Sep 8, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011 Bill Thompson and Ann Thompson Richter

Theme: "What am I...?" *

This is Bill Thompson's second LAT puzzle, but I don't remember ever seeing Ann Thompson Richter. Maybe a father-daughter team? It would be interesting to hear from them today. Moving on...

18A. Portrayer of the Elf maiden Arwen in "The Lord of the Rings" : LIV TYLER. You may not know that this hauntingly beautiful lady is the daughter of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.

26A. Exist like a mob informant, say : LIVE IN FEAR. I thought of Vinnie Antonelli in "My Blue Heaven". A hilarious comedy, and he didn't seem to be living in fear...

49A. Enjoy leisurely : LINGER OVER. I think Bill G. must linger over his delicious lunches!

60A. Solon : LAW GIVER. A "slightly" more modern clue would be John Huston's role in "Battle for the Planet of the Apes".

And the unifier:

69A. It's chopped, in a way, in 18-, 26-, 49- and 60-Across : LIVER. I thought it was elegant to "chop" in different ways in each theme entry.

*The phrase "What am I, chopped liver?" has different meanings, but generally refers to a feeling of being overlooked or under appreciated.

Marti here, blogging another Thursday. I love puzzles on this day of the week - not so frustrating as Friday or Saturday, but more challenging than those "simple" Monday - Tuesday offerings! So, let's analyze this puppy:


1. Leader elected by monks : ABBOT. I don't think Michael Sharp would argue about the accuracy of this clue.

6. Jazz aficionado : CAT. As in "Hep cat" or "cool cat".

9. "__ Astor": Sargent portrait : LADY. This lady.

13. Rule : GOVERN

15. Maker of Good Grips kitchen tools : OXO. Is this the new "asp"?

16. __ of mystery : AURA

17. Former quarterback Peete : RODNEY. He was the first player from USC to win the Johnny Unitas award as the best quarterback. His NFL career was less distinguished, though.

20. Hunk's pride : ABs

21. The sun, in Cancún : EL SOL

23. Award for books on tape : AUDIE. Apt name.

24. Torchiere, e.g. : FLOOR LAMP

29. Mlle. counterpart : SRTA

33. Nut in a cupule : ACORN

34. Words in a market report : ARE UP. (I wish...)

36. Equip with firepower : ARM

37. Somersaulting dive : GAINER. Do not try this at home!

39. Executive position : TOP JOB. This one started on the bottom floor, and worked up.

41. Tolkien creature : ORC

42. "Pink Shoe Laces" singer Stevens : DODIE. Yay! Music link!

46. Green shade : OLIVE.

47. Tourney ranking : SEED

51. 1988 Radio Hall of Fame inductee : AMOS 'N ANDY

53. Boss, in Swahili : BWANA. My Swahili is a little rusty, so I'll take your word for it!

56. Beatles title woman who "made a fool of everyone" : SADIE. Interesting comments by Lennon below this video. (Click on "Show more".)

57. Bit of work : ERG

62. Santa Catalina's only city : AVALON

64. All: Pref. : OMNI

65. Wrap up : END

66. Place for a picture : CINEMA

67. Narc's goal : BUST. Is this what they're after?

68. Old IBM PCs : XTS


1. Indian tomb site : AGRA. Hey Vidwan - we're back in Agra!

2. Nincompoop : BOOB. (see 67a)

3. Briefs not seen in court : BVDS. OK, I want to know what the "weight" and "softness" scales on the left side are really referring to???

4. Sommelier's prefix : OEN

5. Like many a New England street : TREE LINED

6. Kid finishing a book, maybe : COLORER

7. They're under shoulder joints, anatomically : AXILLAE

8. "Mazel __!" : TOV

9. Bucks shots : LAYUPS. Milwaukee Bucks, basketball team.

10. Seasonal song starter : AULD. (frown)

11. Eins und zwei : DREI. Eins zwei drei vier fünf sechs sieben acht neun zehn. (Quiz, to follow.)

12. Easy to maneuver, at sea : YARE. Or, "yar"

14. Versatile synthetic : NYLON

19. Cap with a pom-pom called a toorie : TAM

22. Remote hiding place? : SOFA. The TV remote always seems to get buried between the cushions, doesn't it? Clever clue.

24. Frond bearer : FERN

25. Stuck, after "in" : A RUT

26. Old Nigerian capital : LAGOS

27. Words of compassion : I CARE

28. Walt Disney, vis-à-vis Mickey Mouse : VOICE

30. Indira's successor : RAJIV. After Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was assassinated, her elder son took office. Rajiv himself was assassinated in 1991. Sounds like a dangerous job...

31. Treasure stash : TROVE

32. Brew hue : AMBER

35. Unfortunate soul : POOR DEVIL

38. Chewy caramel candy : ROLO

40. Sneaky maneuver : PLOY

43. Buck the majority : DISSENT

44. Guts : INNARDS

45. Quaint outburst : EGAD

48. "Aw, shucks!" : DANG IT. EGAD, two in a row!

50. "Giant Brain" unveiled in 1946 : ENIAC. "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer". Its design and construction were financed by the US Army during WWII to calculate artillery firing tables.

52. It follows April in Paris : MAI. Janvier Février Mars Avril Mai Juin Juillet Août Septembre Octobre Novembre Décembre. (Quiz, to follow.)

53. Shapeless form : BLOB. This was my first drive in movie. It scared the begeesus out of me!

54. U.S.'s largest S&L until its 2008 collapse : WAMU. Washington Mutual.

55. Botanical bristles : AWNS

57. Mtn. statistic : ELEV. Mtn. abbreviation indicates abbreviation of the answer. Elevation.

58. Where all roads lead? : ROME. When you get there, do as the Romans do.

59. Growl : GNAR. I thought this was short for "gnarly". Snowboarder friends use it a lot to describe awesome jumps. But there it is in the dictionary: snarl or growl. Oh well, what do snowboarders know, anyway??

61. Annoy : VEX

63. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN I

Answer grid.

Until next time!



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Another relatively easy puzzle, especially for late week. I didn't know DODIE, RAJIV or XTS, but they all came via the perps and everything else was pretty straightforward. AUDIE and LADY were also unknown, but very easy to guess.

YARE could have been a problem, but I have finally committed it to memory after having being baffled by it numerous times in the past. Ditto for GNAR.

And yes, "Remote hiding place?" was a very fun clue for SOFA.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I had fun with this Thursday puzzle. Not only was the theme amusing, but I liked all the misleading and puny clues.

I was a big Aerosmith fan, so knew that LIV TYLER was Steven's daughter. He was originally from New Hampshire, where I am for the next few days.

OXO must be the word of the month.

My favorite clue was Briefs Not Seen in Court = BVDs. I remember the company's old ad slogan, which went: Next to myself, I like BVDs best.

The remote hiding place = SOFA, was not only a good mislead, but also so true!

QOD: All great innovation is built on rejection. - Louis-Ferdinand Céline

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I found this pretty difficult because there were several places where I had difficulty getting a foothold. Once I did ........ a few AHA moments.

I began with Calvin, a former pro golfer, for 17A, but perps got me to Rodney. Axillae, oxo, yare, audie, & torchiere (floor lamp) were unknowns or vagaries. Don't remember seeing OXO lately, but Hell, I hardly remember what we had for supper last night.

A lucky wag or two got me home, but it wasn't easy.

Even so, this was an enjoyable challenge with some clever cluing. Favorites were Bucks shots/lay ups & briefs not seen in court/BVDS. Both got a chuckle out of me.

Another rainy day in CT, four in a row. I hope some of you are enjoying the sun. We may see it for the weekend.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Terrific puzzle title! I like how LIVER is chopped differently in each theme entry too. Quite a few lively non-theme entries in this grid.

Re: "Green span": LEA. It's a great feeling when our clues are noticed.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear Ayes,
Don and I design a new grid for each of our puzzles. I don't think any LAT or NYT constructor lets computer fill in his/her grid. The wordlist the software provides is a huge help, but the program can't tell whether an entry fits Rich's Monday requirement if you're constructing a Monday puzzle. Or knows GO FIGURE is better than GOLF SHOE if you have a GO?????E slot. So yeah, "grunt work" for constructors as you said yesterday.

Tinbeni said...

Marti: Nice write-up & links.

Geez, I'm glad I had time to LINGER-OVER this offering.
Probably was distracted by "all the good news on CNBC" that the markets ARE UP. lol

Yup, it makes sense: Audio Books win an AUDIE.
I'll just enjoy books the old-fashioned way by reading them.
I guess it's like A-RUT I have about solving puzzles "in pen/on paper" instead of using the computer.
Old habits are hard to change.

EGAD, OXO is here (again)!

BOOB & BUST in the same grid has a certain panache.

Cheers to all at Sunset.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning! Great write up, Marti. This one was a bit more challenging than the previous offerings this week, but still seemed fairly easy for a Thursday. Maybe Rich took Monday off and everything is running a day behind.

The remote in the SOFA was cute but didn't fool me for a nanosecond. My first computing experience was on the ENIAC at Case Inst. of Tech. Never owned an IBM PC XT, but I remember them.

Really liked the way the LIVER was chopped every way possible. Great job by our constructors.

Hondo, now I know why I put in Calvin with such confidence, only to take it out when the perps wouldn't fit. I had forgotten that he was a golfer. RODNEY came easily enough as soon as I saw the R and Y.

I got hung up for a bit with FLOOdLAMP instead of FLOORLAMP, which gave me a really wierd looking cross. V8 moment when I finally figured that one out.

Hahtoolah said...

Grumpy, I initially tried FlooDlamp, too.

kazie said...

I googled to get LADY and literally didn't know any one of the names for sure. WAGged AMOSNANDY LIV TYLER and SADIE, and the rest were perped. Never heard XTS, SOLON (WTF?) or WAMU before, and I still never remember the X in OXO for some reason. I liked the BVDs clue.

Enjoyed your links, but thought the GAINER one was scary--he had to leap so far out to miss breaking his neck on the ledge below! No wonder kids kill themselves doing stupid things!

Argyle said...

How do you know you are really into constructing crosswords? When you look at chopped liver and see a puzzle!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Marti and all.

It was a dark and stormy night (literally, here in the Mohawk Valley). Got the whole puzzle, except I was VEXed by 43d, DISSENT. For some reason I thought it was only a noun, D'uh, so I was looking for a verb, here. Not pretty. Other than that, I liked the puzzle and the chopped LIVER theme. Particularly liked the clues for LIVER and hiding place for the remote - SOFA lol. Not familiar with YARE, maybe a Brit sailing term? I've only seen it in cwds. German and Dutch cognates; gar and gaar meaning 'ready', respectively are in common everyday use, however.

DREI mal hoch! to everyone.

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Thanks, Bill and Anne, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for the great write-up and links. Not sure what the BVD scales mean except they were probably an industry standard at some time. I understand the initials means "Bradley, Voorhees, and Day", the originators' initials. I looked that up.

This puzzle was not bad, for a Thursday. I caught OXO again. That has been quite regular lately. As Marti said it may have replaced my favorite, ASP.

Getting the theme and unifier helped me with LIVE IN FEAR. I had HIDE IN FEAR at first.

I missed ARE UP. Had ADS UP. Had COLORED and AXILLAS instead of COLORER and AXILLAE. Oops.

GOT AVALON with perps.

BWANA was easy. Think there was a Hope/Crosby movie with that as part of the title.

Well, I am off to the eye doctor for my glaucoma check up. Wish me well.

See you tomorrow.


HeartRx said...

Abejo, good luck with your eye exam!

Vidwan827 said...

I enjoyed today's puzzle tho' did not finish. Thanks for the charmingly delectable blog Marti. RE: Agra, Since you are an eminent constructor in your own right, may I suggest that all of you should look for 'other cities' in the world which have a four letter, vowel begin/ending status. Erla ( 'burb of Mumbai) and my cutie - 'Ooty' or 'Ootie', - a hill station in south India.

I liked the puzzle and the clues were difficult, but fair. I got the theme, altho' I did not get Solon - the last answer 60 A - lawgiver. Solon is a major city abutting Clevland, OH - but I thought it meant wise man.

Rajiv Gandhi was the last Indian political leader assasinated, and lets hope it stays that way. His Italian catholic wife , widow, Antonia (Sonia) Gandhi is the true power behind the current government.

Have a good rest of the week.

Warren said...

Hi Gang, a tricky Thursday as usual for me, I think that my wife and I only finished 1/4 of today's puzzle before she left for work. I didn't 'get' the theme until I got here.

unknown's include Yare, Axillae, RAJIV, & SRTA (all show red underline on my PC).

For eddyB & etal: remember this weekend! See BHC sales flyer for information and directions.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank You, Abejo, for your recommendation of the book - 'Constantine's Sword' re; Jewish suffering thru the ages. I will definitely read it, when I get a chance. I deeply appreciate the suggestion.

BTW, I did not get the word 'Avalon', though I own one. ( Very Good car. ) Tells you, how much we know about our cars. (LOL).

Last year, a 'BVD' bandit was arrested in N.E. Ohio - apparently, that was his 'disguise', his modus operandi and his preferred item of loot. No word yet on his I.Q.

HeartRx said...

Vidwan, if we are looking of a * * a words, there is the Hindi term "adda", Sarah McLachlan's 1997 song "Adia", the now-defunct "Agfa" photography company, the Spanish "agua", or a host of others. But darn it, AGRA is just too well-known to be cast aside, LOL!

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, According to Clear Ayes criteria, this was an excellent puzzle....I got it done with just a few hitches.

I did enter FLASH LITE (I know, I know.) at 24A the first time around. We even have a TORCHIERE in the den, but we dopily call it a floor lamp.

That reminds me of an old friend who had put up new drapes in her living room. "Nice drapes." I said. "They're Window Treatments!!", she told me exasperatedly. I have curtains, shades and blinds, for which I supposed there are fancier names.

Other hangups were 54D)WAMU and 68A) XTS. ?? I just had to take the perps word for it.

I really liked the theme and caught on to it early. LIVER here, there, everywhere.

I love chopped chicken liver with minced onion, minced hard boiled egg, some chicken schmaltz (rendered fat), salt, pepper and spread on small pieces of pumpernickel bread. Think of it as pâté and you might like it.

kazie said...

Interesting parallel you brought up between the German gar and YARE--I had only known a couple of other German equivalents that had a 'g' where we have a 'y': Garn = yarn, and gelb = yellow, maybe gähnen = yawn too?

Spitzboov said...

Kazie @ 10:45 - How about yesterday = gestern; Low German güstern? There may be others.

eddyB said...


Jill back in Sacramento to lobby Solons.

Warren. See you Sat @2PM. 680 to 280 to Union fastest way for me.
Have my Jackson ready. Will have
time to LIger oVER.

Time to open all of those links.


Grumpy 1 said...

ClearAyes, well of course the stuff for the windows would be called treatments. When you have a 'pane', it needs treatment, doesn't it?

Lucina said...

Hello, happy puzzlers. Marti, thank you once again for a snappy blog.

Thursday? This seemed easy though the bottom slowed me and I had to LINGEROVER it and DANGIT, finally remembered BWANA from somewhere.

Working across and down helped me with unknowns, DODIE, AVALON and finally dredged up AMOSANDANDY. I loved that show.

Ditto on briefs not seen in court, BVDS and remote hiding place, SOFA as the funniest.

Loved that LIVER was really chopped finely!

My DNF was AUDIE as I thought AUDEN sounded good and did not know YARE. I'll take a cue from Barry and commit it to memory.

MAI came easily but not DREI. sigh

Bill G., thought of you also when you LINGER OVER your meals.

Great stuff from the Thompsons!

Have a marvelous Thursday, everyone!

Anonymous said...

tough puzzle it days like today that I'm thankful for google or I would have to file it in the DNF category.

boob/bust 2 words that mean something different and can mean the same thing.

Fun Facts By Dave Letterman

89% of parent who bring thier children to a PG rated movie fail to provide any guidance.

In the summer, prosthetic limbs are available in red to simulate sunburn.

Clear Ayes said...

Grumpy@11:39.....Groan! (but witty)

Monthly cribbage game is about to commence. I'd better get going.

Have a good day everyone.

eddyB said...

Great APOD photo today.

Will search for the super nova tonight. Have to remember that every thing is backward and up side
down through my refracter.

CA. Make the same thing. But, add a little olive oil and eat it on Rye.
(Wonder if Kelly,s is still on Central in Phoenix. Best liver and onions in the WWW.)

Had special food stamps during WWII
to buy liver when available.

Jayce. Other than that, How did you like the play? I think most writers of fiction with continuing main characters have the problem of keeping stories fresh. Clancy did write about the JAL flight into
the Capitol way before 9/11. That was 93's targer.

Take care all.

Husker Gary said...

There are weeks when the weather makes you wonder why you live in Nebraska. The last couple ain’t two of them. It is a spectacular early fall with cool evenings and highs in the 70’s. This nice Thursday puzzle after 27 holes was also enjoyable!

-Fun links and write-up Marti! The pool game was a real bust!
-I have NEVER found any way to make liver palatable! It offends my taste buds, eyes and nose!
-I loved Liv Tyler in this nice little Tom Hanks movie you have probably never heard of with this catchy title song
-My grandma’s house had and funeral homes have torchieres
-Sofa has eaten many of my remotes but Joann finds ‘em
-Steve McQueen cashed a check from The Blob!

kazie said...

Thanks--I'd forgotten that one, which I was aware of earlier. I even went through the dictionary but skipped all the ge- prefixes, and missed it in amongst those, but didn't see any others.

Husker Gary said...

-Yesterday before I subbed, I heard about a car/school bus crash north of town. The 23 year old driver was life-flighted to Omaha after being extricated from the car with the Jaws of Life and 8 of 55 FMS kids were treated and released for minor bumps and bruises. The SUV the man was driving left no skid marks and he was driving east into a low, blinding sun at 7:48 am. There is also evidence that he was texting at the time, never saw the bus and hit it at at least 60 mph and they have not released his conditon. I post this just in case you need another reminder to NOT text and drive.

windhover said...

Saw this the other day on a church sign:
Honk if you love Jesus.
Text if you want to meet him.

Truth is, most of us do it, sometime.
But it's stupid.
Thanks for posting.

Lucina said...

I saw that movie! It was written by, directed by and starred Tom Hanks.

That was when I first retired and went to movies in the middle of the day anytime I wished. Now there just aren't any good enough to draw me.

Lemonade714 said...

Fun Thursday, marti you were born to blog, Thompson twins, thanks.

Tin man goo dof you to get the BOOB BUST sighting done.

I imagine contrcuting is like writing, almost everything brings a theme to mind, just not all worth finishing.

I am off to Bascom Palmer tomorrow; tired of the problems and the pain. Good luck Abejo.

C.C., it always cheers me up when you post. Jeannie, a one day wonder?

HeartRx said...

Lemon, I am so sorry to hear that it is getting so bad. I hope that BP will be able to relieve some of your pain and help improve your situation. Good luck, and know we will be thinking of you back here on the corner...

Anonymous said...

WH: Speaking of church signs:This one really caught my attention! "Come to church Sunday. The devil will be here. Even HE doesn`t want to go to hell!"

fermatprime said...

Hi all,

Thanks for fun puzzle Bill and Ann; cool write-up as usual, Marti.

Had troubles in the north but managed to bludgeon it through. Fun theme. Favorite fill, SOFA. Had not heard of Peete.

Good luck at eye institute, Lemonade!


windhover said...

Anon @ 6:06:
Good one, and since you've raised the ante, I'll tell you the topper (of the ones I've actually seen, not from the Internet).
Driving near Irvine, Ky. , a few years ago, I saw this on a small country church sign:
For all you do, His blood's for you.

This of course is a takeoff on the Old Budweiser slogan. I went back and reread it and drove away shaking my head and thinking, it gives a whole new meaning to "They know not what they do."

And Bob and Tom say, there's a website for everything, including weird church signs. But I'll let you look for that.

dodo said...

Helllo, all, Marti, well done, as usual! Thanks Bill and Ann for a doable Thursday puzzle!

I'm engrossed right now in the recap of the President's speech and the possible terrorist action planned for the 9/11 anniversary!
So forgive me if I say, "See ya later."

Unknown said...

Mom's musings:
Love, love Steven Tyler and all things Aerosmith.
Liv Tyler was great in "That Thing You Do" yep, saw it too!
Liver, chopped or dressed up and called pate' is still an organ meat.
Boobs and bust become blobs as we age. Don't ask me how I know this.
BVDS are tightie whities in my house.
I live in fear of spiders, especially if they eat liver!
Kudos Marti! Kiss kiss to all!

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, I missread Solon as Salon, so that SW corner was long in getting filled in. Once I went back and realized my mistake, I put in Law Maker instead of Law Giver, so again, it took a while to fill things in.

I finally did finish, but after spending much longer than I usually do over a puzzle.

Some unknowns were Old Nigerian Capital/Lagos, and "Pink
shoelaces" singer/Dodie. I did have to Google those today.

I did enjoy the theme and had all the answers for chopped Liver. I thought that having chopped the word liver in different places was a clever way to put in the answers. Not easy, I'm sure.

Thanks, Marti for a great writeup. I was surprised that there were less than 40 entries today when I went on in early evening here on the West Coast.

Bill G. said...

I was very slow getting the puzzle finished today. I haven't read the posts yet.

Yes, Marti, I do enjoy lingering over lunch though just a Subway sandwich today. I do like liver, chopped or otherwise. I bought chicken livers at the supermarket yesterday. We'll probably have them smothered in grilled onions with maybe bacon too.

Good speech I thought. Now too, a credible terror threat and a power outage in SW U.S. Not so far west as to include us.

Abejo said...

To: Lemonade and Marti, and anyone else:

My eye doctor is happy with the condition of my eyes. No drops for a while. I go back in one month for a check up and a Field Vision Test. I think that has to do with peripherals. He has informed me I have cataracts forming. That will be down the road.

I guess my decades of medical negligence are catching up with me.

See you tomorrow.


Chickie said...

Abejo, My Opthomologist ruled out Glaucoma at my last checkup, but cataracts are forming. He said that they were the result of aging. So I guess that these ailments are the hazards of getting older.

I don't think that having cataracts has anything to do with neglecting your health, just aging! Sad, but true.

Grumpy, I'll add my groans to CA's at your paneful wit!

Lemonade714 said...

100% of people who live past 80 develop cataracts, or so I am told by my specialists. No amount of care prevents them/
WH quoting my boys Bob & Tom, good job.