Japanese tourist city on Kyushu / SAT 4-10 / Acid jazz band with the 1996 hit "Virtual Insanity" / Major Joppolo's town

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Constructor: Kevin G. Der

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: None


Word of the Day: SKOAL (35D: "Prosit!" relative) —

“Learning to skoal is easy, and it is well worth learning—it adds considerable charm to dining in the Scandinavian manner and assures that an evening will be a success by bringing the guests into visual and verbal contact with each other right off. The ritual varies somewhat in the different parts of Scandinavia. In Sweden, for example, it is a bit more formal, because Swedes follow the custom established by military officers who began the toast by holding their glasses at precisely the level of the third uniform button—but basically it proceeds along simple lines. All that is required is a drink in the hand and a cooperative partner. The proposer of the toast engages the eye of the person being toasted, and “skoal” is said. A slight bow of the head, and a twinkle of the eye—and the aquavit is drained in one gulp (if the drink is wine, a sip is taken). Just before the glass is put back on the table, the eyes meet again and there is another friendly nod.” [Dale Brown, The Cooking of Scandinavia, Foods of the World Series, Time Life Books, 1968, pages 130-131.] [link]
• • •

Hey, everybody. PuzzleGirl here hanging with you while Rex is gallavanting around New York City for a couple days with the fam. While I'm always glad to fill in, I have to say that today it feels just a tad bit demoralizing. Today's puzzle is my third day in a row of DNF. Ugh! I got pretty close on Thursday, but it was one of those where I just didn't know the words so I was doomed. Then yesterday? I don't even want to talk about yesterday. It was enough for me to consider hanging up my Pentel Easy-Click Pencil (with the 0.7 lead). And yet … here I am to admit publicly my utter failure. Why? Because I promised Rex I would talk to you all about the puzzle and you mean enough to me that I wouldn't jeopardize our relationship by lying to you about my (lack of) success. So here we are.

I almost just wrote that I really liked about five-sixths of the puzzle, but the fact is I even liked the part I couldn't finish. I mean, PAT SAJAK (1A: Big wheel's overseer)? How cool does he look in the grid?? And JAMIROQUAI (6D: Acid jazz band with the 1996 hit "Virtual Insanity")? Have any of you heard of this band before? Well, if you haven't, guess what I've got for you ...


It's funky, right? Good stuff!

Lots of good misdirection in the clues today. These are my favorites:
  • 32A: Bridge builder's grp. (ADA). The American Dental Association. I don't know … do dentists actually build the bridges? No matter, it's a great clue anyway.
  • 64A: Safari sights (WEB PAGES). Safari is the name of Apple's web browser.
  • 4D: Fox's relative (SAC). Indians, not animals.
  • 60D: Org. concerned with touchdowns (FAA). Airplane landings, not football.
What else?
  • 16A: Homes on the range? (AERIES). I thought the question mark meant the answer would have something to do with a stovetop. But I really hate to think about what kind of creatures might make a home there. Turns out we were just supposed to think about a mountain range instead of the Kansas plains.
  • 18A: Harsh critic (FLAYER). Raise your hand if you had FLAMER and didn't realize it was wrong until just now.
  • 24A: Suitor's surprise (ROSE). I thought this would be something that the suitor would find surprising. Me: "A slap in the face? An enthusiastic yes?"
  • 36A: "That's more like it!" (NOW YOU'RE TALKING). Awesome, fresh colloquial phrase. It's turned up in the NYT puzzle before, but not since five years ago.
  • 42A: Reptilian toy in "Toy Story" (REX). Shout-out number one. See also, 55A: Lee of Hollywood (ANG) (shout-out number two). Hi, Kevin!
  • 50A: Prince in Baum's "Rinkitink in Oz" (INGA). Back, like, a hundred years ago I worked at a bookstore and one day a bunch of us that worked there decided to put fake names on our name tags. Mine was INGA. Did you ever see that movie "Something Wild"? In that movie, Jeff Daniels's character has this little quirky thing he does where every time he's being helped by someone wearing a name tag, he makes sure to call that person by their name. Well, there are a lot of people out there who do that. So, basically, we were just messing with those people. They thought they were being so nice by acknowledging us by our names and we were laughing at them behind their backs. Oh yes, it was very mature.
  • 63A: 1957 Oscar nominee for "A Farewell to Arms" (DESICA). I do not know who this is.
  • 5D: Hurting (ACHY). This reminds me of an old song. An old, terrible song. You know the one I'm talking about, right? With the mullet ...? and the dancing ...? I'm not going to include the video. You're welcome.
  • 8D: Boy toy surnamed Carson (KEN). Who knew the Ken doll had a last name?
  • 29D: "___ Juvante" (Monaco's motto) (DEO). Literally, "With the Help of God."
  • 31D: Classic caper film, with "The" (ITALIAN JOB). A somewhat depressing moment for me. When I see a film described as "classic" I think it has to star, I don't know, Cary Grant or somebody. It should be a movie I've heard of and know a little about but haven't actually seen. Or, if it starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford, then okay, I've seen it. But it's still before my time and that's why it's called "classic." But "The Italian Job"? That's Marky Mark for God's sake. (For the record, I love "The Italian Job." I have nothing against the movie or Mark Wahlberg. I just don't like feeling old is what I'm saying.)
  • 43D: High-school class, informally (HOME EC). I thought I was so cool when I chose to take shop class instead of home ec. And now I'm a stay-at-home mom who sucks at grocery shopping.
See you back here tomorrow, when I fully expect to report that I've actually finished a puzzle. Can't wait!

Love, PuzzleGirl

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

68 comments:

chefwen 2:45 AM  

I'm with you PG, three DNF in a row.
Frustrating and embarrassing. Got it about 3/4 done and I collapsed. Had Nagasaki for 12 down, which I thought was totally correct, NOT! that really threw me off. All in all, it was more fun than yesterday, but still, failure in this camp. Sunday, bring me fun, I am waiting.

john farmer 2:50 AM  

A car is a "classic" car when it's old (25 y.o., I think it is). Same thing for movies, you might say. "The ITALIAN JOB" in the puzzle isn't the Mark Wahlberg caper film (that's the remake) but the 1969 original starring Michael Caine. It's not Cary Grant, but it's not bad either.

It's not only old enough, it's the classic of Mini Cooper car chase films.

Clark 3:15 AM  

I raise my hand for FLAmER. And for Pentel .07, which was my pen of choice way back when.

Semi-puzzle partner is supposed to know Oscar stuff. So who is the [1957 Oscar nominee for “A Farewell to Arms”] I asked him. I had DES___. He watched as I filled in the crosses ICA. Then he remembered. Big help.

Nice to see you Puzzle Girl. Thanks for the write up.

lit.doc 3:41 AM  

@PuzzleGirl, I hope you know how much your candor means to us Mere Mortal Solvers. It’s a big morale booster—not because of any snarky schadenfreude, but because it validates our own struggles.

Help me out on this one, folks: does “DNF” mean that the solver stopped with unfilled squares, or does it also apply to googled and/or ended up with errors?

My solving notes look like cels from a slow-motion train wreck. Early on, derailed on two pair (to open) of High-Quality Wrong Answers: 37D SUBTLETY next to 38D REACTORS, and 46D DILATE next to 47D AREOLA. Nice, huh? Other cars that left the track included (Moonchild’s hysterical stream-of-consciousness enumeration from yesterday is still fresh in my mind):

33A How can this not be PERORATION?! Aside from the number of squares, I mean.
43A OREO (out of habit) to HO-HO to google to HI-HO.
23D Oh, yeah, SAPHO lived on an island, not on a mountain. Also had two Ps.
12D But MIMASAKI is a Japanese city (and therein lie three of my four google-certified errors, the fourth caused by 26A MASKS). @PG, that’s a hand up for FLAMER.
44A ORE-IDA. So close, and yet so far.
6D Irrationally, I blame BEQ for this one (and isn’t that Bart in the black hat?).
8D KIT Carson? Really?
7D Why the hell won’t ADORNO fit?!
4D “Indians, not animals” or networks such as ABC.

And a big “thank you” to PuzzleGirl for not sharing the video for 5D.

Jack Teagarden 3:57 AM  

I liked this one. Easier than yesterday. Friday's took me an hour and a half. This one was done in an hour. Nice use of the terminal "O": DOSIDO, AC DELCO, HIHO, DR WHO, ETO, AQUINO, ADANO, DEO. My complete unknowns were AQUACADE, DESICA and JAMIROQUAI. Who else has Time picked as a Women of the Year? TELL ME! TUTEES {2 t's} is an interesting word. Do any other words explain their own spelling?

andrea now I'm talking michaels 3:59 AM  

Hi Puzzlegirl!
Great write up...
I'm sure you will be deluged with folks recommending films by DeSica.
Allow me to be the first to recommend "The Bicycle Thief" a REAL classic, despite the absence of Mr. Grant!
If you haven't ever seen Italian neo-realist films, you're in for a treat...AND your life will change forever
(DeSica even filmed wrestlers from Umbria)*

Hand up not only for FLAmER, I just realized I had ACHe not ACHY and was going to await Ulrich's explanation of how eIN could also mean "Dark force".

Unlike yesterday, I did not have to Google and enjoyed this hour wrestling match with Kevin "the Interesting" Der*,
but with ACHY/ FLAYER mistakes... truly I need to wise up (make that two Y's up!)

Now that the new bogus English Scrabble game will accept proper names, JAMIROQUAI is going to be a virtually insane amount of points!!!!!!

*(Wrestling references just to hold puzzlegirl's attention thru my late-night babbling...)

foodie 4:51 AM  

Hi PuzzleGirl et al, I'm doing this from Frankfurt airport. In spite of not having slept a wink so far, I did sooo much better than yesterday! That does not mean I finished, but I almost did, and I did not feel like poking myself in the eye. For a while, I had SLAYER in lieu of FLAYER, and WAXDOLLS instead of WAXWORKS, and NAGAZAKI rather than MIYAZAKI... But I loved plunking "NOW YOU'RE TALKING" without any crosses and building steadily from there, and also loved the sneaky clues for EGOMANIA and WEBPAGES, etc. All in all, a great puzzle and a great write up. And I agree with @lit.doc-- you make us mere mortals feel better about ourselves.

Thanks to everyone who wished me well yesterday on my trip. I will think of you as I feast on the local Turkish goodies.

Elaine 6:55 AM  

This puzzle was a DNF for me, too. I may be lying here in a pool of blood, sweat, and tears, but I'll always have JABBERWOCKY!! I solved the bejeezus out of that baby! (Isn't it pitiful when someone must rest on withered old laurels?)

I got so many of the tricky clues-- the whole SW, and I've never even seen DR WHO. But....
MIYAZAKI
JAMIROQUAI
DEL MAR argh!
FUJI FILM...I had everything but the kitchen sink in front of FILM and never did get it
TEPEES became TEPIES...duh...
and PAT SAJAK stayed hidden.

Ghastly. Feel like that baby seal I invoked yesterday on the 'clubbing' clue. I've been skinned by Kevin der FLAYER.

captcha: poupe. 'Nuf said.

David 7:21 AM  

First Saturday I couldn't correctly solve in a while. Put me in the flaMer group. My other error was not quite remembering the band's name and winding up with JAMINOQUAI/NOSE which of course makes no sense. Otherwise a slog but I broke through in the SW and finished in the NE.

edith b 7:43 AM  

It took every single cross to get JAMIROQUAI - and I am not sure I got it spelled right copying it down from the puzzle - but I did manage to avoid another major trap. I thought I was really clever realizing 9D: Jewelry box? was SAFE as I would have entered something other than FLAYER for 18A but SAFE was my first entry.

I did manage to solve this one but it took 45 minutes or so to accomplish, most of it spent trying to keep REQUIEM in the puzzle before I got ITALIANJOB up from the South.

I am proud of the fact that I knew Skippy was the name of the dog that played ASTA. We had a book about movie star animals when I was a little girl.

r.alphbunker 7:46 AM  

Flamer got me too, but everything else was okay. Is this puzzle the highest Scrabble score ever? Kevin Der is always pushing the envelope.

Adam 7:48 AM  

I almost had it! I did a faceplant in the NW because of AQUACADE. Seriously? I'm not convinced. I don't think there's anyone who can say, "Ah, yes! Billy Rose's Aquacade from the 1939 World's Fair! Who could forget it?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Rose%27s_Aquacade

But my crosses were terrible, and my fault entirely. Allow me to self-flagellate: KIT Carson was no boy toy. AMATO is a NYC opera company. "Hurting" makes a better adjective than noun, so ACHE shoulda been ACHY. Because EIN is an "Article in Der Zeit", not a "Dark force", that's a YIN. NEver heard of the SAC tribe. Thought I was looking for a cable station call letter. Threw down ASES instead of ENES early on, forgot that it was just a guess. And PASITO doesn't mean "little dance step"; in fact, it doesn't mean a thing.

Sigh. The rest was a fulfilling challenge; I was hoping for a little redemption after the Jabberwocky fail and then Friday's near miss. Still mad about WAWA.

AlsoofArlington 8:27 AM  

You must live in Arlington VA, Puzzle Girl!

Unless The Italian Store has become a chain and I don't know it.

DrGaellon 8:54 AM  

Wahlberg's The Italian Job is a remake of a 1969 classic of the same title, starring Michael Caine and Noel Coward. I think that qualifies as a classic.

I didn't know DeSica either; I had to look it up.

Leslie 9:02 AM  

Puzzle Girl, I had FLAMER, too. Other than that, I'm indulging in EGOMANIA because I did manage to finish this puppy. Lovelovelove Kevin Der's puzzles!

Hands up for keeping "ache" for a while and wondering what was so dark about "ein." (When I first heard the terms YIN and "yang," they were explained as being male and female symbols, or as just representing the concept of dichotomy, not necessarily good and bad.)

Who else loved that Der put BE QUIET directly atop NOW YOU'RE TALKING? What a guy!

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Second DNF for me -- NW lost me, plus for 13D I had PEERERIN (someone who peers in) instead of PEEREDIN (the action of someone who SPIEDON) and still think it fits the clue better. But that means I missed the misdirection in 32A, which was lovely.

Those ADA members probably know what a dentfu is (word verification for me today).

mac 9:17 AM  

Thank you PuzzleGirl, I DNF either... I had an easier time with this one than the last two, though, and/ergo a lot more fun.

I too was looking for a cable station I never watch instead of the "Sac" tribe. I had a ring rather than a rose for a while, and doesn't aquacide sound horrible? Nice to see a countryman in the puzzle. I tend to have problems with American brand names, like Hiho's and ACDelco. I only now get the Zero/oval connection.... More coffee!

OK, Elaine, consider yourself LAURELED.

The top of Miyasaki stayed open for a while. How was your trip to Japan, Kevin? Little theme here, with Fuji as well. Actually a very international puzzle.

joho 9:18 AM  

Great puzzle, great write-up!

The difference between this and yesterday's is that today's was difficult but fun! NOWYOURETALKING is brilliant along with, I agree with @Leslie, BEQUIET and then there's PATSAJAK, AQUACADE, HADJI, FUJIFILM, WAXWORKS, MIYAZAKI and JAMIROQUAI! My head was spinning, in a good way, from all the scrabbly letters.

My ending was not perfect as I picked HOHO, but it didn't matter as I thoroughly enjoyed this Saturday romp ala Der.

@Foodie, happy travels!

PuzzleGirl 9:27 AM  

@john farmer: D'oh! I totally forgot the third category of "classic film" -- the one where I've seen the remake but have not seen (or, indeed, completely forgotten about) the original.

@lit.doc: I think the definition of DNF is personal and probably hinges on the solver's definition of "cheating." Oh, and I also subscribe tothe BEQ 6D Conspiracy Theory. That entry has BEQ's fingerprints all over it!

@andrea: Interesting! Tell me more about the wrestling! :-)

@foodie: "I didn't feel like poking myself in the eye" is my new favorite "compliment" for a puzzle.

@AlsoofArlington: Tip; don't ever bring a leftover 1/2 sandwich from the Italian Store to work for lunch unless you want all your co-workers to hate you.

Joni 9:35 AM  

I was okay once I realized (in a "Doh!" moment) that it was Pat Sajak and not Patsa Jak... A good Saturday puzzle.

Chris 9:42 AM  

Hey PuzzleGirl,

I really enjoyed your write-up. I too am a Pentel 0.7 user.

I really enjoyed this one, and as others have said, found it easier than yesterday's. I had it all right except for a brain fart - I wrote it ETA instead of ETO in the SE.

AQUACADE is vocab for me... I also liked the three J's in the puzzle - they certainly helped me with solving.

Have a great Saturday, everyone! :)

ArtLvr 10:00 AM  

No, no, no — I did fine the last two days, but this wasn’t for me even with NOW YOU’RE TALKING and most of the bottom half. I knew DELCO but got offtrack with Orphan rather than URCHIN and never recovered, even with a few glimmers up top like DELMAR and DOSIDO. But thanks, PG...

Ego deflatia today.

∑;(

The Corgi of Mystery 10:09 AM  

Great scrabbly themeless. Kevin, if you're reading this, confirm my suspicions...did you originally clue MIYAZAKI as the animator and have the clue changed by Will? I would have been far more delighted with a Princess Mononoke reference than [Japanese tourist city on Kyushu].

Parshutr 10:11 AM  

ITALIANJOB was the very first thing I filled in, followed by IDAHOS. Really liked the original movie (I had a Mini, the original).
Got NOWYOURETALKING from the LK. Rest of the puzzle was a slog. I DNFed Thursday and DNS yesterday, but finished today. Go figure.
Lots of love for the whole West side!

tptsteve 10:11 AM  

Hand up here for a DNF. It's nice to see I'm in good company today.

But after the GREAT write-up, I'm kicking myself for not seeing 1A, since I had the PA in place. Too much overthinking.
Had Tepees for 16A, which messed up the entire NE. I did manage to fill the middle and SE though, and had 43 and 49D. I just couldn't pull the trigger on the rest.

@Jack Teagarden- sorry I missed your STOMP. How about Queue?

chefbea 10:15 AM  

Great write up Puzzle Girl. Much better that the puzzle which I couldn't do for the third straight day!!! Lets hope Sunday's is fun and easy.

Off to help celebrate the Azelea festival here in Wilmington - all the young girls in their southern belle finery!!

v. 10:19 AM  

@PuzzleGirl: Maybe the following will help:
-Make a list of a week's worth of meals. List ingredients needed. Write separate list for supplies to purchase.
- Try to make list in order of aisles visited, i.e. produce, coffee, tea, cereals, rice, pasta, pickles, etc.
-As you run low or out of staples, add to shopping list.
-Always shop with list.
-Shop early if you can, or late, against crowds. (Saves time.)
-Feel free to sing to the music. If you really like the track, perhaps a quick jig, if you find yourself alone in an aisle.
-Bag your own: Good exercise and helps the cashier.
-Always talk to the cashier. Ask her or him how s/he is. Breaks up the monotony, improves the experience for everyone.
-When you get supplies home, wash everything with a hot cloth or sponge to maintain hygiene.(Now you'll be really gettin' into the home ec science.)
-Once you have your meals planned and most staples in, all you'll need to run in to purchase will be fresh salad ingredients.
-Happy Shopping!

Smitty 10:19 AM  

How many hands for NAGASAKI (also on kyushu)?

Bob Kerfuffle 10:32 AM  

pleased excuse the lack of capital letters, but i am typing with my nose, since i have two hands up for the two same-as-everybody mistakes i finished with after an hour's work - flamer for flayer and hoho for hiho, since i never heard of the band.

otherwise, good puzzle, managed to figure out all those other proper and weird names from crosses.

are we seeing new heights being scaled by constructors and will in finding novel ways to clue 'asta' and 'oreo' [question mark] recent puzzles have had some really far-out ones [exclamation point]

Stan 10:57 AM  

I'd like to buy AN A, Pat, to award this puzzle. Challenging but doable and lots of fun. Except that I had FLAMER, d'oh!

What's it called when you want a (wrong) answer in one place and then it turns out to be correct somewhere else? A 'malapop'? A 'reright'? Anyway, this happened to me today with SPIED ON.

Like @andrea, I'd strongly recommend De Sica's 'Bicycle Thieves' -- it's in the Criterion Collection (excellent DVD series) and probably available through your local library.

Nice write-up, P.G.!

jesser 10:57 AM  

I have been called a flamer on occasion, but I did not make that error.

No, no. The errors I made were AQUACizE, AzANO and JiMIROQUAI. JIMI who? What? And DESICA? Like others, I never heard of this person, and I can't even infer gender from the name. Sounds like a brand name for a medication that has a lengthy disclaimer.

I still don't get how BE QUIET = Closing statement.

Normally I get up early and do the puzzle first thing and then go about my day. Today, however, I decided to go to a restaurant that everyone's been raving about called 'Break an Egg' and do the puzzle there. Break an Egg is a movie-themed place, and it features about a jillion (maybe 7) televisions, and this morning each television was BLASTING out "My Fair Lady." The eggs and sausage were delightful, but my solving experience was soured by the cinematic cacaphony exploding all around me. Plus the staff was unrelentingly cheerful, to the point I wanted to stab them all with butter knives. BE QUIET should have been clued, "What your brain is screaming at Break an Egg." I would have got it instantly.

I will be singing "I Could Have Danced All Night" all damn day.

Headriz! (I dunno. I'm exhausted) -- jesser

Paul 11:11 AM  

I do this with my wife (she holds the pen and has the non-sports answers). We finished this after a long time w/o google--except we got "flamer" and concluded that the Japanese city must be Mimazaki--give me one good reason it shouldn't--beyond "it doesn't exist." Your description was fun.

Joe 11:17 AM  

@Stan - I had one of your malapops with SAFE, which I (for some reason) wanted for 35A, only to see it show up at 9D.

I felt like a rock star with this one. After being demoralized yesterday, I finished this in under an hour with no mistakes. My God has this site helped me better understand the puzzle. I've been solving daily for 20 years and not until a few months ago was I ever able to finish a Saturday. Thanks to Rex, Puzzlegirl, and all of you guys.

6D - knew the band, but had no idea how to spell it
48A - got it with no crosses and I don't watch the show. "Gallifrey" just seemed all quirky/Britishy and I knew the show was too.
38D - had the two W's in 38D but still couldn't see WAXWORKS. Then, d'oh!
SW was my last stand. Then I figured 63A might not be an actor, and...Tada!

SethG 11:22 AM  

I had FLAMER and didn't realize it was wrong until just now. I liked both the The Italian Jobs.

This fell a bit flat for me. Some awesome answers, but I had a lot of oh. instead of Aha! moments. When I finally switched from TEPEES to AERIES. WEB PAGES. BE QUIET. From DUNCES to TUTEES. SAC instead of ABC/CBS/NBC. DELETE for DILUTE. I think in each case I liked my original idea or answer better (like with FLAMER), then switched just to make it work. (Okay, AQUINO is definitely better
than CHRISTA MCAULIFFE...)

Maybe I'm just off--for ADA all I could think of was the Americans with Disabilities Act. I couldn't figure out how it was a group, but I assumed it lamely referred to the ramps people build over steps to retrofit homes and such.

PanamaRed 11:23 AM  

@Smitty - Nagasaki (and my refusal to consider an alternate) was te reason I didn't finish. NE was a killer for me.

Had REQUIEM for a while for BEQUIET.

Was racking my brain for a photographer before FUJIFILM became evident.

@Artlvr - loved ego deflatia - me too!

Two Ponies 11:27 AM  

I came soooo close. I really thought I finished correctly but I did the same thing that @jesser did.
Aquacise sounded plausible and since I don't know the Joppolo reference or the band name it seemed OK to me.
After the last two days I'm not going to beat myself up over such a near miss.
Thanks for stepping in today PG.

jesser 11:28 AM  

@ Puzzle Girl: Awesome write up! I was remiss in not mentioning that earlier.

@ Seth G: "Lamely"? You slay me, sir!

jesser

Cathyat40 11:34 AM  

Had FLAMER for FLAYER

Had INVENTOR for DUTCHMAN because I was confusing Hieronymous with Robert:

1886 – A modern industrial giant began humbly enough when German engineer, Robert Bosch, opened his “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Engineering.”

Googled Hieronymous to get it straight, and that brought me across the finish line with only the MIMAZAKI/FLAMER mis-solve :)

HudsonHawk 11:56 AM  

A lovely pangram from KDer. Like edith b and PanamaRed, I couldn't let go of REQUIEM for BE QUIET until the ITALIAN JOB fell into place. I knew JAMIROQUAI, which helped immensely, but PAT SAJAK took nearly every cross before I clued into the misdirection. Brilliant!

Finished with no errors, but rather than FLAMER, I had FLAKER for awhile. Glad I came upon the Y before an M, or I might have duplicated that error.

retired_chemist 11:58 AM  

I wish I could say that I got some answers, saw I could actually DO this one in contrast to yesterday, and said, "NOW YOU'RE TALKING!" But you all mean enough to me too that I wouldn't jeopardize our relationship by lying. The first two clauses are true though....

I made many of the aforementioned mistakes: TEPEES (AERIES),KIT (KEN) NAGASAKI (MIYAZAKI), RING (ROSE), HO-HO (HI-HO; never fixed, so I ended with an error). And some I didn't see mentioned yet: STEP then JETE (PLIE), PEP BOYS (AC DELCO), GOON (LOUT), DELRAY (DEL MAR), DE NIRO (DE SICA).

Had URCHIN and NOW YOU'RE TALKING before 33A and decided to try a Q on spec before the two U's - et voilà!

Did not fall for the trap at 4D. Did put TAD @ 59D.

I guess I am saying this was a fun, fun test - thank you, Mr. Der. HORDES of opportunities for errors, yet all were fixable in the end. Except, in my case,

HI-HO, all!

fikink 12:03 PM  

Kevin Der Kluge!
Another triumph!

And, hey there, Puzzlegirl - glad to hear from you over here. A very gracious write-up, indeed. I, too, appreciate your candor.

"Safari sights" had be going, as I was tapping in fill on my Mac - D'OH!

syndy 12:36 PM  

started with bequest'had blamer to flamer to flayer. did have patsajak last but never parsed it. Really hoped ken carson was some up and comer i had never heard of!"now youre talking got my toes in the door and personally googling japanese cities outside a very short list does not feel like cheating.

Ben 12:43 PM  

A new Kevin Der puzzle? NOWYOURETALKING. And a pangram no less!

For all the times I've been punched in the face by a tough Friday or Saturday puzzle (also the Jabberwocky puzzle from Thursday) and taken 45 min. or an hour to finish, today I was in the Der Zone all the way. From JAMIROQUAI on down, I was with Kevin the whole time. Finished in 16 minutes and feel like I cheated the devil.

One of my law school friends grew up in London with the lads from Jamiroquai. He was a scholar type who went to the London School of Economics, and as unfunky as they were funky.

Apparently a lot of people had FLAMER. I had SLAYER and SASE, but couldn't figure out who would mail themselves jewelry. Maybe a surprised suitor?

Had BEQUEST for "Closing statement?"

Is it me, or is a Palooka more of a big lunkhead, and a LOUT more of a swinish cad?

Never heard of DESICA, got it thru crosses.

@Jesser, I can tell you someone else who was called a flamer: Prince Inga.

PuzzleGirl, love your writeup!

Ben 12:46 PM  

p.s. For "Suitor's surprise?" I had RING.

archaeoprof 12:59 PM  

Today was SatDERday.

I take great consolation from the fact that so many excellent solvers have had three straight DNFs.

Favorite clue today: 1A "big wheel's overseer" for PATSAJAK.

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

So, where do you go when you don't know the answers. I did better on Thurs and Fri but I'm a lot older (different info in my head). Enjoyed your writeup . First comment was to you, Puzzlegirl, and I've been following Rex almost from day 1! Carmel Puzzler

JF 1:49 PM  

Loved this puzzle. I've been puzzling for about two months now, and Saturdays are starting to be my favorites.

Fun start to the puzzle--REX was the gimme-est clue of the day, which gave me WAXWORKS, which gave me INKJET, and off and running.

Had NAGASAKI forever like everyone else, but MAZES forced the rethink. "Sen To Chihiro" (aka "Spirited Away") is one of our favorite movies, so MIYAZAKI--director? city? It didn't matter--floated to the top pretty quickly.

Major Natick at AQUACADE / SAC and AQUACADE / ADANO. I really wanted an AQUACAVE; I think they had one at our hotel in Maui a few years back. No idea who DESICA was.

*Loved* seeing JAMIROQUAI in a puzzle. Also loved ORAMA.

Thanks, Kevin!

Glitch 2:13 PM  

For those still wondering about
Vittorio De Sica actor / director.

..../Glitch

foodie 3:11 PM  

Rex, in case you're taking a moment to visit your own "salon de lettres"... I thought you might like this factoid... If you're in Turkey and google Rex, the first thing that pops up is Rex Parker, and the first listing is this:

rex parker sorgusu için yıldızlı sonuçlar

What does it mean? No idea!
but "yıldızlı" means "starlit" or "starred"

May be as Rexites roam the globe.
we can start a collection of Rex Parker google responses from around the world--

jae 3:28 PM  

Lots of good stuff in this one and easier than yesterday's for me too except for the NE where I had DILUTE for 21D for way too long. Oh, and of course I made the FLAMER error. Still not quite sure how PEEREDIN works with the clue. That problem contributed to my slow slog in NE. Great write up PG and another fine Der effort.

Rube 3:46 PM  

With 3 DNFs in a row, I've got to try something new. Think that next week I'll switch from my Pentel 0.5 to the 0.7... seems to be the pencil of choice for pencil and paper puzzle people.

Furious at myself for not getting SAC as when, in the past, for the various clues for plains indians that end up Otoes, I invariably want to put in either SAC or Fox. FYI, the versatile athlete Jim Thorpe was of this tribe.

The original The Italian Job was a great movie. The remake sounds like a cheap imitation. (Snarky old guy that I am.)

BEQUest also, among other dumb errors.

Google Translation Service 4:09 PM  

@ foodie - Mechanical translation says --

rex parker star results for the query

mac 4:16 PM  

@Rube: Orange uses Pentel Twist-Erase 0.9 and she is hard to beat!

Sorry, @Foody, but the Turkish line simply means: Rex Parker star results for query.
Love that iGoogle text translate!

@PanamaRed: love that Requiem!
@Seth and @Ben: you are so funny!
Good comments today.

OldCarFudd 4:16 PM  

After DNFs Thursday and yesterday, I actually got this one with no errors, but I'm damned if I know how. I now understand the Pat Sajak thing, but I'd never heard of Jamiro Quai, so there was some scientific wild-assed guessing involved here. I didn't make the flamer error, but that was good luck, not good management. I wrote in Sac correctly, but didn't understand it. A great puzzle, but I was bloody lucky to survive it. Great write-up, PG!

andrea yinyang michaels 4:44 PM  

@archaeoprof
Love SatDERday!!!!!! Perfect!

@Puzzlegirl
By the way, not only is the Wahlberg film a remake of the Michael Caine film, there is an old 40s or 50s Italian film that the 1969 British "(The) ITALIANJOB" was based on...
Can't think of the name but it had a famous Italian comedian in it, about hapless thieves...
(Not a Desica film...thanks for the link @glitch since so many don't know him!
Just to tie this all together, let me say "The Bicycle Thief" is not a heist film. Seriously, everyone needs to add it to their NETFLIXQUEUE...which I'm shocked was not in the puzzle today along with the other 2 Qs,
3 Js, 1 Z, 1 X and 4 Ks!)

Rube 4:56 PM  

@mac, tx for the tip. Pentel Twist-Erase 0.9 it is. After the last 3 days, anything will be an improvement.

Pedro 5:30 PM  

JAMIROQUAI's Canned Heat used for Napoleon's dance.

Kerry 6:05 PM  

Hand up on FLA(M)ER. A too ambiguous clue, considering the cross, IMHO.

Got off to a lucky start by guessing both ITALIAN JOB and NOW YOURE TALKING early...

Then one bad call at the end when I changed "SAC" to "SIC". Had no idea what either could mean, but talked myself into SIC via a very complex route that involved Latin. D'oh.

Tinbeni 6:21 PM  

Well this was easier than Friday.

Oh, I still got my ass kicked.

Still a DNF, but I had a lot more fill in the grid than yesterday.

Hell, even with DEO Juvante, "With the help of God" I wasn't going to get the blanks.

At least I got the toast, SKOAL!

LOL moment, REX in the grid and we get the most excellent @PG for our write-up.

Time for a day off.

Two Ponies 7:15 PM  

What a week this has been. Since I have been tagging along there has never been a string of 3 DNF's for so many including my own sorry self.
I just had to stop by again to see how the group casualty list was going.
@ Tinbeni, I'm about to partake of your avatar and toast the end of a memorable infamous three days. I always take Sundays off as well.

retired_chemist 8:34 PM  

Had my Shiraz while doing Sunday. It's fun! The puzzle, I mean, not the Shiraz. Actually, both......

Anonymous 9:28 PM  

Anyone still reading this, please explain how 9A "Driving dances" is STOMPS. I can't figure that out for either the adjective or gerund interpretation of "driving."

Bob Kerfuffle 9:39 PM  

@Anonymous, 9:28 -- Agree, this is one of several of today's clues that seem to involve a bit of a stretch, but since a stomp is defined as "A dance having a heavy, rhythmic step;" I suppose you could call them "driving", as in pile driving.

Stan 1:27 AM  

@foodie: I am loving your posts from Turkey, which give some credence to the phrase "World Wide Web."

babslesley 1:49 AM  

I know what you mean, Puzzle Girl. I'm from Europe, been in this country forever now, but I still find the use of "classic" (and "antique") a tad amusing. My favorite "classic" was on the cinema screen before the main movie, when a scene from "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" was billed as "classic." At the time, the movie was only about 5 years old. A classic caper to my mind is something like "Lavender Hill Mob." Boy, that dates me.

elliedog 10:22 PM  

This was puzzilla. Awesome, with some very witty misdirection. Several hours of open-jawed staring got me to two open squares - which remain. Pat Sajak my eye. My only complaint is the high number of HUH? answers. I don't mind the occasional answers which no one ever recognizes, but come on! Pat Sajak? Aquacade?? Jamiroquoi? Rather unfair, Mr. Shortz.

Al 12:56 PM  

Ah, old age does have something going for it: A memory of films by Vittorio De Sica like the The Bicycle Thief, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and, most important, Two Women which won an Oscar for Sophia Loren. And also of the original Italian Job.

However, it does have its downside: Jamiroquai, WTF!

bassetwrangler 1:29 PM  

Buffalo Bill (of Silence of the Lambs fame) was a flayer. Other than that, I thought this puzzle was closer to medium than challenging.

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