Hungarian writer Madach — FRIDAY, Jul. 17 2009 — Manhattan Mary V artist / Hoffman co-star Cusack / Outfielder Francona / Robert E Lee last victory

Friday, July 17, 2009


Constructors: Doug Peterson and Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: KENTUCKY COLONEL (8D: Honorary title bestowed on Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali and Mae West)Kentucky Colonel is an honorary title bestowed upon individuals by approval of the governor of Kentucky. It is not a military rank, requires no duties, and carries with it no pay or compensation other than membership in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Award of the title requires nomination from an existing colonel. Nominators are expected to consider the nominee's service and contributions to the global community before making a nomination. The sitting governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky bestows the honor of a Colonel's Commission, by issuance of a certificate. (wikipedia)
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The fill on this one is very nice, but the cluing was all over the map. Sometimes on, but too often precious, cutesy, or out-of-left-field. Is there a reason anyone outside Kentucky knows what a KENTUCKY COLONEL is? I half-inferred it from COLONEL Sanders, but I kept putting in and taking out the COLONEL part, which helped make the whole SE *by far* the hardest part of the puzzle to solve. I know the names TITO and SINEAD, but I have No Idea who this TITO or this SINEAD is. None. I know TERRY Francona, but not TITO (52D: Outfielder Francona). Oh ... crap, they're the same person. TITO is a nickname. He's the @#$#ing manager of the Red Sox and hasn't been an "outfielder" in 19 years. Man, that clue blows on two levels. No cue for nickname. And ridiculously dated use of "outfielder" — "outfielder" shmoutfielder. Come on. [I am slightly less annoyed now that I've had it pointed out to me that the clue likely referred to Francona's father, TITO, who was a successful outfielder during the 60s. No Hall-of-Famer, but he had a solid career]. SINEAD was particularly brutal (45D: "Hoffman" co-star Cusack). Me: "Let's see, there's John ... and Joan ... and I'm out of Cusacks." I don't even know what "Hoffman" is. Is SINEAD O'Connor really too easy for a Friday? I get that BOHO is supposed to be an abbrev. of "bohemian," but something about the clue rubbed me the wrong way (53A: Eschewer of convention, in slang). Maybe it's the word "eschewer." Maybe it's the fact that the only way I know BOHO is from the phrase "BOHO chic," used to apply to fashion popularized by certain celebrities, and thus a far cry from unconventional. Aren't UGG Boots supposed to be "BOHO?" BOO HOO for me, I guess. How is OPEL a 2009 G.M. spinoff? OPEL existed before 2009. In fact, OPEL has been around about a century. I guess I understand only the sitcom meaning of "spinoff." Anyway, the only way I finally got this corner was by first committing to OTOS (44A: People of the Platte, once) over OTOE, and then trying very very hard to think of L--Y words for 49A: Symbol of innocence and purity (lily). Once I got that, I instantly got LEEKS (50D: Amaryllis family members), and the "K" gave me all the traction I needed. "K"s are good like that.

Is a TOW CAR (43D: Crash site sight) anything like a TOW TRUCK? Never heard of it. Thought the clue on ANKLE was super-cheap (48D: _____-high). I think of "Tawny" as a color a great deal more dynamic than ECRU (which, in my mind, is the official color of ENNUI). I don't know what's "literary" about JESU (22A: Pieta figure, literarily). I know JESU from Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," but that's not literature.



As I say, the fill itself was mostly very nice. Loved the NW — would have loved it a hell of a lot more were it not for the cute but irritating clue on 15A: 63-Across? (ALMA MATER). No hope of getting that for a long time. Or I should say, no hope of "confirming" that, because I had many crosses up in the NW and really wanted to write in ALMA MATER before I knew why. Not thrilled about having to go to the other end of the puzzle to wait for an answer that would only obliquely ("?") clue my 15A, but that's life. At least when I got OLD SCHOOL, there was some payoff — it's a perfect complement for DR DRE (62A: Artist with the 1999 6x platinum album "2001"). N.W.A. (DRE's former group) is OLD SCHOOL for sure. Their "Straight Outta Compton," one of the most influential rap albums ever made, is over 20 years old. RAPS (4D: 62-Across offerings) always strikes me as an odd plural. Kind of like GAYS.

Got FAIR SHAKE immediately — shocking. So shocking, I wasn't convinced I was right, even when the "S" (from SMU, 5D: Big D campus) checked out. Guessed IVOR when answer was IMRE (3D: Hungarian writer Madach). Wanted ERTE but didn't trust it (9D: "Manhattan Mary V" artist), so the NW was a place I had to come back to. In fact, the SW and NE were, in general, way easier than the NW and SE. I got my first real foothold over at LSAT (31D: 180 is its max. score) and spread out from there, leaving the NW and SE for last. Is the juxtaposition of PETE (30D: Rose with a hit record) and NE'ER DO WELL (13D: Bum) intentional? It's kind of mean, kind of brilliant.

Bullets:

  • 31A: Kind of door or window (louver) — like FAIR SHAKE, came to me in a flash *and* I had trouble trusting it was right.
  • 46A: Lump in cloth (burl) — not sure which is the uglier word, "lump" or BURL.
  • 58A: Comment from the beat ("I need a nap") — I groaned at this one when I finally got it. It's very clever ... but almost too clever for my tastes, mainly because I don't buy "I NEED A NAP" as a self-standing phrase any more than "I NEED A DRINK" or "I NEED A HINT" or "I NEED A NAPKIN."
  • 60A: Big maker of communications satellites (Loral) — news to me.
  • 6D: Berry with juicy parts? (Halle) — more clever cutesiness.
  • 14D: Pentax Spotmatic and Nikon F2, for short (SLRs) — Single Lens Reflex cameras. An OLD SCHOOL answer.
  • 24D: Site of Robert E Lee's last victory (Cold Harbor) — totally unknown to me, though clearly the phrase existed in my head somewhere, as it's the first thing I wanted after I got the "COLD" part.
  • 26D: Shooting star, briefly? (MVP) — Cutesy Cutesingford strikes again.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

See my write-up of today's L.A. Times puzzle here.

106 comments:

Brian 8:17 AM  

Does TITO Francona bother you less if you know it might mean Terry's FATHER? Tito (the elder) was a more prominent player in the 1960s than his son ever was. And while it may not have been his given name, he was actually known as "Tito" for his whole career (whereas Terry only marginally gets that nickname).

Of course, I can't say that I know which Francona Messrs. Silk and Peterson were looking for...

Rex Parker 8:28 AM  

Brian,

Thank you. I have amended my write-up.

rp

nanpilla 8:32 AM  

Surprised that this one didn't take me longer, since there were so many things I didn't have any idea about. That's what makes a puzzle a FAIR SHAKE. Embarrased to say I haven't heard of COLD HARBOR either. And Hoffman is some 1970 movie starring Peter Sellers. That's going pretty far back for an obscure clue as far as I'm concerned. Loved NEER DO WELL when I finally parsed it out. OUIJA BOARD had quite an unlikely beginning, but helped to open up the whole corner. Agree that I've never heard of a TOW CAR. Having REW and ERASES seems so vcr OLD SCHOOL.

PhillySolver 8:35 AM  

I solved this one in a little over my average Friday time, so the difficulty isn't my issue. I just wonder why KENTUCKY COLONEL is a phrase that matters to anyone other than the recipients? Now had it referred to the NEER DO WELL and crossed ALASKA QUITTER or CAROLINA CHEATER or maybe NEVADA SEX GAMBLER, I would have liked the payoff. Lots of fill and clues to admire here particularly in the long downs.

Robert 8:38 AM  

I'm a little curious about 51A. I never thought of Lucy and Ricky living in a brownstone. Their apartment gave no indication of "brownstone" to me. I am I alone on this?

PuzzleGirl 8:42 AM  

I LOVED this puzzle. The cutesy cluing didn't bother me at all. First time through the acrosses I had only COME / ONTO, OWE, STEELE, and the incorrect OTOS.

Not too many missteps for a Friday. I had BIRD for THAT (as in "It's a BIRD!" — brilliant, I know), BABY for LILY, SIT ON for SET BY, and NOREL (???) for LORAL (???).

Loved the corresponding pairs OLD SCHOOL / ALMA MATER and LATE RISERS / I NEED A NAP (btw, all the phrases Rex mentions in his write-up sound fair to me).

Not sure whether to laugh or be offended by HALLE Berry's "juicy parts"!!

Crosscan 8:44 AM  

Well, Terry Francona and PETE Rose would have been a nice double Expos combo. Did they play together? [checking...]

Yes, in 1984. Opening day lineup, Rose in left field, Terry at first base. 4-2 win over the Astros.

Wow, great team - Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter and Tim Wallach also in the lineup. How did they finish 5th?

what? Oh, the puzzle. Don't know my LSAT from my PSAT, or my LOUVER door from my POUVER window.

FAIR SHAKE overall. Good puzzle.

treedweller 9:00 AM  

Well, I really nailed the top half of this one. It wasn't any great time by Rex standards, but I was on track to blow away my best Friday. Then I got to the bottom half. A smattering of correct answers, along with a few wrong ones (solidarity on PSAT, Crosscan), and a lot of white space. I read through every blank clue at least 10 times without a break.

I enjoy a lot of rap music, but I don't learn the names of the artists, so I had to google DRDRE. and, let me tell you, googling an album called "2001" will test one's googling skills. 6x platinum finally proved to be the key (though I almost entered Usher based on the fact that he had a 6x platinum album released in 2001). PSAT made LOUVER a mystery, and that (plus my lack of Civil War knowledge) deprived me of COLDHARBOR and OUIJABOARD. I saw KENTUCKY, but had to google for COLONEL. And SINEAD (didn't help that I tried OTOe). And OPEL. BOHO? Oh, no! LORAL was an attempted google, but finally I just filled in all the crosses and expected to get an "incorrect" message (surprisingly, once I finally got all my cheating done, I had everything right).

I really enjoyed that top half, though. And I'm especially grateful that SLIPPERYWHENWET got in there without a reference to Bon Jovi.

Blue Stater 9:15 AM  

Well critiqued, Rex; I agree wholeheartedly. This puzzle was Just. Too. Cute. For. Words.

Bryan 9:20 AM  

I'm on the opposite side: loved it.

joho 9:30 AM  

@Rex, your write-up is right on.
TOWCAR? The only way I got SINEAD was through crosses and the fact that it's an Irish name and made sense.

@Robert ... I always thought the Ricardos lived in a big NYC apartment building then moved to a ranch out in the suburbs, no BROWNSTONE in sight.

@PG ... I know! Is the clue discussing HALLE's juicy roles or juicy parts of her? Ewwww.

I was happy to finish with no errors and have this blog to thank for making me a better solver. I just wished I had liked this puzzle better.

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:36 AM  

Thought this one was okay. Took me way longer than a normal Friday. Fill's good, but on the whole felt like the cluing wasn't much help at all. More than a couple entries, to me, might as well have been {Two (or four) words}. I know, I know, I'm guilty of that myself. But KENTUCKY COLONEL, COLD HARBOR and I NEED A NAP just would not yield. In fact, more than a couple entries basically fell because I might as well have been constructing the puzzle instead of solving the clues. But the words were nice. So, on the whole a "half-approved."

ArtLvr 9:49 AM  

I had a heck of a headache, but persevered to the end. Quit and came back half a dozen times, with I NEED A NAP interludes. Couldn't even get PALIN right away, as I don't think of her as a Woman -- more like a poltergeist, needs burial not repotting. Fancy, but not FACT.

Loved Phillysolver's suggestions for upcoming theme material... adding C Street Cabal, maybe.

Yes, many rough spots -- but once fully awake I thought it was a great puzzle!



∑;(

Rex Parker 9:52 AM  

I am checking to see if I am able to create a link in a comment.

Kittens!

Yep, that works.

Pinky 9:58 AM  

@Robert I agree.

I remember thinking the Kramdens (Ralph and Alice) lived in a brownstone because of the fire escape outside the kitchen window, but I agree with Joho - always thought the Ricardos lived in a fancy hi rise.

I liked the puzzle today, Guessed my way through and got it eventually without having to Google.

Pinky 10:03 AM  

@Rex I agree BOHO could have been better clued (I had BORE at first)

I don't think of Bohemian as conventional in any sense of the word.

HudsonHawk 10:05 AM  

I enjoyed this one. The KENTUCKY COLONELs were a very successful team in the old ABA, but were not included in the 1976 merger with the NBA. Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore were both big stars for the Colonels.

Rex, a company may "spin-off" a division/brand for a variety of reasons, creating a separate entity, often publicly traded. It is frequently used as a way to off-load a heavy debt burden (like GM), or for strategic purposes. For example, Coach was spun-off from Sara Lee several years ago in an IPO in order to provide capital to fund store expansion (and because luxury bags didn't fit very well strategically with all those frozen desserts).

Pinky 10:11 AM  

(sorry - missed the word "eschewer" of convention. Scratch last comment (doh)

Hobbyist 10:18 AM  

When the Ricardos and Mertzes were heading via car for, I think, California, said car was shown parked in front of what looked to me like a brownstone. Never had the impression that they lived in luxurious digs.
Tough puzzle. Had to google Sinead.

Steve in Boston 10:25 AM  

Loved this puzzle, and breezed right through it! SINEAD Cusack has done a lot of NY theatre of late, so that came fairly easily to me. When I think BROWNSTONE, though, I think of the Huxtables. Generation gap!

Do you prefer "gay people" over "gays"?

John 10:28 AM  

The Episode of I Love Lucy where they left to drive to California, showed the front of the apartment house. It was indeed a Brownstone. It even had the ground level set of about 20 steps up to the front door.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Re the "OPEL" clue: a "spinoff" is a term they use when two businesses separate. Like the opposite of a merger. So, Opel, having been disposed of by GM this year, is now a "spinoff."

Stan 10:40 AM  

Required serious wrestling, but the last word (NEERDOWELL) finally went in with a satisfying clunk. Wow, did that word look wrong to me!

Thumbs up on OLDSCHOOL/ALMAMATER.

Glitch 10:48 AM  

@Rex:
Tow Car is a rather antiquated synonym for Tow Truck and Wrecker. Same era as Pullman cars. I remember it from some old movies (40's?)

@Pinky

From my NYC daze, having a fire escape outside the kitchen would more likely be a lo-rise or tenament building. Due to layout, brownstones rarely had a window in the kitchen.


@John

In NYC snob parlance, an apartment house and a brownstone are not really synonomous (tho you can have an apartment in a brownstone). But what you describe probably is a B'stome

and lastly, adding to @H-H & anon:

[Opel] was acquired by General Motors Corporation in 1929. As part of GM Europe, Opel is GM's largest European brand and, along with Vauxhall Motors in the UK, it forms GM's core European business.

In early 2009, the future of Opel was thrown into uncertainty as the global financial crisis drove GM towards bankruptcy. However, on 30 May 2009, it was announced that a deal had been reached to transfer New GM Europe (Opel plus Vauxhall, minus Saab) assets to a separate company majority-owned by a consortium led by Sberbank of Russia (35%), Magna International of Canada (20%), and Opel employees and car dealers (10%). GM is expected to keep a 35% minority stake in the new company.

I'm not sure this is truly a "Spinoff" tho.

.../Glitch

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

If you would like to know the history behind the title KENTUCKY COLONEL (8 down), the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels would be please if you visited http://www.kycolonels.org. You can also email ambassador@kycolonels.org. We are, by the way, a world wide organization with members in all 50 states and 62 nations.

Colonel Glen Bastin

Pinky 11:01 AM  

@Glitch - you are probably right about the fire escapes. In my old (OLD) Brooklyn Heights years (50s-60s) some Brownstones were occupied by one family and were lovely. Some were divided into multiple units for low rent occupants and were pretty shabby before they became chic.

dk 11:02 AM  

Died at OUIJABOARD and feel like a dope as everything else came fast and furious.

SLIPPERYWHENWET was my first fill as when I was in college and someone asked me what my sign was... that and falling rock zone was my response to that come on.

CORPULENT and the aforementioned OUIJA were the hard fills given my spelling handicap, but an otherwise fine themeless Friday. Nice party of Jays as well.

I concur with all the carping about TOWCAR and my views on PALIN are well known.

fikink 11:08 AM  

I did not know that BURL could apply to cloth, and I think more often of ROUGHing something "in" as opposed to "out."
Overall, a difficult puzzle for me. Hats off to Doug and Barry.

Susan 11:11 AM  

I don't know from brownstones, but the fact that Fred and Ethel were the landlords rules out its being a fancy high rise.

Although I get the pun I think the Halle Berry clue is just gross.

I still don't get "I need a nap." Please explain!

I actually finished this without googling (unusual Friday for me)!

archaeoprof 11:15 AM  

Fun Friday, hard but fair. It's been a good week, hasn't it. Can't wait for tomorrow.

COLD HARBOR was a vicious battle, even by Civil War standards. Grant ordered an assault in which 7000 soldiers were wounded or killed in one hour.

Pinky 11:16 AM  

@ Susan....think BEAT as in I'm BEAT

Two Ponies 11:16 AM  

I can't believe I got through this odd but enjoyable puzzle.
In my kitchen tea kettles tend to whistle not sing.
I adore Lyle Lovett and "If I Had a Boat" is worth a visit to YouTube if you haven't heard it.
Victory felt sweet today esp. against such worthy constructors.
This sort of smugness usually means I'm in for a good kick in the pants tomorrow.

Dough 11:17 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle. Congrats to Doug and Barry for providing a lovely beginning to a BBQ-rich weekend. Lots of terrific entries and clues with a bit of 'tude. If all the divas here got their way, this would have been too easy for a Friday. I had the NW done, and it was the cross-reference to ALMA MATER that opened the SE for me (with a smile at the adorable punning reference). Once I got OLD SCHOOL, the rest just filled in. I filled in "I NEED A NAP" and once the puzzle was done had to reread the clue 3 times until I had the head-slapper of understanding what the thing meant. Sheesh, I'm an idiot!

SethG 11:25 AM  

I agree with @blue stater. But in general, I've got to let it rock.

I misread "literarily" as "literally". It made no difference--JESU might as well be a steel horse for what I understood of that clue/answer. Zoomed along through the top, but then stalled when I was half way there. Tried desperately to fit in MOVE ALONG for I NEED A NAP, less desperately to squeeze MAKE A MOVE in for COME ON TO, guessed A BOAT off just the B, then guessed HARBOR off just the A.

The thing that really turned the corner for me was TOWCAR. Has anyone ever seen one of these in the wild, wild in the streets? Raise your hands if you agree with me.

It was almost enough to make me quit, but I never say goodbye. I finished the rest, but without love. Because love is a social disease. I played my part, and the puzzle played its game. I'd die for you, but I never say.

Goodbye.

edith b 11:51 AM  

I thought KENTUCKYCOLONEL was knowledge that was in the public domain, so to speak. Harlan Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel, after all, which is how I came to know what it was.

I found the Halle Barry clue designed specifically to offend without being overtly offensive which, to me, is the worst kind of offensive. Shame on you, Mssrs. Peterson and Silk (or maybe Mr. Shortz).

Two days in a row with self-referential clues. Enough!

I thought Lucy and Ricky lived in a cheap rented apartment that befitted what he did for a living..Not my understandiong of what a BROWNSTONE is.

I guess I came to the same conclusion as Rex but from a different direction: too clever by half.

foodie 11:54 AM  

@SethG, that's hilarious! More specifically, love is like the shingles-- "a potentially serious and painful disease" which can lay dormant for a while but become re-activated when you least expect it.

I really liked the puzzle and enjoyed the two meanings of OLD SCHOOL that emerged. I especially admired the construction-- the density and proximity of long answers.

This comment from @BEQ was interesting: "In fact, more than a couple entries basically fell because I might as well have been constructing the puzzle instead of solving the clues." Well you know, this is how I often feel late in the week because I have so many holes in my pop culture/sports knowledge. So, I don't get irritated at how SINEAD or TITO are clued because unless they are the most obvious SINEAD and TITO and clued just as obviously, I'd never expect to know them. So, I'm always making educated guesses based on language structure, probabilities and the like. As I've improved, that's what I have gotten better at--- educated risk-taking behavior in reconstructing the puzzle.

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

Even though I agree with most of Rex's vinegary comments, I enjoyed the puzzle.

But I had an additional issue with Cold Harbor being described as Lee's last victory. I got the puzzlemaker's intent quickly, but last victory? The Battle of the Crater certainly wasn't a Union victory and there was a repulse of Union forces at some crossroad whose name I forget not long before Lee had to abandon Richmond. So 'last victory' is arguable -- maybe 'last major victory'. But the whole idea of assigning the term 'victory' to cold Harbor gives me the shakes. This battle was particularly pointless. And bloody. Cold Harbor would be best remembered when humankind is seriously trying to evolve beyond warfare or when learning why war is a bad idea.

fikink 12:09 PM  

Oh, a couple more thoughts: Did anyone notice that INSOMNIACS fits for night owls?

@Hudson Hawk, I did not know Sara Lee owned Coach. Always thought it was privately held. What a trip!

When I was in the business world in the 80s, competing women were counting their successes in silk blouses and Coach bags. It was cut-throat! Later, coming to bucolic Iowa, small town folk accumulated cars to impress. Once my neighbor leaned over the hedge and whispered that his 80-year-old father blew a fuse in his Park Avenue - I didn't know where to look!

Daryl 12:14 PM  

I'm on the side of loved this puzzle, including the cluing. Certainly didn't feel like a "challenging" grade puzzle. I got STEELE and PALIN/LASER straightaway. SINEAD Cusack is fairly wellknown I thought. Liked the cluing for ALMA MATER.

And I guess TITO was obvious to this Sox fan. I love Tito (the younger not his dad). But would have been fine with a Jackson 5 reference, or a dictator one.

Denise 12:17 PM  

The Huxtables lived in a brownstone, and the Kramdens lived in a tenement, and the Ricardos lived in a Manhattan apartment. The fact that they used that street shot of a brownstone for the time they had a car doesn't mean anything -- the old days of TV were much less focused on continuity and reality.

I was 20 minutes in, and had almost nothing. I'm visiting my daughter, and she wanted to show me something and said, "Oh -- you are timing." I said don't worry, my time is going to be dismal.

Then it all fell into place and I wondered what the problem was. When I submitted, at 35 minutes, there was an error I couldn't find.

Um, wasn't there an actress named EINEAD?

I got COLD HARBOR by thinking of the movie COLD MOUNTAIN. My husband helped me with TITO - but, even he, 110% Sox fan, was unsure.

I got TOWCAR because it fit in the spaces, and for no other reason.

I really loved TEAKETTLE, and the Lyle Lovett song came to me --- oldest daughter is a big fan and she used to sing that silly song.

I am a LATERISER today.

This puzzle annoyed me in places, but I love how it unfolded.

poc 12:18 PM  

SINEAD was easy for some of us. On the other hand, I never heard of TITO Francona (Tito Puente is another story), or knew that DesiLu lived in a brownstone, so I got it all by inspired guesswork. I actually liked much of the cluing: comment from the beat, it's not fancy, etc.

I'd rate this as Challenging, whereas yesterday's I thought Medium-Challenging. Go figure.

still_learnin 12:20 PM  

The SW was my downfall... never did finish it. Had PSAT rather than LSAT which messed up LOUVER. I knew LORAL, but couldn't see BALD, not even with BAL_ :-( I guessed BROWNSTONE... but I remember them living in a modest apartment with the Mertzes as their landlords. Finally, I have a mental block when it comes to OIJABOARDs. Those synapses just aren't connected in my brain. I may need to tatoo the word onto my skin like the "Memento" guy.

gjelizabeth 12:20 PM  

HOFFMAN is a quirky 1970 Peter Sellers' film (co-starring SINEAD Cusak and directed by Alvin Rakoff). Its faintly creepy premise has Hoffman, a lonely middle-aged businessman, blackmailing a young co-worker into spending a week with him. This would be played for slapstick today, I suppose, but the actors in HOFFMAN play it straight and let the ultimate sweetness carry the day. I re-watched it recently and still loved it. The movie is an underground classic. Pleople who see it usually remember it. I went to Wikipedia to see if there were other reasons to save this from NATICK status and discovered that she's been married to Jeremy Irons since 1978. It's Friday. Seems fair to me.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Did not finish, got the top half. I have come to the sad conclusion that I cannot solve Friday/Saturday without Google. And I refuse to do that as I dont have access to it on the bus, where I solve. I will be forever sequestered in Sunday-through-Thursday.... :(

PlantieBea 12:23 PM  

No cheats, but I ended up with an error. Like Treedweller and Crosscan, I went with the PSAT/POUVER combo. I had to stare for a long time to make OUIJI BOARD come into view. SW corner was the most difficult for me. Lots of answering from the crosses and common sense (TITO, SINEAD, COLONOL, HARBOR) as written by others.

PlantieBea 12:25 PM  

Make that OUIJA BOARD--even though I pronounce it wee-jee...always want to misspell it.

jim 12:35 PM  

Rich or famous, abbr., = adj

I don't get it.

JPC

jae 12:44 PM  

I too liked this one. The east side was easier for me than the west. Mostly because I couldn't decide between SMU and TCU and, I held on to PSAT (ala treedweller, crosscan and PlantieBea) far to long. Never heard of SINEAD Cusack but with SIN_ _ D what else could it be (see the latter part of foodie's comment). Fun puzzle.

Oh, and I say "INEEDANAP" quite frequently.

Glitch 12:46 PM  

I Love Lucy Trivia:
Episode 14 - 1/14/52

•This is the first time that the Ricardo’s address is mentioned—623 East 68th Street. Most maps place this mythical address somewhere in the East River.

Also:

Ricardo, Lucy & Ricky
Apartment 4A 623 East 68th Street (later Apt 3D)
New York City, NY (Upper East side of Manhattan).

Given apts 4A & 3D, it would appear to be at least a waterlogged 4 story with at least 4 units per floor. That would be a unlikely brownstone.

.../Glitch

jae 12:46 PM  

@jim -- rich and famous are adjectives.

HudsonHawk 12:49 PM  

@fikink, Sara Lee spun Coach out in a very successful IPO in 2000. Coach is now a completely separate public company. Sara Lee also used to own Hanes, Champion, and many other well known apparel brands that were spun off in 2005.

Sorry to go way off topic, but for those that didn't see her post, I have to share this excerpt from ACME's very late comment last night. It had me giggling. Sadly, I knew exactly what she meant, in spite of the Yogi Berra delivery:

"Nonplussed is one of those words I'm always afraid i'm using exactly opposite and then remember it's not what i think it is but then can't remember if it's now what i thought before or now what i know it isn't."

JC66 1:02 PM  

It appears from the comments that there are two schools of thought about this puzzle (which can probably be applied to many others).

The first exemplified by the complaint: "The only way I got SINEAD was through crosses and the fact that it's an Irish name and made sense."

The second exemplified by the explanation: "I don't get irritated at how SINEAD or TITO are clued because unless they are the most obvious SINEAD and TITO and clued just as obviously, I'd never expect to know them. So, I'm always making educated guesses based on language structure, probabilities and the like."

It seems to me that the second comment more accurately reflects what CROSSWORD puzzles are about. That's why they're called CROSS WORDS.

It's amusing to me that when Rex and other (speed) solvers are slowed down by cluing/fill that is outside their "comfort zone" they get "testy."

Ulrich 1:04 PM  

I scanned the comments twice to find anyone who has explained the literary connection between Jesu and pieta. Did I miss it?

I know that "Jesu" is the vocative case of "Jesus", which makes me guess that he is somewhere addressed as pieta--if I only knew where!

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

yesterdays comment section reminded me how i first came to this site.
about two years ago i was killing some time on a friends laptop. i clicked on an link in the bookmark bar titled "revenge of the nerds" i landed here at Rex's puzzle world and have been coming back daily ever since.
great site.

joho 1:08 PM  

@anon 12:22 ... don't give up. You may surprise yourself over time as you just keep better and better by yourself, sans Google. I know I did.

joho 1:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
joho 1:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
joho 1:12 PM  

"getting" better and better

jim 1:35 PM  

jae,

doh. thanx

jim

Bob Kerfuffle 1:49 PM  

Rather challenging for me today, more a Saturday time than a Friday.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that my first real breaks were PALIN and STEELE. But then, they do say, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"!

Denise 1:52 PM  

A Pieta is a piece of art, usually a sculpture but there are some paintings in which Mary (the Blessed Mother) is holding her dead son, Jesus (Jesu) in her arms.
There are many renditions of this theme, the most famous by Michaelangelo in St. Peter's in Rome.

For the Flushing, NY World's Fair (1964-65), the Pieta was brought to NY and had its own pavilion.

I didn't even have to Google that!

Clark 1:54 PM  

Agreeing with @Two Ponies: victory felt sweet -- but not just because I succeeded without googling after a long hard fight. During the time I did this puzzle I made a lime pie, baked it, let it cool a bit, ate a piece, ate another piece. Sweet. If I were doing this puzzle at a puzzlers' contest, they would have asked me to get the lights on my way out.

Had one mistake though. SINBAD/INBEDANAP (?!). I thought ‘comment from the beat’ had to be a reference to some nonsense lyric I didn’t know. Then Rex’s Through Beatnik Eyeballs led me even further astray. Thank you @Susan and @Pinky for setting me straight. No “Glossary for Squares” will ever be complete enough for me.

@Ulrich -- I was thinking that a pieta includes Jesus, and the name ‘Jesus’ sometimes appears in more literary registers as ‘Jesu’. I bet it’s not more complicated than that.

chefbea 1:58 PM  

Tough puzzle today. Had a lot of googles and still couldn't finish.

Tea kettle was the first answer I got - tho mine doesn't sing or whistle. It's electric!!!

Love Coach. Didn't know it was once owned by Sara Lee

Shamik 2:42 PM  

I'm with Clark on SINBAD/INBEDANAP...figuring Sinbad must have a last name and Cusack is as good as any. And also figured INBEDANAP was some sort of newspaper editorial comment for a beat reporter.

Also went down with BALD for BARE. Calling a Natick with RORAL and ERDRE...either of which could be a company name and rap artist.

Thus, a challenging time for me and an unsuccessful run. As for Ms. PALIN, she has quit, let's have her be INBEDANAP (sic) and not resurrect her with a OUIJABOARD.

Overall good puzzle, but very tough. Apropos of a Friday.

@Foodie: Thank you for thinking me as a Shami...makes me feel exotic and well-traveled! Alas, Shamik is only a unity of Shari and Mike.

XMAN 3:02 PM  

@Robert, Joho, Pinky, Glitch: The brownstones I've been in had kitchen windows but no fire escapes, so the Kramdens lived in a four or five story tenement. Other evidence for this is the staircase and the number of tenants.

Twenty steps would be a very long and arduous climb, especially with groceries in hand or children in tow (or, yipes, both). Typically, brownstones and tenements had only a few steps (if any). What you were probably looking at was the exterior of a 4- or 5-story tenement, which were sometimes inhabited by the landlords.
But neither these buidings (nor brownstones, for that matter) had back stairs--which the Ricardo/Mertz edifice plainly did. I conclude from this that the architecture was configured for the convenience of production--that, in fact, they lived in the quintessential studio apartment.

PhillySolver 3:21 PM  

'Studio Apartment" clever!

Pinky 3:28 PM  

@Xman, Robert, Joho, Glitch

This is the typical floorplan of the brownstones I remember. One side of the house is almost entirely a staircase, the other side is four stories with the kitchen/dining room on the bottom floor , the living room on second, Master bedroom on third, and extra bedrooms on fourth.

http://nytfsboimages.gabriels.net/PackageImages/Gibbs_10th_Street_Print.jpg

fergus 3:31 PM  

Confusing this and THAT kept TOWCAR from appearing. Otherwise, a totally brilliant puzzle. I actually enjoy it when there's nothing except a wild guess at TEA KETTLE to get started. Those letters are among the few still lightly traced with my ancient felt-tip pen.

--

(Apologies for any excess last night. FF)

Campesite 3:51 PM  

Somehow sort of cruised through this puzzle. Googled to confirm Tito--I'm thinking an answer might not be a household name when the fourth entry on the first Google search page is this very website.

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

Robert, while I agree with you that nothing about the inside of the Ricardo's apartment indicated a brownstone, a few episodes clearly did. For example, when the Ricardos and Mertzes are about to drive out to California, there is an episode in which Ricky brings home a new Cadillac - that Lucy promptly crashes. The oustide street scenes are clearly of a brownstone, amid a row of brownstones, in fact.

Glitch 4:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glitch 4:24 PM  

@Pinky

I can't follow your link, but you describe the classic "single family" brownstone from early last century.

Some were later broken up into apartments (one or more per floor), each would have to have it's own kitchen, to say the least.

Since the Ricardo's and Mertz's lived across the hall from each other, it would seem to be at least a front / back split. (Generally the LR/BR got the windows (per code) and the kitchen and Bath were in the mid section).

Yet, one of the apartment numbers in the scripts being 3D would seem to indicate a quad split of the 3rd floor, tough to do in a building typically 18 to 23 feet wide. Not impossible, but the apartment looked a lot bigger than that on the inside.

In any case, since the address seems to be in the East river, (@anaon 3:53p see my 12:46p post) any exterior shots, unless from a boat, can't lend any support.

I go with @XMAN's "studio apartment", and add a brownstone façade.

.../Glitch (Apt 3D and out)

fergus 4:28 PM  

I always thought it was OUIJI BOARD, which confused this and that.

What a fantastic board game for twelve year-olds seeking to divine a first kiss. Many other games and methods, of course, but I'm thrown back to the confabulations present in seventh grade, where that was better than spin-the-bottle. (The 7th graders I taught for three months earlier this year had apparently no need for such artifice.)

I completely loved this puzzle because it drew from the deepest residuals of my memory. That's supposed to help with sanity when one gets old.

fergus 4:55 PM  

One hundred and eighty is the top score for a throw in Darts. That's another obstacle that kept me from going to the old law school ... at TCU, err SMU, where Laura Bush matriculated.

treedweller 5:20 PM  

TCU is in Fort Worth. I am sure they will thank all of you if you refrain from insulting them by association with "Big D".

Anonymous 5:40 PM  

anyone else 100% sure the ricardo's residence was a "sound stage"?

HudsonHawk 6:13 PM  

@fergus, I wanted DARTS also for 31D. I had a couple 180s this season in league play.

fergus 6:15 PM  

Like any savvy solver I dodged APARTMENT on first glance. A Studio set may have also comprised the nine letters.

fergus 6:24 PM  

HH, I've only once nailed that 180 prize. And then the last arrow dropped, with no witnesses. Three cheers to you.

My lesser accomplishment may be knocking over three leaden milk bottles at the Boardwalk this evening, to the accompaniment of some has-been rock'n'roll band.

archaeoprof 6:42 PM  

@Ulrich: one other interesting thing about the Pieta. What it depicts never happened. It didn't begin to appear in Christian devotional art or literature until after the Plague, when Mary holding her dead son became an especially powerful image.

Anonymous 6:47 PM  

TCU is in Fort Worth, not Dallas. At a now-departed bar in FW, the waitresses wore t-shirts that said "In Dallas, they call it sushi. In Fort Worth, we call it bait." In a Fort Worth barbecue joint, employees wear t-shirts that say "Life is too short to live in Dallas." You get my drift.
/Robin in "Foat Wuth"

Anne 7:12 PM  

Here's a word for you - surly - which is how I feel after completing some Fridays (and Saturdays). I kept going back to it all day until I finished with one google - Imre.

Re the ongoing google discussion, when I first started doing crosswords many years ago, I used the dictionary all the time and my husband said I was cheating. But eventually I got better and better and rarely used the dictionary. So when I began trying to do Friday/Saturday about six months ago, I googled all the time, and now I find that I need that crutch less and less. I know others don't feel that way, but as we learn all the time here, people are different. And that's okay.

fergus 7:38 PM  

Any reference material invalidates the solution. But that's only my opinion -- that a puzzle should be solved with nothing less than a mumble to the coffee girl or a cry to the barber. So, do it on your own.

Loving couples can do it together, but I've found the ardor goes back and forth when mixing the solution that way.

Ulrich 8:11 PM  

@Clark and archaeoprof: I HAS to be more complicated b/c, as I said, JESU is a vocative (as in "Jesu, joy of man's desiring", which is addressed directly to Jesus, and in the German of Bach's time, the educated addressed him in the proper case derived from Latin). On the other hand, who Mary holds in her arms is Jesus (or "Jesum" if you insist on using the proper accusative)--I know of no language in which Jesu is a nominative. The references to the sculptures called pieta are beside the point ASFAIC--the issue is how "pieta" can be literarily the vocative "Jesu"--I'm still completely clueless.

Stephanie Williamsonian 8:11 PM  

For 25 down (Means of getting some answers) I originally put "waterboard". It took me a long time to realize it was "ouijaboard". But it was interesting that they both work!

treedweller 8:18 PM  

@anon 6:47
Yet there are decent places to get sushi in Ft. Worth. Those shirts paint FW as backwoods hicks, IMO, when, in fact, FW is just a city with a different vibe than dallas. There's decent art there (don't miss the Kimball) and other culture, contrary to popular belief.

At the same time, Dallas has its fans, and I don't want to get into what might be wrong with the D of DFW. It just so happens that not many of those fans live in Fort Worth.

Two Ponies 8:20 PM  

I'm not sure how long I have been coming here but in the beginning I would google too, mostly for pop culture namesor other proper names.
I haven't done it in ages but it was a gradual trend like Anne and her dictionary.
One good thing about it is that you often learn much more about a given topic after googling than you were looking for in the first place.

edith b 8:21 PM  

@Anne-

When I first started doing crosswords - more than thirty years ago - I used the dictionary all the time and, like you eventually weaned myself from it as I learned.

I do not believe it is possible to "cheat" and I believe that whatever you have to do to solve is OK. I mean, after all, we're just having fun, aren't we?

On the other hand, if you are a competitive person by nature and you want to compete with Rex and Orange and others, there are "rules of engagement" you'll have to learn to avoid misrepresenting yourself (or your time).

But whatever path you choose, the key is - enjoy yourself!

jae 8:23 PM  

@treedweller & anon -- Thanks for the correction on Fort Worth. I just assumed it was one big metro area given the airport is DFW.

@Anne -- you've pretty much described my crossword solving learning curve. I'm now at a point where I guess rather than google and mark it up as a blown puzzle if I guess wrong. I will, however, query my bride occasionally but I'm trying to do less of that.

joho 9:04 PM  

I am so sad to hear that Walter Cronkite has died. I suppose I can tie this comment into the puzzle because he lived in NYC either in an apartment building or brownstone just as Lucy and Ricky did. Ok, I'm not talking about the puzzle.

I remember one day I was walking down the street and I saw him and his wife walking toward me. I wanted to do something, but he did it instead. He looked directly at me, acknowledged that I knew who he was, and smiled and nodded, not missing a beat in his walk with his wife, who didn't have a clue of our exchange. He was a classy guy ... I wish more newsmen today had his approach.

Anonymous 9:48 PM  

@treedweller and jae
Treedweller, you are right. Fort Worth is a lovely city with a totally different vibe than Dallas. I was born here and have lived here all my life, and yes, we do have sushi on offer. You are also right about the art - we have way more than a city this size should be expected to have. Not just the Kimball, but the Modern, the Amon Carter, and the Cowgirls' Museum, to name a few!

@fergus
Are you kidding me? Did Laura Bush go to law school at SMU? George didn't, I know, but his library is going to be located there.

Robin in Fort Worth

Denise 9:51 PM  

The Mertzes lived downstairs -- that is how we know about the kitchen stairs.

By the way, Anonymous, I put "sound stage" first. That is of course what it was!

I bet the clue for Pieta was meant to be how I read it, "literally," not "literarily."

Lively Friday discussion!!

Anonymous 9:52 PM  

8 minutes away from the Saturday puzzle here in Texas.
Robin

Clark 10:19 PM  

@Ulrich -- 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' is an original poem by Robert Bridges. It has come to be associated with the Bach Choral Prelude, Jesu, bleibet meine Freude, but it is not really a translation of the text of that Chorale. I would say that the word 'Jesu' appears in that English poem as a variant (a literary variant if you will) of the name 'Jesus', since there is no vocative case in English. (The vocative in English is an optional element of clause structure, but it is not a case, and it is not inflected.) You probably know all that, but I recite it as my reason for guessing that what is behind the clue is just ' Jesu' as a literary variant of the name 'Jesus'. Maybe the constructors will tell us what they were thinking.

retired_chemist 11:02 PM  

One clue took at least 15 minutes and I think it was not well worded: 31A “Kind of door or window.” LOUVERED would work in an 8 letter answer. The LOUVER is the slat, not the door or window. Neither online M-W nor the Free Dictionary Online lists LOUVER as an adjective. There is thus no way to parse the clue and get LOUVER except by its incorrect usage. Figured 31A had to end in –ED, and DEPOTS seemed sensible (remove a plant from a pot) @ 32D. Had to google to decide between PSAT and LSAT @ 31D finally, then that section became clear. But I am GROUCHY.

That said I liked the puzzle otherwise. As with most puzzles that Barry Silk’s name is on, it took me a long while to get any traction and then a lot of thought to do anything with the traction I got.

Bill from NJ 12:45 AM  

@joho-

Wow, what a story because I had an uncanny encounter precisely as you describe it with John Lennon in front of the United Nations building on 1st Avenue in the late 70s and Yoko never noticed our exchange either. How do you describe such a situation?!

mac 12:47 AM  

Well, I had the pleasure of doing this puzzle with ACME this afternoon and we raced right through it! We both had answers that just popped up out of almost nowhere, and between the two of us we got the job done very quickly. It's interesting how much more analytical Andrea is, obviously because she is a constructor, so I'm hoping she will do the critiquing (or queing? Clark?) part later.

So sad to just hear about Walter Cronkite.

Rex's kittens and Clark and Shamiks Sinbad had me practically crying with laughter!

Anyway, I had a great time with Andrea, and later on also with her best friend and Patrick Blindauer.
Andrea, Patrick and I went out to dinner and ended up closing the restaurant..... Anybody not interested in puzzles and clues and word ladders etc. would have been bored out of his mind or worse! We were having a ball!

colonel andrea michaels 1:49 AM  

Yes, Mac and I did indeed do the puzzle together and seemed perfect complements...I would have struggled over LILY, PEENS, REW, SLIPPERYWHENWET to name a few...it might have taken her longer to get HALLE, MVP, RAPS without me...and it was fun to piece out together KENTUCKY COLONELS and COLDHARBOR and laugh and compare notes and knowledge all the way thru.

Asamatteroffact, we spent 10 hours together, no fisticuffs...and are both grateful that this blog introduced us to each other. Incredible woman,
unbelievably gracious hostess (whom many others have already attested to that fact), and just lovely to the core.

Oh wait, that is a review of mac, not the puzzle...
hmmm, the puzzle. um. I loved the difficulty of having to be patient about getting OLDSCHOOL tie in with ALMAMATER which I totally would have missed.

@Hudsonhawk
glad to give a giggle...I always wonder who reads my post-midnight postings!
(I have the same problem with "Disingenuous" and am afraid to pronounce "detritus" out loud!)

@Plantiebea
You can remember how to spell OUIJABOARD if you remember that it is made up of the French and German words for YES (Oui + Ja) maybe the only time those two nations have ever cooperated...if only in the realm of hopeful fantasy!

@jae
I'm guessing Dallas/Forth Worth folks feel the same as Minneapolitans do when lumped with St. Paul
(as in "Oh! Are you from Minneapolis/St.Paul?"
(Tho come to think of it, people are more likely to mix up Minnesota and Michigan...I always bristle when people confuse the two...but then again I wouldn't know SMU from TCU!

@Glitch
hilarious that the actual address would put the "Brownstone" in the East River!!!!
The place always looked like a tenement to me so I always vaguely thought of them on the Lower East Side or somewhere. I'd rather have Fred and Ethel Mertz as my landlords than my present ones, the Evil Mr. Fong and his psychotic wife.


I like that the Halle Berry clue could be parsed more innocuously as juicy parts as in movie roles! I have such trouble parsing lately that even when I type in rexwordpuzzle@blogspot.com I always wonder
"is it rex wordpuzzle or
re: xword puzzle....or a combo/ brilliant naming going on?"

colonel andrea michaels 1:49 AM  

Yes, Mac and I did indeed do the puzzle together and seemed perfect complements...I would have struggled over LILY, PEENS, REW, SLIPPERYWHENWET to name a few...it might have taken her longer to get HALLE, MVP, RAPS without me...and it was fun to piece out together KENTUCKY COLONELS and COLDHARBOR and laugh and compare notes and knowledge all the way thru.

Asamatteroffact, we spent 10 hours together, no fisticuffs...and are both grateful that this blog introduced us to each other. Incredible woman,
unbelievably gracious hostess (whom many others have already attested to that fact), and just lovely to the core.

Oh wait, that is a review of mac, not the puzzle...
hmmm, the puzzle. um. I loved the difficulty of having to be patient about getting OLDSCHOOL tie in with ALMAMATER which I totally would have missed.

@Hudsonhawk
glad to give a giggle...I always wonder who reads my post-midnight postings!
(I have the same problem with "Disingenuous" and am afraid to pronounce "detritus" out loud!)

@Plantiebea
You can remember how to spell OUIJABOARD if you remember that it is made up of the French and German words for YES (Oui + Ja) maybe the only time those two nations have ever cooperated...if only in the realm of hopeful fantasy!

@jae
I'm guessing Dallas/Forth Worth folks feel the same as Minneapolitans do when lumped with St. Paul
(as in "Oh! Are you from Minneapolis/St.Paul?"
(Tho come to think of it, people are more likely to mix up Minnesota and Michigan...I always bristle when people confuse the two...but then again I wouldn't know SMU from TCU!

@Glitch
hilarious that the actual address would put the "Brownstone" in the East River!!!!
The place always looked like a tenement to me so I always vaguely thought of them on the Lower East Side or somewhere. I'd rather have Fred and Ethel Mertz as my landlords than my present ones, the Evil Mr. Fong and his psychotic wife.


I like that the Halle Berry clue could be parsed more innocuously as juicy parts as in movie roles! I have such trouble parsing lately that even when I type in rexwordpuzzle@blogspot.com I always wonder
"is it rex wordpuzzle or
re: xword puzzle....or a combo/ brilliant naming going on?"

colonel andrea michaels 1:49 AM  

Yes, Mac and I did indeed do the puzzle together and seemed perfect complements...I would have struggled over LILY, PEENS, REW, SLIPPERYWHENWET to name a few...it might have taken her longer to get HALLE, MVP, RAPS without me...and it was fun to piece out together KENTUCKY COLONELS and COLDHARBOR and laugh and compare notes and knowledge all the way thru.

Asamatteroffact, we spent 10 hours together, no fisticuffs...and are both grateful that this blog introduced us to each other. Incredible woman,
unbelievably gracious hostess (whom many others have already attested to that fact), and just lovely to the core.

Oh wait, that is a review of mac, not the puzzle...
hmmm, the puzzle. um. I loved the difficulty of having to be patient about getting OLDSCHOOL tie in with ALMAMATER which I totally would have missed.

@Hudsonhawk
glad to give a giggle...I always wonder who reads my post-midnight postings!
(I have the same problem with "Disingenuous" and am afraid to pronounce "detritus" out loud!)

@Plantiebea
You can remember how to spell OUIJABOARD if you remember that it is made up of the French and German words for YES (Oui + Ja) maybe the only time those two nations have ever cooperated...if only in the realm of hopeful fantasy!

@jae
I'm guessing Dallas/Forth Worth folks feel the same as Minneapolitans do when lumped with St. Paul
(as in "Oh! Are you from Minneapolis/St.Paul?"
(Tho come to think of it, people are more likely to mix up Minnesota and Michigan...I always bristle when people confuse the two...but then again I wouldn't know SMU from TCU!

@Glitch
hilarious that the actual address would put the "Brownstone" in the East River!!!!
The place always looked like a tenement to me so I always vaguely thought of them on the Lower East Side or somewhere. I'd rather have Fred and Ethel Mertz as my landlords than my present ones, the Evil Mr. Fong and his psychotic wife.


I like that the Halle Berry clue could be parsed more innocuously as juicy parts as in movie roles! I have such trouble parsing lately that even when I type in rexwordpuzzle@blogspot.com I always wonder
"is it rex wordpuzzle or
re: xword puzzle....or a combo/ brilliant naming going on?"

andreacarla 1:50 AM  

ooops! I guess that was three and out! Rex, might ou erase those last two?

acme 2:02 AM  

ps ONE was in the grid again fifth day in a row if you count brownstONE and ONEnd!

liquid el lay 4:28 AM  

Hey, man, I liked the kittens.

I spelled OUIJI with an "I", which gave THIS rather than THAT, and SEWCAR rather than TOWCAR- a stretch, I'll admit- , and left Lovett missing A BEAT rather than A BOAT, all of which I was OK with because I had to be..

Had CLASSICAL for OLDSCHOOL for a while until the insistent TEAKETTLE sounded the way.

This puzzle was so hard that I wouldn't believe the easy answers either. Not PALIN but maybe some obscure Vegas singer.. Not ALOE, but something I've never heard of..

Does anyone call DR DRE DeeDee? That would be cool.

Singer 12:59 PM  

A late comment from the left coast in syndicated time:

My wife is a huge I Love Lucy fan, having been born on the night the show premiered. I suspect we have seen every show at least 6 times since we have been married. The apartment kept morphing throughout the series - sometimes there was a window in the living room above the piano, sometimes it was a wall. The fireplace changed styles, or disappeared altogether. Some things stayed the same, though, among which was that the Merzes, who owned the building, lived downstairs and the Ricardos were on the second floor. There was a window and a door in the kitchen. In some episodes the kitchen door led to some kind of enclosed porch area where the electrical panel is located (Fred kept turning off their power one time) and in others to an exterior stair that led to an alley where the garbage cans were located. The exterior was shown in a number of episodes. The exterior was usually brick, sometimes light colored (yellow?) and sometimes dark colored (red?). The episodes before they drove to California that have been mentioned a lot above showed a broad stone stairway and a brick building. The actual apartment, as noted above, was a studio set. I think it is pretty clear that it was a 3 or 4 story apartment building, and not a brownstone. It makes sense that the address would put the building in the East River because they didn't want to use a real address.

As to the puzzle, I had a lot of trouble with the SE. I started with Saab for the GM spinoff, which was clearly wrong. Even after I ended up with BOHO, I had know idea I was right - never heard of the word. Same is true with Sinead Cusack - only every heard of John and Jane. But Sinead at least was a real name, so did away with OTOE. OUIJABOARD was the last to fall - just couldn't parse what kind of board ended in 'A'. But sad to say, I finished with PSAT and POUVER. Rats!

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

Yep towcar sucked. It's tow truck at a crash. I never saw Lucy in a brownstone either. Boho is lame too.

plumnbagel 2:56 PM  

Years ago retired sportscaster Red Barber would make a big deal out of calling then-NPR host Bob Edwards "Colonel" because Edwards was from Kentucky. Their segments were on the radio for almost a decade, so this answer didn't seem too obscure to me. Before that, of course, Barber called games for New York teams for nearly three decades. Maybe this was a NYT nod to a New York favorite?

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