Dec 13, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Mike Nothnagel

(Please click here to solve the LA Times Daily Crossword in old format.)

Theme: "Break a Leg" - The traditional wish that means "good luck", said to actors before they go on stage to perform seems like an appropriate title for these backstage terms from the Great White Way.

18A. *Strikers' formation : PICKET LINE. I did think of the queue in front of the theater but the 48-Down bonus puts it in the back; dialogue.

35A. *Severe reprimand, in metaphor : RIOT ACT

3D. *Where evidence is gathered : CRIME SCENE

28D. *Extremely easy task : CHILD'S PLAY. "The play's the thing ..."

55A. 1963 hit for the Drifters ... or where you can see the ends of the starred answers : "ON BROADWAY". Clip.(3:01)

Bonus: 48D. Setting for this puzzle's theme : STAGE

Argyle here. The theme seems tight but the fill is eclectic and there is nothing wrong with that. Even JACOBI(49A) filled in nicely. The four 8's and five 7's are all pretty solid.


1. Baroque composer of the "Goldberg Variations" : BACH. The Goldberg Variations is a work for harpsichord, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. Aria.(2:12)

5. Civil rights activist Parks : ROSA

9. Online money : ECASH

14. Hairdo that's picked : AFRO

15. Barely manages, with "out" : EKEs

16. "I'm not kidding!" : "NO LIE!"

17. Corner Monopoly space : JAIL

20. Soldiers' shelter : ARMY TENT

22. Most restricted, filmwise : X-RATED

23. TV oil family name : EWING. 1978–1991 CBS

24. Thoroughfare : ROAD

25. Volcanic rock : BASALT

27. Futuristic personal transport devices : JET PACKS

31. "Filthy" money : LUCRE

32. Pastrami seller : DELI

33. Former Mideast leader : SHAH

34. Were in the present? : ARE

38. Simpson judge : ITO

39. Indian breads : NANS. "Authentic (i.e., delicious) naan must be cooked by slapping it against the side of a TANDOOR - a very hot oven originally dug into the ground. One of those things you cannot replicate at home." - Nice Cuppa

41. Prehistoric threat, for short : T-REX

42. Kate's TV roommate : ALLIE. 1984-1989 CBS

44. Pollution legislation goal : CLEAN AIR

46. 13-piece suit? : SPADES

47. Tenn. athletes : VOLS. The Volunteer State is the State of Tennessee nickname.

48. Train schedule listings : STOPS

49. "I, Claudius" star Derek : JACOBI. Image.

52. Not draw any cards : STAND PAT. Poker.

57. Mixed bag : OLIO

58. Demander's words : "I NEED ..."

59. "Othello" conspirator : IAGO

60. Fund-raising dinner, often : GALA

61. Like pocket protector wearers : NERDY

62. Cyclops and Wolverine, e.g. : X-MEN. Comics and movies.

63. Part of CBS: Abbr. : SYST. Columbia Broadcasting System.


1. Tijuana's region : BAJA. Déjà vu. Almost the same position as yesterday's.

2. Requiring binoculars to see : AFAR

4. Faith-based battle : HOLY WAR

5. Show contrition : REPENT

6. Giving the go-ahead : OKing

7. Splinter group : SECT

8. Pose, as a question : ASK

9. Trick into wrongdoing : ENTRAP

10. Piña __: rum drinks : COLADAs

11. Got down : ALIT

12. Trig class ratio : SINE

13. Be mindful of : HEED

19. Mysteriously unusual : EXOTIC

21. Flooring craftsman : TILER

24. "Chill out!" : "RELAX!"

25. Mel who voiced Bugs : BLANC. The Voices of Mel Blanc (2:53)

26. Like an otological test : AURAL

27. Teammate of Rivera and Posada : JETER. New York Yankees.

29. Actress Holmes : KATIE. Appeared in a episode of How I Met Your Mother, CBS TV show.

30. Pumps and clogs : SHOES

32. Day at the movies : DORIS

36. Milano's land : ITALIA

37. Strike lightly : TAP ON

40. Enjoyed every bite of : SAVORED

43. Teacup poodles, e.g. : LAP DOGS

45. Unimportant person : NOBODY

46. Remain a little longer : STAY ON

49. Become a member : JOIN

50. Author Tyler : ANNE. List of her novels.

51. "Good buddy" : CBer

52. Emulated Michael Phelps : SWAM. Fermatprime? He has, overall, won 16 Olympic medals—six gold and two bronze at Athens in 2004, and eight gold at Beijing in 2008.

53. Is out sick : AILs

54. With perfection : TO A 'T'

56. New Jersey fort : DIX



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Definitely a speed run for me toiday. I had a minor hangup in the North when I put in REGRET instead of REPENT, but the perps took care of that quick enough. The theme was invisible and unnecessary to my solving experience, and there weren't any unknowns or particularly tricky clues. I'd actually rate this one slightly easier than yesterday, in fact.

KQ said...

Wow, much easier for me than yesterday. Don't know why. Sometimes the right answer just pops into your head right away. Kind of amazing. Even fills like VOLS, XRATED, and DORIS came immediately to my head.

A few unknowns like DIX, LUCRE and JACOBI but all were very doable with the perps.

I knew I awoke early this am, but I usually never post this high up. Wake up everyone!!!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. I agree that today's puzzle was much easier than yesterday's puzzle. I liked the theme, though.

It was also fun seeing the two Derek J's ~ JETER and JACOBI.

If you haven't seen I, Claudius, with Derek Jacobi, I strongly recommend you seek it out.

Interesting to have BAJA two days in a row.

QOD: Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures. ~ M. F. K. Fisher

Lucina said...

Good morning, Argyle, et al.

Wow! Only three comments. I have been on a strange sleep cycle, one day early (4:00) another late (9:00) and I don't like it.

Very easy puzzle today with some echoes from yesterday, BAJA, and Sunday, AURAL.

I know I'm in the minority but I never watched Dallas though I'm familiar with the EWING name.

And I completely agree with Hahtool, I, Claudius is worth watching. I believe there is a book by Robert Graves as well.

Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! I'm returning to bed and hoping for more sleep.

Middletown Bomber said...

I thought this one was easier that yesterdays, or maybe I had less distractions. A good theme sort of apprapo for my day as I am going to see a concert this afternoon and I hope the preformers' break a leg.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Had a pretty easy time with this solve with one exceptions; 49A JACOBI was unknown to me, but the perps took care of it.

22A Most restricted, filmwise had me going for a while until I decided restricted referred to the viewing audience versus the film content.

Grumpy 1 said...

Good morning. Not much to add. It seemed pretty easy. Almost CHILD'S PLAY. JACOBI was unknown but filled via perps. Lots of things to do today.


desper-otto said...

The names came easily -- BACH, ROSA, JACOBI immediately came to mind. JETER took a little longer. WBS about missing the theme.

I liked the 13-piece suit clue, but there was very little misdirection elsewhere. I managed to remember NANS from NiceCuppa's post a few weeks back. Once again six minutes top to bottom. Enjoyed it though.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

I paused at "Most restricted, film wise" and wanted to put in "G" RATED instead of "X". I was thinking that a G-rated film would have the most restrictions on what they could include in it. (Kind of like a Monday puzzle...). But then I talked myself into thinking about the audience, and grudgingly put in the "X".

Did not know JACOBI, either, but perps helped solve that one. The only ANNE Tyler novel I have read is "The Accidental Tourist", but it did help me to remember her name. So, no Natick moment in the SW for me.

Have a nice day, everyone!

SouthernBelle said...

Mornin' to all,

Agree with was a Monday puzzle.

Being a caregiver is not a piece of cake. Husband, walker & I took a fall Sunday morning and I ended up with a toe heading west, instead of north. Er reset it, taped toe #2 to #3, gave me a hard sandal & off I went.

Monday morning, both toes were heading it reset...& now have a real least 20# and 14" high with a 2" sole.

Came up here fighting & screaming that I could take care of everything...I surrender...couldn't have done this without family!

Lemonade, hope you are getting the same loving care! Saying prayers for you too!

Mari said...

Whee! Here we go...

Nice speedy puzzle with some learning opportunities for me.

For 23A I was thinking of the Beverly Hillbillies and couldn't remember their last name. Finally EWING hit me. Wrong show. Wrong decade.

Loved 46A: 13-piece suit: SPADES.

New words for me were LUCRE and SINE.

I love the answer to 54D (With Perfection: To a T). I always look at the grid and think "What the heck is TOAT?"

kazie said...

I found this one slightly more challenging than yesterday. JACOBI, VOLS, BLANC and JETER were unknowns but all perped quickly. I did a double take on TREX but just thought "oh well, something else I don't know". Until I came here and the duh moment with T-Rex. I thought jeter looked more like the French for "to throw" than something pronounced like "Jetter", but that's the thought of a non-sports fan.

ant said...

This might be a bit too blaring for some on the Corner (especially so early in the morning), but if you're wondering what technically proficient thrash metal sounds like, here's Megadeth with HOLY WARs...The Punishment Due (6:43).
I'd be curious to hear everyone's opinion on this song, which is about the inanity of HOLYWAR.

I wasn't able to post yesterday, but in order to balance out the above song, how about a nice simple dance (2:40) featuring TISH and Gomie.

Yellowrocks said...

Southern Belle, I am so sorry to hear about your fall. Being a caregiver who ends up needing care is indeed difficult. I'm so glad you have family support. I'll be thinking of you.
Lemonade, also, I hope things are beginning to turn around and look brighter for you. Gute Besserung!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Argyle and all.

Mostly a romp today. WAG'D JACOBI, ANNE, and LUCRE. Lots of X's and J's. Finally got the theme near the end but didn't need it. Some parsing: T REX, TO A T, X-RATED, NO LIE. Drove over some BASALT at the NJ Palisades Parkway, returning from NYC last week. Overall, I agree with Argyles take. Nice puzzle, Mike.

BASALT doesn't always come from a volcano per se. Here is an article about Stark's Knob, not far from Argyle, which factored in the American Revolution Battle of Saratoga. It is termed a basaltic pillow lava. The Palisades are another example of the intrusion of molten magma, but not directly from a volcano.

Have a great day.

Argyle said...

Yes, I've been there and like the article says, they finally have improved acsess and security at the site.

windhover said...

My metal tastes run more to Metallica, though I do have MD's Countdown to Extinction CD.
My opinion of the song? I get it, but it isn't just holy war that's inane.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Mike, for a zippy puzzle. I zipped right through it. That is the mode I choose to be in today. Thank you, Argyle, for the review.

Mari: "TO A T", as in Suit To A T. Perfect. No flaw.

Went through this top to bottom. Only write-over was I had RESENT instead of REPENT for 5D for a short while.

BAJA came easily. We just had it.

IAGO is an old stand-by.

JACOBI came easily once I had all the verticals.

Johnsonburg is at 25 degrees right now and sunny. I am off to my projects for the day.

See you tomorrow.


Mari said...

Ant @ 8:15: I'm on my work computer and my company blocks YouTube, so I can't access your link. Just wanted to mention my DH is a Megadeth fan.

Anony-Mouse said...

Thank you Mr. Nothnagel for a very nice puzzle and dear Argyle for an equally spritzer type commentary.

Some of the answers were so easy - I was thinking, what am I doing wrong ?

I still think and pray for Lemonade, hope he is recovering his quality of life.

'Nans' should properly be written as 'Naans', IMHO, because that is the way it/they are pronounced.

ALT QOD:- I believe a man should be able to change a wife at forty, like a bank note, for two twenties. ~ Warren Beatty.

No comment....

Have a nice week, you all.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Yep, speed run today. Paused a bit at NANS thinking it should be NAANS, but whatever.

Ant - I gave Megadeth a listen, and came away with my usual perception: not my style.

carol said...

Hi all -

Guess I'm the odd one out today, this was much harder for me than yesterday. There were so many names I didn't know.

52D I wanted to put SANG in, but since I wasn't sure who Michael Phelps was, I waited for the perps.

29D Actress Holmes...all I could think of was Celeste. sigh.

62A Cyclops and Wolverine were a complete mystery. sigh again.

I don't watch much baseball so 27A was unknown until the perps helped.

I did eventually complete all of it with just a little help from the solution site, and a lot of help from those wonderful perps.

Argyle, thank you for the explanation of NAANs - we have had that word several times but I never remember it.

Also, nice to have the Anne Tyler book list...I'm going to order a few from the library :)

kazie said...

I want to add my condolences to Southern Bell. After I broke my ankle in 2005, I realized how much I needed to be able to get around on both legs. It was hard enough for me with only myself to take care of. I can't imagine having to help someone else while thus incapacitated. I hope the boot is adequate support so you don't have any more mishaps.

Also to Lemonade,
Now Eddy kindly emailed me with a bit more info, I can see that you will need quite a while to feel yourself again. Take it easy, follow doctor's orders, and you should do well. My mother had a serious heart attack at age 55, and survived it pretty well, until hit with cancer 12 years later. You are in my prayers.

Lucina said...

I'm so sorry about your toes. Besides the awkwardness of walking I'm sure it must be painful. Good luck with those boots.

Qli said...

Good puzzle experience, MN. Way to start the week!
I got 35A via perps, but had a hard time seeing it; a "duh" moment when I finally understood.
Hands up for Derek Jacobi in PBS's Brother Cadfael mysteries!
My son loved the X-men. Who wouldn't appreciate Hugh Jackman as Wolverine? (Or Hugh Jackman as anybody!)
My good wishes go out to Lemonade, whose writeups always make me smile.
Enjoying a week of vacation with our son and his sweetie. He picked a great woman!

Anoa Bob said...

Part of the reveal at 55A includes " can see...". So I did a double take at 18A PICKET LINE, thinking LINE would be dialogue, as Argyle says, something one would hear, not see, on STAGE (48D). But I suppose if you're watching a musical, you could see a LINE of dancers.

Somewhere, maybe in an xword, I've seen "chill out" and "relax" collapsed into "chillax" or maybe it was "chilax".

Agree with Anony-Mouse, think NANS (39A), as clued, should be NAaNS.

Tuttle said...

Am I the only one who got Fort DIX because of a terribly bad pun in Blazing Saddles?

"What are we made of? Our fathers came across the prairies, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix... remember when Richard Dix came in here and tried to take over this town?"

Misty said...

Aw gee, I wanted to be the first one to say that I thought today's puzzle was "child's play," but Grumpy was a bit quicker on the draw. I felt this in gratitude, not in disparagement, so many thanks Mr. N, and to you too, Argyle, for the always great write-up.

My profound sympathies, Southern Belle. I'm very lucky that my husband got us long-term care insurance ten years ago, which allows us to have care-givers in to help with his walking, showers, etc. This makes me appreciate how arduous it is for spouses who don't have help. So my heart goes out to you in your rough experience. I'll pray that you heal quickly and that DH can get help in the meantime.

Argyle said...

Anoa Bob, would this satisfy you?

"Occasionally, certain Broadway shows have performances that are interpreted in American Sign Language".

Anonymous said...

Talking about changing a 40-year old wife for 2 20's reminds me of a 60-year old man asking a genie for a wife 20 years younger than his 60-year old wife. In a flash, the genie turned him to 80!

Yellowrocks said...

The written script for a play is composed of LINES (of dialogue), SCENES, and ACTS. I found the theme to be very coherent and consistent.

Anonymous said...

anon @9:16: Most men that age aren`t wired for 220!

About 24 down: A fairly new "streetism" is "chillax."

Splynter said...

Hi There ~!

ant, I like Megadeth - but then again, I usually link a heavier song or two on Saturday, so most people here know it. I liked the line up they had for that period, with Marty Friedman. I have to give "13" a listen to now.

And hey ~! Anonymous, I am 40, and am definitely still wired for 220 ~!


Anonymous said...

Easiest puzzle this week for me.

Southern Bell, take all the help you can get, bless your heart. My experience with a broken foot bone was it took a long time in healing. Just wouldn't knit. Mine was a tarsal bone just south of the little toe knuckle. I was 37 and had children 7, 5 & 2. We moved two months after the break. Couldn't stay off the foot enough. I had to wear a zip up " go-go" boot for a year. Looked real cute with a sandal on the other foot that summer.

- PK

eddyB said...


The only secret that I am keeping is the name of my source. That is the way it is going to be. Anyone
want to take over providing up-

If I hadn't gotten lost and spent
so much time trying to find the
Sale, I would have had more time to buy more than a jar.

Crosby took another blow to the head and is off the ice indiffinitely. Again.

Sharks play tonight.

Fried potatoes with onions and wurst for dinner last night and finished the red cabbage.


pres said...

Love today's puzzle. Don't get to it til 11:00 am but then most days it goes smooth!Three more days til holiday! The kids are excited but they dont realize how excited we are also!

Anonymous said...

Easier than yesterday keeping with the inconsistency lately. Loved 32d very clever. X rated has not been used for years (NC-17), wont be suprised if younger people will get that. Derek J. Is a great actor he has played Hitler, the senator in Gladiator, Chorus in Henry V and voices of the English perspective in the Ken Burns docu's (baseball, civil war and prohabition) see ya.

Sfingi said...

I got JETER from JETPACKS, since the only Rivera and Posada I'm familiar with are MExican artists.

Lucina said...

Well, thanks to this blog and his affinity for making headline news, I am familiar with Derek Jeter.

Just finished cooking and shredding the meat for tamales. Tomorrow is the assembly line day of making them although we'll be short some people because it's a work day. We couldn't make them at our usual date, October or early November because family members were moving at the time.

Ahh, 'tis the season!

Bill G. said...

Ah Lucina, Christmas tamales. I wish I were there. Pork? Chicken? Beef? Yum!

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon everyone.

What Kazie said about the puzzle.
And I found yesterday's easier. Couldn't get 55A, which meant I didn't get 50 & 51D either. Sigh. It's so obvious now that I see it.

My friend who was born in India spells it NAN.

Best wishes to Southern Belle (ouch!) and continuing to send good wishes to Lemon.


Lucina said...

I truly wish we lived closer as I believe you would really enjoy our tamales. I cooked beef and pork then mixed them together. Tomorrow it shall all JOIN the red chile in a delicious mix. I save the broth for that purpose, too. Yum!

Bill G. said...

Here is something really cool for you and your grandkids.


HeartRx said...

Bill G., heck with the grand kids...I had fun with it myself, and passed it on to all my girlfriends!!!

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. What Barry G said. Fun puzzle, thanks.
Best wishes to you all.

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

What Jayce said.

SouthernBelle ~ Wishing you a speedy recovery!

ant said...

Thanks to all who responded to the Megadeth song. I figured you would like it, Splynter. And I have to agree with you, Windhover, what is it good for?

Frankie say chillax.