MONDAY, Apr. 12, 2010 — John Lampkin

THEME: "-GGY, Your Hair Smells Terrific" — five theme answers whose first answers end -AGGY, -EGGY, -IGGY, -OGGY, and -UGGY, respectively

I don't think this type of puzzle (vowel shift) works as well when the first consonants change / have no rhyme or reason. Weird to have two Bs two Ps, and an F. But all that jigginess gives the puzzle a lively, shimmying quality, and the vowel progression from A to U gives the theme enough tightness to be passable. This was my second-slowest LAT Monday on record this year — still fast at 3:35, but almost a minute off my fastest time. Open corners can make for slightly slower-than-avg time, but my problems today were really all of my own making. Lots and lots of false starts and missteps.

  • HOC for LIB (1D: Ad-___: improvise) — sometimes it pays to look at the clue closely
  • RAINY DAY for FOGGY DAY — sometimes it pays to know the theme
  • VEE (!?!?!) for ZIG (61D: Sharp turn) — don't ask, because I have no idea
  • EAT AWAY for EAT INTO (51A: Erode gradually, as savings)

I also can never, ever get used to South Africa's being represented as RSA (63D: Pretoria's nation: Abbr.)— it's an abbr. I just don't like, as I never see it anywhere aside from crosswords (I'm not questioning its legitimacy, but come on, it's no USA, USSR, or even CSA). I also can never remember how Ms. Charisse spelled her name. I always waiver between SYD and CYD (50D: Charisse of "Singin' in the Rain"). SYD Hoff is an illustrator and cartoonist whose work I saw this past weekend at the MoCCA (Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art) in NYC. The comic on display had the the word NERTS! in it, swear to god.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Loose-hanging trousers (BAGGY PANTS)
  • 25A: 1957 hit for Buddy Holly and the Crickets ("PEGGY SUE")
  • 36A: Coin collector? (PIGGY BANK)
  • 53A: Gershwin song set in London, with "A" ("FOGGY DAY")
  • 62A: Carriage outings (BUGGY RIDES)

Crosswordese 101: EROICA (48A: Beethoven symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon) — I started paying attention to classical music right around the time I started blogging about crosswords, so I learned to identify EROICA as both a word and a symphony at about the same time. Coincidentally, EROICA was one of the first pieces of classical music I heard live, as an adult. Just happened to be on the program of the Binghamton Philharmonic when I first looked into the possibility of seeing live classical music in these parts. Saw it on a program with some Mozart Serenade and R. Strauss's "Metamorphosen" (which contains elements of the funeral march in the second movement of "EROICA")

What else?

  • 65A: Grammy co-winner for the rap song "Back on the Block" (ICE-T) – to see the world's weirdest, and briefest, Twitter flame war (involving ICE-T), go here.

[Profanity ahead — enter at your own risk]

  • 39D: Crunchy cereal brand word (KRISPIES) — again, slowed down, even with the "K" in place; brain had to process what exactly "brand word" meant.
  • 42D: Rah-rah encouragement ("GO GET 'EM") — probably my favorite answer in this grid.

Just noticed EROICA crossing EROTICA (41D: Art of a sexual nature). Do not like. Too much sameness.

See you Friday,


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Everything Else — 1A: A dog may pull on one during a walk (LEASH); 6A: __ Hari (MATA); 10A: Engrave with acid (ETCH); 14A: Navel type (INNIE); 15A: Medical suffix (-OSIS); 16A: Rise sky-high (SOAR); 17A: Loose-hanging trousers (BAGGY PANTS); 19A: Soaks (up) (SOPS); 20A: Coiled hair style (BUN); 21A: Slanted type style: Abbr. (ITAL.); 22A: Buddies (PALS); 23A: Most sickly (ILLEST); 25A: 1957 hit for Buddy Holly and the Crickets (PEGGY SUE); 28A: Sharpshooter (DEADEYE); 30A: Painting props (EASELS); 31A: Tight as __ (A DRUM); 32A: Hired thug (GOON); 35A: 4:00 London social (TEA); 36A: Coin collector? (PIGGY BANK); 40A: Not prem., as gas (REG.); 43A: Chewy Hershey's candy (ROLO); 44A: "__ my case" (I REST); 48A: Beethoven symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon (EROICA); 51A: Erode gradually, as savings (EAT INTO); 53A: Gershwin song set in London, with "A" (FOGGY DAY); 56A: Coast Guard operation (RESCUE); 57A: Do bar duty (TEND); 58A: Wander (ROAM); 60A: Like two peas in a __ (POD); 61A: Cylindrical pasta (ZITI); 62A: Carriage outings (BUGGY RIDES); 65A: Grammy co-winner for the rap song "Back on the Block" (ICE-T); 66A: Theater award (OBIE); 67A: "__ evil ..." (SEE NO); 68A: Super Bowl, e.g. (GAME); 69A: Avoid flunking (PASS); 70A: Admin. aides (ASSTS.); 1D: Ad-__: improvise (LIB); 2D: Made possible (ENABLED); 3D: Lean and bony (ANGULAR); 4D: Enrolled (SIGNED UP); 5D: Attention-getter (HEY); 6D: Castle protector (MOAT); 7D: "Easy!" ("A SNAP!"); 8D: Lancelot's was "Sir" (TITLE); 9D: Barnyard brayer (ASS); 10D: Some exam answers (ESSAYS); 11D: Handyman's must-have (TOOL SET); 12D: Word after time or timed-release (CAPSULE); 13D: Time measures: Abbr. (HRS.); 18D: Feel sorry for (PITY); 22D: Links org. (PGA); 23D: Snake River st. (IDA); 24D: Big road rig (SEMI); 26D: Actress Rowlands (GENA); 27D: That, in Tijuana (ESA); 29D: "Leggo my ___!" (EGGO); 33D: Popeye's Olive (OYL); 34D: Woodwind quintet member (OBOE); 37D: Alum (GRAD); 38D: Evening, commercially (NITE); 39D: Crunchy cereal brand word (KRISPIES); 40D: Foul caller (REF); 41D: Art of a sexual nature (EROTICA); 42D: Rah-rah encouragement (GO GET 'EM); 45D: Scrambles to keep secret (ENCODES); 46D: Pupil (STUDENT); 47D: Corn site (TOE); 49D: Set ablaze (IGNITE); 50D: Charisse of "Singin' in the Rain" (CYD); 52D: Military force (ARMY); 54D: Vacation isle near Venezuela (ARUBA); 55D: Bear and Berra (YOGIS); 59D: Ripens, as cheese (AGES); 61D: Sharp turn (ZIG); 62D: Jazz style (BOP); 63D: Pretoriaís nation: Abbr. (RSA); 64D: "H-E-L-P!" (SOS).



Today's puzzle was A SNAP!!!
How can a puzzle be bad that has a Gershwin melody, ROLO, Beethoven's EROICA, and EROTICA all rolled into one fantastic Monday treat.
Thought the theme was going to be related to GIGI, another fave of mine.

Wow, and then there's Buddy Holly and PEGGY SUE.

But just as I'm getting all excited, I come down to that old bugaboo, ICET. Booo! And then I'm reminded of those old Blue Books, the ESSAY Exam. Boo again!

Breakfast for today? NOT Rice KRISPIES! Had a wonderful Spinach-Feta Omelet at Mother's Cafe.

Hope y'all have a day that SOARs.


BTW, in reading today's blog writeup, I say this is Rex at his best. Thanks Rex. But you could have chucked that Twitter flame war.

Tinbeni said...

Liked the vowels in order progression, did this with PEGGY SUE rolling through my brain.
(at least it replaced yesterdays OHIO).

Fell into the hoc for LIB thingy too. Yeah, it H-E-L-Ps to read the clues.
Smooth sailing from there, no need for the SOS or

Liked the EROICA/EROTICA cross.

@Rex Most Mondays are bland. Don't deserve a write-up. This one was fun. Enjoyed both clips.
The Twitter link had me ROFLMAO!
WWW lesson, don't put it out there expecting it to be a private conversation. Unique menu suggestion.
There is a dlisting site? Again LMAO.
I'll stick with LA Crossword Confidential & Rex NYT.

captcha: elinspas, Tiger's wife place to cry?

Sfingi said...

Still prefer INsIE to INNIE. Likewise, outsie to outtie. I've decided that INNIE is someone in the in-crowd, and outtie is someone who'se been outted.

Wanted rIggI instead of ZITI. Riggies are the ziti with ridges. If you like a hotter tomato sauce, we have the very popular 6th annual Riggi fest at the Utica Memorial Auditorium this coming Saturday. www.riggiefest.com

Also, had EATAWAY before EATINTO. Mine got EATenINTO by an $8G steam-heat oil fueled boiler.

It was Monday, it was easy.

Zeke said...

@JNH - Just a suggestion based on what little I know of you, but when you see things such as "to see the world's weirdest, and briefest, Twitter flame war (involving ICE-T), go here.", don't go there. I can pretty much guarantee you won't like it, so why go there? Key in on phrases such as "weirdest", "flame war" and "Ice-T".
My only joy in this puzzle was throwing down TOOLBOX for 11D, fixing the B & O but not the X with crosses. Hence I finished without Mr. HappyPencil, scanned the puzzle, and wondered how the hell TOOLSEX got past Rich.

burner10 said...

@zeke - you are funny on a role today.
Nice easy Monday.

lit.doc said...

As so often happens early in the week, Rex's write-up was more entertaining than was the puzzle.

I was so intent on solving as methodically as possible that I once again forgot to notice that there was a theme. Sort of.

The EROICA/EROTICA crossing was actually the only thing I found particularly amusing in the puzzle.

C said...

I liked this puzzle, more of an off speed pitch cluing than 4 seam fastball clues. Made me think, which is good and almost unprecedented for a Monday puzzle.

(ad) LIB

I liked these answers for some reason.

Rube said...

Now that I'm doing early week puzzles in ink, I find I'm more careful about putting in guesses. The onlywrite-over today was TOOLkiT, then TOOLbAg, then finally TOOLSET. Funny, neither TOOLbox nor TOOLsex show.

'Twas a pleasant little Monday puzzle. PEGGY SUE was 53 years ago. I don't want to think about it.

Curses, I forgot to renew my Google name.


mac said...

Nice sparkly puzzle, easy but fun.

Dead eye was a new term to me. I also made the mistake of clicking on that tweet link.

split infinitive said...

Other than stoopidly but briefly thinking 'Corn site' was 'ear' instead of TOE, this was a pleasant walkabout of a Monday puzzle. CYD always makes me pause to check the crosses and DEADEYE was new to me.

I thought of the theme as 'squishy', but I like RP's word 'jigginess' even better!


I'm not offended by that ICE-T tweet... I actually found it tasteless, foolish, and childish. It just surprised me that dignified Rex included that trash in his otherwise stellar writeup.
My big stink with seeing ICE-T in a crossword is that it's used far far too much. According to Jim Horne, it's been used at least 48 times in the leading CWPs.

hazel said...

This is the 2nd time I've entered the twilight zone on this website. Could have sworn I left a comment saying (1) I liked the puzzle and (2) I inadvertently confirmed my opinion of Twitter, celebrities, and egos when my curiosity was raised by JNH's comment this a.m. and I clicked on the tweet portal.

Oh well, one more time, the friendly tutter tries to tut again.


EROICA may have been a "Beethoven symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon", but according to one of the YOGIS, "Even Napolean had his Watergate".

SethG said...

Zeke didn't predict you'd be offended by it, he predicted you wouldn't like it. And...it seems you didn't like it.

More importantly, seriously, a bowl? I've only always heard of a bag. And Google confirms my suspicion that bag is the more popular term.

Am I just behind the times?

Tinbeni said...

I think @Rex was very adroit with the Twitter link.

This came up last Thursday, per google sources.
Ice-T has been on Law & Order, SVU since 1999.

SOOOO, Aimee Mann, the lead singer in the group
"Til Tuesday" whose only hit was in 1985 - "Voices Carry" brings it up now?
How timely.
Apparently she learned nothing from her own song.

Again I'm ROFLMAO ...
Is this going to be the being of the epic "Bowl-v-Bag" debate?

CrazyCat said...

Fun, easy Monday puzzle. Only problems were originally wanting HOC, but had LEASH so I figured out LIB. Had COB instead of TOE for Corn Site and then TOOL BOX instead of TOOL SET. The crosses were able to RESCUE me. Liked the GGY theme and thought there was much decent fill for a Monday. Nice write up to boot. It was a cold, FOGGY DAY here today. I REST MY case.
@Hazel - I've had my comments go poof too at times. It's weird.

Orange said...

@Seth, I always use a sturdy crate that can be hermetically sealed.

CrazyCat said...

Could someone please explain this bowl/bag discussion. Oh wait, never mind, I just figured it out - eew.

lit.doc said...

@CCL, I just reread all the comments and I still don't get it. My comprehension tonight is an epic fail.

CrazyCat said...

@lit.doc It has to do with the ICE T Twitter flame link in RP's write up. It's a gross expression that I care not to delve into.

lit.doc said...

@CCL, thanks much. Had watched the ICE T thingy this afternoon but didn't think further than the comments section re the...oh, never mind.

@Rex, by the way, thanks for posting edgy, WTF'ish stuff like that ICE T video.