SATURDAY, Oct. 4, 2008 - Matt Ginsberg (Trix alternative? / Originator of the phrase "Pandora's Box" / Writer of "A Man Must Fight," 1932)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Einstein quote: "IMAGINATION IS / MORE IMPORTANT / THAN KNOWLEDGE" (20A: Start of an Einstein quote that holds true when solving clever crosswords)

The easiest Saturday I've done in some time. The theme quote was not at all tough or tricky or surprising in any way, and IMAGINATION, IMPORTANT, and KNOWLEDGE were all easy to uncover, providing valuable letters for all the crosses. Then there were a host of very easy clues, like 6A: "Dial _____ Murder" ("M for") - that's a Monday-level clue - and 31D: Big honor for a college athlete (Heisman) and 8D: Hatch in Washington (Orrin) and (for me) 12D: Pac-10's Beavers: Abbr. (OSU). I started with MFOR and ORRIN and I didn't get slowed down much after that. It's a fine puzzle, but not really a Saturday puzzle.

People you might not know or not have seen coming:

45A: Originator of the phrase "Pandora's box" (Erasmus) - well, I know who Erasmus is, but since the story of Pandora is ancient, I had no idea he (of the Renaissance) invented this phrase. That seems ... weird. What was her box called before it was called a "box." Interesting - Wikipedia says that Erasmus, in translating Hesiod from Greek to Latin, rendered pithos (very large jar) as pyxis (box).
34D: Head of state who resigned in 1974 (Meir) - "Resigned?" Why? I was 5. Looking it up ... hmm, something to do with the Yom Kippur War and how it was handled / whether Israel was adequately prepared.
40D: Writer of "A Man Must Fight," 1932 (Tunney) - Gene. Boxer. Heavyweight champ, 1926-28. Didn't know he wrote.
53D: Singer who appeared with Charlton in "Secret of the Incas" (Yma) - Sumac. Common crossword answer. Interesting clue.

Loved the consecutive Rover clues on NASA (16A: Rover's watcher) and TREAT (17A: Rover's reward). Never Ever heard of RUE as it's clued here (42A: Scented, medical plant). Is scent added to it? Don't all plants have some scent? Weeeird. Wanted Lucky Charms for 56A: Trix alternative? (-enne) - a very trixy clue. Anything else? Well, a few things:

  • 15A: Europe's third-largest island (Eire) - this took some thought, strangely. I tend to think in terms of countries, not islands. Saturday cluing!
  • 23A: Chicken choice (nuggets) - some day we will look back and see that the invention of the chicken nugget was the first Sign of the End Times (I would regularly eat 20 of them as an afternoon snack when I was a teenager - and somehow I wasn't obese)
  • 27A: R.S.V.P. facilitator: Abbr. (SAE) - yipes! Where's my stamp, you cheapskate!
  • 4D: County in Kansas, Missouri or Oklahoma (Osage) - very common xword answer. It should just be waiting in your arsenal for any time you get a "county" or "river" or "tribe" that is somewhere in the middle of the country.
  • 10D: Parts of many military uniforms (insignias) - since it was Saturday, I actually held off on the last letter for a bit, thinking it might be an "E" (!?)
  • 21D: Some W.W. II internees (Nisei) - Children of Japanese immigrants, i.e. citizens.
  • 51D: Bogotà baby (nene) - no Hawaiian goose? Love that NENE intersects ENNE, but NENE really wants to be a goose. All other clues just seem WRONG (57A: Treat unjustly).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Wade 9:20 AM  

I had a tougher time with it than that--solid Medium for me. The theme answer wasn't that hard to uncover, agreed, but even after I uncovered it I still had a hard time in the NW and SE. PERSE, OHBOY, OPTIMA were all hard to get, and LECTERN, the last word I filled in (next to last, actually: RUE was the last), was LECTURE for a while in the grid. Also, I had ME_ _TARMS for ages and had no idea what it could be. Other than a few very easy clues, which you noted, I thought this was pretty solidly Saturday. I made progress on it throughout but there was no key to the entire puzzle for me.

M_in_C'bus 9:21 AM  

I see where a former HEISMAN trophy winner was just found guilty of WRONG doing. That wasn't very NATTY of him, was it? I bet he will RUE the day he ever HATCHed that plan. Maybe in the joint he'll get to have some chicken NUGGETS, that would be quite a TREAT I suspect.

ArtLvr 9:23 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 9:29 AM  

Yes, I'm with Rex right down to the last bit NENE/ENNE and I guessed the latter because of SKINS. There really wasn't much challenge here otherwise, though the SE with REDHOT and URGENT was amusing for the two similar clues, and LECTERN was slow in coming because I was reading from Lessons.

I did recently read about Pandora's Box having morphed from the original jar, but didn't recall that ERASMUS was the source of the error. Such NUGGETS are a TREAT, the Einstein quote too...

Final PENSEE -- NARCISSUS echoes PER SE in a way, in itself, and OHBOY that MAKESIT a flashback to the cause of too many vodka shots mentioned last night, the CLOWN with big mouth.


M_in_C'bus 9:33 AM  

First ever post on the blog and I neglected to mention that my home town claims the only two-time HEISMAN winner, making it doubly difficult for me to think of OSU as Beavers instead of Buckeyes.

Ultra 9:43 AM  

Damn! The first Saturday puzzle I manage to almost complete sans Google and Rex says "not a Saturday". Sigh....

I got the quote mainly because I think it's an advertising slogan (Apple?) and thereby lodged in my brain. It's a great quote and I liked the crossword tie-in.

I also really liked the various double-theme clues (RSVP, Burning, Rover), those made it fun.

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

Nothing worse than struggling through a puzzle and then finding out that everyone else thought it was easy. No imagination or knowledge from me today.

HudsonHawk 10:04 AM  

Breezed until I got to the SE, then slowed down for a few minutes. Stared at __DH__ for Burning, and then it all fell with the other crosses. Have to agree with Rex, it was fairly straightforward for a Saturday. Nice puzzle, though.

steve l 10:15 AM  

I disagree that NENE should always be clued as the Hawaiian goose. Every time I saw it clued that way, I thought to myself, it means baby in Spanish, why is it clued as an obscure goose? Similarly, I'd like to see ONEG, which is always the force of gravity or a thousand dollars, as the dessert put out after services at a synagogue. The ONEG (fully, ONEG Shabbat, or Sabbath Joy) might be the only reason we could ever get our kids to go to temple willingly.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

I didn't think it was so easy. I had "the question is" instead of "imagination is" because 20 across reads that it "holds true when solving clever crosswords." It often is the case that the wording of the clue (question) provides the answer rather than what one knows (knowledge). So that precluded me from completing the NE - bummer.

bill from fl 10:35 AM  

Like last Saturday's, this one was mostly easy, but I still managed to end up with a couple of mistakes--this time, it was the cluster around ENNE in the south central. Frustrating.

Michael in NYC 10:41 AM  

I agree that this did not feel like a Saturday puzzle, which brings me to a suggestion:

Instead of (or in addition to?) the relative difficulty rating for each puzzle, could you, Rex, simply indicate what day of the week you think each puzzle should have been published? I can readily understand that a "Saturday" puzzle is more challenging than a "Wednesday" puzzle, but I have trouble knowing how an "easy" Saturday puzzle stacks up against a "medium challenging" Thursday puzzle. (And thanks, Rex, for all your humor and intelligence....and for creating a community for us Xword nerds.)

Oh yes, and I thought it was sloppy construction that "treat" appeared both in a clue and as an answer.

joho 10:43 AM  

I was very happy that I could solve this puzzle using my IMAGINATION as I have no math skills and thought that might be necessary.

@artlvr: I, too, liked REDHOT/URGENT next to each other as well as the two rover clues.

@m_in_c'bus: I'm too new here myself to really welcome you but I'm sure you'll love this site. Only one thing about your comment, NATTY in the puzzle doesn't work there as it means smart looking, not smart in the head.

No Googles, an easy Saturday for me.

Janie 10:43 AM  

>I started with MFOR and ORRIN and I didn't get slowed down much after that.

i started with MFOR and ORRIN and came almost to a dead standstill! ;-)

i did complete the puzzle sans artificial intelligence -- so, even though it took me a good long time to finish -- i take that as a plus!



Hobbyist 10:46 AM  

No easy beans for me, either. I am thick but how and why is enne a Trix alternative?

Anonymous 10:56 AM  


trix as in domanatrix, feminine suffix like -enne.

Sneaky capital T (as first word in clue) makes it look like something *for kids*. ;-)


steve l 11:04 AM  

@Hobbyist--As an ending: aviatrix, dominatrix; comedienne, doyenne.

I thought it was a normal Sat. puzzle because, as is the case typically, it's hard to get traction, but you can get a few things in a few spots and things eventually fall into place. Those who had trouble, don't despair, Sat. puzzles are the last ones you'll get, but with experience comes understanding. And you get things from experience--for example, Anon. 10:27 should have looked at the author of the quote--Einstein--and realized that he would not likely say "the question"--Anon. was thinking of his own situation, not of Einstein. (It was on that basis that I entered IMAGINATION before I was sure of it.) Eventually, more and more, your hunches prove correct. I hunched out PERSE before I actually put it in; rejected the more obvious LIONS when I had Fighting -IO--, and then, when I got another cross (the U, I think) I realized that SIOUX would be perfect for a team from North Dakota. You learn to think broadly; the ROVER of 16A and 17A are two different things. You start to understand things like Trix alternative (endings) and Antony's love (translation; Antony=Latin; Jacques=French; Pedro=Spanish.) You get that capital (41A) often means currency, not city, on Sat., and that pool openings are not annual spring occurrences, but the start of a billiards game. You get that article (13D) will mean "translation of 'the' or 'a'" in another language, and that the head of state that resigned in 1974 (if it's Sat.) won't be Nixon. Esquire refers to a magazine and not a lawyer making a plea, and fourfront (not really a word) is a pun leading to "a prefix meaning 'four.'" Singer + Incas or Peru is always YMA SUMAC.

In summary, it took me 15 minutes, no trip ups. Not really trying to brag. Do the puzzle for 30 years, and you'll be at the same place. Just don't get too frustrated. When I was starting out, there was no Google and no blogs to help me out.

PhillySolver 11:14 AM  

I knew the quotation and still found it a slightly less than medium Saturday. I just fell into several of the traps set, but that made it fun. What else am I going to do with my time and my brain? Well, don't answer that.
No stamp? Sae it ain't so, Joe.
And why is my crossword fish now a fourfront? My lawyer never asked me to renew. ;)

Norm 11:21 AM  

On the easy side of medium for me but just, and the SE stumped me for the longest time. Had ARDENT instead of REDHOT, gave up on ENERGY too early, but finally got back on track with LECTERN. Liked the puzzle, all in all.

PuzzleGirl 11:35 AM  

Easy breezy Saturday for me too. Guess I'm not the only one who started with M FOR Murder and ORRIN Hatch. I was just noticing the other day that I always want Fighting [college team] to be IRISH, and it's often ILLINI in the puzzle. Nice to see my home-state Fighting SIOUX today. (Would have preferred seeing my hometown BISON, but close enough.)

I also got OSU easily because I've been following the mess at the University of Oregon surrounding the dissolution of their wrestling team. (Which I realize is a different school, but OSU is mentioned in some of the articles I've read.) Of course that put me in mind of wrestlers for the [Big honor for a college athlete] clue so I had trouble coming up with HEISMAN. I'm guessing I'll never see the college wrestling's equivalent of the Heisman -- the HODGE -- in the puzzle. (Won this year by University of Iowa sophomore and all-around stud Brent Metcalf.)

I like the Einstein quote and think it really is appropriate for crossword solving.

foodie 12:54 PM  

I feel like an idiot as I breezed through most of it except the nortwest, because I had "AN INTUITION" rather than IMAGINATION. Since I had MEN IN ARMS instead of MEN AT ARMS, it only screwed up that top left corner. The reason this is particularly stupid is that the quote is on Andrea's website, and I wrote on this blog and told her what a great choice it was and how much I agreed with it as a scientist! So, I had KNOWLEDGE of it, but not the IMAGINATION to reconstruct it (at least for a while). The moral: mental flexibility entails not only making guesses but letting go of them.

In spite of my own neural short circuit, I think this is a terrific puzzle and for me on the easy side for Saturday. I chuckled when BALD revealed itself in response to "Unable to part?", and like Rex, I liked the two Rover clues. A great workout for INTUITION as well as IMAGINATION...

On another front, Phillysolver said hello yesterday to Bill from NJ, and I wanted to mention that I've heard from Bill by e-mail as a follow up to an article I had sent him about new treatments. While he did not share health specifics, I was very happy to get his note and hear that he had had the stamina to wade through a thorny scientific review. Goes to show the power of puzzles in keeping our brains sharp even under duress.

mark 12:57 PM  

I'm surprised NENE wasn't clued as the power forward for the NUGGETS. Could have made a nice tandem clue.

Nebraska Doug 1:04 PM  

I agree - easiest Saturday puzzle in a long time. Had to make one guess on the ENNE/NENE crossing, but other than that clear sailing. I was surprised at the number of gimmies - usually on a Saturday I find few, if any, lots of them today.

foodie 1:09 PM  

@nebraska doug: I don't know if you intend it to refer to it, but in Hawaii, you see signs that say "Nene crossing". Hawaii road signs are my favorite! See:

joho 1:12 PM  

m_in_c'bus: Sorry about my negative comment re: your comment. I had a run in yesterday with my husband's ex and my usually positive, upbeat personality is temporarily down.

chefbea1 1:13 PM  

I found today's puzzle a bit difficult. Started with M for and orrin also.

As for kitchen waste - don't throw those skins away. They hold all the nutrients.

@M_in_c'bus welcome. I wont ask you the question I usually ask all new Rexites. BTW -I don't eat those red skins

archaeoprof 1:31 PM  

For 13D, "Zeitung article" I tried DIE, since that is the definite article that would go with the word "Zeitung."

Ulrich, what do you think?

Agree with everybody that it was an easy Saturday.

Wade 1:35 PM  

But it's kind of a dumb quote, don't you think? Imagination is "more important" than knowledge under what circumtances, in what context? People with more imagination than knowledge probably agree with it, and people with more knowledge probably think it's stupid and don't bother arguing with it because they lack the imagination to take it seriously at all. I don't know what he means by "important." In the eighth grade I got in an argument with the other weirdo in town about who was the best Beatle, and he said that John was the most "important." Or maybe I said that. (I'm a Paul guy all the way now, though I think even George had more going for him than Lennon.) We argued about what we meant by important. I don't think we resolved it.

Matt 1:37 PM  

As far as the NENE clue goes, I had originally clued it as [Denver's one-named power forward]. Will changed it, and I'm sort of neutral on the two clues (I prefer both to the inevitable Hawaiian bird, though). I had totally missed the NUGGETS connection! But if so, I'm not sure if I would have used [One-named power forward for 23-A], because I really don't like those cross-referential clues. (It also would have given away the [Chicken choice] clue, which was Will's and was much better than my [Prospectors' targets].) On the other hand, I really couldn't resist cluing 48-D as [With 49-D, exotic short-nosed fish] (and 49-D as [See 48-D]) which I felt was forgiveable because the words were right next to one another.

Anonymous 2:07 PM  

This wasn't easy for me by any stretch. I had INSPIRATION instead of IMAGINATION up top and lots of problems in the bottom left, even after googling. Oh well.
--twangster on vacation

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

Meir was not head of state, she was Prime Minister, which is head of government. the President of Israel was head of state.

foodie 2:22 PM  

@wade, I agree that if it is taken out of context, the quote is not all that compelling. But I really like it in the context of science. There, knowledge is the goal but it's also the starting place, something we build on. So, it's easy to think of knowledge as the beginning and the end, and define the scientific process very tightly around it. Clearly, such knowledge is hard won and we depend on it. But "knowing" is a tricky concept (as tricky as "important") because of the limits of our own minds--we constantly pattern what we "know" around our expectations. We avoid dissonant ideas and try to make it all neat and tidy. Imagination breaks that apart and allows you to reconfigure ideas and ask new questions or frame old ones in a new way. A breakthrough almost always means going beyond given knowledge to a whole different way of thinking. In science, reality often exceeds expectations-- hence the need for imagination.

I'm not sure this applies in all walks of life-- in finance? in law? You all would know better. It does seem apt where solving puzzles is concerned, though some knowledge of facts is certainly a huge help.

Doug 2:54 PM  

Clobbered as usual; think I got about half and then hung up my skates. Funny thing is, when you look at filled answer grids in newspapers, you invariably think "Well, how hard could that be?" I'm looking at RP's filled grid and it looks so darn easy....

When I got married, I asked my fiancee and mother-in-law why they weren't including SAEs in the invites. (GASP!) Evidently those with perfect etiquette respond with handwritten notes on their own nickel. I slipped back to the other side of the tracks and plotted how I could get a DJ instead of the live jazz quarter.

For information, the YEN, the Chinese YUAN and the Korean WON are all the same word, originating with the YUAN.

Doug 2:54 PM  

Whoops Jazz QUARTET not Quarter.

fikink 3:03 PM  

I have a new in-house crossword puzzle rating based on audibles because it is football season: Puzzles which cause an audible f-bomb to escape my lips are delights in my world. This puzzle caused two: BALD and NASA; BALD because I had to wait until the very last letter, the A, and only arrived when I recited my vowels and NASA because I had just filled in Rover's reward (TREAT) - a marvelous trick played on me.
Came here to find out the explanation of ENNE which now makes perfect sense. The capital "T" did pull me in.
@acme, isn't this one of your favorite quotations?
@ulrich, I am awaiting your lecture on the "Ger." - TEUT cluing (grrrrr!)
@joho, I thought your comment was right on - I depend on this blog to set me straight and spare me possible future embarrassment resulting from a faulty conclusion I have INFERRED.
@ foodie, Mr. Fikink says he would love to see your collection of pharmaceutical paraphernalia since most kids assume he acquired his collection from various head shops, one of which he managed when he and I were hippies.
Do head shops even exist anymore?

JoefromMtVernon 3:17 PM  

Spent the day helping someone pack for a move.

This was a typical Saturday; except nothing really needed googling. Unluckily, few things "leapt out".

Spent most of the time saying "no, it can't be that...too easy (energy, soreloser).

Definitely not as easy as last Saturday. However, I'm getting less intimidated by the Saturday NYT puzzle.


andrea carla michaels 3:32 PM  

Breezed thru this, yes, considering I do have the quote on my website!
Just about fainted when I read Wade, my storytelling idol, thought it was not only a dumb quote but went on to dis John Lennon... the other person I practically pattern my life after... on his bday (almost) no less!!!!!!
So thanks for articulating all the ways in which it is not dumb, while I searched for smelling salts, trying to dislodge a knife from my heart!
(feel free to add own mixed metaphors here!)

On a more positive note, thanks for the info on YEN/YUAN/WON!!!
Very interesting!
(btw all good in Scrabble, all take an S, despite the fact that many of the Asian monetary units do not, but YEN and WON have other meanins)

this was a personal fastest for me, then I realized I "tripped", leaving a letter lightly written in, tho incorrect...
I had NANA for Rover watcher.

Since O_U was a sports clue, (it could have been any of the 26 letters as far as I was concerned...)
I got as far as NANA and stopped
(thinking it was either a ref to leaving your dog with your grandma...or some Peter Pan clue I didn't quite get since I believe NANA is the dog's name in that story)

(I must comment on this, this being both Shabbat and a high holy week, yet I'm obviously not observant not to be writing!)
I sort of agree about ONEG, but I have to admit, I didn't learn the word till, like, two years ago so my guess is it would be highly unlikely in a puzzle where Meir is misclued as head of state!

Leon 3:48 PM  

Hawaiian Road signs made my day. Thanks.

Wade 3:54 PM  

ACME, I'll cede you and Foodie the Einstein quote (he's Einstein, after all, and I'm . . . not.) But you gotta get with the Beatle appropriate to your age level:

3-12: Ringo (kid phase)
13-22: John (pretentious know-it-all adolescent phase)
23-30: George (pretentious know-it-all post-adolescent phase)
30-60: Paul (adulthood)
60-80: Who gives a rat's ass about the Beatles when these kids won't get out of my yard?
80-death: Ringo

matty lite 3:55 PM  

Easy breezy. I did a double-take when I saw the Dial __ Murder clue. I almost even over-thought it and assumed it was some sort of trap.

I had a hilarious thing happen with 36D Esquire's plea. There I was, running through ideas like RETRY, REPLY, RENEG, I dunno, I figured the British legal system might have some weird pleas to it. So I decided to take a little break, and lifted my puzzle off the hard surface I was using to write on-- this month's Esquire magazine. For real. That really happened to me. I laughed so loud I woke up my roommate (thank god he decided to RENEW his subscription).

Shamik 4:37 PM  

So THAT is what YMA Sumac looks like! LOL...always thought she was from the 1920's or something.

Agree it was on the easy side of a Saturday with my usual bunch of mis-starts:


and my favorite:


andrea carla michaels 4:38 PM  

Dear Wade,

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"

If I may quote one of my favorite writers,

"Imagine is more important than knowledge"
-Albert Ono Lennon ne Eisenstein

Forever 22, I guess,

ps Glad the lights are back on!
Now get offa my lawn!

Shamik 4:41 PM  

As for NASA...spent this morning touring Stennis Space Center in SE Mississippi. It was FREE and that's a good thing.

Wade 5:49 PM  

Electricity is more important than knowledge or imagination.

jeff in chicago 5:59 PM  

i actually did a little better today than yesterday, but that's not saying much. 2, 4, 5 and 8 down helped me guess IMAGINATION and IS seemed the logical end of that. Got a few more that helped me parse the quote. Being only 6 words helped. But things pretty much stopped there. Practice, practice, practice.

@fikink, re: your last question. yes, they do. an actor friend told me. yeah. that's it. a friend told me. those crazy actors!!

Anonymous 6:32 PM  


Re Chicken Nuggets.

Actually they were *invented* by McDonalds as an alternate to beef during the *mad cow* panic (70's?).
Hamburger sales were falling.

*Invented* as they were made by putting chicken and *chicken by products* in a big blender, then forming the nuggets and freezing them.

Easy to process, easy to store and transport, easy to cook (already had the fryers), and someting to do with the leftovers that could no longer be used as animal feed.

Soon the other chains were forced to follow with their own versions.

So you may not be far off, this info from the book *The End of Food" by P. Roberts.


Michael 7:09 PM  

I found this to be about Thursday-level, Perhaps the easiest Saturday I've done. But I liked the clues and the quote...

fergus 7:29 PM  

Because it rained last night for the first time of the season I feel like one of those odd varieties of toad that dwell in caked mud, and then suddenly come alive. The sky is so beautiful with the soaring clouds after our first storm.

Rather than steal to the crossword, I actually read the paper first today. There was plenty of stuff on the Op-Ed pages to make the purchase worthwhile. See Steven Pinker's contribution, with a wink to Foodie and Mac, about accents.

But when it came time to do the puzzle it coincided with a Cal football game at a local bar. And I finished it on the third beer with a NATTY WRONG CLOWN. How strange to have a quote theme on Saturday. ERASMUS was my friend and the voice of reason, who gave me a number of unrelated answers.

Now I know another way how Ophelia might wear her RUE with a difference.

fergus 8:20 PM  

Upon rereading,

John Lennon made the Beatles, and vegetable skins are not to be tossed away. Compost, if not soup.

Nearly everyone had something interesting to say, but I want to commend Madame Foodie for the most eloquent and incisive commentary we're fortunate enough to read. Regular readers will likely share this thought.

Rex does a rather good job as well. Actually what he does is phenomenal, and is even more impressive if you've ever daydreamed along these lines.

joho 8:22 PM  

@fikink: thanks!

@andrea carla michaels: Definitely John Lennon

@wade: if I were in a retirement home and they piped in Octopusse's Garden I think I'd rather be dead.

fikink 8:32 PM  

Pinker's piece was worthy of note as it pertained to Palin's Northern Exposure accent, but I do not think her accent PER SE is what offended so many of us. Two things were of URGENT concern and making me RED-HOT enraged: her glibness (and that word has Dutch roots, yes Mac?) and her comportment.
In short, she was a CLOWN! feh!

fergus 8:38 PM  

... still thinking about whatever four-letter cereal is akin to Trix.

fergus 8:44 PM  

back to fikink,

Sharing those thoughts, I ought to comply with sensible Rex, and not appear to be strident politically, so I'll add nothing further right now.

ArtLvr 8:50 PM  

re Ulrich -- He's left word on his Krautblog that he'll be on the road for a couple of days with visiting kin, his brother and family. Can't wait to hear his ideas on why the wildly varied words for German in other languages: Deutch in German, German (or Teutonic) in English, Tedesco in Italian, Allemagne in French, etc. What a hoot!

Today they were taking in the Dia Foundation Museum in Beacon NY, and I googled that since I've been to Beacon several times (about halfway between Albany and NYC) and never heard of it! The building turns out to have be a former factory designed by a German architect, natch.

re Einstein's quote -- it was especially true of Einstein himself, as he first imagined himself as a boy traveling on a ray of light and then wondered if it might bend, for example. His "knowledge" came after he'd worked out such imaginative flights to see if they might be true... Sort of like crosswords, in that you'd need to start with that sort of mind to care about pursuing it?


fikink 8:51 PM  

point taken, I'll see you offline

ArtLvr 8:52 PM  

@ fergus -- join us at Ulrich's place, the Pumas' thread.

dk 9:26 PM  

easy, easy! I'm goin out for a pizza. This puzzle was a pain. Even tho I got the Einstein quote right off the bat.

Natty Bumpo is the only smart Natty I know He would never order NUGGETS as they have the highest fat content of any McCrap.

fergus 9:34 PM  

HIGH FAT CONTENT was something to consider in the top line today ....

fikink 9:41 PM  

Indeed, dk, we in Iowa are the Hawkeyes, named after Natty Bumppo!
Way to go!

Joon 10:28 PM  

yeah, MFOR had an easy clue, but how else are you going to clue it? there's really no other way. (this is why many constructors and editors try to avoid using partials, especially late in the week.)

on the other hand, the HEISMAN clue was shockingly straightforward for a saturday. couldn't we get a jay berwanger in there somewhere? or perhaps [Maxwell competitor] or [Camp alternative]? (those are nice and tricky.)

i liked the puzzle, but overall there were a bunch of easy 7-9 letter answers, making the whole grid pretty accessible overall.

Mike the Wino 10:36 PM  

I wanted the (game)COCKS at 33A until I re-read the clue, and it was ND instead of SC!

@chefbea, what do you usually ask new Rexites that you may or may not have asked me a few weeks ago?

@All, how do you all know each other? I think it would be really cool if someone could put together a "sidebar" with an explanation or whatever of your tight-knit little community. I'm constantly fascinated by your knowledge of what's going on in each others lives, and how it occasionally crops up here in the blog. JMTC'sW.

foodie 11:37 PM  

Rex, please forgive the extra post today. I average less than 3 per day, if that counts...

@mike the wino, some of the Rexites have met during the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which takes place in Brooklyn. More recently, there was a smaller tournament in the SF Bay Area and a few (may be 4) members of the group participated. But many have not met anyone in person (e.g. yours truly). But I do feel I have gotten to know people who post regularly. You can see how people think, they reveal tidbits about their lives, what their spouses do, their passions and mishaps. We've celebrated a wedding, the birth of a baby, the publication of a first puzzle in the NYTimes, learned of the death of a family member, tried to support one of ours during a health crisis. And of course, we know a lot about Rex and his family, through the blog. It really is an amazing process and the best part about it is that it is so open and inclusive. People join all the time and become included. We do need a wino in the family, so welcome aboard! I hope Chef Bea will read the late posts tomorrow and ask you her usual question...

@Fergus, I like being called Madame Foodie! I'm going to start insisting on it... And thanks for the kind words. It's always fun to read your comments.

@Fiknik, now I really want to meet you guys, and see the old head shop paraphernalia. I can't believe you ran one! Was that in Iowa City? I lived there at one point in my life...

Mike the Wino 12:06 AM  

@foodie, thanks for the explanation and the kind welcome. I don't get a chance to read this blog every day (or any other, for that matter), so I'm sure I miss a lot. Guess I'll just have to make a more concerted effort in the future! And hopefully along the way I can occasionally add to it.

mac 1:20 AM  

This is the first time I checked in so late that Rex already posted the next day's blog! I guess I am finally having a life! I had six tall Dutch people over and then went out for dinner with them. They don't eat much for their height. They commented that they were surprised to see so few obese people in NY after all the publicity. They are interested in the arts, blues clubs, good food, especially Japanese, and lots and lots of shopping. They actually said they are here to support our economy..... I told them to buy Time Out. We locals don't know what's going on.

The puzzle! I couldn't get a foothold for the longest time, went shopping and did about 3/4 of it, then went out to dinner and finished it after. It was NOT an easy for me. I agree with Janie and steve l although I don't remember what they said.
@rue: it is not very aromatic. I have grown it for years, it has an attractive sage-green foliage and non-discript yellow flowers, and many people get hives when they touch it.

@foodie, or should I say Madame Foodie: there is a sign in our neighborhood that says "Ducks crossing", that is to protect the ducks. Then there are many signs about deer xing, and that is more about protecting people and cars, it seems.

@wade: I think I picked George as my favorite early on because all my friends drooled over Paul and John.

@artlvr: I think it is actually an old Nabisco cookie factory. It is a beautiful, bright space, a delight to visit on a sunny weekend.

@mike the wino: if chefbea doesn't reach you, do you like beets?

fergus 1:26 AM  

Madame Foodie,

Your eloquence continues to amaze me.

Anonymous 2:09 AM  

thanks for making me feel dumb - I was proud of myself for getting this (Saturdays are hard for me), and found your blog when I searched on trix and enne. Then I got it!

acme 3:36 AM  

@anonymous 2:09 am
Alright, now I'm going to have to quote the third person on my website whose words I live by, now that Lennon and Einstein have been covered:

(re: feeling dumb)

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Mike the Wino 7:22 PM  

@mac: Oh yeah, I recall all the folks getting "beet up" over that stuff, but my recollection was chefbea suggesting I could bring the wine next time y'all get together for dinner. Hmmmmm, maybe I should try making beet wine. Might have potential.....

william e emba 12:27 PM  

Rex--No citation from Hamlet in re RUE? I admit, Ophelia doesn't talk about its scent or medicinal uses, but still, a plant's a plant.

There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with a difference.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

So Rex your'e saying saturdays puzzle was the same as a monday puzzle? I think you need to either clarify ( easy for a sat.) or change your rating system. I can do most Mon. puzzles while eating a slice of toast. Not today so it wasn't easy.

Old Al 11:52 AM  

WOW! Talk about coincidence... When I got to 53D: Singer who appeared with Charlton in "Secret of the Incas" (Yma) it hit me as scary. Why? I had just finished reading her obituary. It seems she died on November 1 at the age of 86. As an old guy myself, I was fascinated by her in my youth.

Anonymous 5:04 PM  

So glad to see others who like gnawing on crosswords. Easier puzzle that usual, but I had to resort to on-line help..."enne" had me going, though I'm happy to say that once I saw it, I got its connection with "trix". "Zeitung article" also threw me, because it would be DIE, not DAS, for "Zeitung," although the other answers were too obvious to keep me quibbling about German articles.
I was glad of the easy clues: they allowed me to hope for more than throwing up my hands in despair and getting to the Saturday chores. BCB

Michael5000 12:31 PM  

I was able to help Mrs.5000 put this one to bed without too much difficulty, which indicates it is indeed underpowered for Saturday. The theme answer is a common bumpersticker, which doesn't help. I didn't have much trouble with TRIX/ENNE, but it irritated me for some reason too....

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