Jazz vocalist Shaw / SUN 8-19-12 / Gold-compound salt / Consort of Zeus / Death Row Records founder familiarly / Blonde Anderson

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Constructor: Freddie Cheng

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: "Oh, Really?" — "-ull" sound replaced by "O" at the end of words in common phrases, resulting in wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: ENOKI (5D: Japanese mushroom) —
Enokitake [...], also Enokidake [...] or Enoki [...] is a long, thin white mushroom used in East Asian cuisine (such as that of ChinaJapan and Korea). These mushrooms are cultivars of Flammulina velutipes, also known by the name, "golden needle mushroom". Wild forms differing in color, texture, and sliminess are called winter mushroomsvelvet foot or velvet stem, amongst other names. (wikipedia)
• • •

A cute little sound-change theme. Consistent, interestingly varied, funny. I'd've clued RINSE PSYCHO as [Hose off Norman Bates?], but [Obsessive-compulsive soap purger?] is pretty good, and all the other clues show a nice, slightly edgy sense of humor. A few things went AMISS with the fill, which is too bad—I really like all the white space in this one, as it allows for several long Downs and makes for some nice open corners (NE, SW), but between the theme load and the white space I wonder if the fill didn't get pinched a bit. CHACHAS (pl?) over ETCHANT was wince-making (7A: Some ballroom dances + 21A: Acid, e.g.), and AESOPIC over AURATE wasn't much better (51A: Having allegorical meanings + 61A: Gold-compound salt). There were some more odd plurals in TAUPES and TOTERS and O'NEILLS (long for a name plural) (89A: Former Treasury secretary Paul and former Yankee Paul), and then there were the bizarrely prefixed words: REPASS and ENSEAT (the latter being the real rough spot) (128A: Opposite of dethrone). That's a lot of roughness, esp. in non-short fill, but I think overall the fill is at worst average. Long Downs are fine (esp. LEG CRAMPS—4D: Bikers' woes) and some of the middle-range stuff like ANTI-TAX is very likable (126A: Like the Boston Tea Partiers). From a personal vantage point, I really like the AENEID BLEEPS stack (127A: Whence the phrase "Beware Greeks bearing gifts" + 130A: Curses out?). I just like imagining Aeneas swearing at his men like a &$&@ing sailor. He was a sailor, after all.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Ultranationalism? (JINGO ALL THE WAY)
  • 39A: "Thriller" Grammy sweep? (THE DAY OF THE JACKO)
  • 48A: Speed at which the apocalypse is coming? (TEMPO OF DOOM) — gold medal
  • 64A: Obsessive-compulsive soap purger? (RINSE PSYCHO)
  • 74A: Big gambling loss in the Biggest Little City in the World? (RENO FAILURE) — NYT doesn't usually joke around with diseases ... interesting.
  • 91A: Bad precept for U.S. foreign policy? (AMERICAN EGO) — depends on whom you ask, I guess.
  • 99A: Not a happy ending on the Yellow Brick Road? (TOTO ANNIHILATION) — silver medal
  • 121A: TV detective with his unbalanced suspect? (HAMMER AND SICKO) — "TV"? True, but Mike Hammer is very much a literary creation—the narrator of an extremely popular series of novels by Mickey Spillane, beginning with "I, THE Jury" (54D: "Am ___ the only one?")
Had to track down an error at the end because I stupidly (but kind of understandably) crossed up LEDA and LETO and it came out LETA (113D: Consort of Zeus) ... which gave me RONZANI (I never see the brand name RONZONI, so it didn't look wrong, and frankly I'd've believed RONZINI if that had been plausible) (129A: Big name in pasta). Otherwise, no significant struggles. A little trouble in the AESOPIC + AURATE section, and with the EGO part of AMERICAN EGO for some reason. I think I had AEON for AGES (87D: A long time), which kept me stuck for a bit.

Bullets:
  • 16D: Article of apparel that's not made where you might think (PANAMA) — I've never seen PANAMA as a stand-alone word. Usually has "HAT" after it, in my (admittedly limited) experience. And how do you know my hat's not made in PANAMA? Surely someone in that country makes them.
  • 28D: 1980s New York Philharmonic maestro (MEHTA) — "Zubin" used to be one of my pet names for my cat, so despite having no real knowledge about this guy, I got this answer easily.
  • 50D: Jazz vocalist Shaw (MARLENA) — new to me. Dietrich spells her name with a terminal "E"
[Dang. She's good.]
  • 69D: Blonde Anderson (LONI) — clue feels *slightly* diminishing. Accurate, but ... I don't know.
  • 72D: Death Row Records co-founder, familiarly (DRE) — DRE is here to stay, so long live the hunt for new and better details by which to clue him. I like this one.
  • 103D: Broadway smash starting in '87 (LES MIZ) — a nice-looking answer. I guess the abbreviated '87 is supposed to tip you to the slangy spelling? Could've added [B'way] to the mix.
  • 122D: New element in each of this puzzle's theme answers (AN O) — best clue for this bit of (terrible) fill ever. It's thematic! Free pass!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

67 comments:

jae 12:42 AM  

Easy-medium for me too and not as much fun as last Sunday's.   That is,  I liked this less than Rex did.  As Rex noted there was some awkward stuff, TOTERS and ENSEAT,  AURATE and AESOPIC ...

I did like TOTOANN....and TEMPOOFDOOM.

Is it safe to assume I'm not the only one who went with EONS/INSANE at 87d/98a on the first pass?

Deb 12:45 AM  

Started out with "lay by" instead of STOCK, which made the NW slow-going. I have no idea why such an archaic phrase popped into my head instead of STOCK.

XKE(s) is always a gimme for me because my Dad worked for a luxury car dealer when I was a kid and one of the perks of the job was the use of any car on the lot. The XKE is the only one I remember because it had really cool desks that dropped down from the backs of the front seats, which felt like true luxury to me at the age of seven. I still want one of those cars.

Deb 12:48 AM  

@Jae - I had "insane," and almost entered "eons," but I knew LODE had to be correct so it didn't stand long. I do think ADDLED is a poor synonym for non compos mentis, btw. I'm frequently ADDLED but my mind is pretty sound. Sorta.

The captchas are getting harder again. :(

paulsfo 1:12 AM  

I didn't like him using "obsessive-compulsive..." to clue PSYCHO. I think "deranged..." works just as well without giving equating OCD with psychosis.

Liked the 28A clue.

Thought I'd finish with no problem but was stumped by LETO RONZONI and ETCHANT HTTP (embarrassingly).

dmw 1:27 AM  

Didn't anyone else thoroughly object to "Americanego" as just WRONG! All other theme words work exactly as they are suppose to: replace the "o" with either "al" or "le". American egle?

chefwen 2:48 AM  

Got the theme at 74A with RENO FAILURE and thought "that's depressing" followed by offing TOTO at 99A. Figured this one was going to be filled with gloom and DOOM, and it was. SICKO, PSYCHO, FAILURE, not what you would call an uplifting puzzle. I'll wait for ANDREA to enlighten me.

Printer took a major dive and I don't like solving on line, so I'm into a major Friday and Saturday solving experience now that my new printer is up and operational. Thanks Jon, you da best!

Aduchamp1 4:46 AM  

How can you resist totoann..... Some of the others were a bit forced including enseat. Is that like en suite but you just get a chair instead of a toilet?

I would print more comments but I never can get past the robot portion of the quiz.

Brookboy 5:23 AM  

Another enjoyable if somewhat frustrating puzzle for me. Once I got EnCHANT (21A) in my head, I just couldn't get past it for the longest time. Then I finally got HTTP (8D) that got me going again.

AESOPIC (51A) and AURATE (61A) also slowed me down.

But I really liked the clever pun nature of the theme. AMERICANEGO (91A) took a while for me until I had the AHA! moment where I realized that the theme was taking AL sounds and replacing them with the letter O.

I found the puzzle a lot better than the Yankees effort against the Red Sox on Saturday.

orangeblossomspecial 7:19 AM  

@DMW, 1:17. I agree that AMERICAN EGO is the weakest because the underlying word is eagle, not eagle. The others don't change the root word.

One of the popular US 7A was Tommy Dorsey's "Tea for two CHA CHA".

The gyrators in this version of 'Hapa haole hula girl' must come from the Broadway side of Honolulu.

Louis Armstrong plays on 16D 'PANAMA'.


orangeblossomspecial 7:20 AM  

Oops! My spell checker changed egle to eagle without my catching it.

Rex Parker 8:09 AM  

It's a sound change, so EAGLE works perfectly.

But I see how, if you believed (as you could easily be led to) that the theme involved an exact letter swap, you could be angry at EAGLE. I think the EA- to E- change is probably what made that part of the grid take longer than I think it should have, in retrospect.

But my wife is totally with the EAGLE-haters.

RP

Glimmerglass 8:12 AM  

Consort of Zeus -- four letters? Tried hEra and lEda before LETO. Zeus had more girlfriends than Whitey Bulger. Liked the theme a lot, and it actually helped solve some crosses. Especially fond of TOTO ANNIHILATION. ENSEAT is especially lame.

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

To all of the AMERICAN EGO haters, I gotta ask: What's a RINSE PSYCHAL? or is it PSYCHLE?

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

"Panama" hats are made in Ecuador. Apparently the hats were shipped (like 100 years ago) through Panama, so the boxes were marked as such, resulting in the hats being called by the wrong country of origin's name.
peri

JC66 8:45 AM  

PANAMA hats famously are not made in Pananma.

Per Wikipedia.

A Panama hat (sometimes informally among hat enthusiasts, just a Panama - see Isthmus of Panama) is a traditional brimmed hat of Ecuadorian origin that is made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant (Carludovica palmata). Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe. For some products, the name reflects their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin stuck, hence "Panama hats."[1] The 49ers picked up these hats in Panama, and when President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Panama Canal construction, he wore such a hat, which increased its popularity. They're also known as a Jipijapa, named for a town in Ecuador. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a use of the term as early as 1834.[2]
Glorified during the 19th century, the Panama has since been considered the prince of straw hats. The Ecuadorian national hero and emblematic figure Eloy Alfaro helped finance his liberal revolution of Ecuador through the export of panamas. The reputation of the hat was established by Napoleon III, Edward VII, and some other aficionados.

joho 8:47 AM  

I had a lot of fun with this one. For some reason the dark TEMPOFDOOM, RINSEPSYCHO, HAMMERANDSICKO and TOTOANNIHILATION made me chuckle not cringe. I think Mr. Cheng succeeded in creating an entertaining Sunday ... thanks, Freddie!

Anonymous 8:57 AM  

So, which theme entry was Trump's picture there to illustriate? SICKO? WACKO? EGO? PSYCHO?

jackj 9:43 AM  

Let’s, right off, breast the matter and the one clue that made this puzzle unique, the Sophia Loren, LONI Anderson, Jayne Mansfield, Gina Lollobrigida inspired chortling group response to “Opposite of flat”; “Why, it’s CHESTY, my dear.” Who woulda thunk that tyro constructor Freddie Cheng and grizzled editor Will Shortz could have conspired to turn the Grey Lady into an SI Swimsuit Issue wannabee.

The theme clues, which swapped an “O” for the ElAl sound, must have been difficult to concoct or else Freddie was just yanking our chains with such as RENO(Renal)FAILURE and TOTO(Total)ANNIHILATION, hardly the usual touchy feely Sunday bits, but keepers as clever groaners nonetheless.

The fill, too, had some questionable stuff with the likes of ETCHANT, ENSEAT, AURATE, REPASS and ACETIC and, while AESOPIC was pushing the envelope also, it seemed to have enough charm to slide by any serious criticism and from thereon out the rest shone, (mostly), brightly.

AGENDA, as clued, “What a chair may hold”, showed some nice imagination, GYRATE and SLIME were clever indeed (for different reasons, obviously) then we get to enjoy FINERY, UNDERMINE and ARCANE, which is special mainly due to its brilliant, if strange, cluing of “Like election laws, typically” plus, finally, LOOFAH, (who can resist the Seussian feel of this charming word).

One clue took me down memory lane and involved Peter Bogdanovich’s disastrous 1970’s movie, “AT LONG LAST Love” which was universally mocked on its release, especially by people in the film industry who were obliged to sit through screenings, hated the film and as a result, sardonically gave it an alternate title, “AT LONG LAST Lunch”.

Good work from Freddie Cheng who, hopefully, will give us more tasty puzzles to chew on in the near future.

Gill I. P. 9:45 AM  

I got it but I didn't really get it. Am I THE only one?
I always enjoy and come to expect a wacky Sunday which this was, I just didn't like TOTO being blown up, HAMMER AND SICKO or RENO FAILURE. Might as well throw in RINSE PSYCHO. I suppose the most up lifting theme answer is JINGO ALL THE WAY.
Like others, my head scratchers were AESOPIC, ETCHANT (never, ever heard that one) AURATE and ENSEAT (ugly word)
The first right side steering wheel car I drove was an emerald green XKE. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My English friend wasn't as thrilled. I still remember the high pitched sound it made when I roared it into 4th. Maybe, I'll just go out and buy one......

R. McGeddon 9:57 AM  

Is there a comical reason that the clue for 27a has "une chalet" even though chalet is masculine and the article should be "un"?

duaneu 10:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefbea 10:18 AM  

Easy puzzle except for the north east. Had to come here to finnish.

@anon 8:28 I'm doing laundry as we speak and I think the machine is now on the rinse Psycal.

duaneu 10:18 AM  

Didn't remember RONZONI? Not only was it just in the puzzle on May 21, but it was the word of the day.

Carola 11:01 AM  

Got a kick out of JINGO..., TEMPO OF DOOM, and the RINSE PSYCHO. Also laughed at CHESTY when I finally saw it, now that I'm far enough away from those mortifying middle-school years when being flat meant TOTO ANNIHILATION socially.

New words for me: ETCHANT, AURATE, AESOPIC, and ENSEAT, which I put in, erased as ridiculous, and re-put in. That SW corner turned the puzzle away from easy for me - just couldn't get DIRGES and AGENDA for the longest time.

Liked Kate MIDDLETON right in the middle.

@Deb - Agree with you about ADDLED.

Tita 11:22 AM  

Can't remember a puzzle where I agreed nearly completely with everyone here, including Rex.
Though I didn't feel it was a downer - I laughed at each one.

Loved Solution reaction - AHA...!

@Carola - I noticed Kate in the MIDDLE[TON] too...

Oh wait - didn't like the clue for MIAS - seemed marginalizing.
Thought clue for ACETIC was Sat level.

But was a fine Sunday after about 2 weeks away from puzzling.
Thanks Mr, Cheng, and thanks Mr. Parker! (Chuckled at your free pass for ANO.)

loren muse smith 11:26 AM  

Freddie Cheng – you have MIDDLETON utterly, smack-dab, right, exactly in the MIDDLE of the grid. That couldn’t have been happenstance!
(By the way, English has only one word that I can think of that ends in eng.)

I liked this just fine and caught on quickly, but it took me a while to finish. I immediately plopped down AESOPIC, AURATE, and ORYX. Right. That was the last area to fall. Believe it or not, my first word was ENOKI! It really was.

@chefwen – I think I would have to pass on the puzzle rather than solve online. I’ve driven to work to print it out when my printer was down. More power to you!

Two problems for me: the HAR, HAW entries, each of which saw several manifestations before settling in correctly and the fact that “helmet” and “racket” each have six letters and end in ET. I know next to nothing about polo.
I had ACETIC spelled incorrectly and kept parsing LEG CRAMPs as _ _ _ _RAMPS.

Three “dump” clues. I always like when constructors (or editors) do that; for some reason it feels fun to me.

Maybe just one person who
a)actually reads what I write and
b)cares about such things
may be interested to know that today’s theme – changing a final l to an o is real linguistic phenomenon in many dialects. My best friend in Lilburn, Georgia did it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocalization

How fun would it be if English had words like “kleptle,” “wackle,” “winle,” “bimble,” “weirdle,” and “nutsle” and the whole puzzle was a bunch of NUTSOs!

Thanks, Freddie! Nice way to spend my morning! Oh, and the word I can think of is ginseng,which I’m guessing is Chinese?

Z 11:26 AM  

@anon 8:57 - Yes.

RONZONI again? I still didn't know it. The next time I'm at the Italian market around the corner I'm going to see if they carry it.

Off to google ETCHANT since no one has let on to its meaning, yet.

Z 11:32 AM  

ETCH-ANT not ET-CHANT. Helps if you parse the syllables correctly

Tita 11:41 AM  

@loren - I resemble that remark!!
Brasilians do that to Portuguese...
Once in remote Curitiba we desperately needed a pain reliever - at the pharmacy, they told me they could give me "Cheelinoh"... I had no idea what kind of drug this could be - till I finally did the mental translation - in Brasilian Portuguese, "T"="Ch", and final "ull" = "oh"...
Tylenol.
AHA!

@R. McGeddon - I think you're right - they're wrong!

Milford 11:50 AM  

I really enjoyed the theme answers, once I accepted the fact that the themes were not the exact same spelling changes, but rather sound-based, as Rex pointed out.

Unfortunately, much of the puzzle turned into a slog for me, making me wonder if indeed I have actually been speaking English my entire life. Pretty much every word people have mentioned above were ones I had problems with.

Recent puzzles helped me get ORYX right away, but I also screwed up with RONZiNI. Again.

JFC 11:58 AM  

It is not a coincidence that Rex likes a puzzle that contains all these thoughts:

Jackal
Doom
Psycho
Renal Failure
Sicko
Total annihilation

Of course, I thought the puzzle hilararious....

JFC

Carola 12:09 PM  

@loren -
So interesting! I had no idea of "l-vocalization" as a linguistic phenomenon. In reading the Wikipedia article, an AHA moment came with the example of "Belgrade" = "Beograd" - something I've seen often on European trains. At home my husband and I have long been making this kind of change, like with the sports teams the Philadelphia Egos and the Baltimore Oreos.

@Tita-
Talk about AHA moments - I didn't get the clue until I read your comment! I was thinking, "AHA - oh, yeah, alpha hydroxy acid." Just call me ADDLED.

Sandy K 12:15 PM  

Really liked this medium to easy- LES MEEZY (groan) puzzle. The theme- "ull" MUTATES to O is fun- sorry, TOTO...
Agree that ET CHANT was a stretch-ant? Made me think of ET call home.

Mike Hammer went from literary character to TV detective in the forms of Darren McGavin, Stacy Keach, and Mickey Spillane himself in a 1963 movie. McGavin is the one I remember.

Just Sayin 12:22 PM  

Making an assumption regarding the ethnicity of this constructor based on his last name, could it be that Chinese phonemes were a contributing factor in this puzzle’s theme?

Ulrich 12:24 PM  

Now I don't feel so bad anymore. I had REFUSE HELP at 14D, which gave a perfectly respectable salt named LURATE. Then I felt addled when I came here since everybody else seemingly got it right--until I realized: I had done an l-vocalization!. Clever me!!!!

syndy 1:31 PM  

Thank Goodness for crosses! I knew what needed to happen tp poor little Toto but could I spell it?Neato sunday puzzle not too UNDERMINEd by picadillos like ENSEAT,REPASS,ETCHANT,MNO!Such juicy chunky goodness in one place LINOtype, house of ORANGE JESUS! Sick humor always adds something to a pun .good one MR Cheng

Lewis 2:17 PM  

For those not happy with some depressing answers, don't forget the two dumps in the clues. But I liked the theme and answers myself.

R. McGeddon 2:18 PM  

@Tita, "Une chalet" is definitely incorrect French. I'm just wondering if there was some subtle reason for using it that I missed.

ksquare 2:24 PM  

@ Tita Anyone with a knowledge of basic (pun intended) organic chemistry recognizes 17D CH3CO2H as
CH3COOH-ACETIC Acid, commonly used as white vinegar when diluted. Probably TMI here. Sorry.20.4

ksquare 2:26 PM  

forget about the 20.4 above

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

Liked the constructing job a lot and the cluing, but this is one of those rare puzzles where there seems to be no reason for the substitution. Most puzzles that involve a switch of some sort have a reason - a turn of phrase, a clever expression, something that makes you see what inspired the person to make the puzzle. Not the case here. The title, "Oh, really?" seems more like the best they could think of rather than anything shedding light on "why this theme exists." Substituting O for an "ull" sound? Weird.

loren muse smith 3:16 PM  

@Carola – that’s really funny about the EGOs and the “Oreos!”

@Tita – great story about Tylenol. Oh, and you resemble my remark? Well I don’t like your altitude. HAR! I love malapropisms and creating them. We could form a club, our motto being, “Malapropists of the world. . .IGNITE!”

mac 3:17 PM  

I liked this one, very funny and edgy.

Very surprised nobody complained about 97A MNO. Lots of great clues, a little tricky for a Sunday.

Gill I. P. 4:23 PM  

@Tita and LMS - the two of you have me laughing. If any one decides on a crossword with "morphology" or I guess it's called "lexical borrowing" count on me. My favorite - courtesy of the Miami Cubans- is "cierra la weendo porque esta rainando."

Gill I. P. 4:41 PM  

Just in case: "Close the window because it's raining."

John V 4:54 PM  

I don't know. Not my cuppa. Felt tedious. Theme did nada for me.

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

Just Sayin:
yes, I agree - I think Mr Cheng was possibly offering a clever parody of certain Asian phonemes. This, given his name, would provide the raison d'ĂȘtre of the theme that other commenters complained was racking I mean lacking.

retired_chemist 5:36 PM  

I had no trouble with CH3CO2H but I sympathize with those who did. Pretty specific chemistry IMO. Ditto AURATE, though AUR- as a root, meaning gold, makes it a bit the fairer of the two.

Enjoyed the theme once I saw that is was strictly phonetic. Much fun, interspersed with groans.

Did not particularly enjoy the liberal use of odd pre- and postfixes: REPASS, ENSEAT, AESOPIC.

Hand up for HERA @ 113D, EONS @ 87D, and for ENOKI off just the E. HERA gave me SHAME for 112A, but I seriously doubted that the ARAN islands export much oil. Nonetheless that section was the slowest for me. RONZONI was a vague memory from somewhere but the web site indicates it is not sold here in Texas. Finally guessing LETO and MTN got me ANTITAX which was a highlight of the puzzle for me.

Thanks, Mr. Cheng. More please.

Melissa 6:27 PM  

Has anyone been able to get at this puzzle with the iPod app? I think it might have been there yesterday, but now it's not available!

hazel 8:18 PM  

@melissa - depending which xword app you use, you may have to go to the section where you download older puzzles. If you didn't download it today before 6 p.m., it may default to downloading Monday's puzzle now - but you should be able to still do it.

paulsfo 8:24 PM  

@retired_chemist: though i never took enough chemistry to recognize the formula, i got ACETIC because the phrase "acetic acid" is pretty well-known, so i got that one (after first going with ACIDIC) and didn't think it was unfair.
Though I must admit that, had I been asked, I would have guessed that acetic acid was the chemical name for vitamin C. ;)

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

@duaneu 10:18am: You've totally busted him.

My question is what is ICEE (117D)?

Not that I expect an answer since I'm so late to the party, but I'll check tomorrow anyway. ;)

Michael O’Donoghue 7:05 PM  

The Churchill Wit.

Stephen 10:45 PM  

Only one person mentioned ANTITAX. That probably means we all swallowed the tea party mythology once again. My reading of history is that King George *RESCINDED* a tax that incited the Boston Tea Party. School kids don't learn it that way, because it won't fit our national story that way. By rescinding a tax on tea carried by certain merchants in the harbor, other merchants were left holding a stock of more expensive and unsaleable tea; they ran rampage; this is the usual story of profits going to the wrong people which causes something political to change. It was a squabble over who should get those profits, not a question of taxation. The colonial consumers stood to *benefit* from the king's decision. Look what he got as a thank you!

Anyway, now we are stuck with this debilitating national norm of wailing and flailing about our taxes... even though we are the most lightly taxed and richest big country in the world.

Z 11:05 PM  

@Stephan - Certain merchants were part of the Crown franchised monopoly while certain other merchants were tax avoiding smugglers. Our founding fathers have more in common with boot-leggers and pot smugglers than your average modern tea-partier, but hating taxes levied by a far away government - that part they get right. The modern tea-partier just leaves out the whole criminal enterprise part of the story.

nurturing 11:29 PM  

As the mother of a son who has schizophrenia, I did not like AT ALL the cluing for the answers "rinse psycho" and "hammer and sicko"!

Someone with OCD is not "psycho" nor is s/he "a psycho". An "unbalanced subject" is not always a "sicko"!

I am appalled at the lack of sensitivity shown and the disrespect to those who suffer, truly SUFFER, from mental conditions and diseases.

I've always thought that so-called "mental health awareness weeks" don't help much at all, as people continue to vilify those with mental health problems and this puzzle is, sadly, a perfect example of this.

Anonymous 12:32 AM  

Thanks for the help on ICEE …

Spacecraft 10:34 AM  

My fill objections have already been catalogued. The RINSEPSYCHO entry seemed anomalous to me because of the wholesale spelling change of "cycle" to "psycho." AMERICANEGO also departs, given that an extra "a" had to be deled. BTW, I first thought of AMERICAN male-->MAO: certainly fitting the clue and the theme! (Wasn't there a song called "American Male?")

For the life of me,I can't figure out what SOTS have to do with sandboxes. Anyone?

Went too fast & careless at the bottom: HERA fit with SHAME. Of course, she was Zeus' wife, not consort. But the ANTITAX entry set that straight. @Stephan and Z: I think the major point of the party, which neither of you mentioned, was that there was no REPRESENTATION to accompany what seemed taxation at the crown's whim. Not only did the king not have any feedback, he didn't give a good healthy crap about it if there WAS any. That's what set them off.

One last query: Freddie, why didn't you clue AURATE simply as "eared?" I'm not even sure you can make a gold salt; surely it would take extremes of enviroment. That stuff's not very reactive.



JCeman 3:56 PM  

@Spacecraft - did you look at the completed puzzle? Methinks you have a mistrake in there, hence the confusion regarding winos on the playground.

Spacecraft 5:49 PM  

So then "Appear that way" = SEEM TO? Let's see...Did I make a mistake? "Appears that way." "Seems so." Hmm, I seem to have miscalculated. I, uh, appear that way have miscalculated. This clue could NOT HAVE BEEN WORSE. Bah!

Dirigonzo 6:27 PM  

With JINGOism, AMERICANEGO and the ANTITAX Tea Partiers present this puzzle could be viewed as a political statement - I'm just not sure what it says.

Who was the guy in the song who "wore a big PANAMA with a purple hat band"?

Bananafish 9:06 PM  

I reflexively put in ROSSINI for the big name in pasta, and the three letters of difference didn't tip me off that it was wrong - MTS was fine as a geographic abbreviation, no real problem with LESMIS, and I never heard of Leto, so LETI seemed fine.

That wasn't my only mistake, but I'll stop here before I embarrass myself too much.

Dirigonzo 10:05 PM  

@Bananafish - hand up for ROssINi for exactly the same reasons.

Spacecraft 1:10 AM  

@Diri: "His name is Dooley" (from Dodie Stevens' 1959 hit "Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces." Ah. The days.

Anonymous 1:53 AM  

To Anonymous who asked what is Icee; then posted a sarcastic thank you for all the help.....you managed to post here twice, yet couldn't do a google-search?

SharonAK 2:50 AM  

@ Nurturing.
I see a case of grosslysuperhypersensitivity (yours) rather than insensitivity in the puzzle.

Anonyrat 5:51 AM  

Liked TOTOANNIHILATION, RENOFAILURE, and CHACHAS crossing CHESTY. The clue for 112A ("Nastily slander") made me wonder how you nicely slander someone. "She has a good personality"?
Also, really wanted "caTS" for 45D (Sandbox frequenters).
Unfortunately, was done in by the "Big name in pasta" that I, like RP, have never heard of. Am I the only one who gets irritated by the fact I can get words like ETCHANT, AESOPIC, AURATE, AENEID, ENOKI, ACETIC, MEHTA, FERMI, ENSEAT, etc., and then still get a DNF because of rubbish fill pop culture/product placement "words" like Ronzoni/Ronzani/Ronsani whatever the heck it is? I wonder how much Ron??ni paid the NYT for the plug. I know the NYT is broke, but sheesh, if I wanted ads I'd just go straight to the classifieds.
@orangeblossomspecial 7:19 AM - not sure if you're aware, but Hapa Haole is a term used by native Hawaiians toward persons of mixed (half native, half Caucasian) descent. The women in that clip though, do look to be full Haoles, not Hapas.
@Gill I.P. 9:45 AM - you're probably the only one. But fret not, if you can afford to "just go out and buy" an XKE at today's prices, life is good.
@Anonymous 12:48 AM - ICEE is a poor man's Slurpee.

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