Jun 26, 2011

Sunday June 26, 2011 Mike Torch

Theme: High Comedy - GH is omitted in each familiar phrase.

23A. Unforgettable louse? : A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. "A Night to Remember". Fun clue & answer.

33A. Waterway for sinners? : STRAIGHT TO HELL. Straight to hell. Nice one too.

44A. Uncovers a serious flaw in municipal building plans? : CAN'T FIGHT CITY HALL. Can't fight city hall.

62A. Barely visible English pubs? : BRIGHT SPOTS ON THE HORIZON. Bright spots on the horizon.

74A. Ohio sweaters? : KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. Knights of Columbus.

92A. Low cost pay-per-view match? : BOUGHT FOR A SONG. Bought for a song.

103A. Where to get a copy of "The Communist Manifesto"? : RED-LIGHT DISTRICT. Red light district.

Slow in grokking the theme today. First thought long I in IGH was replaced by short I, but STRAIT TO HELL quickly said no. Then BOUT FOR A SONG further proved I was wrong. Odd entry. I'd love the theme better if GH is dropped from all the *IGHT phrases. You?

The grid design is rather ambitious, with week-day like three finger blocks. Hence a rather low 132 word count.


1. Bit of schoolyard disagreement : AM SO. And 14. States as fact : SAYS SO.

5. Stuff in a box on the street : SNAIL MAIL. Was thinking of those free newspaper.

20. 1978 medical thriller : COMA

21. Like some items in downloads : NON-SECURE. Often feel helpless against computer errors.

22. __ Island, N.Y. : STATEN

25. "Broadway Joe" : NAMATH

26. Indian lentil stew : DAL. Bill G, what's for lunch today?

27. Loses everything : BUSTS

28. Juan's ones : UNOs

30. Milk: Pref. : LACTO. Lactose.

31. Promote at work : ELEVATE

36. Tightwads : MISERs

37. Turn down in an ugly way : SPURN. Like love.

39. Tested : ASSAYED

40. Has the stage : IS ON

41. Expensive outing, probably : SPREE. Shopping spree?

42. Goes on strike, in slang : WALKS. I like this clue.

48. Seemingly forever : AGES

52. Top of the morning? : ONE AM

53. Clerical vestments : ALBs. Classic crosswordese.

54. Rodeo ride : BRONC

55. Like the larger-eared elephant : AFRICAN. I thought it's just "large-eared".

59. Sham : FALSE

61. Look for help from : TURN TO

66. Volcanic rock : BASALT

67. Incursions : RAIDs

68. "Rad!" : AWESOME

69. Talus joint : ANKLE

70. Brew : SUDs

71. Words with bike or wave : RIDE A

73. Grey Goose competitor : SKYY. Vodka.

81. Volleyball coup : SPIKE. And 102D. It precedes 81-Across : SET

83. Tennyson's Enoch : ARDEN. "Enoch Arden". Not familiar with the poem.

84. Westchester, N.Y., college : IONA

85. "Most likely ..." : ODDS ARE. Nice entry.

89. Reuben essential : SWISS

90. Aviation force : THRUST

95. Ristorante red : CHIANTI

96. Befuddled : AT SEA

97. Comic who wrote jokes for JFK : SAHL (Mort)

98. Shoe parts : SOLES

100. Covert fed. group : CIA

101. Maid concerns : METERS. Meter maid.

107. Antarctic penguin : ADELIE. Happy couple. Happy feet.

108. Pennsylvania's state dog : GREAT DANE. State dog? Unknown to me.

109. Sommer of cinema : ELKE

110. Most convinced : SUREST

111. Controls : HARNESSES

112. "The Swiss Family Robinson" writer : WYSS (Johann). Was ignorant of the book and the author.


1. Hypothetical : ACADEMIC

2. Immortal wife of Francesco del Giocondo : MONA LISA. Thanks to da Vinci.

3. Is favorable to : SMILES ON

4. Muffin choice : OAT

5. Tapir features : SNOUTS

6. Longship crewmen : NORSE. Longships were used by the Vikings.

7. Works without __ : A NET

8. Philosophies : ISMs

9. Poe's "Annabel __" : LEE

10. Turn-of-the-century year : MCM. 1900.

11. 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton's alma mater : AUBURN. Gimme for Husker Gary, I bet. He seems to know a lot about college football.

12. "The Faerie Queene" woman : IRENA. Guessed.

13. "Vive __!" : LE ROI

14. IRS info : SSN

15. Baffled : AT A LOSS

16. Steinway competitor : YAMAHA

17. Actress Dash of "Clueless" : STACEY. First encounter with this actress. She's pretty.

18. Come to terms : SETTLE

19. Waiting for tech support, often : ON HOLD. Those overseas tech support can drive you nuts.

24. Way to the top : T-BAR

29. Delays : STALLs

32. Let off steam : VENT

33. Mutton fat : SUET. Lard is pork fat.

34. Small spade : TREY. Poker.

35. "For shame!" : TSK

37. Humane Soc. ally : SPCA

38. Victorian : PRIM

41. Worker with a pad : STENO

42. Former 49ers coach Bill : WALSH. Surprised I know him.

43. "Seascape" Pulitzer-winning playwright : ALBEE

45. Bo's'n's quarters : FO'C'SLE. Can never remember how to spell it, Spitzboov/eddyB!

46. Unfitting : INAPT

47. Desists : HALTS

48. "Mrs. __ Goes to Paris": 1992 TV film : ARRIS. Stumped me again.

49. Bananas : GONZO. Nuts!

50. Branch of zool. : ENTOM. OK, entomology.

51. Tea biscuit : SCONE

54. Chest : BUREAU. Furniture was not in my mind.

55. Arafat's successor : ABBAS

56. Direct : FRANK. Adjective "direct".

57. Full of pitfalls : RISKY

58. 2006 World Cup winner : ITALY. Soccer is huge in China.

59. Pass off (on) : FOIST

60. Plus : AND

61. Item on a rack : TOWEL

63. Place for a donut : TRUNK. Tire! Tricky clue.

64. "Sexy" Beatles woman : SADIE

65. Sported : HAD ON

70. Sun Valley visitors : SKIERS

71. Country mail rtes. : RFDs. RFD = Rural delivery service

72. Summer coolers : ICEs

75. Cut : SAWN. Spell check doesn't like it.

76. Not a dup. : ORIG

77. Oscar winner Sorvino : MIRA. She speaks Chinese.

78. In an animated way : BOUNCILY. I've only used adjective form bouncy.

79. Opens with effort, as a window : UNSTICKS

80. Stuffs : SATIATES

81. Wild vacations? : SAFARIs. Oh, wild animal, not the real wild vacation in Ibiza. JD has had a few wild ones.

82. For : PRO

85. "Dreams From My Father" family : OBAMAS

86. College address ending : DOT EDU. Felt stupid not to nail it.

87. Long riding coat : DUSTER

88. Addison's publishing partner : STEELE (Richard). Joseph Addison. Both strangers to me.

89. Plumber's alloy : SOLDER

90. Doctors' works : THESES

91. H.S. subject : HIST (History)

93. Cry of exasperation : AARGH

94. He-Man's twin sister : SHE-RA

95. "Crazy" singer : CLINE (Patsy). Thought of Jerome's mom.

98. Regs. : STDs (Standards)

99. Harem rooms : ODAs. Splynter wants one.

104. PC linkup : LAN

105. Mineral suffix : ITE

106. Remote button : REW

Answer grid.



fermatprime said...

Hello all,

Bit of a hard time with this one. Want to go to sleep, so turned on red letters! Good job, as usual, CC.

Ex-wife and daughter of Russian friend have been staying here for a few days. Haven't seen much of them.

Just wanted to say hello!

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers - Stumbled a bit here and there, particularly in the SW. It took too long to remember where I'd heard of "Dreams From My Father" (never read it, assume it's ghost-written and therefore kinda fake). Many of my school books said Addison-Wesley, no idea who STEELE is.

States have state dogs? Who knew? I have noticed that Great Dane semi-trailers are made in PA, however.

Haven't taken notice of a bottle of CHIANTI in years. At one time such bottles were seen jacketed in a woven basket, do they still do that?

Thanks for illuminating the dark corners, C.C., and also for today's learning moment: you see, I never knew that suet and lard weren't the same! :-)

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

Well done, hard to build crossword with the eight stacks, a tic-tac-toe grid with only the center being "lit".

I actually liked the variation in the theme answers today - and the one non-change in pronunciation, too - straight/strait

I grokked on Brit Spot, since Horizon filled itself in. They were all humorous - I think RED LIT and NIT were my faves.

And Damn Skippy on the Odas, my friend ~!!!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle this morning. Once I grokked the exact mechanism of the theme, it was pretty straightforward. One minor thorny spot was in the extreme SE corner, where a "remote button" could have been REW or REC and the unknown author of "The Swiss Family Robinson" could have been WYSS or CYSS. I finally went with WYSS, simply because it seemed slightly more plausible as a name.

That's about it. There were a few missteps here and there (ASIATIC for AFRICAN at 55A, for example), but nothing really major. And all the theme answers were totally spot-on, so a fun puzzle, as I said.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, CC and friends. This was a difficult Sunday puzzle for me. I figured out the missing GH after going STRAIT TO HELL, which helped a lot with the rest.

Too bad the T-BARS and SKIERS were so far apart.

Anyone remember these Joe NAMATH commercials?

Louisiana's State Dog is the Catahoula Hound.

I wonder if The SWISS Family Robinson eats Reuben sandwiches.

A nice shout-out to JD with SAFARIS. I have yet to take a safari.

QOD: Vote for the man who promises the least; he'll be the least disappointing. ~ Bernard Baruch

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Thanks for all your explanations, C.C. Not much time today, as we are off on a kayak trip. Should be lots of fun, and a welcome change after all the rain that has kept us cooped up inside this week.

I finally caught onto the "missing G-H" theme when I filled BOUT FOR A SONG. Until then I was puzzled, whether it was homonyms or missing letters or what.

Loved seeing SKIERS and T-BAR in the puzzle. Normally, ENTOM. would have elicited an "ugh", but I had to chuckle when I remembered our "etymology, entomology, etiology" discussion a while back.

Have a great day, everyone!

creature said...

Good Morning C.C. and all,

Thanks for the write-up, C.C.; I wonder where the State Dogs are listed. Never knew. Sorry to hear you had a rough Saturday morning. Hope everything has worked out and you all are ok.

Figured out the theme quickly enough, which helped. Everything else was smooth . BarryG named it: I chose rec instead of REW, cyss over WYSS. BOO!

I probably would not have gotten Aviation force /THRUST without perps.SHERA, too.

Thanks, Mike, for the puzzle.

Have a nice day everyone.

creature said...


Missed your post. Is there a state dog site?

Yes, on Joe Namath's great legs-fun.

DH says he only uses sauerkraut , corned beef and thousand island dressing. I don't make them, but I never heard of swiss cheese on them. Love to hear from the pros.

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle. I actually never did put 2 and 2 (or g and h) together and get that those were missing from each phrase. I just knew a familiar phrase had letters missing and it gave me all the help I needed. Slow steady solve with no help needed, so I declared victory and came here.

Reubens do vary regionally. Even the birthplace is a point of contention, but anyone with good taste realizes they first were made in the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. The traditional version here has Pumpernickel rye, corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing (or thousand island, but the original had Russian) and Swiss cheese. It MUST be grilled. Toasted bread or a simply cold sandwich will not do, no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

Hahtoolah said...

Creature: I just knew that the Catahoula Hound was Louisiana's state dog. I don't know when, or how, I knew that. After you inquired, though, did look up a listing for state dogs. Apparently, only a few state legislature had used their valuable law-making time to decide upon an official state dog. Most states seem to have an "official" state mammal, however.

Louisiana even has a state beverage. Can you guess what it is?

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, C.C. and all. Thanks for your excellent write up, C.C.

I saw the title of the puzzle and wondered if the GH would be missing in the theme entries, just as it is in the title. STRAIT TO HELL confirmed and it was off to the races from there.

Lots of clever stuff today. I remembered the 'place for a dunut' clue from a previous puzzle and filled TRUNK easily. I had the 'G_E' and the 'N' and saw that GrEyhouNd would fit. Fortunately, a few more perps corrected that.

I'm vaguely familiar with Swiss Family Robinson, but I kept wanting the author of the other 'Robinson' novel. No way was Defoe going to fit, so I let the perps fill. Once I had the _YSS, the correct author (and remote button) came to mind.

Did any other newspapers misprint the clue for 55a? The Naples News has the clue as 'like the large-reared elephant' instead of 'larger-eared'. Well, DUH! Aren't all elephants large reared?

Great Sunday puzzle! I sure like this one more than yesterday's offering.

Grumpy 1 said...

Avg Joe.. Spot on! with your Classic Reuben description. I see a lot of sandwiches on menus that are called Reubens, but when I check the description (no Swiss, Pastrami instead of Corned Beef, etc) it may be a good sandwich but it isn't a Reuben!

Mac said...

What on earth is Bo'sn's that ended up as Fo'c'sle?

Mac said...

What on earth was Bo's'n's quarters that ended up being F'oc'sle?

Grumpy 1 said...

On a ship, the boatswain's (usually shortened to bosun's or bo's'n's) quarters is in the forecastle (shortened to fo'c'sle in shipspeak).

Husker Gary said...

There we go! What a nice exercise with a fun, helpful theme and great cluing with “gettable” toughies! A well-earned but fair 100% today! The placement of the omitted GH was fun and hardest for me in BRIT as I thought about draught in a pub.

-NAN yesterday and DAL today?
-A lot of great teachers just want to be ELEVATED to administrators where the pay is much
-Love the Swiss but the sauerkraut, not so much!
-Thrust/drag - lift/weight
-One glass of CHIANTI and I need to give someone my keys!
-Odds are that AUBURN will be lining up with Ohio State (Pryor) and USC (Bush) to give back Heisman’s and national championships after all the Cam Newton baggage.
-Birds love my SUET!
-I saw an old beater going 75 mph the other day with a donut for one tire! Yikes!
-First lady was on SAFARI yesterday

Husker Gary said...

I had a mixed day yesterday after the very unsatisfying puzzle. I got to see my brand new grand nephew but then had to go see the family of a high school classmate who died on Friday. She died from complications from an antibiotic that people with prosthetics have to take before seeing a dentist (never knew about that). Life and death very closely juxtaposed.

Then last night we went to an all-year reunion for my old high school and the theme of life landmarks continued.

If you wash that Rueben down with a sparkling glass of Kool-Aid, you have had an All-Nebraska dinner!

eddyB said...

Hello all.

Bosns also hang in the goat locker.

State dog of CA is the German Shepard. Easy way, google state dog/your state.

Guess I cheat when making Reubens.
I toast the rye and microwave the swiss. Saves a lot of time and doesn't dirty a pan. Have a good
German beer with them.

Take care. Tired and sore all over
this morning. ??

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon, all. C.C. good write-up; I always enjoy your comments.

A good slog, today, but ultimately doable without lookups. Getting the theme early helped with letter assist on subsequent theme fill. WAGs included THRUST and A NET. Only 3 nautical words: NORSE, AT SEA, and FO'C'SLE (also spelled fo'c's'le). C.C., I usually can't remember the exact spelling either; I usually say it, but don't have to write it. While fo'c's'le has made the transition from Medieval to the Modern age, its opposite, the Poop Deck, is not normally seen in a modern context. I liked the TRUNK clue. Mike gave us a good workout today.

Bill G. said...

Fun puzzle. I agree with C.C. that the BOUT FOR A SONG seemed out of place with the other theme entries and the title of the puzzle.

Interesting all the apostrophes in bo's'n's quarters and fo'c's'le

Sunday puzzles definitely take longer to do. Interesting that CW constructors and editors have settled on 15 x 15 grid for the weekday puzzles. That seems to be a perfect compromise.

Avg Joe, your Reuben recipe sounds perfect. Yes to the Swiss cheese and grilling for sure.

C.C., yes, good guess that we are thinking about going out to lunch today, especially since the rest of the day's schedule is sparse (non-existent). We are fortunate to have so many good restaurants locally. Probably won't be Indian lentil stew, though there are several good Indian restaurants around. Probably not a Reuben sandwich either.

I hope everybody's Sunday is pleasant.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. The first thing I noticed about the puzzle today was how large it is. The second thing I noticed was how much fun it was to solve. Like some of you, I thught the theme was the long I sound changed to the short I sound, so it was a little while before I even realized that 92A and 33A were members of the class as well. Very well done!

Dudley, I agree about Addison-Wesley, and in fact (over)confidently entered WESLEY for 88D. I suspect this is what the Mike and Rich wanted us to do.

Didn't understand TRUNK until coming here. Aha!

After Friday's and yesterday's enthusiasm busters, today's was even a greater pleasure.

My wife and I once had a so-called Reuben sandwich in which the meat was hotdogs!

Best wishes to you all.

Pat said...


Since the theme was "Hi comedy", I think the "strait" and "bought" answers weren't true to the theme. Should be an "I" sound that is missing. It's what I was looking for, anyway. I did like "Knits of Columbus".

Pat said...


Since the theme is "Hi comedy", I think the "bought" and "strait" answers don't apply. Should have been a long "I" sound missing in each. I did like "Knits of Columbus"--my fav.

Didn't know that hypothetical is academic.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Afternoon All, I entered KRAUT for 89A and stuck with it long past all reason.

I thought the theme was clever, but I wish Mike Torch would have kept to I(GH)T phrases. BOU(GH)T FOR A SONG was the exception and hit a (small) sour note for me.

Another NIT with 71D)RFDS. RFD stands for Rural Free Delivery, not Rural Free Delivery Service, or Rural Free Deliveries (plural) "country mail rtes" is simply RFD. The delivery is made to a numbered Rural Route (R.R.) and box.

Dudley@4:40, I have read it and, unlike Jack Cashill and Donald Trump, I do not assume that President Obama's book was ghostwritten. But, if so, so what? Ghost writing and ghost editing are very common and they don't get credit. That's why they are call ghosts. Bill Ayers, the guy most usually mentioned as the "Dreams" culprit, has jokingly said, "Sure I wrote it. Now prove it and we'll split the royalties". It's an old and unproven political rumor. No place for it here.

Bill G. said...

Now I remember having the same question as Pat. I don't think hypothetical means the same thing as academic. Hypothetical means supposed but not necessarily true. Academic means not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest. I think their difference is significant.

Amazed said...

Dudley, if your innocuous book comment had been about anything else, it would've gone by unmentioned. But because you made the slightest possibly-negative comment about this blog's hero, you're taken to task. Simply amazing, this blog.

A "no place for it here" comment is a very telling overreaction.

Grumpy 1 said...

I really don't understand the nitpicking about the "inconsistancy" of the theme. The title of the puzzle is Hi Comedy, shortened from High Comedy. The 'GH' is dropped. Nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing to indicate that there needs to be a particular vowel sound. I try not to overthink these things.

Dudley said...

CA - I had not imagined I'd provoke anyone by mentioning possible ghost writing, certainly didn't intend to. Such mention was not politically motivated. It was merely a simple, quick comment in a blog post, nothing more.

I do maintain that I prefer a book - any book - to advertise honestly whose words it contains.

Jayce said...

Awww, I'm so disappointed.

Bill G. said...

Dear Amazed, I'm amazed you hang around this bothersome blog.

As C.C. surmised, we did go out for lunch. I tried two places that had a wait to be seated. So I headed off to a third but got stopped by a traffic jam due to the local Grand Prix bike race. So we ended up at a favorite Cubano restaurant. We had their speciality, roast pork with grilled onions. Also, rice, black beans and fried plantains. Flan for dessert. Yum! Leftovers for dinner.

Jerome said...

Grumpy 1- Well said.

Bill G- Most people don't work on Sunday. It's assumed that a solver has more free time to work a puzzle. Hence the larger Sunday crossword. By the way, Sunday puzzles are usually equal to Wednesdays in terms of difficulty.

The original idea behind the size and difficulty of a weekday puzzle was that a person's average commute time to work was around 20 minutes by train, bus, etc. So, crosswords were made with that in mind: That you could solve one on the way to work.

creature said...

Dudley, your parenthetial slur "never read it, assume it's ghost written and therefore kinda fake" surprised me,too. It really doesn't have a place here.

cajun rox said...

Hahtool, oddly enough the state beverage is MILK!

Who'd have thunk? Lol Its also for many other states like Kentucky (WH). Sorry tinman Florida is O.J., not avatar, but anyway just for tonite I will make the state beverage Millerlite, anyone care to join me?

Best wishes to you all. Really enjoyed the xwp, so thanks for it and write up

Jayce said...

Oh for crying out loud. Who are you folks to so piously aver "no place for what you said here"? C'mon, that's just controlling and presumptuous of you. Who made you the boss of this place? Who made you the opinion suppressor?

Clear Ayes said...

In the category of admittedly or probably ghostwritten/edited books are "Profiles In Courage" by John F. Kennedy (and Ted Sorenson) , "An American Life" by Ronald Reagan (and Robert Lindsey), "It Takes a Village" by Hillary Clinton (and Barbara Feinman), "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin (and Lynn Vincent) and "Spoken from the Heart." by Laura Bush, (and Lyric Winik). The list goes on and on.

I would defend authors on either side of the political spectrum AND Clay Aiken (and Allison Glock), who wrote his inspirational memoir, "Learning To Sing". To call any of these books fake is a disservice. Not all people with an interesting story to tell can write it down without help. Not everyone can be Harper Lee and write "To Kill A Mockingbird". Oh wait a minute, there have been pesky rumors for many years that Truman Capote "helped" Miss Lee with her masterpiece.

That's it from me today. I'm going to get Garlic Gal's garlic and smear it all over a nice loaf of french bread.

Hahtoolah said...

Cajun Rox: I've missed you. I knew you would come through with the right answer. Milk is pretty tame all the festivals throughout the state where something a little stronger is offered.

cajun rox said...

Hahtool, you are too kind.

Thank you ma,am

Bill G. said...

This is some pretty amazing stuff. I think a few of them are suspect but most are great. What do you think?

Lemonade714 said...

Like ghost written books, the videos were entertaining whether influenced or not; relax people. have a wonderful week before the holiday

You Tube Fan said...

I didn't watch them but I assume they were kinda fake. (^_^)

One of the little people said...

Dontcha just hate the condescending use of the word 'people'?