Sep 14, 2014

Sunday September 14, 2014 Matt Skoczen

 Theme:  "You Oughta Be in Pictures" - U is added to each movie.

 23A. Heroic medal whose recipient didn't feel worthy of it? : THE RUED BADGE OF COURAGE. The Red Badge of Courage. 

37A. Formal acknowledgment of the end of the calla season? : A FAREWELL TO ARUMS. A Farewell to Arms.
50A. Warnings for Rio sailors? : BUOYS FROM BRAZIL. Boys from Brazil. Unfamiliar to me. Google shows this entry misses "The".

71A. Not a colorful restaurant list? : MENU IN BLACK. Men in Black.

94A. Midnight distress call? : A SHOUT IN THE DARK. A Shot in the Dark.

104A. Clever maneuver by a grade school class? : KINDERGARTEN COUP. Kindergarten Cop.
127A. Classy vehicle for actor Elliott? : THE SOLID GOULD CADILLAC. The Solid Gold Cadillac. Elliott Gould.

Very tight and focused theme set, all movies.

Construction-wise, this grid is very demanding, with 115 theme squares (I can handle up to 100). And 6 of the 7 theme entries are pretty long. Often grid-spanning 15's make things easier on a weekday grid, but grid-spanning 21's are nightmares.

1. Impedes : RETARDS.  Put in ?E???DS, then moved on.

8. Trendy : A LA MODE

15. Break the law, in a way : SPEED. Nice clue.

20. Like some reasoning : A PRIORI. I like everything in the NW corner, except LOTTED (30A. Divided into groups for auction). Not a word I use.

21. In vino __ : VERITAS. In wine, there's truth. Similar to a Chinese saying "Drink in, truth out".

22. Threshold : VERGE

26. Distinguishing quality : TRAIT

27. "Mangia!" : EAT

28. Heavy weight : ONE TON. ONE Dupe with 107D. A hundred bucks : ONE C.

29. Cognac bottle letters : VSOP. Very Special Old Pale or Very Superior Old Pale.

32. Argue : JAW 

34. Rampant : RIFE

36. "And Winter Came..." album maker : ENYA. Guessed.

46. Game with marriage and kids : LIFE. Never played it.

48. Count in music : BASIE. Count Basie.

49. River rat : NUTRIA. This guy probably knows D-Otto's various cats. How many are in your care now, Tom?

56. Hurdles for future attys. : LSATS

57. Justice Dept. arm : ATF

58. Wonder Woman portrayer Carter : LYNDA

59. __ historique: opera genre : FAIT.  Complete stranger.

61. USN officers : LTS. Lieutenants.

62. Jackie's predecessor : MAMIE

64. Bay, say : INLET
68. Role for Ingrid : ILSA. "Casablanca".

70. Throat-clearing sound : AHEM

75. Stat for getting people home : RBIs.  Where were you thinking?
79. Like D's, gradewise : POOR

81. __ buddy : BOSOM

82. Body __ : IMAGE

83. Shade of blue : SKY
86. Capital overlooking the Pacific : LIMA

88. Breeze (through) : COAST

91. Garden tool : HOE

92. Save like mad : HOARD. I don't waste stuff, but I don't hoard either.

100. Many a ski house : A-FRAME

102. Tasteless : TACKY

103. Weary : TIRE

108. Cat in a casa : GATO

112. About, legally : IN RE. I used to be stumped by INRI all the time.

113. South end? : ERN. Southern.

114. Pitcher known as "Tom Terrific" : SEAVER. The only Hall of Famer wearing a Mets cap.

116. Doesn't seed, perhaps : SODS

119. 1998 Masters champion : O'MEARA (Mark). Tiger's old buddy. Good old times. Been to the Masters, Husker Gary/Big Easy/Chairman Moe?

124. NRC forerunner : AEC. Atomic Energy Commission. NRC is Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

126. One of the Allmans : DUANE. Same letter count as GREGG, ex of Cher.

131. Cravat cousin : ASCOT

132. Not on any side : NEUTRAL

133. Folksy TV attorney : MATLOCK. Played by Andy Griffith. I drew a blank.

134. Benefits : BOONS

135. Where some ticket selling is done : IN A CAGE. Oh, this is like how they sell tickets at our state fair.

136. Ancient ascetics : ESSENES. Learned from doing crosswords.

1. Jar : RATTLE

2. Either "You've Got Mail" co-screenwriter : EPHRON. Nora and Delia.

3. Accord : TREATY

4. Carrier that merged with Meridiana in 2013 : AIR ITALY. Got via crosses.

5. Itinerary component : ROUTE

6. Rap Dr. : DRE

7. Team : SIDE

8. Online self-image : AVATAR.  Hi there "Stud Chicken"!

9. Conducted : LED

10. Vessel for Jason : ARGO. Hi there, Charlotte's grandpa! Lucky you, Thai chef girlfriend!

11. Countenance : MIEN. This looks like it should be French for "mine", doesn't it?

12. Native Nebraskan : OTOE

13. Foolish : DAFT

14. Usher : ESCORT

15. "Law & Order: __" : SVU

16. Deliberately misconstrues : PERVERTS. Always use this word as a noun.

17. Big times : ERAS

18. "WARMING! Keep within reach of children" brand : EGGO. Never had Eggo. Jayce, I  saw a box of eggless mooncakes in our Asian store two weeks ago. It's like having salsa without tomatoes.

19. __ South : DEEP

24. Cabo's peninsula : BAJA

25. Cause of kitchen tears : ONION. So, what's your signature dish, Anon-T? You sound like a great cook.

31. 77-year-old duck : DAFFY. He was born in 1937 then.

33. Friday player : WEBB (Jack)

35. Groundbreaking discoveries? : FAULTS. Great clue.

38. Fronded plant : FERN

39. Major conflict : WAR

40. That, in Taxco : ESA

41. Tina's "30 Rock" role : LIZ

42. First name in exploring : LEIF. Son of Eric the Red.

43. Kazakhstan river : URAL

44. Diamond tool : MITT. Baseball diamond.

45. Get wise with : SASS

47. Vacation site : ISLE

50. Ole Miss rival : BAMA

51. Where I-15 and I-80 intersect : UTAH

52. "For the life __ ..." : OF ME

53. Asgard head : ODIN

54. Premier League soccer team, briefly : MANU. Short for Manchester United?

55. Nonclerical : LAIC

60. Sort : ILK

63. Devil : IMP

65. Lending inst. : LIB

66. Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" collaborator : ENO (Brian). I was unaware of this trivia.

67. "Very funny" TV station : TBS

69. Slot machine's one : ARM

71. Word spoken in mock indignation : MOI

72. Funny Bombeck : ERMA

73. Places : LOCI

74. Main Theban deity : AMON. Quite a few 4-letter Egyptian deities.

76. Island band The __ Men : BAHA. Famous for their "Who Let the Dogs Out?".

77. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

78. Go for : SEEK

80. "Grumpy" film title characters : OLD MEN

82. Old Roman road : ITER. Nailed it!

83. Often-seen abbr. in English drama : SHAK. I sure need a "Bard" hint.

84. Ex-UN chief Annan : KOFI

85. Tale : YARN

87. Film dog : ASTA

89. Alaskan site of the only WWII battle on U.S. soil : ATTU. No idea. See here. 

90. Sends, in a way : SHIPS

93. Minnesota-based hotel chain : RADISSON. Yay! For me.

95. Laughing sound : HAR

96. Birth mo. for some Scorpios : OCT

97. Island strings : UKE

98. Actress Daly : TYNE

99. President with an airport named for him : DE GAULLE. Did not expect a French president.

101. Flynn of film : ERROL

105. Sign of spring : GEMINI

106. Rocking place : CRADLE

109. Toyota model : AVALON

110. Bridge holding : TENACE. I can never remember this word, Spitzboov!

111. Hoover rivals : ORECKS 

115. Fixes a column, say : EDITS

116. Try : STAB

117. Very : OH SO

118. Like San Francisco's Coit Tower : DECO. Pretty in the evening.

120. Paradise : EDEN

121. South-of-the-border water : AGUA

122. Univ. military program : ROTC

123. Ghostly glow : AURA

125. Occurred : CAME

128. 5-min. NHL periods : OTs

129. Fall behind : LAG

130. "Law & Order" figs. : DAs


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

I really liked this one, for the most part. I especially appreciated the tightness of the theme and the fact that it involved simply adding the actual letter U in ever case instead of just haphazardly adding a U "sound." I got the theme early on, which let me throw down A SHOUT IN THE DARK with only the final K in place. I'm not familiar with The Solid Gold Cadillac, however, so that took some more help.

The rest of the fill/cluing was pretty straightforward. I didn't know FIAT or SEAVER, but the perps took care of them. I've also never heard any slogan for EGGO other than "Leggo my EGGO."

I really hated LOTTED, but that didn't ruin the rest of the puzzle for me, fortunately.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This was a nice Sunday romp. I was familiar with the film titles; I'd seen them all with the exception of Kindergarten Cop. I just re-watched The Boys From Brazil a couple weeks ago on Netflix. If I remember correctly, The Solid Gold Cadillac was a b&w film that switched to color only for the final seconds to show the gold Cadillac.

I wasn't thrilled with LOTTED, either. And I thought the airline was probably AIR ITALia rather than ITALY. ATTU is way out at the end of the Aleutian chain. You can practically spit into Russia from there.

C.C., I'm not really sure how many cats we've got. I think it may be six. We've had two go missing in the past month; that's the hazard with indoor/outdoor cats. Around here we've got coyotes, owls and neighbors with guns, so the cats need to be on their guard.

Dennis said...

Good morning, gang - I agree with Barry and desper-otto; this was a nicely done puzzle. I had two complete unknowns in TEN ACE and LOTTED, but other than that, it was just a case of enjoying the clues and the cleverness of the theme. I have great admiration for people who think up this type of 'add-a-letter' theme, and then make the answers fit a grid.

My tag-along trip to Minneapolis and Chicago was a lot of fun, and I was fortunate enough to catch the first day of the 'Wall that Heals', the moving half-scale model of the Vietnam Memorial that was set up in Loves Park near Minneapolis. I'd encourage you to see it, should it come to your area; it's overwhelming, even in half-scale, to see in person just how many names are there.

Hope it's a great week for everyone; Linda leaves tomorrow for Newark, then India for two weeks, so I'm gonna take several short trips to see stuff that wouldn't necessarily interest her, such as the Muscle Car Museum in Punta Gorda, etc.

Al Cyone said...

The Week in Review:

M 6:37 T 6:03 W 7:34 T 7:58 F 11:11 S 17:26 S 31:39

After a very satisfying solving of a Saturday Silkie, the week nearly ended with a whimper instead of a bang. I filled the grid in about twenty minutes but, alas, no "TaDa!" so I was off on a typo hunt. I checked the across words. I checked the down words. I checked to see if there might be an "F" where an "E" should be. Nada. The minutes ticked past. I thought to turn on the red letters. Then I noticed that I had BAHA twice (a crossword taboo?). I corrected the wrong one and heard the glorious sound. Of course HAW had made no sense for "Argue" but when I was typo hunting it looked like a word and I wasn't checking the clues.

See y'all next weekend.

Husker Gary said...

A fun and useful theme from Matt today. KINDERGARTEN COUP my fav.

-DREADED BADGE OF COURAGE left gracefully when I got the real theme
-B AS IN buddy would not go away but LICI wasn’t gettin’ it done
-Getting VERITAS from Elaine, required this spirit (1:16)
-Interesting story of why why air conditioners are rated in TONS
-Nobody was better at JAWING at umpires than this guy
-A sample LSAT question (more if you click below explanation)
-MAMIE’s and Edith’s husbands played more golf than Michelle’s
-I wonder if C.C. says RBI or RBI’s (I’m in the latter camp)
-WWII logic – “I’m not HOARDING, I’m just stocking up before the hoarders get here”
-Can you find the word TACKY in this picture? Me either!
-Yes, C.C., the Masters is on my bucket list. I’ll go when I’ve got $4,000 lying around collecting dust
-We were part of the hordes (not HOARDS) at this OTOE County site yesterday
-Using a MITT was considered unmanly in early baseball
-Yeah, hot Ann Margaret found this Grumpy Old Man attractive
-Which of these BOSOM Buddies went on to a fabulous career?

Anonymous said...

I'm really tired of this muslim junk but today's went too far. I tossed the puzzle away. We used to enjoy it but now if this kissing up stuff continues, we'll find another

Big Easy said...

This is the puzzle of the BAs, and not degrees. We have BAMA BAHA and BAJA. The only thing missing is a BAHAMA MAMA.

This puzzle had some nice misdirection that caused my NW to be the last to be filled. I always think of RETARDS in either musical terms or some on my neighbors (that's a joke I couldn't resist since it is a non-PC word these days). The additional U came as soon as I got MENU IN BLACK. There we many fills that came strictly by fills such as AMON ENYA ESSENES FAIT LIZ TBS DECO MANU.

I loved the diamond tool clue being MITT and the perverted use of PERVERTS. Come to think about it we had PERVERTS and RETARDS in the same puzzle. That's not too trendy, as in A LA MODE (another great misdirection) these days.

A bridge holding- TEN ACE? Forget bridge and deal that to me any day in Las Vegas on a blackjack table- cha ching!!!

Now we get to the 49A clue that I think is WRONG. NUTRIA don't live in rivers, at least down here. Marsh and swamp and sometimes my yard is where they live. We have a $5.00 bounty on each one. Sheriff deputies shoot them at night for target practice.

Jack WEBB- Sgt. Friday- the facts maam, just the facts.

Anybody out there have a ORECK vacuum cleaner? David Oreck was the RCA distributor in New Orleans back in the 60s and 70s. I remember his commercials 40 years ago when he would get on TV holding up a vacuum tube by his face with tears(onion induced) running down his cheeks stating that RCA was so good that he felt sorry for the competition. His office was around the corner from mine. He was a great salesman. Then he got into vacuums and franchising and it all went bust last year with Oreck in bankruptcy.

Lucina said...

Hello, weekenders!

"U" in pictures!! LOL. I loved that theme especially since I knew or had seen some of them. Very well done, Matt Skoczen; you are a clever man.

I also caught the B subtheme mentioned by Big Easy. BAJA, BAHA were particularly satisfying.

HG: without even clicking on the link, I know it's Tom Hanks.

Hand up for cringing at LOTTED.

Thank you, C.C., for a detailed review!

Have a super Sunday, everyone!

Bill G. said...

Hey, here's a chance for me to be in the first ten. Yeah me!

I really liked this puzzle. It was clever and tricky but just manageable for me with no red letters. The theme was lots of fun. I couldn't come up with SHAK or TENACE without lots of crossing letters. Hands up for not liking LOTTED a lot.

Really hot here today and for the next several days. Of course, Lucina would find it balmy.

Thanks Matt and CC. Lots of fun.

Lucina said...

Currently it's humid here, the only time that happens, end of August and part of September. So I'm sure your temp is balmy.

Irish Miss said...

Hi Everyone:

Nicely done, Matt, and thanks to CC for 'splainin' it all. (Lotted was equivalent to fingernails on a blackboard.). Caught the theme early on which was helpful being that there was no title, again.

Beautiful day after yesterday's gloom and rain. Temps in the 60's for the week. Fall is definitely creeping up in us.

Have a great day.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, on us not in us.

Spitzboov said...

Good afternoon everyone.

I agree with earlier posters about the execution of the theme. Well done. MENU IN BLACK centered in the middle of the grid was a nice touch.
@62a, wanted Maria (Callas) first as Ari's (Onassis) earlier wife. MAMIE (Eisenhower) was supported by the perps and made lots of sense. Nice Misdirection.
TENACE is not in my wheelhouse; at least our group doesn't seem to use the term in discussion of the play. May be more reserved to written bridge columns and/or duplicate bridge play.
LT is a good rank; senior and experienced enough to usually be respected by the crew and more senior officers and still young enough to be optimistic toward life. (Equivalent to Army or Marine Captain)
ATTU - When avatar was first commissioned, she participated in the assault on Kiska near Attu which had also been occupied by Japanese forces.

Dennis said...

If you have the opportunity, check out the NYT crossword today. It was created by Tracy Gray and Jeff Chen, and it's one of most ingenious themes I've ever seen. Can't imagine how they pulled it off.

Anonymous said...

You may have no experience with the word LOTTED, but it is legitimate. Nothing wrong with the clue or answer. An auction sale may have descriptors such as lotted, non-lotted, pre-lotted, box lots, job lots and odd lots. When lotted or pre-lotted, the auctioneer or auction house and crew will usually set up the sale so that items of a similar ilk are sold in lots.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to see pictures of Dennis' meeting with C.C. and Boomer?

John from Pittsburgh said...

I think Dennis is referring to the September 7th NYT puzzle. Indeed it was an amazing puzzle. The ratings on the Fiend blog were through the roof with an 4.59 average, including (28) 5 star votes! Even Rex raved about it.

Dennis said...

John from Pittsburgh, you're absolutely right - I forgot that the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel publishes the NYT puzzle from the week before. Thanks for the correction.

anon@1:11, lol, I seriously doubt C.C. would have any desire to meet.

Spitz, regarding your LT comment, well said!

Chairman Moe said...

C. C. @ 5:30

Yes, to your question about being at The Masters. Twice, actually; in 1992 for a practice round (Wednesday - when they play the par three course) and in 1997 - Tiger's first Green Jacket and major win. Considering he started out +4 (40) for his first nine holes, and then played the next 63 holes in 22 under is pretty remarkable. The course played under 7,000 yds in total length back then; it's pushing 7,600 yds now. Augusta National may be Tiger-proof but it's not Bubba or Rory-proof. These guys play a game of which I'm not familiar; and in my heyday I had a low, single-digit handicap ...

Chairman Moe said...

To those asking about the word TENACE, here is a good definition:

(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a pair of cards in one hand that rank immediately above and below a card held by an opponent, e.g., the ace and queen in a suit of which an opponent holds the king.

For Bridge players this "position" can be beneficial when trying a finesse or if an opponent has to lead (from a K) into an A-Q holding. I don't play the game but read the Bridge column every day as it's positioned just atop the LAT crossword puzzle in our paper

Yellowrocks said...

Caught the theme right away. It had to be THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE.. Aha! Add a u. That helped with all the others.

Link nutria habitat

In Israel we visited the remains of the ESSENE community at Qumran. It is believed that the Dead Sea Scrolls were housed by the Essenes.

In vino veritas- I believe that wine and other types of booze lower inhibitions and cause people not to filter what they say. OTH, I believe that inebriates, just like extremely angry people, exaggerate and overstate what they actually mean.

I am familiar with the phrase "pervert the truth."

IMHO the distrust in unfamiliar words like LOTTED seems rather strange. I thought it was logical that LOTTED could mean sort into lots. My first thought was to rush to look it up. I agree with Anon @ 12:41. LOTTED is used quite frequently in auction lingo. Isn't this a wonderful new word!

fermatprime said...


Nice puzzle and expo, Matt and CC!

Liked the theme!

SEAVER and MEARA were perped.

Still hotter than hell here today. Trees drooping.


Bill G. said...

If you're like me, your watching habits (TV shows) and listening habits (radio) are mostly set. But, for me, there's always room to try something new. So in case you have a little room to add something else, try Sunday Morning on CBS or Prairie Home Companion on PBS. I am about 75 percent through Sunday Morning and am about up to the feature about Questlove, the band leader/drummer on Jimmy Fallon's late night show; Questlove. They also had features on the Lone Ranger, cats and dogs in art, Jessica Chastain, their Moment of Nature in Yellowstone this week, etc. In fact, here are all of the featured stories. CBS Sunday Morning

Then on my way home from getting a BLT for lunch for Barbara and me, I stumbled across Prairie Home Companion on the car radio. I always enjoy that show but I never think to plan on listening to it. I wish my car radio had a DVR so I could record it and play it back whenever I want.

I'm off to try the NYT puzzle from last Sunday. Thanks for the heads up.

Unknown said...

This was a clever puzzle. Thank you Matt Skoczen. I only had one write-over: ens before LTS.

I have two cats, and they are strictly indoor cats for the reasons desper-otto cited. They don't seem to miss the outdoors and never try to go outside when the door is open. Of course, that necessitates having a litter box in the laundry room and cleaning it daily (ugh).

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great puzzle with fun theme, Matt! Real challenge. Great expo, C.C.!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Than you, Matt Skoczen, for a fine puzzle. Than you, C.C., for a fine review.

Enjoyed this puzzle. The theme was outstanding. Once I got it, the theme answers really helped with the rest of the puzzle.

LOTTED came mainly with perps, but once I had it, the word made sense. I like the word. Hope I remember it.

Remembered VSOP from crosswords. I do not drink cognac.

Law and Order, SVU is watched a lot in our house. My wife ally likes it. I watch it if I am there and doing nothing else.

A LA MODE and trendy mean nothing to me. Sounds french.

Took me a while to remember Annen's first name, KOFI.

Liked MATLOCK, years ago.

I am approaching Pittsburgh on my way back to Chicago. See you tomorrow. I missed Friday's and Saturday's puzzles. Maybe I can do them tonight.



Anonymous said...

Well, if its up to me to address the elephant in the room, I will, reluctantly. For fair disclosure, you might not be aware, but I have read just about every post that has been entered here since the early days of the blog and I cannot think of any logical reason in which C.C. could ignore the fact that Dennis was in the twin cities and was not visited. Dennis was the rudder that guided us through the uncharted waters that Argyle now captains. I remember well the day Dennis declared his pull back from his daily contribution and the resulting pain C.C. expressed. I hope that is not the reason for C.C.'s distress as it is not logical for her to expect the commitment that Dennis and subsequently Argyle has provided her. As a matter of fact, I have been disappointed in her lack of participation with the discussion and her apathy towards my many contributions.

I feel we are owed many clarifications including the inexplicable support of an obviously turd of a man like lemonade. Wait a second, do you think that might be the straw that broke Dennis' back. I know they live only miles apart yet have not met because Dennis think very lowly of him. Hmmm

Mike Sherline said...

Boll G. @ 4:37pm -
I've been listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" for years. It's a wonderful show, carried by most NPR (radio) stations, many of which air it on Sat. & Sun. Each week's show is also available on the web (prairie at noon central on Sunday. There was a film documentary made of it some years ago, '08 I think, that aired on PBS (TV) and should still be available on DVD. Robert Altman's last movie was about the radio program, called "A Prairie Home Companion, the Movie", with Meryl Streep and some other big stars; I think it came out in 2011 or so. We don't get any radio reception, so I have to listen via audio streaming and wi-fi on my iPod Touch - I can't listen in the car, only around the house. When we lived in a city, I had a radio on in every room.

Bill G. said...

I always appreciate when others seem to enjoy a link or opinion I've posted so I feel remiss in not having said how much I enjoyed Husker's earlier comments and links. Would it be RBI's or RBIs? I thought you meant it to be plural rather than possessive. Dunno for sure... I would probably say or write RBIs even though Runs Batted Ins doesn't make much sense. I've only been to Hooters once but I was surprised to find how enjoyable the waitresses were to talk with. The fast food was perfectly satisfactory and the waitress were flirty and fun.

Anonymous said...

A Prairie Home Companion - Bad Jokes

Lucina said...

I want to thank you for recommending Sunday Morning many months ago. Since then I have recorded it for later viewing and completely enjoy it. Today I was amused by the young football player who joined a book club; I also admired him and the women. It's a source of some unusual information and learning.

I just finished watching The Roosevelts and was surprised by how much I didn't know about them. It's well done.

Bill G. said...

Lucina, I knew you also enjoyed Sunday Morning but I didn't realize it was on my account. I record it for later viewing too. I enjoyed the football player/book club story also and here it is again for everybody else.
Malcolm Mitchell

Anonymous T said...

Just Lurking Today said...

Hi All - too much to do today so no time to play a Sunday Grid (I printed it out thinking I'd have time, but between ballet and choir, um, no).

C.C. Signature dish? I donno - maybe my pizza. Each kid gets whatever topping they want on their pie. So does DW. I'll pull basil & tomatoes from the garden for mine :-)

Bill G - I love PHC. I listen every week while I leaf through the Old Farmers Almanac :-)*

Cheers, -T
*It's a 1/2 joke; I grew up with both and still enjoy 'em. I also listen to Car Talk reruns and WWDTM every Sat AM while playing w/ an x-word I know I won't get.

anon part deux said...

I fear the fact that the regulars believe if they ignore the obvious it'll go away. Y'all have let me down.