Old vaudevillian catcall / SAT 7-21-12 / Musical work "Willow, Tit-Willow" / Gal asked to "lay down" Clapton song / Pink Nintendo title character

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Extra Medium



THEME: None

Word of the Day: LOLA FALANA (26D: Singer/dancer/actress once called the "Queen of Las Vegas") —
Loletha Elaine "Lola" Falana (born September 11, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey) is an American singer, dancer, and actress. (wikipedia) Wait, Wikipedia, you're useless. I'll just let her explain:



• • •
Smooth Saturday. And that was with my attention divided between the puzzle and this riveting VH1 countdown of what appear to be... the 100 rap videos with the most nudity of all time. Debauchery aside... not a whole lot of scrabbliness to admire, but it's a decently wide-open grid, and most importantly, a fun solve. I'm feeling decidedly unchatty, so this is gonna be more like a picture book than a... you know, one of those books with words in them. What's the book version of a documentary? Whatever it is, I'm not writing one. Anyway, let's get right into it:

Bullets:
  • 1A: Powerful voting bloc (HISPANICS) — more powerful even than their counterparts, the INAPANICs (7D: Opposite of collected).
  • 16A: Odious one (CREEP) — If only there were some famous song I could relate to this word. You'll have to settle for this:
  • 18A: Woman's name meaning "beautiful" (BELLA) — Surprised they didn't go for the obvious reference:

  • 32A: Vendor's condition (SOLD A SIS— At least, that's how I read it.
  • 39A: Like pueblos (OCHRE) — I've pretty much given up on understanding any clue for this word. It's probably a huge gap in my education and I should probably look it up, but... ehh.
  • 64A: Kevin Bacon film of 2000 (MY DOG— 
  • 12D: "I want to know..." (TELL ME THIS— 



  • 27D: Odious ones (SLIMEBALLS)— I had a camp counselor (this wasn't chess camp, because I'm totally not a nerd) who used to call people slimeballs. Pretty sure he was also a pirate. Sup, Mr. Richmond.
  • 38D: Hero player (MALE LEAD— If you're a female lead, you play a heroin.
  • 43D: It may be said con flores (YO TEAM-O— At least, that's how I read it.
The following is a shameless plug:



And some self-promotion to top it off: free crosswords here. If free crosswords make you angry, feel free to let me know about it in the comments below. Thanks for having me, again.

Love, Erik Agard, ALSO-RAN of CrossWorld

107 comments:

jae 1:06 AM  

Love to you too Erik.  Nice write-up.  Throw an "S" in your last name and you've got a couple of crossword answers going for you.

And I agree, another fine puzzle.  West side easy, east side medium.  Plenty of zip and just about right for a Sat.   

Best crosswordese answer I've seen in a while is OLAFV.  That had to be planned. 

It seems to me that any six letter mountain answer starting with "A" is almost always going to be ARARAT.   I mean, I have no clue what the Armenian flag looks like nor do I particularly want to know as the image is unlikely to stick in memory.  But, heuristically speaking, it was a gimme once I had the"A."

Nice one Joe!

Danny 1:15 AM  

-THANK YOU for pointing out the hero/heroin distinction. I was afeared a lack of distinction would start a ruckus.

-A nice, free-flowing puzzle for me today. Really enjoyed HELLO, NURSE! and OBAMACARE.

-Also eally enjoyed the fact that THEMIKADO was set atop OPER, which is nearly OPERa, like The Mikado is nearly an opera (it's an operetta).

-Also, I very much enjoyed your write-up. Hope to read you again soon.

Deb 1:36 AM  

Loved the write-up so much I read it twice!

Found the puzzle to be on the easy side *for a Saturday* - I only had to google twice!

Anonymous 5:34 AM  

Somewhat unfortunate timing with the 45-D clue and answer. What is the minimum advance time Shortz and co. need to change something like this before it goes to print?

Gareth Bain 5:38 AM  

Thanks, Erik! Your write-up made me LOL repeatedly!

The puzzle? As I said elsewhere, it really sang to me.

@5:34: Well if Steve Jobs dies...

r.alphbunker 7:34 AM  

There are plenty of ways to clue RANDOM without drawing attention to the violence that is plaguing the world today. E.G. {Spot}

Thought that the use of "in ads" in 25D to signal an abbreviation was novel.

The east side was much more challenging that the west side. DREAMBOAT and LOTUSES were the ahas that got me through it.

Glimmerglass 8:06 AM  

Mostly easy for me, but not the mid-east. HELLO Nxxxx could have been lots of things, as could TELL ME xxxx. Didn't know MACAU was a gambling mecca. The crosses were hard for me. I guess pueblos are generally earth-toned, like the deserts where they are, but that's not really what I think of as a characteristic. To CHAT someone UP is not necessarily to flirt. I was saved by SHORT O. Good Saturday puzzle. Not much junk.

joho 8:10 AM  

Loved this one and especially appreciated all the people populating the puzzle: HISPANICS, YESMEN, SLIMEBALLS, LOLAFOLANA, BELLA, SALLY, NIKOLAS, KIRBY a CREEP, ALSORAN and a DREAMBOAT.

IMLOVINIT, INAPANIC, CHATUP, TELL ME THIS and HELLONURSE were fun.

I got stuck wanting lindA for BELLA and took forever to get SHORTO, but other than that smooth sailing.

Thank you, Joe!

And thank you, Erik, great write up!

pajamapartypants 8:13 AM  

i agree with glimmerglass entirely.

erik, i enjoy your take on puzzles immensely. where did you say your blog was again?

MaryBR 8:29 AM  

Actually, a lady hero would be a heroine, not to be confused with the drug.

I found the middle west section to be hardest for me, as ODETS and LOLA FALANA and TAMTAM had to be guessed/dragged from the recesses of my brain, whereas MACAU was a gimme off the M (minus the inevitable wait for the U or O). visiting some of the absolutely insane casinos there is an experience I'll never forget!

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

"Actually, a lady hero would be a heroine, not to be confused with the drug."

Yeah... I was wondering what you were talking about, Erik ;)

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

@MaryBR. I think it was meant as a joke.

evil doug 8:56 AM  

Pees? Lame.

Spays? Clever.

Hits? Well-clued.

Two clues that feed on each other with absolutely no useful info between 'em (53A and 54A)? Useless. See THIS, Joe....

Olaf_? Gotta be one of those single Roman numerals. Norwegian kings get even more play than Oreos.

Dreamboat? Could be Miss Beautiful, too---just in case someone starts griping about the maleness of the puzzle....

Yo te amo? I speak a little espanol, but that's a lot to ask from those damn one-language Yanquis.

Yes, there was a horrible random shooting incident yesterday. Every term in a puzzle can cause someone personal pain or otherwise link to a bad mental place. They're just words in a crossword, so leave your sadness on Page 1 and forget about it when you arrive at the grid.

Goodnight, nurse,

Evil

jberg 9:03 AM  

OMG, 12 comments before me! I'll have to write slowly so I don't end up as #13.

Contrary to everyone else, this was a DNF, as I blew the whole NE. I got started with the obvious cross of neTsuke at 45A and 'getthehook' at 13D - I mean, with that K what else could it be? That led me to 'gangs' for 10A (you know, like gang ways?). I also wanted Helen, Ellen, or Irene for 18A - and after that it was hopeless. All those inked-in squares just froze my mental processes in that part of the puzzle.

Don't really get 20A, either, though I got it from the crosses. Is OPER short for operator? Like those guys who run the cranes? Ah, maybe it's a telephone operator - that's pretty automated, I guess. Didn't think of it until just now.

Off to Maine for 2 weeks - not sure if there will be puzzles there or not.

jackj 9:18 AM  

Cakey, AKA Joe DiPietro comes calling with a joy of a puzzle with a tinge of politics and enough misdirects to challenge a loyal Saturday solving crowd.

HISPANICS are a “Powerful voting bloc” and for sure the pols are saying YOTEAMO to them, not wanting to be an ALSORAN who lost the VOTE while avoiding a position on OBAMACARE and thinking if they don’t elect me, then they’ll prove they’re the SLIMEBALLS I secretly thought they were but TELLMETHIS, how did things become so STORMY and put me INAPANIC when IMLOVINIT as it was? Lordy, you CREEPS, I need some YESMEN when not even MYDOGSKIP will bang his TAMTAM for me! Help me, BELLA!!

Or something.

There was never even a hint of a Natick looming in this puzzle; Joe gave us a fun solve, albeit a mite too friendly to be a perfect Saturday but there was fun along the way as noted by the best of the clues, “Prevents from littering” for SPAYS, even though that beauty was tempered by the con job perpetrated on us with SHORTO.

In the end, Joe’s flood of fun words brings this one to life in a most delightful way!

A tip of the cap to Erik as SOLD A SIS, alone, proves he’s not just an ALSO-RAN of Crossworld.

JayWalker 9:31 AM  

My entire comment today will be a paean to Joe DiPietro. What a great puzzler he is!! He has a wonderful command of language and the commensurate sense of humor to make all of it pay off! Worked my butt off on this puzzle today, but finished it without Googling even once, in record time - which for me means something like "I finished it before Thursday." Another Great Puzzle Joe. Thank you.

Tita 9:31 AM  

1-square DNF - I had it all filled in, but with LOTOSES/MACAO. Now I've been to Macau, had cousins living there, but still got it wrong, figuring LOTOSE was some Saturday-obscure Japanese thing.
This played similar to, but easier than, yesterday. Raced through it, then dead stop in SE, until I (almost) finished this morning.

I prefer hard CIDER to beer. Like making my own.
Sister was an OPERator.
Like DREAMBOAT crossing MALELEAD.
LOLAFALANA is an fabulous name.

@Danny - fun observation re: THEMIKADO, which was the first answer in for me.

@jberg - weren't you the one just back from Portugal/Spain? Hope you enjoyed both, but especially Portugal... and now Maine...nice!

Great puzzle, Mr. DiPietro, and a really clever write-up, Mr. Agard.

loren muse smith 9:32 AM  

As usual, I found this harder than most. My initial strike yielded SHORT O (though phonetically that vowel sound is really not an “o” at all and I don’t know why I feel compelled to point that out) and “wusses.” Then I very confidently filled in “linda,” and I’m surprised @joho is the only other person to comment on that one.

TELL ME THIS, you SLIMEBALL CREEP – isn’t it cool how DREAM BOAT crosses MALE LEAD??!! I can’t stop looking at PEES and seeing MY DOG SKIP (not a POM) SOAKing the carpet.

Terrific puzzle and write up.

chefbea 9:34 AM  

Googled a lot then came here. DNF which means I had a lot of wrong letters and blank squares.

Loved 14 down but why is mos short for ways??

loren muse smith 9:38 AM  

@chefbea - I took it to mean modus operandi.

Tita 9:41 AM  

@lms - I had lindA too...bet it's the most popular write-over today...

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

"Linda" is pretty.

"Bella" is beautiful.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

MOs ... Modus operandi. I watch too many crime shows. ...

r.alphbunker 10:22 AM  

@ED

How would you feel about cluing CREEP as {16A Child pornographer}?

thursdaysd 10:22 AM  

Had to google for MYDOGSKIP and PEES. Didn't help that I had adobe crossing TELLMEmore for the longest time, even though I was thinking MACAU from early on. The middle east was a royal pain as a result (as in reality). Even had teasets for a while instead of LOTUSES.

Don't think that if I were being CHATted UP I would call it flirting, but it's been a while...

mac 10:45 AM  

Fantastic Saturday, both puzzle and write-up. For a few minutes I thought I was not going to finish this one, with holes in the NW and SE, but I think The Mikado caused a sort of domino effect.

I started out with oil baros at 1A, that held up that area a while. Also had adobe for ochre, but I didn't sharp O meant anything.

Loved the write-up, too, Erik!


Question from my journalist/blogger son: do you think there is a connection between being good crossword puzzlers and entrepreneurship? Thanks for any responses.

jae 10:50 AM  

@thursdaysd -- Me too for adobe.

GenJoneser 10:54 AM  

Yeah! GH shout-out even though Prince Nik
(son of Laura but not Luke) is no longer featured
many of us retain fond memories
of those arms and that sexy sneer!
Wishing you all
'Love in the Afternoon' (or whenever you DVR GH)!

OISK 10:56 AM  

Was so pleased to see The Mikado after yesterday's "I married an angel" - two shows I have heard of- and no rap groups - until I reached the SE corner. Don't know what mag wheels are, and never heard of "my dog skip", or "pari" passu, so I missed two squares. First imperfect finish for me in a long while. Well constructed puzzle, though.

Amysk 10:58 AM  

I'm new to this crossword thing, so I found this puzzle tough going all over. But I'm loving the challenge. And I'm loving learning from you folks here on this blog.

evil doug 10:58 AM  

r.:

"How would you feel about cluing CREEP as {16A Child pornographer}?"

Well, I wouldn't feel good about that at all.

No, I would prefer to clue 'slimeballs' as {27D Child pornographers}.

Evil

Pete 10:59 AM  

@ED - Since you're comfortable with telling people how they should behave, let me tell you that you shouldn't tell people how they should feel, how they should experience life. The only viable choices are to just STFup, or learn something. Choose one or the other, please. Prefereably both.

Is there any way that cluing RANDOM with a reference to gun shots isn't totally tone deaf? None that I can imagine. Anyone know someone who's cancer has been cured by random gun shots? Has any good ever come from random gun shots? Certainly plenty of evil has. Even absent yesterday's horror, there's no way it should have been in there.

Gill I. P. 11:00 AM  

I've gotten to the point where I can pretty much tell who the constructors are just by the cluing and particularly by the answers.
Joe DiPietro always has an "old timey" feel to his puzzles. HELLONURSE took forever to get and when I did, I loved it. DREAM BOAT has to be a phrase from the 50's? I learned that from watching movies and I'm still not sure why a boat is at all handsome.
CHAT UP is very British and it does indeed mean to flirt with.
Couldn't remember KIRBY and didn't know PARI so I had to Google (rats...an almost perfect Sat.)
@jackj...I love it when the talented bloggers put together a story from the answers. The first one I read was @joho doing a parody of some drunk in a saloon!!!! Anyway, you had me LOVINIT.
@Erik - fun write-up. Short and sweet - just like I like my candy.

Kurt 11:04 AM  

@Evil Doug

I agree with your assessments. Overall a solid Saturday, in my view.

I also agree with your comment: "Leave your sadness on Page 1". Well said!

thursdaysd 11:05 AM  

@Gill - I am British by birth, and CHATting UP to me has a more serious intent than flirting, which is just a fun pastime. Of course, I've been out of the country for a while, maybe the meaning has changed.

evil doug 11:14 AM  

Oh, Pete! Still got my burr up your ass, huh?

Every time I think about cutting back on my posts, you remind me of how much fun it is to pull your well-lubricated chain.

"How could I leave this behind?"
---Spinal Tap, "Big Bottom"

Evil

Two Ponies 11:21 AM  

What a fun way to start my weekend.
Thanks for the humor Erik.
Totally agree with @ED.
@ Pete, Take your own advice.

3rd grade teacher 11:31 AM  

Children, just ignore the bully. Don't you see, he will say whatever he knows will send you all into tizzies? Are you certain that he actually believes all the nonsense he spouts? If he does, it is merely coincidental, as the outrage's the thing.

What gives him more glee, the knee-jerk reactions to his grenades, or the rush to his defense?

r.alphbunker 11:31 AM  

My guess is why 45D was clued as {What a gun may be fired at?} was because of the misdirection potential. A plausible answer would be TARGET. So from a purely crossword puzzle point of view it was a good clue.

Three and out

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

LOLAFALANA, MYDOGSKIP, OBAMACARE-
I'll VOTE for it...
THE MIKADO, NIKOLAS Cassadine, and a PAYRAISE- IMLOVINIT!!
Wanted BELLA for Twilight heroine,
Loved ALSORAN's shameless plug,
But SHORTO and PEES, couldn't TAKETO- IMHO it's an ugh!

Ulrich 11:34 AM  

Have to admit that I spelled both Nikolas and Mikado with a "c"--and subsequently pronounced this puzzle much easier than yesterday's. Shucks--sometimes it seems to pay off to have a happy pencil telling you in the end how you did. Still, ignorance was bliss in this case, until my rude awakening when I came here.

I took "random shots" in the figurative sense, like when a politician fires all sorts of accusations at an opponent in the hope that one will stick. So, I did not flinch at the clue.

And yes, I too found the write-up today particularly clever b/c of its joy in playing with language...bravo, Eric--oops, Erik!

Sandy 11:35 AM  

Can't open your PDF....says it's an invalid image. Wassup?

lawprof 11:37 AM  

I always have to take a deep breath before plunging into the Saturday puzzle and then gird myself for the long haul. Deep breath? Yes. Long haul? No. This one seemed more Fridayish (although yesterday was a DNF until my assignation with Google), maybe Thursdayish.

Writeovers: adobe/OCHRE; TELLMEmore/THIS; hot/MAG. Tempted to put down Vegas before MACAU but patience prevailed. Not familiar with TAMTAM, NIKOLAS, KIRBY, PARI or HELLO NURSE, but all gettable from crosses.

All in all, quite a satisfying Saturday; quick finish enables me to get out and mow the lawn before it gets too hot.

Dora the Explorer 12:11 PM  

32 A is "sold as is", not "sold a sis" as I read it.
And 43 D is "yo te amo" ( I love you) as has already been pointed outl

syndy 12:20 PM  

HELLONURSE got me animaniacs on youtube.I love learning new things!and as usual love a Joe Dipetro. I went with Uhura before Linda but other wise smooth sailing! @ Pete-Whoa behave yourself.

creep lover 12:35 PM  

Given the humor in your write-up, Erik, along with the fact that you have a video from Radiohead, I suspect you already know that they did a great song called "Creep." Since I love the song, I am including a link of their version, along with a link to a good version from Chrissie Hynde and still a third from Warren Haynes.

http://www.youtube.co/watch?v=XFkzRNyygfk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lML2N4xB9GU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnjbiDiAcLE

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Eric. I think the dream is handsome, and it's a boat because it sails in.

JenCT 1:03 PM  

Total DNF for me; had the NE and SE but much else was blank.

@lms: I'm with you today (puzzle feeling hard) and yesterday when you said your impatience sometimes makes you quit the puzzle & come here!

I kept reading 1a as HIS P______ whaaa?

Loved the writeup, and the shameless plug.

Z 1:17 PM  

That plug is truly shameless. Put some clothes on.

Knowing that MACAU and adobe both had to be right led to a DNF for me. I just could not resolve the mid-Atlantic states. How did I know MACAU you ask? I watched a documentary on the gambling industry there just this week.

Guns aren't often shot at random, although bullets often stop at random, so that clue is off. And with nearly 63,000 people dying from bullets last year, being bothered by 12 more seems, well, disingenuous. That Colorado, the state that experienced the Columbine tragedy, bans the registration of guns is... well I'm speechless. I do have to admit that I had a flash of concern when my 15 year-old told me he was going to The Dark Knight Rises with his friends this afternoon, though.

miriam b 1:17 PM  

I saw MYDOGSKIP on a tour bus, of all things, on the way to the CIA (Culinary Inst. of Amer.) and FDR's Hyde Park. It's a great movie and one that I, as a fervent ailurophile, wouldn't normally have gravitated to on the basis of the title alone, but here I was a captive audience on a long bus ride. I was in the right place at the right time. The movie is based on a story by Willie Morris.

As for the puzzle : Lots of fun and not really too hard.

JohnV 1:19 PM  

Hello from Brooklyn. Finished with no mistakes so life is good. Liked the puzzle. Did not like 45D. Even had yesterday's tragedy not happened, I would have found it grossly offensive. I read it as a gratuitous reference to violence.

Danny 1:31 PM  

@Syndy

I, too, had Animaniacs immediately spring to mind. It was one of my go-to cartoons when I was young. I wish cartoons nowadays were as fun and just plan silly as they used to be.

The Bard 1:35 PM  

XCIV.

They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

Sarah 2:30 PM  

Lots of ALSORANs for me here: adobe for OCHRE, TELLMEmore rather than TELLMETHIS, Linda for BELLA. I had to Google a few things, but mostly I made things harder for myself. BTW,for me TAMTAMs are a matzo cracker made by Manischewitz; a couple of years ago there was a shortage just before Passover (prime TAMTAMS season) because they hadn't made the factory adequately kosher for Passover. It was a major crisis -- people were desperately trying to score the especially popular "everything" TAMTAMs (think everything bagels in matzo form). It was ugly.

Deb 2:30 PM  

@Z - I understand what you're saying, but I don't think "disingenuous" is the right word. I don't know if there is a word for it - "ethnocentrism" is close, but not quite it either. Collective narcissism perhaps?

An illustration of it would be my mother, who I briefly discussed the shootings with yesterday. At one point she commented - woefully, anxiously - that this would bring out a lot of copycats. I pointed out that these types of mass shootings are hardly new and she agreed, saying that all of this stems from the "first" mass shooting at Columbine. Um, first? Hardly. But, being a Denver resident for almost 50 years, it's the only one that matters to her.

Chas Addams 2:30 PM  

Uncle Fester

Davis 2:48 PM  

Lovely puzzle. I really liked HELLO NURSE and SLIMEBALLS, and found that there was a minimum of stale fill. Overall this was challenging, but there were no real Natick moments for me — that makes for a nice Saturday in my book. I guessed the NILE/ASPS combination from the fact that anything with "menace" almost always seems to be cluing for ASP.

The only fill I didn't love seeing here was OLAF V. I'm ready to see OLAF/OLAV lose its status as a popular bit of crosswordese.

fergus 2:51 PM  

Mac -- I would guess that there's a negative correlation between crosswording and entrepreneurship. Potential causality could come from idle pettifogging sorta getting in the way of dynamic industry.

Gill I. P. 2:57 PM  

@thursdaysd: Ok, I asked my British spouse. Here is what he said, and I quote: "Well, it's what we do, you know, with the object of ultimately getting into her knickers." So I guess you are right and now I learn that all that time when we were dating, he wasn't flirting with me.

Clueless in Texas 3:03 PM  

DNF without google today. Have the same response to OCHRE... I thought I knew all my colors, but it seems I don't.
And no matter how many times I have seen ALSORAN in the grid, my first response is, "Who is AL SORAN? And why he is in second place?"

HELLODOLLY. HELLOIRENE. HELLONURSE?!!

Thanks for a great write-up!!!

Carola 3:48 PM  

I really had to work at this one - very satisfying to finish. What a cast of characters - hopefully not a CREEP as the MALE LEAD, also featuring YES MEN and SLIMEBALLS who VOTE against OBAMACARE, while BELLA and her DREAMBOAT boyfriend say YO TE AMO. Also loved HELLO NURSE, CHAT UP, LOLA FALANA, and the SAP to match with SOAK.

The SE gave me the most trouble, as I had guns being fired at RANges and had no idea about the Kevin Bacon movie or the Nintendo character. A guess at PARa passu got me what I needed to work that corner out.

Thank you, Joe DiPietro - very fun! And ditto to you, Erik!

p.s. Erik - the response to your "Sup, Mr. Richmond" is in my captcha: eeksup

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

Anyone else start out the puzzle convinced that 26D was Ann-Margret?
I found several websites that backed this up - really got me off on the wrong FEET
SPAYS and IN A PANIC were my favorites

Anonymous 4:18 PM  

Are new people welcomed on this blog? It looks like most of you non-anonymous types know each other pretty well...

Two Ponies 4:29 PM  

@ Anon 4:18,
Of course! We were all new once.
Give yourself a name and pull up a chair.

Masked and Anonymous 4:32 PM  

@Also-Ran of Crossworld: thUmbsUp for:
a) the shameless plug. Well grounded.
b) the 9.25 Bullets. Liked the Mr. Richmond story.
c) the free puzs.

Fun SatPuz. Put up a fight at the front door. Once we gained entry, things got somewhat easier. At first, all we had was SALLY [ding!], VEGAS [buzz!] and SAP/CAM [ding ding!]

Fave misdirection clue: MACAU's. Wanted VEGAS. Especially when crosser PAYRAISE worked.
Fave foreign correspondence: Liked that Spaniards say "Yo!" when expressing a love interest.

jazzmanchgo 4:39 PM  

"Gratuitous reference to violence"? Wow . . .

. . . no, it's simply a well-worded crossword clue, written for folks who don't impose standards of ideological/emotional correctness on what's supposed to be an exercise in imaginative wordplay. . . and before anyone accuses me of plumping for the gun lobby, I also thought that the ideological criticisms of that environmentally themed puzzle a few weeks ago were misguided. Why must we assume that a puzzle that refers to important current events (or social movements) is necessarily preaching or taking a stand on those events?

. . . of course, one could also say that a [down-on-her-luck]HEROINE on HEROIN might take RANDOM SHOTS at her veins if she was too high to aim her needle correctly . . . which probably makes me a CREEP or a SLIMEBALL for even suggesting such a thing . . .

M and A also 4:39 PM  

P.S. @Anonymous 4:18. Yep. For sure, welcome to the asylum wing. Give yerself a mask, and pull up a seat. Only thing to remember: No feeding the ED.

chefbea 4:53 PM  

@anon 4:18 the more the merrier. Come join the fun!!

jackj 4:58 PM  

Gill.I.P said, in part@2:57PM-

"now I learn that all that time when we were dating, he wasn't flirting with me."

Charming and hilarious! I think you should take it as a compliment.

John in ptown 4:58 PM  

Worked and worked and got 80%... Now a question - I see lots of google references today. I don't google as I think it's cheating. Is it?

Anonymous 5:08 PM  

Enjoyed the writeup, and am also enjoying the free crosswords you linked to. Good stuff!

JohnV 5:16 PM  

@jazzmanchgo. The fact is that Will does impose standards. Blatant sex or drug references are not allowed. Moreover, I leave that to Will's judgement and simply share my reaction here. All who come here, you included, have that freedom. Others disagree with my opinion. Well crafted, yes, but not my point.

pk 5:28 PM  

@John in ptown: Of course googling is cheating, but that's how most of us found this blog. Rex sets the tags or whatever those things are called so that if you google for something googly, like, say, '"Night Music" playwright' in today's puzzle, you will find this blog in your search results.

Googling is less cheatful than just coming here and getting the answers.

Fave clue/answers today were doormats and slimeballs. No idea what thay says about me.

matty lite 5:47 PM  

Hilarious, great writeup. Mostly easy puzzle except I got it in my head it was HELL ON something or another instead of HELLO someone or another, and I second- and third-thought RANDOM because I couldn't believe it'd be in there with the news (not that I am personally bothered by it, just surprised).

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

Do you really think that googling the answers is the same as finishing the puzzle?
Isn't it more like copying?

If you DNF it means you DNF by yourself. Sorry , we can't give you credit for that...

The Puzzle Police

retired_chemist 5:58 PM  

DNF because of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Glimmerglass had me pegged, except that I didn't see SHORT O so I was left with a mess of white squares there. Also hand up for TELL ME MORE/ADOBE for a LOOOONNGG time. HELLO NURSE was NOT going to come - I never heard that expression and its relation to the clue seems like it can only be some sort of in joke. MACAU as a gambling mecca? OK, but I never heard of that.

Other than the Mid-Atlantic region I found this quite an enjoyable and Saturday-appropriate puzzle.

retired_chemist 6:01 PM  

HELLO, NURSE.

The Raven 6:38 PM  

LOTOS and MACAO are legitimate spellings and should not be counted as errors. The third edition of the American Heritage Dictionary prefers MACAO, and a well-known literary club in Manhattan spells the flower with two Os.

Lewis 7:02 PM  

I'm with the flow today, which is enthusiastic thumbs up for Joe's puzzle.

Dirigonzo 7:15 PM  

Fun puzzle and a great commentary on the upcoming election as I'm sure HISPANICS and OBAMACARE will be crucial in deciding who becomes the ALSORAN in 2012.

@jberg wonders, "Off to Maine for 2 weeks - not sure if there will be puzzles there or not." Rest assured there will be, unless of course you venture into the western mountains or downeast coastal areas where 3G can be "spotty" (i. e., nonexistent). But even there you can probably still find a deas-tree edition at the local Irving station. Enjoy your stay in Vacationland - you may even discover that having instant access to the NYTCWP is not the most important thing in life!

I'm saving my comments on 45d for my own blog so as not to offend any sensibilities here.

Two Ponies 7:24 PM  

@ jberg,
Don't forget to get a Maine
bumpah stickah for the cah!

Z 7:51 PM  

@Deb - Agreed, but being somewhere between annoyed and angry caused my internal thesaurus to be thinner than usual.

@anonymous 4:18 - I think it was Natick MA that brought me to this blog (did you know that Natick is at the 8 mile mark in the Boston Marathon and that it shares a first letter with illustrator NC Wyeth?). Then I lurked. Then I was an anonymouse for a while. Now you will see me post as Z or Zed (when I'm feeling Canadian). Most have been commenting longer than me, though some are newer than me and some go off and start their own blogs. I especially miss the month that was.

loren muse smith 8:04 PM  

@anonymous 4:18- I stumbled upon this site last December, and for the first time in ages, I feel like I have a lot of like-minded friends!

As @M and A and @Two Ponies said, pull up a chair and join us!

Anonymous 9:15 PM  

But what does natick mean? Not the place but the use of it in this blog?!

Tita 9:24 PM  

@9:15...check the FAQ section along the top of Rex's blog. It's a good idea to read the entire faq, as long as you're there. And if you're the same anon wondering if it's ok to join in, indeed! But it'll be more fun all around if, as wo Ponies said, you give yourself a name, even if it's only your Rexville persona.

JenCT 9:24 PM  

@Anon. 9:15: check out the FAQ (button at top of page) on Rex's home page.

Dirigonzo 9:28 PM  

@Anony 9:15 PM - Check out the FAQ section of the blog (there's a button on the top line, by the "syndicated puzzle" button). Much is explained there, including the "natick principle".

JenCT 9:30 PM  

@Tita and @Diri: Jinx!

Ararat Chatup Mikados 1:15 AM  

Loved the puzzle and super loved the writeup...hilarious!!!

The fill was magnificent, so many evocative words and i loved the parallel construction, so many balanced pairs:

OBAMACARE/HISPANICS, VOTE/ALSORAN,
THEMIKADO/LOTUSES, BELLA/DREAMBOAT/MALELEAD,
SLIMEBALLS/CREEP, MYDOGSKIP/SPAYS /POMS NILE/ASPS, IMLOVINIT/YOTEAMO, STEP /FEET, TOPIC/TELLMETHIS/IMHO, HITS(on)/CHATSUP/TAKETO, ALARMS/INAPANIC

Even to an extent LOLAFALANA/HELLONURSE!

Seriously, I think this is one of the best constructed puzzles ever, content mirroringwise.

Hand up for Helen and LindA first, also never heard of PARI passu, always freak over MACAo/u, and will never get used to SLiER if I live to 102.

Probably better clues for RANDOM given it's such a part of teen lexicon "that was so random, right?" these days.
Unfortunate coincidence of timing plus SLEW, but it's true, what day doesn't have a terribly violent tragedy (Bulgaria a few days ago, and the myriad unreported on acts that take place throughout the world daily), so this was what it was...
For me, didn't mar a fabulous puzzle, didn't even maketheconnection till coming here...

Did, however, freak over AVI as I was only doing puzzle
(and reading the blog) to further procrastinate on an aviation naming gig! And had used that prefix in the first dozen names I created!
So, god/Will's way of saying "back to work!"

Acme 1:18 AM  

Ps (The) River Wild with Meryl Streep also fit for the Kevin Bacon film, unfortunately!

Tita 9:36 AM  

@acme - thanks for all those pairings...I had only seen a handful of them. And now I know another "insider" construction term... Content Mirroring!

OLAF 10:17 AM  

How can we accept OLAF V when he spelled his name OLAV???

OLAV 10:39 AM  

@OLAF - as @jae pointed out in post #1, this is one of the best bits of xwordese ever, precisely for its irony!

OLAF 11:44 AM  

There is no irony and it is not xwordese. He spelled his name OLAV!

Get it right!

Acme 1:41 PM  

@tita
Not sure there is such a thing, i just made that up to express the joy I was feeling!
Oops, it's Sunday, now to find the acrostic...

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Oh, please. Really?

Idahoconnie 3:27 PM  

This puzzle is in today's paper and it's August 25. I can tell from the bloggers that they posted their comments over a month ago. Who is reading my post today? How many papers in the US printed this sindicated puzzle today aug. 25? Hello nurse, is there anyone out there?

DMGrandma 3:40 PM  

I knew the puzzle gods were planning a Saturday downfall for me! While I started off pretty well, I came to a complete breakdown in the SE. Couldn't finish the ends of 12D and 13D even after giving up adobe for something starting with O. Thiught maybe it was some tribe I'm unaware of, and I've visited several pueblos! Couldn't parse lotuses, and I've lived in Japan! Beyond that, I realized targets needed to be replaced with RAsomehting, know diddle about Nintendo and never heard of the Bacon movie. When I couldn't decide on ABCS or RRRS I gave up and came here with a lot of blanks. Maybe I should cut out yesterday's successful effort and frame it! See you Monday?

Nurse Z 3:54 PM  

@Idahoconnie - refer to answer 2 in the FAQ link. There are several regular syndy commentators and many of us "prime-timers" check off the follow-up email box when we post so all the thoughtful and thoughtless comments of those who post post arrive in out mailbox.

Spacecraft 3:59 PM  

Well, I have to admit defeat today. With a lot of concentrated work, I managed to get the west and north, but the east and SE just got me done. I couldn't even finish the long downs in the NE. TELL has six letters after it. Meaboutit? Too long. Meall or itall? Too short. I finally tried METRUE, but couldn't get anywhere. HELL-what? I have no idea.

So, the answers: TELLMETHIS??? Is this supposed to be some sort of familiar phrase? Bah. Far as I'm concerned it's three words that you can string together to make a sentence, but there's nothing to gel them into a recognizable phrase. It's meaningless.

And HELLONURSE?? Now, that makes a lot of sense. I'm picturing this heckler yelling "HELLO, NURSE!" at the performer. That's a catcall? Man, you better go back to catcall school; I think you flunked. There's no way anyone can be expected to come up with either of these nonsense expressions.

And without any sort of foothold in the east, I couldn't break into the SE. Part of the problem is a set of clues with circular reference: "see 54a" and "53a menaces." Maybe you can get one if you get the other--but if you can't get either one you're sunk.

And I'm sorry, but that film CLASSIC "MYDOGSKIP" has somehow escaped my attention. I'm sure the Academy meant to nominate it, though. Oh, and SHORTO--I thought we banned that crap. Didn't we? Well, let's do it, then.

Texas Solver 4:26 PM  

Some people take things to the extreme. Pull a puzzle because of one word?

Anonymous 12:32 AM  

@Idahoconnie - I'm in Syndieland too. I read ALL the comments 5 weeks late. I would rather be in real time though.

Anonyrat 6:25 AM  

First DNF in two weeks - Grr!
Done in by the true Natick (for me) at 40A and 28D. That crossing could have been just about any random letter if you don't know either word. Guess I haven't been doing this long enough, seeing as no one else complained about it. Never heard of TAMTAM, ODETS, or "Night Music" (other than the song with that name by Tones On Tail). TAMTAM = gong in what language? And WTH is ODETS? Is that even a name? Never heard of anyone with the name Odets.
Kevin Bacon did a film called "My Dog Skip"? Guessing that was a box office smash?
Off to Google "Hello, Nurse." Got it from the crosses, but don't "get it." I'd ask someone who might remember it, but unfortunately they're all deceased.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

I too had this grid in my paper today: August 25th. I can only guess why we have the July 21 one but I'm sure the fact it's No. 0721 has something to do with it!

Anonymous 3:27 PM  

My understanding is that a given puzzle is available in numerous newspapers through syndication six weeks after it is published in the NYT itself - that's why some of the later commenters got this puzzle on August 25.

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

Oops I meant five weeks.

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

Kevin Bacon also starred in "Hollow Man" in 2000, which also fits in the "My Dog Skip" space for 64A, which means that entire section of the puzzle was blown for me. Tricky clue writing, there.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP