Oct 16, 2011

Sunday Oct 16, 2011 Gareth Bain

Theme: "Give it Some Gas" - HE (symbol for helium) is pumped into each common phrase.

23A. *Dishonest kegler? : ALLEY CHEAT. Alley cat. Both clue and answer made me laugh.

33A. *Inane Laconian serf? : VACANT HELOT. Vacant lot. Helot = Greek slave.

49A. *Where to see historic tickers? : HEART MUSEUM. Art museum.

67A. *Treat one's stye? : BATHE AN EYELID. Bat an eyelid.

90A. *Fights during breathing exercises? : YOGA CLASHES. Yoga class.

103A. *Broadway tykes? : THEATER TOTS. Tater tots. Inspired theme entry.

119A. *Throw tennis star Sharapova? : HEAVE MARIA. Grunting. Good luck heaving! Ave Maria.

16D. *Where you might hear "Oy vey! I need a drink!"? : HEBREW PUB. Brew pub.

80D. *When mildly amusing sitcoms air? : TEHEE TIME. Tee time.

98D. Light element, and a hint to how the answers to starred clues have been inflated : HELIUM

A nice mixture of HE inflation, some are inserted in the start, some in the end, some in the middle.

Notice the longest non-theme entries have 8 letters only? That's because Gareth's shortest theme entry has 9 letters and it's generally not allowed to have non-theme answers longer than the shortest theme entries. The exception is when he puts all the theme entries Across, then he has freedom for Downs. With 9 theme entries and a unifier, I think he has the best arrangement.

This is Gareth Bain's first Sunday puzzle. And he finally hits for the cycle, having had a puzzle published in every day of the week by the LA Times. Congratulations!


1. Sassy : PERT. Easy start.

5. Judge's decrees : DICTA. Plural of dictum.

10. Vena __ : CAVA

14. Iranian faith : BAHA'I

19. "In the Valley of __": 2007 film : ELAH. Tommy Lee Jones/Charlize Theron film. I've never seen it.

20. Lots of lots : ACRES. Different "lots" in meaning.

21. Fictional coward : LION. I wanted NOEL, but he's a real Coward.

22. Oboists' section : REEDS

25. Chief Norse god : ODIN

26. Park place : ARBOR. We also have: 63. __ Arbor, Michigan : ANN. Tiny dupe.

27. Move sneakily : TIPTOE

28. Mystic's deck : TAROT

30A. 108-Down on a screen : CURSOR. And 108D. It shows the way : ARROW. I like the 4 pairs of cross-references in today's clues. Hate when clues cross-references but actually no clue is given. Not fair.

32. Style with layers : SHAG. Hair style.

35. Org. with a WasteWise program : EPA. Toured our city water plant yesterday. I think I'll stick to my bottled water.

38. "__ Touch This": MC Hammer hit : U CAN'T. Earworm. Ditto "Can I touch you there?"

40. Job listing initials : EEO

41. They're hard to read : SCRAWLS

43. Rolls gas : PETROL. Rolls Royce.

46. Grooves in boards : DADOs. You want beautiful deck stairs like these? Look no further than your Saturday puzzle sherpa here at the Corner.

48. Key letters : KAPPAS. And 4D. Eighth of 24 : THETA. Greek letters.

52. Pride youngster : CUB

54. Overzealous bather? : PRUNE. Your fingers get wrinkled when you over-bathe.

55. Other, to Ortega : OTRA

56. "__ porridge in the pot ..." : PEASE

57. 2000s drama set in Newport Beach : THE OC. Made Mischa Barton a household name.

59. U.K. decorations : OBEs

60. Foreign correspondent? : PEN PAL. Saw this clue before.

62. Lab specimen : SMEAR. Pab smear, for example.

64. Question of time : WHEN

66. Many Soc. Sec. recipients : SRs

71. Six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Van Dyken : AMY. 4 from 1996, a la Wiki.

75. ___ mail : SNAIL

76. Terhune's Lad, e.g. : COLLIE. Learned his "Lad: A Dog" from doing Xword.

78. Renaissance family name : ESTE

81. Day break? : NIGHT. Night and day.

84. Slight incision : SNICK. This is a new word to me.

86. Scintilla : IOTA

87. Stinks : REEKS

89. Sound during a drive? : MOO. Cattle drive. "Sound after a drive?" would be "FORE!". Quite dangerous when someone shanks.

92. Bounces back : ECHOES

94. Animal on Wyoming's flag : BISON. True.

96. Range in Utah : UINTAS. Uintas Mountains. New to me also.

97. Non-roaring big cat : CHEETAH. Did not know cheetahs don't roar.

99. Onetime Beatle Sutcliffe : STU

100. Alt. announcers : CAPTs (Captains). Altitude.

102. China's Mao __-tung : TSE. My dad could recite every word of "The Little Red Book". I miss him.

106. Series ender : ET AL

110. Govt. securities : T-BILLS. Or T-Bonds.

112. 30th anniversary gift : PEARL

113. Like some dress patterns : FLORAL Very nice bag.

115. Not from here : ALIEN

117. High-tech tablet : iPAD

121. Asian menu promise : NO MSG. Chinese dumplings taste so much better with MSG. Right, Jayce?

122. Golden State sch. : UCLA

123. "Macbeth" (1948) director Welles : ORSON

124. Auctioneer's word : SOLD!

125. 74-Across numbers : DUETS. 74A. Two twos, say : PAIR

126. Mint leaver, often : MAID. Read it as "Mint leaves".

127. "¿Cómo __?" : ESTAS

128. "__ the night ..." : 'TWAS


1. Organic fuel : PEAT

2. New York Bay's __ Island : ELLIS

3. __ Waldo Emerson : RALPH

5. Freshwater fish : DACE. Looks like small carp. We eat carp in China.

6. Frau's "I" : ICH

7. Iraklion native : CRETAN. Iraklion is the same as Heraklion? Capital of Crete.

8. It incited a 1773 party : TEA ACT. Tried TEA TAX first.

9. Stars of old Rome : ASTRA

10. Stopped bleeding : CLOTTED

11. Help : AID

12. Express : VOICE

13. Invalidates : ANNULS

14. Part of a support system? : BRA STRAP. Nice clue/answer. And 85D. Bikini sizes : C-CUPs. 36 C, if you're curious.

15. Dynamic opening? : AERO. Aerodynamic.

17. Big stink : ADO

18. Six-Day War victor: Abbr. : ISR

24. Food made from cultures : YOGURT. With good bacteria. Probiotics.

29. Witching hr. follower : ONE AM

31. Gibraltar landmark : ROCK

33. Assessor's decision : VALUE

34. Homemade tipple : HOOCH. Moonshine.

36. Superman look-alike, evidently : PLANE. Evidently!

37. Jacks and jennies : ASSES

39. Kvetch : COMPLAIN. Constructive kvetching is always welcome.

42. Golf green border : APRON. I just call it fringe. You, Husker Gary?

43. Prokofiev's wolf catcher : PETER

44. Pulls down : EARNS

45. Ruse : TRAP

46. 90 degrees : DUE EAST

47. Mystery novelist Grafton : SUE

49. Brewery flavoring : HOPS

50. Accessory often worn diagonally : SASH

51. Salinger heroine : ESME

53. Pitch : baseball :: __ : cricket : BOWL. No baseball for Gareth. Cricket, yes!

57. Quisling's crime : TREASON

58. Lighthearted genre about womanhood : CHICK LIT

61. Litigator's org. : ABA

65. Tokyo, once : EDO

68. In good condition : TRIM

69. Hip-hop's __ Yang Twins : YING

70. "A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig" essayist : ELIA. "A Dissertation Upon Roast Lamb" sounds better.

71. Hello or good-bye : ALOHA

72. Teeny parasites : MITES

73. Votes for : YEAs

74. Sri Lankan export : PEKOE

77. Bullets may be seen on one : LIST

78. Posture-perfect : ERECT

79. Vier + zwei : SECHS (Six). Vier = 4. Zwei= 2. Just for Kazie and Spitzboov.

82. Lump : GOB

83. Lifting apparatus : HOIST

88. Microwave choices : SETTINGS

90. With 107-Down, words to a goner : YOU'RE. And 107. See 90-Down : TOAST. Nice way to save a partial.

91. Canonized Archbishop of Canterbury : ANSELM. No idea.

93. Humorist Mort : SAHL. Consonant/vowel/consonant/consonant combo makes this 4-letter name extremely popular in crossword.

95. Mike Brady, to Carol's girls : STEP DAD

100. Pie-making aids : CORERS

101. "Finally!" : AT LAST

104. Pound-watching org. : ASPCA

105. Reno-__ Intl. Airport : TAHOE

109. With 118-Down, 2000s boxing champ : LAILA. 118D. See 109-Down : ALI.

111. Tops : BEST

113. Low wetlands : FENS

114. Boys : LADS

115. "Wait, there's more ..." : AND

116. Singer Reed : LOU

120. U.S. govt. broadcaster : VOA. They're ending Mandarin & Cantonese language broadcast this month. Budge cut. Sad.

Answer grid.


PS: Sorry, Jazzbumpa, another Young outshined yours last night.


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Pretty innocuous Sunday outing for me. The theme was fun, and once I got it I was able to fill in the theme answers pretty quickly. In fact, I couldn't even figure out what the clue "Inane Laconian serf" meant and was only able to get it because I knew about adding an HE to a familiar phrase.

Of all the theme answers, the only one I have a nit to pick with is BAT AN EYELID, only because I've always heard the phrase as BAT AN EYELASH. But perhaps that's just me.

I was very glad to have spent some time in Utah, since I don't think I would have known UINTAS otherwise.

Favorite clues today were "Superman look-alike, evidently" for PLANE and "Sound during a drive?" for MOO.

Argyle said...

Good Morning,

The best I can say is when I took a word out, there wasn't any putting it back in later; it stayed out. I had THREE for 4-Down and it took red letter help to change it to THEDA. The red letter help stayed on after that point!

fermatprime said...

Hi all!

A great Sunday puzzle! Thanks Gareth, CC. No cheating for a change on a Sunday. 'Course it took a while!


Have a good Sunday!

desper-otto said...

Good puzzle, nice theme, quick solve. Best theme answer: HEAVE MARIA. Argyle, think you meant THETA. You must have fat-fingered your post.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, C.C., and friends. I had trouble with this theme today. Although I got HELIUM, I was expecting more of a high pun with the theme clues, because helium is such a light element.

Hand up for a TEA Tax instead of the TEA ACT. I also tried T-Bonds instead of T-BILLS.

I also learned that the Superman Look-Alike does not mean being Caped, but rather is a PLANE.

My favorite clues were Foreign Correspondent = PEN PAL (If we've seen this clue before, I had forgotten)

I also liked Sound During a Drive = MOO.

DICTA is not exactly a Judge's Decree. Dicta is more along the lines of a judge giving an opinion and it doesn't carry precedence.

I never knew that CHEETAHs do not roar.

QOD: The world is moving so fast these days that the one who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Had fun with this one, and catching on to the theme definitely helped, particularly since I never heard of a HELOT. The UINTAS mountains are new to me also.

Loved HEBREW PUB, but YOU'RE TOAST is my favorite fill for the whole year!

Lemonade714 said...

A really fun theme, inspired! HEBREW PUB, indeed. Like the rest I thought this was a very well done Sunday, with lots of wit and some new stuff. Thanks GB and CC

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

I actually missed the theme answer HEBREW PUB until I came here.

I agree with BarryG, I have only heard of bat an eye LASH. And I mis-read the clue as "treat one's STYLE" so I was looking for a hair rinse....

Favorite theme was the one I got first, HE Ave Maria; thought maybe each answer might have a different gas - like NE, KR, AR, CL, etc.

Congrats to the cycle for Gareth, too.

Thanks for the "C.C. bump" of my website - can't post any of my latest projects, my camera phone has crapped out.

First final of school tomorrow night ~!!


HeartRx said...

Good Morning C.C. et al.

Thanks for the thorough analysis of this one, C.C. You always look at puzzles with a very analytical eye. I did not even notice that the non-theme fill had 8 letters or fewer. But I actually had to go to Websters to look up the definition of “kegler”. Now I know why that entry/clue made you laugh! I bet Boomer never cheats, though!

113A “Like some dress patterns”, I was thinking of the McCalls and Vogue patterns that we used to buy, to make our own dresses. So I put in “Fitted”. But I like your FLORAL link much better.

I also wanted “fringe” at 42D, but it wouldn’t fit… the fringe does ring the green, but the APRON is that part which separates the fairway from the green.

Tried T-notes, then T-bonds before T-BILLS finally emerged. So I guess I one-upped Hahtool on that one!

Nice theme, and it must have been difficult to find nine common phrases that could be appended with “HE”. Good job, and congrats on your first Sunday puzzle Gareth!

Abejo said...

Good Morning, folks. Thank you, Gareth, for a great puzzle. I bought the Trib last night and got started, then finished this morning. Thank you, C.C., for the write-up.

I thought this was going to be a snap when I got most of the NW corner right off the bat. I wound up having 4D wrong, THREE instead of THETA. Fixed that. That was a clever Clue/Answer. Not obvious to me.

Got the theme unifier, HELIUM, before any of the theme answers. That word really helped.

Had ISLAM instead of BAHAI at first. Having lived there I remembered BAHAI with perps.

I did not know what a Quisling was. Now I do.

ANSELM was a wag. Lucked out. That helped with UINTAS.

The rest of my day is planned: church, Shriners Hospital, rake leaves, brass quartet practice, dinner, to bed.

See you tomorrow.


See you tomorrow.

Husker Gary said...

Ya gotta love THEATERTOTS!! What a hoot! Thanks Gareth. It took 3 answers to get tHEme but I don’t have a Phi Beta KAPPA key! Furnace button for warmth – WHEREITSHEAT? See previous sentence!

-Holdups – had Hebrews in a BAR, thought KAPPA was sixth, Iranians were SUNNIS, judges issue WRITS, YOU for U, Quisling as a TRAITOR
-Mischa is new to this household
-Bison ain’t buffaloes
-I know the Beatle’s STU better than the Simpson’s
-Orson could never top Citizen Kane
-Are former residents of Crete EXCRETIONS?
-Thanks for the C illustration C.C.
-Fringe or collar to me, my friend!
-We have been to a lot of CHICKFLIX
-There was a lot of unwholesome drama backstage on The Brady Bunch according to Marsha’s Book

Lucina said...

Hello, C.C. ET AL.

Nice going, Gareth and congratulations on your cycle run.

For once I understood the theme and it helped. Loved YOGACLAShES of course and heAVEMARIA!

Saw UINTAS in another puzzle this past week but CHICKLIT emerged very slowly. HELOT was once quite common in xwds but hadn't seen it much lately.

Had to be ANSELM since BECKET didn't work out and I just let SECHS emerge.

TWAS fun, thank you, Gareth.

Have a happy Sunday, everyone!

Lucina said...

Oh, and I agree, BAT AN EYELASH is more familiar than BAT AN EYE LID.

eddyB said...


Only able to finish top half before I fell asleep. Was fun while it lasted.

Photos of Selma always welcome.

APOD photo this morning is of Venus in tranit. Spectular!

Kathy Reich's new novel is about
NASCAR and Charlotte. Guess where NASCAR is this week-end.

Bad day for me in sports yesterday.

Doctor's appointment tomorrow and
maybe a flu shot.

Indy Lights race in about 5 min.

See you tomorrow. Take care. eddy

Yellowrocks said...

I enjoyed this fairly easy Sunday puzzle. I discovered HELIUM, the key, early on and it helped get the theme answers. CC thanks for your interesting explanations.

I kept going back over TEHEETIME until I realized it meant TEE HEE TIME. I didn't know the alternate spelling TEHEE.

I like cross references when they are clued like these are.

I remember SNICK because of SNICKER SNEE from Gilbert and Sullivan. The snickersnee, a knife, can nick or SNICK.

The theme answer puns were clever.

I had ---ELM for the Canterbury Saint. Soon I thought of ANSELM, a cleric famous as the Father of Scholasticism. Anselm was exiled twice. There was much friction between the Crown and the Church. Probably this is partly why the USA has separation of Church and State.

Yellowrocks said...

Though that is a true bison on the Wyoming flag and quarter, it is more familiarly and colloquially know by the much older name, American buffalo. Wiki has this interesting paragraph about its name:

Some consider the term "buffalo" somewhat of a misnomer for this animal, as it is only distantly related to either of the two "true buffalo," the Asian water buffalo and the African buffalo. However, "bison" is a Greek word meaning ox-like animal, while "buffalo" originated with the French fur trappers who called these massive beasts bœufs, meaning ox or bullock – so both names, "bison" and "buffalo," have a similar meaning. In reference to this animal, the term "buffalo," which dates to 1635, has a much longer history than the term "bison," which was first recorded in 1774.The American bison is more closely related to the wisent or European bison.

eddyB said...


Race red flagged. Three cars made contact out of turn 2. Will take
some time to clean-up the mess.

Hope every is okay.


Bill G. said...

I guess I'm in the minority so far but I found this to be a pretty difficult puzzle. I liked THEATERTOTS and HEBREWPUB but sussing the theme didn't help me much. I had a difficult time making Superman and plane jibe. Even though it was difficult, I still appreciate the quality of the construction and the fine write up.

I just finished watching the "I Have a Dream" speech as part of the dedication ceremony of the Martin Luther King memorial. What an orator! What an emotional experience!

This video has been making the rounds on Facebook so you may have seen it before. If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat. If you have seen it, I'm guessing you might enjoy seeing it again. It reminds me of why we love grandparents.

Grumpy 1 said...

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a PLANE!.. It's Superman! And a super puzzle for Mr Bain to complete his cycle.

Agree that BAT AN EYELash is the common phrase, but try batting the lash without also batting the LID. Not going to happen.

Everything went fairly smooth until I put in Tetons for the mountains. When I finally took that out and let the perps take over, it all came together. UINTAS is my learniing moment today.

I had a lot of the same false starts that others have mentioned: Three/Theta, TEA tax/TEA ACT, etc, but they all fell into place without much difficulty. Fun puzzle.

Annette said...

Congratulations, Gareth! Your puzzles are always a treat, any day of the week...

I'm more familiar with southern belles just "batting their eyes" - no mention of lids or lashes.

I had the same missteps and unknowns as others have already mentioned. Most notable were UINTA, Laconian (aha, just realized the word I was confusing it with was draconian), and HELOT.

The commonality I noticed among a couple clues was the word HEAT, and couldn't figure how that tied to HELIUM.

That's the one drawback with solving online, it's more cumbersome to scan the whole puzzle and clues for cross-references and themes. When I have to scroll to go search out a cross-referenced clue or to review the starred clues, I lose patience.

Bill G. - I saw that video last night! It's adorable, especially when the FUN picks up at about the 40 second mark.

Bill G. said...

Regarding that video, did you notice how they pat each other on the tush when they switch places?

Yellowrocks said...

Adorable piano playing video, Bill G. including the love pats.

If this next thought is against blog policy I am sorry and will never do it again. Let me know.
I was so impressed by Joel Fagliano's NYT Sunday Xword today that I have to mention it. The second part of each two word theme answer is developed in an awesome way which must have been very difficult for Joel to do, but the puzzle was not difficult to solve.
Two masterful Sunday puzzles in one day with few nits, but a very funny MEH.

Lucina said...

Bill G:
Loved it!

HeartRx said...

Bill G., loved, loved, loved the piano clip!! What an awesome couple - I could only hope to be half that spry at 65, let alone 90!!

eddyB said...

Hi. Another red flag. This time
15 cars headed for the junk yard.

All Dario needs is to finish one more lap to win Championship.


Jayce said...

Hello everybody, and happy weekend. I enjoyed today's puzzle and laughed, chuckled, or smiled at many of the cute/clever clues and answers that were sprinkled throughout. Defining PLANE as a Superman look-alike is pure genius. MOO was awesome too. (What Barry G said :)

I got hung up on kegler, thinking it is a practitioner of kegles, which is not only wrong but misspelled. LOL

I should have figured out that key letters was KAPPA, because I do have a Phi Beta Kappa key. I guess I was thinking of the Florida Keys.

Man oh man my mind was wandering all over the place this morning.

Jayce said...

I agree dumplings, and many other dishes, taste better with MSG. Personally I have no problem at all with MSG. We keep a jar of it in our spice cabinet, and use it, sparingly like any seasoning should be used, in many recipes. But hey, what do I, who makes gumbo without a roux, know? LOL

There is a town in California called San Anselmo, so ANSELM was not too hard once I realized BECKET wouldn't work. I wonder how many saints are represented in California town names. Come to think of it, how many saints are there, anyway? Are there soon to be 2 more?

How much different would the history of the west be if William Cody had called himself Bison Bill?

Jayce said...

Bill G, thanks!

No more Voice of America broadcasts in Mandarin or Cantonese? Sad indeed.

Thanks for your comments about Fido last night, kazie. Darn conjugations anyway. What a complex language Latin was! Tense agreement, case agreement, gender agreement, number agreement, whew! So darn many conjugations and declensions! Pretty complex for a language that spelled JULIUS as IVLIVS because their alphabet didn't have the letters J or U (or W or Y). Amazing they had such a powerful empire, what with their numbering system that, in addition to being cumbersome as all heck, had no zero.

Bill G. said...

Jayce, isn't it amazing to contemplate how much the invention of the 'zero' affected the advancement of mathematics and science?

eddyB said...

Please, your prayers are needed for Dan Weldon's family. Don died today.


Anonymous said...

Liked the puzzle and commentary but DNF because I stubbornly wanted rough on the golf course and 80d primetime.

What song is that adorable couple playing? I'm thinking of one with the words, "Put on your old gray bonnet with the blue ribbons on it and we'll hitch old dobbin to the sleigh. Through the fields of clover we will ride to Dover on our golden wedding day." These cuties surely have celebrated their golden wedding--probably for years. -PK

Avg Joe said...

Eddy, I saw the news about the crash on our local evening broadcast. First person I thought about was you because I know you watch races closely. I'm very sorry to hear of it. The risk is rarely understood by anyone outside the inner circle. Rest in peace Dan.

creature said...


Avg Joe has said my thoughts for you, as well.

Loved puzzle, Garerth and thanks to CC.

Lemonade714 said...

My first thought was, since Gareth is from South Africa, it is possible they say BAT AN EYELID. Then I read this LINK .

Thoughts world travelers?

Anonymous said...

If someone has a stye, he would certainly bathe the eyelid, not eyelash although the hair follicle may be involved.


Bill G. said...

PK, yes, I remember that second song too. So far as I know (and Google agrees), it's called "Put on your Old Gray Bonnet." I don't know the name of the first song though unless maybe it's the verse part of the same song.

Ah, I just Googled a bit and found "Put on your Old Gray Bonnet" and yes, the first part is the verse of that same song. I found a wonderful link sung by Arthur Clough from 1910. Put on your Old Gray Bonnet

Lucina said...

Very interesting re "bat an eyelid;"
this is such a place for learning!
Thank you.