FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2009 — Dan Naddor

THEME: GO on ... — familiar phrases / names have "GO" slapped on the end, creating wacky etc.

Sorry for the posting delay today. As readers of my other blog and my Twitter followers know, wife brought home two strays yesterday, and they spent the night, and dealing with them and my other dogs and my daughter (home from school on holiday) ... took all my attention. I had to get up at 5 just to write the NYT blog before anyone in the house woke up. Dogs have been picked up by the woman who found them, and they're in good hands. Really really hoping they are just lost pets whose owners are looking for them (both purebreds, both sweet), but they might have been abandoned. Some people are just assholes. At any rate, the dogs will get good homes one way or the other. I couldn't let anything else happen to them.

Puzzle. It was fine. Typical. Add some letters, wackiness ensues. I was happy to see that the puzzle (specifically the cluing) had some more teeth to it today than on past weekends. This one took me well over 4 minutes. When it's back to taking me well over 8 minutes, honestly, I will be thrilled beyond belief. Til then, I'll just be happy with the mini-trend toward difficulty.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Tropical fruit that grows underground? (CAVE MANGO)
  • 21A: Church game played with cans and bottles? (RECYCLE BINGO)
  • 37A: Italian cheese from the Florida Keys? (SOUTHEAST ASIAGO) — most difficult, as "Florida Keys" does nothing to signify "SOUTHEAST" to me, though it's clearly in the SOUTHEAST of the U.S., I can't argue with that :(
  • 44A: Fled what was once Zaire? (ESCAPED CONGO)
  • 57A: Jargon of ancient Yucatán (MAYA LINGO) — MAYA LIN is the one who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C.

Crosswordese 101: TACET (15A: Be silent, in music) — learned this from xwords, though having had a couple years of Latin helped out a lot. CrossWorld is littered with terms from musical scores, musical terms, forms of music, etc. (e.g. LENTO, LARGO, ARIOSO, ORATORIO, etc.). TACET is high-end as musical crosswordese goes, but you'll see it again, without a doubt — fairly common letters in a five-letter string ensures usefulness.

What else?

  • 30D: Library volumes? (WHISPERS) — part of me thinks this is clever, part of me hates the alleged equation between (pl.) volumes and (pl.) WHISPERS.

  • 40A: Fictional author of "The World According to Bensenhaver" (T.S. GARP) — yikes. I know the character of GARP, but the "T.S." part I didn't remember at all.
  • 20D: Witnessed visiting (SEEN AT) — honestly, I had no idea what the clue was supposed to mean. None. Had to wait for most of the crosses.
  • 42D: "When I'm Ready" (NOT YET) — I had NOT NOW, unsurprisingly.

Done and done.

See you Monday,


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Heartless (COLD); 5A: Run in a traffic jam? (IDLE); 9A: "__ fan tutte": Mozart opera (COSI); 13A: Hodgepodge (OLIO); 14A: Aquarium clapper (SEAL); 15A: Be silent, in music (TACET); 16A: Tropical fruit that grows underground? (CAVE MANGO); 18A: Autobahn autos (OPELS); 19A: Exceeded, as a budget (OVERRAN); 20A: Ankle-swelling cause (SPRAIN); 21A: Church game played with cans and bottles? (RECYCLE BINGO); 24A: Workout unit (REP); 27A: More cunning (SLIER); 28A: Not away (IN TOWN); 32A: Michigan college town (ANN ARBOR); 37A: Italian cheese from the Florida Keys? (SOUTHEAST ASIAGO); 39A: Snobs (ELITISTS); 40A: Fictional author of "The World According to Bensenhaver" (T.S. GARP); 41A: Spot to get off (STAIN); 43A: Grant opponent (LEE); 44A: Fled what was once Zaire? (ESCAPED CONGO); 51A: Body shop offering (LOANER); 52A: SWAT team supply (TEAR GAS); 56A: Jet trail (VAPOR); 57A: Jargon of ancient Yucat·n? (MAYA LINGO); 59A: Nanos and minis (IPODS); 60A: Drive the getaway car for, say (ABET); 61A: Prefix with dollar (EURO-); 62A: Last word sung with champagne in hand (SYNE); 63A: Presidential power (VETO); 64A: Future J.D.'s hurdle (LSAT); 1D: Designer Chanel (COCO); 2D: Patron saint of Norway (OLAV); 3D: Like glowing coals (LIVE); 4D: Hall of Fame second baseman Bobby (DOERR); 5D: Stern with a bow (ISAAC); 6D: Chain that serves the Grand Slam breakfast (DENNY'S); 7D: Fall behind (LAG); 8D: "Strange Magic" band (ELO); 9D: Bay of Naples isle (CAPRI); 10D: Continental divide? (OCEAN); 11D: Baseball commissioner since the '90s (SELIG); 12D: "__ big deal" (IT'S NO); 15D: Military higher-ups (TOP BRASS); 17D: G.I. ration (MRE); 20D: Witnessed visiting (SEEN AT); 22D: Enduring opus (CLASSIC); 23D: Navel buildup (LINT); 24D: Bailiff's request (RISE); 25D: Compound containing a hydroxl group (ENOL); 26D: Spitting sound (PTUI); 29D: Giant great who wore #4 (OTT); 30D: Library volumes? (WHISPERS); 31D: Avian homemaker (NESTER); 33D: Hook (up) (RIG); 34D: False god (BAAL); 35D: Brute (OGRE); 36D: Weapon in Clue (ROPE); 38D: Hardly at all (A TAD); 42D: "When I'm ready" (NOT YET); 44D: The King (ELVIS); 45D: Lathered up (SOAPY); 46D: Food fowl (CAPON); 47D: Battery terminal (ANODE); 48D: "Peachy keen!" ("NEATO!"); 49D: "For Me and My __" (GAL); 50D: Bay window (ORIEL); 53D: Wildebeests (GNUS); 54D: Indian mausoleum city (AGRA); 55D: Flue coat (SOOT); 57D: Dallas cager, briefly (MAV); 58D: He's next to Teddy on Mount Rushmore (ABE).



Very tough puzzle for me, took awhile, but I eventually got it right without any Googling. I think the LAT is toughening up the Friday puzzles…yay !!!!

Got 37a, but not sure what Southeast Asia has to do with the Florida Keys… anyone, anyone???

Favorites: I loved all the cute clues, eg. for: SEAL, SYNE, ISAAC, LINT, WHISPERS, ABE and NESTER.

Unfaves: Just 20d SEENAT

What would we do without that ELO band?

I’ve heard of the book (movie) “The World According to Garp”, but didn’t know the character’s name was T. S. Garp, so I struggled a little with 40a. Was thinking of John Irving‘s novel about Garp, but then realized that Bensenhaver was in his third novel.

I’m just not hip when it comes to Ipod stuff, so {Nanos and mini} sort of threw me a bit.

I think a good alternate clue for (1a) would be {Hillary to Bill}, COLD.

Today I learned about Maya Ying Lin, the sculptor and creator of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, as a result of filling out 57a MAYALINGO. How cool! Best part of cross wording is learning about people.

Naddor did a great job on this complex grid ! Thanks, Dan.


Dan Naddor said...

Hi John. Glad you liked my puzzle today.

The added "GO" pun you asked about morphed SOUTHEAST ASIA into SOUTHEAST ASIAGO. ASIAGO is a type of Italian cheese, so "Florida Keys" (which happens to rhyme with "cheese") identifies the "Southeast" portion of the pun.

Hope that helps.



Dan, I did get the Asiago pun, I just can't figure out the relationship between Florida Keys and Southeast Asia.

*David* said...

A definite improvement but still light years away from a typical Friday. The cluing was still too easy got my only hung up in the NE corner with LIVE for hot coals and DOERR. The rest flowed fast, I was happy I finally remembered COSI.


Rex, if I lived nearer and you needed a home for that lovable Bassett, I'd make an adoption offer. BUT, I still have to remind myself that my screenname is JOHN'S NEVER HOME and my getting a pet would be totally unfair.

Orange said...

@JOHN, there isn't one. Asia vanishes once it turns into asiago cheese, and the Florida Keys merely signal the Southeast United States. (Though I might've gone with Georgia and Florida to more broadly denote the Southeast.)

Dan Naddor said...

There isn't one, John. It's "Florida Keys" (SOUTHEAST U.S.) plus ASIAGO ("Cheese"). If you look at the other puns, it's no different than "Church" not relating to RECYCLE BIN.

shrub5 said...

@RP: Please don't worry ever about being "late" posting your blog. Life intervenes and we all understand that. I'm just glad there are people like you to watch out for our furry companions who have lost their way. I hope, too, that these dogs were not abandoned.

I loved this puzzle! Stumbled around quite a bit, giving up in some areas but eventually getting back to get it all finished. Had OLAF for OLAV (how come I'm never right on this 50:50 chance) and AUDIS for OPELS. I also did not know the GARP initials and the 20D) SEEN AT (Witnessed visiting) took awhile as I did not understand the clue. I was thinking of "supervised visitation" as in contentious child custody cases.

So many clever clues: Continental divide? (OCEAN) and Aquarium clapper (SEAL) stand out in addition to the theme entries. I was not familiar with EUROdollar which I now understand to be a US dollar deposited in a bank outside the US.

@JOHN: Once ASIA becomes part of ASIAGO, the operative word is SOUTHEAST only, the location of the Florida Keys.

shrub5 said...

@JOHN: oops, so many responses came while I was writing my comment. I didn't mean to pile on.


That's okay, I appreciate your reply as well as Dan's. After thinking about it, the structures make good sense to me. When I saw the SOUTHEAST ASIA, I tried to relate it to the Florida Keys, probably because there's a real strong SE Asian influence there with regard to cuisine, eg. Key Lime Pie originated in the Pacific islands. It's funny how sometimes the eye disconnects from the mind when working a puzzle. Inconsistent theme structures really bother me, but this one clearly is not. Sorry, Dan.

Carol said...

I liked today's puzzle and am glad we're getting back to more challenging puzzles at the end of the week.

The theme was rather fun. Thanks, Dan.

GLowe said...

Learned ASIAGO and MAYA LIN today. That's what a cwp should be about: layin' a learnin' on peasants like me.

It erased the image my brain had 'Homered up' of "Hugo A-Gogo", evil nemesis of the greatest crime-fighter ever: Batfink.

Sfingi said...

Difficult for me - didn't know 3 sports guys, which I should by now - SELIG, 4D DOERR, 29D OTT. Also, didn't know 37A ASIAGO (Northern Italian), 17D MRE, 21A RECYCLEBINGO.
Didn't get the theme, which would have helped this time. At first, had sudsy for 45D SOAPY, generals for 15D TOPBRASS, lap for 24A REP. Since I didn't know Garp's first initials, and the cross with 20D SEEN-- could have been in, on, or AT, this constituted a Natick for me.

Glad it's challenging, and I'm getting part of it, and appreciating how clever it is.

My friend who likes animals more than humans bought a house in which people left 2 cats, which ran out but may not have survived. The neighbors called the previous woman "shit for brains" as a nickname.

I had a neighbor who made so many enemies that when she died, several dead cats were found, too.
The house was torn down. One cat got out and died in my yard. The next spring there was a skeleton with sweatpeas growing through it; I brought it to school to show the "kids." Don't go nuts, youse guys.

durgis said...

Aside from other problem points mentioned above, I had tough time with BAAL. I couldn't help myself from putting IDOL in for False god. Never thought they would use the name of an actual God.

Parsan said...

@Rex-- Read your NYT blog and am impressed that you and your wife took in the bassett and jack russell. We owned a basset hound named Miles that should have a book written about his exploits. Also have rescued dogs.

Really enjoyed the puzzle and it took me much longer than 4 minutes. Now into the playoffs, SELIG, ORR and DOERR are timely.
Lot's of LIVE TV games.

At "spot to get off" I was thinking hot seat, but it was simply a STAIN.

Anyone ever eat an MRE?


CrazyCat said...

This week really seemed like the LAT puzzle is getting back to normal. Hooray!
This was a very fun puzzle and much more challenging than the last few Fridays have been. I liked the theme and the clues were great except for that Witnessed Visiting. Thanks Dan for a nice Friday puzzle. @RP thanks to you for helping out those pooches. As a long time rescuer of dogs and cats, I really appreciate people who go the extra mile for our furry companions. Tomorrow I am going to go pick out my first ever purebred puppy. We lost our beloved Jack Russel mix to cancer last spring. @Johnsneverhome - we have the same last name - go Swedes. Asagio cheese is the best.

bluebell said...

Whoops, the blog tells me I spelled Tacet wrong (I had tacit), and since I couldn't spell Selig it was a personal Natick. With Olav/Olaf I know to wait for crosses. Ann Arbor was a gimme since I went to school there for a year. The only TS I know for sure is Eliot.

Djinn said...

@ Parsan: That is my only question about todayy's CW: What is an MRE? Clearly it stands for an army-issued dreadful meal, but what do the initials mean?

Just as Bradley Booms, I had IDOL for BAAL and like Sfingi, I too, missed MRE and DOERR at first. Quite an enjoyable solve today! Thanks Dan.

Last winter, my daughters rescued an abandoned Jack Russell mix from a mall parking lot. She had already been hit by a car and was near death's door.

We tried to locate the owner, but no one claimed her. Although she was under one year old, she had recently had a litter and was still lactating, but we never found the puppies. Maybe, she was a refugee from a puppy mill.

My oldest daughter adopted her and now the dog, Maggie, is healthy and happy. I shudder to think of her other fate since a mall security guard told us the had been been there for at least two days.

Charles Bogle said...

Agree w shrub5, carol, parsan others...really clever challenging puzzle with lots of neat clues

@DanNaddor--great to have you here commenting; congrats on a terrific puzzle; your name brightens our day

I see you as the master of the ? clues...there are so many ? here that otherwise don't exist in real life but are funny and bring a smile eg CAVEMANGO, SOUTHEASTASIAGO..

also delighted to see ANNARBOR, where my daughter begins grad school in January

A few Qs for Dan and the group...what is an OLIO--what kind of "hodgepodge"..is there such a game played as RECYCLEBINGO? Is PTUI the Urban Dictionary-accepted spell for spitting sound? What kind of false god is BAAL?

Like Johnsneverhome, I had rare joy for me today of completing a challenging, entertaining Friday puzzle without any googling or other extrinsic sources...multiply RP's time by seven and that's me today but hey, as I've suggested all week, the LAT quality this week has definitely shown an upward trend...Thanks again Dan

Djinn said...

My father sang as one of the OLIO acts playing to live audiences during commercial breaks for the televised Miss Universe Pageant. The olio acts in Vaudeville were a mixture of entertainers, such as magicians, jugglers and singers that supported the main act on the bill.

JIMMIE said...

MRE is meal-ready to-eat.

Baal was worshipped by the Israelites prior to Judaism. It was not a false religion to them, of course. But they got thinned out after God told Moses to "Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord's fierce anger may turn away from Israel." (Numbers 25:4)

Parsan said...

@Djinn--MRE means Meal Ready (to) Eat, pre-packaged for use when no mess hall is available. Probably what astronauts eat in space. Would still like to know what they taste like.

@Charles Bogle--An OLIO is just a mixture of any number of things; food (stew), music (medley), stage acts (variety show). It probably is rarely used in speech but in the printed word.
I think RECYCLE BINGO is just a clever ? fantasy clue to fit the theme.
Don't know about PTUI except that we see it in CW's and it sounds like spitting when you say it.
Wikipedia has an interesting article on BAAL (I know it from the Bible) and on the various cultures that have worshiped him. Interestingly, the drawing of Baal at that site looks like Ross Perot (no political comment implied).


My whole house is an OLIO... nothing goes with anything else because I buy what I like and not what some interior designer likes. One day I said to my niece that my decor is such a hodge-podge and she tactfully said "Oh uncle John, your home is eclectic". Niece Suzie is such a sweetie!

Sometimes I solve crosswords by "malleting". That means I don't care if it takes me a long time to solve, I just want it to be 100% right and I don't want to chicken-out by using a dictionary or Google. I just sit and ponder and reason it out, trying to figure out the constructor's thinking. Just to keep pounding in words until everything fits and feels good. Sometimes this type of slow and deliberate solving is quite fun.

Today I learned what "natick" means... a word coined by Rex Parker... bad construction that leaves you stymied. I looked up his definition, it's very amusing.

Bohica said...

Yes!!! Finally a Friday puzzle that didn't make me start the week over. Thanks Dan, and thanks Rich for toughening things up this week!

Didn't get the theme until SOUTHEASTASIAGO after that the rest fell into place. Anyone who has ever seen "The Rachel Ray Show" knows asiago cheese, she puts it on almost everything.

Good puzzle without any claptrap fill and clever theme entries. I hope this trend continues, I was resolved to give up the LAT for any online puzzles I could find.

chefbea said...

Good puzzle today.

If there is a Panera (coffee/bread place) near you, you must try the asiago bagel, or the loaf of asiago bread. Talk about yummy!!!


If your last name is Hagstrom and you live in California or Illinois, we're probably related somehow. Yes, I'm a Svenska Poika.

CrazyCat said...

@JOHN my husband is actually the Hagstrom. His grandfather came from Orebro, Sweden and settled in Brooklyn around 1900. We have plethora of Albins and Gustafs in the family tree. It's a pretty rare name here in SoCal, but I'm sure there are many Hagstroms in the upper midwest.

Lemonade714 said...

When Hurrican Wilma devestated broward in 2005, many of us ende dup eating MRE's for a while. They were "interesting." Not as exciting as a Dan Naddor puzzle, but different. Also, no one was shooting at us, though the neighbors yelled at my kid for grilling in the parking lot.

mac said...

This was a good week for the LAT crossword puzzle. Today's was fun, not too easy, and the fill was not bad at all. I'm so glad to see Olav spelled that way.

The Garp clue is totally confusing to me. I've read the book, but it was a long time ago, and the name Bensenhaver did not ring a bell at all. Thought it might be some sort of spoof.

@Sfingi: did you show the little carcass to your prisoners?

@Rex: Thank God for people like you and Sandy, and I hope these owners show up.


If your husband or father-in-law's name is either Robert or Donald, then we might be long lost cousins.
Or, does the name Arvid or Emma Hagstrom ring a bell?
The Hagstroms in the midwest & west are a lot rarer than those in the east, that's why I asked,

CrazyCat said...

No Roberts or Donalds, we do have an Emma somewhere. We also have a Magmus, Svante, Tilda, and an Anders Peter. Mostly we have the afore mentioned Albins and Gustav/fs. You always know when a telemarketer is on the phone when they ask for Mr. or Mrs. HagSTORM.


I guess we'll just have to be blog buddies... sounds like no family connections.
What you say about telemarketers is so true, but it actually works to our advantage because we can just say "no one here by that name" and we're not even lying. Sometimes I use the name Bjorn Hagstrom (my dog) when I send in for stuff. I've even had people call and ask for Bjorn Hagstrom. Someday I'll just let them go ahead and open a charge account in his name. Would I go to jail or would my dog?

Margaret said...

We live in earthquake country (San Francisco Bay Area) and our Boy Scout troop sells MRE's as a fund raiser. No, they don't taste particularly good (sort of tasteless), but they sure are reassuring to have in the garage just in case of emergency!

I recall the "T.S." as Garp's initials because of all the fake names he makes up to go along with them: Terribly Sexy, Tough Sh*t...

CrazyCat said...

@margaret We also have those MREs in case of earthquakes. I'm thinking desparate times call for desparate food.
@JOHN I am CHORTELING. When I was expecting my son (during the Bjorn Borg era) I suggested to my friends that I would
name him Bjorn Hagstrom and call him BJ
for short. I had a major negative rating on
that suggestion. Oh well. I think it's a great name. I ended up naming him Erik.

ddbmc said...

Ok, Johns NH and Krazy Kat L! We have a friend who lives around the corner named John Haggstrom! When did the extra G get added in???? I'll have to see where his family comes from! Talk about your 6 degrees of Separation!

TS was added to Garp, because Garp did not have any other name. He added it, in honor of TS Eliot, I believe, because he thought it would make him sound like more of a writer, if I am remembering "The World According to Garp" correctly. John Irving will have to chime in on this one! OR I could re-read the book.....
PPPS-Thanks, RP, for your dog rescue efforts! We have Jack Russells and bassets in the extended family! My niece rescues the bassets, my nephew has a Jack Russell, who is a pip! Like JNH, I am on the road too often to be an owner, but LOVE those doggies! I am not worthy!

Anonymous said...

Even though I am a cat person Rex you were great to be a dog rescuer! Thanks for your blog. Better puzzle today. Ciao!!

Margaret said...

@crazycatlady, I am *totally* calling our MRE's "desperate food" from now on!