M O N D A Y   December 6, 2010
Donna S. Levin

Theme: This is a hold-up! — Each theme answer is a familiar phrase that ends with a word for something you might use to hold something up.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Sidewalk periodical vendor (NEWSPAPER STAND).
  • 25A: Edwards or Langley, e.g. (AIR FORCE BASE).
  • 42A: Court-ordered parental obligation (CHILD SUPPORT).
  • 48A: Philanthropic group chartered by auto execs (FORD FOUNDATION).
Always a pleasure to see Donna's name at the top of the puzzle. I absolutely flew through this one. The theme is great for Monday, but it's the fill that really impressed me. Not much in the way of crosswordese, and there were several entries that really sparkled to me, like PARRY, COWED and SHOWOFFS. Just good stuff all the way around.

  • 1A: Try to obtain sensitive info using an Internet scam (PHISH). Are Dead Heads now Phish Heads these days? Way back when, I thought Little Feat would be the Dead's successors and we could call their fans Feat Heads.
  • 17A: Specialized jargon (ARGOT). This is one of those words that sounds like it should mean something totally different. Also "bucolic."
  • 24A: Gut courses (EASY A'S). I learned the phrase "gut course" from crossword puzzles.
  • 38A: Nothing, in tennis (LOVE). Great clue.
  • 55A: Univ. sports group (NCAA). How well do you know your NCAA Division I schools? Find out.
  • 59A: Tiger Woods's ex (ELIN). It's interesting how ELIN is a Monday name now. I guess that goes to show you how a major personal scandal can up a person's crossword cred.
  • 6D: Thompson of "Family" (SADA). When I see four-letter Thompson, I think Leah and Emma. I always forget about SADA.
  • 10D: Taoism founder (LAO TSE). This was probably the trickiest thing in the grid for me. His name is also sometimes spelled TZU. (Also TSU, but that entry is always clued as an abbreviation for Tennessee State University.)
  • 38D: Pencil for one's kisser (LIPLINER). Because proper lip coverage is extremely important.
  • 57D: Sight organ (EYE). I think I would have preferred a clue a little less … clinical.
Crosswordese 101: AGRA is the Indian city where you'll find the Taj Mahal. Clues for AGRA will most likely include one or more of the following words: Taj Mahal, New Delhi, Mogul (or Mughal) capital, tourist, mecca, mausoleum, and tomb.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 16A: Towards the sheltered side, at sea (ALEE).
  • 3D: "Picnic" dramatist (INGE).
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Everything Else — 6A: Chase down, as a fly ball (SHAG); 10A: Falls behind (LAGS); 14A: "Tiny Bubbles" singer (DON HO); 15A: Tip-top (A-ONE); 18A: "__ call us, we'll ..." (DON'T); 19A: Red sky, to a sailor (OMEN); 23A: __-Locka, Florida (OPA); 31A: Political corruption (GRAFT); 32A: Police busts (RAIDS); 33A: Revolutionary statesman Franklin (BEN); 36A: Knocks on the door (RAPS); 37A: Response to a fencing lunge (PARRY); 39A: Picnic invader (ANT); 40A: Intimidated (COWED); 41A: Tendon (SINEW); 44A: Show hosts (EMCEES); 47A: Actor Mineo (SAL); 54A: Notion (IDEA); 56A: Liberate from the hitching post (UNTIE); 58A: Shakespearean king (LEAR); 60A: Allow to pass (LET BY); 61A: Benevolent order (ELKS); 62A: Cowgirl Evans (DALE); 63A: Cropped up (AROSE); 1D: High-tech organizer, briefly (PDA); 2D: English or French instrument (HORN); 4D: Braggarts (SHOWOFFS); 5D: Lively nightclub (HOT SPOT); 7D: Hula __ (HOOP); 8D: Green Gables girl (ANNE); 9D: Prepare (GET READY); 11D: Hypoallergenic skin care brand (ALMAY); 12D: Davis who played Thelma (GEENA); 13D: Transmits (SENDS); 21D: Bogey beater (PAR); 22D: Impertinence (SASS); 26D: Pakistan neighbor (IRAN); 27D: Engrossed (RAPT); 28D: Move like a baby (CRAWL); 29D: Like some seals (EARED); 30D: Feathered friends (BIRDS); 33D: Sonny of Sonny and Cher (BONO); 34D: Happily __ after (EVER); 35D: Eft, when mature (NEWT); 37D: Like the victims in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (POISONED); 40D: Kitchen VIP (CHEF); 41D: Pancake flipper (SPATULA); 42D: Coniferous trees (CEDARS); 43D: Mex. neighbor (USA); 44D: Submit a tax return over the Internet (E-FILE); 45D: Hobbyist's plane, e.g. (MODEL); 46D: Old floorboard sound (CREAK); 49D: Golden State sch. (UCLA); 50D: Carpentry fastener (NAIL); 51D: Certain Scandinavian (DANE); 52D: Filmdom's Preminger (OTTO); 53D: Penpoints (NIBS).


Tinbeni said...

PuZzleGirl: Excellent write-up!

Donna gave us a PERFECT Monday! A-ONE!!!

Liked that Happily EVER after crossed LOVE.

For Tiger's Ex, first thought was rich, but I knew her name was ELIN.

GRAFT RAIDS BEN ... hmmm, who does this refer to?

Also liked the down line GET READY USA.

The "toast" at Sunset looks to be a cool one.
Record 12/6 low here at 42 degrees.
No snow, so that Snowman will have to wait.

Sfingi said...

@PuzzleGirl - Maybe it's just me, but I hit your "find out" hypertext, and it just came back to the same place.

Didn't know that meaning of SHAG.
Didn't know OPA Locka. Weird name. Looks to be a poor Black city.

Also had LAO TZU first. DON HO could give lessons to him and anyone else in relaxation.

Lots of people that I knew! Liked SPATULA and CREAK (Moms house is 150+ yrs., so that can't be avoided.)

Two Sicilian-Americans -
Sonny BONO and SAL Mineo.

Larry S said...

Pleasant Monday except for the reminder of how poorly I did in Biology--no idea what an eft was, couldn't come up with the simple synonym for tendon. Doh!

Capcha: swori--a poke in the sight organ that results in expletives and lingering pain.

imsdave said...

lovely Monday puzzle - keep up the good work!

CrazyCat said...

Nice speedy Monday puzzle. Taj Mahal video was a great way to start the week!

KJGooster said...

Don't you Sporcle me on a Monday morning, PG! I won't get any work done all week (BTW I got all but three -- can you tell I'm a sports fan?).

Very easy Monday, one of my faster times ever. Simple but rock solid theme, smooth fill. Nice.

Sfingi said...

@PuzzleGirl - It works, now. I don't know the answer to anything, but maybe it will serve as a definition of abbrevs.

Rex Parker said...

35 seconds *slower* than NYT. Probably all SADA's fault.


SethG said...

28 seconds slower.

Vega said...

Also "pulchritude."

Anonymous said...

also monosyllabic

Van55 said...

Didn't solve this morning due to lack of time. Grid tossed out by the time I looked for it this evening. From the blog summary it looks like a pretty challenging LAT Monday.

mac said...

Nice puzzle, but I needed a lot of crosses for phis and shag!

ddbmc said...

"She turned me into a newt. But I got better."

@Vegas-such an ugly word for beauty!

It was Ladies Day in the puzzle today: SADA, ELIN,ANNE,GEENA, BIRDS! GET READY cause we're putting on our ALMAY LIPLINER, and batting our EYEs and polishing our NAILs. You could say we're SHOWOFFS. But don't give us any SASS or POISONED LOVE is all you'll get! The boys are back in town, too, with DON HO, OTTO, BONO. Off to a pub CRAWL. Just don't invite Billy INGE, as I think he has some issues and LAOTSE is no party animal, either.

Captcha: wolity-a cup of tea wearing long undies?

Eric said...

@ddbmc: You mean like this?