03.17 Thu

March 17, 2011
Bruce Venzke

Theme: LIFT — Each theme answer is a definition of a different type of LIFT.

I'm off to the ACPT today so my write-ups for the next few days will probably be slim to nonexistent. I'll definitely post the grid and the theme answers for you each day so you have a place to chat about the puzzle — and I'll be following the comments sporadically throughout the festivities — but I probably won't take the time to entertain you with my sparkling commentary and intelligent critique. I hope you can find a way to pick up the pieces and move on.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: See 53-Down (BRITISH ELEVATOR).
  • 26A: See 53-Down (FOOTWEAR INSERT).
  • 45A: See 53-Down (BOOST IN SPIRITS).
  • 60A: See 53-Down (HITCHHIKER'S RIDE).
  • 53D: Clue for 17-, 26-, 45- and 60-Across (LIFT).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 63A: Andy Taylor's son (OPIE).
  • 1D: Cake with a kick (BABA).
  • 40D: Island welcome (LEI).
  • 44D: Lakeshore natives (ERIES).
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Everything Else 1A: Bingo call (B-TEN); 5A: Gordon __: Michael Douglas's "Wall Street" role (GEKKO); 10A: One may require stitches (GASH); 14A: German import (AUDI); 15A: Slangy negative (IXNAY); 16A: Control (RULE); 20A: Fairy tale ender (AFTER); 21A: Amazement (AWE); 22A: Early surgery aid (ETHER); 23A: Talking with one's hands?: Abbr. (ASL); 25A: Ante- (PRE-); 34A: Washington's Grand __ Dam (COULEE); 35A: Fierce anger (RAGE); 36A: Carnival city (RIO); 37A: Old, in Oberhausen (ALTE); 38A: "Good heavens!" ("EGADS!"); 40A: Humdinger (LULU); 41A: Relieve (of) (RID); 42A: Pencil remnant (STUB); 43A: Legal-sized fish (KEEPER); 48A: Neighbor of Nev. (ORE.); 49A: Reggae singer Kamoze (INI); 50A: Big name in food service (SYSCO); 53A: Brine-cured delicacy (LOX); 55A: Remove forcibly (EXPEL); 63A: Andy Taylor's son (OPIE); 64A: Submit taxes, nowadays (E-FILE); 65A: Kong's kin (APES); 66A: Guam, for one: Abbr. (TERR.); 67A: '50s experiment, briefly (H-TEST); 68A: Longings (YENS); 1D: Cake with a kick (BABA); 2D: Horse racing surface (TURF); 3D: Cut, perhaps (EDIT); 4D: Nick at __ (NITE); 5D: Dogfaces, briefly (GI'S); 6D: Yoga instruction (EXHALE); 7D: Had no doubts about (KNEW); 8D: Leafy vegetable (KALE); 9D: Santana's "__ Como Va" (OYE); 10D: Irritates, with "on" (GRATES); 11D: One may have an agt. (AUTH.); 12D: Fruit used to flavor gin (SLOE); 13D: Bavarian mister (HERR); 18D: Really peeved (IRATE); 19D: Fogg's creator (VERNE); 24D: Honeybunch (SWEETIE); 25D: What might be used when a bomb is hurled on a field? (PIGSKIN); 26D: Port closing? (-FOLIO); 27D: Show up (OUTDO); 28D: Flamenco exclamation (OLÉ); 29D: Bedouins, e.g. (ARABS); 30D: "Really cool!" ("RAD!"); 31D: Break out, as violence (ERUPT); 32D: Ticks off (RILES); 33D: Organized string of gigs (TOUR); 34D: Atkins diet taboo (CARB); 39D: Pistol (GUN); 40D: Island welcome (LEI); 42D: Old Detroit brewery name (STROH); 44D: Lakeshore natives (ERIES); 46D: World Cup sport (SOCCER); 47D: Digital dots (PIXELS); 50D: Used a 39-Down (SHOT); 51D: "Gadzooks!" ("YIPE!"); 52D: Swizzle (STIR); 54D: Haggard's "__ from Muskogee" (OKIE); 56D: See-through, in comics (X-RAY); 57D: Meerschaum or brier (PIPE); 58D: Genesis locale (EDEN); 59D: Subtraction word (LESS); 61D: Half a devious laugh (HEH); 62D: Living in Ariz., maybe (RET.).


RAC'em said...

At first I thought egads, this is a lulu. I was not particularly fond of four long answers with no clue except 53D, and no clue for 53D. After seeing the (no) clues for 17, 26, 45 & 60A the first thing on my agenda was to get 53D. That helped with the rest.

Anonymous said...

That middle row across of alte, egads, & lulu was depressing, but then my spirits were boosted. Thought it was easier than the average Thursday.

Happy St. Pat's Day to all, and to all a winning bracket.

Anonymously yours,

Sfingi said...

I often proceed from the bottom near the end of the week. Thus, it was easy, no Googles.

I liked the theme.

6 X words in there.

Not so much a couple of fills. YIPE, in my lexicon, doesn't exist. It's always YIPES!

I hope IXNAY isn't the beginning of a trend. OK as a one off.

Didn't understand FOLIO. The clue ended in a question mark, which means there was a twist. Sports? Anyone?

A series: BTEN, EFILE, HTEST, XRAY. Semi-abbrevs.

I don't think I've seen INI, COULEE or STROH in a crossword, before.

Mini-theme of anger: GRATES, RAGE, RILE, EXPEL.

GI put me in mind of Bill Mauldin's cartoons. Loved the expression, dogface.

Anonymous said...

Portfolio, get it?

Sfingi said...

@Anon743 - AH! Thanx. OSWOB "One sees what one brings." My motto quoted from Henry Adams.
I look at the two words and think door or carry, leaf; what's the connection? totally forgetting the word "portfolio."
So much of crossword solving is thinking outside of whatever box you are in.

Vega said...

This fell a little flat and seemed a bit too easy for me. I like more oomph in my puzzle.

I am jealous of everyone going to ACPT this weekend, but good luck to all!

CarolC said...

@PG, enjoy the tournament and good luck! I miss your write-up. I thoroughly enjoyed today's puzzle. Good theme, no puns, more than made up for a few clunkers for me. @Sfingi, I agree on YIPEs and for that matter have only heard of EGAD not EGADS. And H TEST bugged me. But enough complaining, overall I thought it was RAD.

C said...

OK puzzle, pretty easy cluing for a Thursday, probably because of the theme being a bit different than normal.

There is a mini angry theme going on in the puzzle (as noted by @Sfingi) makes me wonder if there isn't something subliminal there.

John Wolfenden said...

I also liked the theme. "What might be used when a bomb is hurled on a field?" for PIGSKIN is awesome. Also liked "Neighbor of Nev." for OREGON...you just don't think of those two states as being next to each other.

Would never have gotten SYSCO if I hadn't passed countless Sysco trucks on Interstate 5. SLOE made me think of the Bombay Sapphire bottle, which shows on the label the 10 different plants infused in it. Yum.

I really, really don't like answers like BTEN that have to be filled in by crosses. Even if you've got the other 3 letters, the first letter could be A-H. A big pet peeve.

Sfingi, your observation about thinking outside of your own box is to me what makes crosswords worth doing and good for your brain. It's one thing to have lots of knowledge in different fields, but when you get stuck on a clue and finally come upon another way of thinking about it, it's both satisfying and (I think) good for the ol' synapses.

sjok said...

IXNAY is pig latin, NOT slang. they are very different.

ante-pre is basically nonsense - before-before?

These two entries are reallyu sloppy. Is the author in India? China?
Are cross word puzzels outsourced?

Anonymous said...


Mortuorum said...

A little easy for a Thursday, but just right for the day I'm having, so no complaints here. I am not a frequent pig latin user, but have been known to use the odd "ixnay" to reply in the negative, so I can't really fault that either.

In fact my only unhappy thought is that I frequently use "heh" as shorthand in emails for "I think this is pretty funny or at least worth a chuckle". I guess that makes me devious?

ron said...

How about ixnay on the pig latin ok? Not a fan of no clues to across answers. Did not like some clues called for plurals and were singular and vise-versa.To John in bingo the b column is nos. 1-13

JIMMIE said...

@ajok. I think the prefix PRE- is equivalent to ante-

A little easier for a Thursday.

I like the un-clues for the themes. And PIGSKIN is AWEsome.

Alexscott said...

Re John's comment on the Bingo clue, I assumed the first letter had to be either b, i, n, g, or o. Also, I assumed that the B column was probably going to be the only one with numbers of only three letters.

Re Sjok's comment on ante-pre. The clue wasn't "Ante-_" it was showing the hyphen, I think, to show it was a prefix and distinguish it from the word ante (as in poker). Though it took me a long time before I realized that. Fooled me too.

Anonymous said...

I finished alright, but I abhored the cross-referential theme. Bleah!

John Wolfenden said...

ron, thanks for the clarification on bingo. Haven't played since I was a kid.

Mortuorum, I have a friend on Facebook who uses "heh" all the time. The thing is, he's not the kind of person who says "heh," so even though it's shorthand, every time I read it in one of his posts I think, "That just doesn't sound like him at all." I guess it does have a devious or mischievous connotation.

Sfingi said...

@Sjok - Pig Latin is a language, right? Joking, more like a code. But, not slang.

SethG said...

LOX used to be a Yiddish word, but now it's English, too. IXNAY used to be a Pig Latin word, but now it's also an English word.

RULE means the same thing as Control does. PRE- means the same thing as Ante- does.

What singulars were plural? What vises were versa?

And puzzels is puzzles, and B is 1-15.

I think I'm doing too many puzzles, because given Gxx for [Pistol] I reflexively entered GAT.

John Wolfenden said...

Just to overanalyze IXNAY some more, it's Pig Latin for NIX, which is indeed slang. Does making it into Pig Latin make it no longer slang? Just sayin.'

Nighthawk said...

I was initially irked by the cross-referential theme clues with the 53D realer, but for some reason decided to just go with it, thinking I'd better be aiming for the revealer asap.

Once I got it, it did help, one of the few times I have relied on the revealer for the themes, rather than just seeing it as the "punchline" to the theme.

Made for a nice solve. And like 6D (EXHALE), made me think: "Patience, Grasshopper!", which I am usually in short supply of.

As @Sfingi noted, lots of darkness/anger in the fill, including ERUPT and GUN--SHOT, but somehow, perhaps because of the stellar theme answers, I thought it was a wonderfully balanced puzzle with fill like SWEETIE, EXHALE and the adult beverage fill like SLOE, STROH, and STIR. Wasn't bothered at all by the *_*-*word* like EFILE, HTEST fills, nor by the igpay atinlay, though I agree, it's not really slang, but slangy? Like slang? Sure.

25D - PIGSKIN was the last to fall, and worth the whole puzzle for me. Really faked me out and left me laughing.

@Anon 7:43am - thanks. I too was wondering about that.

Oh, and how many times in recent weeks is it now we've gotten a taste of BABA au rhum? I'm feeling a bit stuffed.

JaxInL.A. said...

@SethG, I think I'm doing too many puzzles too. Have been home with a cold all week and I'm starting to think in xwords. Words seem to appear in clumps sometimes. E.g., BABA and HEFT have shown up in many puzzles recently.

Too bad I'm not using all this last-minute cramming to attend ACPT. I would have to be a spectator though as I have solve times many times that of the folks posted online.

Oddly enough, I got BRITISH ELEVATOR and then went looking for the revealed. Liked the puzzle fine, though.

JaxInL.A. said...

Oh, but I don't get the PIGSKIN joke. Any help?

And Doug Peterson has today's CrosSynergy puzzle (WashPost, Houston Chronicle, etc.). Clever letter substitution with some fun theme answers, especially the last one.

Aftegram: what Houdini would send now?

Anonymous said...

This is cosmo thought I would hate this one but after getting the first theme answer and realized the reveal it was a slam dunk easier than yesterday for me

mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I did the same with the elevator got the reveal and slam dunk on the rest alot easier than yesterday had adnf