F R I D A Y   September 10, 2010
Jack McInturff

Theme: Someone's gonna poke an EY out — Familiar phrases omit the letters EY, creating wacky new phrases clued wackily.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Faultfinding brother? (MONK ON ONE'S BACK).
  • 29A: Debris in the hayloft? (BARN RUBBLE).
  • 38A: Impervious to chutzpah? (GALLPROOF).
  • 50A: What Michelle Kwan might do in a financial emergency? (HOCK SKATES).
  • 59A: Haystack-hiding Ottoman? (TURK IN THE STRAW).
Today we're going straight to …

  • 11A: Short nightwear? (PJ'S). It's not that the nightwear is short in length, it's that the word for nightwear we're looking for here is a shortened form. I.e., PJ'S for "pajamas."
  • 17A: "Big Girl in the Middle" co-author Gabrielle (REECE). She's a professional beach volleyball player married to a professional surfer. I'm sure they both work really hard at their jobs, but I have to say it sounds a little bit like a charmed life.
  • 23A: Spat end (-ULA). I entered "ter" at first. Besides being wrong, that's a terrible answer.
  • 34A: Shivering causes (FEARS). All I could think of was temperature but couldn't find anything to fit. Had to get this one through crosses.
  • 42A: Jordan was part of it: Abbr. (NBA). HAha! This one totally tricked me. Thought it was referring to the Kingdom of Jordan not His Airness, Michael Jordan.
  • 55A: First daughter of the '60s (LUCI). That would be Luci Baines Johnson.
  • 65A: MGM motto word (ARS). MGM's motto is "ARS Gratia Artis," Latin for "Art for art's sake." Personally, I prefer Ubu Productions' motto "Sit, Ubu, sit!"
  • 68A: Blow without distinction? (JOE). As in the phrase "any old Joe Blow…." Good clue.
  • 73A: Finishing stroke (SERIF). Mmmm … typography.
  • 6D: Arizona's "Red Rocks Country" (SEDONA). Beautiful!
  • 12D: Nocturnal scavengers (JACKALS). I know SethG wasn't thrilled about the first theme answer. He's not a fan of familiar phrases that are generally directed at "you" being changed to "one." You know what he does like, though? This.

  • 13D: Friday was one: Abbr. (SGT.). Jack Webb's character Joe Friday from Dragnet, which I just learned right this moment was a radio show before it was on television.
  • 26D: Stars of "Two and a Half Men," e.g. (HES). Just becuase you can pluralize any word, doesn't mean you should.
  • 40D: Airport near Citi Field, briefly (LGA). LGA is the code for New York's LaGuardia Airport.
  • 41D: Dandy (FOP). FOP is an awesome awesome word. I don't have enough FOPs in my life. Or cads. I need more FOPs and cads.
  • 48D: Sharon, notably (ISRAELI). This an example of the old pronunciation trick. Ariel Sharon (pronounced like share-OWN) is a former Israeli Prime Minister.
  • 49D: London classic, with "The" (SEA-WOLF). Okay, this is how dumb I am. I had No Idea what this meant until I was reading through the clues and answer in preparation for writing this post. I'm thinking it's the name of a famous ship that's docked in England? Maybe the nickname of a famous British sailor? No. It's the name of a book. A classic book — it even says that in the clue! — written by Jack London.
  • 63D: Ohio State basketball coach Matta (THAD). I'm not really up on my college basketball coaches but this guy seems to have had an impressive career. Despite the fact that he started out playing for the Hoopeston-East Lynn High School Cornjerkers in Hoopeston, Illinois.
Crosswordese 101: ROCS are … 9D: Mythical birds. Ta-da! Big surprise, right? Okay, how else might you see ROC clued? How about "Arabian Nights" bird, Sinbad's transport, or mythical/fabled/legenday predator/flier. It has been clued twice this year in the New York Times as Jay-Z's hip-hop label ROC-A-Fella Records. So you might want to watch out for that clue as well.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 36A: Each (A POP).
  • 8D: Wheelset component (AXLE).
  • 22D: Tirana is its cap. (ALB.).
  • 28D: Work unit (ERG).
  • 51D: Cassis apéritif (KIR).
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Everything Else — 1A: Spread __ (EAGLE); 6A: Rises to great heights (SOARS); 14A: Series (ARRAY); 15A: Speedpass brand (EXXON); 16A: Space in time (LAG); 18A: Longtime DieHard rival (DELCO); 19A: Fake it (ACT); 24A: Carmelite, e.g. (NUN); 25A: Daughter of Laban (LEAH); 27A: Lighten up (FADE); 37A: WWII intelligence gp. (OSS); 45A: Dreamcast maker (SEGA); 46A: Dona __ pacem: grant us peace (NOBIS); 54A: Pretense (POSE); 56A: Boomer's kid (X'ER); 58A: Basso Berberian (ARA); 66A: D-Day beach (OMAHA); 67A: Wedding memento (VIDEO); 69A: Not fresh (BANAL); 70A: Green shampoo (PRELL); 71A: Balaam's beast (ASS); 72A: Radiate (EXUDE); 1D: Canal protector (EAR MUFF); 2D: Colorful rings (AREOLAE); 3D: Caribbean island nation (GRENADA); 4D: Dearth (LACK); 5D: "__ America Tour": 2006 CBS News event (EYE ON); 7D: Team members (OXEN); 10D: Arty type, maybe (SNOB); 11D: Controversial testing component (PLACEBO); 21D: Heart (NUB); 30D: Knock on (RAP AT); 31D: "Fresh Air" airer (NPR); 32D: Friend of Pooh (ROO); 33D: Knowledgeable about (UPON); 35D: Reason for grounding, perhaps (SASS); 39D: Coin in Tirana (LEK); 42D: Sabres' org. (NHL); 43D: Former U.N. secretary-general __-Ghali (BOUTROS); 44D: Charges (ACCUSES); 47D: One taken in (BOARDER); 52D: Yoga command (EXHALE); 53D: Date (SEE); 57D: Requested answers (RSVP'S); 60D: Eastern beef city (KOBE); 61D: It gives you the big picture (IMAX); 62D: Half a sitcom signoff (NANU); 64D: Flag (TIRE); 65D: Grammy-winning Steely Dan album (AJA).


SethG said...

Why yes, I do like The Jackal. Not a great fan of the clue, though--jackals are more predators than scavengers. Lotsa times when you see images of the jackals sitting around looking at the lions eating, waiting for some scraps? It's because the lion came in and stole whatever the jackals had spent all night hunting.

SEAWOLF was indeed tricky, and I had FIN for NUN until I convinced myself it couldn't actually be right. What's it say about me that I entered both ALB and LEK with no crosses?

Anonymous said...

First Friday that this novice got the first two clues right off the bat. Did anyone else think of Joe Crocker (eagles soar)? The puzzle was full of clever and smile-inducing clues. The blog was, as usual, amusing and instructive. The West Wing clip was terrific. How do you come up with these, PG? Many thanks.
Mike S. on Balboa Island

badrog said...

Do earmuffs really protect the ear canal? When we lived in the upper midwest we might've worn them to keep the earlobes warm, but I don't remember ever thinking, "Boy, my ear canals are sure cold!"

Had a surprisingly hard time with the theme gimmick. Didn't get it until way down at TURKINTHESTRAW.

Also it took far too long to realize that Joe is Mr. Blow's first name.

And that Friday was LAPD and not Robinson Crusoe.

And that London was not UK or Julie, but Jack.

Crossing Nba with Nhl is cute, but I still can't decide if it's good cute or bad cute.

Last square filled: 7, Changing to Soars from Stars when I saw that 7D had to be Oxen.

Re-reading all of the above leads
to the following excuse for having trouble with so much that I shoulda got sooner: 6:00AM is far too early, especially when you've got a hangover.


Sort of an easy Friday puzzle once you catch on to the EY-less theme. Took me a little less than 9 minutes on paper, once I got the roll. I think it's because of all the crosswordese, like APOP, ERG, KIR, LGA, ROCS, OSS, NOBIS, BOUTROS, NANU, etc. Once you fill in all these gimmes and recognize the theme ploy, the solving sails.
BOUTROS came easy for me because one of my best friends (an Egyptian) is named BOUTROS... it stans for "petros" or "rock", so we call him Peter. Lots of product names (PRELL, EXXON, DELCO, and SEGA) make for nice gimmes too.

Some detours for me:
When I saw the clue for 68A "Blow without distinction", I thought surely it had to do with marijuana.
I thought 23A "Spat ending" was spatIAL instead of spatULA.
I thought Jack London wrote BEOWULF...duh!
Never heard of Gabrielle REECE.

I agree with @Madrog, and I think EARPLUG would have been a better "Canal protector" than EARMUFF.

I recently got the VIDEO of The Day of the JACKAL... what a great thriller!

Well, I better get off my "Balaam's beast" and get some yard work done.

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Seeing SEDONA in the puzzle brought back some wonderful memories... I loved hiking in Arizona, especially in this "Red Rocks Country". SEDONA is riddled with some of the best hiking trails that I've ever been on.

Rube said...

Got stuck in San Diego. Forgot who Balaam was and Ghali's first name, and, of course, had no idea of who, (what) Steely Dan was (is?). Sooo, had to Google and DNF.

Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. Caught on to the theme early at BARNRUBBLE. The low point of this puzz is RAPAT. Ugh, that's even worse than "eat at".

Then there is reference to the marvelous "Red Rocks of Sedona". A spectacular formation. To the north is the Grand Staircase of the Escalante, a new National Monument. Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon... this is "Must See" country. Put it on your "Bucket List".


SethG said...

Boutros was his first name, but the clue asked for the pre-hyphen part of his last name. That's Boutros.

Anonymous said...

Really liked this one. Solved it from the bottom up; most trouble with NW corner (was thinking spread sheet, not eagle at first).

Hadn't thought of Prell shampoo in ages--didn't they advertise with a pearl dropped into a bottle?

C said...

Good Friday puzzle though I took a DNF. I argued myself out of LUCI because I was sure that the drink I have never had and only know about through crossword puzzles was spelled KYR instead of KIR and I did not know LBJ's daughter's name. Ah, one should always go with your first impulse ... unless it's wrong ;^)

Never heard of the bassist, that's why they give you crosses, I guess.

Laird Hamilton, husband of Gabrielle Reece, is a dude. Surfs some humongous waves and can stand up paddle across oceans.

Reno911 said...

Good challenging puzzle. I use ear muffs all the time to protect my hearing on the flight line. More comfortable than ear plugs and on and off more quickly. Thanks for the write up

Anonymous said...

Too many "tangential" clues. "Series" and "array" are really not good synonyms - series is one dimensional and array is multi-dimensional. "Radiate" means to rapidly emanate for long distances - exude is more like seep. To me, "nub" is a cold, static, word while heart is a warm, dynamic, thing. There are probably others as well. IMAX gives you "a" big picture, not "the" big picture. By the way, "two-and-a half men" has NO real stars it has only lead roles.

Anonymous said...

Too many "tangential" clues. "Series" and "array" are really not good synonyms - series is one dimensional and array is multi-dimensional. "Radiate" means to rapidly emanate for long distances - exude is more like seep. To me, "nub" is a cold, static, word while heart is a warm, dynamic, thing. There are probably others as well. IMAX gives you "a" big picture, not "the" big picture. By the way, "two-and-a half men" has NO real stars it has only lead roles.

CrazyCat said...

This puzzle didn't really sparkle for me. Probably because of all the names I didn't know. THAD Matta, Gabrielle REECE, ARA Basso Berberian (I googled him and there seem to be only CW references to him) and Boutros BOUTROS-Ghali were all new to me. This made it a struggle and thus a DNF. The theme was cute enough though.
@Rube, @JNH I've been to SEDONA twice and agree it's a spectacular landscape. A stay at Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon is on my bucket list.

Anonymous said...

Maybe try just googling [Ara Berberian]. If you do, you'll find he's a basso.

CrazyCat said...

Anon 11:46 Thanks. Did I forget to mention I took my stupid pill this morning?

ddbmc said...

@CCL, I'm with you. Lotta names that were unfamiliar and not sure how important it is to know them, in the scheme of things, other than CW. Too obscure for me, but then I'm no cognoscenti!

Got the theme answers, except GALL(EY)PROOF didn't come right to mind. (You'll shoot your eye out, Ralphie....)

Stayed with the fam in Sedona back in '91, then drove the kids to the Grand Canyon.(El Tovar was a beautiful place to stay!) Did some of the other National Parks on another trip! Definitely worth getting a National Park's pass for these places, rather than paying APOP per visit! Saw EAGLES spread their wings! Our DELCO held out, but our tire had a JOE blow out, on our way to Jackson Hole! I'd say, all in all, we had our own "EYE ON AMERICA TOUR!"

Had great deal of trouble remembering how to spell:BOUTROS. Kept sticking "H's" and "U's" in, till I got some of the crosses.

@Anon 9:26AM, I remember the Pearl dropping in the Prell! It was to show how "rich" the lather was. Prell Shampoo
@PG, thanks for the write up!

John Wolfenden said...

Pretty tough Friday for me. How exactly are placebos controversial? They're a standard part of the testing process, no?

Sfingi said...

Mini-themes: Hay, Tirana.

DNF in the NE. Why are PJs short, or is it the night that's short?

Though I got the theme, I couldn't figure the 1st toow. Too much sports (for me). Googled many times successfully and one more unsuccessfully (EYE ON). Never heard of ASA, Dreamcast, THAD (sports), REECE (sports again), Berberian. Maybe some day I'll know the Sabres are hockey (sports) and Jordon isn't always a river (sports). Couldn't spell GRENADA.

@Badrog - bad cute, fer sher.

Thank God for the religious clues (ASS, LEAH, NUN, NOBIS).

We've had SEDONA, LEK and YIR recently.

The Arabs and Welsh are forever using their first and last names interchangeably, at least in Utica.
William Williams, Acee Acee, etc.

Eric said...

DNF, as seems usual for me on Fridays. Too many mistakes, and not quick enough on the uptake to fix them; notably IN ON instead of UP ON, RUSE instead of POSE, and STALE instead of BANAL (which gave me HDTV instead of IMAX).

What everyone else said about the obscure names and all the sports.

But any puzzle with both SEDONA and SERIF can't be all bad :-) I was introduced to Sedona by my then-girlfriend, one of whose bucket-list goals is to hike all of the trails there.

PRELL is horrid stuff -- total chemical soup -- but it's great for travelling, because it's so concentrated that the smallest size (a tube, like toothpaste) doesn't take up much space in your kit, but still doesn't get used up too quickly.

Some old business, while I'm on the subject of red rocks and stuff: @JNH(?), a BUTTE is higher than it is wide; a MESA is the reverse; they're both the bits left over after the rest of a PLATEAU has been ERODED away. All the amazing red-rock formations around Sedona are simply an area of erosion at the edge of a plateau. The uneroded part of the plateau extends north; the steep drive up Oak Creek Canyon (north from Sedona itself on 89A) is a climb to its top. See the topo map of the area.

CrazyCat said...

@John - Wolfenden I had the same exact thought about placebos, but after googling, I found that in many cases they are controversial for various reasons. Seems weird to me.
@Erik - Prell is disgusting. Haven't used it since the 70's.

All this talk of Sedona - makes me want to go back *very* soon. Oak Creek is just beautiful. We stayed at a little inn right on the banks. It was so peaceful. Great hiking and the jeep tours are a blast. I'm feeling a "vortex" calling me at this very moment.

CrazyCat said...

I mean Eric - sorry.


@CCL, Eric, ddbmc, Rube
This is what happens when you stand on one of those vortexes (or is it vortices?)
I hiked a lot there and tried to visit all the votex areas... it did feel good though.
I think here we find our definition of "Radiate" (EXUDE).

xxpossum@hotmail.com said...

Stars of "Two and a Half Men"?Again, that would be a NO!!!Hes is not a word.Period.Who edits or qualifies these puzzles,you?This one sucks so bad that I'm thinking of moving on to the N.Y.T.C.P.My intelligence (what little there is) has been officially insulted.Later.

xxpossum@hotmail.com said...

Stars of "Two and a Half Men"?Again, that would be a NO!!!Hes is not a word.Period.Who edits or qualifies these puzzles,you?This one sucks so bad that I'm thinking of moving on to the N.Y.T.C.P.My intelligence (what little there is) has been officially insulted.Later.

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