Tokyo Rose's real first name / SAT 5-11-13 / Act in Last Samurai / Fish that attaches itself to host / Pope who started First Crusade / Site of Three Gorges Dam / Part of coast of Brazil / Twin-engine Navy helicopter / Like King Sargon II Abbr / Bahrain bigwigs / Home of more than 900 volcanoes / Where guarani is cash

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Constructor: Matt Ginsberg

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging


THEME: LOCATION (61A: Place)— Four different clues read [X, taking into account its 61-Across], where X is another clue in the grid

Theme answers:
  • 56D: 1-Across, taking into account its 61-Across (A-ONE) — 1A: DRAWER is at the "Top" of the grid, thus, [Top drawer] => A-ONE
  • 13D: 68-Across, taking into account its 61-Across (CARP) — 68A: FEEDER is at the "Bottom" of the grid, thus, [Bottom feeder] => CARP
  • 25A: 33-Down, taking into account its 61-Across (SAILED) — 33D: PORT is on "Left" side of grid, thus, [Left port] => SAILED
  • 49A: 32-Down, taking into account its 61-Across (AT ONCE) — 32D: AWAY is on the "Right" side of the grid, thus, [Right away] => AT ONCE

Word of the Day: IVIE Anderson (12D: Ellington band vocalist Anderson) —
Ivie Anderson (sometimes Ivy) (July 10, 1905 – December 28, 1949) was an American jazz singer. She is best known for her performances with Duke Ellington's orchestra between 1931 and 1942. (wikipedia)
• • •

Theme is very nice. Clever, interesting, tough, and nicely executed (full symmetry!). Sadly, I failed to finish cleanly. I soldiered through the random letter land mine that was WOJTYLA (4D: John Paul II, originally), but got blown apart by the second of such mines, ENIWETOK (65A: 1950s H-bomb test site). Never heard of the latter, and there's not a single letter in that name that is inferrable. Not a one. So when I saw 57D: Univ. grouping, and I had SC-S, I went with SCHS. My univ., for instance, has a SCHool of Nursing, a SCHool of Management, SCHool of Engineering, etc. And ENHWETOK, while indeed absurd-looking, is really not much more absurd-looking than ENIWETOK (which, by the way, can also be spelled ENEWETOK). Maybe knowing ENIWETOK is a generational thing, because this is the first I'm hearing of it. Bikini Atoll, I've heard of. ENIWETOK. No, NOTOK. Otherwise, smooth, steady, entertaining sailing.


NE and SW corners bogged me down worse than other places in the grid. Not knowing BAHIA (which I've heard of, but ...) (7D: Part of the coast of Brazil) or IVIE or SCR (ouch) meant that I had to work a bit to get in there. And, yeah, ENIWETOK we know about. I also had SURF for 55D: Coast (SLED), in a way. Had PATINA at first at 26D: Veneer, e.g. (LAMINA), which must've been a fairly common initial mistake today. I also thought King Sargon II was ARYAN, but then retracted that when I realized ARYAN is not an "Abbr." ASSYR is one of a handful of terrible answers today (see also AMIRS), but the good news is that said answers are relatively few, mostly spaced out, and overshadowed by a nice core concept. Glad "guarani" was in the clue and not the answer. At least I could infer PARAGUAY (33A: Where the guarani is cash). Tokyo Rose's real first name is IVA? OK. Only IVA I know is in The Maltese Falcon. In addition to a non-Maltese Falcon clue for IVA, I got a non-Seattle football clue for SEAHAWK (43D: Twin-engine Navy helicopter). Interesting. Was hard for me to get to ANDES because of the word "Home" in 51A: Home of more than 900 volcanoes. Word connotes country or continent to me, though I don't know why that should be so. Also, the ANDES are so damned long that it's hard for me to think of it as a single "Home." But Chile's long, and I probably would've accepted Chile as "Home." Possibly because you can be a legal resident / citizen of Chile. Not the ANDES. But I (really) digress.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

91 comments:

jae 12:07 AM  

Medium- tough for me too. Between ENIWETOK, trying to spell HARA KIRI and figuring out the admittedly clever grid position cross references it was kind of a pain in the butt.  Finished it (unlike yesterday's easy one), but it did not bring me as much joy.   Did like SANTANA, MOO COW, NIGER (Fair Game is worth seeing), WOJTYLA (I mean how many times do you get to see that letter string)...

jackj 12:08 AM  

Whenever we are given a Matt Ginsberg puzzle to solve, I always wonder, “How did Dr. Fill do in solving it?” Maybe Dr. Ginsberg will let Jim Horne at XWordInfo in on those results to soothe some curious minds.

This puzzle filled in remarkably smoothly from DRAWER to FEEDER with even the hodgepodge that is WOJTYLA filling in rather effortlessly when the pesky REMORA hooked on with Trent LOTT and ELIJAH, which then sent us flying down the grid to perform the same type of legerdemain with ENIWETOK.

The fill, for the most part, was not very trickily clued, with ROGUESTATES, DRIED (mummies), TAKESTO, ONFOOT and a host of others, offering very little pushback.

The only place where I slowed down was in the upper right where IHAVENOIDEA, VEEPS and ALIS came quickly and HARAKIRI was intuitive, based on the ALIS “I” but the aftershave wanted to be LHOMME, notwithstanding the “S” of SANTANA.

What opened it up and brought a whiff of ARAMIS was finally getting the drift of the theme when looking at FEEDER and its correspondent clue at 13 down, (then showing ” - - RP”), and CARP, a bottom FEEDER fish became evident and the rest of that section filled in (and even theme buddy PORT became clear as to it’s tie to SAILED).

How would Dr. Fill make out with this puzzle? My best guess is great with the fill, lousy with the theme answers, unless Dr. F. takes wild-ass guesses like Watson and lucks into them without understanding why, (though on reflection, they did appear easily from the crosses).

An interesting challenge but diminished, not boosted, by the unusual theme, IMHO.

Too old to care 12:18 AM  

Let's score another for the remaining Maleskans among us. EASY. Stumbled once - ROUGUE NATIONS was my knee-jerk reaction. Crosses quickly pointed out the error of my ways.

Did the algebra without discovering the theme. Didn't matter at all.

@Rex, certainly generational, but we old folks still have problems withe Ivies and Ivas of the past.

retired_chemist 12:18 AM  

What jackj said about the theme. Mr. Happy Pencil appeared and I tried to suss out the theme but failed.

Fortunately, WOJTYLA had helpful crosses and I knew ENIWETOK. Do. Not. Know. how I knew SANTANA was at Woodstock. I think it was the only 7 letter Latin rock band I could think of, actually the only one regardless of length. RIESEN, also from the dim reaches. 37A went from COWSIE (family kid-name) to COW COW then finally to MOO COW.

This was pretty straightforward for the most part if you ignore the theme - Easy-medium. Thanks, Mr. Ginsberg.

Matt Ginsberg 1:17 AM  

Dr. Fill takes about a minute and a half on this, getting one letter wrong. It vastly prefers DRIES to DRIED for 52-D, enough so that even though it doesn't think much of FEESER (whatever that is), it still prefers the S to the D. It had a lot of trouble in the NE but eventually sorted it out.

On the theme, it actually sort of knew what was going on. For 25-A, for example, it realized that PORT was part of the clue, and knows that clues with PORT in them often refer to SAILED. So it was happy although it had no idea about any of the locations.

Aramis Carpa Moocows 2:31 AM  

Two wrong squares :(
Misspelled HARAKaRI/IVaE
I knew something was wrong...but IVaE was obviously wrong, with IVA in the grid as well...which is a tiny bot questionable, even with IVIE.

And I thought Univ cluster was SChS. So since I was clueless about ENhWETOK, i couldn't begin to guess what letter was wrong.

I also didn't understand the theme...
I thought AONE referred to a file name in a file DRAWER.
And CARP was a FEEDER and PORT and sailed somehow were related, but ATONCE threw me.
I didn't even understand why there was a theme on a Saturday.
Ironically I got IHAVENOIDEA with no letters, but ultimately I didn't understand the puzzle.

PatINA led me to titCOW...
And ReGaLSTATES at one point.
Plus I've had a puzzle rejected for ECZEMA so was surprised it was in there.

Saw a documentary about the Three Gorges Dam or I'd never have gotten that one either.

Also too too to...TURNTO, TAKETO, LIKEDTO.

But overall I liked the challenge, but not crazy about this puzzle. Maybe Dr Fill created it at his DESKSET.

John Child 2:33 AM  

I had 80 percent of this filled in much faster than a normal Saturday, then flailed forever in the north and southwest. Never figured out the theme. Had to look up JPII's name, so DNF.

Benko 2:43 AM  

Also did the puzzle very quickly until I got to the SW. Didn't know how to spell ENIWETOK correctly and had to piece it together. Tough corner.

ZenMonkey 3:03 AM  

Very fun workout and impressive construction! I like also how each position also shows the way each answer is "read." Imagine if you wrote each position outside the grid next to its paired answer. So:

(Top)
DRAWER -- Top is on top

(Left) PORT -- Left is on left

AWAY (Right) -- Right is on right

FEEDER
(Bottom) -- Bottom is on bottom

SCHS for SCIS also made this a DNF for me, but one letter in a word I've never seen before, I can live with that.

chefwen 3:11 AM  

We also did the puzzle (not quickly) until we arrived at the NE. Husband got 65A ENIWETOK and URBANII, I think he Googled while I was in the kitchen slinging hash. He says "NOT". I say, questionable.

So a big DNF here, but what we did finish, we enjoyed.

Happy Mothers Day tomorrow for all you Mommies. As for me, I am enjoying @Andreas No Kidding book as my non-mothers day present to myself and my Orchid from the Skipmeister and Paddington the cat.

capcha - fofcreat - I ain't touching that one.

E=MC2 TROOPER 3:21 AM  

I knew Sargon was ASSYR (ian) right away. Thanks, Age of Empires. Wo- lo - lo.

jae 4:00 AM  

Just realized why this one bugged me.  It was a nearly impossible Thurs. disguised as a medium-tough Sat.  I gotta be more flexible. 

Me on a blackboard:

It's OK to have a theme on a Saturday
It's OK to have a theme on a Saturday...

r.alphbunker 4:10 AM  

I initially thought that AONE was trying to say that DRAWER was 1A. The penny dropped when I realized that a CARP was a bottom FEEDER.

I wonder if FOLD was considered for the center of the puzzle. If it was at 39 across, say, it could have been clued {Feature of 39-Across taking into account its 61-Across}

Or, sacrificing symmetry, put FIELDER in the center as a clue for MAYS. Or put PIECE in the center and use it to clue CANDLE or TAPER

I skip M-W 5:20 AM  

Never got theme, but finished correctly. Was in doubt about which Urban it was, for awhile, and also slapped in maul for maim, but otherwise pretty straight forward. Knew there was an I in Eniwetok, but had to work out where from crosses. ( I knew some people who saw that island blow up. ) Wojtyla hust looked right.

MetaRex 6:26 AM  

Unlike the last two days, this one went down right for me...the IVA-NOVA cross burned up a few minutes of alphabet searching, but no Google...didn't get the theme while solving but had a nice aha from sussing it out afterward. The happy for a change story is at Central URBANII

Glimmerglass 6:55 AM  

Too many to's, especially TURN TO crossing TAKES TO. Otherwise a lovely puzzle. Loved the gimmick.

Thoracic 8:12 AM  

Ooh I thought I was so smart!! Slapped in "evil empires" immediately on seeing clue for N Korea et al, then flailed fruitlessly and refused to take it out for far too long. Appreciated the St John's clues because I live in St John's Newfoundland. Canadian Navy has Sea King helicopters, which slowed me down for a bit too. Never understood the theme first nor last. Finished in spite of myself.

Susan McConnell 8:58 AM  

WOJTYLA and ENIWETOK aside, this was easy for a Saturday, even if you didn't get the theme (which I didn't until it was all filled in).

I would have LIKED TO see how many occurrences of _____TO it TAKES TO get Mr. Shortz to TURN TO a different puzzle.

Z 9:03 AM  

Finished with three errors, IVaE, SChS, and I got my crossfish wrong with REMaRA. More interesting was my attempt to continue the run up to tomorrow with MOmmie being the kid's milk source. I also imagined that ReESEs was a German company for awhile. A fun Saturday in my book.

@dk - speaking of explosions, I'm not sure what to make of your "backwater" comment. I was playing the Sesame Street game - One of These Things is not Like then Others. Music would be awfully boring if it was all the same. Every once in awhile you need a themed Saturday to mix things up and keep it interesting.

Carola 9:05 AM  

Great puzzle, lots of fun to fill in. But I totally DREW a blank on the theme, not understanding that "LOCATION" referred to the grid and not the real world - e.g., PORT as a harbor. @Rex, thank for explaining!

Also DNF, since I only halfway corrected HARiKaRI and ended up with IVaE.

Lots of neat LOCATIONS today - PARAGUAY, the ANDES, the YANGTZE, BAHIA, NIGER, ENIWETOK (which I remembered from the news in the '50s).

German mini-theme: WORT (word), RAHM (cream), RIESEN (giants).

Wonderin' Z 9:05 AM  

Thought "gimme for Evil" 43D. Where's he been?

Gill I. P. 9:07 AM  

I HAVE NO IDEA how to spell WOJTYLA HARAKIRI ENIWETOK and I never get Rham/RAHM's name rite. Other than my spelling woes, I thought this was easier than yesterday's puzzle.
ECZEMA is a cool word for a shitty skin condition.
Thanks MG for the spelling challenge.

Joe The Juggler 9:17 AM  

It ended up being easier than it seemed (or I got very lucky).

I still don't understand ACE (pal).

I wanted BOTTOM FEEDER's answer to be figurative as the other themed answers were. Also, I don't think carp are in fact bottom feeders. (I've seen two different kinds of carp eat at the surface of lakes, anyway.)

joho 9:19 AM  

Referential cluing always bugs me but today once I understood the theme I ended up thinking all the jumping around was worth it.

It didn't help that I held on to pOsiTION forever in the SW corner. I finally straightened that out but ultimately failed big time in the NW. My biblical prophet was aLIsau! I had DRaWA, WOsTYLA and RAuM! What a mess!

Regardless, I LIKED this one for its clever theme (on a Saturday no less!)

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

For a Saturday, easy. Never got the theme. This old person couldn't spell ENIWETOK in the Maleska days any more readily than now.

wordie 9:33 AM  

Loved this puzzle, thanks, Matt! I got the theme fairly quickly with DRAWER at the top. I am usually among those who don't see the theme when many others do, so am content even though I DNF due to the naticks others have mentioned. We have been working very hard to get our house ready to put on the market, so I have not been here to the blog much and likely will be absent for quite a while longer for the most part, though I still do the puzzle most every day.

jberg 9:42 AM  

@Gill I.P. -- maybe that was really the theme, "things no one knows how to spell." They're not symmetrical, though, so I guess not.

ENIWETOK was a gimme for me, somehow, I HAVE NO IDEA why -- but I had the down Pope as WOzTYLA, which took a while to fix since I also had DRaW A blank, and REpOs. AMIRS helped me out, but I think it's wrong -- Bahrain was ruled by sheiks until 2002, when they declared that they were kings.

Of course, I was looking for some kind of goat for 32A, and after getting the across Pope from the U, just had to wait for crosses to see if he was II, IV, or VI.

I guess I'd say medium, but only for those who knew either ENIWETOK or WOJTYLA. Well, Saturday.

orangeblossomspecial 9:55 AM  


Here's a nice video about the first atomic bomb test on ENIWETOK. It also was the site of a marine invasion in WW2.

I don't know enough nuclear physics to understand why bombs always have a mushroom shape, and in one view I don't understand the streamers to the right of the cloud. Perhaps someone will explain them.

ENIWETOK

dk 10:05 AM  

Well Ed Gein and Norman Bates like their mummies DRIED so I guess this is a Mother's Day puzzle in Matt I have a few questions for you way.

After saying to myself I should know 65A about 1000 times I guessed wrong as I penned in SCHS for 57D. A University can be a collection of SCHS…. or not in this case.

Had to come here to learn the theme: good one.

Maybe i will watch Silence of the MOOCOWS later.

������ (3 MOOCOWS) Thanks Matt… err… do you drive a gray sedan by any chance: Just curious.

Mohair Sam 10:11 AM  

Terrific puzzle with a clever theme. Had to use fill for every letter in WOJTYLA and ENIWETOK and was surprised to see had gotten them right when I came here. Then noticed that it's KIRI not Kari and therefore IVIE spells her name correctly. So we're a DNF by one lousy letter.

Does RAHM Emanuel not have the most often misspelled four letter name in history?

jackj 10:16 AM  

Matt Ginsberg@1:17AM-

Thanks for the info, Matt.

Seeing, once again, impressive results for Dr. Fill, I’m not sure whether kudos or qualms best fits my reaction. To my surprise, I must have a lonely Luddite gene lurking somewhere that I’m sure will reconcile with A.I. in due course.

Fascinating, in any event!

Notsofast 10:30 AM  

Tough but fun. And once you learn the word TREF, you remember it. NE was a bitch. It had to be worked out with the downs. And the only down I knew was ALIS, so, not much help. FWIW, a carp is a "bottom feeder" sometimes; but it also feeds on top(!) For this reason, it's a popular fish for bow fishing. They're also boney, and therefore not often eaten.

Paul Keller 10:35 AM  

A good puzzle that was a little too hard for me. Got the theme, but could not get past my inability to spell HARAKIRI or ECZEMA, not to mention WOJT??A. TREF-RATIT was another fail.

I felt foolish for having SCHS instead of SCIS. Felt much better when I saw who else had made that mistake :)

Bob Kerfuffle 10:48 AM  

Purely Challenging for me, so I was very happy to catch on to the theme (when I was about 95% finished), but very disappointed to see that I am one of those who finished with 12 D as IVAE.

A few uninteresting write-overs, but one I didn't put in may be worth mentioning: When I first read the clue for 16 A, "Like the Congressional Record," my first thought was VERBATIM (right number of letters). But then I remembered reading that members of Congress can enter into the Record speeches that they never actually delivered on the floor. Had to continue looking for a better answer.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

I don't associate ARAMIS with Estee Lauder.

Ulrich 11:03 AM  

I was happy to get through the puzzle and spent so much time getting that H-Bomb place (still don't know how to spell it), that I couldn't muster the energy to figure out the theme--got as far as my friend @ACME and then fell asleep.

Now I'm kicking myself for not picking up this morning where I left last night--I crave the AHA experience one gets after figuring out a toughie like that...does this diminish my appreciation of the puzzle? On the contrary!

Sandy K 11:11 AM  

I HAd NO IDEA what the LOCATION theme was til coming here.

I filled in everything- even WOJTYLA, but DREW A blank at ENIWETOK x SCIS. I had SCHS- even tho it didn't look kosher.

Must've been a satisfying puzz for those who "got" the theme...

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

James Clavell never called it hara kiri. He called it seppuku.

Mel Ott 11:12 AM  

solved it ok without ever getting the theme.

I always have trouble with the vowels in HARAKIRI because when we were kids we pronounced it like HARRY CAREY! One of the older guys was stationed on ENIWETOK at one time. They moved him before they blew the place up.

Angry Bird Grandma 11:16 AM  

Totally tough puzzle for me. NE the hardest part. Too many WTFs throughout. Eniwetok, really? Gaea instead of Gaia, without a "variant" warning? And of course we all know Three Gorges Dam is on the Yangtze, really? Although the cross with eczema helps -- though not if you suffer from it. 18A was tricky, but kewl -- act meaning something a character did, not a dramatic performance, or an acrobatic act, for instance. 17A also rocks, as clue and answer. Helps if you know a touch of Hebrew, or the etymology of Hebrew names. Then it's a gimme. Santana was a gimme. Never heard of Riesen -- and I like chocolate. Had patina instead of lamina for 26D. Got really stuck there. 27A cross answer, Moo cow, really? Oh. Kid as in human child, not goat? Okay. Acceptable. Tricky. Frustrating puzzle, because I Googled, and still couldn't finish, so I Rexed. And in so doing, discovered there was a theme! Totally missed the clever theme. Congratulations to anyone who did!

Nancy 11:28 AM  

I was done in by LAME for MAIM and PATINA for LAMINA. Therefore, even though I eventually got the theme, I DNF, what with ENIWETOK and all. (I thought it was a place in Oklahoma, beginning with an E.

Cheerio 11:31 AM  

Awesome puzzle. Enjoyed learning about Eniwetok. Wikipedia says it was declared habitable some decades ago and that it's inhabitants returned, but Google does not find any images from today.

In a WWII themelet, also enjoyed learning about Tokyo Rose. I had heard the name before, but had never wondered what it meant. Seems like we didn't treat her fairly at all. No surprise there.

retired_chemist 11:35 AM  

Seppuku and hara-kiri both are correct terms for the Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku is more formal and more commonly written but hara-kiri is usually used in speech. The written difference apparently is that the kanji are reversed in the two. Seppuku is the on'yomi reading, whilke hara-kiri is the kun'yomi reading.

Not breakfasty. :-(

David 11:59 AM  

How is NOVA an astronomical figure? Hercules is an astronomical figure. Galileo is an astronomical figure. A billion billion billion miles is an astronomical figure. NOVA?

-- grumpy astronomer guy

loren muse smith 12:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
loren muse smith 12:18 PM  

What a cool, cool puzzle that kicked my ACE from ENIWETOK to the ANDES via PARAGUAY.

I never could have SAILED through this, and I’m so surprised that most found it medium! Like @Acme and @Ulrich, I couldn’t figure out the theme. And I noticed the TO TO TO, too. But I tell ya, I’ll take’em to see a construction like this.

I resisted DRAWER/DREW A and never filled in that corner thinking the two words were the same maybe and I was just barking up the wrong tree. That mistake and never questioning “position” for LOCATION were my biggest undoings.

WOEs -WOJTYLA, ENIWETOK, URBAN II, LAMINA, REMORA, ASSYR, RATITE, IVIE, BAHIA, TREF. (Who, honestly, can spell YANGTZE or ECZEMA right the first time?)

Think RIESEN makes some kind of candy like an ANDES mint?

Mercifully, “Yosemite” has one more letter than YANGTZE. I would have never looked back.

@retired_chemist - I initially misspelled HARA KIRI as “sepukkuu” off that K, so I just misspelled the wrong word. The crosses cleared that up quickly, and HARA KIRI was no problem.

PORT, FORT WORT – snort!

I didn’t know “kneecap” could be a verb. And I. Don’t. Like. ARAMIS. I think it REEKS.

Like that Beatles theme a while back that was a Friday or Saturday, this themed Saturday was a pleasant surprise, albeit an impossible one for me.

All of you who knew ENIWETOK and thought this was easy – YAW are some smart people.

I’ll remember this one, Matt. Really cool.

Keith H 12:22 PM  

Seemed hard, in large part because of never having heard of ENIWETOK or WOJTYLA. But they were both completeley gettable from crosses, the theme popped right out to me, and I finished this one in an average Saturday time. I would have finished even faster if I hadn't spent so long looking for what letter(s) of WOJTYLA were wrong, since that doesn't even look like a real word.

Initially wanted RIttEr for RIESEN but the crosses wouldn't allow it.

Nice, fun puzzle and I learned some new things from it. Felt hard but filled smooth, which is always a good experience.

dk 12:55 PM  

@Z. Back in the day The Ramones, NY Dolls, Television and others of their ilk were stapes at my place of employment. Some nights were spent talking about the future direction music would take given that punk was a reaction/rebellion. We laughed about punk being relegated to the back waters of music - bing replaced by a more stylized form of music and performances. And as we know Glam happened. So @Z my email to a certain someone was a reference to a conversation from 1975 or so, letting him know that he was not even considered punk anymore. Backwater: It was about the inevitable.

Cheerio and I am here to report we have some snow flakes falling here in the wilds of western WI: WTF

dk 12:55 PM  

or staples

dk 12:56 PM  

or being. Gotta stop typing.

Unknown 1:20 PM  

Eniwetok killed me but i would rather struggle thru puzzle with wojtyla and yangtze than zip thru an easy one.

skua76 1:22 PM  

The theme is amazing...too bad I had it totally wrong until coming here. I assumed that AONE referred to the Battleship grid location of 1 Across and struggled to fit in similar references for the other clues. Didn't help that I had ARCHIVed for 16A so never saw CARP. Also initially had SEAking for the helicopter but after successfully spelling ENIWETOK, that corner worked itself out.

syndy 1:23 PM  

I missed the "VAR" in 3 down so I had eMIR. I also had SChS as frankly I should have had!Like @RBUNKER I thought at first A1=AONE. Then PORT side? AWAY side?BOTTOM FEEDER cleared that up even if I did want "Crab" I did remember JPii was the Polish pope with the impossible name but fingered out that and ENIWETOK and HARIKIRI(wanted Seppuku) Fun fun challenging and fairish.

mac 1:27 PM  

Very hard but enjoyable puzzle. I got the unexpected theme at carp and feeder, but still had a hard time in the NW. Wojtyla and remora gave me a lot of trouble.

At 26D I wanted the answer to end in -ing way too long, but I figured it out when I got sailed.

Are there more -worts? Ok, ok, I'll look it up.

Z 2:05 PM  

@dk - I suspect the argument will be resolved by others, but the wiki article is fascinating to me. The Ramones are in the vanguard and Iggy isn't mentioned. Sub-genres include Christian Punk and Glam Punk (oxymoron?). One of the key elements is "anti-establishment" making the Beatles and Elvis's Presley and, I suppose, even Beethoven proto-punkers. Still, if one must be relegated to backwaters one should at least have good company.

ArtO 2:09 PM  

Fun to almost finish a Saturday (NE issues) and find a tough rating. Many thanks for the theme explanation.

Loved ENIWETOK. totally age related.

Z 2:10 PM  

Oh - for those wondering what the H-E-double toothpicks this whole punk rock discussion has to do with ENIWETOK... @dk and I are still stuck in a discussion springing from Thursday's puzzle.

Benko 2:20 PM  

@Z
You'd think glam punk was an oxymoron, but Antioch Arrow, an early 90s band from San Diego, did a pretty good job of it.
And weren't the New York Dolls glam punk? Heck, even Iggy had a glam streak.

Z 2:39 PM  

@Benko - hence the "?" - Wikipedia says, "punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock." Wasn't Glam one of those "perceived excesses." And then there is the whole notion of "Christian Punk." How does one resolve the inherent intellectual schizoaffective state of being both anti-establishment and part of the predominant religious culture. It just sounds painful to me.

So - I think Wikipedia throws around the term "Punk Rock" as used in popular vernacular rather than with any sort of critical ear. And I still had the wrong Johnny on Thursday.

Okay - I'm pretty sure I am WAAAAAY over my allotted three comments. Over and out.

Benko 3:02 PM  

Z--Actually, most punk bands in England came from people who liked glam, particularly of the T. Rex and Roxy Music variety. It is the received orthodoxy in rock criticism that punk was a reaction against 70s rock, but most astute critics have noted that there were many precursors in 70s rock to what punk became. The truth is, punk has had many meanings over the years. It's not easy to define. Some punk bands are angry, violent, reactions to the status quo; others seemed to be interested in a rock and roll revival of sorts; others simply play fast and loud but don't have much to say outside the usual pop/rock vocabulary. To most of us who care about punk music, we know it when we hear it. It might be Iggy, it might be the Pistols, it could be Mission of Burma, or the Slits, or Husker Du. There's something these bands have in common which makes them punk when something other people call punk (i.e., most more modern popular "punk" forms, including Christian punk) might be the farthest thing from it.

Lewis 3:16 PM  

@acme -- titcow, now there's a word that, albeit not subtle, feels satisfyingly sensible.

I too thought that AONE referred to the position in the puzzle of DRAWER, but realized that wouldn't work for the other theme answers. The theme did hit me pretty early on and helped my solve.

This felt like a tussle and was a lot of fun. Solid, memorable, Saturday.

John V 4:09 PM  

Loved this one. Really liked the theme. Good job on that, Matt. Very cool. Had one snag at 17a. Got ENIWETOK, no idea how that happened; must be channeling Big Gene, too.

Easy here, too.

Masked and Anonymo2Us 4:54 PM  

This is pree-zactly what a great SatPuz should be. Almost every entry is nearly a debut word, except for ORE. AND... the ultra rare sneaky SatPuz theme. More fun than a barrel of Mothers.

Fave fillins: MOOCOW. No contest. Outstanding in its field. Plus, kinda looks like there's a MOM hiding in there.

Fave clue: "Like mummies". Well, there's yer Mother's Day subtheme, right there. Wanted DRUID, at first.

Mystery word: RATITE. No way this word could have anything to do with an ostrich. "But M&A," you say, "rats can't fly either". Oh, ok. Never mind. See how accomodatin I am?

p.s. I started writin this comment this morning, but then the PuzEatingSpouse couldn't get the tour truck to start. So, a little battery replacement project later, I'm back at it. So now if I endup repeatin' whatever y'all have already said, all I can say is... What in the world's wrong with y'all?!

wa 4:58 PM  

This puzzle was akin to speeding to an accident. 95% was easy for a Saturday but the proper spelling of the Pope's name and the formal name of the ewok stopped me. I too did the theme without deducing the theme.

Tita 5:08 PM  

Went to Grand Central for Parade of Trains- only trains we saw were the ones we went there and back in...it was SO crowded!

I loved this puzzle. I checked twice to see if it was really the Saturday puzzle I opened - it felt easy to me.

I got confused because my semi-aha came with left PORT = SAILED. PORT *means* left in sailing lingo.

I read almost all the posts- nobody was reminded of Lewis Black with MOOCOW milk?
Google his name and MOOCOW milk to see a hilarious rant on the state of milk today.

Thanks Matt...(did you tweak Dr. Fill's algorithm prior to turning him loose on this one?)

retired_chemist 5:18 PM  

@ M&A - Ratites, large flightless birds, occur in crosswords often enough, either as an answer of a clue, that it is worth looking them up. A little bit surprised that it wasn't familiar to you.

retired_chemist 5:19 PM  

$#@& - OR a clue.....

Masked and ARatiteExpertNow 5:48 PM  

@retired_chemist - hey, thanx, dude. Especially enjoyed reading about the elephant bird of Madagascar. Had a great aunt once, that could answer to that. She weren't a Ratite, tho. She was of the Olson family.

I'm constantly amazed, at both what is and ain't familiar to me, during puz solving. Can you believe I actually knew GAEA and ENIWETOK? har. M&A does not always max out at the MOOCOW level.

Again, thanx for yer help.

M&A

loren muse smith 6:10 PM  

@M & A - you never fail to make me laugh out loud. I bet we all have an aunt like that!

Your list the other day of how a choral concert could go wrong was outstanding. I was just so swamped at work, I couldn't comment.

And I still think you're someone famous. That's why you're so stubbornly anonymous.

LaneB 6:22 PM  

Got some Google help, mostly to check on my guesses, and finished a Saturday for a rare time. Never did see the theme but it didn't matter. LAMINATE was originally patina, and GAEA Gaia, and I can't see ACE as a pal. Feeling good!

michael 6:26 PM  

Got the puzzle, but didn't understand the theme until I came here.

OISK 6:40 PM  

Finished puzzle, saw the theme, and really liked it! I would much rather have Eniwetok ( I HAVE heard of it) than some rap song I neither know nor wish to know! Also, since I had errors on Monday, Thursday and Friday, it felt good to complete a "medium challenging" Saturday! I even got "Santana," although I have no idea who that is or was. I had heard the name, but I thought it was a person, not a group. Really clever and original theme, as well. Great puzzle, Matt!!

Who is the Masked One? 6:51 PM  

@LMS- Maybe M&A is really Jon StUart

loren muse smith 7:44 PM  

@Who is the Masked One - I don't know. . .maybe rather Kurt Russull?

Dirigonzo 7:45 PM  

At the end of my self-imposed 2 hour/2 drink limit I had reduced the grid to 2 empty squares and decided to call it quits and come here. As it turns out, my blank squares gave many others fits too, so I'm not feeling too bad about my DNF.

@Joe the juggler and somebody else - the ACE/pal connection was beaten to death in the comments here a while back. Apparently ACE is old-timey slang which you might remember if you are of a certain age. Youngsters will have to chalk it up to meaningless trivia they learned from the crosswords.

Or maybe he's a she 9:16 PM  

Kute Upton?

Ellen S 9:32 PM  

Tried and tried and failed to figure out the theme. Got the theme answers okay w/no clue why they were right. Couldn't get lots of the fill; finally cheated like mad to find out which letters I had wrong. Did recognize ENIWETOK (I'm old enough) and the Polish Pope, and my mother worked with IVA Toguri in Chicago on a project to set up a senior health clinic. My mom said Iva was about 15 when the war started -- Japanese families in the US routinely sent their kids to Japan for a year or so to learn the language and culture, and she was stranded, along with many other youngsters. They were rounded up and told they had to make the broadcasts. She tried to figure out ways she could communicate the actual state of things in Japan in her broadcasts, since her captors' English wasnn't that good. After the war they were treated for a few days like released POWs, but then someone decided that someone had to be punished for the broadcasts. But Wikipedia says she was born in 1916, so she would have been 25. I saw a newspaper article about 20 years ago that matched my mother's story. Here's a story that says she wasn't a spy or traitor, but doesn't dispute her age. Ah well, you say Giordano Bruno, I say Tycho Brahe. Tomato, D'amato.

Dirigonzo 9:43 PM  

@Ellen S - thanks for the insight into Tokyo Rose. It never ceases to amaze me how much "history" gets wrong.

NK Mink 7:32 AM  

Completed puzzle without ever getting theme until I read your blog. I needed help with one answer & got it from my WW II vet father, who was actually on Eniwetok!

Joe The Juggler 3:08 PM  

"the ACE/pal connection was beaten to death in the comments here a while back. Apparently ACE is old-timey slang which you might remember if you are of a certain age. Youngsters will have to chalk it up to meaningless trivia they learned from the crosswords."

So the clue could have been "slick" or "Jim" or "mac" or "bud" or "sport"?

I'm pretty old-timey myself. When ace is used that way, I thought it usually referred, if only very generally, to someone very skilled at something, just as "slick" really meant someone who was smooth, and "sport" meant someone easy to get along with.

buying runescape gold 5:08 AM  

l takes about a minute and a half on this, getting one letter wrong. It vastly prefers DRIES to DRIED for 52-D, enough so that even though it doesn't think much of FEESER (whatever that is) runescape for gold

Vincent L. 10:50 AM  

No one put down boobie before MOOCOW?

DMGrandma 1:39 PM  

Bobbled around this one for awhile before finally getting all I was going to. My final mess up was DRaWA which kept me from seeing the prophet and that pesky "J" in the pope's name. Also ended up with IVaE! Never caught on to the theme. Did notice that AONE and ATONCE were both "starred" and seemed somehow related, but, of course, nothing came of that. Misremembered aNIWETOK, but SLED took care of that. Enjoyed all the spelling challenges and dredging up things I only half remembered. A good Saturday workout!

Syndi Solver 2:04 PM  

Kudos to Matt Ginsburg for a clever theme. I'm impressed by the people who could solve this without figuring out the theme. Without [TOP] DRAWER leading to AONE (put in Aces at first), or [BOTTOM] FEEDER leading to CARP, I would have had a much harder time with this one.

I laughed at [LEFT] PORT and thought the answer must be "redundant" since both words mean left. :-) But SAILED was the more obvious choice.

I'm also not old enough to recognize ENIWETOK (Enewetak) Atoll. I'm glad to see I'm not the only who thought maybe it was a town (Eniwet?) in OKlahoma!

Solving in Seattle 2:22 PM  

I spent about an hour, while watching the golf action at Merion, taking ASTAB at sussing out the theme of this fabulous CW puz after solving it. Ultimately to no avail. All four of the * clues were filled in totally on crosses. Forehead slap after I came to Rex.

Kneecapped by Matt Ginzberg.

@LMS, "snort."

Happy fathers day weekend to you Syndads.

Capcha: seated onattp. Parse that one carefully.

Red Valerian 2:35 PM  

DNF, but had a good time. My chest piece was a DRivER (as in tool CHEST and screw DRIVER) and 1D was present tense (DRaWA), which gave me aLehAu for 17A, which I thought had something to do with Akbar. (Okay, it was nowhere near right, plus I was mixing up my arcane religious texts.)

Wasn't sure about LOTT, thinking maybe it was gOTT, but also thinking that was some organized crime guy. But, hey--up here in Canada these days, our politicians and our gangsters seem a little tighter than one might hope!

Got ENIWESTOK, but figured I hadn't.

@M&A--you crack me up, too. Are you UrsUla Le GUin?

rain forest 4:01 PM  

Bombed on the atoll of ENIWETOK. Overall, I went fairly smoothly through the puzzle. Was sure that SAILED was correct, but didn't know why, until I saw the *clue. Aha (nice to have an aha moment)! The other * entries came easily, and it was just the SW with that tricky university grouping. SCHS makes sense to me, and anyway, high schools have SCIS too.

Ginger 4:08 PM  

I'm amazed and impressed by any of you who were able to finish this puz. I found it tough on many levels (or should I say 'locations'?). It would have been easier if my spelling were better. As others have mentioned, HARiKaRa and (St John's) WaRT slowed me up, though eventually I fixed them. Another glitch was ROGUEnations which I tried to jam into too few spaces.

Enjoyed the struggle, Thanks Matt

spacecraft 8:22 PM  

How did I solve this one, with no help or errors? IHAVENOIDEA. I guess whatever school I was going to at the time must have really emphasized ENIWETOK, the tiny atoll obliterated by The Bomb, because the name and even the spelling have stuck with me ever since. Brains. Who knows how they work?

I did this and OFL didn't? Wow. I did enjoy the experience, with those wonderful Scrabblites like WOJYTLA and YANGTZE, and the immensely clever theme. For once I didn't have to wait to come here for the complete "reveal."

Arrived late only because I was away for the day. Great puzzle!

AquilaAquilegia 8:42 PM  

Didn't quite finish -- pOsiTION instead of LOCATION fouled me all up in the SW. Still, for a Saturday, I'm thrilled.

I can't believe nobody has said this: "Wort" = "plant" in Old English. Thus we have...
(Insert five-minute pause here)
Well, starwort is what they call asters in England, I guess. And I have a lousy weed called motherwort. And the farmers around here have been complaining about a plant called golden ragwort since no-till farming took off. And... and...
So much for AquilaAQUILEGIA. Which is columbine, not a wort.

Solving in Seattle 8:44 PM  

@spacecraft, good for you! You must have been the REMORA on Matt's great white. It was a great puzzle.

capcha: wishoon Moses. What the Exedusites did?

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