Transkei native / SAT 6-4-11 / Maugham's prostitute / French singer/actor Rossi / Classic film featuring Captain America / Pike lookalikes

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Constructor: Frederick J. Healy

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none


Word of the Day: TINO Rossi (55A: French singer/actor Rossi) —

Tino Rossi (29 April 1907–26 September 1983) was a singer and film actor. // Born Constantino Rossi in Ajaccio, Corsica, France, he became a tenor of French cabaret and one of the great romantic idols of his time. Gifted with an operatic voice, a "Latin Lover" persona made him a movie star as well. Over his career, Rossi made hundreds of records and appeared in more than 25 films, the most notable of which was the 1953 production, Si Versailles m'était conté directed by Sacha Guitry. His romantic ballads had women swooning and his art-songs by Jules Massenet (1842–1912), Reynaldo Hahn (1875–1947), and other composers helped draw sold out audiences wherever he performed. (wikipedia)

• • •

A solid, enjoyable Saturday puzzle, somewhat easier and far more wide-ranging in its knowledge base than yesterday's spectacularly dated slogfest. Saturday-tough, but in a way that felt rewarding, with answers that were revelations instead of shrugs or ughs. And the only answer in the whole thing that feels at all obscure is some French guy whose four-letter name was easy enough to get from crosses. Initially the toughest part for me was the NW, even though I started there. Went with [Deer TICK] (wrong), then I WAS HAD (2D: Cry after being duped), DDT (29A: Target of a 1972 ban in the U.S.), OSCARS (19A: Walt Disney's record collection), RAREBIT (20D: Dish that often includes ale), and IBIS (32A: Ancient Egyptians revered it) (all right)—so I was halfway down the grid in reasonable time, but with only patchy coverage. The SW was far more accommodating. My only struggle was in trying to figure out 56A: Opposite of duck. MEET THE ... MEET THE ... of course I was misreading it. There's only one "T" in there (MEET HEAD ON). Then I tried to get up and out of the south and failed. Couldn't precisely remember LORENA Ochoa's name (42D: Ochoa who won the 2007 Women's British Open), though that was my initial guess. Never heard of Maugham's prostitute SADIE (45D: Maugham's prostitute), but with -ADIE staring at me, that too was my initial guess. Still, I wasn't sure enough of either, and I also could *not* get over into that SE corner, even with ARACHNE and OK, SHOOT in place. Ended up having to reboot in the NE and then circle back down until I finally had that mid-east section of the grid surrounded. Had to change PEST to PAIN and SEEN OUT to SAW TO IT, but I got there. Thankfully, there was a nice payoff in ending here: the lovely LOAN SHARK (42A: Risky funding source).


Enjoyed the tough but interesting cluing on many of the answers. "?" clues can be dicey, but I particularly liked 5A: Lush performance setting? (KARAOKE BAR) and 12D: Support for cold feet? ("BE BRAVE!"). Some of the clues were bizarre trivia that I found enjoyable rather than irksome, e.g. 50D: He fell in love with a fire hydrant on "Sesame Street" (ARTOO-DETOO) and 53A: Home to some notable cast-iron architecture in N.Y.C. (SOHO). Got befuddled by 46A: Foxes' neighbors (IOWAS), as I completely forgot the Foxes were a tribe. Then when I realized they were a tribe, I thought "INCAS...?" Only after guessing IOWAS did I finally begin to bridge that nettlesome gap (can a gap be nettlesome?) between mid-south and far southwest. I needed the name of a people to finally get into and polish off the NW as well: XHOSA. My first inclination was LHASA, but that seemed far-fetched. Not sure how I pulled XHOSA out of my bag of crossword tricks (I've only ever seen the word in crosswords, memorably attached to Nelson Mandela) ... hmm, wait, I think I backed "EASY RIDER" into there (26A: Classic film featuring Captain America), then got NET COST (3D: It's lowered by REBATES), and the "O" gave me XHOSA. The rest of that section went quickly.


Crossword experience gave me a nice range of answers besides XHOSA. Got SNEE (21A: Sticker of the past) off just the first "E" (I guess it should also be mentioned that I got OARED off just the "D"—9D: Like a galley), and got GARS off the tentative "R" in LORENA (48A: Pike lookalikes). Despite never having seen the article "uma" before, I pieced together SAO pretty easily (38A: One with uma auréola). OSO was a breeze (a common Spanish crossword answer; 52D: ___ pardo (grizzly, in Granada)). I grew up in Fresno, CA but never heard (until today) of LOS Fresnos, Tex. Perhaps my greatest pulled-it-out-of-my-#^$ answer, though, was AVONLEA, which I got off just the "V" and which I initially spelled AVONLEE (13D: Fictional Prince Edward Island community). Such solving success was astonishing and exhilarating since ... I have no idea how I knew it. Absolutely none. Is that where "Anne of Green Gables" is set? [Googling ...] It is. Wow. Just ... wow. I had no business knowing that. I am not kidding when I say that you now know everything I know about "Anne of Green Gables."

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

66 comments:

Anonymous 6:56 AM  

overall nice crossword. 10 stacks are pretty nice. lots of fun stuff, minimal crapola.

never liked spelling ARTOODETOO like that. who EVER spells it like that? R2D2. there that's how it's spelled. even spelled 'r' "AR" is a stretch. all the letter spellings tick me off. you never see SILENTCEE, do you? no, because it's a SILENTC. CEE only flies because constructors need it, not because it's legit in any way.

Rex Parker 7:03 AM  

CEE is in the dictionary. That is a way in which it is "legit."

I skip M-W 7:41 AM  

@Rex, yes, yes, but you forgot to explain why 49 A RIOT - STITCH. Got it from crosses, but still have no idea.

I did like Soho, Caret, "Nosiree, Bob", "I imagine so" Oscars, Xhosa, Easy Rider,Levees, Karaoke bar, Adam and Eve, Wash, Ok shoot, Loan shark, and Iowas, which I guessed at once had to be an Indian tribe, but first guessed Sauks, then Crows.

I skip M-W 7:43 AM  

I meant 49A RIOT = STITCH. WHY?

mitchs 7:51 AM  

@Skip: Old timey usage. "He's a stitch" = he's a riot.

SethG 8:08 AM  

I knew less about Green Gables than you did, and I still entered it off the VO. I knew more about Somerset Maugham. And I also enjoyed the puzzle more than yesterday's.

Vega 9:04 AM  

"Duped" followed by "Cry after being duped:" so good. Really, so much delightful cluing cleverness today.

I'm pretty sure that's all any of us knows about Green Gables, and I'm guessing it's all we need to know.

jackj 9:11 AM  

Frederick Healy last gave us a Saturday puzzle about a month ago which had that memorable, titillating clue "A cowboy may have a big one" for BELTBUCKLE.

The closest he comes to being suggestive today is in having us imagine love-making with a fire hydrant.

It was clear we were in for a lively romp with the first three tens, KARAOKEBAR over ADAMANDEVE over an answer which seems borrowed from yesterday's blast from the past, NOSIREEBOB.

Nice misdirects, including EWER, GOGH and LEVEE, help make it a fun challenge.

Good stuff, Mr. H.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:31 AM  

Fun puzzle; lots of wonderful wordplay. And definitely easier than yesterday.

Can't complain about NO SIREE, BOB! either.

@Rex - Is there any significance to the fact that half of your completed grid is blue, the other half black letters?

CoffeeLvr 9:39 AM  

Nice puzzle, although as usual for Saturday I needed a lot of help from Check and Google.

Felt crappy yesterday, so didn't even try to do battle with the grid.

I have read several of the Anne of Green Gables book series, so AVONLEA was a gimme for me. I didn't really get into them, but in elementary school I would read anything, and my maiden aunt forced them on me (we visited weekly, so I couldn't lie about reading them.) Too much cheeriness for me. Plus she offered them to me after I was transitioning to adult fare.

fiddleneck 9:41 AM  

duped xeroxed ?

Bob Kerfuffle 9:47 AM  

@fiddleneck - Office slang for "duplicated."

fiddleneck 10:05 AM  

Thanks.

Frank 10:11 AM  

Would someone please explain, 'Sao' and 'uma areola' (I am confounded--like most Saturdays!)

Gill I. P. 10:17 AM  

This was no EASYRIDER - NO,SIREE,BOB. But I loved it.
I'm trying to image ARTOODETTO making love with a fire hydrant...
I only went to a KARAOKE BAR once and I agree that everyone who got up to sing was a lush.
Thank you Mr. Healy -fun hard puzzle - just the way I like em.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

A good and engaging puzzle. Took a while to sort out. For a while had "Taos" for "Kans," "Ariadne" for "Arachne," "Try some" for "Trust me" (amazing how many letters correspond in those two similar-meaning phrases). And took the longest time figuring out the twist in the meaning of duped between 1 and 2 down. "Xeroxed" is one of those words that I know but have a hard time seeing in a crossword grid. Also liked "levee" for "bank security feature." Seemed like that could've had a ? after the clue.

Smitty 10:33 AM  

Tricky but fair - DEER XING (I had mice), and BE BRAVE (I had Best Man)

No joy - AMINOR, EDE, AVONELA, SNEE, WASH SOAP, GARS, CLUE, IOWAS, OARED

Had its moments, but not my favorite Saturday.

JC66 10:47 AM  

Started out strong, getting XING at 1A and XEROXEDat 1D right out of the box so the NW fell quickly. Not easy after that. Ended up struggling with the rest. Definitely challenging but highly enjoyable for me.

I tend to agree with @Anonymous 6:56 re: R2D2. But if it is spelled out, shouldn't it be artwodeetwo?

joho 10:56 AM  

The only way I can describe this puzzle is "beautiful." Clever cluing and remarkably fresh answers and many amusing aha moments made this just a perfect Saturday for me. My only write overs were MEld before MESH and Pest before PAIN.

ADAMANDEVE were sitting in a KARAOKEBAR when EVE said to ADAM, "I have something to tell you." He said, "OK,SHOOT." "Will you BEBRAVE?" "Of course!" he BOASTED. "We can eat the apples on our tree." ADAM replied, "NOSIRREE,BOB! "Call me EVE and you can TRUSTME."

quilter1 11:01 AM  

@Frank: SAO is Portugese for saint, and uma aureola is the saint's halo.

Enjoyed solving, though DNF. I could not see LOANSHARK for anything, had seRENA for LORENA and finally gave up. I liked the stacks in the NE and SW very much. Good cluing makes me smile.

hazel 11:03 AM  

High quality solve. a few diabolical places, but diabolical in a good way - in the wordplay sense as opposed to the arcania sense.

@anon 10:24 - agree with you on levee and thought "First names" should have had a ? too. Also had Ariadne for ARACHNE for the longest time which made that section the peskiest.

Checking Jim Horne's database, R2D2 has been in the grid 23 times as ARTOO and just twice as ARTOODETOO - never as ARTWODEETWO, though... I think because the former is the correct phonetic spelling.

V. good Saturday puzzle.

imsdave 11:03 AM  

@Frank - SAO is saint in Portugese, and I'm guessing the other part meant halo.

Great stuff here. Well done Mr. Healy.

conomist 11:12 AM  

DNF for me.

Mostly because I wanted BEstman for BE BRAVE, which got me a grate for protection of tellers at a bank which got me a lot of hand-waving until I just gave up and came here.

It was too bad, because I had such a wonderful aha moment went I wrote best man--which may be what kept me wedded (ha!) to it until the end...

syndy 11:14 AM  

@Frank I believe UMA AREOLA is portuguese? for a HALO therefore SAO=saint! I read ALL the GREEN GABLES books as a girl-at a certain age they were addicting;but then I read all the NARNIA books as well!Yes much easier than yesterday but I still took forever to parse XEROXED!even went I finally had -eroxed it didn't fall immediately.GOT KARAOKE easy but could not spell it_stupid japanese! Don't remember SADIE

Norm 11:17 AM  

I was all set to come here and rant about the archaic 12D BEBRAVE even though it is in the OED. Oops! Would I have been embarrassed ...

No BS 11:20 AM  

Xhosa is one of the many, maybe 11, official languages of South Africa. The "X" represents a percussive pop made in the back of the throat. Several African languages have this phoneme and several similar ones too--fascinating to listen to, but hard for a non-native speaker to imitate. Movie, "The Gods Must Be Crazy" features a language (not Xhosa) that has frequent pops of this kind.

Great puzzle. I finished with a few wrong letters, but got the basic idea!

hazel 11:23 AM  

p.s. Forgot to mention that we saw a very compelling movie last night that kind of centered on an Indian. Its unlikely he was a member of either the Fox or the IOWA tribe, but I can't say that with "certitude" - his actual tribe was a bit of a mystery. Still, I am linking him to the puzzle so that I can urge people to go see the movie. Meek's Cutoff. Enigmatic and downright awesome.

@BS - another good movie, that!

PuzzleNut 11:29 AM  

With just the S for the AFB, I too could only think of Taos, but was pretty sure that there is no AFB there. Lightly entered SPREE? for Riot, which obviously didn't fit, but the P misdirected the Explodes to BLOWSUP, which took forever to clear up. Wanted ASKAWAY for 40D and "confirmed it" with the K in LOANSHARK (oops, wrong place). My bank security system was a TEVEE (??), but I finally got the SOAP WASH cross references and TOSESUP made no sense. Fixing the L was key and IOWAS worked much better than UTES? and the rest fell relatively easy.

Campesite 11:35 AM  

@ Rex,
Your description of the feeling you get of pulling an answer from the deepest recesses of your arse is exactly the reason I read your blog religiously. Today I got a sniff of that with the certitude (thank you congressman Weiner) in which I threw down ARIADNE, only to have to mop that mess up on the second pass.

Spent a few weeks in the Transkei, a spectacularly interesting, if slightly dodgy, part of South Africa: beautiful, undeveloped, wonderful people, and countless shipwrecks along its rugged coast. Xhosa also refers to the language, which has this really bizarre prominent clicking sound. When I had a landline, I pretended to speak Xhosa when dealing with telemarketers.

Mark
(mmmaaahcluckhcluckh)

Gill I. P. 11:38 AM  

@joho: I was hoping you'd chime in with your (always) funny "vignette." Always good for a good morning laugh.
Speaking of the British Open, did anyone see the French Open today? Li Na rocks.
Happy week-end to all

fikink 12:13 PM  

My favorite wrong answer of the day: BE BRIEF. (Been talking to too many lawyers, of late.)

So I will be.

I loved this puzzle. What a romp!

The Bard 12:38 PM  

Henry VI, Part 2 – Act 4, Scene 2

Cade
Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows
reformation. There shall be in England seven
halfpenny loaves sold for a penny: the three-hooped
pot; shall have ten hoops and I will make it felony
to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in
common; and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to
grass: and when I am king, as king I will be,--

LookUpGuy 1:04 PM  

@JC68

Backing up @Hazel

R2-D2 (phonetically spelled Artoo-Detoo, and called "R2" for short), is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. [wiki]

santafefran 1:12 PM  

SADIE as in "Miss Sadie Thompson" (play) and most notably for me, "Sadie Thompson" (movie) starring Rita Hayworth.

bobbledd--my head after yesterday's puzzle.

LookUpGuy 1:12 PM  

Observation:

Wikipedia has trained us to believe anything followed by little blue numbers in brackets.

Maxwell 1:23 PM  

I thought Xhosa was spelled Zhosa. Which made it impossible to finish the NW.

Anonymous 1:27 PM  

Wow; after yesterday and today I feel like I have actually accomplished something instead of merely wasting an hour and ten minutes yesterday plus another hour or so today. How do you people do these so quickly?

Cheerio 1:55 PM  

One of those Anne books has the title "Anne of Avonlea" so it's something a nonreader might have heard in passing. Avonlea is a school where Anne teaches.

Anonymous 2:04 PM  

The clue was 'one with uma aureola' I believe uma aureola would be a halo - ergo, Sao - meaning Saint, no?

r.alphbunker 2:08 PM  

I was not tricked by the clue "first names". ADAMANDEVE was the first thing I put in the grid. I have been conditioned by crosswords to associate the Garden of Eden with "first".

The last thing I put in was "seems possible". I badly wanted the answer to start with IT even though II looked right from the crosses.

davko 2:28 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
davko 2:36 PM  

Great misdirects make for great puzzles, and this crossword had me crossed up until, like Rex, Puzzlenut, Smitty, et al, I untangled a few firmly entrenched ringers such as TICK for XING, AIL for ADO, TEVEE for LEVEE, EPEE for SNEE, and CRAP for WRAP (as in shooting craps). The real whopper in this regard was the perfectly plausible WATCH BELOW that I first wrote in for "opposite of duck" 56A. Was that one by design, F.J.H., or did I just get real creative? Either way, a fine job.

chefwen 2:57 PM  

So much more fun that yesterdays, loved Karaokee Bar, they are a big thing here, I stay away because NOBODY in their right mind wants to hear me sing.

@joho - More stories please.

skua76 3:30 PM  

This one was fun...actually able to finish it unlike yesterday. Today I set it aside for a few hours before filling in the last blank squares like the X in Deer XING. Had the most trouble in the mid-Atlantic with meld/MESH, SOAP and WASH etc.

Tomorrow I'm heading out early to Ithaca for my Cornell reunion and a pre-reunion astronomy course. Not sure how much puzzling I'll have time to do. I'll wave in your direction Rex.

captcha: swayvenu, which must be something like a mosh pit for older folks.

jae 3:32 PM  

An excellent and very enjoyable Sat. Like JC66 I immediately got XING and XEREOXED and finished the NW very quickly. The rest took a little more effort which makes Medium seem about right. ROWED for OARED slowed me down in NE and I went through TRAP and CRAP shoots before settling on WRAP.

JC66 4:11 PM  

@LookUpGuy and @Hazel

Thanks for the info. I knew the Star Wars spelling was ARTOODETOO and I get that the number "2" could be spelled too phonetically instead of two, but I was just wondering why letters like "C" and "D" are spelled cee and dee respectively when alone, but de is used here. Is this a Lucas thing or is that always the case?

Lindsay 4:38 PM  

The only evening I've ever spent in a KARAOKE BAR followed the only day I've ever been indicted. Two experiences I'd rather not repeat. NO SIREE BOB.

mac 5:00 PM  

This was one of those Saturday puzzles I had to walk away from and come back to a few hours later. It always works.

NEVER heard duped for duplicated, that was mean. Adam and Eve was my first entry, but then I wanted something - Eden above it.

For 54A I wanted "Time'll tell" (looks so good with all the ls), but I had acclaim already.... Had Dyck for Gogh at 48D, and had trap and crap for wrap for too long.

Great Saturday puzzle, more challenging than medium for me, though.

Clark 5:24 PM  

You get to name your kids, and you get to spell their names however you want to.

"An explosion rocks the ship as two robots, ARTOO DETOO (R2-D2) and SEE THREEPIO (C-3PO) struggle to make their way through the shaking bouncing passageway. Both robots are old and battered. Artoo is a short claw-armed tripod. His face is a mass of computer lights, surrounding a radar eye. Threepio, on the other hand, is a tall slender robot of human proportions. He has a gleaming bronze-like metallic surface of an 'Art Deco' design." (George Lucas, The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the "Journal of the Whills", (Saga I) Star Wars, Revised Fourth Draft, March 15, 1976, page 1.)

I have no idea idea how this screenplay came to be on our shelves. Semi-puzzle partner has something to do with it, no doubt.

David 5:50 PM  

only reason I finished this is I enlisted my wonderful wife to find a way to make 1D work with an X as the 1st letter, and she quickly nailed XEROXED. Never heard of XHOSA, and I was lost in the NW in general (wanted WATT for RATE too)

SW was nasty too - the double I in IIMAGINESO was brutal, and I had Ochoa as LAUREN for a long time. MEETHEADON took forever, I just couldn't get away from GETAREADON, GETABEADON, both of which would've been out of play had I gotten the relatively easy Van GOGH earlier.

Great Saturday entry, 4 in a row for me that were more challenging than usual, and thus more rewarding.

jberg 6:02 PM  

I came here 6 hours ago, but comments were down; now I don't have time to read them all, so apologies if I'm repeating what someone else said. I finished with two errors:

At 1D, never say "XEROXED," so convinced myself that X=cross in 1A should apply in 1D as well (i.e., a mini-rebus just for those two answers) and so had XEDOXED, meaning "double crossed." I couldn't figure out why there was an O in the middle, but told myself there must be a reason.

For 33d, figured it was the singular of what you shoot when you're playing dice (doesn't pass the breakfast test, but maybe I was remembering those big belt buckles). That gave me CASH for 33A, which was hard to make sense of, but it was the best I could do.


Despite that, I loved the puzzle, esp. KARAOKE BAR (thought for a long time it must be a GALA something) and I IMAGINE SO (hmm, now what words start with II..."

Had SHONA for XHOSA, thought the Xhosa came from further South.

But what about SNEE? Isn't he a sticker from fiction, rather than from the past?

sanfranman59 6:05 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 6:40, 6:52, 0.97, 44%, Medium
Tue 7:49, 8:55, 0.88, 18%, Easy
Wed 13:20, 11:48, 1.13, 80%, Challenging
Thu 20:45, 19:05, 1.09, 73%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 33:01, 25:54, 1.28, 88%, Challenging
Sat 37:08, 30:28, 1.22, 93% (8th highest median solve time of 95 Saturday puzzles)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:43, 3:40, 1.01, 58%, Medium
Tue 4:03, 4:35, 0.88, 14%, Easy
Wed 6:35, 5:49, 1.13, 83%, Challenging
Thu 10:10, 9:12, 1.11, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 16:26, 12:44, 1.29, 89%, Challenging
Sat 22:16, 17:19, 1.29, 93%, Challenging (8th highest median solve time of 94 Saturday puzzles)

michael 6:06 PM  

Harder than yesterday for me. Had to do some minor googling in the northeast, but shouldn't have had to do this. Liked the cluing in the northwest a lot. Good puzzle.

arachne caret michaels 6:14 PM  

@jae, @jc66
I applaud your getting XING off the bat...like others, I had tIck and it took forever to pull the tick out (by it's head... No matches were involved!)

My biggest mess was ItMiGhtESO/IIMAGINESO.
Two I's is freaky.
I kept trying to figure out how to wedge the B in there, for "It might be so"
Speaking of B's: BEB.... for BEBRAVE freaked me out, bec that third letter seemed correct!
I started wondering if it could be NOSIREE(othernamehere) NOSIREE Dan, NOSIREE Rob, NOSIREE Pat!

Knew AVONLEA from a list of fictitious place names that I occasionally stumble across while trying to name a company, but I still wanted AVaLon, tho that too was a letter short.

And I blame @Rex for my leaving in Rub ADUB for too long, since his BREAKING B-A-D comment earlier this week.

Hand up for ARiadNE, Pest and ARTwODETOO. Also struggled with wATt/RATE.

@Hazel
re: "Meeks Crossing" The Native American must have been from Oregon. Beautiful film but I would issue the caveat that it is LOOOONG and SLOOOW and more of a mood piece.

That's a WRAP.

acme 6:17 PM  

@Jberg
I think you are confusing it with SMEE the character from Peter Pan...I made the same mistake!
It's SNEE as in Snick and Snee, which is old timey crossword fare for daggers and sword play or something.
(I had to undo epEE)

hazel 7:43 PM  

@JC - cant help you. your guess is as good as mine. i actually had ARTWO in at first, but it just looked wrong, surely because I eventually remembered seeing the ARTOO before.

@ACME - the terrain they were traveling through was a desert and looked a lot more like Utah (that big salt lake, e.g.) - so I wasn't thinking Oregon? I agree with you that the pacing is slow though - lots of creaky wagon wheels and buzzing flies. for me, that was a big part of its fantasticness - although it pales in comparison to the enigmatic character of The Indian, who I'm pretty sure I will never forget - and for me, that's saying something!!

hazel 7:55 PM  

@acme - SORRY! I just looked it up and he was a Cayuse - from Oregon!!

CY 12:55 AM  

Agree with the consensus that this was a very good Saturday: excruciatingly hard, but just on the right side of gettable.

Like lots of others here, guessed (Deer) tIck after getting the I--surprised me when that one turned out to be wrong, but I loved the audacity of starting off the puzzle with the double-X XEROXED, and the "Duped"/"Cry after being duped" with two meanings of "duped" was also brilliant.

Also like lots of others had ARIADNE as my first thought, but remembered enough Greek mythology to realize that the answer was ARACHNE (once you remember the name, there's really no way to doubt that she's the weaver, not Ariadne). Ariadne was Theseus' girlfriend, an I recall correctly.

I actually read some of Anne of Green Gables as a kid. I used to read everything--didn't matter if it was for boys or girls. Honestly, AoGG is not that bad.

Thought 5-across was a slight waste of a clue--I wanted something along the lines of "table top". I don't see why the patrons of a karaoke bar are expected to be lushes. I ended up trying "bAR cOunteR" which fortunately coincided with the real answer in enough letters to be useful.

Also had Pest for PAIN, like Rex and joho, and thought about MEld for MESH, like skua and joho, but ended up trying the right answer first.

jberg 9:55 AM  

@acme, you are absolutely right! I can never keep SNEE and SMEE straight - and, worse, yet, I always think that I have done so.

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

All I can say is, JC66's brain is the exact opposite of mine. The NW corner utterly defeated me. I could not fathom the alternate meaning of "duped" (duplicated). Of course it's familiar to me, but I couldn't make that connection. So too do I know XING, from road signs, but it simply never occurred to me. I had the whole NW in, except for the squares at 1 and 17. Also went badly with 42a, trying LOTTERIES. (Sigh) two DNF's in a row. :(

TAM 5:40 PM  

I was a bit surprised that more commenters didn't have the same problem that @jberg and I had: associating 1D and 2D, thus going with XEDOXED as "double-crossed" and left wondering about the O between the two XEDs.

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

Had a hunch about XING right off the bat but I didn't come up with XEROXED right away so I left it blank and moved on. Thus, it all began with ADAM AND EVE, confirmed with OARED and an undetermined MINOR key.

After that, SW was a breeze, but everything else was a workout. I put down OK SHOOT pretty quickly but it sat there for so long without any crosses (I was hesitant about SOHO) that I started testing the crosses for 'ask away' instead.

Aha moment was coming up with LOANSHARK off the O and the K, and after that I was able to work my way around the grid counterclockwise. And the aha moment that never was? The WASH/SOAP connection. That's because early on I misread the clue for 45A as being related to 32A instead of 33A. So when SOAP came about from the crosses I wondered what that had to do with IBIS. Just shrugged and figured that was another one of those things that I should know but don't. Had to read about it here.

As a beer lover I was pleased to see MALT replace MIne. And now seems like a good time to reward myself with a cold malt beverage.

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com 1:52 AM  

I guess I was the only one who had JAWS (Source of some extracts) and JIVE (Go well with). Also had PEST for PAIN and ADUB instead of ITIN.

An easier Saturday for me than usual, though still DNF.

Anonymous 3:51 AM  

The whole puzzle is ruined with,"greasy". NO! It does not mean over-flattering. You just can't make up definitions. Would,"oily", or, "unctuous" mean the same thing? How about, "lubricatious"? I hated this puzzle.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

@ Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com 1:52 AM

JIBE = go well with.
JIVE = this

novemberyankee68 8:00 PM  

tough way to start this thing when you put in BANTU for "Transkei Native" and Deer PARK. NW hardest but thankfully knew EASYRIDER, DDT and ewer and finally got this slog. I liked Fridays better. Gotta find a Karaokee bar in Avonlea.

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