M O N D A Y   August 23, 2010
David W. Cromer

Theme: Seeing Eye to Eye — Theme answers are familiar phrases that follow the pattern "[body part] to [same body part]."

[Note: If you're curious about the purple entry, check the FAQ!]

Theme answers:
  • 18A: How rivals compete (HEAD TO HEAD).
  • 28A: How lovers dance (CHEEK TO CHEEK).
  • 49A: How close friends talk (HEART TO HEART).
  • 64A: How pistol duelers stand (BACK TO BACK)
Wow. Awesome Monday puzzle today. I'm talking smoooooooth.

The only thing that slowed me down at all was the clue for SOX (48A: White or Red team). PuzzleHusband works for a government contractor and when they're working on a proposal they do several reviews throughout the process. Each one is a color and has a team associated with it. So he talks about "doing the red team" or "having the white team" and I couldn't get my brain to shift gears to anything else. Other than that, it was totally smooth sailing with a few delightful moments thrown in — for example, when I got to CHIRP (41A: Car alarm acknowledgment) and OODLES (60A: Lots and lots). Both of those words look awesome in the grid.

  • 24A: Short race, for short (ONE K). I solved the puzzle on paper today and I got this answer right. Then when I was going through to fill out the grid to post here, I typed in "TEN K" and thought to myself "Some people probably don't think that's a terrible short race!"
  • 46A: Año starter (ENERO). Spanish! ENERO = January. Año = YEAR. Año without the tilde means … something else.
  • 52A: Arrive dressed up like (COME AS). With a different clue, this answer could have really sucked, but this one is perfect.
  • 68A: Longtime Hydrox competitor (OREO). Hydrox does not sound like it should be the name of a cookie. It sounds more like it contains poison.
  • 72A: "It's somebody __ problem" (ELSE'S). The only clunker in the grid, as far as I'm concerned.
  • 5D: Good at sports (ATHLETIC). This is a great word to know, particularly when you're talking about girls. Several years ago I thought about having a t-shirt made that said "I'm not a TOMBOY, I'm an ATHLETE."
  • 25D: Okay to consume, as for Passover (KOSHER). Isn't there more to it than that? Pretty sure Passover is the time of year observant Jews do major kitchen cleaning because there are some very specific foods that aren't allowed.
  • 31D: Black of country music (CLINT).

  • 52D: Explorer Sebastian (CABOT). I swear I didn't know there was another Sebastian CABOT besides the guy who played Mr. French on "Family Affair" until a couple years ago when I learned it in a crossword puzzle. That's pretty sad.
  • 59D: Dallas NBA team (MAVS). Should there be a hint in the clue that the answer will be a short form? On a Monday, I would say yes.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 1A: Poet Khayyám (OMAR).
  • 17A: Rara __ (AVIS).
  • 70A: Actor Morales (ESAI).
  • 21D: "Diana" singer Paul (ANKA).
  • 30D: Islamic ruler (EMIR).
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Everything Else — 5A: Stroll (AMBLE); 10A: Retail mecca (MALL); 14A: Repetitious learning technique (ROTE); 15A: Eagle's weapon (TALON); 16A: Subject of a court bargain (PLEA); 20A: Deadly (LETHAL); 22A: Icy North Atlantic hazard (BERG); 23A: Exploit (USE); 26A: Upper crust groups (ELITES); 33A: Outer edge (RIM); 34A: Path between supermarket shelves (AISLE); 35A: Transportation station (DEPOT); 39A: "Carmen" highlight (ARIA); 43A: Assistant (AIDE); 44A: What a lenient judge may show (MERCY); 55A: Exiled Roman poet (OVID); 56A: "Eureka!" ("AHA!"); 57A: Fraud (SHAM); 67A: Kappa preceder, alphabetically (IOTA); 69A: Show with varied acts (REVUE); 71A: "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure" (TED'S); 73A: eBay command (SELL); 1D: Like some graduate tests (ORAL); 2D: Find new digs (MOVE); 3D: Working hard (AT IT); 4D: Do a blacksmith's job (RESHOE); 6D: West in old movies (MAE); 7D: Spill the beans (BLAB); 8D: Miner's bonanza (LODE); 9D: Course between salad and dessert (ENTRÉE); 10D: Dashboard abbr. (MPH); 11D: Indigenous Alaskan (ALEUT); 12D: Landlord's contract (LEASE); 13D: Packs in a hold (LADES); 19D: More than glanced at (OGLED); 27D: Swedish furniture retailer (IKEA); 28D: Study feverishly (CRAM); 29D: Add to the staff (HIRE); 32D: Annexed __: attached as part of this document (HERETO); 36D: Leaning tower city (PISA); 37D: Olfactory offense (ODOR); 38D: Manuscript passage (TEXT); 40D: Tylenol target (ACHE); 42D: Tries to get a rise out of (PROVOKES); 45D: Bakers get a rise out of it (YEAST); 47D: West Virginia neighbor (OHIO); 50D: "Michael, Row the Boat __" (ASHORE); 51D: Whirlpools (EDDIES); 53D: Chicago hub (O'HARE); 54D: Sprayed with tear gas (MACED); 58D: Cain's victim (ABEL); 61D: Be defeated (LOSE); 62D: Lat. list ender (ET AL.); 63D: Regatta flapper (SAIL); 65D: WBA stats (KO'S); 66D: Pool tool (CUE).


Anonymous said...

I think the explorer is supposed to be John Cabot.

Van55 said...

Agree that this is a comparatively outstanding Monday puzzle. Great contrast with NYT today in terms of the quality of the fill in general. Nice!

Sfingi said...

@Puzzlegirl -
Yes, smooth puzzle.
I've always thought Hydrox was an ugly word for a cookie. Hydro from the Greek for water - and then what? Every other item named Hydrox is a chemical.

Kosher - There's a difference between kosher and kosher for passover. The second also excludes various grains and things that look like them. But, yes, "OK to consume" covers many rules, most of which involve animal products and oks from rabbis.

I have just survived a kidney stone. The last time I had that much pain for 27 hours, it was a boy. And it was 35 years ago. Advice: don't let anyone put an IV in your elbow crease unless they're going to put a splint on your arm. 2 nights w/o sleep because of pain. An additional night w/o sleep because I bent my arm and the IV machine went off a million times.

All those Ks behind Steven Strasburg?
Doesn't anyone take offense any more? For what? For Ku Klux Klan, ever hear of it?

Does athletic have to mean you're into sports? I consider one of my sisters athletic because she's in good shape, lean, muscular, very strong, does physical things and well. But no contact sports or team sports.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, with the clue [Explorer Sebastian], they were referring to John Cabot. John is Sebastian's dad. They were both explorers.

James said...

@Sfingi - K is standard scorebook notation for a strikeout in baseball, and Steven Strasburg has been known to post a few of those. Given the context, I think no one should be offended. But possibly you know all that, and it is just that your mileage varies.


Awww, I can feel for 'ya... I went thru kidney stones twice with stents and lithotripsy and lots of excruciating pain. Hope you're feeling a lot better now.

Puzzle: Yes, it was a delightful Monday puzzle. I could only find 5 CW101 words which isn't bad for a leverly themed puzzle. Most of the fill and their clues were quite good.

Whenever I see Paul ANKA in a puzzle, I am reminded of a song that I used to sing back in 1957 to woo the boss's daughter, Diana. Well, it didn't get me anywhere... with either her or the boss.

The other thing I liked in this puzzle was the memory of this song:
"Michael, Row the Boat ASHORE".
We were coming back from Catalina Island on a very late night charter boat and spontaneously, scores of people on board began singing this song in unison. It broke the weariness and tension of a lengthy midnight SAIL.

One of the things I love about CWs is music nostalgia.

Also connections to poetry is nice:

I desire a little ruby wine and a book of verses,
Just enough to keep me alive, and half a loaf is needful;
And then, that I and thou should sit in a desolate place
Is better than the kingdom of a sultan.
~ OMAR Khayyám (from the Rubaiyat)

Thanks, David, for inspiring pleasant thoughts.

Tinbeni said...

Both the LAT and NYT were on the side of "easiest ever."
@Van55, I agree this was far surperior.

Tight puzzle but I was hoping for "Skin-to-Skin."
Hey, it's my B-Day. I guess there's time for that later.

PuzzleGirl, You're right, Smoooooth. Just like the Avatar that will be consumed today. And thanks for the perfect clip.

All things must pass. (Boy, I'll bet you're tired of hearing that tired phrase).
Damn, K-Stones are as painful as childbirth but there is no prise at the end.
I hope you're feeling GREAT soon.


And a Happy Birthday to Andy.
Have an extra pinch of Scotch (on me)!

CrazyCat said...

I agree with PG ET AL that this was a very smooth puzzle. OODLES of decent words for a Monday. Only write over was dash for ONE K.
@Sfingi Ouch! Hope you're feeling better.
@Tinbeni Happy Birthday!

C said...

Easy puzzle but with interesting words in the grid.

I really liked OODLES for some reason. Probably reminds me of a De La Soul song. I like De La Soul hence I like OODLES. QED.


The name OREO comes from the Greek root for "appetizing" as in orexin or "appetite stimulating" as in orexigenic. Also, the Greek word OREO, means beautiful or nice.

The name HYDROX however is a portmanteau of the atomic components of water: hydrogen and oxygen (H2O, or water!) What's the association with water? I guess HYDROX should be eaten with a glass of water as OREOs are eaten with milk. Just a stupid thought.

I believe HYDROX was first... Nabisco getting the idea for the OREO cookie from Sunshine's HYDROX cookie. OREO has been far more successful than HYDROX... perhaps it's all in the name.

Sfingi said...

@James - I know nothing about sports except what I learn here or ask Hubster. Had to look up said Stephen. He's cute. Don't know what you mean by mileage, except I'm slow about sports, or I'm old. Anyway, I don't like Nazis or the KKK. Now or ever.

@John - totally agree. Especially, who wants to eat cookies with water? Bread goes with water.

@Tinbeni, @John, @CrazyCat - Thanx, just weak. Haven't seen my mom in a while. And she was on the same "campus." My hospital roommate (a stranger) said, "Your mom is still alive?" The stone hurt more, though.

Van55 said...

Happy birthday, Tinbeni!!!!

Sorry for your pain sfingi!!!!

Margaret said...

Here in Oakland we knew someone who would tape a K on the railing for every strikeout, but he always taped the third one upside down so there was never a moment when he had three K's in a row -- definitely trying to avoid any sort of Klan association. So I understand the comments, but IMHO the huge number of K's accompanying the Strasberg picture makes it obvious it's baseball and nothing creepy.

On topic? Let's see, I feel like we've had a lot of ENTREE(s) lately.

Joon said...

margaret, i used to go to barry zito's games and tape up Zs whenever he struck somebody out. those were the days. here in boston, by contrast, october seems to have arrived alarmingly early.

Anonymous said...

@Margaret K's are hung up normally and backwards as a matter of course. One denotes striking out swinging, one striking out looking. Don't know which is which, but that's the more likely explaination.

Margaret said...

I didn't know that rule about the K's (swinging vs looking) -- how interesting! Most often I'd seen all the K's oriented normally except for the third one. I'll keep my eyes open.

@Joon, any theories on BZ's pitching problems? Around our house we think he needs to surf more, get his Zen back. Still love me some Tim Hudson even though he's no longer with the A's either -- and he seems to be doing fairly well this year, too! Ah, those were the days indeed.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't "NBA" in itself signal a short-form answer?

choirwriter said...

If you are athletic, you are an athlete, a person proficient in sports or exercise. So, you don't have to be into team sports to be considered athletic, just physically fit and good at sports activities.

Sfingi said...

@Anon609 - Haha - should be NBAA.

OK, so the 2nd time in my life I see this (Ks) I won't be terrorized; I'll say they're unlearnt A-h---s.

@Tinbeni - if it's really your birthday, Happy Birthday.

@Vans - Thanx.

choirwriter said...

I agree @Anonymous re "NBA" - however, this being a Monday, they would usually include the words "for short" anyway.

choirwriter said...

I always pictured the actor Sebastian Cabot
when studying about the explorer Sebastian Cabot in school. Quite a mental picture in those 16th century Italian clothes!