04.12.08 -- NONU

Saturday, April 12, 2008

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Puzzle by Byron Walden, edited by Will Shortz

NONU (41A. Like the hoi polloi) brings to mind the line “…be warned that, when you say "the hoi polloi" you are actually saying "the the herd." Indicating that you too are "hoi polloi". -- Dead Poet’s Society

That’s of little use in the solution of this Saturday pile of words, whether they be U or non, hoi polloi or the hoi polloi. The variety here is quite something, from POSTPUNK (1D. Like the grunge rock movement) to FEDAYEEN (36D. Palestinian fighters) and everything in between, including the drab entries of NEWFRONTIERS (30A. Kennedyesque conquests); KANSASCITYCHIEF (33A. Player coached by Hank Stram); and THEHONORABLE (37A. Mayor’s introduction?) co-existing lifelessly in the center of the diagram. Beyond, however, this rubble commands interest, albeit word by word in a sloggy slugfest for the solver between entries and clues.

Other long entries include PREMIERECRU (10D. Top Medoc classification); GRAHAMKERR (27D. The Galloping Gourmet); and CAPTIONED (20D. Underwritten?), followed by the eight-letter entries of INTHESEA (2A. Where Neptune can be found); TEARDOWN (3D. Level); IBROKEIT (34D. Admission of clumsiness); and ELEGANCE (35D. Polish).

Seven letters: PITBOSS (1A. Strip authority); IMPALAS (6A. Savanna bounders); ONEAWAY (15A. Situation early in an inning); FARPOST (16A. Target of some soccer kicks); STATINS (17. Lipitor and such); ONEONTA (18. State University of New York campus site); UKULELE (51A. A musician might pick it); TOLUENE (53A. TNT ingredient?); DELIRIA (54A. Bouts of madness); ACTNICE (55A. Kindergarten admonition); ENSURED (56A. Sealed); TOOKTEN (57A. Rested).

Six: THREED (19A. Like some glasses); Pulitzer-winning historian Doris KEARNS Goodwin (29A.); SAMOAN (38A. Wearer of a wraparound cloth called a lavalava); PARKAY (49A. Tub handle?); LONGER (12D. More strung out); ASTERN (13D. Not ahead); STJUDE (38D. Hospital patron); AWAKEN (39D. Stimulate); MOGULS (40D. Big wheels); and STATES (See 42-Across), which is RED (42A. With 14-Down, part of a U.S. political map).

Five: ISERE (24A. French department that’s home to the Chartreuse Mountains); TWOPM (43A. Customary start for Wimbledon singles finals); “America the Beautiful” poet Katharine Lee BATES (4D.); IFOLD (8D. “Too rich for my blood”); PINCH (23D. Recipe amount); SASHA (25D. Slovenian-born N.B.A. guard Vujacic); ROSEN (28D. “Watership Down” director Martin); KEYON (29D. Defend with focus, in football); FSTOP (31D. Setting numbered in multiples of the square root of 2); SNEAD (44D. Winner of a record 82 P.G.A. Tour events); TRUNK (45D. Ventriloquist’s prop); and ITNOW (32D. See 21-Across), that’s GET (21A. With 32-Down, end of an advertising pitch).

OWIE (5D. Boo-boo) heads the four-letter list, which includes ALTO, CLEM, GRIP, ILIE, MANE, PEDS, POCO, SAND, TOGA, and the notorious NONU; followed by a scattered few three-letter entries -- JAG, LIU, PAD, SEW, SYS, USO, et cetera.

That’s it, fresh out of words; and even if there were more, who cares? Yes, no? Nu? Oh, non-U! Oy, hoi polloi! So U!


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Across: 1.20. 1950s Dodgers pitcher ___ Labine; 22. Go-___ (certain motorized scooters); 23. Ink holder; 26. G.I. hangout; 27. Subject of a golf lesson; 44. Finish, with “up”; 45. Kegger cry; 46. Bender; 47. “___ sir …”. Down: 6. Gear impediment; 7. M.O.; 9. Place for a comb; 11. Certain mail destination: Abbr.; 49. ___ adagio (score direction); 50. Word with flute or horn; 52. “Lucky Number Slevin” actress, 2006; 53. Reciprocal action.


Anonymous said...

The explanation of "non-U" was a relief. I kept looking at "NONU" without a spark of enlightenment. I don't recall hearing the expression "non-U," though I even considered and rejected it - but it's all that fit.

My particular thanks, though, for the YouTube link to "Hoi Polloi," which made my morning.

cornbread hell said...

exactly what anonymous said. on both counts.