SUNDAY, September 13, 2009 — Pamela Amick Klawitter

Theme: "Rainbow Connection" — Theme answers are common phrases that start with the colors of the rainbow, in the order of a well-known mnemonic.

[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 answers:
  • 22A: Fake footprint at the murder scene, e.g. (RED HERRING).
  • 28A: Tea type (ORANGE PEKOE).
  • 33A: Coward, slangily (YELLOW BELLY).
  • 66A: Anne's home, in a 1908 Montgomery classic (GREEN GABLES).
  • 98A: Aristocratic (BLUE BLOODED).
  • 107A: "Closer to Fine" folk-rock duo (INDIGO GIRLS).
  • 115A: Ponytailed pal of Lucy Van Pelt, in "Peanuts" (VIOLET GRAY).
  • 49D: Mnemonic for this puzzle's theme (ROY G. BIV).
I'm going to guess that a lot of you really liked this puzzle. It was on the easy side for me, but it was very smooth — nothing too "out there" — which made it really enjoyable. As soon as I got RED HERRING, I understood the theme and was able to plunk in all the other theme answers. Except for the last one. Raise your hand if you knew that VIOLET's last name is GRAY. I didn't think so.

Crosswordese 101: Someday we should put together some sort of visual aid to familiarize you with all the people from the Bible you need to know. But today we'll just talk about ESAU. The way he's clued in today's puzzle — 80D: Twin of Jacob — is typical. It's also helpful to know that his parents are Isaac and Rebekah and his grandfather is Abraham. Apparently he was hairy and he was tricked into selling his birthright. Oh, and he bought a mess of pottage. I have no idea what that means, but it comes up in clues every once in a while.

Other crosswordese in this puzzle that we've already covered includes ARES (2D: Aggressive Greek god), ESTE (13D: Italian noble family), ÉTUI (34D: Case for tweezers and such), TSARS (45D: Old dynasts), E. LEE (65D: Civil War's Robt. __), and ERMA (110D: Columnist Bombeck).

  • 9A: Tante's spouse (ONCLE). French!
  • 19A: Brother of Moses (AARON). See what I mean about the Biblical names? See also 95D: Third son of King David (ABSALOM).
  • 26A: Story starter? (ESS). Orange talked about this type of clue last month in a Crosswordese 101 lesson. To get the answer you have to ignore the meaning of the words and focus on their individual letters.
  • 27A: Kiss drummer Peter (CRISS). I wanted to see Kiss in 6th grade when they came to the Fargo Civic Center, but my parents wouldn't let me. So I got my revenge 30 years later and saw them when I was 40. I'm pretty sure I had a completely different reaction to them than I would have back in the day.
  • 56A: 1930s-'40s singer/actress Durbin (DEANNA). A quick skim through her Wikipedia entry doesn't unearth anything fascinating. (See also, 36D: "Boston Public" actress Sharon LEAL). Well, Durbin is Canadian, so Crosscan will like that.
  • 74A: Bad marks (DEES). Again with the spelled out letters.
  • 81A: "Like that'll ever happen!" ("DREAM ON!").

  • 97A: Island east of Java (TIMOR). I must get a better handle on geography if I'm going to keep solving puzzles.
  • 118A: Knock off (CEASE). I was thinking more along the lines of a heist.
  • 122A: Specter on the Hill (ARLEN). I'm a little skeptical of his recent conversion to the Democratic party, but he seems to be holding the line on health care, so okay.
  • 123A: Locker room group (TEAM). I wish TEAM hadn't also appeared in a clue — 43A: A-Team muscleman (MR. T).
  • 12D: A million to one, say (LONG ODDS). PuzzleSon is having some difficulty grasping this concept. He is pretty sure that he's going to win every single contest he enters. I guess he'll learn.
  • 15D: Warmongers (HAWKS). Also the 2009 National Champion University of Iowa wrestling team.
  • 19D: Hood's weapon? (ARROW). I didn't get this while I was solving and didn't see the answer until I was putting this post together. I must have gotten it completely through crosses. I kinda wish I'd seen it though — it's very clever!
  • 44D: Keep getting Mad, say (RENEW). See the way Mad is capitalized? That means we're talking about the magazine, not the emotion.
  • 77D: Annual dance (PROM).
  • 79D: Lollapalooza (DILLY). If you didn't read my post on this year's Lollapuzzoola tournament, you should go read it now!
  • 85D: "Blue" TV squad (NYPD). Did you know Jimmy Smits is on "Dexter"? I'm watching "Dexter" now, is what I'm saying.
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Everything Else — 1A: Sharp comment (BARB); 5A: 12th century year (MCII); 14A: Guttural interruption (AHEM); 18A: Domingo forte (ARIA); 20A: Santa's favorite snack cakes? (HOHOS); 21A: Limp-watch artist (DALI); 24A: __-garde (AVANT); 25A: Words of triumph (I WIN); 30A: Bite hard (CHOMP); 31A: Conjurer's word (PRESTO); 32A: Ages like iron (RUSTS); 37A: Finishes, as a lawn (EDGES); 39A: Net business (E-TAIL); 40A: It may have a code (AREA); 41A: James Bond's domain (SPYDOM); 46A: Fitness franchise primarily for women (CURVES); 48A: Related to the lower back (SACRAL); 50A: Evening parties (SOIREES); 52A: Adjusts, as sagging socks (HIKES UP); 54A: Helmsley and others (LEONAS); 57A: Stuffed shirt (SNOB); 59A: "As a matter of fact," informally (Y'KNOW); 61A: More ill-mannered (RUDER); 62A: Stare (GAPE); 70A: Statutes (LAWS); 71A: Paperless tests (ORALS); 73A: Meal on a stick (KABOB); 76A: Nursery rhyme loser? (BOPEEP); 78A: Make a home (in) (RESIDE); 86A: Shows up (APPEARS); 88A: Correct, as text (REVISE); 90A: Site of a bread line? (BAKERY); 91A: "L.A. Law" costar (DEY); 92A: Go round and round (ROTATE); 94A: __ land: unreality (LA LA); 96A: Marathoner's woe (CRAMP); 100A: Pay attention in class (LEARN); 103A: Like a dismal day (DREARY); 106A: One of a world majority (ASIAN); 109A: Fishing mishaps (SNAGS); 110A: Struggle to make, with "out" (EKE); 113A: Cranny's partner (NOOK); 114A: Honda, to Toyota (RIVAL); 117A: Wittenberg's river (ELBE); 119A: Wrong move (ERROR); 120A: Mythical matchmaker (AMOR); 121A: Highlands rejections (NAES); 124A: Slider's goal (BASE); 1D: Unadorned (BARE); 3D: Frees (of) (RIDS); 4D: Scrooge's cry (BAH); 5D: Cousin of the xylophone (MARIMBA); 6D: Veggie drawers (CRISPERS); 7D: Charged particles (IONS); 8D: Having one sharp, musically (IN G); 9D: Chicago site of many connections (O'HARE); 10D: Bright stars (NOVAS); 11D: Seaman's song (CHANTEY); 14D: Gigi's goodbyes (ADIEUS); 16D: Economist Janeway (ELIOT); 17D: Gets the lead out? (MINES); 23D: Lacking auditory feedback (ECHOLESS); 28D: Jazz trombonist Kid __ (ORY); 29D: Chinese leader (PREMIER); 30D: Horror writer Barker (CLIVE); 31D: Put (PLACE); 33D: "Ugh!" ("YECH!"); 35D: Symbol of happiness (LARK); 38D: Like no news? (GOOD); 41D: Decaf pioneer (SANKA); 42D: "If at first you don't succeed" course of action (PLAN B); 43D: "How Can You __ Broken Heart?": Bee Gees hit (MEND A); 47D: Like most pop hits (SUNG); 51D: He succeeded Fidel (RAUL); 53D: Politically motivated spending (PORK); 55D: Auctioneer's shout (SOLD); 58D: Nasty exam (BEAR); 60D: Lawn intruder (WEED); 62D: Turn (GO BAD); 63D: Soap-on-__ (A-ROPE); 64D: Popeye's dad Poopdeck __ (PAPPY); 67D: Big name in criticism (EBERT); 68D: Long time follower? (NO SEE); 69D: Certain Slav (SERB); 72D: Chef's high-temperature technique (SEARING); 75D: Vacation area (SEACOAST); 82D: Goodyear's home (AKRON); 83D: Hoover Dam's lake (MEAD); 84D: "It's him __": lover's ultimatum (OR ME); 87D: More boring (STODGIER); 89D: __ Fagan, Billie Holiday's birth name (ELEANORA); 93D: New kid on the block, e.g. (ARRIVAL); 97D: Toys "R" Us purchases (TRIKES); 98D: Real est. ad count (BRS); 99D: Hybrid big cat (LIGER); 100D: Bedding material (LINEN); 101D: First name in B-29 lore (ENOLA); 102D: Southwestern home (ADOBE); 104D: Rub off (ERASE); 105D: Woody in films (ALLEN); 108D: Willy of "Free Willy" (ORCA); 109D: Foal's father (SIRE); 111D: "Get Smart" evil agency (KAOS); 112D: Thornfield Hall governess (EYRE); 115D: Check for accuracy (VET); 116D: Gift of the garrulous (GAB).



A nice big fat puzzle for Sunday morning… easy theme clues and some nice fill.

Well here we are again…back to “Get Smart” with KOAS (111d)

And another ENOLA Gay clue with B-29 lore. It’s funny how often we see repeats in the same week.

Learned a new word today… ONCLE (9a) Tante’s spouse.

Hood’s weapon (19d) ARROW… first thing that comes to mind is HEATER or PISTOL, but that wouldn’t fit, so I figured it was a diverting clue.

Some hahas for 20a HOHOS treats for Santa.
“Keep getting MAD” RENEW (44d) also gets a chuckle from me.
A few other cute clues makes this a good funday puzzle.

The word I like the most: DILLY (79d).
The word I dislike the most: YKNOW (59a).
The word I learned the most: ELEANORA (89d)

Have a super Sunday, y’all!

Anonymous said...

Hood as in Robin Hood

jnjhouston said...

Greatly encouraged to find how surprisingly QUICKLY the top third
filled in. In Ontario high schools,
any Physics class were told to mem-orize "ROYGBIV" for sure place in
the exam. Use of that helped.
Agree with John N on his selection
of "fun" clues. Fine feeling should
happen more often ! jnj

Anonymous said...

In teresting. YKnow- word? Is you abbr. Y?

Joon said...

no, YKNOW is not a word. it's two words, one of which is contracted: "Y'KNOW." the clue says "informally" rather than any kind of abbreviation. i kind of like it. i'm not sure i've ever written it that way (would be more likely to render it as "ya know"), but it pretty closely approximates the way i say it.

shrub5 said...

I have never seen the mnemonic ROYGBIV. Seems that it would be harder to remember than the colors themselves. Although I wouldn't have thought to put INDIGO in the list....

I put ASTE for the Italian noble family. I'm so sorry PG, I must have dozed off during that 101 lesson. Since I didn't pick up that Tante was French for aunt, I didn't see ONCLA as wrong -- just thought Tante and Oncla were perhaps literary characters I hadn't heard of.

Ugh was YUCK before YECH. I had ECHOFREE instead of ECHOLESS and SEASHORE for SEACOAST. But each of these was straightened out in the end.

LOLs: Santa's HOHOS and Popeye's dad Poopdeck PAPPY. I think (Longtime follower?) NOSEE and (Like no news?) GOOD are really clever.

GLowe said...

I think its a big chance for a constructor to go with a color theme (generally discouraged, from what I've read), on a 21x21.

I think its a good job, though, and glad that it didn't end up in the rejection pile with all that effort to create.

jeff in chicago said...

P-Girl gets her Hawks fix. Sweet.

Sweet, easy, fun puzzle as well.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad puzzle. But a quibble about the RED HERRING clue. If it's a "fake footprint," that doesn't sound like a red herring, which might be real footprint that leads to the wrong suspect.

JaJaJoe said...

Long trying to etch ENUI into my memory, I'm now mnenomic-izing it with PTUI as per the LAT 9/11/09 26A Spitting sound, in comics.
HIKESUP one's sagging socks - YECH!
'Found CHANTEY, LIGER, and REDHERRING worth looking-up.

JaJaJoe said...

Ps: Announcement THREE by Orange as via http://crosswordfiend.blogspot.com/2009/09/announcements.html
[9/11/09] -- PLUS its ensuing Comments and links -- relates Asperger's Syndrome to crossword-puzzling.

It's prompted by Sandra Bullock's movie All About Steve, and also links Adam - both current films.

imsdave said...

Hand down on GRAY here. Nice write up on a pleasant Sunday morning diversion. Nothing great, nothing bad - just a nice walk in the park.

Well played, Pamela Amick Klawitter

Quentinc said...

I hate to keep complaining that the puzzles are too easy...

Did have some fun clues though. And Billie Holliday's first name ws a good learning experience. The crossing that annoyed me was Pappy and Dey -- I don't know the name of anyone on TV, and Popeye was just too long ago!(I ended up with Gaze and Zappa for answers -- I knew the second one couldn't be right).

cAROL said...

I thought it was a nice easy puzzle for a Sunday. Seems to me we had ROYGBIV not that long ago, maybe a month or so and I learned it then. So glad I remembered!

RED HERRING put me in mind of a story I heard somewhere of a prank pulled by a couple of people who used a wastebasket made of an elephant foot to make footprints through the snow across a partially frozen lake in upstate New York, and then bashed the ice so that it looked as if an elephant had fallen in.

So @Anonymous 11:36 (whoever you are) that would be a "fake footprint" as a RED HERRING.

Greene said...

This was a pleasant, and yes EASY (oh that word again), Sunday puzzle. Very traditional theme and fill. Nothing exciting, but a very professional job and a pleasant way to spend 15 minutes on a Sunday.

Let's see...what to say about Deanna Durbin? She was a positively astonishing singer and enjoyed wild popularity in the 1940s until she walked away from Hollywood in 1948, disgusted by a studio system which made a hash of her career. Her Wiki entry indicates her fame was so great that even Anne Frank had her photo taped to her bedroom wall.

Deanna started at MGM in a film short with Judy Garland, but made her fame at Universal. Here's a bit of the MGM short, Every Sunday. Deanna's all of 15 here. Her song starts at the 3:43 mark (followed by a very sassy Judy at 5:54). Hard to believe anybody ever thought these two were competition for each other.

Happy Sunday all.

Bohica said...

A very enjoyable Sunday solve. Did it with one eye while watching football, my team won so a perfect opening day.

Laughed at HOHOS. I thought the only charactors in Peanuts that had last names were Charlie Brown and Lucy and Linus VanPelt? Requires some research.

mac said...

Nice puzzle and nice write-up.

@PuzzleGirl: you mean the poor guy was hirsute and gave away his birth right for a bowl of soup??

@Greene: I enjoyed that clip, any idea how old Judy Garland was then? She seems to have played little girls a lot.

Jeffrey said...

Yikes, almost missed a shout out. I've been reading "The Complete Peanuts" series which has every single strip in order and had no idea about Violet.

Greene said...

@Crosscan: I've been reading the same series going all the way back to 1950 and I didn't know Violet's last name either.

@MAC: Judy was about 14 years old when that short was made. She played little girls much longer than she should have because that's how MGM wanted to market her. She was a contract player and didn't have much input into deciding her roles in those days. Durbin had the same problem at Universal.


I hear youngsters saying YKNOW just about every other word and I cringe. Caroline Kennedy was a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton's senate seat. In several press interviews she answered the questions poorly and constantly interjected pauses in her speaking with YKNOW. It is my understanding that this lack of poise and inability to quickly formulate her thoughts is what squelched her nomination. She just disappointed many people because they were expecting her to be as eloquent as her father was. It's interesting that the abuse of a mere word could have such a far-reaching negative effect... "for lack of a nail, a kingdom falls".
So, if you want to appear intelligent and knowledgeable, avoid repeatedly using certain words like YKNOW. There's a whole long list of these "gutter snipe" words and phrases. We've been getting quite a few of them in recent crossword puzzles.

Anonymous said...

NYT had a very, very similar puzzle a few years ago. Shortz included it in his "Favorite Puzzles" compilation. This puzzle seemed like a simpler rip-off

Anonymous said...

The film short EVERY SUNDAY was just the start of Deanna Durbin's brilliant career. And what a voice - Deanna was so talented!!