S A T U R D A Y   August 21, 2010
Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: None?

As you know, our Saturday puzzles are typically themeless. I don't think the 15s in this grid are coherent enough to be a theme, but they are certainly related and they are definitely cool:
  • 17A: "I'll do it" ("LET ME HANDLE THIS").
  • 38A: Words of disbelief (YOU'RE NOT SERIOUS).
  • 58A: Words after thanks (I APPRECIATE THAT).
I had to fight this one pretty hard, but I did end up victorious. The bottom fell first, but I struggled a lot with the top. With the entire northwest corner empty, I just decided to start throwing in some down answers that were complete and total guesses. And they turned out to be right. Love when that happens! There were a few answers that meant nothing to me at all, so I think I'll look them up for you.
  • 45A: Telepathy term (PSI). Okay, I thought this was P.S.I. and couldn't figure out what it might stand for. Turns out it's the Greek letter PSI and is simply a term from parapsychology. From a quick skim of the Wikipedia page, it seems the term can mean several different things, but they're all related. That's about as much interest as I can muster for this clue/answer.
  • 8D: Biblical grazers (KINE). An archaic plural for cow.
  • 60D: Some corp. officers (TRS). Can't figure this one out from first few pages of Google results. Anyone?
  • 20A: WWII soldier in Africa (DESERT RAT). When PuzzleHusband and I lived in New Mexico, we used desertrats as a username on most thing. I do love the desert. Had never heard the term in relation to soldiers though (but I guess it makes sense).
  • 21A: Application datum (SEX). Thought this might just as well be "SSN" or "age" so had to wait for the crosses (which didn't come particularly quickly).
  • 24A: Chem class abbr. (AT. WT.). Atomic Weight. We've talked about it in CW101.
  • 27A: Gave (out) (METED). Here's another one where it could just as easily have been "doled," so I'm looking at the crosses again.
  • 31A: Half a laugh (HEH). I tried "hee" here first, but it worked itself out pretty easily. I actually use just the one HEH quite often. But that's really more of a snicker than a laugh.
  • 40A: Hall of Fame Vikings lineman Carl (ELLER). He happened to be an active player around the time I used to pay attention to football, so I was thankful for the gimme.
  • 61A: Early MTV staple (VIDEO). Remember way back in the old days when MTV played VIDEOs?
  • 1D: Longest note? (SOL). This clue refers to solfège — you know: do, re, mi, etc. All of the notes in solfège are two letters long, except for SOL, which makes it the "longest note." Ouch.
  • 10D: Howard (STERN). Just kidding. The clue isn't really "Howard," it's "Hard," but it could've been "Howard"!
  • 12D: Actor who was born a Leo, as it happens (LAHR). Very tricky (and interesting!) clue on Bert LAHR, who played the Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz." Get it? Lion? … Leo?
  • 37D: Crash and burn (HIT BOTTOM). You all know the definition of hitting bottom, right? It's when your world is falling apart faster than you can lower your standards.
  • 45D: Pepper picker (PIPER). Tried "Peter" first.
  • 48D: Caroline, to Bobby (NIECE). Kennedys.
  • 54D: H.S. reasoning exam, formerly (SAT I). I think maybe there used to be two parts to the SAT. Yep, SAT I (reasoning) and SAT II (writing). But now it's just one big honkin' test.
Crosswordese 101: There are three EDDS-with-two-Ds that you need to know for crosswords and two of them are in today's clue, 9D: Actor Byrnes and baseball Hall of Famer Roush (the other is "Former 'Tonight Show' announcer Hall"). The baseball player will almost always be clued as a baseball player, hall-of-famer and/or outfielder. The actor is clued with reference to "77 Sunset Strip" or "Grease."

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Everything Else — 1A: "Banded" arid-area reptile (SAND SNAKE); 10A: Hitting sound (SPLAT); 15A: Body fat compound (OLEIC ACID); 16A: Bait (TEASE); 19A: Joan of "The Last Emperor" (CHEN); 23A: At least one (ANY); 34A: Film with a lot of reports (SHOOT 'EM UP); 36A: Coast (SHORE); 41A: Acted (TOOK STEPS); 42A: Former British Poet Laureate Hughes (TED); 43A: Fogg's creator (VERNE); 44A: Computer unit (BYTE); 47A: Cone lead-in (SNO-); 49A: Healthful desserts (FRUIT CUPS); 55A: "Let's call __ evening" (IT AN); 62A: Fashionable partygoer? (LATE COMER); 63A: Poet's superlative (ENORM); 64A: 1986 Blake Edwards comedy flop (aptly named, as it turned out) (A FINE MESS); 2D: Smart one? (ALEC); 3D: 2010 FIFA World Cup finalist (NETH.); 4D: See 49-Down (DIME STORE); 5D: View (SCENE); 6D: "Forget it" ("NAH"); 7D: USMA part: Abbr. (ACAD.); 11D: Narrow (PETTY); 13D: Large land mass (ASIA); 14D: Check (TEST); 18D: Chair, say (LEAD); 22D: Cyclops and Beast, e.g. (X-MEN); 24D: So far (AS YET); 25D: Oar fulcrum (THOLE); 26D: If only (WOULD); 28D: Hardly be stoical (EMOTE); 29D: Oxford employee (TUTOR); 30D: Printing pioneer (EPSON); 31D: Rot (HOOEY); 32D: Blow (ERUPT); 33D: "Demian" author (HESSE); 35D: Dutch painter Gerard __ Borch (TER); 36D: H.S. VIPs (SRS.); 39D: Gets by, with "out" (EKES); 43D: Annual resolution target (VICE); 46D: Lindsey's predecessor in the Senate (STROM); 49D: With "and" and 59-Down, 4-Down (FIVE); 50D: Noah's concern (RAIN); 51D: Style with pins (UPDO); 52D: 2010 College World Series runner-up (UCLA); 53D: "La Vie en Rose" singer (PIAF); 56D: "Alas!" ("AH ME!"); 57D: Nairn negatives (NAES); 59D: See 49-Down (TEN).


gatz said...

wag for 60D Some Corp. officers
TRS (TReasurerS)

A better clue might have been:

60D Radio Shack computer, -80

TRS-80 ......everyone knows this, right?

Anonymous said...

could someone please tell me why there is always one clue highlighted and one letter singled out in particular?

Van55 said...

TRS = Treasurers, I guess. Lame!

Pretty good struggle for a LAT Saturday.

@Anonymous -- that's a product of where PG's cursor is/was when she took the screen shot of the solved grid. That is, the cursor sits on the dark letter in the shaded word -- probably indicating that that letter was her last entry.


Today I'm a LATE COMER... slept in!

@PG Glad to see you're up and at em again. Hope you're feeling a lot better.

Well I really HIT BOTTOM on this puzzle. Had lots of errors. COULD instead of WOULD, FOOEY instead of HOOEY, ELLEN instead of ELLER, OMEN instead of XMEN... A FINE MESS, but I have to say that I really enjoyed this puzzle. Nice and STERN as a Saturday puzzle should be. Some good words for me to learn: Joan CHEN, THOLE, Gerard TER Borch, and PSI (Telepathy term). I also liked all the memories stuff.

Things I didn't like: Of course I'll echo what others have said about the ugliness of TRS. ERUPT for "blow"... uhuh! "Application datum" for SEX???? Hated the linkage of 4D, 49D, and 59D, but I did enjoy seeing DIMESTORE... ahh memories! The old Ben Franklin store that we would send our kids to with a dollar and they'd come home an hour later with a huge bag full of treasures.

More memory goodies: Jules VERNE, SHOOT EM UPs, and Bert LAHR from the Wizard of OZ. Thanks, Robert! I APPRECIATE THAT.

Time for a third cup of java.

Have a lovely weekend y'all!


Why is it that when I see the phrase YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS, I immediately think of John McEnroe?

I know there’s a theme in this puzzle, but I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. Anyone? Anyone?

And I’m trying to think of the famous name associated with DESERT RAT.

SethG said...

Without looking at John's link, "You can't be serious, man. You cannot be serious!" How'd I do?

My trouble was in the NE. I'm not sure why. I did have CENT STORE at first in the NW when I misunderstood the ridiculous cross-reference.

Ah, archaic plural for cow. Thanks, PuzzleGirl!

Anonymous said...

John, think you're looking for ROMMEL, the Desert Fox, leader of the Nazi rats...

Anonymous said...

The RAT in desert rats stands for "Royal Australian Tank [corps]" Remember the excellent 1953 movie with Richard Burton, "The Desert Rats"?


backbiter said...

45A: I just could NOT figure out what pounds per square inch had to do with telepathy. That is until PG's explanation. *headsmack* Favorite clue is 61 A: Early MTV staple. Boy, isnt' that the truth? You're better off watching VH-1 Classics. Tons of videos if somewhat repetitive, and That Metal Show. Awesome channel. Least favorite answer is TRS. Huh?
@D TRS-80 is the first computer I ever worked with. That was many moons ago.

Anonymous said...

The Desert Rats was also an TV series in which a bunch of American soldiers raced across the N. African sands in jeeps while firing mounted machine guns at Germans. It aired in the 60s, I think, and I loved it.

ERUPT for "blow" works for me. Like lose one"s temper = erupts = thar she blows.

Thanks for the SOL explanation. I kept running through the do-re-mi drill and couldn't figure how SOL was any longer than the others. Puzzle Girl, how would I sleep at night without you.

Anonymous said...

Trs in today's puzzle could be for trustees. They are board members

ddbmc said...

Another good tussle today, with the puzzle. Actually, had less difficulty with today's cw than with yestiddy's.(sic)

@PG, had just sent an email off to my TRS, so that popped right into my head. Otherwise, I,too may have pondered that for a bit.

Not a big poetry reader, so ENORM escaped me. Googled it, and low and behold, there is a rock group thusly named.

Gerard TER Borch, was also an unknown, but got answered with the crosses. Nice to learn of him and about his work.

@JNH, I do crack up when I see that McEnroe National car rental commercial. It's nice to see that he no longer takes himself so seriously!
Mac Attack Of course, who wouldn't poke fun at themselves for a paycheck? (see: Reality Shows!)

@PG, thanks for the KINE explanation! There is also a Hawaiian radio station with those call letters. Don't suppose it's theme song is very mooving....
Nice puzzle, Mr. Wolfe.

Tinbeni said...

The theme was revealed at:
6d,"Forget it" = NAH !!!

I went through this saying to myself:
"HAH, HAH, HAH" quite often.

A lot of obscure (not clever) clues:
LAHR's birthname.
BORCH's middlename
*ANY* British Poet Laureate, former or current, ever!
Singer of a 1946 French song.
An archaic biblical cow reference.

Then you add in the 49d (with 'and') linked to 59d & 4d.
That equates to the clues being:
49d____and; 59d____; 4d_________.
(Now get ANY of those without the crosses).

Which LEADs me to the second theme reveal:
31d "Rot" = HOOEY !!!
What this puzzle was a bunch of ...

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymus, the show you're thinking about was called
" The Rat Patrol "


This is the DESERT RATS movie that I was thinking about... a terrific Richard Burton / James Mason movie.

Anonymous said...

You win! I give up. I've been doing crossword puzzles for over fifty years and I got exactly THREE words of this one. Since I REFUSE to use the computer to cheat (until I gave up and copied the answers) I've come to the conclusion that 1) a thorough knowledge of English vocabulary is useless in solving LAT puzzles; or 2)I am now considered illiterate or stupid; or 3)Puzzle constructors use imbecilic definitions inane pop culture names in order to make their jobs easier. LAT actually pays these guys for this drivel???

Anonymous said...

one of hitlers generals in WWII was called the desert rat