TUESDAY, Jul. 8, 2008 - Andrea Carla Michaels (DR. KILDARE PLAYER AYRES / "WISEGUY" ACTOR KEN)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Sounds like "AIR" - five theme answers all start w/ "AIR" homophones

I have about ten minutes to write this. Having a puppy (a very, very, criminally young puppy) is exhausting. Not metaphorically exhausting. Literally exhausting. She's sleeping in her crate now, which gives me 20 minutes or so before she awakes and needs to be let out (10 times a day, minimum, including twice in the middle of the night). She's traumatized and we're traumatized but she's clearly going to be awesome one day, so I'm sure my brain will bury the memories of no sleep and house-training frustration. At least I hope so.

Loved the puzzle except for the LEW (32D: Dr. Kildare player Ayres) / WAHL (42A: "Wiseguy" actor Ken) crossing, which I botched, and which is truly a horrible call on someone's part. An "S" or "D" would have gone in that "W" spot nicely; instead, you get two B- to C-list pop culture has-beens. Yuck.

Theme answers:

  • 16A: Big name in athletic shoes (Air Jordan)
  • 22A: Prince (Heir to the throne)
  • 37A: End of a Napoleonic palindrome? (ere I saw Elba)
  • 52A: Black-and-tan purebred (Airedale Terrier)
  • 61A: Carrier with a shamrock logo (Aer Lingus)

List:

  • 66A: Zaire's Mobutu _____ Seko (Sese) - eeks. I can never remember this. Always feels iffy.
  • 1D: Possible result of iodine deficiency (goiter) - yuck
  • 3D: Basketball's Erving, familiarly (Dr. J) - feels like I haven't seen him in a while
  • 24D: Puff the Magic Dragon's frolicking place (Honalee) - oh, man, the spelling was a total phonetic guess.
  • 13D: Turkish pooh-bah (pasha) - that's at least four Turkish pooh-bah names: PASHA, Aga, Dey, and Bey.
  • 39D: 1930s heavyweight champ Max (Baer) - wanted BAHR, thanks possibly to stupid Ken WAHL, and also the eternal influence of crossword champion what's his name LAHR (from "Wizard of Oz").
  • 45D: Church groundskeeper (sexton) - yay, first guess, and it was right.
  • 54D: Monthly fashion issues (Elles) - plural? Hmmm...
  • 55D: Category in which the single-season record is 191 (RBI) - record-holder: Hack Wilson
  • 53D: Code-crackers' org. (NSA) - I knew this, and yet any time I'm dealing with government abbreviations / initialisms, I lose all confidence.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of Puppyland

64 comments:

joho 9:04 AM  

Rex, just to reassure you, every bit of lost sleep will be worth it once your puppy grows up. Our dog is just over a year and I have almost forgotten how it felt to be out in the backyard in the dark at 3 or 4 in the morning. He was house broken at 2 months which was a record for me. He's the cutest, clown dog and, of course, the most intelligent dog ever to be born. So just hang in there because the rewards you reap are beyond worth it.

dk 9:09 AM  

Rex, me too with the puzzle. Wanted WAHL to be Dahl and LEW to be Led... sigh.

Think a puppy is trouble, try having a pet bat :).

This as a solid Tuesday puzzle IMHO. We had BAER, ARGOT, AURA, NCO and the rest of the usual "gang of idiots" found in a solid Tuesday puzzle. Thank you Andrea all is right with the world.

FYI: Gang of idiots = staff credits from Mad Mag.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

I blew it by one too: the Sese -- nSa crossing had "L"ese instead. Then Googled it and saw I was wrong. Although, I remembered seeing these clues before,I was still clue-less.

Profphil

sillygoose 9:28 AM  

House broke the puppy in two weeks flat with crate training (7 years ago), then decided to have kids. Still trying to house break the kids, but that's another story.

Les/Sahl, followed by Len, Leo, Led, Lev, and finally Lew!

Good thing you are allowed to submit as many guesses as you want - if there were some sort of a cap on submissions I would miss that big rush of "your solution has been submitted" all too often.

treedweller 9:44 AM  

My last letter was a guess--I put in the 'H' in WAHL. Only I had Sahl. When I got the notice of incorrect solution, I went straight to google. I was quite surprised when the 'H' was correct but the 'S' was not. Well, a little surprised. Thought sure I'd come here to find out LEW was a gimme and I just missed it somehow, but since others had the same problem I feel vindicated. Otherwise, a quick solve--even with the google, I beat yesterday's time and finished faster than most Tuesdays.

Our puppy is also a handful of energy. Fortunately, we have a 3-year-old border collie who needed a job anyway, and he appointed himself babysitter. Whenever the puppy insists on chewing something he isn't allowed (like a toe), Quercus bravely steps in and pushes him away. He plays with Dill to keep the puppy occupied even though he clearly found the whole thing a bit exasperating at times. He has developed a style of neutralizing the puppy bite without overwhelming him despite weighing roughly 5 times as much. He either holds the puppy in his mouth (gently) or pushes the puppy to the floor with his head. Those collies are some smart dogs!

markus 9:45 AM  

In addition to the long, long list of Turkish pooh-bahs, there's quite a collection of crossword-specific vocab for the cluing thereof: "pooh-bah," "bigwig," "nabob," "honorific," etc.

I, too, was a bit confounded by that ALT-LEW-WAHL string, as well as by the SW corner. Why not make ARGOT "INGOT" and use the common but cool "ONO" in lieu of the over-used and foreign ORO? ORO, OLE, QUI (whose clue mixes languages...), NOLO, SAN -- lots of foreign words today. And ENOW?? Oy.

alanrichard 10:02 AM  

Airedale & a new puppy - must be an omen! This was one very easy puzzle. I didn't even notice the theme until I read your blog. I wrote better than EVER because I remembered a song Candice Bergen sang in some old movie with Burt Reynolds but I corrected that contexturally quickly. We have 2 dogs, (Std. Poodle & Schnauzer), and they both started out crated and learned very quickly.

randis 10:09 AM  

I hit "Lew" on the first try and thought aha crosswordese so I was surprised by Rex's response. Turns out Ayres only accounts for 4 of 20 clues in the NYT since 1997. Not common fair.

rick 10:11 AM  

LEW Ayres must be an age thing. He was an Oscar nominee, Ginger Rogers' husband and Jane Wyman left Ronald Reagan for him and has over 150 movie and TV credits.

If you check the database I'm sure you will find multiple instances of him clued as Dr. Kildare.

Alex 10:14 AM  

N would have also worked at the LEW/WAHL crossing. One of my more significant professors in grad school was named Nahl so given -AHL that is where my mind went first.

Crosscan 10:14 AM  

Word of the day: GOITER
Clue of the day: Provider of a pass abroad [EURAIL]
Crossing of the day: AIR JORDAN/ DR J
Killer crossing: QUI/AIREDALE TERRIER
Canadian content: Carol ALT [once married to Ron Greschner]
It helps to be American: Mrs. [EDITH] Woodrow Wilson
Best theme answer: ERE I SAW ELBA
Something I learned today: How to spell AIREDALE
Something I likely knew before Rex: SHUL
Something Rex likely knew before me: Rock’s Better Than EZRA
Something I learned doing crosswords: SESE
Something I’ve seen enough of: OLE

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

@rick

I think you meant ayres clued as Dr. Gelespie (sp?), Dr. Kildare's mentor.

Richard Chamberland played Kildare in the TV series.

.../Glitch

hereinfranklin 10:18 AM  

Loved this puzzle so much. Dogs, not as much. I'm a cat person myself. :)

tintin 10:24 AM  

I blew right through this one. Did not know QUI VIVE but that was easy enough with crosses. Interesting etymology on that phrase.

What, no Better than EZRA video clips?? Well, I'd rather have it clued as a rock band than the Nth Book of the Bible, the Nth of which would no doubt be hotly debated.

Brooklyn

tintin 10:25 AM  

Oh, and what is the full Napoleonic palindrome?

Crosscan 10:29 AM  

@tintin:

Read it backwards and you can figure it out.

ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA.

Joon 10:31 AM  

tintin, i bet you can work out that palindrome for yourself. i'll give you a hint: the R in ERE is the middle letter.

ditto, ditto, ditto on the ALT/LEW/WAHL/SHUL crossing. i've "erred" my grievances elsewhere already; let me just say that i think ALT/LEG/GAOL/SOUL would have been a lot more tuesdayish.

hooray for better than ezra. deluxe is one of the few albums that is so good i can forgive the hidden noise track at the end. (damn you, beatles, and your "a day in the life"!)

Doris 10:35 AM  

Well, just so that misinformation doesn't metastasize, Lew Ayres was Dr. Kildare in the old MGM movies, and Lionel Barrymore was Dr. Gilllespie. Chamberlain played Kildare only in the TV series. Raymond Massey played Gillespie. So there.

Lew Ayres's most memorable performance was in Lewis Milestone's "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1931), one of the greatest of classic American films. He was only 21 or 22. He never did anything better.

Additionally, the clue for "qui vive" does NOT mix languages, because this is one of the innumerable French expressions widely used in English. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, one does not even italicize such expressions—i.e., when they have been more or less fully absorbed into English.

tintin 10:46 AM  

@joon & crosscan

Gotcha! D'oh!

Margaret 10:46 AM  

I knew LEW Ayres but just googled him for fun. Turns out he played the younger brother in one of my favorite movies, Holiday, with K. Hepburn and Cary Grant. Didn't know that. But by far the most interesting bit of trivia about Lew Ayres is that he is buried next to Frank Zappa in Westwood Memorial Park.

I started to say something about "strange bedfellows" but Ayres was also a musician (big band piano) so maybe not so strange after all!

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

A bonus theme-related entry is 27D ERR, which can be pronounced to sound like "air".

Liked the puzzle. Drew LEW from the recesses of my mind. Same I think with WAHL. Got ones I didn't know (e.g., ALT, EZRA, and spelling of HONALEE) from crosses. Have only known RECUSE in relationship to judges so learned a new meaning. I did think IN BED for 18A (still asleep) was a bit off as you could be in bed but not asleep.

Mary in NE

Wade 10:55 AM  

LEW didn't trip me up--it's now hard-wired into my brain to come up whenever I see a clue that referencdes Ayres, Kildare, or Ben Hur, which was written by LEW Wallace, the Civil War general who commanded Union forces at Shiloh and was later governor of New Mexico territory before he enjoyed a well-earned rest and got to put his feet up as US minister to the Ottoman Empire. As governor of New Mexico Territory, he made a deal with Billy the Kid to testify in connection with the Lincoln County Wars, but the deal fell through. I just checked out that Lew's Wikipedia entry and learned that Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ was the best-selling novel of the 19th century. This guy's a regular Forrest Gump.

John in NC 11:01 AM  

Isn't the LEW/WAHL crossing a blatant transgression of the NATICK Principle? Why create a new crossword constructing principle if you're not going to refer back to it when some one breaks the rules?

Just wondering...

puppies are cute.

jannieb 11:03 AM  

Very nice Tuesday entry - smooth sailing for me all the way - I'd much rather deal with old movie stars than young rappers or rock bands. Did this in under 5 minutes - something of a record for me. Klahn on Monday, Andrea on a Tuesday - I swear Will is messing with our minds, and not in good way!

Does Gabby really have blue eyes??? How adorable.

mac 11:10 AM  

Quick and easy, a true Tuesday. Good work by Andrea Carla. Didn't find an acme back this time, just an aura and an axis. Patricks last puzzle had an acme, was that in her honour?

My only mistake was the S discussed before. Didn't know either of them, so it was a guess. All the other unknowns came easily through crosses.
I liked the clue Ford's misstep, was actually trying to recall a Bush-like tumble!

The puppy is adorable, does it really have blue eyes or is that the picture? How big will it grow?
I had a good experience with crate training as well, it went very fast with my Dalmatian. You know what they say, Rex, sleep when the baby sleeps!

jae 11:23 AM  

Very nice puzzle! Knew both LEW and WAHL so no problems and definitely faster than yesterday's.

I've been out of town and playing catch up so I want to thank mellowcat for a terrific Sat. puzzle. It was just what a Sat. should be, tough but ultimately doable with no outside help.

HudsonHawk 11:26 AM  

Pretty cool to see the entirety of Aer Lingus in a puzzle. Nice work ACME.

Sorry if this has been mentioned already, but the Corrections on page A4 of today's NYT mentions that Saturday's "Aida" answer was erroneously clued as being a winner of four Emmy's (should have been Tony's, but we already knew that)...

steve l 11:37 AM  

Let me be the first to mention that the Times printed a correction about Sat.'s Emmy/Tony mess. No explanation, though, about how it got that way.

@crosscan--I doubt being American would have helped most people with Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. Aside from Martha Washington, perhaps Abigail Adams, perhaps Dolley Madison, and maybe maybe perhaps Mary Todd Lincoln, most Americans don't know any pre-Eleanor Roosevelt first ladies. A few might know that James Buchanan was the only bachelor (some say gay) president, too.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

@doris & rick

my bad.

was typing faster than the speed of thought & realized later (in the car), my errors.

the jury should disreguard my comments of 10:17 am.

.../Glitch

Crosscan 12:06 PM  

@steve l - point taken. Mrs. Archie Bunker would have been more Tuesday-ish. I do recall Mrs. Clinton, for some reason. Has she been in the news lately?

Wives of Canadian Prime Ministers are even more obscure, even recent ones. The most familiar is likely Margaret Trudeau. People of a certain age will recall Pierre Trudeau once dated Barbra Streisand, while Margaret "dated" the Rolling Stones.

Liz 12:09 PM  

@anonymous

It was Richard Chamberlain, not Chamberland.

SethG 12:17 PM  

Last May I had a bizarre dream about crossword puzzles and my dad's old friend Lew.

[lots of stuff...]
The door opens, a guy comes out of LT's office. Turns out, the meeting was about a crossword newsletter and competition for July. Lew points out (I hear--I only see the anonymous guy) that the guy should remember to include that there were three perfect scores on puzzle A3, including two from the people that tied for 1st, and a perfect A2 from the 2nd place guy, in the last competition.
[I wake up.]


I think the last time I actually saw Lew T was in '91. LEW Ayres I know just from puzzles, but he's been in there four times in the last year. I'm also among the less than 1/4 who knew Ken WAHL.

Crosscan, I watched Nadal/Federer on Canadian TV the other day. Instead of a TRAVELERS ad, I saw a huge number of Canadian history PSAs. Not one of which made any sense at all to my USA family--you guys are weird.

A Tuesday record for me. By a fair margin, though still slower than my best Wednesday.

Norm 12:18 PM  

Lew Ayres was in another puzzle recently I think, so I didn't find the cross that bad. I do have to take issue with 50D RECUSE for "Disqualify, as a potential juror" since you disqualify a juror with a challenge; recuse is used reflexively, as in the judge recused herself. You don't generally recuse a juror, and, although there could be settings in which a juror could recuse him- or herself (Google popped up instances at piano competition, for example), it's still a different usage, and I don't think disqualify was really apt as the clue. Minor quibble. Otherwise, an enjoyable puzzle -- and a non-theme "air" at 27D (unless you're in the "ur" pronunciation camp).

miriam b 12:23 PM  

Now I can spell HONALEE. I'd never have thought it began wuth an H.

LEW Ayres has that "air" sound too. Ayer's Rock would have been a nice plus, but Andrea, you did good without it. Thanks for a solid Tuesday offering.

@Rex: Are you going to train your dog to levitate? A Frisbee is useful for this purpose.

A digression: Please read if you didn't grow up in southern New England, in which case you probably know this already.

Frisbie's Pies (original spelling) were produced in New Haven, and the metal plates they came in were reportedly commandeered by Yalies for their present purpose. I remember eating individual Frisbie's Pies as a kid. Those came in small plates, sorta like a personal pizza. I even remember the bizarre flavor of their pineapple pie. Not exactly my madeleine.

I pulled the last of my rhubarb today, and I bought strawberries yesterday. Maybe today's the day for a rhubarb-strawberry slump. I love dumpling-esque stuff in just about any form. One of my daughters once revealed that as a child she thought spaetzle were vegetables.

Jane Doh 12:25 PM  

I liked the theme ... but, (perhaps under the heading of Picky, Picky) I thought it was a bit cheap to have AIRE be part of AIREDALE while all the others were discrete words, ERE I SAW ELBA doesn't feel like a stand-alone phrase, and there are two brand names. The rest of the construction was nice enough, though.

I also thought yesterday's theme answers were a bit of an odd, not-so-elegant mishmash with two names, one arbitrary plural phrase just to make it work, and a phrase that needed "A" to be complete.

"Standard" time going to daylight time, maybe.

Crosscan 12:27 PM  

@sethg: Sorry, we're not weird, we are polite. Sorry.

There are limits on paid ads per hour on canadian TV, so that may be the reason for all of the PSAs and promos we get. US shows are "simulcast" by canadian broadcasters so cable viewers always get the canadian commercials even if tuned to the US station. Very annoying during the Super Bowl when we keep getting the same Molson's ad.

Or the tennis went so long that they ran out of commercials.

There are also limits on daily Rex posting and I'm over so I'm done for today.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Zaire's Mobuto ______ Seko (66A) is a popular guy. As I put him in to finish the puzzle, I realized it was my second encounter of the day with him. Minutes earlier, he appeared as 36D in the Florida Sun-Sentinel puzzle. 69A, indeed!("What ____ the chances?")

dk 12:54 PM  

@miriam b: Frisbie's Pies, smizbie pies; Give me a Whoopie Pie! Another NE food delight. Plays well with a clam bake or lobster feed.

Given the loving posts on dogs, I will table my standard other white meat comment.

jubjub 1:03 PM  

Anyone else only know words that kind of sounded like the lyrics to Puff the Magic Dragon? In my brain, the land was called "Autumn Lee", while to my boyfriend it was Galilee.

@miriam b, on Wikipedia, Honalee is at various points spelled Hanalei, Honahlee, and Hanah Lee, supposedly after Hanalei, Hawaii :).

Better than Ezra -- I knew (like) the name, but had no memory of which songs were theirs. Looked them up on Youtube. I thought their most famous song was a Green Day song, even though there aren't any fake British accents. It is also a song I don't know any words to. To me, it goes, "Waahuh oohwiscuh oohwebiwebi waahuh oohwiscuh oohwebiwebi wah". Here's a link, decipher yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-jstTv0FD8

PS The new puppy is a cutie pie! I want one!!

Bill from NJ 1:28 PM  

I guess my knowledge of B-C list celebrities is very strong as I watched a lot of TV in the late 50s-early 60s.

I spent the mid 50s stationed in Japan with my father where TV was pretty much nonexistent so we listened to Armed Forces Radio for entertainment. We heard a lot of 30s-40s radio programs and when we returned to America, TV had become seemingly all-pervasive.

I have a vast wasteland in my head containing all manner of entertainment people from the 30s thru the 60s.

I had a mistake at 3D, going with DOC and had to complete the puzzle before I got back to the NW to correct my error;

I'm with jannieB - I prefer old movie stars to young rappers any day

Doc John 1:43 PM  

I guess I'm one of the few who knew WAHL right away. Never watched his show but I'm always amazed at what sticks in my brain! I had the LE in LEW but held off on automatically writing in the N until I saw the cross- good thing!

I enjoyed the puzzle today and even allowed myself some Doc John ego: GOITER, DR J, SAN (Diego, where I live), SHUL (I'm Jewish), even HONALEE (there's a Hanalei resort here in SD) and a farther reach- DIETS (I specialize in weight loss) and if you really want a stretch, TIARAS (I'll leave it at that *wink*)!

Actually, I would have clued DIETS with "Tries to remove excess poundage".

With the Q, J, X and Z I thought for sure that this puzzle was one of those whatchamacallits where the whole alphabet is used but there's no F or K (I'm not even going to go anywhere near what word could have been used for that!).

chefbea1 2:17 PM  

a good easy tuesday puzzle with no googling. I new lew ayers but never heard of wahl.
@miriamb Strawberry rhubarb anything yummm

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

According to the lyrics published on PP&M site, the correct spelling is HONAH LEE.
http://www.peterpaulandmary.com/music/f-02-05.htm

Will the NYT need to issue another correction?

----> Joe in NYC

Fergus 3:10 PM  

I was in with the N crowd.

Isn't the recently cited Jethro Bodine the offspring of the 1930s heavyweight champ?

Recently had occasion to look up the origin of Mountebank (from the Italian, standing on a bench, pitching snake oil, though it can be any sort of fraud), and was wondering whether MONTE was related. Not too closely, despite the similarities, since the latter comes from the Spanish card game, which is also known as Montebank.

Jeff 3:13 PM  

LEW, WAHL and SHUL were all new to me, and those crosses were tough. I guessed right on the H in SHUL, (no other letter makes much sense), but guessed wrong (S) on the LEW/WAHL cross. After all the discussion, I'm hoping LEW will become as gimmie-ish for me as things like SESE and ENOW. Other than those, I shot through this puzzle like a hot knife through even hotter butter.

Also, I wonder why it is that softcore porn like Victoria's Secret ads or Cosmo covers pass my consciousness without much notice, whereas seeing BRA in my NYT puzzle makes me snicker like Beavis.

SethG 3:20 PM  

No correction needed.

Lenny Lipton wrote the song, and Sterling Publishing published the Puff book that Peter and LL published last year, and both of their websites list it as HONALEE. I've seen support for both spellings, but that should be enough support to consider HONALEE at least acceptable if not unambiguously correct.

jls 3:21 PM  

joe -- i wouldn't bank on it! ;-) i'd originally entered "hanalee," but to no avail. like you and others, mostly found "honahlee" on lyric sites, one letter too long. suspect we're gonna hafta accept the "there are many variations" rule.

still -- a fine puzzle. completed it last night. on npr this morning, caught the bbc story of air pollution in china and what the olympic athletes are doing to prepare themselves. the scottish doctor who was referenced? surname "ayres." seemed only fittin'!

;-)

janie

andrea carla michaels 3:22 PM  

OY, competing with Rex's new puppy is like being on the same airplane with Frank Sinatra when it crashes (or something like that...)
For my last puzzle a couple of weeks ago with Patrick B, I anxiously awaited "the reviews" only to see 83 comments about beets!

(but what can I do, Gabby is adorable and I do appreciate the puzzle comments. But yes, where was the better than Ezra video?!!
The picture of Ken Wahl? A cartoon of Dr J crossing with AirJordan?!)
;)

@ Miriam
Thank you, Miriam, for seeing the reason behind Lew AYRES...it was my way to sneak in another AIR clue (I also put in ERR, but different folks pronounce it differently.)
Wish I had thought of AYERS ROCK!!!

LEW AYRES I learned myself from crosswords, but once I saw that Jane Wyman had left Ronald Reagan for him AND that he was married to Ginger Rogers, and buried next to Zappa how could I NOT include him?

But really, the idea was to have AYRES in the clues...instead of in the grid, just to change things up a bit...sorry about the hard crossing!

@Jane Doh
I agree that AIREDALE was not stand alone, nor ERE WAS I...but again, it was to get five themes in all starting with the same sound(plus ERR, AYRES)

@Doc John

Yes, I tried to make a pangram, thank you for catching that...btw there IS an F in 20A FBI, but alas, the K was (k)nocked out somewhere along the line.
(When I whined, Will told me he doesn't really care about Pangrams, but I sort of do now that I'm aware they exist!)

OK, yes, yes, I love puppies too!



Yes, Bob Klahn on a Monday, me on a Tuesday...what IS the world coming to?!

JC66 3:32 PM  

@acme

You're the best. (-:

Doc John 3:36 PM  

Oops, missed that F- sorry about that, Andrea! :)

Ingu 4:32 PM  

Something I’ve seen enough of: OLE

joho 5:22 PM  

I was so caught up in the cute puppy I didn't even comment on the puzzle. I thought it was way easier than yesterday. Hate the words "Goiter" and "Audited." Now back to the puppy ... is Gabby a Weimaramer? Or a Chocolate Lab? Absolutely adorable!

MargaretR 5:39 PM  

I zipped through this one and loved seeing Honalee in a puzzle! But Puff the Magic Dragon is now stuck in my head -- all the words are still there, and I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not.

andrea carla michaels 5:44 PM  

Not crazy about GOITER either but 12D was LED, so I couldn't do LOITER/LED...nor could I do LED/DAHL. (DAHL still would be a pop culture clue)

But I must say, esp since I am a huge pop culture maven AND a reader of both People AND the NYT,
that I fail to see why supermodels and actors are more annoying to have in puzzles than marginal sports figures, or obscure physicists...(Unless they become spokespeople for ETHNICCLEANSING)

I have to confess I probably had EDITH Bunker, not Wilson (I didn't even know that, but I love learning something from my own puzzle!)
and, yes, the computer key would have been a great ALT-ernative.

gabby gabby gabby gabby
:)

Quentin 7:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leon 8:08 PM  

Well done Andrea Carla Michaels. A real fun puzzle.

Jane EYRE and the Scot seaport AYR were the only missing heirs I could think of.

Karl 8:16 PM  

I nominate this for best early-week themed puzzle. Just look at the long fill:

zinger
recuse
goiter
subpoena
Honalee

Solid theme with "ere i saw elba" the icing on the cake, and clever, witty cluing all around. Way to go, ACMe.

mac 8:17 PM  

@miriamb: with a mother-in-law who was a Schwab I had to learn to make Spaetzle, even got a gadget in Germany, sort of like a ricer.

@dk: I also prefer the other white meat.....

Rex Parker 8:32 PM  

Andrea,

Did you tell them who you *thought* Ken WAHL was when you wrote this puzzle (and who you *still* thought he was when you woke up this morning...)???

rp

Orange 9:27 PM  

Does Andrea get Ken Wahl and Ken Olin mixed up like I do?

Jane Doh 10:11 PM  

@ anonymous 12:53

"Zaire's Mobuto ______ Seko (66A) is a popular guy."

The "guy" was on a par with Idi Amin of Uganda in terms on evil personified. I'd love it if both of them were to join the PNG ranks and absent themselves from crosswords. Uplifting they are not.

andrea carla michaels 3:21 AM  

@orange,
you're psychic! Yes, I thought Ken Wahl was Ken Olin!!!!
(Now if rex would post a side by side picture...)
But I know "Wiseguy" had a cult following...and then by googling today I learned that Ken Wahl was the guy who used to share the Barbi twins...

I'll say for the last time, I had LEW in the puzzle bec I wanted to get AYRES in the clues, thought that would be a nice switch up...

And I didn't have SAHL bec he used to be my idol in my stand-up days, but I had to pick him up at the airport once and he was a total prick.

So, there you have it!

ps to Karl and jc66, leon and all the people who said such nice things today... wow...thank you!
This is why this blog has made it all worthwhile! I love the compliments and I try and learn from the criticism...I'm a solver first, a constructor by chance!

Two Ponies 3:53 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waxy in Montreal 12:14 PM  

6 weeks on -

It's funny how time can diminish reputations. Lew Ayres still had a very high recognition factor when I grew up in the '50's. I recall All Quiet on the Western Front as one of the most moving and disturbing films ever. Hitler had the book's author Erich Maria Remarque exiled from Germany for his antiwar stance.

Also, you Americans should be more familiar with Edith Wilson - after Woodrow's stroke, many historians believe she essentially ran the presidency for a couple of years. Perhaps the first woman president (albeit unofficially).

When Zaire (or The Congo) first attained its independence from Belgium in the early 1960's, Mobuto was known as the very pedestrian Joseph Mobuto. I believe he reverted to Sese Seko simply to guarantee ongoing appearances in the NYT crossword. Or maybe not.

Finally, anyone with difficulty remembering Max Baer the boxer may well be more familiar with his son Max Baer, Jr., Jethro Bodine from TV's Beverley Hillbillies.

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