FRIDAY, Mar. 7, 2008 - Paula Gamache (PRINCESS OZMA'S CREATOR)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: London, or infidelity (or none)

I'm in the Vancouver Sun today ... so are lots of other crossword types, but let's try to stay focused on me, shall we? Great.

A tough but elegant Friday puzzle from Ms. Gamache today. I had a Lot of trouble getting started. I always feel semi-ashamed when, after looking at the puzzle and getting nothing, I stumble on a total gimme. Rather than make me feel good, it usually just makes me feel like the puzzle is taking pity on me: "Here you go, Tiger." Today's lifeline: BETTE (41A: Cousin in a Balzac title).

Our daughter was up with a horrible cough and fever last night, so I'm stay-at-homing it today to be with her (she'll probably wake up any minute and start skipping around the house talking about Harry Potter and Webkinz and asking where her Archie Comics are ... at least I hope so; that's way better than her being sickly). Her mom told her in the middle of the night last night that she could just stay home from school today and watch movies and read and her reaction was "Well, I guess I can still get the perfect attendance certificate next quarter..." This kid has weird ambitions. She apparently had weird, sleepy, fevered conversations with my wife last night that involved asking "What kind of Webkinz do pirates have?" If you don't know what Webkinz is ... it's a huge phenomenon with the grade-school set. You buy a stuffed animal (hers is a pink pony, duh), and then that animal has a virtual life on-line, where there's an entire universe of things to do. We have Sahra on a 15 minute/day dosage, which seems to be sufficient. Do not be surprised if WEBKINZ shows up in a puzzle grid near you in the not-too-distant future.

I Love THE WOMAN I LOVE (12A: 1937 Paul Muni drama) over JEALOUS MISTRESS (14A: Art, metaphorically) - it's like a major novel boiled down to its most essential elements. There are things I want to say about the ANNALS / POKE INTO sequence (16A: History / 17A: Probe), however, that are not fit for breakfast-time reading. Not "major novel" material at all.

  • 1A: Climbing Mt. Everest, for Sir Edmund Hillary (claim to fame) - nice clue. He died very recently, an event which was, understandably, Huge news in my wife's native New Zealand.
  • 19A: Roman well (bene) - had -ENE and thought "I had Latin, why don't I know the word for 'well!?'" Once I realized that "well" was an adverb and not a hole in the ground, the answer was embarrassingly easy.
  • 23A: Site of the siege of Candia (Crete) - total guess off the CR-
  • 24A: Feaster on frogs (eel) - one of the snazziest EEL clues I've ever seen.
  • 25A: Legato indicator (slur) - music lingo starting to take a weak hold in my brain, thanks to the tutelage of my many musical readers.
  • 29A: Cowboys, but not Indians (NFLers) - knew instantly that this was about the football/baseball distinction, but as I had EAST for ELMS at 22D: Nine _____ (London District), the Cowboys/Indians answer appeared to end in "T" ... Nine ELMS complements REGENTS PARK (48A: London Zoo locale) nicely in its London-ness. It's nice to have the real London back after yesterday's fake London clue (London, Ontario used to clue Lake ERIE).
  • 38A: Singer who is part owner of Forbes magazine (Bono) - whoa ... whoa. Really? That is unlikely-seeming. Good bit of trivia.
  • 39A: First name in fragrances (Coco) - easy ... yet I had NINA (as in RICCI).
  • 44A: Reminiscent of the 1890s (gaslit) - wanted GAY-something So Bad.
  • 45A: Census Bureau data (vital statistics) - I thought this was E.R. data, not Census Bureau data.
  • 47A: Only if it's worth the trade-off (not at any price) - that's a phrase? NOT AT ANY PRICE sounds as if you are refusing to give something up no matter what, not as if you are just looking for a fair deal.
  • 4D: Evidence that one is short (IOUs) - got it right away (though the "S" was a bit iffy) because I'd just done a puzzle where "short" was used to mean "short of cash." Serendipity!
  • 6D: Like most medicine bottles (tamper resistant) - Often Rex-resistant.
  • 8D: Big name in college guides (Fiske) - According to them, the U. where I work is a "Best Buy." I think they are also responsible for the "Premier Public University in the Northeast" quotation that greets you as you drive onto campus these days. In fact, that quotation may be the reason FISKE came to me as readily as it did.
  • 9D: Old one, along the Oder (Alte) - I'm seeing this (German) word a lot lately. It's one of about four German words I know. NEIN! Ich bin ein Berliner! EIS! ... I'm running out.
  • 10D: Holmes fought him (Moriarty) - nice, long gimme - assuming you know something about Sherlock Holmes. If not, this was probably rough for you. Not a very intuitable name.
  • 11D: 50-50 proposition (even bet) - I was looking for TIE GAME or HALF something, but the actual phrase is better than anything I could have imagined. Nicely colloquial, more interesting than the clue implies. Good stuff.
  • 12D: Hand holding (tenace) - this was the one that threw me the most, and the last letter I wrote in the grid was the final "E" here. Even when I parsed it right, I wasn't totally sure. I guess this describes a hand you might have in cards? [OK, I never parsed it right, as the term is one word - tenace - and it's from bridge ... freedictionary says: "A combination of two high cards of the same suit separated by two degrees, such as the king and jack of hearts, especially in a bridge or whist hand."]
  • 14D: Artist Wyeth (Jamie) - this one bugged me no end because, though I could see the fallen woman looking longingly back toward the farmhouse, I could Not remember the artist's first name. Just looked it up: it's ANDREW. So ... it wouldn't have helped me anyway. JAMIE is the son of Andrew, and he's younger than my dad ... which is a stat meaningful only to me, I realize. I'm just saying, he's still very much alive.
  • 19D: Princess Ozma's creator (Baum) - I thought for sure this was a character from some Japanese anime I'd never heard of. But it's just good ol' L. Frank BAUM of "Wizard of Oz" fame.
  • 28D: "Blue II" painter, 1961 (MirĂ³) - love love love his work. Makes me happy, even the disturbing, nightmarish stuff. This one is simple, charming, bright, beautiful.
  • 29D: It's headquartered in the G.E. Building (NBC TV) - If you've ever watched SNL or Conan or "30 Rock," you know this.
  • 30D: Sacramento suburb (Florin) - what the @#$#!? I lived in central California, and I've never heard of this place. Stockton, yes, FLORIN, no. LODI, sure, why not? They make wine there, I hear.
  • 33D: Bit of jazz improvisation (hot lick) - stared at H-T---- for way too long. Then wrote in HOT RIFF.
  • 35D: Meter makers (poets) - this clue is evil, in that it's perfect. I swear that even after I got it, I'd look at the clue and then try to remember the answer, and I couldn't. I just keep seeing parking meters in my head ...
  • 37D: Certain inverse function (arctan) - was prepped for this by Saturday's ARCSINE.
  • 40D: Honduras-to-Guatemala direccion (oeste) - I often get mail on these types of clues, where someone will say "I know that it's west, not east" or vice versa. Inevitably, like me, they are E/W dyslexic.
  • 41D: City bombed in the gulf war (Basra) - sadly, a gimme, once I had the "B" in place.
  • 44D: Rockne protege (Gipp) - is this "The Gipper?" I always thought Rockne was "The Gipper." I think I've kept myself deliberately ignorant ever since the phrase "win one for the Gipper" was used (somehow) by the Reagan campaign during my childhood. If any part of what I'm saying is making sense to you, you're way ahead of me.
  • 46D: Country singers England and Herndon (Tys) - What about Treadway? Who will speak up for TY TREADWAY!? His eyes are dreamy, I hear.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS over at the JimH Xword blog, Michael Smith (aka PhillySolver) has written up a long account of his experiences at the ACPT as a judge. Check it out.


Anonymous 8:37 AM  

"Not at any price" -- assume the clue means "no price would be enough, but I might consider a trade" -- mild joke.

Shouldn't "arctan" be clued as an abbreviation? It's like saying cos for cosine or sin for sine.

Orange 9:07 AM  

Ooh! I know this one! You're wrong to put a space in TENACE!

I did that too, and had a few commenters explaining the bridge term TENACE and how it derives from the Spanish tenaza, meaning "pincers" or "tongs." I've seen TENACE in crosswords before, but never had a clue it wasn't about the 10 and the ace.

Thank you for speaking up for Ty Treadway, Rex.

ArtLvr 9:16 AM  

I finished too, but admit to a couple of googles -- JAMIE Wyeth, second son of Andrew, and REGENTS PARK. The first gimme was BAUM, with Ozma of Oz one of the early titles in the long series, I think, and second was ALTE -- not too many short ones to help get started!

TENACE is indeed a card holding in a bridge hand, read "ten-ace", and generalizes to an ace in a suit with a gap down to the next face card in the same suit, as I recall.

I was lucky with some early guesses, like POKE INTO for "probe" -- don't know why. Overall it was fair, with a few cute clues like "passing subject" for ESTATE, not too much arcana like ARCTAN -- but on the whole I like themed puzzles better, even if stretched a bit to fit...


Pete M 9:19 AM  

Again, the difference in our respective backgrounds glares. I had the whole puzzle solved except for BETTE/HOTLICK/GASLIT. Never heard of Cousin Bette. Of course, it didn't help that I had INDUCE instead of ENTICE... :)

ArtLvr 9:23 AM  

@ Orange -- never heard of that Spanish derivation for TENACE! Pincers is apt, but one wonders if it isn't a coincidence?

ArtLvr 9:29 AM  

Sorry -- I looked up TENACE in Merriam Webster:

Etymology: modification of Spanish tenaza, literally, forceps, probably from Latin tenacia, neuter plural of tenax
Date: 1655
: a combination of two high or relatively high cards (as ace and queen) of the same suit in one hand with one ranking two degrees below the other

However, there wasn't any "bridge" as such in 1655! I don't remember brridge columns using the term before the last 25 years or so...


Anonymous 9:30 AM  

Anonymous in Texas

"Oeste" 40D Appeared exactly 6 weeks ago in the Friday 1/24 David Quarfoot puzzle.

Clued as "Direccion sailed by Columbus".

Guess we should add Spanish directionals to our list of things to memorize; Jewish months of the year, Kias, Hyundais, Simpson characters....any other suggestions?

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

I had planned on looking up "tenace" - assumed it mean solace. Have little to no knowledge of bridge and thanks to Orange for cluing me in. This is what I love about puzzles - I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of worlds I know little about (bridge, German, Opera etc, etc - the list is embarrassingly long.)
Am feeling sad at not going to the conference this year - it comes at the end of a very hectic and crazy week for me each year - and this year the addition of two seven pounds mutts(they were found wandering the streets together) to our family two weeks ago, made the venture out of the question. But am thinking seriously about next year already -- am trying to believe the reassurance that poor solvers with poorer memories will continue to be welcomed.
HarrietLou in Philadelphia

James F 9:40 AM  

With the exception of "hand holding"/TENACE, this puzzle was right at my Friday limits, and very satisfying to get correct. TENACE was beyond my limits, though. I knew that it had to be correct from the crosses, but even after Rex's explanation and the discussion above I still don't quite understand it, but will believe you all.

I continue get a kick out of the seemingly endless number of common phrases that constructors find that are exactly 15 letters long. The three today are new to me (not the phrases but their 15-letterness). Good job, Ms. Gamache.

radioguy 9:43 AM  

George Gipp was a Notre Dame football player (their first-ever All-American, I believe) in the late teens-early 20s who contracted pneumonia during his senior year and died.

Several years later, Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne referred to Gipp in a pre-game speech, claiming Gipp uttered the "win one for the Gipper" line on his deathbed (it's now believed that Gipp never said that, but that Rockne embellished a bit). The ploy worked and Notre Dame won the game.

Ronald Reagan played Rockne in a movie about the coach and used the "win one for the Gipper" line, further cementing it into folklore.

That's the long way of saying the Rockne clue was a gimmie for me.

Ramsey 9:56 AM  


Rescuing two dogs is way better than a crossword convention. Good on you.

Richard 10:03 AM  

Actually, Reagan played George Gipp. Pat OBrien was Rockne.
I had tenace from the crosses, but had I checked the puzzle I would have doubted my answers.

Wanted gilded for "reminiscent of the 1890s" for the longest time. A flash on the the old Ingrid Bergman/Charles Boyer movie saved me.

Congratulations, Rex.

PhillySolver 10:11 AM  

I enjoyed this challenging puzzle. It was designed around traps, however. I went through every boxer Larry Holmes could have fought. Did anyone else try to remember Sir Hillary's head Sherpa?
Anyone else try to force childresistant into the long down?
For the first time that I can recall, I had the same initial entry as Rex. I too tried gay something for the 90's. I also erred initially on the Wyeth name and wonder if James is his real first name and why I was so sure it was right. I entered debt for IOUS early and recalled a few other Muni movies and tried them long before The Woman appeared to me. It took me about 35 minutes. I still feel good about it though.

PS Will Shortz has posted on Jim's blog (linked on on Rex's sidebar)on the discussion of judges at the ACPT.

Leon 10:13 AM  

Maybe after the Vancouver article, you should send Will Shortz the following from Goodfellas:

Tommy DeVito: You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little f****d up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to f***in' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

Tough puzzle especially after putting child proof vials for 6 down.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

"Vital signs" are E.R. data, not "vital statistics". I wanted MSNBC in 29-down and DEPARTED for 27-down.

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

Clues I didn't like:

The gaslit clue: I hate these hyperspecific clues. Gas lighting was around way before the 1890s, and there's nothing about gas lighting that would make me think, "Oh, 1890s!" The clue has very, very little to do with the answer.

The channel clue: A remote control has access to the TV/cable box/satellite dish box/etc., not the channel itself.

The Leland clue: It's actually named after Leland, Jr.

The ears clue: This may be one of my many idiosyncracies, but I hate it when parts of the body "contain" other parts. It sounds weird to me.

The not at any price clue: To me that strikes me as no deal is ever possible.

I didn't like this puzzle.

Nebraska Doug 10:25 AM  

I was thrilled to finish this one without a mistake. Started it before bed last night, had a good foothold in the SE, but little else, went to sleep not very confident. But at breakfast (with a rested brain) the answers started to fall. The NW was the last to fall, like others, "tenace" was rough for me. Plenty of things I didn't know but got because of crosses and educated guesses. One of the most satisfying puzzles I can remember.

Bill D 10:30 AM  

Very enjoyable puzzle today, clever but generally not arcane cluing with one exception - NOT AT ANY PRICE did not fit the clue. Never heard of the term TENACE, but it had to be correct from crosses and I thought it was a reference to a poker where you were simply dealt a ten and an ace; it's better construction now that I know the term.

Had Manfred MANNS, ABBA, and GIPP as my only answers first time through. Added NFLERS and NBCTV and worked the puzzle out from there, finishing the bottom half first and ultimately working out the top. Took me about 30 minutes, aided by having most of my first WAGs pan out. I had to change REGENCY PARK and ABBA, and I was working with VOTER for a while before I got VITAL. Tried to make something out of GAY nineties, too, but GASLIT came quickly partly because LIT was on my mind from another clue; ABAB helped subconciously with POETS, too.

This nice puzzle week is building well - I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

@ANON - It is possible that since sin, cos, arctan are mathematical terms they are not considered abbreviations - they are never written followed by a period, after all.

Bill D 10:38 AM  

@philly - Tensing Norgay was Hillary's Sherpa guide, and I kept trying to fit childproof something into the long down, too. Incredibly, MORIARTY's significance didn't dawn on me until I read Rex's blog - I just assumed he was some pug Larry Holmes whomped on early in his career!

James F 10:46 AM  

The more I think about TENACE, the more I think that the bridge and Spanish pincers rationals are off base. I now like Rex's original answer best: You're holding a ten and an ace in your hand while playing Texas Hold'em (the TV poker game).

Ulrich 10:59 AM  

When I first saw the grid with its large white areas staring at me, I thought: OMG now we are being punished for having had four easy puzzles in a row. But then my wife gave me the Muni movie after I spotted her the penultimate v, and with the "r" in "ears" (the only one of the many traps I did not fall into initially), I guessed first tamper-proof down the middle and when this didn't fit, got tamper-resistant. With this, I was up and running, slowed down--as I said--by the many traps (and clever ? clues) that make this puzzle really nice to me (like others, I took Holmes for the boxer for far too long). All in all, a very satisfying experience.

I'm actually at the end of the first week in which I did every daily NYT puzzle and decided to continue--it seems doable.

ArtLvr 11:01 AM  

@ phillysolver and others interested in Jamie Wyeth (James B Wyeth) -- see the two excellent biographical summaries at:

I just read about the scoring error at the tournament -- so sorry for all involved!


jae 11:15 AM  

OK, this one was difficult. Some gimmes were MORIARTY, LELAND, MANNS, NFLERS, NBCTV, OESTE, & BASRA, but the only way I finally finished NW was by thinking Texas Hold'em for TENACE which apparently turns out to be wrong. Got dyslexic again with ALTE and put in ALDE which made JEALOUS... hard to see. The rest of it just came slowly, e.g. NOTATANY...didn't seem to fit the clue and FLORIN didn't help. That said, I liked this one.

@Wendy -- Christina Rici showed up on Craig Ferguson this week with a GOREY tat on her wrist.

SethG 11:19 AM  

I just figured TENACE was some term for sympathetic helping that I wasn't familiar with. Haven't played bridge since high school, and having a ten and an Ace in your hand in Hold'em would normally be referred to as Ace-ten, not the other way.

I also fell into MSNBC, INDUCE, knowing it was football immediately but not having a clue what it would be. Had FODOR for a while, thinking they I'd thought they were travel guides but I must have been confused.

I spent eons staring at blank spaces in the entire SUR, er, south, 'cause even though I spent a long time working with an ARCTAN function while doing STATISTICS work just before doing the puzzle, any of the arc- functions could have worked with my OESTE, ...STANT, and xxS partial for the non-Treadways. I've never been to a London.

Rev like a deuce,

Ulrich 11:26 AM  

I want to defend the clue for "not at any price"--it depends on where you set the emphasis, like in "I would by it, but not at any price" in the sense of "if the price is right".

Hydromann 11:54 AM  

I agree completely with those who criticized "not at any price" for 47A’s "Only if it's worth the trade-off." The way the clue is worded it clearly means no deal, ever. Now, had the answer had been, "Not at just any price", that would have made more sense.

I didn’t like the "Florin" answer either, especially because Sacramento, thanks to Johnny Cash, does have a suburb many have at least a passing chance at identifying, namely, Fulsom. Using it instead of Florin even fits with NFLers! So the SW was a bummer for me.

Interesting, perhaps even a bit sad, that "Holmes fought him" reminded so many of Larry instead of the much more common, crossword-wise, Sherlock. Of course, living in sports-crazy Green Bay, I understand. This, as you all know, is a small town compared to all other NFL cities. How small? Well...I subscribe only to the weekend and holiday editions of the local paper, the "Green Bay Press-Gazette." Imagine my surprise, therefore, when, on Wednesday morning, I’ve got a paper on my stoop. It was an edition titled, "Bret Favre Commemorative Issue." With just one day’s notice, the entire front section of the paper--12 pages, 32 stories and only one ad!--was devoted to #4. So, That’s more than 9/11 and the Gulf Wars produced. Bret’s retirement here, it turns out, is a "holiday" in the same class with New Years, Independence Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas! He was right on in yesterday’s press conference when he said, "Now I know what it’s like when you die!"

NC Steve 12:05 PM  

I've lived in Northern CA for 41 years and even have relatives living in a Sacramento suburb (10 letters, starts with C), and I've never heard of Florin either.

Stanford University was named after Leland Stanford Jr. but it was founded by Leland (Sr.) and his wife Jane to memorialize their son after his death at the age of 15, so 2D is correct.

Perhaps LELAND set foot in FLORIN while he was governor of California - another two-answer theme!

ArtLvr 12:10 PM  

I agree that 47A needs more, like "not at just any old price" for a worthwhile sale, but for a trade (as in the clue) it's even iffier and fits less well. I do think the plain NOT AT ANY PRICE means No Deal, Ever!

Kudos to HarritLou on taking in the two foundling pups... I had four feral kittens for a stretch, with eyedropper feedings for over four weeks before weaning and finding them homes. Still miss them: they became so well socialized they followed me everywhere!


Jim in NYC 12:33 PM  

I had four feral kittens for a stretch, with eyedropper feedings for over four weeks before weaning and finding them homes. Still miss them: they became so well socialized they followed me everywhere!

I just realized that ArtLvr's signature thingy is ... a cat. Good one.

william e emba 12:43 PM  

If you're going to clue FLORIN as something trickier than a unit of currency, any reference to "The Princess Bride" would be more palatable than "Sacramento suburb". "Buttercup home?" has a nice ring to it.

Once I had the F, I guessed Fresno and hoped for the best. That didn't happen until much later, and in fact the FLORIN/COCO cross was the last box I filled. And maybe some day I'll learn where Fresno is.

Orange 12:52 PM  

Anyone who's a Jr. or a Sr. still has the same first name—either Stanford is LELAND. Now, if the clue was looking for a full name, the Jr. part would make a difference.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  


There was whist though, the precursor to bridge. Jane Austen's books contain many a scene with whist playing. Today bridge has replaced whist. However it survives in the form of (the card-game) spades.


Anonymous 1:54 PM  


Bid Whist is still very common in the 'hood.

Steve M.

Kevin Der 2:06 PM  

I had a mistake where I put TENURE in stead of TENACE. Never heard of it. MUNNS seemed as plausible as MANNS. Just overlooked ICED and thought "Whacked" might mean what I wanted it to mean.

ARCTAN could have easily been ARCSIN as well, since SIN is an abbrev. of SINE. I had the N in REGENTS (total guess) and couldn't fill in the other two squares until I got VITAL STATISTICS.

HumorlessTwit 2:07 PM  

Does anyone have a citation for 'The women I love' being a metaphor for Art?

And, no, no hard feelings. I just find my new blog name of HumorlessTwit to be, Humorous

HumorlessTwit 2:12 PM  

Now wonder I couldn't solve it - I had the clues mixed up. Never mind.

I deny the humorless part, but apparently the Twit part is accurate.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

Art is a jealous mistress, not the woman I love.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

I may have to deviate from my custom of not looking at EmJo's drawings on Saturday, given the Annals/PokeInto pairing of today.

TCBuell 2:21 PM  

The woman I love is definitely a jealous mistress...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Jim in Chicago 2:23 PM  

Trivia for the day. The official name of Stanford is "Leland Stanford Jr. University" and I love to point to my Stanford that they work for a Jr. University while I work for a real one - I'll let you guess which.

I got off to a flying start by fillingin Regents Park, having just been there. I then filled in "Household Income" for the census answer and prompty ground to a halt. Really now, how could such a long a perfect answer not have been correct! It's actually better than the answer the puzzle was seeking.

mac 2:36 PM  

I agree with Lex on most points, especially the word elegant to describe this puzzle. It was delightful. As a mystery buff Moriarty was a gimme, and I was lucky with the little bits of German, artists, and London. I have never understood the word "hep". What a surprise about Bono!
Will someone let me know when we can get the solution to the horrible nr. 5?

Bill from NJ 3:16 PM  

I ground out both the North and South in a relatively short period of time. I anchored the South around 45A and didn't deviate from it which, this time, held me in good stead. In the North 9D and 11D brought me to the Paul Muni movie and I anchored around that.

Curiously, JAMIE was one of the few gimmes I had in this puzzle. TENACE I remember because I was a bridge player in college and was harangued on its' theory by a friend. Never forgot it. The JE allowed me to get 14A.

It took me 2 hours to finally subdue this beast but I am proud of this solve. The Midlands fell one hard clue after another.

I have hopes for the Saturday puzzle.

@Rex - BETTE was also my first entry

Ulrich 3:18 PM  

@mac: If you e-mail me a fax no, I'll fax the solution page to you (you mean the ACPT #5, right?).

wendy 3:58 PM  

That BONO. He hangs with all the money guys; isn't he a bud of former Federal Reserve Bank chief Paul Volcker too?

Jae: thanks for the note about Christina Ricci. Everything else about Gorey has been merchandised, so I guess tattooing isn't all that surprising. If I were into that sort of body decoration, I might get a Neville-who-died-of-ennui tattoo, I suppose.

markus 4:11 PM  

I had JAMES Wyeth because that's how I done learned it which gave me hiccups. Loved all the artists in today's puzzle. Rex is right about Miro. Good stuff. DIM MEMORY? Not my favorite. Had SKATTING for HOTLICK until HEP and BONO came along. For the life of me couldn't figure out what a NOTATANY PRICE was... as if it were two seperate words. Thanks to this blog my head can rest easy trying to wrap around that one!
Now I can go back to singing Manfred Manns "Blinded by the Light" (which I think The Boss had a hand in...)

mrbreen 4:16 PM  

MORIARTY was a total gimme not because I have ever read Sir Doyle, but because I'm a huge fan of Star Trek: TNG.

Overheard someone talking about LELAND Stanford last night. Rather serendipitous.

Liked the pairing of COCO and CHAN(N)EL, even with the extra N.

wendy 4:32 PM  

markus, Springsteen had a hand in Blinded by the Light all right - he wrote it! It was The Boss' first single and also on his first album, but didn't garner any kind of success until MMEB covered it.

Anonymous 4:38 PM  

How did you get away with only buying 1 Webkinz? My daughter and her friends seem to be collecting these things by the dozen. I can't go near a card store without her going into shock about all the new Webkinz!!!! They are taking over the house.

Greg 4:50 PM  

OK, I feel like a total noodlehead - I went from south, to northwest and finally finished the puzzle successfully in the northeast.
I am terribly ashamed to admit that it took four letter before I smacked myself on the head and went "D'OH! MORIARTY!" as I had previously (like some here) been trying to think of a boxer which Larry Holmes had fought and, get this...
I tried desperately to think of some "foe" of Oliver Wendell Holmes. Don't ask me why. My brain is weird sometimes.
Happy Puzzling!

ArtLvr 5:04 PM  

p.s. Jamie Wyeth did a well-known portrait of JFK, a not-so-well known one of Jimmy Carter, and official White House Christmas cards for the Reagans... And yes, my sig "con" is supposed to be a cat -- can't think what you call the little pix with type! Help! Something -con?


Orange 5:19 PM  

This site gives the full Ralph Waldo Emerson (why did I just want to type that as Ralph Elmo Waterson?) quote as "Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider, and should be wise in season, and not fetter himself with duties which will embitter his day.”

Humorlesstwit, I thought you might go with fatfingeredironist. That one's catchy. Or humoroustwit.

Nothnagel 5:42 PM  

A quick post after a long day of teaching to give my kudos to Paula. A big smile on my face when the puzzle opened in Across Lite this morning, and a bigger smile after I finished solving.


Big Lefty 6:30 PM  

I too looked up the boxing career of "Holmes." Found nothing to fit. Not being a reader of those mysteries, it took a bit. I found the puzzle to be quite hard, but of high quality and design.

GK 6:34 PM  

I know about Webkinz because of my little daughter, 27 years old. LOL

johnson 6:39 PM  

I fought, and I thought I won!

Then I came here and found it was Nflers and Nbc, not Aflers and Abc...Another ASOK moment.

Fun and very challenging Friday puzzle.

JC66 6:54 PM  

A fun, challenging puzzle. I had may aha moments and was particularly tickled by the BONO, COCO, ORSO run. Put me in the TEN ACE poker holding camp.

Thanks, Paula.

Jim in NYC 7:08 PM  

ArtLvr/CatLvr, I'll admit to knowing it's "emoticon." Cheers!

doc john 7:26 PM  

Figured out MORIARTY fairly quickly but didn't write it in because it seemed too obvious.

Thanks to all for clarifying TENACE for me. Like a previous poster I figured it had to do with solace.

As a musician, I've never considered legato to be a slur. It is a note that is held long. The opposite of staccato. So I was thinking of a word to denote the symbol, which is a line under the note. So that was my least fave clue.

Totally in agreement with everyone about NOT AT ANY PRICE. Blecch!

I was thinking of Clovis for the Cal city but not sure where it is relative to Sac. BTW, for the earlier poster, Fresno is in the middle of the state about two hours north of Bakersfield.

And finally: fave clue: [Not lit]= SOBER

John Reid 7:45 PM  

What a puzzle! Thanks to Paula Gamache for such a lovely grid - great work and well done! Looks like a big Z!

Funny to see that Rex got BETTE first; that B was the very last letter I put in, it was my best guess for that square and turned out to be a lucky one.

Usually my total absence of sports knowledge is a serious hindrance when puzzling, but today I guess it actually helped me, in that I never had any trouble with 10 down. Sherlock was the only Holmes that came to mind!

Like many of you, I got TENACE from the crosses. I assumed that it was somehow related to tenacity, tenacious... now that I read the blog comments, it reminds me that I've actually seen tenace in a crossword before.

NOTATANYPRICE? I agree that this didn't feel right to me either.

:( One square wrong... I had the same mistake as Johnson above; namely AFLERS/ABCTV. [Argh - sports!] The rest was correct in under 20 minutes. Bring on Saturday!

ps. Today's NY Sun puzzle is OUTSTANDING! Check it out! It's by Karen M. Tracey, for those of you who are familiar with her work.

Fergus 7:54 PM  

Jim in Chicago is surely referring to Berkeley, is he not? Or maybe he's at Rockefeller Jr. U? (Lame jest, I know.)

What an aesthetically appealing puzzle. So many of the highlights have already been commented upon, but I wanted to add a couple, and underscore some very good points already made.

Great misdireccion in Central America. Even if you know the order of countries from Mexico to Columbia, you might be pretty sure that NORTE would be the correct answer, except that Honduras and Guatemala belie the general N-S drift. (Also the Panama canal actually goes East to West from Pacific to Atlantic, counterintuitively.)

Opted for the CALLOUS MISTRESS, instead the spent a fair amount of time trying to remember who labeled Art the JEALOUS one?

Ulrich's point about NOT AT ANY PRICE and which word to place the
emphasis upon is spot on. It reminds me of when I was offering a bit of English instruction to a Japanese friend, and recognized that the phrase "What do you know" meant something quite different depending on which of the words was most prominently stated.

ARCTAN really did seem to require an abbreviated Clue, and yet I'm not fully convinced the Shortz crew bungled this one.

Doing the puzzle during a quiet period in STATISTICS class this morning was a most happy coincidence.

Ulrich 7:55 PM  

@orange: I really, really appreciate your putting the "jealous mistress" thing into the context of the Emerson quote, with which I totally agree. Every year, we are treated to biographies of artists in which the author trumpets to the world her/his "discovery" that writer X or painter Y was in real life horrible to his lovers, or oblivious to the kids, or in general a disagreeable person. My reaction is always: "Duh, what else is new? Do you really expect Michelangelo after a day in the Sistine Chapel to come home and do the dishes or play with the kids?"

PuzzleGirl 8:08 PM  

Fun puzzle today. I couldn't finish without Googling, but I got a lot farther than I thought I would. Started in the SW and worked my way counter-clockwise. The NW wouldn't budge. Well, not before I got too impatient to check in at Rex's place.

I liked that TAMPER RESISTANT and DIM MEMORY both had double consonants before the crossing E.

Not much to add, except my daughter has the same pink pony Webkin ("Webkin" is the singular, right?). She named hers Sparkles. Because it ... sparkles.

@doc john: I thought the curved line placed below or above notes to indicate legato was, indeed, called a slur, and confirmed it at

ArtLvr 8:08 PM  

@ Jim in NY: many thanks for that word, "emoticon", and let's hope it's in a puzzle soon so I'll have to remember it! Anyway, it's my signicon, smiley or not...


Anonymous 10:49 PM  

John Reid, thanks for the extra enjoyment I got from the puzzle after your observation that it looks like a giant zee. It took me a second -- I was first focusing on the black squares -- but YES, a giant three-finger width ZEE. RockRabbi

doc john 12:44 AM  

@puzzlegirl; if you want to connect a series of notes together without individually enunciating, or "tonguing", them (i.e. slurring), you would denote that with a curved line above the desired notes, connecting them together. But slurred notes are not in and of themselves legato.

Legato means that individually enunciated notes are to be held just a touch longer than they would usually be played, just as staccato means to play a note shorter than usual. Legato notes, denoted by a line beneath them, are not slurred (unless there's ALSO a slur notation).

Hope that explains things better. I'd need a sheet of music to be able to demonstrate better. :-)

Dan 11:12 AM  

Doc John, sorry, you're wrong about this. By definition, a slur indicates legato. The horizontal line (called "tenuto") is the opposite of staccato, but it doesn't mean you connect the notes and play legato. You may just be confusing tenuto with legato.

Molto bene vermicelli. Ciao.

Anonymous 4:12 PM  


Living not so far from Sacto, never heard of the town, Florin. But I have heard of Florin Rd. in the area so got that one OK. Earthquakes in the Midwest today !

- - Robert

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

CAlady said:
Amazing what a difference a day makes. Totally tanked yesterday's puzzle-started going bad with the American Idol clue-have never watched the show, but somehow associated the name Paula with it, so I followed the initial P with Paula, finally figured it should be Prodigal-but prodigal swho? And so it went, I got the theme clue, but didn't catch on to its use. Finally said what the hey, there must be life without puzzles!??
Then today just breezed through with hardly a pause-did momentarily want bel..something for the 1890's and this native Californian never ever heard of Florin, but both filled easily form the crosses. Now, I'm looking forward to Saturday!

Aviatrix 5:27 PM  

Six weeks later checking in ...

I started confidently with FIRSTASCENT across the top, so things were slow for a while. I didn't really like CLAIMTOFAME for Sir Edmund, because he was humble and never really "claimed" it. I wanted the solution to be more mountain-related rather than something generic.

Cowboys not Indians: damn, these things get me every time. I went off thinking about what applied uniquely to cowboys and not to Indians, which is tricky, because so many cowboys were Indians. I knew this was an American puzzle, so to think about what was different about the American West, but it took me for-frigging-ever to remember that crossword puzzle Indians are always sports teams.

I knew Stanford was going to have a good old fashioned rich name, so just waited for enough letters to come up to identify one. I got most of the puzzle without reference sources, but I had BETTY and other errors around GASLIT and TENACE that needed google to fix.

I'm perfectly fine with "I want it, but not at any price, only if it's worth the trade off," and with ARCTAN not being clued as an abbreviation. Who says "Arctangent"? My beef is with mms for millimetres. The abbreviation for millimetres is mm. Adding an s is aberrant enough that it should have been clued as a variation. I looked at the clue, thought "a ruler is about 30 cm long, but the only two-letter metric prefix is the rarely-used da- for deca, and 30.5 cm is .0305 dam, so that doesn't work." Wouldn't you consider it a variation if you were supposed to put FTS as an abbreviation for feet?

Jet City Gambler 8:37 PM  

Hand holding is SOLACE! Took me forever to give that one up. Great fun puzzle, I enjoyed how open and lfowing the grid seemed while solving. Grat puzzle, Paula!

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

The Gipp clue was bogus... a rare disappointment. I looked it up and the following is from the website "Cold, Hard Football"

Rockne's protege was Frank Leahy, a tackle on two of his national title teams in the 1920s who was in the locker room when Rockne delivered the most famous pep talk in sports history. Leahy then helped his team win one for the Gipper. Leahy learned about coaching from Rockne while both were bedridden for two weeks in the Mayo Clinic and shared the same room.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP