, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 Joon Pahk and Andrea Carla Michaels


Mar 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 Joon Pahk and Andrea Carla Michaels

Theme: Six Packs - The start of each six theme answer can precede "pack".

17A. Completely dark : JET-BLACK. Jet pack.

21A. Getting-to-know-you party activity : ICEBREAKER. Ice pack.

26A. Dirty fighting? : MUD-WRESTLING. Mud pack.

39A. Wearisome routine : RAT RACE. Rat pack.

47A. "Wow, she's good-looking!" sounds : WOLF WHISTLES. Wolf pack.

58A. "Funny Girl" leading role : FANNY BRICE. Fanny pack.

66A. Some sculpted abs ... and what the starts of 17-, 21-, 26-, 39-, 47- and 58-Across are altogether? : SIX PACKS

Argyle here. One of the first things I noticed was that the grid resembled a labyrinth but I didn't get lost. Strong theme. The fill has a strong Middle-Eastern influence with a smattering of foreign words from around the world.


1. Lea low : "MOO". Cute alliteration.

4. Rocket interceptors, briefly : ABMs. Anti-Ballistic Missile.

8. Doesn't tip : STIFFS. The bane of waitstaffs everywhere.

14. DJ's array : CDs

15. Atahualpa, notably : INCA. He was the last sovereign emperor of the Inca Empire.

16. Sci-fi author __ K. Le Guin : URSULA. She wrote the Earthsea fantasy novels. The Margaret Mead of science-fiction?

19. Took an intersecting road : TURNED. Thought of Robert Frost, did you?

20. It's not butter : OLEO

23. Soft baseball hit : BLOOP

25. Facility : EASE

33. "Weeds" airer, in TV listings : SHO. Showtime, a premium television network.

36. Latvian capital : RIGA. Here.

37. Eastern principle : TAO

38. Liven (up) : PEP

43. Expressive rock genre : EMO. Short for emotional rock music.

44. __ of Good Feelings : ERA. The Era of Good Feelings was the name applied to the period in the United States corresponding with the term of President James Monroe. It lasted approximately from 1816 to 1824.

45. "Zounds!" : "EGAD!"

46. Old boys? : MEN

53. Wrath, in a classic hymn : IRAE. "Dies Irae" ("Day of Wrath").

54. Fat cat : NABOB. Originally, a governor in India under the Mogul Empire. Also called nawab.

64. Quayle's successor : GORE

65. Orbital extreme : APOGEE

68. Mother with a Nobel prize : TERESA. Missionary in Calcutta.

69. Depilatory brand : NAIR

70. AFL partner : CIO. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

71. Turns over, as an engine : STARTS. But they don't start, sometimes!

72. Film pooch in a tornado : TOTO. "The Wizard of Oz".

73. Tolkien tree creature : ENT


1. Low-paying position : McJOB

2. Nancy who's slated to replace Mary Hart on "Entertainment Tonight" : O'DELL. Image.

3. Bone: Pref. : OSTEO

4. Have a bug : AIL

5. __ B'rith : B'NAI

6. Cornerstone 1300 : MCCC

7. Benefit : SAKE

8. Hindu aphorisms : SUTRAs. An aphorism is a terse saying embodying a general truth, or astute observation.

9. Most loyal : TRUEST

10. Its anthem is "Hatikvah" : ISRAEL. Clip (3:11) with lyrics.

11. Wagnalls's partner : FUNK. They published encyclopedias.

12. Make a run for it : FLEE

13. 1980-81 Iranian president Bani-__ : SADR. Image

18. Bust's opposite : BOOM

22. Spelling contest : BEE

24. Music to a cat lover's ears : PURR

27. Day in Durango : DIA. Down Mexico way.

28. Lb. or oz. : WGT.

29. Filet mignon requests : RAREs

30. Couple in People : ITEM. People Magazine.

31. Tom, Dick or Harry : NAME

32. Continue : GO ON

33. Eject, as lava : SPEW

34. Medal recipient : HERO

35. Stone for many Libras : OPAL

40. Rep. with a cut : AGT.. Agent.

41. Berkeley school, familiarly : CAL. University of California, Berkeley.

42. First lady's home? : EDEN

48. Identify, as a perp : FINGER

49. Most ironic : WRYEST

50. __ corpus : HABEAS

51. Suffix with hotel : IER

52. "Beowulf" or "Star Wars" : SAGA

55. Bologna ball game : BOCCE. Italian origin.

56. Pest control name : ORKIN

57. Stupefy with drink : BESOT

58. Pool legend Minnesota __ : FATS. The pool that requires a cue.

59. In __: peeved : A PET

60. Director Ephron : NORA. Film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, journalist, author, and blogger. Keeps busy, eh?

61. Fails to be : ISN'T

62. Giovanni's good-bye : CIAO. Italian.

63. Stage direction : EXIT

67. Tour golfer : PRO



Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and Friends. I loved this puzzle. I knew when I filled in MOO it was going to be a great puzzle. At first, though, I though the theme was going to emphasize the second word of the theme clue. Especially since several words (BLACK, BREAKER, BRICE) began with "B". Love those Six-Packs.

HaTikvah means "Hope" in Hebrew. Here's another version with Funny Girl Singing

QOD: Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on. ~ Les Brown

fermatprime said...

Hi all!

Great puzzle, Joon and Andrea. Super write-up, Argyle.

Can barely keep eyes open. Maybe I'll get lucky and get some sleep.

Wanted to say that I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life. We always referred to UCLA people as BRUINS. Never heard UCLAN before!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

My brain was not firing on all cylinders as I started this puzzle, and as a result I struggled for a bit in the NW corner. I figured out the punny clue for 1A right away, but put in BAA instead of MOO for some reason. I then went with LPS for 14A and had no frickin' clue about 2D, and as a result just sat staring at the weird jumble of letters for what seemed like the longest time before the light finally dawned on MOO.

The rest of the puzzle was fine, with a lot of smooth clues and fill. I could have done without RARES, but nothing's perfect. The theme was a good one, but I couldn't figure it out while solving and therefore it didn't help at all.

Oh -- and I always thought it was FANNY BRYCE. I guess I was confusing the name with that of a canyon in Utah...

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Zoomed through this clever and tightly-packed grid with just a few hitches along the way. Major unknown was NABOB, a word I've seldom seen and never understood.

Paused a bit at CAL, having tried UCB first, and at CIO, because AFL does sound like a legitimate football entity...maybe it is(?).

Enjoyed the clever clues, such as "Dirty fighting?" and "Lea low". All in all a nice early-week puzzle.

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Tuesday all; no recollection of BANI-SADR, do not get IN A PET, but thought the puzzle was excellent, with the seven theme answers not creating bad fill. Another appearance for our Nattering NABOBs, and a reference to the old Laugh-In favorite, FUNK and WAGNALLS. I really like REP. with a cut: AGT, as the mental picture of ARI GOLD bleeding entertained me. I also would like to hear Dennis' thought process in deciding what was the opposite of BUST.

CIAO, no BOCCE but back to the eye doctor, later.

thehondohurricane said...

Good morning folks,

In a rush this AM, so I'll read comments later. New avatar is Riley at six months after a romp in the snow. I've nicknamed him Hell On Four Paws. He's earned it with assorted frivolities, not the least of which was ruining my recliner on Xmas morn.

Today's effort was a fun Tuesday run that got my grey matter moving. I really liked wolf whistles. Used to be a compliment, today you could get arrested.

This may have already been mentioned, but 29D, Rares, bothers me a lot. Never have heard the word used in plural form, especially when ordering steak.

Had one misdirection, 56D, I wanted Ortho, but perps got me to Orkin. NE corner was a slog because of three unknowns, 8,10, &13D.

Off to Goodspeed to pick up my fares.


Mainiac said...

Morning Argyle, CC and All,

I had a slow start this morning with this grid. The first run through had lots of holes. Got some footing with Mud Wrestling (yuck, yuck) and things filled in from there. Had Boon, All Black and Bocci which worked the eraser a bit. Unique cluing IMHO.

Temps continue to stay in the upper 20's here. The wind is making it feel more like the teens. At least the sun is out!

Hit the flats and got a mess of clams Sunday. My hamstrings are still singing. I made a chowder....believe it or not, Manhattan Style. Brought some into the shop and boy didn't I take some crap. Tomatoes in chowder? Some tasty and the crew thought so too, because its gone.

Have a great day.

HeartRx said...

Great job blogging this one, Argyle. I learned about “Hatikvah” today, and will store that one away. What great fill that would be, with two scrabbly “h’s”, a “k” AND a “v” all in one word!

I can honestly say, that there was nothing about this puzzle that I didn’t like! I loved the theme entries (wow, SEVEN!), the clueing and the fill. OK, so RARES bothered me a bit, but I didn’t NOT like it, considering what was surrounding it. There were three intersecting theme entries that gave the constricting R-R-S. Switching WOLF WHISTLES with MUD WRESTLING would have yielded a more constructor-friendly W-R-S-T (“worst”), but that leaves even more ugly fill in the central area.

Barry, I also put BAA for 1A at first, but immediately changed it when I looked at 3D and knew it had to be OSTEO. My big blooper was filling 6D as MIII instead of MCCC. Duh!!! Other than that, it was smooth sailing all the way.

Have a great day, everyone!

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Thank you Joon and Andrea for a swell puzzle. Thank you C.C. for posting and for the interview. Also, Kudos to Argyle for a great job.

Puzzle came together easily. I remember Abolhassan Bani-Sadr very well. He was in after the revolution for a short while. I think he escaped to France, not sure.

Never heard of "In A PET" (59D)before. Got it with the perps.

Thought 31D Tom, Dick or Harry/NAME was clever. I was trying all sorts of things and then took the obvious.

INCA came with perps.

We see MCJOB a lot. I understand what it signifies, but I wonder if McDonald's takes offense to that term. Not that I care, I just wonder. Maybe they like it as free advertising.

See you tomorrow.


Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Great write-up, Argyle

Only difficulty today was getting the theme after filling in the unifier. Sigh. But after dwelling on it another minute, I had my aha! moment. I thought it was quite creative. Advanced from top and NE to the SW. Had 'Els' for PRO, at first, but TOTO took care of that. No major flaps, no lookups needed.

The Earth will be at its APOGEE on July 6 at 12 noon UT.


kazie said...

Great puzzle and fun write-up.

I also loved/enjoyed doing this puzzle more than many recent ones. Despite several unknowns (PET, B'NAI, EMO, BLOOP, and O'DELL), all perped out except O'Dell, which I googled. That solved my dilemma over LPS or CDS, which in turn put the C where needed for MCJOB, which I never think of. The NW was definitely a holdout until the end.

MOO was an easy start, because I think of cattle lowing, but not sheep. the unifier was needed to make sense of the theme. I also have trouble remembering the spelling TOTO, because when Garland says it, it sounds like TODO. I wondered more of Lois' reaction for BUST.

Hahtoolah said...

B'nai B'rith is Hebrew and means Children of the Covenant. One might hear/sing HaTikvah at a B'nai B'rith meeting.

sherry said...

Enjoyed the puzzle. Had one miss cue--"couple in people" wanted it to be "PEES" Double "p" in the word. Alas, had to scratch out to insert,"item". Other than that found the grid easy.

Tinbeni said...

Argyle, Excellent write-up.
Thanks for the links.

Joon & Andrea; What a FUN Tuesday offering.

Really liked the "SIX PACKS."
If I consumed one, I would be BESOT.
(Never going to happen. Two is my MAX).

Had FU_K before I read the clue.
jeez, that was a close one ...

Cheers to all later.

Husker Gary said...

Argyle, C.C., et al, a great puzzle, interview and write-up with my coffee today! Life is good! Aphorism x obscure author yielded an A instead of a U cost me 100%. There’s another Ursula than James Bonds?

-Didn’t get theme until reveal
-Lea denizens were MOOing and not BAAing today
-STABLE objects don’t tip either
-I remember nattering NABOBs.
-My aphorism for SUTRA? It’s what you learn after you know everything that is important!
-Carnac used Funk and Wagnall’s front porch. Remember?
-The Hustler with Jackie Gleason as Fats was wonderful! Great period piece as well.
-88 year old MIL can do the best WOLFWHISTLE!
-McJob’s show that all honest work is honorable
-Mud Wrestling was prominent in one of my favorite movies

Unknown said...

I've never particpated in mud wrestling, unless it involved giving the dog a bath!
Knew my way around ice breakers and six packs.
Never held a McJob.
Tuesday's puzzle came together quickly, after a few bloopers.
Rat race! Ugh, what a nasty visual.
Funny Girl, Fanny Brice, as portrayed by Barbra is one of my favorite films.
There is a sun sighting here in NC, so there won't be any "Rain on my Parade"!
Have a wonderful day everyone!

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, Argyle and the gang. This was a fun, fairly easy puzzle that I tried my best to make difficult. Like Barry and a few others, I started off with Baa, triggering off the 'Lea' part of the clue which usually involves sheep in crosswords I've done. Was it divine intervention that the line from 'Away In A Manger' popped into my head? It's cattle that low, not sheep! Great clue!

My other slowdown was Rituals instead of RATRACE. Since I didn't like the plural form of rare, I thought maybe 'filet mignon' was pointing to a french word for the answer and 'roues' looked plausible to me. Fortunately, I couldn't make sense of the other stuff and went back to RARES which helped reveal the rest of that area. I guess if the waiter is passing his orders to the cook he might say "Four filets: Two rares, two mediums" but it would sound OK without the 'S' also.

creature said...

Good Morning C.C., Argyle and all,

Argyle, Thanks for your ‘always great ’ write-up. I’m going back for the music.

The puzzle was a treat and the theme was , as well. My unknowns were Fingered : Atahualpa, notably; Sci-fi author_ K. Le Guin; Hindu aphorisms; Its anthem is “Hatikvah”. If a word is FINGERed, I accept it for gospel. At least its working for me now.
I hope I am using FINGER correctly. I could get into trouble, otherwise.

Thanks Joon and Andrea. Lots of fun!

Have a nice day everyone.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, loved the theme. It was a double whammy filling in the phrases and figuring out SIX PACK from the unifier at 66D.

54A/NABOB..what a great word!

Thanks for HaTikvah link Hahtool. It is probably one of the more familiar foreign anthems to Americans. (LOL, they just don't know that they know it.) The FANNY BRICE/Funny Girl/Barbra Streisand connection was very clever.

Heck, how could a clue like 19A "Took an intersecting road" not call for "The Road Not Taken"? It's been posted previously, but that's no reason not to do it again.

Clear Ayes said...

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

kazie said...

Is the new avatar another of your paintings? Very striking. You are indeed talented.

Clear Ayes said...

Thank you Kazie. Yes, it is a pastel of a manzanita. I got a photo from a friend who photographed it in Tuolumne county last winter (just a hoot and a holler from Yosemite Park.) BTW, it took me a long time to get Tuolumne pronounced like the locals. It is Twa-lum-nee.

Our local history center is having a little art show for painting and drawings that are of local flora and maybe a little fauna. A good friend of mine is in charge and I didn't want to let her down.

Lucina said...

Hello, Argyle, C.C. et al.

I'll have to read the interview later.

Thank you, Argyle, for your ever upbeat blogging.

No need to use FUNK and Wagnalls for today's effort as I sprinted right along. Mentally I debated MOO or BAA then saw MCJOB and knew it was MOO.

Had no idea about URSULA but she emerged as the downs filled in fairly easily though SADR took a bit more work. It was pure WAG.

Dies IRAE will be coming up soon as it is sung on Maundy Thursday.

I love the word NABOB but have no use for RARES, had RARER for a while but WOLFWHISTLES changed it.
IN A PET? never heard that
I Liked old boys, MEN

Have a delightful Tuesday, everyone!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Great puzzle today. Didn't get the theme until the unifier.

I can imagine the waiter surveying the table after getting all the orders and saying, "OK. That's three rares and a medium."

The Wizard of Earthsea is my least favorite LeGuin story. I got bored and didn't finish it. Most favorite is The Left Hand of Darkness, which takes place on a planet named Winter. A great line, which was badly garbled in my memory is: "After supper, by the fire, we drank hot beer. On a world where a common table implement is a little device with which you crack the ice that has formed on your drink between drafts, hot beer is a thing you come to appreciate. "

Closer to home, it's bright sunshine, cloudless sky, 36 deg, and I hear a cardinal singing in the yard. There is still hope.


eddyB said...

Starting over.
I absolutely loved this puzzle. Went down and solved the unifier first. Bought a six pack of Gu-
iness for St Patty's Day. Two gone.

Ran across a puzzle yesterday with
the clue: Second person in Bible. Two letter answer.

Listened to the Wings OT loss on a Detroit radio station. Detroit now one point ahead of SJ.

Tin. The same thing will happen at Edmonton - a tight right turn off
on active runway.

Take care.

Lemonade714 said...

While RARES is not scintillating, I have heard the word in plural form in at least two contexts. The first was at a collectibles show (Dennis where are you?) where the browsing customer was discussing stamps with a dealer. The second was overhearing my children nd their friends playing Magic the Gathering discussing how many rares came in a deck. It did not put me in A PET.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle. I can tolerate RARES if it helps form a clever puzzle like this one. As with several other folks, I've never heard IN A PET.

Speaking of Guinness, have you ever seen the gadget inside the bottle that helps release the nitrogen that makes the bubbles and distinctive head? Clever little invention.

Have to head out to deliver the last document missing from my tax return. Then onto a free car wash and free tiny touch up job where someone opened a car door into my rear door making a little chip in the paint. Geez.

cherylptts said...

This was a fun puzzle today. Got wolfwhistles and Fannybrice right off, so clue became apparent. Funny thing happened while doing puzzle. Ready to write in ortho just as an Orkin commercial came on the TV. Just knew it was a sign. Have a good day, all.

JD said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al,

Argyle, thanks for today's and yesterday's write ups. You always clear up any questions I have.

Only filled bloop because of boom. really? a bloop? ha,ha
nabob was definitely a WAG, as was Ursula and irae.

Nora Ephron is one of my favorite writers. She blogs every so often in the Huffington Post; always fun to read. Enjoyed I Feel Bad About my Neck (so do I ) and haven't yet read I Remember Nothing (me too, Nora)

Have littlest one here today..the crawling has made it impossible for me to sit at my computer when he is awake.

Gunghy said...

All right! From a southern copy to a real Golden State school. Got to this late because last week I was snowed in for jury duty. They told me to show up today regardless, then had no trials. I had to wait 2hours, listen to all their stuff and got dismissed for a year. I expect to hear from them on March 29, 2012.

I had STINGY for 8A. NUNK and YADR just didn't look right, so I had to read the downs. Missed RARES and entire group of SE acrosses. Anyone else appreciate CONTINUE as a clue for GOON?

I don't much care for Ms Le Guin's style, but she's not obscure, if you read Sci-Fi. Kind of like calling Stephen King obscure, if you don't read horror. She's been winning awards since the 60's. I have to defend her, her father founded the school of anthropology at Cal.

Bill G. said...

I know Nora Ephron from the movies she's written and directed including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. They have a reputation as Chick Flicks but I loved them.

Spring in Washington D.C., where I grew up, is a very pretty time of year in a very pretty place. Here's a slide show of the cherry blossoms.

Spitzboov said...

Gunghy: re: Anyone else appreciate CONTINUE as a clue for GOON?
Think: go on, as in "Go on with your story."

Al said...

OK, so maybe it's just me being snarky, but Lea Low is pronounced the same way a certain Ms. Lindsay Lohan is referred to in the media (LiLo). And, she has certain rather generous physical attributes that might cause other (perhaps) envious members of the same gender to label her with a certain bovine epithet. So intentional or not, MOO is actually pretty funny...

Lucina said...

Clear Ayes:
I forgot to comment on your beautiful painting! You most certainly are talented.

And thank you for Robert Frost. I love The Road not Taken.

creature said...

CA, Thanks for the Frost poem. It's a perfect choice and what slipped through my thoughts when I read that clue.

Really lovely pastel- masterful composition.It looks as if its bursting out of the frame.I so admire your talent.

creature said...

Gunghy, is your avatar a walkway you dug out? Wow! what about when it melts?

Mom Speaks Out, Fun remark about
mud wrestling.

Loks as if everyone went to bed early/

Jerome said...

Clear Ayes- There's a couple of cheaters just for you. At the end of ERA and in front of TAO.

Clear Ayes said...

Thanks Jerome, I've got it now. :o)

creature, the Californians are still here. Thanks to you and Lucina for the compliments. I hate to admit it, but the composition was already in the photograph. I enjoy drawing and pastels in particular, but I don't have the motivation to create art the way WM does. Her compositions come out of her talented brain.

Jazzbumpa, I enjoyed URSULA LeGuin's "The Left Hand of Darkness" too. The only other book of hers I've read is "The Lathe of Heaven". I liked that one also.

Bill G., beautiful cherry blossoms. Spring has sprung.

I spent a good portion of the day shopping in Modesto. Phew...I'm tired. Costco bbq chicken for dinner tonight!

Have a good evening.

Gunghy said...

Spitzboov: Thug, mean person, mafia underling; these I've seen for GOON. I really liked Joon's fresh take on it.

Creature, That was taken a week ago Friday, before we got 3 successive storms that dropped about 3 feet each. Last Friday, I waded through at least 4-5 feet up that trail to retrieve some things. It was chest high with snowshoes on.

ARBAON said...

Minnie Pearl had an "Uncle Nabob." He lived in Grinder`s Switch, along with her many other (make-believe) relatives...most of whom had "descriptive" names just like her uncle!

CA: Lovely painting.

BTW: Where is Dennis?

dodo said...

Hello folks,

What a great puzzle. Thank you, Joon, Andrea, and Argyle. Aon of course, you, C.C. for the terrific interview!

It wasn't just because I zipped right through it that I liked it so much, although that helped! I just loved the words! nabob has been a favorite of mine for years, and I love the sound of apogee! A wonderful word! I try to use them as much as possible. Riga and Ursula are very nice, too. Riga was a gimmie and the perps gave me enough of Ursula that I could figure it out. I like ratrace, too, very descriptive! Anyway, it's a great puzzle! Thanks again.

The writeup, Argyle, excellent, as usual! I'm a big fan!

dodo said...

Clearayes, I loved the Frost! I think it's my fave of all of his! You are remarkable!

We had a perfctly gorgeous day today! Spring is definitely here at last! The flowers are beginning to burst into bloom, the flowering trees have left us a carpet of petals, so beautiful, and the birds and squirrels are so busy with their springtime chores. Makes me almost want to clean house! Ha! Dont anyone believe that! It'll get done, but not by me, and not now!Happy spring!

Jazz, I can hardly believe you have temps in the 30s! Don't worry; your nice weather will come soon!

dodo said...

Oh, CA, I love your tree! beautiful. You are so clever! How nice to be able to make such beauty!