(1993 rap hit with the repeated lyric "Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay") SATURDAY, Jan. 19, 2008 - David J. Kahn

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Agatha Christie (or, none)

I have very little time to write this morning, so please pardon this brief entry. I'll be back with a much fuller write-up tomorrow.

When I saw David J. Kahn's name, I braced myself for toughness. He is creative and clever (I highly recommend his Baseball Crosswords), and I thought him + Saturday might = deadly pit of asps. But this one opened up very quickly, primarily because the two long, related answers that cross in the middle were so easy to uncover. Gave me a giant cross of solved letters (thank you, Jesus) right in the middle of my puzzle before I'd entered letter one in any of the four corners. How did I do it? Glad you asked.

I started, as I always do, with the poppiest of the pop culture clues - today, this was 23D: Actress Mazar and others (Debis). Not sure how I know her, but her name and face are very familiar to me. This gave me the "S" for SIT UP (40A: Rise partly), which gave me the "U" for TUGS (37D: Water towers?), which gave me the second "G" in GOGOL (46A: "Dead Souls" novelist), which gave me the "L" in LAY (47D: Romantic narrative), which gave me the "A" in SIAM (51A: Gulf of _____, body of water next to Viet Nam - I already had the "S" from TUGS). Thus by the time I looked at 15D: Noted 36-Across passenger, I already had the -POI- sequence in place. HERCULE POIROT's name was the first that came to my mind, and I had ORIENT EXPRESS in my mind (36A: See 15-Down) before I'd ever even looked at the clue. Nice discovery: that HERCULE POIROT and ORIENT EXPRESS share a central letter. Good concept to build a puzzle around.

There were no other problems in this puzzle until I got to the NE. I was genuinely surprised at how easily words were falling before me. Maybe doing a handful of Th/F NY Sun puzzles and Frank Longo Cranium-Crushing puzzles every day is starting to pay off. At any rate, I had to make an educated guess in the NE. That guess: PAVED (10D: Hard-top). It took some time for me to convince myself that "Hard-top" and PAVED were both adjectival. I had to say "a hard-top road, a paved road" to myself a few times. The problem here was that I had never heard of the "P" crossing: SAMPANS (7A: Mekong River sights); and had only very faint recollections of "D" crossing: ODILE (26A: Role in a Tchaikovsky ballet). When I finished, I asked my wife what a SAMPAN was. She said, "isn't that a kind of boat?" This question made me so happy.

Dashing off the rest:

  • 1A: Mesoamericans of old (Aztecs) - fancy clue turns Monday fill into Saturday fill. Magic!
  • 16A: Small cavity, as around a cactus spine (areole) - I kind of guessed here, but this word is familiar enough to me from other contexts, so no problem.
  • 21A: 1993 rap hit with the repeated lyric "Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay" ("Dre Day") - this clue couldn't have made me happier if it tried. I love it so much. I also love the thought of millions of non-rap-loving crossword solvers trying to wrap their head around it. This was the song (and video) that introduced Snoop Dogg to the world, for the record - off of Dr. DRE's album "The Chronic," one of the best-selling and most influential rap records of all time.
  • 24A: Concordat (pact) - never heard of the clue, but I just took off the "-at" and was left with a word meaning "agreement," so PACT was simple.
  • 27A: Battlers, at times (sexes) - I've seen this enough to know it, but that "X" ... doesn't come easily. I had SE-ES and ran through the alphabet. Quickly.
  • 31A: Part of many cultural venue names: Abbr. (ctr.) - the clue is so oddly phrased that I didn't know what to expect. CTR is apt, if anti-climactic.
  • 64A: Sportscaster with the catchphrase "Oh, my!" (Enberg) - Dick ENBERG. He's been in the puzzle fairly recently. I was not aware that "Oh, my!" was a "catchphase," although I can totally hear him saying it in my head now.
  • 3D: Simon & Garfunkel hit after "Mrs. Robinson" ("The Boxer") - maybe my favorite song of theirs. Certainly the most ... moving? Touching? I remember Paul Simon's singing it on SNL immediately after 9/11.
  • 6D: Acclivitous (steep) - SAT word! Cool to know, but you will never use it.
  • 7D: Adolphe with an instrument named after him (Sax) - this was just in some other puzzle I was doing. Good to know.
  • 9D: New York City transportation (Metro North) - I'll take your word for it. It fit, that's all I can say.
  • 25D: Rabbit food? (Trix) - "Silly rabbit, TRIX are for kids." So, really, not rabbit food.
  • 28D: Christmas song favorite since 1949 ("Sleigh Ride") - nope, it's not coming to me. I've got "Winter Wonderland," "Frosty the Snowman," "Little Drummer Boy," "White Christmas" ... drawing a blank on this one. Thankfully the answer was Christmas-y and highly inferrable.
  • 33D: Prefix with parasite (ento-) - OK. Sounds right.
  • 39D: Father-and-son comedic actors (Stillers) - That's one talented family.
  • 52D: Title role for Maria Callas in her only film (Medea) - did not know. I was missing only the "D," which was obvious.
  • 55D: Mercury-Atlas 5 rider (Enos) - hurray! Guessed this off the "S" and was so happy to be right. Space Chimp!
  • 62D: _____ Lyman & His California Orchestra, popular 1920s-'40s band (Abe) - Nice to go to someone new, besides President Lincoln and Grandpa Simpson.

See you tomorrow,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[drawing by Emily Cureton]

54 comments:

Pinky 9:34 AM  

The puzzle was a breeze until i hit the doldrums in the SW corner where WENT IN or CAME IN seemed like the only two options.

Had TUBS for water towers and even considered TUGS but thought Naaah, that doesn't make sense. Never having heard of GOGOL or LAY, TUBS looked as good as anything else

Isabella di Pesto 9:44 AM  

I was stuck in the southwest corner since I couldn't get beyond tds and yds. I finally stuck in fgs (flags?) and the rest fell into place.

FIAT stands for "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino"


Anyone else get stuck on this?:

lay4
–noun 1. a short narrative or other poem, esp. one to be sung.
2. a song.

I thought yesterday's was more difficult.

Chris 9:49 AM  

The full title of "Dre Day" is "Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')", which made me enter "Who Am I?" for that clue. Of course, the full title of "Who Am I?" is "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" but I figured that dropping only the parenthetical would be preferable to dropping half the title plus the parenthetical for "Dre Day". This actually went through my mind as I was solving. 90's gangsta rap is kind of my wheelhouse.

Also, I think I would credit "Deep Cover" as introducing Snoop to the world.

Jim in NYC 9:55 AM  

I know little of football but my theory would be that FGS (43A) means "field goals." Anyone? Is this a real abbreviation?

I sat there staring at Ian Rankin's novel "Dead Souls" on my own shelf and wondering why the answer had only five letters. Finally it came; Gogol was featured in the wonderful novel "Life of Pi."

Turn off the computer already! Enjoy the weekend!

Orange 9:55 AM  

Rex, you and I hit on many of the same points in our posts. Concordat, famous Abes (I included Vigoda too), space chimp, "Silly rabbit," Kahn and baseball...

I'm not sure even the Onion, Jonesin', or Tausig puzzles would include the F-word, so I don't know if FUCKWITDREDAY will ever get its day in the crossword sun.

Rex Parker 9:56 AM  

Well, I'm sure lots of things could be credited with introducing Snoop to the world, but "Dre Day" was on SUCH heavy rotation in 1993 that I have a hard time crediting any other song with the world-wide introduction. It's certainly the song that introduced ME to Snoop.

rp

Jim in NYC 9:57 AM  

Arggh! "Life of Pi" was indeed wonderful but Gogol was recently featured in the other wonderful novel, "The Namesake." Read them both! Put down all those puzzles!

Karen 10:03 AM  

Don't youtube DRE DAY if you dislike cussing and dissing. Sheesh.

I agree with the easy rating. And I got stuck on ODILE/PAVED also. I liked having a comparative clue that didn't end in -ER.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

"Sleigh Ride" is the favorite Christmas song of Rex's Mother's live-in-man-friend-type-person, who played the horse-type-whinny-trumpet solo many years ago in his junior-high-type-orchestra.

kratsman 10:27 AM  

When I saw Kahn's name, I hoped for a very tough puzzle. But this one turned out to be pretty easy. And very enjoyable.

I always start at the top left and try to go counterclockwise as fills permit. This one cooperated nicely today. Lots of fun words/phrases. Raced right around the puzzle--NW, NE, SE-- but then bogged down in the SW, even with the right half of the SW filled in. Struggled over those 3 down clues at 43, 44, and 45. Finally, FLORAS/FGS came to me and it was done. But I stared at the SW for what seemed like a helluva long time.

I'm sure you've seen sampans before, even if you hadn't heard their name. They're those pole/sail driven boats common in SE Asia. Here's a picture.

Count me among the millions of solvers who hadn't heard of the rap song. It was easy enough to figure out from the crossings (Dr. Dre being almost pantheonic). Googled it afterwards and saw that the Times had to cheat a little regarding its actual title.

"Come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together..."

shaun 10:47 AM  

Just alter that 21A clue by a couple of numbers (and add a couple of spaces) and you get a much cooler answer. Isn't ATOMIC DOG much more fun than DRE DAY?

grayfont 10:52 AM  

It is well documented on this site that a very large number of NYT crossword solvers use google when they get stuck. While many deride the practice as "cheating," I am among those who see it as a means to improvement.

I'm also fascinated by the widely-acknowledged "breakfast table" rule. Notwithstanding our host's pleasure at the clue for DREDAY, I wonder (in a world where it many, many solvers are going to google the clue) how this could possibly have passed the breakfast table test? First off, there appear to be a number of songs which include those lyrics, many of which were released in 1993. Furthermore, all of them contain extremely explicit lyrics which are not welcome at my breakfast table. And finally, the one which apparently is the correct response is not even titled DRE DAY on its own CD. Someone posted the real name above - - and Orange noted that it clearly would not quaify for inclusion in the NYT and likely not even in the edgiest puzzles around. All of which is to say, surfing the internet is admittedly a risky proposition, but I am astonished that my NYT crossword solving experience has led to this.

Please note that this is not meant to be a discussion of morality - I have no problem with others who enjoy music of all genres regardless of whether some features offend some people. I'm sure many of the things I enjoy could/would offend others. My point is simply that the NYT has a widely-acknowledged breakfast table rule and this seems to me to be far and away in violation of that rule. Does no one else feel this way?

ArtLvr 11:00 AM  

Took a tad longer than I'd have thought, but it was that danged diet restriction at 12D that slowed me down! Non-fat, low-fat, no-meat, then finally NO SALT... partly because I should have gone to ODILE first!

Didn't think 32A TREBLE should be clued as "shrill", but it had to be B. Ditto 48A: HIFIS had a strained clue too. Neat cross at center!

Words I like: SERIF, LOATH, SNIDEST. With SEXES, LEER, ON FIRE, will Emily go with conflict? Or simmer them down with a family dog THE BOXER, PACT, IMPS, AT EASE?

Leon 11:08 AM  

Greyfont, I'm not offended at all. I have two teenaged boys, this is what is out there. What is in the Times Crosswords and what is on the net = two different universes.

Some of it is good. Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse feature f-words in lyrics. Try them, it won't hurt.

The traps of FGs and Ryes caught me. Jim Beam is usually known as a Bourbon but they do have a yellow label rye. Of course, bourbon does not fit 56 across.

Sleigh ride features Giddy-up in the chorus. Snoop Dogg uses it in Glod Rush, N Sync has a song titled Giddy up and the Beach boys sing giddy up giddy up 409.

Phineas 11:10 AM  

After embracing Rex's position yesterday regarding pop culture, I found myself cursing "bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay" today. Thankfully, these are CROSSword puzzles.

While I did today's puzzle, my 4-year old daughter was sitting next to me at the breakfast table, eating TRIX. She ate around all the red ones until the end so she could make pink milk.

PhillySolver 11:16 AM  

So why are there so many four letter sportswear companies? I tried Nike and Puma first. Then ZEROZERO came from my tennis playing days, but I never said it because there was no score at that point in a game. I didn't like the 42D answer but liked the misdirection on the clue and I tried islarge and with my Latin problems I could believe there was a word strati (why not?) Even towards the finish I was sure LAY couldn't be right. Full disclosure...had to Google a bit for dreday and to confirm ENOS, ODILE (not in my knowledge storehouse). As I was checking things I wondered if anyone Googled Gogol and if he were to use that tool would you say Gogol Googled?

From Thursday's construction I wonder if the REHEAT & HAVEACOW was an intended cross. There are more questions there too...like 564A a hot whiskey in the south and 59A Dick E. broadcasting

I echo other writers concern when I saw Mr. Kahn's name and had to read about mesoamericans and thought ok Oltecs would be odd enough to start with today.

I have filled out my ACPT registration and look forward to putting faces with names in NYC.

jae 11:24 AM  

This one points up some generational differences. I knew SLEIGHRIDE and SAMPANS but not the rap song. I think the only rap number I've listened to all the way through is the Oscar winning one from Hustle and Flow. This was easy for me too and I got the "theme" answers quickly. The iffy part for me was GOGOL/LAY/ENTO but my semi-educated guesses were right (I also hesitated on PAVED/ODILE wondering R or D?) Enjoyable puzzle capping a seris fairly easy end week ones.

jae 11:28 AM  

opps -- that should be "series of"

jilmac 11:39 AM  

Thought this was the easiest Saturday for quite a while - especially pleased after my Google-fest to solve yesterday's puzzle !!

Got 'hifis' first then 'imps' and 'stillers' which made me suspect 'orient express' and then 'Hercule Poirot' From then on out it was a breeze!! with no Googling!!

Got a little stuck in the NW but then the light bulb went on and we were home!!

Restored my faith in my crosswording ability!!

kratsman 11:39 AM  

Artlvr thought that "48A: HIFIS had a strained clue too."

I particularly liked that one, parsed somewhat as..."the hi-fi is playing a platter by the Platters."

Judgesully 11:41 AM  

This puzzle proves that there is more than one approach to the same end. My first answers were Enberg, Gogol and Ala, and having never enjoyed the vocal stylings of Dr Dre or Snoop Dog, I sat there looking at the NE with a bovine expression. Like Rex, the "poir" led easily to Orient Express and Izod to the entire NW. Had trouble reconciling treble with shrill, but figured it fit so what the heck. I'm beginning to like these Sat puzzles now that they no longer inspire dread in me.

Rex Parker 11:49 AM  

I can't believe the "breakfast table" test is even at issue today. If we can't reference "Dre Day," then we can't reference "Taxi Driver," Lenny Bruce, "Goodfellas," "The Sopranos," "Portnoy's Complaint" ... stop me when you've heard enough ... any movie, book, song, or historical period that features words and activities that people do and say every day would be off limits. If FUCKWITDREDAY had been in the puzzle, you'd have a point. But it wasn't.

rp

PS I love "DRE DAY" as a song, despite its manifestly offensive lyrics. I think non-rap fans don't really appreciate how hard it is to rap smoothly, with authority and conviction and personality. Plus, 1993 ... in the wake of Rodney King ... riots ... no surprise that black artists weren't really interested in making music that appealed to white folks (irony: white kids would become rap's biggest consumers). The SOUND on this song is what is truly remarkable, and as I said, influential. DRE is one of the most famous and sought-after record producers around today, and with good reason.

artlvr 11:56 AM  

@ krasman -- I know, but I was looking for DJs or discos or jukeboxes -- isn't HIFI a bit strained as a plural???

kratsman 12:07 PM  

@artlvr--in crossword puzzledom, there is no plural, nor any -er job, too strained to be discounted.

Besides, DJs and discos (maybe jukeboxes, tho) wouldn't be playing Platters songs.

Alex 12:08 PM  

Was really pleased with myself for getting HERCULE POIROT and ORIENT EXPRESS just off the O in Orient Express. For some reason as soon as I read the clue both answers just popped into my head.

Also got STILLERS as a gimme though I wasn't real confident until a couple crosses followed.

But the wheels fell off the bus in the SW where I had to put the puzzle to bed for the night and grind it out this morning.

leon 12:34 PM  

Jim H's database reveals 49 hits for Dr. Dre and that Dreday was previously clued 02/19/06, 04/15/00 and 05/28/99.

paul in mn 1:06 PM  

Today's puzzle was very enjoyable. Had one error with the GOGOL/LAY crossing because they were both unfamiliar. Although, I did have a nagging sense that I knew GOGOL, I just couldn't believe LAY was correct.

The NE was the last corner to fall as I originally had HAVE A FIT for 15A with OFF KEY for 11D (Sharp). But after a few crossings started to fall, I was able to back out and fix my errors and even guess at DRE DAY since DR DRE makes such frequent appearances in the grid. It brought a smile to my face to see "Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay" in a clue. I imagine that's a first.

And to any baseball fans out there, I echo Rex's recommendation of David J. Kahn's Baseball Crosswords: a highly enjoyable collection of crosswords.

matty lite 1:10 PM  

As a die-hard football fan, I can corroborate-- FGs really are field goals. I probably should start reading mystery novels instead of watching football, so I would know ol' Hercule instead of having to piece him together (since I had tuBs instead of tuGs, I had to assume Hercule's last name was Peirot, and that there must be an author out there named Gobel).

For both 3D (The Boxer) and 22A (Izod), I invoked a rule I find works well on Friday and Saturday puzzles: if there exists an answer that makes sense AND has an X or Z, that's the one.

Speaking of X, as a gen-X solver I'll take Dre over Doris any Day.

Anonymous 1:15 PM  

Can anyone explain how "lay" is a romantic narrative?

matty lite 1:18 PM  

My guess is it is from the old Fr. Lai.
(really a form, but it happens that most of them told love stories).

Southamptoner 1:33 PM  

"Bow wow wow yippy.." vexed me because IIRC, it's a sample from George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" from the 80's- I remember that song way more than Dre's sample.. just me.

Really dislike SENT for "Turned on". As in, "you send me"? Whateeeever.

And I nearly ALWAYS see "EOE" in ads, "equal opportunity employer". EEO, not so much.

grayfont 2:25 PM  

Respectfully, Rex, while "Taxi Driver," Lenny Bruce, "Goodfellas," "The Sopranos," "Portnoy's Complaint," etc., all contain non-breakfast-table material, I can google these items and not end up with a search results screen replete with profanity. By contrast, when I googled the clue in today's puzzle, more than half of the entries returned were for sites which provide the extremely explicit titles and lyrics to the various songs which fit the clue. The profanity appears prominently in the excerpts of these sites.

I have absolutely no problem with rap references in the puzzle, and I note that Dr. Dre's name appears regularly (perhaps so often as to qualify for your pantheon?) It's generally clued in a way which, if Googled, does not turn your computer screen into a non-stop series of n-words and f-bombs. And I appreciate that.

To me, this entry fails the breakfast table test if for no reason other than the fact that the answer is a partial title, the complete title of which fails the test. The clue asks for the name of the song. Those who know the full title can not possibly enter DRE DAY in the grid without the full title being called to mind. Those who don't know the full title and do a little "research" are confronted with the full title. Either way, if you are solving at your breakfast table, you've now got the f-bomb in your cheerios.

Thanks to the commenter who noted that this entry has appeared before - which is clear evidence that there was no strong objection (such as mine) in the puzzle community when it appeared previously. I don't mind being in the minority, and I appreciate knowing when that's the case. Cheery-o!

chefbea 2:58 PM  

Isabella di pesto
I thought FIAT stood for...
Fix It Again Tony!!!

Kim 3:11 PM  

Speaking of the breakfast table test, anyone remember an answer from last week: SPERM?

Hobbyist 3:30 PM  

Good fun puzzle but what gives with the comments and missing letters?

Michael 3:42 PM  

I found this the easiest Saturday I've ever done. I have no idea if the puzzle was particularly easy or if it fit what I know or if I was sharp today (I doubt it with below zero temperature outside). Anyhow -- this was more like a Wednesday or Thursday for me.

Anonymous 3:58 PM  

Had to google to get GOGOL ... got the rest.

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

the best way to take the ugliness and power away from the "non-breakfast-table words" is to increase their exposure. and that will give us more fun possibilities in our puzzles.

for example. . . i doubt you saw the words "hell" or "damn" very often in the puzzles fifty or sixty years ago.

Richard Mason 4:25 PM  

LAY as in the "Lay of Roland."

I was baffled by SENT for "Turned on." Not familiar with that usage, which however is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary (as Slang.).

doc John 4:35 PM  

Had to "google-check" GOGOL (because I'd never heard the term LAY used in that way) and also the same for ODILE (which I'd also never heard of and so kept trying to think of characters from Nutcracker Suite- fairy?, drums?).

Did anyone else consider "ogle" before coming up with LEER?

NE gave me the most trouble. Since I had the D in AVID and given the barking nature of the 21A. clue, I figured (incorrectly) that it started with Dog. Finally getting the METRO part of METRO NORTH as well as getting "low fat" out of (and NO SALT into) my head along with the other crosses gave me DRE DAY (even though I have never heard of the song). Not really fond of the word SWAYER but it does fit the clue. (Plus, another word for "sharp" that starts with AC, although this one is 6 letters.)

My fave clue and fill today: [Rabbit food?]=TRIX
Honorable mention: HAVE A COW

SLEIGH RIDE- my least favorite xmas song. Not only is it played WAY too much, the band I'm in plays it every year at our winter concert. The tuba part is REALLY boring. No fun whinnies or whip cracks anywhere in it! Just "bum-bum, bum-bum" all the way through.

Anonymous 4:58 PM  

Surprised at the somewhat confusing answer for dietary restriction. The restriction is against salt not against "no salt" to be perfectly grammatical. Thus putting in "sodium" did not help me figure out the ne corner for sure

Doug 5:15 PM  

Happy day today, just dawned on me that I finished both the Friday and Saturday puzzles in the same week without a mistake and without "cheating"...possibly a first for me and both days seemed to be in relatively fast times, especially quick on the Friday puzzle.
Thank Will for for the emphasis on no bad crosses, plenty of things I didn't know, but was able to get them all because I got all of the crosses. That makes for satisfying puzzles.

Fergus 5:40 PM  

Thought it was only Canadian whiskey that was RYE? Guess not. This was one of those where a virtually empty puzzle sat for such a long time, then all of a sudden hopped on the ORIENT EXPRESS. SWAYER took a long time to have any influence.

Anonymous 6:23 PM  

ODILE is the name of the black swan in "Swan Lake". She seems to show up in crosswords a lot, due to all the vowels in her name, I guess. She is required to do 32 fouette (whipping) turns in her famous variation. Since I'm a dance fan, her name was a gimme in the northeast corner, allowing me to get DRE DAY from the crosses. Good thing, too, since I'm totally ignorant about rap. This way I could avoid googling and finding breakfast unworthy lyrics on You Tube I did this puzzle after breakfast, so I could probably stomach it, though.

Seems like the "breakfast rule" is being stretched to the limit these days, anyhow. Wasn't "skinny bitch" in the puzzle just a few weeks ago? I'm sure that would have been TABOO years ago!

miriam b 6:30 PM  

Enjoyable puzzle, though I'm into neither sports nor pop. Had to take FGS on faith, and eventually figured out the meaning. Isn't FLORA plural, or collective? I haven't time to look it up just now. FLORAS looked strange to me.

Easy ones for me were things like MEDEA, ODILE, GOGOL, and, yes, LAY, which I tried to spell Lai at first. Attn Richard Mason: It's the SONG of Roland (la Chanson de Roland). Of course there's Sir Wally Scott's LAY of the Last Minstrel.

green mantis 7:35 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. Got Poirot and company quickly because I just saw Death on the Nile for the first time recently and was struck by the depiction of the "natives." The one nonwhite character with a speaking role was written as borderline retarded. Kind of gross.

Anyway, I'm confused about the breakfast table complaint from grayfont. You seem to be making a leap to violation status based on the idea that there will be inevitable googling, at which time you will be faced with things you don't want to see. I just don't think that logic really holds up. Googling isn't inevitable, and there's no inalienable right to safe googling. As I see it, when you venture outside the puzzle and into the wilderness of ye olde internets, you're on your own.

ds 9:43 PM  

Rex,
Would it be possible to create a section in your blog for comments on puzzles older than the one for that day? Some of us can't get to the blog everyday but would like to chip in our two cents (with inflation I fear it is so much more). You will occasionally notice someone trying to sneak in a comment about a previous day's puzzle.

I am motivated to ask this because I didn't get to sign on yesterday, and your commentary was so good. Also, the comments of many others reinforced your points, even as they disagreed (e.g., Nard/Neruda was either too easy or hard).

I can understand if you can't create such a space, but it might be fun to have .. at least for those special times when more than one day is not enough.

Thanks again for doing such a great job with this blog.

Orange 10:43 PM  

DS, you can still leave comments on previous days' posts. Not everyone will see it, but some will—and many blogger types do read every comment left by their readers.

PuzzleGirl 10:45 PM  

My husband -- possibly the whitest man in America -- is now bopping around the house chanting "Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay." Rex, I can't thank you enough. This is priceless.

@Michael: You're not kidding. BRRRR!!!

Rikki 11:46 PM  

Great puzzle, though it took me a long, lazy Saturday to do it. Clever all around and not as hard as Kahn's last puzzle. I was delighted with the center cross, having grown up reading Agatha Christie and loving her. Having a fit slowed me down in the NE a bit, and yds crossing yarrow instead of fgs and floras sent me, and not in the turned-on way. Learning Gogol and lay from previous puzzles helped in that area. Loved seeing The Boxer, a classic Paul Simon song, a classic New York City song. Worth a look if you've never seen it performed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZQOYV_mIFU&feature=related

Well, field goals and yards and touchdowns put me in mind of certain teams playing the glorious fall sport of football tomorrow. Good luck to all of your teams, and may the Gods shine down on Foxborough, MA. GO PATS!

Emily, Emily... lovely owl... life is so precarious.

karmasartre 1:52 AM  

I thought ODILE was an album by Beck.

Jim in Chicago 1:33 PM  

The more I read the blog the more I'm interested that so many of us have the same problems. I breezed through much of the puzzle and then got stuck in the SW. I should have gotten SAFARI which would have blown it wide up, but I didn't.

I also had the cross of ODILE and PAVED left unfinished, although I even thought of PAVED at one point.

Anonymous 2:17 PM  

CALady said
Amazed in a way that I solved this one without help-tho I did check Rex's solution for FGS-to me it was just a bunch of letters. I say amazed, because I am simply not tuned into rap, or pretty much any music of the last few decades. Surprised to learn from the blog that DRE is apparently not Moonglow's father! On the other hand, the non-pop fill provided enough crosses to guess the answers. Guess that's what makes a good puzzle work

Waxy in Montreal 7:25 PM  

6 weeks on:

Re 47D: My alma mater McGill U's school anthem includes the lyric - "Great our affection, though feeble our lays".

You will why understand why no one in living memory has ever sung it - at least seriously.

Funny how parts of some Saturday grids can be so easy (NW a gimme today) while others can be almost loathed (SW today).

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