Peace Nobelist Sakharov / SUN 4-11 / Bear Lake State Park locale / "Heaven's Gate" director / 12th-century Crusader state

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

Theme: "Tee Time" — Familiar phrases have a TEE sound added to the end. Wackiness ensues.

Word of the Day: ENDOR (49A: "Return of the Jedi" moon)

Endor (also known as the Forest Moon of Endor and the Sanctuary Moon) was a small forested moon orbiting the gas giant planet of Endor. An enchanted world, Endor was notable for being the native home of the Ewoks, and being the location of the Battle of Endor, which would result in the downfall of the Empire and the first death of the Emperor Palpatine. Due to its proximity to the inhospitable Unknown Regions, Endor was a relatively quiet planetoid both prior to and after the battle.

Endor was also known for the vast amount of sentient species it supported, from baseline to exotic. This was largely due to the unusually large number of shipwrecks Endor experienced; it has been compared to a "desert island" in space. …

With three films, an entire television series, and a comic book series based around it, Endor is one of the most documented locations in the Star Wars universe with regard to its places and species. The real world location for Endor is Redwood National Park in California. [Wookieepedia]
• • •

Hey, everybody. PuzzleGirl here again with your Sunday puzzle. As you might recall from yesterday's write-up, I've had a few difficult puzzle days all in a row. Yesterday's comments section, however, made me feel a lot better about myself. PuzzleHusband is now leaving the scissors out in plain sight again. And yet … I finished this puzzle, but didn't notice a mistake. So, to me, this is another DNF which is a really big bummer. But you know what? I don't know what the heck I expected. I don't generally even like the Sunday puzzles all that much. They're just too big! So to have my self-puzzle-worth hinge on a Sunday is just adding insult to injury. Trying to keep my chin up though! Thank God tomorrow's Monday!

Theme answers:
  • 19A: Bathing beauty at a swimming facility? (POOL CUTIE). [pool cue]
  • 23A: Armistice signed on December 25? (CHRISTMAS TREATY). [Christmas tree]
  • 38A: Scottish body of water with beverage concentrate added? (LOCH NESTEA). [Loch Ness]
  • 43A: Awful illustration from cartoonist William? (HANNA BARBARITY). [Hanna-Barbera]
  • 56A: Opting not to sunbathe? (KEEPING PASTY). [keeping pace]
  • 70A: Exactness in giving orders to toymaking elves? (SANTA CLARITY). [Santa Clara]
  • 88A: What a bunny buyer at a pet shop might want? (RABBIT WARRANTY). [rabbit warren]
  • 90A: Choice of songs at a piano bar? (HIT OR MISTY). [hit or miss]
  • 108A: Hybrid sheepdog that moves ver-r-ry slowly? (TORTOISE SHELTIE). [tortoise shell]
  • 115A: Drinking and dancing instead of sleeping? (UP TO PARTY). [up to par]
I like the theme. I got tripped up on SANTA CLARITY, because I hadn't yet noticed that all but one of the theme answers changes the spelling of the original phrase. For some reason, I was all, "But it has to be CLARATY to fit with the theme. But, but, but … that's not spelled right!" And then I just kept moving because the crossing, "Heaven's Gate" director, wasn't helping me at all. (Turns out it's CIMINO. Whatever.) And I didn't ever go back and correct the mistake. But, you know what? HIT OR MISTY is awesome. So all is forgiven.

My WTFs:
  • 87A: Brazilian beach resort (OLINDA).
  • 95A: 12th-century Crusader state (EDESSA).
  • 44D: Yellow-flowered perennial (ARNICA).

  • 14A: Easily broken (FRAIL). I just not noticed how many letters FRAGILE and FRAIL have in common.
  • 28A: Allergy medication brand (ACTIFED). Tried ALLEGRA first. Do they still make ACTIFED? I used to take it for sinus headaches and I recall it was a lot like how Denis Leary describes NyQuil: the label says "May cause drowsiness" but what it should say is "Don't make any freakin' plans."
  • 33A: Excellent summers, for short? (CPAS). Took me way too long to figure out this was a math clue.
  • 52A: ___ Field (former name of Minute Maid Park) (ENRON). Probably a good decision to go ahead and make that change.
  • 66A: Union opposer: Abbr. (CSA). The Confederate States of America. Here in Virginia, April is Confederate History Month.
  • 79A: First lady after Bess (MAMIE). She had bangs, you know.
  • 94A: R&B singer Marie (TEENA). The girl's got pipes.

  • 7D: Large-scale flight (DIASPORA). My first thought was JUMBO JET. Then when I had the IA in place I assumed it would be GIANT-something. What? I'm sorry, I can't hear you all the way out here in left field!
  • 15D: Rush jobs? (RADIO SHOWS). At first I thought this was a reference to the band Rush and was, therefore, a lame clue. But then I realized it's about rush hour traffic reports. Oh man. Maybe it's really about Rush Limbaugh.
  • 18D: Easily picked up, say (LOUD). I'm all, "Desperate? … Slutty? ..."
  • 31D: With all haste (ASAP). Has ASAP become an actual word at this point? And not just an abbreviation (or initialism or whatever)?
  • 33D: Where some hooks connect (CHEEKS). Ouch.
  • 36D: One who's in your business? (SNOOP). I thought the question mark meant the answer would be a literal business colleague.
  • 57D: Drink from a bowl (NOG). Raise your hand if you tried LAP first.
With any luck, Rex will be back tomorrow. See you all next time.

Love, PuzzleGirl

[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter]

PS Press release from the Washington Post:

Today the Sunday Arts & Style section adds The Post Puzzler, a new crossword from celebrated puzzle writer Peter Gordon, created exclusively for The Washington Post. The former crossword editor for The New York Sun, Gordon is known for repeating very few clues, and hardly ever in the same year.

The Post Puzzler is in addition to the weekday Washington Post crossword and Merl Reagle's puzzle in the Sunday Magazine. It will also be available online at


linda marie thomas 1:27 AM  

i came to a dead stop in the nw corner. kept going back to high heels finally got frail -to flat but i never did understand radioshow till you told me.thamk god for this blog .that kind of th ing would drive me nuts. flunked again now im a "vilin"

retired_chemist 2:26 AM  

Fun writeups the last two days, PuzzleGirl. Thanks!

And a fun puzzle today too. The theme was kinda odd in that there was no unique algorithm for the answers. OK, there's the TEE sound, but you get to change a preceding vowel, or sometimes a consonant. Sometimes the vowel change is right before the -TY, sometimes a consonant intervenes. And -TY, -TEA, and -TIE are all acceptable endings. That said, it was cute, but I'd have liked it if it were more coherent that simply being phonetic.

Writeovers: wanted SUDAFED instead of ACTIFED, ELAN instead of BRIO @ 100D, HEN instead of HON @ 111D, SKIMPS instead of STINTS, and had no idea of OLINDA @ 87A (reluctantly gave up ORINDA, which I knew as a city in CA).

True confession: I could. not. think. of what remote button fit __A_ for the longest time. I had to go check the remote :-( Mrs. Ret_Chem is the keeper of the remote in our house. (I had mistyped it femote and almost left it that way.)

Thanks, Mr. Berry.

retired_chemist 2:33 AM  

And I would have liked it if the clue for 104D was: Minnesota's St ____ College, founded in 1874 by a group of Norwegian-American immigrant pastors and farmers, led by Pastor Bernt Julius Muus.

Noam D. Elkies 2:42 AM  

Thanks for the write-up, and (with a few exceptions like 66D:CRIMINO) the puzzle. My favorite theme clue was 88A:RABBITWARRANTY but almost all rated a smile.

19A:POOLCUTIE is clever but I wonder about cluding CUTIE as "beauty" — it sounds too close even though the words' spellings and sources are legitimately distant.

There's a good reason 14A:FRAIL reminds you of "fragile": the source for both is Latin fragilis.

Yes I thought of "lap" for 57D:NOG though I didn't actually enter it.

Both 13D:RIYADH and 48A:TEHRAN are too close to Washington DC for comfort...

Witch planet was 49A:ENDOR again?

60A:COCKS appears only a second time, this time for firearms; last time it was a rooster; the singular has also appeared as "bull's partner" and "tilt". This isn't The Onion.

I like retired_chemist's "femote". I don't suppose you meant an iron filing.

Bust go to med; 26A:ADIEU

chefwen 3:12 AM  

Had a lot more fun today than the last three days. Still a slog, but an enjoyable one.

Got screwed up in the north east with high heel instead of FLAT HEEL, in central California with dissed before PANNED and a few others that are too boring to pass on. We got the job done and that is all I ask for.


Thanks Patrick Berry for a fun afternoon, yeah, that's how long it took me, but I am not complaining.

CoolPapaD 3:18 AM  

Greetings, all. Took a few days off after Thursday's humbling fall down the rabbit hole - speaking of which - has anyone heard of a rabbit warren before today? I assumed it was Updike's character's name, until I did a post-puzzle Google! I must read that book - I swore to myself I would, after he died last year.

Fun puzzle - theme was picked up early. The NW went so quickly, I thought this was going to be simple, but it got way harder down below. My per-Nat was ENDOR/ARNICA - I had ENDON/ANNICA. Other than this, twas quite doable. Despite the distasteful subject, "Rush jobs?" was my favorite clue. I don't like Sean HanniTEE, either, FWIW.

Why is an EYE a smiley dot?

Thanks, Puzzle Girl!

Clark 4:04 AM  

Ok, @puzzle girl, are you talkin’ to me? Yes, I had LAP. I kept taking it out and putting it back in again. That (oh, what is that Nevada?) area was one of the toughest spots for me. Didn’t get [keeping pace] until I saw your write-up.

Sundays are always hard for me, and this was no exception. But after finishing the last two days there was no way in the world I was not gonna finish this.

spasmsa? -- put some ARNICA on it.

ARNICA I know from hiking in the alps. Beautiful flower, and I love the smell of it -- probably because I associate it with soothing relief of sore muscles.

foodie 4:27 AM  

I started this puzzle in the Northeast, immediately got LOCHNESTEA and felt cocky. Breezed through a big chunk of it, thinking it was way too easy, until I hit the CSA/CIMINO nabe. Had REB for Union opposer and had trouble getting rid of it. then had trouble again in the SW... Still finished in good time.

All in all, I thought this was one of the better puzzles of this type, with the theme answers actually making some sense. POOL CUTIE, now that's a nice image- not someone who KEEPsPASTY... Too bad STUD was clued in a diminutive way (Small earring) rather than referring to the POOL dude (or were you thinking it was a She-CUTIE? that's gender bias, y'know).

@Puzzlegirl, thanks for a fun write-up. Your aside about MAMIE made me chuckle.

Off to explore (including the food, of course).

Anonymous 4:37 AM  

:) eye dots :)

Steve J 5:23 AM  

For some reason I cannot wrap my head around, it bothers me that the theme answers are spelled based on the "replacement" word rather than the original phrases. I have no rational basis for this, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

Having grown up in Minnesota did pay off with EDINA and St. OLAF. Not often I can say that my Minnesota background helps me in Crossworld.

My experience with the puzzle was mostlyf as an easy, except for the Oregon area. Hooks and CHEEKS weren't coming to me, and until this moment, I had no idea the HANNA of Hanna Barbara was named William. I sat staring at that area for a long, long time. Turned it into what I'd call a medium for me.

@Noam D Elkies: While my mind almost always automatically turns to the gutter, I don't have any problems with COCKS in the puzzle. There are loads of legitimate uses of the word, including the one clued here. Also, I'm not getting your RIYADH/TEHRAN comment. TEHRAN, certainly, isn't close to Washington DC linguistically or politically for at east the last 30 years.

@Cool Papa D: I've known rabbit warren since I was a kid, when I read "Watership Down." That one came quickly to me. And also started my irritation with the spelling scheme I mentioned at the top of my post (which was not helped by the fact that I had CHRISTMASTREETY at first, confusing the actual word WEAN with the craptastic band WEEN).

Bob Kerfuffle 7:23 AM  

Fun puzzle, especially once I got my head around the idea that the theme answers were only phonetically related to the base phrases (oops, unconsciously using Steve J's language there! My apology!)

Working off the "O" in STOIC, I had 60 A going from LOADS to LOCKS to COCKS -- all in readying a firearm! And new as I am to the world of cellphones, for 103 A, I went from ROVE to ROAM.

David 7:33 AM  

Anyone other than me not familiar with either Lili Taylor or Olinda beach so having to guess at the L crossing? Hardest spot of thepuzzle for me.

Gary K 7:37 AM  

Somebody please explain 33 down. I don't get it, even after the "ouch" remark.

r.alphbunker 8:03 AM  

I am always impressed when theme answers are stacked. Patrick Berry and Merl Reagle are amazing!

Sole blunder was "as in" instead of "as if". Do the cheeks of 33D down refer to buttocks and have something to do with corsets? "Hit and misty" seems to violate some unwritten rule of conversation. You wouldn't say I would like food or a sandwich". Isn't "Misty" a hit?

Ruth 8:18 AM  

@r.alph, I was thinking they meant like left hook or right hook--connecting, you know. . .

Why is there a little handicap symbol next to the captcha? Anyone know?

Monica 8:22 AM  

33D I think is a ref to FISHING...had UNPARTISANED instead of hypnotized and it almost worked...hated the theme...unclear, inconsistent.Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under,I Shot Andy Warhol)I had the top third almost immediate;y...but I still don't get CPAs...

Monica 8:25 AM  

Ha, Ruth, you're correct, 33D is a BOXING ref, my father is rolling in his wherever right now. And PS Puzzle girl, awesome writeup. Thanks! I think if you click on the handicap sympbol it will give you an audio captcha...

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Okay...the hook in 33D is a swing that a boxer would deliver; so it connects at someone's cheek. But I don't get 33A...excellent summers?

Rex Parker 8:30 AM  

Theme was very clear, very consistent. CHEEKS answer works for boxing and fishing. [Rush jobs?] is a great clue and kept the NE tough for me (FLAT HEEL??? Argh). And yes, I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks, PG.


ArtLvr 9:00 AM  

@Monica, CPAS do sums, they're very good at it.

I liked this one enormously -- shifts in spelling of the original phrase and all, like SANTA CLARITY. My one glitch was in 46D: I'd tried Uris for the author and left the R as PAY rENT, rather than PAYMENT and AMIS.

@r_c, thanks for the details re St Olaf's Pastor Muus! He must have been a bit mousy?

Congrats to Patrick on all the wacky humor, and thanks to PG too..


Anonymous 9:33 AM  

would someone be kind enough to explain the cpa answer? thanks

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

i just realized 33 across after posting for an explanation....cpas do tidy sums!

Clark 9:45 AM  

[Where some hooks connect] CHEEKS -- I was thinking Ben Stiller in "There's Something About Mary."

joho 10:19 AM  

Fun puzzle but I have one quibble. Nobody's mentioned this so maybe I'm just nuts. But I wrote in GETTINGPASTY first because getting past something is a phrase I know. PASTY is spelled with an "S." PACE with a "C." KEEPINGPACE makes sense a phrase, but not here for me because of PASTY. So, then, am I crazy?

joho 10:21 AM  

Oh, I forgot to again thank you, PG for another great write-up! Like @Foodie, I laughed at MAMIE's bangs.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:40 AM  

@joho - As I tried to say above, maybe not too clearly, the hardest part of this puzzle for me was accepting that the answers all make sense only purely phonetically. I wanted to argue that they were somehow "looser"? than we are accustomed to, but actually I think they all strictly follow their own rules. As others have said, only the sound counts, not the spelling.

retired_chemist 11:04 AM  

I agree with Steve J and Bob K - it is somehow off-putting that the rule is to spell the last word correctly and have the tie to the previous word(s) be strictly phonetic. Not wrong, just vaguely unsettling.

Doug 11:12 AM  

I can't believe Harrison CADY was in the puzzle--A gimmee. My oldest son is named Harrison and my wife's family name is CADY so we naturally have a book of his illustrations. The only two famous CADYs are Frank Cady from Green Acres and H. Cady the artist so slim pickings for a clue!

jesser 11:17 AM  

Another excellent write-up, PG. You done Rex proud!

LOCH NESTEA made grin beeg beeg. As did 60A.

I did not grin At All at 50A, where I confidently plopped in PAr putT, this being The Master's weekend and all. That effed up that area for way way into the morning.

The other crazed area for my morning was 70D, where I first filed, then saved, before I finally SET BY. Fixing that one answer eventually opened up a pretty quick demotion of the bottom middle.

My undoing was at the California/Mexico border. I freakin' loved HYPNOTIZED as clued, and I had no problem with ADRENALS or HOODS popping into place, but the nine squares above HOO were WTFs, and I had to come here.

I still have money riding on Tiger, but damn, it was fun to watch Lefty yesterday!

Hrchu! (What you'll keep doing, dear, until you take the damn ACTIFED) -- jesser

JayWalker 11:19 AM  

I gotta tell yah, I found this one to be a constant "slog" from beginning to end. Very little joy and a whole lotta work for very little reward - except finishing - which in this case was only a relief.

joho 11:26 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle ... thanks for repeating what you said, obviously it didn't register with me the first time!

3 and out: happy Sunday everybody! I'll be glued to the Masters.

David L 11:42 AM  

I gotta disagree with the esteemed Rex P. on this one. I thought the theme was far from clear and not at all consistent. UPTOPARTY makes no sense at all to me, and SANTACLARITY is just confusing -- I was trying to work Santa Claus into it somehow, but Santa Clara? Why?

So thumbs down from me. A big mess. But hey, even holding my nose, I still finished.

I used to be anal too 12:05 PM  

... but now I can enjoy this puzzle with a "sound" being the "trick".


Because Santa Clara was the correct seed for the answer


archaeoprof 12:24 PM  

Another clever write-up, PG. Lots of fun. Thanks!

Hand up for LAP.

TORTOISESHELTIE makes me laugh.

No country music in this puzzle, but that's allright, because I'm going to the Alan Jackson concert tonight.
It's five o'clock somewhere...

Noam D. Elkies 12:34 PM  

Steve J.: I have no problem with COCKS in the puzzle either. I meant only that The Onion would not have limited itself to the G-rated clues.

"Washington DC" is roughly where TEHRAN and RIYADH's grid locations meet, going by the usual approximation of grid regions by the corresponding spots in the continental USA. The geopolitical incongruity was what I was trying to point out. Probably 2:42AM is not the best time to attempt humor.


[Ugliest captcha I've seen in some time: concwwjt. What kind of conceit is that? Can I buy a vowel?]

Anonymous 12:38 PM  

@Steve J
The proximity beteen Wahington DC, Tehran and Riyadh refers to the geography of the puzzle. Washington DC is situated near the middle of the right side of the puzzle.

Rick Stein 12:40 PM  

"Not to be missed" = PAY RENT

Hate that clue.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 12:44 PM  

@Doug - There may be one more way to clue CADY than you have counted.

Brendan 1:07 PM  

""Hit and misty" seems to violate some unwritten rule of conversation. You wouldn't say I would like food or a sandwich". Isn't "Misty" a hit?"

Exactly! Why is no one else discussing this? I could not finish that area because of not getting this theme answer, and even when I looked up the answer here, it still makes no sense. One could play "Misty" at a piano bar, or another hit, sure... but how does that make any grammatical sense?

play it, Sam 1:37 PM  


Misty WAS a hit, it's now a classic.

Babe Ruth WAS a baseball player, he no longer IS.

I understand the difference as current vrs old time.

@Rick Stein

Would you feel better if the answer were PAYMENT?


Anonymous 1:45 PM  

Thanks Puzzle Girl, your comments really made me chuckle. Would NEVER have understood meaning of "summers" without today without help.

Steve J 2:07 PM  

@Noam D Elkies: Thanks for the explanations. Much clearer now in the light of day. I'm on the west coast, so my 5.23 a.m. post was actually 2.23 a.m. for me: the last thing I did last night was finish the puzzle, read Puzzle Girl's fun writeup, and post. Perhaps I should wait to read comments until I'm in some state other than about to fall asleep.

Reading comments this morning, I think I've got a clearer idea of why the phonetic matches, rather than spelling of the common phrase the answers are based off of, bothered me a bit. I process written words differently than I do spoken ones. While I certainly "hear" words correctly in my head when I read them, I'm not really processing them as phonetic units, like I do when hearing oral speech. Since I don't read my crosswords out loud, I don't always catch the associations in puzzles like this. I suspect others have the same differences in processing language as I do.

Plus, I'm accustomed so seeing this type of theme executed by adding the supplemental part to the original phrase.

Which is why I think so many people are having trouble with HITORMISTY. The point isn't that the resulting answer is or isn't grammatical or something one would actually say (for that matter, how often are people going to say RABBITWARRANTY or TORTOISESHELTIE?). The theme is adding a phonetic "tee" to the end of common phrases. "Hit or miss" is a common phrase, so per the rules of the puzzle, HITORMISTY is entirely correct and consistent within the construct of the puzzle.

My captcha has declared me the most sable of everyone (I assume that's what "sablest" means). Now I just need to figure out how one can be superlatively sable.

Glitch 2:32 PM  


The handicapped icon presents an alternate (audio) verification process for the visually impared.

Much like the visual, numbers are spoken over a "confusing" background (noise) to prevent computer recognition.

Click on it to see, er, hear what I mean.


Anonymous 2:41 PM  

I think "easily picked up" must mean by a mike, not a john. Didn't get it until I saw the answers. Thanks, Puzzlegirl.

chefbea 3:03 PM  

Easier than the last few days but still hard for a sunday, Loved Rush jobs

spinsker 3:37 PM  

Made many of the same mistakes as others have mentioned, especially didn't get the CPA's either - Anonymous. Had a problem with the NW that noone else mentioned. I had Fax for 1 down (scanned lines for short), thus ended up with xmas_StMastTreaty. Was completely stuck because I was so certain of 1 down. Ugh - hated not finishing a Sunday for the first time in months. I couldn't get sw corner either because I didn't know many of the answers and couldn't think of hoods.

Loved the write-up Puzzle girl.

Brendan 3:49 PM  

I understand that HITORMISTY fits the internal construction rules of the puzzle, but at least with the others I can parse them correctly and make sense of them, whether or not anybody would ever use them in speech. For instance, LOCHNESTEA certainly doesn't exist, but I can conceive of the idea of a lake full of overly-sweetened fruity-flavored iced tea. HITORMISTY stands out from the others, though, with weird logic/grammar. If I'm a pianist at a bar, and someone asked me to play a hit and instead I chose to play "Misty", one might reply, "Well, that is ALSO a hit. You didn't really make a 'choice of songs', per se." I don't think it's meant to be a temporal issue, as playitSam says, since people certainly refer to Babe Ruth as BEING a baseball player and yet we all understand that no one is trying to indicate he exists. I admit this is nit-picky, but this one section of the puzzle really ruined it for me. The rest of the themes and fill were stupendous; it's a shame this one isn't nearly up to party.

Red Dog 4:18 PM  

Seemed like a lot of the cluing was much harder than normal Sunday. Interesting spin on the add-a-letter concept using a sound instead of just a letter. None of the supposedly amusing clues were very amusing, though, so was not a fan of this one.

Was actually disappointed because when I saw the Tee Times name title together w/ Patrick Merrell, I expected one of those crossword "stories" similar to the sports puzzle used at the ACPT, or the football one a couple of months ago. I.e., a puzzle where each clue/answer is a wry twist on a common phrase used in the sport. Maybe we can see one of those for the British Open, now that the Masters is almost history. Then I'm sure they can work "tea times" into the grid for the English angle.

play it, Sam 5:01 PM  


You wrote, "LOCH NESTEA certainly doesn't exist, but I can conceive of the idea of a lake full of overly-sweetened fruity-flavored iced tea."

And "... people certainly refer to Babe Ruth as BEING a baseball player and yet we all understand that no one is trying to indicate he exists."

Yet the possible intreptation of Misty as a seperate item than, rather than a subset of, hit, is runing your whole puzzle.

I'm impressed.


lit.doc 5:14 PM  

Absolutely loved this puzzle. Except for its being so damned big, but that’s not Patrick Berry’s fault. Enjoyed the theme and, while HIT OR MISTY did strike me as a bit odd, it strikes me as odder yet to hold a humorous and gettable theme to a very high level of rigor.

@PuzzleGirl, loved the write-up as well (as always) and had the exact same list of WTFs.

This is one of those days I really wish the puzzle indicated who wrote which clues, as they were wonderful. Fav’s: 1A “Pitch evaluators” (gimme for sports geeks, baffling to music geeks), 33A “Excellent summers…” (super misdirect), 15D “Rush jobs” (my mind plummeted gutterward at full throttle), and 84D “Some Scott Joplin compositions” which obviously had to be RAGTIMES.

This is probably just a sign that I need to up my med’s, but even though I finished without errors or googles it feels like a minor fail because I had to do it in two sessions. By “I’m out of Jameson’s” o’clock, I had the grid filled except for a diagonal from 74D (then ___H) up to 38D LINDY. Brick wall, with 57D LAP right in the middle of it. Sigh. After I good night’s sleep, I just sat here and watched while my coffee finished the puzzle for me.

Elaine 6:15 PM  

I started this puzzle when we got home from the lake (where I hooked a dozen fish, mostly through the lip except for the ones that swallowed the hook.)

Oh, the puzzle: I was slightly stuck for a while with LAP/NOG and WEAR/WEAN and PUT BY/SET BY and LOADS/LOCKS/COCKS for god's sake. Then there were RIATA/LASSO in the NE and JUNO/UTAH in the SW, and finally I ended with the Naticky 75D/87A LI-I/O-inda crossing. I decided on an L, which was correct, but not because I had heard of either of these clues.

CHEEKS held me up quite a while because it was so bizarre. And do I really need to know the brand names of allergy medicines? sheesh! I buy generic. How about a whole puzzle with the Walgreen's brand names? (Hint: they all start with Wal-. )

DON'T read any of the Updike 'Rabbit' books unless you like utter depression; instead, read _Watership Down,_ a modern classic that will outlast Updike's trilogy.

I see that Elizabeth CADY Stanton has already spoken for herself to @Doug. THAT, I would have gotten.

captcha--lograt is there such a thing?

JF 7:27 PM  

Much harder cluing than is typical for a Sunday. Most of it satisfying (especially RUSH JOBS, HYPNOTIZED, and UMPS), but some just time unpleasantly time-consuming. All in all, a fun puzzle, and a great twist on the substitute/add/tweak theme we see so often.

My only major holdup was insisting on POKER as a major aphrodisiac. I couldn't care less about POWER, but my wife is one of the few people ever to beat me at poker.

Lili Taylor was the best thing about both Mystic Pizza and Say Anything. Glad to see her in a puzzle.

@PuzzleGirl--I don't think I've read any of your write-ups before this week, and I like them a lot. You should tag-team more often.

jae 7:56 PM  

Second day in a row I was undone by obscure geography. Missed the POOH/OLINDA cross by putting in POSH (an error Amy mentioned in her blog). Other than that I liked the puzzle and, with the exceptions of the NW and SE corners, found it fairly easy.

Tinbeni 9:58 PM  

Came here just because I like your write-ups.

BTW Just b/c some Director doesn't know how to spell his name I wouldn't consider this a DNF.
CIMINO, Camino, Poe-Tay-Toe, Po-Tah-Tu.

mac 10:09 PM  

I'm sorry, but I didn't enjoy this puzzle. It felt awkward, not smooth, and way too long. It may be consistent when you look at the big picture, but the process wasn't fun.

Lili Taylor? Only knew Niki Taylor. I also went the loads to cocks route, and had to be told what the hooks and cheeks relation was.

No fun today.

Blinger! I like this one!

mac 10:11 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 10:13 PM  

Late to the party today. Great write up PG; liked the puzzle; my hand's up for lap.

@CoolPapaD- don't waste your time with Updike and Angstrom

Stan 10:14 PM  

LOCH NESTEA and TORTOISE SHELTIE were hilarious, but the other theme answers equally valid in terms of the basic phonetics. Good one, Patrick.

Greatly enjoyed the Boston Crossword Tournament today. The standout puzzle was by BEQ and Joon Pahk (you all will get to see it soon). Marion and I are now, ahem, the 17th Greatest Crossword Solvers in the Pairs Division of the entire Boston area!

mac 11:10 PM  

@Stan: congratulations! I just had a report from Karen from the Cape about the tournament, and it sounds wonderful! May have to drive over there and participate next year!

Stan 11:30 PM  

@mac: You definitely should!

sean m 3:05 PM  

Hey! Nice blog. Never knew it existed until one Andrea Michaels told me about it (hi Andrea, this is Sean, Scott's friend).

I thought this one was okay. I'm not fond of themes with wonky spelling. It just doesn't feel right.

And seriously, Hit or Misty? That makes no sense at all.

and 'in stir'? Really? I've heard of The Stir for prison, but doesn't one need 'the' in there? As in, I was in the stir. You wouldn't say in clink.

Lot of grief for Michael Cimino. No one's ever seen The Deer Hunter, eh? Might want to add that to netflix soon. As for Heaven's Gate, it remains one of the most notorious flops in hollywood history. It's an interesting failure, and worth watching for that, actually.

Gen 0 3:35 PM  

@ sean m - Welcome to the blog!

One of the first things we learn here is that everyone has a unique and uniquely limited knowledge set.

You find it almost unbelievable that so many people say "I've never heard of Michael Cimino."

Some of us say, "Is the younger generation unfamiliar with the use of "stir" to mean prison?" Anyone who would use the term would say you were "in stir", never "in the stir", just as Brits would say you were "in hospital" but Americans would always say "in the hospital."

You say "potato", I say "tater tots."

Jonathan 12:11 AM  

Wait, why is the "Rush Jobs" clue automatically lame if it's about the band? Wouldn't that, in fact, be awesome?

Zardoz 1:29 AM  

Can't believe so many people claim to have LIKEd this puzzle. AS IF? Were you all HYPNOTIZED? NOT I. PANNED it.

About the only high points were the SHELTIE & the Rush jobs.

Odd there were no comments about the crossing of TRIO & SOLOIST, or MOHS, considering the usual confusion with OHMS & MHOS.

Must agree with JayWalker 11:19 AM -- total slog, not much CLARITY, more of a HIT OR MISS.

I say POOH!

Zardoz 1:40 AM  

Rex, can we get dates on the posts, not just the time? Please!
I think I asked about this before, but since I get the syndicated puzzle from the Times Colonist (Victoria, BC) may have missed the answer. Bit of a time-warp.

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