Saturday, June 22, 2013


Relative difficulty: MEDIUM


Word of the Day: INSTAMATIC (1A: Old easy-to-load shooter)
The Instamatic was a series of inexpensive, easy-to-load 126 and 110 camerasmade by Kodak beginning in 1963. The Instamatic was immensely successful, introducing a generation to low-cost photography and spawning numerous imitators (Wikipedia)
• • •

This is Anna Shechtman, writing for Rex, who, after yesterday's NYT showing, has more than earned his vacation.

I wonder if Rex would have had an easier time with this themeless by Bruce Sutphin and Doug Peterson than I did.  From the very start -- 1D: "Cool, bro" (I DIG)  -- I felt pretty sure that I wasn't this dynamic duo's target demo.  So, to make sense of my difficulty (and, I should say, with no knowledge of Bruce, Doug or their affiliation to bro-culture), I'm going to parse through the 'bro-cab' of this grid that went over my head:

  • 6D: Nephew of Matty and Jesus (MOISES) -- a quick google search revealed that MOISES is Moises Alou, MLB outfielder, whose uncles Matty and Jesus also played major league ball.  No relation to Jesus Christ or Matthew "Matty" the Apostle….
  • 12D: One of Superman's powers (HEAT VISION) -- I thought for sure this answer was X-Ray vision.  Rather, Heat Vision allows Superman to burn objects and people with his gaze (and, apparently, to shave)…pretty cool, bro!
  • 26D: Penguin's habitat (GOTHAM CITY) -- An easy double entendre if you've read your DC Comics.  I, of course, haven't.
  • 22D: Battle of Endor combatant (EWOK
  • Stop on the way from 0 to 60? (SECOND GEAR) -- I suppose I could attribute my lack of knowledge about cars to my New York City upbringing.  But, for the sake of bullet-point-consistency, I'm fine attributing my ignorance on this one to my gender….

Cultural commentary aside, Bruce and Doug's puzzle warrants praise for its elegant grid and some really clever cluing:

  • 50A: "A Tale of Two Cities" ender? (GUILLOTINE)
  • 15A: Pitching Technique? (DOOR TO DOOR
  • 28A: Miss swinging at a piñata? (SENORITA)

Among the 'bro-stuff' and the brain-teasers, a variety of too-easy-for-a-Saturday clues made this puzzle just about 'medium' for me.
Until next time, I'm left DOFFing my hat to two 'cool bros,' Bruce Sutphin and Doug Peterson.

All my best from NYC (that's just east of EAST ORANGE, I think…..), 



jae 2:24 AM  
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jae 3:01 AM  

Easy for me again.  Got INSTAMATIC quickly and just kept going.  Only major erasure was aimFOR for TRYFOR.  

Not sure why the ? for 37a.

Not sure anyone says I DIG any more or that BRO and I DIG ever overlapped.

In addition to ZIP there was some zippy stuff.  The vertical 10s were excellent.  Throw in an Alou, ADELE, some GOONS, a Young Frankenstein clue, the GUILLOTINE, and the city where my parents met and you've got a fine Sat.  Liked it even if it was a tad too easy! 

And, thanks for the write up Anna.

chefwen 4:05 AM  

@jae -I'm sure that BRO and I DIG never overlapped, we're talking at least 10 years apart, if not more.

It took two of us, but we brought this one down without any any outside help. A rarity on a Saturday. Yeah for us!

We have three Bantams, Whitey, June and Beav, they lay the cutest TEENSY eggs, almost too cute to eat, but they sure are delicious. You just have to get your mind off the "cute" stage.

Good one Bruce and Doug, we enjoyed it.

syndy 4:09 AM  

it skewed a little male-ish;I knew 6 down was an Alou but needed a few crosses.My time was however Easy/Medium.Manhattens before APPLETINI ILSA before INGA (no excuse there)Dancemusic before IMPATIENCE!A lot of ZIP and very little dreck!

Gill I. P. 6:11 AM  

Loved "Miss swinging at a pinata" but the SENORITA is probably taking a TEENSY SIP of her APPLETINIS instead.
Fun puzzle that took two seatings to complete.
INSTAMATIC took forever to appear since I wanted sling shots. ADELE (whom I love) made me change my mind.
@chefwen's remark on her 3 little bantams made me look them up. They *are* cute - especially the Silkie...
Thank you senor Sutphin and Peterson you SHO made this Sat. fun.

John Child 6:36 AM  

Fun! I hated AGASP and ECOCAR. At least ECOCAR is a real thing. I got offered Spanish, Hindi and Urdu meanings for AGASP when googling. And some english ones, like Webster's 1913...

Loved APPLETINIS. I had most of the crosses and couldn't see it because I wanted a publication. Liked SITU and EYRE clues; STILE, and the DOORTODOOR SPIEL.

Mitzie 6:37 AM  


loren muse smith 7:05 AM  

Thanks for the write-up, Anna. I enjoyed it.

This happens so much – nothing except a couple of desperate S’s here and there, slowly panickING A bit, then, boom. Done. Well, I had to clean up “earallel” that I noticed off “agape” for AGASP, my IMPATIENCE preventing me from heeding the clue’s adverb. But I finished!

And speaking of adverbs, APTLY, of course this grid was DEFTLY filled and the clues were absolutely superbly done. Seriously.

I can’t be the only one who had “Pittsburgh” before GOTHAM CITY.

@jae – did you have “aim” because of “mugs” for YAPS? I did.

And here’s a beaut: “Thor” before EWOK. I always mix up my Finnish mythology with my Star Trek trivia.

Ya know, you’re having a really bad day if you have to call ROTO ROOTER. Been there, done that.

@ John Child - yeah, I guess DOOR TO DOOR salesmen all have their SPIELs. Must be a tough job.

After erasing “Pittsburgh,” I felt all smart and learned dispatching that southwest corner so quickly.

Doug, Bruce, beautiful puzzle, man. I SHO DIG MOLTO.

Questinia 7:18 AM  

@jae @chefwen on "I dig" and "cool, bro"... agreed, a generation apart.
I like it when I can eat Saturday puzzles for breakfast and apres a teensy moment in second gear, at instamatic (kept thinking of an automatic), it was a zip. Moises notwithstanding.

Milford 7:45 AM  

Easy-peasy Saturday for me - a rarity indeed! Had hardly any hiccups I can recall, just had to circle the NW and SE a few times to get them to fall.

HEAT VISION we had not too long ago, and paired in a nice DC Comics-way to GOTHAM CITY.

Never had an APPLETINI, but last night I had a watermelon-basil martini on the deck of a restaurant. Delish.

Thanks for the write up, @Anna!

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Thanks for the write up, Anna

Glimmerglass 7:55 AM  

Not easy for me, but lots of fun. Good, solid, Saturday puzzle. I liked the clues for PARALLEL, ROTO ROOTER, and GUILLOTINE

Imfromjersey 8:00 AM  

Grew up in West Orange, NJ. so no trouble parsing 54A. Fun fact, there is an Orange, a South Orange, and East Orange, but no North Orange, NJ. Don't remember seeing INSTAMATIC in the puzzle, old fashioned but fresh at the same time. Nice job Bruce and Doug.

Bookdeb 8:18 AM  

@LMS...StarWars. Star Trek, StarWars, LoTR, mythologies Finnish, Norse, Greek, etc... Now there's Game of Thrones and a few more to mix us up!
Ewoks were the cute teddy-bear-like people who lived in what looked like Sequoia National Park.

Bill from FL 8:47 AM  

The SW was extraordinarily easy, but I fell for some clever misdirection elsewhere and that slowed me down. I only broke through in the NW when I remembered ADELE and there are indeed Olympic games every 2 years. Very fun.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

I hate it when you put in a wrong answer where some of the letters are coincidentally correct, and this leads to plausible crosses. So I had "as an" instead of "than" at the top right across, leading to my incorrect cross of "aim for" instead of "try for". This led to major vapor lock on my part in the NE corner. Sometimes it is hard to know when it is time to remove a wrong answer.

Elle54 9:17 AM  

Even though I met Moises once ( Go Cubs,Go!), I had Felipe in there for the longest time!
Had a little trouble in the SW. Sometimes I wish I took Latin.

jackj 9:26 AM  

An unlikely pairing, as Doug Peterson collaborates with newbie constructor Bruce Sutphin (only prior Times work, a shared credit on a Tuesday puzzle) but they DEFTLY (RE)WOVE a delightful head-banger of a puzzle that has more tricky misdirections than an Iowa cornfield maze.

It didn’t help that my first entry was FELIPE for the Alou family member and it took more than a little while to remember that there is a MOISES in their clan as well. Grrrr.

But, that was only a memory lapse, nothing at all compared to the trickiness that produced INSTAMATIC or IMPATIENCE; GOTHAMCITY or ROTOROOTER; SENORITA or GUILLOTINE and clearly, these two constructors had compatible cleverness that translated into trouble with a capital “T” for the solver.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that couldn’t move beyond Superman’s XRAYVISION, until the “T” of DEFTLY steered me to HEATVISION and at long last, that upper right quadrant was put to bed.

That left the easy questions like what was the “Cookware cover”, (that even had me wondering if my Le Creuset Dutch oven’s top had a special name), until the light of recognition signaled it was looking for a “cover(ing)” not just a "cover" and TEFLON proved a brilliant answer.

With so many sparkling bits from which to choose a favorite, I’m down to two of the seemingly simpler ones, the Nero clue that brought us SITU and finally what is, perhaps, the best of show, “Francois’s following?” for APRES.

Just what is looked for on a Saturday; tough as nails and smooth as velvet.

Thanks to Bruce and Doug for a beauty of a puzzle!

Carola 9:30 AM  

My take on this one was "ATTN: Puzzle with MOLTO ZIP and not one TEENSY SPECK of junk."

Didn't find it easy, though. Like @loren, started with writing in the S's. Got off on the wrong foot by erasing THAN for "aim" x "mug" (Hi again, @loren!). Thank goodness that the EWOK appeared to give me a solid toehold.

Expected the shooter to be some kind of straw to shoot peas or spitballs and the toe-tap trigger to be a beat or rhythm. Help from previous puzzles: AGASP and ECOCAR.

Thanks, Bruce and Doug. I really enjoyed grappling with this one.

Z 9:41 AM  

Isn't THAN in the middle of the comparative rather than following the comparative? I can parse it now, but I refused to give up aimFOR until the bitter end. Of course, having xray VISION didn't help.

Hand up for Felipe and Pittsburgh, as well as having REspun the web before realizing it was REWOVEn.

Loved the cluing, especially the morbid "Tale of Two Cities" ender. I'm wondering if the Latin Naticka will cause anyone problems.

joho 9:43 AM  

Fantastic job guys!

Loved the side-by-side vertical 10s: GOTHAMCITY, ROTOROOTER, HEATVISION and APPLETINIS. Plus all the words in the triple-stacked 10 corners are wonderfully fresh, not a forced stinker in the bunch.

But what really made this puzzle extra special for me is the cluing which is some the best ever.

Thank you Bruce and Doug!

Thank you Anna!

John V 9:51 AM  

Easiest Saturday in quite a while. Lots of fun stuff, including EASTORANGE, an advantage to many.

MOLTO fun.

So, maybe it's what Rex says about "constant solving". Since I've been on this Albany gig, I'm typically solving 3-4 puzzles a day. Lo and behold, I'm not just getting older, I seem to be getting better. I do no recall saying a Saturday was easy since PB 6 day suite, which obviously was not a "true" Saturday.

Now, off to join my son, who is taking me to the Yankee game, a birthday present. Life is good. Go, C.C.!

Mohair Sam 10:15 AM  

Good puzzle and tough. Wasted too much time arguing with wife that "cool, bro" and "I DIG" are many years and cultures apart.

Still, it was fun Saturday.

baja 10:20 AM  

Fancied this one! Sometimes there is too much crosswordese and other times there are words you enjoy but tend to never use. "I say old chap, there's a tag on your hat." He deftly doffed the hat and removed it.

chefbea 11:00 AM  

Too tough for me to finish. Was baking bread at the same time. Good thing to do on a rainy Saturday..
Don't use my teflon pan any more. Have one of those new Green ones. Much better.

Chewbacca 11:11 AM  

@Loren-Ewoks are Star Wars

mac 11:16 AM  

Easy medium but such and enjoyable solve!

A malapop at 15A where I wanted "sales spiel", and a lot of staring at Zine at 46D. Zip couldn't be denied.

I needed a moment to parse Re- Ford. Rex Ford? Only after I filled in meds did I get it.

Wonder if agasp is a shout-out to the crosswordese list.

Loved the Ewoks. When my son was 5 he wanted to be a kangaroo at Halloween. I bought an Ewok costume pattern, a lot of brown cotton and some wire, and adjusted it. Even made a pouch. The ears were the hardest. It looked good enough for the nursery school to ask if they could have the costume!

Can you imagine how incredibly smooth the puzzle would be if Doug and Barry Silk teamed up?

ArtO 11:27 AM  

FELIPE for MOISES and X-RAY for HEAT totally stymied me. Loved clues for SEÑORITA and GUILLOTINE. Did not get the latter and, as usual, DNF Saturday.

OISK 12:18 PM  

Loved this one! Sailed through this "medium" puzzle in less than half the time I suffered through yesterday's "easy" one. Different strokes...
Really clever cluing, without an unfortunate (to me - others love this) reliance on pop culture references. The sticking point for me was that I was sure that the "toe tapping" was related to some kind of "dance." My first instinct was "Catchy tune," with "tits" for concessions, and "tic" for skipping sound. This completes a two week winning streak for's been a while! I even impressed myself by guessing "Adele", whom I first encountered only via the Times puzzle. Thanks, guys

Numinous 12:19 PM  

I 99.49% finished this. I had aYRE for EYRE. Well, it sounded right and I did live in Australia many years ago.

I didn't DIG the 1D (cool bro). I could DIG it in the 60s but never met a bro,that I recall, until the 80s.

Used imdb for REDFORD. Looked at maps for NOME and EASTORANGE. Straight up Googled for MOISES and ADELE. I must have lost half an hour insisting that VISION was X-ray.

I'm not a speed solver. Not really possible on the iPad app anyway. I used to be fast on paper doing the LAT xword sitting side by side with our show's producer on the dubbing stage. I'd be getting more coffee and another donut while he pondered 14A. "Experience," I would reply to his baffled, " How do you do that?" But I'm comfortable here, feeling that I fit somewhere in the middle, between the superstars and the strugglers, all of whom love the intricacies of language which is the essence of crosswords.

Sir Hillary 12:20 PM  

I found today's puzzle uncommonly easy. At first, I attributed it to lazy cluing -- the REDFORD clue being the most egregious example -- but on reflection I think this one was just in my sweet spot. For some reason, I was able to drop in ATTIRES, MOISES, ADELE, TONE and IOC immediately, and that set me on my way. I still do believe that while many of the clues were clever and fun, they really weren't that tough.

Great grid though. The 10 10s are uniformly excellent.

Tortured Cubs fans will remember that MOISES Alou was in position to catch the ball the Steve Bartman infamously interfered with.

Lindsay 12:27 PM  

Started with MOISES. Liked INSTAMATIC.

But but but. Completely crashed & burned in the NE. The various errors that others have mentioned ..... I had them all. At once. asAN instead of THAN. aimFOR instead of TRYFOR. MUGs instead of YAPS.


Could Superman really have sluT Vision? Really? And what does the government auction? Financial instruments and airwaves. Carbon credits? Are we talking about foreign governments? County government? Who knows.

So, for those scoring at home, 2 blank squares (in the middle of 16A) and 6 wrong squares (everthing else in that corner except NOSY).

Ack! Otherwise, enjoyed the puzzle.

MetaRex 12:30 PM  

By my grumpy standards, v. much enjoyed getting beaten up by this one...

Last area to fill around the half hour mark was the NE where I clung to AIM FOR, MAWS, and AS AN for a very long time...usu I'm semi-apoplectic and Google-ready that long in...not this time...felt a nice aaah when YAPS and TRY FOR finally emerged from the depths of the befogged MR insect-brain...

Pleasant misdirection all over...1A is an old gun--xxREPEATER maybe? 15A is boys and girls--WOO something? 17A has to be xxxxxMUSIC, right? As a denizen of one of the other Oranges, got EAST ORANGE right away, but was laid low for long minutes by SECOND GEAR and especially GUILLOTINE, w/ TEAPOT for TEFLON as a block.

It is a far, far better puzz that they duz than nearly all the rest of us shall ever dooze...

loren muse smith 12:31 PM  

@Bookdeb – yeah – so much to keep straight. I do think that Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was terrific in The Wrath of Khan, and who’ll ever forget the ultimate Klingon, Yoda?

dk 12:50 PM  

F*ck Facebook like! Let us talk about Puzzle-like

Ok kids, here we go.

I am coding easy and hard as neutral terms.

More detail. Enjoyed would be an example of a positive term and hate well you can figure that out. Not in my sweet spot is an example of a self reference and does not reflect upon the puzzle itself.

That written todays puzzle is 87% positive, 3% negative 7% neutral and 3% dk is too lazy to classify.

SPSS Text analyzer is my tool.

Smarting over REWOVE that I feel should be redone. Otherwise It is Saturday.

Misspelled GUILLOTINE twice, winced at AGASP and loved GOONS.

Still shoot with an INSTAMATIC, Brownie Starmite and a pin hole camera. The light wash from the Brownie along with a little gel on the lens results in a dream-like quality to the image.

🌟🌟 (2 stars) More Superman to the tune of more cow bell)

Evan 12:59 PM  
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Evan 1:02 PM  
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Evan 1:06 PM  

Smashed my Saturday speed record today, so I'm happy. My only trouble spot was in the southeast where I wrote in TSPS before MEDS. I refuse to believe that I'm actually getting better at this, but I feel like every crossword this week from Monday through Saturday has been relatively easy, so I'm a little worried about tomorrow's puzzle -- maybe Will Shortz is getting ready to sic a Byron Walden mind-bender on us.

I would have guessed that HEAT VISION and GOTHAM CITY were the seeds for this puzzle, but Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber had HEAT VISION in the March 1 crossword earlier this year. Of course it's possible that Doug and Bruce submitted this one first and the NYT just ran it later. I'd be curious to know what went down.

The only thing I don't like in the puzzle is the REWOVE/REOIL combo, but the clue for REWOVE is clever. Everything else is smooth as silk. I seem to recall that one of J.D.'s favorite drinks on "Scrubs" is the APPLETINI.

Nice write-up, Anna.

quilter1 1:12 PM  

Start and stop solving today but finally got to sit down and really fill in the blanks. I did OK until the NE where I had APPLETINI, but then filled in aim FOR and could not reconcile the crosses and since I don't drink any tinis at all reasoned that it was some other kind of tini. So in the end DNF. But it was an enjoyable DNF. Grands off to the pool and I'm finishing up a vanilla fruit tart for a birthday celebration tomorrow. We will eat under the supermoon.

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

Sir Hillary,

Steve Bartman did not interfere with Moises Alou. That ball was foul and well in the stands, it's true Alou had a play on it, but that's not interference. It's tough luck. I doubt you were one of the cretins who terrorized poor Mr. Bartman, but your bone-headed assertion doesn't help.

If anyone's interested, the Alou men--all very fine ballplayers--had an interesting way oftoughening up their hands. It's not a google search for the squeamish.

Also, unless the Waners (Paul and Lloyd)did it in the 1920's, I believe the Alous are the only brothers to finish first and second in the race for a batting title. 1965 or `66.

retired_chemist 1:59 PM  
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LaneB 2:01 PM  

Took a long look, filled d6 with FELIPE alou, put in IAGREE at a25 and CITY at a20,, thought the last words of Carton in Tale of 2Cities might have been (...a far better thing than I have ever DONE BEFORE"), filled d26 with ANTARCTICA and failed miserably yo make sense of the rest. All of my misguided answers fit!!
Then I DNET to finish. Mutttering a few unkind things about Messrs. Sutphin and Peterson?

retired_chemist 2:02 PM  

@ numinous - Were you thinking of Ayers Rock?

Very well done, lots of ZIP and little dreck. Best cluing in a while.

Hand up for FELIPE and AIM FOR.

Could not fit "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." into the 10 squares of 50A but I believe those words are the end of the book. The guillotining of Sydney Carton obviously immediately ensues, but the book ends with those words as I recall. Someone who has read it since 1956 can correct me if needed.

49A SITU- OK, but one would normally assume the nominative case situs as a default. Situ is the 4th declension ablative in the phrase the constructors are presumably recalling, in situ.

These are pedantic and minor of course - very much enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks, Bruce and Doug.

jae 2:16 PM  

@lms -- Did not have MUGS with AIM as I had APPLETINIS already and would have been very upset if it was wrong. Its a great answer and it saved me from getting bogged down too long in NE.

And, thanks @Evan for the Scrubs link. I've been doing a brain churn trying remember the sitcom character who was into APPLETINIS. I was this close to googling it.

okanaganer 2:23 PM  

This was right in my ballpark, and I finished in my fastest Saturday time ever, 22 minutes. Or should I say I thought I finished...finally gave up and asked Across Lite to tell me what I did wrong. I had 52D "Hanger in a clothes shop" = BAG (makes sense) and 46D "Fan's pub" = ZONE (also sorta makes sense). Which made 50A GUILLOBONE...why on earth didn't I realize something was wrong with that? Sheesh.

Overall, enjoyable except for the "re"groaners REWOVE and REOIL. Oh well, marginally better than those never used abbrev's, I guess.

@Lindsay: sluT VISION...that's a good one.

Kris in ABCA 2:55 PM  

Ditto on the rewrites of Pittsburgh for GOTHAMCITY and Manhattan for APPLETINI. Also wasn't too sure of EYRE, having never heard of it and being a bit shaky on Latin verbs for the cross. Enjoyed it.

Anoa Bob 3:16 PM  

I had EL STORANGO for the Jersey joint. Looked okay to me.

My DOOR TO DOOR SPIEL was so bad that I quit the job in the middle of the day, ducked into the local recruiter's office, and signed up for a hitch in the Navy.

A POC or two pops up (APPLETINIS, I'm looking at you) but not enough so as to have made the constructors wonder if maybe they should have REWOVE the puzzles entire warp and weft.

michael 4:25 PM  

I was thinking that this was an exceptionally easy Saturday, but then I got stuck in the northeast. I first had aim for and even eventually got try for...But I've ever heard of an appletini and just stared at ---tetinis before giving up.

Lewis 4:43 PM  

"Tough as nails and smooth as velvet" -- pegged it just right, JackJ

@Numinous -- very nice post

I had the east practically completely filled in, and practically nothing in the west. It revealed itself in dribs and drabs. I loved the cluing, and the puzzle had ZIP.


Thank you, Doug and Bruce!

Thoracic 5:00 PM  

Must have been easy. My first Saturday finish without a single Google!! Why then would my solution not be accepted?? ESSA/AYRES for me. So close. I still consider it a moral victory. For anyone who didn't heed my comment a month or so ago warning against signing up to play in ice hockey tournaments when fat and old, the same holds for street hockey tournaments!! Maybe double.

sanfranman59 6:03 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:07, 6:12, 0.99, 43%, Medium
Tue 8:12, 8:16, 0.99, 48%, Medium
Wed 8:43, 9:44, 0.90, 28%, Easy-Medium
Thu 14:01, 17:11, 0.82, 18%, Easy
Fri 16:20, 20:22, 0.80, 18%, Easy
Sat 20:06, 25:31, 0.79, 9%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:42, 3:49, 0.97, 28%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:59, 4:55, 1.02, 55%, Medium
Wed 5:37, 5:38, 1.00, 48%, Medium
Thu 8:39, 9:49, 0.88, 25%, Easy-Medium
Fri 9:22, 11:37, 0.81, 21%, Easy-Medium
Sat 12:04, 15:22, 0.79, 10%, Easy

Bob Kerfuffle 6:28 PM  

Did the puzzle at the beach today. No problemo.

Only write-over: XRAY/HEAT VISION.

JenCT 6:55 PM  

A Saturday I can actually finish??? Hard to believe...took a while, but I enjoyed it.

I was going try making an Appletini, but apparently sour apple schnapps is a required ingredient.

I'll have to go back and try yesterday's puzzle, now that I see it was OFL.

@chefwen: Did you see my post about my chickens a week or so ago? Let's talk off-blog sometime.

No kidding, my captcha is "shmmere" - Gimme a schmear of cream cheese with lox on an onion bagel, please...

Ulrich 7:35 PM  

Never heard of an Appletini--must be one of the horrors people have done to a Martini...

@Z: "Better", for example, is the comparative "good", and "than" definitely follows it, like in "A Martini is better than an Appletini."

Doug P 8:01 PM  

Thanks for the entertaining write-up, Anna!

@Evan -- The March 1st HEAT VISION puzzle was constructed before this one. I'm including it in lots of my grids so maybe I can get an endorsement deal from the "Man of Steel" movie.

Agasp Credence Mockup 12:51 AM  

@Doug and Bruce
Thanks for the puzzle and for clearing that up! I remember getting stuck on the XRAY vs HEAT last March, so this time I was prepared...

Easy as my only writeover was peG/TAG.
Loved the cluing...tricky but gettable in that way that the solver feels clever.

I too DOFF my hat to you two...AGASP at your talent.

VERY VERY boy vibe-ish...between EWOK, MOISES, HEATVISION, GOTHAMCITY but I DIGged it. I DUG it. I DOUG it!

Greg 5:21 PM  

In the 7th game of the 1962 World Series the Yankees were leading the San Francisco Giants 1 to 0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Most sports fans in NY and around the country were in suspense. Ralph Terry had pitched the whole game for NY.

Who led off for SF? Pinch hitter, Matty Alou, who beat out a drag bunt.Matty's brother, Felipe (who is Moises Alou's father) batted next and struck out. The following hitter struck out and the Yankees were one out from the World Series win.

One of baseball's greatest players, Willie Mays, strode to the plate and ripped a ball fair in the right field corner. Marty Alou was a very fast runner and the great Yankee, Roger Maris fielded the ball hurriedly and fired it to the cut-off man, Bobby Richardson, who fired it home to keep the tying run at third and the winning run at second.

Future Hall-of-Famer, Willie McCovey, came to the plate and hit a hard line drive directly at the Yankee second baseman. Bobby Richardson leapt into the air and snagged a championship for New York.

Six inches higher and the San Francisco Giants would have been the celebrants!

NB When Steve Bartman infamously interferred on a foul ball in Chicago to write another sad tale in Chicago Cub history,the Cub outfielder, poised to catch that ball was Moises Alou!

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Please stop libeling Steve Bartman. Not onlt did he not interfere, the putative interefence was hardly the reason the Cubs didnt go to the series that year.

spacecraft 11:38 AM  

I AGREES with @jae and many others that "Cool" might belong with IDIG, but "bro" definitely does not. The clue should read "Cool, man!" It is interesting, though to note the staying power of "cool."

I also AGREES with the posted rating of medium. It took some work, chiefly decoding clues, but eventually succumbed. In fact, I might almost call it easy-FOR A SATURDAY. There's a third rating method (besides @ahimsa NYT's and mine): how does it compare with others of the same weekday?

I'm not the one you want on your team for the "potent potables" category, so the NE corner left me with APPLET____ and a parsing problem. Not up on my computer APPLETs either, I had to leave it blank and work crosswise. When it wanted to finish APPLETINIS, I shrugged and bought it...what, a Martini made with apple juice? Applejack? Beats me, but it fit.

Ah, but I recognized the presence of the infamous Oswald Cobblepot, AKA The Penguin, at once! From Meredith to DeVito, what a great role--one you can really sink your, um, beak into! And what's Superman doing encroaching on Batman's turf? Back to Metropolis, sah!--and take your HEATVISION with you!

Re the Alou mixup, hand up for mentally trying Felipe at first; luckily I waited for cross confirmation. As to the other baseball foofaraw, the Bartman problem: I note this is the only "interfering" fan in history who has actually been publicly named. It is history, in fact, that has caused this. We're talking the Cubs; it's not like they were the Yankees, who have to take a November off once and a while so they can get reacquainted with their families. If that had happened to the pinstripers, ol' Steve would have retained blessed anonymity forever. But it was the Cubs. The CUBS! Who had actually, wonder of wonders, MADE the PLAYOFFS!! It's all about context. It is enough that it even MIGHT have been barely POSSIBLE for Alou to make a play on the ball; the fan who touched it became cursed forever. Unfair to poor Steve? You bet. But take a lesson, near-field attendees: stay back and give the players room. Let THEM decide the outcome. One lousy baseball isn't worth the risk of changing it.

BedfordBob 1:27 PM  

Boy I loved this one! I do the syndicated version and was stumped yesterday and felt bad it was rated easy.

Today, I had a hard time getting started (as usual) but Gothamcity got me going and I solved in order SW, NE, SE and finally after some struggle NE.

I desperately wanted Xray Vision. I knew they wanted an Alou but couldn't remember Moises until I got Instamatic. With only "oor" filled in I guessed Door to Door (lucky) which led to I Dig then Instamatic and I was finished.

I thought it was one of the best Saturday's I have ever done. Super job!

DMGrandma 2:29 PM  

Made every error mentioned in the NE, but eventually salvaged everything and finished! Never heard of APPLETINI. It makes me think of the inane (beer?) commercial now running where someone throws an apple at a guy to remind him to order the right product! Other than that I had to wait for the crosses to tell me which Alou and where the two roads crossed. And, I really wanted the Endor thing to be something from Shakespeare-but maybe that's the witches? At any rate I did a Saturday, a needed boost after yesterday's mess!

ahimsa-NYT 10:11 PM  

I managed to finish which is always a good sign for me on a Saturday.

I'm late with this comment but I had one thing to add that might make others smile. I saw EASTO RANGE at 54 Across and wondered, "Where is that mountain range?" It took me a while to see it was really EAST ORANGE.

@spacecraft, so funny that you had APPLET---- first and thought about computers! I worked my way up into that corner.

Also, it's fun to read about the various ways to rate a puzzle's difficulty. I don't actually time myself when doing these puzzles, mostly because I often don't finish in a single setting--esp. late week puzzles. I get interrupted by one thing or another. So, any puzzle time that I mention is a wild guess, not to be taken seriously.

Waxy in Montreal 11:18 AM  

Surely last in on this puzzle but just back from a weekend at a remote lake retreat sans access to my daily - maybe the fresh air helped REOIL the little grey cells as this seemed to be one of the easiest ever Saturdays. Only IMPATIENCE came at 13D but APPLETINIS was (were?) readily available from its crosses.

MOISES was a gimme for this ex-Expos fan as he effectively patrolled the outfield for manager-dad Felipe for many years at our Olympic Stadium.

captcha=etchole (don't even want to think about its pronunciation.)

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