English archer's weapon / SUN 7-11-10 / "Amahl and the Night Visitors" composer / Beer brand originating in Brooklyn / Nine daughters of Zeus

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Constructor: Ed Sessa

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: "As Elmer Fudd Would Say…" — Familiar phrases change an R sound to a W sound. Wackiness ensues.

Word of the Day: DHOTI (74A: Garb for Gandhi) —



• • •


According to the Cruciverb.com data base, prior to today DHOTI has appeared in the NY Times puzzle a total of four times since 1998, most recently in a Saturday puzzle in June 2005. That's brutal. Actually, that on its own isn't totally brutal, but crossing it with HONI clued as 69D: "___ soit qui mal y pense" (old motto)?! This is the motto of the Order of the Garter. The Order of the what? Exactly. That's just mean. I guess Hägar the Horrible's daughter would be too much to ask for here. BAHS! (11D: Curmudgeonly cries.)

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Part of a biblical warning against growing onions? (SO SHALL YE WEEP).
  • 30A: Some locker room tomfoolery? (TOWEL WHACKS).
  • 40A: Bio for a Looney Tunes coyote? (THE LIFE OF WILE E.).
  • 56A: Politico Ralph's fishing gear? (NADER'S WADERS).
  • 68A: Pretty fat, actually? (THIN AS A WHALE).
  • 80A: React to a bitter mouthwash? (GARGLE AND WINCE).
  • 94A: Sloven in the coven? (FILTHY WITCH).
  • 102A: Advice to someone going to the Egg-Beaters' Convention? (TAKE A BIG WHISK).
Hi, everybody. PuzzleGirl here with you again for the Sunday festivities. Thanks to everyone who got in on the conversation yesterday and to everyone who's back here today. I was going to chat for a little bit here — tell you about my weekend, how the summer's going so far, but you know what? Basically I just drive people around all day and there's not really too much to say about that. So let's talk about the puzzle.

Today's theme is on the easy side for a Sunday, I think. And, on the whole, the theme answers aren't super sparkly. THIN AS A WHALE is pretty good. And FILTHY WITCH got a chuckle from me. But nothing really struck me as memorable about the others. I did enjoy some of the fill though. Especially JOE COOL (16D: Snoopy's hip alter ego). Something about Snoopy in those glasses, leaning up against his doghouse or the tree or whatever happens to be there — cracks me up every time. I also like it when a person we're used to seeing in a puzzle with only one name gets both their names in the grid. Today that would be DR. DRE (74D: Rapper with the 6x platinum album "2001").

I had a couple misstarts: colt for FOAL (34A: What a mare bears), old-time for OLD-LINE (110A: Traditional), song for ODES (14D: ___ of Solomon) and — my favorite — samba for MAMBA. I guess I got the 8A: Deadly African biter confused with the deadly Brazilian dance.

What else?
  • 21A: "Shouldn't have done that!" ("BAD MOVE!"). I'm a fan of colloquial phrases in the puzzle and this one fills the bill for today.
  • 25A: Garden with an apple tree (EDEN). Just in case we didn't have enough Biblical controversy yesterday. I'm pretty sure it wasn't necessarily an apple tree. Just sayin'.
  • 48A: Philosophy (BELIEFS). Very tricky with the singular clue and the plural answer.
  • 50A: "___ Ben Jonson!" (O RARE). Oh, HAha! This is another place where I had a funny write-over. I started with ORATE. Maybe I was still thinking about that command-themed puzzle from the other day. "ORATE, Ben Jonson!"
  • 52A: OPEC unit: Abbr. (BBL). Oil comes in bubbles? (she said jokingly)
  • 60A: Light of one's life (TRUE LOVE). Funny, I always think it's children who qualify as the "light of one's life." Is that just because I have children? I'm aware that parents and childless people have different ways of looking at the world.
  • 65A: Buck (CLAM). Does anyone ever actually use all the slang words we have for money? Bread, moolah, dough, cabbage, smackeroos, simoleons? I think the only one I've ever used with any frequency is "scratch."
  • 66A: Razed (TORE DOWN).


  • 93A: Barney of Mayberry (FIFE). I'm always happy to see anyone from the Mayberry gang in the grid. Except Opie. I'm a little tired of Opie.
  • 98A: Author Umberto (ECO). I had a weird experience with ECO's The Name of the Rose. I read the book when it first came out, which I think must have been around 1984? Looking it up … yes, English translation first published in 1983. I was working at the B. Dalton Bookstore on Fifth Avenue at the time and I recall that the publisher had to change the book's cover because my manager at B. Dalton refused to put the existing cover in our front window. She said it "looked like a Harlequin romance" and was "too tacky" for our store. Ha! Anyway, that's not the weird part. The weird part is that I loved that book. I remember being really, really into it, not being able to put it down, thinking about it all the time…. Then I picked it up, like, two years ago to re-read and I couldn't finish it. Total snooze-fest. I have no idea what I found so compelling about it back in the day. Of course, there are a lot of things about my life in the 1980s that don't really make any sense to me now.
  • 7D: Singer Yearwood (TRISHA). I've always kind of liked TRISHA Yearwood. I mean, besides the fact that she's a home-wrecker. (Wait, wait! Don't write to me! Whenever I call someone a "home-wrecker," you can rest assured I'm being ironic!) But there's one song of hers that really rubs me the wrong way. Both she and LeAnn Rimes recorded the song "How Do I Live" that was on the "Con Air" soundtrack. (Remember that movie? No? There's probably a good reason for that.) Anyway, the lyrics of the song are just hideous. To me it sounds like the singer is freaking out over her TRUE LOVE leaving her, only there's no reason to believe that's actually going to happen. She's just making it all up so she can be tortured by imagining how horrible her life would be if it did happen. Drama Queen much?
  • 24D: Things letters have (LEASES). Another tricky one. "Letters" mean people who let (rent) apartments.
  • 32D: Saddam reportedly hid them, briefly (WMDS). I know the "briefly" is a hint that the answer will be an abbreviation, but I couldn't help thinking that the fact that Saddam hid them was only reported "briefly." Just briefly enough to start a … oh never mind. Probably best not to get me started.
  • 37D: Beer brand originating in Brooklyn (PIELS). No idea.
  • 43D: Stereotypical debate outburst (LIAR). Or actual State of the Union outburst. Take your pick.
  • 52D: Rite for a newborn Jewish boy (BRIS). OWS! (73A: Sounds at a vaccination center, maybe).
  • 81D: Shade of green (AVOCADO). If you ever happen to be in Santa Fe, find a place called Gabriel's and order the guacamole. You can thank me later.
Thanks for hanging with me the last couple days. With any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter]

54 comments:

deerfencer 1:10 AM  

PG,

Great commentary--much enjoyed!

I liked this puzzle despite (or perhaps because of) its corny element-- THELIFEOFWILEE was my favorite answer.

Big thanks to Ed Sessa for a fun solve.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

A nice easy/medium Sunday puzzle, a much welcomed relief after the last two days that pretty much did me in.
Only two write overs, 112A ABETS over aides and 33A POST over note. Loved TAKE A BIG WHISK, as I wear a miniature gold one on a chain around my neck, surprise gift from my appreciative husband. Never, ever, take if off.

Cute theme, cute puzzle, thank you Ed Sessa and thank you PG for another great write up.

Rube 2:48 AM  

There have been so many pun based puzzles this week that I'm beginning to like them, including this one.

Everything went smoothly until I got to the DRDRE/DHOTI crossing. As it is getting late, I googled to see if mRDRE was correct. Wrong. From some deep recess of my mind, an O seemed to be the obvious thing for DH_TI.

Did have pause in the SE where I didn't know STEVIE Nicks or EDA LeShan. However, after going thru about 5 guesses for Dollhouse miniatures, this area was the last to fall. I must protest the clue for STEVIE Nicks as she, (yes I had to Google to find out who this was), probably has never seen a record. CDs yes, records no.

Had a couple of write-overs, SWAmp for SWALE and FDR for TVA for WPA, and SOSHALLYErEEk for ...WEEP. (Hey, I was just getting into the theme.)

Tx @PG for your write up, and stay away from those black sambas.

Rube

Jo 4:15 AM  

A nice Sunday puzzle, without too many unexpected curves. Sunday is, frankly, about my speed.

@Rube -- STEVIE Nicks only on CD? She joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975; audio CDs weren't produced until 1982. (Yes, I'm pushing my nerd glasses up on my nose now.) Personally, I liked that clue.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:16 AM  

Liked the puzzle, but . . .

Wondered if all the internal "R's" should have been affected (as in GARGLEANDWINCE). (Amy Reynaldo says "L's" should be affected also, as in LIFEOFWILEE.) Any experts on Elmer Fudd? (And why does Google list "Elmer Fudd" as a separate language?)

Just one write-over, BAR before BBL, and I have made that mistake before!

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

I'm struggling why Singer is "RAT" (6D).

johnranta 7:25 AM  

Someone who "sings" (confesses to the cops) is a rat.

I had a hard time with L'chaim - wanted it to be lochaim but not enough spaces.

HudsonHawk 7:25 AM  

Hand up for DHATI/HANI.

@Rube, STEVIE Nicks has sold a heck of a lot more vinyl than CDs in her career, and that's if you stopped after counting the Rumours album.

BuckinghamNicks came out in 1973. But the cover photo makes that pretty clear.

PG, do you wear the hat?

Glimmerglass 7:30 AM  

"Honi soit qui mal y pense" is a pretty useful French proverb: "Let the one who thinks [a particular thing] is evil be ashamed." Or "Shame on you for thinking that."
Avedon and avalon in the same puzzle; too bad they didn't cross. Pretty easy Sunday

Leslie 8:05 AM  

Whoa, so I'm the only one trying the crankypants on for size?

Okay, I actually liked the puzzle just fine, but EONS ago, back when I was first learning to read, both my mom and my early grade school teachers were insistent that "w" and "wh" (as in WHACKS and WHALE) are not the same sound. Maybe this is a generation thing? When I mention this to my students, they look at me as if I've grown a second head.

My captcha word: "ponsh." Maybe I'm just ponsh-drunk.

BlueStater 8:31 AM  

@Leslie. The difference between initial "w" and initial "wh," as in, e.g., "witch" and "which," is one of regional dialect. In my (western Massachusetts) dialect they are pronounced the same. In other U.S. dialects (Western Reserve, upper Midwest, some others) they are differentiated. Not a matter of right and wrong.

Aleman 8:40 AM  

Bert and Harry Piels Ad voiced by Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding.

JenCT 8:55 AM  

Liked the puzzle very much - was able to breeze through it with my Mom.

Thanks PG for explaining 24D LEASES - we couldn't get why that was correct.

Was thinking Brooklyn Lager for 37D.

Favorite answer was FILTHY WITCH.

Van55 8:58 AM  

Solid Sunday puzzle. HONI was right in my wheelhouse for some reason. DHOTI was not.

I'll forgive it, but the answer really should be GAWGLEANDWINCE to be consistent with Fudd's speech impediment.

Clark 9:01 AM  

@BlueStater -- It is often the case, however, that people who do differentiate between the pronunciation of, say, wear and where are not aware that they do, and will resist hearing it (even though they themselves are clearly making the disctinction). Their idea of how they pronounce it is trumping the hearing of what they are actually saying. Sometimes such a person can with practice begin to hear it; sometimes not.

Leslie 9:16 AM  

@Clark and @Blue Stater: Huh. Interesting. It may also have something to do with the move away from teaching phonics in favor of "whole word" teaching. I'm old enough to remember being taught consonant blends, so to me, not differentiating between "w" and "wh" makes as little sense as not differentiating between "t" and "th" or "s" and "sh."

But I will now shut up and keep my pedantic observations to myself--carry on, puzzle people!!

You will NOT believe what my captcha word is: "infudd." Hee!

chester 9:30 AM  

wrong ben jonson! it was the poet, no the athlete (Ben Johnson)

JC66 9:53 AM  

@ Chester

I think PG know's that and was trying to be funny. I,
for one found it humorous.

@Aleman

Thanks for the Bert & Harry commercial. It reminds me that the Piel's ad campaign and it's effect on sales were studied for years in marketing classes across the country. It seems that the commercials were so good that the sampling of the product rose dramatically. Unfortunately, the beer was so bad that increased bad word of mouth caused sales to tank.

See Bert & Harry section of Wiki article here.

Also, HELP, please.

I just got a new MacBook Pro and when I download puzzles they open in Black Ink instead of Across Lite. How do I reconfigure so Across Lite becomes the default app?

Thanks.

Jerry

PuzzleGirl 10:12 AM  

Jerry: Right-click on the puzzle file and choose "File Info." In the window that opens up, one of your choices will be "Open with:" and you can choose the appropriate program from the drop-down menu. If you're still having trouble, email me directly. puzzlegirl 065 [at] gmail [dot] com.

DBGeezer 10:20 AM  

Agree with @Van55 regarding GAWGLEANDWINCE

I wasn't going to comment today until I saw my capcha, and wondered how many of us did this puzzle "affersx".

chefbea 10:22 AM  

Fun easy Sunday puzzle. Wasn't here yesterday...puzzle was too tough.

@chefwhen I have a pair of whisk ear rings, sterling silver, which I think I wore to Brooklyn a few years ago when I attended the ACPT. They are a great conversation piece.

David L 10:51 AM  

EZ breezy Sunday -- and a pleasant, entertaining way to start the day. My only writeover was SONG of solomon -- ODES of S is new to me.

The one tricky spot for me was PIELS/POST/DATE/DOFFS -- don't know Piels and it took me a while to come up with doffs.

I agree that there might be headscratching on the part of those who sound 'w' and 'wh' differently -- but that's not me, so what do I care!

And as for Elmer Fudd saying GARGLE as GAWGLE -- nuh-uh! Lispers have problems with R preceding a vowel, but R following a vowel isn't quite the same sound. Think of someone with a lisp saying 'Robert' -- doesn't come out as 'Wobewt'

JC66 11:29 AM  

@PuzzleGirl

Got it. Thanks.

Jerry

twangster 11:33 AM  

I assumed the Ben Jonson thing was OR ARE. I imagined a quote along the lines of: Are you Ben Jonson, or are you William Shakespeare?

twangster 11:36 AM  

Upon review I realize that doesn't make sense, given the wording of the clue, but that's what popped into my head.

nanpilla 11:42 AM  

@chefbea : I remember those earrings! It's the first thing I thought of when chefwen mentioned her necklace. Considering the conversation going on here today, it's pretty funny that you spelled it "chefwhen".

Hand up for DHaTI, HaNI.

Other than that little personal Natick, I enjoyed the puns. Sunday is where pun puzzles belong, IMHO.

archaeoprof 11:45 AM  

Fun puzzle, made me smile. Was it inspired by the Elmer Fudd Geico commercial?

@PG: I never liked that "How Do I Live" song either. Co-dependent and whiny. For an all-time great country song, try "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones.

This week non-puzzle wife and I break ground on a new house, which will have a CARPORT. For those who are interested in such things, the house will be LEED certified.

chefbea 11:47 AM  

@Nanpilla guess I have H's on the brain

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

As someone with a speech impediment where I pronounce R's as W's, I was blown away by the nastiness of this theme. I usually do the puzzle but it was too painful for me after a childhood of being teased and imitated. Would the Times do a puzzle based on a lisp or a stammer? I doubt it.

CaseAce 12:09 PM  

"Sufferin Succotash!" Anon: Both yourself and Daffy Duck, should march and waddle down to the Times building and give them Holy Heck for their crass insensitivity!
"That's all Folks!"

Rube 12:20 PM  

@Jo &@HudsonHawk. My ignorance of such things is quite obvious. I apologize to Stevie Nicks for thinking she was a Young Thing. No, that doesn't sound right. Well, anyway, I'll do more research before making such statements in the future.

jesser 12:22 PM  

I wipped wight thwough it, then came hewe to wealize I don't know my DHaNIS and HaNIs. Wats!

Leschedi! (where the French store their shovels) -- jesser

joho 12:28 PM  

Fun, Sunday ... no stress, just what I needed this morning. Only write over was WILEy to WILE E.

Another great writeup, PG!

@archaeoprof ... your comment prompted me to look up LEED certified. Congratulations on breaking ground and going green!

@Jesser ... LOL.

Noam D. Elkies 12:39 PM  

Cute puzzle, even if the idea feels very familiar. (@anon 11:51 - sorry, but if that's a real issue you should aim at the TV stations that keep re-running Bugs Bunny cartoons, which have a way bigger audience than the Sunday crossword.) As noted in the NYTimes blog, nice to have one of the theme answers invoke another toon.

@PG: not all the slang words, surely, but "buck" is very common, and I occasionally hear some that aren't on your list. I didn't know "scratch", though m-w.com confirms.

@Bob Kerf: "Wife of Wile E." might be funny, but Fudd's rhotacism doesn't extend to L's (wascawwy wabbit?). Not sure about GAWGLEANDWINCE, though.

@johnranta: I sure hope it's not "lo chaim", which would be "no life"! If you need a vowel there, write "lechaim", or better yet "lɘchaim" with a schwa.

Who is G.R.Dre? a Gandhi without a ghoti is like a woman without a ... um ...

44D:FIBULA = Latin for "little white lie"?

NDE

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Oh, Anonymous, I think they would. A lot of people find speech impediments adorable. It makes them oblivious to the fact that they are a weapon for the mean kids.

matt 12:45 PM  

Not only did I have to guess at the HONI/DHOTI cross, but AVEDON/MENOTTI as well. For some reason, this puzzle rubbed me the wrong way. Some very good stuff, and some very questionable stuff. Maybe I'm just cranky.

ArtLvr 1:13 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Van55 1:16 PM  

@David L. Elmer Fudd's speech impediment is called rhotacism. Lisping, by contrast is the substitution of the "th" sound for that of "s" or "z".

I am no speech pathologist, but my observation is that Fudd would misarticulate "gargle" if not so severely as he would "rinse."

ArtLvr 1:16 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 1:18 PM  

I enjoyed hearing about the chefs' mini-whisks! Also, here's wishing @mac a great outcome for Holland in the World Cup finals today...

@ PG, many thanks for pinch-hitting this weekend too -- fun write-ups!

∑;)

rolin mains 1:36 PM  

i feel better about NYT's crossword puzzles now after yesterday's debacle.

straight ahead...nice twists and turns...especially the "letters" crosses at 24D and 37A. i find myself saying the word aloud over and over until the "other" meaning comes to me. it's a little like looking at those 3-D boxes people draw with lines...one second the box is popping OUT and then the next second the box is caving IN. "letters. LETTERS. letters?" eventually, i say, "oh yeah! LET-ters!"

i've lived in the mid-west most of my life and people here "rent." i hardly ever hear anyone "letting an apartment." is this an east coast colloquialism?

btw, my radio hasn't had a dial on it for years. they are now mostly buttons.

jae 2:09 PM  

Nice write up PG and a cute puzzle that was on the easy side. Guessed right on the DHOTI/HONI cross and parsed the Ben Johnson thing the same way twangster did. Turns out I did know the quote, just forgot it. Aging will do that to you.

archaeoprof 2:31 PM  

@joho: thanks! Maybe now and then I'll report on our progress.

David L 3:37 PM  

@Van55 -- yes, you're right, of course, it's not a lisp. But as someone who has a bit of trouble with initial r's (hey, I'm from England!)I will say that gargling is easy, rinsing is harder!

chefbea 4:57 PM  

Wow!!! what a game. Condolences to @Mac..:-(

foodie 5:15 PM  

I love “THIN AS A WHALE”!

I had PERSIAN in lieu of IRANIAN and that blocked that neighborhood for a while.

For some reason, that motto “HONI soit qui mal y pense” is quite well known in French. May be because others, like me, love that thought: “Shame on you if you think ill of this!” When I had little kids making a mess all over our house, I wanted to put that motto at my front door.

@anonymous 11:51, it occurred to me as I was solving that this theme might be hard to take for someone who has struggled with a speech problem. But may be what makes it acceptable is that it refers specifically to a particular character?

@archaeoprof, fantastic re your house!! In the early 2000’s I was involved in the planning of the headquarters for our scientific society and we went with a LEED certification, which was still relatively new. I learned that one of the considerations, beyond the obvious, is the indoor environmental quality. Going back to visit, I have discovered how much people who work there love it—e.g. the quality of the light and the physical lay out, above and beyond feeling good about going green. I myself live in an energy efficient solar house that we built 30 years ago, and it has been a wonderful experience. Another one of those great deals where everyone wins :)

Anonymous 6:28 PM  

Piels The cartoon ad wasn't selling beer on
TV, but when the company tried to kill it the viewers and consumers successfully demanded that it be revived. Was there any other ad that beloved? Bob and Ray forever.

Jo 6:59 PM  

Condolences to me also, all that orange gone to waste!
Very doable puzzle, knew honi soit qui mal y pense off the bat; I think fancy Dutch people use it. Also the Dhoti was familiar probably because of reading literature set in India.
Had trouble in the MidWest for some reason, took me the longest time to get SERENE because I had TORN DOWN and SEREEN didn't do it for me. Do not really know Elmer Fudd, but once SO SHALL YE WEEP fell into place, his speech peculiarity revealed itself.
ODES of Solomon sounded farfetched to me, and of course I had SONG.
Shall go to drowning my sorrow.

Jenny 7:29 PM  

@nanpilla - I think we all have our own personal Naticks :-) And reading that phrase made me think of the Depeche Mode song "Personal Jesus", a filked version with "Personal Natick" instead...

110A OLDLINE ("Traditional") is not something that is in my idiolect, but no one else has made any comment about it being an odd phrase, so maybe it's just me.

Anonymous 9:36 PM  

Re: LEED: I belonged to an organization which meets in a brand-new school which has LEED certification. I can't be sure this is part of the LEED requirements, but when everyone would sit still and have a serious discussion -- the #$%^& lights in the room would turn off!

Rube 11:35 PM  

@Anonymous 9:36PM. That's the best chuckle I've had all weekend. I've had somewhat similar encounters with our energy efficient church, only we would get a blinking of the lights announcing that the lights would turn off in 5 mins if someone didn't hit a toggle switch. Well, the toggles were out in the hall so someone had to leave the meeting and reset the switch. This was good for another 2 hours.

I guess it's all for the better.

On to Monday's puzzles.

Stan 11:56 PM  

Fun puzzle--perfect for a Sunday. I esp. liked CARPORT, JOBJAR, and SLOG.

And the theme answers were great fun to guess.

Consolations, @mac.

Joseph 10:53 AM  

Hi PG,
Thanks for the help. Bugs Bunny is celebrating his 70th Birthday, so that may help to explain the theme (the LA Times Sunday crossword also had a Bugs theme today!)

Happy Monday,
JXN

Joseph 10:54 AM  

Hi PG,
Thanks for the help. Bugs Bunny is celebrating his 70th Birthday, so that may help to explain the theme (the LA Times Sunday crossword also had a Bugs theme today!)

Happy Monday,
JXN

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