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Oct 11, 2009

Sunday October 11, 2009 Dan Naddor

Theme: Why, Yes! - punning on "Y, Yes!". Y sound is inserted in familiar phrases. (Please go to the Comments section and read the constructor's 11:18am post for more explanation.)

24A. Designer Christian doing a pirouette?: REVOLVING DIOR. Revolving Door. Christian Dior was a French fashion designer.

33A. Unadulterated moonshine?: PURE SPIRITS. Poor Spirits.

52A. "Actor Laurie goes after you"?: HUGH'S NEXT?. Who's Next? Hugh Laurie stars in in TV drama "House".

69A. Pool tool in the army rec room?: MILITARY CUE. Military Coup.

87A. Sign at a broken gas pump?: NO FUELING. No Fooling.

104A. Ongoing dispute about chemical use in farming?: ORGANIC FEUD. Organic Food.

115A. Former Vietnamese president's dining reservation?: TABLE FOR THIEU. Table for Two. Thieu (tyoo) was the Vietnamese president from 1967–75.

3D. Gorgeous newborns?: BABY BEAUTIES. Baby Booties.

5D. Speechless moments?: MUTE POINTS. Moot Points.

65D. Coastal Norse horse?: FJORD MUSTANG. Ford Mustang. Fjords are those long, narrow inlets with steep sides in Scandinavian countries.

77D. Late '70s Wimbledon headline? BJORN AGAIN. Born Again. Björn Borg won 5 consecutive Wimbledon singles: 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980.

Not sure I understood the theme and theme title correctly. I am terrible at pronunciations and puns.

DIOR & Door does not really fit the oo to yoo pattern. And FJORD & BJORN feel a bit repetitive. Maybe Dan can explain to us his rationale at the Comments section.

Several clever clues in today's puzzle. My favorite is DEAR ABBY (86D. Support column?).

Across:

1. 1987 film about Ritchie Valens: LA BAMBA. And BIOPIC (123A. 1-Across, e.g.). Our crossword stalwart ESAI Morales was in this movie.

8. Birthplace of St. Francis: ASSISI. A town in central Italy.

14. Airheads: DUMBOS

20. Hurrying: IN A RUSH

21. Ahab or his craft: WHALER. His craft is Pequod.

22. Accustoms: ENURES. More used to INURES.

23. Lhasa native: TIBETAN. Lhasa is the capital of Tibet.

26. "Family Ties" mom: ELYSE. No idea. I only recognized Michael J. Fox.

27. __ disease: tick-borne illness: LYME. Kind of arthritis, isn't it?

30. Hip-hoppers Salt-N-__: PEPA. Easy guess. Have never heard of these girls before.

38. Hydrocarbon suffix: ANE

39. Praying figure: ORANT. Same root as oration. Look at this ORANT figure, with outstretched arms. I learned it from doing Xword.

41. John, Paul and John Paul: POPES. Nice clue.

42. Gusto: ELAN

44. Grazing ground: LEA

45. "What an exhausting day!": I'M BEAT

47. Like musically challenged ears?: TIN. Tin ear.

48. Ancient mystic: ESSENE (ESs-een). The Ancient Jewish ascetic. I simply forgot.

50. Radii neighbors: ULNAS. The plural can be ulnas too.

55. Clinch, with "up": SEW

56. Quarreling: AT IT. Here we go again.

57. Singer Lopez: TRINI

59. Pioneering electronic calculators: CASIOS. My first one is a CASIO.

61. Leaves port: SAILS

62. End of __: AN ERA

64. Martin/Tomlin comedy: ALL OF ME. No idea. I like neither of them, so no Netflix for me.

68. Long haul: TREK

73. In __: stuck: A JAM

74. Lives: RESIDES

76. Diner's decision: ORDER. Dan mentioned that the seed entry for his last GO puzzle is SOUTHEAST ASIAGO. He saw ASIAGO on a menu and was inspired by the ASIA GO combination.

77. N.L. career stolen base leader Lou: BROCK. Hall-of-Famer of course. I once pulled an authenticated autographed card of Lou BROCK. Rickey Henderson holds the MLB record.

78. Nobleman's address: MILORD. New word for me. Derived from "my lord".

81. Done to __: repeated too often: DEATH. New idiom to me as well. Like ad nauseam I suppose.

83. Creep: JERK

91. Ate too much, as chips: OD'ED ON. OD = Overdose.

93. Sgt., e.g.: NCO

94. State of mind: TEMPER

96. Unruly locks: MOP

100. Jack's fairy tale victim: GIANT. Not familiar with the fairy tale "Jack the GIANT Killer".

103. Old Mideast assn.: UAR (United Arab Republic). The former Egypt-Syria alliance (1958-61).

108. Talkative bird: MYNA

109. Cousin of calypso: SKA. Precursor to Reggae.

110. Invite for a nightcap: ASK IN

113. "The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights" speaker: GETTY (J. Paul). I was unaware of the origin of the quote.

120. How some stunts are done: ON A DARE. Love this fill.

122. Prepare to leave one's plane seat: UNBELT

124. Wheel adjuster: ALIGNER

125. Seaman's "Help!": MAYDAY

126. Declines: SAYS NO

127. Breaks a promise: RENEGES.

Down:

1. Hardly figurative: LITERAL. Such a straightforward clue.

2. Oily compound used in dyes: ANILINE. No idea. Only knew ANIL the indigo dye.

4. Son of Zeus: ARES. The Greek war god.

6. Troop gp.: BSA (Boy Scouts of America). I was thinking of military troops.

7. Philip of "Kung Fu": AHN. I just mentioned last time that the name AHN (Korean) = ANG in Chinese, as in ANG Lee.

8. Haywire: AWRY

9. Brother of Moe and Curly: SHEMP. Could only think of Larry, who was a friend of the Howard brothers. Wikipedia says the original "The Three Stooges" cast consisted of Moe, Shemp and Larry, and Shemp was later replaced by Curly.

10. Put aside: SAVE UP

11. UN workers' agcy.: ILO (International Labor Organization). Nobel Peace winner 1969. What a burden for Obama to be awarded Nobel so earlier in his presidency.

12. French seasoning: SEL. French for salt.

13. "Mr. Chicago" journalist Kupcinet: IRV

14. Teeth: Prefix: DENTI. What is "Tooth, prefix" then?

15. Felix the neatnik: UNGER. No idea. From "The Odd Couple".

16. Chocoholic desserts: MUD PIES. Want some?

17. Brush hairs: BRISTLES. Oh, the hairs of a brush. I thought the clue was asking for a verb.

18. War on Poverty org.: OEO (Office of Economic Opportunity). Unknown to me.

19. Lith., e.g., once: SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic)

25. AOL and MSN: ISPS

32. Blue Ribbon brewer: PABST. Have you tried Tsingtao beer?

34. "Portnoy's Complaint" author: ROTH (Philip). See the book cover.

35. Protestant denom.: EPISC. Episcopal I suppose.

36. Medicinal shrub: SENNA

37. On one's rocker?: SANE. Great clue. Off one's rocker = insane.

40. Sesame paste: TAHINI. Yummy, yummy.

43. Fresh: NEW

46. Set the radio dial on: TUNE TO

48. Banishment: EXILE

49. Small-strip aircraft acronym: STOL. No idea. It stands for Short Takeoff and Landing.

51. Rapper with the debut album "Hard Core": LIL' KIM. One of her most famous dresses.

53. Yankee manager Joe: GIRARDI. He replaced the other "Yankee manager Joe (Torre) last year. Here is a photo of them together. I don't believe in miracles when Twins face the Yankees, esp in Yankee Stadium, new or old.

54. Isaac's eldest: ESAU. Jacob's twin.

56. Bern's river: AARE. It joins the Rhine River at the Swiss-German border.

58. "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo __": Irish classic: RAL. Here is Bing Crosby's version.

60. Skyrocketed: SOARED. Wrote down SPIKED first.

61. Narrow waterway: Abbr.: STR (Strait)

63. Impassioned: ARDENT

66. Keystone Cops creator Sennett: MACK. How can I remember his name?

67. Mass. senator's monogram, 1962-2009: EMK (Edward Moore Kennedy). Man, I thought his middle initial is F, just like JFK and RFK.

70. __ use: avails: IS OF

71. Sound barrier breaker Chuck: YEAGER. Dennis loves to quote this guy.

72. PC component: CRT (Cathode-Ray Tube). Old PC component.

75. Bedrock pet: DINO. Bedrock threw me off. I am used to "The Flintstones" clue.

79. Written in mystical letters: RUNIC. Wrote down CODED first.

80. Cappuccino request: DECAF

84. Comfy footwear: MOC

85. Personal: Prefix: IDIO. As in idiosyncrasy.

90. Caught in the act: SEEN

92. Iditarod vehicle: DOG SLED

97. Strength symbol: OAK TREE

98. Mass communications?: PRAYERS. Another great clue.

100. NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti: GINO. One of the greatest defensive ends, too bad I've never heard of him.

101. Dutch export: TULIPS

105. Cub Scout leader: AKELA (uh-KEE-luh). Named after Akela the leader of the wolf pack in Kipling's "The Jungle Books". New to me also

106. Excellent: NIFTY

107. Expected to arrive: DUE IN

112. Osso __: BUCO. Stew with veal shank. Literally "bone hole" in Italian. Osso = bone. Buco = hole.

115. "Cats" cat Rum __ Tugger: TUM. Got the answer from crosses.

117. NFL ball carriers: RBS (Running Backs). Adrian Peterson is the RB for the Vikings.

118. __ Maria: liqueur: TIA. Coffee liqueur.

119. José 's "today": HOY. How to pronounce HOY?

120. Row: OAR. I was thinking of ADO.

121. Braves' div.: NLE (National League East)

Answer grid.

C.C.

49 comments:

Martin said...

Yes, DIOR is off pattern (because DIOR is two syllables, not one) but so it PURE: you take out the y sound and it becomes per, not poor. Ah, I see what you mean: all except DIOR, PURE, FJORD and BJORN have a yu sound. PURE is pronounced like "pyer" while FJORD and BJORN are pronounced like "fyord" and "byorn".

Ah I see: DIOR, FJORD and BJORN all have /or/ become /yor/. All the others except PURE have /u/ become /yu/. POOR-->PURE is a bit weak. POOR should follow the same pattern as DIOR, FJORD and BJORN except there's no word PIOR (or PJOR).

Anyway, the theme is inserting a /ye/ sound. Think "yeah" meaning "yes".

Martin

Martin said...

If it makes you feel any better, C.C., I think a better theme title would have been "Hell yeah!". I suspect "Hell" might be one of those words that the LAT is not allowed to include in its puzzles though.

Martin

MJ said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

This puzzle was a definite challenge for me, esp. with so many names. After scanning the clues, and having relatively few "I know that for sure" moments, I knew I would have to consult my friend G sooner or later, and opted for sooner. All in all, it took me over two hours to complete the puzzle, although I'll admit that when I google I get distracted and roam about.

Very creative plays on words in the theme fills, yet I still don't understand why it's called "Why, Yes?" Also, many very clever clues. A couple of favorites are 21A "Ahab or his craft" and 98D "Mass communications" (kept thinking "sermons").

Thank you, C.C. for the "welcome back", and for another excellent job of parsing the puzzle.

kazie said...

Dan is definitely up to his old tricks here with lots of names and acronyms. I knew none of the acronyms and only a couple of names (Hugh, Bjorn, Thieu, Getty) Even after getting EMK by playing alphabet soup with red letters, I didn't guess it was Sen. Kennedy, since I've never seen his middle initial. But I was thinking RUT for JAM, and that slowed me down there too. A struggle more than a pleasure today.

I did like "support column" DEAR ABBY and some of the clever theme fills.

I've also never seen AVAIL used for the thing used--always the user. I didn't know what TAHINI was, though I've seen the word before.

Here is Milord sung by Edith Piaf.

Lately we've been getting more Pabst (PBR) at our house since all the recent German visitors decided they liked it best of all the American beers--we figure they should be good judges.

Anonymous said...

We get this puzzle on Saturday morning in The Globe and Mail, Canada's National Newspaper. I used to love doing this puzzle, and could spend a couple of hours in the corner of my chesterfield with the fire going and have a grand afternoon. I never had to go to my computer to look for something. In the last six months, it has changed and it is no longer a pleasure to do, and in fact is more of a frustration than anything else. In fact running my vacuum gives me more pleasure. Some of the clues are just such a stretch. ie 91A oded. While I am familiar with the expression, my mind can only see that as OD'd. And this puzzle "why yes" even with your explanation makes no sense whatsoever.

Perhaps it is my age, (66) and the mind just doesn't think the way it used to. All I do know is that, something that was once such a pleasure is gone.
I am so grateful for your blog as my frustrations are only overnight now, and don't have to last a whole week waiting for the solution.

Tom
Toronto, Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Very challenging puzzle. Thanks for the detailed post.

Carol

Dan Naddor said...

Good morning, all. CC, pronunciation-related puzzles are always tricky, because not everyone pronounces words the same way. Both Rich and I felt DIOR is normally pronounced "Dyor" (1 syllable), not "Dee-or" (2 syllables. And since BJORN and FJORD are completely different words, albeit Scandinavian in origin, there's really no "cheating" or repetitiveness there. "Born" and "Ford" still had to work. BJORN AGAIN was my favorite of the 11 themers.

And Martin, taste in puzzles is subjective, and it's okay with me if not everyone likes my creations. I work long and hard to make the most entertaining puzzles for my audience's pleasure. But bogus criticisms from the peanut gallery just don't fly with me. "PURE" rhymes with POOR, not HER. Check any dictionary. And the theme adds the "Y" sound to various words without it, not just to "OR" words. Look at MILITARY CUE, HUGHS NEXT, etc. And lastly "WHY YES" puns on "Y YES", hinting at adding the Y sound to make new phrases. "Hell Yeah" makes no sense whatsoever as a title, because it neither describes the theme nor provides any clue to the solver.

You might spare yourself some embarrassment by not being the first blogger of the day.

embien said...

22:54 today. Wow, what a tough grind. Anything over 20 minutes on a Sunday is a difficult puzzle for me. Names and pop culture are my Achilles' heels, and this puzzle was slam cram full of such stuff. Clever, but very hard for me.

Even after getting the theme, it was still tough. ANALINE was my last fill and was, quite frankly, a total guess. I wanted MY LORD instead of MILORD and how should I know how to spell DINO's name? DYNO looked at least reasonable. (I was never a Flintstones fan.)

c.c.: I think that PURE SPIRITS maybe translates to poor sports? I've never heard the term poor spirits, at any rate. Hopefully Dan can chime in and clarify a couple of these theme entries.

And that "dress" worn by Lil Kim? I'm not a fan of hip hop, but maybe I should change my ways!

Joyce said...

Nice puzzle today.
Martin - your comments about pure and poor are interesting. My dictionaries show the pronunciation of pure as pyoor. Maybe its a regional difference or a personal preference like some say envelope and some say onvelope.

kazie said...

Embien,
I have often heard of someone being in "poor spirits" as opposed to "high spirits". Maybe that's regional too.

Moon said...

Good Morning!
Wow!..The puzzle was interesting and so are the comments from Dan :)

I got the theme from MILITARY CUE and BJORN AGAIN. But still got stuck at FJORD as I could only think of Fusion...D'OH moment..why didnt the horse clue me to MUSTANG?
TABLE FOR THIEU took the longest as I've never heard of THIEU and didnt know TIA or HOY (red letters helped)

Fav clues: Support column and Mass prayers.

Missed yoga..had a late night celebrating an early diwali (festival of lights in India which is next saturday).
Looking forward to the Colts thrashing the Titans in primetime.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Thanks to Dan Naddor for his explanation. It is true that pronunciation is in the background of the speaker. I've never pronounced DIOR as anything other than Dee-or. I got a little confused, but the rest of the key theme words fell into place with a "Y" sound. Lots of fun.

Martin, OUCH! Sorry, but I've never heard of PURE pronounced as two syllables. For me it has always been Pyur.

As with most Sunday puzzles, there were words I didn't know. I'm usually blinded by science, so ANALINE and ANE was a tough cross. I put in a "T" and had to come here to see the error of my ways. I've never heard of AKELA, but then I've never been a Cub Scout. The perps took care of that, along with ORANT, STOL, GIRARDI and BROCK.

All in all a very nice, challenging Sunday puzzle. Thanks Dan.

Kazie, Thanks for "Milord". Edith Piaf is a favorite.

Embien, I used "Poor spirits" before, as in, "He was really depressed."..."He was really in poor spirits."

hypatia1 said...

Good morning all! (9:56 for me.)
Great write up, CC.
All of a sudden people are complaining that a puzzle is too hard?
Hey, that makes up for the rest of the week!
I have liked all of your puzzles to date, Dan. Don't let the nit pickers get to you. I love puns.
I had to google twice. No red letters. If I had ditched "sermons" sooner, I would shaved off several minutes. As it was, it took me over an hour. Anon 10:44--I am older than you! Be more optimistic!

hypatia1 said...

PS Is this blog going to cover the Burstyn or Regle puzzles for today?

hypatia1 said...

PPS Sorry. Misspelled "Reagle."

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, a great puzzle today, great pun's too! It's always fun to do the puzzle as a team with my wife, she knows things I don't and likewise e.g. I knew STOL this link shows some small planes that can take of and land in less than 100 feet!

Anonymous said...

c.c. only covers puzzles edited by rich norris.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Dan, the only reason I did the LAT today was because it was one of yours. Also did Merl's for the same reason.

I down load the grid at 9pm and down load the solutions the next day after I solve them.

eddyB

Bill G. said...

Kazie said: "A struggle more than a pleasure today."

I struggled more than usual too. Tougher than usual I thought. There were just too many words I didn't know. I never really tumbled to the theme either. Still, some clever cluing and a good start to the day when I finally finished.

The Dodgers looked good, didn't they?

Anonymous said...

Tricky theme title. I did not get it until I came here.

Clear Ayes said...

Tom in Toronto@10:44, I had to smile at our Canadian friend's use of the word "chesterfield". Most Americans are not familiar with this interchangeable Canadian word for couch or sofa. I remember my teen years in London, Ontario and the chesterfield we had in our "front room". When we moved back to California, we put the "couch" in the "living room". I am also reminded that when I was a little girl in Chicago, we sat on the "davenport" in the "parlor".

BTW Tom, there are a lot of us here who are older than 66, myself included. Check out some of the Blog photos, listed under the Olio heading on C.C. main page. You'll see a lot of gray hair and a lot of grandchildren. Your point about your brain not thinking the way it used to is exactly the reason a lot of us have taken up crosswords. "Use it or lose it" is true and the puzzles help to keep those synapses firing in our brains. There are very few of us who can sail through a Sunday puzzle with no stoppers, but the challenge keeps us coming back. So don't give up.

MJ said...

Dan Nador--Thanks for the explanation of "Why Yes?" Now I understand. Very clever! As I'm not a top level solver, I sometimes don't catch on to the themes, but I am learning and improving. I did get the "GO" theme right away on Friday, and thought it was delightful. Two of your puzzles in one week--wow! Thank you.

embien said...

Thanks all. I get "poor spirits" now. I was only thinking of spirits in the sense of alcohol, not mood. Couldn't get that out of my mind, hence my confusion about that theme entry.

hypatia1: The "other" LA Times puzzles are sometimes covered at the "other" blog LA Crossword Confidential. We only discuss the syndicated Sunday version here (which, ironically, doesn't appear in the actual LA Times dead tree edition, but is available online at cruciverb.com). Sunday is the only day of the week that has this bit of disconnect.

Oh, and I wasn't complaining about the level of difficulty, only that all the names, etc. made this puzzle hard for me. I was able to solve the puzzle (hence it wasn't "too difficult", but had a furrowed brow for a while. Anytime I go much over 20 minutes for a Sunday LA Times (22:54 today) means I had a bit of a struggle. The cross of ANALINE and ANE was the only thing remotely unfair today.

Annette said...

I needed a little red-letter help, but the perps and a lot of patience got me through a very enjoyable puzzle today! Many answers made me chuckle once they were filled, such as: BJORN AGAIN, TABLE FOR THIEU, FJORD MUSTANG. There were some aha moments, and many new words for me too.

Lil Kim dresses much more conservatively now that she's a judge on MTV's "Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew".

Anonymous said...

Got about 2/3 the way through, then needed lots of red letter help. Fun puzzle, but I couldn't parse out all of the theme entries. I was understanding the theme, but just couldn't figure out what the related phrases were. Sometimes just doesn't work.

Favorite clues were Column support and Mass Communications.

I believe it is Hugh Laurie, not the other way around.

Lots of names I didn't recognize. But Family Ties was one of my favorites. CC, I can hardly believe you don't like Steve Martin. He is one of my favorites and his "Father of the Bride" movies are my daughters most beloved.

Off to my son's baseball game. BRRRR cold watching that. Hope the Twins can make it through tonight in the dome. Really don't want to see them get swept. Friday night was a heartbreaker. How about those Hawkeye's last night? What a fun one to watch.

Bill G. said...

KQ said: "CC, I can hardly believe you don't like Steve Martin. He is one of my favorites and his "Father of the Bride" movies are my daughters most beloved."

I like him too. Since I had a daughter, I found Father of the Bride hitting too close to home and found it painful in parts. I was a big fan of Parenthood but, as a parent, found parts of it difficult too. Have you ever seen his magic routine called The Great Flydini? Hilarious and clever. You can find it on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I too do my puzzle from the Globe and Mail on Saturday. I still don't get the Y part of the heading. It makes no sense. If I ignored the Y part, the clues were quite fun to figure out.

Thanks for your comments CC, I hate having to wait a week to get the results -- especially this one.

Jenny
Victoria BÇ

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see some posters from Canada and the Globe and Mail Saturday crossword today.
I am a faithful attempter of this puzzle. I envy those posting incredible times. Here I am at least 24 hours since I started, filling in the clues I missed in red pen. About 3/4 completed by me today so that was good. I loved the puns but never really quite understood the connection with the title.
C.C. keep up the good work. I depend on you to help me complete my puzzle each week.

Audrey in Ingersoll, Ontario

Anonymous said...

Columbus
Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
And he said the world was round,
And everybody made an uncomplimentary sound,
But he went and tried to borrow some money from Ferdinand
But Ferdinand said America was a bird in the bush and he'd rather have a berdinand,
But Columbus' brain was fertile, it wasn't arid,
And he remembered that Ferdinand was married,
And he thought, there is no wife like a misunderstood one,
Because if her husband thinks something is a terrible idea she is bound to think it a good one,
So he perfumed his handkerchief with bay rum and citronella,
And he went to see Isabella,
And he looked wonderful but he had never felt sillier,
And she said, I can't place the face but the aroma is familiar,
And Columbus didn't say a word,
All he said was, I am Columbus, the fifteenth-century Admiral Byrd,
And, just as he thought, her disposition was very malleable,
And she said, Here are my jewels, and she wasn't penurious like Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi, she wasn't referring to her children, no, she was referring to her jewels, which were very very valuable,
So Columbus said, Somebody show me the sunset and somebody did and he set sail for it,
And he discovered America and they put him in jail for it,
And the fetters gave him welts,
And they named America after somebody else,
So the sad fate of Columbus ought to be pointed out to every child and every voter,
Because it has a very important moral, which is, Don't be a discoverer, be a promoter.

Ogden Nash

MJ said...

Mr. Naddor-
Sorry about the earlier misspelling of your name. :)

kazie said...

Welcome to the neighbors to our north: Tom, Jenny and Audrey!

If you would like to participate in this blog on a daily basis, you can access the puzzle we discuss at LA Times every day. The various places to find it are listed at the right of the main blog page too.

We are a merry bunch most of the time, with rare exceptions and enjoy new input. Check out some of our profiles to see how diverse a group it is. Most of us are in our 60's but some are older, some younger, and all are young of heart.

JimmyB said...

Embien - I'm impressed. 20 minutes is my goal for a Monday-Wednesday puzzle (using pencil and paper). On Sundays I'm doing well if I'm under an hour, so I was proud of myself today: 50 minutes.

Somehow I got the answers without any Googling but I sure wouldn't have come up with the theme without coming here. I enjoyed it enough just thinking it was themeless. ORANT and ANILINE were new words for me. Loved BJORN AGAIN and FJORD MUSTANG.

Jeannie - Our family enjoyed your meatloaf last night. And my youngest son now realizes he can indeed eat mushrooms and not keel over and die immediately. And yes, Argyle, I made sure I was facing East when I tossed in those "Shiite" mushrooms.

KarinP said...

Even without fully figuring out the theme right away, we were able to solve this puzzle -- and enjoy it -- because the clues were clear precise and clever enough to point a solver in the right direction, with few detours. Catching onto the theme earlier may have shaved some seconds from our solving times, but I think the XW held its own just fine, even without it. We had some AHAs and giggles, and we all will remember this as a good way to start the day.

How many constuctors can work that kind of magic? Mr Naddor's creations are tough but welcome anytime. I liked 'Revolving Dior' and 'Organic Feud' very much and was unsure of how to spell out 'Assisi' even having visited Pergia and eaten such good meals in that region.

And we raised coffee mugs to CC for spelling Mr Borg's first name right. It means 'bear' in Swedish and rhymes with 'yearn' in my first tongue but with 'torn' in my adopted language. PJB of Chicago is another one of my 'adoptees', so to speak. I came to Chicago to watch him perform a comedy sketch along with his co-writer who happens to be my progeny. They are very funny yet it's difficulty to keep up with them ! Both speak decent Swedish -- one for obvious reasons, the other for reasons no one really can be sure of. Do visit Chicago and watch them if you can! Funnier than people on HBO. Both are excellent performing solo, but together they stand out even more.

PJB wants his phone -- which I have been playing with -- back now, so thanks for letting me comment.

PJB-Chicago said...

We have NO control over what that lady writes, says, or does but she never fails to bring out the best in other people or to make a long weekend into an adventure! Woman knows how to cook up a storm & there's no way to keep up with how fast her brain works. She attracts groupies everywhere she goes.
She knew LIL KIM and (SALT &) PEPA but I sure didn't. My only redemption was knowing ESSENE and KUP, whose column ran for years in the non-Tribune paper (Chicago Sun Times) here. The Essenes are sometimes referred to as "the desert fathers" and some followers of apocryphal gospels/literature have speculated that the so-called "lost years" of Jesus may have been spent under their tutelage. I don't know much more than that about them or what historical record they may have left behind.
ORANT was a stumbling block, and I never remember movie titles or baseball people, but it felt like the puzzle was nicely crafted and neither too hard too easy. Solving with other people does take a little getting used to. We all have our own methods. And some people think outloud!

Welcome new people!
Nice to see neighbors from the North (O Canada).

I owe belated thanks for kind words about my photos. Posting them was a HUGE step for me.

Once KP leaves town, I will be back here and able to type up much-deserved shoutouts to my puzzlefriends. Meanwhile, I am just barely keeping up with her but enjoying every minute!

Annette said...

To Audrey, In Ingersoll: Don't worry, there are all levels of puzzle solvers here, and everybody's very kind and non-competetive about their abilities. As far as I've noticed, the times people post are in respect to their own past times, not in comparison to others.

What's especially nice is that everyone's more than willing to share their knowledge and help anyone who asks. Having people from such varied backgrounds means there's always at least one person who can explain the intricacies of a clue from their area of expertise.

At times, I come up with a fill based on the perps or a guess, but don't bother to google it to understand the clue. So when someone else takes the time to do it and share their knowledge or findings, I get to learn something I didn't have the time or think I was interested in enough to search out at first.

You'll see that even the best have their achille's heel in some subjects.

Bill G. said...

We had a little unwanted excitement just now. Barbara smelled smoke, looked out back and saw a small fire in the brush on the other side of our fence. It's part of some vacant land in the school area behind our house. Barbara yelled out and saw some kids run away. We called 911 and the police and fire departments came. All taken care of now.

That area is fenced in and remote so nobody pays it much attention except for kids looking for mischief.

Anonymous said...

Embien
I am amazed that this could ever be done in 20 minutes!
It takes me the whole afternoon (along side football, of course, as is my wifely duty!) to struggle through them. I get them with no internet help but it takes forever! Have you been doing this long or are you just really clever and really young? (By which I mean no disrespect.....)
Beth

Bill G. said...

Embien said: "And that "dress" worn by Lil Kim? I'm not a fan of hip hop, but maybe I should change my ways!"

Me too. I hope she didn't pay full price.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I always thought PURE rhymed with "fewer"........
Beth

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Welcome to our new visitors. Please stay and join the fun.

We went to T Town today, and I found Dan's puzzle in the Blade. I never expect to finish a Sunday puzzle, so I wasn't let down by having to cheat a bit on this one. Puzzle was on Pg 9, the solved grid on Pg 11. Much more convenient than all that tedious G-spotting.

The Blade prints the puzzle title on Sunday, so I had "Why, Yes!" staring me in the face, and still couldn't figure out the theme. I even parsed 3D as BABY BEAU TIES (I am not making this up) which was profoundly unhelpful.

On a personal note, my ULNAS are fine, but I have a problem with my right radius. Hope it's not trombone elbow. Anyway, I'm taking it the the bone ALIGNER tomorrow.

Cheers!
JzB the AWRY trombonist

Valerie said...

I enjoyed this puzzle immensely. I found it challenging but was eventually able to get it all although I didn't catch on to the theme until I came here.

I am also in Victoria, BC like Jenny but do the puzzle in the local Sunday paper. I have been reading the blog regularly on Sundays but don't comment very often since it's so late by the time I get to the puzzle that I figure there's no one around any more!

Valerie

Martin said...

Dan,

I'm not embarassed at all. PURE definately does not rhyme with DIOR, which is a French name and is definitely two syllables. Think Dion as in Celine Dion. Ce-line Di-on. So these weren't "bogus criticisms". That being said, I'm sorry if you were offended: I realise that a lot of work went into this puzzle.

Did you ever consider DON --> DION by the way? I wonder what theme answers you rejected because they didn't fit.

Martin

Crockett1947 said...

@valerie Never fear, there's usually some of the west coast crew still up and many of us read the late night posts before going to the new post in the morning. Jump right in. You can also get the daily puzzle online.

Cheers!

Christina said...

I'm another Globe & Mailer, in Vancouver, BC. Thank goodness for this blog. It is infinitely frustrating on the weeks we don't end up with the same puzzle as you.

We managed to solve today's with no cheating (or "help," as we prefer to call it), but also took quite a while to figure out the theme. I missed that PURE SPIRITS even was a themed clue -- I think this one is so tricky because of regional differences in pronunciation. For me, "poor" is pronounced the same as "pore," and "pure" rhymes with "her," so it's definitely not a match to the theme. I've certainly heard others pronounce poor and pure in ways that would work for the theme -- just not this far west.

Cheers,
Christina
Vancouver, BC

Montserrat said...

there's an error in the clue for 67 down. Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was born on 1932 not 1962. That make quite difficult to come up with the correct initials.

C. C. said...

Montserrat,
It's not an error. Edward Kennedy became a senator in 1963.

Christina et al,
Thanks for the comments. Hope to see you all next Sunday.

Amanda said...

I get this puzzle in the Chicago Trib on Sunday, along with 2 others -- I generally save this one for last because I enjoy it most.

In other words, I just finished it. Thought I'd comment because I'm grateful for this blog -- I reach the very end and have a few I know I won't get (intersections of 2 clues with which I'm totally unfamiliar).

Personally I loved this theme. It took a few of the themed clues before I really understood it, but I enjoyed that the title was a pun to go along with the rather pun-y clues. I get that pronunciation can affect it but even then, knowing the idea of the theme and using the clues, only "Hughs next" got me. Because I thought Mr. Laurie was "after me" as in stalking me.

Thanks for the help!

RussT said...

I'm new. Hope to be an active participant.

C. C. said...

Hi RussT,
Welcome! I look forward to frequent comments from you.