05.22 Sun

May 22, 2011

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme: "And/or" — "OR" is added to familiar phrases to make wacky entries.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Important meeting for Domingo and colleagues? (THE BIG TENOR CONFERENCE).
  • 33A: Pulpit tirade? (BLAST FROM THE PASTOR).
  • 50A: Sale of swampland? (MORASS MARKETING).
  • 63A: Disloyal union member? (LABOR RAT).
  • 69A: "Babe," e.g.? (PIG STORY).
  • 83A: Really conservative Conservatives? (OLD SCHOOL TORIES).
  • 92A: Comment about a recently razed vacation complex? (THE RESORT IS HISTORY).
  • 114A: Maine travel agency's come-on? (MORE BANGOR FOR YOUR BUCK).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Today's puzzle is by the mysterious Verge. Is Verge a man? A woman? A couple? A robot from the year 2030?

The theme itself is very basic. Just add OR. But I like the results, and the long 21-letter entries are especially nice. (Yeah, those tenors are pretty big, aren't they?) The only one I'm not sure about is OLD SCHOOL T(OR)IES because I'm not familiar with "old school ties." I think it might be a British thing. A bloke will wear an Eton tie or a Harrow tie or maybe a Hogwarts tie to signify his school affiliation. In other news from the UK, I heard today that Princess Kate Middleton's sister Pippa is now known as P-Middy. Look for that entry in my next themeless puzzle.

  • 26A: Cabin fever, e.g. (ANGST) Is that a good clue for ANGST? I'm not sure. I've never had cabin fever.
  • 27A: Salon supply (HAIR GEL). Fortunately I don't have enough hair to worry about salon supplies.
  • 68A: Half of vingt (DIX). Boy, I'm horrible at these French numbers. "Vingt" is 20 and "dix" is 10.
  • 71A: "Anchorman" producer Judd (APATOW). If you don't know the name, you should try to remember it. The alternating vowels and consonants make it perfect for crosswords, and I predict you're going to see it again and again. Here's a list of Judd Apatow films if you want to brush up.
  • 69A: "Babe," e.g.? (PIG STORY). This one's dedicated to Crosscan.
  • 117A: Online memos (E-NOTES). Real word or not?
  • 8D: Legal scholar Guinier (LANI). I know as much about her as I do about 49-Down, Scottish psychiatrist R.D. ___ (LAING). Nothing. We need a new famous person named Lani Laing.
  • 16D: Cybernetics pioneer Norbert (WIENER). Insert your own cybernetic Wiener joke here
  • 24D: God in a chariot (THOR). I don't normally associate Thor with a chariot. Maybe because I'm thinking of the comic book version. Wikipedia tells me that Thor "rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, that he eats and resurrects."
  • 37D: They may put players out (TAGS).
  • 75D: Historic Kentucky county (BOURBON). I did not know that bourbon whiskey was named after an area in Kentucky. Cool.
  • 92D: ___-CD conversion: music collection updating system (TAPE-TO). And then you can convert all those "updated" CDs to MP3s.
  • 109D: Bush overshadower (TREE). I thought this was going to be something political, but it's just a tree.
A sad note for those of us who watched a lot of (fake) wrestling in the '80s. "Macho Man" Randy Savage died in a car accident on Friday. Snap into a Slim Jim this weekend in his memory. Ooooh yeeeah!

Everything Else1A: Missouri range (OZARKS); 7A: Very friendly with (CLOSE TO); 14A: Legitimate (LAWFUL); 20A: Incisor neighbor (CANINE); 21A: Lost it (HAD A COW); 22A: His team has an orange-and-black logo (ORIOLE); 28A: "Hmm ..." ("I WONDER …"); 29A: Glom (COP); 30A: Hesitant sounds (UMS); 32A: A long time (YEARS); 43A: Like a hawk's perspective (AERIAL); 44A: __ agreement (ORAL); 45A: Recipe amount (CUP); 46A: Carides of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (GIA); 49A: Scottish psychiatrist R.D. __ (LAING); 55A: Windows predecessor (MS-DOS); 56A: Sharp sensation (PANG); 57A: Transfix (AWE); 58A: "... __ mention ..." (NOT TO); 59A: Ornamented, as curtains (TASSELED); 62A: Sharpness (ACUMEN); 72A: Place for a large E (EYE CHART); 74A: Wine grape (PINOT); 75A: Tournament break (BYE); 77A: Part of a roof (EAVE); 78A: Boundary (AMBIT); 87A: Welsh breed (CORGI); 88A: 2010 Mark Twain Prize winner (FEY); 89A: Diving seabird (AUK); 90A: Didn't spoil (KEPT); 91A: Meaningful interval (PERIOD); 97A: Region on the South China Sea (MACAO); 100A: Lunch letters (BLT); 101A: Looney Tunes animator Avery (TEX); 102A: Might well (IS APT TO); 104A: Plymouth passenger carrier (RAIL CAR); 109A: Self-congratulatory cries (TA-DAS); 118A: Microsoft reference (ENCARTA); 119A: Italian desserts (GELATI); 120A: Out of fashion (DE MODE); 121A: Tough teammate to handle (EGOTIST); 122A: Obeyed a canine command (HEELED); 1D: Prefix with -hedron (OCTA); 2D: Journalist Paula (ZAHN); 3D: Rare blood type: Abbr. (A NEG.); 4D: Cage components (RIBS); 5D: Work with needles (KNIT); 6D: Circ. part (SEG.); 7D: Hardly top-of-the-line (CHEAPO); 9D: Stimulus used in aversion therapy (ODOR); 10D: Puppeteer Tony (SARG); 11D: Behold, to Brutus (ECCE); 12D: Prepare the factory (TOOL UP); 13D: Hold one's __ (OWN); 14D: Early movie mogul (LOEW); 15D: Gully (ARROYO); 17D: 1981 Hepburn co-star (FONDA); 18D: Gastric woe (ULCER); 19D: Rude looks (LEERS); 25D: Rift (FISSURE); 29D: Grey Cup sports org. (CFL); 31D: Large-beaked talker (MACAW); 33D: Soothing application (BALM); 34D: Green spans (LEAS); 35D: Requiring irrigation (ARID); 36D: Chinese: Pref. (SINO-); 38D: Poetic times (MORNS); 39D: Play genre (TRAGEDY); 40D: Suffers from (HAS); 41D: Some city lines (ELS); 42D: Toll rd. (TPK.); 46D: Cuban base, familiarly (GITMO); 47D: Bury (INTER); 48D: Torment (AGONY); 50D: Movie-rating org. (MPAA); 51D: Beer-making aid (OAST); 52D: Magazine that began as a comic book (MAD); 53D: Some refs. (ENCS.); 54D: Build up (TOUT); 59D: Experian, formerly (TRW); 60D: It's made up (LIE); 61D: Passage (EXCERPT); 62D: Player rep. (AGT.); 63D: __ luxury (LAP OF); 64D: Make __ of money (A PILE); 65D: Exchange, as words (BANDY); 66D: Onetime Siouan natives (OTOS); 67D: Campus military prog. (ROTC); 69D: Smooth, in a way (PAVE); 70D: Ticks off (IRES); 72D: Sniggler's target (EEL); 73D: 2010 earthquake site (HAITI); 76D: Simple country type (YOKEL); 78D: Scores 90+ on (ACES); 79D: Satirist Sahl (MORT); 80D: Liveliness (BRIO); 81D: Borodin prince (IGOR); 82D: Uncluttered (TIDY); 84D: Possess, to a Scot (HAE); 85D: Ring ruling (TKO); 86D: Poetic contraction (O'ER); 91D: Photos (PIX); 93D: Breeding ground (HOTBED); 94D: Bad way to come on (STRONG); 95D: Visit overnight (STAY AT); 96D: Legend subject (HERO); 97D: Acted quietly? (MIMED); 98D: "... world will live __": "Imagine" (AS ONE); 99D: Bank (CAROM); 103D: Facilitate an arrest, in a way (TASE); 105D: Oil acronym (ARCO); 106D: "__ first ..." (IF AT); 107D: Actress Singer (LORI); 108D: LCD flat panel displays have replaced many of them (CRT'S); 110D: Up to it (ABLE); 111D: Like a Jekyll and Hyde personality (DUAL); 112D: Comédie part (ACTE); 113D: Slide wildly (SKID); 115D: "Hmm ..." ("GEE …"); 116D: Word of disgust (UGH).


Steve said...

@Doug - nope, ENOTE isn't a word. Nor is PIGSTORY anything at all.

Not sure about this one - a lot of multi-word fills (ISAPTTO, IFAT, HADACOW, LABORRAT, CLOSETO etc.)

Some great ones though - ENCARTA, EGOTIST, TASSELED, AMBIT)


Anonymous said...

@Steve - PIG STORY refers to the movie "Babe". It stars a pig & was nominated for 7 Oscars in 1995.

Jeffrey said...

Ah, Babe. So beautiful. Sniff.

LANI LAING was Clarki Keint's girlfriend.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

@Crosscan....great commentre: LaniLaing! Doug my spin on old school ties was someone that has ties "ins" to the "old school".... Thought it was really well clued and was a bit of a poser until the theme came into focus and then things really opened up....Did not like TAPETO....completely forgot about ENCARTA, kept wanting README which just. would. not. fit.

I'm sure I am missing something but what is the Plymouth RAILCAR connection? Is that a model that Plymouth made? Kept thinking of what would the pilgrims have sailed on to get to Plymouth. I could google it but would like to see what others say.

SW gave me the most trouble with ISAPTTO and DEMODE. Was stuck twixt ENOTE and ECARD....


Sure glad we got through the apocalypse......next stop December 2012!

As a whole thanks Verge! Whoever/whatever you are?

Doug P said...

@Dave - Yes, I was also befuddled by the RAILCAR clue. Apparently "a railcar, in British English and Australian English, is a self-propelled railway vehicle designed to transport passengers." So it must have something to do with Plymouth, England, and their rail cars. A bit rummy, if you ask me.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

Rummy indeed! Did my take on old school make sense to you or was it a stretch?

Doug P said...

Dave - Yes, I like your take on "old school ties." Probably makes more sense than mine.

CoffeeLvr said...

I had a lot of trouble in Texas and Minnesota. In the South, I wouldn't let go of voyageR for the truly puzzling RAILCAR, was thinking Orono for the Maine town with an OR to drop, couldn't remember ENCARTA at first, and so on. In the North, did not know LANI or recall SARG, HADACOW & CLOSETO were both partials, and so on. In the end, my religious instruction saved me with the partial quote from Pilate.

My personal WOTD is AMBIT. @Steve, agree with you, there are too many ugly phrases: ISAPTTO! I won't go on. At least 1A was a gimme for this Missouri gal.

In summary, I found this better than most of the insert OR delete a syllable puzzles. LABORRAT & BLASTFROMTHEPASTOR were my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Old school ties are friends you still have that you made while in school. I've seen the phrase quite a few times.

mac said...

What an odd puzzle, and who's Verge? The one-name stuck with me the whole way.

Bourbon is a Kentucky name? Nah, French/Basque, I would think.

Could not believe the Bush overshadower.... We could have taken that one a long way.

I think the ties can be taken quite literally, there even is a really good (English) mystery called the Old School Tie. Reminds me, Poirot at 9, one I have seen and will love seeing again.

@Doug: would love to know the background to the Babe/Crosscan mention!

Jeffrey said...

@mac - Check out last Sunday.

mac said...

@Crosscan: now I remember.... Thank you.

Tuttle said...

Bourbon is a Kentucky name? Nah, French/Basque, I would think.

Bourbon County is where bourbon whiskey is from. The county (at the time about half of what is now Kentucky) was named after the Bourbon Dynasty of Spain and France in honor of French assistance in the Revolutionary War. The Dynasty itself takes its name from the castle of Bourbon in central France.