WEDNESDAY, January 13, 2010—Dan Naddor

You know how so many Dan Naddor puzzles have a bunch of 7-letter answers in the corners, just for the hell of it? This time, one of those 7s holds the key to the theme.

THEME: "Dee-fense! Dee-fense!"—Five phrases end with words that can precede "defense"
  • 16A. [*Dictated reminder] is NOTE TO SELF. Self-defense.
  • 19A. "THIS IS INSANITY!" is clued [*"We must be nuts!"]. The insanity defense sometimes involves Twinkies.
  • 32A. [*Restricted airspace] is a NO-FLY ZONE. Zone defense is...what, a basketball thing? My husband adds "football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse...." He may be making up that last one.
  • 50A. [*"We answer to a higher authority" brand] is HEBREW NATIONAL hot dogs. National defense, yadda yadda.
  • 55A. [*Marquee name] is a MOVIE TITLE. A boxer or crossword champion embarks on a title defense against a challenger who would like to unseat her. Not crazy about MOVIE TITLE as a crossword-worthy entry.
  • 36D. [Stadium chant, and word that can follow the ends of the answers to starred clues] is DEFENSE.

Gee, why so defensive?

Random rundown of clues:

20D: ASHANTI is clued as [People or region of Ghana]. Whoa! Hard geography clue. ASHANTI is also a singer:

43A: [Classic TV family] is not asking for a famous transvestite family. Not at all! The NELSONS were on TV. On The Simpsons, we see little of Nelson's family. They are the Muntzes. The Ozzie & Harriet clan were on old reruns when I was little—largely before my time.

Snort! Dan put PEE in the puzzle. Sure, it's masked as 60A: [The Carolinas' ___ Dee River]. My friend P.D. is always excited when "his" river is in a crossword.

3D. [Asphalt fault] repeats the "falt" sound twice. The answer is POTHOLE. Thanks to the economic stimulus money, a lot of Chicago's streets got complete or partial resurfacing last year, which was awesome. Last winter's potholes were INSANE. In the spring, I saw one pothole on Broadway that revealed history that had been buried since the '50s—cobblestones and streetcar tracks. That ain't right.

9D. [40% of fifty?] clues EFFS, as in the two letter Fs that make up 40% of the word "fifty." Eh.

26D. [Slip through the cracks} clues OOZE. I'm tempted to say that forgotten details have oozed.

I really like 37D: "I'LL BITE." That's what you say to convey the idea, ["It's a trick, but tell me"]. It took me way too long to remember what the second word was.

This is baloney. 41D: [IHOP order], SMALL OJ? I would never order OJ at IHOP. For me, restaurant OJ has got to be fresh-squeezed.

52D. [Don Knotts denial] is NOOP. Um, before my time? A little? I don't think he said that word as Mr. Furley on Three's Company. Who doesn't like a little Knotts?

Crosswordese 101: 1D: [Barley bristle] clues a solid old crosswordese word from botany: AWN. Pick one from column A: barley, grain, wheat, plant, grass. And one from column B: bristle, appendage, beard, covering. There you have it: A recipe for clueing the word AWN in a crossword.

See you Saturday, y'all. Stay warm.

Everything Else — 1A: Dadaism co-founder (ARP); 4A: "I'm serious!" ("NO JOKE!"); 10A: Egyptian viper (ASP); 13A: Chase, in a way (WOO); 14A: Supposing (EVEN IF); 15A: Zig or zag (VEER); 18A: Wrath, in a hymn title (IRAE); 21A: Word with car or bumper (POOL); 22A: Dover's st. (DEL.); 23A: Skedaddles (SCATS); 24A: Derby drinks (JULEPS); 26A: Moor on stage (OTHELLO); 28A: Beef source (STEER); 29A: Flowery welcome (ALOHA); 31A: VIP on the Hill (SEN.); 35A: First name in tyranny (IDI); 38A: Donnybrook (MELEE); 39A: __ talk (TRASH); 45A: Filmdom (CINEMA); 46A: Second of three black keys (A FLAT); 47A: Zippo (NIL); 49A: Sea depleted by irrigation projects (ARAL); 54A: Author Bagnold (ENID); 57A: Italian vineyard region (ASTI); 58A: "It __ matter" (DOESN'T); 59A: Years and years (EON); 60A: The Carolinas' __ Dee River (PEE); 61A: Skedaddles (SPLITS); 62A: CD players (DJS); 2D: Destroy completely (ROOT OUT); 4D: Clears (NETS); 5D: Eggs, e.g. (OVOIDS); 6D: Longtime North Carolina senator Helms (JESSE); 7D: NBC newsman Roger (O'NEIL); 8D: Potter's need (KILN); 10D: Shots from above (AERIALS); 11D: "Grey's Anatomy" setting (SEATTLE); 12D: Victimizes (PREYS ON); 15D: Country singer Gill (VINCE); 17D: Actress Brennan (EILEEN); 21D: Dr. Dentons, e.g. (PJS); 25D: Hype (PROMOTE); 27D: Howe'er (THO); 29D: Free-for-__: fights (ALLS); 30D: Caustic chemical (LYE); 33D: Squishy lowland (FEN); 34D: Verdi title bandit (ERNANI); 35D: Piled any which way (IN A HEAP); 40D: Effervescent, perhaps (AERATED); 42D: Dave's "2001" nemesis (HAL); 44D: New York restaurateur (SARDI); 45D: Customer (CLIENT); 47D: Subject of contemplation? (NAVEL); 48D: Formal "Who's there?" response (IT IS I); 51D: Scary arms, briefly (WMDS); 53D: Baseball's Mel and Ed (OTTS); 56D: Dash widths (ENS).


MM said...

This was a slow one for me. Tried WALTONS then JETSONS then NELSONS.

mac said...

There are so many families to pick from! That answer slowed me down.

Otherwise it was a nice, sort of loose puzzle with lots of expressions we actually use. What a good line for the kosher hotdogs!
Has melee been the crosswordese of the day yet?

Rex Parker said...

More Fri/Sat time for me. ASHANTI next to ERNANI gave me fits. Also, went WALTONS over NELSONS. "J" in SMALL OJ / DJ was the last letter in.


Rex Parker said...

That's Fri/Sat LAT. So ... like an NYT Wednesday.

mac said...

Just found the crosswordese button, I'll be studying that list in the next couple of weeks.

Tinbeni said...

Seeing it was Dan Naddor I kept looking for his puns.
Was not prepared for straight forward cluing.

I hope @JNH checks his paper today, I know he enjoys DN puzzles.

NO JOKE I thought to ROOT OUT meant to seek something. NOOP, destroy completely.
CW101 again right on. AWN is a bristle!
2 things learned in first minute of solve.

NELSONS was easy answer, shows my age.
'J' in SMALL OJ was my last letter too. After our freeze, it is now probably now priced as a large.
ASHANTI & ERNANI popped out of some dormant brain cells, coffee clicked in quickly.

Like @mac, I found the CW101 button, hidden in plain sight. Duh moment.

Some Mint JULIPS later? Hmmm nice day for Tampa Bay Downs horse racing.

Time to go contemplate my NAVEL.

@ORANGE Great Knotts clip, he'll always be Barney Fife to me.

Van55 said...

This was so much superior to today's NYT entry! I really enjoyed it. I confidently entered omelett for the IHOP order at first. That really slowed me down. SMALL OJ???

xyz said...

Today I'm getting it right, THANKS ORANGE (Navel helped?) No, yesterday I learned where to look for the Avatar, left NOT right.

This was a very good puzzle with a few exceptions. NOOP is just plain ugly and needed crosses, and had SOVIET _ _ _ _ _ for a long while, also had WALTONS for NELSONS for a long time otherwise I'd have had this one quickly (per my own times).

I know a great big fellow (6'6") that's from GHANA and that makes him an EWE not an ASANTE (preferred spelling) so ASHANTI as clued is pretty weekend-y for LAT.

Liked ARP and ASP at top of puzzle, too bad ALT and AMP didn't make up the two bottom corners, that would have been cool.. or not, I don't know crossword construction well enough.

@Van55 - I, too preferred this to NYT today.

Zeke said...

Two AER___? There's a foul there somewhere. I echo Rex with ASHANTI / ERNANI. I plead near total ignorance about Opera and normally view that as a legitimate hole in my knowledge, but ERNANI?

Anonymous said...

My slow down was 6 and 7 down. After I found Jesse that was a d'oh moment but never heard of O'Neil. Apart from that very enjoyable puzzle and challenging for a Wednesday.

Charlie don't tweet said...

Someone's confused about effervescence, most likely me.

AERATED = CARBONATED? I guess I'll look this one up.

Orange said...

ERNANI is 6-letter crosswordese. Half vowels, with two Ns and an R? You'll be seeing it again in the puzzle some day. Never in the opera house, but definitely in the crossword.

Charlie don't tweet said...

Yup it is. I'll save money and carbonate the lawn next year, and stick to non-aerated beverages.

*David* said...

I missed ERNANI completely with the crosses. Had ASHAN and filled in the last two letters that made sense, as in the singer. The J in SMALL OJ was my last letter.

The rest of the puzzle was a big improvement on past DN works. Fewer abbreviations and partials, quite a solid puzzle.

shrub5 said...

I loved this tough (for me) puzzle. Had the same missteps as others have mentioned with the Waltons and the NELSONS and the SMALL OJ and the omellet (sic). I thought the theme was great, altho' it didn't help me solve anywhere.

At NBA games, "DEFENSE" is chanted almost constantly. I find it annoying.

@Orange: I wish some of that stimulus money would find its way over to my neck of the woods. CA roads are in a sorry state of disrepair from deferred maintenance and POTHOLEs abound.

ddbmc said...

Like Phil_m99, aka Glowe, wondered about the 40d clue, but once I got 39a and 45a, I popped "aerated" in and it stuck.

Also noted the 10d Aerials and 40d Aerated and thought it might be cool to have a similar pairing for 17d and 44d.

WhoTF moments: Enid, Erani. Also put in Waltons, but Nelsons was escaping me. Had I only thought of Ricky sooner!

My fumble was the 5d and 22a-ovoids/Del cross. Wanted ovolos or ovoili. Del was not even floating in any backroad brain paths, as I totally misread the clue "St." to mean "street," instead of state. D'oh.

For some reason got "small oj," which seemed to be the bane of a few solvers today. Mine is not to reason why...

Took me a while to solve, so it was a good meat and potatoes entry for Wednesday. Tip of the hat to Dan, RIP.

Thanks, @Orange for the w-u. Shoutout to your friend PD from DD! The (Great) Pee Dee River was in a puzzle back a few months....I laughed at it then!

lit.doc said...

@mac and @Tinbeni - OK, I'LL BITE, *what* effing CW101 button *where*?

Crossword 101 progress today--the AWN synapse actually fired. Slow Wednesday for me, but lots of interesting moments, some of which were actually DN's doing.

Got "40% of fifty?" instantly, with just __F_: FIFT. Seriously. And moved on. Yeah, easy enough in *retrospect* to say "Dude, that's 80%!"...

Also got WALTONS instantly. Glad to see I wasn't the only one (misery loves company, eh?). Eventually figured out that it was the booooring Ozzie, but that's symptomatic of why SW took as long as all the rest of the puzzle.

Secondary POT HOLE installed by the WALTONS was 44D, where I confidently slammed in TOOTS Shor, thanks to what I've learned from crosswords. But then I saw 46A's A FLAT (a gimme for piano geeks), and I knew I was hosed.

@Zeke, me too re AERials above AERated. That can't be "legal", can it? Thoughts, @Orange?

Anyone else notice the interesting cross of "Free-for-"ALLS and MELEE?
Nice. And my favorite clue was "Subject of contemplation?" Quite a few of my students are very contemplative, it seems.

Eye Doc said...

@LitDoc - Right up there on the top. A little grey box with CW101 written in it, embedded in the big black banner spanning the top of the blog.

Parsan said...

Hard to get a toe hold on this one but it slowly came together and then moved very fast. Also new to me, ASHANTI and ERNANI, but they just filled in.

NELSONS an easy get, had scoots for SPLITS, no jest before NO JOKE, and also thought Toots for SARDI.

Also think this is more a Friday LAT puzzle. Are they now moving in the direction of competing with the NYTimes in difficulty? I've noticed some comments lately that the LAT puzzle that day was harder than the one in the NYTimes.

Good, thoughtful puzzle, and kudos to the editor and paper brass for making it challenging again!

Thanks for the write-up Orange!

Joon said...

i've never seen ERNANI in a crossword before, but considering that i could probably name only about a couple dozen operas and it's one of them, yeah, it seems important enough. it's by verdi, and based on a victor hugo novel... that's legit opera cred right there.

AERATED and AERIALS do share a root word but they have little in common, so i don't have a problem with that.

MOVIE TITLE feels totally in the language to me. more so than TITLE DEFENSE, actually. but i really dug THIS IS INSANITY and I'LL BITE.

CrazyCat said...

Kind of tough for Wednesday, but fun DN. NELSONS was a gimme. Guess I'm officially old. Had a crush on Ricky when I was a kid. Totally at a loss for ERNANI, but I will now remember the Verdi Bandit. Got AWN for a change. Also got the EFFS. Those % of something clues usually confound me. Was able to figure out the theme at DEFENSE. Yesterday we had WEINER, today HEBREW NATIONAL. Haven't had a hot dog in years. Who knows what may be lurking in a hot dog, even if it is Kosher. SMALL OJ also gave me fits. And I too tried SOVIET for a minute and then thought, nah, nothing to do with a Marquee.

Thanks Orange. Loved the Don Knots clip. Watched half of Wordplay last night. It was awesome to watch those solvers. Thoroughly enjoyed watching Merle Reagle construct a puzzle. Will finish it tonight.

bluebell said...

I was amused by "woo" as a "chase in a way." And it helped me remember awn, which regularly leaks out of my brain.

I've seen/heard a fair number of operas, but Ernani was new to me; ashanti also new. But both came through crosses.

Orange said...

Yeah, I s'pose AERIAL/AERATED is a semantic dupe. I waver on how much I care about those. If I don't notice it while solving, I tend not to be bothered when I become aware of it.

Charles Bogle said...

Agree totally w @van55, @parsan: very enjoyable, challenging-enough, and far superior to today's great bore in the NYT. Loved INSANITY defense, WMDS, MELEE, lots more

@shrub5: So far as I've been able to determine, the NBA chant of "DEE-FENSE!" was first deployed at Madison Square Garden in the Knicks' great championship season of '69-'70/I was a season ticket holder and rabid Knicks fan; we all felt Coach Red Holzman's emphasis on defense was worth shouting for!

Needless to say, the game has changed radically changed. Maybe fans need to remind today's players that defense is even in their job descriptions!

chefbea said...

I found this a bit more difficult than the NYT. Of course I new the Nelsons. Loved the Don Knotts clip. Never heard of Ernani.

And what is wrath in a hymn title=Irae. Guess I'm not up on my hymns.

CrazyCat said...

@Chef Bea It's Dies Irae, a Latin hymn. It means Day of Wrath (Judgement Day). It shows up once in a while in CW puzzles.

Van55 said...

I got to thinking about NELSONS and NOOP. Both derive from 1950's and 1960 TV shows. "Ozzie & Harriet" featured the real life and fictional Nelson family. Don Knotts portrayed the extremely nervous "man on the street" in Steve Allen's interview sketches. In the interviews, Allen would ask the Knotts character if he were nervous and Knotts would immediataly stop shaking and say, "Noop!" The repeated gag never ceased to amuse me. The other two man on the street interviewees were Louis Nye and Tom Poston. Great memories!

gespenst said...

My waterloo was the 1 square, b/c for some reason I misremembered the artist as ERP (maybe thinking Wyatt? Ok, that would also be misspelled, lol). And since I didn't know (or forgot) AWN, EWN seemed just as likely. Oh well.

I was proud of getting NOTE TO SELF right off the bat, though I had a moment of doubt working that middle top section.

Got VEER right off, thanks to an earlier puzzle this week I think, and IRAE was a gimme for me. Had to write SEATTLE over SURGERY (which didn't fit w/ either veer or irae, but whatever).

ENID ... was that in CW101 at some point? I got that one reflexively.

Don't usually see OTHELLO, rather used to seeing his nemesis (I think) IAGO.

Unlike many previous posters, I had DJS early, so OJ fit relatively easily.

Loved PEE-Dee :)

I liked the puzzle, and found it a nice mid-week challenge.

Anonymous said...

Being a neophyte to CW . Found this Tues puzzle a bit difficult . Was unable to relax thus affecting my posture( defensive)

CrazyCat said...

@Van55 The Steve Allen Show was a Sunday night staple in our home. The Man on Street skits would send us into giggle fits. Same thing with the Carol Burnett show. They couldn't get through a skit without cracking up. That was often even funnier than the skit.

Sfingi said...

At first, had "Jetsons" for NELSONS, MOVIEstar for MOVIETITLE, "table" talk for TRASH talk, "skillet" for SMALLOJ.

Thanx to HEBREWNATIONAL, I got the theme, __DEFENSE (sports), so had no theme problem. Themes are definitely getting easier.

Got EFFS but not ENS (print size?).

What is a bumper POOL?


lit.doc said...

@Eye Doc, that button WAS NOT there till you said something!!

Rube said...

@Orange: Ernani was revived at the Met in 2008 and has appeared recently in Boston & Chicago but sadly not in San Francisco since the early '80s.

For those of you who are interested, there are two productions of Ernani available on Netflix. One with Domingo & Freni and the other with Pavarotti & Leona Mitchell. Coincidentally I watched the Domingo about 2 mos ago... quite good... recorded with Muti at La Scala if my memory serves. It's about 3 guys of widely differing ages chasing after a tender young thing by the name of Elvira. One of the suitors is Don Carlos who becomes the emperor Charles V of the HRE during the opera. Charles V is best known for fighting off the Saracens and then later going on to persecute Martin Luther. It's a very dramatic and difficult opera, but doesn't have any "blockbuster" arias.

That's your "Opera" of the Day.


Enjoyed today's puzzle. Loved 'notetoself' and 'thisisinsanity'. Very appropriate for me since I couldn't sleep so did the puzzle online around 1 a.m.

Smalloj just doesn't make a connection to IHOP for me.

Never heard of Ernani but may check it out now with all the info everyone has shared.

Nelsons was a gimme for me since I had several perps filled in and I used to watch the show as a kid.

Irae was also new for me. Attended parochial elementary school back in the '60s so thought I had the Latin hymns down but guess not!

KJGooster said...

Every time I see the clue 54A:[Author Bagnold] my thought process is the same: Enid? Edna? Erma? Wait -- no. Oklahoma? Ferber? Bombeck? Arrrgh.

I usually end up putting down Edna, then immediately doubt myself until the crosses straighten me out.

Tinbeni said...

Well the day at the races was a winner, only lost $80. But I did have that Mint JULEP!

@Sfingi - Bumper POOL is played on a half-sized pool table with obstacles (bumpers) in the middle and on either side of the hole at each end. Popular with kids before they get to the real thing.

@Lit.doc.- It is amazing, the CW101 button popped up just after @mac mentioned it on my screen.

Got to wondering why DN didn't have his usual puns. Then remembered he did say NO JOKE.

NAVEL contemplation solves a mystery of the world.


Even though I don't find it worthwhile to do the Mon-Wed. puzzles anymore, I still read the blog writeups and comments. But, you're right, I should have done this one (Naddorite here) and also it was like a fri. level of difficulty.
I did enjoy seeing the nice 6 & 7 letter fill words, especially the esoteric, ERNANI.


Ummmm... Where's that Crosswordese button that everyone is talking about?

Tinbeni said...

Well remember DN has about 18 more to come, and though he seemed like the regular on Friday, he also had a lot on Wed.
More like a Thur.
The lack of his puns threw me for a while.
My coffee must have been strong because I have no idea where ERNANI popped out, and I knew it was correct. Opera, go figure.

Oh, the CW101 is above the L.A. in the banner on top.