2007 Ellen Page title role / TUE 2-8-11 / First woman in Greek myth / Father of songs according to Pindar / Argentine strongman Peron

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Constructor: Robert W. Harris

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: State abbrev. phrases — Two-word phrases that start with words that can double as state abbreviations — clued statily, for maximum wackiness


Word of the Day: LESLIE Howard (4D: Howard of "Gone With the Wind") —

Leslie Howard (3 April 1893 – 1 June 1943) was an English stage and film actor, director, and producer. Among his best-known roles was Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939) and roles in Berkeley Square (1933), Of Human Bondage (1934), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), The Petrified Forest (1936), Pygmalion (1938), Intermezzo (1939), Pimpernel Smith (1941) and The First of the Few (1942). [...] Howard died in 1943 when flying to Bristol, UK, from Lisbon, Portugal, on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines/BOAC Flight 777. The aircraft, "G-AGBB" a Douglas DC-3, was shot down by Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88C6 maritime fighter aircraft over the Bay of Biscay. Howard was among the 17 fatalities, including four ex-KLM flight crew. (wikipedia)
• • •

Long day tomorrow, so this'll be short. Liked it. Weird cheater squares* up top and down below, but they probably helped make the fill smoother. This took me way way longer than most Tuesdays, but only because of a single, stupid mistake—wrote in STAGES instead of STAGED (20A: Put on, as plays), and then was baffled by TIESY-S (also couldn't figure out how HOS- could be 28A: Where runs may be made — had HOME). Checked every cross ... and then noticed that I'd read the wrong verb tense at 20A. So when I factor in my own stupidity, the puzzle isn't hard at all. It's kind of on the OLD-TIME side, fill-wise (40D: Kind of religion, in song) — what with this LESLIE guy and JUAN (5A: Argentine strongman Perón) and TRAPP and IRMA and DELANO and MAE and Paul Revere and the RAIDERS (2D: Paul Revere's bandmates in 1960s-70s music) and the non-internet-radio PANDORA (13D: First woman, in Greek myth) — but there is a spiffy contemporary clue for JUNO (5D: 2007 Ellen Page title role), at least. Fill is solid and bright throughout. I particularly liked the SNEAKY WEIRDO.


Theme answers:
  • 16A: Proper way to behave in Biloxi? (MISS. MANNERS)
  • 23A: Evaluation in Eugene? (ORE. ASSAY) — my least favorite of the bunch. Not at all snappy. Too bad CAL somebody wouldn't fit here...
  • 32A: Syncopated piano piece for Seattle residents? (WASH. RAG)
  • 45A: Chicago balloonists' needs? (ILL. WINDS)
  • 52A: Commuter trains in Boston? (MASS. TRANSIT)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

*black squares that don't affect the overall word count; here, the ones on either side of JUAN and YSER—making those squares black makes the grid easier to fill.

73 comments:

Anonymous 12:04 AM  

Good theme idea, feels like more could've been done with it though. Agreed that ORE ASSAY is weak. Lots of cheaters too.

foodie 12:13 AM  

I liked it less than Rex. I felt that the theme, while consistent in terms of always starting with a state abbreviation, was inconsistent in other ways. For example, MASS TRANSIT can in fact be the definition of Commuter Trains in Boston.MISS MANNERS feels like a double meaning of MISS, by contrast, ILL WINDS is exactly the opposite of what balloonists need. WASH RAG is totally a different meaning of RAG, but the meaning of ASSAY, MANNERS, TRANSIT are preserved. Finally ORE ASSAY?

I liked a number of little tidbits outside the theme-- e.g the ARSENIC clue!

chefwen 12:26 AM  

Got off to a rather slow start, don't know why, but after I got going it fell amazingly fast. Like our leader and others ORE. ASSAY was my least favorite. Chortled over WASH. RAG. Only one write over at 41D TIO over TIa.

Cute puzzle.

Anonymous 12:53 AM  

What is really cool about the theme is that the state abbreviations are the old fashioned abbreviations before the zip codes were invented by Postmaster Ed Day....

Steve J 1:05 AM  

Ok, some part of my brain is blocked. No matter how many times I say OREASSAY out loud, I'm just not getting it. What is that phrase supposed to be? At least to me, it certainly doesn't echo any common phrase I can think of. I'm sure I'll do a nice forehead-slap when someone points it out to me.

Thought this one was ok, but I found the theme real uneven. In addition to the (befuddling to me) OREASSAY, ILLWIND makes no sense as clued. I've never done any ballooning, but I'm pretty sure that ill winds are not good for the activity, as opposed to a nice, steady airflow. I would think it wouldn't have been that hard to clue that with something that made sense. Especially since Chicago (or anywhere in Illinois) isn't exactly known for being a calm-weather paradise.

Rest of the fill was ok as well. Nothing jumped out at me as being especially fun, but nothing seemed off, either (although the TRAPPs missing their "von" looks and sounds weird). Only odd misstep for me was constantly misreading 29A as "Get Back" key instead of "Get Out" key; I couldn't figure out how to note the key of that "Abbey Road" track in three letters, even if I knew what key the Beatles played that one in.

retired_chemist 1:21 AM  

@ Steve J: ORE ASSAY - analysis (assay) of an ore.

Liked it. Easy. One of my best ever Tuesday times. Fun theme. Not much to say.

Steve J 1:30 AM  

@retired_chemist: Thanks. Somehow, that makes it even worse, since it's not at least a common expression or well-known name/object like the others. The more I contemplate the theme, the less I like it. Very inconsistent application, imo.

fikink 1:31 AM  

Don't you love it that Eve was the cause of the Fall and PANDORA unleashed all the ills on the world? There is something very hokey about our Western perspective.
ORE ASSAY doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
And our old friend, PERUSAL is back with its opposite meaning. Yay!
ORPHEUS and PANDORA in the same Tuesday puzzle. Sweet.
Overall, fun fabric to weave, and now on to Wednesday.

syndy 1:48 AM  

Had TIA and HOME watched Showboat today and sang along "lovin dat man of mine"ORE ASSAY dosen't trip off the tongue but its legit.and neccessary for a goldminer.lots of snappy answers-ORPHEUS-ABREAST-arsenic-but REPRO and RELABEL pick one!ESTA-KGS-ETA not so much.ELS and ELEM!YSER nosir.Loved MASS TRANSIT and MISS MANNERS.Chicago knows about those ILLWINDS about now. captha OOPRONS thats what its there for

davko 1:50 AM  

I was about to agree that so much more could have been done with this theme until I started running through the state abbreviations and realizing there's only one more that actually doubles as a word (ARK). Unless, that is, you want to open things up to include answers with proper nouns (PENN MOVIE, i.e.) or foreign phrases (DEL RIO, MONT BLANC, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, et al). But that would really be stretching it.

arsenic carla michaels 2:53 AM  

I'm totally with @Foodie...
except I didn't even know what an ORE ASSAY was
(Didn't help that I always put in E, as in Essay, first...
AND I had WASHRAm
and I thought it was the A in Ram that might be wrong.)

Love DIONNE singing anything by Burt Bachrach.

Blech two days in a row for me, tho KENTS made my heart leap for half a second.

Anonymous 6:16 AM  

@fikink

Peruse means to read something with close attention. Somewhere along the line colloquial usage inverted the lexical meaning.

Greene 7:03 AM  

I really liked the idea of this puzzle, even if the execution could have been cleaner. I grinned when I got MISS. MANNERS and each one of the remaining answers was fun until I got to ORE. ASSAY which held me up for the longest time. I kept thinking I had made an error, but every cross was solid.

"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" is one of those chestnuts of the American song catalog which can't seem to shake an unpalatable past. It comes dangerously close to being what used to be called a "coon song." (Yes, I hate the terminology too, but to deny our history is to tacitly endorse it). The genre was a wildly popular staple of American culture during the period of time in which "Show Boat" is set. In these kinds of songs, hoary African American stereotypes were celebrated and propogated. The genre mercifully died with more enlightened views in the 20th century.

And yet...here is "Can't Help Lovin Dat Man" which can't help playing to racial stereotyping (all to an infectious Jerome Kern tune):

"My man is shiftless,
An' good for nothin', too.
He's my man just the same.
He's never 'round here
When there is work to do,
He's never 'round here when there's workin' to do."

I have repeatedly said that lyricist Oscar Hammerstein was a truly enlightened individual and a great advocate for racial equality. His writing is accurate and appropriate to the characters and period depicted - often painfully so. I love "Show Boat" and respect its vaulted position in the American musical canon, but outside the context of the show, this song makes me cringe.

The Bard 7:12 AM  

Macbeth > Act IV, scene I

[Thunder. Enter the three Witches]

First Witch: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch: Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch: Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch: Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch: Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch: Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Joe 7:19 AM  

Thank heaven I'm not alone. ORE ASSAY was impossible (for me) without crosses. Never ever ever heard of it. Loved PERUSAL and would like to see it in a theme crossword with others of its ilk: enervate, noisome, disinterested, penultimate, etc...

Donna 8:24 AM  

@Greene - My husband, college educated, white Episcopalian fits the description of the song to a 'T'. Just 'cause black folks sing it, doesn't make it about black folk.

David L 8:43 AM  

Liked the theme, although OREASSAY gets a boo from me. Nice that DELANO and AKITAS are non-theme-answer echoes of the theme...

efrex 8:43 AM  

I found ORE ASSAY to be just on the right side of legitimate, and the other theme answers much fun. Having COPIES for REPROS caused some havoc, as did not knowing ARAL or the RAIDERS.

I remember reading MISS MANNERS's "Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" ages ago, so that clue brought back fond memories.

It might just be me, but I found a bit of a musical theater sub-theme here, with references to "Show Boat," "Evita," "Sound of Music," and, to my mind, "Rent" (An AKITA named "Evita" plays a minor role), and JUNO (an obscure but interesting Marc Blitzstein musical).

Two or three fewer junk fill words, and I'd be happier, but a solid Tuesday.

Anonymous 9:01 AM  

I am with Rex on this one. The fill went smoothly with only minor hesitations. The theme is cute. A lot of familiar personalities that can be completed from intersecting clues. No complaints here.
I also wrote STAGES instead of STAGED.
Can anyone explain why the answer to 11D clue is TIE DYES (or is it TIED YES)?
The term ORE ASSAY should be fairly familiar to almost anyone who has remotely worked with metals, precious metals, mining industry, etc..

Doug 9:02 AM  

OREASSAY just doesn't sound and doesn't make sense. Agree with everyone who says it was a reach. I made the same mistake Rex made right till the end. Had STAGES instead of STAGED and couldn't figure out TIEDYES, so I had one write-over, too. And to really nitpick, a balloonist doesn't really "need" wind to fly. It needs only hot air or helium. Wind is only fun in small doses, and if it's too gusty, they can't launch. Oh, yeah, it's a nitpick. Sorry. Imagine running into one of Paul Revere's old bandmates and he says, "I used to be a Raider."

John V 9:05 AM  

Save for wanting 50A to be GetAtIt for a moment, pretty straightforward, more easy than not.

@Joe, likewise on Perusal and its peers.

quilter1 9:12 AM  

Quick, easy and fun for me. I smiled at every theme answer, and just before doing the puzzle I had read MISS MANNERS column.

Maybe my geezerdom is showing but doesn't anyone else remember the old western movies and TV shows when a prospector was always coming into town to take his bag of ore to the assay office to see if he had struck gold? ORE ASSAY was just fine with me.

I also chuckled at WASH RAG as an inadvertant shout out to our new poster @ragtimepiano. I hope she enjoyed it too.

kiniessh: when knishes go bad

chefbea 9:14 AM  

Hand up for what everyone has said about ore assay. Does anyone ever say that?

Otherwise a pretty easy puzzle

fikink 9:15 AM  

@anon 6:16, I believe PERUSE has been clued in both senses in the past. This might be a hint to its opposite's legitimacy in puzzles:

The sense of "skimming" is proscribed by some authorities on usage, including the Oxford American Dictionary. The shift, however, is not dissimilar to that found in scan. The Oxford English Dictionary further notes that the word was used as a general synonym for read as far back as the 16th century.

mmorgan 9:17 AM  

I'm with @Steve J -- still not sure I understand ORE ASSAY (although the whole puzzle filled itself in fairly quickly). Spanish "this" could have been ESTA or ESTO or ESTE. ORE ESSAY might have made as much sense but I (correctly) went with ESTA because I assumed it was implied by "evaluation." I still don't fully get the phrase. Some of the theme answers were on the weak side, but I liked the puzzle as a whole.

I'm expecting someone to connect ABREAST with the STRETCH BRA from yesterday... (oops, I just did).

Howard B 9:27 AM  

Not my favorite, but the theme is very consistent in this respect:
Each answer begins with an accepted non-postal state abbreviation which, on its own, is also a common English word.
Whether or not this adds to your appreciation or enjoyment of the puzzle is, of course, up to you.

Puzzle away, and may the pantheon of puzzle gods (OOXTEPLERNON included) be kind to you the next time you solve online. They had some fun with me on this one by blessing me with silly typos.

SethG 9:31 AM  

Yeah, that's a glaring odd-one out. Too bad OLD LACE didn't fit in instead of OLD TIME. My only silly typo was RELABLE...

JenCT 9:46 AM  

Not much to say about this one - liked it.

When people say that something is "safe" just because it's organic, I like to remind them that ARSENIC can be organic, although the inorganic form is more dangerous.

jackj 10:01 AM  

Being informationally deprived in the field of pop music, I initially answered "Paul Revere's bandmates....." as RASCALS.

I suppose they were that (or worse) to George III.

Two Ponies 10:25 AM  

I agree with @foodie completely.
@ fikink beat me to the punch on perusal as I too recall the recent discussion.
The puzzle was very boring.
I had a huge crush on Raider Mark Lindsay and his ponytail.

fikink 10:29 AM  

Speaking of that, @Joe and @John V, can we add "oversight" to that list?

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

I didn't have that big of a problem with ore assay. Back in the gold rush days, miners would take their ore to the assay office.

DBGeezer 11:03 AM  

Anon, 9:01, TIE DYES is a method of adding color to cloth. Strings tie the cloth into irregular forms, the knotted cloth is dyed, and then the strings are removed.


etherses - strange words spoken by people as they go under anesthesia

william e emba 11:29 AM  

ORE ASSAY is basic English. I can understand thinking it's a dud answer, but I'm baffled that people don't get it. An "assay" is a test done on a small amount, so, for example, an ORE ASSAY would be a test done on a small amount of ore.

I found this puzzle medium-easy, except I stupidly made it challenging. Off of OR-----, I filled in ORestes, not ORPHEUS. And considering just how important ORPHEUS was in The Sandman, I not only know better, I have no excuse for being even slightly confused. Oh, well.

treedweller 11:34 AM  

I think Foodie said it best: no consistency to the theme answers. Some are clever turns of phrase, some are just phrases. Some sound fun and then there's OREASSAY. I'd be okay with it if any miners would step forward to confirm that, after sitting too long in the mine, you feel a little ore-assy. But, even if any miners drop by, I'm pretty sure that won't happen. So OREASSAY sucks.

Unfortunate, because I liked the puzzle otherwise. The three-letter fill was solid--no roman numerals, no random directions, only a couple of partials. There's SIS, but I seem to be alone in my distaste for that one (I always think it needs more of a tipoff for the nonstandard/abbreviated form). Longer fill was lively. I just can't get the taste of ASSAY out of my mouth.

retired_chemist 11:50 AM  

I'm with @Wm E EMBA on ORE ASSAY 100%. No, it's not a common phrase per se, and maybe a weak answer, but it makes perfect sense. The Rodney Dangerfield of today's answers.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

It's the fact that it's not a common phrase that points to the problem--all of the other theme answers are common phrases. It's not incorrect, just inconsistent.

Faye 11:56 AM  

I loved this puzzle. It had a lot of easy fills but just enough tooth to it to make things interesting.

Simple answers like 'hose' held me up for the longest time, but when I finished I felt a huge rush of accomplishment. Seriously, I punched the air.

I think 'assay' is a gimme. I know I've seen it before.

Kendall 12:01 PM  

I really liked the theme and enjoyed the theme answers, but really disliked the rest of the puzzle. I don't typically enjoy having that many foreign clues, especially on a Tuesday. Mostly though because when the gender isn't given for the Spanish clues there are two possible endings for all of them. ESTA/ESTO, TIA/TIO, etc. That caused issues for me.

I had SET OFF instead of SET OUT but that got caught quickly enough. That fortunately didn't cross with anything I didn't know.

My last thought: AKITAS are Japanese? Cool. Got that after I had AK---S, but wasn't what I would have thought of initially.

syndy 12:30 PM  

@green Not to belabor a point but in Showboat Julie is singing about her White husband (she's some small fraction Black)'course the song might be considered sexist

Steve J 12:57 PM  

Anon 11:52 nailed it: the issue (at least for me) with OREASSAY is not that its bad English or anything; it's just that all of the other theme entries are common phrases/names with wide use across non-specialized segments of the population. So it sticks out from the rest of the theme in that regard.

So, not only do we have a theme that is, from viewpoint, inconsistent in jumping between phrases and names, we have a theme that relies on something that's arguably jargony and certainly doesn't have the everyday feel that all the other answers do.

That's three for me. See y'all tomorrow.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

I "get" ORE ASSAY, I mean, I see what it means, but the thing is that I have never, ever, ever heard the term before, so it makes for a frustrating theme answer.

fergus 1:47 PM  

Malapop on exercising my ABS with push-ups.

A summer school class when I was in Junior High was devoted to TIE-DYES. Guess which year that was?

Matthew G. 2:00 PM  

I'm with those who generally liked the puzzle but found the the theme a little on the inconsistent side. MISS MANNERS, WASH RAG, and ILL WINDS are great. While I got ORE ASSAY with no real difficulty, and I recognized it as a real thing, I think it's too uncommon a term to fit in with the very common terms used elsewhere in the theme. And I also agree with those who said that MASS TRANSIT sounds too UNpunny (i.e., too literal) to work perfectly.

But those are quibbles and it all rolled smoothly off my pencil. Pretty average Tuesday time here.

I'm still nonplussed by the two contrary meanings of "peruse," which I knew would draw comment again today. Count me among those who associate it with definition 1b from Merriam-Webster: "to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner." Definition 1b, "to examine or consider with attention and in detail," just seems so ... mindblowingly opposite to me. And yet, since it's the first definition given, that may be the older meaning, and perhaps it is I who have been unwittingly part of perpetuating the decline of English usage.

At least I can say I have always used "nonplussed" correctly.

COIXT RECORDS 2:01 PM  

I liked the two different types "keys" which were clued, neither of which went in a musical direction, as I first expected. I spent a moment trying to remember who the composer of "Get out" and what key it could be in!

imsdave 2:10 PM  

Interestingly, the clue for MISSMANNERS was different at the Westport Library tournament - can't remember it exactly, but it was clued via a beauty pageant. Now I have to go back and see if I can remember any changes to Monday's cluing. That one took me 5:40 at the tourney (challenging Monday in my book), but y'all seemed to rate it easy.

@Andrea - I also put in the E(ssay) without the rest of the crosses in place - ended up being my one mistake of the day. Heavy sigh.

Greene 2:21 PM  

@Syndy: I understand where you're coming from, but you are referencing the 1951 MGM treatment of the material, which quite literally ripped the guts out of the piece. My comments refer to the original 1928 production on Broadway and the very faithful 1936 film adaption.

In these versions, Julie is actually teaching the song to young Magnolia as a sort of folk song. It is a song from her youth and is not intended to refer to her husband. She is overheard by Queenie who wonders how a white person would know such a song that is only sung by blacks. It's really the first clue to Julie's mixed racial background, so it serves a dramatic purpose and not a romantic one. As the scene progresses Julie is joined in the song by the entire black ensemble and this is followed by a steotypical "shuffle" dance. If you watch the 1936 film you will have a very different take on this song.

As presented in 1951, all context has been removed, the lyrics I cited in my first post are missing, and the song becomes a traditional love ballad performed at a considerably slower tempo. Safe, but ultimately vapid.

Nighthawk 2:38 PM  

I thought this one was fairly straightforward, and liked the theme, even ORE ASSAYS, with which I have no squabble at all.

Had a few initial stumpers that became clear on crosses (ARAL, DENIED, DELI, SETOUT) and one pure misspelling in TeO easily corrected.

My quibble with the puzzle was that, and I think this is a very tiny nit, the clues could have been more consistent, giving the theme more sparkle.

For example, I would have clued the themes like the two word alliterative 23A with a town name first: 16A as simply "Biloxi behaviour"; 32A as "Seattle syncopation"; 45A as "Skokie storms"; and 52A as "Cambridge commuting".

PuzzleNut 3:01 PM  

Fine puzzle, although a lot of cheater squares.
OREASSAY is the weakest, IMO, but makes perfect sense to me.
I'm with @Steve J on the fact that baloonists really don't want ILL WINDS. Why not clue it as "Oboes".

r.alphbunker 3:09 PM  

The chestnut "Cross Inscription" = IN RI would have not been out of place in this puzzle.

sanfranman59 3:32 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 8:53, 8:57, 0.99, 56%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Tue 4:39, 4:35, 1.01, 60%, Medium-Challenging

foodie 3:48 PM  

A propos today's theme... We're currently driving from Eastern Michigan to Chicago. Just before entering ILLinois, a big sign reads:

ILLannoyed about High Taxes?

SolutionsINDiana.com

chefbea 4:20 PM  

@foodie LOL

Glitch 4:21 PM  

@Nighthawk

I LIKE your recluing.

However, you left out 23A (perhaps for obvious reasons).

How about "Antelope Analysis"?

BTW I actually remember that city because of the "Rajneeshees" activities there.

.../Glitch

mac 4:50 PM  

Not an exciting puzzle to me, but getting interrupted a few times while doing it probably didn't help.

I puzzled most at the Juno/Purdue/Delano section; somehow thought it was Delany and Perdue. Had home before hose, and don't think it right to call this family of singers the Trapps, that's simply not done.

Sfingi 5:04 PM  

@Greene and the Bard covered about everything.

When I see the name ORPHEUS, I think of the movie Black ORPHEUS, or Orfeu negru. My sister and I played the record (Brazillian) endlessly in H.S. The stars, Breno Mello and Marpessa Dawn died the same year, 2008, a month apart, and they both left 5 kids. Mira, the gorgeous villainess, did not follow up with a great career, is still living, but has not aged well.

When I see references to LESLIE Howard, Ernie Pyle, Wilfrid Owen, or any of these fellows who died in the World Wars, I always wonder what more they would have produced.

Joe 5:09 PM  

Agreed -- Don't like ORE ASSAY at all. Bleech.

And I'm calling shenanigans on REPROS, unless this was the 1950s--and it's not, because you got SNEAKY WEIRDO in there!

CaseAce 5:31 PM  

As I stir the pot, as is my wont...I'm overheard to utter "Eye of NEWT, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and Tongue of dog, Adder's fork, and Blind-worms sting, Lizards leg, and Howlet's wing.
For a charm of powerful trouble
Like a Hell-broth boil and bubble"

Macbeth (IV i, 14-15)

Two Ponies 7:27 PM  

Checking back I'm surprised that none of the ladies felt like I did for Raiders' front man. He is soooo
handsome and at the end of the video he gives you a good look at that ponytail. That long hair was very daring for the time. The costumes were a goofy gimmick, to be sure.

deerfencer 7:36 PM  

Good solid Tuesday IMO. OREASSAY was a sticking point for sure but perfectly legitimate IMO. 3 stars.

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

i read yesterday on wikipedia that newts can regenerate limbs and organs including eyes!i like eye of newt in a puzzle

captcha is bedread.

michael 8:22 PM  

ore assay

Friday yes
Tuesday no

Anonymous 8:41 PM  

Thx, Rex, for explaining cheaters. Sometimes less is more....

Doug 4:11 PM  

Thanks for pointing out one of the reasons that Chandler was a master and MacDonald a poseur as craftsmen who sold words for a living. Any imagery used by the writer is done to enhance the experience the reader gets by visualizing what goes on on the printed page (alas, now screen sometimes). When you under-reach, you get a cliche; over-reach and you get a show-offy image that interrupts the flow of the language. Too many writers misunderstand this, and it rears its ugly head (intentional, this cliche) most often in the use of simile.

SEO 6:44 PM  

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Dirigonzo 3:35 PM  

As a syndicated solver whose formative years were in the '60s, I was astonished that @anonymous 9:01 needed an explanation of TIEDYES. Can it be that this most beautiful lagacy of the flower children is being lost to the world?

As to the puzzle, I finished with only one write-over (RElabel/REPRICE); being able to fill in the first part of the theme answers with the corresponding state really sped things up.

Gil.I.Pollas 4:04 PM  

@Two Ponies: From syndication land. I too thought Lindsay was incredibly hot. I'm sort of embarressed now to say I was a Go-Go dancer back then but the attire du jour was hot pants and thigh high white boots.
Everyone else has said what I wanted to say about this puzzle.

Dirigonzo 4:41 PM  

@G.I.P - JUST hot pants and thigh high white boots?

Gil.I.Pollas 4:58 PM  

@Dirigonzo: I miss you!
I think I covered the top with some sort of thingy.

SharonAK 5:20 PM  

@Dirigonzo. LOL

I thought part of the uneveness came from the use/non use of thea bbreviations. "Ore assay" didn't bother me-maybe due to 40 plus years in a state where the gold rush is still so much a part of our history - at least in many small town museums.
But, while I've heard Mississippi referred to as Miss and Massachusets as Mass I've never heard Oregon referred to as Ore, nor Illinois as Ill,,nor, come to think of it, Washington as Wash, but that answer was so short and snappy I didn't notice

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

I thought perusal meant scanning rather than careful reading?

Dirigonzo 6:58 PM  

@anony 6:22 - I learned from a full discussion on the topic here recently, peruse can have both meanings: to scan, or to read deeply. @Fikink and others referred to this above. That's one of the reasons I love this blog - I learn something new every day. It appears you just did too!

That's three strikes for me.

Anonymous 7:23 PM  

While visiting in Arizona I read a book about the later career of Wyatt Earp. It included playing highstakes poker and prospecting for gold.
He apparently found some gold ore along a stream in Arizona and made a fifty mile trek to get an assay which turned out favorably. Unfortunately when he returned to stake his claim he couldn't find the spot again.
Would that be an ARIASSAY?
McBeal

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