FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2009 — Sharon E. Petersen

THEME: UU YOUR HEAD — Theme answers have their first word represented by a double letter, which represents a homophone if read as a plural, e.g. PP = Ps = PEASE; GG = Gs = JEEZ, etc.

I've seen this theme before, but that doesn't mean that the resulting answers weren't entertaining. Loved GGLOUISE and IIWIDESHUT. The others I could take or leave. The non-theme fill is rock solid throughout. Still far too easy for a late-week puzzle, but overall, reasonably delightful.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Nursery rhyme dish? (PP PORRIDGE) — at first I thought the initial three Ps went together. Only after getting the next theme answer did I figure out that the Ps needed mental separating in order for the answer to make sense.
  • 25A: "Time is fleeting" philosophy? (CC THE DAY)

  • 38A: Reasons? (YY AND WHEREFORES)
  • 49A: "Good grief!"? (GG LOUISE)
  • 61A: 1999 Kidman/Cruise film? ("II WIDE SHUT")

Crosswordese 101: ANYA Seton (29D: Romance novelist Seton) — no idea. Learned this name from crosswords and now see it not infrequently. "ANYA — the one beer to drink when you're not drinking ENYA." WIKIpedia (39D: Web site that users can edit) tells me that ANYA Seton "was the pen name of the American author of historical romances, Ann Seton." Nice pen name. Creative. No one will ever suspect your true identity. Genius.

What else?

  • 55A: Brest milk (LAIT) — my eye did not pick up the missing "a" in "Brest" and I thought "... really? Is there a technical word for that?"
  • 3D: Well-groomed guy (DAPPER DAN) — DAPPER DAN is a doll to me. An ugly, big headed doll. I have a very, very clear memory of him from childhood and the universe of stuffed animals/dolls that my sister and I would create names / identities / stories for. Good times. DAPPER DAN was about the most normal-sounding name in the whole doll universe. There was a rabbit named RONNEX and two bears named RIGABEE and SUGABEE, respectively. We were messed up creative kids.
  • 44A: Three-timed pairs skating gold medalist Rodnina (IRINA) — yeah, NOOOO idea.
  • 62D: Cyclades island (IOS) — this could just as easily been the "Crosswordese 101" word today. NAXOS is another Cyclades island you might see.
  • 13D: Grier of the Fearsome Foursome (ROSEY) — here he is at his fearsome foursomest:

See you Monday,


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Alaska's state gem (JADE); 5A: Sonora natives (PIMAS); 10A: Soup du __ (JOUR); 14A: Shepard in space (ALAN); 15A: Designer Simpson (ADELE); 16A: Biblical preposition (UNTO); 17A: Nursery rhyme dish? (PP PORRIDGE); 19A: Island garlands (LEIS); 20A: Uncanny ability, for short (ESP); 21A: Blond Wells race (ELOI); 22A: Pained reaction (WINCE); 23A: Toaster Swirlz brand (EGGO); 25A: "Time is fleeting" philosophy? (CC THEDAY); 28A: Tumblers and tongs, e.g. (BARWARE); 31A: Booty (LOOT); 32A: Beneath (UNDER); 33A: Bloke (CHAP); 35A: One of a cup's 48: Abbr. (TSP); 38A: Reasons? (YY AND WHEREFORES); 42A: Cio-Cio-__: Madama Butterfly (SAN); 43A: Actress Skye (IONE); 44A: Three-time pairs skating gold medalist Rodnina (IRINA); 45A: Gag (JOKE); 47A: Reaganomics principle (TAX CUTS); 49A: "Good grief!"? (GG LOUISE); 53A: "Just the facts, __" (MA'AM); 54A: Posture-perfect (ERECT); 55A: Brest milk (LAIT); 57A: Garb for dreamers, briefly (PJS); 60A: Really smell (REEK); 61A: 1999 Kidman/Cruise film? (II WIDE SHUT); 64A: Pencil puzzle (MAZE); 65A: Pothole sites (ROADS); 66A: Mother of Pollux (LEDA); 67A: Sit tight (STAY); 68A: Up to now (AS YET); 69A: Sign that something has turned? (ODOR); 1D: Wisecrack (JAPE); 2D: Heidi's home (ALPS); 3D: Well-groomed guy (DAPPER DAN); 4D: "Ambient 1: Music for Airports" composer Brian (ENO); 5D: Game room (PARLOR); 6D: Prefix with -syncratic (IDIO); 7D: Military physician (MEDIC); 8D: African country on the Med. Sea (ALG.); 9D: Understand (SEE); 10D: "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy" speaker (JULIET); 11D: Interminably (ON END); 12D: Erie Canal city (UTICA); 13D: Grier of the Fearsome Foursome (ROSEY); 18D: Think highly of (REGARD); 22D: Identity question (WHO); 24D: Singer Stefani (GWEN); 26D: Bordeaux wine (CLARET); 27D: Drink excessively (TOPE); 28D: Purchases (BUYS); 29D: Romance novelist Seton (ANYA); 30D: Bounces back (ECHOES); 34D: Farm female (HEN); 35D: Came out on top (TRIUMPHED); 36D: On its way (SENT); 37D: Awareness-raising TV spots, for short (PSAS); 39D: Web site that users can edit (WIKI); 40D: Focus intently (on) (FIXATE); 41D: Large ocean predator (ORCA); 45D: Silks wearer (JOCKEY); 46D: Fast asleep (OUT); 48D: In the thick of (AMIDST); 49D: Verminophobe's fear (GERMS); 50D: Splendid (GREAT); 51D: TV host Gibbons (LEEZA); 52D: Legendary Broncos quarterback (ELWAY); 56D: Helper (AIDE); 58D: Japanese martial art (JUDO); 59D: Paparazzi prey (STAR); 61D: Savings vehicle for later yrs. (IRA); 62D: Cyclades island (IOS); 63D: __-pitch softball (SLO).



Difficult puzzle and that's good for a Friday, but amazingly I picked up on this bizzare theme right away and breezed through the crosses... I guess it was just one of those "Aha days" for me. Did a lot of laughing and shouting "yessss" as I went along.

Loved SAN for "Cio-Cio ___" and DAPPERDAN for "Well-groomed guy".
Omigosh, the cleverest clue of all: "One of a cups 48" kept my mind busy thinking about a golf or tennis winner's cup.
Also, LAIT for "Brest milk" was pretty clever.
Other goodies were: PJS=Garb for dreamers, ODOR=Sign that something has turned, and ECHOES=Bounces back.

Kept trying to use EWE instead of HEN for "Farm female".

A good CW101 candidate: IOS
I learned a new word: JAPE (wisecrack) after trying to mallet-in JOSH.

And what would we puzzlers do without our beloved WIKI (39d)?

"Just the facts, MAAM"
Dragnet was a great great TV series!!!

Time to go eat my EGGO and ham.

Joanne said...

Compliments also for using so many Scrabble-y letters. I especially appreciate seeing my first initial four times in one puzzle.


It was good to hear about your childhood escapades with dolls and names... I guess I wasn't the only messed up kid.

Loved the clip of Rosey Grier, totally out of character.

I know ENYA very well...she often sings me to sleep. Now I know who ANYA is too... I'm afraid her novels would put me to sleep also.

Sfingi said...

Strangely EZ. Yesterday was so hard for me. In my OCD way, before I start, I note, with various symbols, 8+ letter words, sports clues, things I might have to Google. Let Barney Google sleep in today. I thought 21A and 35A were going to be sports (race, cup), and they weren't! (Time Machine and measurement.) Girlz often know Rosey Greer because he did needlepoint. I got the theme at the first solved theme clue. There were many I didn't know, but who cares? they all fell in. And Utica was there! My stars were in allignment.

Jeez Louise Peppa Cheese!


Oh yeah, and the best coffehouse in Denver is GEEZ, LOUISE!

*David* said...

A bit more difficult then typical but not by much. Did have a error at the cross of ANYA/SAN. I got the theme at GGLOUISE. I finessed IRINA and ADELE who were the other two answers I didn't know.

GLowe said...

"Reasonably delightful"? That's just one step below "insanely OK".

What the hell is this peas porridge - or is it pease porridge - it sounds like crap. And it was 9 days old if memory serves.
"Is the porridge ready?" - "Nope, I just tested it - it needs another week or so. Have a cracker until then".

jazz said...

What a great Friday puzzle!

It wasn't hard, in the sense of "I just don't know the answers to big clumps of blanks", but it was challenging, like, "Gosh, I need to think about these clues in different ways."

I had the duplicate letters (PP, CC, YY etc) as PS, CS, YS at first, and was so sure I had figured out the theme that I was forcing crosses...it took two or three mixups before I had to go back and rethink my fill for the theme.

I especially liked PJS, clue for LAIT, clue for ORCA (initially had tuna there), clue for OUT (fast asleep) and GGLOUISE (there's one you don't see every day!)

Enjoyed your writeup, Rex, and hope to see more challengers from Sharon Peterson in the future!

Badir said...

I guess they're trying to toughen up some of the _LA_Times_ puzzles again? Anyway, it's nice to see a gimmick like that here.

Tinbeni said...

Like JNH I learned a new word JAPE today. Whenever I have to refer to my dictionary I realize "this is going to be fun."

Testy puzzle until I got the double letter theme idea. At first I just could not get my brain around the three P's begining PPPorridge.

Had a problem with the Reaganomics Principle since "Deficit" spending wasn't working (already had the 'c' from Orca) and "Supply" side was too short.

TSP & PJS had great cluing but the Blond Wells race (ELOI) was very clever. Thought at first it referenced a Nordic competition.

Rosey clip ... excellent !!! Totally out of character from his football image.

Anonymous said...

@Johnsneverhome - where o where is jape in the puzzle?

My only mistakes were misspellings of Rosie and Leesa but eventually worked them out


@Anonymous 7:48
1D: Wisecrack (JAPE)


From the use of blond instead of blonde we now know that the ELOI of H.G. Wells were all males.

Anonymous said...

@Johnsneverhome - thanks did not see the clue "wisecrack" but got the answer anyway

jeff in chicago said...

Yes, a tad easy for Friday, but I liked it a lot. Thanks for the Rosey Grier clip. He's one heck of a guitar player! Ha!

CrazyCat said...

Nice Friday puzzle. Made the old noggin work a bit. Got the theme at CC the Day although at first I was thinking Carbon Copy the Day? Forgot about the PEASE in PORRIDGE. Pease Porridge sounds about as appitizing as Curds and Whey. Oh the things they ate back in the Day. JAPE was my new word for the day as well.

Thanks Rex.

Djinn said...

Made the same assumption as Jazz did. I thought the double letters were formed as plural s, but then I took it to be that just the vowels behaved so (Ys, Is) which led me into a cul-de-sac until I got it straight.

NIce to see WHEREFORES and JULIET together in a CW.

Tuttle said...

So wanted to fit in GGuschrist for 49A.

@Johnsneverhome; used as an adjective it is always 'blond'. Only when used as a noun and applied to a female is it 'blonde'. It's one of the few gender specific English nouns, another, fittingly enough, is brunet/brunette.

ie, She's a blonde because her hair is blond.

Van55 said...

Very enjoyable notwithstanding a few crossword cliches: LEIS, ELOI, ENO, PSAS, IRA, IOS.

Van55 said...


Pease porridge hot.
Pease porridge cold.
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old.

Its from Mother Goose and it is embedded in my memory from numerous nightly readings to my kids when they were very young.

shrub5 said...

This was a fun-filled puzzle with a clever theme. There was enough difficulty for me to result in several write-overs and lots of jumping around to get footholds here and there.

Remembered JAPE from a puzzle not long ago. One of my missteps was putting TRICKLE for Reaganomics principle. I had the leading T from CLARET and the C from ORCA, so it looked good for a while, despite that fact that the word "down" was missing. Ran through ROSIE, then ROSEE and finally ROSEY Grier. Had REVERE instead of REGARD for think highly of. And, dumbest of all, I put JULIUS before correcting to JULIET!! A second reading of the quote "Tis but thy name that is my enemy" should have prevented that error. All worked out eventually with no googles needed.

Thanks to RP for an entertaining write-up and videos. And brava to Sharon Peterson for a fine puzzle full of great clues and answers. Onward to CC the day.

Anonymous said...

Since we are talking about favorites mine is PJS, garb for dreamers. It is a good flow from a nursery rhyme to a dream. I gave the Dapper Dan doll as a present to one of my younger sisters. Makes me feel kind of old, but adept at the Old Mother Goose.

Charles Bogle said...

Had pleasant reactions similar to those described by jnh, jazz, tinbeni, shrub5...alas, I did not "get" the theme aurally until RP explained not to pronounce the individual repetitive letters separately--new one on me, more testing and most difficult of the week for me...Really enjoyed ELWAY, our family's all-time fave...oldest son wrote him in late 80's and we have a hand-written wonderful reply! Learned a number of new things today, including but not limited to IOS, LEDA..also liked REEK and TRIUMPHED< which nicely capture my own shifting concerns as I finally made it through..thank you Sharon Peterson



Peas Porridge and Curds and Whey sure beats eating Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked in a Pie...what was it with those weird nursery rhymers?

ddbmc said...

Njoyed 2dayz puzzle. Double letter clues finally hit at IIwideshut-when FARANDAWAY didn't work. Jape didn't gel until then, when PP materialized.

Rosey's song was sung on the Marlo Thomas' album "Free to be You and Me", which was a watershed record for children at the time, teaching lessons about differences and tolerance. Eventually became a show, which won an Emmy. Nice to see Rosey out of his comfort zone.

Pease Porridge--gggag me! Feel the same about green eggs and ham.

GGlouise is a phrase I find myself saying all the time and YET, took a bit to dawn!

Learned today that Alaska has a state gem! All along I thought it was ice!

@Sfingi, I remember Utica Club beer from college days.

@Glowe-thanks for the fits and giggles.

Some really enjoyable clues today, as @JNH previously pointed out. Kudos, Ms. Petersen and Mr. Norris.
No odor or reek, here! Thank, Prof. Rx for the writeup. Now I must cc the rest of the day.

JIMMIE said...

Fun puzzle, but...
When I tried PPPORRIDGE, I thought PeePee Porridge, and thought what a sicko Jape that was. Then I got the theme and realized it was peas.

Thanks Rex for the Joe Friday clips.

JIMMIE said...

I mean, thanks, John, for the Joe Friday clip.

Anonymous said...

7D: Military physician would be an officer with an M.D. degree. A medic is an enlisted person, roughly corresponding to a civilian paramedic or nurse practioner. Just for the record.

CrazyCat said...

@JIMMIE LOL I thought the same thing at first or that maybe the theme had something to do with stuttering.
@JNH I forgot about that black bird pie. Yuck! My favorite was To Market, To Market to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again jiggety jig. Used to say that to my kids when they were little and I had to take them along when I went grocery shopping.

chefwen said...

@crazycatlady - How come your avatar is a dog, just wonderin..

Liked the puzzle a lot, caught on with IIWIDESHUT. Only write-overs were SEE over get and LOOT over swag. Easy but fun.

DataGeek said...

DAPPER DAN always makes me think of the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou." Loved that flick - Clooney was a riot. "That's a geographical oddity - everything's two weeks away..." or something like that - always makes me crack up. Anyway, fun puzzle. Thanks for the write-up, Rex!

Sfingi said...

West End Brewery / Matt Brewing Co. makes Utica Club which is more famous for its talking mugs, including the first 2, Schultz and Dooley. They also make Saranac, which I understand is much better. I don't drink beer, but they have ginger beer and Shirley Temple Soda. They used to sell beer in translucent beer balls which I've seen nowhere else - and can't find.

Pease porridge is what we call pea soup, which isn't bad with chunks of ham and lots of oyster crackers. But, the Mother Goose rhyme is more of a hand slapping game for girls.

Carol said...

@JIMMIE - I'm still laughing about your comment.

Fun puzzle - finally got the theme at CCTHEDAY.

Was surprised at 49D thinking that a Verminophobe would be someone who was afraid of some kind of vermin like rats or mice or something rather than GERMS.

CrazyCat said...

@chefwan - well, I have 3 cats that rule the roost and up until recently 1 dog. The newest addition to our menagerie is a wire hair fox terrier puppy. The avatar dog looks just like my pup. Someday I'll find a cat avatar that I like or change my moniker. I guess it does seem a bit odd.
@Sfingi - well I now feel better about the Pease porridge. My visual was oatmeal with peas in it. Yum!

Sfingi said...

@Catlady - It's simple - you like cats and dogs!

Does anyone have suggestions for a Snorehead husband? I know he wouldn't use that machine or have any surgery. Rolling doesn't help. It would be nice to share a bed. Me: "Stop snoring." Him: "I'm not asleep."


Sew a few tennis balls on the back of his pajamas so he won't roll over on his back... most snorers do it when on their back.


Thought this puzzle was constructed for EE OF SOLVING.
But maybe Sharon was trying to TT US ALL with a really good LAT Puzzle.
She used direct clues, LL WE CHEAT and UU GOOGLE.
YY UP JOHN, you can do it without any help.
In my book, this puzzle was the BB KNEES !

Orange said...

I'm now picturing t-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Snorers do it on their back."


Ex-snorers got balls!

mac said...

@Sfingi: how about that little gadget that keeps your now wide open?

It's odd, some days my husband's snoring keeps me awake, some days it puts me to sleep. I mean nights, of course.

The puzzle! Nice one today, Rex and all of you have sung its praises. The only reason I know Rosey Grier's name is because of the embroidery. Couldn't believe it when I heard, although I have a brother-in-law who can knit.

It's not surprising that Alaska has jade, I sometimes work with Canadian jade, an olive-green stone that looks good when faceted.
I heard diamonds have been found in Alaska as well.

mac said...

When I figured out the theme, I thought Maam was somehow a theme answer as well before I got the last m.....

wilsch said...

Excellent Friday puzzle. This kind of theme is very refreshing.

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, I have that same problem with MY Snorehead, but it's usually after he's had a couple of adult carbonated beverages! I've tried the "cold feet on the back trick," but that could be self "defeeting", as some day I may jolt his heart too much! Short of putting a pillow over his head...Oh wait, that would not be a good thing!lol! @JNH idea of the tennis balls might work. Is he over weight, too? Sometimes, taking some weight off helps. He probably should be checked for sleep apnea. I hear that can be an issue. Sorry, don't mean to sound like a medic--which I'm not.

Actually think I've tried Saranac beer (really more of an occasional Cosmo drinker)while visiting Lake Placid.

@CCL is actually CC&DL! Sounds like you have a nice collection of critters!

Pea soup is good. Took me years to try it, because of "The Exorcist!"

@Jimmie-more fits and giggles! Between you and @Glowe, might be a "Depends" moment.

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, I have that same problem with MY Snorehead, but it's usually after he's had a couple of adult carbonated beverages! I've tried the "cold feet on the back trick," but that could be self "defeeting", as some day I may jolt his heart too much! Short of putting a pillow over his head...Oh wait, that would not be a good thing!lol! @JNH idea of the tennis balls might work. Is he over weight, too? Sometimes, taking some weight off helps. He probably should be checked for sleep apnea. I hear that can be an issue. Sorry, don't mean to sound like a medic--which I'm not.

Actually think I've tried Saranac beer (really more of an occasional Cosmo drinker)while visiting Lake Placid.

@CCL is actually CC&DL! Sounds like you have a nice collection of critters!

Pea soup is good. Took me years to try it, because of "The Exorcist!"

@Jimmie-more fits and giggles! Between you and @Glowe, might be a "Depends" moment.


Sorry, for all my corny comments... I just had a bad KK OF THE GIGGLES.

Sfingi said...

@ddbmc - Snorehead isn't fat. Quite the opposite - exercises, never smoked, health nut. I've seen those sleep apnea devices and I know he'll never wear them. Sleeping on his side doesn't change anything. I guess it'll be 2 bedrooms forever. One time he was stuck overnight in a snowstorm at my friends' house. They said never again. He was on a different floor. His (since deceased) brother was worse. He used to live next door and we could hear him from the north side of the house.

Good night!

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi, sorry for the double post! Don't know what I hit twice.

One of my husband's friends and business partner has the same sonorious issue! Earplugs may be all that helps!

Another thought, does he have a sinus condition? My younger son has a deviated septum and this causes problems for him. Just a thought.
My apologies to all the puzzle mavens for this diversion from Puzzle chat.

JN said...

Loved the comments more than the puzzle.