06.09 Thu

June 9, 2011
James Sajdak

Theme: Alternate Endings — Familiar two-word phrases following the pattern [x]ing + [x]er have their suffixes reversed.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Choir members during the sermon? (SINGERS WAITING). [singing waiters]
  • 24A: Grocery employee dealing with a shortage of shelf space? (STOCKER STUFFING). [stocking stuffer]
  • 47A: Top sellers sealing the deal? (CLOSERS PITCHING). [closing pitchers]
  • 53A: News hound's sign-off? (ROVER REPORTING). [roving reporter]
I solved this puzzle last night after I got home from PuzzleSon's middle school band/orchestra concert. The concert lasted more than two hours. And PuzzleSon played in a total of … one song. Which didn't occur until an hour and 50 minutes in. So what I'm saying is, this theme made no sense to me At All while I was solving. Even after I was done it took me a while to figure it out. But I'm pretty sure all that says more about my state of mind than it does about the puzzle. The theme is cute right? I kinda wish all the theme answers had been singular because the S in the middle of three of them seemed like a big part of my confusion while solving.

Not a lot of sparkle in this one. As for the longer answers, PARABOLAS and SNORKELS are awesome (17A: Certain conic sections / 5D: Reef exploration gear), but GUARD RAIL and SET FORTH just kinda sit there (62A: Road safety feature / 40D: Outline, as a plan). Of the fill-in-the-blank clues, not a single one ended up being the first answer that came to my mind. My first thought for [36A: "Do the __"] was HUSTLE, which frankly cracked me up (correct answer: MATH). For [3D: Cape ___], my list went MAY, FEAR, COD, and then finally HORN. And [24D: Poison __] only brought to mind PEN and IVY (not SUMAC). Oh, I did get 52A: Toy magnate F. A. O. Schwartz right off the bat though. Is that well-known outside of New York?

  • 1A: Sieben und eins (ACHT). Whoa! German math right out of the gate. Sieben = 7, und = and, eins = 1, ACHT = 8.
  • 9A: Finish the doughnuts? (GLAZE). Wanted this to be something about ICING, but GLAZE is better.
  • 14A: New York restaurateur (SHOR). I learned about Toots SHOR from crosswords.
  • 22A: Reaction to one who's revolting (ICK). Seems like there's been a lot of ICK in the news this week.
  • 23A: Palais denizen (ROI). French!
  • 33A: Neighbor of Arg. (URU.). Uruguay.
  • 8D: "L.A. Law" actor (DYSART). I do not know who this is.
  • 10D: Actress Loughlin (LORI). But I know this actor played Becky on "Full House." I guess that show has aged well because PuzzleKids watch all the reruns. They're also into "Everybody Hates Chris" right now. I can't tell you how glad I am we're past the Barney and Dora stage. (Not that there's anything wrong with Barney and Dora — they're awesome.)
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 44A: __ Jackson, Fonda title role (ULEE).
  • 51A: Monodrama about Capote (TRU).
  • 64A: Once, once (ERST).
  • 66A: Indian noble (RANEE).
  • 11D: Yemeni port (ADEN).
  • 13D: Faline's mother, in Salten's "Bambi" (ENA).
  • 39D: Lilly of pharmaceuticals (ELI).
  • 53D: Indian noble (RAJA).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 5A: Roe source (SHAD); 15A: Not, some time back (NARY); 16A: "The Kiss" sculptor (RODIN); 19A: Gladiator's milieu (ARENA); 34A: Evoke gaiety with gags at a gig (SLAY); 35A: He shared the peace prize with Shimon and Yitzhak (YASIR); 38A: Male sovereigns' address (SIRES); 41A: Polynesian pendant (TIKI); 42A: Lent a hand (AIDED); 46A: One of the 10 lowest digits? (TOE); 61A: Anglo-__ (SAXON); 63A: Throw out (EJECT); 65A: Make eyes at (OGLE); 67A: "He __ not sleep": Shelley (DOTH); 68A: Pill bottle instruction (DOSE); 1D: Some cobras (ASPS); 2D: Spiced tea (CHAI); 4D: Disastrous (TRAGIC); 6D: Dutchman who painted "Gypsy Girl" (HALS); 7D: Got __ deal (A RAW); 9D: Please (GRATIFY); 12D: Sock it to (ZING); 18D: Bremen brew (BECK'S); 21D: Pot marker (IOU); 25D: Hiker's route (TRAIL); 26D: Best (OUTDO); 27D: Heyerdahl craft (RA I); 28D: Corn product (SYRUP); 29D: Budgetary waste (FAT); 30D: Last Supper question (IS IT I); 31D: Maker of Coolpix cameras (NIKON); 32D: "Peer Gynt Suite" composer (GRIEG); 37D: Boys and men (HES); 43D: International thaw (DETENTE); 45D: Convenient greeting (E-CARD); 48D: Sch. basics (RRR); 49D: Progressed in waves (SURGED); 50D: Dragster's wheels (HOT ROD); 54D: Paddy team (OXEN); 55D: Viva __ (VOCE); 56D: Cannes cash (EURO); 57D: Tense time? (PAST); 58D: Emilia's husband (IAGO); 59D: Lofgren of the E Street Band (NILS); 60D: TV show about a high school choir (GLEE); 61D: Rev.'s speech (SER.).


Orange said...

"Do do do doodoo doodoo do do do do do doodoo doodoo do do DO DO DO DOODOO DOODOO DO DO DO DO DO DOODOO. Do the math!"

Richard Dysart played the gray-haired senior partner at McKenzie Brackman. Possibly he was McKenzie? First name maybe Leland?

My kid watches "Everybody Hates Chris" and "My Wife and Kids" every night if he can. PuzzleGirl! Did you know that a couple weeks ago, Disney Channel aired the finale of "Suite Life on Deck"? That's right: no new episodes ever again for that dreadful show.

Neville said...

"Did you know that a couple weeks ago, Disney Channel aired the finale of "Suite Life on Deck"? That's right: no new episodes ever again for that dreadful show."

AMEN! The Sunday Schoolers used to love that show, and as part of my campaign to stay in touch with their pop culture, I watched it once. Absolutely terrible - glad to hear they are through.

Yeah, I remember having to do choir concerts combined with the band, orchestra and other choral groups that were similarly formatted. I assure you that PuzzleSon didn't enjoy it anymore than you did.

Puzzle was meh - the plurals did not please me.

CoffeeLvr said...

I started the puzzle last night, and had to walk away with Minnesota empty, could not think of that blasted fish.

Technically, a DNF, since I also checked my answer for Not, some time back. I had tried to expand N'er into NeRe.

The only theme answer I think is funny is STOCKERSTUFFING, as it sounds like a real Spoonerism. The rest, not so much.

RAJA crossing RANEE is odd; I think because I want RANi to keep a consistent four letters.

ERST, DOTH, NARY, IAGO, TRAGIC, SLAY, why am I thinking of Shakespeare?

@PG, agree about ICK in the news, but I entered UGH in my grid first time through.

Abner D said...

"Closing pitcher"? ICK! You hear that phrase as often as you hear ALer and NLer, i.e., never.

Tuttle said...

Grrr. You don't give the first boat bearing a name a number. You have the Queen Elizabeth 2 which followed the Queen Elizabeth, not the Queen Elizabeth 1. Similarly, Thor Heyerdahl's Ra II followed the boat Ra; Not RA I.

And can somebody take ECARD out back and shoot it? It's so lame.

I did like DETENTE, the Valium of international politicking. 30D made me think of Mel Brooks' History of the World Part 1:

Comicus: Would any of you like mulled wine?
Jesus (ignoring him): Before the cock crows one of you will betray me.
Comicus: Judas!
Judas: WHAT!?!?!?
Comicus: Would you like some mulled wine?
Judas: NO!!!!!!

C said...

Puzzle was OK, the writeup and comments have been way better. Way better.

Funny story about glazing. My college room mate had been out with friends and he had a little too much to drink and had become annoying. They got hungry and went to a parents donut shop where he, er, took a nap. His friends (a guy's worst enemies is his best friends) then preceded to glaze his entire head, like a glazed donut. They then piled him into a car and dropped him off at his mom's house who then preceded to freak out when her intoxicated, glazed 18 year old son walked into the house. I guess he didn't come home glazed very often.

sjok said...

"Set Forth" is not synonomus with "outline. The clue should have been something like "fill out a plan".

CoffeeLvr said...

@C, I am laughing so hard, but I cannot tell the story about glazed . . . here. Perhaps not anywhere.

Steve said...

@Tuttle - Agree about the I vs II, I had RAH and RAA and then - oh, you BAD constuctor, you!

Some really cool stuff though. Hands up for VIV(D)A LOCA before sanity prevailed?

Super-thanks to @PG for explaining the theme - I knew I should be able to see it, but didnnntttttt quittttteeeee getttt thererrrrre.

CP said...

My goof was putting HAMLIN (Harry)for 8D, and putting PLAYERSPITCHING for 47A, so a DNF for a puzzle I really should have solved.