1953 John Wayne film / WED 11-23-11 / 1982 hit by the Clash / Original member of star alliance / Bogota bears / Trapdoor concealer

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: GARDEN VARIETY (55A: Ordinary ... or what the beginning of the answer to each starred clue is?) — first words of theme answers are all types of GARDEN



  
Word of the Day: "HONDO" (43A: 1953 John Wayne film) —
Hondo is a movie that was made in 1953 by 3-D Warnercolor western film starring John Wayne, directed by John Farrow. The screenplay is based on the 1952 short story "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour. The book "Hondo" was a novelization of the film also written by L'Amour, and published by Bantam Books in 1953.
• • •

Got sucked into live-tweeting the GOP debate and now my eyes and brain hurt. Still, managed to take this puzzle down in the 4-minute range, which is pretty dang fast (for me) for a Wednesday. Once again, I finished this puzzle with absolutely no idea what the theme was. Wrote in GARDEN VARIETY off of [Ordinary] and didn't really bother to look at the rest of the clue (at that point, it was pretty late in the game). With the exception of the ugly RELOG, the grid seems pretty solid. Had only minor hang-ups throughout, like, "how do you spell 'KAHN'?" (34D: France's Dominique Strauss-___) and "what's that word ... sounds like 'ARGOT'...?" (19A: Grain disease = ERGOT) and "what the hell are these sidewalk vendors selling!?" Also some small mistakes, like SON for SIS and RED for ODD and TEAL for ANIL.




Theme answers:
  • 20A: *1982 hit by the Clash ("ROCK THE CASBAH")
  • 28A: *1994 World Cup final site (ROSE BOWL)
  • 37A: *Fortuneteller's bit (TEA LEAF)
  • 45A: *Popular drinking game (BEER PONG)



["My baby don't care for ... HIGH-TONED places"]


The DET Lions are my team and yet I somehow blanked when I saw 13D: Ford Field team, on scoreboards. So many arenas have corporate sponsors that this one didn't stand out to me as DETroit, despite the car name. I know the [1953 John Wayne film] ("HONDO") because I collect vintage paperbacks and I've seen the Louis L'Amour version of this book many times. I did not know that NERO was once a 64A: Colossal statue outside ancient Rome's Colosseum, but at four letters, there weren't that many options (I got EMPEROR entirely from crosses without ever solving NERO). Was sure 66A: Big name in locks (YALE) would have something to do with hair, and 58D: An original member of the Star Alliance (SAS) something to do with sci-fi. Wrong and wrong.

Oxford Dictionaries just announced their "Word (or Phrase) of the Year" for 2011: "squeezed middle," a term I could infer the meaning of, but which I had never heard. It's certainly not as in-the-language (or nearly as fun to say, or snappy) as the other terms on the short list: Arab Spring, occupy, hacktivism, phonehacking, and sodcasting.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

82 comments:

exaudio 7:46 AM  

Okay, what is the Star Alliance?

David 7:49 AM  

Wikipedia: Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (near Frankfurt Airport).[1] The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines.

Kinda ordinary Wednesday - very doable! :)

The Bard 7:50 AM  

King Henry IV, part I > Act III, scene I

HOTSPUR: Lord Mortimer, and cousin Glendower,
Will you sit down?
And uncle Worcester: a plague upon it!
I have forgot the map.

GLENDOWER: No, here it is.
Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur,
For by that name as oft as Lancaster
Doth speak of you, his cheek looks pale and with
A rising sigh he wisheth you in heaven.

HOTSPUR: And you in hell, as oft as he hears Owen Glendower spoke of.

GLENDOWER: I cannot blame him: at my nativity
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets; and at my birth
The frame and huge foundation of the earth
Shaked like a coward.

HOTSPUR: Why, so it would have done at the same season, if your mother's cat had but kittened, though yourself had never been born.

GLENDOWER: I say the earth did shake when I was born.

HOTSPUR: And I say the earth was not of my mind,
If you suppose as fearing you it shook.

GLENDOWER: The heavens were all on fire, the earth did tremble.

HOTSPUR: O, then the earth shook to see the heavens on fire,
And not in fear of your nativity.
Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
Steeples and moss-grown towers. At your birth
Our grandam earth, having this distemperature,
In passion shook.

GLENDOWER: Cousin, of many men
I do not bear these crossings. Give me leave
To tell you once again that at my birth
The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes,
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clamorous to the frighted fields.
These signs have mark'd me extraordinary;
And all the courses of my life do show
I am not in the roll of common men.
Where is he living, clipp'd in with the sea
That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales,
Which calls me pupil, or hath read to me?
And bring him out that is but woman's son
Can trace me in the tedious ways of art
And hold me pace in deep experiments.

HOTSPUR: I think there's no man speaks better Welsh.
I'll to dinner.

exaudio 7:53 AM  

Thanks, David, for the Star Alliance 411. As Rex said, it sounded like Science Fiction, not commerce, and I don't believe I've ever heard it before.

jackj 7:57 AM  

A lively puzzle which is, oddly, quite easy. With fill entries like CARAMBA, SAWHORSE, ADORABLE and COMEAGAIN and theme answers like BEERPONG and ROCKTHECASBAH, one would expect to have to work a little bit harder to finish but, no, it’s a speedy solve.

Nice touch to use “Dominique Strauss-____” to replace the usual Madeline or Gus as the go to KAHN, (though I suspect former IMF head Strauss-Kahn would rather forego the publicity which qualified him for the honor of being in the Times crossword).

HIGHTONED was in a Times puzzle for the first time and, though clued as “Pretentious”, George Strait was a touch harsher in his example of “high-tone”:

“So, boy, don't you saddle yourself to a high-tone woman.
She'll cut up your heart like an' old credit card,
When the fun and the money runs out.”

All told, a fun puzzle from Ian Livengood, (he of the fascinating name!).

RocketA 7:57 AM  

Weird to see the controversial Dominique Strauss-Kahn clued so innocuously.

dk 8:14 AM  

Speaking of Star Alliance, Lufthansa has the best first/vip lounges IMHO.

Random puzzle firings:

Still having trouble with the spelling of AMEBAe I want an O in there but otherwise an unremarkable Wednesday.

The only game I ever played with beer involved a glass boot and a wet shirt (mine). My companion (Hi Stacy) won and stayed dry.

1A almost prompted a chortle but with my conscience (or coonskins according to spell correct) as my guide and @evil doug as my Yoda I just let it go (insert deep cleansing breath about here).

Mid-coast MAINE (location of Bates) is one of the most beautiful spots on the planet and the site of endless lobster fests (feeds in dialect) throughout the summer.

** (2 Stars) to quote many of you: "meh!"

Shopping for food is on the agenda for today. Brother is slow roasting a goose in his Green Egg (a grill well worth the money) and I am preparing a cabbage side and a carrot side both from recipes that appeared in the 16NOV11 NYT. Beaujolais Nouveau is very good this year and coupled with
Veuve Clicquot (merry widow) will make for a fine time.

Happy Thanksgiving to All

John V 8:22 AM  

Fighting a bad cold made this harder. BOYTOY, SHEDEVIL and today KAHN. Yep, Friday is GIGOLO day, I can read it in the TEA leaves.

Good puzzle, Ian. You're my GYRO!

evil doug 8:26 AM  

dry---beer pong---perked---chic---high toned---said no---adorable---treat---ached---I am too---stabs---whir---utero---sins---caramba!---come again

evil

SethG 8:30 AM  

Turns out, CARA MIA has a lot of letters in common with CARAMBA. That I leads to AMEBAS with the S, and ROSE BOWL is hard to see from RxSSIOWL. I kept trying to find a way to make it be ROSSIGNOL. Anyway, easy puzzle, but that was my slowdown.

Too bad there are no other famous KAHNs they could have used.

joho 8:38 AM  

I think this should have run on Monday and Monday today. Just seemed too easy for a Wednesday.

Plus I alway expect Ian's puzzles to soar, so this was bit of a letdown. Ian, this is a compliment!

HIGHTONED AIMEE 8:45 AM  

SACRE bleu, Evil...HERA-ASKEW! RELOG? SAWHORSE?
___HIGHTONED AIMEE.

Tobias Duncan 8:48 AM  

This was my fastest puzzle of the week by far.My time said medium Monday.If this puzzle had been swapped for Monday's, my times would have made perfect sense this week.

I lived near the Rose Bowl in 1994.South Pasadena was absolutely taken over by Italians and Brazilians for two days.They were running around yelling and carrying banners in the streets.
So odd.
It interfered with my ability to obtain my favorite frozen yogurt from a place down the street from the Norton Simon.28 across was a bitter sweet gimme.

James 8:51 AM  

Ian went to Bates College. Nice plug for the school.

jberg 8:52 AM  

Not much more to say. I had UAL before SAS as Star Alliance founder, aYS before OYS, and AIRER for Program Distributor at 6A.

Gotta admit, though, I was too sleepy to really appreciate the theme - thought it was just various things you might find in a garden (and didn't notice the BEER, although I often come out in the morning and find empty beer bottles in mine). I should have thought more deeply about the revealer.

Rex, are you posting later these days, or am I solving earlier? Came here at 7 and nothing was up.

Constructor Destructor 8:54 AM  

Usually, Ian's fill is super-smooth, but with OSOS he has lost a few overall style points. 74 words isn't easy, but I'd have preferred a few more black squares and no OSOS or SAS. Theme revealer was nice, even tho this theme type is deadly dull.

Lindsay 9:02 AM  

Cute. I worked from the top down (atypical for me) and had no idea what tied the asterisked answers together until the end. Thumbs up.

Lewiston just doesn't get the play Orono does when it comes to college towns in MAINE.

Z 9:05 AM  

Nice puzzle, although I finished with an error (AMoBAE/oRGOT).

Orange 9:16 AM  

I've taken to skipping all the GOP debates on TV and just waiting until the end to consume the good parts on Twitter. You don't have to have a Twitter account to read Rex's snarky debate commentary (which has swear words but is funny as hell)—just go to twitter.com, type @rexparker in the search box, scroll down a couple hours to the beginning of the debate, and read up. (Of course, you'll miss his crossword, Pop Sensation, and dog posts that way, but the debate stuff is a concentrated stream of snark.)

Geometricus 9:19 AM  

Had AMEBAs as well, kept thinking the '94 World Cup was played in the ROSs arena or something like that, but there is no such thing as a Ross garden. Thought momentarily the theme was going to be "Friends" but CHANDLER and MONICA would be hard to fit as beginnings to answer.

Evil Doug, you are such an occasion of SIN.

Shamik 9:44 AM  

Delightful Wednesday. Usually if they're this easy, it just doesn't generate a lot of enthusiasm for me. But this had a lot of fresh fill.

Bates put me on a waiting list for acceptance a long, long time ago. I'm not bitter. Chose Drew U. instead.

Was expecting to ROCKTHECASBAH with an embedded video. It's probably a much more joyful day to have watched Grover and Madeleine KAHN. Thanks, Rex for a big smile!

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

Is 51A Trapdoor concealer a new clue for AREARUG? Didn't fool me for a second, but thought it was clever.

Karen R. 9:51 AM  

Rex: I was with you until you said you were a DETroit fan! Go Packers tomorrow on Turkey Day!! 11 and 0 here we come :-)

quilter1 9:52 AM  

Fast and fun. I was a little disappointed in the ever-present ACHED and AREA RUG has appeared a few times in the past few days. But then ROCK THE CASBAH, ROSEBOWL, SAWHORSE, COME AGAIN, and GARDEN VARIETY popped up and I forgave the SINS of overused fill.

We are having Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon as my bro's are at their in-laws tomorrow. So time for puzzling and sewing. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Tita 10:08 AM  

Thanks Rex for the Grover / KAHN video! He was always my favorite... (Grover, that is - not Dominique)

Liked this puzzle too - thx Mr. Livengood.
I didn't get the theme - was maybe too late at night? I try to never read the revealer clues, so filled it all in, but never made the connection till I read 55A.

Hasn't AREARUG been in several puzzles recently? Oh wait - I think it's been two AREARUGs and one SHAGRUG.

I always want that Spanish bear to have an R in it somewhere - after all, in almost every romance language and in Latin it is __RS__...

I liked seeing SMOKEY bear in the grid.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Lame and weak stuff, just as yesterday's puzzle. Easy? Lazy. Expect more.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

Star Alliance? If you don't know this one you definitely need to get out more!

Tita 10:26 AM  

Anon@10:18 - I for one am very happy to have reached the travel non-milestone of receiving not a single birthday card from an airline this year!

Travel ain't what it used to be, and now that mine has trickled to happening only when it suits me (read, primarily for pleasure), it suits me just fine...)

Gill I. P. 10:47 AM  

I wouldn't call this puzzle Ian Livengood's finest. It certainly was doable; perhaps a bit too easy for a Wed. Favorite was ROCK THE CASBAH. I would go to Algiers quite often in order to re-new my 6 month student visa. A bunch of us would always go to the Casbah and buy lots of jewelry. We would inevitably be hounded to death by some cute Morrocan boy wanting to be our guide. It was worth paying the extra dirham just to go visit a "back alley" uncle who, for the right price.....
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am thankful to @Rex for introducing me to this fine blog. Wonderful odors to be forthcoming beckon, so I wish all a safe and enjoyable holiday.

treedweller 10:49 AM  

I made some bad guesses which left me stumped in the center for a while. Like @SethG, I was wondering what R_SSIOWL would turn into. I'm used to holding out for crosses on the plural of "amoeba" but I thought the simplified AMEBA demanded the 'S'. There's probably a Latin expert who will explain why I've got that completely backward, but anyway that's one reason I was so slow. The other was REtaG instead of RELOG, which made HONDO opaque. Never heard of this particular KAHN (Koln? thought I) and the British title could have belonged Ewan or possibly a few other names. OhS / OwS didn't help, either. Finally, I guessed OWEN / HONDO and finished it out, assuming the football game took place in some country where ROSsBOWL made sense.

Oh, well. Can't win them all.

concerned 10:53 AM  

@Gill I.P. please don't leave us hanging. The only thing that comes to mind when I see "back alley" in this context is "abortion." I hope that's not what you meant.

Arundel 11:03 AM  

On the road for T-giving so it's a little hard to concentrate, which made this straight-ahead puzzle perfect for me. Solid theme ("Rock the Casbah" is my kind of Classic Rock) and nice fill with SAWHORSE, COME AGAIN and the SWANK / HIGH TONED pair.

Some ODD clues: Register anew; Sat (up), but the IDIOM and AREA RUG clues were great.

Thanks, Ian!

Oh, PS this is Stan not Arundel...

aroused 11:05 AM  

@Gill I.P. go on...

Back Alley Uncle 11:20 AM  

Man, I love me my gooey hash.

JaxInL.A. 11:37 AM  

Tomorrow I will work hard and have great joy with family and five Chinese homestay students.

Today I give thanks for this community of solvers and thinkers for hours of pleasure and a feeling of camaraderie that I cherish. To wit:
> Rex's unfailing care for all of us by providing this interesting, high-quality space without interruption for over four years.
> ACME's endless optimism, constructing knowledge and skill, and stories of her lifelong brushes with fame and absurdity (!!!!)
>@ The Bard's always-welcome insertion of poetry into my day.
> Insights into American culture from non-natives like @Mac, @Gill. I. Pollas, @Ulrich and others.
> The enjoyable quirks of strong personalities like @Tobias Duncan, @Evil Doug, @dk, @treedweller, and many more.
> Enthusiastic newbies like @600 and many others.
> Appreciation of the finer things in life from @foodie, @chefwen, @chefbea, @joho, @ArtLvr, and @quilter1.
> Expert knowledge from @retired chemist and @N D Elkes and @JohnV and most of you at some point or other.
> Personal contacts from Rex, Andrea, @quilter1, Barbara, Marc.
> interesting personal blogs by folks like @Shamik and @Tita.
> Brushes with fame in our own little world from all the constructors who are gracious enough to stop in here to share their own take on the puzzles bearing their names. (If I list any of them I'll miss important ones I cherish.)
> All sorts of smiles, observations, shared experiences, life stories, tragedies and milestones from each of you who share a passion for words.

THANKS!

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

DSK is back in the news. He has sued the Figaro for defamation of character.

r.alphbunker 11:59 AM  

1 *******
2 *****
3 **
4 ***
5 *******
6 *******
7 *********
8 ********
9 **********
10 ****************

Unusual pattern for an early week puzzle. The puzzle appears to have challenged me in the beginning.

And what was it that Evil Doug did earlier? It was something between rapping and a Tourette's rant. Since it seems to be a sort of summary of the puzzle perhaps we could call it wrapping.

Two Ponies 12:10 PM  

Easy and mostly fun.
Don't know what a tea garden is. Beer, yes.
5A started out as much so I was wondering what obscure tool started with mawh____.
I really dislike the various misspellings of amoeba.
Never seen gyros sold on the street.
@ JaxinLA, Nice.

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

had beerjong and jerked (seemed to fit). captcha: potent

joho 12:53 PM  

@JaxinL.A. ... what a thoughtful and exceedingly nice post! Thank you!

r.alphbunker 1:16 PM  

@JaxInL.A.
Your goodness shines through in your posts! You and Foodie ought to get together and do for Rexville what Garrison Keillor has done for Lake Wobegon.

imsdave 1:21 PM  

Any puzzle that reminds me of the genius of Jack Teagarden is a winner with me. I'd like to second JaxInL.A.s comments (well, maybe fifth at this point).

And a special thanks to Mr. Parker for introducing me to so many special friends.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Nice puzzle, but . . .

Why is it AMEBAE and not AMOEBAE (how I learned to spell it in high school)?

Why is it IAMTOO (too = overly) and not IAMTO, or even IAMSO?

Happy Thanksgiving all.

captcha mantypo: there are just too may answers for this one, especially from the women ;) have fun

Tita 1:51 PM  

@JaxInL.A. - how beautifully put...
If I may, I too would like to echo every last one of your sentiments!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

william e emba 1:53 PM  

Words with "e" or "oe" come from Latin "oe" that came from Greek "οι". During the Middle Ages, the dipthong was written as the ligature "œ". Over time, the pronunciation shifted from the Greek-like "oy" to a plain short "e", so it became common to change the ligature to plain "e".

Under the influence of Noah Webster, this became almost universal in American English. AMOEBA, of course, is a well-known exception. In British English, the result has been mixed. The influence of typewriters has meant, of course, that the ligature itself has almost disappeared.

Different languages do things differently, which is why the word Economy in English is Ökonomie in German. Both come from the same Latinate OE from the Greek OI.

As to which plural to use, you're on your own! While the comment above is correct that nobody in Rome would write AMEBAE, the point is we have an English word to deal with, and we have a rule that Latinate OE can turn into English E. So given the existence of AMOEBA in English turning into AMEBA, so too would AMOEBAE turn into AMEBAE. Right? (Or should that be AMŒBÆ turning into, uh, whoops, never mind ...?)

Gill I. P. 1:59 PM  

All right you neanderthal AMEBAE,- where the un-authentic AREA RUG is sold.
I've been kicked out of the kitchen, so I take this time to add thanks to @JaxinL.A.'s lovely Thanksgiving post. I shall lift my pinot noir to you.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

@treedweller. very surprised to learn anyone doing the NYT crossword would not have heard of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Biggest international scandal of the year.
Must be very high in that tree!!

Sorry!!

quilter1 2:02 PM  

@JaxinLA, what w kind and thoughtful post. Thanks you, and my thanks to all who comment on this blog. I am proud to be a part of this community.

Arearug caramba michaels 2:03 PM  

I had to read the puzzle three times before I got the theme bec I saw GARDENVARIETY and TEA and thought they were types of roses!
I thought "what the hell is a Beer rose"?!

Once I realized MY mistake, not Ian's I really liked the puzzle which I thought was a perfect Monday...and it would have been yet another of Ian's perfectly constructed, slightly sophisticated Mondays! Yet today is Wed...bizarre.
(perhaps Will is assisting a hitting for the cycle thing?)

Anyway, Ian liven good (hmmm, my iPad just self-corrected his name, I can't decide if that's annoying or should praise its innate sense of humor) is probably the most rock solid new constructor I've seen, so although this type of theme seems to appear daily in the LA Times and Cross Synergy I would say there is almost zero to complain about but not That much to wildly praise.

Would be cool to see Zen Garden in there, if only for the Z.

@two ponies, when you come to SF we will visit the Golden Gate Park's famous Japanese Teagarden!

(Ran into a young Princeton alumni group having a BEERPONG tournament next to it last week, and was told aficionados call it just PONG. Wonder what Will would think of his beloved game involving kids drinking from cups where
filthy balls had just landed in them...yuck)

I don't think DSK deserves to be in the puzzle...like that old Paula Poundstone joke about Sirhan Sirhan losing his turn to be on the cover of People...
While I applaud the freshness of the clue, it made me sick in general...then again I have probably had IDI 80 times in my puzzles...I'll have to check the database to confirm my hypocrisy before @evil does!

@jaxinla
What a lovely lovely post....I tenth it!

Anonymous 2:09 PM  

I thought "Bear with a hat" was going to be Bryant.

Sparky 2:18 PM  

@retireed_chemist. One size Fits Most. Wasn't the Madeline Kahn Grover song on yesterday too? My favorite is Rainbow Connection. Thanks @Orange for the lead.

Easy. Overjoyed. You all are right, probably should have been a Monday. I too wish the spelling of Amoeba would settle down. Add to list of words to "fill in part and wait for the crosses." Salons have colorists but I am a suicide blond. Dyed by my own hand. Hee, hee.

Well said @JaxInLA. I am happy to be here and thank Rex for his consistent efforts. And for the whirling constantly changing blog. You all are amazing.

treedweller 2:21 PM  

@anon 2:02
we all have our knowledge gaps. Mine include opera, horse racing and scandals. no offense taken.

I read my news rather than watching it, so I can always turn the page as soon as I lose interest. I can't remember (much less spell) the name of Tiger Woods' ex-wife, either.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

@ william e emba: Thanks. I think.
According to Merriam-Webster the definition of AMOEBA is . . .
amoeba noun
plural amoebas or amoebae
Definition of AMOEBA
: any of a large genus (Amoeba) of naked rhizopod protozoans with lobed and never anastomosing pseudopodia, without permanent organelles or supporting structures, and of wide distribution in fresh and salt water and moist terrestrial environments. Variants of AMOEBA:
amoeba also ameba
So AMEBAE should be clued with VAR

Anonymous 3:10 PM  

wake up, people. high-toned is an inappropriate racial slur

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

high-toned
adj
1. having a superior social, moral, or intellectual quality

chefwen 3:28 PM  

@JaxInL.A. - That was sweet and so thoughtful. I couldn't agree with you more.

Loved the puzzle and didn't think it was TOO easy, just right for me.

54D is one of my favorite things to eat but we can't get them here on "the rock". Maybe Honolulu, I'll have to check it out.

sanfranman59 4:17 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)

Wed 9:42, 11:48, 0.82, 14%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Wed 5:17, 5:50, 0.90, 29%, Easy-Medium

william e emba 4:58 PM  

ACME: you forgot to complain about NERO being in the puzzle also!

mac 5:02 PM  

Lovely puzzle, just right for this busy Thanksgiving eve. Needed some crosses and some staring for Rose Bowl and foyer. I liked the reveal, garden variety, and "come again".

@jaxinLA: hear, hear!

Amoebae come again michaels 5:14 PM  

William e emba,
Actually if I complained about every ruthless dictator in the puzzles, there would only be about 3 words left!
But an as yet unconvicted rapist who will forever be associated with his scandal, not the IMF, is still more questionable, no?

Anyway, on another note, @rex's WOTD "Hondo" made me realize it was directed by John Farrow, Mia's dad.

Damn this iPad, now it "corrected" Hondo to Honda and unconvicted to unconvinced...and Oy! To Oh!
Oy!

santafefran 5:31 PM  

Thankful for all of you in Rexville and how you brighten and enlighten my days. You put it so well @JaxinLA.

Loved SWANK and the shout-out to New Mexico (home of the real-life SMOKEY Bear found in the Lincoln National Forest in 1950).

Just retrieved the turkey breast from the smoker; looking forward to all those great sandwiches later this week.

John V 5:31 PM  

Okay. Turns out sleep and chemicals are a good way to stifle a cold. Just wanted to pop in and echo JaxInL.A's kind sentiments and say thanks to all of this community, especially Rex for creating the petri dish in which it thives. (Nice metaphor, John). As still a pretty new poster, I want to say this is a fun, invigorating place to hang out. I will be MIA tomorrow, for sure, as married children and future grandchild will be with us for the day. Gobble gobble to all, save for one nitwit MetroNorth conductor.

Peace.

Tita 5:38 PM  

Just one more post before the holiday...

@william - your fascinating post reminded me of recent news about AMOEBAS...
"In one of the deepest regions of the Earth's oceans, marine biologists have discovered gigantic single-celled amoebas called xenophyophores."

Also, on TCM right now - Deborah KERR in King Solomon's Mines.

Good night, and once again, Happy Thanksgiving to this fascinating community!

Acme 6:20 PM  

@geometricus if you are still here...
Maybe you could do a Friends puzzle and have it bethe second word...with a Friends who've got your back" type of reveal
KATHERINE ROSS 13
SANTA MONICA 11
RAYMOND CHANDLER 15
KANGAROO JOEY 12

BACKUPFRIENDS 13

The numbers don't quite match up, but almost! Perhaps you can think of another Joey, Monica or Phoebe as second word that would work... There's phoebe Caulfield (15!) one of my favorite characters in all of literature.... But that's in the beginning...

audubon 6:31 PM  

birders will know Eastern Phoebe, Black Phoebe, and / or Say's Phoebe, though they would be pretty obscure to most of us.

Detour 7:00 PM  

Any puzzle that's starts with the Clash is great in my book.
Last nite I finished with a typo that I couldn't figure out. As Rex hadn't posted yet, I went searching for a web site with the answers. Found one, but the 2 of the * clues were different than mine! First, it had me thinking that Magmic screwed up again. Second, it made for a wholE different theme. - which I couldn't believe got through.
Their * answers:
ROCKTHECASBAH
SMOKEY
HIGHTONED
BEERPONG
Now today, the site has the correct answers. Amazing what you find when you go searching after midnite.

(Immediately after Amanda Knox was declared not guilty, I found a British online newspaper article with breaking news declaring her guilty! Moments later is was unavailable and then shorty, the complete opposite story popped up)

william e emba 7:31 PM  

Acme: I can't pick out which is the worst. I'm willing to give DSK a puzzle pass since the whole thing officially fizzled, meaning everybody can believe what they want to.

Contrast DSK with the new kind of low the puzzle reached when LACI was clued as Peterson in 2003 news, almost 3 years ago to the day. Ugh.

oldbizmark 8:14 PM  

so no one put in "london calling" instead of "rock the casbah?" that was my first fill and it screwed me up royally. oh well.

Sfingi 8:20 PM  

Nice puzzle.

Had waReS before GYROS.

Trapdoor concealer put me in mind of Inglorious Basterds.

I'd like to see IBEGTODIFFER next time we're hit with a playground response.

In my life, HIGHTONED indicates a light-skinned Black; thus, possibly racialist.

Once more, Blogger made me sign in.

Kristin 9:09 PM  

BEER PONG gave me the most trouble...I kept entering things like BEER BONG and BEER SONG. Finally got it...

Anonymous 9:58 PM  

@treedweller. Very glad you did not take offense.
You are so right. We do all have our knowledge gaps. I very rarely can complete Friday or Saturday. - even when Rex says it's easy!

Also find Rex's info gaps astonishing since he's so incredibly bright.

I felt very guilty doing the post and regretted it as soon as it left... But couldn't resist the dig on your handle relative to the lack of knowledge.

Happy thanksgiving.

MikeM 10:13 PM  

oldbizmark, I was thinking "Should I Stay or Should I Go"

JenCT 10:18 PM  

@JaxinL.A.: well-said!

hazel 1:08 AM  

i give thanks for the people who say something that makes me think and also for the good wishes I've received from some of the good souls here.

Waxy in Montreal 10:59 AM  

May be a Christmas-leftovers-induced brainfreeze but I can't understand how 46D SAT means PERKED UP. Didn't seem to bother anyone 5 weeks back though...

May prove to be an eternal mystery like my captcha = nesses.

JenCT 12:26 PM  

@Waxy: the clue was Sat (up), so PERKED (up) makes sense

Anonymous 2:42 PM  

Oh my, not one of you bloggers understood the underlining message.
Mr. Livengood picked up a ROCK, threw it at ROSE, it knocked over her TEA. All because she refused to get him a BEER. It's obvious to me after reading 1 Across. Shame on Mr. Livengood! Cute, easy, pzl.

Dirigonzo 4:05 PM  

@Waxy - I, too, wondered about Sat (up) = PERKED. Then I thought about things that can be PERKy and some of them do indeed seem to "sit up".

@dk - Lewiston is not on the coast of Maine and so is not "mid-coast". Perhaps you were thinking of Brunswick, home of Bowdoin College?

Did anybody else get an slew of comment updates on random puzzles in their in-box at 1:10 pm today? It's like Blogger just found some old comments lying around and fired them out all at once.

Waxy in Montreal 4:58 PM  

Thnx @JenCT & @Dirigonzo. Indeed if someone had been sick in bed and thereafter was well enough to sit, he/she would seem to have perked up. (On the other hand, if they had been, say, the life of the party and suddenly had to sit, I don't think you could describe them as having perked up.)

Waxy in Montreal 5:00 PM  

@Diri - no slew of comments today.

Anonymous 6:58 PM  

Spacecraft here. I managed to make a medium out of this one; didn't know several things I should have, and didn't grok the theme until way late. ROCK... and BEER... had me headscratching for a connection; then when I finally saw it I felt as though I'd reached for my BP meds but grabbed a couple of stupid pills instead.
A few bothers: is this the second day in a row for AREARUG? Isn't -OLOGY a suffix? Wasn't clued as such. OH, and SWANK? I've never seen that without the -Y ending--unless we're talking about Hilary.
Some nice stuff, as well: OYS, CARAMBA, ORLANDO. And I heartily agree, AVRIL is ADORABLE.

uning: what the SEC did to the NYSE.

JenCT 8:18 PM  

@Dirigonzo: yes, I got about 6 comments from random puzzles today - what's up with that?

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