Ice-T Ice Cube persona / SAT 9-24-11 / Warszawa instrumentalist / Disallowed FedEx destination / Museu do Indio site / Aarnio innovative furniture designer

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Constructor: Jeremy Horwitz

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ELLEN Ochoa (13D: Astronaut Ochoa) —
Ellen Lauri Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is a former astronaut and engineer, and current Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center. (wikipedia)
• • •

Ha. More, please. I loved this puzzle, in part because I Smoked it, but in greater part because it's all-around fun, and [Bum rap?], in particular, is up there with the greatest clues of all time ("BABY GOT BACK").

I don't know what the record for "?" clues is, but this one has a ton: ten, to be exact. I tend to get annoyed around the half dozen mark, and today was no exception on that count, but today there was always some new revelation or joy to take away that annoyance almost as soon as it arose. The trickiest part of the whole puzzle for me was the NE, which wasn't really hard except I couldn't figure out what RESED meant or what it had to do with fixing ribs. Turns out the "Put" in 26A: Put on cloud nine is past tense, which means SENT, not SEND, which means the ribs are RESET, not RESED. Figuring out PREFER (9A: Go for first) and settling that RESED business took more time than anything else in the puzzle, and still I came in under 8 (Fast for me, for a Saturday).

I dropped in HEADLAMP instantly (1A: Bit of miner's gear), and had HEADLAMP, HEP, POSITIVE, and MOVIE THEATER (7D: Place to witness a big scene?) without even beginning to break a sweat. That NE corner put a little resistance into the puzzle (only know one Ochoa, and her name's LORENA), as did EVAS (not familiar to me) (27A: Spacewalks and moonwalks, briefly) and ARLEN (I always forget him—I know ARLEN better as the home of Hank and Peggy Hill) (45D: Composer nominated for an Oscar for "Blues in the Night"). Had MACRO for MS/DOS (34D: Kind of PC command), so that needed undoing. SIT UNDER is a weird expression (53A: Attend the lectures of), but it was inferrable. No idea who Wallis Simpson is, but there are only so many "titles" and with a few crosses, HER GRACE came up easily (49A: Title for Wallis Simpson). The biggest baffler of the day was [Bum rap?] ... "something about BABY ... GOATS? What the hell?" Always good to work up a high level of annoyance toward a clue and then, upon solution, have that annoyance change to an equally high level of admiration.

I had some vague memory of DEIMOS (4D: Martian moon) but let the crosses fill it in nonetheless. My Saturn moon knowledge is shaky, but I knew about FedEx and P.O. BOXes (22A: Disallowed FedEx destination) (and I had the "X" from LATEX), so I was able to polish of DEIMOS and move into the western portion of the grid. Not sure what I was looking for before AERIALS (37A: Once-common urban skyline sights), but I'm sure it was something Much more antiquated than the actual answer. I've almost completely forgotten high school trigonometry, so SECANT (57A: Curve-cutting line) needed some nudging from crosses, but wasn't too tough. TEA LEONI is a constructor's best friend if said constructor needs some eight-letter fill (58A: She played Jane in "Fun With Dick and Jane," 2005). Really wish she was in more stuff, so she didn't seem like eight-letter crosswordese. I thought "bloomers" in 59A: Where traditional bloomers gather were flowers, so ANKLES was a (pleasant) surprise. Never heard of "Warszawa," but three letters, starts with "E," instrumentalist—yeah, that's ENO (2D: "Warszawa" instrumentalist), just like "Fictional creature blah blah blah," three letters, starts with "E"—that's ENT. Also, a three-letter site for something Portuguese-sounding? Probably RIO (56D: Museu do Indio site).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Glimmerglass 8:06 AM  

Easy (for a Saturday), but fun. Wallis Simpson was Duchess of Windsor (Dukes are "your grace"). EVAS are extra-vehicle activities. A few crosses uncovered JOHN GRISHAM and LEGAL EAGLES. I needed all the crosses for BABY GOT BACK. After watching Rex's video clip, I see that it's a bum rap in two senses. This seemed more like a Thursday to me, but maybe I was just lucky today.

Z 8:13 AM  

Knew it would come in as easy. Still, a fun solve.

Got BABYGOTBACK from crosses, put in that last "O" and sat there for a few seconds going, "huh?" I was also ordering my boxer to SIt, so FALSEtHARGE took a little head scratching. I finally got off my bum and figured both out.

Wallis Simpson I recognized, but still had no way of coming up with HERGRACE without most of the letters in place.

Had PLATO and ROTE in place, and still struggled in the NE. Like RP, had to fix SENd.

Thanks for the Queen video. Jazz was one of my first albums, and I didn't even realize I'd be getting that bonus poster. There was no such thing as a parent warning on albums then. This reminds me that great album artwork is one of those losses my sons don't even know they've lost.

MaryBR 8:17 AM  

This did not feel super easy to me, but then again, I finished it (still not so common in Saturdays) and my time ended up being fairly low for a Saturday. Agree that BABY GOT BACK is easily the best clue/answer I've ever seen in a crossword. Doesn't hurt that I memorized the entire rap in high school and still bust it out at karaoke every so often.

Wallis Simpson was the American divorcee that King George abdicated the throne for, as such she was not "her majesty" and only "her grace." Madonna just made a horrible looking movie about her, but the plot of The King's Speech was put in motion by their marriage as well (for those who are movie rather than trivia buffs).

Ruth 8:43 AM  

Never heard of "mephitic" before. Will have to try to remember it.
And was bothered by RESET as it started shaping up to be that answer--if that refers to broken ribs, BAH--you don't set (or reset) ribs, they just gotta heal. RESET an ankle or a wrist, fine, but not ribs.

evil doug 8:49 AM  

Mind went to "bum Wrap" and I was seeking a baby diaper (or perhaps British with the 'bum'---nappie?).

John Grisham is overrated.

Gangsta and bum rap.
Bum rap? and bum rap.
Movie theater and art galleries.
Nice symmetry.


retired_chemist 8:53 AM  

Hand up for medium and much easier than yesterday. Hand up too for MACRO (34D). MS DOS isn't IMO a great clue - it is (was) an operating system and the clue directs to a command. I suppose adjectival use, but I still don't like it.

BABYGOTBICK left me with the feeling I had an error (true) but no idea what was right. 70 year old white guys are not for the most part rap savvy. Eventually saw SLAP ON to replace SLIP ON (better answer anyway) but BABY GOT BACK made no sense until I Googled it. Actually, it still doesn't, but there we are.

Otherwise, a lot of nice clues and a fun Saturday. Thanks, Mr. Horwitz.

Smitty 9:00 AM  

Not easy for me.
Clues for OVENS, RESET, ECO, ROTE, STET, PRETEEN, SIC, MS DOS, TALK OUT (you mean talk IT out?) felt more clunky than clever.

I did like PO BOX, though.

Tobias Duncan 9:22 AM  

After crushing yesterdays puzzle, it kinds sucks to DNF this one and have it come up easy.
Had BABYblanket for the longest time and somehow,like a five year old,I refused to let go of it.The worst part is I totally know that stupid song, a friend and I wrote a parody of it years ago called Baby Got Gout.

I wish I had given this puzzle more time.The fact is that I was working on it last night after a few beers so I got sleepy and started hitting the check answer button.Its like being a recovering crack addict but having a crack pipe in your desk at all times. I swear I hadnt touched that thing in months....well mostly had not touched it.
I would go to solving on paper but (this is not really a joke unfortunately) I often cant read my own writing and it adds a whole nutha level of difficulty.

DESievers 9:28 AM  

Since Deimos was out of my galaxy, as was EVAS, I was left sulking in uncertainty over that final letter (the S). I figured S was a reasonably safe bet, thanks to the plural nature of the moonwalk clue, but you never know sometimes. I like certainty - this one spot in the puzzle deprived me of it -- grrrr!

Anonymous 9:32 AM  

Would EERO Aarnio name his son EEERO Aaarnio? Is this some Finnish convention regarding names, or is there a diacritical missing from [ee]ro [aa]rnio that the great crossword constructor cabal is keeping hidden from us just for the sake of croswordese?

Campesite 9:37 AM  

Two very fun puzzles in a row.
There seemed to be a hidden theme today: hip hop and legal trouble, Enjoyed the cluing for Art Galleries, the old pronunciation misdirect for showers (see flower) but spiced up with nudity!

Judith 9:37 AM  

what about fat-bottomed girls by queen? that would have fit with the video theme

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

@Judith - Go back and check Rex's write-up. It's video #2.

Larry 10:09 AM  

My fastest Saturday ever! By a long shot!
This may well be due to the fact that now that we know things can, in fact, travel faster than the speed of light, I no longer believe in anything, no right, no wrong, no rock solid aspects of physics, nor of the moral world. I can just fill in random shit in a puzzle and declare myself a winner.
Live has become vacuous. @Evil is right about Grisham, that's something.

joho 10:14 AM  

Saturdays are usually serious, this one was fun!

The last square to fall was when I changed SIt to SIC and -- aha! -- of course, FALSECHARGE.

Absolutely loved BABYGOTBACK ... so unexpected and hilarious. Just like the bum theme.

Great writeup today, @Rex, and a wonderful puzzle, too ... thanks, Jeremy!

quilter1 10:14 AM  

Didn't know the rap so I also felt I had an error, even though everything fit. I was thinking something about poopy diapers and infant revenge.

Anyway, it was easy and I kept surprising myself with the flow of answers. I always expect to fight for Saturday. On to LAT.

SethG 10:17 AM  

Some resistance in the SW, otherwise really easy, but really fun. And that clue is indeed awesome.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

I, for one, do not like seeing clues about rap music in these puzzles. Call me old fashioned, prude, take your pick. Much of this music has such a negative and troublesome vibe associated with it, that it shouldn't disgrace the NY Times puzzle. Hip, cool, maybe, but offensive to me. Anyone else, or did I just get here from Mars?

JaxInL.A. 10:23 AM  

LOVED this puzzle!  I had no idea that big butts had inspired such musical effusion as Rex's collection of tributes to the female posterior.  I had a roommate who asked daily "does this make my butt look big?" She should have relaxed.

I hesitate to claim anything in common with @EvilDoug, but I sure spent a long time working on BABY nappies for that.  I learned about Baby Got Back from the movie Shrek where Eddie Murphy sings part of it over the credits, so at least I understood the answer when it appeared. 

For those missing the BLOOMERS > ankle connection, it refers to the poofy pantaloon-type garment, gathered at the ankles, championed by Amelia Bloomer in the mid-1800s as more practical and healthy for women's wear than hoop skirts.  Though she gave her name to an article of clothing reform, Bloomer was a big part of the early women's rights and women's suffrage movements as publisher of possibly the first newspaper focused on these issues.  She lived in Seneca Falls, NY and attended the landmark 1848 Women's Rights Convention held there.

Blues in the Night is one of the greatest songs ever written.  

jbsnadb 10:37 AM  

16 minutes and change for me which is about TWICE as quickly as I normally do a Saturday. Probably would have even been faster if John LeCarre and Secret Agents didn't fit where JOHN GRISHAM and LEGAL EAGLES belonged. Got thrown off by the inclusion of SIRs Moore and Connery.

PuzzleNut 10:37 AM  

Unfortunately, the rap song is out of my wheelhouse, so I missed the clever cluing. I kept thinking about BABYdiapers, but eventually got it from the crosses. The other clue that left me flummoxed was Certain for SOME. What am I missing???
Had most of the problems mentioned by Rex and others, but eventually I was able to prevail, but with a nagging feeling that I screwed something up.
PS Any wtite-up that has a Spinal Tap reference makes me smile.

Gill I. P. 10:46 AM  

@evil doug: I too wanted baby nappie. I always get my wrap mixed up with my rap. Also agree that GRISHAM is overrated.
EVA was a big ??? thank you @Glimmerglass for saving me a Google.
I wish YOU GO GIRL had fit for 49A. I loved that Edward had the courage of his convictions. "The King's Speech" is a wonderful book; the movie was also quite good.
Very enjoyable puzzle. Loved both MOVIE THEATER and ART GALLERIES almost side by side. I wonder how much thought went into slipping GANGSTA in-between....

drubytue 10:55 AM  

How does bossa nova show up two days in a row?

Two Ponies 10:55 AM  

Nice tricky clues today. Just right for a Saturday.
Some bleed-overs from yesterday surprised me. Bossa Nova again as well as Aye-aye (sir).
Wasn't "Blues in the Night" recently discussed?
Don't understand the attraction to fat rears but to each his own.
Thanks Jeremy H. Good one.

shrub5 11:00 AM  

Like @e. doug and others, I was trying to come up with something in the baby diapers realm for 'bum rap' (wrap) but with the G in place, I had nothing coming. Never considered nappies -- great idea if I hadn't had that G! Eventually BABY GOT BACK emerged. I'd heard the phrase but didn't know it was the title of that song. Actually thought the title was "I Like Big Butts." I'm not on the cutting edge of rap...

@Tobias: Baby Got Gout ... LOL

@RP: Wallis Simpson is significant not only from an historical perspective but also a romantic one. King Edward VIII abdicated his throne so that he could marry her (she was [gasp!] a divorcee, twice.) His statement upon abdication read in part "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to, without the help and support of the woman I love." (awww)

Just got "The King's Speech" via Netflix earlier this week and will watch it tonight!

mmespeer 11:07 AM  

I can't help myself. I don't know if Rex was serious about not knowing who Wallace Simpson was..she was before my time, but I certainly know about her and some other words from this puzzle are definitely from my time. Although I didn't wear bloomers, growing up in the fifties, in large city schools, all the girls wore a gym uniform that was a shorter bloomer version. This brought back memories of "phys ed" in those days. We did a lot of marching, girls played half court basketball, with only forwards on one side allowed to shoot, and inspections of our neatly washed and ironed uniforms with white polished sneakers. Hail Henry Snyder High and PS 15! I'm proud I still got the rap clues.

slypett 11:16 AM  

Enough with rap. It's just rhythmic trash-talk.

John Grisham is fun when you're very bored. He writes like Donald Duck walks.

anytime carla michaels 11:22 AM  

I'm away from home and can almost hear Jeremy giggling maniacally from here! Cheeky cheeky bastard, LOVED it!!!!

Wow, don't remember the first part about the white girl saying the gal with back looked like a prostitute! I wonder if they used to cut that part out when they showed it on MTV?
And it seemed ironic that the dancers that were featured obviously did not fit the was like when I went to see Beyonce (um, free ticket, afraid I'd be the oldest and whitest person there, and was totally wrong, thousands of people all age ranges, sexuality and races) and she kept singing about how it was ok to be yourself and be big, etc but all her dancers were borderline anorexic.

I'm no doctor...I don't even play one on TV, but I totally agree with you on the ribs clue!!! I was wondering what felt so off about it!

I was also happy to see ANYTIME instead of my dreaded "No Worries".
(I currently have a 23 yr old roommate who only says that. If I can get him to say "You're welcome" or "Any time!" even once before he leaves, I will feel I have accomplished something in life.

I'm super intrigued about your comment of thinks that your sons are missing out on without even knowing it. I think about that every time I can't meet my niece or nephew at the airport gate and be there waiting for them to come out. Nothing better than someone standing there smiling with flowers as you walk out that ramp door.

I do think tho they are still trying to have great album covers, albeit in tiny cd form...altho I'm out of it enough not to know if you can even buy something even more or you just download it.
@anon 10:18am
You asked if they were from Mars and that you don't like seeing rap, etc. I can imagine how you feel, but I'd say at least this was super super clever cluing and not just some random rapper's name. There's a difference.
PLUS the parallel clue/mini-themed FALSECHARGE facing it. That elevates it to a whole 'nother level on so many levels (ie also a fresh fill, etc. AND it's funny!

Anyway, bravo Jeremy (co-creator with Tyler Hinman of the phenomenal baseball/#1 musicstar puzzle) of having BABYGOTBACK and FALSECHARGE
and creating yet another puzzle that ill be remembered for a long long long time!!!! You skinny bitch!

evil doug 11:42 AM  

Clerk: Sign right here, please. [hands over clipboard]

Kramer: [signs it] Okay. [The clerk hands him a manila envelope]. Thanks.

[opens up the envelope] 'Assman'? Oh, no, these don't belong to me. I'm not the Assman. I think there's been a mistake.

Clerk: What's your name again?

Kramer: Cosmo Kramer.

Clerk: [checks computer again] Cosmo Kramer. You *are* the Assman.

Kramer: No! I'm not the Assman.

Clerk: Well, as far as the state of New York is concerned, you are.

Mel Ott 11:42 AM  

When I saw BABY at the top of 24D (Bum rap?) I thought the answer must have something to do with the slap on a newborn baby's bottom.

Not into rap, so I stared at BABYGOTBACK for about ten minutes and said I don't get it but it's got to be right. As usual Rex revealed all. Much to my surprise I actually enjoyed the rap!

@Andrea's right. I was looking for bigger butts on the dancers. (Dirty old man.)

I agree with some other posters that the level of difficulty was raised by some clunky rather than clever clues, esp. those for RESET, MS DOS & SIT UNDER.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

slypett, I think you don't really know much about rap. Why not just stick with "I don't like it"--you're on safer ground there.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

I'm surprised to read Rex say he doesn't know "Warszawa". It's a Bowie/Eno mostly-instrumental (there's a little singing at the end) composition that shows up on side 2 of the album Low. It is, in my opinion, by far the best of the Bowie/Eno Berlin-period noodling atmospheric synthesizer pieces. In case anyone was wondering.

hazel 12:11 PM  

i was out of sync on this one although I eventually finished - i think Saturdays still psyche me out. cluing was diabolical.

I never hesitate to agree with @evil doug (even though I often disagree with him) - but I'm not sure how John Grisham is actually overrated. He is a bestselling novelist period (and bully for him - he seems like he is a good guy - OTOH maybe he just has good PR people). but, sales and ratings (which I am likening to critical success) are 2 different things. Please refer to NYT Bestseller list or Niellson ratings to see a depressing number of examples of this same phenomenon. I read one book by Grisham years ago to see what all the fuss was about, and found it to be a poorly written page-turner that I was glad to finish.

If popularity is your sole ratings measure, don't single him out - at least 90% of everything out there is overrated! including Starbucks coffee!

P.S. I blame the puzzle for my ill humor!

Z 12:12 PM  

@Larry Got $200?

@Anytime - Dropped my oldest off at DTW for his flight to Madrid last week. We watched him walk through "security." No shared meal in the airport with mom and dad while he idled away the time waiting to board. Going or coming, the airport is no longer for people.

syndy 12:16 PM  

@LARRY wait for some confirmation before you freak-CERN announced this before and was wrong.nothing's proved yet. oh The puzzle just was REX said. I did it in half the time of yesterday's even! googled BABY GOT BACK when I finished(actually YOUTUBED)did google OCULI and am calling foul!hardest was the NE -had SUB for ECO-ECO?belately recognized PLATO and was off again

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

Archaeoprof here. Blogger isn't speaking to me today.

Don't really share the love for this puzzle. Was it perhaps too easy for Saturday?

Smiled at BABYGOTBACK, and agree that Grisham is _boring_. FWIW, reading him in German translation did help my German.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:22 PM  

@PuzzleNut -

"Certain people find every puzzle Easy."

"Some people find every puzzle Easy."

Sarah 12:27 PM  

Loved loved loved. This puzzle had a real 1990s vibe (BABYGOTBACK and GANGSTA) as well as a little jazz thrown in (ARLEN and BOSSANOVA -- for the second day in a row!). The long down clues took me a little while, so this wasn't a super-speedy Saturday (maybe 30-40 minutes) and I had to Google ELLEN Ochoa, but it was really enjoyable. One caveat: RESET is a crappy clue. I don't know if you can reset ribs, anyway. My partner cracked her ribs and the doctor said she just had to wait it out, since ribs are so tough to set. Apart from that, though, a terrific puzzle.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Excellent puzzle. Absolutely nailed it except that I read "bum rap" as "burn rap" BOTH times. And I'm not even 50 yet.

slypett 1:21 PM  

Anonymous 11:54--I stand on high ground not safe ground. And, as far as I've been able to discern, my comment was accurate.

quilter1 1:33 PM  

Once again there is an identical clue/answer pair in NYT and LAT. This time I blame the so-called "laws" of physics.

I heard Wallace Simpson was a witch on wheels. Heard the same thing about the beloved Queen Mum from a woman whose mother was once one of her housekeepers.

clogu: Curse of an Irish dancer

Anonymous 2:09 PM  

I, for one, do not like seeing clues about opera or Shakespeare in these puzzles. Call me old fashioned, prude, take your pick. Stories filled with rape, murder, and incest have such a negative and troublesome vibe associated with it, that it shouldn't disgrace the NY Times puzzle. Hip, cool, maybe, but offensive to me. Anyone else, or did I just get here from Mars?

hazel 2:26 PM  

every time there's a rapper or a pangram at issue, I recall Ecclesiastes and/or Groundhog Day. I blame society.

GenJoneser 2:27 PM  

So anyone else think SPARE CHANGE for bum rap? Something a bum might say? Guess I'm a bit tired!

RW Bush 2:34 PM  

Is it only me who can't see how "Nude Showers?" gets to "Art Galleries"? Been staring at it for ages.
The ribs rest was simply not right and therefore annoying. That one slowed me down while looking for the better, correct answer.

jae 2:43 PM  

Yes, easy. Some great clue/answer combos but still too easy. I too had the SEND/SENT issue partly because of the poor clue for RESET. Only other writeover was SURE before SOME. Other than those I put in HEADLAMP as the puzzle left the printer and just kept going.

I also got to agree with evil about Grisham. He's right up there with Clancy and Michener.

JaxInL.A. 2:46 PM  

@hazel, I'm totally with you today on all fronts. Been there, done that. I guess the blog is a little like democracy, though. Everyone has to keep doing it for themselves over and over again for it to work.

As for popularity's relationship to quality, just open any of the Twilight series books to see how the two are not connected.

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

@Anonymous - I enjoyed your mocking my comment about rap music. I don't recall seeing a Shakespeare folio with a picture of a gangsta and two booty ladies, as in the video Rex has a link to. My concern about rap is really for the well-being of kids, both in the inner city and suburbs. I hope you care about their well-being too, and not just your own.

jason 2:49 PM  

@bb art galleries = place that show paintings of nudes

As for the puzzle, easy and very enjoyable for a Saturday. I'm not sure I've ever read Grisham, so that slowed me down in the middle for a while. But just long enough to finish my coffee.

LI from LA 2:50 PM  

Knew both Martian moons ended with -OS, which immediately led to POBOX/LATEX and the easiest Saturday puzzle that I can remember...but I thought it was FUN, too, so I'm not complaining. Biggest problem (a la @GenJoneser) was the unexpectedly literal clue for 12D. Initially went with SPARECHANGE, then changed to LOOSECHANGE when R_E made no sense for 21A. Then, similar problem with NID for 40A. After figuring out PLATO/ATOLLS, actual answer FALSECHARGE finally fell into place. Minor quibbles with clues for RESET, MSDOS and SITUNDER but loved BABYGOTBACK.

To get slightly political for a second, I think the animosity toward rap/hip-hop by those that haven't taken the time to actually explore it is typical of these polarized times. Too many of us allow our opinions of things that are essentially good/neutral (or at least well-intentioned) to be colored by "outliers" that seem to get the most publicity--violent/misogynistic lyrics, welfare/benefit frauds, predatory lenders/for-profit schools, etc. We often end up, as Grandma used to say, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

jackj 2:57 PM  

While patting myself on the back for my rap knowledge when getting the GANGSTA answer, I had to eat a bit of crow, (and rely on the crosses), to then suss out BABYGOTBACK.

And, if we are going to fantasize about big bottoms let's at least learn the officially approved NY Times Saturday crossword puzzle word for same,STEATOPYGIA. There, now I don't feel so guilty about my wandering eyes.

An easy but fun puzzle from Jeremy Horwitz which was slightly punished by virtue of its placement immediately after one of the year's best themeless puzzles.

mac 2:59 PM  

Not so easy for me, but a lot of fun, all a Saturday should be.

I concentrated too long on finding a cooking method for those ribs (what else is new).

Funny how Blues in the Night came up after we've had "Momma done tol..." or some such in an earlier puzzle.

Amazing how, with the 44D clue, I was trying to figure out who pitched for the Yankees before Nova! It must be osmosis. I swear I usually have my back to the TV when the game is on.

@RW Bush: art galleries show nudes.

Tobias Duncan 3:01 PM  

Anon @ 2:48 Your view that rap is music is evil and pernicious is as comical as the reaction by spinsters to gyrations of Elvis in the 50s.
You are simply ill informed. You absolutely have to right to be offended if you wish, what you dont have is the right not to be offended.

Shamik 3:10 PM  

One of the easiest Saturdays for me @ 10:46 and tons of fun. Thanks Jeremy Horwitz!

Jedt City Gambler 3:25 PM  

Shout out to Capitol Hill with Sir Mix-a-Lot! Great puzzle. This was my quickest Saturday ever, usually I'm lucky to finish in thirty minutes but this one took just over ten.

Ah yes, it's all about the kids, we must protect the kids or they'll become mindless killing machines.

Whenever a new medium or art form comes along that old folks don't understand it's suddenly something children need to be sheltered from or the frail fabric of society will be ripped asunder, or something. When my dad was a kid, it was comic books (he once got suspended for three days for bringing a horror comic to school to show to his buddies). When I was a kid, it was heavy metal, the kids needed to be protected from baby-killing Satanic cults (which led to the hilarious spectacle of Dee Snider testifying before Congress in full costume and makeup). Then rap music was going to inspire a whole generation of cop killers. Nowadays it's video games that are turning kids into amoral puppets of evil.

You know what? The kids are all right. They're a lot more adaptable than you are. A lot smarter, too.

Besides, most of the time they do it just to piss you off anyway.

PuzzleNut 3:35 PM  

Thanks @BobK. I pride myself on thinking outside of the box, but this time I COULD NOT get over Certain meaning SURE. Doh!!

fergus 3:49 PM  

After dropping in SECANT I figured the Nova preceder would be BLAST and the bloomers would now gather at the THIGHS. So that all took quite a while to sort out -- which yielded proper Saturday satisfaction.

Eifer1 3:52 PM  

"Won't somebody PLEASE think of the CHILDREN!?"—Maude Flanders

Stan 4:09 PM  

As Rex and everyone have said, two excellent puzzles yesterday and today.

I'm doing taxes and too crazed to think up comments, but enjoy reading them in downtimes.

600 4:32 PM  

Must jump on to thank Bob Kerfuffle. Along with Puzzle Nut, I could not parse how the clue "certain" could mean SOME.

Also surprised no one else reported FALSE ARREST before FALSE CHARGE. And I had BABY DIAPERS before the incredibly wonderful BABY GOT BACK. I knew the singular/plural didn't fit, but still . . .

Also noticed the proximity of Blues in the Night and bossa nova clues. Kind of cool.

I don't quite get yet "end it with suddenly" for JILT. I know to jilt is to end suddenly, but the with throws me. Am I missing something? Do some people say "suddenly jilt"? Seems redundant to me.

In case I didn't say so, I loved the puzzle. Lots of fun.

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

Wallis Simpson was the American multiple divorcee for whom Edward VIII fell head over heels, leading to the abdication/succession crisis of the 1930s resulting in Edward's younger brother Albert, who became George VI, becoming King. Didn't you see "The King's Speech"? It was "sit under" that threw me. "Sit in on"; "audit": now THOSE mean "attend the lectures of." But "sit under"? Give me a frickin' break.

jberg 5:22 PM  

This was a breeze - until I bogged down completely in the SW. And that was even when I got BATS, BOSSA (2 days in a row!), ORBS, and ARLEN (@Rex, he's like ENO - 5 letter pop composer from the mid-twentieth century, starting with A, that's Harold Arlen).

I knew bloomers were bloomers, but I had to go out for a bike ride before I thought of the other meaning of gathers. That did it, even though I had no idea about BABY GOT BACK.

I think sit under may be British.

All I ask of those who knock rap is, listen to it first! It's not all about the same stuff, and certainly not all negative.

michael 5:48 PM  

Got it, but didn't find it easy (even for a Saturday). More like medium for me. Don't know much about rap...

I got secant, but this didn't seem right because I thought of the trigonometry definition. But then I remembered the geometry meaning. Do any of the math types know if there is any reason why the same word is used for what seems to be two quite different meanings? Or is there some relation?

JenCT 6:43 PM  

Anyone remember the SpongeBob/Burger King spoof of "Baby Got Back?" Burger King Ad

I happen to like some Rap music, but I really have issues with lyrics/videos that are degrading to women, which disproportionately seem to be rap, hip-hop, gangstarap, etc.-based.

Enjoyed the puzzle very much, and was so proud to finish correctly!

Martin 6:46 PM  

From Ask Dr. Math:

Consider a UNIT circle centered at point O, and a point Q outside the unit circle. Construct a line tangent to the circle from point Q and call the intersection of the tangent line and the circle point P. Also construct a secant line that goes through the center O of the circle from point Q. The line segment OQ will intersect the circle at some point A. Next draw a line segment from the center O to point P. You should now have a right triangle OPQ.

A little thought will reveal that the length of line segment QP on the tangent line is nothing more but the tangent (trig function) of angle POQ (or POA, same thing). Also, the length of the line segment QO on the secant line is, not surprisingly, the secant (trig function) of angle POA.

I skip M-W 6:51 PM  

@michael...well, tangent also has two meanings, so must be some reason....

I suspect if a rib is broken badly enough, it must be reset, probably with screws and whatnot thrown in. Best not to find out.

quilter1 7:58 PM  

Do not put all older people in one category of being against rap. I'll listen to almost anything to try it out. But I agree that anything demeaning to anyone, or that encourages violence against anyone would be off my list, Shakespeare not withstanding.

Ruth 9:44 PM  

No, trust me, ribs ARE NEVER SET. NEVER NEVER NEVER. Sterna, yes, maybe. Clavicles, almost never (controversial). Not ribs.
Also,"setting" does not involve screws, plates, wires, etc. That's open reduction with internal fixation. Different thing.

michael 10:13 PM  

@Martin: thanks, I actually understand this and learned something new...

jazzmanchgo 10:52 PM  

RE: The "rap" argument:

"I got an axe-handle pistol
on a graveyard frame,
Shootin' tombstone bullets
wearin' balls and chains
I'm drinkin' TNT,
smokin' dynamuite,
I hope some screwball
Start a fight . . ."

That was Muddy Waters in 1954 (lyrics by Willie Dixon). Today, of course, Muddy is revered as one of our great urban folk poets (and I could quote you countless other blues songs of a similar, or even much more graphic, nature -- try Lucille Bogan's "Shave 'Em Dry" from 1935, just for starters).

But in their time, Muddy and others like him were accused (by white folks) of being purveyors of "savage jungle music" designed to corrupt the morals of "our" innnocent, lily-white youth, and (by respectable church-going black folks) of singing "the devil's musc."

Funny how there's not much new under the sun, eh?

As for the crossword -- I alwasy thought that a "bar mitzvah" was the ceremony itself, not the young man being feted. Have I been wrong all these years?

And . . . misdirection is one thing; clues written in indecipherable syntax are another. What the HELL does "End it with suddenly" mean????

jazzmanchgo 11:03 PM  

And oh, by the way -- speaking of trash-talking about women:

"A woman'll sweet-talk
and give you the big eye
But when the sweet-talkin's done,
A woman's a two-face
A worrisome thing
Who'll leave you to sing
The blues in the night . . ."

That's Harold Arlen, of course -- his song, cited in today's puzzle. Granted, not exacty 21st-century "hoochie-mama" gangsta-rap chic, but not exactly a feminist manifesto, either.

And don't even get me started on such paragons of sensitive, woman-respecting masculinity as Frank Sinatra . . .

LR 12:00 AM  

Two late asks but no answer, so:

I decided to END IT WITH my girlfriend SUDDENLY.

I decided to JILT my girlfriend.

fergus 12:13 AM  

as Marin said, it is Geometry: a line cutting a circle is a Secant. And there are so many lovely properties of Secants when they come across circles, approaching acutely from outside.

andrea gotback (from reunion) michaels 1:48 AM  

Bar Mitzvah is both the boy and the ceremony. Weird. I didn't learn that till I was in my forties...don't seem right.
Love the Muddy Waters thing you least the anti-rap thing "devolved" into an interesting discussion this time around!

RW Bush 9:27 AM  

Thanks all... Thought "showers" was a shower as in "rain shower"..

600 10:35 AM  

@LR--THANK YOU! It's the next day now, so maybe you'll never see this, or maybe I'll repeat the thanks tomorrow. Your explanation was most appreciated!

william e emba 7:25 PM  

Bar Mitzvah is Aramaic for "son of the commandments". 13-years is the age at which Jewish boys are considered obligated in the religious laws and rituals--before that it's training and practice.

The ritual itself is a very very late addition to Judaism, and naturally enough, was named after the boy.

Cheerio 8:28 PM  

At the Emmy awards last week, E! Entertainment had some models demonstrate butt- enhancing pads. It appeared that some of the starlets were wearing them to me. Just noting.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

People who actually laugh out loud at crossword answers are total nerds. I joined their ranks today at 24d.

Certain and SOME do NOT mean the same thing. In the cited example:

"Some people find every puzzle Easy." (an unspecified number of people)

"Certain people find every puzzle Easy." (a specific group of people)

Red Valerian 12:54 PM  

Well, that was fun. Easy, too, though I'd never heard of "Baby Got Back." Hilarious video, though I agree with some that those are NOT big-bottomed girls.

Also didn't know "sit under," or "legal eagles" (I thought the term was "legal beagles," though I guess that doesn't sound quite so, um, grand).

I liked the symmetry of "meditation" and "her grace" (whether or not the latter is a good descriptor of Wallis Simpson).

Thanks for the comic, @Z. I'm teaching an intro Philosophy of Science course this term, and the CERN development (whether or not it withstands scrutiny) and the story of Shechtman's treatment prior to his winning the Nobel in Chemistry are very timely for discussing paradigm shifts.

Dirigonzo 7:50 PM  

RPDTNYTCP on this date 5 years ago:

- Solving time: 42:00 (Sunday puz)
- "Actually, I say that the theme was easy - what I mean was, once I figured it out, it was easy to solve the theme answers. The figuring out part, however, took some time, primarily because I, I took a road less traveled, and that road, while hilarious in retrospect, was a dead end."
- "I quite enjoyed this Sunday puzzle, and was grateful for the opportunity to recall many campy advertising icons, including Mr. Clean and Mr. Peanut."
- "["Closing Time" by Semisonic just came on my iTunes. Why do I own this song? Is it just to remind me how horrible 1998 was? God, I don't even like the look of that year, "1998." I'm not convinced it really happened.]"
- "Oooh, I like that "shoved into the side" metaphor, as it recalls the piercing of Jesus's side while he was on the cross. In certain awesomely gruesome versions of the story, blood shoots from Christ's side into the eyes of the spear-wielder, Longinus, who is instantly and miraculously cured of his blindness. Holy Gore!"
- "73A (THEME): "The A-Team" actor on the cover of GQ (Model Mr. T: By far my favorite "MR." in the whole puzzle. I pity the fool who didn't get this one instantly! To make this clue a bit tougher, I would have clued it by reference to Rocky III, or, better yet, D.C. Cab"
- "Another "fun" fact about the phrase INTER ALIA: I learned it from the NYT Crossword Puzzle. God Bless Eugene T. Maleska. INTER ALIA is up there with ADIT and RE-UP as one of the most iconic answers in my crossword-solving career. (I'll explain the importance of the latter two some other time)"
- There were NO comments.

Anonymous 12:57 AM  

About that place FedEx won't deliver to...I stared at this for quite awhile before I saw PO BOX. At one point I was all set to fill in PUBIX, which I reasoned must be some vile pornographic company.

Anonymous 3:00 AM  

Easy? EASY?? Who are you people? What, those who can't join your club settle for Mensa? EASY???
Well, this poor cretinous blob of idiocy with an embarrassing IQ of only 126 DNF. And may I say, if it takes smarts to recognize rap (24d BABYGOTBACK), then I'm glad I'm dumb. I not only don't recognize rap, I DIPLOMATICALLY don't recognize rap. I will never have an embassy in the nation of Rap.
If that had been the only sticking point, I'd have myself a dandy excuse, but there were so many I was in worse shape than Tom, Jerry and a bottle of glue. I just couldn't get a foothold anywhere. Even wildly guessing BOSSA by borrowing from yesterday (and I was right) only let me do the SW corner. HE______for a title had me stymied. ____OS for a moon of Mars? Well, I forgot all about DEIMOS, but remembered PHOBOS. Ha! Wasn't I the smart one! This led to a complete dead end in the NW, and even after Googling EERO and TEALEONI I couldn't pick up the thread anywhere else.
And you guys called this easy. I can't believe it. I read it, and I still can't believe it. Oh well, at least I had a half-interesting captcha.

coidis: whad you hab wid your lover while gettig over a code.

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