TUESDAY, October 6, 2009
Mike Peluso

Theme: Latin Lovers — Beginning of the theme answers are a Latin conjugation of the verb to love.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: 2005 Margaret Peterson Haddix children's thriller (AMONG THE ENEMY).
  • 37A: Accumulate wealth (AMASS A FORTUNE).
  • 57A: Non-remunerative athletics (AMATEUR SPORTS).
  • 31A: Classic language, and with 61-Across, hint to the puzzle theme found at the starts of 20-, 37- and 57-Across (LATIN).
  • 61A: Cherish (LOVE).
Crosswordese 101: Today's crosswordese word is pretty easy to spot. ORCA is clued today as 24D: SeaWorld attraction. Other clues for ORCA include "marine menace," "killer whale," and "sea predator." The clue might also reference Shamu (from SeaWorld) and/or Willy (of the "Free Willy" movies).

Not a lot of crosswordese in this puzzle, which is a good thing early in the week. And there were some colorful words in the non-theme fill. I particularly liked seeing SWAG (6A: Pirate's booty), G'DAY (62A: Aussie greeting), TAG UP (68A: Prepare to advance after a fly ball), and CARDIO (49D: Aerobic exercise, in gym-speak). The theme didn't do a lot for me. It totally makes sense, but the first word of each phrase seems pretty random. To me, it would be cooler if the first words all had something (else) in common — like if they were all verbs or they all ended in -LY or something. Does a set of words like that exist? I'm guessing no. So this is what we get.

Et Alli:
  • 10A: Twilight time (DUSK). Instead of rambling about Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series — which I could do no problem because I'm reading it now and it's very disturbing to me — I will, instead, share with you my favorite song from the "From Dusk 'Til Dawn" soundtrack.

  • 14A: Start of an old Army slogan (BE ALL). "Be All You Can Be." I also like the other one: "We drink more before nine a.m. than most people drink all day." Wait. That's not right.
  • 25A: In error (OFF). This clue actually seems a little trickier than what we've been seeing lately in the LAT.
  • 46A: "Beak" for "nose," e.g. (SLANG). Unless you're talking about, I don't know, Big Bird. Then it's not slang, it's just fact.
  • 2D: Slangy assent (YEP). Started out with YEA and thought to myself "Man, I hate it when people spell yeah without the H." Luckily, Mike Peluso doesn't do that.
  • 13D: Nairobi native (KENYAN). Insert your own birther joke here.
  • 47D: Tart, as a citrus drink (LEMONY). Speaking of disturbing books! I started reading this to PuzzleDaughter and found it completely inappropriate for children. Maybe I'm just intolerant or something. I guess I prefer to think of myself as sensible.
Everything Else — 1A: Washing machine sequence (CYCLE); 15A: Rock group's trip (TOUR); 16A: In the past (ONCE); 17A: Jack of rhyme (SPRAT); 18A: Against (ANTI); 19A: Persia, now (IRAN); 23A: 1958 #1 hit sung in Italian (VOLARE); 26A: Hot tub (SPA); 27A: Lyricist Gershwin (IRA); 28A: Title holder (OWNER); 33A: Property measure (ACRE); 35A: Moray, e.g. (EEL); 36A: Yak (GAB); 42A: On Soc. Sec., say (RET.); 43A: Simpson judge (ITO); 44A: Schoolbook (TEXT); 49A: 100 bucks (C-NOTE); 51A: "__ the ramparts ..." (O'ER); 52A: Trip segment (LEG); 53A: Thurman of "Kill Bill" (UMA); 55A: Fashionable (TRENDY); 63A: Singer Baker (ANITA); 66A: Till bills (ONES); 67A: Fish organ (GILL); 69A: Computer adventure game (MYST); 70A: Oxen connection (YOKE); 71A: Ed of "Lou Grant" (ASNER); 1D: Network with an eye (CBS); 3D: Parking lot siren (CAR ALARM); 4D: Andean beast (LLAMA); 5D: Matador's foe (EL TORO); 6D: Men-only party (STAG); 7D: Refuses to (WON'T); 8D: Writer (AUTHOR); 9D: Reaction to personal loss (GRIEF); 10D: "__ What Comes Natur'lly" (DOIN'); 11D: Pre-riot state (UNREST); 12D: Garlicky shrimp dish (SCAMPI); 21D: Most recent (NEWEST); 22D: Key above D (E FLAT); 23D: By way of (VIA); 29D: Teachers' org. (NEA); 30D: Fairylike (ELFIN); 32D: Lie alongside (ABUT); 34D: Bring in (EARN); 36D: Capri's Blue __ (GROTTO); 38D: Transition to the next subject (SEGUE); 39D: Ear: Prefix (OTO-); 40D: Las Vegas Strip feature (NEON SIGN); 41D: Marked, as a ballot (EXED); 45D: Sample (TRY); 46D: Sinuous ski race (SLALOM); 48D: Mescal sources (AGAVES); 50D: List of mistakes (ERRATA); 54D: Seriously humid (MUGGY); 56D: Old lab burners (ETNAS); 58D: Final grade factor (TEST); 59D: Polio vaccine developer (SALK); 60D: War journalist Ernie (PYLE); 64D: Election Day: Abbr. (TUE.); 65D: Mo. for fools? (APR.).



HE, SHE, IT LOVES this puzzle and so do I.
Loved SWAG, GDAY, and OER clues.
Wow, there it is again: "Nel blu dipinto di blu" VOLARE.
Wanted to put LAGOON for 36d, but soon realized that GROTTO was right.
Learned something new: Mescal sources (AGAVES).
Time to SEGUE to java (WITH MY HAZELNUT!!!)

ddbmc said...

Up and at 'em early! I actually got the theme SO it must have been easy. @PG, I never liked the Roald Dahl books for my kids, either, too mean spirited and he really disliked children.

We had Persia, now (IRAN) today and FARSI yesterday. Simpson Judge (ITO)-I'm picturing the "Dancing Itos" on Leno.... Llamas and Toros, no bears! Oh my!
Lol on the Nairobi native "birther reference!" Also smiled with G'Day, swag.

I always thought "yeah" was another version of "yep," but that "Yea" was almost the shortened version of "Hoo Ray!" as in "Yea, they won!"

Maybe 27 A: Account or lyricist? as an alternate clue? (IRA)

12D: Garlicky shrimp dish (SCAMPI). I'm sure @Sfingi will tell us that Scampi is Shrimp in Italiano! Still, a tasty dish!

shrub5 said...

Veni, vedi, vici this puzzle. No major trouble spots although at 36A, I first put GNU instead of GAB. I had the G and erroneously thought that the clue "Yak" referred to the animal. GNU is wrong anyway, different animal entirely.

MESCAL is a new word for me. I wondered how it differs from tequila -- per wiki: Mescal (or mezcal) generally refers to all agave-based distilled liquors that are not tequila. Tequila is a mescal variant that is allowed to be made only from the blue agave plant, usually in the town of Tequila and the surrounding region of Jalisco. Good to know.

This was an entertaining puzzle and thanks for the excellent write-up. However, I must admit I turned off the Angry Cockroaches video after about 30 seconds. (sorry, PG, but it was ice picks in my ears.)

Parsan said...

Easy, but some clues are more interesting than clues in recent puzzles.

Agree that beak is not really SLANG for nose. Am. Her. Dic. says "beak-informal-a person's nose" and to me informal is not slang. I think schnozzle (AHD--"slang") is a better clue.

Liked TAG UP (tie-breaker game on TV here today at 5P.M.) and AMATEUR SPORTS (no amateurs in the exciting NFL game last night).

ERNIE Pyle, a great WW11 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, loved by soldiers and home-front readers alike; killed by a Japanese sniper.

Thanks, PG!

Anonymous said...

I don't get the Kenyan "birther reference?"

Joon said...

didn't like seeing {Slangy assent} and SLANG in the grid. {Informal assent} would have been nicer, even though (unlike parsan) i find "slangy" and "informal" to be 100% synonymous. then again, i've actually never seen the word "slangy" (or its adverb cousin "slangily") outside of a crossword clue. i think i use "slang" as an adjective.

ddbmc, here's how i prefer to spell the various versions of "yes":

yeah, sure
yay, i did it!
yea, verily, thou speakest true

the last two are pronounced the same, but i'd never use "yea" unless i wanted to be intentionally archaic. i suppose i also use "yah" sometimes when i'm either trying to sound german or being extra sarcastic. "yah" is roughly equivalent to "that's true, but i'm pretty unimpressed that you're only just now realizing it."

Parsan said...

@Joon--For me, an example of informal would be, instead of "How-do-you-do", "Hello", which is not slang. I'm sure you can produce examples for your point of view. Ah, the ambiguity of the English language.

@PG--Were you referring to Daniel Handler of the Lemony Snicket books? Agree!

Joon said...

parsan, "hello" is neither informal nor slang to me. but i see your point, because "hi" would be informal but not really slang.

chefbea said...

Fun puzzle. I liked the theme. And love shrimp scampi

Orange said...

Anonymous, "birthers" are the folks who allege that President Obama was not really born in Hawaii but is a foreign-born hostile agent whose birth announcement was placed in Hawaii newspapers by some incredibly foresighted and optimistic evildoers who knew this infant could carry out their long-range plan to subvert the U.S. Constitution.

My family must be dark-hearted. My kid (and his parents) love Roald Dahl, and my kid's enjoying his first Lemony Snicket book.

Rex Parker said...

This took me longer than Saturday's puzzle, or about the same amt of time. There should be no way in hell a Tuesday time and a Saturday time are anywhere near each other. I agree that today's puzzle is largely non-ickily filled.


Anonymous said...

@RP - A (modified) litote?

ddbmc said...

Thank you, Joon, for the explanation of "Yea, Yay, Yeah, Yep!" I will amend my "yeas" to "yays, henceforth and post haste! :)

My kids, as they got older, did read and watch the movies of Dahl's writings- "James and the Giant Peach," "The Witches,", "Willy Wonka" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (Like the first movie, hated the second). As I read about Dahl, there seemed to have been many dark events in his life that certainly would explain his writing. I do remember when his first wife, Patricia Neal, had her aneurysm. He has since left a legacy of "charitable committments in the fields of neurology, haematology and literacy," according to Wiki, so I guess the was some light in his life. Oops, another blog tangent!...

For the record, I don't believe the "naysayers" of our president's birth record. Just got a kick out of @PG's reference to it. Mahalo!

jazz said...

Hmmmmm..not a bad Tuesday.

Maybe the LAT puzzle goes in streaks and trends and we're riding a little uptick here!

I also liked the subthemes: money (ONES, CNOTE) where CNOTE is from the Latin, and international (KENYAN x IRAN x LATIN) and sea creatures (EEL and ORCA and SCAMPI) with ORCA from the Latin.

I wasn't familiar with an ETNA as an old lab burner, being more familiar with Bunsen Burners (or alcohol lamps even).

Here's hoping for more fun and excitement on Wednesday! Thanks, PuzzleGirl, for the writeup and Mike for a nice Tues puzzle...

Sfingi said...

@ddbmc - I don't know why, but scampi is the shrimp that got away, as in out of the net. It literally means he/she/it gets away. But it refers to shrimp, though shrimp is gamberi. The dish is American, but everyone likes it. I just ran into a great saying, "Se non e vero, e ben trovato." - Loosely, If it's not true, it's well told.
I never warmed up to Dahl, though I have found some supposedly creepy stuff, even about death OK. I think it's the illustrations and humor that catch me. My Baltimore sister is an art prof and has a huge collection of illustrated kid's books. She's thinking @ what university to give them to when she's gone.

@Parsan - never knew Pyle died that way - I have 2 of his old illustrated books.

Some US people aren't sure Hawaii is part of the US. Most of my prisoners thought there were 52 states - like cards in a deck, I guess, until we started to write down some places they thought were states - mostly cities. They all drove Lexis (pl.?) and went nowhere.

In the 90s, I would have said Hi to my boss but not call her nose a beak. Now it would be the opposite - Hey beakface!

Charles Bogle said...

Let me follow up a bit on points suggested by Parsan and Jazz: friends, isn't today's LAT a huge improvement over what we've been seeing (and griping and writing complaints about) lately? For that reason, I wouldn't be as hard on the theme as PG is in her otherwise good write-up. Latin, in a LAT theme, conjugate verbs....EONS beyond where it's been the last few months. Liked: YOKE, SEGUE, AGAVES (Mescal and its relatives seem to be drug of choice for many), ETNAS (I kept thinking bunsens for clever clue "old lab burners"), ERRATA. Didn't like: over-use in fill of silly month/day/etc abbreviations, eg, APR, TUES, EXED. 9D, thought CRIES was "reaction to personal loss," took a while to come to GRIEF. Lower left SW quad came last...ONES for Till Bills cute. Nice absent of pop culture except what kind of a game is MYST?

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, mili gratzie! If I am pronouncing correctly, the phrase: "Se non e vero, e ben trovato" falls beautifully off the tongue.

I guess the shrimp scampered out of the net! A friend of Italian descent, loves men with particularly large "beaks" or as she refers to them, Roman noses. Thankfully, her husband has a Romanesque profile and not a shrimpy one or an orca one, for that matter.

Parsan said...

@Sfingi** You make me laugh out loud! About ERNIE Pyle-(As well known to Americans in the 40's as FDR)--Interestingly, our paper just ran an article about a local WW11 vet who was ordered to drive a passenger in his jeep. He asked "Who are you?" "A war correspondent" was the reply. "Do you know Ernie Pyle?" "I am Ernie Pyle". They became friends. Later in Japan, our local soldier warned Pyle and his driver about danger in the area where they were going, but they went anyway. Pyle was immediately shot in the head and died. I was just a kid but I remember my uncle, a paratrooper in the 101st airborne, telling me that hardened soldiers cried when they heard the news.

florida grandma said...

Enjoyed today's puzzle too. Still struggling with theme. Looking at it now, it is obvious. I just am not reading the clues closely enough. Skipped totally over 61A; that coupled with 31A LATIN makes for a give away.
Roald Dahl also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which has some really weird stuff--easily scares some kids. He also wrote for adults. His collection of short stories will keep you up at night! Never knew he was married to Patricia Neal. I learn so much here!
@Charles Bogle, I'm with you. What game is MYST? Never heard of it.

fergus said...

Yes, I must have filled in the squares, since it was a day off for me. Liked the grid, but I suggest again an alternative set of Clues.

fergus said...

Slang is a noun, and then it's a colloquial adverb, as in "he talk slang (ly)." There's a slang way of saying things, so that makes it an adjective ... but I don't think I can find a way to turn it into a preposition.

chefwen said...

Finally a LAT that wasn't over before it began. Sure hope they keep it up, I was closing in on "why bother" mode. Only write over was YEP over YuP.

Sfingi said...

@Parsan - Poor Ernie. Looks like I was 3-4 mo old when he died. My uncle (father's brother) was in the Army Air Corps, but after all that training, never got to go over there. They moved in with us after the war while he went to college. My mother made us winter one piece legging coats out of his quilted green outfits. Last month, I gave his footlocker to a friend. Meanwhile, in der Heimat, their first cousins, twins, were pilots in the SS! One died in a jump.

Wikipedia had a picture of Ernie freshly dead!

mac said...

This was a decent Tuesday puzzle, and a write-up that had me laughing out loud! These blogs have me so brainwashed that with the clue "Simpson judge" I immediately, nervously think: Apu?
what? what?

I heard some really disturbing things about this birther woman, born in the USSR, today.

@Joon: I love that, how subtle you are!

@@Sfingi: you've got prisoners?

I always loved the Roald Dahl books, and I really think they are not any more dark than the Andersen and Grimm tales I was told and read growing up in Holland. I'm probably biased because I read a wonderful biography of him. He took care of his children, nursed his wife back to health after an aneurism, and then she left him. I can just see him sitting in this cold, damp little garden house with a plank across the arms of his chair.....
Talking about biographies, one of the best I ever read was the one about Tolkien.

@ddbmc: I think Roman noses are short, small and have an indentation.

Sfingi said...

@Mac - I keep them in the closet. Just kidding. I take no prisoners, Just kidding. I taught in NYS "Corrections" for 17 years. That's the one.

It seems some people think Roman noses are beaked, and others think they're wavy. I've heard both. Maybe they're roaming. If Roman is aquiline, it would definitely be eagle-like. I tend to think it is that. I love that the Greeks described Africans not as black but as snub-nosed.

Whitney said...

@Mac same here! My first thought was Constance Harm?

Roald Dahl has a great collection of short stories that I just picked up again after reading it in junior high. It's called "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More". So so so good.

I seem to recall, erroneously perhaps, a theme such as this being recommended on Rex's (NYT) blog not too long ago...I do the syndicated puzzle, so it could have been a few months back...

I also agree with most everyone that this puzzle is a definite step up for the LAT. Good times had by all.

CrazyCat said...

Better late than never. This was a fun puzzle. I did the NYT first and that took me a long time. @Orange thanks for the explanation of BIRTHER. I had a house guest this weekend who was of that ILK. He also believes that some nefarious group paid for Obama's education. OMG I tried to SEGUE to different subjects to no avail. That guy caused me such GRIEF I almost turned to AGAVE products. My tongue is almost severed from biting it. I was extremely IRED. We
actually viewed some very lovely AGAVES in the desert garden at the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena. I'm not sure our EEL of a guest appreciated them. The day was anything, but MUGGY. I think fall has actually arrived in LA.

CrazyCat said...

Oh and by the way said guest has a BEAK of a nose.


Isn't the Huntingtom the most amazing place? I spent a day there on last year's Route 66 trip. I stayed till they closed. Couldn't decide whether I wanted to spend more time in the galleries & archives or outdoors in that fantastic Huntington Cactus and Succulent Garden. That's where I learned about agaves.To a Chicago boy this was all so fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Lots of blogging about Roald Dahl and I'm not sure why, so I must have missed the reference. PG, were you talking about the "Lemony Snicket" books? Dahl did not write those.

Margaret said...

Just FYI, Myst was an early computer video game (early meaning early 1990's) where you would travel across a landscape unlocking doors to get at treasures, that sort of thing.