S A T U R D A Y   December 18, 2010
James Sajdak

Theme: None

Hey, puzzle fans. Doug here, pinch-hitting for PuzzleGirl. I didn't have much trouble with today's puzzle, even though there were some unfamiliar entries in the grid: YARE, COLEUS, CALX. It's late, so I'm jumping right into the bullets.

  • 15A: Paris jilted her for Helen (OENONE). OK, you might not believe it, but this was the first thing I wrote into the grid. Mythology is my #1 favorite thing to see in crosswords, followed by baseball and comic book references. My Achilles' heel is musical theater.
  • 20A: Quick to the helm (YARE). This word pops up in crosswords every now and then, and it baffles me every time. It means: "(of a ship) quick to the helm, easily handled or maneuvered." Next time I'm at the marina, I'm going to say, "Dude, that yacht is yare!" and see if anyone knows what I'm talking about.
  • 42A: Channeling device? (STEREO). A stereo has left and right channels, but can you really call it a "channeling device"? You make the call.
  • 49A: O'Neill title flora: (ELMS). Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms.
  • 57A: Name for lime based on its chemical composition (CALX). That's a mouthful. I had a fruity lime in mind, but that didn't make any sense. It's the kind of lime you get from limestone. Anyway, "calx" is Latin for chalk or limestone.
  • 63A: Zayre department stores creation (T.J. MAXX). That's a fun entry to see in the grid. The lower right section was my favorite part of the puzzle.
  • 68A: Quakers with deep roots? (ASPENS). Quaking aspens. The ELMS & ASPENS make up a nice "trees" micro-theme.
  • 8D: Plant with flamboyant foilage (COLEUS). Never heard of it, but maybe we can add this crazy plant to the "trees" theme. I suspect the YARE/COLEUS crossing stumped a few solvers.
  • 10D: Carroll's "slithy" thing (TOVE). Sounds kind of gross. It's from Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky," which begins "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe." Carroll might have been on some COCA (1D: Chewable stimulant) when he came up with that line.
  • 11D: London hauler? (SLED DOG). Tricky! Think Jack London and The Call of the Wild. I love that book and just about everything London wrote. Awesome clue.
  • 24D: Surgeon for whom a mouthwash is named (LISTER). And I guess Scope is named after the guy from the "Monkey Trial."
  • 64D: Relative of Chas.? (JOS.). Chas. is short for Charles and Jos. is short for Joseph. I'd go with plain old "Joe" myself.
Everything Else — 1A: Beliefs (CREDOS); 7A: Caber throwers (SCOTSMEN); 16A: Obama's birthplace (HONOLULU); 17A: Jaguar's coat? (CAR WAX); 18A: "Two thumbs way up!" ("I LOVED IT!"); 19A: Simile center (AS AN); 22A: Ancient "Prose" and "Poetic" works (EDDAS); 23A: Autobahn sight (OPEL); 25A: Wipe the floor with, so to speak (DRUB); 27A: "__-mite!": J.J.'s exclamation on "Good Times" (DYNO); 28A: Accused (ON TRIAL); 30A: Nothing to brag about (SO-SO); 32A: "The Social Contract" author (ROUSSEAU); 34A: Product with a secret sauce (BIG MAC); 38A: Rotter (CUR); 39A: Divide, in a way (TRISECT); 41A: Purchase from Sajak (AN I); 44A: Piecemeal? (ALA CARTE); 46A: Poetic peepers (ORBS); 48A: Just about knock down the door (STORM IN); 52A: First name in design (EERO); 54A: Substantial content (MEAT); 55A: Pouts (MOUES); 59A: Fleshy-leaved plant (ALOE); 61A: Nearly die laughing (BUST A GUT); 65A: Qualifying words (AS IT WERE); 66A: Band aide (ROADIE); 67A: Took back (RECANTED); 2D: Deduce (REASON OUT); 3D: Delight beyond measure (ENRAPTURE); 4D: Drags (DOWNERS); 5D: Words before budget or mission (ON A); 6D: Hot (SEXY); 7D: Bake, as eggs (SHIRR); 9D: Plastic __ Band (ONO); 12D: Not clear (MUDDY); 13D: Boy's name seen in 2000 papers (ELIAN); 14D: Wacky (NUTSO); 21D: Dwight's two-time adversary (ADLAI); 26D: Stubby-tailed feline (BOBCAT); 28D: Tolkien meanies (ORCS); 29D: Oxygen-consuming organism (AEROBE); 31D: "Being on a __ stops me from getting Alzheimer's": Jerry Stiller (SITCOM); 33D: Third most populous nation: Abbr. (USA); 35D: Tea tray spread (MARMALADE); 36D: Immunity offerer (ANTITOXIN); 37D: Javier's hundred (CIEN); 40D: East Los Angeles bus line with a sun in its logo (EL SOL); 43D: __ Stone (ROSETTA); 45D: Welcome center freebie (AREA MAP); 47D: Tied down (SECURE); 49D: Put away for a while (EMBAR); 50D: Rotter (LOUSE); 51D: Score sheets? (MUSIC); 53D: Like most movies (RATED); 56D: Cut (SAWN); 58D: More, in adspeak (XTRA); 60D: Zsa Zsa has eight (EXES); 62D: Pick up (GET).


Avg Joe said...

So would I.

gatz said...

had the constructor been politically correct, he should have place a ? followng 16A clue

gespenst said...

@D ... are you one of those people who said "but Kenya doesn't have enough letters"? I'm not sure you understand the meaning of "correct."

Anyhow I'm raising my hand for confusion at the YARE/COLEUS cross. Had ShOTSMEN for SCOTSMEN (guess I needed to know what a caged was).

Some very clever clues today ... 68A, 51D were good. I didn't mind "channeling device," maybe bc I got it right away.

Writing on my droid is laborious so I'll end here.

gespenst said...

Read "caber" for "caged." Darn autocorrect!

Van55 said...

This was a really good puzzle with some terrific entries. Loved SHIRR, DOWNER, BUSTAGUT, SEXY, TJMAXX. DIdn't know OENONE. Was going to put DISPUTED where HONOLULU[?] went.

My only real quibble is with ANI clued as "Purchase from Sajak."

Over all, ILOVEDIT!

SethG said...

"Two thumbs way up!" means WE LOVED IT.

Believe it or not, OENONE was the last thing I wrote in the grid.

Sfingi said...

I can't believe how many people go for that birthplace B.S.
You can't get a birth certificate for a non-relative of any kind, probably because you'll use it to steal their identity. You can view the thing many places without the I.D. numbers.

Anyway, HTG for OENONE, ELMS, TJMAXX and EL SOL. What annoyed me about the last one was that Google came up with the answer only when it hit this CW puzzle answer. This means you can't expect any 'ol Yankee to know this thing if even Google doesn't.

However, I must confess that I'm finally sexless, since with the letters SE-Y, I couldn't guess the missing letter.

@Vans - the creator was trying to put his cousin's name in.

My beef is with ONO again. As they say, houseguests and fish...

Rube said...

Had trouble in NW and SE where I didn't know OENONE, YARE, CALX, and TJMAXX. While Googling learned that "Paris" means backpack, (probably Greek). Had SEXY at first but took it out because YARE isn't a word! Sigh. Should have got TJMAXX but didn't know what Zayre was. (Apparently Zayre is now defunct. It was an East coast chain anyway.) Had JaS before JOS and MUrkY before MUDDY.

I'm also a great fan of Jack London and got SLEDDOG quickly. But just noticed EDDAt should have been EDDAS. NUTtO looked perfectly good... NUTSO not so much, but OK.

Scotsmen came easily to us Scots.

Enjoyable Saturday level puzzle. Redeemed the all too easy early week puzzles.

Anonymous said...

anyone who loves the movie The Philadelphia Story knows the word "yare" as said by Katherine Hepburn talking about the boat True Love to Cary Grant

Rube said...

@Anon @9:53. The film knowledge of some of you solvers out there boggles my mind.

C said...

DNF for me due to not knowing the YAR- COL-US intersection letter, guessed 'c' and guessed wrong.

Good puzzle, learned some stuff today.

Avg Joe said...

Hands up here for not knowing YARE. I'm even familiar with Coleus, but still couldn't suss it out. Sounds like something only a pirate would say, not any other sailor.

Got stuck badly with ROlling for stone instead of ROSETTA. Finally got ELMS and that squared me away. Wanted the designer to be about fashion, not architecture, but figured it out. Did not know that USA is 3rd in population. With only 5%~ I'd have guessed we are lower.

Had to work for it all the way through and DNF for lack of an E.

Dave in Bend said...

FWIW I learned "yare" from an episode of The Family Guy - go figure - Not sure if Stewie or Peter was the source. @Rube - Now THAT is some film knowledge!

Doug - As far as stereo goes, I grew up thinking of my stereo (car more than home) as a device for listening to the radio....ergo channeling device.

Mokus said...

@Anon@9:53 I was sure Katherine Hepburn said "She's yare." in the movie "On Golden Pond" when admiring Henry Fonda's boat. I guess I'll have to watch both movies again. Anyone?

Lovely puzzle and just right for a Saturday.

Margaret said...

Hand up for knowing YARE from The Philadelphia Story; I didn't think that was specialized knowledge at all! I think it's in the remake High Society, also. Except I always thought it was spelled YAR not YARE.

My issue was CIEN; as far as I'm concerned, the cross with "Purchase from Sajak" could have been any of the vowels. Well, maybe not CAEN since we all know that's a French town known for its WWII battle.


Liked words pretty much the same as @Van.
Well mythology is my Achilles' heel, but there were a few plant clues and thats right up my alley... ASPENS, ELMS, COLEUS, COCA, and ALOE.

Also I had no problem with 7A "caber throwers" (SCOTSMEN) because I went to see the Scottish Highland Games in Edinburgh.

The only problem area was ELIAN?EDDAS because I misspelled ELIAN and didn't know EDDAS. I guess I'll make EDDAS my WOTD.

And I tried every possible "spotted" coat word for Jaguar, never thinking it was referring to the car.

ELSOL just isn't fair... it's far too regional for us midwesterners.

NUTSO, well now there's a new word for Rex to use... he always describes theme clues as WACKY.

Wow, Zsa Zsa Gabor is going on 94 and had 8 EXES. I guess quick turnover is the secret to longevity, sort of like the most successful businesses with their inventory.

I hate books; they only teach us to talk about what we don't know.
~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I think that could be said for crossword puzzles too.

How did I like this Sajdak puzzle? I LOVED IT!

Sfingi said...

@John - EL SOL is probably too regional for anyone outside of E LA. See my note on not even being able to Google for it.
And, by the way, JJR is really disgusting in his personal life. He had 5 kids with his rag of a wife, and gave them away as soon as they were born.

a guy said...

This is the LA Times puzzle.

Also, EL SOL has a wiki page and everything!

Also, in Spanish, EL SOL means "the sun".

Eric said...

The first thing I noticed is that the grid itself is a thing of beauty! Only 8 cheater squares, and internally, a pretty sprinkling of two-square diagonals all going the same way.

The puzzle itself was a real challenge. DNF, on the ELSOl/CAlX and ANi/CiEN crosses. EL SOL was a d'oh! moment -- no way I'd have known it, but with only the L missing, it should have been guessable from "sun logo" in the clue.

For SCOTSMEN and SLED DOG, I knew right off what the clues were getting at but needed crosses to get the exact answers.

I have a bone to pick with the clue for CALX, "Name for lime based on its chemical composition". That looks like a false etymology: lime is CALcium oXide (CaO), so CALX could easily be understood as referring to that. But as @Doug notes, "CALX is from Latin for 'chalk' or 'limestone'". In fact, the clue has it backward: the word "calcium" is derived from "calx", not the other way around.

For "channeling device?" I wanted OUIJA BOARD, and put SEANCE :-)