Ranch in 1956 film Giant / FRI 7-23-10 / Onetime teen idol who later hosted Pyramid / Frank Zappa's rock opera * Garage / One of 14,500 in Manhattan

Friday, July 23, 2010

Constructor: John Farmer

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: EVA Air (53D: ___ Air (carrier to Taiwan))

EVA Airways Corporation (pronounced "E-V-A Air(ways)"; Chinese: 長榮航空; pinyin: Chángróng Hángkōng) is an airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan operating passenger and dedicated cargo services to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. EVA Air is largely privately owned and flies a fully international route network. It is the second largest Taiwanese airline, next in size to its main rival, China Airlines. EVA Air is headquartered in Lujhu, Taoyuan County. [...] In October 2005, EVA Air launched a campaign with Japanese company Sanrio to create the "Hello Kitty Jet," featuring the popular Japanese character. Using the airline's A330-200, the exterior adopted a livery of Hello Kitty characters. A year later, the airline launched a second Hello Kitty Jet. The aircraft featured a Hello Kitty motif on exterior and interior fittings and features. Both planes were used to serve Japanese destinations, and from mid–July 2007, also Taipei-Hong Kong routes. The Hello Kitty livery was retired in 2009. (wikipedia)
• • •

Remarkably easy Friday puzzle. All the names in the NW (and there are a Lot of names in this puzzle—at least 15, by my count) were very familiar to me, including 1A: Fearsome Foursome teammate of Jones, Olsen and Lundy (GRIER). "The Prime of Miss Jean BRODIE" is near my bedside waiting to be read, so that was easy (11A: Jean ___, 1969 Oscar-winning title role for Maggie Smith). DIAMOND JIM BRADY has been in the puzzle before, and the clue was pretty detailed (14A: Gilded Age tycoon with a legendary appetite). RENÉ Auberjonois is a gimme. BIERCE's "Devil's Dictionary" is legendary (11D: Writer of "Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another"). And so on. First puzzler was 5D: Ted Kluszewski's team when he won the 1954 N.L. home run title (RED LEGS). First thought: "Ted who?" Second thought: that the clue said "teammate" (wrong). Third thought: "No team fits." I finally got RED LEGS and stopped the clock so I could look it up, so dubious was I—and thus I learned something:
The Cincinnati Reds are a Major League Baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the Central Division of the National League. The franchise originated in 1882 as the Cincinnati Red Stockings, using a name that dates back to baseball's first professional team in 1869. They settled on their current name by 1890, though they used the name "Redlegs" for part of the 1950s to avoid any perceived association with Communism during the McCarthy era. (wikipedia)
Freedom Fries! How pathetic.

Didn't know GRAND INQUISITOR, but when your answer starts GRANDI-, it's a good guess (1D: Christ's visitor in a tale from "The Brothers Karamozov"). I know sporcle bec. of Facebook friends who take their quizzes relentlessly, so QUIZ, easy (33A: Sporcle.com feature). I meandered through this puzzle, knocking off answer after answer with no real effort—the poet is YEATS, the running mate is SPIRO, etc. The BLACK SOX SCANDAL was a Monday-level-easy gimme (10D: Subject of "Eight Men Out"). Could've got it with no crosses. Only two crosses held me up for even a little bit—LEAPERS (46A: People born on February 29, colloquially) / SPAZ (before I had the "Z") (43D: "I'm such a ___!" (klutz's comment)), and DO OVER (57A: Mulligan, e.g.) / EVA (the very last letter I put in—this took me several seconds of contemplation, which, with this puzzle, felt like serious work). I thought LEAPERS were LEANERS (i.e. LEANING toward March???). And I thought Mulligan was stew, and then I thought it was a tap-in or gimme in golf (I don't play). Then I thought maybe there was an alternate spelling of DUFFER (DOOFER!?) that went here. Finally ran the alphabet (I think) and realized the answer was two words. EVA is the least Taiwanese-looking airline name I can imagine. Well, maybe SCHWARZ Airlines would be less Taiwanese-looking, but really, of all the EVAs ...

  • 19A: One of about 14,500 in Manhattan (ACRE) — me: "JEWS? No, wait, clue says "one"; no, WAIT, there are probably a million JEWS in Manhattan, you idiot!"
  • 20A: Fort named for a Civil War major general (ORD) — ORD and DIX are my go-to three-letter forts.
  • 31A: Whom the Romans defeated at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, 102 B.C. (TEUTONS) — The Battle of Sexy Waters, decided, ultimately, by wet T-shirt contest.
  • 59A: Ranch in the 1956 film "Giant" (REATA) — crossword trivia. Learned it the first time I became aware that there was a non-RIATA spelling of RIATA.
  • 9D: First capital of Japan (NARA) — I know I've seen this before, but it's just not the kind of name that sticks for me.
  • 13D: N.F.L. rushing star Peterson (ADRIAN) — he is good. Very good. "Rushing star" somehow sounds weird to me, though it's accurate enough. ADRIAN Peterson is currently a Minnesota Viking.
  • 7D: Actor Herbert of the "Pink Panther" films (LOM) — quintessential crosswordese, in that he'd be long forgotten were it not for crosswords. All other possible LOMs (there are mess of them in Bulgaria) are too obscure for American crosswords, apparently, so this guy lives on and on and on.
  • 15D: Frank Zappa rock opera "___ Garage" ("JOE'S") — the only thing in the grid that was a Total mystery to me.
  • 36D: Onetime teen idol who later hosted "Pyramid" (OSMOND) — Donny!

  • 40D: Matchmaker for Tevye's daughters (YENTE) — YENTA, YENTE, YENTL—all of them might show up in your puzzle. I'm never quite sure which is which (though I do know the Streisand movie is "YENTL")
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 12:35 AM  

had "green" for 1A for a while, as in, "mean joe." he probably played for a different team at a different time and may have an "e" at the end of his name...but seemed right at the time. oh yeah, there's also rosie grier. did some acting too.

"one of about 14,500" i had TAXI first. clearly, didn't fit. manhattan seems bigger to me than that though...

LOM and LON. heh, in the same puzzle.

definitely an easy friday for me too, but i wasn't so sure on lots of the names: PRODIE, NARA, RENE, and ANN (and LOM) were all unknown and i got them by elimination and guesswork.

D_Blackwell 12:50 AM  

I had TAXI for '14,500' also. After Tuesday's 'CAB > Medallioned vehicle', I found that there are only something like 14,000 medallions and that they cost insane sums of money. No wonder GYPSY cabs are big business.

kkbb 1:21 AM  

Toughish for me because, unlike you, the NW was nigh impossible since I knew approximately 0 of the 28 names crossing names crossing names crossing names in that region. That made things pretty difficult and unenjoyable for me. The one thing that helped in that corner was the big, fat, 15-letter gimme in the Grand Inquisitor. Incidentally, The Brothers K is both Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton's favorite book, and not surprisingly they have very different readings of the Grand Inquisitor scene. The rest of the puzzle was pretty average Friday fare. I didn't like the clue for Neurons, but I've been complaining too much today so I'll just leave my gripe at that.

andrea stopsby michaels 1:26 AM  

I was super-daunted at first when I saw the 89 sports clues, but they were all gettable...
tho every one from a pop culture ref...
Knew "Eight Men out" bec of the wonderful Sayles film (Tho had WHITE SOX first)
ROsie Grier bec he used to knit and be on gameshows, etc.

Super helpful to read @foodie's/@fergus exchange about SOUPCON moments before attempting this puzzle from Thursday's blog, unless they wrote on the wrong day...if not, total bleedover.

What kept me going was the pangram-ness...Nice J, Q X, couple of Z's...perfect after an evening at the NY Scrabble club
(I played INQUIRED for 128 pts in one game, so that led to GRANDINQUISITOR in this one...

Anyway, one of those puzzles where I solved the whole thing quickly even tho I felt like I didn't actually know one answer before hand, save Rene Auberjonois and Jean BRODIE
(@Rex, I too have it on my bedside table! Odd! Mine is in preparation for this book club discussion on it...how weird. You should join us in SF for it!)
I've never read the book but love love love the film...feel like I understand it a touch more every year that goes by, having seen it when I was the students' age and then in my "prime" yikes! But that Robert Stephenson, woo hoo!

SRA Michaels 1:34 AM  

what I meant to say was this struck me as one of those uber-male puzzles:
so "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" was a breath of fresh air for me...

Tho in looking at the overall puzzle, there probably is an ANN or ANISTON for every LOM or OSMOND, but even RENE was male and EVA was an airline!

"S'UP Bro?" did seem very this century tho...

SethG 2:25 AM  

Knew Diamond Jim with no crosses. From his appetite. Cute to have Brady/Brodie right by the Lon/Lom and sup/tup.

I felt like I was on the constructor's wavelength; I was thinking I'm always on John Farmer's wavelength, but I looked at his other puzzles and he's not the one I'm thinking of. So maybe it was just (relatively) easy (especially if you know all the names, like I did this time).

chefwen 2:35 AM  

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is one of my favorite films, I think I have seen it about 10 times and have never gotten tired of it.

I can't rate this one easy, more medium/difficult for me, but that is my usual M.O. for Friday. Just happy to finish with no errors. Husband helped with some of the sport clues and I really thought TUP at 32D would be the WOD. That was new to me, of course I had ram in first and meat where CRUX ended up.

On to Saturday!

Hope daughter's head is feeling better.

Happy weekend all.

jae 2:52 AM  

Easy-medium for me. Lively fifteens made this interesting. Ditto Andrea on the help with SOUPCON. I too had TAXI briefly and put in RAM knowing it really wouldn't work. When you start out with 3 or 4 gimmies in NW you know its going to be a smooth solve.

Rube 3:22 AM  

"fraid I had to google to finish. Just too many proper names, wlthough most of them I should have known. Still, I did enjoy this puzzle.

Laughed at SOUPCON as it was a topic of discussion yesterday. Was not happy that 48A/58A was not referenced as French although it obviously was given the ROI_.

Maugham's The Razor's Edge is one of my favorite novels. I will now proceed to inquire about the Battle of Aqua Sextae, which I have never heard of before.

PanamaRed 7:24 AM  

Found this very easy for a Friday. Laughed at GRIER over BRODIE, as QB John Brodie of the 49ers found himself under Rosie Grier on many an occasion.

Is there a crosswordese term for a puzzle that uses every letter in the alphabet? This one missed only F.

Never heard of TUP, either, but was amused by SUP and TUP opposite each other.

George Rector 7:37 AM  

Did Diamond Jim really eat that much ?

joho 7:48 AM  

Unusally fast Friday for me.


Is a DOOVER related to a doofus?

Only write overs were tRaSh for DROSS and POINTto before POINTAT.

@PanamaRed ... pangram is the term you're looking for. I also noticed that this was just missing the "F." Read @andrea stopsby michaels' first comment. She mentions the "pangram-ness" of the puzzle.

I'm looking forward to more of a challenge tomorrow.

redhed 8:13 AM  

I really struggled on this one (maybe I have been conditioned to fear Friday offerings). Would occasionally feel on the wavelength with the puzzle writer only to be knocked for a loop on a another clue. Looked up the definition for dulcify, as I couldn't get past thinking of the instrument "duclimer." Got the answer then from what I had in crosses; I now see a connection as I think a well-made dulcimer produces some mighty SWEET music!

JayWalker 8:24 AM  

I just can't call this "Easy" but I did finish it in good time and with no errors - great for me for a Friday! The bottom half fell first and the NE fell last. Rex: Hope your little girl is feeling better today.

David L 8:39 AM  

Easy for me too -- my one Naticky moment was at the end, guessing at the EVA/REATA cross -- EVI/REITA just didn't seem as likely. GRANDINQUISITOR was my first fill...

On the subject of acceptable taste in crosswords -- is SPAZ non-offensive to everyone? We used it all the time when I was a kid, but apparently Tiger Woods was told off when he used the word in a UK press conference -- it's become a definite no-no over there. Can't say it bothers me, but I wonder how others feel.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Sometimes when I come to this blog I feel terribly inadequate and sad...this was in no way an easy puzzle for me. Never knew reds stood for redlegs...sigh, and it went downhill from there. :(

Bob Kerfuffle 9:19 AM  

Agree, this puzzle looked harder than it was.

Write-overs at POINT TO before POINT AT, STOPS IN before STOPS BY.

And was wondering, before I got to @David L's comment, where is the firestorm over SPAZ?

Zeke 9:20 AM  

Easy, probably will show up as uber easy in SanFranMans's numbers. My only WTF was TUP. Originally had PUP, but it had to be TEUTONS. Looked up TUP afterwards, then wondered about the verb form of TUP. Does a TUP tupping a ewe using sheepskin condoms make the condoms TUPPERWARE?

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

@joho doover= do over; a mulligan is shot taken in place of a bad previous shot

usually working the syndicated puzzle, so glad for the opportunity to interact w/in the actual day

this puzzle was a typical difficult Friday for me with lots of visits to google

Give yourself a break 9:22 AM  

@Anon 9:12 - An easy Friday is still hard. My definition of an easy Friday is one I can do.

chefbea 9:30 AM  

Difficult for me. Had to google but eventially I did finish.

And speaking of soupcon...made a most delicious zucchini soup yesterday

John in Albany 9:38 AM  

@rolin mains, BIERCE not pierce, thus BRODIE not prodie.

I had RAM first though I knew TUP, though only as a verb. Fifteen years ago I was in a Scrabble club in Plattsburgh NY. Our humor was a bit earthy so we had just had a laugh as we learned that TUP is what gets done to a female sheep. Moments later a newcomer from a nearby village showed up and said, "Is this where the Scrabble club meets? I'm from Tupper Lake."

Sarah 9:51 AM  

Considering I knew none of the sports references, this was very easy for me; I got them all through crosses. Re: TUP, in "Othello" Iago tells Desdemona's father that Othello is "tupping" his daughter, so to me the word functions as a verb much more than a noun.

For some reason I was expecting a theme, particularly after getting DIAMONDJIMBRADY and having a baseball clue, but "diamond scandal" didn't fit. Oh well.

One nice detail: LON Chaney right next to Herbert LOM. Otherwise, a fun, quick crossword; quite a relief after recent Fridays.

Rex Parker 9:52 AM  

Finished puzzle — and write-up — without ever seeing TUP or its clue. Wife says "I knew TUP was something a sheep does, I didn't know it was a sheep itself." Me: "... ... ... what puzzle are you doing?"

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

@ zeke, thanks for a great laugh, though my laughing started with Rex’s Manhattan guess, and then rolled into the Teuton’s contest….Tupperware indeed, now that would be an interesting party.

When 1A or D is a name or an abbreviation or a collection of roman numerals of some random reign, I go, ugh. But despite how this one started and my ignorance of the majority of names in the puzzle, I solved the thing. Go figure.

dk 9:59 AM  

I like this one! **** (4 Stars)

One quibble: I would prefer to to see messenger RNA as a cell transmitter (as I read the clue to be intracellular) and NEURON as a cellular transmitter... but I could easily be I cup short of a klatch.

Random firings

The symbolism found in Giant never ceases to amaze me. REATA=noose.

Got the long ones and had the usual misread of clues. For example, thought Maggie Smith was the role and Jean was the actress, etc.

Had thin ice for WARZONE and ram for TUP.

Back in my Izod and khaki days a mulligan was my best stroke.

Interview today as it seems the world of behavioral health has taken an interest in my behavior profiling and script research as a means for all of us to take control of our lives: who knew? @Foodie any tips :):), or should I just bore them with decision theory.

chefbea 10:07 AM  

And speaking of mulligan...saw a cute shirt yesterday...

picture of a golfer on it and underneath it said:

"it's called golf...all the other four letter words were taken"

joho 10:16 AM  

@anon 9:22 ... unfortunately I know all too well what a mulligan is ... that was my obviously very bad attempt at humor. The word DOOVER just strikes me as funny.

Nancy in PA 10:16 AM  

Had to laugh at "emoticons" in the 45a clue because yesterday's fiasco for me was insisting that "what begins with a colon" was a SUBTITLE.

Always thought it took a very big man (literally) to shorten Roosevelt to Rosie and openly do needlepoint. Don't think he was a knitter.

Finished with only one clue..friend visiting from Asia telling me that "___Air" is a woman's name. And by the way, she says everyone pronounces it "eva air" not "E-V-A air."

JC66 10:30 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

My first entry was "Joe's".
Zappa is always welcome.
A prime example of "One man's gimmee".
I saw all of the proper names (I count 24) and sports clues and tossed the puzzle.
Give-a-shit level 0.
Glad other folks enjoyed it.

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Rosie was NOT Mongo. Rosie did needlepoint. Please, people.

@Chaos (when you check in)
Report to the principal's office on WordPlay. Unexcused Absences.

Howard B 10:37 AM  

I had the same experience with DOOVER... couldn't parse it at first, then realized it was two words after finishing, of course.

Me, after solve: Doover?!? Doover Mulligan, is that another character actor I don't know? What if there was a meat brand called Doover Ham? I don't get... (lightbulb dimly glows) ohhh. (forehead lightly taps desk).

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

What a nice way to start the weekend.
When I saw Rosey GRIER and DIAMOND JIM BRADYDiamond Jim Brady together I immediately thought of the BRADY bunch episode on which Grier guest starred. Nice connection. (Another member of the Fearsome Foursome, Deacon Jones, also made an appearance on the show, but I can't remember if it was the same episode)

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

This puzzle was so unenjoyable that I simply stopped at the two-thirds point and closed AcrossLite. As a frequent constructor in the NYT, I've been told many times to be watchful of the number of names and know-it-or-not facts in grids. I'm shocked and disappointed Will let this puzzle through; it goes against his usual messaging. I would urge the constructor to count up the number of entries that are name-related or know-it-or-not and compare this to typical NYT puzzles.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

I'm guessing your puzzles are really boring.

Wade 10:48 AM  

I flew through this one, too, starting with GRIER and hardly slowing down. We had a hippie art teacher in Possum Kingdom when I was in sixth grade--she didn't last long, but she was there long enough to teach us to tie-dye, and she played us Rosie Grier's song about it being okay for big boys to cry. Brian Ranger thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard, and the art teacher was reduced to pleading, "Come on, you guys, be serious!" over and over. My mother still keeps on her wall a half-finished macrame owl I did in that class. My mother keeps everything. Someday somebody's going to have to go through all that crap, and it ain't going to be me, though I wouldn't mind finishing that owl and then maybe tie-dying it.

Would like a Faces clue for "Oo la la."

Does "soupcon" mean anything anybody wants it to mean? It's not infrequently in the puzzle, and I never remember what it means, but I think that's because it means something different every time.

'Sup, tup?

Van55 10:53 AM  

What Two Ponies said. This puzzle was not easy unless most of the 24 proper nouns were somehow in your wheelhouse. Many of them were obscure or unknown to me. Tup you, Farmer. ;-)

Van55 10:54 AM  

What Two Ponies said. This puzzle was not easy unless most of the 24 proper nouns were somehow in your wheelhouse. Many of them were obscure or unknown to me. Tup you, Farmer. ;-)

Tinbeni 11:08 AM  

@Zeke, LOL at your tupperware.
Like Rex I never saw TUP in the puzzle.

Also never saw BIERCE, learning moment of the day.
I guess I should check out "Devil's Dictionary."

@Foodie, Thanks for the SOUPCON discussion yesterday.

STEP ONE, in the woods, PLAN B, my Mulligan DO OVER.
@Joho, I thought your doofus comment was funny.

@chefbea: It's golf because it was named by a dyslexic.

As to SPAZ being PC?
Not going to raise a SNIT over it.

jesser 11:17 AM  


Nuff said.

Me no likey.

Innummol! (New laxative out on the market?) -- jesser

Masked and Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Musta been pretty easy FriPuz, cuz I finished, and looks like my fill was all OK. Engine light fluttered faintly at TEUTONS/TUP and EVA/REATA, but made some good/lucky common sense guesses.

Grid design is a beaut. Looks like somethin' I'd see thru a kaleidoscope when I was a kid. If you can't give 'em a theme, give 'em a pretty grid, I always say. Thumbs up.

See y'all in a couple weeks. Be good.

ArtLvr 11:51 AM  

A good Friday for me, with hand up for a TAXI at first and final letter being the V in DO-OVER. I liked the tidy pattern of the grid too!

As to SPAZ, if you'd sat through a longish toast at a wedding reception as I did, where the bride's actor brother found it amusing to couch the entire delivery in the unfortunate speech of a spastic person, you'd never forget the lump of lead in the gut feeling... Unforgettable meanness.

But I did like Mr Farmer's clue Dulcify for SWEETEN, and NIAGARA for a flood of tears....


foodie 12:05 PM  

I had to love this puzzle! It used SOUPCON correctly! And I agree, it was such a bleedover from yesterday. I put it down thinking it would be wrong but worth a try. Surprise!

Same with SWEETEN in response to "dulcify". I went hmm dolce, sweet, I'll try it.

I think this is the big difference in how I solve now. I take these stabs and they work out about half the time.

But I need to register my unhappiness about the cluing of NEURONS with "cell transmitters". NEURONS are brain cells. So, "transmitting cells" would be OK. NEURONS have transmitters (neurotransmitters), chemical substances that they release to talk to the neighboring NEURON. But a cell transmitter is NOT a neuron. GuarANteed.

Maybe Andrea and I can get together and convince Will to find a triple whammy of a consultant: A puzzle lover who is an excellent scientist and a Yiddish expert. I know quite a few.

Alice in SF 12:25 PM  

I always enjoy reading the blogs although I seldom send in a comment. By the time I get the print edition of the Times here on the West coast, most everyone have written in their comments. I've never gottent into doing the puzzle on the web. Anyway had to throw in my two cents on Rosey Grier--he did needlepoint and macrame. My husband (non xword fan) patiently tries to answer my "am I supposed to know this" howls on Friday and Saturday which are usually DNFs. He lead me astray today with gimme for doover (57A and complained that the Fearsome Foursome happened too long ago. Tup does have another meaning--a British expression (as alluded to by another blogger)--to copulate.

Mel Ott 12:35 PM  

I seem to remember one of the REDLEGS asking, "Why should we change our name? We had it first."

I think NORMAN leaders should be DUCS not ROIS. William the Conqueror for example became ROI of England, but he was DUC of Normandy.

The NY Giants of the early 50's had two large Roosevelts shortened to Rosey: Grier and Brown. Brown was perhaps the best offensive tackle of his time and is in the Hall of Fame. Don't think he did needlepoint.

Mel Ott 12:37 PM  

Mid to late 50's.

Masked and Anonymous 1:11 PM  

@jesser: TUP hasn't been used in a NYTPuz since Dec 2001. Them was 8+ good years.

Forgot to mention: wanted bad to put a "44" in the center square this mornin', so erased on the square like all fury until I saw some daylight, and then slipped 'er in. After yesterday's 3, felt like usin' my favorite number at the hub of things.

Keep havin' fun, folks. Remember that these constructors are doin' it for love of the game, not the money-bucks.

Moonchild 1:21 PM  

I took one look at the clues and screamed "Who are these people?"
No grasp of grammer or vocabulary was going to carry me through this mess.
If spaz is non-PC who does it offend? I truly do not know.

Count me in the small group who ditched this one.

Chip Hilton 1:23 PM  

@Mel Ott: Kudos for your 3 points.

How well I remember Big Klu with his sleeves removed to show his tree trunk upper arms. I wonder if you remember the Robert Reiger illustrations of late 50's football Giants greats that you got with gasoline purchases? Shell, I think. And both Roseys were among them, along with Gifford, Rote, Patton, Summerall, et al. Fifty years on and I can recall just about the whole roster.

Ulrich 1:42 PM  

I have been waiting for the Bard to chime in with “An old black ram is tupping your white ewe.” (Othello, Act 1, Scene 1). But I've waited long enough--didn't know it was a noun, either. And @Zeke: LOL

BTW Does anybody know if there is a connection between watching too much soccer and losing all of your xword-solving skills? It seems to have happened to me over the last month...

CaseAce 1:50 PM  

Chip! How can you omit the Man in the Middle, who adorned the cover of Time Magazine, "Sam Huff?"
As for this Friday produce from the "Farmer"... I'd call it still another Norman Conquest!

JC66 2:09 PM  

@Anonymous 10:32

Thanks for the heads up.

For a second or two, my 70 year old, addled brain confused Rosie Grier and Alex Karras. I realized my mistake as I was running out the door to a meeting and removed my earlier post as you were posting your comment.

Anyway, I still think the Mongo montage from Blazing Saddles is hilarious.

@Mel Ott & @Chip Hilton

Talk about an all around athlete!!! I seem to recall that when the Giants had the ball with one or two yards to go for a touchdown, Rosie Brown would move from offensive tackle to fullback (not to block, but to carry the ball) and seemed never to fail to score.

Probably, the most famous tackle Rosey Grier made was not while he was a pro football defensive lineman, but when he helped bring down Sirhan Sirhan after Robert Kennedy's assasination.

Sparky 2:15 PM  

@ Rex. Hope your daughter is feeling better. Head cuts are scary. I wish you well. Never made it to blog yesterday--four hour dental session. Couldn't finish puzzle. Today: happy, happy, I almost finished. Missing 53D and 57A. Had to look up Lumet in my Maltin's Movie Guide. I don't Goggle but anything already sitting on my bookshelf is fair game. Doesn't make sense but, what the hay? Too many names in this even though I managed to figure out most of them. Brady and Brodie were gimmies. Have a good weekend one and all. Oh, Zeke, lol.

chefbea 2:17 PM  

@ulrich welcome back. Wondered where you were.

fergus 2:43 PM  

Kinda thought Kluszewski played for the INDIANS -- got the state right anyway.

Wrote in CORE where CRUX was destined -- otherwise a way too clean Friday. A handsome array of letters, though. (The GRAND INQUISITOR is way overblown as the CRUX of the Brothers Karamazov, in my opinion ... .)

And at least a tad of gratification for, as Foodie said, using SOUCON correctly.

Mel Ott 2:43 PM  

@Chip Hilton

Yes, I remember them all fondly. Still my favorite Giants teams, even after the LT and Eli Super Bowls.

joho 2:56 PM  

@Ulrich, your loss of crossword solving ability may be caused by empathetic feelings of ball hitting head.

Mary Candace 3:25 PM  

Yes, @ArtLvr, I agree with you. It is meanness to make light of, or make fun of, a serious disability. Would the word "crip" for a handicapped person have appeared in a puzzle? I doubt it, and I don't see the difference.

My captcha is another story: rumfqk!

G 3:37 PM  

I guess I'll stop using the term "spaz". Just so I know, by doing so, what serious disability am I thus avoiding offending sufferers of? My dictionary doesn't say.

edmcan 3:37 PM  

What VAN said. I finished, but struggled through it. ~Bleh~

Wikipedia 3:51 PM  

@ G -- Does this help your understanding?

The medical term "spastic" became used to describe cerebral palsy. The Spastics Society, a UK charity for people with cerebral palsy, was founded in 1951.

However, the word began to be used as an insult and became a term of abuse used to imply stupidity or physical ineptness; one who is uncoordinated or incompetent, or a fool. The mental connotation derived from a common misconception that those with any physical disability resulting in spasticity would necessarily also have a mental or developmental disability. It was often colloquially abbreviated to shorter forms such as "spaz".

Its derogatory use grew considerably in the 1980s. This is sometimes attributed to the BBC children's show Blue Peter. During the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981), several episodes featured a man with cerebral palsy (described as a "spastic") named Joey Deacon. Phrases such as "joey", "deacon", and "spaz" became popular insults amongst children at that time.

Glitch 3:52 PM  
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John V 3:56 PM  

This was about a four-seater today, but got it all. unlike @rex, NW was totally foreign to me, as were most of the names. Apart from the names, unremarkable.

Anonymous 4:12 PM  

Went to all the Reds games in the 70s so immediately the Redlegs was obvious, did have chicago black sox before I straightened it out with scandal. Not familiar with football peopleso the only google was Grier. Thought it was a good thoughtful puzzle and Yeats, Eliot and Auden all have the same number of letters - which one to choose?

JenCT 4:13 PM  

My NEURONS must not be transmitting at all today, because I found this difficult.

Knew ADRIAN Peterson, LEAPERS, ROSIE; I still have JOE'S Garage, thought the NYC clue was BARS (well, at least it seems like there are that many), and that the male sheep was RAM (?).

And yes, I have spasticity, so I can call myself a SPAZ.

william e emba 4:40 PM  

Unlike everyone else, I noticed 32D "Male sheep" and naturally wrote in RAM, wondering what the heck that was doing there on a Friday.

RENE Auberjonois is a gimme? Well, what do you know, I do recognize the actor after all. And I got LOM from the crosses, but I could guess which character he played.

I was very very reluctant to fill in NEURONS.

I'm certainly old enough to remember SPIRO. But by a fabulous coincidence I was looking up an old linguistics paper earlier this week--Jerry Morgan, "On Arguing About Semantics"--where Morgan gave a notorious example of a sentence that does or does not have meaning: "SPIRO conjectures Ex-Lax", and whose utterance drove Chomsky nuts, not that he ever admitted it.

Say it a couple of times, and see if you can figure out its meaning. For the answer, read the following backwards: "?htiw sekac reh stsorf taP tahw wonk enoyna seoD". So yeah, I was laughing at the answer.

michael 5:24 PM  

Very easy for me because I know names and sports well. I was surprised that there were not more comments about "spaz," which I was surprised to see. And, like Rex, my last letter was the cross of eva and reata. Really just an educated guess.

fergus 5:25 PM  

RAM wouldn't appear on Friday, except on a dead giveaway. or as a joke. I didn't even start on the R.

fergus 6:14 PM  

... or anyone else care to drop in an opinion of what Doestoyevsky's last novel was about?

WS put it as a scene or passage.

The Grand Inquisitor takes on enormous proportions in literary and philosophical circles, but I prefer to see how the boys each develop according to personality type, or not.

Iago 7:15 PM  

TUPPING or TOPPING ? Depends on your source. MIT has:
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise;

fergus 7:31 PM  

desdemona replied with resignation

Ulrich 7:35 PM  

@fergus: I'm with you re. "the boys". One also has to remember that Dostojevski never finished the project, long as it is as it stands: Only the Dmitri story finds some closure, Ivan's and Alyosha's still await theirs.

And as an ex-catholic, I always considered the Grand Inquisitor story as a ringing indictment of a church that seeks worldly power (and with which I totally agree)--as such, it is too specific to form the heart of the novel in the first place. It looks, to me, like the backdrop against which Ivan's and Alyosha's different takes on religion has to be seen.

fergus 7:49 PM  

Nobody could finish the project. The sons of Fyodor populate the land.

Alyosha, Mitya, Ivan and Smerdyakov

ArtLvr 9:05 PM  

Thanks, Mary Candace -- attitudes of casual put-downs or deliberate bullying have been on the rise in our schools, and have even led to some children committing suicide. Where do the young bullies learn this behavior, but from insensitive or malicious adults?

As to TUP, isn't there a similar verb "schtup" in Yiddish?


Leopold Bloom 9:41 PM  

Flood of warm jimjam lickitup secretness flowed to flow in
music out, in desire, dark to lick flow, invading. Tipping her tepping her tapping her topping her. Tup. Pores to dilate dilating. Tup. The joy the feel the warm the. Tup. To pour o'er sluices pouring gushes. Flood, gush, flow joygush, tup- throp. Now! Language of love.

Stephen 10:06 PM  

@Leo - For someone who makes no sense, you sure talk dirty.

fergus 11:21 PM  

How much fun to literary this evening. Where Leopold was was a shame in American letters for ten years. Tup, what the hell, Ram ... Spray.

Back to Doestoevski, don't you think that we all draw parts of the three legitimate brothers ?

Rex Parker 11:23 PM  

The three-comment limit still exists. Thanks.

Anonymous 3:29 AM  

Must have been an easy, easy, easy Friday since I finished it (most unusual for me) and did it in record time (equally rare).

I, too, wondered about (Mean Joe) Green(e) - but then remembered that last "e". Oddly enough, I played high school football with a fellow named GrieS, which left me wondering how he might have risen to wildly unlikely fame on the gridiron before I got to Grier.

First thought on reading the happiness definition was "Mencken" but as my eyes moved from clue to grid, I auto-corrected to Bierce. Always an amusing source of bon-mots.

Disagree with Rex's assertion that Herbert Lom would be forgotten were it not for crosswords. He was a favorite of mine in the 1970s Pink Panther movies. Well-worth it to go back to those old films to see him in action again.

Finally, on the Spaz issue: I remember it as a vile children's insult in the 1970s and despite being very far from PC - even now - realizing that it was a thoroughly inappropriate thing to say. The fact that I am shocked at seeing it in a NYT crossword perhaps shows that I have gotten more PC with old age?

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