WEDNESDAY, Sep. 17, 2008 - Edward Safran (Like paper vis-à-vis electronic / Hokkaido seaport / Holocaust hero Wallenberg)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "The Man Who _____" - six theme answers complete movie titles that begin "The Man Who..."

Thought this puzzle was a blast, despite the fact that my reasonably well pop-cultured brain could come up with only two of the titles right off the bat ("WOULD BE KING," "FELL TO EARTH"). This is a fresh and entertaining theme idea, and the intersecting theme answers in the NE and SW make it especially impressive. The northern part of the puzzle was the only part I struggled with, and if my first hack at this puzzle had been this version (as opposed to the version I test-solved), I think that part of the puzzle might have taken me even longer - DEAD TREE was a noun in the test-solved version (8D: Nesting site for bees), and I objected, having no idea what my objection (and that of others, I believe) would lead to; here the answer has been turned into an adjective (8D: Like paper vis-à-vis electronic) I've never heard used before. It's easy to infer its meaning - but ... is there another kind of "DEAD-TREE" product besides paper? I mean, I know other stuff is made from trees, but do tables and houses get referred to as "DEAD-TREE" products. The few examples I can find on-line all refer to documents. "DEAD-TREE" doesn't save you on syllables ... Further, it has this ominous sound to it, like "KILLING PUPPIES" or "YOU'RE A HORRIBLE BASTARD." Not all killing of trees is bad. But who am I to stand in the way of the language development? That would be like trying to stop the (LEE) TIDE (26A: It flows with the wind). Furthermore, Sierras.

Theme answers:

  • 21A: Sean Connery: "The Man Who _____" (1975) ("... Would Be King")
  • 51A: David Bowie: "The Man Who _____" (1976) ("... Fell to Earth")
  • 3D: Boris Karloff: "The Man Who _____" (1936) ("... Lived Again")
  • 28D: Lloyd Nolan: "The Man Who _____" (1942) ("... Wouldn't Die") - possibly the most obscure of the bunch, but I love how well it goes with the Karloff title
  • 30D: Billy Bob Thornton: "The Man Who _____" ("... Wasn't There")
  • 9D: Burt Reynolds: "The Man Who _____" (1983) ("... Loved Women") - the genius of this answer is that it reunites with LONI (53D: Anderson of "Stroker Ace"). [I wanted to say that the puzzle "REUNES" (42A: Attends homecoming, say) Burt and LONI, but I just couldn't do it ... god I hate that word. DECOCTS!]

The Rest:
  • 9D: Neither-here-nor-there state (limbo) - well, since the puzzle keeps insisting that I quote Dante... Virgil, describing the first ring of hell (LIMBO):
"Those who preceded Christianity
did not worship God according to his law,
and I myself am of this company.
For this defect, and for no other flaw,
we are lost, with this one punishment laid on,
that without hope we feel desire gnaw." (IV.37-42) (tr. Palma)

Yeah, it's a pretty ruthless poem.
  • 33A: Rubber hamburger, e.g. (dog toy) - good clue. Despite having DOG TOYs all over my house, I needed several passes to get this one.
  • 4D: Gridder Manning (Eli) - "Gridder" - love the "Seen Only in Xword Clues" vocab
  • 54D: Cheat, slangily (hose) - "Slangily" [kisses tips of fingers]
  • 37A: Hokkaido seaport (Otaru) - never heard of it. Sounds like a gaming system or an ear disease or a crew member of the Starship Enterprise.
  • 39A: Climber of Mount Sinai (Moses) - easy; I just like the cluing of MOSES as a hiker, an outdoorsman.
  • 60A: Maui veranda (lanai) - "veranda" and LANAI are among my most favorite words. I think the Golden Girls had a LANAI.
  • 64A: Ernie on the links (Els) - Yay. No elevated trains today.
  • 7D: Sicilia e Sardegna (isole) - One of the main reasons the north was so tough for me - crazy Italian plural.
  • 36D: Vuitton of fashion (Louis) - gimme, unlike his equally consecutively voweled counterpart RAOUL (47D: Holocaust hero Wallenberg), whom I'd never heard of.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


joho 8:52 AM  


Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I loved this puzzle. The last letter I filled in was the "S" in ISOLE, a good guess. I have never heard of LEETIDE either, but leeward winds made that pretty easy to figure.

Great job Edward Safran!

fpbear 8:58 AM  

Proof that one can solve quickly (for me) without knowing even one of the theme answers. Replaced readable with deadtree and it all fell.

ArtLvr 9:21 AM  

An intriguing theme from E. Safran, much fun! I didn't have any real trouble finishing without help, but it took a few leaps of faith -- LEETIDE to make the Italian plural ISOLE, LENIENCE not ending in Y to get ELS, slang items CANIT and HOSE, the carny PLANT and DEADTREE crossing "kid VID".

I especially liked a number of the clues -- [Words on a card] for 3-letter CUE, plus [Like a moonscape] for DESOLATE, and [Rubber hamburger, e.g.] for DOGTOY. That last one hasn't appeared before during Will's tenure, according to Jim Horne's Freshness Factors, though it's been used in the reverse [Toy] Dog. Was FALA a toy? Anyway, here's wishing Jim all the best as he joins the Shortz crew shortly. Till then he's sort of in LIMBO.


Joon 9:43 AM  

i liked the theme about as much as you can like a theme without knowing any of the theme answers. i've at least heard of the man who WOULDBEKING. and i've at least heard of five of the six actors, although one of them (bowie) i didn't know was an actor.

there was an interesting theological development last year regarding LIMBO. (well, interesting to a vanishingly small fraction of the populace, me included.) pope benedict authorized the publication of a document saying, in effect, LIMBO was always just a theological hypothesis and not a dogmatic teaching of the church, and that there is no official church teaching on whether unbaptized infants can attain salvation.

finally, i'd like to observe that you can't grep DEADTREEs.

dk 9:44 AM  

FELA (dogs name), DOGTOY, chocolate labs, how about the mystery of he dog that did not bark in the night. Are we sure our dog struck blogger is not constructing these puzzles.

Great theme and in jest (whatelse) here are two more

How about The Man called Flintstone:

Or, The Man who was Thursday

dk 9:49 AM  

that would be the dog

Doug 9:54 AM  

For my level, this was a near-perfect puzzle. Though I'm a pretty serious movie buff -- and had seen at least two of the theme answers -- I couldn't jump start my brain to get any of them on the first shot. I needed the crosses to get there, and most of the clues were thinking/challenging ones. Didn't get dog toy till the very end. Had low tide before I realized it was lee tide. Very satisfying to finish it before finishing my coffee.

PhillySolver 9:58 AM  

Rex, thanks. I didn't know that the LEETIDE flows in the Sierras. Speaking of, I hear that Moses guy also climbs mountains and REI is looking for his endorsement. He should be able to command a nice covenant. Enjoyed the puzzle despite not watching a single one of the movies. I did read 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' though.
How popular is the term Kid Vid? and is it a good thing or a bad thing?

archaeoprof 10:16 AM  

The theme was lots of fun, especially the mix of great and maybe-not-so-great actors. And thank you, Rex, for pointing out that the cluing for DEADTREE was a real clunker.

Crosscan 10:26 AM  

Don't you mean SIERRA?

I didn't love this puzzle, but have no particular objections either.

Is every Charlie Daniels band song a clone of The Devil Went Down to Georgia?

Foreign plurals, yuck. I had ISOLA/LEATIDE.

There is a RAOUL Wallenberg Street in Montreal near where I used to live.

Crosscan: "The Man Who Comments Daily" (2008)

john in nc 10:34 AM  

I still don't understand the clue for DEADTREE. It doesn't make sense to me as an adjective, and it doesn't make sense with the whole "vis-a-vis" thing. How is paper dead-tree viz "electronic"? Maybe paper could be dead-tree viz "computer file" or "web page" or something like that, but just "electronic" makes no sense to me.

Also, as I'm in a picky mood this morning, "blurbs" as I understand them refer to the things that other people have said about your book, not your bio. I guess your bio could be a blurb, but it's just not what I think of when I think blurb. (Writing blurb that many times makes me think of Liz Lemmon's [30 Rock] all purpose swear word, "BLURG", which will probably never be in a nytimes puzzle.)

And Finally (really??!), RAGE is more appropriate answer for "Go ballistic". Going ballistic implies that you've completely lost your cool, but one can rant in a fairly level-headed sort of way (have I done that today? doubtful.)

alansg17 10:44 AM  

For your information, Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis in WWII. At the end of the war, Russia took over Hungary and Wallenberg disappeared. He was sighted in Russian prisons but was never recovered. A true hero.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Really wanted "rubber hamburger" answer to be a fast food chain like Wendys.

UltraViolet 10:49 AM  

Apparently Canada has a bit of a thing for Raoul Wallenberg. There was a park named after him in the suburb of Ottawa (Nepean) where I grew up. Both that one and the one in Montreal are mentioned here:

miriam b 10:50 AM  

@rex: I'm pop-culture deficient, yet I initially knew only the same two theme clues as you did. I had in fact seen both of those films, but none of the others. The rest I got from crosses.

New word today: LEETIDE. I live near the Great South Bay (Suffolk County, Lawn Guyland) and I know many amateur sailors, but I've never heard this term.

Italian plurals: "i" for masculine nouns, "e" for feminine.

Fortunately there are no neuter nouns in Italian, unlike the situation which obtains in Latin, German,Greek, Hebrew, the Slavic languages and who knows what all. I'm fascinated by linguistics. I suppose I would have majored in that field, or in English, French, German or Russian, were it not for the fact that I had to earn a living(sigh).

Wasn't crazy about LENIENCE (I insist that it should end in "y".), and don't think of my most recent trip back to campus as a chance to REUNE.

Ulrich 11:05 AM  

From the moment I filled in the gimmie--for me--WOULD BE KING, I loved the puzzle: This movie is one of my all-time favorites, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine in fine form and having a blast, and John Houston showing again his knack for making great movies out of literary works. Watch it if you can, and the Kipling story on which it is based is also worth reading.

Twangster 11:07 AM  

My guess is that the dead tree clue specifically references newspapers. With papers now there are 2 versions -- the electronic (website) version and the old-fashioned dead tree version. A bit clunky but the clue makes sense in this context.

william e emba 11:27 AM  

I'm surprised that anyone who posts online hasn't come across the phrase "DEAD TREE edition". (Note to constructors, that's 15 letters.) I have no recollection of seeing the adjectivial phrase used with any other noun. I just assume that we've seen the phrase here on the blog at some point, something like, "I prefer solving the puzzle in the DEAD TREE edition".

Chesterson's amazing The Man Who was Thursday has not been filmed, so far as I know. The WWII true story The Man Who Never Was has been filmed. (A few years ago, his identify was finally revealed.) There's also the late Gregory Mcdonald's Fletch and the Man Who. (As in, the man who would be president.)

I found this distracting, as I have only seen 2 of the 6 theme films, and barely recognize the other 4. Yet I've read 3 "the man who" books and couldn't get them out of head as I kept trying to guess the themes. I also have a copy, but have not yet read, Herbert Gold The Man Who Was Not With It.

In addition, I'll recommend the original Kipling short story, and the Ben Macintyre book of the same title that tells the unbelievable but true story that was Kipling's original inspiration.

I originally had CORTEZ, as in "stout CORTEZ", and then corrected it from a cross with Ernie ELS. It seems CORTES is far and away the preferred spelling, and CORTEZ is simply thefamous variant preferred by the Spanish-impaired. I am mildly astonished that I needed a cross with a sports figure to learn this.

Is "Kid-VID" an actual genre? It has no Wikipedia entry, and Google turns up almost nothing.

foodie 11:34 AM  

Great puzzle.

Remarkably, I also knew the same answers as you, Rex. The David Bowie movie was visually very striking and the images stayed with me, though I couldn't tell you much about the story line.

I wanted to spell CORTES with a Z and have a Y at the end of LENIENCE, which left me struggling in that little corner: Ernie YAZ? The rest was miraculously gettable and enjoyable.

Yesterday's discussion about Sierra(s) left me feeling better about scientists... I guess we're not the only ones who get stuck on certain points that others think are minute. May be it's a feature of all humans who seek truth in all its detail.

Noam D. Elkies 11:55 AM  

Neat theme idea, though it did no favors to my solving time -- the only movie title I knew that fits that pattern is "...Knew Too Much", which wasn't in the grid, and of course the actors' names didn't help me any... At least they were all guessable from a few scattered crossing letters.

Liked the clue for 9A:LIMBO (not 9D as Rex wrote [typo]). Thanks to Joon for beating me to the theological newsflash.

64A:ELS -- trains, golf, Spanish articles, whatever. At least we had a golf clue for 38A:LIE to go with it.

4D:ELI -- I see it quite often around here, but that's an artifact of Harvard-Yale rivalry. [Yale = Elihu Yale, and Elihu --> Eli.]

7D:ISOLE -- yes, rather obscure for midweek, but a solver who knows LIRA and LIRE can infer ISOLE from ISOLA.

13D:BERN -- nice to see the city clued from the river for once rather than the other way round.

36D:LOUIS vs 47D:RAOUL -- I knew both names, but I'll take the Holocaust hero any day over some random fashion magnate...


P.S. Re "killing puppies" -- not necessarily ominous; what do you think the vet does who "puts them to sleep" once they're beyond hope of recovery?

Z.J. Mugildny 11:58 AM  

One quibble. How is VAGUER an acceptable answer for "Not so clear"? Shouldn't it be "Not as clear"? Vaguer is only used in a comparative form, but no such form is not indicated in the clue. The answer for "Not so clear" would just be vague. Am I wrong?

J-Dub 12:03 PM  

"Dead-tree" is a pretty well-established adjective in my mind. I used to work for a travel guide company where writers working in places with unreliable internet access or power grids would send in "dead-tree copy" -- as opposed to everyone else, who would submit electronically. I assume it's a pretty standard term in a lot of parts of publishing and journalism. The only hesitation I have about the clue is "Like," since, as Rex pointed out, there's nothing besides paper you'd really say it about, but I guess it's necessary to signal the adjective.

Alan 12:10 PM  

Easy puzzle but got caught by leniency instead of lenience,lea tide instead of leetide. and spelled cortes with a z(spanish spelling)

jlsnyc228 12:10 PM  

kept thinking that "knew too much" might show up as theme fill -- but noooooo.



Anonymous 12:19 PM  

Anybody have issues with "WOULD" being repeated in two theme entries?

I did.

Except for that, nice puzzle


jeff in chicago 12:42 PM  

Very enjoyable puzzle for me. Movies I knew and only one sports reference. The Illinois section was my sticking point, with the VAGUER, ISOLE, LEETIDE combo tripping me up slightly.

@joon: Bowie has been in 29 movies according to IMDB. Most are so-so, but there is some interesting stuff, including "Labyrinth" (a guilty pleasure for me), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (he's Pontius Pilate) and "The Prestige" (as Nikola Tesla).

Joon 12:47 PM  

jeff, i knew i had seen or heard something about that somewhere. in fact, "the prestige" was used to clue TESLA in the 8/5/08 puzzle, also known as my NYT constructing debut! (not my clue, though, obviously.) so i really should have remembered. not that it would have helped me in solving today's puzzle.

becky from hatch 12:49 PM  

Crosscan, the best Charlie Daniels Band song is about a ghost in the Woolie Swamp, or something like that. It's funny

KIDVID - has anyone ever heard this phrase used anywhere? It sounds really stupid to me.

Two Burt Renoylds movies in one puzzle; it's making me long for a Burt Renoylds themed puzzle, which is scary. I tried to find a parody I remember from the '80s called "The Man Who Loved Swimmin'" - I can't remember if it was SNL or SCTV or was Gene Wilder...I remember thinking it was really funny, but then again, I was about 12.

Is the term HOSER derived from HOSE? Did Bob and Doug McKenzie introduce HOSER to the masses? While I'm on "Strange Brew" references, would Will ever let "HORKED" appear in a puzzle? As in "somebody horked our clothes?"

Crosscan 12:57 PM  

Becky, my take on HOSER can be found in the August 6, 2008 comments

becky from hatch 12:59 PM  

P.S. The whole 6-across block was pretty Natick-principle-esque for me.

Favorite David Bowie acting job: As himself on "Extras."

Worst David Bowie acting job: As Andy Warhol in "Basquiat."

becky from hatch 1:17 PM  

Crosscan, thanks for the link, that was hilarious. I miss the whole Great White North comedy thing.

John in NC - I vote for BLURG! Long Live 30 Rock!

Thanks to all who have schooled me about DEADTREE. I'd never heard it, and at one point, I had lightly written LEADFREE. I'd prefer a clue like "reason to call an arborist/nursery or use a chainsaw."

OK, I'm posting too much - sorry! I must be procrastinating.

chefbea1 1:26 PM  

I too kept hoping for the man who knew too much. Loved all the hitchcock movies!!

Have never used the word vaguer - it even looks wrong.

I wanted rubber hamburger to be magnet - I have one on my fridge.

Gypsy 1:43 PM  

Any puzzle with a Bowie reference automatically wins me over. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH was the first one I filled in.

But still...VAGUER? I suppose "not so clear" is a comparison of sorts, although I've only heard it as "not so clear as." "Not so clear" seems like it should just be VAGUE.

Also, I own an I LIKE IKE button.

Cheryl 1:47 PM  

I had the same quibble about VAGUER. I did not interpret "not so clear" as a comparative phrase (until I had to), but I looked it up in the dictionary and they do list comparative constructions as one of the uses of 'so', so I had to concede my quibble.

I enjoyed the puzzle, no all-out stumps but slowly chipped away at the north and eventually got it all.

My D'oh! forehead-slapping moment came with 9A: I was trying to think of one of the United States as the "neither here nor there" state, even thinking it was kind of an odd motto and that Idaho might not like it much. Then I looked at the downs and realized my error.

Bill from NJ 1:49 PM  

I fell into every trap everyone else has indicated so no need to repeat them.

I only saw two of the movies, THEMANWHOFELLTOEARTH and THEMANWHOWOULDBEKING and I doubt that the Boris Karloff movie is even available.

It just goes to show how valuable crosses are to the solution process: you don't have to have heard of the theme entries to solve the puzzle.

I wonder what Kid Vid actually means as I Googled after the fact and got no clear picture. Anybody know?

I didn't care much for that whole 6A section - I found the three answers gettable but lame.

radioguy 1:52 PM  

Rex, you made my day with that Sports Illustrated cover featuring Moses Malone. Philly sports fans haven't been to the promised land since he left!

I, too, was hoping for "The Man Who Knew Too Much." That is the only "The Man Who..." movie I've seen.

Noam D. Elkies 2:03 PM  

Forgot to ask: whose translation of Inferno is that?

Forgot to mention: agree about 42A:REUNES, a simultaneously cutesy and ugly back-formation from "reunion" that once provoked somebody (alas I don't remember who) to note that you ought not "reune" unless you have first "uned".

6a:[kid]VID, on the other hand, feels familiar, along the lines of "chick flick".


mac 2:05 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle although I have only seen one movie and remembered two more titles, the rest came fairly easily through crosses. My main problem was the vid - dead tree - leetide area, as well.

I don't understand the Carnival shill = plant clue/answer, anyone?

I was surprised how much I enjoyed David Bowie's acting in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence". He still had his British teeth, then.

I liked a lot of the words, like limbo, Raoul and Cortes, dog toy, desolate and the inclusion of Loni!

Grim poem, Rex....

Jet City Gambler 2:35 PM  

This was a real gimme for me, wrote in five of the six themes right off the bat. Impressive construction with all the crossing theme answers, though.

A carnival shill is a decoy or "plant," like someone who wins big at a rigged game to encourage others to participate.

fikink 2:37 PM  

@joon Thanks for "grep" and the Pope's clarification. Raised a Missouri synod Lutheran, I was taught that babies who were not baptised would "go to hell" no matter what. I have no idea if that church still subscribes to that tenet of faith, but it sure played havoc with my impressionable mind as a child. Freud, where are you? dk?
@miriam I prefer LENIENCY also, and only changed it when I remembered Rex blogging about a better clue than elevated trains.
@mac, believe the shill is PLANTed in the crowd to bring people in or work with the act on stage

miriam b 2:52 PM  

In the wake of recent events, many people do not like IKE.

Z.J. Mugildny 3:00 PM  


Thanks. I will never be so foolish (so-foolish) again.

Myles 3:10 PM  

@william e emba: "Is "Kid-VID" an actual genre? It has no Wikipedia entry, and Google turns up almost nothing."

Kidvid is not a genre, it's just a slang term for a genre, namely children's television, including videos for children. The term has been widely used in magazines like TV Guide, but more so in the '70s-'80s than now.

imsdave1 3:21 PM  

Late to the party today - did the puzzle at 4:30 a.m. with a few minor complaints. If REUNES is okay, it must mean one can clue EXHIBITS as attends the worlds fair. I knew 4 of the movies, so I guess that makes me old (or a movie nerd). KIDVID didn't bother me at all. Seems a lot more mainstream than a lot of the stuff we see in puzzles. Enjoyed the solve with the E (ISOLE/LEETIDE) as the last letter. Couldn't quite come up with a tide involving sheep.

Sam 3:28 PM  

As a parent of younger kids, I got kidvid right away. Fairly common usage, at least for me.

Glad to see Fala. Great dog story, which probably inspired Nixon's Checkers speech. Presidential pets could be a theme someday.

The Man Who Would be King is, as others have acknowledged, a superb film. On my lifetime top 5 list.

Had a terrible time in the SE, for reasons which, once I got it, I don't understand.

evil doug 3:33 PM  

Best Bowie/"Man Who..." connection:

"The Man Who Sold The World", later covered by Lulu and Nirvana.

Sam 3:41 PM  

Forgot to mention: Someone earlier asked about Fala.

Fala was FDR's dog. The 'Fala Speech' quoted below was given in response to GOP claims that he had sent a destroyer to rescue his dog, left on some island somewhere.

"These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him--at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars--his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since.

Wade 3:54 PM  

Evil Doug beat me to the "The Man Who Sold the World" comment. That was the answer I went for on that clue.

The Texas Union at UT-Austin had a movie theater where I saw lots of movies I'd never heard of and never would have been exposed to in Possum Kingdom, where I grew up. The first movie I ever saw there was a David Bowie movie; it may have been "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence." I remember nothing about it except Bowie's teeth and that it went on forever. I was still in high school and had come down to visit a friend who'd just started at UT and was eager to show me how hip Austin was. Dang, that was a long movie.

What drives me nuts about "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is that it's so obvious that THE DEVIL WON! When that band of demons joined in they kicked Johnny's ass, indisputably. But everybody just seems to accept that Johnny was the better fiddle player. No way. The devil needs to grow a pair. I don't know why he just rolled over like that.

markus 3:57 PM  

YEAH POWER! No more doing the puzzle by candlelight (which is rough and hazardous) "The Man Who Wasn't There" is a great Coen Brothers movie (as are all Coen Brothers movies) and the only movie in which I can tolerate Billy Bob Thornton's acting. Can't wait to get back to work... it's Ryder Cup weekend and half the city is powerless still.

Thank you NYT Crossword puzzles for getting me through in my time of need.

SethG 4:24 PM  

I wanted to post something clever using the phrase "kideo video", but I couldn't think of anything. My that was an ugly section.

I did know DEAD TREE, didn't know ANDIRON.

My ultimate frisbee team used to name all our defenses after Billy Bob Thornton movies: Armageddon, Sling Blade, Bad Santa, Pushing Tin--though strangely, given our name, never Ice Harvest. I've seen those movies, but none of the ones in this puzzle. Well, except for Stroker Ace.

NDE, a solver can only infer ISOLE from ISOLA if one remembers that it's not ISOLO. Which one (me) does, having written up that one (puzzle) where one (the constructor) crossed it with BRAVA, which was clued generically vis-a-vis BRAVO. Now, if only one's sierras would decoct OGPU.

jannieb 5:10 PM  

Good puzzle, nice fresh theme. When I saw the Burt Reynolds clue, I though of The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, and wondered if we were in for a rebus. I'd never heard of The Man Who Loved Women, but it seems to fit good ol' Burt!

I join those of you who suffered in the Dakotas - took forever.

As Wednesdays go, this was a very good puzzle day!

mexicangirl 5:23 PM  

LIMBO was the place you would be sent to when I was in middle school, as a time-out of some sort. It literally was just a short white brick wall were everybody sat on during recess, but were the whole school could see you if you happened to be thrown out of class.
Good memories.....

By the way, Cortés is the correct Spanish spelling (here I go again...), apparently the "z" somehow became popular in America and now belongs in many Spanish names, like González. But as far as Hernán goes, he was very much a Cortés.

Anonymous 5:31 PM  

"snag" much better clue for deadtree.

mexicangirl 5:32 PM  

and where it says "were" should read "where". Sorry about that. Here I am complaining of spelling and, what do you know...? How dare I.

Bill from NJ 5:36 PM  


I guess I wasn't the only one who went "rebus-hunting" because I misinterpreted the Burt Reynolds clue

Wade 5:55 PM  

re: Billy Bob Thornton, "Sling Blade" was recently unanimously selected by me as the stupidest movie of all time while I was driving to work trying to think of a stupider movie than "Lord of the Rings."

dk 6:14 PM  

@mexicangirl, you just keep complaining about spelling and word usage that way some of us can slip in more food, bad jokes and snarkey political comments. t' amo.

And for you opera buffs the other side of the coin:

Gypsy 6:21 PM  

@everyone who mentioned "The Man Who Sold the World" - thank you for not thinking Kurt Cobain wrote it!

Michael 8:53 PM  

Easy puzzle, I thought. I didn't enjoy it as much as many of you for whatever reason.

Howard B 8:53 PM  

Yep, DEAD TREE is a fresher, more colloquial phrase, frequently used in the way others who posted way before me have already described. I also first heard it used some years ago in the phrase "dead-tree edition" vis-a-vis online publication (hyphenated, although I suppose that's gone out of style much in the way "e-mail" has).
I like the revised clue. Nice job on suggesting the change.

Time to go back to my working-overtime existence. Happy puzzling!

john in NC 9:45 PM  

I've had "The Man Who Sailed Around the World" in my head all day and never made the connection as to why until just now... I'm slow.

Thanks for everyone who schooled me on the DEAD-TREE term. I won't forget it now...

mac 9:46 PM  

@wade: it's funny how we both remembered the teeth.

john in NC 9:47 PM  

whoops --- I meant to say "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul" and I meant to say that it's by XTC if you're unfamiliar (off the brilliant Skylarking album).

andrea carla michaels 10:20 PM  

loved the theme! total theme envy!

@jannie b
I too associated Burt with THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING.
if you had that + THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING on a Monday/Tues 3-themer, you would be trapped into another -ING ending to make it parallel.


two "woulds" don't make a right, but ya gotta love this theme and that there were 6!

In the tournament, huge advantage to those who knew the titles...
I had seen the Coen brothers film, but thought it was called THE MAN WHO WAS NOT THERE...
there wasn't enough room so I had the man who WAS NOT HERE and thought how weird to have misremembered the movie title!!! Took me a while to change the O to a T!

Raoul Wallenberg as important as Schindler if not more so...
glad it triggered some folks to look him up.

@ Rex
I know you prob skip over my long posts, as well you should, but check out the odd coincidence of the I LIKE IKE thing.
There was a very funny "Bad Reporter" cartoon in today's SF Chronicle:

(This guy, the unfortunately -named Don Asmussen, does a non-syndicated cartoon column that is funnier than the Onion...
Rex, you would LOVE him)

Picture of a weatherman with map in background...headline says:

Lonely male weatherman, threatened by Hanna's power, calls her "dangerous".

Cheryl 10:28 PM  

@john in nc
I haven't listened to that album in ages, but now know how I will start my day tomorrow. Thank you.

mexicangirl 10:28 PM  

Apple Venus volume 2, also XTC, has "I'm the man who murdered love". I've had that son on my head all day, thanks to his puzzle.

green mantis 10:51 PM  

@acme: wasn't this the isole debacle puzzle you were going to rant about? Where's the vitriol? I require vitriol.

miriam b 11:11 PM  

There's a wonderful little-known book by Christopher Morley called The Man Who Made Friends With Himself.

acme 2:08 AM  

@green mantis

IsolE seemed terrible, but luckily I know Italian, (remember, i date men half my age who don't speak English) so that gave me pause but didn't trip me's a military/German thing that got me, and I say that without paranoia/vitriol.

becky from hatch 9:56 AM  

Is "snag" a well known term for a DEADTREE that is still standing? I thought only Michael Van Valkenberg and Julie Bargmann used that terms in Planted Form class.

william e emba 11:20 AM  

I just remembered David Gerrold The Man Who Folded Himself, a science fiction classic that mixes time travel into the ultimate solipsistic novel of all time. You either love it or hate it. It has been nicknamed The Man Who Fondled Himself.

Phineas 2:11 PM  

Posting a week after the fact will likely lead to little awareness of this comment, but....

I was glad a few comments were made about the IKE clue given the hurricane, but treat it as more than a just a coincidence. Rather, it's an ill-timed oversight.

I am currently evacuated out of Houston, without power at home for 12 days, living in a hotel in Austin with 3 kids and my wife. No damage to our house, but many people in my neighborhood had large trees lodged in their roofs and garages after Ike came through. Fences were down, huge trees were uprooted or snapped in half. A small tornado passed over the house next door to mine, as seen by a straight line trail of demolished trees and house damage.

I was shocked to find the pantheonic IKE clue / answer in the puzzle only a few days after this storm passed. I'm quite surprised that Will et. al. didn't catch it before publication. Frankly it was quite uncomfortable to run across it when I could finally get back to the puzzles late last week.

I know that current events are included in the puzzle regularly (recent Michael Phelps puzzle), and appreciate such topicality. And it may be too difficult to catch a single clue in a puzzle planned for publication weeks in advance. However, there are only a few intersections of natural disasters and crossword puzzle clues, (what other disaster are given names?). So it was unnerving that such a statistically rare happenstance found it's way to our venerable puzzle last week.

FYI - 24% of Houston customers are still without power - 600K customers with outages translates to about 1.5 million people. I'll be returning Friday with borrowed generator in tow.

Waxy in Montreal 5:09 PM  

4wl -

Have to concur with many comments above that the theme was brilliant.

However, because of words like reunes, vaguer and vid as well as the extremely cluing for deadtree, overall the puzzle fell to earth for me. With a thud.

Continuing the Canadian Raoul Wallenberg thread, there's also a major park in Toronto named after this Swedish "righteous gentile". And both the U.S. and Canada have proclaimed him an honorary citizen.

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