## Friday, May 25, 2012

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: U.N. DAY (15D: Oct. 24) —
In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, as which "shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for" its work. (wikipedia)
• • •

I never found this puzzle's wavelength. I think I fell into a kind of disappointment stupor early on when I solved a corner or two and realized this had *none* of the spark and sizzle that BEQ puts on display three times a week at his own site. Some of the clues showed tell-tale Quigley wit, and this grid beats most people's themeless grids, but there's way more mundane and lifeless stuff here than I am used to seeing from Brendan. ULTIMAS (15A: Concluding syllables)? AMEN AMEN (11D: "Couldn't aree with you more")? The whole NW corner is really sub-Quigley, all RE-s and -ERs. By the end of the solve I was blanking on stuff that should've come to me quickly. THE PE- and couldn't see THE PEQUOD (19D: "Moby-Dick" setting). MARS- and couldn't (for a Long time) see MARSALIS (35D: First jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize). FROZEN D-I- and could get only as far as FROZEN DRINK... needed QUAD (53D: Brown green?) to (finally) pick up FROZEN DAIQUIRI (51A: It might be covered by an umbrella). I think the puzzle was probably just Medium-Challenging, but my time puts it squarely in my personal "Challenging" range. Took me 50% longer than my normal Friday time, though I think some of that extra time is frustration/depression time. STEERS TO? (33D: Points in the direction of) Where's the bam? The zing? INTERNET DATING is nice (18A: Modern chemistry experiment?), but nothing else has any fire, and lots of stuff (OCTANTS, GEODES, INANEST, etc.) just lies there. I guess if I had my own thriving personal constructing empire, I wouldn't give the NYT my best stuff either. Luckily for all of us, BEQ's worst stuff is still well above the NYT's standards. Even this puzzle was relatively enjoyable, U.N. DAY (and DUDE UP, and the like) notwithstanding.

Lots of trouble getting started, with AS NEEDED somehow ending up the first thing in the grid. INTERNET DATING came reasonably quickly and allowed me to get into that NW corner, but the NE corner proved *much* harder. U.N. DAY? No way. ULTIMAS? Noooo way. C SHARP!? That clue is cute, in retrospect, but *ouch* (8A: Key for someone with 20/20 vision?). STAT and HIT IT (as clued) were really hard to get at (9D: Yards, e.g. + 10D: Command associated with numbers). The only way I got in there, finally, was by sussing out RANG TRUE (from just the -UE) (12D: Seemed right). Clues on ASPS and MRS., also wicked (fun, but tough) (23D: Lethal injection administerers + 27A: ___ Fields). I just wish the fill, all around, was as good as the cluing. Had no idea a STEIN was "hinged" (25D: Hinged vessel, often). Couldn't get David DUKE(S) out of my head at 26D: 2001 British Open champion David (DUVAL). OCTANTS, no hope (56A: Compass divisions). Even EVE was tough (41A: Threshold). Never read or saw "Lonesome Dove," so GUS wasn't coming any time soon (44A: Lead character in Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove"). Thought the [Herb that causes euphoria] was C--NN- (because my [hinged vessel] was a STENT, not a STEIN at first), and so wanted what I later realized was SENNA, which is a plant ... oh, man, I was in the weeds (CATNIP). For the life of me could not think of a country (or city, or any geographical location) in five letters ending -AR for 39A: 2022 World Cup host (QATAR). Thought Christmas tree bases were covered with SHEETS (mine usually are), not SKIRTS (46D: Christmas tree base coverings). No matter how many times I see his name, Brendan (...) BEHAN means nothing to me (21A: "The Scarperer" author). He's the same as that composer LEHAR, i.e. just a guy with -EHA- in the middle of his stupid name. My only real gimmes in this grid were JASMINE, SUNNI, and ICE-T (31D: "Home Invasion" rapper) / TEEN. Everything else took real, only occasionally pleasant work.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Octo

This was fun for me. I usually struggle with BEQ, but this was a challenging Friday, and gave me a satisfaction I haven't had for a while.

Did not like the lack of a period on 52D, and have never seen pub as non-abbreviation slang. Did not like the BEHAN/CLEANED cross, as I've never heard of Behan, whereas BEHAR/CLEARED seemed perfectly fine, and no way to get out of it.

Joe

Ditto, Octo! ComPLEEEETley Naticked by BEHA(R)/CLEA(R)ED.

Sam B

Just for old times' sake, how can you not know Brendan BEHAN? He's like a god, oh, hell, he's just another drunken Irish writer.

Anonymous

Serious question: is it fairly common for crossword writers to send their dreck to the New York Times and keep their best stuff for other venues? I guess I'm surprised about that.

I liked this one a lot more than Rex did but I'm just an amateur. Learning, though!

Anoa Bob

I could really do without references to lethal injection in my crossword puzzles (23D). That was uncalled-for.

jae

Finally, a reasonably tough Fri.  Medium for me, but definitely easier than Monday's BEQ (non-sports fans should probably skip it).   I very much agree with Rex, this was not the typical zippy BEQ, but was a nice change of pace from what we've had for the past month or so.

Clunker:  EVENER

Erasures: blog for ZINE, a couple of WAGs before UNDAY and one daily for  ASNEEDED.

Did not know MARSALIS won the Pulitzer.

Joe & Octo are right, BEHAN/CLEANER is a nasty cross!

pk

@Anoa Bob - Agree. My first guess there was "vets." Ugh.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed the puzz, unusual for me and BEQ. He's just too much younger and hipper than me. But today, I was in the same groove. May be a bad sign for you, dude (up).

Got Regalia at 1A - always a good sign. Thought 8A CSharp was a shout out to you-know-who.

Write-overs at red (sad) eyed and (guards) for guides at first, but otherwise, very smooth.

Got catnip off the "n." I feel at least ten years younger for having solved this!

syndy

I fell into the BEHAR/CLEANER trap but caught it in time.The only real trouble I had was the dreaded NE!Cowabunga!Frankly crossing CLEANED with NEATENS seems a little obsessive.ULTIMAS left me SAD EYED.OH as a gender specific thing I had DOLL UP (I'm a girl)and DUDE UP is weird.ended with Medium time though.

karl

Every once in a while, there will be a word in a puzzzle that totally irks me. In this case it was EVENER. Evener? Come on...not a real word...

pk

@karl - I know, sweetie, it should be "packet of sugar" or "packet of sweet n low" but those didn't fit. That's what actually works, tho, to straighten out a wobbly table.

ynsfun sultagal - whaddya think of that?!

Anonymous

MARSALIS - The original Jazz Age in American music began long before Marsalis was around. One songwriter of that era won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 - Ira Gershwin.

Now, Marsalis won the Pulitzer Prize in Music, whereas Gershwin won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Nevertheless, first jazz musician to win the prize? GERSHWIN.

Good trivia, clue is off-target.

Octavian

Great puzzle -- nice to finally get a hard Friday grid. The last few have been too easy.

First and second pass through the clues I had nothings but put in some S's and ERs and EDs where appropriate.

Finally got a small toehold with ZEES / ADZES but only really got going in the southeast with GUS/GUIDES/SKIRTS/FROZENDAIQUIRI.

Biggest problem was not realizing there was an I in the first syllable of DAIQUIRI. But felt it would be a drink or some kind of insurance policy. Then when TATIANA was a gimme, the I arrived to rescue the grid-spanner and the whole bottom fell in place.

Definitely a fun journey of discovery. Nothing hard but with some good misdirection it was a solid workout. I bet the puzzle will score high on the Scrabble scale, w/ all the Zs and Qs.

Best clue for sure was for CSHARP, though SADISTS was clever too. ... And I also fell victim to BEHAR/CLEARING before the NYT iPAD app told me i had something wrong, and I changed it to BEHAN/CLEANING.

BEQ -- good job -- and don't think we didn't notice you put your initials in the middle as a vanity plate.

I skip M-W

Struggled at first, but came out right in the end.

Behan was quite the famous drunken Irishman in the fifties, with his autobiography "Borstal Boy" and his plays including The Hostage and The Quare Fellow. From the former I've nevr been able to forget the silly ditty that maybe Behan didn't even write:"the bells of Hell go ding-aling-aling for you but not for me."

@ Anonymous 1:36: I don't think of Ira Gershwin as a musician. Is a lyricist a musician? a jazz musician? Seems a stretch, so BEQ has a good case. Surely lots before Marsalis should have won Pulitzer though.

The Pequod was the answer I needed to get a real foothold anywhere.It yielded Quatar pretty fast. Nice Pequod was right down the middle. I liked many of the clues @REx didn't, such as the one for geodes. but Amen, Amen and Ta Ta together ? not so great
"Stick for a kite" and "poison ivy , e.g." were excellent misdirections.

rh

@Octo: My thought exactly! My comment on the Wordplay blog: I thought this was a pretty good, slightly-harder-than-average Friday, but I had serious objections to the words "informal pub", without a period to indicate that "pub." was an abbreviation. Even if "pub" is slang for "publication" somewhere (is it?), I don't think that the word "informal" can be stretched to apply to the word "pub" as the clue is written. "Informally, pub" might do better at that.

Even after I had all the letters, I was still second-guessing "ZINE" for that reason. Fortunately, 31A served to confirm it.

I also had the same ambivalence as you about "BEHAN/BEHAR", but it didn't slow me too terribly, as I just guessed them both and saw which worked.

@Octavian: wow, do you ever have sharp eyes! You may have noticed the initials, but I certainly didn't until you pointed them out—and even then it took me a while to spot them.

3ZZZ, 2QQ, J, K, 3VVV!
Z and Q in the same phrase! :)
(Tho I misspelled it DAcQUIRI.
Must...drink...more...)

Which leads me to BEHAN...no problem here, bec I figured it was a wink from one Brendan to another!

He could have clued it as "Drunken Irish writer Brendan" but he didn't!

It was funny with NEATEN, CLEANED, LANDER...maybe Friday is Brendan's housecleaning day.

I guess a lot of folks are conflating Joyce BEHAr (from "The View") with Franz LEHAr ("Merry Widow" composer, which was an answer to a Jeopardy! Daily Double question tonight that a gal missed, allowing Joel the Despicable to win a 4th time!!!) with BEHAN.

JUST got "Stick for a kite = ROOST"
but I had to look it up, to see if that was like a strut for a flying children's kite!

I liked "Brown green?" = QUAD, a nice nod to the passel of young constructor's down the road from BEQ.

Anonymous

Help 9D--Yards, e.g. = STAT. What am I missing?

jae

@anon 3:51 - Think football. Yards gained is a statistic/STAT. e.g. indicates abbreviation.

chefwen

Struggled with this one for a long, long time. BEQ and I are on separate planets, his is much younger and hipper than mine, but I am in learning mode.

Was really baffled when I had UIRI filled in at the end of 51A and nearly jumped for joy when FROZEN DAIQUIRI leaped into the gray matter. I was thinking insurance policy. Unfortunately, the NE got the better of me and I pulled, yet another, DNF. Sigh...

Don Byas

Great to have a tough Friday puzzle. Took me longer than most of the recent Saturdays. Only the SE went down easy. Got MARSALIS, SADISTS and SUNNI right away.
@Anonymous 1:36 Ira Gershwin wasn't a jazz musician. (what instrument did he play?)
It's ridiculous that Duke Ellington never received a Pulitzer for his massive body of work from the 1920's to the 1970's.

Gareth Bain

@Anoa and @pk: As a (not yet employed) vet, I was thinking "please let this not be 'vets'" the whole time before DUDEUP became crystallized and I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Anonymous

Ditto ditto on Behar/Cleared!

Anonymous

As I see it, this puzzle had a theme. BEQ is a new parent, so there is:

RESIZE (the family)
CLEANED (you know what)
MRS (ah, the mother)
NATURAL (as in au naturel or what other way do babies arrive?)
ROOST (we know who rules)
LAUNDER (ENDLESS)
UNREST (no rest for the weary parents)
And, of course, PARENTS!

I'm sure there are others I missed. Still working on how INTERNET DATING fits the theme, but I have a guess how FROZEN DAIQUIRI does....

JFC

r.alphbunker

@jae 4:43

I don't think that e.g. signals an abbreviation. E.G., the answer to yesterday's 5A {Oscar nomination, e.g.} was not an abbreviation.

There is evidence that STAT is used so frequently that it is no longer considered to be an abbreviation. One dictionary on the Internet had the following definition, "of, pertaining to, or containing statistics: Some sports fans memorize all the stat sheets published about a team."

CSHARP, HITIT, STAT, PSS, ULTIMA and UNDAY made the NE very difficult to finish. It took me a whopping 17 minutes between putting in BEHAN and finally getting PSS which got me CSHARP and the rest followed quickly.

If I had been solving on paper the NE would have looked like Tita's backyard after hurricane Irene paid a visit.

Rob C

@jae - e.g. means for example, has nothing to do with abbreviation

@Tita - you didn't mention what the prize was for I-684

Brendan Emmett Quigley

Props for embedding a Wiley video. I'm not ashamed to say for a very short while I was super into the whole grime scene.

Glimmerglass

This was hard for me (that's a good thing). Looking back at my solution, I thought it should have been easier than it was. But doing it, I found most of the clues were A) proper names I didn't know from the clue, or B) clues with multiple possible answers. However, one keeps picking away, and eventually the grid is full. (For example, I had no clue about the 2022 World Cup, but how many place names begin QA. . . ?)

evil doug

I think fancy steins have a hinged lid that you thumb open to drink.

Wanted Ghostface Killah, but Ice T fit bettah.

Nice surprise on the chemistry. Started thinking about cold fusion and stem cells until I noticed the question mark. 'C sharp' was a huge improvement over the typical cluing.

I bet in his own pubs, BEQ has a different way to clue 'tata'.

Took a while to figure out brown was Brown, as in Providence.

Never thrilled with repetitive answers---'amen amen'.

Haven't enjoyed outdoor winter activities since USAF survival school, so while I'd heard of gaiters I had no idea what they really were. I was trying to come up with what Brits call their boot (trunk) lids.

The B E and Q are aligned but off-center, so I'm hoping that was serendipity. Right?...

Evil

loren muse smith

As usual with BEQ, I was so impressed with the cluing. Too many clever clues to mention, but I’ll try –the clues for QUAD, C SHARP, ASPS, HIT IT, GEODES, , PARENTS, PSS, STAT, FROZEN DAIQUIRI. . .(@Acme – yes! Z and Q in the same answer!) –all terrific.

Believe it or not, my first two fill-ins were REGALIA and AMEN AMEN, but then I erased AMEN AMEN to fit in (@Syndy) “doll” UP.

Anyone else have “jab” before JOG?

This was a lot more accessible to me than most of his, so I feel supremely pleased to have finished. Yeah!

orangeblossomspecial

I had too many choices in several places:
* elbows or napkin fit 2D, and made more sense to me than EVENERS
* galosh fit 3D GAITER, and it was used as an answer last week I believe
* banana DAIQUIRI fit just as well for 51A FROZEN

25D "The STEIN song" was a #1 hit for Rudy Vallee in the 30s.

If you don't mind a pun on 50D SUNNI, here is a catchy song from the late 20s: "Sunny side up".

jberg

I was stumped by this one at first - for a long time the VINES/DIR crossing was all I had. But then I realized that a wolf might have a Line (5D) and that you might have a GArTER above your boot (3D), and that gave me REGALIA, and I was off. INTERNET DATING fixed those two errors, and made the whole thing seem a lot peppier. I also thought maybe the blue people were DEVs, which slowed down seeing MARSALIS.

BEHAN is pretty famous, but I didn't know either the Pushkin or the Aladdmin girl, had to get them almost all from crosses. Also figured most museum employees are GUardS, but sipping on my daiquiri fixed that up.

My last entry was C SHARP, which brought forth both a groan and a sigh of satisfaction on finishing. A more familiar clue would have referred to Cecil Sharp, the man who brought English country dancing (everyone is familiar with that, right?) to America, who always signed his name that way.

jackj

No complaints this week that the puzzle is too easy but also, no complaints that it was impossible. BEQ gave us just enough of his devilish cluing to satisfy the pickiest of solvers.

Noodling around in the upper part of the grid got me DATING and then it was a fun battle as I learned it had nothing to do with CARBON DATING or, that modern day phenomena called SPEED DATING but, in that same vein, INTERNET DATING fit so it was strap on the GAITER(s) and head south.

Much of the puzzle was a succession of “Push me-Pull you” moments to suss out such as SADISTS for “Ones who are hurting?” and GEODES for “Showcases of rock bands?” NATURAL for “Raw” was clever indeed and that jail cell’s IRONBED caused some lost sleep until STREP showed the way to the BAR.

BEQ, as ever, though, gave us some lighter moments with the likes of CATNIP, which for a bit had me trying to convince myself that there must be a variation of the demon weeds proper name called CANNIS. Then, finally, the majority of Saudis are ARABS, right? No, they’re SUNNI. Good one Brendan, almost as good as C (See) SHARP.

A nice puzzle from a favorite constructor who is doing his own thing and doesn’t visit the Times as much lately.

Smitty

I stand with those repelled by the lethal injection clue - for all the same reasons. I actually saved that corner for last because I would have stopped at that point rather than fill it in - That, along with SADISTS made a nice puzzle kind of icky.
First Pass = filled in nothing but the -S's and -ED's and the EST's and the word GOTH for twilight fans, which was wrong...
Then the SW along with THE PEQUOD and GUS gave me enough to guess my way through until it went from challenging to easy-medium.

I learned how to spell DAIQUIRI today.

Rex Parker

Not sure I'd call this "dreck." In fact, I'm sure I wouldn't.

If you are a hobbyist puzzle maker (like me), then sure, let the NYT give you your measly \$200 and bask in the relative fame for 24 hrs. But if puzzle-making's your life, then the pay and turnaround time (ESP. the turnaround time) at the NYT make it less appealing if you've got other outlets (website puzzles, puzzles on PuzzleSocial at FB, bound collections of said puzzles coming soon to bookstore near you, etc.).

P.S. thanks, ED. The hinged *lid*, of course. I was thinking the STEIN would be pretty hard to control (increasingly harder, as the night wears on) if the handle were hinged.

joho

Most fun Friday in a while!

Almost gave up in the NE but kept at it and was supremely satisfied when I finished. Great cluing up there and the struggle provided the AHA moments I'm always looking for in a crossword puzzle.

Especially appreciated THEPEQUOD, FROZENDAIQUIRI, INTERNETDATING and SAVEFACE.

I had dIve before ZINE which really messed up 31A for a bit.

@Rex, our Christmas tree definitely wears a SKIRT!

Loved it B E Q in a diagonal!

chefbea

Too tough for me!! DNF. Hardly got started. Googled a lot , then came here. Shouldn't pub be pub.?? Abreviation for publication?

Loved Brown green and c sharp

Howard B

Felt pretty smooth here. The longer answers (lively phrases) helped to break open the tougher parts of the grid. GUS, TATIANA, U.N. DAY and CSHARP eluded me for a while (all needing crossings), but other than that, there didn't seem to be anything else too bizarre to eventually unravel. Yes, more prosaic than BEQ's independent work, but still pretty enjoyable (and still better than anything I could attempt to throw together!).

Pete

QATAR was easy for us boys as we all have ESPN playing in the background 24/7 and who can forget the outrage that they decided to have the soccer matches in the summer in QATAR when the temp hovers arounds 115?

DUDEUP was difficult for us boys as, well, none of us would ever say that.

I don't get the outrage at "Lethan injection administerers". It has to be an innocuous reference, as it was.

quilter1

As I just finished the novel Ahab's Wife, THE PEQUOD came easily. I always enjoy BEQ's puzzles and just keep chipping away and remembering his cluing quirks.

Wobbly tables also are EVENEd with a shim or a matchbook cover. Do matchbooks still exist?

Anonymous

Where are the initials B E Q that some have mentioned? I'm seem to be completely blind.

Lindsay

So I'm the only one who got screwed up dropping sHiP boarD down the middle?

Agree with those complaining about the lethal injection clue; particularly as I just learned that my dog's vet (ex-vet) is practicing under an onerous consent agreement resulting from the diversion of veterinary pain killers to ..... herself. aaarrgh. If you haven't run your vet/doctor/whoever's name through your state's licensing datebase, please do it.

Mr. Benson

For a long time I mistakenly had the Moby Dick boat as "The Pequot," and that incorrect last letter kept me from getting "Frozen Daiquiri" until I had the "i" at the end firmly in place. Took me a long time to get out of that one.

Ultimately I finished off that NE corner by the blunt-force method of testing letters all over the place, and still had the Behar/Cleared mistake that others have pointed out. So this one was very challenging for me overall.

Lindsay

datAbase, of course.

Matthew G.

I started with a lucky break: the World Cup 2022 clue was at the top of a column, and as a huge World Cup fan I knew that was QATAR, so that was my first entry. QATAR gave me THE PEQUOD, and from there I was able to work outward from the center pretty well. Even so, this still was well over my usual Friday time.

This is the second time recently we've seen AMEN AMEN as an answer. Do people really say that word twice for emphasis? I've never heard anyone do it.

Hardest part for me was the NE, where I could not see ULTIMAS, NEATENS, or C SHARP for the longest time. Only right now, in this second, do I suddenly understand the clue on C SHARP. Groan.

@syndy: I am not a girl, and I still tried DOLL UP before DUDE UP. Make of that what you will.

Cheerio

I don't get the Quad clue. If green is meant to refer to a town green or a college green, then I suppose a brown green is a public square that is paved with stone (settes) instead of planted with grass. But if you look up quadrangle on wikipedia, the pictures of the Oxford quads are all grass-covered.

Mr. Benson

@Cheerio - it refers to Brown University. It has quads that are green. (Or at least I assume so, never having visited the campus.)

Two Ponies

I really don't like BEQ's puzzles.
His style just leaves me cold and even angry at times.

Anonymous

Anon @ 10:24 - The B is in the square numbered 21. Look down and to the right and you will see the E. Continue to square numbered 39 and you will see the Q.

DUDE UP is the epitome of a kind of answer I hate. For Boys Only, F.U.-Type answer.

Mike Rees

I had real issues with some of the answers. How is brown green QUAD? And TONES up instead of tunes up? I searched forever for the two incorrect letters in my solve and finally gave up. The only thing more depressing than not finishing is thinking you finished.

Never mind, I just figured out brown green. As in Brown University. That clue would give me fits every day.

foodie

Since, like Acme and others, I don't know how to spell DAIQUIRI, I wanted to put in Banana DAQUIRI...

Different people find different puzzle entries unpalatable. I had no problem with any today. Seeing ASSAD in my puzzle yesterday made me sad. I understand his cross worthiness , and the fact that the puzzle was likely constructed a long time ago, but there is nothing theoretical about the connotations of his name these days.

Knowing people living in random life or death situations, as does anyone in this country who has a family member in war zones, makes you put other matters (including puzzles!) in perspective.

To quote from my youth, peace...

John V

Alas, never clicked, so big time DNF. Just one of those days. Only spot that worked for me was SE.

Tita

Really tough Friday for me - we're back to the good old days of challenging weekends, I hope!

Love the CATNIP clue. Venus goes all slinky and purrry for the stuff - it does nothing for Marz (who is my current avatar).

Variant on a Malapop:
Read "52D unit", and put in STEIN at the cross, because I was still thinking of Pub as in bar...
Went to erase it when I saw I put it in the wrong place, and realized - Hey - a STEIN has a hinge!!!

DNF with the ever popular BEHAr/CLEArED, and TATcANA cause I though they were DAcQUIRIs.
Oh - and needed a google on MARSALIS.

@LMS - Yes to Jab-->JOG. Also
dollUp-->sUitUP-->DUDEUP
GAlosh-->GAITER

Gill I. P.

And here I thought BEQ might be doing an "up-yours" and give us a pangram this fine Friday.
Didn't know my usual quota of BEQ fill i.e. MARSALIS, GEODES, QUAD to name a few. Had Virus before VINES, Galosh before GAITER and refused to give up Hitme (21) for HITIT.
I only wish the cluing for FROZENDAIQUIRI hadn't included a foo foo umbrella. I wouldn't drink one if it did. My dad was a "purist" when it came to making them - the ice had to be shaved just so, the limes had to be freshly squeezed and the rum - only the best Cuban Bacardi. My first "adult" drink at my 11th bday was a daiquiri.
BEHAN wasn't a problem ( I always remember the Irish imbibers) but SADEYED gave me a hard time. I'm betting DUDEUP is made up.
Enjoy this mighty fine weekend. We're off to the Jazz Festival to help off load tons of beer and help fill a STEIN or two.

Tita

@Rob C - prize? Prize?? Who said anything about...oops...

Is the admiration of fellow Rexvillians not enough?

How about a self-guided tour of I684 on a summer Friday afternoon?

Or, can I offer you a copy of our Crucimetrics app? Check the blog to see how it works, but basically, you can tag and comment while solving, and/or while running an Instant Replay, and you can see lots of other cool visualizations of you solve.
Crucimetrics

Sue McC

A solid Friday challenge. . Like it very much, except for the aforementioned missing period on the 'Informal pub' clue. And, had same thought as evil doug regarding the cluing of TATA.

Mel Ott

Like most of Mr. Q's puzzles, this one is tough but fair. A welcome Friday morning challenge.

I think the Green-QUAD connection is that pretty much all New England towns have a public area near the center of town that is mostly lawn and is called The Green. I think of the Quad as being the college's Green.

Matthew G.

I initially put QUID, rather than QUAD, for the {Brown green} clue. I was thinking Brown = Gordon Brown and "green" = slang for money. When it occurred to me that Gordon Brown is no longer prime minister and that British money is not green, I realized why the crossing at A was not working.

True story.

Z

@Anonymous 10:24 - BEHAN - DEM - QUAD.
Not quite diagonal, though.

DNF for me because I just couldn't C SHARP nor C ULTIMAS nor C UN DAY. Malapop for me as I wanted AMEN or AMENAMEN for concluding syllables.

My first thought was vets, as well, but TATA and MRS were the first letters I actually wrote in the grid, giving me ASPS. QATAR gave me THE PEQUOD, both gimmes for me. The international gnashing of teeth at the notion of the World Cup being played outdoors in QATAR in July was pretty hard to miss even for non-sports fans. NATO's involvement makes this a truly international crisis. I'm a little surprised that The Onion didn't pick up the story.

I did appreciate the shout out at 20A.

PuzzleNut

Very good puzzle, IMO, but not quite as zippy as his website. In fairness, though, most of his really entertaining puzzles would never pass the censors at NYT. dIvE and OCTAveS slowed me down, as well as queUE for ISSUE. Sounds like something you might find in a British pub. Like others, learned how to spell DAIQUIRI today. Everything else ED said, especially regarding ICET.

Sir Hillary

Found this one really tough, but oh-so worth it. Aside from the great cluing, my difficulties were self-inflicted, most notably with two symmetrical errors that really held me up. First was STAS at 9D; I was thinking "yards" might be another term for railway stations. Poor miss by a sports junkie like me. But the killer for me was DIVE at 52D; I was thinking "dive bar", and that mistake rendered most of the south impossible for quite a while.

Hardest Friday workout in a while, and I agree with those who found it refreshing.

Now off to do BEQ's offering from yesterday. Gaffney in a few hours. Fridays rock!

jae

It's hard to believe I have to explain this.

@Rob C. Yes, I know what e.g. means. I used the word to mean the abbreviation "e.g." called for an abbreviated answer, i.e. STAT.

@r.bunker -- Your point is acutally well taken. e.g. is sometimes (this means not alway but not never) used to signal an abbreviated answer. Whether that was the case with STAT I don't know. I was just being conservative. As to your HONOR example, one data point does not a hard and fast rule make, especially in crosswords.

jae
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jae

Blogger ate my bolded word. It should read ...I used the word "indicates" to mean

Noam D. Elkies

1A:REGALIA (and also 53D:QUAD, as cleverly clued) are timely for ths Commencement season.

Is 15D:UNDAY anything like the "unbirthday" celebrated at least 364 times a year (Through the Looking-Glass)?

NDE

Rob C

@Tita - I'm easy to please - thank you! I also would have accepted alcohol, cigar, \$.

@jae - didn't mean to insult. I understand you now. You should have let me wallow in my own stupidity.

r.alphbunker

@jae

Given your obvious experience with crossword puzzles I should have understood that you weren't saying that e.g. **always** signals an abbreviation. However, if that was what you were saying then my data point would have falsified it.

The next time that you see an abbreviation signaled by e.g. could you make a note on this blog about it? I am of the opinion that it is never used for that purpose and would welcome a counterexample.

Anonymous

Over the years, I've been amused when Rex points out that he's never read a seminal text, and then people freak out because they are shocked that a literati, an english professor, and a wordsmith like him hasn't read the book in question.

In fact, it's one of my favorite subplots of Rexworld.

Rex: I consider you a kind of acquaintance after years of reading your awesome site, so I hope you'll accept a small piece of advice: Read Lonesome Dove this summer!!! It is a wonderful novel and, for some of us, a life changer.

Scrappy. Scrabbly. Scarperer-y.
Funny clues.
DUDEUP.
thUmbsUp.

mac

I enjoyed this one, especially a lot of the clues. It wasn't a quick solve, though!

I could think of so many things to fix the wobbly table, but evener was a surprise. Hand up for weeds before vines, nutmeg before catnip (it's a hallucinogen, especially for babies), doll before dude and I also thought of vets.

Who knows how many clues were censored up by Will and staff...

Bird

I never got on the same bandwidth as BEQ and needed to call Uncle Google a few times, which led to some nice AHA moments. But, alas I DNF.

Likes: Clues for 8A and 18A

Dislikes: 2D (the adjustable buttons at the bottom of table legs are called levelers), clue for 52D (I had DIVE for the longest time) because pub infers tavern or bar

Bullets:

I'm not a bartender (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn), but aren't all daiquiris frozen? I mean if you order a FROZEN DAIQUIRI the bartender is going to ask you, “What flavor?”

Didn’t know CATNIP was a source of euphoria. I will have to borrow some from my cat.

Knew GAITER was the answer (galoshes go over my dress shoes), but always thought it was spelled GATOR. Then I tried GAITOR. Live and learn.

TGIF!

Home Depot

You know, we stock only 2 kinds of EVENERS, but 15 different kinds of UNEVENERS. Odd, no?

Matthew G.

I have to go with jae on this one. I've seen e.g. used as a signal for an abbreviation many times, and I am baffled that anyone would find it insufficient. If I had to disagree with its use in a clue, I would disagree with yesterday's clue, not today's.

I've also heard "pub" used as slang for "publication" many times. Definitely a tricky clue, but once I had ISSUE it clicked.

So ... clues are fine. No errors.

Three and out.

Merle

C sharp was the first answer I got -- got it immediately and thought it was clever -- well, I thought I was clever too. Rex, weren't you an English lit major? Brendan Behan writes in English, yo! Great Irish playwright, and more, and regrettably a great drunk. Informal pub clue really held me up, because I read pub as bar, not publication, and I had dive. Took forever to catch on and get zine. Meanwhile the v in dive held me back from frozen daiquiri. And since I had Tatyana instead of Tatiana, because Tatyana would be closer to the Russian spelling, frozen daiquiri just wasn't coming into focus. Ain't no v or y in frozen daiquiri. Just rum and lime and too much sugar -- I don't like sweetened drinks. I liked cluing and answers re jasmine, octants, geodes. Roost -- stick for a kite -- rocks, great clue, because it baffled me;of course I thought spine and spar, the cross sticks used in building a kite, not the bird called a kite, and the branch it roosts on. Challenging puzzle, fitting for a Friday.

jae

@Rob C. & r.bunker -- I came across a bit snottier than I intended.  Sorry about that.

@Matthew G.  Thanks for chiming in.  I was going to make the same comment about pub(s) as you did, but I figured I was already biting off enough.

I vaguely remember a discussion on this blog several years ago about subtle cues for abbreviations in late week puzzles where  e.g. was given as an example.

treedweller

Somehow, I got it in my head the pub was online, so had to replace emag with ZINE. not a fan of either, but I definitely prefer ZINE, which I have at least heard outside puzzles.

Sugar packets are only EVENERS for restaurant patrons annoyed by the wobble. Any restauranteur would avoid such a ghetto fix. If the table doesn't have adjustable feet, drastic measures may be needed. Anything that just slips under the leg will slip out pretty quickly, leaving an apparent pile of trash on the floor and a wobbly table. One restaurant I worked in had a brick patio, so every attempt at evening was thwarted when the next patrons bumped the table to a differently uneven spot.

I don't get why some are saying DUDEUP is a male-centric answer (or is it just that "dude" is usually a term for a guy?). Another boy who went with "doll up" here. DUDEUP sounds like what tourists do before one of those slow-motion, nose-to-ass, GUIDEd horseback rides. But it's Friday, so all's fair, I guess.

Agree this is not BEQ's best, and that it isn't surprising given his other outlets. Actually, I was thinking this might have been in the can long enough to predate his web site, which would help explain both the subpar (for him) quality and the willingness to give it to the nyt. But what do I know?

W. C. Fields

Late week cluing or not, a pub is someplace you go and order drinks. If you want to abbreviate publication then either use a period or "abbr."!

Now where did I leave my martini?

loren muse smith

@Bird – my first job ever I was a cocktail waitress, and I served many a daiquiri on the rocks. Also, I’ve seen that often crucial piece of snow equipment spelled all three ways.

Lewis

@rex -- this is the second time recently that you blamed your longer-than-average solving time on frustration/depression borne of the puzzle's weakness (today it was "a kind of disappointment stupor").

My first thought was "own up, Rex, don't blame the weakness of the puzzle, take responsibility". But, then again, your solving ability is spheres above mine, so maybe what you're saying is entirely accurate and I just don't relate.

Bird

@LMS - Thank you for the clarification.

@WC Fields - Call Mae West. I think she has your glass.

acme

@jae
As a sometime constructor, I have never used "e.g." to signal an abbrev in the clue, just as shorthand for "For example". I think the truth may be closer to whoever said that STAT has become its own word (like perhaps pub for publication?) so doesn't need to be signaled that it is short for something else.

@tita
weird, I had the same malapop with STEIN exactly too, as I took pub to be a drinking clue, esp after BEHAN and FROZENDAcQUIRI!
We are really in sync...and your crucimetrix thing is a fabulous gift and you should hold mini-contests all the time with that as a prize...great way to spread the word and fun!

@Merle
"Spine and spar"!!! Didn't know there were words for the little crossbars...that's why I didn't get the misdirection for kite, as I just figured what you are now teaching us is called a "spar" might be called the "ROOST"! I don't really know what a kite bird is. Is that where they got the name for the toy?

And I'm also now only understanding people's upset thinking ASPS were vetS. I was trying to think of what you call the folks at the death penalty prisons! I guess my mind went there bec of the IRONBAR clue.
This puzzle really had a lot of subthemes floating around...
drinking, parenting, cleaning.

And I'm going to steal that line when my next puzzle gets trashed
(I can hear some already sharpening their pencils for that! Looking at you, Anon 11:02!)
I will simply say I'm saving my best stuff for BEQ's site!

Tita

It is frighteningly rare when I can not find what I need from google within moments...alas, this is one of them.

Your story reminded me of a marvel of German engineering...the tables and chairs at outdoor restaurants in exceedingly hilly towns.

The one that comes to mind is Meersburg, a very steep, idyllic village on the Bodensee.
The array of wood-and--metal folding tables and chairs that have been retrofitted to sit flat on VERY steep cobbled streets always intrigued me - how on earth do they know how to put them back each morning?

And knock me over with a feather - I always look for an abbv. when I see e.g!! And I assume all eawsy hints are off on Fri/Sat.
Must explain my standing at ACPT... ;)
Thanks everyone for all the lore I am learning today!

Gareth Bain

@ACM: "a lot of subthemes... drinking, parenting, cleaning." That's one subtheme, what are the others?

Re "etc." I've attempted to use it as an abbr. indicator, and be told that that isn't considered fair on solvers. Those suggesting stat is considered a word, just like phone, plane or pram are considered words are on the right wavelength...

sanfranman59

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 28:29, 24:47, 1.15, 78%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 15:28, 12:16, 1.26, 89%, Challenging

jae

@Tita -- The only time I'm looking for an abbrv. when I see e.g. is in Fri./Sat. puzzles where, as you said, the easy hints are off.

jae

For example, from Barry Silk's 2/25/2012 Sat.

22a Reagan-era teen, e.g.
Ans. XER

SPARKY

Messy week. Mon and Tues fine. flew to NYC Tues. Flight delayed. Home 9 pm. Very tired. Could not do a thing on Wed., Thurs, Fri. puzzles. And now, Google is telling me I don't have a gmail Account and I am going around in circles.

@Rube. Great that you are mending so well.

I am going to find the musical clues posts.

Hoping for a new start.

Sparky
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r.alphbunker

@jae

Go to crucimetrics.com

Click the abbreviations or E.G.s links. Answers that are gibberish come from scrambled puzzles.

Sparky

I fiddled around and whatever went crazy is fixed. I think I'll have a cookie.

Martin

For the record, Will Shortz has said a couple of things in print on the subject of abbreviation signals. I've posted them here, and apologize for the repetition.

First, his signals are always abbreviations that are not used regularly in place of their spelled-out form. We see "etc." more often than "et cetera," so he wouldn't consider that a fair signal, as Gareth said. "Abbr." is always good in a pinch.

Second, many word forms that originate as shortening of other words are not properly abbreviations and need not be signaled. These include words like "stat" that we say without visualizing the original long form. The dictionary typically lists these as words in their own right. More surprising to some solvers, initialisms and acronyms (NYSE or NASDAQ) are not always signaled in clues. (They are more likely to be signaled early in the week, but it's purely an editorial call.)

The proper abbreviation, nearly always signaled, is easy to recognize. You must know that it's an abbreviation, and what it abbreviates, to avoid looking like an idiot when reading aloud. All the letters are there for "NASCAR," even if you don't know what it stands for. But if you say, "Let's have lunch next Thoo or Fry," people think you're a conehead. "Thu." and "Fri." will normally be signaled abbreviation. Note that the "true" abbreviation is usually printed with a period, unlike the other kinds of shortenings.

hazel

Veni puzzli vici. Had to pick her up and put her down many times today. Satisfying solve, but mostly because it was just challenging for me. It wasnt particularly memorable, otherwise.

JenCT

@quilter1: I tried MATCHES first too, for the wobbly table.

Lots & lots of writeovers for me: wanted IBM for One who's blue?, CANNABIS for Herb that causes euphoria (my cat was sound asleep in the catnip bed yesterday - too funny), many others.

Loved C SHARP.

Was wondering what UNDAY was????.....duh.

JenCT

@Tita: speaking of catnip, did you get the pic I sent the other day?

jae

@r.alphbunker -- re: crucimetrics.com --If I assume that the actual puzzle clue ends at the first : my conclusion is that e.g. is sometimes used to signal an abbreviation. I don't remember ever seeing a Fri. or Sat. clue ending in e.g. followed by a : abbr.

I realize I'm way over three. Sorry about that too.

JenCT

@acme: Here's a kite that can be seen in California:

White-tailed Kite

Lindsay

Yes @JenCT, I too had ibM instead of DEM for the blue clue. Part of my "shipboard" debacle where THE PEQUOD belonged.

Tita

@Jen - of a very relaxed Oreo? Yes! And had I sent you back one, which I just resent.

Good thing they just made medicinal catnip legal in Connecticut, or you and Oreo might wind up behind IRONBARs!

Tita

Oh wait - the pic of Oreo indulging...Yes!! He does look lots like Marzipan. Hmm---both our cats are named after desserts...

r.alphbunker

@jae 6:39PM

To avoid confusion the clues now appear within { }s. Any colons within the braces appeared in the clue.

I have also removed the scrambled answers.

Tita

Cool, @r.alph - nice to see all those e.g.s and abbv's side by side...
Though I have a bone to pick with your "Food Chain"...
I will send you a picture that throws the food chain on its furry (and feathery) ear!

michael

I think this is a terrific puzzle with great clues. I am really surprised that some of you find this subpar BEQ. In my opinion, one of the best puzzles I've done in a long, long time.

Kerry

CLEArED/BEHAr right here... I also managed to end up with DUpAL/pINES, which is a lot less plausible. D'oh.

sanfranman59

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 6:32, 6:50, 0.96, 31%, Easy-Medium
Tue 10:35, 8:53, 1.19, 91%, Challenging
Wed 8:58, 11:48, 0.76, 5%, Easy (7th lowest median solve time of 150 Wednesdays)
Thu 14:05, 18:58, 0.74, 11%, Easy
Fri 29:25, 24:48, 1.19, 83%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:44, 3:40, 1.02, 63%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:27, 4:36, 1.19, 93%, Challenging
Wed 4:59, 5:53, 0.85, 15%, Easy
Thu 7:25, 9:21, 0.79, 21%, Easy-Medium
Fri 15:10, 12:16, 1.24, 87%, Challenging

This ends a string of 10 straight Easy or Easy-Medium Friday puzzles.

DMGrandma

Like Mr. Parker, I simply was not on the right wavelength for this puzzle. There are days like that, and tomorrow is another day! What amazes me is that when this happens to Rex he is still able to supply a completed grid. Some things you can Google, but strange things like ROOST? I would never have thought of it. To me an avian kite roosts on a branch-can't see one sitting on a stick somewhere. At least things seemed happier in the other world today-or whenever!

Spacecraft

I'm with @Octo and @rh: that pub clue was a little too informal for me! The whole SW was a big block for me, as for the longest time I wouldn't even hazard a guess at the 31d rapper (had______DAIQUIRI but didn't know what "fruit" to put in there). Finally tried TEEN, then wondered if 31d might just be the only rapper I've ever heard of: ICET (only through L&O:SVU). Then 31a wanted to be I__UE--and the aha! of ZINE/ISSUE hit home, dragging FROZEN right along.

Writeovers at crouP for STREP, and INANity for INANEST.

One great thing about INTERNET DATING: you don't have to DUDE UP in your best REGALIA. You don't even have to LAUNDER, NEATEN or CLEAN--you can go NATURAL.

rain forest

I rarely have expectations of a puzzle by noting the constructor's name. It just doesn't matter to me. In today's puzzle, I pretty well blitzed the entire upper part, wincing at "evener" (wha?), and Mrs. Fields (who?), but loved "internet dating" and "The Pequod", but really got mired down in the bottom part.Outside of crosswords, who calls a magazine a "zine"? "Pub" needed a period, period. Had Mar- and ran the alphabet to get Marsalis, couldn't be anyone else, I think, (Ira Gershwin was NOT a jazz musician). Then came "roost", visualizing a falconer holding a stick for the bird, then very gradually the rest came. I didn't find the puzzle fun, and I usually do, but I completed it, and it's now in the recycling box. Tada.

Dirigonzo

Tghis was hard enough to begin with, but once again my paper decided to make it even more challenging by omitting a couple of clues, this time it was 53d and 54d. Happily the crosses were inferrable so no harm, no foul bit I'm sorry I missed the really cool clue for QUAD which seems to have flummoxed so many. ROOST eluded me - I'm not sure what I have written in there but it definitely is not ROOST. Hand up for DollUP before DUDEUP. Devilishly clever cluing, I say - and this wasn't even his good stuff?

Dirigonzo

I really wish someone would fix the "preview" feature so I could eliminate those typos before I post - but you get my drift.

Anonymous

Wow. I'm impressed with myself for coming as close as I did. Gotta learn that a kite is a bird. Gotta read Moby Dick one of these days. But to grind through this baby and miss by just that one Naticky square...well I feel pretty good about that.

SE was the tough area for me. I wanted stuff like LASE OFF (Remove spots from)in there, which messed me up until DAIQUIRI finally came to me. Almost spelled it DACQUERI, which still looks proper, but GUIDES gave me the I, and I wasn't going to mess with TATIANA, who was a pure guess when I had little to go on, and she was the one who was really responsible for putting me on the right path in that final region.

Anonymous

It's me. 10:02 again. Just wanted to mention that my first thought on reading the clue for 53d was Brown=University. But I was getting nowhere with that until the Q in DAIQUIRI lined up. Great clue.

Anonymous

Boy, C SHARP was an easy one for me. Thought I was going to rip right through this one after knocking that one down right away, but no such luck.

Wanted blue man to be UMP, and just once would like to see TATA clued as former umpire Terry.

Solving in Seattle

Just got around to Friday's CW. Wow, was @Diri country tough. ULTIMAS? AMENAMEN? Why two? Had banana before FROZEN. Jab before JOG. Liked the clue for 18A. Hand up for pub clue should have had a period after. Moving on to Saturday.

Hope all you Syndielanders are keeping cool with FROZEN DAIQUIRIS.

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