Apr 11, 2010

Sunday April 11, 2010 Tom Heilman

Theme: The Last Shall Be First - Common words/phrases with the component word order reversed.

23A. Hayride musical group?: WAGON BAND. Bandwagon.

25A. Results of a burglar's bumps and bruises?: TAKING PAINS. Painstaking. Someone please explains the clue/answer rationale to me. Why "burglar"?

38A. Bleating art?: GOATSCAPE. Scapegoat. Goatscape is like landscape I suppose, at least, in the Windhover Farm.

42A. Brief film on kneading and baking?: BREAD SHORT. Shortbread.

61A. Contest related to the knife toss?: FORK PITCH. Pitchfork. Hello, Iowa!

78A. Violinist who loves the spotlight?: STRING HAM. Hamstring. My favorite theme entry.

96A. Handy lint-removing tool?: POCKET PICK. Pickpocket.

98A. Primitive projectile that's like new?: MINT SPEAR. Spearmint.

118A. Disaster at a Ritz factory?: CRACKER FIRE. Firecracker. Very evocative.

120A. Astronaut's alien squeeze?: MOON HONEY. Honeymoon. But there's no life on the Moon, where does the astronaut get the squeeze?

All the base phrases are simple and solid. I intuited the gimmick immediately with the rather self-revealing puzzle title. Then the second theme entry quickly confirmed my instinct. I picture today's constructor Tom Heilman is fun to be around, from the way he clued his theme answers alone.

Also loved his clue for FRI (119D. Time assoc. with a common superstition). Friday the 13th. Disliked the clue for YOS (77D. Informal his). The "his" in the clue is a plural of hi, isn't it?


1. Prayer start: LORD. Crossing DOOMSDAY (4D. End of the world).

5. Assertive comeback: AM SO

9. Sir Toby of "Twelfth Night": BELCH. Shakespeare's stuff often stumps me.

14. Done with: RID OF

19. 1970 Neil Young protest song: OHIO

20. Spa option: PEEL. Honey & sea salt exfoliates rather well.

21. Donovan who played Amber in "Clueless": ELISA. Total stranger to me.

22. January, in Juárez: ENERO

27. Choice: PRIMO. I was thinking of noun "choice".

28. "The Thieving Magpie" composer: ROSSINI

30. Jumpers, e.g.: DRESSES

31. "Thou shouldst not have been old till thou __ been wise": "King Lear": HADST

32. Like a hoops shot: ARCED

33. Sexually attractive: NUBILE. One of Buckeye's favorite words.

35. Justice Dept. org.: DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)

37. Valuable deposit: ORE

47. "Full Metal Jacket" gp.: USMC (United States Marine Corps). Gimme for Dennis/Argyle. I've never seen "Full Metal Jacket".

48. __ populi: VOX. The popular opinion. Vox = Voice.

49. Not easy to hang onto: EELY

50. Some have prizes inside: CEREALS. I'll go nuts for those small bobblehead promotions.

52. "Alrighty then": OKEY DOKE

56. Rock genre: EMO

57. Director Vittorio De __: SICA. I've yet to see his "The Bicycle Thief".

58. Matched, as a bet: SEEN. Keep forgetting the card bet meaning of "see".

60. Parroted a Persian: MEOWED. Cat.

64. Afternoon celeb: SOAP STAR

67. Ruin: SPOIL

68. Hipbone prefix: ILIO. The hip bone is ILIA.

70. Trim: NEAT

71. Carpentry files: RASPS

75. Early development: NASCENCY

80. Phrase on a mailing label: SEND TO

83. Semi-convertible auto roof: T-TOP

85. Vermilion and cardinal: REDS

87. Fund source: TREASURY

90. Unlike the life of the party: ASOCIAL

92. __ Blair: George Orwell's birth name: ERIC. Unknown to me.

93. Classified ad letters: EEO. And TYPE (129. Classification).

94. Boss: HEAD

102. Covert __: spy missions: OPS

103. Soft & __: DRI

104. Beat: RHYTHM. Nice strings of consonants.

105. Prepare, as merchandise for a sale: RETAG

108. Cruise, for one: ACTOR. Tom Cruise.

112. Tenor Pavarotti: LUCIANO. Italians are so expressive.

115. Impose: OBTRUDE. With "upon".

117. Joe of "Hill Street Blues": SPANO. He's in "NYPD Blue" also.

122. German thanks: DANKE. And ERDE (124. German earth). For Kazie.

123. Like the verbs "cast" and "cost": Abbr.: IRREG. Chinese verbs have no past tense.

125. Part of NEA: Abbr.: EDUC

126. Dispatches, as a dragon: SLAYS. Dispatch = Kill.

127. 1980s-'90s Olds: CIERA. Cutlass Ciera. Stumped me.

128. Certain title: DEED


1. Like acidic detergents: LOW PH. Got me.

2. "BUtterfield 8" novelist: O'HARA (John). I've never heard of the book (film). Why is U capitalized?

3. Stiff: RIGID

5. LAPD broadcast: APB

6. Anne of "Awakenings": MEARA. Rich picked "Awakening" for alliteration purpose.

7. Hombre's address: SENOR

8. It's often hard to settle: OLD SCORE. Great clue.

9. Happen: BETIDE

10. Vigor: ELAN

11. Preferences: LIKINGS

12. Drama set in Vegas: CSI

13. Return, as graded papers: HAND BACK. Can't wait for Lois to return.

14. Staves off: REPELS

15. "Hang on!": IN A SEC

16. Agnus __: Mass prayers: DEIS. Agnus Dei = Lamb of God. Uncommon to see its plural form.

17. D-day invasion river: ORNE. The Normandy river.

18. Composer Lukas: FOSS. First encounter with this guy.

24. Wrote down: NOTED

26. Mettle: GRIT

29. Perfect Sleepers, e.g.: SERTAS

34. Man of Messina: UOMO. Italian for "man". I was at sea. Messina is a seaport in NE Sicily. Alliteration again.

36. Computer data acronym: ASCII

39. State purposefully: AVOW

40. Nudge: POKE

41. Left one's mark on: EX'ED. My grandma did not read.

44. Ecuadoran province named for its gold production: EL ORO. Literally "the gold". I've never heard of it before. Makes perfect sense.

45. Feverish: HECTIC

46. Divine counselor: ORACLE

47. Apply to: USE ON

51. Bandleader Brown: LES

53. 911 respondent: EMT

54. Has strong desires: YEARNS

55. Biker's headgear, perhaps: DORAG

57. Water balloon impact sounds: SPLATS

59. Rob Roy refusals: NAES. Scotish for "no".

62. In a manner of speaking, slangily: KINDA. Sorta.

63. Suggestion: HINT

65. "The Alamo" co-star Jason __: PATRIC. Another foreign name to me. The name is crying for K.

66. Unbroken sequence: STREAK

69. Oars in a quad scull, e.g.: OCTAD. Two oars for each of the four rowers then.

72. Lewis with Lamb Chop: SHARI

73. Go to pieces: PANIC. "Go to pieces" is a new idiom to me also.

74. Slap: SMACK

76. Insignificant amount: SOU. Not worth a sou.

79. Whittled on the porch, say: IDLED

80. Restrain: STEM

81. "Oh the joys that came ... __ was old!": Coleridge: ERE I. Got it from crosses.

82. Night light: NEON. Rhyme.

84. Corny gadget?: POPPER. Oh, popcorn.

88. Bombast: RHETORIC

89. "Righto": YEAH

91. Like some ball attendees: COSTUMED

92. Milton or Virgil: EPIC POET

95. Large wardrobe: ARMOIRE

97. Criticize severely: TRASH

99. Devious: TRICKY

100. Jiggles: SHAKES

101. Joe __, confrontational '50s-'60s talk show host: PYNE. No idea. Hosts are not supposed to be confrontational.

102. Former Sandinista leader: ORTEGA (Daniel). President of Nicaragua. I was ignorant of the Sandinista Party.

106. Dig deeply?: ADORE. I dig this clue.

107. Glittery rock: GEODE

109. Frequent Cronyn co-star: TANDY(Jessica). Hume Cronyn was her husband.

110. Outdo: ONE-UP

111. Automaker Henry: ROYCE. Founder of Rolls-Royce.

112. Some time displays, briefly: LCDS

113. River through Magnitogorsk: URAL. The Europe/Asia boundary river.

114. Site of Jesus' first miracle: CANA. Where Jesus turned water to wine.

116. Fox's title: BR'ER. Uncle Remus tales.

121. Novelist Buntline: NED

Answer grid.



Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and all. This was not one of my favorite Sunday puzzles. After getting BREAD SHORT (my first theme clue), I realized that I was looking for a common two-word phrase in reverse. Still ...

The "Burglar" is clued in TAKING PAINS because burglars take things from people.

I wanted MOON instead of NEON for Night Light (But that was before I figured out MOON HONEY.)

We had EMO (Rock Genre) just last week. I got me the first go-round, but not today.

QOD: Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness. ~ Sacha Guitry

windhover said...

Good Morning CC,
A good question concerning BUtterfield8. Probablyost of our bloggers know this, because as a group, we are old. In the early (but not the earliest) days of telephone service in the US, when it became necessary to lengthen telephone numbers from the previous 4 digit number to seven, the added three number "prefix" was just too
much for the simple minded people of that time to remember. So the telephone gods devised a system of words whose first two letters corresponded to the numbers on the dial pad. Two of the prefix names where I lived were PLeasant (759) and LOgan (564). Of course, people are so much smarter these days, so these memory-jogging devices are no longer needed.

Anonymous said...

Is ZB a code name for CC?

Argyle said...


Didn't care much for today's slog.

13D could be considered a bonus theme: HAND BACK - BACKHAND

Burglars often work in the dark and therefore prone to bump into things, giving them pains.

Anon - ZB, I believe, are C.C.'s initials. No code.

Our phone number was NF8-8***. No idea what, if anything, the NF stood for: Nubile Farmers?

Lemonade714 said...

Like many Sundays, a slog with just lots of work to finish. The theme was cute and well executed; I particularly liked GOATSCAPE and CRACKER FIRE. I did not remember the title of the Neil Young protest song OHIO about the Kent State shootings, but I do remember the event, which was during my college experience. I enjoy Shakespeare but did not recall SIR TOBY BELCH , and even with my Latin background, I found :Early development: NASCENCY, elusive. I thought Prepare, as merchandise for a sale: RETAG, was unfair, as why are we “re” anything? Did not recall ERIC BLAIR being ORWELL’s name; thought 1980s-'90s Olds: CIERA was really obscure. I did have a fond memory of both reading O’HARA’s books, and of ELIZABETH TAYLOR who won an Oscar for her role as the slutty woman live in society. I enjoyed Hombre's address: SENOR, but thought despite the Shakespeare clues, Happen: BETIDE is hardly in the language now. Had no clue about Lukas: FOSS , but having read about him, he seems worth learning about. Always thought the big tough bikers and their DO RAGS looked silly, but I guess it keeps the sweat from their eyes. Before television made the news, there was JOE PYNE an acerbic, opinionated man.

Like I said, always a lot going on in a Sunday puzzle; take your time, relax and enjoy the ride. I t may be bumpy but there is much to see.

Our number was WAlnut 8-5384

Al said...

This took me a really long time, but after walking away and coming back a couple of times, I did manage to finally get it with no lookups or helper letters. So many clues needed a lot of perp letters to see where they were heading, and the perps needed perps, too. Also of all the names in this puzzle, 10 of them had to be filled in by the perps as well, complete unknowns to me. And now we have to know Italian on top of French, German, Spanish and Latin?

I did especially like the clue for 38A, "Bleating art" which, when said aloud, sounds a lot like "bleeding heart", someone who would be sympathetic toward those who claim to be scapegoats. It's hard to not make a political comment here...

I still remember my maternal grandparents full phone number, way back from when I was quite young: FOrrest 2-****. It seems the phone company was right about using words as a memory aid. These days, I usually can't even remember my own phone number when I have to enter it in forms...

eddyB said...

ACademy4 ****


Lemonade714 said...

Am I missing something, do all of you still have your old phone numbers and thus are disguising them with xxxx to keep the rest of us from calling and harrassing you and yours? My parents old number belongs to a day care center which is on School Street.

I do not recall many puzzles from Mr. Heilman, though I do recall we had lots of discussion about his SORCERER'S APPRENTICE: CAUTIONARY TALES fill.

BTW, knowing the effort it takes to blog a weekday puzzle, I have to take a moment and applaud C.C. for doing the Sunday blog.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, Phew! This was a tough one for me. I had to go through Across and then Down at least three times and then I piddled around with each quadrant for longer than I want to admit.

Now, in addition to English, French, Spanish, Latin and German, we need to know basic Italian. I never would have filled UOMO without Google.

Most of the names were fine with me. BELCH, MEARA, FOSS, PATRIC, LUCIANO, TANDY and SPANO were first fill, although a couple of them were more guess than knowledge.

BREAD SHORT was the first theme phrase I got. CRACKER FIRE was my favorite.

Words like NASCENCY and OBTRUDE are not ones that sprang easily to mind.

Lemonade, LOL I also wondered about the xxxx phone numbers. In 1960, ours was VAlley 2-0290

I got Neil Young's OHIO simply because I don't like his music, voice or appearance and avoid everything Young whenever possible. My opinion is that the intensity of his fan devotion is in direct relation to the amount of acid dropped in the 60's and 70's. Jimmy Fallon totally gets it.

Clear Ayes said...

I must have been distracted and I missed Al's comment @10:25 about all the languages we need. I repeated pretty much the same thing a couple of hours later. D'oh! If Dennis were here, he'd chime in wanting to know how many different languages show up in the puzzles.

As I recall, the gossip of the day said that Elizabeth Taylor won a sympathy Oscar for "Butterfield 8" because she had recently been very ill and almost died. It had to be something like that, because although she was beautiful, she didn't seem Oscar-worthy in that role.

Did any of you have a "ritzy" private phone number? My parents felt that a three-party line was perfectly adequate. When I was a teenager, I remember our line sharers occasionally breaking into my conversations asking me to free-up the line. It was a more polite time and I always complied (and complained later).

eddyB said...

Thought the question was why the BU8.

But ok, 224-5582. We had a 2 party line. One ring for us and two rings for the other person.


Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon.

I don't usually do the Sunday LAT; our paper doesn't carry it. And it is somewhat time consuming. However today I decided to try it on line for practice. A fair slog. Needed a few red letter helps, but no searches. While there were a few obscure words like OBTRUDE and NASCENCY, most words were quite ordinary but cleverly clued. The German words were gimme's. ERDE.

Thought ADORE and POPPER were very cleverly clued. WAGONBAND was a WAG. Never did get how the theme worked until coming here.

BRER - I top off my oatmeal with Brer Rabbit blackstrap molasses every morning. Yummy.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

Argyle, Thank you.

Still ZBed

Annette said...

The theme answers included such wonderfully descriptive words that were "pleasant to the ear"! That said, this was a really tough puzzle for me! Luckily, I'm enjoying a lazy, rainy day at home and was willing to stick with it for longer than I probably ever had before!

I did have red letters on, and had to play "red letter roulette" a couple times, because I didn't feel like googling them.

Our phone number was SYcamore 3-****. I wish they'd gone this route (with letters/words) when we bumped it up to 10 digits.

Lemonade, I disguise it because family still lives there, although I wouldn't mind too much if that family member received harassing phone calls... Also, I use the last 4 digits as a passcode for certain things - although I use a different code for my alarm system. Not that anyone would ever try it or figure out which codes I use for which items, but I'd know I was sharing it with a bunch of people! Who knows, one of you may have a burning desire to listen to my office voice mail... ;-)

eddyB said...

The eagle chicks have hatched !!

MJ said...

Good afternoon all,

I spent far too much time on this puzzle today. Ah, yes, names.... I counted six I nailed without perps, five I had heard of the name, but didn't know in terms of the clue context, but got fairly easily with perps, and seven absolute unknowns. I thought this was an extremely creative theme, and "getting it" after the first fill helped with a number of the other entries. Favorite theme answer was MINTSPEAR. Favorite non-theme clues: "Corny gadget" and "Parroted a Persian."

Hahtool, good QOD. Sadly, so true.

Lemonade, the Kent State link reminded me of being a student at UCSB shortly before that time, when many students rioted and, among other things, burned down the Bank of America building in the (primarily) student community of Isla Vista that abuts the campus. A strict curfew was imposed in the area, and the National Guard was called in. One especially vivid memory I have is bicycling to an early morning class in the fog past a line of gun-toting, riot-gear equipped Guardsmen.


Enjoy the day!

Hahtoolah said...

Kent State as seen on the Cover of Newsweek 40 years ago (May 17, 1970). The inspiration for the Neil Young song (19A). The girl in the photo was actually not a student, but a teenage runaway.

Annette said...

EddyB: Would you send me the link for the eagles? I didn't save it when it was discussed before. Thanks!

eddyB said...

Eagle cam.
eaglecam. There are at least two of them.

Lucina said...

Good afternoon, C.C. and fellow bloggers!

My guests left today first to Chicago and then on to the U.K. They were just delightful.

However, I am tuckered out; my best days of cooking, etc. are definitely behind me.

So I gladly sat for a while to work on this puzzle, not as enjoyable as others, but a clever theme which helped greatly. I got most of the theme fills as a result. I chuckled at the backwards construction and agree with you who felt some clues were really obscure, guessed on most of them, such as "betide" "yos"; but some of the names came easily, such as Anne Meara, Jessica Tandy, Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Cruise, of course, even Vittorio de Sico, and I have always loved the character "Sir Toby Belch" in Twelfth Night. That was actually my first fill.

Fav clues:
all the theme fills
rock genre: emo (only because we saw it last week)
afternoon celeb: soap star
corny gadget?: popper

Retag, I believe, is what sales clerks do when a sale is imminent.

We also had the telephone numbers as described and I often use mine as a password, it's so ingrained in memory.

Did not know George Orwell's real name was Eric Blair.

It's great to return to normal even though I enjoyed my visitors very much and still have to do Saturday's xwd.

Enjoy your evening!

dodo said...

Hello, C.C. and all.
This was really a toughie for me. I did what Annette did: decided it was a good day to take all the time I wanted; it's rainy here, too,and the wind is really fierce and cold. Nice and cozy inside! And it took me ages. The clues were interesting, though, so it was fun.

I have to take issue with 'nascency' for the same reason that someone brought up 'orientate' the other day.
'Nascence' is a noun so why add the 'y'? We don't put a 'y' on 'adolescence'. Just nit-picking
a bit. Kazie, I'd like your opinion on that one.

Aside from that, I have no more BEEFS.

I never saw Butterfield 8. Guess I ought to netflix it. Right now I'm preferring warm and fuzzy films, however. It's probably the weather.

Bill G. said...

I was looking forward to a Sunday puzzle with a good theme. I just finished it at 3 pm PDT. I will read C.C.'s and everybody's comments in a minute. Since I post late, most everything I have to say about a puzzle usually has already been said. But this was my initial impression. It was HARD for me. It was satisfying to finish but it seemed more like a slog than a good time. Now I'll see what everybody else thought.

Maybe the Masters, the Dodger game and the Laker game will be more fun.

Lucina said...

I forgot to register my objection to "nascency"; offers a string of synonyms: beginning, birth, commencement, dawn, genesis, nascence, opening, origin, onset, spring, start. Given a choice, I would prefer "nascence" to "nascency".

Lucina said...

"eos" the goddess of dawn, would have been a good cross with nascence.

Annette said...

Thank you for the eagle link! That was one of those links I meant to circle back and explore when I had more time, then couldn't find it again.

In honor of the newborns, I've changed my avatar (I know, again...) to a photo of an eagle I took in Dollywood a couple years ago.

Clear Ayes said...

GAH's man-crush has blossomed into adoration (and he won $50 besides). There was a lot of jumping up and down around here, but the Masters outcome never did seem to be in doubt today. Phil Mickelson couldn't have done much better and played beautifully.

Wow, I expected someone to jump to Neil Young's defense after my earlier comments. I guess Sunday is the day to attack an American R & R icon and get away with it :o)

Happy birthday to the eaglets.

tfrank said...

Good evening, C.C. and all,

I worked about half of this puzzle before breakfast, another quarter afterwards and before church, and then Jean and I finished it together while watching the Masters.

I had the same hitches many of you commented on, but did not have to do any searches or lookups. The theme was apparent from the puzzle's title and became obvious after wagon band and taking pains. Many of the names required perp and red letter help.

I am beginning to wonder if the Sunday puzzle is worth the time and effort. I pretty much have to work it online, as the printed out version makes the clue numbers almost unreadable.

We enjoyed the Masters and thought the best man won. I thought Tiger's post game interview was egotistic, discourteous to both his hosts and fans, and revealing as to his true character. Too bad, because he is a talented golfer, but golf has traditionally been a gentleman's game. Sadly, he did not act like a gentleman today.

Have a good evening.

Bill G. said...

TFrank, yes, I would never have finished this with just pen or pencil. The red letters at least steered me away from wrong answers.

I agree with you about Tiger Woods after-match interview. Phil M. seems to be a nice guy. I was please to see him win. C.C., what did you think?

Spitzboov said...

Tfrank said: as the printed out version makes the clue numbers almost unreadable. .

I print mine out using Apple's Safari and a Canon printer. Try setting the paper size one less than your standard, but keep the same size paper. That took care of the margins for me.

Annette said...

Clear Ayes: I never cared for Neil Young either, so say all you like about him! ;-)

What a beautiful, touching end to the Masters today!

MR ED said...

I thought for a minute that this was a NYT puzzle. I had trouble seeing today along with not knowing the answers so I just gave up. but I enjoy the comments by CC and youse guys comments as well so
I came here anyway. Love ya'll.

Lemonade714 said...

The Masters was fabulous entertainment, and I was very pleased for GAH, Phil and Amy Mickelson, who looked happy yet a tocuh forlorn. I pray for them. As for condemning Tiger for his comments about his disappointment in not winning, I do not believe one can compete in an individual sport like golf and not be driven to win. The responses were elicited by the questions; he was not asked how he felt about anything but his play, and he was disappointed in himself.

Argyle said...

I thought from David Feherty's interview with Tiger that he was working for TMZ. I wouldn't blame Tiger if he punched him, I would have.

And you can say what you want about Neil, won't change my mind.

MJ said...

EddyB-Thank you for re-posting the link to the eagle's nest. I have now bookmarked it to continue watching.

C.C.-I also didn't care for the clue/answer for 77D ("Informal his") at first, because I saw it as "his" (opposite of "hers"). But after seeing your explanation of the plural "hi", I think it's a delightful clue, and would be interested to know if it came from Tom Heilman or Rich. "Hi bro..." Yo bro..." A very TRICKY and convoluted clue!

windhover said...

Didn't think this day would come, I've finally found something we disagree about. I like both Neil and his music, a lot. He has a social conscience which shines through in his lyrics, and the events of May4, 1970, when we learned for certain that our government and our military would kill us if they found it useful, were only the beginning.
His song Southern Man, about racism and lynching, is another example. I sat on a panel with Neil during the days leading up to the Farm Aid concert in Ames, Iowa, in the early '90's. It was a time of progressive euphoria right after the election of Clinton, and much like the current climate, when it is considered bad form for liberals to criticize Obama, it was a no- no to question Clinton or his motives. This was during a period when the farm economy was in the tank, and Neil said from the podium, "Where the hell are Clinton and Espy ( Mike Espy, Sec. Of Agriculture)? They both ought to be here. " Willie Nelson, a great American and friend of farmers) has gotten most of the credit for the Farm Aid Foundation's work on behalf of farmers, but Neil has been there from the start, as has John Mellencamp.
And Neil's Harvest Moon album is one of my all time favorites. I am a Neil Young fan.

IRISH JIM said...


If its the interview after the Masters you are talking about, it was Bill McAtee not Feherty.Do agree the best man won.

Dick and Ca thank you both for the nice comments Fri.

Argyle said...


My mistake; you're right. Anycase, he was trying to provoke more than ask about the Masters.

Bill G. said...

Argyle, you're right about provocative questioning though considering Tiger's bad behavior lately, I think that's fair. (I don't like it when Katie Couric does it either.) Tiger would have been better off to warmly congratulate Phil for his performance than to make it all about himself and his failed expectations to win it all first time out of the chute. He's a great golfer but not a very likable fellow.

Lemonade714 said...

When Tiger was questioned, the tournament was not over, an dit woul dhave been premature to congratulate Phil. Tiger may be an arrogant douche bag, but he answered the questions asked. Do we all forget all the athletes who have given self serving interviews?

Bill G. said...

No, there are plenty of arrogant douche bags to go around among all professional athletes. I think Tiger is one and I'm guessing Phil isn't one.