Apr 2, 2012

Monday April 2, 2012 Jeff Chen

Theme: Let Loose the L's - Four phrases that are in the pattern of "L__ of the L__"

20A. One completely lacking morals : LOWEST OF THE LOW

25A. 2009 Will Ferrell dinosaur movie : LAND OF THE LOST

42A. Woman with varying roles in Arthurian legend : LADY OF THE LAKE

47A. What exacting judges follow : LETTER OF THE LAW

Argyle here. Four long phrases with nothing in common other than the L of the L gimmick. Maybe I missed something. I hope so.

Here is something you might enjoy. "Love of my Life", by Queen with just a 12 string guitar, Freddie, and great audience participation. Clip(3:41)


1. Jon of "Mad Men" : HAMM. Unknown to me; not the way I like to start a puzzle. Shirtless image for you girls.

5. Knight fights : JOUSTS. And 62A. Animals for 5-Across : STEEDS

11. Roll of dough : WAD. Money leftover from Sunday?

14. Slangy prefix meaning "super" : UBER

15. Oust from office : UNSEAT

16. Ornamental climbing plant : IVY

17. Roller coaster feature : LOOP. Not the older ones.

18. Batter's position : STANCE. Unlike golf, baseballers use a variety of stances.

19. Anonymous John : DOE

23. Small batteries : AA's

24. Sound preceding "Oof!" : "POW!"

32. Vaudeville show : REVUE

33. Landlord's contract : LEASE

34. Paid athlete : PRO

36. "__ it now": "Understood" : I GET

37. Writer H.H. or Alice : MUNRO

38. Security breach : LEAK

39. Place for pickups : BAR. Out here in Dew Drop Inn country, there's a lot of pickups outside the bars, too.

40. They may be cracked using stethoscopes : SAFEs. They use the stethoscope to listen to the tumblers drop. A thing of the past?

41. Abacus pieces : BEADs

45. __ guzzler : GAS

46. Indian bread : NAN. Or Nann.

55. __ Mahal : TAJ

56. Political fugitive : ÉMIGRÉ

57. Delude : DUPE

58. Big fuss : ADO

59. Singer Bette : MIDLER

60. Team on a farm : OXEN. Not many of them around anymore.

61. Alphabet ender : ZEE

63. Call to a queue : NEXT


1. Boat's bottom : HULL

2. "Peek-__!" : A-BOO

3. Siamese sound : MEOW

4. Longtime logo with a top hat and monocle : MR. PEANUT. I can't pass this opportunity up. Clip.(0:56) Classic.

5. Exactly right : JUST SO

6. Suspicious of : ONTO

7. Defense gp. with pilots : USAF

8. Mailed : SENT

9. Gadget measuring rpm : TACH. (tachometer)

10. Church high point : STEEPLE

11. Hairline's midpoint, perhaps : WIDOW'S PEAK

12. Swear : AVOW

13. Change the color of, as hair : DYE

21. "Smooth Operator" singer : SADE. Clip.(4:19)

22. Lav in Leeds : LOO. Today's geography. Leeds.

25. Word before pad or tender : LEGAL

26. Common man with a six-pack? : AVERAGE JOE. How's that for a shout out?

27. Plump (up) : FLUFF

28. Basic principle : TENET

29. Severe : HARSH

30. That, in Tijuana : ESO

31. Swap : TRADE

32. You might brush barbecue sauce on one : RIB

35. Approves : OK's

37. "Little Red Book" writer : MAO

38. Used for support : LEANED ON. Literally and metaphorically.

40. Gamblers' methods : SYSTEMS

41. Dull : BLAH

43. "Who __?": New Orleans Saints' fans chant : DAT

44. Keys in : ENTERS

47. Stow below : LADE

48. Give off : EMIT

49. Disney World's Space Mountain, e.g. : RIDE

50. Leer at : OGLE

51. Wilma Flintstone's guy : FRED

52. Opulence : LUXE

53. Highest point : APEX

54. "What __ wrong?" : WENT

55. Looney Tunes devil, casually : TAZ



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Blew through this one in record time. The only minor hesitation was at DAT, which was totally unknown to me but easily inferrable and gettable via the perps even if it weren't.

The theme was OK, but nothing special. The fact that the first theme answer had a repeated word, but none of the others did, seemed a bit odd to me and had me wondering if I was missing something, but I guess not.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Nice, smooth start to the week. Only slow down at all was the NW corner because Hamm was unknown to me. Picked up on the Double L theme with 25A and from there it was off to the finish line..

Wonder if the Saint fans wiil change their chant from WHO DAT to HOW MUCH. What a shameful mess.

Argyle said...

Ah, Rats! I should have called the theme: Double Hockey Sticks

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

I got the Lay of the Land on this puzzle at 25A. Very simple theme, and just right for a Monday, I thought. I liked seeing AVERAGE JOE along with DOE clued as “Anonymous John”. MR PEANUT was a nice touch, too.

Even though I forgot Jon HAMM’s name, the perps were solid enough to fill it in without any problems. I guess we have finally retired “Soccer great Mia”?

I chuckled at 39A “Place for pickups” BAR, since we just had a discussion yesterday about the classic pickup line: “Wanna come up and see my ETCHINGs?”

Nice job easing us into the start of the week, Jeff!

Avg Joe said...

Good morning all. Excellent start to the week with a true Monday level difficulty. Thanks for that Queen clip Argyle, I'd never heard that song.

What a shout out indeed! And on that topic, here's a version of Hey Joe that's probably unfamiliar to most.

kazie said...

Easy Monday level for me too. I only had two unknowns, MUNRO and SADE, but also two missteps with HORSES before STEEDS and MONOPOLY/MR.PEANUT. Never saw the clue for POW as the downs perped it.

I wondered if there was any more to the theme too, but didn't come up with anything.

Steven J. St. John said...

Loved this clue:

40. They may be cracked using stethoscopes : SAFEs

Laughed out loud.

desper-otto said...

Wow, now that was a Monday Morning quicky!

Started off badly by confidently penning KEEL for 1D, but that only stood for about 5 seconds. It was clear sailing from there.

I wonder what WIDOW SPEAK sounds like.

Not familiar with Alice Munro, but I believe H.H. wrote under the pen name Saki.

Way to go, Joe!

Tinbeni said...

Argyle: Nice write-up "OF-THE" puzzle.
All-in-all, typical Monday FLUFF.
Enjoyed the "shout-out" to AVERAGE JOE.
Who DAT? a gimmie for anyone who watched the NO Saints win the Super Bowl a few years ago.
(And a "shout-out" to our Hatoolah, yea!)
Cheers to all at Sunset.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning Argyle and all.

Not a hard one; just a few head scratchers. The theme was easy enough; just didn't know what to call it. Perps took care of a few unknowns. Only kerfuffle was 1d, HULL. Wanted keel at first but ÜBER and LOOP took care of that. Liked the long downs AVERAGE JOE and WIDOWS PEAK. I think Jeff composed an interesting puzzle.

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...


perfect puzzle for a monday, it had me looking for misdirections, but other than "horses" i did not find any. While looking for those misdirections, Mr. "Chen" (who is obviously a "Brit") - (Loo/Queue etc...) made me think that Alphabet ender had to be a "zed," but common man would have been sufficient clue for "average joe." Six pack had me looking for a body builder that drinks beer...

One thing, the junction of 37A/D was a total Natick to me. Any letter of the alphabet would have sufficed.

Off to view the bookmarked music clips, and find something funny...

Splynter said...

Hi There~!

I have to link this, for 42A


Monty Python

Hand up for horses over steeds.

Never saw the clue for SADE

Just needed the "Q" today, too.


LaLaLinda said...

Hi Everyone ~~

A fast, fun Monday. I caught on and filled in quickly, slowing down a bit only at LUXE and again at SAFE. Feeling very silly now, I actually was thinking of 'Ribs' with the cracking/stethoscope thing. DUH! (That would be one tough doc)

~~ I was excited for a few minutes thinking I may have discovered a pangram ~ nope - minus the Q.
~~ LETTER OF THE LAW reminds me of a line from the judge in 'My Cousin Vinny.' ~ So many things remind me of that movie!
~~ Loved the shout-out to AVERAGE JOE and I, too, thought of Hahtoolah with WHO DAT.
~~ 40D - Gamblers' methods/ SYSTEMS ~~ Well, mine didn't work too well on Saturday when I made my annual donation to the Mohegan Sun Casino here in CT. It was still a fun day, though!

~~ Thanks for your always enjoyable write-up, Argyle.

Have a wonderful day ~~

Lemonade714 said...

Hey Jeff C., wonderful Monday, always nice to start the week with a little Saki. My favorite Munro was a MUNROE .

SJ SJ, always nice to see you.
Argyle you are the Monday Man

Irish Miss said...

Good morning all:

Nice Monday offering, Jeff, and good write-up, Argyle.
Needed perps for one or two answers but, other than that, easy-peasey.

Still coughing away which, from past experience, could go on for weeks, but I'm doing much better. My eye is still watering and I'm still stuffy- nosed but, overall, unlike a few days ago, I know I'm among the living!

Happy Monday everyone.

PK said...

Always enjoy a Jeff Chen! Argyle, you are a "smooth operator" with the blog. Had never heard of Sade, but liked the song. Liked the links.

Didn't know HAMM and couldn't think of HULL so I started out wondering if this was Monday. Soon sped right along.

CED: Hope you got your humor fix okay with MRPEANUT. The other night you mentioned something about herniated disks and a limp before you linked Gunsmoke. No one picked up on it to extend our empathy. Remembered it when the sportscaster was talking about NY Knicks player Amare Stoddemeyer having a "bulging disk" and went back to search out what you said. Have you been able to get relief from therapy or surgery? Or is this a big owee you have to live with? If so, you certainly need some good laughs to lift above the kind of pain I know that is. Hope you have beat the pain.

xyz said...


Just what sort of six-pack does your average Joe have?


Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Jeff, for a swell Monday puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for the review.

Well, I have not posted since Friday. I was too busy Saturday to finish the puzzle. I started late in the evening and got tired. Sunday, same answer. However, I am still working on Sunday and hope to finish it today. It is tough.

Today was quite easy, as it should be.

UBER was strange to me. I think of it as German.

I wanted KEEL for 1D, but held off writing it. HULL appeared.

Thought 40A SAFES was very clever. I think someone else said that on this blog as well.

The theme appeared quickly and I was able to easily answer them all.

Was thinking of MONOPOLY for 4D. Correct number of letters. MR PEANUT eventually emerged.

Installed a storm/screen door in my back door yesterday. Not bad for 28 years here.

Yard work today. See you tomorrow.


Lemonade714 said...


speaking for average joes everywhere, I have a great six-pack. I just keep mine nice and safe under a protective layer of adipose.

as to the other six-packs, nowadays it is more likely 4 or 12.

Avg Joe said...

Redanman, If you weren't being facetious, a six-pack of beer. Average Joe and Joe Six-pack are synonymous descriptions of "Everyman". Fortunately, both are a step up from Joe-Schmo and of no relation to Jack Sch.....

Lucina said...

Hello, Argyle. Hello, puzzlers. Thank you, Argyle, for an always enjoyable expo.

Thank you, Jeff Chen, for a speedy sashay.

Didn't know HAMM but the downs did and loved seeing JOUSTS opposite STEEDS. Also, we usually fill SAKI for MUNRO.

As for cracking SAFES a recent documentary I saw claims hacking into computers and cleaning out bank accounts is now more lucrative for thieves.

TRADE and PRO crossing each other, coincidence?

I guess we'll see the NAN, NAAN argument again today.

Have an UBER Monday, everyone!

Sfingi said...

@Redanman - Budweiser, statistically.

@Barry - Didn't even notice DAT. Good thing it wasn't central, since I'm deaf and dumb to sports.

@Cross-eyed DAve - H.H.MUNRO is, of course, Saki, the brilliant short story writer.

Liked the theme. Have love SADE (pr. Shahday) for many years, through her ups and downs, ever waiting for the next album.

Also, have a small MRPEANUT collection - tin, plastic, glass, etc.

Didn't know HAMM (Except Mia), since it's new and I'm old.

Lost for a minute on AAA before AAAS.

Montana said...

Great Monday puzzle.
I have been reading this blog since Oct '11. I started doing Mon & Tue puzzles years ago, but could only get 5-10 clues on Wed, so that was all I did. After I retired (math/science teacher) I started attempting to do more. Got to where I could do Wed and often quite a bit of Thur. Now I count the clues I can get on Fri and have even finished a puzzle or two.
LOVE reading the comments on this blog. I have learned so much and feel as if I am getting to know the regulars.

Jeff Chen said...

Argyle, you hit it! Double hockey sticks served as the seed of the idea. It's always tricky to come up with a Monday theme/fill that's easy enough for a beginner, but interesting enough for a pro.

Happy Monday!

Misty said...

Thank you, Jeff Chen, for a fun speed run this morning. And Argyle, for the illustration of WIDOW'S PEAK! After the tough Friday and Saturday, I had a Trifecta this monring, with perfect scores on easy Sudoku, Kenken, and now Crossword. It's going to be a great week, I think.

Question: Is it really okay to leave out the umlaut without indicating it with an 'e' in puzzles? I would have spelled it UEBER rather than UBER. (Notice Spitzboov used the umlaut). Also, I thought an EMIGRE was the name for an arrived immigrant, whether they left their country for political reasons or not. No?

I like your spirit, Irish Miss, 9:38--keep it up! And welcome to the blog, Montana!

Have a great week, everybody!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Argyle and friends. This was a fun speed-run to start off the work week.

No MadMen fans here? I though seeing Jon HAMM was apropos since MadMen returned just last week after an 18 month hiatus.

Having trouble logging on today.

kazie said...

Good question on the über dilemma. I suppose most people simply don't know how that works with the extra 'e', but they can't pronounce the Umlaut correctly either, so maybe it doesn't really matter. Germans add the 'e' to replace the umlauted letter when it's an 'ä' or 'ö' too. That's how we get names like Kraemer, Mueller or Koenig.

Lucina said...

Since the clue was "slang for super," it didn't even occur to me that it might have an umlaut but was the Americanized version.

Jayce said...

Among teenagers these days it is the current fad to say uber (pronounced "oober") to mean very or super. Our grandson and daughter say it a lot, and yes it kinda makes me wince when I hear it. Next year it'll be another word.

Spitzboov said...

Misty and Kazie - I've noticed that editors pretty much leave out diacritical marks in puzzle fill, but leave them in a clue to help steer you to the correct form of the language fill desired. In fill we don't see the tilde in words like señor nor the cedilla in words like Niçoise. Then we have the diaeresis in Citroën which is not an umlaut, but indicates that the two vowels are pronounced separately.

Jerome said...

It wasn't in the movie, but there's a great scene in the book, "Goriilas in the Mist". Dian Fossey comes across a group of young gorillas playing on mount Kombi Balongo. Translated, that's the WIDOWS PEAK. Not wanting to freighten them, for an hour she kept completely silent and still. But, her joy and exuberance got the best of her. Getting up very slowly she stood and yelled into the mountain air, "WOW! APE KIDS!"

HeartRx said...

Thanks for dropping by, Jeff! I always admire clean Monday puzzles from other constructors, because I know what a bear they are to make!

Lucina @11:53, I agree about not having an umlaut on this one because it is the (American) slang. I do use the umlaut every day, because one of my German colleagues is named Bäuerle. But his email address is spelled "Baeuerle". I always have to type it in v...e...r...y slowly, to be sure I get it right!

Jayce said...

Every time I see the name Munro I think of Munro Leaf and his famous story of Ferdinand the Bull who preferred sniffing flowers in the pasture to fighting in the bullring. My mother also used a phrase from one of his books when she would warn us kids that she is "a watchbird watching you." That warning was very effective in motivating us kids to be extra careful in avoiding being seen when we would do something naughty.

ARBAON said...

Lemon: You don`t have the "excuse" of having born children to account for your "adipose over a six-pack." My baby is quite grown, but I still call it "baby fat."

Enjoyed the "l of the l" puzzle. Getting the theme early helps with the other, long fills which helps with all of the fills. I start with the downs and check their correctness by filling the acrosses. This wasn`t so necessary today but from Wednesday on, it is.

Emigre, with that definition, was a learning point today. Would like to know the significance of "who dat?" Spent the longest time looking at "boat`s bottom" (my first fill) before it came..the rest of the puzzle was uber easy...a confidence builder.

Hahtoolah said...

Jayce: the story of Ferdinand the Bull was one of my dad's favorite stories. I still have his dog-eared copy, which is nearly 80 years old.

Jayce said...

Hahtoolah, good that you kept it. I imagine it is priceless. Unfortunately I don't have any of my father's books. I think my sister, an avid reader and book trader, got them all.

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Welcome, Montana.

I also learned that MONOPOLY and MR. PEANUT have the same number of letters. Got KEEL-hauled, too.

Not much trouble beyond that, though I don't recall ever encountering LUXE before.

LoL at the theme? No, but I GET it.

You might be able to pick up the LADY OF THE LAKE at a sand BAR.

Cool Regards!

Jayce said...

As for "Who dat," when I was a kid (oh no, not another when-I-was-a-kid story from Jayce!) we would call out "Who dat?" when we heard someone in the family walking around nearby, to which the lurker would reply, "Who dat who say who dat?" I didn't learn until years later that that dialog came from old Minstrel shows.

About the puzzle, pretty much WEES. I held off entering KEEL for 1D until I got a perp or two, neither of which was the unknown-to-me HAMM. Once I got the double L theme it helped a lot in filling in the rest quickly. And, like y'all, I loved the clue for SAFES.

Jerome said...

It's Kazie's fault that I spelled frighten "freighten". It's that whole umlaut thingy stuff.

Jayce said...

Jerome, would freighten be similar in meaning to laden? Sounds like a lot of baggage to me :)

Anonymous said...

Could tell a foreigner did this puzzle. Being an american farmer, have never seen or heard of any "Oxen" on any farm near me (Kansas) in my lifetime. Wtf is a luxe? Put aaa for batteries. Are they smaller than aa's? Never used or heard of 14a. I loved "Smooth Operator" by Sade. Also loved all them cartoons featuring Taz! He's the man. Next!

Argyle said...

C'mon back east to Massachusetts 'n watch them oxen work. Clip(1:24)

Ron Worden said...

Good afternoon to all and happy Mon. Nice and smooth sailing on a beginning of the week puzzle,thanks Jeff Chen and Argyle for your write-up. Got mt prosthetic today walking without any help just have to take it slow at first. A little pain but it feels pretty good. Have a great day to all RJW.

Lucina said...

Congratulations on your new prosthetic! I hope it works well for you.

Lemonade714 said...

great news RW, use it in good health.

Jeff always nice to see your puzzles and you stopping by.

Welcome Montana, thanks for bringing some big sky. Don't know much about the state, but it produce this STAR . Hang in the puzzling gets better and more fun.

Thanks Rose, I have no excuse but an abiding love of chocolate and much more.
Loved the cartoon verson of Ferdinand

PK said...

Hooray, Ron! Glad the new leg is finally in service and working okay! A real celebration is in order. I'm sure it is a great relief to you to have the fitting ordeal over.

LaLaLinda said...

Very happy for your good news, Ron. Already getting around without help ... wonderful! Hope all continues to go well.

Husker Gary said...

Golf and yard work and now youse guys!

-Jon Hamm is spot on in Mad Men and hilarious on SNL
-Yaz and Stan the Man probably had the most unique stances but at contact all good hitters look the same. It ain’t where you start…
-How did those Nixon plumbers come out fixing his leaks?
-I saw _ A J and wondered if Raj from The Big Bang Theory was going to get into the game. He’s no APU!
-Daughter told granddaughter she was driving too fast. Turns out Emma was looking at the TACHometer not the SPEEDometer.
-My sister says she is not fat, she’s FLUFFY
-I loved the Utes in My Cousin Vinny
-Off to Lincoln for an orchestra concert, football game and Globetrotters!

Misty said...

Ron, how exciting! Great news!

Am ubercome by the interesting umlaut discussion and I now totally accept that UBER without the e has become American slang. So I will not quibble when it shows up in puzzles again. Thanks, everybody!

Marge said...

Hi all,
Haven't read the blogs yet but I don't like to post too late.

This was harder than some Mondays but got 20A and realized what the theme was (sort of). It didn't go very fast but I finally finished.

I had a dental apt. in middle lf the afternoon so that interupted my puzzling.

2D Peek-aboo made me think of the town I grew up in: Bar-aboo, home of the Circus World Museum.

A good evening to all!

xyz said...

Oh, I knew about the beer, it was an attempt at low input humour!

Personally a whisky and wine guy, very little beer any longer so I'm not too average (at 6'5") haha

never take me too seriously


xyz said...

Drat, missed the HAMM/Mad Men comment!

I hate to post X3 but serious Mad Men fans at our house although I prefer Breaking Bad a little more and Rubicon the most from AMC, great entertainment for next to nothin' (basic cable)

ARBAON said...

Mr. Worden, Don`t know you but I`m rejoicing with you over being able to walk again! I am putting off hip replacement as long as possible...I`m afraid of staph more then the surgery or rehab. I trust you stay healthy.

Lemon: Have you tried the new Hershey "drops?" Bet you can`t eat just one (package!)

Irish Miss said...

I'm surprised there are no comments re tonight's NCAA Championship game. I'm not a basketball fan but there must be some on this blog who have a favorite. Yes?

Welcome, Montana, join right in,

Ron W, Congrats and good luck.

Off to watch my DVR of last night's "The Killing."

Marge said...

Hi again,

I want to tell RW how great your new prosthetic is working well!

And Irish Miss-yes,I will be watching NCAA game and rooting for Kansas. We lived in Kansas for 10 years and still have some great friends there.

Anon 2:41 PM- I wish you had a blue Name so I could see where in Kansas you live.

Marge again.

Yellowrocks said...

Jeff Chen, this was an interesting Monday puzzle for us oldies, as well as for the newbies.

Argyle, great links. Blogging an early week puzzle could be as difficult in developing interest as constructing an early week puzzle. You do it well.

Ron, my prayers for you have been answered. After all the false starts you are walking. Wow! I admire your grit and your patience. Yay!!

The swelling in my leg has impeded healing, so avoiding too many stairs along with the compression stocking is helping. Spitzboov, do you recognize the PA Dutch rutsching (sliding on one's posterior)? I have found a way of rutsching up and down the stairs that is inelegant, but works and prevents swelling.

At Susquehanna U. my religion prof was always baiting me. We attended a lecture where the prof disagreed with the presenter. Knowing my dad was a minister, he said, “That would have had your dad rutsching in his seat, wouldn’t it?” I replied, “You have to take it standing up.” End of baiting.

Spitzboov said...

YR - Rutsch is standard German and means 'slide'. At New Year's some Germans wish each other "Einen Guten Rutsch" into the New Year. (A good slide or headstart)

PK said...

Alas, Marge, our Kansas team couldn't make it happen. My brother teaches at KU and my niece married a former KU basketball player. So gloom descends.

kazie said...

Ron W,
I started a post just to wish you and the new leg well several hours ago, then got disturbed and only got back here now. So I'm glad so many others did it for me. Yellowrocks is probably right about staying off it for a while, or at least not overdoing things too. Great news!

About Rutsching and German new year. This year for the first time I experienced the melted lead thing they do to try and predict the coming year by the shapes it takes. We really couldn't recognize any of the shapes ours took though.

HUTCH said...

To Arbion. Regarding putting off hip replacement surgury, I was advised,do it soon as possible, because, the longer you put it off,the longer it will take you to recover.If you do it when your muscles are strong , you will recover quick.If you draw it out, you will have more of a problem. Talk to your doctor about this.I've had two hip jobs!