03.23 Wed

March 23, 2011
Farnk Virzi

Theme: TV Mash-Up — Theme answers are made-up two-word phrases where each word is the title of a television show.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Family line of bar makers? (SOAP DYNASTY).
  • 24A: Windfall of chicken pieces? (WINGS BONANZA).
  • 37A: Glasgow girl under a spell? (BEWITCHED LASSIE).
  • 47A: Frat guy with a spatula? (HOUSE FLIPPER).
  • 58A: Unwanted grass at the Cotton Bowl? (DALLAS WEEDS).
Ya know what I like about this theme? The variety of television shows represented in the theme answers. The shows span several decades and some have really become an integral part of our culture while others are more on the fringes. Comedy, drama, prime-time soap opera, western — this theme has it all. Nicely done.

  • 11A: Jet or time follower (LAG). I ridiculously entered SET without even thinking. Time set? Um … no.
  • 15A: __ vincit amor (OMNIA). Latin for "Love conquers all."
  • 22A: "The Road to Wealth" author (ORMAN). Suze ORMAN.
  • 27A: Four-time Masters winner, familiarly (ARNIE). Arnold Palmer.
  • 30A: Cockamamie (INANE). Cockamamie is an awesome word.
  • 32A: Lloyd or Paul of Cooperstown (WANER). No idea. That A was the last letter I put in the grid. If I was still at the ACPT talking about this entry, no doubt Peter Gordon would be explaining all of the WANERs' accomplishments to me and giving me a you're-such-a-girl look. It's really hard to convince a huge baseball fan that a certain obscure baseball player is, indeed, obscure is what I'm saying.
  • 57A: Popular ending? (-IZE). -IZE is a suffix that you can tack onto the end of the word "popular" to make "popularize."
  • 65A: Terre Haute sch. (ISU). Indiana State University.
  • 66A: They may be French (DOORS). I tried MOORS first. Are there Moors in France?
  • 2D: "Am __ strict?" (I TOO). Overwhelming answer to this question when asked by today's parents? NO.
  • 3D: Nana (GRAN). I tried GRAM first. In fact, I didn't even check the across answer and once I had finished the whole grid, I had to go back and find that mistake.
  • 12D: Desilu co-founder (ARNAZ). Yes, that really is how Desi ARNAZ spells his last name.
  • 39D: Part of NFC: Abbr. (CONF.). Northern [Something] Conference, right? Football? Yes, Football.
  • 45D: Me. hours (EST). Eastern Standard Time in Maine (abbreviated Me.).
  • 55D: Not much at all (A DAB). I tried A TAD first.
  • 60D: Wall St. action (LBO). Leveraged buyout.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 44A: City on the Aar (BERNE).
  • 64A: Bunsen burner cousins (ETNAS).
  • 26D: Turow work set at Harvard (ONE-L).
  • 61D: 1940s mil. venue (ETO).
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Everything Else 1A: Note for a soprano (HIGH C); 6A: Puts away (JAILS); 14A: Heart chambers (ATRIA); 16A: Dander (IRE); 19A: "Wheel of Fortune" request (AN E); 20A: Huge amount (TON); 21A: Malamute and mastiff (DOGS); 31A: Vichyssoise veggie (LEEK); 34A: Teachers College advanced deg. (ED.D.); 41A: Pitches between innings? (ADS); 42A: Clod choppers (HOERS); 43A: Source of Davy Crockett's cap (COON); 46A: Slugger Ramirez (MANNY); 52A: Angiogram image (AORTA); 53A: Like San Francisco's Coit Tower (DECO); 54A: Google Earth image (MAP); 62A: Celestial Seasonings product (TEA); 63A: Hot coal (EMBER); 67A: Reservations (DOUBT); 1D: "... why __ thou forsaken me?": Matthew (HAST); 4D: With it (HIP); 5D: Links assistant (CADDIE); 6D: Mah-__ (JONGG); 7D: Build up (AMASS); 8D: __ and outs: peculiarities (INS); 9D: Blotto (LIT); 10D: Michener novel set in Japan (SAYONARA); 11D: "Michael Collins" star (LIAM NEESON); 13D: Davis of "A League of Their Own" (GEENA); 18D: "Who touches a hair of __ gray head ...": Whittier (YON); 23D: Campaigned (RAN); 24D: Collaborative Web site (WIKI); 25D: Tight spots (BINDS); 27D: Goya's "Duchess of __" (ALBA); 28D: Pond plant (REED); 29D: Reuters, e.g. (NEWS BUREAU); 32D: Big shot (WHEEL); 33D: Cousin of atmo- (AER-); 35D: "Runaround Sue" singer (DION); 36D: Say no to (DENY); 38D: Like some machinery nuts (THREADED); 40D: Fight memento (SCAR); 46D: Sounded like a Siamese (MEOWED); 47D: Greater Antilles nation (HAITI); 48D: Percolates (OOZES); 49D: Lazybones (IDLER); 50D: Orchard fruit (PEARS); 51D: IBM products (PC'S); 54D: Maître d's offering (MENU); 56D: Soft "Hey!" ("PSST!"); 59D: Latin 101 verb (AMO).


Anonymous said...

I have this unnatural aversion to anyone I first learn of during PBS's fundraising campaigns, so the ORM[]N/ARN[]Z crossing was a random vowel to me. Ok, probably not a U.
I way over-thought the theme based on SOAPDYNASTY. See, there are, or were, soap dynasties. Proctor, Gamble are examples. Alternately, DYNASTY was a SOAP. So, when it's just two random TV shows, the theme was not so interesting after you've started looking for the linkages.

Anonymous said...

I live in Maine (Me.) and we are currently on EDT not EST.

Anonymous said...

ETNAS? Is there more than one?

CarolC said...

@PG, great pix today. I see you kept with the theme with GRANny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies. I was with you on SET. Since I also didn't know WANER, for a time I had CHIEF instead of WHEEL for big shot, which I kind of liked.

I also enjoyed the theme and the variety of TV shows. I disliked HOERS and the return of buying random vowels, AN E in this case. I liked being tricked for a moment on 67A with Reservations looking like it would need a plural answer but DOUBT being correct. (And so would DOUBTS in my book.)

Mokus said...

Clever theme. Lots of good names. Enjoy Liam Neeson on screen, Turow & Michener books. Suze Orman is a bully. Had the L for Wall St. action and first thought was "lie" only because connive and deceive didn't fit. Aren't HOUSEFLIPPERs folks who buy and sell without moving in? Enjoyable puzzle. PG, National Football Conference.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:09 Bunsen Burners are also called Etnas (so it is rumored).

mac said...

Nice puzzle. I started out with set for lag and tad for dab. Particulary like house flippers, and thought of buying and selling houses, too. Doesn't happen much anymore in my area.

I know Berne as Bern, so that took longer than necessary.

Doug P said...

Your comment about the ACPT, Peter Gordon, and the Waners cracked me up. It reminded me of the time when someone (who shall remain nameless) thought that Vin Scully was the announcer for the Cubs. Joon Pahk's head almost exploded.

As for the puzzle, I agree with PG. Great job of selecting shows from a variety of eras and genres. Well done.

*David* said...

As a baseball fan, WANER was lost on me. That section woud not open up, pretty depressing for a Wednesday to have such a difficult time. The theme was quite enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

National Football Conference, need that for a Super Bowl.

C said...

I really liked the puzzle today, relatively easy for a Wed. but the theme answers were cool in that I was really looking forward to each theme answer to see which shows were included.

Big Poison and Little Poison obscure? Child please. #1 brother duo in terms of total hits, even outpacing the x-word favorite Alou brothers and the Dimaggio brothers and there were three of each of them. Might as well call Tris Speaker or George Sisler obscure as well. Sheesh, girls ;^)

Geometricus said...

Hated the WANER/WHEEL cross where I had to go through the alphabet to find a suitable letter for -HEEL. Hated the ETNA/ETO cross even more. I still don't understand the military venue of the 40's...is it supposed to be Japan? I thought that was EDO. Hey, c'mon baby, light my EdNA.

DDE said...

@Geometricus - ETO - European Theater of Operations. Kind of where we fought the Axis, defeated Fascism, that sort of stuff.

CrazyCat said...

WANER/AER cross was the last to go. Finally HTG. I liked HOUSE FLIPPER best because HOUSE FLIPPER is an actual term, or used to be back in the real estate bubble years.

Geometricus said...

Thanks, Ike. Glad to know you were on the job, making the world safe for democracy!

lit.doc said...

Comments from the wee hours:

I had to pause play for this one. 38D “Like some machinery nuts”. THREADED? Really? OK, somebody out there please enlarge my experience by explaining the non-threaded ones.

OK, back to the puzzle.

Geez. Tick. Tick. Tick. Staring at one blank square at the 32A/32D cross. “Who?” crossing “Huh?”. Embarrassingly, it takes me two alphabet runs to see it. Geez. Nice puzzle otherwise, but hey, WHEEL is not a free-standing answer to the clue. Clue shoulda been 32D “Big ____”.

Mortuorum said...

Sorry, but to me, today's puzzle was a clunker, starting with the theme. Maybe if the shows were somehow related (spinoff, same actor in both shows, same decade, whatever), it might have been interesting. But two unrelated shows? Lazy.

Wouldn't the cousin of "atmo-" be "aero-"? This non-word wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't crossed with the extremely-obscure "Waner". And since when are a bunson burner and Mount Etna counins? I wouldn't even countenance that association on a Friday.

Too bad, too, since some of the fill was quite clever. I especially liked "news bureau" and "Liam Neeson." Still, overall a big thumbs-down.

Anonymous said...

@Mortuorum - Etna's have been around since before 1913, where Websters had an entry as a gas burner similar to a Bunsen Burner. Their name most likely came from Mt Etna, but they are nothing but bunsen burner variants.

StudioCitySteve said...

Echoing a few opinions, I really didn't like this. The theme didn't really work for me when SOAPDYNASTY seemed to indicate a cleverer link between the shows.

And since when has a frat guy been called a HOUSE?

Agree that the AER answer should have been AERO, agree WANER is obscure to the point of invisibility.

I don't think OOZES is a synonym for percolates. AORTA is only part of an angiogram image and should have been clued accordingly.

NEWSBUREAU is flat-out wrong. Reuters is not a news bureau, it's a news agency. They may have a Paris bureau or a Washington bureau, but that would be "The Paris bureau of the News Agency Reuters" - a big diffence.

Quibble about CADDIE - in my book the singular is CADDY, the plural is CADDIES, but I'm sure the various dictionaries won't support me on that.

Two thumbs down for this one today.

John Wolfenden said...

The theme was good and I wanted to like this puzzle, but I had enough issues with clues that by the end I was kinda negative about it. I second Mortuorum's observation about AER/Atmo. I suppose Frank covered himself by cluing it as "cousin," but it's very clunky.

I'm not a fan of plural answers clued in the collective like PEARS. There's nothing technically wrong with it, just not my cuppa. I liked the clue for HOERS but, like AOLERS, the mere existence of it in the puzzle is offputting. And when was the last time you heard someone use the term "time lag?"

I'm confused about "Big shot" for WHEEL. "Big cheese" would be a great misleading clue, but how does "Big shot" work?

John Wolfenden said...

SCS, I had the same thoughts about NEWS BUREAU and the misleading appearance of a theme linking the two shows in each theme answer.

The latter is a nitpick, perhaps, but the questionable cluing could've been easily avoided.

Anonymous said...

I'm a girl and I know Tinkers to Evers to Chance and I originally thought Kiner, but knew that was wrong and ended up with Waner, which was familiar.

@Studiocitysteve Hands up for news agency also, bureau quite wrong. Nevertheless the puzzle was a good workout for a Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Have to love the Waner bros., Big Poison and Little Poison. When the Pirates played in Brooklyn the fans would say here comes that big poison (person) or that little poison (person) when they came to bat because they would just kill the Dodgers.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree that WHEEL would appear to be an answer if linked to the word "Big".

But in this puzzle that answer is simply wrong.

Im guessing there was a mistake in the clue

Anonymous said...

Why, for days (weeks?) now, are the comments here are mostly full of people complaining about things they don't understand and claim must be wrong?

Anonymous said...

As far as the term "wheel" is concerned I must quote the great Fats Domino "...I'm gonna be a wheel someday, I'm gonna be somebody..."

Sfingi said...

Totally didn't get the theme. When I got here, I could see why. Never heard of WEEDS. Also, only HOUSEFLIPPER approaches being a common expression. So, stupid theme. But all correct, I'm sure.

HTG on a Wed.! 2 were sports - WANER, NFC. The other ones were: ORMAN. I've heard of her and even seen her, but it didn't sink in; ISU, probably a big sports school; HAITI - I never knew what the greater Antilles consisted of. About time I learned.
My sister, who owns her own business, says Orman's good.

We had to learn that Whittier (but witless) poem in the days when students memorized poems. So, naturally we changed it.
Touch if you must this old grey head.
So he pulled out his gun and shot her dead.

*David* said...

I was wondering why more people keep on posting anonymously and not using a handle so we can recognize posters. Maybe a rise in complaints and anonymity go together?

Anonymous said...

Get off my lawn!

xyz said...

Quibble du jour

IBM does not produce nor sell PCS, they spun them off to LENOVO on which I sometimes do these puzzles.

O.K. O.K., maybe call me Mr. Picky, but I've never been a ONE-L

xyz said...

Would have been even more impressed had it been


such, but still fun pairing shows for long answers. (I've watched more than my share)

StudioCitySteve said...

@JohnWolf - the Reuters thing was more than a quibble for me because I'd got the "NEWS" filled and the SW corner completely empty, so NEWSAGENCY went straight in there, and left me trying to figure out types of tea ending in C, and so on.

Took me a good ten minutes to straighten that out, and IMHO all because of a flat-out wrong clue/answer combo.

John Wolfenden said...

You're not wrong SCS...although the definition of "bureau" is an organization, it's more specifically an organization within a larger one. Reuters doesn't fit that description, and I wouldn't call it a quibble...I was referring to the lack-of-a-consistent-theme as a quibble.

Sfingi said...

@Doug P - I always thought Vin Scully was an art critic. Oh, that's in my little non-sports world.
(Vincent Joseph Scully, Jr. Sterling Professor Emeritus, History of Art in Architecture, Yale. I own a couple of his books.)

Calling a war area a theater was always very grating, even disrespectful by my lights. But I guess many people watched our Civil War from the hills with camera in hand.

Captcha - insess - now, I know they're spelling that wrong.

hebow44 said...

I know this will probably go unnoticed, but I'm sure quite a few of you took part in the Crossword Puzzle Tournament last weekend. Does anyone want to fill us Monday - Wednesday puzzlers in on what it's like? How hard are the grids etc. I read many comments about how certain puzzles were easy for a certain day when I've spent way too much time with Google and Wiki to finish them. But at the end of the day I sure enjoy all the posts. Today my favorite was DDE.

Hoyt said...

WANER was one of the only answers I was real sure of early on. One person's obscure is anothers fact. As for the tv shows, WEEDS was the only cable show, which was kind of an inconsistancy in my book. Didn't rate this puzzle very high.

CrazyCat said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't feel the love today. There were quite a few things that irritated me and WHEEL was one of them.

@hebow44 The LAT puzzle starts out easy on Monday and is supposed to get more difficult as the week progresses. Sometimes it does and sometimes it seems like it doesn't. The NYT starts out easy on Monday and by Saturday it's nearly impossible to solve, for me at least.

Anonymous said...

Only problem with WHEEL is that Wheel of Fortune was in the clues.