Aug 27, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015 Timothy L. Meaker

Theme: "Animal Farm"

It's a wacky bunch o' puns in store for us today. Common phrases lose the consonant sound at the end of the first word, and all get linked to various types of fauna.

17-A. Caddy for pigeons? : COO DEVILLE. Haha!  I was thinking of something from "Caddy Shack." Instead, we have a pun on the Cadillac Coupe deVille. (I used to own one of these gas guzzlers. Then 1976 happened...)

28-A. Statistical aid for sheep? : BAA GRAPH. This one made me laugh out loud. I think it's because we New Englanders actually do pronounce "bar graph" that way.
42-A. Cantatas for cows? : MOO MUSIC.  I wonder if one of their favorite songs is "Blue Moo"? Mood music.

55-A. Phone service for crows? : CAW WAITING. This one seemed like an outlier, because all the others have double vowel endings. But it works well for "call waiting."

I love a good pun, and these were some doozies. I enjoyed much of the rest, as well. So let me take you on a tour through my head as I was solving.


1. Word seen before "or less" on supermarket signs : ITEMS. AAAARRRRRGGHH!  Use "less" only when you are unable to count the amount ("less water," for example.)  When you are able to count the items, the correct term is "fewer." This is a pet peeve of mine, but I promise that's the end of my rant...

6. Elisabeth of "Hollow Man" : SHUE.  For some reason, I knew this one, even though I never saw the movie.

10. "American __" : IDOL.

14. Musical ensemble : NONET. Requiring no fewer and no more than 9 players. And a clecho at 26-A. Musical ensemble : CHOIR.

15. Cautious : WARY.

16. Gospel trio : MAGI.

19. Combustible heap : PYRE.

20. NBA division that includes the Bklyn. Nets : ATL.antic. 

21. Very long time : EONS.

22. On the agenda : SLATED.

24. Autograph signer's aid : SHARPIE. Phil Mickelson, one of golf's most admired players, uses one.

27. Range stat. : ALT.itude. 

31. 1973 Rolling Stones ballad : ANGIE. Ah, music to my ears!  4:30

34. "All in the Family" spin-off : MAUDE.

35. Doomsday beginning? : DEE.

36. "Coming Home" actor : DERN.

37. Outmoded : PASSE.

38. Co-star of Boris in "Son of Frankenstein" : BELA.

39. Latin I word : AMO.

40. See 34-Down : CURIE. I stupidly filled in "madam" at 34-Down before I checked the perps.  Duh. 34-Down. With 40-Across, 1911 chemistry Nobelist : MARIE.

41. Connected, in a way : WIRED.

44. Wine container : VAT. Just gimme a straw!

45. Code name : MORSE.

46. Longtime family-owned firearms company : BERETTA.

50. Much : VASTLY.

52. Undecided : TORN.

53. Take flight : RUN.

54. Big Bird buddy : ELMO. Nice alliterative clue.

58. Sight from a slope : T-BAR. And the view from the T-BAR? Priceless! I have ridden this one many times.

59. Stem-to-branch angle : AXIL.

60. Like some astrological charts : NATAL.

61. Without : SANS.

62. Register compartment : TENS.

63. Migratory birds : GEESE.


1. 16th-century conquest victims : INCAS.

2. Nail partner? : TOOTH. They went at it tooth and nail.

3. __ Gay : ENOLA.

4. NSAID, e.g. : MED. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very common MEDs.

5. Skyline highlight : STEEPLE. Religion used to be the most important aspect of society, so the steeple always towered over other buildings in town. Then politics overtook religion, and the town hall soon grew to great heights. Then money became king, and now financial skyscrapers tower over all.

6. Hogs : SWINE.

7. Dutch artist Frans : HALS. One of my favorite Dutch painters - his portraits capture so much of the subjects' personalities. Like this one.

8. High-tech address : URL.

9. Sleeper's aid : EYE  SHADE. My cats get unnerved when I wear this one.
10. Make worse : IMPAIR.

11. Market speculator : DAY TRADER.

12. Storybook meanie : OGRE.

13. Served up a whopper : LIED.

18. Sports ball brand : VOIT. They made the first rubberized water polo ball, which now resides at the National Museum of American History.
23. Theater ticket word : LOGE.

25. Word with dance or fall : RAIN.

26. Saving the whales, e.g. : CAUSE.

28. Rudimentary : BASIC.

29. Mononymous kicker : PELE. I wonder if he ever used VOIT soccer balls?

30. Take charge of : HEAD.

31. Start of a big race? : ADAM. Nice misdirection!

32. Nautilus skipper : NEMO.

33. Wedding attendant : GROOMSMAN.

37. Nonthreatening type : PUSSYCAT.

38. Angler's hope : BITE.

40. Temple feature in old films : CURL. Huge V8 moment when I realized they were talking about this moppet.

41. Bark, perhaps : WARNING.

43. General __ : MOTORS.

44. 2012-'13 "Bates Motel" Emmy nominee Farmiga : VERA.

46. New Year's highlights : BOWLS.

47. Well-worn : TRITE.

48. Bluefin and yellowfin : TUNAS.

49. It's a matter of degrees : ANGLE. What's yours?

50. Old-timers : VETS.

51. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA.

52. One of a hotel room pair : TWIN. Beds.

56. Terminate : AXE.

57. Menlo Park monogram : TAE. Thomas Alva Edison.


Note from C.C.: 

Happy Birthday to our Friday Sherpa Lemonade, who's been guiding us since March 2010. It's so easy to get jaded after a year or two of blogging (often 3 hours on each write-up), but Lemonade's enthusiasm and passion for crosswords and crossword blogging remain the same. He never failed to point out every little nugget in a Friday crossword.  Thanks for being here for us through thick and thin, Lemonade!

Lemonade and his lovely wife, Dec 21, 2014


OwenKL said...

DNF. Well, I had wags to fill it all, but mid-south was bad enough I would have been better off without them. VERA and AXIL were unknown, I had CAA instead of CAW, and having been in the hotel business, I knew too much to guess TWIN. (There possibly hasn't been a bed smaller than a double in any hotel room built since the first Holiday Inn was opened in 1952.)

Started out liking the theme with COO/COUPE and BAA/BAR, but MOO didn't correspond to anything I recognized [a cantata is NOT mood music!), and CAW/CALL didn't follow the same consonant-double-vowel pattern as the others.

Elvis used a SHARPIE for an autoGRAPH,
MORSE used his code for the teleGRAPH,
But to really light a PYRE
With the way it can be WIRED,
It takes a generator like the Van de Graaff!

A Valentine

The dog goes BARK and the cat goes mew,
The CHOIR of birds goes from CAW to COO.
BAA goes the ewe,
And the cow goes MOO.
"I love you" goes from me to you!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (an Happy Birthday, Lemonade)!

A punny thing happened to me on the way to the crossword this morning...

Mostly smooth solve, although I've never heard of VOIT before and had a minor brain fart trying to remember if the pen was a SHARPIE or a SHARPEE. Fortunately, I went with the former and all was well. The clue for CURL also nearly did me in until I finally figured it out. Very tricky!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. I had fun with today's puzzle. I realized early on that the them was sounds from the farm.

I wanted Alias before MORSE for the Code Name.

I also tried Till as the Register Component.

Marie Curie (1867 ~ 1934) actually was the recipient of two Nobel Prizes. She was the recipient of the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics as well as the 1911 in Chemistry.

PELÉ's (b. 1940) given name is actually Edson Arante do Nascimento.

Wishing Lemonade a very Happy Birthday!

QOD: Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what’s right. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson (Aug. 27, 1908 ~ Jan. 22, 1973)

John Lampkin said...

Nice set of puns.
Good observations Marti, particularly your comment about STEEPLE.
And I'm with you, OwenKL re Cantatas. "Bovine ballads?" seems like a better choice.
Unfortunate dupe on ANGLE. Even the best editors miss them now and then.
Happy BD to you, Lemonade! May you blog forever!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

This one was a self-inflicted toughie. I put AEON crossing NERF where EONS and VOIT needed to be. As a result, the top left corner was the last to fall. But it did.

Happy birthday, Lemonade714.

In honor of today's theme here's a song about a Coupe de Ville from General MOTORS.

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Really enjoyed today's project, and I particularly admire the symmetrical crossing of Marie and Curie. Once the theme came to light, it was smooth sailing except...I thought the handguns were Barettas. Oops.

Morning, Marti! Hand way up for "ten items or fewer" at the Big Bunny. People once knew the difference...

HBTY lemonade.

CartBoy said...

temple curl

Avg Joe said...

Happy Birthday Lemon!! Hope it's a great one.

Plenty of punnishment to enjoy today. Liked it. Had a lot of trouble due to filling Lead instead of Head, so it took a long time to figure out Graph. Finally prevailed.

Can't think of a better theme song for today that this from Shirley Temple

inanehiker said...

A few challenges here and there, but the puzzle came together without too many hiccups. Agree with Marti about fewer - but 12 or 20 items or LESS is what most of the supermarkets say around here.

Thanks Marti, Timothy!
Happy Birthday, Lemonade!

Anonymous said...

With a different theme, another good fill for the clue 'Cantatas for cows?' could be: mooed music.


Anonymous said...

HBTY Lemonade, from a fellow twin. Hope you have a great day. Other than Mother Teresa ( and thanks to Hahtoolah, now, .... Lyndon Johnson ), I don't know of any 'famous' others who share the date. In a funny aside, I clicked on the opening Google page, this morning, and saw cupcakes, as the Google doodle. I thought, 'great', now who 'invented' the cupcakes .... and found out that it was Google itself, wishing me a happy birthday !@! This computer business has become too intrusive ! Vidwan827.

kazie said...

Happy Birthday Lemony!
This one did me in today. I wanted AARK for the crow call and that stopped me from progressing properly in the south. Also missed S-UE, -OIT and -A-S in the north, not being aware of any of those proper names and not connecting the dots to get DE VILLE out of the bits I did have. Oh well, can't win them all.

Anonymous said...

"Vastly" was my only goof on this one, the Temple and Goya perps giving me real trouble. The "coo deville" reveal was a very satisfying aha moment. Thanks for the write-up! I learn so much from my fellow puzzlers!

Hahtoolah said...

Happy Birthday, Vidwan. We have missed you.

TTP said...

Good morning all. Thank you Timothy and thank you Marti. Happy Birthday Lemonade !

BAA GRAPH was first. OK, replace R with A. Then worked out COO DEVILLE. So much for A in lieu of R.
I think one of their (Cows) favorites (cantatas) is "Moo River."
Start of a big race = ADAM was my favorite.
Elisabeth with an S instead of the Z, and 4 letters is auto-fill SHUE now.
It's a matter of degrees = ANGLE. "Stem-to-branch angle." Editorial oversight ? Tru dat John Lampkin. "Even the best..."

I used VOIT tennis balls with my Wilson T2000 back in the day, and later favored Penn.

Marti, you might want to swap CURIE and MARIE here:
"40. See 34-Down : CURIE. I stupidly filled in "madam" at 34-Down before I checked the perps. Duh. 34-Down. With 40-Across, 1911 chemistry Nobelist : MARIE."

I first filled CURIE down. At "Temple feature..." Immediately thought of Shirley and CURL came with little thought. So CURIE fit better in 40A. MAUDE took much longer. For the longest, I could only think of The Jeffersons as the spin-off. Oh yea, MARIE at 34D. Then MAUDE came easily. A favorite show for my mom.

Hand up for initial till.

chin said...

42A could have been "Moo Over Miami".

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, you pretentious old fart.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I found this a tad chewy in spots but solid perps and a wag or two led to the finish line. Coo DeVille was the last to fill in and that made me think of Cruella DeVille (sp?) in 101 Dalmations. Had Moss before Shue and liked CSO to Mr. Meow at Pussy Cat. Fav clue was Start of a big race=Adam.

Thanks to Timothy and Marti for a terrific Thursday treat.

Happy Birthday, Lemony, hope it's a super day.

Thanks, Avg Joe, for the ST video. Was there ever a cuter, heart-stealer than little Shirley?

Have a great day.

billocohoes said...

re "less" vs. "fewer": there's only a difference if you insist on it. Per Wiktionary "In typical usage this distinction is absent, and less has been widely understood and commonly used as a synonym for fewer since it first appeared in Old English as læs."

Even the conservative usage is more complicated than Marti's rule. June Casagrande's "A Word, Please" column of July 30 discussed the issue.,0,2955919.story

Lemonade714 said...

Wow what a trifecta, a birthday wish from the great John Lampkin a wonderful musician, puzzle maker, photographer and friend; Vidwan, my brother from another mother (I too loved the google morning cupcakes) and dear Anonymous who appreciate a pretentious old fart. Of course I also thank the rest for their wishes, it makes the getting older more fun.

If he had made it CAA, he could have changed TONG to BONG leaving BAIN, CLUE or just Gareth______.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

A pun puzzle today.

Started out daunting, got SHUE and HALS at the top, but then found better going in the SW - NE corridor. Got the SE and then was able to concentrate on the NW. Finally sussed the right 'Caddy' with COO DEVILLE. A masterful puzzle by Tim; many mis-directions, and needing many WAGS. But somehow I was mostly on his wavelength and enjoyed the excursion.

Re: less ITEMS- I think it's an uphill battle. But I'm afraid less items is in the language now. My reference on technical writing agrees with Marti's point.

Lucina said...

Hello, friends!

Happy birthday, Lemonade! I hope it's wonderful.

Thank you, Timothy, for today's entertainment. The middle, all the way from IDOL down to SANS was a smooth fill, much like a waterfall.

WEES about LEAD before HEAD and not knowing PELE. That was the last to fill with a little help from Google. Also I had to look for ANGIE as I'm not a Stone's fan.

Also misspelling BERETTA as BARETTA made this a DIW.

Marti, I share the same peeve about few/less.

Talk about errors in puzzling, yesterday I solved one by Wayne R. Williams in which ASP/ASPS were both used. I could hardly believe it!

Thanks, Marti, for 'xplainin' it all.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Bill G. said...

Hi everybody.

Thanks Timothy and Marti. Happy birthday Lemon! Enjoyable puzzle, clever theme.

Since my wife pointed it out to me years ago, I've often made a distinction between fewer and less. But, here's something related that doesn't mesh with that distinction. There is not a corresponding difference for 'more.' Less milk, fewer peanuts. More milk, more peanuts?

The weather is hot and muggy here. (Watch out Lucina!) Yesterday, the power was out all day due to maintenance down the block. No computer, no TV, no fans -- just still, hot air. Aargh!

Chairman Moe said...

"puzzling thoughts":

write-overs galore today; had to cheat a couple of times and google the clues to get an answer; never happy doing this, but it's a way to learn and complete the puzzle, I guess . . . of course, I could just leave everything blank and come HERE for my answers, but I do like to see all of the boxes filled in !!

Nice job, Marti with the recap; Timothy, I did like the puzzle despite not being able to fill in the blanks from rote. I spent about 20 minutes and wasn't more than halfway finished; the guy who comes here on Sunday - Al somebody-or-other - probably got the whole thing done in about half that time! :~)

HBTY, Lemonade - hope your year ahead is enjoyable and healthy

Just found out that our landlord is going to seasonal, month-to-month rentals this year, so we need to find another place to live; one of the disadvantages to renting, but no option for us to buy something at this moment . . . hello, more stress!@ Next 45-60 days oughta be fun . . . NOT!

C6D6 Peg said...

Very fun puzzle today. Thanks, Timothy!

Very nice write-up, Marti. You outdid yourself with your "Baa Graph". Don't know if you made it or found it, but it was really cute!

Lemonade, a very HBD to you and many more!

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

DNF for me. Couldn't wrap my head around the theme.

Also LEAD for HEAD.

Oh, well.

HBD, Lemony. You're not an old fart, your a VET!

Cool regards!

john28man said...

Re: HeartRx disposing of his 1976 Coup de Ville.

There were two "oil crises". The 1st occurred in 1973 when the US helped arm the Israeli army during the invasion by Egypt and Syria. This raised the price of crude oil from $3 - $5/barrel to $12 or so. The second was in 1979 as a result of the Iranian Revolution. Crude rose from $15 to $40 (where it is today). I clearly remember gas being $0.25/gallon up until 1973 and being $.80 +/- by 1980. I have read that each crisis resulted in less than a 5% reduction in supply which shows how inelastic gasoline demand is until there is a sudden realization that supply isn't unlimited.

Nice Cuppa said...

Well, naturally, with CADDY, my first thoughts went to tea, and then to tees, but never to cars. In Britain, Coupé is still pronounced the Frawnche way - "COO-PAY" - which would not fit the theme since it adds a syllable. So that was the last to fall.

Talking of STEEPLES, they are still major landmark features of most older market towns and nearly every village in England (except those that still have the original Norman Church, which lacks a steeple). The modern development/envelopment of this idyll always reminds me of Betjeman's poem, "Executive", about his disdain for the rise of "modernism". Its outward jolly banter tone mixes with heavy irony. Notes: "bird" is slang for "girlfriend". A "cortina" is a Ford auto built in the U.K. (1962-82).


Husker Gary said...

Played 18 holes and came home to a washer flooding the laundry room. Yikes, Joann was WIRED! This clever puzzle was a respite! Start of a big race/ADAM? Fabulous.

-OR LESS for idiots. I agree with Marti on fewer!
-American IDOL spawned lots of imitations, didn’t it?
-Yordano Ventura is SLATED to start for KC tonight
-Granddaughter is in shape but at a 14,000’ ALT, even she got lightheaded
-Bruce DERN in this movie reminded me of people I knew
-One of life’s ironies - MARIE CURIE’s death was bone marrow disease as the result of the radioactive materials she handled
-Our golf course GEESE ain’t migratory
-This STEEPLE in Humphrey, NE can be seen for many miles on the prairie
-Funky Wedding entrance (5:09), GROOMSMAN, et al
-HBD, Lemon!

Steve said...

Marti - I'm with you on your "ITEMS" rant - I had to grit my teeth to fill it in.

Happy Birthday Lemonade!

@Nice Cuppa - I learned to drive in my Dad's MK II Cortina.

There are many, many Brazilian soccer players with one-name nicknames. It's not just soccer players - one of the presidents was known by his nickname "Lulu". It's part of the Brazilian culture.

Jayce said...

Happy birthday wishes for you, Lemonade.
I liked this puzzle a lot, not only for the theme, which engendered smiles, but also for some of the clever cluing, such as the aforementioned and favorited "Start of a big race?".
I knew SHUE right away, for the reason TTP mentioned, and VERA Farmiga because I've had a little crush on her ever since seeing her in Nothing But the Truth.
Hand up for entering ALIAS and BARETTA.
Best wishes to you all.

Misty said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a struggle with this puzzle--some of it my fault, and some unknowns like VOIT and BERETTA. But I thought the theme was funny and enjoyed that, and I liked Owen's cute Valentine.

Happy birthday, Lemonade--beautiful wedding pic.

Have a good Thursday, everybody.

thehondohurricane said...

Happy birthday Lemonade. Hope you have a fun day.

A DNF for me today. Had a pretty full agenda so I had to give it up. Was the easy way out.l But if I had more time, I might have been successful, but I doubt it. Was down to about half a dozen fills and I was drawing complete blanks. Reading the comments VOIT was one of my issues.....never would have come up with it.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Most enjoyable. Got a real kick doing this one.

Tinbeni said...

Lemon: Happy Birthday !!!

Chairman @11:54 After moving earlier this year in February ... and I got-rid-of approx. 75% of "the stuff" so I wouldn't have to "move-it." ... I know your pain.
Downsizing was FUN and I like your 45 to 60 day timeframe.

Marti: As always, I enjoyed your write-up and links.
I really do appreciate all the time the "bloggers" expend to make the write-ups interesting.

D N F Just wasn't on the "wave-length" of today's constructor.
Was never getting off END for 56-d, Terminate ... though AXE now makes sense.

Not getting into the "Less-v-Fewer" discussion. I guess it could be said: "I couldn't care less."

It has been rainy and overcast all day ... but I'm sure there will be a Sunset to "Toast" somewhere.

Bluehen said...

Marti, I couldn't agree with you more regarding 1a. That usage sets my teeth on edge. I know the language is constantly evolving, but I hate when the driving force for that change is laziness or ignorance (or both). Sorry, end of rant (this time).

Enjoyable puzzle with a humorous theme. I found it to be a bit crunchy, but doable in the end. Thank you Mr. Meaker and thank you, Marti for an effervescent exposition.

Football and tailgating start in one week. Can't wait. Go Hens!


Avg Joe said...

Great! As someone who struggles with borderline OCD*), now learn that I should worry about less v fewer. News to me. I'll put it on my list of causes to consider. Meanwhile, Chive on!

(*yes, I know. It really should be CDO.)

Lucina said...

VOIT is one of those words that made an impression on me in elementary school playing volley ball. Not that I really "played" but was on a team. Since learning to read I have avidly read labels, cereal boxes, etc. and VOIT was on the ball itself and it stayed with me.

Avg Joe said...

Watching the evening news, I've just been alerted to a matter of far greater importance than the Less v Fewer controversy. While on the campaign trail today, Mr Trump invited a member of the audience to come up on stage and test that it really is "his hair". This shill declared it to be genuine. So there you have it. Proof. The world is a better place.

Lucina said...

Well, we can all sleep well tonight, can't we?

Anonymous said...

So "no politics" means nothing?

And this from someone who's "avatar" is a horse's ass?

Anonymous said...

Oops. Please change "who's" to "whose"

Avg Joe said...

Guilty as charged, Anon. Sometimes when life imitates comedy, I can't help myself. Especially when you just can't make this stuff up. This is one of those times. And if the past few weeks are any indication, it could be a ripe period.

fermatprime said...


Great puzzle and expo, Tim and Marti!

Loved the theme! BAAGRAPH clued me in.

Had same wiretappers as Hahtoolah.

No cheats!

A very happy birthday, Lemonade!


Anonymous said...

You've gotta hand it to ole Avg Joe. He has the perfect likeness of himself. Sort of reminds me of a certain other JOE in the news lately (you know the one who said "This is a big f___ing thing). I too, just could not help myself.

Tinbeni said...

Always like it when the "anon's" are "Holy-Than-Thou!" in their comments about the regular's ...

At least Avg.Joe has an Avatar they can relate to ... since they are ... a horse's ass ... LOL