THURSDAY, September 3, 2009 — Daniel A. Finan

Theme: "Parts of Speech" — The first three letters of each theme answer are "parts" of the word "speech."

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Where to hear letters recited (SPELLING BEE).
  • 30A: Lady Godiva spotter (PEEPING TOM).
  • 45A: "anyone lived in a pretty how town" poet (E. E. CUMMINGS).
  • 62A: Recording studio feature (ECHO CHAMBER).
  • 37A: Grammar elements, or what the first three letters of 17-, 30-, 45- and 62-Across literally are (PARTS OF SPEECH).
Having some technical difficulties in the PuzzleHousehold today so this probably won't be terribly long. Firefox has decided to stop working for me so I'm using Safari, which I'm sure is a fine, fine browser but I'm totally not used to it. Plus, it doesn't have all my bookmarks and stuff, so I'm not moving quite as quickly as I usually am. Ach! (23A: German "Alas!").

Crosswordese 101: Speaking of ACH, let's make that our crosswordese word of the day. In CrossWorld, this is the exclamation German-speaking people use to mean "Oy!" or "Uff da!" or "Egad!" I don't know if it's actually common in Germany. I have a feeling it's not, but no matter. What you want to be looking for in the clue is a hint to the German-ness of the answer and word that signifies lamentation. So: Oktoberfest "Oh!"; "Alas!" in Austria; Deutschland "D'oh!" The tricky clues you might see for this word include "Hamburger beef," and "Rhine whine."

Here's what's kind of a bummer about the theme: It's hard to explain. That's never good, but it doesn't necessarily mean the theme is bad. Here's what's awesome about the theme's execution: Reading the theme answers from top to bottom, their first three letters actually go through the word "speech" in the correct order: SPE, PEE, EEC, ECH. (Heh heh. I said pee.) I'm thinking this could not have been a super easy theme to (a) come up with and (b) turn into an actual puzzle.

  • 14A: Irish writer who said "Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much" (WILDE). He's your go-to Irish writer.
  • 28A: Oscar Madison, e.g. (SLOB). When I moved to New York a hundred years ago, the first celebrity I saw on the street was Tony Randall. When my parents moved to New York a few years later, the first celebrity they saw was Jack Klugman.
  • 50A: "The Shining" climax setting (MAZE). I sort of shivered as I wrote in the answer to this one. I can't think of very many things creepier than the whole typing "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" scene. Oh man. I've totally creeped myself out by typing that.
  • 6D: Commercial tune (JINGLE).

  • 12D: Ravel classic (BOLERO). Is it bad that the first thing I think of when I see this answer is Bo Derek?
  • 22D: Wrestling partners (TAG TEAM). This is, of course, referring to professional wrestling, which isn't real wrestling. I can't stress that enough. When I want to see real wrestling (which is more often than you might think) I watch college wrestling. I'm telling you those boys are tough, disciplined, and fit. Athletes in every sense of the word. Wrestling season is starting up any day now and I'll be traveling to several meets/tournaments. Go Hawks!
  • 29D: Hamilton is its capital (BERMUDA). I did not know that.
  • 40D: Candy in a red and blue wrapper (CLARK BAR). I thought the wrapper was orange.

  • [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Savory gelatin (ASPIC); 6A: Green gems (JADES); 11A: Delivery experts, briefly (OBS); 15A: All thumbs (INEPT); 16A: One of the Three Stooges (MOE); 19A: Pipe with a bend (ELL); 20A: Sending to overtime, as a game (TYING); 21A: Avoided a trial (SETTLED); 25A: Word sung after a ball drops (AULD); 27A: Prefix with sol (AERO-); 34A: Arena for MacArthur (KOREA); 36A: Have in the crosshairs (AIM AT); 42A: Wavy design (MOIRE); 43A: Tossed course (SALAD); 51A: Tuber with eyes (SPUD); 52A: Harness the wind, in a way (SAIL); 54A: Deli choice (RYE); 55A: Colossal (TITANIC); 59A: Move with stealth (SKULK); 61A: __ Miss (OLE); 66A: Like nos. above zero (POS.); 67A: "Later!" ("SEE YA!"); 68A: Take a piece from? (UNARM); 69A: Bilko's rank: Abbr. (SGT.); 70A: __ throat (STREP); 71A: Wounds (SORES); 1D: Cribside chorus (AWS); 2D: Drink slowly (SIP); 3D: Teeming amount (PLETHORA); 4D: One way to sit by (IDLY); 5D: Salsa singer Cruz (CELIA); 7D: Director Lee (ANG); 8D: Balls' belles (DEBS); 9D: Olympics event with swords (EPÉE); 10D: Proofer's mark (STET); 11D: Denver __ (OMELET); 13D: Not often (SELDOM); 18D: __ to one's neck (IN UP); 23D: Be inquisitive (ASK); 24D: Hoof-on-cobblestones sound (CLOP); 26D: Overwhelms with noise (DEAFENS); 31D: Sorority letters (PIS); 32D: Troublemaker (IMP); 33D: Some Scottish Parliament votes (NAES); 35D: Subject for Bohr (ATOM); 38D: __City (computer game) (SIM); 39D: "... __ quit!" (OR I); 41D: Vague (HAZY); 44D: Actress Sandra (DEE); 45D: Legally impedes (ESTOPS); 46D: Novel postscript (EPILOG); 47D: Most likely to elicit 1-Down (CUTEST); 48D: It's removed at the pump (GAS CAP); 49D: Follower of Guru Nanak (SIKH); 53D: Maui shindigs (LUAUS); 56D: Untouchables leader (NESS); 57D: "Law & Order: SVU" actor (ICE-T); 58D: Grammy winner for "Believe" (CHER); 60D: Pre-P queue (LMNO); 63D: Luis's "Listen up!" ("OYE!"); 64D: Afore (ERE); 65D: Inn offerings: Abbr. (RMS.).



For me, this CW was a fast-solver. I actually finished it before my fried-egg sandwich (yum!) Finan pulled off a sneaky little theme… loved it !
Also loved OBS = “Delivery experts” and the word SKULK. Think I’ll do some serious skulking today.
OMG, there she is ! Bo Derek gets conjured up in my mind just from seeing the word BOLERO (12d). Now my day is starting off perfectly !
Now if I could just find me a CLARKBAR… wow!

I had always thought that the word MOIRE (42a) was some kind of silky fabric (like taffeta). Now when I did a Wikipedia I found out that there is a relationship between the “wavy designs” in the moire pattern and the shimmery look of taffeta. So today my new-word-of-the-day is MOIRE.

@ all constructors: Please, no more ICET clues.

Very nice writeup, Puzzlegirl... some good Crosswordese 101. Whenever I see ACH, I think of the song, "Ach, du lieber Augustin"... wasn't even sure what that meant.

Sfingi said...

@Johnsneverhome totally right.

43A salad Utica used to be 60% Italian, and my husband's H.S was 85% - If the pizza workers wear shirts that say "NY Tossed," it means they throw the pizza dough into the air (and catch) rather than use a rolling pin.

42A moire (mwa-ray) Would like to see crossed with toile (twal). It's got a woven-in waviness, rather than a pattern caused by water. Though fashion words are often French, the techniques or sources are often Middle or Far Eastern.

Ach, du lieber Augustin a Vienese (Wiener) song - Oh dear Augustin. In the song he proceeds to lose all - the girl, the money, etc.

I'm going off to Brookline MA. Didn't even know it was Labor Day. When you're retired, who cares!

Burner10 said...

Obs - had it but didn't get it, thanks.
Kind of felt like a Wednesday for me.

PARSAN said...

A fast and easy puzzle with no look-ups, really unuual for me on a Thursday. I owe someone a debt of gratitude. Several weeks ago when there was much written about a "western" omelet (which I knew about), someone wrote that they knew of a "Denver" OMELET (which I didn't know about, even having been to Denver many times). So thank-you someone for 11d. Didn't know SIM or OYE or CELIA but they just filled in. And JOHNS-----The American Heritage Dictionary lists MOIRE as cloth with wavy lines, a fabric my Mother, an excellent seamstress, used to make me a blue party dress many, many moons ago.

PARSAN said...

@Burner10 - OBS is obstetrician, a doctor who delivers babies.

Carol said...

Agree with @JOHNSNEVERHOME about the word SKULK - I might just try a little skulking about today too.

PLETHORA is also a great word. I am going to try and work that into a sentence today.

Did fine with no Googles, just figured out names with crosses. Didn't realize today was Thursday until reading the blog as it seemed more like a Wednesday puzzle.

Good write-up as usual, PG!

Orange said...

Actually, it's the plural OBS. An obstetrician is commonly called an O.B.

And yet we never go see the D.E.(rmatologist) or the O.R.(thopedist).

PARSAN said...

@range - Of course! I was just naming the noun and assumed the plural. Sorry I was not more precise.

*David* said...

I was disapointed with this puzzle. I felt it was average and resorted to too many abbr. and artifices to get filled. AWS, RMS, OBS, POS above SGT, and LMNO. For a basic puzzle like this there shouldn't have to be so much forced fill. Did like CLARK BAR.

Scott said...

I thought the theme was superb. Loved CLARKBAR, TAGTEAM, and PLETHORA.

I do agree with the above comments that this was too easy for Thursday and had too much dreck for fill. Also, on AWS, am I the only one would only consider spelling it AWW with too Ws?

Charlie said...

Well, that went down like ice water (or one of those new 55 calorie Budweisers) on a hot day.

Easy, breezy this week. I don't fancy myself a speed solver or expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I might have to pony up for a NYT Premium Crosswords membership.


Yeah, I too spell it AWW. I think it sort of draws out the word to fit the actual sound, not exactly an anamonapia, but it stresses more how you actually say the word. Another word that I find myself taking liberty with adding letters is SOOOOO.

And, hey guys, quit whining about how easy this puzzle is... it's still summertime, the kids are back in school, its soon a holiday, the weather is gorgeous, AND WE DO NEED A BREAK! Just enjoy these simple puzzles and let your brain have an easy breezy day !

Joon said...

cool, innovative theme. i like that. also like seeing KOREA in the grid, although the clue is not my favorite. but i guess it's an american puzzle.

john, why no more ICE-T clues? would you rather have it be an unclued entry? (yes, i know you're actually complaining about the entry, not the clue.) he's a celebrity who happens to have a short name with common letters. all i can say is: get used to seeing him in the grid. is it really so much more objectionable to see ICE-T than ESAI morales or stephen REA?

charlie, if you pony up today, the thursday NYT will give you a hell of a workout. that's true many thursdays, but especially today.

chefbea said...

Easy thursday.

Forget what is in a Denver omelet. I'll have to look it up.

Will also have to check out the clark bars at the store. Didn't know they were red white and blue

GLowe said...

O.T. post, hope it's not taboo, but today I'm sad.
I do NYT in syndication, and I gave up too early on what turned out to be an extremely cool puzzle.

This puzzle, however, was sort of compensation in that I finished it, plus the theme was refreshingly different.

Rex Parker said...

Easy except CLARK BAR, which took me forever. Thought maybe there had been a candy called CLARA BOW for a while. The "It" bar, maybe. Still in under 4.

I didn't bother to figure out the theme. Seems interesting. Odd, but interesting.

tuttle said...

Omelet threw me. I've got to start eating breakfast I suppose...

shrub5 said...

Hey all! Did you know that SKULK, when used as a noun, is a group of foxes? Well, I didn't -- BTW, the dictionary also lists "troop" and "earth" (!) as other words for fox congregations.

For 42A Wavy design, I put SWIRL before MOIRE as I just had the --IR-, but eventually the M in BERMUDA came to the rescue for that one.

When I hear "BOLERO" I think of the British ice dancers Torvill and Dean's gold medal-winning routine from the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Very enjoyable puzzle and @PG thanks for yet another entertaining write-up!

Ruth said...

JOYCE can also be your go-to Irish writer, no? WILDE seems to be your Irish "wit", a lot of the time.

Soozy said...

Did feel a bit like a Wednesday to me as well, and though I certainly enjoyed PLETHORA and SKULK, and got a good chuckle out of OBS, I felt there was some iffy fill.

We've all seen the alphabet chains before (LMNO) so that's nothing new but 'tis always a bit disappointing. But I was especially bugged by EPILOG--I haven't been doing crosswords that long so perhaps this is an oft-used spelling in CrossWorld, but I'd just never really seen it used.

Also, a clarification request on EPEE--as far as I know, that is the actual sword used, not the event. Then event would be fencing or something similar, no?

Joon said...

no, the event is épée. fencing includes both épée and saber, kind of like how swimming or track & field include many specialized events.

mac said...

Nice, smooth puzzle.
Ach is used a lot in both German and Dutch. It is equivalent to "Oh no", or "too bad", but can also mean "who cares".

Thank you puzzles for teaching me about Denver omelets, why not about Clark bars?

I saw Tony Randall at the Armory art show in NY. I recognized him by his deep voice. He was extremely nice to the coat check people, a real gentleman.

jazz said...

I agree...they slipped a Wednesday puzzle in on a Thursday!

Not real fond of LMNO ("pre-p queue"); actually liked the clue better than the answer.

And AWS would've been considered a cheapie if it weren't for winding the clue into CUTEST, which helped it be at least plausible.

I also remember DENVER omelets from the discussion about western omelets a few weeks ago.

Never heard of ASPIC or CELIA, so just had to guess that final letter.

And kudos to puzzlemaker Finan, for a truly original theme!

chefbea said...

I looked up the two omelets. They seem to have the same ingredients - eggs, onion, peppers and ham. The Denver also has bacon. Sounds pretty good to me

embien said...

I loved that the clue for 45a was in all lower case! (ee cummings)

Charles Bogle said...

Am w @carol and @tuttle and @shrub5. Some things I really liked: PLETHORA, SKULK, ESTOPS (the trial lawyer in me); didn't know there was a Denver OMELET; OBS is very tough and clever for "delivery expert" esp as I tried to squeeze UPS in; fortunately am w my math/science daughter who fed me POS and ATOM for Bohr

Thing I didn't like: the theme. A tad too tortured and ee cummings and ECHOCHAMBER etc are unrelated to SPELLING BEE and "grammar/speech" idea. But then-any day I finish a Thursday or a Friday is a good day!

Norm said...

Loved this puzzle. Loved it. Had 17A and 30A and was in a WTF mode: how could SPE and PEE come together to spell anything?!? I'm slow some days (my daughter would say most days). When I got it, I just loved it ... although it did make 45A and 62A pretty easy, so the bottom half of the puzzle fell like ... a house of cards? Whatever. I'm not sure I've seen anything like this theme before, so I give it many stars for creativity.

PARSAN said...

@PG - Just want to say how much I liked the funny JINGLE by Barry Manilow. Vick's should use it and put some humor into TV ads, somethings rarely heard or seen these day. Thanks!

ddbmc said...

Got to see Oscar Wilde's "Angel" tombstone in Pere Lachaise Cemetary, Paris, FR, a few years back. It is covered in lipstick kisses!Known for his biting wit, he was imprisoned for 2 years after being convicted of "gross indecency" with men, accd. to Wiki. Once released, he never returned to Britain or Ireland. Saw this on a web site: "Ach der lieber" (or Good Heavens!). The poster explained his grandfather used that phrase when the grandkids were on his last nerve. I'm with @John, whenever I can finish the puzzle, it's a good day! I'll leave the word and fill anguish to the veteran solvers! I'll get to your level one day! (and attempt the NYT puzzle-which, at this point, I look at the clues and am mostly clueless!)One quibble 25a-Word sung after a ball drops...isn't that "Should?" as in "Should Auld acquaintance be forgot...knew Celia Cruz from kids watching "Sesame Street" many moons ago! Seeya! Gotta find a version of Bolero on YouTube!

mac said...

@embien: good pick-up! I love that detail, makes me respect Daniel A Finan even more.

@ddbmc: where's the party? You are in one great mood!

ddbmc said...

@mac! The party, gala, festival, debs ball, event is always here at LACWC! the eecummings clue was great! (how do i emphasize, without capitalizing????)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-4J5j74VPw--sorry, don't know how to embed!Ravel's Bolero

jn said...

Heard the Los Angeles Philarmonic Orchestra do Bolero on Tuesday. It's always a wonderful piece to hear.

Loved Plethora.

I wrote down the first three letters of the clues and saw spe and ech but didn't understand how the other two clues fit. Thanks, as always, for bringing sense to the puzzle as a whole.

mac said...

@ddbmc: please tell me what lacwc means (and your name) please!

Crockett1947 said...

@mac L.A.Crossword Confidential, you think?

shrub5 said...

@ddbmc: Here is a reference for you:
Google "How to put a clickable link into a message".
Select the first listing and follow the instructions. I printed the page for reference and have done it a few times. It's pretty easy but you have to be meticulous when inserting the destination web address (URL) to get every required character.

mac said...

@Crockett1947: do'h to self (or however they spell it.....). Thank you.

ddbmc said...

@Crockett1947-you are correct..and with lower case, it was an omage/homage? to e.e.cummings. Thank you, @Shrubb5 for the info on how to embed a URL. @JN,heard "Bolero" performed many years ago. A sumptuous work. @mac, Dede.

Anonymous said...

Chefbea, the Denver Omelets we used to get at the International House of Pancakes (and I'm talking 40 years ago)never had bacon, just ham and green pepper. My family would go there every Sunday for breakfast and that's what I'd always get.

I liked the theme -- it was unusual and innovative (if hard to explain).


Charlie said...

@Joon -- don't forget about the other fencing event, FOIL.

Even though EPEE is the answer 95% of the time you have a four-letter fencing/sword clue, I always check the crosses first...

Anonymous said...

RARA AVIS - is there anything more archane??? And IPOD NANO - who cares about brand names??? Come on, now - at least be sensible!!