Animator Don / TUE 11-2-10 / 1972 #2 hit Bill Withers / Fiddler on Roof milkman / Beach resort at entrance to Lagoon of Venice

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: DRESSINGS (57A: What the last words in 16-, 22-, 36- and 48-Across are) — theme answers end with RANCH, RUSSIAN, FRENCH, AND CAESAR, respectively

Word of the Day: Don BLUTH (2D: Animator Don) —

Donald Virgil "Don" Bluth (born September 13, 1937) is an American animator and independent studio owner. He is best known for his departure from the Walt Disney Company in 1979 and his subsequent directing of animated classics such as The Secret of NIMH (1982), An American Tail (1986),The Land Before Time (1988), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), as well as his involvement in the laserdisc game Dragon's Lair. The competition provided by his movies is often credited for forcing the Walt Disney Company to improve from their streak of lackluster film efforts to the films that would make up the Disney Renaissance. (wikipedia)

• • •

Trying to write this while watching the World Series postgame — not easy. Let's see. This took me over 4, which is pretty high for me. Some of that was the fill—neh-ever heard of Don BLUTH, barely heard of RABE (and then only bec. of xwords) (31D: "Streamers" playwright David), know IRON-WILLED way better than IRON-JAWED (32D: Exhibiting fierce determination). The clue on SET meant nothing to me (60D: Word with the longest entry in the O.E.D.), I misspelled AMBIANCE (with an "E") (9D: Atmosphere, as at a restaurant), went with SO AM I over SO DO I (3D: "Same here"). Another big problem was technical. Puzzle seemed to have a lot of longish clues, and my (mostly good) software doesn't display long answers well. They appear as partials until I hover cursor over them ... and I can only make clue box so big. Bah! That said, it's a solid, kind of cool Tuesday. Such a simple theme, I'm surprised it hasn't been done before (maybe it has—not bothering to look it up). Good. YES (66A: Word repeated in a classic "When Harry Met Sally..." scene). That is all.

Theme answers:
  • 16A: Where a cowpuncher may work (DUDE RANCH)
  • 22A: Drink made with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream (WHITE RUSSIAN)
  • 36A: "Sorry if that rude word offended you" ("PARDON MY FRENCH")
  • 48A: Play whence the phrase "the most unkindest cut of all" ("JULIUS CAESAR")
  • 4A: Machine that was often cloned (IBM PC) — something about this phrasing felt odd to me, but I really can't defend that reaction.
  • 33A: Grades in the mid-70s (CEES) — finally finished up the latest batch of exams. More CEES than I would've liked.
  • 53A: Group for young people coping with parental substance abuse (ALATEEN) — never heard of this, but made up a word that felt right, and it was.
  • 62A: "Fiddler on the Roof" milkman (TEVYE) — don't think I knew he was a milkman.
  • 25D: 1972 #2 hit for Bill Withers ("USE ME") [Seems I completely forgot to insert a comment here when I first published ... so why start now? Talk amongst yourselves...]
  • 45D: Told fibs (LIED TO) — don't like this trickery. "LIED" seems the better answer, but if I "told (so and so) fibs" then I LIED TO (so and so). So ... so.
  • 54D: Beach resort at the entrance to the Lagoon of Venice (LIDO) — didn't know it. Guessed it based on Boz Scaggs and the Love Boat's LIDO Deck.

  • 58D: Model Herzigova (EVA) — still haven't committed this EVA to memory. Clue made me think only of Paulina Porizkova ... and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


D_Blackwell 12:19 AM  

"More CEES than I would've liked."

Surely there subtle deductions available that will let you mark them down a bit more.? Come back to it.

Missed on the TUVY? dart. A, E, or I, but surely not O. I wanted the E and thought that SAT and SIT would split the vote for E to walk away with it. But, I was profiling and the A looked more Russian so I put it down.

John V 12:21 AM  

Greetings from SFO, unusal for me. Congrats,Giants!

Only pause for me was 49D, UNRep.

First time on Accros Lite in ages -- normally a dead tree, New Haven Railroad solver. Took me longer with Across Lite; not as compfortable putting in tentive answers as with me trusty pencil.

Fun puz, lovin' the Boz Scaggs taking me back to my yoot.

Hodding 12:23 AM  

So, who thinks they're God in 1D, for only he can BEDEW: BEQ, Will, the grass, or was it supposed to be me?
Gotta go with Ulysses for YES: I put my arms around him yes and
drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Tobias Duncan 12:23 AM  

Glad this got the medium challenging rating as it took me way to long for a tuesday. I am not sure why I knew the SET clue so easily. I think it might have been in "Trivial Pursuits" in the 80s.

Rube 12:31 AM  

First, as @CCL said, Giants Rule!

Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything in the puzzle that can be even remotely related to the Giants' win. Well, maybe IRONJAWED. Hey, how about ENTS as in the trees from Lord of the Rings... Giant Redwoods.

Only writeover was EcCo/EKkO/EKCO. Don't have any of this junk in our kitchen anymore. Mostly Oxo these days. Had a close call at 65A, OPART, where I think the clue is much too obscure for Tuesday. Never heard of ALATEEN before, but it sounded about right.

Saw Inglourious Basterds via Netflix awhile back, and was not impressed. Thought the original was much better.

All in all, thought this was a pretty good Wednesday puzzle. My only complaint would be UNREP... pretty lame.

Yeah Giants! Cubbies, it's now your turn.

Falconer 1:12 AM  

If those Giants can win, then everything we think we know about constructing baseball teams has to be thrown out the window. Because outside of good starting pitchers, that was a very weird team. But they came together, and for once you would have to say the manager must have played a big role.

Thought this puzzle was hard for a Tuesday, w/ Alateen, the Shakespeare quote and the trickery of Lied To.

Yet I give it 5 stars because in the end it felt fresh, minimal xwordese, and clever stuff like the CEES clue, Sweat spot -- and any puzzle w/ Lindsey Vonn starts w/ 4 stars anyway.

Nice going, BEQ.

andrea close the door I'm dressing michaels 2:58 AM  

This is a perfect example of a Tuesday, as per discussion yesterday.
Smooth, straight forward, also-surprised-if-it-hasn't-been-done theme, with tons of fill that "popped":
TARANTINO, ALATEEN (also new to me),

But that NW was a killer for me...
Didn't know BEDEW or BLUTH (thanks for the WOD on that) and 3D I had METOO, then DITTO and even contemplated MOIAUSSI as some sort of rebus!!!!!

Loved the definition for PENPAL making me wonder if that really was the reason it is called that?

I assume KIWI and SANDY is a shout out to Rex's beloved wife...

PARDONMYFRENCH was the first theme answer I got and I thought, poor @seth! I honestly thought that was the theme, bec among the first things I filled in were IDEE, CINQ and TANTES!

Interesting that there are companies EKCO and ECKO (Clothing)

I misspelled TEVYa! :(
SO I marvelled that SaT was the most common entry in the OED!
But it helped me change isR to SYR.

And I didn't even realize that it wasn't Paula Porzikova, (I just wondered if EVA was her sister) till I read Rex's blog.

Mostly I liked the unexpected abbreviations: BBS , IBMPC, UNREP, FDIC...but it made it hard for me.

Actually everything is hard for's midnight and there is a lot of screaming outside my windows, people being chased by giants or something.

Didn't realize this is the first time SF has ever ever won, but "Go Giants" seems to be the new "Heil Hitler"
(in that you have to greet everyone with it whether you are in the party or not!)

Evgeny 6:59 AM  

don't know if it helps to commit the second E in TEVYE to the memory, but it's not a Russian name. Aleichem's tales are pretty much about Tevye Not being a Russian and struggling to keep up his Jewish cultural tradition.

Nancy in PA 7:58 AM  

Liked this puzzle a lot. IRONJAWED brought to mind 'Iron Jawed Angels,' underappreciated Hilary Swank movie about women's suffrage movement which reminds me why I MUST vote. At every opportunity. (Stepping off soapbox now.)

joho 8:19 AM  

I don't think BLUTH should have showed up in a Tuesday puzzle but since I got him with crosses no big problem.

I thought the theme was as rich and creamy as the answers. If it has been done before it sure didn't taste ... er feel .. like it.

I could see TARANTINO creating an AMBIANCE on the SET perhaps directing a posse of IRONJAWED DEPUTIES.

Liked it a lot ... thank you, BEQ!

David L 8:31 AM  

Didn't notice the constructor's name, but put in OKOK and thought, that's a BEQ kind of a thing.

LIEDTO works if it's a passive construction: He was told fibs; he was lied to... That's a bit sly for a Tuesday, tho.

Stumbled in the mid south -- guessed EVE for the woman's name, then found myself wondering why SEA would have a long dictionary entry and why one might have trouble focusing on OPERA -- because of all the racket from the orchestra, I suppose. But the light dawned after a moment or two.

efrex 8:55 AM  

If I get nothing else from the comments on this blog, the relief of seeing other people having the same mistakes makes it all worthwhile.

Much too many mistakes for a Tuesday puzzle, and too many obscurities (ALATEEN/LIDO/IDEE made the SW corner a complete bear, and the OPART/EVA cross was not at all intuitive). Also, too many foreign words/expressions for my taste. On the plus side, very little "filler" and a very nice theme. OKOK got a smile from me, as did the clue for YES.

Overall, felt more Wednesday-ish for me...

balto 8:56 AM  

I had a good day on this for me -- about 7 minutes -- even though I got proper names from crosses only. I guess that means it's a good puzzle -- if you happen to know Bluth and Rabe, you save time, but definitely doable if you don't.

I'm very happy for the SF Giants -- always good to see that constructing some kind of "team" versus just constructing an all-star team with gobs of dough pays off.


Anonymous 9:02 AM  

We have just witnessed one of the most boring World Series since the mind of man runneth, the cutting of Randy Moss, the huniliation of McNabb, the downfall of Favre and the collapse of the Cowboys, and today we have a chance to push back against those whose have been sticking it to us and I can't thin of a way to use these events to comment on this puzzle. Instead all we get are DRESSINGS....

chefbea 9:03 AM  

Easy Tuesday and of course loved all the dressings.

I too noticed Sandy and Kiwi.

Spelled Tevya wrong and had sat which sort of made sense.

Why is ratio golden???

Orange 9:04 AM  

What? Nobody cares about USE ME? Fine, I'll repeat what I said at my blog. It's one of those songs I knew only from crosswords, until yesterday when the Sirius/XM '70s station played it and I heard it for the first time. That song is great. Who knew?

Speaking of music I know from crosswords, you know how EDDY is usually clued by way of old-time singer Nelson Eddy rather than Eddy Grant of "Electric Avenue" one-hit-wonder fame? Celine Dion named her twin babies Nelson (after Mandela) and Eddy (after her producer). (Apologies if y'all discussed this yesterday.)

The Bard 9:28 AM  

Julius Caesar > Act III, scene II

ANTONY: If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle: I remember
The first time ever Caesar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii:
Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.

glimmerglass 9:29 AM  

Thanks for the Harry/Sally clip. This puzzle was a lot like the Giants, really good pitching and a punch of average Joes. Except for SO DO I, which could have been me too or ditto or probably other things, this was a mixture of really hard proper names and gimmes. Averages "medium," I guess. Good Tuesday puzzle.

jesser 9:38 AM  

Like others, I crossed in to the Natick City Limits at S_T/TEVY_, and I plopped in the a. Poot.

Being that BEQ and I sometimes chat on Facebook, I'd have expected him to give me a little love at 51D by cluing it as "NMSU athlete." He did not. On any other day, this might have ruined me, but I think the election results will eclipse this slight. It'll be a l-o-n-g day in Countyville today...

I am willing to bet money there is a bar in SF called the DUDE RANCH. Just stands to reason. Andrea?

Love Bill Withers. But for a great song that mentions a KODIAK bear, try "God's Own Drunk" by Lord Buckley (frequently performed by Jimmy Buffett).

That's it for me. The polls are open, and it's time to get down to business!

Slubrifi! (Nothing comes to mind.) -- jesser

PanamaRed 9:38 AM  

@Rube - you saw Inglorious Basterds and thought the original was better.

What original? Inglorious Basterds was written by QT - it is the original.

Just curious.

mitchs 9:53 AM  

Always loved the "most unkindest" quote. It reminds me of Red Pollard in the book "Seabiscuit", which is a great story expertly told.

Hand up for a lucky guess on the sEt crossing.

Off topic (sorry) To all Fri/Sat puzzle lovers, please check out Peter Gordon's Fireball. We've gotta keep his puzzles coming!

KooKooKaChoo 9:55 AM  

Election day in the USA! I got Russian (commies!) and Caesar (foreigners!) and French (socialists!) and thought I was getting some kind of political statement. Lied to?!?! You betchya! Tevya, get your tukkas to the polls or quit whining!

But no, just salad dressings.

I guess that about says it all, somehow.

(Loved the puzzle. Did it in a snap, but had "Torantino" for my "moho" shark. (Oh, OK....))

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Last time I looked, putting coffee in the drink mix made it a black russian

r.alphbunker 10:06 AM  

Filled in WHITE RUSSIAN first and thought that the puzzle was on the "The Big Lebowski". If there is anybody who could drop a couple of f-bombs into a puzzle it is BEQ.

ArtLvr 10:06 AM  

Fun puzzle, even if a tad tougher than a usual Tuesday. Laughed at SOHO crossing the end of the OBOE ENDO OHO line, and COHOST running thro' the ELO RATIO MAKO line. LIDO and IAGO were gimmes -- EKCO and CIAO never look right tho.

I also loved the positive votes for polling day, from NODS YES OKOK to SO DO I and SYNCS. Those various DRESSINGS were just icing on the cake, or gateau, especially PARDON MY FRENCH!


John 10:08 AM  

@jesser,....He was a Kodiak looking fella, 'bout 9 feet tall...
Lord Buckley was a strange one, did you ever hear "The Farting Match"?

Very enjoyable puzzle, average tuesday time for me.

Knew ALATEEN because of my friend's substance problem and the effect on his daughter.

fikink 10:11 AM  

BEQ's my fav hipster!
@Hodding, YES, thought of Ulysses too, not that I ever read it - more like a memory of Firesign Theater spoof.
@Rube, Oxo rules; pitched my EKCO stuff too.
@David L, love your "racket from the orchestra" - ha!
@Orange, I usually see EDDY clued with "whirlpool" - maybe I am remembering Maleska era.
Ever the edgy constructor, BEQ brings good crunch to a Tuesday. Thanks, Brendan!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

Very good, solid BEQ!

Well, PARDON MY FRENCH, but is it possible that not Rex nor Andrea nor Orange mentioned that this is a 14 x 15 grid to fit that phrase?!?

Masked and Anonymous 10:19 AM  

14x15 TuesPuz. More feistiness per sq. in. BEQ.

Hmm. I've been TOLD FIBS. I've been LIED TO. Sounds solid to me. QED.

CINQ the QEII. Sounds like an action flick waitin' to be made. Also, PARDONMYFRENCH seems like a good motto for 9 outta 10 NTTPuz's. Includin' this one [see 27A, 24D, 61A, etc.]

Best clue: 18A. "Sweat spot." Runner-up: 63A. "Game cube." Best video evoked off a clue in quite some time: 66A. Way cool stuff for a TuesPuz.

Better clue for 35A. "Word for the left in Italy?" . . . hmm. Well, maybe not. Best to leave these things to the experts. Do not try this at home, M&A.

Puz is a Q-T. Thuuuumbs up, Brendan.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

@KKKC, and when you got RANCH I bet you thought GWB was still running, bUt no he was sitting there last night watching his team lose. So you think maybe since the liberals from SF beat the conservatives from Texas, that was an omen for today's results? YES? SODOI? OK OK? You've been LIED TO....

The Hag 10:37 AM  

I have to admit that it took me forever to see the theme. I got hung up on RUSSIAN and FRENCH and was looking for nationalities. In my defense - I'm basically a vinaigrette person.

I'm wearing my 1989 NL Champs t-shirt. My favorite quote came from a WSJ guy - "It's always nice when the weirdest team wins." I concur. Good job, Giants. And Rangers. It was a fun series to watch.

Beadola 10:41 AM  

@Anonymous 10:04 - coffee liqueur, not coffee.
On BEQ's wavelength problems, and lots of fun.
Go SF! (My hometown)

Stan 10:56 AM  

Nice crunchy puzzle. Felt more like croutons than salad dressing.

I had TEVYA but cleverly changed it to TEVYI because I realized 'sat' (past tense) would not be an OED main entry.

Orange 11:06 AM  

@Kerfuffle: Hey, I mentioned the 14x15 dimensions! (But not here.)

oldactor 11:09 AM  

anonymous: Adding cream to a Black Russian makes in a White Russian.

Two Ponies 11:15 AM  

Sit, set, or sat?
Hmmm, eenie meenie miney moe.
Crap, I guessed wrong.
I loved the theme answers esp. Pardon my French.
My biggest WTF was Rabe.
I only know broccoli rabe.
Nice to have a Tuesday with a little meat on its bones (even if it is a salad).

Matthew G. 11:15 AM  

Even after see the answer, I still couldn't make heads or tails of OPART until I tried putting it into and it gave me "op art." Sigh.

Embarrassed to have any wrong squares on a Tuesday, but at least it was a BEQ Tuesday. I had EVe, SEa, and OPeRa for two wrong squares. I was pretty sure all along that "opera" was wrong, but I couldn't see "op art" (I appreciate the irony), while "Eve" and "Sea" seemed like plausible answers for their respective down clues, and I thought maybe the across clue had something to do with opera glasses and box seats.

The rest of the puzzle was fine. I actually knew Don BLUTH from hearing his name repeatedly in trailers as a kid ("A Don Bluth film ..."), though I was never a huge fan. Funny he should show up in the same puzzle with possibly the most overrated director alive today, Quentin TARANTINO, as well as a drink (WHITE RUSSIAN) that always reminds me of my favorite directors (the Coen Bros.).

Sfingi 11:27 AM  

I had all kinds of problems in the NW. Never heard of BLUTH or Vonn (sports), and kept holding on to metOo for SODOI, dEwEd for BEDEW, and dum for BBS.
But finally, I disagree with CEES for the 70s. With grade inflation to keep guys out of the draft, there were too many honor-rollees. An A was a darn-sight harder to achieve in the '60s!

Beyond that, glad to see PENPAY rather than our new pal, PayPAL. and for me, an AGGIE is an agate marble.

I never heard of: Herzigova.

Did like seeing TARANTINO cross CIAO. TARANTINO father Tony, is a guitarist and Sicilian. This fellow apparently skipped out on raising him.

foodie 11:47 AM  

Excellent Tuesday!

@Andrea, I know what you mean re the celebrations. I was in North Carolina in 1993 in the middle of the UNC campus the day that UNC beat the U.of Michigan Fab 5 team. I can still smell that couch they burned under my window. That was painful on so many different levels...

Given that it's election day, and that our fearless leader went to the rally, I thought I'd share a sampling of great signs from the events:

“Stand United Against Signs," “We’re a two-party couple and we still have great sex” , “God hates figs”, "My wife thinks I'm walking the Appalachian Trail," "This sign is heavy", "I hate crowds”, “God hates signs”, “I’m mad as heck”, “Am I too late for the Glenn Beck rally?”, “Only Hitler is Hitler”, “Support the right to arm bears”, “I’m in the Decaf party”, “I don’t know”, “I support the sign I’m holding”, “Anyone for Scrabble later?”, “I Stand 4 Posture”, “I’m an Iraqi-American and I’m afraid to get on a plane with myself”, “Have you seen my keys?”, "I obviously don't work for NPR", “THIS FONT IS BIG”, “Baby carrots might be gay”, “I thought Neil Young was going to be playing”

Masked and Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Thx @foodie . . . funniest posting I've seen in years. Did you take the Scrabble sign holder up on it?

Rube 12:16 PM  

Thanks @Panama Red, I wondered why they were so different.

Don BLUTH was a gimme. My kids must have watched Secret of NIMH a zillion times. I enjoyed it too. Apparently he is credited with forcing Disney out of their doldrums of the 60s & 70s when he started his own animation company.

PuzzleNut 12:56 PM  

Great posting, @foodie. Loved them all.

mac 12:58 PM  

Excellent, fun puzzle! Also think OKOK is BEQ's signature, and Sandy and kiwi were plants.

A good example how crosswordese can help you out: never heard of Bluth, but ELO fixed it for me. Felt unsure about the AE in 48 down, but Rona and QEII had to be it. Great naming, Alateen! I too to change ISR to SYR.

All in all, a really good time this morning. Thanks, B!

JaxInL.A. 1:00 PM  

I could not find an internet recording, but for an ultra-hipster's take on Mark Anthony's oration at JULIUS CAESAR's funeral, check out Lord Buckley's Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger Poppin' Daddies:

Blogger at the rest of my comment and gotta go. Sigh.

Thanks @Nancy in PA for reminding us how much our foremothers sacrificed so we could vote. Women in Switzerland could not vote until the 1970s. Happy election day everyone!

archaeoprof 1:33 PM  

Very strong Tuesday. Thanks, BEQ!

@old actor, et. al.: after I got tenured and promoted I celebrated with black russians and fudge ripple ice cream. Unforgettable!

(on second thought, there's a lot about that night I don't remember...)

treedweller 1:41 PM  

I could not let go of uglI for the green fruit. Would we say an apple is a beige fruit? I think KIWIs are brown. Also had priE fixe and wanted IRONwilled, if anything. Left me stumped in that last corner until I cheated.

ouch. on a Tuesday. But it's BEQ, so that will be my excuse.

I wish some rich friends of mine would give me a small percentage of a multi-million dollar corp. and others would give me credit for total ownership. I still like the Rangers because a.) they are my home team and b.)Nolan Ryan.

jberg 1:49 PM  

"told fibs" = "lied to" works well if it's passive - "I've been told fibs," "I've been lied to." My main trouble was not knowing white russians from black russians.

andrea yes! michaels 2:00 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle
Oh! 14 x 15!!! I never notice! I always give up if a phrase isn't 15 letters, so good to note!
But if it's smaller, than it better be punchier than normal, which of course BEQ is a master at...

Good reasoning about SAT not being a main entry!!! And belatedly, yes, I included HERBCAEN in my failed attempt, but it goes well with TIMKAINE no?
And the giants haven't won since before I was I guess I should try and get more into the spirit of things in time for the parade tomorrow! Maybe I'll hold up one of @foodie's signs!

You gave me/us enough laughs to last into next year. THANK YOU!

sane person 2:16 PM  

more signs.

Aleman 2:29 PM  

Grandma's Hands is another Bill Withers classic.

J 2:58 PM  

Dragon's Lair.

I must have spent $20--fifty cents at a time--to beat that thing. You had to time the moves of the joystick at JUST the right fraction of a second...or the laser disk would kill you.
You learn these things by watching someone else--who's probably a whole lot younger that you--do it.

Rube 3:04 PM  

My last comment about the Giants.

To all you constructors out there: Are you aware that Brian Wilson, (the Giants star closer), is on record, in an interview in the NYT, as wishing that he will someday appear in a NYT crossword puzzle. He would prefer that it be a down as he thinks they are "harder".

(Google: "brian wilson" crossword)

sanfranman59 3:40 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)

Tue 9:47, 8:57, 1.09, 76%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:45, 4:36, 1.03, 63%, Medium-Challenging

@balto/Steve ... while I agree with your sentiment and am thrilled that the Giants won last night, they actually had one of the higher payrolls in MLB this year. At close to $100M, their opening day payroll was 10th in the majors and I'm guessing that by the end of the season it was close to the top 5 with the trades and waiver wire signings they made (according to ESPN, the 6 guys they added were paid over $28M this year). While it's true that about half their pitching staff is homegrown, only two of their primary position players are (Posey and Sandoval). By my count, almost as many players on the hated Yankees active roster were homegrown (9 players) as were the Giants (10 players).

Anonymous 3:45 PM  

@sanfranman59 - If you're going to let little things like facts get in the way of conventional thought about things, you're going to have a hard time in life.

Martin 4:29 PM  

A fifth of that payroll is Zito, who wasn't on the roster.

stix2metunesmiffin 4:41 PM  

I can't believe with all the Hallowe'en we had to endure we're not getting any baseball stuff now. Maybe it's because holidays are fixed dates? looking forward to talking turkey soon, I guess! NW was too silly for a Tuesday. BB guns aren't toys. You'll take your eye out! Cap guns are toys.

Sparky 4:58 PM  

Enjoy BEQ puzzles. 1A and D gave me pause. Got RSSIAN and CAESAR but still in a fog. Thinking of Kaluha. I used to slurp Gin Martinis. Can't stand these sweet things. Knew ALAnon not TEEN. Had Prix fixe. But as often with BEQ I chip away and it reveals. Good run for the money. Finally couldn't figure O Part--somethinglike an f Stop? Came to here-Doh!

Bob Kerfuffle 5:17 PM  

@Orange/Amy, 11:06 AM - I apologize for seeming to suggest that you had not taken notice of the 14 x 15 grid. (But, you do agree that you hadn't mentioned it here!)

I usually do the puzzle, review it to see if there is anything at all to comment on, and come to Rex's blog. Most of the time Rex or some commenter has already made my intended point, and I am left to simply say "Amen." So I rush to read through all the comments, which I try to do faithfully, in case I have the chance to make my point before anyone else. Going to your or other blogs before coming here would only cause my rose to stale further.

So, no offense intended.

(I do faithfully read joon's write-up of Matt Gaffney's contest every Tuesday at your site!)

snowmaiden 5:38 PM  

to ChefBea:

Golden RATIO, as in Golden Mean.

Anonymous 6:10 PM  

My toy gunshot was caps but that didn't work. The Utah White Russian must be different from the New York version. Ours is Kahlua, Vodka, Cream over ice. Either is good. Tevye and Tovar weren't to far apart. But opart? Where's the hyphen used in op-art. All in all this puzzle was fun. Thanks

Matthew G. 6:17 PM  


Kahlua _is_ coffee liquer. It's just the most popular brand of a type of liquer. So it's the same drink in Utah and on the East Coast.

Sfingi 8:43 PM  

I just got dumped on a 503 and a 404.

The only way I can get likker down is in a milk shake. We once had a restaurant called S Kickers which served any mixed drink as a milk shake. It's now a NYS Troopers' headquarters.

@Rube - I like any kitchen junk that's blue or yellow. I don't cook.

I hope by original you don't mean the outcome. WWII generated it's share of cinema, but I'd give it all up for an Ingloious Basterds ending.

Van55 9:07 PM  

22 proper nouns today. Relatvely obscure ones made this quite challenging for a Tuesday: BLUTH, RABE, TEVYE, QEII, EKCO, e.g.

As with most BEQ puzzles, this one was clever, droll, original and great fun to work through.

retired_chemist 10:38 PM  

Didn't find it more than medium. Helped that I remembered TEVYE and EKCO.

retired_chemist 10:55 PM  

addendum: after WHITE RUSSIAN and PARDON MY FRENCH, I briefly tried COUNTRIES at 57A. Didn't exactly fit the def., but still.... Ruled it out rather quickly.

foodie 10:59 PM  

@Retired Chemist,have you been gone? or is it my mind that's gone? I recall thinking we needed you for a couple of chemistry clues/answers and feeling like I had not seen you in a while.

Anyhow, welcome back (at least into my consciousness...)

Aaron 4:13 AM  

I do the Times puzzle in the IHT. They had the gall to run this puzzle as a 15X15, adding an extra row on the right with three arbitrary clue number: 13,34, and 57!
There oughta be a law!!

joecab 2:13 PM  

It's too bad people didn't know of Don Bluth. I spent so much money playing Dragon's Lair and Space Ace in the arcades as a kid that I coulda been a millionaire if I saved all those quarters. When Disney Animation was at its lowest ebb in the 1970's and Don up and left with a bunch of people to strike out on their own to bring quality back, it was a huge deal.

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

Crummy puzzle for a Tuesday and we thought we were Soo.. smart yesterday; Lots of bizarre (either you know it or you don't) fill

Randy Chong 2:57 PM  

I made all the aforementioned mistakes at 3D "same here". Wanted BAM or POW for toy gun shot. BAM especially "helped" to confirm BEDEW (which was right) and METOO (which was wrong).

I had D----INGS and all the theme answers and really wanted to fill in DEADKINGS, but knew KAT couldn't possibly be the longest O.E.D. entry!

Also, at 33A Grades in the 70's I really wanted JRHS (as in Junior High School) as that is what we called grades 7-9 instead of the current Middle School (grades 6-8/9).

NotalwaysrightBill 8:47 PM  

Syndicated paper solver.

BAA on the SET OPART TEVYE problem. Had SAY, thought OPARY was some kind of special visual effect or something real.

A few too many Latinate terms for my taste, but since the constructor asked so nice, just this once I'll pardon the French.

Guess I get to read all the comments about the election returns from 5 weeks ago tomorrow. Favorite sign from the rally: "Moderate as HELL." We'll see who's able to UNREPresent their point of view and who's prone to go all Marc Anthony.

captcha: idshelly: monster poet's bride's monster?

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