Guitarist Segovia / FRI 6-29-12 / Callas contemporary / Ethan Frome's sickly wife / Werther's love in Goethe novel / Literally man of forest / 1970s-80s band whose debut album was soundtrack to Richard Pryor film

Friday, June 29, 2012

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ROSE ROYCE (17A: 1970s-'80s band whose debut album was the soundtrack to a Richard Pryor film) —
Rose Royce is an American soul and R&B group. They are best known for several hit singlesduring the 1970s including "Car Wash," "I Wanna Get Next to You," "I'm Going Down", "Wishing on a Star", and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore". // The Los Angeles-based group originally comprised Henry Garner (drums), Terral "Terry" Santiel (congas), Lequeint "Duke" Jobe (bass), Michael Moore (saxophone), Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals), Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Freddie Dunn (trumpet), and Victor Nix (keyboards). The group began in the early 1970s, when members of several backup bands from the Watts andInglewood areas of Los Angeles united under the name Total Concept Unlimited. In 1973, this collective toured England and Japan behind Motown soul star Edwin Starr. Starr introduced them toNorman WhitfieldMotown's 'psychedelic shaman' who was responsible for bringing a progressive funk-rock slant to the company, via such productions as Starr's "War", The Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" and The Temptations "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". [...] The movie Car Wash and the soundtrack were great successes, bringing the group national fame. Released in late 1976, the soundtrack featured three Billboard R&B Top Ten singles: "Car Wash," "I Wanna Get Next to You," and "I'm Going Down." The first of these was also a number one single on the Billboard popular music charts, and "I Wanna Get Next to You" reached number ten. (wikipedia)

• • •

This one felt much harder than it was—this is usually the case when much of the puzzle is easy, but parts are murder. Overall time ends up somewhere in the normal range, but the frustration of being very stuck for a while leaves you feeling like the puzzle was hard in general. Actually, there was no part of the puzzle I thought was Very easy. Maybe the NE, where I started, but that's only because PIA ZADORA was a gimme (11D: 1982 Razzie winner for "Butterfly"). And even then stuff like HIPPO (9A: One form of the Egyptian god Set) and ONION (16A: Light bulb, maybe) didn't exactly come quickly. Had CARUSO instead of SCOTTO in the NW (6D: Callas contemporary), so that mucked things up for a bit (TAYE was a rock-solid gimme, so knowing that helped a little; 7D: "Private Practice" actor Diggs). NEMO for LILO in the SE held me up there for a while (54D: Title character of a 2002 Disney film), as did SMUT for SCUM (46D: Disgusting film), but the "U" got me UTILITIES (56A: Some Monopoly holdings), and the rest fell once LILO fell. That left the SW, the hardest section (for me) by far. Actually guessed COCA first (27A: Something to chew on), but couldn't get any of the downs off of that, so took it out (ugh). Had ENTER and LIANE, but put in ANDREI (?) instead of ANDRES at 42D: Guitarist Segovia, and so couldn't figure out what Latin plural could be the answer at 59A: They have two legs. I eventually got to -ANTI and started running the alphabet when I realized "Aw, *&$&, it's an 'S' not an 'I'" (thus, PANTS). HOME HELP = yuck (33D: Shut-in's caregiver, in Britain). Biggest breakthrough was getting CONTINENT (finally—I knew the "crust" involved was the earth's right away, but couldn't think of a technical term). Last letter was "H" In HOUND / HOMEHELP.

I have to stop and go watch season premiere of "Louie" now ...

OK, that's over.

  • 17A: 1970s-'80s band whose debut album was the soundtrack to a Richard Pryor film (ROSE ROYCE) — brutal. And *I've* actually heard of them, which will not be the case for almost every solver under, say, 35. And probably many over.
  • 33A: ___ Chicken Shack (Chicago-based restaurant chain) (HAROLD'S) — again brutal. Never heard of it. A partial is only a tiny step up from a plural name, especially when the partial is whatever this is.
  • 5D: Military decoration that depicts a flying eagle (AIR MEDAL) — the medal you get when you don't take gold, silver, or bronze.
  • 28D: Literally "man of the forest" (ORANGUTAN) — rough. No idea where to start with this. Really needed crosses. I was thinking far more figuratively with "man of the forest." My mind went to some dark places I don't care to recount or even recall.
  • 36D: High-hat (SNOBBISH) — an adjective? 
  • 48D: Werther's love in a Goethe novel (LOTTE) — this, paired with 50D: Ethan Frome's sickly wife (ZEENA), was (again) brutal. Two obscure literary loves with insane exotic five-letter names? Practically right next to each other? If I hadn't gotten ABLAZE (47A: Going up) ... well, I'd still be wondering what these women's names were (though LOTTE I probably could've inferred).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:07 AM  

What I enjoy about a Patrick Berry puzzle is that it's deceptively easy. His fill is usually known even if you don't know it from the clue. And he does not require a layered theme or a gimmick for me to enjoy it. Very satisfying.

jae 12:14 AM  

Terrific PB Fri.!   Very smooth and very zippy ... TOTHEMAX, AMSCRAY...

Mostly medium for me except for SE where, like Rex, SmUt for SCUM brought me to complete halt.   So top half easy-medium bottom tough.  

Only one easy sports clue but a fair amount of pop-culture (PIAZADORA,  ROSEROYCE, TAYE, LILO...)  so this may be tough for some.

And yes, I know, why wouldn't KENYA fit?

syndy 12:17 AM  

Lovely Patrick Berry puzzle that Rex calls medium! I had enough ENTRies to tack through this one in near record time (for a PB friday)ORANG UTAN was my big fat gimmee!I did start with Railroads but that was tres fixable.Just enough EDGINESS to be popping with POTENTIAL!

Clark 12:19 AM  

Yeah for HAROLD'S Chicken Shack! It's nice to have a Chicago clue for a change.

threephi 12:43 AM  

Fun and satisfying puzzle. I had RAW TALENT for 12d as my first peg in the NE (didn't survive for more than a few seconds) as well as SMUT. I like it when the clues have multiple plausible answers.

The literal meaning of orang-utan is one of those factoids that have been lodged in my brain since childhood so that was a big gimme.

retired_chemist 12:58 AM  

Very challenging here. Big snafu was PORN @ 46D which gave me RAILROADS @ 56A. Took a lot of time to dig out from that one. SMUT also came before SCUM here.

TAYE Diggs and ROSE ROYCE were unknowns, both of them. That Y was my last fill and it followed several other letters which I tried first. Fortunately I had no other errors, so when Mr. Happy Pencil appeared I knew I was done.

The SW was actually my worst area overall. Except for OLAN and CALEDONIA nothing was obvious. Never heard of HAROLD'S. HOUND was BESET.

Regardless, a terrific puzzle. Thanks, Mr. Berry.

r.alphbunker 1:24 AM  

I finished with LIANa/ANDRaS. Didn't spend enough time thinking about ANDRaS. ANDRES is clearly more Spanish. I need to systematically check the downs as well as the crosses at the end.

But I felt lucky with this puzzle. For example UTILITIES went in with no crosses but I could have thought of railroads first and that might have made the SW a train wreck. Also did not have an opportunity to put in siestas for HOAGIES.

I wonder why "sissies" was in quotes? It is a common practice in late week puzzles to leave out the quotes, E.G., {Start of psychoanalysis} where the answer is SILENTP.

Anonymous 2:40 AM  

Impossible southwest. HOMEHELP is awful, never heard of CALEDONIA, HAROLD'S, OLAN, COCA... Other 3/4 was done in five minutes. Very imbalanced.

chefwen 2:45 AM  

I agree with retired_chemist challenging here also. Pretty much HTG everywhere that Rex rated brutal. Had very few gimmes my first pass through, Googled about four clues, ZEENA, LOTTE, LIANE and ANDRES. After my blatant cheating I had a ball. Loved AMSCRAY and TO THE MAX.

If my globe trotting, semi puzzle partner would stick around more often I wouldn't be so compelled to hang out at the computer, it's too easy to cheat there.

SethG 2:50 AM  

Part Wednesday, part Saturday+. It was bad enough that I actually considered HORDRELY for a bit.

Ablaza Callbox Mentals 3:47 AM  

Oops, the inevitable one wrong square: ABLAtE/tEENA.
I thought ABLAtE might mean to go up, like a balloon, just 'cause it sort of rhymes with "inflate"...
But it means to "excise medically"...there, I learned something!

I loved this, because of the Xs and the whole left half that sat empty while i told myself i KNOW somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind this "Man of the Forest " thing
(tried Neandert(h)al at first) and had seen this Pearl Buck name many times before and felt it started with a vowel.

Willed myself to sit here and not google till they slowly came to's my new thing to force myself to dig up something i could just google, but I don't, so that my synapses don't erode completely.
(one of my fears for the new generation, so ADD because everything is at fingertips, it seems no one tries to dig deep any more)

The name ROSEROYCE makes me itchy, if it's a play on ROLLSROYCE, ick.
And i get my hiberNIA confused with my CALEDONIA.
But so happy to finish and liked this beginning to end, (which is not how I usually am with PB, tho i know I'm in the minority there.)

Loved SEX crossing with SEX and having them have such different meanings...
and i wanted to faint when I got SOSA off the S!

HOSS in Dougela's superfun LA Times puzzle yesterday, Lorne Green and ALPO today...I will count that as a bleedover.

Like @Rex, PIAZADORA was a gimme and carusO a mistake, don't know SCOTTO, but know TAYE...yum!

LIANE a sly shout out and AMSCRAY a joy.

I don't know if "mILO and Otis" is Disney, but that held me up in the SE.

Anyway, totally cool. Thanks, Patrick Berry!

Lindsay 6:36 AM  

When I adopted my little dog Hester, her name was LILO (misspelled Leelou). As regular readers know, I'm a total non-pop-culture person, so the Disney derivation had to be pointed out to me.

Never heard of the Chicken Shack, and filled in (r/d)onalds off the terminal LDS, which slowed me down in the last corner. That and boldNESS instead of EDGINESS. Although I guess no one actually uses the word "bold" except in stump speeches.

Michael Hanko 7:33 AM  

I figured "sissies" had to be in quotes so no one would think the clue was offensively referring to gay know, the stereotypical sibilant lisping many homophobic people use to mimic us?

If this puzzle had appeared in a gay-related publication, however, I might have enjoyed the clue in this form:

Like sissies or "sissies"

Glimmerglass 7:36 AM  

Challenging here. Lots of stuff I never heard of. Like many Patrick Berry puzzles (cf. Fireballs), there's always stuff I don't know that yields, eventually, to crosses and inferences. Best example is the Y in the TAYE x ROSE ROYCE. No clue about either. Guessed the Y because of the pun on Rolls Royce. Loved AMSCRAY and TO THE MAX and the clue for ONION. Didn't care for DESEX as "neuter" or BAD TASTE as "inelegance" (low taste, perhaps).

joho 8:27 AM  

I ended up with the same mistake as @Blaza Callbox Mentals with ABLAtE/tEENA using the same illogic. I've never run across ZEENA but in hindsight it sounds more probable that tEENA which seems too modern or pop singerish. Oh well.

I also struggled in the SW but little by little uncovered all the answers.

This was wonderful Patrick Berry Friday and I loved it TOTHEMAX!

loren muse smith 8:49 AM  

Patrick, are you that good that you plant an easy O, knowing that some will plop in “nemo?” Or figure some will get the GA_ _S and fill in “gapes?” (PIA ZADORA was not a gimme for me, but I did see her once in a hotel.)

Loved AMSCRAY! I love secret child languages. I know I’ve talked about the one I spoke in middle school, Gibberish.

It seems that every late-week puzzle has me considering a mysterious, dumb answer, and today it was thinking maybe “mia MEDAL.” Jeez Louise.

Flirted with “wades in” for HAS AT IT, wondering if we would have that debate again.

I get a real kick out of the four-letter fest smack dab in the middle. I don’t know why they’re so appealing to look at, especially when AMSCRAY, DREAM TEAM, and HAS AT IT are in the neighborhood.

Andrea alluded to the LIANE shout-out. Maybe her name has appeared before, but I remember her once telling Will on Weekend Edition something to the effect that she will feel she will have arrived if her name ever appeared in NYT puzzle. If this is indeed the first time, congrats, LIANE!

DESEX, SEXTET, ESSEX – one sexy puzzle!

A Friday puzzle with three literary women, OLAN, LOTTE, and ZEENA, that I can finish despite my weak literature background is a well-constructed, fair puzzle. Patrick, I’ll say it again – you’re really good, and I think you show a lot of POTENTIAL of being a top constructor some day. ;-)

jackj 9:12 AM  

No group hug, with everyone gathered around Patrick singing “Kumbayah” this Friday; there’s an extra bit of pushback to contend with today.

A mix of “get me from the crosses” proper nouns like LOTTE, ZEENA, TAYE and SCOTTO slowed things down rather substantially and devilish cluing for things like ABLAZE, wonderfully touted as “Going up”, and then, with unparalleled audaciousness, asking us to use AMERICANS as the answer for “Yanks” certainly added to the knottiness, as did that elusive, non-incandescent item, the ONION, one of nature’s edible bulbs.

Favorites were many, especially learning that Lorne Greene once hawked ALPO, sussing out SIBILANT from “sissies”, getting a chance to enter one of my few remaining memories of Pig Latin with AMSCRAY and, finally, finding ESSEX and his castrato cousin DESEX in opposite ends of the puzzle, made for a lively, fun solve that not even PIAZADORA could tarnish.

Thanks, as ever for treating us to your wit and wisdom, Patrick, (not to mention the pleasure of a puzzle with no crosswordy “threes”).

Sir Hillary 9:23 AM  

Arrgh, ultimately a DNF, due to the SW (more on that in a minute).

Typical PB brilliance. Sometimes I wonder if he doesn't just create every cool 360-degree symmetrical grid he can design, then work work work until all the fill is solid. There is not a single eyebrow-raiser in this entire puzzle. AMSCRAY - how great is that?!?

I actually got ROSEROYCE pretty easily because PB put it in his Rows Garden puzzle in the WSJ not too long ago.

I had three errors. In reverse order of costliness:
3 - RESET for DESEX. Easy change once I figured out the "Friends" answer.
2 - Got RAILROADS from LILO and PALLET. SCUM finally showed me UTILITIES. Minor distraction.
1 - And the killer which did me in...after getting HOUND and ENTER, I became convinced that HOUND was wrong and that 28D was SASQUATCH. Um, no. Didn't help that I haven't read "The Good Earth", eaten at a Chicago chicken joint or listened to NPR more than a handful of times. I had EDGINESS in my head, but ruled it out because it did fit with my beloved SASQUATCH.

So ultimately a DNF because of my own fixation. And after PB delivered such a beautiful grid. I am not worthy!

Carola 9:40 AM  

The southern half was friendly territory and the NE manageable. But I almost went MENTAL trying to get the NW corner. Things looked NOIR until I realized who the Yanks were and that my medieval "fools" and "Caruso" had to AMSCRAY.

Fun to fill in - CALEDONIA, ORANGUTAN, TO THE MAX. I smiled at Elizabeth I's one-time favorite, ESSEX, off in a corner with ZEENA Frome.

Tobias Duncan 10:16 AM  

Where I come from the only gunfight sound effect is PEW PEW PEW.

Loved the shout out to Liane as I have been playing the Sunday puzzle for far longer than I have been doing crosswords.I wish more of you would play and discuss it here, so that I can complain when there are sports puzzles.

evil doug 10:21 AM  

Had '----lds', and wondered: Maybe Harold's, as in former mayor Washington? Yes, but no. Wikipedia: "Harold Pierce, a black Chicago entrepreneur, founded the restaurant in 1950. Harold's became one of the few examples of a thriving fast food chain that was owned by, and primarily served, the black community." Probably one within a mile of where I was born and spent my early life, but never heard of it in my years in the northwest suburbs.

Chewed on 'idea' forever. So the sere southwest had me ablaze. Speaking of which: When a house is ablaze, it goes up before it goes down (or something like that, right, Loren?). Cheated and looked at the answer on coca with the intent to just concede the whole damn corner, but decided to take a mulligan and from there I could complete the rest as a time-killing exercise.

I got 'air medal', but I never got an air medal.

Good clues on pants, onion, dream team.


Two Ponies 10:48 AM  

Some great answers but I fell victim to proper name assault.
If the proper name in the clue is meaningless to me what chance do I have at guessing the answer?
Lotte doesn't sound very German to me and Taye who?

Matthew G. 10:54 AM  

Epic fail for me in the southwest. Just couldn't get anything down there other than EDGINESS and MENTAL. The biggest problem--a huge,huge problem--was putting IDEA instead of COCA for {Something to chew on}. The A was correct, so I never questioned it. It fit the clue just perfectly. I guess I'm dimly aware that one can chew on COCA leaves, but I'm not sure I'd have ever gotten there.

LIANE Hansen introduced herself to me at this year's ACPT during the cocktail hour (my wife, the NPR fan, would have known her immediately, but I had no clue). Despite having talked to her for thirty minutes and knowing she was the person referenced by the clue today, I still couldn't conjure up her first name in my brain! Horrible.

Anyway, this was my worst DNF in an eternity. I gave up with much of the southwest still blank. And on a Berry, who normally is so smooth on Fridays! Just a lousy day for me (not for the puzzle).

Doug P 10:58 AM  

Obligatory Pia Zadora punchline for Andrea: "She's in the attic!"

Non-evil, Swedish-sounding Doug

chefbea 11:00 AM  

Trouble with the southwest as well. What is coca??

Love amscray!!

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Everyone's soooo in awe of a PB puzzle that there are no complaints about BLAM?? Wow!

quilter1 11:04 AM  

I can't see the problem with HOMEHELP as my other has HOMEHELP. I just don't see how it is British especially. Anyway, nice crunchy and pleasurable PB. ZEENA was the jelly on my sandwich as Ethan Frome was required reading in some English class or other.

Just back from vacation with grandboy. Got all my NYT and BEQ puzzles printed out for maximum summertime fun while watching him at the water pavement.

@JaxinLA: no time to call this trip but I will on the one in August.

jae 11:20 AM  

Anyone else try posTAL before MENTAL?

John V 11:25 AM  

Just popping in, late, focused on storm clean up.

SW was brutal and resulted in DNF. Rest of puzzle was quite easy. Little more obscurity in SW that is typical from PB, unless my memory fails me.

ROSEROYCE? Really? Got it with the crosses, but THAT is obscure.

Carola 12:07 PM  

@Two Ponies, Lotte is a nickname for Charlotte. The ill-fated relationship between Werther and Lotte in The Sorrows of Young Werther is based on Goethe's own experience. In 1772, when he was 23, Goethe met and fell in love with Charlotte Buff, but as in the novel, she was already engaged to another man, and prospects of a relationship were hopeless.

AnnieD 12:16 PM  

Would someone help me with light bulb: onion?


Z 12:20 PM  

It must be the Dutchman in me - the first thing I noticed was the windmill.

nemo - check
idea - check
ablate - check
stupid "Kenya doesn't fit" joke - check.

I feel like one of the gang.

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

An onion is a light-colored bulb (plant)??

loren muse smith 12:27 PM  

@Annie D - an onion is a bulb and light in color? I guess.

@Tobias - when I'm home, I stand there and shout the answers at the radio during puzzle time and am pleased at how much faster I am than the solver on air, fully aware that were it I on air, I'd be slower. And then when Will gives the puzzle for the week, I sit down at the kitchen table with pencil and paper And. Fail. Every. Single. Time.

Wreck Sparker 12:33 PM  

@Two Ponies How about: Lotte Lenya (18 October 1898 – 27 November 1981) was an Austrian singer, diseuse, [1] and actress.[2] In the German-speaking and classical music world she is best remembered for her performances of the songs of her husband, Kurt Weill. In English-language film she is remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) and as the sadistic and vengeful Rosa Klebb in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love (1963).366

Two Ponies 12:38 PM  

Thanks to all for the Lotte education. I was just expecting a name that sounded more German to my American ears.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

An onion is a bulb (as opposed to planting a seed). Why a "light" bulb, I don't know. Liked AMSCRAY and TOTHEMAX. Took me a while, but I was able to recall the old Lorne Greene ALPO commercials.

jberg 1:21 PM  

@Z I hope it's a windmill - the other interpretation could never have been intended.

I never thought of ROSE ROYCE - had I, I would have guessed it was right - so I had to guess at its crossing with another name. I considered TAtE/ROSE ROtCE, but decided to go with TAcE/ROcCE, as there latter seemed more likely. I would have complained about the personal Natick, but turns out I also had the same error as @acme with tEENA/ABLAtE - I think ablation can be a form of evaporation, maybe, but still it's embarrassing to admit I've never read Ethan Frome.

Somebody asked what COCA is - a plant whose leaves people like to chew on in Bolivia. Our government wants theirs to kill all the coca plants, since they are the source of cocaine, but their current president (at least, I think he's still in office), Evo Morales, was formerly the head of the coca growers' union, and is resisting.

As for Lotte Lenya, you have to watch and listen to her singing "Pirate Jenny" at Sorry I don't know how to embed.

chefbea 1:35 PM  

@jberg thanks for explaining coca. Thought it had something to do with a cocoa bean or chocolate

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

Caruso died before Callas was born...

Evan 1:45 PM  

Two different puzzles for me: 75% of it was fairly easy for a Friday, and then there was the southwest corner, which beat the crap out of me. What made that corner particularly difficult was because I had four of the correct answers on the first guess (MENTAL, EDGINESS, HOUND, and ENTER), but the crosses made me second-guess all of them.

First, 45-Across could have been racINESS -- a classic "both answers work" problem, so I needed help from the crosses. ORANGUTAN was brutal, especially because I always thought it ended with a G, so that possibility never once occurred to me until I finally accepted that 27-Across was COCA, not IDEA. With the --MEHE-- in place at 33-Down, I just couldn't let go of daME HEad; sounds moderately British, right? Then there was 27-Down: Surely I wasn't the only one who thought poets call Scotland "Brigadoon"? And even though I grew up near Chicago, I've never heard of HAROLD'S Chicken Shack Like @Rex, CONTINENT was the breakthrough for me, but not after I spent a long time trying to convince myself that it had to be EARTH----. I guess "earthness" would have raised a few eyebrows at the editor's desk.

dk 1:54 PM  

Lotte Lenya, wrote Show me the Way to the Next Whiskey Bar made famous by The Doors. Her name is also embedded in the lyrics of some song I cannot remember,

I join the huffiest for this puzzle. Made many of the mistakes mentioned by Rex and others.

I figured that little tart Andrea would make some snide comment about SEX intersecting. Such BADTASTE 😜 I mean one may wish to comment on HERASS nonstop… whoops misspelled HARASS sooooo sorry.

🌟🌟🌟 (3 big stars).


evil doug 2:59 PM  

Now … Jenny Diver … ho, ho … yeah … Sukey Tawdry

Ooh … Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown

Oh, the line forms on the right, babe

Now that Macky’s back in town.

Bobby Darin: "Mack the Knife"

Mel Ott 3:05 PM  

Solved it this AM but did not have time to comment (gone fishin'). Good puzzle, but most of those names that were gimmes for @Rex were mysteries for me.

Here's what I really liked about this puzzle - did anyone else notice the total absence of crappy three-letter fill? Because there are no answers with fewer than four letters! I don't know that I have ever seen that before. Granted you can still have crappy 4- and 5-letter fill, but it's much less likely. Look at yesterday's lineup of DTS, AHS, YOS, etc.

Well done, Mr. B.

Lewis 3:22 PM  

Hand up for CARUSO and RAILROAD.

Recently people had been complaining that Fridays have been too easy. Haven't heard that today!

I needed Google, but smooth as Berry as usual...

Evan 3:22 PM  

@Mel Ott:

I didn't notice the three-less quality to the puzzle. But here's something else I didn't notice till just now:

I could be wrong, but isn't this grid an example of complete rotational symmetry? Most grids are symmetrical only if you turn it 180 degrees. I think this one, however, gives you the same shape even if you turned it 90 degrees, so it's symmetrical about its horizontal and vertical axes.

r.alphbunker 3:59 PM  

@Michael Hanko

Thanks for an interesting post.

Another option for the NYT would be cluing SIBILANT as {like Sisyphus}. The answer "punished" would work here.

mac 4:08 PM  

Beautiful puzzle, but too challenging for me today. I also stepped into the Nemo trap, and started with Caruso. I thought the long lunch might be a nooner!

Amazing, the first word in was Sosa.

Isn't it disconcerting to look at the grid and see so many normal words and expressions when you had such a hard time.....

Tita 4:11 PM  

Had to google a record 5 answers - all in the SW. Wanted to jam in a tectonic plate fpr 29d - like Rex, was on the right track, but no cigar.
Well, 4 googles, then come here since the last was ungooglable! - COCA).

So annoyed that I could not remember the correct Hansen - the Ms. Hansen I DO know blocked the one that I met at this year's ACPT!!!

Also had ideA before COCA...a French friend really enjoyed the COCA tea she was given on a trip to Peru that she brought bags of the elaves back with her...

Nice one - thanks jackj & ACME for popinting out the SEXiness.

Thanks Mr. Berry for a fine struggle.

@John V hope the damage wasn't too severe. The worst for us was the Halloween storm.

hazel 4:47 PM  

Total crash and burn - sw also. Lots of either/ors throughout the puzzle making firm toeholds hard to come by for me. Beautiful puzzle, regardless.

notsofast 4:48 PM  

PB gets an "A" for this one. I'm not a googler so had fun working this out. Loved "onion" and "amscray". Also impressed with "continent" !!!

notsofast 4:50 PM  

Oh, forgot to mention the beautiful GRID!!!!!

Bob Kerfuffle 5:18 PM  

Since I had a cousin born in Germany named Lieselotte, whom everyone called Lotte, I had always assumed that the latter was a standard diminutive of the former.

@Tobias Duncan - If you are interested in discussion of the Sunday challenge from Will Shortz on NPR, take a look at "Blaine's Puzzle Blog".

Z 5:19 PM  

@jberg - Wrong direction. Definitely a windmill.

Mr. Mojo Risin' 6:16 PM  

Lotte Lenya( Weill's wife) sang "The Alabama Song" but it was written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

The English text was made by Brecht’s close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann, on the author’s behalf

Joe The Juggler 6:31 PM  

Wait a minute, Rex! You were thinking "more figuratively" even though the clue said "literally"? ; )

ORANGUTAN was one of very precious few gimmes for me.

Acme 7:07 PM  

@bob kerfuffle
Isn't it funny to come here and learn something different from something we assumed all our lives?!
In Europe everyone does the second half of the name as the nickname, which seems counter-intuitive to me...
So William is Liam, Alexander is Xander, which becomes Sasha... Andrea is Drea,
Nicholas is Claus (which is why St Nick = Santa Claus, etc.). So many KLauses there but we have Nick.
So perhaps your Lieselotte was named for a Liesel Charlotte and that maybe becomes Lotte.

In italy, they seem to go one step more Giuseppe might go to Beppe, like a cockney rhyming slang. That's why so many Linas in Italy or Ninas in Spain bec it is little like Angelina, Carolina, Antonina, or Georgina...

'Light' has more than one meaning 7:17 PM  

Most ONIONs don't weigh that much.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:57 PM  

@ACME - Of course, globalization marches on, so now in America we have Ving Rhames (from Irving) and Topher Grace (from Christopher) and I'm sure others I don't know of.

I have learned from your post many derivations I had never thought of! Thanks!

Tita 8:40 PM  

@Acme & Bob K...
What a fabulous thing to learn today - Danke sehr, Liebchens!
I had never realized that, and while I can find a few exceptions, there are many more complying names...

My mother is Cristina - Tina
Our favorite restaurant just outside Frankfurt - Zepchen - Little Joe[seph].

And as you say, Bob, a niece here in SC - Tory - short for Victoria.


michael 10:11 PM  

For once I found this easier than most people. An enjoyable, not-particuarly-difficult Friday for me.

Cheerio 10:16 PM  

Awesome, elegant, smooth, !!! etc., etc.

My faves for words: Caledonia, orangutang, sibilant.

But tough! Scotto? meh. Hippo = Set? Ok - need at at least a B.A. in something for that.

Cheerio 10:18 PM  

Oh, and LOVED the grid, especially after those adorable pentominoes on Wednesday.

pk 11:58 PM  

@mac - I'm with ya, bro.

I got Oahu. Period. Enjoyed Rex's posting of Harold and his Purple Crayon.

Maybe medium-challenging to see if I can prove I'm not a robot.

Carola 12:13 AM  

@Acme, Bob K and Tita - So interesting! I'd never thought about this....when I was an exchange student in high school, my German "sister" was named Frederika - and called Ika.

ergo baby 5:26 AM  

We read the instructions and I decided ergo baby carrier I wanted to try the back carry - I think the only negative to ergo baby carrier sale this carrier is that for a baby Everly’s age,ergo carrier it’s not easy for one person to safetly put a child in and out from behind. It required both Brent and I to get Everly in.

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

Trying to graduate from easier puzzles and just beginning to tackle NYT cross. This my second.

This was a DNF for me but didn't anyone else try sasquaTch for "man of the forest"?

Looking forward to the next one!

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

...oh oh oh ... and tacTless for 1A Inelegance?

Both those fails killed me in the NW and SW... lol.

DMGrandma 2:41 PM  

Struggled for a bit, but finally got it all except the Y in TAYE. Probably should have guessed it, but never heard of the band and was vacillating between DESEX and DEhEX. And SEXTET could have been SEpTET for all I know.

Had a slowdown in the SW where I remembered the wife in The Good Earth started with an O, but then briefly confused it with Oomo (wrong book!), but it worked itself out when I pieced out ORANGUTAN.

Surprised so many latched onto Caruso.He was famously present at 1906 SF earthquake, while Callas was a contemporary of Jackie O, and Ari' s "former" love. How soon we forget.

Solving in Seattle 4:50 PM  

BLAM is a SCUMmy answer.

Pig Latin in a NYT CW? Really? BADTASTE.

Casanova clue was cool.

Porn before Smut before SCUM. nemO before LILO.

This Berry puzzle played like a Saturday for me. Overall, I liked it almost TOTHEMAX.

Dirigonzo 7:00 PM  

My first run through produced a (correct, it turns out) long down answer in each section of the grid so I was able to build on those crosses to complete most of the puzzle. Finished with two blank squares because I didn't know SC_OTTO or TA_E. and the band was no help.

Does this settle the Obama birthplace issue now that it's been in the puzzle, I wonder?

Dirigonzo 7:04 PM  

captcha is Wikedgi - that seems somehow strangely topical.

Spacecraft 11:25 PM  

DNF, Fatal Error Dep't. The F.E.? CARUSO. Just couldn't get going. The NE fell OK, and the fours around the center square, but I just couldn't put a finger on any of the SW downs, even after HOUND, ENTER and the gimme ANDRES. The SE still looks like a virgin snowbank.

I might have made some headway with Googles, but the Casanova's love thing threw me off; I was looking for somebody's name, but the closest thing I could find to his "love" was Henriette, and that didn't fit. Just an epic fail. Not Patrick's fault, really, I just flat was not on the same page.

Anonymous 12:25 AM  

First thought: Beautiful pattern. Then, seeing Patrick Berry's name attached let me know I was in for an enjoyable solve.

Hand up for trying to make Sasquatch fit, but with HOUND in place and no suitable replacement involving an A I quickly let it drop. Hound also kept me from misspelling ORANGaTAN (hey, there's that A), and I guarantee I'll forget there's a U there the next time I have to spell it.

yes, SEX crossing SEX was good, but the perfect symmetry of SEX/DREAM was better.

And speaking of symmetry, let's go back to that grid, and read around the edges (or, the "frame" as Gorski put it yesterday), pairing each word with its opposite number:


Four solid matches.

I own a ROSE ROYCE record or two, but only because I married into them. With just the first E in place, I considered briefly THE EAGLES, which would have made another terrific symmetrical cross. But I felt confident that their first album was NOT a movie soundtrack.

Anonyrat 10:07 AM  

Surprised Rex chose Rose Royce as TWOD. From his comments, he appears to be almost my age, and although I did not know Car Wash was apparently a Richard Pryor film, and I did not know it was (apparently) their debut, I knew they did the soundtrack for it. At least, if you were between 10 and 30 during the 70s, Royce Royce should at least be a recognizable name. I would think it would be within his range of familiarity. My TWOD would have been "sibilant," which although I'd like to think I have a pretty good vocabulary, I will have to go Google. Seems I'm the only one.
High-hat = snobbish was another toughie. Was really trying to figure out what sort of cymbal it could be.
A little surprised that RP and others thought SCUM was SmUt (or worse) at first - this being a Friday, I immediately assumed "film" referred to thin layer, not movie.
Also suprised a little that people had trouble with Andres Segovia - he is one of the best known guitarists (mostly classical, IIRR - hardly obscure).
Is @Ablaza Callbox Mentals impersonating ACME, or is that really her?
Finally surprised that everyone seems to be complaining about the SW - that was the first corner I got, SE was last for me.
Overall, thought this was pretty easy for a Friday - finished it in one day without having to put it aside and come back to it later!
Oh, and who's Callas? I was guessing comedian Charlie Callas (or is that Calas?). I still don't get SCOTTO - guess I'll have to Google that too now ...

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