Mar 18, 2015

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 Ryan McCarty

Theme: You .... you .... PUZZLE, you ... Paired phonemes at the start of the five theme entries.

18A. Inspiration for a chewy candy : JUJUBE FRUIT. Food! Also known as the "Chinese date" (or 红枣) amongst 30-odd other names. C.C. can check my Mandarin spelling. (From C.C.: The dates in your picture are exactly the kind I grew up with, Steve. My grandma had two date trees. 红枣 are pronounced "Hong Zao", literally "red dates".)

28A. Horns banned at the 2014 World Cup : VUVUZELAS. This was singularly the best thing FIFA has ever done. I love the World Cup - I watched every game in the 2014 tournament except one - those horns would have driven me crazy, literally.

39A. Colorful island dresses : MUUMUUS. I had "MOUMOUS" first before I realized I was being something of a dummy by ignoring the theme. If you're going to be strict about it, "MUUMUU" would be the plural in the original Hawaiian - there's no "S" in the Hawaiian alphabet and plurals are spelt the same as the singular noun form.

47A. Yoga-inspired athletic apparel brand : LULULEMON. Notorious for the pants being more sheer than intended. I was out on my bike for a Sunday half-century ride last year and I was passed by a girl wearing a pair on a fixed-gear sprint bike. How I didn't eat pavement I have no idea. I did manage to keep up with her for a good five miles though - of course I was just drafting off her rear wheel, honestly.

59A. Dish at a 37-Down : PUPU PLATTER. More hawai'ian. Why not PUUPUU or MUMU? We should be told.

Food! Yay!
Morning all! I hope there are no post-St Patrick's Day hangovers to deal with today, and if there are, remember it's a self-inflicted injury so you get no sympathy. We haven't seen Ryan's name before, so congratulations on a fine debut. This actually reminds me of a "C.C."-style puzzle with a neat theme and some nice long downs. There's no reveal entry as the theme is pretty self-evident once the solution starts to come together. It's an 80 word-count grid, which means a lot of 3's and 4's, but I didn't particularly notice that while I was solving, so that's a good sign. Let's see what else we've got.


1. Cellist's need : BOW. Not if you're playing pizzicato-style. Let's cue Yo-Yo and some Bach.

4. North of Colombia : NORTE. I like these "in another language" style of clues.

9. P.T. goal : REHAB. Physical Therapy.

14. In a style resembling : A LA. Here's one of my Food! favorites - Daube a la Provençale - basically beef stewed in red wine.

15. Make less dangerous : UNARM. I would use "disarm".

16. Clear : ERASE

17. Hipster : CAT. I view hipsters as more new-age, cats as old-school.

Hipster Cat
20. Doglike scavengers : HYENAS

22. Bird on Australia's coat of arms : EMU. Not emuu?

23. __-di-dah : LAH

24. "Frasier" role : ROZ

25. Run __: find : ACROSS

31. Tons : A PILE

35. Nobelist Pavlov : IVAN. He of the psychological conditioning fame.

36. Visual greeting : NOD

37. Peruvian wool sources : LLAMAS

38. "Yo, how's things?" : 'SUP? Greetings to Hipster Cat.

41. Game show VIPs : MC'S. Masters of Ceremonies. High-falutin' title.

42. Umpteen : A LOT OF. Tons and umpteens today.

44. "Hometown Proud" supermarket chain : IGA. Crosses all the way for me. I discover that my nearest IGA store is 70 miles away in a town I've never visited.

45. Give (out) : METE

46. It's a wrap : SARAN. Fun clue/answer.

49. Actor Piven of "Entourage" : JEREMY. Not familiar - I needed the crosses. He won a Golden Globe and three Emmys for his role in the show, so I guess he's pretty good at it!

51. __ trip : EGO

52. Master : ACE. Verb or noun? Either would work.

55. Kyoto cash : YEN

56. Hammerheads, e.g. : SHARKS. There's a comic strip in England called "The Pathetic Sharks". They can't swim without floaties and they faint at the sight of blood. Very "British" humor.

63. Electron-deficient particle, e.g. : ION

64. Varnish resin : ELEMI. A learning moment. The tree is formally known as Canarium luzonicum and, as the second word in the name suggests, it is native to the Philippines.

65. Pet problem? : PEEVE. Favorite clue/answer of the day.

66. Alias lead-in : AKA. Common enough now to have lost the abbreviation designation.

67. Crashed, so to speak : SLEPT. Hipster cats probably crash rather than sleep.

68. Closer : ENDER

69. Morning salmon : LOX. More Food! Loving this puzzle today. Most "lox" you see nowadays isn't really lox, more accurately it's "nova". It's much less salty than traditional lox.


1. One of music's Three Bs : BACH. We heard him at 1A if you clicked the link.

2. Maker of Regenerist skin care products : OLAY. I think we've had the OLAY/ULAY brand-name discussion before.

3. Steam : WATER VAPOR

4. Contemporary electronic music genre : NU JAZZ. Crosses to the rescue. At this point I was waiting for the pangram to show up, but in spite of all those "U"s, there's no "Q" to be found.

5. Weighty obligation : ONUS. If we share the burden, I guess the onus is on us.

6. Howard's best friend on "The Big Bang Theory" : RAJ. Crosses again. Thankfully, very approachable perps.

7. "Storage Hunters" network __TV : TRU. Belying the name of the network, the show is allegedly staged and the auctions are fake.

8. Bonfire leftovers : EMBERS

9. Turndowns : REFUSALS

10. Misspeak, say : ERR

11. Swag : HAUL

12. Where Bhutan is : ASIA. Landlocked country at the eastern end of the Himalayas. Cracking flag!

13. "Little Women" woman : BETH. The only sister with four letters. Jo, Amy and Meg are the others. Obviously, we never see Jo in the crosswords, but we meet her other sisters from time-to-time.

19. Rock genre : EMO. Does Hipster Cat listen to this genre or is it too depressing? Here's my favorite, courtesy of Green Day.

21. Any thing : NOUN

25. Felipe of baseball : ALOU. I prefer his Indian relative, Saag Alou, but I think he probably plays cricket.

Food! Saag Alou - spinach and potato curry
26. Element in a rechargeable battery : CADMIUM. Nickel is the other element in the Ni-Cad.

27. Hydromassage facility : SPA

28. Travel papers : VISAS

29. Soft palate dangler : UVULA. A partial anagram of those annoying horns too.

30. Plenty, to texters : ENUF. Apparently I date myself by using correct punctuation and spelling in my texts. I read that if you capitalize the first letter in a text message you are guaranteed to be over 50. Guilty as charged.

32. Timeless : IMMEMORIAL. Wait, so "since time immemorial" means "since time timeless?" Doesn't sound right to me.

33. __-ovo vegetarian : LACTO. No meat. Dairy and eggs are OK though. When I went to India I became LOV for the duration of each trip, the "veg" food is so good.

34. Krupp Works city : ESSEN

37. Island bash : LUAU. Let's see if you were paying attention at the top of the blog. What do you call two of these?

39. Do-it-yourselfer's nightmare : MONEY PIT

40. Homely : UGLY

43. __ Mahal : TAJ

45. Start of something big? : MEGA

47. Delaware tribe : LENAPE. More learning for me today and the final fill.

48. Presidential debate moderator Jim : LEHRER

50. Seminary subj. : REL. Religion, I presume.

52. Big primates : APES

53. Select : CULL

54. Fencing blade : EPEE

56. Golf great Ballesteros : SEVE. Anyone who saw his victory fist-pump at the 1984 Open Championship at St. Andrews will never forget it. Sadly, he died in 2011 at the early age of 54 from brain cancer.

57. Gorilla who learned sign language : KOKO

58. Junk food, in adspeak : SNAX

60. Official at a base : UMP

61. Commonly used base : TEN. In my computing life I've used binary, octal and hexadecimal too. There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those that understand binary, and those that don't.

62. "Ideas worth spreading" conference acronym : TED. (Technology, Entertainment, Design).

Here's the grid, and as Eminem said to the music executive "It's a rap".



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fun puzzle. A little on the crunchy side, but doable.

A few random thoughts:

* I still can't remember how to spell VUVUZELAS, but I recognize it when I see it.

* I never realized that PUPU PLATTERS were Hawaiian. I grew up eating them at local Chinese restaurants, but I suppose they must have been "Polynesian" style. Of course, around here we also call it General Gao's Chicken instead of General Tso's, so who knows what is really going on...

* As a boy, LOX was a very expensive treat that my dad would only buy a few times a year (we're talking $15-20 per pound 40 years ago). Surprisingly, I can still get LOX today for about the same price, and by today's standards it's not that expensive. So I eat it 5 days a week now for breakfast (weekends are eggs and sausage days for me). I thought the relatively lower price might be due to the fact that most salmon is farmed today instead of wild, but I also recently learned that most LOX is actually just smoked salmon and not really brined the way it is supposed to be.

OwenKL said...

Here is where I've been the past few days. I've been doing the puzzles and reading your comments, but it's hard to compose limericks when your eyes are watering and eyeballs feel like they're on fire!

A flock of naticks stopped me today. PUPUPL?TT?? and the three perps were all unknown, and any WAGs would have been wild indeed. SNAK>SNAC>SNAX + LOX also caused me grief.

Anyway, I got my batch of bumper stickers for the new car, including this one! If you want to read about the rest, you'll need to check out my FaceBook page for the details.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Steve and friends. Fun puzzle. LULU LEMON was my Rosetta Stone for today's theme. Not because I wear the pants, but because they were in the news for being more revealing than intended.

I had never heard of JUJUBE FRUIT, but after getting the JUJU BE ---, I though the answer might be Juju Berries, even though I knew BETH was the correct down answer.

Hubby has 10 more weeks of P.T. REHAB. Yesterday was a bad day for him and I spent the day taking him to numerous doctors.

I listen to TED Talks on my iPod. Some of the talks are very interesting and I learn a lot from listening.

It's a Wrap = SARAN was my favorite clue of the puzzle.

QOD: Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better. ~ John Updike (Mar. 18, 1932 ~ Jan. 27, 2009)

Big Easy said...

Steve- on my 20-mile bike rides I get passed by this girl very often and all she has on is a bikini. I can't keep up with her either. I guess her lack of clothing keeps the weight down and lets her ride faster. And LENAPE was also my final fill as that and TED (stocking? maybe) were unknowns.

I noticed the "U"s immediately but how I finished this is a modern miracle. I don't watch TV shows and RAJ, TRU, JEREMY, were unknowns along with NUJAZZ, VUVUELAS (don't follow soccer either).

I liked the clue for MONEY PIT (the name of many boats) always associate CULL with getting rid of, not selecting.

I'm off to scrubbing the outside of my house ( pressure washing really) so it will look good for the Easter Egg hunt our neighborhood assn. has every year. You need to have a couple of big parties every year. It forces you to clean your house.

desper-otto said...

Guud morning!

Enjoyed the puzzle Ryan, and your explication, Steve. I thought the theme was simply "W." That third U in JUJUBE FRUIT seemed to break the pattern. And Steve, did you really mean to call Howard and Raj "approachable perps?" Seems to fit.

Back in time IMMEMORIAL, AKA my uute, there was an IGA store in my hometown. Also a Red Owl and a Clover Farm Store.

Once again I failed to read the entire clue. I sat for the longest time looking at LEHRER, wondering how could that be a "Presidential debate?" Hmmmm, a "lehr" is an oven, so maybe the debate puts the Prez on the hot seat? D'oh!

HeartRx said...

Fun puzzle today, and great review, Steve! I chuckled when I saw LULULEMON. I listened to a YouTube video by Ana Kasparian (one of the producers of "Young Turks") and she really was funny. There was some strong language, so I won't link it, but basically she said that anyone who spends $100 on a pair of yoga pants is an idiot.

Learning moment for me was JUJUBEFRUIT. I never knew that there was a fruit by that name - I thought it was just a made-up name for the candy.

And like Barry, I can never remember how to spell those VUVUZELA horns. (See? I even had to look back at the grid to spell it just now!)

Have a happy hump day, everyone.

Tinbeni said...

"U" just gotta like a puzzle with this many "U's'"

Steve: Excellent write-up and links. Good Job!

Ryan: Thank you for a FUN Wednesday solving experience.

Just checked yesterday's later posts. CED & Manac you out did yourselves.
(Hmmm, I may have to "take-up" fishing!)

Only needed ESP to get JEREMY the Entourage actor.
Kinda funny, You Never Watch a Show ... then get stumped when you don't know the characters. Go figure.

It's a beautiful Sunny Day here ... heading towards a wonderful Sunset.
"Toast's" will be made ...
Get Well Soon Husker!

kazie said...

I love the bumper sticker! I long ago adopted the habit of collecting numerous stickers in my trunk lid, and the few I really wanted to show off go on the lower edges of the rear window--not wanting to have them on the painted areas. I noticed my son on his last visit has a few in his trunk too.

Quite a few unknowns here: ELEMI, LENAPE, LEHRER, SEVE, TEN, TED among them. Perps and wags rescued me in all cases, so no misses today.

EMU is an anglicized version of the original aboriginal word for them, like many of our native animal names, whereas MUUMUU and PUPU are Polynesian.

The aborigines reached Oz from South Asia between 65,000 and 75,000 years ago, and Polynesians probably reached their various Pacific locations much later in canoes from somewhere farther east. Thor Heyerdahl's theories on their South American origins remain in question, with other anthropologists assuming that they also came from Asia.

Polynesian languages are all related, though with changes in consonant usage. New Zealand Maori traditions trace their origins to each of the original canoes in which their ancestors arrived from "Hawaiiki".

C6D6 Peg said...

Fun puzzle with all those U's, and noticed them while doing the first pass. Didn't know LULULEMON, but was able to suss it out. Thanks for a nice puzzle, Ryan.

Steve, I love all your "Food!" comments. You must be a food junkie. Thanks for the nice write-up.

Kiley Macaroon said...

I couldn't even watch the World Cup in 2010 when they allowed those annoying VUVUZELAS.

My 17 year-old daughter loves that Lulu Lemon gear! It's her money, she'll learn.

I may be the only person in America…. but I don't like JUJUBEE's

JJM said...

I couldn't even watch the World Cup in 2010 when they allowed those annoying VUVUZELAS.

My 17 year-old daughter loves that Lulu Lemon gear! It's her money, she'll learn.

I may be the only person in America…. but I don't like JUJUBEE's

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Found this a tad harder than usual, but that may be a result of a late night and not enough sleep. Lots of interesting fill and learning moments: jujube fruit and Lenape, to name two.

Thanks, Ryan and Steve for a fun and enjoyable mid-week treat.

Hope you are home, Gary, and feeling better

Have a great day.

CrossEyedDave said...

Wow! Very tough puzzle, I am surprised I finished it, but it took a break to finally come up with Seve/Ender

An afterthought, could this puzzle be a little self indulgent? I mean, all those U's... (OkOk, but it's not easy coming up with stupid puns everyday...)

Back to the puzzle, Canarium Luzonocum requires a little more explanation...

LuLuLemon requires a second look.... (Aw crap! I'd follow her anywhere...)

Lithium before Cadmium, (only because it's Doctor recommended...)

OwenKL! WTF! I thought the Arid Wilds of Sante Fe New Mexico were recommended for people with allergies!

On a final note, for people who may not be familiar with the Big Bang Theory... Howard was taking hormones for some ailment I don't remember, & asks his friend Raj for help. The question is, Why didn't he just ask his wife?

Anonymous said...

Kiley Macaroon & JJM:

Apparently there are at least two people who don't like Jujubes.

Lucina said...

Hello, puzzlers!

What a fun and imaginative puzzle from Ryan McCarty.

I sashayed from el NORTE to sud and enjoyed the new clues for ERASE, RAJ, TRU and MEGA although I have to sigh at ENUF and S'UP. I know, it's the way of the young.

JEREMY Pivens is also Mr. Selfridge in the eponymous PBS series. He is a very good actor.

Thank you, Steve and Ryan. You both rocked today.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed your binary/base ten joke!

Rainman said...

Phenomenal effort today by all concerned. Really enjoyed it. Great clueing.

The story of Koko still reverberates with me.

Did not know LENAPE. Tough cross with ENDER.


Ol' Man Keith said...

Moderately tough. Seemed just about right for ol' hump day.

Gonna do our taxes today. Time for a reckoning with Uncle...

coneyro said...

Sorry, today's puzzle was not for me. Too many unknowns. ELEMI, LEHRER, SEVE, LENAPE. I know about VUVUZELAS. My husband watched soccer on TV, and those horns gave me a major headache.
Never heard of LULULEMON. Not a clothes buff.

Count me in as another one who does not like JUJUBEES.

The first time I had a PUPU PLATTER was at the famous Polynesian restaurant, HAWAII KAI in NYC many moons ago. Also had my first ZOMBIE drink. Knocked me for a loop. Gave up alcohol forever shortly afterward.

I used to wear MUUMUUS as standard dress at home if I wasn't going out. So comfortable.

The tribute on Big Bang Theory to Howard's mother was a moving show. This program rocks.

LOX and eggs, LOX and bagels, LOX on ANYTHING. Growing up, my father went to the appetizer store every Sunday morning and bought fresh cream cheese off the bulk, lox and the lox ends and wings for my mother, and olives and other garni. Then across the street for bagels and bialys. He arrived home with these goodies and the whole family had a wonderful breakfast. He sometimes also made fresh blintzes filled with cheese or potato to go with it. I got my appreciation of cooking and eating from him.

Did everyone have their fill of corned beef and green beer yesterday?

Well, enough reminiscing for today. Be happy all.

Anoa Bob said...

I did a research study on HYENAS in grad school and have been campaigning ever since to correct some common misperceptions, two of which occur in today's clue for 20-Across.

HYENAS are not "doglike"; neither are they catlike. They are a class of animals, with only four species, that is truly sui generis.

The clue also contains the most common misperception, that HYENAS are "scavengers". They actually are accomplished predators, second only to lions.

The lions are apparently smarter. They often will wait for the HYENAS to make a kill and then are led to the site by their barking, yipping and "laughing". They run off the HYENAS and settle down for a feast.

It's about this time that the naturalists show up and film the lions munching out and the HYENAS circling around, waiting to "scavenge".

Here's an alternative clue: "African predator where the alpha animal is always female".

Still waiting for ANOA to show up to see if it gets clued properly. [cue crickets chirping]

Niles said...

If Husker was here today, he would submit:

What well known sit-com character displays her "criminal indifference" by stopping to buy a box of Jujyfruits after hearing of her boyfriend's accident?


Or, what well known sit-com character has an oddly shaped UVULA?

Answer @2:10

Or, what well known sit-com character was given the nick name 'KOKO the monkey' instead of 'T-bone'?

Answer #3

Greg Gumbel said...

It's that time of year when sport fans and sports bar managers alike are scrolling through their channel guides looking for the March madness games on TRU-TV???

Seth MacFarlane said...

Musing #3

- Rotten tomatoes web site gives TED a 68% on it's Tomatometer.

VirginiaSycamore said...

I was stumped by the elemi, LuluLemon and Lenape also. But I did know that Raj was Howard's best friend. One also couldn't tell if closer meant in distance or as in ending.

Does the movie manager in the Answer to Niles' first question look like Jon Cryer from 2 1/2 Men to anyone else? I hadn't seen the show for a while but saw the finale. Not always tasteful, but long-running. The Big Bang Theory has managed, despite the same management, to have many sweet moments. Such as a tribute to Howard's deceased mother... by eating all her frozen meals.

Bill G. said...

As a kid eating candy at movies, I thought Jujubes was pronounced Joo-joobs. Sort of like how I pronounced Yosemite Sam as Yose-e-myte Sam.

Bill G. said...

I never had bagels and lox until my freshman year at Cornell and a couple of guys in the dorm got a 'care' package from home. I've come to enjoy bagels and lox with cream cheese and a slice of tomato if possible. I know that people are going to disagree with me but I've never been a big fan of bagels. I was brought up on bread like homemade loaves, buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, etc. and bagels seemed mostly tough and uninteresting by comparison. I think it all depends on what you get used to growing up.

Anonymous said...

Virginia Sycamore, I think that theater manager is French Stewart mostly known from the show, "3rd Rock From The Sun".

Remember the toilet paper roll orientation discussion from a few weeks ago? Well, here is the ultimate authority for the correct answer.

CanadianEh! said...

Wednesday workout today. Needed my LULULEMONs (which I am familiar with even though they are located on the other side of Canada in Vancouver.

I was held up by thinking of closer as nearer, rather than shutter or ender. I did not know TRU TV ot TED.

We have a new Hawaiian restaurant but I haven't seen pupu platter on the menu yet. But the Kalua platter is good. They are having a Luau and hula dancing tonight.

We had RAJ and TAJ today. I remembered LENAPE from June 25/14 learning moment because some of them came to Ontario and live on Six Nations near Brantford.

Jayce said...

Terrific puzzle, great food! What a day.

Avg Joe said...

Busy day. Late to the party. What Jayce said.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Ryan and Steve!

Liked the theme, but never heard of the pants. LENAPE was all perps.

Gary: how are you!


Misty said...

Late to the party today--had to get a car repair in the morning and then take Rowland to the audiologist for a hearing aid check-up. So this is my first chance to check in with the blog.

Wonderful puzzle, Ryan--many thanks--tough enough for a Thursday but finally doable and full of delightful Hawaiian and food words. Really a lot of fun! And a great write-up with delightful pics, Steve. I loved the cool cat!

Hahtoolah, hope your husband feels better soon.

Have a great evening, everybody!

Anonymous T said...

Hi all!

A LOT OF fun today with lots of SNAX! Thanks Ryan! Steve, great writeup as usual. I liked the base2/base TEN joke too; I can think in HEX, and OCT too! MEGA fun :-)

This puzzle also had A PILE of critters, SHARKS, HYENAS, LLAMAS and a NOD to IVAN's Dinner Bell DOG.

Anyone get a word from HG? C.C.?

Cheers, -T

Anonymous T said...

Have a language pet PEEVE? OMG - Check out this article on sexting ?!... AKA punctuation. k?

Cheers, -T
//LOL .texting

Lucina said...

That's a very interesting article, AnonT, and disheartening as to where language is going. It seems that we are regressing to the grunt stage of communication.

Anonymous T said...

Zorg say...

Lucina, it is funny to see how many emojis my 13yr-old will drip into a text to ask me if I'll take her to the book store or whatever. I'd like think text-speak is a short-cut like an abbreviation or an apostrophe, but then she spends so much time finding a heart-smiley-heart-heart-wink-cake-smiley-book-smiley-exclamation-exclamation-thumbs-up.

Was Shakespeare's mom happy with "Wherefore art thou"? :-)

Computer's finally done with my work; time for bed.

Cheers, -T

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon T,
Nope. No words from Gary yet. Hopefully he'll pop in the blog soon.

Anonymous said...

I cant describe how f÷=÷××d up this was for a Wednesday . Should be a Friday puzzle. Put on coffee table wednesday. Just did it saturday. I can see all the people that only have crosswords in their life breezed through it. But us who only do it everday day were not ready for a friday on wednesday. If chen authored this then i would accept it. Cheers

Tom said...

While I completely agree with everything you mentioned, it should be said that while they're in their own class they are in the suborder Feliformia which implies they are somewhat catlike, at least genetically. Either way the clue is still no good!