FRIDAY, Apr. 2, 2010 — Don Gagliardo

THEME: Something about misreading negative-sounding prefixes, I think...

So I'm supposed to interpret DE-, ANTI-, UN-, and DIS- as having a negative meaning in words where they don't, in fact, have that meaning? But the "UN-" in "UNRELATED" does, in fact, have a negative significance, i.e. "NOT related." I get that you have clued it to have a different negative significance, but ... the whole concept just seems muddled and confusing. DISPOSITION and DENOMINATOR appear to be part of one puzzle (one that could easily have been a "Brooklyn speech" theme, i.e. DIS for "this," DE for "the"...), but ANTIPHONY and UNRELATED seem like lost dogs. As for the rest of the grid — nothing to write home about. OJIBWA looks pretty cool (22D: Algonquin kin), but is offset by the dreadful crosswordesey DORATI (33D: Budapest-born conductor Antal) ... which reminds me: this is an astonishingly musical puzzle. Too bad the whole thing comes across, in the end, as at least slightly OFF KEY (29D: Sharp or flat).

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Caucus member changing his mind about a candidate? (DE-NOMINATOR)
  • 30A: For the real thing? (ANTI-PHONY)
  • 49A: Took back one's story? (UN-RELATED)
  • 58A: Downsizing result? (DIS-POSITION) — ???

Also, GLOP is "food?" It's an insult you might hurl at food, I suppose. But it's not food. Definitions I'm seeing are all about its being gummy, gooey, shapeless, and repulsive. Had SLOP and GOOP before GLOP. Almost all the search returns I get for [glop food] involve cat food, which, yes, would be unappetizing. To me. Also unappetizing to me: most reality shows. I don't know how anyone tolerates a show called "Wife Swap." I would, however, be tempted to watch a show called "FROG SWAP" (colorful central line of the puzzle), but only if it was about French foreign exchange students.

Crosswordese 101: SERT (70A: League of Nations muralist) — I often confuse him with ERTE, for numerous, understandable reasons. SERT is a letter short of a mattress. Also a letter short of a horned helmet-wearing cartoon dog. Josep Lluís SERT (yes, that's his real, awesome name) was a Spanish architect and friend of all your big modern artists of the 20th century. Your Picassos, your Míros, your Calders, your Kinkades. OK, probably not that last one, but definitely the others.

What else?

  • 26A: Timberlake with six Grammys (JUSTIN) — expect to see BIEBER in the puzzle in the near future. And a lot. He is the new JUSTIN of tween idoldom. Timberlake is still hot (and far more talented than I initially gave him credit for), but now pushing the ripe old age of 30. All hail the Age of BIEBER.

  • 65A: Scary words from the boss (SEE ME) — Jeez. Paranoid much. Relax. Maybe you're getting a raise.
  • 48D: Ruling (REGNANT) — if a student used that in a paper, I would write "SEE ME" in the margin and then advise him or her to put the SYNONYM-generator away and just use "ruling."
See you Monday,


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: Cotton unit (BALE); 5A: "__ is life!" (SUCH); 9A: Earns a fink moniker (BLABS); 14A: Seine sights (ILES); 15A: Circular cookie (OREO); 16A: "__ Breath You Take": Police hit (EVERY); 17A: Unappetizing food (GLOP); 18A: Like some summer days (LAZY); 19A: Bach's "__ the G String" (AIR ON); 20A: Caucus member changing his mind about a candidate? (DENOMINATOR); 23A: Latin 101 verb (AMO); 24A: Freudian subject (EGO); 25A: Asgard ruler (ODIN); 26A: Timberlake with six Grammys (JUSTIN); 28A: Pointer (ARROW); 30A: For the real thing? (ANTIPHONY); 32A: Took it slow (LOAFED); 34A: Flow partner (EBB); 35A: City NW of Provo (OREM); 36A: Dan'l Webster, in a Twain story (FROG); 38A: Barter (SWAP); 40A: Take to the cleaners (SOAK); 43A: Remote abbr. (REW); 45A: Key of Chopin's "Military Polonaise" (A MAJOR); 49A: Took back one's story? (UNRELATED); 52A: Carry __ (A TUNE); 53A: "Gimme a minute!" ("NOT YET!"); 54A: Babysitter's bane (BRAT); 56A: Bug like a dog? (BEG); 57A: Cos. with ampersands, often (RRS); 58A: Downsizing result? (DISPOSITION); 61A: Choosing from a lineup, briefly (ID'ING); 63A: Smurf elder (PAPA); 64A: Thomas __ Edison (ALVA); 65A: Scary words from the boss (SEE ME); 66A: Not fer (AGIN'); 67A: Hammer part (PEEN); 68A: "To __ human ..." (ERR IS); 69A: Actress Sofer (RENA); 70A: League of Nations muralist (SERT); 1D: "So what?!" ("BIG DEAL!"); 2D: Swiftly, to Solti (ALLEGRO); 3D: Name associated with three Beethoven overtures (LEONORA); 4D: Hockey Hall of Fame nickname (ESPO); 5D: Reliable, as a citizen (SOLID); 6D: Muse holding a globe (URANIA); 7D: Matisse reportedly called him "the father of us all" (CEZANNE); 8D: Axton of country (HOYT); 9D: Endure (BEAR UP); 10D: VII x VIII (LVI); 11D: Oxygenating tool (AERATOR); 12D: Fire retardant chemical (BROMINE); 13D: Case, for instance? (SYNONYM); 21D: Yard machine (MOWER); 22D: Algonquin kin (OJIBWA); 27D: Patronize (SHOP AT); 29D: Sharp or flat (OFF KEY); 31D: "Superstation" letters (TBS); 33D: Budapest-born conductor Antal (DORATI); 37D: Hear clearly (GET); 39D: Early violin maker Andrea (AMATI); 40D: Common photo subject (SUNRISE); 41D: Due in soon (ON ORDER); 42D: Like a more pretentious museum patron (ARTSIER); 44D: Online resource (WEB PAGE); 46D: Golden __: 50th anniversary (JUBILEE); 47D: Like a bogey, to a golfer (ONE OVER); 48D: Ruling (REGNANT); 50D: Cliff features (LEDGES); 51D: Visit unexpectedly (DROP IN); 55D: Yoga posture (ASANA); 59D: Trade punches (SPAR); 60D: Last melody? (TAPS); 62D: Application form abbr. (NMI).



Here we go again with more OFF KEY orchestral conductorese (espec. for Tinbeni). Solti and Muti stuff. Bach’s AIR ON the G-String (no tittering here), Chopin’s Military Polonaise in A MAJOR, ALLEGRO (what, again?), Beethoven’s LEONORA Overtures, Budapest conductor Antal DORATI, and violin maker Andrea AMATI. Wow! This is like a secondary theme.

Herbert von Karajan conducts Beethoven’s beautiful Leonore III Overture

I’m getting to like Don Gagliardo’s puzzles more and more… he uses lots of good erudite words.

Zeke said...

Man, I thought I was in a bad mood before you suckered me into looking at W[ho]TF Kinkade was.
What's up with LEONORA? It's LEONORE, see, right there in the libretto. "E"'s a perfectly good letter, not Cryllic or Arabic or Urdic so that it needs transliteration and may be open to interpretation, it's just a plain old "E", no umlauts or anything. Just "E". The translation of LEONORE is LEONORE, not LEONORA or LEONITA or anything but LEONORE. Just plain LEONORE. You want to soften the likely pronunciation, make it more cuddly - just go buy a Kincade and leave us alone.
Dan should have, for his "DIS" word, used disheveled. Because disheveled means sheveled.

Van55 said...

I thought the theme is,if not risible, then droll. The musical subtheme is nice. A really good LAT offering today.

Tinbeni said...

Puzzle theme was not a problem.

But that other one, the music sub-theme was about a 50/50.

@JNH: As I attempted this, I knew you were in heaven. Me, a place a little warmer.

OK, got the ALLEGRO (from yesterday), AMATI & HOYT.
LEONORA via crosses.
A Minor was A MAJOR.
Sharp and flat are OFF KEY?
DORATI a learning moment.
Oh well, I'll go back to what I do best with music.
Pop in a CD and enjoy.

Got the SYNONYM for case.
Learned ruling syn. is REGNANT.
In a Sec was NOT YET.
Snobier was ARTSIER

... yup, butt-kicked, the Rorschach Inkblot was emerging until I punted.

First Friday DNF this year, for me this puzzle was not a

*David* said...

Tough Firday also had problems finishing the SW section mainly because the theme did not come together for me at all. Usually I get a theme answer and then I know where I'm going, with this puzzle I felt no comnnection whatsoever to the theme. Pretty disappointing and too many classical references for its own good, if you want to do music, mix it up a little bit with a DJ.

Sfingi said...

ARTSIER, artsiest

Agree with the Vans. Liked it muchly.

Had a personal Natick at SERT and REGNANT, but am happy to know about SERT. Like what you showed!

There were 5 more names I really didn't know but they fell in: HOYT (sports).
The names RENA and URANIA remind me too much of kidneys (mini-theme?);
But, LEONORA is nice.
ASGARD. I really should read that Edda. That's my peeps what walked out into the Nordsee calling for Odin/Wotan to take them before the Christians pulled them back. They didn't want to go to nursing homes.
I don't need death panels, I'll just clean the gun.

Segue: I wanted "gUN" for TUNE. "Yes, she could carry a gun, good as any mother's son."

Antal DORATI is alive and well and living in 2nd hand vinyl bins everywhere.

Hope everyone out there pronounces ERR correctly today.

I got April fooled yesterday. Almost called my Baltimore sister. Still chuckling. Jon Hopkins

shrub5 said...

Well, I had to google a couple of things today. Maybe I was just impatient...muse holding a globe URANIA and yoga posture ASANA. Never heard of REGNANT and never want to see it again. Repugnant minus P U.

Actually chuckled at theme answer DISPOSITION -- downsizing by removing one from a position. OK. I can see this word becoming part of Rex's "barfy businessspeak."

Best part of the puzzle today was Rex's write-up. Chortles aplenty. Kinkade Bambi paintings -- I really don't know what to say.

C said...

Got the theme early, negative prefix in front of a real word to create yet another word that answers a wacky clue.

Rest of the puzzle came together pretty smoothly.

Leaned some new things today:

SERT, nice to know.
AMATI's first name, never seen it in a clue before that I can recall.

I am anxiously waiting, or, in corssword speak, awaiting for the first NFL referee to announce after a video replay review: "The regnant on the field stands, touch down!"

CrazyCat said...

Way too many musical clues for me today. Did like seeing CEZANNE and SERT. Always like ASANA. I like my yoga teachers to know their Sanskrit.

My question of the day is why in the world of crossword puzzles is ARTY or ARTSY considered to be a SYNONYM for snobby or pretentious? In my career working for an art publisher, then in a gallery and now living in a town with a vibrant community of artists, I have to say artists are probably the least pretentious people in the world. On the other hand Thomas Kinkade makes me want to stick my finger down my throat.

Didn't really get the theme, but an enjoyable puzzle nevertheless.

lit.doc said...

Being easily amused, I thought the theme answers were kinda cute, though I do understand Rex’s calling a technical foul for the internal-coherence violation.

I’m something of a classical music geek, so the puzzle fell pretty quickly—very quickly for a Friday. But I’ve gotta pitch a bitch on behalf of everyone who doesn’t have the background to know all the musical clues/answers: square 45 was a flagrant natick. I’ve never heard of the Ojibwa (weren’t they in Star Wars?) and, if I weren’t familiar with the polonaise, that square would have been a seven-letter crap shoot.

Today’s reassuring evidence of a learning curve: 13D “Case, for instance?” didn’t fool me for a moment.

@Zeke, speaking of classical music, I’m glad to know someone else noticed that Don Gagliardo took liberties with Leonore (sorry, the necrophilic connotation was inadvertent). Even the oft-abused “var.” bandaid wouldn’t have redeemed it. Vexed me so much I was going to post a complaint, but decided not to. Oops…too late.

@shrub5, you’re certainly right about Rex’s write-up being more entertaining than the puzzle today.

Sfingi said...

@Crazy Cat - My sister is an art prof, and certainly not pretentious. When I think of the words artsy or arty I think of bubbly young girls just discovering art, designing their own clothes.

My son introduced me to the song, Paul Cezanne, by the 5 Chinese Brothers. It has to be sung rather fast. It includes these lines:

"When paul cezanne sat down to paint a flower or a face
He had to solve one problem, three-dimensional space
He said, form is content, he smoke a gitanne.
He was right. Now he's paul cezanne, cezanne...
Well cezanne's father wanted him to be an avocat
But paul just looked at him and said, pff, mais non, pa.
I want to be a painter, i know i can!
Now his oevre's in the louvre, he's paul cezanne, cezanne...
Paul cezanne's famous now and i think that's really nice
'cause his melons look like footballs and his apples look like dice..."

The Bambi Kinkade is funny. The Keane of the 21st century, one-trick pony. Turns out it's no joke - there're others with Pinocchio and Cinderella. Isn't April Fool's day over? They say Kinkade is a rather nasty person to employees.

@John - Solti and Muti - cute. Great names for puppets or puppies.

SethG said...

I finished OFF KEY. Or off scale, I don't know enough music to know.

There's a reservation not far from here called the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, which is the land-base for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. And there are lots more Ojibwe bands as well--the spelling seems to be roughly evenly split between those (and Ojibway).

I might not know my Chopin enough to have caught the E MAJOR error, but I did have a Kinkade-of-the-day daily desk calendar. Each day brought me one of Thomas Kinkade's signature scenes of serenity coupled with inspirational excerpts from his book, Lightposts for Living: The Art of Choosing a Joyful Life. This allowed me to spend my year learning to live the life I'd always dreamed of and to bask in the light of Thomas Kinkade's soothing, spirited artwork on my journey among the Lightposts for Living.

CrazyCat said...

@Seth G about your Kincade desk calendar, is that true or is it still April 1 in your time zone?

SethG said...

@CrazyCatLady, if you called his 800 number, the voice said "You have reached the Thomas Kinkade gallery. Thank you for sharing the light." I'm not sure what more he said, I never got past that prompt.

Tinbeni said...

@SethG, @CCL, @Zeke etal

OK, I admit I finally fell for Rex's (and y'all's)
April Fool joke and clicked on the Kinkade link.

Now I'm sorry I cried when Bambi's mom was shot about
50 years ago.

I do have an original (framed) Goofy cell but in it at least he is playing golf (a love/waste of time long ago).

So now it is time to GET some avatar and let it DROP IN on my mood. After seeing the link, and it's no BIG DEAL but I'll probably go a SOLID ONE OVER the limit.

CrazyCat said...

@SethG - Phew! You had me worried for a minute.
@Sfingi - loved the Cezanne song. Thanks for sharing.
Oh yeah, I had GLOB instead of GLOP which resulted in ESBO, but since I had no idea who ESPO was, ESBO seemed fine.
REGNANT just sounds like it's missing a P.
Thanks RP for the amusing write up.

mac said...

This theme was never really clear to me, but then I didn't try very hard to find it....

Rex's write-up and the Kinkade link and Sfingi's last post made me laugh!

mac said...
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