MONDAY, July 12, 2010 — John Lampkin

Theme: Happy Happy Joy Joy — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with a word that evokes happiness.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Have a nice day" emoticon (SMILEY FACE).
  • 60A: Blackbeard's flag (JOLLY ROGER).
  • 11D: Shakespeare's women of Windsor (MERRY WIVES).
  • 28D: Bar discount times (HAPPY HOURS).
I tell you what. It's a good thing this puzzle is put together so well because I'm in a terrible mood and the theme just irritates me. Please understand, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's just when you're feeling bad, there's nothing worse than a bunch of happy stuff popping up to ruin it, right? I was trying to think of songs I could link to and they all made me gag. "Don't Worry, Be Happy," "Walking on Sunshine" — ugh! Fortunately, I'm pretty sure that even if you're not in a crappy mood like I am, you'd find those songs a little on the saccharin side. But enough about me, let's talk about what I think of the puzzle.

  • 5A: Game for little sluggers (T-BALL). There aren't too many things more fun than watching little tiny kids learn stuff that you and I completely take for granted. Like, which way to run around the bases. And to stop when you get to home plate.
  • 10A: Gathering clouds, to some (OMEN). What's that supposed to be an omen of? I'm thinking storm, but that seems a little too obvious.
  • 15A: Elephant gone amok (ROGUE). [Insert your own Sarah Palin joke here.]
  • 19A: Ear-to-ear expression (GRIN). Oh good. More happy stuff.
  • 21A: Archaic "For shame!" ("FIE!"). I would like to start a campaign to bring this word back. I'm going to start using it today.
  • 31A: Needing a diaper change (WET). I heard on "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!" the other day that there's a new product on the market: Bridal Diapers. For realz.
  • 44A: Hamster or gerbil (RODENT). See? This is why I don't want one in my house. The PuzzleKids would love to have a hamster but all I can think is It's. A. Rodent.
  • 50A: Like Satchmo's voice (RASPY). Okay. I'll give you one little happy thing today.

  • 8D: Time co-founder Henry (LUCE). Oh man. This probably should have been CW101 today. Sorry about that. I'll get it next time.
Crosswordese 101: BOFFO doesn't show up in the grid all that often, but it seems like every time it does, people have trouble with it. Today it's clued as 6D: Huge, at the box office, and it's pretty much always clued similarly (e.g., "Super, in showbiz," "Highly successful, in showbiz lingo," "Like a fab performance"). The word apparently was first used in Variety, the entertainment trade magazine. In fact, you can find Variety's blog at boffo.com.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 2D: Witty Bombeck (ERMA).
  • 12D: Geraint's lady (ENID).
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Everything Else — 1A: Salty drop (TEAR); 14A: "In this range" ("OR SO"); 16A: Nevada gambling haven (RENO); 20A: Not as risky (SAFER); 22A: Avant-__ (GARDE); 23A: Perry with a phenomenal success rate (MASON); 25A: Like Tim Cratchit (TINY); 26A: Kelly, to Regis (CO-HOST); 29A: Feature of a bad air day (SMOG); 34A: Dump truck filler (LOADER); 35A: Pull, as a water-skier (TOW); 36A: Home with hexagonal cells (HIVE); 37A: Andersen character with "new clothes" (EMPEROR); 39A: Lifelong residents (NATIVES); 41A: Washer or dryer: Abbr. (APPL.); 42A: Frat party buy (KEG); 45A: Commandment word (THY); 46A: Promo recording (DEMO); 47A: Like a top hat and tails (DRESSY); 48A: Sibilant boo (HISS); 52A: Leading edge of a weather system (FRONT); 54A: Tupperware topper (LID); 55A: "Gone With the Wind" family name (O'HARA); 59A: Gomez Addams portrayer __ Julia (RAUL); 62A: Fairy tale villain (OGRE); 63A: Kukla's puppet pal (OLLIE); 64A: Period before Easter (LENT); 65A: Wind increase (GUST); 66A: Spills the beans (BLABS); 67A: Swirling current (EDDY); 1D: Pregame coin flip (TOSS); 3D: "__ I care!" (AS IF); 4D: One to look up to (ROLE MODEL); 5D: Take a stab at (TRY); 7D: Opposed to (AGAINST); 9D: Spike or Ang (LEE); 10D: Broadway Phantom's instrument (ORGAN); 13D: Poor dog's portion, in rhyme (NONE); 18D: Solver's "undo" implement (ERASER); 22D: Date for a jazz cat (GIG); 24D: The 4 in "par 4" (STROKES); 25D: Facing (TOWARDS); 26D: Golf shoe gripper (CLEAT); 27D: Get-up-and-go (OOMPH); 30D: "__ Dieu!" (MON); 32D: Levels off (EVENS); 33D: Easily irritated (TESTY); 36D: Secret place (HIDEY HOLE); 38D: Dream letters (REM); 40D: Extreme sluggishness (TORPOR); 43D: Greatest of the great apes (GORILLA); 46D: "Spring ahead" abbr. (DST); 49D: Shoreline nook (INLET); 51D: Wing it on stage (AD LIB); 52D: Croaking critter (FROG); 53D: Pasta sauce brand (RAGU); 54D: Act like a couch potato (LOLL); 56D: Matured, as cheese (AGED); 57D: Rip apart (REND); 58D: Superficially cultured (ARTY); 60D: To-do list item (JOB); 61D: "I'd be delighted!" ("YES!").



Finished this delightful puzzle in less than one cup of coffee. What a wonderful way to start off a gloomy Monday morning! Chicago is having SMOG today. Lots of happy stuff. Loved this puzzle, but can't even read the grouchy Puzzlegirl writeup today. FIE on you!

I did GRIN when I saw ROGUE and elephant... immediately thought of Sarah Palin... don't know why.

Love the word BOFFO.

Had LAME before writing in TINY for Tim Cratchit, but other than that, I sailed through.

Not sure I liked HIDEY HOLE... guess it brings up negative thoughts about Saddam Hussein.

But then on the positive side, I see Kukla, Fran, and OLLIE.

I think I'll just LOLL around the house today, do some gardening, and enjoy the sunshine when it gets here.

Sfingi said...

I've been called a curmudgeon, but this was a BELLY LAUGH!

Puzzle Girls bullets - OMEN, ROGUE, FIE may have been the only psychological negatives. Possibly OGRE, but he's shown up at so many recent puzzles, that he has a place at the table.
I rejected "lame" for TINY, considering the direction of the puzzle.
EDDY and ARTY are having a party in the corner.

Only other almost - "ripe" for AGED.

Are the MERRY WIVES of Windsor the forerunners of the NJ Housewives?

Also fast and easy.

NE getting ready for another heat wave. Where are the Pacific volcanoes when you need them? (My curmudgeonliness is coming back.)

Can't believe I had to sign in twice. Don't have time to deal with this 2-laptop problem today, as it's the last day for cheap passports.


Funny you say that, because all I could think of was that stupid "Stepford Wives" movie.

I'm AGED and mature, but I sure ain't "ripe".

Rex Parker said...


Liked this one a lot. HIDEYHOLE! After I was done, I tried to figure out how it fit with the theme ... only to realize it's not a theme answer.

Theme's straightforward, but very well executed. Fill = near perfect for a Monday. Super smooth, occasionally interesting.

First-rate Monday puzzle.


Tinbeni said...

Easy, breesy (with that GUST) Monday.

Instead of 30d MON being clued "___Dieu!"
I would like to see a "Hey___!" Yeah, a bit of Jamaica.

Hmmm? OOMPH & LOLL, should I have "Get up and go" or just "Act like a couch potato?"

KEG & HAPPY HOUR, yup, my faves.

Rube said...

What a cheery puzzle. Brings a smile to my face. How can anyone find fault with such a pleasant puzzle. Wait, a SMILEYFACE is not an emoticon :)

C said...

Nice, fun, easy puzzle made even more fun by @PG's bad mood write up.

TBALL and U6 soccer, when kids amuse.

CrazyCat said...

Great JOLLY puzzle to start the day and the week. Brought a GRIN to my face. Sorry PG ☺

I too, was scratching my head over HIDEY HOLE. Wondering if HIDEY was a happy word I'd never heard of.

John Wolfenden said...

The best Monday puzzle is recent memory by far. Well done, John L.

John Wolfenden said...

The best Monday puzzle is recent memory by far. Well done, John L.

abnorma said...

I really liked this puzzle too, especially after not enjoying the NYT puzzle today. Puzzle Girl, I thought I had heard/seen almost everything related to bridal accessories, but this one blEW me away!

Sfingi said...

I think HIDEY is just a "2-syllable end in Y followed by 1-syllable" word.
So, it fits, anyway.

@Abnorma - some people take their wedding seriously; not so much the marriage.

Got my passport. Anyone after 2:00 is too late for the low rate!

I watched the last hour of the soccer game yesterday on Canadian TV. Most of it I got, but had a hard time telling which goal was which, especially since they would change the camera angle. Any clues?

ddbmc said...

Hey, Spike Lee's birthday is the same as mine! But Ang's is not!

Sorry PG's mood isn't HAPPY, MERRY, JOLLY or SMILEY. Just got back from a hot, steamy walk and I'm delighted to be sitting in the AC. Hmmm, I have been in the AC down in DC. (Just trying to brighten PG's mood)

FIE on RP and his 2:42! THAT didn't happen here!

HIDEYHOLE made be laugh! TORPOR and BOFFO were good additions. Used to read Variety for my job with the Film Commission many eons ago (Does that make me AGED?)

Bridal Diapers? Really? Don't even go (no pun intended) there!
Listening to Sachmo, give me a SMILEYFACE....

Anonymous said...

Hidey hole slid down my pen as a pea off a knife.

Boffo I never heard of but then I am a country boy!...so that must be why HH came naturally.

I am ashamed to admit that Jolly Roger was as far off as the ocean.

Not a good Monday at all.

shrub5 said...

Nice Monday puzzle, no real difficulties encountered, neat and tidy theme.

RODENTs, especially hamsters, are very cute pets but their life expectancy is short, 2-3 years. So expect some TEARs. Those sad life lessons are rough. Guinea pigs live longer, an average of 5-7 years.

My favorite book from childhood was of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, including The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and the EMPEROR with new (i.e., no) clothes. I probably read this book (or had it read to me) a hundred times. I have a large framed poster of HCA in a setting surrounded by illustrations of all of his stories. Per wiki, he was a lonely man, rejected in romance by both women and men.

CrazyCat said...

@Shrub5 when my son was 10 he decided he wanted a pet rat. After much arguing, I gave in and we bought a little tan and white girl rat. He named her Frisky. I hate to say it, but the entire family became totally attached to that little RODENT. We even took her in a carrier on the plane when we moved from Dallas to CA. It was the saddest day when she died at about 3 years of age. Who would ever think one could get attached to a rat??!!