S A T U R D A Y   August 7, 2010
Joon Pahk

Theme: None

Now this is what I'm talking about. This puzzle right here. Sparkly entries, tricky cluing, a couple things I really had to work hard for — in other words, a perfect Saturday. Here's something I noticed about this puzzle — and this is an easy way to distinguish an early-week puzzle from a late-week puzzle: one-word clues that could mean many different things. This puzzle is full of 'em!
  • 24A: Hide (SKIN). Hide like in hide-and-seek? No.
  • 54A: Fire (SACK). Fire like a flame? No.
  • 63A: Draws (STALEMATES). Draws like with a pencil? How about like a chimney? Or maybe it's referring to your opponents in a tournament bracket? No.
  • 1D: Nurses (SIPS ON). Nurses like in a hospital? Like feeding a baby? No.
Tricky, tricky, tricky! Love it!

There were a few things in this puzzle that I just flat-out didn't know:
  • 19A: Christian denom. that observes the Sabbath on Saturday (SDA). Raise your hand if you tried LDS first. Yes, of course I've heard of Seventh-Day Adventists. But I've never seen them abbreviated.
  • 30A: Painting on utensils or furniture (TOLE). I'm finding a bunch of references to this word defining it as the utensils or furniture themselves (the ones that have been painted in a certain way). But it seems that the act of this type of painting can also be described as "tole painting."
  • 32D: Gogo's pal, in "Waiting for Godot" (DIDI). This is one of those things that Joon probably knows off the top of his head and can't believe that any educated person would admit to not having heard of. I take solace in the fact, however, that Joon is equally as likely to blanch at a reference to, say, Huey Lewis & the News. ("that seems pretty obscure" he might type in that lower-case way of his.)
  • 38D: "Emperor __" (CONCERTO). This is Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73. Oh that "Emperor Concerto"!
Then there were entries that I didn't really know, but could eventually uncover with an educated guess:
  • 43A: Angelo's instrument (ARPA). I assumed this answer would be a foreign word for "harp" but I wasn't entirely sure which language (Italian? Yes, Italian.) and in any case I didn't know the word.
  • 53A: Robbie's dad (EVEL). I thought of Robbie on "My Three Sons," I wondered if Rob Petrie had a son and if Robbie Benson had a dad whose name I should know. When the V fell into place I realized we were talking about those wacky Knievels.
  • 5D: Tycho Brahe's sci. (ASTR.). I'm sure I've only seen this guy's name in crossword puzzles. ("yeah, he only made the most accurate astronomical observations of his time, and mentored johannes kepler, but why should you know him?")
  • 30D: Trypanosome transmitter (TSE-TSE). Trypano-whoozits?
  • 41D: Theresa Dunn's ideal Mr., in a 1975 novel title (GOODBAR). This is one of those books I feel like I should read but I just never have. Or maybe I should just see the movie.
  • 52D: Douze mois (ANNÉE). I know that "douze" is French for "twelve," but I did not know that "mois" is French for "months" until the crosses helped me out.
Finally there was just a bunch of stuff I really loved seeing:
  • 1A: Ripped muscles? (SIX-PACK ABS). I originally thought "ripped" in the clue was a verb and the answer would be something like "worked out" or "pumped iron."
  • 17A: Like some suits (PIN-STRIPED). Ya know what else are PIN-STRIPED? Some baseball uniforms. ("seriously? you're going to deface this post with a picture of the yankees??" Why yes, Joon. Yes I am.)
  • 20A: Fix, as a wicker chair (RECANE). Okay, this one I didn't really love seeing. But it's the only entry that jumped out at me as a blatant clunker.
  • 39A: Feverishly (LIKE MAD).
  • 60A: Contemporary folklore (URBAN MYTHS).
  • 7D: Two-time 1970s NBA champs (KNICKS). Gotta love a coupla Ks.
  • 12D: "Not in public, you two!" ("GET A ROOM!"). Ha!
  • 13D: "Get Shorty" co-star (TRAVOLTA). I would pay to watch John Travolta read the phone book.
  • 35D: Bittersweet farewell (SWAN SONG).
  • 36D: Drum site (EAR CANAL). I tried "inner ear" first. At least I was in the right neighborhood!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 58A: A storm may affect it, briefly (ETA).
  • 23D: The Boston Symphony played its second movement to commemorate FDR's death (EROICA).
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Everything Else — 11A: "House Hunters" network (HGTV); 15A: While away (IN ABSENTIA); 16A: Flying start? (AERO-); 18A: Right-leaning: Abbr. (ITAL.); 21A: WCs (LAVS); 22A: Renaissance Faire word (OLDE); 25A: Biodegrade (ROT); 26A: Prefix with biology (NEURO-); 28A: Cut (SNIP); 31A: Former Monterey Bay fort (ORD); 33A: Ringling Museum of the American Circus city (SARASOTA); 35A: Language subfamily that includes Maltese (SEMITIC); 40A: Defense against intruders (WATCHDOG); 42A: "Vamoose!" ("GIT!"); 44A: Playing a fifth qtr., say (IN OT); 46A: "This I Promise You" band ('N SYNC); 50A: Any U.S. Army E-4 thru E-9 (NCO); 51A: "Iron Chef America" chef Cat __ (CORA); 56A: City SSW of Cleveland (MEDINA); 58A: A storm may affect it, briefly (ETA); 59A: "__, you noblest English!": "Henry V" (ON, ON); 62A: Shuffle alternative (NANO); 64A: Phosphoresce (GLOW); 65A: One may be set on a stage (HORSE OPERA); 2D: When an engine might stall (IN IDLE); 3D: City visited by Marco Polo (XANADU); 4D: "Viewers Like You" help support it: Abbr. (PBS); 6D: Roman goddess of agriculture (CERES); 8D: Going to great lengths (AT PAINS); 9D: Like national elections (BIENNIAL); 10D: "Justine" author (SADE); 11D: Salute (HAIL); 14D: __ Act: 1919 Prohibition legislation (VOLSTEAD); 23D: The Boston Symphony played its second movement to commemorate FDR's death (EROICA); 27D: Surg. specialty (ORTH.); 29D: Moralizer (PRIG); 34D: Comparable (AKIN); 37D: Resort town W. of the Delaware Water Gap (MT. POCONO); 45D: Experiments (TRIALS); 47D: Actress Mimieux (YVETTE); 48D: Like hell? (NETHER); 49D: Midwest League's baseball level (CLASS A); 55D: Not just suppose (KNOW); 56D: Cloying sentimentality (MUSH); 57D: A few rounds, perhaps (AMMO); 61D: Kisser (YAP).


Van55 said...

Just an excellent puzzle notwithstanding a plethora of proper nouns.

Tinbeni said...

SARASOTA being the Ringling Museum city was a gimmie for me.
Then I was back to all crosses to get MT.POCONO that resort town W of the Deleware Gap and MEDINA, OH a town of 25,139 (2000 census) SSW of Cleveland, I've never heard of.
I guess it's all about location.

Had I been alive at the time of the VOLSTEAD Act: 1919 Prohibition legislation ... well I would have died.
1d Nurses, SIPS ON, is also something I never endorse.

EVEL Knievel being "Robbie's dad" is pretty obscure for all but their motorcycle jumping enthusiest.

As to what was played to commemorate FDR's death, EOOCIA, well I was born in '52 and don't remember it.
For "Emperor____" my first thought was Penguin.

Don't KNOW why, but there was something about
GET A ROOM and later STALE MATES in the grid that brought on a grin.

Two Mugs of Java time limit used up.
So in the end, a DNF.

Eric said...

Many Googles; still DNF.

But I managed to get both EROICA and CONCERTO through crosses, even though I'm not familiar with either piece.

I liked ONON stacked with NANO. Now if it could have been ONON / NONO, that would have been extra bonus!

What @anon said yesterday about "all by oneself" and "dateless" on a Friday night applies to me on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon -- so time to stop puzzling and get out in the sun with friends!

Doug P said...

Excellent puzzle today. I started with ABDOMINALS at 1-Across, but I figured it would turn out to be something more interesting than that. Lots of fun fill throughout, and I especially liked GET A ROOM.

Even if you have no interest in astronomy, you should read a little about Tycho Brahe. His nose was cut off in a duel, so he wore a fake one, probably made of gold or silver. He also had a clairvoyant dwarf as a court jester and a tame elk that died after falling down the stairs in a drunken stupor. Now there's a reality show for you.

As for the write-up, Black Sabbath + chocolate bar + Mariano = A+!

Golfballman said...

After googling the cast of Waiting for Godot there are only 5 characters in the movie and neither Gogo or his pal Didi are listed. What gives?

C said...

Good puzzle, lots of things to like and the challenge was excellent. I made one mistake with ARPA, I knew it was a foreign word for a musical instrument but for some unknown reason, I went with ARCA. I have a search out for the neuron who was responsible for this mistake and he/she will be held accountable.

Joon said...

thanks puzzlegirl, van, and doug! and i'm just old enough to know huey. i've seen back to the future about a zillion times, so "the power of love" is pretty familiar. and yeah, some baseball teams wear pinstripes: the twins, white sox, astros, and diamondbacks. are there others? :)

golfballman, the two main characters in waiting for godot are vladimir and estragon, but they call themselves didi and gogo. sorry this clue turned out to be less googleable than intended.

trypanosomes are the unicellular parasites that spread diseases like sleeping sickness. tsetse flies are vectors for these nasty little guys.

Anonymous said...

A donate button 'just because'?? Shameless.

chefwen said...

This one was a hell of a lot easier that the NYT's today, at least for me, but tricky enough to make it fun and enjoyable. It's taken me some time, but I think I am finally getting into Joon's frame of thought.

Thanks for the great puzzle and, as always, writeup.

Sfingi said...

Another DNF,in the SW corner.

No idea for CLASSA or even for Googling it (sports).

Did Google the French for ANNEE (12 mo.); NSYNC, Ringling Museum at SARASOTA; Iron Chef Cat CORA; and MEDINA, OH.

Had jonS before LAVS for the WC (vaysay or water closet). Had LDS (Latter Day Saints) before SDA (Seventh Day Adventists). Not in love with initials.

Maltese is a subgroup of SEMITIC, but more especially a subgroup of a subgroup of Siculu-Arabic - yes - Sicilian Arabic. So I was putzin' around there for a while, trying to fit it in.

Another Sicilian - TRAVOLTA.

There are 2 "well-known" books named Justine: the one by the Marquis de SADE and another by Lawrence Durrell of the Alexandria Quartet, which is much more pleasant. I once tried to read the SADE, and the blood-letting was nauseating. Every sadist needs a masochist, and SADE pointed out it feels so good when it stops. If you don't die first, I guess.

But, I must be a bit off, since I got GETAROOM immediately, with only the G in. And the VOLSTEAD Act, which helped create the American Mafia.

@Golfballman - ya gotta see one of these absurdist plays to enjoy them. They're actually funny.

@Doug P. - To me, it sounds so sad.

shrub5 said...

Rolling in late tonight. LOVED this puzzle although I DNF. Joon, you are the best!

I wasn't able to complete the SW corner until I googled for SEMITIC and DIDI. Had SAYONARA for awhile before SWANSONG so that made the starts of many words wrong. Having OFF (officer) instead of NCO added to the mess. I wasn't in the oater frame of mind for 65D and had to get HORSEOPERA bit by bit.

@PG: Agree w/ you on John Travolta. Phone book, then the entire chapter of Deuteronomy followed by Bergey's Manual of Bacterial Taxonomy.


A bit too esoteric for me!
On the top half I WENT LIKE MAD, and then I came to a grinding halt with the bottom center… DNF! I hate not finishing a puzzle.

When I saw these Napoleanics, EROICA and then the Emperor CONCERTO, I began to think this was a John Lampkin puzzle, but soon it became apparent with all the tricky cluing and obscure entries that it was constructed by Joon.
I try not to look at the byline until I finish the puzzle.

I liked some of the foreign words like Spanish ARPA for harp and French ANNEE for douze mois (dozen months).
I liked the two embedded Christian symbols (crosses) in the grid.
I liked XANADU… I’m a huge fan of Olivia Newton-John and the ELO (a big CW101 word).
I liked CERES… she tops the Board of Trade Building in Chicago and presented a real challenge for me in taking this unusual photograph.

Things I did not like:
“Robbie’s dad” (EVEL)… far too obscure.
“Playing a fifth qtr.“ (INOT)… ugly!
“A storm may affect it” (ETA)… super ugly!
“iPod Shuffle alternative” (NANO)… I’m not into these Apple products.