May 28, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 Steve Blais

Theme: "How Much Farther?" - The ends are different measures of distance.

18A. Eschew punishment, in an old saw : SPARE THE ROD. 16.5 feet

29A. Really puzzling : HARD TO FATHOM. 6 feet (used for depth)

37A. "Toy Story" space ranger : BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. 6 trillion miles, about

46A. Athletics group for kids : PEE WEE LEAGUE. 3 miles.

60A. From afar, and how 18-, 29-, 37- and 46-Across literally end : AT A DISTANCE

Argyle right here. Give the kids the answer in these units and make them figure out how far it is for themselves. Right, Bill G.? The use of these words in the answers do not relate directly to distances; that's cool. Two a-words for Tuesday. Three tomorrow? All together, a decent puzzle that will end when we get there. But we're not there yet.


1. Clumsy type : OAF

4. Like a male lion : MANED. The males have a ruff of hair.

9. Sits for a portrait : POSES

14. Popeye's Olive : OYL

15. Clamorous : AROAR

16. Posthaste : APACE

17. Longtime Elton John label : MCA. (Music Corporation of America, formed in 1924)

20. With, in France : AVEC. Straightforward.

22. Movie-rating org. : MPAA. (Motion Picture Association of America)

23. Santa __ winds : ANA

24. Positive particle : PROTON

26. Carson's sidekick : McMAHON. Johnny's, yes, but who was Kit Carson's sidekick?

32. Currency-stabilizing org. : IMF. (International Monetary Fund)

33. Geography suffix : ERN. Add them to the points on a compass.

34. Part of Columbus's fleet : NINA

42. What there oughta be : A LAW

43. Luau souvenir : LEI

44. "I hate it!" : "UGH!"

51. Not as tidy : MESSIER

54. Shaving aid : LATHER. Shaving can be messy or so I hear.

55. Refugees' subj. : ESL. (English as a second language)

56. Key __ pie : LIME. 3D. Likely to evoke yums : FLAVORFUL

59. Tornado-riding dog : TOTO. Hm, how to measure the distance from Kansas to Oz.

64. "__ Got a Secret" : I'VE

66. "Rosemary's Baby" author Ira : LEVIN. Perps supplied the answer.

67. Perfumer's compound : ESTER

68. Yet, poetically : E'EN

69. Amens : YESes

70. Unfeeling : STONY

71. Monopoly quartet: Abbr. : RRs. (Reading, Pennsylvania, B&O, and Short Line)

NO, we're not there yet!


1. Half a tuba sound : OOM. 9D. The other half of a tuba sound : PAH

2. Bart Simpson's "Holy cow!" : "¡AY,CARAMBA!"

4. The Phillie Phanatic, e.g. : MASCOT. On the left.

5. Alsatian dadaist : ARP. Jean Arp was born in the Alsace-Lorraine region.

6. Linguist Chomsky : NOAM. His web site.

7. O.K. Corral gunfighter : EARP. (Wyatt)

8. Imagined : DREAMT

10. Uncover, poetically : OPE

11. "Adia" singer McLachlan : SARAH

12. Prefix appealing to frugality : ECONO

13. Car buyer's choice : SEDAN

19. Dial on a dash : TACH. Shortened words in both the clue and answer.

21. Takeoff approx. : ETD

24. 21st Greek letter : PHI

25. "Joy to the World," e.g. : NOEL. (the Christmas carol)

27. When repeated, a 1987 #1 hit for Billy Idol : MONY. Originally by Tommy James and the Shondells.

28. Lille lady friend : AMIE. Lille is north of Paris, on the Belgium border.

30. "F" that most school kids look forward to: Abbr. : FRIday. Clever.

31. It's measured in degrees : ANGLE

35. Less deserving of a Christmas present? : NAUGHTIER

36. Have a debate about : ARGUE OVER

38. Microwaves : ZAPS

39. Düsseldorf duo : ZWEI. In western Germany.

40. Giggle in an IM : HEE. Is this less than LOL?

41. Cash drawer : TILL

45. Seagoing pronoun : HER. Ships are female.

47. Skinny swimmers : EELS

48. Puts pen to paper : WRITES

49. Place to grab a bite : EATERY

50. From __ Z : A TO

51. __-mouthed: indirect : MEALY. In the sense of not saying what one means?

52. Lauder of lipstick : ESTÈE

53. Some Balkan natives : SLAVS

57. Sail support : MAST

58. Opposite of ecto- : ENTO

61. Backgammon cube : DIE

62. "I know people" people : INs

63. 100 yrs. : CEN. (century) Oh, it hasn't been that long.

65. USNA grad : ENS. (ensign)

Ok, we're here.



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Mostly smooth and straightforward today, except for one section where I shot myself in the foot repeatedly. Had AY CARUMBA instead of AY CARAMBA, ETA instead of ETD and PSI instead of PHI. All of which got me SORATOFATHOM at 29A, which was, well, HARD TO FATHOM for awhile until I corrected my mistakes.


C.C. Burnikel said...

MJ asked the same question in 2009. Here is what Rich said then:

"Joyce was LA Times puzzle editor long before I arrived. I began working with her 10 years ago, at which time we shared editing responsibilities. She's now retired, though we do talk regularly about the puzzles. I do all the editing, and she's among the professionals who check my work. Her name remains on the byline in recognition of her years of service to the LAT Crossword.

thehondohurricane said...

Good Day to all,

AROAR & APACE , one following the other. I'm not going to bitch about them, but they set the mood for solving this puzzle. It was a grind, especially the middle. I thought I may have slept from Monday through Thursday. But in the end, an error in the North gave me the dreaded Tuesday DNF.

I had no idea whoLinguist Chomsky was and couldn't remember the Movie rating org, so I went with NOAH and HPAA. NOAM??? Who would of thunk it! Not this dope.

The rest of the puzzle I lucked out on at the mere cost of about a half of my pencils eraser.

So today I'll sign off with my own A word. ASCREW IT!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

WBS about CARUMBA. It also didn't help that I was later looking for a "Dusseldorf auto" that began with ZW????

In the olden times, the label was DECCA (also CORAL and BRUNSWICK -- Buddy Holly recorded on both). It later became MCA in the 70's.

Here in the backwoods there is no "byline" on the cwd -- just "Daily Crossword" at the top. Not long ago they added the creator's name in itsy bitsy teeny tiny print below the puzzle.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Steve Blais, for a swell puzzle. Thank you, Argyle, for the very good review.

Got started really good with OOM at 1D. Then awhile later got PAH at 9D. That set the tone for me for the puzzle.

All the theme answers came easily. Common phrases or names.

20A gave me a problem, but with 4 perps I easily solved it, AVEC.

AY CARAMBA I did not know, but it became obvious after a while. I had just about all of the crosswords. I have never seen the show.

SARAH was an unknown to me. Perped it all.

Tried STOIC for 70A. That did not work so STONY fit and did work.

Liked the word MEALY at 51D. I do not think we have seen that before in a puzzle, at least in the last 30 years.

Thought of my 4 uncles yesterday, all passed away now, but were all in the military. Two in the Army, one in the Air Force, and one in the Navy. We have a nice photo of my father and his two brothers all in their uniforms.

More garden work today.

See you tomorrow.



Abejo said...

D-O: Where is the backwoods?


desper-otto said...

Abejo, the piney backwoods are in the redneck exurban region northeast of Houston. Unfortunately, Houston keeps moving closer. It's a land-grabbing behemoth. That's why our little village of 1500 incorporated as a city; now we can't be annexed.

kazie said...

No problems for me today. I even knew NOAM.

Nice blogging, Argyle, but Estée should have an acute rather than a grave accent. It shows up as you had it in the first Google listing, so you can be forgiven. But her official site is correct. It's just the normal thing for that ending with the feminine extra "e" added after the "é".

A grave is normal when a single consonant plus a silent "e" follows the "è". e.g. complète, emblème.

Husker Gary said...

-“Spare the rod” does not mean you are spoiling a child. Hitting a child means you are not willing/able to communicate with them and choose to use brute force.
-Popeye and Brutus – Really? Olive’s hot enough to ARGUE OVER?
-I’ll bet the NINA’s electric generator didn’t stop causing the boat to be towed to Mobile, AL
-Hilarious shaving LATHER (:56) scene
-Distance from Kansas to Oz, Argyle? Somewhere over the rainbow ;-)
-A fabulous secret on I’VE GOT A SECRET (revealed in the first 1:30 of a 5:29 clip). He declined the prize of a carton of cigarettes at the end.
-OOM PAH reminded me of our friend Abejo who plays the tuba seated and the sousaphone marching. Right?
-MONY MONY was banned from our middle school dances because of a dirty chant that was not on the record but became famous during its playing. I won’t even link it, just trust me.
-I hate putting PEN TO PAPER but don’t mind typing where I can edit
-The word slave comes from when SLAVS were bought and sold for involuntary labor in early Europe
-Off to Lincoln for babysitting duties. Grandkids are so great because you lease and don’t own!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

With the unifier @60a, I saw the cleverness of the cool theme. AVEC and AMIE were easy. Few unknowns were easily gotten from the perps.

Düsseldorf - Always thought it was a huge contradiction for a large major city to have a suffix meaning village. (Akin to English 'thorpe') Most German towns with dorf in their name are in fact small villages.

OOM - Dutch for 'uncle'.

Blue Iris - From yesterday; your FIL sounds like a good man.

Have a great day.

Sfingi said...

Had trouble with the youth questions. Had to Google for MONY MONY (though I have heard it), BUZZ LIGHTYEAR and AY CARAMBA. I expect this to get worse as I get older. Not good for Tues.

Didn't get the theme 'til the whole puzzle was done.

Mari said...

WBS! Exactly WBS. Our grids must have looked identical.

CC: Thank you for the information on Joyce. I read the two part interview on the puzzles in the Chicago Tribune and found it interesting. I've heard Rich mentioned here quite a bit and I've always wondered about Joyce. That mystery has officially been solved.

Have a great day, all.

TTP said...

Thank you Steve Blais and thank you Argyle.

I also had the U in Bart's "Holy cow!" but it didn't last long.

Had LOL in lieu of HEE for awhile. Changed the first ell with the start of Buzz's last name, and the O to E when LEI became obvious. Never changed the second L, which left a strange name for 'Athletic group for kids', but I didn't see it. My answer was more suited to a clue akin to 'enlarged prostate treatment group.'

HeartRx said...

Good morning Argyle, C.C. et al.

Nifty write-up today, Argyle! I kept looking at YEAR, and wondered how it was related to ROD and FATHOM. HUGE "duh" when I read your explanation!!

We just had visitors from Germany over the weekend. They live in Munich now, but were originally from Düsseldorf. So when I saw "Düsseldorf duo" I immediately thought of them. But ZWEI was easy to figure out, since "Alexandra and Andy" wouldn't fit!!

Have a great day, everyone.

CrossEyedDave said...

WBS! I had to stop to do chores several times, but it helped me solve it in the end.
(& created many inkblots...)

Fathom: The name derives from the Old English word fæðm, corresponding to the old Frisian word "fadem" meaning embracing arms or a pair of outstretched arms. (sorry, but I only know fathom as the length of rope between outstretched arms, so I looked it up.)

El Toro! (Kit Carson)

51A This Messier Catalog is definitely organized!

(I will leave 35D "naughtier" for some one else to link..:)

HG, You made me Google/Wiki Mony Mony (Hee Hee,,,)

2 unrelated links I thought you might like:

Amazing animal defenses.

Talented Bear.

Abejo said...

D-O: Thank you. I had assumed the backwoods meant somewhere up north, in the real woods.

H-G: Right-O


LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

Another fast and fun early week puzzle ~ thanks, Steve Blais and thanks, Argyle for your informative write-up. I had an idea of the theme after getting FATHOM and then ROD and it proved to be right. It did help a bit with the other theme answers. I knew what I was looking for.

~ No major problems but I did have write-overs with Serbs/SLAVS and Endo/ENTO.

~ I, too, wanted the U in AY CARAMBA - HARD... fixed that.

~ Knew only from doing crosswords: ARP and NOAM.

~ I, too, thought of Abejo with OOM and PAH.

~ The Red Sox played the Phillies last night so I saw both MASCOTs - the Phillie Phanatic and Wally the green monster.

~ Learning moment: "Mealy-mouthed" doesn't mean mumbling!

Enjoy the day ~ a gorgeous one here today!

Misty said...

Another fun speed run--many thanks, Steve, and you too, Argyle, for the neat expo.

After yesterday's discussion about AWAG, I smiled to see both AROAR and APACE, right near the top. Coincidence? I think so, but still fun.

I heard NOAM Chomsky speak once, many years ago, but not about linguistics, if I remember correctly. He was an important peace activist in his day, I believe.

Our weekday care-giver for my husband needs to step down after four years. Hopefully we've found a good replacement and will have a stable schedule again soon.

Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Anonymous said...

Not sure I get the "eg." after "Joy to the World" for "Noel". They are two different carols. Noel is not an example of Joy tothe World, or vice versa.

desper-otto said...

Abejo -- there are "real woods" where I live. It's the beginning of what's known as the Big Thicket.

Spitz, does that mean that "Pah" is a Dutch father?

Anon@10:48. Joy To The World is a Christmas carol. Another name for a carol is a noel.

Vidwan827 said...

Desper-Otto - Just like there is no 'I' in 'TEAM',

.... there is Noel in Christmas - huh ?

Thank you Steve Blais, for a nice and enjoyable puzzle. And Argyle for your wonderful commentary.

I had no real problems, that the perps could not solve.

I had no idea of the theme, but now that Argyle pointed it out, I remember studying about it in Civil Engg. specifically, surveying.

I am locked out of my Google account.

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Have a good week, you all.

61Rampy said...

Thank you, C.C. for answering my question.
Hand up for AY CARUMBA, although it started out as AYE CARUMBA. Other than that mis-step, smooth Asailing today.
I also did not see the theme until the reveal, and even then I had to look a few times.
When I saw "Joy to the World", I thought of Three Dog Night.

TTP said...


FWIW, I found only once occurrence of MEALY at the Corner. Gary J Whitehead Dec 7th, 2012. 49 Across, Like old apples: MEALY.

I think I agree that's a different context than today's MEALY-mouthed. A mealymouthed politician. A mealymouthed government official. Not willing to tell the truth in clear and simple language. Most PR reps.

C.C. Burnikel said...

TTP et al,
Remember our Sunday's Mr. Modem?
Just got this from him.

"Dear CC,

I was honored -- seriously -- to be 93-Across in Sunday's LA Times crossword puzzle.

From your blog:

93. Syndicated computer adviser Mr. __ : MODEM. TTP might read his columns. Not me. Never heard of the guy.

I am "the guy," and just wanted to take a brief moment of your time, if I may, to introduce myself. I write the syndicated "Ask Mr. Modem" column that appears in more than 300 smaller publications. I've been writing the column for about 15 years. I also write and publish the weekly Ask Mr. Modem newsletter, now in its 14th year of continuous publication. I am very grateful to have thousands of subscribers now in 39 countries. I've written 12 books, including one awarded "Book of the Year," all with a focus of having fun with computers.

As a writer, I admittedly fly below the radar, so I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of me, but please rest assured I am alive and well and writing for an estimated 3 million readers each month worldwide, hopefully alleviating the stress and intimidation today's multiple technologies inflict upon so many people, while putting a smile on their faces in the process. (Okay, so it's not finding a cure for cancer, but I like to think I'm doing my small part to help others in my own little way. :-)

I am truly honored to have been a clue in Sunday LA Times crossword puzzle.

Thank you for your time reading this, CC, and I wish you continued success with your blog!

Mr. M."

Anonymous said...

I came across NOAM Chomsky in grad school studying formal languages in computer science. My wife, going for Ph.D in English, mentioned the name one day and our worlds collided. The man was a prolific genius in multiple disciplines. Now, he's mostly a peace activist and far-lefty.

Houston is a land-grabber! I'm in Sugar Land, so we are safe.


Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Although I finished w/o help, I found this a little crunchier than a typical Tuesday. Perps were needed in a few areas, but I did get the theme early on, so that helped.

Nice job, Steve, and nice expo, Argyle.

I just read that the tv show, Unforgettable, is coming back for the summer. In it, Poppy Montgomery plays a detective who can remember every detail of everything that has ever happened to her. When she goes to a crime scene, she sees clues that no one else is aware of. I enjoyed it but it was cancelled after only one or two seasons, and now it's back.

No sun today but mild temps; kind of looks like we may get some showers. Not looking forward to the heat wave due later in the week.

Has anyone read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls? It is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Anyway, she has a new book being released in June, which is fiction and is about two sisters with a highly dysfunctional mother, just like her own mother was. I read an excerpt in Good Housekeeping and am looking forward to reading the book. I'll post the title later, as I am not 100 per cent sure of it.

Happy Tuesday.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends. Argyle, informative and elucidating as always. Thank you.

Sweet and simple but FLAVORFUL puzzle today with an ambitious theme: DISTANCE. Thank you Steve Blais.

Does Bart Simpson really say "AY! CARAMBA!? Why?

WEES. Most of the fill practically entered itself, especially the short downward cells. ESL continues to pursue me even now that I've retired!

And I entered ZWEI like a pro then recalled NOAM Chomsky from previous puzzles. All in all a satisfying romp today though I had to chuckle at AROAR and APACE!
You all know why.

I truly hope your Tuesday is fabulous, everyone!

Irish Miss said...

The title is The Silver Star and it's being released on June 6th.

Lucina said...

Yes, our book club read The Glass Castly and enjoyed a lively discussion of it. We, of course, especially scrutinized the part that occurred in the Phoenix area.

I'll be interested in your review of her new book. Her second book, Broke Down Horses, was less impressive for those of us who live here because it contained many errors about Arizona and Phoenix in particular. Anyone not from here would not notice.

Jayce said...

Hello everybody. As soon as I took a look at the grid today I thought, "Oh no, we're going to have a lot of 3-letter words, most of which will be abbreviations." And while there were, indeed, quite a few abbreviations (some of them 4 letters long), there were enough long and interesting answers, such as FLAVORFUL and NAUGHTIER, to offset them and provide some sparkle. I liked OOM and PAH. Didn't like MANED, AROAR, APACE, and ENTO. Some of the cluing struck me as "off" somehow, too far of a reach, for a Tuesday puzzle, such as the NOEL clue. I liked the puzzle, though.

TTP said...

How do you like that ? Very nice of Mr Modem to respond. Seems like a nice guy.

yes, Bart Simpson really does say "AY CARAMBA !" They were his first words. Not sure why he says it though.

Irish Miss said...

Lucina-I also read Broke Down Horses but it didn't grab my interest the way TGC did. I don't remember any glaring errors but, as you said, not being familiar with the area, I wouldn't have picked up on them. I do think she is a gifted writer.

Bill G. said...

Thanks Steve and Argyle.

Ay caramba! Being a parent and a teacher, The Simpsons was easy to dislike even without watching it. However, once you watch a bit, you realize how clever and funny it is. It's grown on me though I still don't watch it regularly.

CED. I enjoyed your videos.

Speaking of TV shows, I finally got around to watching the finale of NCIS Los Angeles. I really disliked it. Not only was it an unresolved cliffhanger, but it was unpleasantly violent. Did any of you have a similar reaction?

HeartRx said...

C.C. that was a really nice email from Mr. Modem! I went to his blog and learned that his full name is Richard Anselm Sherman. He seems like a really fun and interesting person.

Irish Miss @ 12:42, yes, I have read “The Glass Castle: and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the heads up on her new book!

Lucina said...

Yes, I watched NCIS Los Angeles and turned it off at about one third or one half of it. It was completely unappealing.

The errors in BDH had to do with streets, location of buildings and dates, something only a long time resident from here would know. And I agree. It wasn't as riveting.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was fun & fast for me! Thanks, Steve. Perps gave me WEES! Didn't know what's-his-name said AYCARAMBA or NOAM or the record company. But I typed in AVEC and was surprised it was right.

Thanks, Argyle! That "Avia" is a strange song.

Abejo: I've seen D.O.'s Big Thicket and it's definitely real woods. I always liked to hike in the woods, but not there. It looks impenetrable and you might not come out because of nasty critters in there. I stayed in the ditch by our car when my friend went in to get a palmetto fan for some kind of decoration. Very tall trees, much underbrush.

HeartRx said...

PK, it seems that there may be more things in The Big Thicket than just palmettos...

Bill G. said...

Lucina, I wish I had been as perceptive as you were. I struggled through the whole thing and was really angry at the end. As I said, they didn't resolve the situation and the process was really ugly. Two thumbs down! To borrow from HH, ASCREW'EM!

Three more Wordies:


2) DOft.OR

3) Go
Jan. 31, Jan. 31

(The last one would look better if I could underline the word "Go"

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, Lots of unknowns today. Movie rating org., Bart Simpson's Holy cow (Never watched), Phillie Phanatic, Billy Idol hit, Aida Singer, and linguist Chomsky. Most I got with a few lookups in my dictionary but others were guesses when I needed to fill in a letter. Perps also helped.

This was a bit harder for me than most Tuesday puzzles, but I muddled through and finally finished. But isn't wasn't very pretty.

Was up and out early today so I didn't get to the puzzle until late. Thanks Argyle for your writeup. I always learn something.

Have a great day everyone.

thehondohurricane said...

Just watched a short clip on tonights LA Kings/San Jose Sharks game 7. Winner advances, loser goes home.

Made me think of EddyB who was a rabid Sharks fan. Eddy probably is in the front row, center line on Cloud 9. Tonight Eddy, I'm a Shark fan too.

Java Mama said...

Good evening, everyone! Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle, Steve – as others have noted, a bit “crunchy” for a Tuesday, but very doable. Thanks for your always enlightening and entertaining write-up, Argyle.

Pretty much nailed the theme clues, except my young athletes were in LITTLE LEAGUE before perps moved them to PEEWEE LEAGUE. Misread “Adia” as “Aida” at 11D, so I was trying to think of an opera singer named McLachlan – D’oh! A big “Amen” to Husker Gary’s comment @ 8:23 about SPARE THE ROD. There are plenty of effective ways to instill discipline in children without resorting to hitting.

Bill G.-- my guesses at your word puzzles @ 5:28

1. Green with envy
2. One foot in the door
3. Go on a double date

Have a great night, all!

Jayce said...

I miss EddyB. Go Sharks!

fermatprime said...

Hi, all!

Almost a speed run for me! Had to change the "U" of course. Great work, Steve and Argyle! Thanks!

From yesterday: my girlfriend and I have both had several epidurals for back pain. Neither of us had any pain during the procedures! Some doctors shouldn't be allowed to give them, evidently.

Darn. I can't remember much of the last NCIS. That was the one with Tom Hanks's son Colin, I recall. He played a real bastard.

Broke down and watched the whole Liberace thing. How dreadful! He caused his own death, evidently, deciding to cheat on Scott. I wonder how much of Scott's book is truthful.

Watched the season openers of The Glades and Longmire. Both good, especially the former, I thought (with a twist).


Abejo said...

Irish Miss and Lucina: Our book club read "The Glass Castle" last year. We enjoyed it and also had a great discussion. It was unbelievable that they all survived. It certainly made them tough and resourceful.


Bill G. said...

I was watching bits and pieces of a track meet on television. Whenever the announcer referred to one of the participants, he called them ath-a-leets.

Some of the announcers pronounce length and strength as lenth and strenth. They aren't the preferred pronunciations but they are listed in the dictionary. It has always sounded odd to me.