TUESDAY, May 27, 2008 - Adam G. Perl (1995 PHYSICS NOBELIST MARTIN L. _____)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: NO ID (52D: Reason to be barred from a bar ... or the theme of this puzzle) - "ID" is removed from familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued, "?"-style

A very easy, very solid puzzle from Mr. Perl, who really really wants you to remember that he wrote this puzzle - see ADAM (1A: "Fall" guy) and PERL (1995 Physics Nobelist Martin L. _____) in the first and last Across positions. The puzzle was a nice light dessert at the end of a very relaxing weekend, but now I'm in that weird time warp that happens after three-day weekends where it feels like Monday but isn't. In fact, I completely forgot to write the Weekly Wrap-Up yesterday because my brain somehow convinced the rest of my body that it was Sunday. Wife and I went to buy a new compost bin for the backyard yesterday and had to go through a part of town I rarely see - it was loaded with some of the best commercial signs I have seen around town ("best" in the sense of both "cool" and "ridiculous"), and I am clearly going to have to go back and take pictures. I bought an animal comb the other day called "The Furminator" and it cost an arm and a leg but Man that thing can take the undercoat off your pets faster than you can say "Vitas Gerulaitis" (who was mentioned in a Laura Linney movie I saw this weekend, "The Squid and the Whale"). I think I'm going to buy a bicycle today ... but none of this has anything to do with the puzzle.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: E.S.L. class, perhaps? (scene of an accent) - fresh off the ESL controversy of the weekend ("Why would a bilingual person take ESL if he/she was already bilingual?"), we get this very clever clue.
  • 36A: Seedy hangout across the Atlantic? (Continental dive) - here's something I find odd: why does "Continental" refer to Europe when there are clearly 7 continents (well, 6, I guess, since we're not counting Pluto any more)?
  • 56A: Hip-hop critics? (rap response team) - this threw me a bit, as there seemed to be many things that could be RAP(ID) RESPONSE ... though I couldn't name many off hand right now (vehicle ... system ... sled?)
There wasn't much to slow me down today, except MERLE OBERON (34A: With 44-Down, "Wuthering Heights" actress) - actrESS? I had no idea MERLE was a unisex name. I also stumbled slightly over 10A: Saks sack, say (tote) - is this a bag you buy from Saks (Fifth Avenue)? One that you carry your purchases home in? I thought "sack" was somehow referring to a dress, even though I didn't think that word seemed appropriate for something you'd buy at Saks. Both wife and I balked at clue for EMIL (55D: Disney's "_____ and the Detectives"), since it was originally a book that had nothing to do with Disney (like Pooh, and many many other things, I'm sure). It was my wife's first "chapter book," in fact. But the clue that surprised me the most today was 23D: Kid you might feel like smacking (brat). Whoa! I admire this clue's honesty, but smacking children is not something I expect to see referenced in my (it's-not-really-) Monday-morning puzzle. I'll just assume that "smacking" here means ... kissing, and that you are kissing a BRAT either because you find brattiness adorable, or because your kisses are so repulsive that they serve as some form of correction. Problems solved.

Residuals:

  • 47A: Makes verboten (bans) - this clue wants you to believe that "verboten" is some kind of stew, I think. If I didn't know what "verboten" meant, that's what I'd think.
  • 52A: Supreme Court count (nine) - only because FDR was thwarted in his attempt to pack the court (documentaries help me learn)
  • 60A: Cookie with its name on it (Oreo) - one of my favorite OREO clues
  • 64A: Meal with readings (seder) - I went to one of these at my girlfriend's family's house in, let's say 1989. When did "Say Anything" come out, because I think I saw that on the same trip. Anyway, that SEDER was my first and last encounter with gefilte fish.
  • 2D: Parcheesi pair (dice) - it's hard for me to convey just how wrong "Parcheesi" looks to me with two "e"s.
  • 25D: First name in scat (Ella) - it is most unfortunate that one common meaning of "scat" is "excrement, especially of animal; dung." ELLA Fitzgerald's vocal control was IN + SANE. (37D: Out of one's mind)
  • 38D: Ja's opposite (nein) - Hmmm, "verboten" and "NEIN" ... this puzzle's starting to scare me [I'm just baiting one of my readers here ... hi Ulrich].
  • 57D: Carrier to Bergen (SAS) - this "carrier" is challenging EL AL's spot as the go-to "carrier" of CrossWorld. EL AL used to be in every other puzzle (or so it seemed) when I started solving back in the early 90s, and SAS was not familiar to me until 2006, but now SAS is everywhere and poor EL AL is struggling to keep pace (actually, according to cruciverb.com, ELAL had one more 2007 appearance in the NYT puzzle than SAS did).
  • 59D: Bill (Bojangles) Robinson's forte (tap) - all I could think of was "the old soft shoe." And I had the "T" in place ... weird.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

60 comments:

ArtLvr 8:26 AM  

Not too hot, not too cold -- just right! Very happy with Adam G Perl's puzzle today. The light motif of NO ID was fun without being too difficult, and the fill required a bit of cogitation in spots without totally stopping the flow... The 10A "Saks sack, say" = TOTE was a good example, gettable with 10D TACOMA and oldfashioned "TV control" at 12D turning out to be TINT.

I'm sure Ulrich will mention Erich Kästner as the author of "EMIL und der Detektive", not Disney, at 55D... I remember making the same objection to a Disney attribution a couple of months ago, though which film it was then escapes me now! If you didn't know EMIL, it was a toss-uo whether you wanted ALII (other people) or "alia" (other things) at 62A, having no help from the clue!

∑;)

treedweller 9:18 AM  

Well, where have I been? My mother is a librarian, so I read a lot of kids' books, but I never heard of EMIL (I avoid Disney on principle, so less surprise there). Add to that a Nobelist I am not familiar with and my first encounter with et ALII (sure you don't mean alia? no, I see google is hep to the ALII) and you get an unhappy finish to a Tues. puzzle for the treedweller.

Oh, well, I enjoyed the rest of the puzzle. Especially when I was expecting the theme to be clued in relation to the ego and/or superego.

PhillySolver 9:21 AM  

So, when you have a blog master who writes about the continent Pluto, how do you know if you should explain that continental in this case does not refer to land masses, but rather to water sheds? But it does raise a Disney question. What is Goofy, if not a dog, and why can he, mice and ducks talk and Pluto can't? The dismissal of Pluto as a planet is deeply rooted in the disrespect coming from childhood comics.

Merele Oberion was the Laura Linney of her time and appeared in many good movies.

I had to correct ALII, but my Latin training gave me a slightly different reason to choose ALII over ALIA. In Lesson MCCXLII I learned it is gender based and masculine and neuter (or mixed) are ALII and feminine is ALIA. When Wade checks in I am sure we will get to the bottom of this serious controversy.

John in CT 9:24 AM  

I struggled more than others did with this one. I died in the SE corner. EMIL, PERL, and ALII, were a mystery. I did not like having to use the Google on a Tuesday, but found it necessary to get the job done. I also was not a big fan of TOTE and found this puzzle a little heavy on the German... Maybe it was just a slow recovery from the weekend.

jls 9:26 AM  

how perfect that you've got bogangles and ms. temple in proximity to one another on the page -- since they also spent time in proximity to each other on the (sound) stage. here's one example:

bill 'n' shirl

;-)

janie

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

I too got stuck in the SE corner. Had Alia instead of alii and Rapid response fire was the only phrase I could think of.However, had Hair so knew fire was not correct. Alas, had to Google on a Tues for Perl, then tap and tele fell and realized team was the end of rap (id)responder. Thus realized emil was the down, alii (and not alia) the across. Tough for a Tuesday.
profphil

ArtLvr 9:48 AM  

@ philly and treedweller --

"alia" is the neuter plural, and the all-feminine plural would be "aliae", which is unlikely because "and others" is non-specific as to gender - thus giving precedence to the mixed or male plural.

Think "alumni" vs "alumnae" with the latter used for all-female graduates... Likewise "alia" is indeed the feminine singular, but not likely to be used as a list-extender of only one female person.

∑;)

PuzzleGirl 9:55 AM  

Like others, I had a little trouble in the SE but ended up with a respectable time. I had only the A for the Bojangles clue and couldn't get my brain to stop thinking RAG for quite a while.

The theme slowed me down a little because I kept thinking the bar had to do with lawyers and being barred from it must be about ... bad grades? ethics? citizenship?

I've heard that The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin -- an insider's account of the Rehnquist Court -- is a great read and it's on my library list.

Does anyone else get HAIR and GODSPELL confused? I guess my friend Drew and I used to sing songs from both while dancing around her living room with fake microphones, so they're intertwined in my memory. I know it was HAIR in the puzzle today, but now I have "Day by Day" stuck in my head.

Rex Parker 10:04 AM  

On *my* library list - in fact, in my possession right now - is "LEMONs Don't Lie" by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake), which I forgot to mention today re: LEMON (15A: Slot machine fruit). I am in awe of the book. It's just ... fantastic. Everyone talks about Elmore Leonard ("the filet of the crime genre," per Jeff Daniels in "The Squid and the Whale"), and rightly so, but oh my god if you like crime fiction, or just good, action- and dialogue-driven writing period, you should pick up any of the several Westlake or Stark books in the Hard Case Crime series. He combines non-stop action with memorable, complex characters (mainly criminals), and has an ear for dialogue that most writers would kill for. I can't say enough about him - he should be about ten times more famous than he is.

RP

ArtLvr 10:06 AM  

scratch that last!

You might do "Obama et alia" as a joke, meaning Obama and what's-her-name... when there are just the two under consideration!

∑;)

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Emil was a mystery; Perl a guess (had I seen Adam Perl in the grid maybe it would have been less a guess), so had to figure there was something going on with alii beyond my rudimentary Latin-need-to-know phrases. Otherwise a very enjoyable stroll around this puzzle! I know this Emil, vaguely, but there's another, I think, the brother rat to gourmet Remy in Ratatouille?

Joon 10:16 AM  

i flew threw this puzzle like it was a monday, but ouch, that SE was unfriendly. i happen to know martin PERL (who discovered the tau lepton), both because i'm a physics geek, and because he teaches at SLAC and i went to physics grad school at stanford. but that's not a gimme. never heard of EMIL but that looked righter than EMAL, so ALII it was.

figured out the theme right away so was looking for the ID-explaining clue, then almost laughed out loud when it turned out to be NOID. was anybody else reminded of the domino's pizza guy?

mystery fill: MERLE OBERON. yikes. good thing the crosses were super-easy.

i liked all of the long theme answers, and most of the fill was fine, but it was a little bland. i would have liked to see at least one Z, Q, X, or J.

i suspect "continental" refers to europe in english because that's how british people use it. there's the UK and there's the "continent" (i.e. the rest of europe... not including ireland or iceland, i suppose). i wonder if the japanese equivalent of "continental" also means "asian." or, uh, whatever language they speak on madagascar, vis-a-vis africa. (i think i read somewhere that madagascar natives are ethnically austronesian, with a language similar to the ones spoken by pacific islanders, but i have no idea what the official tongue is over there.)

ArtLvr 10:17 AM  

Thanks, Rex -- I was going to mention Westlake yesterday! He did a screamingly funny early book about a guy who was having an affair with his dentist's wife. The dentist never confronted him but managed to convince his patient that all his teeth had to come out, one or two at a time. Revenge fantasy/nightmare... (can't recall the title).

∑;)

Joon 10:18 AM  

i suspect that the ratatouille brother is named emile, like most frenchmen (frenchmice?) with that name (e.g. zola). the only EMIL i know of is the A's outfielder brown, who has a crazy number of RBI out of proportion to his overall crappy batting line.

Jane Doh 10:35 AM  

Clever theme and nice puzzle. No speed bumps.

The self-referential 1A and 65A are odd, especially since PERL makes the SE corner blah. BRAT smacking is an unfortunate choice.

NO ID -- not quite accurate. 14A is S*ID*E, which must have been an oversight. There are other ways to fill that corner, even given the ADAM constraint.

Tony from Charm City 10:43 AM  

Only real problem was the end of 56A where I originally had "RAPRESONSEUNIT" instead of "..TEAM"

Rex's recollection of his first (and last) Seder reminds me of mine. My parents are really close with a Jewish couple. My sister and their son were inseparable when they were in kindergarten. Anyway, we went to their house for a Seder and it came to the time to open the door for Elijah to drink from his wine cup. My sister and her friend dutifully opened the door as requested, only to find the paper boy about to knock to collect his funds (anybody old enough to remember when the paper boy had to pay for the papers and collect the money from the subscribers?). Anyways, we heard a blood-curdling scream and my sisyer and her friend came hurtling back into the room.

Ulrich 10:48 AM  

Raising to Rex's bait: I continue to be amazed at the number of German references in xword puzzles, which now have entered even clues for non-German words--I gues "verboten" sounds more forbidding than "forbidding".

As to Erich Kästner, the author of the original Emil und die Detektive: He has the distinction, together with other writers of the twenties, of having had his books burned by the Nazis. He wrote novels, especially for children, but so that adults could also enjoy them, and poetry of the lighter sort, often with a satirical twist. His riff on HEINE's Loreley (remember him from yesterday?) is a true gem

SethG 10:49 AM  

A lot of alliteration from anxious anchors..., well, William Hurt ≠ Jeff Daniels, but in my mind they're close enough. And it wasn't even his line... Anyway, I think the Saks sack is the one you carry your purchases home in--they give you a TOTE.

In 1970 Wuthering Heights starred TIMOTHY DALTON, and I think I saw the 1992 version. Yet somehow I blanked on the '39. It's not just that I haven't heard of her, I haven't heard of any movie she ever appeared in.

Also had trouble with the PERL/EMaL cross, the perfectly valid clue for REFER seems off in my mind, and I'd think the sign for a loo would say Gents.

The official languages of Madagascar are English, French, and Malagasy, which is in fact an Austronesian language. I don't know what they call the mainland. I do know of Emils Artin and Zátopek.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

@Tony re seders:

Wonderful story about the paperboy. (and yes I remember those.) For the longest time my daughter thought Elijah was a girl... a very powerful girl, who could command a room and remain invisible.

SethG 10:53 AM  

...and, linked correctly, they give you a TOTE.

Joaneee 11:12 AM  

Re the furminator - sounds great, although I would not have thought of de-furring my household pests. Most considerate of you.

jae 11:13 AM  

I did this in about my usual Tues. time with no major hiccups (briefly had DUMBER for DENSER). Thought the theme was cute with some interesting fill (especially working ADAM PERL into the grid). About an hour after I finished I suddenly thought "its et ALII not et ALIA" and went back and made the correction. I think I'd seen the ALII thing in one or more previous puzzles and it just gradually percolated into consciousness. So, while I didn't make an error, my time was quite slow.

dk 11:21 AM  

Rex,

Love the Hard Case series along with Vintage. And, as I have an opinion on everything:

Read Andrew Vachss but just pretend you do not have a child.

Go 29 inches for the bike and look at Orbea. You should be able to get some bikes that were rentals or demos last year.

Yes, yes the puzzle. I had herle/heats instead of MERLE/MEETS. That added 30 seconds to an otherwise scorching Tuesday.

CONTINENTALDIVE is my favorite both for watershed (thank you @phillysolver) and watering hole (e.g., Withies Pub Compton, Surrey).

karmasartre 11:35 AM  

Great Supreme Court image. The layout had me looking for Paul Lynde. It's nice that Souter's head is twice as large as the rest.

kate 11:37 AM  

I popped in to lodge my complaint at classic children's literature being clued as "Disney," but I see it's already been well taken care of.

Other than than, very enjoyable, clean puzzle.

Nebraska Doug 11:40 AM  

Like others, I flew threw puzzle, typical monday, but the SE killed me as well, "EMIL, PERL, and ALII" all new to me.

Peter Sattler 11:58 AM  

Ironically, my first misstep in this puzzle was to put DIAL for "TV control." I recalled that DIAL's clue had a warning the last time it appeared (something about it being an old-time channel changer). I wondered why this clue didn't have a similar qualifier, but DIAL fit with AVIS, so ...

But now I wonder if TINT also deserves/demands a similar "one-time/former/erstwhile" qualifier. Do any of our TVs have a TINT control (at least with that name)? Didn't that name disappear with the HORIZ and VERT controls?

(And didn't the term "control" for those items also disappear?)

miriam b 12:04 PM  

Had I been a boy, my parents would have named me MERLE. I seem to have lucked out, pretty much.

Ulrich 12:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
foodie 12:28 PM  

Fun puzzle, just right for a Tuesday. Beyond the SE corner, I stumbled for a bit on "SALTAWAY".I had most of it minus the L for ELLA and the W for WAIVE, and it took a bit to materialize. Oh and I did not notice that the constructor's name made up the first and last clue until Rex pointed it out. I can see how Mr. Perl might have enjoyed slipping that in.

Rex, I am impressed that you thought of "dress" in response to "sack". It was in fact a dress style, may be in the 50's? but I think it was spelled "Sac" like the French word. It went through my mind as well, but the "k" at the end of the clue led me to TOTE. And a tote need not be just for grocery. It can be fancy, leather, etc.-- essentially a large purse. More fashion info than you probably ever wanted to hear, but my excuse is that it might come in handy for future puzzle solving : )

Ulrich 12:30 PM  

@artlvr and kate: You may be interested in this tidbit: Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, remarked in a recent interview with a German news magazine that Erich Kästner in general and Emil and the Detectives in particular are models for him when he tries to write books for children that can also be enjoyed by adults b/c they are not condescending or patronizing in either direction.

Doc John 12:41 PM  

This is not going to be a good week!
Missed another letter today (had an E instead of an L in the Homestead, FL square). (I don't think we need to go into what is the southeasternmost city in the US, though.) Two obscure (to me) names crossing- on a Tuesday.
Interesting about the constructor's putting his name in the puzzle.

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

Can someone explain how "thrills" relates to "sends"? Am I completely missing something? Also have never heard of "salt away." Put away, stash away... yes, but salt away? Huh?

Bill from NJ 12:45 PM  

Somehow I knew an upscale shopping bag was known as a TOTE and recognized 1A ADAM as the first name of the puzzle constructor.

Like everybody else, the only problem I had was in the SE as the puzzle itself was simple enough. When I got to 65A and had PER* I thought, huh, this guy worked his name into the puzzle. I'd never seen that before. I hadn't heard of the Disney movie at 55D but, as Joon said, EMIL looked a lot better than EMAL as a name so I went with it.

Since I am a big fan of Hollywood gossip, I had no problem with MERLE OBERON. I remember the silly controversy over her supposed "mixed-race."

Rex, I am a fan of Donald Westlake aka Richard Stark and read the Parker series when I was young. I really liked The Hunter which has been filmed several times, most recently as Payback with Mel Gibson.

Westlake would never allow the name Parker to be used as the central character's name unless a series of movies were going to be made ala Rambo. No commitement to that effect was forthcoming so the name was always changed, most recently to Porter.

I suspect more that a little chauvinism is involved in the use of the word Continental to refer to Europe in the same way America tends to mean just the United States

PuzzleGirl 12:48 PM  

@anon 12:43: See the Sam Cooke song "You Send Me" (the lyrics of which also include the phrase "you thrill me").

jae 12:55 PM  

@pete sattler -- Hit the menu button on your TV remote and find the "picture" option. Somewhere in the things you can do to the picture will be "TINT."

SandyB 1:04 PM  

I just searched my library for books by Erich Kastner it came up with The Parent Trap :
Based on the book Das Doppelte Lottchen by Erich Kastner.
Who knew?

mrbreen 1:23 PM  

The comments made about CONTINENT are absolutely correct. This is why wines from Europe are often described as being from the continent. Also explains the term continental cuisine.

mrbreen 1:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Sattler 1:42 PM  

@jae

Oh, I know the function is there, but my sets (do we still call them "sets"?) don't call it TINT anymore. They call it HUE (or even TEMP).

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Doug 1:48 PM  

I bought a lot of my favorite books from my childhood for my kids, and didn't get far. "The Great Brain", "Henry Reed, Inc.", etc. EMIL of course was one, and I recently reread the first few chapters to see if it held up 35 years later. Still a Great Read!

Should I have written "re-read" or "reread?" One of my main Podcasts is "Grammar Girl" which this past week clarified the use of the hyphen. If "reread" was itself a word ("re-press" and "repress" for example) it requires a hyphen. Crossword blog readers will probably have a higher-than-average interest in it, and she also transcribes her Podcast here: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-hyphens.aspx

If you liked EMIL, you should try Cornelia Funke, a German writer of children/adult books. Our German friends gave us a copy of Inkheart and introduced us to this fabulous writer. http://www.corneliafunke.de/en/index.html

PhillySolver 1:52 PM  

The link below is a map of the Continental Divide in the US. Water falling to the left of the divide flows in to the Pacific. Water to the right flows to the Atlantic (and bodies that become part of the Atlantic Ocean). The largest number of Continental Dives is near Butte, MT.
Continental Divide

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://butterflybreeders.com/graphics/contdividemap2.gif&imgrefurl=http://butterflybreeders.com/pages/continentaldividemap.html&h=874&w=391&sz=24&hl=en&start=32&um=1&tbnid=Q7mzaXOO_rZ86M:&tbnh=146&tbnw=65&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcontinental%2Bdivide%2Busa%26start%3D18%26ndsp%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

ArtLvr 1:53 PM  

@ Ulrich, sandy b -- thx for the info on Kästner! I have a copy of EMIL in German and planned to try using it to brush up on the language, some day. Maybe. One of my grandfathers had the surname Heile -- his family were said to have been from Berlin. Does the name mean anything in English??

∑;)

JC66 2:24 PM  

@peter sattler

Was your TV made is Vietnam? (-:

LoneStar 3:49 PM  

@Puzzlegirl - I never get Hair and Godspell confused - wasn't allowed to see Hair until an adult, but learned Day by Day along with Sign Language motions in the 6th grade choir. I can still do about 90% of it.

I knew Emil and the Detectives, but with the other wrong answers i had in that corner, it looked wrong and I didn't trust it. Not sure how I decided that SAX was a good answer for Mr. Bojangles - all those old-timey jazzy music people played SAX didn't they??!

So - only one google to get PERL and then it all fell into place. I enjoyed this puzzle.

mac 3:49 PM  

Lovely, easy puzzle, no stumbles today. I got the theme in 17A, so that made the rest easier.

Pink inside is probably medium-rare, and a tote isn't made of paper. A shopping bag is, IMHO.Especially these days the stores are encouraging us to get re-usable totes instead of paper or plastic.

I'm putting Donald Westlake and Richard start on my list; I'm probably take them on vacation next week!

archaeoprof 4:14 PM  

Back in 4th grade we each had to write a letter to an author we had read. I chose Erich Kaestner. My teacher tried to dissuade me, but I persisted. Months later I got back a letter, in German. Of course I couldn't read it. I wonder what I ever did with that letter?

dk 4:47 PM  

@phillysolver:

http://www.pubutopia.com/images/pubs/29617.jpg

A watering hole link from which much beer/Pimms and wine flows, resulting in continental drift.

@puzzlegirl: my current fav-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUSAVcp1H1k

Orange 6:30 PM  

PuzzleGirl: What, you don't get "Jesus Christ Superstar" mixed up with those other musicals, too?

Rex, I heard about the Furminator on a blog and immediately sent a link to my sister. She has two dogs and a house full of dog hair. She hasn't mentioned buying the Furminator, though—I'll have to buy it for her if she hasn't.

Michael 7:23 PM  

I was having trouble with the extreme SE cell until I looked again at the constructor's name...

fergus 7:37 PM  

Orange beat me to it about JC Superstar. Hair stands alone.

CARTEL in the puzzle sets me up on the soapbox to declaim its frequent common use in the plural. You used to hear it a lot, as in the Medellin cocaine cartels, and I would wince because you cannot have a cartel if there are competing agents. A cartel doesn't work, or even technically exist, if it doesn't thoroughly control the price of a good in a market. There is no problem with the usage today in the puzzle, but I wish it weren't misused so broadly in public. I may be guilty of too much precision via the Economics trade, but I think that those of us with that sort of background need to assert ourselves more often when there's such a contradiction.

Heard it before but I can't remember who would use REPROS for for that form of copying?

andrea carla michaels 8:09 PM  

I loved that ADAM PERL snuck his name into the grid and first and last word no less!
The only drag was that PERL has never been in a puzzle and it obviously caused a lot of problems for a lot of us, esp with the tricky ALII and the next-to-unheard-of EMIL film!
However, I still say bravo!
Perhaps Adam has been asked "Perl, like the Physicist?" enough times in his life that it seemed more common, or better yet, perhaps that's his uncle!
In my TV Guide days, they NEVER gave us bylines and so I always tried to sneak my name or some signature in there (usually "The Streets of ___ Francisco" as a shout out to friends so they would know that it was mine...
my crowning achievement was slipping SANANDREASFAULT one day across the middle...
Nowadays I content myself with getting ACME in here or there...
today I tried to change ACNE in one puzzle I was creating, but by the time I got rid of that "blemish" the wordfill became ANNE!
close enough!
:)

fergus 8:26 PM  

A little public aside to Rex:

Last week when a couple, traveling with an infant and a toddler, in the airplane row in front, had reached wit's end, the mother smacked the toddler, and he quickly settled down. Almost needless to say, but this was an unusual display. It was as bold as a clearly pregnant woman having a glass of wine, or Guinness, in public.

gabby 8:37 PM  

Rex - if you love the Furminator, you will also like the Peticure - a battery-charged tool that files your pets nails smoothly and quickly. Guess I am a sucker for those TV commercials!

Doug - I am glad to find another fan of "The Great Brain" series. I read them to my fifth grade classes years ago, and they loved them.

I also enjoyed the puzzle today.

Victor in Rochester 10:27 PM  

Rex: Famous Jewish haiku:

No fins, no flippers,
the gefilte fish swims with
some difficulty.

Try it with horseradish.

Ladel 10:27 PM  

@Rex

artists have been sneaking things into their works forever, they make for a clever diversion, the cool part is discovering the thing. So construct away oh wise one of the blog and figure out a way to have your Hitchcock too!

SethG 1:03 AM  

My mom takes gefilte fish from the jar, discards most of the broth, adds onions, carrots, celery, parsley, and a bunch of spices, marinates it, then bakes it.

In the end, it tastes like gefilte fish.

br 3:06 AM  

In this instance, a TOTE doesn't refer to a shopping bag, but rather an oversized handbag much in fashion lately, especially in the summer season - trendy AND practical.

http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductArray.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306418133&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474399545537&bmUID=1211948005565&SECSLOT=LN-Premier+Designer

Chris Zammarelli 10:30 PM  

Janis Joplin has the same number of letters as Jimi Hendrix, so guess what I wrote in first. I don't know why the double-j thing seemed more likely to be in the grid than an X-ending.

Matt 1:37 PM  

I, too, enjoyed Adam working his name into the first and last spots of this puzzle. After seeing that, I immediately looked at the center square for his middle initial, G. I was disappointed that it wasn't there until I noticed that there wasn't a G anywhere in the puzzle! Now G isn't the most common letter in our language, but a whole puzzle without one? I have a hunch that;'s not a coincidence!

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