Dec 12, 2009

Saturday December 12, 2009 Doug Peterson

Theme: None

Total blocks: 30

Total words: 72

A smooth pangram. All 26 letters are used at least once.

The puzzle is anchored by two 15-letter entries intersecting each other right in the middle of the grid:

36A. Gets off suddenly: QUITS COLD TURKEY. Sparkling answer.

8D. "A Fish Called Wanda," e.g.: SCREWBALL COMEDY. I was not clear about the exact definition of the genre. Wikipedia cited that film critic Andrew Sarris defined the screwball comedy as "a sex comedy without the sex". No wonder screwball.

Quite a few great multiple-word entries. Total 11 if I counted correctly. My favorite is DIRTY JOKES (12D. Bar exchanges, perhaps).


1. It provides more details: ZOOM LENS. Was picturing the Secret Service details. Not camera. Scrabbly start.

9. Raid target: FRIDGE. Again, the bug killer Raid popped into my mind.

15. Where many scenes occur: IN PUBLIC. Wanted ON STAGE.

16. Rich: MONIED

17. Rebounds from: GETS OVER. Sad to hear that Tiger wants to take "an indefinite break" from golf. Hope he rebounds as quickly as Kobe Bryant did.

18. Gaped: STARED

19. Uniform band: SASH

20. Nails down, as a victory: ICES. Wanted ACES.

22. Nervous: ANTSY

23. '90s-'00s sitcom star: DREW CAREY. The sitcom here refers to "The Drew Carey Show" I presume.

25. Pulpy fruit: PAPAYA. Delicious. I love tropical fruits.

29. Handle with care: BABY

30. Rattle: JAR

33. "As if __!": I CARE. And I DUNNO (55A. Words spoken with a shrug).

34. Blush opposite: PALE

35. Botanical trunk: BOLE. Oh, did not know tree trunk has a special name.

39. Largish pottery pieces: URNS. Here is the Greek urn at Louvre. I seem to remember it depicts Dionysus drinking.

40. "__ Well ...": ALL'S. Shakespeare's "All's Well That Ends Well".

41. Name on a combine: DEERE. Just had TORO the other day. Fair & Balanced coverage.

43. Govt. money insurer: FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

44. Salutes with words: TOASTS

45. Pop or blow: BURST OPEN. Awesome entry.

48. Friend of Spanky: DARLA. No idea. She's from "Our Gang".

50. Qatari big shot: EMIR

51. Ore carrier: TRAM. Mining accidents occur too often in China.

57. It can involve dumbbells and jerks: EXERCISE. Weight-lifting.

59. "High Fidelity" star John: CUSACK. I love his "Say Anything..." (with Ione Skye). "Eight Men Out" is great too, one of my favorite baseball movies.

60. Sabotages: DISABLES. Kazie linked a sabot song some time ago. Sabotage is rooted in the French peasant shoe sabot.

61. Giggled: TE-HEED

62. "I'll bet!": YEAH, YEAH. I like the answer.


1. Turns on a jagged course: ZIGS

2. Fit to serve: ONE-A

3. Withdraws, with "out": OPTS. Oh...

4. Cornmeal concoction: MUSH. Mine was PONE.

5. Wall St. deal: LBO (Leveraged buyout)

6. "__ Madigan": 1967 Swedish film: ELVIRA. No idea. Sounds sad.

7. Antigone, to Creon: NIECE. Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and his mother. Creon is her uncle. Got me.

9. Radio settings: FMS

10D. __ Club: ROTARY. And EDDY (14D. 10-Down current). I was confused for a while because I was trying to connect EDDY with ROTARY Club rather than ROTARY current.

11. Without substance: INANE. To me, inane means "without sense".

13. Heist units: GEES. Slang for "thousands". And ABET (24D. Be partly responsible for a holdup).

21. Really burns: SCALDS

23. Adjusts shades, in a way: DYES

25. Excite: PIQUE. Did not come to me readily.

26. Honda high-end brand: ACURA. Like Toyota's Lexus.

27. Roller alternative: PAINT BRUSH. What's the color of your bedroom wall?

28. Liberal group?: ARTS. D'oh! Liberal Arts.

32. Alfonso XII and XIII: REYES. Spanish for "kings". Singular is REY.

34. Not at all boorish: POLITE. Thought of GENTLE first.

35. City north of Anaheim: BREA. Was used to the "La Brea Tar Pits" clue. Did not know its exact location.

37. Bounders: CADS. Bounder is a new word to me.

38. Thick Japanese soup noodle: UDON. My favorite is Seafood Udon.

43. Seven Years' War participant: FRANCE. No idea. Have never heard of Seven Years' War. It happened in 18th century. I was not there.

44. "The Pride of the Yankees" costar Wright: TERESA. Lou Gehrig's wife in the movie. I could only remember Gary Cooper. Did you cry watching the movie? I did. Doug Peterson is a Yankees fan.

46. They parallel radii: ULNAE. I like the radii & ulnae consistency. The plurals could also be radiuses and ulnas.

47. Folklore trickster: PIXIE. The Norse trickster god is LOKI.

48. Vol. on a stand, maybe: DICT (Dictionary)

49. Together, on a score: A DUE

51. Beriyo Smoothie server: TCBY. Have never had Beriyo Smoothie. What does Beriyo mean?

52. Get to in a bad way: RILE

53. Between ports: ASEA. AT SEA too.

56. Didn't deny: OK'D.

58. Backing cry: RAH. In the stadium. Excellent clue.

Answer grid.

Zai jian!



Anonymous said...

Least enjoyable one I've done in awhile

Argyle said...

Good Morning, C.C.

I was vertically challenged today; I stared at 10D

for the longest time untill I wrote it out, _ _TARY and recognized it immediately.

White walls in my bedroom, if they are a shade of white, I don't know. Dingy, maybe?

Anonymous said...

Oh oh I am falling in love with crossword again. Thanks, Doug Peterson. Love DIRTYJOKES and ZOOMLENS.

tfrank said...

Good morning, C.C. and all,

This was a pretty good workout for me this morning. My time was 39 minutes online with lots of red letter and perp help. All in all, a very enjoyable way to start the day.

I am finding that after I solve a hard puzzle, I review all the answers and say, "That really was not so bad". I think that this is a tribute to the constructor, in a way. His job, after all, is to fool and deceive us, to lay false trails, and to make us think. Thanks, Doug, for your efforts.

Have a good weekend everybody.

Mainiac said...

Good Morning All,

A 42 minute on line slog for me today. Just couldn't sync up with Peterson's cluing until I got the big crossing answers, Then things started to fill in.

I normally would've quit because I can't sit still this long but the wind is blowing and I'm not motivated to gear up and get outside. The youngest is also ailing a bit today so I'm tending to him while Mom is shopping and getting her hair done.

All right, time to motivate!

Hope everyone has a great day!

cationic said...

Thank you for your blog, I enjoy reading it. Two minor comments:

Tiger's break is "indefinite", not "infinite". And it is Liberal Arts, not Literal Arts.

Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….anyhow thanks for the good read!

Annette said...

Good morning, all!

61D TE-HEED I'm used to seeing this spelled as TEEHEED

My bedroom wall is yellow.

Argyle, I have the same problem with vertical clues sometimes!

Having trouble getting motivated to get out there and fight the crowds...

Anonymous said...

Too many clues could be misconstrued. "Gets off suddenly" (36a) made me think of a train or trolley or truck. Too hazy for me. (8d) "Screwball comedy" was way too arbitrary. Filling around did not help. I know Saturdays are tough puzzles but this was very frustrating, not fun!

MJ said...

Good morning, C.C., and all,

What a great puzzle by Doug Peterson! Many fresh, clever clues. A couple of favorites were 42A: "Fast no more" and 9A: "Raid target". That one had me thinking along the lines of bug spray, as C.C. did, and also a police drug bust. Had to smile when I finally got FRIDGE.

The west half came together fairly easily for me today, but I struggled in the east. Had the IR in 12D and penciled in fIRstnames, which completely stalled any further efforts in the area. It wasn't until I filled in ABET and UDON that I got the "aha" on 36A QUITS COLD TURKEY, erased 12D and was able to slowly conquer the east.

Painted bedroom walls a darkish tan this summer (Behr paint's "Sandpoint"), the first time I've ever varied from some shade of off-white. With light colored trim and window treatment, and light colored quilt on the bed, I'm enjoying the change.

C.C.- La Brea Tar Pits are located in W. Los Angeles. The city of Brea is in N. Orange County, about 30 miles SE of LB Tar Pits. I live in OC and still needed perp help to think of a four letter city N. of Anaheim. Finally got it after getting the _RE_. Can't imagine that anyone who hasn't spent time in SoCal would know BREA.

Hej då!

Anonymous said...

How is Rotary associated with eddy cuurrents?

Bill G. said...

Eddyies are little currents that go in circles. So they are rotary but nothing to do with the Rotary Club. Confused me too.

Bill G. said...

Clever and difficult puzzle. As always, I would have found it more enjoyable with a theme.

What is the history of LAT puzzles not having a theme on Saturday? Who originally came to that decision and why?

~ Bill

DCannon said...

The hardest we have had in a long while. Without Mr. G, I would have died before finishing this one. Part of my problem in NE was that I had "loaded" for rich and didn't get "monied" until very late. I quit smoking cold turkey in 1979, so that should have been a given for me, but it wasn't; nothing was a 'given' today. I thought of getting bucked off a horse, getting off a train, etc. Raid target finally became "bridge" then "fridge." Filled in several correctly on the first pass, but subsequent errors caused me to erase those only to refill them later.

I don't know how long it would have taken if I had timed it. I had several lengthy interruptions.

My bedroom walls are also yellow. It is my favorite color and I have a lot of it inside and outside of this house.

I need to get off this computer so hubby can install Windows 7. He is my computer guru.


Bob said...

Took 45 minutes--about twice as long as normal--with no help of any kind. The only one I never fully understood was 48 DOWN. Didn't think of DICTIONARY, but got it anyway. A pretty good mental morning workout.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Except for Mondays and maybe an occasional Tuesday, I never try a straight Across or Down "all the way through" challenge. I bounce around to find footholds wherever I can.

Saturdays are ofter energetic in that regard. After (6D)ELVIRA, I went right to (8D) and got SCREEN---COMEDY. I just couldn't come up with a three letter word or ending for SCREEN. I got DREW CAREY and it was easy to go back and correct to SCREWBALL. After a few more jumps I had QUITS COLD TURKEY and that gave me a great anchor for the rest of the puzzle.

There was so much terrific fill here. I loved DIRTY JOKES and PAINT BRUSH. The toughest one for me was BURST OPEN.

The few abbreviations, LBO, FMS and FDIC were pretty common ones. There was no spelling out of letters. That should please Jazzbumpa.

I second tfrank's comment about the job of the constructor. There were lots of red herrings today that furnished lots of "Aha" moments. My favorites were "Where many scenes occur" for IN PUBLIC and "Raid target" for FRIDGE. I thought Doug Peterson did a great job on this one.

Sandy Nixon said...

Brea is in Orange County. The La Brea tarpits are in La, they are completely unrelated. Brea is Spanish for tar.

Spitzboov said...

Well stated tfrank about the constructor's task. My sentiments, too.

Couldnt get traction anywhere at first but then it gradually came together. No strike throughs. Went to IMDB to get Ms. Wright's first name, TERESA.

Cross clue for EDDY/ROTARY was extremely clever. Thought clue for RAH was amorphous or bland, but perps helped.

Sunny but cold here. Wind gradually dieing down.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Lemonade714 said...

This was a an excellent puzzle, exactly what crosswords are all about; a little deception, a little trivia and a little knowledge of current culture. SCREWBALLCOMEDY is a term in common use in advertising and promotion.

Everyone who enjoyed this seems to be picking up on the same fill, DIRTY JOKES, ZOOM LENS. Raid target: FRIDGE. "I'll bet!": YEAH, YEAH. Doug also managed to stay away from old tired clues, and a pangram to boot. Congratulations, an excellent saturday.

Warren said...

HI C.C. & gang, we were rushed for time this AM so I went online to check our guesses and my wife finished it in pencil. We're having a 3 day pottery and jam sale this weekend.

C.C. a new Chinese saying everyday or?
is it: zai jian "byebye in chinese"?

Robin said...

Ni hao C.C. and all.

This was a fun puzzle for me but challenging just the same. I had to come back to it several times.

My bedroom is "ivory" probably the most overused color known!

Who will win the Heisman? Is any one having problems with Windows 7?

zai jian

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I missed quite a few as I do what I can and then come here. Plus I have to start Christmas shopping.
Speaking of which, you who are in cold climates may appreciate the request from my son and d-i-l who live in Chisago City (MN). They want car seat covers that can plug into the cig. lighter. It got a laugh from me and DH in that we live in Naples, FL and it's 80 now.
Just bought a new car and could have had heated seats, but didn't think it was needed here.

I am still chortling over Dennis and Buckeye's conversations day before yesterday. Thanks.


Dennis said...

No time for puzzle comments now, other than to say it was just OUTSTANDING!

Sallie, hang on to that 80 degree weather -- 12 and a wakeup.

Anonymous said...

@Jerome, what's your interpretation on Zai Jian?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a difficult one this am. I am still tired from last weeks headache encounters, so not thinking quite so sharp it seems. I removed by HRT patch too, so sudden menopause might also be a cause.

I had no idea on BOLE, BREA, GEES, EDDY and UDON. Got some red letter help and muddled through it. I agree with tfrank though, once you see the answers you appreciate the clues. What a Saturday should be in my mind. Good clueing, scrabbly and a puzzle that makes you think. There is more reward at the end.

My bedroom is 70's retro gold. When we were selecting colors my hubby said "If we are going to make it gold, make it really gold then". So we did. After about 5 years, I am ready for a change though. We have lots of colored walls in our house.

I googled Beriyo and it looks like it is just the name TCBY gave to their smoothies. They sound good.

Sallie, my sons had a swim meet in Chisago Lakes on Thursday and will have another next month. This was the first time I passed on going as it is almost an hour from our house, but I have been there many times to watch them. You son needs those seat heaters. We have them on all our cars and they are a godsend here. Don't know how I did without.

MR ED said...

Most women cry at sad movies C.C., so don't feel bad.

Terrible choice of words for 36A clue.

Dennis said...

I kinda liked the clue for 36A; I was able to fit 'premature' in the answer, but not enough room for the rest...

PJB-Chicago said...

What a smart, clever and tough puzzle. Took a LOONG time to find my footing, and had to re-visit all sectors of the grid to clean up some wrong guesses.

The longer answers paved the way to get the rest of the grid. Had to find ELVIRA Madigan and verify Antigone's family structure on Google.

Fave answers/clues: DIRTY JOKES, FRIDGE (someone shoud invent a timelock like they have on safes to prevent people from snacking after say, 10 p.m.!). Also, liked seeing DARLA, PIQUE (often
have seen it confused with "peak"), and CUSACK. (Both John and Joan hail from Chicagoland and have been in SCREWBALL comedies.)

I say a respectfully muffled "boo hiss" on TEHEED as a verb and as a variant spelling. A DUE was a long shot guess, but I got it. "ADU E" made no sense!

All in all a very satisfying solve from Mr. Peterson. Very clear blogging by CC: you make so many obeservations that I sure would never think of

p.s. My walls are whiteish now but soon to have a very light blue/gray wash over them. Maybe.

Clear Ayes said...

Bedroom color is a light grayish mauve. It started out as a brighter lilac, but when I asked one of our friends what he thought of it, his first answer was "Supah Flyyy!!". Since I'm not in the bordello business, I figured I'd better tone it down. I had enough paint left over to add a quart of white and a quart of light gray. It's lovely now, but I could never duplicate it. (The less "hmmm....exciting" color avoids any of the problems that Dennis seems to have in mind with the 36A clue.)

eddyB said...

Hello all.

All is well in the world. Navy beat Army and the Plebes can
Stand Down".


Robin said...

I break for the 7th fleet EddyB......Go Navy!

carol said...

Wow, what a puzzle and what DF fodder!!

LMAO at the remark Dennis made about 36A...if you GET OFF SUDDENLY it could lead to POP AND BLOW and even involve a scene IN PUBLIC - talk about a SCREW BALL COMEDY. One could make a DIRTY JOKE of the whole thing...hope nobody has/had a ZOOM LENS!

Dennis said...

All is well in the world. Navy beat Army and the Plebes can
Stand Down".

And a future Marine scored the winning TD. Gotta love it.

Lemonade714 said...

Carol, you are amazing; Dennis you are a naughty boy!

eddyB said...

Navy sub fleet will still have a broom attached the the mast.


MR ED said...

Dennis, you are very astute.

carol, very clever post. I like how you tied all the answers together .

Oh, by the way, 'HAPPY HANNUKA' to all my Jewish friends. I understand you get a present every day for 8 days. That's great.

Anonymous said...

DIRTY JOKES & Beer is a book written by Drew Carey.

wonder if the constructor noticed the coincidence?

Tim Tebow was robbed again!
He would've been in an unique position if he had won only Archie Griffin from Ohio State has won twice

Chickie said...

Hello All--I had the same problems as almost everyone else. T-Frank, a great take on a constructor's clues and the aha moments we have when we finally get "it".

This was a hard puzzle for me again today, but I enjoyed getting most of it on my own. It is ALWAYS a learning experience and that is one of the reasons I do crosswords.

Adjusts shades in a way--dyes was one of my favorite clues today.

Even after Googling Antigone, to Creon, I didn't have niece until the very end.

Happy Channukah to you out there who celebrate this Festival of Lights.

My bedroom wall is wallpapered with Victorian roses, as our furniture is antique Victorian from about 1880's. with marble tops on the dressers and nightstands. We had to keep to the theme-right?

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone. We have rain and more rain here, but it is SO needed after three years of drought.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Tfrank is right. And so is C.A. - I liked this puzzle a lot.

I'm guessing "Beriyo" means berries and yogurt.

Couldn't get the NE corner, though. Had ANTSY, ROTARY, and STARED, but couldn't bring it in. I feel really bad about missing DIRTY JOKE. Wanted some kind of bug for Raid target.

A good puzzle, but not perfect.

FM'S for "radio settings" is just dismal.

TEHEED is a mis-spelt stretch.

Together, on a score is TUTTI. I have no idea what the hell A DUE is supposed to be.

Though I CARE, it's about time I GETS OVER these defects, and stop making a scene IN PUBLIC.

Pistons won tonight, Wings just pulled one out in O/T. We saw three granddaughters dancing in the Nutcracker tonight. It's been a good night.

JzB the not perfect trombonist

Anonymous said...

This was not a fabulous puzzle. It was highly obscure and not a challenge so much as a sheer guessing game. Many clues made no sense. Taheed? Give me a break. Make it more intriquing, please!

Anonymous said...

Jazzbumpa said:

Though I CARE, it's about time I GETS OVER these defects, and stop making a scene IN PUBLIC.

AMEN to that!!!