THURSDAY, May 27, 2010 — Nathan Miller

Theme: Fish Wrangler — Fish puns!

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Price decrease for a stout-bodied fish? (GROUPER DISCOUNT).
  • 25A: Habitat for orange fish? (ROUGHY HOUSING).
  • 45A: Road for Minnesota's state fish? (WALLEYE STREET).
  • 57A: Verdict for a tropical fish? (SNAPPER JUDGMENT).
I was up late watching the American Idol finale so this is going to be quick. I figure this is really the last time I can slack off because starting next week I have to get serious. We'll see how that goes I guess.

I liked this puzzle just fine. Very cute theme. How did I know the walleye is the Minnesota state fish? I guess we just learn some things by osmosis.

Random tangents:
  • 15A: Pat's partner (VANNA). I had no idea where this one was going. With *ANNA in place I had … nothing.
  • 35A: 1997 Smith/Jones film, briefly (MIB).

  • 37A: TomTom or Magellan unit, for short (GPS). A couple years ago we took a small plane for the last leg of our trip to Nosara, Costa Rica. Usually we just drive it, but we thought it might be fun especially for the kids. So we board the plane, I'd say it had, I don't know, 24 seats. Not super super small, but pretty small. We're sitting pretty close to the front and we can see everything the pilots are doing because there's no door to the cockpit. The first thing PuzzleHusband notices is that the GPS they're using is exactly the same as the one we have in our car. Confidence inspiring! (It did turn out to be pretty fun though.)
  • 48A: "Enough!" ("CEASE!"). I'm gonna start using this with the PuzzleKids. I think it will make them laugh.
  • 60A: Boy leader? (ATTA). The "word" atta comes before (i.e., leads) the word boy in the phrase "atta boy."
  • 4D: McMuffin meat, maybe (SAUSAGE). Remember Father Guido Sarducci from the early days of Saturday Night Live? His real name is Don Novello and he had a book out back then that was really funny. The book was full of letters he had written to famous people, corporations, etc., and the responses he got. The letters he wrote were dumb. I mean, really dumb. For example, he wrote to McDonald's asking why they always pictured jelly in their advertisements for Egg McMuffins because, obviously, no one would put jelly on an Egg McMuffin. He got a very serious response from the company explaining that some people removed one half of the breading from the sandwich and would eat it with jelly. Maybe that doesn't sound all that funny the way I explain it, but trust me. It's good stuff.
  • 6D: Not any (NARY). Started out with none. I've gotta believe I'm not alone there.
  • 38D: Greek sea god (POSEIDON). Ever since PuzzleSon read the Percy Jackson series he's absolutely convinced that PuzzleHusband is Poseidon. Maybe I should tell him the story of the first time PH went boogie boarding in the ocean and he got caught by a big wave and lost both his flippers and his wedding ring. (We'd only been married seven months at the time. Sheesh!) I'm confident that would not happen to the Greek God of the Sea.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 14A: Musical with the song "Another Pyramid" (AIDA).
  • 36A: __ Lingus (AER).
  • 42A: Muffin topper (OLEO).
  • 44A: Ship of Greek myth (ARGO).
  • 50D: Bygone ruler TSAR).
Everything Else — 1A: Cooling units, briefly (BTUS); 5A: Center of Cleveland? (O'NEAL); 10A: Tolstoy's Karenina (ANNA); 14A: Musical with the song "Another Pyramid" (AIDA); 16A: Somber film genre (NOIR); 20A: Part of ESP (SENSORY); 21A: 2000 Olympics city (SYDNEY); 22A: A smoker may flick it off (ASH); 23A: Black wood (EBONY); 30A: Skunk moniker (PEPE); 31A: Manhattan's __ Station (PENN); 32A: Text receivers (CELLS); 36A: __ Lingus (AER); 39A: ISP featuring CBS Radio stations (AOL); 40A: Oscar Madison et al. (SLOBS); 42A: Muffin topper (OLEO); 44A: Ship of Greek myth (ARGO); 49A: Put away the groceries? (EAT); 50A: CNBC weekday crawl (TICKER); 53A: Movie venues (CINEMAS); 61A: On account of (DUE TO); 62A: Minuscule bit (IOTA); 63A: Promising (ROSY); 64A: First name in humorous poetry (OGDEN); 65A: Big gulp (SWIG); 1D: "Paper or plastic?" items (BAGS); 2D: Spare for a change (TIRE); 3D: Japanese noodle (UDON); 5D: Promote to excess (OVERHYPE); 7D: Means justifier (END); 8D: Feminist musician DiFranco (ANI); 9D: Lariats (LASSOS); 10D: Pain reliever (ANODYNE); 11D: Pencil, pen, or quill (NOUN); 12D: Whom "seven ate," in a joke (NINE); 13D: Like some museumgoers (ARTY); 18D: Luxurious (POSH); 19D: Disbelievers (CYNICS); 23D: About 525 trillion minutes, in astronomy (EON); 24D: Jumper cable? (BUNGEE); 25D: 45 and 78, e.g.: Abbr. (RPMS); 26D: Versailles eye (OEIL); 27D: Violin stroke (UPBOW); 28D: Medal recipients (HEROES); 29D: Downside of sailing off into the sunset? (GLARE); 33D: Mezzanine cousin (LOGE); 34D: Coin collector? (SLOT); 36D: Zonked (ASLEEP); 41D: Past due wages (BACKPAY); 43D: Drano ingredient (LYE); 44D: Huntress daughter of Zeus and Leto (ARTEMIS); 46D: Texas border city (LAREDO); 47D: Citrus drink used by NASA (TANG); 50D: Bygone ruler (TSAR); 51D: "__ the Woods" (INTO); 52D: Broadway's second-longest-running show (CATS); 53D: Darling (CUTE); 54D: Call from 52-Down (MEOW); 55D: Opposition member (ANTI); 56D: All-male party (STAG); 58D: Hairpiece (RUG); 59D: Martin's role in "The West Wing" (JED).


Argyle said...

My Mom always said, "cease and desist"...and we didn't laugh.

Van55 said...

Just a soso puzzle for my taste. Just something fishy about it.

Not very much trite fill, so I shouldn't carp.

Tinbeni said...

When I finished I noticed a lot of Down clues (15) not even crossed off.

ROUGHY HOUSING was my fave theme answer. I remember the first time I saw a picture of this fish and it is Orange.
Now for eating, GROUPER & SNAPPER are wonderful.
Here on the West Coast of Florida the BP FUBAR hasn't (YET!) screwed up our catch or beaches.

ANODYNE from the Greek Anodynos and I do not know how I remembered this.
TICKER, on CNBC, a fave morning habit.
SWIG, what I did with some of yesterday's DEWAR'S ... Probably the reason I'm moving slower this morning.

FUN puzzle but more of a Wednesday level.

Burner10 said...

Fun.Fishing makes me think of weekend holidays - coming soon!

GotNARY but bungled with ANACINE for a bit.

*David* said...

POSIEDON, ARTEMIS, and the ARGO make the SE a mythological place. SNAPPER brings to mind my 6th grade notebook, with that cool snap that held everything in place as opposed to the rest who had loose paper binders.

Rube said...

A good puzzle for us fishermen. Too bad Nathan missed those favored Lake Powell bass expressions like striperclub, bassanova, and smallmouthoff.

To answer your question @CCL, there are fewer bass in Lake Powell now then there used to be. As often the case, I also caught a WALLEYE this trip. Had a dinner of Beer Batter Bass one night, delicious.

Had one writeover at RecS instead of RPMS. Must remember how to spell OEIL, (exception to the English rule). Didn't know how far an EON was. Did know that a geological EON is a billion years.

To be more accurate, there are 525,600 minutes in a year, thus 525.6 trillion minutes in a billion years. Where this fits into Astronomy, I'm not sure. The number of minutes it takes light to travel in a billion years? Dumb.


chefbea said...

Loved all the fish. Kept trying to figure what letters to take out to make the normal saying.


Figured that had something to do with the theme. Guess not

Sfingi said...

Had NARY right away and don't know why.

Did not know MIB, UPBOW.
Had to Google for GPS, JED and they spelling for the French OEIL.
My car was broken into and the backup screen was stolen. I hope the fence beat the kid up for thinking it was a GPS. It's part of the "short package."

Had Snead before ONEAL (don't ask), "aspirin" before ANODYNE, "awed" before "achy" before ARTY, all of which i am in a museum. In the late '60s, when I lived in NYC, I went to the Met(ropolitan Museum). I sat down in the middle of the El Greco room for what I thought was a few minutes during which I had a feeling of being swooped up. When I stood up, I discovered 3 hours had passed. Much later, I was told this is called the Florentine Effect. The upward lines and religious motief seem to have done this to me.

@Rube - good spelling mnemonic - I'll put OEIL near Oneida (and weird).

I'm nowhere near the sea, but we have WALLEYE.
@ChefB - Anyway, I guess I wasn't getting into the theme, since I lined up the inserts: ER, Y, EYE, and PER and said WTF?

POSEIDON and ANODYNE are serious weekend words, eyed say.

ANI diFranco is a 39 yr-old Sicilian-Jewish-American from Rochester. She writes her own stuff and has her own record company, Righteous Babe, and a following that looks forward, since 1990, to a new album annually. She's on the cover of May 2008 of Mothering.

CrazyCat said...

AIDA, ANI, ANNA, VANNA Lots of girls up north. Thought today's puzzle was easier than yesterday. Had the same feeling as @ChefBea and @Sfingi that the ER, Y, EYE and ER should mean something, but couldn't figure out what. Liked that POSEIDON was there with all the fish. McMuffin meat and Muffin topper- mini muffin motif maybe? ANODYNE was an unknown. Had ASPERIN first. Always like seeing CATS and MEOW.

kozykol said...

Gimme a break with GLARE for 29 Down - Downside of sailing into the sunset. ONE HELLUVA REACH!Need a better clue writer.

C said...

OK puzzle today on the quality puzzle scale. Not packed to the gills with crosswordese but, in no time, I was able to shout the only French I know, fin.

@PG, you actually do the drive from San Jose to Nosara? One time was enough for me. The time we actually flew, I was sitting in a seat right behind the pilots so could see everything. After takeoff and we had settled at altitude, the pilots proceeded to take out cameras and take pictures of each other flying the plane, like they were tourists in the cock pit. In the end, pretty damn funny.

CrazyCat said...

Off the puzzle subject, but if anyone wants a really good chuckle, read Roger Ebert's review of Sex and the City 2.

Tinbeni said...

Downside of sailing off into the sunset?
Well first off it would extend my daily Toast.
Secondly, You would fall off the edge.

It is a perfect world, yesterday we had Dewars.
Today you were the CATS, MEOW!!!

shrub5 said...

Favorite clue was Center of Cleveland (Shaquille O'NEAL). But probably not for much longer. He will become a free agent on July 1st; I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire.

@CCL: liked the alliteration in your post!
@van55: something fishy, LOL.

Noted several musical theater references with AIDA, CATS and INTO The Woods. Could include NINE on that list, 'tho it's not clued theatrically.

@Nathan Miller: two fins up for this piscine puzzle.

Rex Parker said...

GLARE clue seemed fine. Inventive even. I'm starting to wonder if the LAT is supposed to be graded, difficulty-wise, at all any more. So far, from easiest to hardest, my times have run thus: T, Th, M, W.

Off to find someplace cool. This early summer weather is killing me/us here in upstate NY.

Stefania said...

In 5th grade (circa 1979?) I did my state report on Minnesota, and for whatever reason today I was insisting that the state bird is a Loon and could not make that fit the puzzle to save my life.

Well, that's because the clue is for the fish...ever have one of those days?

Had a similar story with the husband losing his ring right after we got married. He insisted it not be a snug fitting band so I got it sized accordingly. He promptly lost it off his finger while putting the trash in the big roll away cart - you know, the 32 gallon one that rarely gets washed or cleaned out? Yep, had to go fishing for it.

And a quick FishFunny to share. At the Ranch 99 (asian supermarket) the package of fish was mislabeled, for $1.25/lb I almost bought some CRAP. (typo, was supposed to be carp).

hazel said...

Hmm. Kind of liked the theme answers, but little else - maybe SLOBS, POSEIDON and the MEOW/CATS too. Otherwise, the exercise just seemed stolid, and kind of pedestrian - a pedestrian w/ study shoes.

@CrazyCat - that Ebert review was hysterical. Thanks for mentioning - was def. good for some chuckles this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

@ Rex, agree about the level of
difficulty, felt like a Mon. or Tue.
to me. I always have do-overs
on Thurs., not today. Have learned
a lot from being on this blog.

@Tinbeni, I just knew you would
be smiling after seeing DEWARS in
yesterdays puzzle

@CCL and now today CATS, MEOW

And a little Aer Lingus for me. tee hee

Would never fly on one of those wee little
planes and after reading some of the
comments here I never will.

NJ Irish who can't seem to sign in

NJ Irish said...

@CCL, enjoyed the Ebert piece. Thanks!

CrazyCat said...

@Hazel and @NJ Irish - I guess he didn't like it. I'm a big SATC fan, but maybe it's time to draw the line.
@ Rex Agree about the difficulty level. This one seemed like a Mon. or Tues.
It's in the 60's and drizzling in Claremont. Weird weather.

PuzzleGirl said...

@Stefania: You remind me of this honest-to-God magazine I saw at a newsstand once: Crappie World. Definite LOL moment.

@C: We used to do the drive from San Jose back when that was our only choice (in fact, before the bridge even, so we had to factor in time waiting for the oh-so-reliable ferry), but now we can fly into Liberia. It's still a 2-2.5 hour drive but most of it is paved. :-)

@Rex: I'm pretty much done with summer at this point too. Enough already! Cease!

Sfingi said...

@Kozykol - is that a Polish name? Like Koziol? Anyway I very much related to the downside of driving into the sunset or sunrise is glare. When I worked to the East, I drove into it both ways for 40 minutes, when the sun shone.

@Rex - I always hate the early Upstate heat wave. Prefer the Indian Summer (late heat wave) cuz we're used to it by then. Binghamton is supposed to be the cloudiest place in the country, which means with inversion, it is more humid and traps the heat overnight.

Loved Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) and have that wonderful book. I actually used to write letters to companies when I had an opinion and often got coupons. One time I wrote a letter to the Trojan company and have a response I should frame. I got a nasty letter once from Hallmark cards. If corporations are legally persons, they're stupid people. I have a couple of beauties from the IRS saying I owe them a few cents.

@CrazyCat - Read the Ebert. Glad I never watched the show or movies.

tkamom said...

Can't even believe it! My DH lost his wedding ring EXACTLY the same way- just a month after we were married! I always hoped some poor fisherman found a $1000 dollar ring inside the day's catch!
Not a tough puzzle - but about as much as I could handle tonight.

Orange said...

My husband's wedding band slipped off in the Caribbean on our honeymoon during a snorkeling outing. So he held his breath and dove down about 10 feet to the coral reef to retrieve it!