TUESDAY, December 22, 2009 — Merle Baker

Theme: "Roger Wilco!" — Theme answers are all synonyms of "Affirmative!"

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Affirmative!" ("POSITIVELY!").
  • 27A: "Affirmative!" ("OF COURSE!").
  • 46A: "Affirmative!" ("YESSIREE!").
  • 59A: "Affirmative!" ("BY ALL MEANS!").
  • 11D: "Affirmative!" ("OKEY DOKEY!").
  • 34D: "Affirmative!" ("SURE THING!").
Fun puzzle, cute theme, not a lot of crosswordese, some fun fill ... plus with all that positive exclaiming going on — well, I'd rate this puzzle a win. Anything else to talk about? ...

"Why, yes!":
  • 1A: Coffee, slangily (JAVA).

  • 15A: Explorer Sebastian (CABOT). Hey, wait. I thought that was the guy who played Mr. French on "Family Affair." Oh, okay. He had the same name.
  • 24A: Mountain climber's return (DESCENT). It's always good when a mountain climber has one of those.
  • 35A: Poses (SITS). I had acts at first.
  • 36A: Singer __ Rock (KID). Okay, I know what you're saying. "Kid Rock is not a singer! He does that awful rap stuff that some people call music." Well, I hate to break this to you, but the kid can actually sing.

  • 37A: Hair style for Marie Antoinette (POUF). Really? This is a real hairstyle? I love it.
  • 50A: Place for an Eggo (TOASTER). Me: "Um ... my stomach?"
  • 1D: Made fun of (JAPED). This word was obviously included to teach me a lesson. (Long story.)
  • 39D: Actresses Clarke and West (MAES). I've never heard of Mae Clarke, but I assume some of you have.
Crosswordese 101: U THANT is more like Crosswordese 301, but we've already covered the all the other CW101 I found in the puzzle (namely, ERE, ETD, ORAN and ORO). As today's clue says, U THANT was a 54A: '60s United Nations secretary general. He succeeded Dag Hammarskjöld in that position, which he held from 1961 to 1971. The U in this case is a Burmese honorific meaning, basically, "Mr." THANT was actually his only name. Kinda like Cher, Madonna, and Prince, only not quite as famous. I also don't know if he could sing.

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Everything Else — 5A: Exchanges (SWAPS); 10A: Tapestry machine (LOOM); 14A: Actor Arkin (ADAM); 16A: Gumbo ingredient (OKRA); 19A: Fanny (REAR); 20A: Poetic preposition (ERE); 21A: Pay careful attention to (HEED); 22A: Vocal cords locale (LARYNX); 26A: Like many bathroom floors (TILED); 29A: Spanish gold (ORO); 32A: Like an inspection (ON-SITE); 38A: USA neighbor (MEX.); 39A: "Didn't you get the __?" (MEMO); 40A: Driveway covering, perhaps (TAR); 41A: "Good buddy" (CB'ER); 43A: Nightly ritual for many (PRAYER); 45A: "__ Loves You": Beatles hit (SHE); 48A: Rubbish (TRASH); 56A: Scold, with "out" (BAWL); 57A: Big Band __ (ERA); 58A: Switchblade (SHIV); 62A: Window part (PANE); 63A: Like a Stephen King novel (EERIE); 64A: Excursion (TRIP); 65A: Exit indicator (SIGN); 66A: Tire pattern (TREAD); 67A: Easter egg decorators (DYES); 2D: Like a lot (ADORE); 3D: Bouquet receptacles (VASES); 4D: "__ dreaming?" (AM I); 5D: Physics, for one (SCIENCE); 6D: Greet from across the street (WAVE TO); 7D: Not up (ABED); 8D: D.C. go-getter (POL); 9D: Salon worker (STYLIST); 10D: Peter who played Mr. Moto (LORRE); 12D: Algerian seaport (ORAN); 13D: Comedy's __ Brothers (MARX); 18D: An alarm may deter it (THEFT); 23D: Pub offerings (ALES); 25D: Salon do (COIF); 26D: Cereal with a spokesrabbit (TRIX); 28D: Computer operators (USERS); 30D: Frosty coating (RIME); 31D: Skunk's defense (ODOR); 32D: Chooses (to) (OPTS); 33D: Biblical boat builder (NOAH); 38D: Stocking material (MESH); 41D: Greenish-blue hue (CYAN); 42D: Wisest choice (BEST BET); 43D: Searched for prey, lion-style (PROWLED); 44D: King's domain (REALM); 47D: Appennini locale (ITALIA); 49D: Poe's one-word bird (RAVEN); 51D: Not dry-eyed (TEARY); 52D: Singer Tennessee __ Ford (ERNIE); 53D: Coarse files (RASPS); 54D: Daily delivery org. (USPS); 55D: Asian cuisine (THAI); 56D: In the buff (BARE); 60D: "__ out!": ump's call (YER); 61D: LAX datum (ETD).


GLowe said...

Kid Rock did that honey-dripper of a duet with Sheryl Crow a few years back. It was a hurtin' cheatin' kinda thing, but not half bad.

Would have been better if we could have had Moe's "Coitainly!" in there somewhere.

I guess, by its nature, Abba's IDOIDOIDOIDOIDO, at a tempting 15 characters, might be considered sub-optimal fill. (Yer welcome for the earworm :-) )

Van55 said...

A fine puzzle, with almost nothing to carp about today.

Joon said...

how could you not include a clip of the famous kid rock-u thant duet from ... uh ... never mind.

i had a weird experience when i put COIF down at 25a, and then for 37a, i really wanted ... COIF.

shrub5 said...

@Joon: Me too with COIF.

LOL at 'spokesrabbit' (TRIX). Put ADAM's father Alan in first for 'Actor Arkin." I last saw him (the dad) in "Little Miss Sunshine."

Fun puzzle - thanks, Merle Baker and PG.

Finished said...

Can you please add the completed grid?

Sfingi said...

Mae Clarke - famous for one thing - getting hit in the face with a grapefruit by Cagney in Public Enemy.

Took a minute to decide between "trolled" and PROWLED.
Wanted "Alan" rather than ADAM. Enjoyed him in Northern Exposure, one of my fave series.

A very oldster puzzle.

Are there as many ways to say "no" as to say "yes"?

GLowe said...

@ SF Impossible. Not on your life, I doubt it - there's just no way. Couldn't be, won't happen.

Tomorrow's not looking good either, don't make me laugh.

Tinbeni said...

@Joon & @Shrub5
Once you get a word like COIF in your head rumbling around it is kind of difficult to extract the POUF, an excellent crossword crossing. Add in the STYLIST and we had a hair 3-fer.

YER clued correctly, without the law---.

LARYNX another great CW, what's it score in scrabble?

I ADORE this puzzle, yes siree this was a sure thing. Which by all means was a positively eerie trip. Of course the clips were Okey-Dokey!!!

hazel said...

I had UPDO instead of COIF for POUF, which still provoked the same doubletake action on the other COIF.

I like Kid Rock - last time he was in Atlanta he got in a fight at a Waffle House after one of his shows (there was a WOLF WHISTLE directed at someone in Kid's party). He kept a (relatively) cool head throughout, though. He's also noted for his generosity to Waffle House cooks and waitresses, so he's OK by me. The fact that he chooses to go to Waffle Houses at all - they are rather humble eateries - is doubly cool.

imsdave said...

@PG - I'm thinking some descents are better than others

Really nice puzzle, great theme density, and very few (?) or (not again) moments

Re: Java Jive - I first heard that song performed by the Yale Whiffenpoofs in 1973 at my dad's house (he was a Whif, circa 1946). This clip isn't great, but it's better than nothing (and I adore the song):

Time After Time


YESSIREE, this was indeed a fun puzzle! And, and... we're blessed with another nice Puzzlegirl writeup. PG, you sure are dedicated to this task and we really appreciate you... with the priority of Puzzlekids to tend to and yet you still deliver us good CW smarts and much frivolity.

I'm with @Van55... nothing to carp about, but then this isn't the season for carping anyways.

I'm usually done puzzlin' before breakfast (OFCOURSE), but today I had to plow my driveway before I went to Mother's Cafe with the guys, so I'm quite late. Not a lot of POUF snow either... it was heavy and thick. Now I'm saying a PRAYER that we get no more White Christmas. I just had my tire TREADs Siped for better traction. I'll bet you Floridians and SoCals never heard of that word before. Siping is when they modify your tire treads for winter driving. See what wonderful things you're missing down there.

I've done a bit of mountain hiking myself, yes, at my age! I've always found the DESCENT ten times harder than the climb. When I came down from Mount LeConte in 2007, my shoes were filled with blood. Ugh! Last year I hiked Mount Sandia in a snow storm (alone)... man, did that skier's pub ever look good when I got back from the summit. Not sure yet what mountain I'll hike on next year's SW trip.

Merle, you've given us all a very nice Christmas present... thank you!


SethG said...

Since we're up to C-301, I learned about the other Burmese politian, former Prime Minister U NU, from Joon.

PG, this is what I think of when you say Sebastian CABOT.

*David* said...

I don't know if I can deal with any praise for Kid Rock especially when he used to have Pamela Anderson wrapped around his arm like a boa. There is a rabid crowd that likes that sort of thing but they ususally cause me to cross to the other side of the street.

Easy puzzle other then U THANT, I've heard of the ULU guy.

GoG8rs said...

Sorry I missed Monday's blog re- "I've Got a Lovely bunch of Cocoanuts." Maybe someone knows what the song was from? A musical? movie? revue? I recently got into a discussion about this with some friends when no one could remember the line after "some as big as your head" (Now know, "Give 'em a twist with a flick of your wrist" which didn't seem familiar even after looking it up) But why would anyone write or perform that song?

Enjoyed today's puzzle with only my bad spelling holding me up in the 30's. I put "onSite" and "poOf"for 37a and spent time trying to figure out what a "corething" was (34D) Sheesh!

Interesting fact about Mr. Thant. Didn't know the U = mister. And don't those UN guys have great names? Dag Hammerskold, U Thant and my fave, Butros Butros Ghali

This comment has been removed by the author.
Orange said...

@JNH: The current Secretary General is Ban Ki-moon. You do realize that all these names are surely quite ordinary in Africa, the Arabic-speaking world, the Spanish-speaking world, Europe, and Asia?

imsdave said...

Screwed up the link - try this (right click and open in new window)

Time After Time


John Doe Smith said...

Thank you Orange.

Tinbeni said...

Waffle House Hash-Browns, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped, topped, tripled (All the Way) with a cup of Java = the perfect meal after a night of Scotch.
Yummm !!!


Yes, Amy, I did know that. I have some real close friends whose names are Boutros, Kurt, and Dag. All pretty common names in their own countries.
I had forgotten that a couple years ago we had gotten Ban Ki-Moon.


Glad that PG gave us a graduate level course in Crosswordese... I had forgotten about U THANT. I could only name four out of the seven.
Did you ever wonder if one of the qualifications for Secretary General is to have an unusual name?

1946-1952 Trygve Lie from Norway
1953-1961 Dag Hammarskjold from Sweden
1961-1971 U Thant from Myanmar (aka Burma)
1972-1981 Kurt Waldheim from Austria
1982-1991 Javier de Perez de Cuellar from Peru
1992-1996 Boutros Boutros-Ghali from Egypt
1997-2006 Kofi Anan from Ghana
2007-present Ban Ki-moon from South Korea


I know that Disney's Pinnochio opens with "I've Got a Lovely bunch of Cocoanuts", but I'm not sure of what movie it was in before that. I wanna say Mary Poppins... didn't Dick VanDyke sing that with the Pearlie Band?
Anyone? Anyone?


Thanks for the terrific Bob Dylan reading by SC.

hazel said...

@Tinbeni - I'm a scattered and peppered chick - the crispier (and spicier) the better!!

@*David*- seriously? - the ET/TMZ/WHATEVER it was you saw video clip of KidRock w/ his former wife(?) says it all for you? And he fails your "likeability" test?

I base my snap judgment on the fact that I saw him on Letterman once and found him to be quite a thoughtful interviewee - plus his thing for Waffle Houses. Wouldn't consider myself "rabid" though - about any celebrity for that matter.

Different strokes, I suppose!

Tinbeni said...

Did you ever think that people in other countries look at our names, such as Andrew, David, James, John, Amy, Chris or Linda and think to themselves "What a weird name?"
Everything is relative ...


Yes, but I even think Andrew, David, James, John, Amy, Chris or Linda are pretty weird names also.


You've just been JAPED

mac said...

Good puzzle, with Cyan a new word for me. Remember U Thant and U Nu from puzzles/p.discussions.
What's with okeydokey the last week or so??

I know a cat in Holland called Ban Ki-Moon, named because of his little round face....

@SethG: great clip!

CrazyCat said...

Delightful puzzle today. Easy, but fun theme and some good fill. Much prefered today's clue for YER vs last week's. Marie Antoinette had more than a POUF. I think she had critters nesting in that COIF. Does anyone actually say ABED or JAPED or are they purely crosswordese?
@JNH YER right I've never heard of siping. Here in our local mountains the CHP makes you put chains on to drive in the snow. If you don't have any, they'll sell them to you. If you don't know how to put them on, you can pay someone $50 to do it for you. If you don't put them on, they won't let you through. It's snowing up there right now. I love that I can see the snow on the peaks from my back yard, but don't have to deal with it in person.

Also you might want to go to LA Times on line and read the article about the funding for the CA section of Route 66, to document historic sites from the Arizona border to Santa Monica as a step toward preservation.

bluebell said...

My husband did a lot of mountain climbing when we were younger, and I was always relieved when the climbs ended in successful descents.

Re yessiree--in my family growing up it was yessiree Bob. I don't know why.

gespenst said...

Love the word coif. Pouf wasn't half bad either!

I too fell prey to the ALAN/ADAM mixup.

Love all the "affirmative!"s :)

Enjoyable puzzle.

Eeyore said...

I didn't like this puzzle.

SethG said...

So here's something embarrassing I just noticed: I can't remember how I got there, I think I had a P instead of the F in OF COURSE for a while, but my first answer for the alarm clue was THE PD. And I was thinking that was pretty crappy. Then, when I filled in the F and changed the D to a T, I couldn't believe the actual answer was THE FT. All I could think of that it could be was "the fire truck".

Then I completely forgot about it by the time I finished the puzzle about three minutes later.

The fire truck. I'm good.

Tinbeni said...

To the uneducated, an A is just three stick.

Eeyore said...

@Tinbeni - ?????

Tinbeni said...

A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.

xyz said...

Little to cause much consternation, needed to work out aplace or three, but very fun. Unlike NYT today which I found snarky and very mean-spirited for a Tuesday.

Eeyore said...

@Tinbeni - ?????????
I'm really not Eeyore. Anyone who watches SNL knows he offed himself a couple of weeks ago. It's just that with all the positivity in this puzzle, I assumed Eeyore wouldn't have liked it. You see, he wasn't a positive type. Get it?

Tuttle said...

Only the most trifling of nits to pick... more of a goldfish of a carp than a koi; Shiv. That word, as a noun, usually refers to a makeshift weapon which a switchblade is most certainly not.

Tinbeni said...

People who don't think probably don't have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that's blown into their heads by mistake.

... I'm just quoting you!!!

GoFish said...

@Tuttle shiv


Thanks for the heads up on he LAT article on Route 66. That's so exciting! I recently participated in a Rutgers Univ. survey on R66, and I really panned the State of California for being the only state (out of 8) that hasn't done much of any development. The survey was for the National Park Service who now has a stake in the route.
Also, I read in the LAT that the govt. is creating two National Monuments in the Mojave Desert... that is fantastic! What a gorgeous place! A best kept secret of CA.

chefbea said...

Now I remember who I use to watch and hear him sing I've got a loverly bunch of coconuts!!!

Merv Griffin

chefwen said...

I had a real mess going on, Alan before ADAM, updo before POUF, OPTS in the wrong slot, weepy before TEARY. Yikes! But as mother always said "it all comes out in the wash"

CrazyCat said...

I also had Alan instead of ADAM Arkin. Just saw him two nights ago in Sunshine Cleaning. I don't think I know who Adam Arkin is. Just got him through the crosses
@JNH I thought you would like that article. That's really good news. re: desert - Love going out to Joshua Tree in the spring when it's ABLOOM.
@Eeyore I know you're just a gloomy fellow and your home is rather boggy and sad. I thought your remarks were cute. Have a few thistles and you'll feel better in the morning.

Argyle said...

14A: Actor Arkin: ADAM. He is the son of actor Alan Arkin and appeared in TV's Northern Exposure and Chicago Hope.

Tinbeni said...

That Ersatz@Eeyore didn't like this puzzle; didn't even notice the REAL Eeyore Quotes I threw in his face.
Then tried to tell me that in an SNL skit he "offed himself."

Those of us who grew up reading A.A.Milne know that our loveable donkey, though at times dismally gloomy, would NEVER do such a thing.

As to A BED & JAPED, I have never heard or seen them used anywhere except in crosswords.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni I thought Ersatz Eeyore was trying to be funny re: the positive/ affirmative puzzle theme. He/she just didn't quite pull it off. The SNL reference leads me to believe, he/she may be a tad on the juvenile side. SNL these days bears little resemblance to the SNL of YORE with John Belushi and Gilda Radnor. Love my A.A. Milne.
@Argyle thanks for ADAM Arkin info. I used to watch Northern Exposure, but outside of John Corbett, I never knew who anyone was.

Tinbeni said...

Well as to the @Eeyore inital post at 1:15pm, I would agree that it was a very sophomoric (freshman) attempt at humor.
That's why I felt the "Real Eeyore" quotes would go completely over his/her head.
Or, to be puzzle inspired, to let him/her know that he/she had been JAPED !!!

SNL probable is funny to the under 30 set, but I prefer the old days with Belushi / Radnor / Chase, etal.

Sfingi said...

@Tuttle - you're absolutely right. SHIVs are hand-made from such things as cement-sharpened tooth brushes handles; switch blades and gravity knives are store bought and smuggled in. I did a 17-yr-bid as a teacher, but needed you to remind me.
By the way, we have a Thomas Tuttle who came to New Haven in 1634. Any relation?

@John - you should try today's NYT.

Does anyone remember a Northern Exposure episode in which Elaine Miles as Marilyn Whirlwind does a review of sorts in which she says "fortunately" or "luckily" such and such happened, and then ends with but "unfortunately," such and such, and continues back and forth with the good luck/bad luck flip-flop?

ddbmc (Pooh Bear) said...

Love both Arkin's-Alan in The Russians are Coming, Wait Until Dark, Catch 22 (Yossarian.) More recently, Little Miss Sunshine (as mentioned above), Get Smart, Marley and Me-just a terrific character actor. Adam-I specifically remember from "Chicago Hope," with Mandy Patinkin. He's shown up in a bunch of different shows, most recently "Life" and "Sons of Anarchy."

"Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" was a novelty song written by Fred Heatherton(no relation to Joey or Ray.) Danny Kaye (Of White Christmas and Hans Christian Anderson) heard it in London, then recorded it. According to Wiki,it became his only hit song in the US. Merv Griffin recorded a version with Freddie Martin and his orchestra. Their version is often miscredited to Monty Python.
The song celebrates the coconut toss at traveling funfairs.....who knew?
Oh yes, the puzzle. Just fine! No complaints. Poor Eeyore! He's so forlorn because he's missing his tail! Cheer up, maybe Santa will bring you a new one for Christmas! Anyone for hunny? Yum!

ddbmc said...

@Sfingi-I have a vague recollection of Marilyn Whirlwind doing that flip/flop. I loved that her character was so sensible with all the zaniness going on around her. That was a most enjoyable show. Very quirky.