, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Friday, October 7, 2011, Pete Muller


Oct 7, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011, Pete Muller

Theme: C before E, must go, Gee.. We have a substitution puzzle where phrases containing a word ending in CE, replace that word with one ending in G instead. Merriment ensues. I loved the unifier, which took a perfectly good expression, G-FORCE (parsing it as "G for CE") and reshaped into the theme for this effort. I thought LAG and RAG were too similar, but the puzzle was fun and not too easy nor too hard. Like porridge on a cold morning. Until this puzzle, we have exactly one puzzle a year from Mr. Muller, always in July. Well, as your resident acronym ace, I am back from the cold wet north, to unscramble this Friday feast.

20A. Boast à la Donald Trump : BRAG FOR IMPACT. BRACE FOR IMPACT is the starter phrase. I am so glad we do not see much of Donald lately.

26A. "Our overly fussy friend has a point"?: THE PRIG IS RIGHT. THE PRICE IS RIGHT, yo Bob Barker. Like seeing old timey PRIG resurface.

43A. Joplin piece about modern weaponry?: NUCLEAR ARMS RAG. NUCLEAR ARMS RACE. Scott Joplin worte ragtime music, like you heard in the Sting.

50A. Delay from an 18th-century English ruler?: QUEEN ANNE'S LAG. QUEEN ANNE'S LACE. The plant is pretty.

And the unifier;

64A. It's zero in free-fall—and, put another way, a hint to how the four longest puzzle answers were formed : G FORCE. This must be parsed G FOR CE, to help understand the the G is being replaced.

On to the show:


1. Puts a little too close to the flame: SINGES. Well we are all off to a hot start.

7. Does away with: OFFS. Yes, our mob loving culture has embraced this word. Also, 53D. Named names: SANG, like Sammy the Bull.

11. Spirit: PEP. Yes, this why they are called pep rallies.

14. Set straight: ORIENT. Where do you side on the debate with orientate?

15. Narrow space: SLIT. We have had this one often, so I guess we need this IMAGE.

16. Pay add-on: OLA. PAYOLA; I imagine many of you are too young to recall the scandal with radio DJ's accepting bribes to play certain records in the 50's. And, 24A. Malt finish?: OSE. MALTOSE. One of the many sugars, sweety.

17. Where many changes occur: CABANA. Cabana or cabaña is the place near beaches or pools where people don beachwear, nice clue.

18. August: MAJESTIC.

22. Patriot Act protesters: Abbr.: ACLU. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. Here we go again.

25. Goddess of motherhood: ISIS. Time for our LESSON.

31. Wasikowska of "The Kids Are All Right": MIA. Want to meet this CELEBRITY?(4:00)

32. "Trinity" novelist: URIS. Leon is on a little roll these days.

33. Union agreement: I DO. The marriage union.

34. Fiber source: OAT BRAN.

36. Illegal pitch: SPITTER. Just as gross as it sounds, banned by baseball in 1920, it was last legally thrown by Wisconsin native Burleigh Grimes in 1934.

40. "Have some": EAT. In a Jewish household, it is always, "eat, eat."

41. Kid on "The Cosby Show": THEO. The one male child of the Huxtables played by MALCOM-JAMAL WARNER.(4:28).

42. Big name in '40s-'50s Argentina: EVA. Mrs. Peron, don't cry for her.

47. Went under: SANK.

48. Emulate Eminem : RAP. Nice alliteration.

49. Irascibility: BILE. This cross was tricky, with the SB.

55. LA and MI, but not DO or RE: US STATES. My favorite clue, great confusion.

56. Gas up?: AERATE. Also tricky, no cars and no flatulence.

59. NRC predecessor: AEC. The Atomic Energy Commission was replaced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

60. It can get you credit in a store: VISA.

61. Shrink, in a way: NARROW.

62. "The __ of Pooh": '80s best-seller: TAO. I had forgotten this silly book.

63. "Right away, Mammy": YES'M. Mammy? UnPC?


1. Religious org., perhaps: SOC. The org. tells you it is an abbreviation, this time for SOCIETY.

2. George's lyricist: IRA. The brothers Gershwin.

3. Show little interest in, as food: NIBBLE AT. I like the word NIBBLE.

4. Get ready for action GEAR UP.

5. Sicilian resort: ENNA. Unfamiliar with this place.

6. Unaccompanied: STAG.

7. Biology text topic: OSMOSIS. I used to sleep on my Biology text book, gathering my knowledge by osmosis.

8. Roadside attention getters: FLARES. Like THESE?

9. Water brand named for its source: FIJI.

10. Dam up: STEM.

11. Fertilizer substance: POTASH. Want to learn about Potassium salts and other ORGANICS?

12. Draw forth: ELICIT.

13. Treaties: PACTS.

19. Water source: SPIGOT. Same number of letters as faucet.

21. Surround with dense mist: FOG IN.

22. Spherical opening?: ATMO. ATMOSPHERICAL.

23. Hirsute pet: CHIA. Not really, it is leafy not hairy.

27. Like the sticks: RURAL.

28. Sizzling: IRATE.

29. More fleshy, perhaps: RIPER. You think?

30. Under the weather, e.g.: IDIOM. An expression, likely from seasickness.This comes again from a maritime source. In the old days, when a sailor was unwell, he was sent down below to help his recovery, under the deck and away from the weather.

35. Anouilh play made into a Burton/O'Toole film: BECKET. Wonderful FILM.(4:46)

36. It's not always easy to get into: SHAPE.

37. "Tootsie" Oscar nominee: TERI GARR. She now is fighting MS, but I will always remember her from this SCENE. (0:24).

38. Assessment, for short: EVAL. EVALUATION.

39. Popular trend: RAGE. This reminds me of Joon and his struggles and triumph today; what he knows amazes me, and what he does not also amazes me.

41. Pontiac muscle car: TRANS AM. Not the Firebird?

43. Sartre work: NAUSEA. This was Jean-Paul's first published novel, and really set out the existential philosophy which attracts so many college juniors.

44. Paris-based cultural org : UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Really, is that enough?

45. "Gunsmoke" star: ARNESS. He and his brother, Peter Graves from Fury and Mission Impossible entertained us for years.

46. Popular purveyor of stromboli: SBARRO. At every food court, started by a family from Brooklyn named, yes, SBARRO.

47. Zipp : SQUAT. I prefer diddly squat.

51. Deep blue: NAVY.

52. Play to __: A TIE.

54. Two pages: LEAF. It is both sides of the page.

57. Front-of-bk. list: TOC. Really, one more? TABLE OF CONTENTS.

58. Cote girl: EWE. I guess this is a reference to the little known people of the IVORY COAST? (From C.C.: silly EWE! Sheep shelter "Cote".)

Answer grid.

Well, another week gone. A puzzle with no French, no law and no beer, nothing to complain about. I wish you all a happy healthy year, as some of us will be disappearing to atone for all our sins. Until next time.



Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Lemonade and friends. I started off with SINGES, and for a brief moment, I though I could zip through this puzzle. Not the case! Although I got the G substitution for CE, I didn't read the unifier as G For CE.

I learned that Unaccompanied is not Solo, but STAG.

I learned that Does Away With is not Rids, but OFFS.

I immediately recognized that LA and MI were US STATES. Nice to see my state mentioned, and not in a negative way.

My favorite clue was It's Not Easy to Get Into = SHAPE.

To those who observe Yom Kippur, may you have an easy fast.

QOD: Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. ~ Malcolm Forbes

Anonymous said...

Question: Do most newspapers and puzzle sites on line include the "theme" phrase in publication. Mine only does on Sunday. Without the theme, this one was impossible! Many groans of frustration on reading the very good explanations of Lemonade. Only he would come up with a great Ivory Coast connection for a sheepish clue. Good one! - PK

the Macster said...

Pontiac made several muscle cars during the fabulous 60's: the Trans Am, the Firebird, and the GTO. And lets not forget the Plymouth Duster, which had the most uncomfortable seats of any car in living memory. But oh, to cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway ca. 1965 in your GTO convertible with the top down and the Beach Boys on the radio! We didn't worry about MPG back then.

Anonymous said...

What a pleasant wake-up!.

Had weight for gforce originally but soon saw the error of my ways. And once I got "the prig is right" I could go back up for "brag for impact". Then gforce made sense.

I also never heard of enna.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

This was a "bear" for me from the beginning and never thought I would finish. Nuclear Arms Rag (Race) gave me the theme and that enabled me to finish off the other main clues. But, it was still a struggle to get a lot of the remaining fills. As I like to describe it, a lot of back and forth.

7A, Does Away With/Offs & 33A Union Agreement/I do were favorites. Second time this week for 33A.

Have a pleasant weekend. We are hoping to get to the Yale/Dartmouth game tomorrow at the Bowl. Tailgating will be fun and I'll have three plus hours to right the ship before driving home. Go Big Green.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Running very late today as I forgot to set my alarm. Tried to do the puzzle in a hurry and failed miserably. Tried it a bit later and got the theme reveal, which let me go back and fill in all the themes I struggled with.

Gotta get to work!

Husker Gary said...

What a great/maddening puzzle and time well spent, Pete! The theme did help as the Trump brag fell last!

-I thought the PRIS WAS RIGHT (short an S) but got Prig and off I went
-SINGES, IRA and SOLO came fast but STAG came later and helped unlock the corner. GIRDUP had to be discarded as well – duh!
-TALKTO ain’t set straight
-Loved cluing for CABANA, USSTATES, SHAPE
-You can be HIP or HEP but can’t show your PEP and PIP
-Scandal in the entertainment industry with PAYOLA? The next thing you’ll say is that politicians can be corrupt too!
-A Sicilian clue that isn’t ETNA, land a Goshen!
-Nothing STEMed the Missouri this summer!
-SPIGOT is not common around here
-Loved the knockers link, Lemon!
-I’ve enjoyed Stromboli there!
-Good luck, Lemon, on your atonement!

Lemonade714 said...

Oh my, Barry G. slept late and now what are all of those who 'what Barry says' going to do? It is fun to see so many early comments from "new?" people, but it would be nice if you anons identified yourselves. Dialogue here is better if we have at least a nickname.

Anon. 6:50, no themes are in the paper except on Sundays. We who blog make up our own version of what the constructor intended. That is why we make the big bucks.

Argyle said...

The BECKET link doesn't work for me.

Yellowrocks said...

I was hung up in the NE for a while. ETNA instead of ENNA and SOLO instead of STAG, but PERPS finally sorted it out. BRAG was especiallly helpful. We've had ENNA before. My first theme answer was THE PRIG IS RIGHT, leading to the other theme answers and finally to G FORCE. Exasperating to have forgotten that one from science class. The misdirections were fun.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, all. Not too bad for a Friday although it took a little time before it all came together. I got the theme with THE PRIG IS RIGHT.

SBARRO is in quite a few mall food courts and turnpike plazaa and I've enjoyed a pretty good baked Ziti there many times back in my traveling days.

I thought QUEEN ANNE'S LAG was a cute entry, but the clue seemed a little off to me. I fell for the solo/STAG trap too.

I liked your "learning by osmosis" comment, Lemonade. I tried that, too, but found out that Osmosis requires a permeable membrane and that which surrounds my brain is too dense for anything to get through.

There were lots of clever Friday level clues. Great job, Pete.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone. Thanks for the commentary, Lemonade.

Couldn't get the top going at first. Got an early foothold in the SW and sussed out the themes at 43a and 50a early and capped by G FOR CE at 64a. That made the top a lot easier to solve. For SPITTER we usually call it a spitball. For LA and MI I knew states were meant and it quickly solidified into USSTATES. Favorite clue was for CABANA.

Has anyone heard from Carol (of Oregon) lately?

Have a great day.

Lemonade714 said...

A. try Becket link now.

Argyle said...

All better now. Thanks.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Nice write-up & links.

My Yanks could have used some Knockers last night. Instead they got SQUAT. tears ...

Had the reveal, G-FORCE early but never read it correctly as G-FOR-CE.

DNF ... Ink Blot Test.

Cheers to the Tiger's, who get my Sunset "toast" ...

HeartRx said...

Good Morning Lemonade, C.C. et al.

Thanks for a fun write-up, Lemon! Loved the links to BECKET (Peter O'Toole was just fabulous in that one) and TERI GARR (loved that scene from "Young Frankenstein").

There were some interesting learning moments today - did not know that UNESCO was based in Paris (thought NY), or that Sartre wrote a book called NAUSEA (do I have to bump down my copy of "Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" in order to get that one onto my reading list...??)

Fun theme, and I loved the unifier "G FOR C".

Lemonade714 said...

Actually hearti, the book was entitled La Nausée as it was written in French, and being 'under the weather' is an important part of the book, and the philosophy espoused therein. I personally liked L'etranger better, because it had more story and less commentary.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

What Barry would have said.

Avg Joe said...


What this blog needs is a recommend button!

Yellowrocks said...

Thanks for the link last night, Bill G. I thought Joon would lose it on his weak bet against an expert player, but she blew it and he won.

F in geography for Yellowrocks.Duh!! ENNA and STAG are in the NW. GIRD UP was another sticking point in the NW for a while.

It's not OSMOSIS, but when I have a project or a problem to solve, I work on it and gather information. Then I walk away, sleep. go to a party, whatever. When I return my subconscious has worked out a good bit of it, sometimes most of it. Lemonade, if you had fed the brain a little before you slept on your biology book, osmosis may have worked.LOL

Nice Cuppa said...


Camus denied being an existentialist, but then he did die young in a car crash.


HeartRx said...

Dudley, too funny !!!

Dudley said...

I couldn't resist. :-)

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Lemonade for the commentary - loved it, warts and all. I didn't try very hard on the puzzle - hence nowhere close to finishing - so, as the good book says, I'm here to nitpick....

'Free fall' is any motion of a body where GRAVITY ( my caps ... ) is the only force acting upon it. (annot.) Does this mean gravity is 'zero' - I'm sorry to inform you ( the constructor - ) , not so. I hope this guy is not a science person, or we are in real trouble.

-(memo) I think Sbarro is in bankruptcy.

-(opinion and fact - ) UNESCO , despite its name is the most blatantly political org. and the 'cultural' term is only an excuse and a veneer, to push its pseudo-fascist and anti-democratic ( and, predictably, anti-semitic - ) ideals. It was kicked out of the US for that very reason, and the US pulled out of the org., and stopped paying its dues ( for UNESCO, that is - )for over 30 years. 'Nuff said.

Anony-Mouse said...

Nitpicking contd.

'Want to learn about Potash salts and other organics ?'..... - Organic salts have to contain at least one carbon atom in the molecule. Pot. Chloride ( KCl ) or Pot. Nitrate ( KNO3) - the most common form of Pot. salts - don't - hence generally not considered an 'organic' - altho' mined from 'nature'.

To those who subscribe and profess - a meaningful Kol Nidre' tonight - may you be forgiven from your past transgressions. Gmar Hatima Tova.

Alt QOD: - It often strikes me as a pity that Noah and his whole party did not miss the boat. ~ Mark Twain.

have a good weekend, you all.

Anonymous said...

RE; Hahtool's QOD -

Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time - Malcolm Forbes.

It seems, on an impulse reaction, that the former is admirably preferable .... and the quote is cute ....... but theoretically, the two choices are statistically equivalent. Thus, almost identical.

A Corollary (?) - Being wrong, most of the time, can still be a politician's biggest asset - if he puts the right 'spin' on it.

(not speaking from experience ... )

Lemonade714 said...

NC, of course you are correct Camus did not use the term, preferring to be considered an absurdist, but my reading of their works convinced me they (Sarte and Camus) were part of the same philosophic approach to life, and its 'meaning.' I guess I was saying Camus presetned the ideas in a better format for me.

Thank you A-M for your sweet and well spoken wishes.

On the Carol, Lois and other commenters, we are always in flux here, as life intervenes and people disappear, some to return, some not.

For those who have been around more than a year, you know I lobby for the day before Thanksgiving to be the day when all the quiet readers and part timers stop by to let us know they are well.

Faster said...

Corollary to Mouse's Alt QOD:

"It strikes me as a pity that I gave them a warning, and they STILL missed the boat." ~ God

Speaking of which, is anyone able to see the third & fourth rainbows in those pictures released recently?

Tzom Kal!

Lemonade714 said...

C.C. has created a remarkable blog, visited by so many people to share the puzzles; and as a breeding ground for puzzle constructors as well.

because of her vision, dedication and just plain hard work, we are all here, and I would like to think it would not be too much of an imposition in our busy lives for all of us who tasted the sweet wine of this blog, to stop and take a moment to say hi and thanks.

i address this to all of you from 2008, 2009, 2010 who have not been here in a while; to all of you who have lurked, to all of you who enjoy this effort, let us all come together on Novemebr 23, 2011 and pay tribute to our creator and our life force. We can give thanks for the many wonderful creative minds working to entertain, and to our own for keeping this going.

Anonymous said...

If you're trying to be e.e cummings, at least be consistant. It just seems so forced and juvenile.

kazie said...

Nothing for you to complain about perhaps, but I got exactly three correct answers and then had to give up. (SINGES, IRA, GEAR UP). Not that your commentary wasn't entertaining. Thank you for that.

I've decided I don't react well to the letter substitution type of puzzle. The so called well known phrases are never all that, if at all familiar to me, so I get nowhere with them.

There was so much not to know here, that I'm thoroughly discouraged and won't be back until Monday. Enjoy the weekend everyone. Weather should be great if our WI forecast is shared by other areas.

eddyB said...


Happy Garbanzo Day!

Like I said, this may be Detroit's year. Go Lions and Tigers.

Pens won a shoot-out last night.

Off to play cards.


Lemonade714 said...

Anonymous, if you are a regulare reader to the blog you will know melissa b. is the blogger who spurns capital letters, and I have certain visual challenges which make my work inconsistent. I am uncertain why that is a source of irritation to you, but it is neither facade nor intentional. Lighten up and look for things to enjoy, not condemn.

Lemonade714 said...

Tzom Kal! An easy fast, to all who do so.

Anonymous said...

What a fun puzzle! Very clever use of GforCE. We're lucky to have so many talented constructors.

If Lemonade is off to 'atone', I suspect we won't see him back until June or July.


Ruth said...

John, funny line!

Frank said...

I liked this puzzle - though the theme entries were a bit weak, the fill was impressive. It took me a while to complete, but I did it without any outside help. Slow and steady won out on this one.

However, the clue for 20A was horrendous (Boast à la Donald Trump). I really don't understand the reference. I mean, I DO, but, wow, what a stretch.

Can anyone come up with a better clue for BRAG FOR IMPACT?

And be quick about it! Sundown is almost upon us!

Lemonade714 said...

John and Ruth how brave of you to attack me on the eve of the holiest day of my year, and put a name to it. Don't worry, I will be back before you know it. We atone for our own sins and the sins of others.

Anonymous said...

Who you kidding 44 down was french!!!!!

Lucina said...

Hello, cyberfriends, C.C. and Lemonade.

Thank you, L, for the learning moments and amusement. I look forward to Fridays. it should be Lemonade Day instead of Garbanzo. LOL

Wow! Yowza! Are you sure it isn't Saturday? After an hour and three-fourths finished had to stop and do other things. Life goes on.

ROASTS and SUITSUP were my first fill and I refused to give them up until the very end.

However, I did not ORIENT myself until the divergent and misdirectional clues straightened out.

MIA Wasikowska is in today's newspapers because she is in a new movie, "Restless."

SOLOS gave way to STAG and SUITUP finally yielded to GEARUP. Had to resort to GGLE for NAUSEA and SBARRO though I see it at the food court often enough.

What a great challenge, Pete Muller, thank you. I love this.

I hope your Friday has been lovely and all you who observe, I wish you the best.

Avg Joe said...

Don't miss Joon on Jeopardy tonight sports fans. I won't give anything away, but will note that the questions got a lot tougher today.

Tony Michaels said...

My bobble with this puzzle was Queen Annes Lag because I thought it was Queen Anne Slug which then goofed me up on Sbarro until I twigged to the problem. Lots of fun and thanks for an entertaining Friday puzzle...

WikWak said...

What Dudley said.

Anonymous said...

Only works the first time.

Grumpy 1 said...

Link to Joon Pahk Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Yellowrocks said...

Lemonade, I enjoy and appreciate you. I find your write ups interesting and informative. You don't deserve the negativity. All day, I have been hoping that you didn't perceive my comment as anti. I am relieved to see that apparently you didn't.

I saw Jeopardy on TV, rather than You Tube for the first time this week. Joe, isn't it funny how we all perceive different things to be difficult or easy? Today I knew more of the Jeopardy answers than any other day this week.

"Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time - Malcolm Forbes." Someone who is half right all the time is annoying to me and not that respected. He (she) is never truly right. I prefer someone who is right half the time, and I can forgive the other half.

Lucina said...

Joon was born under some lucky sign!

Anonymous said...

LM, John and Ruth: it would take sinless blood to atone for sin. None of us has that.

Seldom Seen said...

Frank @ 3:39: How about a reference to Clay?

It ain't braggin' if you can back it up.

Ali's prose purpose? BRAG FOR IMPACT

Yellowrocks said...

Seen, Ali is a perfect example of BRAG FOR IMPACT, and to my mind a much more sympathetic character than Trump.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Very difficult time with this puzzle. Hit a wall, set it aside for a couple of hour, and then things fell into place - except for ORIENT. Never heard of ENNA, didn't suss SOC, so ORIENT morphed into some nonsense fill.

I quite liked the theme, and figured it with THE PRIG IS RIGHT. Didn't help much though. Perps gave me the L and E of NUCLEAR, which also fit MAPLE, so I was RAGGING UP the wrong tree for quite a while.

LEMON, HATOOL, and any others who participate, may your day of atonement be a source of comfort and enlightenment.

Tinbeni - you are a classy gentleman. A toast to you, sir.

Anon @12:57 -

but theoretically, the two choices are statistically equivalent. Thus, almost identical.

Not at all. Equal quantities of 1's and 0's = .5 on average, but never in any specific instance. That is a case where taking the average destroys any sense of nuance.

JzB who had a mom-maintenence day

Anonymous said...

I often have problems with answers that are technically incorrect such as the theme one (64 across). I am an astrodynamicist and the force of gravity is not zero in a free fall. As long as we have mass in the universe, we will have a non-zero gravity force.


Pickanit said...

Here a nit, there a nit. Rhymes with RIT?

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

I really enjoyed this puzzle, although I struggled in parts of it. I got BRAG FOR IMPACT and the unifier GforCE at about the same time and that helped with the other theme answers. Clever! I was tripped up in the same places that others have already mentioned, but eventually it all fell into place. The last to fill was the SW corner ... I didn't know AEC or NAUSEA but I guessed right!

A great write-up, Lemonade ... and ... I've always preferred 'orient' over 'orientate.' In fact I always thought 'orientate' was wrong, but I see now that it is not. Hmm...

Congrats to the Detroit Tigers ... a real nail-biter last night!

Congrats also to Joon Pahk ... a five day winner on Jeopardy!

eddyB said...


Congrats to Tony and StL.