06.04 Sat

June 4, 2011
Gareth Bain

Theme: None — It's Saturday.

What a workout! Really enjoyed this puzzle. Tough but fair — I think that's my favorite kind. We had PuzzleSon's birthday party this evening (laser tag!) and then I got distracted by a thing for a while and now it's almost 1:00 in the morning so I might not get to say everything I want to say about this awesome puzzle, but I'll do my best. Here we go ….

I started by reading the across clues and just kept getting farther and farther down the puzzle without coming up with anything. Then, all of a sudden: LON CHANEY, JR. Could that entry be any cooler? No. No, it could not. From there the bottom broke open pretty well. Slow and steady, but I definitely knew I was getting somewhere. With the bottom in good shape, I could see THREE-DOLLAR BILL (3D: Symbol of phoniness) and HENRY FORD MUSEUM (11D: Dearborn attraction) which gave me some traction in the top half. The most trouble I had was in that SAAB / ALDO / SLAB section. I tried MALIA where SASHA was supposed to go (5D: White House girl), thinking that LOIN would work for 18A: Side of beef part. (Correct answer: SLAB.) I also had STOLES for SABLES (22D: Luxury furs), which made LATOYA hard to see. I'm still a little puzzled about that one. LATOYA Jackson? She had a record in 1988? Who knew? (I'm guessing hardly anybody.) It also took me an embarrassingly long time to get BOB DYLAN, but I'm going to say that's because it's a vertical answer which, as you may know, is often a lot more difficult for me to "see" than a horizontal answer (8D: Winner of a 2008 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture"). Okay, what else?


  • 1A: Candy vehicle (SCTV). John Candy was a member of the Second City comedy group and became well-known through the group's television show (Second City Television, or SCTV).
  • 9A: Gone crackers? (HI HOS). They're gone because they don't make them any more.
  • 25A: Initial response to a yenta? (M.Y.O.B.). The word "initial" in the clue doesn't mean "first." It means we're looking for an abbreviation. Someone might say Mind Your Own Business to a yenta.
  • 28A: Part of psi?: Abbr. (LBS.). Pounds per Square Inch? I couldn't let go of "psi" referring to the Greek letter and thought it was going to be something that I just didn't know.
  • 35A: Celebrity mentioned in Warren Zevon's 1978 hit "Werewolves of London" (LON CHANEY JR.). Oh yeah.

  • 38A: World Chess Champion after Botvinnik (TAL). Chess? Three letters? Yep, that's TAL alright.
  • 46A: Blend (IMMIX). Um … what?
  • 57A: Daughter of Muhammad (LAILA). Not the prophet, the boxer.
  • 59A: Green (GELT). Are these both slang words for money? It's too late for me to look it up.
  • 51D: Sorbonne heads? (TÊTES). Oh thanks goodness. French!
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 14A: Education acronym (ELHI).
  • 16A: Certain Yemeni (ADENI).
  • 61A: Fonda's beekeeper (ULEE).
  • 7D: Hersey setting (ADANO).
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Everything Else 5A: Imported wheels (SAAB); 15A: Brad's role in "Inglourious Basterds" (ALDO); 17A: Brings out (AIRS); 19A: Like some raincoats (LINED); 20A: Line before "Et tu, Brute?" (SPEAK HANDS FOR ME); 23A: Tailless mammal (APE); 24A: Self-titled 1988 R&B album (LATOYA); 26A: Skyscraper feature (LEDGE); 30A: Dom alternative (FRA.); 31A: Metaphors, e.g. (TROPES); 33A: Ice cream parlor order (MALT); 34A: "... lay the sod __ me": "Streets of Laredo" lyric (O'ER); 40A: Valley in the first book of Samuel (ELAH); 41A: Heavy hitter (SLEDGE); 44A: Santa __ (ANA); 45A: Some signatures (X'ES); 47A: "Beetle Bailey" cartoonist Walker (MORT); 49A: Members of an Afrocentric movement (RASTAS); 53A: Exhaust (USE); 54A: Ethical concern for a bar association (AMBULANCE CHASER); 58A: Court ritual (OATH); 60A: Coty Award winner Perry (ELLIS); 62A: Golden __ (RULE); 63A: Willowy woman (SYLPH); 64A: Polanski film based on a Hardy novel (TESS); 65A: Wrote, as an AOL buddy (IM'ED); 1D: Epicure's condiment (SEA SALT); 2D: Fast ship (CLIPPER); 4D: Traveler's need (VISA); 6D: __ once (ALL AT); 9D: Game division (HALF); 10D: Way of putting things (IDIOM); 12D: Encore, basically (ONE MORE); 13D: News supplement (SIDEBAR); 21D: Box for a cold (KLEENEX); 27D: Mail hub: Abbr. (GPO); 29D: In (STYLISH); 32D: White of the eye (SCLERA); 33D: __-jongg (MAH); 36D: Isn't trapped (HAS AN OUT); 37D: "To Kill a Mockingbird" brother (JEM); 38D: Cantina servings (TAMALES); 39D: Unusual occurrence (ANOMALY); 42D: Princess in Disney's "Enchanted" (GISELLE); 43D: Applied (EXERTED); 48D: __ mania, 17th-century Dutch phenomenon (TULIP); 50D: Model aspect (SCALE); 52D: Inflammation symptoms (ACHES); 55D: Tie securely (LASH); 56D: Business intro? (AGRI-).


SethG said...

A Warren Zevon reference is a lot more likely to make me like a puzzle than a Shakespeare one!

Vega said...

This one had me at AMBULANCE CHASER. No, actually, every grid-spanning answer is awesome. And then LON CHANEY JR right in the middle? Rock on.

How embarrassing is it that I got LATOYA off the first A?

imsdave said...

Gareth, you just keep getting better and better. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

"Speak hands for me?" What's that? Someone help me out here.

Will S. said...


Speak, hands for me!

[CASCA first, then the other conspirators and BRUTUS stab CAESAR]


Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar.

Rube said...

Had to Google to finish Montana and the NE. Didn't know about BYBDYLAN's Pulitzer, never heard of LATOYA, and the Shakespeare quote was beyond me. Also didn't know that FRA=Dom, (my WOTD).

Is MYOB actually used in Tweet speak? Sounds pretty rude to me, but then again, the language used in some of these abbreviations is, to me, not for polite conversation.

Still, enjoyed this puzzle, despite IMMIX, IMED, and calling a LEDGE a "skyscraper feature". Sure wanted Fatima before LAILA.

Alexscott said...

I finished this one without googling, and only a few written-over spaces. But, man, was this tough. Nothing up top for a while. The only thing from the NW corner was that I thought 14A might be ELHI, but then I thought, wait, that's not an acronym. Well, it ended up being one of my last fills. LON CHANEY JR. was the first one I got, which made me want to continue, though I did consider quitting a few times. The first long answer I got was HENRY FORD MUSEUM, and by that point I was so flummoxed, I couldn't think of Ford's first name for like five minutes. Argh. Lots of great long answers. But a lot of the shorter fill was new to me (TAL, IMMIX, GELT, LAILA, SCLERA). And I loved the tricky cluing for SCTV, but it took me forever to get. Quite the Saturday workout. (It turns out el-hi is an acronym, at least according to Webster. So there's something else I learned today.)

LongbeachLee said...

This was a slog for me. I got in trouble with Detroit Colluseum, Mia Culpa, but slogged out finally. I thought Jem/Immix was a Natick. I wont even honor immix with a dictionary check. Malt? In the 21st Century? And isn't it a malted? Tamales in a cantina? cerveza, margarita, tequila for sure, but tamales?. Well if the tamales were a free hors d'ouvre, I guess I'd partake.

C said...

Awesome puzzle. Flat out. Thanks to Mr. Bain for sharing with us.

My main problem with solving the puzzle was the constant "AAAAAAOOOOOOOOO"s that were rolling through my head as I was trying to remember all of the lyrics to werewolves of London. Really hard to solve a difficult puzzle with constant howls going off in your head.

Sfingi said...

@AlexScott - U R A Genuine Genius. DNF, Googled lots.

Wanted Uneeda Biscuit for Hi-Hos.
Had sAMpLES before TAMALES and siRs before AGRI.

Enjoyed Googling the tunes. After the Streets of Laredo, I thought I'd keep going with I Came Down from Butte MT.

I always think of Bell for O'Donnell, Hubsters take on ADANO. Gee, do you think all those Afghanistanis really want is a bell?

GELT=green is up there with APE=PARROT and SALT=TAR; crossword equivalents.

@Rube - FRA=DOM, titles for Abbots. Some of us wish we'd never heard of LATOYA.

We had SCOUT on the USA Today - so why not JEM on this one.

Steve said...

Really tough and really fun. Had to reach deep in the memory banks for SPEAK HANDS ... And LON CHANEY JR

But one grump - INMIX?

Two coffees and a screwdriver to get through this one. Loved it.

hazel said...

Great puzzle, @Gareth. Totally whipped me. and agree with everyone on LONCHANEYJR.

Anonymous said...

PG enjoyed your write up and especially the Hi Hos graphic and Warren Zevon clip. I am old enough to remember both!!

mac said...

I agree with imsdave, Gareth is getting better and better! What a real Saturday workout!

I have to admit I didn't know Lon Chaney was a jr. Elah, immix and elhi came without crosses, part of my crosswordstash.

Wanted veld ;-) for green.

CoffeeLvr said...

@PG, I guessed Malia first, too, so that was where I finished up.

I printed this puzzle out and did it away from the computer. That paid off, as I did eventually tease all the answers out. My eraser got a good workout.

I knew HENRYFORDMUSEUM (GREENFIELD VILLAGE didn't fit.) So that Y in MYOB led me to OYVE (I can't spell Yiddish) then MY,MY, then MY OH. When MYOB appeared thanks to SIDEBAR, I turned the pencil around to start erasing something. The light finally came on.

Really liked THREEDOLLARBILL, TROPES, ANOMALY, BOBDYLAN. I never like ELHI, especially when clued as an acronym. That said, I knew what had to go in there.

I use SEASALT, does that make me an epicure too?

Mokus said...

I thought it was a terrific puzzle. Challenging yet satisfying. My only beef was calling ELHI an acronym because I've always thought each letter had to represent a new word but now I know better thanks to Alexscott. My favorite acronym, learned in the army, was FUBAR.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely asinine puzzle - way too esoteric. LAILA = Muhammad's daughter (not to my Muslim friend!). Been in education 40+ years - never heard of ELHI! Using Yiddish for a slang (GELT)?? BUT, the worst of all, please, Gareth, don't go into a cantina and order a TAMALE - they'll laugh you out of the joint (or worse). How ethnocentric can you get? Used this one to wrap around my dog refuse!

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

I thought it was a great puzzle all around - cluing for LBS and HIHOS for instance. Plus all the long entries were noteworthy....Only complaint is IMIX (still trying to figure it out)...My one DOH moment was BETTYFORDMUSEUM off the Y in MYOB (Thought Gerald was from MI so why not Betty?)...Super-embarassed as I shoulda KNOWN!! My Grandfather was editor of the Detroit News (dead before I was born) and was Henry's go-to guy for spreading the non-union word. A lot of anti-communism stuff that was pretty darn scary (Scary ESPECIALLY if folks believed it)...So really felt like an ijit. DOH X 2

Great construction and will look for Bain in the future.

Hope this posts as I got some sort of "Danger Will Robinson" error message last time.

Sfingi said...

@Anon359 - Both Lon Chaney Jr. and Sr. were in monster movies.

The movie, Werewolves of London, was pretty good, too.

The prophet's daughter is Fatimah. Layla may have been a nickname.

Using Yiddishism is very NE. You might as well learn a few. Very useful and funny, anyway.

*David* said...

Really great puzzle took me a long time to breakthrough on the top half. Bottom was quicker but still a lengthy process to finish this puzzle overall. Ultimately quite satisfying and I'll forget about IMMIX.

Steve said...

Late with the clarification if anyone's still reading this, but LAILA is Muhammad Ali's daughter, nothing to do with the prophet. She's pretty famous as a boxer in her own right.