King of England 946-55 - SUNDAY, May 31 2009 - Refuser of 1964 Nobel Prize / While there's life there's hope playwright / Technological debuts of 1998

Sunday, May 31, 2009

: Kelsey Blakley

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "Odd One Out" — Note reads: "Every letter in the answer to each asterisked clue appears an even number of times in that answer ... except one. Altogether, these eight unpaired letters can be arranged to spell the answer to 68- and 70-Across." What the unpaired letters spell: NUTS OVER (68A: With 70-Across, some people are _____ crosswords)

Word of the Day: CRINOID (25D: Sea lily, e.g.) — n.

Any of various echinoderms of the class Crinoidea, including the sea lilies and feather stars, that are characterized by a cup-shaped body, feathery radiating arms, and either a stalk or clawlike structure with which they are able to attach to a surface.


Of or belonging to the Crinoidea.

[From New Latin Crinoīdea, class name : Greek krinon, lily + Greek -oeidēs, -oid.] (

A puzzle with very little payoff for how complicated it must have been to construct. I generally don't read "Notes" attached to puzzles, and today was no exception. Turns out, reading the "Note" would have helped me little, if at all. I simply thought the the central answer NUTS OVER was contrived and pandering and awfully forced. So I find out, in the end, after reading the "Note," that there was an architectural reason for the phrase. Doesn't make me like it any better. This is one of those puzzles that you can appreciate for its construction intricacies after it's done, but while you're solving ... you've got nothing. Nothing good, anyway. What you do have: ENTICER, AMUSER, AIRER, and DESIRERS. You also have a Near-Natick crossing in (the horrible, apparently variantly spelled) EDRED (60A: King of England, 946-55) and ADRIANO (56D: Italian Renaissance composer Banchieri). I studied medieval England in grad school and still struggled to come up with EDRED. His most notable achievement appears to be that he was the grandfather of Alfred the Great, the most important king of the Anglo-Saxon period. Also, the spelling EADRED appears to be preferred. EADRED gets fewer Google hits, but I think that's because EDRED appears to be a name some people (Scandinavians?) still have.

Theme answers:

  • 46D: *Real work (strenuous effort) [unpaired "N"]
  • 102A: *Deficits (insufficiencies) [unpaired "U"]
  • 23A: *Religious affiliation of John Adams and William Howard Taft (Unitarian Church) [unpaired "T"] — "CHURCH" felt weird to me here, so much so that I left it off until I confirmed it through crosses.
  • 86A: *Hides out (goes underground) [unpaired "S"]
  • 116A: *Ragged (tattered and torn) [unpaired "O"]
  • 3D: *Not firm work? (private practice) [unpaired "V"] - great clue
  • 33A: *You raise your arms for these (anti-perspirants) [unpaired "E"] — cute clue
  • 46A: *Physician's promise (Hippocratic oath) [unpaired "R"]
Had a rare double "Didn't I just ...?" moment today when first BAUM (5A: Creator of Princess Ozma) and then TERENCE (54D: Ancient playwright who originated the phrase "While there's life, there's hope") showed up in the grid again, just one day after their last appearances. The "Ozma" clue has been used before, and this time the "OZ" part tipped me to the answer. I had to struggle to get a number of answers — not just the aforementioned EDRED and ADRIANO, but ALONSO (24D: Explorer _____ Alvarez de Pineda, first European to see the Mississippi), "LILI" (30D: "_____ Marlene" (W.W. II love song)), "ORR'S" (18A: "The Pearl of _____ Island" (Stowe novel)), and LEX (39A: Big Apple subway line, with "the"), which I guess is inferrable via LEXington Ave. I'm going with the LEX Luthor clue every time, but that's just me. Also had no idea about CRINOID (25D: Sea lily, e.g.). Otherwise, I thought the puzzle very doable.


  • 13A: State below Lower Saxony (Hesse) - hardly a gimme, but the Downs were all so familiar that by the time I got a look at the clue, I knew exactly what the answer was.
  • 20A: Technological debuts of 1998 (iMacs) - a standard clue for this common answer
  • 32A: Manilla pact grp., 1954 (SEATO) - doing a lot of crosswords means getting familiar with, and thus pretty good at guessing, common acronyms.
  • 35D: 1967 #1 hit whose lyrics begin "What you want / Baby, I got it" ("R-E-S-P-E-C-T")

  • 65A: Montana Indians (Crees) - not a huge fan of the unnecessarily s-pluralized tribe names, and today we get two. See also PONCAS (34D: Plains Indians). For reasons I don't understand, APACHES is an s-plural that seems just fine to me. It may be alone in that respect.
  • 113A: _____ White, one of the girls in "Dreamgirls" (Effie) - also Sam's secretary in "The Maltese Falcon." A great character that the movie gets All Wrong.
  • 123A: Impressionist Degas (Edgar) - a clear gimme, but one I needed to get that SW corner to move. I had ---DEFICIENCIES in the theme answer for a bit, and nothing in that little corner was budging at all 'til I saw good ol' EDGAR.
  • 11A: Refuser of a 1964 Nobel Prize (Sartre) - A "refuser" to go with all the other Odd Jobs in the puzzle.
  • 14D: Swab's target (ear wax) - great, if gross, answer
  • 15D: Nubian Desert locale (Sudan) - flat-out guess, with no crosses. Woo hoo!
  • 75D: Supermodel Hutton (Lauren) - you could've used a "bygone" here. She makes me think of "Models, Inc." even though she was apparently not in it. If you have 90s phobia the way I do, you might want to avert your eyes:

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


chefbea 8:18 AM  

easy puzzle and I, like rex didn't need the theme to help me solve. Of course I knew where Busch Stadium is. And I have been to Alton Ill. which is right across the river.

Missed yesterdays puzzle and blog. was busy helping a friend with her tag sale. Brought the puzzle with me but never got a chance to do it.

JannieB 8:32 AM  

Interesting puzzle to construct, not so much fun to solve. The Mid-Atlantic section took as long as the rest of the puzzle - just arduous, not much fun. Some clever cluing saved this from being a total bore.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Had "poncos", but otherwise lucked through it. Didn't bother with the note.. I always seem to see the note after the fact any way.

It is so fun to try to guess what Rex will comment on (word/day, Naticks, partials, etc..). I did well today, w/all the "ers", EDRED, BAUM AND TERENCE.


Joe in Montreal 9:35 AM  

I had a few things to gripe about but I guess they all pass. It would be nice if puzzle makers didn't have recourse to nonstandard forms that just happen to be in a dictionary (like ONESELF which should be 'one's self' - I will wait to be corrected on that by someone with access to the OED).
But no - let me kvetch a bit. Do semis fill up with DIESEL OIL? I would have thought DIESEL GAS. It seems to me that "Semi top up" would be a clue that would require OIL as an answer.

retired_chemist 9:36 AM  

The PONCAS/DALLES cross was a personal Natick. Had PONCES. Seriously. Go ahead, Brits, snicker away.

Missed SGT Towser (been a long time) - AGT gave me ATRIAE - should have caught that one.

Didn't think EDRED/ADRIANO was a real Natick because it pretty much HAS to be the D, cf. Adrian (e.g. Monk) in English. Smiled at but ruled out the E. FRED / AFRIANO alternative.

Paid no attention to the theme other than reading the note and deciding it was easier just to do it. I had 68-70A before I read the note anyway. Odd theme - didn't like it.

All in all OK.

PlantieBea 9:41 AM  

My husband printed the puzzle for me and didn't read the note, so I solved it without knowing what odd one out was about. Alas, I was disappointed, like Rex, to see that it just spelled out Nuts Over again. Makes me wonder how one goes about finding words with only one "odd" letter, but it added nothing to the solving fun.

I had the same bizarro moment with Baum and Terence...never heard of Edred, didn't know LILI/LEX so had an error of LINI Marlene. Don't much care.

fpbear 9:45 AM  

Everyone seems to have found this easy although I didn't see a Rex level. It's the first Sunday I failed to finish in years.

Joe in Montreal 9:51 AM  

retired_chemist - could have been ELRED as well, I think, although ALRIANO probably makes no sense.

Ulrich 9:53 AM  

I totally agree with Rex at al. about the theme: Ingenious, but so what? if it doesn't help solving.

I'm again intrigued by the differences in our backgrounds. If there ever was a gimmie for me, it is Lili (Marlene), the WWII song across popular across enemy lines. Here's the German version from that time. The German text is much darker than the usual English translation, and Goebbels, in fact, hated the song for its "morbidity", but couldn't stop it from being played every day at the same time b/c of its popularity. Here's the last stanza in translation (the whole song is about a soldier meeting Lili under a street light in front of the barracks):

Out of the silent space
From beneath the earth
Like in a dream
Your enchanted mouth is rising.

When the late fogs are twirling
I will stand at the street light
with you, Lili Marleen

Ulrich 9:57 AM  
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Ulrich 10:05 AM  

...and here's some historical background.

BTW There's a misplaced "across" in my first comment--sorry for not proofreading more carefully!

hazel 10:08 AM  

I don't mind following instructions - I liked drawing the boat, making the paper airplane, am generally OK with circled letter patterns. Seeing the hand of the puzzle-maker in the puzzle doesn't irritate me the way it does some, but I too thought these instructions were just ridiculous. Did ANYONE actually need to follow them? So I'm with everyone so far - found the whole thing just silly, an artifice.

Did like CRINOID (they've been around 450 million years and make cool fossils for collecting - go paleontology!), and always like EUDORA - especially listening to her read one of her stories.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Agree with above comments--theme is meh.

But--can anyone tell me how you poll a sheep (117D)?

ArtLvr 10:40 AM  

I had the same single error as R_C... And the same arduous slog in the MidEast as JannieB at the end, because of a careless ATL for STL, finally fixed.

I have a feeling that the theme arose from combos in HIPPOCRATIC OATH, just a guess. ? Anagrams aren't my forte, let alone double-anagrams-plus-one! But I did use the Note to check out that last STRENUOUS EFFORT... EDRED wasn't a problem, but PATRI didn't come to me until I got rid of the non-hymn phrase Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Egads.

SARTRE's magnum opus on Existentialism could have been echoed with 126A clued as his French title: "L'ETRE et le Néant" (Being and Nothingness), as I recall... But that would have been a toughie!

p.s. Anon -- to poll means remove the horns -- and that's tricky because long-horned sheep are more common in Great Britain than in America.


Dough 10:49 AM  

I can't imagine anyone (except @Rex who has kinda taken on the responsibility — thank you!!) doing the letter math to determine the outlying letter. However, it is kind of a succès d'estime to find all those words. In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chief hails from The Dalles in Oregon, which was the site of the country's first bioterrorist attack!

Genevieve 10:56 AM  

Why no difficulty level, Rex? I always compare my ability on your expert opinion!!

PuzzleGirl 11:01 AM  

I always read the notes and I always try to keep the instructions in mind because when I don't, it always comes back to bite me. So I wasted some time figuring out the "odd letter" in the first three theme answers I got. But when I got to the reveal answer, I already had enough crosses (like, two), to figure it out.

Ended up with three wrong squares:



They're just too big these Sunday puzzles.

Noam D. Elkies 11:07 AM  

We've had a very similar theme before: Patrick Berry's "Process of Elimination", 9/9/07. It even shared two answers, ANTIPERSPIRANTS and HIPPOCRATICOATH. The others were shorter, though there was one more of them, and left-over letters spelled LEFTOVERS — a much more fitting final answer, and spelled in order, without any rearrangement. Today's puzzle does have all the theme answers of the same 15-letter length — and the note certainly does help, if only by confirming or refuting guesses for the long answers. But otherwise it was not as much fun as my memory of the 9/07 predecessor.

Still some nice touches, such as: the adjacent whits at 97D/105D; a neat route to overfamiliar 52D:OLEO, and also to 4D:ESTATE, 38:SEÑORES, and 40A:CDE; the half-forgotten but still useful QEF used to clue 112A:ERAT.

With most of the letters of 25D, I still couldn't remember if it was CRINOID or CTENOID (yes, that's a word too, initial CT- and all).

Re 35D: granted that R-E-S-P-E-C-T must be one of the better known "1967 #1 hits", but there must be more interesting ways to clue it. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is also what you don't get on the recently finished Spelling Bee if you misspell it. The anagram Specter appears in the clue for 43D, which probably was not the original clue!

I was going to complain about the clue for 75D, but it seems that there really isn't a clearly better name clue for LAUREN, common though that name is.

Yes, there's a Lexington Avenue line in the NYC subway system, but I don't remember it being called "the Lex". Can any New Yorkers on this forum confirm 39A? This seemed like a particularly gratuitous obscurity because LEX can even be clued as something like "Latin law" if one doesn't want to go the comix route.


nanpilla 11:08 AM  

I did this one without the note, and kept looking at the long answers trying to find something clever, and being disapointed. When I got back to a computer so I could look up the note, it turned out to be nothing fun. Maybe of interest to a constructor, but no AHA or WOW moments for a solver.
I found this to be a medium to challenging. Lots of stuff was just a slog through to the end. Also had the wrong letter at EDRED/ADRIANO ( an L on my page, which in retrospect isn't a very good guess!)
After that mess, I did Matt Gaffney's Friday puzzle, so that saved the night! Whew, what a hard puzzle! Thanks to whoever directed me to his weekly puzzle page.

PuzzleGirl 11:11 AM  

@Noam: I would have preferred Ralph Lauren or Lauren Graham (guessing the latter means nothing to you!).

I only lived in New York for a couple years but I rode that train a lot and am pretty sure I just called it the 4-5-6. Never heard it called the Lex.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Re; The Lex--I'm a NY'er and that's what we call the Lexington Ave. line. There are several trains on this line, all of them horrid, that stop at the same staions, so when someone is asking how to get to wherever, you'd say, "Take the Lex." Probably more thn anyone wanted to know about the subway...

ArtLvr 11:19 AM  

p.p.s. the other misstep which slowed me up in the MidEast was Coin for NOUN, clued as "You name it" -- two letters in common, and to Coin a new word seemed a great answer. Not.


Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Been around Semis since I was 13 and never ever heard it refered to as anything but diesel fuel! No to diesel gas,no to diesel oil. Golfballman

fikink 11:26 AM  

If this puzzle was "pandering," as Rex put it, it was pandering to other constructors, not to solvers (IMO). I found very little pleasing in the puzzle until I pondered the STRENUOUS EFFORT it took to create it.

Ulrich, thanks for the LILI Marlene. I remember the tune from The Treffpunkt in Chicago..

Dough, Did not know that about the Chief!

Clark, I anticipate your comments on Being and Nothingness...In that vein, Seth G, please use your
New Zealand sign avatar ;)

@NDE, I, too, liked the two Whit clues.

poc 11:31 AM  

Why is ASLEW clued as "Bunches", implying a plural answer? That plus not knowing that EWEs can be "polled" kept me from a correct fill.

I agree with everyone that the "theme" adds nothing to the puzzle, which makes it all a bit so-so.

XMAN 11:34 AM  

This went pretty easily, though I had to google CRINOID and DALLES. Never heard of PONCAS. KB erred in putting in so many -ERs.

bill from fl 11:37 AM  

@Puzzle Girl, I had the same mistake with CRINOIS/SALLES. I thought about CRINOID/DALLES, but guessed salles, because I knew it was a French word. Turns out dalles is also a French word, meaning flagstone or something.

On the other hand, I knew Lili Marlene, because, years ago, my daughter was in the play "The Diary of Anne Frank." There's tense moment in the play when German soldiers walk by outside singing the song.

edith b 11:39 AM  

I went through all the trouble of figuring out the single letters because I thought I might be missing something but, as it turned out, I wasn't not missing anything. Huh?

Well, to paraphrase Lou Grant from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show": This theme has spunk. I hate spunk.

Rex, did you create the expression ODD LOTS to describe those ER words? I like it which is more than I can say for this puzzle.

JannieB 11:45 AM  

FWIW - Lauren Hutton is currently a spokesmodel for Macy's - at least in my viewing area. Maybe no longer "super" status, but she still gets work - and looks pretty good, too - gap and all.

SethG 11:48 AM  

ALRIANO doesn't make any sense, but ERRIANO seems possible.

Last time I guested I asked how NOUN = [You name it]. No one answered me, but at least I remembered it to enter this time. I still don't get it, or rather suspect I do but don't like it at all. What does this mean?

What I did like, at least in '94: Models, Inc.! This the one, fikink?

jae 11:48 AM  

Got PONCAS because Rex was saying PONCA for a while. Still, the CRINOID/DALLES cross was tricky for me as I knew neither. Guessed right on the EDRED/ADRIANO cross but that was pure luck. Add me to the "this was kinda meh" contingent.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

You genius speed solvers, too much in a hurry, or too arrogant, to read the note:

I read the note, as I always do, and took immense pleasure in the brilliance of the construction -- during, not after, the solving process.

Never mind that the note wasn't needed to find the NUTS OVER answer.

I hate to see such hard work and ingenuity on the part of a constructor get slammed.

jae 11:52 AM  
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poc 11:53 AM  

@Anonymous: I think the point some of us are trying to make is that while the ingenuity of the constructor may be admirable, if it doesn't demand any additional ingenuity on the part of the solver it's all a bit moot.

treedweller 11:54 AM  

"Every letter in the answer to each asterisked clue appears an even number of times in that answer ... except one. Altogether, these eight unp . . ." zzzzzzzzeds

I tried this one after an extremely ignominious defeat at the Tree Climbing Championships (I Am The 21st Greatest Tree Climber in Texas), so maybe my lousy mood was my biggest problem, but I had many, many missteps and eventually gave up, even after leaving it overnight and trying again. I was not NUTS OVER this one (someone had to say it).

Also, I sometimes say I need fuel, occasionally diesel, but never diesel oil. I will say, though, that I believe I've heard it called that. Or seen it printed, at least. In fact, diesel fuel is less refined than gasoline and is heavy/oily. Diesel engines rely on the oil somewhat for lubrication. Some people convert their diesels to run on straight, unmodified vegetable oil, which burns much cleaner and is far more lubricious. Which is, I'm sure, far more than anyone wanted to know about diesels. I'm NUTS OVER my truck and my wife's VW, which don't burn straight veg oil but do frequently get filled with biodiesel. In your face, Exxon/Mobil.

jae 11:54 AM  

Oh, and my dictionary lists the 7th definition of poll as "to trim or cut off the hair, wool, branches or horns of; shear: poll sheep."

fikink 12:01 PM  

@JannieB, reams have been written about Charles Revson fashioning a fake tooth for Lauren's gap. Can you imagine?! It all reminds me of Jack Jones singing, "Wives should be lovers, too..." Feminists unite!

@SethG, no, I am talking about the "no smoking" sign without the cigarette. I think Hudson Hawk asked you if it had something to do with "no golfing."

Okay, I'll get back into my wobbly orbit now;)

bigredanalyst 12:06 PM  

Like others I think this puzzle was more fun to construct than to solve.

As a native NYer:

The Lex is the common terminology for what is now called the 4,5 and 6 lines (which have stations in common in Manhattan but diverge in other boroughs).

Before going to a unified subway nomenclature using letters or numbers, there were three different subway lines which often appear in crosswords -- BMT, IRT and IND. These were the abbreviations for "Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit," "Interboro Rapid Transit" and "Independent Line" that were originally independent companies that ran inter-linking routes.

But each company was an aggregation of subway lines that may have begun as independent companies but were later consolidated into one of the three companies. These included the Lexington Avenue line (the LEX) as well others such as the Culver line in Brooklyn.

BTW, NYers commonly refer to Lexington Ave as just LEX when referring to it in everyday language (e.g., cab drivers may take you to "59th and Lex").

Anonymous 12:10 PM  

@Anon @ 11:49:

I did read the note, thought of the Patrick Berry puzzle mentioned by NDE and thought this was meh! So many obscurities with no payoff.

Not sure anybody else has mentioned that the odd letter in TATTEREDANDTORN (O) was found in the intersection with the down theme answer, where it was not the odd one out!

Anyways, STRENUOUS EFFORT with no payoff.


Noam D. Elkies 12:10 PM  

@PuzzleGirl 11:11 -- yes, Ralph Lauren would have been more recognizable (though still of no more interest to me than a "supermodel").

@Anonymous 11:14 (and bigredanalyst @12:06) -- Thanks. Maybe I didn't hear it called "the Lex" because I traveled on different parts of the subway system, so the distinctions among the different Lexington lines were not irrelevant: the 6 is local (and alone can be used to connect with the 6th Ave. line at Bleecker/Bway-Lafayette), and even the 4/5 diverge outside Manhattan.


Leon 12:34 PM  

Thanks Mr. Blakley, impressive construction.

This NYer always called the Lexington Ave line the 4, 5 or 6.

@Ulrich: thanks for the link to LILI.

Shamik 12:36 PM  

With Puzzle Girl and Bill, I Natick on the side of CRINOIS/SALLES.

Yes on Lex
No on DIESELOIL. It's diesel fuel. If you've ever owned a vehicle run by diesel, you learn quickly that it's fuel. Then you get another car and have to relearn to say gas.

Put this one as medium-challenging and not terribly enjoyable. Brilliantly constructed, just not terribly enjoyable.

As for Friday's Matt Gaffney puzzle...i broke my cardinal rule. Always feel like I want to complete the puzzle and be wrong than Google. Well, after 80 minutes with most of the SE only in chunks...I did EIGHT...count them...eight googles. Yecch! I was too tired to even consider the contest answer.

chefbea 12:38 PM  

@poc a slew of things = bunches of things

@sethg A noun names things.

and by the way diesel oil makes terrible salad dressing

Lili 12:48 PM  

I found this somewhat challenging but didn't feel that I got much of a payoff for the effort. Banchieri and the Latin phrases were familiar to me, fortunately, but though I'm normally quite good on the kings of England, I was at sea with "Edred." I ended up guessing it. I had "Argo" for "-naut" for a while, which caused me to go mad over the left side of the puzzle, until I realized that I'd need to think of another possible prefix. I don't know a thing about motors, frankly, so though I guessed at "diesel oil, its precise relationship with "partial fill-up" is still a mystery to me.

Never heard of The Dalles. Or of the Stowe novel. Or of Crinoids. I had to work them out by trial and error.

"Nuts Over" crosswords. Eh. Not very interesting, considering all the time I spent thinking about the theme clues.

Brendan Emmett Qugley 1:09 PM  

Was just about to say this one reminded me of Patrick Berry's puzzle, but Noam beat me to it. And since that was all I was going to say about it, I'll keep it brief. Really a bland effort.

Anonymous 1:09 PM  

My husband and I always do the Saturday and Sunday puzzles at the same time on Saturday morning and frequently notice an answer that appears in both. This is the first time that we noticed two (Baum and Terence). How unlikely is it that two different constructors would use both those names in a puzzle?

Ulrich 1:12 PM  

@Lili: Can we meet under the street light?

And "semi" does not mean "partial" in the clue-- it refers to the big semis that always try to run you off the Interstate when you try to pass them--they run on diesel fuel.

Stan 1:15 PM  

Without meaning to criticize the theme (which made me feel like a cryptographer), I'm in the grumpy group today, guessing wrong twice at the CRINOID / PONCAS / DALLES intersection.

Rode the Lex daily for 16 years from 86th St. to Union Square and back. The comments are right -- it's just 'the Lex' in midtown Manhattan, but as soon as the lines diverge (like roads in a snowy wood), be sure you know what number train you're on!

Ellen 1:19 PM  

Lots of missed opportunities for fun clues in this one, I thought--particularly, as has been noted, for LAUREN (the model's gapped teeth could have been referenced), RESPECT (giving the first line like that was just too easy; what about a Blues Brothers reference? Or W"hat Aretha wanted in 1967," something like that), and EDGAR, which I think should always refer to Poe.
And I was taken aback by 96A ("lack of faith"=ATHEISM). I get it now, but my first reaction was--wtf, I have complete faith in my atheistic beliefs! I would have liked a more topical clue for that, something about Hitchens or Dawkins.

joho 1:21 PM  

Immediately upon finishing this puzzle I burst into Peggy Lee's "Is This All There is."

I thought A(L)RIANO/E(L)RED to be right because I was pretty sure ELRED was right. I must have been thinking of the King of Golf, Elrick of Anaheim.

Like @jae I got PONCAS from Rex's PONCA!

But in the end, much ado about GINTHON.

joho 1:22 PM  

Whoops: "Is That All There Is."

joho 1:23 PM  

Where is my mind: it's Eldrick!

retired_chemist 1:24 PM  

@ Stan - if your simile is a conflation of"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken" it is the FROSTing on the cake.

retired_chemist 1:29 PM  

@ joho - GINTHON sounds fun. Martinis or with tonic?

chefbea 1:34 PM  

@joho the A is missing. Its a ginathon!!! Martinis for all

obertb 1:37 PM  

@Noam D. Elkies--Many NYers refer to the 4/5/6 line as the Lex Line. It goes up Lexington Ave.

@Joe in Montreal--I think the proper term would be DIESEL FUEL. I don't know anyone who says DIESEL OIL.

I always post so late that tidbits like the above are redundant by the time I post them. Oh, well, I'm leaving them anyway.

I enjoyed the puzzle, but there certainly wasn't any TADA! moment. I read the note, thought, Well, that's gonna be a lot of work, and then decided it would be easier just to crack 68 and 70A right off the bat. So I started there, had NUTS OVER in a couple of minutes and was able then to just forget about the onerous task of figuring out which was the odd letter out in the starred clues. So it was almost as if the puzzle had an Achilles Heel.

rpl 1:42 PM  

Ponca and Cree are names of tribes, but the clues referred to names of Indians. Indians are people, plural. So members of the Cree tribe, for example, are properly referred to as Crees. Out here in Indian country, when you speak with a tribal member that seems obvious.

Puffin 1:43 PM  

No one commented on the "Beta blocker" clue for VHS? I liked that one.

Puffin 1:46 PM  

...and what about "class" appearing in the clues 119A)and in the grid (as part of 96D). Isn't that a no-no?

Mike 1:53 PM  

I noticed that something felt odd about the theme entries, but there was nothing related to the theme that slowed me down, and after finishing the puzzle, I read the note and looked over it and totally didn't get the point. I mean, it's cute and all, I guess, but huh?

Also, this was a schizophrenic puzzle for me in terms of difficulty. I didn't have that much trouble overall, but got hung up in random spots and did have a ridiculous typo with DesireEs instead of DESIRERS and some random one in Insufficiencies that just nailed me. However, and I still can't believe this, I got one of my better times for a Sunday. I guess it's because there were portions, like most of the bottom, that I just flew through.

I don't typically enjoy solving the Saturday puzzle more than the Sunday, but I definitely did this week.

Clark 2:06 PM  

@Joe in Montreal -- Myself and my self are not the same, neither are oneself and one’s self. In each case the first is a reflexive pronoun, the second is a noun phrase. “I gave myself a pat on the back, but that didn’t mean I had an inflated opinion of my self.”

@fikink -- On Being and Nothingness I’ve got nothing to say. But I do love Heidegger’s infamous lecture in which he says that “the nothing nothings.” Critics of this lecture fail to notice the extent to which H’s tongue is in his cheek.

@SethG -- I’m with you (I think). A noun is not something you name. A noun is the name for something you name.

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

We atheists do not lack faith. We have faith in humanity. We have faith in love. We have faith in truth. We have faith in justice. We have faith in many things.

We just don't believe in ghosts in the sky.

Stan 2:30 PM  

@retired_chemist: "Frost lines" was an excellent clue, recently.

@chefbea: I like the ginathon idea! Sloe gin or Ramos?

Susan 2:35 PM  

I'm ideologically opposed to the clue for 62A: Film that lost the Best Picture Oscar to "Chariots of Fire." It irritated me so much I don't know where to start. 1) People don't make films to win awards. Art is not a contest. So someone may "win" a prize, but no one "loses" it. 2) Every film other than COfF made in 1981 or 82 or whenever that was also fits that description, so it's a meaningless clue anyway. 3) That's the best you've got for "Reds"? Really?

OK, I'll stop ranting.

HudsonHawk 2:38 PM  

@Ellen, I like the idea of cluing Aretha with a Blues Brothers reference, but the song she sings in the movie is Think. And a chorus of Jailhouse Rock in the closing credits.

I live a couple blocks from the LEX, and I hear it both ways (Lex and 4/5/6). The 4 train delivered me to the ACPT this year. Of course, south of Grand Central, it's the PARK (just kidding).

@Susan, I agree. Why not just say Best Picture nominee with Chariots of Fire?

George NYC 2:49 PM  

That is one awesome 78 changer in your video!

Noam D. Elkies 2:52 PM  

@Puffin -- yes, I meant to mention the "β blocker" clue too.

@obertb -- "the Lex Line" does sound more plausible than plain "the Lex". But we're told that the latter is in the lingo too.


archaeoprof 2:52 PM  

PONCAS/DALLES got me too.

While working on this puzzle I asked my biologist wife if there is such a thing as a CRINOID, and I got a longer answer than I bargained for.

@Ellen: I agree; atheism is not the absence of faith. Agnosticism is.

Joe in Montreal 2:56 PM  

Clark, my point, which I made unclearly, is that unlike my self and myself, oneself requires a change in spelling in being contracted from one's self. But the dictionaries I looked in allow it, so I withdraw my objection. I guess it is more like himself than myself.

foodie 3:19 PM  

Well... I liked it better than most of you did, I guess. I read the note first, and I never stopped to figure out the odd letter out, but it had sort of a priming effect on my brain. I found the answers popped into my head a bit sooner and I had a greater sense of certainty about them. TATTERED AND TORN, for example, was the first to go in (I start in the southeast) and did not feel nearly as precarious as it would have without the note. And when I had EFFORT and a U, it made STRENUOUS materialize. So, in the end it felt easy except for the East, and I felt the theme helped me. May be I happened on the right level of usage of the note, not avoiding it altogether but not take the time that would be required to actually identify the odd letter.

Only 10 days ago, I watched my son take the HIPPOCRATIC OATH. It was a very moving occasion. I had never stopped to think about what it says even though my family is full of physicians. I also learned that the new version was crafted by the late Louis Lasagna, someone I knew. Having witnessed it, I feel that it would be wonderful if physicians would, once in a while, take the time to think about its meaning and renew their oath...

foodie 3:27 PM  

Oh... I wanted to mention this little experiment re speed solving. I did the puzzle last night on line. It took me the usual ~5 x Orange. So, this morning I got the magazine and thought: What would happen if I redid it, still reading the clues as if for the first time but obviously remembering (most) of the answers. Still ~1.5-2 x Orange!

Chapeau, Beret, Toque, Fez... off!

Ulrich 3:39 PM  

Speaking of reflexive pronouns: When I did a quick translation of the last, "morbid" stanza of Lili Marleen this morning, I did this from memory. But when I checked the lyrics, I realized that I had heard a reflexive pronoun where there was, in fact, a personal pronoun. So, the accurate translation is in in a dream, your enchanted mouth (or perhaps loving mouth) lifts me [out of the silent space from beneath the earth...]. No wonder, Goebbels hated the song--no morale builder this one.

Anonymous 4:09 PM  

This may have been a more interesting puzzle if you actually needed to figure out the odd letters to get 68A and 70A. But I didn't even need the clues for 68A and 70A. That made the theme pretty pointless,

Clark 5:17 PM  

@Joe in Montreal -- I reread the clue and your posts, and I think you are right. I did misunderstand you. "Personal Identity" is a clue to ONESSELF not to ONESELF. And you were questioning whether the latter is a legitimate contraction of the former. I am with you now.

@Ulrich -- It is your language (that is, y'all's language) that has made me pay attention to the subtleties of reflexive pronouns. Distinguishing 'selbst' and 'Selbst', for example, where the upper case S may not show up because of a weird existential-phenomenological compound. Or the practice in some writers of using 'ihm' instead of 'sich' for a reflexive pronoun.

mac 5:31 PM  

I had the odd feeling that I had already done this puzzle, and not because of the Baum and Terence repeats only. I did the lover half early in the morning, took off for about 5 hours, then returned to it for what felt a bit like a slog. I liked some clues a lot (although I like coin - name from ArtLvr best!) but as usual the Sunday puzzle is just too big....
I got into trouble in the middle because I called Towser (?) a sot, and had a hard time getting the "patri" after Gloria because I confidently put an a at the end. Scenic fabric (toile) is cute, I just saw some with sheep and shepardesses on it. Which reminds me, thinking of Shep was an AHA moment for me!

I've been asking the New Yorkers around me today what they think of "the Lex" and they've never heard it. "Lex" for the avenue, yes, the Lexington line for the subway line or 4-5-6.

poc 5:36 PM  

@chefbea: yes, I know what a slew is. It's a bunch of things. While many things might make a slew, even if many bunches of things can also make a slew, my problem is with the unnecessary plural in the clue.

fergus 6:07 PM  

Whopper mistake: UIESECUIL (sounds like half a tank to me, in Middle Low Flemish) instead of DIESEL OIL. I guess I forgot about that area, growing more frustrated over on the EDRED side, so that I just wanted to be through with this one. Btw, DIESEL OIL does seem a little redundant.

fergus 6:37 PM  

And before I got any RESPECT, I wrote in "HERE I AM, I'm a man and I can't help but love you so ... " from roughly the same time.

Ulrich 7:11 PM  

@George NYC: I have been reading comments on youtube attached to this video, and there are several of them that mention the player, which I didn't even notice--respect!

Among the comments are several from people (not necessarily Germans) who actually lived through the war and sang the song, and I find these really moving.

Sorry, Rex: I'm cap-and-trading here (for unused third posts in the past) b/c I consider Lili Marleen part of our shared cultural heritage.

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

Born in NYC, lived here 35 years, have taken the subway probably 250-300 days a year for the past 20 years, and have never heard it called the Lex until this puzzle and the comments. I was even willing to go with either Bee, Cee, or Dee(the C or B/D), bad as that would have been; Lex just would not have occurred to this NYer without the crosses. May as well call it "the Green line" - the avenue is Lex; the subway is the 4/5/6.

George NYC 8:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
George NYC 8:20 PM  

Have to vote with the anti "the Lex" crowd. It's always the Lexington line or the 4,5, 6. Using subway lingo is as dangerous as using so cal highway lingo, eg "I took the 405." There was a time when the MTA added a No 9 train to the 1 line. New Yorkers would say "take the 1 - 9, as in one, nine. People would of course think you meant 19, as in nineteen. Luckily, they got rid of it...

Anne 8:28 PM  

As others have said, constructing this was probably a lot of fun, but solving it not so much. The payoff for the solver has to be worth the effort, and here it was not. I didn't get to the puzzle until late so I have to take that into consideration, but it still felt like a slog.

PhillySolver 10:17 PM  

Traveling for a few days so just got to the comments. I had an office on Park Avenue for a couple of years. I heard the subway I used, The Green Line (4-5-6) referred to as the Lex Train one time. I asked about it and was told that Manhattanites call it that to 'dis' Brooklynites since the train has more line in the later borough. I can not prove any of this though.

Clark 10:48 PM  

I worked at Third Avenue and 52d Street during the 80s and 90. The folks in my office referred to the Lexington Avenue line as the LEX.

George NYC 11:01 PM  

It seems the LEX clue is an example of hyper Natickness. It's not just about whether you live in New York City, but WHERE in NYC you live. Based on comments here, those New Yorkers (like me) who live downtown (or anywhere away from the Upper East Side) refer to the subway in question as the "Lexington Line" or the "4, 5, 6." People who live near Lexington Ave are comfortable saying "the Lex," because, by context, everyone knows what they are referring to.
This discussion must seem absurdly boring to non New Yorkers...apologies.
Maybe we should inaugurate the LEX RULE, meaning not just a local reference, but a micro-local reference....

XMAN 11:30 PM  

I'm ggoing to get the last word in on the LEX. In the Bronx we called the #4 the Jerome Avenue line. It stopped (and as fas I know, still does) at River Ave. and 161st Street, which is Yankee Stadium.

Meril Yu 12:18 AM  

Why has nobody carped about the 3D answer "private practice"? Indeed, lawyers who work for firms are in private practice as opposed to those who work for some government/public agency. OK, once again proud to be the slowest and last.

andrea tattered and torn michaels 5:03 AM  

Meril Yu,
You may be the slowest, but you ain't the last!
I hadn't had time to chime in and say love love love this new addition of listing the constructor separately and fully- named!
Yay The Rex!

(New Yorkers in Manhattan refer to him as Rexie P.; Dwellers of Natick call him Rex Pah-ker. Several in the Upstate area and parts of Chicago call him #44...
But we Northern Californians have been referring to him as The Rex since '84.)

Anders Weinstein 8:47 AM  

Philosophically speaking, "You name it" is just wrong for NOUN. You name something *with* a noun. Like any other object, a noun itself *might* get named -- for example, "The Tetragrammaton" is a name for a certain noun -- but this is rare. Imagine a christening ceremony at which some noun gets named and you will see how wrong this clue is.

PS I rode the subway to school in NYC and am also among those who never heard "The Lex" - "53rd and Lex", yes, but always "The Lexington Line". But I'm from an "outer borough" so what do I know.

Anonymous 6:44 PM  

This puzzle must have broken
A record for most clues with "i.e."

Anonymous 1:56 PM  

It was nice for those of us from the Northwest to get a gimmee with The Dalles -- we have to suffer through all those odd Northeastern names most of the time.

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