Eponymous Dr. Asperger / SAT 8-3-13 / Poor Little Fool hit maker 1958 / Baker's dozen for Beatles for short / Ersatz blazer / Copier giant absorbed / Tree also known as sugar apple / Conan O'Brien's employer 88 to 91 / Sex is emotion in motion speaker / Empire State tech school

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Constructor: Brad Wilber and Doug Peterson

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Danny ELFMAN (19A: Danny who composed the theme music for "The Simpsons") —
Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo, from 1976 to 1995 and later for scoring music for television and film and creating The Simpsons main title theme as well as the 1989 Batman movie theme. He has scored the majority of the films for his long-time friend Tim Burton. (wikipedia)
• • •

Aargh! Killed by quaintness! Not having a &%^$ing clue about TO A FARE-THEE-WELL (!?!) really wrecked me in the SW, where I spent as much time as I did on the rest of the puzzle (or close to it). That answer, and my mistakenly writing in MALL RAT for 38D: Banana Republic defender, maybe (MALL COP), kept all those long Acrosses in the SW hidden from me for far too long. Aargh. SWEET SOP (1D: Tree also known as a sugar apple) didn't do me any favors either (never heard of it; seems like the kind of tree one might sit under while using the expression "TO A FARE-THEE-WELL" and wearing a straw hat and wooing fair Mildred, prettiest girl in all Topeka). I also don't know what GOLDEN SPIKE is (56A: Image on Utah's state quarter). So now that I'm talking this out, I see it really was Not up my alley, which is exceedingly rare in a Wilber or Peterson or Wilber/Peterson production. I still thought it was a wonderful, entertaining, well-constructed puzzle. Just challenging (to me) in ways that highlighted my ignorance rather than challenged my clue-interpreting skills—although the puzzle did that too, I guess. Just not in the hardest parts.

Some of the little Downs are a little wonky up top (ENORME, ADES, ANIN), but the overall effect up there is still pretty lovely. The stacks are gorgeous, and there's so much attractive material thrown into the joints and sinews of the grid that I never got bored—great clues and unexpected answers kept turning up all over. With the exception of the few answers I listed above, it really is a remarkably clean and crisp puzzle. HIS MASTER'S VOICE (12D: 1899 painting used to promote gramophones) was weirdly easy for me because of all the 1923 newspapers I've been looking at—Victor has ads for new records in the paper every week, and they all feature that damn dog next to that damn phonograph (gramophone?). I stumbled a bit in places. RAMA for KAMA (25A: Hindu god often depicted with a bow and arrow). LAB MICE for PET MICE. HID for DID—a deadly clue (51D: Got out of the way). Oh, another disaster in the SW—I had the "O" and instantly wrote in OBERON for 41D: Speaker of Shakespeare's "If music be the food of love, play on" (ORSINO). Aargh, again, I say. Oh, also I had RIT for RPI at first (39A: Empire State tech school).

Doug says TO A FARE-THEE-WELL was all Brad's idea, so assign praise, blame or indifference where it is due.

  • 18A: "Poor Little Fool" hitmaker, 1958 (RICKY NELSON) — I could sing it to myself, but could Not remember the singer (until I did). I was just thinking lately how weird it is that I've published only a dozen or so puzzles, but two of them have contained Ricky Nelson songs as answers ("IT'S LATE" and "TRAVELIN' MAN"). And I'm not particularly into him. Those answers just happened.
  • 57A: Baker's dozen for the Beatles, for short (EPS) — I had no idea they had so many. No idea. This clue was gibberish to me for a while. 
  • 9D: Dominick who wrote "A Season in Purgatory" (DUNNE) — never read him. Know him as that guy who commented on the O.J. trial a lot back in the day. But all I had to do was see "Dominick" to know the answer here. I've also never read WOUK (49D: "Marjorie Morningstar" novelist), but got him off the "W" because ... four-letter novelists starting with "W"? Who else is there? (Nathanael WEST ... )
  • 33D: Copier giant absorbed by the Kyocera Corporation (MITA) — wanted MICA, though I knew that had to be wrong. And it was.
  • 40D: Ersatz blazer (GAS LOG) — this is perfect Saturday cluing. Terse, enigmatic, exceedingly misdirective, playful. Great stuff.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Danny 12:05 AM  

Completely agree with your opinion, Rex: challenging but a great challenge. I'd like to see more Saturdays like this one.

August West 12:09 AM  

Bang. Boom. Done. This thing was smoother than, um, Silk. If you've ever found yourself hypnotically playing one game of Windows solitaire after another, you've probably encountered that one magical deal that allows you to WINOUT in, say, 46 seconds instead of 1:03. That was this puzzle for me. Typed without stopping from beginning to end. My only erasure was at 1A, where I incorrectly began with atT. Moving vertically along 4A got things cookin'. Notre Dame grad? Bang! ELKHART. Nearby DUNNE was a gimme, along with SNL and RENTAL (pure hunch; just a correct guess). HABERDASHER then stared back at me and I suddenly couldn't get Nigel Tufnel out of my head. Boom! HISMASTERSVOICE went in off the H, and the entire East, from top to bottom was just...vaporized. Almost put rAMA for our arrow wielding god, but KNEW KAMA was the kid. Ol' pal ANSEL confirmed ALES, and ROYALFAMILY spooned nicely up against BASK/BALK, which begat TABLET (to be completed shortly thereafter). ORLY and GAIL were also gimmes, confirming Paul Blart, MALLCOP, OATEN and GENE. With TORME and WOUK already in place, the triple stack 11s of the SW were DONE, in an instant. That provided an express elevator back upstairs to the NW along TOAFARETHEWELL, which gave up WHO, who gave up OHPLEASE, which is what I said, along with "D'OH!," as I changed my beginning letter to my last and smile, smile, smiled!


jae 12:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:16 AM  

On the easy side for me too @August West.  Gimmes like HIS MASTERS..., TO A FARE...(off a couple of crosses, I might be quaint),  RICKEY NELSON, HABERDASHER...really helped.  Much more zippy than yesterday's.  Liked the 15s and the 11 stacks.  

Erasures: SRingUP for SPROUTUP (I suspect I'm not alone) and MALLrat for MALLCOP (not sure why).

WOE: SWEETSOP.  Would have gone with SaP except for verbOSE.

@Rex - The Winds of War and War and Remembrance are worth the read.

Liked it!  Nice one guys.

August West 12:30 AM  

Just some great clueing throughout. What a fun, grin-prompting puzzle. Great job, men!

Norm 12:36 AM  

I refuse to believe that there is any such thing as boxer briefs. (I also refuse to put it in capital letters.) You either wear briefs or boxers. I had 3/4 of this puzzle and could not break into the SW. I'm a morning solver (and I'm only up this late to check on daughter's flight out of Greece early Saturday her time). Finally got it, but will return to my practice of solving in the morning (California time) and chiming in (if at all) after everything has already been said. Cheers. captcha = ethlati (almost feels Greek, and I'll take that as a good omen).

Auggie 12:46 AM  

I rarely wear underwear, but when I do, it's always boxer briefs.

Questinia 12:53 AM  

Just call me Mildred. Got TO A FARETHEEWELL with just the "T".

Hand up for MALLrat which kept me doddering down South going through all my Joseph Smith esoterica.

But like @ August West, all the long fill came with just one or two letters (for some reason) making this exciting and disappointing at the same time. Poof!

Now pardon me while I go back to tatting my armrest doilies while listening to that vanguard Velvet Fog on the Victrola...

Evan 1:35 AM  

Just call me, uh, whatever the young people are called these days. Evan will do.

This was probably out of my wheelhouse, but I made mistake after mistake after mistake, needed almost every cross for TO A FARE-THEE-WELL, and yet still finished in about a Medium time.

Here's my murderer's row:

* HAIR DRESSER before HABERDASHER -- that didn't feel right, but I put it in anyway because several letters fit.
* TROI before WORF -- I won't be surprised if many people make that mistake. DATA could work there too.
* HID before DID.
* TV ADS before TIVOS.
* LPS before EPS.
* APPARATE before SPROUT UP -- yup, I guessed a fake word, because I was probably thinking of the term "disapparate" from the Harry Potter books. The fact that APPARATE looks a little too similar to "appear" didn't stop me.
* MOTA before MITA -- I blame that on the crossings, since I had nearly all letters of ROTORLESS (?!) before HIT-OR-MISS.
* Wow! I also had MALLRAT before MALL COP.

Words I didn't know: SWEETSOP, MITA....I think I've seen WOUK before in some puzzle somewhere, but I'm not sure. I recalled him from some part of my brain, obviously.

I kinda wish the southeast corner weren't populated by so many abbreviations and suffixes (RPI, MSRP, ITE, EPS), but overall I thought this looked pretty good. Well done, Brug Wilberson!

Greg Charles 1:48 AM  

I knew sweet sops as a relative of soursops aka cherimoya aka custard apple aka mãng cầu. You don't know it? Seek it out. You'll thank me.

I also know what the Golden Spike is, though I didn't remember its place on Utah's quarter. A lot of the rest was a slog. I was so proud of myself for getting Rama, but it turns out to be Kama? What, are they twin brothers or something? Grumble.

jae 2:50 AM  

@Evan -- That would be whippersnapper, and me too for putting in the T in Troi before checking the crosses.

And, my WOUK recommendations assume everyone has read The Caine Mutiny.

Thomas Hite 2:54 AM  

Does it count as DNF-ing if you have to google an image of the Utah state quarter? I mean, I just didn't have my numismatist's folder handy (full disclosure: I don't have one)...

Anonymous 3:39 AM  

What's an EPS?

Brian Epstein 3:59 AM  

LP vs. EP

It's Your Puzzle 4:23 AM  

@Thomas Hite

If you are solving using ACPT rules the answer is yes. Googling is a no no. Also correcting an answer because you didn't get Mr. Happy Pencil or the equivalent is also a DNF under ACPT rules.

If, however, your personal solving rules allow googling, or asking a family member/friend, or using a dictionary, or multiple guesses on an electronic platform then you're fine, i.e. no DNF.

mac 6:10 AM  

A perfect Saturday puzzle, challenging in the SW for m as well. I'm blaming the mall rat and Orsino.

I saw "to a fare thee well" after some crosses, but just never knew this is what it means.

That was fun!

I skip M-W 7:00 AM  

My only complaint: a haberdasher doesn't sell suits....

nebraska doug 8:28 AM  

A welcome surprise to find this one rated medium/challenging. I found this one to be easy/medium. Much easier than yesterday's puzzle, which I still haven't finished (stuck in the SE). I needed the crosses to piece together TO A FARE THEE WELL, which is vaguely familiar to me.

Bill from FL 8:29 AM  

Wouldn't you use an "alias" (like Bill from FL) in an ONLINEFORUM? I think of an avatar as a image in an online game.

loren muse smith 8:40 AM  

Rex – I finished this in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep – huge note in margin: “GAS LOG – great clue!!!!!”

Wilbur and/or Peterson puzzles are never HIT OR MISS. I agree this was crunchier than I’m used to with them, but excellent grid, terrific clues.

HABERDASHER/HORAS was my toe-hold. Had “amid” before WITH, which caused me to seriously entertain “any old _ _ _” for WAX TABLET. Sheesh.

I got a kick out of the BASK/BALK cross. What’s it gonna be? If you can’t decide, just BALE. ;-)

TIPSTERS is dangerously close to “tipplers,” WHO are the SOTs WITH the ENORME glasses of ALES (not ADES for these guys).

I had to take a LIE DETECTOR test once to get a job as a front desk clerk in a hotel in Atlanta. Scared the bejeezus out of me and has kept me honest ever since. I was *so relieved* I could answer that I had never stolen anything from the workplace. Ever. Still haven’t.

I don’t know @I Skip M-W – I would call Jos. A Bank a HABERDASHERy, and I recently bought some BOXER BRIEFS there for my son, @Norm. boxerbriefs

Thanks, Brad and Doug. I saw your names at the top and KNEW I was in for a treat. BASK in the glory today!

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Disliked MIN for CALCULUS CALCULATION: ABBR. It just seemed strained. Using straight "calculus", i.e. differentiation and integration, you normally get only relative minima, I guess if you broaden the sense of "calculus" you get a minimum.

But more important I don't see how MIN is really an abbreviation for that use of "minimum" at all. MIN is short for minimum but it is not used with a terminal period like a true abbreviation. It is its own word, e.g. "Find the min and max of this function". One cannot write "find the min. and max. of this function".

So is this answer just wrong?

P.S. I got about 8 words in the whole puzzle.

Twangster 8:47 AM  

I didn't quite finish this because I was locked into LPs. That left me with HIS MASTER'S SO ILL, which I knew wasn't right, but I couldn't come up with a way to make that corner work.

Glimmerglass 8:55 AM  

Terrific Saturday. I'm with @Danny. Rex had it exactly when he said, "The stacks are gorgeous, and there's so much attractive material thrown into the joints and sinews of the grid that I never got bored—great clues and unexpected answers kept turning up all over. " I always wear boxer-briefs -- they're just longer-length briefs (about the length of boxers). They're more comfortable than either namesake. HOWEVER, they still took me as many crosses as TO A FARETHEEWELL (and I AM quaint).

chefbea 9:18 AM  

too tough for me. But I did throw in His masters voice right away. Also knew Ricky Nelson and Herman Wouk.

Speaking of avatars...@Mac where's your tree?

jberg 9:37 AM  

Great puzzle, but big DNF in the SW for me -- the errors just piled up so much that they kept me from seeing obvious answers like LIE DETECTOR -- because of MALL rat, in that case. I actually put in "sta" for head of state, I was that desperate. Had GAS but couldn't think of LOG - thought there might be some brand name like "GAS glo" (an anagram, even!) Also didn't know Mr. ELFMAN, figured he must be ELlMAN, which totallk kept TO A FARE-THEE-WELL from vies. So yeah, aargh!

Off to the coast of Maine, where appearance of the NYT is erratic, so I may not be back here for two weeks.

Sir Hillary 9:42 AM  

What a blast this was! Fun answer after fun answer after fun answer -- I audibly ooh'ed and aah'ed at least five times.

Clues for LIEDETECTOR, ROYALFAMILY, MRI and GASLOG are off-the-charts good.

Initially wrote Cad for CUR, but I had the "track consultants appear suddenly" to set me straight.

Is Mel TORME really a cool jazz pioneer? I think of him more as an interpreter of standards, and of course as the co-writer of "Chestnuts roasting..." (y'all decide whether that's a good thing or not).

Shout-outs to a couple of posts:
-- @Auggie 12:46AM...great mix of "Stripes" and the Dos Equis guy.
-- @ the 3:59AM post...awesome name! Best laugh I've had today so far.

If you can't be in a good mood after this puzzle, well...

Imfromjersey 9:45 AM  

Hand up for SPRINGUP, LPs, also had Shiftless for HIT-OR-MISS, and GASJET for GASLOG. Very challenging but fun. Thanks Brad and Doug!

Shamik 10:01 AM  

EPS stayed gibberish until I read the write-up.

If there had been no SW of this puzzle, it would have been easy-medium at 16:25. However, didn't go down until 43:44 which puts it near the top of challenging Saturday puzzles.

That TOAFARETHEWELL was a killer, but not the worst of it. A couple of new things including SWEETSOP and MITA. I am thrilled to hear that not getting this puzzle immediately makes you a young 'un. But I guess saying young 'un dates you. It's a no win.

Finally, in my house....correcting after Mr. Happy Pencil is a no-show means a correctly solved puzzle. Of course he is nowhere to be found at ACPT. But then my laptop isn't surrounded by a yellow folder, either. ;-)

Gill I. P. 10:09 AM  

OOOH great puzzle that had me bouncing all over the place.
My first entry was HABERDASHER which gave me HIS MASTERS VOICE (Nipper!) Then I started making so many errors. I had MAstErs instead of MAE WEST - my BOXERS had SHORTS, never heard the phrase TO A FARE THEE WELL. Still, I was determined to try and finish.
In the end I had to Google. So a DNF here.
@Greg Charles - chirimoya!!! I love that fruit - they grow in Cuba. So now I know it's the SWEETSOP. Thanks.
RICKY NELSON always looked so bored when he sang...Maybe he was ON CLOUD NINE?
Anyway, I liked the challenge and I learned something new. Thanks WILBERPETERSON.

Z 10:18 AM  

Totally defeated in the SW. I agree with @I skip M-W re: HABERDASHER and suits. Combined with the fact that a BCC is not an attachment made the NE a bigger struggle for me than most of the rest of you.

I tried Troi and Data before getting WORF. Let's see - KAli before KAMA and SPRang before SPROUT.

MAE WEST and Shakespeare on KAMA - a mini theme.

Carola 10:28 AM  

Loved every minute of solving this one. Definitely had the feeling that it helped to be a codgerette: RICKY NELSON and HIS MASTER'S VOICE gave me enough for a good start, and the wonderful entries kept on SPROUTiing UP.

I got TO A FARE-THEE-WELL easiy but had always thought it had the connotation "and then some."

Thank you, Brad and Doug, for a terrific Saturday.

Robso 11:07 AM  

This had some great clues and misdirects. I got fooled by 44 across, "Discipline," and so did not finish. Even so, this was a fun one. First time I've seen boxer-briefs in a puzzle.

Susan McConnell 11:23 AM  

This puzzle is a great example of how fun a challenging crossword can be...lots of clever clues, and answers that make you go "Oh!" And "Doh!" It was everything you want in a Saturday.

Masked and Anonymo4Us 11:33 AM  

@4-Oh: Extra-primo write-up. Excellent GASLOG clue color commentary, in particular. Thought AREA also had a finely honed double-yer-entendre clue. These guys make really good puzs, and it's an honor to be ganged-up on by both of 'em. Wonder which one chipped in the most U-words. Difficult to give the proper acknowledgement, when we unroll the credits.

fave fillins:
* PETMICE. Ground breakin. Slings the door wide open for PETUNICORN and PETGNU. Dare we even dream of PETEELS and PETMOUSSE.
* WAXTABLET. Also brings many new possibilities into play. WAXMUSEUM. WAXONWAXOFF. WAXAHATCHY. Fabulous.

fave weejects:
* ITE and OSE are welcome old farts.
* Nice EPA/EPS one-two combo. MRI/MRT, even better.
* BCC. Don't see this stuff often.

fave guest artist: RICKYNELSON. Have always been partial to his "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". Always drawn to anything with holes. Has always been an influence on M&A's personal logic.

thUmbsUp, all around.

quilter1 11:38 AM  

DNF again but really enjoyed what I accomplished. I knew TO A FARETHEE WELL and so feel a little chuffed about that. But the S defeated me. Just not thinking in those directions.

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Not understanding "cur" for base man.

Evan 11:50 AM  

@It's Your Puzzle:

Alternatively, if you go to the Lollapuzzoola tournament in New York City next weekend, you'll find that you can use Google and still finish the puzzle. Well, kinda. They give you a certain number of "Google tickets" that you can trade in where a judge will give you an answer that you're stuck on, but if you use one, you forfeit the perfect puzzle score bonus.

There, free advertising. You're welcome, Brian and Patrick. :)

@I Skip M-W:

I think you're taking the answer/clue too literally. A HABERDASHER can still sell you parts of suits.

@Anonymous 11:40:

Base, meaning vile or villainous.

DigitalDan 12:24 PM  

Golden Spike: (ex-)Governor Leland Stanford of California was given the honor of driving the final tie spike, fashioned in gold, at Promentory, Utah, where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific rail lines met, completing the transcontinental railroad. Stanford was one of the four moguls who financed the effort. The spike now resides in a museum at the eponymous university.

retired_chemist 12:26 PM  

A top-notch puzzle that beat me. DNF because I had GOLDEN StaKE (residuum from MALL RAT) for 56A. Knew that something was wrong there and simply didn't take enough time to suss it out. I imagine that a GOLDEN STAKE might be useful if they had vampires in Utah.....

The long answers were universally oh-so-cool.

Hand up for SWEET GUM @1D, TOOTS @ 23A, TROI @ 27A, various alternatives mentioned above for 35D SPROUT UP, SIVA and RAMA before KAMA, and a general feeling that this was easier than I was making it. As it stands,I call it challenging, but in a good way.

I'm not seeing a Carlos Danger joke today, unless he wears BOXER BRIEFS.

Thanks, Messrs. Wilber and Peterson.

joho 12:28 PM  

Superb Saturday puzzle!

I kept MALLrat for way too long rationalizing that one would be defending the store's bottom line. hID or rID before DID were both possible. The clue "Head of state?" was crying out for ess ... so TRI was welcome and super tricky. With rat in place I thought it might be GOLDENSTaKE.
Definitely went for Oberon before ORSINO. And as already stated the clue for GASLOG was wicked and wonderful! What a puzzle!

Show stoppers could have been dIVaS, too. And with the A in place I thought SPROUTUP was going to be ____ OUTat. The bottom of the puzzle was so misleading with so many ways to go ... great job, Brad and Doug! You should both be ONCLOUDNINE today!

I had a mistake, though, coming here I see it's not a SWEETSaP tree. Doesn't matter, DNF can't diminish the enjoyment level of this one.

retired_chemist 12:54 PM  

@ joho - hand up for DIVAS and ESS too.Interesting that so many of us made the same initial errors. One might think that these were conscious traps set by the constructors. D**ned clever if so.....

Ray J 12:56 PM  

Wanted WHO’s (on first?) or LOU Costello for the base man, but knew something had to be UP. Besides, WHO was already in the game.

Had 14 letters in before I saw TO A FARE-THEE-WELL. Sheesh.

Nearly choked on breakfast when the MALL COP showed up.

Terrific puzzle. Terrific write-up.

Bassetwrangler 1:02 PM  

Gilded spike rather than golden spike cost me a couple minutes.

Melodious Funk 1:10 PM  

RIGHTONTHEMONEY. Absolutely positive. That was it for me, except for the THE which was perfect.

And don't tell me I was the only one. Maybe the only one who refused to change it though.

As one approaches senility, one becomes more stubborn.

Lewis 2:18 PM  

Much like Rex -- never heard of TOAFAIRTHEEWELL or SWEETSOP, had MALLrat at first, never heard of GOLDENSPIKE, RAMA at first for KAMA, labMICE, and hID for DID. And Rex, your sweetsop comments made me laugh out loud.

I had GASbag, which I think fits the clue pretty well, even poetically, but GASLOG is easily the better answer.

One of the grid gruels (OATEN) actually had the word gruel in the clue!

Brilliant cluing, gorgeous puzzle!

Mette 2:31 PM  

Really terrific puzzle and write-up. DNF because of SWEETSaP. Did not twig to GASLOG until now. Kept thinking of a notebook tracking gasoline consumption.

syndy 2:45 PM  

TOAFARETHEEWELL was a gimmee-which was good as I fell into all the traps!rAMA hID troi/data I type in MALLrat but KNEW it was ridiculous! SWEETSaP/ASE got past me through so tdnf!FABulous workout! thanks guys!

mac 3:34 PM  

As far as I know you go to a haberdasher to buy buttons, handkerchiefs, pins and trim for your hat, but not suits.

@chefbea: I have no clue. Since I arrived in Holland I have had to go to Internet Explorer to be able to comment at all. When I read my own comment the tree is there. I will be back after the 11th.

Michael Leddy 4:01 PM  

@Sir Hillary: The Tormé clue is, I think, pretty dubious — I can't imagine describing Tormé in this way. But from the NYT obituary:

"The critic Will Friedwald, in his book 'Jazz Singing,'' cited Mr. Torme as a pioneer of 'cool jazz,' spun off from the pop crooning of the day."

Anonymous 4:21 PM  

what is MSRP?

Rob C 4:25 PM  

Wasn't able to finish the SW corner. Agree with others who said the cluing made this good puzzle great. Too many superb clues to list. Fun fight all the way through. Lots of great struggle + aha moments

Thought I was so clever plunking down FUTURE EARTH off of nothing for 54A (Avatar setting). But of course, I wasn't and it wasn't. Never able to recover from that.

LaneB 4:28 PM  

Google help on 10 clues not enough to overcome the recondite cluing, e.g., head of state--TRI??, show stoppers-- TIVOS.?, discipline-- AREA?, Plus 50a and 54a. 55a CUR is still a mystery. I guess that' s what makes this one a Saturday. With straightforward cluing it would have been relatively easy. ASIs I managed to finish 90 per cent of it.

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

manufacturers suggested retain price

Mohair Sam 5:04 PM  

Great Saturday puzzle and great write-up by Rex. terrific clues throughout.

Had two big gimmes with RICKYNELSON and HISMASTERSVOICE then filled BCC and HORA to get HABERDASHER - figured I was gonna run a quick Saturday. Staggered across the finish line nearly two hours later. Great challenge.

michael 5:23 PM  

An ideal Saturday -- good clues, challenging, but possible.

Casey 5:55 PM  

A really easy and enjoyable Saturday. Age has its perks!

mitchs 6:37 PM  

MSRP is usually absurd, as related to the price the dealer must get for the car. Car dealers love to obscure things through initialisms. My favorite is ADP. I once asked a client what that meant and was informed, without irony, that it meant Additional Dealer Profit.

Dirigonzo 7:04 PM  

I guess being old helped because the grid-spanning down answers went in with only a few crosses and then the long stacks came into view one letter at a time. I love it when an "I'll never finish this puzzle" turns into a completed grid.

@jberg - most supermarkets and convenience stores on the Maine coast carry the NYT but they often get only two or three copies, so you have to get there early to snag one.

Anonymous 10:58 PM  

Cur--as in "dog."

David from CA 1:29 AM  

Probably too late as everyone has moved on to Sunday - but might someone explain to me the "?" on the "Verb suffix" clue? OSE is a perfectly ordinary suffix for verb, so why the misdirection?

Area Curla Mallcops 4:49 AM  

@David, 1:29
Im still up! Late late late to a party that's already over, except those inevitable two drunk guys (SOTS?) no one knows who they are.
Anyway, there is a "?" because you need a suffix with the actual word VERB, not a suffix for any old verb ...
the clue sans ? would appear to be asking for a suffix of any verb ( tho what verb has a suffix? I suppose ETH is a suffix for GO, like in 40A GOETH.)
Is that clearer?

Maybe everyone thought MALLrat because PETMICE triggered a rat/MICE connection subconsciously.
I spent the night trying to come up with the word Mercenary.

Oddly there are tons of O names in Shakespeare...
Ophelia, Oberon, Othello, Osric, Orlando, Octavius...
ORSINO would not have been on my short list...
But nowadays, Oliver and Oscar are the only O names I can think of.
Orson... But so old.

I was saved by WORF because i don't know enough Star Trek to mess up. Plus the guy who played him used to date my beautiful Brazilian neighbor yrs ago in LA.
She had never heard of Star Trek, which i think appealed to him. He was a tall, very handsome guy named Michael someone Dor n? Wow, havent thought of him for 20+ years. Not easily recognizable sans makeup, except by his voice.

SW took me an extra day. Good one, guys.

Nancy 8:09 AM  

DNF. Mall Rat for MALL COP loused up the entire SW for me. Don't have a fireplace, ersatz or not, and didn't know there was such a thing as a GAS LOG. Had Ess for Head of State, not TRI. The one thing that came in right off the bat was Rex's nemesis, FARE THEE WELL. Saw that immediately.
And was anyone else torn between PET MICE and Wet Mice (Treadmill runners, maybe)? Oh, well.

dk 8:33 AM  

A little late but

🌟🌟🌟🌟(4 Stars) A GOLDENSPIKE for this week

errr… what if labMICE are your PETMICE? Inquiring minds want to know.

Dirigonzo 10:47 AM  

@dk - they would be "pet lab mice" and you would be an unethical researcher because scientists shouldn't establish a relationship with their test subjects (or so I'm told).

spacecraft 11:51 AM  

Laid down RICKYNELSON, HISMASTERSVOICE and even, off just the F of ELFMAN, TOAFARETHEEWELL, and thought this is gonna be a snap.


Almost DNF; couldn't get the idea of Banana Republic (should've noticed the capital R, idiot!) defender. Yeah, I know that's a store chain, but not one familiar to me, so I "never made the psychic connection." Hey, as long as we're movie-quoting here...* Then I stared at _IE_ETE__O_ for I don't know HOW long. Something was wrong, if 51d was HID--what else?--we'd have _IEHETE and so on. Didn't help that I misremembered the Shak-y fellow as ORSINi. Pored over this section again and again.

At last I saw the capital R, and so MALLCOP, and the rest soon followed. Wow, "Got out of the way" for DID: absolutely BRUTAL clue. Very nearly was MY undoing.


Anonymous 12:57 PM  

Got it all, loved it. Sometimes it pays to be old.

Of course we get the puzzles a month late here in Pittsburgh (go Pirates!)

EPs - extended play as opposed to LP (Long Play)

Golden Spike connected the Intercontinental railway -as was shown in the current Lone Ranger movie - (really, it wasn't that bad.)

Calculus min is fine - min. most certainly is the abbreviation for minimum whether you bother with the period or not. And derivatives are used to find all mins - relative AND absolute.

DMG 3:32 PM  

Too much I didn't know. Worked out most (there's something called a WORF?), but was defeated in the SW. Don't know directions between European towns, forgot my Shakespeare, and more. Thought the avatar thing was locking for something like "the future" or wherever that scary looking movie was placed. Finally broke a rule and looked it up, and discovered it was from another discipline (AREA) I know next to nothing about. But even that didn't give me the awful DID. So a really big DNF. Maybe this heat wave has fried my brain?

rain forest 3:37 PM  

This was much easier for me than yesterday's offering. I got all the long downs and the entire 11-stack up North almost immediately. That really helped because I didn't know SWEETSOP, ELFMAN, DUNNE, KAMA, ORSINO (but guessed right), and thought for sure 'head of state' was going to be ESS, just to piss off @Spacecraft, ;) Maybe someone earlier explained it, but I don't understand why a LIEDETECTOR is an inventor's undoing ("did you invent this liedetector?" "yes". "Aha") Anyway, well under half an hour for me, which is lightning quick by my standards.

rain forest 3:52 PM  

Okay, I get the LIEDETECTOR clue now. Brilliant, as was the entire puzzle, I forgot to say in my previous post. So many excellent clues.

eastsacgirl 5:27 PM  

Great puzzle. SW was tricky for me also. Did get golden spike after I found a Utah quarter in my purse. Wanted RIGHTONTHEMONEY also but knew it wouldn't fit.

My personal "house" crossword rules is it's a DNF for googling but I allow a very tattered dictionary and thesaurus. Each to his own.

Waxy in Montreal 8:03 PM  

RICKYNELSON and HISMASTERSVOICE were gifts so got off to a WORF speed start in the east though I held off on HABERDASHER for quite a while thinking they primarily dealt in hats, not suits. Thereafter, slowed down to a crawl falling for the well-documented HID, TROI & MALLRAT traps as well as creating one for myself, GASBBQ at 40D.

Understand now but had never heard the FARETHEEWELL expression or SWEETSOP for that matter. Randomly Googled GOLDENSPIKE when the west wouldn't fall which provided just enough of a toehold to allow me to eventually complete the puzzle.

Overall, a fun Saturday challenge.

Cary in Boulder 12:10 AM  

What I was able to figure out was fun, but big holes all over the West. MIN was a mystery; did I mention the other day that I should've flunked calculus but was given a gift "D"?

But, old R&B guy that I am, I was left scratching my head for RICKYNELSON. I mean, when I think of "Poor Little Fool" I think of this killer classic (which actually came out a couple years after Ricky's and is a totally different song) by Ike & Tina Turner with Fontella Bass:
It's pre-digital, so it may have been laid down on a WAXTABLET. Check it out. You'll thank me.

Captcha: Newebyi. That's what I felt like today.

LongBeachLee 7:35 PM  

The 1039 movie, Union Pacific" is about the events surrounding the Golden Spike, and the actual spike was used. It is in Promontory, Utah. I saw it as a kid, so this was in my wheelhouse, if not Ricky Nelson's song

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