09.26 Mon

September 26, 2011
Robert Fisher

Theme: Runnin' On Fumes — The first word of each theme answer is a commonly used measure of fuel in a vehicle's gas tank.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Ceremonial uniform (FULL DRESS).
  • 23A: Necktie knot (HALF WINDSOR).
  • 38A: NCAA Elite Eight team (QUARTER FINALIST).
  • 50A: Parent whose kids have moved out (EMPTY NESTER).
  • 59A: Dashboard device, and a hint to the starts of 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across (FUEL GAUGE).
  • 66A: What to add when the 59-Across gets low (GAS).
First things first: Please don't talk about today's New York Times puzzle in the comments. I will say (as unspoilerishly as I can) that the two puzzles don't have the same theme, but the similarities are remarkable enough that I'm pretty sure people will want to remark on them. By all means, go solve the NYT, but please — no spoilers!

Cute theme today. Pretty sure I've seen it before. In fact, I'm pretty sure I blogged it, but I'm too lazy to go look it up. The theme answers are all interesting and non-awkward. Just solid all the way around. Two grammatically tricky clues worth noting:
  • 34A: Way up (STAIR). I read this as in "Man oh man, that hot-air balloon is WAY UP there." But, in this clue, "way" is a noun.
  • 68A: Back at the track (BET ON). In this one, my brain came up with "I heard Angel Cordero had to go take care of some personal business, but now he's BACK AT THE TRACK." But here, "back" is a verb.
Other than that, it's pretty much Monday, which means a couple sparkles (EAST-WEST, CATTY) and the rest straightforward and solid.

  • 6A: Inst. that turns out lieutenants (OC'S). Officers' … something?
  • 15A: Rock music's __ Fighters (FOO). I believe David Letterman is a big fan of Foo Fighters, which for some reason I find hilarious.
  • 48A: 41-Down sound in the comic "B.C." (ZOT); 41D: Threat to tiny workers (ANTEATER).
  • 9D: Rookie's mentor (OLD PRO). For some reason I entered OLD PAL first, which would be a terrible answer to this clue.
  • 12D: Bucks and rams (HES). Bucks are male deer. Rams are male sheep. Each individually animal might be referred to as "he." Collectively, they are HES. (I know, right?)
  • 47D: Song spelled with arm motions (YMCA). I don't really have anything to say about this. I just wanted to include a picture of the Village People.
  • 53D: Rosetta __ (STONE). It's a little strange that the word STONE appears in the clue for COULD (7D: "This __ be the last time": Stones lyric).
Follow PuzzleGirl65 on Twitter

Everything 1A: Minister's home (MANSE); 6A: Inst. that turns out lieutenants (OC'S); 9A: Poker game similar to Texas Hold 'em (OMAHA); 14A: Polynesian greeting (ALOHA); 15A: Rock music's __ Fighters (FOO); 16A: Tied, as shoes (LACED); 17A: Crest dispensers (TUBES); 18A: Ceremonial uniform (FULL DRESS); 20A: Turf grabbers (CLEATS); 22A: Yo-yo string feature (LOOP); 23A: Necktie knot (HALF WINDSOR); 25A: Tidal return (EBB); 28A: Ample shoe width (EEE); 29A: Temple with a minaret (MOSQUE); 31A: PC key for getting out of trouble (ESC); 34A: Way up (STAIR); 37A: Emanation detected by psychics, so they say (AURA); 38A: NCAA Elite Eight team (QUARTER FINALIST); 42A: __ no good (UP TO); 43A: Kept secret (SAT ON); 44A: Faux __: blunder (PAS); 45A: Main thoroughfare (ARTERY); 48A: 41-Down sound in the comic "B.C." (ZOT); 49A: __ of the land (LAY); 50A: Parent whose kids have moved out (EMPTY NESTER); 57A: Civil rights org. (ACLU); 58A: Work that ridicules folly (SATIRE); 59A: Dashboard device, and a hint to the starts of 18-, 23-, 38- and 50-Across (FUEL GAUGE); 64A: Carryalls (TOTES); 65A: Out of port (AT SEA); 66A: What to add when the 59-Across gets low (GAS); 67A: Create, as a statute (ENACT); 68A: Back at the track (BET ON); 69A: The USA's 50 (STS.); 70A: Takes in tenants (RENTS); 1D: Fire lighter (MATCH); 2D: Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-__" (ALULA); 3D: __ Prize (NOBEL); 4D: Grain bundle (SHEAF); 5D: How latitude lines run (EAST-WEST); 6D: On vacation (OFF); 7D: "This __ be the last time": Stones lyric (COULD); 8D: Goes it alone (SOLOS); 9D: Rookie's mentor (OLD PRO); 10D: Make a dent in (MAR); 11D: Poker "bullet" (ACE); 12D: Bucks and rams (HES); 13D: Commercials (ADS); 19D: Weaver's machine (LOOM); 21D: Seven, in Sinaloa (SIETE); 24D: Approaches (NEARS); 25D: Supply with gear (EQUIP); 26D: Sac between a bone and tendon (BURSA); 27D: Cop's rounds (BEATS); 30D: Gal of song (SAL); 31D: The same (EQUAL); 32D: Old sporty Toyota (SUPRA); 33D: Spiteful, as gossip (CATTY); 35D: "__ tree falls ..." (IF A); 36D: Swanky (RITZY); 39D: Fish eggs (ROE); 40D: High hours? (NOONS); 41D: Threat to tiny workers (ANTEATER); 46D: '80s Cold War leader (REAGAN); 47D: Song spelled with arm motions (YMCA); 51D: Spark providers (PLUGS); 52D: Pull on (TUG AT); 53D: Rosetta __ (STONE); 54D: Giant (TITAN); 55D: Standing upright (ERECT); 56D: Concludes one's court case (RESTS); 59D: Detergent brand (FAB); 60D: Jeep or Land Rover, briefly (UTE); 61D: Superlative suffix (-EST); 62D: Lion sign (LEO); 63D: Dollar sign shape (ESS).


Anonymous said...

OCS: Officer Candidate School

Sfingi said...

Cute. Don't agree that LACED is the same as tied, having done my share of tripping on untied laces.

Learned three things - Looked up Sinaloa after - scary drug cartel.
Also, that QUARTERFINALISTS are called the Elite 8. I have seen those trees leading up to them.
And, UTE is both a utility and a U-turn. Hmmpf on the last.

Mari said...

A lot of two word clues today:
If A, Tug At, Up To, Sat On, At Sea, Bet On, Old Pro, East West.

I wanted "Law" of the land for 49A. Dang!

Bill said...

I don't think a "ute" is properly a traditional Jeep or Land Rover. It usually means a car-like vehicle with a small open pickup bed, ala a Chevy El Camino. They are still popular in Australia.

J.J. said...

I think ocs stands for officers candidate school.

Gareth Bain said...

Stair's clue bamboozled me too... I guess because it was monday my brain wasn't reaching too far...

in South Africa utes are Stair's clue bamboozled me too... I guess because it was monday my brain wasn't reaching too far...

in South Africa utes are

VirginiaC said...

Driving in So. Cal. yesterday I saw a sign advertising the Village People! I had no idea there were still performing!

I enjoyed the puzzle, laughed out loud at "zot". Love B.C.
What ever happened to Broomhilda anyway?

Mari said...

Broom Hilda still runs in the Chicago Tribune.

Steve said...

Great Monday, loved all the theme answers and the tie-ins. Nice zippy fill.

Funny how I went through all the Soviet, East German and other Eastern Suropean premiers I could remember before I thought of REAGAN - that was something of a "duh!" moment for me.

@VirginiaC - I saw the Village People at a concert after a Dodgers game a couple of years ago - not sure how many "originals" were in the line-up, but singing YMCA with 20,000 other people was fun!

Rube said...

Omaha, the card game, is new to me. Not too often that something new pops up on Monday.

Yes, @PG, I agree.

C said...

Some non-Monday cluing which kicked my brain out of auto-solve. I like that in a Monday puzzle.

Misty said...

Loved this puzzle and breezed through it--a huge relief after the struggle last Friday and Saturday. For some reason my brain is shot at the end of the week and totally refreshed on a Monday. Tells you something about our boring weekends!

Reminds me that I need to take the Subaru to the Chevron station pretty soon!

Maria. said...

I think that the answer for 44 across is "pas" a faux pas is French for blunder and not faux pes. Maria

Misty said...

Yep, I had faux "pas" and "bursa" too. Am guessing this was an unintentional slip by PG.

CoffeeLvr said...

I agree with @Sfingi, the clue for LACED isn't quite right. For a Monday, maybe "Ready to tie, as a shoe"; for later in the week, maybe "arsenic added to the tea, with with".

@PG, you have gagged me, and rightly so, so I am not saying what I am thinking.

I liked how Fisher and/or Norris gave some other entries (ARTERY, PLUGS) an automotive turn. Plus UTE and SUPRA, but how else could those two be clued? LOOM wire also fits the automotive theme, but I am pretty sure it is not in the language for most people.

Conrad said...

I always thought OCS was Officer Cadet School, so I guess I learned something new today; and anyway, I was trying to fit an acronym for Westpoint in there.

Fisher said...

@CoffeeLvr, the puzzle originally had several vehicles in the grid tied to the theme and reveal. Along with 32D SUPRA and 60D UTE, 54D TITAN was clued as a Nissan pickup and 69A STS was clued as a Cadillac model.

I think Rich "detuned" the theme complexity---the reveal, originally at 66A GAS, was about a paragraph long(!)---to make it a more streamlined, smoother Monday offering, perhaps leaving the longer, more contorted reveals to later in the week. Other comments here seem to show that Rich got the balance just about right.

Argyle said...

Compact Ford SUV : ESC. (31-Across)

CoffeeLvr said...

@Fisher, glad to see we think the same way. I didn't make the TITAN association, and I am no fan of the alphabet soup style of denoting models.

@Argyle, I worked at the Ford assembly plant where the Escape was/is built, along with its sisters: Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner (RIP), and European Ford Maverick (also RIP). I am especially proud of the hybrid versions.

Kurt said...

As a alumni of University of California Irvine, I need to point out that an ANTEATER is the school's mascot, and ZOT is the school's cheer. It would have been great if those two fills would have been clued that way!

CrazyCat said...

Nice Monday puzzle and I agree that ANTEATER and ZOT were fun entries. Did we just have ANTEATER yesterday? I did the NYT last night and then had déjà vu this morning.

An after thought about yesterday's puzzle and SLO - Earlier this year a National Geographic book came out called "Thrive, Finding Happiness The Blue Zones Way" by Dave Buettner. It named San Luis Obispo, CA as the happiest place to live in the USA. I'm not sure if its true, but as a SLO property owner, it made me happy.