Brown-tinged Hawaiian crow / SAT 7-3-10 / Sitcom sports agent Michaels / Screened city dweller / Capital 7,200 feet above sea level

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none


Word of the Day: ALIOTH (33A: Big Dipper star) —

Epsilon Ursae Majoris (ε UMa / ε Ursae Majoris) is the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Major (despite its Bayer designation being merely "epsilon"), and at magnitude 1.76 is the thirty-first brightest star in the sky. It has the traditional name Alioth (from the Arabic word alyat—fat tail of a sheep).
• • •
Lots of white—daunting at first blush. But as with any long-answer-heavy grid, just a little headway can break things wide open. Slight traction, big results. You know, with some luck. My point is that you can't get cornered in this grid. Lots of ways to come at whatever it is you don't know—not one of those late-week puzzles where every quadrant is sequestered from all the others. For all today's whiteness, the only thing I'm going to remember about the puzzle are the plurals, specifically the awkward plurals like DRY ROTS (15D: Some building weakeners) and BILES, the abbr. plurals like DIRS. and ALTS., and the name plurals, dear lord: ERNIES (27A: Keebler's head elf and others) and NEALES (45A: Tennis's Fraser and others) and ARLOS (25D: Jimmy Johnson title comics character and others), oh my. Big white grids will force you to pay the piper somewhere along the line, and the spate of plurals is today's fare. Else, with the exception of DAEMORNOP, the puzzle is solid and forgettable, with more interest in the clues than in the grid itself — which, by the way, is 16 wide. Why? Because IN ALL PROBABILITY (18A: Most likely) and UNIVERSAL STUDIOS (47A: "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" producer) were answers we just needed to see.

Nice bunch of gimmes clustered around the NW section helped me get going on this one. ISLA (5D: Gran Bretaña, e.g.) seemed obvious, but I wanted LAPAZ and/or SUCRE at 20A: Capital 7,200 feet above sea level (SANA'A! who knew Yemen got that high?), so I balked. Eventually the obvious "IT I" led me to "AS I SAID..." and things started coming together. But what really got me going was POLLED (24A: Sought the opinions of, in a way). Wrote it in with no crosses and answers spilled southwestward from there. Cruised along and turned the corner down there and hit obscure bird (MERLS => 42D: Blackbirds) and obscurer bird (ALALA => 35D: Brown-tinged Hawaiian crow). Handled the first, but got attacked by the second, which I had to take down Entirely from crosses. As with ALALA, so with ALIOTH, the last thing to go in the grid.

Bullets:
  • 29A: Levels with sticks? (DYNAMITES) — excellent clue, with the nice verb-for-noun switcheroo in the clue
  • 31A: Sitcom sports agent Michaels (ARLI$$) — I count six flat-out gimmes in the grid. This is one of them.
  • 35A: Sowing pioneer (APPLESEED) — off the first "P"; might not have needed even that.
  • 41A: Italian novelist Morante (ELSA) — yikes. No clue. She wrote ... La Storia (trans "History: A Novel"), about wartime and post-war Rome. She also liked to hang out at the beach with Alberto Moravia, apparently.
  • 46A: High-profile defendant of 1992 (GOTTI) — 1992 makes me think of the L.A. riots, so I was trying to remember the names of the accused cops in the Rodney King case. Clearly I was way off base.
  • 50A: Clio maker (RENAULT) — she's a muse, she's an advertising award, she's ... a RENAULT. And now you know.
  • 2D: Opposing team's turndown ("PENALTY DECLINED") — this is inventive but a little wobbly. Teams decline penalties ... but refs say "PENALTY DECLINED," don't they?
  • 11D: Participants in the annual Safety Dance (ELIS) — i.e. Yalies, and not guys who happen to be named ELI, I'm guessing. Acc. to wikipedia, "Each fall, Silliman [Residential College] hosts a Yale-wide 80s theme party called the Safety Dance, the largest dance at Yale." Get your own music, Generation Why. I assure you that when I was in college (the actual 80s), our biggest dance was not a 60s theme party.

[I love Martha Davis!]
  • 19D: They were black and yellow in old medicine (BILES)humors!
  • 34D: Bard's break (CAESURA) — another gimme. I teach this concept via Old English poetry (e.g. "Beowulf"), where CAESURAE are a feature of virtually every line.
  • 44A: Screened city dweller (SIM) — I *think* this has something to do with the popular computer game "The SIMs." I think.
  • 45D: ___ Zürcher Zeitung (leading Swiss daily) (NEUE) — having recently, grudgingly, put NEU in a grid I was working on, this non-English word was fresh on my mind.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

69 comments:

Wade 12:51 AM  

Two more episodes and we will have finished FNL Season Three. Season Four is airing now, but it's too late to get in on the first episode, and I don't know how it would be possible to watch just one a week anyway. Season Four comes out on DVD August 17. My life is sad in infinite ways.

But Joe Krozel can always cheer me up! Not really. The puzzle's great, but it's no Tyra Collette. I also really dig the cute little chick who plays bass in Landry's band and who says she's a lesbian. She looks very out of place, though, because she really looks like a high school kid and not like a thirty year old model playing a high school kid.

Can't believe Will threw that gimme out there by narrowing the Hawaiian crow down to a "brown-tinged" one. On a Saturday, no less. Come on, why not make it really tough and spot us all but a couple letters? I mean, really, how many brown-tinged Hawaiian crows can you name? Duh.

syndy 12:53 AM  

well yeah if caesura and arliss are gimmees i bet it helps if on the other hand you're muttering "beats the hell out of me" all down the page its a little more challenging! got my Bile up!The black stuff!luckily J Appleseed planted a subliminal hint!

Glimmerglass 7:44 AM  

Daemornop? Help. Why is nop the start of the second half?

redhed 8:04 AM  

Yet another "I feel so stupid" day. (Yesterday as well). Hope tomorrow's puzzle is just challenging enough, clever and finishable for me. Happy 4th!

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

NOP starts the second half of the alphabet. But no idea why SIM is a "screeened city dweller" or SYL is "one of four in Mississippi." (I was trying to get TOOTH to fit.)

redhed 8:05 AM  

Yet another "I feel so stupid" day. (Yesterday as well). Hope tomorrow's puzzle is just challenging enough, clever and finishable for me. Happy 4th!

Glimmerglass 8:23 AM  

Anonymous: Thanks for NOP. (I still don't understand "daemornop"). SIM is a dweller in Sim City (video game), and SYL is abbr for syllable.

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

SYL is syllable -- 4 syllables in Miss-iss-ipp-i. Somebody else will have to explain the SIM. (From movies? Game?)

The Bologna With No First Name 8:47 AM  

DAEMORNOP is Rex's joke--three nonsense/obscure fill words crammed together to illustrate the craziness of thus puzzle and the wackiness of the world we live in and the absurdity of the whole human comedy.

David L 9:33 AM  

Like yesterday, defeated again by my own personal Natick -- I had CHARO/AHALA, not knowing either. Lots of dubious proper names in this one -- ends up being hit or miss whether one happens to know them or not.

Guessed at ELSA and got ASTRA as a result -- but why? Senate stars? Astra? Do not get.

Now it's time to watch Serena beat up her unfortunate opponent.

joho 9:44 AM  

I think DAEMORNOP is a distant relative of OOXTEPLERNON.

@Rex, I can buy 2D as the ref speaks for the team when he says PENALTYDECLINED.

I was daunted by all the white space but was able to finish in a better than normal time for me for a Saturday. I had whiNER before MOANER for way too long.

@David L ... ASTRA as in what the Roman senators would say. I thought that was kind of cool because it made me think of Caesar and ASTRA is crossed by CAESURA.

@Wade ... HAHAHA at your ALALA comment!

TheWertle 9:57 AM  

I really want 6D: Start of the second half? to be COLON.
As in a timer where :30 would be 30 seconds. (I realize now minute is probably the more common association)

Either way I just drew two big circles in the first and last square and left the middle one blank.

Isabella di Pesto 10:02 AM  

Senate stars = astra? The Roman Senate perhaps? Anyone?

nop was too obscure and ridiculous.

David L 10:03 AM  

@joho -- oh, THAT senate! But that means the clue was intentionally misleading! I'm miffed....

chefbea 10:51 AM  

Tough tough puzzle DNF...Hooray!!! I used it

Very busy celebrating this weekend. Se you tomorrow

Hobbyist 10:55 AM  

I think there was a theme. The human race's universal pining and the ever present playing with one's mind. We're all in this together or something.

chefbea 11:06 AM  

@foodie congrats on your new grandson!!!

Leslie 11:08 AM  

Oof! The Texas-Oklahoma area was my downfall. Didn't know 42D, didn't know 45D, didn't know 45A, didn't know 39A, so ended up guessing that the tennis players were "Duanes," the blackbird was a "murl," the smokes were "charos," and the Hawaiian crow was an "ahana." I mean, heck, those all seemed plausible.

You Will Not Believe It--my captcha word is "palingut." Insert your own jokes here.

Kurt 11:16 AM  

I'm with you, Wade. I got my tinges mixed up on the Hawaiian crow. I had ALAVA. Stupid me! That must be the orange-tinged Hawaiian crow. Now it all comes back...ALALA is the brown one, ALAVA is the orange one, and ALAMA is the green one.

Other that this tinging issue, I thought that this was a solid Saturday. Thanks Joe Krozel.

PuzzleNut 11:19 AM  

Very intimidating, but somehow managed to slog through it. APRESSKI was my first fill, which led to APPLESEED. After that things slowed considerably. Loved the SWIMSUITEDITION. Did not know ALIOTH and DAE, but otherwise I was able to parse each clue (often only after getting all the letters of the answer through crosses).
Enjoyed this one a lot, but mainly because I was able to finish, against long odds.

Two Ponies 11:31 AM  

Close but no claro for this solver.

Turn onto? Turn into seems much better but didn't work.

Way too many proper names and abbr.
that either crossed each other or caused impossible road blocks. More than one fifth of the clues were one or the other.

My personal opinion is that the use of proper names is a cheap way to make a puzzle work.
No command of the English language can properly prepare you for the strange spelling of people and place names.
Of course I'm used to it but when that sort of thing keeps me from crossing the finish line I don't beat myself up nor do I admire the constructor for defeating me.
Boy, these crabby pants are tight.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

Three "outs" (16A, 51A, and 14D)? Baseball theme, no. But what the hell.....I didn't think that sort of repetition was considered passable for a NYT's puzzle. Can anyone explain. Thanks.

P.S. @ Two Ponies, I loved the clue for 7D, "make like", as in making someone like something. E.g. She turned me on to this great band....

Two Ponies 11:41 AM  

@ Anon 11:35
She might have turned me on to a band that really sucked. Turning me on to something doesn't mean I'll like it.
Rant over.

JenCT 11:51 AM  

@TwoPonies - I'm with you on the annoying proper names and abbreviations - cheap way to make things work.

DNF - too many answers over my head today. Oh well. See you tomorrow.

Happy 4th Everyone!

Leslie 11:56 AM  

@Anonymous at 11:35--Thank you! I had forgotten to mention that I didn't get that particular clue and answer. @Two Ponies, I have to disagree. "Turning somebody on to something" implies that they're going to like it, because they'll find that something a turn-on. If you tell somebody about something they end up not liking, you failed to turn them on to it.

Sparky 12:33 PM  

DNF; barely started. Filled in esses. Lots of those. Got APPLESEED. Downhill from there. Gave up, came here, feel better. Why does the little box for the catchpa say Visual verification? I have to try and send it and then when it comes back it's okay. Not exactly a hardship but why?

Masked and Anonymous 12:41 PM  

Spouse and I slithered into this wild thing at PANELED/APPLESEED/DEleteS, which was close enough to get a precarious toehold, down there in the Valley of the Unknown Birds. Spouse finished it at CAESURA/CENTRE, while I was busy hackin' away at yesterday's WSJ puz carcass. So hats off to She's Masked and Smarter Than Anonymous. Was real glad she could kill it off, cuz CAESURA was news to me, and CENTRE sounds like some French word that I hadn't parlez vous-ed yet.

So even puzzes with no theme can go long (16x15) on us now? Can't complain, I guess. Get more white boxes for yer money. More room to sneak yer (5) U's in. Can trot out some new 16-letter phrases, without havin' to cook up a SundayPuz. And looks fiercer to the solver, at the getgo. Why not. Thumbs up.

P.S. to 44: PENALTY DECLINED seemed on-key to my ears. A penalty declined is a no-no that's been turned down by the other team. QED.

Happy 4th, y'all!

Rex Parker 1:11 PM  

I know exactly what a declined penalty is, as my write-up makes clear. That was not the issue. The issue was who says the words in the grid—the ref says them. So the ref conveys the other team's turndown, but *not in the team's language* (unless the team actually has to say the words "penalty declined"—I imagine team's lang. would be something a la "we decline" or "decline" or something terse). Hence my sense that it's wobbly. I've only ever heard "PENALTY DECLINED" in the mouth of a ref, though he is, of course, conveying the team's turndown, so it's close enough. Wobbly. Not bad.

chaos1 1:26 PM  

Complete fail. After over 70 minutes, I reached the level of my aggravation threshold. I always respect and appreciate Joe Krozel puzzles, but he gets my vote for the dubious distinction of being the latest recipient of the Tim Croce "Crux Susum Anus" award of the month.

This award is generally given in recognition of a constructor's ability to prove that he can jam a puzzle up anyone's butt, regardless of their experience, anytime he feels the need for self-indulgence.

Having solved both Thursday's and Friday's puzzles with no errors and no help, in a combined time of around 55 minutes, I was expecting something like this for Saturday.

Granted, the last two days were way below the normal difficulty factor for Thursday and Friday puzzles. Even so, Rex's ratings continue to baffle me.

My nits are the same as most have mentioned:

6D is ridiculously ambiguous, but it is achievable through the crosses.

22A is What? Moravia is no where near Spain?

23A- Tree Line Altitudes? You've got to be kidding me! Who would ever use that measurement? Perhaps someone who was developing an aviation "terrain tracking" software program for the military?

31A is too obscure, with a natick looming at 25D.

33A fits into the same category, but makes guessing the vowel at 25D a bit easier.

34A- Absolutely no clue? Please explain.

41A- No clue. 44A- No clue, I haven't played a video game since Pacman. 45A and D= Natick. 50A- guessed correctly off the LT. 35D with 45 A was also to far of a stretch.

Will someone please supply the reference that justifies 46D.

Yes, I did complete 80% of the puzzle, but it was more work than fun. Perhaps I'm a bit burnt out today. No justification for trying to prove you can solve this puzzle, when you have such a wonderful summer day to enjoy!

Masked and Wobblingly Anonymous 1:26 PM  

@44: I just mentioned that, cuz you asked. Now am understandin' yer wobbly argument. Can still be friends. *Extra* good write-up, BTW.

ArtLvr 1:29 PM  

Like @PuzzleNut, I finished against long odds... I thought the 17A Faith-based initiative HOlY WAR was the most memorable clue, but ALIOTH will probably not ring a bell next time it turns up... Note that one has to ignore the Med (sea) to get to MOR south of Sp. Good one though, Joe!

∑;)

Clark 1:35 PM  

@Two Ponies, 11:41. I think that use of “turning on” is derivative of the primary one in which liking is of the essence. While bad trips were possible, the whole thing wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if we didn’t like it. (Agreeing with @Leslie here, I see.)

I took (the words) PENALTY DECLINED to be pointing not to the words coming out of the ref's mouth but to the thing the words designate. Coming at it that way there is no wobble. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a wobble.)

ArtLvr 1:38 PM  

@chaos1 -- MOR - Morocco, and in Bath, England, the spelling of center is CENTRE.

Smitty 1:38 PM  

No joy.

Gave up on the last 3 words - the correct answers were as gettable as the verification I have to type in below
d-u-m-p-e-r-m

(Can someone tell me why Emirs are the commanders of robed judges? Aren't most judges robed?)

rolin mains 1:39 PM  

not to beat a dead horse (which doesn't usually stop me anyway), but the "opposing" team would almost certainly accept the penalty. the problem with the clue, IMHO, is the word "opposing"...it is misleading in a number of ways, not the least of which is what practically happens in a game. to me, this is what makes it wobbly. the clue *should* have been "a team's turndown."

i'm not sure that it matters whether it is what the ref would say or what the team would say...the bottom line is opposing teams rarely turn down penalties unless there is a very specific reason for it. as it is, the clue isn't *bad*, per se, but the qualifier "opposing" is cheap misdirection.

and while i'm on a roll here, NOP is lame. lame, lame, lame.

also, wanted very much for "CLAROS" to have some kind of rebus involving "CIG" in some form. couldn't make it work (for obvious reasons), but it kept me guessing for a while.

and i'm sure there are lots of people who live in sana'a, but not until this morning did i even know that such a place existed. my world is now about 500K people larger...

archaeoprof 1:40 PM  

Wow. Hard work, but eventually got it. Thought it was harder than "medium", but I've been away for awhile.

NOP is out there.

Nice one, Mr. Krozel.

@Foodie: congratulations!

Go Germany!

syndy 1:52 PM  

In American football teams frequently turn down penalties because while it may cost the opponents a few yards it gives them a second chance to score! It depends on the circumstances-and yeah what was with the emir?

Masked and Anonymous 1:53 PM  

@Clark... Thanks for your Penalty comments. Kinda what I was tryin' to get at, but didn't express worth beans. [Tried out for the debate team in junior high, but they argued me out of doin' it.]

Since you asked 1:56 PM  

@chos1

Definitions of MAGAZINE on the Web:

- a storehouse (as a compartment on a warship) where weapons and ammunition are stored

but more often,

- cartridge holder: a metal frame or container holding cartridges; can be inserted into an automatic gun

@smitty

The clue was "10 Down commanders",

making it "ROBED Commanders", not

"Commanders of 10D" or "Commanders of [robed] judges*.

ugly misdirection IMHO.

P>G>

chaos1 2:17 PM  

@ArtLvr: Thank you Sir. For some reason, I didn't even think of Morocco. Pretty lame, since it's much better known than Moravia. Also, Centre should have been obvious. I'm more used to seeing the word "Hub" with an airport. Obviously, Heathrow wasn't gonna fit there.

Now, as several others have mentioned, what's up with the correlation between 10D and 27D? I had forgotten all about that question in the nitpicks of my previous post?

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

Does anyone know if the three outs in the answers are considered inconsequential and therefore okay. My mind just wouldn’t allow me to enter “out” one more time, which had me scratching my head (and no, no lice here). I relented ‘cause it just couldn’t be anything else, and then just went ughly. I know sometimes we’ll see the same word more than once, like “to” or “in”, but I thought Saturday puzzles required a lot more style than three outs. If anyone knows the rule regarding repetition of answers, I’ll be much obliged.

Martin 2:48 PM  

@chaos,

As has been explained, it's about EMIRS who are [Robed commanders] because desert-dwellers wear robes. Don't let the judge red herring confuse you.

I'm not sure why the tree line thing has so offended you either. The tree line is primarily determined by altitude in any area. Above that altitude the air is too thin for trees to survive. "Mugo pine grows to an altitude of 2,700 meters in the Pyrenees." Tree line stat.

Smitty 3:09 PM  

@since you asked ----thanks for the explanation, I get it now.....I think.

jesser 3:17 PM  

I slept in today, so I'm late to the party.

The east side fell off SWIMSUIT EDITION, which was my first entry. The west took MUCH longer, and I eventually failed, because I don't know my Hawaiian fauna or my tennis players or my smokes or my Swiss media, resulting in the (completely plausible to my feeble cranium) ChAROS, AhAlA, dEAnES and dEUE law firm.

Only writeover was at 46D, where I was confident about ammo for a while. But Mr. Krozel stuck to his GUNS.

Today will be a lazy day. I'm totally cool with that.

Happy Fourth, friends and neighbors!

Sounke! (Violet tinged Fijian reptile) -- jesser

chaos1 3:21 PM  

@Since you asked said---: Thanks. I pretty much knew the clue was technically correct, just too lazy to look it up. Being retired Navy, I still maintain that 46D is a terrible clue. As noted, a magazine on a large warship holds powder and/or projectiles, the components to fire large guns. That being said, it is doubtful those compartments would ever contain sidearms or shoulder weapons. Said weapons would be classified as small arms, and hence, would be found in the small arms locker. Hence, in terms of weaponry, ammo is the only definitive answer for the clue. Anything else is very,very subjective to the broadest interpretation possible.

@Martin: Thanks for the correct perspective. I should have thought of the Tree Line as a factor of topography involving temperature and elevation. All this Vicodin I have been consuming, is affecting my hippocampus. Grrrr!

joho 3:38 PM  

@Chaos ... FYI the lovely @ArtLvr is most definitely not a Sir!

Van55 3:53 PM  

I hated this puzzle for many reasons. DNF is not the least of them.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

I don't get why so many commenters seem upset that they have to use crosses to get some of the answers in a crosswoed puzzle. I am just trying to solve a crossword puzzle, are a lot of others under the impression that they are playing a game of trivial pursuit?

hazel 4:42 PM  

the kind of puzzle that steered me away from puzzles for years. just excruciating.

Nebraska Doug 4:57 PM  

The SW was my undoing. Completely stumped by "CAESURA", "NEUE" and "MERLS". Otherwise, I enjoyed this puzzle, slowly made my way through the rest of it, bit by bit.

Since you asked 5:26 PM  

@chaos1

"...just too lazy to look it up" !?!

I feel so used :(

Bob Kerfuffle 5:27 PM  

Did this one at the beach today. As far as I could see, neither Elsa Morante nor Alberto Moravia was there with me.

Had to make a lot of guesses, most of which turned out to be correct, but those did NOT include CLAROS, NEALES, or ALALA.

I'll reluctantly say it was worth some obscurity to get two pairs of side-by-side 15's crossed by 2 - 16's.

michael 5:29 PM  

I am not sure why so many found this hard. Difficult, yes, but not especially for me for a Saturday. But of course I've found puzzle hard that others have found easy.

I had ahala charos even though I know claros. And I stuck with dosedo, wondering what emers were until I came her. Alioth was gettable only via crosses.

liked the puzzle, like almost all of Krozel's puzzles.

michael 5:29 PM  

I am not sure why so many found this hard. Difficult, yes, but not especially for me for a Saturday. But of course I've found puzzle hard that others have found easy.

I had ahala charos even though I know claros. And I stuck with dosedo, wondering what emers were until I came her. Alioth was gettable only via crosses.

liked the puzzle, like almost all of Krozel's puzzles.

fiddleneck 5:41 PM  

And a robed commander is?

chaos1 6:05 PM  

@JoHo: Jesus Chrysler! All I am doing is apologizing to everyone today. I've become aware of the gender of most of the regulars here, over the last several months. Don't know how I could have made that faux pas in regard to ArtLvr? I hope she'll forgive me. I'm blaming it on the post surgery pain and chronic CRS syndrome.

@Since you asked said: LMAO! I still respect you. I only meant that I knew the clue had to be technically correct. I've learned that it's pointless to dispute the editor or the dictionary. I still don't agree with the cluing! Lol.

Judge 7:06 PM  

I ot, but do't 'get,' NOP and MOR in the Saturday 7/3 puzzle....? Pls email judge@judgemason.org with info. Tx

Consultant 2 Consultant 7:36 PM  

@Judge

The answers you seek are in the comments above, take the time to read and perhaps, learn.

Moonchild 8:13 PM  

Such controversy and discourse today.
Not being a sports person I didn't even blink at the penalty answer.
And just when we thought we knew our ornithology we get not one rara avis but two!
This week has had a lot of grid-spanning answers it seems.
Was it all worth it today?
I'm not so sure.
Who is this Arliss guy and what sit-com is that from?
Clio sounded like a phone or computer. Do they sell them here? Maybe they do in Mor. or on Alioth. Neale and Elsa Sim probably rented one while on holiday in Sanaa.
2 obscure 2 b fun.

Stan 8:33 PM  

Loved the clues for BILES, HOLY WAR, DYNAMITES, APPLESEED, CENTRE, and SWIMSUIT EDITION. Did not love the cigar / bird cross (and got it wrong), but that's been more than made up for by the comments, which were hilarious.

timjim 9:06 PM  

too many obscurities in the wouth central. Other than that, fun.

foodie 10:21 PM  

In spite of my happy outlook today, I did not enjoy this puzzle. Too many areas where obscurity intersected with opacity.

But no matter. Reading Rex and your comments was most entertaining.
And many thanks for the congratulations. They've made a wonderful day even better.

mac 10:44 PM  

Tough and not very enjoyable puzzle to me. On top of that, I think I drowned another laptop. Between that and a trip to the home country, I may be out of here for a while....

dyspope: that's a good one.

andrea dissents michaels 4:36 AM  

@DavidL
With you on ChAROS/AhALA
AHALA sounds much more Hawaiian between ALOHA and MAHALO, no?

I am not crazy abOUT JoeK puzzles but feel compelled to do them...
I never get how he gets away with three OUTs, esp two crossing at the WORD OUT! (EKINGOUT/EATONESHEARTOUT)

That said, I thought SANA'A was cool and those two sets of parallel 15s running down are nifty.

But ZERO Scrabbly letters, not one JQXZ...unless you want to count the pretty APRESSKI.

@moonchild
ARLI$$ was a sitcom on HBO about a sport's agent about ten years ago, that was actually called ARLISS but I think the S's were $ signs.

PhillySolver 4:17 PM  

Happy Fourth, solvers. Did this with the family on our vacation and had fun with it. Off to miniature golf then fireworks with grandchildren. Monday would be a good day to have a patriotic theme for Madaline, who turns six this week and is ready to start solving the NYT.

Fredflash 9:51 AM  

This Sat. 07/03/2010 NYT puzzle was similar to a Horrible NEWSDAY NEWMAN puzzle. you cannot do it on the beach, you need your google or dictionary. sorry, bad Puzzle

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

I have more of a question than a comment. Is it acceptable solving etiquette to research answers on the internet as long as one doesn't use Rex Parkers' solved puzzles? I needed about 5 letters to finish today. Just curious?

Barbilou 8:54 PM  

Stupid puzzle. I would NOT let go of turninto for turnonto, despite obvious crosses, thus spent way too much time on 24A. (Absolute memory of Grampa telling us to make like a tree and leave.) And with zero interest in/knowledge of tennis, autos, obscure Italian novels, or Swiss rags, I was getting disgusted. I rarely succumb to Rex's site for the denouement, but am now angrier.

Anonymous 4:38 AM  

Enjoyed learning about SANAA and am just not feeling the hate for MORocco or a worthy Nobelist, but NOP was horrrrible.

Senate, magazine are just sloppy.

@fiddleneck: A commander in a robe.

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