Bygone Acura / WED 4-13-11 / 1987 duet Eric Clapton Tina Turner / Humanoid race in Avatar / McSorley's order / Cultural phenomenon 60s

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: INTEGRA (36A: Bygone Acura that's involved in a crackup at 17-, 23-, 45- and 55-Across) — phrases containing anagrams of INTEGRA

  • RED GRANITE (17A: Wisconsin's state rock)
  • TANGIER, MOROCCO (23A: City on the Strait of Gibraltar) [uh ... STRAIT is in the grid (5D) ... unusual oversight]
  • TEARING US APART (45A: 1987 duet by Eric Clapton and Tina Turner)
  • "YOU INGRATE!" (55A: Rebuke to a thankless wretch)

Word of the Day: P.W. BOTHA (22D: 1980s South African president) —

Pieter Willem Botha (12 January 1916 – 31 October 2006), commonly known as "P. W." and Die Groot Krokodil (Afrikaans for "The Big Crocodile"), was the prime minister of South Africa from 1978 to 1984 and the first executive state president from 1984 to 1989. // Botha was a long-time leader of South Africa's National Party and an advocate of the apartheid system although, while in power, he did make concessions towards human rights. He was also a staunch opponent of Communism. // Early in 1998, when Botha refused to testify at the Mandela government's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he was supported by the right-wing Conservative Party in his refusal but was fined and given a suspended jail sentence later that year. (wikipedia)

• • •

Whoa, this one slapped me around quite badly. First, every single theme answer was either strange or unknown to me. All of them. I'm not sure I knew TANGIER was in MOROCCO. I've certainly never heard of RED GRANITE or this alleged Tina Turner / Eric Clapton duet, "TEARING US APART" ("The song did not crack the US Hot 100"—wikipedia). And I don't think I've heard anyone say "YOU INGRATE!" ... well, ever. Maybe in a 19th century novel. But they all seem like valid answers and they certainly fulfill the theme, which is clever. Long Downs in NW and SE were surprisingly hard to come up with—again, as with theme answers, this was true for All of them. In fact, there was a brief period of time where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get the NW at all. COHOS plural? (1A: Pacific salmon) Not clear from clue. OPART? (14A: Cultural phenomenon of the '60s) Again, not at All clear from clue. STRAIT? (5D: Naval route) I thought SEAWAY. COROT? (1D: "Woman With a Pearl" painter) He painted that? DODO could've been DOLT (28A: Nitwit), GOO is not a word I'd use to describe melted ice cream (not even close), ORG could've been COM, EDU, etc. (4D: Modern address ending) Seriously, very rough for me. Other parts I breezed through, but that corner, and to a lesser extent the SE corner (PRIORATES?? PEA SALADS??) (33D: Monastic offices + 32D: Vegan side dishes) made this one a tough Wednesday for me. Sassy and skillful enough for me to find it ultimately enjoyable, once I got over my annoyance at the significant slow-down.

Had MAXIM for AXIOM (7D: Truism) and MAY BE for ARE SO (43A: You ___ right!"). Otherwise, everything besides NW/SE corners went down without much of a fight. Really liked the clue on DEAR SANTA (39A: Line that goes to the North Pole?). In fact, besides REPR. (25D: Second ed.), I really liked most of the fill in this puzzle, even the short stuff. Very bouncy stuff (BOING!) even in the tight corners.

  • 35A: McSorley's order (ALE) — got this right away, but don't really know what McSorley's is (I'm assuming it's a pub...). McSorley's Old Ale House is, apparently, "the oldest 'Irish' tavern in New York City [...] it was one of the last of the 'Men Only' pubs, only admitting women after legally being forced to do so in 1970" (wikipedia)
  • 57A: Ink-colored, in Shakespeare (EBON) — "Rouse up revenge from EBON den with fell Alecto's snake" (Henry IV 2, V.v)
  • 37D: Humanoid race in "Avatar" (NAVI) — never seen the movie, but NAVI will always remind me of Angela (aka Puzzle Girl)'s son, who wore his NAVI costume to the National Mall for the "Rally to Restore Sanity" this past October. He was not the most absurd-looking person there. Hell, he's not even the most absurd-looking person in this picture.
  • 10D: 1984 best-selling business autobiography ("IACOCCA") — now *that* would be a good name for a city in MOROCCO. IACOCCA, MOROCCO! Just saying it makes me want to go to there.
  • 45D: Formerly much-ballyhooed fitness program (TAE BO) — that's a mouthful of weird syllables for a simple TAE BO clue. "Formerly much-ballyhooed" is not a descriptor you see every day.
Whoops, I finished with an error. I assume that the actual quote is not "Unto us A SIN is given"...
Oh well. I'll get 'em next week.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


John from Chicago 12:10 AM  

There is no way Rex is going to criticize someone he knows is a genius and there is no reason for him to start with this puzzle. Sheer joy! I especially liked BOING. It sounds like the sound in your head when you realize the theme. From a constructor's standpoint Rex nailed the theme. But I prefer to think of the theme as anagrams of TEARING with the clue at 45A being the tell-tale clue as to the theme. I don't think the asymmetry that results would bother Ms. Gorski at all.

foodie 12:20 AM  

I loved the contrast between INTEGRA and TEARING, synthesis and ripping apart... Very cool.

I thought this was medium, may be because I used to have an INTEGRA, knew TANGIER, and once primed to the theme, as soon as I saw "wench" I thought of INGRATE!

DONG & BOING are a good pair!

Rex, I love that look of yours! You look like the kind of guy who'd head to IOCOCCA, MOROCCO and do a hookah...

lit.doc 12:20 AM  

Very cool anagram puzzle. Checked the clue for 36A as soon as I’d looked over the grid, and my suspicion about “crackup” was confirmed by 55A YOU INGRATE. First got traction in SE, and the entire solve went SE to NW. That NW corner ate up probably a third of my time. Why, I don’t know.

Best “Oh, really?” moment was discovering (by way of a post-solve, furrowed-brow google) that TANGIER doesn’t actually need an S. Best “gimme” was 39A LONGITUDE. Best “Oh crap, now I get it” moment happened like five seconds ago as I was reviewing the puzzle to see if I had anything (else) to say; the sense of 9D “Tip of a tongue?” = ESE had totally eluded me. Nice.

Didn’t someone just yesterday remark on Ms. Gorski’s penchant for preemptive strikes on Every Possible Theme Whatsoever? @Liz, keep up your evil work.

Oh, good, Rex has posted. Hmmm. Now I see why I ended up finishing in NW in high-average time after doing like three-fourths of the puzzle in near-record time. Good write up as usual—thanks. Me too, BTW, for “Unto us A SIN is given” initially. Saved (I use the term advisedly) by my familiarity with Bach’s cantata “For unto us a child is born”.

Orange 12:21 AM  

I used to do Tae-Bo at Ballyhoo Total Fitness.

Anonymous 12:28 AM  

I don't get "tip of a tongue." ???

syndy 12:29 AM  

MS. GORSKI have a Heart it's only wednesday! northwest was a killer! I thought TANGIER(S) had an s at the end so I discounted it!actually everthing west of vitro was driving me crazy-but Decided ti go with COHOS cuz thats all the salmon I speak and RED----ite Hell I"M going with granite so baby step by baby step found my way back! Now I read "THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING"but COROT still doen't ring anything

retired_chemist 12:35 AM  

@ Anon 12:28 - ESE is the ending for a language (Japan, JapanESE; China, ChinESE).

hazel 12:43 AM  

awesome awesome cluing and some very spry fill. reveal definitely helped get me some of the theme answers.

@syndy - vermeer painted the girl with a pearl earring, around which that novel was constructed and in which the girl looked sort of Tangier-y. the woman with the pearl is not nearly as memorable, to me anyway.

Robin 12:46 AM  

@rex GOOMH

retired_chemist 12:51 AM  

Good job, Ms. Gorski. What Rex said.

Very few writeovers today. 60A RING => DONG; 1A COHOE => COHOS (didn't see salmon could be plural at first); and out.

Did a Maleska era puzzle recently which had IACOCCA as its theme. You needed his city of birth, his wife's name, his daughters' names, his son-in-law's name, the name of once of his books, and more. Not fun,and I needed to Google. Bah. But IACOCCA here is fine.

captche tersell - bygone Toyota, right? Hmm - there's a puzzle theme,anagrams of tersell.....

Doug 1:18 AM  

Wow, the NW clobbered me and I am FROM Wisconsin and LIVE in Vancouver where Cohos are caught. Rarely does a theme help me complete a puzzle, but and I needed every bit of help for the first two.

Really nice puzzle though.

117 Orchard Park Lane 1:29 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:30 AM  

RANDR? Vacation time for short? Ran doctor? This is a mystery to me.

retired_chemist 1:33 AM  

@ Anon 1:30 - R and R - rest and recreation.

lit.doc 1:38 AM  

@Anon 1:30, R AND R = "rest and relaxation". Military origin, I think.

Rube 2:12 AM  

The NW got me also, but worked it out down to R_Rating and NA_I. Gave up and came here to resolve the issue. Feel dumb not figuring out these three, but my excuse is that the sound track of Avatar was so loud that I did not enjoy the movie, (as mentioned back in February).

Really thought there was an "S" at the end of TANGIER. Thought the theme was brilliant. Got it after YOU INGRATE which helped the rest of the solve. Suspected COHOS from the start. Who the hell is COROT? BOOING makes me think of Calvin and Hobbes.

All in all, a good puzzle.

andrea slaphappy michaels 2:16 AM  

Total Synchronicity: while debating if 28D would be #1 MOM or #1 DAD, a commercial came on for a minivan and actually said #1 DAD while I was writing it in!!!!!!

WOW, who would have thought INTEGRA had FOUR anagrams that could be made into phrases????

I wasn't digging it as I much as I usually do, because of OPART/APART, PEASALAD/OPERAROLE and abbreviations I didn't like: REPR, DEP, STN.
But suddenly there was SLAPHAPPY!!!

It's weird so many had ASiN, since ASTON-MARTIN was in the puzzle yesterday. But the MARTIN must subconsciously make people think ASTON is spelled ASTIN. @Foodie, right?

I liked RRATING, GSUIT (UTILE could have been a Scrabble letter!) and wished there was a whole puzzle of them, but Peter's probably done it.

DJG 2:25 AM  

I'm not really getting all the love for this one. I don't see how the theme is clever. Anagrams have been done many, many times before (Ms. Gorski had one run earlier this year with anagrams of LINE). Also, YOUINGRATE seems like a bigger stretch to me than yesterday's MOUNTNIRVANA.

Some of the non-theme fill is nice, but all in all it's a pretty run of the mill puzzle in my opinion.

chefwen 2:27 AM  

Lived in Wisconsin for the better part of my young life until we figured there were other places in the U.S. where you didn't have to put on multiple layers of clothes to get through the day. Anyway, I never, once, thought "Ooh, I wonder what our state rock is"?

Puzzle was a little rough for me but I made it through. Got 22D BOTHA just from the crosses, thank the Gods they didn't include his initials P.W. or I would have had another minor meltdown.

@Doug - Where in Wisconsin? I hailed from Whitefish Bay and when we moved back from overseas, Mequon. (that would be good for a new Natick.)

Loved Dear Santa and slap happy.

Ms. Gorski does it again, thanks.

capcha - lubblog - Well I DO lub it!

Greg C 3:17 AM  

I hated this Wednesday, first because it was too hard for a Wednesday and nothing makes me angrier than solving a Saturday and then struggling with the following mid-week puzzles. But I also hated it because of the east-central. Rex alluded to the stupidity of PEA SALADS, which I've never heard spoken or seen written (although i guess anything can be a salad... "burrito salad," why not?), but my real pet peeve was YES, with the clue "absolutely!" I had "yep" in there forever. If you're going to have such bland answers, at least have a clue like "progressive rock legends," I dunno.

Octavian 4:01 AM  

Fantastic Wednesday puzzle -- could easily have been a Thursday. Lots of tough names (Corot) and things (Priorates) and a super-cool theme. Loved every inch of it.

Gorski should never be taken for granite.

(Someone had to say it).

JaxInL.A. 5:21 AM  

I love Liz Gorski and had just shown a friend her wonderful post at Crossword City on the red and white quilt show at the Armory @quilter1 you must take a look if you have not already) when i went to look at the puzzle and here she is!

I, too, battled the NE and HTG for McSorleys. The rest came okay. Knew COROT which helped confirm the weird COHOS.

Thanks for a very fun Weds.

Anonymous 6:28 AM  

Good, tough puzzle.

I have issues with two clues. 15A "Something to reflect on". How is that 'axis'?

27A "Abbr. sometimes written twice in a row." I don't get that, although "said twice in a row" would make sense to me.


The Bard 7:11 AM  

Love's Labour's Lost > Act I, scene I

FERDINAND: [Reads] 'So it is, besieged with sable-coloured
melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour
to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving
air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to
walk. The time when. About the sixth hour; when
beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down
to that nourishment which is called supper: so much
for the time when. Now for the ground which; which,
I mean, I walked upon: it is y-cleped thy park. Then
for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter
that obscene and preposterous event, that draweth
from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which
here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest;
but to the place where; it standeth north-north-east
and by east from the west corner of thy curious-
knotted garden: there did I see that low-spirited
swain, that base minnow of thy mirth,'--

Leon 7:15 AM  

The NYT had a great article on McSorley's last week.

mac 7:43 AM  

For me, a fantastic puzzle as well. "Had an idea" doesn't seem exactly "suspected", but it fell into place. Needed many crosses for priorates, because of course I wanted priories. Love "you ingrate"!

Got worried in the SW because I didn't know Jeri, but it too came along.

Love Corot, but thought of Vermeer first. Red Granite for Wisconsin was something learned, think New Hampshire with granite.

Thank you, Elizabeth and Rex, good puzzle morning!

hazel 8:03 AM  

Forgot to mention that I too loved YOU INGRATE. I think it was likely recurring dialogue on either Dallas or Dynasty - maybe Knots Landing - probably accompanied by a slap to the face.

David L 8:07 AM  

A little harder than your average Wednesday -- finished in the NW, which fell when I realized salmon could be plural.

Good puzzle overall, although I didn't care for PEASALADS next to PRIORATES. Priorates sounds chemical to me -- the result of a reaction involving prioritic acid. And do people really put peas in salads? Or eat salads that are mostly peas? Makes me glad I'm not a vegetarian.

Matthew G. 8:18 AM  

Gorski at her best! I hear those who are saying "it's just an anagram theme," but there's a certain random playfulness to this dis-INTEGRA-tion (which, incidentally, is how I expected Rex to name the theme) that I just love. That playfulness is matched well by the rest of the grid and it's clues. I smirked, in a good way, all through this one.

I took a vacation in MOROCCO in December, and TANGIER was the only significant city in the country I _didn't_ visit. But knowing it was certainly a big help today (Still, when are constructors going to discover the crossword-awesome Moroccan seaside city of Essaouira?).

I definitely had a wavelength thing going on with this puzzle. Guesses like UNDER and THERE all turned out correct. The only thing I struggled with today was the NW-most square. Couldn't come up with the C in COHOS or COROT, even though I'm sure I'd seen both in crosswords before. Had to guess a few times to get it to submit.

Smitty 8:31 AM  

You are right Rex.
I live (and fish) in the NW and the plural COHOS is as accurate as the plural SALMONS.

Perhaps technically acceptable, but very Cheechako.

mmorgan 8:45 AM  

I was enjoying this a great deal -- and finding it surprisingly and uncharacteristically easy for a Gorski (for me). But for some reason when I got the theme it felt like all the air went out of the balloon. I guess I was expecting something more "astonishing" than anagrams. (That sounds more unfair than I mean it to. I'm just a slaphappy ingrate.)

Cynthia G 8:48 AM  

I cracked up in the NW and DNF, which hasn't happened on a Wednesday for quite a while. Could have finished with Google help, I expect, but I've sworn off that crutch.

mitchs 8:48 AM  

Relecting on an axis is a math thingie. That's the extent of my knowledge of calculus.

jesser 8:56 AM  

Having uteRO at 8D held me up for far too long. I blame Rex and yesterday's Nirvana clip for that one. Also had to give up amp at 42A. Other than those, I didn't have the trip-ups that many seem to have encountered.

There's something about being BOING SLAP HAPPY that makes me think today might just be an OK day.

Tisalewa! (It must be, because tis not a NAVI)

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

McSorley's is a pub but it's also a beer, which also works for the clue.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

Typical Wednesday for me. Completed all without Googling. Had STA for 29D instead of STN. So I had DEAR SAeTA for 39A. For the life of me I could not see DEAR SANTA.
I got INTEGRA early in the puzzle and guessed that this was an anagram puzzle once I got TEARING US APART (don't know the song but guessed it). Next came YOU INGRATE (sounded like a quotation from Julius Caesar to me or something like that).
After that came GRANITE and TANGIER which helped me complete the puzzle. Needed some guesses (B in BOTHA and C in COROT). Also guessed A SON for 43D. But I feel stupid that I did not get the DEAR SANTA.
Still an accomplishment for me.

David 9:24 AM  

So STRAIT is both a clue and an answer?!! WTF!!!

Since when is that even allowed?

chefbea 9:31 AM  

Had to google a bit but did finally finish. No time to read all the comments. Busy day but will read them later.

joho 9:38 AM  

I love that Ms. Gorski's puzzles are always interesting.

I wanted ding with DONG but BOING is even better.


Fun Wednesday!

james 9:44 AM  

Loved the crunchiness of this puzzle, with so many new words and phrases.

We've prepared PEA SALAD for years. It's DELICIOUS, when made with fresh-from-the-garden peas.

Especially liked STRAIT as a clue and answer, which caused me to wonder where I'd seen it before. Oh, it was in the clues! Very entertaining Wednesday.

Ulrich 9:50 AM  

We had a reproduction of the very Corot hanging in our living room when I grew up--who'da thunk it would come in handy 60 years later? Remember being puzzled by the fact that her blouse seems to bulge a bit, but for no apparent physical reason (10-year-olds notice these things!)

And in geography, Tangier was still an independent city under some international control. Completely missed the fact that it got reintegrated with Morocco--must have been quite a scene with T. Williams, Genet, Burroughs et al. hanging around.

Oh, and I did like the puzzle very much--there's anagrams and there's anagrams, and this is one of the better ones, to me.

retired_chemist 9:53 AM  

lit.doc, anon - R AND R, interestingly, is defined both ways in the online dictionaries Google finds. Same meaning either way.

PanamaRed 10:01 AM  

Another Wisconsin native here who never knew the state rock.

I was sure I was going to have to Google when I started, couldn't get a foothold until the south started to fall, then worked my way north, with the first O in 1D being the last letter to fall (never heard of COROT).

Great work, Ms. Gorski - loved this puzzle, and finished without a Google.

Captcha: proing - when the spring breaks?

quilter1 10:05 AM  

Great puzzle and on my wavelength.
PEA SALAD is a staple at potlucks in the Midwest. All my church lady cookbooks have a recipe. It is a creamy salad that is mostly peas with diced cheese.
When I was little I had the Gerald McBoing Boing story on a 78 record and watching the cartoon made me SLAPHAPPY.
Took the ferry from Gibraltar to Tangier. Most vivid memory--seasick women in burqas.

@JaxinLA: thanks for the tip. I'll look for it. I wish I could see it because then i could also see my grandkids including brand new last Friday Katie Louise, 8lb 1oz.

JenCT 10:10 AM  

BOING is the sound the bluebirds make around here.

Had MUCH before A SON for 43d.

Haven't been to McSorley's in years; I remember it being very rustic & old-fashioned.

@Rex: Ronald McDonald wants his shirt back. :-)

PIX 10:15 AM  

If you see her, say hello, she might be in Tangier
She left here last early Spring, is livin' there, I hear
Say for me that I’m all right though things get kind of slow
She might think that I’ve forgotten her, don’t tell her it isn’t so
Dylan (If You See Her, Say Hello)

John V 10:36 AM  

Yes a "crunchy" Wednesday, indeed. Guessed right on 9D, ese, to finish, as 15A axis was a bit obscure for me.

Just a whole bunch of challenging words for me; a challenging Wednesday with no limerick to offer. Damn.

Captcha is hotiopi, which is next to Morocco, IIR.

jackj 10:39 AM  

We expect terrific puzzles from Liz Gorski and, as usual, she delivers!

Liz seems to be channeling her inner BEQ and first gives us teasers like BOING and ARESO, building to SLAPHAPPY and then delivering the coup de grace with YOUINGRATE.

Edginess becomes her.

For those lamenting the inclusion of Wisconsin's state rock, REDGRANITE, better hope you are never asked the state rock for Massachusetts. Can you believe it is "Roxbury puddingstone"?

Look for it in the next "Maleska revisited" Sunday puzzle.

Two Ponies 10:44 AM  

Rather tough for a Wed.
Roughest patch for me was the Navi, Isere, R rating intersection.
Very tricky clues today.
I haven't thought about Gerald McBoing Boing in ages! Thanks for the video Rex.

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

Oh, I forgot to add that I was quite surprised to see that Gerald McBoing Boing was written by Dr. Suess. Who knew?

Lizbet 10:48 AM  

I thought it was much harder than the usual Wed. puzzle, and I had to Google a few things. Like one previous poster, I don't undaerstan how "axis" is something to reflect on.
About "tip of a tongue": that's 'tongue" as in lanuage, and they often end in "ese."

Elaine2 10:49 AM  

Hi -- I was very relieved to see I wasn't the only one who found this a challenging Wednesday! I was very pleased when Mr. Happy Pencil showed up!

santafefran 10:50 AM  

Copied from the website devoted to him: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (July 17, 1796 - February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter and printmaker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.

Prolific, yes--869 of his paintings shown there. That said, not a favorite of mine.

Tried LOVE for RAVE which made that area tough to conquer and was wondering if it might be a rebus when I couldn't fit COMEON in 19a.


JaxInL.A. 10:57 AM  

My earlier post is a bit incoherent. I was very tired last night because I was up 'til 2:00 playing online Scrabble with my grown niece. Oddest thing was that we were in the same room, she on her iPhone and me on the iPad. Such is modern life, but now I know how to do it remotely when she's _not_ visiting.

I meant to say I died in the NW, not NE. And I was not compos mentis enough to manage a link to Liz's blog post on the quilt show. But now I'm awake and I can.  And congrats on the new grandbaby, @quilter1! (I think the show closed, tho.)

I have to confess that I did not get the anagrams until I came here, and I still liked the puzzle.  

Thanks, Rex, for putting up that wonderful animated short of Dr. Seuss' Gerald McBoing Boing. The creators were all animation pioneers who broke from Disney and its heavily rendered style to experiment with a looser, more impressionistic look and feel that began to emerge after WWII.  They each went on to do famous stuff like Charlie Brown and a Mr. Magoo short that won an Oscar.  

Bob Kerfuffle 11:03 AM  

One write over at 10 A, had "I . . . AM OF . . . the opinion that" before " . . . I'M OF the opinion . . ."

Otherwise, very nice puzzle, ETC, ETC.

baja 11:04 AM  

When I was a kid I had a friend who occasionally called me gerald mcboing boing - never understood the reference - until now. Thanks for the clip.

Shamik 11:08 AM  

@Smitty: I just smiled that I knew Cheechako! Hahaha!

8:18 made this a challenging Wednesday, but a delightful one for me. Great write-up and comments today. Totally happy with the puzzle experience. Could even say SLAP HAPPY.

jeremiahsjohnson 11:18 AM  

i was sitting in mcsorley's. outside it was New York and beautifully snowing.

Inside snug and evil. the slobbering walls filthily push witless creases of screaming warmth chuck pillows are noise funnily swallows swallowing revolvingly pompous a the swallowed mottle with smooth or a but of rapidly goes gobs the and of flecks of and a chatter sobbings intersect with which distinct disks of graceful oath, upsoarings the break on ceiling-flatness

the Bar.tinking luscious jigs dint of ripe silver with warm-lyish wetflat splurging smells waltz the glush of squirting taps plus slush of foam knocked off and a faint piddle-of-drops she says I ploc spittle what the lands thaz me kid in no sir hopping sawdust you kiddo

he's a palping wreaths of badly Yep cigars who jim him why gluey grins topple together eyes pout gestures stickily point made glints squinting who's a wink bum-nothing and money fuzzily mouths take big wobbly foot

steps every goggle cent of it get out ears dribbles soft right old feller belch the chap hic summore eh chuckles skulch. . . .

and I was sitting in the din thinking drinking the ale, which never lets you grow old blinking at the low ceiling my being pleasantly was punctuated by the always retchings of a worthless lamp.

when With a minute terrif iceffort one dirty squeal of soiling light yanKing from bushy obscurity a bald greenish foetal head established It suddenly upon the huge neck around whose unwashed sonorous muscle the filth of a collar hung gently.

(spattered)by this instant of semiluminous nausea A vast wordless nondescript genie of trunk trickled firmly in to one exactly-mutilated ghost of a chair,

a;domeshaped interval of complete plasticity,shoulders, sprouted the extraordinary arms through an angle of ridiculous velocity commenting upon an unclean table.and, whose distended immense Both paws slowly loved a dinted mug

gone Darkness it was so near to me,i ask of shadow won't you have a drink?

(the eternal perpetual question)

Inside snugandevil. i was sitting in mcsorley's It,did not answer.

outside.(it was New York and beautifully, snowing. . . .

- e.e. cummings

(text copied from here: - apologies if there are any errors)

Campesite 11:38 AM  

Fun, relatively tough puzzle. Happy to see my recent home, Val d'Isere, in the puzzle.

PuzzleNut 11:41 AM  

A very nice puzzle. Thought it was much easier than Rex and others, which is seldom the case. Of course no one knows RED GRANITE, but once you have the NITE at the end, the rest is easily inferred.
Yes, it is JUST an anagram puzzle, but a seven letter anagram is pretty impressive, especially not spanning across words.
My write-overs were Adage and STa.
#1 DAD always reminds me of the great Seinfeld episode where Jerry gives Morty the #1 Dad shirt, only to be upstaged by Mr. Mandelbaum's "World's Greatest Dad" t-shirt.

chefbea 11:44 AM  

@quilter1 congrats on the new grandbaby. I'm sure you have a baby quilt all ready for him/her.

Newsdesk guy 11:46 AM  

Cool final punchline, YOU INGRATE! Tough, and very enjoyable Wed.ride. (Tried to post on Wordplay blog, but it's a ghost town.)

Thanx Rex, for presiding over and easy-to-post-on blog. I'm no INGRATE....

the redanman 11:46 AM  

NYT 0 for 3 so far this week.

Messy bits and GOO. Awkward stuff.

Mel Ott 11:47 AM  

Pretty hard puzzle. I had to start in the NE and solve clockwise from there. Never saw the anagrams.

Part of my problem in the NW was COHOS. It seems to me if the collective 'salmon' is used in the clue the collective COHO should be used in the answer.

But...when I fished for these salmon in Alaska they were called 'silvers', with an 's'.

Question: How many salmon (no s) did you catch today?

Answer: I caught 5 coho (no s).

Or: I caught 5 silvers.


quilter1 11:54 AM  

@JaxinLA: thanks for the link.

@Chefbea: a girl, Katie Louise, quilting in progress.

Arundel 11:55 AM  

Ah, phooey! I just wan't on Ms Gorski's wavelength today. Must be the weather.

I romped through the north with a hole in the area of AXIS and ARDOR and just carried on. Then I got hung up on that blasted PEASALAD and PRIORATES which just refused to look reasonable. Too many sticking points. And I didn't quite get "something to reflect on", or for that matter, "tip of a tongue."

Although Mr Happy Pencil did finally appear, he didn't have his customary eclat.

deerfencer 12:07 PM  

All in all a fun, challenging solve. Th/Fri difficulty in parts; very surprised Will ran this on a Wednesday.

Miz Gorski is one of the most creative cluers out there IMO.

Nitpick of the day: Agree with others that COHOS is as kosher as DEERS and SODS--IOW, not very.

@ Smitty: Cheechako? Great word I never knew, apparently with origins in the Alaskan gold rush of yore. Thanks for posting! 12:10 PM  


co·ho   /ˈkoʊhoʊ/ Show Spelled
[koh-hoh] Show IPA

–noun, plural -hos, ( especially collectively ) -ho.
coho salmon.

Sparky 12:10 PM  

Misssed the boat on this. Just don't know car names and didn't catch on even though I had YOU INGRATE and RED GRANITE. Had fAn instead of DAD; STa instead of STN; COHOe. Thinking NEsomething airline for 39A. Locked myself in, mind blank, came here.

Very nice write up. Love Tina. Am I seeing things or are Phil Collins and Elton John in that band? I enjoyed working on this because, as said, the fill is good. Thanks Ms Gorski.

joho 1:10 PM  

I have a distant cousin who's a coho.

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

loved the puzzle, did not have that much trouble.
though I knew Corot by name and have seen this kind of unconventional plural (Cohos) before in puzzles.
am curious about the various mentions of google.
is that not against the rules?
if i have to google something that is when I say, ok, puzzle, you win . . .

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

Yes, on the math SATs you might be asked if a function is "reflexive about the y axis." This is true for f(x) = x^2, for example, because f(x) = f(-x). Such functions are called "even functions." I think this concept is mostly inflicted on grade school kids, whereas if you were to advance to higher levels of math, you might be more likely to see the word "symmetry" instead.

retired_chemist 2:10 PM  

@ Joho - good one. Are you and your distant cousin descendants of Salmon P. Chase?

santafefran 2:49 PM  

@Joho lol

Hoho and do you and Coho live in Soho?

Anonymous 2:49 PM  

@lit.doc: Are you sure it was a Bach cantata? The locus classicus for "For unto us a child is born" is Händel's Messiah.

NDE [neither a lit.doc nor a mus.doc]

andrea cohola michaels 3:26 PM  

Are your cousins the cohos Charlie SHeen's goddesses?

CoffeeLvr 3:45 PM  

Rex, you noted that DODO could've been DOLT; I thought it was DOpe.

I've seen pea salad on a salad bar or at a potluck; I recall at least one with small cubes of Velveeta throughout. There may have been some in the church basement after the funeral on Saturday; I skipped it. I don't eat any peas that are grey - learned that in the elementary school cafeteria. But fresh peas, ahh, another dish altogether.

Thanks, Smitty, Cheechako is a new term for me. I like that it has an antonym, sourdough, or is that not really used?

@Anonymous at 1:43 pm; since solving crosswords is generally a solitary pursuit, we can each set our own rules. I do not (generally) allow myself to Google before Friday. I then consider the results a DNF, but I try to learn whatever I HTG.

As for this puzzle, I tried to finish it in the middle of the night, was solving in AcrossLite, and just gave up and hit reveal. Stuck in Minnesota, in part because I had viVa instead of RAVE. Could not see AXIOM (even with the --IOM!!) or R AND R. I need to go back to paper, where the temptation to just be done is not so overwhelming.

quilter1 4:14 PM  

@JaxinLA: what a great quilt show. My favorite was the Princess Feather. I have also made a red and white quilt and a redwork quilt. Isn't it fun to know one of our favorite constructors is also a quilt fan?

sanfranman59 4:16 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)

Wed 14:27, 11:46, 1.23, 91%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 7:19, 5:47, 1.26, 92%, Challenging

I took a lot of math in high school and even college, but I sure don't remember an AXIS as "something to reflect on". That S was the last entry for me. I didn't much care for trillionAIRE either. Is there such a beast? Millionaire and billionaire, of course. But I don't think we have any trillionaires yet, do we? Then again, I guess Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are trillionaires in Lao Kips (at 8000 per dollar).

retired_chemist 4:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 4:42 PM  

Sorry folks, but "COHOS" is not a word. Do New Zealanders raise "sheeps"? Are a herd of cows "cattles"? It's an word of Native American origin, and a mass noun.


archaeoprof 4:50 PM  

Challenging, and fun!

Stared at RRATING for a long time, before I saw it as "R RATING."

@Ulrich: isn't AXIS an architectural term as well?

Ulrich 4:55 PM  

@ret.-chem.: In a 2D plane, you definitely reflect (the plane or a figure in the plane) about a line, which is sometimes called the "mirror". Since any of the axes is a line, you may safely reflect about it.

Here is one of the most interesting theorems in Euclidean Geometry I know: Any figure can be mapped on any congruent figure in the plane by at most 3 successive reflections. Beautiful!

@archaeoprof: Yes. And in classical buildings, the axis is the center line about which one half of a building plan (or facade) can be reflected to form the other half (that's why it often called bilateral symmetry)

retired_chemist 4:58 PM  

IMO AXIS is something to rotate around; a plane is something to reflect in. I'd think "reflexive about the Y axis" really means "superimposed on itself when reflected in the YZ plane" (which contains the Y axis). But no matter - nothing but AXIS is remotely close to fitting the clue.

NDE, want to weigh in? Or were you an anon commenter?

Stan 5:03 PM  

Anagrams are not usually my favorite thing but these are impressive, and good fill on their own (GRANITE, TANGIER, INGRATE). And not a circle in sight!

retired_chemist 5:05 PM  

@ Ulrich - I take your point. Harder for a chemist to think in 2D when we constantly have to focus on how the 2D drawings of molecules really represent 3D structures.

Several too many and out....

Ulrich 5:20 PM  

@ret._chem: Here's the connection: In 2D, you rotate about a point and reflect about a line. In 3D, you rotate about a line and reflect about a plane--one D is added in each case. So, we all make sense:-)

chefbea 5:23 PM  

In keeping with the minor theme here.... Had lunch today at a restaurant named NOFO!!! There was no coho on the menu..nor beets :-(

Chip Hilton 5:32 PM  

AXIS, ESE crossing cost me a perfecto. I found this to be a clever, challenging puzzle for mid-week.

archaeoprof 5:46 PM  

@Ulrich: Thanks! We use the term in archaeology all the time. Good to know we've got it right.

I think this was a really cool puzzle.

Noam D. Elkies 6:06 PM  

@ret.chem: I was the (unintentionally) anonymous commenter on "For unto us" (2:49), but not on 15A:AXIS. It does seem like unusual phrasing: I'd reflect about an axis, or maybe in an axis or through an axis, before reflecting "on" an axis. I've seen a similar pun, along the lines of "a bit of reflection will convince the reader that the graph of the inverse function is ...", but this was phrased so that one doesn't need to choose a preposition after "reflect".

Now back to contour INTEGRAls... (I remember a puzzle going back to the Maleska era whose theme was the many anagrams of ∫.)


william e emba 6:53 PM  

Rex wrote: "Maybe in a 19th century novel." You got it in one! Charles Dickens, Great Expectations: "Speak the truth, YOU INGRATE!" cried Miss Havisham.

COROT showed up a few months ago, on 11/12/10, clued by a different painting.

I have no trouble remembering the word NAVI: it's Hebrew for "prophet".

acme 7:45 PM  

What was the last thing you wrote referring to? Is it a math joke?
How did you even make those symbols?

Noam D. Elkies 8:10 PM  

@acme: “∫” is an integral sign, and the word INTEGRAL is (somewhat) well-known to have a large number of single-word anagrams, including another mathematical word TRIANGLE.

There are several ways to put ∫ in a comment here. Perhaps the simplest is to copy-and-paste it if you can find it in another webpage (such as my comment above). What I did was an HTML command, "∫" (the reason that the above doesn't look like a "∫" is that I wrote the initial ampersand as "&", and much the same explanation applies to the "&" a few words ago). Likewise the ä of Händel is ä . There's also a much larger class of symbols that you can import via Unicode.

(NDE) נעם

Harlowe 8:26 PM  

Sorry, @curmudgeon, but at least two online dictionaries list "cohos" as an acceptable plural form of coho.

This seemed hard for a Wednesday, and required creative filling from the solver rather than just recall. I had never heard of PEASALAD, for instance, but it sounded like something that might exist, so in it went!

michael 9:09 PM  

Nice puzzle, Hard, but gettable. I slogged my way through it. All in all, a good Friday puzzle by a fine constructor. Oh, it's Wednesday?!

jackj 9:33 PM  

Ulrich@9:50 AM-

Your comment about the Corot painting provided a nice chuckle. Your 10 year old self had a good eye; the blouse does bulge a bit for no apparent physical reason.

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

a little bit challenging and fun. started on a subway train ride, got off at my stA. on the ride back wrote over the A and finished the puzzle...dear santa was the last to fall.why is it that when we get stuck and put the puzzle away when we pick it up we find we can finish it? rex..loved the gerald mcboingboing cartoon, really nostalgic, also realized how sophisticated the drawing was, don't think i really appreciated the art of it when i saw it as a child.

sanfranman59 10:04 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 5:29, 6:53, 0.80, 1%, Easy (fastest median solve time of 94 Mondays)
Tue 8:37, 8:57, 0.96, 46%, Medium
Wed 14:46, 11:46, 1.25, 94%, Challenging (7th highest median solve time of 93 Wednesdays)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 2:52, 3:41, 0.78, 1%, Easy (fastest median solve time of 94 Mondays)
Tue 4:17, 4:35, 0.93, 33%, Easy-Medium
Wed 7:02, 5:47, 1.22, 91%, Challenging (9th highest median solve time of 93 Wednesdays)

solasoletta 3:17 PM  

From the movement "For unto us a child is born", the line is "Unto us a son is given," from Handel's Messiah!

Isaiah 9:6 3:37 PM  

When you get right down to it, I wrote that, according to King James!

Cary in Boulder 11:25 AM  

Like many, this felt like a Thursday to me. I had ISOF for 10A, so ended up with SIMIC for "Make like." Figured it was an archaic version of similar. Writeover of IMPREZA for the car, once I realized that was a Subaru, not an Acura. BTW, my 1990 Acura Legend is still humming along.

@chefbea: Is NOFO a restaurant that serves no food? Just wondering.

rain forest 1:08 PM  

From syndication country, just want to say that amid all the silliness generated by coho, overlooked is the fact that the puzzle was a pleasure to spend time on, even if one was slower than usual, which is not important.

NotalwaysrightBill 1:51 PM  

Syndi-late solver.

Can a puzzle have good FENG shui? This one felt like it might qualify. Not to the point of making me SLAPHAPPY though.

Contructed an acronym some time ago, in which the second "I" of FIFI (or occasionally PHIFI) stands for "INGRATE." The first "F" stands for whatever f-word seems most appropriate to the context or comes to mind the quickest if you're in a hurry. The last three letters, "IFI," ALWAYS stand for Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE. Thus some latest Commie politician could be a Fabian-socialist-cum-Fascist Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE; or a misanthropic rubbish-spoutin' ditz could be another of them Feminazified Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATEs; Ach-so-mean-nutjob is a Farsi-speakin' Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE while his buddy, Hugo Chavez, is a Fidelicized Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE; and sometimes a graduate student can be a French-academic-brain-fried Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE. It's allowable to branch over to the "PH" words when necessary also: "the head of the IMF was a PHIFI, in this case standin' for "PHilanderin' Inconsiderate Freeloadin' INGRATE". That should give you the gist. PHeel PHree.

"Is it COHO or COHOS," fish or fishes? C'MON, it's ALL of 'em! Quit fiddle-fartin' around with it: fish or cut bait!!

Dirigonzo 4:15 PM  

Got AXIS from the crosses, didn't understand why it was right; now that I have read the prime-timers' discussion explaining and debating the point I still don't understand it and now I have a headache. Way over my head.

OPART was my least favorite cultural phenomenom of the '60s - still nice to have an echo of yesterday's '60s retrospective, though.

Seems to me that its during the '60s, or maybe the '70s, that someone to be feared was referred to as "one bad mo' fo'."

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