## Saturday, October 9, 2010

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: ONE'S — this word appears three times ... probably not a theme, but I'm covering one's bases just the same ...

Word of the Day: CRORE (48D: 10 million rupees) —

A crore (Hindi: करोड़, Nepali: करोड, Urdu: کروڑ) (often abbreviated cr) is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to ten million (10,000,000; 107), or 100 lakh. It is widely used in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. It was 500,000 in the now-obsolete Persian number system. // Large money amounts in India are often written in the form "Rs/ 23 cr", that is, 23,00,00,000 rupees (230,000,000 in Western notation). Although lakhs are used in Sri Lanka, most Sri Lankans do not use the term crore when referring to money. // The word is used in the Indian title of the popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, literally Who will become the owner of ten million? (wikipedia)

• • •

Not my fastest Saturday ever, but within 30 seconds or so. Seems an easy puzzle, assuming you remember and can spell Banda ACEH (47A: Banda ___ (2004 tsunami site)), because if you can't, lord help you with that "C," because CRORE looks like a word someone magically willed into existence to get the grid to work (sorry, 1 billion Indian people, but come on) (48D: 10 million rupees). I was still in grad school the last time this word appeared in the NYT (1998). Anyway, dodged the bullet by being 95% sure that ACEH was spelled with a "C." The rest of the puzzle, especially the top and bottom, were a cakewalk. 15s always look daunting, and almost always aren't. Throw a few short answers across them, and they break like balsa. Now, some of those short answers were utterly unhelpful (ITEA? Do they sell kettles that you have to put together yourself?) (54D: Willow variety). But a lot of the others came without much effort, and all the 15s are familiar phrases (though OARS is not the word I'd put at the end of that expression if I had to say it—makes me want to say "Uh, I think you misheard. It's REST ON ONE'S LAURELS." But I'm sure OARS is valid) (18A: Stops striving).

Really love OCTOBER SURPRISE (49A: Bombshell revealed shortly before Election Day), and think the batch of 15s at the bottom is pretty lovely overall. Sadly, I am forced to believe that Olive OYL had a family of OYLS (52D: Olive kin), that CLARinet (50D: Woodwind instr.) is too long for someone to write out, and, yeah, ITEA and CRORE you've met. Sacrifices must be made. To be fair, I have only five answers singled out for "WTF?" status— ITEA, BHA (45A: Food preservative, briefly), CLAR, OYLS, and CRORE. Oh, I really should add DEONS (7D: Actor Richmond and singer Jackson), as I was convinced that no single human could have such a name. Two people? "Famous" people? DEION and DION and DIONNE want to know what their parents were smoking.

Got started with the easy ESTS. (3D: Rough figs.), and another gimme, ELROY (6D: Football Hall-of-Famer Hirsch) (I used him as a clue in a puzzle I made last year; his nickname is "Crazy Legs"). This meant 19A: With 12-Down, turns down had to be SAYS something ... but I didn't know what. Big break came when I put down AVIA (another gimme; 13D: Reebok rival) and ERNS (15D: Kite relatives) (three-letter raptor = only ERN, as far as I know). From the "V" and "R" I got HOSTILE TAKEOVER and was off to the races (16A: Merger alternative).

Had a moment of panic when I couldn't remember the consonant that started DNIESTER (27A: Ukraine/Moldova border river) and had no idea what 27D: Tony Randall title role could be getting at (DR. LAO). No idea how I know that latter answer, but it was lurking around the recesses of my brain somewhere. Managed to guess ARFED straight off (46D: Issued pound notes?), and with the "F" from ARFED and the "V" from (easy) Coq AU VIN, PLAYED FAVORITES (57A: Didn't judge a group fairly) couldn't hide for long. So the grid looks, from where I'm sitting, like a pretty easy romp with two possibly lethal intersections: ACEH/CRORE and DNIESTER/DR.LAO — odd names intersecting at not easily inferrable consonants.

Bullets:
• 39A: Pizza joint in "Do the Right Thing" (SAL'S) — gimme. Really important movie-going experience of my young adult life. Pretty sure the movie is responsible for my beginning to listen to rap, to think about movies as (potentially) art, etc.

• 24D: "___ your hearts faint": Deuteronomy 20:3 ("LET NOT") — partials are not normally more than five letters.
• 31D: Symbol of St. Barnabas, whose saint day comes at hay harvesting time (RAKE) — my first answer: BALE.
• 43D: 1677 Racine tragedy ("PHÈDRE") — read it in high school. Thanks, Mr. Cardella.
• 53D: Japanese Peace Nobelist of 1974 (SATO) — one of those 4-letter names it's Really useful to commit to memory, and yet somehow I never do.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

ArtLvr

Yes, very nice 4-stacks, Mr. Krozel, but that pesky square number 48 did me in. C was my second choice. At least I knew the Racine et al.

Dire announcement from the NY State University at Albany yesterday: TOTAL termination of the Departments of Classics, Drama, French, German, Italian and Russian. I bARFED...

∑;(

SethG

ETRE? Who knew?

Oh, one did. One has no itea, I mean idea, how one got the h. If you read PHÈDRE in high school, that implies that it's some French Lit thing and not a bizarro name for a fire that ripped through south-eastern Wisconsin 20 years before the Europeans arrived, which was my best guess. And BHA?

Add in the C one wasn't sure about either, I was pretty surprised to be correct when I finished. Pretty amazing quad stacks, but the yucky stuff to make it work was pretty yucky indeed.

Doug

On Wisconsin! Elroy was our athletic director when I started at UW in 1981, and he was the biggest character on campus.

Clobbered the top and ACEH was a gimmee, but BHA, PHEDRE, CRORE, ITEA and ESTHer did me in and the bottom didn't come together. OYLS: Excellent clue!

r.alphbunker

I had to google phadre to get the h and my wife knew crore to give me the c. Otherwise I was in control.

Borges' Library of Babel comes to mind. Is there a crossword puzzle book in it with a 15x15 that has 30 interlocking 15s? Or better yet a 15x15 with one black square in the center where the theme answers are the 4 shortest answers?

chefwen

Finished,but not without a struggle, Dr. Google helped me out with a few unknowns and part time puzzle mate (after stating that I hadn't done a thing, as usual) filled in a couple of holes. Got the top half pretty handily but the bottom gave me more of a challenge.

Minor cheating aside, I'm going to call this one a victory, unlike my run in with BEQ yesterday.

dls

CRORE was a gimme for me -- I've been to India a couple of times, and the word really is quite common there (you can't miss it if you read the newspaper). Learned it then, and have been waiting for it to show up in a crossword ever since.

One of my fastest Saturdays ever if you allow me to ignore six squares -- the last two in GEST and DRLAO and the first two in PHEDRE (even though for some reason I wanted SALS right from the beginning). Convinced myself of that plus TOETAP, and then could not nail the H in BHA/PHEDRE

Otho

[Stops pimping] RESTS ON ONES OARS

I RIPSAWED through this one.

Detroit Michigan was probably the most ANTI-PROHIBITION city in America. It had 25,000 "blind pigs" (speakeasys). The Detroit River made it simple to smuggle booze from Windsor Ontario.

Clark

Had 'leveraged buy-out' for a while up top, thinking it wasn't really a good answer, cause it would be hard to do an actual LBO without a merger of some entities somewhere in the deal . . . Where was I. Oh yea, the puzzle. I got a few downs to work with that which really sent me down the wrong path. Eventually wiped the whole top out. Semi-puzzle partner helped me out and we got the whole thing filled in (though we guessed wrong on the C).

(Semi-puzzle partner to @Chefwen -- I miss you and your wonderful cooking.) I'll second that.

The Hag

Easy? Sez you! This was the toughest for me in, like, a month - which is why I enjoyed it. O.k., it wasn't the most brain-busteriest puzzle ever, but I'd give it a solid 8 on the Mohs scale. The 15s weren't bad, but the WNW was a bear for me despite the fact that I have seen both "Do the Right Thing" and "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao" (note to latter: please stop taking up space in my brain.)

Wow! A crore would buy a lot of equipment upgrades in Hyrule!

- gone fishing <3<3<3<3

VaBeach puzzler

Wish I could saw that I RIPSAWED through this but I stalled in the midwest, thrown off by stubbornly sticking to DEED for GEST (33D). Loved 38D VICEPRES for firm cheese. Neat puzzle. But glad I didn't even check out the southern fill swill.

Vega

Pompously amused that many people don't know "crore." Me, I thought the river was Mneister and his role was Mr. Lao. Otherwise, smooth sailing and I kept looking at everything I'd filled out so quickly and being really impressed with myself. Several good guesses, though (like that "H" everyone keeps talking about).

Happy long weekend, everyone!

glimmerglass

Scary-looking, but not as hard as I at first feared. The 15-wides had vague definitions, but just a few down crosses began ringing bells. Guessed the C at square 48. No idea about the Indian money, but somehow the tsunami island stuck enough in my attic to produce a correct guess. My last square was the H in PHEDRE. I was running the alphabet (no clue about the preservative) and when I got to H, "Oh, THAT Racine."

Vega

Well, THAT was US-centric of me ("long weekend"). Sorry.

The Corgi of Mystery

I might have said this before, but I wasn't a fan of puzzles with triple-stacked 15s at the top and bottom, and I don't think I'm going to be a fan of quad stacks top and bottom either, now that they're coming into vogue. As Rex said, nothing inherently wrong with this puzzle...just prefer a 66/68 word Quarfoot or Karen Tracey any day over this particular type of themeless.

Ben

Didn't find it as easy as you did, but far from impossible. CRORE-ACEH was a Natick for me (wanted PRORE, felt more Indian, but APEH seemed wrong). DRLAO seemed more correct than his dad, MRLAO, but DNIESTER is a word only a siester could love.

The occasionally iffy short fill was obviously there to accommodate the two quad-15s. Compare Kevin Der's NYT puzzle from 2-12-10; despite quad-stacks at the top and bottom he somehow managed to keep the short fill pretty clean.

Nice work, Mr. Krozel.

KooKooKaChoo

@artlvr Also, no theater dept. Hardly qualifies as a university anymore. My kids middle school does better than that....*sigh*

@otho heh heh....NOW I get it.

(This is to say, I got nowhere w/ this one. Conniptions just looking at the grid. See you Sunday.)

Leslie

Yep, not easy for me either. I'm amazed at all the commenters who got square 48 with no problem. I guessed, and guessed wrong. Cheated by looking in the Bible for the book before Job, and by asking my husband what "Crazy-Legs" Hirsch's real first name was. The only gimmes for me were SAL'S, DR. LAO, and ETRE. Other than those, I was slogging.

But that's okay--Saturdays are supposed to be like that!!

Bob Kerfuffle

Bravo, Joe!

hazel

tough tough tough. DNF. who cares? Braves win!

6 letter word for hero? ANKIEL

PuzzleNut

Am starting to get the hang of these 15 stacks. Like Rex said, once you get over your fear, the 15's are usually not too bad. Pretty easy overall for me, with the exception of ACEH. Wanted the firm cheese to be VIP something, but when that was ruled out by the C, I went back to thinking it was some literal kind of cheese (VIC AND ED, short for Victoria and Edward). With my brain stuck on the VIC parsing, the only thing I could think of for ?PRES was APRES. CRORE was completely out of my league and I guessed D for ADAH, which is at least a word that I have tucked awaqy for situations like this. And DRORE seemed like it could be related to DHORE, which sounds Indian (but further checking shows it is not). Had the same experience with DRLAO as others. Wanted FELIX at first and then DRLAO seemed to come out of nowhere.
REST ON ONES OARS seemed fine to me. Reminds me of my childhood canoeing adventures where the guy in the front did most of the paddling because the one in the back was always taking a break.

mac

Thanks Krozzie, enjoyable puzzle.
Aceh/Crore was a natick for me, and the West was the last to fall. Went gest - feat - back to gest, had Felix helped by the L of Elbe.... anyway, it wasn't pretty over there.

I liked some of the clues especially, like 38D 18A, but was stumped for a while with "met a body".

Indian Summer in Connecticut!

JenCT

Funny, unlike others, I breezed through the bottom but had trouble up top.

Challenging for me.

ArtLvr

p.s. -- This was a 15 x 16 puzzle... Did anyone notice? Amazing construction, I say again. Kudos to Joe Krozel!

∑;)

Rex Parker

@hazel,

All I think of when I see Ankiel's name: HGH.

Rex Parker

And puzzle is *less* amazing for being 15x16. As many have said, Der pulled off quad stacks *better* with a regular old 15x15 grid.

foodie

I like how @Chefwen put it-- minor cheating was involved. And the area was the same as @mac, where FELIX should have been.

PHEDRE and ETRE were my gimmes. I figure I am the exact complement of @SethG.

Since I am not good enough to really judge a Saturday's difficulty, and since minor cheating is often involved, my subjective assessment is based on the following question: Would I have figured it out in a million years? If the answer is YES, then it was not too hard. Based on this highly scientific criterion, this was on the easy side, and way easier than the first glance at the grid suggests.

Crazy Legs

What I liked: all those lovely 15's and a couple of nice 11's; all of which are real words and phrases and none of which are song titles, movie titles, etc.

What I didn't like: the two crosses much commented upon here. Obscure food initials and a 333 year old French title. Part of an obscure Asian name that was in the news 6 years ago and an impossible Asian unit. Somehow PHEDRE and the C in ACEH emerged from the dim recesses of memory, but now my head hurts.

Favorite clue: Olive kin.

hazel

@Rex. That makes me sad. That guy's been through an awful lot, and to boil him down to the one-d HGH label - especially after last night's McCovey Cove heroics - it just makes me sad. You're harshing my buzz.

Of course I was a defender of Floyd Landis (Tyler Hamilton too) for far too long so I can't absolutely rule out the fact that my Pollyanna gene is expressing itself now....

Rex Parker

Until people stop foaming at the mouth over Barry Bonds, I am thrilled to harsh buzzes all I can. I love Manny Ramirez, for instance, so I harsh my own buzz a lot.

rp

chaos1

As an "Old Salt", I am familiar with the "Rest Your Oars Sailor" variation at 18A. Someone usually mutters it at a Naval funereal, and I've seen it in obits as well.

GRRRR ! Hate it, when I miss the Thurs. Fri. Sat. trifecta by one letter, but knew I was in trouble when I saw Mr. Krozel's name at the top.

I actually blew through this puzzle pretty fast, until I came to the two Naticks in the south. I had to guess at the H in PHEDRE. I vaguely had PHAEDRA in the back of my mind, so that guess worked out. Still don't know what BHA is short for ? Maybe I'll go look it up.

As to CRORE, I went with DRORE, because I couldn't remember the tsunami strike place. ADEH just looked better, and I had no clue anyway.

Excellent puzzle. I would expect nothing less from Joe and Will.

Tinbeni

WOW! Looked at the eight 15's and almost punted. Then they turn out to be almost gimmies.

ANTI-PROHIBITION, well maybe I am and maybe I'm not. lol

@Hazel, wonderful finish last night.
Rex is just upset his Red Sox OCTOBER SURPRISE was early Tee-times.

Babe Ruth

My HGH was Hot Dogs.

Anonymous

BHA = Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are added to many foods to prevent fat spoilage. Now, that 's something I want to see on my food's ingredients list. Yummy!

Ulrich

@foodie: I have the same criterion (yes, soul mate!) for Fridays and Saturdays. But what do you call it when all goes well except for one unsolvable square, like 48 was for me, too, today? Can one lousy letter turn an "easy" into a "difficult"--seems not fair...

hazel

Well, this is an incredibly complicated subject, but in closing, I will just add that - for me, there is a big difference between those who admit they did it (Ankiel, Pettitte, etc.) and those who continue to deny it regardless of the alleged evidence (Bonds, Clemens).

Those who admit their transgressions and/or pay their debt (like Manny) get a second chance to be liked by me!

Mel Ott

Continuing the OT conversation: all of the performance-enhancing druggies should be banned for life, as were the great Pete Rose for betting on baseball and the great Shoeless Joe for taking money from gamblers. It goes to the competitive integrity of the wonderful game of baseball. As a banner from the Barry era put it: the Babe did it on hot dogs and beer and Henry Aaron did it with class.

End of pontification.

Rex Parker

I apologize for violating my own rule and pulling discussion off-topic. If we can get back, that would be great.

Thx,
rp

Jim

Surprised to see ACEH cause so many problems. It was my first fill, and I clung to it like my 3rd grade school spelling bee championship. I'll take current events, Alex, over literature ANY DAY!

East was good, liked the ambitious double quad-15s, though bottom was better. West, as it is said...was a mess. Don't know GEST, had oNIESTER, wanted oRLAf, etc. Besides, TOETAP is hardly a technique. It's more of an attempt to appear to be doing something, when in fact it suggests the opposite (see: the white-man lip bite).

Overall, did enjoy myself. Thanks, Mr Krozel.

No dice for me. Three crossin' nat-tick paths did me dirt. Most of 'em have already been mentioned above, so won't rehash the mayhem. Puz put up a nasty, but fair fight, otherwise.

I guess two stacks of 15's are impressive . . . if you don't care about the GnU counts gettin' hammered. Puz did have yer two K's and yer one W. Excitin'.

My Twins are down to their last silver bullet. Would be kinda funny if they took 2 in NY, tho.

archaeoprof

I'm with @Foodie and @Ulrich today. Sailed through everything until I hit that one square.

Glad to hear baseball fans talking about something other than the Reds' disastrous collapse last night...

CoffeeLvr

Almost set this one aside, scared off by the long stacks! DNF, again. All the squares were filled, one error left after use of Bible, Joy of Cooking, globe, dictionary, and one damn Google (for Dr. Lao.)

Mandatory positive comment - liked anti-prohibition, October surprise, crossed one's path.

Nuff said. Cannot believe I stared at a partly filled 58A, when I, myself, took one.

crumbr

ACEH was a cinch for me as it is an important an recurring name in Sumatran coffee, particularly recently. Keep it in mind for puzzles and your coffee enjoyment.

I'm certainly not bragging though since it was one of my only gimmees. Not a Saturday solver yet.

joho

I started off fast filling in HOSTILETAKEOVER first literally in seconds. The top fell faster than usual for a Saturday.

I can't believe I didn't remember OCTOBERSURPRISE. My answer was OCTOBERPUMPRISE. What?! Clearly I didn't know CRORE, now that's what I call a SURPRISE!

Not a perfect finish but I enjoyed the solve anyway and congratulate Joe K. for all those long stacks.

@archaeoprof ... our power went out last night when the Reds were leading and we really thought we were missing something. Sorry to say we did not.

@masked and anonymous ... it looks like I'll be doing the flags for a golf charity event for Harmon Killebrew!

JaxInL.A.

Got ACEH right away, but like @SethG could not imagine what pre-European Wisconsin tragedy could possibly be puzzle-worthy. Anyway, when I did my theatre major we performed Phaedra, not PHEDRE. Hated missing this.

Not my favorite kind of puzzle b/c it's really two big blocks with tenuous connections to some connectors in the middle. Cluing Quibbles:
--Soyons/ETRE--conjugations of irregular French verbs? Really?
--Shouldn't 1D "not just brown" be charred, not char?

Cluing complaint: ITEA, the Virginia Sweetspire, is a flowering shrub related to the currant plant. I can't find anything that says it's a member of the Salix (willow) family any closer than both being members of the plant kingdom.

Laugh of the day: Must have stared at answer to "Issued pound notes" (ARFED) for a full minute. Tried to make it some British equivalent of our Federal Reserve.

fergus

I felt a bit like the Slumdog Millionaire doing this one. Everything obscure I just happened to know ... like being marooned in Dresden when the Czechs decided I was an worthy visitor to their country, or spending a couple of years transforming international financial statements.

The use of the subjunctive on ETRE was proper Saturday level, but most of the long Acrosses were too literally Clued to deliver much satisfaction. As Rex says, those stacks usually turn out fairly readily after the initial scare, so I think WS could have worked more Clues like Drive to drink? into the puzzle.

Martin

Yes, Itea is a saxifrage not a willow botanically. But a common name is Virginia willow and for non-technical usage you'll be hard-pressed to legislate that the Virgina willow must not be called a kind of willow. "Itea" is the Greek word for willow, by the way.

CoffeeLvr

@JaxInLA, brown is used as a verb in recipes, such as, brown the fish (which was dipped in cornmeal batter) until a golden crust forms. Yum.

@joho ...Killebrew was a true slugger. Got to see him play once at Arrowhead Stadium. THX for the recollection. Do him some good flags.

BTW, Joe Mauer is due tonight. My pick to click. M&A

Noticed in a write-up at WordplayBlog that the constructor says you've hit a home run, if you get all but two or three letters in his puz today. Made me feel mucho better havin' 3 bloops; have stopped poutin' and am headed outside to play. . .

Van55

For me the quad stacks were pretty impressive, but pretty easy. That said, look at the sacrifices that had to be made: ESTS and ESTH in the same grid. NOTO, MEOR, ARFED and ITEA.

CRORE/ACEH is borderline unfair. TOAT is ugly, as is ITOR.

I had a DNF due to the C in ACEH.

Didn't care for the puzzle over all.

sanfranman59

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 5:46, 6:57, 0.83, 1%, Easy
Tue 8:41, 8:55, 0.97, 50%, Medium
Wed 9:57, 11:37, 0.86, 20%, Easy
Thu 16:39, 19:05, 0.87, 29%, Easy-Medium
Fri 23:34, 26:15, 0.90, 33%, Easy-Medium
Sat 25:51, 30:40, 0.84, 16%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:16, 3:43, 0.88, 3%, Easy
Tue 4:37, 4:36, 1.00, 57%, Medium
Wed 4:47, 5:44, 0.83, 11%, Easy
Thu 8:01, 9:09, 0.88, 33%, Easy-Medium
Fri 11:10, 12:47, 0.87, 26%, Easy-Medium
Sat 14:09, 17:32, 0.81, 13%, Easy

So ends an easy week in NYT Puzzleland. Only Tuesday's puzzle put up more than nominal resistance.

JaxInL.A.

@Shrub5, thanks for the advice on Thursday to set up a profile. I have a Google acct, but it seems that I had to sign up for Blogger as well in order to post more easily here. Way behind the curve here, yet I feel like a cyber pioneer. Next I might even try to add a picture. Daring, huh?

JaxInL.A.

More gratitude:
@CoffeeLvr: thanks for the brown/char explanation (didn't think of it as a verb related to cooking).

@SteveJ: thanks for the explanation on Thurs of the yogh symbol in that day's puzzle. I had no idea there were once letters in Old English that we don't use anymore.

Commenters here are both generous and erudite.

michael

Got all but the same letter lots of other people missed. But not at all easy for me (even considering that it is Saturday). Dniester soyons aceh crore rest on one's oars

Rube

My problem in the midwest was thinking that GEST was spelled Geste, as in the movie, book, and a jillion references in Google spell it. Is this some French thing I don't understand?

Also, got stuck with DNIEppER for way too long. Now find out I had misspelled it. Looked good at the time.

It always feels good to get a Saturday puzzle! Now I have to do a Sat puzz in a reasonable lenght of time.

Rube
This comment has been removed by the author.
dk

8:45PM and it seems it will be NY 1,2,3. My neighbors are not speaking to me as I sit outside (its 75 here in Southern MN) squawking like ERNS.

Whoops, I thought this was Rex's baseball blog.

I cheated to get the 27s and cruised (slowly) thru the rest. EASEONONESOARS troubled me until I realized the last word was OARS not soars - insert heavy sigh about here.

*** (3 Stars) A fine Saturday puzzle. It was a flippin 86 degrees here today

foodie

@Rube, I agree GEST does seem misspelled, and I don't believe it's a French thing. You can find a lot of GEST in French google, but it's as an abbreviation, or a name, etc. But if you look for a French definition of GEST, it finds none and refers you to GESTe. So, I say it's an English thing : )

@JaxInL.A., I do remember how exciting it was to sign up and then decide on an avatar! Of course I've loved strawberries all along, but now they have a really special place- I am one! It's very interesting to see what people choose to represent them, but also how willing they are to change their Avatars. I think Rex's is fabulous and I'd be so confused if he ever changed it.

Martin

Gest[e] is Anglo-French from the Latin gerere (to bear). A hero "bears" deeds and a jester tells of (and mocks) them. Other English words with the same root include "belligerent" (bear war), "congest," "digest, "egest," "gerund," "gestation", "gesture," "register" and "suggest."

andrea clar michaels

too late to say pretty amazed at the two sets of four 15s??? Even if it's been done before, non 15x16, holy jesus!

The three ONES could have worked if they were the first, last (as they were) and maybe smack across the middle...
so many generic phrases have ONES somethingorother in them, it seems forgivable...

And LETNOT I liked bec I'm all for six letter + partials, esp if they sound like phrases...and even seven if it had been LETSNOT.
I've never understood the 5 letter cap on partials...and LETNOT was better than yesterday's TAKEA.

My Natick was DRrAO/ErBE...I can never remember those rivers, and yes, FELIX was the first thing I put in!

UFW was my WTF...but in the light of day I realize it must just be United Farm Workers.

No one else wanted VICEPREz?
And CLAR looks totally made up, but I still can't even figure out how folks make two stacks of 15s...

@Martin
Thanks for the ITEA translation. Still chuckling at @Rex's: "(ITEA? Do they sell kettles that you have to put together yourself?)"

(I will be very happy when all this baseball stuff is over...even an engagement party (oddly combined with a celebration of a guy getting off death row) was cut in two by half the guests upstairs ignoring the celebrants and watching "the game" and breathlessly reporting "They are 4-0!", "They are now 4-1!" "It's tied!" "They are in overtime"... every few minutes to those of us downstairs who could have cared less!)

Tim Kreider

Olive Oyl does indeed have a large number of relatives: Nana (mother), Cole (father), Castor (brother), Cylinda (sister-in-law), as well as Otto and Lubry Kent (uncles). I am making none of this up.

Dave in Seattle

A very fast Saturday for me, under 45 minutes! First thing I put in the grid was OCTOBERSURPRISE and most of the South fell in minutes. The North took a little longer mainly because I couldn't remember ELROY, wanted ELMER for way too long, and I couldn't get RAISA out of my head. Thought TOETAP was too easy so had THEDRE at 43D thinking maybe that's where Dr Dre got his stage name, rappers reading old french literature who knew?

NotalwaysrightBill

Syndicated paper puzzler.

Not at all easy for me, will not be challenging Rex for King of Crosswords any time soon.
This one is an example of why I didn't do the NYT xwords for years: too many foreign conjugations of abbreviations of obscure ancient pop culture history, crossed by all that in reverse, etc. Even after reading all the commentary, I still don't get (never heard of, anyway) "Turns down"=SAYS-GOFLAT.

Strange to say that I got CRORE, though. Wonder if the stats guy could add up all of the Slum Dog Croreianaire/what are the odds? moments there are in life.

captcha: gyllots: Order FROM Long John Silvers?

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