Sporty Lotus model / SAT 8-31-13 / Beast hunted by Hemingway in Green Hills of Africa / Self-titled debut album of 1991 / Kazaam star informally / Work set mostly in Cyprus / Wilde wrote De Profundis in one / Southern site of 1865 battle

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Constructor: Josh Knapp

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: KUDU (37A: Beast hunted by Hemingway in "Green Hills of Africa") —
n. pl. kudu or ku·dus also koodoo or koo·doos
Either of two large African antelopes (Tragelaphus strepsiceros or T. imberbis) having a brownish coat with narrow, white vertical stripes and, in the male, long, spirally curved horns. (
• • •

This is excellent work. Fantastic long answers everywhere, tough cluing, and hardly any clunkers. Never heard of (or seen, in a puzzle, ever) KUDU, but everything else here is reasonably to very familiar. I had to wrestle with this one quite a bit, and got a little panicked toward the end there, when I was down in the SE and within four blank squares of victory and yet quite stuck ([Sporty Lotus model] for ELISE!?! People know that? Yikes). But finally saw through the toughish / vague cluing on OMEGA and AMENS and ALUM and so closed this thing out. I remain unconvinced that SAGE TEA is a thing (that answers screams 'computer word list assistance') and SHADS is bad(s), but overall I'm quite stunned by how clean this damn thing is.

Like many, probably, I wrote in CONAN O'BRIEN at first for 1A: TV host who won a Best Comedy Album Grammy (JIMMY FALLON), but "LAS Meninas" made me realize very quickly that I had the wrong host in there. I watch "Late Night" off and on, so the Fallon-related answers, IRISH and SNL, ended up being gimmes. After the NW was done, I kind of stalled out—had real trouble moving over to the NE. Got lucky in that the only three answers I had any confidence in over there (TICKS, A LA, and something TEA) made BLOCKADES pop right into view. Not much trouble in that quadrant after that. Toughest part for me was probably the lower middle. Could not, at all, see "A TOAST!" (47A: Reception opening). Also had CONCEDE for CONSIGN (44D: Hand over (to)), couldn't come up with OATS, and needed some of those long Downs at the bottom in order to come up with "ALANIS" (48D: Self-titled debut album of 1991). The easiest section was probably the SW, since I got both SHOOT 'EM UP (great answer) and ITALICIZE off their first letters.

I didn't know Marco Polo had "tales"—I think I know ROC from Sinbad "tales" (18A: Beast in a Marco Polo tale). There's some great cluing today—see esp. [His, modern-style] for YOS (bad answer redeemed by great clue), and [It opens during the fall] for PARACHUTE. Very, very nice work overall.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Anonymous 12:11 AM  

    Still not getting what YOS refers to!

    jackj 12:12 AM  

    Knowing of the Jack Nicholson directed sequel to “Chinatown”, “The Two JAKES” made for relatively easy going in the upper reaches of Josh Knapp’s excellent Saturday puzzle.

    The beginning 11’s, JIMMYFALLON, AREYOUREADY and KINGSRANSOM all came quickly, confirmed initially by little crosses such as FURL, LAS, NYMET and IRISH.

    Since I had the top entries quickly filled, 3 down was never directly dealt with until looking at the completed puzzle; what a shame I didn’t have to ferret out MENSA from the “Quick set” clue. Exquisite, Josh.

    Of course ODOR, (the “Repute” one, not the stench version), was clever as well, but looked like it should have been entered as ODOUR to justify the rather stuffy definition.

    Ironically, the bottom 11’s were as easily revealed as the uppers, all due to the gimme of HIMOM and that begat the easy MAGINOTLINE, that expanded with CARE, ALANIS, MALLE and AMENS, thus revealing the devilishly clever clue for ORIGINALSIN.

    The clue for GAOL, referencing Oscar Wilde’s location when he wrote “De Profundis” was not clever, just weird, but Josh redeemed himself with the cluing for “Hudson River school?” as SHADS.

    But, here I was all set to expound on Thomas Cole, Asher Durand and those upstate New York Luminists who painted magical landscapes, I might have even mentioned the Walton heiress who created a stir in NYC when she bought Durand’s cherished painting, “Kindred Spirit” from the New York Public Library for $35,000,000 and spirited it off to her own museum in Arkansas but, too bad, the clue is only looking for a rather boring fish.

    Josh gave us a bit of accessible brilliance today for which I say, “Thank you”.

    jae 12:29 AM  

    Looks like a mini late night TV theme this weekend.   Ironically, FALLON is the least funny of the group.  Having JAKES as a gimme really helped. It narrowed down the field of comics/hosts.  Mostly  medium for me too. Unfortunately, like Rex, I got hung up in the SE where I was trying to figure out how to fit some version of OHM in 52a.  So, that area was pretty opaque for a while.  Finally, remembered OMEGA. 

    Erasures: ACiDIC for ACETIC,  bale for FURL, and old for SAW.

    I'm with Rex, excellent Sat.  Crunchy and zippy, what more do you want.

    @Anon -- YO seems to be a "modern" pronoun for he and maybe she, hence YOS = his and maybe hers?

    Lee Glickstein 12:37 AM  

    In light of Rex's review of Thursday's hurricane masterpiece, I suggest a game of posts from his critique of classics in other fields:

    Of the Mona Lisa, Rex writes: "Good technique, but is she smiling or is she not? This is ART; I don't want to work that hard."

    Anonymous 12:49 AM  

    OK ..... I think of "yos" to be ebonics for "yours" -- Oh well, I got it with the crosses!

    Questinia 12:56 AM  

    Agree with @ Rex. Sterling puzzle.

    SAGE TEA (salvia) is the gateway herbal to ayahuasca and psychedelic immediacy.

    A particularly wonderful SE with the creamy goodness of ORIGINAL SIN between dark layers of MAGINOT LINE and MEAN STREETS. (As good as, @ Rob C, crickets dipped in chocolate)

    The NE fell when I finally ignored the "the" in "the fall" and PARACHUTE confirmed RERACK.

    Scrumptious cluing throughout. Can't believe ALANIS came out that long ago...

    A Lotus ELISE of a puzzle. Thank-you Mr. Knapp.

    Questinia 1:01 AM  

    @ Anon 12:11

    YOS is plural for YO, His is plural for Hi

    Anonymous 1:05 AM  

    Try a decoction of sassafras root for an amazing tea. Bark makes for an okay tea, but root is unquestionably best. Root can't be bought that I know of - you have to know somebody. Because a few might misuse it, the government doesn't want anybody to have it.

    Anonymous 1:17 AM  

    @questina ........ got it! "Hi" as in "hello"

    August West 1:17 AM  

    This is a perfect Saturday puzzle. I totally agree with Rex on this one. Say it only once. Why say it again? Just great stuff all over the place, although I also had trouble with YOS.

    I have a problem with the clue for ORIGINAL SIN, as I've always thought of it as the cause of the supposed human "Fall" (from grace) spun in the Old Testament folk tale. Would not the "Fall" then be the fallout of original sin, rather than the other way around? Or am I unaware of another definitional use of the word fallout? Deep thoughts, with Jack Handey...

    Else, loved it.

    P.S.: Would have loved to have seen the word defense in quotation marks at 63A.

    jae 1:24 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jae 1:26 AM  

    @Questina -- That makes much more sense.

    August West 1:52 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Mark 1:52 AM  

    @August West Original sin is a doctrine that all of us after the original Fall are born in sin; hence O.S. is the result or "fallout" of the Fall. Original sin does not mean only that very first sin, but also the sin that each of us is born with. Some believe. Some don't.

    Ellen S 1:54 AM  

    @Ouestinia, very good, MENSA-quality explanation of YOS.

    The Urban Dictionary claims JACK SQUAT is a real phrase. Huh. When I filled in JACK, I said, heck, there's an extra letter there. (I always say "heck" just like I always say "squat".)

    Not so happy with SHADS either. AMEN, @jackj, I was thinking Sloane, so fish were a clever misdirect. Fishes, not so much.

    Other than that, fine, clever cluing. I finished (if you can call it that) by means of a combination of cheating and brilliance.

    August West 1:57 AM  

    jae, interested as to how you'd rank late night talk show talent. Who's funnier and more talented than Jimmy Fallon? Obviously, these things are purely subjective and my cup of TEA may not be yours, but I'd put Fallon on the same top shelf with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and, maybe, Craig Ferguson. Imo, he clearly outstrips Leno and the dour ol' curmudgeon, neither of whom can do a spot-on Neil, Dylan, Vsn Morrison or Jim Morrison. Jimmy rules.

    August West 2:32 AM  

    Thanks Mark.

    I always equated it with the original original sin, i.e., A&E's eating of the apple, resulting not only in their banishment from the Garden of Earthly Delights, but a spiteful god's yoking the rest of us with a world of sh*t in perpetuity (mankind's "Fall") for great-great grandma and grandpa's disobedience.

    Wouldn't it be weird if you died, and you woke up and you were in heaven, and it was just like they always told ya? Everybody had wings on...Pearly Gates. Wouldn't you feel stupid? 'Ohhh, Nooooooooo! You mean that this is what...Awwwwwwwww!!! In college they said this was all bullsh*t! Oh, this is...well, I'll just come in and...What? You been keepin' records on me? I wasn't so bad! How many times did I take the lord's name in vain? Eeeeeeew! Million six? Jesus Ch-'"

    ~ Steve Martin

    r.alphbunker 3:03 AM  

    Started with JIMMY kimmel. JIMMY looked good but kimmel didn't. But PARACHUTE went down with no crosses as did ITALICIZE. Puzzle was definitely was in my wheelhouse.

    jae 4:15 AM  

    @AW -- My "group" is/was post midnight (I know Kimmel recently moved up).  I've sampled them all (look what time it is), albeit briefly for some, and my ranking for "funny" is Ferguson, Conan, Kimmel, Fallon.  Very subjective of course. 

    Further subjectivity, Letterman is much more interesting than Leno.

    And, Stewart and Colbert are doing something a tad different so it's kinda an apples vs. oranges comparison, although as an interviewer Stewart may be the best of the lot.   That said, John Oliver was pretty impressive.

    As for quality,  Ferguson, Stewart, Colbert, and Letterman are all Peabody winners.  The rest, not so much.

    John Child 4:41 AM  

    Good fun and, for me, quite a bit easier than yesterday. And this is a good time to say thanks not only to OFL but to those who comment here and make the whole experience more fun.

    The Bard 5:27 AM  

    Othello , Act II, scene I

    OTHELLO:Come, let us to the castle.
    News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks
    are drown'd.
    How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
    Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;
    I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,
    I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
    In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,
    Go to the bay and disembark my coffers:
    Bring thou the master to the citadel;
    He is a good one, and his worthiness
    Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,
    Once more, well met at Cyprus.

    Robso 7:11 AM  

    "Rerack?" Seems I know jacksquat about beer pong . . . but that's a good thing, right?
    Fun puzzle, Josh Knapp!

    Rex Parker 7:42 AM  


    Thursday's puzzle was two days ago. You can find it in my Blog Archive. Maybe you have a child or someone who understands computers who can help you find it.

    Good luck, buddy!


    loren muse smith 8:39 AM  

    Rex- hand up for Conan O’Brien first. I finished the southwest easily but then had all kinds of trouble.

    “Okra” for OATS, thinking, “Who knew?” I grew up eating boiled okra. HI MOM.

    Kept wanting “a pos” or “a neg” for my donor, in brief.

    Misspelled “moussy” for MODEST. Sheesh.

    Wanted “soles” for SHADS off that initial S, especially because it crossed SOUL.

    Couldn’t get JACK S _ _T (morning, @Ellen S) in the northeast because I was certain PBJ was instead some form of BLT with the bacon part substituted with some other vegan option.

    SAGE TEA – Weird. Just yesterday I was at the store putting together a CARE package for my daughter, SAGE, and I stood at the TEA display forever thinking, “Well, she doesn’t really drink TEA, but still. . .” I decided on ginger TEA.

    The clue/entry for GO TO is superb.

    This southerner grabbed a “Kleenex,” not a TISSUE, yesterday when I caught the last part of Independence Day. That ARE YOU READY speech that Bill Pullman gives as president before they all fly off to fight the aliens always gets me. I’m such a sucker for schmaltz.

    Josh – really, really nice grid. So scrabbly that I went off looking for that x and v.

    Anonymous 8:46 AM  

    What Lotus models aren't "sporty"?

    My knowledge of Lotus models pretty much begins and ends with "The Avengers" era, when the Lotus ELI[t]E was the model available closest to the Elan that Mrs. Peel drove.

    Anonymous 8:57 AM  

    An odd week in terns of difficulty--today easier than yesterday and Thursday the toughest of the three, due to the gimmes of Jakes and Maginot line, although wondered for a second if there was a misspelling of Jon Stewart with the NJ location, but of course he is not Irish.
    Will not repeat the comments of others but do want to mention love of clue for parachute and general appreciation for a terrific Saturday.

    dk 9:01 AM  

    JIMMYFALLON interview this week on NPR evening show whose name I am drawing a blank on even tho I listen to it most every night. Drat.

    Kept trying to fir atrias into 47a and while I knew it had to be SAGETEA I knew it could not be.... wrong again. The last time I knew anything about a Lotus Esprit was the sporty one, they were inexpensive and keeping the dual carburetors in sync was a pain... as I recall. Why can I remember that and not the NPR show??? TA DA: Fresh Air.

    @Questina, your super MENSA card is in the mail.

    @Lee, do not taunt Rex as he gets all in a twist and then there is a rash (ALOE-free) of comments, I start posting bad jokes, @JOHO and others plead for calm. I am tellin ya man it is a slippery slope here.

    @Rex, Rereading Frank Kane. Did metaphors like "steel door on a brick battleship" ever make sense?

    🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 Stars) No RIM shot here. Thanks Josh.

    dk 9:02 AM  

    fit not fir (another source of PITCH)

    Questinia 9:34 AM  

    @ Ellen S, @ dk, you might mean a reverse-MENSA.
    I may have gotten YOS right off the bat but struggled too long with JIMMY FALLON's home (once) first thinking... "huh, I didn't know he came from St. Louis!".

    {{{{ doh }}}}

    retired_chemist 9:44 AM  

    Agree with August West that MAGINOT LINE could use something in the clue to indicate how ineffectual it actually was.

    This one was hard for me. Just a lot of stuff I didn't know. SELMA in a Civil War battle? Who knew?

    The MAGINOT LINE actually got me started in the SE, which was the first section to surrender, just like the French on June 22, 1940.

    No idea what Hemingway hunted - LION, then IBEX, then guessed SHAQ for 31A and put in the U below the Q,saw SQUAT to end 14D, and figured JACK started it. As a kid the term was simply "Squat," as in "He doesn't know SQUAT about that." No JACK. Anyway, that guess broke the NE open.

    Picked Sun TZU (66A) out of the several options (hat, tea, probably more) just because it was a Saturday. It stayed, and was a key to getting the SW.

    The NW was my next-to-last section. NAME instead of ODOR was a problem. MENSA, ARABIC, and LAS helped, guessed IRISH, and saw that JIMMY FALLON would fit if ___L were FURL. Other than having JADES for 1D (hey, jade is Chinese - DING'S RANSOM - WTF!) all then went well.

    Finally, refusing to put SELMA in at 29D and insisting on OLEO at 39D cost me big time in the center. Was Fallon from ORLando? But it got fixed eventually.

    Thanks, Mr.Knapp. Good Saturday challenge.

    Z 9:51 AM  

    Weekend Update Anchor is a great gig, with news satire being a great career launcher. Stewart is the best host and also a career launcher. I am the only person I know who watched The Daily Show before Jon Stewart (there's a Saturday quality clue for you- "The Daily Show host.") Ferguson is funny, but I never stay awake for the interviews. Leno, Letterman, and Kimmel are only worth watching for the musical guests. If I never see another actor talk about how proud they are of the most recent dreck release....

    PBJ aren't vegan. Oops. Not even vegetarian. That's a fairly major gaffe for a three letter answer. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are quite popular, though.

    Carola 9:55 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Z 9:55 AM  

    Isn't The MAGINOT LINE the epitome of the adage that general's always prepare for the last war?

    Carola 9:58 AM  

    Agree with all, a great Saturday puzzle! Found it tough going after a promising start in the SW off ITALICIZE. But it was difficult to break out of that corner - lots of skpping around.
    Made it hard on myself by rejecting SHADS as a plural and BLOCKADE as too easy.
    Not a TV viewer, I needed many crosses to see JIMMY FALLON and SNL - having just the S, I considered Ssr, Swe, and Stl. Oh, and the only orange and blue team colors I knew are for the Florida GATORs, so that really made FALLON hard to see.

    Moment of triumph: Understanding His and writing in YOS with no crosses.
    Moment of "D'oh!"-ness: Falling for "fall" as the season a second time (for PARACHUTE) after I'd gotten ORIGINAL SIN.

    @Questinia - Thanks for pointing out that delectable sandwich in the SE. SHOOT EM UP could serve as a side.

    @loren - I tried every combo of A pos and A neg to get that Lotus model and also thought there'd be a tofu version of a BLT.

    @Josh Knapp - Terrific clues, much pleasure. Thank you.

    joho 10:05 AM  

    I got MAGINOTLINE but still had no idea what it was. So I learned something which is always a plus.

    I love Jimmy Fallon so opening with him was fun. My first thought was Craig Ferguson and welSH -- all wrong! My brother recently bumped into Jimmy at a sandwich shop near his home in New Hampshire. Jimmy even posed for a pic and was extremely nice. How often do you hear that about a celebrity?

    Great Saturday puzzle, thank you, Josh Knapp!

    Ray J 10:12 AM  

    Jimmy Fallon frequently mentions growing up in Saugerties on his show. That didn’t help, but SNL was easy enough to get. Wish 1A had included something like “great aper” because he is.

    The mind makes curious connections when solving. Mine tends to dredge up old song lyrics. I started singing this as I wrote in 34D. (Don’t worry, no one could hear me.)

    Bang, bang, SHOOT ‘EM UP, destiny

    @dk, I also wanted fir for pitch source.

    retired_chemist 10:12 AM  

    @ Z - what in a PBJ makes it non-vegan?

    Ray J 10:18 AM  

    Sorry about that link. Try this (if you wish)

    Bang, bang, SHOOT ‘EM UP, destiny

    Z 10:21 AM  

    @retired chemist - Damn - Shortz is right again. Mixing up my pectin and my collagen (used in gelatin).

    Nancy 10:23 AM  

    Once it came in, I understood the his to be a plural of hi for YOS. Clever. But can someone explain to me what "lion runner" means and why the answer is MAC? I finished the puzzle, but don't understand this answer.

    The Late Steve Jobs 10:28 AM  

    @Nancy - Rather than oddities like "XP" or the numeric like "Windows 8," Apple gives it computer operating systems big cat names like "Panther," "Snow Leopard," and "Lion." They all run on MACs.

    Bill from FL 10:33 AM  

    Living in Gainesville FL, I too wrote in GATORS, then compounded the confusion in the NW with EMBARGOES and LION. As a final misstep, for "Reception opening," I had ATLAST, even smiling in admiration of the cluing. But I was relieved to finish even with so many overwrites.

    Anonymous 10:36 AM  

    Fun puzzles all around this week! Since Thursday, jack squat on the first pass, followed by a nice slow fill. Well done, Will & co.!

    Nancy 10:36 AM  

    To the late Steve Jobs 10:28 a.m. :

    Many thanks for the answer to my MAC question. I'm an analogue, technophobe, Luddite person and I'm always baffled by the computerese clues. I appreciate your enlightening me very much. And I guarantee, you may need to do it again sometime!

    Lindsay 10:39 AM  

    Initial read through very discouraging. First across clue involves TV, last across clue involves a film. First down clue involves a "sequel" (another movie?). Last down clue cross-references an album, penultimate down clue looking for a movie. In between we have a director, a star, soundtracks and beer pong. Aaaarrgh.

    Started with 33D ITALACIZE, which I crossed with 49A cAulk (after considering oAkum) crossing with 50D HItme. Puzzle not getting any easier. Eventually eventually figured it all out.

    Have a good holiday weekend.

    **captcha = offNat = all-star break for a Washington ballplayer

    Anonymous 10:42 AM  

    lion is an operating system for Apple Pc's.....MACS.

    The systems are named after animals. Snow leopard is a past example.

    Anonymous 10:46 AM  

    oops, I see Steve beat me to the 'lion' explanation......good job

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:51 AM  

    Fine puzzle, but DNF.

    Started at 42 A with GAOL, first entry I could make with confidence. Worked all the way around the grid, but died in the center with problems at 43 A, 47 A, and 53 A. For "Lion runner", had MGM, because the films opened with a roaring lion. (I'm working on an iMac, running Snow Leopard, but was still puzzled for awhile when I saw the correct answer!) Not a late-night TV viewer, so I thought Mr. Fallon might have been one of our Canadian friends, from ONTario. And also being unfamiliar with popular music, never thought of ALANIS. And I thought our cholesterol reducer might be OLEO.

    retired_chemist 10:58 AM  

    @ Bob K - great minds think alike. I'm even RUNNING Lion and 43A took me a few to understand. Also hand up for ONT and OLEO at one point.

    Sburger 11:23 AM  

    Sage tea is commonly used to suppress the milk supply in lactating women if they wish to reduce an oversupply or wean. All lactation consultants would guess that one right away

    Sandy K 11:23 AM  

    YEP, a terrific puzzle!

    Great long answers from SHOOT 'EM UP to MAGINOT LINE, KING'S RANSOM to JACK SQUAT (which can be found in the URBAN DICTIONARY)...and the short fill clues were brilliant- my personal fave- clue for TICKS.

    A TOAST to Josh Knapp!

    And to David Letterman who just celebrated 32 years of late night- longer than anyone else on TV. He must be doing something right...

    Sburger 11:27 AM  

    Having a teenage son made yos obvious

    mac 11:28 AM  

    Outstanding Saturday puzzle! Tough in some areas, but "tissue" seemed too easy for the day of the week.

    Hand up for acidic and bale, thought of "style" (painting school) instead of shads and refill for the beer pong because I didn't read the clue carefully.

    Is there such a thing as a Lotus Europe?

    @Bob Kerfuffle: such good reasoning!

    Mohair Sam 11:33 AM  

    A great Saturday, agree with Rex totally - except we had the most trouble in the NE. We stared at that corner for fifteen minutes until my wife joyously screamed PARACHUTE! and the rest filled in seconds.

    Minor point here - but in my vocabulary it is always diddlySQUAT and JACK something else, I just couldn't make the connection. Anyone else?

    @Loren Muse - Much envy here of your volunteer duty at the Iditarod. Reread Wilson's tour of Anchorage again after you referenced - what a hoot. Also reread Cookie and team of 5 returning home dragging the Schwinn and no Paulsen. He's a wonderful story teller.

    chefbea 11:35 AM  

    Too tough DNF. Wanted Hankie for instead of tissue
    Getting ready for grilling and salads for the holiday.
    and figs wrapped in prociutto..yummmm

    jae 11:53 AM  

    @lms -- I must have repressed putting ONEG, APOS... into 61A. That contributed greatly to my hang up in SE.

    Bob Kerfuffle 1:09 PM  

    Thanks, @mac, but not such good re4asoning when it leads me to the wrong answers! :>))

    Shamik 1:29 PM  

    Medium. Last corner to fall was the NE.

    But mostly I just grinned watching the videos.

    Bill from FL 1:32 PM  

    Milton on Original Sin (Paradise Lost book IX)

    Their [Man's] Maker's image, answered Michael, then
    Forsook them, when themselves they vilified
    To serve ungoverned Appetite; and took
    His image whom they served, a brutish vice,
    Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
    Therefore so abject is their punishment,
    Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own;
    Or if his likeness, by themselves defaced;
    While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules
    To loathsome sickness; worthily, since they
    God's image did not reverence in themselves.

    Shamik 1:32 PM  

    Also, I first felt REASON to be a crying need.

    OISK 1:37 PM  

    Finished it. Very tough for me, with product clues, (Elise, which surely can be clued less obscurely, even on Saturday, than a Lotus model, and MAC, which I did not understand until I got here) and Alanis, who?? A movie called Gia? I don't like contractions (won't) either, but I am wont to nitpick, I guess. And while I am picking nits, I don't like "a toast," either. Similar would be "output of a braggart," and the answer would be "a boast." I don't watch SNL, and had no idea that Jimmy Fallon was ever there. I thought maybe he lived in Canada for a while, and had "Ont" which fit with "oleo" at first. Still, there was enough good stuff and clever cluing to make this a B+ in my book.

    math guy 2:06 PM  

    I knew that it wasn't going to be super hard when I had six gimmes without knowing any letters. But it was hard enough and I enjoyed the six clues that I considered really clever, led by the one for ORIGINALSIN.

    DigitalDan 2:29 PM  

    Rex: People who know that stuff also know that the Tesla Roadster (their first product) was modeled after the Lotus Elise and had its body manufactured by Lotus.

    COsmartcookie 2:36 PM  

    One of my most satisfying completions - as evidenced by my cries of victory as I completed the last few answers (thank God football season is about to start - then I can yell at the TV instead).

    An added bonus to the elegance & cleverness of this puzzle are the two clues that include "fall" - this being Labor Day weekend, which traditionally ushers in the fall season. Nice timing on Will Shortz's part.

    @dk - I too heard that interview on NPR last Friday with Jimmy Fallon, which proved to come in mighty handy today - it was on Fresh Air.

    ahimsa 2:42 PM  

    This one must have been in my wheelhouse, or maybe my coffee kicked in extra early, because I didn't have as much trouble with it as I expected. I usually have JACK SQUAT entered for a long time on a Saturday. (BTW, hand up for thinking of diddly SQUAT first but I have heard both phrases)

    I did get pretty stuck right in the middle for a while. I could not think of the word CONSIGN and was confused by both 43 and 51 Across. Those were some nice tricky clues! Even though I use a MAC it took me forever to see that Lion meant software.

    And yet both PARACHUTE and OMEGA were easy today for some reason. Go figure.

    @OISK, your comments got me thinking. When does adding an A in front of a make it a partial and when is it considered a stand alone phrase? I'm guessing A TOAST is not a partial, right? (since NY Times generally doesn't allow 6 letter partials) How about A FIRST? A TREAT?

    I have similar questions about adding THE. A while ago a puzzle had THE COW (instead of just COW) as one who jumped over the moon. So, why not also THE CAT, THE MOON, THE DISH, THE SPOON, etc?

    I hope it's clear that this is just a curiosity question. I'm not complaining about this puzzle at all. I thought it was a lot of fun! So many interesting answers and a lot of clever clues.

    Kudos to Josh Knapp!

    Lewis 3:01 PM  

    Spot on Saturday. Much clever cluing, good challenge. A terrific solving experience for me -- thanks Josh.

    @retired Chemist -- for a moment I misread you and thought you had Hemingway hunting SHAQ, and maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

    Anoa Bob 3:04 PM  

    Tried ANOA at first for 37A. Then I remembered that the anoa lives in Indonesia, not Africa. Doh! And, since it's the smallest of all the buffalo---about the size of a deer, it doesn't really qualify as a "beast", certainly not one the manly Hemingway would have hunted.

    Love Lotus cars. The ELISE was one of the best of the bunch. Beethoven even wrote a little ditty in its honor.

    Steve J 3:51 PM  

    Fantastic Saturday puzzle. Tough, challenging and clever cluing throughout, lots of great long fill (loved the long accrosses along the bottom; 15A, but still good in context with the whole puzzle, and SHOOTEMUP as great). DNF for me (all Saturdays are), but I was able to get more than 50% through before having to start consulting Google. Nice to see that I'm getting better at these each week.

    For anyone who's a car geek Lotus ELISE is an easy pickup, but it's still a brilliant Saturday clue/answer, as it could also be EXIGE. Had E_I_E filled in instantly, but the two blanks took a while to fill in. Got it with ORIGINALSIN, which may have had the best clue in the puzzle. (Also, agreed that saying "Sporty Lotus model" is a redundancy on par with saying "Luxury Rolls-Royce model"; Lotus has always been exclusively a sports-car maker.)

    Took me surprisingly long to get JIMMY FALLON. Got the J instantly with the 1D cross, but my first guesses (Jack Benny, Johnny Carson) didn't fit. Moved on and picked it up late in the game.

    Thanks to those who explained YOS and MAC. Even as a longtime Mac user, it just wasn't coming to me. I was stuck on thinking of sports, as at first I interpreted "Lion runner" as a clue looking for a running back (and then I thought maybe there was a team named the Lions in the Midwest Athletic Conference, since I couldn't get sports out of my head).

    retired_chemist 3:54 PM  

    @ Lewis - Shaq is pretty cool on his TV commercials. Not cool enough to replace Charles Barkley as my favorite ex-NBAer, but cool. Prefer Hemingway not shoot him.

    Mette 3:59 PM  

    Tofu, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Good grief. My donor went from oneg to anon until I Googled ELISE. Finally gave up when oleo crossing ont. did not help. Thought there might be a Southern town called Selah named after the Psalm. Racked my brain for a 3-letter word for a lion in motion (in a puzzle with KUDU, why not?), then figured maybe the TLC network had a show called Lion. Did not understand MAC, but I feel better about it after reading the comments.

    Really enjoyed the write-up, the reflections and especially the puzzle.

    James D. Cormier 5:20 PM  

    Sage tea sounds disgusting. That is all.

    Mohair Sam 6:00 PM  

    @Anoa Bob - love the Beethoven reference. Have seen several actresses playing Elise, and have been near a Lotus Elise. No doubt you are correct.

    Jon 7:25 PM  

    Yo! Loved it,this is the furthest I have ever gotten on a Saturday, needed only 2 googles to finish off the SE! YEP, I'm pumped, KUDU to me! If I had an Elise I would surely GUNIT and vegans don't eat bread so thought PBJ was ICK. What was KRIS Humphries thinking....? I deserve some PIE and ATOAST for my best Saturday to date!

    Steve J 8:30 PM  

    @Jon: Vegans eat bread, as long as it doesn't contain dairy or eggs (and many breads do not) or any ingredients that are processed with animal products (like some sugars).

    Amelia 11:44 PM  

    How do you like DePalma's Hi Mom starring Robert DeNiro crossing Scorcese's Mean Streets, starring Robert DeNiro?

    Arabic Care Mensa 4:08 AM  

    @ahimsa 2:42 pm and @oisk 1:37pm
    You are partially (pun intended) missing the meaning of ATOAST. It's not a "a + anything" like "the + any word" it's a remark when someone stands up and says "A Toast! (to so and so)". Here it's referring to an opening line at a wedding reception, e.g. Because you wouldn't just say. "toast!"

    Do you see the diff? It's subtle, but he's not just putting in the indefinite article "a" preceding any random word.

    I know ALANIS and GIA stumped the non pop culture folks, but at least they are women for once.

    Plus young Josh Knapp I don't think is even 20 yet ...yet makes these wonderful full age-range puzzles, but still gives a nod to his generation (opening with JIMMY FALLON who I'm sure will get athrill from being 1A in a NYT puzzle.
    As for who is funnier of the JIMMYs, JAY, CONAN, CRAIG, et al...there would be no JIMMY FALLON without Letterman setting the standard who took his cues from Carson who took from Paar, etc.
    DAVE may me old and cranky now, but he certainly set the standard for thr 80s and 90s...
    JIMMYFALLON I think would rather be a hiphop star...but for storytelling and quickness, it's Craig Fergusonwho makes me laugh these days.
    But I agree whoever said comparing them to Jon Stewart/StephenColbert was doing apples to oranges...
    Or maybe bananas to kumquats.

    Nice to see Louis MALLE get a shout out. "Au Revoir, Les Enfants" was one of the most charming films Iveever seen, but hadn't thought about it in years.

    Anyway, wonderful puzzle and I learned a lot (Alcoholic being ARABIC...who knew?!)

    Dirigonzo 1:13 PM  

    It took me two days to reduce the grid to one blank square but in the end I did not know MA_INOTLINE and as @Arabic Care Mensa predicted, GIA was no help to this non pop culture folk. I still feel pretty good about getting that close on a Saturday, though. Setting a puzzle down in frustration only to pick it up later and see another answer or two pop into place may not seem like fun to most but I find it strangely entertaining.

    ahimsa 8:54 PM  

    @acme, thank you answering my question!

    It is indeed different when you explain the answer as a stand alone phrase. ("A TOAST!") @Rex even wrote it that way in his write-up but I missed it. I was thinking it was part of a sentence. ("I'd like to propose A TOAST to ...")

    @Dirigonzo, I often solve Fri/Sat puzzles that way (put them down and then pick them up later). So you're not the only one. :-)

    The discussion about PBJ and vegans reminded me of this website:

    DatingOnline 6:16 AM  

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    spacecraft 11:41 AM  

    MYGOD, I finished this. An hour earlier I'd never have believed it, staring at a blank grid and finding NO foothold. To me, the clues were 50% "that-could-be-anything" and 50% I-WONT-know-that-without-looking-it-up. And when I did begin--it was wrong!

    "Many a donor, in brief" I took to be a blood type, because I am one: ONEG. Obviously, nothing issued from that. Then I hit upon the hull sealer and its source: could it be as simple as PITCH and TAR?

    Somewhat later, I saw to my astonishment that I had somehow filled it all in. And when I came here and saw it was all right, ya coulda knocked me over with a feather. One note: I've heard of "diddly-SQUAT" and "JACK s**t" but not JACKSQUAT.

    How'd I rate it? It was such a personal triumph that I hardly noticed stuff like fill quality. It's experiences like this that keep me coming back. Difficulty? Full-out challenging. In answer to 15a, oh yeah, I'm ready. Let's do it! (Not you, Indian girls. Sorry.)

    Ginger 6:17 PM  

    The NW (where it seemed most solvers started)was the very last to fall. Got my toe-hold with TISSUE and ITALICIZE, then worked in a little ORIGINALSIN and MAGINOTLINE. Usually I deduce the long answers after some 'fill' guesses, not so today, the fills came late to the (TOGA)PARTY. I'm a PC user so the MAC clue made no sense until I came here. Learned something.

    Love the clue for PARACHUTE (why would anyone want to leave a perfectly good airplane?) and the misdirect for GAOL.

    Anonymous 11:24 PM  

    Do not take the name of The Lord in vain! Totally uncalled for.

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