THURSDAY, February 25, 2010 — Gary Steinmehl

Theme: Head to Head (to Head) — Theme answers are three-word phrases where each of the three words can precede the word head in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Detectives assigned to unsolved mysteries? (COLD-CASE HUNTERS).
  • 38A: Intermission queues? (RESTROOM LINES).
  • 61A: Shower gifts for brie lovers? (CHEESEBOARD SETS).
  • 65A: Word that can precede each word in 17-, 38- and 61-Across (HEAD).
Super-quick write-up today. Ever since I started working again, I've been totally behind on everything. Add in a four-day escape from all my responsibilities and, yeah, I may never catch up. Speaking of the ACPT, I got a note from Andrea yesterday suggesting that I not tell you the rest of the cell-phone story. She said it's perfect just the way it is. I will divulge that the story also involves Tyler Hinman and Tony Orbach's daughter, but I think that's all I'm going to say on that one.

Liked this puzzle very much. I'm pretty sure we just had a puzzle recently where the theme worked like this one except that the theme answers were two-word phrases. I remember it because I didn't get it that the theme involved both words. *head slap* So, yeah, good theme. Theme phrases aren't sparkly at all, but I still thought it was fun to try to put them together. And the rest of the fill was very good. One or two clunkers — "Just a coupla SECS"?!? — but overall, good stuff.

  • 16A: Court cry (OYEZ). Love this word. It always makes me think of "Night Court," which I never watched regularly and I don't even know if the bailiff (what was his name again?) ever used this particular cry.
  • 26A: Quarterback Roethlisberger (BEN). Crosswords really do help you know stuff without really knowing it, right? No idea what team this guy plays for or anything, but his name popped right into my head.
  • 33A: Siesta shawl (SERAPE). Let's start a new fashion trend.
  • 44A: Ring setting (CIRCUS). Was listening to the PuzzleFamiliy watching "Jeopardy!" in the other room last night and heard an answer that was about a Vegas casino that was "so nice they named it twice." I blurted out "Circus Circus!" Um, no.
  • 2D: Kay Thompson's impish six-year-old (ELOISE). Again with the knowing and not knowing. PuzzleHusband asked me the other day if I knew anything about this series of books. I said she lives in the Plaza Hotel. He's all, "What do you mean, lives there? Do people live there?" I don't know! I just do crossword puzzles!
  • 3D: Mobile maker (CALDER).
  • 29D: House call? (YEA). As in "yeas and nays." This is the only possible interpretation for this particular spelling. Yea ≠ Yeah ≠ Ya. Seriously.
  • 48D: Actress Dahl (ARLENE). I don't know who this is. I'm sure someone will enlighten me in the comments.
Everything Else — 1A: Quick kiss (PECK); 5A: Bond player, seven times (MOORE); 10A: Confiscated auto (REPO); 14A: End of a fronton game? (ALAI); 15A: Back list (INDEX); 20A: Buddy boy (KIDDO); 21A: Calls, in a way (RADIOS); 22A: Waste not (USE); 23A: Navig. guide (GPS); 27A: Stable diet? (HAY); 30A: Soak through (PERMEATE); 35A: Local groups (UNIONS); 37A: Start of a theory (IDEA); 42A: Hawaii's "Valley Isle" (MAUI); 43A: Midwestern landscape (PLAINS); 47A: Carrying capacities (ARMLOADS); 51A: Pavement warning (SLO); 52A: Word processor setting (TAB); 54A: Mad Hatter's drink (TEA); 55A: Fjord relative (RIA); 56A: Like some bio majors (PRE-MED); 59A: Daphne eloped with him on "Frasier" (NILES); 66A: Crucial artery (AORTA); 67A: Regarding, to counsel (IN RE); 68A: Fesses (up) (OWNS); 69A: Watch secretly (SPY ON); 70A: "Just a coupla __" (SECS); 1D: Get ready to go (PACK UP); 4D: William the pirate (KIDD); 5D: Hamm of soccer (MIA); 6D: Switch positions (ONS); 7D: River forming part of Germany's eastern border (ODER); 8D: Betty Ford Center program (REHAB); 9D: Oozes out (EXUDES); 10D: Prefix with tiller (ROTO-); 11D: Sleeping aid (EYESHADE); 12D: A pop (PER); 13D: Jigger's 1-1/2: Abbr. (OZS); 18D: Clear and convincing (COGENT); 19D: High Court count (NINE); 24D: Poker holding (PAIR); 25D: Condescend (STOOP); 28D: Big louts (APES); 31D: Partner of words (MUSIC); 32D: Gay leader? (ENOLA); 34D: Unilever laundry soap brand (RINSO); 36D: Like a whip? (SMART); 38D: Train guide (RAIL); 39D: Continental (EUROPEAN); 40D: Gin and tonic garnish (LIME); 41D: Away from the coast (INLAND); 42D: Roast hosts, for short (MCS); 45D: Sport __: family vehicles (UTES); 46D: Equal to, with "the" (SAME AS); 49D: No-calorie cola (DIET RC); 50D: Gets fresh with (SASSES); 53D: Dizzy's jazz (BEBOP); 57D: Wine list heading (REDS); 58D: Fishing craft (DORY); 60D: Cow-horned goddess (ISIS); 61D: Comic Margaret (CHO); 62D: Cut off (HEW); 63D: From __ B: basic step (A TO); 64D: Fled or bled (RAN).


Anonymous said...

Ben's from the Pittsburg Steelers

docmoreau said...

Just a few false starts. For "mobile maker" wanted "welder" instead of CALDER; for "stable diet" "oat" instead of HAY; and for some strange reason the clue on my across-lite for "jiggers 1 1/2: abbr." (OZS) had the apple symbol instead of 1/2. Clever theme, this "head" thing, although I didn't make any headway knowing it. Did anyone? Head count...?


And how about HEAD SHOP?
I wasn't real crazy about the theme, but I really liked this puzzle. I guess because it had some exciting words, like KIDDO, PERMEATE, ELOISE, PREMED, CALDER, ARM LOADS and EUROPEAN. Wow, another crosswordese pays off "fronton" Jai ALAI... just learned that word.

Time for some crunchies!
See y'all.

Some great clues: "Like a whip" = SHARP, and "Gay leader" = ENOLA.

Things I didn't like: DIETRC (for No-calorie cola)and SLO (for pavement warning)

I just knew there was something in here for Tinbeni. "Jigger's 11/2" and "Gin and tonic garnish". But boo-hoo for you, still no "Pinch" clues. But for me, I'll just stick with the "Mad Hatter's drink" (TEA).

Not sure that EYE SHADE is a "sleeping aid"... more of a tennis aid.

Omigosh, does anyone else remember RINSO and their cheery little lilt?
“Rinso white! Rinso bright! Happy little washday song!” And then there were those great TV commercials for RINSO SUNSHINE
Guess I'm showing my age again.

Loved BEBOP and Dizzy Gillespe!

ARLENE DAHL was a real doll.

Sfingi said...

Arlene DAHL, Minnesota Scandinavian, Miss Rheingold Beer; couple dozen movies after the war, married 6 times, most famously to Fernando Lamas; is Lorenzo's mother. In the 1980s, panelist on What's My Line.

@John - Also, RINSO white, RINSO blue, brings the color home to you. (So innocent.) And I think it was SMART like a whip.

Liked this cw, though I did have to Google for MAUI and KIDD, thus learning something about each of these. Also learned there's an old kid's book out there called William the Pirate that makes fun of the too adorable Christopher Robin.

Would have preferred a whole word for SLO, such as "icy" or "wet."


This is a wonderful vid clip of Roger Moore hosting The Best Ever Bond!

Lots of great action scenes and that theme song will stay with you all day long.


Richard Moll played the role of Bull Shannon on "Night Court".
I don't believe he ever said OYEZ.

But OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ originated from the cry of the TOWN CRIERS

John said...

I guess the Town Crier yelled it in a Court(yard).

SCH said...

@docmoreau: I got sidetracked on 27A with OAT instead of HAY, too. @JOHNSNEVERHOME: thanks for the clarification of oyez. I knew about Hear Yea, Hear Yea, Hear Yea, but somehow missed the Oyez, et. al., which is derived from French, ouïr, to hear. I didn't pick up on the french derivation until I found the website, Oyez.org. Hear the Marshall of the Supreme Court introduce the Justices with this phrase: http://www.oyez.org/.

Burner10 said...

Fun for me.Favorite word - Oyez.Now, how to incorporate that into my workday...

Rex Parker said...

Really don't like [Start of a theory] for IDEA. A theory *IS* an idea — just a substantial one. Blech and yuck. Also, RINSO? Other weakness abounded. Idea is cute, but no great joy to solve. Even with ALAI, and even w/ intersecting "KIDD"s (!?), NW is best part of the grid.


*David* said...

I dislike these themes, they leave me with a "so what" conclusion. A lot of the fill was weak with SLO, SECS, OZS, ATO, and YEA. Is it really YEA or today do we all simply use YEAH and I know it is in the dictionary.

lit.doc said...

Pretending to pay attention in departmental meetings can so mess up ones concentration. Wrote in IBIS instead of ISIS which resulted (albeit briefly) in CHEESEBOARDWTFS. Giggling in meetings not excellent either.

Got zero traction in NW beyond knowing KIDD. Ended up solving this one from the bottom up and finishing NW last. Knew the Eloise books, but somehow had never noticed the author’s name. And “End of a fronton game?” stopped me cold at AL_I. Guessed “Jai ALAI” despite the mystifying CALDER. Oh, now I see—google tells me it’s a person, not one who calds.

Still can’t get my head around KIDD and KIDDO in the same puzzle, much crossing one another. Look forward to reading today’s write-up and comments.

And “Sport UTES”? Ugh. Not faulting the clue or questioning the in-boundsness of the answer. Just hate that word. Ugh.

lit.doc said...

Or, if you prefer, "much less crossing one another".

C said...

I'm with @Rex, the cluing for IDEA was not good. I liked my original answer of I BET (as in, I bet I could snooze two more times and still make it to my meeting on time) for the clue 'Start of a theory' but, unfortunately, the long down answer that crossed didn't. Curse you long down crossing answer!

Van55 said...

There were just three theme answers, and the link between them and the HEAD clue was tenuous, to me, at best. By the time I finished the puzzle I had forgotten there even was a theme until I read PG's blog. KIDD/KIDDO crossing is bad. Didn't much care for ATO, SLO, ONS or APES.

Felt more like a Tuesday or Wednesday for me.

Sfingi said...

@LitDoc - Alexander Calder sculpture, 3 Arches, in front of Philip Johnson Art Museum and the Munson Williams Proctor Institute in Utica NY.

xyz said...

Well sklap me side o' the HEAD

I had a heck of a time with the NE so this was a challenge for me taking on many a re-write and a much longer time than any LAT weekday lately.

No clue for abbr. in DIET R C (Royal Crown) - of which I won a case when I was 11 years old on a TV call-in in So FL) coupled with IN RE (isn't "REgarding" in the clue not such a good thing?) gave me a long pause down there, too.

I guess 52A could/should have been clued "Diet Cola" as well, oh well

Re-wrote EYESHADE maybe 5 times as OYEZ did not come. Also fell out on OAT rather than HAY (HEY!!), put in LOP for HEW and agree Rex, 37A*IDEA - boy I tried a lot there before IDEA.



There were actually nine theme words... read across those three triplets. They all go with HEAD.

CrazyCat said...

Happy today because I finally knew that Fronton had to do with Jai ALAI. Couldn't quite get my HEAD around the entire theme until CHEESEBOARDSETS finally fell into place. The concept of HEAD CHEESE is just nasty. I guess offal in aspic is not my cup of TEA. As others have mentioned, I thought the crossing of KIDD and KIDDO was supect. Other than that, enjoyed seing CALDER, PERMEATE, ARM LOADS and SERAPE.

REST ROOM LINES make me peevish.

OYEZ - new word of the day.
@JNH Glad someone can remember RINSO!

Also had LOP for HEW. It's always one or the other.

Anonymous said...

If HEAD CHEESE grosses you out, then how about making it CHEESE HEAD?

addie loggins said...

I'm with lit.doc on UTES, but I'll go even further: I fault the clue AND question the in-boundsness of the answer, especially when there's a tribe in (Colorado? Utah?) that would be so much better. Then again, APES was clued without a reference to mimics, so I'll add a point for that, and I guess it's a wash.

I was jumping around all over this one, with a few hiccups (GRAINS for PLAINS, I was thinking amber waves); and started to write PRIMP for "get ready to go" before I realized I'd be one letter short.

addie (a/k/a/ PuzzleSister)

CrazyCat said...

@anon 12:00 p.m. LOL I'm not sure which one is worse!

Orange said...

What's awesome is that this triplet puzzle with head cheese evokes this Head Cheese Trio from Polana.com. I want to be their copywriter. "If you love head cheese, you will be very pleased with our selection. Their superb authentic taste will please any head cheese connoisseur." That is a damned big "if" at the beginning, isn't it? If you do NOT love head cheese, for the love of god, move on. Do not sample this 3-lb assortment.

mac said...

Funny, Orange!
I liked the puzzle, some very good words and clues, and two of the theme answers the full width of the grid.

I loved Roger Moore as Ivanhoe when I was a little child...
The Whitney Museum in New York has Calder's circus, a fabulous table full of small mobiles and other contraptions. It comes with an interesting video.

Odd, Continental for European. Great Britain and Ireland are part of Europe, although not part of the Continent.

Tuttle said...

If HEAD CHEESE grosses you out, then how about making it CHEESE HEAD?

As Mike Nelson once said, "the Razorback hat lacks the quiet dignity of the cheese wedge".

chefwen said...

Someone gave me a penguin Beanie Baby who is sporting a Green Bay Packer colored hat and scarf, I bought him a miniature cheese wedge to wear on top of his hat. I found it in a little cheese shop in, where else, Wisconsin. I didn't even think of headcheese, which I do like, my mind automatically went to cheese head. Once a cheeser, always a cheeser.

Really liked the puzzle, only write over was, like others, HAY over oat.

docmoreau said...

Ms Orange: My town, Riverside, has a heavy Polish/Czech population. Conversations overheard at Grumpy's, my cafe, often centers around where to find the best "head cheese" (ain't no cheese in it) osso bucco, pigs'feet, tripe and the like.
I have an Irish friend who said once that: "some people put on a fork that others wouldn't put on a shovel."
I brought up "steak and kidney pie." Oh well, he said, "that's different."

Tinbeni said...

I liked the theme, and trust me HEAD CHEESE is nothing when in the last 24 hours you past a Kidney Stone. What fun, again, ugh.

OK, so todays repeated word is Jai "ALAI.".
Knew RN wouldn't want to break his streak.

ELOISE, Kay Thompson's imp. 6yo was new to me.

@JNH - Jiggers 1 1/2 = OZS was gimmie.
And I admit down in Jamaica a few Gin & Tonics w/LIME have been consumed.
I also remembered the RINSO ads, it started ringing in my HEAD as I solved it. nice embed, thanks.

Unlike a few others I thought the crossing of KIDD/KIDDO was great.
Also thumb up for DIET RC (Royal Crown Cola).

Hand up on the OAT before HAY which slowed me in the NE.

The clunkers were already covered, 'nough said.

PG OK, don't tell us the cell-phone story.
I'm not going to tell you I like Scotch. So There !!!

Anonymous said...

Dang, I was hoping someone would address 9D, "A pop" - PER. I have no idea how that clue gives that answer. I'm completely at a loss; does it simply mean the letters "per" can be added to "pop" to create the word "popper"?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds! :)


@Anonymous 7:24
POP is an idiom for apiece.
See the definition 28 in this dictionary---

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - Ouch! Hope you're feeling better. Have a Scotch.
@Orange HEAD CHEESE x3 yum...
@Anon 7:24 One PER piece - a pop. It shows up often.
@doc moreau Osso Bucco and HEAD CHEESE have absolutely no similarity except that they are both from an animal. Osso Bucco is a lovely braise of veal shank with tomatoes, vegetables, wine and served with risotto alla milanese. HC is just - well I don't wanna go there.

badspelller said...

I was confused with the theory as well, tried "if so", "ergo", didn't work but "idea" is a good answer.

I liked the theme. Always amazes me when the constuctor can
come up with so many matches.

RC is the forgotton cola. One of my best friends when a kid always drank that brand. Also I bet there are some blues songs that use it in the lyrics.

Anonymous said...

33 across is sarape

Tinbeni said...

It is waaaay past an "OUCH" !!!
Actually it's lots of cranberry juice (I got 4 gal.) for a few days.
Though I did have one Scotch while enjoying the Ladies Skating Finals.
Not much of a fan but every four years I have an hour for the best. They did not disappoint.

Forgot to add my 2 cents to the discussion of the worst (or one of the worst) answers ever.
Sports UTES = BullShit answer.
Just make up a related Native American clue. UTES are a proud people.
I know of no-one who uses this OBTUSE, crappy term.
It will probably be the repeat answer of the day on Friday.

OK, off my soapbox.

But with the k-stone passing (not a real fun experience) I was looking forward to a excellent puzzle and this one was pretty good.

Anon 10:38
Serape & sarape are both acceptable.
The 'a' when you are in Mexico.
Google both spellings (I did).

xyz said...

Friday puzzle not yet up, soooo

I'm a bit glad to see the non-geeks (puzzle geeks, that is) complain a bit about the kinds of things that just get shouted down some other place(s).

A POP = PER, not just POP

There is a lot of fill for serious puzzle geeks that make fairly good puzzlers scratch their heads and the geeks who cross the line into snobs just don't recognize it.

(Too much time on my hands with work canceled due to snow non-event?)

Not exactly a rant, mind you, but sometimes the slanted obscure, mis-directed clues get coupled with stacked 15's it just gets to be such a chore that those puzzles wind up being puzzles for about 1:5000 folks.

Me, as I've said before I've made lots of progress here, but past Thursday at the NYT it stops being fun and becomes a chore.

Cheers, too early for Tinbeni's Whisky of choice ...