WEDNESDAY, June 30, 2010 — Mike Peluso

Theme: Hudson and Winslet?* — Theme answers end with anagrams of STEAK.

Theme answers:
  • 16A: Prospector's funding (GRUBSTAKE).
  • 23A: Compete in a derby, maybe (ROLLER SKATE).
  • 36A: "To Autumn" poet (JOHN KEATS).
  • 54A: Disbelieving looks (DOUBLE TAKES).
  • 62A: Tenderized cut of beef (CUBE STEAK).
This is one of those puzzles where I think it's kinda fun while I'm solving it because the theme has me confused enough to keep it interesting (have I mentioned I'm easily confused?), but then when I look back at it and see all the three-letter words, I think, "Wow. I liked this??" I count 23 three-letter words. That's a lot. And one of them is a random letter string, so you know that's not good. (61D: B-F connectors (C-D-E).)

I did like the clue for BASSIST (15D: Paul McCartney or Sting). I thought for sure the answer was going to British, so much so that I questioned the other letters I already had in place. I liked the pairing of DODO and AIRHEAD (9A: Ding-a-ling / 45D: Featherbrain) and wish SLURRED and SLOSHED had both been clued with relation to that sot (another great crossword word) (3D: Like a sot's speech / 41D: Waded (through)).

Other than that, not much stood out for me.

  • 22A: "Bad Moon Rising" band, familiarly (CCR). I don't really like this song, so I think we'll listen to one I like instead.

  • 30A: Rolodex no. (TEL.). I know it doesn't make any sense, but I swear there are people who still insist on using a rolodex.
  • 44A: Lawyer's aide (PARA). I believe I've previously made it clear how I feel about this word.
  • 58A: Showing no emotion (STOICAL). Is the AL necessary at the end of this word? Doesn't STOIC mean the same thing?
  • 61A: Flay and Ray, e.g. (CHEFS). HAha! No idea what this was about. The only TV chef I'm familiar with is the guy on "Dinner: Impossible" because one of his "missions" was to serve lunch at the ACPT last year. Andrea Carla Michaels was recruited to help him with the puzzle aspect of the mission, and she really stole the show as far as I'm concerned. If you haven't seen it, I believe you can find it on YouTube.
  • 66A: Dutch city known for its blue-and-white pottery (DELFT). The end of this word is such a great consonant collision. It's like DEL… phfft!
  • 5D: Protective pad (MAT).
  • 46D: Lasted longer than expected, as a meeting (RAN LATE). I really wanted ran over here. To me, running late is more like showing up late. But I concede that this is perfectly fine. Just giving you a little glimpse of how my mind works. You're welcome.
Crosswordese 101: There are a couple ERIK-with-a-Ks you need to know for solving crosswords. We've already covered ERIK Satie, who also has a gridworthy last name. Another is Gaston Leroux's 38D: The Phantom of the Opera, sometimes clued as Christine's lover (which, I think we must read literally as "one who loves Christine" and not the typical use of the word where the two parties love each other). The tenor in Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" is also named ERIK-with-a-K. And, last but certainly not least, there's ERIK Estrada, who played Ponch on CHiPs back in the day.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 71A: Mideast city on its own gulf (ADEN).
  • 21D: Poetic preposition (ERE).
  • 26D: Tarzan portrayer Ron (ELY).
  • 28D: Rani's spouse (RAJA).
  • 39D: Bern's river (AARE).
  • 64D: Short head lines? (EEG).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

* KATES (see what I did there?)

Everything Else — 1A: State of disarray (MESS); 5A: BLT condiment (MAYO); 13A: __ Alto (PALO); 14A: Baby step? (A TO B); 15A: Human, e.g. (BIPED); 18A: Simpson of fashion (ADELE); 19A: Zone (AREA); 20A: It's not pretty (EYESORE); 27A: Remedial treatment (THERAPY); 29A: Opus __: "The Da Vinci Code" sect (DEI); 31A: "The Scarlet Letter" letter (RED A); 32A: __-en-Provence, France (AIX); 34A: Run-down (SEEDY); 40A: Son of Abraham (ISAAC); 43A: Memorable time (ERA); 48A: Spa benefit, for short (TLC); 49A: FedEx rival (UPS); 52A: Tehran inhabitant (IRANIAN); 57A: Some OR staff (RN'S); 59A: German chancellor, 1982-'98 (KOHL); 67A: Swiss abstractionist (KLEE); 68A: Fee (RATE); 69A: Breyers competitor (EDY'S); 70A: Succumbed to being grilled (SANG); 1D: EPA sticker datum (MPG); 2D: Otitis (EARACHE); 4D: Fruit juice brand (SOBE); 6D: Words with clip or time (AT A); 7D: Backwoods type (YOKEL); 8D: Heeded (OBEYED); 9D: Passed, say (DID OK); 10D: Run (OPERATE); 11D: Erased (DELETED); 12D: 36-Across work (ODE); 17D: Lee with frozen desserts (SARA); 22D: NFL snapper (CTR.); 24D: Shimmering aquarium fish (OPAH); 25D: "__ Eyes": Eagles hit (LYIN'); 33D: 1960s-'70s Jaguar (XKE); 35D: "Baseball Tonight" airer (ESPN); 37D: Eye doctor (OCULIST); 40D: "__ be an honor" (IT'D); 42D: Keen way to be aware (ACUTELY); 47D: Q&A part: Abbr. (ANS.); 50D: Push-up target (PEC); 51D: IHOP servings (STACKS); 53D: Wants to know (ASKS); 55D: Smash hits, in slang (BOFFS); 56D: "Be-Bop-__": 1956 hit (A-LULA); 60D: Other, in Oaxaca (OTRA); 63D: Kingsley who played Gandhi (BEN); 65D: Baseball's Griffey (KEN).



Wow! We haven’t had an anagram for a while, and look at all those marvelous K- words.
I think I DID OK… quick solve, no stumpers, no googling, and got 100% correct.
A good way to start my Wednesday, especially with this gorgeous day and the birds singing so sweetly.

With that, I quote an ODE of John KEATS---

Sounds of joy, sounds of joy
Oh how I love to hear sweet sounds
Of joy

Sounds of joy, sounds of joy
Oh how I love to hear momma sing
In her morning voice

Sounds of joy, sounds of joy
Oh how I love to be in the presence
Of these sounds of joy

Sounds of joy, sounds of joy
Oh how I love sweet sounds of joy

Loved the “Flay and Ray” clue (CHEFS)
…And all those adjectives that describe most of my relatives: DODO, AIRHEAD, and YOKEL.

I guess after KEATS, I need to quote those most profound lyrics of Gene Vincent, BE-BOP-ALULA!

Have a fun day, everyone!

Tinbeni said...

Puzzlegirl: I thought the themes were anagrams of STAKE ...

KLEE under CUBESTEAK got a grin since he was a cubist. Personally, I think they're square.

BOFFS, in slang, in my book has a different meaning than "Smash hits." Must be that SEEDY part of my AIRHEAD brain thinking.
In my newspaper, the clue for 12 down was "38-Across work" (NOT 36-across work) but this DODO, and the crosses got the JOHN KEATS ODE.
Faves for me were obviously SLOSHED & SLURRED.
(I wonder why?)
Also liked the line STOICAL KOHL, he was a fun guy.

For so many 3 letter ANS. this was a FUN Wednesday grid.

backbiter said...

Bobby Flay is a chef. Rachael Ray is not a chef. I am not going to comment on the rest of the puzzle as this is the only clue that irked the hell outta me.

Van55 said...

What's with the alphabet runs this week? CDE and SEEDY in the same puzzle?

Also we had two orders of IHOP STACKS this morning. One in this puzzle and another in the NYT puzzle. Interesting coincidence that each was clued identically.

Middletown Bomber said...

My edition had a typo
12D read 38 Across work it had me stummped for a few minutes until I realied what the clue should read.

I recall Rachel Ray calling herself a Cook not a Chef As I recall being a Chef Requires Formal training either at a cooking school or an Apprenticeship in a restaurant/ catering company setting.

@PuzzGirl I agree that "Centerfield" is a better song it is not by CCR but by its front man "John Foggerty"

Sfingi said...

As I walk along, the word pedestrian comes to mind.

@John - And speaking of pedestrian, that can't really be our John Keats? What did I miss?

Had SLOggeD before SLOSHED.

Never heard of Flay. Does he pull the flesh off the living beast? Treyf.

@Midtown - Had same typo.

Tinbeni said...

Make that 3 STACKS of IHOP pancakes.
I went there for breakfast this morning.
(At least the NYT also had Avatar, I'm tickled pink today.)
Great catch on the SEEDY/CDE thingy!

@Middletown and @Sfingi
Thanks for the confirmation, I noted above.
I thought I might need new reading glasses.

(Note: for 61A Flay and Ray,e.g., it looked (at first) like Ray and Ray,e.g., before my eyes woke up. Probably need to see an OCULIST, lol.)

Tuttle said...

BOFFS puzzles me as well. There's the sexual meaning, there's the 'short for boffins' meaning and there's the theatrical sense of 'an effective punchline', but nothing I can find gives 'smash hit' as a definition.

"Boffos", on the other hand, would seem to be the word clued.

And we all know what I think of XKE.

Anonymous said...

@Van55 not only did we have 2 stacks fron IHOP but they were both in the exact same location, how about that for coincidence.

Golfballman said...

Anon @ 9:25 should say Golfballman

Zeke said...

I'm pretty sure that "The Scarlet Letter" letter is either:
a) A, or
b) Scarlet A.
If it were simply a REDA the book would be "The Red A".
It's like saying Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby" was GOODGATSBY.

Jeff Chen said...

I liked the theme answers! Neat to see GRUB STAKE and DOUBLE TAKES. But, the excess of three-letter words definitely was a detractor. Seemed to break u pthe flow for me somehow. Also, the CDE / DELFT corner was less than ideal.

Overall though, I liked it.

Rex Parker said...

Did Not Like. At All. For reasons already mentioned.

SOBE is not fruit juice. Not not not not not. See for yourself.

OCULIST, ugh. CDE. Etc.

John Wolfenden said...

I think you're right about BOFFS, Tuttle. It's a line that gets a big laugh, or the dirtier meaning.

I always liked BOFFO as a word meaning awesome, but this clue doesn't suggest that either. Mikey P. was a little mixed-up on his archaic expressions.

Anonymous said...

haven't visited this blog in a while... is it always puzzlegirl now?

Sfingi said...

@Anon359 - she owns it now.

CrazyCat said...

I did the puzzle first thing this a.m., but just now have time to comment and had pretty much forgotten it. Another lukewarm reaction from me today. I got the STAKE anagram theme at ROLLERSKATE and thought ho hum. Agree with @Rex about SOBE. To me it's always been a bottled tea brand. I really wanted to put in DOLE, but already had MESS, which made me question myself. I read @Rex's Wiki SOBE link and found it interesting that the brand has been bought by Pepsi. I used to (in the late 70s) live across the street (road actually) from the PepsiCo campus in a gatehouse on an old estate. It's actually in Purchase, NY not Rye. But I guess Rye is the nearest big town. Although Greenwich is pretty close too. Sad to say the beautiful farm was destroyed and developed with Mcmansions in the 80s. As far as BOFFS, I have never heard of it used in any context. Noticed STACKS also in both puzzles. Other than that - what everyone else said.
@Tinbeni Another Scotch answer for you to toast!

Tinbeni said...

Yes, the NYT got Dewar's in the grid for a second time in 5 weeks.
See my lobbying paid off for the Avatar.
Now the actual word Scotch hasn't yet showed up, like bourbon, gin, rum, vodka (you get the idea) along with the beer & ale and many wines. So there is work to be done.

Based on the fact you got it at ROLLERSKATE, I think, for you, the anagrams were of Skate.

mac said...

My life is so upside-down that I can't even do the puzzle until evening....
Liked this one, but didn't look for a theme, so didn't catch the anagram.

I always think of Kohl as a sad man; his wife committed suicide because of illness. Can't remember the details.

Bobby Flay is a chef? I thought he was a barbecue cook.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni SKATE, STAKE, KATES, I got the anagram somewhere early on. Clink!
@Mac Me sort of too. Hope your husband is doing OK. Never heard of Bobby Flay, but Rachel Ray dumps a bunch of "stuff" from the store in a pot. She's not a CHEF! On the other hand, I think she's entertaining.

brian said...

A neaty of a puzzle today, interesting clues. A stumper of a clue was 14a baby step? as well as swiss abstractionist. Good writings about keats in 83' edition of World Book. IHOP servings was a neaty too. I noticed the same thing as middletown bomber and tinbeni. 12 down actually read 38-across work. Maybe this edition of the paper is a collectors item....Hey has anyone seen an Opah?