SUNDAY, Apr. 5, 2009 - C Deber (Hungarian patriot Imre / Noble Lombard family name / Booth or Drood)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Taking Care of Business" - theme answers are common phrases from the world of business and investment with "?" clues that imagine the phrases having different, wacky meanings

Word of the Day: RECREANT -


  1. Unfaithful or disloyal to a belief, duty, or cause.
  2. Craven or cowardly.
  1. A faithless or disloyal person.
  2. A coward.
When I think of this word, it's being used by one medieval knight to insult another. Maybe it was in one of the thousands of medieval poems I read in grad school. Or in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Business-speak is not the most exciting source of theme answers, especially when they aren't being tweaked or parodied, but being delivered straight. Still, the imaginative clues were clever and all the answers made sense. At first I though the puzzle would be nautical (PORT FOLIOS crossing PARTNER SHIP) but that pattern didn't pan out. Overall, this seems a solid puzzle, except for one thing - one square, which I found hugely grating and somewhat inexplicable. Though it was definitely gettable, it is, in many ways, a paradigmatic violation of the Natick Principle. Crossing proper nouns is always a dicey proposition, because one person's gimme is another's "WTF." We've seen that time and time again. And yet it happens all the time, and is generally not a problem because usually one of those nouns is very very well known, or the letter at the crossing of the nouns is easily inferrable. Such is not the case at the intersection of EGGAR (89D: Samantha of "The Collector," 1965) and EVA (105A: "Deliver Us From _____" (2003)). I am going to go out on a limb and bet that many people put an "E" in that place. While EVE does not have the two syllables required to make it a good play on the word "EVIL," "EVA" is most famously (in the case of Gabor) pronounced Ay-vuh or Eh-vuh, and therefore does not have the requisite vowel sound in the "E" to make it a good play on EVIL either. Therefore, I have a hard time seeing how this vowel is inferrable, if, like most solver (I'm guessing), the movie and the actress are unknown to you. I actually remembered the movie (or, rather, commercials for the movie), as "Deliver Us From Evie," so I tried a "Y" in there briefly, but eventually just guessed EVA because EVE just sounded slightly off. Good guess. Actually, more like a lucky guess. Even if you knew who Samantha EGGAR was, there's still a good chance you'd speller her name EGGER. There is at least one other actress I know named EGGER. OK, her name's EGGERT, but that's pretty close. I'm just saying that EGGER could plausibly be someone's last name. This intersection is terrible. Relatively obscure proper nouns that intersect at an innocuous vowel - bad, bad form.

Theme answers:

  • 25A: Cruise brochures? (port folios)
  • 27A: Founding of a hip replacement clinic? (joint venture)
  • 43A: New radials at 6 a.m.? (early re-tire-ment) - my favorite clue/answer pairing
  • 60A: Purchase of a vault? (safe investment)
  • 77A: To sell organic or not? (marketing decision)
  • 94A: Blueprints for a 50-mile grazing stretch? (long range plans)
  • 109A: Mortgage no one cares about? (low-interest loan)
  • 130A: Surfers' reunion? (board meeting)
  • 133A: Activity of duvet makers? (down sizing)
  • 3D: Yacht in a time-share? (partner ship)
  • 85D: Exchange for 007? (Bond trading)

The EVA / EGGAR intersection was about the only truly irksome thing about this puzzle. Otherwise it was smooth - very much on the easy side, but still offering some areas of vocabularic interest. I guess COLLEENS in Ireland (79D: Irish girls) are like SHEILAS in Australia - just a generic term for girls? Maybe I've heard that before - don't remember. Anyway, I liked it, though it took me several crosses to get. I had a bear of time (relatively speaking) with a single letter in the NE - the "G" in GENOME (16D: Modern map subject) and GABLE (16A: Kind of window). I do not know my window types - bay ... dormer ... oriel? is that something? - so it could have been CABLE as far as I knew, but CENOME seemed wrong. I think I started running through the alphabet and luckily hit GENOME pretty quickly. Excellent clue. I was imagining images in an atlas until the bitter end. CAREEN (32D: Lurch) and SCREAM (52A: Sound on a roller coaster) go very nicely together, as do DODO (92A: Bye-bye birdie?) and INDO (98A: _____-European), for completely different reasons. I wanted something golf-y on that "birdie" clue. PAR or BOGIE, maybe.

One interesting feature of the grid are its narrow escape routes. I got the whole NW and then couldn't get out. I got as far as the Green Twins, ECO (31A: Green: Prefix) and NADER (36A: Green candidate for president, 1996), and couldn't play off of them to escape the NW. Had to reboot elsewhere in the grid. I don't like doing that unless I Absolutely have to. Work with what you've got and you're bound to go faster - until you get genuinely stuck; then you gotta move. I made up for my faltering coming out of the NW by nailing a word that no one in his/her right mind should ever nail: ENTRAIN (28D: Get on board). It's a word I didn't know existed before xwords, and one that I refused to believe existed after I saw it the first time. "I'm going to ENTRAIN now." Really? Anyway, it's a completely acceptable technical term, and I love that it's gone from "????" to gimme in such a short period of time. ENTRAIN is a section-connector, and nailing it really helped open the NE up.


  • 1A: Certain fraternity activity (caper) - ????? I see lots of words used around campus to describe frat activities. This is not one of them. A bank job is a CAPER.
  • 6A: Gourmand's request (more) - is a gourmand always such a #$!@ing pig? Taking pleasure in food doesn't necessarily mean wanting to shove as much as you can down your gullet.
  • 23A: Faster than larghetto (adagio) - educated guessing!
  • 29A: Noble Lombard family name (Este) - like ENTRAIN, unfamiliar to me at one point, a gimme to me now.
  • 40A: Card taker, for short? (ATM) - sadly, needed two crosses to get this (!?)
  • 69A: Zager & _____, 1960s pop duo (Evans) - complete and utter mystery to me. Searching for video now ... oh Man, THESE guys:

  • 85A: Strong suit, slangily (bag) - love the clue. Also love "slangily"
  • 89A: Booth or Drood (Edwin) - who's the Booth guy? Oh right, he's the 19th-century actor who was the brother of John Wilkes Booth. I was listening to someone on Jimmy Fallon the other night talking about the status of Edwin Booth at the time his brother shot Lincoln - he said something like "It would be like if Robert DeNiro's brother shot the president."
  • 101A: Hungarian patriot Imre _____ (Nagy) - learned from crosswords. Would be unknown to many of us were he not in crosswords.
  • 115A: City NNW of Robins Air Force Base (Macon) - clues like this may as well just read [City]
  • 6D: "But love's a _____ without a cure": Dryden ("malady") - kind of a banal observation. I'm sure Dryden wishes some other section of his vast literary output had been quoted.
  • 10D: California community in sight of Mount Soledad (La Jolla) - tough until I got the "J" - then easy
  • 26D: Jazz Drummer Hakim and others (Omars) - a new OMAR. Cool.
  • 52D: Word maven William (Safire) - something about the word "maven" rubs me the wrong way. It looks too much like mauve, I think. It evokes, for me, a persnickety older lady in a mauve suit, opining about high culture or where the salad fork's supposed to go. I think the image comes from my (1970s) Clue board game depiction of Mrs. Peacock.
  • 65D: Pressure situation for a pitcher (two on) - looks awesome in the grid - TWOON! I love this clue as it reminds me that it's Opening Day (first game tonight, I think, though the baseball season officially begins tomorrow)
  • 81D: Monte Carlo mainstay (casino) - Monte Carlo is like some mythical place to me, one that only exists in mid-century spy movies.
  • 97D: _____ Corrasable Bond (old typing paper) (Eaton's) - !?!?!? I guess EATON'S is a big name in paper, now that I think of it. But "Corrasable!?!" Hey, BOND is in the answers and the clues! Actually, I don't care. Just pointing it out.
  • 119D: Olympic skating champ of 1928, 1932 and 1936 (Henie) - most common skater in the grid due to the preponderance of vowels in her name.
  • 124D: Flag, horticulturally (iris) - I'm not sure what this means. I see that various flowers are called "flag irises." Maybe that's it.
  • 129D: Author of the Books of Chronicles, by tradition (Ezra) - my first guess after misreading the clue at first and thinking CS LEWIS.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

LAT Sunday (syndicated) puzzle is an entertaining Will Nediger creation. Orange's write-up here.

To get the LAT puzzle every day, simply join (basic membership is free), and you can download the puzzle directly from their website every day.


ArtLvr 7:53 AM  

Not a bad Sunday for me, except for tiny hitches in the NE and SE corners... Had to sleep on it to see GENOME and GABLE , the Modern map project and Window respectively. Also Baron-IAL was sneaky!

@ foodie -- Do get in touch, just add 911 to ArtLvr and the at plus aol dot com...

@ green mantis -- Congrats on your upcoming graduation!

Megan P 8:05 AM  

Now I'm picturing Mrs. Peacock as the Vita Herring Maven. . . my head hurts. In a good way.

I actually liked the puzzle because the long answers were clever without being labored. It was too easy to be tedious, like a lot of Sundays often are.

HudsonHawk 8:14 AM  

The narrow escape routes came into play for me, but in an inverse manner. I sailed quickly through most of this puzzle (and it's 23x23) from South to North until I got to the NW corner. I think my last square was actually the C in CAPER and COPED.

I have to agree with Rex on my first impressions of "Gourmand's request". Having said that, my dictionary's first definition likens gourmand to glutton, so it appears fine as clued.

ArtLvr 8:16 AM  

p.s. somebody please explain 139A clue: Golf's "army" leader? ARNIE Palmer, I presume, but why?

Retired_Chemist 8:22 AM  

Fun and easy. Had NAT___ for 43D and thought NATICK. Not a "word with human or mother," but it would have been fun.

Knew how to spell EGGAR - couldn't say why.

My most fun clue: 84A, St Basil's dome shape (ONION). Looked for more geometric words, then had my mini-epiphany.

R_C 8:24 AM  

@ ArtLvr - Palmer fans who trooped with him from hole to hole were referred to frequently as Arnie's Army.

Orange 8:27 AM  

My mom was a secretary when I was a kid. We had some Corrasable Bond in the house. Ah, childhood memories! You can't beat ones like that.

Ruth 8:37 AM  

Samantha Eggar was very famous in the mid-60's for being in "The Collector". Knew her straight off. Looks like she's worked pretty steadily since then, but that was news to me.

chefbea 8:46 AM  

The C in caper and coped was my last letter. I also thought the theme might be boat related.

Was pretty easy for me. Looked up Deliver us from...
in my film book but no googling.

Time to go out for breakfast and I wont ask for more

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

More is the difference between gourmet and gourmand

Rex Parker 8:54 AM  

Well, EGGAR was nominated for an Oscar for "The Collector," but I challenge the idea that she was "very famous." Elvis was (and is) "very famous." Ann-Margaret was (and is) "very famous." Maybe EGGAR was "famous," but her window of fame must have been brief. I'm guessing that few people under 45 are going to have heard of her.

She's certainly crossworthy (Oscar nominations are enough) - but that "A" crossing with EVA (as clued) is just bad form.

How is looking up something in a book different from Googling (morally speaking)? Cheating is cheating. Nothing to be ashamed of, but why pretend like it's somehow not as bad as Googling?

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

William Safire has always reminded me of a persnickety older lady opining about something.

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

I really liked the puzzle, but hated 10A "laming". Is that really a word? Can I say "if you don't stop that I'll be laming you"?

Crosscan 9:09 AM  

Very quick despite being a 23x23. This looked like a Wall Street Journal puzzle and not sure why it needed to be super-sized.


OUTLAW and INLAWS; aren't they the same? (Have I said too much?)

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Some day I'm going to write down and commit to memory all the musical terms for fast, slow, faster, slower, slightly fast, a little bit faster, not as slow, etc.

JannieB 9:15 AM  

Fun Sunday, if a bit on the easy side. I knew Eggar right off. I remember that movie, really creepy. She's still working but Ione Skye only made one movie that I ever heard about and that was decades ago (and no Oscar buzz on that one!!!).

I put oriel in for gable at first without even thinking. Guess it's an old Maleska word - I'm picturing a bay window....

Interesting interview with the constructor on the Wordplay site - he's done some devilshly clever puzzles over the years.

archaeoprof 10:06 AM  

Easy, yes, but interesting. Never, ever heard the word RECREANT before.

Zager & Evans ... Wouldn't a "one-hit wonders" theme make for a wickedly difficult puzzle?

Greene 10:14 AM  

I remember Samantha EGGAR, but that did not stop me from misspelling her name and I fell neatly into the EGGER/EVE trap which Rex pointed out. I didn't even realize the error until I came here this morning. I remember there being a film called "Deliver Us From EVA" but, of course, I never saw it. I have enough knowledge that I should have safely navigated that cross, but I guess I was sloppy and it does seem pretty treacherous.

Edwin BOOTH, brother of infamous John Wilkes, came from an acting dynasty and was one of the most famous Shakespearean actors of his time, widely lauded for his brooding portrayal of Hamlet.

In one of those strange twists of fate, Mr. Booth actually saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert, when he fell from a train platform in NJ several months before the assassination in 1865. Mr. Booth did not know whom he was rescuing, but his face was so famous that Robert Lincoln knew who had pulled him to safety and confirmed the story years later.

In 1869 Edwin Booth opened his own, very modern theatre in NYC at the corner of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue with an elaborate production of Romeo and Juliet. He was financially ruined in the panic of 1873 and lost the theatre which eventually became a department store and was torn down in 1965.

The current Booth Theatre on west 45th Street in NYC was built in 1913 (20 years after Edwin's death) and named in his honor. It is a popular house in the heart of the theatre district and is in constant demand for the production of both plays and musicals.

Edwin Booth also founded The Players Club, a social networking group for actors and other influential people, which is still active today housing meetings in Booth's former mansion at 16 Gramercy Park. A statue of Booth himself can be found in Gramercy Park proper, only a short walk from the actor's home.

Greene 10:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donald 10:24 AM  

I did the eve/egger thing -- I am a poor speller who relies heavily on crosses to correct me. Which is why I remember Corrasable Bond -- you could type on it, and erase your mistakes (a complicated process). It was an invention that preceded WiteOut.

I'm older than most of you.

evil doug 10:25 AM  

The younger folks here probably don't know much about the tribulations of the typewriter era.

When editing a term paper/cover letter/etc. meant sliding the carriage as far to the side as it would go, trying to erase the error with a minimum of smudging or (heaven forbid!) rubbing clean through the paper, and somehow realigning the correct key with the now-grayish spot---a requirement to type an assignment was a trip to the dentist.

When I discovered Corrasable Bond, with clean and easy fix-ups using even a regular eraser, it was a revelation. Coupled with the portable electric typewriter featuring a power carriage return that my Nana gave me for high school graduation, I was armed to earn many six-packs typing papers for my Pike fraternity buddies....


Sandy 10:26 AM  

I'm staring at the grid, trying to figure out why this felt like such a slog to me. Now, of course, everything seems obvious.

Stupid mistake of the day: 99A "Square in a public square..." I had MILE!!! Oh, I justified the heck out of it in my head, and then figured a PEMAL was just something I hadn't heard of. Note to self: if it looks wrong, maybe it is.

Retired_Chemist 10:37 AM  

Amusing error in the SW was BARROW, having only the W at the time, for Bonnie or Clyde. Figured they got married. Actually not, as far as a quick Google tells. OUTLAW, quickly revealed by a cross or two, seems so obvious in retrospect......

Chorister 11:06 AM  

Justin Wilson once said, "Gourmet means you enjoy food. Gourmand means you're a P-I-G HOG."

chefbea 11:13 AM  

@Evil Doug. My grandmother gave me a typewriter for my graduation from high school. It was a portable!!!
And it was pink. I was the envy of my dorm.

Parshutr 11:14 AM  

Easy, and very enjoyable. Especially for those of us pushing 70 agewise, ardent golfers bemoaning being under a winter storm watch on 5 April. On a day like this, an easy, clever puzzle is a joy.

ArtLvr 11:17 AM  

@ greene -- love your backstories! Please keep 'em coming!

Glitch 11:19 AM  

Not a bad (2 cupper) for Sunday, just enough spots that had a "bit of a bite" to give me pause.

Couple of comments to possibly enlighten, not sway:

- GLUTTON: a person who appreciates good food. (Usage note: Some people feel this is an erroneous usage and should be gourmet for this sense.)

- The style of the windows in the gables of the "House of Green Gables" is known as Gable. (Similar Oxbow/Oxeye, but not rounded).

- Heard the following announcement just yesterday while waiting for a train "...and as you ENTRAIN, please watch the gap".

The conductor also echoed the warning but used the word DETRAIN when we reached Grand Central.

(for those that may not know, "the gap" is the space between the platform and the car doors.)


PuzzleGirl 11:38 AM  

Count me in the EVE/EGGER group. That section seemed unfair to me, but that's probably because I didn't know it. :-)

I also noticed a huge missed opportunity at 16A to clue GABLE as [Legendary Iowan wrestler and coach Dan]. But, of course, I would notice that.

And, finally, um ... ANAL?!?

John 11:43 AM  

The British say "Mind the Gap".

Anonymous 11:43 AM  

One thing that struck me is that I don't get the wackiness of 77A: To sell organic or not? (marketing decision). I thought that was a true-life issue that comes up for companies selling eggs, coffee, etc. these days.

Noam D. Elkies 11:47 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, thanks -- the theme as well as many of the supporting clues; a nice example which hasn't been mentioned yet is the clue for 99A:TILE.

Yes, "gourmand" (not "gourmet") is absolutely correct in the definition of 6A:MORE, though one sees more often a starving Dickens character rather than a "P-I-G hog" used for this kind of clue. And "maven" (in the 52D clue) has nothing to do with mauve -- it's a Yiddish word rooted in the Hebrew "me(i)vin" [מבֿין], one who understands.

The Dryden quote in 6D was unfamiliar to me, though certainly inferable. It seems to be widely quoted, though its source is not nearly as well known -- even Google didn't show it until the second page. It turns out to be line 720 of an extended poem called "Palamon and Arcite"; the context is

Yet these, and all the rest, I could endure;
But love's a malady without a cure;
Fierce Love has pierc'd me with his fiery dart,
He fires within, and hisses at my heart.
Your eyes, fair Emily, my fate pursue;
I suffer for the rest, I die for you.

The 29A:ESTE family was a major source of art patronage in the Renaissance, so one can't avoid the name in a class on early music history. (106A:ESTEES is rather different.) 28D:ENTRAIN, on the other hand, has a perfectly good primary meaning that has nothing to do with Amtrak; I've heard the ugly "deplane" and "detrain" enough times in the course of air and rail travel that I could infer "entrain", but it ain't pretty.

Yes, I guessed wrong with 105A:EVe/89D:EGGeR. I had heard of 37D:RECREANT; while I didn't remember the definition (it's closer to "miscreant" than "recreation") I did know it was a word, which was enough for the present purpose. Wasn't about the clue for 23A:ADAGIO -- I would have guessed that "adagio" is a bit slower than "larghetto", but apparently "larghetto" is between "largo" and "adagio", as needed for the clue.

Did I miss the explanation of 46D:MAT as "Art surrounder"? (and is the use of an odd job like "surrounder" in the clue 10A:LAMING the puzzle? For that matter, is a kneecapping an example of "laming the victim"?)

Didn't know either "Corrasable" or 97D:EATONS. ECB does have its own Wikipage, which says In the United States, Eaton's Corrasable Bond was a very familiar brand of erasable typing paper during the 1950s and 1960s, and "corrasable" became almost a generic name for erasable typing paper. I'm old enough to have typed on a typewriter through high school and a few years after, but not old enough to remember erasable typing paper; we had erasable typewriter ink -- you erased a letter by re-typing it after moving a special erasing tape where the ink tape normally goes. Fortunately none of the Across clues could have been anything else.

Is the clue for 104A really supposed to have a hyphen? (And has this word ever appeared in the NYTimes crossword before!?)


P.S. Anybody else here going to the Boston crossword tournament in an hour or so?

Noam D. Elkies 11:48 AM  

Wasn't sure about the clue for 23A:ADAGIO, that is... --NDE

mccoll 12:01 PM  

It couldn't be done in the shower but was just right for the tub. I didn't know how to spell EGGAR either, even though I remember the scary movie. Apart from that this was easy. My route was from the NE down the narrow path to the SW without a pause. Then across the South and up the Eastern seaboard where I was derailed/detrained. Still it didn't take long to finish off the NW. Quite a cunningly crafted Sunday, I thought. Sadly,there are rather more "low interest loans" around now than there should be. Thank you CD.

Badir 12:28 PM  

Alas, I was another EVe/EGGeR victim.

@Sandy, yes, I've gotten into trouble lots of times by assuming that some word that looks goofy in the grid is something I've just never heard of, rather than something wrong. My wife still reminds me of two examples from a couple of years back: "More barrel-chested", for which I put in "HAtRIER" and "Siamese gathering", for which I put in "CAT SlOW". Sometimes when our cats sit together, we yell out "Cat slow!"

PlantieBea 12:28 PM  

Nice Sunday puzzle. I agree with Rex's comments on the EGGAR/EVA crossing. I fell into the trap. Also wanted WRY for DRY humor leaving me with EWWIN instead of EDWIN.

I liked the Corolla part clue for PETAL. My favorite themed answer was DOWN SIZING. I had heard RECREANT but didn't know it meant cowardly. Always happy to learn somthing from the puzzle. Thanks Mr. Deber.

Doug 12:42 PM  

I won a typewriter as a kid, after selling newspaper subscriptions to our newspaper The Globe and Mail. It came with an LP tutorial and like Evil the skill was put to good use typing papers in my FRATernity house for $ in the 80s.

We definitely pulled some CAPERs, like running a car radiator through the furnace and heating a large, temporary, outdoor pool. Madison, Wisconsin, March snow, and beers on a Saturday afternoon in the warm pool. Damn those were fine times!

SethG 12:54 PM  

Yup, I spent 10 minutes trying to find EVA/EGGAR. Even when I tracked it down to EVA I couldn't understand which of those crosses could be wrong.

I have seen six Ione Skye movies, several more than once. (In one of them, she plays Eva.) I have seen none with Samantha Eggar. I have also seen Taking Care of Business, with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin.

It only took six crosses for me to get La Jolla--the J was my last letter.

jae 1:29 PM  

Fine Sun. The fun for me was in the clever cluing. I'm old enough to have seen "The Collector" in the theater so I filled in EGGAR with out much hesitation. Then I read 105a clue, changed the A to E, looked at it for a minute, said "nope" to myself and changed it back. Like Rex said, a solid puzzle.

Every once in a while living in San Diego pays off in the puzzle world. LAJOLLA was a gimme.

PIX 1:43 PM  

The Letters to the Editor of today's magazine section of the Times has a correction about the (sunday) March 22 crossword puzzle. I am certain that someone on this site had posted exactly the same comment on that date; two points for whoever that was. When does a mistake in the crossword rise to the level of needing an official correction from the Times?

Matty 2:10 PM  

Had more trouble with NAGY and EGGAR crossing as I had never seen NAGY before. But I'll keep an eye out in the future Rex because you've alerted me!

Ruth 2:15 PM  

Am guilty of being over 45, but was 12 at the time "The Collector" came out and too young to see it. I guess I was "culturally aware" enough to know about this controversial movie and the beautiful young actress who had a lot of people's attention at the time. And there was no Internet to deluge me with pop-up ads about things I've never seen and never intend to. Seems like Ms. Eggar is "worthy." (and of course, after all this chatter, she will be an instant gimme in future for all who read this blog!)

obertb 2:17 PM  

A little more on Eaton's Corrasable Bond, from

Eaton's Corrasable Bond is a trademarked name for a brand of erasable typing paper. Erasable paper has a glazed or coated surface which is almost invisible, is easily removed by friction, and accepts typewriter ink fairly well. Removing the coating removes the ink on top of it, so mistakes can be easily erased once. After erasure, the correction is typed onto an unprotected paper surface and cannot be easily erased a second time.

Because the coated surface does not absorb ink, erasable paper is apt to smudge. Since the coating is intended to be easily removed by friction, the typed pages are not very durable. Under some storage conditions, the coating is apt to make pages stick together. Erasable paper is obviously not suitable for legal documents or archival records.

Eaton's Corrasable Bond was discontinued and is not available as of 2005, although erasable typing paper is available under other brand names, such as Esleeck's ClearErase® Bond.

In the United States, Eaton's
"Corrasable Bond was a very familiar brand of erasable typing paper during the 1950s and 1960s, and "corrasable" became almost a generic name for erasable typing paper. For example, in prohibiting the use of such paper for manuscript submissions, the Linguistic Society of America refers to'Eaton's "Corrasable Bond" and similar brands.'"

"Corrasable" comes from the verb "corrade," (Latin: corradere, to scrape) meaning to crumble away through abrasion. (M-W Collegiate).

Not a word you see everyday.

On Samantha EGGAR: I don't see how that qualifies as a Natick, even crossed with EVA. Eggar is certainly well known enough to qualify as a legit entry. Just because YOU haven't heard of something or somebody doesn't natickize it. Despite having known the name, however, I did misspell it as only error in this pretty easy and enjoyable Sunday.

hazel 2:19 PM  

Baseball! Tonight! Go Braves!

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

Whenever the clue has 'Hungarian' and the answer is 4 letters, I figure it is (in order) Nagy, Buda, or Pest.
Perhaps the difference is one might have a few standard reference books for use with proper nouns. I have used (eg) one of those thick books that lists movies with directors and cast. On-line, however, makes it much easier, and at the extreme one ends up here (it's how I discovered you, Rex).
I had 'LOWINTERESTPLAN' which threw me off since it accommodated APNEA and COLLEENS. But 'SP??GED' made no sense....

Doc John 2:36 PM  

A fun little puzzle. I didn't even have any trouble with Rex's Natick moment. Thought the Mt. Soledad/LA JOLLA clue was a little too San Diego-centric but hey, I live here and it's another beautiful day so I'm not complaining!

There's a show at the Wynn in Vegas called Le REVE. In the past I have looked up the translation so that answer went right in. Keep meaning to see the show but others keep bumping it off. Last time it was Bette Midler- worth every penny!

In high school and college, before I could touch type, I lived off of Corrasable Bond.

OK, so I did a Sunday puzzle. So maybe I'm 21x21 every now and then. Does that make me a 5 instead of a 6 on the "Rexey Scale"?

jeff in chicago 3:55 PM  

Like the puzzle. Failed the EVE/EVA test. EVE sounded "biblical" enough. The right title was in my brain, and I had an "Oh...right!" moment when I came here.

I liked the cross of VEERS and SPREES with corresponding clues of "Zigs and zags/Jags"

Playwright Eugene O'Neill's father, James O'Neill, acted with Edwin Booth. It might be fair to say that both were legends at the time. That bit of theater history is replayed in "Long Days Journey Into Night," during James Tyrone's confessional toward the end of the play.

Doc John 4:35 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doc John 4:37 PM  

Just reread the comments. Looks like I picked a good Sunday to do the puzzle- 23x23, not 21x21. So I guess I can still say that I don't do 21x21 puzzles!

handsome pete, populist rage edition 5:05 PM  

I feel like there should be a moratorium on business themes until this whole financial crisis is over. For one thing, the business world is incredibly uninteresting and full of dickheads and doesn't make for an interesting puzzle (obviously), and for another, I don't want to see DOWNSIZING in a puzzle or be reminded of my dwindling PORTFOLIOS or the people being forced into EARLY RETIREMENT via DOWNSIZING etc. It's all very depressing stuff, and at 23x23 that's 88 more squares of sadness than your normal Sunday size. Why don't you just hit me in the junk instead, Shortz?

william e emba 5:06 PM  

I think this was the fastest 23x23 I've done.

From A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III, Scene II:

Puck: Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,/Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,/And wilt not come? Come, RECREANT; come, thou child;/I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled/That draws a sword on thee.

While I remember The Collector pretty well after thirtysome years, the actress's name never entered my memory. Yet Terence Stamp sticks somehow. Fortunately, I saw enough obnoxious bus ads for Deliver Us From Eva at the time that I easily remembered that the pun was disyllabic.

And I remember EATON'S Corrasable Bond.

Biggest goof was not figuring out the California place from ---OLLA, and then, when I got the J, I completed it to STJOLLA, cursing myself for not remembering the site of the UCSC campus. That didn't last long.

In the art world, a MAT (or matting) is the thin material to which artwork is usually attached and which itself is attached to the frame. And the art of attaching art to a mat is known as matting.

I thought it an amusing coincidence that one of the articles in today's NYT Sunday magazine (where some of us still find the crossword) was about Rabbi CAPERS C Funnye, Michelle Obama's cousin. (And for what it's worth, there's an answer to the Patrick Berry puzzle in the other main article, but you probably don't need the help.)

fergus 5:19 PM  

I thought fraternity guys just bought term papers outright, rather than needing to get them typed? Just kidding.

LAGER a Hearty Draft?

Amusing the way Z&E couldn't come up with any more rhymes to go with five. I thought this was a pretty cool song, though, when I was in seventh grade.

Every hilltop in Scotland has a CAIRN. Where else does one find them?

Wasn't it just last weekend that we got LAMED? Despite its simplicity, I didn't find this puzzle lame at all.

Chip Hilton 5:24 PM  

Gotta say I'm a bit surprised at the number of EVE stumblers. I read the clue, assumed it was going to be EVIL and when I saw it was a three letter answer, went for the two syllable sound-alike EVA. Never even thought of EVE. Probably helped that I thought S. EGGAR was a hottie way back when.

chefwen 5:25 PM  

Truly enjoyed this puzzle, but man, those squares were small.
I had no trouble with the EVA/EGGAR area. My biggest problem was putting Maureen in for COLLEEN, huh? Felt pretty stupid when I corrected that.
Favorite clue of the day was bye-bye birdie.

Rex Parker 5:37 PM  

@handsome pete,

Thanks for making your rage entertaining. I appreciate it.


fikink 5:59 PM  

@handsome pete, Yes, I enjoyed it,too. I messengered it across the house to Mr. Fikink and got a big hoot from the study.

@fergus, I first put STOUT for hearty draft. Does that qualify?

@Mike the Wino, please email me via my blog, I have a question about grapes for you (pardon me, please, Rex)

Anonymous 6:51 PM  

Am I the only LL Cool J fan to do this puzzle? Absolutely no problem with Eva! I found this puzzle painless and kinda dull - like Rex said, the business speak was delivered straight, too straight in my opinion, and the terms didn't form a more meta-theme (like the suggested "nautical". But quick and satisfying!

fergus 7:01 PM  

STOUT would almost always be heartier, but I guess the odd LAGER can be pretty hearty too.

Patrick Berry's PATHFINDER is a good, if slightly diabolical, follow-up the main stroll in the park.

George NYC 7:05 PM  

I put in MET for "art surrounder", thinking of the NYC museum. Thought the framing material was spelled MATTE.
Isn't LAGER a light beer by definition? Maybe meant to be HEADY DRAFT but clue got messed up by CORRASABLE paper (thank god those days are gone).

Anonymous 7:42 PM  

I knew Samantha Eggar, but I didn't know how to spell her last name so fell into the egger/eve trap.

Otherwise, an easy Sunday,

jae 7:52 PM  

@wbe -- That would be UCSD (Diego) :).

Stan 8:04 PM  

IMO, the blog needs an anagram or catchphrase or quick reference to the principle: "one person's gimme is another's 'WTF'."

So that's by way of saying that crossword idiot or neophyte that I am, I could have solved EGGAR/EVA from either clue [insert catchphrase here].

This week, I luvved the standard Sunday bad puns and gettable fill.

My real gimme, as both a geezer and a rock-nerd, was Zagar & EVANS. (Thanks to Rex for the video!) When I went to Cleveland's Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, "In the Year 2525" was featured in the "One-Hit Wonder" room. But I don't want everyone to know this. I just want it to be retrievable in the crosses.

Clark 9:16 PM  

@fergus -- I am familiar with cairns from high mountain hiking in switzerland. They often indicate the way in places where one might easily (and dangerously) go astray. They are not big or elaborate, but I have been very grateful to find them when trying to get home in heavy fog or a snowstorm. And my partner (who, knowing all things movie, saved me from EVE -- cheating, I know, but sometimes the flesh is weak) tells me he has seen cairns on hiking trails in the Adirondacks.

wsrhodes 9:54 PM  

Have been doing crosswords for many years, but never saw "Corolla (part)" (88D) before. Is this a first-time clue? The obvious thought was a Toyota, so "metal" seemed like a possibility. But it just didn't sit right. Of course once we saw "Sao ___" then we knew the answer was "petal" but had no idea why (knew it wasn't "peDal" which a Toyota also has). Looked it up after we finished and learned something new!

foodie 10:07 PM  

It's late and you guys have almost said it all. I had the same thought as @handsome pete--- business fiasco, too much of a bummer in my Sunday puzzle--- but he said it so much better.

But wait, I have to say that my absolute favorite clue, and the first answer to go down into the grid is: ANAL-retentive! It made me laugh. That whole thing about toilet training determining your personality was not one of Freud's most brilliant concepts. I've always found it amazing/hilarious that people's entire personality would be defined this way and that so many people bought into this silly notion.

@evil doug, thanks for the reminder about the trials of correcting typed documents. I will save it and re-read it whenever I'm in a mood of missing the good ole days without computers, e-mail and sensory overload.

edith b 11:21 PM  

Rather a straightforward, bland enterprise. I kept looking for the "hook" but it did not exist.

I knew Samantha Eggar and reasoned right along with Rex on the efficacy of EVA vs EVE and avoided that trap.

George NYC 12:34 AM  

This ran in the NYT today:


The crossword on March 22 gave an erroneous clue for 57-Across, “Showcase Showdown Prize, Perhaps?” — for which the solution was “dinette set.” Such a prize could be awarded only during the “Showcase” portion of “The Price Is Right.” The “Showcase Showdown” is a preliminary round.

If only they had been so scrupulous about their pre-Iraq War articles on Weapons of Mass Destruction...
I'm just saying..

Glitch 8:49 AM  


Actually they STILL didn't get quite right --- either one.


william e emba 10:46 AM  

As corrected, La Jolla is UCSD, not UCSC. Thanks! (I was at UCB, and kind of mentally blend all those non-LA southern campi together.)

As for confusing MAT, the art surrounder, with matte, that might be easy to do. Be warned though matte has three meanings in the visual arts.

Closest to MAT is the white border surrounding the picture in a photographic print. Because prints are run off a machine, they come in standard sizes and a given image is printed with filler, the matte.

The next leap in meaning is in film and video, where matte refers to the merging of two or more images, like bluescreen to allow for separate filming of foreground and background. Naturally enough, the preliminary foreground images look like they have been matted in blue.

As an adjective, matte also means a dull or otherwise non-glossy finish. I have no idea how it relates to MAT. Personally, I am more aware of this meaning as a bibliphile, since it describes book covers.

Doc John 8:37 PM  

Not that anyone will read this but UCSD (my alma mater) is the location of that really cool library building that you may have seen in movies or most recently as a photo on the wall of a supposed high-end architect's office in a faucet ad.
Here it is:
UCSD Library
Trivia alert: those buttresses weren't initially there but had to be added because the architect didn't account for the weight of the books when he made his initial calculations. Duh! (Or would it be D'oh?)

Anonymous 11:10 PM  

Lager beer is fermented at lower temp. and is not necessarily "Heartier"
check out this link:

J-Dub 11:51 PM  

NAGY gave me a Natick problem there, not EVA -- so is this a word for a double Natick?

Also, did nobody else immediately throw in SHORTZ for "Word maven William"?

william e emba 10:15 AM  

Not that anyone will read this but UCSD (my alma mater) is the location of that really cool library building

I learned of the Geisel Library from Vernor Vinge Rainbows End. Yes, it's named after Dr Seuss, who lived in LA JOLLA.

Amelie 4:17 PM  

@Glitch -- that would be "The House of SEVEN Gables" .... as compared with "Anne of GREEN Gables."

I remember Samantha EGGAR best from "Dr. Doolittle" with Rex Harrison.

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

God bless you, Rex, for defending my error on the Eva/Eggar cross on the basis of crossword construction chicanery.

Bill J. in ABQ 1:48 PM  

I remember Corrasable Bond well. But I think it is Eaton Corrasable Bond - not Eaton'S. Maybe I've forgotten, but most brand names are not in the possessive.

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