THURSDAY, November 26, 2009
Lila Cherry

Theme: Happy Thanksgiving! — Theme answers are various definitions of turkey.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Turkey (BIRD THAT GOBBLES).
  • 27A: Turkey (FRANK WAY TO TALK).
  • 48A: Turkey (THEATRICAL FLOP).
  • 63A: Turkey? (FRIDAY'S SANDWICH).
Happy Turkey Day, everyone. This will be quick because ... I have a few things to do. I assume you do too! But first, let me thank you for dropping in today and for hanging out with us these last several months. This blog has been a lot of fun for me and I'm truly grateful for your participation and support. I also want to give a quick shout-out to the Birthday Boy, Rex Parker, and my Soul Sister, Orange, who have been so so awesome to "work" with! I am truly grateful that you two are in my life. And, of course, thank you to Rich Norris ad all the underpaid but I-hope-not-quite-so-underappreciated-any-more crossword artists out there who create these masterpieces for us to enjoy and obsess over. Wow. Before this gets way too cheesy, how about if we go ahead and talk about the puzzle.

Cute theme, appropriate for the day (obviously). I know some people don't like this type of theme because — like quotation themes — the answers tend not to be in-the-language phrases. But I think it's a nice way to mix things up once in a while. I agree that the answers are sometimes excessively tortured in order to force them into the grid, but I don't think that's the case today. I particularly like FRIDAY'S SANDWICH. I'm sure I'm not alone in loving the leftover turkey sandwiches about as much as the Thanksgiving dinner itself! If I were going to complain though (and you can bet on it!), I would say there's a tad too much crosswordese for my taste today. I count nine crosswordese words that we've already covered here, and it's possible I didn't catch all of them. That's a lot!
  • 1A: First name in folk (ARLO).
  • 15A: Moira's "Chaplin" role (OONA).
  • 37A: Sacred bird of old Egypt (IBIS).
  • 52A: Lake surrounding Canada's southernmost point (ERIE).
  • 68A: China's __ Enlai (ZHOU).
  • 3D: Turkish currency (LIRA).
  • 46D: African antelope (ELAND).
  • 55D: __ lily: calla (ARUM).
  • 64D: Altar in the sky (ARA).
What else can we talk about before we go stuff ourselves?
  • 22A: Closed sac (CYST). Eewww.
  • 23A: Neo, for one: Abbr. (ANAG.). Took me a while to figure this one out, so I assume some of you had trouble with it too. The word neo is an ANAGram of the word one. That is one ugly abbreviation! Also, the word ONES appears in the grid as well (12D: Tip jar fillers, mostly). Oops!
  • 53A: Dodge Aries, e.g. (K-CAR). I don't really know what this means. Also ZipCar and SmartCar. I see them around and I see signs that mention them, but I don't really understand their function. I've just got my little minivan and I'm good.
  • 10D: "Hogan's Heroes" star (BOB CRANE). Loved that show when I was a kid. Now, of course, I look back on it in horror. But I do like seeing Bob Crane's full name in the grid.
  • 26D: '60s song car with "three deuces and a four-speed and a 389" (GTO). I assumed this was the Beach Boys, but it's actually Ronnie and the Daytonas.
  • 27D: Toss (FLIP).

  • 31D: Three-time U.S. Open winner (LENDL). Never sure if a U.S. Open clue is referring to tennis or golf. I'm good at the old-timey tennis and the more recent golf.
  • 44D: "Babi __": Yevtushenko poem (YAR). Whatever you say!
Crosswordese 101: I learned the word ECCE from crosswordes. Today's clue — 67A: Caesar's "Behold!" — is typical. You'll almost always see the word behold in the clue along with a Roman name like Caesar, Pilate, Brutus, Cicero, or Livy. "ECCE homo" is a phrase that means "Behold the man" and, according to Wikipedia, are "the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of the John 19:5, when he presented a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion." Sometimes ECCE will be clued simply as "___ homo."

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Bonus Puzzles: There are a couple bonus puzzles today that I hope you'll check out. In the post below this one, you can read all about Rex's puzzle in support of breast cancer research inspired by Christina Applegate. Also, you should head over to Orange's Crossword Fiend forum for a puzzle constructed by Doug Peterson and Andrea Carla Michaels in honor of Rex's 40th birthday, which is today. If you don't participate over at Rex's blog, you won't understand all the references in the puzzle, but you'll likely still enjoy it considering it was made by two of the very best constructors out there today!

Everything Else — 5A: Kick (out) (DRUM); 9A: Loathe (ABHOR); 14A: Judge's determination (BAIL); 16A: TV exec Arledge (ROONE); 20A: Santa Anna siege site (ALAMO); 21A: Cooked (DONE); 25A: M.I.T. grad, often (ENGR.); 33A: NASA transport (LEM); 34A: __ mater (ALMA); 35A: Shaq of the NBA (O'NEAL); 39A: Savvy (SENSE); 42A: "La Gioconda" tenor role (ENZO); 43A: Aggressive (PUSHY); 45A: Central church area (NAVE); 47A: Scooby-__ (DOO); 54A: Many of its members are boomers (AARP); 57A: Precious (DEAR); 59A: Like seven Nolan Ryan games (NO-HIT); 66A: Fast traveler, at times (RUMOR); 69A: Last in a series (OMEGA); 70A: Take off (SHED); 71A: Shakespearean "over there" (YOND); 1D: "Mamma Mia!" band (ABBA); 2D: Travel option (RAIL); 4D: Pop (OLD MAN); 5D: "Stupid me!" ("D'OH!"); 6D: It can't be played at home (ROAD GAME); 7D: Golden rule preposition (UNTO); 8D: Sticker? (MAGNET); 9D: Wall St. figure who capitalizes on price imbalances (ARB); 11D: Devout (HOLY); 13D: Take five (REST); 18D: Toy truck maker (TONKA); 19D: Napa prefix (OENO-); 24D: Belt maker's tools (AWLS); 28D: Disprove (REBUT); 29D: "Witness" sect (AMISH); 30D: Greek New Age keyboardist (YANNI); 32D: Musical buzzer (KAZOO); 36D: Air show stunt (LOOP); 38D: What Bo Peep could have used? (SHEEPDOG); 40D: Awkward-looking picnic contest (SACK RACE); 41D: Rescue op (EVAC); 49D: Orderly (TIDY); 50D: NutRageous bar maker (REESE'S); 51D: Slovenly (FROWZY); 54D: Hendrix hairdo (AFRO); 56D: Coleridge work (RIME); 58D: Author Sholem (ASCH); 60D: Sunshine cracker (HI-HO); 61D: Screen image (ICON); 62D: Sound of an ungraceful landing (THUD); 65D: Actor Beatty (NED).


Rex Parker said...

Destroyed by FROWZY, which is not a word I know. CHOU En-Lai is more common, isn't it? Anyway, I split the diff. and went with SHOU. HA ha.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Doug P said...

I also loved seeing BOB CRANE in the grid. Horrified by "Hogan's Heroes"? That's still my favorite show! Seriously. I watch the DVDs all the time.

And let's give thanks to PuzzleGirl, Orange, and Rex for all their hard work and for entertaining us everyday! We constructors and solvers really appreciate it.


A wonderful puzzle for today... a lot of TURKEY.
I too am thankful for the "trio con brio": Rex, Orange, and Puzzlegirl... bless you! You add such zest and fun to solving these great puzzles. And, I too, appreciate Rich Norris... he's put up with a lot of guff from us. Also, thank you, Dan Naddor, for your apologetic and explanatory letters to me... you're a genuine guy! Now it's starting to sound like the Academy Awards Show, so I'll stop.

PG, I am so glad that you cracked that ANAG stumper: NEO scrambled...Wow! I would never ever have figured that out.
I also had to look up ECCE in my latin book, because I kept trying to use ET TU.

Other than that (and a worn out eraser) and many DOH's, I did get through this tuffy puzzle.

Some really clever stuff:
THUD (ungraceful landing sound), MAGNET (Sticker), DRUM (Kick out), FROWZY (Slovenly), Babi YAR (Yevtushenko poem)and RIME (Coleridge work).

I haven't heard of KCAR and EVAC, so that was sort of a natick for me.

And who doesn't love Scooby DOO?

Didn't like OLDMAN for Pop, otherwise I had no complaints on this "gem" puzzle.

Happy Bithday to Rex... you have a heck of a birthday party ahead!

Now it's off to the bonus puzzles and my second cup of javaaaaa!


Oh yeah, how could I forget this---
Thaaaank you, Lila Cherry, for a delightful puzzle.
Hope to see more of your works in the near future.

imsdave said...

Darn - a Thursday with a mistake. I never saw FROUCY. All in all, an enjoyable Thanksgiving puzzle.

I'd like to add to Doug P.'s sentiment. Thanks to all three of our hosts for making the crossword experience so much more enjoyable.

Have a great holiday all!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have commented on this blog and want you to know that I thoroughly enjoy it. As a new puzzle solver, it has really helped me learn nuances to the clues and answers. I came across this blog by accident when googling like mad for answers. Keep up the good work. And much thanks to you, Puzzle Girl, Orange and Rex. And of course, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
JB in VA

Tinbeni said...

Great Thanksgiving Day Puzzle.

Not only did we have the Turkey, but three other birds showed up, IBIS, RAIL & CRANE.

RP - Happy 40th !

As to FROWZY, only the crosses got me that one. I first went with CHOU, and found out later that Frowcy isn't a word either, went with the 'Z' spelling of ZHOU EnLai.

@JNH there's your fav. 1-d ABBA

ARA-64d & ASCH-58d new to me and I love it when a puzzle teaches me something.

You all have a great & safe Holiday.

I hear the Holiday Spirit calling me now ... aah, 12yo Scotch.

Gareth Bain said...

John... You got caught out! There is no Lila Cherry, it's Rich in disguise. Sorry to link your rival Zhou Qin, LACC hosts, but see here: http://crosswordcorner.blogspot.com/2009/09/rich-norris-alias-names.html

Sfingi said...

@Rex - frowzier, frowziest!
My spellcheck accepted both. And I have a new two for my OCD comparative/superlative list.

@Doug P - I guess, because of his sex life. It's a girl thing, being horrified - or nauseated.

Got FRIDAYSSANDWICH on the flimsiest of crosses. Kept wanted BIRDTHATGOBBLES to end in "the Turks." So wanted a clue about the country. Didn't help that I thought a tip jar was a jar that wouldn't tip if you filled it correctly - with "sand," say. Funny what happens when you get fixated.

While I was filling in PRECIOUS, I was listening to a 2-hr. radio special on Roy Orbison, and right then they played, "Precious," a song he wrote for his wife. My first college roommate was obsessed with Orbison and played him day and night, but this one wasn't written yet.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge was probably stoned, but it's a great example of the poem within the poem. An old fellow stops people outside a church to tell his weird story. Two more for comparison are Shelley's Ozymandias (sonnet) and Heinrich Heine's Die Lorelei.All three are terribly visual, and make for good classwork.

Didn't know what a ROADGAME is, or that Turkey's money is in LIRE.

I thank ccrossworders of every ilk this year, my first year back since 1966.

Rex Parker said...

ZQ is not a rival! She does her thing and we do ours. Any idea that we're at odds with her blog is misguided (at least from our end). Link to her all you want.

Rex Parker said...

Oh, and I had AWAY GAME at first.


Doug P said...

Speaking of the two LA Times crossword blogs, I was perusing the latest collection of LA Times puzzles (#19) at a bookstore yesterday and saw that Rich Norris mentioned both blogs in his introduction. Pretty cool!



Thanks for the heads-up on Ms. Cherry. I'm still pretty naive on this blogster camouflage thing.
We need a day of screen name revelations... I often wonder who Rex Parker, Orange, and Puzzlegirl are. Even many of the commenters.

Anyway, thank you Rich, for a nice TD puzzle.

shrub5 said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am especially thankful for the efforts of PG, Rex and Orange day in and day out -- their writings are always full of humor as well as helpful information. They really carried us along during the "too easy and uninspired" period. I'm also thankful for our little community here of solvers -- thank you for enriching the daily experience by adding your thoughts and individual expertise to the blog.

As to the puzzle, FROWZY was a problem. I put FRUMPY in at first but didn't like it much. Realized it was wrong when I wanted to enter CHOU. Eventually had FROWCY and was stuck there. This word was not in the dictionary, but then I spotted frowzy...Oh.

Liked the clues for RUMOR (fast traveler, at times) and ROAD GAME (it can't be played at home).

Yummmm, FRIDAY'S SANDWICH -- turkey with cranberry sauce on it.

Happy Birthday, Rex and congrats on reaching the big 4-OH. Have a terrific day!

PuzzleGirl said...

I guess the reason "Hogan's Heroes" horrifies me today is because of the way it minimizes the whole, ya know, Nazi thing. Kind of like when people say something like "Grammar Nazi." No. Nazis did not point out people's mistakes. Nazis killed people.

But I don't want to go off on a whole political thing — sorry!

Hand up for FRUMPY and AWAY GAME. And Welcome JB in VA. You found us the same way I found Rex a couple years ago. I'm pretty sure it's a common story!

chefbea said...

Happy thanks giving to all enjoy all the food today AND tomorrow

Loved the puzzle. Never heard of frowsy either

John said...

First thought 23A in relation to those MATRIX movies. the Z in FROWZY was one of three writeovers. A fun Turkeyday romp!

Thanks again for all your Insights to these puzzles, Makes them all the more ENJOYABLE!!!

GLowe said...

Opportunity to critique Rich's puzzle! Hmmm - it's GREAT Rich [yah, that's it brain, but don't overdo it]. I don't think I'll add FROWZY to my wordlist, tho .... :-)

One thing aboot the blog that I don't mention enough - or ever - is the pics and links, especially when the connection is once or twice removed, an you have to think about it.

You folks enjoy your syndicated Thanksgiving, I won't spoil it for you by giving away how it turned out....

Carol said...

@PG - K-cars were made by Chrysler motors back in the early 80's. We made the mistake of buying the Plymouth "UN"Reliant and left it out in the street unlocked hoping someone would manage to keep it going & steal it! That lemon left us stranded more than once.

On a better subject - Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Hope your turkey is tender & juicy & your sandwiches good tomorrow.

I am grateful for the constructors, editors, & bloggers convincing the LAT to go back to more challenging puzzles!

Thanks to our 3 great hosts who keep us informed & to all of you bloggers for your interesting comments.

SethG said...

I got it from the crosses.

I have a grudging admiration for the word GOBBLE, couldn't believe I didn't have an error when I saw FRANKWAYTOTxxx, and had a lot of trouble thinking of the KAZOO. I like the sneaky Turkey in the clue for LIRA.

JOHNSNEVERHOME, I am SethG. Thanks, all, and Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tinbeni said...

@GLowe - Total LOL re: your comment at the Rex Parker Bonus puzzle below. He did a great job with it and after researching all I could on Ms.Applegate and her plight/involvement a very worthy organization.

To the "Usual Suspects," my fellow commentor's, (esp.@JNH, @Sfingi, @Shrub5, @ddbmc @Chas.Boyle @Whitney @splitinfinitive etal) if you have the time you will enjoy immensely both Rex's & Orange's bonus puzzle offering's.

RP, Orange & Puzzlegirl, I Thank you very much. I am a better CW solver because of your efforts.


I did indeed enjoy the Michaels/Peterson puzzle. Got it done but totally baffled on the embedded anagram and (37d) anagram. Any help there?


I come up with MICHAEL SHARP for the embedded anagram, but I'm still baffled.

CrazyCat said...

Happy Thanksgiving all. I also say thanks to Orange, P.G. and Rex Parker aka MICHAEL SHARP for this very entertaining, humorous and educational blog. Oh and Happy birthday Rex. I went for FRUMPY too. Never heard of FROWZY, but I kind of like it. Nice, quite challenging puzzle today. I think we discussed the Lila Cherry issue a while ago. I too, can't wait for FRIDAYS SANDWICH (turkey panini with cranberry relish). I have been cooking for two days straight and the puzzle was a much needed break. Definitely had a problem with ANAG. I thought A NAG was an old horse. Enjoy your BIRDS THAT GOBBLE everyone. Back to the kitchen...

Jeffrey said...

My father loved Hogan's Heroes and he was a Jewish WWII veteran.

Puzzlegirl's re name is PuzzleWoman.

Sfingi said...

If I had only known ROADGAME was a sports thing, I would have asked hubster. I thought it was either "roadkill" or games kids shouldn't play in the road. Or both.

@Tinbeni - I will try to find the time.

@Dougp - your icon (?) looks like an intestinal parasite, a worm with little teeth. Is it?

In about an hour, I'm going to a Turkeyfest at one of hubster's cugine. Expect many unusual sides. All I have is a store bought pie. She collects xmas trees and lions - I'll have a look in my OCD toy collection. People don't mind regifts if they're antiques. We just bought a CD of old Utica Club Beer ads. Hmmm.

Tinbeni said...

@JNH re:the other anagram
@ google just type it in, nothing more, nothing less... ooxteplernon ...

It will take you to a surprise for you !


This was driving me crazy (and maybe others too), but Xman explains OOXTEPLERNON:
OOX is the Aztec term for fertile field. TEPLERNON is a string of modifiers: TEP=hand; LER=bad; NON=bad, thus the god of bad sowing. (Of course Rex, whose name is contained in OOXTEPLERNON, would know more about this than I.) The doubling of 'bad', is an instance of The Aztec language using two suffixes meaning the same thing, but with different roots, as an intensifier. How OOXTEPLERON came to be known as the 'god of bad fill' was by way of the first German settlers in Oaxaca. When something, say, a schnitzel, got goofed up, the hausfrau would say, "OOXTEPLERNON made me do it." By degrees, the use of the god's name became limited to typos, then to weak or lazy crossword fill.
Rex has a rubber stamp of this word.

Jeffrey said...

@John: There was a line in a NYT puzzle which consisted of 4 lousy 3-letter answers:


I wrote it out like that in a comment and Rex turned it into the God of Lousy Fill.

Tinbeni said...

Knew you would dig deep and find it.
It was also driving me crazy trying to "de-anagram'(is that a word) that earlier.
Couldn't believe it came up on google. I was also glad the x-man explained the first part. And you the rest.
Like Natick, I give Rex a salute for coining another CW expression.

chefbea said...

Thanks JNH for the explanation of the anagram. Cant believe I couldnt figure it out!!!

Tinbeni said...


In the Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword this all came up on Friday, October 30,2009.

There, smack in the middle of the 10/30/09 puzzle were the four three letter answers listed above in that order.

@ 10:15 am, you Crosscan commented that they were even "too much for you."
@ 10:18 am, Rex responded and declared he was deeming it the "God of lousy short fill."

Then it was mentioned with the NYT 11/3/09 puzzle again by Rex, and XMAN wrote his first explaination.

And on 11/5/09 in his NYT write-up Rex showed off his new stamp for it. Said he hoped it would be transparent so he could use it.
XMAN again commented with further explanation ... and this was passed on by @JNH here today.

Had I done that puzzle, I probably would have just passed out when I saw those 4 answers in a row.

I will think of that "GOD" every time I encounter another lousy, trite or overused 'short answer' in the future.

Rex Parker said...

@Tinbeni, just reread your first comment. Guess what my wife got me for my birthday?

12-yr-old scotch!

No lie. Cragganmore. I'm having some right now.

Best to all,


Enjoy your scotch!
Keep in mind you won't have another big blast like this until the year of 2015 (the next Thanksgiving on the 26th).

Tinbeni said...


Now that is some good sipping ...

In a Brandy Snifter glass, NEAT (one ice cube, if you must) take a small sip, inhale the fumes too, let it linger there for a while ... SMOOOOOOTH !!!

As to your "God of lousy short answers" that was fun to research, I believe I got it right, and like your Natick. it is a great Original crossword expression.

I really mean it, you, Orange and PG have made CW's more fun again.

I didn't have the time always until I smashed my right middle finger back on 9/29, and I have taken the last 2 months off. But come next Monday (back to the grind-day) I will keep up this hobby. And hopefully my 2 cents here at the Blog.

As to the "Big 40" ... welcome to the party pal, I wish I was that young!

mac said...

After doing the puzzle online the one word that stood out for me was "frowzy", which I somehow knew, but thought was very oldfashioned and odd. Nothing wrong with that.

I had a real problem figuring out what the Friday sandwich was about. Even thought of Robinson Crusoe. Guess I must be trying to block out the bird. It was actually a very good one this year, with a crisp mahogany skin.

Thank you, Doug P., for thanking our hosts from the point of the constructors. I enjoy the two blogs tremendously every day, and miss it when I'm out of range for some reason!

@JNH: I'm sure you would like to know who's hiding behind that big tree!

docmoreau said...

Not much was said about the clue "It can't be played at home"ROADGAME.
I know at least one that many of you may remember: padiddle.



There actually is another old ROADGAME that can be played at home. MILLE BORNES


"I'm sure you would like to know who's hiding behind that big tree!"

USAFretcop said...

New to this great blog but long time cross word doer. I loved the musical buzzer, I grew up in Eden, NY where the only place that the metal Kazoo is made in the US, alos Turkish money, I spent a lot of it when I was stationed for over 2 enjoyable years in Turkey.