Ab follower / SAT 6-16-12 / Brown drawer / New circulator in 2002 / Youngest member of 1990s girl group / About whom Obama said He is jackass But he's talented / Preprandial performance / Natural Bridges State park locale / Like anatomical anvils

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (forgot to run the timer)


THEME: none

Word of the Day: ELUL (32A: Ab follower) —
Elul (Hebrewאֱלוּל‎‎, Standard Elul Tiberian ʾĔlûl) is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is asummer month of 29 days. Elul usually occurs in August–September on the Gregorian calendar. [Ab (?) = Av = "Av (Hebrewאָב‎, Standard Av Tiberian ʾĀḇ ; from Akkadian abu) is the eleventh month of the civil year and the fifth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. The name is Babylonian in origin and appeared in the Talmud around the 3rd century. This is the only month which is not named in the Bible. It is a summer month of 30 days. Av usually occurs in July–August on the Gregorian calendar.] (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a fine puzzle. I did horribly because I am stupid. Really, stupid. Needlessly slow because I just wasn't thinking. I mean, SANTA C--- got me *nothing*? For minutes on end? My step-brother *went* to UC SANTA CRUZ, and they were the first college to accept me out of high school, and I've been there (6D: Natural Bridges State Beach locale) ... but my brain was automatically making the word end in "A" for no real good reason, and of course no famous city, or even moderately well known city, or any city that I know of, follows the SANTA C--A model. That should've been easy, and would've solved all my problems—the only real problems I had started there and ran down to PIP, my other stupid, stupid mistake. I had PIT (52D: Casino spot). And I mean I Had PIT and it wasn't going anywhere because it was obviously right, despite the fact that you cannot do Anything with ---TENSE. No, you can't. I tried. Looks reasonable, but Nothing will come of it. Only by revisiting [Casino spot] did I see how "spot" could be differently construed. So I died a slow ugly stupid death between PIP and SANTA CRUZ. Everything else was thorny but fun. Thorny and fun. Especially liked the KANYE WEST (31D: About whom Obama said "He is a jackass. But he's talented") / BABY SPICE (42A: Youngest member of a 1990s girl group) crossing. KANYE was tough to uncover, as I had -ANY- and knew the first letter was "C" or "K," but ... whose name is KAN? Or CAN? 'Cause surely that "Y" is the first letter of the second name ... right? No. Good thing I figured it out, as I had MASHER for WASHER (49A: AMANA product) and REDUCE for SEDUCE (55A: Try to get off the straight and narrow). Everything north and east of PUSSYCATS (26A: Unthreatening sorts) was a cake walk.



Bullets:
  • 18A: Far Eastern marinade (TERIYAKI) — pretty easy, though my brain read this as "Middle Eastern" at first, so ... I've only had one glass of wine. I did have good friends over, though, so maybe wine + friends = softening of solving skills. That's what I get for being an ordinary social human being. Never again!
  • 28A: Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly (ZORRO) — one of the few easy ones for me today. I used to read a ZORRO comic. Also, I had the -RRO before I ever saw the clue.

  • 34A: Brown drawer (SCHULZ) — this is one of the Saturdayest clues I've ever seen, as both "Brown" and "drawer" have multiple possible meanings, making grasping the gist of the clue exceedingly tough. For "Brown" alone I went through color, university, and UPS ... didn't hit on name til late.
  • 46A: Like anatomical anvils (OTIC) — just wanted to give a shout-out to one of the other gimmes in the puzzle. OTIC is an important four-letter word to have stocked in your crossword arsenal.
  • 32D: New circulator of 2002 (EURO) — should've been a gimme, but I kept trying to think of magazine / newspaper names.
  • 37D: Preprandial performance (MATINEE) — tough for me, as I don't associate MATINEEs with meals at all. MATINEE could be closer to lunch than dinner, right? Which would make it postprandial?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

79 comments:

jae 7:37 AM  

In spite of Rex and his painful journey I'm going to say easy-medium again.  East side easy, west side medium although, ZONES to ZONKS was my last entry.    Also had to erase ACE for PIP and HUNTERS for HALTERS.  

It's a long way from ERIE to Norfolk.

Pretty zippy...SOCIALIQ, LSD, ZORRO, RAUCOUS, KANYEWEST, BABYSPICE, and...  i.e. a fine Sat.  Three in a row!

Possible tough cross POSADA/OTIC?

Scott Thomas 7:39 AM  

I'm sorry, but "Mass merchandise?" for 1A just seems unfair. You buy an organ for your church once in a generation, if that. Grrrr. I must have spent half an hour on the NW.

Anonymous 7:47 AM  

@Scott Thomas - "Mass merchandise" is accurate if you consider it from the organ seller's perspective.

dk 7:54 AM  

Ok. Sos I move from NYC to St. Paul Mn for my last two years of college after working as a photog in the angelic world of late 60s early 70s Rock and Roll. Suffice to say the word MATINEE for me had a specific meaning associated with trysts and the US version of POSADAs. Anyway around the Hamline campus HALO wearing, corn fed Midwest girls were always talking about how much they enjoyed a midweek MATENEE. I thought I was having an LSD flashback. I took one coed (Bonnie who is now an ER doc) aside and said I am not trying to SEDUCE you but but this whole MATINEE thing sounds a little RAUCOUS. Bonnie let out a loud MOAN, questioned my SOCIALIQ and slapped me. Needless to say 35+ years later I still get poop from my former classmates. I hate Facebook.

Great puzzle. I had and have no idea who KANYEWEST is but I got it in the crosses. Sailed through the top half but SCHISMS, the aforementioned WEST and Luke for the lightsaber clue slowed down the Southern Tier considerably.

������ (3 Stars) Thanks Barry

Milford 8:03 AM  

Lots of erasing (well, deleting) going on here, especially in the NW. Scales for ORGANS, goeS ON for RUNS ON, rodeNT for ACCENT. Somehow immediately knew that 34A was SCHULZ, buy then stared at rest of the SW forever because I had CotTage for CHATEAU, then kohlS for CHARS, etc.

I've only been attempting Friday and Saturday puzzles for about three months now. I had previously held onto the David Sedaris notion that a Saturday NYT puzzle "requires the kind of mind that can bend spoons". But giving them a try has been enjoyable, in no small part because of this blog. Thank you!

Glimmerglass 8:15 AM  

Terrific Saturday puzzle. Really hard for me, which is how I like my Saturdays. One error. I was so sure ZONeS was right that I looked at MONe and just shrugged. MONK should have been obvious.

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Shouldn't a halter bare arms?

pauer 8:27 AM  

Nice one. NW was last for me. Tried BIBLES and eventually KORANS at 1-Across (I was getting desperate!). Don't care for crossing INs and ONs, but I guess if I ever make a themeless I won't sweat it.

Z 9:04 AM  

Two different puzzles for me. The east went down easily, the west not so much. SOCIAL IQ and EDIT MENU went right in. A couple of minor errors that were easily corrected with QUIsNOS and rubleS. KANYE WEST quickly fixed the rubleS error. The gnashing of teeth over the President using "jackass" made this about the easiest KANYE WEST clue you could give me.

That ELAINE Chou was automatic off the E for me makes me think I watch to much political TV. ELAINE was easier for me than the once ubiquitous BABY SPICE. Not good.

The entire west was a struggle. I immediately got the idea behind 1A, but it didn't help, mostly because I was looking for something more specific to Catholic ritual. With -AN-A---- I briefly wondered where Kansas' beaches were. I wondered just how far west I would have to go for 30A. Didn't we just have a Texas to Atlantic coast RCD this week? RCDs may be a necessary evil, but I didn't find the cross-referencing of 29A and 30A interesting or inventive. I just found it annoying.

Brown Drawer had me going through the same possibilities as Rex. Agree with @anonymous8:16 regarding the Bear Arms clue. It should be "bare arms."

Nice to see POSADA not clued as the baseball player. Also learned something new about Chile today.

@DK - MATINEE, ORGANS, MOAN, PUSSYCATS, SEDUCE - the HALOs are askew in this puzzle.

Horace S. Patoot 9:11 AM  

Like anonymous, I don't see how halters bear arms, nor do I understand how suspense is a thriller killer -- rather the reverse. How am I misinterpreting this time?

evil doug 9:11 AM  

Scarecrows vs. Amana washers.
Warwick vs. Baby Spice.
Kings of Leon vs. Kanye West.
Ohm's Law vs. lead ore.
Christina Ricci vs. Elaine Chao.
Snowcones vs. lithium.
Combo meal vs. posada.
One octave vs. odeons.
Free roll vs. runs on.
PCP vs. LSD.
Wolfgang vs. Schulz.
Hair salon vs. halo.
Twixt vs. circa.
Toledo, Ohio vs. Santa Cruz.
Welt vs. pip.
Pop-up video vs. science.
I want my MTV vs. jete.
Love apple vs. led in.
Cower vs. mope.
Craftier vs. edit menu.
Clown vs. Jedi.
Boop vs. Cobb.
Ghouls vs. yells.
Aereo vs. mail.
Stiff vs. otic.
Stogy vs. chars.
Vines vs. it is.
Three hole vs. Elul.

No contest. Friday wins the week.

Evil

Michael Collins 9:14 AM  

Wanted WAFERS not ORGANS, JECT not ELUL.

Jim Walker 9:20 AM  

Great puzzle. One error ZONES and M ONE ( Rifle for my father)

SUSPENSE kills you in a thriller.

ORGANS is a stretch. WAFERS was first fill.

evil doug 9:21 AM  

Halters---those who halt others, like sentries---bear arms.

evil

Carola 9:21 AM  

@Horace, when you read a thriller, you could say, "The suspense is killing me." I don't get the halter, either.

@evil doug, completely agree with you.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

For haters, I was thinking halter top - the revealing summer attire that goes high around one's neck, but leave the back - and arms - bare.

mac 9:46 AM  

Another terrific puzzle! Easier for me than Friday's, but I usually get the Barry Silk ones better.

I did have entice for seduce first, yakitori for teriyaki and Kobi for Cobb.

Clues were outstanding as usual.

Posada was a gimme: my husband proposed at a posada in Portugal.

@milford: welcome!

Z 9:47 AM  

@evil doug 9:21 - Duh! - thanks for the clarification.

quilter1 9:48 AM  

ZORRO was my first entry. I associate MONKs with brothers, not fathers. Most MONKs are not also priests. So ZONeS stayed in longer than necessary. This post looks ridiculous.

Great puzzle, fun to do.

r.alphbunker 10:11 AM  

C'est magnifique!

NW was the last to fall. Loved the cluing in this puzzle, e.g.,

19A: {"Les Misérables" feature [ACCENT]} and

1D {They'll get you going with the flow} [ONRAMPS].

Got 35D {Nice country house [CHATEAU]} without realizing that Nice refers to a city in France.

Did not realize that Ab is also a Hebrew month so was looking for a Latin word to follow it.

Tobias Duncan 10:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jberg 10:22 AM  

Finished with two errors. Couldn't see anything wrong with ZONeS, and didn't know the team of the century (apparently, it was a team of lettuce varieties?) so ended up deciding that some fathers (lions, e.g.) have MaNeS. Other than that, challenging but ultimately enjoyable. Would have been a lot easier if I'd rememberd BABY SPICE. Almost wrote in "posh" which would really have messed me up. Also rAIn before MAIL.

Were there really more ODEONS than one?

Gill I. P. 10:25 AM  

Somewhat easier than yesterday's but just as fun. Loved the clues for SCHULZ and BABYSPICE.
@Scott Thomas: Add my grrr to yours as well for 1A. Like others, I wanted wafer.
From where I come, a Mexican motel is just that - un *motel*. A POSADA is an inn. It's also a religious ceremony celebrating Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem in search of an INN. [sigh...once again.]

Anonymous 10:30 AM  

Medium-challenging, yet quite solvable thus enjoyable Sat. puzzle.

BABYSPICE of the Spice Girls and PUSSYCAT(S) Dolls mean anything?

HALTER tops bare arms.
HALTERS (sentries) bear arms.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

A ballerina in my house assures me that "jete" is not a gymnastics move of any note, but is a basic ballet jump. Was also worried there that "Jedi" might turn out to be "sith"

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Ah, but a HALTER has a real definition, a hangman, as opposed to a made up definition as a sentry. As Pete said, quit making up bullshitwords.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

@Anon 10:44 - Watch the floor exercise of Womens Gymnastics. You'll see at least 10 JETEs per contestent.

wordie 10:51 AM  

Had SCHools for 34D, as in horses. Did not get the Nice, and was dying b/c CHAlet would not fit for 35D. For some reason SOCIALIQ popped right in with no crosses, but those crosses were very hard for me. DNF, but it was fun. I agree that JETE was not correctly clued.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

I think monk = brother, not father.

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

Really questionable cluing.

Kudos to the clever fix of HALTERS as sentries. But to me it looks like sloppy bear/bare confusion in the clue.

"Wafers" indeed better for 1A clue. ORGANS is feeble.

MONKs are brothers, not "father figures". Yes, I know a monk can be a priest, but so can a lawyer, etc.

A "thriller killer" (56A) would be something like a spoiler, i.e. something that *ruins* the SUSPENSE.

Finally, proudly pedantic, I point out for 55A that the true expression is "strait and narrow" (via King James Bible), though admittedly this battle was lost centuries ago.

Brian 11:18 AM  

Agree with halter leading to BARE arms. I've never said, "watch out, there's a HALTER up there telling us to...halt?".

SUSPENSE is weak.

ORGANS killed me. Made me even try and figure out what sells well in MASSachusetts. LITHIUM perhaps? No, that's Chile. Makes me realize how hard it must be to be an organ salesman. But that one sale can make your year.

Brown drawer may be one of the best clues ever. Needed everything before it dawned on me. Kept trying to think of some kind of drawer (as in what you put clothes in) that would be brown. Then I even considered "drawer" as underwear, but that would be "drawers" (just like you can't have a "pant") and drawers being brown doesn't seem like NYT material. Yet.

retired_chemist 11:39 AM  

Medium challenging. Could not shake ZONeS for 28D even though I knew 37A MONe made no sense. Late night and not feeling well made me say the h**l with it.

GOES ON before RUNS ON, RUBLES before KOPEKS, SENT @ 32A before ELUL, GHANA @ 23A before WASHER appeared @ 49A (although it is likely they do make washers in Ghana), POSH SPICE before BABY. Didn't know the Spice Girls. Period.

Put in the SS_@ 29A from the plurals implied by the 1D/2D clues, knowing the final letter was either E or W, got to thinking of crossword cities that were NNW of Norfolk, and ERIE popped up. Huzzah.

But despite more than my usual number of errors this was a very good puzzle. Thanks, Mr. Silk.

Lindsay 11:46 AM  

Nothing much to say that hasn't be said (MONe to MONK, yes!). Just checking in.

@Z, I've got you beat. ELAINE was my first answer; no crosses at all.

Have a good weekend everyone.

babslesley 11:46 AM  

Little factoid -- Elaine Chao is the wife of GOP Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell.

Zonks got me too.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Y'know, if the whole Hebrew calendar is fair game now, including variants in Latinization ( e.g. Ab/Av) instead of just the venerable Times standby "Nissan", these puzzles are going to get a lot harder …

Marcheshvan, here we come!

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

"Halter" is a synonym for "holster", a thing that holds a pistol- hence the "bear arms". I think it is also the etymology for the thing that hangs on the neck, holds up boobage and bears arms. Did make it an extremely annoying clue though. DNF.

Smitty 11:56 AM  

Challenging for me, but I finished.

I live in a different wheelhouse than this puzzle - no spice girls, Kanyewests Jewish months Catholic masses or All century teams in my world so it was painfully slow going.

I thought "HALTERS" meant like gun halters worn over the shoulder, non?

Two Ponies 12:10 PM  

Zorro was my first entry.
The S of seduce was my last because I could not parse that obnoxious jackass. His social IQ could use some help too.
Loved the great Saturday-level clues.
Thanks, as always, Mr. Silk.

Noam D. Elkies 12:13 PM  

Funny to see 32A:ELUL as the WOTD, when it used to be almost-paradigmatic crosswordese. According to the xwordinfo data, even in the Shortz era ELUL appears about once a year, including two in the same week in 1996 - which seem to be the only ones that actually appeared *during* Elul, though neither was clued that way.

NDE

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

Dear Rex, I doubt anyone, including yourself, thinks of you as stupid. Try stubborn....

JFC

Ross G-Whiz 12:30 PM  

Really tough to get a toe hold but not so challenging to make me throw the paper down in disgust. BABYSPICE was my first confident entry but then nothing. I also had PIT for my casino spot, and so for Thriller Killer wrote PRETENSE which of course makes no sense. Great Saturday puzzle.

Cheerio 12:35 PM  

I loved this! I thought it would have been listed as easy because I could see my way through the misdirects pretty easily. Or maybe I'm getting better! Nah, probably not, but hey, I feel empowered this Saturday. I also had ZONES even though I knew MONE didn't make sense.

Cheerio 12:37 PM  

Organs are not particular to Catholic Churches are they? My parents Protestant Church has always had one.

Rex Parker 12:48 PM  

"The suspense is killing me"= pretty common phrase. So, if a "thriller" has "suspense" (which it should, by definition), then "suspense" is a "killer" that appears in a "thriller," hence "Thriller killer."

@JFC, I am not stupid all the time. But some of the time, I am. (I am Rex Parker, and I support this message)

rp

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

@anon11:55am:

The first thing I did was look up "halter" in a real dictionary, to see whether the basic meaning of straps and ropes for leading a horse around had been extended to something like a holster or something to else to "bear arms". I didn't see it.

If halter really can mean holster, please give some authority.

Meanwhile, I'm sticking with sloppy editing as the explanation for 36D.

As for your "boobage" observation, are you saying those things are weapons? Actually, that could be the best interpretation of 36D yet! 

hazel 12:57 PM  

I like SOCIALIQ as WOTD. Poor nerds - always getting dissed in the puzzles. Bullies have low SOCIALIQs too! I kept trying to make AB follower into some variation of dUL - but it just wouldnt work out.

Puzzle was a toughie for me - like pulling taffy in places. South was writeover city - tho LSD was my first solid entry. Preprandial is a bullshit word that I DON'T like,@ Pete.

I fell short on this one, but appreciate its vague diabolicality, a made-up word that I do like.

Making Frito Pie tonight!!

syndy 1:00 PM  

Was I the only one who had "CANNON" for 19 across? I swear a live cannon!any way top half fell relatively fast=compared to that bottom! I really wanted a "T" in SCHULZ I know better but the heart wants what the heart wants.I never take Mr.Silks clues too literally-works much better that way-but I always enjoy his fine puzzles!even when he is arming bears!

quilter1 1:01 PM  

@Cheerio: Yes, organs are found in all kinds of churches. This is why people wanted wafers, or in my case, patens, the plate to hold the wafers, for this answer.In this case Barry's punning was a little out there.

Thanks for the support on MONKs being brothers, not fathers.

If Barry thinks a JETE is simple, he should try it.

Masked and Anonymo8Us 1:38 PM  

Got HALTERS with no problemo. Just shrugged, and thought, "so, the gal's packing heat in her halter."

Fave fillins: SOCIALIQ (seed entry?), ZONKS, PUSSYCATS.
Also partial to SCHISMS, with its great consonant-to-vowel ratio. Does anyone ever measure the % of consonants in a puz? Y's probably screw that all up. This puz had 113 Cs and 82 Vs; and 3 other. Compare that to my all-E puz ratio of 0%.

Fave clue: "___ Tech". So, cousin Itt had its own university? Learn somethin' every damn day.

Nice country SatPuz, Mr. Silk. I tip my CHAtEAU to yah.

joho 1:39 PM  

Oh, how I love Barry's Silk's puzzles. I always go from, "I'll never get this done" to, "Wow, that was fun!"

There were so many multiple possibilities to sort out. Mine were entiCE before SEDUCE, posh before BABYSPICE, extruded before SEEPSIN and ZONeS before ZONKS.

I loved the Z's and the crossings they created: SANTACRUZ/SCHULZ, ZORRO/ZONKS & QUIZNOS/DMZ ... great stuff.

@Rex, I'm glad you commented on the "Thriller Killer" clue as SUSPENSE is the perfect answer and one of my favorites.

Thanks you, Barry Silk! Again!

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

@anon at 12:50, although I did not see the definition of halter as an older the shoulder gun holder in the dictionary, it is in the language as evidenced by the following, from this link (at a fashion site, no less): http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/02/nicholas-k-cowboy-disco-on-the-highway/

In case I have done the linking incorrectly here's a quote: "Some of the fun pieces included what looked like a gun halter slung over ones shoulders and wrapping across the back. Instead of guns though one got 2 large pouches"

Rookie 1:50 PM  

A monk can be either a priest or a brother.

Trust me on this one!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scarsdale, NY, grad
Derham Hall (Catholic, despite the name) High School grad
Marquette University grad

Those are pretty solid Catholic credentials!
(Am so grateful for three wonderful years at Scarsdale High School ... Public, too ). All were great places to learn.

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

@Anon 1:44PM Some one misspelling holster as halter or confusing holster with halter does not a citation make.

Tita 2:08 PM  

@mac - which POSADA? In Portugal, they are most certainly not motels, but luxurious state-run converted historic buildings, often castles, fortresses, and palaces. (They used to be really affordable - no more!)

Slightly easier than Fri. The kind of Saturday I like - I stare at the nearly empty grid thinking I will never come close, leave/comeback 3 times, and then it's done!!

Except that MaNeS (male lions have manes), and CaBB being just as likely as COBB to me, coupled with ZONeS for ZONKS, had a DNF.

So many options for perfectly plausible answers...I'll add to the list:
rialto-->ODEONS
cal-->ITT
pfft-->MOAN
pOut-->MOPE
LETgo-->LETBE
Mist-->MAIL
goeSON-->RUNSON
pRayer-->ORGANS (wins for most possbilities)
cage-->MOAT
ZONeS-->ZONKS
That makes a puzzle most tricky!

JenCT's 110 lb Shepherd is totally Unthreatening to her PUSSYCATS.

Lewis 2:35 PM  

r.alph -- excellent post, I agree completely, and I didn't think of the "Nice" connection, so thanks!

Needed Google, but like most of you, I loved this puzzle, it brought a few smiles and ahas.

Three terrific puzzles in a row! Keep it up Will --

fergus 3:04 PM  

There's a QUIZNO'S right downtown SANTA CRUZ, so I had two major toeholds immediately. And for some reason any guess I make on a Barry Silk puzzle turns out to be the correct one. Except for CAL TECH ... . There are other well-known constructors whose wavelength I can find with some effort, but the Silk ones are usually in complete harmony. This one went down in about a third of how long yesterday's took. That had so much discord that I even looked up Coulrophobe in the dictionary -- but it wasn't there. I guess that's not cheating, yet there's sin in the heart.

DigitalDan 3:04 PM  

Silk operates in gigahertz -- I top out in the high megahertz. Halters, indeed.
Elul indeed. Grumble.

jackj 3:09 PM  

As between Friday’s Dr. Diehl and Saturday’s Barry Silk it’s a coin flip as to which puzzle was more deserving of the Saturday slot. I’ll take the politic route and claim the coin landed against a chair and it’s a leaner, a tie.

There’s nothing like a 9 letter gimme (KANYEWEST) to get things started today, especially when it creates new gimmes in amoeba-like fashion for CANE, ELAINE, KOPEKS and TEAMED.

The biggest snarl for me was self-induced at 34 down in trying to get a jump on an answer I didn’t know for “Breaks”, but was keen on assuming it ended in UP. Well, that got me PRETENSE for 56 across and it also made solving miserable until I conceded that there was no way that even Martin could (or would) justify PRETENSE as a “Thriller killer?”.

Nice cluing to give us MATINEE, SCHISMS, SUSPENSE, MAIL and the clue “Brown drawer” for Charlie’s SCHULZ was brilliant, Silk spinning at his finest .

In the negatives, no love for the “Arms” clues at 3 down and 36 down, (maybe the clues were accidentally switched), and also had to get “Big Chilean export” from the crosses since their main export to my household each winter is not LITHIUM but blueberries.

Nice way to end the week!

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Only a gimme if you spelled kanye correctly. That cost me a half hour. Other than that jete and halter were reaches but there are always reaches on Saturday, it was fun

Mel Ott 4:13 PM  

Late today - had to take some folks for a boat ride. Great day out there today.

Some churches have masses. Many have organs. Some have both, as well as patens, wafers, and a host of other pluralized 5-letter things. How any of this connects to "merchandise" I have no idea.

In my experience all MONKs are brothers, and some of them are also priests. One of my best friends is a priest, but everyone in his order uses the title "brother".

For me Don Diego started out as EL CID, morphed to CISCO when QUIZNOS showed itself, and ended up as ZORRO.

I was ready to go on a tirade about bear/bare arms, but I accept @Evil's point about sentries = HALTERS.

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

@anon 1:44pm:

Indeed, let's all throw out our dictionaries and go with random search engine results as guides to language.

The future is so bright …

Anonymous 5:22 PM  

Dear Rex,

Your confession might be good for your soul but is not convincing to me. Allow me to give you a better example of stupid. Unlike you, I had the two Ps but not the I. I finally had the I when I filled in MARITIME. Even then I did not understand what a PIP had to do with a spot in casinos. So I looked up PIP in Dictionary.com and just as I was starting to read the definition it dawned on me that I knew PIP was what they called one of those dots on a die and I made the connection. Now that is what I call being stupid.

But I also looked up stupid and saw this wonderful sentence as an example of stupid:

“Right now there are a lot of stupid people in this world and it is not us. “

JFC

Anonymous 5:23 PM  

You're kidding about the lettuce team I assume. You did realize it was Ty Cobb?

Z 6:12 PM  

@anonymous5:23 - Cobb, Waldorf, Maurice, Caesar, Chef - they all made the all century salad days team. What's a Ty Cobb?

@Lindsay and @babslesley - I bow to superior wonketry - and feel less bad about myself.

It must be a nice day in Nice as it gets two puzzledom shout outs today.

Z 6:14 PM  

@anonymous5:23 - Just in case you're wondering, I have an old English D on my welcome mat.

michael 6:53 PM  

A lot easier than Friday for me. But even after I finished I had no idea what elul was about. Had to google.

Hardest thing about this puzzle is the captcha

Tita 7:02 PM  

@Anon @ 11:16
In a thriller, the SUSPENSE is "killing me"! It is not killing the thriller, it is killing me.

Clue confusion, esp on Saturday, is what we're all here for. You might not like the made-up definition for HALTER, but the bare/bear mixup is most typical.

JaxInL.A. 9:36 PM  

Sorry, as I am usually cheerier about puzzles, but I found this one impenetrable.

Too many needlessly obtuse clues, like cross-referencing a city with a random direction, and so many others noted here. I like the grid itself very much, nice and Scrabbly on reflection, but so many clues that were just off made this a real grrrrind for me. Maybe someday I will enjoy a Barry Silk puzzle but im afraid I just don't get them now.

Anonymous 10:52 PM  

As in: oh man, the suspense is killing me!

Evan 11:37 PM  

Strangely, I actually found this to be pretty easy for a Saturday, way easier than yesterday's offering -- maybe the NYT mixed them up by mistake? Like a few other other commenters, SOCIAL IQ was my first entry in the grid and it fell almost instantly -- it just made sense. POSADA/OTIC was the last one and it was a very tough cross but I was fortunate to get it right.

I was lamenting the fact that last week, I would have broken my personal time record for solving a Saturday NYT puzzle perfectly, but one wrong answer caused that goal to come crashing down (I had the wrong world leader: STaLin when I wanted ST. OLAV -- and all of the crosses, though incorrect, were legit words). I thought that I'd never have that kind of speed on a Saturday again. But today, I smashed last week's solving time and finished with a perfect grid. So I'm feeling pretty good.

@JaxInL.A.:

I dunno, for some reason I've always done a little better on Barry Silk's puzzles compared to my performance with other constructors -- kind of the reverse experience of you. So I can definitely appreciate how one can click with some puzzle makers when solving their grids and be totally lost with others. It's also possible that I've been improving lately because I've been working through Nathan Last's "Word." The puzzles in that book have some very fresh answers and clues for the younger solvers out there, so they've forced me to think a little bit differently than would most other offerings in the NYT. Even the easy-rated puzzles in "Word." still feel pretty challenging because of their unique flavor.

Dirigonzo 6:42 PM  

My first run at this yesterday (Saturday) evening after work produced few answers, none of them right. This afternoon, after my older son left after visiting for Father's Day, I took the puzzle and a vodka and tonic out to the pool deck and started anew. By the time the VnT was finished the grid was about half done, so I went in to feed the dogs, refreshed the drink and took up where I left off.

And I "got 'r done" as Larry the Cable Guy used to say - well, almost. BElIeS was just impossible to let go even though I knew the crosses made it wrong. So ultimately I just ZONed out and DNF.

I hope all the dads had as happy a Father's Day as I did.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

The term "preprandial" literally means "before lunch...."

Anyone go to the movies before lunch? I guess....

BigSteve46 2:31 PM  

Which Norfolk is SSE of what Erie? If we are talking Virginia and Pennsylvania , that a little far-fetched as there is absolutely no relationship between those 2 places. Or is this some English thing ...?

(By the way, this "prove your not robot" horses*it is totally illegible! at least to my 66-yearold eyes.)

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

Halter TOPS my friends ... Halter Tops! A sleeveless garment worn by women in the summer!

DMGrandma 3:02 PM  

Wallowed around this one for a while. Like @Smitty, found a lot of the clues were not in my wheelhouse. Wanted candle at 1A, California (wouldn't fit) at 5D before realizing San somewhere was wanted. And had to give up on Cal Tech. don't know ITT Tech. Really enjoyed all the challenges,and in the end, it all became, if not clear, at least worked out except for the MONK thing. I had "zoned", couldn't spell West's first name, and couldn't tell you what sport was related to the All Centuy Team, so came here to have all the bright people tell me why a mane was a father figure, sigh!

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

I stopped considering the spelling of "bear" (vs. bare) in the clue the moment HALTER went down. I spent a long time trying to get that HALTER down, and I wasn't about to ruin the moment by challenging the initial image that flashed in my mind.

Spacecraft 6:10 PM  

Too hard for me without Google help. Clues go beyond the pale to BEFOG--er, I mean, BEDIM my brain. Really? You can actually use a homonym just to obfuscate? HALTERS do not, in any manner, bear arms. They don't even bare them; they simply don't cover them. The wearer can be said to bare (her) arms by choosing to wear a halter, and that's it. If I were a clue striker on a picket line, my sign would read "UNFAIR!"

"Brown drawer?" You don't want to know the image THAT brought (think: "shart")! But right below it, "Puts some black lines on" just makes no sense. LINES? What lines? Oh, you mean, if you have a burger on the grate, I guess. That word is just awful in that clue. CHARring has nothing to do with lines.

And, I'm awfully sorry, my Jewish friends (and I DO have some!), but I can't stand the names of your months. Cripes, it's easier to say "months" than most of yours. If I could, I'd banish them all, right along with Roman numerals, as far as crossword appearance goes.

Had to look up SANTACRUZ, POSADA, and KANYEWEST, whose description I would end with the word "jackass." Also had one error, forgetting to change ZONeS to ZONKS once MONE made no sense. I'm with @Evil (wow, never thought I'd see myself typing THAT!): Friday beat Saturday this week by a landslide.

Jennifer in CA 2:59 AM  

I think this is my first completed Saturday ever! HTG only twice and had ZONeS for ZONKS. But otherwise a successful NYT Xword day. NW almost stumped me till I fixed kittYCATS. I'm not sure all salts are MARITIME, and I thought there are "rules" against 57A TEAMED and 33D "All-century team member." But I loved the clues for 19A (Les Mise'rables feature) and 33A (Brown drawer). Brilliant! Almost midnight on the West Coast so I'm sure I'm the last poster of the day. For a week that began weakly, it finished with a bang!

Jennifer in CA 10:04 AM  

Doh ... Salts=Sailers ... MARITIME ... I get it.

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