Bell tower instrument / TUE 8-14-12 / Large African antelope / Flat item to cook on / Title character in Sega game / Roman septet

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: INNER CITY (63A: Densely populated area ... or what 17-, 24-, 32-, 43- and 51-Across each have) — names of cities can be found embedded in the theme answers:

  • TefLONDON (17A: John Gotti's nickname, with "the")
  • YuRIGAgarin (24A: First human in space)
  • HAVANAgila (32A: Folk song played at Jewish weddings)
  • ELIMAnning (43A: Giant who was the Super Bowl XLVI M.V.P.)
  • BaKINGSTONe (51A: Flat item to cook food on)

Word of the Day: TINEA (54D: Skin woe) —
n.
See ringworm.


[Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, a gnawing worm.]


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/tinea#ixzz23U4SXt5B
• • •

Wow, this was a tale of two puzzles for me, difficulty-wise. I blew through a good 75-80% of this puzzle with hardly a hitch. Only issues I had were spelling (Gugarin? Nigila?). Put in TEFLON DON without looking at the clue. It was that kind of day ... until. Until BAKING STONE. I had the front end, or part of the front end, and quickly and confidently threw down BAKING SHEET (which fits the clue Just Fine). And then all the wheels came off. Just ... came off. Had me doubting SHEET pretty quickly, but then the "S" cross proved right, so I had renewed confidence in SHEET ... ugh. I also could Not dredge up TORPID (brain: "Tepid? ... do you want tepid? ... look, I've got tepid and that's all I got. Stop looking at me funny!") (48A: Sluggish). Further, while I've heard of TINEA, and it's a valid answer ... no. That word is not exactly in my vocabulary. I thought maybe EGGS were 70A: Food items catapulted with a spoon, maybe (PEAS). So, yeah, I was like guy who's cruising to an easy win in [insert sport here] and then bites it on the final turn, for no good reason. Meanwhile, my wife got killed up north, having no idea about JAX (23A: 1995 N.F.L. expansion team, for short), which apparently seemed so improbable to her that she couldn't believe ORYX was right (13D: Large African antelope). Also, she walked in here looking slightly confused and asked: "Is it the GIG or the JIG that's up?" I'll confess to having a flash of the same thought while solving.

A couple things about this theme—first, it seems so straightforward, I can't believe it hasn't been done before. Over and over. The revealer INNER CITY gives the concept some character, but ... it's just cities. Capitals, yes, but that's not relevant to the theme. It's not INNER CAPITALS. Second, two of the cities simply aren't inner. Arguably, they are outer (LONDON, HAVANA), in that they are located on the outer edge of the answer, not tucked inside like the others. Not truly "inner." Otherwise, this puzzle has all the solidity and snap that I've come to expect from early-week Livengood puzzles.

Bullets:
  • 30A: Like an excited puppy's tail, old-style (AWAG) — my puppy wags his tail old-style. None of this new-fangled wagging for him. (AWAG is the worst thing in the grid; but you knew that)
  • 9D: Bed with wheels (ROLLAWAY) — this is nice, although it also one of the primary reasons AWAG exists.
  • 36D: Italian writer Primo (LEVI) — I was once a grader for a course that was Entirely on Primo LEVI—my very first semester in grad school #RexFacts
  • 29D: Many an illustration in The Economist (CARICATURE) — excellent, accurate clue.
  • 40D: Bell tower instrument (CARILLON) — learned this from xwords many years ago. The power of failure! The word was there when I needed it again. I like it because it kinda looks like CARRION. I'm easy that way, word-wise.
  • 45D: Pontiac model discontinued in '74 (GTO) — GTO felt right, but honestly I get GTO and GTE confused. (Another reason I didn't emerge from my BAKING SHEET mire for what felt like ages)
I should probably announce here (as I did on Twitter and Facebook) that I've volunteered to look at and comment on the crosswords / theme ideas of aspiring constructors between now and Aug. 25. Send me what you got (to rexparker at mac dot com), and I'll give you feedback. I wrangled a few other folks (all NYT constructors) to volunteer a bit of their time and expertise as well, so ... it's a pretty good deal. Especially insofar as it's free. (I was inspired by Aussie swimmer Ian Thorpe, who apparently recently set up a time/place in London where he volunteered to give tips to any serious swimmer of any age, first come first serve—so you should feel free to call me "The Ian Thorpe of Crosswords" now; "The Ian Livengood of Crosswords" is already taken)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

89 comments:

Eejit 12:15 AM  

No real comment, but as a regular Guardianista I just wanted to say: First!

Clark 12:19 AM  

I was quite sure it was GIG. Checked the whole puzzle across and down. Could not find my error.

jae 12:20 AM  

Medium works for me. TINERA was a WTF so it was nice when Mr. HP popped up (I did this one on my PC in AcrossLite). If it had been Wed. I'd would have spent some time checking the crosses. Pretty clean grid. Actually liked AWAG. Too bad all cities weren't landlocked. About right for a Tues.

Anonymous 12:22 AM  

Someone T'ed up Dikembe over his finger-wag? I thought the world was total bullshit before this, but damn, that's just wrong.

I hope the reg got TINEA and his hands ultimately fell off.

Evan 12:29 AM  

Well, a similar concept was actually done somewhat recently: The NYT puzzle of Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by Peter Collins. The difference between them is that in the 9/21/11 puzzle, the cities were crossword staples (RENO, ENID, ERIE, TAOS) split up into circles, the circles were disconnected, and then buried inside larger California city entries (GARDEN GROVE, OCEANSIDE, BAKERSFIELD, SANTA ROSA). The theme revealer in that puzzle was INNER CITIES instead of CITY.

Whatever one thinks of the similarities or differences between those two puzzles, I have to say I absolutely love two things about this one: 1) THE JIG IS UP. That's just a great entry no matter how you slice it. And 2) the fact that SONIC was clued as the SEGA character brought back lots of fond memories of playing those games as a kid.

Perhaps I'm just feeling nostalgic because I'm getting married real soon (Saturday!).

Milford 12:34 AM  
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Milford 12:45 AM  
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Deb 12:49 AM  

Big, fat DNF for me because of THE JIG IS UP and three of its crossings: I had TORrID (doh), and _AX and _VA. It didn't help that the clue "Caught you, at long last!" read to me as "There you are!" I.e., what you'd say if you'd been trying to reach someone all day. Very clever misdirection there, if that was the intent.

I remember the puzzle Evan describes as if it ran yesterday. When I saw the reveal today I thought, "Wow, this was just done a few months ago." Which is accurate in old-person time.

Congrats, Evan!

Kris in ABCA 12:51 AM  

Totally relate to the Tale of Two puzzles. Never heard of HAVA NAGILA, so it took a lot of crosses.Didn't know LEVI Primo either. Kind of left a big hole in what started out as an easy puzzle.

chefwen 1:05 AM  

Congratulations @Evan, I hope you and your bride have a wonderful day and a long and happy marriage.

There is an area in San Diego, Cardiff, to be exact who's streets are named after composers. A good friend lived on HAYDN Drive, so that was a shoe-in for me.

Had trouble spelling YURI had GArAgIN in first, that sure wasn't working for me. PICASA and TINEA were new words for me and was sure I had something wrong, but no, it all worked out.

@Loren Muse - Where is dad, I miss him? Tell him I'm still waiting to see him in his grass skirt, I'll bring the Uke.

Milford 1:05 AM  

A fun theme, different types of words. A lot of spelling pauses for me: CARILLON, CARICATURE, plus the ones Rex mentioned.

Also had a bit of a mess with the whole gIG/ JIG, JAg/JAX, ORYg/ORYX area.

Had no idea what a REDCAP was as clued, so I decided to google it. Wiki informed me it is "a type of malevolent murderous dwarf, goblin, elf or fairy". Hmm. I'm guessing it might be something else.

syndy 2:27 AM  

ON US: ON EA :ON OR! a mini theme.I guess one CARRILLON balances a NENE and an ONUS for a medium tuesday.

The Free Dictionary 2:34 AM  

@Milford
2.redcap - a porter who helps passengers with their baggage at a railroad station
porter - a person employed to carry luggage and supplies

Mary Rose Goldberg 6:07 AM  

Sheesh. Good Tues puzzle. Theme ok. Knew it had been done before. Like Sandy, JAX threw me. Husband asleep so no sports help. Ok. Figured out oryx. Still getting an error. Lesi Primo seemed right. He has been in the puzzle before, I think, but Thom Jefferson certainly founded the USA. So in a fit of desperation, i Googled Mr Primo, whose name I will now never forget, and I am thinking....UVA....UVA...Jefferson invented sunglasses?

I have got to stop doing these puzzles at 1 AM. And I was just in Virginia.

jberg 7:05 AM  

Congratulations, @Evan!

With @Rex on BAKING Sheet, and not knowing TINEA. Also, isn't there some kind of a car called a GTD? So that one took some time to sort out, especially as I have never baked on a STONE. Also with Rex on thinking all the cities should be inner.

And while I could spell JIG all right, it turns out I couldn't spell SITH (SeTH?), so INFO took longer than it should have. Also had CARtoonish before CARICATURE, though the latter is certainly a better answer.

Nice puzzle, though. The best thing about it was finding, to my amazement, that I could remember YURI GAGARIN.

JenCT 7:28 AM  

ELI MANNING and JAX were gimmes (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Finished with two mistakes: USA instead of UVA (doh!) and LEROY/LEROI.

@Rex: "my puppy wags his tail old-style. None of this new-fangled wagging for him." LOL

Only got YURI GAGARIN from crosses.


loren muse smith 7:56 AM  

Aw, man! This puzzle had a couple of crosses that were for me the perfect storm to prevent me from finishing. A Tuesday! Sheesh!

I had pretty much the same experience as Rex: blew through 75% like a catapulted PEA and then THE GIG waS UP. The solve morphed into a TORPID slog through some “o _ _ERCITY. I. would. not. erase. “props.” So no GRIPS (huh?) and no BAKING STONE. I didn’t even question “props.”

Wanted “yesses” for YESES.”

I wear TORIC lenses and I cover my grey, not GRAY.

YENTA and HAVA NAGILA show up a day late and a SHEKEL short for the HORA.

Nice Tuesday, Ian. Cool theme. How many times have I looked at TEFLON DON and not seen LONDON??

Guess my solving skills are still IFFY, but I’M OK.

John V 8:07 AM  

Medium/Challenging; a bit slow but got it all. The theme answers and so much of the fill were terrific, e.g. PICASA. PRIMO not so primo to me, more WTF than not. SW last to fall; see BAKINGSTONE.

Best Tuesday in a long time. Good one Ian. And good pop in the write-up once again, @Rex. The vacation is showing its good effects!

Sue McC 8:10 AM  

Easy enough for me. As a Pats fan, I had to cringe entering 43A. Didn't we just have YENTA & TEFLONDON in a recent puzzle?

Oscar 8:16 AM  

Meh. Lots of theme, but the fill suffered as a result. Way too many partials (SOIT, AWAG, ASI, ONOR, ASAD) and crosswordese like AWN and ONEA.

Some fun clues, but this was not Mr. Livengood's best.

joho 8:27 AM  

I enjoy Ian's puzzles this one included. The only nit, and it's tiny, is as @Rex mentioned, LONDON and HAVANA aren't INNER. I also thought that when you construct with hidden words they supposed to bridge words like ELIMANNING does.

I got BAKINGSTONE but wanted pizzaSTONE.

@Evan, my favorite answer by far was THEJIGISUP. Also, best wishes to you and your bride this Saturday!

orangeblossomspecial 8:59 AM  


My take on INNER CITY is that the cities were contained inside the longer answers, not that that cities were geographically on the interior of their countries.

My vote for worst word in the grid goes to BESOT. Sounds too much like the knight in the Poe poem. He was BEDIGHT, as I recall.

jackj 9:13 AM  

The talented younger constructors have a unique ability to test us with puzzles that could have been cobbled together from today’s newspaper while at the same time they are so cleverly clued as to trigger a solving high that has grateful puzzlers singing HAVANAGILA in unrestrained joy for their good fortune.

Such is today’s splendid offering from Ian Livengood.

Imaginations and memories stirred by the theme:

Who knew that the “Dapper Don” was sheltering LONDON with his nickname?

Forget about Fidel and Raul in HAVANA and think only of the song HAVA NAGILA, used by Aly Raisman in her breathtaking Olympic gold medal winning floor routine performance.

KINGSTON? Only reminds me of Wolfgang Puck’s puckish “Jamaica Me Crazy” coconut tinged coffee K-cups.

The gimmick of using slangy phrases as clues (and answers) is put to good use here and though SOIT, ASAD, TOLDYA, IMOK and THEJIGISUP look like Sanskrit when typed out, they were clever as can be in the puzzle.

Finally, kudos, too, to Ian for apologizing, (in a way), for using the dreadful AWAG by noting in the clue that the answer would be “old-style”, a classy touch.

May all our Tuesday puzzles be this good!

chefbea 9:32 AM  

Easy puzzle except for one Natick..uva/levi crossing.

Yes we had teflon Don on Sunday.

@Evan..congrats!!! Need any of us chefs to do the catering??? I'll bring the peas cooked on a teflon baking stone.

Secundo Levi 9:33 AM  

Primo, Primo, always Primo that gets the love. The story of my life. Growing up, it was always Primo this, Primo that, like he was some sort of demi-god or something. Sure, he overcomes rampant anti-Semitism in Fascist Italy to get into university to study Chemistry, but did anyone care that I did the same to get into trade school for barbers? Hell no, Mama and Papa were all "Primo, we're so proud of you - you're so smart, so hard working, so dedicated we love you so much" and all I got was "well Secundo, maybe you'll be able to move out of the house at last - thanks for trying".

He publishes "If This is a Man" chronicaling his year in Aushchwitz, and the world goes crazy. I publish "The Weekend I Got Lost on a Bus" in Il Giornale lo Scemo del Villaggio and what- no plaudits, to parade, nothing.

He was never anything but a sponge, soaking up all the love, glory, fame I deserved. I hated that guy.

Z 9:35 AM  

Having GTO saved be me from the BAKING Sheet error, and YURI GAGARIN waited a bit for the vowels to appear but filled easily. Too bad for me that I had four areas of ignorance blocking HAVANAGILA; AWN was aeio or uWN, EGA?, ?EVe, and H-VA-AGI-A.

@Mary Rose Goldberg - Wearing stylish Jeffersonian sun glasses are certain to have YENTA tongues AWAG.

Sparky 9:45 AM  

@Evan. Congratulations and all the best on your wedding.

This worked better for me than yesterday. No write overs. I knew PICASA from receiving pics from @Tita and @JanCT. Thank you. If THE gIG was up it would be Closing Time. Segue into Lyle Lovett here. I wish I knew how to imbed.

A good Tuesday puzzle.

Sparky 9:49 AM  

Oh! @Milford. REDCAPs wore red caps. Still do if you can find one.

jackj 10:09 AM  

Secundo Levi@9:33AM-

Bravo!

Posts like yours show why we need a "Recommend" button.

Milford 10:29 AM  

@Free Dictionary & @Sparky - yes, a benevolent, non-goblin that carries luggage sounds much better. The first definition was disturbing. Might make a good Saturday clue, though.

@Evan - Congrats!

My captcha reads as "haershe" - don't they make cocoa powder?

Bob Kerfuffle 10:34 AM  

Good puzzle.

My only stumbling block came at HAVANAGILA: I had some odd brain freeze, and although I am certainly familiar with it and I essentially had the letters right, I had an awful struggle getting them in the right order!

After finishing the puzzle correctly, I realized that I may have been confused by thinking of the Haganah. I would have been better served by remembering the parody lyrics, "Hava Nagila, Have another Nagila . . . "

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

If I was not a regular solver I think this would have been challenging. I'm OK with the Inner City theme since the cities are hidden in the theme answers. Kingston was my favorite.
Tinea put up a bit of a fight as I got it confused with ringing of the ears.
1A "...and so it goes." made me remember Linda Ellerbee fondly. Was that not her signature sign-off?

Z 10:56 AM  

Linda Ellerbee and Kurt Vonnegut are both associated with the phrase.

Sandy K 11:01 AM  

This puzzle was medium- but not tedium. A fun Tuesday solve.

Threw in YURIGAGARIN and HAVANAGILA cuz I'm not a spring chicken and I'm a YENTA.

Was TORPID/stuPID (also fit) with BAKINGSTONE and TINEA. Almost naticked by ORYX/JAX but then made some IFFY guesses that were YESES, and then THEJIGWASUP!

Congrats to Evan!

imsdave 11:01 AM  

@BobK - isn't it:

Have one tequila
Have two tequilas
Have three tequilas
Now your on the floor - Hey!

Congrats to Evan. Seven wonderfully happy years of wedded bliss here. We just had our 29th anniversary last week.

Nice puzzle Ian - keep them coming.

Lewis 11:18 AM  

@Evan -- best wishes to you

I wrote in ALANSHEPARD at first; it lasted about ten seconds.

"Inner cities" can mean that the city is lodged in the word with letters before and after it, but it can also mean that the city is somewhere inside the bigger word, even on one end or the other. So I'm okay with the theme.

Great writeup, Rex! Made me laugh...

Rex Parker 11:18 AM  

@Secundo makes me want a "Like" button.

r.alphbunker 11:22 AM  

@Evan

Please keep us posted on any heuristics you develop for resolving the inevitable disagreements that will crop up during a marriage. Perhaps run the alphabet backwards before responding?

The long stuff in the puzzle is great but I counted 8 partials which seems like a lot. In fact 1/3 of the first 15 answers that I entered were partials. This left a sour taste in my mouth that I did not recover from. It was like drinking cod liver oil before sipping a fine wine.

Furthermore 1A was a partial. I prefer puzzles where 1A plays hard to get.

Rob C 11:47 AM  

@r.alphbunker
Just wanted to clarify the use of the term partial. As I understand it, partial is used to define two or more words that complete a phrase and presented as a fill in the blank. Every fill in the blank is not a partial. So by that count there are 4 partials. The other FITB's can be clued as a stand-alone word.

John V 11:56 AM  

@Rob C re: partials, etc. While I concur that not every fill in the blank is a partial, is the reverse true? Is every partial a fill-in-the-blank? It looks like Xwordinfo includes partials in counting FITBs

r.alphbunker 11:58 AM  

@Rob C

Interesting. I was counting a partial to be a clue that contained a blank but I see that your definition is the better one.

It is easy for my program to detect clues with blanks in them but much more difficult to detect two or more words in one answer.

Fix: I will change the category to "potential partial"

Thanks for pointing this out.

Rob C 12:04 PM  

@John V and r.alph
John V makes a good point, a partial doesn't necessarily need to be a FITB. For example, 1A could have been clued as "And goes connector". Still a partial but no FITB

PS - The reason I'm so aware of this is I had a puzzle published in 2010 and Rex ripped me a new one for using 5 partials. Couldn't sit for a week!

r.alphbunker 12:26 PM  

Re: "partial is used to define two or more words" What about {Gen ___} where the answer is XER? I think you could argue that this is a partial that contains only one word. Or {Sui _____} cluing GENERIS?

I think partials can be defined as those answers that cannot stand alone as words. So ALONE is not a partial because it could be clued with using a FTIB. But SOIT is a partial because how could it be clued without using a FITB clue (or some verbal equivalent of a FITB).

Rob C 12:33 PM  

@r.alph
Good thought. Took some time,but I think we got to the right answer.

John V 12:35 PM  

Partials: Will actually uses this phrase in his specification: "Do not use partial phrases longer than five letters (ONE TO A, A STITCH IN, etc.)..." So, Will seems to mean that partials would not include one word fill-in-the-blanks.

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

COCOA POWDER GOOD FOR THE BRAIN

Just heard on Eyewitness News at noon- cocoa powder boosts your memory. However, study was done by Mars Company which makes cocoa powder, so...

If this was mentioned yesterday, sorry- I don't remember...

r.alphbunker 12:39 PM  

Is partial just an abbreviation of "partial phrase". If so then the word "phrase" does imply two or more words.

Rob C 12:43 PM  

@r.alph
But one of the words could be the missing one.

r.alphbunker 1:13 PM  

@Rob

{To beat ____ horse} ADEAD,

I found your puzzle and did it (Feb 9, 2010). Great theme! Here are the clues that contained FITBs

These were partial phrases by Will Shortz's definition
{"____ of the sun"} (Jack London novel)
{____ about}
{Generous ____ fault}
{____ grip}
{let ____ rend asunder}

There were single word FITBs that AFAIK cannot be clued with using a FITB or its equivalent linguistic form.
{vena ____}
{____ del Rey}
{lead in to tiller}
{___ polloi}

These were clued as FITBs but could be clued otherwise
{Conde ___} --> {Tweed enemy}
{Pizza ___} --> {Simple building}
{Lead to while} --> {Formerly formerly}
{The shangra ___} --> {refrain syllables)
{___ milk?} --> {Obtained}

Masked and Anonymo4Us 1:25 PM  

@31--Tempting to send in my crossword, but would lose my oh-so-comforting M&A status. Plus, pretty sure what you'd think of it. Might put you off your feed.

The puz was primo, @Secundo. Har. TINEA was sorta familiar. PuzSpouse had a touch of ringworm once. No worms get harmed in killin' it off with yer Lotriman cream, btw. Just Fungi. Kinda gives worms a bad name, imo.

@Deb: You are much too svelte to be workin' on desserts like that ocean liner in your blogger pic. So, allow me...

P.S. Wanted SPORTLANDFILL. The ringworm of extra themers. Oh, and thUmbsUp, Ian.

Rob C 1:32 PM  

@r.alph and John V
In order not to draw the ire of everyone, I'm going to stop beating ____ horse and conclude that there may be some vagueness in the definition and leave it to someone else to clarify.

Thanks for the interesting discussion though.

r.alphbunker's attorney 1:43 PM  

{Over ___}

Bird 1:56 PM  

Quite the challenge for a Tuesday, but completed it. Last to fall was the V in UVA/LEVI crossing. That section with TORPID meeting LEVI meeting UVA and not knowing what a REDCAP is really slowed me down.

Learned what a CARILLON is today.

Ugly fill at AWAG (though, as @jackj pointed out, clued nicely) and YESES (I like YESSES).

“Dis, dat and the OTHER ding” is something 17A would say.

Smiled at 43A. Great memories of both his Super Bowl wins.

@Evan – Noooooo! Don’t do it. Don’t put the ball and chain on. Kidding. Congrats yo you and your lovely bride!

Mel Brooks 1:59 PM  

The Jig Is Up

Bird 2:02 PM  

Oops.

@Evan - Congrats to you and your lovely bride!

Carola 2:03 PM  

My favorites were in the Downs: THE JIG IS UP, CARICATURE, CARILLON, ROLLAWAY, REDCAP,TOLD YA, IFFY and ORYX. I thought it was quite a feat to have such terrific crosses for the 6 theme answers.

My hand was stayed from writing in BAKINGSheet when I saw that "Kings" needed "ton." I remember YURI GAGARIN being in the headlines, along with his smiling photo in his cosmonaut helmet.

@Evan, congratulations and all best wishes!

Dewey, Cheetham and Howe, Attys at Law 2:18 PM  

@r.alphbunker's attorney - Could you please pay attention? CHARGE as an answer to the clue Over ___ isn't a partial, as was clearly outlined above.

F. Lee Bailey 2:27 PM  

AND OUT is a partial as an answer to OVER _____

Dewey, Cheetham and Howe, Attys at Law 2:44 PM  

@F. Lee Bailey - Yeah, but not a funny one.

F. Lee Bailey 2:49 PM  

@Stooges - I never claimed to have a sense of humor. Show me where it says partials need to be funny.

sanfranman59 3:17 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Tue 9:15, 8:57, 1.03, 65%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:13, 4:39, 1.12, 85%, Challenging

M and A also 3:22 PM  

Haven't met many funny partials, that I can recall. Might be a good theme idea, tho. Have met a few partials that made me snort in a audibly droll and visually discomforting way, at least.

@Evan... While I'm tryin' to dream up a funny partial, let me be the first to wish U a Happy Eternal WedLOCK. Har. Dude. It'll be great. Just remember: her opinion is always slightly higher in the polls. Womenfolk have good instincts. Dudefolk are from Mars.

How about: "Mad ___ a wet ___"? [ASHEN]. Nah. Different kinda theme.

Okay,Okay...How about: "Vann ___"? [AWHITE]. Nah. Too long. And sorta impartial.

I've got to think...

It ain't over til it's over 3:46 PM  

{12A 68-Across ____} [OVER] THELIMIT
{20A 68-Across ____} [OVER] YOURHEAD

{30A 68-Across ____} [OVER] MYDEADBODY
{42A 68-Across ____} [OVER] THERAINBOW

{68A See 12A, 20A, 30A, 42A} OVER

mac 3:53 PM  

Very nice Tuesday, but I did end up with a gig and a gax. No other real problem after I erased "panini grill" with no crosses at 51A.

@imsdave: I can't follow that 7 and 29 in your post?

@evan: Congratulations, and best wishes to your bride. I once read that that's how it's done!;-)

Bird 3:55 PM  

@M&A, @Evan -

Wedding _____ (BELLS)
Wedding _____ (BLISS)
Wedding _____ (DRESS)
Wedding _____ (NIGHT)
Wedding _____ (PARTY)

These may be too long, but . . .
Wedding _____ (INVITATION)
Wedding _____ (CEREMONY)
Rehearsal _____ (DINNER)

borscht belt comic 3:57 PM  

@mac - Married 29 years, of which 7 were happy.

M and A in a hail of last silver bullet also 4:11 PM  

@Bird and @the Ain'tOver dude...U-all is over my M&A head.

How about:
"A gentler and ___ society"? [KINDA].
or
"Punched card ___ (hangin' chad locale)"? [SORTA].

That's why they pay me them big 99% bucks.

Zentl 4:13 PM  

Evan's Wedding & Marriage Heuristics

Random gifts of chocolate (RGC) are far better than RRNs.
When choosing between OLAF and OLAV always go with what she says.
Natick MA is not a honeymoon location.
Avoid bad fill, bad fill can ruin the best of themes.
Quad stacks are showy, but inevitably lead to a lot of drek.
A good wedding band needs to play more than ELO and ENO.

Banquet Manager 4:36 PM  

Don't forget to have a pangram of guest names, as long as the fill does not suffer. We don't want to upset a certain blogger.

One More Bullet 4:38 PM  

Oh! Oh!

"___ July (Global Warmin' Effect)" [MAYBE].

Ta-da.
Ta-ta.

retired_chemist 5:14 PM  

Medium.

Agree that not all the cities are inner and that does take away from the elegance a bit. But, overall, a very good puzzle.

Other nits: AWAG. 'Nuf sed. VII - a cardinal number, not a septet. A SEPTET is a group of seven. BAKING STONE is an odd answer but not a real problem because of the straightforward crosses.

PICASA - WTF. But it looks simpler to use, albeit less powerful than, Adobe Photoshop Elements, so I may try it. Y'all who use it like it?

The stack "USUAL TORSO STEIN" in the SW conjures up a surreal Toby mug.

Thanks, Mr. Livengood.

Evan 5:38 PM  

Thanks for the kind wishes, everyone. I'll pass them along to the soon-to-be-wife.

@chefbea:

Appreciate it, but I think we've got the catering covered. The only thing missing is the Utz cheese balls -- they're never there when you need 'em.

For anyone else dreaming up a marriage heuristic for me, I'm way ahead of you. It's the one that reminds me that she knows much better than I do. I call it, "Yes, Dear."

loren muse smith 5:48 PM  

Evan - congrats! Here's my advice, and in October it'll be 25 yrs for me. Always remember that

Marriage is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.

JenCT 7:04 PM  

@retired_chemist: I do like Picasa; it's much simpler than Adobe PS, and also has some cool features (I love the facial recognition, which finds all instances of, say, certain faces - makes it easy to organize your library.)

It's missing some of the editing tools, though.

And, best of all, it's free, and doesn't seem to hog my computer's memory like Adobe PS does.

Sue McC 7:16 PM  

29 years for me & Mr McC next Monday. Lauren has shared wise words. Add a heavy sprinkling of humor, too. Every night in bed I say to hub, "I'm the luckiest girl in the whole world!" and he responds "Me, too!"

Sue McC 7:18 PM  

Sorry, Loren!

mac 7:38 PM  

@Evan: my advice? Don't call her "dear".

retired_chemist 8:56 PM  

5 years a month ago this time around - couldn't be happier. A sense of humor is essential and we both have one.

Evan, may you be as lucky. Congratulations.

@ JenCT - thanks for the review.

Carola 9:32 PM  

@retired chemist -
To add on to @JenCT about Picasa - I especially like how easy it is to coordinate the albums or folders on my laptop with web albums that I can view on any computer or that I can share with others by sending them a link (I keep my web albums private). A drawback for me has been how efficiently the software sweeps the harddrive for all images and "organizes" them in the same way that theyr'e organized (or not) in folders on my harddrive; this wouldn't be a problem if I were better at organizing my photos up front.

retired_chemist 10:03 PM  

@ Carola - thanks. But
sweeping the hard drive" doesn't change the file structure, does it?

Mary Rose Goldberg 10:19 PM  

@Z. Chuckle, chuckle

retired_chemist 10:42 PM  

@ Secundo - The Japanese took this pretty far:

First Names(Male)
When most Japanease were peasants and not all of their brothers could become grow-up, they had many brothers and their parents name them simple rule like below.
Ichiro,Jiro,Saburo,Shiro,Goro,Rokuro,Shichiro,Hachiro,Kuro,Juro,.....

Meaning First Son, Second Son, Third Son,......

There is no similar scheme for girls.

Sfingi 11:01 PM  

Great puzzle except JAX (sports).

Italians used to carry this primogeniture stuff too far. The eldest son got the land, the next might have to be a priest, to at least get fed; the rest would be farmed out to some trade, etc. With the daughters, the eldest would be married off first, the younger ones could become nuns or take care of the parents. In modern times, all the money would go to the education of Primo, no matter who was the smarter or smartest.

Spacecraft 12:37 PM  

I'm reminded of some pioneering PI work done by Don Adams as Maxwell Smart: when he caught the African-American bad guy, he said (tongue-in-cheek) "THEJIGISUP!" Only Adams could take it beyond outrageous to funny.

I found this puzzle EEM (easy-easy-medium, like a direction that we TOO often see in puzzles); only because I was working toward the bottom from the east. REDCAP always makes me think of that scene in North by Northwest (more directions!) when the cops are frantically knocking the porters' caps off. So I already had the ONE of 51a. South central extended it to _____GSTONE. From there I inferred the theme city KINGSTON. I've never heard of a BAKINGSTONE either, but it fit.

This grid is fresh throughout every corner, as well as the theme entries. A couple of IFFY moments (AWAG, VII) did little to diminish the solving pleasure. I rate this ONEA.

Dirigonzo 3:19 PM  

I had to tip-toe through the grid looking for friendly short fill to give me enough crosses to take a shot at spelling some of the long answers, like the Russian Cosmonaut and the bell tower instrument, which was new to me, and I was sure the illustration in the Economist would be some kind of chart until it wasn't.

It seems to me that INFO and INTEL, although easily gettable, could have used something to signal their shortened form.

I have met F. Lee Bailey and I don't think he really wrote those comments above - but I'll ask him next time I see him.

DMGrandma 3:46 PM  

Somehow just walked through this one. Kind of amazing when there are so many words I just didn't know, JAX, PICASA, SITH, TINEA, LEVI. Only finished because the crosses saved me where lack of knowledge and spelling (GA?ARIN) threatened blank squares. Agree that VII is a number while a septet is a collection of seven somethings.

Now to find a Captcha I think I can read, and it's certainly not the one offered below!

DJA 4:04 PM  

I took "inner city" to be the physical central part of the named cities (the city "proper"); each of the named cities has a larger urban area, also known by the same name, as well as an "inner" city defined by earlier city boundaries.

rain forest 4:42 PM  

@Evan I hope your 5 weeks of wedded life have been blissful. I was happily married for 16 years. Unfortunately the mutual unconditional commitment to an imperfect person continued until the 33rd year, at which point we became pretty good friends. I have no advice--you'll figure it out. The puzzle was great. I don't understand how "the gig is up" could have made sense to anyone. Some excellent clues and answers, and I didn't even mind "awag". Slapping down Yuri Gagarin helped (middle name: Alexeyevich)--the Columbus of modern times. All the cities were within the phrases, so I say they were "inner". Nice Tuesday.

Ginger 10:09 PM  

Well, I filled in all the squares, but unfortunately, not with the correct letters. And it's Tuesday! GRR Could not get past NiNa, for a Spanish baby. (NENE goosed me, ooooh that's bad). Also did not know TINEA and LEVI, but got them from crosses. Did know YURIGAGARIN and of course ELIMANNING, though I questioned how to spell GAGARIN.

@Evan Congrats on your first 5 weeks of wedded bliss! My honey and I made 50 years, wishing you both the same.

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