TUESDAY, April 6, 2010 — Kenneth Berniker

Theme: Outdoorsmen — I'll try to explain it in the write-up.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Jazz bandleader and lover of forests? (WOODY HERMAN).
  • 36A: Former heavyweight champ and lover of mountains? (ROCKY MARCIANO).
  • 60A: Ex-Dodger pitcher and lover of beaches? (SANDY KOUFAX).
Good morning, everyone. And it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day here in the DC area. I'm home with a feverish PuzzleSon, but I should be able to get out and run a couple errands later today and enjoy this perfect weather. I don't have a whole lot to say about this puzzle. I'm not even sure where to start with the theme. It's three famous men whose names can be adjectives that describe something outdoorsy and they're clued as "loving" that type of thing for some reason. I'm not feelin' it. Am I missing something? (It wouldn't be the first time.)

The fill is pretty typical Tuesday fare. A good bit of crosswordese, lots of so-so entries, and a few stand-outs like INSIDER (21A: Source of a hot tip), GO PRO (48A: Give up amateur status), and FLEE FROM (6D: Try to escape, as pursuers). I'm guessing some people don't love that last one, but for some reason it struck me as fun.

  • 1A: Jack's partner (JILL).

  • 30D: California county in which Mount Whitney is partly located (INYO). Huh?
  • 37D: "Kampgrounds" company (KOA). Fond memories of my roadtrip from Maryland to New Mexico where I mostly stayed at KOAs (except on Thursdays when I'd splurge for a hotel so I could watch "Seinfeld" and get really clean and the time I was passing through Del Rio, Texas, and got really sick and had to hole up in a hotel that I'm guessing hadn't quite made five-star status).
  • 45D: Pecking order? (KISS ME).

Crosswordese 101: There's not too much to say about SKEE-Ball, except that you just have to know it. It's an arcade game and the way it's clued today — 58D: __-Ball — is pretty much the only way it's ever clued. So there ya go.

Everything Else — 5A: Not exactly lined up (OFFSET); 11A: Stanford-Binet nos. (IQS); 14A: On the less breezy side, at sea (ALEE); 15A: Jacket part (SLEEVE); 16A: Actor's signal (CUE); 19A: Common Market inits. (EEC); 20A: Dazzling celestial events (NOVAE); 23A: 737, for example (PLANE); 25A: Singer Domino (FATS); 27A: Trig function (SINE); 28A: Corn unit (EAR); 29A: "No __!": emphatic denial (SIREE); 31A: Is able to, biblically (CANST); 32A: It may wash away castles (TIDE); 34A: Postal motto word (NOR); 35A: Yellowfin tuna (AHI); 41A: Madhouse (ZOO); 42A: Golfer's accessory (TEE); 43A: Base runner's goal (HOME); 45A: Divided Asian land (KOREA); 50A: Up to, briefly (TIL); 51A: Express line unit (ITEM); 52A: Lass (GIRL); 53A: Spiteful (NASTY); 55A: "Strangers in the Night" singer (SINATRA); 57A: Prefix with physics (ASTRO-); 59A: Sault __ Marie (STE.); 64A: Russian fighter (MIG); 65A: Postwar British prime minister (ATTLEE); 66A: Farm field unit (BALE); 67A: Ending for Vietnam (-ESE); 68A: Dwell (RESIDE); 69A: Like the Mojave (ARID); 1D: Mandible site (JAW); 2D: UN workers' rights agcy. (ILO); 3D: Kate's "Titanic" co-star (LEONARDO); 4D: Gave false hopes (LED ON); 5D: Workplace watchdog org. (OSHA); 7D: __-de-lance: pit viper (FER); 8D: Arab or Jew (SEMITE); 9D: Cowgirl Dale (EVANS); 10D: Change for a 20 (TENS); 11D: Stranded at the chalet, maybe (ICED IN); 12D: Brooklyn neighbor (QUEENS); 13D: Whispered thing (SECRET); 18D: Actor Montand (YVES); 22D: Old Testament prophet (ISAIAH); 23D: Teacher's favorite (PET); 24D: Home in the wild (LAIR); 26D: Faucet attachment (AERATOR); 31D: Greek X (CHI); 33D: Itchy rash cause (ECZEMA); 35D: Expert server (ACER); 38D: Showed over (REPLAYED); 39D: "Up to this point, no" (NOT SO FAR); 40D: Fail to include (OMIT); 44D: Bridge expert Culbertson (ELY); 46D: Ear inflammation (OTITIS); 47D: Go back on a promise (RENEGE); 48D: Meadowlands Stadium team (GIANTS); 49D: Not tricked by (ONTO); 52D: Fireplace feature (GRATE); 54D: Resort island off Venezuela (ARUBA); 56D: Ivan IV, for one (TSAR); 61D: Mid sixth-century year (DLI); 62D: Baba of fiction (ALI); 63D: Deleted, with "out" (X'ED).


Van55 said...

Yup. Lots of trite fill. Saved by some clever cluing. Decent enough Tuesday fare.

Zeke said...

Herman is German for Lover of Trees, no? Marcianno means Mountain Lover in Italian, no? Koufax means, oh screw it, it's just three nicknames of things. At least it was just three.

jazz said...

Are you allowed to clue an abbreviation (KOA) with part of the abbreviation (Kampgrounds)? That seems like a no-no to me.

lit.doc said...

Nice, easy Monday puzzle.

@Puzzle Girl, the problem with 30D is that it's poorly clued. This is a (nominally) sports-themed puzzle, so it should have been clued "____ face!" = IN YO'.

@jazz, I had that same reaction, but then thought about how often we see clues like "Part of LSMFT" (though they're usually looking for an abbrev.)

Anonymous said...

Excellent actor though he was - ie Wages of Fear - surely Yves Montand is better known as a singer - Autumn Leaves? Just my own personal quibble since I own many of his CDs and love his singing.


Okay, for starters… no more NASTY sarcasm from JNH.

Easy (but fun) theme. Lots of fresh words and clues. And a super nice writeup by Puzzlegirl. Hope Puzzleboy gets well quick and that you get to enjoy this fine spring day. It's been raining cats & dogs here in the Chicago area... I mean really hard, more like raining horses & buffalos.

WOTD: FER-de-lance
Another new word for me: INYO County

Thought crossing INSIDER with SECRET was clever.

And of course, as a former scientist, I like seeing SINE (albeit overused) and ASTROphysics.

Lots of great musicians, Wow! WOODY HERMAN, Frank SINATRA, and FATS Domino.
Thank you, Ken.

KISS ME, I give Green Stamps!
(Well, that is, if you’re a GIRL)


Thanks for the vid clip of Mary Chapin Carpenter. I really really like her, not just for her excellent singing style, but also for her philosophy of life. She is indeed a HOMETOWN GIRL in your neck of the woods. I hope she fully recovers from her illnesses (pulmonary embolism and her ensuing depression).

shrub5 said...

I don't get the "lover" aspect in the theme clues but that didn't stop me from enjoying this puzzle. Loved "pecking order?" for KISS ME. I had trouble with the spelling of ECZEMA but ZOO helped straighten that out.

Inyo County not only has Mt. Whitney (14,492 ft.), the highest peak in the US outside of Alaska, but also the lowest point in North America, Badwater in Death Valley National Park (282 ft. below sea level.) Inyo (Native American Paiute) means "dwelling place of the great spirit." (wiki)

Sfingi said...

Way easy.

@LitDoc - Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco. So round, so firm, so fully packed. So free and easy on the draw.

Didn't get the "lover" part of the theme. Also first I heard of INYO.
Did like remembering the oldsters, Dale EVANS, FATS Domino, Frank SINATRA, IVES Montand, and the full-named theme people.

chefwen said...

This will totally give away my age, but when I was a teenager I worked at a nursing home in Milwaukee and my claim to fame was giving Woody Herman's dad baths, saw Woody a few times also.

Cute puzzle!

Rex Parker said...

What the hell is a Woody Herman? Never seen or heard the name. Sort of killed any pleasure I might have had. Theme seemed fine. Fill OK.

mac said...

I only recognized one name, and that without seeing any of those films. OK puzzle, with some new info: who knew about Inyo!

CrazyCat said...

OTITUS and ECZEMA didn't really pass my breakfast test. Lots of the usual fill. Thought the theme was okay. Never heard of WOODY HERMAN though.
@PG Very nice write up. Thanks!


@Rex and CrazyCatLady
WOODY HERMAN had the greatest big band ever. He lived from 1913- 1987, so I can understand why you "30-somethings" wouldn't know who he was. He played a mean jazz clarinet and also saxophones (both alto and soprano) like no one else. A truly great musician.

lit.doc said...

@JNH, seriously. Between 1) Rex being both clueless about who Woody Herman is and incapable of googling, and 2) Rex offering ironic commentary, you choose door number one?


If that statement by Rex was intended to be irony, then his punctuation is incorrect.
Should be---
What the hell is a Woody, Herman?