Batgirl player Craig / SUN 6-20-10 / Candidate with slogan Come Home America / Fictional hero in search stolen treasure / Bam blurter

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Constructor: Todd Gross & Ashish Vengsarkar

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "Publishing Trade" — book titles where one word in title is anagrammed to new word, then given a wacky clue (but with real book author's name in brackets at the end)


Word of the Day: ASONIA (2D: Tone deafness) —

Pronunciation: (u-sō'nē-u), [key]
n. Pathol.
tone deafness.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

• • •

A cute theme, and once you get it, the theme answers are Very easy to uncover (I mean, if you're vaguely aware of reasonably popular book titles). The rest of the puzzle, however, has more difficult-than-average clues, probably to compensate for the easiness of the theme. Much as I love Ashish (and I love him—I've drunk a lot of his wine at the past few ACPTs), there are some rough patches in this grid that I sort of have to grouse about (it's what I do). Two sections in particular have strong wince-inducing properties — the NW, with its obscure ASONIA and SANSEI (4D: Grandchildren of Japanese immigrants), the awkwardness of which is compounded by their intersecting the not terribly famous ANIS; and then the far W, with HAGEN (46D: Tom ___, Vito's adopted son and consigliere in "The Godfather") crossing GARE (really?) (57A: French rail station), and then the ugly NAOH to boot (69A: Caustic soda, to a chemist). Really glad I know French fairly well, because that "G," yikes. When I finished, I thought SANSEI had to be wrong. SENSEI, sure. SANSEI? Well, nothing else works, so OK. ASONIA is so pathology-specific that everywhere I looked on-line for a definition kept asking me if I meant something else? If Google is asking you if you meant ANSONIA, a nothing Connecticut town, then you know you've gone down the obscurity path. "I'm sorry, Dave, your query means less to me than ANSONIA, CT."

Again, theme is witty, and results in an interesting grid shape — that rectangle in the middle with parallel theme-11s as its sides is something I can't remember seeing before. And there was amusement to be had throughout. And yet: all the NAs in the SE were driving me crazy: NANANA (with TRALA already in the grid?) (94D: "Hey Jude" sounds), ENNA (105A: Central Sicilian city), ALANA (which is actually ALAN-A-) (117A: ___-Dale (1902 Kentucky Derby winner)), etc. ETTES is among the weaker plural suffixes you'll ever see (plural suffixes already being an inherently weak class of entry) (91D: Ending with Rock). FATLESS??? (50D: Lean, as meat) FAT-FREE, I buy. Plus, can any meat really be completely sans FAT? Not one iota? A NOTCH is a horrifically long partial (I didn't know 6-ltr partials were allowed) (51D: How much you might kick it up?), and is somehow *not* tied to EMERIL (93D: "Bam!" blurter). BSC, like the BSED of a day or so ago, is not a degree I've ever known anyone to have (100A: Deg. in biology or physics), unless a BSC is equivalent to a B.S., in which case ... why bother with the "C." I know HAN as a dynasty. And an ethnic group of China. And a Solo. Now I know it as a river (17D: Yangtze tributary). Seems obscure. Is capital "R" RockOLA something?? -OLA is bad enough when I have to get it via "payOLA." What of Motor? Gran? Shin!? It appears Rock-Ola made jukeboxes. Remember those?

Of the theme answers, the first one (JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU) was by far the hardest to get—mainly because "ANNIE GET YOUR GUN" was running interference, so I thought the title was "JOHNNY GET YOUR GUN." That, or "JOHNNY TREMAIN." Rest of the themes went in lickety-split, with hardly any crosses needed. "A PREFECT SPY" was probably the next-hardest to get, and it wasn't that hard.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: "Carson's Successful Safari"? [Dalton Trumbo] ("JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU")
  • 32A: "Big Pile of Dirt"? [Charles Frazier] ("CLOD MOUNTAIN")
  • 58A: "Battle Backstabber"? [Sun Tzu] ("THE RAT OF WAR")
  • 70A: "Secretive Student Monitor"? [John le Carré] ("A PREFECT SPY")
  • 97A: "Endless Streams"? [David Foster Wallace] ("INFINITE JETS")
  • 108A: "Football Team Leaves L.A."? [Ernest Hemingway] ("A FAREWELL TO RAMS") — this title is weirdly plausible. The RAMS did indeed leave L.A. for Anaheim (see the decent, recent documentary about the 1980s L.A. Raiders directed by Ice Cube for ESPN's "30 for 30" series), and then left Anaheim for St. Louis.


  • 16D: "Renaissance College Girl"? [Dan Brown] ("THE DA VINCI CO-ED")
  • 48D: "Head Secretary"? [William Golding] ("LORD OF THE FILES")
Highlights of the grid for me include BLUE NOSES (75D: Holier-than-thou types), MCGOVERN (6D: Candidate with the slogan "Come home, America" — tough clue for me), and CORKY (52D: Like spoiled wine, say — none of Ashish's wines were CORKY, that's for sure). Wouldn't have liked either DIS or DAT on its own, but crossing? That was kind of funny. I had FIT and FAT there at first.

Bullets:
  • 20A: "Ale" for the underaged (CANADA DRY) — clue threw me, since I would drink this, and I am not "underaged." "For the underaged..." Bah.
  • 36A: Writer who wrote "A bear, however hard he tries, / Grows tubby without exercise" (A.A. MILNE) — Perhaps the most common full-named author in crosswords.
  • 46A: British coin discontinued in 1984 (HALF PENNY) — is this the same as a "hay penny?" 'Cause I wanted "HAY PENNY." If you haven't got a HAY PENNY then God bless you.
  • 90D: Main rat in "Ratatouille" (RÉMY) — tried RENÉ at first. Seemed reasonable.
  • 92D: Letter of indictment? (SILENT C) — nice letteral clue.
  • 24D: Batgirl player Craig (LARRY)
  • 37D: Rapper Fiasco (LUPE) — loving the rap clues today, especially this one. Also enjoyed IRV Gotti (106D: Record exec Gotti) and LIL whoever (89D: Start of many a rap moniker): WAYNE, KIM ... take your pick.


[N-word aplenty—you've been warned]
  • 38D: Company whose logo contains its name crossing itself (BAYER) — good clue. Pictured it instantly, despite not being a big aspirin-taker.
  • 47D: Appliance appellation (AMANA) — "Appellation?" That's a bit too fancy-pants. It's a brand.
  • 100D: Fictional hero in search of stolen treasure (BILBO) — completely forgot who this was. Was looking for some Spanish/Portuguese explorer (BALBOA?). Took me several seconds after getting it for me to realize that it's the damned hobbit from "Lord of the Rings." Usually first names require some indicator in the clue. Not here, I guess.
And now your Tweets of the Week — puzzle chatter from the Twitterverse
  • @RAWRen2105 One of the answers to my crossword was bulge :')! #immature #sickminded .
  • @juliankimmings I swear to God. Pete Poslethwaite (sp) is sat opposite me doing the crossword. either him or a very ugly look alike
  • @andylevy Today's NY Times crossword, 44 down clue: "TV's Andy." Answer: "Rooney." #bullshit
  • @jen_dytd You know its a bad sign when the only crossword clue you get is Weird Al related.
  • @ConfessorEddie I'm pretty sure people only do sodoku because they're not smart enough to do the crossword.
  • @the_seashes ps, I think I now want to be Will Shortz when I grow up... but it's not for sure yet. IT'S A BIG STEP.
  • @jake_ford Just finished the first crossword in my book. The book said it was EASY, they lied. Or I'm an idiot. I prefer the former.
  • @ekingme Almost got hit by a lady driving and doing the crossword puzzle. Twice.
  • @JoshuaOst People just do the sudoku because they're afraid of the crossword. Truth.
  • @rexparker I've decided to become a rapper. I will call myself MC DVI and rap exclusively about the early 15th century.
  • @blacksockies Anyone who can do crosswords can burn in hell #saltytweet
  • @theisb Right now, me and @daveexmachina are in a crossword-based war of attrition.
  • @BadBrad1929 I am currently watching some guy doing the daily crossword puzzle while driving
  • @HebaVsReason The man on the T across from me just started cursing at his crossword puzzle
  • @TomPelissero Guy in front of me @ Target Field press box doing a crossword puzzle. Just turned to people next to him and asked, "What's a search engine?"
  • @TheCornach Screw you, Will Shortz! http://twitgoo.com/zqzdj
  • @Trish252 No this bitch isn't doin a crossword puzzle in church
  • @briangrosz Ok. Just figured out the NYT crossword theme. Holy dogfuck that's not nice, Mr Shortz. Not nice at all...

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

56 comments:

retired_chemist 12:24 AM  

A middling Sunday in difficulty. A fun solve.

Got the theme at LORD OF THE FILES and enjoyed filling in the rest of them. Clever IMO. Learned some stuff – ASONIA, ENNA/NANANA (which I got right but had to convince myself it wasn’t ETNA/NATANA ), that Hey Jude didn’t feature SITARS (which was my 74D for a LONG time), that Verdi wrote an opera called ATTILA. Ones I won’t remember: OLETA, REMY.

Had AJI for tuna - later looked it up. AJI is Japanese mackerel. That made 112A JONES_A_E and a WTF. Had DSC for 10A, which made 100D DIL_O, Thought and thought – no, it wasn’t going to be DILDO. Eventually worked it out.

Minor quibble: kinda think 85 A/D, DIS/DAT, should have somehow indicated the colloquial spelling in the clue.

Thnks, Todd and Ashish.

lit.doc 12:55 AM  

Well, I finished this one. Nice change from the last couple of days. Just wish it hadn’t taken me an hour and a quarter to do it. Really enjoyed the anagram/book title device, which I caught onto at 16D THE DAVINCI CO-ED. Cute. Helped a lot with the other theme answers. But then there was the fill…

South took foreeever to finish. Worst problem turned out to be CFS syndrome. One more time: it’s spelled “F A R E well”. Sheesh. Also, was certain ETNA was a nearby town till I noticed NATANA. ENNA? Sure, why not, it’s better than NATANA.

GARE is French for “railway station”? Really? Wish I still had my dictionnaire. Any French speaking travelers here today?

Favorite wrong answer was 109D World Trade Federation. Just didn’t look quite right.

@Rex, LMAO at your solution for 24D.

@retired_chemist, I agree re 85 DIS/DAT. Are the conventions somehow more relaxed on Sunday? And good to see I wasn’t alone in my ETNA/NATANA moment.

kirble 2:52 AM  

Batgirl player Craig (LARRY)

Now that's an odd slip. And an odd image.

CoolPapaD 4:04 AM  

64A Some receivers: LARRY CRAIG
74A Big lie: LARRY CRAIG

Total guess (right, for a change) at OLETA / ERITU. Couldn't think of Tom Hagen's name to save my life ("for old time's sake?").

andrea tweet michaels 4:39 AM  

OLETA was just in Karen Tracy's fab puzz Fri. Seriously, how do these coincidences happen?

@Rex
Still live your tweets. Thanks, MC DVI

Bob Kerfuffle 6:00 AM  

Nice, quick and easy puzzle for a holiday weekend with other things to do. Familiar gimmick, but pleasant enough.

Two write-overs: RAISED before REARED at 90 D, and OLAF before OLOF at 116 A. (Why of course, he’s a Swede, not a Norwegian!)

LOL re: Rex's Hay Penny. I believe that is what farmers would pay for supplies for their stables. Their city cousins would use a Ha' Penny for small purchases.

I thought the Gare Nord was reasonably famous, even though I'm not so much up on that French stuff.

The only thing that made me sputter a bit was the 85 A & D crossing, but a bit of alphabet running showed only the one possibility.

But 20 A, CANADA DRY, raises a serious question, and since Rexites, collectively, Know Everything, I will ask it here: What happened to Canada Dry Tom Collins Mixer? It was an everyday mixer for making Vodka Collins (my favorite summer drink when it is too much trouble to make a margarita), but all of a sudden it has disappeared. I learn from the Web that Canada Dry is now owned by Dr Pepper Snapple (!), but their product list shows no Collins Mix, and I couldn’t find any explanation for its absence. Anyone?

JenCT 7:25 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: apparently, Canada Dry stopped making the carbonated Tom Collins Mixer, but Polar does make one.

Enjoyed the puzzle, although it took me a few hours.

@Rex: Ansonia a nothing CT town? Ouch!

Favorite theme answer was LORD OF THE FILES.

ShortShrift 7:56 AM  

Sorry to interrupt you Sunday solvers but...
Can anyone explain how "front" clues NOSE (from Friday's DNF)?

Glimmerglass 8:20 AM  

ShortShrift: As in the nose cone of a rocket or nose of an airplane (or surfboard?).

Larry 8:22 AM  

Yvonne Craig was a terrific dancer.

Leslie 8:24 AM  

At 89D, I showed my age by putting in "Ice" before L'IL. Paused for too long at 104D, wanting "beef" rather than VEAL and not being able to figure out what boast starts with a B. OLOF looks weird because I'm expecting "Olaf," but it's his name and he can spell it any way he likes. Rex, so Batgirl generally posed with a wide stance?

@Doris, keep those darn spoilers out of here! I haven't done the acrostic yet!!

Steve J 8:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ShortShrift 8:58 AM  

@Glimmerglass: Bit of a stretch, methinks, but OK. Thanks for your help!

Steve J 9:00 AM  

Finally, the English degree pays off. Ended up being my fastest Sunday ever, thanks to knowing nearly all of the novels straight away (with one notable exception) and picking up the theme within the first few minutes with the one novel I know I'll never, ever read (Dan Brown's pop-culture phenom and historical travesty).

The one exception was LORDOFTHEFILES (an alternate title I just love). I read William Golding, but my brain went for William Goodman (author of "The Princess Bride"), and I couldn't think of anything he'd written named Lord-anything. As a result, the SE took me forever. Finally pieced some crosses together to realize I was thinking of the wrong William, and the rest of the puzzle came into place.

Agreed that there were some tough bits, particularly some crossings that pushed the bounds of fairness outside Friday or Saturday. Examples include OLETA/ERITU (although, now that I see it, I recognize ERITU as a bit of fairly frequent crosswordese) and ALANA/OLA. But I managed to guess correctly.

Didn't like CORKY or FATLESS. CORKY is technically correct and is fair, but it just sounds wrong. I've only heard people refer to wine as "corked." As Rex pointed out, lean meat is not FATLESS. In fact, it's impossible, at least given current meat-processing technology (not to mention, it would taste absolutely awful).

Really liked SOBEREDUP and BASSCLEF

@Bob Kerfuffle and lit.doc: Indeed, le Gare du Nord is one of Paris' famous rail stations. Le Gare is also one of the small bits of high school French I've retained.

@Rex: the hay penny and HALFPENNY were the same coin.

imsdave 9:05 AM  

Ashish typically kicks my butt, but not today. Other than stuggling with -SC/-ILBA for a while until finally seeing BILBO, no issues and a very enjoyable solve. Well done Todd and Ashish!

Sports sidebar. I've never had any interest in soccer (sorry, football) all these years, yet find myself riveted to the TV these past few days. Had a great time with my exchange student watching Uruguay/S.A., was stunned by the disallowed USA goal, am astonished by the courage and heart of the small countries standing up to the giants - it is a truly magical event.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

Well, if you know French, "gare" is not an obscure word.

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

@doris
Thanks for spoiling the acrostic for those of us who do the puzzle first, read Rex next and then do the acrostic for dessert.

redhed 10:10 AM  

Not my favorite Sunday fare. Got most of it done with just a bit of help from the hubby who reads current fiction (I don't -- did I get over that taking English Lit in college??) Anyway, found the theme entertaining, but some of the other stuff was way too obscure for Sunday, IMHO. Happy dad's day to all the fellas out there!

JC66 10:11 AM  

@Doris

Saying "spoiler" doesn't stop people from reading what you've written until it's too late.

Please delete your comment

Crusader Rabbit 10:22 AM  

Rex, for 24D, Batgirl player Craig, how did you get LARRY for YVONNE?

twangster 10:29 AM  

In France, it's hard to avoid signs for gare de this and gare de that, such as gare de lyon and gare du nord.

Leslie 10:44 AM  

@Crusader Rabbit--Rex is cracking wise again. Google Larry Craig.

Y'all, ease up on Doris. I already got after her (gently). No piling on!!

Doc John 10:44 AM  

I'm surprised that you also didn't mention the presence of both IRK and IRED.

spinsker 11:07 AM  

OK, was I the only one that had "Prayed for" instead of Pines for - 80D? That kept me from getting 88A (Zip) Elan, and the infamous Dis and Dat. Liked the theme and happy to almost finish!
Susan

chefbea 11:07 AM  

fun easy puzzle. Got the theme at the DaVinci coed

Happy father's day to all the dad's

joho 11:21 AM  

I speedily wrote in EarS for 64A Some receivers.

INFINITEJETS was my favorite.

Fun Sunday, thanks Todd and Ashish!

HudsonHawk 12:02 PM  

Congrats to Sandy and all the Kiwis for the draw against Italy!

Loved the puzzle from Ashish and Todd. It wasn't an Olaf by Crosscan's definition, but I had OLAF instead of OLOF at 116A.

Eric 12:26 PM  

Ha'penny is the colloquism for half penny just as thruppence was the old three penny piece.

Garymac 12:35 PM  

Hey, what's wrong with (TH)IS and (TH)AT for 85A and 85D. Nobody said we couldn't have a one square rebus.

Greene 12:59 PM  

Fun Sunday fare, especially after I gave up on the idea that there would be a Father's Day theme at play.

My entry into the theme came at JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU which I found amusing. Far more amusing than the Dalton Trumbo novel JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN which is one of the most depressing anti-war tracts I was ever made to read in college. It's a cautionary tale about a young man who, while fighting in WWI, is injured by an artillery explosion and loses all his limbs, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, and all ability to communicate except by tapping out Morse Code messages with his head.

There was a movie version in 1971 which ended with the hero, Timothy Bottoms, tapping out S.O.S. repeatedly on his pillow. Nice, huh? Don't you just want to rush out and rent that on DVD? I caught an equally bleak off-Broadway play based on the same material starring Jeff Daniels back in the 1980s. I'm surprised nobody has made a musical out of it yet. The title is, after all, a riff on the Cohan classic song "Over There."

Like Rex, I was able to fill in most of the remaining theme answers just from the clues which is always fun and, in this case, helpful since the fill was tricky as everybody seems to be pointing out.

My most amusing error was my mixing up Tom HAGEN and Tom HAYDEN. Well, they do sound similiar and it has been a number of years since I've seen The Godfather. Of course, HAYDEN won't fit, so why not try HADEN or even HADYN? Yikes, I fooled around in the that corner for far too long.

Van55 1:09 PM  

I guess that David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" is not as obscure as I thought it was. I was patting myself on the back for knowing it because my daughter applied to Wallace's alma mater, Pomona College, this year.

The puzzle was a bit difficult in places, but ultimately gettable for me. I enjoyed it -- expecting a DNF from the creativity of Mr. Vengsarkar.

Stan 1:28 PM  

My kind of Sunday: big theme answers twisting familiar phrases and incidental fill challenging but gettable.

Favorites were THE RAT OF WAR and A FAREWELL TO RAMS (maybe I like animal-puns).

Good one, Todd and Ashish!

retired_chemist 1:43 PM  

@ Stan - you don't like JOHNNY GOT HIS GNU?

son of dad 1:52 PM  

One cannot complain about any name from The Godfather (Part III excepted). All should be gimmes, especially if you have 80% of the letters already.

The Bard 2:06 PM  

Hamlet > Act II, scene II
HAMLET: Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks; but I thank you: and sure, dear friends, my thanks are too dear a halfpenny. Were you not sent for? Is it
your own inclining? Is it a free visitation? Come,
deal justly with me: come, come; nay, speak.

Hamlet > Act V, scene I
HAMLET: Let me see.

[Takes the skull]

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy:

Rick Stein 2:18 PM  

Please tel Ashish to spare us from clues like 83D: RELAP and 45D: BRIBABLE--really horrible.
Otherwise, enjoyed the contrast between easier theme answers and harder fill, like Rex.

retired_chemist 2:44 PM  

@ Rex et al. - Counting in Japanese: ichi, ni, san, shi(yon), go, ...., leading to issei, nisei, sansei,.... for first, second, third.... generations.

@ Rick Stein - actually I will defend Todd and Ashish on this one. There are far more nice pieces of fill than bad stuff. I don't construct, but I imagine it is impossible to get the neat stuff without a little bit of c**p. I liked BRIBABLE, but will agree with you on RELAP (63D) and will add ETTES (91D), EX GI (39A), and AS OF (43D) to your list. But there is so much I liked that for me the scales are tipped WAY in favor of the good fill in this puzzle.

Re GARE/HAGEN: read GF, been to Paris. Didn't need either to get the other.

Masked and Anonymous 2:50 PM  

44 pretty much nailed this puz, far as I can see. Cute theme, so-so fill.

My personal faves: IRED (always a crowd pleaser), OLETA, ETTES, BSC, NAOH, MISE, BIER, ANOTCH, GARE, ERITU (classic), WTO (close to wtf), DIS/DAT (thought it was gonna be wrong), RYA, MPAA, ASCAR, ICHAT, KEENE, VSO, ENNA, OLOF, ALANA, LUPE, PAOLO, TOSAY, ACENT, NANANA, RELAP, RELAP (worth listin' twice), and the piece de le meh resistance, FATLESS.

Quite a formidable list. Friend Erul was in absolute awe, backwards and forwards.

PuzzleNut 3:03 PM  

Didn't know BILBO and only knew OLaF. Otherwise, no real problems. Between crosses and some common sense, all the tough answers weren't so bad.
New words for me:
ATTILA - never heard of that opera
ANIS - must be related to anisette
OLETA - surprised to see it again
HAGEN - not sure I'll remeber this one
IRV Gotti - figured something more exotic

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

Merl Reagle's puzzle today had OLOF (which I didn't believe could be correct at first, but finally gave in) and DEM (for "Dose guys"). Having worked that one first (in the Wash.Post), I was primed for NYT's Gross and Vengsarkar. Sorta. Theme answers came quickly for me; some of the fill, though, not so swift. Being decades beyond acne meds, I stared at 33.d O_Y crossing 39.a E_GG 'til I was near cross-eyed.(I had BIKINGTOP for 14.d there for a while, giving me that extra G at the end of the "Vet" clue. LOL!) BIKINI came to the rescue. And EXGI fell happily into place. OXY-10 is the "remedy" so it seems. I may not retain that, but I'm likely to remember Mr. Palme's first name for a long time! Polly

Objection, Your Honor, 4:14 PM  

Re: 43D, doesn't follow the substitution test:

SINCE Thursday we had 3in of rain (i.e. after)
AS OF Thursday we had 3in of rain (i.e. Up to / before)

or is there another context where the clue/answer combo works?

P>G>

lit.doc 4:52 PM  

@P>G>, I wonder if correspondence of meaning, rather than strict substitution, passes the test Th-Sun. Dunno.

SINCE the wet season started, we've had 6 inches of rain>

AS OF today, we've had 6 inches of rain this season.

Just speculating.

pieter 5:21 PM  

I agree with much of your commentary, but...
1)I would describe Ansonia, CT as quaint & historical (where the Ansonia Clock Company started)...but a "nothing...town?"
2)"NaOH" (Sodium Hydroxide) is perfectly fine in my book...most people with a HS chemistry course under their belt would know it...certainly no more obscure than standard NYT xword puzzle fare.
3) "BSc" is quite common outside the US...also quite reasonable.
Just my 2-cents...or half pennnies. ;-)

mac 5:36 PM  

Nice puzzle! A real hot day, sit on the terrace by the pool, fun puzzle. Knowing Ashish's love of wine I was looking for a related clue/answer, and there it was! We use the term, corky, as well, wether it's correct or not.

I think it is tuppence (two pennies) and thrupenny bit (3 p.).

I have to thank this blog for putting in "lil" right away! I liked the complete Canada Dry and "sobered up" especially. Am considering a G@T this evening!

Just glanced at yesterday's puzzle, and "crapstable" looks funny!

retired_chemist 5:44 PM  

@ mac - a crapstable is a local law officer who patrols public restrooms. Like the one Larry (née YVONNE) Craig was caught in....

chefbea 5:55 PM  

@retired_chemist LOL

Aphid Larue 7:58 PM  

Hagen is also the name of Mime's son in Gotterdammerung. Mime appears to him in a dream and asks him to get revenge. Hagen helps to kill sigfried. Another nice family drama.

mac 8:48 PM  

@retired_chemist: I was thinking along the same lines!

capthcha is "papere", now that't a good one on father's day! Hitting the American and French fathers!

foodie 9:01 PM  

I believe the word "Garage" is related to GARE. Before trains, a GARE (in French) was a branch of a river where boats could be left safely without impeding navigation. The verb, "Se Garer" is to park.

@Retired Chemist, thanks for the counting/derivation in Japanese! Makes sense! It brought back this old memory of my son when he was a little boy, sitting at our kitchen table with my parents. They were trying to teach him to count in Arabic, so he made a deal that they, in turn, would learn to count in Japanese. Needless to say, he left them in the dust...

Speaking of children, parents and grandparents, Happy Father's Day to all the dads and step dads!

Stan 10:00 PM  

@ret chem: Yes, GNUs are also good!

retired_chemist 11:04 PM  

@ Stan - that's good GNUs!

Anonymous 2:08 AM  

About the Han river - that reminds me of this headline that had me chuckling for hours, about a tightrope walking contest in Seoul Korea:

Skywalkers in Korea Cross Han Solo

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/03/AR2007050300374.html

Citizen Dain 2:41 AM  

Finished 85% of today's crossword. Not as good as the 95% two weeks ago (I haven't fully completed a full Sunday puzzle yet), but MUCH better than last weeks impossible/irritating puzzle. For the record, I think A FAREWELL TO RAMS is my favorite crossword puzzle clue/answer of all time since I started doing the puzzle daily a few months ago. I don't know what is so funny about it but I think it is the cleverest and most charming clue and answer combination ever. Poor LA needs a football team so badly.

In other news, Lets Go Mets.

Anonymous 12:24 PM  

46A--I think the British say "ha'penny", at least in a song verse.

Gail from Victoria 2:12 PM  

A Canadian university science degree is a "BSc." Rex had never heard of this...

Gail from Victoria, B.C. Canada

Zardoz 7:23 PM  

@Anonymous 2:08 AM

Re Skywalkers: the reporter was obviously having a little fun.

Excerpts: "poles in hand" & "feet ready to inch more than half a mile".

Is The Washington Post known for humour?

My captcha: WOBIL ;-0

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