10.07 Fri

October 7, 2011
Pete Muller

Theme: G FORCE — The letters CE are replaced by the letter G in familiar phrases (i.e., you need to substitute "G" FOR "CE")

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT).
  • 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT).
  • 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG).
  • 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG).
  • 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G FORCE).
[Quick Jeopardy note: Joon won again last night (yee-haw!), so he'll be on again tonight. Jeopardy doesn't air on the west coast until 10:00pm Eastern. Please don't post any spoilers in the comments before that time. Thanks!]

I had a hard time figuring out this theme from the first two theme answers. I had the end of each phrase, but didn't know what the beginning could possibly be. It finally clicked at NUCLEAR ARMS RAG, awesomely clued as [43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry?] and then I could go back and piece together the others. Well, that's not entirely true. I couldn't come up with the original phrase "brace for impact," so I still had trouble with that one.

Lots of missteps today:
  • 7A: Does away with (OFFS). I tried ENDS first.
  • 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE). Wanted -ESE here.
  • 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN). Stupidly entered OATMEAL.
  • 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA). Tried ETNA. At least I was in the right country.
  • 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG). Wasn't sure if this would be SOLO or SOLE. Could have saved myself some time on that argument.
  • 10D: Dam up (STEM). Tried STOP.
  • 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES). Anyone else here ever singe their eyelashes. Yeah, that's embarrassing.
  • 18A: August (MAJESTIC). Both clue and answer are great words.
  • 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"). This clue could work both with and without the quotation marks, I think. The quotation marks indicate that this something a person would say (duh), so the answer needs to be something else a person would say that means the same thing. But even without the saying part, have some = eat.
  • 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP). I went looking for an Eminem clip to include and came across this ad, which actually gives me goose-bumps at the end.

  • 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the successor to the Atomec Energy Commission, which, in 1975, changed its name to the Energy Research and Development Administration and, basically, broke apart into several separate agencies including the NRC, the National Nuclear Security Adminsitration, and the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology. At least that's what Wikipedia says happened.
  • 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"). I really don't want to get into a whole thing about this, but I just want to mention that I cringed a little when I read this clue.
  • 19D: Water source (SPIGOT). I wanted this to be SPRING, but I already had the I in the "wrong" place. Then I couldn't shift my thinking away from a natural source for water. I needed all the crosses for this one is what I'm saying.
  • 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN). With an E where the O was supposed to go, this took a while to fall into place. I thought it might be something like BEFOG, only not BEFOG because I already had the IN.
  • 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA). This doesn't work for me. A CHIA pet isn't really "hirsute," right?
  • 28D: Sizzling (IRATE). Lots of "hot" words that work as synonymns for IRATE: hot, steamed, boiling, etc. But "sizzling" to me means sexy, not angry.
  • 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM). Brilliant. I get tricked by this type of clue pretty much every time. In this case, we're not looking for an example of someone being "under the weather" or "ill" but, instead, need to think about the fact that the phrase "under the weather" is an example of an IDIOM.
  • 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE). I guess that depends on what shape you're going for.
  • 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR). For some reason, I thought it was Jessica Lange who got the nomination for this movie. Oh wait. Both Lange and GARR were nominated, but Lange won. I feel better about myself now. I'm going to include a picture of TERI GARR here, just incase Rex stops by. He has a little thing for her.
  • 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA). This is the first I've heard of it. A novel called NAUSEA? Wow. Can't wait to read it.

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Everything 1A: Puts a little too close to the flame (SINGES); 7A: Does away with (OFFS); 11A: Spirit (PEP); 14A: Set straight (ORIENT); 15A: Narrow space (SLIT); 16A: Pay add-on (-OLA); 17A: Where many changes occur (CABANA); 18A: August (MAJESTIC); 20A: Boast à la Donald Trump? (BRAG FOR IMPACT); 22A: Patriot Act protesters: Abbr. (ACLU); 24A: Malt finish? (-OSE); 25A: Goddess of motherhood (ISIS); 26A: "Our overly fussy friend has a point"? (THE PRIG IS RIGHT); 31A: Wasikowska of "The Kids Are All Right" (MIA); 32A: "Trinity" novelist (URIS); 33A: Union agreement (I DO); 34A: Fiber source (OAT BRAN); 36A: Illegal pitch (SPITTER); 40A: "Have some" ("EAT"); 41A: Kid on "The Cosby Show" (THEO); 42A: Big name in '40s-'50s Argentina (EVA); 43A: Joplin piece about modern weaponry? (NUCLEAR ARMS RAG); 47A: Went under (SANK); 48A: Emulate Eminem (RAP); 49A: Irascibility (BILE); 50A: Delay from an 18th-century English ruler? (QUEEN ANNE'S LAG); 55A: LA and MI, but not DO or RE (U.S. STATES); 56A: Gas up? (AERATE); 59A: NRC predecessor (AEC); 60A: It can get you credit in a store (VISA); 61A: Shrink, in a way (NARROW); 62A: "The __ of Pooh": '80s best-seller (TAO); 63A: "Right away, Mammy" ("YES'M"); 64A: It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed (G-FORCE); 1D: Religious org., perhaps (SOC.); 2D: George's lyricist (IRA); 3D: Show little interest in, as food (NIBBLE AT); 4D: Get ready for action (GEAR UP); 5D: Sicilian resort (ENNA); 6D: Unaccompanied (STAG); 7D: Biology text topic (OSMOSIS); 8D: Roadside attention getters (FLARES); 9D: Water brand named for its source (FIJI); 10D: Dam up (STEM); 11D: Fertilizer substance (POTASH); 12D: Draw forth (ELICIT); 13D: Treaties (PACTS); 19D: Water source (SPIGOT); 21D: Surround with dense mist (FOG IN); 22D: Spherical opening? (ATMO-); 23D: Hirsute pet (CHIA); 27D: Like the sticks (RURAL); 28D: Sizzling (IRATE); 29D: More fleshy, perhaps (RIPER); 30D: Under the weather, e.g. (IDIOM); 35D: Anouilh play made into a Burton/O'Toole film (BECKET); 36D: It's not always easy to get into (SHAPE); 37D: "Tootsie" Oscar nominee (TERI GARR); 38D: Assessment, for short (EVAL); 39D: Popular trend (RAGE); 41D: Pontiac muscle car (TRANS AM); 43D: Sartre work (NAUSEA); 44D: Paris-based cultural org. (UNESCO); 45D: "Gunsmoke" star (ARNESS); 46D: Popular purveyor of stromboli (SBARRO); 47D: Zippo (SQUAT); 51D: Deep blue (NAVY); 52D: Play to __ (A TIE); 53D: Named names (SANG); 54D: Two pages (LEAF); 57D: Front-of-bk. list (TOC); 58D: Cote girl (EWE).


Brian said...

After Googling the word, I agree with PG about the " Hirsute pet" clue and btw- it doesn't pass the breakfast test

Anonymous said...

I had a all of PG's missteps today, except for offs, but I did add told instead of sang.

Today's best included Sbarro, rural, and trans am.

I stalled at the intersection of Unesco and AEC.


Jeffrey said...

Jeopardy is at 10:30 PM Eastern in some markets (eg Seattle, Vancouver)so give another 1/2 hour.

Tuttle said...

"Jean-Paul Sartre once said 'hell is other people'"

"Yea, but all his mates were French!"

Yow. Northwest killed me. NPO instead of SOC, suit-up instead of GEARUP, Gela instead of ENNA, solo instead of STAG.

OK, now some automotive pedantry; The Pontiac Firebird TRANSAM was not a muscle car (mid-sized), it was a pony car (compact).

VirginiaC said...

I made the same mis-steps as PG As well. Every one of them, and there were others. This was a DNF for me.

Pontiac Trans Am Was a muscle car - 350 cu. in. and fast! That's what Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit. Very fun car, in the late '60's there was the Firebird 400 (cu. in.) then, in the early '70's there was the Trans Am that took it's place. I loved both of mine. I think a "pony car" was like a Mustang -289 cu. in. and sort of quick, but not like the Trans Am!

Jeopardy is on at 4:30 here in AZ. Fingers are crossed for a five time winner!!! Go Joon!!

*David* said...

Tough Friday for me, lots of patchy work as I finally made my way back up to 1 Across. Didn't pick up on the theme which made it more difficult then usual. I think ETNA for Sicily should be all I need to know, don't give me ENNA as well.

Tuttle said...

It's not the engine, it's the frame.


Like I said, it's a bit pedantic these days seeing that many people call Corvettes (2-seater sports cars!) muscle cars.

Steve said...

Had to drag this one kicking and screaming into the light. Some of @PG's missteps, plus a couple of my own.

Heartily agree about YES'M, didn't like it one bit.

Conflicted on ENNA/ETNA - yep, I put ETNA first but only because I was *hoping* it was a resort, not just a volcano, but now I know. Maybe a tad obscure, but then we've got good crosses to give it up.

QUEENANNE????.... had me for ages. I was trying to find a synonym for TEAPOT for the longest time. Nominees for Best Supporting Anything are not my strong point either, so the SE was tough.

Liked SBARRO when it finally came out.

USSTATES was nice.

I read NAUSEA at school and can't remember much about it, but then imposing French existential philosophy on a 15-year-old should qualify as cruel and unnatural punishment. I do remember it was set in Le Havre which was the destination of some cross-channel ferries back in the day when there wasn't a rail tunnel underneath, and the old rust-buckets that plied the Portsmouth - Le Havre route were very likely to deliver you onto the keyside extremely nauseated, so at least that was fitting. I think my first French words delivered on French soil were "Mon dieu, j'ai mal de mer".

Misty said...

Loved this puzzle, though it took me practically forever, and I too had all the same problems PG did. Got the theme pretty early on and that helped.

But I never did get Sbarro and still don't get it, probably because I don't know what "stromboli" is. (I thought it was a little cart for scraping ice off a skating rink. Oh, wait, that's a zamboni, is it? I only know that from "Peanuts").

Also, never heard of Enna. Anybody ever been there? Is it as cool as Etna? Anybody ever been to Etna? You can see I don't get away much any more.

Margaret said...

Trouble in the NW due to solo instead of STAG, and befog instead of FOGIN (makes me feel a little better that it's not just me with these missteps.)

I usually try to avoid reading the reveal clue until the end, hoping to figure out the theme on my own, but caught a glance at it and thought the answer would be ZERO G (didn't even look to see that the answer was six letters.) I therefore kept trying to eliminate all the G's from the theme answers, which didn't help. Really enjoyed the G FOR CE when I finally (duh) got there.

NAUSEA (and its crosswordese companion NO EXIT) used to appear fairly often, I think. I remember thinking it wasn't very nice of Sartre to have two different six letter works that both started with N.

Ron Worden said...

Wow this fri. made up for the rest of the weeks breeziness. I thought the theme was inconsistent. the first two with the g in the middle and the last two at the end. never heard of fiji water isnt that an island in the pacific? play to a tie is sort of archaic due to most sports have o.t. I do agree trans am as muscle car some even had a 455 cu.in.powerplant. more props to Joon keep up the good work.

Steve said...

@Misty - Stromboli is a pizza that's rolled up before it's baked then sliced across into a pinwheel-type serving.

Sbarro is a commercial line of pre-made pizza, available in the freezer section of your local market, if you go in for that kind of thing.

Misty said...

@Many thanks, Steve! We love pizza and have it every couple weeks or so, so I'll definitely need to check and see if Gina's or Z-pizza carries stromboli! Then again, maybe I'll first check out the Sbarro! See how this blog can change your life!

Bill said...

Been a car guy a long time. Respectfully disagree with Tuttle and Wikipedia - a muscle car can be any size. Full size cars are muscle cars if the engine is powerful enough to compensate for additional weight.

juststeve said...

SBarro is a pizza chain in the LA area.

Lemonade714 said...


Seasicness (mal de mer) is so approprioate considering the book, thanks Steve.

CoffeeLvr said...

Go, Joon! I am all set for the local airing at 4:00 pm Central, but I will keep the results to myself.

This puzzle was tough, I gave up last night, was too tired to see what was going on. I didn't have SQUAT. After a night's rest and a mug of, well, you can guess, it did come together. And it is a pretty good letter swap theme. Donald Trump gives me NAUSEA.

Since this is very much a Friday level of difficulty, it is too bad that the clue for 15A (SLIT) had to include the entry at 61A, NARROW. The clue for 63A could so easily have been "Right away, Ma'am" or "Of course, Madame." I have no problem with the entry, but here in Kansas City we know that the clue is offensive. There was a big lawsuit when the mayor's wife, serving as a volunteer in his office, addressed an aide using that term. Another aide subsequently filed also. Big settlements were paid.

sjok said...

It is ironic that the clue to the theme is completely wrong. "G force" IS NOT zero in free fall - weight is. If the G force (e.g. gravity) was zero there would be no free fall!!

Sfingi said...

Joon won again, by the skin of his teeth. But he wagered exactly the right amount. Got one he didn't - Galveston. I knew this only because I recently read up on the US worst flood int terms of fatalities, but not $. About 10,000 in 1900, like a 3rd world country. The Army Corp of Engineers hopped to after that. Why did I read about that? because Upstate NY just got hit with Irene.

SBARRO - the thruway pizza place. Utica has so, so much better stuff. Each your hearts out, rest of the country. Tomato pie at gas stations, chicken riggie festival...

Stromboli is a volcanic island off of Sicily (also a volcanic island). It's also a movie with Ingmar Bergman. Stromboli is what we might call just pizza roll, but with hot peppers.

@David - There are many things to know about Sicily; I have a library of hundreds of books. No one vacations at the volcano except Empedocles. ENNA (the Greek name is back)has much art - the Roman mosaics of the Piazza Armerina containing girls in Bikinis; is sacred to Demeter; has semolina bread.

It was a hard puzzle - had gRANdAM before TRANSAM, and every other stupid mistake. Tried to squeeze in "beingandnothingness." And all I had was a skipping black pen!

CrazyCat said...

Stromboli and calzone, east coast, used to be favorites. Never from SBARRO though. I can't really eat stuff like that anymore : (

I got the Galveston answer too, along with a few others. Tonight's Jeopardy seemed a lot easier than last night. I loved the story about Joon falling asleep on his bike and going over the speed bump. Probably not so funny when it actually happened. Ouch!

Pete said...

@sjok - No, the clue is right. The g-force (with g from gravitational) associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall (Wiki). A free-falling object has experiences 0 G , one on earth experiences 1 G.

Misty said...

@Sfingi Many thanks to you too. I kept thinking that I remembered an Ingrid Bergman film (or even a Roberto Rossellini film?) called Stromboli or about Stromboli, which is what made the pizza answer so weird. That it's the name of a volcanic island would explain much, and also connect it nicely to Enna--which I frankly still don't understand. Is Enna the Greek name for Etna. In any case, two volcanic islands in one puzzle is pretty awesome--you have to admit!