SUNDAY, April 12, 2009 — Eric Berlin (Historic Scottish county / Amy of "Field of Dreams" / Eyeball covering / Newsman Huntley)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Theme: "Fitting In" — Ten sets of the letters PEGS are arranged in a square with each letter circled. The two-part reveal is:

  • 65A: Things that may not go in 69-Across (SQUARE PEGS).
  • 69A: See 65-Across (ROUND HOLES).
Hey, everyone. PuzzleGirl with you again for your Sunday puzzling pleasure. Everybody having a good weekend so far? I'm about ready for Spring "Break" to be over. Unfortunately, the kids are off Monday too. What's up with that? Well, at least most of their friends will be back from their various trips by then so maybe we can find something fun to do that doesn't involve me entertaining them. (Or them entertaining me — again ... and again — with the Journey song.) We actually have had a lot of fun this week, it's just exhausting is all. Looking forward to what my mother-in-law calls my "Special Angela Time" next week.

So, the puzzle. I had quite a bit of trouble finding traction today. I was pretty much all over the place for a while. The first place I actually started to feel like I could drop in a few answers and build on them was down in the SE corner where [114A: Rehnquist's successor] John ROBERTS was a gimme and I wasn't going to be distracted by all of our recent Ramos talk but instead zeroed right in on SLOE GIN as the [119A: Fizz ingredient] in question.

Once I finally grokked the theme, it helped somewhat, but it also caused some confusion, primarily due to my ... stupidity. As embarrassing as it is to admit, GERI, [118A: Spice Girl Halliwell], was a gimme. So I knew the first two letters of [122A: Many unread messages] had to be S and P but, for some reason, I didn't get that they had to be in that order. So I entered PSAs, which truly makes no sense at all and was easily fixable to the correct SPAM. Other problems included [20A: AARP part: Abbr.], where I kept thinking AARP stood for Association for the Advancement of Retired People. I know. I can't believe I'm admitting this publicly either, but there you are. There's only one skater named Brian I can come up with on my own and the "1987" in the clue really doesn't help me differentiate between Boitano (the one I know) and ORSER (the one I don't know). Boitano won Olympic Gold in 1988, but he was a U.S. National Champion in 1987, so that proves ... nothing really because his name still has too many damn letters to fit in this puzzle. Oh, hey, look at this! Wikipedia tells me that Orser won Worlds in 1987 beating Boitano. Boitano beat Orser in both 1986 and 1988. So I guess they were rivals. I know some of you out there are going, "Oh man. PuzzleGirl really needs to pay more attention. This is all so obvious. Why does she embarrass herself like this??" Okay, I'll move on.

Okay, here's another really dumb answer from me. I entered Plato for COSTA [36A: _____ del Sol]. I don't even know what that means. And I don't know how many times I've seen "My Cousin Vinny," but they must have all been a long time ago because I didn't have any idea Marisa Tomei's character was named MONA (63A). I had M--A and thought "Mira? That could be right!" Uh, no, it couldn't. Thankfully, my first guess on [42A: Epitome of simplicity] was completely reasonable. I guessed pie. That makes sense, right? Sure, but it's still not ABC. Similarly, I guessed fins for [77A: Fivers], though the correct answer is ABES. I also entered Cap'n for CAPT. at 99A ["Aye, aye!" hearer: Abbr.] But that sorted itself out eventually. Alright, enough of my screw-ups, what else can we talk about?

Bullets:
  • 23A: Felt suspicion (MISGAVE). I'm sorry, but this just — I don't even know where to start with this.
  • 34A: Give up, slangily (PUNT). I love this use of this word.
  • 41A: "Law & Order: ___" (SVU). I always have to think about whether this is SVU or SUV.
  • 46A: 1976 top 10 hit for Hall & Oates (SHE'S GONE). I was just playing this song for the kids today. Ya know, hoping for a little more variety in the future.
  • 50A: Bright spot in the night sky (DOG STAR). This is the common name for the star Sirius, which is part of the constellation Canis Major ("Big Dog" in English). I had never noticed before but Sirius XM Radio has a dog with an eye shaped like a star in their logo.
  • 59A: Punk rock club activity (SLAM DANCE). This is the same thing as moshing, right? My friend Rachel and I were at a show in Baltimore one time (Candlebox, I think) and were up pretty near the stage. A young woman in front of us was asking everyone around her: "Are you gonna mosh? Are you gonna mosh? 'Cuz if you're gonna mosh...."
  • 61A: Catch (RUB). As in "There's the rub." It's from Hamlet.
  • 62A: You are: Sp. (ERES). We had a long discussion not too long ago about how there are two verbs meaning "to be" in Spanish: ser and estar. ERES is the second-person form of ser.
  • 64A: Word repeated before "go away" (RAIN). Oh good: an opportunity to include one of my favorite songs of all time. (No, it's not all "American Idol" at the PuzzleHouse.)


  • 71A: Word with chair or street (EASY). I am So Bad at these types of clues.
  • 73A: First name in '50s comedy (DESI). He seems to be getting a lot of play these days.
  • 78A: Layered rock (GNEISS). This word just looks all kindsa wrong. I learned it from crosswords.
  • 83A: Eyeball covering (SCLERA). Speaking of looking wrong.
  • 89A: "Farewell, ___" (Dylan song popularized by Joan Baez) (ANGELINA). Okay, here's the thing. I'm not a big fan of Joan Baez, but I am a big fan of singers doing Dylan covers. So here's one of my favorites.


  • 96A: Horseshoers' tools (RASPS). Didn't have a clue.
  • 112A: Org. for singles? (USTA). The United States Tennis Association.
  • 116A: Good time for suntanning (NOON). I read this as "Good name for suntanning" and had no idea what that could possibly mean. Man it sucks getting old.
  • 120A: Tech. school (INST). Did anybody think "poly?"
  • 6D: End of a ballade (ENVOI). This is a short stanza at the end of a poem that addresses the poem's audience, typically commenting on the preceding poem. Wikipedia tells me "The envoi first appears in the songs of the medieval trouvères and troubadours; they developed as addresses to the poet's beloved or to a friend or patron.
  • 7D: Cause of a limp (GAME LEG). I'm sure I've heard this before but I have no idea where. With the G and the M in place I thought, "It can't be gimp. That would be completely inappropriate!"
  • 8D: Son of Venus (AMOR). Ah, Cupid.
  • 9D: Something D.C. does not have (SEN). Do you all know that the motto on the license plates in D.C. is "Taxation Without Representation." I always thought that was kind of ... sassy.
  • 14D: Key opening? (OH SAY). The first words to the U.S. National Anthem, written by Francis Scott Key.
  • 15D: Vintage cars (REOS).


  • 19D: Game pursuer (TERRIER). No idea.
  • 33D: 1936 Oscar-winning title role for Paul Muni (PASTEUR). Out of only 25 films this guy appeared in, he was nominated for Oscars in five of them. That's a pretty good average!
  • 41D: Best-selling novelist about whom Gore Vidal said "She doesn't write, she types!" (SUSANN). Valley of the Dolls is one of those books I keep thinking I should have read by now.
  • 42D: Lacking a key (ATONAL). Again with the atonality!
  • 43D: Game with balls (BOCCIE). I prefer the other two spellings: Bocci, and Bocce.
  • 47D: Really ought to (HAD BEST). Sounds kind of quaint. Old-fashioned. I like it.
  • 48D: End of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 9/23/1806 (ST. LOUIS). Just visited St. Louis for the first time last month. Would like to go back sometime during baseball season.
  • 58D: Historic Scottish county (ARGYLL). Raise your hand if you wanted Argyle.
  • 60D: Amy of "Field of Dreams" (MADIGAN). This was a gimme for me. I think I paid pretty close attention to this movie because it was based on the book by W. P. Kinsella, Kinsella being my mother's maiden name. I'm pretty sure that makes me cousins with Kevin Costner.
  • 70D: Buildings on some bases (HANGARS). I took PuzzleDaughter to a birthday party at the bowling alley on an army base recently, so that's all I could think of. Bowling alley.
  • 90D: Patriarch of a tribe of Israel (EPHRAIM). The name means "double fruitfulness." Wow.
Okay, I'm out for a couple days, we've got some awesome guest-bloggers lined up so come on back!

Love, PuzzleGirl

71 comments:

Megan P 9:18 AM  

Maybe you have to have a PIT to MOSH in, but you can SLAMDANCE wherever you like?

A very buttery puzzle, maybe a record for me, but I never grokked the theme - my brain lacks the appropriate receptors for themes. . . it's not a multi-tasking brain.

Thanks for another great post, PuzzleGirl.

chipperj 9:34 AM  

Thanks PG!... Loved this puzzle, except for 1 misgiving...

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

TERRIER - as in a hunting dog, chasing game..
from wikipedia:
The gameness of the early hunting terriers was exploited by using them in sporting contests. Initially, terriers competed in events such as clearing a pit of rats. The dog that was fastest in killing all the rats won. In the 1700s some terriers were crossed with hounds to improve their hunting, and some with fighting dog breeds to "intensify tenacity and increase courage".[1] Some of the crosses with fighting dogs, Bull and Terrier crosses, were used in the blood sport of dog fighting. Modern pet breeds developed from the Bull and Terrier, such as the Miniature Bull Terrier, are listed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) under Bull type terriers.

Hobbyist 9:45 AM  

I thought that one should avoid the sun at noon as there is too much ultra violet and that one can burn very quickly, get skin cancer and the like.

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

Eggs instead of pegs and we could have had a hunt.

Crosscan 10:23 AM  

Brian ORSER is Canadian.

Woke up, turned on the TV before the computer for a change, and Wordplay was on. Nice way to start a morning.

Had ARGYLE and never changed it. GASP!

I thought Lewis and Clark made it to the Pacific. What am I missing here?

chefbea 10:25 AM  

fun puzzle but had hoped for an Easter theme.

Of course knew St. Louis. Great picture of the arch. Puzzle girl - did you go up to the top. E-mail me and tell me what you did in my great home town!!

Time to make my dessert to take to my daughter's for dinner.

Have a great day everyone hunting for eggs etc.

opus2 10:28 AM  

Hey PG, it's not just you. I had PIE and FINS. I put in ARGYLE (never heard of a SCLERA so SCEERA is just as plausible), misspelled HANGERS (oops!) across ANGELINE, and entered PORTA del sol. Took me a long time to find the flubs.
ORSER v Boitano was called the Battle of the Brians, and provided much international drama and chest-thumping since the Olympics were in Calgary in '88.
Good puzzle experience despite my gaffes.

wayfarer64 10:32 AM  

Marisa Tomei's character was named Mona Lisa Vito, but Vinny usually just calls her Lisa. She was also referred to as Miss Vito several times in the famous cross-examination near the end of the movie, where she shows off her car knowledge as a "hostile" witness.

Hungry Mother 10:33 AM  

I found it pretty easy after a 5 mile run this morning. Maybe I should do a run before every puzzle I do.

ArtLvr 10:39 AM  

Thanks, PG... I'm glad you included the ENVOI bit, which got me ORSER. My other teeny hitch was at MAD___ where I was thinking Madonna, before MADIGAN emerged. Otherwise it was buttery smooth, as Megan P said.

∑;)

ArtLvr 10:48 AM  

p.s. The Duke of ARGYLL was (is?) head of the clan Campbell -- Dad used to kid that we were kin, as that was our last name... So yes, you too can be a cousin of Kevin Costner!

∑;)

Tom44 10:54 AM  

I also thought the clue for Mona (Marissa Tomei's character name) was pretty lame. The only time it was used in the movie was when she was called to the witness stand - otherwise she was referred to Lisa. I fooled around with both Lisa and Vito before finally realizing they wanted Mona.

HudsonHawk 10:56 AM  

(Hand going up slowly re: ARGYLE.)

CrossCan, Lewis & Clark did make it to the Pacific, then backtracked east, ending in St. Louis. Some tricky cluing.

And yep, 63A was also a bit tricky, as wayfarer64 pointed out. I actually waited to get the crosses, because I knew MONA was technically correct, but she is called LISA most of the time in the film (not that I had a crush on Marisa Tomei or anything...).

OK, PuzzleGirl, so I mentioned some favorite songwriters in John Prine and John Hiatt. Yesterday we get Bonnie Raitt covering Prine, today it's Buddy Guy covering Hiatt. Are you messing with me?

foodie 11:07 AM  

I agree with Anonymous@10:19. Having EGGS strewn all over the grid would have been cool!

I had trouble with OSMOSE-- may be a case of knowing too much. You see... Never mind...

MISGAVE? Oy... (and I'm from Damascus).

Favorite answer PEPE (LePew)-- makes me feel Scenti-mental

Loooved Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, especially when she delivered her line "My biological clock is ticking".

PuzzleGirl 11:14 AM  

@Anon 9:37: Thanks for the info on terriers. I'm not a dog person.

@chefbea: Afraid I was only in St. Louis for the NCAA wrestling tournament, which means we walked back and forth from our hotel to the ScotTrade Center several times and that's about it. I'll email you though!

@wayfarer64: Thanks for clearing that up! Even after I got the right answer it didn't ring any bells. Now I know why!

@HudsonHawk: That's hilarious. I didn't even know "Feels Like Rain" was a John Hiatt song. BTW, on Buddy Guy's studio version, Bonnie Raitt sings backup. (There are also a few videos on YouTube of Buddy singing it with John Mayer that are pretty good.)

Keith 11:22 AM  

Got SPED with crosses (and the PEGS gimmick) but cant figure out how it solves Careered. Careened perhaps.

retired_chemist 11:29 AM  

Nice puzzle - made the same HANGERS/HANGARS error as opus2 - bummer. I know better and probably opus2 does too.

nharb 11:37 AM  

@Keith - I looked up career on dictionary.com. The meaning for the verb is to go fast! Who knew?

Norm 11:39 AM  

What anonymous@10:19 and foodie said. Quickly had the "egs" in the first group and started to smile at the thought of finding different combinations of "eggs" all over the grid. Clever theme, but I think I would have saved it for a different day if I were Will. Minor gripe. A very, very clever puzzle.

Doc John 11:40 AM  

Another nice writeup, PG! A nice Sunday puzzle but I, too, thought that eggs would have been more apropos than PEGS. Oh well.

As for the MONA clue, that it has one fleeting mention in the movie is precisely why it's NYT-worthy. Although, crossing such a thing with two names is kinda Natick-y.

As for "to be" verbs in Spanish, there are actually three, if you count "to exist" as equal to "to be". That verb would be haber. "There are three dogs in the house." "Hay tres perros in la casa."

Orange 11:57 AM  

MISGAVE is absolutely a word, as in Milton's line (scrounged up via Google) "Such whose consciences misgave them, how ill they had deserved." Can't say I've ever heard anyone use that past tense, though. Why is it that we say "had misgivings" rather than "misgave"?

My sister's cell phone ringtone is an REO Speedwagon song, unironically.

jae 12:30 PM  

Smooth puzzle with a clever theme. My hand is up for ARGYLE, but SCEERA looked odd. So, I asked my bride for "eyeball covering" starting with SC and ending with RA and she gave me the L. I too tried PIE and had TRACKER for 19d for a while. Breezy Sunday.

PIX 12:56 PM  

@53A: Osmosis is the usual word...osmose is only used in puzzles...but it does not mean to "diffuse slowly", it means to move from a high concentration to a lower concentration, across a membrane...ifs it's not crossing a membrane, its not osmosis.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

I found this puzzle to be a bit paltry. I was hoping for something with a bit more edge. Frankly, this was a one-cup for me... It only took me around six minutes to complete.

imsdave 12:57 PM  

I had question marks on my copy of the puzzle for MISGAVE and PANELS. As I recall, there was only one panel on "What's My Line" (I wish there was still that sort of style and wit on TV).

I thought BOCCIE should have been clued as a var. as I've always spelled it bocce. Some quick poking around reveals that I'm wrong (no need to alert the media, this has happened before :)).

Smooth solve and getting the gimmick early was very helpful.

Special thanks to PG for the amazing job she has been doing. The blog isn't missing a beat in the maestro's absence (that's a new option for Kurt).

chris 1:07 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
PIX 1:10 PM  

@41D: "she doesn't write, she types"...isn't that comment more famously associated with Kerouac and his "On the Road" where he literally taped together endless pieces of typing paper and fed it as one continuous strip into his typewriter and ended up a with a book that was extremely light on punctuation?

alanrichard 1:19 PM  

I loved this puzzle too. I agree that eggs would have been cool for an Easter theme, but square EGGs in a round hole, hmmm.

Leon 1:19 PM  

Thanks Mr. Berlin, it was a good one.

Thanks PG, the Buddy Guy clip was appreciated, perfect for a Sunday.

Considering that I re-watched My Cousin Vinny yesterday and that Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage is in my library, STLOUIS and MONA did not come easy.

Huck (Twain) does not use the term LAD (glad is repeated often) in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but it is used in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to describe both LADS.

Doug 1:20 PM  

The Ten Commandments was on last night after Wordplay so that means...Happy Easter everyone! The bunny heads are being gnawed aggressively in our house this morning.

I also couldn't get traction and had to return a few times to finish it off. Some distinctly unusual fill that I quite liked today. Regular problem with ADZ/AWL and I'm sure someone will chime in with a mnemonic, but I think it's time to just memorize.

And like the Apollo moon landing, I refuse to believe IPECAC exists.

Glitch 1:26 PM  

@PIX & @foodie

Osmose(v): To diffuse by osmosis; To cause to diffuse by osmosis.

Osmosis(n): (biology, chemistry) diffusion of molecules through a semipermeable membrane from a place of higher concentration to a place of lower concentration until the concentration on both sides is equal

To me, looks like the answer fits the clue --- "by osmosis" implied.

.../Glitch

George NYC 1:45 PM  

Nice "Flashdance" pic, PG, tho you're dating yourself there.

Is there a county in Scotland that ISN'T historic? I'm just saying.

Lucky for me, TBS or something was showing "My Cousin Vinny" Friday and Saturday and I noticed the Mona Lisa mention. Tomei's stint on the stand cracks me up every time...

jeff in chicago 1:57 PM  

This was fun. Not super-challenging, but fun. I never considered EGGS, but PEPE was in the puzzle early, so EGGS was never an option. (OK...how many constructors are already making note for an EGGS puzzle for next year?!?!)

Liked the "Key" clues that had almost nothing in common. ALways enjoy a "My Cousin Vinnie" reference. And have distant memories of "Goodnight, Chet. Goodnight, David." Glad ENVOI just showed up because I had no idea. Only nit would be the clue for 37D which literally tells us what the first letter is.

I once clued SKATE as "What would Brian Boitano do?" in a puzzle I made. It's still my favorite original clue.

And thanks, PG. The write-ups have been great. Again with the jokes! I'd say it makes for a great start of the day, but it's almost 1 p.m. already!

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

Yes, I too had e,g and s in at least 3 of the circles and was convinced I would be looking for eggs. Ugh. Sorry Mr. Berlin, what a letdown.

Once I got it the rest was easy for me, but sceera prevented me from a perfect puzzle.

85 down got me as I had parrots instead of mirrors, was peeved he'd put Perots and parrots in the same puzzle until I saw "Toberts" I knew that was wrong....

Stan 2:05 PM  

Guessed wrong on Brian ORSER who I somehow had as ORSEN. Hate being off by one letter. But a good puzzle (and write-up) for a sunny Sunday.

I'm Just Sayin' 2:07 PM  

I started out thinking it might be PEEP, as in the marshmallow Eastertime treat, sitting all over the puzzle. Then thought EGGS, which quickly brought me to PEGS.

Norm 2:39 PM  

@I'm Just Sayin': I think you may have just given some folks an idea for next year. I'd love to see a PEEP puzzle. And, I promise to forget the potential them by next year.

Norm 2:39 PM  

Uh ... make that "theme"

chefwen 3:08 PM  

@anon 12:56 You can drink a cup of coffee in 6 minutes, I'm impressed, it takes at least 3 minutes to cool down.

Puzzle was great, it took me a bit longer than 6 minutes, more like three hours with much correction pen coverups, but was victorious and satisfied in the end. Last coverup was the E to a L in SCLERA.

Thanks for the great write up Puzzle Girl, as always you brought much laughter to my morning.

Noam D. Elkies 3:30 PM  

Thanks for filling in for Rex again. Note that in the print edition each of the PEGS squares is indicated not by four circles but a single circle inscribed in the 2x2 square. Anyway, I enjoyed the puzzle, though as a mathematician I wished that the placement of the PEGS letters was more systematic: there are 8 choices (4 each for clockwise or counterclockwise), of which some appear twice or thrice in the 10 round holes and some not at all.

Nice to see 1A:HALITE (the source of "halogen") and 6D:ENVOI. Not so sure about 39A:IPECACS, which might be even more vomit-inducing in the plural.

Did anybody else try OOPSES for the last Across entry? That's what I filled in from __PS__ and was disappointed to find that the actual answer is 123A:LAPSES...

NDE

P.S. Yes, I too tried ARGYLE for 58D, and was saved later by 83A:SCLERA (and a dim memory of the existence of an ARGYLL).

joho 4:29 PM  

@anon 10:19 ... "eggs instead of pegs" ... most definitely HAD BEST been that!

@jeff in chicago & @Norm ... EGGS & PEEPS ... your ideas are perfect for next Easter, I hope somebody is listening.

@Crosscan ... I had ARGYLE but knew SCLERA so changed to ARGYLL, but who's ever seen ARYGYLL socks?

PEGS just didn't make it for me ... sure, it rhymes with EGGS, but what a world of difference.

PuzzleGirl: great job!

joho 4:31 PM  

"Scrambled Eggs" is the title ... or that's probably too easy. But fun just the same on an Easter Sunday.

joho 4:32 PM  

Or how about "Peep Show" ... or is that too bawdy?

George NYC 4:41 PM  

Great puzzle.

It kind of blows my mind, though, that given it was skeded for Easter, and (in print) the theme areas look like eggs, AND the theme is PEGS rhymes with EGGS that Will didn't say...."wait a minute..." and either have it redone to be hidden eggs, or short of that, left it for another Sunday.

I think this is a bigger deal than posters are making out of it. It's a huge missed opportunity and actually kind of unfair to the solver. PEGS you say? PEGS? That must be wrong...What's PEGS got to do with anything?

ArtLvr 4:55 PM  

p.p.s. Back to VANNA White the other day, on why she sued Samsung -- The gist was that Samsung made a commercial with a robot dressed up as Vanna White on the set of a show that was recognizable as "Wheel of Fortune."

White brought suit with two counts --
a. Cal Section 3344; - the right of publicity statute -- Lanham Act
b. Lanham Act Section 43(a) -- for passing off.

The Court dismissed the first because "look alikes do not fall within the scope of 3344. However, Court upheld White's claim under Section 43(a) "passing off" provisions. That is, the Court held that even though Samsung intended to "spoof" Vanna White, it also intended to confuse consumers regarding the endorsement.

Watch out, Peeps!

foodie 5:33 PM  

@glitch, I started to explain myself, along the lines that PIX offered, then gave up because the clue/answer pair is at the edge of correct. As you note, as they OSMOSE molecules do diffuse. But diffusion does not capture the essence of osmosis. It's like using "lying down" to clue "comatose"... it's involved in the process but doesn't quite do it justice.

And while I'm in my picky scientist mode-- "duplicates exactly" felt wrong for MIRRORS. Even in the most literal sense,the image is inverted...and it's even less exact when used more loosely... "Reflects" would have been better in my book.

Glitch 5:35 PM  

An Easter Tale

Will had this puzzle, big enough for a Sunday, that had a "peg" theme.

He put it on the schedule for the second Sunday in April.

Then on the 2nd Sunday in April, some noted it was Easter, and that Pegs rhymed with Eggs, and their minds wandered off in search of consolation, and perhaps even a conspiracy.

.../Glitch

edith b 6:19 PM  

As is my wont on Sundays, I started in the middle of Flyover Country and worked outward towards the various corners.

I had a couple of the PGES combos before I got the central theme answers at 65 & 69A by way of the downs and had little or no trouble finishing in just over 25 minutes.

I liked the spicy oddness of OSMOSE MISGAVE and IPECACS and I showed Puzzle Girl's write up to my husband and he liked the picture of Jenniefer Beals the best.

A satisfying Sunday puzzle.

Stan 6:32 PM  

For the more scientific / medical crowd here, I would recommend:

http://www.peepresearch.org/

joho 7:43 PM  

@George NYC & @Glitch ... you've said it ... I was dancing around it ... but this should have been an Easter puzzle with EGGS in it!

PlantieBea 8:03 PM  

Thanks for another great write-up PG. I enjoyed doing this puzzle last night, especially once I got the theme. Couldn't imagine where PEGS was going. I thought that careered had to be a typo for careened, but not. I also didn't know ENVOI.

Must go burn off the Easter sugar and chocolate rush.

chefwen 8:17 PM  

Just for the fun of it I just googled syrup of ipecac and ran across a utube video of a man being offered $500 to drink the stuff and puke on the sidewalk, I wish I had never done that, now I'm feeling a little nauseated. Don't go there if you are faint of heart.

Favorite word of the day was provided by Puzzle Girl - GROKKED.
Had to look that up also and will now being using it.

retired_chemist 8:48 PM  

@foodie - I am with you re OSMOSE and MIRRORS.

PIX 9:00 PM  

@Glitch : Glitch is wrong...the clue was "diffuse slowly"...that does not equate with osmosis...if the lump of sugar in your coffee slowly disolves, that is not osmosis because no (semi-permeable) membrane is involved...

@Foodie: i am with you; if they are going to you use scientific words, they must be used correctly or not at all...our job is to call them out on it when they are misused...

@Puzzle Girl: however difficult it may be to keep the kids amused over the holidays...make the best of it...very shortly they will want less and less to do with you, and you are left with the memories...make good memories

George NYC 9:14 PM  

@pix et al.

Give me a break. This is a crossword puzzle, not a college exam. "Diffuse slowly" as a clue for osmose is 100 percent OK. You want clues to be short and somewhat vague. To give the precise definition would ruin it. We are supposed to be urged to think. Once you mention "membrane" in this context the game is off. Get a grip.

Stan 9:35 PM  

FWIW:

From Wikipedia [admittedly not the greatest source]

Mirror (computing)

In computing, a mirror is an exact copy of a data set. On the Internet, a mirror site is an exact copy of another Internet site.

John 10:11 PM  

Puzzle Girl, Awsome write up. I feel your pain!

Anon 12:56 " Do the laws of Physics cease to exist in your coffe cup???"

I love John Prine,Illegal Smile and The Accident are two of my Faves

PIX 10:32 PM  

George NYC: "short and somewhat vague" is part of the game. Factually incorrect is not acceptable; the credibility of the entire puzzle is challenged.

Glitch 10:48 PM  

@pix --- osmosIS was never mentioned in the puzzle, nor membrane.

As George in NYC wrote, osmose fit the clue; you extrapolated.

Sugar dissolving in coffee is no more pertinant than your other arguments.

One clue you disagree with hardly compromises the entire puzzle, but if you think so, you're taking this all to seriously. Sometimes a puzzle is just a puzzle.

But anyway,
I stand by my earlier post (that's me, a little taller, just to the left of it).

../Glitch

andrea carla michaels 11:04 PM  

Not that I would dare to speak on behalf of any fellow constructor, but if it had been EGGS instead of PEGS you would not have gotten the lovely twists and turns of Eric's PEGS.
Notice that they all go clockwise and counterclockwise and never does he mix up the letters so it's GEPS or PGSE. Seriously, look at the grid again, it's lovely.

With EGGS, you can only get half the variations, and that would be a sh*tload of G's in the puzzle.
And you just KNOW if it had been EGGS, you'd have half the bloggers screaming, "How come you didn't do a hide the matzoh puzzle?!"

Can I eat bread yet?!
See you tomorrow!

George NYC 11:07 PM  

@pix
My point is, it's NOT factually incorrect. Crossword clues can point to figurative usages:

• figurative: the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc. : what she knows of the blue-blood set she learned not through birthright, not even through wealth, but through osmosis.

I find this kind of literalness objection silly at best.

Over and out.

PIX 11:13 PM  

@George NYC: even your example does not use the word "osmose" which is the word we are talking about.

foodie 12:09 AM  

@Andrea, thank you for the interesting post, which will hopefully help to "diffuse" the argument that I seem to have inadvertently started... We all need to learn from you by OSMOSis and MIRROR your fun spirit...

It is a lovely puzzle indeed, and I hadn't thought about it but of course more combinations are possible when you have 4 letters than 3. I think it was a matter of expectation, you see EG_S on Easter day and you think about, well, ova...: )

I guess you can take the girl out of science, but you cannot take the science out of the girl.

Peace, all.

Anonymous 1:34 AM  

I'm not Italian, but I would think one ball would be bocce, more than one ball would be bocci, and boccie is just plain wrong!

retired_chemist 10:55 AM  

Nobody will read this because it is now Monday, but I think the problem is that OSMOSIS/OSMOSE has two entirely different meanings which are conflated in the clue. The scientific meaning does indeed involve diffusion and perforce semipermeable membranes. The figurative meaning is "the gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas." One has nothing to do with "diffuse," the other has nothing to do with "slowly."So you can get OSMOSE from the clue, but I think the clue could be improved. Either "Pass through a membrane" or "Be learned unconsciously" would be better IMO.

foodie 11:52 AM  

@retired chemist-- I agree : )

More broadly,and we've had this discussion before, I feel it's not a bad idea to give feedback to improve the quality of science-related clues. Math-related ones seem to fare better because many of the constructors have math backgrounds and the standards are high. In the end it's about expecting all round excellence from the NY Times-- so a compliment actually.

retired_chemist 12:31 PM  

@ foodie - and I agree with you (yet again!) :-)

Amelie 11:54 PM  

a little connection between last week's Sunday puzzle and this one: I learned the word IPECAC from the book Anne of Green GABLES

Thomas 3:28 PM  

Just solved this puzzle in syndication. For some reason I immediately wanted the "Word with chair or street" to be HIGH. After I realized my mistake, I read the clue to my girlfriend, who never does crosswords, and she got it right away. She was so proud of herself for actually getting an answer that I had to point out: "Yeah, but it was EASY."

Anonymous 5:41 AM  

I just solved this in syndication too, and the title was "Fitting Words", not "Fitting In." "Fitting In" makes a ton more sense; I didn't understand the theme or title til I came here. Also, 17 across is clued "careered" in my version, but the answer is "sped". Think it was supposed to "careened"?

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