FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2008 - Natan Last (Hit video game series launched in 2005 / Exuberant cry from Pinocchio / Law with many parts)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Here's a grid where I love the fill and do Not love many of the clues. There's this thing about cutesy, tricksy clues, where a few are fine, but too many really spoil the sauce. Starts to seem smug, and then I end up finding the whole puzzle more annoying than pleasurable. Between the mutually referential clues (MONO / STEREO) and the word redux clues ("lead" used with two different pronunciations, two books of Mormon), and the deliberately confusing uses of both "buffet" and "Law," I just started to get tired. No one clue among all these (and others) bothered me very much, but the cumulative effect was grinding. The fill, however, is outstanding - all-over awesomeness, with very little crap. I love that AIRERS (23A: Networks, e.g.) magically leaped into the grid today, when I'd just discussed its paradigmatic status as a clue-word yesterday. I mean, I would normally hate AIRERS as fill, especially following the insane-looking TARR (22A: Basher _____, one of the eleven in "Ocean's 11") and over the equally insane-looking TALCED (27A: Like a baby's bottom, often), but today it gets a serendipity pass. RELAID, sadly, has no such recourse (39D: Put down anew). But as I say, that's about it on the bad front. And that ain't not good.

The long, low-lying NW and SE corners are super-cool. I especially like the BIRDBRAIN (1A: Ding-dong) / I'M A REAL BOY (14A: Exuberant cry from Pinocchio) / GUITAR HERO (17A: Hit video game series launched in 2005) stack. All colorful, and all plausibly related to each other (at least I could imagine a story where they are). AZERBAIJANI INUNDATION (49A: Russian's neighbor + 55A: Flood) sounds like the jazz fusion band of my nightmares. Or maybe a New Age combo of some sort. That's the kind of band that would proudly rock the DIDGERIDOO (58A: Wind instrument Down Under).

Gotta move right to the wrap-up tonight, as I'm in low power mode for another few days. Gave my finals today, and now have 72 hours to grade them, calculate final grades, and turn them in. Oh, and I'm supposed to be going to prison again tomorrow night, but with a massive snow storm on its way, that little trip seems increasingly unlikely.

Wrap-up:

  • 10A: Remarkably, in commercialese (xtra) - I had RAMA at some point? Maybe you can tell me what I was thinking. I also had MEIR where MONO ended up going, and CALEB where JACOB ended up going (24A: Third book of the Book of Mormon). This puzzle loves its Book of Mormon. See also ENOS (53D: Fourth book of the Book of Mormon).
  • 37A: "Da Ali G Show" persona (Borat) - a guess, based on the fact that Sacha Baron Cohen plays them both. In CrossWorld, BORAT is the new OBAMA. Last year, OBAMA was the new DR. T (4D: Sullivan Travis, in a 2000 film title).
  • 38A: Longtime Delaware senator William (Roth) - So boring that I will never ever remember it. [... and yet I seem to have one of his eponymous IRAs ...]
  • 45A: Alternative bookstore section (occult) - I have zero interest in this bookstore section, so I have no idea why OCCULT came to me instantly, with no crosses.
  • 60A: Reacts to a big buffet (sees stars) - pronounced like the "buffet" in "Warren Buffett," not the "buffet" in "Old Country Buffet." I frankly don't want to know how the people who (for some reason) eat there "react to a big buffet." I think I'd be grossed out.
  • 1D: Cowboy's home, informally (Big D) - more cutesiness, though this was transparent to me. I got killed once by BIGD, in a puzzle long, long ago. Never Again.
  • 7D: Wynton Marsalis's first trumpet was a gift from him (Al Hirt) - wow, cool name, cool factoid. Here's Wynton:



  • 8D: Response of disbelief ("I bet") / 9D: Response to a disbeliever ("No, really") - points for getting these to appear in successive Downs.
  • 11D: Quaint note opener ("To sir") - It's always "TO SIR" - where's the Love? (Here's the love ...)



  • 15D: Of whom Hamlet said "He hath borne me on his back a thousand times" (Yorick) - beginning of Act V. The speech that contains the phrase "infinite jest." Here's Olivier:



  • 24D: Five-time N.H.L. scoring leader of the 1990s-'00s (Jagr) - a gimme, and one that helped me turn CALEB into JACOB
  • 28D: "_____ should keep himself to himself": "Treasure Island" ("A mate") - wanted "A MAN," which I knew was impossible, and yet there was the first A ... and then there was the M ... and then there was the second A COME ON!
  • 34D: Nobel-winning physicist Stern (Otto) - Otto? Ot-no.
  • 37D: Those who aren't super dupers? (bad liars) - great phrase
  • 51D: Musical that opens with "Every Story Is a Love Story" ("Aida") - one of the most common four-letter answers there is. Thankfully, I didn't have to know anything about musicals to get this easily.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS Brendan Emmett Quigley's fantastic puzzle site gets a nice, well deserved write-up in Entertainment Weekly's pop culture blog today.

59 comments:

Ellen 11:57 PM  

Senator Roth is famous for the ROTHIRA, which has been a puzzle entry 13 times, per the Cruciverb.com database.

Peter 12:00 AM  

Anyone else have BRUNO for the Ali G clue? I may have been too clever for myself and went for it with my initial response. It sharing the B with BORAT didn't help my problems...

Fine puzzle!

twangster 12:18 AM  

Found this one extremely difficult, especially in the top left.

SCOTUS Addict 12:27 AM  

Lulu AND Leonard Cohen. It's been a great week.

Peter, I'll see your "Bruno" and raise you a "J" in Didgeridoo. I'll also raise you a "STANI" overconfidently placed as the end of the Russian neighbor. I was counting on all those former "icky stans" (as the CIA refers to them) Soviet Republics to come through for me.

I wiped out on this. Definitely did not hang ten. Too many known unknowns. I knew I'd never get the Third Book of Mormon when the cross involved the NHL. You can add hockey to the "List of things the sum total about which I know, I learned from the NYT crossword puzzle." Haven't been doing them long enough to have added JAGR to the internal hard drive.

I'm off to add Lulu to my iPod.

Crosscan 12:50 AM  

I loved this puzzle. Not perfect, and I ran AFOUL of the far west. But just so much to like!

DIDGERIDOO. GUITAR HERO. I'M A REAL BOY. BIRDBRAIN. AZERBAIJANI. All in the same grid. Wow.

I like this style of cluing.

I knew JAGR, of course but TARR, AFOUL and ROTh escaped me, leading me to VOICE SCREEN instead of TOUCH SCREEN. I thought maybe it was for the vision-impaired. NO REALLY.

Mini theme with Pinocchio and BAD LIARS.

SEES STARS threw me for a while but I applied the bottom row on Friday will have lots of S's rule.

PhillySolver 1:05 AM  

I am not sure how to spell any native Australian musical instruments. TIT was popping out and yet didn't seem possible, so I wondered if there was a way to reduce tete a tete to tet a tet.
Great guesses:
IAMAREALBOY (first entry), NOREALLY and BEARABLE opening up the NW quickly. Is ANTE referring to a single chip as a piece? The STEREO MONO pair simply made this harder, but not more clever. I do think the puzzle IS clever and it was a nice long challenge for me. I felt accomplished in finishing it.

Dan 1:28 AM  

What raised my eyebrows most among the clues was 13D. "4 Seasons"? I assume there wasn't room on the hard copy for "Four".

I wanted Senator ROBB, but he was from Virginia, not Delaware...

ArtLvr 8:50 AM  

ROTH was the IRA retirement account guy... I was thinking Pell at first... I loved BAD LIARS and POOR YORICK, but hated the MONO/STEREO pair with no real clue at all...

Deep Throat died yesterday. We'll need a dozen to sort out the secrets of our current BIRDBRAIN!

∑;)

evil doug 9:14 AM  

I had al--rt on 7-down and tried a different trumpeter---Alpert. Guitar Hero fixed that. (Guitar Hero is the most fun I've had on a vid game. Haven't tried Rock Band, but my daughter and son-in-law are addicted. I'll definitely play when the Beatles tunes come out next year, if not sooner. But no "disco", ever; "big ball" of crap....)

One Mormon book, or Bible book, or any book, is fair game. But more than one is overkill, and in this case seemed like a promo.

If you haven't discovered the Quigley crossword site Rex mentioned, it's great fun. No breakfast tests, no limit on crude language---so a whole new world of cluing opportunities are opened up. The Times is seeming a little tired in comparison.

Evil

Rex Parker 9:18 AM  

I Agree. Vote Quimby. I mean Do Quigley. His puzzles are wicked entertaining.

rp

Pinky 9:37 AM  

@Rex I had CALEB also.

Warren Buffet nothwithstanding, I still don't understand the SEES STARS connection although I wrote it in anyway.

Same with ANTE..I had LEAF, and then ABLE which isn't really the middle of TABLE - but not much more of a reach than the correct answer.

Pete M 10:06 AM  

@Rex: "OCCULT... without crosses". Very nice, very nice.

Scatman 10:30 AM  

I went with CHENEY/GORE where STEREO/MONO was supposed to go. I caught that mistake, but wound up with MACOB/MAGR, never having heard of the hockey player and figuring Macob was the kind of name you'd see in the Book of Mormon (like the angel Moroni.)

I had a hard time getting started. Only thing I thought I new was didgeridoo, but I didn't know how to spell it. Guessing POOR gave me YORICK, and that got me the toehold I needed. Still took me over a half hour, though.

Wanted GRAN TORINO instead of GUITARHERO, though I don't know anything about video games except that the names rang a bell.

easylob 11:21 AM  

Hello everyone. I am a fairly new solver who has yet to complete a Friday or Saturday puzzle without help, but who continues to hope that day will come. I am a left-leaning, left-handed tennis player from the left coast, part of the over-70 crowd, who frequenly finds Rex's blog, and your comments, the best part of my day (although the times posted by Orange and others can only be called stupefying). I am married to a (still-practicing) clinical psychologist who does not do the puzzles but continues to amaze me with answers she says come out of her "apperceptive mass." We didn't do well on today's puzzle. (Looking forward to Sunday!)

john in NC 11:36 AM  

Rex said: "I frankly don't want to know how the people who (for some reason) eat there "react to a big buffet." I think I'd be grossed out"

I saw that clue and put in SALIVATES and thought myself smart... it didn't last long though, what with trying to end non-super dupers with a "V".

This was a great puzzle. AZERBIJANI? DIDGERIDOO? GUITARHERO? All in the same puzzle? Brilliant.

JannieB 11:36 AM  

Welcome, easylob - glad you've joined us!

I liked this puzzle, but agree that the cluing was "too much of a good thing". Of the fill, "talced" was just awful, but there were many redeeming social values to be had.

I nailed the NW with just BigD, only had problems in the mid coastal regions on both sides. Finally remembered Jagr (used to live in Pittsburgh so no excuses!!!) and that section finally fell.

I'm always happy to finish the puzzles from the up-and-coming generation. A lot of the fill is new to me and I'm happy to have it in my frame of reference!

Margaret 11:37 AM  

Very fun puzzle today. I have a friend who plays the DIDGERIDOO so that was a gimme. (He has played the 'doo on my head [!] while I was in a resting pose during yoga class. The sound and the vibration make for quite an experience!)

Loved BIRDBRAIN, AZERBAIJANI. Got MARTINIS with no crosses; I'm sure that says something about me. (Made the old family recipe eggnog last night which includes half a fifth each of rum and bourbon. Great stuff!!)

The SW was the last to fall. Put me in the LEAF group; took me forever to get ANTE. Still don't get CESTA -- can someone explain?

Ulrich 11:43 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ulrich 11:45 AM  

Jagr played for Pittsburgh when I was living in that fair city on the shore of three rivers. I remember him fondly: Flying over the ice of the Civic Area, long curls streaming out from under his helmet, and three defense players hanging onto him, trying, without success, to separate him from the puck...unforgettable! Loved to see his xword appearance--how about his first name, Jaromir? Did it ever make into a puzzle?

A tough puzzle b/c of the cluing, but I have no complaints: variatio delectat.

@Ellen: You don't say! Thx.

SethG 11:52 AM  

So my friends were gonna have a kid, and their last name is York. They're usually referred to as CY and TY. CY wanted to name the kid Yaromir YAGR York so they could call him 3Y, but I thought YORICK York would be better. He's really a real boy named Finn, and y'all saw a picture of him here back in August.

Wow, the cluing killed me today. I went through the acrosses, and I think DIDGERIDOO was the first answer in my grid. Eventually worked my way through it all, but missteps abounded. Not sure why I'm supposed to know the French(!) word for wave. I had PELL for a while too, but then remembered that his name is Claiborne, and he's from Rhode Island.

Oh, wait, I know I got MARTINIS with no crosses, so maybe that was first. Interesting that that was the word that got a dirty clue, what with column 12 (10D, 56D) and all. I like them that way, but clean works as well. Martinis, I like martinis that way.

Definitely an impressive grid.

chefbea 11:53 AM  

Got stuck with the buffet also. Fun puzzle though even if I couldnt finnish it til I came here.

@easylob welcome. We have a good time here. Don't feel bad I can never finnish Friday and Saturday without help either

Natan 12:14 PM  

I'm glad you guys liked the puzzle. The BIRDBRAIN, IMAREALBOY and GUITARHERO stack was one of my favorite bits of construction.

I loved some of the new clues; I actually laughed out loud at the "Ones who aren't super dupers?" clue (Obviously not mine, and man Will is brilliant) and really enjoyed the clue for TARR. My original one referenced the Hungarian director Bela Tarr, but Will took the clue up a notch in badassery and opted for Ocean's 11. Leave it to Will to prefer explosives specialists to Hungarian film directors.

Thanks again for the support guys! I just finished my first semester at college this morning, so your comments have really been a treat!

Shamik 12:36 PM  

@Margaret: CESTA is the basket on a stick used in jai alai. The ball is called a pelota. These come up from time to time in crosswords, but haven't seen them in awhile.

Never got TIT. Didn't want to. Didn't get it 'til after I came to the blog. Didn't think it passed the breakfast test. So I went for TET as in exchange of bullets in the offensive and closed my eyes to misspelling DIDGERIDOO..a word I love.

Very challenging for me today...the TET/TIT thing and the west with the proper names and stuff.

Mis-starts galore:
URSA for ASIA
CARR for TARR
JACOB then CALEB then JACOB
SNARL then AROIL then AFOUL
PEACE FOR GRACE
DAY for MAY
ONO for RAT (I like that answer a lot)
--STANI for --IJANI
OAF for APE
LEAF for ANTE
ROD then TIP then TUB
COLORSCREEN for TOUCHSCREEN
COLD for COAT
ETHER for OZONE
ERIE for AFRO

I think I listed them all. As I said, misstarts galore. But really liked some answers: IMAREALBOY and DIDGERIDOO. Grimaced at TALCED.

Shamik 12:39 PM  

Oh yeah...one more:

TIL was in there before TET for TIT. But then again I'd never seen a food called SLARS at a buffet. ; )

Z.J. Mugildny 12:56 PM  

Great puzzle today. I agree with Rex's gripes about the cluing, however. Clues can be interesting and thought-provoking without being overly misleading or cutesy. Having too many "tricky" clues really cloys the puzzle for me.

jeff in chicago 1:07 PM  

Another Friday, another butt-kicking. MARTINIS was my first entry. With BIGD and IMUS I filled in IMNOTLYING. Seemed plausible! But GUITARHERO made for some implausible crosses, so I my 14A out. Had many spellings for DIDGERIDOO during the run of the puzzle. Lacking knowledge of French waves and having put in COHEN for BORAT off the O messed up that area for quite some time. A bunch of Googles and a peek at Rex and I got done. Too much cheating, though. This one goes in the "fail" pile. Fun, but tough puzzle Natan!

Really dislike the clues for MONO/STEREO. It's like cluing 35A as "Five-letter word." Shouldn't there be some discovery help in at least one of them?

Briefly had YORICK as a MOOR, instead of POOR. I shoulda known better on that one.

jae 1:07 PM  

Very spicy puzzle. A delightful solve. I prefer tricky clues to obscurities (e.g. books of Mormon) because I like the aha experience of getting stuff like ANTE, SEESSTARS, and XRATEDMOVIE. Add me the the CALEB group. Fortunately, JAGR was very vaguely familiar (I do not follow hockey) so I was able to fix it. Missread the 54a clue so had RISE and OXIDE for a while. I also tried MEIR initially for MONO.

Infinite Jest is an amazing book.

Re yesterday's discussion: I've always been proud to be 1/4 Canadian and very recently am again proud of the other 3/4s.

Gnarbles 1:13 PM  

I couldn't remember French waves by thinking of the ocean, but then remembered our microwave oven in Geneva - a microonde

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

@Margaret and Shamik

Minor clarification on CESTA. It is the basket players use in jai-alai, but it is not 'on a stick'.

It may be hard to picture if you have never seen the sport - Connecticut had several places where jai-alai used to be played, but they have dwindled over the years, and may not be any left at all.

The CESTA is a curved basket that is attached to a player's hand, with straps at the wrist, so that it becomes an extension of his arm.

The pelota is Spanish for ball, which is baseball-sized but rock-hard, and is propelled with amazing speed against the front wall. There is also a left-side wall and a back wall, and opposing players have to catch and throw the ball with the CESTA, in one continuous motion before it can bounce on the ground a second time. The right-side of the playing area is open towards the audience, which wagers on the players in very similimar manner to horse racing, including daily-doubles, exactas, tri-fectas, etc.

Almost all the players trace ancestry to the Basque region of Spain.

RT

archaeoprof 1:21 PM  

Rex is right: the cluing was just a little too much of a good thing. As for the two selections from the Book of Mormon, either one could have been clued differently, including JACOB Marley (for seasonal interest).

That said, 57A was LOL.

Shamik 1:23 PM  

@RT: Oops. You're right. The stick is in lacrosse. Thanks for the clarification!

Garymac 1:30 PM  

I had more trouble with this one than any I've done recently. Maybe it was the too cutesy obscureness of a lot of the clues, but if misdirection was the intent, it succeeded on me. Finally got everything, but it was a lot of work and a much much longer time than I would usually spend on a Friday. I couldn't come up with JAGR until I finally thought of ROTH and JACOB. GRACE under pressure should have been more obvious, but that whole little section gave me fits.

Tony from Charm City 1:34 PM  

First answer I put in today was BIG D. It helped that I couldn't think of anything else to enter and the Ravens are playing the Cowboys in Big D tomorrow night! Go Ravens!!!

The entire north went like a breeze. I don't think I've ever entered a string of answers that quickly on a Friday.

I stalled a bit as I also had CALEB for a while, but I eventually got it sorted out.

Orange 1:40 PM  

ONDES and undulate are cognates. Why the French didn't go with UNDES, I'll never know. They complicate things.

Margaret 1:45 PM  

@ Shamik and RT, thanks for the clarification on CESTA. Maybe I'll remember it next time it comes up.

I just realized the clever lexical relationship of having ONDES cross INUNDATION. "Undulate" is a first cousin.

Margaret 1:46 PM  

Obviously, Orange and I are on the same WAVE length. You may groan now.

3 and out.

Bob Kerfuffle 2:09 PM  

Gee, Rex, only Medium difficulty? This one took me as long or longer than many Saturday puzzles. Could be the Books of Mormon, although they did have Biblical names, so weren't impossible.

Also, I know nothing about hockey, but I've been doing crosswords long enough that CESTA seems an old friend.

TALCED doesn't look right. Don't we add a "K" in words like "picnicked"? Or is that old-fashioned?

I did finally complete everything correctly with no outside references, at the cost of some time.

Two write-overs: GRANDTHEFT has the same number of letters and some in common with GUITARHERO. And 40A went from EVADE to AVOID to AVERT.

Vega 2:21 PM  

I couldn't finish this one without help, but even still, I did love it. Clever! OK, maybe a few too many cutsies.

A hockey player crossing a senator from Delaware made JAG_ and _OTH a total guess, and I guessed wrong. JAGR? No chance, even though I thought "ROTH, right? Surely it's ROTH? But JAGR? Couldn't be."

IBET next to NOREALLY is a thing of beauty.

Question: how is a RAT an unpopular singer? What am I missing?

Bob Kerfuffle 2:25 PM  

@Vega - A rat is a stool pigeon, one who sings to the cops.

But really returned to say I also lost some time bvecause I really wanted 35A to be POISE instead of the correct GRACE!

treedweller 2:36 PM  

This was a crazy good day for me. I had a vibe going from somewhere--dare I suggest ESP? Blew through it, grabbing long answers from a few letters here and remembering obscure bits that I wouldn't usually get there. As of right now, my time on the NYT applet is very nearly in the top ten percent. I have had a few early week times in the top quarter, but I've never been close to this kind of time before. And this might be the tenth time I've even finished a Friday without cheating somehow.

If that sounds like me bragging, believe me, it is not. I am well aware that I was playing out of my league here. I mention it merely to marvel at the fickle nature of these things. Sometimes, it just clicks, while others it definitely does not (well, for most of us, anyway). I hope I get luck like this at the big contest.

Like others, I was pleased to see DIDGERIDOO and knew it instantly, but then I had to struggle with spelling. It seems I've heard of them, read about them, listened to them, even tried playing them here and there, but I've never written down the word before. ORANGE (the answer, not the blogger) finally answered the "J or G" question.

I just hope I don't get my payback tomorrow.

Karen 3:15 PM  

This puzzle really knackered me. It exposed lots of my trivia blind spots, including the Books of Mormon, Nobel prize winning scientists, hockey players, Russian geography, HBO shows, and Hollywood movie characters. After googling three or four items and accidentally erasing the board twice I gave up on this one. I did like seeing the DIDGERIDOO show up.

Doc John 3:19 PM  

What? No comment about the obvious shout-out to ORANGE at 43D?! Where's the love?

Good job on the puzzle and congrats on finishing your first semester, Natan. I thought it was a fun puzzle overall although I didn't think I would finish it at first but after REITERATING my attempts I finally did complete it. The NW was my nemesis today but enjoyed the fill when it finally came to me.

I first saw a DIDGERIDOO in the musical show, Blast! so now every time I see one, I think of that great show. Interestingly enough, when I went to visit my Dad, he had one in his house and he was surprised that I could play it. (My low brass lips come in handy every now and then.)

treedweller 3:45 PM  

OK, I guess I was bragging a little. I might not get a chance like this again for a long time.

jeff in chicago 5:15 PM  

@Doc John: Do you have a drum corps background? (Have I asked you this before??) I know "Blast" has a bigger audience than DCI fans, but I thought I'd ask. I go all the way up the "Blast" food chain, as I know Bill Cook well enough to consider him a friend.

"Blast" was great, wasn't it!!

Chip Hilton 5:37 PM  

Amazing how one careless (or thoughtless) error can plunder a whole section of a puzzle. I had HIFI for MONO and it just stalled me over there.

I consider myself a huge sports fan and totally blanked on JAGR. Only four-letter fill I could come up with was GARE, as in Danny, but knew he wasn't that big a scorer. Oh, well......

Heading out soon to start clearing the snow from my CT driveway. Looks lovely right now.

chefbea 6:01 PM  

@chip hilton it really is beautiful here in Stamford. Have fun shoveling. where in Ct are you?

Orange 6:56 PM  

P.S. I went with Delaware's William BYRD, who is from West Virginia and named Robert.

P.P.S. Based on the fill in this puzzle, I want Natan Last to join the next-generation crossword corps of Quigley, Tausig, Jones, et al. Natan, it may be harder to get paid for crosswords that don't meet a daily newspaper crossword's propriety test, but this grid shows you've got some mad skillz and a knack for non-stodgy fill.

edith b 7:14 PM  

Hello all. I'm back.

We had a health scare in our family and my husband was rushed to the hospital with what was first diagnosed as a stroke and is now being called a - now get this - " "idiopathic neurological event." Any doctors out there? -
"thought it was a stroke, acted like a stroke, don't know what it was or what caused it." I am a woman past 60 and appear somewhat matronly so the doctors assumed they could blow smoke up my . . . skirt. I disabused them of that notion but I am not making much headway.

I've been away from the puzzles for more than a week and I don't wish to be embarrassed by a Friday or Saturday puzzle so I thought I would start where I started
from at the beginning: Sunday.

I DID miss my friends, though

joho 7:35 PM  

@edith b: glad you're back and truly hope you get it all worked out with the doctor's and your husband's condition. Doc John?

Doc John 8:16 PM  

A stroke is caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the brain, either by blockage by an artery or bleeding. If there wasn't any sign of either of those, then his symptoms could be classed as "idiopathic". Without further history, etc. that's the best I can do.

fergus 8:16 PM  

Killer, great puzzle. Got most of it but much of the top bit got f-ed up by my choice of BELL SOUND for Ding-dong, SHOES for the Pavement pounders, and the death knell: SOLVABLE when BEARABLE was meant to be (I had WAS instead of ARE).

I really do like the confusion, but I needed to fully on my game to properly nail this one, and unfortunately wasn't. By coming here, I got to finally see an X-RATED MOVIE.

edith b 8:54 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Chibnik 10:51 PM  

I got everything (slowly) except for the crossing of di_geridoo and ju-e. I kept thinking it was a g but, "juge" didn't make any sense. I eventually gave up and went to google, but even then it took me a while (too long) to figure out what "jude" was all about.

good puzzle, I thought, and unlike some of you I enjoyed the clues.

fergus 10:52 PM  

Any other Francophones think along the lines of VAGUE before ONDES?

Only wondering, since that was the first answer I entered.

PuzzleGirl 12:43 AM  

Late to the party, but just have to say that I really love this puzzle. I like the quantity of tricky clues. I almost think that if there are going to be those kind of clues there have to be either just a couple or a ton. And the ton end of the spectrum doesn't bother me. AZERBAIJANI and GUITAR HERO. Love love love it!

fergus 4:55 AM  

....


and I like how you speak
in some lost language

andrea carla michaels 1:58 AM  

what do you get when you cross a hockey player with a senator from a tiny state?
ouch...
and JURE sounds like a law, no?

Loved the puzzle anyway, even tho my first attempt to spell 58A was DIGIERIDO. Try digging yourself out of that!

Had just learned about "dirty" martinis last weekend!
I added that to the list of things that sound too unappetizing to eat or drink...dirty anything, arti-choke, etc.

I would love to get AZERBAIJANI into a Monday puzzle...

Natan, you rock!

penny 4:11 PM  

According to my husband, who is from Paris (France), "une vague" is an individual wave, usually referring to the sea. "Les ondes" generally refers to a series of electro-magnetic waves, but sometimes is used to describe a series of ocean waves.
Hope that helps.
Penj.

headhunter 2:48 PM  

'Twas "super dupers" what sunk me...'regulars' fit well for a while (as large/medium...)--I had the bottom 3 crosses.

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