05.24 Tue

May 24, 2011
Gareth Bain

Theme: Steal From the Rich & Give to the Poor — Four actors who played Robin Hood on the silver screen.

Theme Entries:
  • 18A: "Kiss the Girls" actor (1993) (CARY ELWES).
  • 25A: "Gladiator" Oscar winner (2010). (RUSSELL CROWE).
  • 38A: "Captain Blood" star (1938) (ERROL FLYNN).
  • 53A: "Field of Dreams" star (1991) (KEVIN COSTNER).
  • 64A: Role played by each of the four actors in the year indicated in their clues (ROBIN HOOD).
Hey, puzzle fans. PuzzleGirl is still under the weather, so this is Doug filling in. Get well soon, PG!

I was happy to see Gareth Bain's byline today. He's become one of my favorite L.A. Times regulars. I solved this one from top to bottom, and I had no idea where Gareth was going with the theme. I know that Russell Crowe is from New Zealand and Errol Flynn was born in Tasmania. (I learned that Flynn fact from crossword puzzles.) Cary Elwes is British or Australian or something, so I was thinking foreign actors. Then I filled in California boy Kevin Costner. Huh? Of course, all was made clear at 64-Across. I'm glad I didn't start this puzzle at the bottom, or the surprise would have been ruined. But I shouldn't have been so surprised. When I read the clue for Cary Elwes, I thought "'Kiss the Girls'? I would have used 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights' instead."

We've got a nice cross-section of films represented here. "The Adventures of Robin Hood" was a classic '30s swashbuckler. "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" was a straightforward telling of the legend, and it was followed a couple years later by the spoof "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." And finally a grimy & gritty version in 2010, "Robin Hood." I own a baseball cap from the 2010 "Robin Hood" film, and I was actually wearing it over the weekend. It was a gift from PuzzleSister! She won the hat in a drawing at the 2010 L.A. Crossword Tournament, and I pouted until she gave it to me. She's awesome.

  • 1A: iPhone add-ons (APPS). My phone has no apps. And no internet. And no camera. It barely makes phone calls.
  • 36A: Potted plant site (SILL). And in cartoons, a place where you leave pies to cool. I'd love to swipe a pie from a windowsill, but I've never found one in real life. Why do cartoons lie to me? I also discovered the hard way that vanishing cream doesn't really make you invisible.
  • 46A: Items included in envs. (ENCS). Enclosures in envelopes. This is my least favorite entry today, and I'm not going to dwell on it.
  • 69A: Lunatics (MADMEN). I'm surprised this wasn't clued with a reference to the TV program "Mad Men." Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the country who's never seen that show. Oh well. Maybe I can catch it on Netflix after I finish watching all my Tom & Jerry DVDs.
  • 12D: Eloi predator (MORLOCK). Love this entry. And a great use of the crosswordese staple ELOI in the clue.
  • 32D: Birds' biological class (AVES). I believe Gareth is studying to be a veterinarian, so this one's right up his alley.
  • 40D: Marg : Brits :: ___ : Americans (OLEO). So the actress from "CSI" should be called Oleo Helgenberger? Or maybe "marg" is just short for margarine.
  • 47D: Read the riot act (CHEW OUT). Love this entry too.
  • 61D: Pinup's leg (GAM). This is one of my favorite old-timey words. You'll have to Google your own picture. I don't want PuzzleGirl to chew me out.
Everything Else 5A: Big name in kibbles (ALPO); 9A: Perturb (DISMAY); 15A: Quantum __ (LEAP); 16A: Ponce de __ (LEON); 17A: Speak liturgically, perhaps (INTONE); 20A: Leads off (STARTS); 21A: Thanksgiving mo. in Canada (OCT.); 22A: Slightly (A BIT); 23A: Look peaked (AIL); 24A: Ne'ertheless (THO'); 31A: Lease signatory (TENANT); 33A: "Go ahead!" ("DO IT!"); 34A: Barracks bed (COT); 35A: Golf's Ballesteros (SEVE); 37A: Furniture company named partly for its founder Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA); 42A: Plumbing joints (ELLS); 45A: Skin cream brand (OLAY); 49A: Island gift (LEI); 50A: Tabloid twosome (ITEM); 51A: Agricultural measure (BUSHEL); 57A: 67.5 deg. (ENE); 58A: PC's top-left key (ESC); 59A: Prefix with gram (HOLO-); 60A: "Because" evoker (WHY); 61A: Player in front of a net (GOALIE); 66A: Take flight? (AVIATE); 67A: Foxx who sang "Mockingbird" (INEZ); 68A: Unadulterated (PURE); 70A: Keep on looking at, and not in a nice way (OGLE); 71A: Ollie's sidekick (STAN); 1D: "Little Men" novelist (ALCOTT); 2D: Often flambéed fruit (PEACHES); 3D: Start of a saga, maybe (PART ONE); 4D: Le CarrÈ hero, e.g. (SPY); 5D: Very nearly (ALL BUT); 6D: "Surprised By Joy" autobiographer C.S. (LEWIS); 7D: Ode writers (POETS); 8D: Put-__: pranks (ONS); 9D: Talk smack to (DIS); 10D: Not broken (INTACT); 11D: Step in a flight (STAIR); 13D: Colony dweller (ANT); 14D: "It is so" ("YES"); 19D: Breadwinner (EARNER); 26D: Build up spiritually (EDIFY); 27D: Lounge, as on a chaise (LOLL); 28D: Easter bloom (LILY); 29D: "__ is me!" (WOE); 30D: Greek vowel (ETA); 36D: Condemns verbally (SLAMS); 37D: Quaint lodgings (INNS); 39D: Univ. recruiter (ROTC); 41D: Cell with an axon (NEURON); 42D: Antlered critter (ELK); 43D: Sheltered side (LEE); 44D: 1985 multi-venue charity concert for Ethiopian famine (LIVE-AID); 48D: Portuguese lady (SENHORA); 50D: Stir up (INCITE); 51D: British Honduras, now (BELIZE); 52D: __ jar: static electricity storage device (LEYDEN); 54D: Imam's faith (ISLAM); 55D: Beach footwear (THONG); 56D: Prize name (NOBEL); 62D: Egg cells (OVA); 63D: Dusk, to 7-Down (E'EN); 64D: Brazilian hot spot (RIO); 65D: Some inkjets (HP'S).


Mari said...

I didn't get 40D until I saw it in the write-up.

VirginiaC said...

Nice, smooth solve. Yes, it is nice when Gareth 's name appears.

hazel said...

@Doug P - I live in the south and used to leave my pies on the windowsill to cool. Didnt have AC at the time (because I was a poor grad student, not because I lived before the invention of AC, @Rube!!) - I'd keep the kitchen window open for the breeze, and probably put the pies there because of the cartoon-memory part of my brain, truth be told.

Anyway, I really liked this puzzle. The theme remained a puzzle to the very end, which is a bonus puzzle for me. Good job, @gareth.

Tuttle said...

I thought it was going to be a sea-captain thing until I got the reveal. Cary Elwes was the Dread Pirate Roberts; Russell Crowe played Captain Jack Aubrey; Errol Flynn did Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk and many others.; Kevin Costner... Waterworld maybe?

61A amused me because all 11 players on a soccer team are "in front of the net". I guess in hockey you can play behind the goal though.

Anonymous said...

The Villanelle of Acheron, by ERnest Dowson (Brit)
By the pale marge of Acheron...

The Cremation of Sam McGee, by Robert W. Service (American)
...that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Another candidate for this sort of crossword could be The Three Musketeers.

Sfingi, since I keep getting an error commenting under my own tag.

*David* said...

I also went straight from up to down so had a nice aha moment at the end. Was thinking that there might be something hidden in each of the names that would be revealed. SENHORA and LEYDEN crossing WHY was the only area where I slowed down.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking it was animal name/type/somethin people, CARYE[l]WES, RUSSELCROW[e], ERRORFLY[nn], so spent a lot of time trying to find a critter in KEVINCOSTNER's name.

Rube said...

I'll bet everybody who didn't know who CARYELWES is, (like me), had ALmosT for 5D. Actually had more than the usual overwrites for a Tuesday puzz: also misspelled AVES, had saS befire DIS, and wanted frAN before STAN.

Saw LEYDEN jar in a NYT puzz a few years ago and thought then that this would throw all the liberal arts guys on the blog. How did you all fare this time?

Good puzz. Unfortunately have to make INEZ Foxx singing "Mockingbird" as my FOTD. May have to read "Surprised by Joy" sometime soon. Didn't know he wrote an autobiography.

Steve said...

Anybody else notice that this is a 16 X 15?

Anonymous said...

@Rube - me too. CARY ELWES is young enough to be my son, so I didn't know who he was and had ALmosT.

@Steve - Didn't notice.

What was really good about the puzzle was it had only one sports clue.


Anonymous said...

Hi. First time here, dropping in from Rex World. Blogger not working here for me, I'm John V @ Rex.

OT, perhaps, but I've several instances where the on-line app crashes. I'm running Firefox on Windows XP. Any guidance on how to deal with this?

Thanks, and my appologies for being off topic.

Anonymous said...

CoffeeLover here.

@Rube, had ALmosT the exact same initial mis-steps as you did. I think frAN was a carryover from solving the NYT earlier in the day, where OLLIE makes an appearance as a friend of Kukla. Despite a BA, I do recall LEYDEN jar.

@Steve, it's 16 so the central theme answer with 10 letters can be centered in the grid. (I have started reading Patrick Berry's book for Dummies.

Anonymous said...

I started the puzzle at 1:30 am and zipped right through most of it. Left the bottom third for this morning. Things were still going well until I got to the cross of ENE and LEYDEN. Had no idea what either clue was getting at. LEYDEN jar was a new one for me. Liked the ROBIN HOOD theme even though I've never heard of CARY ELWES. SEVE is now a late golfer.

CrazyCatLady - blogger won't let me sign in either.

Anonymous said...

CoffeeLover again.

@Doug, thanks for stepping in, or up, or out.

@PG, feel better.

Anonymous said...

No, mac said....

Very good puzzle, Gareth!

Solved it from the top, as well (stumbling over almost), and liked finding the Robin Hood reveal. Haven't seen the men in tights, though!

I know for a fact that the term "marg" is used in South Africa, too!

Nice write-up, Doug! All the best, PG.

Nighthawk said...

Nice job on the fill-in write-up, @Doug.

Pretty smooth, but the corners slowed me down, the NW and SE downs and the NE and SW acrosses.

Hand up for AlmosT and slid around too for a while until OLEO clarified.

badams52 said...

Never used "marg" before, only margaine. Didn't know that OLEO was short for oleomargarine. Only knew oleo through cwords, so I thought it was just another name for margarine that only cworders used.

I had ALmosT, but knew it must be wrong since ABIT and RUSSELLCROWE wouldn't work with ALmosT. I usually solve the downs first so I hadn't gotten to the acrosses to double check.

ENE clue was interesting. My first thought was rad since 1 radian is about 57 degrees.

Anonymous said...

I liked this puzzle a lot; any difficult names yielded to crossings. But I'd like to know: is DIS crossing DISMAY considered clever or awkward among connoisseurs?

Kurisu said...

I knew CARY ELWES from Men in Tights and Princess Bride; although I had ALMOST in at first I was able to correct that quickly.

Had no idea what ENCS in "envs" were until I read the blog writeup.

I haven't seen OLEO on a crossword in a while; seems like it used to pop up every week but maybe I just haven't been doing the right ones.

Alexscott said...

Nice puzzle, good fill for a Tuesday. Did anyone else notice the nice DIS/INT/STA crossing in the NE corner?

My only complaint is the quality of the films referenced, which, with the exception of the Errol Flynn version, su-ucked. Not the puzzle creator's fault, clearly. But I would've loved to have seen Sean Connery in the grid. Robin and Marian may be obscure, but it's the best Robin Hood movie I've seen--great movie. (Also, Connery's name is too long, but sill...)

Anonymous said...

I think it is everyone with Firefox. Think Google is trying to push us to G-mail


C said...

Trying this again. I endorse this puzzle. I thought the theme was pirates but Costner threw me for a loop.