WEDNESDAY, November 11, 2009—Allan E. Parrish

THEME: "Will This Song Never End?"—Three song titles begin with "endless" synonyms

Theme answers:
  • 20A: 2002 #1 hit for rapper Ja Rule (ALWAYS ON TIME). I skimmed the lyrics for this song and, well, the anonymous commenter Tuesday evening who decried "all the profanity on this blog" is advised not to watch this video. Really. Don't say you weren't warned. (P.S. Don't use the comments to rail against rap. This will cause Rex's head to explode.)

  • 36A: 1989 #1 hit for Paula Abdul (FOREVER YOUR GIRL). I am a hair too old to know any '89 pop songs. By then I was a college graduate and resolutely against listening to the "hot hits" radio stations, so I know nothing about this song. The official video can't be embedded, but you can have a listen and read the lyrics here.

  • 56A: 1989 #1 hit for the Bangles (ETERNAL FLAME). More '89 pop? Don't know it. Here's a live performance. Sounds alright to me.

What else? Here are my favorite entries:
  • 18A: Enchilada wraps (TORTILLAS). I prefer flour over corn. So sue me.
  • 52A: He shared a Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk (MANDELA). The great Nelson Mandela, of course.
  • 8D: Master performer (VIRTUOSO). Don't ask me why I tried to put VICTROLA here. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
  • 21D: Chestnut horse (SORREL)/38D: Colorful horse (ROAN). ROAN horses (or cows!) have "a coat of a main color thickly interspersed with hairs of another color." SORRELs have a reddish-brown coat. Having one of these entries in a puzzle is dull, but having two? Now it's a horsy thing.
  • 29D: Peter of "Everybody Loves Raymond" (BOYLE). He was the best part of that show.
  • 40D: "Mind your own business!" ("GET A LIFE!"). Remember the goofball sitcom with Chris Elliott called Get a Life? Here's a clip in which the laugh track is excised and the laughs you hear are from the crew. He models!

Crosswordese 101: The clue 49D: And others: Latin gives us ET ALIA today, but we usually have its shorter abbreviation, ET AL. Other clues for the phrase: list ender; list shortener. Et alia means "and others" where others = things. Et alii means "and others" where others = people. ET ALII clues tend towards the bibliography phrase direction. Most popular clues for the nonspecific abbreviation ET AL include list ender; list-ending abbr.; bibliography abbr.; and others: Abbr.; and catchall abbr. We also sometimes get ALII or ALIA with fill-in-the-blank clues.

Everything Else — 1A: Taylor of "The Nanny" (RENEE); 6A: Roof projection (EAVE); 10A: Patsies (SAPS); 14A: Are (EXIST); 15A: ''Star Wars'' royalty (LEIA); 16A: Had bills (OWED); 17A: Senate minority leader McConnell (MITCH); 18A: Enchilada wraps (TORTILLAS); 20A: 2002 #1 hit for rapper Ja Rule (ALWAYS ON TIME); 22A: Lake Wobegon creator (KEILLOR); 23A: Without any help (UNAIDED); 27A: "¿Cómo __ usted?" (ESTÁ); 28A: "__Cop": 1987 film (ROBO); 30A: Sugar coating (GLAZE); 31A: Thrice, in Rx's (TER); 33A: Bone: Pref. (OSTE-); 35A: Rural area (LEA); 36A: 1989 #1 hit for Paula Abdul (FOREVER YOUR GIRL); 41A: Milne marsupial (ROO); 42A: Airline to Ben-Gurion (EL AL); 43A: 1950s-'60s "Man on the Street" comic Louis (NYE); 44A: Radio station alert sign (ON AIR); 46A: Academia VIP (DEAN); 48A: Apt. balcony (TERR.); 52A: He shared a Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk (MANDELA); 54A: Will beneficiary (LEGATEE); 56A: 1989 #1 hit for the Bangles (ETERNAL FLAME); 58A: Ploy (STRATAGEM); 61A: Country singer McCann and others (LILAS); 62A: Mil. no-show (AWOL); 63A: Heavyweight bout? (SUMO); 64A: Blazing (AFIRE); 65A: Applies lightly (DABS); 66A: Grandson of Eve (ENOS); 67A: Hardwood trees (TEAKS); 1D: New version of an old film (REMAKE); 2D: Forces out of the country (EXILES); 3D: Jerk (NITWIT); 4D: Intensify (ESCALATE); 5D: __ alcohol (ETHYL); 6D: Corrida charger (EL TORO); 7D: Quite a long time (AEON); 8D: Master performer (VIRTUOSO); 9D: Dine at home (EAT IN); 10D: Cirque du __ (SOLEIL); 11D: Leatherworker's tool (AWL); 12D: Potpie veggie (PEA); 13D: '60s activist gp. (SDS); 19D: Mental pictures (IMAGERY); 21D: Chestnut horse (SORREL); 24D: Mustachioed Spanish surrealist (DALI); 25D: Former Israeli president Weizman (EZER); 26D: Give out cards (DEAL); 29D: Peter of "Everybody Loves Raymond" (BOYLE); 32D: City NNE of Seattle (EVERETT); 34D: Prison escape route, perhaps (TUNNEL); 36D: Gift tag word (FROM); 37D: Chaplin's last wife (OONA); 38D: Colorful horse (ROAN); 39D: Speed trap device (RADAR GUN); 40D: "Mind your own business!" ("GET A LIFE!"); 45D: Role models, say (IDEALS); 47D: Los __: Manhattan Project site (ALAMOS); 49D: And others: Latin (ET ALIA); 50D: Comment (REMARK); 51D: Popular candy pieces (REESE'S); 53D: Purchase alternative (LEASE); 55D: F-sharp equivalent (G FLAT); 57D: Verne captain (NEMO); 58D: Teary-eyed, perhaps (SAD); 59D: Pan Am rival (TWA); 60D: Take from illegally (ROB).



A pretty good Wednesday puzzle. Difficult for me because it had a lot of pop culture clues, but there were enough "gimmes" that helped me through.

Liked SORREL & ROAN (horse colors), but SORREL is also a plant in the genus Oxalis.

VIRTUOSO I knew quite well because my son, John Hagstrom, is a famous trumpet VIRTUOSO (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

I think the constructor, Parrish, misspelled STRATEGERY.

Now how could the clue "Thrice in RX's" (TER) appear twice in crossword puzzles within a week's span? Can that really be just coincidence? Now would I be making accusations of plagarism... noooo!

Loved seeing Garrison KEILLOR and Louis NYE in this puzzle, because they are two of my favorite comedians. Hmmm, Lake Wobegon and Man on the Street! As far as Chris Elliot goes, he needs to get another career. But now Peter BOYLE is a pretty darn good comedian in "Everybody Loves Raymond". Never was a big RENEE Taylor/Nanny fan...her voice is too whiny! I love any old Charlie Chaplin movie, but for oldie comedy, Buster Keaton tops them all. Last week I went to a silent film festival (with live organ accompaniment)... saw Keaton's THE GENERAL. Very funny and a huge production.

Shhh!, but I always thought the Manhattan Project was under the Stag Field Stadium bleachers at the University of Chicago.

I liked today's CW101... never knew about ET ALII.

Nice clips selected for today's PG writeup (sans Eliott).

Eddie Q said...

Hard to come up with 1989 songs when you were 6 years old then. Curses....Had fun with the puzzle anyway.

I wanted to put REESES for 51D, but hesitated because the "pieces" in the clue wasn't capitalized so I thought it wasn't the brand name it wanted. Should it have been capitalized?

Also, I noticed in the past month or so there have been a lot of *flat or *sharp equivilant clues. Any possibility on getting a special Crosswordese lesson on the notes for those of us musically inept? Just a thought.

Love the blog. I don't think it's said enough.

Oh, Happy Veteran's Day!!!!

Van55 said...

Just a ho hum solve for me today. Not sure why, as there's nothing really objectionable about it.

Rex Parker said...

That "Get A Life" clip has a pretty rich extended reference to an infamous scene in "Fame" (starring crossword stalwart IRENE CARA).

Two from '89 ... the American Pop Music Nadir ... yikes.

Had most trouble with IMAGERY; had IMAG ... ES? But it won't reach.


Grandpappy Steve said...

Seems that LAT is ramping up the difficulty a bit. Past few days have been fun to do. Been awhile since I've seen ElAl in a puzzle...can't say that I've missed it. I'm a bit old to know any of the theme song titles, had to get them all through crosses.

Tinbeni said...

At first I was totally flummoxed since I had "No Clue" for the 3 theme songs. But if you can't go ACROSS then just go DOWN !!!

As such, a puzzle that I first thought was going to be difficult due to my cluelessness became actually a breeze or as @Vann55 said correctly "A Ho-Hum Solve"

Only glitch is Everett, WA looks to be more like NNNNNE of Seatle, but then again Venice was NNW of Naples on Sunday. (Do Constructor's have maps?)

Otherwise, a nice Wednesday LAT offering.

The Chris Elliot clip Orange was hilarious, I'll pass on the Rap Clip.

jazz said...


I agree, there were lots of proper names in this one, which made it tough for me too. I hesitate to call it pop culture, 'cause many of the answers weren't terribly recent, but the last 20-30 years are still a blind spot for me...

I still miss the clever cluing. It seems that you get into a mindset with different constructors where you kinda know what they're looking for; it's as if you begin to see some personality in the puzzles that's lacking in a "pure fact" puzzle. Maybe I'll start calling these "Joe Friday" puzzles, because it's just the facts, not shades and flavors of clues.

Still, the difficulty is improving for Wednesdays, so that's a plus! Thanks to Mr. Parrish, Orange for the thoughtful writeup and clips (I like the Bangles) and the editor as always for not messing things up!

Crockett1947 said...

From late last night: @soozy QEII stands for the Queen Elizabeth II, the flagship Cunard liner that is now apparently retired.

Anonymous said...

Apart from Mandela and Keillor did not know any of the named people in the crossword but an easy puzzle nevertheless. Got the song titles through crosses. Way too many names for clues though

*David* said...

My type of puzzle, I enjoy the pop references and lots of names, its a great potpourri to flavor a puzzle with. The pop songs were gimmes since I'm all about the 80's, JA RULE isn't on my radar since by then I was listening to alt music. I bet the old timers aren't loving this one.

split infinitive said...

Confession: Don't know if it was the puzzle or the fact that I'm chilly, but the puzzle didn't have too much sparkle for me today. I got off on the wrong foot, not knowing who Renée Taylor is. Is LILA McCann running for office? Uh oh, maybe that was one of those profanity laced political comments that have bogged down the blog, lately, eh?

This said, it was at the right level for a Wednesday. "GET A LIFE" seemed mis-clued to me. I never remember EZER although the name comes up often. Stratagem is an underused word, in my book.

"Eternal flame" was the best song, by far of the three themed answers. A nice tie in to Veterans' Day, too. "Endless Love" as sung by Diana Ross wouldn't have been an unwelcome fourth theme entry, perhaps!
split& co.

shrub5 said...

Not too easy, not too hard, just right.

I remembered learning LEGATEE in a puzzle not long ago, so that helped. My favorite clue was the alliterative 'Milne marsupial' (ROO). Like some others above, I didn't know any of the theme songs, even after I listened to them!

A big salute and thank you to all the veterans out there and to those currently serving -- today and every day.

Rex Parker said...

"EVERLASTING LOVE" would have been a nice replacement for the middle answer. One less 1989 song to have to think about, at any rate.


Carol said...

As others have mentioned, I did the puzzle mostly on the down clues as I had never heard of any of the songs. Will also pass on listening to the rap as that is one genre I could do without!

A big thank you to all the veterans and members of our armed services.

hazel said...

I like Constant Craving by k.d. lang as a replacement for ANY of these songs - although I see now that they were all #1 hits at one point so I suppose it wouldn't qualify.

Puzzle experience, like the songs, not particularly memorable for me. Can't really put my finger on why.

Tuttle said...

Apt. balcony: terr was weak. Imagery is a bit vague. Other than that, not bad.

I won't diss rap, but I will diss lame rap on top of R&B so overproduced as to be muzak.

GLowe said...

@ Eddie;
Starting at A (a good a place as any, no?) sharp will take you forward in the alphabet until you hit G, which then circles back to A. Conversely, flat takes you backward until you hit A, which circles forward to G.

Kind of a grating coincidence that we have an AWOL on 11/11.

GLowe said...

Also, songs (and lyrics) make great crossword fodder for 2 reasons: pop(ular) music gets a megaton of general exposure, and many rules for songwriting are eerily similar to the rules for cwp construction.

In the example provided above, "Constant Craving" would in my mind be an awesome phrase to work into a grid for the same reasons it makes an awesome song title and hook. But change it to "Insatiable Need", well, not so much (assuming I spelled that correctly).

BEQ always seems to get music and musical references into his puzzles, which makes them more interesting IMO.

CrossWise said...

I worked at Tower Records during the '80's, so I loved the song title references. I had trouble with IMAGERY too and OSTE. I loved the slightly more complex words like STRATEGEM and LEGATEE. Star Wars clue was cute too.

gespenst said...

@tuttle ... I didn't like "terr" either ... I think of a terrace as what the first floor tenants have instead of a balcony (I lived in a ground floor apt once). Maybe something cluing in to first floor or ground floor would have made it a better clue.

Overall a decent solve. I was proud of "legatee" w/o knowing any crosses yet :)

@rex ... I had issues trying to stretch images too :)

Considering I didn't know any of the songs (even after solving) it wasn't an all day affair, which is nice :)


The Manhattan Project began with the first nuclear chain reaction occuring on December 2, 1942 under the football stands of Stag Field Stadium at the University of Chicago. A very scary experiment because there was moderate risk that it could become uncontrolled and thus spell doomsday for the entire planet. Shortly thereafter, the A-Bomb was tested at the Los ALAMOS (47d), New Mexico laboratory, and we all know the consequences of that. The story of the Manhattan Project is quite fascinating:


Sfingi said...

Sorrel can be eaten right off the ground! Yummy. Looks like tall, soft clover.

Had "ages" before I had 7D AEON.

Did not know, and Goodgled 25D EZER (rhymes with geezer?). Got everything else w/o Google, though I knew none of the theme expressions as songs.

@John - BOYLE has passed, but I think Chris Elliot is from the "make 'em uncomfortable" school of humor. Loved his father, Bob, of Bob and Ray, from the understated school of humor! Chris played Raymond's obnoxious brother-in-law. My mother has a neighbor who is like that character. Since he's 50+, never worked, and lives with Mama, he's about to lose the house and 3 yard junkers, since Mama just went into a nursing home.

@Hazel - k.c.lang is #1 by me. And she's newish. But sings with good old Tony Bennett (Benedetto).

@Tinbeni- Apparently makes no difference in the solving what direction Everett is.

@David - You got it. I try to listen to rap, but prefer melody and interpretation. My husband "listens" to rap - with his eyes.
But this oldtimestress did like the comedies mentioned. Prefer actors to poorly drawn cartoons.

@Eddie Q - Hard to come up with 1989 songs when you were 45 then!

chefwen said...

Peter Boyle was the best part of that show, all everyone else could do was whine.

Only mistake was spelling KEILLOR with on a instead of an I, giving me a NITWaT which looked kinda cute but Oh, so wrong. All in all an enjoyable puzzle with a little crunch to it.

mac said...

Nice puzzle! The titles of the songs were unknown to me, or so I thought, so I also waited for the downs. I did know the Bangles's song, but noticed that this life version is so much weaker than the one you usually hear on the radio, which I actually like.

Sorrel is not eaten much here, but the French make it into a tart, fresh sauce served with fish.

I liked stratagem, struggled with imagery because of the ending, and I didn't like this terr. Apts. have balconies, too. Only the ground floor and the penthouse have terraces.

wilsch said...

Peter Boyle was a great character actor. If memory serves me right, he hosted a kid's show on local (Philadelphia) TV in the 1950s.

Charles Bogle said...

Just got to it. I guess I'm in minority: I came away w a strong visceral dislike for this puzzle. I was 36 in 1989, with three young kids and working my tail off. Consensus then and now is that the pop abnd rock music generally was for the birds. Tying the unmemorable into a thenme bespeaking eternity is just too much for me to stomach, sorry!

ddbmc said...

@JAZZ-@JNH's comment on "strategery" was a reference to Will Ferrell's take off on Dubya (Shrubb) Bush's inability to pronounce words properly. Nukelor, anyone?

Saw Fran Drescher, from "The Nanny" in an off broadway play, "Some Girls," She did a great job in her role and didn't affect her trademark nasally accent.

"Terr" wasn't terribly terrific.
Did anyone else get a million "ROBO" calls during this past election? Sheesh!

Louie Nye and Bill Nye the science guy--father and son? (just kidding)

Cute: Heavy weight bout? (Sumo)
Peter BOYLE was delightful, too, as the Frankenstein Monster in "Young Frankenstein."

Legatee sounds like a "peg leg that looks like a tee." Tiger wouldn't have a pocketful of those!

Didn't know any of the song titles, but managed to get them with the crosses.

As always, the blog is the icing on the crossword cake!

As we approach the 46th Anniversary of the Assassination of JFK and honor our soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom on this Veteran's Day, "Eternal Flame," fits in just right.

CrazyCat said...

Late in the day...
@Charles Bogle I feel the same as you re: 1980s music. My kids were little and the only music I listened to was Raffi and Sesame Street stuff with a little bit of Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Juice) after they went to bed. I was not a big fan of the puzzle today, but oh well what the heck. I hated that TERR answer - really lame. I was a big Louis NYE fan, however.