Collegiate honor society of Bloomberg Iacocca / SAT 6-9-12 / Annie who voice Bo Peep in Toy Story / Food from Tupi language of South America / Dish containing masa / Pain is Love rapper / Hockey shot involving two players / Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae

Saturday, June 9, 2012

[Hey, syndicated solvers! It's me, PuzzleGirl, talking to you from the future. I wanted to make sure you knew about the 5th annual Lollapuzzoola crossword puzzle tournament, which is right around the corner on August 4 (that's a Saturday in August). This is a really fun one-day tournament brought to you by Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer. If you can't make it to New York for the tournament, please consider the "compete at home" division. Either way, you will be treated to puzzles by some of the best constructors in the business and I'm totally not exaggerating. All the details are at the Lollapuzzoola 5 website, so check it out!]

Constructor: David Quarfoot

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: JA RULE (46D: "Pain Is Love" rapper) —

Jeffrey Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage name Ja Rule or Mockaveli, is an American rapper, singer, and actor from Queens, New York City.
Born in Hollis, Queens, he began his career in the group Cash Money Click and debuted in 1999 withVenni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 2000 to 2004, Ja Rule had several hits that made the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" with Jennifer Lopez, "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" also with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to The Inc. Records, which was formerly known as Murder Inc. and was led by Irv Gotti. Ja Rule has sold over 30 million records worldwide and was the fastest selling rapper in 2001. He is also known for some well-publicized feuds with other rappers (in-particular 50 Cent and Eminem). (wikipedia)
• • •

First of all, ICE SKATES is correct because the Avalanche are an NHL team (62A: Avalanche gear). [added 8:57 am because the complaints / queries are already piling up]


A decent puzzle that ended on a sour note for me. TAU BETA PI is just random Greek letters to me, and so it was with no pleasure at all that I uncovered it (slowly) (50A: Collegiate honor society of Bloomberg and Iacocca). Since it was the only way into that SW corner, that little corner took as long as the entire top half of the puzzle, and with no payoff (except JA RULE, which wasn't so much payoff as "o man, I forgot he existed" flashback). There are so many Greek-named societies ... none of them is particularly resonant. Just letters. Disappointing to be so badly slowed down by the least interesting long answer in the puzzle. But these things happen.

I liked most of the rest of the puzzle. SE gave me some trouble too—at one point I had the first four letters of all the longish Downs in that area and still couldn't break through. Eventually just guessed ONE-TIMER (seemed like something I'd heard, though I don't care about hockey; I think it's where you score off an assist with a single touch of your stick, i.e. instead of controlling the puck and then shooting), and then that corner went down fast. The top half, where I started, went down so fast I barely knew it was there, so this felt *very* uneven, difficulty-wise. I wrote in DOHA, QATAR immediately, first thing, no crosses (1A: Al Jazeera locale). APNEA and ENOLA got me the traction I needed to finish the NW corner off (do *not* like OBOE PART—the duck is the OBOE! PART shmart. Redundancy! 2D: The duck in "Peter and the Wolf"). I think ORE CAR is unfair (12D: Rock carrier), since ORE CAB seems just as plausible, and BEY is just as much as a [Foreign leader] as REY is. Booooooo! Clue really should've specified nationality of the "leader" in question. KLINGER was a gimme (43D: "M*A*S*H" character from Toledo, Ohio), AGENT K was not (40A: Jones's "Men in Black" role), so they kind of canceled each other out. I expect a lot from Quarfoot (one of the great themeless constructors), and this wasn't quite up to his usual standards. But still pretty good, overall.

  • 24A: Snarky reply after a lecture ("IS THAT ALL?") — I assume this is a "lecture" in the sense of a "stern talking-to." I've lectured quite a bit in college classrooms and have never heard "IS THAT ALL?" at the end (though some may have been thinking that, I don't know).

  • 26A: W.W. II battle town (CAEN) — nobody likes the 4-letter WWI-Eurostuff, but at least this was something I'd seen before. Not great, but not EURE, so I'm cool with it.
  • 34A: Leader given the posthumous title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae (ST. OLAV) — hate OLAV in general because, well, there's always the possibility of OLAF. Also, shouldn't some part of the clue signal the abbreviated "ST."? I'd probably have gone STOLEN or STOLID here, Not sure why a variation on crosswordese was deemed superior.
  • 53A: Annie who voiced Bo Peep in "Toy Story" (POTTS) — I have a friend who's weirdly obsessed with her, so her name came right to mind.
  • 64A: #1 on VH1's "40 Hottest Hotties of the '90s" (MARKY MARK) — I wouldn't call him that now. It's Mark Wahlberg, thank you very much. Oh, what the hell, let's roll the tape: "Yo! It's about that time / To bring forth / The rhythm and the rhyme!"

  • 3D: It rates over 100,000 on the Scoville scale (HABANERO) — forgot what the Scoville scale was about, so I needed several crosses to pick this up. 
  • 13D: Dish containing masa (TAMALE) — "masa"= "n. Dough made of dried corn that has been soaked in limewater then rinsed and ground, used especially in tortillas and tamales." I did not know this.
  • 42D: Food whose name comes from the Tupi language of South America (TAPIOCA) — didn't realize til just now what a culinary extravaganza this puzzle is. 
  • 60D: Setting in "Call of Duty: Black Ops," informally ('NAM) — no idea, but still, easy. Setting, for a war game, abbreviated ... not too tough to figure out. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Evan K. 12:08 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:15 AM  

Played rather challenging. ... Oddly enough one of the first answers (and easiest clues) in the grid for me was OBAMACARE, largely because I had that same idea for 15-Across in a Saturday grid I was trying to build! Grrrr...

That leads to a rather blatant checkerboard pattern of consonants and vowels in the upper left. DOHA, QATAR is a rather gutsy move and works well, though it seems chosen directly from a database to fit that alternating scheme.

Nice inclusion of AGENT K, given the onset of the new Men in Black movie.

The annoying thing about getting that final "V" as the first cross to ST. OLAV is that it could also be something like OLAF IV -- especially since, as Rex notes, there was no hint of an abbreviation in the vlue.

syndy 12:55 AM  

Mark wahlberg=MARKY MARK? get out! how embarassing... Yes that sw corner was my waterloo too-finally I got the BATES motel and fingered out the rest, I did have a short holdup up top refusing to give up MODESTY for far too long and i was sniveling as I erased it.I would agree about ST OLAV if he hadn't been such a big fat gimmee

jae 1:01 AM  

This was a typically delightful DQ that played medium for me. NW took some time because I tried to start 1a with QATAR and had the same issue with OBOEPART as Rex did. The rest went pretty smoothly. A nice amount of zip...HABANERO, BATES, OUTTA, KLINGER...

Re: Familiar gimmes with WTF clues. Any four letter bird beginning with N = NENE almost all the time.

Possible tough cross: AGENTK/KLINGER if you never followed MASH.

Not sure why 54a needs a ?

Fun puzzle with fun Sat. cluing.

pk 1:43 AM  

Hmm...blogger just ate my comment, I think.

What I think I said already (which may be saved out in cyberspace somewhere) was that DQ and I have never been on the same wavelength until today.

Loved this puzzle. Obamacare was a gimme. Go bananas was a gimme.

My favorite crossbird, the Nene, made an appearance.

Ghostface Killah would not fit where JA Rule was supposed to go.

pk 1:47 AM  

Also knew tamale and habanero, but I'm from Texas, so I would, wouldn't I?

This posting business has gotten so complicated, hasn't it?

Mike in New Haven 1:51 AM  

Agree with Rex about the plausible alternative of ORE CAb/bEY vs. ORE CAR/REY. If you guess bEY, as I did, the crosses don't set you straight.

ahsieh 3:15 AM  

Tau Beta Pi is the honor society for engineers, second oldest after Phi Beta Kappa. Knew Iacocca designed cars but didn't know Bloomberg did anything other than money and politics.

I had "bey" and "ore cab" too...took several minutes to figure out why NYT app kept saying solution was incorrect. =P

Btw jalapeño has a tilde but habanero does not. And if you're a purist then "tamale" shouldn't even be a word: plural is tamales and singular is tamal.

Karl 3:17 AM  

DNF,,,sigh...SW kicked my butt...

r.alphbunker 3:20 AM  

Extremely slow start on this one. First correct answer was SUITOR at 12 minutes. Then around 22 minutes things started popping and the bottom fell. At 56 minutes the NE was unfilled but then I put in CTSCAN (guessing it was the the official name of a cat scan) and then it was a sprint to the finish.

Really great cluing. Ironically, the clues that gave me the most trouble were {Slip} and {Place to pin a medal} because their answers seemed so obvious that I was convinced they must be wrong.

Anonymous 7:26 AM  

No such thing as an ORE CAB.

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

Gee. You're so smart.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

Not sure what ice skates have to do with avalanches.

And the puzzle felt Tuesday easy through the entire top half - record time as DOHAQATAR fell without hesitation. Then ... Nothing except KLINGER for a Long, long time. 36 minutes total, 33 of them in the bottom half.G

pauer 8:36 AM  

Nice one, DQ! I don't know my rappers, so EMINEM crossing HERBS (They may be bitter) in the SW seemed good to me. Sadly, it was not so.

STALIN became STOLAV and left me thinking: Who's Stolav? D'oh!

lymank 8:39 AM  

Haven't had any calculus since college, so I'm clueless as to what STONE (44A)has to do with it. And I don't know what LIM (59D) stands for..
Agree on 34A... should have been an indicator of an abbreviation here.
Thought 62A should have had a question mark in the clue.. I really had no idea it was referring to a hockey team until I had almost all the crosses.
Enjoyed the puzzle in spite of this bit of nitpicking.

Leslie 9:02 AM  

Jeezaloo, I'm impressed by those of you for whom DOHA, QATAR was a gimme. The NW corner was the last to fall for me, and was a long, slow haul. Was thinking of a name for the duck in "Peter and the Wolf" and thought, "Well, okay, maybe his name was 'Bonepart,' misspelling of Boneparte?" So OBAMACARE took a while to show up.

Why are VESTS necessarily "wedding wear?" I didn't much like that clue and answer. Hand up for not seeing why ICE SKATES are something that would be useful in an avalanche. Thought you needed a smooth surface? Maybe there's an entirely different contraption also called an ice skate . . .

Laughed at little at poor Mark Wahlberg. Oh, how our early choices come back to haunt us, MARKY MARK.

jackj 9:07 AM  

Things started out nicely with DOHAQATAR and OBAMACARE and continued down the grid to MARKYMARK( the Mark Wahlberg who hosts Antiques Roadshow?, NOT!), and I was thrilled to find two ice hockey clues, the first answer being ONETIMER, which usually describes a bodacious slap shot by the likes of Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara, (he whose shot has been timed at 108 mph).

And the other ice hockey clue was a nicely disguised entry looking for “Avalanche gear”. As a rabid hockey fan, it is clear we aren’t dealing with a snow event, we’re after the ICESKATES worn by the likes of the Colorado Avalanche NHL team.

Temporary stumbles came at the center left where 34, 40 and 50 across seemed impossible but thanks to crosses like the clever BATES motel entry, JARULE and KLINGER things began to open up.

The last gasp then was correcting 34 across from thinking it was STALIN (good grief!), to realizing it was old friend ST OLAV which allowed AGENTK (40) and (50)TAUBETAPI (good grief, again!), to eventually fill in and allow me to close out the rest of the puzzle.

What a wonderful workout; for a bit I thought I might GOBANANAS!

Thanks, David.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

"Calculus" is Latin for "small stone." LIM is for "limit."

Leslie 9:12 AM  

Oh, jackj, THANK YOU!! Avalanche = hockey team. Got it.

Smitty 9:16 AM  

Knowing neither DOHO or HABANERO, I ended up playing scales on the keyboard again for the H until Mr. Smiley Pencil appeared. (Yesterday he wasn't even smiling)

I liked bitter PILL better than ALOE
I take it Avalanche is a hockey team.
OK one more - ENOLA GAY a name in "aviation"? mmm kind of a stretch.
Medium Challenging just about right.

Anonymous 9:19 AM  

Thanks for the Avalanche thing. Didn't see that.

Also, I don't really see why TNT is a "major downer"? Because it knocks things down in a major way??

I'd never heard of TAU BETA PI, either, but I thought it was a fun part of solving that tough corner. I gradually filled it in right to left, and I had to mentally go through the Greek alphabet to think about what could fit as I went along. Fun. Why always glass-half-empty with @ Rex? 

Z 9:34 AM  

OBAMACARE went in easily, but 1A was too long for QATAR or BAHRAIN or ABU DHABI, and QA--- seemed improbable for 5D. The reappearance of mens REA opened the corner up and then Q AND A came to mind and the NE filled.

Had a malapop at 42D as I tried Tomatoe then TAmales before INRI showed me TAPIOCA. I did have a hiccup in the NE with aTEST before HTEST. Took a few seconds for me to figure out it was the A in PaOTO that was wrong. No problem with bEY for me because bEY never occurred to me as an option.

Like Rex, had to do the random Greek letters one letter at a time, E from ERASE then B from BATES then T from PT BOAT then A from JA RULE. The o in ALOES/SUITOR was the last letter in.

I finished this with everything but the SW seeming pretty easy, so I was surprised at the Medium-Challenging rating. Will be interested to see what SanFranMan's numbers say.

joho 9:37 AM  

@pauer, I had the same change from STaLin to STOVLAV and then wondered who is in the world is that? Double D'oh!

I loved the aha moment when I figured out Avalanche gear.

I misspelled SUITeR at first so took forever to see ALOES.

No idea about AGENTK but KLINGER saved me.

Normally Quarfoot beats me up badly but today it was a pleasant struggle which I really enjoyed.

Oh, and OUTTA was spelled right!

SethG 9:46 AM  

Found this easier than yesterday's. Hardest by far was the NE, and ORE CAB was my final answer.

I always mix up the Funky Bunch with C+C Music Factory. Throw in Kris Kross, it was a very good year. College!

Martin 9:50 AM  


HABANERO should not have a tilde (towards the end of your post).

Martin 9:55 AM  

I see that M-W accepts the tilde as a variant spelling. Ugh. What do Spanish speakers know about English?

quilter1 10:18 AM  

Had jalapeno before habanero and so many other answers that were wrong but fit I finally gave up. No knowledge of so many things that even a few crosses didn't reveal answers. Oh, well, at least I got a bonus puzzle from BEQ that was very fun to do.

So my hard Saturday chores are putting together car activity bags for the grands and cutting out a new quilt. Have a nice weekend, folks. 10:31 AM  

nice video

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Another rapper. Ugh. I finally figured out why rap doesn't cut it for me. Even when I listen to "regular" songs I don't hear the words. They just get in the way. Rap is all about the words. Who needs it. I like the written word but when somebody's mouth opens, my male selective hearing swings into high gear. Lectures, counseling, advice from a spouse...I have never heard any of it.

chefbea 11:02 AM  

Too tough for me so DNF Hand up for bitter herbs, but liked all the other food items.
Grilling option was great!!!

Gill I. P. 11:03 AM  

HABANERO with a tilde? It means from LA HABANA...Just make me die a bit more and screw M-W.
I was really plugging away and enjoying this puzzle till I got to the Greek house. I got the answer but it was like anticipating a delicious platter of TAMAL (sans the e) only to find a hair in it.
I knew QATAR had to be right but it took me some time before I got good ole DOHA. Was so pleased with my self that I was able to plunk down JA RULE and MARKY MARK. Loved 53D PINKY and I ran through the alphabet to see if I remembered each letter of ASL. I did and I was proud. Good work-out that took me about 3 hours but I finished and that's a good thing....

PuzzleNut 11:34 AM  

Found this one easier than Rex. My normal Saturday is a tough, fun struggle, usually to find that Rex rates it Easy. This one was easier than normal for me, so I was surprised to see Rex's rating.
Different strokes for different folks. I wrote in TAUBETAPI off the I with no hesitation (I was a member in college). JARULE took every cross and I still had no idea how to parse it (or that it needed parsing). VESTS seemed pretty weak (or at least the clue). Had Rib for RAG, so I was going with OLA?IV for quite a while. H, N or A TEST is always a wait and see answer. Was almost certain of KLINGER, but the ????TK for a role in a movie I never saw seemed like a problem. In the end, though, no errors and a lot of confidence in the final answers.

mac 11:40 AM  

Think David Quarfoot put his initials on top of the puzzle with Doha, Qatar?

This one was challenging for me. For some reason I didn't think of the Greek letters, even though I had most of the crosses. Having veils at 34D caused a lot of trouble as well. I thought of Bates right away, but felt unsure. Big name in motels.
Had to give up. the soccer game is starting soon!

Tita 11:45 AM  

Major, major DNF, even with 4 googles...(Does it count as cheating if you look up Scoville scale, then wrongly put in jAlApEno b4 finally emerging bloodied and bruised, only to find you still have a dnf due to ERROn/nAG??

I didn't stand a chance...what is the opposite of a toehold? I had them in every corner for too long:

NE: olaviv
NW: Foreign leader = eff
SW: 45A: bra, 54A: sabers, 61A: herbS
SE: potatoe before TAPIOCA; 53D: dIgit

Fair fight - not too much pop or sports, but the few were deadly.
Agree about TAUBETAPI, and while I resent the ICESKATES clue for being devilishly sports-related, I think it is really well-clued.

Back to super-tough Saturday for me, even with puzzle-husband's help.

retired_chemist 11:48 AM  

My Mideast news agency knowledge is scanty, so SAN'A, YEMEN was my immediate answer to 1A. Took an ungodly long time to straighten that out. Also felt clever plunking down ?EY @ 28A, thinking the crosses would give me DEY or BEY eventually. But ORE CA? didn't fit either - and in a moment of cockeyed genius decided ORE CAN/(Marshal) NEY was it. Finished with that error, the incorrectness of which I find tres élégant regardless.

Knew the honorary (50A) was the engineering honorary but ???ETA PI left too many options - Googled "engineering honorary fraternity" and found it. Got me to the BATES Motel, the clue for which I found elegantly misleading. I loved it.

All in all a toughie but well worth the effort.

Tobias Duncan 11:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobias Duncan 11:57 AM  

Why on earth does this rapper go by JARULE when his other name is far superior? Mockaveli? Thats freakin brilliant! Perhaps it was too difficult to come up with the constantly snarky lyrics that you would need to live up to that moniker.

Way too many sports clues this week.

Mel Ott 11:57 AM  

Tough puzzle for me but I managed to complete it. Wasn't sure about the middle vowel in HABANERO, and 19A wasn't much help but guessed right. I take it "Mens REA" is Latin??

Settled on ONETIMER/STONE because that was the only combo that seemed to produce real words. Forgot the Latin derivation of Calculus. And I don't follow hockey as much as I used to and have never heard of ONETIMER. The differing explanations of that term still don't make any sense to me.

No matter how it's clued, Q AND A always gets me.

Rookie 11:58 AM  

Man, this one was way beyond me. Hats off to you who completed and/or found it easy.

Disappointing. Just when I think I'm making progress, boom, a day like today.

After this one, I can't wait for Monday!

Rookie 12:01 PM  

Just reread my post.

Is it "hat's off" - in other words, my hat is off rather than "hats off" as I wrote.


Shamik 12:23 PM  

My success in this was finishing without errors. Medium-challenging at 26:08. Counter-clockwise finishing with whole corners going down at once...but starting SE-NE-NW and finally, the dreaded SW. Played so much hokey pokey with this puzzle, I couldn't begin to tell you all the different ins and outs that were there.

I knew that "K" was the answer, so had to work at AGENTK.

I have never eaten ALOE(S). Who has? And is it really bitter? OR is it just called bitter aloe? Off to Google.

Masked and Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Put up the kind of fight I like. Hard, but eminently solvable. SatPuz thUmbsUp.

Re: Entry into the dreaded SW corner: This was the last area I happened to arrive at, in my Grid Trek. Looked at the rest of the puz and gasped incredulously "no U's!?" DQ would not do this to me. There had to be some token U's inhabiting that corner. Looked at the "Beau" clue, thought U, and instantly came up with SUITOR. Then that @#31*! TAU was obvious. SW was soon history. Har. Moral = Think "U's", @31.

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

Had steady instead of suitor. It took me forever to by it. Great Saturday stuff very few gimmes

Lewis 1:31 PM  

@mac -- good observation about dq

Like yesterday, needed UG, but I loved this puzzle, with its tricky cluing. Learned the origin of tapioca as well as some hockey move that I will probably not remember.

I DID remember mens REA.

Anoa Bob 1:37 PM  

Rookie @11:58, I've been solving for years and still am about 60/40 finished/did-not-finish on Fri-Sat NYT puzzles and that's the way I like it. If I nailed every one of them, I'd have to look for challenges elsewhere. More convenient this way.

I earned my keep, such as it was, for several decades by chalking and talking, so when I saw the clue for 24A "Snarky reply after a lecture" I tried "I thought that blow-hard would never quit". I doubt anyone ever said "IS THAT ALL". Oh, I see---different kind of lecture.

JaxInL.A. 1:52 PM  

I feel sooooo much better knowing that I shared my mistaken but confident entry of rapper "Eminem," confirmed by crossing with bitter "herbs," with no less a personage than Patrick Blindauer. Thanks, @pauer, for sharing.

This was insanely hard for me, but I managed to finish after googling for Scoville, the fraternity and Mr. Rule.

I thought of all our chefs when the food clues and answers started to pile up. I thought of our resident chaplain, @quilter1, in the SE corner with both INRI and THE SON. In fact, I thought the bitter herbs (feature of a Passover meal) in the SW were continuing a religious sub-theme.

Interesting puzzle, though a real struggle. Thanks, DQ.

Rookie 2:39 PM  

Thanks for the encouragement @Anoa Bob, but I wasn't even close! It was beyond hard for me.

I did go do the LA Times puzzle and pretty much sailed through it, so, while not on an EGO trip, I'm feeling a little better.

I do appreciate the encouragement.

jberg 4:00 PM  

I found the SE really tough, and ultimately DNF - I had to look up PETCO. Even though I thought of it, I couldn't believe it as a stadium name, so I wrote in PEPCO instead. I only realized just now that the first P in that utility company's name stands for Potomac, not Pacific, so that was even more unlikely. My real problem was that I wanted pals instead of CREW for "mates", didn't know Potts, and didn't know the Avalanche was a hockey team. Didn't know KLINGER, either, for that matter, and had no idea which AGENT we were dealing with - I tried A and X before K. Also thumb before PINKY. Mark Wahlberg grew up on the next street, but it took me a long time to see that one because I originally misread "Hotties" as "Hits." (That's pretty sloppy reading, I know, but there it is.) Finally I got him, guessed LIM, and that gave me KLINGER and then LOGIN NAME, but DNF becuse I used Google.

I started off with a bank, too, what with DOHA, QATAR. Easy for me because there's been a lot of discussion about Al-Jazeera English coverage being distorted by Qatari policy (not too much on democracy movements in Arab monarchies, e.g.) - but I guess that's not everyone's interest.

Finally got through with this about 3 PM - had to put it down and do something else several times. Quite a workout!

Anonymous 4:46 PM  

"One-timer" is a hockey shot? Gee, that's fascinating. I'm sure I'll remember that on my deathbed. I'm not an "MIB" fan so it took me a while to get "Agent K". Guessed "habanero" and that the Scofield was some kind of pepper-hotness scale. I agree about "Marky Mark"; Mark Wahlberg hasn't used that moniker since before Clinton ran for reelection. "Bates" as a big name in motels is certainly creepy, and I'm a big Hitch fan. This guy has hockey on the brain. I figured "Avalanche gear" referred to the Colorado hockey NHL, but come on! Don't follow hockey much, but rooting for the LA Kings to finish off the NJ Devils for the Stanley Cup today; the only thing interesting in sports today, what with I'll Have Another scratched from the Belmont (didn't learn about that until I fetched the NYT off the front door step this a.m.- I was at an all-day workshop on Friday and went to bed early after). "Q and A" for "grilling option" is clever or ridiculous, depending on what mood you're in. This being Saturday the puzzle being moderately stinky, I figured it was something to do with interrogation and not stove-top cooking. On the whole this puzzle only moderately annoyed me. Finished it, so can't complain too much.

Stevlb1 5:08 PM  

The southwest corner killed me. I had to give it up. You people are amazing!

loren muse smith 5:32 PM  

What a relief to come here and see that so many people had trouble today. It. Kicked. My. PRAT.

Like @Tita et al, major, major DNF.

Everything seems fair enough when I see the completed puzzle (well, OBOE PART was unexpected); maybe if I had plugged away at it for a few more hours I could have finished.

TANLINE, PJS, Q AND A - terrific! I, too, couldn't let go of "modesty." Also had "veils" forever, and "steady" before SUITOR.

@Rookie - hang in there. Today was a really hard puzzle! Fair, but hard. Thanks, David.

sanfranman59 6:08 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:39, 6:49, 0.97, 45%, Medium
Tue 10:00, 8:54, 1.12, 82%, Challenging
Wed 10:44, 11:47, 0.91, 30%, Easy-Medium
Thu 17:12, 18:57, 0.91, 35%, Easy-Medium
Fri 21:10, 24:42, 0.86, 25%, Easy-Medium
Sat 31:35, 29:29, 1.07, 71%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:46, 3:40, 1.03, 66%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:05, 4:36, 1.10, 81%, Challenging
Wed 5:48, 5:53, 0.99, 50%, Medium
Thu 8:31, 9:21, 0.91, 38%, Easy-Medium
Fri 11:08, 12:14, 0.91, 35%, Easy-Medium
Sat 17:51, 16:44, 1.07, 72%, Medium-Challenging

chefwen 6:19 PM  

I thought this one was easier, but only by a hair, than yesterdays.

My first fill was at 7D when I plopped in pockets, kinda like that better than TAN LINE. Didn't fare much better at 16A with set Aside. Bra before PJS, nEAr before SEAL, KLINGER set me straight there. OBAMA CARE nixed my pockets. It was tough going and I did need outside help, but I'm still going to chalk this one up to FINISHED with assistance, I allow that on Fri and Sat.

michael 6:22 PM  

hard! Got only part of the soutwest. Ja Rule!? bitter aloes? tau beta pi?

mac 7:38 PM  

@chefwen: pockets are great!

Tita 8:07 PM  

suggested "pockets" too! I had clothes, which I knew was way too obvious for Saturday.

I do think it's even better than already funny TANLINE. (Though unless you're a Möbius strip, you generally have more than one, no?)

Tita 8:09 PM  

Rats...meant to say:

@chefwen: Puzzle husband suggested "pockets"...

Dirigonzo 8:41 PM  

I finished the SW corner with no writeovers, but that's all I finished. The Nudist's lack at 7d was a personal gimme due to my sun-bathing preference, AGENTK is in the theaters again due to the new MIB release, and LOGINNAME seemed reasonable, but the rest of the grid just eluded me. Oh wait, I had SEEME and CTSCAN in the NE, too!

Totally miffed that I missed OBAMACARE - when healthCARE didn't fit, I just gave up. It's been a long day.

See you here next week.

John V 11:02 PM  

A complete train wreck. Never connected. Felt too clever by half.

Anonymous 11:09 PM  

ABHU DHABI also fits, if you misspell it.

Had the H having thought HABANERO was more likely than JALAPENO.

Flying Disc 11:25 PM  

I didn't get to try today's puzzle
(which is too bad because it looked like a good one), but thought I would respond to @SethG and @Z re flying discs . . .

@Z - Agreed. I play golf too but don't care too much about shape of dimples on the ball or depth of grooves on the face of the club. Yeah it sounds interesting but I play for fun with a 15 handicap.

@sethg - let them look at me funny, I don't care - I am not obsessive about Ultimate

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :) 2:21 PM  

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Brendan Norwood 1:21 PM  

"Calculus" is Latin for "pebble".

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

How is "brief word" RES?

Anonymous 12:42 PM  

Good brain workout today. Satisfying to complete with no errors.

Does DQ always work his initials into his puzzles?

When ICE SKATES fell I was thinking Avanlanche was a brand of skates; didn't even make the hockey connection until I came here. Nice cross with ONE-TIMER. Also liked AMA crossing OBAMACARE (though I really hate that term).

OBOE PART is not redundant. When an instrumental piece is performed by more than one person, each performer has a separate piece of sheet music, called a part, to play from. In "Peter and the Wolf" the OBOE PART represents the duck. The oboe is the instrument used by the oboist to play the OBOE PART.

Anonymous 12:57 PM  

I know at least two people who can tell me with perfect clarity that DOHA, QATAR is located on the Persian "Gulf" but will also tell me that the OBOE PART represents the duck in Peter and the "Woof".

DMGrnadma 3:47 PM  

Add "f" to today's Capcha and you get my results with this puzzle: Alsoof, as I was also (way) off on a lot of this puzzle. Gee, hockey, rappers, unknown Greek societies...This one was way to deep for me. Congrats to those who conquered it!

The number on this Captcha is 365. Hope that doesn't bode a whole year of ineptness!

Ginger 4:59 PM  


Just when I think my solving skills are improving, I'm DQd by DQ.

Thanks to Anon 12:42 for an explanation of OBOEPART, tho I still think it's a reach. UG told me that 'K. Brown, is T.L.Jones' character in MIB. That part of the grid now looks like a Rorschach test. (I use ink on paper)

@onnieinseattle - how's the eye? I understand it's critical to take care of those things, so glad you did.

Spacecraft 2:27 AM  

DNF, only in small part due to one of my screaming hates: Q&A. Yes, that's right, not "Q AND A," which is nothing short of RIDICULOUS! Why in the WORLD would anyone ever abbreviate "question" and "answer" with single letters--and then turn around and SPELL OUT the word "and?" IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

@Spacecraft - for "R AND R", am staying at a "B AND B". Do "R AND D" for a living.

Lennie Augustine 1:01 AM  

As usual, I was the opposite of Rex ... I flew through the south half of the puzzle and had a painful slog through the north. In the south, probably because I'm a member of Tau Beta Pi and Lee Iacocca went to my college (Lehigh) and I knew he had been in it, and in the north, probably because I stuck way too long with TEHERAN TV for DOHA QATAR. (How is it all you people had that one instantly? I never even heard of Doha.)

I had issues with a ton of clues in this one:

1) LOGIN NAME is not an access provider ... the password that goes with the login name is.

2) I hate "Flip" for GO BANANAS. Add "out" at the end of the clue, for "Flip out," and now it's fine.

3) "Soup flavorer" for DILL? Really? I mean, I know it can be used as a soup flavorer, but so can about 15,000 other ingredients

4) Didn't like REY in the same puzzle that had "REX Perpetuus Norvegiea" as a clue - REY and REX are from the same root and more or less are the same word.

5) Agree on the "ST. OLAV" clue needing an abbreviation signal.

6) I'm sorry, I refuse to accept OUTTA as a word, so "Word with control or sight" is just not right.

7) AMA for "Health advocacy abbr."? Really? Of all the ways to clue the American Medical Association, what does "advocacy" have to do with it? How about "Physician income advocacy abbr." instead? There, now I feel better.

8) Brief word = RES? You know, just because something is a legal term, doesn't mean it's a "brief" word. I'm a lawyer, I've written maybe a 100 briefs, I'm not sure I've ever used the word "Res" in one of them.

I could go on, but I'll just say it seems to me that Mr. Quarfoot was intentionally misleading with his clues in this one for the sake of making the puzzle more difficult, and that's not commendable in my book. I like a challenging puzzle as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of accuracy of clues.

Anonyrat 8:37 AM  

First post here - been doing the puzzle regularly for about three/four months now and coming here to check my answers. Interesting to see how many people thought DOHAQATAR was a gimme. It was the answer that totally F'ed me. I thought of Qatar since I had DOHA-ATA- but (agree 100 percent with @LennieAugustine) "RES" is not a word, and couldn't see how QANDA was a "grilling option" (get it now after reading the commments - Q and A - was thinking it was a brand of grill maker I never heard of). Also agree with @mac - think this was a wank by the constructor who's initials are DQ.

Solving in Seattle 3:15 PM  

It's Monday for my Saturday post because there is golf.

I solved this but there was smoke coming out of the google machine.

You've got to hand it to Mark Wahlberg and how he's reinvented himself. It wouldn't surprise me if he has a career as long as Clint's.

RES: An object, a subject matter, or a status against which legal proceedings have been instituted.

So, let's not get all lawyerly on the clue here. It works.

I thought "Avalanche gear" as the clue for ICESKATES was clever. I stared at ICESKA forever trying to grow avalance gear on this cow. Couldn't accept TES until I remembered the Colorado NHL team. Forehead slapper.

Dropped in OBAMACARE after asking my wife the Duck's name. "Oh, the duck was the OBOE." Had stlo before CAEN. VEilS before VESTS. jAlApeno before HABANERO.

I'm OUTTA here - gotta go check into the BATES motel.

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