S A T U R D A Y   September 11, 2010
Mike Nothnagel

Theme: None

Wow. Super tough puzzle today. I was so excited to see Mike Nothnagel's name and knew we were in for a doozy. Lots of colorful phrases, some interesting words, and a dash of diabolical cluing, just as we should expect from Mike.

My favorites:
  • 14A: Stop browsing (LOG OFF). I was struck by this clue because no other kind of browsing even entered my mind. It just got me thinking about how different the world is with all the technology we have today. Ya know what I think is going to be fascinating to watch? Kids growing up without Ever losing contact with people because of Facebook. I just can't imagine what that would be like.
  • 24A: Monopoly phrase (JUST VISITING). Awesome entry. I was thinking of phrases on the chance/community chest cards: "advance to the nearest railroad," "you've been elected chairman of the board" or "bank error in your favor!"
  • 39A: Watches (KEEPS AN EYE ON).
  • 2D: Flashy 1940s outfits (ZOOT SUITS). ZOOT SUITS? That can mean only one thing.

  • 3D: Not easy on the eyes (UGLY AS SIN).
  • 9D: On deck (NEXT IN LINE).
  • 7A: Adequately suited to (FINE FOR). Sort of random. But I think I like it.
  • 19A: Nikon F, e.g., briefly (SLR). Future Crosswordese 101 lesson, it stands for Single Lens Reflex.
  • 23A: Woods set (IRONS). Ya know, I always thought Tiger was kind of a jerk. Now I can finally say so out loud.
  • 27A: Clinker in a Glas (EIS). I'm not sure why "Glas" is capitalized. Is it a brand name? All I saw was that it wasn't English so I knew the answer would be a foreign word. EIS = ice.
  • 28A: Richard of "A Summer Place" (EGAN). He was before my time and I don't really recognize the names of any movies he was in. Pretty sure I've seen him in puzzles before though.
  • 29A: Winter vacation destination (SLOPES). Ha! Having grown up in North Dakota, all I could think about was escaping the winter to the beach!
  • 38A: Nickname of 1950s Reds slugger Ted (KLU). Ted Kluszewski.
  • 42A: Caucasus native (OSSET). No idea.
  • 45A: Cruise itinerary listing (ISLE). Tried "port" first.
  • 46A: Indoor rowing machine, briefly, in rowers' jargon (ERG). Whoa. No idea what this means. We've covered ERG in CW 101 before, but I've never seen a clue quite like this one.
  • 48A: Boss's domain, perhaps (PIT). PIT boss is a casino term.
  • 54A: Place to see a pilot light? (HELIPORT). Cute. "Light" is a verb here.
  • 4D: Capybara or cavy (RODENT). Again with the crazy clues. Caybara? What the …? Oh man. Wikipedia sez it's the largest living rodent in the world. Ew.
  • 7D: Fish malady (FIN ROT). Ew again.
  • 30D: Feature of some bluffs (POKER FACE). I can tell you from experience that there's nothing quite so disturbing as listening to a bunch of nine-year-old girls singing along to Lady Gaga.
I wanted to say something about today, but I don't want to get all morbid/emotional/political on you. So I'll just end with this and suggest you go out of your way to thank a firefighter today.

26D: Day follower, in "Taps" (IS DONE).

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 18A: Vision blurrers, at times (STYES).
  • 5D: Some former tadpoles (EFTS).
  • 49D: River past LogroƱo (EBRO).
  • 50D: Notable Volstead Act enforcer (NESS).
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Everything Else — 1A: Clear skies (AZURES); 15A: Curling-up site (FIRESIDE); 16A: Shared with (TOLD TO); 17A: Too much (IN EXCESS); 20A: Death is part of it (TAROT); 21A: Common California map word (SAN); 22A: Item for the Windsor knot-challenged? (BOLO); 33A: Calmed (STILLED); 35A: Censor (EDIT OUT); 36A: Men-on-base gp.? (U.S. NAVY); 37A: Cell projection insulated by a myelin sheath (AXON); 47A: Take the cuffs off? (ALTER); 49A: Enchanting, but not in a big way? (ELFIN); 51A: Fragrant Cloud and Crimson Glory (TEA ROSES); 53A: Roaring (ABLAZE); 55A: Disarming events? (TRUCES); 56A: Blood reservoirs (SPLEENS); 57A: Island vacation rentals (MOPEDS); 1D: In-flight announcement nos. (ALTS.); 6D: UAL western hub (SFO); 8D: Cause of a duel, maybe (IRE); 10D: Food eaten with tongs and a fork (ESCARGOT); 11D: Sporty '80s Pontiac (FIERO); 12D: Can't stop eating (OD'S ON); 13D: Notes aren't written during them (RESTS); 15D: Temp (FILL IN); 19D: "I feel for you" ("SO SAD"); 22D: Nocturnal fish (BIG EYE); 24D: "Pie __": Mass motet (JESU); 25D: Line outside a nightclub (VELVET ROPE); 31D: Praised (EULOGIZED); 32D: Take by surprise (STUN); 34D: One end of Ontario's Welland Canal (LAKE ERIE); 35D: Praise (EXALT); 37D: Rink statistic (ASSIST); 40D: Military band members (PIPERS); 41D: Call to the attic (YELL UP); 42D: Swear words (OATHS); 43D: A buzzer may end it (SLEEP); 44D: Flea market booth (STALL); 52D: Will party (SON); 53D: Source of emergency funds (ATM).


gatz said...

re 27A Clinker in Glas

was a little curious as to why Glas is capitalized too, and not knowing German, I did some 'net searching.
All German nouns are capitalized.


Also, what's kinda interesting when using Yahoo's BabelFish is that when you Translate the English word "glass" into German, you get Glas

badrog said...

Yes, it was hard ... found myself following crosses all over the place..left/right & up/down. Thankfully, there were no pop culture personal names and I was finally able to fill in the whole thing without googling or webstering.

When Uzbek didn't work, Osset came to mind and it did work (after first changing TEAROSES to REDROSES (for curse I/O OATHS) and then back to TEAROSES.) Wikipedia (just now checked) uses Ossetian rather than Osset, but I guess part of the CW-constructor's license is "If it works, use it!"

"men-on-base" screamed for ALER or NLER or some variant, but when that didn't work, I went for USARMY, and when that didn't work it became USNAVY. Mostly because of my own 4 years in the USN, during which I never once set foot on a ship.

Does Jeremy Irons golf? If so, he probably has a set of woods.

KLU wore a "de-sleeved" red undershirt with his sleeveless jersey, but I never knew whether it was because he was too muscular, or because it looked sexier.

imsdave said...

Super puzzle today. Took me as long as the NYT. UGLYASSIN is a particularly appropriate phrase for my golf game this a.m.

Ol' Man Keith said...

This tested my mettle. Nothing came easy (except the "Glas" clue because I know Deutsch), and I had a lot of changes to make, as REDROSES to TEAROSES, STAND to STALL, and FINEFIT to FINEFOR. I had GREEK before settling unhappily for OSSET. But, all in all, a fine challenge.

Doug P said...

Ha, that Monopoly "beauty contest" card was the first thing I thought about when I saw the clue. Lots of cool stuff in the puzzle today. I especially liked VELVET ROPE & UGLY AS SIN. And I'm going to add ESCARGOT to PG's "ew" list. Cool entry, but keep it off my plate.

Only one bad spot for me. Colonel Klink gives Mike thirty days in the cooler for OSSET. Dismissed!

tkamom said...

Took forever, but I was able to hack through it, eventually. Rodent was my first word in (I think capybaras are kinda cute, sorry, PG!) and the tea roses - son cross was the last. Kept parsing it as tear o?es which I couldn't make any sense of at all. Still not sure what "Will party" has to do with "son". Unless the constructor has teenage boys? All in all a google-free Saturday, which I think is a first for me!

Joon said...

will party, as in party to a will, like the son of the deceased.

some great stuff in the grid today. didn't love IS DONE, but i'm happier that it's clued as the partial it is rather than trying to pass it off as a standalone phrase. UGLY AS SIN and ZOOT SUITS is an apt pair. (just sayin'.)

Anonymous said...

@thakmom, The SON is often/usually a party to the will of the father (when it's read or "proved" upon the death of the father)

ddbmc said...

Good puzzle on a bitter sweet day. Lots of good phrases and words that took me to the wood shack! 56A-Blood reservoirs-SPLEENS; 42A;Caucasus native-OSSET; 30D-Feature of some bluffs-POKERFACE. Wanted PROMONTORY for that one-(we saw that word within the last week.) Finally dawned on me that I was being "faked out!"
@PG, thanks for the TAPS. Today, would have been my dad's 85th. He's been gone for 2 years now. Lost a few friends and acquaintances, 9 years ago today, too. After 9/11, dad would not celebrate his birthday on the day, in honor of those who lost their lives. Peace.

Rube said...

OSSET is surely one of the most crossword puzzle worthy words I've run into lately. Why haven't we seen this before? (In the last 1-1/2 yrs I've been doing serious xwords.)

I've always thought of the Caucasus as just referring to the mountain range, but the Wikipedia article says that it is also a geopolitical region divided into north and south halves separated by the Caucasus Mtns. The north half includes Chechnya, North Ossetia and some other ethnic areas and is part of Russia. The south half inclludes Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, with South Ossetia being a disputed part of Georgia. Aren't you glad you asked?

Had red_, then Two_ then finally TEAROSES. Had FINEFit before FINEFOR. "Notes aren't written during them" is a great clue and sounds like something Yoda would say. Got FINROT off the R in SLR, a wild guess.

I question pluralizing azure. AZURES looks like the one weak spot in this otherwise very enjoyable Saturday LAT puzz. It's SOSAD that this had to be 1A.

Rube said...

Xword Info says that OSSET has only been used twice in the NYT according to their data base, both in 2005.

I've read about this, but it's weird when it happens to you. Last night I was searching the internet for barbecue-type smokers. Today, on the resulting pages of the three searches I did following this puzzle, each had one advertisement, and that ad was for places that sell barbecues. Frightening.

backbiter said...

Wow, am I getting a late start on the puzzle today. And the CW kicked my ass up and down the block. With the exception of 41D: Yell Up and the plural of 1A: Azures every clue/answer was solid. 14A: really screwed me over. All I could think of is when I stop browsing I buy one of the products. Internet browsing never entered my mind like it did PG's, and I'm on the internet all the freakin' time. Jeez! Loved Pokerface and Pit Boss. We just had Mucked the other day. Eh, the gambler in me. 50D: I imagined Tinbeni quivering at the very thought. I with you buddy. Even though today's CW put me through the wringer everything is cool. I had a fine cigar and fine bourbon to help me through it and not one Google in sight. What a nice relaxing afternoon. Have a great weekend everybody.



I'm back on the road again, so that's why I'm late today. Well not exactly... where I am (wilderness) I have no Google or dictionaries to depend on, so I just had to tough this one out and it took me well over an hour to solve. Lots of grunts and groans, but I'm proud of myself that I was able to finish it 100% correctly.

The "Taps" lyrics are very appropriate for September 11th:

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh.

Then goodnight, peaceful night;
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
God is near, do not fear,
Friend, goodnight.

@Puzzlegirl et al
To settle the issue on the capitalized Glas:
EIS is Austrian for ice.
Riedel Glas Austria is a very popular brand of goblet in Austria.
Clinker is the sound that ice (EIS) makes in their goblets.

I remember the ZOOT SUITS back in the 1940's. Also, the Reet Pleats. Here's who I first saw in a ZOOT SUIT... Cab Calloway.

John Wolfenden said...

Yeah, that was a slog, but an enjoyable one if that's possible. Some truly fiendish cluing. Never thought I'd finish after the first pass through, but ended up completing it with one Google lookup. Feel like I ran a 5K.

I'm with tkamom, capybaras are awesome. They grow as big as 75 pounds, can swim and run fast, and pretty much kick butt all over the Amazonian region. Their only real threat is from anacondas.


My son, the CSO Trumpeter, was assigned to duty at Arlington Cemetery while he was in U.S. Marine Band "The President's Own".
Often he played "Taps" at military funerals and at gravesites. It only has 4 notes so it works well with a bugle. The History of Taps is quite interesting.

Sfingi said...

@D - since the base of English is Anglo-Saxon, add Old French beginning 1066, and there are many words like that. A fun game (for nerds like me) is to start with the simple English and give the German and then the OF-rooted word. For instance: book, Buch, library. You could add Bible, if you want to go Greek, too. Greek, at 11%, is alive and well and living in English.
EIS is ice in German, not just Austrian (which is good German), and is pronounced "ice." Ice: EIS, glace. We don't have a Greek "ice" word, but Pagodrome would be neat for Sonia or Tonya.

My son lost a friend in the Towers, and a friend of mine has a granddaughter born on the day itself. My inmates had many stories.
@John - bless your son.

This puzzle was very strange for me. At first, I literally had 2 words, SAN and BOLO. So I decided to Google everything (7) that was/were typically Googleable: Richard EGAN, capybara RODENT, motet Pie JESU, the TEAROSES, Ted KLU, Logrono and Welland (which 2 turned out to yield crosswordese). Then I looked at it and practically saw everything, especially all the expressions. So it was suddenly not a slog. Only word that came totally of crosses was OSSET.

syclifie - and that's a weird captcha, too.

shrub5 said...

Another hand up for thinking the capybara is sorta cute, though I suppose I really wouldn't want to run across one. Got off to a bad start by entering apropOs instead of FINE FOR. Took me awhile to dig out of that mess with a couple other stumbles along the way -- FuNgus before FIN ROT and Obese before OD'S ON.

SPLEENS, RODENT and ZOOT SUITS were my gimmes. New to me: BIGEYE which I completely filled in through crosses before even reading the clue. Didn't particularly like YELLS UP.

@PG: Thanks for the 9/11 comment and TAPS. Very sad -- it's also sad that we've lost the solidarity we had in the country after that horrible event.

Mike Nothnagel said...

Thanks for the kudos, everyone. Knew this one might have a few sticky wickets, but that's part of the fun, right? :)

Until next time...