TUESDAY, March 9, 2010 — Mangesh Sakharam Ghogre

Theme: Eating breakfast makes you fat(?) — The first three theme answers are types of spreads you would put on food. The last theme answer is a spread that might be the result of too much of the other spreads.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Sweet toast topper (STRAWBERRY JELLY).
  • 29A: Fruity bread topper (APPLE BUTTER).
  • 50A: "Schmeared" bagel topper (CREAM CHEESE).
  • 65A: Waist woe (caused, perhaps, by overindulgence in 17-, 29- and 50-Across) (MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD).
Odd theme. After the first two theme answers, I thought it was going to be something about fruit, but the third one blew that. So these are three random things you can eat that might cause you to gain weight. And the operative word there is random. I mean, technically, sure: too much strawberry jelly and you might gain a pound or two. But when I think of gaining weight, I think more along the lines of, I don't know, cookies. Ice cream. Desserts. That sort of thing. Strawberry jelly, apple butter, and cream cheese seem sort of benign in comparison, don't you think?

  • 14A: "Well done!" ("BRAVO!"). Very exclamatory puzzle today. See also 9D: "Whoopee!" ("YAY!").
  • 15A: Early Yucatán dweller (MAYA). Also a little Native vibe going. See also 6A: Nebraska tribe (OTOE). Earlier today I read a heartbreaking article about the conditions on Indian reservations in the United States. How much composure do you imagine must be required for the Indians not go completely apesh*t when they hear the Tea Partiers proclaiming unironically that they "want their country back."
  • 49A: Quilting party (BEE). Anybody ever been to one of these. It sounds kind of fun. Except for the sewing part.
  • 54A: Terse order to a chauffeur (HOME). Do you think people really talk that way to their chauffeurs? I don't believe I've ever met anyone with a chauffeur.
  • 2D: Greek city on its own gulf (ARTA). This was my WTF answer of the day. The Cruciverb.com data base only has this answer listed four times (never in the L.A. Times; twice in CrossSynergy puzzles in 2006; twice in late-week New York Times puzzles in 1997 and 1998). With those great letters, I think we'd see it more often if it was even a mediocre entry.
  • 10D: Direct, as a confrontation (TOE-TO-TOE). Raise your hand if you read direct as a verb.
  • 26D: "Washboard" muscles (ABS). Now that's just mean in a puzzle about middle-age spread.
  • 45D: Cable sta. for old films (TCM). I never get this one. But I just now looked it up and finally figured out why. I get TCM (Turner Classic Movies) confused with AMC (American Movie Classics). I thought it was just that I was an idiot, but now I think it's understandable. Speaking of Turner Classics ....

Crosswordese 101: If you know only one thing about make-up, it should be ESTÉE (33D: Cosmetician Lauder). I mean, look at those letters! If you see the words cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, or perfume in the clue (and particular if the clue starts with "First name in …"), chances are, ESTÉE is probably the one you're looking for.

Everything Else — 1A: Silently understood (TACIT); 6A: "Dear" advice giver (ABBY); 10A: Clock sound (TICK); 20A: "No __, no gain" (PAIN); 21A: Cancel (UNDO); 22A: Book of maps (ATLAS); 23A: Peace and quiet (CALM); 25A: __-shanter: Scottish cap (TAM-O); 27A: State with 13-Down: Abbr. (FLA.); 35A: Inform (on) (RAT); 36A: Group of bits, in computer storage (BYTE); 37A: Other half, so to speak (SPOUSE); 38A: Be next to (ABUT); 40A: Wood-dressing tool (ADZ); 42A: Init. response team (EMTS); 43A: Complaint of "the weary" (NO REST); 46A: Kick into a net (GOAL); 52A: Wimbledon do-over (LET); 53A: Made the scene (CAME); 56A: Model of excellence (IDEAL); 59A: Assign stars to (RATE); 62A: Leadership org. for females (YWCA); 68A: Hang in the balance (PEND); 69A: Schedule opening (SLOT); 70A: Without letup (ON END); 71A: Hang around (STAY); 72A: Move cautiously (EDGE); 73A: Enjoys a kiddie pool (WADES); 1D: 1/16 of a cup: Abbr. (TBSP.); 3D: Politician in a political cartoon, e.g. (CARICATURE); 4D: A former Mrs. Trump (IVANA); 5D: Garage service (TOW); 6D: Word of agreement (AMEN); 7D: The __ of Avon (BARD); 8D: Boring way to learn (BY ROTE); 11D: "__ cost you!" (IT'LL); 12D: Bubbly drink (COLA); 13D: Largo, West, et al. (KEYS); 18D: Like roads with many potholes (BUMPY); 19D: Copier problem (JAM UP); 24D: Chem room (LAB); 27D: Old Cannes cash (FRANC); 28D: Repair bill line (LABOR); 30D: School support org. (PTA); 31D: Rock climber's stop (LEDGE); 32D: Windblown desert plant (TUMBLEWEED); 34D: Odometer button (RESET); 39D: Container at an afternoon service, maybe (TEA CADDY); 41D: Playwright Akins (ZOË); 44D: Lowercase (SMALL); 47D: Hibachi residue (ASHES); 48D: Summer sign (LEO); 51D: Proclaim (HERALD); 55D: Loy of "The Thin Man" (MYRNA); 56D: Mischievous tykes (IMPS); 57D: Try to reduce 65-Across (DIET); 58D: Ferber or Best (EDNA); 60D: Popeyed (AGOG); 61D: Place for a beret (TÊTE); 63D: Sugar source (CANE); 64D: Puts two and two together? (ADDS); 66D: Language suffix (-ESE); 67D: Sock-in-the-jaw sound (POW).


Sfingi said...

Did not know ARTA. Did not know either of the 2 sports clues: kicking into a net is a GOAL, Wimbledon do-over is a LET. Gotta go - church and meeting at the Home, then fuel guy comes for tune-up. And it's finally a beautiful day outside.
I'll be back in the PM with a ZOE Akins poem.

lit.doc said...

If ever there were a puzzle that passed the breadfast test, this is it. Especially if breadfast is fast food.

@Puzzle Girl, major "atta girl" re your comments about the plight of the indigenous tribes vs. the tea baggers. And LOL about ABS being a mean-spirited answer in a middle-age-themed puzzle.

@Sfingi, didn't even see ARTA till I read PG's write-up.


I think I broke my puzzle solving personal best today. YAY !!!
BRAVO to John. I think it was due to my vast (or maybe half-vast) collection of crosswordESE words. I won’t give my times, because someone else will just top that.

Thought this was a fun puzzle. Lots of fun words, like POW, TAMO-shanter, ADZ, BUMPY, TUMBLE WEED, TOE-TO-TOE, and TEA CADDY, ZOE Akins, and CARICATURE.

I think a CARICATURE is great fun, especially when it lampoons a famous political figure

And in this video clip, we get to see MYRNA Loy in “The Thin Man” with that cute little ubiquitous dog, ATRA (not ARTA). I think I just recently saw this movie on TCM.

I always thought the saying was, “there’s NO REST for the wicked”.

Loved the 50A clue “Schmeared”.
So I think all go put all that yummy stuff on two bagels for breakfast. Forget the DIET!!!! Hmm, let’s see, what flavor coffee would go well with that.

The BARD of Avon said "Brevity is the soul of wit" (in Hamlet Act II, Scene II)… so with that I’ll just say, "Adiós amigos".

Tinbeni said...

You covered it well but "The Thin Man" Dog is ASTA. (Atra is the razor we are all sick of).

Was watching TCM when I picked up the puzzle, old movie called Casablanca was on.
Theme got me thinking, so it was a bagel w/CREAM CHEESE & coffee time.

Why would the order to the chauffer, HOME, have to be 'terse?'

Liked that the across line was CAME HOME.

@PG A subtle hint about how to avoid 'MIDDLE AGE SPREAD' with the salad?


Yes, I agree with Puzzlegirl, STRAWBERRY JELLY et al isn't what's putting weight on me... it's mostly due to that "Cookie DIET" that was so prevalent during the holidays, and then from that to the ice cream sundaes, and the spareribs (which I had yesterday).

For 10D, I immediatelt thought TETE-A-TETE, but that didn't fit, so I went with TOE-TO-TOE next...yay!

The word TACIT often gets mixed up with TACET (which means "silent" in musical terms).

I never say "HOME" to my chauffer; I say "Pronto, James, it's dinner time".

During 2008 I spent some time on 23 reservations and will return again this year in May... so I got a firsthand exposure to their living conditions and the BIA policies. Even more disturbing is what happened to the Native American Women during 1972-1976. This shameful act reeks of Nazi Germany's tactics. Few people know about this.

Lime D. Zeze said...

Who eats strawberry jelly? Perhaps it's just me, but I can't recall ever seeing strawberry jelly. Preserves and jam, sure, but not jelly.

Sfingi said...

@John - We love you, but I don't believe you can do brevity. Stay as sweet as you are. And keep up the good work with the Indians. It's a mitzvah.
The Oneidas here started a casino, and the force behind it was Ray Halbritter who went to Harvard and returned to improve things. He lost an uncle in a fire because the town refused to send the fire department. They also refused to give them 2nd hand trailers no one was using. He had to view the bodies laid out afterwards, and made himself a vow that they would never have to beg for help. By the way, the Oneidas were on "our side" in all wars, and made their contract after 1784.

I got a break for an hour. I learned of Zoe Akins when researching villanelles. She's pretty much classical, and sometimes corny. Her villanelle is too long, and so is a wonderful poem called Sisterhood. But here is another:

From Thee So Far

Remember me as one who loved awhile

Life, and the splendid merriment I had;
Life, and its throngs of people, gay and sad.

But all so quick to answer smile with smile;

Life, that with changeful humours did beguile
My changeful moods, and ever found me glad
To fare upon adventures, wise or mad.

A runner laughing down the fleeting mile.

Or as a child who loved the shining toy

The gods placed in its hands, remember me;

And if I cried at dusk to touch a star,
Forgive!For I who was a-flame with joy
Shall lie most lonely in my shroud, and be
Far from the things I loved, from thee so far!

Burner10 said...

Did yesterday and today's puzzles this morning. Liked yesterday's theme better, but today's fill seemed more fun.



BTW, I did get permission to shoot these photos on their reservation (in fact I had a special license to do so).

Tinbeni said...

If you look, at the 'J' it does become JAM if you go down.

That clip is something I did not know. It is disturbing, on so many levels, how the Native Americans were treated. Taking their land was not enough, let's take their birth right.

Thank you for the poem.
You're fast becoming my favorite "uber-feminist."

Rex Parker said...

Never saw ARTA, thank god, bec. it's dismal.

I almost liked today's theme. One kind of spread cuing another kind (where the latter is - allegedly - causative of the former). But there's nothing particularly "MIDDLE-AGEd" about the answers, and the spreads a. don't really cause weight gain unless you're really out of control, and b. start with fruits ... exc. the one that doesn't :( Advice: don't got TOE TO TOE with an OTOE. Also, don't put ESTEE and RESET right next to each other. Looks lazy.

Tuttle said...

I would have gotten ARTA if they'd clued it's old name. Pyrrhus of Epirus, he of "pyrrhic victory" fame, had his capitol moved to Ambracia, an old Corinthian colony, due to the Ambracian Gulf's position on the Ionian sea and the ease of invading Italy from it. The name Ambracia devolved into ARTA sometime during Byzantine rule (and as far as I know the gulf is still, generally, referred to as the Ambracian Gulf although Gulf of ARTA does seem to be acceptable).

Most famous, however, is the northern promontory that separates the Gulf of Arta from the Ionian Sea. It is called "Actium" and it gave its name to the sea battle that ended, once and for all, the civil wars of the Roman Republic.

DataGeek said...

@Lime - agree on JELLY - probably have heard of it, but Jam makes more sense. Leading us to JAM UP - never a phrase I hear around the copier. Just "paper jam." I did like TAM O just for reminding me that I actually wore those in grade school - even if the answer was kind of an ugly partial. EMTS felt awkward due to the plural cluing, but I guess it works.

Not terribly exciting today, and depressing at the end as I'm fighting that MIDDLE AGE SPREAD myself!

Thanks PG for the great write-up!

Orange said...

For the record, Smuckers does sell a strawberry jelly.

xyz said...

JAM crossing STRAWBERRY JELLY made it OK. A slight bit bothered by MIDDLE AGEd SPREAD but I really don't like ICE(no d) TE.

This was a nice little puzzle, but definitely on the easy side. In fact I balked at ADDS trying to think of something more devious!

Liked CARICATURE, TEA CADDY and TUMBLEWEED. Never saw TOE TO TOE in a puzzle before but it easily made sense. ANyway, I had fun and that's my gauge.

Did not know ARTA, but it passed the crosses test.

Since I cancelled my NYT subscription, I now have to sign up for the on-line puzzle subscription, so I did teh CW synergy as my second puzzle today. Even easier than this one.

hazel said...

Though less common than jam or preserves, I think strawberry jelly can be found pretty much anywhere. Grape jelly is far more common, but likely because its a popular juice and jelly is prepared from the juice - whereas jam and preserves typically involve processing crushed whole fruit.

I made strawberry preserves for the first time this year, which sadly had a consistency more like syrup than jam or even jelly. They could be poured, but not spread. I finally got my mind right (just saw Cool Hand Luke) by just renaming the whole batch "strawberry syrup." So what if it was a little lumpy.

Rube said...

@Tuttle -- I'm AGOG at your historical knowledge. Most interesting.

@Hazel -- RubeWife has made freezer raspberry jam every year for 30 years using her mother's recipe. The problem is that when taken from the refrigerator it is runny enough to pour and could use a little more pectin. I suggested this to her about 15 years ago and she did just that to one batch. I complimented her on the improved jam. The next year she went back to her mother's recipe. I now leave the jam in the freezer. Problem solved. (And mother's cooking not insulted.)

JIMMIE said...

DIET crossing with MIDDLEAGESPREAD seems fair.

Loved the Tina clip, PG.

hazel said...

@Rube - I must say that sounds an awful lot like my strawberry "jam"!! Bully for your wife for sticking with mom and defying the norm - and to you too for your continued tact!!

If I'm overrun with strawberries again this year, I've got a do over planned. I sort of know where I went wrong. It involved a shortcut. With the pectin, I think.

xyz said...

Back, got the sub. That NYT today was rather harder, this one was rather more fun. I wish more folks contributed to this blog as opiners, but I am glad all three solvers do such good writes-up.

Strawberry Jelly, I forgot that I found a new brand of French preserves yesterday at Wegman's and it was quite good, but the best I've found lately was an Italian Brand called Casa Giulia. I have neither a beer belly or a jelly belly and I'm getting old enough that it's probably no longer MIDDLE AGE SPREAD.

mac said...

This was very quick, but fun. Did it almost entirely across.

Jellies are great for glazing pies and tarts. My favorite is apricot. I don't think I've ever seen strawberry jelly.

Those teapartiers - I don't even want to think about them. How selfish can you get.

@JNH: That link was so upsetting; USHusband had never heard of it.

Home, James, home!

Annie said...

The theme was a play on words with things you spread on food (middle age SPREAD) that could possibly cause you to gain weight... I agree, was kind of lame and not very clear.