Member 1990s pop quintet / THU 5-19-11 / Brinded cat hath mewed Macbeth / Beverage Luau flavor / Queen in Shelley's poetry / White House pair in 60s

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Constructor: Paula Gamache

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: CRUSHED [ICE] (66A: Drink cooler ... or a hint to six squares in this puzzle's answer?) [that phrasing can't be right ...] — an ICE rebus, with six ICE squares


Word of the Day: BONAIRE (5D: Neighbor of Aruba) —

Bonaire ([...] Dutch: Bonaire, Papiamentu: Boneiru) is a special municipality (officially "public body") of the Netherlands, consisting of the Caribbean island of Bonaire and, nestled in its western crescent, the uninhabited islet of Klein Bonaire. Together with Aruba and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles. The name Bonaire is thought to have originally come from the Caiquetio word 'Bonay'. The early Spanish and Dutch modified its spelling to Bojnaj and also Bonaire, which means "Good Air". (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty straightforward rebus. Lots of ICE. OK.

Two tricky parts for me. The entire PUBLICENEMY section, since there is nothing in the clue or in the cross-referenced clue to indicate what you're after (weird to do that with a long, rebus-containing answer). My struggle is at least somewhat ironical, as I was listening to PUBLICENEMY earlier this evening. Anyway, GROH (52D: Actor David of "Rhoda") and HANNAH (31D: Mrs. Van Buren) were proper nouns that were well and truly off my radar (though GROH rings a very faint crossword bell). Only other real hold-up came at the ELECTRICEYES / PRICE crossing. Neither clue was helping me at all. Finally just stuck a rebus square in there, which jogged my memory about the meaning of "C.P.I." (Consumer PRICE Index).



The ICE theme has been done before (ICE-containing words, incl. ATOMICENERGY and PUBLICENEMY, in an LAT puzzle a few years back), but not in rebus form (not that I could find, anyway). Seems a fine puzzle overall—unremarkable as rebuses go, but still entertaining, in its way.

Theme answers:
  • 3D: They're not laid in a cage (ORGANICEGGS) / 27A: Member of a 1990s pop quintet (SPICEGIRL)
  • 21A: Nuclear power (ATOMICENERGY) / 8D: Black-and-white (POLICECAR)
  • 41A: Canine command (SIC'EM) / 34D: Touch-and-go (DICEY)
  • 36D: See 35-Across [i.e. Any member of 36-Down=>RAPPER](PUBLICENEMY) / 58A: "___ the brinded cat hath mew'd": "Macbeth" (THRICE) // — for the record, there are members of PUBLIC ENEMY who are not RAPPERs, so the RAPPER clue is wrong. Terminator X, for instance, was a DJ (not the same thing — for the distinction, see, for instance, the D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince album, "He's the D.J., I'm the RAPPER"). FYI, "Terminator X quit the hip-hop scene in 2003 and has been running an ostrich stud farm in North Carolina" (wikipedia), though he appears to be releasing some kind of comeback album in '11.

  • 59A: Photocells (ELECTRICEYES) / 50D: Part of C.P.I. (PRICE)
  • 66A: CRUSHED ICE / 64D: Fine point (NICETY)
Bullets:
  • 23A: Beverage that once offered a Luau flavor (NEHI) — my first and only guess for a flavored beverage in four letters.
  • 48A: Dribble guard (BIB) — briefly thought this was a basketball clue.
  • 51A: White House pair in the 1960s (BEAGLES) — took me way longer than it should have. Really wanted people, and even though B-names didn't fit any president from that decade, I still didn't tumble to Johnson's BEAGLES til quite late.
  • 18D: Compressed video file format (MPEG) — Had MP-, nearly went MP3s (thinking some kind of number rebus...), but the "video file" part of the clue stopped me and I adjusted.
  • 42A: Queen in Shelley's poetry (MAB) — took an entire Romantic Poetry class in college. Don't remember whatever poem this is at all. Know Queen MAB from Shakespeare.
  • 55D: Messing on the screen (DEBRA) — of "Will & Grace" and nothing else that I know of.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

95 comments:

wiru 12:18 AM  

member of public enemy clue was just egregiously wrong. chuck d, flava flav, professor griff, hank shocklee, eric sadler, terminator x and the S1Ws. only one of those is unambiguously a rapper. (the rest being: hype man, 'minister of information,' producer, producer, dj)

The Bard 12:30 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.

jae 1:02 AM  

Got the rebus early with SPICEGIRL. Medium for me. I liked this one. Cute theme with some fun fill. Thanks Rex/wiru for the PUBLICENEMY info. I had no idea.

Anonymous 1:40 AM  

Wonder if the Coldstone Creamery people know about that toad...

chefwen 1:54 AM  

I don't think I have ever met a Paula Gamache puzzle that I didn't love. Been waiting for a good Thursday rebus for a long, long time.

Caught on with sic em, had sic in first but knew the Queen was MAB, soooo... Last fill and the most time consuming was the ICE in price and electric eyes.

Yeah Thursday!!!

syndy 2:14 AM  

told my dog to sit!but johnson probably sic ed them beagles a time or two! Public enemy souds like genuine chaos! got it on crosses;also had nametags-slowed down that area and the nw corner gave me fits till I threw in ORR off the R and blind chance SOAP took WAY too long! Paula always a good workout!

Princess Kosmonopolis 2:28 AM  

This one was weird for me. Some easy stuff. Got the rebus at "sic em." But the other rebus answers were not easy. But looking back over the whole puzzle after finishing, it's lovely. Yay! (I did pencil in WTF next to 5A, and was pleased to see it made Rex's Word of the Day.

Princess Kosmonopolis 2:30 AM  

Sorry, I meant 5D.

andrea carla m(ice)haels 3:27 AM  

I liked that it was not only a rebus of ICE but the reveal that it was CRUSHED ICE made it even better...
CRUSHED into one little cube/square.
HARD TO DO!
And crossing with N(ice)TY was really a N(ice) touch.

The THR(ice) was classy. They were either contained in the word (POLice, THRice, SPice, PRice, NiceTY) or split at the C/E. So it was extra solid.
Solid ICE.

My SW corner BIG mess as I had UNseal for UNSNAP, and that L gave me lookSIN and then lEERSIN (Like a peeping Tom) so messy messy, till I did what @Rex did, looked for a place to stick the 6th rebus, et voila!

(I mean, try getting from EX urbana to EX LIBRIS, which I'm not even sure what that is, tho I have seen it on a used library book, right? Oh wait, does it mean "from the library of..."?
And the DOREMI was a killer. At one point I wondered if the young kids called money "DORitos" or DORITI as the plural.

Oh M peg! I kept thinking it was 4 letters MPEG and I had thought it was MP3. I would say it sucks being old, but then I wouldn't have known David GROH from "Rhoda"!

(Tho admittedly couldn't remember the final letter and knew David GROHL is someone as well, right? I think I confuse him with Eddie Vedder. Time for that "hip" replacement!)

Heroes and History 6:01 AM  

"‘I am the Fairy Mab: to me ‘tis given
The wonders of the human world to keep;
The secrets of the immeasurable past,
In the unfailing consciences of men,
Those stern, unflattering chroniclers, I find;"

Not familiar with this poem before today's puzzle, but I like it. Maybe the puzzles are the keepers of the secrets of the immeasurable past because historians make such unflattering chroniclers.

I truly enjoyed the puzzle overall. Great theme, great fill. Got the rebus with "atomicenergy" but took a while. Had "atom energy" and "polecat" for a little while.

"Ex Libris" was my favorite clue and came quickly, mostly because I love Anne Fandiman's book of the same name. A must read for any lover of books. The essay on the pains of a married couple merging their respective book collections is a classic. Had "lip" instead of "bib" and struggled with the cluing on "rapper" and "publicenemy" like most. Although, when I finally cracked it I was listening to Kenny Rogers in the background. His "rap" with Wyclef from the 90s is another classic ("Kenny Rogers - Pharoahe Monch Dub Plate").

@Andrea...I loved Do Re Mi. I'm listening to the Woody Guthrie song as I type this post.

Bravo, Paula Gamache!

dk 6:08 AM  

I guess I never knew how to spell YAY.

I like my drinks neat and as it is finally warm in MN I did not appreciate the theme... But the puzzle

*** (3 Stars)

CoolPapaD 6:29 AM  

Hard! The SW was a KILLER - guessed (and incorrectly, at that) on _EL_S/_EDE. Also had TAKE for 60D, so that section did me in. Of all the slang terms for money, I can't ever recall hearing DO-RE-MI! OH, wait, the scene where Julie Andrews goes to that loan-shark..... now I remember.

That Rhoda guy GROH has been in a puzzle in the last year or so - no?

CD 7:09 AM  

Easy for me, since I have seen an ICE rebus before, in the Sun (I remember POLICEOFFICER since it was a double). CRUSH doesn't really work since it implies damaging as well as flattening. -3 for partials and repeated INs and TOs. -2 for lack of theme symmetry and -1 for explaining the theme with the theme itself. At least the grid wasn't almost cut in half like yesterday's. B-

SethG 7:36 AM  

BIG MONEY, on a game show, should be followed by "no whammy, stop!". And NAME TAGS made me want ASTRO, which really made the HANNAH section tricky. Had to finally infer the Macbeth to work my way out of there, and that's never fun.

And I misread clues as [Driver's wear] and [Missing on the screen]. No problem finding the rebus, but thorny anyway.

exaudio 8:02 AM  

A perfect, fun Thursday. Thanks Paula and Will!

joho 8:25 AM  

I love a rebus and since we haven't had one for quite a while found this one to be extra fun. I was slow on the uptake and didn't get it until CRUSHEDICE/NICETY. After that I was off to the races.

The NW was the last to fall. I knew it couldn't be jPEG but didn't know MPEG until I finally figured out BIGMONEY.

Thank you, Paula Gamache, for a perfect Thursday!

jesser 8:59 AM  

I would rather have my liver torn out by jackals than listen to Rap, so the SE just killed me. It didn't help At All that I had NAME TAgs at 10D and rAh at 73A, so I was screwed. _EA_ _ ES at 51A just stared blankly back at me off the paper. BEAGLES? This is a Thursday clue for effing BEAGLES?

Puzzle kicked my keister over there, even though I found the rebus right away at ATOMIC ENERGY.

Nice shout out to Tobias Duncan at 26A.

Dhags! (That oddball comedienne Kathy G's female fans) -- jesser

Rex Parker 9:08 AM  

And I'd rather have my liver torn out by jackals than hear yet another middle-aged white person tell me how much he/she can't stand rap. I'm guessing Will and Paula have similar feelings about rap, or the clue on RAPPER wouldn't be factually incorrect.

Good thing they didn't botch a clue for "My Cousin Vinny," or who knows what kind of riot they'd have on their hands.

rp

quilter1 9:21 AM  

Had "I'll solve" before BIG MONEY but otherwise a smooth solving experience once I got the rebus at CRUSHED ICE and solved from the bottom up finishing in the NW. I liked THRICE and brindled cats, although why this mewing was significant to the witches I do not know.

jesser 9:23 AM  

What? We have to all like Rap? I didn't say it wasn't an art form. I just said I don't personally like it. Intensely so. Same goes for opera. Not one bit my cup of tea. But whatever blows your skirt up makes me happy for you! And I'm glad they built the Santa Fe Opera House, because it was a great venue to see Lyle Lovett! Didn't mean to rile you, oh Great One. Please don't SIC the BEAGLES on me!

Pete 9:43 AM  

My dog had to SIT also. You know SIC'EM, unless given in the context of training, actually constitutes assault. Someone I know was foolish enough to say that to his dog in reference to the police who were attempting to inquire as to his state of sobriety. This friend now has a record of assault on a police officer, as well as public intoxication, as the result of saying SIC'EM.

thursdaysd 9:49 AM  

Surprised myself by finishing this. Helped that I got the rebus early, although I had a little difficulty in the mid-east. Can't stand rap (maybe it's too fast, has the same effect on me as bluegrass), but had heard of PUBLIC ENEMY.

Liked the clues for OBIT and LIBRIS, never heard of ERL, HANNAH, GROH or DEBRA, and not sure where I dredged DOREMI up from.

Took me a while to believe in MEDE, as I had always heard of them as "Medes AND Persians". not "Medes AS Persians" but that corner fell fast once I put it in.

John "I Watched The Video Today I Promise" V 10:13 AM  

Just feeling Bobby Orr's pain at being bumped at 14A. This was fun; one of those puzzles where, after the first pass through, I'm blinded by the white space but just ground it out. Like others, got the rebus at Spicegirl. Favorite clue 3D, which started out as organ meats, which also are not laid in cages, best I can tell.

Only error was 65A, which I had as libras, so 60D was tame, missing the obvious "time".

Liked yesterday's video better than today's :)

jackj 10:20 AM  

Another gem from Paula Gamache, whose puzzles often evoke memories of the elegance and friendly intelligence of a Manny Nosowsky crossword.

Seeing LBJ's pair of BEAGLES in the puzzle, brought back memories of the canine duo, cleverly(?) named Him and Her.

Johnson was roundly criticized when he lifted Him up by the ears for a photo shoot and thereby lost any hope of receiving any future ASPCA endorsement.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:26 AM  

I felt like I was stumbling around quite a bit before finishing correctly; I will blame said stumbling on a perceived lack of recent Thursday rebuses.

I know nothing about organic foods, so I was hung up at 3D thinking that FREE RANGE eggs would not be laid in cages, and that organic had more to do with what a chicken ate than where it lived.

@CD, 7:09 - I remember when my late mother would refer to things being "ground up" in the DPW truck, I would point out that they were being compacted, not ground; which is to say, I think CRUSHED ICE is perfectly correct. ;)

Howard B 10:38 AM  

Wasn't the rebus that gave me trouble here, it was HANNAH and GROH, both of which I had *no clue* about. Learn something new every day. Or most.

Anyway, liked this puzzle even with the oddly naive Public Enemy clue. Oh well, not in the mood to "Fight the Power" on this one today. Maybe they'll correct it in reprints.

Neville 10:50 AM  

Yes, the rebus came easily for me, but I found the crossing RAPPER/PUBL(IC E)NEMY bit to be a tad bit mean as well as HANNAH & GROH like Howard B. That lower east side was a B for me.

BIG MONEY was an early freebie, and that gave me an easy entryway. I got the rebus fairly quickly, but when I stumbled into CRUSHED (ICE), I couldn't help but feel a little confused. OTOH, the ICE is CRUSHED into one square each time, but OTOH, CRUSHED ICE is cubes of ice that have be ground up into more like a powder. Ice cubes are already in the right shape for a crossword. I see what P&W were going for, though, but I still feel torn in two.

White people sure do love My Cousin Vinny. (I say this as a white person who loves My Cousin Vinny - no letters please.)

foodie 10:50 AM  

NEURO science? That took a while. Most embarrassing! Which goes to show how I struggled in that corner.

Also, I kept expecting a rebus in the SW corner.

Glad to see Rex rating it MC.

Didn't CRUSH me, but didn't go down smoothly either. I admired it after the fact, and Andrea's comments added to my admiration.

And @Seth G, I'm totally with you. BIG MONEY is from the wrong game! Very disconcerting. I couldn't figure out why it was so dissonant until I saw your comment.

Two Ponies 10:53 AM  

I got the rebus early but never cracked the SE. Know idea who Public Enemy is. I'm with @ jesser.
Didn't know mpeg, only jpeg, and I have NO idea what they scream on Wheel of Fortune. For all I know they yell Big Joney!

Tobias Duncan 10:55 AM  

I am just not quite up to rebus+partials yet. Will spaces these out perfectly so I can never quite get a good grip on them.Came close but DNF.
Jesser thanks for the shoutout!
While I do not hate rap, I am very picky about it. If its not witty,I'm not down. Also cant take to much self aggrandizing. All time fav? Fatlip from the Pharcyde.

Anyone not sure where to go for summer vacation should think about visiting me in Taos. Should have two new guest bedrooms finished in about a month and a half.

middleagedwhiteperson 11:12 AM  

what if I like soul?

Look Up Guy 11:36 AM  

mpeg (for Motion Picture Experts Group) is a standard for *video* (e.g. movie) compression and transmission, as clued.

jpeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a similar standard for photos.

[I can't resist sharing my captcha --- knatick)

asbury 11:39 AM  

I never heard of the ERLKING...hope that commenting on it will help me remember it.

efrex 11:52 AM  

Guess I'm in the minority here: Unknown crosswordese NEHI, LES, ERL, and LBO made for a really difficult time. Don't understand how cons TIME, never heard of MELDS, MESE, or MAB. Got the rebus idea pretty quickly, thanks to the central revealer, and that helped quite a bit. Still had a few scattered blank squares at the end, though... *sigh*

Tobias Duncan 12:07 PM  

@Efrex, cons "do time"as in "doing hard time"
I think your MESE should be MEDE for ancient Persian.Radar O'REilly drank grape NEHI on the TV show mash, it was a very sweet fruit soda.
I dont know what LBO is either.

Masked and Anonymice 12:08 PM  

Paula G put up a heck of a fight today. May need to hold the puz on my head for a while until the throbbin' stops. Knew I was facing trouble, when 3-D read ORGANEGGS. Fave clue: "Any member of 36-Down". Worth it just for the comments generated.

Fun puzzle. Fun discussions. Do we get an Apocalypse Now tribute puz sometime this weekend? Har.

Chip Hilton 12:09 PM  

Perfect Thursday-level puzzle from the wonderful Ms. Gamache. Fascinated by the strong reaction to the RAPPER/PUBLICENEMY clues. I guess my generation would have been upset if Sonny & Cher had both been referred to as singers.

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Is it ok if I like Celtic ukelele?

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

I had "elf" for "elf king" since I think "erlkonig" is usually transalted that way into English. It's not just a poem by Goethe, I think, but comes from older German lore. I think this is the poem that Shubert made into a really beatiful song. It's about a father riding through a snowy wintery night on his horse, carrying his sick boy. The boy keeps saying he hears the elfking and asking if his father hears him too, that the elfking is scaring him. The father keeps telling the boy that he just hears the wind through the trees. The boy gets more and more scared throughout the poem. At the end of the poem, the father realizes that the boy has died in his arms.

Mel Ott 12:30 PM  

Really challenging for me so I felt inordinately self-satisfied when I finished.

Didn't get the theme til ELECTR[ICE]YES, so I had to solve upside down.

Bogged down for a long time at the cross-referenced RAPPER. Never heard of PUBL[ICE]NEMY.

LBJ's BEAGLES were named Him and Her. LBJ caused a major stir when he lifted one by the ears and the photos of the event did the 1960's version of going viral.

David 12:50 PM  

Got the theme very quickly, and yet I almost didn't finish. Or, I did finish but was guaranteed to have mistakes, as I only had 5 theme answers, all b/c I never heard of Queen MAB.

I was sitting on SIT for Canine Command, which gave me a DIY acronym answer for 34D Touch-and-go, even though it made no sense (nor did Queen TAB). If it hadn't needed 6 theme answers I might've left it alone and finished incorrectly, but I pored thru the "completed" grid, and 1/2 way down, figured out SICEM, and with it DICEY (d'oh!).

PUBLIC ENEMY was actually the easiest of the big clues, that and ATOMIC ENERGY.

John V 12:58 PM  

@Tobias Duncan, LBO = Leveraged Buyout, type of acquisition finance.

Re: meld, brings back fond memories playing pinochle with my grandmother, mother and aunts, as a teen. Meld is points made after bidding but before playing tricks, made by showing the card combinations that result in meld points.

Pinochle with my grandmother is where I acquired my taste for unusual words, such as her calling me a, "shit heel", when I would take her ace with a trump card.

I have never seen "shit heel" in a puzzle, at least not the the Great Gray Lady.

ingom: where the teeth are.

KarenSampsonHudson 12:59 PM  

Generally good, but a few errors in this puzzle, already pointed out. Plus, I'd never heard "moolah" as "doremi"---brand new urban slang?

santafefran 1:02 PM  

@Tobias Duncan: LBO stands for leveraged buy out.

After major struggles, I decided to BAG IT with today's puzzle.

Did like DO RE MI, love MANGO chutney.

chefbea 1:18 PM  

Started this morning and got the theme right away. Got stuck so I went to the store to get, among other things, ingredients for mango chutney....yummm. Came home and finished nICEly in no time flat. Great puzzle. Thanks Paula

Matthew G. 1:39 PM  

How is {Moolah} a clue for DO RE MI? Is DO RE MI slang for "money"? If so, new one on me (although it provides new insight into Julie Andrews's admonition that DO RE MI is the "first thing to know"!).

Anyhow, loved the puzzle. I tend to associate Paula Gamache's byline with zesty but easy fare -- so I was unprepared for how this puzzle took me longer than last Saturday's! I actually figured out the ICE theme fairly early on, but still took forever. What is NAME TAPE? I had NAME TAgs for a long time. The theme answers I struggled with the most, by far, were ORGANIC EGGS and ELECTRIC EYES. IN SECRET also took a long time because I wasn't sure what "on the q.t." means -- not an expression used by anyone I know.

Last square filled was at 1A, where I wanted JABS instead of LOBS and couldn't see how the B in BRIO could work with any Wall Street terms I knew. I finally made my Last Best Offer at an answer, and it submitted.

Most of the difficulty I had with this puzzle was a result of terms I personally didn't know but which appear to be perfectly legitimate, and I like a puzzle that's challenging and teaches me some new terms. And here it is. Thanks, Paula.

Shamik 1:45 PM  

Have to call this one challenging for me for a Thursday at 14:12. But since Ms. Gamache has a knack of giving me 99% of a puzzle with one square wrong...I was thrilled to complete this one without any mistakes by the end.

The visual of one's liver being torn out by jackals is rather vivid.

Happy day off here in Alaska!

JaxInL.A. 1:47 PM  

Loved the puzzle, always thrill to Ms. Gamache's work, and since I have been one of the group pining for a rebus puzzle, I feel quite satisfied.

Mostly, though, I'm grateful to the puzzle and to @Heroes and History for reminding me of the jewel that is Anne Fadiman's short essay collection "Ex Libris." Most everyone reading here will find it delightful, since it treats words and reading with delicious enjoyment. In particular, the essay "The Joy of Sesquipedalians." I excerpt here with no permission at all, hoping it will tantalize you all to go read the book.

"When my older brother Kim and I were children, our father used to tell us stories about a bookworm named Wally.
Wally, a squiggly little vermicule with a red baseball cap, didn't merely like books. He ate them. The monosyllables he found in most children's books failed to satisfy his voracious appetite, so he turned instead to the dictionary, which offered a richer bill of fare. In Wally the Woodworm, a chronicle of some of our hero's lexicographic adventures that my father wrote when I was 11, Wally waviest such high-calorie morsels as syzygy, ptarmigan--which tasted pterrible at first, until he threw away the p--and sesquipedalian, which looks as if it means "long words" and, in fact, does."

Fadiman goes on to talk about her own quest to "achieve a Wally-like degree of sesquipedalian depletion." The entire book should be utterly charming to anyone who likes words and reading.

JaxInL.A. 1:49 PM  

Oops, in the preceding, Wally "savored" not waviest. Sometimes I really hate this auto-correct. It does not like unusual words.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Do Re Mi is a Woody Guthrie song!

Do Re Mi
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin' home every day,
Beatin' the hot old dusty way to the California line.
'Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin' out of that old dust bowl,
They think they're goin' to a sugar bowl, but here's what they find
Now, the police at the port of entry say,
"You're number fourteen thousand for today."

Oh, if you ain't got the do re mi, folks, you ain't got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi.

You want to buy you a home or a farm, that can't deal nobody harm,
Or take your vacation by the mountains or sea.
Don't swap your old cow for a car, you better stay right where you are,
Better take this little tip from me.
'Cause I look through the want ads every day
But the headlines on the papers always say:

If you ain't got the do re mi, boys, you ain't got the do re mi,
Why, you better go back to beautiful Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee.
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won't find it so hot
If you ain't got the do re mi.

Got that one right away. However, I never heard of BRIO.

JenCT 2:13 PM  

Had IPO for far too long before LBO; got the theme at CRUSHED ICE, but finally gave up - too little time today.

@Bob K: you are absolutely correct about ORGANIC EGGS; as a chicken owner, I can attest that "organic" refers to the food and pesticides used, NOT whether they're caged, cage-free, free-range, or pasture-raised (as mine are.) I believe the clue, therefore, is incorrect.

chefbea 2:23 PM  

@mathew G - A name tape is what my mother sewed on every piece of clothing that I took to camp every summer. They now make them iron-on

Lindsay 2:25 PM  

Yay rebus! My eye fell on the revealer before I ever set pen to paper, so I knew we had an ICE rebus from the start. I mean, what else cools drinks and fits in one square?

My moment of idiocy was looking at 59A, thinking "that must be ELECTRIC EYES with the rebus square crossing 50D," then looking at 50D and thinking "Consumer Price Index, but index doesn't contain ICE, so electric eyes must be wrong."

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get through Mondays. Nonetheless finished trouble-free except for the popular NAMETAgs writeover.

Sparky 2:29 PM  

Started with elan crossing ali in NW corner. Thought about time for a rebus. Started to smell a fish, well chiiled, of course, with ELET(ric?) EYES. Got it with NICETY and was able to go back and fix up spots like PEEpSIN. ORR knocked out Ali on the ice.

Thought PUBLIC ENEMY might turn out to have something to do with old favorite Ness. Did 35A in crosses. They do say BIG MONEY on Wheel. So what's the other show being cited?

Really enjoyed playing with this today. Last week was such a disaster I almost gave up. Just shows to go ya.

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

Online dictionary says "do re mi" is a pun on "dough." I guess I could see one as leading to the other. I got no dough, you got no do re mi.

Sparky 2:56 PM  

A late post from yesterday doesn't show. Another vote here for Agatha Christie.

Martin 3:17 PM  

You know how when some chemist objects to a clue with "esterification is not at all like the formation of a salt because ..." and the answer is "you're too close to the subject matter"? It's the same thing with Public Enemy. They're a rap group. A rapper is, to quote MW11C, "a performer of rap music." Professor Griff is not a rapper because he's the Minister of Information? What? A DJ in a rap group is not a "performer of rap music"?

It's just possible that some of these white people know a bit more about Public Enemy than you think but purposely went with a generic clue, as befits a general audience.

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

I am a [post]middle age white guy. I've bought rap music. I've listened to it on the radio. I've seen and heard it on TV. I've concluded that it isn't for my taste. Sue me.

At least I have sampled it. Have you watched "My Cousin Vinny" once, Rex?

What an arrogant-without-cause judgmental azz!

Rex Parker 3:46 PM  

You can keep talking Martin, but no one anywhere believes a DJ is a RAPPER, by any definition at all. You are a great apologist for the NYT, but today you are deep in rigmarole country. Out of your league.

In fact, re: RAPPER question, I asked around like crazy last night, right after I finished to make sure I was not, in fact, too close to the material. And every response I got was "no." Mostly "hell no." The equivalency of DJ and RAPPER is false. 100% false.

Terminator X is a DJ. Not a RAPPER. Let me know if you find something saying otherwise. It's a specific art / skill, DJing. Your "pfft *that* music who can say what they're doing it's all RAP to me" attitude is ... well, typical. But beneath you, I think. Sadly, some here listen to you, so I can't let your dismissive wrongness go unchallenged.

foodie 3:54 PM  

@Look Up Guy, when you Google your captcha, knatick, you get over 5 million hits. Why? Google shows results for Natick.

And did you know: Under Urban Dictionary, you get for Natick:

"A word used in crosswordese, coined by blogger Rex Parker, meaning two crossing words/clues that very very few people would know. As an example, one clue would be "A town in the eighth mile of the Bostom marathon" Answer-Natick
I'm calling Natick on 12 down, 22 across".

Rex, how does it feel, to be an entry? the first entry, in a dictionary?

And I love the second entry from 2005:

"Who has heard of anything in Natick but the mall? They took our twinky factory away, now we have a Mall."

Howard B 4:31 PM  

Yep. I am the last to get my panties or whatever in a bunch over a clue; I don't like nitpicking. But it's the specificity of that clue, "Any member". It actually threw me off because though not a serious fan of the genre, but knew that there's a big distinction between the actual rapper and other member(s) of the group. So I was hesitant to enter the answer until I had extra crossing letters.

Details are details, but when the scent throws you off that's a little issue.

mac 4:41 PM  

Beautiful puzzle! I had a lot of holes before I got the crushed ice, then filled them in pretty quickly.

Didn't know about Hannah, always forget Adia (although it seems to be playing in stores everywhere) and UPC and Nehi don't quite roll off the pencil.

What a pretty grid, with ICE right in the middle!

Natick in the Urban Dictionary. Congratulations, Rex.

My Two Cents 4:54 PM  

Dj or rapper? Who cares.
Well said Martin.
Why any educated person with even a whiff of refinement would defend a genre of anger, violence, and degradation of women is beyond comprehension. It is a prime example of social decline.
Middle aged white guys who claim to like it are trying too hard to be cool, especially when they are, in fact, the objects of derision in the lyrics.

Catechist 5:08 PM  

What is NAME TAPE?

Good puzzle overall. I suspected a rebus early when I knew the missing Shakespeare word was "thrice". I actually had BEATLES/TROH in that trouble spot. I didn't understand how BEATLES were a White House duo but I just assumed it was a reference to something I didn't know.

Never heard of LBO, DOREMI (as money), NAME TAPE, GROH, BONAIRE.

A DJ is not a rapper, as others have said. It's as wrong as saying a bassist and a guitarist are the same thing because they both are playing some instruments with strings and are part of one of those dirty "rock bands".

thursdaysd 5:34 PM  

NAME TAPE - narrow strip of cloth with your name written/printed on it, sewn into your clothes to identify them. Used for children headed for school (UK, personal experience) or camp (US, I guess).

Martin 5:43 PM  

I don't buy the guitarist vs. bassist analogy (even ignoring the inconvenient fact that the bassist is probably playing a bass guitar) because "rapper" as "performer of rap music" is a broader category -- akin to "jazz musician" or "orchestra member." That's the step-away-from-what-you-know view that I'm encouraging people to consider. Or not.

BTW, I'm rarely an apologist for the Times. As a test-solver, my opinion is my opinion. If a clue sucks, either I missed it (and will likely keep my mouth shut) or complained to Will and was ignored (ditto) or I think the clue is correct. I can't think of a clue I've defended insincerely. I don't care if you agree or not, but I'm not fond of ad hominem argument.

jberg 6:01 PM  

Note to self: memorize first names of all US First Ladies; otherwise they'll tear your liver out.

This was a hard slog for me. First I got 20A and 25A, and was looking for a BAR theme - but then I got 21 A and though, "Ah, the theme is to leave out IC." Since that also works, it wasn't until CRUSHED ICE that I realized it was a rebus.

Then siice 21A and 59A were symmetrical, I wanted theme answers at 17A and 51A. It tool me a long time to give up on 17A, in particular. I also had ADIO for 63D, and was asking everyone around me if they considered "YOY!" to be equivalent to WOOHOO. finally saw it at the last minute.

Worst of all, my BEAGLE was SITting so obediently I never looked for a theme answer in the obvious central spot, so even though I knew it should be Queen MAB, I finished with an error.

A NAME TAPE is a piece of closth with your name embroidered into it that your mother (in the sexist old days, at least) was supposed to sew onto each item of your clothing before you went to camp, so that it wouldn't get lost in the laundry.

But doesn't the German ERLKONIG mean "Earl King"? I got it, but it was clued in English.

I don't know rap, but I gather that saying everyone in a rap group is a RAPPER is like saying everyone in a jazz band is a singer, right? It did seem strange.

Oh yeah, LBO = leveraged buyout. I had IPO too.

Martin 6:09 PM  

"Erlkönig" means "alder king." Yes, the tree. It has nothing to do with "earl." It may be the result of a typo, where "elf king" was intended, but that's not known for sure. In any case, it's often translated as "Erlking," "Erl-king" or "Erl king." I've never seen "alder king," and "elf king" is wrong.

william e emba 6:10 PM  

I played lots of pinochle in grad school. MELDS was pleasant.

Loved the clue for BEAGLES. I had BEA-LES--I certainly had no chance of guessing the cross -ROH--and Ikept thinking "two Beatles visited the White House in the 60s? Why didn't anyone tell me? But that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever", and eventually the G came to mind, and then of course Him and Her, bless their canine memories.

Barry HANNAH, author of Geronimo Rex, died just over a year ago. (For those of you keeping score. No tribute puzzles, please.)
===================================
"RAPPER" has two meanings. The basic meaning is of course someone who "raps", that is, someone who speaks, not quite sings, in rhythm as part of the music. But once you call a music group a "rap" band (because one or more of its members rap), it is perfectly legitimate English to call every member a "rapper", whether or not they actually "rap". It might not be normal English, but it certainly is within the rules of legitimate crossword cluing.

So I looked on Wikipedia, and found out that Public Enemy is a hip-hop band. Well, that settles that! Big mistake, obviously, except that Wikipedia also tells me that hip-hop is also called rap.

CFXK 6:21 PM  

I personally don't enjoy middle-aged white rappers.

But I'll withhold judgment you all since I don't know, nor would I presume to guess, the race, age or musical practices of anyone here.

I do find ad hominems rather pointless and tedious, however.

Perhaps I'll just go back to making my grits.

Anonymous 7:09 PM  

Rex says: And I'd rather have my liver torn out by jackals than hear yet another middle-aged white person tell me how much he/she can't stand rap.

I'm struggling to understand that statement. These are only some of the questions that come to mind. Are middle-aged whites the only people who tell Rex they don't like rap? Are middle-aged whites the only people Rex hangs with? Does Rex not object if anyone other than a middle-aged white says they don't like rap? Are middle-aged whites the only ones who don't like rap? Are middle-aged whites the only ones telling Rex they don't like rap? Why is anyone telling Rex they don't like rap? Is Rex's apparent anger directed at middle-aged whites or at people who don't like rap? Finally, what does that statement have to do with the puzzle?

quilter1 7:17 PM  

OK, that's 3 for an Agatha puzzle. how about it, Andrea?

Tom 7:29 PM  

The topic of middle-aged whites and rap music reminds me of this delightful skit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cyJNOH8kX8

mac 9:24 PM  

@william e emba: I want you to know I so enjoy your posts.

Skua 9:25 PM  

I told my 19 year old and 23 year old boys about today's Rapper discussion. They both laughed.

Public Enemy is so old to them.

The 19 year old said the clue was wrong. The 23 year old said it is a Rap Group and therefore all members are Rappers.

I am glad to clear this whole thing up.

sanfranman59 10:27 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 5:56, 6:52, 0.86, 5%, Easy (5th lowest median solve time of 99 Mondays)
Tue 8:30, 8:55, 0.95, 44%, Medium
Wed 12:20, 11:46, 1.05, 66%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 20:37, 19:00, 1.08, 71%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:12, 3:40, 0.87, 5%, Easy (ditto)
Tue 4:11, 4:35, 0.91, 23%, Easy-Medium
Wed 6:20, 5:48, 1.09, 79%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 10:02, 9:10, 1.10, 72%, Medium-Challenging

cody.riggs 10:44 PM  

This "Rapper/DJ" argument strikes me as silly. The puzzle never gets distinctions known to people "in the know" correctly. Chemistry, Classical Music, anything...there's always a problem with the technical clues. Rex himself pointed out this jargon blindness quite well earlier this year.

Hip-hop/Rap/whatever is all a bunch of pseudo-artistic crap as much as "My Cousin Vinny," so stop elevating it. The Kia commercial is on TV as I write. "Doo-wah-dippity." That's art? I'll take Benjamin Britten or Linus Pauling over that any day.

Drew 12:14 AM  

Thank you Paula Gamache for a smooth and super fun puzzle!! We were on the same wavelength throughout. No write-overs, got the trick as early as 8D, POLICECAR.

Got RAPPER immediately as I know PUBLICENEMY as a rap group, and am not familiar enough with each member's role to have disputed whether each rapped or not.

To me, it comes down to whether the other members *ever* rap on any songs (which I do not pretend to know). For example, if there were an answer SINGER that was clued as "Any member of the Eagles", that would be fair in my book because they all sing at some point, on some songs, despite their main roles as drummer and guitarists.

JaxInL.A. 1:14 AM  

@Tom, that video was completely hilarious. Thanks for putting a comic spin on today's contentious discussion.

Heroes and History 5:55 AM  

@JaxInL.A...I was reminded of Ex Libris this past weekend as I was helping my daughter pack for a Girl Scout camping trip. Do remember her brother only taking paperbacks so he could rip the pages out as he finished them to reduce his pack weight? I think I will read a few of the essays this weekend.

JenCT 8:11 AM  

FYI, I've learned that ORGANIC EGGS must, according to USDA guidelines, come from chickens with access to the outdoors, thereby making the clue for 3d correct.

Thanks to @Martin for pointing this fact out to me.

Learning something new every day!

KarenSampsonHudson 6:07 PM  

Thanks,anonymous, for the do re mi explanation---Woody Guthrie! " 'Dough'
re mi" I guess.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Messing did star in The Mothman Prophecy with Richard Gere...

Linda 12:09 PM  

Why does a performing group need a DJ anyway???

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Can someone explain the HOBO left holding a bag (15A). I don't get it.

Syndicate Bob 12:59 PM  

Hobos were often depicted holding their belongings in a bag over their shoulder (usually at the end of a stick.) So when they left [the city, say] they were holding the bag.

A not very funny pun on the expression meaning to be the only person caught doing something wrong.

WilsonCPU 1:12 PM  

Hobos are often depicted carrying their belongings in a bag (usually hanging from a stick). And they're itinerant, so always leaving. So I think the clue is to be read:
One who HAS left, holding the bag
("who's" being a misleading abbreviation here).

WilsonCPU 1:15 PM  

OK, "Syndicate Bob"s comment was NOT there when I was reading! D'oh! I'm guessing both of our comments are from SyndicationLand (per Bob's alias), so Anonymous@12:28 may never see either explanation...

NotalwaysrightBill 3:23 PM  

Syndi-late solver.

Slogged it out, found it pretty fun, satisfyin'.

Quite agree with Martin about wanting general/specific flexibility for this sort of thing, keying on context: think "rockers."

Absolutely charmed by rap and rap culture in general, with all those relevant and AHORA group names like PUBLICENEMY, and how the lyrics reflect such edifying values and all. Thought POLICECAR comin' down on top of it was apro pos, actually. Hope Rex "ironically" listens to rap right before solving and posting EVERY TIME so that he'll continue to keep it real with us middle-aged white racists. WAS going to say that rap without a cee is a misnomer, but I DO enjoy Leon Russell's "Stranger in a Strange Land," so there you are.

captcha: "ingratic":
early form meaning of or being an ingrate which lost out over time to "ungrateful"

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com 3:46 PM  

I got hung up on the PRICE/ELECTRIC EYES cross as well. As a matter of fact, I hadn't even caught that I had completed it incorrectly as "PEICE" when I came here.

I'm keeping my pack of jackals safely penned as I raise my lily-white, (somewhat-past) middle-aged hand to join ranks with the rap-haters. The elemental, repetitive beat grates on my nerves, and being nearly deaf I can't understand the lyrics. That said, in my 27-year-old producer/composer/musician son's opinion they are "usually sh!t lyrics," so I'd probably hate it even more if I could understand it.

He agrees with you though, Rex - that the clue was just plain wrong. He also defines Public Enemy as "early hip-hop," and since I actually really enjoy a lot of hip-hop, I'd have to disagree strongly that the terms could ever be considered interchangeable any more than blues and jazz or bluegrass and rock could be.

Cary in Boulder 6:57 PM  

I screwed the pooch on that middle SICEM and never found the sixth cube. MAB is not so fab in my book; could have just as easily been TAB. But then, as mentioned previously, DIY didn't make much sense with the clue.

Did anyone else want Abigail for Mrs. Van Buren (even though it wouldn't fit)? At least I think that's what Dear Abby's supposed name was. Sara McLachlan, meh. Never hoid of ADIA. Even though I don't care for opera (or rap, for that matter) I would've recognized AIDA.

You would have to pay me BIG MONEY to watch Wheel of Fortune, although I'm sure my 92 year old mother likes it. But then her entertainment options are severely limited.

Do-Re-Mi I remembered from Ry Cooder's version of the Woody Guthrie tune, which you can see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IJweR1d0dE

Last night Colbert had on a rapper who was described as being "socially conscious." I was passing out by that time so I went to bed. When I asked my wife how he was, she commented, "I don't know. I couldn't understand a word he said. But the music wasn't bad." We are obviously not the target audience. I can appreciate the ability to rhythm/rhyme spontaneously, but when I CAN understand the lyrics I generally find them offensive, shallow or both. Just for the record, I'm white, post-middle aged, and also a DJ (the original kind, on the radio). Blues, soul, old school R&B, jazz and gospel are my bread and butter, so it's not (totally) a racial thing.
I did know Public Enemy from Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing."

Dirigonzo 7:05 PM  

Like @acme, I am in need of a "hip" replacement so I won't join the fray on rappers - although my "aha" moment for the solve was when PUBLICENEMY finally emerged from the depths of my decidedly past middle-age mind and allowed me to complete the SE corner and the puzzle.

Agree SICEM is not a canine command used by responsible (and sober) dog owners.

Anonymous 7:29 PM  

Geez I'm younger than Rex and have always hated Rap. You probably don't like some of the stuff I listen to, but I wouldn't blame it on your age. Rather your poor taste in music :)

Red Valerian 7:30 PM  

Thanks, @Dirigonzo, for giving me an excuse for not having got that middle "ice." Though I'd feel a little less silly if I hadn't heard of Queen Mab and if I hadn't counted "ice"s, so knew I was short.

Liked the puzzle a lot. Challenging, but do-able, with the added benefit of that little glitch keeping me humble. (not that there aren't scads of such benefits daily for me :-P

Mike in St Louis 9:43 AM  

I really wanted "Love child?" to be BEAN (as in Francis Bean Cobain)... also wanted ICE ICE BABY to show up.

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