TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2008 - Matt Ginsberg ("McHale's Navy" craft / Ford and Bush adviser Scowcroft / Classic British Jaguar)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Sound of ... - 19 different sounds, which together create one big DIN (41A: All the sounds in this puzzle together?)

20 theme answers. Wow. And in a Tuesday puzzle. Wow. And the whole thing still manages to be almost a perfect Tuesday level of difficulty. Just wow. Unexpected, and a lot of fun. Let me get the one unfun part out of the way. What the !@$@ was going on in the SE corner?! Everything was cool and then [insert needle skipping/scratching sound effect here]. ETAPE!? (53D: Day's march) I know the word from two places - one is from French class, where I had a text called "Les Grandes Etapes de la Civilisation Fran├žaise." There, ETAPES simply means something like "stages." I later encountered the word in a military context when I was trying to fill my own crossword grid. I found the word so painful that I rewrote the grid to get rid of it (my proofreader agreed - ugh). It's not a Tuesday word. The greater offense, however, which may be so great that I actually admire it, is that ETAPE crosses its fraternal twin ETYPE! (66A: Classic British Jaguar) Never heard of that make of car (also, aren't all Jaguars "British"?). Usually the Jag in the puzzle is the XJC or XLT or LMNOPX something. XJE! Not knowing Nasser's first name (GAMAL - 63A: Egypt's Nasser) didn't help me any down there. The NW had its own wackiness (EGGER? - 3D: Ham-and-_____ (incompetent sort)), but the SE pretty much stands on its own in this puzzle - a Thursday corner lost in a Tuesday puzzle.

Otherwise, fantasticness. Some of the sounds felt a *little* off (e.g. what happened to the other half of the doorbell sound - 31D: ... a doorbell (dong)), and some didn't seem to be sounds (PING and PONG are PING PONG sounds? I guess that makes sense, but I think I always figured the name was created to have a fake Chinese sound to it - also SPLATTER seems more a physical act than a sound). There are just so many. I thought maybe OOMPH (23D: Get-up-and-go) would get clued as a sound, e.g. [... guy getting punched in the stomach] ... though perhaps there's no "M" in that sound. The sounds aren't exactly symmetrical, though all of the four longest answers, as well as the central Across answer, are sounds, which at least gives the theme some structure.

Oh, and one clue quibble: I don't think of a second serve as a REDO (29D: Second serve, for example). Second serve has a very precise meaning in tennis - you are allowed two shots at getting the ball in play. While the second serve might seem like a REDO, no tennis player would think of it that way. You REDO a let serve. A second serve is just your second serve. Not a REDO of your first.

Oh, and one further thing: NACRES (25D: Mother-of-pearls).

Theme answers:

  • 10A: Sound of ... an explosion (BOOM)
  • 15A: ... thunder (CLAP)
  • 18A: ... a mother with noisy kids (HUSH)
  • 22A: ... a toy train (CHOO CHOO)
  • 24A: ... a raindrop in a puddle (KERPLUNK) - hmmm, seems slightly off. My raindrop would've KERPLOPPED, I think.
  • 32A: ... a table tennis ball (with 45-Across) (PING / PONG) - symmetrical; nice
  • 39A: ... brakes (SCREECH)
  • 42A: ... a basketball through a basket (SWISH)
  • 50A: ... a knock on a door (RAP)
  • 51A: ... Road Runner (BEEP BEEP)
  • 55A: ... grease in a deep fryer (SPLATTER)
  • 65A: ... a porker (OINK)
  • 6D: ... a surprised German (ACH) - my favorite clue by far
  • 7D: ... a hen (CLUCK)
  • 11D: ... a circusgoer (OOOH)
  • 31D: ... doorbell (DONG)
  • 32D: ... a cheater in class (PSST)
  • 56D: ... a person sitting down (PLOP)

Some stuff I thought was cool: PT BOATS (45D: "McHale's Navy" craft) and APOGEE. It's true we have carnage in the SE corner, but in some ways that carnage is redeemed by the great fill it's supporting, namely, these two words. I love the word APOGEE for reasons I don't understand, and PT BOATS gets you that great initial consonant pile-up. Plus it gets you a reference to "McHale's Navy," which, crossing a Road Runner clue, scratches my TV itch very nicely. I laughed out loud at A CAT (35A: Not enough room to swing _____), both for the vivid image of the clue, and for the conscientious avoidance of the expected (and now reviled) [One-_____ (ball game)] clue. STRAFED is a great answer (43D: Attacked from above); I only wish it could have been tied to a sound (RAT-A-TAT, BANG, etc)



Rest:

  • 1A: Ships' complements (crews) - could've linked this PT BOATS
  • 16A: One of Scotland's Inner Hebrides (Iona) - confused IONE and IONA, which I do All The Time. IONA is the Scottish island, and IONE is the actress, whose last name is SKYE, which is also ... a Scottish island. You can see my confusion.
  • 46A: Dermal art (tattoos) - I love it when plurals aren't clearly marked in the clue (see also 45D). I also love that we get the full word today instead of the more common TAT(S).
  • 60A: Count _____ of Lemony Snicket books (Olaf) - OK, this has officially become a common clue, and I need to remember this jackass's name.
  • 33D: Place name before and after City (Iowa) - clever, and tricky
  • 34D: "Bonne _____" (French wish at bedtime) ("nuit") - more French to go with your ETAPE
  • 39D: Little ham? (shoat) - great word, but how was it Not tied to OINK!?
  • 51D: Ford and Bush adviser Scowcroft (Brent) - just saw him interviewed, I think, on Fareed Zakaria GPS, which is by far the best politics / news show on television. By Far.



Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

79 comments:

Greene 9:10 AM  

Really enjoyed this puzzle, although it seemed a bit harder than the usual Tuesday for all the reasons Rex points out. I especially like the analagy of the SE corner being a Thursday puzzle lost in a Tuesday puzzle.

By far, my favorite item is Ham and EGGER. I've never seen it used as a noun. Most times a schlepp will Ham and Egg his way through a situation, but Ham and Egger? Love it.

Also, doesn't the roadrunner go MEEP MEEP (as opposed to BEEP BEEP)? I've never really thought about this before; it's just how I remember the cartoon.

ETAPE and ETYPE? Uggh. I got lucky with that crossing.

chefbea 9:21 AM  

I agree with Greene - harder than the usual Tuesday. Southeast was the last to get. But a fun noisy puzzle!

Adam 9:32 AM  

Once I figured out the theme, it was pretty easy.

I was annoyed by the PTBOATS answer since the clue implied a singular answer when, in fact, it ended up being plural.

Glitch 9:37 AM  

@Adam

Craft can be a *collective noun*, like sheeps ;-)

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

Isn't the saying swing a DEAD cat?

pj

Norm 9:41 AM  

ETAPE was one of the first words I realized I just had to remember for doing crossword puzzles. It's a classic, and I was happy to see it again. And, hardcore Jaguar owners would distinguish real Jags(before Ford bought the company) from the later ones, so the cluing for ETYPE is not necessarily redundant.

Matthew 9:49 AM  

@Greene: Yeah, I always thought the Road Runner said "MEEP MEEP" too. But it looks like "Beep Beep" is the official version.

Good puzzle. Great to have some fun on a Tuesday for once.

Wade 9:52 AM  

Same here on ETAPE/ETYPE/GAMAL. I didn't know craft could be plural.

Could be some controversy over the cluing of ACLU as an organization that "defends" the Bill of Rights, as some folks (I'm thinking of my notorious Constitutional Law professor, Lino Graglia) would say it goes beyond that.

I thought "ham-and-egger" was a term specific to untalented work-a-day boxers. I don't know why I thought that--I must have seen the term used only once and it must have been in a boxing context.

JC66 9:54 AM  

I seem to remember the ETAPE clue from my 2nd year of high school Latin, when we translated Julius Caesar. Can anyone confirm?

Ulrich 10:02 AM  

I agree that this was basically a fun puzzle. But I hate it when, in a Tuesday puzzle, there are squares that I cannot resolve, and this one had two of them: Since I find OHOH a are far better circus cry than OOOH, I had IHNA for the island, which looked perfectly fine to me who knows nothing about the Inner Hebrides (not to speak of the Outer Hebrides!). And since I knew neither PT BOATS not STAT, I also couldn't fill in the square where they cross. I know, I know, gimmies for others, either from direct knowledge or through crosswords. Still, on a Tuesday...

I particularly regret not knowing about PT Boats b/c it was while commandering (?) one of these (Nr. 109) that J.F. Kennedy obtained his famous war injury--now I know and feel better for it.

mac 10:06 AM  

This was a fun, quick puzzle, perfect before the onslaught of shoppers (have a big sale today).

Etape was no problem, I have known it all my life because of the Tour de France.
I've been trying to think of a situation to use "nacres", and I do work with that material, but I just cant. At the suppliers they would only use the singular, if they used the term at all, normally it's called MOP or shell, and it comes in many colors, some natural, some dyed.

Completely agree with Rex re. Fareed; he is brilliant.

Crosscan 10:23 AM  

Give me a puzzle with BEEP BEEP and KERPLUNK anyday over your fancy-shmancy operas and fine artists.

Now we can have a deep discussion over MEEP MEEP vs BEEP BEEP. I am in the MEEP crowd, although I correctly entered BEEP as, after all, this is the New York Times. There are standards to uphold.

Can we agree that Wile E Coyote went SPLAT frequently.

Great fun; likely the best Tuesday of the year.

Martin 10:27 AM  

"E type" is the official model designation for the car that was called the XKE in the US. This sports car was indeed a classic, and an icon of the sixties.

Vega 10:48 AM  

Well, I was unsure enough that I left it "-EEP -EEP" until the crosses would clarify whether it was an M or a B. Personally, I'd have chosen M.

This was a super-fun puzzle, but with hardness. Did all the rest of you know that INGLE is a fireplace? Never heard of it. And I had originally put warthog in for "boar," which made the NW way more perplexing than it ought to have been.

I still have no idea what ETAPES is, and Google isn't helping me. But I figured ETYPE was the only reasonable answer for a Jaguar name.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

Completely, 100% agree with Rex on all accounts (uncanny almost). Especially the tennis issue - that irked me and is just flat out wrong in my book. Also, ETAPE??? That gets a big fat "booo!" (which could've been an answer in this puzzle "...disgruntled sports fans").

jeff in chicago 11:05 AM  

Had BRENT, so BEEPBEEP came easily. The GAMAL/ETAPE crossing could have been any of the vowels (even "sometimes Y") for me.

A tiny quibble with OOOH. How many O's does that get? I've seen OOH and OOOH, but would really fantastic fireworks get an OOOOOOOOH?

Nan 11:05 AM  

Stomach punch would be OOF.
Wow, Scowcroft looks like a bloated Chazz Palmientieri in this picture, doesn't he?
Lerve this blog. So glad to know someone's even a bigger geek than I when it comes to the NYT puzzles.

Rex Parker 11:13 AM  

@Nan,

That's not Scowcroft (clip features people talking about Russia/Georgia), but your characterization of that guy's mug is apt.

RP

parshutr 11:19 AM  

E-Type was, if nothing else, the prettiest (coupe version) Jag -- and maybe automobile -- ever. Mechanically, lots of OOMPH from an inline DOHC 6-cylinder.
And of course, not all Jaguars are British -- all of the four-footed spotted ones are so non-UK!
Agree with Rex about the 2nd serve; NEVER a REDO, IMHO. But ham and egger doesn't mean incompetent. A successful doubles team, or golf duo, that makes up for the partner's shortcomings at the appropriate time puts together a good breakfast...ham and eggs.

Two Ponies 11:26 AM  

Mondays and Tuesdays are usually just warm-ups for the week for me but yesterday and today have been great since I actually had to think.
Very fun theme.
I, also, recall the saying as "swinging a DEAD cat" even though it's probably more PC to leave that bit out.
Maybe the Tuesday puzzle, red-headed stepchild of the week, is finally finding it's place.

BT 11:55 AM  

So it is better to swing a *live* cat?

Wade 11:56 AM  

Possums are more suitable for swinging. They even seem to enjoy it.

Noam D. Elkies 11:59 AM  

"Tattoo" is a sound too, but maybe too obscure a sense of the word for Tuesday even though it's the first meaning listed in m-w.com . Oh, never mind, the grid entry is the plural TATTOOS, and all the theme sounds appear singular.

I thought it was dead chickens that get swung...

NDE

joho 12:04 PM  

This was just a wonderful Tuesday that totally took me by surprise with all its SCREECHing, CLINKing, OINKing, PINGing, PONGing etc.

The easy-to-remember number for Time Warner's Road Runner here is 489 BEEP. But I definitely hear MEEP MEEP in my head right before the SPLAT!(@Crosscan)

Great, fun Tuesday puzzle: thank you Mr. Ginsberg!

treedweller 12:04 PM  

I was very proud of myself for deducing the theme before encountering the clue that gave it away. Maybe a little too proud of myself-it ain't that hard to see--but I'll take my triumphs where I can.

I liked it a lot, though I agree some "sounds" seem more like actions or, in the case of PING PONG, names.

Despite some small delays for tough answers, I finished in about the same time as yesterday. Don't know why I was slow then or fast here, but it's an interesting change since I usually go slow on Tu and beat that time on Wed. It will be fun to see what happens tonight.

Matt 12:21 PM  

Hey All:

I'm delighted that people seem to have liked this puzzle! It was a lot of fun to put together.

As far as REDO, the original clue was [Net serve, for example] which was perhaps a bit more fair.

PuzzleGirl 12:25 PM  

Loved this fun puzzle even though I struggled mightily in the SE.

I tried to read a Lemony Snicket book to my daughter a couple months ago and I couldn't finish it. It had this whole glorifying-orphanhood-and-child-abuse thing going that I found extremely creepy. Then when I got to the part where the really old hideously cruel guardian figures out a way to marry the girl (who I don't believe was even a teenager, but I could be wrong about that) ... well that was all I could take. Don't get me started on "The Giving Tree."

I didn't even see Iowa City, Iowa, in the puzzle! And I'm going there this weekend! (To watch the National Champion University of Iowa wrestling team fight off the #2 Iowa State Cyclones. I think there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 people there, at least four of them who have Olympic medals. Go Hawks!)

Doug 12:32 PM  

TERRO...redo...TERRA...redo...PTERA...PTERO...OOOH.

Yesterday's Gordie HOWE could have been followed today by current San Jose Shark Jonathan CHEECHOO.

I liked the whole puzzle, and while the SE needed some stirring once I determined that ETAPE was indeed the answer, it was a done deal.

The theme didn't click until well below the equator, but then it was a straightforward REDO of the blanks.

MEEP to me is always MIEP Gies, the office worker who hid Anne Frank and stored her diaries. She is 99 years old and still going strong.

Doug 12:35 PM  

I see my son changed my Google pic to a 2007 shot of Whistler mountain. I'll leave it, and if you ski, the depreciated Canadian dollar makes a trip up here 20% cheaper for our southern friends in the 11th province. Please come!

steve l 12:54 PM  

Shout-out: Let's not forget, as we debate BEEP BEEP vs. MEEP MEEP, that Wile E. Coyote always used ACME explosives!

Karen 12:55 PM  

I liked the puzzle. ETAPE was new to me, but cross-able.

MEEP MEEP gets 244,000 google hits, BEEP BEEP gets 2 million. It's probably the Roadrunner's southwestern accent throwing people off; like when he say President Mush or play mall.

So how many times does it take for a clue to become common? It looks like Lemony Snicket has been used three times now for Olaf in the NYT.

Megan P 1:05 PM  

The Lemony Snicket books are parodies of Victorian children's literature. I've enjoyed reading them to kids because they laugh at all the evil perversity.

The author is a musician with Magnetic Fields.

mexgirl 1:16 PM  

The best way to get into the Lemony Snicket books, is via audio tapes narrated by Tim Curry. We used to listen to them on trips to Vermont. Yes, the whole marriage to the 14 year old sounds really creepy, but it never really happened.
By the way, Jim Carrey makes a very good count Olaf!

BEEP BEEP!

dk 1:19 PM  

Same, same for the SE. I had the theme clue first and suffered with the above mentioned meep and dead cat issues.

Roadrunner cartoons always feature Acme supplies which of course is a shout-out to she-who-must-not be-named.

Matt, most of my serves were REDOs so I got it.

The ETYPE was often used in psychologist school as a certain type of representation when a male was trying to project a stud-like image. So my inner 12 year old always BEEPBEEPs when I see ETYPEs. I, of course (insert never poke fun at anything as always winds up in your face about here), now drive a J type when lovely wife lets me. We got it because she fell in love with sound of the exhaust system, sort of a deep throated OOOH sound.

OINK OINK gotta FLEE

thebubbreport 1:46 PM  

Once you've seen a classic ETYPE, you'll never forget it. My best friend's mom has had one since she bought it in the sixties. It is one of the top five most beautiful cars ever made, and is my personal number two dream car. AMERICAN Ford could never pull off the beauty of the original, truly British ETYPE. They managed to make the XJ look like a daggone Taurus, cutting off all its beautiful long lines and making it stubby.

I suggest watching the original version of The Italian Job (GREAT FLICK!) to see a few gorgeous examples of the ETYPE. Unfortunately, they meet a horrible end that is extremely painful to watch!

becky

thebubbreport 1:47 PM  

Oh PS, @Greene, I always thought Road Runner was MEEP MEEP or MEEP BEEP as well. I left the first and fifth letters blank until I solved the crosses!

imsdave 1:59 PM  

Great Monday and Tuesday puzzles! Lots of fun. I can kind of hear the beep in the meep (in a dipthongy sort of way).

Here goes.

I built a little puzzle based on this blog. Orange was kind enough to quickly edit it and allow me to post it on her blog.

Apologies to those I couldn't fit in, but I tried to make up for it with some of the cluing - especially with the broadway slant for the slighted greene and fikink.

Sorry you have to cut and paste, but I still can't figure out how to post a link:

http://crosswordfiend.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=138

SCOTUS Addict 1:59 PM  

Now, this is puzzle Maleska would never have approved. I liked it very much.

I'm in the Meep Meep camp. Will also endorse *splat* for Wiley Coyote, but the sound I most associate with him is the whistling noise created by his going over the cliff with the ever-present ACME anvil roped around his neck.

I think those of us who took high school French had the advantage today. All of those vocabulary words in the Tour de France section of the 10th grade text book. Equipe. Maillot jeune. Etape. Finally the decision to forgo Spanish pays off. Ole!

Rex, I have a crush on Fareed Zakaria. His is the best news analysis on TV. How that happens on CNN is a mystery. Do you miss Aron Brown? I stopped watching when he got booted in favor of AC360 keeping them honest. Then they came up with Fareed and partially redeemed themselves.

Wade 2:05 PM  

I haven't read any of the Lemony Snicket stuff--from what I'd read about the series it sounded pretty cynical. I don't remember finding The Giving Tree objectionable, but it's been too long since I've read it to comment.

While we're slamming kids' literature, though, don't let Roald Dahl off easily. I've been reading "Danny the Champion of the World" to my son, and it is the stupidest and most boring novel by a "classic" children's author I think I've ever read. It seems to be about a boy poaching pheasants with his father, but it's too toneless and boring-dialog-heavy to be interesting, much less subversive.

And don't get me started on the insipid Pooh stories.

JannieB 2:06 PM  

Someone at the NYT xword blog reports that he interviewed the actors who voiced the road runner. One used "meep meep", the other "beep beep" - so take your pick, they're both right!

This puzzle was a joy - even the SE - since I remembered "etape" from another era. I did this about as quickly as yesterday.

Congrats Matt - very creative, challenging, fair and fun.

Shamik 2:07 PM  

Checking into Rex's blog, I see that I didn't get just 2 squares wrong, but three.

PTERY made for the doorbell going DYNG. It may go DYNG in eastern European countries...but merely goes DING in the U.S. Alas, that's not how you spell PTERODACTYL.

And went with ETUDE since I figured Day's march was some sort of musical composition. Who knows what Jaguars were called and had no recollection of Nasser's first name. LOL...probably thought he was a one-name person like Cher or Madonna.

So...challenging and incorrect/incomplete for me.

That said, I LOVED this puzzle and zipped along merrily in all the cacophany until the SE and the aforementioned DYNG/DING/DONG...ok...isn't the old CBS logo tune?

rafaelthatmf 2:08 PM  

@ PuzzleGirl - ditto on the giving tree! Just once the guy couldn't come and sit in the shade? What lesson does that pass on? Sheesh - you got me going on The Giving Tree.

Orange 2:20 PM  

That spoiled, entitled brat should have been giving the tree plant food and nurturing it, not using it for his own needs and then hacking it down so he could sit on the stump. There are those who say "The Giving Tree" is an allegory and the tree stands in for a mother.

@Jannie, it wasn't a he, it was a she (Edith B), and she didn't interview the Road Runner voicers, she just read the interview. And she didn't post it at the NYT blog, she re-posted it there, having posted the info hours earlier at my blog. Sheesh, doesn't anyone here read my blog?? *pouting, stamping feet*

JannieB 2:41 PM  

@Orange & EdithB - abject apologies. That's what happens when I do these things before my morning caffeine. (That or my short term memory is fading even faster than Denny Crane's "mad cow" situation.)

That said - I just had a most enjoyable time at your blog working IMSDAVE's puzzle. Very nice job and a good workout.

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

Wade: the ACLU defends nine of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, with the exception of that pesky 2nd one.

Wade 2:56 PM  

Anonymous 2:43, nor have they exactly beaten a path to my door to help do anything about these soldiers quartered in my house.

chefbea 3:02 PM  

@shamick I think it was NBC that had the bell tones

fikink 3:04 PM  

@pj, certainly hope the expression is "room enough to swing a DEAD cat" - if not, it is about as funny as "I'm gonna beat him like a rented mule," which some brokerage service finds funny enough to put in their commercials, causing me to never do business with them!
@twoponies, I'd have to say that swinging a dead cat is more humane, thus more PC, as it is done holding the cat by the tail.

Agree with greene (and Crosscan and Vega, et al) that the Road Runner sings a very nasally "Meep, Meep!"

@Wade, perhaps it is some connection with being ham-handed?

@ulrich, believe there was a movie called PT109 with Cliff Robertson playing JFK (and ironically, given JFK's womenizing, Cliff went on to play Hugh Hefner).

@jeff in chi - I like your new avatar

@dave, I didn't feel slighted in your puzzle. Wasn't I the DEB that was the center of the ball? Or was that edited out?
Meantime, I will go to Orange's blog and rework it (as long as you don't call me an annoying cultist, Orange).

imsdave 3:12 PM  

@fikink - you were definately NOT edited out - DEB was there on purpose as were a number of 'real' names. I tried to do a compound answer for 'stereo glitch' (HIFIKINK), but couldn't quite get it to fit :)

Wade 3:25 PM  

imsdave, "Alternative methods of crossing the Potomac?" would also have been acceptable.

chefbea 3:32 PM  

I went to orange's blog and didnt see the puzzle. am I blind?

jae 3:35 PM  

Like Shamik I booted PTERO but I had DING. Dang, its been a while since I messed up a Tues. That said, this was a fun one. Fortunately, I'd seen ETAPE before because the second A in GAMAL would have been a guess.

Fareed Zakaria also writes a pretty much weekly column for Newsweek. As far as I can tell he has yet to be wrong.

acme 3:53 PM  

@dk, stevel
Oh, you who can be named, thanks for the hushed shout out...Why do you think I named my company ACME? ;)

According to Orange's blog, the folks who did the sound for roadrunner alternated between MEEP-MEEP and BEEP-BEEP so everyone is right!!!

@Doug (of the non-evil variety) yes, let's hear it for MIEP MIEP! Without her there would be no Anne Frank's diary. There is a great documentary about her called:
"Anne Frank Remembered".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99vA77xvvmY


Back to the actual puzzle, it's interesting for me that Rex overall was wowed by this puzzle but kept saying, oh but I hated this and I hated that...I had the reverse sentiment, but kept finding moments to like (two entries that started with PT is cool, for example)

@crosscan
Love your SPLAT! That would have been better. SPLATTER is not the same as SIZZLE and to me that summed up what felt off. But who can argue with 20 theme entries?

Meep-Beep!

fikink 3:55 PM  

@dave, Yes, I just checked!
Yipes, HIFIKINK would have blown me away, but I was just happy to be "the center of the ball" - LMAO!
And the fact that I'm on top of dk didn't disturb me ;-)
@chefbea, it's in the forum - and you are there too!

Back to today's puzzle: I wish STRAFED had been clued by some reference to North by Northwest.

Vega 4:14 PM  

For next time: "brightest star in the constellation Lyra" will do quite nicely. Aside from this glaring omission, however, this was a *solid* and fun puzzle! Wow, what talent permeates this crowd. And two fun puzzles on one day. More, please!

chefbea 4:22 PM  

I am unable to get the puzzle. Asked my daughter and she cant either. Can someone send it to me but not in across lite? chefbea1@yahoo.com
Thanx

Doug 4:23 PM  

@acme Thanks for the link to the Miep video.

@imsdave On behalf of all cruciverbalists named Doug (Evil, Nebraskan, Canadian) thanks for the 15 seconds of grid fame!

Doug 4:26 PM  

I don't know how, but suddenly my pic is back. Hey you, you behind the curtain, what are you doing? Speaking of Miep Gies, this was taken on a canal not far from the Anne Frank Huis.

OK, I'm 4 for 3, signing off.

Ladel 5:00 PM  

Oh, I don't know Rex

In psychology we call it saving and then killing, you know, he's a nice guy but...

For such a swoon over a Wow Tue puzzle, me thought the man did protest too much before saving.

For me, a perfect Tue puzzle, a thing most difficult to sound.

Orange 5:37 PM  

@chefbea, the puzzle's not at my blog, it's at the Crossword Fiend forum. Dave's post and puzzle are here.

@fikink, puh-leeze! I would never call anyone (save an annoying cultist) an annoying cultist. That said, I'm squarely in Rex's camp when it comes to musicals.

jeff in chicago 5:40 PM  

Thanks, fikink!

I found Dave's puzzle, but it did take me three tries to get it to open. hmmmmm. (not that I was in it. I guess I need to post more/be more witty)

Martin 5:58 PM  

BTW, Jaguar is no longer American Ford. It's been Indian Tata for some time. The Empire Strikes Back.

edith b 6:01 PM  

I like the way a three-letter answer DIN ties this whole puzzle together.

Aside from some minor quibbles about the nature of the sounds, I really enjoyed this one.

Insofar as Ham and egger is concerned, I thought Greene hit the nail on the head in described that as a schlepper. Rocky (from the movie) was a classic ham and egger, not necessarily incompetent but just . . . meh.

Very nice entry for a Tuesday.

fikink 6:39 PM  

Orange, if I could find it I would send you an old Jonathan Winter routine where he did a send up of stupid musicals.
One was a fictive musical set in a military airplane manufacturing plant with a Music Man-type Robert Preston singing, "Put That Stamp on the Aluminum and send it into the blue..."
You would appreciate it.
Very Beyond the Fringe

Michael 7:11 PM  

Well, I had two mistakes on a Tuesday -- the crossing of etape and etype and ohoh/ihna instead of oooh/iona. But all that is made up by seeing my town (Iowa City) in a puzzle -- even if the answer was the more common Iowa.

Oh, by the way, great puzzle!

DONALD 7:27 PM  

This one is "live", but who knows...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1gc3-iCiEo

Anonymous 7:54 PM  

What is up with the usual crowd here.
Everyone playing cloy. No one mentioned that SCREECH had done a porno. (Insert sound effect joke here). I bet ACME knew. Heck she may even have a DVD copy.

Also, I was hoping for a BLAM, POW, or other from the Batman TV show. The true one IMHO -- campy=funny.
SteveLarson

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

"Grease in a deep fryer", same as fixin "ham and egg(s)" to me sounds something like KSHHHH, much more than SPLATTER. And I am firmly in MEEP camp. No matter, I really loved this puzzle! Rock Rabbit

foodie 9:24 PM  

Fun Puzzle, happy, hoppy, fantasmagoric! A Thing of GAMAL --i.e. Beauty, in Arabic, as in GAMAL Abdul-Nasser- "Beauty of the Servant of God the Victorious... No pressure...

May it inspire many other wonderful Tuesdays!

@imsdave: I enjoyed solving your puzzle and smiled in many places as I recognized references to blog friends, names and even double names... If you knew my name in real life (and you spoke some Arabic) you'd know that I was also in there! That made me laugh...

Orange 9:30 PM  

@fikink: Got a transcript? I'd do better with a transcript than a video...which I might skip entirely. Doesn't the humor of a send-up rely on deep familiarity with what's being sent up? And if I don't watch musicals, won't I miss some of the humor (or just be annoyed by the song-and-dance business that annoys me in real musicals)?

Sheesh, you are a cultist!

Crosscan 9:40 PM  

@imsdave: cool how you hid my name in the first two letters of 87D, all of 9D and the first three letters of 87A.

mac 10:02 PM  

I've been thinking about the beep/meep controversy and tried to reproduce the sound I remember. I think it's actually a g said with your lips closed, and when you open them for the eep sound it comes off as an m. So it is actually a gmeep!;-)

fikink 10:18 PM  

@no, Orange, actually, as I remember it, it was a parody of generic musicals where they break into song and dance at the slightest provocation (such as when a lineworker stamps the Air Force seal on the side of a plane or records the serial number of the aircraft part).
The point is there are very good musicals which approach operettas (like Sondheim's A Little Night Music) and very lame cheesy musicals that waste your time, which is what Winters was making fun of.
Dudley Moore did the same thing on the piano, making screw of how Beethoven could never bring a symphonic piece to an end. Very subtle and very funny.

...and now we should stop or Rex will get nasty again.

acme 2:00 AM  

@imsdave
wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I particularly enjoyed 6A.
I just noticed 82D!
So much to love!

Daryl 5:24 AM  

Back from New York where I gloriously got to do the Saturday Times puzzles (one of the sad parts about doing the crosswords on the International Herald Tribune is that you lose Saturday).

Yes, much to love about this one. And I don't really see the problem with E-Type - it's a really iconic car for anyone familiar with car history. But then I always get stuck on American car model names like the AMC Hornet, so I'm quite pleased to have others flummoxed by Jag model names...

Bill from NJ 6:31 AM  

@Greene-

Let me say that I really enjoy your occasional asides on the Thea-tuh and musicals in general. They are both lively and informed.

You are a welcome addition to our little group.

@imsdave-

I did your puzzle at Orange's Summer House and, I admit, I shamelessly searched for my own name.

Maybe if I had a pithier nom de crossword I would have stood a chance. But alas . . .

Suffice it to say, a really good job.

Laurence Hunt 2:19 PM  

This one was brilliant!

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

I thought this puzzle was the easiest and most fun NYT I have ever done. I got the theme from my second entry CLUCK and raced through from there. I would have called the theme clues "names of sounds" rather than the sounds themselves but it didn't get in the way. I stared at that Jaguar clue with ETY E, had my aha moment, and finished the last entry, with no idea what ETAPE was. But, upon reading the comments, I am ashamed to have forgotten the word as we watch every moment of the Tour de France at my house.

Anonymous 6:14 PM  

You people make me feel so old. Coming up behind someone and saying "beep beep" ala a car is a joke older than the roadrunner and was used by the cartoon to make that joke. So it doesn't matter what you think it sounds like everyone at the time knew the joke. Also, I remember when XKE's, aka E-Types were new. They were preceded by the XKSS which had its factory burned down and led to the radical new E-Type design. Yes, a classic.

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