FRIDAY, Apr. 9, 2010 — Jack McInturff

THEME: "PO BOY" (63A: N'awlins sandwich, and this puzzle's title) — "PO" is added to familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style. Don't ask me what "BOY" as to do with anything.

Tied for the toughest Friday LAT of the year for me. Horrible first step — TERNS for GULPS (1A: Large swallows) kinda put me back a little in the NW, and then, much later, the entire SE was a bear. So many proper nouns, two of which I didn't know at all and another (BOLGER, 41A: Scarecrow portrayer) I got only after much mental prodding from crosses. LEILA what? (37A: Priestess in Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers") ... RILEY who? (57A: Op artist Bridget) ... Eeks. Plus, INURN (60A: Bury)? That's up there on the "Worst Words In The World" list. I, of course, had the *actual* synonym for [Bury], which is INTER. If you change MCAN to MCAT, NYNY to TREY, and RILEY to, I don't know, let's say TILER, you can fix it. No, wait — better:


I don't think ACRO- is any worse than AERO- as prefixes go, and, well, a "Z" is a "Z." Plus, you could have cross-referenced ZILCH and ZIP as synonyms of one another, if you wanted to be especially mean. The moral of the story is — if a word is a heinous abomination loved not even by God Herself, then do your damnedest to keep it out of your grid.

I liked half the theme — the top half. I didn't like that BELLYPOACHER is odd man out for changing the sound of the word to which "PO" was added. Everywhere else, you just add the sound "PO"; here, long "A" sound disappears and hard "K" sound of "CH" disappears as well. Not a fan of inconsistency, esp. when just *one* theme answer fails to meet the norm established by the others. I did enjoy the somewhat challenging cluing, and the rather lovely NW. Ooh, and PORNO / PINKO side-by-side = a thing of beauty (12D: Blue books? + 13D: Cold War put-down).

Theme answers:
  • 21A: Criticize a small town? (SLAM PODUNK)
  • 26A: Checking for doneness at the grill? (BURGER POKING)
  • 42A: Certain pork thief? (BELLY POACHER)
  • 49A: Spelling contest notice? (BEE POSTING)

Crosswordese 101: Catherine PARR (34D: Henry VIII's sixth) — not to be confused with former "Tonight Show" host Jack PAAR, Catherine PARR was the last of Henry VIII's wives. First Queen of Ireland (after Henry assumed title of "King of Ireland"). Then there's this, from wikipedia: "She will be portrayed by actress Joely Richardson on the fourth and final season of Showtime’s The Tudors, which is set to debut in Spring 2010." Catherine is the most famous of PARRs, though John is surely a close 2nd for anyone who was a teenager in the '80s.

What else?
  • 10A: Joseph who brought Shakespeare to Central Park (PAPP) — nice fat gimme for me, which felt good after flailing around in the NW for a while. Kind of a New Yorky puzzle for the LAT, what with this answer here and NYNY in the SE corner.
  • 30A: Jackie Chan and others (ASIANS) — !?!?! He's the representative ASIAN now? Why not clue MEN as [Rod Blagojevich and others]? Makes as much sense.
  • 10D: Eddie of "Frasier," for one (PET DOG) — feels iffy to me. I don't think I'd accept PET GERBIL either.
  • 44D: Retailer whose middle name was Cash (PENNEY) — as in J.C.
  • 26D: Munchkin creator (BAUM) — as in L. Frank. First thought: "Dunkin' Donuts?"

See you Monday,


Everything Else — 1A: Large swallows (GULPS); 6A: Loosen (up) (WARM); 10A: Joseph who brought Shakespeare to Central Park (PAPP); 14A: Director Kurosawa (AKIRA); 15A: Plant with thick, fleshy leaves (ALOE); 16A: Morlock prey (ELOI); 17A: Elementary particle (MESON); 18A: Neeson of "Nell" (LIAM); 19A: Undecided (TORN); 20A: Abbr. followed by a year (ESTD.); 21A: Criticize a small town? (SLAM PODUNK); 23A: Old Ford (PINTO); 25A: Bad luck (HOODOO); 26A: Checking for doneness at the grill? (BURGER POKING); 30A: Jackie Chan and others (ASIANS); 31A: Magic 8-Ball response (YES); 32A: Rug feature (NAP); 35A: Giving word? (UNCLE); 36A: Fertilization targets (OVA); 37A: Priestess in Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers" (LEILA); 39A: West famous for "Come up sometime and see me" (MAE); 40A: Tournament pass (BYE); 41A: Scarecrow portrayer (BOLGER); 42A: Certain pork thief? (BELLY POACHER); 45A: St. Clare's town (ASSISI); 48A: Finish by (END AT); 49A: Spelling contest notice? (BEE POSTING); 52A: Name on some Kmart shoes (MCAN); 55A: Subordinate (AIDE); 56A: Mountain lake (TARN); 57A: Op artist Bridget (RILEY); 58A: List of games, briefly (SKED); 59A: Presque Isle's lake (ERIE); 60A: Bury (INURN); 61A: __ d'oeuvre (HORS); 62A: Opposite of bleak (ROSY); 63A: N'awlins sandwich, and this puzzle's title (PO-BOY); 1D: Hunter's quarry (GAME); 2D: Some are made from koa wood (UKES); 3D: Amount rarely paid (LIST PRICE); 4D: Spendthrift (PRODIGAL); 5D: __ Bernardino (SAN); 6D: Belt or sock (WALLOP); 7D: Et __ (ALIA); 8D: Knock around (ROAM); 9D: Tennessee's largest city (MEMPHIS); 10D: Eddie of "Frasier," for one (PET DOG); 11D: Orally (ALOUD); 12D: Blue books? (PORNO); 13D: Cold War put-down (PINKO); 21D: Narrow waterways: Abbr. (STRS.); 22D: Bass attachment? (-OON); 24D: Endangered state bird (NENE); 26D: Munchkin creator (BAUM); 27D: Annapolis sch. (USNA); 28D: Kvetch's words (OY VEY); 29D: Mauna __ (KEA); 32D: Bouncer employer (NIGHTCLUB); 33D: Opposite of aweather (ALEE); 34D: Henry VIII's sixth (PARR); 36D: Olive __ (OYL); 37D: Burden (LOAD); 38D: 1950s-'80s Chevy utility vehicle (EL CAMINO); 40D: Runner's problem (BLISTER); 41D: Big bell sound (BONG); 42D: Two-footers (BIPEDS); 43D: Spanish pronoun (ESO); 44D: Retailer whose middle name was Cash (PENNEY); 45D: Put to shame (ABASH); 46D: Watch handle (SEIKO); 47D: Feast that includes the Cup of Elijah (SEDER); 50D: Tropical tuber (TARO); 51D: Tennessee state flower (IRIS); 53D: Nautical leader? (AERO-); 54D: Big Apple ltrs. (NY, NY); 57D: Tear (RIP).


Lemonade714 said...

I did not like it either, but

in·urn (n-ûrn)
tr.v. in·urned, in·urn·ing, in·urns
1. To put in an urn: inurned the ashes of the deceased.
2. To bury or entomb; inter.

Orange said...

I don't dare click the "play" button on that "St. Elmo's Fire" song. It's...too soon. Maybe in another decade.


I agree with Rex, this was a toughie for me. However, I did complete it without Googling, but I can't put this one on my Fave List. Actually the best part was reading Rex's writeup (even the John Parr clip). For me SE gave me a headache and I was absolutely sure 60A had to be INTER. That was not a good place to have a natick because POBOY, the key, was there.
So getting the theme words done was laborious.

New words for me: PAPP, AKIRA, RILEY, LEILA, and PARR.

Bluebooks = PORNO??? Must have something to do with Bluenose acceptability.

I've always thought of HOODOO as a stalacmite-like projection in a canyon (like at Bryce N.P.)

Something for all you dog lovers---

I want to thank Rex personally for a very delightful year of LAT blogs.
Time for my slow GULPS of hazelnut-flavored coffee.
Y'all have a ROSY day!

Tinbeni said...

Had the "theme" PO'BOY right off.
This got the NYNY which saved me from the inter that I wanted.

Liked the mini-Hawaii theme better, UKE, NENE, KEA, TARO.
Also the mountain lake, TARN over Lake ERIE.

Oy,Vey some of these clues.
I guess if you live in NY,NY, then PAPP is a gimmie.
WALLOP and SEIKO were clever.
Wanted Jack Russell Terrier for "Eddie" that PET DOG got a groan.
Henry VIII's 6th a guess. Had p-rr, knew it wasn't purr (lol) so I stuck in the 'A' WTF, came here and learned all about her.
(Note: I always thought he was only stupid enough to have five wives).
LEILA was a complete unknown, all crosses.
Wanted gimmie for 'two-footers' BIPEDS in keeping with this weeks golf.

So after being ferblunjt & fercockt I finally finished.

captcha: vocksper (more yiddish?)

Crockett1947 said...

Tinbeni, there is a cure for ferblunjt and fercockt, I think.

Happy Friday, everyone!


Sfingi said...

Googled for LEILA, ASSISI, RILEY. Googled koa wood.
Hint to cw builders: Wiki states if it were made of wiliwili, it could be an olo, or long surfboard - WILI = half a long surfboard.

Thanx, McInturff for RILEY. I never heard of her and like her stuff.

Did not know the IRIS was Tennessee's state flower.

My mother, a great seamstress, taught me years ago that a RIP is not a tear. A RIP is along the seam and easily repaired and a tear is in the cloth and has to be rewoven (Martinized?). Nowadays, we use iron-ons on the inside.

The theme was clever; but, don't forget the muffuletta, a cold antipasto Sicilian sandwich, a N'awlins specialty. Many Sicilians still there, as the boats from Naples didn't always go to NYNY.
A great book about New Orleans is Gumbo Ya-Ya, created by the WPA.

I would have preferred "actor" for ASIAN.

OYVEY is actually OY Weh, meaning Oh, pain. One of the first things Americans learn in German class is, "Es tut mir Weh." It hurts.

Old Parr was Catherine PARR's father, who claimed to be 150. Dr. Harvey autopsied him and said, "No way."

There are other Presque Isles, especially one in Maine, a place I tried to get to in a storm. Apparently, it means, in French, an almost island in a lake.

A social worker at the joint asked me to find him a classic Magic 8-ball (there are others) which he uses to answer inmates' dumber questions.

Kudus for Kurosawa.

Question: Are there crossword puzzles containing no 3-letter words?

lit.doc said...

@Rex, you were so, so close. 1A was actually ERNES.

When I finished this one last night, I found myself thinking "How could a puzzle be so hard and yet, at the same time, be so uninteresting?"

Don't know what else to say, except that 2D UKES should have been clued as an abbrev.

@Sheri, strong recommendation for Kurosawa's Dersu Uzala.

Orange said...

@sfingi: Regardless of the many links between German and Yiddish, German spellings don't fly for Yiddish words. There are indeed crosswords with no 3s, and even some with no 4s either. They tend to be themeless puzzles split into four distinct quadrants, and all that interlocking of 5-6-7s can make for uncomfortable fill with lots of word endings and prefixes to make things fit.

*David* said...

One of the tougher if not toughest Friday for me this year as well. Had to walk away from the puzzle for a bit to finish off the NE corner. It took me way too long to get the theme, but still quite enjoyable.


The IRIS that's the state flower of TN is IRIS cristata, a wildflower that grows in great proliferation in the Great Smoky Mountains (my home away from home).

One month from now I'll be shooting my own hoodoo photos in Bryce Natl. Pk. WOOOHOO

shrub5 said...

I kinda figured out the theme with PO inserted ('sandwiched') into phrases. I guess I was over-thinking it by also trying to figure out (like @RP) what to make of BOY.

Didn't know MESON. They didn't "have" those when I went to school. Same for quarks. :-)

I've see ALEE so many times but never knew its opposite, aweather.

Going to be a beautiful 70s° day here. Good day to go to a TARN....

Sfingi said...

@John - Thanx for the info.

@Orange - actually, Yiddish is written in Hebrew script and needs be translated into English, words and script, or into German and then English.
Yiddish Alphabet

Nicholas Basbanes has a chapter on Yiddish books in his terrific book, A Gentle Madness.

Sicilian was originally written in Greek letters, but few people were literate, unlike in Yiddish. There is a push to revive it, but in the English alphabet, by Prof. Gaetano Cipolla of the organization Arba Sicula and of St. John's, Queens.

Looking back at my puzzle, there were so many possible answers for 2-footer that I had BIdEts at one point. That worked in several directions except for list of games, since SKEt is a dirty word in Jamaican. SKED is apparently short for schedule.

C said...

Interesting puzzle today. I liked the theme (insert PO between two words and, bam, answer to crazy clue) Challenge for me is that I am not a Googler so LEILA, PAPP (west coast kid here, never been to NY) were instant slow downs for me that required down clues.

I am very happy with the challenge level compared to this time last year.

Anonymous said...

How is "Blue Book?" PORNO? I don't get that at all. Am I naive?

Blue Boy said...

@Anony 10:34 "Blue" frequently denotes sexually explicity or profane material. Comedians "go blue" when telling dirty jokes. A "Blue Book" would contain sexually explicit material.

CrazyCat said...

Phew! This one was NOT a SLAMpoDUNK for me. Figured out the PO theme early on since I was all over the place and got POBOY. @Sfingi I also thought of Muffaletta - yum!

Didn't know Et ALIA. Now I know it's the neuter plural of ET AL?? Got messed up with INURN. Hand up for INTER. The other day I read an obit that said the "cremains" of the deceased would be present at the service. So I guess you could consider "cremains" to be INURN?

LEILA, MESON, ASSISI(in terms of St. Clare) and TARN were unknowns. So was MCAN. Haven't been in a Walmart in over a decade.

I thought that the clue for ASIANS Jackie Chan and others was just silly.

Thanks for an entertaining write up. Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

gespenst said...

@CCL actually et al is an abbreviation of et alia

I had inurn, but wasn't convinced I was right ... really wanted inter as well, but it didn't fit w/ other letters.

I'm amused at people thinking of birds first w/ swallows. GULPS was a gimme for me.

I started the puzzle w/ maybe not quite a dozen words written in after the first pass. Then slowly slogged away. It's reassuring that it was also tough for Rex (though his "tough" is probably a lot quicker than my "tough" lol).

I knew POBOY right off, and then saw PO in one of my theme answers, and that helped me get the theme, which in turn helped w/ crosses. A couple good guesses (PARR, RILEY) helped.

PINTO took a lot longer than it should have, lol. First had EDSEL, then PROBE, then w/ crosses ended up w/ P_NTO and it was clear.

I got ELCAMINO w/ a few crosses, but seriously, "utility vehicle"???? I was thinking along the lines of Suburban for a utility vehicle. Never thought of the El Cal as useful for anything but looking dumb.

Anyhow, a nice challenge for a Friday, no googles, and a clever theme. I liked it :)

God Herself said...

@Rex - No, no, no, I love all my words equally. Ok, seriously, this is what hell is for, people who make up such abominations as INURN. You tried valiantly, but failed to heap enough opprobrium on INURN. Rest assured, when the neologists who coined INURN, and INURN itself, will burn in eternal hellfire once it is finally interred. There, interred, a real word.

Martin Lite said...

Actually, et al is an abbreviation of et alibi, et alii, or et alia, depending on the context. Munich, Bonn, et al, as places in Germany would be et alibi. Kobe, King James, et al, as members of the NBA would be et alii. Any generic list, not referencing places (alibi), men only (alii) would be et alia.

Tuttle said...

Heck, I didn't know the iris was TN's state flower... and I live in Tennessee.

Another point about OYVEY is that it may, etymologically, owe as much to the Russian увы (pronounced 'uvy' like the end of 'groovy') - "alas" - as it does to the German 'Ach Weh'.

Gunghy said...

nightclub led to po'boy led to NYNY. Wanted intomb (or entomb) so inurn came easy. Good thing, 'cause Riley and MCAN together would have killed me.

Lei-li made more sense than Leila to me. Know nothing about that book. Knew Parr was more logical, but left in Pirr.

Liked Bellypoacher because it was the first of the four I got and led to a pretty quick finish. I did a mental shrug in reaction to the changes in pronunciation and agree the others are better.

Drove a Pinto off a cliff once. Not a good way to get rid of a care with a bad safety record, but it does make them memorable.

Why can't I remember the Eloi?? I even read the book.

Overall, one of the easier Fridays I've had in a while, but that was more because of crosses and luck than it was of skill.

Oh Yeah, have always used hoodoo to mean 'bunch of baloney' and don't like sked.

Anonymous said...

Inurn needs to be killed off now, lest we find it in our crosswords 'til the end of time.


There's a nice little Yiddish Dictionary online---

Go there to get some
mishuggah sechel.

Anonymous said...

It was a little easier than a typical Friday puzzle for me.

Only had to guess at PARR/LEILA.

Didn't care for SKED or PETDOG. ASIANS seemed unseemly.

My kids have been watching their school's pet gecko, Jackie Chan, this week. Unfortunately, it died last night. I so wanted dead to fit...

Sfingi said...

@Gunghi - were you IN the Pinto? I have a friend who had a Pinto and remember the large back window that made it heat up in the summer. Recently I found a red Matchbox or Hot Wheels one for her at a yard sale.

@Gespenst - My late brother-in-law, Paulie, had a Snugtop dealership in Sparks, NV. They installed fiberglass tops on the back section of little trucks, and sometimes added upholstery. He moved back to Utica when his father died. One of the main cars they retrofitted was the Camino. It was a great business, and great town, and he should have stayed. Actually, he moved West and back 3 times, and always had a business to sell. He made other people rich, and we called him and his family the Wagon Train.

Tinbeni said...

Hmmmm, the stack ...
Are there any other kind now?

I remember, back in the day, that a buddy of mine had an EL CAMINO because he wanted a few comfort features. Back then a Pickup Truck interior was pretty sparse (today they are great).

2nd Hmmmm, ...
41D, BONG, what could I do with that?


Exactly what I thought about Blue Books... those dreaded essay exams!!! Oh yeah, now I remember the new car price guide.
SKED is a perfectly good word. It is used a lot in TV producer lingo and also by sports figures. My musician son refers to GIGS and SKEDS. It has been used in puzzles at least 20 times and by now should probably qualify for CW101.
Thanks for the explanation of et ALIA. I'm never sure which of those variants I should use when.
GULPS was a gimme for me too. That's because you and I are looking at clues in the most simplistic and direct way. Whereas the elite, like Rex, immediately thought "birds" because they are always vigilant in that constructors often tend to misdirect us. But every once in a while, there is no bluffing, so we benefit.
I live real close to the Fermi National Aceelerator Lab in Batavia IL. So after several tours there I've learned all about this relatively new technology Quarks, MESONS, baryons, and now they've discovered the pentaquark. OY VEY!!!!

Tinbeni said...

I got the GULP too for exactly the same reason.

Here I learned to "go with your instinct" where before sometimes I would hesitate.
Oh, I still check my crosses but, 1D was Hunter's Quarry ... Game.

The MESON was a learning moment.
Living as you do so close to the Fermi Lab ... do you "glow in the dark?"