1939 Giraudoux play / FRI 8-13-10 / Homo found in 1891 / Chéri novelist 1920 / 1898 Emile Zola letter / Fangorn Forest race / ABC newsman Potter

Friday, August 13, 2010

Constructor: Manny Nosowsky

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none


Word of the Day: "ONDINE" (10D: 1939 Giraudoux play) —

Ondine is a play of Jean Giraudoux , created on 27 April 1939 at the Athenaeum Theatre .

It is the tale Undine (1811) of the German Romantic La Motte Fouqué (1777-1843) that inspired Jean Giraudoux's Ondine. The theme of the water nymph (engineering or water nymph in Germanic mythology) who seeks to incarnate in the human is a typical fairy tale, and is also found in Celtic myth of Melusine . But whereas in these traditions, the mermaid wants to win in this human form more soul or accepts an old curse, Giraudoux's heroine loses its supernatural attributes of love. The playwright found his chance to represent the relations impossible for man and woman, in a theatrical fantasy where fantasy mingles with the rigor of classical tragedy. (hilariously google-translated version of a French wikipedia entry)

• • •

These kinds of grids aren't my favorite—the ones that essentially give you four mini-puzzles, each one a white chunk of intersecting 6-to-7-letter answers. Fill usually isn't too spiffy, and the entertainment value of the puzzle lies in a. the struggle, and b. the clues. Clue quality is Really important in this kind of puzzle. Today's clues are mostly good—heavy on the "?"-type clue, but that's what you should expect for a Friday. Mr. Nosowsky is a Legendary constructor—not as prolific now as he once was, but still much admired (even revered). This one seems to underutilize his talents—could've been by anyone. Hard to show off when you don't have any answers longer than 8 letters, unless your fill is original and remarkably clean. Today's fill is fine, but not memorable—unless you call putting ON on top of ON and doubling UP and doubling ONE memorable. Actually, the NW is kind of beautiful. Literary, anthropological, sporty, with mostly interesting words (ENTS and USENET notwithstanding). The rest of the puzzle is just OK. REWIRE, REDYED. ADOPTER / REAPERS / SMEARER (in one quadrant?!). I don't know. There's just not much to say about this one. It's solid. A nice, toughish diversion. I've seen grids like this done far, far worse.



I somewhat cheated in that I was pondering 1A: Homo found in 1891 out loud, trying to decide between SAPIENS and ERECTUS (both fit!), when I got the "J" and started sounding it out, and my wife (sitting next to me on couch) said "oh yeah, JAVANESE ... JAVA MAN ..." And there it was. Changed terminal "S" to "N" which gave me NAPE which meant I had the corner boxed in. From there to SW, which was tougher. For 45A: Brown, then red, then brown again, maybe (REDYED), I had SEARED (I was imagining a cross-section of meat). Only after I pulled that (very clever, I thought) answer did the DU- at 31D: Entertainer with the gag reply "What elephant?" give me DURANTE. Only mystery down here was 48D: ABC newsman Potter and others (NEDS). Never heard of him. Through the middle to the NE—the easiest section of all, if only because SMEARER (25A: Dirty campaigner) and DID TIME (9D: Was a joint tenant?) went straight in. Took a while to finish the puzzle off in the SE. Wanted BATISTA for KENNEDY (40D: Castro's "enemy to which we had become accustomed"). Still can't really buy POWER ON (49A: Start up, as electronic equipment) as a verb. I might POWER UP my computer, but do I POWER ON it? It must be legit, but yuck. ANY RATE was my anchor down here (38D: Whatever happens, after "at"). Last answer in the grid: MORONIC (36D: Dumb).

Bullets:
  • 19A: "Chéri" novelist, 1920 (COLETTE) — Crossing the work of another French writer (1D: 1898 Emile Zola letter=>"J'ACCUSE"). Nice.
  • 26A: Fangorn Forest race (ENTS) — 9y0 daughter just started reading "The Hobbit." Wife (a total Tolkien dork) is soooo excited.
  • 2D: 1953 A.L. M.V.P. who played for the Indians (AL ROSEN) — his last name makes him one of the crossworthiest bygone baseball M.V.P.s. Put him in a grid once, and realized that that "1953 A.L. M.V.P." was always going to be in the clue about him. Thanks, brain, for tucking that bit of trivia away for me.
  • 12D: Clerical clipping (TONSURE) — had almost every letter before I saw the clue, which is too bad, bec. I think I'd have nailed it with no letters in place. Had to think a lot about clerics in grad school, and some details stuck.
  • 37D: Company whose logo is a lantern (COLEMAN) — because they make ... lanterns. Actually, all kinds of camping gear. First sentence at their website reads: "It was the first product we created, so it stands to reason that our logo is a lantern." My favorite COLEMAN is Gary.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

75 comments:

PanamaRed 12:17 AM  

Ugh! This one killed me. Not on the same wavelength (or perhaps not the same planet) as the author.

Got the whole NE quadrant pretty quickly, but the rest of it was a complete failure.

Just gave up on it. Hoping for a Saturday comeback.

foodie 12:18 AM  

Very beautiful looking grid, I think, and a lovely puzzle. Somehow, solving it made me feel erudite...and the people in it would make for a great time-traveling dinner party: JAVA MAN, ALI BABA, COLETTE, Zola, DURANTE, KENNEDY. May be we should throw in TESS to balance it out a bit. But no dinner for NEDs.

I too went through the Homo Erectus, Sapiens before getting J'ACCUSE and switching to JAVA MAN. But MORONIC was my first entry in the whole grid! I love that word.

Favorite clue, that made me chuckle, ALI BABA as a password user. It was wonderful to remember the original meaning!!! As a kid I heard many of these old fashioned tales where the biggest challenge was trying to uncover the right password. Never thought it was going to be the story of my life.

Zeke 12:45 AM  

What's there to say when one makes an error in typing in MORONIC?
If this grid had a fire breathing dragon or a roaring lion in the center, it would make a great coat of arms.
Somehow I got all of the high end literary answers without knowing anything at all about any of them, other than Colette was a writer of the right nationality, Ondine was a literary work (thanks for that article Rex, it really cleared things up for me), and that J'accuse is a frenchy phrase. I'm good at sounding literate.
This one seemed to respond well to brute patience.

syndy 1:21 AM  

@zeke exactly right brute patience indeed.My first thought was I don"t know any of this stuff but littlt by little it teased out.Agree that north was much more elegant than south hardest for me was south west till I finally got the red brown thing (been there done that)

jae 2:31 AM  

Easy-Medium for me and I had the same take as Rex did on this one. A workman like Fri. with nothing really outstanding. ONDINE was sort of a gimme because I tried to rent a movie of the same name (about a water nymph) this week, only to find out it is not going to be on DVD until Oct. I think Rotten Tomatoes lied to me!

chefwen 3:27 AM  

I had to Google in each quadrant just to get a toe hold. Once I got one it fell a little easier, finished the darn thing but I had to slap a bit DNF on my forehead because of my cheatin' ways.

Not fond of the four mini puzzles, never have been. WOW, that's the first time in weeks that I didn't say, Ooh, I loved this one.

Hopeful for better offerings tomorrow.

chefwen 3:31 AM  

That's BIG not bit DNF. Typos are so embarrassing.

andrea colette michaels 4:35 AM  

Bittersweet. Did the puzzle with my downstairs neighbor Nick who is moving out tomorrow. :(
I started him on puzzles, he is now hooked (LOVES Peter Gordon puzzles) and it was our last time to solve together.
He is the only one who made me one for my 50th, and he had never even constructed before. It was so sweet...complete with two-letter words!
Now in less than a year, he solves Fridays without blinking!
Good collaboration... We are 25 years apart in age, totally different backgrounds, education, everything.
e.g. I blanked and could only think of the ---ETTE of COLETTE and he, never having read/heard of her ventured, "COLETTE?"

This is a huge week for me puzzlewise: I have a puzzle with Jennifer Nutt on Monday; Merl shows up to SF and we will regale Reagle...lots of puzzle lunches and dinners, I hope...including newlyweds Byron IDOIDOIDOIDOIDO Walden and Robin, plus special guest Manny Nosowsky!

Shall I ask what's up with the two UPS? The ON on ON? I doubt it. I mean, the man is more than a legend. (Besides, he wields a scapel).

Tho I may ask what was up with that ADOPTER clue? Plenty of women give birth and then also adopt. Something feels off and slightly offensive about the clue, but that's just looking for trouble.

Bummed I'm missing Ryan and Brian's Puzzapalooza, wrong coast and all... but will have to console myself tomorrow showing around Wade! Yes, WADE!!!!!!!

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Todays puzzle is a perfect example of why Fri. and Sat. puzzles should have a theme, rebus,or something. Todays has no aha moment, no sense of accomplisment. It is just a total slog. A puzzle like todays may give the constructor a chance to show his skill at totally snowing the puzzle public, but it isn't entertaining.

JenCT 9:06 AM  

Okay, total slog for me too - DNF.

Was thinking Dean Martin for the DURANTE clue, but wouldn't fit.

Got ADOPTER right away.

Had AHEM before ALAS, DEERE before SHEAF, RECUSES before ABSENTS - ugh. Finally gave up.

twangster 9:11 AM  

I liked this puzzle because, after Thursday's disaster, I was able to solve it.

Took a while to unscramble the bottom left because I had the _ED___ and was convinced 45A was MEDIUM.

Leslie 9:11 AM  

Ouch--that's harsh, Anonymous 8:07! C'mon, there were some entertaining clues/answers, yes? I thought the 40D Castro quote, with KENNEDY as the answer, was interesting. And the center of the puzzle, with LATHE as the very cute answer to 27A leading to TEX and SIX A.M.--was that anyone else's entry into the whole puzzle?

Jen, I was about to post this: "Also, did anyone else want "recuses" before ABSENTS for 4D?" And yes, you did!

JenCT 9:16 AM  

If my scooter only had two wheels, I'd tip over...

CaseAce 9:18 AM  

Better LATHE than never, as I might just solve this beauty at around World Series time?

mitchs 9:25 AM  

Is it me or could the Blue Oyster Cult use more cowbell?

CaseAce 9:32 AM  

Sacre bleu! I have been given to understand that Frenchmen are notorious for being rather thrifty in their affairs with their Amour's by virtually always calling them COLETTE...Oui?

jesser 9:38 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jesser 9:39 AM  

YES, @Leslie: I badly wanted recuseS at 4D, and it screwed that sector up something fierce. I finally Googled the '53 MVP to get some traction up there. Only other writeover was at 49D, where I initally wanted PoPS, because that's what son Daniel calls me, as I am his ADOPTER.

I started the grid from the center with TEX, which made TEE and SIX AM obvious. SHEAF was next, which gave me the tiny toeholds I needed in the SW, SE and NE. But the NW would not budge.

Besides the shame of resorting to Google, I screwed up at the cross of 10D and 22A, where I had Is SURE. Giradoux? Ok, whatev.

Compared to those who actually tamed this beast, I am an ALSO RAN. Sigh.

Molse! (A strange looking hybrid between a mole and a moose. You definitely know when you have an infestation of these in your yard.) -- jesser

nanpilla 9:44 AM  

@twangster - tried medium too.

@JenCt - wanted recuses also.

Went from debase to defame to DERIDE

settles to SEDATES

falsify to CROSS UP


As you can tell, this one was really hard for me. I got the NE fairly quickly, then stalled. My daughter was visiting, and she gave me just enough in each quadrant so we could finish it together. I never would have gotten USENET. She immediately said COLEMAN in the SE, and made me talk my way into JACCUSE. These really are fun to do together! But definitely a challenging for me today.

Leslie 10:00 AM  

Molse! (A strange looking hybrid between a mole and a moose. You definitely know when you have an infestation of these in your yard.)

HA!!

My captcha word is "creatin," and that's an actual thing, isn't it?? Like an enzyme or amino acid or something? Where's our Chemist?

Glitch 10:11 AM  

Heading for a record time on my first 3/4, fell apart in the NW, and finally reach my "curfew time limit" --- coffee pot empty.

Problem was knowing too much and not enough.

Couldn't get past 1A's Homo having to be "erectus" to match. Had the clue included "familiarily" or such, JAVAMAN might have come to mind.

Of course this made recuses impossible, and accura (maybe altima?) was sitting where SENTRA belonged.

J'ACCUSE and COLETTE = bien sûr, but only when I see them.

rec. puzzles (split on two lines in the dead tree ed.) had me looking for an abbreviation. OTOH rec.puzzle might have led to the old time USENET.

[sigh]

.../Glitch

Bob Kerfuffle 10:17 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said, but it took me an hour to work through everything.

Write-overs I can decipher include DEBASE before DERIDE (as nanpilla), and SOOTHES before SEDATES. Can't defend, but also temporarily had COVERUP at 17 A before CROSSUP. CROSS UP, to mean deceive, does not come easily to me.

Two Ponies 10:50 AM  

I truly cannot believe I got through this. There was sooo much I simply did not know. I guess constant practice has made me a good guesser.
The NW nearly killed me. Two French clues/answers and a baseball player are omens of failure. Java man saved the day.
I was thinking of Mother Teresa or some other nun instead of adopter.
Actually the look of the grid was a bad omen from the start (that and seeing the by-line. Manny and I never get along.)
I think the grid looks like a cemetary with all of those crosses looking like grave markers.
On a more upbeat note it sounds like @Andrea is in for a very fun weekend. Say Hi to Wade for me.

PC 10:53 AM  

I found the 1A clue's characterization of the JAVAMAN offensive.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

@PC - Why, because they had MAN in the answer and Homo in the clue?

Noam D. Elkies 11:08 AM  

Reasonable Friday puzzle with a memorable grid shape, considerably easier than yesterday's. (Would have been even easier if I didn't 36D:MORONICally put in "Aladdin" for 15A:ALI_BABA. BTW my other write-over was "lean on" for 46A:RELY_ON.) As far as I can see the grid doesn't even contain any 8-letter words — which doesn't contradict Rex's "you don't have any answers longer than 8 letters" but makes me wonder why he didn't say 7. There's a bunch of 7's, and only two 3's at dead center.

The NE wasn't that easy even though I got 12D:TONSURE with zero crosses; for one thing, once I recognized 10D I wasn't sure whether it was ONDINE or "Undine", and wondered how "adulter" answered the clue for 8A:ADOPTER. ["Undine" turns out to be a valid but rare variant of "Ondine", but not valid for this clue which indicates a French source (onde) rather than Latin (as in inundate).]

37D:COLEMAN, on the other hand, I didn't recognize at all; the only Coleman I've heard of is the late Gary. (Well, also mathematician Robert but I can't imagine that clue in the NYTimes xword.)-:

@Moise: you're probably thinking of creatine. It could also be a clipped "creating", which despite the orthographic similarity turns out to have a very different classical etymology.

NDE

Alice in SF 11:27 AM  

Whew--breezed through the top half with the NW not giving me a problem since I got 2D immediately. I lived in Cleveland when the Indians won their only pennant. I still have the starting lineup etched in my memory.

Unfortunately there was the bottom half of the puzzle to do. Wanted brining for 50A since that seems to be the latest craze for cooking turkey. Knew 32D had to be something to do with money . The SE
spelled fini for me so it was another DNF for Friday.

Van55 11:29 AM  

I thought to myself, can you start a NYT puzzle with Homo in the 1A clue? Liberace fit, but I didn't enter it of course.

"Brute patience" describes my experience TOAT.

I know this is a Friday puzzle, but wouldn't "Brown then blonde then brown again" have been a bit fairer as a clue for REDYED?

All in all a pleasurable struggle for me.

Tony from Charm City 11:31 AM  

This was fairly easy for me, at least compared to other Fridays and yesterday in particular. The NW and SE fell rather quickly with a lot of gimmes (for me anyway) like ALI BABA, ENTS, AL ROSEN, and KENNEDY. I struggled a bit in the other quadrants, although TONSURE was a gimme for me as I was tonsured as an Altar Boy at my church back in the mid-1980s by the bishop of our diocese.

chefbea 11:58 AM  

Again another puzzle I DNF. Googled and then came here.
Let's hope I can do better tomorrow

Glitch 12:02 PM  

@Van55

If it had been "Brown - then Purple - then Brown again" I would have been tempted to try [my] NEPHEW.

.../Glitch

Tinbeni 12:02 PM  

@PC
Do the LAT if you find 1A UNPC.

Geez, your lame attempt to make something untoward out of a great clue ... well I find your closed little mind MORONIC and offensive.

Would have enjoyed my morning better if I had that SIX AM TEE time. It would have been more fun cussin' at a golf ball.

@Two Ponies, your comment of the grid looking like a cemetary brought on a laugh as the puzzle threw its last shovel of dirt on me.
ALAS, a DNF Friday ...

Time to tap that CASK.

dk 12:07 PM  

Packing for a week in a kayak so COLEMAN was a gimme even thou I do not own one.

I say what you have all said. This one was hard for me.

@Wade, I wish I were you.

See you all next Friday.

Rex sorry to be missing Tuesday

son of dad 12:37 PM  

I always hate Nosowsky puzzles, and this was no exception. To me, they're interesting to look at but not much fun to solve. Today's is a really boring puzzle with literally no interesting answers and a lot of work for no payoff.

Masked and Anonymous 12:39 PM  

Manny Nosowsky. Five U's. Cool grid layout. That'll get it. Thumbs up.

Moonchild 12:44 PM  

Whew! Second day of grinding away and really stretching the old gray matter.
I'm not fond of the four small puzzles with almost nothing to connect them.
I giggled at the clue for 30A -
athletic cup?
Of course my mind was already primed for that sort of humor after the clue for 1A.
@ jesser, I was really hoping for some funny remark from you. Too easy?
This one nearly reeked of mothballs. I mean, really, how long ago was Jimmy Durante famous? And look at those dates: 1891, 1920, 1898, 1953, 1939. You had to be as old as Java Man for those to contemporary. Were those dates helpful? Not for me.
I couldn't believe Coleman was right. It was the only real gimme for me and it seemed too easy.
The only clue I did not understand was 21A. What are rec. puzzles?
And UseNet? Another oldie moldy.
I'm scared to think what tomorrow will bring.
Anyone see the meteor shower last night or this morning? It was beautiful.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

@Moonchild rec.puzzles is, apparently, a USENET group. Someone mentioned above that this was split into two lines in the DTV of the puzzle, totally ruins the clue.

captch: dirlabit. I don't know what dirling is, but it sounds fun, so I'll do it for a bit.

Ulrich 1:20 PM  

Yep, German engineering nymphs are just gorgeous the way they are put together with precision...

I, too, was struck by the heraldic associations of the grid--looks like the flag of some medieval order of knights. Got bogged down in SW quadrant, but managed to get it worked out in the end.

Shamik 1:23 PM  

Whew! This felt like such a slog while solving and yet my time just under 16 minutes was a medium for me for Friday. The four mini-grids led to nothing until the middle and then solved the puzzle counter-clockwise starting in the SW and finally finishing the NW...which was the biggest slog of all.

Still, I liked it. I liked that you had to delve into all those oh-so-long-ago years...not a Simpson or rap artist in the bunch. And still I learned new-to-me old stuff. I didn't care for all the two word answers: POWERON, RELYON, STIRSUP, FORONCE, CROSSUP. They collectively look bizarre to the eye.

tripasta: an easy captcha and what I wish I was having for dinner

retired_chemist 1:35 PM  

@ Leslie - creatine.

Did not finish. The SW was the killer. 35D was SOOTHES or SETTLES, 42D was NOTATE or DEFAME, and 31A was FEAR. I didn't know the elephant line was DURANTE's and NED Potter is completely unknown to me. Googled to get NEDS and DURANTE, and then I filled in the rest.

Glimmerglass 1:41 PM  

Much quicker than yesterday and no mistakes -- but not nearly as much fun.

Late Night 1:42 PM  

Note to retired_chemist -- You are not immune! As sanfranman59 has learned, and as I tried to point out to william e emba, until Blogger fixes its problems, any comment which contains a hot link gets deleted in a minute.

This is what you wrote:

retired_chemist has left a new comment on the post "1939 Giraudoux play / FRI 8-13-10 / Homo found in ...":

@ Leslie - creatine.

Did not finish. The SW was the killer. 35D was SOOTHES or SETTLES, 42D was NOTATE or DEFAME, and 31A was FEAR. I didn't know the elephant line was DURANTE's and NED Potter is completely unknown to me. Googled to get NEDS and DURANTE, and then I filled in the rest.

Sandy 1:50 PM  

Come on people, how come none of you are excited that my daughter is reading The Hobbit? As nerds, you disappoint me. Sigh.

Kurt 1:55 PM  

@Zeke: Brute patience was the perfect description.

joho 2:08 PM  

I was all over the place while solving this puzzle, finishing in the NW. Yes, I had recuses at first. JAVAMAN took a long time coming.

I liked it because it's Friday and I finished with no errors. Yesterday's was trickier, harder and more fun, though.

@Andrea ... sounds like a very fun weekend indeed for all you crossworders.

Two Ponies 2:09 PM  

@ Sandy, Actually I was glad for her and you. I was quite a bit older than nine when I discovered it. I hope she will be as delighted as I was.
Is Once and Future King on the reading list as well?

mac 2:14 PM  

I did this one on the train, and I had fun with it! It helped that j'accuse and Colette were my first entries. Don't know Durante, just guessed the U and the R, and usenet is a mystery too, but I finished it by the time I reached 125th St.

@Two Ponies: me too to Theresa, recuses and cemetary.... Also, I had shift instead of sheaf for a moment. Cross up? Never heard of it.

Andrea Colette??? She had a cat, too.

Meeting up with Greene and imsdave in a little while, then a whole lot more puzzle people tomorrow.

mac 2:16 PM  

@Sandy: my best friend and I were 12 when we got completely hooked on the Hobbit. 9 is amazing.

retired_chemist 2:17 PM  

@ Late Night -

thanks.

foodie 3:37 PM  

@Late Night, who are you?

@Sandy, I've longed established that your child is a genius. The moment she chose a compass as something to purchase. I told Rex that if she ever gets curious about the brain, my door is wide open. And if I'm too old and decrepit by then, my son is a neuroscientist who does very cool stuff, and he should be really humming by then.

@Andrea, you're the Madame Recamier of Puzzledom.

sanfranman59 3:49 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 26:31, 26:32, 1.00, 53%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 14:04, 12:55, 1.09, 72%, Medium-Challenging

As a long-suffering Indians fan (redundant, I know), it's always good to see Flip Rosen's name pop up in a crossword. He was my mother's favorite player. And today I'm treated to his full name.

Sparky 3:56 PM  

Amazed I finished after yesterday's disaster. Took all day. Three pick up and drops. First in JACCUSE, which Gave me JAVAMAN. Then NAPE. NW went fairly quickly. Tried Lilliom for 10D; also thought about Mother Teresa. Managed to do SW. Then complete halt. Went on my daily rounds, library, market. Thought of LINEONE which suggested ONDINE. Some how,it all worked out. I, too, guessing better since the blog. And amazed at how the mind works with all those little dib and dabs stoed up there ready to be teased out. SF sounds great, have fun.

retired_chemist 4:20 PM  

@ Leslie - re creatine, see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine

gotta cut and paste apparently,

Late Night 4:28 PM  

@foodie - What a strange question! (@Late Night - Who are you?)

Why of course, this is the internet, and I am a dog! I have short brown hair fading to gray, my paws hurt if I walk too far, I still watch squirrels but no longer chase them.

No, that’s not true. I am a regular follower of Rex’s blog, of indeterminate gender and indeterminate age and indeterminate residency. I know very little about a lot of things, and even less about many more things. When I comment on straightforward crossword matters, I do so under my regular nom de blog.

But when I wish to be a trifle snarky (not very often) without soiling my public image, I sink to using a false identity. (Thereby destroying the immortal soul I am dubious about possessing.)

Or, as in the present case, when I comment on technical matters about which I know nothing, like the disappearance of sanfranman59’s posts, and other posts which contained hot links, I likewise use a pseudonym to avoid damage to my regular image. For instance, earlier today, @retired_chemist used a hot link in his post and it was removed by Blogger in a minute. So r_c has resorted to posting a web address to copy and paste, which seemed a necessary thing to me. And yet, just above, sanfranman59 has posted his statistics with a hot link, and it has not disappeared. So I am apparently an idiot, talking about things I know nothing about.

So, who am I? Just another mutt.
: >))

Rex Parker 4:44 PM  

Sitting in a Starbucks on 5th betw 28th and 29th waiting for BEQ to drag his sorry ass into town so we can drink and then eat. If you're in the neighborhood in the next little bit, feel free to come say hi. Oh, and also if you're in the general NYC neighborhood, remember that the Lollapuzzoola tournament in Queens is tomorrow.

http://bemoresmarter.squarespace.com/lollapuzzoola-3/

rp

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

Did anyone else find the crossing of TONSURE with INSURE with ENDURE with SMEARER with REAPER in the NW rather ugly??

redhed 6:25 PM  

Another RECUSES entry (one of my favorite words, too bad it was wrong). And maybe if the clue for 45A was "gray, then red, then gray again, maybe" I would have gotten the answer.

Karl 7:26 PM  

Wasn't on the constructor's wavelength today, and would rate the four mini-crosswords clockwise from the NE as hard, harder, impossible, impossibler. Took me about 2 hours with no resources other than Webster. Nosowsky is one of my favorite constructors but while I enjoy puzzles that test the limits of my intelligence/solving ability, this one didn't give me much pleasure, MORONIC and the NW the only exceptions. Most of the clues were a bit too blah, even the "?" ones, like 8-Across.

Drew 8:12 PM  

No theme? I saw the four black TEEs and immediately wrote in TEE in the center. The theme is asthetic. I love perfectly constructed designs like this.

mac 8:15 PM  

Geeze, Rex, now you let us know!
I had a nice drinks and dinner meeting with Greene and imsdave+wife, who are now watching
"Promises, Promises". I, of course, am going to bed early to be prepared for the competition (not).

See you all in the morning!

Moonchild 8:39 PM  

@ Drew, Wow. You might have something there. That just whizzed over my head but in retrospect I see it from a new angle. Did you really put in tee without looking at the clue?? That's pretty intuitive.

foodie 8:49 PM  

@Late Night: Curiouser and Curiouser!!

But I actually now have a hypothesis..

@Drew, I agree with Moonchild. That's brilliant! It might even be true (most brilliant things aren't).

Good luck to all of you at the tournament! @Mac, make the NC's* proud. You too Ulrich, if you're going.

*Naturalized Citizens.

Ulrich 8:54 PM  

Rex's comment also has a hot link and is still there--so let me do this test: greetings to all who are currently in New York for the big event!

Ulrich 9:06 PM  

...and @foodie: I'm very touched by your confidence, misplaced as it is in my case, and so, I'm not going.

My comment is still there, after 10 min. I think we have to look for a new hypothesis. Here is mine: Google likes certain persons more than others and removes certain comments out of sheer spite.

Ben 9:30 PM  

Blasted thru the first 3/4 of this one in like 8 or 10 minutes, but the southwest took me two weeks.

Another solid Nosowsky.

Drew 10:14 PM  

Yes, I put in TEE, albeit very, very lightly. The rest of the puzzle was tough, though. Did the SE first with no issues but the other three all were difficult and I ended up using Google a bit, so a DNF in the end!

Late Night 10:16 PM  

@foodie - You have a hypothesis! I hope you are not correct! I am Nobody; my identity is totally unimportant. (And I really feel inadequate in this intellectual crowd - I had to Google to see who Madame Recamier was.) Woof, woof!

@Ulrich - Beautiful building! But since I remain masked and anonymous (but I am not Masked and Anonymous), I feel free to point out that Rex's comment (4:44 PM) does not have a hot link - his post has a copy and paste link.

But sanfranman59 (3;49 PM) does have a hot link, and so do you, so, please, please, please, let this problem now be resolved. It is in Blogger's hands.

Glitch 2:49 PM  

@LateNight et al

Blogger almost never let's you "type in" a link (URL), it has to do with security and the "popularity" algorythm, (details beyond the scope of this comment). This is a feature, not a problem, thus will never be "fixed".

You can cut 'n paste on in, but it might be truncated, and will not be "clickable" (the reader will have to cut 'n paste too.)

Both Urlich and Rex imbedded (as have others) their links via HTML code, giving the blue, clickable, links, like this:

How to imbed a link .

Note the puncuation --- I usually miss the end quote when in a hurry.

If you've done it correctly, you will see the blue text in blogger preview, but don't click on it unless you have saved the text!

BTW: This will work in any program that accepts HTML code, including most email.

You can email me (check my profile) if you have more questions.

.../Glitch

Clark 4:02 PM  

@Glitch, @LateNight, et al --

I have heard that in the last few days Google has tweaked Blogger, making changes that are supposed to catch more spam postings. This is being discussed on other blogs. That's all I know, or more than I know, even.

Tina 8:18 PM  

In my experience, tractors have tires, tanks have treads. I knew treaded was wanted, but wouldn't let myself put it in!

Late Night 9:13 PM  

@Glitch - I am truly tired of this topic and hate to address it again. Also, you almost always have the correct technical information. But I must say in response to your 2:49 post:

Sanfranman59 has been posting his statistics for more than a year, and for most of that time he has had a hot link included to his original explanation of the meaning of his figures. Then last week his posts started disappearing. I'm sure he didn't do anything different, and he doesn't need a refresher course on posting a link. This is more in line with what Clark says at 4:02 PM: That Blogger has changed the rules.

But even more, most recently sanfranman59's link has been allowed to remain and to work, at least when I tried it. But with regard to your statement, "Both Urlich and Rex imbedded (as have others) their links via HTML code, giving the blue, clickable, links," Rex's and Ulrich's links are not the same: Ulrich's works the way embedded links have worked in the past - just click on it and you are instantly taken to the intended site. But Rex's, at 4:44 PM, does not work that way. Click on it, and nothing happens. You must paste it into your address bar to reach the intended site. So has Ulrich done anything different? Has sanfranman59? We await their further input.

Anonymous 7:47 PM  

This puzzzle is not the same NYT friday puzzle that appears in my local newspaper. Go figure that.

The Last Word 9:27 PM  

I was encouraged by a quick start in the northeast, continued through the mini-puzzle in the center of the grid, and rolled into the southeast with nary a hitch. ALAS, that's where the good times ended - totally crashed and burned in the northeast, despite having ALIBABA (which I loved) in place. I managed to get ABUTTAL (pretty ugly, I think) and NAPE down but all my guesses for the rest of that part of the grid were wrong, wrong, wrong. The debris field from that debacle extended down into the southwest where blank squares and incorrect answers (NITRaTE gave me DEfamE instead of DERIDE) littered the countryside. All in all, pretty ugly SCENERY. This one left me feeling a little MORONIC - tomorrow is a day off (no Saturday puzzle for me) so I'll lick my wounds, regroup and come back Sunday to try to redeem myself.

The Last Word 9:32 PM  

@anonymous 7:47PM - click on the "Syndicated Puzzle" button at the top of the page and I'll bet you get the puzzle in your paper. The syndicated puzzles run 5 weeks after they appear in the NYT.

Bolivar 9:39 AM  

@Tina:
There are tractors with tires (which have treads) and there are tractors with tracks (Caterpillars, which also have treads). There was a famous mix-up between the two when Fidel Castro demanded 500 "tractors" to ransom Bay of Pigs captives, and the U.S. sent the wrong kind (the ones with tires).

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