that didn't help me fill in anything. In addition to the theme answers, there were some other guy-related entries such as BEER, HAIR, MENsans, and I guess DOPE, SWEAR and JOHNny could be included if one were being thorough.

The ONONDAGA are a Native American tribe that along with the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca and later the Tuscarora formed the Iroquois Confederacy.

Could someone explain GESTE (64A Édouard's exploit)? I'm familiar with "Beau Geste" the adventure novel and know the title to mean an act of kindness or a gracious gesture (in addition to the character's name.)

*David* said...

The ONONDAGA was my problem area since I didn't know them or the abbreviation for O'Hare as ORD. The other clue for ORD is that old fort in Monterey, I dunno.

Otherwise most of the puzzle fell faster then a usual Thursday, TRES crossing GESTE seems appropriate. The claustrophobic NE and SW corners were hard for DN to score good fill in.

Anonymous said...

The theme answers were the easiest part of the puzzle. Also from upstate and knew ONONDAGA. Had trouble with ALTOcumulus but finally got it on the crosses. Just back from ORD and a visit with my grandchildren where we did a lot of PALLING AROUND. Hang in there PG, you will make it through the week!

Sfingi said...

Hated it. Too much testosterone, sports,etc. Worse, too many acronyms, at least thirteen. To me, they're lame.

As an Upstater - that pail/pel thing is part of a recent vowel shift (melman, felsafe). But the flat A has been here a long time. We want to let them know we're not from The City.

Good to know the Iroquois Confederacy members: Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Mohawk, and later, Tuscarora.
Of the People of the Longhouse, only the Oneida were on "our" side.
Lately, they have the Turning Stone Casino.

Denise said...

Enjoyable puzzle -- smooth fill, but I am looking forward to the end of the week!

PurpleGuy said...

I also got caught upin the CUPOLA/EDUCT crossing.I also had TUG instead of TUB for 20d, so the BUDDYHOLLY answer took some crosses.
Overall a fun puzzle, and Thursday quality.
This one is better than Dan's NYT puzzle for today.

Great pictures PG. Thanks for the writeup.
Now get plenty of rest.

Charles Bogle said...

@PG is spot-on; this was a very well-constructed and enjoyable-and challenging-puzzle for me. Toughest part was SW quad, until I came up w CUPOLA and got EDUCT (still don't know what it is) by crossing. Great words...so too are SEAO, LOOKSEE clued cleverly by "Gander"...RECOIL

now how odd is this...just as I was tackling 26A-"American Pie" honoree-Don McLean himself, live, came over my local NPR station in an interview for his new album and a local concert this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Dan Naddor! Two puzzles in one day (NYT also). Loved both of them, so keep 'em coming!


PS He didn't pay me to say this, he doesn't have MY number, he doesn't know me, and I live in Canada. :o)

GLowe said...

Two days in a row of outstanding cluing. "Prepare for dubbing" - I could not parse that to save my life.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a previous poster who said there were far too many acronyms and stuff like 'a run' and 'to now'. A good puzzle spoiled.

Birdie said...

Could someone explain the clue at 21A - Griffin's rear and the answer - lion? I don't get either one!

Anonymous said...

Just didn't work for me today. Not a very enjoyable puzzle at all, not even a spark.

Anonymous said...

@Birdie - You should (half way) know this, given your name. A Griffin has the head/shoulders of an eagle, the body/tail of a lion.

chefbea said...

Much easier than the NYTimes. A fun puzzle.

Last night we went out for dinner. I had the BBQ ribs (not nearly as good as the St. Louis variety) and they came with a side of baked Mac n cheese Yummmmm

Joon said...

i know oda nobunaga, but not ONONDAGA. just one of the things that slowed me down today. but a fine puzzle overall. great theme, and smoothly executed.

shrub5 said...

I wanted to put dip or cheese, i.e., something edible, or even mouth for 55D) Cracker's target. Laughed when it worked out to be CODE! -- aptly joining NSA in the puzzle.

I haven't seen EDUCT used even though I have had a fair number of chemistry courses, albeit 35-40 years ago! It was fun to come across DOGIES and LOOKSEE as well as the too-cute SHOOK for 24D) offered a paw.

Thank you, Dan and PG.

chefwen said...

@purple guy - I can't believe how many times you and I make the same mistakes. tug for TUB which rendered guddy holly. NOT!

Liked this one a lot better than the NYT puzzle. Never did figure out the ONONDAGA tribe and didn't know ORD although, God knows, I've been there enough times.

Norm said...

Hope this praise makes up for the drubbing he took (not from me)at Rex's place.

Anonymous said...

Can someonee explain 22A. LAX is airport in Los Angeles. Why is Chicago ORD? Shouln't it be CHI?

Anonymous said...

Chicago-O'Hare Airport is keyed "ORD" because, many years ago, the present airport was the site of an orchard, abbreviated "ORD."


ORD stands for Orchard... it goes back to the days before O'Hare Airport became commercial. Orchard Place was its original name. Then when it became a military air base, the name was changed to O'Hare, honoring Butch O'Hare. a World War II hero.
The name ORD stuck, not sure why, but when you see luggage tags with ORD on them, you know they've been through Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous7:13am: "geste" can mean an adventure (French), hence the connection to the clue word "exploit."


I too would like to know what GESTE has to do with Édouard's exploit.

@GLowe..."Prepare for a dubbing" (41a) KNEEL, this is what knights do when the queen dubs them with Sir.

"Griffin's rear" (21a) LION, caused me some confusion because of the typical trick that constructors do... using "rear" to imply a suffix to the word Griffin. I fell right into Naddor's trap on this one.

I too had TUG for TUB (20d), until the BUDDYHOLLY cross materialized.

For "Roper's target (28d) i had MOVIE instead of DOGIE, thinking of Richard Roper, the movie critic. Then I looked up his name and found out that it's spelled Roeper. Oops!

I'm just curious as to how many clue variants there are for the word EMU (three this week alone).

For "Wish undone" (23a), DUE seems more logical than RUE.

Does anyone know what SNAFU stands for? I guessed on the ALL part.

I think it's a guy thing, but I really loved this puzzle theme and I thought Dan did a superb job with many clever clues (eg. Cracker's target).

Anonymous said...

According to my desktop dictionary, SNAFU is an acronym from the 1940's of:
Situation Normal: All Fouled (or F***ed) Up

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:43pm - Thanks for the info on GESTE. Now I get it!
anon 7:13am

Anonymous said...

My Sunday paper does not have the Crossword Puzzle. I get the NY Times and Washington Post puzzles. Where can I get a blank puzzle for Sunday?

Jan said...

Fresca 721 -- The LA Times puzzles are at http://games.latimes.com/index_crossword.html?uc_feature_code=tmcal