Sep 6, 2011

A Day at the Movies

Our Curious Conundrums series continues.

I'd like to share with you "A Day at Movies" Don G and I created. The theme unifier is placed differently than our normal LAT arrangement. Let us know your opinion and solving experience.


Here is PDF.

Here is puz file ((Across Lite).

Or you can solve the puzzle on-line here.

Spoiler: Here is the answer grid.



Barry G. said...

Fun puzzle overall, with the following minor exceptions:

* I couldn't figure out what the puzzle title had to do with the theme, unless you are talking about items commonly lost (and later found) while at the movie theater. If that's the case, well, um... yeah.

* TRIPODOMETER was a complete unknown. Until just now, that is, when I realized it is actually TRIP ODOMETER and not a single word.

* ARGOSY was rough. I wanted ARMADA and, while I think I've heard of ARGOSY before referring to a specific single ship, I never knew it could refer to a fleet of ships.

* ORU was also rough. I wanted OSU (Oklahoma State University, assuming there is such a school) and had no idea that Oral Roberts University was in Oklahoma, let alone Tulsa. The fact that it crossed URAL didn't help, since the phrasing of the clue for 16A seemed off. Orsk is "on URAL"? What does that even mean? It's near the URAL Mountains and beside the URAL River, but it's not "on URAL."

* I don't know enough about golf to understand why FORE (10A) would be a "rare shout" from Ernie ELS (13D). Doesn't he shout it all the time liek every other golfer? Or is he known for not following that particular golfing convention?

Other than that, as I said, it was really enjoyable. Plenty of fun & tricky clues, such as "copy cat" for MEOW and "Post from the grocery store" for GRAPENUTS. Good stuff!

Grumpy 1 said...

This was a fun one. Of course you just knew everyone would go for armada, didn't you? That slowed me a little, but knowing I needed an 's' at the end of 23a helped correct that.

I had a tough time figuring out the 'R' at the crossing of OYERS and RAL until I realized that an abbreviation was called for in the city name.

I liked the fresh clues for some of the more common fill, and lots of fresh fill.

I hesitated to put in STEWARD until it became obvious that nothing else would work. That term and its feminine counterpart seem to have fallen into disfavor among the PC crowd.

All in all, I really enjoyed solving this one.

Grumpy 1 said...

Barry, the only time a golfer yells "Fore!" is when his ball might possibly hit someone in the party ahead of him. A good golfer would seldom need to warn another golfer that he was about to be bonked by the ball.

Argosy can be a single ship or a fleet of shiips or even a rich supply of something. Nice cluing.

I almost put in OSU, but I was pretty sure that it isn't in Tulsa. Oral Roberts U, in Tulsa, has been in quite a few crosswords in one form or another.

What? You've never heard of Skakespeare's town of Stratford on Avon? It's pretty common to describe a town or city as being "on" the river that flows through or alonside of it.

I liked copy cat and GRAPENUTS, too.

Argyle said...

Ernie Els is a professional golfer with crowds lining the fairways so any shot veering off to the side warrants a "FORE!". Els is a very accurate driver and would rarely need to yell.

HeartRx said...

Another fun offering from you guys! I started out badly by putting "scone" instead of CUPPA. And for 13D I was trying to squeeze in "Greg Norman". But yeah, ELS has his own wine brand too - and he rarely yells "FORE!" because of his accuracy. I got those straightened out in short order, though.

For 34A I had NAyS, and figured the LyAR must be some obscure player on the NY Jets football team that I had never heard of. D'oh...

I liked PIE IN THE SKY and LAME EXCUSES. Also, some nice fresh clueing made this a thinking puzzle, so I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

kazie said...

I had trouble with ELS, ORU, OYERS, RAL and ARGOSY. Otherwise everything eased slowly into place. I also tried ARMADA, but after correcting it still couldn't get the Y at the end--I tried T, but still couldn't get 30A with it. I'm also stumped by the puzzle title as well, but the other theme answers helped get the last one out, which for me was RENEWAL LETTER.

I have to say most of these extra CWs have been stumpers for me.

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Great puzzle, once I was able to print it. I actually started writing the answers on a blank sheet of paper, but was eventually able to get it printed.

Like everyone else, it seems, I entered ARMADA at first. Eventually got it fixed with ARGOSY, via the perps. The "Y" was a wag. It worked.

CUPPA was tough, but it appeared. I thought of our compatriot "Nice Cuppa" who is on our blog almost daily.

The five long answers came more easily than many of the short ones. Thank goodness.

The circled words all seem to be things that could be lost at a theater. Not sure they would wind up in the Lost and Found, however. Many would just disappear.

See you later.


Barry G. said...

Barry, the only time a golfer yells "Fore!" is when his ball might possibly hit someone in the party ahead of him. A good golfer would seldom need to warn another golfer that he was about to be bonked by the ball.

Ah. Did I mention I don't know much about golf? I thought golfers yelled FORE every single time they teed off, just in case. Thanks for the education.

Argosy can be a single ship or a fleet of ships or even a rich supply of something. Nice cluing.

Yes, I found that out when I looked it up after completing the puzzle. At the time I was solving, however, I was unaware of all the various definitions. In fact, as I said, I thought ARGOSY was the name of a specific ship (in literature somewhere) and not just a generic ship or fleet of ships.

What? You've never heard of Skakespeare's town of Stratford on Avon? It's pretty common to describe a town or city as being "on" the river that flows through or alongside of it.

Actually, Shakespeare lived in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon (although there is also a local government district in south Warwickshire called Stratford-on-Avon). Regardless, note the dashes that indicate that the "upon-avon" bit is actually part of the name and not just a description. I still maintain that it's not correct (or at least not common) to refer to Orsk as being "on Ural". Just like you wouldn't say that Cambridge, Massachusetts, is "on Charles."

I forgot to mention, btw, that OYERS and RAL also threw me for a bit of a loop. The cluing on OYERS seemed a bit off and RAL seems to be a bit bizarre for a legitimate abbreviation of Raleigh. I'm sure it's perfectly fine, though. It just struck me as odd.

Yellowrocks said...

I real liked this puzzle and its fresh cluing. It was much more interesting than today's bland LAT offering. I agree with Grumpy's comments. I had several first impressions which I had to change, but they changed ealiy with the perps. SCONE/CUPPA, ARMADA/AGOSSY, OSU/ORU.

I understood OYER to be a certain type of legal hearing. "a hearing in open court involving the production of some document pleaded by one party and demanded by the other" No problem.

I knew ORSK IS ON IT was asking for a river name with "the" undertood: (The) URAL RIVER.

I had no nits or quibbles with any of the delightful cluing. I don't understand the title.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Movie theaters are where those circled items are often lost and found.

Thanks for taking the time solving the puzzle and giving detailed feedback, everyone!

Nice Cuppa said...

Well 1 Across was a very NICE start. Thank you.

I did like the way the theme words spanned 2 words in the answer in each case.

When I reached GLOVE, I did wonder for a second how to link that with hormones run amok, then managed to reparse it.

Barry, London is ON the Thames, Paris is ON the SEINE, so pas de problème ici.

Like most everyone else, the puzzle all came down in the end to ARGOSY - a new word to me. I thought of Jason, which saved me, even though the word has nothing to do with ARGONAUTS;

and worse, I did not know OYERS, either. Some middle Ages English law term that is used in US courts, I suppose. I guessed the Y since I thought it might be connected to OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ. And, O yes, it was.

Otherwise, jolly romp.


Barry G. said...

Barry, London is ON the Thames, Paris is ON the SEINE, so pas de problème ici.

I feel like we've already beaten this particular horse into the ground, but once again I have no problem with saying "on the Thames" or "on the Seine." But "on Thames" and "on Seine" just isn't right. If the clue says, "Orsk is on it," the answer should be THE URAL and not simply URAL.

Of course, as Yellowrocks pointed out, perhaps the missing "the" was supposed to be understood. I guess one solver's "poor cluing" is just another solver's "understood," eh? ^_^

melissa bee said...

fun puzzle don and c.c.,

i had the same problem as barry with trip odometer, i wanted trip meter and needed perps to sort out odo in the middle.

also entered armada first.

no problem with oru, since i lived in oklahoma for a time. that's actually where my high school graduation ceremony was held. in the 'baby mabee' center.

also no complaints about the clueing for ural, since the it in the clue refers to the ural. yes, the answer could have been the ural, but either makes sense to me.

Tinbeni said...

Agree with the others, more fun and interesting than todays LAT.

For LAME EXCUSES I would have clued it as
"The dog ate my homework."
Of course, I'm probably the only person who has ever had a dead battery ...
I realize Constructors want to "make us think, a bit" but the answer is SO GOOD, why not just go with the obvious?

Faves, AUNTIE Em, thet Airline STEWARD and that 2K FUN-RUN.

Barry, if the clue/answer had been:
Paris is on it / Seine
Would this discussion have come up?

Barry G. said...

i had the same problem as barry with trip odometer, i wanted trip meter and needed perps to sort out odo in the middle.

I actually read the answer as a single word that was pronounced tri-pod-o-meter (with the accent on the "pod" of course). It completely bewildered me until I realized it was actually two words.

Barry, if the clue/answer had been:
Paris is on it / Seine
Would this discussion have come up?

Absolutely! The name of the river is "the Seine" and not simply "Seine." It makes perfect sense to say "Paris is on the Seine," but makes no sense to say "Paris is on Seine." And no, I don't need to hear the joke about the guy who jumped into a river in Paris and was declared "in Seine" as a result... ^_^

Seriously, though, we all routinely expect clues and answers to agree with each other, whether it's the same part of speech, the same tense, the same number (singular vs. plural), both having abbreviations, etc. I honestly don't see why this would be any different. Either the answer should have been THE URAL or else the clue should have read "Orsk is on it (with 'the')."

Obviously, it's not a big deal, and I apologize that it has dragged on so long. I wouldn't mind a quick response from Don, though...

Lucina said...

Hello, C.C. and Don.

My goodness, you two are certainly productive with your puzzles.

This one was great fun and very doable.

Yes, my first fill was SCONE but then ALIEN and STERN made me realize CUPPA would fit better and I smiled thinking of Nice Cuppa.

I also had AMID, RARE and GRAPENUTS so ARGOSY just emerged. Great cluing on 18A.

I agree that this scratched the gray cells and forced some thinking.

OYERS seemed related to OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ which we've seen before so I went with it but I was surprised to see DOORWAY as "a way out" repeating way.

Nice job power team!

JD said...

Greetings C.C. and Don,

Chickie, Garlic Gal and I loved your xwd. I arrived at lunch with it partially done, having already changed scone to cuppa, but I had armada filled in and knew it was wrong because 23A was impossible. The 3 of us quickly fixed my errors, laughed at grapenuts, had a lull over oyers and estd. We figured it HAD to be oyers because RAL was the logical answer-although it doesn't look pretty.

OK, I do not get school closing = marm??!!

And, like Lucina, we were surprised to see doorWAY as a WAY out.

The 3 of us had a great time, and having your puzzle with us was just an added bonus.

Anonymous said...

I liked the puzzle I didn't understand 42 down Ball balance point. Tee. I first read it as ball point tip. don't understand why my mind is playing tricks on me. I put NIB

other than that great puzzle.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Schoolmarm. MARM ends (closes) the word "School".

Bill G. said...

C.C., I assume you two made this puzzle hoping to have it published. I guess it wasn't. Why? What were the nits that were picked and why couldn't they be fixed? I had fun with it. Thanks.

Annette said...

Very late to the party, so most of my missteps have already been stated - ORU/OSU, ARMADA/ARGOSY, OYERS/RAL, etc.

But the one nit that I don't see mentioned is that part of the clue for 21D appears in the answer too: Way out - DOORWAY.

Other than that, it was a fun puzzle, with plenty of clever clues, misdirections, and echos to ensure a good time is had by all!

Thank you C.C. for sharing these BONUS puzzles with us! It makes you wonder how many other fun puzzles are sitting on constructor's reject piles, due to some arbitrary technicality. I don't think anyone's enjoyed solving these puzzles any less based on whatever reason they'd been rejected. Like my comment above didn't affect my overall solving experience whatsoever!

Jackson Moore said...

I liked the tripodometer..I loved the fact that it was challenging and a new one for me...thanks!!!!

C.C. Burnikel said...

The theme just didn't work for Rich.

Annette et al.
Yeah, big mistake on DOORWAY. We need an editor!

AriadneArts said...

I really enjoyed this puzzle and had many of the same probs as the rest of you.

TRIP ODOMETER: I knew ODOMETER, but took awhile to figure out what came before it.

ARGOSY, I had no trouble with-- after I got ARGO (Jason's ship) the SY popped right into my head.

I agree about WAY out and DOORWAY, of course.

One thing no one noticed, though, 43D 'Yes, in Hong Kong' is totally wrong. HAI is "yes" is Japanese--- a language linguistically unrelated to Chinese (although the Japanese did borrow the Chinese writing system). 'Yes' in Hong Kong , in Mandarin dialect, at least, is 'shr de'. Many, many Chinese dialects are spoken in Hong Kong among the many refugees from different provinces.

In truth though, there are no actual words for 'yes' and 'no' in Chinese. A question such as "Is she at home?" Would be answered " She is." or "She is not."

AriadneArts said...

Forgot to add that an easy solution to the HAI problem would be to simply change the clue to "Yes, in Tokyo". :-)