06.30 Thu

June 30, 2011
Ed Sessa

Theme: Mickey Mouse Club — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with a letter. The letters spell out M-I-C-K-E-Y.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: *13th in a literary series of 26 (M IS FOR MALICE).
  • 29A: *Me.-to-Fla. route (I NINETY-FIVE).
  • 35A: *Benjamin (C-NOTE).
  • 39A: *Blue Light Specials store (KMART).
  • 43A: *The Boss's backup (E STREET BAND).
  • 53A: *All men have them (Y CHROMOSOMES).
  • 52D: When spelled out, word that follows the beginnings of the starred answers in a memorable kids' show theme song (MOUSE).
Well a fine good morning to all of the 16 people who are likely reading this blog today. It was weird yesterday at my office — it was so eerily quiet I could have sworn the long weekend had already started. And if the traffic here at LACC is any indication, my office wasn't the only place. Y'all are in vacation mode! I can tell! Well here at LACC we never go on vacation! (Not exactly true, but it felt good to say.) So anyway let's talk about this puzzle.

Super ambitious theme today. Basically six theme answers across plus the reveal at 52D — that's quite a lot of theme. The fill suffers a little (I'm looking at you, southern Texas, with your RONEE / TOKED / SNOOTED collision), but overall this puzzle seemed to continue the trend of smooth grids we've seen this week.

  • 10A: Net info sources (FAQS). Always a good place to look if you have a question. Like, for example, if you don't know why an entry is always highlighted in the grid at the top of my posts. It's right there in the FAQ!
  • 25A: Diary of a sort (LOG). Can anyone think of the "diary"-type LOG without picturing Captain Kirk? I know I can't.
  • 33A: Party invite inits. (BYO). Bring Your Own … chair. Or booze or whatever. Depends on what kind of party it is.
  • 51A: Cooks quantity? (TOO MANY). Cute. As in the phrase "TOO MANY cooks spoil the lasagna." Or something.
  • 61A: Blakley of "Nashville" (RONEE). No idea.
  • 63A: "I Love Lucy" producer/writer Oppenheimer (JESS). Again with the absence of ideas.
  • 64A: Tipped at the casino (TOKED). I'm not the inveterate gambler you might find in some people's families (*cough* mine *cough*), but I have spent a little time in the casino now and then and I have no idea what this means. Perhaps PuzzleMom will be by to enlighten us. Not that she's spent a lot of time in casinos or anything.
  • 2D: Complain (REPINE). I don't believe I've ever heard this word in my life.
  • 4D: Argonauts' island refuge (CORFU). This is another place I would point to as a victim of the ambitious theme, but I'm not sure that's fair. Is this legit and I'm just annoyed because I didn't know it? I hate when that happens.
  • 5D: Kate's "Charlie's Angels" role (SABRINA). So I'm just scanning the down clues going, "'Potemkin mutiny city'? Not off the top of my head …. 'Argonauts' island refuge'? Nope …. 'Kate's "Charlie's Angels" role'? Easy! SABRINA!"
  • 31D: Popularity (FAME).

  • 38D: Decisive downfall (WATERLOO). John Wayne's hometown. (Yes, I know that's not true, so no need to write to me about it. It's a joke.)
  • 41D: 1980s sitcom set in rural Vermont (NEWHART). The only thing I know about this show is "My brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl." And I'm not even sure I'm spelling Darryl right, not that it matters. Also, I believe as an inn proprietor, Bob NEWHART was able to use his famous "one-sided telephone conversation" schtick quite a bit.

  • 42D: Acted snobbishly toward (SNOOTED). Ouch. Took me a while to get SNUBBED out of there.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 17A: Copycat (APER).
  • 32A: Actress Gardner (AVA).
  • 65A: Winged archer (EROS).
  • 3D: Potemkin mutiny city (ODESSA).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else 1A: Nile reptile (CROC); 5A: Dance in Rio (SAMBA); 14A: Make over (REDO); 15A: Dwindling Alaskan tribe (ALEUT); 16A: It runs in Juárez (AGUA); 18A: Horn without keys (BUGLE); 19A: Place to brood (COOP); 23A: Glucose regulator (INSULIN); 24A: Winter phenomenon, commercially (SNO); 28A: Cultural org. since 1965 (NEA); 34A: "So be it!" ("AMEN!"); 38A: "__ to him who believes in nothing": Hugo (WOE); 40A: Bats (LOCO); 41A: "Platoon" setting, briefly (NAM); 42A: Author Grafton who wrote 20-Across (SUE); 46A: Basic resting spot (COT); 49A: "So that's it!" ("OHO!"); 50A: Where kronor are spent: Abbr. (SWE.); 55A: Bunker smoother (RAKE); 58A: Give __: inspire (A LIFT); 59A: Capable of (UP TO); 60A: Cell impulse transmitter (AXON); 62A: Put in stitches (SEWN); 1D: Fill snugly with (CRAM IN); 6D: Some booster club members (ALUMNI); 7D: Byte beginning (MEGA-); 8D: Dartboard area (BULLS-EYE); 9D: Diminished slowly (ATE INTO); 10D: Watch part (FACE); 11D: Back in time (AGO); 12D: Status __ (QUO); 13D: Deplete (SAP); 21D: Martini garnish (OLIVE); 22D: Demure (COY); 25D: Andean bean (LIMA); 26D: Done (OVER); 27D: Mannerly fellow (GENT); 30D: Nuclear radiation weapon, for short (N-BOMB); 32D: Comment end? (-ATOR); 35D: Mark's love (CLEO); 36D: Chips and dip, say (NOSH); 37D: Twice quadri- (OCTO-); 39D: Praise (KUDOS); 44D: PC key (ESC); 45D: Payment for cash? (ATM FEE); 46D: Boy scout, at times (CAMPER); 47D: Fight combo (ONE-TWO); 48D: Boxer Mike et al. (TYSONS); 53D: Desires (YENS); 54D: Pen call (OINK); 55D: British rule in India (RAJ); 56D: Bush whacker? (AXE); 57D: Haymaker consequences (KO'S).


SethG said...

I'm reading. And I'm wondering why you didn't call out N-BOMB.

Vacation starts _next_ week.

Sfingi said...

Very cute and fast theme. Until, as PG put it, I hit S. TX with its RONEE/TOKED/SNOOTED crossing.
I had SNubbED, ReNEE, RONEt, etc. Finally just stopped to see what it was.

@SethG - Didn't notice NBOMB, since I had left the 1st letter blank to let crossings decide between A and H.

Gareth Bain said...

The "I'm a joker, I'm a smoker I'm a midnight toker" sense is the better known one""

Anonymous said...

Not much of a gambler but believe
you tip your dealer Keno girl with
chips/tokens..64 A

Rube said...

As I'm sure most of us did, I snorted when I replaced SNubbED with SNOOTED.

Corfu, I'm told, is a beautiful island off the west coast of Greece. Didn't know that the Argonauts landed there, but entirely reasonable. Googled and found that it is also called Kerkyra.

Really enjoyed this puzzle if it went a little too fast for a Thursday. Being a little too old to have watched MICKEY MOUSE on TV, I do occasionally enjoy using the term as an adjective.

REPINE is definitely my WOTD.

C said...

I have the posting strength of at least six 2nd grade elementary school children so make sure you up your visit count accordingly, @PG.

OK, ok, maybe 4 2nd graders of which one of them is still learning to write cursive. Is cursive still taught?

Anyway, OK puzzle. DNF due to the already mentioned SNOOTED/RONEE/TOKED. I went with SNOOTaT which left me RONEa and TOKEt which, in real time and in hindsight, doesn't look right but I wasn't in the mood to play random letter roulette so moved on.

Anonymous said...

REPINE is also a sports term.

When you're a perennial bench player, and you finally get called upon to contribute to the team - but fail miserably - you'll be REPINED.

Annette may have been the popular one, but I always had the hots for Cheryl...

LCC said...

Toked seemed much more like some stoner lingo than a gratuity in a casino. That and Snooted were definitely weird-ass answers. I thought OHI for "So that's it" was a stretch too.

Anonymous said...

@Anon -- I agree with your definition of toked.

CP said...

Nice puzzle and liked the Mickey Mouse theme. Used to see Annette at the same coffee shop on Ventura Blvd. some time ago...beautiful and classy lady.
Like ONETWO next to TYSONS (nice touch)
Only complaints were on REPINE, like PG never heard this one, and AXON (is this crosswordese??).

Alexscott said...

I liked the theme quite a bit, but yeah, a lot of the fill was meh. I guess it's hard to have a great theme without cramming in some so-so fill.

If you tip the dealer with a token, you must be toking. I could think of better and more entertaining ways to clue TOKED, not all of which include Cheech and Chong. I've heard of RONEE Blakely, but only because I've seen "Nashville." never heard of JESS Oppenheimer, though. Doubt I'll remember that for long. I really resisted writing in SNOOTED. It just doesn't seem like snoot should be a verb.

I thought I knew every synonym for complaining, but REPINE is a new one to me. Good to know.

KJGooster said...

Pretty middle-of-the-road puzzle for me today, no strong opinion either way. Liked the theme, but I wish it was a little tougher, as getting all the theme answers with no crosses made it a pretty quick solve.

No vacation for me yet, but I am off to Las Vegas next week :).

@LCC: Try OCTO/OHO rather than OCTI/OHI. Still not a great answer but a bit better. I've never heard of TOKED (with this definition) or REPINE either.

All 3 of my boys have their birthday today (my 5 year-old twins got a baby brother on their 3rd birthday) so after about half an hour at Chuck E Cheese it's gonna be MISFORMAKEITSTOP!

badams52 said...

@Anon 9:28, your definition for REPINE made me laugh. Very creative.

Couldn't finish the puzzle for the south and southwest gave me trouble along with a couple of letters here and there.
Loved BULLSEYE, WATERLOO (and its clue), ONETWO (and its clue) and CRAMIN.

Loved the clue for CNOTE (*Benjamin) and LOCO (Bats).

Relatively fast solve for me. I even got many theme answers from the clues and not the crosses this time. I usually have trouble with the long ones.

Didn't like BYO - I am expecting BYOB since I've only seen it as such and never just BYO.

CrazyCat said...

DNF due to the cross of RAKE and KOS. Both sports! I thought a Haymaker was a cocktail, so tried SOT at first. I was thinking bunker as in fort or foxhole - forgot about golf. Never heard SNOOTED before, but I kind of like it.

Cute MICKEY theme. My brother used to kiss the TV screen when Annette was on. So gross (my brother, not Annette).

@KJGooster I don't envy your Chuck E Cheese experience. I'm glad those days are past. That place gave me migraines. But, happy birthday to your little ones. It must be wild to have 3 with the same birthday.

Argyle said...

Follow this recipe for a haymaker and a KO might be the result anyway.

3/4 oz Triple Sec
3/4 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz Lime Juice

CrazyCat said...

@Argyle OHHO I see what you mean. I might even do the SAMBA after a couple of those.

Mokus said...

M*I*C...see ya later!
K*E*Y...Why? Cuz we like ya, that's why!
The theme pretty much described the puzzle for me.
@Argyle: shaken or stirred? rocks or up?
Hey, Ms. CrazyCat, how about that ESTREETBAND, eh? Them I liked.
If you have one toke over the line are you overtoked?

CoffeeLvr said...

@KJGooster, my sympathies on the Chuck E. Cheese excursion. If you have another adult along to supervise for a while, go take your frustrations out on the Whack-a-Mole. I did.

I loved watching the Mickey Mouse club, can still sing the song; not that I'm bragging. Thought all of the theme answers were great.

I was just lucky I finished without help. I had all the squares filled, but not a correct result. Changed SNOOTEn to a D, and Voila. TOKED still doesn't make much sense to me.

@PG, you have more readers than those who comment. Think how many more you'd get with more stuff like John Wayne's hometown!

Daryl said...

@PG - The two Darryls spelled their names differently. One was Daarryl.

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

Just to anchor the subject and probably kick a dead horse, that NBOMB cluing really surprises me that it got by Rich Norris.

Cute theme and I did know REPINE but SNOOTED seems a bit stretchy. Is that really a verb? Always thought of it as a noun. Oh look at June, she is snooting Alice? hmmm. Great John Wayne/Bachmann link PG! Very timely joke.

Argyle said...

•Shake, strain into an old-fashioned glass three-quarters filled with broken ice, and serve.

tutu said...

Whats a vacation?

backbiter said...

I'm a little surprised not many people knew about toked. Always toke your dealer after a win. Another way to do it is you can make a bet for you and the dealer. If both hands win, you give the winnings of the second bet to the dealer. I do that alot in craps. The reveal caught me by surprise. I'm like what is this? Just random phrases that start with a single letter. It never occurred to me it was actually going to spell something. DUH, DAVE , Let's get it together. I was actually disappointed until Mouse, then it all made sense and I felt heaps better.