Jun 13, 2010

Sunday June 13, 2010 John Lampkin

Theme: Final Advice - Familiar phrases are playfully clued as advice on how to ace a seemingly related course in finals.

23A. To ace Music Theory, don't wander off __: IN LA-LA LAND. Zoned out. La "a note to follow so". The sixth tone.

28A. To ace Oceanography, don't let the prof know you've __: GONE FISHING. Store sign. Taking a break.

40A. To ace Agricultural Science, avoid __ : GRASPING AT STRAWS. Being desperate.

69A. To ace Electrical Engineering, don't fall __: ASLEEP AT THE SWITCH. Not attending one's job.

95A. To ace Math, avoid being __: AT SIXES AND SEVENS. A state of confusion/disarray. Numbers & Math connection.

114A.To ace Cosmology, don't get __: LOST IN SPACE. The '60s sci-fi series.

120A.To ace Culinary Arts, avoid being __: OUT TO LUNCH. Not in touch with the real world. Crazy.

As the norm with John Lampkin (a musician) puzzles, there are music references:

116A.Clementi work: SONATINA. Clementi was an Italian composer best known for his piano sonatas and sonatinas, according to Wikipeida.

126A.Piano players?: HANDS. Wicked clue!

5D. Played crisply and detached, in mus.: STAC (Staccato)

36D. Slowing, in mus.: RIT (Ritardando)

115D.Schoenberg's "Moses und __": ARON. Three-act opera by Schoenberg, an Austrian/American composer. Maybe Elvis knew. I've got no clue.

Many probably would not notice that there's no cheater square in the whole grid (140-word, 4 less than our normal Sundays), which spoils the elegance of the puzzle in John's eyes. It takes some discipline and effort not to use the shortcut when you know it's there.

Again, a pangram, all 26 letters are used at least once. John said he always makes his Sunday a pangram to spice up the fill. And of course, his legendary cross-references & clue echos, which are highlighted in green colors in my write-up.

My favorite clues today are:

103./: SLASH

104., : COMMA

Very unexpected and fun. Great placement too. At first I thought those were printing errors.


1. 1996 Dream Team nickname: SHAQ (O'Neal). And LAY-UPS (24D. Dream Team shots).

5. Hit hard: SMASH

10. Bit of dough: CLAM. And LUCRE (22. "Filthy" dough)

14. Puritans: PRIGS. And MAYFLOWER (13D. Puritans' transport).

19. Machu Picchu's country: PERU. And INCAS (112D. Machu Picchu natives).

20. It goes from one joint to another: TIBIA. And KNEES (124. Creeping joints). Brilliant misdirections. Not the seedy bar joints I had in mind.

21. Role in the 1992 film "Chaplin": OONA. Easy guess.

25. Word with clerk or hall: CITY. City clerk. City hall.

26. "Save me __": A SEAT

27. Closet hangers: TIE RACKS

30. Piquant: ZESTY

31. Sycophant: YES-MAN

34. Rear-end: SLAM INTO. And DENT (127. Rear end blemish?).

35. Held by us: OUR. Our blog.

37. Done for: KAPUT. A seldom seen entry.

39. Arab League member: OMAN. IRAQ too, also 4 letters.

46. Clarified butter: GHEE. Indian cooking.

50. Clerical VIP: REV. And DIR (60. Film studio VIP).

51. Mink kin: STOAT

52. Certain about: SURE OF

54. Waterfront org.: ILA (International Longshoremen's Association)

55. Sudanese president __ al-Bashir: OMAR. Not familiar with this dude. Looks like a tyrant.

57. Vacuum, e.g.: CLEAN. Verb "vacuum".

61. Olympic racers: LUGES

63. Brobdingnagian: GOLIATH. Brobdingnagian is named after Brobdingnag, fictional land in Johnathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", where everything was huge.

66. Shape using heat: FORGE. Verb "shape".

68. Beach protection: SUN HAT

73. Scrapped, as a car: JUNKED. And LEASE (75. Car dealer's deal). Consecutive "car" clues.

76. Poetic "soon": ERELONG

79. Ref. set: ENCYC (Encyclopedia)

80. Harmless cyst: WEN

81. Cheri of "SNL": OTERI. She has become a gimme.

84. Smack back?: EROO. Back of the word smackeroo.

85. Fed. medical org.: NIH (National Institutes of Health)

86. "We build, we fight" military member: SEABEE. From letters CB (Construction Battalion).

89. Tennessee father-son politicos: GORES. Nice change from gory horn related clue.

92. Turn on the waterworks, so to speak: SOB. True.

93. Jump for Sonja: AXEL. And HENIE (2. 1932 Lake Placid gold medalist Sonja) & SKATE (32D. Emulate 2-Down).

99. Uruguay's Punta del __: ESTE

101.Rationed (out): DOLED

102.Clavell's "__-Pan": TAI. Literally "big" in Cantonese. Pan = Boss. "Tai-Pan" = Big Boss.

103.Kids' transports: SCOOTERS

107.Removed soap from: RINSED

110.Holy quest object: GRAIL

118.Mideast capital once called Philadelphia: AMMAN. Jordan's capital. Was unaware of this trivia.

119.Mata __: HARI

122.With 64-Down, wiseguys: SMART. And ALECS (64D. See 122-Across).

123.Love god: EROS

125.French state: ETAT

128.Shabby: SEEDY

129. Sonoran assent: SI SI. Sonora is a state in Mexico.


1. Thick-furred dog: SPITZ. German for "pointed'. The dog has erect ears.

3. Inspiration for Van Gogh: ARLES. Look at my compact mirror. Van Gogh's "Bedroom in Arles".

4. Publishing formats for Shakespeare: QUARTOS. No idea. Four leaves (eight pages).

6. Like liquid in 10-Down: MILKY. And COCONUTS (10. Palm produce). Fresh coconut water is actually not milky.

7. Denigrate: ABASE

8. Sloth, for one: SIN

9. Possessed: HAD

11. Cut of meat: LOIN

12. Chips in a chip: ANTES. Good clue.

14. TV type: PLASMA

15. Super Bowl stat category: RUSHING

16. Trap up north, maybe: ICE IN

17. Research money: GRANT

18. Ready followers?: SET GO. "Ready, Set, Go!"

28. Voids: GAPS

29. Retort to a skeptic: I AM SO. And NOT SO (59. Skeptical retort). Not fond of the SO repetition.

33. Pin cushion?: MAT. Wrestling "pin" = "fall". Great clue.

38. Plod: TRUDGE

40. Blackbeard's quaff: GROG. Blackbeard the pirate.

41. San __: Riviera resort: REMO

42. Big snow fall?: AVALANCHE. Awesome answer/clue.

43. Night, in Nogales: NOCHE. Alliteration. I've never heard of Nogales, a city in Sonora, Mexico. Also a town in Arizona, bordering the Mexican Nogales.

44. Liq. measure: GAL

45. Taurus preceder: ARIES. First zodiac sign.

47. Haughty attitude: HIGH HORSE. Get off your high horse.

48. Zeno's town: ELEA: Zeno of Elea. Greek philosopher.

49. Right way to go?: EAST. Direction. Nice clue.

53. Toaster's glass: FLUTE

56. Dicey: RISKY

58. Mennen lotion: AFTA. After Shave.

62. Org. in a '60s spy series: U.N.C.L.E. Spy series "The Man from U. N. C. L. E."(United Network Command for Law and Enforcement). I forgot.

65. Knight on TV: TED

67. Part of the anc. art of discourse: RHET (Rhetoric). Anc is "ancient"?

68. Common honorific: SIR. And PLEBS (70. Common folk). Another consecutive echo.

71. Virgil epic: AENEID

72. More than strange: WEIRD

73. German university city: JENA. Have never heard of University of Jena.

74. Windows alternative: UNIX. Operating system.

77. Certain halfway point: NOON. D'oh!

78. Oodles: GOBS

80. Transition point: WATERSHED. Watershed moment.

82. "Tarnation!": EGADS. "Tarnation" is new expression to me.

83. '70s-'80s pitcher Guidry: RON. Gimme. Spent his whole career with the Yankees. I have quite a few of his baseball cards. Unfortunately they are not worth anything.

87. Corroded: EATEN

88. Dispossessor?: EXORCIST. No problem!

90. Part of ETA: Abbr. : EST

91. "Fire Down Below" star: SEAGAL (Steven)

94. It's named for a trapeze artist: LEOTARD. Can you picture Dennis in his infamous leotard? I just can't.

96. "Night" writer Wiesel: ELIE

97. H. Clinton, once: SEN

98. Good points: VIRTUES. Sweet clue.

100.Tours of duty: STINTS

105.Turkish empire founder: OSMAN. No idea. Ottoman Empire is named after him.

106.Doughnut for the road: SPARE. Why? The tires are doughnut shaped?

108. Big name in compacts: ESTEE. Oh, Cosmetics products.

109.Fussed over, with "on": DOTED

111."__ a stinker?": Bugs Bunny line: AIN'T I

113.Emmy winner Christine: LAHTI. Man, I can never remember her name.

117.Curious to a fault: NOSY

120.Green lights: OKS

121.A, in France: UNE

Answer grid.

JD's Crossword Story continues. Here is the updated version with letter D.



Hahtool said...

Good Morning, CC and all. This was a really fun Sunday Puzzle. GRASPING AT STRAWS was my first theme clue. After getting that one, I knew what to look for.

I confidently wrote in Cry instead of SOB for Turn On The Waterworks.

LEOTARD seems to be the new favorite crossword fill.

My favorite clues were: Piano Players = HANDS

Big Name in Compacts = ESTEE. (Thanks for sharing a photo of your compact, CC).

I also really liked the punctuation clues = SLASH and COMMA.

I was thinking of something more DF for Rear-End = SLAM INTO and Rear End Blemish = DENT.

I also had another word that begins with A and ends in S for the SMART ALECS.

Thanks, Lois, for steering me into space. My husband and I are now scheduled for the STS-134 launch. Hope we don't get LOST IN SPACE!

Here's today's update.

QOD: The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution. ~ Bertrand Russell

Argyle said...

Good Morning All,

I can clear up 106D.Doughnut for the road: SPARE. The spare tire in most modern cars is a space-saving version of the standard tire and is commonly called a doughnut.

I had one crossing (Osman-Amman) that I cheated on and few others I fixed on my own but, all in all, a good puzzle.

Paolo said...

HI all,

Newcoomer here. So could someone tell me what was meant by: "there's no cheater square in the whole grid"
and also what are the "perps" that people refer to here?

Thanks in advance.


Tinbeni said...

FUN Sunday offering.

Themes were OK, IN LALALAND was my fave.
Nice little mini-theme tribute to the SKATEr, Sonja HENIE.

My pet lobster votes no on the tradtional Indian clarified butter, GHEE. He really hates it.
Learning moment of the puzzle.

Pretty SURE OF not being thrilled with the I AM SO
and NOT SO.

My KNEES aren't creeping, but in the winter
they are creaking.

Time to go OUT TO LUNCH.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - It's Noon EDT, and just a few posts so far...must be we all agree it was a challenge. Tarnation! Took me one and a half hours, I tried to do a no-peeky, but had to Goog GHEE and ELEA. The theme fills came slowly today.

Paolo - Welcome! I'm new here too and still don't understand Cheater Squares even though they have been explained. Perps is easier - it's short for perpendiculars, meaning those fills which cross with one you're working on.

Dennis doesn't look like a leotard kind of guy to me.

Splynter said...

And good morning to y'all, too -

( I spent some time in Jacksonville FL )
I did OK with today, and I liked the frequent echoes, too. I do not know what a "cheater square" is, so if someone could CLARIFY that for me...I had ECHO for EROO ( well, smack back could be an echo )which annoyed me, because HIGH HORSE really wanted to fill. AVALANCHE, / and , were all good, and I am OK with I AM SO and NOT SO - but I had saSsY for ZESTY, and it wasn't working at all. Left me LOST IN SPACE-s. See you tomorrow!

Argyle said...

It is subject to interpretation but basically a cheater square(also called a helper square) is a black square that doesn't need to be there. If the constructor could have used a four letter word but only used a three letter and added a black square, that's a cheater. BUT if the entry is a theme entry, it is consider to be the starting point and extra black squares don't count. Also, if removing the extra black square would result in a one or two letter word, then it has to stay and isn't a cheater square.

Now perps are much easier to explain. Any word perpendicular to the entry you are trying to solve, can be considered a perp.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Getting ready to go to the American Graffiti Festival in Modesto. It's always a great car show. According to DIRector George Lucas, he based the movie around his teenage experiences in Modesto.

A good Sunday puzzle. Like Argyle 105D OSMAN and 118A AMMAN was ungettable for me.

Paolo, according to one website: Cheater "In terms of grid layout, a cheater square is one (and its corresponding symmetrically opposite counterpart) that could have been a white but was set to black" "Cheater squares are only venial sins, and they are frowned upon more by constructors themselves than by the playing public, 99% of whom don't notice they could have been lights."

The April 16th Dan Naddor puzzle has two cheater, aka helper squares.

Constructor Jerome Gunderson said about this grid, "One is next to square numbered 7. The other is its symmetrical counterpart next to square numbered 62. As you can see, if you erase those two black squares the word count in that area stays the same. Dan simply added the cheaters to make the job of filling that section easier. It's a common practice and to use cheaters every now and then is fine. I'm sure adding them was a last resort. By the way, most of the time you'll find cheaters around the perimeter areas of the grid.

I really do prefer Rich's definition of a cheater as a "helper". After all, the constructor's not trying to cheat. They're just looking for some help in a tough area to fill."

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Clear Ayes said...

Thanks for reminding me Argyle, cheater/helpers don't count with theme entries. The website definition I posted doesn't mention that. Also cheater/helpers don't change the total word count..thanks for that reminder, Jerome. I really do think I have it now!

GAH is pacing....gotta go.

Annette said...

I thought the theme included fun, common phrases. Thanks for the good time, John!

I had a lot of trouble with these 2 common fill I should have known: SEABEE and ILA.

An Olympic sub-theme could have been created with the Sonja trio, LUGE and by clueing 1D for swimmer Mark SPITZ.

I also noticed a political combo: GORES and DOLES

Favorites: 42D Big snow fall? AVALANCHE. I also really liked the / and , clues.

Janet said...

Thanks for the welcomes yesterday. I have been looking at this blog for a few months but am a little unsure about posting in blue where anybody can see my name.

I liked today's puzzle. I got all the theme entries, but had to come here to get quite a few of the other words. The idea is that I will get better as time goes by. I sure hope so.

Is it correct that the June 1st cheater squares are at the end of 26A and the beginning of 51A? What about June 2nd, beginning of 20A and the end of 58A? These look like what was described and I want to be able to identify the cheater (helper) squares. Thanks in advance for any comments.

C. C. said...

You are right on both puzzles. Cheater Squares are not a bad thing. As Jerome said, they ease up the filling of the tough area and more often than not they produce smoother entries. But constructors like John Lampkin enjoys being challenged and will spend time and effort to iron out the area without adding a black square (actually 2 due to symmetry requirement). John puts great emphasis on the visual of his puzzles. Welcome on board!

Annette said...

Welcome, Janet!

You can put as little or as much information on your profile as you feel comfortable. You don't even need to put your real name; a screen name or nickname is fine. Beyond that, everything is optional.

Mostly, it just identifies you uniquely. As someone already said, posting as Anonymous falsely identifies you with a negative connotation, thanks to at least one (a few?) rude troublemakers that cowardly post insults under that pseudonym.

Jerome said...

Everything about this puzzle was really well done. The theme, the clueing, the fill. I had a good time with it... as I do with all John's puzzles.

Cheater squares- Unfaithful, married nerds?

Janet said...

C.C., thank you for the quick response. I may not be a whiz at the puzzles yet, but now I will be sure of the cheater squares.

Dennis said...

Janet, as Annette said, you don't even need to put your real name to go blue.

I'm really Susan.

John Lampkin said...

Thank you C.C. as always for the fine write-up and to you all for your kind words.

A cyber-hug goes to Annette for commenting on the Olympics possibility. Indeed in the finished version which I submitted to Rich, I had clued SHAQ as "Olympics Dream Team member," SPITZ as "Olympic swimmer Mark," and HENIE as "Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sonja," and LUGE as an Olympic event. As part of his editing, Rich changed those clues to their present form. It's a matter of taste. In my ideal world, every puzzle would have one or more sub-themes running throughout. In past email exchanges, Rich has made it clear that while my echoes are fine and a desirable element of my personal constructing style, he prefers that any sub-theme must be directly related to the main theme. This is to make the main theme stand out clearly for the solver.

Editors don't give us constructors a chance to review their edits, and rightly so. Even if I had seen my Olympics idea on the cutting room floor, I probably wouldn't have argued. With three echoes of Sonja and two for Shaq, that's enough reverberation for one corner. :) Still, it's a great feeling to be on the same wavelength with Annette.

Regarding cheaters, Rich credits Manny Nosowski for coining the term "helper." Other than that, Argyle, Clear Ayes, and Jerome have it right. I would add that there is another situation where cheater squares are not cheater squares, and that is when they are elements of a grid-picture design. Liz Gorski is fond of those, and I did one myself last Halloween.

Rich allows cheater squares and uses them himself. Again, it's a matter of personal taste. I like to make every square count.

Thanks again, and happy solving!

Dudley said...

Thanks for your contribution, John! I enjoy hearing from constructors, as do many others I'm sure. Having been diagnosed as a puzzle-holic less than a year ago, I'm still learning.

Janet said...

Hi again. I entered a profile and was a little braver than "Susan", haha. Have a good evening everybody.

Jerome said...

There's no reason for a solver to care or be concerned with or give a hoot about cheater squares. They have zero to do with enjoying a puzzle. Even if you dislike a puzzle it will never be because of a few extra black squares. They are only a device that a constructor uses to help fill a bear of a grid. In reality that's the purpose of almost all black squares in the first place!

Merl Reagle, Henry Hook, and Patrick Berry all used cheater squares in their Sunday puzzles today, and you'll find no finer constructors than these gents. But, like John said, it's a matter of taste. And that might be the most subjective thing there is.

Annette said...

Wow, John! You really made my day and got the week off to a great start.

This was a rarity, I assure you. I'm happy when I get the main theme itself, and hardly ever catch the sub-themes. I'm always in such awe when other bloggers point them out, adding to everyone's enjoyment, so I was excited when I thought I saw something that hadn't been mentioned yet today.

Thanks for the insight into the construction process. I'm sure I said it at the time, but I'll re-iterate: I loved your Halloween puzzle too - it was so cute!


Janet said...

Jerome, "solvers have no reason to care or be concerned with or give a hoot about cheater squares" Aren't solvers allowed to be interested in how puzzles are constructed? My interest has nothing to do with liking or disliking a puzzle, and I certainly wasn't being critical of any constructor. I didn't make up "cheater squares". I was curious about the terms and what they mean. Maybe C.C. shouldn't have mentioned cheater squares in her write up if it bothers you.

Hahtool said...

Welcome, Janet. We are a fun crowd and I always learn something coming on to this blog. It is interesting to see how others do on the crossword puzzles. I've participated for about a year now and really enjoy the company of this group.

dodo said...

Dennis, Leotards? and now Susan? I wonder. . . . .

Tinbeni said...

You look good in blue.
Cool avatar.

Thank you for the daily updates.
I'm waiting for a constructor to write the clue "BP" the answer would be either "Snafu" or "Fubar"

So in reality you're a Johnny Cash song.

Clear Ayes said...

A really great car show today...except the temperature was 95+. Summer is definitely here. GAH, our SIL and two grandsons were almost drooling over some of the cars...or maybe they were just thirsty. There was a lot of water and soda consumed today.

Looks like a little disagreement between newbie Janet and Jerome today. I have to agree with Janet@4:45. After all, C.C., who is just a solver, cared enough to bring up cheater squares in her original post today. I was interested in the what and how of them too. Of course they make no difference to one's enjoyment of a puzzle, but I see no reason why solvers shouldn't be aware of what they are and to be able to identify them if they want to. (Kind of like the "Blue Car!" game, without the shoulder smacks.)

When it comes down to it, Ain't Nobody's Business what any of us gives a hoot about. I love this video...it really is a hoot! Lois, is that you and one of your cowboys? If not..practice, practice, practice!

Bill G. said...

CA, that's great music. I enjoyed the video too. I'm not familiar with Taj Mahal but I think I should look for more of their stuff.

Barbara is with a friend at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl today. She might get to hear The Manhattan Transfer. I am home alone suffering along with the Lakers.

Paolo said...

Thanks for all the comments and explanations about cheater/helper squares and perps. I am enlightened.