MONDAY, Mar. 15, 2010 — Lila Cherry

THEME: IDES OF MARCH (56A: Today, to Caesar — and a hint to the hidden word appearing in this puzzle 15 times (including this one))

I like everything about this puzzle except one thing — IDE is not a word. Hang on ... I take that back. According to Webster's 3rd Int'l Dictionary, IDE is "a European freshwater cyprinid food fish." The dictionary also says that IDE is "one of the IDES," but IDES, though apparently plural in construction, is singular in usage. That's why the expression is not the IDE OF MARCH. I didn't notice the theme when I was solving, and when I finally did see it, after I was done, I went looking for fifteen instances of IDES! "But ... HIDE AND SEEK just has 'IDE' ... that can't be right." So, trying to pass "IDE" off as a "word," boo. Other than that, though, yay. A timely theme that not only gets you into a game of HIDE AND SEEK, but involves as many hidden "words" (15) as there are days represented by that word. That makes the construction much more impressive than it would have been otherwise, even if, as I said, I didn't notice this feat At All while I was solving.

Thought I was headed to a record time, but apparently my hesitation at 41D: Dr. Denton's, e.g. (PAJAMAS) cost me. These PAJAMAS are known to me only from crosswords. I have no idea what they are, when they were popular, etc. What I know is that I thought the clue was asking for a shoe insert. Further, I wrote in WHEW before I ever saw the clue for POLAR CAP (50A: Icy formation at either extremity of the Earth's axis), so had puzzled over what kind of "icy formation" might end in "W" ... but WHEW was supposed to be PHEW (54D: Relieved cry). Also wrote in PHIS for PSIS (50D: Trident-shaped letters). All this was enough to push me back to normal Monday time (low 3s).

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Kids' game with an "it" (HIDE AND SEEK)
  • 10D: Wedding party member (BRIDESMAID)
  • 26D: Like most modern TVs, picturewise (WIDESCREEN)

... and 12 others

Crosswordese 101: ROLF (44D: Massage deeply) — while not nearly as common as your ERN(E)S and your EPEES, ROLF is a persistent repeater, and often stymies people who have never heard of it before. It's like that guy's name ... only without the final "E." ("That guy" is John ROLFE ... I had to Google to remember what "guy" I was thinking of) It's also a nice approximation of a wretching, barfing sound. ROLFing was invented by Ida Pauline ROLF, and is trademarked. Hey, constructors: I got a new IDA clue for you.

See you Friday,


P.S. an announcement (one I'll make several more times in the coming month or so) — the Crosswords L.A. Tournament is coming up, Saturday, May 1, at Loyola-Marymount University, and I will be there. I don't know yet if I'm competing, or judging, or just eating sandwiches and watching, but I'll be there. It promises to be a fantastic, friendly tournament, one that is welcoming and open to people of *ALL* skill levels. There are categories for non-speedsters. There's even a TEAMS category that allows you to solve in pairs. It's cheap and it's for a good cause, so you should definitely go. Details here (there's also a link near the top of our sidebar). Go register now. Thanks.

Everything Else — 1A: Month with showers (APRIL); 6A: Auctioned auto, briefly (REPO); 10A: Journalist Nellie (BLY); 13A: Egypt's capital (CAIRO); 14A: Ancient Greek district (IONIA); 15A: Corned beef bread (RYE); 16A: Kids' game with an "it" (HIDE AND SEEK); 18A: Nest egg item, for short (IRA); 19A: Bridge supports (TRESTLES); 20A: Curving pitch (SLIDER); 22A: Garment bottom (HEM); 23A: Suffix with meth- or prop- (ANE); 24A: Alley competitor (BOWLER); 28A: Backyard play apparatus (SWING SET); 33A: Like some college walls (IVIED); 34A: Employed (HIRED); 35A: Caesar's 1,051 (MLI); 36A: Author André (GIDE); 37A: Fall apple drink (CIDER); 38A: Pass's opposite (FAIL); 39A: Single (ONE); 40A: City on the Ruhr (ESSEN); 41A: Group of lions (PRIDE); 42A: Nuclear treaty subjects (TEST BANS); 44A: 9-Down footballer (RAIDER); 45A: Corn discard (COB); 46A: The Atty. General is head of it (DOJ); 47A: Low-level clouds (STRATI); 50A: Icy formation at either extremity of the Earth's axis (POLAR CAP); 55A: Peeper (EYE); 56A: Today, to Caesaróand a hint to the hidden word appearing in this puzzle 15 times (including the one in this answer) (IDES OF MARCH); 58A: Classic Jaguar model (XKE); 59A: Jeans material (DENIM); 60A: "What's in __?": Juliet (A NAME); 61A: Japanese money (YEN); 62A: Has a sandwich (EATS); 63A: Brawn (SINEW); 1D: Eight, in Berlin (ACHT); 2D: Twosome (PAIR); 3D: Bike outing (RIDE); 4D: Enrages (IRES); 5D: Despised (LOATHED); 6D: Perot of politics (ROSS); 7D: Denver-to-Chicago dir. (ENE); 8D: Crusty desserts (PIES); 9D: San Francisco Bay city (OAKLAND); 10D: Wedding party member (BRIDESMAID); 11D: Old Greek stringed instrument (LYRE); 12D: 365 days (YEAR); 14D: As above, in footnotes (IDEM); 17D: Met, Nat or Card (NLER); 21D: Beethoven's "Minuet __" (IN G); 24D: Archie Bunker type (BIGOT); 25D: Like lambs and rams (OVINE); 26D: Like most modern TVs, picturewise (WIDE-SCREEN); 27D: Reb general (LEE); 28D: Square's four (SIDES); 29D: Birdhouse songbird (WREN); 30D: Suffix with bombard (-IER); 31D: Drop in pronunciation (ELIDE); 32D: Flooring specialist (TILER); 34D: Yokel's possessive (HIS'N); 37D: 27-Down's org. (CSA); 38D: End of most work wks. (FRI.); 40D: Oceanic reflux (EBB TIDE); 41D: Dr. Denton's, e.g. (PAJAMAS); 43D: Ode title starter (TO A); 44D: Massage deeply (ROLF); 46D: Dire fate (DOOM); 47D: Like a sheer negligee (SEXY); 48D: Small child (TYKE); 49D: What's on your mind (IDEA); 50D: Trident-shaped letters (PSIS); 51D: Hindu princess (RANI); 52D: Prefix with apple (CRAN-); 53D: Summit (ACME); 54D: Relieved cry (PHEW); 57D: Tolkien tree creature (ENT).



Well, I’m still in my Dr. Denton’s PAJAMAS, sipping on my AMARETTO coffee and pondering a wonderful Rich Norris puzzle… probably the best Monday puzzle of the year. How clever to work in FIFTEEN words with IDE in them, an amazing construction job without a lot of messy fill either. And without anagramming them too! LAT, give that boy a raise!!!!

Right away when I see a clue for ODE (43D), I think of Beethoven‘s ODE TO JOY.
But that threw me a bit, because it’s not an “Ode TO A” thing, but an ode to happiness and felicity. Yesterday I went to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform Bach’s Saint John Passion. Wow! What a wonderful production!

Had to count out to 10 to get 1D… eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, ACHT, neun, zehn.

I should be counting down though. Soon it will be opening day at Wrigley Field, APRIL 12th (Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers).

Now for some really great PIES, here’s the place to go Rolla MO - Slice Of Pie Restaurant.
In 2008, when I did my famous 120 day trip across the United States, I checked out all of the best-of-the-best pie shops… this one won first place in my book.

Today is gonna be a gorgeous day… so it’s time to get my bike out and go for a nice RIDE… wanna join me?

@Rex, I loved your writeup and I too was thinking about that IDE/IDES thing. Glad you mentioned it, because I thought it was just me. Didn't know about the fish, IDE. And I too put in WHEW and wondered for a bit what the heck is a POLAR CAW?

Tinbeni said...

A better Monday LAT offering, lots of fresh cluing.

When completed, I started counting the "IDE" and was stuck at 14 for the longest time until my EBBTIDE came back in.

15 "IDE" on the IDES OF MARCH was inspiring. Thanks Rich, ahh another alias.
(I hope he remembers that Christmas is on Dec.25th, that puzzle had no holiday references).

One write-over the 'N' in CRAN. Had Crab apple, but sibew made no sense.
SINEW though is the tissue that connects my muscle to the bone. When I think 'Brawn' I think Muscles.

Rex, Great write-up, thank you the IDES clarification.

Anonymous said...

16A - kids' game with an "it"? Where does the "it" go?

1st Grade Teacher said...

"It" as in, You're "it" and the rest of "us" will go Hide, you will have to seek.

Van55 said...

I was going to give this one a dismal fail, what with its directional answer, the loathed NLER and quite a bit of other lame fill. Until I saw the them reveal and began counting the IDEs. My consternation immediately changed to wonderment at the achievement. Well done!

Van55 said...

themE reveal. I wish we had an edit feature.

1st Grade Teacher said...

After you enter the capcha, hit PREZVIEW to review / edit before you hit Publish.

xyz said...

Still, 15 times is pretty good, although I guess it should have been symmetrical. HARRRRRRUUUUUMMMMPPPPPPPHHH!!!!!(Insert puzzle snobbery smilie)


Oh, hell, I thought it was pretty cool.

Brawn does not equal sinew. Sinew is gristle, tendon, fascia, etc, but not including muscle. Small anatomic misunderstanding.

Pies are rarely crusty (They're most often soggy) even though they have a crust. (Small food quibble).

Still, I thought 15 times for IDE was good, agree 15 IDES would be even better, but that theme would drop like a fly shot with DDT.

Nice job Lila Cherry


I think it's hilarious that the 1st Grade Teacher is teaching @Van55 how to edit. Maybe we need a 2nd Grade teacher to teach how to spell PREVIEW.

Orange said...

"Lila Cherry" anagrams to "really Rich" Norris. This is one of Rich's pen names.

xyz said...

Aw shucks, I forgot - Dr. Denton's are technically SLEEPERS, not pajamas. (Although sleepers are wholly contained in the pajama circle of a Venn diagram). They have a permanent foot shape at the end of each leg as its distinctive character. Needless to say that cost me seven seconds! Zounds! Perhaps eight ...

Don't want three yet... said...

I knew that. No one would name their kid Lila if the last name were Cherry.

Reno911 said...

Fun puzzle for a Monday. I took the theme as the sum of the total. One may be an ide but when you have 15, you have the 'ides' of March. Go Raiders!

1st Grade Teacher said...

What a long name, Whew.
That was the point.

shrub5 said...

@Tinbeni: I had CRAB apple before CRAN as well.

Put STRATA for low-level clouds but the I in IDEA made it STRATI. I thought strata was already plural (singular stratus). Consulted the dictionary: when referring to clouds, it is stratus/strati. When referring to layers of rock (or social status), it is stratum/strata. Oh. Right.

FYI and mine: André GIDE (1869-1951) is a French novelist, essayist and critic; regarded as the father of modern French literature. Notable works: The Immoralist, Strait is the Gate, The Counterfeiters. Nobel Prize for Literature 1947.

Tuttle said...

The Latin idus is used only in the plural so you are correct, there is no IDE.

I've said it before; Jaguar never made a car called the XKE but American advertising did occasionally refer to the Jaguar E-Type as such.

I have never heard the word ROLF before in my life.

IONIA is interesting because it's not actually in Greece (it's in Asia Minor) but it is a district (region really, but close enough) and it is a form of the Greek language.

Anonymous said...

I've seen it spelled both ways now,capcha or captcha, Which is right and what does it mean?

Toress said...

@Anon 9:55 Wiki says CAPTCHA is preferable. The article explains it, but essentially it's the "type in the letters" process which differentiates real people signing in vs automated spam posters.

mac said...

Nice puzzle. That name, Lila Cherry, always makes me smile.

I had craB apple as well, and I can never remember the Jaguar models.

Saw a menu last week that had a list of sliders: little rolls with fillings like hamburger, short ribs, fish, fried chickpeas and avocado or a selection!

I just laughed when I imagined JNH in footed pajamas! Red ones!


Uh uh, they're not red ones, they're Winnie-the-Pooh jammies.

BTW, the Brits call them PYJAMAS.

Van55 said...

Thanks for the hint, First Grade Teacher!

C said...

Fun puzzle, everything about IDE has been summarized well, IMO, and I appreciate the skill that went into constructing a puzzle with IDE strewn exactly 15 times thrughout.

Very cool.

JIMMIE said...

Fun theme. Yesterday's LAT also had 15 theme answers, but all ending with IDE, constructed by Merle Reagle.

You would think that today is a high holy day or something, with all the IDEs.I guess it was a big day for the Romans.

Argyle said...

You might add Rolf Harris to the crosswordese. He sang Waltzing Matilda and Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport.

CrazyCat said...

Very impressive Monday puzzle. Lots of fun and IDEs. Hand up for CRAB apple instead of CRAN. Aren't Dr. Denton's the PAJAMAS with the seat that buttons up. They are not SEXY that's for sure. @Tuttle ROLFing was popular back in the 60s and 70s. There is the ROLF Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder Colorado. I think it was kind of a counter culture trend.

mac said...

@JNH: I don't even know how to spell pyjamas/pajamas in Dutch!
Just looked it up, it's the British version.

Sfingi said...

I had CRAb before CRAN and BRIDEgroom before BRIDESMAID.

I liked counting the IDES. I tried to get a Lotto buyer not to gamble this morning by saying it was bad luck on the Ides of March. My friends say I'm such a Calvinist.

On Friday, I put my cell through a whole laundry cycle AND poured coffee on hubster's laptop. I can't get my Google file now because the captcha's are so much harder to read than the one's here, and I can't remember my password. Or something else.

@Mac - pajamas is an Est Indian word, anyway. As is shampoo, bungalo, thug and a few more.

GoG8rs said...

Fun puzzle!
Favorite clue:
Ocean reflux = ebb tide