Homeric cry? / SUN 9-18-11 / Famous Georgian born in 1879 / Rogers on a ship

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Constructor: Josh Knapp

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: "DON'T ...!"Eight theme answers are phrases that start with "Don't."

Word of the Day: FAVRE (59D: Packer of old)Brett Lorenzo Favre (pronounced /ˈfɑrv/;[1] born October 10, 1969) is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), Green Bay Packers (19922007), New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (20092010). Favre is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, over 500 touchdowns, over 300 interceptions, and over 10,000 pass attempts. He officially retired on January 17, 2011. (wikipedia)
• • •

Oh, hello.


Ian Livengood here ...



... posting under my non de plume F.D.R. (Franklin Delano Romanowski). I'm filling in for Rex while he's at Patrick and Rebecca's wedding.



Golf clap for the lovely couple.



I'm going to make myself comfortable and dive right in.



(fills pipe with bubbles)


(swirls glass of brandy)


(props feet up on half caribou, half tiger-skinned ottoman)




Even though I got the theme immediately, I still really enjoyed this one. Thanks, Mr. Knapp. It reminded me of these puzzles from Mike Torch and Michael Sharp(!). The grid is clean and the theme answers are lively, so nothing to complain about.



I suppose you could do this type of theme with an infinite number of words. But this one gains tightness, and NYT credibility because the resulting answers are all supahfresh. My favorite theme answers were DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS and DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE. Great stuff.



Really enjoyed DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB, too. I've heard DON'T HAVE A COW MAN with and without the "Man," but that hardly matters. Also, I've heard people say "DON'T QUOTE ME ON THAT" and "DON'T QUOTE ME ON THIS" with pretty equal regularity.




Theme answers:
  • 23A: DON'T PLAY WITH MATCHES
  • 38A: ... MESS WITH TEXAS
  • 52A: ... BELIEVE THE HYPE
  • 73A: ... QUIT YOUR DAY JOB
  • 88A: ... QUOTE ME ON THIS
  • 103A: ... TALK TO STRANGERS
  • 16D: ... MOVE A MUSCLE
  • 62D: ... HAVE A COW MAN


Bullets:


The puzzle has some great fill here -- BEACH BALL (3D), MADE A DENT (38D), GET REAL (35A), HOTWIRE (93A), QWERTY (88D), OWN GOAL (95A), JELLY BEAN (75D), OMIGOSH (61D) and DYSLEXIA (12D). And IRENE (81A) gets a t(r)opical (storm) clue. Speaking of Irene, I didn't lose power in NYC, and didn't get to use the bottled water and batteries I hoarded Contagion-style. Oh well. Next hurricane season.



I loved the clues for DYSLEXIA (13D), TOMCAT (58A) and ADVERB (99A). VIRUS (53D: Hacking tool) gets my clue o' the day award--I was thinking what kind of saw starts VIR??.



(smacks forehead)



Well played Shortz/Knapp, well played.



Obviously really enjoyed the Simpsons mashup at 60A/62D as well. Because I love the Simpsons. And cookies.




Any writeovers, you might ask? You betcha. Shuffle for CLASSIC (9D), Idiom for TROPE (39D), Tire for SODA (50A--can't believe I fell into that trap), Starr for FAVRE (59D), Spam for SCAM (98A), Near for SEEN (114A). I am sure I've see the clue for SCAM (98A: E-mail from a Nigerian prince, usually) before, but still enjoyed it. For those feeling ambitious, S(P/C)AM would be a great entry for words that share the same clue. Just think about it, Mr. Farrell. I did not really understand the clue for ELOPE (22A: Opt for the window instead of the aisle?). Yes, I get that by avoiding walking down the aisle, people would elope. And yes, I understand the wordplay with the airplane, but what does the window have to do with wedding? Am I missing something? It is still a fresh clue for ELOPE, though, so I applaud the effort.




ASC (87A: Camera operator's org.) and HADRON (91D: Large ___ Collider (CERN particle accelerator)) were total mysteries to me, but the crossings were all fair. The last letter of the grid to fall was the "P" in the EL PAIS/PIU crossing. I would venture a guess that some people might not be familiar with the Spanish newspaper, and if they do not know the Spanish word for "country," then, well, they are out of luck. I have seen PIU in grids before. Apparently it's appeared 10 other times since 1993. But I have never remembered it. In past puzzles I would wait for the crosses, but this time I wasn't able to. Damn you PIU/ELPAIS. Here is some alternate fill:



Is that better? Maybe. But it definitely doesn't have a Spanish newspaper crossing an Italian musical term.


The two staircases running from the NE to SW should be the easiest part of the grid to fill. Outside of the staircase, the words can end with a the same letter. Inside the staircase, they can start with the same letter. For example The "Q" in 73A/73A can begin both words. If the staircase was running the other direction(NW to SE), the "Q" would have to end one of the words. This way is much easier to create and fill.


I imagine the Center West portion of the grid was filled like this.




Once the theme answers and black squares were put into place, MA(D/K)E ????? or MA(D/K)E A ???? had multiple possibilities. Since there were so many options, everything to the north of "BELIEVE THE HYPE" can be filled without worrying about redoing 57A and below. This is how a Sunday grid is filled, I think. Since there are so many little areas to worry about, if you can isolate one area and lock in some answers, it's easier to move around and fill the grid.



A fun Sunday romp. Thanks again Mr. Knapp.



Starting today, I'm taking over the J.A.S.A. crossword class for Caleb Madison, so hopefully solvers can enjoy something from us in the near future.



One last note. Thanks to Rex (and to Amy and Deb, for that matter) for blogging everyday. It's really hard work, but they certainly make it look easy.



In case you missed it (and I am sure some of you did), here are the wonderful, wonderful highlights from the Redskins/Giants game last week. Go Skins!





Signed, Ian Livengood, Feudal Baron of the CrossWorld

66 comments:

Ron 12:17 AM  

Re: "window" vis-vis elope, my take was that a bride might "opt" to go out the window and down the ladder with her betrothed rather than take a walk down the aisle. That was an ex-post rationalization of the clue after I had enough crosses to guess the word. Pretty hard to come with elope with just the clue.

mmorgan 12:22 AM  

Just wrote a long comment and it disappeared. Damn. I mainly said it was a fun but very quick solve, I detailed some clues/answers I liked (and some I didn't), and wished there were some meta-connection among the theme answers. Blah blah blah. Thanks for the write-up, Ian!

syndy 12:39 AM  

Never heard of the LORISES so I looked them up-apparently they come in two flavors:slow and slender.their claim to fame is-wait for it-they park theie kids after smearing them with elbow cheese! whatever.Good sunday puzzle-just enough resistance to bounce.yes Ian the classic Elopement looked a lot like an abduction!!

Anonymous 12:52 AM  

The Redskins are going down this week, Ian. Just sayin'.

Anonymous 1:06 AM  

I never like Sunday puzzles, and today's was fabulous. Great theme entries, and some great non-theme fill. Great job Mr. Knapp!

chefwen 2:56 AM  

Blogger ate my comment, guess I've been away too long. Damn!

Liked your WOD Ian, being a Packer fan Bret Favre was our hero for many years. When he finally left the Packers we were pretty relieved after years of threatening to retire and then changing is mind. My Godson has a T-shirt with Bret's picture on it and underneath it says "We're going to miss you BRENT".

Good Sunday puzzle, not too hard, not too soft. Loved the DOH/HAVE A COW crossing, classic Simpsons.

Great write up Ian, you are quickly becoming one of my favorite constructors and I look forward to many more puzzles.

Damn, it's hard to type when one is totally jet lagged.

Rube 3:02 AM  

Had the whole puzzle solved except the center where 55D was posiT for "Bring up". That yielded (Don't) BELIEVE THE poPE). No, no, couldn't be, but I just couldn't see beyond this for the longest time. Finally, erased the whole area and remembered the aria Non piu andrai from "The Marriage of Figaro" giving me the Italian for "more" and the puzzle was finished.

Took me way longer than it should have, but really enjoyed this puzz. HOTWIRE and OWNGOAL were my favorites. As soon as I got ELOPE, chuckled at the clue... thought along the same lines as @Ron, great wording. Had buck for "Rogers on a ship"... way off base.

Had totally forgotten Uracil as one of the four bases in RNA. Better make this my WOTD.

As far as the Vasco DAGAMA clue went, this is really obscure.

Was sure HADRON Collider would raise the hackles of, (liberal artsy-craftsy), @RP. I see it got you too, Ian, but you didn't raise any violent objection like #31 would have.

Welcome back @chefwen, been wondering where you were.

Buona sera.

chefwen 3:16 AM  

Slight correction on the T shirt, it was "We'll never forget you BRENT", I'll blame the jet lag, yet again!

chefwen 3:20 AM  

@Rube, thanks for the welcome back, looking forward to seeing you and Mrs. Rube in a few months, bring Pepper Jelly, I'm out.

jae 3:22 AM  

Yes for easy-medium.

Yes for SPAM before SCAM.

Yes for the P in the PUI/PAIS being my last entry.

Nice breezy Sun. Nice write up Ian.

Jim 5:51 AM  

Now that's the kind of guest write-up I can get behind. Thanks, Ian, for the BONMOTS...and the construction thoughts.

Sunday puzzle is NO fun in the NYT Java applet, unless there is a way to widen the screen that I'm not yet aware of. It's set up for a 15x15 only.

Loved ELPAIS crossing PIU. Piu mosso is not only a lovely term, it comes up frequently in my musical scores; and ELPAIS always stuck in my mind, since it is so close to the French pays.

Definitely did not like OWNGOAL. I know what they mean, but OWNGOAL is not a standalone term in my experience.

Clue for ELOPE is genius, if a little strained. Jumping out the window is something evoking a runaway bride, not one who's off to Vegas.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:26 AM  

DON'T GET THE WRONG IDEA, but if it hadn't been for a little voice in my head whispering DON'T CHANGE THAT DIAL (or was that DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP? - It's rather buzzing in my head) I may never have finished correctly, as I finally did.

Three trouble spots: PIU/PAIS, but I have heard of EL PAIS, so the right guess wasn't too hard. Then SCAM/SPAM slowed me down. And finally, my last entry was changing 63 A from GRAM to DRAM, especially since 38 D had some plausibility as MADE AGENT - plausibility, not sense.

And, this is not the kind of theme that really opens things up, i.e., could be just about anything.

MaryBR 6:50 AM  

Found this to be on the easy side for a Sunday, but not overly so, and certainly enjoyable. I saw two possibilities from the get-go and so filled in S_AM on Nigeria and waited for crosses, thus avoiding that trap. Writeover for gRAM/DRAM towards the end, and otherwise was quite easy sailing (am fluent in Spanish plus have read El Pais). LORISES was my word of the day, and as even HADRON clicked somewhere in the recesses of my brain, this was a lovely, non-obscure puzzle for me.

Glimmerglass 8:03 AM  

Easy but fun Sunday, which I think is what the NYT goes for. Just enough semi-Naticks to keep experts interested. PIU/EL PAIS was one. THEO/HADRON was another (for me). Both yielded to an educated guess. I'm flying next week, so the window/aisle clue caught me big time until I pit in some crosses. I liked the TEN/HAG corners (is that one you set your cap for?)

The Bard 8:57 AM  

Othello > Act IV, scene I

BIANCA: Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now?
I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
work?--A likely piece of work, that you should find
it in your chamber, and not know who left it there!
This is some minx's token, and I must take out the
work? There; give it your hobby-horse: wheresoever
you had it, I'll take out no work on't.

CASSIO: How now, my sweet Bianca! how now! how now!

OTHELLO: By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!

BIANCA: An you'll come to supper to-night, you may; an you
will not, come when you are next prepared for.

[Exit]

jberg 9:30 AM  

By the time I got to 59D I had enough crosses to see it had to be FAVRE - but really, "of old?" Like what, 2 or 3 years ago? It really should have been Starr, from the clue.

But then, I'm old! Old enough to know that the point of eloping was to marry against the will of the bride's parents - a quaint concept! Hence the stereotype was that the groom brought a ladder to her bedroom window late at night, and off they went. A great clue, with the airline misdirection, but evidently lost on you young 'uns.

I, on the other hand, had no idea who Harry Potter's girlfriend was, so age works both ways in this puzzle!

I only know a little Spanish, but when you know a little of a language, you tend to assume that everyone else knows a little as well. I learned this in Paris, with my daughter (then 11) - we were all chatting about the menu for lunch when she burst out "Well, I can't read anything on this menu!" It had just never occurred to us that she couldn't. I imagine the same thing was in the Knapp/Shortz mind regarding the redundantly clued (if you knew Spanish) 54D.

My late father was a pharmacist, so I knew it was DRAM right away. He was always talking about drams, grains, and scruples.

All in all, a fun, easy puzzle.

joho 9:58 AM  

I love when current events show up in a puzzle like CAP being trade's partner and hurricane IRENE.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the theme answers, so "in the language." Like the current events, made this puzzle feel modern and up to date.

@Ian, I wish your solution to the mess in the middle had been in the grid! Guess where I had one letter wrong??!!!

Despite the foreign language Natick smack dab at the crossroads of ELPAIS/PIU somewhere in Spain or Italy ... I thought this was a great Sunday puzzle! So much fun. Thank you, Josh Knapp, and you, too, Ian for a wonderful, thoughtful writeup!

M07S 9:58 AM  

One minor quibble...The plural for bon mot is bons mots. Loved the clue for ELOPE.

slypett 10:32 AM  

I found time dragging "its slow length along." This is true, even though I finished quickly. To me, this was, at best, yeomanship.

I'd always thought piu was cognate with French peu, little. "A little learning is a dangerous thing."

jackj 10:44 AM  

When Josh asked himself, "Do I do a don'ts puzzle?", fortunately he came up with the right answer and today's beauty is it.

The phrases are all solver friendly and tieing Homer to Bart with DOH and (DONT)HAVEACOWMAN was a perfect touch from a very au courant constructor.

We dinosaurs are forced to deal with a host of new-worldish entries which, fortunately, end up being a Christmas stocking of goodies for all.

By goodies I mean, OLLIE, OWNGOAL, GINNY, CLASSIC, PIMP, MAG, THEO, HADRON, HOTWIRE, and, but, phew, that's enough!

PIMP (My Ride) has a personal connection, as a close family member was one of the producers of the show for its first season but decided not to continue for future years. He loved the show's concept and thought Xzibit was aces as its host but the suffocating demands of commercial TV conflicted with his creative sensibilities and he passed on year two.

Thanks, Josh; don't be a stranger!

Gill I. P. 10:46 AM  

This was a fun, fun puzzle. A bunch of us worked on this last night and the favorite was the across DOH with the down HAVE A COW MAN.
I knew LORISES right away after being bombarded with a million You Tube visions of the cute little critters. I understand though,they excrete some kind of poison when tickled?
Also JELLYBEAN brought a smile to this face. When I was about 10 I entered a Jelly Bean contest and came the closest to guessing the amounts in this huge glass snifter. My prize was a little white puppy. My parents groaned since we already had 2 Boxers, a goat named chi-chi, a mule my dad called "donkey" and a myriad of horses. That little dog became my stuffed animal. I carted "Raffles" everywhere with me. He also loved JELLY BEANS...Sorry for the Ranto-O-Rama.
Anyway, lots to love about the puzzle. OMIGOSH,TOMCAT, GHETTO and what's with 113A PIMP? how does tricking out a car make (the car?) a PIMP? I'm sure there's an explanation that involves watching a TV commercial or such.
Thank you Ian Livengood for the write-up. I not only love your name I always enjoy your crosswords.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

Another guess for "elope" clue. Aren't there drive through chapels where you get married at a window?

600 11:04 AM  

@jberg--I'm old enough to remember what ELOPE is--exactly as you define it, and I'm also a Harry Potter fan and filled in Ginny right away. Age often cuts both ways, but not today for me. (Knowing ELOPE in the way you describe, by the way, did not help me to get it. I needed ELO_E before I saw it. Great clue!)

I do not get "hacking tool" as VIRUS. I know Ian thought it remarkably clever, and I see the double play on "hacking," I just cannot see VIRUS as a tool. Can someone tell me what I'm missing?

I found the puzzle rather tough, but doable in the end. For me it was medium challenging. That makes it a fun Sunday run. I didn't need Google, but will admit to using the check function. Oh, well . . .

Mel Ott 11:45 AM  

Loved the clue for ELOPE. Fresh new clue for a tired old crossword answer. LOL'ed when I finally got it.

Hesitated at the EL PAIS/PIU crossing. Don't know much Spanish but knew that PAYS is French for Country (Latin is Patria) so the P was a pretty safe bet.

DON'T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW.

Mel Ott 11:51 AM  

Also - Re 56D: Doesn't "Done in" mean Slain or Dead? "All in" is the phrase I'm familiar with for TIRED.
Might be one of those regional things.

chefbea 12:02 PM  

I found this pretty tough and had to google, though I got the meme right away. Learned a lot of new things...isn't that what crossword puzzles are for??

Great write up!!

syndy 12:22 PM  

@600 using VIRUS as a general term for ALL Malware ( Worms Trojan Horses etc)close enough for g work

mac 12:25 PM  

Nice puzzle for a Sunday, but there were a few spots that threatened a DNF. It all worked out in the end. The last area to fall was where Favre lurks. I also thought has hasn't been retired very long to be called "of old".

I also had posit and spam, and was totally confused about Ginny. Wasn't it Hermione??

Thanks, Ian, very good write-up!

hazel 12:33 PM  

i too couldn't get in the swing of things and found this one pretty tough - as @bobk said - theme was pretty wide open - lots of DONTS out there competing for space in my brain. (DONT CALL US. WE'LL CALL YOU!) I opted for patience over googling though and it got me to the finish line. Sometimes all the patience in the world doesn't help me, but this time it worked out.

Cool theme, thorny yet pleasant solve for me and

I v. much enjoyed your thoughtful writeup, @McLovin - that's what I think of every time I see your name - it gets your puzzles off to a good start in my brain so I mean this with all due respect!

Ron 1:53 PM  

@600 - with the advent of robust firewalls, hackers have found it harder to push their compromised code into the targeted machine. Instead, they now typically look for a way to have it pulled across from a user on the inside. A virus, which can be unknowingly installed by, say, browsing an infected website, is often the preferred way to do this. Once installed, the virus can allow the hacker to gain control.

DigitalDan 2:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DigitalDan 2:04 PM  

Trying again: You can watch the Large Hadron Collider in operation (at least its main control panel) at http://op-webtools.web.cern.ch/op-webtools/vistar/vistars.php. The site http://lhc.web.cern.ch/lhc/can give you a pretty good education about what's going on at this biggest of Big Science installations. Great fun for a total unreconstructed geek like me.

quilter1 2:37 PM  

Liked the puzzle and the write up very much. HOTWIRE was my stumper, though of course I knew the term. Somehow it just looked like a bunch of unrelated letters. I quibble at OMIGOSH. I've seen it that way but it did not come to mind and I knew GIVENS was right. So a little struggle, but OK in the end.

When we called our son yesterday he had forgotten it was his birthday even though he got our gift.

Noam D. Elkies 2:42 PM  

@slypett: I guess that "più" is cognate not with "peu" but with "plus" (as in the French for "more"), as in bianco ~ blank [i.e. white], chiaro [as in chiaro-oscuro] ~ clear, fior [as in Fiorello LaGuardia] ~ flower, etc.

NDE

600 2:44 PM  

@syndy and Ron--Thank you both! Should I pretend I was even close . . . no. I wasn't on the same wavelength at all. I thought the play on words involved hacking as the description of a cough one might have with a virus. I am SO GLAD I ASKED!!!

@mac--Harry, Ron, and Hermione were close friends from their first year at Hogwarts. Romance (in the later books) bloomed between Ron and Hermione. Harry's girlfriend (later wife) was Ron's sister Ginny.

Get help, give help. I love this blog!

Lewis 2:59 PM  

I held back on my urge to Google and let the crosses give me the answers -- I need to do that more often! Hands up for loving the clue for ELOPE. With a minimum of crosswordese, this puzzle felt fresh and fun. Bravo, Josh!

Martin 3:19 PM  

Rich Norris used the window/aisle clue over five years ago. I don't know for sure that he was the first, but it sounds like him.

abnorma 3:55 PM  

Re: elope clue - Instead of walking down the aisle, one can just get the license at the "window" at City Hall.

CoffeeLvr 4:03 PM  

@Gill.I.P, thank you for clearing up the one question I had when I finished this puzzle: What does JELLYBEAN have to do with a contest?

I liked this puzzle a lot, and should have resisted the urge to Check the spelling of HADRON early on; I had HAldON. I expect the crosses would have fixed it, but I didn't expect the puzzle to be as easy as it was on the first pass through. So a technical DNF, due to impatience.

@FDR, nice writeup. Just don't inhale on that pipe.

Mel Ott 4:27 PM  

@CoffeeLvr: Remember those contests at fairs and the like where you had to guess the number of jellybeans in a great big jar?

mac 5:17 PM  

Thank you, @600!

About the jelly bean: I was thinking of the con game with three cups (or walnut shells) and a pea (or jellybean), where they move them around and you have to guess where the bean is, at a price. D'oh!

william e emba 5:21 PM  

I like how the adjacent clues 62D and 65D ran together: "Don't...Look down."

I got EL PAIS/PIU from the Latin patria. I resisted it because of the French peu, but it looked so correct.

I found TROPE unusually difficult. I had TR--E, but I only knew of "trope" meaning recurring thematic technique, like magical swords in fantasy novels.

Detour 6:36 PM  

Re ELOPE clue I'm with @Ron and the very 1st post. I remember many old images/comics of the boyfriend climbing up the ladder to help his intended out the window without her parents knowing. Back when eloping was going against the parents wishes.

slypett 7:37 PM  

Noam: I have a few uncomplimentary pet names for you, but I may relinquish them all in the full recognition that your perspicacity is superior to my own.

Orange 10:23 PM  

Yo, thanks for the shout-out, Ian.

Tita 10:40 PM  

@ Gill IP- In the waiting room at my car dealer, "Pimp My Ride" came on tv. The 30-something Dad went to switch the channel when his 7 year old boy complained - "wait - they do cool things to cars on that show"...
"I don't care what they do - you're not watching a show with that name" Dad said.

Hooray Dad!

visiting canuck 10:41 PM  

good write-up Ian, thank you.
A question: is an AMATEUR more of a do-it-yourselfer than a professional? Another question: if the answer is a word in a language other than English, is an unitalicized proper noun sufficient indication? And a nit to pick: ALB for priestly robe is like saying HAT for rabbinic covering.

Tita 10:47 PM  

Oh - the puzzle - loved it! Got nowhere late at night, but over coffee and toast in the am, it was great fun.

Also, being a Portuguese-American, I was delighted to see not one, but TWO nods to my small but storied country - one to a 16th century leader, (DAGAMA), and a 21st century leader (SILVA).

Ed 10:55 PM  

WINDOW of opportunity? Great puzzle...how 'bout DON'T run with scissors, or is that as parental as DON'T play with matches?

william e emba 11:43 PM  

And a nit to pick: ALB for priestly robe is like saying HAT for rabbinic covering.

Nit? What nit? I don't see the problem.

ray 11:46 PM  

Can someone explain 92A? I don't get the clue or the answer "LCD." I'm sure I'm just being dense about this.

Sparky 11:54 PM  

Don't send bouquets to me
Don't please my folks too much
Don't laugh at my jokes too much
People will say we're in love
Lots of possibilities and now I have an earworm in my head.

Started last night and DNF around noon. Guest came. Could not get NW corner: __BA_, __ERO, 23A __AY_THeAT_HES. How could I have missed that?

The rest was a pleasant effort. Is crunchy the right word? Really instructive write up. Thank you Ian. I'll never become a constructor but the insights are wonderful to gain.

Tired: looking forward to Monday.

Anonymous 12:02 AM  

Ray, LCD = lowest common denominator

lit.doc 12:03 AM  

@Ray, LCD = lowest common denominator. 1/5 = 6/30ths, and 1/6 = 5/30ths.

Ray 6:11 AM  

Thanks Anonymous and lit.doc! Now I can move on with my week...

Antag 11:38 PM  

As Detour said, I too always think of eloping as the whole "helping the bride climb out of a window in order to run away and get married" thing. In fact, once, when much younger, a friend told me that he and his wife had eloped, and this was the image that immediately popped into my head. I also couldn't get the clue right off, but when I eventually did, I thought it was great! Interesting to see that it was recycled, though.

nurturing 2:47 AM  

Count me as another who loved the cluing for elope! Very clever. I'm quite sure the only scenario intended was the bride at her window ready to descend with her groom who climbed the ladder to lead her safely down - an iconic image. Look up this cartoon (it's number 4):

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/e/eloped.asp

I'm certain that a driveup marriage licence window was not on the constructor's (or Will's?) mind when he clued the puzzle.

Started out thinking the puzzle was hard. Went back to it after several hours, after filling in only about a third, and things started falling into place, especially all the "Don'ts" which didn't fall before.

Ending up loving it. Writeovers, yes. Googling, no sir!

D20100 9:32 AM  

"own goal" is a legit standalone term in the soccer world. In fact this same puzzle Sunday in the English Premier League, Arsenal suffered an embarassing loss to Blackburn with two own goals.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/24/carl-jenkinson-own-goal-video_n_908224.html

sammi 2:04 PM  

i surprised myself & got elope right away, but 92A made me crazy! Even after I'd filled in LCD from the downs, I was stumped. googled madly for an explanation & found this wonderful blog. Thanks anonymous & lit.doc for setting me straight!

Anonymous 2:56 PM  

Nobody else has a pLAStIC iPod??

The clue for ELOPE was the best one of the puzzle.


DON'T TASE ME, BRO

Dirigonzo 6:03 PM  

From syndiland, there seems to be an "I" subtheme to the puzzle: 10a, Look what IDID; 12d, IVE Had it; 34d, IWISH; 104d, Just ASI suspected; and 44a, ICH. Not a complaint, just an observation.

It's a rare day in late September that I can do the puzzle pool-side in a state of "nakedivity" (readers of my blog will understand) so I was sad to see my initial answer for 83a,Target of some pH tests, morph from pOoL to SOIL. Still had a lot of fun though. DON'T sweat the small stuff!

Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com 6:28 PM  

@Dirigonzo - I'm guessing that must be an indoor pool if you're sitting beside it in late September in the Alaska of the Lower Forty-Eight. (I've been told there are only two seasons in Maine: Cool, lasting six weeks, and frigid.)

Hand up for being completely Naticked in the center. Ugh - really brutal crosses. I only had a few write-overs, but this one was a real slog for me for some reason, taking at least twice as long as a normal Sunday. However, I've recently become ridiculously addicted to the Words With Friends (Scrabble, basically) app on FB and have been playing for hours on end for the past 10 days. I think I just need a break from words and letters. ("Wordiest" garnered me a lovely 125 points though!)

Dirigonzo 7:42 PM  

@Deb - Around here we refer to the seasons as "Winter" and "Six weeks of poor sledding". But maybe there is something to this whole "climate change" thingy, because it was beside my *outdoor* pool that I spent the day. My plans for the weekend were to cover the pool for the season but once again "nakedivity" overcame my ambition - maybe next week.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

Wow, easy-medium? Not without copious Googlement. And even then it was a mighty struggle. Never heard of the expression (don't)MESSWITHTEXAS; nor, for that matter, of (don't) BELIEVETHEHYPE. Though surely true, I can't recall the latter as a familiar saying.
Hand up for THAT before THIS, too, as being far more common. Was surprised to see GIVENS clued that way; thought Will could not resist "Stern friend?" I didn't QUITE get that clue for AMATEUR: "do-it-yourselfer?" What, you mean Bob Vila's not a pro?? The word was forced in on crosses, but I'm still scratchin' over that one.
Well, Mel, as long as we're mentioning songs that fit the category, how about this:
Don't Stop Believin' [Journey] or simply Don't [Elvis}.

Anonymous 6:33 PM  

I could never understand why the R is pronounced before the V in Brett Favre's name. Shouldn't it be more like "fahv-er"?

Ottawa Jane 11:35 PM  

I came up with Don't hug a snowman for 62D. Doh!!

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