TUESDAY, Mar. 3, 2009 - J Wechsler (Bandleader Skinnay / Massey of old films / Stately dance in 3/4 time / Islamic equivalent of kosher)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Lock-up - Two-word phrases ending in PEN, JOINT, COOLER, POKEY, and CAN, respectively, are clued ("?"-style) as if they had something to do with prison

Word of the Day: MITER JOINT - A joint made by beveling each of two surfaces to be joined, usually at a 45° angle, to form a corner, usually a 90° angle. (answers.com)

I have a big circle around the entire midwest region, which you can traverse by taking ENNIS west to JOCOSE and then north to the JOINT in MITER JOINT. That section was the last to fall and the one to give me the most trouble. For whatever reason, on first pass, I couldn't think of anything to follow MITER as an answer to the clue 24A: Prison for bishops? Then, when I tried to break into that section from the south, I ran into ENNIS (43A: Bandleader Skinnay), or, rather, I didn't run into it. I couldn't see it, so I stopped short, and had to restart in the far east at ERG (38D: Fraction of a joule) and work back into the last empty section that way. The whole experience left me something less than JOCOSE (25D: Full of merriment), which is truly one of the most ridiculous words in the English language. Nothing particularly wrong with this section (though ENNIS is pretty recherché ... which is perhaps even more ridiculous than JOCOSE, as words go). HALF KNOTS (31D: Macrame ties) and THAT IS ALL (11D: "Over and out") brought the enjoyment down a little in this puzzle, but overall it seemed a fairly solid Tuesday. I'd rather not have my SE corner (which I consider the puzzle's end, whether I end there or not) stuffed with the likes of AMAHL (56D: Menotti title role) and NENES (57D: Spanish babies), both of which are Serious crosswordese.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Prison for soda jerks? (fountain PEN)
  • 24A: Prison for bishops? (miter JOINT)
  • 39A: Prison for vintners? (champagne COOLER) - don't know this drink
  • 49A: Prison for corny humorists? (hokey POKEY)
  • 62A: Prison for gardeners? (watering CAN)

Had a few missteps along the way. There are a set of women whose names are incredibly grid-friendly and incredibly close to each other, sound- and spelling-wise. IRENA, IRENE, ILENE, ELENA, all seem proximate to today's ILONA (2D: Massey of old films). I can see that I wrote in ILENA at first. I also botched the word next door to it, writing DEICE where DEFOG was called for (1D: Clear up, as a windshield). There was some cluing oddness today. The clue on EMAIL seemed true enough, but arbitrary (32A: Modern means of relaying jokes). EMAIL is a modern way of relaying ... anything involving words. And pictures. And sounds. The clue on CITY seemed even more absurd. Why would you go all the way to 41D: Nancy in France, e.g. for your CITY. Since CITY is an English word, you'd think you'd at least stay in an English-speaking country. I see that you want to fool us by making us think Nancy = someone's name, but ... yuck. Tricksiness needs better payoff than CITY.

Bullets:

  • 29A: Sweep's heap (ash) - nice rhyme
  • 42A: Islamic equivalent of kosher (halal) - I thought "ooh, I learned this from crosswords." Then I realized I was thinking of Shari'a, the body of Islamic religious law. HALAL I have seen on restaurant signs.
  • 60A: Cartoon art genre (anime) - manga in motion. Here is a clip from a popular anime show aimed at preteens: "Dragonball Z"




Other ANIME shows can be far, far more ... adult.

  • 65A: Creole cooking pod (okra) - never saw the clue, just the -KRA. I probably would have misread the clue as [Creole cooking pot], as I did just now.
  • 4D: Stately dance in 3/4 time (minuet) - also a typo of MINUTE. This word makes me imagine peruked fops mincing about.
  • 7D: "Haystacks" artist Claude (Monet) - someone should do a series of parody paintings called "Sleestaks"
  • 24D: Singer Michelle or Cass (Mama) - true, but odd, in that no one ever said "Mama Michelle" (not that I've ever heard ... but I was born after they were popular, so what do I know?)
  • 60D: Like most bathroom graffiti: Abbr. (anon.) - did we really have to go into the bathroom on this one? And is "For a good time, call ..." really ANON?

I finally finished my promised write-up of this past weekend's Crossword Puzzle Tournament. If you're interested, you can read it here.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

82 comments:

HudsonHawk 8:31 AM  

I had a similar experience at 25D with JO____. JOVIAL...no. JOYOUS....no. JOCULAR...no. JOCOSE...huh? I did like the theme, though. Ashish will have to make you a CHAMPAGNE COOLER, although it's a waste of good Champagne.

DanaJ 8:31 AM  

Thanks for the nice write-up, Rex. Just made an OKRA seafood gumbo last week for mardi gras, so I figured that out right away. Loved "Land of the Lost" as a kid - but my younger sister was terrifed of the Sleestaks.

Kurt 8:36 AM  

I liked this one. Didn't have any issues with ENNIS or CITY or DEFOG although JOCOSE did slow me down a little.

I agree that the cluing was so-so, but it was still a nice little Tuesday puzzle.

Shin Kokin Wakashu 8:40 AM  

ANIME bothers me a bit since the Japanese term refers to animation of any kind, and thus is not a "genre", but I suppose it's been borrowed into English at this point to refer only to Japanese animation.

I'm not sure I understand "A fire sign" (LEO).

I wanted DEBUG for 1D, which would have been cute.

chefbea 8:44 AM  

Thought this was a bit hard for Tuesday but did finally finnished.

Isn't a champagne cooler the nice container filled with ice where you place the bottle to keep it cold?

allan 8:44 AM  

I thought the theme was fun, but I had so many errors (every one that Rex mentioned in his write up), that I thought this was a difficult Tuesday.

chefbea 8:45 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadir 8:45 AM  

I'm not sure about Email being a modern way of sending anything. For my teen son and his friends, email is SO old fashioned. Texting is modern!

-Nadir

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

Hardly a tuesday, what with Halal, lingua, Amahl, and Ennis.

Clay 8:57 AM  

I also didn't understand the Leo answer for fire sign. A google search has revealed the following:

What are the Fire signs in Astrology?:

Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Why are they called Fire signs?:

The signs of the Zodiac are grouped in four triplicities based on their element. The other triplicities are water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), air signs (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini) and earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo).

jeff in chicago 9:11 AM  

I thought this one was clever. All the theme answers were clear and common. Especially liked HOKEYPOKEY. JOCOSE was new to me

There's some fun Skinnay ENNIS stuff on Youtube. "Bugle Call Rag" will wake you up!

Astrology further breaks up the fire signs into hot, wet, cold and dry. And some signs are cardinal, some are fixed and some mutable. Ya gotta get these things straight or you might get a bad reading! (yes...sarcasm)

jeff in chicago 9:13 AM  

Oops...the fire signs aren't broken up 4 ways. All 12 signs are. Now I need to consult my tarot cards about how to approach the rest of my day....

Parshutr 9:19 AM  

My only sticking pt was TEL (got it from crosses. Otherwise, another good day for the late 60s (as in age) crowd, we few who actually saw Ilona and both Mamas, used fountain pens (I still own one, but why?), drank champagne coolers, danced the hokey-pokey, and found things like watering cans jocose, not outre.
THAT IS ALL. And with a late July Bday, I'm a Leo.

Glitch 9:23 AM  

Not a bad puzle today, fit in my one cup range. Only writeovers were around Nancy where I was looking for a French word.

I'm hoping that Tuna Melt won't spawn a round of discussions like last time. Been there, done that, and have the cheese on my t-shirt to proove it ;-)

.../Glitch

edith b 9:33 AM  

Just when I thought I was past DragonBallZ, I'm dragged back in. My granddaughter and her cronies used to watch this anime cartoon at our house every day and finally outgrew the whole thing.

This was a good day to be a rememberer (as opposed to a figure-outer) and I got JOCOSE ENNIS HALAL ILONA on my first pass through and, since I finally remembered how to spell AMAHL, it was nice to see an old friend.

I liked the old-fashioned feel of the theme even if it did make me feel like an old fogey. Mama Michelle, indeed.

fikink 9:35 AM  

Really enjoyed your writing today, Rex. "Peruked Fops Mincing" - Is that a sequel to "Dead Man Walking"?

Wade 9:35 AM  

The square I stared longest at was the L in HOLES, because I had JOKEYPOKEY, hence JO_ES, and didn't understand the "fire sign" clue.

"You, sir, are a peruked fop," is my new go-to putdown.

Anne 9:44 AM  

Today was a bit harder than usual and took a bit longer. I really liked the theme as it put some bite into the whole thing. I did not make any errors although I totally guessed at amahl and nene. Nene is also an hawaiian goose which made me wonder. But they both looked right (my test for accuracy, I guess). Ennis came with fill.

I loved Seinfield and my favorite was Elaine who has not been able to carry that over to her new show - something about Old Christina I think - all four of them would have laughed at that title.

Thanks, Clay, for the info. I did not know that.

Xavier 9:53 AM  

That midwest region that Rex talked about was my downfall today. JOCOSE was new to me, so I tried very hard to make it be JOYOUS. I even replaced the obviously right TEL with TSL. It didn't help that I didn't know ENNIS either. Also, I originally had CELLER even though I *know* it's spelled CELLaR. Ugh. Just ugh.

Otherwise a nice Tuesday though. Don't think I had ever hear of POKEY as slang for a prison. CEASE reminds me of a funeral home in Bemidji, MN called Cease Funeral Home. No joke!

Xavs

Shamik 9:57 AM  

Found this one to be a challenging puzzle, though i got it all in...my time was just on the long side and had several mis-starts. The theme was ok. I like seeing obscure words that older folks know. And no, i never heard anyone say MAMA Michelle.

As for those Spanish infants...they could be NINAS, NINOS, NENA, NENES or BEBES or what is truly unusual but listen around and you will hear it: MAMAS. So I had 4 mis-starts on that one until the silly geese showed up.

Other ugly, due to this ugly cold I have I'm sure (as if it's fair to have a cold when it's 90 degrees out) mis-starts:

OPT for TRY
DIRS for RTES
MITERBOXES for MITERJOINT
SSN for TEL (I can't count... now you know why i don't do Sudoku)
TRAYS for YEAST
AMILE for AMPLE

My grumbles about the puzzle are much the same as Rex's.

foodie 10:05 AM  

I too liked the theme. When I saw FOUNTAIN PEN, I thought it set a high bar--a familiar phrase and a common way to refer to prison-- and hoped the rest of the theme answers would meet that standard. And they did. No trickery with adding or subtracting letter.I appreciated the purity of the concept.

The opposite of HALAL in Arabic is HARAM (prounounced HA and RAM, related to Harem, and meaning "not allowed"). But what I like about Haram is how it's used more broadly... Has your mate run off with your best friend? Haram! (as in that's so sad). Are you taking it out by yelling at your kid?---Haram! (as in not deserved). Are you taking long showers and letting a lot of water run down the drain? Haram! (as in it's so wasteful). Isn't it good to have one handy word that encompasses all these connotations?

Frances 10:23 AM  

@Shamik
Where are you, that it's 90 degrees outside?!! Here in sunny North Carolina, my thermometer said 18 degrees (Farenheit) when I got up.

Did Jeffrey Wechsler construct this one in the kitchen? For his YEAST RISEN loaf, there was a NEED to KNEAD. Sipping a CHAMPAGNE COOLER, he could enjoy TUNA and OKRA, which are probably HALAL. I would guess that SNAILS are *haram*.

retired_chemist 10:25 AM  

Very enjoyable. This was on target for a Tuesday for me. Maybe even Mondayish. Experience is the best teacher.

ILONA (Massey), HALAL, and ANIME are now (after a goodly number of puzzles) gimmes, Marvin GAYE and Skinnay ENNIS appeared out of who knows where (but probably my crossword subconscious), and 16A was HIE from the get-go instead of the more obvious (to a civilian) RUN.

The theme was nice. Got it after FOUNTAIN PEN, which took a bunch of crosses to see. But then the rest of the theme answers succumbed easily.

Checked my time at the end and found 42 sec. WHOA! I said, not true, and then remembered. The love of my life asked me something then and I turned the timer off. Forgot to turn it back on :-(, so I do not know how long it took me. But it felt fast....

Shamik 10:34 AM  

@Frances: Peoria, AZ (nw corner of the Phoenix metropolitan area) and truth be told it's really only 64 at 8:30 a.m., but it was 90 when I got sunburned while hiking on Sunday. 18 degrees in NC? You must be in the mountains then?

Two Ponies 10:39 AM  

I was OK with the Mama clue. The chicks were the Mamas and the guys were the Papas.
Some of the clues were odd but fair for a Tuesday.
I was looking for a French word for city but, like Rex, had to settle for English.
The aliterative Octoberfest Oh made me groan and think of Ulrich.
Now I'm off the read the tourney write-up.
That is all.

addie loggins 10:40 AM  

This one was tougher for me that a usual Tuesday. Skinnay ENNIS and LES Deighton felt somewhat Natick-ish to me (is that a word?), but I suppose other people read more spy novels than I do.

The only alternative I could think of to Ninos was Ninas, and neither option gave me TOUCHE. I knew that had to be the answer, but couldn't get there.

HALFKNOTS is a good word. Oh, and I agree with chefbeat that CHAMPAGNE COOLER refers to a thing (either a container or a small fridge) to keep champagne cold, not a drink (which would be a terrible waste of champagne, IMO).

Rob 10:51 AM  

A good, challenging (but gettable) Tuesday. I liked it.

One gimme, for me, was HALAL. If you live in New York City (and especially if you work in or travel through midtown) you cannot avoid seeing dozens of food trucks selling Halal meat on the street corners. There is one, right by my office on 52nd and 6th, where it is not uncommon (especially on a Friday or Saturday night) to see as many as 100 people in line - apparently it is the best Halal in the city. But there is another truck, on the opposite corner, run by the same guys, using the same meat, and there is almost never any line. Obviously I go to that one. And the food is DELICIOUS. I could eat it every night.

joho 11:19 AM  

Shoot! @Anne: If the clue at 57D had been Hawaiian goose I'd have got it instantly. @addie loggins: I, too, was stuck with nino and nina ... so ... misspelling ANIME ending in an "I" I ended up with NINES ...which made no sense. Never heard of NENES as Spanish babies!

Harder than usual for a Tuesday but fun theme. I liked SAUCY instead of the more commonly seen sassy.

So far Monday & Tuesday have been great ... hope Wednesday follows suit!

Doug 11:30 AM  

I'm jetlagged after a week in Oz, and didn't have the energy to try and get out of the JOCOSE/ENNIS/CITY hole. "I'm tired, it's late, and I have to get up at 3:30am for a 6am flight to freezing Calgary." PG at Crosswordfiend filled in the blanks and I gladly crumpled into bed. And here I sit in the Calgary airport prepping for a meeting (blah) and reading about the ACPT (yeah!)

I liked the theme a lot, and was surprised at how wide ranging this was for a Tuesday. I just read that the US has 20% of all prisoners worldwide vs. 5% of the population, so the theme was quite apt.

ArtLvr 11:35 AM  

Enjoyed the theme, and Rex's write-up! I got this one fairly fast, thanks to a few words I'd learned here like ANIME...

One little hitch was Marvin GAYE, where I was thinking Danny KAYE. At the end I fixed it, saying to myself "What DEFOK?"

∑;)

Ulrich 11:38 AM  

@Two ponies: I certainly appreciate the association between me and groaning:-) But seriously, one of my first comments on this blog concerned the cluing of "ach" via the Octoberfest, which is supposed to be a JOCOSE occasion. "Ach" is closer to English "alas" than "oh", but I decided to let it pass.

On the bright side: MITER JOINT gives me the opportunity to show off two gorgeous miter joints I constructed only a few weeks ago.

So, the puzzle wasn't that bad after all.

Ulrich 11:38 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
David 11:40 AM  

Really enjoyed today's theme. Like foodie, I first saw it at FOUNTAIN PEN, and the other four entries lived up to that fun opener. Felt fresh and natural, with five strong theme entries, that's exactly (or better than!) what I hope for in a theme.

On CHAMPAGNE COOLER, I right away assumed it was like a wine cooler, a mix of alcohol and fruit juice. But a quick Google seems to confirm that it's an accessory for cooling the champagne, as people are saying. Heh, whoops. It's still a legitimate phrase, and I can't really complain for having stumbled into it backwards.

Definitely had issues with ENNIS, LEN, and JOCOSE, though. Like addie, I tried LES. It was the only name that popped into my head fitting the LE-. Once I'd filled in some of the other fill, ENSI- stared at me for a while with nothing clicking. And since I had no inspiration for JOCO-E, I got a bit flustered and just threw in a letter. Admittedly, this was not the best plan I've ever come up with.

That area is probably a bit tougher than I expect on Tuesday, due to some proper names that had no meaning for me. Then again, if I'd gotten INN before trying LES, I like to think I would have been able to see ENNIS and avoid the mess my midwest turned into. Oh well, at least today's puzzle reminds me that I need to start double-checking my answers more.

Overall, and even with my personal glitches, a really enjoyable Tuesday. Yesterday's unusual spread of theme entries was amusing, too, so the week's off to a good start.

Wade 11:41 AM  

It's an understandable mistake, ArtLvr. I think Marvin Gaye's father also shot Danny Kaye.

George NYC 11:49 AM  

@Ulrich: Nice joints. How do you insert the hyperlink into the Comment?

archaeoprof 11:50 AM  

This one was hard for me. But then I'm still recovering from having spent all night Sunday in the car, snowbound in a 50-mile long traffic jam south of Charlotte NC. If only I'd had a good puzzle with me...

fikink 11:54 AM  

My last letter today was the "S" in JOCOSE. I got there thinking about the word "bellicose," and now, it is probably the way I will remember it.

JannieB 12:00 PM  

Enjoyed the level of difficulty today, as well as the theme. Had miter boxes for awhile, also "cite" thinking en francais, but both were easily fixed. Otherwise, no real hangups.

Noam D. Elkies 12:31 PM  

Nice theme; I might not have seen "champagne cooler" but I figured it was a special case of the familiar "wine cooler", and it prevented an error "water cooler" for 62A:WATERINGCAN. (For that matter I didn't remember cooler=jail, but that's my problem.) I'd rate this one as challenging for a Tuesday; it seems Rex rarely even goes as far as "medium-challenging" these days.

Never thought of 25D:JOCOSE as a particularly odd word, given its association with "joke" and the Italian "giocoso" seen every once in a while in classical music scores (not to be confused with the cognate "giuoco piano", which looks like another Italian musical term but is actually the Italian name of a chess opening).

Some of the non-theme clues are borderline, e.g. for 61A:LEO (now I need to know astr*logy for a Tuesday puzzle?) and 41D:CITY (which at first led me, too, to "cité", fixed by the theme entry 49A:HOKEYPOKEY), plus one too many rhyming/alliterating clues; also 43A:ENNIS was especially annoying when crossed with another pseudorandom name 35D:LEN, though there's no easy fix since ETUIS and ESAIS are no better -- maybe ANTIS or AEGIS, at the cost of changing 33D:AGE to AGA.

Some other nice 66A:TOUCHEs: the secular clue for 12D:RISEN using its neighbor 13D:YEAST, and the reminder in 53D of what the familiar 64A:ENT stands for; a clutch of K's and a few other rare letters.

On to Wednesday,
--NDE

Greene 12:47 PM  

Excellent puzzle with a fine theme. I sailed through without a single hitch (not a PURPLE COW in sight). Even got ENNIS and LEN without difficulty. I love the word JOCOSE although I don't think I've ever used it in a sentence. How about: The mincing peruked fops appeared quite jocose!

fikink 1:17 PM  

@NDE, if you changed ENNIS to aegis, wouldn't you have to change 44A, too? I'd be interested in how you reworked that area, because I do not seem to be able to do so for a Tuesday.

Chip Hilton 1:27 PM  

I actually spelled it HOKEYPOKEE because I was so sure they wanted CITE for the Nancy clue. Nasty bit of Gallic misdirection there.

Overall though, a fun challenge for a Tuesday. Left me feeling JOCOSE.....now that I've heard the word I might as well use it.

Noam D. Elkies 1:29 PM  

@fiking 1:17 -- good question; I had forgotten about 44A:LEG. But it looks easy enough to make that LAG, changing 37D:SEE to SEA -- or is there something else I'm missing there? (LEA/LEI and 38D:ERA/ERI would work as well, but either of those would be last-resort crosswordese for a Tuesday-level puzzle.)

NDE

fikink 1:34 PM  

NDE:
ACH!!!!!!!! Right in front of me! I was so hung up on ERG and getting rid of the G!

(Ulrich, was that the right use of ACH?)

Bob Kerfuffle 1:43 PM  

@George NYC - Here's the link to hyperlinks.

fergus 1:47 PM  

How about JOCUND? Is that worse than JOCOSE? That area took a lot of care to avoid making a mistake.

For a while, rather than AMPLE I had A MILE for More than enough, which seemed sort of acceptable. That led to confusion about the whole theme of the puzzle since it took away all the prison synonyms.

Best Monday/Tuesday combo in a long while.

chefwen 1:53 PM  

Thought I had fallen out of Monday and landed in Thursday, just a tad bit difficult for a Tues.
Had sassy for SAUCY, Yes for YEA so FOUNTAINPEN didn't come easily.
NENES are big birds that eat expensive grass seed out of our back yard and I don't know LINGUA from linguini. But I finished with just a couple of unfixed errors and am looking forward to Wednesday.

chefbea 2:05 PM  

@addie loggins I see you referred to me as chefbeat
Maybe I should change my name!!!!!!

HudsonHawk 2:23 PM  

I certainly was thinking of the cocktail for 39A, but I could also see it as a room, fixture, or bucket filled with ice. The cocktail actually is pretty good, but don't use your best vintage bottle...

Champagne Cooler

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

I avoided the whole "What is a CHAMPAIGNE COOLER?" question by opting instead for CHAMPAIGNECELLAR

fergus 2:39 PM  

I was down there too, drinking from RIDEL flutes, even if I sort of knew the famed wine glass maker had another letter.

jae 3:43 PM  

Enjoyable Tues. Got hung up in the JOCOSE area like most everyone else so this took a little longer than average.

@Anne -- Julia Louis-Dreyfus's new show is actually pretty good. There's a bit of ELAINE in the character and Wanda Sykes is fantastic.

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

ridiculously hard for a tuesday

MarkTrevorSmith 3:59 PM  

Sure, no one ever said "Mama Michelle," but by analogy, there was a lot of "Mama Cass," e.g., in a refrain in "Creeque Alley"; here's the first verse:

John and Mitchy were getting kind of itchy/
Just to leave the folk music behind/
Zal and Denny, working for a penny/
Trying to get a fish on the line/
In a coffee house Sebastian sat/
And after every number they'd pass the hat/
McGuinn and McGuire's just a-getting higher/
In L.A., you know where that's at/
And no one's getting fat except Mama Cass.

Doc John 4:00 PM  

A little difficult as Tuesdays go. It didn't help that I wrote in manga for ANIME, stet for DELE, vie for TRY and sassy for SAUCY. Throw in a malaplop (is that the right term that was coined?) for ASH in the [Fire sign] clue and there's all the makings of a struggle. Fortunately had no problems with LEN but that S in ENNIS was the last letter filled it. Wouldn't [Heath's character in Brokeback Mountain] have been more Tuesday-ish?

fergus 4:42 PM  

Variation on the MINUET theme:

Since I'm currently reading a late J.P. Donleavey novel (you know the guy who wrote "The Ginger Man") where the main character's sole artistic thrust is composing a Minuet, while fucking around most disingenuously. Or so it seems half-way through. Anyone looking for an engaging take on urbane American mores will find much amusement with this author. More so than Steinbeck, I would gratuitously add; and you would have to go back to Dos Passos to find someone so incisive.

foodie 5:11 PM  

Mama Cass is forever associated in my mind with my celebration dinner for passing my PhD defense. My late mentor, a wonderful and generous man, took me, my committee and some of the people in our lab to the Brown Derby in Hollywood. Being poor as a church mouse, I of course had not gone anywhere near it during grad school. I was a little embarrassed because my mentor's wife insisted that we be moved to a better location (I guess the idea was to see and be seen). So we got seated in a prime location, and right there was Mama Cass! She was laughing a great deal and there was a real buzz around her, and I found it all very fascinating. At one point, as they popped a champagne bottle in my honor, she turned and smiled at me and my mentor told her about the occasion. She congratulated me, and I felt I had really made it in the big leagues! Sadly, soon thereafter, she died and the rumors about her choking (not true) somehow coalesced with my memory of her at the Brown Derby.

Telling this story is not making me JOCOSE... Mama Cass is dead, my mentor is dead (after divorcing that wife) and even the Brown Derby is closed. But I think from that little brush with her, she was a cool lady!

Friends of Troy Chapman 6:09 PM  

Forgive me if I'm being dense, but I am having a real problem seeing how "Didn't I tell you?" is synonymous with "see" (37D). I can't imagine those being interchangeable in conversation. To me "See?" as a question means "Do you get it?"

fergus 6:17 PM  

Sometimes those Clues are obvious, FoTC, and sometimes they're not.

Foodie, anyone's PhD celebration is a wonderful occurrence --

Ulrich 6:23 PM  

@fikink: Yes!

@foodie: Your story, or more accurately, the way it was told, touched me, and after a bit of clicking, I found your "The Road from Damascus" interview, which made me an even bigger fan.

Glitch 6:31 PM  

@Friends of Troy Chapman

See, if you post a question here you will probably get an answer.

../Glitch

fikink 6:33 PM  

You must be very nice and unassuming, FoTC.
Consider the following:
She says, "Don't try to carry everything. Make two trips or you will break something."
(Ignoring her, John tries to scoop up all the crystal and take it to the kitchen.)
A Ridel flute, precariously balanced, falls to the floor.
Smithereeeeeeens!
"See!" she says, (as in, "I told you so!")

Friends of Troy Chapman 6:46 PM  

Holy cow, I not only got an answer to my question in minutes, but one extremely creative story that includes a vessel for a 39-across. Thank you!

Anne 6:51 PM  

@Jae - I don't think there's enough Elaine to make it funny and I don't think Wanda Sykes has found the right vehicle for herself. She is hysterical when she does stand up.

Anne 6:56 PM  

@Jae - I am opinionated but I sound too mean on that last post. I still have not found my "voice" on this blog.

fergus 7:17 PM  

That ride away flute is now a vision of Johanna's





that's past the dawn

foodie 7:49 PM  

@Ulrich, Thank you!
Beyond your skills at creating perfect MITER JOINTS, you seem to be a very good detective!

@fikink, that story of yours that ends with "SEE?" seems oddly familiar. But his name is not John:)

Ulrich 8:01 PM  

@fikink: The Riedel company offers different glasses for Pinot < 12.5% and Pinot > 12.5%. In light of that kind of pretense, I would tell anyone who dropped one of those glasses "What took you so long?"

retired_chemist 8:04 PM  

@ Anne - it is NOT mean to say what you think.

jae 8:31 PM  

@Anne -- Opinions are good things, they make life interesting. Lets just say I think the show has more to recommend it than you do. That said, I didn't like Borat or Ally McBeal.

fikink 8:59 PM  

@Ulrich, that was a riff on fergus's earlier post, circa 2:39 p.m. Hence the "Ridel, 'Geranimo!' " of the flute. See what happens when you follow false gods!

@foodie, You are right. See what happens when we follow false gods whom we "court" in VW vans?

Xavier 9:36 PM  

And of course, the same day that I learn the word POKEY for prison I hear it used on TV. I love how the universe conspires to help me remember the things I learn.

Xavs

mac 9:59 PM  

The most upsetting piece of information I got this evening was that Aquarius is not a water sign. I've spent my life thinking I'm a water person..... It actually explains why I can, but do not like, swimming. I don't like to get wet much.

This puzzle was not too difficult for a Tuesday, but it tought me a lot of terms for jail, and the word "jocose" (and because of that "Ennis".....). Of course I wanted to cram a "ville" in for Nancy, or at least a cite although I knew that was wrong.

@Foodie: it seems to me that in all three situations you could have used the term: "too bad"...

@fikink: I think that in this case it was "argh" instead of ach.

I'm in Miami, South Beach in fact, and I have to tell you that this Jet Blue took a lot longer than promised to get us here. Haven't been here in many years, and after a good walk on the beach I'm going to check out this area. By the way, it's not that warm. Fine by me.

fikink 10:23 PM  

Wasn't "Jocose" a book by Zola?

Okay, Rex, I am out!
Night, All.

retired_chemist 10:39 PM  

@ fikink - sleep tight - but no, JO COSE is Ellis Cose's sister. :-)

fergus 10:43 PM  

Mac, if you really care whether Aquarius is indeed a water sign, there may be a few supplemental questions.

liquid el lay 2:33 AM  

Mama Cass sang like an angel. Michelle, in her day, was the hottest thing on legs.. But I Love Mama Cass.

I love them both, I love them all-where's the clip?

liquid el lay 2:55 AM  

The puzzle?

I remembered Deighten as LEI not LEN, though I've seen his name a billion times while prowling the used book shops. Oh well.

MINUET I liked for some reason, as well as the tasty TUNA melt.

I smiled at the cluing on MONET.. "Haystacks artist Claude" sounded sort of like "Hayseed.. Claude.." it reminded me of W C Fields.. his villians were often named Claude... name of his father or first employer or something... anyway, it's going to MONET kind of threw me.

Also liked the officialese of "Over and out"- THAT IS ALL

The theme didn't wow me, though I thought HOKEYPOKEY was pretty good. It made a good image. I'd kind of like to see some of those cats in jail, I mean, some of them tell pretty bad jokes. Someone ought to pay. Just sayin'.

Anonymous 3:01 PM  

I had LET IN instead of LED IN for 68A and it was killing me that I couldn't get it. I finally gave up and checked this blog and even with the change, the online puzzle told me my solution was incorrect. I've proofed it multiple times and it's correct now, but I'm wondering if the in/out thing isn't messing up the scoring.

the redanman 11:22 AM  

Due to a distraction on Tuesday I just got around to finishing this one, a little harder than average, for me a real Natick moment or two, but finally got them right

Naticks for me:
-28A and 43A with 25D (Being involved in Golf did *NOT* help, probably hurt)
-Wording of 11D

On the whole for a still-evolving, trying to get past Thursdays category newcomer, a solid puzzle with some odd and almost goofy clueing which slowed but did not stop me.

OVER AND OUT = THAT IS ALL (M*A*S*H) vs. THAT(')S ALL

Agree with MEDIUM

THAT IS ALL

ricardo 6:21 PM  

Re: 4/7/09 NYT Crossword(in Desert Sun,Palm Springs,CA)

57D Spanish babies It can't be "nenes";has to be either "ninos" or "ninas"(boys or girls). A nene is a Hawaiian goose,not!

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

I thought ENNIS was obscure, but apparently not. See the post below from http://crosswordfiend.blogspot.com/2006/02/i-love-fridays.htm

"Patrick Berry's WSJ puzzle, "Latinized Names," is the first to take advantage of hip cluing for ENNIS ("Heath's 'Brokeback Mountain' role"). It's just a tad fresher than "bandleader Skinnay" (who?), "1940's-50's Phillies star Del" (who?), "Texas town" (where?), or "capital of County Clare" (you don't say)."

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