Violin cutouts / THU 11-4-10 / Game item usually seen upside-down / Alley behind bar on TV / Topographical feature formed by underground erosion

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Constructor: Mike Nothnagel

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: NINE [HOLE]S (63A: Quick outing for Tiger Woods ... or what this completed puzzle contains) — a HOLE rebus


Word of the Day: quidnunc (55D: Like a quidnunc=>NOSY) —

n.
A nosy person; a busybody.

[Latin quid nunc?, what now? : quid, what + nunc, now.]

• • •

I am usually a rebus fan, but this one left me a little cold, despite its (impressive!) nine HOLEs. I just got tired of HOLE answers after a while. Not enough variety: Animal + HOLE, body part + HOLE, golf ... that's most of them right there. The best part about the grid was the revealer, NINE [HOLE]S, which is a fine, self-standing phrase *and* a literal description of the theme. Well done. But fill-wise, there just wasn't a lot to love today. Perhaps this is why the clues were "?"d up so much (9 HOLEs, 9 "?" clues)—to add an extra layer of interest or complexity or ... something. I find that when the "?"-clue amount gets above five, I start getting annoyed. There is no need for one, for instance, on the KIRSTIE clue (43D: Alley behind a bar on TV)? They were all fairly transparent, except 35D: Pre-schoolers? (ROE), which is exceptional. Inclusion of a couple long, semi-forced phrases (ACTS NAIVE, IRONED ON) also diminished enjoyment somewhat. It's not a bad puzzle by Any means. Very well executed. I just wasn't feeling it.

What I did like: the DIANA ROSS / SUPREMES connection; the [HOLE] square in the lead-off 1A position (bold!); and OPAQUE, which is just a stellar word (36D: Light-blocking).

Rated this one "Medium-Challenging," but rebuses always skew high, time-wise, so this might come out even tougher than that.

Theme answers:
  • 1A: [HOLE]PUNCH / 1D: [HOLE] CARD (Game item usually seen upside-down)
  • 21A: POT [HOLE]S / 7D: PIN[HOLE]S (Features of homemade cameras)
  • 23A: POST [HOLE] (Fence builder's starting point) / 13D: AIR [HOLE] (Seal's opening?)
  • 44A: [HOLE]-IN-ONE (End of a perfect Sunday drive?) / 31D: RAT [HOLE]
  • 39A: LOOP[HOLE] / 26D: FOX[HOLE] (Below-ground sanctuary)
  • 43A: KNEE [HOLE] / 30D: EAR[HOLE]
  • 64A: F-[HOLE]S (Violin cutouts) / 54D: ARM [HOLE]
  • 65A: SPY [HOLE] / 49D: SINK [HOLE] (Topographical feature formed by underground erosion)
  • 63A: NINE [HOLE]S / 51D: EYE [HOLE]S


The one real sticking point for me was [HOLE] CARD, which I needed every cross to get and still didn't understand for the first few seconds I got it. Then I got it. Despite the fact that I don't play and don't care about poker, I've picked up some terminology during the time between when I see it on my TV and the moment a few seconds later when I grab the remote and change the channel—the [HOLE] CARD is the card in stud poker that the player is not obliged to reveal until the showdown (in today's clue, annoyingly, "upside-down" apparently really means "face down").

Bullets:
  • 15A: Assistant played by Charles Bronson in "House of Wax" (IGOR) — I like when obscure pop culture trivia is presented in easy-to-get form. That way I can enjoy it rather than be annoyed at it. My favorite Charles Bronson movie = "Once Upon a Time in the West" (also my favorite Henry Fonda movie; also one of my favorite movies in general)


  • 38A: They might give each French kisses (AMIS) — got it easily enough, but isn't there a word missing from this clue?
  • 3D: Is of ___ (helps) (USE TO) — Found clue phrasing on this one and the other partial, 12D: Play ___ (perform some songs) (A SET) really awkward.
  • 53D: Role for which Marion Cotillard won a 2007 Best Actress Oscar (PIAF) — the Oscars ceremony that I must have missed completely. Got burned by Ms. Cotillard before in crosswords. Never again.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

74 comments:

Clark 5:40 AM  

I have never figured out the res of a rebus puzzle so easily before. F{HOLE}S gave it to me. Coming from a family of musicians helped. I agree that the HOLE answers got a little boring along the way -- but you can't have everything. Unfortunately I didn't know {HOLE}CARD, and with VET instead of RET I couldn't see where I went wrong. So, that one lousy square gave me a DNF.

@Rex, you are burning the midnight oil! I'm trying to finish my dissertation. What's your excuse?

glimmerglass 7:56 AM  

Unusually easy rebus, which made for an unusually easy Thursday. I think it might have been made more appropriate for a Thursday with answers like T@PIN, W@SOME, S@M, or C@sterol. Not much here at all, though I also liked "Preschoolers?"

Anonymous 8:00 AM  

Totally enjoyed this one.

joho 8:24 AM  

@Rex, thank you for explaining HOLECARD. I was clueless even with the answer in place.

I love a rebus so I was very happy with this puzzle. I especially liked getting a HOLEINONE along with Tiger's quick outing in NINEHOLES as a mini golf theme. The t-shirt you posted, Rex, is very funny.

Thank you, Mike Nothnagel, for a fun Thursday!

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

Rex might have posted a clip from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, members of the Hole-In-The-Wall Gang, or the clip of Byrd's recent ace to win a golf tournament playoff or an image of a black hole (my first thought about blocking light even if it doesn't fit), but, alas, there is The Police song (who remembers them or that song?), or if he posted nothing, that would have left a hole in hia commentary...[groan]....

The Hag 8:40 AM  

I love "?" clues. Unfortunately didn't even see the great one for ROE as I got it on the crosses. Good thing I stopped by here!

Least favorite part: 54D clue "Vest feature". Honestly - any garment you wear above the waist other than a poncho has an armhole. I doesn't matter if it has a sleeve attached or not - still an armhole.

Most favorite part: OXEN/AXON/LIEN cluster. Good clues for easy words. It was the only point that required headscratching and thus my favorite.

KooKooKaChoo 8:42 AM  

Fun fun fun fun fun!!! Loved it. But then, an easy Thursday makes me feel all-powerful. Bring it on, Friday!

I just put black circles in for my holes. @rex's steaming holes put me to shame. Did someone fall down there? Are they smelly? Or eating hot soup?

No matter.

Off to my rainy day.

JayWalker 8:45 AM  

I liked this puzzle quite a lot - but then I tend to like rebus puzzles that don't leave me gasping at the side of the road! Figured this one out faster than normal. Makes for a good Thursday. Also, I too like the "?" feature in puzzles. It allows for some truly inventive and fun answers. Rex: Get some sleep before you turn into a crab!

dk 8:46 AM  

@clark, I empathize. The best advice I got: Its an endurance task.

So many HOLEs so little time. While I normally don't enjoy a rebus I am with @joho on this one. I had some fun thinking off all the different hole clues Mike must have gone through (kind of a pun).

I share @rex's joy over OPAQUE.

MR LEE

Notes on MR LEE

Mr. Lee taught at PS 109. The Barbettes lived on the corner near 100th street, the most violent block in NYC's history. The book "The Hierophant of 100th Street" is about those times. I quote, "Mr. Lee looked like the tv version of Clark Kent. And of course the young girls fantasized aloud about it." The story goes -- One day he raced into the classroom and played "Mr. Lee." It was the # 1 hit in the country. He was so moved by it that he broke down and cried at his desk.

dk 8:48 AM  

Drat, slipping up! Work is the curse of the puzzle class.

**** (4 Stars) At last a rebus I like.

retired_chemist 8:58 AM  
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retired_chemist 9:07 AM  

Two (related) errors: NOT being musical, and remembering as best I could the appearance of a violin, I put S(HOLE)S for 64A. That left a choice of PIAS or PIPS for 53D. Didn't know either (naturally), so chose the one which sounded most like a name. Apologies to Gladys Knight and... well, you know.

The f/s confusion has some precedent of course, most memorably in the old Flanders and Swann song, Greenfleeves. "Greenfleeves - that's a funny name.... for a fong." The pause adds greatly to the humor onstage. OK, you had to be there....

Errors notwithstanding, a fun puzzle.

jesser 9:20 AM  

Despite an error at PIA_/_*S, I freakin' loved this puzzle. I knew the hole in the violin was squiggly, and I don't watch a lot of movies, so I guessed an S. It was a bad guess.

Still. What a romp! I was suspicious at 7D, and my supicions were confirmed at 23A. Once I put in POST*/AIR*, I was off and running.

I loved the cluing throughout, especially at 6D, 35D, 42D, 46A and the reveal. I thought 39D was a bit too cute, but still, very late week.

I have to rush out of here to do radio shows this morning, but before I go, I have this to say to Mr. Nothnagel: "AYE SIR!"

Acksi! (Did you say 'ack', Juan?) -- jesser

jesser 9:20 AM  
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Doug 9:20 AM  

Really liked this puzzle and ROE was the last word I filled in. Didn't realize there were 9 holes until I read Rex. Any rebus I can finish is a good one for me.

ArtLvr 9:22 AM  

Amusing and very well done! Working the bottom half first gave me F-HOLES almost immediately, and the rest tumbled into place smoothly... I liked the NINE HOLES reveal, which works equally well with the course of 18 holes too when considering all the acrosses and downs involved...

@retired_chemist: thanks for reminding us of the Greenfleeves fong from Flanders and Swann!

∑;)

Tiger 9:25 AM  

Man, you are a civil bunch! Over at ESPN, a short outing = nine holes for me would have elicited a much cruder set of comments.

OldCarFudd 9:33 AM  

I can't believe I saw what this was about in, maybe, a minute and a half, and then just walked on through it. Very, very nice! I expected a Thursday slog; now, what am I going to do with the rest of my morning? Decisions, decisions.

diane 9:39 AM  

Had a P instead of L for LOOPHOLE. I thought maybe it was a way to get around a poopdeck on a ship, and couldn't figure out the home security part ... when my iPhone failed to play the "success" music I googled my answer and - oh my! - it's NOT a way to get around! Ran through the alphabet in my mind and finally got LOOPHOLE and LIEN made sense.

efrex 9:41 AM  

Good, tough puzzle, well-constructed, nine solid theme clues, and one brilliant lateral-thinking clue, and you're *still* "not feeling it?" Sheesh, tough crowd...

My nitpicks are more due to my own ignorance (the PIAF/F-HOLES cross was a tough stretch, as was the MR LEE/ATTLEE one).

I think people heard me groaning over the SNORERS clue from five doors down, but naturally, I plan on using that pun the next chance I get.

JC66 10:09 AM  
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joho 10:09 AM  

@diane ... getting around a poopdeck using a pOOPHOLE = LOL!

JC66 10:12 AM  
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JC66 10:14 AM  
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Tobias Duncan 10:35 AM  

@Diane, my sense of humor us just juvenile enough to have poophole give the giggles this morning.thank you.

I hated this rebus just a little less than the last one. I imagine that once I have a few years of solving under my belt I will love them.At least this one was smooth once you got the theme.

retired_chemist 10:37 AM  

@ Diane - I was trying to figure out what a LOOPHOPE was..... :-)

Two Ponies 11:01 AM  

Fun and mostly easy.
I am a rebus fan and smelled this one a mile away.
Malapop for me was trying hole in one for the Tiger clue before seeing 44A.
Cutty Sark and Jim Beam in the same puzzle. Is it Happy Hour yet?
I wanted something more scandalous for the Tiger clue but considering the rebus that would have been far too crude.
Thanks Rex for the WOTD.
If that actress did not have a French-sounding name I might have been stumped but Piaf, while not Crosswordese 101, still shows up fairly often.
Thanks Mike N. Nice one.

Van55 11:22 AM  

In general I really liked this puzzle. ROE, LIEN, OXEN and SNORERS were especially cleverly clued.

I was deeply annoyed by the cross-referential DIANAROSS and the SUPREMES for some reason.

NOMATTER. Great puzzle. Amusing and fun to solve.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:22 AM  

Thank you, Mike Nothnagel, for a very nice Thursday rebus.

As I worked my way down, I thought the clue 6 D, "Lifesavers, say" and the answer 18 A, NO MATTER, were both theme-relatable also, but when I got to the reveal of NINEHOLES, I saw that the puzzle was perfect in itself.

(Pen on paper, I simply left the "HOLE" squares blank for what I saw as a clean and elegant fill.)

Van55 11:23 AM  

Oh...

16 proper nouns today.

Jim 11:27 AM  

Loved loved loved this puzzle! Not a crosswordese cloud in this sunny, fun-filled affair.

Agree it would have added to the fun to make the 'HOLEs' a little more surreptitiously placed within the answers, but I suppose Mr Nothnagel has his reasons.

Once I found the theme, I was scouring the clues for 'Like presumptive Speaker Boehner', revealing ASS-HOLE, but it was not to be.

The NE was the toughest for moi, although a confident TORN eventually opened that section up.

And the SW was fine except for _AF in the very corner. I thought the classifieds clue was clunky, and I was confusing F-HOLEs with G-Strings (as in, "Air on the"), but eventually guessed right.

As a (fairly) serious ballroom dancer, I look askance at DIP. Had hIP off the I, and it is something of an urban legend that ballroom dancers go around dipping their partners all the time. The hip, and its component machinations, are a much more fundamental feature of (good) ballroom dancing (http://youtu.be/Geh0xwo320M). Good to have a shout-out, nonetheless.

Ulrich 11:29 AM  

That ROE clue was indeed one of the best clues we've had lately--and Rex's hole symbol seems to drag everything in its row down a notch--that's what holes do to you! As a rebus puzzle fan, I have been waiting for one anxiously and am happy that the wait is over...

Mel Ott 11:36 AM  

This was challenging for me even though I like rebuses. Finally got the rebus at ARM[HOLE] and ended up solving from S to N.

Like @Rex I got tired of all the ? clues.

chefbea 11:36 AM  

Fun puzzle. Got the theme at post hole.

I agree preschoolers was great.

Masked and Anonymous 11:47 AM  

Near perfect puz. A few more U's and it would've passed over into glory. Work of art. Thumbs way up.

Thumbs up with 44 on "Once . . . West". Liked how each character had their own theme music.

What movie is this "PIAF" from? Know I'll kick myself, when I find out.

Tobias Duncan 11:53 AM  

@ masked Must have been an Edith Piaf biopic. I have a few "best of" cds and she is great when you are in the mood for her odd voice.

mac 11:54 AM  

Should have remembered the advise Ashish gave me to look for the reveal first, that would have sped this up tremendously!

Had aye aye before aye Sir, and for 44A I started out with Birdie. Love opaque, drapery, and the combination Supremes and Diana Ross. Thanks, Mike!

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

The Piaf bio was "La Vie en Rose"

Lindsay 12:12 PM  

@glimmerglass --- love your suggestion of tholepin! I remember Rex carping about the word "dory" and thinking "we would so not get along." ;<)

Writeovers at 65A keyhole and 30D airhole. Unfortunately, no writeover at 53A where, it turns out, PIPI is just ... plain .... wrong.

I mean, "pms" is a classifieds time, and Lili & Gigi are xword regulars. So why not Pipi??? Pop culture kills me again. Alas.

Rube 12:15 PM  

Being a West Coaster, I'll have to wait until the AM to post this -- but better get my thoughts down while I remember the solve process.

Had rough going until I got the theme at NINE(HOLE)S. After that, the going was just slow. Had the grid filled in but only 7 HOLES. Had to search to find AIR(HOLE)/POST(HOLE) & SPY(HOLE)/SINK(HOLE).

Really thought this was a superb rebus puzzle with only a few nits. An absolute minimum of pop culture, (KIRSTIE & PIAF), and the fill was marvelously fresh. On further revue, I have no nits... (NOM is acceptable I guess, RYE for a Jim Beam product is close enough for a crossword, and UPLAND -- what the hey).

Loved seeing DESI, DIANAROSS and the SUPREMES. Charles Bronson, too. Didn't realize he was in The House of Wax.

Mike N., you've got to be of my generation. Thx for a great, doable, Thursday medium, (IMO), puzzle.

I guess my WOTD will be quidnunc. Sounds very latin. Looks like an alternative to yenta, but there may be some subtlety here that I'm missing.

In the AM: Realized that I too fell into the s/F(HOLE)s trap. PM sounds much more reasonable for classifieds.

mmorgan 12:21 PM  

Enjoyed this one a lot, though some portions did not come easily (especially in the NE, where I first had GPS for AAA). Got the theme pretty quickly on what I first thought was just a wild guess for 63A.

One minor nit on 44A: A hole-in-one resulting from a "Drive" is beyond exceedingly rare -- I'm sure that at least 99.9% of them involve using an iron (not a driver) for a tee shot on a par 3.

I also liked ROE and took awhile to get DESI, as I was looking for a last name.

Just could not get one annoying little letter: the X in OXEN/AXON. Ah well.

Sparky 12:38 PM  

DNF, stuck in the middle. Knew there had to be another rebus in there but couldn't figure it out. Found the rebus first with KNEEHOLE and EARHOLE. Then looked around for others. I like rebus puzzles so it's happy Thursday for me.
@The Hag: Agree, all top clothes have armholes. @jesser: was trying to put a dog into 39D.
Not overly fond of Sting but lkied the shout out to McCartney in the middle.
Looking forward to Friday.

SethG 12:48 PM  

The first holes I got were eye, ear, knee, and arm. I knew they wouldn't all be body parts, but kinda annoying anyway. And saw [Pre-schooler?] was three letters and just thought for a second to remember if it would be ROE or OVA--I've blogged that clue before.

I think I'm getting jaded.

archaeoprof 12:59 PM  

F-HOLES got me too.

But I share the general appreciation for the clever cluing of this puzzle.

Nothnagel nailed it!

JaxInL.A. 1:15 PM  

This blog is positively addictive. Rex's take on this solitary entertainment we share, and everyone else's response to Rex have become my favorite way to start the day. I had a moment of withdrawal around yesterday's puzzle when I inexplicably lost my internet connection Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Had to go to work without being able to resolve the problem. Aargh! As @dk says, work really  is the curse of the puzzle class.

I agree with @Clark that Rex must be burning the candle at both ends to come up so grumpy about this puzzle. I do appreciate his dedication to posting no matter what, just for the amusement and erudition of the audience here.  

Four years as a Suzuki parent gave me FHOLES which confirmed my suspicion that the space under a desk could only be KNEEHOLE. I actually filled in  nearly all of the rebus answers before the fill. Never done that before.  

@KKKC, i love that feeling of getting a Thursday with minimal struggle.

I found the fill refreshingly free of random Roman numerals, floating prefixes and suffixes, and forced phrase completion.  IRONED ON and ACTS NAIVE did not bother me as they did Rex.  My only tiny ick fill came with "some Windows systems" as NTS.  Minor in such a nice puzzle.  

Loved "home security" and "preschoolers" and "command agreement" and this was my favorite clue ever for the xword perennial IGOR. Thanks for that great clip on House of Wax, Rex.

On to the hot November (!?!?) day here in Lotusland. All the best to all of you.
  

Moonchild 1:23 PM  

I agree with Rex that something is missing in the French kiss clue.
They might give each (other) French kisses would have been better. As it was I thought I might have to come up with the French word for cheeks. That European double kiss is cool when I'm there but seems so fake in the States.
Great rebus puzzle. It seems like we were overdue and this fit the bill in a fun way.

Masked and Anonymous vs The Avatar 1:25 PM  

@44: Just noticed the "hole" symbols used in your blog answer grid. WTF? I have begun assembling theories on what these little avatars are supposed to be.

Looks a little like a bbq grill.

Jet City Gambler 1:29 PM  

Yesterday was Chuck Bronson's birthday, and Roget Ebert has a great post over at his blog http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/pages-for-twitter/post.html

The whole thing is well worth a read, but holy crap this guy was a badass at age five:

And, inexplicably, that sets Bronson talking "I've been trying to make it with girls for as long as I can remember," he says. "I remember my first time. I was five and a half years old, and she was six. This was in 1928 or 1929. It happened at about the worst time in my life. We had been thrown out of our house . . ."

The house was in Ehrenfeld, known as Scooptown, and it was a company house owned by the Pennsylvania Coal and Coke Company. When the miners went out on strike, they were evicted from their homes, and the Buchinsky family went to live in the basement of a house occupied by another miner and his eight children. "This would have been the summer before I started school," Bronson says. "I remember my father had shaved us all bald to avoid lice. Times were poor. I wore hand-me-downs. And because the kids just older than me in the family were girls, sometimes I had to wear my sisters' hand-me-downs. I remember going to school in a dress. And my socks, when I got home sometimes I'd have to take them off and give them to my brother to wear into the mines.

"But, anyway, this was a Fourth of July picnic, and there was this girl, six years old. I gave her some strawberry pop. I gave her the pop because I didn't want it; I had taken up chewing tobacco and I liked that better. I didn't start smoking until I was nine. But I gave her the pop, and then we . . . hell, I never lost my virginity. I never had any virginity."

andrea carhole michaels 1:56 PM  

QUIDNUNC! wow

also loved the first square being a hole...and I liked filling the holes in and how that graphically looked when I was thru.

May I naively ask if ACTSNAIVE is not one of those phrases that is more a random thing than in the language? Or am I only asking because I had PLAYSDUMB?

I didn't know what a KNEEHOLE was (except in jeans...I just kept picturing George Constanza taking a nap under his desk.

Powerful construction, but I think I'm with @Rex today, almost all the way thru.

The Hag 2:31 PM  

@Tobias Duncan. I've been doing crosswords for decades and still don't like rebuses. I mean, I'm not morally opposed to them - they're just not my thing.

@Van55. I also found DIANAROSS/SUPREMES, eh, not annoying really but, IDK - it broke the flow for me. On reflection I think it's because the theme answers were rather short and then to have two of the longer words be not only related but cross referenced - it seemed like sort of a micro-theme trying to push it's way in? Or something - I'm not articulating well!

sanfranman59 3:47 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)

Thu 18:59, 18:57, 1.00, 59%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Thu 10:36, 9:07, 1.16, 79%, Medium-Challenging

Captch: liess ... Mark Twain would think this apropos for someone posting statistics

I skip M-F 3:48 PM  

Do baseball helmets really have an earhole? I don't pay much attention, but had to watch SF Giants in World Series. Batting helmets looked as if they had ear covers not holes, or is that referring ot the other ear/

sanfranman59 4:13 PM  

@ I skip ... batting helmets definitely have ear holes. But most only have the ear flap on the side of the helmet that faces the pitcher (over the left ear for right-handed batters; over the right ear for left-handed batters). The only exception I know of is Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians who wears a helmet with both ear flaps (he bats only left-handed).

David in CA 5:39 PM  

A nice REBUS, but crossing KIRSTIE/TNT/MRLEE with ATTREE blew it for me. Will we ever see puzzles without multiple proper-name crosses again?

And being a pilot, 31A baffled me for a long time (Airport need=RADAR). Well, yes, if you discount the 90+% of airports that have no need or presence of radar coverage. Kind of like cluing "traffic light" as "Intersection need".

chefwen 6:06 PM  

Absolutely loved this puzzle, got it right off the git-go with KNEE hole and EAR hole and was off to the races. Couple of little snags, like spelling KIRSTIE incorrectly, I had KriSTIE, when the SUPREMES hit the stage that was fixed. One Google with quidnunc, don't think I have ever seen that word.

Love rebuses, more please!

Thank you Mr. Nothnagel

Clark 6:27 PM  

I don't know nothin bout no grumpiness. I was reacting to the 4:18 AM post time.

Rex Parker 6:41 PM  

Since people seem concerned about the 4:18 post time :) ...

I went to sleep before midnight. I woke up at 4am, for very uninteresting reasons. I decided to write, since I was up anyway. I went back to sleep just after 5am and slept til 8. I felt fine at 4. I feel fine now.

Thanks for your concern.

rp

Inquiring Minds 7:45 PM  

@Rex - Masked and Anonymous vs The Avatar has already asked once, but, please, if it wouldn't affect national security, where did you get the icon you used for the HOLE squares and how did you insert tham into your grid?

Rex Parker 7:49 PM  

@IM,

I just chose "Special Characters" from the Edit menu in my software program (Black Ink) and hunted around for something suitable (there were Lots of options).

RP

jae 8:08 PM  

Nice to see MN back after a bit of a hiatus with an excellent puzzle. This was on the easy side for me as I caught the rebus right off the bat.

@mmorgan -- I thought any shot hit off a tee is considered a drive. No?

The Bard 8:18 PM  

King Henry IV, part I > Act III, scene III

FALSTAFF:
Dost thou hear, Hal? thou knowest in the state of
innocency Adam fell; and what should poor Jack
Falstaff do in the days of villany? Thou seest I
have more flesh than another man,
and therefore more
frailty. You confess then, you picked my pocket?

PRINCE HENRY: It appears so by the story.

FALSTAFF:
Hostess, I forgive thee: go, make ready breakfast;
love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy
guests: thou shalt find me tractable to any honest
reason: thou seest I am pacified still. Nay,
prithee, be gone.

Stephen 8:51 PM  

I usually get frustrated with rebae (latin?) and today was as per the pattern. Once I see it, the fun returns. I wish I had a warning buzzer that would just announce it.

But in spite of finally getting it, I am still grumpy.
Apparently, no one is whining about KNEEHOLE, although I had never heard the word. Seems lame. I will echo Rex's complaint about upside-down meaning face down. And go on to bitch about SPYHOLE, which even my computer dictionary does not list. But the real burr I suffer from is NTS... has ANYone EVER heard that word spoken? or seen it written? Who has ever referred to a machine as an "NT"? Come now. This is a hypothetical construction that some imaginary geek might have spoken on some weird occasion once in a universe. This is not a word. Might I point out this is a crossWORD puzzle? For strings to be words, they have to actually be *in actual use*; constructing arbitrary strings will kill this whole game.

OK, OK... yes, there was some great cluing in here. Too bad the fill didn't match it. grump. grump. harrumph!

Not a Geek 9:21 PM  

@Stephen

Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. It was originally designed to be a powerful high-level-language-based, processor-independent, multiprocessing, multiuser operating system with features comparable to Unix. It was intended to complement consumer versions of Windows that were based on MS-DOS. NT was the first fully 32-bit version of Windows, whereas its consumer-oriented counterparts, Windows 3.1x and Windows 9x, were 16-bit/32-bit hybrids. Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 are based on Windows NT, although they are not branded as Windows NT. [wiki]

Also, Knee hole and spy hole are "in the language" even if you don't know them and "rebae" is not.

P>G>

retired_chemist 9:29 PM  

@ Stephen -

"rebus" is genitive plural for res, thing.

Stephen 9:41 PM  

Maybe --just maybe-- you are right about rebae ;-) and spyhole. and even that icky knee hole.

But you did not answer my question about NT. (I am well aware of the OS.) Have you ever heard anyone refer to anything as "an NT" in such a way that would make it pluralizable? You might have heard of "an NT machine" (where NT is adjectival), and thus "NT machines", but find me a single instance of "NTs" anywhere ... even in a MS document. There is an instance of "NT" in your post: "NT was the first...", but you could not pluralize that.

william e emba 9:48 PM  

Ooh, I actually knew Marion Cotillard played Edith PIAF as soon as I saw the clue! How was that possible? She played the dead wife in Inception, and that was almost the only movie I saw this year, and it was the sort of movie that absolutely required reading everything about it on-line.

It turns out ... the film's writer/director/producer Christopher Nolan had included the famous PIAF song "Non, je ne regrette rien" from the beginning but almost took it out because of the timing with Cotillard's Oscar-winning performance.

Sfingi 9:48 PM  

Now, this is a puzzle!

I prefer a Loch (Ger. for hole) to a LOCK, I guess (See LA Confidential - or rather, don't).

There's something to hook onto. And 18 rebus occurances!

Maybe too many -er and ers - NINERS, EYERS, DROPPERS, PARER, SNORERS, CLIPPER.

Would have liked one of those suggested by @Glimmerglass. Once your mind gets on a roll, you want more.

@Kookookachoo - Subway holes - they steam and sometimes even stink.

Minitheme - SUPREMES and Bobbettes.

So glad the answer to 8D, Big ones can impede progress - wasn't ASS-rebus.

mmorgan 9:57 PM  

@jae -- no, at least not in the normal usage I encounter. A drive requires a driver -- usually used on par 4s and 5s (unless one is trying to be strategic and/or safe and/or cool). Using any other club off the tee is simply referred to as a "tee shot." A drive may result in a hole-in-one on a par four perhaps 1 in 20,000,000 times (just guessing, probably underestimating). But one cannot drive without using a driver, and (again) using any other club off the tee is just called a "tee shot."

Any comments from other golfers?

Kneehole in One 10:26 PM  

@Stephen - Sorry, you missed the whining about KNEEHOLE by about two years! Ah, yes, I remember it well! Read all about it here.

Stephen 10:46 PM  

Oh, yes... lovely, thanks.
The quote there is "after all, it's got the ultra-absurd KNEEHOLES (5D: Desk features) running through it. What are KNEEHOLES!?!?!?! How do you put your KNEE (and not your leg) through a hole (without hurting yourself)? ". This is surely worth a reGuffaw!

Geometricus 11:37 PM  

Loved writing HOLE in one square once I figured out how to do it on my iPod app. Made it look like the answer that appears in the newspaper when there is a rebus puzzle. HO in the upper half of the square, LE in the lower half. Don't know why that was so satisfying...

Anonymous 2:13 AM  

Why are there stink waves coming out of those holes?

NotalwaysrightBill 2:39 PM  

Syndicated paper solver.

Warmed up to it after I got the thang. A little disappointed that after blackening in all nine (of what I hoped were pieces of f-holes), the grid still didn't look like a violin.

I'd rather have a "?" with a clue than find out later how it was that oblique all along but didn't bother to tell anybody.

Only DNF space: ATTLEE crossing MRLEE. Knew neither my political nor pop culture history well enough. Guessed at ATTrEE and MRrEE cuz I thought Mr. Ree sounded like a pretty cool Motown-style song title and theme.

captcha: ingistra [no kidding!]: only thing that came was P, HOLE at the ends=how embarassing, maybe!!!

Dirigonzo 4:03 PM  

Like so many others I foundered on PIAF; unlike anybody else I really hoped that violins had A holes, and that Mike and Will would use them to sneak a little bawdy reference into the puzzle, so PIpa was my final answer! OK, I knew it was wrong, but if I have to guess at an answer at least I want to have fun with it!

Captcha sums up my rating for the puzzle: tific (terrific, with a hole in it.)

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