06.24 Fri

June 24, 2011
James Sajdak

Theme: Down on the Farm — Each theme answer is a farm pun where the last word is a two-syllable word ending in DDER(s).

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Thoroughbred farm slur? (SO'S YOUR MUDDER).
  • 29A: Dairy farm proverb? (BE KIND TO UDDERS).
  • 46A: Cattle farm commandment? (HONOR THY FODDER).
  • 56A: Clydesdale farm boast? (HEAVY BREEDERS).
Cute theme. Of the theme answers, I got MUDDER first and then BREEDERS so I thought all the puns were going to be about horses. That made UDDERS pretty hard to see. Yes, I know the other clues make it clear that they're not about horses. I'm not saying my thinking process always makes sense.

  • 15A: Recitative follower (ARIA). With the A in place, I tried AMEN.
  • 18A: "The Case for Public Schools" author (MANN). I was thinking Thomas MANN, but then I remembered that's James Earl Jones's character in "Field of Dreams," which I just watched the other night with the PuzzleKids. This MANN is actually Horace.
  • 19A: Nice head (TÊTE). Were you tricked by the word Nice? Remember we talked about that back when we discussed the crosswordese ÉTÉ?
  • 23A: Schubert's "The __ King" (ERL). Learned it from crosswords.
  • 35A: Tub filler (LARD). Hey! Someone here wanted LARD in their tub the other day, didn't they? Well, here ya go.
  • 52A: "Jane Eyre" star Wasikowska (MIA). Wow. No idea.
  • 54A: Valuable Ming (YAO). Professional basketball player YAO Ming. Not a vase.
  • 5D: Shortwave medium (HAM RADIO). I think this is my favorite entry in the grid.
  • 7D: Hora part (MINUTO). I kept think I was looking for part of the hora dance, not the Italian word for "hour."
  • 11D: African evergreen whose leaves are chewed as a narcotic (QAT). Great Scrabble word. Always good to have those U-less Q words in your pocket.
  • 14D: Muscle-contraction protein (MYOSIN). I feel like I really should have known this one. But I didn't.
  • 30D: Man-to-boy address (KIDDO). Random.
  • 31D: Former Jerry Marcus comic strip (TRUDY). Huh?
  • 47D: Denmark's __ Gardens (TIVOLI). PuzzleParents took PuzzleSister and me to Europe back, like, a hundred years ago, and I remember our day at TIVOLI Gardens has the highlight of the trip.
  • 59D: "Cannery Row" restaurant owner __ Flood (DORA). This is the late-week clue for Dora. Cluing DORA as the explorer would have been way too easy for Friday (darn).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 41A: European capital (OSLO).
  • 21D: They articulate with radii (ULNAS).
  • 43D: Big name in household humor (ERMA).
  • 57D: Winged god (EROS).
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Everything Else 1A: Drops a fly, say (ERRS); 5A: Web code (HTML); 9A: Patio parties, briefly (BBQ'S); 13A: Fiefdom, e.g. (REALM); 16A: "For sure!" ("YEAH!"); 17A: Test (ASSAY); 24A: '70s radical gp. (SLA); 25A: "Eternally nameless" principle (TAO); 26A: Fancy pond swimmer (KOI); 33A: Words before "Gave proof through the night" (IN AIR); 34A: It has pedals and stops (ORGAN); 38A: Loses interest (SOURS); 42A: Sweat (EXUDE); 44A: Half a "Star Wars" character (DETOO); 51A: Ruling party (INS); 53A: Business __ (END); 60A: Drop a line, in a way (MOOR); 62A: Some tributes (ODES); 63A: Capital at the foot of Mount Vitosha (SOFIA); 64A: Shared currency (EURO); 65A: Time to give up (LENT); 66A: Body (TRUNK); 67A: Things to pick (NITS); 68A: Eating up (INTO); 69A: Part of many a snail's diet (ALGA); 1D: Rub out (ERASE); 2D: Suck up again (RESORB); 3D: Fight in the boonies (RASSLE); 4D: Rub out (SLAY); 5D: Shortwave medium (HAM RADIO); 6D: Car for the pits? (TRAM); 8D: "Ed Wood" Oscar winner (LANDAU); 9D: Memory unit (BYTE); 10D: Microbrewery stock (BEER KEGS); 12D: Pirate's pronoun (SHE); 21D: They articulate with radii (ULNAS); 22D: Doofus (DODO); 27D: Spoken (ORAL); 28D: Money-object connection (IS NO); 32D: Dickens's Edwin (DROOD); 35D: City near Provo (LEHI); 36D: Neural transmitter (AXON); 37D: Not have enough (RUN SHORT); 39D: Mentions (REFERS TO); 40D: One may be skipped (STONE); 45D: Most curious (ODDEST); 48D: SDS co-founder Tom (HAYDEN); 49D: Hottie (EYEFUL); 50D: Ready and eager (RARING); 55D: Yodo River city (OSAKA); 58D: Out of shape? (BENT); 60D: Rooks, for example (MEN); 61D: Overseas agreement (OUI).


SethG said...

Note that each replaces the TH in a a -THER with a -DER. Voiced dental fricatives!

BREEDERS was the only one that didn't use DDER, "heavy breathers" isn't such a great base phrase, and I don't understand how either heavy breathers or HEAVY BREEDERS is a boast. Really the odd one out.

gespenst said...

This was ugly. Writeovers galore.

I don't like ULNAS with radii. I thought it should be ULNAe with radii. ULNAS should be clued with radiuses.

I also quibble with the "again" in the 2D clue for RESORB. Usually "again" and RE- pairs mean "a second time," but the RE- in RESORB doesn't mean SORBing a second time. Technically it's correct, but it's misleading. But it's Friday so I guess I'll deal.

imsdave said...

Slowed down a touch be filling in DDERS at the end of HEAVYBREEDERS. Totally agree with Seth that it's the weak link in an otherwise fine puzzle.

Spent a few minutes looking for a good "Hello Muddah" video - should have known better than to waste my time - PG is always way ahead of me.

Anonymous said...

Clydesdales are draft horses, so are classified as "heavy horses". To draft horse people, heavy is a good thing. So a heavy breeder would be a good horse to have!

Conrad said...

I'm with Gespenst on radii/ULNAS being a mix'n'match.

And don't get me started on RESORB. I spent a few minutes at work today ranting and raving and tearing out my hair about how RESORB isn't even a real word, stupidest [expletive] thing ever, etc.
Then I looked it up.
I still don't like it, but I retract my ranting, and I'll add it to my voscrabblary.

Also, shouldn't DETOO have a pair of E's? I had "darth" in there for ages.

And finally, if "voscrabblary" isn't a word, it totally should be. Perhaps "voscrabbulary"? It'd mean the vocabulary you know, but only use during Scrabble games.

Orange said...

I really did not enjoy this one. Too much needlessly obscure cluing (for RESORB, OSAKA, SOFIA), plus that odd-man-out fourth theme answer? Meh.

Ora is Italian for "hour." Today's MINUTO is Spanish, I believe, as I got Spanish sites when I Googled hora minuto. I wanted the dance too.

Tuttle said...

"So's your mother" isn't a slur, it's a retort. I mean, if someone says "You're a nice guy" replying with "So's your mother" isn't exactly derogatory.

Not only does 21D use a Latin clue for an English word, 23A uses a German word clued in English. Der Erl König is The Alder King in English.

C said...

This puzzle was the perfect storm of clue/answer pairs that were not up my alley or even in my zip code. Actors, cities on rivers, defunct comic strips, snail's preferred cuisine. A slog, to say the least.

Yet, as in Superman, just because the bad guy has kryptonite doesn't mean Superman is going to lose, I RASSLE'd this one to the ground though it took me twice as long as a typical Friday. Without a doubt, reading this blog has made me better at solving puzzles.

It is Friday, so I liked seeing BEERKEG in the puzzle.

Steve said...

I really, REALLY liked this today. Took me twice as long as usual but I was NOT going to give up. The cluing was really fresh and interesting, yes I'd quibble about ULNAS but that's about it. Loved RESORB, learned a bunch of trivia about towns and toons.

LARD gets me jonesing for roast potatoes cooked the way they should be - in lard - yum.

In the UK, there was a weekly panel show called "Have I Got News For You" - a rather corpulent politician named Roy Hattersley had been repeatedly invited as a guest on the show and always cancelled at the last minute leaving the producers scrambling to find a replacement. The final time it happened they replaced him with - a tub of lard, which was set in his place. The running joke throughout the episode was that you couldn't tell the difference between them. British humor is awesome - can you imagine that happening here?

Gareth Bain said...

Of course, mares do have udders and eat fodder...

Sfingi said...

DNF - Got none of the theme phrases cuz I didn't get the theme. Once seen, the phrases are a nice set. I would have enjoyed it if the clues were easier.

Also kept wondering if the hora has different steps - circle? chairs?

@Tuttle - did not know ULNA was English.

ERLE alone just means alder, as the man said.

Den Erlenkonig mit Kron und Schweif!
Mein Sohn es ist der Nebelstreif.

Poem by Goethe. A father is racing on horseback with his young son. The son sees the Erl King, but the father says it's just the fog. The child dies, since the Erl King grabbed his soul.

Check out Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing. Or maybe Jessye Norman.

@Conrad - I agree DE should be DEE; so of course I had "ar"

Anonymous said...

Don't know why poor clues are often considered "clever" because they are "misleading." I'm complaining about the ones that really are far from the actual meaning of the word. These puzzles progress farther down the "meaningless" road as the weekend approaches.

Anonymous said...

You bloggers are an incredibly sophisticated, erudite--and, yes, picky--bunch! I'm even more impressed with all these comments (including all the "Erlkoenig" info)than with the puzzle. Thanks for getting my weekend off to a great start!


HumbleBrit said...

The "DETOO" threw me as the robot is called is R2D2, so it should have been DETWO (still a poor clue - and answer). Took me a long time to figure this one out and had to Google a few.

Luke said...

The little bucket of bolt's name is Artoo Detoo. That's it, that's how it's spelled. End of story. Now, in the prequel, ...

HumbleBrit said...

Radius (ray) and Ulna (elbow) are both from Latin, as are most medical terms.

HumbleBrit said...

An astromech droid, R2-D2 is a major character throughout all six Star Wars films - quote from Wikipedia.

Rube said...

As a teenager in Seattle we had patio parties and, although BBQ may have been a part, they were primarily for dancing and those other things teenagers do.

This has what I would call a "cutesy" theme, but was a tough puzzle -- particularly the SE. Got everything else, but snail cuisine, the Yodo river and Mt. Vitosha were totally unknowns to me, so Googled for OSAKA which opened up the rest of the corner. Thus, DNF. Still, an enjoyable puzzle.

I might add that my snails much prefer flowers and vegies and anything else that I try to grow. And what's up with using the singular ALGA rather than the plural algae. Are there some snails who eat only one kind of algae? Aww, I forget, this is crosswordland where (almost) anything goes.

I might also add that Artoo DETOO is how it's pronounced. R2D2 is how it's spelled. And DETwO was my first guess.

CrazyCat said...

Started this last night and finished this morning. Didn't know MYOUSIN, ERL, TRUDY, MIA, SOPHIA, QAT or RESORB, but managed to get all through crosses or lucky guesses. Had the same problem with the Hora clue as everyone else. Thought it was either part of the song or a step in the dance. When MINUTO materialized, I still didn't get it. The MUDDER, FODDER, UDDER, BREEDER theme was cute. Tub of LARD made me laugh as it was in the discussion a few days ago. I didn't know snails ate ALGA or algae. Mostly they seem to like the stuff in my garden. I'm attempting to ERASE them.

JIMMIE said...

Sometimes crosswordese can mislead, as I put in oreo for 35 across and Orem for 35 down, which I had to RASSLE with for a few minutes. OSAKA crossing with SOFIA required a Google. But being a former HAMRADIO operator helped.

Nighthawk said...

Agree that BREEDERS is the odd man out for lack of the double D, but if the theme were simply "ending in DERS" ... no problem. Depends on how you see it. Liked it anyway, and thanks for the gloss on Clydesdales, @Anon at 6:54.

Usual great write up, @PG, and thanks for the Allen Sherman clip. Remember listening to my parents' copy of his Camp Grenada album, and Vaughn Meador's First Family album of the same era.

I 2 had DETwO, and still think it should be that way, although I think even that is a sort of mangled spelling. My recollection is that the misspellings of the robots, R2D2 and C3PO, were born of Jack Kroll's review of Star Wars in Newsweek's May 30, 1977 edition, in which he, having only just seen a reviewer's screening of the flic, wrote what he heard to be character names "Artoo Deetoo" and "See Threepio". Being widely followed because he was Newsweek's lead film critic, those misspellings became engrained in the language. But still wrong. No more than the phonetically correct "Prinsus Layuh" would be correct.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

Thanks for the Alan Sherman ref @PG!!

The first singles that I ever bought were Camp Granada and Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. Somehow I vividly remember asking for the Alan Sherman 45 (hands up for all those who know what a 45 is/was - let's just say it is an oversized CD with 1/100000 of the memory and leave it at that ;-D) and when I told the clerk I was looking for a second single he said "let me guess....Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport?" I was stunned that he could "read my mind". I also seem to remember the Alan Sherman vinyl was orange. Not sure what my MUST HAVE rational was in TMKDS (Rolf Harris BTW) but I could not stop singing it.

As far as the puzzle goes DNF because I could not get the lard/kiddo thing - had ONAIR vs. INAIR and kept wanting beHindNoudders.... Worth a couple of chuckles I guess but not sure it was worth dissecting the whole ths versus dds thing. Shared currency is a new (and better than others) clue for EURO and had a bit of trouble in SE with TORSO for TRUNK....Have a great weekend all!

CoffeeLvr said...

Finally got back to the puzzle after being out of the house most of the day. Had to Google Sofia, then I could conquer the SE.

I'm the one who wanted LARD in the puzzle a few weeks/days back, but today I tried bAth first, after the Check function prompted me to remove Orem. Lots of other ins and outs. The only one of note was putting SDS in the wrong decade at 24A, but I did know it couldn't be right when it was in the clue for Tom HAYDEN.

I would rather have seen this on a Thursday with more reasonable cluing for the non-theme answers. Still, a combo theme of farm animals and the "th" to D phonetic switch.

CarolC said...

Interesting day to have HAM RADIO in the puzzle since today is the start of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)'s annual Field Day, one of the largest amateur radio (i.e., ham) events of the year.

TedA said...

The clue/answer that I still don't understand is 51 Across: Business_ {END}. What's a "Business End"? Bankruptcy? "Est." mispelled? I just don't get it. The Urban Dictionary calls it "The section of a tool/device directly responsible for producing the desired effect of that tool/device." which is a usage with which I am familar but there is nothing about this usage that makes it common enough (or obvious enough) to make it anything other than a very awkward crossword answer - if that's what is going on here.