SATURDAY, May 8, 2010—Tom Heilman

THEME: No theme today—It's a themeless puzzle, just like every other Saturday.

I don't know how long I spent on this puzzle because I did it off the clock, on paper. I had a few trouble spots and hit the skids in two adjacent squares, so maybe it's a little harder than usual. Or maybe I just wasn't focusing. I finished in the southwest quadrant and figured 37A needed fixing. For 37D, BOUNCES worked for [Bumps along], and for 38D, I had ONSHORE for [Close to the coast]. These made 37A: [Deceptive lingo] into BOVETALK. Bove talk! Clearly wrong. (As was the suitable FAST TALK, which I started with until the crossings said no, no, no.) So I changed it to JIVE TALK with JOUNCES and INSHORE, the latter of which I swear I have never seen before.

Other potential trouble spots:
  • 1A. [Reacted with embarrassment, maybe] clues GIGGLED, but my first thought was BLUSHED, crossings be damned. Undamn the crossings and let them lead you to the right answer.
  • 8A. [Moderate pace] is JOG TROT. That's a term? For equestrians, yes.

  • 26A. So I guess I should read Othello, huh? IAGO is clued with a line: ["So will I ... make the net / That shall enmesh them all" speaker].
  • 48A. [Court org.]…oh, you can't fool me! I know it's about sports and not the judicial system. WNBA? Alas, no. It's the tennis court and USTA.
  • 51A. For [They can get high], I suspected SOTS but was pleased when the answer turned out to be SEAS. SOTS is a mostly-in-crosswords word.
  • 52A. [FDR home loan gp.] is NHA. Say what now? FDR-era initialisms are not my strong suit.
  • 56A. To [Make notes?] is to COMPOSE music. Good misdirection here.

  • 60A. Did you know ERITREA, Ethiopia's neighbor, was an [Italian colony from 1890 to 1941]? Apparently I did not.
  • 61A: [Frenzied fits] clues the odd plural DELIRIA. Can I get a ruling on this? Is there ever a need to pluralize "delirium"?
  • 6D. The [Activist who said "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea"] is Medgar EVERS. Did you recognize the quote?
  • 13D. I sure didn't know this. ORANGEY was the [Aptly named red tabby who played Cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"].
  • 14D. [Police radio lingo] cues TENCODE or TEN CODE. Never heard of this term before. As in "10-4"?
  • 39D. [A, B or C, e.g.] looks like multiple choice to me, but this is the clue for VITAMIN. Good one.
  • 42D. Do you know anyone who would say "IN A STIR" for [Upset]? I'm pretty sure I don't.
  • 50D. [Raeburn van __, cartoonist who drew "Abbie an' Slats"] clues BUREN. Martin or Abigail van ___ would be too easy, but…"Abbie an' Slats"??
And now, some highlights:
  • 25A. [Nearly a billion people live in them] is the clue for SLUMS. I like it when a crossword educates me about the world, though it can be depressing at times.
  • 53A. FALL DUE means [Become payable] and it feels like completely natural language.
  • 8D. [Many ad circulars] are indeed JUNK MAIL. Fabulous fill!

  • 21D. A [Knucklehead] is a NUMBSKULL. Also a colorful entry. (The B is optional, as "numskull" is also correct.)
  • 34D. [Sewer's target] is a RIP. Sewer = one who sews, not a municipal wastewater drainage system.
  • 36D. All right, sound the ALL CLEAR, or [Safe call].
  • 41D. THE WIRE is a great entry if clued as the TV series (…which I have never seen). Clued this way, as [Deadline, metaphorically], the phrase feels naked. It yearns desperately to be part of "down to the wire."
  • 43D. ["A cinch"] = NO SWEAT. Yep, idiomatically on target.
  • 49D. [Public promenade] is a PASEO. Thank you, conferences set in San Antonio, for teaching me this word. S.A. has its famed Paseo del Rio alongside the concrete-edged river.
Crosswordese 101: ORA is a multifaceted piece of crosswordese. Today (and many days), it's clue with a Latin fill-in-the-blank, [___ pro nobis]. I believe that's Latin for "pray for us." ORA is also the plural "mouths" in Latin (and in the sciences, where Latin words find modern use—sometimes we see clues like [Zoological openings] or [Mouths, anatomically]), as well as "hour" in Italian. And then there's the readily accessible two-word partial OR A, as in "Are you a man ___ mouse?" Crosswords sometimes clue this as [Man-mouse connector].

Everything Else — 1A: Reacted with embarrassment, maybe (GIGGLED); 8A: Moderate pace (JOG TROT); 15A: Legally gone (ON LEAVE); 16A: Ignorant (UNAWARE); 17A: Spenserian beings (FAERIES); 18A: Sparks resident (NEVADAN); 19A: __ pro nobis (ORA); 20A: Fry corrugation (CRINKLE); 22A: Company abbr. (INC.); 23A: Undersized one (RUNT); 25A: Nearly a billion people live in them (SLUMS); 26A: "So will I ... make the net / That shall enmesh them all" speaker (IAGO); 27A: Rhone tributary (ISERE); 29A: Janeane's co-star in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" (UMA); 30A: Asked for a hand? (ANTED); 31A: Excite (THRILL); 33A: Seen from above, as a view (BIRD'S-EYE); 35A: In person (BIG AS LIFE); 37A: Deceptive lingo (JIVE TALK); 40A: Carbohydrate used in jellies (PECTIN); 44A: Chilled (ON ICE); 45A: Abner's radio partner (LUM); 47A: Prefix with graphic (ETHNO-); 48A: Court org. (USTA); 49A: Techies' campus hangout (PC LAB); 51A: They can get high (SEAS); 52A: FDR home loan gp. (NHA); 53A: Become payable (FALL DUE); 55A: Austin-to-Del Rio dir. (WSW); 56A: Make notes? (COMPOSE); 58A: Scholarly (ERUDITE); 60A: Italian colony from 1890 to 1941 (ERITREA); 61A: Frenzied fits (DELIRIA); 62A: Chamber group member? (SENATOR); 63A: Watching carefully (ON ALERT); 1D: "Don't miss this chance" ("GO FOR IT"); 2D: Hurrying along (IN A RUSH); 3D: Information gatherer (GLEANER); 4D: Where BMW was born (GER.); 5D: Worldly (LAIC); 6D: Activist who said "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea" (EVERS); 7D: First "Mission: Impossible" TV production company (DESILU); 8D: Many ad circulars (JUNK MAIL); 9D: Law school newcomers (ONE-LS); 10D: Yielded (GAVE); 11D: Old carrier (TWA); 12D: Project, as cheer (RADIATE); 13D: Aptly named red tabby who played Cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (ORANGEY); 14D: Police radio lingo (TENCODE); 21D: Knucklehead (NUMBSKULL); 24D: Manhattan district (TRIBECA); 26D: Spray targets (INSECTS); 28D: Cream of the crop (ELITE); 30D: Magazine revenue item (AD FEE); 32D: Airport on Flushing Bay, briefly (LGA); 34D: Sewer's target (RIP); 36D: Safe call (ALL CLEAR); 37D: Bumps along (JOUNCES); 38D: Close to the coast (IN SHORE); 39D: A, B or C, e.g. (VITAMIN); 41D: Deadline, metaphorically (THE WIRE); 42D: Upset (IN A STIR); 43D: "A cinch" (NO SWEAT); 46D: Managed (MADE DO); 49D: Public promenade (PASEO); 50D: Raeburn van __, cartoonist who drew "Abbie an' Slats" (BUREN); 53D: Defense structure (FORT); 54D: "The Long, Hot Summer" vixen __ Varner (EULA); 57D: Class action gp.? (PTA); 59D: "Rugrats" infant (DIL).


imsdave said...

I found this remarkably challenging - I usually bang out the LAT Saturday sub-ten and spent a good twenty on this one. The SE was the last part of the grid for me. DOGTROT anyone? And I'll bet most of us followed Orange's lead with BOUNCES. A bit odd, but who can argue with J's?

I was also initially challenged this a.m. starting with LGR and PTO before sorting them out.

Enjoyed the workout.

myclogyn? Sounds like the anti-Coumadin

Zeke said...

@Orange - JOGTROT? For equestrians, not so much. I've been around western horses all my life, and never heard the phrase JOG TROT. It is not referenced in the AQHA rule book, the American Quarter Horse Association governing body for almost all western horse shows. It is just a JOG. A jog is anathema in any other equestrian discipline.

Margaret said...

I happily put in NCAA for court org, but no, it was USTA. I also had the _UM___U__ crossings filled in quickly for the clue knucklehead, so happily put in DUMBCLUCK. Uh, not so much. That would be NUMBSKULL. Still, who knew that dumb cluck and numbskull shared those letters until now? Not me. (Does anyone else use dumb cluck?)

Tinbeni said...

Got ERUDITE but the rest of the puzzle proved I was not scholarly.

After repeating to myself,
"What the f ..."
"Who da f ..."
through two (big) mugs of coffee I came to the conclusion ...
"Aw, f*** it!"

A complete Ink Blot Test.


@Orange: Probably had every single write-over you pointed out. Maybe a few more. At least I didn't end

Van55 said...

I enjoyed the challenge and finished with no errors.

I did think "DUMBCLUCK" before NUMBSKULL became obvious. Didn't know JOGTROT or TENCODE. Guessed right with DESILU. Had BOUNCES before JOUNCES. Didn't know PASEO was a promenade -- thought it was a Toyota brand.

CrazyCat said...

Agree with all. This was tough for me too. I found that many clues, could have several answers. Before I got INASTIR, I had INASNIT, and then INASTEW. The hardest parts for me were the NE. Had a rough time just get started and the SE. Never have heard of INSHORE. Here we have ONSHORE and OFFSHORE winds. Count me in for BOUNCES before JOUNCES. Also had problems getting USTA, NHA and ERITREA?? PASEOS abound in CA so that was a gimme.

As to JOGTROT If one rides English, the horse TROTs and the rider posts to avoid being JOUNCED. If you ride Western you sit the JOG which is a more comfortable gait than a TROT. Mind you, I haven't been on a horse in number of years, but I spent my childhood and teen years riding almost daily in the English style. I keep threatening to start up again one of these days.
@Orange Thanks for another great write up. Have a happy Mothers Day!

chefbea said...

Tough puzzle. Couldn't finish so just gave up and came here. Never heard of jounces!!

@IMSDave...when I saw 1A I thought...Turned beet red wont fit.

shrub5 said...

Had all the same problems as Orange and others did, but I really enjoyed the challenge. We need a puzzle like this every so often that kicks our butts and keeps us humble. I started the puzzle last night and got much of the east half of it done -- I couldn't get any traction in the west whatsoever except for one word (RUNT) !! Resumed this morning and finally finished with no googles, though I bet I spent at least an hour on it total. Ended up with one mistake: DELERIA/DEL instead of DELIRIA/DIL, a spelling error I should have caught.

Had doubts with both JOGTROT and TENCODE but lucked out. LOL'd with 20A) Fry corrugation when I finally came up with CRINKLE.

Thank you Tom Heilman and Rich Norris for a terrific puzzle. And @Orange, great job on the write-up!!

gespenst said...

I guess I'm happy that everyone else had issues with the puzzle too.

The hubster and kidster took me out to breakfast and I regretted not inviting mother- and father-in-law to join us, as FIL is a great help on tough puzzles, two minds better than one and all.

So after breakfast we headed out to buy a plant to bestow upon MIL, whereupon I could presume upon FIL to help me finish the puzzle.

I had completed NE corner and the middle of the puzzle on my own, but since I had BLUSHED for 1A that whole NW corner was a mess. (At least I had managed to correctly guess DESILU from a couple of letters).

Corner by corner we managed to wrestle the puzzle into submission, w/ the SE corner going down to THE WIRE, literally ;)

Interestingly I seem to be the only one commenting who actually put in USTA right off for Court Org. (and then I laughed b/c I had wanted a 4 letter of ABA only to find myself putting ABA instead of PTA until I noticed the "?" for Class Action gp.)

LAIC was the one word we both shook our heads about. I guess it makes sense, but never would have come up w/ it but for crosses.

Ok, off to finish getting the kidster's new bedroom finished ... big time nesting since the Gespenstsbaby is due in a month. Yikes!

Happy Mother's Day to the rest of the crossword mothers here!

Unknown said...

this puzzle bugged me as well god i'm glad you have a site AND agreed with ALL OF MY NITS

some puzzles are a joy to finish in their challenge, this one just sucked why is that? ah well..


When I first saw this puzzle with (28) 7-letter words and (6) 8 or 9-letter words, I said "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE". I almost GAVE in. Then after two big mugs of coffee, I said, "GO FOR IT".

So I laid out a strategy---
From center outwards. It worked!
I started in the middle with the 3-letter gimmes, RIP, LGA, UMA, and LUM. Then stacked next to them were the 5-letter gimmes, ADFEE, ELITE, SLUMS, and PCLAB. This then revealed all the 5 and 6-letter crosses. With that structure in place, the rest of the puzzle became “a cinch“. Or, should I say, NO SWEAT? I solved in record time (for my 2010 Saturday bests).

Hey, this worked great for me... I think I'll use this approach in all my Saturday stack-puzzles. Does anyone else use METHOD SOLVING?

Tom Heilman did a masterful job on this enjoyable puzzle. With the exception of about four (?) clues, he used very direct clues. The only one that caused a snag was JOUNCES instead of the more logical BOUNCES. But then the J in JIVETALK gave way to JOUNCES.

I found a lot of fun words and clues: GIGGLED, FAERIES, LUM & Abner, ORANGEY, and NUMBSKULL (a word I call myself often during solving).


Surely the J in JUNKMAIL gives away the JOG in JOGTROT. This word has nothing to do with equestrian pacing. It's what humans do when they run at ease--- JOGTROT. I can't understand why so many people (NUMBSKULLs)struggled with this simple, everyday term.

Thank you, ORANGEY, for a terrific writeup.

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms, and expectant moms (Spence).
Oh yeah, and we celebrate a whole week for National Pickle Week. Go figure!

10-4 Over and Out.