Apr 19, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009 Dan Daddor

Theme: Put a Lid on It!

24A: Winner's prize in a programming competition?: VICTORY LAPTOP

29A: Frijoles prep area? BEAN COUNTERTOP

41A: Writing surface available only occasionally?: PERIODIC TABLETOP

54A: Peak that reeks?: FOUL TIPTOP

78A: Crew cut after a sloppy wrestling match?: MUD FLATTOP

88A: Milk of Magnesia bottle cap?: PHILLIPS SCREW-TOP

99A: Proof of evil purchases?: PANDORA'S BOXTOP

110A: Shirt needing a chemical rinse: SEPTIC TANK TOP

15D: Convertible for a Canadian hockey player? MAPLE LEAF RAGTOP

40D: "Say hello to your average asphalt contractor?": MEET JOE BLACKTOP

The last one is playing on the movie title "Meet Joe Black", isn't it? I still don't understand the cluing rationale of 15D. I know the Toronto Maple Leafs. Is RAG the nickname for a hockey player? I have never heard of PHILLIPS SCREW before.

Nice theme, great theme title too. The lid is the word TOP. All the above theme answers feel like Jeopardy's "Before and After".

Dan Naddor mentioned his love for "heavy themage" in his interview. This grid has 10 theme entries, some of them are very long, two 16, two 15. The two shortest ones still have 10.

I had my normal struggle with LAT Sunday. Could not get into the constructor's wavelength. When I read 93A: Prepare to be shot, I did not think of the happy "Say Cheese" POSE. I pictured something horrible, you know, like the photo of Daniel Pearl in handicuff, with a gun at his head.

My favorite clue today is for C-SPAN (46D: House shower). You have to think outside the box, show-er, C-SPAN covers and shows the activities of the House of Representatives. It's like "Parisian flower?" for SEINE river. River flows, flow-er, not the real flower.


1A: Offering at the fast foodery El Pollo Loco: BREAST. Stumped immediately. Have never heard of this chicken franchise El Pollo Loco, Spanish for "The Crazy Chicken".

7A: Intimidate: DAUNT

17A: Add one's two cents: CHIME IN. Thought of OPINE.

19A: Long Island university: ADELPHI. I forgot. Saw this answer somewhere before.

21A: Like some trucks going uphill: IN LOW. No idea. Why?

22A: 1982 Toto hit: ROSANNA. Here is the clip. I've never heard of the band, nor the song.

23A: Star who's out?: HAS-BEEN. I like this clue.

26A: Fish caught in pots: EELS. Oh, I had no idea that EELS are caught in pots.

27A: Fatty acid salt: OLEATE. I forgot also. It's clued as "Soap ingredient" in our puzzle before. Did not know there is "salt" in soap.

33A: "I didn't know that": GEE

34A: Former Radiohead label: EMI. Easy guess, since Radiohead is a British band.

35A: Circle dance: HORA. Often clued as "Jewish dance".

36A: Soprano Maria: CALLAS. "La Divina". Maybe Ari Onassis should have married her instead of Jackie.

39A: Start of an idea: GERM. I like this clue.

49A: Midas's undoing: GREED. He later did change his view about gold/money, didn't he?

51A: Confuse: CROSS UP. New phrase to me.

52A: Charlie Brown's cry: AARGH. See this picture. He cried so after he missed the football.

57A: Newton fruit: FIGS. Fig Newton.

58A: Hold back: RESTRAIN

60A: Penn, e.g.: Abbr.: STA. I wrote down STS.

61A: "There's hoping...": I PRAY. Did not come to me easily.

63A: One of the Simpsons: JESSICA. D'oh. The real Simpsons (Jessica and Ashely). I was thinking of the animated "Simpsons". I did get STU (97A: "The Simpsons" disco guy) immediately.

66A: Sluggishness: INERTIA

69A: Japanese chess: SHOGI. Literally "General's Chess". Gi means "chess". A corruption of Chinese qi (chess).

71A: Charger's org: AFC. Penned in NFL again.

73A: Sign of desperation: LAST GASP

77A: Syngman of Korea: RHEE. The first president of South Korea. RHEE is the same as Chinese Li (as in Jet Li).

83A: 10th century emperor dubbed "the Great": OTTO I. No idea. I was way off, thinking of the Russian Emperor PETER the Great.

84A: Poet's feet: IAMBI. I wrote down IAMBS.

86A: One working on the sheep: SHEARER

87A: Ideal of dieters: NO CAL. More ideal than NO FAT.

94A: Escargots: SNAILS

98A: Many ATM deposits: CKS. First time I see CK in a crossword.

108A: Smooth routine: GROOVE

113A: Fundraising events: DINNERS. Thought of RAFFLES.

117A: "No damage done": IT'S OKAY

118A: Farm song refrain: EIEIO. The lyric of "Old McDonald Had a Farm" does not make any sense to me, esp EIEIO.

119A: Latvia neighbor: ESTONIA. See this Baltic region map. And Russia, Lithuania, all end in IA. Romania too.

121A: Alan and Diane: LADDS. I forgot who Diane LADD is. She is Laura Dern's mother.

122A: Elements on the road: HONDAS. HONDA Element. I was thinking of gravels/stones.


1D: "Humph!": BAH

2D: Food std.: RDA. Recommended Daily/Dietary Allowance. I don't know which is correct.

3D: Some Caltech grads: EES (Electrical Engineers). Stumped again. Just not used to this EE abbreviation.

4D: Truman veep Barkley: ALBEN. No idea. Wikipedia says ALBEN Barkley was actually the first veep. His grandson coined the title to replace the long "Mr. Vice President". And he was the only vice president to marry while in office.

6D: Area defined by an el: THE LOOP. Have heard THE LOOP in Chicago. Had no idea it's "defined by an el".

7D: Fairway chunk: DIVOT. I am often amazed by the huge chunks of DIVOTS on the golf courses. Some golfers hit their balls so hard.

8D: Doddering: ANILE. Could only think of senile.

9D: Gastric woe: ULCER

10D: Absent from: NOT AT. Had trouble getting this multiple-word answer.

11D: "Scotty, __ beam up": TWO TO. Unknown to me. Not a "Star Trek"/"Star Wars" fan. I could only find "Beam me up, Scotty".

12D: Call (out): CRY

13D: Jan. 1st, e.g.: HOL. See EVE clued as "Dec. 31, e.g." more often.

14D: Columbus sponsor: ISABELLA

16D: Opposite of exo-: ENTO. Prefix for "Inner". Exo is "outer".

17D: When some ties are broken: IN OT (Overtime)

25D: Gym unit: REP (Repetition)

29D: Lazarus, for one: BEGGAR. I thought he was a leper.

30DL Become visible: EMERGE

31D: They put on shows: AIRERS. Would not have got the answer if not for the across fills. Too abstract to me.

32D: GRF's veep: NAR (Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller). Tough clue. I actually know Ford's veep is Rockefeller, but I knew neither's middle name. GRF is Gerald Ruldoph Ford.

33D: Shoot the breeze: GAB. Wanted YAK.

36D: Crime boss: CAPO. I need "Mafia" in the clue for CAPO to emerge.

37D: Places in the heart: ATRIA. I like this clue too.

38D: Saturated: SOGGY

43D: Magic, on scoreboards: ORL. Orlando Magic. Another good clue.

44D: Last Supper question: IS IT I. Who asked this question?

47D: "For shame": TUT. Sometimes it's TSK.

48D: Acidity nos.: PHS. Thought of 7. PH7=neutral. <7> 7 alkaline.

50D: Freedom from govt. control: DEREG (Deregulation)

55D: Clandestine maritime org.: ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence). Often clued as "Sailor's Org." in our old puzzle.

56D: Worst: PITS. New slang to me.

59D: "__ sure you know ...": AS I'M

62D: Climber's spike: PITON

64D: Champs-Élysées sights: CAFES. Yes indeed. Along with those lovely shops.

65D: Company with a spokesduck: AFLAC. Ben Affleck once mentioned that AFLAC had never approached him for commercials.

67D: "Evil Woman" grp.: ELO. Here is the clip. I guessed. Three letter music grp is often ELO.

68D: Eschew the doorbell: RAP

69: Persian potentates: SHAHS

70D: Surround: HEM IN. Another multiple word.

72D: Gideon Fell's creator: CARR. Have never heard of this author John Dickson CARR nor the character Gideon Fell.

74D: Fire sale phrase: AT COST

75D: Such that one might: SO AS TO

76D: Rubbernecking cause: PILE-UP

77D: Fabric flaw: RIP. What is a RIP flaw?

80D: The N.L. doesn't use them: DHS (Designated Hitters). A.L. does use them.

81D: Trip souvenir: TEE. Mine was HAT.

82D: Credit-reporting company now called Experian: TRW (Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc.). A complete stranger to me.

85D: '50 political slogan: I LIKE IKE. I have this button. A reproduction.

89D: Parisian pronoun: ILS. French for "they".

90D: Airport safety org.: TSA (Transportation Security Administration). Created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

91D: Kind of kick: ONSIDE. Stumped again. Vaguely remember someone explained ONSIDE kick on the blog before.

92D: Avoid perishing: PUBLISH

96D: Discuss: GO INTO

99D: __ Tour: PGA. And LPGA, Sr. PGA (Champions) & European Tour.

100D: Synthetic fiber: ARNEL. Was it a gimme to you? I've never heard of this fiber. Dictionary defines it as "a brand of fiber manufactured from cellulose triacetate", whatever that is.

101D: Finnish mobile phone giant: NOKIA. Holy cow. I always thought it's a Swedish company.

102D: Fussed over, with "on": DOTED

103D: Egg-shaped: OVOID

104D: Some auction sales: REPOS

105D: It's a gas: XENON. Yes, indeed, it's a gas. A noble gas.

111D: Aries or Taurus: CAR. I was thinking of Zodiac. Good clue.

112D: Pennington et al: TYS. No idea. I've never heard of this guy, host of "Extreme Makerover: Home Edition". TY Cobb is more famous in my opinion.

115D: Estuary: RIA

116D: Airline to Stockholm: SAS. "Airline to Amsterdam" would be KLM, both have three letters.

Answer grid.



Fred said...

I thought this was the hardest Sunday puzzle yet. I did it in 60 minutes without having to look anything up. The answers I didn't know I got thru the perps, eventually. My favorite clues were: "House shower"=CSPAN and "Star who's out?"=HASBEEN. The house shower clue had me going until the end of the puzzle. Great clue, I'll probably steal it.

C. C. said...

Steal away. It's a great clue, though I believe I saw "House shower" for C-SPAN before. It might have appeared in Paul of Crosswordese's Clever Clues of the Month short list.

cabrini said...

This was a great way to start a Sunday. Really got my brain working. I agree with Fred re: "House shower" and "Star who's out". They were very clever. Felt I did ok with this puzzle. Did take me about 1 1/2 hours.
C.C.- there are at least 2 types of screws - Phillips (X shaped grooves and flat head (one groove -side to side). Don't know why there is a difference. Only know that I always grab both screwdrivers since I don't know which one I'll need.
Hope everyone enjoys there day and stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Ragtop is another name for a convertible top...

Anonymous said...

Never heard of "foul tip" - Did know that Maple Leaf Rag is a famous ragtime piano piece.

treefrog said...

having technical problems. This was just a test :}

abogato said...

Aargh ! Aargh ! Aargh! Extremely difficult puzzle with several vague clues like "House Shower". Perhaps a mite too much ?? But it just about worked out without to much aargh and aargh.

abogato in alabama

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice the error with 'Charlie Brown's cry"? The answer is AARGH, but the cartoon clearly shows AAUGH. Peanuts characters NEVER used AARGH.

Fred said...


A foul tip is a baseball that is hit by the batter and it usually goes into the catcher's glove.

Avi8tor said...

I've been lurking on your blog for quite some time. I really enjoy it, and appreciate your effort. The Features Editor of our paper wants input regarding the new LAT puzzles--I like them. I sent your URL in to the editor for those complaining that the puzzles are too hard

Anonymous said...

C.C., Can you explain why there were two Los Angeles Times puzzles? Seems very strange to me.
It was when I went to solve online for all the ones I couldn't figure out that I saw I didn't have the same puzzle. So I clicked on your blog and found there were two. (I got very few of the Dan Daddor {sic} ones. It is Dan Naddor.)

C. C. said...

What's your take on anon's AARGH?

Thank you. Hope to hear more from you.

Cabrini & Treefrog,
Hey, so few of us today!

Abogato in Alabama,
I am surprised that you got Dan Daddor's puzzle. What's the name of your newspaper?

I've got no idea. I sure don't want another confusion next week.

LUXOR said...

C.C. Is the star tribune going to file for bankruptcy protection? I saw a snippet on today to that effect.

embien said...

34:23 today. Wow, what a fun, fun puzzle. I had a typo in FOUL TIP TOP (I inadvertently had a "0" (zero) in FOUL). That took forever to figure out when I didn't get the "ta da" after filling in the grid.

The TOP theme definitely helped me here as once I saw it I immediately filled in those letters at the end of all the theme entries. The most clever for me was MAPLE LEAF RAG TOP (Maple Leaf Rag is a well-known dixieland tune, and RAGTOP is slang for a convertible top).

@c.c.: 21A: Like some trucks going uphill: IN LOW. No idea. Why?Loaded trucks going uphill often shift into lower gears to get sufficient torque to make it up the hill.

11D: "Scotty, __ beam up": TWO TO. Unknown to me. Not a "Star Trek"/"Star Wars" fan. I could only find "Beam me up, Scotty".Well, I'm not a Trekkie, but I don't recall ever hearing this expression, either. It was always "Beam me up, Scotty".

55D: Clandestine maritime org.: ONI (Office of National Intelligence). Often clued as "Sailor's Org." in our old puzzle.Actually, c.c., it's Office of Naval Intelligence. A gimme for me as Dan Ryan (of Tom Clancy fame--Hunt for Red October) was in that agency. (Or perhaps I'm just misremembering, lol.) ONI

embien said...

@sallie You can see a blog of the Dan Naddor Sunday puzzle at LA Crossword Confidential that should help you.

I don't know why there are different versions of the Sunday LA Times puzzle.

Fred said...

ANON is right. Charlie Brown says AAUGH not AARGH. There is even a Peanuts site called

DONNIE said...

The vagueness between the clues and the answers were too much for me.

Al said...

Here's what I found about multiple LA Times Sunday puzzles: There are actually two of them the first and third links from that page go to the same Merl puzzle and none of the links points to this one, which is the one my paper published, too.

The LA Mag puzzle was the one by Merl Reagle.

The LA Calendar puzzle was by Sylvia Burstzyn, and not covered in either of C.C.'s blog entries today...

Valerie said...

C.C., This puzzle was in my newspaper but for some reason says "By Jack McIntruff".

I found it quite challenging but managed to finish it eventually.

Argyle said...

This is definitly the harder puzzle.

Fred said...

The Rich Norris Sunday puzzle is published across the country but NOT in the Sunday LA Times. It's always done this way. Dunno why.

Anonymous said...

a rip is a flaw in the fabric

C. C. said...

Anon @ 7:13pm,

apodamaker said...

inlow [gear]. trucks under load
[hauling freight/carring weight]
downshift the transmission into lower gears in order to pull the grade/climb a hill.