, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Michael T. Williams


May 20, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Michael T. Williams

Theme: "Celestial" Cinema (All Science Fiction Films)

17A: Celestial simians?: PLANET OF THE APES

29A: Celestial zanies?: SPACEBALLS

37A: Celestial warfare?: MARS ATTACKS

45A: Celestial E. T.?: ALIEN THREE (ALIEN 3)

57A: Celestial visitor?: NIGHT OF THE COMET

If you have not, please read this What Constitutes a Good Crossword Puzzle post first and let me know your definition of a good crossword puzzle.

Lots of boring 3 letter fills today, very lazy cluing:

28A: Mideast nat. UAE

61A: Halfway, briefly: MID

16D: Ump's relative: REF

20D: Letters on many cars: AAA. Could've been clue as "Battery size" if not for 24D: Assault and ___ (BATTERY) I suppose.

26D: Most remote: ULT

27D: R. E. Lee's nat.: CSA

30D: School grp.: PTA

38D: Half a fly? TSE. What's the obsession with this fly? What's wrong with China's Mao TSE-Tung, or T. S. Eliot's initials?

41D: Yale booster: ELI

43D: High dudgeon: IRE

55D: DDE's command: ETO

57D: Final degree: NTH

58D: Sundial server: III

62D: U-turn from WSW: ENE

63D: Black goo: TAR

Good to see WIE, LCS, CEY, NOL in the grid though. EDP (1D) did give me plenty of trouble as I had no idea what is the prefix for twelve (14A: DODEC)

Also, lots of H, TH in today's puzzles: ETHENE, GOTHIC, NTH, ESTHETIC, THREE, THRONE, HEFT, HUM, HAMMER, BACH, THDS, HITS, , OH NO, and several THE. Is there a sub-theme here?


6A: Racing sled: LUGE

10A: Soup serving: BOWL. And 10D: Gravy server: BOAT. Hmm, obviously some thoughts were given to clues. Thanks.

14A: Twelve: pref: DODEC. Unknown to me, it comes from ancient Greek word dōdekás (dō is two, adn dekás is ten)

15A: Uniform in all directions: ISOTROPIC. Another unfamiliar word to me. I know "iso" is "equal", had no idea that "-tropic" means turning toward or upward. It's another Greek originated word. Antonym: ANISOTROPIC (an is an prefix for not).

20A: Bulk: HEFT

21A: Nail hitter: HAMMER. "If I had a HAMMER"

24A: Open container: BIN. This bin is a very interesting word. In Arab, it means "son of", as in that Son of B BIN Laden. And I suppose the "BIN" in "Ich BIN ein Berliner" means "am"? I am not so sure. I only know "Ich liebe dich".

25A: Tempa Bay pro: BUC (Buccaneer)

33A: Lodging chain: MARRIOTT

40A: Peachy keen! NEATO. RAD!

42A: Having a love of beauty: ESTHETIC. Looks like our editor has been in an arty frame of mind lately.

49A: One heart, e. g.: BID

51A: Hepburn of Hollywood: AUDREY. I've never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's. Love Roman Holiday though. (Update: Today is "Eliza Doolittle Day". AUDREY Hepburn was cast as Doolittle in the movie My Fair Lady, thanks Drdad.). And 68A: Actress Winona: RYDER. She is so pretty. My favorite Winona movie is Autumn in New York.

54A: Actress Gilpin: PERI. I've never watched FRASIER.

56A: City on the Aker River: OSLO. Hmm, looks like nobody really cares much about OSLO Accords.

64A: Got drunk: TIED ONE ON. Is it another slang? I've never heard of it.

65A: Minneapolis suburb: EDINA. US Women's Open Golf Tournament will be held in EDINA in June.


1D: Key-punch bus.: EDP (Electronic Data Processing). Unknown to me.

7D: Tampa sch.: USF (University of South Florida)

8D: Grotesque genre of fiction: GOTHIC

9D: Sweet smelling gas: ETHENE

11D: Antithesis: abbr. OPP (Opposite)

12D: Michelle of golf: WIE. This girl can sure hit a mile, a bit erratic in her putting though. Hope she qualifies the US Open sectional in early June.

13D: Pre-World Series abbr.: LCS (League Championship Series).

18D: Bulks of bodies: TORSOS

23D: Imaginary sea creature: MERMAID

25D: Raised bubble: BLISTER. I like this clue.

31D: One of the Three B's: BACH. Beethoven and Brahms.

32D: Huber of tennis: ANKE. Unknown to me. But this word ANKE looks very familiar, is it an Egyptian God or something?

39D: Military command: AT EASE

44D: Ron of hot corner: CEY. Not a familiar name to me. I got it from across clues. I like "hot corner".

46D: Seat of power: THRONE. Look at this Peacock THRONE. According to one of our fellow solvers, it's entirely encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other gems and he saw it in person.

47D: Young cow: HEIFER

52D: Open sore: ULCER. This puzzle gives me an ULCER this morning, too many 3-letter eyesore fills.



Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - not a bad puzzle today; took twice as long 'cause I'm an idiot. Refused to move off of 'ethane' for 'sweet-smelling gas'. Didn't know 'Huber of Tennis'. General lack of synapses function. Perps saved the day again.
Yet ANOTHER rainy, cool day here - hope it's better for the rest of the world. Have a great one.

Kim said...

Good morning CC & Dennis,

CC, I agree with you on this one, way easy! Tie one on is a slang for get totally wasted! I should know, my ex did it enough!

Got the movies fairly quickly, so I had this one done on short order.

Sorry about another rainy day Dennis, hopefully your spring/summer will extend into December! (at least it does that here!!) Move to sunny Florida, just need to fight the fires, hurricanes, gators, bugs, etc!!

I'm gonna go try to paint my fence today.

Dennis said...

C.C., you might've been thinking of "ankh", an Egyptian cross, re 32D. And yes, 'tied one on' is long-time slang for getting hammered; was originally 'hung one on' back in the roaring twenties.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Yes, yes, I was thinking of ANKH. Thank you. Does "Getting hammered" also mean "getting drunk?"

Thanks for the "Tie one on".

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning!!
Used to aesthetic, not esthetic. Didn't like Alien Three (Alien 3).
More familiar with Katherine Hepburn but knew who Audrey was.
Night of the Comet - what a dumb movie!
Came close to thinking that 10D and 10A were both going to be bowl but quickly forgot that. And then for military order I played around with attack that would have intersected attacks. Again, fuggedaboutit!!
Lois will like "tied one on."
Ethene is also known by the more common name ethylene.
Liked seeing Ph.D's.
Tse is back.

Happy Eliza Doolittle Day - In honor of the heroine of George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion and the My Fair Lady movie, Eliza Doolittle, this day pays tribute to developing mastery over your native language. It's lame, I know but all I could find.

Katherine said...

Good morning everyone. I don't know what was wrong with me today, but I bombed on this one! I loved the Joe Walsh music with the Wynona video. Way to go CC. That throne was something else. I don't think you could sit there too long. Good way to get business done quickly.
Kim, I hope you finally get your fence painted.
Have a good day everyone.

Superfrey said...

A quick Ace the movie theme quickly and breezed through it. Dennis.... we in Florida could use your rain.... send some our way...we are burning up just like last year...we could use the summer rains now... I do enjoy the sunshine though...

Dr. Dad said...

Here's one for der katze - A family in Hawaii lived in a thatch hut and was into collecting thrones of kings and queens. They were storing them on a tier in the hut but one day the weight of the thrones caused the whole hut to collapse. Moral - people who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones!!!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Oh, no wonder AUDREY Hepburn today then! She played Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady", didn't she?

Dennis said...

drdad, it's also National Pick Strawberries Day, as well as National Be a Millionare Day; I'll opt for the latter.

Kim, I plan on doing just that; hope to have a place in Boca or West Palm area by the end of next year.

C.C., there's lots of terms: getting hammered, soused, blitzed, wasted, etc. They all hurt equally the next morning.

drdad, I could hear the groans from here.

Dr. Dad said...

C.C - you are correct. Audrey Hepburn was cast as Eliza Doolittle instead of the then-unknown Julie Andrews. I wasn't aware of that until you pointed it out.

Dr. Dad said...

Dennis - where did you find those? When I googled strawberries day I also found Quiche Lorraine Day (yuck!!). I'll take millionaire day as well.

Superfrey said...

C.C. I always remember Audrey Hepburn in either "Sabrina" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Got off to a bit of a rocky start this morning when I ran into 1D and 13D. I had no idea what those were (or 44D, for that matter), but fortunately was able to get them via the "perps." I also initially had ATTACK instead of AT EASE for 39D, which made things very weird indeed for awhile until I finally figured out my mistake.

Fortunately, I'm a big space movie buff, so I was familiar with all the theme answers (although 45A threw me for a bit since the number "THREE" isn't generally written out in the title like that - because of the mistake I mentioned above, I initially got ALIEN THRET and thought it was somehow a variation on THREAT).

Dick said...

Hello everyone. This was a very slow puzzle for me. I got the movies but struggled with other areas. I had 28A as UAR and then really had to work to get mermaid for 23D. Finally completed the puzzle but it took about 20 minutes. I also struggled with 39D as I kept expecting the clue to yield something like command center or command post. Dah!

Dennis we are sending you more rain later today. It is moving through here this AM but after this one it should start to clear up and it looks like a fabulous week end is in store.

drdad I was happy to see they honored you in todays puzzle with PHD.

Yes cc there are many terms for getting drunk but in the morning they are all the same.

Anonymous said...

Good morning CC, et al, Looks like the only hammer that is coming your way, dennis, is 21A. But 'one of these days, Alice'...I'm sure a 'nail hitter' will arrive and send us all to 17A or into 57A.

drdad, you're right. 64A made me smile and my head hurt briefly, but 29A made me laugh out loud. Gives me a whole new dimension to the motivation 'aim high'. Just so little time.

Kim, good luck w/your fence.
Katherine: loved your take on the throne.

It just started raining here too... liquid sunshine. Enjoy!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Regarding the Peacock THRONE, Der Katze once sent me a spectacular picture. But unfortunately I deleted it. He said that that THRONE is now housed in a vault in Iran's nation Melli Bank, together with other treasures beyond our imagination.

I see you have problem with Winona's name too. I can never get her name correct either. I am glad you like the music/video link.

Sabrina is pretty good. But somehow I just can not get myself excited over this "Breakfast at Tiffany's' movie.

I agree with you and Drdad, 45A is not a solid clue.

Your 29A comment has a BACH/Mozart effect on me.

Anonymous said...

CC: Glad to be of service. You scratch my Bach and I'll scratch yours. I spied some 29A just to the right of our moon about 5 mins ago. Things are really looking UP.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Did you also spot the 2 golf balls on the moon?

Anonymous said...

CC: no, but I did see Alice Kramden.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Barry et al,
So there is no hidden sub-theme in today's puzzle? I thought those H's might stand for HORROR or at least theme related.

Bill said...

C.C., I think the "H's" stand for HELLISH ! Couldn't getn in gear this AM. Did about half, got disgusted, took a NAIL HITTER to a problem computer on my workbench, (working on my IRE), came back later, called Mr. Google about 1a and lo and behold, it all came together!!
I don't do movies much and had real problem with them, esp the clues for them. Once I figured out SPACEBALLS the theme came around and I figured that anything celestial was just a takeoff.
So not too bad.
Kim, paint FAST.
Back after I un "NAIL HIT" the computer!!!

MH said...

This one was a medium for me. In the end I got it all except 1D, 2D and DOdec. I should have known dodec since I know what a dodecahedron is (12 sided figure), but my mind wasn't working that well. And I didn't tie one on or get hammered last night either.

Tonight is the finale for American Idol. The two Davids are both good but neither is great. All in all a disappointing American Idol season.

Anonymous said...

THRESS, THDS --Where were these two words?

Dennis said...

anon @9:57, where are you getting those words from?

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Anonymous @9:57am,
54D: PHDS, not THDS. I don't know where you got your THRESS.

Winner: COOK

Hellish it is!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Regarding 44D: Ron of the hot corner (CEY). Is there a slang for first base also? How about other positions?

Dennis said...

C.C., I know slang for lots of other positions.
Oh, I'm sorry, you're talking baseball?

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Let's play hard ball.

Dennis said...

Sure thing - who's pitching?

Anonymous said...

This puzzle was out of this world. We did not feel "alien"ated doing it. But whatever happened to "The Fifth Dimension"?

We tied one on last night, ergo it was yet another "Night Of The Comet"!!

Kemo in CT

Anonymous said...

Dennis & CC: Can I be the 'catcher' so I can be there when anybody slides into home!

carol said...

Hi all, had a rough time with 1D and 14A but not too bad with the rest.
That poor "half a fly"(38D) sure gets a work out!! C.C. had much better clues for it.
Kim, hope your fence work goes well!
We have rain back today, and I think we are all grateful as it sure cooled things off! Portland is usually rainy this time of year (actually until July 5!!) (kinda kidding here)..what do you think Crockett??
Have a fun Tuesday!

Dennis said...

Lois, perfect! I'm batting.

Dr. Dad said...

What position can I play?

Anonymous said...

Audrey Hepburn played Eliza Doolittle in the movie version of "My Fair Lady", but she lip-synched the songs. They were sung by Marni Nixon, who also sang for Natalie Wood in the movie version of "West Side Story".

In an epside of "Taxi", Tony said he was going to "tie one on". Jim said "I'll join you. I love Chinese food." (Tai Won Ahn?)

Not really sure how "Space Balls" is "celestial zanies". Maybe "Celestial sports equipment"?

Even with a few slight delays, 4 minutes 51 seconds.

Anonymous said...

per anonymous @9:57 he was referring to your original commets typo of "thress."


Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Dennis, Lois & Drdad,
J'accuse!!! Too many S slangs in American English!

RE: SPACEBALLS. Zanies here refer to the brand of dog toy balls. What is Tai Won Ahn?

Anonymous said...

CC: do you want to be the pitcher?

Dennis: Ok, slugger, Batter UP!!! Hope you get a home run.

drdad; do you want to be 'on deck' or if you want defense, 'short stop'. I just don't think you belong 'out in left field'.

dick can be 'in the hole': the next batter...if he wants to play.

How's that line up?

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

I expect poor little TSE to be on the DL soon.

Dr. G,
You said "original commets typo of "thress." I don't quite get what you were referring to.

I can not be a pitcher, I will walk everybody. I want to be an UMP.

I want answers for my 10:07am question. What a long waiting for the game to start!

Anonymous said...

- I don't know if you're familiar with "Taxi". Jim is basically a burned-out pothead, to put it bluntly. He frequently misunderstands what other people are saying.

When Tony said "tie one on", Jim misheard it as a Chinese name.

- You can probably start a whole post on "What are you favorite slang terms for getting drunk".

- If they were referring to a brand name (Zanies), it should have been capitalized.

Dennis said...

c.c., 2nd base is the 'keystone position'; that's the only other one I can think of right now. Oh, and Pitcher/catcher together are called a 'battery'.

Dennis said...

Lois, my poor little brain is swimming with lines, none of which I can use here.

Anonymous said...

drdad: What's your favorite position? do you want to be pitcher? There are quite a few positions still open.
CC: Ump? good for you! You determine IN and OUT...I think that's hard sometimes.

Anonymous said...

dennis: Guess that counts as at least 1 out! It could've been 'foul'and not a called 'out'.'re still swinging. I can feel the wind all the way down here!

Dr. Dad said...

Home plate. Then, whoever's catching can squat over me.

MH said...

CC, I think you're right about Cook. At least he's the more talented of the two. But it's a popularity contest and Archuleta is really popular with the teenage girls (he's soooo cute) and they are more likely to vote.

Dr. Dad said...

Allow me to amend that statement. Not everyone who plays catcher!! I do have morels.

Anonymous said...

drdad: that's hilarious! I'm dying laughing. As the ump,CC will have to sweep you with a stiff hand broom. As the catcher, I'll assume the position, but you might catch a knee periodically. And what the batter does to you should be called 'battery'.

What a game!

Dick said...

Lois I want to play and I do not want to bat . I want to remain in the hole. Lois at 12:34 did you refer to Denis breaking wind?

Dick said...

cc I thought at first that Space Balls referred to neuticals (spelling?) for dogs. They are to replace the ones the dog loses when he is neutered so he will still feel masculine.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

No, I am not familiar with Taxi. But thanks for the explanation. Good idea on a new post. I think you have a solid point on Zanies. It should be capitalized. You always make me think, thank you.

Let's see if Cook can EKE out a win tonight. He sure has the musical range. Who is your favorite AI winner?

Dr. Dad said...

Dick - say what!!!!???? I just googled that. Never heard of neuticals (spelling is correct). Can the dogs use them like Ben Wa Balls?

Dr. Dad said...

Man!!! You can even get T-shirts, ball caps, etc. at Neuticles. What will they think of next? Doggie Breast Implants?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the dog cares one way or the other. Neuticals are more for the egos of the dog owners who think their dogs need to look "manly".
But that would make this one of the funniest clues of all time!

Anonymous said...

drdad: Yes, breast implants for dogs...called ''breasticles'!!!

Who's on first? Dennis, you're still 'up'!

All of you guys make me laugh soooo hard!

Anonymous said...

For the sake of accuracy (in case it shows up in a puzzle some day!), the correct spelling is "Neuticles".

The inventor of Neuticles won the "Ig Nobel" prize for Medicine in 2005.

Dr. Dad said...

yes I stand corrected on the spelling.

Anonymous said...

cc & all - I'm thinking 29A refers to "Spaceballs", Mel Brooks 1987 sci-fi parody of "Star Wars" and its ilk. It starred Bill Pullman, Rick Moranis, John Candy (as a Wookie-like critter), and Brooks' usual cast of zanies. "May the Schwartz be with you." A beautiful day here in ND.

Dr. Dad said...

ivebeentominot is correct. I hope everyone else wasn't sidetracked into thinking Spaceballs was referring to anything but the movie. It was apparent to me and fits because all of the other answers are movies. President Skroob, Princess Vespia, Prince Valium, Lone Star, Barf, Dark Helmut, Pizza the Hutt, Kernel Sandurz, and Yogurt. What characters. One of Mel Brooks' best parodies, the other being Blazing Saddles.

Dennis said...

Lois, how did I get an out?? I haven't even driven one deep yet. Bad enough Dick's accusing me of breaking wind...

Boy, this is one sick group. Ain't it great?

Dr. Dad said...

Yes, Dennis, we are and it is great. I can't help but wonder what newcomers looking for serious crossword answers think when they first visit.
C.C. - did you envision this sort of thing happening when you started the site?

Anonymous said...

re: Spaceballs.

I never let accuracy stand in the way of a good joke.

"I'm a Mawg. Half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend."

lois said...

Dennis: you have 1 out due to 'omission'...which is leaving something 'out'. You could've said something 'foul', but chose to 'omit' therefore, according to my way of thinking (twisted), it should count as 1 out. We might need to consult the ump. You're still holding the 'stick', so take your best shot. Drive one deep and come sliding into home! Dick's still in the hole. I guess it's better to break wind than to break the stick. Either way, you guys crack me up.

carol said...

drdad, Dennis,Lois: I am a "new-comer"(sort of)to the group, and I think your comments are a "hoot".
Just close to obscene and that's why it's so funny! Maybe you all missed your calling and should have been writers on SNL,et al.
Keep "up" the good work, and watch those balls :)

lois said...

Carol: do you want to play some baseball? Several positions are still open. And you are sooo right about 'watching those balls'. Pool balls, baseballs, spaceballs and now having a ball!

Dick: are you still comfortable? Wanna take a swing yet?

I'm waiting for a 'grand slam', thank you mam.

Bill said...

Balls. Ball Hitters (bats), Breasticles, Umpires and their cousins (refs), foul stuff (balls? I hope not) and C.C. and the Dysfunctionals. WHAT A SHOW. Tickets at the main gate. Come one, Come ALL to the greatest contest ever.
I'll be the one passing out towels in the locker room. Oh,, right??? If not I'll just ride the bench...

Dennis said...

Carol, welcome to our dysfunctional world. You seem like a natural for this group (sorry, I guess that's not necessarily a compliment).

carol said...

Lois, sure I'll play if the guys are "up" for it..which positions are still available? I could be a "ball-girl" ohh,ohh maybe that would be confusing. How about right infield? I could catch all those "fly" balls. Always did like a guy that could swing a big bat!!

Anonymous said...

Carol: You got it! Time's fun when you're having flies!!!! I'm sure the 'boys' will pull out the 'big sticks!"

You are hilarious!

Retread38 said...

Your answer for 1D today was yesterday's answer for 1D; ADP. Today's 1D was SADE.

Dick said...

Lois I am comfortable and I thought I took a swing. Nevertheless I still want to stay in the hole. I'll let you know when!!!

Dennis said...

1D on my puzzle today is EDP.

Dick said...

Sorry cc I think David Cook blew it tonight. I think the kid beat him out.

lois said...

Carol: that last anonymous was me. I was in a hurry, pushed submit and ran. I think you'd be great at whatever 'field' you choose...IN/OUT. With these guys, it's a field of 'dreams'..mainly b/c they have 'morels'.

Dick: you're great 'in the hole'. It must be b/c you are such a fine, 'up'standing, 'morel' character. You took a swing? I'm sorry I missed it. Must've been busy catching a 'slider'. Maybe it was YOU who was causing our wind to blow from the north today and not Dennis afterall, but it's easy to give him the credit. You know him and 'ethane' today (see dennis 5:37).

Have a good night all.

Crockett1947 said...

Hello everyone. I'm on jury duty and got assigned a case, so I'll be late or not on at all until Saturday in all probability. Welcome Carol from the world of anonymous! Too cold today. Now it needs to warm up just a bit.

Mr. Corcoran said...

70+ comments to sift through...we'se real cool here...i just guessed my way through this puzzle not having seen any of those films...did enjoy blister and of course the latin variant of "je pense, donc je suis"...i highly recommend a trip to the aker brygge (usually brewery but in this case like fisherman's wharf) in oslo on a summer's day when the sun never sets!
to cc: i was thinking of camus' fameux "la peste" which takes place in the town of Oman...

Anonymous said...

C.C. If you google "synonyms for drunk" you'll find hundreds of slang words used to describe being drunk.

Re: David Cook. I thought he was terrific but the judges, especially Simon, seem determined to have David A. win. They seemed very unfair to Cook tonight, in my opinion. I got lots of votes in for David Cook and I sure hope he wins. The kid seems only able to sing ballads. Cook can sing anything. Wonderful talent. Even if he loses, he'll get a record contract. I'm sure he can outsell the other kid. Hope for the best. Good night, all.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

NO, I had no idea that my innocent crossword journey would turn into such a wild ride.

You will find another CASE in today's puzzle (Wednesday) too. I've never been on jury duty, is it fun?

Thanks for letting know the "La Peste" connection.

I still think David Cook will get more votes in the end.