Sep 30, 2011

Friday September 30, 2011 David Poole

Theme: FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (35A. How most reading is done, and this puzzle's title) - Letter L (after F) in the first word of each common phrase is changed into R.

17A. Halloween tricksters' route? : FRIGHT PATH. Flight path.

23A. Best place to watch "Animal House"? : FRAT SCREEN TV. Flat screen TV.

45A. Feathers? : FROCK OF BIRDS. Flock of birds.

56A. Work the late shift at the diner? : FRY BY NIGHT. Fly by night.

C.C. here, pinch-hitting for Lemonade.

No BLAND TASTE/DIET to BRAND TASTE/DIET change. I like the extra layer of letter F in front of the L. It tightens up the theme.

Also, letter L and R are all common letters, very easy to overlook a straying letter in the conversion process, as David mentioned in his interview. He had to give up his seed entry. A bit tougher than it looks to come up with a set of consistent theme answers.

Favorite clue today is ACTRESS (25. Close, for instance). Took me a minute to realize he's talking about Glenn Close.


1. Shoots the breeze : CHATS

6. 1940s-'50s Israeli UN ambassador : EBAN (Abba)

10. Game __ : PLAN

14. "The Wolf and the Crane" author : AESOP. Very crossword-friendly name.

15. Cross off : X'OUT

16. Piece of one's mind? : LOBE. Plays on "peace of mind".

19. Awestruck : AGOG

20. Roy Halladay stat : ERA. With the Phillies. He's got one perfect game. Cliff Lee has low ERA too.

21. Sister of Calliope : ERATO

22. It may be icy : STARE. Icy stare. Tiger's stare used to be icy and intimidating. Not any more.

28. Unburden : RID

29. Kate of "Ironclad" : MARA. Good actress. I've never seen the movie though.

30. Soften by soaking : MACERATE. New word to me. So close to lacerate.

39. Sherry alternatives : MADEIRAS. Portuguese wines.

40. Albany's father-in-law : LEAR. Had no idea that Albany is Goneril's husband.

41. "Piers Morgan Tonight" channel : CNN

42. Eisenhower library site : ABILENE. Kansas.

50. Nigerian seaport : LAGOS. Nigerian's former capital. Current capital is Abuja.

51. Noted Beethoven interpreter : ARRAU (Claudio). From Chile. Rich plays piano, nuts about baseball, has a handicap of 6, so he won't overlook any clue mistake in those areas.

52. CIA's ancestor : OSS

55. Cancel : UNDO

58. "__ no kick from Champagne": song lyric : I GET. What song?

59. Steady : BEAU. Oh, "steady" is a noun here.

60. Response to a skeptic : NO LIE

61. Gets into : DONs

62. Employee IDs : SSNS

63. Third shift hr. : ONE AM. How are shift divided?


1. Champs Élysées feature : CAFE. Lots of. "Give me a reason to love you..". Sophie Marceau is so pretty.

2. Bach title? : HERR. German "Mister".

3. Land east of the Urals : ASIA

4. Dress finely, with "out" : TOG

5. Field of influence : SPHERE

6. Americans in Paris, maybe : EXPATS. Nice clue. I liked "An American in Paris".

7. Tug and junk : BOATS

8. Overlord : AUTOCRAT. Great answer.

9. Ultimate : NTH

10. Home at the park? : PLATE. Home plate at a ball park.

11. Airport whose code is BOS : LOGAN

12. Decide not to finish : ABORT

13. Desert bordering the Sinai Peninsula : NEGEV. What does this word mean?

18. Choral syllables : TRAs

22. Feast in the month of Nisan : SEDER

23. Position in a viewfinder : FRAME

24. Moneyed, in Monterrey : RICO. "Rich". Meet Carlos Slim, the rico-est man in Mexico, in the world too.

25. Like some switches : AM/FM

26. Word spoken with amore : CARA. Italian for "Dear". Roberto used to call me "Bella". I thought he liked me.

27. Put one's foot down : TROD

30. Summer escapes: Abbr. : MTs

31. Little streams : RILLS. Learned from doing Xword.

32. "The African Queen" co-screenwriter : AGEE (James)

33. Instead of : THAN

34. Raison d'__ : ETRE

36. Trounces : LICKS. So many colorful sports phrases for "routs".

37. Cube creator Rubik : ERNO

38. Royal introductions : FANFARES. Another great answer.

42. France-based jet maker : AIRBUS. Their Boeing.

43. Sound from Eeyore : BRAY

44. "Beats me!" : I DUNNO

45. Not fixed : FLUID

46. Title chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp in a 2011 animated film : RANGO. No idea. Here is a poster. Not a Johnny Depp fan either.

47. Osmonds' hometown : OGDEN. Somewhere in Utah.

48. Codgers : COOTS

49. Two-time loser to McKinley : BRYAN. Stumper. William Jennings Bryan.

52. Look like a creep? : OGLE. Oh, don't ogle then!

53. Branch of Islam : SHIA

54. Check : STEM

56. NFL ball carriers : FBs (Fullbacks)

57. Fluoride, for one : ION. Good to know.

Answer grid.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Really nice Friday puzzle. The theme was a lot of fun, once I finally figured out what was going on, and there were lots of devious clues.

The hardest spot was over on the west coast, where the clue for ACTRESS was very tricky, as C.C. pointed out. That, combined with the fact that I had no idea who Kate MARA was, didn't know CARA and started out with OFFS as a type of switch...

The second hardest spot was at the bottom where FBS did not exactly spring immediately to mind, it took a while to pull ARRAU out of the dark crevices and I had no idea that BRYAN lost to McKinley once, let alone twice.

Fun puzzle overall, though!

fermatprime said...

Hi all,

It's late ad I really struggled with this one.

Interesting puzzle, David; fine write up, CC.

Cole Porter wrote I Get A Kick Out Of You . Sinatra and others sang it.

Theme was funny. Didn't catch it immediately, but should have. Favorite answer also CLOSE! Did anyone watch Damages ? Great acting.

Happy weekend!

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Well,this was an "almost win", but 45A & 46D did me in because of my own carelessness. I had Flock of Birds and Lango. Lango/Rango was unknown and I hadn't picked up on the FR theme. Otherwise, with some effort, I finished the rest of David's offering.

I found the puzzle a bit of a grind and needed a lot of perp help. I seemed to find the Down clues easier to solve.

The West Central grid was the toughest for me, but it yielded my favorite clue, Close/Actress.

Busy weekend starting now, so I'll talk to everyone again on Monday. To those fortunate enough to be in the NE, lovely fall weekend in store for us. It's about time too.

Argyle said...

Hi guy!

Something to help remember CARA: Clip(2:30)

Tinbeni said...

C.C.: Nice write-up.

Oh boy, it's Friday and that means let's have another "change-a-letter/create-whacky-answer" puzzle.

FROM-LEFT-TO-RIGHT was my second entry.
Raison d'___ (ETRE) was my first, since that is the standard way it is (always?) clued in our grids.

For "The African Queen" co-screenwriter I wanted John Huston, who was also credited with James AGEE.
Then I started wondering it maybe it was time for the uncredited writers, Peter Viertel and John Collier, to get their due.

LICKS was my fave ...
Though NOT for the "Trounces" reason.
TGIF ... time to get DF !!!

Cheers ...

thehondohurricane said...

Updated weather forecast for NE. Friday as previously described, Sat & Sun ... more wet. Yuck!

Anonymous said...

A mathematician who's also a xword constructor....

Would that be Poolean Algebra or Ptoolemaic planetary motion ?

Anonymous said...

I still don't get the "MTS" answer. Can anyone help? What does MTs stand for?

Anonymous said...


- John

Yellowrocks said...

Very entertaining puzzle from David and informative blog from CC. My favorite puzzles require much use of the PERPS like this one did. That's what makes them puzzling and interesting.

With ____SCREEN TV, I realized that FLAT was changed to FRAT and so I discovered the theme, which helped tremendously.

Like Barry I had OFF for 29D. Since the F fit 35A I held on to OFF until almost the end. Finally coming up with Madeira led to AM FM which fixed that. Then I realzied that CLOSE was the acteress. one of my favorites.

Great workout with no red letters or look ups. So it ended with a fist bumping YESS! Patience gets rewarded. It diminishes the satisfaction when I resort to looking up answers before I finish.

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy Friday, all! Thanks for the interview and the blog, C.C. and thanks to David for another great puzzle.

I can just about sum it up with "what Barry said" except I did know BRYAN and that opened up the rest of the puzzle. I had FROM LEFT TO RIGHT early, but didn't groke the theme until FRY BY NIGHT. Befrore that I was trying to fit _IGHT into each theme since it was emerging in the first and last entries as well as the unifier.

Lots of tricky clues in this one. I really enjoyed the challange.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning all. Thanks for your comments, C.C.

Missed MACERATE and ACTRESS, but nailed ARRAU and RANGO, at least. Enjoyed most of it and sussed the theme half way through. I thought Close ⇔ ACTRESS was devilishly clever. Also liked Home PLATE. I liked how the "V" worked out in the corner with NEGEV and FRAT-SCREEN TV. Nice job, David.

Have a great day.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Tough going today. Love the theme. Didn't know Kate MARA or that AESOP fable. MACERATE was a revelation. Multiple misdirection with "Close."

ERNO Rubik is Hungarian, so I'll put the cube up against lutefisk - no LYE!

Apropos the theme: To my Anglicized ear, Hungarian has that sound between an L and an R, as in ASIAN languages - as illustrated yesterday by my reference to hurka sausage. Hungarian does have an Asian origin, I believe.

C.C. -- The first song in this clip.


Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Thanks, David Poole, for a great Friday exercise. It worked. Thank you, C.C., for the write-up.

This one started slowly, as they usually do on Friday. My first answer was OFFS, which I had to change later to AMFM. Got RILLS and BRAY, they led to ABILENE. I kind of remembered that Ike was from there.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT came easily. That was lucky for me. That helped with the other theme answers.

Thought AUTOCRAT was a good answer. Had me stumped for a while.

My last entries were AMFM, ACTRESS, and MADEIRAS.

Only took me about two hours. See you tomorrow.


Lemonade714 said...

C.C., thank you for the wonderful write up, and interview. Thanks for taking up the slack and yesterday's effort, as well. I am enjoying the chilly rain in Buffalo....

The puzzle was great, and see you all next week.

HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Thanks for filling in for Lemonade today, C.C. Always great to “C” you on a weekday.

Believe it or not, when I saw “Close, for example” I had the fleeting thought “Does he mean Glenn Close?” But I waited until I had more perps, to be sure.

In some recipes for plum pudding, the raisins are often “macerated” in rum before being added to the batter.

Argyle, that Jay and the Americans song you linked was exactly what popped into my head at 26D for CARA.

I relied heavily on perps to fill in ERA for “Halliday stat”, MARA for “Kate of the Ironclad” and ARRAU for “Beethoven interpreter”. But finishing this puppy without any lookups was a real treat.

I loved the tight theme and especially laughed out loud at FRIGHT PATH, with Halloween just around the corner. Great stuff – thanks, David!

Yellowrocks said...


I use the Wheel of Fortune theory for sussing proper nouns. In this TV game show you form words by guessing letters to add to existing letters. I play a similar game with license plates. I try to add letters to those on the plates to form words.

You don’t have to know much, just have a bank of random words in your head. Today I had _ _ Y_N. It looked like BRYAN who I know was a statesman, whether or not he fit the clue. So I tried it.

Although I am not into sports I have heard many players’ names, names of teams, stadia, ball parks and home cities. I try to fit these names around the PERPS I have. Sometimes I know almost nothing about the clue, but this method works.

I use it for other names and places, too. Last week I had to look up ROGEN. Next time, although I will forget who he is, his name will be suggested by some of the PERPS.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, I figured out the FR to FL substitution with FRIGHT PATH. That enabled me to skip down the grid and enter FR in their proper places. All those FRs gave me a good head start.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT wasn't my second entry (good going, Tinbeni), but it was fourth or fifth. The only problem was interpreting it later on. I kept wondering what FLOM LEFT TO RIGHT meant....D'uh!

25A)ACTRESS would have been a sticker, but I had the perps forming RESS. It helped that I was on the wrong clue line and read it as 29A)Kate of "Ironclad". It can be a good thing to work at the puzzle at 11:00 PM.

Mid-puzzle reminded me of grandma's homemade Glögg at Christmas. The kids only got a teeny taste, but she would toss home-canned fruit in a big jar of sweet wine (maybe MADEIRA), along with almonds and spices and let them MACERATE for a couple of days/weeks? The fruit was ladled into bowls for intoxicating adult treats and the liquid was warmed and sipped from cups.

eddyB said...


Loved this puzzle.
Sharks now 5-0-0 after beating Vancouver again.
Getting really excited about the new 2.2l, twin turbo engines for 2012.
Supposed to hear the difference in their sounds. 230 mph on straights at Indy.
Free trial offer for NHL Center Ice
Oct 6-23 on DirecTV.
Morning readings in the 90s where they want them. Predinner readings different story.
October 3rd will be my big day. Let the beer flow. It's Oktoberfest.


Argyle said...

I had ONENESS and OFFS for 25. Then I got the theme and out they came. MACERATE was my final fill.

Seldom Seen said...

Disgruntled art shopper?

Still bleeding?

Alternative Russian roulette?
FRAG FOOTBALL(I know...trailing L)

and for the DFers out there...

Flipper's lesser known cousin?

Nice Cuppa said...


You beat me to 1,2, and 4. I am only left with:

Where you might find a nice cuppa? = FRESH POT


Seldom Seen said...

Check out this ICY STARE starting at 0:31.

I wonder what would have happened to the baseball if he had caught it. Maybe the doctor that attended to his daughter would have helped him to remove it.

Police Report Extract said...

This is an actual paragraph from the 'Police Blotter' column, in a Columbus, Ohio newspaper, published today.

An Oklahoma man, 21, was questioned, and released, about unlicensed solicitation, without a permit ....

'The man told the homeowner that he was a student at Ohio State University, and that he was earning money to go to the Globe Theater in London, and then to play with the London Symphony. When the homeowner's wife asked him what instrument he played, he replied "baritone". '

..... ;-O

Jerome said...

David- I think it a stroke of luck that you had to toss FRAGRANT FOUL.
FRAT SCREEN TV makes a good puzzle great!

Jayce said...

There actually is an instrument called a baritone. It's like a small tuba.

Loved the "close" clue/answer. Always wondered why her first name sounds like a man's name. Then again, there's the actress Michael Learned.

I always thought macerate meant to chew or crush. Then I looked it up. Nope, I must have been thinking of masticate. I guess as kids we were wrong to have said "Let's macerate the heck out of it" meaning smash/crush it to smithereens.

But then again, I used to say "myzled" instead of "mis-led", thinking it was the past tense of some word such as mizle (rhymes with 'her eyes'll hypnotize you.')

Bill G. said...

I didn't know mascerate. Back in high school, we thought it was great fun to use masticate and mensurate in a sentence.

Thunder here. Very unusual for Manhattan Beach. Maybe I'll skip the bike ride?

Anonymous said...

No, definitely go!

Yellowrocks said...

Jayce. It sounds like you meant to MASTICATE your enemies (crush to a pulp.) In my mind that always is connected with chew up. MACERATE to me means soaked in booze like strawberries macerated in Gran Marnier. MMM! GOOD! You seem to have been an eating and drinking bunch. LOL. My cohorts offered to MASSACRE their enemies. A blood thirsty lot!!

Lucina said...

Greetings, Group

The internet has been out all day and now I'm in a hurry for my granddaughter's concert.

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this puzzle! Thank you, David

I especially enjoyed the misdirection of close, ACTRESS. That section chewed up an eraser for a while but finally the light went on.

I hope to read the blog and coments later tonight.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anonymous said...

C.C. Asked about the meaning of Negev: Hebrew for "Dry".

Anonymous said...

I get no kick from champagne,
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all.
So tell me why it should be true,
That I get a kick put of you.

Some get a kick from cocaine,
I'm sure that if I had even one sniff,
It would bore me terrifically too.
Yet I get a kick out of you.

(yes, those are the real lyrics!)

Anonymous said...

Er, but with a typo: "put" should have been "out". Whoops.