SATURDAY, December 5, 2009—Kyle Dolan

THEME: There's a mini-theme today—The two eco-oriented 15-letter answers, placed in symmetrical spots, constitute a "mini-theme," which is an occasional variant on the themeless Saturday puzzle

Let's get the tutorial out of the way first.

Crosswordese 101: Among the German words that pop up in crosswords, we have NIE (58A: Never, to Goethe; pronounced like "knee"). The clue might go with alliteration next time—something like Never, in Nuremburg. Not to be confused with NEIN, which is German for "no," nor with the various "one"/"a" constructions like EINS and EINE.

So, what else is in this crossword?
  • 6D, 9D: The mini-theme includes GREEN-COLLAR JOBS (Work in the environmental sector) and CARBON FOOTPRINT (Environmental impact factor). Timely, since the international summit on climate change is coming up in Copenhagen this month.
  • 13A. Wild Asian equine (ONAGER). Bonus points because this is an anagram of Orange.
  • 14A. ISABELLA is, among other things, a "Measure for Measure" heroine. Speaking of Shakespeare plays, I just received an e-mail newsletter alerting me to a community theater production, Comedy of Error. (Just one? Sure, in these recessionary times, who can afford more?)
  • 17A. "Receiving poorly," to a CBer (TEN-ONE). I know "10-4, good buddy," but not "10-1." Remember the '70s, when a song about CB radios could be a runaway hit?

  • How about some deep-sea diving? 35D: Sea named for its seaweed (SARGASSO) crosses 39A: Watery expanse (SEA). (Not many people love cross-referenced clues, but SARGASSO's clue could've referenced 39A rather than including the word "sea.") What's in the sea? 20A: Shockers in the deep (EELS).
  • Favorite fill, narrative style: The CLASS CLOWN got into trouble for throwing his PB AND J at the NINJAS, who fought back throwing stars crafted from BASMATI. The clown was sent to the principal, who declared him a LOST SOUL.
  • 31A: What it takes? is TWO. To do what? To tango, to fight over the remote control, or move a sofa upstairs.
  • 1D: Possible source of unwanted feedback, for short (HOT MIC). Short for "hot microphone." This answer, in combination with the name in the byline, leads me to suspect today's construct is under age 35.
  • 3D: Trattoria order? (MANGIA). "MANGIA" is Italian for the imperative, "Eat!"
  • 33D: Big name in oil filters (FRAM). I've never bought an oil filter. I'm partial to the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong duet on Ella & Friends but I don't see that recording on YouTube, so here's Nat King Cole's "The Frim Fram Sauce."

Everything Else — 1A: Like some pigeons (HOMING); 7A: Little shot? (PIC); 10A: Subside (EBB); 13A: Wild Asian equine (ONAGER); 14A: "Measure for Measure" heroine (ISABELLA); 17A: "Receiving poorly," to a CBer (TEN-ONE); 18A: Singer/pianist with the 2002 hit "A Sorta Fairytale" (TORI AMOS); 19A: Russian fighter (MIG); 20A: Shockers in the deep (EELS); 22A: Rear (BOTTOM); 23A: Rival of Bjorn (ILIE); 25A: "On the contrary!" ("NOT SO!"); 27A: "Forever, __": 1996 humor collection (ERMA); 28A: Likely visitor to the principal (CLASS CLOWN); 30A: Nair alternative (NEET); 31A: What it takes? (TWO); 32A: Locomotive output (PUFF); 34A: "__ tu": Verdi aria (ERI); 35A: Biblical verb (SHALT); 37A: Sociologist's interests (MORES); 39A: Watery expanse (SEA); 41A: Prosaic (BLAH); 43A: Bourbon flavoring (OAK); 44A: It covers all the bases (TARP); 46A: Flats (APARTMENTS); 51A: Ship that sailed from Iolcus (ARGO); 52A: Highlight reel accompaniment (RECAP); 53A: Many a retired racer (SIRE); 54A: Common lunchbox fare, briefly (P B ANDJ); 56A: Sci-fi captain (KIRK); 58A: Never, to Goethe (NIE); 59A: Floundering one (LOST SOUL); 61A: Stuck (IN A JAM); 63A: Coordinated outfit (ENSEMBLE); 64A: Like much meditation music (NEW AGE); 65A: 1906 Runabout, e.g. (REO); 66A: Stars may represent them: Abbr. (STS.); 67A: Got tight (TENSED); 1D: Possible source of unwanted feedback, for short (HOT MIC); 2D: "Mourning Becomes Electra" playwright (O'NEILL); 3D: Trattoria order? (MANGIA); 4D: "Can __ now?" (I GO); 5D: Maui flapper (NENE); 6D: Work in the environmental sector (GREEN COLLAR JOBS); 7D: Active time for a racetrack crew (PIT STOP); 8D: Metric lead-in (ISO-); 9D: Environmental impact factor (CARBON FOOTPRINT); 10D: Shade sources (ELM TREES); 11D: One may be late (BLOOMER); 12D: Long-grain rice of the Punjab (BASMATI); 15D: Playbill feature (BIO); 16D: Downed (EATEN); 21D: Cyberchortle (LOL); 24D: Bk. after Nehemiah (ESTH.); 26D: Like a butterfly in water? (SWUM); 29D: Q-tip (SWAB); 33D: Big name in oil filters (FRAM); 35D: Sea named for its seaweed (SARGASSO); 36D: Sports trainer's supply (TAPE); 38D: Just makes, with "out" (EKES); 39D: Office tool (STAPLER); 40D: Incus or malleus (EARBONE); 42D: Defensive anger, metaphorically (HACKLES); 45D: Bologna bridge (PONTE); 47D: Thor Heyerdahl craft (RAI); 48D: Stealthy warriors (NINJAS); 49D: Combat injury system (TRIAGE); 50D: Looked (SEEMED); 55D: Mil. award (DSM); 57D: A tot may bounce on one (KNEE); 60D: Nth: Abbr. (ULT.); 62D: Grass appendage (AWN).



This Kyle Dolan puzzle was anything but “prosaic”. Actually I thought of it as a bit esoteric with several (obscure to me) literary clues. I didn’t recognize a theme except for two full-span entries that related to environmentalism. I guess it’s pretty timely considering the recent alleged “global warming scandal.”
This was a difficult puzzle for me… took a bit of time, but with two Googles and a worn out eraser, I completed it correctly in about an hour.

The real stumpers for me were: (34a) ERI tu (Verdi aria), (40d) EARBONE (Incus), (45d) PONTE (Bologna bridge), and (12d) BASMATI (Punjabi rice). Also, I never heard of HOTMIC (1d) being used to describe a feedback problem.

Also, I was so sure that Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki raft was named RAA and not RAI, but then I knew that the cross couldn’t be Captain KARK, so I stopped arguing and filled in RAI anyways.

MANGIA (3d) means “eat” in Italian, but the way it’s clued has me baffled. It certainly is not a Midwestern trattoria term.

I sure didn’t like the clumsy SWUM for “a butterfly in water.”
And seeing PBANDJ again makes me wanna barf!

Loved seeing “Cyberchortle” for LOL… now I know the technical term for what I do all the time online.

I liked “One may be late” for BLOOMER and “It covers the bases” for TARP.

I did know that ISABELL (14a) was a nun in a Shakespearean play, but forgot about “Measure For Measure”.

Now my favorite part of this puzzle was being reminded of the delightful TORI AMOS (18a)… what a beautiful person with such a beautiful voice. And here she sings a beautiful song---
Yes, winter’s a comin’

Y’all have a super-duper weekend !


So Amy, who is this Kyle Dolan guy, who you think is under 35 and is debuting his first CW?
I actually have done two other of his puzzles (a lot simpler ones).

Parsan said...

This puzzle was so much easier for me that the one yesterday. With ERI tu, ONEILL, PONTE, BASMATI, ISABELLA, TORI AMOS, SARGASSO, EARBONE, and the obvious answers to the 15 long (terrific) spaces, I finished in a flash. I guess it depends on your pool of knowledge.

Agree with JNH that SWUM is bad but I liked PBANDJ (yum, comfort food).

Misread highlight reel as highland reel accompaniment and couldn't fit bagpipes into 5 spaces. Pipes was quickly thrown out when it didn't match anything else. Duh!
Can someone explain PIC? (picture?). Still don't get it.

We had a discussion here about Thor Heyerdahl recently. His crafts were RA I and RA II (Roman

BLOOMER and IN A JAM made me smile.

Rex, your comments on Commedy of Error and TWO made me laugh and the CLASS CLOWN saga was clever. Nice up-beat write-up! Good puzzle.

Off to get a Christmas tree. First in 7 years. Time heals!

Orange said...

Where have you done Dolan's puzzles—in a major newspaper crossword venue?

Rex Parker said...

For me, by far the hardest LAT puzzle I've solved since this blog began. That said, it was still two minutes easier than today's "Easy/Medium" NYT. Cluing was iffy in places (man, that SEA thing hurt). But overall, really wonderful stuff.

EMISSIONS and FOOTPRINT have the same number of letters.

Never heard of GREEN *COLLAR* JOBS. Had the GREEN and couldn't go down. Then had the JOBS and couldn't go up.

Last letter was the "M" in HOTMIC. I couldn't even get it with HOT-IC in place. Need the Russian fighter.


Rex Parker said...

Thanks, Parsan, but I didn't do this write-up :)

Parsan said...

Oops! Don't know why I typed Rex when I knew it was Orange. Double Duh!

Orange, after your CLASS CLOWN saga the culprit would say 4D "Can I GO now?". (Shouldn't that be "may")?

shrub5 said...

This was one of the tougher LAT puzzles for me in a long, long time....and I loved it! Very creative clues and answers. My experience pretty much mirrors @JNH's regarding time and erasers.

I had NO WAY before NOT SO, STATIC before HOT MIC and STUD before SIRE -- so these errors slowed me way down in multiple areas. I got CARBON FOOTPRINT pretty quickly but it took quite a while for GREEN COLLAR JOB to emerge. I pulled SARGASSO out of nowhere from the S -- didn't know it meant seaweed.

This was my first encounter with AWN. I thought the clue maybe was being clever by using 'appendage' to mean suffix or prefix. Grassawn or awngrass? I guess a question mark would have been needed in the clue if that were the case.

Favorite words because they're not often seen: HACKLES, TRIAGE, ONAGER (had to google that last one) and the clue "one may be late" was terrific for BLOOMER. This was just a wonderful puzzle, so a ginormous round of applause for Kyle Dolan. More, please.

Gareth Bain said...

It was a pretty impressive debut, lots of good stuff that's already been mentioned. So let me focus on the one thing that bugged me... 20A "Shockers in the deep" for EELS. Yes EELS are found in the deep, but not the shocking kind, which are strictly freshwater (and eels in name only, BTW)

Waiting on JNH's confirmation, but I'm guessing that Kyle's had puzzles in Timothy Parker's 2 publications.

BTW, I know a lot of you people disagree strongly, but I think those puzzles are just fine. Don't solve them that often because I hate HATE that applet! So I can't say I've seen his name.


Two of Kyle's puzzles:



hazel said...

Cool puzzle and mini-theme. Liked the locomotive's PUFF crossing CARBONFOOTPRINT.

Parsan said...

@ddmc--are you with us today? I remember you are a Rutgers person. Our teams meet today. May the best bruisers win!

Tinbeni said...

Whew, 2 days in a row, in the weeds.

@JNH summarized most of my problems, but the RAI I knew from following Heyerdalh's exploits and like @Parsan I enjoy(ed) a "PBANDJ" as to 26d SWUM, I hated, hated, hated the cluing.

@RP On 5d I had the Collar & Jobs long before Green, the NE Corner gave me fits, never was a CBer so 10-1 I finally gave in to. Had the MIG 19a easily and ILIE 23a the rest all via multiple crosses.

Had 42d as HACKLED then LOL at my 66a STD, Stars may represent them, figured they (the "Stars") know all about Sexually Transmitted Diseases, until I came here.

Learned Onager & Basmati, always a CW plus.

@Orange, I really enjoyed both clips and the Yankee Baseball card.

ddbmc said...

@JNH, PBANDJ is barfy? Sort of how I think of Nutella and bananas!
(One man's food, etc.)

This was the scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage AND toast puzzle for a Saturday morning! Took me quite a while, with 2 Googles and a dictionary peek. I try not to go to the ref sources until I can't move anywhere else.

Agree that "Like a butterfly in water" was tough, and may have been more apparent with "Like THE butterfly in water," but we've all been aching for tougher solves, and we got one! YAY! (See, Joon, I learnt...(sic)

Worse than a "HOTMIC" is one that's connection is iffy. Very difficult when announcing players and score/penalties at the HS hockey games. Parents get very touchy when they can't hear their player's names. I will tell them to check their "incus and malleus."
Now for something completely different:
Knights of Ni

Parsan said...

@hazel--A nitpic. Isn't a "locomotive output smoke and the puff just a modifier or something? What do you think?

hazel said...

@Parsan - I just thought the PUFF was a cool image - from e.g., The Little Engine that Could. The train puffing up that hill, innocently leaving his carbon footprint all over the place.

I agree w/ you in that I didn't necessarily think the clue was all that accurate, just gettable, and leaving me with a good mental association.....

ddbmc said...

@Parsan, yes! Rutgers fan! The husband is at the game. I declined, as I had much to do AND didn't care to sit in the cold and snow all day, (am attending a hockey game tonight--more cold!) I will watch from the warmth of home!
Good luck to both our teams! (I know they both share the same record)
Amy and @Al-thanks for the info from earlier in the week. I've passed it on and found some additional info. Much appreciated.

ddbmc said...

On a sad note, heard on the news that one of @Rex's fellow professors was murdered yesterday, Professor Emeritus Richard Antoun. How horrible. My deepest condolences.

gespenst said...

Just learned that a Nene is a Hawaiian goose. Interesting.

ILIE was another challenge ... I guess I wasn't watching tennis until the 80's so I was more along the lines of IVAN, which didn't fit the crosses.

I managed to pull ONAGER out of nowhere which helped the NW corner fall into place (the last section to go).

I was also tricked by the STUD/SIRE bit.

AND PLEASE, can ANYONE parse the clue 26: Like a butterfly in water? to get a past tense verb SWUM? I cannot figure out how that works. I wanted STROKE (too many letters) and settle for SWIM (but that gave me a "piff" of smoke, lol). I see that SWUM has to be correct there, but do NOT see how to get it from this clue.

... Ok, in writing this down perhaps I've worked it out. A butterfly is SWUM in the water (as in a stroke is swum) so if something is like a butterfly, it is SWUM. Is that right???

All I can say is *WEAK*!!!

But overall a good puzzle, and a challenge. I think it took me about 20 minutes and I didn't need to google (though I did use some husband help, e.g. w/ FRAM and OAK and NINJAS).


Just in:
Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani, a graduate student at BU, has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Binghamton University Professor Richard T. Antoun.
We all grieve with you Rex... be careful.

GLowe said...

If you go with BBS for [little shot] and BIO for [metric leadin], both of which HAVE TO be right, and rarely get artists/authors without a lot of crosses, then when you hit what HAS TO be PITSTOP, but maybe B.... BUD... LITE?

Well, you don't finish, that's what you do.

Anonymous said...

Puzzle was just that - a puzzler. BUT I loved the "Frim-Fram Sauce" and "Convoy". Thankyou,thankyou, thankyou..

ddbmc said...

@JNH, we must have posted at the same time. Awful and terribly sad!

lit.doc said...

Came here for triage after getting flayed by the NYT. Wow, did I need this one. Finished in just under half an hour with no googles--a rarity for me, even for an LAT puzz. Not my fault, really, just one of those happy coincidences of Stuff You Happen To Know. Loved GREEN COLLAR JOBS, despite never having seen the expression before. I'm encouraged in my learning-to-solve struggle that I saw PB AND J instantly with no crosses (insert onanistic emoticon patting itself on the head).

jeff in chicago said...

Possibly my fastest LAT Saturday ever. I don't keep records of such things. IN A JAM and P B AND J in the same puzzle!! Sweet! If only MARMALADE could have been in there. (Do I smell/taste a theme?!?)

I would like to point out that I was voted CLASSCLOWN my senior year in high school and I never once had to go to the principal's office. I more Jay Leno than Howard Stern, I suppose.

@Orange: You are working that Chase Park newsletter! I keep seeing it everywhere. And I love it!!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed today's puzzle, it had a good amount of challenge and thinking outside the box, which one always has to do in any kind of a challenging puzzle. One example was green collar jobs, pc for today's world and white collar and blue collar jobs have been around forever.
Thank you KD.

Carol said...

Quite a puzzle! Had multiple problems with it but finally finished! We asked for tougher and got it, so no complaints here.

@gespenst - thanks for explaining the SWUM for butterfly in water. All I could picture was some poor butterfly floundering around in a pool of water.

Have a great weekend all!

CrazyCat said...

This one was a toughie for me, but I was able to finish it in a little more than half an hour. The hardest part for me was the NW corner where I had a bad start by putting down Miller instead of ONEILL. I've never heard of an ONAGER, TEN ONE or HOT MIC. I did know MIG and ILIE has been making a lot of appearances lately. EARBONES made me laugh. I did get MANGIA easily and liked the mini Italian theme of MANGIA and PONTE. I tried to learn a little Italian before I went to Tuscany a couple of years ago and a few words actually remained in the brain. Like the others, I have my HACKLES up about the clue for SWUM. Really awkward. Lots of other good stuff though. PBANDJ (not barfy), INAJAM, LOSTSOUL and CLASSCLOWN. I liked the cross of SARGASSO and SEA.
Definitely not a BLAH puzzle. Very nice!

Anonymous said...

Loved PBABNDJ, I have had it most of my life and it surely is a mainstay for college, tough times, when you're absolutely starving, etc!! Now you can even buy reduced fat, which helps with the guilt tremendously!!

Sfingi said...

@John - Thanx for the video. I had heard of the name, but thought she was an entirely different (less pleasant) TORI.
Italian women Order you to MANGIA.

Never heard of HOTMIC. Wish the young'uns would spell it hotmike. Never heard of TENONE or BASMATI, or highlight reel. Had Ruth instead of ESTH for a while. NOTSO and noway occurred to me simultaneously, so I waited. Before SWUM fell in, I actually thought, "dead." Best of all, only one (easy) sports clue. In general, just right for a Friday.

Thought malleus maleficarum and Incubus first, and was thinking "evilone" instead of EARBONE.

Q-tip again, this time as a clue. As Johnny Carson said in his persona as the swami Carnac, "May a leper play tiddlywinks with your q-tips."

Is NEWAGE similar to sewage? I say, yes, as music; but, fine as a cw.

RAI is also the Italian TV station we used to get free on UHF, but since cable have to pay for all kinds of channels to get up to it.

When I worked at Griffiss AFB in the '60s, we used to catch the holes from punch cards in empty boxes with the word FRAM on them. We'd bring the stuff home to use as confetti for parties and weddings, and we called it FRAM. Didn't know about the company for years after.

@Kyle Dolan - if you made it up, GREENCOLLARJOB is a great expression. Same for cyberchortle.

@ddbmc - PB&J keeps me alive - favorite J is ginger.

@Gareth - nice info on eels.

Is the ONAGER the very same as the Przewalski's horse?

Orange said...

@sfingi: GREEN-COLLAR JOB was coined elsewhere in recent years. A constructor's not allowed to make up phrases for the fill unless you're talking about a theme with all made-up theme answers. Goofy phrasing can be used in the clues, though.

Whitney said...

CARBONFOOTPRINT is a nice entry. I liked this puzzle, it had just about the right amount of difficulty (MIG, ILIE, ERI, SARGASSO, and PONTE being huhs? for me).

A short story about LOL. My boyfriend heard a story on NPR about a female doctor who for the longest time thought LOL stood for "Lots of Love". So, whenever one of her patients went through a tough time or even died she would send a sympathy card with "LOL" as her sign off....Ouch. LOL.

JIMMIE said...

@crazycatlady. Isn't there an Italian restuarant in Claremont called Tutu Mangi, or something like that.

SWUM was poorly clued. I didn't know Basmati. Otherwise fun.

JIMMIE said...

@CCL. That was Tutti Mangia, right on 1st and Harvard?

jeff in chicago said...

@Whitney: There was a TV ad for a while (might have been dialogue from a show) where a guy says he thinks WTF means "Why the face?" That amused me!

ddbmc said...

@Parsan, your team excelled today! Congrats to WVA on the 24-21 win over the Scarlet Knights.

CrazyCat said...

@JIMMIE - Tutti Mangia - my favorite Italian restaurant in Claremont is on First and Harvard. I had dinner there last Saturday night. It is almost always very good. Have you been there? We call it Tuttis for short. We've been going there for years. They finally painted the pink walls white. Looks much better.

mac said...

Good puzzle! You've picked it apart already, I've been working today, but I just did it online and enjoyed it. I especially like the "green-collar jobs", a great term.

Both the pic and the mic were hard for me, but basmati was easy.
I really like the class clown, and the pbandj, although I would not eat it. Blah.

My car was once parked next to a young guy's, and his license plate was WTF something. I asked him if he had requested it and he laughed and said no!

*David* said...

Just finished the puzzle, I had a hard time getting a starting off point. Once I did much of it flowed. My tough spots were by BASMATI/ETI both words I've seen before and shouldn't forget again and FRAM/PUFF since I originally had SWIM.

Toughest cornet was NW which may be why I started off so slowly. Great Saturday puzzle level bring it up a couple more notches and we should be in the sweet spot for a challenge.