WEDNESDAY, April 28, 2010—Dan Naddor

THEME: "Eat Me"—Food dishes that include names are clued as if they have something to do with famous people with that first name.

To accommodate the 12-letter central answer, the grid's been stretched to 16 squares wide. You can't center an entry with an even number of spaces within a grid with an odd width.

Theme entries:
  • 18a. [Response to comic Anderson's "What's for dinner?"?] is CRAB LOUIE or rather, "crab, Louie." I was thinking this classic comedy bit was Louie Anderson, but it's the similarly girthed John Pinette:

  • 21a. [Response to Spanish tenor Kraus's "What's for dinner?"?] is CHICKEN ALFREDO. Fettuccine Alfredo is more familiar to me than this chicken dish, which in turn is more familiar to me than Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus, whom I've never heard of. YouTube reveals the winning combination of opera chops and a silly mustache.
  • 37a. [Response to Revolutionary Arnold's "What's for breakfast?"?] is EGGS BENEDICT. Not sure why the R is capitalized. And what's with rehabilitating his image? He's most famous for being a traitor.
  • 58a. [Response to actress Bracco's "What's for brunch?"?] is QUICHE LORRAINE. She played Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos.
  • 64a. [Response to jazzman Peterson's "What's for dinner?"?] is VEAL OSCAR. Oscar Peterson plays piano, and quite nicely, I might add:

This grid is notable for the stacking of the theme entries at the top and bottom as well as the 28 longish (6 to 8 letters long) non-theme answers. The short fill includes a number of clunkers, though.

Join me in a stroll through the grid to see what's here:
  • 5a. [Penn. crosser] is a TNPK., as in the Pennsylvania Turnpike that runs across the state.
  • 17a. [Singer Morissette]'s first name is ALANIS. I love her downbeat acoustic cover of Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps." If you hate that song, you may love this version.
  • There's a one-black-eye-day combo happening here with ONE EYE (12d. [Cyclops feature]), BLACK EYE (3d. [Mark of shame]), and ONE DAY (67a. ["Eventually ..."]).
  • 69a. [Maestro Klemperer] is OTTO. Not Werner. Hogan's Heroes actor Werner Klemperer is Otto's son. Who knew?
  • 4d. Good clue for JOB-HOP: [Change positions often]. I was thinking of jostle and fidget.
  • 19d. [__ fire under] clues the two-word partial entry LIT A.
  • 30d. [Dull finish?] doesn't rescue -ARD. Nobody likes a dangling suffix answer. At least -ard is in the dictionary as a suffix with a specific meaning. Did you know that it's mostly used negatively? Nobody wants to be dullard, drunkard, or dotard. Wizard, though, is a positive word. -ARD is in a pile-up of ick, with partial ME I and Roman numeral MDC (which at least had a workable math clue, 32d: [CLX x X]. 100 times 10 = 1000/M, 50 times 10 = 500/D, 10 x 10 = 100/C.
  • 36d. TNS is used to abbreviate "tons" ([Heavy wts.]), but how pointless is that? An abbreviation that drops only one letter? I just saw TNS in another puzzle recently and thought it stunk. I'm surprised to see it again so soon, because it feels like an answer I have rarely encountered in crosswords.
  • 41d. I love the word TRIFECTA. It's a [Potentially lucrative track bet].
  • 48d. [Menacing snake] clues COILER. Meh. Nobody describes a coiled snake as a COILER.
Crosswordese 101: I wasn't quite conscious of there being two famous LALOs in music. Today's LALO is 15a: [Composer Schifrin], and that is the most frequently used LALO clue. LALO Schifrin composed the Mission: Impossible theme. Less commonly, LALO will be clued as French composer Edouard LALO, who composed Symphonie espagnole and Le Roi d'Ys, among other things.

Everything Else — 1A: Hist. or sci. (SUBJ.); 9A: "This is for real!" ("NO JOKE!"); 16A: Noah of "ER" (WYLE); 20A: Forceful, as an argument (COGENT); 23A: 1861-'89 territory (DAKOTA); 25A: MFA, for one (DEG.); 26A: Oater okay (YEP); 27A: Get ready (PREPARE); 29A: Bighorn sheep, at times (RAMMERS); 33A: What's up? (SKY); 34A: Like machine-stamped mail (METERED); 42A: Most proximate (NEAREST); 43A: Cold and wet (RAW); 46A: Flute relative (PICCOLO); 49A: Leather source (OSTRICH); 53A: Tokyo, once (EDO); 54A: Sitter's handful (IMP); 57A: Sly (CRAFTY); 63A: Dump (UNLOAD); 68A: Nastase of tennis (ILIE); 70A: They're sometimes worn under helmets (DO-RAGS); 71A: Building extensions (ELLS); 72A: 1966 Jerry Herman musical (MAME); 1D: Beehive St. capital (SLC); 2D: Old Mideast org. (UAR); 5D: Like many garages (TWO-CAR); 6D: Stooges' laugh (NYUK); 7D: Practiced, as a trade (PLIED); 8D: New Hampshire college town (KEENE); 9D: Table salt, to a chemist (NACL); 10D: Swedish statesman __ Palme (OLOF); 11D: Five-time NHL scoring leader Jaromir (JAGR); 13D: More considerate (KINDER); 14D: Prevents, legally (ESTOPS); 22D: Accept (AGREE TO); 23D: Infielders' stats (DPS); 24D: Indy's pursuit (ARK); 28D: Involve, as in conflict (EMBROIL); 31D: "Something tells __ goofed" (ME I); 35D: Wide shoe spec (EEE); 38D: Health food co. (GNC); 39D: Former GM division (GEO); 40D: Actor Mineo (SAL); 44D: Do something (ACT); 45D: "Give me a reason" ("WHY?"); 46D: Ahab's whaler (PEQUOD); 47D: "Don't ask me!" ("I DUNNO!"); 50D: Libra symbol (SCALES); 51D: Small band (TRIO); 52D: Kidnapper's demand (RANSOM); 55D: Dinner companion? (MOVIE); 56D: Head & Shoulders competitor (PRELL); 59D: Musical finale (CODA); 60D: Den __, Netherlands (HAAG); 61D: Nestlé ice cream brand (EDY'S); 62D: Track fence (RAIL); 65D: PIN requester (ATM); 66D: Fish delicacy (ROE).



Although working through this theme was rather fun, I found the liberties taken with the grid to be very disturbing to me. I think the black square ratio is excessive. Some stymies were OLOF next to JAGR and the DPS/ARK/SKY crossings. Didn't like all the crappy 3-letter fill words.

In case you're wondering what the proper pronunciation is of NYUK.

Clever clues:
"Indy's pursuit" = ARK

UAR vs. UAE, always confusing to me.

Are we now scraping the bottom of the barrel of Naddor puzzles?... this one is quite sludgy.

Orange said...

The black square count is fine. The grid's bigger than normal, so going over 40 blocks is not surprising.


I didn't say that this grid is breaking any CW rules, I said "it's very distrubing to me"... just IMO.

Lalo Schifrin (age 78) is a fine Argentine musician. He is an excellent composer, conductor, and pianist. Most known for his film and TV scores, such as the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE THEME.
He has received four Grammy Awards and six Oscar nominations.
Most people are unaware that he also wrote these TV and film scores:
Cool Hand Luke
Coogan's Bluff
Dirty Harry
The Cincinnati Kid
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Starsky and Hutch
Planet of the Apes

David said...

I wasn't enthralled with this puzzle either. I also wonder whether we are near the end of Dan's legacy of puzzles for us. My biggest quibble: I never remember seeing turnpike abbreviated other than TPKE.

backbiter said...

Boy, did this leave an unpleasant feeling in my mouth. After I had "subj", "tnkp", "slc", and "uar", I really didn't want to finish solving. Glad I did, tho. The theme answers made up, only slightly, for the dreadful beginning. Theme: Ok
Puzzle Overall: Slightly over Blech!

Van55 said...

Though I love Naddor's puzzles in general, this one was a complete disaster in my book. Look at the string of down clues and answers from 31D through 39D, for example. Talk about crap fill, and for me the theme didn't justify it in the least.

Tbone said...

I agree with you on this one Orange. BTW I think the capital R on Revolutionary refers to Revolutionary War.

*David* said...

There was some ick fill and unfortunately 1D and 2D happened to be part of it which could leave a bad taste in your mouth. The theme was decent and I liked that many of the names used weren't typical.

I particularly liked seeing TRIFECTA in the puzzle.

Tinbeni said...

I agree this was not up to Dan's usual level but not that it was a complete disaster.
The 5 theme answers were clever but the crap fill you cite does equal a below his usual CRAFTY offering.
I took it with a grain of NACL.

LALO, OTTO & CODA, a Composer, a Maestro and musical ending, I got them. So I must be learning something.
Then I entered DO RAGS and realized there are some things I have learned that I wish I had not.

Den HAAG and OLOF, a bit obscure.

But any puzzle with the Stooges NYUK is OK by me.

lit.doc said...

The "lame" I jotted next to "Penn. crosser was exceeded only by the "LAME" that I jotted next to "Menacing snake".

And shouldn't a slangy answer like I DUNNO be clued as such?

burner10 said...

I had a fun puzzle solve with this. I kind of needed the old familiar junk to get back into a puzzle groove having been vacationing (and eating some of the yummy theme entries).

CrazyCat said...

I DUNNO about this puzzle. Returned from my my vacation too. Swore off food and what am I faced with first thing in the morning, CHICKEN ALFREDO, EGGS BENEDICT, QUICHE LORRAINE, and VEAL OSCAR! I did have a delicious Dungeness CRAB LOUIE for lunch in San Francisco. Sorry to UNLOAD all that, but I just got off the SCALES, NO JOKE. I wasn't fond of RAMMERS, COILERS or ESTOPS as well as the previously mentioned yuck fill especially TNPK,UAR and the oft maligned EEE. Did like BLACK EYE, OSTRICH, TWO CAR,TRIFECTA and JOB HOP.
@JNH thanks for the info of LALO.
@Orange Enjoyed your write up. Thanks!

C said...

Interesting puzzle for me. The theme answers made me think this was a Merle Reagle puzzle; however, the rest of the puzzle, barring some answers, was harsh. By no means do I think this is a bad puzzle but it makes me appreciate Mr. Reagle's puzzles more.

I liked TRIFECTA and PEQUOD as answers, though, I don't really know why.

Zeke said...

I didn't even think the theme answers were clever. With the exception of LORRAINE, each of the dishes cited were named after their creator. CRABLOUIE was created by some guy named Louie. EGGSBENEDICT? You got it, some guy named Benedict. So, you find other famous people with the same name and you've got a theme?
I was about to disagree with the cluing for COGENT, only to find out that the dictionary supports it. So, Fox News is COGENT? - it's forceful and compelling to many. I always thought rational and logical might have something to do with COGENT, but I stand corrected. No, I shall stand alone in thinking the cluing for COGENT was wrong.

CrazyCat said...

@Zeke Do not stand alone. I agree with you about the cluing for COGENT. I would say clear and convincing, not forceful.

Rube said...

I agree with the majority. Would like to add DPS to the list of cruddy fill, which I suppose to mean Double Plays. Never heard of VEAL OSCAR, but then we never have veal around this house. Know too much about how they're raised. (Ooops, that won't pass the breakfast test.)

This was the first puzzle where I saw the reason why so many people dislike themed puzzles. Having a theme really does require a whole lot of forced fill.

The good news is that Rex didn't review this puzzle. Can you imagine...

CrazyCat said...

@Rube: while driving out to hike at the elk reserve @ Tomales Pt, we saw calves lined up in little white igloos at a couple of the dairy ranches. I was thinking they were VEAL calves? I have been a once or twice a year VEAL consumer, but now I think not.

Zeke said...

@CCL - Maybe yes, maybe no. In a dairy operation, approximately 20% of the calves are retained for future milk production. The rest, yes, are veal.
All of this is necessary so that we have readily available, affordable milk. Not separating calves from their mothers would make milk a $15-20/gallon commodity. Your cats would starve.

Sfingi said...

@John - Do you know if LALO Schifrin was named after Edouard LALO?

@Orange - there is another musical first name LALO: Lalo de Pilar, Flamenco guitar.

@CrazyCat - Those "calf hutches" are to keep the weaned calfs away from each other or they'll fight or catch diseases. Some veal is newborn - very white meat and never makes it to the hutches. Remember, half the dairy calves are bulls, and useless on the farm. You used to need one, but with artificial insem. you need none. Veal calves get special liquid feed so the meat stays lighter.

I'm a chikentarian and chocoholic mostly.

I never heard of CRABLOUIE or VEALOSCAR. I had rEALOSCAR since I thought of Tuesddays with MOrIE.

Had to Google for: Beehive State, Joromir JAGR, ALFREDO Kraus, Jerry Herman, Noah WYLE. Now I know who's responsible for the worst Broadway musicals.

I totally didn't notice ARK and don't know what it is (Indy's pursuit?).

I asked my husband what a DP was, and after he told me, he went on a fugue about the old days when you cared about the game you were watching and the season and not about how many times you lost against a left-handed pitcher in your lifetime. He used to go to watch the Yankees as a kid with his male relatives and a basket full of homemade meatball sandwiches, see.

Tinbeni said...

re: ARK and Indy's pursuit?
Think Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," his quest was the Ark of the Covenant.

At this time of year, Indy brings up thoughts of the Indy 500 Race in May.


Schifrin was born in 1932 as Boris Claudio Schifrin. He was nicknamed "Lalo" in his youth, and legally adopted this name after he became a U.S. citizen in the 1960s.
Often Spanish children whose name is Eduardo are nicknamed Lalo, much like we in the U.S. use Ted for Edward. Edouard Lalo lived in the 19th century. There is no connection between these two Lalos.

chefwen said...

@Rube & CCL - Veal Oscar is delish, I'm anti Veal also so I substitute thinly sliced pork or chicken for the meat portion. Same thing with Wiener schnitzel, also, pork has more flavor than veal, IMO.

I kind of liked the puzzle, of course any puzzle that has so much good food in it is O.K. by me.

Rube said...

@chefwen. Looked up a recipe for VEAL OSCAR. Does sound good. Think I'll try it with, you guessed it, striped bass.

I'm off to Lake Powell tomorrow. See you all in two weeks.

Sfingi said...

@Orange - Thanx for yesterday on the retronyms. Had no idea it's been named! Saved it. I had used up my 3 yesterday.

@John - great info on Lalo. Around here it's a Puerto Rican surname.

@Tinbeni - never would have guessed. Saw the first one and swore off any sequels. Paper boulders aren't much better than computerized boulders.
Assumed ARK was a sports thing. At least I didn't write in ORR or OTT as defaults.

Oh - for "Change positions often," had "waffle" before JOBHOP, misinterpreting position.

I don't think it's fair to rip at Naddor since he's not around to defend himself. To be technical, it gives me the Heeby-Jeebies.

@Chefwen - I don't understand this anti-veal thing. Don't see how other animals are a better choice. These calves are relatively spoiled, and all farm animals exist because there are farms.

Doug P said...

Colonel Klink & Lita Ford! It's hard for me to imagine a more awesome pair of pictures.

Anonymous said...

pezibc -

"I don't think it's fair to rip at Naddor since he's not around to defend himself."

Yes, it's fair. That's just one of those things that can't be helped. This puzzle is taking a severe beating for good reason.

It should have been fixed - or not run at all. Running the puzzle was a disservice.

Anonymous said...

Why is a black eye a mark of shame? Surely it indicates nothing more than a fistfight? I'm confused, tried scarlet letter etc.

Hands up for thinking cogent did not mean forceful.

Sfingi said...

@Anon617a - Come out from behind there with your gloves on.

Anyway, some of us want all of Naddor, nothing less. Where else will we get it. Maybe I'm still in denial.

Anyway, anonymous is a cheesy position.

Anon617b. It's just a figuative expression. The puzzlemaker didn't make it up. It means to dirty your reputation.

Anonymous said...

Benedict Arnold was given some land north of Toronto for work in the Indian Wars.
Alanis and Oscar are just Canadians.
L.A.T. Puzzles are are harder for Canadians because of language differences?


mac said...

Too late to really get into it, but I found this one thorny here and there, which I like. Most of the food is too rich for me to like, except for the quiche Lorraine. Cook that bacon very slowly and thoroughly, and bake the quiche low, slow and long.

CrazyCat said...

Over my limit oh well. I figure since I haven't been here in a while....
@Sfingi: I feel the same way about speaking of someone who's dead. I love DN puzzles. I don't think this was one of his best, but I still enjoyed it.
@Zeke, Rube, Sfingi, Chefwan: About Veal. Thanks for the education about dairy babies and VEAL OSCAR. I've had it and as I remember it was very tasty. For what it's worth, the cows and their calves that I saw last week were fat, clean, glossy and enjoyed taking a pic with a visitor. And they live on the most beautiful oceanside property you can imagine. They have a "to die for" view.

caring mom said...

I thought it was