WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2010—Jennifer Nutt

THEME: "Playing Footsie"—Four phrases begin with homophones of FOOT PARTS (and I don't mean inches).

This is a cute theme. I'm not one of those people who is grossed out by ordinary feet and all things foot-related, and hey, the theme entries only sound like they involve feet. Much fresher than a theme that actually uses HEEL, BALL, TOE, and SOLE phrases, no?

Theme entries:
  • 20A: [Proverbial advice to a physician] (HEAL THYSELF). This looks like HEALTHY SELF every time I look at the grid. HEAL sounds like "heel."
  • 40A: [Scold vigorously] (BAWL OUT). Sounds like "ball." Heh, I said "ball."
  • 59A: [Certain no-parking area] (TOWAWAY ZONE. "Toe." This theme answer gives me mild crossword PTSD symptoms. At my first ACPT, I didn't check the crossings on a theme entry in the easiest puzzle, and so had crosswordese-ish PLAT instead of PLAN, crossing a TOWAWAY ZOTE. True story.
  • 11D: [Motown genre] (SOUL MUSIC). "Sole." The Godfather of Sole has got some fancy footwork.
  • Wrapping it all up is 35D: [This puzzle's theme, if you listen to the beginnings of 20-, 40-, and 59-Across and 11-Down] (FOOT PARTS).

Amy's Top One (because I'm on vacation and Top Ten is too many):
  • 14A: [Dancer Falana] (LOLA). I believe Rex and PuzzleGirl know of my fondness for this video. I encourage you to watch it twice. (Dancing is optional.)

Crosswordese 101: It's not crosswordese, but it's also not a very common word, so let's look at SWALE. The clue is 52D: [Low, moist area]. My dictionary further elaborates that it's a "marshy depression between ridges." I gotta say, because of today's theme, I'm tempted to apply the word to the space between your toes. Doesn't that need a word?

Everything Else — 1A: Basic Latin lesson word (AMAT); 5A: Bedtime story preceder, perhaps (BATH); 9A: '70s dance club (DISCO); 15A: Canyon effect (ECHO); 16A: Not whispered (ALOUD); 17A: Response bias may affect one (POLL); 18A: Weak, as a novel plot (THIN); 19A: Piccolo, e.g. (FLUTE); 23A: "__ Miz" (LES); 24A: Stick (ADHERE); 25A: Reasoned belief in a supreme being (DEISM); 27A: Scaredy-cat (SISSY); 30A: Appoint as a posse member, say (DEPUTE); 33A: Huck's transport (RAFT); 36A: Consider (DEEM); 38A: Obama's younger daughter (SASHA); 39A: "The Name of the Rose" writer (ECO); 42A: Damaged, as mdse. (IRR.); 43A: BP merger partner (AMOCO); 45A: Stretch of time (SPAN); 46A: Bra size (B CUP); 47A: Falling star (METEOR); 49A: Lesley of "60 Minutes" (STAHL); 51A: Model's array (POSES); 53A: "Get lost!" (BEAT IT); 57A: Defense gp.? (ABA); 62A: Brink (VERGE); 64A: Hit the ground (ALIT); 65A: 1814-'15 exile site (ELBA); 66A: River romper (OTTER); 67A: Titicaca, for one (LAKE); 68A: Cause a stench (REEK); 69A: Natural homes (NESTS); 70A: Author Bagnold (ENID); 71A: Norms: Abbr. (STDS.); 1D: Top dog (ALPHA); 2D: Was heard from the herd (MOOED); 3D: Muslim god (ALLAH); 4D: Like a basketball team's center, usually (TALLEST); 5D: National Institutes of Health city (BETHESDA); 6D: In need of a massage (ACHY); 7D: "Now hear __!" (THIS); 8D: Sharpened (HONED); 9D: Most goofy (DAFFIEST); 10D: Laid up (ILL); 12D: Adorable (CUTE); 13D: Shelley works (ODES); 21D: Prefix with sect or cycle (TRI-); 22D: Captained (LED); 26D: Hot tub (SPA); 28D: Monopolizes, with "up" (SEWS); 29D: Kennel sounds (YELPS); 31D: No __ traffic (THRU); 32D: O.K. Corral fighter (EARP); 33D: 500 sheets (REAM); 34D: Zenith (ACME); 37D: Defensive trench (MOAT); 40D: Fans (BOOSTERS); 41D: With sustained force (UNABATED); 44D: Jobs, vis-à-vis Apple Inc. (CEO); 46D: Oregon NBA team, familiarly (BLAZERS); 48D: Old touring car (REO); 50D: "Yo!" ("HEY!"); 54D: Apartment sign (TO LET); 55D: Asleep, probably (IN BED); 56D: Tropical hardwoods (TEAKS); 57D: Stratford's river (AVON); 58D: __ noire (BETE); 60D: Actor Rickman (ALAN); 61D: Collaborative Web site (WIKI); 63D: Figure out (GET).


lit.doc said...

OMG, @Orange, I never realized anyone had actually done justice to Barry Manilow’s music! Thank you for sharing.

This is not a complaint. I don’t think “And on the fourth day…” is followed by anything having to do with crossword puzzles in any translation of Genesis I’ve come across. But, for me, 12:07—and well south of sober—just seems strange. I enjoyed solving the puzzle, so I guess I’m just reacting to extra-puzzular considerations learned from certain large-market dailies.

But again, nicely constructed puzzle. Props to Jennifer Nutt. I even figured out the phonetic device. Once I was done.


Speedy (6:22), but very fun!
Cute theme.
J.B. & Copa clip woke me up.
@Orange...TOE JAM maybe?
Who the heck is ALAN Rickman?
Time to BEAT IT,else Rex will BAWL OUT John.

Tinbeni said...

After Tuesday on Monday, then Monday on Tuesday ... well this was a very fun Wednesday.

@JNH: ALAN Rickman, bad guy in 'Die Hard' and lots of other movies.

Checked, at WIKI, "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto ECO. Looks interesting, it's now on the library list.

ABA, DEPUTE & SPAN clues were CUTE & clever.

@Orange, Thanks for the clips watched both twice.
Our weather in Tampa Bay, today you can't BEAT IT.

Margaret said...

@JNH: You've got to jump on the Alan Rickman bandwagon! Not just the fabulous villian in the first Die Hard, but also Snape in the Harry Potter movies, the fake Spock character in Galaxy Quest, Colonel Brandon in the wonderful Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility... Terrific actor.

fiddleneck said...

thanks for the copa

Crockett1947 said...

Great Copa clip. That was fun. Thank you.

bluebell said...

An easy puzzle, although I did write in amas before checking the down and had to change to amat.

I was also slow to fill in flute, for piccolo, because I am so used to thinking of the piccolo as an instrument in its own right.

Daffiest is a good word.

Thanks for the Copa clip!

Anonymous said...

@JNH and don't forget Alan Rickman in Love Actually quite my favourite! He's very talented.

Rube said...

Pleasant Wednesday puzz. My only screw-ups were tImid for SISSY and tieS for SEWS. Personally, I think ties up is a better answer than SEWS up for monopolizes. I think I'd heard of LOLA Falana cause her name went right in. WIKIed her and found that she's of my vintage, (born 1942)... that's why.

Didn't like MOOED. Thought Titicaca was going to be LAgo. Nope. Never heard of DEPUTE, my WOTD. Otherwise nothing else of significance.

By the way, The Name of the Rose is a marvelous book and the movie, with Sean Connery, was superb too. I remember the opening where the hero deducing the abbot's(?) horse's name, Bucephalus. It's a murder mystery along the lines of Cadfael. Available on NetFlix.

Sfingi said...

Daffier, daffiest - can that be measured?

@John - re: yesterday. No, Kewpee's is gone. The Doll disappeared. The food wasn't all that great. We called it pukies. It was replaced by a Burger King and then a Duncan Donuts. There are 3 Kewpees left in the US: Lima, Lansing and Racine. Go to Chopped Onions.

Theme was easy and cute. I like homophones.

I had "barks" for YELPS and "uses" for SEWS, at first. I've not heard of SEWS up meaning take the lion's share, but rather for finishing something, like a meeting.

Never heard of Rickman.

More clues -not as good, but:
Clue: Non-empathetic feeling
Homophone of callus.
Clue: Most popular goober brand
Homophone of Plantars (warts)
Not for b'fast.

Lovely Lola Falana has been suffering with MS for years.


Van55 said...

I liked this puzzle way better than yesterday's. This one I would call "solid." Yesterday's: "weak."


Thanks for the KEWPEE leads. I drive close to Racine quite often, so I'll stop there next time. That one looks new. I'd love to see the classic one in Lima. I'm really into diners.
Chopped Onions is a great resource for me.

CrazyCat said...

Fun puzzle today. I liked the footsie theme. Loved the Copa clip. Looks like LOLA lost her mind and turned into a crazy cat woman. Only nit pik was the clue for MOOED, Was Heard From the Herd. Seems awkward to me.

Had Barks for YELPS, Film for BETE and first Hour then Year for SPAN. Everything worked itself out eventually.

When I was a kid, the boys next door thought it was beyond hysterical to say LAKE Titicaca. Had to google ECO.

NJ Irish said...

Easy Wed. puzzle, @Ogange, thanks for the copa clip, very.... ah moving for the footparts, toe tapping etc, @CCL, mooed? can't come with a better clue though. It's rare when I don't have one single write over.

Rex Parker said...


I don't find [Monopolizes] and "SEWS up" a good fit at all.

Lastly, one long superlative adjective per puzzle, please.


Anonymous said...

a fantasmagorical puzzle !

Sfingi said...

@Rex - Does DEPUTE mean we can dispense with "deputize"? Is DEPUTE a back-formation or a root? I'm thinking sport from disport or orientate (yuk) from orient.

ECO - for me, his best book is his latest, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, about a guy going through stuff in a hidden attic. It gave me the chills, "...I felt he foun dmy letters and read each one out loud." Most of his books are very thick, so it takes a few nights to finish, but worth it.

@John - there are so many places I'd like to go...from Lima, OH to Enna, Sicily. So glad there are photos.

Tinbeni said...

I have actually "de planed"

May have "de boated"

But if I "de pute" what am I really doing?

Also, if B-Cup is used in a puzzle I think it should be at 34A, not 46A ...

Guy who wondered what the hell Rex was talking about said...

I find it daffy that DAFFIEST is taller than TALLEST


re the professor:
"...and there pour forth jejune words and useless empty phrases...” (Anthony Trollope).