F R I D A Y   August 13, 2010
Julian Lim

Theme: Film Farm — Farm~ish animals discuss which movie to rent. Had I been able to find a copy of the Far Side "Mating Calls" strip, you know the one, with "Hey bay-bee! Hey bay-bee!", I'd have gone with "Dating Calls" or something.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: The animals were bored, and the cows suggested a (MOOVIE NIGHT).
  • 20A: "Great idea!" said the goats. "Let's watch (MAAS ATTACKS)."
  • 35A: "How lowbrow!" said the cats. "We much prefer (THE COLOR PURRPLE)."
  • 50A: "Too serious!" said the pigeons. "Why don't we go with (COO HAND LUKE)?"
  • 55A: But in the end, the sheep had their way, and they all watched (BAABAARELLA).
PuzzleFamily is in Colorado, which you know if you've been following along. PuzzleGirl's gonna have a hellish travel day, which I know because she told me. "SethG," she said, "we're going to have what is shaping up to be a hellish travel day." I'm SethG.

She also sent me what turned out to be a completed copy of the puzzle, which I noticed before I actually focused enough on the grid to see any of the answers. I did note what I presume to be her completion time, which turned out to be faster than mine. We never compare times, but I think she's generally a bit faster than me, especially on the early-week puzzles, and I have maybe a slight advantage over her in completing some of the harder, end-of-the-week puzzles. As for today's slower time, I blame puns.

Somehow I got MAAS ATTACKS with I think no crosses. I've seen it, but it's maybe not as famous as the others. My fondest memory:

Slim Whitman YODELing (65A: Produce some cliff notes?) makes their heads explode!

If I'd been in the barnyard I'd have been pulleting for COO HAND LUKE, but BAABAARELLA is a noble choice. I'm gonna assume the sheep were male.

Some stuff:
  • 15A: "But I don't want to go among mad people" speaker (ALICE). Another movie, though I didn't like the new one so much. I'm a big fan of the books, though.
  • 22A: One may have an undulating floor (FUNHOUSE). Because seasick is fun.
  • 32A: Software for creating bibliographies (ENDNOTE). Didn't know it, but it makes sense. Like 63A: L'École __ Roches: French private school (DES) or 48D: Events where the dessert haupia is served (LUAUS). You don't need to know an answer to enter it from a few crosses. Logical inference!
  • 45A: Supreme Court nominee Kagan (ELENA) has been Associate Justice Kagan for almost a week now.
  • 61A: "Bye!" ("ADIEU!") and 62A: Say "Hi!" to (GREET) form a nice pair.
  • 8D: Inverse of nano- (GIGA-). They're both nonally magnituded. As opposed to 9D: Eight, in Aachen (ACHT).
  • Not a big fan of 43D: Lunchbox snack (COOKIE) crossing the COO theme answer at the COO. I am a big fan of Cookie Monster, though.

  • 52D: Bupkis, in Barcelona (NADA). Bupkis is one of my absolute favorite words. Those are more favorite than just my favorite words.
Crosswordese 101: CIE. I have no idea what this actually means. Because it's in French. But constructors seem to like it, and it turns out you don't need to know exactly. It's a French business abbreviation. If you see anything about a Boulogne business abbr., (16A: Co. in Cannes), Ltd. in Lyon, Inc. overseas, etc., it's CIE.

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Weenie (TWERP); 6A: Certain alien (LEGAL); 11A: With 58-Down, "Taking Woodstock" director (ANG); 14A: Many an IM user (AOL'ER); 19A: False pretense (ACT); 26A: Viti Levu is its largest island (FIJI); 27A: Salt's salutations (AHOYS); 28A: Nouveau riche (UPSTART); 31A: Piece conclusion (CODA); 40A: Check for flaws (INSPECT); 41A: Give __ up: assist (A LEG); 42A: Cry at a faith healing (I CAN SEE); 46A: Abolitionist Lucretia (MOTT); 47A: 1949 Gatsby portrayer (ALAN LADD); 54A: Sanctioned (OK'D); 60A: Jar head (LID); 64A: Support pieces (BASES); 1D: Highlander's cap (TAM); 2D: Seek support from (WOO); 3D: Jeff Lynne's band (ELO); 4D: MLK's title (REV.); 5D: Piano duet parts (PRIMOS); 6D: Turner and Wood (LANAS); 7D: Beethoven title name (ELISE); 10D: Lithuanian's neighbor (LETT); 11D: Whistling thorn, e.g. (ACACIA); 12D: Channel for little kids (NICK JR.); 13D: Laughs at a joke (GETS IT); 18D: Perrier, e.g. (EAU); 21D: Nevertheless (AFTER ALL); 22D: Trivia buff's fodder (FACT); 23D: "Here comes trouble!" ("UH-OH!"); 24D: Anatomical knot (NODE); 25D: Plant with colorful flower clusters (HYACINTH); 28D: Gender-biased, briefly (UN-PC); 29D: Sulk (POUT); 30D: Violas' sect. (STR.); 32D: More (ELSE); 33D: Informal turndown (NOPE); 34D: "Forgot About __": hip-hop hit (DRE); 36D: Walk-__: bit parts (ONS); 37D: Fervent request (PLEA); 38D: Give conditionally (LEND); 39D: Quaint "Yowza!" ("EGAD!"); 42D: "Turn up the heat!" ("I'M COLD!"); 44D: Like bitter rivals (AT ODDS); 45D: Verve (ENERGY); 47D: "The Zoo Story" playwright (ALBEE); 49D: Dossier abbr. (AKA); 51D: Rhyme scheme in many sonnets (ABAB); 53D: Address site (DAIS); 56D: Ranch closing? (-ERO); 57D: Spearheaded (LED); 58D: See 11-Across (LEE); 59D: Part of NATO: Abbr. (ATL.).


gatz said...

CIE is the abbreviation for compagnie (company) in French

Tinbeni said...

Seth G, nice pitch hitting.
Thanks for the Whitman/Mars clip.

I always thought something more was going down on the farm than just WOOing.
Now I find out they have MOOVIENIGHT and pick some great flicks.
Yeah, the themes brought on a grin.

A few needed all the crosses.
That hip-hop hit, DRE ... I forgot about___.
Whistling thorn, ACACIA, never heard of it.

When I think of PRIMOS, the term LID does come to mind.

ELENA Kagan, timely clue. She even beat the LAT puzzle lead-time.

AOLER needs to leave the e-building.

Van55 said...

Droll theme. Good puzzle for a Friday. In fact the week has been very good for the LATimes puzzle!

AOLER does inhale sharply (sucks). OKD is weak, I think. Jar head for LID is iffy, except to mensanize the clue for a Friday experience. Otherwise, no complaints here.

Zeke said...

I was a little dissapointed in the discrepancy between the theme answers. Three (MOOVIE, _PURRPLE_, BAABAA__) expanded the words to achieve the animal sounds, two (MAASATTACHS, COOHAND__) replaced words. The difference between an A+ and a B+ puzzle. B+ ain't a slam.

Anonymous said...

One word for this puzzle:


C said...

Thanks to @SethG for stepping in.

I like puns, ergo, I like the puzzle. Good difficulty. Continues the weeks strong puzzle streak.

AOLER is 100x worse then ALER or NLER (which are bad to begin with), but at least the AL and NL will still be around 3 years from now.

CrazyCat said...

Thanks Seth G. for stepping in. I think you covered all the BASES. I can relate to PG's "hellish travel day." I had one of those on Tuesday. Per usual one of my bags got lost. That's the third time in as many years. At least this time it was on the way home so I won't POUT.

Thought this was an entertaining puzzle with a clever theme. It also was my fastest time for the week. TWERP is one of my favorite words. Agree that we should say ADIEU to AOLER. The only new word today for me was ENDNOTE. A very nice week of LAT puzzles.

Sandy said...

I mostly enjoyed this, except I was annoyed for the same reason as Zeke. Almost a deal breaker for me.

mac said...

Thanks, SethG.
I also like the word bupkis, makes me think of Ditka.

I wasn't crazy about the puns, but have no problem with the different ways the words were changed. It's all phonetic.

Off to meet some puzzle people! I'll be seeing PuzzleGirl tomorrow in Queens.

captcha: cophoo. Part of the theme?

ddbmc said...

@Mac, laughed at your Bupkis-Ditka ref. Da Bull, Da Bears, etc.

"Jar Head" is a Marine, but naturally, that didn't fit.

Wanted HYDRANGEA where HYACINTH fit, NICKTV instead of NICKJR. And FORGET ABOUT ___(DRE), like @TinBeni, never heard it before.

Enjoyed 65A "Produce some cliff notes?" clue.

ACACIA is a shrub or bush-sometimes thorny. If @JNH was around, he'd fill us in.

@SethG, thanks for the write up. HUGE Cookie Monster fan, here. Huge Cookie Monster, myself! Love me a good chocolate chip!
Happy Trails to @PG.
To all who are attending, have fun at Puzzlepalooza, this weekend. Would love to go and sit in the Puzzlenut gallery, but have a wedding to attend! Good luck, all.


A fun puzzle!
Hey, any puzzle that starts with TWERP and ends with YODEL can't be all bad.
ENDNOTE and AOLER (IM user) seems a bit regionalized in a computerese sense.
I too thought "Jar head" had something to do with a U.S. Marine.
ITA with Zeke and Sandy: Didn't like the theme inconsistencies.
Thought UNPC and OKD were ugly.
It's good to be back from my trip and casually catching up with my backlog of puzzles.