Naturalist John / TUE 3-29-11 / Barrel supports / Early Indian invader / Feminizing suffix / Protagonists in Star Wars / PC screen type

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: ELIZABETH / TAYLOR (55A: With 17-Across, late Hollywood star)—several different roles and movie titles populate the grid

Word of the Day: METAZOAN (37D: Multicellular animal) —

(zoology) The multicellular animals that make up the major portion of the animal kingdom; cells are organized in layers or groups as specialized tissues or organ systems. (answers.com)
• • •

Not great as tribute puzzles go. This one feels hastily thrown together, with roles and partial titles and titles all cobbled together into a dense but arbitrary arrangement. "THE SANDPIPER?!" What the heck is that. It's certainly not a definitive Liz Taylor role, that's for sure. SUMMER feels like a pretty weak way to get a symmetrical answer for TAYLOR (it's also a bit weird to have her name divided up the way it is, with last name coming first ...). The best part about the grid was the numeral "8" in "BUTTERFIELD 8" / 8 TIMES. Otherwise, straightforward and kind of dull. Weak in theme answers as well as overall fill (though ACUTE PAIN next to WOMANIZE is nice, especially in a grid with this kind of theme density).

Theme answers:
  • 4D: 1944 title role for 55-/17-Across (VELVET)
  • 21A: 1963 title role for 55-/17-Across (CLEOPATRA)
  • 27A: 1965 film starring 55-/17-Across (THE SANDPIPER)
  • 45A: 1960 film for which 55-/17-Across won a Best Actress Oscar (BUTTERFIELD 8)
  • 49D: How often 55-/17-Across was married (8 TIMES)
  • 61A: "Suddenly, Last ___" (1959 film starring 55-/17-Across) ("SUMMER")


Bullets:
  • 3D: Early Indian invader (ARYAN) — baffled by this one, which made the NW a bit harder than normal (esp. true give the intersecting theme answers—difficult to pick up if you don't know the theme yet).
  • 29D: Feminizing suffix (-ENNE) — hate this clue, generally. First, I know it'll be a suffix (suboptimal fill). Second, it could be at least four different things. No way to know except from crosses.
  • 47D: Protagonists in "Star Wars" (REBELS) — hmmm. I guess so, though "protagonists" doesn't sit quite right with me. HAN Solo is a protagonist. REBELS are a group he generally belongs to (by the end). Don't think of the collective as "protagonists."
That's all for today.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

69 comments:

foodie 12:13 AM  

Well, it's remarkable to have a tribute puzzle pulled together in such a timely way (or are they like obits, premade and ready to use?). But I agree that it was not Peter Collin's best work. Still, some interesting stuff... I agree ACUTE PAIN and WOMANIZER is an interesting (and apt?) combo, and NO GOOD is right next door!

The number in BUTTERFIELD8 gave me fits. I know I should know it, but I kept thinking it should be a roman numeral, and tried V and X. Knew she was married numerous times, but no idea how many...

Outside of CLEOPATRA, I have not seen ET in any of the roles cited. I loved her in many other roles, so I have some posthumous catching up to do...

PurpleGuy 12:21 AM  

Wow. So now the Federal agencies can issue STDS ?
Oh. You mean standards. Never mind...

Have seen all the movies mentioned, but would have preferred some of her better roles.
THE SANDPIPER gave us the best song "The Shadow of Your Smile."

I would guess this puzzle was submitted long before, and just happened to be available. Not the best tribute puzzle for such a star.
Agree with Rex's writeup.
8 times to 7 men. God bless her !

Shanti-
Bob/PurpleGuy

DJG 12:23 AM  

Meh...

lit.doc 12:37 AM  

Really liked this one, in the context of Tuesday. Yeah, it woulda been nice if the movies used had been a bit more iconic but hey, (in)felicity of letter count can winnow the dickens out of the available answers. Especially liked the presence of a Wednesdayish device like the 8.

@Rex, thanks for sharing the Virginia Woolf clip. Taylor and Burton at their best. Love teaching that one, despite the number of kiddos it probably sends to therapy.

syndy 12:39 AM  

lovely to see elizabeth but awful lot of icky fill. can someone explain MTG some appts? METAZOAN rated a WHATEVER!oh well tuesday

Anonymous 12:57 AM  

@syndy:

MTG is short for meeting.

retired_chemist 1:19 AM  

Knew both BUTTERFIELD 8 and 8 times, so the only surprise was that there was no other number to balance it. The absence of Maggie the Cat, IMO the iconic Taylor role after Cleo, was a bit of a personal downer.

Taylor was not well for some time, so I guess this was constructed a while back and stored away in expectation of her death.

Pretty straightforward generally. with my only hassle being the SE, where UNO @ 62D threw me for a short while. That led to writing in LOSSES without looking at the clue for 68A, which gave 53D USENE as a WTF. But it all got fixed.....

Thanks, Mr. Collins.

fikink 1:21 AM  

Liked the TEETH clue,

WAOVW is a must see, @foodie. Burton's portrayal of torment is rich and subtle. The psychodynamics of the play beg for your attention.

This was an enjoyable puzzle remembering Liz's movies, as I TRALAed THRU the LOOP.

aryan cleopatra metazoan 1:36 AM  

@fikink
Loved the TEETH clue too! I'm always tripped up by those, but love to try and figure out what is either brushed or bared...I don't even want to tell you some of the things I considered!

That 8 crossing was the coolest thing in the puzzle!!!
How felicitous, esp bec it's tricky to tell exactly how many times she was married what with the whole Richard Burton thing...

This actually was a bit tough for me:
-I had RoBots for the Star Wars clue...
-Always assumed the horse was named VELVET,
-and I started off with STrutS, plus I don't understand the ARYAN clue nor the "USE NO hooks".

VENTRICLE opposite ACUTEPAIN made me almost have a heart attack.

Lots of entries with two O's
NOGOOD, ROONE, LOOP, OLMOS, ONEONE
yet not WOOLF!!!

Now go do JOOn's and my LA Times puzzle! ;)

SethG 2:32 AM  

The number of abbreviations felt really high. Same with the partials. USE NO hooks? Seriously?

Add the random LT trivia, like SUMMER, a few roles that weren't hers, and METAZOAN, this felt not-ready.

chefwen 2:48 AM  

Finished this one in half the time as yesterdays. Who doesn't know everything about LA LIZ, the icon. It was pretty much auto-fill but enjoyable. So sorry to see such a beautiful, talented, actress go, in my opinion, before her time. Give me those double lashes any day. Rest in peace Elizabeth.

Anonymous 2:57 AM  

USE NO hooks is a phrase that is printed on cartons or other shipping containers so that the cargo is handled in a manner to avoid damage in transit.

Greene 3:34 AM  

What in blazes is No, No NANETTE doing in a Liz Taylor tribute puzzle? Could we not have DESIREE Armfeldt from A Little Night Music, Liz's sole foray into musical pictures? Hooted off the screen in 1977, the picture plays much better now that 35 years have gone by. Here's La Liz doing ""Send In The Clowns" from that picture. Not her finest hour on screen, but I still adore her in this.

If we're going to list other favorites than I would go with A Place In The Sun which proves that Liz and Montgomery Clift are the two most beautiful people who ever lived.

It also contains that iconic line: "Seems like we always spend the best part of our time just saying goodbye."

Goodbye Elizabeth. And thanks for the memories.

CoffeeLvr 4:13 AM  

I truly enjoyed solving this puzzle, only slowed up significantly at crossing of the composer and the creature. But my first choice was correct.

@aryan cleopatra, you made me laugh out loud with your heart attack quip; tough to do in the middle of the night.

Around 1500 BCE a people known as the Aryans or IndoAryans moved south out of the steppes into both India and what is now Iran. I could tell you more, but the book is on loan to a friend.

Jim 8:29 AM  

Not a Liz Taylor fan, so outside of her name and the Egyptian, it was all Greek.

My worst Tuesday time in a long time (15 mins) with two blank spaces (8--which makes no sense to me -- is it a rebus or isn't it?) and the K in ELKO/KOLA.

SAT-ON TRA-LA A-TAB USE-NO NO-GOOD TEST-OUT ONE-ONE -- no wonder this puzzle felt like A-SLOG

mmorgan 8:35 AM  

It may be too soon to construct an elegant, well-thought out puzzle based on Liz. I felt the same as Rex -- it felt rushed to assemble and get into print. Some entries just seemed more strange than interesting to me (VENTRICLE, ACUTE PAIN, WOMANIZE). I liked the '8' as well -- not sure why.

(I had the same thought as @foodie -- who knows, maybe Will has a drawer full of puzzles all ready to pull out when celebrities die.)

First had DEAD for BEAT at 42A (Pooped), which would have been in bad taste.

Finished with cOLA at 63A (oops -- never heard of ELKO).

joho 8:39 AM  

I wrote a bit Huh??? in the margin next to USENOhooks. Thank you anon. 2:57 for the explanation. I actually thought it might a sign written by a trout at the local fishing hole.

The coolest thing about this puzzle to me were the added answers of ACUTEPAIN, WOMANIZE and VENTRICLE. The chosen movies might not all be iconic, but I am very happy that Peter created a tribute to Ms. Taylor who most certainly deserved one. She was one of kind.

Thanks for the clips,@Greene and @Rex.

PSSSSSST: I sure they find that cobra, like the one that killed CLEOPATRA, at the Bronx zoo!

joho 8:40 AM  

Oh, and I LOVED the 8!

hazel 8:59 AM  

I think this puzzle has been in the obituary drawer (anyone remember that Mary Tyler Moore episode?), but was still sort of rushed to market.   I mean Martinez and Maddux as examples of ERAs - that's not too fresh. While both are sure HOFers, neither has pitched in the big leagues for A WHILE, and you have to go back a few years further to get to when they consistently dominated.  

So, this tribute doesn't really do her career or stardom justice.  On the bright side, it IS nice to see a timely tribute puzzle.....

jesser 9:02 AM  

I'll swim against the tide. I liked the puzzle, and its timeliness. I would have liked to have seen 'Giant' in there somewhere is about my only nit.

I had fits with 9D, because I read the clue over and over as b u r n instead of b u m. So I had NOGOO_ and a WTF? Thankfully, THE SAND PIPER gave me the D and I figured out the misread of the clue.

No writeovers is a good day in Jesserville. Good night and Godspeed, Ms. Taylor. You were one of a kind...

Boxylcan! (Botox for the rump) -- jesser

dk 9:21 AM  

Are tribute puzzles done in advance like obits? Oops @hazel just commented on that.

Inquiring minds want to know.

One good thing is: This puzzle will ensure that Tuesday remains the least liked puzzle day. Wednesday and Thursday are tied for first, Monday, Friday and Saturday are all in second place.

One day I will write up this bit of research. At this moment I am working on solving the Nation's unhealthy behavior crisis.

Consider the fact that 80% of American's who know they are engaged in behaviors that put their health at risk choose to do nothing about it. I am frequently (ok, twice) asked why a "profiler" is now working in health care....

oh yeah the puzzle

* (one star)

chefbea 9:25 AM  

Liked the puzzle. Found it pretty easy. I knew use no hooks but why the quotation marks???

quilter1 9:34 AM  

Liked everything everyone else liked. I'm not a Taylor fan, though I have seen most of the movies on TV during my stay at home mom years. But I also had a crush on Burton so knew Taylor that way, too.

And, like others, thought there must be a dead celebrity puzzle file somewhere since this came out so soon after her demise.

catore: how Liz ripped the scenery on a hot tin roof

Matthew G. 9:36 AM  

I'll go further than Rex: I thought this one was flat-out lousy. A thrown-together tribute. I agree with all of Rex's criticisms, but the one thing that he liked -- the "8" -- was in my opinion actually the worst thing in the grid. Asymmetry is one thing, and I like it more than most people do, but ... just one stray numeral in an otherwise normal grid? No, thanks.

Medium-Challenging for a Tuesday mainly because of how long it took me to figure out what went in the "8" space. USE NO hooks was a completely unfamiliar phrase to me.

slypett 10:02 AM  

For everyone undone by USENO hooks and Anon. 257, here is a story, well, not exactly a story--more of a note. At one time in my life, when I was a longshoreman, the sight of the warning "Use No Hooks" on a carton was a stimulus for us to pull out our cargo hooks (deadly-looking sharpenned hooks with wooden t-handles) and go to town.

Oh, and I liked this puzzle very much, especially the octacross.

the redanman 10:05 AM  

I know she just died, but a little more work should have gone into this puzzle. It was medium because it was not very good. However, if this was in the drawer waiting for her obit. it was appallingly bad.

Very awkward and almost no related fill, ugly and messy. And I didn't even mind the 8. ONEONE is a bit sloppy. ACUTEPAIN is really sloppy, MIGRANES are usually a chronic problem, BTW ...

Anatomic complaint VENTRICLE is a space a chamber not a "piece". That would be a ventricle wall + septum. Oh never mind. Rote like "55D" I knew it was ELKO but I've actually stayed there, I just knew sloppy rote was required.

OCTA vs. OCTO on a Tues. might be better with a (var.)

D--

Look Up Guy 10:12 AM  

The movie's title is acutally:

"BUtterfield 8"

Prior to the advent of digital technology, telephone exchanges were named instead of being numbered. Thus, Butterfield 8 (BU8 or 288) was the name of the exchange that provided service to ritzy precincts of Manhattan's Upper East Side

Toggle 10:14 AM  

@aryan Cleo Meta: Loved your LAT puzzle this am! I was about halfway through it and said to myself, hm, this feels like a really good, clever, NYT Monday! So I glanced up and saw your name and said, but of course!

jackj 10:21 AM  

Eulogy puzzles always seem to fall short of their intent to honor the subject and this one was no exception. Ms. Taylor deserved a better memorial.

The highlight of the puzzle was in borrowing Henry Hook's trademark gimmick of inserting bald numbers without warning and using the numeral 8 to complete the two best entries.

JFe 10:27 AM  

@acme: went to MOMA and headed for the 3rd floor women photography exhibit. Asked a volunteer where I could find the photograph of Tina Weymouth. Her answer: "Do you do The NY Times crossword?."

Amazing photographs; my favorite was RunDMZ.

Two Ponies 10:36 AM  

Strange and rather awkward tribute.
Why those movies? The whole puzzle was pretty dense with entertainment/movie trivia.
I thought Katherine Hepburn was in Suddenly Last Summer, guess I'll look that up.
@ joho, Your trout sign cracked me up.
Now I'll buzz over to the L.A. Times to see what Andrea and Joon have cooked up. BTW Andrea, the horse in National Velvet was called The Pie.

Mel Ott 10:45 AM  

I usually don't care for movie-themed puzzles, but this one was just fine by me - probably because it's about ELIZABETH TAYLOR.

Interesting article about captchas in today's NYT - p. D3 in the dead tree version. Learned that 'captcha' stands for 'comletely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart'. Wow.

GenJoneser 10:54 AM  

@Hazel LOVE that MTM episode. Remember it fondly.

Had a similar moment happen to me when I first started producing news in NYC and viewed a "pre-taped" Sinatra obit being "beamed" out west for storage that I thought was real since he had been very ill. I neglected to check which monitor I was looking at, but proceeded to call everyone I knew with the news. It was several weeks later when he actually passed on. Never made that mistake again!

JenCT 11:05 AM  

@Mel Ott: never knew what 'captcha' stood for.

Didn't mind the 8 at all.

One mistake: COLA/ELCO for KOLA/ELKO.

Yes, felt thrown-together. I'll go check out ACME's puzzle now.

mac 11:09 AM  

No, this one didn't sing, and felt like it was quickly put together for the occasion.

O, here's the Nanette I wanted to put in a couple of days ago. @Acme: I also thought Velvet was the horse. Not a great ET fan, but admire how early and consistently she worked on fundraising for AIDS research. Saw an interview with her in which se said she hated being called Liz.

The "use no hooks" and staves terms where both new to me.

On to the LAT!

Shamik 11:12 AM  

Medium time for me at 4:59.

La Liz, not my favorite actress. "WAOVW" not my favorite movie. But the "8" redeemed the meh puzzle.

solasoletta 11:23 AM  

I'm a novice at the NY Times puzzle, but even I thought this was kind of a pathetic effort. I always like to have a good chuckle when I figure out the theme of the puzzle, and this one I got as soon as I saw Suddenly Last Summer. And I agree with you about Han Solo and the Rebels. I was trying to come up with a way to fit Luke and Leia into that spot.

Stan 11:23 AM  

The BUtterfield 8 gimmick worked for me because I was stumped by what part of speech could possibly match the "How often..." clue. So for that I'll put up with ATAB and USENO.

@JFe: Great MoMA story!

Two Ponies 11:35 AM  

Just back from the LAT's puzzle.
Nice one Andrea and Joon!
I looked up Suddenly Last Summer and Katherine Hepburn was in it.
Elizabeth was a young woman and KH was her mother.
@ Mel Ott, thanks for the info.

My captcha this time is pantiman!

william e emba 11:40 AM  

Well, I found the puzzle "dead" easy, because I was expecting the ELIZABETH TAYLOR tribute puzzle to show up this week. I filled in 17/55A without a single cross, and without checking the letter counts. I mean, who else?

(Any bets on Merl rerunning his past Taylor tribute puzzle next week or so?)

I have long been aware that Taylor won an Oscar for her performance in BUtterfield 8, but my real awareness of the title is from the unread copy of the original John O'Hara novel (same title) sitting on my shelves. Some day.

In fact, along these lines, I think the puzzle would have been a lot more interesting if the theme answers had been clued without the heavy-handed mentioning of "55/17A" itself. Heck, 8TIMES could have been clued as a synonym for OCTA-, for example, and then serve as the theme revealer.

@Keats in re Monday: I wasn't peeved. It's just I (erroneously) got the impression you didn't get the joke, and the didacticism involved in explaining my perfect-to-me sense of humor very carefully pretty much has to sound peevish.

Glitch 11:47 AM  

Per the NYT Wordplay blog:

"...Will Shortz says that this grid was submitted a while ago and that there is no connection between the publication of today’s puzzle and the recent death of the subject..."

So it appears this wasn't a "rush job".

.../Glitch

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

@Glitch - So, Will was prescient in clueing 55A by referencing her as "late"?

JaxInL.A. 12:11 PM  

First, I'm once again completely in agreement with @mmorgan. But I fixed the ELKO/KOLA cross and still the program says I have incorrect cells in the puzzle. I cannot find any other error. Normally I like the free Crosswords program just fine. Urgh.

@mel.ott, thanks for that nifty piece of info about captcha!

Liked the Joon/ACME LAT puzzle with 7 theme entries, and PG's write up at L.A. Crossword Confidential.

Help help! I have not been able to get the CrosSynergy puzzle for days. The Cruciverb.com links I usually use do not work, but go to a Houston Chronicle page that says "We're sorry, but the article you requested is not currently available on Chron.com."  What happened? It used to go so smoothly.  And this has been going on for a week or so. Any advice?  (I have the feeling I posted this question recently but can't remember where and can't find an answer. Feel free to call me an idiot if you answered this already.)

Anne 12:17 PM  

@JaxinLA - Try crosswordese.com. There is a link there to lots of puzzles. I think CrosSynergy is there.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

@JaxinLA - Rex has a link to Will Johnson's Puzzle Pointers in one of his sidebars, which contains a working link to CrossSynergy. Bookmark it.

Masked and Anonymous 12:25 PM  

Always entertainin' to guess what 31 (44) will think of a puz. Got this one kinda wrong. Thought he'd like all the long, weird fill, and wouldn't like the solitary "8" usage. Wrong again, M&A breath.

Kinda hard to squish all of the great Ms. Taylor's accomplishments (and marriages) into a 15 X grid. But if you're gonna give it a shot, Peter Collins did a pretty tolerable job. Thumbs up for takin' the shot. She'da approved of no "LIZ" in it, anyhow.

This just in 12:27 PM  

@JaxinLA

The "Site News" at CRUCIVERB.COM indicates there was a problem that has now been fixed.

P>G>

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

@This just in - The "Site News
" at CRUCIVERB.COM is mistaken.

Sfingi 1:13 PM  

Nice salute to Taylor. Her best, IMO, was Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
Her worst was CLEOPATRA. I'll never forget the lines, "Come here YOU. I'm not through with YOU," uttered like one of those girls on Jersey Shore, arms akimbo, etc.

Had "essay" before THEME.

Never knew a METAZOAN.

Last word in for me was ONEONE (sports). Had to think about that.
How about so many soccer scores: Zero a zero. That would yield vowels.

@Mac - the word staff has 2 meanings. The plural of the most common is staffs. The plural of the one meaning sticks of wood is STAVES.

How did Joon and Andrea know that Taylor would die before she married the 9th time? Spooky.

@Lookupguy - And my phone was REdwood 735-3077 or RAndolf 724-2486.

retired_chemist 1:43 PM  

And then there is PEnnsylvania 6-5000, both the number of the Hotel Pennsylvania (which claims it is the oldest continuing telephone number in NYC) and a Glenn Miller song titled therefrom.

mmorgan 2:38 PM  

@Jax -- always cool when we've got the same vibe! I don't know your software (I use AL), but maybe the numeral '8' is the problem...

jberg 2:50 PM  

I knew what a stave is, but I don't see how they are "barrel supports" - aren't they the barrel itself? I was really reluctant to write it in, until forced by the crosses.

On the other hand, as someone else noted, as soon as I saw "late actor" I wrote ET down with no crosses - the letter count was enough.


I loved the 8, though I guess I agree it would have been nice to have another numeral somewhere. My only writeover was RICK for ILSA; otherwise pretty easy.

CoffeeLvr 3:18 PM  

@redanman, yes, migraines are a chronic problem, but if you had ever had one you would know that the PAIN is ACUTE. My son had childhood migraines, thankfully out grown, probably exacerbated by the stress of his parents' divorce. I later had wicked migraines for a while, also, but the environmental triggers are no longer in my life.

@dk, include me in the 80%, as I sit at my keyboard. A solitary, sedentary lifestyle, too much of the wrong food, and ocassionally too many drinks.

@sfingi, hand up for essay.

Now to try to find Andrea & Joon's puzzle; I don't normally do the LAT.

Nancy Nurse 3:32 PM  

Acute refers to sudden onset of a condition, not the severity. It is a common mistake.

allan 6:44 PM  

Sorry. Have to agree with retiredchemist. Just one 8 leaves you wanting more. Otherwise decent puzzle.

syndy 6:52 PM  

When my migraines hit (luckily @ omce a decade)they come like a thunderbolt and deck me-is that acute?

Nancy Nurse 7:19 PM  

Both acute and severe.

Anonymous 8:31 PM  

I liked that the difficulty of this puzzle was appropriate for Tuesday, but ONLY because ET just died. I had never heard of Butterfield8 before this, but learned of it from reading her obituaries and have my DVR set to tape it when it airs sometime this week on Turner Movie Classics. I didn't get enough sleep last night and was staring at the grid this morning thinking "it should be about ET but her name doesn't fit the grid." After some crosses, I realized that her name did in fact fit. Ah well.

Gil.I.Pollas 9:13 PM  

I'm on the side of @Matthew G. although just about the only thing I did like was the "8."
To echo others, I too felt it was a bit forced and didn't really do Elizabeth T. the acclaim she deserves.
Loved Andrea and Joon's LAT puzzle; it's whimsical and entertaining. Like @Toggle said, a clever NYT Monday!

fikink 9:56 PM  

@Allen! So good to see you here again!

sanfranman59 11:44 PM  

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

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

Mon 6:58, 6:55, 1.01, 58%, Medium
Tue 9:36, 8:56, 1.08, 73%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:41, 1.00, 53%, Medium
Tue 5:13, 4:35, 1.14, 88%, Challenging

The Times' Premium Crosswords page is giving me fits this week. Half the time, I can't get the Java apps to load (any other online solvers having problems this week?). And now, all of the sudden, without any warning, they're changing the puzzles (and all the stats) at 6:00pm Pacific time instead of 7:00pm. So I've missed getting the end-of-day numbers yesterday and today. Oh well. Had this been the worst thing that's happened to me the past two days, I'm living a charmed life (unfortunately, they weren't the worst things that have happened to me, but I'll spare Rex's readers the gory details).

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

I have a physics undergrad degree so red shifted came quickly. The rest of the puzzle did not

Anonymous 12:33 AM  

A giant meh from me. Being born in 1989 Elizabeth Taylor means nothing to me. When she died I honestly didn't understand why such a big deal was made over it. Different generations I suppose and hence this puzzle was a bunch of Googling for old film titles that I'll never see nor will I bother to remember.

I hate puzzles full of random film facts.

RonL 6:10 PM  

I liked the BUTTERFIELD8/8TIMES cross, but the clue "How often 55-/17-Across was married" calls for a rate ("how often") and not a count. A rate is a number divided by a unit of time, like 30 miles per hour. The clue should have been "How many times 55-/17-Across was married".

the redanman 9:38 AM  

@Nancy Nurse

Paroxysm of pain, now THAT'S ACUTE PAIN

sort of like doing this puzzle

Migranes have AURAE (now THERE'S some good crossword ROTE for you) and might have been a useful clue.

Was a bad clue/answer any way you scalpel it

mikemclaughlin4 10:20 AM  

I was under the impression that using a number (8) was something that looked down upon. Kind of a gimmick.

NotalwaysrightBill 12:19 PM  

Syndi-solver.

"The Shadow of a tributary obituary puzzle"--great haunting hummable song.

MIZ LIZ has to have been Hollywood's all-time Helen of paparazziville, a body-language expression genius. Liked "Raintree County" best of her FILMS, HER best in "Taming" (Burton carried her in it, but he was, after all, a true Shakesperean).

She owned an original Van Gogh; wouldn't be surprised if it was the one that came with the ear.

Thought that the added allusion to another noted siren, Ingred Bergman [58A "Casablanca" role = ILSA] was apropos: sort of an all-around CLEOPATRA THEME. ELKO SUMMER doesn't quite work though. Nanu Nanu NANETTE.

The once-accepted idea of an ARYAN invasion of India, c. 1500BC, is nowadays thought by indologists to be a highly unlikely theory. Dinosaur ideas die hard.

Waxy in Montreal 1:42 PM  

Enjoyed this puzzle immensely as I may be in the minority who has always thought Butterfield 8 was Liz' best role; IMHO the film was better than the John O'Hara novel it's loosely based on and the bar scene in which Liz drills her stiletto heel through Laurence Harvey's shoe into his foot was one for the ages. Of course, the fact I was a mere lad of 15 when I first saw the movie and was extremely smitten by Ms Taylor's very obvious charms may explain my opinion.

With due apologies to the 16,980 denizens of ELKO, I've never heard of your particular corner of paradise so ended up with the COLA/ELCO twosome.

And I freely confess that my education (until now) does not include the term TARES. Perhaps I was playing hookey watching Butterfield 8 when it was covered in class...

Dirigonzo 5:03 PM  

I seem to remember a puzzle from the not-too-distant (in syndicated time) past when the appearance of HTML in the grid caused quite a lot of consternation for some of the prime-timers, yet here it produced not a mention. Perhaps there were more important criticisms to be made about this Liz tribute (or maybe non-tribute if WS is to be believed)? Whatever, I liked the puzzle just fine.

@Slypett - I wonder why anyone would do that?


gongons - only definition that comes immediately to mind is way too morbid to put here so I'll just say that I am really glad to learn what "captcha" stands for.

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