M O N D A Y   September 13, 2010
Jeff Chen

Theme: B&B — It's pretty easy. You can figure it out.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Consequences of a minor accident, perhaps (BUMPS AND BRUISES).
  • 22A: "The Greatest Show on Earth" promoters (BARNUM AND BAILEY).
  • 35A: Before long (BY AND BY).
  • 46A: Product improvement slogan (BIGGER AND BETTER).
  • 53A: Cozy inn whose abbreviation is a hint to this puzzle's theme (BED AND BREAKFAST).
Isn't it fun to start off the week with a funky-looking grid? The four 15-letter answers no doubt necessitated this unusual look. Take a look at all the down answers that cross two theme answers. I think Jeff did a great job with this puzzle and can hardly believe it ended up as a Monday. Seems like the constraints placed on the grid by the theme answers would cause some non-Monday and/or awkward crossings but I didn't see any. Well, GETS FIT (41D: Tones one's body) is kind of random, but that's really the only thing. Other than that, smooth sailing.

  • 27A: Totally dreadful (ABYSMAL). I'm going to try to use this word today. You should too.
  • 29A: Like EEE shoes (WIDE). I'm pretty sure the reference to the crossword-tastic size EEE shoes in the clue is a wink to us frequent solvers.
  • 42A: Adjust to the desired wake-up time, as an alarm (SET). Man, that's a long way to go for SET.
  • 13D: __ fit: tantrum (HISSY). Ooh, here's another great phrase to work into the conversation today. Shouldn't be too difficult with PuzzleDaughter around! (Please don't tell her I said that.)
  • 18D: Pond gunk (SCUM). Ew.
  • 37D: Lead-in to girl or boy (ATTA). There's always a possibility with this clue that the answer will be IT'S A so it's a good idea to wait for crosses.
  • 46D: Genesis tower locale (BABEL). Also one of the most depressing movies of all time.
  • 58D: Beachgoer's shade (TAN). Or, if you're like me, maybe a little pink.
Crosswordese 101: It doesn't matter whether you love, hate, or are indifferent to "The Simpsons," a few bits of trivia about the show will go a long way in your crossword-solving career. For example, it pays to know 2D: "The Simpsons" storekeeper, APU Nahasapeemapetilon, Ph.D. Fortunately, you only have to know his first name. Other tidbits about APU that might show up in clues: he is the proprieter/clerk of the Kwik-E-Mart which is known for selling something called a "Squishee"; he and his wife, Manjula, are the parents of octuplets; and he graduated first in his class of seven million at Calcutta Tech.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 34A: '50s political monogram (DDE).
  • 59A: Grandson of Adam (ENOS).
  • 36D: River of Flanders (YSER).
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Everything Else — 1A: Green gem (JADE); 5A: Runs easily (TROTS); 10A: Ruler marking (INCH); 14A: High spot (APEX); 15A: Baton-passing event (RELAY); 16A: Delhi dress (SARI); 20A: Less than 90 degrees, anglewise (ACUTE); 21A: Baseball card data (STATS); 28A: Place for cookies (JAR); 30A: Skin: Suff. (-DERM); 31A: Air gun ammo (BB'S); 38A: Span of history (ERA); 39A: "So's __ old man!" (YER); 40A: "¿Cómo __ usted?" (ESTÁ); 41A: Horse's stride (GAIT); 43A: Gently slips past (EASES BY); 51A: Be __ model: exemplify grace in success (A ROLE); 52A: Hideous sorts (OGRES); 60A: Celtic priest of old (DRUID); 61A: Basis of an invention (IDEA); 62A: Tennis do-overs (LETS); 63A: 1,000 kilograms (TONNE); 64A: Word with ghost or boom (TOWN); 1D: Sharp punch (JAB); 3D: FDR or JFK, politically (DEM.); 4D: Wide-open space (EXPANSE); 5D: Emotional shock (TRAUMA); 6D: Hertz auto, e.g. (RENTAL); 7D: Of days gone by (OLDEN); 8D: Bar bill (TAB); 9D: Damascus' land: Abbr. (SYR.); 10D: "Lord, __?": Last Supper question (IS IT I); 11D: __ decongestant (NASAL); 12D: Greek island where Minos ruled (CRETE); 19D: G.I.'s group (U.S. ARMY); 22D: Off-color (BAWDY); 23D: Tolerate (ABIDE); 24D: Winona of "Edward Scissorhands" (RYDER); 25D: Spun CDs at a party (DJ'ED); 26D: Caustic remark (BARB); 30D: Crime lab evidence, briefly (DNA); 31D: Beauty's beloved (BEAST); 32D: Payola, e.g. (BRIBE); 33D: Mythical man-goat (SATYR); 35D: Get noticed (BE SEEN); 43D: Enter stealthily (EDGE IN); 44D: Use emery on (ABRADE); 45D: Hide's partner (SEEK); 47D: Dancer Castle (IRENE); 48D: No-show in a Beckett play (GODOT); 49D: Half-full or half-empty item (GLASS); 50D: Smudge-proof, like mascara (NO-RUN); 54D: Banned bug spray (DDT); 55D: Certain sib (BRO); 56D: Commotion (ADO); 57D: Use a Singer (SEW).


Sfingi said...

Smooth and easy - One sport, 5 items in the theme.
Like a Hell-broth, Boil and Bubble. (Shaks.)
Bed Bath and Beyond would be too many Bs.

Then some of the usual odd fill suspects - DRUIDs, OGRES and SARIs, for my CW mural.

I thought of Baksheesh, the BRIBE which fuels the Mideast (no, not oil).

A Monday to love.

In the sweet BYANDBY, we will meet at that beautiful shore...

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, excellent write-up of a FUN Monday offering by Jeff.

After my week at Hedonism II, Negril, Jamaica, all I can say is my *all-over* TAN is once again ... perfect.

Best part of the week at an "all-inclusive" resort is not having a bar TAB to pay when checking out. Trust me, it would have approached National Debt proportions!

Now I have to make my own coffee and breakfast and somehow try to remember how to engage the brain cells early in the morning.

BY AND BY I'll be back to the old routine.

shrub5 said...

31A BBS another nod to the theme. Also three non-theme words with two Bs (BABEL, BRIBE, BARB.)

This was ACUTE puzzle, easy and fun. Favorite clue: Half-full or half-empty item.

@PG: I'm not a Simpsons follower -- LOL'd at your CW101 of APU.


A big ATTAboy for Jeff Chen!
I liked this puzzle a lot.

Well so far today, I can't find anything ABYSMAL enough to use the word ABYSMAL, so I guess I won't be able to use the word ABYSMAL today. This puzzle certainly wasn't ABYSMAL... the LAT puzzles are getting Better and Better.
Actually that's what I had for 46A until I discovered that there was no TODAT in a Beckett play.

The only disappointment I had with this puzzle: I finished it before my second cup of coffee at Mother's Diner... now what do I do, read about the Chicago Bears awful game yesterday? Nah!

I thought sneaking in that BBS at 31A (even though it wasn't part of the theme) was quite cute.
Okay guys, admit it. Who as a kid had a BB Gun? And didn't your mom say "He'll shoot his eye out!!!"
And... "Don't run with scissors".
Ah yes, that wonderful motherly wisdom!

I loved your writeup, especially about APU... now I'll be able to watch the Simpsons intelligently.

HISSY Fit: by Frasier

Something for me to do this morning with a nice long walk in this gorgeous Chicago sunshine. BTW, I'm reading Bob Greene's book on fitness and eating. Now I'll just be a little fatty with a guilt complex.

C said...

My first comment after the grid loaded in my browser was 'They made a mistake and posted the upcoming Saturday puzzle' I can't say that I recall a Monday puzzle grid with as much white space.

I liked the puzzle today, some good words like BAWDY and ABYSMAL and I enjoyed solving the puzzle today. Good start to the puzzle week.

CrazyCat said...

EASES BY describes my experience with this breezy puzzle. Liked the other double B words that @Shrub5 pointed out. My huBBy still has his childhood BB gun somewhere out in the garage. HISSY fit was my favorite. My two girl cats had a mutual HISSY fit (actually a hissing match) at 4:00 am this morning and woke everyone up. My only boo boo was BETTER AND BETTER before BIGGER AND BETTER.
@Tinbeni - welcome back. Sounds like you got to BE SEEN in your TAN.
PG thanks for the APU info. I agree BABEL was a truly depressing movie.


Good to have you BACK IN THE BLOG.
It was getting BEASTLY BORING here without you.

Jeff Chen said...

Thanks for your feedback, all!

@C: one of my goals is to make a Monday puzzle with a wide-open, themeless-like grid. Man, it's tough! But it would be so fun to help ease people into doing themeless puzzles...

@PG: GETS FIT was a bit of a desperate measure, after hours and hours of reworking that corner. I thought it would be better than GETS FAT. GETS FOG (Buy a Mel Torme record?), not so much.


Joon said...

jeff is quickly becoming one of my favorite early-week constructors. a simple theme, executed this cleanly, can be a real joy.

as for 41d, how about LETS FLY? it's nice and idiomatic, and you could avoid duping the FIT from the HISSY clue. then you could have LIES and YMCA at 61a/64a.

oh, i see. LETS at 62a already. hmm. could that be SETS/BABES? no, SET at 42a. i guess that could go to SER/ATRA, but it's far from clear now that this is actually an improvement on the GETS FIT grid. um, don't mind me. :)

SethG said...

METS FAN seems to work well, changing EASES BY to EAGERLY. It also gets rid of the BY next to BY AND BY. SEEK goes to GEEK, the bottom middle can stay as is, and there are seemingly plenty of options for middle and lower right.

Jeff Chen said...

@Joon - wow, embarrassed by your words! Thanks!

I'm in process with a young adult book, and hope that I can keep the story at Monday-ish level. I find that it's much, much harder to create an interesting puzzle / story aimed at "easy".

Can anyone get me an agent, by the way? =]


Rube said...

After seeing YSER in umpteen xwords, I decided to find out something about it. Yes, as usually clued, it flows through Northern France into Belgium, through Flanders and then to the North Sea. That's about it. It's 78Km long, about as long as the Hackensack river (72Km) and about half as long as the Passaic river, which we had in a puzzle last week. It flows through no towns you've ever heard of and enters the North Sea at the "city" of Nieuwpoort, pop. 11,062 (2008). In other words, this river is a poster child for obscure crosswordese.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Rex Parker said...

2:33 says Monday, yes. Simple, well-filled. Good job. HISSY and BAWDY and SATYR and BABEL are all nice 5-letter words. Tough to make a puzzle at all interesting with so many 3s and 4s, but this works.


ddbmc said...

As I tackled all the "longer" words and crosses, I failed to even see some of the smaller words! So when @PG chatted about them, I had a few "WTHuh?" moments.

Perfectly delightful Monday solve and I was still awake enough to do it!

@Tin-welcome back from "Down de way, where de nights are gay and de sun shines gaily on de mountain top!" Might have been TMI on your "TAN!" Glad you kept the economy of Jamaica afloat.
@Jeff-very nice puzzle.

Joon said...

rube, the YSER has limited geographical significance, but somewhat more historical significance. i'm not a military history buff, but i'd heard of this before crosswords. it's still crosswordese, but i wouldn't call it obscure.

Rube said...

@Joon, you're right of course in that the Battle of the YSER was of significance in WW I. I would like to argue that rather than clue YSER geographically, it should be clued historically as something like "Belgium river where a WW I battle was fought that solidified the Western Front".

This is still a little obscure, but does bring YSER more into the category of "general knowledge" rather than plain old crosswordese.