T H U R S D A Y   December 23, 2010
John Lampkin

Theme: Seasonal Puns — Yes, that's right, seasonal puns.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Seasonal cheeses? (SUMMER BRIES).
  • 59A: Seasonal seasoning? (WINTER THYME).
  • 11D: Seasonal smoked salmon? (SPRING LOX).
  • 35D: Seasonal costume? (FALL GUISE).
It's not often that the clue at 1 Across really makes me sit up and take notice but wow! Ptolemaic constellation that is now divided into Carina (the keel), Puppis (the poop deck) and Vela (the sails)! That is one serious clue right there, people. We've covered ARGO in CW101, but I'm pretty sure we've never said anything that would have helped you today. I realized pretty quickly (somewhere between "Ptolemaic" and "constellation") that I had no idea what the answer would be, so I moved on. When I made it back up that way I had a couple crosses in place and — ::head-slap::! Good stuff right from the get-go. I like it.

Other noteworthy entries today include IN A HUFF (40A: Fuming), which is an awesome colloquial phrase. Also SMURF (22D: Blue toon). It's just fun to say, isn't it? Oh and the theme. If you like your puns on the groan-worthy end of the spectrum, you probably weren't thrilled with these. I really like them though. The base phrase for SPRING LOX is kinda drab, but the rest feel really solid and the theme clues are cute.

  • 15A: Grade leader? (CENTI-). Wanna know what I popped right in here without even thinking about it? "Hard G." It's official: I've been doing way more crossword puzzles than a person should.
  • 19A: Hammock support (TREE). I could not come up with this and when I finally did it made me laugh. Down at the PuzzleParents' place in Costa Rica they have something like seven hammocks and not one of them is supported by a tree!
  • 25A: Miller's salesman (LOMAN). Had to rack my brain for this one. Man getting old sucks sometimes! I remembered right off that the son's name is Biff because it was mentioned in one of my favorite "Seinfeld" episodes (yes, I realize how sad that is), but the last name took a while. (This is a reference to Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, by the way.)
  • 36A: "What's cooking?" elicitor (ODOR). And ODOR can, of course, elicit other, less appropriate, questions as well.
  • 42A: Sitcom planet (ORK). Ladies and gentlemen, your "Mork and Mindy" reference of the day.
  • 68A: New kids' block since 1958 (LEGO). First thing that came to my head was "Sesame Street." I don't think it's been around that long though.
  • 2D: Old air fare? (RERUN). I'm all, "They used to serve some other kind of food on airplanes?" No, the "air" in this clue refers to broadcasting.
  • 5D: Venomous arachnid (SCORPION).

  • 26D: Dating concern (AGE).
  • 34D: One-time pal of Baker and Charlie? (ABLE). I assume this is a reference to a phonetic alphabet.
  • 37D: Pianist Laredo (RUTH). Whoa. Anyone ever heard of her?
  • 41D: Ottoman (FOOT REST). In the PuzzleHouse, the word "ottoman" is always accompanied by air-quotes. The first time I ever used the word in front of the kids, they looked at me like I had three heads. They think it's a little hoity-toity for a, ya know, FOOT REST.
  • 44D: "At Seventeen" singer Janis (IAN).

  • 52D: Join (ENROL). If you know anything about me, you probably know that I'm not a fan of the one-L ENROL.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 10A: Exxon forerunner (ESSO).
  • 18A: Mountain nymph (OREAD).
  • 46A: Wheelbarrow feature (AXLE).
  • 33D: "Rubáiyát" poet Khayyám (OMAR).
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Everything Else — 5A: Utter (SHEER); 14A: Miller's product (MEAL); 16A: Peak (APEX); 17A: West Point team (ARMY); 23A: Place purveying potent pints (INN); 24A: Grab from the shelves (SNAP UP); 27A: Dickens's Heep (URIAH); 30A: Fried chicken piece (NUGGET); 33A: Klutzes (OAFS); 38A: Race with batons (RELAY); 39A: Finance major's deg. (MBA); 43A: Pooped (ALL IN); 45A: Con __: briskly, on scores (MOTO); 47A: Empathize (RELATE); 49A: Gallery events (SHOWS); 51A: Troll (GNOME); 53A: Peak (TIPTOP); 57A: Feathered runner (EMU); 62A: Put down (LAID); 64A: "__ under pressure": guts, to Hemingway (GRACE); 65A: Potent pints (ALES); 66A: Japanese soup (MISO); 67A: Retirement plans, informally (ROTHS); 69A: Foreshadowing (OMEN); 70A: "Cats" poet (ELIOT); 71A: Musical syllables (TRAS); 1D: Stockpile (AMASS); 3D: Kind of ray emitted by a supernova (GAMMA); 4D: Greek mount (OLYMPUS); 6D: It may be medicinal (HERB); 7D: Nuke-testing dept. (ENER.); 8D: Much modern business (ETAIL); 9D: Continue the journey, oater-style (RIDE ON); 10D: Corrode (EAT); 12D: Dated (SEEN); 13D: Paired pullers (OXEN); 21D: Ger. setting (EUR.); 28D: Sixth-day creation (ADAM); 29D: Seasonal rooftop noises? (HO HOS); 31D: British nobleman (EARL); 32D: Kid (TYKE); 40D: Like trailers on the road (IN TOW); 46D: Cloverleaf cover (ASPHALT); 48D: Political refugee (EMIGRE); 50D: Cleverness (WIT); 54D: Tippecanoe's partner, in an 1840 campaign (TYLER); 55D: Last in a series (OMEGA); 56D: Sonoran smackeroos (PESOS); 57D: Saint with a fire (ELMO); 58D: Hurt severely (MAIM); 60D: "Mon Oncle" director (TATI); 61D: Nymph who loved her own voice (ECHO); 63D: Put on (DON).


SethG said...

I used to have a Scorpions mirror.

I saw the clue at 1A and entered ARGO. Which is weird, because I understand no part of the clue and didn't know ARGO was a constellation. I think I interpreted it as [Ship they'd name a constellation after].

Don't know how LEGO is new, didn't know RUTH, guessed at the MOTO cross, and agree about spring locks.

Avg Joe said...

I do like PUNishment. Loved summer bries and that gave away the theme. Fall guise and winter thyme brought a smile. Spring lox just lays there.

Tried retro for centi, but quickly saw that was wrong. I must be watching too much weather lately.

Got a kick out of the Demi-Ashton pic. Really like Felicity. If you want to see her in a troubling but well played role, see "Transamerica". Very strange movie, but her performance is Oscar worthy.

Tinbeni said...

PuzzleGirl, Thanks for the ARGO pic.
Yeah, that was a tough start.

WOW, John I really liked your seasonal themes.

Back in the day, POP had a Toy Store, so I think I got my first LEGO set at AGE 6.
Later I learned he used me to determine if the "new toys" were really fun; would the kids actually play with them.
Thanks Dad!

Hmmm, ALL IN, Rex's theme from yesterday's NYT.

ELIOT again? What happened to our buddy Tesla?

HO HO's crossing IN A HUFF, makes sense.
Santa has to move quickly.

FUN Thursday.

Cheer's to all at Sunset.

v-man said...

Strange week, had a DNF for a tuesday puzzle but completed the Thursday puzzle relatively easily. Did anyone else experience this mid week occurence? I originally had Fritz for Blue toon in reference to Fritz the Cat an X-rated cartoon I had never seen but had heard of before. But quickly switched to the more innocent smurf after getting a couple of the down answers. Some pretty good theme answers overall.

Mokus said...

I though the dating concern referred to the fresh date on food packaging which is a clue as to the age of the product. No? Demi Moore's age would never be of concern to me.


I knew right away when I saw the clue for 1A that I was goint to enjoy this nice Lampkin puzzle... then when I came to the RUTH Laredo clue, I was in puzller's heaven.

Lots of nice misdirect clues and a fun theme, make this one of John's APEX puzzles.

I loved the HOOFS vs. HOHOS misdirect.
And the Miller's MEAL set up, then wham! We get an Arthur Miller character (Willy LOMAN)... that was cool.
And the INTOW instead of what I thought surely would be SEMIS.

WOTD: "Mon Oncle" director TATI

When I saw Puzzlegirl's hammock photo and the Seals & Croft Summer Breeze clip, I got all warmed up. It was 11 degrees here when I woke up. That's also 11 degrees CENTIgrade (except it's minus 11 degrees C)... sounds better in Fahrenheit.

Thanks John, for some preholiday WIT.

Have a lovely Christmas week y'all.

Van55 said...

Good seasonal puns theme for me, even despite SPRINGLOX.

Enjoyable solve!

Eric said...

I knew right off that 1A had to be a ship, but was expecting the answer to be Latin for "ship", not the name of a particular one. Except for constellations named for people, only one other of Ptolemy's original list has a proper name; the rest are improper nouns: lion, dragon, scales/balance, etc.
The other exception is PEGASUS, which, as it happens, I at first thought was the answer to 4-D, "Greek mount" :-)

I'd heard of "con brio" and "con molto", but not "con MOTO". Turns out to be legit though. Cross that with RUTH Laredo, and it was a natick I needed to Google for (only one for this puzzle).
I thought I'd have to Google LOMAN too, but it finally came to me. (I thought "Miller's product" was BEER (i.e. the brand), so for "Miller's salesman" I was looking for a five-letter word for "bartender' :-) Only when I'd fixed the former did I reconsider the latter... )

Liked the theme, except for SPRING LOX as everyone else has said. I sure like LOX though. Yum!
I also liked the quasi-themeness of "Seasonal rooftop noises?" -> HOHOS. Normally that inconsistency would bug me, but this week it's just so appropriate.
Hmm, that might be why the week's been so weird. Maybe Rich swapped the Tuesday and Thursday puzzles, to get HOHOS and all the other "seasonal" clues a couple of days closer to Christmas...

Van55 said...

Janis Ian's "Seventeen" is beautifully forlorn. Thanks for the clip, PG.

stevee said...

Enjoyable puzzle. Only complaint is the use "able" instead of "Abel" to complement "Baker" and "Charlie".

Sfingi said...

@Seth - when I was 13, apparently LEGO was new. They probably cost $100 a block, but I didn't know about them until my son wanted them, in the '70s.
Just viewed a vintage LEGO airport shuttle monorail, $2K. The plastic was changed in 1963.

Puns and this theme were fine, but I was thrown with ENER, apparently a lousy abbrev for energy?

Didn't know this RUTH.
Also wanted HOofS for HOHOS.

Leonard Bernstein raved about Janis IAN when she wrote Society's Child about mixed racial dating. She didn't achieve much fame after the first 2 hits.

Molto is very/much; MOTO refers to motion.

Speaking of weird movies, I'd say Jacques TATI(scheff)'s are, as was his life.

*David* said...

Pretty easy theme but had a bit of a scamble in the middle, not reading the "What's Cooking" hint correctly and sat there for a while. ARGO got slapped in pretty quickly, thought process- boat, constellations, Greek/Romans ergo ARGO. HELLO MOTO.

C said...

OK, this puzzle wins the prize for longest clue for a 4 letter answer. For the record, excluding punctuation and spaces, that is 90 letters needed for a 4 letter answer or 22.5 clue letters per answer letters. One across, sponsored by your department of defense.

I thought it might be ARGO but solved the downs just to be sure.

Puns were ok, it's been a while since we had a pun puzzle, iirc, so I'll take what I can get.

Overall, enjoyable puzzle.

Doug P said...

@SethG - A Scorpions mirror! That's sweet. Did you win it at a carnival? I had a Def Leppard mirror that I won at the fair.

MOTO/RUTH was tough, but "T" was the only thing that made sense me.

SethG said...

At Kennywood, the amusement park. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have named one of their songs, and I had no idea they were even German, but I still had it hanging in my room when I left for college.

Where I had a New Kids On The Block towel. LEGO was new, it just isn't anymore. I guess my car has been new since 2002.

Agree that only the T made sense, but I'd have preferred a different clue for one of those given the cross...

Doug P said...

Yeah, the clues for MOTO & RUTH were both pretty ridiculous.

Ha ha, I just saw the [26D: Dating concern (AGE)] picture. I would have gone with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

mac said...

OK puzzle, but I don't think anybody will ever ask what's for dinner when there's an odor. An aroma, yes.

Also thought New Kids on the Block,for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I don't get springlox as a saying. Please help.

Anonymous said...

It's based on spring locks. They're a kind of lock.


Músico mineiro mostra como fazer capas de CDs de embalagens descartadas
por Alexandre Spatuzza — última modificação Oct 09, 2010 08:28 AM
Catalogado sob:Reciclagem upcycling
Em tempos de concorrência em todos os campos, não basta ter talento, é necessário se reinventar. E foi isso que o músico mineiro Oldair Costa, de Poté, Minas Gerais, fez ao aliar seus conhecimentos de artes com ações positivas para com o meio ambiente.

As capas dos seus CDs, todas criadas à mão pelo próprio artista, são feitas com materiais reaproveitados. Por isso, cada uma delas é única. O papelão, ele recolhe nas ruas. O cartão de visitas de Costa também é ecologicamente correto: cada um deles traz três sementes de pau Brasil.

O músico independente - ou dependente de patrocínio, como ele mesmo diz - comercializa seus CDs por meio do seu site. Lá também há um vídeo onde ele mostra suas técnicas plásticas. Vale a pena conferir.