TUESDAY, December 29, 2009 — Julian Lim

Theme: Bowling League — The first word of each theme answer refers to a type of bowling score.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Panhandler's request (SPARE CHANGE).
  • 27A: Hit the mother lode (STRIKE IT RICH).
  • 48A: Certain tour bus (DOUBLE DECKER).
  • 58A: Easy job, in slang (TURKEY SHOOT).
Heloooo, Chicagooooooo! That's right. PuzzleGirl here coming to you live from the Windy City. Orange is in Florida right now and we decided that we needed to have an LACC blogger in Chicago at all times. Of course I'm kidding. Orange really is in Florida, but I'm here for a two-day wrestling tournament that starts tomorrow. Go, Hawks!

Really liked this puzzle. Did you all know three strikes in a row is referred to as a "turkey"? I learned it from Wii bowling. Reviewing the clues and answers I didn't see anything super sparkly to talk about, but the theme is cool and the puzzle went down super smooth for me today, which I really appreciate on a Tuesday.

But there are a few things I can mention:
  • 10A: Tool in a wood shop (ADZE). Ya know what? Let's just go ahead and find out what an ADZE is today. I've been entering the word into puzzles forever and have no idea what it is. Okay, it's an "axe with a curved blade, pointing inwards at right angles to the handle." So now we know.
  • 15A: "At last it's clear!" ("I SEE!"). I kept thinking weather for this one. Like the answer was going to be "The clouds are gone!" or something.
  • 18A: "Beautiful Girls" singer Kingston (SEAN). I went and looked at this video because I thought I might want to include it here and, wow. That's a terrible video. It's a song about girls who are so beautiful they "make you suicidal when it's over" and for some reason the video jumps back and forth between the 1950s and modern times. I think I'll pass on it. You're welcome.
  • 36A: Cathedral cross (ROOD). Another word for crucifix, today "rood" generally refers to a large sculpture of the cross with Christ hanging upon it.
  • 67A: Hearty dish (STEW). Questioned myself on this one because I had already entered BREW (26D: Witch's concoction) in the grid. You'd think rhyming words wouldn't be so confusing, and yet sometimes they are.
  • 9D: Umbrella-toting "Batman" villain (PENGUIN). The Riddler? Silly. Cat Woman? Whatever. But the Penguin? Terrifying.
  • 49D: Lower the assessed electrical capability of (DERATE). That seems like an awfully long way to go for DERATE. But I can't think of anything better....
Crosswordese 101: SASE (34A: Invitation encl.) stands for self-addressed stamped envelope. In CrossWorld, SASEs are enclosed in manuscript submissions and invitations, so you'll see words like publisher, editor, MS, enclosure, response, and RSVP in the clues. SAE (self-addressed envelope, but without the stamp) is clued the same way, so don't freak out if the answer is only three letters.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Tibetan capital (LHASA); 6A: Winged stinger (WASP); 14A: Draws, as a salary (EARNS); 16A: Reynolds wrap (FOIL); 17A: Kiri Te Kanawa specialties (ARIAS); 19A: Pairs (TWOS); 23A: New Orleans-to-Detroit dir. (NNE); 24A: Anacin Aspirin Free competitor (TYLENOL); 25A: Parking places (CURBS); 31A: Third deg.? (PH.D.); 35A: Object of a doctor's office phobia (NEEDLE); 38A: Coll. helpers (TAS); 40A: Gradually disappear, with "off" (WEAR); 41A: Demur (OBJECT); 44A: Popular gas in Vegas (NEON); 47A: __-Cat: winter vehicle (SNO); 51A: Oliver who directed "W." (STONE); 52A: They may be tossed in an Easter contest (RAW EGGS); 56A: Nov. honoree (VET); 60A: Graph line (AXIS); 62A: Not at all bored (RAPT); 63A: Piglet's creator (MILNE); 64A: Pleasant (NICE); 65A: List-ending abbr. (ET AL.); 66A: Former forest near the River Avon (ARDEN); 68A: Voluptuous (SEXY); 69A: Gets within shouting distance of (NEARS); 1D: Minimum (LEAST); 2D: Shrew (HARPY); 3D: Sans serif font (ARIAL); 4D: Catches (SNARES); 5D: Green lights (ASSENTS); 6D: Letter to Santa, e.g. (WISH LIST); 7D: On a voyage (ASEA); 8D: Medium session? (SEANCE); 10D: Back of the boat (AFT); 11D: Drawbacks (DOWNSIDES); 12D: Utah national park (ZION); 13D: Alternatively (ELSE); 21D: Julius Dithers's wife, in "Blondie" (CORA); 22D: Art Deco designer (ERTÉ); 28D: "The Family Circus" cartoonist Bil (KEANE); 29D: Kin group (CLAN); 30D: Rescuer, often (HERO); 31D: Cajole (PROD); 32D: Vagabond (HOBO); 33D: Appreciate properly (DO JUSTICE); 37D: Borrowing consequence (DEBT); 39D: How plots are planned (SECRETLY); 42D: Congeal, as blood (CLOT); 43D: Lengths of service (TENURES); 45D: "Sounds good!" ("OKAY!"); 46D: One working on columns (NEWSMAN); 50D: Bring back to the firm (REHIRE); 53D: Meir of Israel (GOLDA); 54D: One surrounded by the enemy, maybe (GONER); 55D: Old British guns (STENS); 56D: Boxy vehicles (VANS); 57D: Word with sign or strategy (EXIT); 59D: 2001 Spacey film (K-PAX); 61D: Work on a seam (SEW).


Van55 said...

I agree. This was a solid, unobjectionable but not particularly remarkable puzzle.

Ruth said...

Is that PuzzleSon perched overlooking the Windy City? If so, which one, and who's the other young gentleman? (obviously not a photo from today!)

Gareth Bain said...

Didn't know you wrestled PG! Yeah PG (and Van55) pretty much summed it up, but the lack of remarkableness goes for most Tuesdays in any case... And is not exactly a bad thing, either.

BTW, it's a bit late, but if you're not averse to violence you can waste 20 minutes or so with this game: http://www.freechristmasscreensavers.com/elfbowling.htm.

The Corgi of Mystery said...

I guess this is an opportune moment to say that The Corgi = Julian, and that this is my newspaper debut. It's kinda weird to be written about after being a reader of this blog for so long, so thanks PG for the kind words.

I also posted on Rex's blog recently that I had a NYT puzzle coming up, and some folks asked me if I would be spilling my identity before it came out -- I guess if you follow both blogs this is your answer!

Tinbeni said...

Congrats Corgi for a nice Tuesday LAT puzzle.
One thing I liked about the theme is the bowling shots were getting progessively better from the SPARE to a STRIKE to a DOUBLE to a 3 bagger, TURKEY.
I knew this term @PG, yet I bowl like Obama (3 times in my life).

My gal pal has 2 LHASA Apso dogs, so whenever the capital of Tibet or breed is mentioned, I say to myself, Thanks Rusty! (he's a purebred champ)

Also liked ZION & ROOD, and RAW EGGS (you don't see that in a puzzle often) good cluing.

Sfingi said...

I saw the 2 cul-de-sacs and was a bit afraid, but easy anyway. Lots of loose fill (as they say in the insulation trade) in the 3-4 letter words.

Caught the theme early but wouldn't have had I got to TURKEY.

@Lim - bet you think we have a lot of nerve critiquing puzzles when we couldn't compose a 5x5. You've seen it from the DOWNSIDE, now.

If I recall, Arden Forest belonged to Shakespeare's family.

GLowe said...

Nice job, Corgi. of Mystery., The.

No idea about KPAX. CORA Dithers? Holeee, she was old when I was young, and I ain't young anymore.

Parsan said...

PG--Flew home yesterday from O'Hare after a NICE visit with members of our CLAN. 40 minutes in the United line to get a boarding pass and extensive examination of carry-on luggage. But Chicago had a lovely snowfall and it really looked like Christmas.

Enjoyed this puzzle! Caught the theme with SPARE and STRIKE and looked forward to the next bowling clues. Especially liked GONER, NEWSMAN and RAW EGGS and was happily reminded of the old saying TURKEY SHOOT.

Good luck with the wrestling matches, PG!

Burner10 said...

Once again a double treat - first the puzzle which I found to be just right for a Tuesday with the added delight of lots of longer words and delightful theme (almost one of those puzzles with all the letters (QF) then, the big blog reveal!
Thanks for the fun.

C said...

@Corgi, good puzzle, thanks for sharing with us.

chefbea said...

Congratulations Corgi!! How ever I found it a bit hard. Never got the theme til I came here.

I did bowl (infact was in a league) way back when, and I don't remember the Turkey - probably because I never had 3 strikes in a row.

xyz said...

I thought it was a cool puzzle, no ewws or yucks and tougher for me than NYT today.

OTC drugs in both puzzles today!

*David* said...

Congrats Corgi, it seens like everyone is getting published these days, j/k. If you got a NYT puzzle about to be published you're a DOUBLE, one more to be a TURKEY.

bluebell said...

Congratulations on the debut.

Caught the theme with spare and strike, but had to work out double and turkey. My bowling days are far behind me!

Hadn't a clue on KPAX, but had to trust the crosses.


A puzzle that kept me RAPT !!!!
Wow, I really sailed through this one… I guess it just clicked. Maybe it’s because there’s lots about comic characters (where my mind is). Piglet, Dagwood’s wife CORA, The Family Circus, and the PENGUIN. I wish the LAT constructors would come out with an entire comic-based theme puzzle.

I never noticed the theme till I came to PG's nice blog. And wouldn't I know that she'd put up some cute photos today. Good to see a photo of those cute PuzzleKids... weren't they freezing though in this windy city?

I always loved A.A. MILNE‘s books… even as an adult, I liked Winnie-the-Pooh, and especially Piglet
PIGLETS are so cute.
Isn't that clip amazing?
I loved the little TIGGER costumes.

Words I liked: ROOD, TYLENOL, DO JUSTICE, WISH LIST, and RAW EGGS (although I’ve never seen them thrown on Easter).

Words I didn’t like: DERATE and ASEA (overused).

New words: KPAX & HARPY

I knew ROOD “Cathedral cross” from my past experience in Edinburgh Scotland, where I saw the word HOLYROOD used, and I thought “is that Hollywood misspelled? Duh!

Now I really loved seeing ZION in this puzzle, not just for it’s religious implications, but for the fact that I’ll be at ZION National Park next May. I can’t wait!

I'm late really today… went with the guys to Mother's for breakfast. One good Bears game and we gab on forever.


Nice job, @Corgi (Julian), this puzzle just flowed and I love that. I wrote my critique (above) before I knew it was yours...sure glad I said nice things.
How about my request for a future comic/cartoon theme?


Oh, and the other theme puzzle I'd like to see would be based on Harry Potter words. Do I hear a second?

Tinbeni said...

That was a great game last night!
Knew you were smiling when you came to ZION, looking forward to your Spring trip.

I especially thought very cleaver, the cluing for HARPY.
As to DERATE, sometimes you fill an answer and think ... WTH?

Some of us also do both the LAT & NYT.
I don't think it is appropriate to comment on the other puzzle here.
Its kind of a spoiler for those who do the LAT first, then move to the other.

Tinbeni said...

If they did a Harry Potter puzzle, like the Simpsons, everything I know would have come from CW's ... I would be in the weeds.

ddbmc said...

Congrats, @CorgiOM, aka Julian! Fun Tuesday-got the theme but didn't know all the bowling words, so now I'm edjumicated!

I had a Lhasa Apso many years ago and her name was Lani-after Ulan Bator(capital of Mongolia). I kept thinking THAT was the capital of Tibet,so was stumped till the end in the NW corner. I did finally use the "Google" (as Craig Ferguson calls it) and everything filled in from there. Speaking of dogs, my cousin just named her new dog "Kat," from "Taming of the Shrew." Of course, I can't resist all the dog-"Kat" jokes.

@PG, stay warm in Chi-Town. It is mighty cold and windy here in the East today! Have fun at the wrestling tourny.

@JNH, I got to Moab and Bryce but didn't make it to Zion! I'll wait for your pictures on Flickr and live vicariously!
@Mac-I put a link on yesterday's blog for the Dutch Baby Pancake. Enjoy!

chefbea said...

@JNH Was at Zion a few years ago. Also Brice, the grand canyon, Sedona etc. What a trip!!!

jeff in chicago said...

Congrats, Corgi! Fun puzzle. And now I want to go bowling. Cosmic Bowl? Or that great old-timey place that's on the second floor, above a hardware store?

Martha said...

Fun puzzle and I zipped through it (I'm still a xword newbie, but I think my time's improving! :)

I agree, JNH, a puzzle with Harry Potter theme would be quite enjoyable!

I loved "How plots are planned" (could imagine rubbing one's hands and cackling) and the newsman working on columns (that one slowed me down a bit.)

I agree re: raw eggs, never heard of them tossed at Easter. Halloween, yes!
Also, someone should name their daughter Cora, and she in turn should become famous, so we'll no longer need the "Dither's wife" clue. (I'm always running through the list in my head: "Is it Nora? No, she's with Nick. Is it Dora? No, she's an explorer"...)

lit.doc said...

@TCOM, congratulations! You people who can construct these marvelous toys are an astonishing breed. Glad you walk among us.

I also once bowled (badly) in a league, and have never heard the term "turkey" in this context. But not even a speedbump here, as the fill was so smooth.

After missing it yesterday through inattention, I actually looked for the theme today. First one I got was TURKEY SHOOT, which enabled me to never spot the theme till I got here. Thanks, PG.

@ddbmc, me too re LHASA vs. Ulan BATOR, which I started with. Someday I'll get those straight, like MALI and BALI. Maybe.

mac said...

Congratulations, Corgy!
Nice puzzle, I liked that word "harpy", don't think I've ever seen it in a puzzle. I got the theme quickly because "spare" and "strike" are the only two terms I know related to bowling.

@JNH: did I ever tell you that a friend in Boise, Idaho had a cleaning service called "mom"? Mom cleaned her house.

@ddbmc: thank you! I'll check out the recipy right away.

mac said...

That pancake sounds delicious! Still no idea why it's called a Dutch baby pancake. It's not what we do with babies. Perhaps they meant to say Deutsch, German.

In Holland pancakes are never eaten for breakfast, always for lunch or even dinner. They are very large but thin, and cooked with bacon or apple right in them, and then drizzled with syrup or sprinkled with sugar, or even filled with fruits. Some are hearty, so it really becomes a meal.

When I saw the term baby pancakes I thought it might be "poffertjes", tiny round pancakes baked in special pans and served with plenty of soft sweet butter and confectioners sugar.

I have to go find something to eat.

ddbmc said...

@Mac, my sister in law made the "Dutch Baby" many years ago and served it for brunch. It is almost like a big fluffy omelette or souffle-that unpuffs when brought to the table.

I'm sure you can add what you like to it! It would make a wonderful lunch item and I imagine you could adapt for dinner, too! Enjoy! Other recipes call it a "German pancake."

Maybe @chefwan/bea have better recipes! The one I cite is basic. :)

Loved the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, too!

Sfingi said...

And the pig will lie down with the tiger. (Woody Allen said, The lamb will lie down with the lion, but the lamb won't get much sleep.)

I just found a site where a young girl gave a quick spoken summary of Star Wars. I learned a lot.
Maybe there's one on Harry the Potter.

@ddbmc - Did you see the dog-cat joke today on Mother Goose and Grimm? It's a "dirty" joke.

KPAX was a pretty good movie. The guy's a mental patient who might actually be from another planet - or just crazy.

@Mac - the diminutive "-jes" - my Dutch teacher - in the 1980s - had just got back from a visit and said they were tacking it on a lot, and things were just "getting smaller and smaller" back in Holland.

docmoreau said...

@Corgi of Mystery Ain't no mystery anymore, Julian. Thanks for tipping the faithful here off. You could've chosen to hide in the weeds for a while. Damn smooth debut.

chefwen said...

@ddbmc - Go to whatscookingamerica.net/eggs/germanpancake.htm

Recipe and instructions. They are great.

Congratulations Julina/Corgi on your debut, it was great Tuesday puzzle, not too soft, not too hard, just right.

mac said...

@Sfingi: using the diminutive in Dutch is helpful especially for people learning the language. We don't have der, die and das, but we do have de and het. When you add on the diminutive, it is automatically "het".

Sfingi said...

@Mac - like a neuter. Whatever happened to ten, ter, der of the 17th century? Were they once masculine? Or are they only in names?
As in ten Broeck, ter Horst, van der Schoenderwoert.

mac said...

Those are all sorts of adverbs, articles etc. put together. . Ten means at the, der is of the, ter is at the. Many of them are still used. One expression, ter plaatse, is very common, and means "at the location".

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