White Writing painter Mark / SAT 6-11-11 / Classic Kipling poem ending / Miss Hannigan's charge / Creature Tennessee Williams title

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none — though puzzle is anchored by a single answer in two symmetrical grid-spanning segments: 17A: With 53-Across, classic Kipling poem ending ("YOU'RE A BETTER MAN / THAN I AM, GUNGA DIN")

Word of the Day: Mark TOBEY (23A: "White Writing" painter Mark) —

Mark George Tobey (December 11, 1890 – April 24, 1976) was an American abstract expressionist painter, born in Centerville, Wisconsin. Widely recognized throughout the United States and Europe, Tobey is the most noted among the "mystical painters of the Northwest." Senior in age and experience, Tobey had a strong influence on the others. Friend and mentor, Tobey shared their interest in philosophy and Eastern religions. Along with Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, and William Cumming, Tobey was a founder of the Northwest School. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't know much about Kipling, but I knew the GUNGA DIN line, and was shocked to find it slide right in, with no crosses in place—which was fortuitous, as I was making no headway with the first few clues I tried. With 30 free squares handed to me right off the bat, I managed to crawl around the grid and piece it all together eventually, in something like an average Saturday time, maybe *slightly* faster. I'm trying to imagine how difficult this would've been if I'd been utterly unfamiliar with the Kipling phrase. I'm guessing the older you are, the more familiar the poem is, generally. I don't think younger people read Kipling much anymore. It had gone out of fashion / out of the curriculum by the time I was in school, and I know the line in the puzzle only because of my dad's love of Jim Croce.

I like this grid a lot. Not a lot of showy stuff, lots of very common letters, but I respect the choice of smoothness over fireworks. Few things to make me say YUCK (38A: "Ewww!"). TONETTE is a little out of left field (56A: Small, simple flute), and TENA, MOR, and ITA aren't gonna make anyone stand up and clap (22A: ___ penny (very common, in British lingo); 40A: Tangier location: Abbr.; 54D: Spanish name suffix), but there's nice stuff here and there (TWITTER over ROGAINE (1A: Service with many followers + 15A: Hair-raising stuff?), the full NORMA RAE (11D: Field work that was award-winning), and FURLOUGH (36D: Leave), to name a few), and suitably tough clues to make the whole experience more than worthwhile.

One of the primary locations in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' "Watchmen" is an eatery called The Gunga Diner. I would say next to none of my students get the reference.

Several names I didn't know today, most notably that Mark TOBEY guy. I've seen lots of Abstract Expressionism exhibits, so his work has probably been right in front of me at some point, but his name clearly didn't stick. Never heard of PAULA Creamer (47A: Creamer who won the 2010 U.S. Women's Open). Did not know Casanova's first name was GIACOMO; I had him as GIAN-something at first. Thought maybe ELLA was Betta Than Evvah! at first (ETTA). Worst guessing took place at 47D: Big name in aircraft engines (PRATT), where I had TRANE (?) and then contemplated KRAFT (!?) before finally getting the right answer entirely from crosses. PRATT is a school of design in NYC. Also the last name of the actor who plays Andy on "Parks & Recreation."

  • 31A: Attempt to enter dead space? (SEANCE) — is "dead space" a thing? Besides a video game, I mean? (I get the play on words, but usually the play is on ... something familiar. I've heard of "dead air," but not "dead space").
  • 41A: East Coast city where tourism peaks in October (SALEM) — is this to do with leaf-peepers or witches?
  • 3D: Creature in a Tennessee Williams title (IGUANA) — as in "Night of the..."; it's a horror play about this IGUANA who tattoos LOVE and HATE on his knuckles and terrorizes two young children.
  • 18D: Brachium's end (ELBOW) — with the "W" in place, I got this instantly. Without the "W," I doubt I'd have been as immediately successful.
  • 44D: Like the language Kalaallisut (ESKIMO) — Looked Finnish to me, which is at least the right general climate.
  • 48D: Miss Hannigan's charge, on Broadway (ANNIE) — got it off the second "N," though I would've guessed this without any crosses, despite not remembering the name "Miss Hannigan." "Charge" made it easy to guess.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. Yoni Brenner, who was a freshman honors student in my Great Books section at Michigan when I was a grad student, has an Op-Ed piece in today's NYT. He was off-the-charts smart, and I'm so happy to see his name again, 12 years later.


syndy 12:19 AM  

OH! them Kettles: I was trying to decide between drums or cooking pots! Finished this faster than yesterday it did help to know ones Kipling but my first thought was "IF" also wondered if SANTA ANA was going to trip people up.Fun chunky puzzle with a little bite!

retired_chemist 12:22 AM  

ROGAINE, the Kipling quote, COLTS, and NCAR were instant insertions. The rest, not so much. Medium time here too, but it would have been much harder without the aforesaid 30.

Had all but the SW in good time and just sat there for a long time with the SW mostly white. Finally looked at a map of Southern California and got SANTA to add to the ANA already in place. The rest fell in good order after that.

"Curve creators" seems a bit off for SINES - creators ought to be people or tools. Dental concern was CARIES, Casanova was GIORGIO, "talk, talk, talk" was YADDA, and 58A was OUT LATE at first. All fixed.

Nicel done IMO. Thanks, Mr. (much better than) Cee.

CoffeeLvr 12:35 AM  

Surprising to see TONETTE, haven't thought of that in years.

I did better than my usual Saturday, but still needed some help from the Check function, to clear out cARies, and unSNARL SNARe.

I see how Wings is LAMES now, but think of being winged as shot in the arm or shoulder, not the leg.

Some things I knew, like the Kipling quotation and PRATT, some I guessed right, like PAULA, YUCK, and INDOORS. So it all worked out, more or less.

@Rex, thanks for more Jim Croce tonight.

Tobias Duncan 12:38 AM  

@ retired chemist hand up for OUTLATE.
Dont feel so dumb now for not knowing Casanovas first name. It's sometimes hard to tell which gaps in my education are normal and which are glaring atrocities.
Really liked the band YUCK. Thanks Rex.

chefwen 1:10 AM  

"Happy Days are here again" Finishing a Friday and a Saturday without angst is so very refreshing.

Never heard of TEN A penny, have heard of "spend a penny" when a English Lady had to go to the LOO which cost a penny that is what she would say to be discreet.

Had the most trouble in the Southwest but after a good hard stare it fell into place.

Hope I have as much fun tomorrow as I have had the last couple of days.

Thanks Gary Cee and Rex.

jae 1:40 AM  

Yes to getting the quote with no crosses and CARIES, ELLA, and SNARE (EAMES made no sense but LAMES took a while to process). A tad easier than medium seems right. Definitly harder than yesterday's. This one had some fun stuff. My first thought for Kettles was potato chips. Nice puzzle.

jae 4:42 AM  

and, @andrea -- I miss your late night posts. I'm sure I've missed something about what's going on with you by skipping Mon-Wed..??

davko 5:00 AM  

You're a better man than I am, Gary Cee, thanks to a doubly dumb geographic gaffe at square 40, where I inexplicably saw Norway and Korea as the only two _OR countries in the world, then foolishly flailed after an unknown river in Toledo... Spain, that is. Yuck.

Otherwise, what a satisfying solve, especially given such well-clued, fresh material as TWITTER, FURLOUGH, and NORMA RAE (I fell for DIES IRAE, at first).

Query: How are "lames" wings? Something to do with epaulet armor?

@ Rex: Great query on Salem. I was strictly focused on the fall color/New England connection, but sure, why not witches? Should be interesting to see what your commentators picked up on.

imsdave 6:20 AM  

@davko - if you "wing" someone in the arm with a bullet, you have LAMED them. I loved this puzzle, which I struggled mightily with in the NW (being unable to get anything other than cat out of my mind for the Williams clue). Knew the quote, PRATT (their main plant is 7 miles from my house), GIACOMO, and PAULA, which helped me glide through the rest.

Leslie 7:47 AM  

Davko, that's exactly why LAMES was my last answer to go in. Even when it was written, I was still thinking "???" before it hit me that "Wings" was also a verb.

I've never heard of a TONETTE, so that was interesting.

Threw down the Kipling quote immediately, but was surprised at how little help it was to me in completing the rest of the puzzle!

Ruth 8:18 AM  

My niece lives in Salem. She affirms that Halloween is VERY VERY BIG there. So it's the witch thing mainly.

B-Sens Rule! (Not!) 8:26 AM  

I didn't know the quote. I thought it would be part of "If," that poem that was framed above everybody's toilet when I was a kid. That and the Jungle Book are the only Kipling I know. I remember, half-remember anyway, some old comic panel from some book I saw when I was a kid. A girl and her beau (we're talking 1920's or something) are lounging on the grass and the girl is saying, "You naughty boy! Do I like Kipling? How would I know--I've never kippled!" So the puzzle was pretty tough. I got it all except the three of four squares crossing TONETTE and IAM and that Spanish or Ohio river. (Is Maumee what Bruce is saying in the first line of "Johnny 99"? Well, they closed down the auto plang in Maumee late last night? I thought it was Maumau.) Tonette sucks mightily, by the way. Rogaine is one of the many parodies of "Cocaine" I've heard. Another is "Propane." ("If your old lady's hot, but your fingers are not, propane.")

Glimmerglass 8:27 AM  

The Kipling line had to be either "....than I am, Gunga Din" or "...then you'll be a man, my son." So all I needed was SALEM and LEST and SAKS, which led to MTSNOW and ESKIMO and LEAD ON. . . . DIN is all I needed t write in 17A and 53A. I enjoyed the Jim Croce version, which I think is exactly faithful to Kipling. I'd never heard it that I remember. I'm offended by the line "white, clear white, inside," but that's Kipling and his century. This was a much easier puzzle than yesterday's and not nearly as much fun.

Anonymous 9:14 AM  


Thanks. I've really enjoyed reading your blog as a coda to doing the puzzle since recently getting back into crosswords.

Am I just extraordinarily juvenile, or did the first letter in "Faceted" over "Yuck," juxtaposed with the first three letters of 38 down strike anyone else as... Inconvenient?

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

Put Paula in first, played a tonette way back when. I think this is the 2nd or 3rd use of ma and pa kettle this week. Great puzzle Mr Cee should be A. Golfballman

Smitty 9:29 AM  

What Rex said....

I live right next to Egg and I road where the original Kettles (the Bishop family) live. Know the grandkids, the farmhouse is still there.

Odd to think I grew up on the other side of the country reading Mrs. PiggleWiggle - which Betty McDonald also wrote (after divorcing the egg farmer and moving to Vashon Island)

OldCarFudd 9:32 AM  

Anon 9:14 - Gee, I hadn't noticed!

Good puzzle. Good week.

Jim 9:47 AM  

First pass on the acrosses produced an unusually large amount of fill for a Saturday: COLTS, YUCK, MOR, SALEM, NCAR, SAKS. Good puzzle, especially on the heels of yesterday's winner.

Some notes:

Many people call it Tangiers, for some reason.

Salem is absolutely due to the witch trials. For fall foliage, that's not a great part of the state.

UNEARNED is dicey. Clue seems to call for a verb, not an adjectve. Ironically, 'score' sans 'd', could have been read as a noun, and therefore correct, but I can't infer a way to make this clue work as written.

MTSNOW has the WORST radio jingle; I advise you to look it up. 'Go to Mt Snow, where the lights are low'. What??? That's for skiing, right?

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Anon 9:14 --- maybe the puzzle writer is mad at someone named Paula . . .

Frank Lynch 10:01 AM  

My quick scan started me with Becks, and that was in an easy section from there on. Knew the Kipling immediately, but delayed because I didn't know "am" was in the line.

Of the answers I could actually get (most), I thought the clue for "nee" cleverest.

David L 10:04 AM  

Put in IGUANA first, then the Kipling quote -- but as Rex and others have said, there was plenty to slow me down elsewhere, so it ended up medium.

@anons 9:14 and 9:52: I'm thinking the constructor slipped one past Mr Shortz. The F on FURLOUGH, then YUCK, then YOUng PAULA... I SINCERELY hope the outburst isn't directed at Paula Creamer, who is a good golfer and seemingly a pleasant person...

Bob Kerfuffle 10:22 AM  

One write-over, 25 A, SWAMP before SNARL.

And I too looked at LAMES for awhile after filling in before understanding the intended connection with Wings.

Can't see 8 A without thinking of an ancient, terrible joke, the essence of which is, "The Kettle drum? Oh, yes, it was named for that old movie couple, Ma and Pa Drum."

CoffeeLvr 10:24 AM  

@B-Sens Rule, the auto plant referred to in the Springsteen song Johnny 99, is the Ford Assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey. Looking at Google maps, it is just over the state line from Suffern, New York. It was closed in 1980, and several workers eventually transferred from there to my plant in Kansas City, Missouri. There are (were?) auto supply plants in Maumee, Ohio, including a Ford Stamping plant.

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Kipling's poem was ground breaking for its time. Its message still applies. Everyone should be taught it.

Lindsay 10:39 AM  

Stalled out in the SE where I had entered pIcCOlO for Casanova's first name. Failure to reconcile the numbers on the clues with the numbers in the grid.


Gunga Din eventually came to me in the form of a Bobby Darin lyric; by "eventually" I mean with quite a few crosses in place.

Have a good weekend everyone.

You may talk o' gin and beer 10:50 AM  

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

quilter1 11:01 AM  

@syndy: my first thought was If as well.
We played TONETTEs in grade school.

@Smitty: I was thinking of MAANDPA just yesterday as I gift wrapped two Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books for my granddaughter's birthday. We read all of them last summer. Betty McDonald's adult books were all hilarious. Besides The Egg and I, she wrote The Plague and I (about her TB), Anybody Can Do Anything (finding work during the Depression) and Onions in the Stew (life on Vashon Island). Poor thing died at 50. She'd be over 100 now. One of my all time favorites.
Oh, the puzzle. Nice Saturday, not too many hang ups, a few gimmes for me and learned a few things, too. Thanks, Mr. Cee

Rex Parker 11:12 AM  

I'm astonished to hear from several readers that my account of the plot of "Night of the IGUANA" is inaccurate.



David L 11:27 AM  

P.S. It occurs to me that the British expression "ten a penny" is the idiomatic equivalent of the US expression "a dime a dozen," which means, at today's exchange rate, and assuming I did my arithmetic right, that commonplace American items are worth 5.11 times as much as commonplace British items.

Two Ponies 11:36 AM  

This was a nice solve for me. Right in my wheelhouse. For a start, my frig is full of Becks. I used to live on the bank of the Maumee near its origin.
I liked the little mid-life crisis area of the NW corner. Mr. Rogaine twittering about his trysts.
I also noticed that if you make a quick turn to the east while reading 36D your get a swear word.

Mel Ott 11:39 AM  

Excellent Saturday puzzle.

First thought for the poem was "If" but a quick check of the crosses in the second half (the 'G' at space 55, esp.) settled it in favor of GUNGA DIN. Off to the races.

Off the initial 'S' 25A went from SWAMP to SNAFU to SNARe/SNARL to SNARL.

I briefly wondered if BBL was a Saturday-worthy "Unit of fun" at 27A.

Pete 11:44 AM  

@Rex - It wasn't so much that your plot outline was inaccurate, just that it left out the best part, the un-dead lumbering down the roads eating the brains of the still living.

DESievers 11:45 AM  

Boo on lames!

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

The movie you're thinking of is "Night of the Hunter" (Shelley Winters, with the evil Robert Mitchum). "Night of the Iguana" (Richard Burton in the movie version) is about a defrocked priest.

Best, Evelyn

Shelley Winters 11:51 AM  

Perhaps the confusion is my fault. I was in The Night of the Hunter, the Broadway version of The Night of the Iguana ( replacing Bette Davis) but not The Night of the Living Dead.

Rex Parker 11:57 AM  

I could've sworn I'd seen a film about an iguana with tattoos on his hands. It's so ... plausible ...


T Williams 12:01 PM  

Actually, the Rev. Shannon was never de-frocked.

Chip Hilton 12:10 PM  

Holy cow! Rex says Medium when I finish in my fastest Saturday time EVER! I guess it's all about clues just landing in your wheelhouse because I thought this was Thursday level, at most. PAULA, COLTS, UNEARNED appealed to my love of sports and the Kipling quote soon followed. My last fill was NORMARAE which I had to stare at for a bit before I saw where the break was. Now, what do I do with the rest of my Saturday?

Vega 12:28 PM  

Yep, not knowing that quote made it much harder for me to solve today's puzzle. That's not a bad thing, though! I enjoyed learning quite a lot today.

B-Sens, I know that "I've never kippled" cartoon you're talking about. It was in my 1975 Guinness Book of World Records; don't remember what for, though.

syndy 12:29 PM  

Your RExness don't Bait the INmates!It was donald sutherland as homer simpson at Grauman's chinese

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

For 35D, UNEARNED seems correct to me if the clue is viewed in the sense of Scored by a Scorekeeper. A Scorekeeper must score runs as EARNED or UNEARNED. If the run is "scored" as the result of an error, it is scored by the scorekeeper as an UNEARNED run and will not count against the pitchers earned run average (ERA).

Rudyard 12:57 PM  

I really slogged through this one because I didn't know the Kipling poem. You're a better man than me, Rex Parker...

retired_chemist 1:35 PM  

My competition for Gunga Din was The Ballad of East and West. End lines, however, did not fit:

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Somebody help me -- what is "NCAR?" Online it looks like some kind of basketball organization, but I can't find any site deciphering it. Otherwise all I can find is the National Center for Atmospheric Research, but that's in Wyoming, not at Duke.

KarenSampsonHudson 1:36 PM  

Thanks for the Yoni Brenner link, Rex. I'm a fellow Michigan alum---looking forward to football season now that the albatross coach is no longer around our collective neck!

treedweller 1:48 PM  

not knowing the quote, I started trying to piece it together from the bottom up. I decided it must be something like "If he's a real Texan, then I am Gunga Din." Not that I would expect Kipling to comment on Texans, real or otherwise, but it was a a handy example I recalled from a recent president I knew of. Anyway, lots of googling, some outright stealing from Rex, and I still finished with an error at the flute/Spanish suffix cross.

The quest for consistent completion on the weekends continues to elude me (I bombed yesterday, too, though not as badly).

Bob Kerfuffle 1:49 PM  

@Anonymous, 1:36 -

North CARolina

ArtO 1:54 PM  

ncar is north carolina, home of Duke Univ.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

Aw geez, doh, and I'm a native of NCAR! Thank you.

Arundel 2:00 PM  

Very satisfactory puzzle - actually a very satisfactory week, although the weather was too good to be indoors and posting. Today, now that we've got our pool newly lined and full, all set up and ready to use, it's raining and cold. Phooey!

Loved TWITTER, TRYST, ROGAINE and the clue for 16a. Not so fond of TENA. In my memory it was always two-a-penny, not ten.

Even though I lived in Gloucester, just down the line from SALEM and the witches of October, it took some doing for me to to see that! And yes, in October all roads into Salem are jammed with witches and wannabes, and it's a good place to avoid.

Anonymous 2:18 PM  

NCAR as in North Carolina, home of Duke University. And Rex, I b'lieve PRATT refers to Pratt & Whitney, which was the major jet engine maker till GE and Rolls overtook them.

Matthew G. 2:33 PM  

Great puzzle. Easy-medium here -- I didn't know the Gunga Din quote immediately but it came to me once I had a bit of the grid. My bottom-up solving tendencies were a boon today, because the first part of the quote I got was GUNGA DIN. The SE was very easy, the rest of the grid less so. By far the hardest section was the NE, where both MA AND PA Kettle and NORMA RAE were complete unknowns to me.

Not only had I never heard of the Kettles, I had never even heard of "The Egg and I," which Wikipedia tells me is where they come from. I was convinced that {Field work that was award-winning} was going to involve awards for defensive play in sports somehow. When the crosses gave me just a ... person's first name, I was baffled. Another old movie I've never heard of. What sports are to our good friend Tobias Duncan, these films are to me. But I'm not complaining -- the crosses made them perfectly gettable. No Naticks here.

Matthew G. 2:38 PM  

Oh, and how could I fail to mention? My grandfather was a general foreman at PRATT & Whitney's engine plant in Hartford, Connecticut, for most of his career. He worked on many early space engines. Not sure why it's always been considered acceptable to refer to the company as just "Pratt," but it is.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

@Retired Chemist - Your choice reminds me of a tale my pappy told me as a child.
See, he had this old pony when he was a child, and every spring two or three pairs of birds would build a nest in his mane. Every year, and it drove the pony crazy. The tried everything, roaching his mane, keeping him locked indoors, putting a cat on his back, everything, all to no avail. Then one day this old codger told them to just sprinkle a little Baker's yeast on the pony once a day for a week. Bam, birds moved out, mamas, papas, little ones. The old codger stopped by to see how it worked, and they said it worked perfectly, but couldn't understand why, to which the old codger replied:

Because Yeast is Yeast is nest is nest and never the mane shall tweet.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

while idnf i was mighty close for the first time on a saturday. i hardly ever get a foothold. thanks rex et al. i knew the quote from just a g in gar. now off to the second day of my 50th H.S. reunion.yesterday was fun but who were all those old folks and why were they at my reunion?

jackj 3:21 PM  

I held off in filling in the Kipling quote because "You'll be a Man my son" was rolling around my noggin but, of course it was a letter too long, (not to say, the wrong quote).

When GADIN showed up in the bottom right it was a piece of cake to fill in the other twenty-five letters to complete the poem's ending.

"Its between Obama and Robinson" for NEE was a truly inspired bit of cluing as was the entry for TRYSTS!

Good solid Saturday puzzle from Gary Cee.

jberg 3:57 PM  

I got TWITTER instantly, perhaps because that's how I had spent the previous hour (follow JCBERG), then IGUANA, which meant the Kipling quote had to start with YOU. The one from If was the wrong length, so in went Gunga Din, and I thought I was going to breeze through - but the SW was a bit slow (I resisted Tonette, which is more like a recorder than a flute - but then, 500 years ago they used the same word for both, and still do in French and German). It took me too long to remember that Challah is BRAIDed (actually tried bagel and bread first), and I finished staring at 8A, thinking about timpani, thinking the AA was too long, until at last the ampersandwich oozed into my consciousness.

An enjoyable puzzle, but I finished with an error. Like many, I didn't think of LAMES for wings, thought EAMES might refer to Charles Eames chairs, which sometimes have wing-like forms, and so accepted SNARE for quagmire. Boo-hoo!

There's an Ogden Nash poem that extends that 'never kippled' joke to Dublin, Joplin, and who knows what else - well, I would know, but I can't find the poem.

joho 4:03 PM  

I liked it. Gary Cee definitely rates better than a Bee!

@Rex, I remember the iguana had a tattoo running down the side of his face and wore brass knuckles on his fingers.

I skip M-W 4:37 PM  

Got Gunga Din from 36, and 42 D but couldn't remember erst for awhile.By the time I did, the rest of puzzle just few in. Figured out Pratt but had never heard it without Whitney. Thanks for explaining @Matthew G. @Rex, always wondered what plot of Night of the iguana was, so thanks for clear explanation. Didn't Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton Star in it on Broadway? I guess she played the iguana.
also @Matthew G., disturbed to hear of Norma Rae referred to as an old movie. I saw it in the 70's, so how can it be old?
Hadn't seen a challah since dinnertime, so when I did puzzle about midnight braid was certainly a gimme. I tried inuit before Eskimo Also proud that unearned parsed correctly as far as I was concerned, without my knowing much about baseball. The first meaning of score is clearly to enter on a scoresheet and not to win a point.

I skip M-W 4:39 PM  

Pardon. In first line above, I meant rest, not erst.

I skip M-W 4:50 PM  

One more thing. I live in Calif., but have never been to Orange, CA, so I thought first of ORANGE, FRANCE, where I have been and which has a wonderfully preserved Roman theater. but after Avignon didn't fit, thought of CA. @Retired Chemist, Santa Ana is place Santa Ana wind is named for.

I've also never been to Toledo, Ohio, but briefly visited Toledo, Spain. NO river there that I remembered.

captcha = hecurieu reminds me of neighbor, doctor, whose CA license plate is ICURYA. Not certain I trust that.

mac 4:52 PM  

Liked this puzzle a lot, more or less the same good experience as with yesterday's. I didn't know the full quote, but remembered Gunga Din and the rest came easily.

I'm wondering which Paule Mr. Cee has a problem with?

I also thought the expressions was two-a-penny, which makes the value closer to the dime a dozen, I guess ;-).

@Two Ponies: LOL the midlife crisis area!

Sparky 5:03 PM  

Had SwAmp and flap up top and never resolved them though the rest of NW filled in. First thought was Into the valley of death rode the 600, but NORMARAE jumped in. Liked that clue. DIN came and the whole quote followed. Blank space at 40 and 47A. SEANCE a goody. Liked this puzzle. Plenty to work on but doable. Happy camper here Mr. Cee. Thanks @Rex for Salem the cat and Annie Lennox.

r.alphbunker 5:17 PM  

As the histogram indicates, I had a very slow start on the puzzle, and then around 7 I saw the quote. It was like winning the lottery!
1 **
2 ***
3 **
4 *
6 *****
7 ***********
8 *****************
9 ************
10 ***************

sanfranman59 6:04 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 6:35, 6:52, 0.96, 32%, Easy-Medium
Tue 9:36, 8:55, 1.08, 72%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 11:12, 11:47, 0.95, 42%, Medium
Thu 21:27, 19:06, 1.12, 79%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 20:32, 25:51, 0.79, 16%, Easy
Sat 24:43, 30:25, 0.81, 8%, Easy (8th lowest median solve time of 96 Saturday puzzles)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:32, 3:40, 0.96, 37%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:54, 4:35, 1.07, 73%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 5:45, 5:49, 0.99, 51%, Medium
Thu 11:09, 9:13, 1.21, 83%, Challenging
Fri 9:51, 12:42, 0.78, 15%, Easy
Sat 15:52, 17:18, 0.92, 33%, Easy-Medium

B-Sens Rule! (Not!) 6:22 PM  

@Vega, that's almost certainly where I saw it. Just looked it up and it was a cartoon by Donald Gill, king of the "saucy seaside postcard," and held the sales record for same with 6 million copies sold

michael 7:41 PM  

I thought this was quite easy for a Saturday and was taking pride in how fast I finished it. Then I looked at all the comments about "lames" and couldn't remember this as an answer. I had written in snare instead of snarl (my first try was swamp) and didn't notice that "eames" didn't work. This is the sort of thing that would reduce my score in a crossword puzzle contest.

Ronnie 8:03 PM  

Dead space is a real term; it's space in a home that is inaccessible from the main part of the home. It is sometimes accessible or obvious from the attic. In our area, lots of homes have dead space next to the fireplace. It's common for people to "break into the dead space" for built-in bookcases.

Doc John 3:32 PM  

I'm still not buying LAMES. To wing someone (or something) by definition means to strike a glancing blow, certainly not enough to cripple him.
Aha, I have now checked the dictionary and find that wing specifically means to shoot a bird in the wing, thus crippling it.
OK, so now I buy LAMES.

Anonymous 3:37 PM  

According to all the references I could find, Cassanova's firt name (57A0 was Giovanni, not Giacomo. Is Giacomo some sort of nickname for Giovanni?

Anonymous 4:22 PM  

This is another case of a grid that looked hopeless to me at first, yet one that I managed to finish with no help. Nothing could please a solver more than that feeling.
The ROGAINE/IGUANA cross seemed to work; that was my starting point. Nothing else came there, so I turned to PAULA Creamer, who's not only a helluva golfer but a dish as well (us old guys notice these things), and that led to YOUNG and YUCK, then RUNON and ANNIE. But here, too, I stalled.
Reexamining the clues, I got the aha! for award-winning Field work, NORMARAE, then wondered if 12d could be DOMINANT. If so, there's a double O at 16a: INDOORS! It went on this way, opening up petal by petal like a peony attacked by ants. With -ERMAN in place, I tried the Kipling quote, and it fit. From then on, I couldn't fill it in fast enough.
One nit to pick today: the clue for UNEARNED was troubling. It should have read "like a run scored as the result of an error."
Anyway, great puzzle.

Mary in Oregon 9:35 PM  

From syndication land: When I was a little girl (dark ages), Mom gave me a Tonette permanent wave to curl my straight hair. The adult product was a Toni perm. Don't know if the product still exists.

I also noticed the x-rated words starting with 36 down, 38 down. Pretty racy for the NYT!

Love your column, Rex. Puzzle on!

SharonAK 5:00 AM  

Your bullets summary of Night of The Iguana: Big smile
The later "Astonished" comment:
LOL. Too loud, for this time of night-disturbed husband in next room.

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