Sylvia of jazz / SAT 5-4-13 / Chiropractor on Two Half Men / Flavoring compound / Creator of Wildfell Hall / Fireflite of 1950s / Tennessee Waltz lyricist Stewart / Mulberry cousin / Quaint toe clamp tighteners / Resident of Angola Brazil Lebanon / #5 of American Film Insitute's all-time top 100 movie villains / Mr moniker for Andrei Gromyko

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Constructor: Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Andrei Gromyko (61A: Mr. ___ (moniker for Andrei Gromyko) => NYET) —
Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (Russian: Андре́й Андре́евич Громы́ко; Belarusian: Андрэ́й Андрэ́евіч Грамы́ка; 18 July [O.S. 5 July] 1909 – 2 July 1989) was a Soviet statesman during the Cold War. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1957–1985) and as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (1985–1988). Gromyko was responsible for many top decisions on Soviet foreign policy until he retired in 1988. In the 1940s Western pundits called him Mr. Nyet ("Mr. No"), because of his frequent use of the Soviet veto in the UN Security Council. (wikipedia)
• • •
I got advanced notice that this was going to be a Peterson/Wilber production, and my exact comment was, "thank god." Individually and together, these guys are reliably great. Painstaking craftsmen with devious minds and great senses of humor. Here's what I didn't like about this puzzle: ATTAINTS (11D: Stigmas). What is that? Besides a word no one would ever use? But criticism-wise, that is *all* I've got. This thing is rock solid and uniformly delightful. I had a very, very eerie mind meld with the puzzle today. I mean, I could do no wrong. My guesses were (almost) all sterling. [Twinkling]? How about TRICE! (it worked). [Flavoring compound]? Uh ... ESTER? (yes-ter). And on an on. Off the terminal "I" I guessed ROSSINI (47A: Composer who said "Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music). There have to be other composers that fit there. SALIERI? BELLINI? MENOTTI? But I went ROSSINI, REST, AT PAR, LAMB ... just laying waste to clue after clue. Things slowed down a bit at the halfway point (west half done, east half remaining). SE corner was a little resistant, but DEAD LETTER seemed right for 60A: Law still in effect but no longer enforced, and once the first few letters were in place, I got "HOWDY DOODY" (62A: Show with a peanut gallery), and all of a sudden that section was done. NE was by far the hardest, but that's largely because I had a serious error that I didn't notice til almost the very end. I had (I thought) IN A SEC at 24D: "Almost there..." What I really had written down was INESEC. My brain just didn't register the problem. So I had 23A: Resident of Angola, Brazil or Lebanon starting HIO-, and I *know* I don't know anything that starts that way. But rather than stress, I decided to work my way back. But no HOOSIER meant a somewhat harder time getting into that corner. Guessed RIATAS (seriously) from the "R" and then got ASST because I knew 14D: Sounds of admonishment was either TUTS or TSKS. Had INN for SPA at first (43A: Getaway destination), but then noticed the apparent plural at 12D: Quaint toe clamp tighteners and realized terminal "I" was likely not right. Changed it to "S." Got SPA. Between the S, T, K, and S, I managed to get SKATE KEYS, and then it was all but over. Only when grid was completely filled did I notice HIOSIER. Letter changed. Game over.


I did not know that "Mulberry" was a color (32A: Mulberry cousin => MAUVE). I thought it was a bush. "Here we go round the mulberry bush ..." What the hell am I thinking of. "All around the mulberry bush / The monkey chased the weasel..." Is that right? Why do I want to continue that song with "B-I-NGO, B-I-NGO..."? OK, now that we've exhausted my knowledge of mulberry and children's songs ... Sylvia SYMS! Still haven't committed her to memory (38A: Sylvia of jazz). Ditto ELSA (28D: Jewelry designer Peretti). Their intersection would've been very unfortunate if it hadn't been easily inferrable. NURSE RATCHED, on the other hand, I know well. I just can't spell her (wanted RATCHET) (44A: #5 on the American Film Institute's all-time top 100 movie villains). ANNE BRONTË is the least well known of the sisters; she wrote just two novels, "Agnes Grey" and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (56A: Creator of Wildfell Hall). I've never read either. But I've also never read "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights." I'm reading "The Great Gatsby" right now because (you guessed it) I've never read that either. I could play this game all day. I've also never seen a complete episode of "Two and a Half Men." I feel less bad about that (29D: Chiropractor on "Two and a Half Men" => ALAN). I have, however, read "Tess of the D'Urbervilles." Several times. Reread it just last summer. So TESS I knew (7D: Angel Clare's wife, in literature). I did not know there was a viable non-Foxx REDD clue out there, but I see that I am wrong (53D: "Tennessee Waltz" lyricist ___ Stewart). Oh, wait, there's also NBA player Michael REDD. He was an All-Star once. You'll probably never see him in your puzzle, but it can't hurt to know he's out there ... waiting.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

63 comments:

jackj 12:05 AM  

When Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber, (ABLY edited by Will Shortz), team up for a NY Times Saturday puzzle it’s best to take a tip once proposed by Joe Biden when campaigning and “gird your loins”, because it promises to be a bumpy ride.

But with today’s puzzle, when TRICE and RACONTEURS were immediate entries, the entire upper left quadrant filled in quickly and this puzzle presented the distinct possibility that loin girding for this crossword might be overkill.

Continuing on, the upper right of the puzzle showed TSKS and TALK, SYMS, SPA and ELSA, ASST and RIATAS all of which begat two Hall of Fame entries, SKATEKEYS that happily preempted any possible foot fetish clue and HOOSIER, that brought Africa, the Middle East and South America home to Indiana.

RIPVANWINKLE filled in nicely, as did NURSERATCHED, helped by crosses that seemed to come too easily, DESOTO, DESIRED and HAVARTI, for example, but learning that Academy award winner Louise Fletcher ranked #5 all-time among film villains was a treat. (No surprise, #1 cinema bad guy of all time, per the AFI, is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, followed by Norman Bates, Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West and then our favorite Nurse you love to hate).

By this time it was clear that the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place too easily and while it was as clever as one might wish, it was still mildly disappointing when the hoped for battle was never truly joined.

Reviewing the completed puzzle, there was nothing INARTISTIC about it; the cluing was superb; nothing needed googling; it was elegantly presented, but why and how did it unfold so painlessly?

Thanks, Doug and Brad; best not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I guess.

jae 12:10 AM  

Medium for me.  My biggest problem was spelling RATCHED (I @Rex also thought it ended with a T), but that's what I deserve for seeing the movie but not reading the book.  NE also gave me a rough time with TKOS (plural, really?), SYMS, and ATTAINTS which was a WOE for me.

Other erasures: munster for HAVARTI and renTER for SORTER.

I swear I've seen a Wildfell Hall clue recently.

I'm old enough to have seen HOWDY DOODY on a black and white TV.  By the time color hit the mass market The Mickey Mouse Club had driven him off the air.  Fond memories of Phineas T. Bluster and the very unPC Chief Thunderthud.

A fair amount of zip and a good challenge.  Liked it.  Nice one guys!

A guy 12:14 AM  

I'm going to forgive each and every one of us for not knowing how to spell RATCHED, as her name rhymes with ratshit. At least in my reading of the book it did.

Noam D. Elkies 12:19 AM  

m-w.com stigmatizes 11A:ATTAINTS as obsolete, but it's still inferable from the "bill of attainder" banned by the US Constitution.

syndy 12:38 AM  

I had no problem with ATTAINTS but fell for the RATCHEt pitfall.I had Cheddar before HAVARTI and Renter Renter crossing CENTER was nice..oh well..Easy but fun i'll take it

Benko 2:32 AM  

I use to think it was ratchet too, but at some point realized it was RATCHED.
Thought SYMS was Sims, but easy fix there.
RIATAS is easy to get off the R, except that a lot of puzzles use the variation reatas instead,, which you have to look out for. It's either that or lassos..
shame,shame,shame, at not reading Gatsby! Such a great and unfilmable novel. This latest adaptation looks to be by far the worst. Gatsby as a happy playboy? No,no,no.
I had a hard time getting started on this one up top, so went to the bottom with HOWDYDOODY and worked my way up. Much easier.

Davis 2:37 AM  

Attaints was somewhere in my brain, so that one didn't get me. What did get me: I entered uNARTISTIC, and didn't read the one-down clue to see that TRuCE was wrong. Took me a good couple minutes to find that error because nothing was obviously wrong at first glance.

Enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit, though — easy, but still a Saturday. And most importantly, it hit the Saturday level of difficulty with good cluing, rather than with insane entries. Plenty of good "Aha!" moments for me in this one.

chefwen 3:01 AM  

I have a distant memory of me in my Dr. Dentons sitting on the sofa, thumb firmly in mouth, waving goodbye to my dad with the remaining free fingers as he left for work while watching HOWDY DOODY.

After seeing the constructors, I knew I was in for a good time, and so it was.

Husband a little disappointed that I did not need his assistance, there is always tomorrow Jon.

I was hoping for a kinder and mild Saturday and Doug and Brad delivered. Thank you gentlemen.

MetaRex 6:33 AM  

Nice stuff. Read waistband as wristband and had ROLEX and EXTRA in the NW probably for longer than it took OFL to solve this one. More notes on solving follies and implicit themes are at KEYS

loren muse smith 6:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliasZ 6:38 AM  

A girl who is bespectacled
She may not get her necktacled;
But safety pins and BASSINETs
Await the girl who fassinets.

--Ogden Nash

Kudos to Lars G. Doubleday for a tough-as-nails but fair puzzle that offers a truly satisfying solving experience. The key is in the cluing rather than in obscurities and oddnesses. Well, except ATTAINTS as clued (archaic), INartistic vs. UN-, RAISE UP (can you RAISE down?), and a couple of near-repetitions: RIYADH/RIATA and ISIS/thISIStrue. SOLAR LAMP sounded a little odd too, I don't think I ever heard it or read it, I certainly never used it myself.

Favorite words today: INTERIM RACONTEURS and NATURALLY IMPROVISE. HAVARTI is one of my favorite cheeses.

"Gioacchino ROSSINI had been a well-known gourmand and an excellent amateur chef his entire life, but he indulged these two passions fully once he retired from composing, and today there are a number of dishes with the appendage "alla ROSSINI" to their names that were either created by or specifically for him. Probably the most famous of these is Tournedos ROSSINI, still served by many restaurants today." - Wikipedia

loren muse smith 7:29 AM  

jae – when TCHE fell in NURSE RATCHED, I filled in “tcher” and considered the ridiculous “Al the Butcher,” wondering how I missed *that* movie. (@Tita – I didn’t write it only because I thought it could possibly be “Ed the Butcher,” so I guess it doesn’t qualify for the Hall of Fame.) And I had “folder” before SORTER. I almost never SORT my laundry and I’m still alive and my clothes are reasonably presentable.

@Rex – “I've never read either. But I've also never read "Jane Eyre" or "Wuthering Heights." That makes me feel better about myself. I probably never will read either of those.

HAVARTI and ONE SEC went in with no hesitation. Got RIP VAN WINKLE off only the W.

So HOWDY DOODY, RIP VAN WINKLE, and NURSE RATCHED walk into this bar. . .

RACONTEUR right under THIS IS TRUE. So elegant. MUTED crossing RAISE UP. Ditto. LAMB/BASSINETTE next to REST. . .so ABLY filled!

RIYADH is one of those “place the H” words like piranha and Delhi. Dalai Lama is in a subset – you put the H in and it doesn’t even have one.

I had “aping” a long time.

And since I know now – newcomer lurkers take note – this is mostly a place of a lot of kind people who don’t know *everything* and don’t laugh at you for not knowing something. . . my big WOEs: TRICE. Huh? I had “truce” crossing “unartistic.” I also had a mysterious “interia”/”agave”/”pgc,”just shrugging that there’s so much for me to learn.

I’ve never hesitated to crow that I know someone famous, and I had the great pleasure of meeting both Doug and Brad at the ACPT. They’re both extremely nice, affable guys, and this tour-de-force totally expresses both their fun personalities and their constructing genius. This is the SORTER puzzle. . no, this is DE SOTO puzzle. . well, this is the kind of puzzle that keeps us coming back for more. One of the best Saturdays ever. NATURALLY.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:33 AM  

One write-over: At 36 A, "Argue," I had CLAIM before CLASH; I would argue that both are plausible.

Carola 8:00 AM  

Such a good Saturday puzzle! Agree on "easy" (for Saturday - again, no moments of despair), but such a pleasure to fill in. Hardest for me was the NW, where URI and ESCROW stood alone for a long time, until a lucky guess at TESS gave me what I needed to piece the rest together.

I liked the out-of-the-past feel - the nostalgia of SKATE KEYS (my first in) and HOWDY DOODY as well as the lost-to-time RIP VAN WINKLE, DE SOTO and DEAD LETTER. Oh, and TRICE, one of my favorite words.

Loved the two villains pre-Darth ANI and the terrific and terrifying NURSE RATCHED.

Wondered about ANNE BRONTE over DEAD LETTER - are people still reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall? The Wikipedia entry makes me want to. Tried TESS of the D'Urbervilles years ago but faltered and gave up.

OTD 8:16 AM  

Easy for a Saturday--medium for me. Loved the fill. This is what a good crossword puzzle should be.

Not crazy about ATTAINTS.

Jon88 8:23 AM  

Repeat after me:

Darth is a title, not a name.

Darth is a title, not a name.

Darth is ...

Thoracic 8:35 AM  

Toe clamps?? I guess I'm a little too young to remember those types of roller skates. I had visions of medieval torture devices running through my head for a long time on that one!!
Had to resort to google for Bronte(shameful, I know) and Desoto. Nice Saturday.

Sir Hillary 8:38 AM  

Wow, I certainly didn't find this easy. Could not get a foothold -- RIYADH and COEN were all I had for a loooong time. Even they didn't help, because my next move was CrannY at 52A - doh! Finally, I got REST which led to CAVITY which led to the whole SW. But each section of the grid was a similar story -- very slow. Usually I have some sports or recent pop culture knowledge to fall back on, but not here. That fact actually makes me more proud to have finished without assistance.

Once I was done, only then could I appreciate the quality of the fill in this puzzle, which is about as good as it gets. Thanks, Doug and Brad!

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

SKATE KEYS and HOWDY DOODY. Remember them well. Another politically incorrect character - Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring. I was young enough that I thought Buffalo Bob was from the nearby Great Lakes sea port.

joho 9:10 AM  

Doug and Brad are like watching the best actors who never show they're acting. These two never show how cleverly they are constructing. In the end, their product is so smooth and well thought out it is actually easier for us to figure it out. This is on the easy side but the fill definitely Saturday level and it's superlative: loved RACONTEURS, IMPROVISE,HAVARTI, RIYADH, NATURALLY, BASSINET and SKATEKEYS. NURSERATCHED, RIPVANWINKLE and HOWDYDOODY make an amusing and unlikely trio.

I only had two writeovers: Love before LAMB and like @jae, renTER before SORTER. Oh, I shouldn't admit it, mancINI before ROSSINI!

What a puzzle guys!

Michael Collins 9:29 AM  

Not so easy if you liked THATSRIGHT instead of THISISTRUE.

Tita 9:37 AM  

With one inexplicable exception, Saturdays are nevr easy for me. I finished this one before 9am, though, so I suppose for me that is a TRICE.

Insistent staring made each section fall, and there wasa enough of a connection between each area to help lead in to the next.

Is it sexist not to have considered that the villain could be a woman? And hey - didn't we hae a villain yesterday, who was a computer? I guess I have to broaden my villainous mind.

@LMS - I can barely get to the puzzles and here - my Hall of Fame is woefully neglected.

I still need to add "YOU HAD MEAT, HELLO", which I think was Bob K?
Now THAT is hilarious - one of the criteria, donchaknow.

Thanks Doug & Brad!

retired_chemist 9:46 AM  

This was a lot of fun. Well constructed and with a bunch of opportunities to mess up, which I took advantage of.

uNARTISTIC leading to TRuCE I caught easily, but LASSOS @ 20A leading to ATEN was trickier to fix. The O from NEO gave me SOUPY SALES before HOWDY DOODY. DOVE, then DOLL @ 34A led to NO TROUBLE for 30D. Guessed DE SOTO @ 46D and was surprised it stayed. Got me out of the NURSE RATCHEt trap.

My getaway was SEA instead of SPA at first, but SOLAR LAMÉ seemed, well, odd.

Finally figured out HOOSIERS by vaguely recalling Lebanon, IN. That gave me HAVARTI.

All in all a great time solving, though misguessing kept my time a lot higher than I would have liked.

Thanks, Doug and Brad.

Notsofast 9:48 AM  

Guessed my way through most of this one; half the time guessing wrong. My brain just wasn't in gear. ATTAINTS astinks. Never heard of a SOLARLAMP. A DEADLETTER is not a law. And what the hell is URI?
On the other hand, I liked RIPVANWINKLE,SKATEKEYS and HOWDYDOODY. So it didn't entirely suck.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:49 AM  

@Tita, 9:37 AM - No, that was not mine. General rule: If it is creative and/or clever, it wasn't mine.

dj1969 9:54 AM  

The HOOSIERS clue is one of my all time favorites. Partly because I just happen to be in Indy today, away from my beloved Chicago. Great puzzle.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:55 AM  

@Tita - On April 10, 2013, @retired_chemist posted:

37A looks in retrospect like one vegan's complaint to another: YOU HAD MEAT! HELLO?

Gill I. P. 10:00 AM  

I'm in the @Sir Hillary camp. Didn't find it that easy. As a matter of fact I did a lot of staring before I found an answer here and there.
I wonder if there's a difference between "in" or "un" - aren't they both negative prefixes? And so I had unARTISTIC making my first entry TRuCE.
My grandmother use to say be a LAMB all the time. It always meant she had a chore for me to do that made me BAAA.
DESOTO and HOWDYDOODY were gimmes. HOOSIER didn't fool me and good old RIP VAN WINKLE finally showed his head.
Good work-out that I finally finished.

No BS 10:07 AM  

Solar lights are those mushroom like solar powered footlights people put along walkways, like to their front doors. They are green in an ecological sense, not a color sense. I've yet to see one that was working still by the time I left the party.

Merle 10:07 AM  

"All around the carpenter's bench the monkey chased the weasel, the monkey thought 'twas all in fun, pop! goes the weasel." "Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, so early in the morning." Back to nursery school for you, Rex. Yes, I went straight for the mulberry tree before I figured out from crosses that the answer is mauve, and yes, I knew that mulberry is a color. Like lilac. Or violet. A color named for a plant. I am eternally grateful I didn't know the name of the chiropractor on an inane TV show, but now I do, from crosses. I agree with dj1969 that Hoosier was a great answer/clue pairing. Yo, Notsofast, Uri is a canton in Switzerland, Altdorf is its capital -- cantons have capitals, like states and provinces. Skate keys was refreshing. I wonder if young 'uns who solved the puzzle Googled skate keys after they got it from the crosses to find out WTF skate keys are.

Tita 10:30 AM  

Thanks, @Bob K, though I vehemently disagree with your observation.
It also tells me that I am foreer doomed to conflate the 2 of you in rexville, DESPITE being honored to know you well in person!!

Also must add that my mother's elementary school in Lisbon - a free school for children of miltary personnel, had an amazing curriculum, which included the silk-making process, all the way from growing the Mulberry bushes on which the silkworms feed.

They also raised flax and made linen.

btw, does anoyone do anything vehemently, other than disagree?)

dk 10:50 AM  

"No breath of calumny ever attainted the personal purity of Savonarola" (Henry Hart Milman).

And, I thought it was blue laws (see 60A) even if I knew it was wrong…

That is all I have to say.

������ (3 THRICE STARS) Thanks lads

Jez-um crow spend one week away and robot test is now an essay question.

Sandy K 11:07 AM  

Medium for me. Bottom half went in smoothly- thanks to NURSE RATCHED, ANNE BRONTE, ROSSINI, and HOWDY DOODY.

The top I SORTa had to IMPROVISE- uNARTISTIC, before In, iN a SEC before ONE SEC, and ATTAINTS?

Who did the top- Doug P or Brad W? TSK TSK...NAW, I really liked it!

jae 11:19 AM  

@lms - "place the H" - nice to know there is a label for my one of my many spelling problems and, yes, I've tried to stick one in Dalai.

@Bob Kerfuffle-I had posit at 36a very briefly.

quilter1 11:43 AM  

Enjoyed this very much. SKATE KEYS, ANNE BRONTE and HOWDY DOODY went in quickly. I've read all those books so mostly not a problem. Also did not know the chiropractor (good for me), had Mancini before ROSSINI, and no way before I CAN'T. But I am getting more fearless about guessing and today it paid off.
Captcha today is shortly and toaqui. There must be a story there.

bigsteve46 1:11 PM  

I've come to think of doing the puzzle in pen-and-ink vs. some on-line fashion as similar to playing baseball with a wooden bat vs. one the metal facsimiles.

One is just more authentic than the other. Also if your fixation is getting every single letter right, the on-line gizmos give you a little ding or a smiley face to let you know everything is correct. Doing it the old fashioned way, you've got to check yourself. (I also had the "unartistic" error because I failed to double check adequately.)

Well ... back to handicapping the Derby! (Would it have been too much to give us a horse-themer today? As the cliche goes, just askin ...

Mohair Sam 1:50 PM  

My Parents owned a DESOTO, and I once appeared as a member of the peanut gallery on HOWDYDOODY. Hence I actually had a shot at a Peterson/Wilber Saturday.
Several gimme's (TESS, CENTERS, ANNEBRONTE), and one letter gets (NURSERATCHED, RIPVANWINKLE, SKATEKEYS, TRICE) made this one finish quickly (under an hour on a Sautrday is quick here).
Very clean fill (except ATTAINTS) made this one enjoyable.

btw - Rex's blog was as much fun as the puzzle today

Loved the ROSSINI clue.

@Rex - If you're a "Tess" fan you might enjoy TV mini-series done by the BBC a few years back. Other Tess movies pretty bad, Hardy translates poorly to the screen.



Badir 1:52 PM  

Like Rex, I also had a mind meld. I felt that it was easyish, but not terribly easy, and yet I destroyed it, taking my PR down from 11:15 to 9:54!

Thanks, Doug and Brad!

Lewis 2:12 PM  

Rex, that was one great writeup. Your riff on mulberry was priceless. I think you were just in a good mood because you just finished a good mood puzzle. I am also in a good mood, experiencing a RAISEUP from this sparkling puzzle.

It doesn't have a modern day feel, but doesn't need one because the cluing is so much fun. A joy is a joy is a joy. I'm with you, @davis -- good cluing without insane entries.

BobK -- your reply to tita was quite clever!



ANON B 2:15 PM  

As Senor Wences's hand puppet said,
"Easy for you, for me deefeecult"

Z 2:36 PM  

With -ATCHE- in place I spent some time wondering what movie had Molly Hatchet as a villain. Just flirtin' with disaster, I suppose.

mrbreen 3:24 PM  

My fastest Saturday ever. Helped that Nurse Rached was fresh in my mind from Matt Gaffney's meta last week.

jberg 3:29 PM  

Tough for me, opposite experience from @Rex-- everything I wrote in was wrong. wallet before ESCROW, from the cross with lassoS before RIATAS, sing before TALK, jaNE austen before ANNE BRONTE, renTER before SORTER, and BAby ---- before BASSINET. So it was a long slog. I think ATTAINTS was the last one to fall -- largely because I've only ever heard it as a verb.

E. La Fleur 4:56 PM  

Will no one explain why HOOSIER applies to residents of Angola, Brazil or Lebanon? I read through all the comments hoping that someone else was in the same boat. Please and thank you.

erlaf

okanaganer 5:16 PM  

E. La Fleur: HOOSIER = Indiana state resident (have you heard of Google? :-)

Puzzle was a medium for me... erasures were: "Boost" = AMPLIFY not RAISEUP, and BABYCRIB not BASSINET. But my biggest problem was drawing a blank on the word TRICE. Even now I'm not sure if I've ever heard or seen it.

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

@E. La Fleur


Angola, Brazil and Lebanon are towns in Indiana.
Indiana= HOOSIER state

ELaFleur 6:14 PM  

Thank you so much, Anonymous. I know there's an Angola in Louisiana - there's a famous prison there - but Brazil and Lebanon - wonders will never cease.

Anonymous 6:45 PM  

@ELaFleur

You're very welcome!

LaneB 6:53 PM  

Completely out of my league and "easy" to boot. When you begin THatISTRUE and use Hagar instead of HANES,the chances of finishing all but disappear. The bottom half was fine but failed to get much in the NE corner or in the center. Googled like mad and still receipted for a big DNF. Who knew about those Indiana towns?

michael 7:26 PM  

I got this without too much trouble so wasn't surprised to see it rated "easy>" Liked the puzzle anyhow. "Selma" must be obscure for anyone (most people) not old enough to remember the civil rights struggles of the last century. I got the Angola... clue only because I sometimes spend nights in Angola, Indiana while driving between Iowa and Massachusetts. Never can find a good place to eat near there and would be glad to hear recommendations.

Dirigonzo 7:30 PM  

Well the good news is I finished a Saturday puzzle while it is still Saturday, which I haven't managed for a few weeks. The bad news is that I never corrected the iNaSEC error so I finished with a couple of wrong squares. I'm still declaring victory under the "good enough for who its for" policy so I can watch for shooting stars tonight (from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower that peaks early tomorrow morning) with a clear conscience.

retired_chemist 7:55 PM  

Texas has Athens, Carthage, Cundiff, Detroit, Denver City, Italy, Lexington, Marietta, Mount Vernon, Paducah, Paris, Rhome, St. Paul, and more. There is even an Uncertain, Texas, served by the Karnack Independent School District.

While Texas has a bunch of unoriginal names, it has some of the most amusing names around.

Tita 8:16 PM  

@ret_chem...I was thinking about Connecticut, with Lisbon, Bethlehem, Bozrah, Hebron...
But what's cool about this is that they are *country* names - not city names.

(Bethlehem post office gets inundated at Christmas - everyone wants to mail their cards postmarked from there.)

Z 8:27 PM  

I've played ultimate in Lebanon, OH, and have noticed it elsewhere. A quick Yahoo search yielded Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Tennessee. That was just the first page. However, if you don't get the cities not countries misdirect, google ain't gonna help none.

Anonymous 11:28 PM  

Well, Pennsylvania has Intercourse.

spacecraft 12:56 PM  

Prepare to be ranted at.

1) @Rex: You are not allowed to rate this "easy;" take it back!

2) Clue for HOOSIER: abjectly, totally unfair. There is ZERO CHANCE that any soul not residing in the state could know this.

3)THISISTRUE: A random sentence, not to be confused with "familiar phrase." Meaningless, ungettable.

I was really disappointed I couldn't finish this, having worked like a ditchdigger to get everything but the NW (plus a couple of letters in the middle; hand up for iNaSEC). My undoing was taking WAITER for the laundromat patron; that's what they do, they wait. And it's just the sort of Saturday clue one would use for WAITER. I actually felt a little proud, "getting" that one. But I did not know the Angel Clare one, and could never come up with URI in a hundred years. Nothing I tried brought any of the long acrosses to light.

Easy. Easy. You can't do that. Take it back. Take it back!!

rain forest 3:45 PM  

For the last two days, clicking on the "syndicated puzzle" button has taken me back 6 weeks, instead of 5, and so I labouriously had to move ahead 7 days to find today's (5 weeks ago) puzzle. Is this true for everyone?

Re today's, I agree with @Spacecraft that it was not easy, although I did the NW very quickly after having to change THATISTRUE, but then it was quite the challenge. I didn't know any of the people except for ANNEBRONTE and COEN, but DESOTO was a gimme. For "right hand" I was trying RECT for "recto", and DEXT for "dexter" for a long time. ATTAINTS is not in my vocabulary. I figured that a state had those country/cities, but couldn't figure it out till I got HAVARTI. Grudging respect for this puzzle. I hope the syndicated puzzle is easier to find from now on.

spacecraft 4:02 PM  

@rain forest: I was so busy ranting that I forgot about the misplaced Syndicated puzzle problem. And that is absolutely MADDENING! Please, whoever you are, Mr. or Ms. Straightener-outer: straighten this out!

DMGrandma 4:35 PM  

It seems I am the only one who didn't find this easy! Nailed the north half, and then pretty much nothing, not helped by thinking the author was Jane Austen, and having no idea who the movie villain was, even with half the letters in place! Should have gotten the peanut gallery one as we had a discussion of it not long ago, but I didn't. So, everyone else's easy was my big DNF. Why does ANI equal Darth? never heard of a DEADLETTER law, and so it goes some days.

@Spacecraft. After all kinds of trouble locating the "new" puzzle, I have learned to save today's and hit the "newer post" button at the bottom. This doesn't work for Sunday, but hitting Saturday's twice will take you to Monday.

Anakin Skywalker 5:18 PM  



Anakin Skywalker—called Ani by both his mother and his wife, as well as Watto, Jar Jar Binks, and Qui-Gon Jinn—was a legendary Force-sensitive Human male who served the Galactic Republic as a Jedi Knight and later served the Galactic Empire as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Born to Shmi Skywalker, later in life he became the secret husband of Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo and the father of the Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker and Jedi Knight Leia Organa Solo. He was also the grandfather of Ben Skywalker, Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo, as well as the great-grandfather of Allana and an ancestor of Nat, Kol, Cade Skywalker, and Ania Solo.

Dirigonzo 7:15 PM  

@rain forest et al - whenever the "syndicated puzzle" button doesn't work I just go to the Blog Archive on the right side of the blog and click on the date of the puzzle (which is the same as the "puzzle no.") to go to the right puzzle. Works every time for me.

DMGrandmother 10:16 PM  

@Anakin Skywalker. I'm really impressed by your knowledge of your family tree I sure don't know that much about mine. I've heard of some of the names you mentioned, but a lot of them were new to me.

AquilaAquilegia 8:49 AM  

There may be a reason why I'm not Will Shortz. I thought the HOOSIER clue was great. MY clue for the same answer would have been "Resident of Berne, Geneva or Vevay." To the best of my knowledge, the only "clue" in that clue would have been the extra E in Berne. They're all towns settled by folks of Swiss extraction in Indiana, incidentally.
Hope the meteor watching went well... I've been lucky to pick up Venus; it's been cloudy or hazy every evening for days.

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