Part of a big 1997 merger - SUNDAY, April 19, 2009 — Will Nediger (Ungulate with a long snout / Epic that includes Teichoscopia / Filmdom's Scott)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: EXTRA! EXTRA! - theme answers are common phrases where "OT" has been added somewhere to create wacky phrases, which are then clued, ?-style.

Hey, SethG here again. The Parker family's flight back from Costa Rica was really really late, so Rex is sleeping right now [I'm awake now - my comments start after Seth's, below]. Here's some quick notes, but I'm sure I missed a bunch so feel free to bring it up in the comments.

Theme answers:

  • (22A: Spoiling one's vote?) WRECKING BALL(OT). Doesn't this need an article?
  • (32A: Computer monitor at the center of attention?) SP(OT)LIT SCREEN.
  • (47A: Child's toy in the shape of a Shakespeare character?) (OT)HELLO DOLLY. Awesome.
  • (64A: Headline about an economics conference?) JOHN MAYNARD KEYN(OT)ES. Who is John Maynard, and why is he giving speeches?
  • (84A: Booster for a king?) ROYAL FLU SH(OT). Awesome, but the first one to have the OT change the number of words in the phrase.
  • (97A: Dark ottoman?) BLACK FO(OT)REST.
  • (109A: Put five musicians on display?) TR(OT) OUT QUINTET. Doesn't this need an article? The other one that changed the number of words. I didn't know the Trout Quintet, which made the New Mexico corner harder than it should have been.
Some bullets:
  • (18A: 2000 Santana hit) is MARIA MARIA. Enjoy!

  • (16D: Bit of cuneiform) for WEDGE confused me. The first dictionary definition: "Having the shape of a wedge". Oh.
  • ORGY is a (7D: Liberal party?). Well, my dictionary offers "lacking moral restraint" as a minor (and obsolete) meaning of "liberal", so I guess it's okay. For some of you, if you're not eating breakfast. Others would have had your breakfast upset by the shooting SPREE (90A: Word with shooting or shopping) or the mention of NUDITY (37D: Reason for an R rating) or the KEOGH (75: Retirement plan).
  • (5D: The Aare flows into it) is LAKE BIEL. Just when I'd memorized my Swiss rivers and cantons, like URI (111D: William Tell's canton), they want me to start on the Swiss Lakes region...
  • An ANNO has (19D: 52 settimane). Plus one giorno, two in a leap year.
  • If one can SMIRCH (13D: Tarnish) and besmirch, may one desmirch?
  • (32D: Titan's home) is a SILO when the Titan is a liquid-fueled, strategic, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • I was unfamiliar with the SALISH (38A: Northwest Indian) Tribe. They're affiliated(?) with the Kootenai, which I had heard of, and their current home is in Northwest Montana.
  • Water, water, every where,
    And all the boards did shrink ;
    Water, water, every where,
    NOR (63A: "... ___ any drop to drink": Coleridge)
    -The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • NYNEX, which was made up of former AT&T subsidiaries New York Telephone Company and New England Telephone, was (118A: Part of a big 1997 merger) when it was acquired by Bell Atlantic. Later, Bell Atlantic bought G, no GTE, to form Verizon Communications. More info can be found here.
Rex will be here later to maybe add some thoughts, and will be back full-time starting tomorrow. Welcome home!

Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld

Buenos dias. Rex here. I am returned from Costa Rica, and I have the (very) odd patches of sunburn to prove it - left upper arm, top of left foot, and inside of right lower calf. Not sure how I pulled that off, but a boat ride to Tortuga Island and snorkeling and general lolling around the beach were all involved. On the beach, I met one of these, which I initially thought was a TAPIR (14D: Ungulate with a long snout):

It's actually a peccary - a pig-like beast native to the Americas. It was being kept as a pet (!), but there were a herd of wild ones very nearby, and the pet kept going out and making threatening noises at the wild ones, and then returning and rubbing against my legs like it was a cat. Weird/adorable. Wikipedia says peccaries cannot be domesticated. Huh ... good to know. Now. It sure acted like a house pet. Glad I still have all my fingers - that thing had some serious tusks.

[Tom (bro-in-law) and Sahra]

As to the puzzle: Seth is right - not all liberals have orgies. Just some. Maybe the clue is referring to an ORGY of government spending (right-wing snap!). Apparently Seth finds SEGNO so common as to be beneath acknowledgment, but not me (106A: Musical repetition mark). That "S" was the last letter I filled in. STEP is a bafflingly banal answer for so daunting a clue as 106D: Algorithm part. I read just yesterday about an algorithm that was developed to better predict the likelihood that someone entering the hospital with chest pain is in fact having a heart attack - it's one of many amazing anecdotes in Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink," which many of you probably read back when it first came out. "Blink" was my airport book. Despite the fact that I had one more book left to get through before getting home, I bought an airport book just ... because. I love it. I love getting a book with a clearly defined window of reading time - the flight I'm about to take. I also like that airports tend to have selections far smaller than my local Barnes & Noble. I'm an over-deliberator, so having little choice is a liberating thing for me. My last airport book was "Revolutionary Road," which is one of the greatest novels I've ever read, and "Blink" was a great pleasure as well, so I'm two for two this year. Other books I read on this trip - all of them highly recommended - were:

  • "Supreme Courtship" by Christopher Buckley - my idea of beach reading: fast, fluid, funny, and smart
  • "20th-Century Boys" (Vol. 1) by Naoki Urasawa - fantastic epic by one of Japan's greatest living manga artists
  • "Flight" by Sherman Alexie - coming-of-age story meets time travel story meets meditation on the consequences of violence and revenge. As my wife (who also read it) said, with a "how'd he do that?" tone in her voice: "His writing deals with such weighty stuff, but it feels so light." It's true. Breezy and substantial - not an easy combo to pull off.
  • "The Hot Rock" by Donald Westlake - the first of the Dortmunder caper novels. I would call it a real gem, but ... it's about an emerald, so ... that would be a horrible pun. But Westlake is very much worth reading, as I'm pretty sure I've said before.

I'm also 1/3 of the way through "Appointment in Samarra" by John O'Hara.

[Nephew 2 mugs for camera]

And back to the puzzle. I had no idea AC/DC had done anything chart-worthy of late, but today's puzzle ... I want to say enlightened me, but again ... is that a pun? AC/DC => electricity => "enlightened?" I fear it is (43A: Australian band with the 2008 #1 album "Black Ice"). Other pop culture worth knowing in this puzzle includes the reigning ELI of the moment, ELI Roth (54A: Horror film director Roth) - suck on that, Wallach! Your day in the sun's over, Manning! Then there's the reliably mortal KENNY (25A: Often -killed "South Park" character) and "Alien" director RIDLEY Scott (96A: Filmdom's Scott)

[Caught that day - eaten that night; stepsister is a professional chef, and a good one]

Love the clue on -EST (101D: Facetious suffix with most), though the only time I remember hearing the word used is in the phrase "the hostess with the mostest," and I can't at all remember what the context was. Internet tells me that phrase was used in reference to famed "party-giver" and socialite Elsa Maxwell. According to this website:

Elsa Maxwell's parties were noted both for her chic guests and for the novelties she devised to keep them amused. She ’s invented the "scavenger hunt," for example, a party game which swept to popularity in the 1930s. And she was fond of costume parties, often requiring her males and female guests to wear costumes of the opposite gender.

I have never been to STOWE, but I know of it from xwords (13A: It's near Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak). New England skiing destinations tend to be minor stumpers for a lot of solvers. Didn't OKEMO take some folks down a few weeks back?

We stayed at the RAMADA (57A: Red Roof rival) in San Jose on our last nights in Costa Rica. Nice, but clearly in a state of benign neglect and suffering massively from the depression in the tourist market, the effects of which we noticed everywhere we went. I've never seen "Nixon in China," but this clue made me think "Obama in Central America" might make a nice OPERA title. His visit was by far the biggest news item down there. No COCA where we were (9D: Chewed stimulant) - just papayas and howler monkeys.

[Kids at "airport"]

I forgot KENDO - wanted KATAN, for no clear reason (75D: Sport with a bamboo sword). Also had no idea who this TED guy is (114D: J.F.K. aide Sorenson).

Thought the theme was just OK, though ROYAL FLU SHOT is inspired.

More tomorrow.
Signed, RP


Crosscan 9:24 AM  

Where did Canadian Will Nediger come up with some of these brilliant theme answers? OTHELLO DOLLY and JOHN MEYNARD KEYNOTES can only be described as Reagle-esque.

Love this puzzle!

mac 9:42 AM  

Thank you Seth, it's good to be back.
I liked this puzzle a lot. I started it in the BA lounge at Schiphol yesterday (Herald Tribune puts it in the Sat paper) and finished it on the plane before it took off. Wished it had been a little harder, but it was fun for a Sunday.
"Keynes" was very timely, his name is in the paper all the time the last few months, in good and bad ways. He can't give keynotes anymore, though.
That Swiss lake was a new one to me, too. For a bit I thought it would be Lake Bern. Some of the lakes on the borders have different names depending on which country you are in, as in Bodensee and Lake Konstanz.

Anne 9:46 AM  

I finished - I worked on it for a couple of hours off and on this morning. Had trouble with the northeast corner and googled three or four things. I am not familiar with Mt. Mansfield or Stowe. I thought the word was besmirch, not smirch. And I have never heard of a bipod or Salish. But I liked the theme, especially Othello Dolly. Clever and fun.

Dough 10:03 AM  

Schubert's Trout Quintet is just delightful for those who hadn't heard of it. You can picture them little fishies flitting about. For your enjoyment:

Trout Quintet on YouTube

chefbea 10:19 AM  

Easy fun sunday puzzle. Didn't understand trout quintet but will watch is after I post this.

Haven't we had too many puzzles like this where you take out extra letters??? Lets give it a rest.

Welcome back Mac.

Raul 10:21 AM  

To contrast the lovely Trout:

Iron Maiden's Rime.

Raul 10:21 AM  

To contrast the lovely Trout:

Iron Maiden's Rime.

Paul 10:37 AM  

An easy puzzle, but I had (OT)HELLOKITTY for a while. Ugh.

I also got thrown by 106A, which I've always called a "DAL SEGNO". But I guess the "dal segno" is the instruction to repeat the phrase that starts at the mark, while the "segno" is the actual mark, so the clue is correct...

Bill from NJ 11:04 AM  

Welcome back, mac. Good to hear from you.

Like Crosscan, I think Mr Nediger is heir apparent to Merl Reagle. His puns are well constructed, real groaners. Alot of three-letter words in the fill which were strangely inoffensive.

Frieda 11:15 AM  
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Frieda 11:20 AM  
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Frieda 11:24 AM  

I'm in Anne's camp this morning (hours/on and off), and have enjoyed time to watch and listen to the video links though I've been LEERY after last week's rickrolling fest! My littlest daughter has this thing with fish, trout specifically--sees the trout, loves the trout, is the trout. Trout Quintet coming her way shortly, thanks Dough.

Did you know there's this minor comic book hero, a man of steel, known as CARDEGIO? You didn't? darn. Some Naticks just, you know, make themselves out of thin air. Since CARNEGIE actually makes so much more sense.

LAKEBIEL could have been anywhere as far as I knew, but at least materialized in 5d. I'm getting better at URI.

Enjoyed the puzzle, the write up, and early comments--glad to check in a little earlier than, oh, midnight.

Badir 11:43 AM  

Pretty easy puzzle, but with a few irksome spots. One of my fastest Sundays ever!

I Really, Really wanted "EMT" for 105A, but hey, it's the mostEST. I'm not used to BOOs in a stadium, at least in CrossWorld, so I did a couple of alphabetic run-throughs at the crossing of BOO and LAKE BIEL. But I loved OTHELLO DOLLY and ROYAL FLU SHOT.

As a mathematician, ..., no, I can't say it, cause I've never heard of Trout Quintet.

Noam D. Elkies 11:52 AM  

Neat theme and puzzle, even if the first and last theme entries seem forced for lack of an article (and, in the case of 109A, also for the crossing 102D:REQD that it req[uire]d). 47A:OTHELLODOLLY and 84A:ROYALFLUSHOT were my favorites.

The "Trout" Quintet is so called for the variations movement, whose theme is the opening verse of Schubert's Lied Die Forelle (The Trout). Unusually for a piano quintet it calls for a string bass instead of the usual second violin. It took me a while to piece this theme answer together, partly because I first got 110D:OPT and tried to put the thematic OT there, partly because I wasn't expecting the NYTimes puzzle to refer to the "Trout" nowadays. [@Raul 10:21 -- there's also a "Death and the Maiden" quartet for strings by Schubert :-) ]

Quite a few other musical or musically-related entries in this puzzle. 106A:SEGNO has already been noted (yes, a bit confusing, also because we first think of the "repeat mark" that tells us to go back -- the Italian just means "sign"); it echoes nearby 83A:GNU, which in turn intersects the distant 83D:IGLOO. This brings us to the "Bay Area" with 65D:OPERA crossing both 73A:ONEGIN (the title of several operas) and 82A:CARNEGIE (as in Hall, here cleverly clued as "Man of Steel?" -- BTW why didn't the similar clue "Hall of fame" for the crossing 59D:ANNIE get a "?"?). Moving North we get another opera, Othello (in 47A), and finally the New World Symphony's 6D:EMINOR.

As a mathematician I naturally liked the 119A:ODD clue. (No, 119 is not a prime.) Going East brings us to Chemistry Chorner, with 112D:TIN and 81D/113D:ETHYL/ENE. Also the unfamiliar "squiffed" in the clue for 121A:STONED -- which however could be surmised sqwiftly with a few crosses. More mysterious were 38A:SALISH (already noted) and 28D:SYDOW, neither of which tintinnabulated.

A choice of 80D:HOTELs between 50A:ALCATRAZ and abutting 57A:RAMADA?


P.S. Thanks to all of Rex's guest 41D:ALTEREGOS!

jae 12:17 PM  

I also found this pretty easy. Like Paul I had HELLOKITTY at first and like badir wanted EMT, but other than those a smooth solve. Enjoyable Sun. effort.

joeyshapiro 12:22 PM  

othellokitty would have been much more clever.

i take issue with "are" being a word with you (3D).

who is max von sydow?

nanpilla 12:27 PM  

@Badir: "I'm not used to boos in a stadium..." You must not be from Philadelphia!


Thanks to all for keeping the blog going while Rex was away.

bookmark 12:29 PM  

@Dough: Thanks for the Trout Quintet link. It's a beautiful piece, and the swimming trout clips make it even more memorable.

NE section was my last fill. Also loved OTHELLODOLLY.


pednsg 12:53 PM  

LOVED this one (meaning - I finished it sans errors)! Like others, Othello Dolly was among my favorites, but I cannot fathom a child playing with a Carol Channing doll - disturbing.

Though this may not be the proper forum in which to ask, I've had a question that occasionally runs through my mind. I've been doing these puzzles ever since I saw Wordplay, and can now do most Sundays in 1-2 hours, have only recently been doing Fridays (several hours if at all), and haven't really tried Saturdays. My dream is to go to NY for the Tournament. Are there "people like me" who compete in this thing, or are most more seasoned / experienced? I'd never enter a marathon, or even a 10K, expecting to be at the front of the pack, but I'd at least hope to finish in the top 99%! Should I put on my figurative running shoes and make the leap next year, or keep training? What say you that have been there, done that?

Crosscan 1:00 PM  

@pednsg - There are LOTS of people like you at the Tournament who just love puzzles and want to have fun. Come on down and enjoy!

dk 1:14 PM  

OTEHELLODOLLY? Isn't that the play where Skipper extracts revenge on Barbie.

mac 1:27 PM  

@pednsg (I know what that means!): I was in that situation this year, and I enjoyed myself so well that I immediately wanted to sign up for the next tournament. There is so much going on from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, get yourself a room in the Marriott! If you keep following the blogs, you will more easily meet the constructors and commenters, as well, which is a huge part of the fun. Good luck!

chefbea 1:38 PM  

@pednsg I plan to join in next year. I went just for the sunday festivities this year and it was great meeting all the bloggers!!!

@rex I thought it was Pearl Mesta who was the hostess with the mostess. I'll try to check it out

Stan 1:43 PM  

@joeyshapiro: Max von Sydow is a Swedish actor best known for 'The Seventh Seal' and many other Bergman films. He's awesome in 'Three Days of the Condor.'

@Bill from NJ: great comment on N's well-constructed puns. Only in the world of puns is 'real groaners' a compliment!

Andrew 1:43 PM  


I LOVED Appointment in Samarra -- I hope you like it too. Not the most uplifting work, but O'Hara is an oft-over looked writer. His strengths are especially his dialogue -- something a lot of even great writers struggle with. "Butterfield 8" was quite a disappointment when compared with "Appointment."

Ulrich 1:51 PM  

@sethG: John Maynard is the hero of a very famous German ballad, of the same name, describing how this guy saved the passengers of a burning ship on its way across Lake Erie by not leaving the wheel until she had reached shore--he was the only one to die. It's memorable b/c of the end lines of the stanzas: "ten minutes still to Buffallo", "5 Minutes still to Buffalo" etc, which I kept reciting in my head when I was returning to Buffalo in those days when I worked there.

@joey: Max von Sydow was one of Bergman's favorite actors. He also appeared in American films, notably as Jesus, a long time ago...

Yes, the trout quintet is lovely, but the text of the Lied provides a distinctly non-pleasant ending for the trout.

Ah, the puzzle--I agree that some of the puns are really inspired--I had a good time with my first Sunday puzzle after several weeks.

obertb 2:01 PM  

In my little neck of the woods (Nebraska) I'm considered a Xword phenom. I've been doing Xwords for over 50 years (yes, that's right, I'm older than dirt). Started doing them with my dad when I was about 10 or 12 years old. Ever since "Wordplay" came out, a number of people have been urging me to go the the tournament--especially my daughters--so this year, since it was in Brooklyn (where my oldest daughter lives), I went. I had a good time, even though I didn't know a soul there; the finals were much more exciting than I could have imagined. So how did I do? Well, that depends on how you look at it, I guess. Strictly by the numbers I did very poorly--final ranking in the high 500s, near the bottom of the pack. Lesson #1: I am not a speed solver and you MUST be pretty fast if you hope to be high in the rankings. But on the other hand, the people who come to the tournament are no doubt the most elite solvers in the country, if not the world. The fact that there were about 100 people who scored lower than I still puts me among a few hundred of the world's best Xworders. So I wish I could have done better, but, hey....

So my advice to you is this: Go to the next tournament. Go with a friend if you can, as that way you will have someone to share the experience with. Enjoy New York City. Ride the subway. See some sights. Eat in some of NYC's fabulous restaurants. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. And solve some Xwords. Whaddaya got to lose?

nanpilla 2:23 PM  

@pednsg : I went for the first time this year. My sister accompanied me, which did make it a lot more fun, because we could compare notes after every puzzle. My sister is a very shy and introvered person, and it was a joy to see her open up with a group of complete strangers - puzzlers are very friendly, and of course, we all had something in common to talk about. I too am considered a good puzzler amongst my non-puzzling friends, but I am no speed solver. My goal was not to finish DFL. After I got there, and started solving, I got more ambitious and wanted to finish in the top half. My sister did, but I just missed. (365th out of 674.) The real story, though, is how much fun this was. To most of my friends, they think this must be the equivalent of watching grass grow. But I made them all watch Wordplay before I left so they would understand what it was all about. I've even managed to get two of them turned on to doing the puzzle, although they are only up to Mondays and Tuesdays so far. Definitely GO - you won't regret it. Meeting many of the people who comment here, and "Rex", was icing on the cake.
Thank God, Crosscan raised his hand the first night, so we could all gather around him and meet each other! It is convenient that he also stands out (tall) in a crowd! I would also recommend that you do the whole event - from Friday night through Sunday lunch. Very worth it.

jeff in chicago 3:03 PM  

Enjoyed this one. Loved ROYALFLUSHOT. Others have commented on all the good/bad I noted.

And this is probably just me, but I like that the NW and SE corners have BEATLE and STONED. Just me, right?

Anonymous 3:04 PM  

Why put a ? on Carnegie if the theme clues are usually ?'s? I was trying to put a OT in there.
My 11 year old gave me Salish - apparently they study native Americans in 6th grade. Sadly he also had to help me with Beatle.

pednsg 3:12 PM  

You guys are great - now I'm stoked for next year! Just to meet any of the regulars on this board (and irregulars, like me) would make it worthwhile. My better half is very supportive, though her ambivalence about my hobby is amusing; after I bought Amy's book, she bought me Will's book of 1001 puzzles, another book of Sunday gems, and at least one other of Will's compendiums. Then, she wonders why I'm so addicted!

mexgirl 3:35 PM  

That's a wonderful shot of the nephew.
Welcome back!

obertb 3:43 PM  

@Rex: Ted Sorenson was JFK's confidant and speechwriter. He just published his memoirs, "Counselor," a pretty good read and a window into the many dramatic events of the JFK years. He's probably better known here in Nebraska because he's from here. The house he grew up in, in fact, is now occupied by a good friend of mine. For whatever that's worth....

chefwen 3:59 PM  

It was always somewhat disturbing to me that I knew all the words relating to drinking i.e. on a toot, ripped, stoned, fried, etc. but squiuffed was a new one, now I must know them all.

Fun puzzle, my only stumbling point was in the south west corner, couldn't come up with AEROBE or NYNEX, dang!

mccoll 4:18 PM  

This was really a lot of fun!
John Maynard Keynes was a Canadian economist who had to go to America to become a success. Where have you heard that before? Could be, he gave you some bad advice, though.

Rex, your friend, the Peccary, would be called a Javelina in Spanish and they occur in the American Southwest. I guess Extra Extra means there are two extra letters, but the extra letters are OT which means Over-Time(extra time), as well. Maybe I'm too much into the Stanley Cup finals.
Schubert's Trout Quintet is one of my all time favourite pieces of music. Great stuff.
Puzzle Girl, the Coast and Interior Salish are important tribes living mostly in Washington and B.C. The Kootenays are a minor branch of a very large culture.
This took about an hour. Two googles-no mistakes. Thanks,guys, for the write up.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

Fun puzle was I figured out the OT.

Rex: Knew Ted Sorenson; I am older
than you!
BTW, if you enjoyed BLINK, you
should read The Tipping Point and
his latest, The Outliers. Gladwell
is quite enjoyable.
Welcome back!!!

John Maynard Keynes 5:13 PM  

Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

Greene 5:24 PM  

Wow, looks like just about everybody is back. Mac, glad to see you are home safe and sound. Welcome home to Rex and his family.

I had a ball with this puzzle. One funny awful pun after another. Naturally, I loved OTHELLO DOLLY, but TROT OUT QUINTET was just plain brilliant. I kept wondering if Rex got his ROYAL FLU SHOT this past fall?

At long last I have abandoned the old PC (it gave up the ghost a few days ago) and I've finally invested in an IMac this weekend. I'm excited about getting started tonight, but nervous as hell having used PCs exclusively for the past 20 years. Tips on use and notes of congratulations are welcome (via the e-mail address at my dormant blog). I lost most everybody's e-mail address in the crash and burn, so please drop me a line.

fergus 5:49 PM  

mccoll, you must be thinking of John Kenneth Galbraith, from Ontario. Keynes was most decidedly English. Part of the Bloomsbury crowd, as well as Economist Extraodinaire at Cambridge. Main figure at Bretton Woods at the close of WWII. Not to be mean, an any way, but someone I know thought Bretton Woods was an economist, too, since she kept on reading things like, "According to Bretton Woods ...."

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Keynes' tour-de-force, while not the easiest read is probably still accessible to non-professionals.

I admit to HELLO KITTY as well, and wondered momentarily about the necessary restrictions on NUKITY.

Doug 5:51 PM  

I blew through the top half and was increasingly slow in the bottom. Might be to do with the Penguins/Flyers game (Philly won, 6-3 blowout.)

Liked the theme, and the title is perfect as well, isn't it? OT=Overtime, so could be Extra OT. Other than goofy YOU ARE there were no groaners at all, which I really appreciated so thanks Mr. Nediger.

Doug 5:51 PM  

I blew through the top half and was increasingly slow in the bottom. Might be to do with the Penguins/Flyers game (Philly won, 6-3 blowout.)

Liked the theme, and the title is perfect as well, isn't it? OT=Overtime, so could be Extra OT. Other than goofy YOU ARE there were no groaners at all, which I really appreciated so thanks Mr. Nediger.

Doug 5:51 PM  

Hmm, how did that get in there twice?

Orange 5:54 PM  

Greene, here's the main thing you need to know: Macs are great and low-maintenance, but Across Lite for MacOS X isn't as full-featured as for Windows. You can only have one puzzle open at a time, and hovering the cursor over a super-long clue won't make it appear in a pop-up window.

I use Safari for almost all my browsing, but Firefox for the NYT applet. Probably don't need to, but...that's how I do it. Some years back, Safari and the applet clashed and I still have PTSD from that.

Anonymous 6:20 PM  

"Hostess with the Mostest" is in reference to Perle Mesta, known as a great hostess of the Harry Truman era. Was appointed a post by the president and a musical was written about her in "Call Me Madam", a show starring Ethel Merman that actually had a song in it called "Hostess with the Mostest".

Chomsky'sUggboots 6:33 PM  

This was the the most fun I've had on a Sunday puzzle this year.
I didn't know this:
34 D) ILIAD Book III lines 121-244 Teichoscopia meaning "viewing from the walls," (Wiki)
I'm reading "Fun House". Awesome! It deserves to be better known, thanks for the recommendation. Other than "Maus" I haven't read many graphic novels. I'll put "Revolutionary Road" in my to read pile. As for "Blink", Richard Posner says it best here

Rex Parker 6:37 PM  

While the phrase was certainly attributed to Mesta, it was attributed also to Elsa Maxwell.

See Wikipedia entry, among other sources.


Rex Parker 6:42 PM  

The Posner review is the kind that always get written about books that try to write about scholarly research for a popular audience (or what Posner tellingly calls "people who do not read books"). Condescending and weirdly nitpicky, with some interesting and valid criticisms here and there. Thanks for the link, CU.

SethG 8:02 PM  

So I've been thinking about it, and here's what I've come up with: I think Hello Kitty would be an awesome entry, and a much better one than Hello Dolly. But I actually like OTHELLO DOLLY better than I do OTHELLO KITTY as a punny theme entry. So good on ya, Wills.

And my avatar photo, the one that says not to feed the seagulls and shags? Behind that fence lies the Swan River of Perth, WA.

Joe in Montreal 8:23 PM  

I have two questions. Do Londoners say "where are the loo?" (plural implied by 'facilities', which led me to put WCS in early), or "where is the loo?"? And second, why do I think that it is Madama Bovary and not Madame?

SethG 8:27 PM  

Oh, and I forgot to mention, javalinas can be really dangerous.

Joe in Montreal 8:28 PM  

there was also a ballad about John Maynard written by the American Horatio Alger: "John Maynard: A Ballad of Lake Erie". My favourite burning boat line is from Casabianca: "the boy stood on the burning deck/ Whence all but he had fled," which I always think should be followed by "'this tub is leaking fore and aft'/ the lowly seaman said."

male chicken 9:00 PM  

Londoners do not say where are the loo. Where are the loos, yes. Here in cambodia, it's polite to ask where you can 'fold your leg in a small way'. (You can also do it in a big way, but you wouldn't tell a waiter that when asking directions. Nor does this pass your breakfast test, I'm sure, but it may be of interest to some, probably British)

Clay 9:19 PM  

Just a quick note on the comments text: Ridley Scott directed the movie "Alien" not "Aliens" which was directed by James Cameron.

Greene 9:27 PM  

@Orange: Thanks for the tip. I already did Monday's puzzle in Across Lite without any problems, but I'll check out Firefox. It's been a fun evening playing with this iMAC. It is, by far, the easiest computer I've ever used.

@Chefbea: Thanks for your tip too. Don't know if you got my e-mail reply or not. Still figuring that out. You either got nothing or multiple copies of the same e-mail.

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

And here I was thinking that "hostess with the mostest" must be a reference to Fran Drescher's character from "This is Spinal Tap." I knew I could count on you eggheads to expose my glaring ignorance...

michael 10:08 PM  

Relaxing puzzle after what was for me a very difficult Saturday (puzzle). I breezed through the puzzle, though I slowed up a bit at the end in the southwest.

I thought this puzzle very nicely combined clue-answers so that those that were completely unfamiliar to me were gettable by crosses.

chefbea 10:08 PM  

@greene no e-mails :-(

mac 10:16 PM  

Thank you for welcoming me back! I have already noticed the amount of time I spend online as opposed to reading a good book in Castricum.....

@Fergus: thank you so much for clearing up the Brithishness of Keynes and especially my favorite fact about him, that he "fell in with the Bloomsbury Group.

@male chicken: somehow you always bring me back to basics, excuse the pun.....

mac 10:24 PM  

Who got upset about my dropping the final "quotes" again? Sorry.

f 10:30 PM  

Madama Butterfly maybe. Emma Bovary etait francaise.

We were just noting the other night how butterfly is so completely different in the three main Romance langages: farfale, mariposa, papillon.

mac 10:40 PM  

@f said: the first German word our son learned was Schmetterling, the German word for butterfly. In Dutch it is vlinder.

ArtLvr 11:51 PM  

Welcome back, Rex and Mac -- and welcome to the Mac, Greene!

A bit late to comment, but I just wanted to clarify the clue about Lincoln being a UNIONIST. It was the actual name of the new coalition party which got Lincoln elected President twice, "the National Union Party", and it only got taken over by the Republicans again in 1868 -- three years after Lincoln died.

My great great grandfather, Dr. Charles Volney Dyer, was head of the "Underground Railroad" in Chicago and one of the key abolitionists who made sure their 1860 convention was held in Chicago and that Lincoln got the nomination there on the second BALLOT. After becoming President, Lincoln named Dr. Dyer as special judge to the international panel in Kenya which was set up to catch and convict the slave traders at their source. Later on he was in the Embassy in Rome with his family, including daughter Cornelia for whom I was named, when they heard the tragic news of their friend's assassination.

Much has been made of Lincoln's appointments of political rivals to his cabinet, a tradtional practice in that era in fact, but little is noted of Lincoln's reliance on close allies to further the cessation of the abominal slave trade where it was legal to do so... And while Lincoln took on four law cases involving slavery in Illinois before he became President, he won the two in which he defended the escaped slaves and won them their freedom, but he lost the two cases in which he was representing the slave owners suing for the restoration of their human "property" according to the federal Fugitive Slave Law -- which supposedly trumped the Free-State statutes.


miriam b 12:38 AM  

My favorite LOO description:
Wohin selbst der Kaiser zu Fuß geht (Where even the emperor goes on foot.)

PlantieBea 8:31 AM  

Welcome back Rex. Thanks for sharing the vacation photos. I'm glad you got no closer to the actual wild pigs. We run when we see them here--they can be very dangerous. You're right about those tusks.

I finished the puzzle late last night. I liked the theme and thought some of the OT insertions were very clever. The Keynes or possibly the ROYAL FLU SHOT answers were my favorites.

I just returned from Minnesota where son is considering some colleges--actually he's very likely to end up as a Mac man or perhaps a Carl. We were lucky to experience the good 70 degree plus MN!

Thanks for the write-up Seth G.

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

My puzzle was tiled: EXTRA! EXRA!. PLEASE EXPLAIN 59D:Hall of fame (Annie)

Stan 12:31 PM  

Movie - 'Annie Hall' (didn't come easily to me either, Anonymous)

Hoople 5:44 PM  

I recall Fran Drescher's character in Spinal Tap uttering the nasally line..

"Hell-loow. I'm Baah-bee, Baah-bee Fleckman, (pause) the hostest with the mostest"

merlbaby 8:31 PM  

merl here. as always i find all the comments here very interesting! i just wanted to say that coincidentally i have a puzzle with this same OT theme coming out in mid-may, although technically it's just a rerun of a puzzle i originally published in 2001. it's been in the pipeline for three weeks already, so i can't pull it -- i'm just hoping that you're not quite sick of overtime puzzles yet! and speaking of repeats, i haven't seen anyone mention this yet, but wasn't this same theme -- adding OT to all the answers -- a sunday new york times puzzle only seven months ago? (i think it was in august 2008, and i think the puzzle was by alan arbesfeld.) do solvers really forget themes this fast? i'm not complaining, mind you, because it might mean less work for me in the future! --m.r.

Rex Parker 8:39 PM  

Hey Merl,

Add-a-letter (or -letters) themes are not likely to be memorable. They might be entertaining, but I doubt they stick in the brain the way a rebus might, or something really elaborate might. The "OT" thing could be done several times over and still be fresh (I assume there are hundreds if not thousands of plausible theme answers that would work for such a theme).


Anonymous 10:43 PM  

@Crosscan - didn't know Will Nediger was Canadian - as one of the Canadian readers of this blog, I appreciate that sort of information. Thanks.

Crosscan 12:36 AM  

@merl - I agree with Rex. A fun puzzle is a fun puzzle; the type of theme is secondary.

@Can-anon: you got it.

marie 4:47 PM  

Guess you must be pretty young if you don't know who Theodore (Ted) Sorenson is.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

President JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" is often attributed to his speechwriter Ted Sorenson, but apparently he will neither confirm nor deny.

Carmine 3:33 PM  

I humbly bow to your intellect and will accept the prize for first runner up in the World Series of Crossords. I know when I am defeated. It happened once before.

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