Nov 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011 Jeff Chen

Theme: Dear John - Actually, a bit stronger than a Dear John letter. Hit The Road Jack.(2:20) (with The Raelettes.)(Wiki)

16A. Strike gold : HIT PAY DIRT

23A. Mythical Egyptian riddler : THE SPHINX

37A. Lane straddler : ROAD HOG

48A. Guy "nipping at your nose," in a holiday song : JACK FROST

58A. Singer of the 1961 #1 song found in the starts of 16-, 23-, 37- and 48-Across : RAY CHARLES

Argyle here, not on the road. (Note: Yes, it is the Greek SPHINX that asks the riddle but the Egyptian riddler is embedded too deeply in the crossword database to change it now.) Jeff used a diversity clues for this one. People 9, fictional characters 5, animals 10, some foreign words, but no Roman numerals. Your count may vary. How many animals do you consider the SPHINX is? (I included hot dogs as an animal.)


1. Magician's bird of choice : DOVE

5. Seattle's Best product, slangily : JAVA

9. Fall faller : LEAF. A done deal in my area.

13. Pub picks : ALES

14. Special Forces cap : BERET

15. Fairy tale starter : ONCE

18. Give __ to: approve : A NOD

19. Canadian coin nicknamed for the bird on it : LOONIE

20. Hand-waving or finger-pointing : GESTURE

22. For each : PER

25. Cornfield bird : CROW

27. Smallest prime number : TWO

28. 27-Across plus one, in Italy : TRE

29. Lines of theater seats : ROWS

30. Goes down in the west : SETS. Not what goes down in the west but the very act of so doing.

32. Debatable point : ISSUE

36. Encouragement for a matador : OLÉ

39. LAX hrs. : PST. Pacific Standard Time. When to we get there? 35D. LAX incoming hrs. : ETAs. Finally, a clue that lets you know whether it's an A or a D.

40. Welsh dog : CORGI

42. Screwball : KOOK

43. Dalai __ : LAMA

44. A bit amiss : OFF

46. "Milk" director Van Sant : GUS. This fellow.

47. Oval segments : ARCS

52. Inquire : ASK

53. Rand McNally references : ATLASES

54. Takes home from the pound : ADOPTS

57. Yogi, for one : BEAR

61. Can of worms, e.g. : BAIT

62. "Drat!" : EGADS

63. Brooks's country music partner : DUNN. American Country Countdown is hosted by Kix Brooks without his singing partner, Ronnie Dunn.

64. Sources of immediate cash: Abbr. : ATMs

65. Mends with thread : SEWS

66. FBI personnel : AGTS.


1. Author Roald : DAHL. James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox....

2. Assortment : OLIO

3. President's weapon : VETO POWER

4. Station with game reports and highlights : ESPNEWS. A portmanteau of ESPN and "news", pronounced "ESPN News".

5. Clampett patriarch : JED. Made his money in oil on TV's Beverly Hillbillies.

6. Onassis patriarch : ARI. Made his money in shipping on the high seas.

7. Brink : VERGE

8. Declare to be true : ATTEST

9. Despises : LOATHES

10. Boredom : ENNUI

11. Piece of the sky, to Chicken Little : ACORN. A fable known as Chicken Little, also as Henny Penny. "The sky is falling."

12. Shipping giant : FEDEX. On land and in the air; on the high seas? not so much.

14. "Sayonara!" : "BYE!"

17. It's roughly 21% oxygen : AIR

21. Unit of parsley : SPRIG

23. Tinker with : TWEAK

24. Franks : HOT DOGS

25. Hook nemesis, for short : CROC. From Peter Pan.

26. Cylindrical caramel candy : ROLO

27. General of Chinese cuisine : TSO

31. Loud call : SHOUT

33. Auto tune-up item : SPARK PLUG

34. Camp Pendleton letters : USMC

37. Jazz licks : RIFFS

38. Approves : OKs

41. Amusement park racers : GO KARTS

43. Longtime Dodger skipper Tommy : LASORDA

45. Brittany brothers : FREREs. French.

48. Sluglike "Star Wars" crime boss : JABBA. No picture, too ugly for breakfast time.

49. Persistently bothered : ATE AT

50. Allegation : CLAIM

51. Missouri river or tribe : OSAGE

52. Cavity filler's org. : ADA. American Dental Association.

54. Blissful sighs : AHs

55. Camping shelter : TENT

56. 9-digit IDs : SSNs

59. Deviate from a course : YAW

60. DJ's stack : CDs



Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. This was a good puzzle to start off the work week ~ especially after a very busy and hectic weekend.

I had to go back and read several of the clues because the answers had already been filled in.

ROLO is really becoming the candy of puzzlers, isn't it?

I am still enjoying my cup of (Louisiana's best) JAVA.

QOD: Our greatest glory consists not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This was mostly a typical Monday speed run, but there were some awkward thorny bits here and there. I've heard of ESPN, but ESPNEWS was new to me and threw me for a bit. Similarly, I got VETO right away, but stalled for a while before getting POWER.

I resisted putting in ROWS right under CROWS because of how similar they looked, even though they obviously have nothing do do with each other. But still, I hesitated.

Maybe it's just me, but EGADS does not feel synonymous with "Drat!" in the least. You say "Drat!' when something goes wrong, but EGADS is simply an expression of surprise, no?

Finally, I was surprised to see A TEAT at 49D. I thought this was a family-friendly newspaper... ^_^

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Nice, easy start to the week.

Some similar issues as Barry. Kept trying to fit in ESPN NEWS for 4D. I also did a HUH when I read 49D as A TEAT. The acrosses filled it in so I never looked at the clue. Oh well, guess I'm not as old as I thought!

Gus Van Sant & Dunn were unknowns but perps took care of them.

Don't recall ever seeing the plural of Atlas before and I'm sure I've never used it.

Frank Gorshin said...

I am surprised that the constructors and editors allow the erroneous cluing for SPHINX.

The riddling one is of Greek origin.

The Egyptian one is a riddle. Who constrcted it, when, why and whose face is it?

"Oh well, we've always been incorrect, so why fix it now?" is a poor excuse. IMHO :)

I did enjoy the can of worms clue

Lemonade714 said...

Morning all:

If I were to show a new solver what a Monday puzzle was like, this would be one I would use. As Argyle said, it has a little bit of everything, and yet is very doable. I agree ESPNEWS was tricky because I never saw it as a portmanteau, but I have watched the network late at night when I am just looking for scores.

Thanks Jeff and Santa

Lemonade714 said...

If the clue were drank at, maybe....

Lemonade714 said...

Nice Riddler reference FG.

Argyle said...

Here, you lechers: a nice set.

SouthernBelle said...

Mornin' to all,

Seemed a very easy puzzle even for a Monday. I was so busy hitting the tab key.....missed ESPNEWS.

Guess I'll use the rest of my play time with the daily newspaper cw.

Hope everyone has a Great Day!

windhover said...

Love those Golden Guernseys. Just as expensive to buy 'em dinner as the kind that come in pairs, though.

Argyle said...

SPHINX: To paraphrase the quote from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, "This is crosswords, Frank. When the legend becomes fact, clue the legend."

Seldom Seen said...

One of my clients is a State Farm Agent. He always has a stack of road atlases(high quality ones) he gives away as gifts.

Whenever the new ones come in, he says "Take a couple of atlases with you for your friends". Nice guy.

I also liked the can of worms/BAIT clue. Another way to go would be: Sushi e.g./BAIT.

Nice Cuppa said...


"Goes down in the West" gave me a moment's reflection.

But the Im-parse-ible 49D was the major hold-up:



Talking of snack-food, is a Welsh Dog related to a Welsh Rarebit?


Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning, all. I think it took longer to read the write up and comments than it did to solve the puzzle. That must mean it's Monday.

I started with ESPN TWO, and the crossing CROW fit nicely, but EGADS!, what am I going to do with PtR and ROWo? After fixing the obvious errors, I recalled seeing the portmanteau in another puzzle somewhere.

As soon as I saw THE SPHINX, I knew there would be a discussion about the riddler aspect. The one in Egypt is impressive, riddler or not.

Husker Gary said...

Ray Charles, it don’t get no better than that! Hard to pick a fav but I would probably vote for Georgia On My Mind.

-A sphinx visit is on my bucket list
-Jack Frost is visiting everyday now but 90% of the maple leaves out my sun room window are still in place
-A cuppa JAVA is a necessary part of my day. Addiction, who said addiction?
-Remember the LOONS in On Golden Pond?
-Yogi thought he was “smarter than the average bear” just like his progenitor Ralph Cramden
-ATM’s beat trying to write a check at the local Safeway
-Jed’s show seemed to be funny when I was 16.
-I LOATHE ENNUI. Antidote? My iPhone!
-Spark plugs are one of the many things that last MUCH longer than they did in cars from the “good old days”
-Seen, my daughter works for State Farm and all I ever got was a can koozie

Mari said...

I'm all for easy Mondays, but I could have done this one in my sleep.

(But I do like the answer to 42A: Screwball: KOOK!)

Tinbeni said...

Barely sipped my JAVA as I

Cheers to all at SunSET.

Anony-Mouse said...

THANK YOU JEFF CHEN - for a nice and easy puzzle. I have a couple of visitors for a couple of weeks, and I impressed the hell out of them. ( Not that it matters to me .... ) . Thank you Argyle - even with all the answers, in hand, I still wanted to read, your 'take' on them. That's how important you are.

I think spark plugs last longer nowadays, because they have a tiny amount of a hard metal (coating - ) like Platinum or Rhodium on the tip. They fire away at an average of 40 to 70 times a minute.

I had 'posture' for 'gesture' and never heard of ESPNews, but the perps made up for it. My 'favorite' team, the Browns, lost again, 4 in a row now, Yeeaaaah , 'ride em' Browns !!! Now, if the Plain Dealer would just 'dele' the sports section....

ALT QOD:- Plastic surgery allows women to mold their outer appearance to resemble their inner fake self. ~ Daniel Tosh.

Husker Gary said...

My View of aforementioned maple with 90% retention from aforementioned sun room as I do the LA Times Cwd everyday

carol said...

Hi all,
Fun Monday puzzle with a just a few 'stoppers' in it (for me). I did not know 46A, 23A and 61D was a clever miss-direction.

I had to chuckle over 25D (Hook nemesis/Croc) - I absolutely love those scenes in Peter Pan. When watching the movie with my 'Grands', I just had to laugh (out loud :))

As to 62A...does anyone really say EGADS any longer???? Seems more an expression from the 19th century. I also agree with Barry G. about the meaning.

kazie said...

Nice start to Monday, Jeff.

Talking of snack-food, is a Welsh Dog related to a Welsh Rarebit?
Only if you put cheese on it.

I didn't know GUS or DUNN and was not aware of Seattle's fame in connection with JAVA, but perps got it done.

Anoa Bob said...

What with the meteoric rise in Texas Hold 'Em popularity, another clue for 46A GUS could be "Poker pro Hansen".

The final three players of the World Series of Poker Main Event (out of a starting field of 6,000+) will be playing for million$ tomorrow night live (sort of---15 minute delay) on ESPN. I'm sure ESPN NEWS will have recaps.

Jeff Chen said...

Hi all!

Glad the comments are skewing "too easy" even for a Monday. I think that's what Rich is aiming for: puzzles that anyone can do, even new solvers. What better way to entice a newcomer than saying HIT THE ROAD JACK, eh? Oh, wait...

I originally just had HIT THE ROAD JACK, but Rich wanted me to add in RAY CHARLES. I loved the addition - Rich is great to work with.


Argyle said...

You're great to work with, too, Jeff. Always a pleasure.

VirginiaC said...

As a relatively new solver (a year or so) I still got a feeling of accomplishment from this easy puzzle. Nice way to start the week.

My fave QOD or year is "The difference between genius and stupidity is, genius has limits" -Albert Einstein

LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

A quick and fun Monday. Zipped around with just a few slow-downs ... JABBA and GUS needed perps.

~~ Author Roald -- DAHL ... Every year I read 'James and the Giant Peach' to my fourth-graders.

~~ WBS about EGADS and ATEAT ... that took a sec of thought. Hondo ... funny comment!

~~ I'm finally remembering that ESPNEWS doesn't have that extra 'N.'

Off to the dentist ~~~ Enjoy the day!

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeff, for a great Monday puzzle. Zipped through it easily. Thank you, Argyle, for the review.

Pretty much went across and down. Skipped here and there until perps helped. IE: ESPNEWS, GUS, DAHL, and LOONIE.

Also like can of worms/BAIT. See no problem with EGADS. To me that can be used in lieu of DRAT.

DId anyone else have a problem yesterday with missing Down clues in the Sunday puzzle?


Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All, This one was once Across and once Down. ESPNEWS was already filled in by the time I went back, so I never had to second guess it.

Even though it was easy, Jeff Chen's clues and fill hit just the right note for a Monday.

I laughed at HIT THE ROAD JACK. A couple of years ago, at the end of my final radiation treatment, that song was programmed on the music system...."And don't you come back no more, no more!" Funny and touching at the time. I'll always be glad to follow that order.

It's a lovely clear California autumn day. GAH is heading to the golf course and I'm going to lunch with my women friends.

Thanks for the comments and smiles, Argyle.

See you all later.

windhover said...

I think you meant to say 40-70 times a second. (4-8 cylinders @ 3000 RPM).

And plugs last longer mostly because of electronic fuel & ignition systems that regulate the air-fuel mix and deliver a clean spark. The new alloys on the electrode tip helps, though.

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone.

I love Monday puzzles because I can do them. Those of you who are more talented, please don't gripe about it being too easy. Some of us savor easy.

Yellowrocks, thanks for the back up on my rant about negative slams on the blog.

Clear Ayes, I think Skips are related somehow to Corgis.

Had never heard Ray Charles or "Hit the Road, Jack" but the perps took care of that.

Gorgeous day in Naples. Hope the rest of the power comes on in CT.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi Gang -

Jeff - for an easy puzzle, this one had a lot of sparkle. Or maybe that's SPARK PLUG. Or ROWS of CROWS. Perhaps I'm a LOONIE KOOK, but I'll give A NOD to ROAD HOG in the center cross with HOT DOG.

Filled in ESPN TWO.

Stared for a long time at the empty space where B_IT crossed ATE_T. DOH!

Barry - I believe George Carlin ATTESTED that A TEAT is a very friendly word.

Here's a nice performance of the Sammy Nestico arrangement of GEORGIA that we have performed recently. Beautiful alto solo.


Anonymous said...

P.S. I forgot to voice appreciation to Argyle for a great write up. I do truly appreciate seeing all the places I am right. It happens so seldom.

Steve said...

Great start to the week, nice puzzle and nice write-up.

As for the face of the Sphinx, whoever it is it's going to be tough to recognize - I seem to recall that Napoleon fired a cannonball into it, lopping off it's nose, for reasons which are lost to posterity.

Funny people, those French. Egads!

Bill G. said...

Fun, easy puzzle. Like Sallie, I think easy is good for one or two days a week.

Husker Gary, good Ray Charles choice. My pick is America the Beautiful. Nice view too.

ant said...

Remember when DJs used to spin platters? Now, even CDs are outdated. DJs play their mp3 sets through laptops & iPods.

Mouse, I'm right there with you on the Browns. I think they lost because because I forgot to wear any of my regalia yesterday. I can't explain the other losses, though. The Madden Curse is in full effect!

Btw, the Browns will be here in AZ Dec 18. Can't wait!

CA, from yesterday - "If You Forget Me" by Pablo Neruda is my favorite poem of all time. Seems a cruel poem, but conveys my personal feelings perfectly. What is your take on it?

Misty said...

Love an easy puzzle on a Monday morning, so this was great! Only had one momentary stall because I can never keep 'olio' and 'oleo' straight.

As soon as I got "Hit the Road Jack" I knew it was going to be an earworm (is that what you guys call a tune that stays in your head all day?).

I have a curious association with Roald Dahl. Wasn't his wife Patricia Neal who suffered a stroke while still relatively young? And he wouldn't give up on her therapies until she was completely functional again? Sadly, I think the marriage eventually broke up, if I remember correctly. But when my husband suffered his stroke, I did remember the importance of pushing on the therapies--although in our case the recovery was only partial. Still, he's home and we still work on a Merl Reagl together before bedtime every night!

Argyle said...

Anony-Mouse and Windhover: 3000 revolutions per minute divided by 2, because the plug on the 4-cycle engine only fires every other revolution equals 1500 spark per minute or 25 spark per second. If you had an old Saab 2-stroke, the plug fires per each revolution.

melissa bee said...

lovely monday puzzle, thanks jeff and santa. great theme, who doesn't love ray charles? loved your punny clues, thanks for sharing.

nice cuppa, i also reflected on that clue - and a few of the surrounding ones.

hi carol, you've been missed!

sallie, you'll probably recognize the unforgettable voice of ray charles.

clear ayes, great memory of 'hit the road jack.' less poignant but memorable to me was the day we were learning a full-body massage stroke called 'tidal wave,' requiring the massage-ee to be undraped on one side, head to toe - in a room full of other students practicing the same stroke. the song that the teacher chose for that session was aretha's r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

happy monday all.

Jeff Chen said...

By the way, if you're a fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, try The BFG. I think it's Dahl's best work. I've read 200+ children's books in the past two years during my ongoing quest to become a published author, and The BFG is one of my favorites.

BTW, BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant. The term has been appropriated in some video game as "the Big F***ing Gun". Sad, but a little funny too.


Lucina said...

Good day, all. Thanks, Argyle, for your lively blog.

All your comments hit the spot today and as I'm late, I'll simply agree. You are all in top form today!

Jeff, I missed you, but thank you for stopping by and for your easy but sparkly puzzle.

Here in AZ the leaves don't fall until January when it finally gets cold enough.

That is a beautiful solo! Thank you.

I hope your Monday is marvelous, everyone!

Argyle said...

I saw that BFG but failed to list it. Maybe showing a cover could help make up for it. Image.

Anonymous said...

ate at is the answer......

Seldom Seen said...

I offer this video as a subtheme.

Maybe one of those riders that "HIT THE ROAD" was named JACK.

Yes, these guys are ROAD HOGS.

You definitely are a KOOK or even LOONIE to do this.

It was sayanora! for anyone who did deviate from this course. Btw, the racer survived that crash but I don't know if the sheep ever did.

This is a race in the crossword staple Isle of Man where there are certainly ALES and CORGIs.

All right, I admit, I was just looking for an excuse to post this!

Bill G. said...

I came across an old Laurel and Hardy silent film on TCM called 'Two Tars.' I just started watching it. Typical L & H build up from a small auto accident to complete chaos in the long line of traffic. Great stuff if you are a fan of their humor.

The weather here today must have been ordered by the Chamber of Commerce. Blue skies, sunshine, a gentle sea breeze and temperatures in the low 60s. Definitely nice weather for a short bike ride.

Splynter, I forgot to congratulate you on your almost seven-year achievement. Very excellent!

Anonymous said...

I used to play with CORGIs as a kid. Hot Wheels and Matchbox, too.

Steve said...

@Seen - what's really crazy about the TT races is that they open the course to anyone with a motorbike on the middle Sunday of the event - it's called unofficially called "Suicide Sunday".

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone. My solving experience was the same as everyone elses today. This was a quick and easy puzzle with many items filling in without me reading the clues.

Barry seems to express my views almost to a tee.

Thanks, Argyle for a great writeup and Jeff for stopping by. Also, it was good to see you today, Carol.

Have a great Monday, people. Our weather here is so nice, that it is hard to stay indoors and get my work done.

JD said...

Good afternoon Argyle, C.C. et al,

Wonderful Monday cw, Jeff, and a great write up, Argyle. It would have been much speedier if I had put Jabba instead of Jetta. Atlases saved the day.I made sure every child in my class had one.

I agree, BFG is the best of R. Dahl's books..and they did a good job putting it into a movie.

Lucina said...

Chiming in with the weather report here where it is also almost perfect, cool breezes, a few cumulus clouds and lovely temperature.

Chickie, you said it well, it's hard to stay indoors.

Avg Joe said...

I protest.

Here in NE it's hard to go outdoors. It's 50 and dropping, the wind is picking up, it's raining and threatening to snow within the next 30 hours and it's overcast and downright dreary.

carol said...

Bill G: I LOVE the old Laurel and Hardy movies. They stood the test of time too, they are still funny today.
(to me)
We named our cats Laurel (female) and Hardy (her brother)...Joe said they were 'little comedians' and he was right.

Clear Ayes said...

A lovely lunch with my friends. They always buoy me up and send me cheerfully on my way. I hope I do the same for them.

Melissa bee, that was a charming story about your training.

ant, Pablo Neruda was a great poet, but that didn't make him a nice man. If You Forget Me was included in his book, "The Captain's Verses", for which his long time lover and later third wife Matilde Urrutia was his muse. I hope the poem doesn't mean that as long as Matilde loved him, he would return her love. There may be some of that in it, but I think the poem is more about his love and longing for his native Chile, from which he was exiled from 1948 to 1952. This is where IMHO really means exactly that.

dodo1925 said...

Third time lost, Being transferred to blogging site, and my comment vanished! It was good, too. Drat and EGADS! And Shiver my timbers as well!

dodo1925 said...

SURE. now they print it! Forget my waxing enthusiastic! Thanks Jeff and ARgyle. AVAST with the rest! Aaaaargh!

ant said...

Thanks, CA. I've always felt the poem was about unconditional love - and the fact that, when it comes to people, it never is (unconditional).

What is love, anyway? A choice? An option? Or does one not have a say in the matter...? Love, as a word, is thrown around too easily these days.

windhover said...

Love that comment. ;-.}

Anonymous said...

Good night all.

Melissa B. Thanks for the Ray Charles clip. Nice of you.

It's good to read your comment, Jeff.
Thanks for dropping in.