WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2010—Gary Steinmehl

THEME: "Wash Your Bits"—Four phrases and a word end with brands of soap

The first theme entries I ran into in this puzzle began with GOLD and EBONY, so I started out thinking the theme had something to do with, I dunno, expensive things. 68-Across straightened me out pretty quickly, though.

Theme entries:
  • 16A: [Ingredient in some glazed chicken wings] ORANGE ZEST. Who doesn't like a reference to ORANGE?
  • 30A: [Dashboard tuner] (RADIO DIAL). This one is pretty flat. Most dials are round, but the typical radio's doodad is linear. Also, not sure "radio dial" quite meets the standards for crossword-worthy phrases.
  • 37A: [1982 McCartney/Wonder hit] (EBONY AND IVORY). Video time!

  • 44A: [It became Ghana in 1957] (GOLD COAST). The country called Ivory Coast uses its French name, Cote d'Ivoire. Also, Chicago's got a Gold Coast. No gold mines, but plenty of wealth all the same.
  • 62A: One of two in a Christmas song (TURTLEDOVE). Nice use of a humorous quote to enhance the theme-revealing answer.
  • 68A.:This puzzle's theme (SOAP). Zest, Dial, Ivory, Coast, and Dove are all brands of soap or, if you believe marketers, moisturizing bars.
The theme is nothing new—I've seen at least two previous soap themes. There might've also been a laundry detergent theme. But these are readily accessible to most solvers thanks to the über-familiarity of such brand names, so editors don't mind when constructors draw from that well again.

Listen, people of the internet: I hate to do this to you, but I had a weird case of the itchies so I took a Benadryl—just one! not even a full dose of two tablets!—and it is making me so sleepy. As I write this, the sun hasn't even set yet, but I'm useless here. See you in the comments lounge.

Everything Else — 1A: Talk back to (SASS); 5A: Super Bowl XXXIV winners (RAMS); 9A: Dance move (STEP); 13A: Super stars? (NOVAE); 14A: Singer Brickell (EDIE); 15A: Land of the Incas (PERU); 16A: Ingredient in some glazed chicken wings (ORANGE ZEST); 18A: Bring in (REAP); 19A: Land a plane (SET DOWN); 20A: Charlie of "Two and a Half Men" (SHEEN); 22A: Morales of "Jericho" (ESAI); 23A: Classified letters (EOE); 25A: Ming things (VASES); 28A: Throat problem (STREP); 30A: Dashboard tuner (RADIO DIAL); 33A: Hood's "piece" (GAT); 35A: Drum effect (ROLL); 36A: That, in Toledo (ESO); 37A: 1982 McCartney/Wonder hit (EBONY AND IVORY); 41A: Carte lead-in (ALA); 42A: Sanctuary section (APSE); 43A: Elongated swimmer (EEL); 44A: It became Ghana in 1957 (GOLD COAST); 47A: American revolutionary who recruited Lafayette (DEANE); 51A: Conductor Previn (ANDRE); 52A: Rice or Curry (TIM); 54A: War deity (ARES); 55A: Chicago Eight defendant Bobby (SEALE); 58A: Gold diggers? (PANNERS); 60A: "NFL Live" airer (ESPN); 62A: One of two in a Christmas song (TURTLE DOVE); 64A: Political group (BLOC); 65A: Bond's first movie foe (DR. NO); 66A: Fax predecessor (TELEX); 67A: Bad thing to take in Vegas? (BATH); 68A: This puzzle's theme (SOAP); 69A: Ladies in Mex. (SRAS.); 1D: Hurting the most (SOREST); 2D: 2009 film set in 2154 (AVATAR); 3D: City known for its zoo (SAN DIEGO); 4D: Bell-shaped lily (SEGO); 5D: Nine Inch Nails founder Trent __ (REZNOR); 6D: Punch cousin (ADE); 7D: Overlook (MISS); 8D: Father of Enos (SETH); 9D: Large ranch, say (SPREAD); 10D: More minuscule (TEENSIER); 11D: Significant time (ERA); 12D: Litter yipper (PUP); 13D: They're rubbed in Eskimo kissing (NOSES); 17D: Lea lady (EWE); 21D: Slowly developed (EVOLVED); 24D: Heartfelt (EARNEST); 26D: "Piece of cake!" ("EASY!"); 27D: __-mo replay (SLO); 29D: It'll cure anything (PANACEA); 31D: Pentagon tenant, briefly (DOD); 32D: "Would __?" (I LIE); 34D: Secretary's slip (TYPO); 37D: Tar Heel State university (ELON); 38D: Comb-over target (BALD SPOT); 39D: Big-house link (AS A); 40D: Poisonous ornamental (OLEANDER); 41D: Ottoman VIP (AGA); 45D: Soak (DRENCH); 46D: Of the highest quality (TIPTOP); 48D: Ring of color (AREOLA); 49D: Reason for shaking hands? (NERVES); 50D: Devereux's earldom (ESSEX); 53D: Prefix with content (MAL-); 56D: 1960s-'80s Fords (LTDS); 57D: Continental money (EURO); 59D: Circus safety features (NETS); 60D: Go out (EBB); 61D: Gp. that kidnapped Patty Hearst (SLA); 63D: Genetic initials (RNA).



This puzzle was a “Piece of cake!” (EASY), but had lots of ZEST and was fun to solve. I thought the theme had to do with colors until I got down to TURTLE DOVE, then it hit me… Aha! It’s about SOAP. Here’s another instance where looking for the theme key (68A) would have made this even easier to solve.

Of course I liked the musical clue---
ANDREA Previn was probably best known for his piano albums and his hair, but he is also a very fine composer and conductor.


Never heard of Trent REZNOR.

Ahh! And ORANGE gets her name in lights again. Please tell us what the significance is of the ORANGE AVATAR you use. The world needs to know. Well, it’s Benadryl season again. I’ve found that good old SOAP and frequent showers helps my allergies immensely.
Thanks for the amusing McCartney/Wonder clip. What a great song!!!

Time for some coffee and…

backbiter said...

@Orange: 16A, Yes it's always nice to have a reference to Orange. As you already know orange is my first layer color in cube competitions. Now to the dark side. 49D: Reason for shaking hands? I entered "The Dts" without hesitation. And I didn't change it until the very end. The SE corner suffered for my mistake. This is just a glimpse into the reasoning of a thirty odd year bourbon drinker. Now that I'm thinking about it it's kinda fu'd. Other than that, pretty easy puzzle. Nice write up. Cheers!

Sfingi said...

@Orange -Novacaine knocks me out.

Mostly easy and too much crosswordese. However, I'm embarrassed to say I did not know this DEANE fellow - Googled for him and learned a lot. Much intrigue in his life.

Also, I had a Natick at REZNOR cross EDIE. Youngsters.

Tinbeni said...

Didn't even have to SET DOWN this puzzle for a 2nd cup of coffee. More of a half-cup solve.

OK, the Nine Inch Nails guy, REZNOR, was all crosses, already forgotten.

EDIE Brickell was a gimmie, she married Paul Simon but I knew her music before that happened.

@Sfingi: I didn't know this Silas DEANE guy either.

@backbiter: LOL, Dts? Great entry but a little short.

Fave clue, 64A Bad thing to take in Vegas, BATH. Which worked well with the SOAP theme.

@Orange: I suspect Rich Norris held this until Wednesday just for you. This was more like an EASY Monday.

Elissa said...

Hi! I organize the LA tournament. I posted the following yesterday PM, after seeing a bunch of tourney talk. Thought I'd post it 1x more (though I'm sure that breaks some sort of blog comment law) because people probably are more likely to check blogs during the day ...

For those who are on the fence about attending ... The tourney's about two things. 1) Having FUN. 2) Raising some $ for a great charity. There'll be puzzles and group word games, lunch, Oreos (unclued), chocolate, free pencils, snazzy name tags (ooh! aah!), and LOTS of prizes. More than 30 prizes, in fact ... almost 2/3 of which will be given away via raffle. So ... You can come as a spectator, fill in nary a crossword square, and STILL go home a winner.

Lastly, there are brackets for people of many levels (including a non-competitive bracket). So ... There's room for anyone and everyone with a love of puzzles (until the room is full).

Crosswords LA 2010! www.crosswordsla.com

If you have any more questions (or want to volunteer to help that day), email me at info@crosswords la.com.

Apologies for the long post. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming ...

*David* said...

You people are carbon dating yourselves. EDIE Brickell is from the 80's and Trent REZNOR started in the early 90's. If you don't have a NIN album then I really question your patriotism. I would like to introduce you to the Black Eyed Peas and will.i.am.

I really am ready to go to a xword puzzle tournament but the timing sucks. I need one on a Sunday that is my only free day, so please set one up just so I can be there.

Tuttle said...

OK, nice and fun but one major nit; PANNERS of gold are, by definition, not digging for gold.

And the most minor of nits: while Ford in the US did stop LTD production in 1986, Ford Australia made LTDS until 2007.

It was nice getting one with names of people I actually know of on it. EDIE Brickell, Trent Reznor, Bobby SEALE, ESAI Morales, ANDRE Previn, Silas DEANE. And TIM Rice or Curry actually made me LOL when I got it.

Tinbeni said...

Wish that it were that I was "carbon dated" ...
I'm more like Scotch. Aged Scotch.
Aging does wonder for the soul.

Trent REZNOR started his "industrial rock project" in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. So if you are going to quote facts, get them correct.
BTW, My patriotism is NOT in question just because I don't like NIN music.
Finally, I need no introduction to Black Eyed Peas or will.i.am. I've heard 'em, not really impressed.
IMHO they're redundant.

CrazyCat said...

I remember EDIE Brickell and the New Bohemians. Never got into NIN so didn't know REZNOR. Pretty easy puzzle today. I liked the cross of DRENCH and BATH to go along with the SOAP theme. Didn't know DEANE either. @*David* I'm a fan of the Black Eyed Peas, especially Fergie.
@Orange Benadryl does the same thing to me. I don't know how people can take that stuff during the day and function.

lit.doc said...

I gave up washing years ago, so I was totally stumped by the theme.

That was a dirty joke.

@Tinbeni, the dt's are only as short as the binge that produced them. "I'll have six white squares of Jameson's, please".

Cyclist said...

I love your blog and have been reading it regularly almost since its inception. Keep up the great work.

Rube said...

Like most of us oldies, never heard of REZNOR or EDIE Brickell. Actually, to date myself, could ony think of Theodore Bickel. will now forget these names.

I'm pretty sure that we've had Silas DEANE here or in the NYT at least once in the last 6 mos.

Don't think I've ever heard of ELON University. (FWIW, ELON makes me think of Rulon Jeffs, of plural wives fame.) Boy, there are a lot of colleges/universities in North Carolina. Will remember this as my WOTD.

Pleasant theme and I found it doable without Googles. Really enjoyed the long down fills. IOW, I liked it.

shrub5 said...

Did the puzzle last night and I must have been half asleep -- as i read the write-up and comments, I didn't remember seeing some of the words mentioned, e.g., TIM, DEANE and even SOAP!! I must have filled them in entirely through crosses and never read their clues. I sorta remember thinking ORANGE, EBONY, GOLD -- theme must have to do with colors. Then I guess i conked out. Puzzle was finished when I woke up, though....

GOLD COAST, now Ghana, makes me think of the website Sporcle.com where there are timed games, for example a map of Africa and you have to name all the countries within 10 minutes. Man, am i terrible at knowing the names of African countries. I recommend this fun site for brain exercises. All kinds of topics -- sports, geography, corporate logos, etc.

GoG8rs said...

Fun puzzle but I am missing the significance of EOE for "classified letters"
Somebody tell me so I can hit my head and say "Duh"

Duh said...

@GoG8rs - Equal Employment Opportunity.

Boy, am I Duh! said...

@GoG8rs or Equal Opportunity Employer.

Acronym said...

EOE Equal Opportunity Employer

Don't hit your hear too hard with that "Duh."

Eve Of Extinction (video game)
Encyclopedia Of Earth
European Options Exchange
Enterprise Operating Environment
Eggs Over Easy
East OF Eden
Executor OF Estate
and my faveorite ...
End Of Enlistment

GoG8rs said...

Ok, I get it. Letters that would be in the classified ad section. I was thinking classified as in Top Secret or "For Eyes Only" etc.
Like I said, big duh

Gunghy said...

In the Ca gold country, you can sometimes see depressions near streams where 49ers had staked a claim. They would then dig the soil and pack it to the stream to sluice or pan it. Even if you work near the stream, it's really hard on your pan to use it as a scoop. Take along a shovel.

Van55 said...

I liked it aiight.

Unknown said...

Didn't anyone else think Ann was correct for Rice or Curry?? Took me a LONG time to give up on Ann.

Zeke said...

@Pat - Thanks for reminding me, yes it was hard to give up Ann there, though I think is Anne Rice.

Anonymous said...

Why is a BATH a bad thing to take in Vegas? And what is AGA?

Google, search me before asking said...

Anon 1:01
In gambling speak "taking a BATH" means you lost, lost BIG.

AGA is a title for a civil or military leader. (especially in Turkey)

Ms.Rice spells it ANNE.
Ms.Curry of the Today Show spells it Ann
But that would bring on the question "What is a NALcontent?"

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your answers. But if you are annoyed at answering, then let someone else answer. A quick google search for "bath" and "vegas" did not show me the answer, nor did "bath" and gambling."

And before I get a lecture on what search terms would have revealed the results, I just assumed that some knowledgeable person on here who knew the answer of the top or his or her head wouldn't mind taking a second to fill me in.

mac said...

I liked this orange, soapy, easy puzzle. Only know Trent Lott, unfortunately.

Our goldfinches and turtle doves returned to the birdfeeder, the doves in the grass underneath it....

Ratty said...

Yes, Pat, Tim vs Ann got me too. I kept refusing to believe 24 down was EARNEST because I was so sure it had to end in A.

mac said...

@Orange: try CVS otc allergy medication Loratadine. I take one little pill in the morning and do not get drowsy or tired.

C said...

Good to see Trent REZNOR in a puzzle, I'll wait patiently for Jello Biafra's turn. EDIE Brickell, to tie it into older generations, married Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel fame. Probably doesn't help solvers unfamiliar with her but it at least lets me use some of this trivial information built up inside my brain ;^)

OK puzzle.

I Before E said...

I have a REZNOR space heater in my garage. In looking for parts I went to the company web site, where they apparently felt the need to point out that Trent was indeed a descendant of the founder, but the family was no longer involved in the company.


Just a bit of Chicago history:
Bobby SEALE, jazz drummer, stand-up comedian, and co-founder of the Black Panthers movement has been in the news of recent. He was one of the original "Chicago Eight" defendants who were charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot, during the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention here in Chicago. He was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for contempt because of his courtroom outbursts. A much publicized case because the judge (I think his name was Julius Hoffman) ordered SEALE to be bound and gagged... this was commemorated in the song "Chicago". Yesiree, Chicago (and Illinois) certainly tops the list for political circuses.

Tinbeni said...

Was that the unseen "Crossword Puzzle Fairy" that finished for you after you conked out?
Do you have to leave a cookie?

I wondered when solving how many of the "youngsters" had a "huh?" moment at 66A, fax predecessor, TELEX.

Thanks for the history.
Way back in the '60's I use to visit my Grand Parents in Winnetka, Ill.
Was there when the 1968 Democratic Convention/Riots (whatever) happened in your beloved Chicago.
Hence, when I saw the clue at 55A, I just wrote in SEALE without even thinking.
But as a Proud Floridian, I think we are catching up with you in the political circus arena.

Sfingi said...

Anons - if you aren't joshing:

To "take a bath" is apparently an oldster way of saying you lost money.
Google: "Take a Bath Idiom"

For Aga- an honorific Shi'a title, like a Pope. We're on the 4th, now
Google: "Aga Khan Wiki"

@Tinbeni, John - I wrote in SEALE and TELEX automagically. I was in church at the Home today and the minister talked about the iceman. We had an iceman, milkman, eggman, coalman in the 1940s & 50s. Seale is in his 70s and has a BBQ Cookbook out.

@Gog8ters - Don't ever hit yourself!

Maybe this puzzle was more interesting than I had first thought.

mac said...

The funniest line today: "Wash your bits"!

Orange said...

@Mac: I stole "wash your bits" from a South African friend inside the computer. Never says she took a shower, always says she "washed her bits." Not sure if it's a regional idiom or just something she says.


I often complete a ho-hum themed puzzle and then later say exactly what you said... "Maybe this puzzle was more interesting than I had first thought."
After looking up (on Google etc) all the bios on people herein, and after reading some fascinating comments, I found this puzzle to be quite interesting indeed.

Re: 28A STREP (Streptococcal pharyngitis)--
This was so prevalent in the 1960's, and 1970's.
Seemed like our kiddos were always coming down with STREP.
Seeing this word in this puzzle brings back bad memories for me.
Is it still common with youngsters today?

After ready @Elissa's hype about the LA Tournament, I'm feeling very jealous. ACPT in the east, then this in the west, and here I sit in middle-earth wondering why we're left out of all the fun.

Joon said...

if you're going to go all passive-aggressive on your explanations, you might as well provide direct links to let me google that for you. i can't believe nobody's done that yet in this thread.

CrazyCat said...

@Sfingi: I remembered what the TELEX looked like and how it worked. I just couldn't remember what it was called. Finally came to me after a few minutes. By the way, the hymn you quoted yesterday about the Royal DIADEM is one of my favorites. Thanks for that.

@Tinbeni - you aren't kidding about FL being a political circus. What was that scary woman's name who was involved in the Al Gore, hanging chad fiasco?

Tinbeni said...

@Sfingi & @JNH
We look at the blank grid ... then proceed to solve.
Later we comment because we love these things.
But lately, after I solve there are things rolling around the grey matter about certain clues and answers.
SOOOO, I come back to see what I missed.

Sec. of State, Kathryn Harris.
Damn, I had forgotten her. Too much make-up. Not enough substance. Lost her bid to go to congress. Maybe we are getting better.

Now that was the greatest link I ever saw.
How'd you do that?

Moot point, I still don't have a clue on how to embed.

mac said...

@Orange: I passed it on on facebook.... I'm sure I've read the expression in Victorian British (or English) novels. It made me laugh. I thought of one friend in particular!

CrazyCat said...

@Joon: That link was awesome!

@Tinbeni: I don't know how to embed either. I've tried on many occasions. It never worked, so I gave up. I just blame it on my mac. Oh yeah, it was Kathryn Harris. She reminded me of Cruella Deville. Creeeepy...

@JNH: Strep was still prevalent in the 80's. I became an expert on those dreaded "pus pockets" that would be lurking my kiddos throats. Sorry, Hope that didn't gross anyone out.

Tinbeni said...

Not that was an unfair comparison ... to Cruella DeVille.

K.Harris was as creeeepy of a politician there ever was.
But given time I think Ms. Palin will eventually take her title.

Tomorrow, please tell us how you did that. I'm probably up to 6 views just to see how that worked. Awesome!!!!

shrub5 said...

@Tinbeni: I suspect I finished the puzzle and no puzzle fairy was involved...although...... there are some mini chocolate easter eggs missing from my stash.

@joon: cool link!

@CCL: Yes, that woman was Cruella-esque.!! Another low point in US history....

Joon said...

geez, it's real simple. just go to lmgtfy.com (stands for "let me google that for you"). or if you can't remember the URL, you could always google it.



Tinbeni said...

Now ... well now, I really was on the floor, laughing my ass off, I guess you have to understand. A whole bunch of us grew up in a world without computers ... the 50 plus (there-abouts) crowd.

Your second embed, and I will learn how to do that one, was wonderful. I copied it to a file.

BTW, when is your next puzzle?

I'll check that out also, thanks.
Funny thing is if you wanted a Financial Analysis, I'd say "Duck soup" but other things I'm not that into ... well que sera sera.

CrazyCat said...

Over the comment limit, but yeah@ Joon, you were probably not even a "twinkle in your dad's eye" back when we were using the TELEX. It's OK! I love the intergenerational flow of this blog.