TUESDAY, June 29, 2010 — Bruce Venzke

Theme: Vowel Progression — The first three letters of the theme answers are P*T, where * = a vowel and the vowels are in alphabetical order.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Dad's legal protection (PATERNITY RIGHTS).
  • 23A: Arizona tourist mecca (PETRIFIED FOREST).
  • 39A: Batting practice aid (PITCHING MACHINE).
  • 49A: One-room schoolhouse heater (POTBELLIED STOVE).
  • 61A: Using a euphemism (PUTTING IT MILDLY).
I like this type of theme. It's been done many times by Andrea Carla Michaels and others and I'm sure this isn't the last time we'll see it. I like it that the theme answers are all 15s and none of them are forced phrases. Even the plural on PATERNITY RIGHTS is okay because that's actually what people say. (You know how I get with the plurals!) A few other things I want to mention.

Like, for example:
  • 1A: Pirate's booty (LOOT). Hate it when I'm totally confident about 1 Across and throw it in without checking the crosses and then it ends up being wrong. Wanted SWAG.
  • 9A: One of the deadly sins (SLOTH). I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is by far my favorite deadly sin.
  • 32A: Iwo __ (JIMA). Watched an awesome documentary the other day about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Wow, that was quite tangential.
  • 64A: __-Chalmers: onetime big name in farm machinery (ALLIS). I seem to recall some griping about this company's name being used in a grid, but having grown up in North Dakota, it was a total gimme for me.
  • 7D: Unit of petrol (LITRE). The use of the word "petrol" in the clue is a hint that the answer will use the British spelling.
  • 10D: Slide rule number (LOGARITHM). Wow. That's not at all how I would spell LOGARITHM.
  • 13D: Laces into (HAS AT). Never heard of "lacing into." Is it a regional thing? Have you guys heard of it?
  • 52D: Dick __, Hoosier senator since 1977 (LUGAR). Every once in a while by political geekiness helps me out.
  • 54D: Señor's feature? (TILDE). You got this one easy, right? It's a literal clue. The word "señor" includes a TILDE (over the n).
Crosswordese 101: Here's what you need to remember about ELON (46D: North Carolina college town). It's a Christian North Carolina university in the NCAA's Southern Conference. Its athletes are called The Phoenix. And that's pretty much it.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 15A: Aglio e __: pasta dish (OLIO).
  • 47A: Stephen of "Michael Collins" (REA).
  • 58A: Keds competitor (AVIA).
  • 69A: 1920s Folies-Bergère designer (ÉRTE).
  • 37D: "Double Fantasy" artist Yoko (ONO).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 5A: Lash marking (WELT); 14A: Sacramento's __ Arena (ARCO); 16A: __ Puffs (COCOA); 20A: Unborn, after "in" (UTERO); 21A: Manitoba native (CREE); 22A: Gazetteer statistic (AREA); 26A: On fire (LIT); 27A: Reagan's "Star Wars" prog. (SDI); 28A: Whale of a tale (SAGA); 35A: "Fine by me" (IT'S OK); 42A: Love (ADORE); 43A: Auto financing org. (GMAC); 44A: Cat call (MEOW); 45A: Lode material (ORE); 58A: Keds competitor (AVIA); 59A: Boot out (OUST); 60A: Like some basins (TIDAL); 65A: Physics subject (ATOM); 66A: GPA spoilers (DEES); 67A: Bloodsucker (LEECH); 68A: Upsurge (RISE); 1D: Drink like a cat (LAP UP); 2D: Go on the stump (ORATE); 3D: Large chamber group (OCTET); 4D: "__ is human ..." (TO ERR); 5D: Took the cup (WON); 6D: Drawing out (ELICITING); 8D: Trifled (with) (TOYED); 9D: Biol., e.g. (SCI.); 11D: Yellow shade (OCHRE); 12D: Handy bags (TOTES); 18D: Stir up (ROIL); 19D: Flag throwers, at times (REFS); 24D: South Pacific archipelago and nation (FIJI); 25D: Like Pindar's works (ODIC); 28D: Mud bath locale (SPA); 29D: Assist (AID); 30D: Potent '60s-'70s Pontiac (GTO); 31D: Like trapeze artists (ACROBATIC); 33D: Leo's studio (MGM); 34D: Almond liqueurs (AMARETTOS); 36D: Potsdam pronoun (SIE); 38D: London's __ Gardens (KEW); 40D: "What have we __?" (HERE); 41D: Passed and then some (ACED); 48D: Sparkling-wine center (ASTI); 49D: Like decrees from Benedict XVI, e.g. (PAPAL); 50D: Seed-to-be (OVULE); 51D: Champ's prize (TITLE); 53D: Question about Biblical betrayal (IS IT I); 55D: More off-the-wall (ODDER); 56D: Parking helper (VALET); 57D: "Family Ties" mom (ELYSE); 62D: "Sorta" suffix (-ISH); 63D: Bovary's title: Abbr. (MME.).



Another fine puzzle!
Liked the theme… P_T run of vowels, and done without a lot of crosswordese fill.
Some clever clues… eg. “Señor’s feature” (TILDE).
Not many new words though, but ITS OK by me for a Tuesday puzz.

As a former mathematician, I liked seeing LOGARITHM. It prompted me to dig up my old Versalog slide rule. Back then it was cool if you wore your slide rule on your belt.

I used to have a huge crush on Meredith Baxter (ELYSE) of “Family Ties”, but then I found out she’s a lesbian… darn!

The lion that roars in the MGM studio logo (Leo) is actually named Volney.

Does anyone remember ARCO city? I vaguely remember that it was some sort of experimental city.

OCHRE is a color that’s prevalent in the Painted Desert N. P. and the PETRIFIED FOREST.

Time for some AMARETTO coffee.

Van55 said...

This one was just sorta boring to me. Would that make it BORING-ISH?

AMARETTOS is a strained plural. There's plenty of other iffy fill as well, in my opinion.

Tinbeni said...

For a Tuesday, this is "As Good As It Gets."
Wow, five 15 letter themes with the proper vowel progression.
Great job Bruce.

OVULE & (in) UTERO in the same puzzle. ELICITING PATERNITY RIGHTS. IT'S OK with me.
Then the grin at Leo's studio, MGM.
Write-over, for Love, had Amore for ADORE since aim for AID, Assist made no sense.

PuzzleGirl, HAS AT must be a guy thing because I just wrote it in without thinking. Laces into probably is a boxing reference to putting on the gloves.

SethG said...

Looking at books with "laced into", they're mostly talking about corsets rather than has-atting.

This progression would work well for those puzzles you like where the theme clues are the progression--you could have six theme entries, 'cause PAT/PET/PIT/POT/PUT/PYT all work.

Zeke said...

I was going to write extensively about the ways in which SLOTH is my favorite deadly sin, but decided it was too much work.

Burner10 said...

I was ho hum about this except that the fill was fun with four nice long words that were actually regular words (in contast to slothier, perhaps), until I came here to better understand the elegance of the 5 15s.

Anonymous said...

One definition per Merriam-Webster:
to make a verbal attack —usually used with into . Lucky you if no one has ever laced into you.

C said...

Laced Into, for some reason, is in my vocabulary. Don't know why, but it is, so getting HAS AT was a non-thinker for me.

chefbea said...

Decided to join you all today. Easy puzzle

Made ice cream cone cup cakes this morning. I think they are cool enough to decorate. Guess you can call me an icer.

Eric said...

FWIW, the image that comes to mind for "laces into" is of Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly, or Anne-with-an-E Shirley (of Green Gables)'s Aunt Marilla, lacing into their respective wayward charges. But maybe that's just me...

I like the Iwo JIMA x FIJI cross, Pacific islands being wonderful SLOTH places of my imagination.

@JOHNSNEVERHOME: You might be thinking of Arcosanti (www.arcosanti.org). A friend described it to me long long ago, and I'd totally forgotten about it till your reminder. Looks interesting. Thanks!

The ARCO that the arena is presumably named for, on the other hand, is now owned by BP -- boo hiss!

CrazyCat said...

I sorta ISH liked this puzzle. Got the theme and thought ITS OK. Had a few mess ups. CREAM puff instead of COCOA. Also had ELESE instead of ELYSE which gave me PUTTING IT MIDDLE. 36D caused me some consternation because I was thinking of the Potsdam in NY not Germany. Got TILDE and ALLIS this time.
@JNH Liked your PETREFIED FOREST pics. Back in my day, the guys who wore slide rules on their belts were the nerds. They were usually the same fellows who sported pocket protectors. MEOW....
@Zeke - That was cute.

CrazyCat said...

@Eric Yes Arcosanti is an experimental city project established back in the 70s by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri. It is between Phoenix and Sedona. Some of the project was funded by the sale of ceramic and bronze wind chime bells. I have a bunch of them. They make a beautiful sound.

Sfingi said...

Like vowel progressions.

Before i got the theme, I wanted the word, PlaTltudination for
PUTTINGITMILDLY, though I doubt it's a word.

So glad Venzke honored
LEO G Carroll.
Sorry, it's LEO Dicaprio!

I've got rhythm, LOGARITHM. Actually, I have a small collection of slide rules and abaci. I have more collections than you can shake a slide rule at. That's the OCD.

@vans - AMORETTO AMMORETTI. And even then...

@Seth - PyThonloopindex ? Pyuthagoreanrule?

@PuzzleGirl - What am I missing with the sheet set? Let's see, pink/green, bed in a bag, birds? Pottery Barn.

shrub5 said...

Finished but with two stupid mistakes (arrrgh). Spelled Indiana senator Dick LUGAR as Luger. That left ATOM as etom which I didn't see. Thought that the farm machinery name *must* be eLLIS-Chalmers not ALLIS, so overrode my initial entry of PAPAL to PAPeL. Favorite clue: GPA spoilers (DEES).

Even though the theme idea was not new, the execution of it in this puzzle was very well done. Liked all the 15s.

LEECH reminds me of the times at work when I would go to the hosp. pharmacy to get 100% ethanol (which was locked up and monitored.) While waiting, I would look at the medicinal leech tank. They kept leeches for use after some microsurgeries (e.g., reattachment of fingers, ears, etc.) Leeches are applied to the surgical site to relieve pressure due to blood pooling. They also secrete an anticoagulant which prevents blood clots.

John Wolfenden said...

I'll bet "Laces into" was meant to be "Lays into."

"Señor feature" was my favorite, the only pun in the puzzle.

Sfingi said...

@Shrub - I was surprised that they referred to Allis-Chalmers - big item in the boonies - as defunct. Apparently it was broken up, or as I should say, broke up. They were out of WI. Apparently a TX oil co. now...
The important thing is the toys. Whereas you have green tractors for Deere, Allis-Chalmers' are orange.
The disc-plow attachments are awesome.

For some idiot reason, after I entered PAPAL, I entered "bull" next to it. Must be my infallible subconscious or the new antibiotic. I've concluded my body has been held together with germs 'til now. The scientists say much of our DNA is piggybacking viruses, so they'll remain.