MONDAY, June 28, 2010 — Scott Atkinson

Theme: Garanimals — Theme answers are two-word animal names that are made up of two different animals' names.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Hammerhead relative with stripes (TIGER SHARK).
  • 27A: Huge walrus relative (ELEPHANT SEAL).
  • 48A: Primate with spindly limbs (SPIDER MONKEY).
  • 63A: One of two in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (TURTLE DOVE).

[WARNING: So totally NSFW!]

I have a feeling people might have hit some rough spots today, mostly because of all the names. If it makes you feel any better, I see at least a couple grid entries that could have been clued as people but weren't.

Today is the first day of a new schedule for us here at the PuzzleHouse, so I can't spend a lot of time with you this morning.

  • 15A: '80s Pontiac roadster (FIERO). For some reason, this answer paired with FIORELLO (21A: 1930s-'40s New York mayor La Guardia) tickled me.
  • 37A: Supreme Court intern (CLERK). PuzzleSister once applied for a clerkship at the Supreme Court. She didn't get the job, but she figures that not a lot of people can brag that Justice Souter made coffee for them.
  • 40A: Antlered critter (ELK). I don't remember exactly what Rex says about "critter" but whatever it is (a) I agree with him and (b) an ELK is too big to be referred to as a "critter."
  • 47A: Curry of "Today" (ANN). Is she the one who gave a commencement address at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and mistakenly listed well-known alumni from Wheaton College in Illinois? I heard that her take-away from that incident was: "Don't Google drunk."
Crosswordese 101: The part that makes AEON crosswordese to me is the spelling. It's not an unusual word, but you have to remember that sometimes it's spelled with that A at the beginning. Most clues for AEON are about what you'd expect: "Many millenia," "Almost an eternity," and today's 30D: Long, long time. But once in a while it's clued in relation to the 2005 Charlize Theron film "Aeon Flux," which I don't believe I've had the pleasure of seeing.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 52A: One-named Irish singer (ENYA).
  • 9D: John Lennon's love (YOKO ONO).
  • 25D: Mayberry boy (OPIE).
  • 29D: "Born Free" lioness (ELSA).
  • 58D: "The Motorcycle Song" singer Guthrie (ARLO).
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Everything Else — 1A: Apple computers (MACS); 5A: Subsurface woodwork decoration (INLAY); 10A: Coffeehouse convenience for Web surfers (WIFI); 14A: Give off, as light (EMIT); 16A: Ruckuses (ADOS); 19A: Pulls, as a camper (TOWS); 20A: Visibly stunned (AGAPE); 23A: Submarine weapon (TORPEDO); 26A: Orange Free State settler (BOER); 32A: Covert __: spy activities (OPS); 35A: Be untruthful (LIE); 36A: Sharpshooter Annie (OAKLEY); 42A: Plains grazer (BISON); 43A: Cooking class, for short (HOME EC); 45A: "__ Miz" (LES); 53A: Pago Pago natives (SAMOANS); 57A: Talky gatherings (GABFESTS); 61A: Large wall picture (MURAL); 62A: Eins, zwei, __ (DREI); 66A: Alda of "M*A*S*H" (ALAN); 67A: Clarinetist Shaw (ARTIE); 68A: Words of understanding (I SEE); 69A: Oxen's harness (YOKE); 70A: Have a new __ on life (LEASE); 71A: Hanukkah moolah (GELT); 1D: Convened in (MET AT); 2D: Compadre (AMIGO); 3D: "Close, but no __" (CIGAR); 4D: Treeless Siberian tract (STEPPE); 5D: "No __, ands or buts" (IFS); 6D: Fed. research org. (NIH); 7D: Fall faller (LEAF); 8D: Speedy Gonzales exclamation (ARRIBA); 9D: John Lennon's love (YOKO ONO); 10D: Ride behind a speedboat (WATERSKI); 11D: TV's "American __" (IDOL); 12D: Chicks, ducks, etc. (FOWL); 13D: "That __ yesterday!" (IS SO); 18D: Fishing line holder (REEL); 22D: Adjust a paragraph setting (RETAB); 24D: Biden's state: Abbr. (DEL.); 28D: Phone call response (HELLO); 31D: Nashville's Loretta (LYNN); 32D: Folk legend Phil (OCHS); 33D: Sit (down) undaintily (PLOP); 34D: 18-wheeler (SEMI); 38D: Give new meaning to (REDEFINE); 39D: New Hampshire city (KEENE); 41D: Barbies' counterparts (KENS); 44D: Waterford product (CRYSTAL); 46D: Caribbean music (SKA); 49D: Grown-up (MATURE); 50D: Plus-size supermodel (EMME); 51D: Cool cat's "Get it?" ("YOU DIG?"); 54D: Cropped up (AROSE); 55D: Bellybutton (NAVEL); 56D: Winter hazard (SLEET); 57D: Melbourne greeting (G'DAY); 59D: Toucan's pride (BEAK); 60D: Mex. miss (SRTA.); 64D: "__ the season ..." ('TIS); 65D: Jeans brand (LEE).


Tinbeni said...

G'DAY and HELLO to everyone.

This was an easy Monday.
I hope a lot of crossword newbie's try the puzzle today and get hooked.

Liked the 60's minitheme with ARLO, OCHS, ELSA, YOKO ONO & KENS. Also the fact that a Floridian would WATER SKI, YOU DIG?


HELLO all!
Sometimes I don't know quite how to describe certain puzzles that make me feel good. This was one of those. Maybe it's all the cool names (OAKLEY, OPIE, ENYA, ARTIE Shaw, Loretta LYNN, and ARLO Guthrie)... who couldn't like them?
Then words like ARRIBA!!!!
... and YOU DIG??
and PLOP.
The double animal word theme was quite clever too.
There just must be a word that describes this type of uplifting puzzle.
The HOME-EC sort of threw me for a bit.
G'day y'all !

Sfingi said...

Liked the puzzle and got the theme early.

Only write over was zebraSHARK for TIGERSHARK.The CIGAR lit up and fixed that. Jokingly (to self) considered twEEd before SLEET.

Glad the clue for FIORELLO was not the musical and that ISSO was not a playground expression.

Oldsters love Phil OCHS, who hanged himself at 36; and Artie Shaw, married 8 times and died at 96.

A little tired of OPIE and Alda. They'll be in my (imagined) MURAL of CW things.

GELT is just Yiddish for GELd, as GoLd is Anglo-Saxon for same. When Hebrew became a spoken language again, people rushed to save Yiddish, which has a huge literature. (Read Basbanes' A Gentle Madness' chapter on Aaron Lansky.) Sometime, I'd like to hear (and learn) the Hebrew words for religious references.

ARRIBA always reminds me of the time I had to pick up the Mexican factory boss for (defunct) Mohawk Data Sciences with 5-yr-old son in tow, and when he asked my son if he knew any Mexicans, he said, Speedy Gonzales.

After solving, I read up on sharks. Very edifying on this huge yet individually endangered group of vertebrates.


Yeah, I was beginning to wonder if all the words were going to be names. Maybe we'll see a puzzle like that soon.
29D could have been ELSA Maxwell.
39D could have been clued for Carolyn KEENE (Nancy Drew).
4D could have been the STEPPE Brothers.
49D Victor MATURE.
44D CRYSTAL Gayle.
65D Robert E. LEE.
45A LES Paul.

Any others?

And then there's a much better one for DEL

*David* said...

One of my fastest Monday's with all the themes filling in with minimal amount of letters filled in. Still enjoyed this one more then most..

hollyhock80 said...

Great puzzle for a newbie like me! Loved SPIDERMONKEY and WATERSKI. Only took me one cup of coffee, Even though it was a big cup!

Van55 said...

I found this one to be mostly unremarkable. So why am I bothering to post a remark?

Tuttle said...

FIEROs were most certainly not roadsters (2-seater convertibles), they were berlinettas (2-seater coupes).

SKA however, won me over to this puzzle.

If you want to see AEON Flux I heartily reccomend getting the RiffTrax for it. It makes the film watchable.

Jeff Chen said...

Nice start to the puzzling week!

Unknown said...
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tkamom said...

This was fun! Decided to try it in pen for the first time -with much trepidation, only write-over was geld/gelt. By the time I got to the SE my confidence had risen a bit too much and apparently I needed some crossword humility. Thanks for all the knowledge I've gained here, even if some of it will only really help me to someday finish a Saturday puzzle without google!

mac said...

Very fast and easy, but I also enjoyed this puzzle! Wonder if there are more animals named this way. Hah, sheep dog is one.
I thought of Klatsch for gabfests, but not today. I love that word.

I'm wearing oranje today. Thanks for the shout-out!

Sfingi said...

@Van - Why? Because we like you.

@John - I started listening to your Del Shannon and couldn't stop - Hat's off to Mary. We could say worse, now. The human mind has so much junk that is accessible rarely.

@Mac - yes! Sheepdog. Horsefly. Apeman.

CrazyCat said...

Easy fun puzzle today. I have a great affection for ELEPHANT SEALs so I was glad to see them get some publicity.

New Puzzler said...

G'day from Melbourne!

It's not often you get an Australian reference in an American crossword. But this is the first time in almost a year that I've seen my home town in a puzzle!

This was a nice, light start to the week. I liked the theme: it was clever, easy and helpful.

Not surprisingly, a few things held me up. FIERO and FIORELLO were the main culprits, and I had to guess at KEENE and DEL (initially thought they were being tricky with DEM).

brian said...

hello, why is the arriba answer colored purple?

Answer Guy said...

@Brian - Whatever answer she last had her cursor on is highlight automatically by the software. Purple? Because she likes purple.

Rex Parker said...


Already forgot the theme. Hmm, that appears to be because I never saw it in the first place. RETAB ... ungodly.


Anonymous said...

I am new to crossword. What does the purple word mean?