, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday March 26, 2011 Julian Lim


Mar 26, 2011

Saturday March 26, 2011 Julian Lim

Theme: None

Total words: 70

Total blocks: 32

Congrats to Julian Lim on his first themeless!

Plenty of lively entries today. Very ambitious grid: triple stacks of 9s in the upper left corner and lower right corner, then one 15 in the middle crossing four Down 10s which in turn intersect another pair of 9s. Nice interlock. The marquee answers are:

36A. Roll with the punches : TAKE IT AS IT COMES

11D. Not at all like rocket science : IDIOT-PROOF. So simple in retrospect.

12D. Fight fiercely : GO TO THE MAT

27D. It was blamed for reduced pasta sales in 2003 : ATKIN'S DIET. Filled this in with authority. I occasionally rock!

28D. Relax : FEEL AT EASE

My favorite today is OBAMACARE (15A. 2010 health statute, informally). Has to be one of the seed entries.

Quite a few head-banging moments for me. Did you think of deck of cards when seeing ACE (6D. Valuable diamond)? Did you want GEM?


1. Its first mascot was a toque-wearer named Speedee : McDONALDS. Here is Speedee, McDonald's mascot til 1961.

10. Father in the comic strip "Bringing Up Father" : JIGGS. Well, maybe eddyB & JD knows. I've got no idea.

16. Deify : ADORE. Not the same to me.

17. Beastly place? : MENAGERIE

18. Protest tactic : SIT-IN

19. Galway Bay's __ Islands : ARAN. West coast of Ireland.

20. Groupings affected by natural selection : GENE POOLS

22. Asked for a ticket? : SPED. Nailed it.

24. Pluck : METTLE

25. Leisure wear : LOAFER

29. Werewolves do it : MORPH. And ISO (32D. Prefix with 29-Across). Isomorph is a new word to me. Wikipedia says it's "an organism that does not change in shape during growth". I am not one then.

30. Among other things, in Latin : INTER ALIA

33. Iranian-born TV director Badiyi : REZA. Total stranger to me. Reza seems to be a popular Iranian name.

39. Shrub yielding an indigo dye : ANIL

40. Dollars for quarters? : HOME LOANS. Awesome clue.

41. 2008 runner : NADER (Ralph)

44. Still running : LEFT ON. Oh, left the water on. .

45. Beer named for a river : AMSTEL. Was unaware of the river connection.

47. Ham relative : SHEM. Both Noah's sons. Got me.

49. Ruined the family photo, maybe : MADE A FACE

51. Cooling treats : ICES

55. Like a baseball bat's symmetry : AXIAL

56. Potter's concern : VOLDEMORT. A sweet clue for all you "Harry Potter" fans. I was stumped.

59. Piece maker? : REESE. Oh, Reese's Pieces.

60. Bizet's "Habanera," for one : OPERA ARIA

61. Ethyl butyrate, e.g. : ESTER

62. Folded : WENT UNDER


1. Home of V. Van Gogh's "Starry Night" : MoMA. Here is Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night". Always makes me want to cry.

2. Handle user : CBer

3. "SNL" cast member with Phil and Kevin : DANA (Carvey)

4. Majlis al Jinn cave site : OMAN. I've never heard of the cave before.

5. Shrew : NAG

7. Coffeehouse option : LARGE

8. Like some flowers : DRIED

9. Detected : SEEN

10. "The Eyre Affair" author Fforde : JASPER. Another stumper. I faintly recall Melissa or Clear Aye mentioned this book before.

13. Cook, in a way : GRILL

14. Meaning : SENSE

21. Dashboard Confessional music genre : EMO. What?

22. Brunei's capital Bandar __ Begawan : SERI. Silly, but I really don't know this.

23. Fall lead-in? : PRAT. Pratfall.

25. "Kiss Me Deadly" singer Ford : LITA. Alright, here's a clip.

26. "... __ open fire" : ON AN

29. Seriously injure : MAIM

31. Memorable movie lion : LAHR (Bert). "The Wizard of Oz".

34. Greek known for paradoxes : ZENO

35. The "A" in many org. names : ASSN

37. Beginning to cast? : TELE. Beginning of the word Telecast.

38. Skelton's Kadiddlehopper : CLEM

42. One in a pit : DEALER. Casino pit.

43. Wrap artist? : ELF. Cute clue.

45. Six-time NBA All-Star Stoudemire : AMAR'E. Sorry, man, don't know you.

46. Plateaus, with "out" : MAXES

47. Sniper's aid : SCOPE

48. Annie's student : HELEN (Keller). Anne Sullivan.

50. Make no bones about : AVOW

51. Supermodel with a Global Chic collection : IMAN. I wanted EMME.

52. Line with juice? : CORD. Power "juice".

53. Ohio tribe : ERIE

54. Rock or tin follower : STAR

57. "The 5000 Fingers of __": Seuss film : DR T. Yet another unknown.

58. Feu extinguisher : EAU. Feu = "fire". Hey, Splynter, only one French today.

Answer grid.


PS: Regarding yesterday's "Pu-Pu platter", in Cantonese, Pu = Jewel/Treasure,  which is spelled as Bao in Mandarin.  Babies are often called "Bao Bao". I've never heard of Pu-Pu platter until I came to the US.


eddyB said...

Morning all.

Yep. Maggie and Jiggs comics and
1940's movies. A lot of info on Wiki.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

*whew* Rough one today. I got most of the bottom half relatively quickly, but things didn't go so well up north.

The NW stalled for awhile primarily due to having LATTE instead of LARGE at 7D. The crossing of OMAN and ARAN didn't help much. Once I finally figured out MCDONALDS (which I should have gotten as soon as I saw _CD in the grid but my brain just didn't want to go there), that got me NAG and OMAN and DRIED, all of which got me MENAGERIE, which finally got me LARGE.

I wasn't so fortunate in the NE, however. I had both ADORE and SITIN to start, but removed them when nothing else worked. I wanted MOXIE for 24A, thought 29A was going to involve "moon" somehow, had no idea who REZA was, put GENETYPES for 20A and would never have thought of GO TO THE MAT without "for" at the end. I finally Googled to get JASPER and JIGGS (both total unknowns) and that let me finish.


HeartRx said...

Good morning C.C. et al.

Thank you for the thoughtful explanations, C.C.! I was reading your comments, and found myself nodding in agreement with each one: ”Yep, it was so simple in retrospect…Yeah, I got that one, too!!...Nope, didn’t see that one either…”

I was solving both ways trying to get a toehold on this one, and skidded all the way down to the SE with very little filled in. Then I got a few letters at 56A, and finally felt comfortable filling in VOLDEMORT. Whew! After that I just clawed my way back to the top one square at a time.

When I finally finished after a half hour of brain bashing, I thought it was a very clever challenge. The clueing was wickedly misleading, just right for a Saturday.

Have a great day, everyone!

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Wow, I thought this one was going to get me, SO MANY NAMES, but a few WAGs and I was able to wing my way through to the end, and in my "allotted" time, but still had to red-letter some names -

cleM/sheM - shoulda got that one

also had McDonald, Obama, Nader, Dana, Lita, Helen, Lahr, and Amare, which I got but didn't know.
...sometimes, names really IRK me.

For some reason, I didn't think McDonald's would fit...

Ground my brain up trying to figure out what a Werewolf does with ISO - but I got it with an evil Bwaa -ha -ha -ha ~!

Nailed VOLDEMORT, figured it was "that" kind of Potter;

Nearly nailed ATKINS, was poking around with CARBS for a bit

OH, and BTW, C.C., I LMAO with your French comment - thanks for your understanding ~!


Al said...

Truly devious cluing today. I wanted ICE instead of ACE for diamond and fell for the LATTE trap as well. EMO music is expressional of emotions, and as the clue states, the lyrics are usually confessional in nature.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Hand up for GEM, LATTE, and pretty much every other snare left by Julian. Made a lot of virtual eraser crumbs before getting a ta-da. Somehow got by without Google but there were a lot of WAGs along the way, such as JASON and JIGGS.

I took a tour of the Amstel Brewery in Amsterdam in 1983. Such tours were offerred, oddly, only in the morning; you see, they concluded with a number of glasses of beer, and it was strange to me to have such a snootful before lunch.

BTW, they showed us the bottling room where both Amstel and Heineken bottles were being filled side by side from the same source. There is no difference between the two products.

sherry said...

Tough,tough,tough! still don't get the adore for deify? This is just one of the many ans. I didn't get. Have a nice week-end.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, C.C. and Saturday solvers.

Wow! What an impressive grid. Coupled with some very clever cluing, this one nearly did me in. The NW filled easily but from there I just had several scattered entries that weren't leading to more entries. It took way too long, but picking and poking finally found a few more things that sort of made sense and eventually it came together. there were a few names that fit and looked OK, but I really didn't have a lot of confidence that they were correct.

Great puzzle and great blooging.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning C.C. and all.

Hand up for the 'latte' trap. Devious but fair clueing. Needed red letter help with VOLDEMORT and REZA. Eventually ratcheted through the rest with perp help. Favorite fill was IDIOT PROOF. Also thought ELF, DEALER, and REESE were very clever. Liked feu extinguisher - EAU, too. A fun challenge.

Enjoy your weekend.

Grumpy 1 said...

Regarding PuPu Platter from yesterday, it makes sense if the origin is Asain/Hawaiian. 'Pu' is Hawaiian for conch shell which is used in many ceremonies and is considered a gift from the ocean. This coincides with the Cantonese Jewel or treasure. I was told by a Hawaiian that Hawaiian words do not have superlative forms. They simply repeat the word to indicate a superlative so 'pupu' would be a great treasure and relate to both languages. They are delicious in any language, IMO.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all,

Quite difficult for me today. I had to google names I couldn't ferret out with perps. I had 'hag' for NAG for the longest, which hid McDonalds for a bit.

As I studied this, I realized that I held out too long, before committing to ones I knew; waiting
for perp proof. When I become a big girl, all this agony will pay off.

C.C., I shared your thoughts,on most of it. Thanks for all the explanations and effort.
Congratulations, again. I've told everyone I know about you.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...

Also, Thanks to Julian. A very challenging puzzle, which we all love.

Husker Gary said...

C.C., et al, I got sucked in as the entire west side of the puzzle fell but then as I headed east, reality came quickly (I’ll have some fries with my humble pie please). A combination of ”coulda been’s” like GENOTYPES, LATTES and ELSA and “are you kidding me’s” like Fforde, Reza and Global Chic (and INTERALIA) ate my lunch! Some of the long fills came easier and so I put down my pencil and finished online with 5 or so red letter helps. A definite “big boy” puzzle and a learning experience! All in all, very nice and I won’t pooh-pooh (or pupu) it.

It’s a beautiful day today here for Christmas Eve! Light fluffy snow keeping my 7 iron idle!

-KLEM nope, CLEM
-I have been to Harry Potter World but have no freaking idea about the characters! Colonel Potter? I’m all over that!
-EMO to 13 year olds refers to kids who are drama queens and say and do destructive things!
-I’m glad my coffee pot can’t be LEFTON!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, My picket fence was plowed down by Julian Lim's clues and fill today and I WENT UNDER.

When I saw 1A/Speedee, I went on an Alka Selzer tangent. It took me forever to perp my way to MC DONALDS.

I had lots of name confusion today. REZA, AMSTEL, JASPER, SERI, LITA and AMARE were mostly WAGs...a few right and some wrong.

No 10D/"The Eyre Affair" from me, but I'll have to put it on my list.

I did some thinking (just plain wrong thinking) on 56A "Potter's concern". KILN, OAST, CLAY all came to mind, but no square filling phrase. I went on to Beatrix Potter...PETER RABBIT? FLOPSY? MOPSY? and even MR MC GREGOR. VOLDEMORT finally slapped me in the head.

Favorites of the day? 40A, Dollars for quarters/HOME LOANS and 52D, Line with juice/CORD.

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody. I don't know why I find the themeless Saturday puzzles so much harder and less enjoyable than the Friday puzzles but I do.

So I went to for my CrosSynergy substitute. What happened to the crossword puzzles there? No more I guess. Where else can we find the CrosSynergy puzzles? Oh, I'm guessing they're still on Cruciverb. Oops! Not there either. What now?

cherylptts said...

Had decided that Saturday's puzzle is just too difficult to even attempt, but saw "Annie's student" out of the corner of my eye, and was hooked. If I knew one, maybe I would know more. Well. Very difficult and did give up as husband requested a big breakfast this morning. Proud however that I did get Obamacare and Atkins Diet pre pancake turning.
Just a brief note about yesterday's puzzle. My then eight year old grandson could not wait to bait me on his return from a family vacation in Hawaii. "Grandma, what do they call appitizers in Hawaii?' He got to say "pu pu" without the slightest bit of consequences.

eddyB said...

Hi. A few mimutes before guals begin. Ok, Saturday difficult.
Loved it.

Agree with imsdave at the other place. Nothing is Idiot Proof.
There is always someone.

Twelve days. Really have cabin fever.

take care.

Anonymous said...

Two quick questions: What do "wags" and "cheater square" mean? Really enjoy this site. Thanks so much!

GarlicGal said...

Good morning Saturday puzzlers. It took me a long time, but I survived! Much the same comments as you all. I had ICE for ACE; LATTE for LARGE; ELSA, then SCAR (Lion King throw back) finally LAHR; HOWLS for MORPH. I tried and tried to get ETCETERA to fit for INTERALIA. Not so much....

Lots of unknown names. Phew!

@ BillG. Try Whole bunch of sites come up.

It's a soggy, sloppy morning here. Maybe sun tomorrow....YAY!

Jayce said...

Dashboard Confessional is an American rock band from Boca Raton, Florida, led by singer-songwriter Chris Carrabba. The name of the band is derived from the song "The Sharp Hint of New Tears" from the debut album The Swiss Army Romance.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I adored adored adored this puzzle. Right up there in the top ten in my book. Awesome structure, super cluing, lots of fun. Worked it all without having to look anything up, so I'm patting myself on the back.

Wanted PALIN instead of NADER, and since I already had INTERALIA (one of the very few gimmes for me) I wanted STREPsomething for 27D. AMSTEL would also have been a gimme but for that.

Love love loved the clues for REESE, HOMELOANS, LEFTON, SPED, SHEM, ELF, CORD, and VOLDEMORT. Wickedly devious and misleading, yet gettable. Didn't get ACE until coming here. Well done!

Best wishes to you all.

Lucina said...

Hello, C.C. and all Saturday solvers! C.C., you always rock!

Yowza! What fun from Julian Lim although chasing after a 15 month old slowed me considerably but gave me time to think through the clues. That and some WAGS (wild assed guesses, anon) got me through this bedeviling maze.

I knew Maggie and JIGGS but took a while to recall and that gave me JASPER to finish the east corner.

Loved IDIOTPROOF, had SOMELOANS with ELSA but that failed with TAKITAS ITCOMES and HOME led to LAHR. So many aha moments when the misdirections lit my brain.

I know AMAR'E as he plays for the Phoenix Suns.

Loved this puzzle, thank you Julian. You were inspired.

Have an awesome Saturday, everyone!

Clear Ayes said...

Anon@12:49, a WAG is a "Wild Ass Guess".

From the blog of April 17, 2009, Here is the defintion of cheater square: "Any black square which can be removed from a crossword diagram, along with its symmetrically opposite black square, without decreasing the total word count of the puzzle. A puzzle may be rejected if its diagram contains too many cheater black squares."

Today's puzzle did not contain any cheater squares. The March 24th puzzle had cheater, aka helper squares at the bottom of 1D/BID and at the top of 60D/KAY. (At least, I think that is right...:0)

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I recongized the comic strip with Maggie and Jiggs, but I didn't know the title "Bringing up Father". There were so many names and unknowns today that I couldn't finish. I tried, but put in Spam for ham relative, and that fouled up the whole SE corner.

My experience was similar to Barry's. Difficult with lots of help from Mr. G.

Thank you C.C. for a great writeup and the Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night" It truly is beautiful, but sad.

My fondest Van Gogh memory is watching a class of 6 and 7 year olds in the Munich Neue Pinakothek, down on their tummies, in front of the Sunflowers painting. They were drawing their own versions. Their imaginations were wonderful and their teacher soooo gentle and encouraging.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

kazie said...

The only corner I got by myself was the NW. I had to google 15 names and WAG many others, which I don't enjoy. There were some good "ahas!" along the way, but more frustration than anything.

I don't get CORD--what does it have to do with juice?

I think my brain smells defeat before I start on Saturdays, and that doesn't help.

JVJ24601 said...

"Juice" here is the slang term for power/electricity, thus, (electrical) cord.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

As much as I enjoy a challenge, this one was WAY above my ability level! I hopped around and got a few answers here and there, with some of the same mistakes mentioned by others. I had to look up most of the names and just didn't get some of the really clever ones ... HOME LOANS, LEFT ON and WENT UNDER .... were just beyond me. Thanks C.C. for your explanations. I really needed them today!

Sunny and breezy today but really cold for "Spring!"

Enjoy the rest of the weekend ~~

Scotty said...

Rats, today's paper was missing the section that carries the puzzle. Had to do it on line - it was tough!
CC - loved your isomorph reflection!
You have to be pretty old to remember Jiggs and Maggie - I loved that strip as a kid. Like many others, there were many names I didn't know, but got all but the SW corner without help. Thanks all for sharing your experiences.

Bill G. said...

I enjoyed Ellen Page when I first saw her in "Juno." I just saw her as a guest on Bill Maher. She is a movie actress, Canadian, intelligent, pretty, well-read and just appealing in general.

I am becoming less enamored of grandson Jordan's baseball league. They started out great with all of the players getting to bat every inning. If they couldn't hit off the pitching machine after five tries, they got to hit off a tee. Nobody kept score. Everybody felt successful and had fun. Now they've 'advanced' to having the kids being out after five strikes. Jordan, being one of the least ept players, is usually unsuccessful and is feeling discouraged. He used to enjoy getting to run the bases but not much any more. Barbara and I worked with him yesterday at the local school yard but it didn't seem to translate into much more success today. I'm guessing he won't want to play next year. Another Little League drop out I suppose.

Jerome said...

Clear Ayes- There are no cheater squares in the puzzle you mention. A good example of cheaters would be from the March 23rd puzzle-
Just below 18 and 26 down, and just above 39 and 51 down. Also, in the explanation you cited, delete "decrease" and replace with "change".

Jerome said...

OOPS- Make that "decreasing" to "changing".

kazie said...

Thanks for juice!

JVJ24601 said...

In the Mar. 24th puzzle that Clear Ayes used, wouldn't the 2nd blank square below 1D and above 60D qualify as a cheater? (At the beginning of SOURDO... and at the end of JUKEBO...)

Warren said...

Hi C.C. & gang, my wife and I polished off today's puzzle with our shared method, me doing it online and she does it in pencil. I liked the misdirection clue to Harry Potter the best, Ruth got that one.

Here's an 'open fire' song rushing the season a tad...

HeartRx said...

Bill G., I agree about Ellen Page. She was adorable in "Juno". Have you seen her in "Whip It", directed by Drew Barrymore? I just watched that one last night...

Clear Ayes said...

JVJ24601@6:46, I see what you are talking about. When I reread my post, I reconsidered and saw the SOUR.. JUKE.. squares. Anyway, I thought I was in the ballpark somewhere in that area, but Jerome says "No".

So, Jerome, is it the black square where two words end at right angles, that makes it a cheater square? Does it have to be inside the grid rather than on the edge.

Jerome, the explanation quote was direct from C.C.'s blog of April 17, 2009. I'll be glad to change it from "decreasing" to "changing".

Oh oh, too much thinking for a Saturday night. Today's puzzle was mind boggling enough. We're out the door and on our way to a drizzled on dinner party. Have a good evening all.

dodo said...

Hi, good pals,
I should probably call this puzzle a DNF for me, even though I finally got it filled, but I had to throw in the towel with about 30% empty squares and resort to looking things up. However, it turned out that one lookup often led to more than one word, which at least made me feel better.

Cherryptts, would you please send me your email address (mine is in my profile) I think you're close to where I live and I hope to get as many Corner members as possible together in June. I'll write more in an email.
Great writeup, C.C.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes & JVJ24601,
The 14-letter length of SOURDOUGH BREAD & JUKEBOX RECORDS dictate that there must be one black square on each side. So they shouldn't be counted as cheater squares, which can be along the edges or inside the grid.

Great to see you back & post regularly now.

WikWak said...

Clear Eyes:

Thanks for not letting me be the only one who wanted Spee-dee Alka-Seltzer instead of McDonalds. I tried for the longest time to make that one work! It didn't help that I couldn't remember what a tocque was, either--and me with a nephew who is a professional chef! :|

Favorites today: Ham/SHEM (been waiting for that one for a long time) and HOME LOANS for "Dollars for Quarters?"