FRIDAY, June 18, 2010 — Doug Peterson

Theme: Tie-In — Theme answers are familiar phases with the word TIE added to them, creating new wacky phrases clued "?"-style.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Ones wearing designer hospital gowns? (FANCY PATIENTS).
  • 32A: Massive marina protectors? (JUMBO JETTIES).
  • 42A: Plaza with many levels? (TIERED SQUARE).
  • 55A: More passionate language? (SWEATIER WORDS).
  • 69A: Marketing ploy, and a hint to this puzzle's theme (TIE-IN).
I'm always happy to see Doug's byline when I open up a puzzle. And there's nothing really wrong with this puzzle except that it's way too easy for a Friday. It seemed like the LAT was ratcheting up the difficulty at the end of the last couple weeks and I was looking forward to that trend continuing. Not much to say about the theme, a type that's been done a million times. I do appreciate it when a reason is pointed out for the word string being added to the base phrases, like today's TIE-IN reveal. Other than that, smooth fill with a few notable words, some dorky popular culture references and not too much crosswordese. Pretty much what I expect from Doug. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

  • 6A: "Big Brother" host Julie (CHEN). Never heard of her.
  • 19A: Princess who battled Callisto (XENA).
  • 31A: Recipients of authors' gratitude, briefly (EDS.). EDS. is short for EDITORS, whom authors often thank in the forwards of their books.
  • 37A: Three-time Clooney title role (OCEAN). I love these movies. I know they're not first-tier cinema, but for entertainment value I'm going with these guys.
  • 45A: Tape deck button (REC). Wasn't sure if this would be REC or REW so I waited for the cross.
  • 49A: "Family Matters" misfit (URKEL). So bizarre. I entered URKEL right away and then thought "I have no idea what show he was on, why did I immediately think of him?" so I erased my answer, only to enter it again later.
  • 60A: Arrange logically (SORT). One of my proudest moments. The first time PuzzleDaughter sorted her candy the day after Halloween. That's my girl!
  • 68A: Play a round (GOLF). Timely, considering this weekend's U.S. Open. (Go, Lefty!)
  • 5D: Supercell product (TORNADO). I have no idea what this means.
  • 33D: "Just the Way You Are" singer (JOEL). Here's the thing. I like a lot of Billy Joel songs. A Lot. But this one is on my list of Most Hated Songs of All Time. I don't know why, but I don't like Anything about it. (Also on the list, "The Lady in Red" and "Send in the Clowns.")
  • 39D: Popular fund raiser (BAKE SALE). Not popular for the moms who are almost never informed of the expectation that they'll bake something until the night before!
  • 45D: Grapple with, in the sticks (RASSLE). Heh.
  • 53D: Metz moniker (NOM). Metz must be a place in France. There seem to be a lot of places in France that don't sound at all French to me and this is one of them.
Crosswordese 101: OREM is, indeed, a 40D: Central Utah city. It's apparently on Utah Lake, next to the Uinta National Forest, and near (possibly next to) Provo. The city's nickname is "Family City, U.S.A."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 36A: Basilica section (APSE).
  • 38A: Slender wind (OBOE).
  • 8D: Book before Nehemiah (EZRA).
  • 41D: They may be shockers (EELS).
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Everything Else — 1A: Watch for (AWAIT); 10A: Zinger (BARB); 14A: Extremely, in slang (MONDO); 15A: Likely to loaf (LAZY); 16A: Like zero (OVAL); 17A: "M" star (PETER LORRE); 22A: Petting zoo sound (BAA); 24A: Some quick pitches (ADS); 25A: Salad oil pourer (CRUET); 26A: Pungent (ACRID); 28A: Out of the woods (SAFE); 48A: Disparage (SLUR); 50A: Deck out (ADORN); 52A: Genetic ID (DNA); 54A: Accident scene initials (EMS); 61A: Heavily favored squads (DREAM TEAMS); 64A: Nuts (LOCO); 65A: Disney president Robert (IGER); 66A: __ Island: NY/NJ landmark (ELLIS); 67A: Starting place? (EDEN); 1D: Band booster (AMP); 2D: Distress (WOE); 3D: Colonies with tunnels (ANT FARMS); 4D: Brainchild (IDEA); 6D: Is too sweet (CLOYS); 7D: Emblem of Ireland (HARP); 9D: Uh-uh, in Ufa (NYET); 10D: Ring competitor (BOXER); 11D: One of 17 Monopoly properties (AVENUE); 12D: Blustered (RANTED); 13D: Great times (BLASTS); 18D: Type of screen, briefly (LCD); 21D: Frozen drink brand (ICEE); 22D: Tijuana's region (BAJA); 23D: Lingerie size (A-CUP); 27D: Skeptical comment (I BET); 28D: Direct (STEER); 29D: Not much (A TAD); 30D: Underwater directors (FINS); 34D: Stationery shade (ECRU); 35D: Grumpy (SOUR); 43D: Fails to be (ISN'T); 44D: Many a pop group (QUARTET); 46D: "Plan 9 From Outer Space" director (ED WOOD); 47D: Put the squeeze on (COERCE); 51D: Inform against (RAT ON); 52D: Khuzdul speaker, in Tolkien (DWARF); 56D: "Cool, man!" ("I DIG!"); 57D: So (ERGO); 58D: Line holder (REEL); 59D: Ham salad seller (DELI); 62D: DI doubled (MII); 63D: Three-part fig. (SSN).


Rex Parker said...


No clear memories of this puzzle (did it last night). I liked the cluing, generally, which I found mildly tough in an interesting way. I think I did not know that OCEAN was a character's name. Instinctively wrote in CCUP at 23D because it seems like the CUP answers are always CCUPs. But no.


Eric said...

Re. 5D: A supercell is one of several kinds of thunderstorm. They're known for spawning tornados.

Tinbeni said...

For me this was write-over Friday.
ERGO, a bit of a slog but a FUN one.

At "M" star, wanted Dame Judi Dench from the James Bond films. To short and the downs wouldn't allow it. Finally PETER LORRE emerged.

Was running the Monopoly properties through the grey matter when AVENUE finally jumped out and 'RASSLEd me to the floor. Was trying to think which avenue?
Baltic? States? The others were to long.

Had Cakesale which gave me ocoe for slender wind. Head smack got the OBOE and BAKESALE.

MONDO and I DIG brought back memories of the '60's.

*David* said...

Easiest Friday in memory, no real resistance anywhere. I started off slowly thinking here's a Friday make certain you get the right fill in there and the answers kept coming. I had maybe one write-over by ACRID for AROMA.


A bit of a RASSLE for me, but I did finish and got it 100% correct.


PETER LORRE was a truly great actor in all his films. I believe the movie "M" (1931) was his very first film.

Cute clues:
"Like zero" (OVAL)
"Supercell product" (TORNADO)
"Line holder" (REEL)

I had to take a peek at my Monopoly board to figure out that there are 17 properties with the word AVENUE on them. Thought that was a pretty original clue.

Seeing MII/SSN/TIEIN wasn't a good way to finish up.

Nice to see that "Grumpy" (SOUR) is offset by "Is too sweet" (CLOYS).

Remember the strange and shocking films called MONDO Cane?
Far too bizarre and disturbing for a vid. clip here. LOCO !!!!!Especially before breakfast.

obertb said...

Not to pick a nit, but it's in the "foreword," not "forward" in which authors sometimes thank editors.

Van55 said...

It's odd how one person's wheelhouse is another's mystery. I found this one to be a bit of a struggle for a Friday LAT puzzle. I didn't know URKEL or IGER. Didn't know who Callista is. Struggled with some of the more abstruse cluing.

Detested the MII/SSN abutment of the lower right corner. (But then everyone knew I would.)

shrub5 said...

Puzzle put up a bit of a fight but I got it done without help. Started last night and finished this AM. It's funny how something just won't come to me in one sitting, but when I pick it up again, I get it right away.

Well, I'm recuperating from the Celtics loss last night. Sad...I wanted the "old" guys to win. It was a close exciting game; glad it wasn't a blowout. Now I go into basketball withdrawal until October.

I had trouble with Metz moniker, thought it was a sports figure and that a nickname was wanted. Had ANT HILLS at first before ANT FARMS and I'm beginning to see that A TAD shows up much more often than A BIT. Liked all the long answers especially DREAM TEAM and the two complete names ED WOOD and PETER LORRE. Had a laugh at slender wind OBOE -- thought how can wind be slender? oh.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

syndy said...

as opposed to the tuba: also woundn't a zephyr be a slender wind? is not a tiered square a pagoda?

mac said...

Nice puzzle, but then I always like my Swedish-sounding Doug puzzles. It had a couple of barbs for me, which I want on a Friday: mondo? urkel?

My favorite Billy Joel song is the a capella "for the longest time".

Doug P said...

Thanks for the fun write-up, PG!

I don't have a problem with "Just the Way You Are," but I can definitely share the hate for "Lady in Red"! Way back when I was in college, one of the guys who lived next door to me in the dorms played that song repeatedly and at a very high volume. We all thought it was a joke, because why would a 20-year old guy be that into "Lady in Red"? Turns out it wasn't a joke, just a weird guy.

Sfingi said...

@John - your list of names were almost my list of Googles: CHEN IGER XENA,URKEL,EDWOOD; also, DWARF, OCEAN, TORNADO. To me, Callista was one of Zeus's squeezes, and means beautiful. The WIKI on supercell was enlightening for me.

To me, mondo is just Italian for world (mundo is Spanish). Mondo cane means Dog's World, and, yes it was gross at the time. I don't recall anyone using mondo to mean extreme. This town is still a quarter Italian. Hubster's HS was 85%.
You know, M was a kind of creepy movie, too.

@Syndy - it's always good to think outside the box, as you're doing, for CWs.

Then, the dreaded SSN.

mac said...

CCL: just saw a Crazy Cat Lady mug on the click-to-give site.