MONDAY, Oct. 26, 2009 — Jerome Gunderson

THEME: "The TERMINATOR" (56A: With "The," Schwarzenegger film released 10/26/1984, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in the first words of 17-, 34- and 39-Across) — those "first words" form the catchphrase "I'LL / BE / BACK!"

Theme is both clever and weak — don't like that the "THE" was left off the title of "TERMINATOR" in this puzzle. If it's your marquee answer, it needs to be complete. Also, infinitely easy to get tons and tons of phrases that begin with "I'LL," "BE," and "BACK." This should have allowed for a construction that included "THE TERMINATOR" and possibly a bonus answer like ARNOLD. That said, the idea is cute, and the rest of the grid is pretty fabulous for a Monday: relatively open and full of odd and unexpected stuff. I especially loved the middle of the grid, with YORICK (25D: "Alas, poor _____!": Hamlet) and his GERBIL POPTART (28D: Rodent kept as a house pet + 24D: Kellogg's toaster pastry). Also love the JUICY (47D: Like ripe peaches) answers KID ROCK (40D: Duettist with Sheryl Crow in the song "Picture") and RUGRATS (41D: Toon babies of '90s-'00s TV). Would have loved FINN to have been Neil or Tim, but that's probably too Kiwi for a U.S. Monday puzzle.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Hymn whose title follows the line "When I die, Hallelujah, by and by" ("I'LL FLY AWAY") — oddly biblical puzzle today with HOSANNAH nearby (10D: Biblical cry of adoration)
  • 34A: Scout's motto ("BE PREPARED")
  • 39A: How duelists begin (BACK-TO-BACK)
Crosswordese 101: ACACIA (21A: Gum arabic tree) — I don't know much about this tree except that it is 2/3 vowels and shows up pretty frequently for a six-letter non-plural. I got it off the first "A" and I know nothing about trees, foliage, botany, what have you, which means my brain has been conditioned to think of this word, which suggests its frequency. Look also for the reasonably popular AZALEA, which is a bush, not a tree, but in its vowel placement, its first and final "A"s, and its botanicality, has plenty in common with ACACIA.

What else?

  • 29A: Relative known for quitting? (uncle) — that's nice.
  • 59A: Ford Explorer Sport _____ (Trac) — that's not.

See you Friday


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Highway hauler (SEMI); 5A: Cut off (SEVER); 10A: "__ Silver, away!" (HI-YO); 14A: Gas in a sign (NEON); 15A: Utah city (PROVO); 16A: Sign of the future (OMEN); 17A: Hymn whose title follows the line "When I die, Hallelujah, by and by" (I'LL FLY AWAY); 19A: Fill to excess (SATE); 20A: "Cats" poet (T. S. ELIOT); 21A: Gum arabic tree (ACACIA); 23A: Adviser Landers (ANN); 24A: Traffic cone (PYLON); 26A: Knight's lady (DAME); 28A: Slimy stuff (GOO); 29A: Relative known for quitting? (UNCLE); 33A: Run the country (RULE); 34A: Scout's motto (BE PREPARED); 36A: Kimono sash (OBI); 37A: Air ace's missions (SORTIES); 38A: Climbing vine (IVY); 39A: How duelists begin (BACK TO BACK); 41A: Baseball stats (RBIS); 42A: "Old MacDonald" refrain (E-I-E-I-O); 43A: Rile up (IRK); 44A: Ado (FUSS); 45A: Resided (DWELT); 47A: Dance from Ireland (JIG); 48A: __ Tar Pits (LA BREA); 51A: Daybreak (SUNRISE); 55A: French franc successor (EURO); 56A: With "The," Schwarzenegger film released 10/26/1984, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in the first words of 17-, 34- and 39-Across (TERMINATOR); 59A: Ford Explorer Sport __ (TRAC); 60A: Storage room (ATTIC); 61A: "Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor Deanna (TROI); 62A: Armored vehicle (TANK); 63A: Snappish (TESTY); 64A: Lip-__: mouth the words (SYNC); 1D: Grumpy mood (SNIT); 2D: Morays, e.g. (EELS); 3D: Lawn burrower (MOLE); 4D: Arouse, as passion (INFLAME); 5D: Watch covertly (SPY ON); 6D: The E in Q.E.D. (ERAT); 7D: Solemn promise (VOW); 8D: Sister of Zsa Zsa (EVA); 9D: Fit for a king (ROYAL); 10D: Biblical cry of adoration (HOSANNA); 11D: Popular Apple (IMAC); 12D: Himalayan giant (YETI); 13D: Fit to be drafted (ONE-A); 18D: Queue (LINE); 22D: Political takeovers (COUPS); 24D: Kellogg's toaster pastry (POP-TART); 25D: "Alas, poor __!": Hamlet (YORICK); 26D: Persian Gulf emirate (DUBAI); 27D: Wonderland girl (ALICE); 28D: Rodent kept as a house pet (GERBIL); 30D: Baby beds (CRIBS); 31D: Lee jeans alternative (LEVI'S); 32D: Ice cream brand (EDY'S); 33D: Judge's attire (ROBE); 34D: Scarer's shout (BOO); 35D: Scared response (EEK); 37D: Uncle Tom's creator (STOWE); 40D: Duettist with Sheryl Crow in the song "Picture" (KID ROCK); 41D: Toon babies of '90s-'00s TV (RUGRATS); 44D: Sawyer's friend (FINN); 46D: Frequent, as a diner (EAT AT); 47D: Like ripe peaches (JUICY); 48D: Riga native (LETT); 49D: Distinctive emanation (AURA); 50D: Muffin ingredient (BRAN); 51D: Infatuated, old-style (SMIT); 52D: "This is my best effort" ("I TRY"); 53D: Any minute now (SOON); 54D: Guitarist Clapton (ERIC); 57D: Somme summer (ÉTÉ); 58D: Privileges: Abbr. (RTS).


jazz said...

Nice for a Monday. I also didn't appreciate "THE" being left off TERMINATOR, but hey, otherwise short and sweet.

ACACIA is a longer answer that shows up often enough to be considered for crossword-ese.

And I liked the clue for 46D, which (finally!) reminded me that 'frequent' can be a verb!


Nice easy puzzle… time to lay back after last weekend’s gruellers.
Thought the Lone Ranger said “HIHO Silver.”
28a conjured up the slimy goo in Ghostbusters.
Liked 42a EIEIO… I know it’s a cheap constructor’s trick to get a lot of vowels, but it’s fun nonetheless.
I was recently in L.A. and found the LABREA tar pits… is that ever awesome! Took lots of good photos of that GOO.
Oh, how often we see ETE and ERAT!
Nice RP writeup, as usual.
Now I’m gonna go have my POPTART and java.


Thanks, Rex, for CW101 on ACACIA.. I use gum arabic a lot in my watercolor paintings and I never knew that that comes from the beautiful Acacia tree and as a botanist, I should have known that.
Only a crossworder would use that word.

mac said...

Nice Monday puzzle. I lkiked pylon, hosanna, sorties and dwelt.
Had Strudel before poptart.

shrub5 said...

Creative Monday puzzle theme related to our Governator's former occupation.

I always thought SORTIE was a weird word. I see it is from sortir, French for 'go out.' Nice to see ERIC clued as Clapton for a change. ☺

Tinbeni said...
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Sfingi said...

W/o "The," the puzzle can be solved w/o having to have seen the silly movie. What I did not know was there's such a thing as 11D IPAD or 51D SMIT (smitten?). Can these electronic books actually delete your books when they feel like it? I'll keep my 8000 books, thank you. They don't use up electrons, either.

In Upstate New York - the real Upstate - (haha Rex) we see SORTIE all the time for exits to Canada.

Another mini-theme: rodents - 3D MOLE 28D GERBIL.

29A UNCLE - is he known for quitting or for causing such? Discuss.

Speaking of uncles, Sat I went to hear Uncle Jr. (Dominic Chianese) sing. I've seen him before at the local Indian Casino, where I discovered he sang country and whistled. This was a more intimate group on the main gallery of the Philip Johnson designed Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. He told stories, played the guitar, sang an Irish song, a Spanish song and a song he wrote, as well as the Italian and country and whistling. Catch him if you can.

As far as this weekend's puzzle, I was reminded that as a kid I thought Thom McCann was Atomic Ann.

Jerome said...

Rex- You're making me blush, but I'll take the compliments and run.

JOHNSNEVERHOME- Hey, I'm all for using cheap tricks in any circumstance. But, EIEIO fell naturally. I cannot be accused of being an evil doer in this case.

chefbea said...

I too thought hi ho silver

@sfingi when you cry uncle, you quit

Tinbeni said...
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CrazyCat said...

Nice Monday puzzle with a fun theme. It was HI YO Silver. HI HO is the seven dwarves going off to work. So today it's ALICE in Wonderland and not ARLO's ALICE. I am creeped out by RUGRATS. They are ugly little babies.
Relative known for quitting UNCLE, as in cry UNCLE - give up. I once tried to watch the TERMINATOR and fell asleep. Thanks for the write up Rex.

JIMMIE said...

ACACIA could also be clued as ark wood, since the ark of the covenant of Exodus 25 was made of it.

A California mini theme too. with La Brea and der Governator.

An old ditty for 47d.

Lucy met the train
the train met Lucy
the track was juicy
the juice was Lucy

Charles Bogle said...

I too went first w HIHO...Nice go-along w EIEIO..wonderful puzzle, nice Monday work-out, fun theme and to top it off fine write-up RP as usual. What a pleasure to have the constructor in the dialogue; congrats. I liked particularly the absence of the usual fill; here, we have great writers like ELIOT and STOWE; nice by-play of SNIT/SMIT; like others, I also liked HOSANNA, PYLON, GERBIL, YORICK

Question I don't think RP's write-up covered--what is LETT? 48D Riga native?

JIMMIE said...

@Charles B

The Letts are some of the Latvian people and Riga is the capitol.

imsdave said...

Wonderful stuff - the LAT is back!

Sfingi said...

The only reason I know Lett - Latvian - is from Georges Simenon's Maigret and The Enigmatic Lett a.k.a The Strange Case of Peter the Lett. Only half of Simenon's stories have been translated - Please help, bi-lingual writers. He remains the standard for psychological crime stories.

@Jazz - that verb/noun thing tricks me off and on, as in "frequent." It's one of the things you learn to check as part of the "think outside the box" strategy. Seems like it should be good for the noggin, especially if you're the type that does well on standardized tests, but not so well "on the street."

Bohica said...

From thefreedictionary.co

Lett (lt)n.
A member of a Baltic people constituting the main population of Latvia.

[German Lette, from Latvian Latvi.]

Did not know that. Wrote in the answers so fast I didn't even notice it until I came here.

Liked HOSANNA and YORICK also. Thought "THE" should have been in the answer as well. But rare it is that we don't find something to be GRIPY about.

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, 11D's answer was IMac, but I put Ipad there, too! I remember reading about it a few months ago. I had Acadia first, in the cross, but when I popped in omen, saw the mistake. Also thought it was "Hiho Silver and Away!" Thought HiYo was Ed McMahon!

Was just at a BSA fundraiser, so I was "prepared" for the answer to 34A.

First read Q.E.D as OED. T'wasn't ENGL...almost used "twernt!" Hmmm, interesting Urban slang definition for that one!

Was told by my father, that my great grandmother was a good friend of Harriet Beecher Stowe. My genetic brush with fame! Tough book to read, but was a catalyst for the Civil War. Wow.

Had to ask my kid about Rugrats, as I keep thinking "Tiny 'Toons."

Nice to see the interesting themes. I guess as the puzzles get "better," we'll all be back!"

Thanks, RP, for the music from the Finns and Split Enz. Hadn't heard them before.


Oops... I've been referring to the Latvians as LATS.

I've noticed that lately the constructors have been getting more involved with this blog. That's wonderful, as it's always good to hear what their thought processes are.

I thought the Bible said the ark was made of Gopherwood...whatever the heck that is.

Crockett1947 said...

@johnsneverhome The ark of the covenant and Noah's ark are two entirely different things.

Unknown said...

32d got me. Don't have Edy's on the west coast. 58a - trac - liked it.
Good Monday puzzle.

split infinitive said...

I'm hanging out on a distant limb but I believe 'Sahara Desert' is another one of those expressions where there's redundancy. Or was that redundance?

Unknown said...

Sorry that should be The The Tar Tar Pits.

Orange said...

The Tartar Pits: Where the last dregs of sauce come from at the fish & chips place.

mac said...

@Orange: LOL. Or tar for a tat.

Burner10 said...

What was more fun...this nice puzzle or finding a theoretcal site for my brother's restaurant for redundant food (shabu shabu, mahi mahi) the the tar tar pits - do you think brad would invest?

split infinitive said...

Carc9etc. I bet Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Yo Yo Ma get tired of people thinking they stammer. Or, are redundant.
TTFN = tartar for now. split & dog &company.

Greene said...

Could it be that today's LAT was almost on par with today's NYT? By gosh, I think we're getting close. Enough to make me wanna sing HOSANNA.

CrazyCat said...

oops, I meant dwarfs. Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work we go......

backbiter said...

Everyone who commented on "Hi Ho, Silver" is correct. It was NEVER hi yo.

Sfingi said...

@ddbmc (What does that stand for?) Wow I got that NE corner mixed up w/o knowing it. If I hadn't read your comment I'd have just tossed it as is.

@Chefbea It's the way Gunderson worded it - Relative known for quitting, rather than say, relative cited by quitters, for instance. I got that one, anyway, so I guess it did the job.

My husband just added Mount Fujiyama is redundant.

Unknown said...

I think Hi-Yo is correct, even though listening to the old soundtrack it sounds like Hi-Oh, which I always thought it was, but definitely not Hi-Ho. Also in 1940 a western was released with the title 'Hi - Yo Silver', a 69 minute feature about the 'masked rider of the plains' and Tonto.In 1940 they apparently believed it was Hi - Yo.


@split infinitive
I have an Egyption friend named Boutros... he says it means "rock".
I think it stems from Peter or Petros.


@backbiter et al

According to Clayton Moore, IT IS "Hi-Yo Silver" and always has been. I think the Lone Ranger himself knows what's right.
I checked it out... straight from the horseman's mouth.

Rex Parker said...

HIYO is definitive. Please look stuff up before you start with the absolutes and the indignation. I lost my mind over HIHO/HIYO a few years back (sure that the former was correct), but ultimately had to admit that HIYO was right. I don't like it, but there it is.