Teen girl's close chum for short / MON 10-17-11 / Upscale marque owned by Toyota / Catch Groucho while fishing / Creator of game Missile Command

Monday, October 17, 2011

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: -KS to -X — sound / spelling changes result in wackiness


Word of the Day: Marque (46D: Upscale marque owned by Toyota) —
n.
A model or brand of a manufactured product, especially an automobile.

[French, from Old French. See marquetry.]
• • •

"CROSS" WORDS CONTEST week! All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Berry. Have your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, mail it to: crossword@nytimes.com. Please do not post your answers here on the blog and please do not mail them to me! Only answers e-mailed to the above address will be considered. Twenty-five correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 23, will receive copies of “Will Shortz Picks His Favorite Puzzles: 101 of the Top Crosswords From The New York Times.” Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners’ names will appear on Friday, Oct. 28, at http://www.nytimes.com/wordplay.

. . .

An entire week devoted to a meta-challenge contest and the big prize is ... a book of crosswords??? Come On. That is some seriously weak sauce right there. I'm already drowning in puzzles—there are like 20+ / week coming at me every week. Also, I subscribe to the NYT, so why do I want a book of old NYT puzzles that I probably already did? Sweeten the *$!&ing pot, people.



[Cross words]

That said, this puzzle ruled, and the rest of the week is bound to be pure awesome, as Patrick Berry can do no wrong. How this puzzle can have "?" theme clues, be chock full of fantabulous fill, and still clock in at a regular Monday time is beyond me. I've run out of superlatives for this guy. His name is now synonymous with all that is awesome about crosswords. So I'm likely to enjoy the hell out of this week even if I have no intention of even entering the contest.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Catch Groucho while fishing? (LAND MARX)
  • 22A: Blues player's instrument? (SAD SAX)
  • 29A: Cereal that doesn't really taste like anything? (BLANK CHEX)
  • 42A: Wildcat that can't sit still (HYPER LYNX) — the amount that I like this theme answer cannot be adequately measured. You'd need an instrument that goes beyond 11.
  • 51A: Levy paid by white-collar workers? (TIE TAX)
  • 52A: Formal wear for one's belly? (TUMMY TUX
I love puzzles with sassy, colloquial phrases, such as BFF (29D: Teen girl's close chum, for short) and "WHAT SAY..." (40D: "How about it?") So much fun. This puzzle had a lot of small plurals, which is close as I can come to levying criticism. Oh, and I really hate that spelling of AMUCK (5D: Rampaged => RAN AMUCK). I run AMOK or I don't run at all.

My only trouble spot was in the SAD SAX region. I read the clue and wrote in SAX as the *first* word. This made REDDEST stay hidden for a while (9D: Most sunburned). Otherwise, this was smooth. Smooth like good bourbon, not smooth like the abomination that is non-chunky peanut butter.

Good (Mon) day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

67 comments:

Bram 12:02 AM  

Are all NYT puzzle books old puzzles from the paper? I think I only specific ones are. I recently bought "Crosswords to unwind your mind" and don't recognize a single puzzle so far.

Tobias Duncan 12:21 AM  

My time for this one says Easy.Rex is so right about the weak sauce.I think Will keeps prizes (and constructor pay) small out of some misguided idea that it makes the whole affair more genteel somehow.
Loved the last contest with the 9 hole GOLF ROUND but every time I enter something like this I am shocked when I dont win.I email in the answers to Will's NPR puzzle challenge most weeks and every Thursday I am disappointed when I don't get the call.
I bought a lottery ticket in 1991 on a road trip in Arizona.When it turned out I was not even close to the winning numbers, I declared the whole thing a total gyp and never bought another one.
Hmmm perhaps Will knows me better than I know myself.A proper prize might just amplify my disappointment at not winning.Could it be that he is sparing me from crushing pain rather than just being cheap??

CoffeeLvr 12:37 AM  

Fun puzzle, I am looking forward to the week. I liked SADSAX the best.

foodie 1:09 AM  

wonderful puzzle! Hyper Lynx is fantastic. Love Tummy Tux, as well.

There is something a bit narcissistic about this prize.. But oh well. The fun is in trying...

syndy 1:11 AM  

A thing of beauty is a joy forever-and once again p berry proves it! I think I'm voting for TUMMYTUX .AROSE by any other name would smell as sweet

andreax carlax mixaels 1:26 AM  

xxxoooxxx this puzzle!
And will try not to faint that there are sixxxxxx theme entries and yet it's a perfext Monday.

And not only did each entry end with X, it meant he had to start one other word with an X (XENA), end three others (VSIX, STYX, TEX) AND have two in the middle (LEXUS, MIXUP)


And WHATSAY about all the fancY Ys midword: IDYL, LYNX, STYX, PEPYS, LILYPAD!

With early birthday cake, I could use a TUMMYTUX right about now.

I am also tickled that Patrick Berry used BFF and KAPUT.

Having spent 6 hours playing Scrabble today (came in 4th!) I loved seeing TILE.
My best word of the day: GUMTREE;
but that was NOTHING compared to a boy who played the 131 pt. triple-triple ETAGERES thru the E "someone" accidentally left in the last row!

chefwen 2:44 AM  

Saw the notepad and thought what the hell is a notepad doing on a Monday puzzle, now I know. This is going to be fun, it can only get better and better. Zipped through this one with my only write over at 19A with logy before DOPY which I thought needed an E.

@chefbea - Congrats on your Cardinals moving on. @me - Boo Hoo True Brew Crew!

Anonymous 5:04 AM  

Rex, areeing with you about the smooth peanut butter abomination, but not about the Crossword Puzzle Book...they should give away more of them!

dk 6:07 AM  

X marks the spot.

I would love a book of puzzles from the 30s and 40s. My solving experience would be like the 20 and 30 year olds of today as they struggle with "Who the heck is ELO and what the heck is AJA.

Join the song fest of praises for Patrick Berry. One of the better Mondays in a long time.... and a solving time of just under 2 minottos: woo woo.

*** (3 Stars) X-cellent.

d(Mr. Burns)k

jberg 6:27 AM  

I'm with @Rex on HYPER LYNX, as on AMUCK (that actually refers to a race on a muddy track), and the general high quality of this puzzle. PITAS is questionable as a plural, and we do have an EEL swimming around, but the rest is terrifically original. Nothing else to say! (I don't know NENA but that's just me.)

Z 6:47 AM  

Ditto. I liked LANDMARX the best.

captcha-musses, a Messy Erato and her sisters.

Rex Parker 6:57 AM  

First thing my wife said on reading the puzzle note about the contest, before I'd said anything to her about it: "A book of crosswords?! That's what you win? ... that's pretty lame."

Amazon product description of the contest prize: "For the first time ever, Will Shortz personally selects 75 of his favorite puzzles from his tenure as editor of The New York Times crossword puzzles. Special commentary will appear along with each puzzle and give clever insight into the puzzle-solving world that Will Shortz dominates. Getting to know the background on these puzzles will add a new dimension for the growing number of crossword buffs. Also included is a special introduction written by Shortz that explains why these puzzles qualify as his favorites among the thousands of puzzles he has edited in his career."

So puzzles are indeed all old. But commentary is new, so that's ... something.

The Bard 7:39 AM  

Julius Caesar > Act I, scene II

CAESAR: Ha! who calls?

CASCA: Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

CAESAR: Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: What man is that?

BRUTUS: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: Set him before me; let me see his face.

CASSIUS: Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

CAESAR: What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

CAESAR: He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

M07S 7:59 AM  

Dammit @Rex, I wanted to be the one to run amok on run amuck. (Hell, even the spellchecker doesn't like it.) A super sweet puzzle except for that one glaring corruption. (It's hell to get old. The more days you spend on this earth, the more change you will see. People hate change. No wonder us OFers are cranky all the time.) Oh well, it gives me something to dislike besides Rick Perry.

John V 8:06 AM  

Easy. The prize aside, I'm just intrigued to see how the week plays out.

joho 8:08 AM  

This puzzle just goes to prove again that Patrick Berry absolutely never SUXS.

I had just tiny nits like @Rex with AMUCK not AMoK and @Chefwen with DOPY instead of DOPeY but these are legitimate spellings, if not preferred.

Also I always hear a "you" after WHATSAY? But I love the colloquial line as it is, too.

This is going to be one super fun week! And I will enter the contest although I never win anything. But if I do, I'll take the book!

David 8:13 AM  

Saw the teaser for this week's contest on the Wordplay blog and hoped the week's constructor would be Patrick Berry. YES!!! And what a magnificent start. 6 great clues for 6 terrific theme answers. Along with HYPERLYNX I especially liked TUMMYTUX and BLANKCHEX.

Wrote in MICE for RATS at 9A very briefly, and also said "Huh?" when RANAMUCK was 8 letters instead of 7. Felt like I zoomed through this puzzle but was a bit slower than usual (around 4:45).

Just sayin' 8:48 AM  

In the several refrences I checked, AMOK is listed as a varient of [the "real" word] AMUCK.

L-U-G

chefbea 9:16 AM  

What a fun puzzle to start a fun week!! Loved all the theme answers.

Of course 9 down could have been clued another way!!!

Go Cardinals!!!

jackj 9:26 AM  

"Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be"

Thanks, Patrick for a most auspicious launch to a week of all Berry, all the time.

While the prize is of no interest, (but, a note for solvers hoping to win a puzzle book, the Cross in "Cross" Words Contest is in quotes), how this "meta-challenge" plays out, (especially with PB in charge), should be a fun ride.

My only disappointment with today's puzzle was that Patrick included a nod to a favorite personality, Groucho, but missed a chance to pair him with another man of dazzling wordplay who should be Groucho's BFF, Yogi Berra.

When will we get a puzzle dedicated to Yogi, that master mangler of the English language and purveyor of pithy wisdom?

.

Brian B 9:27 AM  

I'm pretty sure the prize is an old book -- I remember buying and solving it about five years ago. Meh. But in fairness it's not easy to find in stores, so a lot of the regular solvers might be glad to have it.

quilter1 9:27 AM  

Also loved HYPER LYNX and hated AMUCK. @Just sayin' when I visited Malaysia I learned that the word amok came from there and that was how they spelled it. Just sayin'.

Liked, liked, liked it, and look forward to the week and Saturday.

Starting a temporary parttime job today that requires preaching every four weeks, so taking my alb and cincture to the cleaners. I hope cincture shows up in the puzzle someday beside alb.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

The book has just been published. I think Will had an earlier book by the same (or similar) title.

hazel 9:58 AM  

good grief. if you don't want the prize, don't enter the contest! and if you do and randomly win it, give the book to a newbie xworder. whatever. just quit complaining about it!! you are detracting from what should be nothing but raves about this freaking puzzle!! which has awesomeness oozing out of every single one of its tiny little xword pores.

what a fun puzzle and the best part is we know have PBs all week and as an added bonus, there will be something still to think about on Saturday after we're finished filling that last square in.

Meanwhile, if you need something to stew over, tell me WHO IN THE WORLD are the Falcons going to use to defend Calvin Johnson next week?

Tobias Duncan 10:08 AM  

@hazel, way to defend the status quo. You must be one of those 1%ers who wont share the wealth!
I think we need have an old fashioned sit in.I will grab a bunch of my hippie friends from the Wall street protests and occupy the NYT lobby.My demands? If I win the contest I want an all expense paid trip to the Stamford crossword tournament AND lunch with Will.Who is with me?"Hell no, we wont go" "ATTICA!! ATTICA! ATTICA!"

PS I would kill for Weekend Edition lapel pin but without being on the show it would be worthless.Will should make a NYT equivilent.

Two Ponies 10:29 AM  

Great puzzle.
I am so looking forward to our Berry marathon!
Not being a texter I have no idea what bff stands for.

archaeoprof 10:36 AM  

All those X's had me thinking, "there's gotta be a Xena around here soon."

@Two Ponies: best friends forever. As the father of two daughters, I learned that one a long time ago...

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

I'm not as thrilled as others by "HYPERLYNX" because it's been done before; Lynx was the name of an early browser, presumably so named because of the pun.

chefbea 10:53 AM  

@Tobias Duncan the ACPT is no longer in Stamford. It moved to Brooklyn a few years ago

Two Ponies 10:59 AM  

Thanks @ archaeoprof, I had my own ideas but they were not suitable for teenaged girls!

Stan 11:01 AM  

Hey, the prize sounds great to me! Especially since I already own the excellent Crossword Challenges for Dummies.

(Patrick and Will: Please keep this post in mind while "randomly" selecting the winner.)

jesser 11:04 AM  

Zipped through it. Loved it. It's been a rather insane week/weekend, and I'm in headless-chicken catch-up mode. I hope to have more to say maƱana!

Masked and Anonymous 11:05 AM  

Some dejavuosity vibes from a 2006 Patrick Merrell puz; it had a great theme entry of: HIGHWAYREX. But all the theme answers in this new puz are different, so fine by me.

Patrick Berry doesn't do many MonPuzs. Looks like he's done 1 Monday, 0 Tuesday, 2 Wednesday, in fact. The 1 Monday is probably today's. So he's finally getting to hit for the cycle.

I'm real confused about this prize book deal. I got the old "favorites" one, but the cover photo says "100 crosswords", while the Amazon description says "75 puzzles". And it also says first edition, September 13, 2011. So it's a new book of favorites, maybe? Whatsay somebody win one, and tell us whaazup.

acme 11:15 AM  

The CREATORS of those 75 puzzles do not get residuals nor even get a book, so it IS a prize!
(And PB will get only $1200 for creating SIX puzzles.)
So it remains just about the process itself, not money or prizes, except for the NY Times!

Maybe someone can write a review on Amazon and at least list all the creators!
Better yet, perhaps Will could sweeten the prize by throwing in a Patrick Berry book.
But I like @Hazel's cents and sensibility.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Love the puzzle!

Rex: Crunchy Peanut Butter is the abomination! NOTHING beats Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter (IMHO).

hazel 11:50 AM  

Hi @Tobias - I couldn't tell if you were trying to be funny? kind of mean? what? Whatever your intent, your remark has compelled me to defend myself. (Its a curse.)  I live with cancer every day, and have for the past 6 years.  For all the considerable grief it has brought into my life, it has  also sharpened my focus on the things that matter to me and those  I choose to "fight" for. The fact that you don't find a prize for a random correct entry in a puzzle contest "worthy" is, well, not on the radar. Your plan to save democracy-one-puzzle-contest-prize-at-a-time seems kind of catchy though - so go for it!   Thats what makes this blog great - we're all passionate about different things. All that to say, that I've never been called a  defender of the status quo (so I guess that was kind of funny, but probably not in the way you intebded)  Not sure where the 1%er charge fits into all this, but it did serve to further irritate me - so if that was your goal, well played, sir.

I am definitely entering the contest, and if I win one, you will all know about it!!

@Rex - I know this post is kind of a tut, but please don't tut tut me. still scarred from the last one. 

@acme - thanks!

@puzzle - you rocked!!

Chip Hilton 12:11 PM  

I wonder if @ISkipM-W will change his/her mind like I did thanks to the weeklong connection. Great start thanks to the brilliant Mr. Berry.

I'm psyched for the rest of the puzzles. Puzzlebook prize - not so much.

treedweller 12:13 PM  

I accept AMUCK if only because of this Looney Tune.

DBGeezer 12:13 PM  

I hope some understanding person will present the translation of BFF.
I doubt if it's Best F****** Friend

Anonymous 12:31 PM  

call me a cynic if you will but i think the prize is just a form of advertisement for will's book. the process will sure to be fun. winning any prize makes one feel special so let's just enjoy the ride.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

@DBGeezer: Your question was answered by @archeoprof at 10:36am.

Sparky 12:41 PM  

Saw note and said "Oh, please" but happy once I read it through. I usually enjoy Patrick Berry very much. Got it with LANDMARX; favorite, TUMMYTUX. This puzzle was a lot of fun. Looking forward to the whole week.

Lewis 12:42 PM  

DB -- Best friend forever

Nothing stale about this puzzle, like a fresh flower standing tall. Hopefully a tone setter for the rest of the week...

captcha -- BLEST, which I think is all of us this week.

600 12:48 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
600 12:53 PM  

@hazel--I'm pretty sure Tobias Duncan's entry was firmly tongue in cheek--but I suspect he'll be on to defend himself. Anyway, I loved your "just don't enter the contest--or give it to a newbie" entry.

I loved loved loved this puzzle for all the reasons previously mentioned--and I needed to love something since the Tigers, the Lions, and the Wolverines ALL lost this weekend. I'm not much of a sports fan, but this native Michigander is smarting a bit right now.

This blog is not doing much for my admiration of the top tier of comedians--first Steve Martin, now Jim Belushi must be crossed off my list of favorites. Oh, wait. Jim Belushi was never there.

I doubt I'll enter the contest--like @Tobias, I never win anyway--plus I can only occasionally solve Wil's Sunday morning puzzles, so I don't have high hopes for this one. However, I'll sure be hoping one of the contributers here is on the list of winners!

North Beach 1:17 PM  

Team Hazel.
Perhaps if Mr Duncan had a greater love of sports and/or had the most basic knowledge of statistics/probablility, he would understand that chances are you're not going to win a random drawing and sometimes it's just playing the game that provides the reward.
A personal aside to Hazel: I, too, was recently on the receiving end of one of Dear Rex's acerbic darts. Yes, it stung. Until I chose to turn it around: in my early tiptoeing into commenting on this blog I had inadvertantly trolled both Evil Doug and Rex Parker! That, ma'am, is a badge of honor!

Tobias Duncan 1:42 PM  

@hazel I was only trying to make you smile,sometimes it is difficult to convey humor in a short comment. I apologize.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

@Rex - get over yourself. If you don't like the prize than don't enter. There are several others who would love to have a copy of Will's book. Myself included.

Back to the puzzle (and contest) - today's was great (except for AMUCK).

Off to have a SMOOTH PB&J sandwich.

hazel 2:11 PM  

@tobias. my bad. cyber hug everyone! and now back to your regularly scheduled program...

Aaron Riccio 2:43 PM  

As with others out there, I'm pretty sure this is a newer version of an old book -- but it's a great book. My dad getting me a copy is what got me seriously hooked on puzzles; seeing puzzles with only one vowel, or the double-answer puzzle, and so on. Been some great new additions since then, though.

sanfranman59 3:20 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)

Mon 6:40, 6:51, 0.97, 44%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:38, 3:40, 0.99, 48%, Medium

mac 3:30 PM  

Who cares about the book? This was a wonderful puzzle, with only amuck to make me pauze. And I do like those books.
Nice to be able to do this 6 hours ahead of my usual location. Just arrived in Holland this morning, and I'm already cooking a big pot of white bean/tomato/escarole soup with little meatballs. Lots of friends to see! Tomorrow I will be in Amsterdam, right where the protesters will be next to the old Beurs (stock market). Breezy fall weather and I'be gotten on my bike already!

Rube 3:56 PM  

LandmarX -> landmarKS
SadsaX -> sadsaCKS
BlankcheX -> BlankcheCKS
HyperlynX -> hyperlinKS
TietaX -> tietaCKS
TummytuX -> tummytuCKS

On a bad day, Rex would have torn into this puzzle in his unmerciful fashion because of it's inconsistencies. Sometimes X replaces KS while in others it replaces CKS, and in one, and only one, another letter, y, also gets changed, i.e. the y in the favorite HYPERLYNX.

Me? To me, this sort of free and easy play is part of the crossworld and I have no trouble with it. Just like I had no trouble with this very enjoyable PB puzzle. (Just don't ask me about how much trouble I have typing on this furshluginer 2/3 size keyboard on my netbook.)

Actually, I do have one bone to pick. I've heard "Wha'dya say?" or "What say you?", but I don't recall ever hearing "WHAT SAY".

Gave this puzzle to the wife for whom this is her first NYT. Her comment was that DOPY and _AMUCK were misspelled!

Good to see you and Jon, @ChefWen. Your muffins are TDF.

I'm circling the wagons!

efrex 4:00 PM  

A full week of PB puzzles? Yipee! Only complaint that I've got is that Will and Patrick are being unfair to the Orthodox Jewish contingent of their fans (I'm not the only one, right?). Between the holiday (Shemini Atzeret: yes, it's a real holiday; alternate-side parking is suspended and everything) and Sabbath, I won't be able to do the Thursday-Saturday puzzles until Saturday night at the earliest.

Loved this one. Had AWOKE before AROSE, but otherwise flew through.

David from CA 4:10 PM  

Did no one else have a problem with the clue for BLANKCHEX? i've never heard the adjective "blank" used for tasteless, it is always "bland".

archaeoprof 4:12 PM  

@NorthBeach: one of my colleagues in our economics department agrees with you.

When we buy a lottery ticket, he says, we pay for the enjoyment of imagining that we might win, and how we will spend the money if we do!

andrea carla amuckaels 4:47 PM  

@Rube
Not inconsistent, really, as they were replacing sound, not spelling.
If there had been only ONE KS then maybe, but not as stands...
There is more inconsistency in English spelling than there is in this wonderful theme idea.

WHAT SAY we just call it a good, very very good, theme/puzzle? :)

Anonymous 6:28 PM  

I scored 130 in Scrabble today with a double triple. While eating a smooth peanut butter sandwich with banana - the best! So eat that Rex - really.

Sfingi 6:44 PM  

Puzzle seemed terribly easy to me, today. Wish I had timed it for personal best. Or by Saturday I'll see what the tick is?

Chip Hilton 8:32 PM  

@mac: Have a safe and glorious holiday! I'm green with envy over your trip to the land of the orange.

skua76 9:10 PM  

I read about the meta challenge last week and wondered who the constructor would be, but then I printed out today's puzzle in haste and did it later. Forgot about the challenge until coming here. Wow, a great start, and we get 5 more Patrick puzzles this week? YAY!

@tobias, maybe I ought to go buy a lottery ticket, it's been at least 10 years, and I haven't had much luck with the NPR Sunday puzzles either. And @jackj, thanks for the hint, I haven't had much luck with metas lately, I couldn't get last week's Gaffney puzzle and haven't figured out this week's one either.

JenCT 9:58 PM  

Fun puzzle!

But I'm with Rex about the prize - a $10 book?

I look forward to a week of PB puzzles, though.

sanfranman59 12:19 AM  

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 6:47, 6:51, 0.98, 45%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:33, 3:40, 0.97, 40%, Medium

Omniart 12:11 AM  

The clue for 1-across, one week ago Monday: Fateful day for Caesar (IDES). The answer to the meta-challenge, hidden in plain sight all along.

Pippin 11:34 AM  

From Syndyland...still doing the puzzle every day but no time to post for ages.

I'm with you @Hazel - just enjoy the puzzle for goodness sake. Enough about the prize!

Loved this one - just a fun, breezy way to start the week. Favs were HYPERLYNX and TUMMYTUX but all theme answers were good. Looking forward to a week of PB!

Dirigonzo 2:39 PM  

@Pippin - nice to see you back!

Another advantage of solving in syndication: all the enjoyment, none of the pressure to enter the contest (and none of the controversy over whether the prize is worthwhile). And we get to visit RPDTNYTCP on this date 5 years ago:
- "Solving time: 8-ish (on Across Lite)"
- "Today's theme was very clever, neat, tidy, musical. Nice. Couldn't ask for more from a Tuesday puzzle. I especially like that 20A (THEME): Generals and such (military brass) is crossed at the "Y" by 9D: Certain well-traveled child (army brat). Must move even more quickly today, as I'm on Sahra-patrol (she's out of school for the T-giving week, and she and I are due at Denny's to eat breakfast with mommy's students in about a 1/2 hour!)."
- "This fairly unimaginative short fill is, I'm happy to say, more than made up for by generous interesting longer fill, including ORGIES (22D) and PENMANSHIP (30D), which are two great tastes that taste great together."
- "Mmmm, sonnet parts. I like the dark meat! Seriously, I do like that SESTET not only means a SIX-line chunk of poetry, but it has SIX letters in it, AND is positioned here at SIX-Down. 6-6-6. Symmetry! And evil..."
- " Best name, because it sounds like a lisping guy is shouting profanity. In this picture, we see that ATHOL has a certain unfortunate Manson-ish quality."
- There were 7 comments, the most cryptic of which was this from @Chris: "There's nary an animal that can outrun a greased Scotsman."

Petrovich1248 11:23 AM  

"Amok" is from the Malay word "amoq," which means "engaging furiously in battle."

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