03.26 Sat

March 26, 2011
Julian Lim

Theme: None

Really really enjoyed this puzzle, but I'm getting a late start today, so let's go straight to bullets. No wait, let's do Crosswordese 101 first. These are words that come up in crossword puzzles again and again (and again and again and again) even though they probably don't come up in everyday conversation hardly ever. So it's a good idea to know them. Each CW word in this list is a link that will take you back to the post where we first featured it as CW101, where we talk about what the word means and how it's typically clued. (There's a list of all the CW101 words we've covered so far here.)

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 19A: Galway Bay's __ Islands (ARAN).
  • 39A: Shrub yielding an indigo dye (ANIL).
  • 61A: Ethyl butyrate, e.g. (ESTER).
  • 4D: Majlis al Jinn cave site (OMAN).
  • 21D: Dashboard Confessional music genre (EMO).
  • 31D: Memorable movie lion (LAHR).
  • 53D: Ohio tribe (ERIE).
  • 1A: Its first mascot was a toque-wearer named Speedee (MCDONALD'S).
  • 10A: Father in the comic strip "Bringing Up Father" (JIGGS). Got this one completely through crosses.
  • 15A: 2010 health statute, informally (OBAMACARE). Timely colloquialism.
  • 29A: Werewolves do it (MORPH).

  • 40A: Dollars for quarters? (HOME LOANS). Tricky clue. "Quarters" in this case refers to "living quarters."
  • 47A: Ham relative (SHEM). Biblical reference: SHEM and Ham are sons of Noah.
  • 49A: Ruined the family photo, maybe (MADE A FACE). Ha!
  • 56A: Potter's concern (VOLDEMORT). Love this clue. Were you all, "Clay? … ???"
  • 59A: Piece maker? (REESE). Mmmmmm, Reese's Pieces.
  • 1D: Home of V. Van Gogh's "Starry Night" (MOMA). The Museum of Modern Art.
  • 3D: "SNL" cast member with Phil and Kevin (DANA). Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, and Dana Carvey. I was never a huge fan of Kevin Nealon, but the one time I was in the audience for SNL, he came out and did the warm-up act and he killed it. I also think he's awesome in "Weeds."
  • 6D: Valuable diamond (ACE). Playing cards.
  • 12D: Fight fiercely (GO TO THE MAT). By any chance did you all hear about the NCAA's 125-pound champion wrestler this year? Kid was born with one leg. This was his last chance for a championship, so even though he beat my Hawkeye (who, by the way, was the defending champ), I have to admit I'm happy for him. Also, the phrase "one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest"? Yeah, we can let that one go now.
  • 45D: Six-time NBA All-Star Stoudemire (AMARE). I thought for sure his first name was more common than that. Is there another Stoudemire?
  • 48D: Annie's student (HELEN). Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.
  • 58D: Feu extinguisher (EAU). French!
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Everything Else 16A: Deify (ADORE); 17A: Beastly place? (MENAGERIE); 18A: Protest tactic (SIT-IN); 20A: Groupings affected by natural selection (GENE POOLS); 22A: Asked for a ticket? (SPED); 24A: Pluck (METTLE); 25A: Leisure wear (LOAFER); 30A: Among other things, in Latin (INTER ALIA); 33A: Iranian-born TV director Badiyi (REZA); 36A: Roll with the punches (TAKE IT AS IT COMES); 41A: 2008 runner (NADER); 44A: Still running (LEFT ON); 45A: Beer named for a river (AMSTEL); 51A: Cooling treats (ICES); 55A: Like a baseball bat's symmetry (AXIAL); 60A: Bizet's "Habanera," for one (OPERA ARIA); 62A: Folded (WENT UNDER); 2D: Handle user (CB'ER); 4D: Majlis al Jinn cave site (OMAN); 5D: Shrew (NAG); 7D: Coffeehouse option (LARGE); 8D: Like some flowers (DRIED); 9D: Detected (SEEN); 10D: "The Eyre Affair" author Fforde (JASPER); 11D: Not at all like rocket science (IDIOT PROOF); 13D: Cook, in a way (GRILL); 14D: Meaning (SENSE); 22D: Brunei's capital Bandar __ Begawan (SERI); 23D: Fall lead-in? (PRAT); 25D: "Kiss Me Deadly" singer Ford (LITA); 26D: "... __ open fire" (ON AN); 27D: It was blamed for reduced pasta sales in 2003 (ATKINS DIET); 28D: Relax (FEEL AT EASE); 29D: Seriously injure (MAIM); 32D: Prefix with 29-Across (ISO-); 34D: Greek known for paradoxes (ZENO); 35D: The "A" in many org. names (ASSN.); 37D: Beginning to cast? (TELE-); 38D: Skelton's Kadiddlehopper (CLEM); 42D: One in a pit (DEALER); 43D: Wrap artist? (ELF); 46D: Plateaus, with "out" (MAXES); 47D: Sniper's aid (SCOPE); 50D: Make no bones about (AVOW); 51D: Supermodel with a Global Chic collection (IMAN); 52D: Line with juice? (CORD); 54D: Rock or tin follower (STAR); 57D: "The 5000 Fingers of __": Seuss film (DR. T).


SethG said...

I like the trend of harder Saturday puzzles we've seen, and for me this was certainly one of them. Tricky cluing everywhere.

Ended with a guess at CLEM/SHEM. One of Noah's sons crossed with a character from more than 40 years ago? Instead of a tricky clue for SHEM, I'd have maybe avoided this entirely...

v-man said...

I ended up with same guess at the end as well as jiggs and seri. I had no idea Ham was a son of Noah until I googled it after I completed the puzzle. Friday's puzzle actually took me about 10 minutes longer than Friday's which is a rarity. Tough ambiguous clues that made you think.

Unknown said...

48D could be Pelen..it's a little far fetched but Pelen was an international ski champion in the "60's and his coach was named Annie..that would make 47A Spam..

Alexscott said...

I ended at the same CLE_/SHE_ blank square. Clem seemed like a good guess, but Shem less so, so I just looked it up. Good tough Saturday puzzle. Definitely a pencil puzzle--had NO CARB DIET instead of ATKINS at first, AVER instead of AVOW, SCAR instead of LAHR. For some reason, I got MCDONALDS and MOMA right away. I was a little bothered by OBAMACARE, I have to admit. Hope we see TEABAGGER sometime soon, though I doubt it. That is a bit more overtly hostile.

Dick said...

Would someone please tell me that these puzzles have been getting progressively more difficult over the past few weeks. I'm older and have been doing them for mental exercise with relative ease for many years. However, I've been experiencing Friday/Saturday problems for the last month. I just hope it's not ... you know.

imsdave said...

@Dick - they have been (which I love) - trust me, you're OK, nothing to worry about. Found this one to be a good 5 minutes harder than the NYT today. LATTE for LARGE slowed me down a bit (3 out of 5 ain't bad, except in crosswords).

Sidebar - in my experience, nothing is IDIOTPROOF.

mac said...

Good puzzle!

Oddly enough, I needed a few crosses for Amstel! Obamacare has a negative connotation these days, not good.

@PG: were you thinking of Mel Stoddlemeyer? I was too.

Avg Joe said...

No doubt this was a difficult puzzle. I probably had about 60% of the blanks filled in (an no full quadrant) before I had to google for several answers to get restarted. Lot's of multiple choice answers and misdirects as well as a few personal naticks. Had Felt for detected at 9d and Ice for 6d. Had solved, but didn't understand ACE til I got here. Also had Elsa for the renowned lion for the longest time.

Rex Parker said...

OBAMACARE is pejorative and should've been clued as such. Massive dislike. TEABAGGER analogy (from commenter, above) is apt. No way, unless you clue specifically as "pejorative."

Trend toward difficulty = big plus. Liked this one fine, overall.


Anonymous said...

Anybody, where is JNH? Haven't seen a comment from him in weeks. Golfballman.

Luke451 said...

Bucking the trend, for me this one was way easier than yesterday's. Scary looking clues, but things fell into place with the crossclues.

Roadblocks: "ice" instead of "ace" for valuable diamond; "go to town on" instead of "go to the mat."

I wanted "one in a pit" to be "mosher."

It also did not hurt to be of an age to have followed the exploits of Jiggs and Maggie, or watched the Red Skelton Hour!

C said...

I enjoyed the puzzle's tricky cluing. Fun solve for me. My main slow down point was GOTOETOTOE in place of GOTOTHEMAT. Fortunately, they give you crosses to fix stuff like this.

lit.doc said...

45:10! Wow, was that hard. Insert smiley-face emoticon for LAT.

One gripe and some cavils, nonetheless. I see @Rex has already attended to the OBAMA CARE gaff. An astonishing oversight (or lack thereof) from the left coast. Less importantly, 4D “Majlis al Jinn cave site” for OMAN? Really? 16A “Deify” for ADORE instead of EXALT? Weak. 50D “Make no bones about” for AVOW? Meh.

On the plus side, liked seeing 56A “Potter’s concern” for VOLDEMORT”. Nice.

Good grid—would love to see the constructor’s clues as submitted.

John Wolfenden said...

Maybe I'm getting better at these...I solved today's and yesterday's puzzles faster than usual. Not that either one was easy. You know you're working on a Saturday when you're aware that a baseball bat has radial and bilateral symmetry but it's not enough to solve the clue. SERI/INTERALIA was my last solve.

My daughters were very excited when I showed them VOLDEMORT, and as PG noted, thinking about pottery was good misdirection. Loved "Line with juice?" for CORD.

Learning moments: "Bringing up Father," CLEM Kadiddlehopper, and the river AMSTEL.

PG, I had DAMON Stoudamire, but he was a member of the last generation of NBAers. No relation, apparently. Go Tar Heels, BTW.

I second AlexScott and RP's opinion on OBAMACARE. Let's not give the conservative spin machine another mouthpiece in the crossword, shall we?

StudioCitySteve said...

Loved this - even though a DNF with the Z missing from REZA/ZENO - need to learn my directors and philosophers.

No issue with OBABACARE as it was clued "informally".

Great cluing, had a really nice hour in the bar with a Screwdriver and a pen.

Avg Joe said...

For those too young to remember Red Skelton, you missed one of the better parts of the Golden Age of TV. He was a master of innuendo and subtlety, especially in his role as Clem Kaddiddlehopper

Some of the stuff he pulled on his show would still be censored today if it weren't done so covertly. He was really, really funny with a bit of ribaldry thrown in for good measure.

v-man said...

Am I the only conservative that solves crossword puzzles on this blog? Teabaggers is much more derrogatory than Obamacare. There would be a word play or slang terminology for whichever president would propose a healthcare program. Teabaggers is extremely vulgar and derisive.

hazel said...

Go LAT go with your ramping it up!  This was a really good Sat. puzzle.  I particularly loved the SW - Amstel beers, Reeses Pieces and baseball - that's a trifecta for me!!

@imsdave - it took me almost exactly 5 min. longer than NYT too! 

I'm surprised to find that Obamacare has so much baggage associated with it.  Whenever I get into a healthcare reform discussion with anyone - generally liberal friends, v. conservative neighbors,  fellow cancer warriors - that seems to be the term people use.  (I'm all for the Act by the way.)  I just googled OBAMACARE tho  and see that Jon Stewart says it IS  a derogatory term - so I'm going to have to rethink it all  because I pretty much always agree with his point of view.    I'd be proud to have it named after me, in fact (Hazelcare) if anyone wants to get a movement started.

Anonymous said...

Ditto v-man. "Teabaggers" references a sexual practice and is intended to demean Tea Party members. I hear both sides use "Obamacare" - seems perfectly fine to me. Where's the insult? It's an Obama healthcare program. I'm a conservative, and I don't mind the term "Reaganomics".

John Wolfenden said...

I agree that "teabaggers" is much more of a pejorative than "Obamacare," and wouldn't suggest that the two are corollaries. Hazel makes a good point that the left wing could embrace the term, and as the healthcare policies go into effect and actually help people, it has become more and more of a political impossibility to repeal it.

That being said, the term "Obamacare" was coined by right-wing pundits attempting to associate him with intrusive big government. It's not an inherently derogatory word, but its role as part of a larger effort to discredit any and all of Obama's accomplishments mean that I and my left-wing ILK (remember that discussion?) won't be using it any time soon.

I know PG doesn't like the blog being used as a political soapbox, but this is an interesting discussion carried out in a civil tone. I for one enjoy hearing from intelligent, thoughtful people from both ends of the political spectrum.

Avg Joe said...

I agree that the level of venom in the two terms is vastly different, but still see Obamacare as being derogatory. The probable reason is that I hear that term from the same people that use the phrase Obamanation.

I'm not one to argue for all things being entirely PC, but do view Obamacare as being a slam.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea that McDonald's first mascot was Speedy, I could only think of Speedy as Alka Seltzer's first mascot. Hmmm Toque is defined as any hat with a brim, so I assumed that little speedy's hat might qualify.

I guess its only appropriate that McDonald's and Alka Seltzer Both had Mascots with the same name. I bet McDonalds have helped sell a lot of Alka Seltzer over the years...

CarolC said...

Enjoyed the puzzle and was pleased that I could just about finish a Saturday for once (Z in REZA open tho I should have remembered ZENO, and N for ARAN / OMAN), especially after my tough time yesterday. Thanks @PG for the crosswordese 101.

Am also enjoying the dialog but will stay out of the conversation.

Although I filled it in, I don't understand CORD as an answer for Line with juice. Can someone explain?

John Wolfenden said...

CarolC, cord as in power cord.

Sfingi said...


After I got only 5 on my first pass - including CLEM, an old people clue, I decided to Google everything I checked - 14 of 'em. It didn't help.

Even Googles failed me. It gave me AMAZON, an actual beer named after a rather well-known river, instead of AMSTEL (OK, stelle means place). I'm not a drinker, so the only river beer I actually know of is Genesee, an Upstate beer.

Other booboos - LAttE for LARGE, woad for ANIL, moshER for DEALER.

Disgruntlements - LAHR is not a lion, LOAFERS are now dress-up shoes - no one would wear them for leisure.

What is VOLDEMORT (I looked it up. It's in those stupid Harry Potter books and not something worth really knowing).

And, as @Carol C asked, how is CORD a line with juice?

@Dick - you'll have to do what I do: definitely buy the USA Today weekend edition. You'll have a Wedsneday-hard puzzle, plus try out Sudoku and Txtpert. But rather than giving up on Saturday, I'll put Lim on the list of puzzles to avoid, at least for a year.

Nowadays, the term OBAMACARE makes me feel warm and cozy. This puzzle, on the other hand, brings me down.

@V-man - you are. And aren't conservatives supposed to know all about the Bible?

Julian said...

Just to weigh in on OBAMACARE -- I was indeed concerned while constructing this puzzle (almost a year ago now) that it was a perjorative term. Asked a bunch of people how they would feel about seeing it in a crossword (including many of my grad school cohort), and (like anonymous@2:40) they were all OK with it, putting it at the same general level of acerb as "reagonomics". Finally, my leanings (like a great many constructors, I'm sure) are fairly liberal, so it didn't feel like a personal hit to the "other side", just a way to get a fresh word into a grid.

CarolC said...

John W, thanks, now I get it!

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

Julian, thank you for commenting. I know you are a commenter, and I was waiting for you appearance.
I'm afraid Obamacare has been hijacked.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dick - they HAVE been getting harder. Took two sessions today and still couldn't solve it - third week in a row! Please explain "one in a pit" (elf)????? And I always used "idiot proof" as meaning just the OPPOSITE of "not rocket science". Idiots need things simple and easy, so, to keep them away you make things HARDER - kinda like these puzzles.

Anonymous said...

42D: One in a pit (DEALER);
43D: Wrap artist? (ELF);

Hiram said...

You've probably heard of a "pit boss" in Las Vegas. They play blackjack, etc, in a PIT.

And an ELF presumably makes & wraps presents for Santa Claus.

Fun puzzle!

Dr. Richard said...

It saddens me to hear that someone things that VOLDEMORT is something stupid and not worth knowing. Harry Potter is intelligent adult reading with themes from the Bible, Shakespeare, Socrates (it strongly brought up issues from The Poetics), and VOLDEMORT is the essence of evil, not at all like TEABAGGERs and OBAMANATIONs...

*David* said...

Just got to the puzzle, really great. Exactly the level of difficulty I like to see in a Saturday. Took me about 30 minutes, one wrong square. Obamacare didn't bother me but politics are so sensitive even neutral phrases become politicized .