Sep 24, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Jack McInturff

Theme: Fair play! The first word (all 4-letter long) of four theme answers can be preceded by 'SQUARE' - they're all "on the square".

17A. *Arm, to an ace pitcher : MEAL TICKETSquare meal. I remember reading a rather lively debate (a.k.a. a series of mud-slinging rants) on the origins of this phrase on another blog. I'll spare you the details.

24A. *Issue that halts negotiations : DEAL BREAKER. Square deal. Roosevelt's "Three C's" - Conservation of resources, Corporate control and Consumer protection.

33A. *Monetary love, in Timothy : ROOT OF ALL EVIL. Square root. When I learned in math(s) class that √-1 = i, I knew that the world of mathematics and I would remain strangers for ever.

45A. *One in the infantry : FOOT SOLDIER. Square foot. Not a stick-in-the-mud's poetic meter?

54A. Unswerving, and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : FOUR-SQUARE. Also an American architectural style. I love the admonition "Do not attempt building without plans".

Miércoles feliz, everyone. Steve here with Jack Mac's latest. I had some fun with this, and I had to go typo-hunting when I thought I was done - you can see my write-over of a bad "E" at the cross of SOLO/ECTO on the answer grid at the foot of the blog today.

I liked the theme, more so than if you allow Jack's Scottish heritage in pronouncing "foot" to rhyme with "root", you get two paired theme entries which rhyme. Slick!

Let's check out the rest.


1. Loop in old Westerns : NOOSE

6. Kind of purpose : DUAL

10. Future J.D.'s exam : LSAT To become a Juris Doctor, you first must pass the Law School Admission Test.

14. Putting green border : APRON. The apron is part of the fringe, but not all the fringe is the apron. Funny old game, golf.

15. Welding sparks : ARCS

16. Sicilian smoker : ETNA. This is one talented volcano - it can even blow smoke rings.

19. Turkey or fox follower : TROT

20. Opposite of ecto- : ENTO. ENTE looked fine to me, until it didn't.

21. "Moonstruck" Oscar winner : CHER

22. Valerie Harper role : RHODA. I should have learned this by now, but I haven't. Thanks, crosses.

23. Statement of agreement : I DO

26. Sluggish : TORPID. Great word. Oxford University's "Torpids" crew races are anything but sluggish.

28. What a goldbrick does : IDLES

29. Cooking aids : OILS. I'm not sure about cooking oil being an "aid". An ingredient or a medium, perhaps.

30. Cry of surrender : UNCLE

38. French wine region : RHONE. Includes the famous appellation Châteuneuf-du-Pape. I guess the Pope needed something to drink at his new house, eh?

39. "Hands off!" : MINE

40. Deck crew boss : BOSUN

43. Full of spunk : FEISTY

49. __-Aztecan languages : UTO. I think I knew this, but I held off for the crosses to tell me I did.

50. Finish by : END AT

51. Bird along the coast : ERNE

52. Beat it : FLED

53. Pinball goof : TILT

56. Fit to __ : A TEE

57. "Come Back, Little Sheba" playwright : INGE. What? Who? Learned, and probably immediately forgotten.

58. Asian vine leaf : BETEL

59. Stockholder's concern : LOSS

60. Former OTC watchdog : NASD. The National Association of Securities Dealers responsible for oversight of over-the-counter stock markets. You learn something every day!

61. Bobrun runners : SLEDS


1. "You've got carte blanche" : NAME IT

2. Nondiscriminating immigration policy : OPEN DOOR

3. Mendelssohn's "Elijah," for one : ORATORIO. There are better examples, IMHO.

4. Unaided : SOLO

5. Tolkien giant : ENT.

6. Russian country home : DACHA

7. "Family Matters" nerd : URKEL. Giving oversized reading glasses a bad name, one sitcom at a time.

8. Biting : ACERB

9. WWII carrier : LST. Landing Ship, Tank.

10. Deadly : LETHAL

11. Butterfly, e.g. : STROKE. I was duped into entering STITCH first when I had the "ST-" to start me off.

12. Voltaic cell terminals : ANODES

13. Golden Horde member : TATAR

18. Treated, as a sprain : ICED

22. Christ the __: statue in Rio : REDEEMER. The word "iconic" springs to mind when describing this statue.

24. Have little faith in : DISTRUST

25. Little stream : RILL. Claude McKay's idyll demonstrates the usage nicely.

27. Gaza Strip gp. : PLO. The Palestine Liberation Organization.

30. Sci-fi vehicle : UFO

31. One of the Bobbsey twins : NAN

32. A.L. Central team, on scoreboards : CLE. The Cleveland Indians. They don't seem to be attracting the same name-controversy as the NFL team in Washington.

34. Cry of woe : OH NO!

35. Sundial number : VII.

36. Protect against heat loss, say : INSULATE

37. Made it big, as in school athletics : LETTERED

40. Mackerel relative : BONITO. Food! Dried bonito flakes are a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine.

41. Truckloads : OODLES

42. Conditions : STATES

43. Charges for services : FEES

44. Alpine airs : YODELS. Let's have a little Rodgers and Hammerstein why don't we.

45. Like a curled-up position : FETAL

46. Soprano Mitchell : LEONA. More crosses. The names of sopranos rarely trip off my tongue.

47. Pharmacy inventory : DRUGS

48. How a 59-Across is typically shown : IN RED

52. Pumped product : FUEL

54. Five smackers : FIN - from the Yiddish "finf" - "five".

55. Ones taking hikes: Abbr. : QB'S. "Omaha! Omaha! Oh No-Maha!!" Quarterback Peyton Manning taking the first hike from the Broncos' Manny Ramirez in Superbowl XLVIII in 2014. Much hilarity ensues.

That about does it for today. Have a great Wednesday!



OwenKL said...

Thank you to everyone for your good wishes yesterday!
Tin: My memory was that my first limerick here was Sept. 29, but just checked and see it was the 26th. Didn't recall that I'd been following the blog that long before, but I guess I must have, since I looked up the comment you found (which was more pathetic than poetic) and see I wrote that I'd started reading a couple weeks even before that! Glad your memory is still as sharp as mine is dulled. Must be the pinch, eh?

CED: (I need a funny rhyme for "Sanskrit.")
The Kama Sutra was written in Sanskrit,
But my wife says our translator's a half-wit.
Although we're not fragile
In fact, rather agile,
Still we wound up fooking each others armpit!

Fortean crossword coincidence watch. Today we have
LAT: "treated, as a sprain" ICED
ST: "tended to, as a sprain" ICED
Yesterday I missed noticing LAT had CREAM, ST had CREME. Cognates and homophones may not qualify as part of the coincidences, but I'll record it just in case.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Bit of an odd duck today, what with BETEL, BONITO, UTO and FOURSQUARE (an expression I was not familiar with), but everything was inferrable or obtainable via the perps. I mean, I got the SQUARE part of the theme reveal and noticed that there were FOUR theme answers, so what else could it be?

I learned today that welding sparks are called ARCS. I knew the actual electricity that is produced to do the welding is an ARC because it jumps the gap between the welding torch and the metal, but had no idea the sparks produced were also called ARCS. Live and learn...

Rev said...

This one seemed tougher than the normal Wednesday offering. New words for me include rill, betel, and bosun. Also, I would've never understood how five smackers = fin if it hadn't been explained to me. And yes, oil is an ingredient, not a cooking aid IMHO. I had a couple of squares wrong, but otherwise I was able to perp and wag my way to the finish line.

Lemonade714 said...

Always fun to see a JackMac and the meal/deal root/foot pairing made the theme even more impressive.

I was lucky having blogged a puzzle with LEONA MITCHELL and the rest was doable.

L'shana tova

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I was sure the "Loop in old westerns" was CHASE, because the director would loop the film causing the outlaw and posse to race past the same rock at least three times. And so it went.

This one had some nice late-week words like TORPID, DACHA and ORATORIO.. I was expecting a foreign phrase at 33a, and was wondering in what country would I find Timothy. D'oh! Nice puzzle. Jack Mack did not disappoint.

Steve, enjoyed the writeup. You provided several learning moments. Now if I can just remember....

Anonymous said...

Really wanted Toledo for 40D.

Big Easy said...

Good Morning. Well I see that the constructor has started 1A with a very unPC word- NOOSE. After filling 17A & 24A I was expecting something to rhyme with DEAL and MEAL but never got the theme until I solved FOUR SQUARE.

I Remember when girls called unexciting boys "SQUARES".

This was a fairly easy Wednesday with UTO LEONA BETEL and URKEL as the only unknowns. ORATORIO was a correct WAG.

I remember the night of RHODA's wedding as I was watching Monday Night Football. The game was so bad that Dandy Don Meredith was kidding Howard Cosell and telling viewers to switch stations to see the wedding.

CHER was a great comedian on the Sonny & Cher Show, but she can't sing and her acting is even worse. I guess she has a great agent because she still makes a lot of money.

Mari said...

Good morning everybody.

I had a good time with this puzzle today. I thought I had most of the fill correct, but a few odd balls threw me off.

I wanted LASSO for NOOSE, NATAL for FETAL, etc. I didn't know BETEL or BOSUN.

I enjoyed the theme. One could also say that Steve URKEL is a "SQUARE".

Have a grea tday.

Husker Gary said...

-Dang! qBs/Betel got me one bad cell. Duh!
-Some behaviors by MEAL TICKETS are tolerated
-A NOOSE as a memorable prop
-DUAL threat (run/pass) QBS are now the trend in colleges
-I’ve seen airplanes on an APRON but never a golf ball
-OODLES of plastic surgery AND face tape on CHER
-Is Beetle Bailey America’s most famous GOLDBRICK?
-MINE is not a pleasant word for a toddler
-America modified its OPEN DOOR policy in 1921 with the Emergency Quota Act
-Grandma Opal loved that UNCLE Harold was on a nice, clean LST and not in a foxhole in WWII
-I wonder if The REDEEMER closes his eyes while looking down on Carnival
-OH NO! I played golf with two men in their 40’s Sunday and after 18 holes one said, “I hope I can still hit the ball that well WHEN I’M YOUR AGE!” Talk about your left-handed compliments!
-Name the movie that had this dialogue - You think you're merely sending this splendid FOOT SOLDIER back home to Oregon with tail between his legs, but I say you are executing his SOUL! in one of the best scenes ever.

Northwest Runner said...

And I thought fin was slang for $5 because if you turn a V upside down, it looks like a (shark) fin (sticking out of the water).

inanehiker said...

Like Mari, I had lasso for noose which led me to symphony instead of oratorio, and orc instead of ent. Once the perps made me realize I had wandered down the primrose path, I began anew and sailed through.
Thanks Steve for an always enjoyable write-up!

Yellowrocks said...

Fairly crunchy for a Wed. My only unknown was UTO, but each clue seemed to have many possibilities. For instance, I kept LASSO for quite a while.
NAN. I read the whole Bobbsey Twins series in grammar school. I would check out as many books on school library day, Friday, as allowed and read all weekend. I would turn on the hall light, open my door and read in bed, trying to hide the book whenever anyone came by. Our tiny town finally got a public library and i was in my glory.

I read that some places are greatly restricting many Halloween costumes as being stereotypical and insulting. No sombreros, Indian headdresses, saris, geisha costumes, etc. Lighten up, guys!

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Nice breezy write-up, Steve. Thanks.

Easy for a Wednesday. But I did have two write-overs: Acrid for ACERB and Lasso for NOOSE.
49a - WSS (What Steve said)
Today's learning: Bonito is related to the Mackerel.
BOSUN is a lot easier to spell than Boatswain's Mate.
BTW - 'Boats' is another informal nickname for a bosun.

Have a great day.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Hand up for Lasso before Noose. Betel was 100% perps. Bosun seems to have become (over the last few centuries) a solid substitute for boatswain. Thanks for 'splaining today, Steve!

YR - I'm with you, a bulk of Halloween costumes are meant to be recognizably imitative, whether or not that risks offense. Lighten up is right!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Jack Mack's offerings are always a treat and today's puzzle reconfirmed that. Before the reveal, I was thinking a meal/deal, root/foot connection. A couple of unknowns with Uto and Leona, but perps saved the day. Betel was a gimme from listening to Bloody Mary in South Pacific. I wonder what Tin uses to treat a sprain? Certainly not _ _ _!

Having a puzzle constructed by a Scot, deconstructed by a Brit, solved by Yanks on the eve of the Ryder Cup is quite fitting. So, thanks Jack and Steve and may the best team win!

Have a great day.

Northwest Runner said...

I had lasso before noose because I never read LOTR and I had orc instead of ent. I can never remember which is which.

As for that V, fiver, fin origin. I was figuring since X gives us sawbuck for $10, why shouldn't V give us fin for $5?

Non-cross worder said...

Eating or chewing, Betel leaf - piper betle - is only habit forming. Depending on taste, it can be a flavorful, slightly pungent and be a fitting end to a great dinner. Big, huge, business in SE and East Asia.

The additives inside the betel leaf 'wad' preparation - (sliced ) Betel nut and /or tobacco are both carcinogenic and highly addictive. Still, very popular and common in SE and East Asia.

Obama wishes Jews and Israel, l'shana tova', for Rosh Hashana.. May I humbly, add to the sentiment.

HeartRx said...

Good morning everyone!

Pretty much a straight-through pass to finish this one. I just had to check a couple perps for 17-A before I was confident enough to enter MEAL TICKET.

I remember LEONA Mitchell well. I have her recording of "Porgy and Bess" by the Cleveland Orchestra

Irish Miss said,
Having a puzzle constructed by a Scot, deconstructed by a Brit, solved by Yanks on the eve of the Ryder Cup is quite fitting.
..Very astute observation!

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Great Jack Mack puzzle in spite of the fact that I didn't understand the theme until Steve explained it. I've never really understood the FOUR SQUARE term. We had friends whose son-in-law was a minister in the FOUR SQUARE Church.

Hand up for "lasso". Who wants to start the day with a NOOSE! Doesn't seem auspicious.

My husband was a welder. I didn't call sparks anything but burn holes in his clothes.

We must hope that ghosts and witches don't become angry about being portrayed badly by children. People just look for something to get angry about, don't they?

Oil is a cooking aid in that it helps prevent sticking to the pan.

CHER has always been one of my favorites. She has a distinctively recognizable voice and charisma. Also an Oscar. I wonder if the tape trick would smooth out some of my wrinkles? Naw, I'd probably need duct tape.

Chairman Moe said...

My "puzzling thoughts":

**Well-constructed puzzle; had no issues in the north, other than I had ENDO before ENTO which was corrected once I saw ORATORIO (my lone write-over today)
**To me, the "theme" was well-hidden and FOUR SQUARE was my last fill.
**Did an alphabet run to get FUEL, which aided in getting SQUARE and FLED
**Lots of clever "down" clues, including 36, 37, 45 and 55
**I LETTERED in Golf in HS, FWIW. APRON was a "tap-in". Other terms for the area surrounding the green are: "collar, fringe, and frog hair"
**And speaking of golf, I, too am a big Ryder Cup fan - you can blame the USA's poor showing the past 7 out of 9 Cups on me, as I attended the 1995 event in Rochester, which arguably was the "collapse" (on our home turf) that started the pendulum swing to the Euros
**RHONE wines are among my most favorite. The Syrah from N RHONE (Cote-Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas) is stunning.

Chairman Moe said...

My daily limerick in advance of this weekend's biennial event:

Samuel Ryder, the Brit golfing bloke,
Favored Match Play, instead of by STROKE;
His eponymous Cup,
Can make pros pucker up,
Let's hope this year the "Yankees" don't choke!

Tinbeni said...

Steve: Excellent, informative write-up!

Husker: Scent of a Woman

OwenKL: Thanks for the confirmation.

Had the same enDo before ENTO as Chairman Moe.
Needed ESP to get ORATORIO, UTO and LEONA. Learning moments I already forgot.

Liked the mini-theme, NASD,LOSS, IN-RED.


Misty said...

Well, I'm with those who thought this Jack Mac puzzle was a toughie. Same problem as others, by starting with LASSO instead of NOOSE. Also had ENDO instead of ENTO and I GIVE instead of UNCLE, for a while. But at least I know my REDEEMER, from religion if not from geography, so that helped.

I loved Valerie Harper in RHODA and was impressed when she appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" a while back, even though she sadly has a serious and even terminal cancer. I also loved CHER in "Moonstruck"! These little trips down memory lane are a favorite part of puzzle solving for me.

Irish Miss, love your cosmopolitan description of today's blogging.

Have a great Wednesday, everybody!

Lucina said...

Feliz miercoles, Steve! (adjective precedes the noun)

Great fun and games from Jack Mac in his usually tricky form. Most of this puzzle was a stroll in the park, though a meandering stroll but I loved some of the fill, ACERB, DACHA, ORKEL, LETTERED, INSULATED, etc., etc.

The NW gave me fits because I refused to let go of LASSO until I had to erase it and restart so then NOOSE came into play and it all fell into place.

Gracias, Esteban y Jack.

No time to read comments due to a full schedule today. Hasta la vista. Have a wonderful day!

TinoTechie said...

Husker Gary: Isn't the quote from "Patton", where he was berating the soldier with "shell shock"?


Ergo said...

Started off badly, posting ACRID instead of ACERB.

Ended badly, where not even an alphabet run could salvage QBS as hike takers.

But in the end I knew that regardless the outcome I would be here visiting with you good folks. And that makes every puzzle worthwhile.

Avg Joe said...

Pretty straightforward, but certainly tougher than yesterday's. Had a couple of erasures, acrid before acerb, flee before fled. Had no idea on UTO and some others filled by perps.

Enjoyed the puzzle and the writeup. But I do have a question Steve. If the mural at Notre Dame is Touchdown Jesus, how come they don't call the Rio statue Unsportsmanlike Jesus? :-)

EdieB said...

I always like to see Etna in a crossword. My first grand daughter was born in Sicily, and you could see the volcano from their back porch. And it was a gorgeous sight to see Etna as the plane circled to land in Catania.

Steve said...

@Lucina - thanks for the correction, I'm not sure what I was thinking

@AvgJoe - Hilarious- although being as it's Brazil and soccer is the national sport, he'd be "Dangerous Play Jesus". He didn't plan it out very well though - the Maracanã stadium is directly behind him - he's looking down on the Jockey Club's racecourse and regatta course in the lagoon.

CanadianEh! said...

A few slowdowns today. Hand up for ACRID and ENDO. Smiled when I got QBs taking hikes.
I have seen plenty of 47D in my professional career.

This view from Christ the Redeemer is not for the faint of heart!!


Anonymous said...

Cher has (or had) the same agent as the late Joan Rivers.

Piper Tom said...

I gotta say - I'm really looking forward to the daily CCW (Coincidental Crossword Watch). The recording of these amazing happenstances is especially poignant knowing that one of the puzzles will have been published six weeks earlier!


Lucina said...

Moonstruck is one of my favorite movies and CHER most certainly earned her Oscar in it. If you haven't seen it, it's worth it. Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis are good, too.

Another one is Mask, definitely worth watching and there's Tea for Mussolini. CHER has proven herself a worthy actress and her rendition of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is better than any other number I've heard from her.

Avg Joe said...

Lucina, I'd agree. Cher was excellent in both Moonstruck and Mask. And I'd rate Mask as the better of the two movies, but it's close. For those who haven't seen it, I'd recommend it.

Now. As for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Here's Cher's version in an outtake from the movie Tea With Mussolini.

Here's J.D. Souther's version as recorded for the movie "Always" (Which is a pretty good flick also). I like #2 better.

Steve said...

@AvgJoe and others - here's Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry and his take on "Smoke Gets in your Eyes". I was a 15-yo wannabe punk rocker in England and this was an eye-opener. I still love it.

Avg Joe said...

Ooh! Very different, but very cool. Had not heard that version. Thanks Steve!

Bill G. said...

Listening to all the versions of 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes' reinforces my belief that the reason I seldom enjoy modern singers is that they usually don't sing songs of the quality of SGIYE though they may be perfectly good singers. Classic songs were written by musical craftsmen who worked on producing good lyrics and memorable melodies. Most of today's songs are dashed off by young people wanting to write about some recent emotional breakup and to make a quick buck. Or at least, that's the way it seems to me.

Go Dodgers!

Abejo said...

Good evening, folks. Thank you, Jack McInturff, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Steve, for a fine review.

Had a big day today. Spent a long lunch at my Kiwanis Club's Annual Luncheon and Installation of Officers. My club is the only one I have heard of that is men only. No girls allowed.

Also had a meeting tonight with another group. Therefore, I started the puzzle real late.

Got through it in about an hour and a half. Enjoyed it.

The theme appeared slowly. I got the four answers and then the FOUR SQUARE.

ANODES was one of the easier answers. Spent my whole life around ANODES and CATHODES. 2.17 volts per cell.

Liked the short film about Christ the REDEEMER that Canadian Eh put up.

Used lots of perps throughout the puzzle today.

It is now pretty late, and I am turning in. See you tomorrow.