Jul 2, 2008

Wednesday July 2, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: Vowel Movement

17A: Gung-ho guy: BALL OF FIRE

26A: Quasimodo, for one: BELL RINGER

36A: "I Spy" co-star: BILL COSBY

50A: Cotton-grower's bane: BOLL WEEVIL

60A: Wall Street upsurge: BULL MARKET

Haven't we done a similar vowel progression themed puzzle before? Let me check....OK, here it is. Hmm, it's not entirely the same. I don't think I like this double-consonant ending B?LL****** rolling. Besides, the answer for the theme entry 36A has only 9 letters while the others all have 10, though the symmetry is still perfectly fine. I think I like Wiseman's better, all of his theme entries have 15 letters running through whole grid.

"Lust" came to my mind immediately after I spot the them, LAST, LEST, LIST, LOST, LUST would make a similar themed puzzle, so would MASS, MESS, MISS, MOSS, MUSS & PACK, PECK, PICK, POCK, Puck. What else can you think of?

It's a very thorny puzzle for me today, too many unknown singers. Had to ask google for help.


1A: Hawaiian island: LANA'I. Lovely pineapple field in LANA'I (The Pineapple Island).

2A:Minute amt. of time: NSEC (Nanosecond)

14A: Concorde, e.g.: AVION (Plane). And another French word: ECOLE (28A: Nice schools)

16A: Novelist Hoag: TAMI. Unknown to me. One of her novels is titled "The ALIBI (25D: Mystery excuse?) Man".

19A: "Outside the Lines" shower: ESPN. Very misleading show-er, esp if you are not familiar with "Outside the Lines". "Baseball Tonight" shower would be much easier to obtain.

24A: Bonet or Alther: LISA. I know neither of them. Are they very famous?

39A: "La Boheme" heroine: MIMI. Foreign to me. Is it a gimme to you? I only know this MIMI (Tom Cruise's ex). And basso EZIO (63A: Pinza of opera). Always confuse his name with poet EZRA Pound.

42A: Patron saint of Norway: OLAV

43A: "The Zoo Story" dramatist: ALBEE (Edward). He also wrote "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

48A: Egg: pref.: OVI. And 64A: Bone: pref. OSTE

54A: Hair-removal brand name: NEET. It was clued as "Nair competitor" before. And another brand LYSOL (51D: Disinfectant brand).

55A: Violent killer: SLAYER

65A: NH city: KEENE. Unknown to me. I pieced it together from the down clues. The NH in the clue should not be abbreviated.

67A: Brewers' manager Ned: YOST. Hmm, Robin YOUNT yesterday, Ned YOST today, are we expecting Ben SHEETS tomorrow? What's behind this Brewers' promotion?


3D: "Everybody's talking" singer: NILSSON (Harry). I've never heard of his name nor the song. Wikipedia says "Without You" is one of his best-known songs. I always thought Maria Carey was the original singer. "Everybody's been a-talking" is the first line of Robert Plant & Alison Krauss's "Stick with me Baby".

6D: Type of checking: NO FEE

7D: Skiing mishap: SPILL. No idea. Is it Bode Miller style skiing mishap or what?

8D: Cochlea site: EAR. I had no idea what "Cochlea" is. Flyingears only mentioned the three bones last time: INCUS (the Anvil), Malleus (the hammer) and Stapes (Stirrup).

9D: Cereal brand: CHEERIOS. The company (General Mills) is based here in MN. It's one of the major corporate donors to the GOP convention (RNC) this year. We have a bunch of Fortune 500 companies (3M, Best Buy, Cargill, etc) here, so it's much much easier to raise money for the conventions in Mpls/St. Paul than in Denver (DNC).

10D: Hard-as-nail: STERN. I suspect the original clue is "Violinist Isaac" since this constructor seems to have a wide range of music interest.

11D: Layered pasta dish: LASAGNA. Want some? Go to for the recipe.

12D: Indistinct number: UMPTEEN

17D: Mosque tower: MINARET. Alien to me. This is a Mosque with a MINARET.

27D: State's number-2 job: LT. GOV. (Lieutenant Governor)

35D: Bridge support: PYLON. Another unknown. Look at this picture.

37D: "Working for the Weekend" outfit: LOVERBOY. No idea. I am not familiar with the song or the rock band. I thought "Working for the Weekend" was a movie, and the answer was some kind of special clothes.

39D: Tony Soprano, for one: MOBSTER

40D: Place on a pedestal: IDOLIZE

41D: "Brand New Key" singer: MELANIE. No idea. Here is "Brand New Key".

44D: More unpromising: BLEAKER. I kept reading the clue as "More uncompromising".

45D: Honda model: ELEMENT

49D: Supermodel Heidi: KLUM. OK, let's continue this SongFest. This is Heidi KLUM's "Wonderland". What are inside those Tiffany blue boxes?



Dennis said...

Morning, C.C. & fellow dysfunctionals - very straightforward puzzle today, with only a few 'thinkers'. I thought 'shower' (19D) was weak; would've preferred 'network'. I didn't know 'slay' implied violence - I always thought it was just another synonym for 'kill'. Also didn't know 'umpteen' was a word, or at least one used past age 10.

C.C., I thought "vowel movement" was absolutely brilliant.

Beautiful day here in the Garden State (the country's biggest misnomer) - hope it's an outstanding one for every DF. Oh, and look to the skies - it's World UFO Day. Lois, could be a new experience for you.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I disagree with you on 19A ESPN clue. "Shower" is a very cleverly misleading.

Dennis said...

C.C., we'll agree to disagree; I just think 'shower' is a weak word, even outside crosswords. You just hardly ever see it used.

Katherine said...

Good morning CC and gang.
I must be showing my age because I knew all of the ones you didn't know. Nillson's song was from Midnight Cowboy, which was a great movie for the day. Loverboy was one of my son's favorite bands, back in the day. I remember Melanie's "Brand New Key" very well, that was a blast from the past. I loved the Krause/Plant song. I have the CD, and it is GREAT.
The picture of the minarets are really something.
As far as the puzzle goes, I did ok, but had some problems in the SE corner.
Have a great day everyone.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,
Lots of "L's" (22) in this one. Liked "bell", "ball", "bill", "boll", "bull" progression. I, too, got stuck a little in SE corner - until I gave up on "nair", then all fell into place.
Lisa Bonet played Denise Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" - a nod to 36A Bill Cosby, I think.
Otherwise a little tougher than a regular Tuesday for me.
Hope all have a terrific day!

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

I liked the puzzle, but agree there were way too many singers (and proper names in general) involved. I didn't know any of them off the bat, although I was eventually able to pull "Loverboy" from the deep, dark recesses of my mind and got the others via the perps. The intersection of 39A and 41D was especially obnoxious, since I didn't know either one, but once I got the perps I realized the missing letter pretty much had to be "M."

I'll agree with Dennis on "slay" not necessarily implying violence, but with C.C. on "shower" being cleverly misleading. In fact, when I figured out 19A I remember thinking what weird and wonderful language English must be to have a word that is not only simultaneously a noun and an adjective with completely different meanings, but also changes pronunciation depending on the part of speech and definition. How wacky!

Oh -- and while I did manage to finish the puzzle unassisted, I had a moment of panic when I saw 6A and 9D, thinking that this might be one of those gawd-awful "rebus" puzzles (I actually thought 9D might be GENERALM, short for General mills). Do the Trib puzzles ever have rebuses, or is that just the NYT puzzles (which I also do)?

NYTAnonimo said...

I agree with you dennis on shower (listed as definition #2-just the kind of cluing NYT would use) and SLAY-didn't realize it implied violence. I've not seen a rebus in these puzzles Barry. Like katherine I didn't have a problem with the singers except for Melanie-though I recognized the song when I heard it and was able to finish the puzzle in good time without any googling. Hope you all have a good day too.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Welcome back! I missed your comments.

Thank you for pointing out the Crosby link. I did not know that. "L"ots of L's indeed.

I've never seen a TMS rebus puzzle before. Ditto your point on 39A & 41D intersection, though M is probably the only reasonable choice.

You mentioned "The Lost Painting" the other day. Have you read Peter Mayle's "Chasing Cezanne"?

Bill said...

Good day today.
Had to think a little.
Thought I knew 13d, so I put in PARAPET. Did the rest and that corner just wouldn't come together.
After scratching my head for a while I decided SHOWER had nothing to do with washing up (19a) and 10a certainly wasn't SLUP ! Then I woke up !!!
Also learned something new today.
I always thought a FOB was the attachment on a pocket watch or a keychain. Did not know it meant POCKET also.
Oh well, live and learn!!

flyingears said...

I read no comments on small hills: krolls???

I thought of B a ll, B e ll, B i ll, B o ll and
B u ll progression as the ABCs of Bs... Clever progression I thought.

I recall Ezio Pinza in a 50s movies even though I didn't like musical THEN, but since Sound of Music, I really look forward to see one.

Dennis said...

flyingears, I believe it's 'knolls'.

NYTAnonimo said...

I'm not familiar with "Chasing Cezanne" cc so I've put it on reserve-thanks for the tip.

On the topic of books I came across
this link to a crossword books review that some of you might be interested in.

NYTAnonimo said...

Also you music lovers will enjoy
this link.

Argyle said...

A nod to c.c. and all dfs

flyingears, you were caught by the bar-ban trick.

c.c. How 'bout mate mete mite mote mute, and cast cest or c'est cost cist cyst

Melanie has family in my area and did some recording here. I like Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) which was performed at Woodstock.

Bode Miller style skiing is more crash than spill.

MH said...

I liked this puzzle - just hard enough to be challenging but I was able to get through it without help. I'd forgotten many of the songs and singers but they came back to me after a few letters were filled in. The theme was interesting - I didn't get it until almost the end but it helped with bull market. I knew Dennis would like "vowel movement" - thought of him immediately when I saw CC's theme name ;-). Spill for skiing mishap just means a minor fall.

flyingears said...

baN and baR always gets me!!! Thanks dennis.

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C. and all y'all.

Finished the puzzle by using a lot of perps and hors. Only googled 16a and 13d.
Hey, how can you think of "slay" and not think of violence. Is slaying someone not an act of violence?
I also agree that "shower", as it appears in the puzzle, is not a commonly used word.
However I did'nt object to its use here.

flyingears said...

dennis & Argyle,

What makes it even dumber (dumb, dumber, dumbest???) in my part is that I was stationed at the Oakland Naval Hospital AKA Oaknoll because it was in a hill!!!

Oaknoll was closed in the 80s as part of the reshuffling of DOD expenses.... Oaknoll was THE hospital involved with the POWs when they returned from Nam.

Danielle said...

I liked this puzzle - as soon as I got the vowel progression, it helped a lot. I think the only thing I had to google was the pinapple island (not up on Hawaii the way I should be!) I was stumped by plenty of clues, but I got everything from filling in clues for the stuff I knew.

Lisa Bonet was in the Cosby Show, but also a well-known bad girl of her day, sort of like Brittany Spears now.

Mimi is also a character in Rent, which is essentially a modern retelling of La Boheme (with a ridiculous happy ending tacked on to ruin it!)

Loved all the musical blasts from the past - could hear the songs from Loverboy and Melanie in my head as soon as I filled in the blanks.

Also loved "knolls" - a great word that seems like it's mostly used in the names of suburban housing developments these days.

Have a great day!

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone. A few false starts, but I think I got everthing corrected. C.C., your theme choice is a hoot!I can imagine that this group will have some fun with that one!! I like the way the 9 letter theme entry centers the puzzle. Lisa Bonet played Bill Cosby's daughter on The Cosby Show. Don't know Lisa Alther either. Bill, I was also educated on fob today. I had the same understanding as you.

Danielle said...

c.c. - from yesterday - you are correct, O is the most common blood type; I always thought A was most common and O was the universal donor; now I know!

Lisa Alther wrote (among others) Kin Flicks - a famous, racy novel published in the late 1970s

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

about the same difficulty level as yesterday for me, not bad. definitely misled by 'shower' clue. had the same thought as dennis about slayer. in the documentary 'wordplay' it was said that as a rule, unseemly words/themes are avoided .. like 'violent killer.' i have noticed a few sneak in.

c.c. thanks for the plant/krauss link .. did you ever get the cd? 'vowel movement,' .. genius.

lisa bonet was married to lenny kravitz for a time, and they have a grown daughter together. she was in one of my favorite movies, 'high fidelity,' based on the book by nick hornby .. whose name sometimes appears in crossword puzzles.

@nytanonimo: thx for the xword link.

@katherine: c.c. and i are wondering about the chick corea concert.

harry nilsson .. anyone remember this?

Anonymous said...

well C.C. im from wisconsin and live less than half an hour (when the roads arent flooded) from milwaukee so i am happy with all these brewers references.....easy answers for me

Anonymous said...

oh and being a 17 year old male did not hurt me with 49D: Supermodel Heidi hahaha

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mark Buenos Aires

A bit cooler today - fresco

Lots of names unknown outside USA but to his credit the setter allowed us to guess the answers by not crossing names and names, once I had bull and boll, the cruzegrama fell into place, foregive me for idolise and esio!


carol said...

Hi C.C. and all you D.F.'s: Good one today, made me think (!) Clever theme. C.C. loved the "vowel movement"

27D was really difficult for me. C.C.rescued me once again. I see "Reo" is with us again (62D)

Jimbo, when someone remarks "You slay me" it is not violent.

Bill & Crockett, count me in on "fob". I thought it was what held the watch to the chain.

Katherine: I loved "Brand New Key".
Remember the "bubble gum" songs?? "Red Rubber Ball" is a good example. I think it was done by Gary Lewis and the Playboys (Gary is Jerry Lewis' son)

Barry, what is a rebus puzzle??

Superfrey said...

I had to google a couple but though it was only an OK puzzle. I have to agree with Dennis and the others that "Shower" and the slay clue were too coy.


Crockett1947 said...

Carol, a rebus is where a picture is substituted for a word. Check out the wiwipedia article for an in depth analysis. I think I've seen them in the Sunday NYTimes puzzles.

MH said...

What's a "wiwipedia", something Lois might want to explore ;-?

carol said...

Crockett, thanks, I will check into it on Wikipedia (I know that was what you really meant)

mh: that was cute and I am sure Lois would be able to "handle" that!!

carol said...

Crockett, I now know what a rebus is...I should have looked it up myself but somehow thought it was some odd "crosswordese" that was unknown outside our "crazy" world. This is why I love this blog!!! I learn so much everyday. :)

Barry G. said...

My understanding is that "rebus puzzle," when talking about a crossword, means not only figures used instead of letters (plus sign, arrows, etc.), but also combination of letters. There was a recent puzzle in the NYT honoring late fashion designer Yves St. Laurent, and all the theme answers had "YSL" as a single letter. Ridiculously difficult if you don't realize what's going on.

KittyB said...

I managed to get to the puzzle about 3:30 in the afternoon, adding a few answers at a time in between interruptions. For some reason, the NW corner took me a few minutes to hash out.

I tried to slip "Nair" into the "Neet" spot, so I would have liked the other version of the clue.

I also had to think about "Nice" in relation to schools before the answer fell into place.

A major storm is getting ready to blow in. It looks like the Midwest is going to get more rain!

NYTAnonimo said...

Rebus puzzle example

C.C. Burnikel said...

Your links are appreciated, as always.

Thank you for those gems of information.

The CD, No. I spent my money on "Boyz II Men"

C.C. Burnikel said...

M?TE is good. I was actually thinking of consonant + vowel + double consonants. CUST is missing in the C?ST roll. What a wonderful idea you have with C'est! Thank you.