Apr 24, 2011

Sunday April 24, 2011 David Blake

Theme: At Your Convenience - AT is added to each common phrase.

22A. South-of-the-border political assent? : SI SI SENATOR. Si Si Señor.

36A. Knockoffs of "Woman With a Hat"? : NEAR MATISSES. Near misses. Here is the hat lady.

43A. Where to excavate perfume? : ATTAR PITS. Tar pits.

57A. The first glossy fabric? : ORIGINAL SATIN. Original sin.

87A. Dishonest Yankees? : BRONX CHEATERS. Bronx cheers. Let her show you how. Just learned a few weeks ago Rich Norris is a Yankees fan.

101A. A lifetime at the North Pole? : SANTA FATE. Santa Fe. Poor Santa.

108A. Feature of a mad scientist's machine? : MUTATE BUTTON. Mute button.

122A. "Wrestling" maneuver? : THUMB ATTACK. Thumbtack.

3D. Food evaluation measure? : NOSE RATING. Nose ring.

83D. Amusement park for fans of flowing music? : LEGATO LAND. Legoland.

Wow! I can't believe this is David Blake's LA Times debut.

Brilliant grid design, with the two Down theme answers intersect two Across theme entries each. As I mentioned before. you've got to have the luck as well as the skill to pull it off.

When did you grok the theme? I cottoned to the gimmick quite early and had lots of fun tackling the grid.


1. January honoree : KING. I have a dream.

5. "Poison" plant : SUMAC

10. Certain artist's forte : SCAM. Scam artist.

14. 2010 Apple release : iPAD. First appearance in LAT puzzle I believe.

18. Clean-out-the-fridge indicator : ODOR. Man, I blanked.

19. Jipijapa hat : PANAMA. Panama hat is made from Jipijapa plant. Unknown to me.

20. Bear, to Brutus : URSA

21. Like most pre-'60s recordings : MONO

24. Noggin : BEAN. So many slang for head.

25. Subatomic particle : PION

26. Mideast ruler : EMIR

27. Quiet : HUSH

29. Amazonian predator : ANACONDA. Huge snake.

31. 112-Down's milieu : BAR. And 112. 31-Across patron : SOT. I like cross-references when one clue is definite.

33. Losing streak : SKID

38. Vigor : ELAN. Dennis the Dummy has plenty.

40. GI show gp. : USO

41. Gets under control : TAMES

42. Kitchen add-on? : ETTE. Kitchenette.

46. Modern recorder : TiVO

47. Racy : EROTIC

50. Common stocking height : THIGH

51. Distinctive flavor : TANG

53. "__ Rose": "The Music Man" quartet : LIDA. Boomer loves "The Music Man".

55. Big name in lawn care : ORTHO

56. Poetic time : E'EN. Evening.

61. Note promising notes : IOU

62. 1998 Winter Olympics host : NAGANO. It's hit by earthquake last time also.

64. List-ending abbr. : ET AL

65. Created, on signs : ESTD (Established)

66. Creator of the Shmoos : CAPP (Al)

67. Was moved, perhaps : WEPT

69. Site site : WEB

71. Iams competitor : ALPO. Pet food is such a huge business.

73. Knit, as bones : HEAL

76. Northern terminus of I-79 : ERIE

79. Country club employees : PROs. And 82. Country club coups : EAGLES.

86. Corporate letters : INC

90. Not incl. : EXC. Excluded?

91. Time after tarde : NOCHE (Night). Tarde is afternoon.

93. Partnership for Peace org. : NATO

94. Small songbird : WREN

95. Comerica Park player : TIGER. Detroit Tigers.

97. Many Justin Bieber fans : TWEENs

99. Dot-__ : COMs

103. __-dieu: kneeler : PRIE. See here.

104. Latte topping : CREMA

106. MADD concern : DUI

107. Worry : STEW

111. Sharp barks : YIPS

113. Jazz trombonist Kid __ : ORY. Learned his name from doing Xword.

114. Song on the "Beatles '65" album : I'M A LOSER. Needed crossing help.

115. Patrick Ewing, in college : HOYA. I've never heard of Patrick Ewing. He's in basketball Hall of Fame.

117. Billy with a piano : JOEL

119. Make a ruling : FIND

120. "What __!": "How fun!" : A GAS. Made me think of Lois.

127. Square off against : FACE

128. Baylor University's city : WACO

129. Meaningless verbiage : HOT AIR. Blowhard.

130. Word command : UNDO. Always saves my day.

131. Slate, briefly : SKED (Schedule)

132. River crossed by Orpheus : STYX

133. Excalibur, for one : SWORD. King Arthur's sword.

134. Brainstorm : IDEA


1. Decks : KOs. KO = Knock out

2. Dictator Amin : IDI

4. Hardly hopeful : GRIM

5. Diego's title? : SAN. San Diego.

6. "__ furtiva lagrima": Donizetti aria : UNA. No idea. It's literally "A single furtive tear".

7. Trig or calc : MATH

8. Come (to) : AMOUNT

9. It may face the rear : CAR SEAT. I like the clue.

10. Stand-in : SUB

11. A&W drinks : CREAM SODAS

12. Yoga pose : ASANA. Both JD & Lucina on our blog do yoga. Anyone else?

13. Florida's 63-year-old Snooty is the oldest in captivity : MANATEE. Unaware of this trivia.

14. Fake : IMPOSTOR

15. Popular Christmas decoration : POINSETTIA. Ours is still alive, with only a few leaves left though.

16. Battery end : ANODE

17. Ladies of Spain : DONAs

19. Lose the blues : PERK UP

23. Certain sib : SIS

28. Three-time co-star of Fisher and Ford : HAMILL (Mark). Skywalker of the "Star Wars". Got me.

30. Lemon-flavored Absolut : CITRON

31. Knocked off : BEATEN

32. Tennis star Gibson : ALTHEA. Stumped me last time.

34. Query in Matthew : IS IT I?. So Jesus' last supper was in prison then, according to this latest news.

35. Spoiling : DOTAGE

37. Make a new version of : REVISE

39. Annoy no end : NAG

44. Geneva's river : RHONE

45. Fit of temper : SNIT

48. Chain with stacks : IHOP

49. Stroke of genius : COUP

52. Eat like a beaver : GNAW

54. Boy or girl lead-in : ATTA

58. Rodeo participant : ROPER

59. Hebrew opener : ALEPH. First letter in Hebrew alphabet.

60. Car in a jam, say : IDLER

63. Cobbler's tool : AWL

66. Gear component : COG

68. 1982 movie with a 2010 sequel : TRON

70. Pub order : BREW

72. Food often ending in "i" : PASTA. Rice noodle is quite boring. No gluten in it.

73. Tinge : HINT

74. Plenty, poetically : ENOW

75. College applicant's good news : ACCEPTANCE


78. Obtain via shakedown : EXTORT

80. Some sculling trophies : OARS

81. Slow partner? : STEADY. Slow and steady.

84. New Hampshire academy : EXETER

85. Nuts : SCREWY

87. Four-time all-star catcher Santiago : BENITO. This is a 1989 Sports Illustrated issue. I used to collect SIs whenever Tiger Woods was on the cover.

88. "The Iceman __" : COMETH

89. Utter boredom : ENNUI. I'm yawning.

92. Emulated the town crier : HERALDED

96. Things up in the air : IFs

98. Fluctuates : SEESAWS

100. Makes more peaceful, as relations : SMOOTHS

102. Coffeehouse cup, perhaps : TIP JAR

105. Regardless : ANYHOW

108. Puts out : MIFFS

109. Inuit craft : UMIAK. Literally 'woman's boat". Kayak is "man's boat".

110. Sired, biblically : BEGAT

116. Immune opening : AUTO. Autoimmune.

118. Needle case : ETUI. Hey, welcome back, pal!

121. Red __ : SOX

123. Damage : MAR

124. One heart, e.g. : BID. Bridge.

125. Alphabet string : CDE

126. RVer's stopover : KOA. KOA campgrounds.

Answer grid.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Like C.C., I "grokked" the theme very early on and that helped me immensely. I think it would have been a real struggle had I not known what was going on.

As it was, the puzzle was still challenging enough to be enjoyable with being obnoxiously hard. I think the worst spot for me was when I put in DOTING instead of DOTAGE for 35 and refused to remove it until absolutely forced to do so. I suppose DOTAGE is the "act" of spoiling, but it seems odd to equate it directly. Besides, I've only ever seen DOTAGE used to refer to senility.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and Friends. This was a fun puzzle. Like Barry, I got the theme fairly early on, which certainly helped me with the remaining clues.

C.C., your comments stop at 68-Down.

We followed Patrick Ewing's high school basketball career before he became a HOYA.

My favorite clues were Chain with Stacks = IHOP and Note Promising Notes = IOU.

I leaned that Bones HEAL; I thought they could Mend.

I also learned To Worry is to STEW not Fret.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate.

QOD: I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be "happy." I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter and to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all. ~ Leo C. Rosten

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for letting me know. Blog glitch. Second day in a row that I lost part of my write-up.

Splynter said...

Hi There~!

I grokked at ATTAR PITS, which led to ORIGINAL SATIN (seems appropriate for a Christian holiday Sunday, too), and I think my favorite was either MUTATE BUTTON or THUMB ATTACK - which leads to HAMILL as Luke Skywalker; I liked this little spoof -

Thumb Wars

My only "meh" today was MIFFS for put out - I had WIFFS at first, thinking a "strike three" put out, but it's wHiffs....oh well. Took a minute to find my odd letter, which was H in NOCHE - I had T, and "Teralded" didn't seem right....

Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and I am off to see the folks for the afternoon.


thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Tis indeed a rare Sunday when I can take on a puzzle. Even though I never figured out the theme until CC explained it, the only hold ups were my spelling errors. I had pointsetta for poinsettia and ery for ory. I relied on the (what I thought were) relatively easy down clues to make headway. I admit the theme fills had me scratching my head, but I was confident in the perps.

A mute button on a mad scientists machine somehow doesn't seem to fit. I'd think he would want to turn up the sound, not turn it off.

A fun challenge today with one exception, Bronx Cheaters. That's a cheap shot. I gather Mr Blake is a Sox fan as we find them showing up in 121D. I'll forgive David..... this one time.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Hand up for snagging the theme early, without which I'd have been lost. As it was I had lots of potholes to hit. Tried TATARPITS 'cause I didn't know any better, and it fit the theme...but little else. Couldn't give up FRET until forced.

Didn't know what Comerica was...I hate sports clues, and despise the practice of selling naming rights to corporations. IFS needed red letter help. As for DOTAGE: what Barry said.

All in all a worthy opponent, this puzzle! Made me work a bit. Quite a bit. Keep 'em coming, David!

Time to go bite the ears off a chocolate bunny. (Where do YOU take the first bite?)

Argyle said...

Good Morning,

I, too, was miffed at 108 Down.

Do you think it strange that for 43A. Where to excavate perfume?, my first thought was :IN ARM PITS?

Lemonade714 said...

Happy Easter all. You say this is Mr. Blake's first LATimes publication? Is that why everyone has given him a pass on 101A. A lifetime at the North Pole?: SANTA FATE. Santa Fe. Poor Santa where AT is in the clue? I thought the visuals for the theme were very witty.

I live in Florida and never heard of 63 year old Snooty.

ALPO as Iams competitior is like saying MacDonalds is in competition with Grand Lux Cafe; literally true, but a real stretch.

Jipijapa hat: PANAMA; I like this new word.

E'en and tween.

time to be seen

Spitzboov said...

Good morning and Happy Easter.

Not overly difficult for a Sunday. A nice relaxing solve prior to going out for a special dinner. I first grokked the AT insertion with ORIGINAL SatIN. That along with IS IT I seemed to suggest a sub Easter theme. Didn't want to look at a map, at 76a, for I-79 terminus; at first thought of MN but then realized it came up from Pittsburgh to ERIE, PA. NAGANO was a WAG. Other unknowns were gotten from the perps; no searches were needed.

Enjoy the day.

Hahtoolah said...

Argyle: I had the same thought about the perfume and Arm Pits!

I smiled to see the Red SOX.

My sister, who has been visiting me for the past week, is returning to her home in Cape Cod today. We had a nice visit. It had been nearly 20 years since she had last been down her. I travel north far more often.

Lucina said...

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! Thank you, C.C. for your charming comments.

I believe Marti (HeartRX) also practices yoga.

What a great debut for David Blake. I finished the NWestern corner easily and saw SISISENATOR so that gave me the theme. Even without knowing it most of the theme answers emerged quite well.

I really thought LIDA Rose was LILA but it was obviously not and so sashayed right along until BENITO interrupted me and had to Ggle then would not surrender KAYAK until UMIAK became clear and still DNF MIFFS.

Also had to look up ORY and TIGER. Grrr, if it weren't for the sports clues!!! But I admit it's a learning experience and my DH was an admirer of Patrick Ewing.

I, too, smiled with ETUI which seemed like a long lost friend.

Have an absolutely delightful Sunday. I shall be with family and my contribution is green bean casserole. They love that.

Lucina said...

How wonderful for you that you visited with your sister. I am close to my sisters so I understand that.

Abejo said...

Good Afternoon, folks. Enjoyed this, your first puzzle, David. Congratulations. Enjoyed your write-up C.C.

I am a little confused on your comment of 34D about Jesus' last supper being in prison. I do not understand why you would think that. It was Judas Iscariot that said "is it I?' at the Last Supper. Christ responded "Thou hast said."

I was able to catch the theme right away with SISISENATOR/SISISENOR. That really helped with the rest of the puzzle.

My biggest problem was the SW corner. I finally got UMIAK with perps, but could not figure what it was. I tried KAYAK in there for nearly the entire puzzle. But, it did not work at all. I did the perps and accepted UMIAK. I guess I will try to remember that for the future.

Enjoyed seeing ETUI again. It has been a while.

76A ERIE was easy. That is my home town. Of course, I-79 was not built when I lived there.

Happy Easter. Spent three services in church this morning. Now I am ready for the big meal. Today is also my wife's and my 35th Anniversary. Time flies.

See you all tomorrow.


JD said...

Good morning C.C. and all,

It's hard to believe that this was a first time puzzle for David Blake. Although I had to grok the theme from C.C., I thought it was clever. It was filled with many wonderful clues and fills, many not known to me. I easily filled the top, but came to Bronx Cheaters and from there on I had problems.Came here as I need time to prepare dinner.

Same thought as Barry about dotage.

Hahtool, loved QOD.

Wanted to know more about Snooty.

Have a lovely Easter, for those of you who celebrate and are able to be with family/ and or friends.

melissa bee said...

abejo: c.c. was referring to this.

Bill G. said...

Boy, this took me a while but I also got the theme early on and it helped in the solving.

Jordan (and Bonnie and Tim) will come over for Easter brunch (eggs benedict). We will have our traditional Easter egg hunt. As part of the family tradition, I will hide some of the yellow eggs in the branches of the lemon tree even though Jordan's probably onto my skullduggery by now.

Tell Boomer I am also a BIG fan of The Music Man. They don't write 'em like that anymore.

I have to make a small complaint about 104 Across. I'm a fan of espresso. When it's well-made, it has a brown foam on the top called CREMA. While a Latte is made of espresso, it has nothing on the top but frothed milk. The added steamed milk totally does away with any crema. The clue would have been fine as 'espresso topping.'

Jayce said...

Hello everybody, and a blessed Easter day to you all. I was very impressed by the skill displayed in this puzzle, and enjoyed working it. SISISENATOR, together with the puzzle's title, revealed the theme to me, which, as it did for others of you, aided me in solving.

Wonderful, lovely long fill! Great words such as ACCEPTANCE, INACCURACY, HERALDED, EXETER, IMPOSTOR, MANATEE, and ANACONDA. Impressive indeed. I was also impressed by such multiword fill as CAR SEAT and CREAM SODAS. Wow.

Hahtool, thanks for that QOD. So wise.

I assume jipijapa is pronounced like Hippy Hoppa? Cool word!

I too love The Music Man. Such a variety of wonderful music. I would classify it right up there along with other masterpieces.

Abejo said...

To: C.C. and Melissa Bee. Thank you for the article on the Last Supper from the L. A . Times. I was not aware of that. Please excuse my comments in my earlier blog article today.


Annette said...

Happy Easter!

David, congratulations for providing a truly enjoyable puzzle. A lot of interesting clues, and a fun workout for me.

I got the theme early enough to help out with a couple entries. I don't normally catch that style of theme.

Hahtool, I loved today's QOD!

I never heard of Snooty either, just people that were snooty!

Dot said...

I also wondered what CC was referring to about "The last Supper". I am certainly not the scholar that the author of the book is but I don't believe according to events listed in the Bible that Jesus spent anytime in jail & considering the way they treated their prisoners he probably wasn't given more than a crust of bread as he was taken from Pilate's hall to Herod's Palace and back to Pilate. That said, I do agree that the Last Supper was probably on Wednesday.

to be continued.


Dot said...

The reason I believe the supper was on Wed. is that Jesus had said "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." To ful- fill that, He could not have been crucified on Fri. That idea stems from them saying that the next day was the Sabbath & normally the Sabbath was Sat. But, other holy days were also called Sabbath according to the Old Testament.(Any Jewish scholars correct me if I'm wrong about this.) John 19:31 says "that Sabbath was a high day.) Jewish days start at6:00P.M
So, He was crucified on Thursday
followed by 2 Sabbath Days, & resurrected on Sunday.


Abejo said...

To Dot: Thank you for the biblical explanation. Interesting.


Dave said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments, everyone! I was published in the NY Times in July, so this is my second, and debut Sunday. And yes, I am a Massachusettsan, though one currently living in "enemy territory" in the NY metro area. Glad you seemed to all enjoy!

fermatprime said...

Hello all!

Wow! That puzzle was a doozie! Took quite a while. Only lone cheat: I looked up clue for TIGER as the SE corner was a mess. But loved the theme. Very clever. Thank you, David.


JD: Bones has been on since 2005. Great run. I have read all of the Reichs books except the latest. Pretty gruesome at times, though. Also romantic, unlike the humorous TV series.

It is cold and yucky here--unusual for Easter. I have the ATT Uverse man in my room currently. He can't seem to make the phone work after an hour. One problem was that ATT had dumped my number from their database. SIGH.

Easter cheers!

Husker Gary said...

Hi Gang! Had to leave for Lincoln at the crack of dawn (all right, 8:15 am) and had to finish it in the backseat while Joann drove home! We had a great Easter with the short people and just walked in back home. Youngest daughter’s house completion has been set back 3 weeks and so she and 6 and 9 year old will live with us for 21 days. It’ll be an adjustment.

Wonderful puzzle David! Nothing really to add about this lovely puzzle. I whiffed on MIFF and did not know UMIAK and so I had 3 empty cells in my “sloppy while driving” puzzle.

-“Put out” raised other possibilities
-I too LOVE The Music Man, “He’s a what, he’s a what? He’s a Music Man…” I bought an LP of the Buffalo Bills after that movie!
-I still have the Beatles 65 LP
- I am a SUB!
-I didn’t know what that word on European café umbrellas was. Now I do!

Lemonade714 said...

David Blake, welcome to our corner. We really appreciate you stopping by; we love the interaction we maintain with our favorite constructors. From what part of Massachusetts are you on leave? Which theme answer came first? My guess MUTATE BUTTON, or SI SI SENATOR.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Just returned from the family Easter gathering. Lots of good food! I started the puzzle earlier and finished it a bit ago. A really clever theme which I caught with SI SI SENATOR. From there it was a very enjoyable workout with no look-ups and no real problems ... though I did have a few write-overs.

~~ I liked having old friends ETUI and ENNUI in the same puzzle.

~~ And I especially liked seeing references to my Red SOX, theYankees, and my husband's team-the Tigers of Comerica Park!

Looking forward to more puzzles from David Blake ~~

Hope you all enjoyed the day!

MsIowa said...

This is my first LA Times puzzle. So thanks for your help, y'all! It's a lot more fun than the easy ones my local paper runs on weekdays. I didn't understand (er, grok) how the "at" trick worked. Very clever. I may not be smart (or punny) enough for this puzzle!

Anonymous said...

BTW: Diners reclined on their left elbows and ate from the table with their right hands(left hand considered ritually "unclean") on backless "couches" as they partook of ritual or "formal" dinners. Da Vinci`s painting was incorrect in its seating configuration, according to custom in the time of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

...this would have made the anointing of His feet with the expensive ointment easier to accomplish than if they sat as depicted in the painting...

Frenchie said...

Hi C.C., Argyle and folk,

Starts and fits...
19a. panama seemed too obvious.
26a. put shah instead of emir
12d. lotus instead of asana
All good fun! Beautiful!

31d. Agreed!

So many fascinating many fascinating people!

@MsIowa, welcome and please don't rate are here and we all learn and share together. What you have to say is valuable.

Good week all!

I'm out.