SUNDAY, Nov. 9, 2008 - Paula Gamache (18th-century Venetian fresco painter / Automotive comeback of 1998 / Fancy shooting marbles)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Sounds Like It's Cold In Here" - B-sounds changed to BR- sounds (or BRRRR- sounds, I guess) in familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are "?"-clued

I ugh-ed my way through this. I'm a huge Paula Gamache fan, but this one got me down. Some of my downness stemmed from barely knowing the phrase "Banned in Boston" and not thinking the town of "Medicine Bow" is strong enough to form the basis of a theme answer. Some of it stemmed from SHENZI (57D: "The Lion King" character voiced by Whoopi Goldberg), which is a random accumulation of letters as far as I'm concerned. I don't like the use of "butt" in the clue 97D: Butt abutters (seat). For someone who swears all the time, I'm oddly put off by it. Seems crass. As I told Will, BIENNIA just isn't accurate as clued - 67D: Periods between Winter and Summer Olympics. Real length of time involved is months off (either high or low depending on the particular interval). My largest harrumph came at the far far NW corner, where I honestly couldn't decided between D and T. TIEPOLO is absolutely unknown to me (1A: 18th-century Venetian fresco painter); meanwhile, I knew that both DAWs and TAWs (1D: Fancy shooting marbles) were words, but I forgot which was the marble and which the bird. Turns out DAW is the bird, as I was reminded yesterday while preparing to go teach Othello in prison:

In following him, I follow but myself.
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end,
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complement extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For DAWS to peck at. I am not what I am.

- Iago (I.i.57-64)

Theme answers:

  • 23A: Question to a paralegal? (where's the bRief?)
  • 38A: Red Sox franchise? (bRand in Boston)
  • 45A: Warning sign outside of Br'er Rabbit's home? (bRier beware!) - "Br'er" and "BRIER" are a little close to each other ... and is this sign supposed to have a comma in it? Is the "BRIER" supposed to beware? Of what? Seems like it should read "Beware of Brier" if it's going to make any sense as a sign. [I know that it's a play on "buyer beware," so no comments/emails please, thanks]
  • 63A: Useful advice for a ring referee? (keep your eye on the bRawl)
  • 80A: Clinician in the 'hood? (medicine bRo')
  • 87A: Silicone implant companies? (bReast sellers)
  • 108A: Matzo mover? (flat bRead truck)
Two geographical zingers for me today. I've spent next to no time in London, and so SLOANE Square is new to me (57A: London's _____ Square). And if you're going to go with LANIER, why oh why wouldn't you go with Bob? (instead of 111A: Georgia's Lake _____, behind the Buford Dam) Bob LANIER was the #1 pick in the 1970 draft. On the 1971 All-Rookie team. A 6-time All-Star. His number was retired by both the Pistons and the Bucks. No, I get a lake. Behind some dam. In a state I've never been to. Is this part of the NYT's geographical outreach program? I don't like it. "Buford" - how am I supposed to take that name seriously? The only "Buford" I know is Sheriff Buford T. Justice, the (fictional!) sheriff in the Smokey and the Bandit movies.

Assorted flavors:

  • 21A: Site of two ecumenical councils (Nicaea) - was Not aware of that first "A"; held things up a bit
  • 30A: "Sugar Lips" trumpeter (Hirt) - trumpeter in four letters = HIRT, w/o fail

  • 33A: Figure in an Edmund Spenser poem (Faerie) - as in "The FAERIE Queene," a very, very long poem (planned for 12 books, reached 6+). This one, and the related ALBION (35A: Ancient name for Great Britain) were gimmes, as for the second day in a row I find works I've taught in the grid. Oh, THISBE is a teaching-related gimme as well (106A: Beloved of Pyramus). Chaucer and Ovid both wrote versions of their story.
  • 41A: Three-time Masters winner Nick (Faldo) - British. Familiar from my youth (not that I've ever followed golf)
  • 70A: _____ Davis, first African-American to win a Heisman (Ernie) - I think there was recently a (Dennis Quaid) movie about him. Yes, "The Express"

  • 74A: CB radios, once (craze) - you can see them in "Smoky and the Bandit" (see clip, above)
  • 86A: Ancient Egyptian kingdom (Nubia) - goes nicely with ASPS (72D: Egyptian symbols of royalty)
  • 6D: Boxer nicknamed "The Bear" (Liston) - also the nickname of Norman Schwarzkopf, it turns out
  • 8D: Uncommon blood type, informally (A neg) - had the NEG, had to wait for the appropriate letter
  • 16D: Overdoes the accolades (gushes) - You can "gush" without overdoing it. Some things / moments / people warrant gushing.
  • 32D: Hero of New Orleans (poor boy) - never seen it spelled any way but PO' BOY (incl. in the NYT puzzle)
  • 35D: Jet locales: Abbr. (AFBs) - befuddling, for no good reason
  • 37D: Sound on classic Pong (blip) - this I like, though I think of a BLIP as primarily visual, not auditory, e.g. "a blip on the screen..."
  • 51D: _____ Bing! (go-go bar on "The Sopranos") (Bada) - too easy. So easy I didn't write it in at first, thinking I must be mistaken
  • 65D: Die Zeit article (eine) - EINE and DER being the most common German "articles" in puzzledom
  • 87D: Automotive comeback of 1998 (Beetle) - honestly wavered over whether to spell this BEETLE or BEATLE ...
  • 88D: Cardinal topper (red hat) - well *this* is a coincidence. Wife and I were just (perversely) watching QVC, which is like ... watching Animal Planet, for us. Crazy behavior / customs / appearances. So we were watching some Heinous fashion program with ... sweaters with candy canes and santas on them, sweaters that (literally) light up, appliqué jeans, etc., and the older, portly, oddly head-banded host (me: "Olivia Newton-John has really let herself go...") mentioned something about her clothes appealing to "red hatters" ... which are, I think, sassy older ladies who like to wear RED HATs because of some poem about how when you are old you can wear @#$# that doesn't match. Looking it up ... OK, here's the official site, but I still don't get it. OMG, I forgot there was a "Simpsons" episode about this: "Last of the Red Hat Mamas."

Watch more IFILM videos on AOL Video

  • 91D: French engineer Gustave (Eiffel) - he of the Tower (or Tour, I guess)
  • 103D: Singing partner of Brooks (Dunn) - More geographical / cultural affirmative action (à la LANIER). I am guessing that the Venn Diagram of NYT puzzle solvers and Brooks and DUNN fans would look very much like two circles abutting one another
  • 105D: Old theaters once owned by Howard Hughes (RKOs) - didn't know these were theaters. Know RKO only as a studio.
  • 109D: Festoons with Charmin, informally (TPs) - OK, *that* is a great clue

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS Happy Birthday Ben Tausig (editor of "The Onion" crossword puzzle)


Babe E. Bump 12:23 AM  

I thought sure Whoopi Goldberg was the voice of he Elizabeth Hasselbeck character in "The Lion King".

Anonymous 1:34 AM  

Charmin' clue for 109D:TPS, indeed. Wanted Tom for nearby 107D:BEN (Jerry's partner); should have realized that the chilly theme (cf. 46D clue) called for ice cream. Happily it's quite a mild weekend here in Boston.

32D:POORBOY, really? I think it was always "po'boy" when I last visited Nawrleans; Wikipedia lists that and two further variants (po-boy, po boy) before "poor boy". Even lists "po'-boy" as the principal spelling.

Yes, 35D:AFBS was tough, partly because 41A:FALDO could just as well be Baldo, Caldo, Waldo, etc. for all I know and care about golf.

65D:EINE -- wouldn't "EIN" be about as common as this and "DER"? "DAS" and "DIE" are useful, too, though they can be clued in other ways.

67D:BIENNIA is indeed not exact, but then again successive Winter or Summer Olympics are often a month or more off from exactly four years apart, too; would you complain about such a clue for QUADRENNIA as well?

81A:EER clued as "musket end" -- not "end of a slogan"? ;-)


jae 2:08 AM  

Yep, medium for me also with one error. I went for DAWS vs. TAWS having a similar memory problem. Rex pretty much covered my take on this one. Hiccups included MINE for DIBS, ONEG, TOM for BEN, and SWISH for SMASH. POORBOY brings back memories of my poo boy misspell in a post a year or so ago. At least Orange was amused.

sillygoose 3:37 AM  

This one was a clunky solve that felt rough all over.

I solved it with my Dad (me: 30's, him: 80's). Thank goodness he knew Sloane Square. It sits right under the yucky "in bad". Do people say this?

He needed me for IMHO. He still doesn't get it, but at least he put it into the grid. Tiepolo over ammonia was a tough opener.

We both wondered about MedicineBro (bo? bow? beau?) to the point that we questioned shenzi/ernie/craze. I am not thrilled about the clue for craze. Televised Poker would have made me more confident of the answer.

I am pretty sure the Red Hat ladies are required to wear purple clothes with their hats. They seem to have a lot of fun. Almost as much fun as an addicted solver with a Sunday puzzle, even when the puzzle isn't quite an A+.

steve l 7:45 AM  

Love crosswords. Love Brooks and Dunn. Love country music. Live right outside NYC. (I think Wade would agree with me that there's no conflict liking crosswords and country music.) General impression of many: crosswords--highbrow audience, country music--lowbrow audience. It ain't necessary so. Joke (?) in my house: Other family member: Are you done? Me: No, I'm Brooks.

On the same note, yesterday's country clue was kinda off. YIPPY Ky Yay was a barely-remembered song by a teenage flash in the pan named Lila McCann, whose big hit was "I Wanna Fall in Love." "Yippy" barely made the charts. Thus, to me, too obscure per se to be in a crossword. I guess Byron thought you could infer it.

ArtLvr 7:53 AM  

This puzzle gave me EUPHORIA, neat word after RHAPSODY yesterday, rather than A NEG reaction like some solvers... Double the pleasure in fact, since I did half last night and the rest this a.m.

It had very little trite fill, and ESOTERIC wide range
from the historical and geographical NICAEA NUBIA ALBION THRACE TASMAN, the Canadian PEI to Georgia's Lake LANIER -- a shivery reminder of the deep draught there. Was it only last year when the state was so close to running out of water?

Then there was the gamut of sublime to mundane, ARTE in the Uffizi, TIEPOLO, EIFFEL MIES, a Juilliard MFA, HIRT, OBOE in the pit, FAERIE and THISBE... BETROTH and the POORBOY/hero reminded me how hard it is to distinguish the gender of star-crossed lovers sometimes, with Leander's Hero the lady of the pair.

In the bodily parts dept., besides blood, Rex mentioned the SEATS clue [Butt abutters], but I thought ODOR [Sure target] and KAMA [Sutra] plus penultimate theme answer BREASTSELLERS all rather amusing. I'd put a colon or a dash in the sign BRIER: BEWARE!


Rex Parker 8:05 AM  

@steve l,

Wade will do what I tell him to do.

I actually like country music. Contemporary pop kountry with all the fake yeehawin' and downhomin' and small townin' and dorks wearing cowboy hats no matter what they do - you know, the music that helps dumb white people be dumber and whiter - that's the @#$# I can't stand. If next to no black people do something (NASCAR, contemporary country, voting for McCain), it tends to freak me out. But then again, things that exclude women also freak me out. I guess I have a homogeneity aversion of some kind.

And yet I loves me some Merle Haggard. "Well I'm gonna get me a seein' eye dog / To help me find my way / I'm so much in love with you / I can't even see the light of day..."


miriam b 8:29 AM  

Ms. Retro checking in.

The POORBOY sweater was popular in the '60's. It was a close-fitting ribbed garment. I know I knitted one at some point.

SLOANE Rangers refers to young well-to-do Londoners; sort of like preppies.

I kinda liked the puzzle, though Medicine Bow does seem obscure.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Br'er rabbit was "born and bred in the BRIER patch" so chasing him in there was a misdo for his pursuants.

Faldo's brand symbol is a "6" -- three Masters, three Opens (that's British for British Open, where the Champion Golfer of the Year is crowned).

Greene 9:15 AM  

This puzzle was more challenging for me than the average Sunday, but only because my knowledge base was not precisely in tune with that of the constructor. Many answers: TIEPOLO, ALBION, PEI, FALDO, were just slightly beyond my ken. Got them through crosses, but had to work hard for completion.

I don't mind working hard; in fact I enjoy the challenges these puzzles bring. I am, however, getting a little tired of the "add a letter" theme. I'm guessing this is a real honored, tried and true approach in the puzzle world. It has its pleasures, but I'm ready for something different. I do realize that efforts are continually underway to freshen up the puzzle and make it more lively and contemporary. I think I'm just being a grump this morning.

@Rex: I chuckled over your remarks about the name SHENZI. Even I had some recollection problems with that one. The name comes from Swahili and can mean "savage" or "barbarous." SHENZI is indeed a hyena (wickidly voiced by Whoopi Goldberg), and a dominant female who is the smartest and strongest of the three named hyenas (the other two are Banzai and Ed). This is actually a nice detail from the writers and quite consistent with real spotted hyena behavior where females are both physically stronger and more intelligent than their male counterparts. Anyway, the three of them make for some nice comic relief in the film, what with lines like "lion around" and "make mine a cub sandwich."

I found it fitting that I should get THRACE quickly because it was stuck in my head from a Sondheim lyric, namely the hilarious funeral sequence from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum":

All Crete was at her feet.
All THRACE was in her thrall.
Oh why did such a blossom fall?

And this is just a taste of the foreign lands and classical alusions he works into the piece...and it's funny to boot. Who else but Stephen Sondheim is capable of this? Oh, and he's a puzzle god too. I'm pretty sure he was responsible for the crosswords during the first year of publication of New York Magazine.

Lastly, I read on Orange's blog last night that Will Shortz is going to be in an episode of The Simpsons. That's awesome! I read in an interview with Sondheim, that he too was asked to briefly appear as himself. (Anybody know this episode?) He wasn't too familiar with the show, but certainly recognized what an enormous cultural honor it was to make an appearance. He said the best part of the process was that the creators gave him a cartoon cell of his character. Well, who wouldn't want that? Can't wait to see Will and how he's represented.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  


MY NYT-Solver venn diagram of C&W overlaps much further than then the one with the *Professional Sports* ilk.



Ulrich 10:54 AM  

This one started with TIEPOLO, way up in my personal pantheon of favorite painters. Pretty soon after that, I found the Philly mint, which warmed my state-quarter-collecting heart. Bu then, the puzzle lost its lustre, normally a trademark of PG--I, too, have gotten tired of "add-a-letter" themes.

There was, however, one more high point in store: While trying to verify some outlandish reference, Medicine Bow perhaps (some God-forsaken place, if the satellite images are correct), I came across a test I have been wanting to do for almost all my life: Are you bi-sexual? I won't disclose the result--they are confidential.

@Rex: Awesome write-up: Spot-on, agree with everything 200%, loved the clips snd artwork--you're the best!

chefbea1 11:33 AM  

a fun easy sunday puzzle with not too much googling. Never heard of medicine bow.

Look forward to Will in the Simpson's. Someone let us know when.

Use to play cribbage a long time ago. Do people still play?. I see lots of cribbage boards at tag sales.

Doug 11:40 AM  

I love that pic of Al Hirt--Doesn't it just sum up the transition from the 50s to the 60s? I just looked it up, and it was from the year I was born, 1964.

Only got stuck badly in S. Cal, had ATEASE for AYESIR (of course it's wrong, but it fit) then BEST (choice) not EENY, and had no clue about THISBE/LANIER until I googled them. Agree with RP, would have liked Bob Lanier much more. I grew up south of Milwaukee and he was a fixture along with Bart Starr in Wisconsin sports.

Did not know the play R.U.R., but was interested to find it coined the term "robot."

Disliked some clunky clues for: MISDO, AMMONIA, HOWTO, PAISANO and HUE. But lots of nice ones too. The ancient history spanked me!

It's the Anne of Green Gables 100-year anniversary this year, so PEI is getting huge tourism benefits. I listened to an NPR show on AOGG and didn't realize the books were so huge, but probably because they weren't high on the list of a young boy who had lots of Farley Mowat and Hardy Boys adventures.

foodie 12:28 PM  

Erudite puzzle content, but no afterglow...

I had always thought that "Br'r" comes from Brier. So I was very reluctant to put down BRIER as it echos the clue. Now, I'm not sure what Br'r's derivation is. Is it Brother?

I too am tired of the "add a letter or two" strategy for Sundays. I think the NYTimes Sunday only solvers don't get a taste of the breadth and creativity of themes that we see on weekdays. I wonder why.

@raphaelthatmf, I laughed at your comment last night... what's the story of your nom de blog?

steve l 12:49 PM  

@ Rex-- I agree that a lot of what is on the current country charts is dreck, but some of the best is being made by "outsiders," such as Sheryl Crow and the former front man from Hootie and the Blowfish, Darius Rucker (who, BTW, is black.) Several people have commented that these two interests of mine seemed incongruous together, and it seemed you were implying the same. And I do loves me some Merle, too. "If we make it through December, everything's gonna be all right, I know..." Timely this year, no doubt.

@foodie--Br'er is indeed short for "brother." I don't know what the connection to "brier" is, since the latter is a prickly bush, and I never knew that Br'er Rabbit had any briers outside his home. What's more, it seems like the sign would be telling the bush to beware of the rabbit, which is ridiculous.

poc 12:50 PM  

Never heard of TIEPOLO Rex? Tsk tsk. Well, I've never heard of Brooks and DUNN, so there you go. BTW, it's "daw" as in "jackdaw" if you need a mnemonic.

Can someone explain TPS? I don't get it.

All in all pretty boring. I'm afraid I didn't like the theme at all. We do seem to be getting a lot of the same kind of thing in the past few months (not counting last Sunday's Spider :-)

jannieb 1:07 PM  

@poc - TPS refers to a favorite prank - namely draping the exterior of someone's house in Toilet Paper (e.g. Charmin). There is one house in my neighborhood that gets wrapped about every three months. Brings back fond memories of my mis-spent youth

Anonymous 1:13 PM  


TP is short for toilet paper, Charmin being a popular brand.

I agree w/a prev poster re adding a
letter thruout main clues; need some new diversion as this seemed
too easy altho I was trying to
fit Tintarino (sp) in for Tiepolo
until the grey cells kicked in.

Lurene 1:46 PM  

Charmin is a popular brand, but certainly the most expensive for the task.

Orange 1:50 PM  

That's some excellent sycophancy, Ulrich. I challenge anyone to top it.

Ulrich 2:02 PM  

@orange: Thx for the compliment (you sycophant, you!). I'm just trying my best to become the "ass-kisser, toady, boot-licker, flatterer, apple-polisher, brown-noser" of the month.

Janie 2:18 PM  

THISBE is a teaching-related gimme as well (106A: Beloved of Pyramus). Chaucer and Ovid both wrote versions of their story.

and how about shakespeare's version in a midsummer night's dream? now dat's classic!


janie (who had some trouble getting this puzzle going -- but whose first gimme was... THISBE...)

Crosscan 2:20 PM  

Rex, today's writeup is the reason blogs, nay, the entire Internet was invented. My tears of joy keep flowing at your brilliance.

PuzzleGirl 2:21 PM  

I let PuzzleHusband have the first shot at this one, thinking Paula would be right up his alley (she's usually right up mine anyway -- and I'm pretty sure we have the same alley). Anyway! It wasn't long before the cursing started! He knew FALDO, SEMANAS, and ISIAH (our most favoritest basketball player we love to hate), BADA, BIRDIE, ERNIE and KAMA. The cursing started on BIRDIE and went something like this, "A duffer's accomplishment is a birdie? A BIRDIE? A duffer is lucky if he gets the ball anywhere Near the hole! A birdie. Goddam Shortz." He's going to stick to Mondays and Tuesdays for a while until he gets a little better at this.

I liked WHERE'S THE BRIEF and FLAT BREAD TRUCK. I've never heard the phrase "Banned in Boston" and could only think of my favorite BAND in Boston, Aerosmith. (I've seen them in concert nine times -- versus only one time for Brooks & Dunn.)

I think I'm starting to feel the way Wade feels about Sunday puzzles. They're just Too Big.

jannieb 2:29 PM  

According to the Cruciverb web site, the Simpson's episode with Will Shortz and Merl Reagle will air on Nov. 16. Apparently Lisa goes crazy for xwords and hilarity no doubt ensues.

fikink 2:37 PM  

I agree with artlvr that LANIER was in the puzzle because it had been so much in the news during the draught. Must be something that those who watch the weather closely notice. Once again, so much comes down to what your self-fashioned satellite dish picks up.

Orange 2:41 PM  

I don't have enough sycophants at my blog. Sure, I was credited yesterday with being one of the crystal skulls from this year's Indiana Jones movie, an alien with superhuman intelligence, but that says nothing about my blogging. Apparently I am unable to move people to tears with double-plus-good blogging. sigh

Orange 2:42 PM  

P.S. I meant to praise one Babe E. Bump for the Hasselbeck comment.

miriam b 2:51 PM  

It was refreshing to see PEI not clued this time as "Linguist Mario" or "Architect I. M.". Mario was and I. M. is admirable, but the Canadian reference kept me on my toes. As it's off the east coast, one obviously can't see Russia from PEI, but with really strong binoculars maybe the country of Africa can be glimpsed.

Sorry - I guess.

Janie 3:41 PM  

foodie said: Erudite puzzle content, but no afterglow...

meant to say so earlier -- and don't want to be too spoiler-y -- but you'll have to go to today's hex acrostic for that!

and puzzlegirl -- for me, FLATBREADTRUCK was the first of the theme to fall and WHERESTHEBRIEF was my fave. both gave me my best smiles.



Anonymous 3:57 PM  

The puritan blue noses of Boston have been known to ban just about everything

JoefromMtVernon 4:28 PM  

Well, well...

The puzzle was so-so;

Had several mispellings: "a rage" for "craze" (sorry, didn't google the Whoopi character). Had M (maws and miepolo; which wasn't a gimmie...oh well) and I left the o out of medicine bro. a teacher, I never heard of thisbe .

As for the Hassleback-Whoopi comments, can we ditch the political nonsense. The View is SCRIPTED, so those "ad lib" moments are fueled by the writers in the back. Barbara Walters is laughing all the way to the bank. I thought this blog was a-political.

joho 4:30 PM  

For 74A I had A RAGE, which makes 57D SHENGI. Should have been CRAZE/SHENZI (Shenzi who?) 74D Could just as easly be ADR for Admiral as CDR for Commander. I declare a NATICK!

At 116A I had SEMANOS and OCTO for 104D. Not speaking Spanish I did not know SEMANAS .. and OCTO is just as good as OCTA, isn't it? NATICK!!!!

@crosscan: you win! Ulrich, I'm sorry but you didn't cry.

joho 4:36 PM  

@joefrommtvernon: OMG we sent our message at the same time commenting about A RAGE. I wonder what word we should coin for this coincidence? I know: plagarism!

I'm kidding, it's just weird that I read through all the postings then typed my comment only to find you said exactly the same thing at almost the same moment.

Also, I didn't say before but this puzzle left me cold. BRRRRRR ....

fikink 4:50 PM  

Rereading, I realize I meant "drOught," not draught.
('scuse please, running late for the pub)

mac 5:26 PM  

I also think the Sunday puzzle is too big, but this one was a Medium to me as well, not too tough. Adding a letter CAN be fun, I got the "where's the brief" first, and liked that one and the flat bread truck very much. Stared and stared at Medicine Bro, but had to go to Rex's to find out what it meant, and now I realize I actually know someone who hails from there.

I for one was very happy that Lanier was clued as a lake, one of the few geographical facts I know of Georgia. I had switch for pierce for a bit, and grunt for gofer, title for oater, cede for fade. Some of the clues are great, like the ones for safari, lessee, eeny and fib(had lie first).

@Rhea: were you thinking of Tintoretto?

@Ulrich: very funny....

We were once staying at a hotel in Naples, Florida that was, for a couple of hours around lunchtime, swarming with purple-clad, red-hatted ladies of all ages. It seems that all they want is have fun, good for them!

mac 5:31 PM  

P.S. @chip hilton: good for you!

@raphaeltmf: I am also still laughing. How is your thinking thing today? And how about the explanation Foodie asked about?

fergus 6:16 PM  

Blogger ate my post ... but I was only plugging the Medicine Bow range, west of Laramie, Wyoming. Just as cool as Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in its own way, and with, like, no crowds even in the height of summer. Fascinating geological phenomenon of house-sized boulders atop 10,000 foot peaks.

Janie 6:28 PM  

hey, joe -- guess it all depends on what you teach, but if you've never read midsummer's -- or seen the max reinhardt version of the movie (1935...) with james cagney, olivia de haviland, dick powell and mickey rooney, this may be the time to do so. the movie's a beaut!



poc 6:54 PM  

@jannieb, @anonymous and @lurene, thanks for the TPS explanation. Given that I've never heard of TP as an abbrev for toilet paper, never heard of the Charmin brand, and never heard of the prank, I'm not surprised it passed me by (you can tell I don't live in the US). Got it on crosses of course.

fergus 7:14 PM  

Foodie, I will supply a derivation if I can be so bold. If you've never seen "Being There" with Peter Sellers, you might check it out. When they're doing the credits at the end, there are a bunch of out-takes where our innocent hero dutifully obliges to send a message from a drug runner to Rafael, that er, um, well we'll leave it at mf.

jae 8:00 PM  

@joho -- ADM is the admiral abbrev.

fikink 9:08 PM  

@fergus, Thanks! Being There is still one of my favorite films, and the recent Palin scam brought to mind the old man's black maid when she saw Chance on television. Priceless!
(and Basketball Jones in the limo had me on the floor!)

Michael 9:14 PM  

I rarely say this, but I didn't much like this puzzle. I slogged my way through with a couple of minor errors. But the theme just didn't work for me and I am sulking over the tiepolo/taws crossing. (Count me among those who guessed diepolo/daws -- though I knew this was probably wrong.)

I especially don't like medicinebro, even though I got it. I am really good in place names and have heard of Medicine Bow, but this is hardly general knowledge (or even arcane knowledge for most folks outside of western Canada) and bro to bow is just too much of a stretch.
Even after seeing it, I don't have the usual feeling of "why didn't I see that?"

But maybe I'm just out of sorts because a lot of the fill was on the very edge of my knowledge and it took me a while to get it.

Crosscan 9:18 PM  

Michael, Medicine Bow is not in Canada. You may be thinking of Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Orange 9:30 PM  

I always don my Medicine Hat when I get a headache. Works like a charm.

joho 9:31 PM  

@jae: thanks

Crosscan 9:34 PM  

Orange, that was the funniest joke I have heard in my entire life. You are also a brilliant blogger, and my favorite juice.

fergus 9:36 PM  

I go to the beach for the salty air.

Whenever I'm despondent
a crash of the Pacific Ocean,
and I'm a boy again in Illinois.

Michael 9:41 PM  

@Crosscan -- Of course, you're right -- I was thinking of Medicine Hat. Perhaps I've never heard of Medicine Bow, which I now know via google is in Wyoming. More or less the right part of the world, I guess.

foodie 10:13 PM  

@fergus, thank you! I guess our own Rafael must be missing in action.
I had no idea of the connection! I saw this movie ages ago and I would have never guessed. I barely remember that there were outtakes at the end. Pretty impressive that you recognized it.

@ fikink, I do recall that the black maid was the only one who was totally clear-eyed, and said something about Chance having rice pudding for a brain... Wow, I really need to rent this movie!

@Crosscan, "and my juicy favorite"?

Anonymous 10:54 PM  

Some of my downness stemmed from barely knowing the phrase "Banned in Boston" and not thinking the town of "Medicine Bow" is strong enough to form the basis of a theme answer.


Edith B 12:00 AM  

As a person in my 60s, I remember "Banned in Boston" being a stand-alone expression to mean any book, movie or play that was salacious in any respect - well into the 1960s. It may have originated in Boston but it was free-standing of the time.

Edith B 12:00 AM  

As a person in my 60s, I remember "Banned in Boston" being a stand-alone expression to mean any book, movie or play that was salacious in any respect - well into the 1960s. It may have originated in Boston but it was free-standing of the time.

william e emba 11:21 AM  

Until the late 40s, movie producers were vertical throughout the entire film industry. The major studios owned outright or oligopolistically manipulated the theater industry.

The Hollywood Antitrust Case ended all that in 1948. Studios divested themselves of their theaters, and no longer could bundle stinkers with their hits.

In fact, RKO was created as a merger between RCA, trying to get into the new talkie industry, and an existing silent movies and vaudeville theater chain (the O stands for Orpheum).

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

quit whining. I'm from NY and I knew Lake Lanier. It's not an outreach program you HUGE snob.

Chris Autio 10:02 AM  

33 D: Be outscored in the end.. FADE

Is this a new past tense I am not familiar with? I would like to see this used in a sentence.

Chris Autio 10:04 AM  

Are these puzzles getting more difficult or am I losing my cortex?

Chris Autio 10:19 AM  

Had JEB down for 47 D : classic cowboy name (had JUMP for "twist" and ESOTERIC for "initiates") Reminds of the tale my father told me after having come out of the bar restroom (whilst wearing the hat.) A man inside was angered he hadn't closed the door: "hey, Tex, donch ya know how to close a door?"

Chris Autio 10:28 AM  

62 A: Imagine that: sounds as if the answer should be a command verb form, such as "IDEATE" not IDEA

poc 1:43 PM  

@Chris Autio: the clue doesn't imply that FADE is past tense.

Rob 12:10 AM  

@ Janie: THISBE is a teaching-related gimme as well (106A: Beloved of Pyramus). Chaucer and Ovid both wrote versions of their story.

"and how about shakespeare's version in a midsummer night's dream? now dat's classic!"

How about Romeo & Juliet?

Like sillygoose, I solve with my dad (we're a bit closer in age--40-odd & 70-odd), and together we're not half bad.

My big stumble was eelpen instead of eelpot, a term totally unfamiliar to moi. It gave me arne & obee instead of arte & oboe. Arne & Arte are both names, so that didn't help, but I *should* have got oboe--except I was reading wind as what a road does instead of an air movement. Need more practice solving!

I enjoy reading everyone's experiences, and find I learn a lot.

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