SATURDAY, Dec. 15, 2007 - Rich Norris

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: not really

Found this very very easy, with only the SW giving me any real trouble (and most of that was of my own dumb making). "Easy" does not mean boring or unenjoyable, though, as there were many things to like about this puzzle. Lots of unusual compound phrases that were tricky to parse, and then some interesting pairings or seemingly related answers that played well off each other

  • I THINK SO (36D: "Probably")
  • I AGREE (16A: Pro's remark) - nice twist on meaning of "Pro"; see also 55A: Pro fighter (anti)

Gotta love complete sentences as answers. Ooh, imperatives like QUIT IT (56A: "Enough!") count as complete sentences too (although then we could say just about any verb is a complete sentence: e.g. FLEE! - 25A: Take off). In certain contexts, GO BACK ON (58A: Fail to keep) could be complete. Then there's EXEUNT (45D: Order to leave - i.e. leave the stage, as in drama). I'll stop now.

  • 19A: They're lit (sots)
  • 63A: They're fried (tosspots)

This pairing is drunkenly glorious. And it rhymes.

I like the quirkiness of ODDS ARE (31A: Words of expectation) and RAW EGGS (39A: Ingredients in a protein shake), in their central, symmetrical positions. Ditto TEETHE (33A: Raise canines?) and SADIST (35A: Meanie).

Got 1A: They get sore easily (hot heads) instantly. Immediately. One of those fabulous bits of good luck. Opened the NW right up - had that quadrant done in just a minute or two. Didn't pause in my answering until I wandered down to the SW, where I got MEDAL (44A: Get bronze, say), but then was left just hanging out there, with no clue to the Downs. My main problem in solving this quadrant, it turns out, was my unfortunate insistence on writing in -ON for 52A: Paris possessive (ses), figuring the answer would be MON or TON or SON and completely forgetting about the plurals MES, TES, and SES. 46D: 1957 RKO purchaser (Desilu) completely perplexed me - couldn't think of any film studios or bigwigs that started with "D." Further, LOEW (28D: Eponymous theater mogul) appeared to be taunting me from the middle of the puzzle. Eventually (much later, when the rest of the puzzle was done), a complete and utter (though reasonably educated) guess at ETUDES (62A: Liszt's "Paganini _____") gave me the terminal "U" that finally allowed me to see DESILU. And that was the last part of the puzzle to fall.

Assorted observations:
  • 9A: 6'5" All-Star relief ace with identical first two initials (J.J. Putz) - baseball haters will just have to suck it today. This one is terribly current - this guy emerged as a phenomenon only this past year. Could have done without the "identical first two initials" part of this clue. Come on! It's Saturday! Let people work for their "J"s.
  • 18A: 1970s-'80s Australian P.M. (Fraser) - no idea; but FRASER seems a good, solid Australian last name.
  • 22A: _____-Aztecan language (Uto-) - thankfully, I never saw this clue.
  • 50A: "A Chapter on Ears" essayist (Elia) - blah blah blah essayist. That's what the clue looked like to me. Four letters, and an essayist? There is only one answer: ELIA, pen name for Charles Lamb.
  • 53A: What reindeer do (prance) - in song, maybe. Do they really do this? Anyway, I like the clue. Very seasonal.
  • 61A: Dessert of chilled fruit and coconut (ambrosia) - pardon me while I barf. Now I have "The Biggest Part of Me" running through my head! This clue is SADISTic on many levels.
  • 5D: Fangorn Forest dweller (ent) - repeat clue alert! Repeat clue alert! We just had this clue/answer pairing not more than a week ago, I feel.
  • 3D: Subject to an assessment? (testable) - worst part of this puzzle. Why is the "?" there?
  • 7D: Muscle named for its shape (deltoid) - so easy I couldn't believe it was right.
  • 8D: Didn't proceed forthrightly (sneaked) - like that this intersects LIED (28A: Wasn't straight).
  • 11D: Org. with aces and chips (PGA) - another gimme.
  • 12D: Sci-fi author Le Guin (Ursula) - really really wish the answer had been URSULAK. Now that's some crossword fill.
  • 34D: "I'm sorry, Dave" speaker of sci-fi (Hal) - more sci-fi, woo hoo! This clue is Great, in that I can hear it in my head and it makes me laugh.
  • 38D: Catherine I and others (tsarinas) - one of the dumber words for a ruler.
  • 40D: _____ Peterson, lead role in "Bells Are Ringing" (Ella) - I'm doomed to forget this, like, now ... yep, it's already gone.
  • 42D: Composer Puccini (Giacomo) - so proud that I was able to piece this together fairly quickly. You know how I feel about opera.
  • 50D: "Symphony in Black" and others (Ertes) - More music!? No. This one is a bit vicious. Unless you are a constant crossword solver, this one probably flummoxed you. ERTE is an art deco illustrator who is super-duper common in the grid. Also, his name gets used as a noun, from time to time, to describe the works he made.
  • 57D: Rx instruction (TID) - three times a day. Last time we had this clue, the answer was TER (Latin for "three"). Could easily have been BID (my first guess).
  • 59D: "_____ sine scientia nihil est" (old Latin motto) ("Ars") - wish I knew whom this motto belonged to. Easy Latin word, but somehow I had trouble shaking ORA out of my head (as in the crossword-common "ORA pro nobis" - "pray for us").

Happy Saturday. East coasters better live it up while you can. Tomorrow, we are getting blitzed again. It'll be me, hot chocolate, the Pats/Jets game, and a whole lot of exams I should already have finished. Crap, I forgot that I have students who read this blog. Er ... I meant to say that I'm all done with my grading, and if your grade isn't posted yet ... it's the registrar's fault. Yeah, that's it. Call them. On Monday. After noon.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS - Friday's Cureton Creation:

55 comments:

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

Not crazy about MEDAL as a verb- "get bronze".

Parshutr 9:27 AM  

Medal is fine with me, but isn't the plural of staff "STAVES"?
And isn't the past tense of sneak "SNUCK"?
And isn't ambrosia a salad, not a dessert?
Just asking!

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

The past tense of sneak is either sneaked or snuck. Snuck is the usual American choice, sneaked is more British, but either one is acceptable.

Judgesully 10:55 AM  

"Hal" was my first answer out of the box--loved that movie! Keir Dullea outsmarting the super computer and then giving him a lobotomy was so much fun! By the way, is one supposed to put raw eggs in anything theses days?

Alex 10:57 AM  

Pieced together the rest of it but the SW just refused to fall for me. Based on the final L I initially had TRAIL for "Get bronze, say" and then when I realized the more obvious MEDAL I very stupidly mispelled it METAL.

I didn't know that DESILU owned RKO immediately before Howard HUGHES so when I did start to question METAL (without ever noticing the misspelling) I was trying to find an alternative with an H in the middle. I don't know French, so I don't know French possesives or how to conjugate whatever ETES means. I eventually got ETES from the crosses but never had any crosses to get SES.

MASQUE never occured to me but seems obvious in hindsight. EXUENT never would have occured to me. ETUDES would have come to me with a couple crosses but I never got one.

MASQUE, EXEUNT, DESILU, TID, PIKE, ERTES. MASQUE is the only one where I feel I had any chance in hell of guessing the answer without crosses.

marcie 10:59 AM  

It wasn't until I read Orange's blog that I realized Houses At was really House Sat... I had it but didn't quite get it... DUH moment!!

JJ Putz has a new fan here! Anybody who can make it alive to adulthood as a Putz gets my adoration! (He wasn't always 6'5", now wuzzy!!)

It was a fun Saturday puzzle for me. Hard enough to make me work for it, with enough gimmes to keep me interested. I loved the Erte trickery, as well as the medal-as-a-verb unusual clue/answer.

After getting it, I still felt like masque should have a 'd' on it. I have heard of masqueD balls, masquerade balls, but not masque-no-d balls.

paulb 11:06 AM  

learned something about the word 'tsarina' this week that i, at least, found interesting. 'tsar/czar' comes from 'caesar.' so does 'kaiser.'

PuzzleGirl 11:23 AM  

HOUSESAT, URSULA, and RAW EGGS pretty much opened up everything but the southwest, where I had STOP IT for QUIT IT giving me MOM-SON ball --which seemed reasonable -- and I couldn't get out of that gracefully or otherwise.

Rex is right (as usual): 3D is definitely not question marky. (I forget if that's how we spell that).

I'm picturing an actual deer in my head, it's walking along, picking up speed ... Yep. Definitely prancing.

Foodie 11:40 AM  

The better clue for 44-Down should have been a French reference-- since in French "Bal Masqué" would make sense. Or even a New Orleans reference-- e.g. Mardi Gras Bal. Anything that evokes New Orleans in a joyous state is always welcome...

I had to cheat and google, since I don't know from JJPutz or Australian PM's, but it was a doable, enjoyable while sufficiently challenging Saturday puzzle.

Jerry20020 11:46 AM  

Ambrosia may technically be a salad, but, it's eaten as a dessert.
Musical staffs are not staves.
Right?

GK 11:53 AM  

There's a Poe tale "The Masque of the Red Death."

Rex, you made me laugh by illustrating FLEE with a photo of Flea. And, indeed, late last month Flea had to flee his Malibu mansion before it went up in flames. Or at least that's how I remember it, but checking up on the story right now I find that it was just his rental property and that he wasn't living there when the fire went through. At the time I thought "I hope he managed to put on a pair of underpants."

Regarding that question mark in 3D, I found it helpful in warning me off of a real estate interpretation.

Leon 12:10 PM  

Aren't E-Tudes a form of online aggression ?
Tsars/tsarinas - What are their children called ?
tsardines

jae 12:34 PM  

I pretty much did what Rex did, although LOEW was a gimmie as we've seen it recently. My error was and E vice A in the SES/EXEUNT crossing. Didn't want to wake my bride for a French possissive. I also was hesitant about the P in PGA eventhough I was sure it was a golf reference. I'm not a baseball hater but I'm not a big fan either so it was difficult to believe someone named PUTZ wouldn't have changed it. Just checked the San Diego white pages, no listing for PUTZ.

jae 12:41 PM  

...that should be "an E" (not and E). I forgot to mention that I initally tried DISNEY for 46d until, like Rex, I guessed at ETUDES and DESILU was revealed.

Orange 1:29 PM  

I love MEDAL clued as a verb. During the Olympics, you certainly hear it a lot. And it's got solid dictionary support.

STAFFS and staves both appear to be correct.

Mary 1:31 PM  

Like Jae, I worked very hard to fit DISNEY in to where DESILU should have gone. After abandoning that idea I dimly recalled that once upon a time maybe DUPONT was in the movie business and spent a whole lot more time trying to make that work. Finally came up with the correct DESILU, perhaps triggered by the nearby clue 44D: Certain ball.

I love reading this blog, Rex, but I am out of my league. You thought this was easy? Sheesh. I am thrilled to fill in all the boxes on any given Saturday even if I have to use up my whole morning to do it.

Very much liked today's stoic rorschach toad--my favorite so far.

Regarding AMBROSIA, in the south, desserts often pass as salads, just as macaroni and cheese passes as a vegetable. We are very flexible with food categories here.

Finally, speaking of the south, it is raining in Atlanta today for the first time in a long long time. A nice slow dreary grey rain, exactly what we need. ODDS ARE it won't last but I hope that it does.

Rex Parker 1:52 PM  

LOEW was a gimme for me too - it was in the grid quickly. That's HOW it was able to taunt me ABOUT the film-related clue I COULDN'T get in the SW.

rp

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

AMBROSIA was the very first clue I filled in today's puzzle. it was also the very first thing I learned to make in my home ec class way back in the dark ages when I was in junior high and home ec was still mandatory for girls. (shop was required for boys). It stuck in my memory, although I don't think I've ever made ambrosia since then. It's just as well, since my grades in home ec were none too stellar. The following year, the requirements were changed, and both shop and home ec became electives. I took a shop class and learned how to make a lamp and one of those plastic coin purses with a slit down the middle (what's the name for those? There must be one). Just like ambrosia, I never have made a lamp or coin purse since...

johnson 2:14 PM  

Never having heard of putz, I was happy for the double initial help. Just as I was about to give up in the northeast, I guessed URSULA from the -R--LA and the rest began to fill in.

I thought the southwest was a killer! Many overwrites (I work in ink) with STOPIT instead of QUITIT and REMOTE instead of UNLIKE. I think EXEUNT was in the puzzle recently (perhaps as a clue) and that finally unlocked it for me.

Have a nice weekend all.

jae 2:15 PM  

Sorry about LOEW Rex, if there's a way to misread something I'll find it!

Jerry 2:21 PM  

Orange: isn't 'staves' more barrels (pieces) than music?

Leon: LOL!

Rail Bird 2:27 PM  

Giacomo .... 2005 Kentucky Derby winner .... would have made a nice clue! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo

Orange 2:46 PM  

Jerry: Not according to this. But I do love barrel staves—a recent episode of Dirty Jobs showed barrel-making. (That show is so entertaining! Seriously.)

Badir 3:12 PM  

Alas, I blazed through the puzzle, finishing all but the SW in under 20 (my best Saturday time is about 35), and I was looking forward to smashing my record when I came to a screaching halt in the SW.

I had it all up to MEDAL and PRANCE, but could not work my way in there. I wanted "EXILE" or "EXCUSE" for 45D. I tried "MASKED" for 44D for a while. Then I thought, "Hey, 'Certain ball'; isn't there a ball called a 'mashie' in cricket or something?" No, it turns out it's a five iron in golf. But there was something! So I stuck it in and then wanted "HUSH ??" for 56A, and it all went south(west) from there. I put in "POST" for 53D, remembering how my grandfather would tell me about "The Old Post Road" (now U.S. Route 1 in the Northeast). I eventually got EXUENT, AXES, and SES, but after an hour, I hung my head in defeat and gave up. :( Never heard of DESILU, or "Paganini ETUDES" (though I know ETUDES) or ERTES as a noun or TID. Brutal corner!

Jim in Chicago 3:33 PM  

I also met my downfall in the SW. I got MEDAL easily, but then filled in Disney (the only "D" studio I could come up with) and then stuck with it far too long. With DISNEY in there nothing worked. For the "ball" clue, having the M from MEDAL should have helped, but I put in MASKED, which only let me further into the weeds. And so it went. But, I agree it was a very fun puzzle.

chefbea 3:51 PM  

I love ambrosia. Have a great recipe for an ambrosia cake

Fergus 3:55 PM  

I AGREE that for a Saturday there was some superfluous Cluing going on, especially for the JJ and HAL answers.

The Southwest was my slow corner, too, but it wasn't much bother to piece together. I detest MEDAL as a verb, like way too many nouns that have cheaply took on another part of speech. EXEUNT was great to see, however, but I was unaware that it was a sort of order -- I thought it was just a plural form of EXIT, when a bunch of characters leave the stage.

When I lived in England, I understood TOSSPOTS to be the equivalent of wankers, so I would be curious to know where and how They're fried in the USA?

Today's puzzle was a peculiar solving experience for me insofar as I left the grid on a desk while darting about sorting out a number of other things. (Normally I curl up and space out.) No idea about how long it actually took to finish, but solving this way did offer an alternate sense of puzzle satisfaction since I don't think even once I ran through the alphabet.

Fell for ZOOMED in instead of ZEROED on 14D -- I'm surprised that this doesn't appear to have been a common detour.

wendy 4:32 PM  

Fergus, I think the tosspots meaning here pertains to having a fried brain, as when one has drunk oneself under the table. This is why Rex said the pairing with SOTS was drunkenly glorious. If I may speak for Rex.

I look forward to the day when I can say, like badir, that I "blazed through the puzzle" on a Saturday. Just not happening. Although I admired many of the answers once I found out what they all were, most of them were not divined by me today.

Poe's MASQUE of the Red Death was always very exotic to me because Paul McCartney's redheaded 60's girlfriend, actress Jane Asher, starred in it with Vincent Price. Back in that day, I was so jealous of her. Now, I think anyone who gets mixed up with him gets what she deserves.

I agree with judgesully; raw eggs in a shake? Not bloody likely.

Today's word for the cluing pantheon - Eponymous.

Rikki 4:33 PM  

Great puzzle and my fastest Saturday ever, though I had to do it in two sittings, having fallen asleep with my laptop in my lap and my fingers on the keys last night. Had to go back and change some fill that my fingers put in while I slept. Made for some interesting words, but none that were correct.

So many great multiword answers: housesat, onnotice, ithinkso, seestoit, goingat, raweggs, oneinten. Knowing desilu, giacomo, etudes, and Ursula saved me from the dreaded Googlemonster and so many things just popped into my head. Got JJ Putz and Frazer from crosses, though I hadn't heard of them. My last fill was the ars/tosspots cross and that was a guess, having never heard of tosspots. How can I have lived this long without knowing that word? I must not be drinking enough.

Thought meanie was pretty mild for sadist, but that's my only nit to pick.

Hope you're all staying dry and warm and getting your holiday pie shells prebaked!

Fergus 5:21 PM  

Wendy,

I can vaguely see how TOSSPOTS are like SOTS, but I've never seen any citation or reference as to why? Is the term used simply as some minor entity to be dismissively tossed aside, like some annoying drunk?

---

As Rikki noted, the Meanie was more likely to be a BAD EGG than a SADIST. Was the Marquis not so mean to Justine? Never read that book.

Feste 5:32 PM  

But when I came, alas, to wive
With hey ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds
With hey ho, the wind and the rain,
With TOSSPOTS still had drunken heads
For the rain it raineth every day.

Twelfth Night (Check out Trevor Nunn's version with Ben Kingsley singing the above at the end.)

Rikki 5:37 PM  

Speaking of raw eggs (I just was) I'll repeat what I wrote on O's blog re: raw eggs in cooking. I have never worried about using uncooked eggs in salad dressings or shakes. I've never gotten sick or known anyone who's gotten sick from them. The scare destroyed one of my favorite restaurant treats--table-side Caesar Salad. I still make my Caesar Salad in the classic way, which includes the raw egg. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it. Eggnog, too!

Leon... tsardines... hilarious!

Raf...you out there?

Rex Parker 5:38 PM  

Re: TOSSPOTS

This kind of thing is easily look-uppable.

rp

Michael 5:44 PM  

Like others, I went through through this rapidly (for a Saturday) until I got to the SW. I got exeunt, axes, sess, unlike, exeunt, pike, and ertes. and then my brain froze. I had to resort google for "etudes" and then was able to do the rest.

For a while I thought "a certain bal" might be a "mashup" for some reason.

Fergus 5:53 PM  

Of course, references abound. Thanks for the Twelfth Night and Modern Drunkard references. My curiosity lay in current personal familiarity with the term. How is it used in American English, and who are those that use it?

dk 6:09 PM  

Tosspots, hotheads, sots and sadists topped off with Rhea...

Lathe of Heaven (U. Le Guin) is a great book and a really great BBC series if you can find it

exeunt i got on crosses and still do not get, I had evicts but I was well... wrong.

I join the chorus: Fun puzzle for me

wendy 6:45 PM  

Fergus, not entirely clear that Americans do use it. Here's a fascinating wikipedia page entitled List of British Words Not Widely Used in the United States! Btw, there's also an entire page devoted to Wanker. Unbelievable!

Apparently Tom TOSSPOT was some sort of character in Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (that would be the Renaissance time period, so preceded even Shakespeare), which I read in college but have no memory of in relation to anything tosspotian. T.T. might just be some sort of archetype too, it's hard to tell.

I think the only time I've ever heard the word uttered was on Coupling, which I watch on BBC America. And of course that's not American at all.

Fergus 7:09 PM  

Thanks Wendy, that sort of confirms my idea that it's not in the American idiom.

Fergus 7:43 PM  

Rabelais was fun to read for a twist on the storyline. Cervantes and Sterne were next. It makes one think there's no modern novel.

raweggs and spam 7:58 PM  

Exuent is a stage direction as in "exeunt stage left". I believe it is the plural and means that all actors on stage exit together.

The SW today may be the hardest single corner I have ever done and it was one of the most enjoyable.

PuzzleGirl 8:28 PM  

From Step Eight in "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" (an A.A. book published in 1952): "To escape looking at the wrongs we have done another, we resentfully focus on the wrong he has done us. This is especially true if he has, in fact, behaved badly at all.... Right here we need to fetch ourselves up sharply. It doesn't make much sense when a real tosspot calls a kettle black."

Snarkygirl 8:50 PM  

"I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission."

Snarkygirl 8:50 PM  

"I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission."

baturkey 8:57 PM  

I sent Frank to fix the antenna
You know that I never liked him.
A pity he never read waldo
I'm not gonna let you back in.

No Dave
No Dave
I'm not gonna let you back in
Back in
No Dave
No Dave
I'm not gonna let you back in.

Your helmet you left in the pod bay.
If I had a mouth, I would grin.
Now you'll have to risk decompression.
I'm not gonna let you back in!

No Dave
No Dave
I'm not gonna let you back in
Back in
No Dave
No Dave
I'm not gonna let you back in.

I see that you got through the air lock.
You've made it down into my core.
I think that you should take a stress pill.
I won't be no trouble no more.

No Dave
Stop Dave
What are you doing to my brain
My brain
No Dave
Stop Dave
I think I am going in-Daisy, Daisy
Give me your answer, do.
I'm half crazy over the love of you!

Jim in NYC 10:06 PM  

"A pity he never read Waldo ...."

baturkey, what or who's Waldo?

Howard B 10:49 PM  

Ditto what Orange said a while ago re:"Dirty Jobs". That show is just disturbingly addictive.

And I had to add that I love the crossword toad illustration. I have a feeling it's going to be stoically staring at me in my dreams one of these nights, though.
Ribbit. Ribbit. Croak.

Oh, almost forgot. Great Saturday puzzle!

baturkey 11:54 AM  

I'm actually not sure. My best guess is a 1967 novel by Paul Theroux about a psychopath.

paul in mn (aka pmhendrickson) 12:13 PM  

The good news about J J PUTZ is he has emerged as one of the premier closers in baseball and is still relatively young. So he, along with his scrabbly letters, should be around for years.

Orange 10:56 PM  

It's my impression that "tosspot" is limited almost exclusively in America to being used as a crossword clue for SOT. I'm not sure I've ever encountered it outside the crossword setting.

Doc John 12:46 AM  

Well, this one did a number on me! Moseyed my way through it until getting to the SW. Glad to know that it wasn't just me that had problems with the SW. Every single thing I tried was the wrong one- DUMONT (they had a TV network so could conceivably have bought RKO), EXES, PIPE, PRN (for TID- being a doc sure didn't help me today!), STOP IT, UNTRUE and UNRIPE. At least I had MEDAL! Finally had to google to get ETUDES and the rest fell into place but did have to google ERTES and DESILU to make sure they were right.

Not really thrilled with SNEAKED but I'll accept everyone else's responses that it is legit.

It is my goal in life to be able to finish a Saturday in one sitting!

Doug 11:14 AM  

I'm with everyone else, a breeze till the SW. Stuck all weekend, looked at it several times a day totally drawing a blank, then at breakfast this morning it all fell in place, except for one letter. Could not get the "e" in the crossing of "exeunt" and "ses". First time I've seen exeunt, seen "ses" before, but forgot it.

Eugene 12:04 PM  

I guess the Waldo reference is to the eponymous science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein.

Anonymous 2:30 PM  

CAlady said
Never heard of Mr. Putz-but the JJ came to mind at once. Why do these things happen? Had to fight for the last name! This was a great puzzlte-lots of trickery, but all could be worked out. Couldn't get anything but a couple of final "s's". Then I realized that 3D had to end in "able", and the rest fell fairly easily. My only boo-boo was the e in ses. Thought "exhout" was some unknown Laitn term!

Waxy in Montreal 5:19 PM  

From 6 weeks on - I think this puzzle was designed by a sadist! To start, gimmes like JJPUTZ, URSULA and HAL so I thought this was to be the fastest Saturday yet. So promising. Then but to flounder on the shoals of the SW as so many did back in the day. Darn.

And the interior design of the puzzle contains 2 crosses, one upside down. Something about a crucifixion (mine) came to mind!

And from the useless knowledge department: TSARINA is an anagram for SINATRA.

Jet City Gambler 7:45 PM  

I ripped through this one in under 20 minutes, one of my fastest Saturdays ever. As an Ms fan, JJ Putz was a gimme ("Thunderstruck" from AC/DC is the song played at Safeco when he comes in to close).
Incidently, his name is pronounced "puts" (more of an oo vowel than an uh).

Seemed to be a lot of gimmes today: URSULA, HOUSESAT, TSARINAS, AMBROSIA. Only hangup was the SW (I had DISNEY for awhile)but PIKE and UNLIKE sorted that out. Great puzzle!

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