THURSDAY, Mar. 27, 2008 - Joe Krozel (Cary Grant played a male one in 1949)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: CRANE (49D: Word defined by 20-, 36- and 51-Across)

Note to the good people at the NYT puzzle website: it's bad enough that I have to wait until 10pm to get my puzzle (one hour earlier would be so much more humane and would make a huge difference in my blogging life). But I accept that that's the way of the world, or at least how you do business. But at 10:01, I want my puzzle. Last night, while the people solving in the applet had their puzzle right away, schmucks like me who like to print out their puzzles and solve them in bed, had to wait, and wait, and wait for the AcrossLite version. OK, so I had to wait only 15 minutes, but at bedtime, 15 minutes is a long time. Between waiting and solving and marking up the puzzle, I got to sleep late, and so woke up late, and so am only just now starting this entry and it's after 8 am. Of course, I could have foregone this entire first paragraph and just dived right in, thus making up for lost time, but that would have been logical and sensible and thus very unlike me. Lesson: make AcrossLite version of puzzle available on time. And consider backing up the release time an hour or so on weekdays.

And now - the puzzle. It was fine. Minor troubles in the NE and SW, but otherwise, pretty easy. The CRANE theme, which I got right away from having the STRETCH part of STRETCH ONE'S NECK in place, was interesting. Cool that there are 3 15-letter answers that work. I was looking for the building-crushing type of CRANE at 36A, and was completely (and pleasantly) surprised to see NOVELIST STEPHEN standing there. I knew the last CRANE was a BIRD (not because of ESP, but because I actually had BIRD in place), and a few well-placed crosses gave me the LARGE WADING part. Done and done.

The theme was not the puzzle's main area of interest, at least not for me. I think the marquee clue / answer of the day is 11D: Hard to take? (camera shy). Not only is that a very clever clue, but CAMERASHY is really really hard to parse with only a smattering of crosses in place. Somehow, the fact that it ended in "Y" made me think I was dealing with an adjective, and just one word, not two. My missing crosses were

  • RARE (16A: Bloody, so to speak) - had the -RE, could think only of DIRE (and why does this clue have "so to speak"? Does the red in RARE steak really have nothing to do with blood? Is this another occasion where science types are going to write me en masse, ridiculing the lacunae in my education?)
  • OUR (23A: Certain prayer starter) - obvious, in retrospect, but the only three-letter words I could think of were NOW (as in "Now I lay me...") and AVE.
  • BALLPARK (25A: Diamond setting) - good clue. Was thinking of a diamond ring.

Was also missing the "H" from NOVELIST STEPHEN at that point. So CAMERA SHY was a very serious, very admirable bump in my road. Why PRENUP (10D: Engagement agreement) eluded me for so long, I don't know. Maybe because PRENUP is an abbreviation, or at least a ... clipped form of a longer term. Or maybe I'm just making excuses.



Other fun / unfun stuff:

  • 6A: A good breakfast, but a bad supper, according to Francis Bacon (hope) - really wanted the answer to be BACON . . .
  • 10A: Dumpsite pollutants, for short (PCBs) - Hey, I got this right off, and it's ... kind of sciencey, right?
  • 15A: Robert of "The Sopranos" (Iler) - as crossword names go, this guy spends a lot of time on the bench, but when he comes off it, look out. He played Tony Soprano's son. I wanted ILES. Is there someone named ILES? Oh yes, a "New York Times Best Selling Author." A very crossworthy name.
  • 22A: Showy shrubs (azaleas) - yesterday we had FIGS, today, AZALEAS. Both of these could be found in my backyard when I was a kid. What's next, QUAILS?
  • 40A: It's often played before playing (anthem) - if it's NATIONAL, then sure.
  • 41A: Replies on the Enterprise (ayes) - part of me does not like this, the other part admires its supreme (rhyming) geekiness.
  • 42A: Cary Grant played a male one in 1949 (war bride) - "I Was a Male War Bride" - A Howard Hawks film starring Cary Grant, and I'd never (or barely) heard of it. That surprises / disturbs me.
  • 46A: "Donald's Cousin _____" (1939 Disney cartoon) ("Gus") - the "U" was a complete guess, as BUG OUT (43D: Leave in a hurry, slangily) means something completely different to me - something more like [Be astonished] - i.e. in a way that would make your eyes BUG OUT. I am astonished that GUS here is crossworthy. A single Disney cartoon? Well ... it is a good one. See it here.
  • 59A: Lead-in to meter (volt) - I'm just glad I knew WOVE (53D: Emulated Arachne), which had already given me the "V" here. In fact, I'm just glad I never actually saw this clue. VOLT is way way down the list of meter lead-ins I'd have considered.
  • 60A: Spain's Princess _____ (Elena) - Most other ELENAs of note appear to be Russian (or in the case of Elena Ceau┼čescu, Romanian).
  • 62A: Unlikely valentine swappers (exes) - great, great clue.
  • 63A: Skates on thin ice, e.g. (dares) - hmmm, these don't seem interchangeable to me, not easily anyway. "You're skating on thin ice, missy!" "You're daring ... missy!" Yeah, no.
  • 1D: Chip topper (salsa) - there must be more exciting ways to clue this.
  • 2D: Faint, in slang (plotz) - fabulous fill.
  • 3D: Commercial prefix with suede (ultra) - there appears to be a controversy at the Wikipedia entry for "ultrasuede," in that it is written "like an advertisement," so it's been flagged.
  • 4D: Start of many a story (dateline) - ugh. I had LOTSA instead of LOTTA (17A: Ton of) at first, and so had DASE... as my opening of this answer for a bit.
  • 9D: Marine eagle (erne) - CAW! This site's future mascot.
  • 19D: Wagner princess (Isolde) - as in "Tristan und..." The puzzle loves Wagner for some reason.
  • 27D: What "knock knock" may mean (let me in) - Didn't the Big Bad Wolf say this? Yes: ["Little pig, little pig, _____"]. That would have been a great clue. Or at least interesting.
  • 29D: Understands (kens) - ick ugh and uck.
  • 31D: Celebrated Sigmund Freud patient (Dora) - Joining Dumb DORA and DORA the Explorer as the world's most famous DORAs.
  • 32D: Oscar-winning song from "A Star Is Born" (Evergreen) - My parent/s must have listened to this in the 70s, because I know this song cold, against my will. A Streisand klassic.
  • 38D: Graph of the equation y = ax2 + bx + c (parabola) - Had the O-A at the end and got it no problem. Actual math skills not required.
  • 48D: Land that's more than 90% desert (Niger) - nearly wrote in NEGEV, but NEGEV is, entirely, a desert.
  • 52D: Black cuckoos (anis) - Old Skool. You gotta reach into the back of your crosswordese closet to find these guys. Tomorrow, look for ANOA.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

70 comments:

arb 9:13 AM  

"2D: Faint, in slang (plotz) - fabulous fill."

Brought to mind Woody Allen's
"What's Up, Tiger Lily?"

"I want the recipe. The recipe
for the great egg salad. A salad
so delicious you could plotz."

ArtLvr 9:14 AM  

Hi Rex -- Glad you're just late, not ill again! I had nearly all the same mis-starts you mentioned, plus I thought Jackie Kennedy patronized Galiano rather than CASSINI, but soon got everything straightened out.

It was a great puzzle, though it took much time! PRE-NUP and CAMERA SHY were favorites, plus GINNIE MAE. Thank goodness for a few gimmies like bric-a-BRAC!

∑;)

Orange 9:18 AM  

Artlvr, usually the Jackie O. fashion clues are looking for OLEG—and there have been many such clues over the years. Oleg Cassini, Oleg Cassini, Oleg Cassini...it's starting to sound like a recipe. To make O! Leg Cassini, start by browning one giant turkey leg. Add olive oil and garlic, and..."

Rex, I love the word ken. I prefer it as a singular noun rather than a verb, as in "this sciencey stuff is not always in Rex's ken."

Rex Parker 9:24 AM  

Re: KENS

The noun KEN is just fine. Sadly, that's not what we're dealing with here.

rp

treedweller 9:26 AM  

I have officially crossed over. After about 3 months of subscribing to the puzzle, and maybe 2-2 1/2 months of following this blog, I saw "Marine eagle" and thought, "Oh, Rex is gonna love that!"

Ulrich 9:27 AM  

Yesterday, I was the only puzzler in the universe that managed to drown in a one-foot-deep puzzle that everyone else splashed through in record time. So, this one was balm for my bruised ego because I moved through this one at a good clip (for me, at last) without coming to a real standstill anywhere (even managed to parse "camera shy" once most crosses were there). Thanks, Joe Krozel!

I love the word "plotz" because, through its German relative "platzen" (to burst), it always brings up for me immediately the vision of someone bursting like a baloon with too much air pumped in.

ArtLvr 9:35 AM  

Orange -- that was a bit tongue in cheek, the designer comment ∑;)

Wasn't there a question recently about Lodi's location? It leaped to mind anyway.... The clues "back" for FINANCE and "dukes" for FISTS were smart.

NIGER was neat because it featured so heavily in the "yellow cake" for uranium scam, with the seamy outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, etc. Talk about scientific ramifications everywhere...

∑;(

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle thoroughly from beginning to end. The only thing that slowed me down was not knowing Robert Iler's name (no idea why, love the show), and not being able to think of either "GINNIE MAES" or "HIGHS" for a while.

"BUG OUT" strikes me as familiar -- isn't there a satirical infantry song with the refrain, "We're bugging out, yes, we're moving on"? Meaning an abrupt retreat under fire.

I think of "bloody" for ordering a steak "RARE" as a kind of joke or facetious expression. The steak isn't literally bloody, just so rare that it is expected to arouse that unconscious fear in people who object to severely rare beef.

Isn't there a folksong "Do ye ken John Peel"? That's ken as a verb. Pretty archaic. Not meaning "understanding" but "do you know John Peel."

Mary 9:46 AM  

The AZALEAs are just beginning to bloom here in north Georgia.
Maybe that is why although I was thinking STEPHEN CRANE, I was thinking of the body of work of Stephen Foster. This made the front part of the answer difficult to get.

Rex, you had quails in your yard? How cool.

Damon G. 9:57 AM  

Good puzzle -- consistent theme and lots of good non-theme fill. I spent about 25 minutes just in the NE, though. I had to go through the alphabet letter by letter to get the M in CAMERASHY, as it is indeed very difficult to parse (I've never heard of Ginnie Mae). My only quibble is with BUGOUT (I also associate this with a different meaning), especially since BAGOUT fits the clue much better. Could Donald have an uncle Gas?

bflohl 9:59 AM  

Having flipped past "The Sound of Music" on tv this weekend, I am reminded of the lyric:

Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken.

Like Rex, I had "lotsa" for a long time. Indeed, this puzzle was harder for me then it should have been. I had lotsa answers but scattered over the grid.

deion 10:06 AM  

I tripped on "LOTSA" instead of "LOTTA", leaving me staring at "DASELINE", too...which led me to think "BASELINE" turning fries into "SPUBS" which I rejected...so I decided to move on and finish the grid, or so I thought, until I read today's write-up.

Therein lies the rub with doing the puzzle the old fashioned way (in the morning paper, on the train to work) and being too lazy/harried to check your work, your mistakes do not get corrected unless there is a train delay.

Bill from NJ 10:09 AM  

I don't know why but I found this puzzle . . boring. Nothing really wrong with is but I couldn't quite get a grip.

I had LOTSA, same as Rex, and thought PRENUP was badly clued. I also had a problem with the GINNIE's or FANNIE's or whatever they might have been so I was held up in the North for a little while.

The South fell almost at once because the nature of the clues - sports, movies - were up my alley.

I got CAMERASHY by the crosses but
never saw it until I came to this
blog.

All in all, a not very agreeable experience for me.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

The crane Rex picked to show is a whooping crane, which means that picture probably was taken within a very few miles of my home. Nice to see.

I checked on the "Bug Out Ballad," which apparently is associated with the First Cav in Korea and refers (unfairly) to a disastrous engagement at Unsan. It's sung to the tune of Hank Snow's "I'm Moving' On."

radioguy 10:16 AM  

I wanted "Halston" for 21D. At the urging of a one-time love interest, I saw a Jackie Onassis exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum a few years ago. One of the items displayed was a Halston dress she wore, which is about the only thing I really remember from the exhibit.

Plus, Halston's mentioned in "Big Shot", one of my favorite Billy Joel songs. But I guess Cassini will have to do.

Squash's Mom 10:18 AM  

The trouble with remembering crosswordese is.. remembering crosswordese. I remembered ANI as ARI, thus making 56A OREO something or other. I do enjoy sharing oreos and milk with a friend and having a chat but couldn't figure out how that fit. I also remembered Robert ILER as IGER (He's the Disney guy) which held me up in that section for awhile as well.

My favorite clue/answer was CAMERA SHY. Very clever.

My new word of the day PLOTZ. Thanks, Arb, for the Woody Allen reference. Where else has it been used?

Spencer 10:18 AM  

RARE -- actually, the red in rare meat is not (mostly not) from blood, which has been pretty thoroughly drained from the meat. It comes instead from myoglobin in the meat. So "bloody" for "rare" is figurative rather than literal.

DARE -- I took this in the literal sense -- someone who is skating on thin ice is daring (to do so).

parshutr 10:20 AM  

Entymology treat: Dukes comes to mean fists (or hands) from Cockney rhyming slang, Duke of YORKS for FORKS, i.e. eating with one's hands instead of utensils.
It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide.

Jon 10:22 AM  

Like everyone so far I enjoyed this puzzle and agree that CAMERASHY was a gem. Had a pretty good Thursday time, was feeling satisfied and then realized I had an incorrect entry.

Spelled LARSEN with an O, giving me largo wading bird, which for some reason seemed like it could have been correct. Aren't there cranes down in Florida, perhaps in Key Largo?

As a baseball fan (and a Yankee fan) I should have picked up on it immediately (I want to call it a typo, but just can't justify that). Game 5 of the '56 Series vs. the Dodgers... how can I remember that and not how to spell his name?

Frances 10:33 AM  

At first I wanted "Once upon [a time]" for 4D, but once I put in DATELINE, I never even saw the clue for LOTTA, hence was never led astray by LOTSA. I did have to play the alphabet game to complete CA?ERASHY. Only on my second run through the alphabet did M become a viable candidate,and even then my mind-set for a single word led to a mental pronunciation as "cameRASHy." When it came, the recognition lightbulb was obviously a flashbulb.

dk 10:33 AM  

Sigh, I always want Oleo instead of OLIO and Genniemae seemed ok.

And, you would think that someone who has been a psychologist for many years would know DORA.

I got KENS as I am working on a photo project where Barbies and Kens are the props and I have been on the hunt for alternative uses of the aforementioned names.

I got the CRANE clue from 20A and LODI from an old Buffalo Springfield tune.

ONEONONES was back again and that helped me recall ANIS.

Thus it was a day when loose associations paid off except for the repressed DORA (lame psychologist joke).

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

"The Language of Cranes"
is a beautiful film.

SethG 10:38 AM  

Yesterday, I started a blog entry with "Mustang, this is Voodoo 3. Remaining Migs are bugging out." Top Gun, 1986.

Which doesn't mean it didn't take me a while to get (I had -OFF), just that when I did I knew what it meant and was upset with myself.

For me, CAMERA SHY was hard to parse when I had _seven_ crosses in place. I did take a stab at NEGEV, and I suspect lotsa people had DASExxxx like we did. And HIGHS was tough 'cause I couldn't remember my MAEs...didn't know ILER, either, so I went back and forth between PENN and YALE for a while

It actually took me several educated guesses to complete, as I'd also never heard of (or didn't know/remember the clued detail about) DORA, WAR BRIDE, or EVERGREEN, and my DIEU I'm bad at French!

Finally, as a sorta- (sotta-?) science type, I got WOVE from VOLT, though I had to look up lacuna.

Now, if I can just start identifying storks vs cranes on sight...

dk 10:43 AM  

For a good laugh follow the Dumb Dora link provided by Rex

Joaneee 10:47 AM  

KEN brought to mind only John Peel.

arb 11:01 AM  

10:33 AM - Blogger dk said...
"I got... LODI from an old
Buffalo Springfield tune."

Were you actually thinking of
Creedence Clearwater Revival?
(Just asking, for what it's worth. :-} )

Ryan 11:08 AM  

Interesting decision to run this puzzle after 2 fatal crane collapses (NY and Miami) w/in the last 2 weeks...

But good puzzle, thought the SW was really tough.

Anonymous 11:47 AM  

You ask two questions: "... why does this clue have 'so to speak'? Does the red in RARE steak really have nothing to do with blood?"

For the first, I think the answer is that many people will order meat cooked rare by slangily (as a puzzle clue would say) asking for it "bloody." I think this slang usage legitimizes the clue.

For the second, the answer is yes -- it has nothing to do with blood. For expert opinion, let's turn to a source on cooking (not science): Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking. He writes: "the pink or red coloration of meat is not due primarily to blood and its oxygen-carrying hemoglobin ... but to oxygen-storing myoglobin, which is located in the muscle cells proper and retains the oxygen brought by the blood until the cells need it." The browning of meat through cooking occurs as myoglobin is converted to the metmyoglobin form through exposure to heat.

SDS

miriam b 11:52 AM  

YALE refused to go away until it dawned on me that a son-in-law is a PENN alum and that my daughter-in-law got her MBA at Wharton.

I don't have HBO and thus don't know beans about the Sopranos, so had to take it on faith that ILER was correct.

I knew the government thing was somethingMAE, but I let the crosses decide for me among Sallie, Fannie, and GINNIE.

Is PLOTZ really considered slang? I'd call it a borrowing from Yiddish, like shlep.

Another ELENA with Spanish surname: Elena Verdugo, actress. I think she was Perry Mason's secretary.

Glad to see ISOLDE referred to as a princess, rather than a lass.

miriam b 12:00 PM  

Boy, did I have the wrong number. Elena Verdugo played Dr. Welby's assistant, Consuelo. "Classic" TV trivia is clearly not my thing.

JL 12:02 PM  

I think Elena Verduga was Dr. Marcus Welby's nurse.

jae 12:07 PM  

Really liked this one especially after yesterday's meh experience. Tight theme with interesitng fill. Missteps = misspelling GINNEMAE (if I could spell I'd be lots better at this), MITTS for FISTS, OMAN for ADEN (I can never remember which is the port and which is the bay/gulf), NEGEV for NIGER, and PBCS for PVCS (BRAC took care of that one almost immediately). Oh, and I also initially spelled LARSEN with an "O" (see above lament) but decided LARGE made more sense than LARGO. I also parsed 63a as "One who ...

BUGOUT was the theme of a MASH episode where they were going to practice the M (Mobile) in MASH.

LODI has appeared recently as a CA wine producing area. (Yes, its CCR).

miriam b 12:07 PM  

Yep, JL, I've just corrected myself. This is dredging up old TV memories; to wit, Perry Mason's secretary was Della Street, played by Barbara Hale (I think).

I'm signing off before I get even more off-topic (apologies, Rex).

jae 12:11 PM  

That should be "interesting" --more of a typo than a spelling problem, however.

John Reid 12:24 PM  

Thank you Joe Krozel!!! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this puzzle! It's gotta be one of my favorite Thursdays for a long time. It was a struggle pretty much the whole way through for me, although I was never totally stumped. That's the way I like my puzzles; they have to tease you a little. The fill came slowly but surely with many hiccups along the way, but what a rewarding feeling to finally puzzle out some of those deviously clued answers!!

The E/NE was the real headscratcher for me. I had big trouble with KENS... First put in 'gets', and that G looked good to cross with ----Ring for the diamond clue. Later changed it to 'sees' when I realised that it was a *baseball* diamond being alluded to, and the --LLP--- I had could obviously only be BULLPENS! :) Sheesh. Finally I got -STEPHEN from the theme answer, which gave me KENS, which gave me the correct BALLPARK... but what an ordeal!

I also had the ---HEM for ANTHEM for some time and had trouble putting that together. That was another great clue, I thought. #$@#$ baseball/sporting references foiled me again!

I was ok with BUGOUT because one of the people I work with uses that phrase all the time when she's getting ready to leave for the day. Otherwise it would have been a stumbling block.

But, come on, with a clue like 'Hard to take?' for CAMERASHY, you *know* you're dealing with a quality puzzle! That's got my vote as best clue/answer pairing for a long time. I was SO impressed with that one once I finally puzzled it out. Genius! [Right up there with 'Snow boarders?' for SEVENDWARFS which I saw somewhere several months back.]

@Rex - I also had trouble getting the puzzle last night at 10, but I was trying to use the applet version and couldn't get it working either. It finally let me in about 10:30 - until then it just kept giving me the Wednesday puzzle. Maybe they were having some technical issues last night? I know some people had access at 10 but I didn't until later.

I hope you all had as much fun with this puzzle as I did! It took me almost twice as long as last Thursday's puzzle did (got it in just under 12 minutes), but was such a satisfying solve. Mr. Krozel - more please!

[Sorry for the longish post - I felt it necessary to wax effusive on this puzzle!]

john 12:24 PM  

16A brought to mind the scene in Pulp Fiction when Vincent and Mia go out to eat.

Vincent: Douglas Sirk steak, and a vanilla Coke.
Buddy Holly: How would you like that? Burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell?
Vincent: Bloody as hell.

Really liked the HOPE clue, You might expect a guy named Bacon to be biased toward breakfast.

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

I remember several episodes of M*A*S*H where due to enemy advances, the camp had to be hastily relocated. The term for the move was "bugging out."

CAMERASHY is very elusive. I had to stare at CAME_ASHY for quite a while before it came into focus.

Byron

dk 1:20 PM  

arp, you are correct and so am I - takes a load off (I know The Weight is a Band Tune) :):)

Buffalo Springfield and the Flying Burrito Brothers did covers of Lodi, written by Gram Parsons (I think).

I Put a Spell on You is a favorite CCR tune The Bryan Ferry version is great as well.

Fond memories of running the toll booths on the Connecticut Turnpike listening to CCR. (I sure hope there is a statute of limitations on those quarters I did not toss in).

ds 1:28 PM  

Like most folks, I got caught by the LOTSA/LOTTA (particularly frustrating since there is nothing in the clue to indicate a non-grammatical word).

Agree with Miriam b, PLOTZ is not slang - it's a Yiddish word, the same way maven is a Yiddish word (e.g., Rex is a maven when it comes to crosswords).

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Since when does the word "take" stand alone as a synonym for taking a picture? The clue is lacking. It's a word-association clue...I guess we're supposed to fill in the missing parts.

Chip Ahoy 2:08 PM  

OMG!!!111!!11!, that NE corner is cle-eh-eh-eh-eh-vah!

Joe, way to clue, dood! This is what keeps me coming back.

Woo and Yay to the puz.

doc john 2:38 PM  

A fun puzzle, indeed, a LOTTA good and interesting fill (AZALEA, PLOTZ, FISTS, CAMERA SHY) and cluing (47A. Back, 47D. Dukes). Thanks, Joe!

My first fill was PARABOLA and I just picked my way through it from there.

I also have to agree with Rex that I was surprised (and pleased) that none of the theme clues had to do with the construction implement.

JC66 2:40 PM  

Agree w/Miriam b re: PLOTZ and john reid re: CAMERASHY and, most assuredly, with Ryan about a CRANE themed puzzle following the recent fatal NYC collapse. The timing may have been questionable, but the puzzle was marvelous.

chefbea 3:34 PM  

DK - dont worry about those quarters. We havent had toll booths on the connecticut turnpike in years - thank goodness!!!

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

someone may have already said this, but in 63A I think you were supposed to interperet it literally

Catherine K 4:19 PM  

As a Canadian (that's the excuse I'm using, and I'm sticking to it!), I have no idea what a Ginnie Mae is. Someone?

And who was Freud's Dora? As the grandmother of a three-year-old, my brain is stuck on Dora the Explorer (oh well, that's better than Barney the Dinosaur, the old favourite of my youngest kid - man, I hated that dinosaur!)

I had a terrible time with this crossword. I would rate it as a medium-challenging, in relation to many past Thursday puzzles. Oh well, I now know that Arachne was a weaver, and that ANIS is classic crosswordese. Is the singular ANI?

doc John 4:45 PM  

@ Catherine: Ginnie Mae website
There are also programs called Sallie Mae and Fannie Mae.

arb 4:47 PM  

Ginnie Mae is the nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association. (Fannie Mae = the Federal National Mortgage Association. Freddie Mac = Federal Home Loan and Mortgage Association. U.S. Govt. stuff, all.)

"Dora" was Freud's patient, real name Ida Bauer, suffering from hysteria, about whom he wrote a famous case study.

PuzzleGirl 5:05 PM  

I was so proud of myself that LARSEN was a gimme. (And I spelled it right too -- my family name is one of the -SON names so I'm sensitive to the distinction.)

Then EVERGREEN was a gimme too. Not so proud of that one. And it's an awful song to have running through your head.

Despite having EVERGREEN, BUGOUT, LARSEN, ANOX and FISTS, I still had a hard time figuring out what type of WADING BIRD the CRANE was. And the **EON*N*S for ONE ON ONES wasn't helping. Then again, I gave up trying to parse CAMERA SHY too and didn't figure out its meaning 'til I came here. It was late when I did the puzzle! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

P.S. I've found that on nights when the puzzle is "late," it's actually there but they haven't updated the link yet. Just copy the link for the previous day's puzzle, delete the last few digits and change them so you have the following day's date -- viola!

Bill from NJ 6:25 PM  

I have a fond memory of Don Larsen's perfect game.

My father was career military and we were stationed in Tachikawa Japan in 1956. So, in order to listen to the World Series, we had to rise at 3:30 in the morning to listen on Armed Forces Radio.

I was 9 years old at the time and my dad and I were hunkered down with the volume low so we wouldn't wake the family.

Truly a glorious time.

scriberpat 7:14 PM  

Rex - thank you for the link to the Disney cartoon "Cousin Gus Goose" -- A lot of your links get me to laugh aloud which of course is one of the reasons I keep reading Rex Parker.

Leon 7:41 PM  

In honor of your Whooping Crane picture:
Crane audio.

Michael 7:51 PM  

Nice puzzle -- good clues and easy for me because of all the baseball and the equation. I thought the theme would slow me down, but as soon as I got a reasonable number of letters, I was able to figure out the long answers.

Joon 8:27 PM  

great puzzle. solid theme, lotta good fill. tickled the brain. i didn't love ANIS next to LODI, or OLIO and ERNE in the same sector, but at this point, they weren't really problematic--just mildly annoying.

WARBRIDE is probably my favorite answer in the puzzle. haven't seen the movie, but it gave me a chuckle anyway.

was i the only one who tried ISEULT instead of ISOLDE? i can never remember which versions of the story have the germanicized name, and which have the really really germanicized name.

John Reid 9:06 PM  

Today's NY Sun puzzle is another challenging piece of work from our well-known adversary David J. Kahn.

It is absolutely worth a look if you have some time to spare. I think you may find the NW corner to be particularly brutal! I sure did.

Have fun!

PhillySolver 9:15 PM  

I had an early start today and since Rex had no posting until after I went to Brooklyn, I didn't get to tell you my favorite Greek myths. I will save those stories for another time, but one of them is the tale of Arachne. I also wanted to report that Parabolaphobia is the fear of y = ax2 + bx + c, right?

I, too, enjoyed the puzzle and all of the challenges it held. Long day for me and hoping for a fun puzzle to unwind in just a bit.

Doug 10:42 PM  

Great puzzle, after what I would call a mechanical week. A real McEnroe/Borg match, not all serves! I like the ones like this where I need to pass over again and again, building up letters for answers that are just not at all obvious even with a few crosses.

I got stuck in Wisconsin and admit I had to Google for HOPE. Prior to that couldn't get PENN (CONN?) and didn't know GI in __NNIEMAE so kept trying to make SALLIEMAE and FANNIEMAE work. And with the suspenseful drama of American Idol in the background, well who could blame me?

ladel 10:57 PM  

Please disregard, this is a test.

Orange 11:27 PM  

Constructor Joe Krozel stopped by my blog today to point out that some of that crosswordese (the ERNE and ANIS near LODI and OLIO) was there to ease the way for GINNIE MAE and ONE-ON-ONES—he would have had more fill options had he broken up those nines into two fours divided by a black square. It is rather fancy to have a nine stacked right above or below a thematic 15, after all. Some like the long ones and accept their cost of admission, while others presumably would rather sacrifice the nines and also lose the short crosswordese.

mac 11:27 PM  

A beautiful puzzle, not too smooth, with little sidesteps here and there. Of course I wanted eggs for Francis Bacon's breakfast. Today's New York Times has Isolde in it! Last week, Sunday March 16,Shirley Eaton was in the Times of London!
Orange, I'm with you, ken to me means knowledge, I've never seen it in plural.
The only reason I knew the name Iler is because of the young man's legal problems.
John Reid: don't worry, as long as your comment(s) is/are interesting, we like it long.

mac 11:39 PM  

@Orange, I guess our wisdom goes to waste, we seem to be the only night owls...

ArtLvr 12:00 AM  

Well, I just took on the NY Sun as John Reid suggested above... The good news was that I finally figured out how to download it. The bad news was the NW corner as John had warned -- nightmarish!

∑;(

SethG 12:07 AM  

Don't worry, mac, I'm sure 6 weeks from now a whole new generation will discover your pearls...

fergus 2:39 AM  

KENS as a verb in the third person is what I found the more distasteful.

And once I was genuinely, if doubtfulluly, hunting through the Valentine card section for kind thoughts for EXES.

Therapy??!! 7:53 AM  

I couldn't finish this one. I had gets for kens and have been working on it until just now, Saturday morning. Usually I deny myself th eblog until I finish, but...oh well.

quilter 11:14 AM  

Being an old person I have seen "I Was a Male War Bride" many times and it is laugh out loud hilarious. Best scene is where Cary wears a wig made from a horse's tail so he can stay in the war bride dorm. Easy puzzle. This is my first post, though I've been lurking for a long time.

boardbtr 11:38 AM  

Six weeks later. I would have been better off never hearing about any of the MAEs. SALLIE and FANNIE are the only ones I know. Since SALLIE didn't work, FANNIE hung me so that I had to come to the blog to get hammered with HIGHS and OLIO, which I should have gotten if I hadn't been so stuck on FANNIE. WARBRIDE and PARABOLA were big gimmes for me.

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

being a huge MASH fan, bug out was a gimme but on the whole I struggled...WAR BRIDE, GINNIE MAE(have to research this one), and with the fill ins I was confident 20A was going to be___ redneck.

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

6wl...

No one else had BEATIT for BUGOUT ?

- - Robert

nancy 8:15 PM  

Liked PLOTZ but would have preferred the clue refer to its yiddish origin. It is one of many expressive yiddish words that was used in my family/neighborhood all the time. I could have just plotzed when I discovered the answer to 2 down was 'plotz'.

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