WEDNESDAY, June 23, 2010 — Dan Naddor

Theme: Snakes in a Puzzle — Each theme answer is a familiar phrase containing four Ss.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Confident (SELF-POSSESSED).
  • 26A: Second-counter's opening (ONE MISSISSIPPI).
  • 41A: Evaluation by co-workers (PEER ASSESSMENT).
  • 47A: Professional hitter? (HIRED ASSASSIN).
  • 61A: Each of the four longest puzzle answers has two pairs of them (ESSES).
Yep, all the theme answers have four Ss alright. Love love love ONE MISSISSIPPI. The others are just meh. Also, I was starting to get annoyed by all the plurals until I realized that all the Ss in the theme answers made that more or less inevitable.

Talking Points:
  • 10A: Short pans? (UGHS). Pans as in "bad reviews."
  • 14A: The Dixie Chicks, e.g. (TRIO).

  • 17A: Bell sound (DONG). Alrighty then.
  • 33A: Fontanne of Broadway (LYNN). Unfair! The name of the Broadway theater, which I learned from crosswords, is Lunt-Fontanne. With the L and the first N in place, I thought I was so smart!
  • 40A: Cream dispensers (TUBES). Whatever you say. Oh, I was thinking cream as in food. But this is like medicinal cream. Okay then.
  • 45A: Cut into slices (CARVE). Can't see the word CARVE without recalling the horrible RECARVE fiasco of 2008. (Sorry, Caleb.)
  • 62A: Fargo's st. (N. DAK.). I read the abbreviation "st." to mean "street." I know Fargo's a small town but I swear there's more than one street!
  • 4D: Under-the-bed hider (BOGEYMAN). PuzzleSon would like to remind you all that the bogeyman checks to make sure Chuck Norris isn't under his bed.
  • 8D: QB's misthrows (INTS.). For the sports-challeneged: QB - quarterback, INT = interception.
  • 24D: Without siblings (ONLY). I know someone is going to gripe about this. Yes, "only child" is a familiar phrase, but sometimes it's shortened to ONLY.
  • 36D: Sting victim's wail (I BEEN HAD). Sting victim's woefully ungrammatical wail, that is.
Crosswordese 101: ELIAS Howe invented the sewing machine. ELIAS is also Walt Disney's middle name. Now you will recognize 98% of the clues for ELIAS.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 54A: Perlman of "Cheers" (RHEA).
  • 2D: What Pizarro sought (ORO).
  • 21D: Luau souvenirs (LEIS).
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Everything Else — 1A: "Stay" singer Lisa (LOEB); 5A: DeMille with an Oscar (CECIL); 15A: Wet, in a way (RAINY); 16A: Essence (SOUL); 18A: Make a delivery? (ORATE); 19A: Salinger title girl (ESME); 23A: "In a sec" ("NOT YET"); 25A: Sierra Club founder John et al. (MUIRS); 31A: Inventor Howe (ELIAS); 32A: Bonehead (IDIOT); 34A: Mix (BLEND); 35A: High-quality cotton (PIMA); 39A: Son of Sarah (ISAAC); 46A: Materialize (APPEAR); 52A: Ahmadinejad's land (IRAN); 53A: Nut-yielding tree (BEECH); 57A: Telescope part (LENS); 58A: Carpenter's machine (LATHE); 59A: Rows (OARS); 60A: "__ Anything": "Oliver!" song (I'D DO); 1D: Inc., in London (LTD.); 2D: What Pizarro sought (ORO); 3D: Brain (EINSTEIN); 5D: Partner of Seals (CROFTS); 6D: Tombstone lawman (EARP); 7D: "Later!" ("CIAO!"); 9D: Cleaning compounds (LYES); 10D: Exhausts (USES UP); 11D: Dirt (GOSSIP); 12D: Scapulae-to-ulnae bones (HUMERI); 13D: Mushers' vehicles (SLEDS); 22D: Discharge (EMIT); 23D: Christmas air (NOEL); 27D: Marner of fiction (SILAS); 28D: Think tank output (IDEAS); 29D: Subsequently (SINCE); 30D: Landscaper's supply (SOD); 34D: Jamboree gp. (BSA); 35D: Lift weights (PUMP IRON); 37D: Actress Suvari (MENA); 38D: Galileo's sci. (ASTR.); 39D: Burned up (IRED); 40D: Recipe amts. (TSPS.); 41D: Like socks, hopefully (PAIRED); 42D: Trip to the bank, say (ERRAND); 43D: Nonetheless (EVEN SO); 44D: Pane holders (SASHES); 45D: Common cook-off dish (CHILI); 48D: Skilled (ABLE); 49D: Neptune's realm (SEAS); 50D: Match makers? (SETS); 51D: Hurt (ACHE); 55D: Procter & Gamble detergent (ERA); 56D: "Shoot!" ("ASK!").


Tinbeni said...

When I saw that it was Dan Naddor I was expecting a "pun-fest."
Oh well, this was just as much FUN!

Lots to like today.
EINSTEIN for Brain
CIAO for "Later!"
GOSSIP for Dirt
SETS for Match makers?
Then you throw in an IDIOT's land, IRAN.
And a couple of unknowns I ONLY got via the crosses, Lisa LOEB and MENA Suvari and the FUN level is going way up.

Liked all the ESSES themes, though I really miss Dan's puns.

UGHS for Short pans? is just a great answer.

Have heard "I've been had" and the grammar police should arrest this one but it was a minor holdup.

Puzzlegirl your write-up was also SSSSuper!

Tinbeni said...

Though I usually dislike cross cluing, you know the ones:
"26A opposite of 47D"
"47D opposite of 26A"

Today I was hoping for 32A Bonehead to just be simply clued as "52A Leader"

That would have revealed IDIOT in


Ohhh, don’t you just love those Naddorisms?

Wonderful clues!
“Make a delivery?” (ORATE)
“Like socks, hopefully” (PAIRED)
“Match makers?” (SETS)
“Scapulae-to-ulnae bones” (HUMERI)

And who doesn’t like this “Guess-less” theme (besides Rex)?
Once you see the double double esses, all the theme words just pop into place.

There were a couple of UGHS though… I BEEN HAD (huh?) and OARS for ROWS.
Lots of fun stuff… BOGEYMAN, “Bonehead” (IDIOT), and “Brain” (EINSTEIN).

When I saw “Partner of Seals”, I immediately thought of HEIDI Klum.
And for those of you who weren’t around in the 70’s---
I thought, now that we just entered summer, that I’d put in this great vid clip.
Nice BLEND of voices!

Well, it’s another RAINY day in Chicago (vying for the Seattle records)!

Time for some soggy cereal.
CIAO y’all !

Van55 said...

UGHS. 'Nough said.

Not from the best of Naddor folio.

Hahtool said...

I really enjoy the Dan Naddor puzzles and this was no exception. I figured out the double SS's before getting the theme fills. Once I realized I was looking for the double-S, I knew one theme fill had to be a Mississippi.

Cream dispenser was a good clue. I was thinking of the coffee variety, and scratched my head after getting T _ B E S. Then the lightbulb clicked on. I felt like such an EINSTEIN being able to complete this puzzle without any outside help! LOL


backbiter said...

Only one tiny nitpick. Cecil B. DeMille. I have never heard, at least in my lifetime, him referred to without his middle initial. I cringed at the Seals and Crofts clue. "Please, oh please pg don't post a Seals & Crofts video". She didn't. JHN took up the slack on that one. Hey, it's all fun!

One day Avenged Sevenfold is going to appear in a puzzle and I will die of heart attack.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, and read every day.

I guess "small town" is relative. Fargo, ND is not a "small town" by my thinking -- about 100,000 in the city, and 200,000 in the metro area.

Middletown Bomber said...

Got tied up on 8d I guess when you have donavan mcnabb as your QB you quickly learn that an INT is intentional not a misthrow. the bottom of the puzzle was a snap

*David* said...

Easy puzzle for a Naddor. I really have a problem with plurals that don't make sense like John Muir and others, which other Muir is there I'm looking but not finding them, oh it must be his wife or kids.

Jeff Chen said...

Hmm, torn on this one. While I love ONE MISSISSIPPI, and EINSTEIN next to BOGEYMAN, the theme left me with a "meh" feeling. Still a pretty fun use of a couple of minutes.


syndy said...

I always heard it as I BEEN HAD but matbe its a mondegreen.Really wanted Agnes as my demille! Best plural"Humeri"

John Wolfenden said...

I second David's problem with plurals that are never used, both MUIRS and LYES. Cool theme, though.

NJ Irish said...

@Tinbeni Ditto, no write overs, cute theme, like others saw all the ssssss and the fill was easy but fun.
A nephew lived in Fargo for several years (during the Grand Forks flooding) Everyone pitched in with sandbags to keep the flooding from getting into Fargo.

Can someone explain how to add a link to these comments?

shrub5 said...

Other than some initial difficulty in spelling BOGEYMAN, this puzzle went down easily. I had a pause at the clue for ONE MISSISSIPPI -- didn't understand it at first. When MISSISSIPPI emerged, I wondered what could be preceding it. Aha!


Well, I need to get my HUMERI in gear and get to the gardening before it gets too hot.

CrazyCat said...

Another fun Naddor puzzle. I always wonder how many are left. Liked ONE MISSISSIPI and HIRED ASSASSIN. Loved the clue for UGHS. Always like to see GOSSIP clued as Dirt. The only thing I really didn't like was 25A MUIRS. I guess many others here agree. Like @Shrub 5, I had a little problem spelling BOGEYMAN. Other than that all was good.
@PG Enjoyed your write up.

Rex Parker said...


BOOGY MAN held me back a bit. [Dirt] clue on GOSSIP (good) did same. Mistyped PIMP IRON and thought maybe there was a Naddor-esque theme idea in there somewhere.

PG, your link to me is sending me more traffic than any non-search-engine site sends me ever. I mean, not blistering, but statistically significant. Someone's reading this thing ... :)


chefbea said...

Haven't been here in a while. Liked today's puzzle. At first had Silas for 31 A = malapop.

I'll try to do the LA puzzle more often, Have just been too busy. Have I missed any red veggies???

Tinbeni said...

I'll keep you posted on the other side when the red veggies appear, Mon. thru Sat.
I think its time to start taking Sunday off.

Had to laugh at your comment.
About a month ago BEET was showing up almost every other day.
Then on 5/26 Dan included Dewars here and I noticed I'm more relaxed.

Sfingi said...

@Tinbeni - maybe I'm prejudiced, but the kind of person who would allow themselves to be "had" or get into such a situation, rather than robbed, say, might just say IBEENHAD.

Anyway, wanted "a bee bite" for IBEENHAD.

The late, great Naddor could have had "Later!" as the clue for both 7D and 23A.

BEECH-Nut Baby Foods is about 45 min. from me as the crow flies down the Gov. Thomas E. Dewey Thruway to Canajoharie. (Can of what?) In 1987, An unsung hero, Jerome (Girolamo) Licari, a chemist a local Sicilian-American, blew the whistle on the company for trying to slip sugar in instead of fruit.
Heads rolled, huge fines paid. Nestle bought the company.

Don't know Lisa LOEB or MENA Suvari. I'm sure they're great.

I'm very grumpy today. Had my dental surgery on the deep end of an old root canal. During which the dentist said to his nurse, "I've never seen anything like that!" Comforting. Since it's 5PM, not 8AM anymore, I'll add that part of the root was in the bone and another part in the tooth. Not only the tooth but some bone went into the red bag waste. The bovine bone fill alone cost $480. I'll need an implant if the bone heals OK. The nearby 2 teeth are root canalers.
My Rush Limbaugh pain medicine only made me nauseated and dizzy. Did y'all know that Vicodin means 6 x codeine, as in Roman numeral VI?

@David - Muir had 2 daughters.

Captcha - sanni - as in sanitation dump.

CrazyCat said...

@sifingi Sorry about your tooth. Ouch!! I have a great fear of crowns and root canals. I have had the same reaction to "Rush Limbaugh" medicine. As a matter of fact, just hearing Rush Limbaugh's name makes me nauseated : > )

Newbie. said...

@Sfingi: I did have 'A BEE XXXX' at first, but didn't think it'd be 'bite' so I reconsidered.

Good puzzle, lot's of fun here. Got the theme from ONE MISSISSIPPI, which I don't use to count seconds, using instead the 'ONE ONETHOUSAND' method. It works!

Had a few troubles with LOEB, CECIL, UGHS, ESME, LYNN, ELIAS, PIMA and RHEA. Still have to develop my crosswordese. Didn't like the clue for EINSTEIN either.

Oh, and what I wanted to see more than /anything/ was NINJA ASSASSIN. Another day, perhaps!

mac said...

Nice puzzle, great write-up! Hey all, our PuzzleGirl hails from Fargo.

I was hoping for "I'm not ready to make nice"....

I don't know a lot about football, but I reasoned that it should be "incs" (incompletes) until the crosses kicked in.

@Sfingi: interesting re VIcodin. Husband has been using Percoset(sp?) and Oxycodone after his operation, and the side effects are no fun

Sfingi said...

@Mac - searched all over for some old Darvocet, drug of choice. My pain isn't that bad, so I'll take Aleve. I'm pretty good at pain, anyway, but have had 2 ulcers (30 years apart) and don't want another.
I've had > 15 root canals and don't complain. I'm glad all this stuff exists.
Without modern science, I imagine what I could have been - not just short and fat, but long white hair and no teeth. Bag lady material.
When I came to the dentist this morning, I did complain about his not having put the AC on yet, though.
It bothers me a little that I'm going to a wedding 7/3. Don't say cheese.

Oh - Which is better - PIMA cotton or greater threads per inch.

Almost put Agnes for CECIL.

Hahtoolah said...

Sfingi: I can sympathize with your pain. I had a root canal a few months ago. Not a fun experience. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow.


Welcome to Hahtool.

Monday I had a 4 tooth bridge installed... the real ACHE was in my pocketbook.
$4,000 UGHS!
Well there goes the downpayment on that new car I WAS GOING TO BUY!

Although Lisa LOEB is sort of a nerdy singer, she's someone you should know.

Anonymous said...

I have a good friend who has the best address on the entire planet. He lives here in San Francisco (blessing enough in and of itself) but he lives at the first house on the street and his address is....wait for it....

1 Mississippi
San Francisco

I cannot imagine a better return address label.

/ O O \