THURSDAY, July 8, 2010 — Dan Naddor

Theme: Shoot 'Em Up — Theme answers all end with words you can "shoot" in a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 18A: *Second most populous city in Michigan (GRAND RAPIDS).
  • 24A: *1980 biopic about boxer Jake La Motta (RAGING BULL).
  • 35A: *Beachgoer's relief, perhaps (OCEAN BREEZE).
  • 48A: *Studio co-founded by Spielberg (DREAMWORKS).
  • 54A: *Phenomenon near the autumnal equinox (HARVEST MOON).
  • 50D: What you can do to the last words of the answers to starred clues, with "the" (SHOOT).
I don't have a lot to say about this puzzle. I'm not familiar with "shooting [the?] rapids" or "shooting [the?] works," so the theme didn't thrill me. [Edit: Oh, I see that "Shoot the Rapids" is a waterpark ride. That's cool.] I did laugh when I got to GRAND RAPIDS. I have a friend who once moved to another town in Michigan called Big Rapids. Apparently the rapids there aren't grand, they're just big.

There were two clues I really liked a lot:
  • 11D: Frequently imperiled reporter (LOIS LANE). I thought it might have something to do with a war correspondent!
  • 35D: Courtroom interruption (OUTBURST). I've got to believe that courtroom outbursts don't happen in real life as often as they do on TV and that outbursts happen other places as well. But, the clue was still perfect. The answer popped right into my head.
There were, however, a couple things I very much didn't like. Nobody likes to see a "word" like OBJ. in the grid, especially with an ugly abbreviation in the clue (33D: Vb. target). Yuck. I also think 46D: Thumbs-up is a terrible clue for OK SIGN. To "give something a thumbs-up" is certainly to "signal that it's ok," but it's not an "ok sign." Of course now that I typed that all out, I can see where, linguistically, you could argue it the other way. But I still don't like it. Thumbs-up and OK SIGN are two different things. Said PuzzleGirl.

I don't recall ever seeing the word CAIMANS before (39D: Alligator relatives) and am not entirely sure what they are, besides, ya know, alligator relatives. And I had a heckuva time seeing OCULI for 38A: Eyes. (Nothing inherently wrong with either answer; now I'm in the "this part was hard for me" section of the blog, not the "this is the part I didn't like" section.)

Only a couple other things:
  • 4A: "My Life on the D-List" comic Griffin (KATHY). Love. Her. I actually checked her website the other day to see if she's playing anywhere around here soon but she's not. Guess I'll have to go to Vegas. Quite a sacrifice, I know.
  • 65A: QB's stat (INT.). For the sports-challenged: QB = quarterback, INT = interception.
  • 1D: Whitewater figure (STARR). Well this is kind of a bummer. Yesterday was Ringo Starr's birthday! Would like to have seen him in this clue!
  • 2D: Prepare for more pictures (RELOAD). I actually wrote in repose and thought to myself "that sure is a crappy clue, especially because repose is a perfectly legitimate word on its own" (i.e., other than sticking RE on the front of POSE, which is … less than optimal).
  • 13D: Hooch hound (TOSSPOT). Hooch = alcohol; hound = fanatic; TOSSPOT = someone who's fanatic about alcohol.
  • 45D: Gillette razor brand (TRAC II). I admit it's nice to see something other than ATRA on occasion.
  • 55D: A quarter of five? (VEE). One quarter of the four letters in the word five is the letter V. Terrible note to end on. Sorry.
Crosswordese 101: I have never seen the word TEC (short for detective) outside of crossword puzzles. I have a feeling it's used in crime novels that would be described as "hard-boiled," but I've only read, let's see … one of those, so I'm definitely not an expert. But clues for TEC often refer to Sam Spade or use the word gumshoe, which I also associate with that genre. Otherwise, you're pretty much going to see clues like today's 14A: P.I.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 1A: Indian title of respect (SRI).
  • 63A: Big name in cosmetics (ESTÉE).
  • 56D: In vitro cells (OVA).
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Everything Else — 9A: Bowler's challenge (SPLIT); 14A: P.I. (TEC); 15A: Refrain from singing about a farm? (E-I-E-I-O); 16A: Low-budget prefix (ECONO-); 17A: Draft pick (ALE); 20A: Not follow a fixed route (ROAM); 22A: Consider (DEEM); 23A: Bro counterpart (SIS); 28A: Storm sound (CLAP); 29A: Wreck, in a way (DERAIL); 30A: Callas, for one (SOPRANO); 32A: Prenatal test, for short (AMNIO); 34A: Stampeded toward (RAN AT); 40A: Kid's sandwich staple (JELLY); 41A: Baseman's misplay, maybe (LATE TAG); 44A: Deliberately ignoring (DEAF TO); 47A: Rights (DIBS); 51A: Laura Bush's alma mater: Abbr. (SMU); 52A: Hoodwink (FOOL); 53A: Ill-considered (RASH); 59A: AFL partner (CIO); 60A: Beginning (ONSET); 61A: "Fiddler on the Roof" dairyman (TEVYE); 62A: "Where did __ wrong?" (I GO); 64A: Floss brand (ORAL-B); 3D: More than just a cold snap (ICE AGE); 4D: Beer holder (KEG); 5D: Broadcast (AIR); 6D: Earl Grey, e.g. (TEA); 7D: Caste member (HINDU); 8D: Peak calls? (YODELS); 9D: Line of pants? (SEAM); 10D: Angel dust, for short (PCP); 12D: Notre Dame's locale (INDIANA); 19D: Move, in Realtor-speak (RELO); 21D: The virgin birth and others (MIRACLES); 25D: "Your call" ("NAME IT"); 26D: Actress Lollobrigida (GINA); 27D: Crêpe-like Russian food (BLIN); 28D: Gaga over (CRAZY FOR); 31D: Future attorney's study (PRELAW); 36D: Mark of Prynne's sin (RED A); 37D: Preteens' sch. (ELEM.); 38D: Part of a comfort simile (OLD SHOE); 42D: Hoo-has (ADOS); 43D: Cave (GROTTO); 49D: Whom Bugs bugs (ELMER); 52D: Gala (FETE); 56D: In vitro cells (OVA); 57D: Very thin Olive (OYL); 58D: Colo. neighbor (NEB.).


Van55 said...

Wow! Didn't see that this was a Naddor puzzle until I logged in here. It doesn't have his usual sparkle of humor for my palate. I won't remember it in an hour.

Annie said...

I still don't get "tosspot". Can someone explain?

Ruth said...

I liked this puzzle. Fun way to tie all those phrases together. What, PG, you've never been white water rafting? Never seen a frontier movie where the brave pioneers had to shoot the rapids to get to the Promised Land? Of the two, I recommend trying white water rafting first--especially right now, with all the heat--fun!

Tinbeni said...

I agree. For a Naddor puzzle I kept thinking "Where are the Puns?"

Nevertheless a FUN Thursday puzzle.

Caimans was a gimmie. Some people are concerned with Lions, and Tigers, and Bears (Oh, my!)
Me? Well being a Floridian its Gators, and Crocs, and Caimans. I guess its nice living in a place where there are things that look at you and think "Breakfast?"

Fave today was the simple VEE, A quarter of five. And the "V" is a five (In Van55 fave, Roman Numerals).

Ahhh, the FOOL who is CRAZY FOR ALE (served in a ceramic pot) is a TOSS POT (drunkard) in British slang.
@Annie you'll have to google for the Urban Dictionary def. (not appropriate for comment here).

Eric said...

@PG: For 2D I too had "repose" instead of RELOAD, which messed me up greatly in the NW and midwest. For LOIS LANE, me too. I kinda liked OBJ for "vb. target". Just shows to go you...

No idea who Ms. Griffin is. Had "Katie", then "Katey" when YODELS insisted on a "Y". Fixing "eindu" was my final cell :-)

For 35D "Courtroom interruption" I wanted "objection"; got OUTBURST from crosses.

EIEIO was pretty much a gimme. My only doubt was how to spell it ... but then, how else *could* you spell it in five letters?

RAGING BULL was about LaMotta? I did not know that.

Nor did I know that the HARVEST MOON was a "phenomenon"; I thought that was simply the name for that month's full moon. But it turns out the harvest moon, and the following hunter's moon, are somewhat special. I got the theme early enough to help, though.

*Leer* and *ogle* are such total crosswordese that I was sure that's where 38A "Eyes" was going. OCULI came as quite a, um, surpreyes.

38D: With "simile" in the clue, I was sure the answer was going to have "like" or "as" in it. But no...

Had "honey" for 40A. I don't associate JELLY with sandwiches, because we did jam instead when I was a kid. (How do kids -- and moms -- survive now that peanut butter is verboten at school? Gods, we lived on the stuff!)

TEVYE was another gimme; yay "Fiddler on the Roof"! OYL would have been another one even without the "Y" cross.

CAIMANS was too -- "gharials" is one letter too long. (I spent an afternoon reading up on order crodilia a few months ago. It started with researching how to be safe in alligator country prior to a trip to Florida, but you know how it goes :-/)

Cute clues: "draft pick" for ALE; "whom Bugs bugs" for ELMER. The latter reminds me of this, from Steven Pinker's "The Language Instinct": the following is a grammatical English sentence:
    Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo.

Eric said...

Umm, crocodilia. Doh!

Burner10 said...

Felt kinda Wednesday for me. Somewhere in my bus tote is a partially finished puzzle with an open 6-letter answer clued alligator relative!

John Wolfenden said...

A serviceable Naddor puzzle, but seemed more like a Wednesday in terms of difficulty. Totally agree with PG about clues like "A quarter of five" for VEE. Weak.

I liked being thrown off the path for EIEIO by the double meaning of "refrain" as in "stop."

Caimans tend to be smaller than crocs, also spelled "cayman." Not bad to have a beautiful chain of islands AND a nifty Porsche named after you. Well done, caymans.

*David* said...

Seemed easier then most, flew through it with minimal problems. In the SE I first put in OKAYED but then CIO didn't work so that got fixed pretty quickly. I liked OLD SHOE the most as far as the fill.

jazz said...

Nice to remember Dan on this drizzly Thursday. Hope his family's doing OK.

Seeing this: "...a grammatical English sentence: Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo."

reminds me of this one that I learned long ago:

"In a school exam Mary where Jane had had had had had had had had had had had the teacher's approval.

When you add punctuation, you get:

In a school exam Mary, where Jane had had "had had", had had "had". "Had had" had had the teacher's approval.

John Wolfenden said...

I had no idea that Dan was only 53 when he passed away, and that he started puzzle-making after his cancer diagnosis. How sad...but his puzzles live on.

C said...

Found the puzzle to be "generic", i.e. didn't have the Naddor feel to it in terms of cluing and answers. No complaints, just an observation.

OCULI gave me some fits because I wanted a form of OBJECT-- for the down clue but it would no workee.

Masked and Anonymous said...

I give this puz the OK sign. Dan was chuckin' us a little curve ball -- crankin' out a puz with a kinda different theme style, for him. Good for you, pard; keep us on our toes. Love your work. Wish you were here.

CrazyCat said...

Another fun Naddor puzzle minus the puns. Definitely more of Wednesday level, except for the SW stack of LATE TAG, DIBS, SMU (I had TCU) and the cross of CAIMANS. I've never heard of CAIMANS, except for the CAYMAN Islands. Once I changed TCU to SMU, I got OLD SHOE and everything fell into place although I had no idea about those CAIMANS. Loved OCEAN BREEZE and HARVEST MOON. TOSS POT was a WTH?
@Jazz you must be near where I am. Drizzly and cold here. I'm wearing a sweater, sweatshirt and my Uggs. I refuse to turn the heat on in July.

Sfingi said...

Hubster is a retired defense attorney, and outbursts definitely occur. Usually creepy. They can occur during trial (one nut yelling "break him down,") and at sentencing and from accused or relatives. He once had Willie Bosket for a client when he acted up in a local NYS prison. I wish Hubster would write a book.

The NE corner was shot for me. Had SPare instead of SPLIT (sports), wanted a Mideast journalist instead of a fictional reporter, wanted Paris (who doesn't?), and never heard of TOSSPOT. Thanx,Tinbeni.

Googled for CAIMANS, SMU, and LATETAG (sports), so SW was a total cheat. I know we had CAIMANS before, but it didn't stick.

@Tinbeni - I once had alligator for dinner. Tasted like chicken. Glad it didn't taste like puppies.

Got all the theme answers easily, and then the theme.

People try to SHOOT the RAPIDS at Niagara Falls occasionally with varying results. There's a museum devoted to it.

SHOOT the WORKS means spend all your resources. It also has a newer drug meaning, since the needles are often called WORKS, and a SHOOTing gallery is a place where addicts get together to "share." Also, the name of a movie, 1934 2nd rate musical comedy.

So how come no clue: "Stingy person"
Ans: TIGHTWAD? Not too ladylike, eh.

Speaking of purple puns, Hubster loves Kathy Griffin.

@Jazz - am so praying for drizzly this evening.

Tinbeni said...

Alligator is common as a dish around here. I think it tastes like ... alligator.
(How do you know it doesn't taste like puppies???)

On TOSS POT, well I felt it was my duty. It takes one to know one, though I rarely (if ever) actually go over the limit.

Tightwad ... too funny!!!

chefwen said...

@CCL - Husband is in So Cal on business and spent about 10 minutes on the phone last night complaining about freezing is A$% off. Poor baby!

Thought the puzzle was pretty easy, had a little difficulty in the SW with late tag, dibs, and smu. Also had spares before splits. Two OK signs up.


I will always like Dan Naddor puzzles, even those withhout his famous puns.

I spelled CAIMANS as CAYMAN, which is wrong, but it's also right, however DIBS came out DYBS, which I thought was an alternate spelling.

Here I was thinking that TOSS POT meant getting rid of medical marijuana. But then I got PCP wrong, so what do I know about that stuff.

TEVYE and "Fiddler on the Roof": Two thumbs up
Kathy Griffin: Two thumbs down.

Jewel YODELS at our Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet... she was amazing! Four thumbs up.

Seeing LOIS LANE reminds me of Margot Kidder. I once tried selling my "Little Red Duece Coupe" to her... my wife objected, so it didn't happen.