Mar 15, 2009

Thursday March 12, 2009 Donna Hoke Kahwaty / Rich NorrisLA Times

Theme: SPAGHETTI (57A: Noodles, and word that can precede the beginning of 17-, 28-, or 43-Across)

17A: Commute, stereotypically: STRAPHANG

28A:Four-walled play areas: SQUASH COURTS

43A: 19th century communications pioneer: WESTERN UNION

(Note from C.C. This post is blogged by our sweet Santa Argyle. Click here for the LA Times Thursday March 12, 2009 puzzle.)

You can look at 13D link to see SPAGHETTI STRAPS.

You may visit your local produce and pick up some SPAGHETTI SQUASH.

Rent some old Eastwood films to watch SPAGHETTI WESTERNS.

SPAGHETTI is in Aisle 7.


1A: Goes arduously (through): WADES.

6A: London hrs. GMT. Greenwich Mean Time.

9A: Clarifying words: ID EST. Latin ‘that is’, abbreviated i.e. Do you think asking for a hint it was Latin is too much to ask?

14A: Thomas associate: ALITO. Clarence Thomas has served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991; Samuel Alito has served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 2006. Associate was the clue that we were looking a judge and not a buddy of Thomas the Tank Engine.

15A: Rock’s — Speedwagon: REO. There were still some of these trucks around when I was a wee lad. Our crossword.corner anthem.

16A: Conical home: TEPEE.

17A: Commute, stereotypically: STRAPHANG. On a subway or bus, when you can’t find a seat, you stand and hang on to a strap. poster

19A: Line to the audience: ASIDE. My first thought was a line up the audience, aisle, instead of a line spoken directly to the audience.

20A: Cut canines: TEETHED.

21A: Joseph Kennedy’s middle daughter: EUNICE. Eunice Shriver, 87, was the fifth of nine children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy and she helped found the Special Olympics as a national event.

23A: Be off: ERR.

24A: Udder parts: TEATS. They're real and they're spectacular.

26A: Pale-green moth: LUNA

28A: Four-walled play areas: SQUASH COURTS. You might find some babies in these play areas.

31A: Sort: GROUP. Sort into groups or group into sorts, works either way.

33A: Frat house empties: KEGS. The kegger parties can get pretty rowdy, or so I’m told.

34A: Take in: EAT. It would have made more sense without the “IN”.

35A: Swedish coin: KRONA. Plural, kronor.

36A: Lith., formerly: SSR. Lithuania, along with Estonia and Latvia, were known as the Baltic States, on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. and were incorporated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as constituent republics in 1940. They became independent again in 1991.

37A: A bridal veil may be attached to one: TIARA.

39A: Hotel addition?: IER. Hotelier is the manager or owner of a hotel or inn. The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration is the place to go if you want to become a hotelier.

40A: Send to the canvas: KAYO. The pronunciation of KO, which stands for Knock Out, from boxing.

42A: One of the Papas: DENNY. The Mamas and Papas L. to R., Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, John Phillips, and Michelle Phillips Creeque Alley with pics from the Monterey Pop Festival.

43A: 19th century communications pioneer: WESTERN UNION. Western Union was founded in Rochester, New York, in 1851 as The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. It changed its name to Western Union Telegraph Company in 1856 at the insistence of Ezra Cornell, one of the founders of Cornell University, to signify the joining of telegraph lines from coast to coast.

46A: Stubborn people won’t give one: INCH. Stubborn Britons won’t give a centimeter.

47A: Clan symbol: TOTEM. A large pole carved with family symbols. Beaver Clan totem.

48A: First name in design: LIZ. Liz Claiborne, with Art Ortenberg and Leonard Boxer, founded in 1976, Liz Claiborne Inc., a fashion company that sells directly to customers. In 1986, it was the first company founded by a woman to be listed in the Fortune 500. She was also the first designer to insist that her collection be placed together on the sales floor. Shoppers no longer went from shirt department to pant department to coordinate an outfit, revolutionizing the way department stores arranged clothing and created the role of fashion merchandising as we know it today.

51A: Minimalist composer Glass: PHILIP. Although his music is often, though controversially, described as minimalist, he describes himself instead as a composer of "music with repetitive structures". sample

53A: Closet article: GARMENT.

56A: Word with pipe or sign: PEACE.

59A: Sailing maneuvers: TACKS. The combination of the aerodynamic force from the sails and the hydrodynamic force from the underwater hull section allows motion in almost any direction, except straight into the wind. Or ask Jeannie.

60A: Big Apple subway div.: IRT. New York City’s Interborough Rapid Transit.

61A: Actress Georgia: ENGEL. Georgia Bright Engel, 60, is an American film and television actress probably best known for sweet Georgette Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She is the one on the right.

62A: Tray filler: ASHES. Ashtray; I was thinking ice cubes.

63A: Seek redress, in a way: SUE. The American way.

64A: Dig deeply?: ADORE. A devious clue.


1D: Useless venture: WASTE.

2D: Shorten or lengthen, say: ALTER.

3D: More desperate: DIRER. I can’t decide if it is pronounced ‘dire’ or ‘direrer’; I think I’d use more dire.

4D: Pennsylvanie, e.g.: ETAT. A little help that it is French would have been nice. Pennsylvania and state. Something like ‘Pennsylvanie to Tours tourists’.

5D: This year’s grad, two years ago: SOPH.

6D: Like a good egg?: GRADE A. What it looks like without its shell.

7D: “So many ___, so little time”: Mae West: MEN.

8D: As a team: TOGETHER.

9D: “Let’s call ___ evening” IT AN. We may be seeing more of these partial fills now.

10D: “I Spy” TV studio: DESILU. I Spy was a secret agent series, 1965 to 1968. Robert Culp and Bill Cosby were traveling as "tennis bums". In reality, they were spies. Desilu Productions was owned by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

11D: Gourmet: EPICUREAN. A follower of Epicurus (341-270 BC), a famous Greek philosopher, who has been regarded, erroneously, as teaching a doctrine of refined voluptuousness, esp. to the luxuries of the table.

12D: Like a couch potato: SEDENTARY. Accustomed to sitting a great deal and doing little exercise.

13D: Top with a slogan: TEE. This stumped me for quite awhile. Top – a garment worn on the upper torso, also known as a shirt; so a shirt with a slogan on it could be a T-shirt, also known as a TEE; which gives me an excuse to link a sexy picture. The slogan, in case you missed it, is "I'll be using theses to my advantage", and, yes, I know, technically, she isn't wearing a T-shirt. I DON"T CARE.

18D: Distressed: HET UP. Archaic

22D: Search and rescue org.: USCG. United States Coast Guard.

25D: Tries to date: ASKS OUT.

27D: The Charles’ dog: ASTA.

28D: Charlie, to Martin: SON. Martin Sheen is the father of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. L. to R., Emilio, Charlie, and Martin.

29D: Tremble: QUAKE.

30D: Bone: Pref.: OSTEO.

31D: Stew ingredients: GREEN PEAS.

32D: Personality test creator: RORSCHACH. Is it a Rorschach test or a crossword I tied to do with a fountain pen?

35D: Smallest ratite bird: KIWI. A ratite is any of large, flightless birds. The Ostrich is the largest, next is the Emu, Cassowary, Rhea, and smallest, Kiwi, a chicken-sized bird.

36D: Overview: SYNOPSIS. Precis!

38D: Quaint quarters: INNS.

41D: Introductory humanities class: ART I. It would be ART IOI usually.

42D: Joltin’ Joe: DiMAG. Both are nicknames for Joe DiMaggio. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, DiMaggio was a 3-time MVP winner and 13-time All-Star (the only player to be selected for the All-Star Game in every season he played).

44A: Alan of “Growing Pains”: THICKE. Alan Thicke, 62, is a Canadian actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host. He is best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the patriarch on the ABC television series Growing Pains.

45D: Prove false: NEGATE.

48D: Abandon one’s inhibitions: LET GO.

49D: Put to rest?: INTER. Rest In Peace

50D: Scrabble 10-pointer: Z TILE. A real Scrabblely answer

52D: Not as much: LESS.

54D: Ostrich relative: RHEA. A kiwi relative, too.

55D: Fix: MEND.

56D: Home-school link, briefly: PTA

58D: “Piece of the Rock” company, on the NYSE: PRU. “Piece of the Rock” is the slogan for Prudential Financial Inc. whose symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is PRU.



C.C. Burnikel said...

Another "real and spectacular"post. I really ADORE your links, esp the Baltic Sea one. I always confuse Baltic Sea area with Balkan region. KAYO took me a long time to parse. I had TEE immediately, though I did not think of any sexy picture as you did. I agree, "in Latin" is needed for ID EST. Pennsylvanie is French for Pennsylvania, so no French hint is needed. INCH is a great clue. But your comment on INCH is even greater.I don't understand your comment: "You can look at 6D link to see SPAGHETTI STRAPS". How to pronounce RORSCHACH?

Argyle said...

Another site said it was "raw shock"

I thought those were SPAGHETTI STRAPS on top she is barely wearing in 6D.

But how did you know Pennsylvanie is French and not some other language?

Dennis said...

Argyle, another great dissection, and as always, outstanding links. A most enjoyable read.

Bill said...

Hey All, I got this one OK. Took me awhile but it was fun. Friday's was a different animal. It is on the kitchen table, about 1/3 complete and in danger of slipping into the recycle bin. And, I didn't dare look at Sat., 'cause I know it'll be a lost cause.
I'm going to try these for a while but, from the looks of things, it will be an effort in futility; and i really do them for fun, not to tear my hair!
CY'All Later.

WM said...

Argyle...another stellar job! It is so nice of you to do this so that the rest of us can have something to comment on on Sundays.

Yes, those are essentially spaghetti straps on that top. Cute! That clue stumped me for awhile.

I really like the REO link...what a neat old truck.

For the most part, I enjoyed this puzzle and it gives me hope that I can continue to do at least the Mon-Wed puzzles. The end of the week ones are tough. I guess it will come down to learning a different way of cluing with different standardized words.

Pennsylvanie gave me a pause for a bit until I had enough perps to WAG it as a French version of Pennsylvannia. I also have to agree with you 9A...I had absolutely no idea, even after it was filled in.

Well, one more week of Mr. W.Wiseman, then, we'll see...

Again, thank you so much for your hard work on this, you much admired.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I think I'm going to like the LA Times puzzles. This one had a nice combination of the easy and the more difficult.

Of course, I did a lot of perpetrating. I wouldn't have filled in 4D ETAT, except for my high school French class and I had no idea who 51A PHILIP Glass is. I didn't even try to understand 9A ID EST until I got here. I really liked that 57A was the answer to the theme. It was a nice "Aha" moment when I went back and could see the relationship to STRAP, SQUASH and WESTERN. What a relief that there wasn't one obscure clue for "a river in Djibouti", or "summer in Slovenia".

Argyle, LOL at your link to 24A "They're real and they're spectacular". I was expecting the speaker of those lines Teri Hatcher on that funny Seinfeld episode.

WOW.. 21A EUNICE Shriver is really the Poster Girl for the ravages of sun damage. I know the Kennedy's were outdoorsy people, but too bad they didn't have sunscreen back in those days.

Argyle, you're doing a sensational job of guest blogging. C.C. is fortunate to have a "step up to the plate" guy like you around.

Clear Ayes said...

Ooops, the link I provided didn't work. How about this? Teri's Spectaculars

kazie said...

You really do do a great job!

As I said fairly late last night, I did this one online with red-letter help since it was late and I was tired, so I don't have a printout of it or a true indication of how much I perped, but I usually do just to check before filling in anyway.

I agree that if this is the Thursday level of difficulty for the LAT puzzles, we should enjoy them a lot more than what we've been getting.

Argyle said...

Too bad they can't all be Thursday level puzzles. Friday's had quite a few I couldn't get and Saturday's has even fewer that I can get...and I don't know if they are right.

kazie said...

I'll give it a go. I've been working on the AARP mag's one today.

DoesItinInk said...

This puzzle took a bit longer than any of the Tribune puzzles because of the differences in cluing, like not giving even a teensy hint that an answer is in another language. I think it will just take a little getting used to, eh?

In the end I had only two blank squares, everything else being correct. I totally missed that 9A was ID EST and 13D referred to T-shirts. And though I know that Pennsylvanie is French and that the French word for state is ETAT, for some reason I could not get beyond E-AT!

I got the theme early on when I had 28A SQUASH COURTS and saw the clue for 57A. That did not necessarily make getting STRAP HAND and WESTERN UNTION any easier though.

I am familiar with the nickname “Joltin’ Joe” but have never hear Joe DiMaggio referred to as DiMAGG! I always though that he and Marilyn Monroe made a touching couple.

I knew of PHILIP Glass because of listening to NPR. Yeah! I do not particularly like his music.

C.C. Burnikel said...

But 6D is GRADE A eggs. Did you mean 13D TEE? Pennsylvanie looks French to me.

Argyle said...

Oops, did I say 6D, that should have been 13D.
No fried eggs there.

kazie said...

I just tried Saturday's LAT and only could get about a third of it without cheating. Went online at regular skill level and got it all out with red help here and there. That didn't help my ego, but it's good for getting a feel for how they think.

WM said...

Had a lot of difficulty with the Sat LAT...the Sunday one was great fun. I didn't get to finish the whole thing because I was working it when I took a break from other things...Hubby put in his 24 cents worth and finished the lower left corner...the rest was easy. I really liked the theme answers, got them all. Also managed about 90% of the NYT Sunday xword, which we currently get. I have been reading Amy Reynaldo's book and working through a book of NYT crosswords occasionally in the seems to be helping.

A lovely Sunday evening to everyone

Argyle said...

I have a problem; I can't download the LAT puzzle. I can't use the regular skill level and get red letters as soon as I make a mistake.

The odd thing is that I can still get the TMS puzzle and it works just fine and with both skill levels. They use the same Flash Player.

I can get the LAT but I have to use a link at and use the Across Lite software. Since I wanted access to the archives, I also had to register. Across Lite doesn't tell you immediately if your right or not.

Argyle said...

I missed an option; Across Lite can let you know right away if you have the wrong letter.

Bill said...

1:07 for the Sat edition (and a lot of red).
And a lot of answers that I've not seen before ; 2d, 25a, 3d, 36d. And some answers that just don't seem to fit the clues.
But, hey, it's gonna be a whole new world out there!

Bill said...

Pardon the multiples. The blogger said my p/w was wrong. But then the posts showed up anyway.