SATURDAY, Mar. 29, 2008 - Mike Nothnagel (NEIGHBOR OF TELESCOPIUM)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: none

The cluing was very tricky in places, but this puzzle may be the first Saturday I've ever encountered without a single word / phrase / person I didn't know (or at least know of). Now, granted, I "know" some of them only because I've been doing crosswords in such an obsessive fashion for the past year and a half. Before 2006, I'd have been surprised by such answers as:

  • B-STAR (48D: Rigel or Spica) - would have known the STAR part, but the letter part - no.
  • RAMSES II (30A: Son and successor of Seti I) - would have known the RAMSES part, maybe, with crosses, but the II part - no. Oh, and I just learned from this clue that "Seti I" is not Set II"
  • RENEE (21A: Ally's roommate on "Ally McBeal") - see, this is Mike Nothnagel deliberately @#$#ing with me. Thankfully, RENEE was an answer I'd seen before - one of the answers that set me off that one time I freaked out about this stupid TV show (see sidebar, under "Important Posts").
  • REPROS (45D: Dupes) - this meaning of "dupe" would have been unknown to me. Even today, I had to wrestle with REPROS, asking me wife how a RETRO could be a DUPE ...

In fact, there's very little else that's even close to being obscure (except perhaps a particular sports clue, which I will get to in a sec). The cluing on OSE was rough (32A: Relative of -ish) - in fact, I still don't see how that's possible - as was the cluing on ADZE (19A: It might help you dress in a shop) ("Excuse me, miss, do you have this in another size?" "No, but ... here's an ADZE. See if that helps."). But otherwise, this is really a Friday puzzle dressed in Saturday clothes. A good, solid, fun puzzle, but without the occasional insane patches that typically define a Saturday.

Update: I spoke too soon. I do not in fact know what ARA is (47A: Neighbor of Telescopium), unless it's the altar constellation ... and it is. Never mind. [The way the clue reads, I figured the answer would be an element of the periodic table.]

Started in the NW and was shocked to find it so tractable. After misspelling Michelle WIE's name a few times (5D: Youngest golfer ever to win a U.S.G.A. adult event (age 13)), I finally put the answers together. The answer that really cracked it was the clever HARD TIME (3D: It's done in the slammer). Got blocked at the corner of SARAH and WHIZ KID (23A: Small wonder?) - the latter being the problem - and so made my way out of the NW via the mericifully easy SWEATING BULLETS (34A: Very worried). Had the SWE- and that was plenty. I found it very hard to cross the BUZZ LIGHTYEAR line that divided this puzzle in half (15D: Cinematic captain of Star Command). Had GOTH for GLAM (28A: Kind of rock), didn't know ADZE or WHIZ KID, and so had only patchy parts of BUZZ's name (and neither of the Zs). Finally had the simple, complete word LIGHT staring at me, and even that didn't help. I think it took getting in the NE and getting the front end of BUZZ before the answer became obvious. I know the SW was the last to fall, despite the fact that I was in there very early simply because my eye caught the clue 61A: Children's Bargain Town, today and I knew (without really "knowing") that the answer was TOYS 'R' US. This answer is surprising, given that Mike Nothnagel's occasional partner in crime, David Quarfoot, had TOYSRUSKID as a showy 1A answer not that long ago (some time last year). So, though the answer is lovely - points off!

Assorted goodness:

  • 1A: Scornful dismissals (pshaws) - an expression that will forever remind me of my mother, whose accent, speech pattern, and vocabulary make her entirely unplaceable. "You look kinda Native American but you sound kinda British ..." A woman actually said to my mom once: "Are you ... from somewhere?"
  • 7A: Cause of temporary blindness (tear gas) - because MASTURBATION wouldn't fit.
  • 14A: Symptom of nervous system impairment (ataxia) - from Greek, meaning "lack of order," refers to lack of muscle coordination.
  • 15A: Linebacker Brian banned from the 1987 Orange Bowl for steroid use (Bosworth) - this guy. Ugh. Everything about him spelled disaster. As a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan (yes, there are some), I was so disappointed when we acquired him, and he proved to be a total bust. I just remember Bo Jackson plowing over him, through him, dragging him along. Ugh. A total flash in the pan. The Vanilla Ice of the NFL (from roughly the same, culturally horrible time period as Vanilla Ice, i.e. when I was in college). PS BOSWORTH is much much bigger than I am and was a fantastic player in college, so if you're reading, Brian, please don't kill me.
  • 16A: Sports stats specification (career) - here are BOSWORTH's CAREER numbers:


198722SEA NFL 124.00

198823SEA NFL 100.00

198924SEA NFL 20.00

3 NFL Season Totals


  • 40A: Form of intimidation (hate mail) - I've gotten some of this ... mainly from one drunken kid in Iowa, but nonetheless, it's disconcerting.
  • 44A: Warholian (arty) - ARTY is usually used disparagingly (i.e. implying pretentiousness), so this doesn't seem very nice to Mr. Warhol.
  • 50A: 1/192 qt. (tsp) - I love this clue for some reason.
  • 53A: Cab opener? (pedi-) - wow, it's always the last place you look. I though "Cab" would be wine. Then taxi, which is closer, and yet not close enough. Abandoned this answer and got it all from crosses.
  • 59A: Caped combatant (toreador) - anyone else fall into the CRUSADER hole?
  • 1D: Indy sights since 1911 (pace cars) - an answer I've seen before. 1911!? That's a long time ago for car racing.
  • 4D: Lines on planes (axes) - yes, those planes, not the flying ones.
  • 6D: Grandmother of Jacob (Sarah) - OK, I know the Bible clues weren't hard today, but I was pretty proud of getting this answer and LUKE (54D: The prodigal son is found in it) without any effort.
  • 7D: Seat of Shawnee County (Topeka) - "Shawnee" sounds Deep South to me, so it took me until the TO- and final -A to get this.
  • 9D: In _____ (briefly) (a word) - I had SHORT, making TEAR GAS at 7A awfully hard to get.
  • 24D: Words said when one's hand is shaky? ("I'm out") - excellent. I hate poker, but excellent clue.
  • 51A: Point and click, e.g. (verbs) - [curse words aplenty]!
  • 41D: Gov. Lester Maddox walked off his show in 1970 (Cavett) - Wrote this in, then took it out because of CRUSADER (see 59A, ugh).
  • 49D: 1939 Wimbledon winner (Riggs) - he of the famous battle-of-the-sexes match with Billie Jean King.
  • 52D: Producers of some storage cells (bees) - great clue. Figuring this out helped me set everything straight in the SW, where CRUSADER ... well, you know already. I think the fact that The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (by David Hajdu) was sitting on my desk as I solved this definitely had something to do with my CRUSADER debacle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


DONALD 8:26 AM  

"The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America" -- I thought you'd dig it!

arb 8:28 AM  

"The cluing on OSE was rough... as was the cluing on ADZE (19A: It might help you dress in a shop) ("Excuse me, miss, do you have this in another size?" "No, but ... here's an ADZE. See if that helps.").

Dress as in trim or make straight or smooth, shop as in woodshop.


chalkdusted 8:30 AM  

In case it never dawned (and it took me until reading this post and mulling it over for a while), the adze helps dress a work piece in a wood shop.

One big "grr" for "Point and click" and, yep, I had CRUSADER for approximately forever.

chalkdusted 8:32 AM  

Whoops, beaten to the punch by arb! Ah well :-)

Rex Parker 8:36 AM  

Yes, about ADZE, I got it. I was just, er, joking. It's kinda what I do.


Coop 8:40 AM  

Somebody help me with 'pedi' for Cab opener?

arb 9:00 AM  

"Yes, about ADZE, I got it. I was just, er, joking. It's kinda what I do."

A)And indeed, you do it well, which keeps me and countless others coming back here day after day.

2)My comment was meant to agree with your take on it, plus explain to other confused souls what the heck the clue meant.

There's also getting a shave in a barbershop...

And maybe you could solicit paid adze on your website, from folks like director Spike Jonze...

arb 9:01 AM  


MN's PIC, DQ 9:07 AM  

Another sizzling Nothnagel. With 21 multi-word phrases, there was much to enjoy. It's also good to see Mikey back with one of his signature traits - crossings gems in the center of the grid. Hotness^Hotness.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

I remember Lester Maddox on Dick Cavett. Gov. Maddox mused at one point, "It's great to be alive," and Cavett answered, "So many people aren't any more."

No degree of disparagement could be excessive for Mr. Warhol. The term "arty" might have been coined for him.

I definitely fell into the "CRUSADER" hole with you for a while.

Another triumph for me: I had actually heard of two of the three sports answers! "WIE" I had to get from crosses.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

And I just realized I was misremembering. Maddox said, "It's great to be alive, so many people aren't any more," and Cavett stared briefly before replying, "Yes, almost a majority."

jls 9:20 AM  

arb -- thank you for the "adze" explanation. suspected it related to shop class, but was unfamiliar w/ the "dress" usage (and, um, was too lazy to look it up...).

finished this in near record-time (for me... for a saturday...) and enjoyed it all the way.

breezy and beautiful!



jannieb 9:43 AM  

Enjoyable, doable puzzle. Last to fall was the NW corner and the final fill was GLAM/IMOUT cross. Never heard of Glam rock! Not to many gimmes for me, but no WTF's either. Sorry to bring up the Ally McBeal reference, but who is the lady in the photograph, Rex? Renee was portrayed by Lisa Nicole Carson, a black actress.

Judgesully 9:45 AM  

Agreed that this was one of the easiest Saturdays in a long while. Riggs, Bosworth and Cavett got me off on a "sports/tv" rush and it barely slowed down. Thanks to Mr. Nothnagel for taking pity on us Friday night revelers with a puzzle amenable to solution with half-open eyes!

John Reid 9:46 AM  

A few things:

This was a great puzzle!

3 obscure crosses for me: ATAXIA/WIE, EST/BOSWORTH, and (toughest of all) REPROS/PEDI. They were the last 3 squares I put in and I spent quite a while on the last one, went through the alphabet and figured it had to be P or M. In the end I guessed them all right. I didn't understand ADZE, PEDI, or REPRO until I came here... and I still don't understand EST!

@Rex - Yes, I fell for 'crusader'. I think that was the only place I stumbled on this one. [I didn't feel too confident with it to begin with; somehow the word 'caped' in the clue made that answer seem a bit TOO obvious. Sure enough, it was a devious trap set up to thwart us!]

My favorite clue was for IMOUT, but I also liked EARTOEAR and WHIZKID. The long intersecting central entries were great too. At one point I actually thought the answer for "Point and click, e.g." might turn out to be WORDS, but that seems just a tad *too* vague...

Great cluing, fun puzzle, just a touch easy for a Saturday but that's fine with me because Friday is my favorite anyway!

Final note: I was lucky enough to be on the same team as Mike Nothnagel for the Friday night puzzles at the recent 2008 crossword tournament in Brooklyn. We had a chance to chat a little and I found out that he's a math teacher, I think at a SUNY school, teaching culinary or hospitality math. [Mike, if any of that isn't accurate, please correct me.] Our team blitzed those puzzles and came in 18th, and I wish I could take more personal credit for that result but it was mainly thanks to his solving prowess. I hadn't known until now that he was a constructor though, and it sure was a treat to see a familiar name in the byline.

Well done Mike!

Bill from NJ 9:49 AM  

Started in the NE with the infamous BOSWORTH. Funny, Rex, that I also associated him with Vanilla Ice. Got GLAM right away which opened up the Midlands for me to get the Big Cross in the Middle of the Puzzle.

The N fell in about 10 minutes and the SE about 5 minutes later. I ran into a problem in the SW (CRUSADER) but when it dawned on me what the answer was the puzzle fell, the P in REPROS the last square filled in.

All in all, 25 minutes is a good time for me for a Saturday.

Alex 9:59 AM  

Breyers and Dreyers are both ice cream brands so I spend a fair amount of time with the first letter blank because I couldn't remember for sure if there are D-class stars. I knew B-class exists, just wasn't certain enough to put a letter in.

Also got stuck for a while because by my education I default to spelling it Rameses not Ramses. Fortunately TSARS eventually straightened that out.

The erroneous pit stops for PACE CARS allowed me to immediately see PSHAWS which opened up the NW enough for me to almost immediately fix the original mistake.

johnson 10:00 AM  

Great puzzle, Mike.

Also had CRUSADER and in SHORT. One of my favorite reasons for coming to this site is to read how so many of us fall into the same traps and how we extricate ourselves.

Thanks again Rex for providing us with this venue.

dcolumbus3 10:06 AM  

This was my best time for a Saturday puzzle except... I had ACES for "Lines on a plane" (like maybe marks for kills on a fighter plane?) and didn't know ATACIA wasn't right.

Re: CAWS, one of my favortie non-jokes of all time: "The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw" from the incomparable Jack Handey.

GlennCY 10:11 AM  

for John Reid - EST as in fastEST, longEST, etc

Orange 10:13 AM  

I'm so glad the word CRUSADER eluded me. I wanted SUPERHERO or a synonym, but couldn't think of an 8-letter one. I didn't think Shawnee sounded Deep South, but the T*P lured me into TUPELO.

What's this book? Something about ten and plagues? Here are the ten plagues as illustrated by marshmallow Peeps. Peeps for Easter? No, Passover!

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

The Friday and Saturday LA Times puzzles were both terrific.

wade 10:30 AM  

Alex, same here on the Breyers/Dreyers first square. Otherwise this puzzle was a cinch.

I didn't fall for crusader because I finally did get REPROS, which broke open the somewhat stubborn SW for me. Getting several of the long clues on the first pass made this one not too tough (though I put in SENTENCE instead of HARDTIME, which set me back a bit.)

Ditto on the Bosworth/Vanilla Ice connection.

A couple of neat potential traps: PACECAR [Racecar] and CAVETT [Carson]. Both temporarily tempted me.

dcolumbus3, funny you bring up Jack Handey, as I was looking him up on Wikipedia just yesterday and saw that quote. (I didn't know he was also from God's country. Odd, isn't it, how pretty much everybody worth knowing is from Texas and vice-versa? Don Henley being the only exception I can think of.)

I'm joking of course. Henley's worth knowing, if only for "Boys of Summer."

treedweller 10:45 AM  

I think the crusader trap was easier to slip into because of "Dupes," which I tried to make "copies", but I still held back and never wrote it in (blame it on my fear of Saturdays). I really wanted "boywonder" and for awhile I thought I might be missing a rebus somehow, but finally things started to click and I got the right answers first time around.

I have stopped using the applet on Sats. because I expect to either get hours-long times or cheat with google. I'm a little sad about that, as this one would have been a respectable time (for me) with no mistakes. Alas!

Also, today was further proof that I'm becoming one of those crossword people. I not only noticed the author's name before starting; I recognized it, and it filled me with both pleasure and dread. Only the former was warranted today, as it turns out. Thanks, MN (and WS).

Anonymous 10:46 AM  


That's Renee Fleming. Opera Diva extrodinaire!

Jordan 10:46 AM  


There's an interesting review of "The Ten-Cent Plague in this week's New Yorker." It's worth a read.

treedweller 10:47 AM  

@ Doc John yesterday, 11:50pm

I forgot to ask, since he never got an answer there: Why ORBS?

PhillySolver 10:48 AM  

I liked the puzzle, but I did not think it was easy. My last fill was the X in AXES. I thought of every a_es letter combo and rejected them all because I was parsing the x as 'axes' like hatchets. Finally, I just put in X as was recommended here last week...if you don't know, guess X. I looked it up last night and happy to see all was right. My only other trip up was a misspelling where I used atests not meaning atom bombs. I learned my English in the days before phonics. Can you guess the most common misspelled words? More later...

I was the headmaster of a private school in Norman, OK in the 1980's and saw the down side of football mania. Some lessons have to learned over and over, though.

karmasartre 10:49 AM  

@wade, As the people worth knowing are from Texas, are you implying they had the good sense to leave?

jannieb 10:50 AM  

@anonymous 10:46 Many thanks! Guess that's RP's revenge for all the obscure (to him) opera clues.

jls 10:54 AM  

and -- because of her beauty, her warm, ebullient personality and -- oh yeah -- that voice of hers, the divine ms. fleming is sometimes known as "the diva next door."



wade 10:56 AM  

karmasartre, no, it's just that there's a deep and abiding selflessness to Texans that make us feel it's our godly duty to spread the joy of ourselves around the world, and that compels us to venture out into the world's lesser regions.

Another deep thought by Jack Handey: "If trees could scream, would we cut them down so cavalierly? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."

My favorite Jack Handey piece is from SNL's "Fuzzy Memories" series he used to do. He was waxing nostalgiac about family drives he took when he was a boy (sienna-colored footage of a Packard or some other touring car on a leaf-lined country road), when they would roll the windows down and he would put his head outside to feel the refreshing wind on his face and smell the scents of late summer turning to autumn . . . "that is, until my head knocked off a dog's head."

Damon G. 11:16 AM  

A funnier clue for BOSWORTH would have been: "Stone Cold" star. Who remembers that cinematic masterpiece?

As a lifelong Seahawks fan myself, it was great to see The Boz in the puzzle, though he's not the first Seattle footballer to appear in a weekend puzzle. I remember seeing LARGENT in one not too long ago -- he's a much fonder memory for me. Can't say I dig his politics though.

Belvoir 11:26 AM  

Treedweller: "Orbs" as in "sceptre and orbs". Like when QE II was coronated, holding a sceptre and jewelled orb for portraits. Symbol of royal power.

Good to read about the mystery of ADZE. Ugh.

Really disliked the sneery dismissal of Warhol. I guess he didn't have room for "farty". Warhol, when discussing his work, could not have been more dismissive and self-deprecating of it. He was never precious or pretentious about it, despite what some people seem to think.

Even though there where some clever twists, the clues were kind of depressing to read today!

Scornful dismissal, nervous system impairment, worried, intimidation, hounded, shaky hands, temporary blindness, getting even, howled, fighting words, (even rain!).

ArtLvr 11:38 AM  

re ORBS -- I've forgetten the clue, but it is an ornate spherical piece of regalia symbolizing power. Can top off a crown, or a staff. Seen in Prague in a crown, in Norway, all over Europe!

orb (royal emblem)

Encyclopædia Britannica -- Main article: orb --
"Emblem of royal power, usually made of precious metal and jewels and consisting of a sphere surmounted by a cross. The ball as a symbol of the cosmos, or of the universe as a harmonious whole, is derived from the ancient Romans, who associated it with Jupiter and, hence, with the emperor as his earthly representative."

As to today's gem, I came out a bit short again, in a word or three -- Was thinking O-STAR and Ore-Idas in the freezer, Baas or Maas rather than CAWS so Cavett and War Cry and Verbs never came to me. Ah well... Except for those bits of the SW, I did fairly well... Good one, MIke!


John Reid 11:41 AM  

@glenncy - Thanks for the clarification regarding the EST clue at 8D.

I'd been wondering what the heck a 'recordest' could be! :)

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Thanks RP for the great rant on Brian Bosworth. I was trying to think of the name of that guy who dragged him into the endzone...
Add me to the caped crusader and baffled-by-dupes (for a while) lists.
- another lifelong Seahawks fan

miriam b 12:13 PM  

As I got BEES immediately, I could see where ___EADOR was going. Isn't torero the correct designation? Someone enlighten me.

Lovely puzzle today, despite the image of TEARGASsed felons sentenced to HARDTIME.

treedweller 12:33 PM  

Ah, those ORBS (/pretending to know).

For ADZE, I was baffled mostly because I read it as " . . . in a dress shop" rather than " . . . dress in a shop." Might be time to visit the ophthalmologist.

Doug 12:44 PM  

Finished this Friday puzzle and it dawned on me that it was a Saturday. Wow, only the 2nd I've finished and I'm on a roll now!

Anonymous 1:16 PM  

Was lucky enough to get BUZZLIGHTYEAR and SWEATINGBULLETS right away. All those crossing letters really helped me get one of my best Saturday times ever. Also had CAVETT early, so never fell into the CRUSADER trap. I liked this puzzle. (Yes, because it was easy for a Saturday!!)

(I am having the hardest time getting a Blogger ID set up. Annoys me to no end!!!)

jeff in chicago 1:19 PM  


So I post anonymously and then Blogger asks me to sign in and it takes exactly the name/password I just tried 6 times to post my last comment. ugh.

Betsy 1:27 PM  

I too fell for CRUSADER instead of TOREADOR, and SHORT instead of AWORD. Overall, I did okay for a Saturday, though I had a hard time making it through the SW corner. The astronomy clues killed me.

PhillySolver 1:49 PM  

Trivia posting:

Artificial intelligence monitored postings on the internet and found these words are the most commonly misspelled (ratio of use to errors, thus receive would be a higher volume, but lower ratio).


Google reports common errors for searches on occasion and one that is usually at the top of the list is: shakespear

Conclusion: I may not be the worst speller.

jae 1:55 PM  

Great puzzle. It had a little of everything, sports, astronomy, math, pop culture, and 60s TV. I also thought it was relatively easy for a Sat. but made an error just the same (knew CAVETT so didn't fall into the crusader trap.) EDYS icecream is DREYERS on the west coast and is more prevalant here than BREYERS so I went with DSTAR not really knowing one star from another.

jae 2:05 PM  

@chefbea1 -- Thanks for the second window info.

karmasartre 2:10 PM  

@SouthStreeetSolver -- Surprised BINGO isn't in there as it always seems to be pronounced with two Gs.

leon 2:24 PM  

The Sitar in Rubber Soul was on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)."

The new video game: Sitar Hero.

Nice puzzle Mr. N. Hope you do not receive any 40 across.

Nothnagel 2:27 PM  

Hey folks.

To set the record straight, so to speak, I do teach at a culinary school: the Culinary Institute of America, which is not a SUNY branch, but it is in New York. It's on the same stretch of highway as the Vanderbilt Mansion and the FDR estate, so all you history junkies can make a day trip and have lunch at the CIA.

As usual, I'm happy you all enjoyed the puzzle. I wouldn't necessarily have pegged this one to be a Saturday, but what do I know. I promise to make it hurt more next time. Maybe.

Until next time,

Torbach 2:32 PM  

I'm with you, Miriam: the way I backed into that area I got TOREADOR with little problem and missed all the fun of the CRUSADER trap. Of course, I still managed to make it interesting for myself by only being able to think of MATADOR and PICADOR until TOREADOR finally came into the noggin. TORERO, by the way, is a synonym - not sure which is used more for 'bullfighter', but TORERO sounds more like what must be used in Spanish.

Jane Doh 2:41 PM  

A beauty -- and a breeze -- from beginning to end!

Orange 2:42 PM  

P.S. Rex, if there were an element called telescopium, the T wouldn't be capitalized unless it were at the beginning of the clue. Now, a [Telescopium neighbor] clue would rob us of one typographical cue, and that is a standard Saturday gambit.

miriam b 2:45 PM  

@Torbach: My impression is that the words "matador" and "picador" connote actions. The picador jabs the bull (picar) while the matador does the actual killing (matar). This leaves the word "toreador" in a sort of linguistic limbo.

I must mention that
(1) I have only the merest smattering of Spanish; and
(2) I think bullfighting should be outlawed.

bill from fl 3:06 PM  

I'm surprised most people found this one easy for a Saturday. The SW killed me, for some reason. I only made the move from crusader to toreador after I finally saw repros. Even at that point, it was slow.

I couldn't even see "I'm out," until my wife patiently explained it to me. Sheesh.

mike 3:16 PM  

When flying a plane there are three AXES of flight controlled by pitch roll and yaw. This was my first thought to this clue.

I do not remember Rex ever posting a picture of an ADZE?

I erased BEES to put in CRUSADER

chefbea1 3:39 PM  


I've been to the vanderbilt mansion and the Roosevelt estate but never stopped for a meal at the culinary institute. I hear its hard to get a reservation.

and I still cant get a picture. I have thousands in iphoto but cant seem to do it

chefbea1 3:40 PM  

can someone tell me what that little trash can is for under the time

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

I am not signed up with blogger (as you can see), but I suspect that clicking that icon would allow you to delete your post. It only appears on your own posts, no?

Frances 3:51 PM  

What with SARAH (grandmother of Jacob) and reference to the Prodigal Son (LUKE), I interpreted 26A (associate of Thomas) as another biblical reference. The only 5-letter disciples I could think of were Peter and Judas, either of which made hash of the California area. It took 4 (out of a possible 5!) crosses before I twigged the Supreme Court reference.

Rex Parker 3:52 PM  

ALITO is the new ALERO

green mantis 3:56 PM  

Rex, I had the weirdest experience reading the bit about Bosworth and Vanilla Ice--really strong deja vu. Is it at all possible that you have written something really similar before? Probably not. Blogja Vu.

chefbea1 4:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefbea1 4:12 PM  

@anonymous 3:46

you were right. I deleted my message. Why am I the only one with a trash can???

Doc John 4:16 PM  

A pretty easy Saturday for me, did it in under an hour (and that's with taking a break to let the SW percolate).

I had no idea who RENEE was but I was looking forward to Rex's take on her!

I loved Rex's characterization of BOSWORTH as football's Vanilla Ice. Very fitting, indeed. Being from Miami, I was never a fan of his, as he was always thwarting the 'Canes and, to a lesser extent, the Dolphins. I do remember him on the sidelines of said Orange Bowl wearing a shirt that read, "National Communists Against Athletes".

I also fell into the crusader trap and didn't get out of it until I came up with REPROS. I kept wanting [Dupes] to be a synonym for "cons".

I also thought that Buck Rogers would be a nice fit for Star Commander but since it didn't have enough letters, didn't write it in. The BU would have helped me in the NE, though.

When I was in college, I once sat next to Bobby RIGGS on a cross country flight (in economy). He was wearing a Sugar Daddy baseball cap and with his glasses was pretty positive it was him but only near the end of the flight did I summon up the courage to ask him if he was who I thought he was. He said yes and then gave me an autograph. That was the extent of our discourse. I really couldn't think of anything to say to him other than, "I remember seeing you lose to Billie Jean." I don't think he would have appreciated that so I kept my mouth shut.

I loved the peeps pictures, thanks for posting them. Here's another more risqué picture using peeps- WARNING, ADULT CONTENT. Stripper peeps

I also enjoyed the Sitar Hero link. There was a Fox Trot comic a few Sundays back that did Chamber Music Hero. Now, if they'd only come up with Tuba Hero, I'd be all set! And speaking of which, time to get in one last practice before the concert tonight (can you tell I'm somewhat nervous?). I hope I don't get an ATAXIA!

P.S. I'm now blue and orange! The dog in my picture is my late dog, Austin, who took it upon himself to climb into that flower pot.

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

because you cannot delete the posts of others, only your own.

Anonymous 4:53 PM  

It’s hard to complain too much about people misspelling Shakespeare since the bard himself seemed to sign his name differently on each occurence.

Er, I mean occurrence.

chefbea1 4:55 PM  


how did you get the picture in. I cant seem to do it. I have a mac

Doc John 5:04 PM  

@ chefbea- It was weird but when I first signed up (thru google and not blogger), there was no place for a photo. Then I clicked on my own name in the list of comments and it opened to my own profile with a blue button underneath that read "Edit Your Profile". Clicking on that button brought me to the area where all sorts of info can be added.

Hope this helps- I have a Mac, too!

BTW, for Mac users: option- or command-clicking on a link will automatically open a new window, rather than having to do ctrl-click and then selecting "new window" from the dropdown list.

mac 5:18 PM  

Fun puzzle, had some of the same problems many of you seem to have had. I should be getting better, though, this morning I bought Orange's book and a lot of NYT puzzles to practice on!
@belvoir,thanks for sticking up for Andy.

mac 5:37 PM  
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mac 5:53 PM  
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Anonymous 6:04 PM  

I usually spell OK, but I have to stop and think every time I use the word "embarrass." And "accommodate" hangs me up, too.

Michael 6:21 PM  

When I see the name Nothnagel as the constructor, I think "this will be fun, but not so hard." Mike N. seems to be on the same wavelength with me. When I finished this one as fast I ever have on a Saturday, I attributed my speed to the constructor. But now I see that most of the rest of you thought that this was fairly easy for a Saturday.

There were two answers I filled in , but did not understand -- adzes [explained on this blog] and repros [had to go to google to figure out that "dupes" has more than one meaning].

andreacarlamichaels 6:25 PM  

surprised more folks haven't jumped in on commonly misspelled words (and surprised mispeled isn't one, just for irony's sake!)
One way to remember "embarrass" is that it's so embarrassing it's two of everything...and "harass" is closer to "her-ass".
I hope that's helpful.
And I once read there were over 100 acceptable ways to spell Shakespeare as the written language wasn't standardized in his time...
you should see the havoc wrought by all the variations acceptable in Scrabble as a result!
Re: puzzle
I. too, wanted BOYWONDER and looked momentarily for a sign of a rebus. And I didn't get the IMOUT till I read the blog (I thought it was maybe sort of shaking/waving your hands like "I'm outta here".
Yay, Rex's Blog!
Maybe the construction awards can be called the ORBS
(that is if you still don't like the ANOREXICS (as a combo of Rex and Orange)

Joon 6:31 PM  

breezed through this puzzle (starting with BOSWORTH), then hit a major snag in the SW. yes, CRUSADER claimed another victim, and i wasn't sure whether it was TOYSRUS or KIDSRUS for quite some time. and i've never heard of CAVETT. surprisingly, VERBS didn't actually cause much of a problem, though i was a little incredulous putting it into the grid.

very fun puzzle, though. a plethora of very clever clues which made me smile. whether that was nothnagel or shortz, i salute you.

Kevin Der 6:42 PM  

Great puzzle, Mike! Wonderful lively entries throughout.

I rarely finish Saturdays perfectly but this puzzle just seemed to fall so quickly. I was racing a coworker to finish it last night, which may have led to a burst of adrenaline that contributed. My time was 38 minutes, which is unheard of for me. It takes me longer than that to solve Thursdays and Fridays generally.

It helped that I knew BUZZ LIGHTYEAR right off the bat and got SWEATING BULLETS from *INGB*. I think I solved everything but the SW in about 20 minutes but then completely flailed on VERBS and TOREADOR, having _ER__ and _OR__DER (for some reason I didn't check REPROS after I got the R in ARTY). I'd never heard of CAVETT, and VERBS and BEES and BSTAR were tricky. It didn't help that I knew BREYERS and DREYERS would both fit, and even after I got STAR, I figured it could be either B-STAR or D-STAR, and just happened to guess correctly.

Daisy 6:45 PM  

Hey Doc John,
I really like your dog picture. I even called my kids over to have a look.

You can tell that dog had some personality!

Doc John 6:51 PM  

@ daisy- thank you very much. I got very lucky with that pic. I was having some work done on the house and came in after work. One of the workmen said, "Does your dog always do that?" "Do what?" "Sit in the flower pot!" "Oh wow!" I ran to get the camera (unfortunately a disposable cheapie) and took that one pic before he got out of the pot.

He was a great dog and I miss him a lot. :(

jae 7:49 PM  

Factory Girl was not particularly kind to Mr. Warhol either.

SethG 7:57 PM  

I sometimes have trouble with spaghetti. I _always_ have trouble with Cincinnati. PhillySolver, would have sent you an email, but couldn't find it and I assume most have moved on to Sunday so I won't be wasting everyone's time by sharing here. Some notes from a recent trick I took:

At the Paradise Bar and Restaurent things on the Barbercue menu come with barbicue sauce. There's a Bolognesex pizza. And the Non Alcohol Coctails include spirits such as

* Vordika
* Johnnie warker (black and relebble)
* Jack Deniels

And at the place I ate the next night, drinks included
* Milk Sheak
* Vagine Bloody Mary
* Vaginepina Coleda
* Daqure

I also saw a grossary store. On to Sunday myself,

SethG 8:09 PM  

Luckily, Google will never know that I spelt "trip" with a ck...


I finished and I still don't get how the "Adze" answer matches up to the given clue.

wade 9:13 PM  

Nothnagel seems like a guy worth knowing. Had no idea he was from Texas.

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Anonymous 9:21 PM  

Who Is the woman pictured next to the Ally McBeal blog? Not the actress who played Renee?

Ulrich 9:45 PM  

To all who post questions late in the game (@nietsnerem, @anonymous): Please take the time to read what has been said before--chances are, your questions have been dealt with.

Anonymous 10:14 PM  

Did not put in racecars instead of pacecars?

treedweller 10:18 PM  

you should have skipped the followup. I assumed that misspelling was a joke to fit the theme of your post.
And now I've exceeded my three-post limit. I hope Rex won't mind since the day's almost done.

Bromosselt 10:32 PM  

Master of One's Domain is a famous and infamous Seinfeld episode. In that episode, Kramer joins the bet to be the Master and within seconds, leaves and returns to leave his money claiming "I'm out" several times.
While his hand may have been shaking, would have loved "I'm out" to have been clued as "Kramer's domain refrain or some such.

Ladel 11:04 PM  


I too get a trash canbut my can leaves after a while and I'm stuck with my banal posting. Any luck with the picture?

Fergus 3:16 AM  


Joon 9:17 PM  

back in college when i did academic trivia tournaments, one of the funniest moments came when a guy on the maryland team buzzed in and attempted to answer a question with "BOSWORTH's life of johnson." of course, the answer was ruled incorrect (thomas boswell, a somewhat better writer than brian BOSWORTH, actually penned the famous life of samuel johnson), and then we all had great fun giving the guy a HARDTIME about it.

that story came out sounding a lot geekier than it felt in my head before i started writing it.

Joon 8:40 AM  

and wronger. yikes. thomas boswell is the washington post sports columnist. james boswell is johnson's secretary and biographer.

emjo 7:10 PM  

interesting that you cant spell bedroom without boredom...

Bob 2:07 AM  

Wahoo! Friday and Saturday without a single google! (And I don't care that most found these easy.)

Aviatrix 8:35 PM  

Damnit, I finally buy a Saturday paper and it's an easy one. Fun, though.

I think of an ADZE first as a primitive tool; the modern one I always call a plane, so that was slow. I completed with no idea about Telescopium (I knew it wasn't an element) or Thomas. Thanks for the explanations, all.

I consider the difference between SLEDS and sleighs to be that a sleigh has runners. No one else complained, so perhaps this is regional to me.

I guessed Renée given R followed by maybe an E, and it worked.

I liked REPROS for Dupes, very symmetrical. (Reproduction vs. Duplicate)

I knew RIGGS from a piece in a vintage MAD Magazine, whence all my knowledge of history between the final chapter of my school textbooks (WWII) and my learning to read a newspaper (Watergate).

To me, Warhol's commercialism and pop-art focus is at odds with stereotypical artiness. He knew he was making stuff people would buy, in a culture based on buying things. But if they'd chosen an artier artist, I might not of heard of him, so I'm happy with the clue.

I tried to think of a superhero that would fit 59A but got it as soon as I thought of matador.

11D surprised me as I haven't been asked to know Portuguese for a puzzle before. I thought French, Spanish and German were the only ones we could be asked for more than basic greetings in.

I recently flew from Lincoln, NE to Tallahasse, FL, so had seen Selma and Topeka on my charts. Cool.

Maybe I should buy that online subscription to the crossword ...

embien 3:29 PM  

I know I'm behind the times, but I'm in Syndicationville and this puzzle took me a while--it was my first complete Saturday (albeit with the slightest bit of Googleness). I do the puzzle in pen in the newspaper, so my final grid looks kinda ugly.

In the SW I had BEES, EDU and REPROS on my first pass through the clues, so naturally I filled in SUPERDOG (Superman's dog Krypto) for the caped one. That made the SW overly difficult for me.

I still don't know what BSTAR is supposed to mean. Beta Star (second brightest in the constellation), perhaps? Some kind of crosswordese for Binary Star?

Being a poker player, I initially filled in I FOLD for the shaky hand (I don't know many poker players who say I'M OUT instead, but maybe that's different on the East Coast).

The SE was the last for me, caused largely by my initially having TIES IT UP for 37D (Result of getting even with someone?)

Forgive my late post, I guess I couldn't contain my excitement about getting a Saturday for the first time ever--even if others found it easy.

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