TUESDAY, February 9, 2010 — Julian Lim

Theme: A and E — Theme answers are two-word phrases with the initials A.E.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Using a treadmill, e.g. (AEROBIC EXERCISE).
  • 26A: Regional air travel brand since 1984 (AMERICAN EAGLE).
  • 43A: Aviator who said "the lure of flying is the lure of beauty" (AMELIA EARHART).
  • 56A: Movie DVD special feature, perhaps (ALTERNATE ENDING).
  • 61A: "Dog the Bounty Hunter" network, and a hint to the theme in this puzzle's four longest answers (A AND E).
Perfectly serviceable Tuesday puzzle. Theme not anything to write home about, but clunker fill is at a minimum and I would say some of the fill is actually pretty lively. Like ARCANA (6D: Major or Minor tarot card group), POINSETTIA (11D: Leaves for the holidays?), and EXTRA EXTRA (28D: Old-time breaking news cry). ARSENAL (42D: Munitions center) is kinda interesting too.

Just a couple things:
  • 21A: The Beatles' "__ Loser" (I'M A). When I was in high school we had this joke that anytime someone called someone else a "loser," what they were really saying was "sex goddess." Now, why we were joking around with phrases like "sex goddess" is an interesting question. Completely inappropriate!
  • 32A: Round-buyer's words (ON ME). Had no idea what this clue was going for. I was thinking along the lines of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
  • 37A: "I don't think so!" ("NO WAY!"). PuzzleHusband's response to my text message that there was an actual snow plow on our street this evening.
  • 53A: Former Pakistani president (ZIA). I know ZIA as the sun symbol of the Zia Indians, but it's rarely clued that way.
  • 63A: Game with six colorful characters (CLUE). Have you seen the new version? Players send text messages to each other. Or something. It's very high-tech.
  • 64A: Google alternative (LYCOS). Raise your hand if you tried YAHOO first.
  • 4D: "I've got you now!" ("OHO!"). Can we just stop using this particular exclamation in the puzzles? Who's with me?
  • 24D: Kids' outdoor winter project (SNOWMAN). The picture is my neighbor with her awesome snowman from last week.
  • 30D: Actress Adams of "Enchanted" (AMY). Coincidentally, Adams played AMELIA EARHEART in "Night at the Museum II." I also believe one of my co-bloggers has a little crush on her.
Crosswordese 101: Well, we've already talked about OLIO, but somehow got this far without addressing OLEO (2D: Land O'Lakes product). OLIO-with-an-I is a mishmash, a hodgepodge, a mixed bag. OLEO-with-an-E, on the other hand, is … margarine. Clues for OLEO are toughened up by referring to specific brands of margarine (e.g., Promise and Blue Bonnet) or by using words like roll ("on a roll"), spread ("spread out"), and clarified in a tricky way. So keep an eye out for those.

Everything Else — 1A: Part of DMV (MOTOR); 6A: Need a backrub, say (ACHE); 10A: "__-daisy!" (UPSA); 14A: Nobel Peace Prize winner Root (ELIHU); 15A: Walk like a drunk (REEL); 16A: Entre __ (between us) (NOUS); 20A: 29-Down, for one (DOE); 22A: Relating to flight technology (AVIONIC); 23A: Laurel and Getz (STANS); 25A: Medicine amount to take (DOSE); 31A: Either Bush, e.g. (TEXAN); 33A: Baker's meas. (TSP.); 36A: Leftover bits (ORTS); 39A: "__ boy!" (ATTA); 40A: On the authority of (PER); 41A: Friend (CHUM); 42A: Vietnamese, e.g. (ASIAN); 47A: Corp. heads (CEOS); 48A: Hospital staffer (NURSE); 49A: Beer unit (SIX-PACK); 52A: Former telecom giant (GTE); 59A: Encircle (GIRD); 60A: Fiber-rich food (BRAN); 62A: Many MP-3 player batteries (AAAS); 1D: Honeyed liquor (MEAD); 3D: Run out of gas (TIRE); 5D: Add insult to injury (RUB IT IN); 7D: So-so mark (CEE); 8D: Penta- plus one (HEXA-); 9D: Mt. Fuji statistic (ELEV.); 10D: Dweebish (UNCOOL); 12D: Sleeping girl in an Everly Brothers hit (SUSIE); 13D: "Hang on __" (A SEC); 18D: All-in-one Apple computer (IMAC); 19D: Crest (RIDGE); 23D: Mmes., in Madrid (SRAS.); 26D: Resting on (ATOP); 27D: Trifling (MERE); 29D: Bambi's aunt (ENA); 34D: Marquee name (STAR); 35D: Gasp (PANT); 37D: Org. with Senators and Capitals (NHL); 38D: Québécois's approval (OUI); 39D: Queens tennis stadium (ASHE); 41D: Civil rights activist Chávez (CÉSAR); 44D: Bermuda rentals (MOPEDS); 45D: University of Oregon city (EUGENE); 46D: Museo hangings (ARTE); 47D: Eyelashes (CILIA); 49D: The Star Wars films, e.g. (SAGA); 50D: "Squawk Box" network (CNBC); 51D: Bush advisor Rove (KARL); 53D: Brass component (ZINC); 54D: Prefix with China (INDO-); 55D: Awfully long time (AGES); 57D: Fraternity letter (TAU); 58D: Word before break or care (DAY).


Sandy said...

I wasn't in love with this, and now I'm trying to figure out why. I hesitated too long on AEROBIC EXERCISE because it didn't seem to match the part of speech of the clue.

Plus I threw down ARMOURY, thinking it odd to use the British-spelling-with-a-U in an American puzzle, but it confirmed YAHOO quite nicely.

Sigh! More coffee. Back to work.

Van55 said...

I thought this was harder than usual for a Tuesday puzzle. Very nice over all.

OBDarryl said...

This puzzle was a nice, friendly Lab not some obnoxious, fat, shortlegged critter nipping at your heels.

Nice job playing against type Julian.

xyz said...

Perfectly lovely puzzle, well better than OK, at least ... except OHO, I guess I'm not up on my crosswordese well enough. UGH! no likee especially with ELIHU crossing, took a flyer at ONO ...

One complaint, no photo of the lovely Amy Adams.

"fecormat was my word verification today for the post, hope I never see one of those ...


Nice puzzle. Good theme. Easy solve… I guess since I’ve seen most of A AND E programming.
Thought most of the fill words and clues were quite creative.
Always thought it was UPSY-Daisy, and not UPSA.
I always think of Hugh Grant whenever I hear that said.
Not too crazy about seeing HEXA not shown as a prefix.
Best clue was for CLUE (Game with six colorful characters)… loved that game when the kids were little.
I think this old man has a little crush on Amy Adams also.

“Human nature must have come much nearer perfection than it is now, or will be in many generations, to exclude from such a control prejudice, selfishness, ambition, and injustice. “

Great Everly Brothers tune---

Well I just got my daily AEROBIC EXERCISE shoveling that snow that was dumped on us last night. Now it’s time to go roll myself a SNOWMAN. Then on to my waiting omelet!


To those of you who are confused by the clue for POINSETTIA "Leaves for the holidays", here's a brief explanation---
What many people think are the red, pink, or white flowers on a poinsettia are actually modified leaves, or more accurately bracts. The Poinsettia plant (Euphorbia pulcherrima), actually has tiny green flowers, surrounded by large colorful bracts.


This is for @Redanman and that other dirty old man, er, blogger.

Parsan said...

Easy puzzle. Also thought upsy, so had ysec for A SEC, which made no sense, before getting UPSA.

I remember as a small child walking on the street with my Father while young boys were calling "EXTRA EXTRA" as people bought newspapers anouncing the end of WW2. Strangers were hugging, I saw a soldier stop a pretty girl and kiss her, and the scene was electric. Looking back isn't always good, but the decline and demise of bustling towns and cites and their department and speciality stores, sidewalks filled with shoppers, and a sense of community, is a shame. I hate malls. End of rant.

Good comment PG.

lit.doc said...

Good middle-of-the-road Tuesday, good practice, no complaints. Me too re UPSY but, hey, I've got that one filed under "If yer gonna do CWs, maintain reeeeally low standards for these sortsa words".

@JNH, like wow, man. Never heard a doob called a "snowman" before. Stoner slang is soooo dynamic. Roll on, dude!

Tinbeni said...

OHO again the worst cluing ever.
Hand up for the Yahoo & Upsy, easy corrections.

@JNH - You sly old guy, that Amy Adams pic is just wrong, or I still have a hangover from Sunday. LOL.
Thanks for the Poinesttia info, more than I need but learning is a good thing. (like ARCANA)

@Parsan - When I was in Zagreb, the malls were closed on Sunday. The families spent that day together. Here we (including me) have become disjointed and cave dwellers. I should move to a small town.

@lit.doc. - Here in Fla. that is the only "snowman" I know. I think? Maybe? I forget. I roll better than that.

Time for a SIX PACK. Its not Scotch, but they are getting closer.

@PG - Were the kids home yesterday?
You got a much better and more interesting puzzle to write-up than @Rex's Monday cheapie.

xyz said...


Brings new meaning to "four eyes" when one needs not eyewear, I suppose ...

Sfingi said...

Despite getting the elements, the theme escaped me for awhile, at which point I groaned. But, I had decided the theme was "Flying A's" anyway. Until AEROBICEXERCISE.

Yucky fill: AAAS AANDE CEE OHO (so one says).
Sick of: ORTS. When do we get a real meal? Just joking.

But these were sacrificed to create the good stuff, the four theme elements. Also, LYCOS - puts me in mind of werewolves; SIXPACK; ARCANA; ESTRAEXTRA; CLUE; AVIONIC - another Flying A, I was sure.

OLEO - "I'm so old." "How old are you?" "Not as old as @Parsan, but I'm so old, I remember squeezing the yellow glob to spread the color in the OLEO." Also, the ad for Ipana, ♫ "HEXA HEXA hexachlorophene."

Personal - AMELIAEARHART was married to my foolish 3rd cousin GP Putnam who sacrificed his fortune and the fortunes of 2 more wives to find her, and, as we know, did not.

ELIHU Root is local - Clinton, NY, Hamilton College. He's buried there and his Federal-style home, Grant House, is there. His daughter married Gen. Grant's g'son. There's a beautiful wooded, naturalized garden on campus called Root Glen.

ZIA means Auntie in Italian.
I would prefer UPSY to UPSA.

Joon said...

i can't just sit here and let you all rip on OHO. it's a perfectly normal exclamation, i actually use it, and the clue conveys exactly what it means.

UPSA, on the other hand, i could very much do without. i've seen it before, so now i'm trained to leave the last letter blank until i check the cross. UPSY is way better than UPSA, but A is a more common crossing letter than Y a priori, so it's close to 50/50.

sandy, AEROBIC EXERCISE is a noun and the clue {Using a treadmill, e.g.} can also be a noun, where "using" is a gerund. watch out for those -ing words.

nice puzzle overall. the POINSETTIA clue was great. i also loved seeing it in the grid because the spelling doesn't match the (most common) pronunciation. EXTRA EXTRA and SIX PACK were also nice and fresh.

Argyle said...

To fine tune it, it is ups-a-daisy or upsy-daisy.

Amy Adams

The snowman I hate; triple bogey on a par 5.

David said...

I know it's legitimate but the use of ALTERNATE to mean ALTERNATIVE has always bothered me. Pet peeve.

xyz said...

Great story from Seve Ballesteros from the Masters one year when asked about a five putt on the par 3 16th, his response : "I miss, I miss, I miss, I miss, I make."

But only a triple.

The 'NOman quintuple bogey 8 on a par 3 is even more hated.

KJGooster said...

JOHNSNEVERHOME in the Conservatory with the Candlestick.

And seriously, it's hard NOT to have a crush on Amy Adams.

chefbea said...

Thought the theme was going to have something to do with flying -17a=aero, 26a= regional air travel brand,43a= aviator.

Had upsy and tried yahoo.

Parsan said...

I saw AMY Adams on TV last night in the delightful 1930's period piece "Miss Pettigrew Lives for Another Day". The movie also stars Frances McDormand and handsome Lee Pace. It's on HBO again Friday at 3:15.

Tinbeni said...

Maybe I am mispronoucing OHO.

Sounds to me like 'O' followed by 'HO'

But twice in three days is yuck.

JIMMIE said...

Thanks LAT for putting the CW back into the SW quarter of the page instead ATOP the fold, as was the case last week.

JN said...

ditto Jimmie.

Whitney said...

I think this pun was mentioned recently regarding a mustache themed puzzle (it could've been NYT) but the word CILIA sparked my memory:

"A handlebar mustache may look ridiculous, but symmetrical eyelashes are even cilia."

Man. That's rich. I really liked this puzzle - despite the theme being thin. RUBITIN is a great entry, I think. Wake Up Little Susie is one of my favorite oldies - it's quite catchy. My brother works for American Eagle (the retail store, not the air travel brand whatever that is...) AND having EUGENE in there clued as U of O city makes me smile. I think I've finally got ENA down now I just need to remember OLIO and OLEO. Darn homonyms. Overall, good times.

chefwen said...

I liked this puzzle a lot more that today's NYT which I thought was rather boring.

Hand up for UPSy and apparently I need to work on my spelling, I totally garbled POINSETTIA by putting a t in after POIN. DOH!

Really don't like OHO, prefer AHA, Oprah has a lot of those "little moments".

mac said...

Wait a second, isn't this our own Corgi? Corgy?
I thought it was a perfectly fine Tuesday puzzle. Also thought it was someting about ae, ai, ea etc. sounds. Thank you @PG for the explanation of the theme. You had me laughing out loud with the Row, row, row.....!

The Corgi of Mystery said...

The Corgi it is. Thanks for the write-up, PG!

mac said...

I remembered the name but OBDarryl confirmed it. Congratulations, Julian!

ddbmc said...

@Corgi, I jumped the gun yesterday, thinking it was you! My bad. Nice puzzle. Thanks!

Getting ready for the big SNOW (again) here in NJ.