FRIDAY, Sep. 12, 2008 - Natan Last (Dance that simulates the drama of a bullfight / Early Inverness resident / Furry folivores)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Very lively and All Over the Map, content-wise. Lots of dancing and movement:

  • 1A: Dance that simulates the drama of a bullfight (paso doble) - this was the subject of a movie ... small movie ... ten years ago ... what is it? AHA, "Strictly Ballroom"! Here we go:

  • 37D: Energetic 1960s dance with swiveling and shuffling (boogaloo) - OMG I thought this was a term completely invented by the makers of the movie "Breakin' II: Electric Boogaloo." Apparently not. I don't think the following involves the 60's "BOOGALOO" in any way, but it is mesmerizing...

  • 27A: Escaped (got loose)
  • 31A: Sound at an auto race (swoosh)
Then there's a flurry of colloquial phrases and words:
  • 56A: Daydreaming (in la-la-land)
  • 17A: One needing kisses, say (chocoholic)
  • 35D: Start to like (cotton to)
  • 4D: "You have got to be kidding!" ("Oh come on!")
  • 61A: "You got it!" ("Okey dokey!")
IS THIS LOVE, LOLA? (answer: have you read "Lolita"? No no no)
  • 14A: 1978 Bob Marley hit whose title words are sung four times before "... that I'm feelin'" ("Is this love ...")
  • 8D: "She was _____ in slacks" (part of an opening soliloquy by Humbert Humbert) (Lola)
SING! (46A: Snitch)



It's a good thing I was having fun solving this, because I tripped and fell on my face a few times. PANDA BEARS eat foliage, right? Yes, yes they do. Damned Aussie KOALA BEARS (20A: Furry folivores). AWARE appears to go with its clue 25D: Au courant by virtue of an extremely attenuated connection. AWARE is completely missing the implication of "hip" and "up-to-date." It's hard to imagine switching out one for the other in a sentence and having both sentences make sense (as sentences that might actually be said by someone not looking to get slapped for pretension).

Other noteworthiness:
  • 10A: Chuck wagon fare (grub) - should've filed this above, with the colloquial onslaught.
  • 16A: Faux Japanese reply ("ah, so") - ditto.
  • 18A: Jazz duo? (zees) - if you read this blog and even hesitated for a second, I disown you.
  • 19A: Nooks for books, maybe (typo) - and a TYPO one might actually make, for once.
  • 33A: Foot of the Appian Way? (pes) - Latin for "foot," etymologically related to the PASO in PASO DOBLE.
  • 35A: Locale of some mirrors (car) - I had BAR, which I like Much better. Too bad you can't BOTTON TO something.
  • 36A: Letter-shaped girder (H-beam) - and, from out of a long, mysterious retirement, his rapping partner T-NUT (55A: Letter-shaped fastener).
  • 38A: Lord John Boyd _____, winner of the 1949 Nobel Peace Prize (Orr) - HA ha. How bad do you have to not want Bobby ... ?
  • 41A: Winston Churchill's Rufus, for one (poodle) - love dogs, but not POODLEs. Way way down the list of Dogs I'd Like To Own. I am currently a CHOCOHOLIC:
  • 51A: Area next to an ambulatory (apse) - hey, I learned a word ("ambulatory" (n.)).
  • 1D: Early Inverness resident (Pict) - I don't think it was called "Inverness" when PICTs lives there, but OK.
  • 3D: Ticklee's cry ("stop!") - "Ticklee, Tickle-ah, Ticklee, Tickle-ah-ha- ha-ha- ha-ha..."
  • 6D: City at the mouth of the Fox River (Oshkosh) - did Not know this, and I have good friends in OSHKOSH.
  • 11D: Cousin of a cassowary (rhea) - big flightless bird of S. America.
  • 29D: "A Lonely Rage" autobiographer Bobby (Seale) - C0-founder of the Black Panther party.
  • 30D: The farmer's wife in "Babe" (Esme) - news to me.
  • 31D: Did a farrier's work (shod) - is SHOED a word? I wanted SHOED?
  • 40D: God of life, death and fertility who underwent resurrection (Osiris) - why even have other gods when you've got this guy?
  • 41D: Pattern sometimes called "Persian pickles" (paisley) - I wore PAISLEY ties in the 90s, I think. When I wore ties. So, like, twice a year.
  • 47D: Canal cleaner (Q-tip) - I don't think it's supposed to go that far in...
  • 49D: Teacher of Heifetz (Auer) - MISCHA! I mean, LEOPOLD!
  • 50D: Fashion model of Wek (Alek) - Never seen ... her? ... yes, her before, but I like her "K"s. And lastly, speaking of "K"s...
  • 53D: Ko-Ko's dagger in "The Mikado" (snee) - because he could not find his SNICK.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS in a great crossword coincidence, the 5-weeks-ago crowd (those who solve in syndication) also have LOLA as an answer today (clued via The Kinks' song)

66 comments:

imsdave1 9:13 AM  

I had a bad feeling Rex was going to rate this as an easy. Whew. Not for me. I thought I was in great shape dumping in PASODOBLE instantly (embarrassing admission - I watch 'Dancing with the Stars). Followed immediately by a long fruitless trek around the board.

ALEK Wek? Wiki-ed her post solve. Her name means 'black spotted cow'. Thanks a lot, mom.

Hearts and euchre also fit for ECARTE (both of which I tried for way too long). I'm getting a bit tired of AHSO - seems like it's in every other puzzle. Unusual cluing for SWOOSH and ORR in the same quadrant slowed me down too.

Thanks to Dr. Bob Brier from The Teaching Company for OSIRIS. This was a half hour slog for me, but fair, and ultimately enjoyable.

jannieb 9:25 AM  

Had no real hangups with this - and enjoyed the puzzle a lot. I live too near a NASCAR track. "Swoosh" is not a sound I hear when they're racing. And the ashy/cadaverous connection is color??? Hmmm - seems that could have been clued better.

Otherwise, a solid Friday. I think this puzzle and yesterday's are light years ahead of the earlier week entries. Both Mssrs. Madison and Last are very talented constructors whose work stands on its own - they don't need a teen week to be published!

ArtLvr 9:37 AM  

Today's puzzle was a fun romp, "relatively" easy for me! Oodles of chocolate kisses to Natan...

Somehow I knew 1A was PASODOBLE, which helped at the start. Instinctively looking for patterns and even knowing it's a themeless day, I got a kick out of all the double O's everywhere except in the smallest NE and SW areas. It didn't keep me from thinking Winston's pooch was a beagle at first, rather than a POODLE at 41A, though I saw PAISLEY pattern crossing at 41D. The other amusing links emerging were the rhymed answers OSHKOSH, OKEYDOKEY and BOOGALOO, plus the connected STAVE/SING, the PORK/GRUB food in opposite corners, and the dances Rex noted.

Clues were a treat too -- the BOSS [One with fire power}, EDDY [Current happening], HAUNT [Trouble, in a way], BULLHORN [March instrument], and ONSTRIKE [Out], among others... even the gimme APSE [Area next to an ambulatory] (Egads). I had my doubts about 59A STEVEDORED, the verb form, but found out afterward that it's quite OK, as is the whole shebang!

∑;)

Joon 9:45 AM  

i almost laughed out loud when i saw CHOCOHOLIC after the discussion we had here re: FROGPRINCE and the various things you might be able to clue using [One looking for a kiss].

terrific puzzle. nice work, natan!

Norm 9:55 AM  

Fun puzzle, but I really wanted 22A [it may be set with music] to be IPOD. I felt so clever when I filled it in and so bummed when I had to change it.

joho 9:59 AM  

@jannieb: I agree with you, both Caleb and Natan stand out as constructors, "teen" is irrevelant.

@rex: Loved the move "Strictly Ballroom." Your dog has a beautiful head ... what is his/her name?

To everybody going to the competition tomorrow ... good luck! Please be sure to post how it went.

Thanks, Natan, for a solid Friday puzzle ... fresh and fun and no Google needed.

TGIF, I'm going to BOOGALOO off into LALALAND now. (Well, I wish ... at the end of the workday.)

john in NC 10:15 AM  

This puzzle was far from OKEY DOKEY for me. Many answers just took way toooo loooong to figure out... maybe I was just slow.

@jannieb -- totally agree on the SWOOSH sound for a car race. Wanted VROOMS or something like that. Cars go SWOOSH if they have sails and no engines.

I got DENTISTS immediately and then spent a long time feeling pretty sure it was wrong because I couldn't get any crosses. AWARE for au courant? Totally agree with Rex on that one. And MOURN for keen was not what I was thinking ("peachy keen" or "keen on"...) Anyway, really good puzzle.

Crosscan 10:17 AM  

Hershey's Kisses - capital K. Clue - small k. I therefore rejected any chocolate reference for 15 minutes!!!.
SO HOW CAN IT BE CHOCOHOLIC?? HUH??? HUH??? Small k!!!!!! OH COME ON!!!!

Babe - capital B. Rufus - capital R. See how it works??? TSKTSK!!

OKEYDOKEY what else?

Would have had this perfect if we could have used the great Canadian [capital -C] Bobby ORR.
Huh? huh?

I can't stay mad at any puzzle with BOOGALOO.

End of OPED.

KrossKan IN LALA LAND

PhillySolver 10:17 AM  

Is PES a Latin candy dispenser? PEZ and EZME (chefbea and foodie may know that Turkish salad) would have been a fun addition. I did like the puzzle as it was one of those that I thought I was going to fail, but kept finding little footholds and then success. I had the BAR mirror, too, but didn't botton to it. Over a third of the answers have the letter O and a dozen or so have two. Oh my!

In the equine version of Guys and Dolls there is a song called, Shoe Me.

Margaret 10:25 AM  

I got PASODOBLE immediately from "Strictly Ballroom" and had delusions of speed, but quickly slowed down. Held on to BASS DRUM (for BULL HORN) for far too long. Loved BOOGALOO. We had WATUSI not too long ago. When can we expect MASHED POTATO? (Imagine that food discussion -- roasted garlic? wasabi? goat cheese?)

The last letter I filled in was the S in PES/ESME crossing. Been years since I saw Babe and even longer since Miss Mobley taught me Latin.

Daryl 10:31 AM  

I love how everyone got PASO DOBLE from very random sources. I got mine from my "So You Think You Can Dance" addiction.

I knew it was a kind of beam, but dang if I didn't try I-BEAM and W-BEAM first (W-BEAM seemed to allow for BULLWHIP).

Got STEVEDORED and PASO DOBLE off the bat, and then got stuck, of all reasons, because my handwriting caused me somehow to read POODLE as DOODLE, and I stared forever trying to think of a pattern starting with DAI. The Mercedes logo of Daimler-Benz doesn't quite count.

Loved "nooks for books" as a clue for TYPO. Right up there with "trample, for example". I used to solve cryptics, and these kinds of clues appeal to that part of my mind, I think.

dk 10:56 AM  

Disowned by Rex, now what will I do, what will I do?

Well what I did was spend 2-3 minutes trying to figure out why ECARTE was nor euchre. GAZEBO i got but did not know ZEES (I have failed you my master).

I am with the nc guy as varoom is a auto race sound not SWOOSH, hey but who am I to quibble- it is a puzzle afterall. And, a fine one at that.

And now radio listeners... The Fantastic Johnny C

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKRLgWZS1J0&feature=related

jae 10:57 AM  

Daunting but doable. I agree with Orange that this is reminiscent of a MN or DQ puzzle, i.e. it was a joy to do. My missteps were CRAM for 39a and HEARTS for 15d.

Here is how my solving process went. I panicked early when I got stuck in NW, called my daughter and asked her about the Bob Marley clue. She said how about One Love, which I told her didn’t fit, and she said she’d call back after putting the grandkids to bed. She called about 45 min. later with another answer that didn’t fit. At that point I’d finished the puzzle and told her it was “IS THIS LOVE” which she said sounded right. I then read her the clue for 1a (which I struggled over as my language major bride could not help with the answer until I had PASOD_BLE) just to give her a sense of what goes on in a Fri. puzzle. After hearing the clue she said “Oh, that’s PASODOBLE.” She had picked it up from watching “So you think you can dance.” And no, I’m not going to start watching reality TV but I am wondering if that’s where Natan got it from??

I also needed help with the PES/ESME cross as I didn't remember the movie and thought latin for foot might be PED.

Noam D. Elkies 11:02 AM  

Reasonable Friday fare, with mostly good fill and clues that are inventive (as for 60A:PORK and others already noted) or nicely instructive clues (as for 1A:PASODOBLE, 51A:APSE).

17A seems fine since "kiss" is also generic for "a bite-size piece of candy often wrapped in paper or foil" (per www.m-w.com/dictionary/kiss [noun] 3b). 18A:ZEES was not as immediate as Rex imagines because it could also have been ZEDS. My own preference for 31A:SWOOSH was WHOOSH. I also wanted 42A:SERGEANTS but that drill was a bit long. 47D:QTIP goes with 36A:HBEAM and 55A:TNUT, though without the "letter-shaped" clue. (How much difference is there between an HBEAM and an IBEAM?)

Weren't we [56A:]in La-La Land in yesterday's puzzle?

NDE

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

jae,

Maybe I can help here. A Pedophile doesn't love feet. ;)

BTW, the PASO in 1A is related to PES, but means step...like the two step but rendered in 2/4 time. Ole'


/miguel

Wade 11:21 AM  

Not being terribly bright, I had PASO NOBLE and left it, which leaves NIO for "da Vinci's" god. (His name's just Leonardo, right? Da Vinci isn't his last name, is it? You wouldn't clue Madonna as "da Detroit," would you?) Then again, I'm a guy doing crossword puzzles while his wife and kids huddle in the bathtub under a mattress waiting for a hurricane.

i fleming 11:31 AM  

I'm pretty OK with the AU COURANT thing - seems like I have heard it used in the same way as "up to speed" - like Q saying to James Bond, "Let me make sure you're au courant with the situation in Belize..." - pretentious,maybe.

gypsy 11:45 AM  

I absolutely abhor hearing people refer to a koala as a KOALA BEAR. Consequently, it took me much longer than it should have to fill that one in. Side note - nasty little critters.

Couldn't make myself part with EUCHRE for 15D.

I love IS THIS LOVE but not this particular clue.

And for some reason I thought Churchill only had PUGS. Er, PUG DOG...PET DOG? Toyed with the idea of PUGGLE since overpriced designer mutts are all the rage now.

Never realized COTTON TO wasn't just a misspelling of "caught on to."

Doc John 11:55 AM  

Ya gotta love any puzzle with a Bob Marley component. Now I have that nice song running through my head. I did this one pretty well for a Friday but, like jae, I also had ped not PES. Maybe it's a San Diego thing.

random ramblings:

I had French Toast for breakfast this morning (a real rarity) and used Aunt Jemima syrup but didn't note who made it. Got it just from the Q in Q TIP. And speaking of which...

I'd be remiss in my medical mission if I didn't mention that the only thing you put in your ear is your elbow, and definitely not a Q TIP. I've fished many a cotton tip out of embarrassed people's ears.

BOOGALOO- learned from a B-52's song, "Dance This Mess Around" (or do they say shoogaloo?)

Warning: graphic content! Who else got this from OKEY DOKEY? Warning: graphic content!

ryanfacestheworld 12:04 PM  

@gypsy: Totally agree with you on the koala bear thing. I remember my 5th grade teacher drilling it into our heads that they're not bears. And, you're right, they are pretty nasty and will bite your face off if given the chance.

I also got PASODOBLE from Strictly Ballroom except I spelled it PASA DOBLE which gave me AH COME ON, which had the irritating quality of seeming very right but being very wrong.

jae 12:15 PM  

@miguel & doc john -- I was thinking more along the lines of PEDestrian/PEDdler than PEDiatrics.

pinky 12:23 PM  

Anyone else have Bosa Nova for Boogaloo?

PuzzleGirl 12:30 PM  

Like others, I really liked this puzzle. Had some of the same missteps: BAR for CAR, WHOOSH for SWOOSH. I had Bob Marley in my head until I got to 41D when he was replaced by Brad Paisley, who I saw in concert a couple weeks ago and is now one of my favorite country artists. Aren't we all so much cooler online???

Dick Swart 12:43 PM  

Is this the end of Esme as Salinger Girl?

Love and squalor one of the first short stories analyzed in freshman English. George Steiner the ass't prof before going on to greatness.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

jae,

Really, I had PED too for a bit. I was joking and thus the smiley face. Pedal is the word that convinced me to try it.

May God bless Houston.

/miguel

Rex Parker 12:49 PM  

Houston, you have a problem.

Wade, dude, you are to check in as soon as physically possible after the worst of Ike has passed. Otherwise, I will be forced to eulogize you in ways that you may find embarrassing.

Seriously, hang in there.

RP

mac 1:10 PM  

Another great puzzle, a real Friday but no googles. Didn't know quite a few words/names, but got everything from crosses. Loved typo, but can we just get "evildoer" out of the language?

Thanks for the reminder of "Strictly Ballroom", Rex, loved that little film at the time. Agree with you on au courant, feels more like fashionable, of the time, to me.

Hope Houston doesn't get hit too hard, Wade, good luck.

It's a grey day in CT, good time to bake a fresh peach clafouti.

Bill from NJ 1:11 PM  

@noam-

If you turn the H on its side, you will see that, compared to an an I, there is more potential support available from an Hbeam.


When I lived in Arizona, I was introduced to the blood sports and knew PASODOBLE from bullfighting. (I went to a couple of bullfights to appease my Mexican friends but was secretly appalled.)

I got the NE pretty easily and, through KOALABEARS, worked back into the NW to get OSHKOSH which pretty much broke open the NW and my other gimme was POODLE (from a biography of Churchill) which helped clear the Midlands

Got the QTIP/QUAKEROATS cross, then guessed at APSE to open up the Deep South but came to a screeching halt with the puzzle 7/8s complete.

It took forever for me to accept STEVEDORED as was unaware of the verb form of the word, didn't know STAVE at all and BOSANOVA clogged me up in SE. The fact that I had the wrong word misspelled in the grid (BOSSAOVA){and didn't notice} put me in a hopeless position for the longest time and turned this puzzle into an overnighter.

I discovered a second error ALEX at 50D but PARK helped me start the unraveling process and OKEYDOKEY finally got me away from the BOSANOVA and into the BOOGALOO and the puzzle fell at last.

Christ, what a slog! I didn't give up and since there wasn't anything to Google it became a problem of sorting everything out which eventually happened.

fikink 1:16 PM  

Liked this puzzle and some wonderful new stuff (for me), great clues for MOURN, DRUB, SEALE, STAVE,SHOD

NOOKS FOR BOOKS, was so clever I never got it - thanks, Rex.


@imsdave1- Bridge fits too.
@wade - re: Leonardo, yes - we are trying to get that changed. viva la!
I thought Churchill had a basset
(Rex, Mr. Fikink wants your dog.)

rafaelthatmf 1:45 PM  

Two nits to pick: Koala's aren't bears. I know - just saying. Oshkosh is not on the mouth of the Fox. It is on Lake Winnebago on the mouth of the Wolf River. The Fox is one of the few rivers that flow north in this hemisphere (I think anyway) and Lake Winnebago actually empties into the Fox River which then flows north to Green Bay where it actually then empties into Green Bay (the body of water). I know this because I grew up on this river and have taken it many times from Green Bay to Lake Winnebago and end up in Kimberly or Menasha but definitely not Oshkosh.

Mike the Wino 1:49 PM  

After commenting for the first time yesterday in the present, as opposed to 5 weeks behind, I'd like to say thanks to everyone for welcoming me into the fold. I really like this blog, Rex, et al! I've learned so much in the last several months, and it has made my solving experience much more enjoyable.

From yesterday:

chefbea, I can bring the wine as long as everyone wants what I make because frankly, I haven't bought a bottle in I don't know how long. Where and when is the next dinner?

Mac, thanks! That's some of our product in the back of my truck. Mmmmm, tasty.

As far as the puzzle today, the absolute first thing I thought of (and it turned out to be right) for 23D, was ONSTRIKE. Could be that working for a large aircraft manufacturer that is currently embroiled in a labor dispute has something to do with it. So I filled that in, and SWOOSH, off I went.

And finally, not directed at anyone in particular, that Aunt Jemima stuff is NOT maple syrup, it's High Fructose Corn Syrup with a whole lot of synthetic additives. Years ago it was good, not so much anymore. One time it even went into one of our wines!

Cheers everyone! Mike the Wino

chefbea1 2:04 PM  

Took me a while to get going although I did know pasodoble from watching dancing with the stars.

Have never made or tasted that turkish salad ezme.

Wade - hope Ike doesn't do too much damage

Good luck to all in the tournament this weekend

radioguy 2:16 PM  

Like several others, I had a problem with KOALA BEAR. I kept telling myself that was wrong because they are just koalas, not bears. But, when I couldn't come up with any other bears that made sense, I grudgingly filled it in.

What the heck is ECARTE? According to Wikipedia, it's a 19th-century game that's rarely played today...unlike EUCHRE, BRIDGE, HEARTS or SPADES. Ugh!

Overall, though, I did like this puzzle. It's great to get back into the crossword-solving routine now that I have no more baseball games to call.

Rex Parker 2:22 PM  

FYI "radioguy" (above) calls baseball games for our local AA team, the Binghamton Mets. Hey, ESPN (or any other major sports news org.) - call him now. He's super-talented and won't be in minor league country long.

rp

andrew 3:05 PM  

Awful puzzle.

Someone pointed out the lowercase "k" in Kisses. I ruled out anything Hershey's related because of that.

Aside from never hearing the phrase "Cotton to," seeing as the clue contained the word "to" as well (Start TO like), the answer should not have had TO in it. A mistake that Will usually catches.

SWOOSH was terrible, PICT is lame, why the question mark after March instrument, Keen does not equal MOURN in any way. The clue for ONSTRIKE is way too vague even for a Friday -- should have been "Out, in a way" or something like that. OSHKOSH is not on the Fox River.

A horrid puzzle. I've really enjoyed Last's previous efforts, this was a huge disappointment.

becky from hatch 3:16 PM  

Bob Marley got me started - my next door neighbors blast that from their Four Seasons-esque pool area every weekend.

I enjoyed a ton of these answers, esp. OKEYDOKEY and BOOGALOO, INLALALAND, and QUAKEROATS. Never got QTIP, just figured a QUIP was some sort of Sal the Mule's tool she used to clean the Erie Canal, and that there was such a thing as a U-NUT.

SWOOSH? I don't think so. Had to be a REV or a VROOM or something. Perhaps use Nike in reference to future SWOOSHES. WHOOSH maybe? that was the only word that annoyed me. Oh, and like Rex, I had BAR for the longest time and I had never heard of COTTONON.

Alek Wek would be known to anyone who reads Vogue or Elle or who will admit to watching "The Janice Dickenson Modeling Agency."

Rex, your rapping partner comment made me laugh out loud!

mac 3:17 PM  

@jae: just to make things more complicated, if memory serves me, the genetivus of pes is pedis.....

My kitchen smells of hot peaches!

fikink 3:27 PM  

@Andrew - how does "a loud wailing lament for the dead" have NOTHING to do with mourning?
and "cotton to" has a long history, perhaps it is too "old."

chefbea1 3:30 PM  

@mac I can almost smell it here.

And you have reminded me of all the years of conjugating verbs in Latin. Took it for 5 years in school

Ramsey 3:35 PM  

Does 'stevedore' sometimes have an extra 'e', i.e. 'steevedore'?

jae 4:34 PM  

@mac -- thanks I'm feeling better (more justified?) about missing it now. Three and out.

Ulrich 4:51 PM  

@wade: I gotta hand it to you--with wife and kids hiding under a mattress, you are able to complain about "da Vinci"--you're too tough for Ike. Best wishes from a fan!

I agree anyway--with fikink, too. "from New Jersey" is not the last name of "Bill from New Jersey". "The da Vinci Code" is a title only an ignoramus (as fas as Leonardo goes) could have come up with--so please get rid of this nonsense in clues, too!

Orange 5:49 PM  

@John in NC: "Cars go SWOOSH if they have sails and no engines"? Yes! That's exactly it.

I wonder if the Fox River is named after the Fox tribe...

Gotta love it when someone hates a puzzle because he didn't know the answers. There's not a thing in the world wrong with PICT (those were the ancient Scots who painted their faces blue to terrify their opponents, weren't they?) or COTTON TO or using keen in the MOURN clue. Natan Last's puzzle is my favorite NYT so far this week.

mexicangirl 6:03 PM  

The Nike logo is a swoosh, right?

I don't expect much of myself on Fridays, but even when I can't finish it I can still enjoy it. Today I didn't that much, even though I was happy to get most of the NW and some other bits and pieces. It felt really odd and somehow a little unbalanced.

I agree with everyone about the koala bears.

And that's my 2¢s.

green mantis 6:19 PM  

Snappy puzzle. I have an insect crush on Alek Wek. American standards of beauty are limited at best, coma-inducing at worst. Enduring beauty is unexpected and sculptural, like the Painted Desert.

Acme: I wrote you but forgot to put something mantis in the subject line for ID purposes, so I hope my message doesn't spammify.

Fergus, I'll see you tomorrow! From what Andrea says, it sounds like it won't exactly be a mob scene, so we should be able to find each other. I'm going to bring a lobster-colored TOTE as a sort of beacon.

joho 6:22 PM  

@wade: I just saw the news regarding Ike and am wishing you the best ... really, all kidding aside, my prayers are with all of you in Houston.

mac 6:27 PM  

@wade and Ulrich: I have to disagree with you. Lots and lots of family names in the present day were based on the location of an ancestor. I'm sure it is almost as common as the "son of" kind of names, ending in -sen or -son. I bet his half-brother and -sisters were also called "da Vinci", and their children, etc. The same thing happened all over Europe, and was made permanent when the citizens had to formally register and give their names. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, some of them had a lot of fun with that.

Karen 6:29 PM  

Like someone above said, I had PASADOBLE for the dance. Like someone above said, I learned the dance (although not the spelling) from SoYouThinkYouCanDance.

For a Friday I would have rated this one as easy, I would have had my best time without the one error. A lot of the longer answers (chocoholic, koala bears, stevedored, okeydokey, paisley) fell into place easily with the crosses.

mac 6:32 PM  

@green mantis and fergus, Andrea and whoever else is going to the tournament: good luck and let us know all about it! Wish I could do a warm-up tournament. Getting a little nervous about Brooklyn already.

@Orange: love your new adjective, "mathy"!

Crosscan 6:39 PM  

I agree with Orange regarding liking a puzzle based on what you know.

Some of my favorite puzzles of the year included parts I couldn't solve but were fair on reflection.

My whining on "k" does not mean I didn't like this puzzle; it was just personal frustration that I missed the clue and wasn't aware "kiss" as a chocloate is now a generic term. It is fun to rant at times, but rants should be fair as well, or at least in good humor.

I went huh on MOURN for [small k] keen but I'll know it next time.

brc 6:39 PM  

i can't do this s***.

steve l 6:52 PM  

When you start ranting about how this isn't fair because X doesn't mean Y, no way, no how, you open yourself up to look foolish. Anyone who read O'Neill (I think I got the right guy) knows what keening is. Anyone who knows what a banshee is knows what keening is. These days, go to an online dictionary (you're at the computer anyway) or Wikipedia and check it out before you pontificate. I thought it was a pretty good puzzle, certainly fair, although I can't be sure exactly how far Oshkosh is from the Fox River, or whether chocolate kisses are generic at this point. I do know that I finished this puzzle without errors in an average Friday time, and didn't have any major issues with it.

Norm 6:57 PM  

@ ramsey I've seen "steeve" as a verb, but I don't think "stevedore" ever gets the extra e.

fikink 7:10 PM  

@steve I - yes these things are wonderful ventures in words, not tests, and an opportunity to learn. Rex does us all a service by admitting what he learned and just the other day you taught us the real Spanish for "those" - or was it "these"?
Even though I got Oshkosh, I didn't know that the Fox River flowed north! Thank-you, rafaelumf.
Rex, if you pretended that you knew what an ambulatory was it would make you a nave.
Whoops! pun! sorry!

Ulrich 7:40 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ulrich 8:01 PM  

@mac: I agree that some family names started with a location. But believe me, this is not the case with Leonardo. I know of no self-respecting art historian who refers to him as "da Vinci"--starting with Vasari, who was almost a contemporary and would have known. To his contemporaries, he was "Leonardo" or "Leonardo da Vinci", never "da Vinci". When art historians talk about "The da Vinci Code", they cite as prime evidence of Dan Brown's ignorance that he refers to Leonardo as "da Vinci"--even worse, has art historians refer to him that way, which they think is a real hoot.

"Da Vinci" may have become a family name later in Italy, but that doesn't really matter for Leonardo--one cannot bestow a family name posthumously. BTW Leonardo had no children.

mac 9:35 PM  

@Ulrich, I know Leonardo had no children, that's why I mentioned his half-siblings. I agree, it may have been wrong at the time, in fact there don't seem to have been any family names, but the location of their birth or where they spent their life was quite important. How about el Greco? Also, attacking Dan Brown (I'm not that crazy about the book, by the way) on using this term, "The da Vinci code" is facetious; this was a contemporary story!

fergus 9:38 PM  

Thinking back on my Chicagoland youth, playing hockey on the Fox River, I figured 6D was a safe bet with the Windy City. That messed me up good, as did my faltering memory for which Bob Marley tune was which. My Study, say, switched back and forth so many times that ending up with ROOM came with a thud. Same for SKIT, since I couldn't really credit ON STRIKE, though that was my first guess. So many three-letter words popped up in front of LOOSE that when I finally GOT it, legibility of the grid escaped me.

As others have stated, and I concur, this was a very solid Friday puzzle.

fergus 9:49 PM  

RE: ALAMEDA

There may be quite a few more showing up than have registered for the event. I, for one, opted to pay at the door, since I wasn't sure I would be able to make it. As an identifying mark, mine won't be PAISLEY. I do have a Red Sox cap, though, to signify the Rex alliance.

GK 10:43 PM  

A first-rate puzzle! I really enjoyed the stacks in NW and SE. At 41 across I first had BEAGLE, then GIRDLE (LOL), before getting it right.

green mantis 11:15 PM  

F-I'm paying at the door too, so you're probably right. Go Red Sox. Over and out.

*excited*

Michael 12:02 AM  

I thought this was an excellent puzzle. It took me longer than usual for a Friday -- more like Saturday speed -- but I appreciated both the clues and the answers after I got them.

I knew "in la la land" but not "in la la la land".

Anonymous 12:09 AM  

whats wrong with comments? Rex put moderator on again?

Michael 12:23 AM  

standard poodles are wonderful dogs, I think. (Not directly puzzle-related, but Rex did bring the topic up.)

fergus 12:56 AM  

Thought about going to a party in Berkeley,
but opted for Friday night football at Santa Cruz High, with the cheerleaders, the band and small town kitsch. I've become so provincial.


Might have crashed with sophisticates in Oakland, or an alluring harridan in Cow Hollow, an old girlfriend in Noe Valley; or more likely gained the shoulder of a drunken ambassador in North Beach; or flopped on a couch in a corner suite on Potrero Hill, gazing at the amazingly tall ceilings.

kathy d. 4:02 AM  

For me this was a good Friday puzzle. I filled in the NW quickly. I did not have to google anything which for a Friday puzzle is good for me.

Liked the Bob Marley (thanks to Rex for posting that song again reminding me what a genius he was) and the dance answers.

Poodles are neutral to me, a dog lover but I just dog-sat for a short-haired dachshund for 5 days who I am convinced understood every word I said.

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