Onetime snake venom antidote — SATURDAY, Dec. 26 2009 — Gracklelike bird / 1999 Oscar nominee for both direction screenwriting / Apres-midi preceder

Friday, December 25, 2009



Constructor: Kevin G. Der

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: THERIAC (42D: Onetime snake venom antidote) — Theriac or theriaca was a medical concoction originally formulated by the Greeks in the first century AD and became popular throughout the ancient world as far away as China and India via the trading links of the Silk Route. It was an alexipharmic, or antidote, considered a universal panacea, for which it could serve as a synonym: Adam Lonicer wrote that garlic was the rustics' Theriac or Heal-All. (wikipedia)

-----

My write-ups for the next four to five days are likely to be slightly abbreviated, as I am a. on vacation, b. in a different time zone, and thus c. writing this at night so as not have to get up at a Ridiculously early hour. Today's puzzle was weird for me — good, but weird. I usually block the constructor's name when I'm solving, and today I could tell pretty quickly that the constructor was going to end up being one of the younger constructors I like a lot. But usually I tear these very contemporary, somewhat pop culture-heavy puzzles up. Today, not really. A slightly slower than normal Saturday time. Even with gimmes like ABE and MONA, TONY DOW, RON Weasley, etc. I still couldn't get good traction in many parts of the grid. Clues were pretty wicked in places, and some answers were just mysteries. So I got a fresh, modern puzzle *and* a better-than-avg. workout. All in all, a good Saturday.

Gimmes:

  • ABE and MONA — Homer Simpson's dad and mom
  • MATIN (7D: Après-midi preceder)
  • WINE COOLER (65A: Bartles & Jaymes product) — super gimme. Their ads were legendary.


  • CHI (38A: Acupuncturist's energy)
  • TONY DOW (41D: He played Beaver's big brother)
  • CHERUBIM (13D: Guardians of Eden, in Genesis)
  • EMT (49A: Stretcher fetcher, briefly)
  • VAN (43A: Something to move with)
  • RON (29D: Friend of Hermione's at Hogwarts)

Mysterioso:

  • BAO (39D: Vietnam's ___ Dai) — never heard of this ... person. Turns out it's a person. Wasn't sure if it was a person, a location, a ... holiday? He was "the 13th and last ruler of the Nguyen dynasty."
  • FRED (18A: Scrooge's nephew) — forgot. Shoulda been in yesterday's puzzle.
  • APO (61D: V-mail handler) — knew APO, but had no idea what "V-mail" was (Victory Mail, WWII-era communication)
  • THERIAC (42D: Onetime snake venom antidote)
  • ACADIAN (6D: Evangeline, e.g.) — She's the subject of a Longfellow poem. Just not on my radar.
  • ERLE (52A: "House of Dracula" director ___ C. Kenton) — alternative to Gardner.
  • TASTE (34D: Old cigarette ad buzzword) — ??? don't all cigarette ads talk about "TASTE." I was looking for ... Q ZONE or some other made-up medical term.

I got into the NE pretty easily, but I had issues in most other places, esp. the NW, where I couldn't get the front end of any of those Acrosses, and knew too much so-called Valspeak to be able to make a solid guess at 2D: Start of many a comment in Valspeak ("I'M LIKE") — I had "HE'S ALL" and "HE GOES" at some point. Main other hang-up was in the SW, where I had ARNE for IVES (40A: "Universe Symphony" composer), and wouldn't accept LET ON because I thought it meant the opposite of the clue, 35A: Pretend. That is, I thought it meant "reveal" rather than "pretend." Bah. One I figured out the trickery of 36D: Saint in "Exodus" (Eva Marie), the corner opened up, with a nice double-Z revelation at the end of LIVE JAZZ (35D: Some lounge entertainment).

Bullets:

  • 5D: First name at Woodstock (Jimi) — tried ARLO and JOAN first.
  • 28A: One who's hitched, in Hidalgo (señora) — tried ESPOSA/O first.
  • 22D: Defendant in a 1970s antitrust suit: Abbr. (ITT) — tried IBM first.
  • 39A: Sunburn remedies (balms) — tried ALOES first.
  • 15A: Edward James Olmos's directorial debut, 1992 ("American Me") — happy with myself for (finally) remembering this. Couldn't get "Stand By Me" or "Stand and Deliver" out of my head.
  • 30A: Cause of rage against the machine? ("Tilt") — a great "?" clue, as is 17A: Frames that take shape? (claymation)
  • 8D: 1999 Oscar nominee for both direction and screenwriting (M. Night Shyamalan) — seen it, so it's not that exciting to me as 15s go. I'm not a fan, generally.
  • 9D: Alternative to grunge (emo) — seems wrong. These genres are from two totally different eras. "EMO" is actually as old as grunge, but it had no currency in the general population until a good decade+ after grunge's heyday. Also, these genres are not unrelated.
  • 24D: Schools where students wear white (dojos) — in retrospect, it should not have taken me as long to get this as it did.
  • 26D: Letters after many animal names (EIEIO) — ditto.
  • 60D: Gracklelike bird (ani) — I don't think I've seen the word "gracklelike" before. I like grackles because they are black but with this cool bluish tint.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. In case you missed it yesterday, I constructed another puzzle for you all. It was inspired by a comment on this blog in which the commenter confessed to having initially misunderstood the theme of this past Sunday's puzzle, "Inside Dope." Thus, I offer you "Inside Dope, Part 2." Enjoy.

Go HERE to read a brief write-up of the puzzle, or to comment on it.

[as always, click on "Print" below, or go here (to the forum at crosswordfiend.com) to get a .puz / AcrossLite version of the puzzle]

Inside Dope

47 comments:

andrea inheat michaels 4:43 AM  

I'm like, totally ired to have both Homer's mom AND dad in the puzzle for no reason, as tho, like, there is no other show on TV.
Oh wait, there's like a "Leave it to Beaver" ref for those like me in my DOTAGE... whoops! OLDAGE.

Media RES for most of the puzzle. I blame crosswords.

So, I'm all esposa too and put in Huey for Scrooge's nephew, bec this was so totally about boy things from Indiana Jones to the "I see Dead people" director who sold out to making TV commercials even before he became a has-been.
Orson Welles /wine cooler pitchman he is not.

Wouldn't be able to properly spell SHYAMALAN if you put a gun to my head, so I like totally bungled TOYOTAS/THERIAC cross and decided ANOMIA was the correct term.


Wildly respect Kevin "interesting" Der, (I mean, who can pull off a W and a C and two O's on the bottom row of a puzzle?) but I do not dig OKED as a spelling of OKAYED...I'd even go for OK'D before I would go for OKED.

Sidebets that @Joho got a kick out of DALAILAMAS ONARAMPAGE?

Elaine 7:30 AM  

Once again, my puzzle-solving experience was just about the complete opposite of Rex's. I steadily filled in TONY DOW, ON A RAMPAGE, DALAILAMAS and even WINECOOLER...Crosses even gave me the new-to-me THERIAC.

WINDJAMMER and I'MLIKE were gimmes, along with BALMS and JIMI, MATIN and EMO-- (since I know terms but not the music, I had no quibbles...) In fact, I got most everything but the NE, where I was just stumped. Had the H, so COHO for 16A "Split fish?", HUEY for the nephew (D'oh), ICBM--we did weapons before we did our satellites, right? But that ruined HUEY... rhymes with PHOOEY!

I give myself a FAIL for this puzzle; I gave up and ran home to Rexie, as I am out of time for puzzling today!

Happy Boxing Day, eh?

JannieB 8:58 AM  

What a challenging Saturday (no where near medium). I had almost all the same first thoughts as Rex and Andrea. After 30 minutes I had maybe 4 gimmes and the NE corner done. Then got the SE, the SW and so forth. Quite a workout. The "R" in Theriac was a total guess and the last letter in the grid.

Some great cluing and misdirection here, but overall, it was just an okay puzzle for me.

A+ 9:14 AM  

Normally I can finish a Saturday in 45 minutes to 1:30, but today's was a total disaster.

Most answers were either know-it-or-you-don't, not something one can deduce.

THERIAC? - No clue.

JAPERY?!?!!? - Ridiculous.

ANOMIE - I know this is used in Xwords, but is still ludicrous.

WINECOOLER - Unless you knew these out of hand, there was no way to fill in the answer.

ACRE - More advanced crosswordese that comes off as a cop out.

MATIN - I still don't know what this is.

There was just nothing to balance out those answers if you didn't know them straight up.

I'm sorry, but for me, this was easily the worst in over a month.

JannieB 9:26 AM  

Apres-midi is French for after noon; matin=morning

retired_chemist 10:12 AM  

Nice puzzle. I assume Rex's medium-challenging means challenging even to a medium who is getting help from the spirit world. To us without the gift, it was just. plain. tough.

Geezer-enabled although not geezer-friendly. Hand up for ALOES; THERIAC and AMERICAN ME as WTF and only gettable via crosses (good guess on EMO there); inability to spell SHYAMALAN (SHYAMALAN and SHMALAYAN lead to amusing errors in the crosses, like MIMOSAS for TOYOTAS); not knowing MONA; MATHERS before TONY DOW; and more.


Some very nice cluing: ANOMIE, ERLE (another WTF but nice to see it not linked to Perry), CLAYMATION, IN HEAT, DALAI LAMAS, OLD AGE, and more.

Thanks, Mr. Der. More please.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:12 AM  

Medium for me, somehow. Didn't know THERIAC, guessed at ACRE, but all was fair, gettable from crosses. Three write overs: For "Gotcha!" had ISEE befofre IDIG; for Hitch, WED before RUB; and like ACME, DOTAGE before OLDAGE.

Spent some time at 11A, Early education, trying to decide if it was PREK or ELHI!

Ben 10:12 AM  

Love the freshness and energy of Kevin Der's puzzles. Also enjoyed meeting the man himself at the ACPT. Thanks for another entertaining puzzle, Kevin.

With all due respect to the great Paula Gamache, as elegant as yesterday's Dickensian puzzle was, it was way too easy for a Friday (not her fault, of course, she didn't pick the day). To me it was a Wed or maybe a Thu. Its theme made it Christmas fodder but Christmas Eve would have worked better. Or Christmas Day with harder clues.

This one was more like it. Tough areas all over the place but ultimately solvable. This type of puzzle is why I subscribe.

As usual I had a similar Saturday experience to Rex's:
--I too knew a little too much Valspeak for my own good (wanted OMIGOD)
--Had _TT for the 1970s defendant and wanted ATT as in AT&T
--Also thought LETON was the opposite of pretend (isn't it?) so I briefly considered FREEJAZZ
--Also was proud to know AMERICANME
--Also took too long to get EIEIO
--Also was at first baffled by Saint in "Exodus" (great clue)
--Also never heard of BAO Dai

@A+, I respectfully disagree. Words like ANOMIE and JAPERY, while not common, are in the language and seen regularly outside crossword puzzles. (ETUI and ESNE are not.) MATIN is perfectly fair game, which I would argue even if I didn't speak French. I don't speak Spanish or Italian but I am cool with TIO and TRE; some you learn, some you infer on the spot. I happened to know WINECOOLER but it wouldn't have bothered me if I didn't. A ten-letter answer like that is gettable from crosses.

In fact, my only complaint with this puzzle is the Natick crossing of ACRE and THERIAC. Two such super-obscurities maybe shouldn't cross, even on a Saturday.

Then again, if I'd known either of them, I might not feel that way. One man's Natick is another man's New Haven.

Ben 10:17 AM  

@Retired_Chamist
@Bob Kerfuffle

Let's stick with this plan and all post at 10:12 AM next Saturday too.

VaBeach puzzler 10:26 AM  

Too much trivia quiz (c'mon, M. NIGHT WHOOZIZ???),too little brain power (BAR BRAWL, LIVE JAZZ) needed to do this puzzle. Sorry, I give it a thumbs down.

edith b 10:34 AM  

I was obviously on Kevin's wavelength today as I made slow but steady progress in a loop from the West Coast thru the NE into the SE and, like JannieB, THERIAC was the last entry in the grid but at a diferrent letter.

Medium-Challenging was correct for me as I was able to suss out the trickiest of the clues with a little effort, like the Sequoias clue and the holy line clue, both tricky but not unsolvable.

Got half the Simpsons clues - got ABE but had to get MONA via crosses

v. 11:02 AM  

"This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green,
Indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from their rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers.-
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?"

part of introduction to "Evangeline"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Two Ponies 11:34 AM  

Pretty tough for me too.
I liked most of the puzzle except the long proper name down the middle.
Never heard of this person, ever.
So, even with Simpsons and Harry Potter gimmes it was a struggle.
Off to Boxing Day lunch at my favorite British pub!

ArtLvr 11:36 AM  

@ V -- very nice excerpt! As I started to read Rex's write-up I had a moment of wondering if we'd done the same puzzle today? @ Andrea Inheat Michaels cheered me up, though.

I never had to resort to so much googly-guck in my life, especially with all the theatre directors and film experts of the household still abed!

One can usually find something new of interest among the japery of the twits and wackos, however. This time it was the Wiki summary of Charles Ives' unfinished "Universe Symphony", to be played by two or more orchestras out on the hillsides of the Adirondacks. He seems to have anticipated by a generation the Bulgarian landscape-wrapping artist Christo! Who knew?

∑;)

mac 11:39 AM  

Definitely medium-challenging for me. The whole NE was done almost immediately, the rest had to be picked at from all directions. I have never heard of this Mnightshyamalan, don't even know it it's a movie or a person.

I couldn't believe I knew the names of Homer's parents! I also had some trouble with "let on", shouldn't it be "lead on", past tense "led on"? Jimi helped me a lot in the NW. Thought Senectitude was "wisdom" but of course that doesn't come automatically with old age (like Andrea's "dotage" a lot better).

I love japery, Joneses and cherubim and a lot of the tricky clues. Real Saturday work-out, thanks Kevin der Kluge!

Is there going to be a solved version of the dope puzzle? I have an iffy area I would like to confirm..... Still working on IMSdave's, lot of fun!

mccoll 11:39 AM  

Too much for my senectitude,I'll warrant. Two googles and one hour later I scribbled in the last letters of wine cooler. Whew!

@Andea. Great Post. How do you do that? Lots of the Valspeak terms and the brain dead rising intonation of every sentence make me retch. It's, like retarded as well as being so last week pretty much.
The Dalai Lamas's rampage was caused by a wine cooler?
Thanks for the Longfellow quote V. It saves having to look it up.
Thanks for the puzzle Kevin Der. Now out to walk the dog at -20 C.

retired_chemist 12:46 PM  

@ mac - re "Is there going to be a solved version of the dope puzzle?"

When I finished correctly it told me. I suppose you still may have an error.

Rex Parker 12:50 PM  

There is now a write-up of the INSIDE DOPE puzzle, complete w/ solution and comments section. I added link to the bottom of today's post. Here it is again:

INSIDE DOPE, PART 2

rp

treedweller 12:52 PM  

Another Saturday fail for me. Even my inspired moments were wrong (PREK had to be right . . .). And, predictably enough, it took me a long time to get from Sequoias to cars. Finally gave up about halfway through.

The beginning of the annual descent into madness over in the world of Curtis reveals that yesterday I should have wished you all a Happy Kwanzaa, not Kwaanza.

Gabriel C. Drummond-Cole 12:57 PM  

Comment on TASTE-- I think it makes more sense if you parse it as "Tast-E."

Really? 12:58 PM  

Do that many people not know M. Night Shyamalan? He directed The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and a bunch of lesser thrillers too.

chefbea 1:05 PM  

Yes it was a tough puzzle today and had to google a bit. 32A I immediately put in Robert. Remember - he is an artist.

@IMSDave - what a fun puzzle. Won't say anything about it incase some Rexites havent done it yet.

Time to diet now - after all the fish Xmas eve and the roast (which chef bea did not make) and potatoes augratin yesterday.

@Andrea - Are you really coming to Connecticut?

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

Well I agree but I contemplate the post should have more info then it has.

archaeoprof 1:24 PM  

Worked this puzzle slow and steady from the bottom up, starting with WINECOOLER.

Now I'm going to watch some meaningless bowl games. Maybe next year Santa will bring us a national championship playoff.

babslesley 1:25 PM  

Got "dojos", "wine cooler", "joneses" right away. Very clever 8 down -- I was trying for something something Superman. It's a clever puzzle but a
hard one for me. Had to resort to the Google before checking in here. I agree with Rex about "let on". I tried "put on" at first. The saint in "Exodus" was my favorite. I like totally didn't see that.

Lon 1:56 PM  

All I've got to say is, "I love Saturday NYT x-words!" And RP's write-up and all of the regular posters here are just more of the reason why.

Any Sat. puzzle that takes me less than about an hour (today's was just over 70 mins.) just means less enjoyment -- the harder, the longer, the better.

Today's answers, BAO, THERIAC and IVES notwithstanding, I have to keep reminding myself that the answers will usually be a) common words and b) familiar to me once I see them.

Thanks to all. Happy New Year!

Miss Primm 2:30 PM  

@treedweller - Perhaps you should have included a parental advisory with your link to the comic strip Curtis. You might make Ulrich blush! A character named Hoden indeed! Not proper!

and @Really?, 12:58 PM - Good form on the blog dictates that we do not criticize others for the gaps in their knowledge. Even though you and I recognize MNIGHTHOWEVERTHEHELLITISSPELLED for The Sixth Sense and his other films, we are, I assure you, totally ignorant in other fields, possibly popular music, chemistry, foreign languages, sport, whatever, in which others are totally versed. That is why we say, "It was a neon for me" or "It was a WTF for me" (WTF - Was That Factual?), but we never suggest that others should know exactly what we know.

Doug 2:34 PM  

Considering I almost finished save the SE minefield, agree it was on the easier side. Good thing was that I spent a useful evening looking at family war records from WWI and WWII after being prompted by V-Mail. Found the certificate of my great grandfather who died in the Dunkirk trenches and amazingly read the daily war diary of his Canadian battalion on the sad day. No mention of a lowly private though. The Brits database every single war casualty and specific grave so using Google I could zoom in to a fuzzy head stone. Wow.

Was thrown around mightily by not knowing the APU-like name, OLOAGE, THERIAC etc. but was glad to finish about 80%. From a constructor with the last name DER I was expecting a more exotic Chinese cuisine than HOTPOT.

Liked the puzzle a lot, nice job.

darkman 3:03 PM  

Oh, Auntie Google and I had a merry time! It's not her fault I made a mess of the heartland. Most interesting muff: JAR for MAR, because the jar, like the nick is a slang synonym for jail.

Nothing in this puzzle made me smile. Not an aha moment to be had.

Doc John 3:56 PM  

I pretty much agree with Rex's take on the puzzle today. I made the same missteps, and more, such as pre-K. I did think it was cool to see Tony Dow in the puzzle as I'm a huge fan of Beav. That and The Brady Bunch are my guilty TV pleasures.
I had no idea Homer's mom was MONA (got it thru crosses); I've never seen her.
@Andrea- great post!
Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

OldCarFudd 4:15 PM  

This one goes in the category of "Every now and then a blind pig finds a truffle." I did not know American Me, Claymation, Anomie, those damn Simpsons, or that weird concatenation of letters down the middle. I got the whole puzzle with no errors and no Googles. I was making a whole lotta "could that be?" guesses from the crosses, and got lucky. But this puzzle beat me seriously upside the head. More, more, more!!

Steve 4:21 PM  

For once, playing video games pays off. Crusades-era ACRE plays prominently in Assassin's Creed, and I'm coincidentally currently playing its sequel (which does have a brief return to ACRE included). Got that off the lone A. Not that it helped me with much else down in that corner.

lit.doc 4:22 PM  

Thanks to all of you who share your googling and solving times. I'm still in year one of The Addiction, and it's encouraging to hear about others' experiences.

Threw in the towel with THE_IAC and a good SWAG for (HO)TPOT, having taken just under an entire pot of coffee (yes, that's a measure of time, kind of like "eons"). Good news is, that's the best I've ever done on a Saturday NYT (sound of onanistic patting on own head).

@Ben re @A+, thank you for sticking up for JAPERY and ANOMIE. I got snagged on PARODY for a while, abetted by EVAMARIE and TONYDOW, but that's not Japery's fault. And I, too, thought the ACRE / THERIAC cross was out of bounds.

@andrea inheat michaels, me too re 18A and 19A. Jammed on "But isn't Donald Uncle Scrooge's nephew??" for a good while, and also overread "[in] Media ___" and stuck with RES too long.

CoolPapaD 5:00 PM  

Loved this wonDERful puzzle. Made many of the missteps mentioned already - I wanted JIMI immediately, but couldn't make it fit at first.

Guessed R at the ACRE crossing-almost made it an M to honor ACME- glad I didn't!

Doesn't Abe live in an old folks home? I don't think I've ever seen a mom- was she just in the odd flasback-type episode?

Don't get the Dalai Lama clue- anyone?

Loved this, loved drug puz, loved IMSDave's, love this blog, and dammit - love all of you too!

ArtLvr 5:08 PM  

p.s. Re OLD AGE from the youthful viewpoint:

Gaudeamus igitur
Juvenes dum sumus
Post jucundum juventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.

Let us rejoice therefore
While we are young.
After a pleasant youth
After a troublesome old age
The earth will have us.

For the rest of the famous student drinking song:
www.newfoundations.com/Gaudeamus.html

SueRohr 5:25 PM  

I spent a lot of time on this puzzle. Finally put it down and took my granddaughter to see "The Chipmunks" - a true act of love - put it down and came back and finished it. No googling, no help so quite proud of myself.You'd think by now I would get the car clues and not think trees when I see sequoias.I liked that he said cherubim and not cherubs. I liked japery and anomia and the clue senectitude as good vocab builders. The cigarette ads always said "More taste, less tar." Loved the clue for 36 down. All in all, a very difficult but satisfying solving experience.

Steve 5:40 PM  

@CoolPapaD (Your nick always reminds me of Cool Papa Bell, who was truly one of the Negro League greats).

In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is believed to be the current reincarnation of a past spiritual leader of that branch of Buddhism. So, the succession of Dalai Lamas is a line (much like a royal line, except this line is through reincarnation rather than family, as in western royalty). And he is revered as holy (although, as best I recall, not divine). Therefore, the complete set of Dalai Lamas is a holy line.

sanfranman59 6:37 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:38, 6:56, 0.96, 43%, Medium
Tue 11:00, 8:44, 1.26, 95%, Challenging
Wed 13:46, 11:58, 1.15, 85%, Challenging
Thu 16:56, 18:56, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium
Fri 18:15, 25:44, 0.71, 4%, Easy
Sat 35:32, 30:21, 1.17, 88%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:41, 0.97, 49%, Medium
Tue 5:31, 4:28, 1.23, 93%, Challenging
Wed 6:46, 5:52, 1.15, 84%, Challenging
Thu 8:58, 9:07, 0.98, 51%, Medium
Fri 9:52, 12:17, 0.80, 11%, Easy
Sat 20:27, 17:37, 1.16, 86%, Challenging

CoolPapaD 7:08 PM  

@Steve- Thanks for the explanation - now it all makes sense. My screen name was, in fact, borrowed from Cool Papa Bell; a month or two ago, there was a puzzle that referenced Rod Carew, and when I read about him to broaden my baseball horizons, I saw Cool Papa's name on a list of the 100 greatest ball palyers of all time, and decided to adopt his moniker (one of the veterans here told me that I should change my old screen name, and she knows a lot about names!).

joho 8:03 PM  

I was way too busy today with Christmas --I know it's over but not for all my stepchildren and the grandchildren of the oldest --to do the puzzle. But I did try ... coming up empty in the NW. I was stmyied at this part of the puzzle, got all the rest. I so wanted wroughtiron for CLAYMATION. But, of course, it doesn't fit. Nor did I with this puzzle.

When I try to go to sleep tonight I won't be counting sheep, but instead, DALAILAMAS ON A RAMPAGE.
Sure hope it works. (Thanks, Andrea!)

andrea teaser michaels 2:57 AM  

@Artlvr

We used to sing that song in Latin class at Northrop Collegiate School in Minneapolis in 8th grade circa 1971!!!!!!!
I KNEW I had seen the word Senectutem somewhere!!!!!!!!!
(of course it's where we get the word Senile from and Senior and Schnectedy!

(That would probably be funny if I knew how to spell Schnectedy!)

Anyway, my Latin is SO rusty I would have translated it this way:

Gaudeamus igitur
Juvenes dum sumus
Post jucundum juventutem
Post molestam senectutem
Nos habebit humus.

We are gaudy, therefore,
Kids are dumb.
After kids with juiceboxes
after they have raped the elderly
we have a bit of hummous.

@CoolPapaD
Aha!

liquid el lay 3:37 AM  

I assumed that WINECOOLER was rustic exotica for the NYT reader, and thereby obscure, though obvious to everyone else.

I had a bad showing with this puzzle. But there were reasons.

M Night SHYA.... I had seen before, obviously, but I had never bothered to get the last name right! Maybe it's my fault, maybe I'm supposed to know that name.. I had considered ANOMIE but rejected it because I was sure M NIGHT had his name spelled SHYALIHAN. So I was spelling DALAI, DAHLI.. which I'm sure is a perfectly fine spelling... but the words of empathy would not come. Weren't possible. I'm sure this is all my fault...

But LETON is no good for "Pretend", I considered it, rejected it, and so there was no LIVE JAZZ to be found. No ZEST. No JAPERY, whatever that is. This is somehow not my fault, even though others got it just fine.

The true atrocity is BARBRAWL. I had BOOSTERS for "Shots after shots?" and it was hard to move of of it. Eventually saw TWIT.. knew something was amiss... but never would have accepted BARBRAWLS. Clue it as "Slugs after slugs?" and I'm fine. Brawls are fistfights, bring in gunshots, and that's something else altogether.

Tough, with wobbly cluing.

AMFM for "Satellite precurser"? I guess, but I no like. Wanted an early Plymouth model, or an early space shot. I get it, it's a radio- I'm too TROG, what I had in for "Schmo"(TWIT) for a while.

liquid el lay 3:54 AM  

Actually, AMFM is pretty good, I just didn't get it.

And WINDJAMMER makes a great image.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

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Singer 3:27 PM  

From syndication - I made many of the same mistakes as rp. I had he LIKE instead of I'M LIKE. I had dim sum before HOT POT and didn't know how to spell SHYAMALAN, but knew who he is. I had ON A mAd PAcE for a while. Got EVA MARIE right away. EIEIO took a little too long, as did I DIG. But ended with an error. Never heard of EMO and guessed at AMERICAN WE, giving me EwO. Had no idea what letter went into that cross - figured it had to be an 'h', an 'm' or a 'w'. Rats.

Dale 12:30 AM  

Startled by some of the coments. Bao Dai was for me a SUPER-Gimme, and should be for anyone who lived through the Vietnam War era. He was the last emperor of Vietnam, and chose to run for the presidency of Vietnam in the election held after Dien Bien Phu and the French withdrawal. He was defeated when Ngo Dien Diem got more votes than there were eligible voters ... and the resultant legitimacy problems of the South Vietnamese government were central to the political quagmire that Vietnam became. The story of the rigged election was retold in the media about twice a month through the entire Vietnam war ... it was pretty hard for members of my generation not to know who Bao Dai was!

MikeinSTL 1:35 PM  

Unfortnately another too-challenging-and-thus-boring Saturday for me... Got through about 50% and then was like, "eh, I've got better things to do..." The NE fell first for me, no prob. Wanted COVERACT instead of LIVEJAZZ, and FERRAL instead of INHEAT (except for the fact that it's FERAL with one R), etc. etc. etc.

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