Discobolus sculptor / FRI 10-28-11 / People Its Leaders muralist / Filling yarn / Fictional maker earthquake pills elephant bullets

Friday, October 28, 2011

Constructor: Tim Croce

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none



Word of the Day: José Clemente OROZCO (2D: "The People and Its Leaders" muralist) —
José Clemente Orozco (November 23, 1883 – September 7, 1949) was a Mexican social realist painter, who specialized in bold murals that established the Mexican Mural Renaissance together with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. Mostly influenced by Symbolism, he was also a genre painter and lithographer. Between 1922 and 1948, Orozco painted murals in Mexico City, Orizaba, Claremont, California, New York City, Hanover, New Hampshire, Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Jiquilpan, Michoacán. His drawings and paintings are exhibited by the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City, and the Orozco Workshop-Museum in Guadalajara. Orozco was known for being a politically committed artist. He promoted the political causes of peasants and workers. (wikipedia)
• • •

I just like the way this grid looks—like some kind of angry monster from a "Space Invaders"-era video game. I'm never as impressed as I probably should be with stacks of very long answers, but as low word-count puzzles go, this one seemed pretty solid. I mean, yeah, lots of -ERs (BEARERS and RANGERS and TEASERs and GENDERs, for example just to name stuff in the middle), but all as part of interesting answers; plus, the short stuff is really not terrible, which is all I ask from these Big White Space puzzles.


I actually found this puzzle very easy (it's not often I can do a Friday under 6). After the obvious -ER to RCAS opening gambit (which went nowhere), I went after those short Downs in the north. After A FIT and DREA and the "S" at the end of 8D, I had TEA SETS, then guessed RHEE, and that gave me more than enough for A RUN FOR THE MONEY (not a phrase that sounds right ... A RUN FOR ONE'S MONEY, or MY MONEY, or YOUR MONEY ... THE MONEY seems strange). And, as is typical with stacked 15s, one is all you need to make short work of the whole lot. Made a good guess at ENO (20A: Composer of "1/1," "1/2," "2/1" and "2/2") and then followed Ginger Rogers IN HEELS straight down the east coast of the grid. Thought BERSERK (23D: Crazy way to go?) was BANANAS, but I knew K-TEL had to be right (39A: "Hooked on Classics" company), so ... yes, BERSERK. Got LANES. Every good solver has ACA and DECOCT in his bag somewhere, so those were no problem, and bam, there I was, clear on the other side of the grid.



Hacked my way from the NW down after that. Just guessed OROZCO (having most of the crosses in place), and then started closing in on those long central answers from the west side of the grid (turns out I ate most of my meals junior and senior year directly in front of a giant OROZCO fresco, "Prometheus"). I once considered putting "GO RANGERS" in a fruit rebus puzzle I made (33A: Winter cry in New York), so that answer didn't seem strange to me at all. Guessed SEAGRAM (which I know better as a wine cooler), and then worked my way into the SW corner. BRAM was a gimme, and I got BAALS from there. Once I finally remembered TRACEY Ullman (how could I forget?—her show is where "The Simpsons" got its start back in the late '80s), then down went SYSTEMS ANALYSTS (which always makes me think of Martin Prince on "The Simpsons"—that's his dream job). And ... poof. Done. I just had to trust that BRAHMAS (34D: Some rodeo bulls) was right (I'm not quite up to speed on my rodeo terminology). Last word in was ANTI-GUN (42A: Pacific, perhaps).





Bullets:
  • 50A: Fictional maker of earthquake pills and elephant bullets (ACME CORPORATION) — from whom Wile E. Coyote purchases ... everything, I guess. 
  • 53A: Feature of the ideal path (LEAST RESISTANCE) — spent several long seconds trying to make LEAST DISTANCE work.
  • 4D: Amsterdam-based financial giant (ING) — had AIG at first, which was right enough to help me get FORGIVE ME FATHER... (17A: Part of many confessions).
  • 10D: Filling yarn (WEFT) — Not a word I have occasion to use or see ... ever. I was surprised to see it in my grid when I was done.
  • 15D: "Discobolus" sculptor (MYRON) — thought I'd never heard of him, but then remembered saying that before. Pretty sure he's been Word of the Day before.
  • 25D: Jerry in the Basketball Hall of Fame (SLOAN) — another former Word of the Day (I think). Longtime coach of the Utah Jazz.
  • 43D: Abram of "This Old House" (NORM) — I know lots of NORMs. This isn't one of them. NORM is the new WEFT.
  • 51D: Wilfred Owen poem "Dulce et Decorum ___" (EST) — "It is sweet and fitting (to die for one's country)"—as you can see, Owen's not quoting Horace approvingly:
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum estPro patria mori.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

75 comments:

foodie 12:22 AM  

The stacks of long answers were very cool. But SLOAN, OREAD, HAGEN, TERIS, noooo idea.. I finally practically made up TALE BEARERS and was shocked that it turned out to be correct.

Is this the best way to clue TRANSGENDERED, as some cross-dressers? Did that equivalence sit well with everyone?

On the other hand, I love, love ACME CORPORATION and its cluing, and really liked being reminded of TRACEY Ullman (she was hilarious!!).

If I think of this puzzle as a sandwich, the bread layers are great-- light yet textured and tasty, but the central filling is less remarkable.

r.alphbunker 12:27 AM  

Had the following writeovers
36D TRACie-->TRACEY
35D REhireS-->RETAINS
36A TRANSvEstitEs-->TRANSGENDERED
33A GetAhorse-->GORANGERS
23A hEAd-->BEAN
11D IMso-->IMAS
6D zero-->LOVE
2D rivera-->OROZCO
39A aToz-->KTEL
40D zoNES-->LANES

Never really got bogged down anywhere. There always were new things to try. Great Friday puzzle.

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

I feel bad for you Rex. Doing the puzzle under 6 is like not chewing your food or tasting the wine. It's like an empty experience. And it leaves you with more time to do other things which cannot possibly be as enjoyable.

Tobias Duncan 12:53 AM  

Foodie you nailed, the bread was wonderful SOCIALDARWINISM is a term I love to throw around.
This puzzle was smooth until the $@#% sports pile up.
Really, it was enough to ruin this for me.Sports trivia is the lowest form of trivia.
And after all that the constructor has the gall to clue LOVE as sports as well?
F-

chefwen 1:00 AM  

Medium/challenging for me. Too many proper names that I had no clue of. Basketball hall of fame Jerry, Polo and others, De Mateo of the Sopranos, some golfer, (Tobias is going to hate this one) The only thing I loved was remembering DECOCT from two Fridays ago. Once I checked out the proper names that I did not know it went from challenging to medium. I know, CHEATER!

syndy 1:01 AM  

Rocked the bottom half first and worked my way back up-by the by no matter how many IDOLS you have there is only one BAAL.my only real problemo was the OROZCO/EZR crossing and I awarded myself 1/2 point for getting MYRON from M****.so.....thats ENO

chefwen 1:02 AM  

@Tobias - We must have been typing at the same time. I KNEW you would hate the sports $#^&.

Michaela 1:09 AM  

I am gratified to see that exact Simpsons clip here. With SYSTEMS ANALYST, I can't *not* think Martin Prince.

jae 2:16 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Only write over was BEAN for HEAD. Excellent Fri. with some fine 15s, SOCIAL ..., RUNFOR..., path of LEAST...

Three letter composer is almost always ENO.

@foodie -- Isn't TRACEY Ullman is still hilarious? Didn't she have an HBO special a few years ago? Plus, she is also singer. She and Cyndi Lauper had hit songs at the same time.

Sarah 8:07 AM  

I'd say even close to easy for me, which is astounding for a Friday. "Rivera" is my go-to muralist, so it took a couple of "huh?"s to realize that the answer was actually OROZCO (the Braque of the Mexican muralist crowd, if you know what I mean). I got MYRON through crosses -- the only Greek sculptor I ever think of is Praxiteles, who rarely makes it into crosswords. For some reason, I had to stare at ONESTA-HOTEL for a couple of minutes, then run through the alphabet to get it. Those mental blocks are so weird: BAAL was a gimme but ONESTARHOTEL was a major challenge. On the whole a fun puzzle, although it didn't really give me ARUNFORTHEMONEY; too easy to get that satisfying AAH when you fill in the last square.

David L 8:15 AM  

Easy Thursday followed by even easier Friday -- is Shortz losing his touch? End of the week is no good without a challenge....

joho 8:21 AM  

I, like, @Rex, was struck by the unusual grid, but I saw a sock monkey face.

I had never heard the term TALEBEARERS before so learned something there.

ENO sounds like someone sitting at the piano making it up as he goes along.

For a while my rodeo bulls were playing BRAHMS.

In the end I liked it because of the orginal and interesting 15s and some really good short downs, too. Remember that old story about how Ginger Rogers could not only dance as good as Fred Astaire, but she could do it backwards and INHEELS?

Fun Friday, thanks, Tim Croce!

Jp 8:28 AM  

It is not very often that I can finish a Friday and in less than an hour to boot. So there is real satisfaction in just finishing. I loved the look of the empty grid like you Rex. Something sexy that wants you to start solving right away.
Guessed A RUN FOR THE MONEY from the get go but needed some googling to get all the obscure proper names of sculptors, artichects and TV personalities. From there a steady stream of AAHs when the long answers reveal themselves.
I feel sorry for you Rex that you did this puzzle in 6 minutes while I had a full hour to enjoy it.
Give more of these.

evil doug 8:45 AM  

Don't know much about yarn, so I tried for "heft" as filler for a while. That 'w' was my last letter.

Getting 'acme' into the puzzle every other day does seem to be a corporate effort.

I would say 'transgender'---minus the 'ed'.

ed

jackj 8:51 AM  

Tim Croce’s puzzle today is as good as they get!

Hopefully, rather than just moaning about seeing DECOCT in Caleb and the JASA’s puzzle a couple of weeks ago, solvers also took time to adopt the word into their vocabulary because, surprise, here it was again today.

I’m still trying to decide if the grid represents a slightly squished Stanley Cup or the girdled waist of what seems to be a rather zaftig belle; whatever, the result is special.

Favorites were many but doing some vocab decocting, the best of the bunch emerge as GORANGERS, clued as “Winter cry in New York” and “Pacific, perhaps” for ANTIGUN, both superb misdirects.

But, not to be denied is the entry SOCIALDARWINISM which launches an around-the-horn, triple-play performance, by giving us that ultra-fascinating group labeled herein as TRANSGENDERED SYSTEMSANALYSTS INHEELS.

Wow! Beam me up, Scotty, this is rarefied air they’re feeding us!

mac 9:07 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle, but I've rarely had so many names I didn't know in one session: Drea, Sloan,
Teri, Myron, Hagen; plus I never heard of pitch a fit.

Of course I thought of Rivera first, but I've seen Oroxco's work in Hanover.

I felt transgendered was not correct, and have only ever heard ....one's money. Of course I wanted the Yankees, but they are in Florida in winter.

Favorite answer: "in heels".

Glimmerglass 9:07 AM  

I'm with chefwen. Medium/challenging. I had a lot of trouble in the middle. I agree about TRANSGENDERED. Once you're trans, you're not crossdressing; you're dressing appropriately.

jberg 9:22 AM  

How could you not love it, with TRANSGENDERED, GO RANGERS, IN HEELS, and giving ACME a corporation! Unlike others, though, I found this one tough because of all the names. I think I knew ENO and RHEE, and had to look a lot of things up (something I used to do all the time, but am trying to move beyond). Oh, and OROZCO too, once I ruled out Rivera.

@foodie and @r.alphbunker - ALL cross-dressers are transvestites, but only some are TRANSGENDERED, so I thought that was fairly nuanced as a clue.

I wanted SAgER for 1D, so I spent way too much time trying to start 17A with 'gOd;' and at 42A I had ANTIGU_, and sat there staring at it, thinking "but that island is in the Caribbean!"

I've never, ever, seen a CURRANT pie, so I went for key lime, then CUmquaT before I finally saw it. Very frustrating.

Other writeovers: head for BEAN, IPSe for IPSA, and (blush) BRAHMin for BRAHMAS. But at least I avoided asiA minor at 47D!

Tim C. 9:25 AM  

Some are confusing "transgendered" and "transsexual". "Transgendered" means identifying oneself as a member of the opposite sex than one's biological assignment, not necessarily having gone through the actual change. One who actually goes through biological reassignment is "transsexual". One can be transgendered without "changing the plumbing".

Pete 9:48 AM  

Great night last night, good puzzle, great game, and the funniest 10 seconds of TV in the history of TV, as Jon Stewart swallowed a mouthful of caviar, did a spit-take, then uttered the best line ever: "What, people pay good money to have fish shit in their mouths?"

Rex - Thanks for the Wilfred Owen. It's not the greatest poem ever from an aesthetic sense, but one of great clarity and import from a human sense, which is what art should be, screw the aesthetic.

Lindsay 9:49 AM  

Not feeling the love. Drecky downs ruined it for me. Not one English word from 42D-48D (GOIN' doesn't count). And a proper name pile-up in the middle. Eight 3-letter entries, and only one is an actual word. Otherwise, ING EZR ENO AAH ACA EST TAY.

Ick.

M07S 9:53 AM  

@joho Thanks for yesterday's explanation of "malapop". I had just assumed it to be a misspelling of malaprop.

An excellent and very smooth puzzle today.

I subscribed to the NYT Premium Crosswords this past April so I could get the Sunday puzzle. Now I'm doing them everyday and my skill level has improved considerably. The downside is that my enjoyment level is down considerably as a result. >Knowing< the answer is not very enjoyable. >Learning< new words, things, places, names, and ideas (and the mental machinations involved) is the real enjoyment. The comments and observations on this blog help make up for that. Thanks to Rex and all the people who post here for making this such an enjoyable place to visit.

Wha? 9:55 AM  

@joho wrote:

ENO sounds like someone sitting at the piano making it up as he goes along.

Sounds like a good definition of a composer ;)

P>G>

skua76 10:03 AM  

Whew! A very slow daunting start, but I made it and enjoyed it! Well, almost, my Spanish isn't, so I had ACi crossing LiNES, thinking heat isotherms, after I saw the answer I had to Google "heat LANES" to figure out what they were.

Yes, I started with asiA minor, also tried network ANALYSTS which crossed with 38D pAgan. The top was last, knowing WEFT was a big help. Thanks Tim!

quilter1 10:32 AM  

Liked this very much. Solved the bottom, then the top, then the middle.

I had many write-overs, though. Nymph and naiad before OREAD, keeps on before RETAINS, reduce before DEDOCT, nada before LOVE, and wiser before SAFER.

I liked the grid, too.

John V 10:35 AM  

Medium for me. Two small mistakes, had OROSCO, had no idea on K-TEL/LANES crossing. So Heat Lanes refers to the basketball team? Kind of a stretch for me. My sports instinct are only okay.

When I rotate the grid 90 degrees, it sort reminds me of the MetroCard swipe reader. (Been a long week.)

@Rex, next time you're in New York, the Seagram Building and the Four Seasons restaurant therein are worth a stroll up Park Avenue from Grand Central!

Two Ponies 10:51 AM  

Except for Go Rangers my sandwich didn't taste too good. The bread was fine but the filling was too much of a proper name mash up.
@ joho, You beat me to it re: dancing backwards in heels. Now that's talent!
@ jberg, There is a big difference between crossdressing and being a transvestite (or so I'm told by a friend who does that).
In the dead tree version the answer to yesterday's puzzle has cute little ghosts printed in the rebus squares.

Matthew G. 10:51 AM  

Can't believe nobody has remarked yet on the fact that GO RANGERS appears in the center of the grid on the day the other Rangers team -- the Texas Rangers -- will play a decisive Game 7 in their bid for their first World Series title. Total coincidence, but after the misery that last night inflicted on Texas Rangers fans, they deserve any consolation they can get.

I hope all the baseball fans here were watching last night's Game 6. I'm not a fan of either team, and I was still going BERSERK over it. It's right up there in the pantheon of Game 6s with Fisk's homer and Wilson's grounder. It may even beat those games, since the Cardinals were down to their final strike while trailing by two runs twice, once in the 9th and again in the 10th, and yet they tied it both times to win it on a walkoff shot in the 11th. Just incredible.

That game was so good, I bet it could make a baseball fan out of Tobias Duncan!

Scott 10:52 AM  

The Brian Eno album is pretty much the first ambient album ever made. It was used in airports when it was released in the 1970's. I was very happy to see that clue.

I don't get the BRAHMAS clue.

North Beach 10:57 AM  

MegaContest winners up at Wordplay. Were there really no winners from RexWorld? Interesting to me that the men winners outnumber women by over 2 to 1. Other than here, I've never met a male solver. My grandmother was a solver, I think of the Atlantic Monthly puzzle (?), and I got started with NYT Sundays in college. Picked up the rest of the week when I got an iPad and paid for the subscription, like M07S above.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

So, Evil--did you win the meta crossword book??

John V 11:01 AM  

@Scott, Brahman is type of bull. Turns out that there is a Brahma breed of chicken! http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/Brahma-B16.aspx I assume Tim Croce is not referring to the chicken, which would actually be my preference.

By the way, this is what happens when you read too much Dave Barry. You have been warned.

Matthew G. 11:06 AM  

So much baseball on my brain I forgot to actually comment on the puzzle. Mostly very easy, as I threw down both SOCIAL DARWINISM and A RUN FOR THE MONEY with no crosses, but I later wrecked my time because I put HEAD instead of BEAN and never questioned it. When I had HERSER_ where BERSERK should go, I started looking everywhere else for my error, thinking that TALE BEARERS must be wrong or that I was hoping too hard for GO RANGERS to be correct. Eventually figured it out, but not before it pushed my time up almost to average for a Friday. Rats.

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Jerry SLOAN was in the puzzle a few weeks ago, so it shouldn't come as a big surprise -- but you still can't write it in without any crosses, because LUCAS would also fit.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

I had "Tattletales" for gossips because of the "TA....S" and that threw me off considerably today.

Also, does RCA still even make televisions?

Mel Ott 11:24 AM  

Wonderful puzzle! So much good stuff I can forgive an occasional EZR.

Took me awhile to get ACME CORPORATION and SOCIAL DARWINISM, but they were worth the wait. Beep beep.

@John V: I think the heat LANES reference is to LANES on a track in a heat, meaning a preliminary race in a track meet. Odd use of the word 'heat'. Wonder where it comes from?

Arundel 11:26 AM  

Whew! A good chewy Friday, for sure. Big swaths of letters slowly pieced together from short not-terrible fill. And 1A is just too descriptive in our culture today.

Purely by coincidence, one uses a RADDLE [yesterday's 32D] on the strands of the WEFT [today's 10D] in setting up a loom and weaving. Dredging up things that I used to know in my youth...

And yes, that was one amazing baseball game. Hard to believe it ended like that and they'll go on play again tonight!

John V 11:29 AM  

@Mel Ott
Your answer for HEAT LANES makes more sense then mine. Have no idea where HEAT comes from in that context

David 12:02 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
David 12:18 PM  

Easy-medium for me, and another excellent late-week puzzle. Loved GORANGERS in the middle, even though it took me very cross to get it, and I am a huge hockey fan (Go Blackhawks!!)

The whole middle fell very fast, and the south was relatively easy as well, after I recalled that TRACEY Ullman was not TRACIE. The north was a bit more challenging, if only because SOCIALDARWINISM just didn't pop until I had many of the crosses.

Some great 15 letter answers, including FORGIVEMEFATHER, LEASTRESISTANCE and my favorite today, ACMECORPORATION.

Was at Game 6 of the '86 WS, rooting hard for the Red Sox, so it will be very difficult to match that for gut-wrenching, roller-coaster drama and misery - though last night was close (I do not like the St. Louis Cardinals). If my beloved Cubs ever make the WS I may change my tune.

JaxInL.A. 12:25 PM  

Can someone help me understand TERIS for Polo and others?

hazel 12:28 PM  

Medium for me. To me the puzzleman looks like a big weightlifter fixing to hoist a 300 lb barbell over his head. A+ on the grid visual. B on the fil. Nice, but not exhilarating solve. INHEELS was awesome as was clue for ACMECORPORATION.

evil doug 12:35 PM  

Teri Polo is an actress.

"So, Evil--did you win the meta crossword book??"

Yes, but I told them to give mine to the Navy guy....

Hell, no. With 40% going to Noo Yawk and Noo Joisey, how does a guy in Flyover, Ohio stand a chance?

Nyahhhh, who wanted the dumb book anyway....

Poor, sad Evil
Bookless in Cincinnati

chefbea 12:38 PM  

Found this tough and DNF. Maybe cuz I stayed up too late watching the best baseball game I've ever seen. Will the Cards take the series??? Have to watch tonight.

Of course I did not remember decoct!!!

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

No Naticks today? Just visited Boston last week to discover that the locals say "Nate-ick" rather than "Gnat-ick" as I have been pronouncing it in
my head.

brian 1:03 PM  

Am I the only one who has/had a problem with GO RANGERS being tied specifically to the winter? Hockey season usually lasts from Fall to Spring (Oct-Apr?) so, other than the very loose association between winter being cold (in NY) and hockey being played on ice, this presented itself as a major stumbling block for me.

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

Well, isn't Rexie just the cheerer-upper today? Thanks for the poem...

JasK 1:20 PM  

As an up to Thursday solver, always nice to get close to finishing a Friday...only 6 wrong squares.

Being from Fort Worth, Texas, Go Rangers has a different meaning today. I hope they can take home a win the World Series tonight.

Just checked Wordplay blog and didn't win the book. Drat.

Rube 1:21 PM  

TERI(S), SLOAN, HAGEN, NORM, TRACEY, OROZCO, DREA and KTEL... all proper nouns and I had to Google for every one of them. This sort of thing gives Friday puzzles a bad rep. Did know RHEE 'tho and DECOCT was a gimme having learned it 2 weeks ago.

At least RCA still sells TVs with their logo on them. Whether they actually make them is a different question.

What a fantastic ballgame last night. They don't get any better, (unless you were rooting for Texas).

Anoa Bob 1:34 PM  

Thanks for the Eno clip Rex. Best blood pressure medicine ever.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Hey Evil, you don't sound so evil. I like that you know Teri Polo,an actress I first saw on "Felicity".
To tell the truth, I was really wishing to win that book...sorry we both didn't!

LR 2:14 PM  

@Mel Ott said...

Wonderful puzzle! So much good stuff I can forgive an occasional EZR.

---

Sorry, Mel, EZR. as an abbreviation for "Ezra" is unforgivable under any circumstances. The editor must have been asleep or desperate.

archaeoprof 2:17 PM  

Really enjoyed those wide stacks today. Fun, fun, fun.

@Evil: have a Gold Star 3-way, you'll feel much better.

I totally disagree about last night's game. Too many errors and elementary mistakes. Exciting, yes. Great? Not even close.

TimJim 2:46 PM  

Good puzzle. Go Cards!

Chip Hilton 2:53 PM  

@archaeoprof: The errors were a part of the perfect symmetry of last night's game. Consider: Act One: innings 1-3. Solid, back and forth build up. Act Two: innings 4-6. Comedic interlude. A chance to relax for a bit and have a giggle. Act Three: innings 7-9. Incredible intensity culminating in the game-tying triple. But wait. There's more! A two inning encore in which the player whose life is a soap opera (Hamilton) becomes the hero only to have it snatched away by The Home Town Kid (Freese). If you wrote this stuff, they'd say too far-fetched.

I enjoyed today's puzzle (Way over 6 for me!). Weren't DECOCT and SLOAN recently featured? I too had Lucas for SLOAN at first and Orosco for OROZCO at the end.

colossusofrhode.com 3:01 PM  

Had to get a ways down to find someone who knew this was secretly a puzzle about the World Series. But where is the Cardinals love? Where is it, I ask!

Matthew G. 3:08 PM  

@archaeoprof: I agree with Chip Hilton. The first six innings were an error-prone mess -- bad baseball at its best. But the miraculous thing about it is that the teams emerged tied from that sloppiness and then gave us five more innings ... of good baseball at its best.

Mel Ott 3:12 PM  

@LR: Guess I'm just a forgiving person. I agree EZR is a pretty bad abbreviation for Ezra, but I can tolerate it when I get all those interesting 15's, to say nothing of the 13's, 11's, etc.

archaeoprof 3:15 PM  

@Chip Hilton: a valiant effort on your part! You rightly lay out the reasons why the game was very exciting.

But, to take just one example, compare it with Game 6 in 1975: all of the ups and downs, but no errors. And today several players from that game are in the hall of fame. At least one more should be, but isn't.

And last night? Nobody but Pujols will be in Cooperstown.

It was exciting. But that's all it was.

sanfranman59 4:01 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 19:54, 25:40, 0.78, 14%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 9:58, 12:42, 0.79, 17%, Easy

Lewis 4:05 PM  

Loved the Tracey Ullman clip, Rex. She really nails Rachel Madow.

Like several others, for me it was bottom, top, middle, and it may be the first Friday I've completed without a single Google, and it felt like fun.

About a month ago, Rex totally changed my attitude toward the stacked long answers, saying how much he loves them, because with a few of the crossing answers, the big answers have a way of coming. I used to be intimidated by puzzles like this, and now I look forward to them.

Thanks Tim!

william e emba 4:28 PM  

It is common in Biblical apologetics and criticism to abbreviate all the books to three letters. Yes, they refer to Ezra as Ezr. Complaining that it's ridiculous is pointless: it's in the language, and that's all that matters.

For your edification, here is Hopalong Casualty, the episode where Coyote tricks the Road Runner into eating the ACME earthquake pills. First appearance of the pills is at 2:55. (And at 0:36, there is also a shout-out to REX.)

CoffeeLvr 5:01 PM  

I saw a threatening mutant Jack-o-Lantern face in the grid, fitting for this week.

Speaking philosophically, I do not think an ideal path would be one of LEAST RESISTANCE.

I liked this puzzle a lot, although it took me quite a while and I was unsure of the OROZCO EZRa cross. A very satisfying solve; I am glad I have decided to do late week puzzles on paper.

Writeovers: TRACie, ANTIwar, DREi, IPSo, SAgER, SAnER, and worst of all, a mis-spelled rUhbarb before CURRANT. Speaking of pie, now a piece of sour cream raisin sounds awfully good.

Always interesting how different our knowledge bases are. NORM was a gimme for me, and BERSERK popped into my head on the first pass, immediately confirmed by K-TEL.

A RUN FOR "THE" MONEY sounds best to me. We used to chant this ditty on the school yard:

One for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
And four to go.

Thank you for posting the Wilfred Owen poem, @Rex, it meshes well with the clue "pacific." Now, it would be about IED's instead of gas.

Tonight, I will watch the Cards win the series in honor of my Gramps, who was a life-long Cardinals fan where ever he lived. Woe to me if I interrupted him while he was listening to a game on the radio. Plus, I am from the other side of the state (MO), and hatin' on Texas is an old family tradition.

RI Squasher 5:07 PM  

My second day commenting and my post got eaten. Oh well I guess that happens.

Today was my second Friday attempt and when I saw all the really long answers I knew it would be tough for me. The first one I got was ACME CORPORATION but the rest was tough and I ended up quitting with about 1/3 filled. I felt like I was close to getting a bunch of the others but I just couldn't quite crack them.

I'm a big sports fan so HAGEN and SLOAN were pretty easy but as a huge Rangers fan I'm ashamed to admit I didn't get 33A.

College art history classes helped me get SEAGRAM but didn't help with MYRON.

Why is BEAN the answer for 22A?

Watched the baseball game with my 16 year old son last night, we couldn't believe what we were seeing. Not the most crisply played game but you can't beat that kind of drama. My squash opponent today told me he watched a few innings of the game. I told him I couldn't believe that in the 9th and 10th the Rangers were one strike away from winning the World Series and he said, "That was the World Series? I didn't know." He's Canadian so I guess he can be excused for not following our national pastime.

mac 6:09 PM  

It always baffles me when they call it World Series and there are only American teams.

Loved the Tracey Ullman clip!!

RI Squasher: a bean is a head or a tete if French is required.

Z 6:57 PM  

Struggled with this one, mostly in the middle, although failing to trust my first instinct on SOCIALDARWINISM slowed me down in the north.

Taking the PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE means the opposite if taking the ideal path, so I did not like that clue.

Also, I think that "transvestite" is the term for cross-dressers, i.e. males who like to dress as women but go through life in the male gender role. I understand transgender to mean, as noted by @glimmerglass and @Tim C, someone who identifies as the gender opposite of his/her biological birth gender. So, to me, the clue is just wrong.

However, neither of these were the reasons I struggled.

sanfranman59 10:41 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 6:21, 6:51, 0.93, 23%, Easy-Medium
Tue 7:08, 8:52, 0.80, 3%, Easy (4th lowest median solve time of 123 Tuesdays)
Wed 10:10, 11:49, 0.86, 21%, Easy-Medium
Thu 12:01, 19:04, 0.63, 2%, Easy (2nd lowest median solve time of 124 Thursdays)
Fri 20:10, 25:40, 0.79, 14%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:40, 0.98, 44%, Medium
Tue 3:55, 4:34, 0.86, 7%, Easy (9th lowest median solve time of 123 Tuesdays)
Wed 5:29, 5:51, 0.94, 37%, Easy-Medium
Thu 6:21, 9:19, 0.68, 4%, Easy (5th lowest median solve time of 124 Thursdays)
Fri 9:36, 12:41, 0.76, 13%, Easy

@mac ... there's one Canadian team and about a quarter of the players are from Latin America, but your point is well taken. We Americans are just a tad ethnocentric, aren't we?

drea acmecorporation michaels 12:17 AM  

ACMECORPORATION!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, I started out with ACME ammuniTION, but straightened THAT out.

Could only think Liv Ullmann at first. Going to a reception for her Sunday night (carrying the puzzle, no doubt!)
As for it being TRACEY,
Simpson fans should kiss her robe.

This puzzle was super easy, even I almost did it in 6 minutes...for some reason I just put in ARUNFORTHEMONEY, FORGIVEMEFATHER without blinking.
Rather than my prowess, I suspect it meant that it was perfectly clued!

But seriously, what's with DECOCT being in 23 puzzles in a row?

Same hEAd / Bananas mistakes...

Love GO RANGERS = Hidden fruit theme...why not do it, @Rex?!!

I remembered the Sopranos actress DeMatteo's real name is Andrea, so I tried to put in Andi, instead of DREA! Ironic, to say the least.

Obviously, tho with ACME CORPORATION I forgive all...tho I was on the EZR (??!!) bandwagon till the erudite william e emba chimed in!

foodie 1:16 AM  

@Andrea, so glad you chimed in, given that you got yourself a whole 15mer today! Hope mom's birthday is/was a blast!

Wait, wait! You're going to a reception for Liv Ullmann?? Why, how, where?

And my apologies to TRACEY Ullman-- She was and REMAINS hilarious. I was just remembering the original show!

+wordphan 2:48 AM  

No Catholics here? It's "Bless me, Father" NOT "forgive." really got me stuck. Dang! Otherwise, Good Friday!

Joe K. 12:38 PM  

I'm surprised no one commented on 17across. "Forgive me Father" has not, as far as I know, ever been part of the Roman Catholic rite of confession (or rite of reconciliation, as it is now called). The form has always been "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." The priest does NOT forgive sins. God forgives, the priest serving as interlocutor between God and sinner.

Anonymous 3:07 PM  

Contrary to the previous two posts, consider this extract from the St. Thomas Aquinas Forum:
The priest will begin the Confession with the prayer of the Sign of the Cross. Make the sign of the cross and say, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned; it has been [blank] days since my last confession. I accuse myself of the following sins.” And I'm not even Catholic!

Dirigonzo 8:14 PM  

From the land of better late than never solvers, this was the most satisfying solving experience for me in a long time. After my first run through of all the clues produced only a few answers I was sure I would never complete the puzzle, but then an hour later I plugged in the first two letters of ACMECORPORATION and the grid was complete! Any Friday puzzle I finish is a good puzzle; one that makes me grin is a great puzzle!

From this blog on 12/2/2006:
- "Solving time: 51:34" (!)
- "I have it on good authority that Bob Klahn is "pretty much the hardest there is," and after last night's 15-round bout with the Saturday puzzle, I'm inclined to agree. I won the bout, in a split decision, but it was something of a Pyrrhic victory. I'm bruised and bloodied, and partially BOWed. It's especially humbling to look at a completed grid that has just slapped you around for something close to an hour and realize "wait a minute ... this doesn't look that hard. What the hell just happened?" I respect a puzzle that can beat me up with minimal esoterica."
- "You'd think with six gimmes in a Saturday, you'd be on the road to victory, and not hell."
- "Haven't blogged to jazz saxophone before. It's kind of nice. I don't feel nearly as murderous as I have lately."
- "...somehow all of these answers connect, in my mind, to my friend Shaun (female). How? Well Shaun owned at least one SKORT. I know that I learned the word in the 90's sometime because I probably commented, "What the hell are you wearing? I can see up your skirt, but this time it's just no fun."
- "And thus the United States survived the Great Depression with a smile. I do think that ALIBI IKE needs to be remade as a modern kid ("this century's Dennis the Menace") who weasels his way out of blame for the increasingly criminal things he does. "That hobo was dead when I got here, ma. Honest!""
- "But even when I had the whole puzzle filled in, I couldn't figure out the logic of AUTODEALER or DEE? There are auto dealers on Park Avenue? And what the hell is a GRANDDEE? Of course a "Park Avenue" is a make of AUTO (a Buick) and DEE is the @#$#-ing last letter, or "finale," of "grand." Doesn't help much to discern the logic After the puzzle is over. That's all; I'm off to smoke an EL ROPO (39D: Cheap cigar, slangily) over a tasty meal of SWISSCHARD (5A: Leaves for dinner), followed by a WINECOOLER (16A: Mixed drink?) and AMARETTO (33D: Alabama slammer ingredient) in quick succession - "sweet liquor eases the pain.""
- In one of 7 comments @Shaun (see above) said this: Rex sez: "I can see up your skirt, but this time it's just no fun."
So in contrast to all the many other "fun" times? Who am I, Britney Spears?"

Anonymous 12:12 AM  

Spacecraft here. I have way lots of problems with this one.
1. I join the ever-growing chorus of those who must seek blessing, not forgiveness, from their priest.
2. We say "a run for [insert pronoun here: his, your, one's, etc.] money--" but not, that I've ever heard, "THE." Since HIS is the only one of those that fits, I went with that, causing grievous delays in the north. Nor were the down crosses any better:
3. "more prudent, say" would be a good clue for SAGER or SANER, but SAFER? Well, you might be safer AS A RESULT of being more prudent, but I just don't see that as a definition. Bad clue.
4. "Pitch" AFIT? Never heard of it. THROW a fit is what I'm close to doing with this puzzle.
5. EZR. Sure, we use three-letter abbreviations for four-letter names all the time. Right.
6. Just how many BAALS are there? Dumb me, I thought there was only the one.
Done, but with numerous writeovers and Googles--and a near Natick when I filled in ANTIGUA instead of ANTIGUN and almost forgot to check the down. To call this easy-medium is ridiculous.
AAH well, nevermind.

fulan: A production of Mulan performed on April 1st.

Red Valerian 7:40 PM  

Gee, @Spacecraft/Anonymous...

1. can't speak to this, though there is dissent in the ranks above (not the angels, the earlier commenters)
2. doesn't "her" fit?.....
3. if one alternative is the safer of two, isn't it the more prudent?
4. AAH well.
5. see somebody above for three-letter biblical abbreviations.
6. I agree (I think) that the plural is awkward.

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