FRIDAY, Mar. 12, 2010 — Brendan Emmett Quigley

THEME: SCHwing! — "SCH" is added to familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style

Can't remember the last time I saw a Quigley by-line in the LAT. I guess the LAT is the marquee destination for "add-a-letter" puzzles. As "add-a-letter" puzzles (or, in this case, "add-some-letters" puzzles) go, this one is good. The added letters are a thorny clump of consonants that create words that are just fun to say. I did not know that "SCHLUMP" meant "fool," and I don't hear the phrase "TICK MARKS" very often (I assume those are the marks you make when you are "ticking" items off a list ...?), but I enjoyed the word transformations nonetheless.

Theme answers:
  • 19A: Low-quality trumpets and trombones? (SCHLOCK HORNS)
  • 35A: "How many fools do we have here?"? (ONE SCHLUMP OR TWO?)
  • 50A: Grades in standup comedy class? (SCHTICK MARKS)

[WARNING: Phenomenal amounts of profanity ahead — Do Not Press "Play" if that sort of stuff offends you]

Aside from the wacky and playful SCH- words, this puzzle had a few other traits that seemed particularly Quigleyan. STROHS, for instance (25D: Brand owned by Pabst). Brendan seems to have a thing for Pabst, though I forget why I think that. Anyway, that clue felt like an author signature of sorts. I can also tell you that PRICK (38D: Puncture) would have had an *very* different clue if it had appeared at BEQ's own puzzle site (which is highly recommended for 3 fresh and tough and contemporary and occasionally salacious puzzles a week). The puzzle had some nice, complementary pairings, such as WYETH (39A: "Christina's World" painter) and KEITH HARING (23D: "The Radiant Baby" pop artist), HONDA (1A: Pilot producer) over LECAR (17A: Old Renault), and the foody crossing of ARROZ (5D: Pollo partner) and OUZO (21A: Greek liqueur). Worst mistake of the day — misreading 5D: Pollo partner and promptly writing in "MARCO!"

Crosswordese 101: LE CAR (17A: Old Renault) — Renault subcompact offered by AMC as a rival to the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Rabbit. LE CAR was, frankly, a stupid-looking and stupid-sounding car — AMC was a master at that genre of car. They were, after all, the people behind The Gremlin. LE CAR should've been called "Le Emasculating Euro Death Trap." The one great legacy of LE CAR is its occasionally useful set of letters, which have helped countless constructors get out of crossword corners with a reasonably clean and viable grid.

What else?
  • 47A: VII x LXXIII (DXI) — A Peter Gordon special (PG is the editor of "Fireball Crosswords," and is the former editor of the New York Sun crossword). This is how he clues virtually every random Roman Numeral in his grids. I hate it, but that's my cross to bear.
  • 61A: Messy places (RAT'S NESTS) — the placement of this answer is oddly coincidental if you happened to do today's NYT puzzle. If not ... well, move along.
  • 59A: Wading, perhaps (ANKLE-DEEP) — I was in much deeper water: WAIST-DEEP water, in fact.
  • 47D: Plane that competed with Lockheed's L-1011 (DC-TEN) — Lockheed Martin is a major employer around these parts. That helped me with this clue not one bit.
See you Monday.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 6A: Deep-sixed (TOSSED OUT); 15A: "Are we __?": Sondheim lyric (A PAIR); 16A: They make lots of contacts (OPTICIANS); 18A: Lucille Ball was one, slangily (CARROT TOP); 22A: Con lead-in (NEO-); 23A: Metric wts. (KGS); 26A: Letters on old rubles (CCCP); 28A: Slight push (NUDGE); 31A: Squire (GENT); 32A: Sound from the bleachers (RAH); 33A: Spread unit (ACRE); 34A: Man with a mission (FRIAR); 40A: Criticize (CARP); 41A: [snicker] (HEH); 42A: Drooping part of a Concorde (NOSE); 43A: Cheri who portrayed a "Morning Latte" co-host on "SNL" (OTERI); 45A: Hard-earned degs. (PHDS); 46A: Bring action against (SUE); 48A: Happy Meal choice (COLA); 55A: Ingredient in green salsa (TOMATILLO); 58A: "Giant Brain" unveiled in 1946 (ENIAC); 60A: "Soon It's __ Rain": "The Fantasticks" song (GONNA); 62A: Second of the five stages of grief (ANGER); 1D: Dutch artist Frans (HALS); 2D: 12-member cartel (OPEC); 3D: Tortilla chip topping (NACHO CHEESE); 4D: Slow online connection (DIAL-UP); 6D: Clock sound (TOCK); 7D: Hawaiian food fish (OPAH); 8D: Undiluted (STRONG); 9D: "Yes __!" (SIRREE); 10D: Cut-rate, in company names (ECONO); 11D: A Morse "I" requires two (DITS); 12D: Nosebag bit (OAT); 13D: Game with a discard pile (UNO); 14D: 1/48 cup: Abbr. (TSP.); 20D: Large sea snail (CONCH); 24D: Ate like a mouse (GNAWED); 26D: Ceremonial headgear (CROWNS); 27D: Favor asker's opening (CAN YOU); 29D: Google hit datum (URL); 30D: Score before ad in (DEUCE); 31D: "I'm mad!" ("GRR!"); 33D: Dresden "D'oh!" ("ACH!"); 34D: Clotheshorse (FOP); 36D: Abbr. in Québec place names (STE.); 37D: Make a dent in (MAR); 43D: Durable leather (OXHIDE); 44D: Best-seller list entries (TITLES); 45D: Expect (PLAN ON); 49D: Last in a series (OMEGA); 50D: Baseball's Maglie and Bando (SALS); 51D: "Sorry if __ you down" (I LET); 52D: Police (COPS); 53D: Rosebud's owner, in film (KANE); 54D: War memento (SCAR); 55D: Old salt (TAR); 56D: __ trial basis (ON A); 57D: NASDAQ, e.g. (MKT.).


*David* said...

Rex stole my thunder on most of my comments and PRICK was going to be one of them.

Puzzle went well except for the DC area where I put in NIBBLE for GNAWED and then changed it to GNAW AT. I compounded it by putting COKE for COLA and spent a lot of time cleaning that section up. KEITH HARING and HALS were my two unknown peeps for the day.

This time we get three stacked 9s with ANKLE DEEP my favorite answer/clue. 18A is classic BEQ cluing/fill.

xyz said...

Way cool and fun. Love BEQ, easiest of his I've ever done. A few answers needed a second or third thought, but OPTICIANS needed the most work with TOCK and DIT, but then again, not a CW geek.

The Yiddish-y SCHL, SCHT reminds me of my hospital days at the famous Michael Reese where I learnt all my Yiddishy things as the token Goyem. Really enjoyed my days there in Chicago.

Love BEQ, but he really kicks my derriere usually, but not today, Fastest Friday ever (not that I timed it)

Sfingi said...

This was rather difficult and clever. When I got the theme, "Boing." The only Yiddish word I didn't know was that SCHLUMP. That boing's not to be confused with the Boeing DCTEN.

Chefs -It looks like this member of the nightshade family is sour, not hot. E vero? If so, I might like green salsa if I keep it cool.

What does "score before ad in" = DEUCE mean, anybody?

Sports - got SALS from hubster. In Italian, Maglie is pronounced Mahl-yay. Salvatore is a common name in Sicily. My husband couldn't understand, "I've got a mule, her name is SAL." Why would they name a girl mule a boy's name.

From our last use of CCCP for USSR, Wiki calls it "faux Cyrillic."

So glad BEQ had DIT, not dot. My dad was a hamster - I mean HAM operator.

KEITH HARING - his whole name! This is the guy who put his stuff in the NYC subway - but not on the tiles. With chalk on black paper. He died at 31 of AIDS. His art isn't great, but it's likable and iconic.

Finally, to turn everyone's stomach - but it is past noon - HAL and WYETH are related to me. Remember, I have few living relatives. Hubster makes up for that.

@Redanman - I'm also the token goy (pl. goyim). When I first heard Yiddish, I laughed and laughed. Realize, my German is baby German. The crazy words and lilt to the language were wild. Then I discovered the literature and theater was very serious and possibly larger than German.

I also like BEQ. I avoid Barry Silk puzzles, and when I recently saw a picture of him, he looked cuddly. No tail, fangs, horns.

My word - 2nd captcha is "ruddlys."
That thing has some sort of synchronicity.

Anonymous said...

STROHS is so weird that it looks better going up than down [SHORTS]

Al said...

@sfingi, Here is someone that thought he was making the explanation of tennis scoring (the deuce you say) simple. But anything that takes a whole screen of text to explain 1-2-3-4 is unintentionally funny. At least to me, anyway

mitchs said...

@sfingi...in tennis a 45/45 tie (3 points for each player) is called "deuce". The next point is called the "ad" point (advantage, you must win by two). If the server wins that point, it's "ad in". If the returner wins, it's "ad out". Clear as mud?

This is my first LAT. Two BEQ's in one day is pretty cool.

Tuttle said...

Renault sold over 5.5 million R5s (le Car in USDM). It had almost 1.5 times the interior space of a Rabbit or Civic and handled like it was on rails earning it the nickname, in Europe, of 'the French Mini'.

Even in AMC trim it dominated C-stock SCCA racing for many years and a mid-engined AWD version with 400 hp was made, and homologated for street use, for Group B rallying (There ain't nothing even remotely emasculating about a Renault R5 Maxiturbo Evolution).

It was a fantastic car... but in America AMC put a, to be kind, crap engine in it then mated it with a, to be even kinder, droolingly stupid advertising campaign

CrazyCat said...

I thought this was the most enjoyable puzzle of the week. I loved the SCH theme words. My husband had two college roommates from the Bronx who were both Jewish. They gave me a crash course in Yiddish. However, SCHLUMPY is a word I use on those I feel fat days. It just sounds so right. I loved seeing NACHO CHEESE, TOMATILLO and ARROZ con Pollo. Makes me want to go out for Mexican tonight. I grow TOMATILLOs in my garden. They make a great cold soup as well as salsa verde which can be kept on the mild side by using less jalapeño. I also really liked seeing three artists HALS, WYETH and KEITH HARING and only, I think, one sports clue. RAH!!
Oops I forgot the tennis clue - so two sports clues.
Thanks BEQ and RP.

Van55 said...

My antipathy toward Roman numeral arithmetic problems is [too] well established. I suppose that sometimes the payoff with the crosses justifies it. Here we get DCTEN, OXHIDE and TITLES. Not a great payoff in my opinion.

Otherwise this was a neat BEQ effort.

shrub5 said...

Fun BEQ puzzle -- many LOL moments. Only write-overs were DITS for DOTS and TAR for GOB (old salt.)

Fondly remember "A Little Night Music." It has the song "Send in the Clowns" to which clue 15A refers: "Isn't it rich? Are we A PAIR? Me here at last on the ground. You in mid-air. Where are the clowns?..." It was sung by a middle-aged woman (Desiree, an actress) who meets an old lover twenty years after she turned down his marriage proposal. Now she wants him in her life but he has moved on and married a young woman. Desiree is filled with regret, sadness and anger at her choices in life. This musical is an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's film "Smiles of a Summer Night."

@Rex: Funny write-up, especially the new adjective "Quigleyan."

Charles Bogle said...

what a BEQ treat

we asked for tougher LAT puzzles..we sure got them!

agree w @crazycatlady: this the most enjoyable of the week

Personally the upper NE was a total mess for me; total flailing around. Lucille Ball: "CARROTT Topped"...fabulous!

xyz said...


This puzzle stuff is indeed unintentionally hilarious. Witness: BEQ generally does (to me) very hard puzzles that I enjoy and don't always finish 100% sans Googley-thingey. Today other than fine-tune fiddling with OPTICIANS, this was a breeze.

All the time puzzles seem to be (unless you're really really good

"One man's nightmare is another's slam dunk". Certainly by my standards of good words, no junk, no eww moments and plenty of fun (as well as such a breezy for me Friday - about Tuesday - Wednesday time frame) this was the best puzzle in quite a while on all those counts.

Tinbeni said...

A BEQ puzzle w/faux Yiddish?
Will I get verklempt, ferblunjt and fercockt at every turn?
PRICK for shvantz?
Oy vey, ungabluzum it's doable.

lit.doc said...

@BEQ, this one was a lotta fun, which was therapeutic after the autodumbing I underwent with the NYT puzzle. Running late today so haven’t gotten to your Friday puzzle over on Planet BEQ—always save it for last.

Plenty of alternate possibles to keep me on my toes, e.g. 41A TEE/HEE/HEH, 27D COULD I/CAN YOU, 44D TOP TEN/TITLES, and 45A LLD/PHD. “Pollo partner” had me wracking my brain to recall the Spanish word for “rooster”. And I had to work like hell to fit GREEN BEER in 25D.

@David, me to re the DC area. Never heard of KEITH HARING and, as I mentioned, had missteps on PHD’S and HEH (no laughing matter, that).

@Sfingi, re CCCP, faux what? The Russians apparently preferred it to however French Cyrillic would read (that is what you meant by “Faux Cyrillien”, non? ;)


Typical of a BEQ puzzle, I don't finish without some Google help (eg. 1D "Dutch artist" and "'Radiant Baby' pop artist").
Both the NW and SE corners were boogers until I got those two key words.

I always thought that these kind of Yiddish words start with SH and not SCH. I went to the YIDDISH DICTIONARY and sure enough, they can be spelled either way.
I was surprised that BEQ didn't put SCHMECKEL next to PRICK.

How many times are we GONNA see OTERI in CWPs?
I'm not GONNA CARP bec. I thought overall this was a very STRONG Friday puzzle. Yes SIRREE!

@Tinbeni, I thought surely you'd comment on OUZO.

I believe ARROZ is Spanish for rice, often paired up with "Pollo" (chicken).

Actually I tought OPTICIANS was well clued (clever, but precise).

The greatest film of all time was Citizen KANE and here's that most famous clip of "ROSEBUD."

Well, back to my RATS NEST (Office) and paying bills... ugh!


Oh I just noticed something, my RATS NEST needs a lot stuff to be TOSSED OUT and they're diametrically opposed in the grid... that's cool!

Does anyone still have DIALUP service on their computer?

I'm just learning about the wonderful TOMATILLO. We have several good cooks in this blog. CANYOU give us some good ideas for using these? I just put them in a salad with avacodos and wow, is that ever a great combo!


Sorry @CCL, I didn't notice your comment on TOMATILLO. I'll try the soup and salsa thing.

CrazyCat said...

I can think of two more SCH words that could clue 38 down PRICK. But since, like Sfingi I'm a lady,I will refrain.

@JNH tomatillos in and of themselves
are not too good - very acidic. I usually roast them in the oven first. Then put them in the food processor and chop them up. From there you can put them in a salsa with chiles,onion and cilantro. Or you can make a soup. I make a cold soup since they grow in the summer. It has chicken broth, cucumbers, corn, chiles, yogurt and chopped cilantro on the top. It's very refreshing. I'm sure there a zillion ways to use them in Mexican cooking. Check out the Rick Bayless website.
I know we're not supposed to discuss recipes here, but oh well.

jazz said...


"I got a mule, her name is Sal"

i.e. Sally?

Now, a boy named Sue? That's strange...

Tinbeni said...

Once at a Greek Wedding I drank too much OUZO. Oy Vey, was I shikker.

Small oyfgabe with the 1D, HALS and 25D KEITH HARING kinstlers.
Wanted Dots for the two in 'I' ... okh, it was DITS, easy fix.
Game with a discard pile, of course I wanted GIN, but NOOOO, its that game of bkies ... UNO.

OK, OK, OK ... that's enough with the Yiddish !!!
I live in Tampa Bay not the East Coast of Florida.

Bagel w/Lox, Klutz, Putz I do use sometimes, but this Goy only speaks American English.
I'm keeping Kvetch from yesterday.

Sfingi said...

@Al - weird. Now, I already know double what I knew before. Actually, the sort of "quick" stuff I'm learning to do cw clues probably doesn't reflect any actual knowledge. So, I'll remember - deuce - could be tennis.
All - tennis for tie, etc.

@LitDoc - I only know this from my son who took Russian - that CCCP of Cyrillic is really the way they write SSSR. So, we shouldn't refer to those shapes as our C or P.

@Jazz - It's a song NYS kids learn in school:
"I got a mule, her name is SAL.
Refrain: Sixteen years on the Erie Canal.
O she's a good ol' worker and a good ol' pal.
She's hauled some barges in her day
Filled with straw and oats and hay.
And every inch of the way she know'
From Albany to Buffalo.
Low bridge, everybody down,
Low bridge, for we're coming to a town.
For you always know your neighbor,
You always know your pal,
If you ever navigated on the Erie Canal."
Yes, she's Sally; but, every Italian had an Ziu Sal (Uncle Salvatore).

@CrazyCat - save some soup aside before you add the chiles for those who want senza chiles.

@John - in the 1990s everybody was talking about the internet. So I got it, and said WTF this thing is forever dropping me in the middle of something, and you couldn't be on the phone. Real Neanderthal. I was either first or next to first to get the new high speed in my county.

Christina's World parody by Julie Luongo

badspelller said...

Yuck on the theme. Especially the one lump or two.

Kicked myself on the Le Car after
I got it with the crosses.

I was warned to remember "Oteri" not
too long ago. I tried to commit
it but how long have I been trying to
remember the handful of Roman Numerals (I have I X and C down) without much success?

Well most other posters seem to have enjoyed this one so I will be in the minority.

CrazyCat said...

Wow - it took me three hours at the Lexus/Toyota dealer today to get my check engine light checked out and reset.

@JNH - love the Yiddish dictionary. So many great words that I had forgotten. I learned Shmaltz from my high school art teacher.

@Sfingi - OMG I used to sing that song in music class in elementary school. Are senza chiles Italian by any chance?
@Rex Parker My kids had that Berenstain Bears Messy Room story. It didn't help.

lit.doc said...

@Sfingi, sorry if it felt like I was questioning your observation re CCCP. I was diverting myself with word play to minimize going crazy/ier before the kiddos left for spring break. :)

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