Apr 2, 2011

Saturday April 2, 2011 Alan Olschwang

Theme: None

Total words: 72

Total blocks: 28

This puzzle is anchored by four grid spanners, with one long Down intersecting three Across fill:

17A. Where few people live : MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Wouldn't it be nice if this entry were placed in 7D, the middle of the grid?

36A. Debugging aid? : INSECT REPELLENT. Real bugs! I was picturing the mysterious briefcase my ex-colleague used to debug the phones.

60A. Pick wielder : DENTAL HYGIENIST. The clue made me think of ice pick.

7D. 2008 Adam Brooks romantic comedy : DEFINITELY MAYBE. Looks good. Abigail Breslin is adorable.

Dan Naddor's puzzle yesterday has a themeless look. Today's puzzle has a themed look, with the long fill arrangement and high number of 3-letter words (total 20). 

By the way, remember Alex Boivert's "Living on the Edge" puzzle we had last April Fool's Day? Look at those edge words around the grid. Dan's gimmick was easier to grok, at least to me.

Innovation should be encouraged, no matter in which field. You may like the result, or you may not. But same old same old stuff just wouldn't work any more. Words that precede/follow theme concept  (sans twist) will  bring you an immediate "No" from Rich.


1. Island where florins are spent : ARUBA. Shouldn't they use EURO? Aruba is part of the Netherlands after all.

6. Unoccupied : IDLE. FREE wouldn't work.

10. Mental keenness : WITS

14. Charged : RAN AT. Phrasal verb can be a bit tough at times.

15. Hold : DEEM

16. Minimally : A BIT

20. "Is that __?" : A NO

21. Entertainer : ARTISTE. Thought it's just French for "artist".

22. Rural pro : FER. Rural "for".

23. Having no chapters? : NONUNION. Tricky clue.

25. Prohibit : ENJOIN

27. Hardly handy : INEPT

28. Quiet, in a way : OIL. Quiet the squeak.

30. Mattingly's predecessor : TORRE (Joe). Don Mattingly. Dodgers' manager.

31. 20-20, e.g. : TIE

33. Persian for "crown" : TAJ

35. Summer arrivals : LEOs. Oh, babies.

41. Bar patron who appears in every "Cheers" episode : NORM. Unknown trivia to me.

42. Bordeaux bottom : CUL. Cul-de-sac = Bottom of the sack.

43. Clavell's "__-Pan" : TAI. Literally "Big".

44. Marsh bird : SNIPE

46. Norse war god : TYR. From whom we got Tuesday.

48. Schism outcomes : SECTS

52. Jai alai ball : PELOTA. The basket is called CESTA. Al covered both in his Thursday write-up.

54. Float seller : MALT SHOP. I've never been to one.

56. Clark's "Mogambo" co-star : AVA. Gardner had the perfect body measurements.

57. Huge : TITANIC

59. Solid-rock center? : AS A. Solid as a rock.

63. Three-time '80s speed skating gold medalist Karin : ENKE. No idea. She's from Germany.

64. Kathryn of "Law & Order: C.I." : ERBE

65. Um preceder? : NO SEE. No see-ums. Biting flies.

66. Early Sam & Dave record label : STAX

67. Club income : DUEs

68. Head lock : TRESS. Typical grid edge word.


1. Lawyer's suit? : ARMANI. Nice playing on "suit".

2. Spoil, as a picnic : RAIN ON

3. How a knot may come : UNDONE

4. Like some judgment : BAD

5. Kennebec River outlet, with "the" : ATLANTIC. I'm sure Mainiac nailed this one. Kennebec River is in Maine.

6. "Same here" : I DO TOO

8. Contact, e.g. : LENS

9. Show anger, say : EMOTE

10. ''Do __ Diddy Diddy'': 1964 hit : WAH. Not familiar with the song.

11. Start of a rule with numerous exceptions : I BEFORE E. Spelling rule.

12. Trunk item : TIRE IRON

13. Most severe : STERNEST

18. "__ tu": Verdi aria : ERI. Literally "It was you".

19. Sold (for) : WENT

24. Bouncy : UPTEMPO. I like this word, "bouncy".

26. Kicks : JOLLIES. Did not know jolly can be a noun.

29. Drink from a dish : LAP. For dogs.

32. What an ellipsis may mean: Abbr. : ETC

34. Black shade : JET

36. Big-time : IN SPADES

37. Tempest in a teapot : NON-EVENT

38. Colombo's country : SRI LANKA. Full name. How rare!

39. Same old same old : RUT

40. You'll be busted if you use it : LAST CENT. Man, even a dollar can't buy you anything now. Not even a pack of baseball cards.

45. Blues singer James : ETTA

47. Extents : RANGES

49. One in a cruise ship line : CHAISE

50. Chucks : TOSSES

51. Floods : SPATES

53. Had something : AILED. Had a bug.

55. Full deck in old Rome? : LII. 52. Deck of card.

58. Drive-__ : THRU

61. St. with a panhandle : TEX. Quite a few states have a panhandle.

62. Easter opening? : NOR. Opening of Nor'easter.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

All right, now this was more like it! Definitely a Saturday puzzle in terms of difficulty, but much more enjoyable (for me, at least). I know it's all subjective, but the difference is between a tricky clue that makes you feel smart when you get it and a tricky clue that makes you go WTF, even after you get it.

"Big-time" for IN SPADES and "kicks" for JOLLIES are probably as much a stretch as yesterday's "vacant" was for INANE, and yet they just felt like much better fits and didn't feel like the constructor was purposely using the most obscure definition available. Again, it's I realize it's all subjective.

I did not know ENKE and had trouble remembering STAX, so the SW corner was a bit rough. Once DENTAL HYGIENIST revealed itself, though, I was able to throw down TEX at 61A (wanted FLA originally) and that took care of that.

Favorite tricky clue was definitely "one in a cruise shipe line" for CHAISE. And it was nice learning what TAJ meant.

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

This was a typical Saturday for me - I did like the long theme-like answers, both across and down, but I had Repell-A-nt, which gave me the I before A rule, and that seemed 'wrong'....

I think I saw Kathryn ERBE, who was shopping at Kmart on the East End of Long Island. I am surprised her name doesn't make more puzzles.

Nice [ that is NOT French ] to see the whole SRI LANKA, never heard of Tempest in a Teapot, and I WAGed Titanic, without it's ship reference, but CHAISE for "liner line" was - good clue. And JOLLIES? - well, that's common around here....

I have an AA retreat today - which has me UP TEMPO ~!


creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all,

C.C. you got my curiosity up with your ex-colleague’s briefcase debugging device. What were you doing in that capacity? Love the intrigue.

Actually, jolly is not a noun; but ‘jollies’ is.

I loved your write-up today. and your comments on ‘innovation’ are so true. The world is moving at such a fast pace and we have to keep up.. There’s no standing still folks, we all have to stretch. We know Dan was at least a year ahead of his time; in actuality, we will be extending that realization to a much later point. He was such a ground-breaker.

The puzzle today was a delight; especially for a Saturday morning.

My favorite’s were : Full deck in old Rome and One in a cruise ship.

Have a nice day everyone.

Tabby said...

I'm fairly new to following the blog, and I really enjoy reading your comments. But, I couldn't let it pass that you're not familiar with Do Wah Diddy Diddy - it's one of my favorite scenes in "Stripes."

elsie said...

Good Morning,
Enjoyable puzzle this morning. I had extra time before starting the day and read C.C.'s interview with Alan Olschwang. I agree fully when he said "I'm convinced one's subconscious keeps working when you think the puzzle is out of your mind." I am a school bus driver who does the puzzles during down time on layovers. There are times when I put the puzzle down, just shaking my head. But when I pick it up again the answers seem to just flow out!

Enjoyed the cluing today especially:

And I agree with BarryG on learning what TAJ meant.

Lemonade714 said...

Wow, that was hard! I came so close to cheating, but there was really nothing to Google. So I plugged away and when I put INSECT REPELLENT in, things began to move. I then got a sense of the cluing and boom. I am done.

I hope everyone remembered PELOTA, and while I did not know COLUMBO, SRI LANKA, how many words start SR? NO SEE UMS and MIDDLE OF NOWHERE were fun.

CUL which is a less delicate way to say DERRIERE, was learned by me in the phrase “baisez mon cul.” This is not part of your French lesson Jeannie. I really like most of the fill, JOLLIES, MALT SHOP and TITANIC, not the ship, all great. We also have to common legal words, DEEM and ENJOIN.

Lemonade714 said...

Wonder why the old Norse gods were the inspiration for much of our week. Tuesday comes from Tiu, or Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon name for Tyr, the Norse god of war. Tyr was one of the sons of Odin, or Woden, the supreme deity after whom Wednesday was named. Similarly, Thursday originates from Thor’s-day, named in honour of Thor, the god of thunder. Friday was derived from Frigg’s-day, Frigg, the wife of Odin, representing love and beauty, in Norse mythology.

Ava was beautiful, and ERBE was popular fill for a while, but proper names get worn out quickly.

Happy week end

Seldom Seen said...

20-20 was a great clue for TIE. Vision related? no, t.v. show? no.

If proper names have a shelf life, when will we stop seeing EVA, AVA, OTT, ORR, OHM, TESLA, FERMI and many, many others? ;)

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Well-said about “innovation”, C.C. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for a great write-up and explanations. I am also curious about the ex-colleague…

This was one of those puzzles that I kept staring at blank spaces, when all of a sudden the whole thing just leaps out. Like DENTAL HYGIENIST (I BEFORE E in that one, Marti).

I also loved the devious clue for LII, “Full deck in old Rome?” I know we have had it before, but it seemed to fit right into the misdirection of this morning’s clues.

Seen, I don’t think those proper names will ever really go away. But the clues for them might refer to more “modern” connections. EVA used to be clued as “A Gabor sister”. But now you see “Actress Longoria” popping up more often. But that’s just my take on it.

Have a great day everyone!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Creature & HeartRx,
My previous job involved security & investigation. De-bugging was part of our business.

Bill G,
The meat we ate once a year was pork.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning C.C. and all.

Solve was ok for a Saturday. Liked the 15 letter crosses and 7d. On Kennebec, I first tried to think of a town with 'the', (near Bath). Perps quickly indicated ATLANTIC. WAGs included I BEFORE E. Liked clues for LII, NOR, IN SPADES, TRESS,and NO SEEums. Thought clueing was technically correct but extremely oblique or awkward for: UPTEMPO, I DO TOO, SPATES, and MALTSHOP. So, a mixed bag for me today.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Bill G. said...

C.C., have you ever had the Mexican pork called carnitas? It's really good. Of course, anything deep fried is probably good.

Yesterday, I was going for a short bike ride. I got to the 12 steps or so leading down the bike path to Hermosa Beach. I was carrying my bike down the steps when a nice young man asked if I needed any help. I was struck that I must look even more old and inept than I feel but also, that the milk of human kindness is still running in the South Bay area. I declined his offer but thanked him. I should have gotten his phone number for the future...

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy Saturday, Solvers all.

This was a strange one for me. NW corner filled easily, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE seemed so obvious and that's where I was for the longest time. I'd pick off one here and there, but I just wasn't on the right wavelength. DENTAL HYGENIST finally emerged and the dominoes started to fall. It was a good Saturday level puzzle.

Favorite clue was 'Float seller'. I wanted Soda Jerk (my first non farm job) until MALT SHOP emerged with a few perps. I didn't get the 'Rural pro'/FER connection until I came here. OK, yer fer it or agin it.

C.C. I second your comments about innovation. I would get really bored with crosswords if all they did was challenge me to recall obscure trivia. I enjoy trying to figure out the 'twist' that a constructor builds into the puzzle. I don't always win, but I give it my best and accept the outcome.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Due to time limits I allowed myself a few peeks & Googles to get finished. Did not get FER until coming here. Got tripped up everywhere I was supposed to, I guess. Seems right "FER" a Saturday.

Lemonade, I must thank you for clearing up a double mystery. Despite having taken 7 years of French in grade school, I never knew what a CUL was, and thus never figured out cul-de-sac. Also, my older brother had mis-learned your phrase, mainly replacing "cul" with "coeur" so it made no sense when used in my direction. That was about 1974.

The last time I recall discussion about doing puzzles on an iPad was in June of last year. Any updates since then? I picked up a iPad 2 yesterday, and I'm keen to do LAT on it.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Thanks for a great write-up, C.C. I learn a lot from you.

I really enjoyed this puzzle ... it seemed easier than a usual Saturday. I did have one look-up ... 63A ENKE. I liked the misdirection of a number of clues. I'm always aware of it now.

~~ Unknowns ... ENJOIN, NONEVENT, and a few others filled in with perps

~~My favorite clues were LAST CENT and MALT SHOP

~~I listened to "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann on YouTube but I don't know how to link it

Enjoy the weekend!

Spitzboov said...

Tabby: Here is your Stripes link

JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

What a great Saturday xwd. I usually struggle, but I only looked up Definitely Maybe to give me some confidence on those longer fills. Loved "i before e", dental hygienist, malt shop, & jollies. I had middle of the road(nowhere) for a bit.

C.C.,thanks for the great write up. You gave me 3 a-ha's: fer, LII, nor. Had 'em; didn't know why.

Would not have filled cul if not for rut.Agree with Barry, nice to know taj.

I did not fill the es in the SE corner, not knowing spatES, tresS, and all I saw was nose.

Last 3 days-beautiful. Today fog.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, A DNF for me today, but I did learn that Taj means crown, and that Stax was an early Sam and Dave record label. So there is always a learning moment from any puzzle.

I didn't finish, but I enjoyed the exercise and C.C.'s writeup to fill me in on my questions.

What I had put in was correct so that always gives me a boost to my confidence that I can complete a really difficult puzzle someday, just not today.

One of these days I WILL remember that Head lock means hair and not a wrestling term. LOL.

eddyB said...

The first of the Decorah eagles
has hatched.

kazie said...

Nice job blogging, C.C.

I agree largely with Barry G again today, much more enjoyable solving experience for me. I did have to g'spot quite a few complete unknowns, mainly names, and got totally foiled in the SE with things like MALTSHOP, NOSEE-UM, LAST CENT and CHAISE which were not on my radar today.

Naughty of you to tease Jeannie like that. All she needs to know though, is that "baisez" means "kiss".

HeartRx said...

Dudley, I just sent you an email about doing the LAT on your iPad. There is an application out there that will allow this, but you to buy it (less than $10). If anyone is interested, send me an email and I will give you the details.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. I enjoyed the puzzle today and am glad I spent the hour it took me to solve it. By the way, I have added yesterday's puzzle to my list of what I consider to be masterpieces.

Much of what you all have said is what I would say, so I won't repeat it. Some really great cluing!

Odd that our Saturday is named after a Roman god, not a Norse one. And good ole Sunday is "Sun" day in many languages.

Best wishes to you all.

Lemonade714 said...

My grandfather spoke 9 languages; guess what he taught me in all of them?

As soon as someone gives me an IPAD, I will worry about the app, but thanks for the offer Hx. I never can bu stuff like that for me; both sons have I-phones, not me.

MJ said...

Good evening to all,

I found today's crossword to be an enjoyable solve. It was easier for me than most Saturdays because all of my complete unknowns were acrosses, so perps were helpful and friendly.

Thought "Having no chapters?" was a terrific clue for NONUNION. Also liked "Rural pro". Devious!

Spent the day on "Drake patrol" (grandson) while DIL prepared for a baby shower for her friend. I'm exhausted, but what great fun we had!

Thank you again, C.C., for all you have done to create this blog, and keep it up and running.

Enjoy the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Tabby: Do it like this

Unknown said...

The puzzle today was a good mix of "got it" and "what"? My favorite clue today was the early Sam and Dave record label, STAX. The recording studio is still there in Memphis and is now a museum and music academy for young people. The academy focuses on keeping kids off the streets by keeping them interested in music.
If you've never been to the museum; it is a must see along with the home of the King, Graceland, of course.
Memphis is my hometown and I am proud of it!
Thanks to C.C. for the informational blog today. Do listen to "Doo Wah Diddy' by Manfred Mann. It was a hit long before the movie that was referenced. Oops, I just dated myself!

Unknown said...

By the way, the word STAX, is a combination of the fouders names. They were sister and brother Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton (Hoyt Axton's mom).

Lucina said...

Good evening, everyone! Thank you for the blog, C.C., I'll have to reread it.

I missed the party altogether today as I had an early meeting at school and then took my daughter and granddaughters shopping for summer clothes. It's hot here.

This was fairly quick for a Saturday but as someone mentioned A BIT awkward in spots. I loved the clue for LII, a full deck in old Rome and float sellers, MALTSHOP, good misdirection there.

Lawyer's suit, ARMANI was good, too, and EMOTE had fresh cluing, show anger, say.

I enjoyed it though did it late in the evening.

C.C., without meat how did your obtain protein in your diet?

I hope your Saturday was wonderful!

Ky Lady said...

Just found this site. How do I get last week's puzzle? Can I surf around on this site to different LA Times Crosswords? It is the same crossword that is in my Sunday paper here in Louisville, Ky. Thanks!