Mar 2, 2014

Sunday March 2, 2014 Robin Stears

 Theme: "Dance Partners" - Both words in this theme entry can proceed "Dance".

 23A. Admirer banned for overzealousness? : FORBIDDEN FAN. Fan dance, yes! What is "Forbidden dance"?
41A. Where "Hissing 101" is offered? : SNAKE SCHOOL. Loved the clue. Snake dance. School dance.

44A. Contemporary poetry competition? : MODERN SLAM. Modern dance. Slam dance.

69A. Something the plumber's never seen before? : EXOTIC CLOG. Exotic dance. Clog dance.

73A. Hardly hipsters? : SQUARE FOLK. Square dance. Folk dance.

95A. San Diego mascot's topper? : CHICKEN HAT. Read here about the Chicken. Chicken dance. Hat dance.

100A. Follow the Scarlet Speedster? : SHADOW FLASH. Scarlet Speedster is the nickname of Flash. Shadow dance. Flashdance.

122A. Eating contest winner's paunch? : VICTORY BELLY. Victory dance. Belly dance.

Such an apt puzzle title. And so many dances! This puzzle should delight our Yellowrocks, who's the president of their square dance club.

1. Page 1 or 3, usually : RECTO. Right-hand page (Odd-numbered). Vs. Verso.

6. Perplex : BEMUSE

12. Digital readout abbr. : LCD

15. Workout target : FLAB

19. Hitching post? : ALTAR. Nailed it.

20. Cocky self-reference end : AREN'T I.  Oh, I'm so ...., aren't I?

21. Sushi tuna : AHI

22. Rolling rock : LAVA

25. It's read monthly : GAS METER. Not magazine!

27. Farmer: TILLER

28. Begets : SIRES

30. Comparatively poor : NEEDIER

31. Table d'hôte alternative : A LA CARTE. Still remember you first day in Paris? I went to a party in a Paris suburb and ended up missing the last Métro.

34. Coveted annual honor : OSCAR. Timely.

36. Tuscaloosa-to-Huntsville dir. : NNE

37. Stretch named for a leader, perhaps : ERA. Clinton era, e.g.

40. Not even part-time : IDLE. So, IDLE here is an adjective, right?

48. Curse : EVIL EYE

49. .jpg file contents : IMAGE. I'm saddened by the passing of PK, Dave. But you loved her and took great care of her.

Dave & PK

50. Scintilla : SHRED

52. Imitate a hot dog? : PANT. The HOT dog, not food.

56. Like the worst excuse : LAMEST

58. Beersheba locale : NEGEV. Not familiar with Beersheba. Wiki says:  it's the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev".

60. Dolphins' order : CETACEA. Whales belong to the same order. Learning moment to me. This word looks like some kind of disease.

63. Picked up a split, say : SPARED. Bowling.

65. Handel work : MESSIAH

68. Shop _ you drop : TIL

75. __ & Perrins: Worcestershire sauce : LEA. Never heard of it, but I'm so happy Robin finds a new clue for LEA.

76. Macho sort : REAL MAN. Don't be deceived by the Macho look.

78. Shoppe sign words : YE OLDE

79. Some printers : INKJETS

81. Flower children? : SEEDS. Sweet clue.

83. Long-faced : SULLEN

87. "Meh" : SO SO

88. Grateful, maybe? : ASHES. Oh, she means Grate-ful.

90. Marsupial sometimes called a bear : KOALA

91. Ancient fertility goddess : ASTARTE. The Phoenician goddess.

104. Wind in a pit : OBOE

105. Frat letter : RHO

106. Not 'neath : O'ER

107. Assist with : DO FOR

108. Victuals : ALIMENTS

112. Apportion : PRORATE

114. Hamlet and Ophelia, e.g. : ROLES. Not enough space for LOVERS.

116. Payday, for one : NUT BAR. Never had this.

120. Nostalgic, in a way : HOMESICK. This is horrifying. Those ethnic separatists are Muslims. China has 56 ethnic groups. Han is the largest. Over 91% of the Chinese are Han, including me.

125. __ uproar : IN AN

126. Kingston Trio hit for whose hero Boston's CharlieCard was named : MTA

127. Daughter of Zeus : ATHENA

128. __ Gay : ENOLA

129. Standard Oil brand : ESSO

130. "Errare humanum __": Seneca : EST. To err is human.

131. Looked impolitely : LEERED

132. One-named Swedish pop singer : ROBYN. First time encounter with this lady.


1. Finn's vessel : RAFT

2. Sci-fi people : ELOI

3. Shift neighbor : CTRL

4. Sitar accompaniment : TABLA

5. Bay window : ORIEL

6. Good, in some cases : BAD

7. Preposition with multiple homonyms : ERE. Air, Heir, Aer.

8. Criminal intent, in law : MENS REA

9. Not qualified : UNFIT

10. Rubbernecks : STARES

11. Article in Die Zeit : EINE. Die Zeit= The Time. German national weekly newspaper well-regarded for its journalistic quality, a la Wiki.

12. Jet __ : LAG

13. Pulpit locale : CHANCEL. I'm surprised I know this word.

14. Part of CDC : DISEASE

15. Skedaddled : FLED

16. Bodega patron : LATINO

17. Skin care brand : AVEENO. I like their tinted moistuizer.

18. Rodeo prop : BARREL

24. Pull the plug on : DRAIN. Literally.

26. "Heavens to Betsy!" : MERCY

29. Dry Italian wine : SOAVE

32. They're burned on purpose : CDs

33. Pledge of Allegiance ender : ALL

35. Road mark cause, maybe : SKID

37. Disney's "__ and the Detectives" : EMIL. No idea.

38. Italia's capital : ROMA

39. Biblical Rodin work : ADAM

42. Pre-performance feeling : NERVES

43. Air filter acronym : HEPA. I have to Google: High-Efficiency Particulate Absorption.

45. Cast out : EGEST

46. Inhale and exhale : RESPIRE

47. Flavor enhancer : MSG. Have you tried Chinese dumplings, D-Otto? Trader Joe's has a veggie version that I really like.

51. Sewer line? : HEM.  Nice clue.

53. X-__: tool brand : ACTO

54. Playwright Simon : NEIL

55. "Confess!" : TALK

57. Musical "don't play" : TACET

58. Snidely Whiplash fearer : NELL. Drew a blank.

59. Ancient Dead Sea land : EDOM

60. "See ya!" : CIAO. I seldom use this word in daily conversion,  too similar to Chinese F word.

61. British noblemen : EARLS

62. Wayne nickname : THE DUKE. The only Republican Orson Welles really admired.

64. Some TVs : RCAs

66. Carpet meas. : SQ YD. Square Yard.

67. Petitions : SUES

69. The Whiffenpoofs of a cappella fame : ELIs

70. Alien: Pref. : XENO. As in Xenophobia.

71. Cork sources : OAKS

72. Deep cuts : GASHES

74. Record holder? : FELON. Another nice clue.

77. Bridal bio word : NEE

80. Steinbeck hero Tom : JOAD

82. Key that cancels : ESC

84. Comic actor Bert : LAHR

85. David and Goliath's battlefield : ELAH. The Valley of Elah.

86. Defense gp. : NATO

88. Janis' comics mate : ARLO

89. First Super Bowl MVP : STARR (Bart)

92. What jerks serve : SODAS

93. Betray : TWO-TIME. Chilling when you discover your husband has another email account.

94. Touches : AFFECTS

96. Block and tackle, e.g. : HOISTER. Had to consult Argyle. He said "Block and tackle is used to hoist things up".

97. Creator of Watson : IBM. Hi there Chicago!

98. Cedar Rapids college : COE. I learned from doing Xwords.

99. G on a sax? : KENNY. Kenny G.

100. Oscar role for Meryl : SOPHIE. Sophie's Choice.

101. Long-legged waders : HERONS

102. Kitchen emanations : AROMAS

103. Ice cream-making supply : HALITE. New trivia to me.

109. Café con __ : LECHE

110. Rutabaga or yam : TUBER. One of our readers told me that real African yams are white-fleshed. So all these years I've been just eating sweet potatoes, even if they're marked "Yams" in our grocery store.

111. Gregg user : STENO

113. Gambling town on I-80 : RENO

115. Like an oeil-de-boeuf window : OVAL. French for  "bull's eye". Another learning moment to me.

117. Shapeless mass : BLOB

118. Friend : ALLY

119. Actor Gosling : RYAN

121. Dennings of "2 Broke Girls" : KAT

123. Number of Beethoven operas : ONE. Fidelio.

124. "Far out!" : RAD

Mike Alpert told me yesterday that you don't have to be a ACPT competitor to attend the Cru Dinner. I hope some of our NY area readers can make it. Precious opportunity to mix and mingle with other solvers & constructors. The Saturday Stud might be there if his work schedule works out.




OwenKL said...

Mary Sue went to a prom
She had a fancy dress on.
But when she got there
She was filled with despair --
Break DANCING in a hoop skirt's a bomb!

She thought that the DANCE might be ethnic,
A ghost DANCE for the Great Spirit skeptic.
A sword DANCE would do,
To a Spanish tattoo,
But a Bojangles tap DANCE would be hectic!

She'd been hoping for a ballroom DANCE
Or at worst, a barn DANCE was a chance.
But instead, through the evening
Everyone was just reeling,
It was more like a Saint Vitus' DANCE!

fermatprime said...


Really chewy Sunday, Robin! Thanks to you and CC!

Took several passes to get it all correct. But no cheats! Just a looong time! (Never heard of a FORBIDDEN dance.) STARR and ROBYN were new to me. ASHES was tricky!

Rain here has been very damaging. Knocked a huge tree down and destroyed my blue canopy (in another part of the yard). Lots of water in living room.

CED: So sorry about PK.


Yellowrocks said...

Loved the subject of this puzzle. I square danced 3 times this week and was strong enough to do all the tips (sets).

Like Fermatprime I took a long time to solve it, but I was successful with no peeks.

Here is the Forbidden Dance
Link Watch

The Chinese train station massacre was horrific.

I didn’t know why Grateful was ASHES. Clever Thanks, CC.

I think of Rolling Rock as beer. I like SOAVE.

I use Lea and Perrins, as did my mom.

Although some found Sophie’s Choice to be too dark, I thought it was a very moving movie. Meryl is one of my favorite actresses.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Figured the theme had something to do with types of dances based on the title, but I stumbled at the beginning due to not knowing FORBIDDEN Dance. Although, now that I think more about it, I suspect its referring to the nickname of "The Lambada" which I vaguely remember as a fad in the 80s.

The rest of the theme answers were pretty easy to get with the help of a perp or two, although SNAKE and SHADOW needed a bit more help.

I almost turfed it on NEGEV. I had N_GE_ and immediately put in NIGER as the only country with those letters. The light bulb finally went off with perp assist, however. CETACEA was also a bit hard to come by after putting in the nonsensical TELL instead of TALK at 55D. I actually have heard of CETACEA, however, so it wasn't hard to fix the mistake.

Thrilled to see MTA in the grid. Less enthused about HOISTER.

And yes, the clue for ASHES was devilishly tricky and provided a great *AHA* moment.

OwenKL said...

A hard time for me! I don't recall ever hearing before of SLAM or SHADOW dancing, and though I've heard of the tango or lambada called a forbidden dance, I thought it was just as an adjective, not a noun phrase.

I got through most of it with typical end-of-week difficulty, but EXOTIC and VICTORY had me stumped for the longest time. Couldn't recall LEA, didn't know who or what Whiffenpoofs are (I thought they were a breed of birds), and thought corks came from cork trees. Finally sussed EXOTIC, and that part fell. Wind in the pit was devilish! (As in the pit of Hell.) ALIMENTS is a strange word, didn't know what beef had to do with windows (thanks, CC, for explaining that!). Never heard rock salt referred to as halite except in geology contexts. Finally turned on the red, and it revealed CRU wasn't the Cedar Rapids Univ., and also a couple typos, which after further contemplation broke that section open for me.

For perplex, I had started it out as PUZZLE, then changed it to CONfUSE, without noticing I'd left the f out. A CAD can be good when it's Computer Aided Drawing, ORE has lots of homonyms, and NENS REA was so close to MENS REA that I missed it. It wasn't till I'd gone red that those errors were discovered.

I wonder if LAVA was Supposed to be ROILING rock, as it doesn't roll, just flows.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Really struggled with this one, and took a long time to finish. A bunch of reasonable guesses (such as Niger) took a while to repair. I never caught on to the "grateful" clue until C.C. pointed it out - clever! The Forbidden reference was completely unknown, as was Halite. The new clue for Lea is a nice change.

I'll bet this puzzle was darned hard to construct. Thanks, Robin!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

The biggest problem with this puzzle was the #^%&$&$&! blue-tooth keyboard for my tablet. Sometimes it works with the first letter struck. Sometimes the second. Once in a while on the third. Irksome!

C.C., if I remember my grade school sentence-diagramming, if you say, "He is idle," then "idle" is a predicate adjective modifying "he." BTW, I've had Chinese dumplings at a Chinese restaurant, and they were quite good. I have no idea how to make them, though. LEA and Perrins is an essential ingredient of my beef stroganoff.

COE came to me easily. I spent a couple of years in Cedar Rapids. MENS REA, on the other hand, looks like something completely different.

But in the end, I have to admit to yet another DNF. I had no idea who the "broke girl" was. I tried KAY, but ESY didn't look like Latin, so I went with KAE/ESE. Bzzzt!

HeartRx said...

WBS. Exactly.

Yellowrocks said...

There is a mini-theme here. ELAH, NEGEV and EDOM are all biblical references. ASTARTE also appeared in the Bible as the fertility goddess, Ashtoreth
Last fall I visited the Valley of ELAH in ISRAEL, the place where David slew Goliath.
We also visited the Negev. I knew Beersheba was in both the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament, so the answer had to be NEGEV rather than Niger. We didn’t stop at Beersheba. The Negev is not a Lawrence of Arabia , sand dune type desert. Here are some pictures.
I found the puzzle very pleasing and fair, certainly not garbage. It was fun to find the dances. Although I had heard of all the clues and answers except for Scarlet Speedster, the more diffuclt ones were perpable. For instance, I knew SHADOW and FLASH were dances so Scarlet Speedster did not thwart me. Even so this took patience. I like a worthy challenge that makes me think.

Robin Stears said...

Really terrific write-up! Thanks so much for your comments.

Re 132 Across: I never heard of the Swedish pop singer either. My original clue was “Rihanna's first name.”

Al Cyone said...

A pretty typical Sunday puzzle. The last square filled was the "T" in EST and KAT (though I'm not sure why EST eluded me).

Favorite clues? "Flower children?" and "Grateful, maybe?" were fun.


Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

This was a DNF for me due to HEPA/ Cetacea cross and thinking hot dog was referring to a show-off, not an animal or frankfurter. C'est la vie.

Several clues really stood out: flower children=seeds, grateful, maybe?=ashes, sewer line?=hem, record holder?=felon. OTOH, hoister is clunky and aliments and halite were new to me.

Kudos to Robin and many thanks to CC for her always concise and informative expo.

Does anyone foresee any upsets at the Oscars tonight? I think the biggest upset would be if Sandra Bullock beat out Cate Blanchett. Also possible, but not too probable, is Leoonardo Di Caprio edging out Matthew Mc Conaghy. Should be an interesting evening.

Have a relaxing Sunday.

buckeye bob said...

Thank you for the challenging puzzle, Robin. Thank you for the excellent review, C.C.

This was a hard puzzle for me. I worked it as far as I could, as long as I could, but still had a lot of white space. I turned on red letter help, took out 3 mistakes, and eventually finished it. It took longer than my usual Sunday time, but that’s OK, I enjoy the solving process.

I read the theme, but couldn’t see how Dance Partners related to the long answers I had. I was trying to make dances out of first few letters and last few letters. Nope. Thanks for the explanation, C.C.!

I see the constructor gave herself a shoutout at 132A. I’m thinking that’s the second time we’ve seen a constructor self-shoutout recently, although I can’t remember the other one.

I had more unknowns than I usually do, but the perps helped me again.

Kentucky Kate said...

I'm BEMUSEd that I never heard of RECTO, and ASTARTled to see EARLS and THEDUKE side by side. But no need to be SULLEN with this fun Sunday offering. Thank you, Robin and CC.

I can't claim a VICTORY dance, since, like Desper-Otto at 7:40, I had ESe/KAe. Essentially, I worked from the bottom up: filled up the bottom half; then 2/3rds of the way was good, after I realized that Breathe wouldn't work for 46D. But big blank at the top. Fortunately, I didn't have to resort to the SOAVE before some slow STARES accompanied by an EVILEYE or two and a couple of WAGs in the NE finally cleared the last CLOGs of white space.

I'm not here every day, but I sure do enjoy the comments (and poetry and links) of all the regulars, and especially the CW lessons learned from the your comments. Thank you. Hope y'all have a great time at the ACPT. It's always sounded like fun, but when I did the home versions, I was only able to work the easier puzzles. Maybe I should try it again next year, with my progress here.

Bill G. said...

Good morning/afternoon depending. This was a harder-than-usual Sunday puzzle for me. Finally using perps to figure out some of the trickier clues brought a smile to my face. I have never heard of FORBIDDEN DANCE. I don't know where in my brain the word CHANCEL was hidden but it popped out from some place.

Our rain seems to be mostly gone so the Oscars would be wet tonight. Maybe it's arrived at Lucina's place?

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

Crunchier than usual for a Sunday. Theme was obscure and had to come here for a full explanation. Last to fall was the center north. But there were also some easy ones: ie. KOALA and CETACEA. On HOISTER, the guy pulling on the block and tackle would arguably be the HOISTER. Guess I want to call an OBOE a reed but I think it's called a wind, too. Glad to see HERONS; usually see egrets.

Have a great day.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! This was a challenge. I had trouble deciding what two word combinations were theme phrases: GAS dance, METER dance? EVIL dance, EYE dance? Nah!

SLAM dance? Whazat?

I parsed AREN'T I as some kind of Italian word at first, ARENTI. Lots of tricky stuff here.

I'm still creeped out by all the references to dead PK. Those are my real-life initials, by the way, and what I was often called by my mother rather than the longer name she hung on me. The total effect of yesterday's blog was like reading my obituary. Then it starts again today.

Hatless Hal said...

Were you watching Mtv in 1983?

If so, then you might have been hoping to an answer like SAFETY STRIP.

No, I won't link strip dance.

CanadianEh! said...

This puzzle required some work (both red letter and Google) but I enjoyed it.

WEES about HALITE and ASHES. Smiled at clue for OBOE.

I use Lea & Perrins. They have the Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen!!

Oscars tonight should be interesting and we had two Oscar clues today with 34A and 100D. I admire Meryl Streep's acting.

Argyle said...

I am totally surprised northern people don't recognize Halite. Link It's in every grocery, convenience, hardware, etc., store. You all in the Southwest are excepted.

Yellowrocks said...

Halite is rock salt. With this unusually icy winter I have used plenty of Halite. It says so on the package.
PK, so sorry for your angst. I am so happy you are alive and well. Look at it this way. Every time someone says something horrible that happened to Kathy I am glad it was not this Kathy.
Another biblical reference was Adam. I am sure that the work of art meant the frst Adam.

CrossEyedDave said...

Thanks for all you kind thoughts, & Ol' Man keith@1:55 yest, you certainly have a way with words, & yours did make a difference. Thank you. (& thank you CC for the shout out today.)

To our PK on the Blog, (whom I wish could go Blue, so I know that it's you.) {apologies to OwenKL} Sorry to distress you. For the obituary I should have used her full name,,, Pretty Kitty.

As for the puzzle, Thank you Barry, I forgot that "ashes" clue that drove me nuts, & I am grateful you cleared that up for me.

here's to strange dance partners. ( I am taking about the human...) But lately, I really wish I could change dance partners...

In the "stuff we have had before dept." CharlieCard was an unknown that made me look it up again!

& CC, Everything you wanted to know about Nell...

For frequent Blog readers, a test... What famous cartoon character was also voiced by the same person who voiced Nell? (&what was her name?)

(with apologies to HG for stealing your Gig...)

Anonymous said...

back in the dark ages (about 80 years or so) a fan dance was done by a burlesque dancer. She hid behind the fans which she kept open covering what she needed to cover to keep the audience guessing what was behind them. At that time fan dancing was very exotic as opposed to what happens in public now!

61Rampy said...

CED, I am guessing the voice of Nell would be June Foray, also the voice of Rocket J Squirrel- the woman of a thousand voices.
And, sincere condolences for the loss of your Pretty Kitty. Please keep the cute or funny cat links coming!

61Rampy said...

Oh, maybe I'm wrong there.

spacecraft said...

Another LA Times challenge. I was hampered by a couple of mistakes: (1) What's a 7-letter word for curse, starting with E? Why, EPITHET, of course! (2) What do you do when you take air in and out--that's 7 letters ending in E? You BREATHE!

One such misdirect in a puzzle is quite enough; two nearly scuttled my butt. I never heard of a FORBIDDEN dance either; though in some places dance ITSELF is a no-no. Mayhap that's what the constructor had in mind.

Good mental workout.

Dudley said...

Rampy - I'm going with June Foray too. She and Bill Scott did a range of character voices on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, including the spin offs such as Peabody and Dudley Do Right. I just happened to catch them on a TV interview recently. It was fun to see the live actors speak in their character voices - they make it look effortless.

Dudley said...

Just looked at Wiki, and learned that June Foray and the late Bill Scott were born much earlier than I realized. The interview I saw aired recently must have been recorded decades ago, something I didn't realize at the time.

fermatprime said...


Thanks for fastest puzzle that I have ever worked, David, and witty expo, Argyle.

No problems.

It has stopped raining! All of the destruction here is hopefully over.

Fast forwarded through the Oscars. Enjoyed Ellen, mostly. Thought nasty remark to Liza M. was terrible, though. Sandra Bullock was absolutely stunning. Sidney Poitier really over the hill. Some of the plastic surgery was really grotesque!


fermatprime said...

Where is everyone today?

Anonymous said...

Halite (rock salt) is not used IN the ice-cream but in the ice AROUND the ice-cream maker to keep the temperature as low as possible for faster freezing. Used for home ice-cream makers, not commercial ones.