Aug 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014 Bernice Gordon

Theme: "How do you define....?"

20-Across. PITCH : TONAL FREQUENCY. A nice perk from this answer is that it lends a "Q" to the grid.

25-Across. PITCH : COVERING ON A ROAD. I was going to object, that they usually use asphalt. But "pitch" is a generic term for certain bitumens, like asphalt.

44-Across. PITCH : AGGRESSIVE SPIEL. I hate robocallers that start with "Don't hang up! This is not a sales call!"

50-Across. PITCH : THROW TO A BATTER. Baseball, of course.

I glanced at the clues and saw that PITCH was repeated, so I immediately knew what I was in for. That didn't make it any easier, though! The mid-west area was quite tricky, and if I had been doing it on paper, I'm sure I would have worn a hole in the grid with all my erasures, or had one massive ink blot with all my write-overs. (Ahhh, the beauty of typing in answers on a keyboard!)

Did you notice? This puzzle is a pangram, using every letter of the alphabet at least once. For newcomers to the corner, you might like to read about this very interesting lady.


1. Bon Ami competitor : AJAX. J and X are the toughest letters to fit into a grid, but Bernice dispenses with both of them in the first word!

5. Start of a classic Christmas poem : TWAS. the night before Christmas...

9. Terra __ : COTTA.

14. "Star Wars" role : LUKE. Skywalker.

15. "Hell __ no fury ..." : HATHThe actual quote is from “The Mourning Bride” by William Congreve:
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

16. Isolated : APART.

17. Frigg's husband : ODIN. Norse goddess.

18. First name in suburban humor : ERMA. Bombeck.

19. Group scuffle : MELEE.

23. Justice Fortas : ABE.

24. Spleen : IRE.

34. Some final exams : ORALS.

35. Immature salamanders : EFTS.

36. One who may signal to a bullpen: Abbr. : MGRManager.

37. Hall of Fame golfer Middlecoff who had a DDS degree : CARY. Could not remember his name for the longest time. Finally remembered it after filling in CA*Y.   (^0^)

38. Oscar de la __ : RENTA.

40. Fictional estate near Atlanta : TARA.

41. Covert maritime org. : ONIOffice of Naval Intelligence. NCIS has its roots in the ONI.

42. Notable Cuban bandleader, familiarly : DESI. Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha, III, better know as DESI Arnaz.

43. Good __ : AS NEW.

48. Hail to Caesar : AVE.

49. "__ Mine": Beatles song : I MEGeorge Harrison's homage to Hindu spirituality, and criticism of the selfishness of Lennon and McCartney. It was their last new song before they split up. 2:22

58. Characteristic : TRAIT.

59. Cannes cleric : ABBE.

60. Destroy : RAZE. Z is another problematic letter when trying for a pangram...

61. Nemo's creator : VERNE. ...and V is often missing.

62. Pinochle combination : MELD.

63. Setting for "The Quiet Man" : EIRE. A great John Wayne / Maureen O'Hara film.

64. Swamp grass : SEDGE.

65. Peacock tail spots : EYES.

66. Anti-aircraft fire : FLAK.


1. Oodles : A LOT.

2. Self-defense method : JUDO.

3. Related : AKIN.

4. Small-screen princess : XENA: Warrior Princess. Played by Lucy Lawless and filmed in New Zealand.

5. Enforcement org. since 1908 : THE FBI.

6. Rabbit home : WARREN.

7. "Don't throw bouquets __": song lyric : AT ME. I can't resist a song from "Oklahoma!" 3:12

8. NBA nickname : SHAQ. Shaquille O'Neal. A quarrelsome teammate, he played his last season for the Boston Celtics before retiring in 2011.

9. Shooting equipment : CAMERAS.

10. Kitchen gadget : OPENER.

11. Powder in the nursery : TALC.

12. Low card : TREY. I just had this word last week.

13. Ended a fast : ATE.

21. Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS.

22. Utah's __ Mountains : UINTA.

25. Drink after a day on the slopes : COCOA. I really would rather have a toddy, which also fit. (Just sayin'...)

26. Chimp cousin : ORANG.

27. First Brazilian airline : VARIG. This was a tough little section. Never mind that I had entered "toddy" at 25-Down, did not know this airline, and had a devilish time remembering golfer Middlecoff.

28. Cambridgeshire cathedral town : ELY.

29. Supernatural lamp occupants : GENII. Plural of genie, also spelled djinn, djinny or jinni. I just read "The Golem and the Jinni" by Helene Wecker.  Hahtoolah recommended it, and I loved it!

30. Time and again, to a poet : OFT.

31. Spender of rials : OMANI.

32. Jibe : AGREE.

33. Feature of LBJ speeches : DRAWL. And a feature of DH's speech.

38. Fix again, as a hem : RESEW.

39. Count ending : ESS. Countess.

40. Chef's meas. : TSPTeaspoon.

42. Zealot : DEVOTEE. "Fanatic" also fit...

43. Headed for an isle, maybe : ASEA. At least it wasn't clued as "confused."

45. Very eager : RARING. This word is fairly new, dating only to the 1920's. Oxford Dictionary says it's a dialect variant of "roaring."

46. Like a good alternative : VIABLE.

47. War zone correspondents : EMBEDS.

50. Family __ : TREE. Gaaack!  I had "ties" at first. It made this crossword puzzle pretty...

51. Tough : HARD. But in the end, I fixed all my blunders and it turned out to be...

52. Not so tough : TAME.

53. Mind : OBEY.

54. Not kosher : TREF. Have you finally memorized this word?

55. Word with spin or wind : TAIL.

56. Biblical prophet : EZRA.

57. Stink : REEK.

58. Sony products : TVs.

And that's all, folks!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I was off to a good start this morning when I was able to throw down AJAX and XENA with no hesitation. Things got a little tougher after that, but not too bad. Until that one little spot where ELY met CARY met ONI met VARIG. I wasn't sure whether it was ELI or ELY, and had no idea whatsoever about the other answers. Total and absolute fail there.

I did finally try to make some guesses and went with what turned out to be the correct answers on my first try, but I had zero confidence in my guesses and wouldn't have known they were right if I hadn't gotten the *TADA*. So I guess it was sort of the opposite of a technical DNF. I finished unassisted, but it still felt like a failure. Hats off to anybody who managed to make it through that section by actually knowing the answers.

Lemonade714 said...

What an absolute treat to solve Bernice Gordon puzzle and she did not make it easy. Luckily I have watched golf on tv and knew Dr. Middlecoff and Used to book flights on Varig. I slowed down for LARS and UINTA but all in all a fun ride and a CSO to longtime solver WARREN.

Picture day today...Thanks Ms Gordon and miss m

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Nice offering from the grand dame of cruciverbalists. I enjoyed it.

My "isolated" was ALONE for a few brief seconds. And down in Baja my PIXAR had to give way to VERNE. I was pretty sure SONY didn't make TP. Otherwise, no write-overs today; I've flown VARIG a time or two, and knew ELY and ONI, so that section was smudge-free.

Somehow DEVOTEE didn't sound sufficiently rabid to be a zealot. But it fit, so it had to be.

So do you pronounce UINTA the way Marti pronounces the cold season? Don't think I've ever heard it aloud.

HeartRx said...

d-otto, UINTA is pronounced just the way it looks:

"You inta."

Jhart said...

Barry I am with you great puzzle but a dnf

Argyle said...

Trey Parker(South Park) is tref. I'm gonna try to remember that. And Trey Anastasio(Phish) is tref, also.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

I finished this puzzle, but with a lot of write overs. My grid looks like a giant ink blot!

I didn't know: ONI, MELD, VARIG, CARY, UINTA, ELY, or TREF.

I liked seeing 51D and 52D together in the clue section: 51D Tough, 52D Not so tough.

This puzzle was definately 51D.

Have a great day.

CanadianEh! said...

I enjoyed this definition puzzle even though I needed Google help to finish. I did not know CARY, VARIG, or UINTA.

Hand up for TIES before TREES and ALONE before APART.

Thanks to Ms Gordon.

Husker Gary said...

5” of rain since we got home from Minneapolis but our centarian’s lovely puzzle and Marti’s always engaging write up will help cheer up my day!

- I’m surprised this PITCH didn’t make it in
-ON_/VAR_G? I went with an “A”. We have some lovely parting gifts for you…
-Incorrect FIRMA/FIREARM made for a messy NE start
-An Omaha MELEE on Tuesday that cost the life of an EMBEDDED sound man from the TV show Cops
-DESI may have loved Lucy but he “admired” many more!
-PITCHers report being good AS NEW after Tommy John surgery
-We catch FLAK when we point out our TRAITS in our children
-Missy’s new in-laws play pinochle at every gathering. I’ve never MELDed
-This The Quiet Man trailer shows why it could never be made today
-Talk about a PITCH man, SHAQ has SPIELS for Buick, Icy Hot, Pepsi, Gold Bond,…
-Our Pavlovian kitty came running when she heard the can OPENER
-I wonder if GENII ever bump their RADII in the lamp

Chairman Moe said...

Thanks, Marti, for the great recap, and especially to the link to Bernice Gordon. What a neat lady!

"Puzzling thoughts"

did anyone else notice that there was a TREE, a TREY and a TREF? Coincidental?

I had fun with this puzzle and though it was challenging, it did not "beat you up". I had ALONE before APART; EER before OFT; COVERING ON A ROOF before ROAD; other than that, my paper looks clean! TADA came in the SE corner.

I have family coming in tonight for the long weekend, so I will be a "no show" for next four days. Hope everyone enjoys their holiday! Will leave you with two limericks - one for today and one for Monday . . .

An old arborist started a fight,
With a fellow TREE surgeon last night;
The main reason, you see,
Was a "knotty" pear TREE,
But its bark was much worse than its blight!

We celebrate, next week, Labor Day;
A day off, to those, who work for pay.
But it's Moms who deserve,
An "off" day, to observe,
In September, and not just in May!!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Quite an enjoyable offering from Ms. Gordon. Only write-over was easy/tame and a wag at the I in Varig. The rest was quite smooth.

Thanks to Bernice and to Marti for a spot-on expo.

Bill G - Based on what was on the news, you saw some awesome surf on your bike ride yesterday. I can't believe the stupidity of those "daredevils" who risk their lives just to catch a big one.

Have a geat day.

Yellowrocks said...

My computer shut down to install updates without any warning and "ate" my earlier post just as I completed it. GRRR
HG said, -ON_/VAR_G? I went with an “A”. Me too, but I wagged the R in CARY.
For me ONI are characters like demons or ogres in Japanese folklore.
I have seen UINTA, TREF, ELY in puzzles and in novels.
HG, I am sure your inlaws present a MELD at the beginning of every pinochle hand. MELD means "to declare or display (a card or combination of cards in a hand) for inclusion in one's score in pinochle." It is a integral component of the game. My family played pinochle often. In college we played it with multiple decks in a big group in a bar with much hilarity, inspired by the beer, I suppose.

Big Easy said...

I usually don't do Thursday puzzles because our paper only comes on Wed, Fri, & Sunday, but since I am at the house taking it easy due to sciatica and bursitis on opposite sides I decided to download the puzzle from the LA Times website. It was a total breeze except 27D 28D & 41A. VARIG ELY & ONI made it a DNF. ELY, NV maybe I would have known. I wanted TODDY or MOCHA for 25D but MOTORING ON A ROAD and HN__ made no sense, and VARIG could have been Swahili, a total unknown.

I ME MINE has to be the only Beatles song that I have never heard before and after I clicked on the link I noticed that it is a waltz.

Seeing BON AMI reminds me of the commercials that Paul Harvey read and the non-French way he pronounced the product.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

I got stuck in that same western spot because I guessed the golfer was Carl. An English town named Ell seemed reasonable. Remembered Varig, though, without which I'd have been at a loss. Really good puzzle though, and marvelous theme answers! Bernice is a treasure.

Morning, Marti! I did notice it was a pangram. Hand up for being iffy about road tar, until I read your summary.

For those who care: "Tailspin" has been in our language since the early days of aviation, when that particular airplane behavior was first being learned. At that time, the airplane's tail was thought to be the cause of a spin, hence the name. Even though the tail has since been exonerated, the word persists.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great one, Bernice! Thanks, Marti!

TOUGH one! Tried CARL before CARY. All perps: ABBE, VARIG. I've been to the UINTA mountains so was annoyed with myself for putting a "J" in place of "T".

No hesitation on TREF.

Watching SHAQ struggle to be good while throwing his teammates out of sync in Miami, Phoenix & Boston his last few years was off-putting. He should have retired before Phoenix. All he did there was ruin Steve Nash's chance at having a championship trophy.

VirginiaSycamore said...

Thank you to Bernice for such a nice Thursday puzzle. I had to use perps and red letters to get it finished. Like others there were several I was clueless about.

ONI rang a bell only after it was filled in by perps. One of the NCIS shows where they must have discussed the old days.

When I got apart with perps, I immediately thought of the Bugs Bunny intro song:
This is it.
Some seem to think the line is nursing "a" part, but I always heard it as "apart", because the next line "we know every part by heart" would not made sense.

Also, since CARY Middlecoff was a dentist, I guess one could recall his name being the same as cavities, ie, dental "caries". Although OED says that caries is a mass noun so there is no singular. But a good memory aid anyway.

Also, Husker Gary, I had to Prove My Age to be allowed to even watch the trailer for "The Quiet Man". I guess "No" didn't mean No, back then.

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Bernice Gordon, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for a fine review.

Another great puzzle from the grand dame of constructing, IMHO.

I actually zipped through much quicker than normal. About a half hour. My only real unknown was EMBEDS at 47D. Never heard that term before.

ONI was also with perps.

Liked the theme. PITCH. All the four long ones came easily.

Liked DRAWL for LBJ.

Got EZRA and TREF after a couple letters to start.

Almost to Chicago on the train. (at Western Ave)

See you tomorrow.



Misty said...

A great Thursday puzzle, even though the mid-west was tough and in the end I almost, almost got the whole thing except for ELI and CARI. Still, a fun experience--many thanks, Ms. Gordon. And a pangram, yet, very impressive!

Loved the pic of Pepe LePew, Marti.

Wonderful limericks, Moe. Have a lovely family visit.

And have a great Thursday, everybody!

Bill G. said...

Irish Miss, alas, no big surf for me on my bike ride yesterday. I guess it depends on the direction of the coastline of the local beach. The storm is south of here and our coastline runs pretty much north/south. The Malibu beach and the southern Orange County beaches have a south-facing coastline and they have been experiencing the really big waves. I'll check it out again today. In times past, I have been out on the pier when the waves were breaking against the pilings and the spray was coming over the edges of the pier.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lemony, what time is free Friday preview? I missed it last Thursday but caught it the two previous weeks. Don't want to miss it today!

Tinbeni said...

Bernice Gordon: Thank you for a FUN (but tough!) Thursday puzzle.
I'm amazed you know that the "Metallica" drummer is LARS Ulrich (I didn't!).

Needed ESP to get CARY, ELY & UINTA, and the aforementioned LARS.

Marti: CSO to you at the "Drink after a day on the slopes" ... so, of course, I put in APRES (ski) thinking
about the "drinks after skiing" ... way before COCOA appeared via the perps.

You know you've been doing "too many" crossword puzzles when you are "Absolutely sure!" that a Rabbit home is a WARREN.


Argyle said...

Ms. Gordon would remember Lars 'Papa' Hanson from "I Remember Mama".

Husker Chuck (a.k.a. Ergo) said...

Ugg.. tough one. DNF.

Laughing at myself. COLORING OF A ROOF became COLORING OF A ROAD. And finally COVERING OF A ROAD.

Looking forward to Friday.

Ol' Man Keith said...

A nice Thursday job. No problems solving, although I had to guess at the airline VARIG as my answers to the perps were not quite solid. I knew ELY but not CARY or ONI for sure.

AGGRESSIVE SPIEL! Man, I think we probably get more unsolicited phone calls than anyone else. We signed onto the national Do-not-Call list, but It hasn't done any good, as far as I can tell. The worst are those that call and then hang up without speaking. The next worst are those that I have done business with (and therefore they are legally entitled to call) and now they plague me with robo-calls several times a week to ask if I want to hear their latest offerings. They often wake my wife up in the morning. (My ear plugs save me.)

BV Ahlers said...

TALC should NEVER be in a baby's nursery - it's illegal to have any talc in baby powder. It should all be corn starch. Talc is pulverized rock and when inhaled by infants can cause lung problems. Bad cluing!

Bill G. said...

Ol'Man Keith, I'm sure I get almost as many calls like that as you do. I try to be polite while telling them I am not going to respond to unsolicited calls. Not even charities I've supported in the past. (It's not the caller's fault but the people they work for. The callers need whatever work they can find.) And I don't see that getting Caller ID would help. I'd walk across the room, see the call was 'Unknown' and not answer, all the time wondering if I'd missed something important.

CrossEyedDave said...

DNF using that clunky LA Times crossword program.
(what was that site that worked with an IPad?)

Oh well, at least I can look at this puzzle askew...

Covering on a road: I Have had some wines that could be used for that purpose...

Throw to a batter?: I am thinking of getting this for the kids (they make such a mess!)

Tonal frequency: in case you don't like my links...

Aggressive spiel: I had no idea robocalls were causing a scandal!

And finally, the theme, Pitch: I was thinking trees, as in pine resin, and what to listen to if you get to many robocalls...

Ol' Man Keith said...

Bill G @ 2:42,
And then there are all the pre-recorded messages, starting with "Hello, Seniors!" and "The FBI is warning that...." I never listen past the moment I recognize it as a recording. I wonder if that's why they keep calling. Can they tell I haven't heard their whole message? Are they that desperate to be heard?
Like you, we screen our calls I wish I could stay disciplined enough to always wait to see if they going to leave a recorded message. All our friends and family know to do that. But half the time my #@! curiosity gets the better of me and I pick up. Drat!
Yes, I try to be polite when it is a live solicitation, but that doesn't mean I am going to let them finish a whole paragraph before interrupting with, "Sorry, but we're very busy right now" and hanging up. I know the live caller isn't to blame, but then I think we still have the edge on innocence.

Avg Joe said...

I had the same experience as many. It was all pretty smooth travel except for that multi-car pileup in Oregon. I did remember enough to change Eli to Ely, which gave me enough to guess Cary. So I managed to wag through it, but wasn't feeling overly confident.

With Thursday this tough, I'm not feeling very good about the next two days.

On the sales call topic, I spent a few years in sales and learned quickly it's an odds game when making cold calls. While a polite refusal may not be as corrosive to ones attitude as a hang up, it takes more time. So when I get such a call, I take the attitude that I'm saving time for both parties and just terminate the call. At a minimum it saves my time and is less aggravating than a rant.

desper-otto said...

I'm tellin' ya, NOMOROBO is the answer.

OwenKL said...

TDNF for me. I got it, but the last two WAGs were such totally wild guesses that I really hate to recognize them: VARIG/CARY/ONI.

Robocalls are no problem for me. I don't even have a landline any more, and while cells still get a few, most work from lists that only include landlines. Secondly, being so close to deaf, I never answer any call that comes from anyone not in my phone's address book. Instead, they get a voice message explaining I'm deaf, my wife checks my voice mail for me every couple months, and if they want to reach me sooner, they need to send a text message. The only ones who ever do have all been obvious phishers.

Bill G. said...

Roman numerals:
Suppose I tell you that I’m thinking of a retiring late-night TV host. His initials can be represented as 550 in Roman numerals. Who am I thinking of? 550 is DL so that would be David Letterman. Too easy. So I’ll just tell you that each of the following people’s initials CAN be represented with Roman numerals. Who are they? (To avoid OBVIOUS spoilers, to indicate that you've figured out an answer, just give the Roman numeral of your answer.)
Famous naturalist; Bourne actor; famous early pilot; X Files creator; early civil rights activist; famous (breathy) movie actress, Italian sculptor and artist; Barbara’s favorite New York Yankee from her childhood, enemy of Luke S; Latin bandleader also known for five marriages.

Unknown said...

Hi all. Dnf because of google look up on a few. Wanted addresses a whatever for 44a. But genis didn't look right, then address a whatever didn't fit. Never seen genii for a plural so the middle had me for a while erased cocoa and orang many times but didn't fade the page lol at Marti. 47d bony gave a clue on that one. Varig had me too. Bon soir from Cajun Country!!

Anonymous said...

Bill G

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Long day, but I just had to comment on Ms. Gordon's wonderful puzzle that had me going all day. NW - near cake (see below), N-Central (cake), NE cake... Then theme

I started with sONic FREQUENCIES, but eventually worked out the north - and done.

Then the middle - ??? Brazil airliner? A church city?, what poets say? Oh not TREF.

To the south THROWs out a ball? No, no, no... Aha! done (I won't drag you though the mud of my mind).

OK, a little further north. Got it.

CO(google 27d)V_RIG_NARiAD (iMANI - bzzz moron)

Finally, after 8 hours on and off (and 4 lookups - 27d 22d, 63a (Clint not out west?) and 62a) I broke it. Whoot!

Then, sh**. Thanks Marti - EFTS, not EnTS, and GENII - really? I took for granted the E in 44a.

TWAS fun, but a mess and a DNF. But nothing beats trying to solve a master's puzzle and getting oh so close.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

er, I meant to say TREF not 'not TREF' to indicate all that wasn't Kosher to have all those perping a theme (that was correct if not obtuse).

Sorry - it's been a long-a** day. Time to hit the hay so I can start tomorrow good AS NEW.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

Probably the least enjoyable puzzle I've done for a while. The phrasing of the theme answers sounded very awkward, the fill was poor.

Anonymous said...

I'm a day late with my puzzles, but did anyone else notice that ABE Fortas crosses with WARREN? Abe Fortas was nominated to replace chief justice Earl Warren in 1968. Do you think Ms. Gordon crossed these two answers on purpose? She's definitely smart enough to do so. Wow.