Sauce often served with oysters / SAT 9-28-13 / Woodenware / Former Israeli president Katsav / Plastic that can be made permanently rigid /

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: REMISE (5D: Release a claim to, legally) —
tr.v. re·misedre·mis·ingre·mis·es
To relinquish a claim to; surrender by deed.
• • •

Very hard puzzles should be fun. This was not. It's perfectly adequate, for a 64-worder or whatever it is, but mostly it was tough because of very vague (not clever) cluing. Plus it has stuff like MIGNONETTE as marquee words (28A: Sauce often served with oysters). ORNAMENTAL TREES (17A: Mimosas and such). I know mimosas (only) as drinks. No "aha" on that one. Just ... whatever. A few ugly answers here and there, but for a low-word-count puzzle, this one's actually pretty clean. It's just ... fill by database, cluing by tin ear. I grinded this one out (ground?), but rarely enjoyed myself. When a puzzle takes me forever, as this one did, I always look back and think "how did that take so long?" or "if I'd just looked at this clue earlier ... why didn't I do that?" Today, the thing that took me Forever was TIME SINK (40A: Angry Birds or Tetris, e.g.) (that should Really have been "perhaps," not "e.g."; they are not TIME SINKs per se, though they are for some). But once I (finally) looked at 23D: Occupy opponent, it didn't take me long (with -AN-) in place to get BIG BANK, which gave me the "K", which was all I needed. Dumb. Wait, TREEN? Am I seeing that right? Holy crud, my distaste for this puzzle just jumped upwards (13D: Woodenware). Hard. Gack. What is that? If it were a Thing, we would be seeing it All The Time. Those are common letters. And I thought REMISE was bad. NINS at least was a gimme.

Started in NW with the gimmes NINS and PAW PRINT. Took a little work, but had that corner done pretty quickly. Not so lucky elsewhere. Took a long time for BARTOLI's name to float into view, which is what finally made that SE corner solvable. Repeatedly misread 53A: Words after "say" or before "bad" (IT ISN'T SO) and thus kept trying to make both "say" and "bad" follow the phrase. Last section to fall was the NE, largely because I didn't have the part following ORNAMENTAL. Also because TREEN is from outer space. Those damned NEEDY, always seeking attention (12D: Attention-seeking, say). If only I'd been a heartless ass, I could've gotten that one Much more quickly.

BIG BANK and BIG BANG are the same phrase minus one letter. Crossing them at the center doesn't change this. I know the guy yesterday did it and it was supposed to be all cute but That puzzle had the CHANGE / ONE / LETTER theme and this one ... doesn't.

Why the hell is "[fun fact!]" in that SCHOOLMATE clue. Faux enthusiasm. No thanks. You know what's a fun fact—that TREEN exists and does not mean "the plural of trees."

Enough of this.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:29 AM  

Tough puzzle for me.  SE was brutal, SHEESH!  Did not know the plastic, the tennis player or the sauce and had to dig deep to come up with HUA.  Plus TURN A LOSS and RUNTIEST don't really trip off the tongue.   And, GARNi with an E at first didn't help.  Got it sorted out after much staring.

Other WOEs:  @Rex TREEN and REMISE.

Thank you crosswords for SAONE.

PIEpan before TIN.

So this was probably medium-tough over all.  The West side went about right for a Sat.  

Liked it much better than Rex did.  Zippy and crunchy,  nice one Joe!

Larry in LA 12:32 AM  

I think your TREEN rant is totally off-base, considering the presence of RUNTIEST. I offer this in support of my position, with dipshit thrown in there for comparative purposes.

retired_chemist 12:35 AM  

Challenging indeed. I finished but with my slowest Saturday time of the year.


BERNE? Resisted, wrongly, since I thought Zürich was the capital. Not.

TIME SINK - fun clue. PIE TIN - ditto. Had mantle and had trouble convincing myself that that was wrong.

Plenty of mimosas down here. ORNAMENTAL TREES they indeed are. Less messy than hackberries but still messy.

Laughing at myself because I needed all crosses for Bartoli. "Opera singer Cecilia" I would have got faster.

Thanks, Mr. Krozel. Tough sledding but (mostly) fun.

Richard 12:41 AM  

I agree that this was not a lot of fun. I found it to be hard work and a grind. However, I do not think that hard work needs to be rewarded by having fun. I like a hard workout in and of itself, as Jeff Chen basically says on XWordInfo. I also agree that one of the underlying challenges is that many of the clues were vague without being clever. Again, though, I am fine with this type of puzzle for the challenge itself.

I hope that this challenge has prepared me for a big but rewarding challenge this weekend. Along with my older daughter and a friend of hers, I am walking 40 miles over the next two days to raise money to combat breast cancer. We are doing this in honor of my dear, courageous wife who died of breast cancer over three years ago. She had the biggest heart in the world.

Questinia 12:52 AM  

For some reason I entered at MIGNONETTE and sussed out BIG BANK and BIG BANG from there.
Knew Saturday meant mimosa TREES not drinks, so had NE after an eon or two.

TREEN seemed right because it rhymes with Steen, old Dutch painter, and the word had a distelfink kinda ring. Pennsylvania Deutsch, Dutch, whatever...

Things started looked very bleak elsewhere but POTTIES and OBSESS got me anally fixated so I doubled down on solving:
Mantle before PIE TIN
Game apps before TIME SINK.
You-name-it before You-name-it.

Crystal meth would have helped.

Anonymous 1:31 AM  

Yikes it was hard but I liked it because finishing it made me feel like a smarty pants. I enjoy to read this page and I came here today just to check out the sneers and jeers for treen. Treen. Really? Questina's post is a hoot!

Puzzled Pastor 1:55 AM  

Was surprised to get my lowest number ever on finish order from Magmic. This was tough, but doable. Since I know almost no movies, TV, sports or pop culture, this kind of puzzle works for me.

Started with DALENE and GERMAN LIT. Then PIETIN. a long time with little progress until finally getting AEROBATICS and PROPOSALS opened everything up.

I slowed myself down by slapping in misspelled vinagrETTE. But eventually, everything fell into place.

Would love to offer a humorous comment, but somehow solving this has EATEN INTO my humor reservoir.

Davis 2:14 AM  

I'm a lawyer, and this is the first time I've ever seen the word REMISE. I don't do real property law, so maybe someone in that field would know it. But once you start using words only certain specialists within a profession know, you're really just beng gratuitously difficult, not fun difficult.

Flattened 2:31 AM  

I was absolutely crushed by this one. But the community's comments help. Learning about the Google Norma viewer courtesy of @Larry was great. Three cheers for @Richard and his daughter.

Flattened 2:32 AM  

That's Ngram viewer. Durn autocorrect...

Jeep 2:48 AM  

TREEN ...What's with all the grousing when one doesn't know a word? In any case,52TREEN is a lot more fun than REMISE, which a also learned today.

chefwen 3:07 AM  

The Southeast corner done me in. I think I just ran out of steam. I did pretty well on the top half, but RUNTIEST??? I've heard of the "runt of the litter" even adopted one who was pretty sickly most of her short life, but RUNTIEST is not a word I have ever come across. Didn't know the plastic @29D. That corner was just a mess for me.

Hope all had a good time at the crossword gathering tonight and am hopeful for a few pictures.

It's still your anniversary where I am, so Happy Anniversary Sandy and Michael.

Anonymous 3:34 AM  

Why the hell is "[fun fact!]" in that SCHOOLMATE clue. Faux enthusiasm. No thanks. You know what's a fun fact—that TREEN exists and does not mean "the plural of trees."

Very funny Rex!!! And I agree with your view of this puzzle. It was really tough and not fun.

Signed Me: 41,567,789th best solver in the known universe

Anoa Bob 3:35 AM  

Like retired chemist, I confidently dropped in "mantle" for 26 Across. Hey, it's below a crust.

Surprised there wasn't cross-clueing between 3 Down WENT SOUTH & 30 Down TURN A LOSS. Ditto for 9 Down MILESTONE & 28 Down MILLIONTH.

In spite of a TREEN here and a HUA there, lots of other ENTICING fill and clues made this an enjoyable workout.

Brett Chappell 4:09 AM  

Berne wasn't rough as I live in Europe, but what the Hell is TIMESINK? I was thinking Time's Ink. Anyhow, I finally got it. Saone is a lovely wine area, but the one where I really had no clue was TREEN. I have neither heard of that before, nor have seen it in a crossword. My favorite clue was It isn't so. A tough one that took me shy of twenty minutes. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Robert Rothschild 4:36 AM  

Found this very enjoyable.
GERMAN LIT let me in and then just started the hard work... had piepan for PIETIN, braggers for BOASTERS, sassy for NEEDY, ars for DEI.. but all easily correctable. Was trying to squeeze in vinaigrette for MIGNONETTE until I remembered the shallots. Checked here to make sure TREEN and TIMESINK were correct! Enjoyable and learned something too! Perfect Saturday puzzle.

Aerobatic Coolmate Mignonettes 4:36 AM  

Loved the BAD/SAY clue, but had ITaiNTSO.
It wa'nt. IWISH...SHEESH. Had to google MOSHE.

Not only did I have BIG BANg/BIGBANk, I had bIGNONETTE. BIG mistake! At least I didn't write BIgCAYNE.

AcROBATIC initially helped to make NW goNeSOUTH.

Thought the expression was TIMESucK. Still think so...could describe this puzzle (for me)

On a positive note, I thought 35 Across WAS a Fun Fact!!!! My first guess was some sort of cousin or brother-in-law.
Since I had iDo for inauguration, it gave me SCHi...

So many mistakes, so much time.
My toddler seats were tushIES. O-y.

Danp 6:43 AM  

I assumed Angry Birds and Tetris were heavy metal bands.

loren muse smith 6:58 AM  

@Richard – good luck on your walk. Forty miles is a long way. Kudos to you all.

When I saw Joe devilishly smiling at me from XWord Info, I thought, "SHEESH. Here comes a beating." And when I "finished" 40 minutes later, I dragged myself to the computer, certain of an "easy" rating.

Wow. I had a completely different experience from most of you. With NINS and IDEES as my PIGgie holds, I marched through this slowly but steadily. I saw ORNAMENTAL TREES almost immediately. There was a mimosa tree down the street from us in Chattanooga, and I can still smell those oh-so-sweet-smelling pink flowers that I would tickle my cheek with.

Acme – I had all those thoughts, too! "Tushies," "acrobatic," and an appreciation for the IT ISN'T SO clue.

I liked that there were two "draw" clues, and all the explosive stuff: BIG BANG, TNT, TRI.

TURN A LOSS, WENT SOUTH, NEEDY. . .thanks, BIG BANKS. @Anoa Bob – yeah, he could have cross-referenced some of this, but then we all complain about cross-referencing.

I got PIE TIN off only the N. I swear. I guess for once I was in the Joe Krozone.

Again @Anoa Bob -to have a MILLIONTH customer is a MILESTONE, right?

And those BOASTERS sure ALIENATE everyone. (I once saw a book titled Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It. Isn't that a great title?)

I thought I had finished, but I see that I had two squares wrong: "saore/platers" (@jae – I haven't committed SAONE to memory yet) and my totally rationalized "tile sink/loshe." I've never heard the expression TIME SINK, and I figured those games must have dropping tiles, maybe? Seemed reasonable.

Since Saturdays usually slay me, and since I did so well, of course I liked this one! I guess I'll be a BOASTER for the remainder of the day. . .and since I didn't read that book, I'll ALIENATE everyone.

MetaRex 7:03 AM  

This one was a TIME SINK.

Had MIND GAME and SWAGGERS for the longest time.

Like ACM, I googled Moshe...also BARTOLI...felt kinda good that they were my only two cheats.

Mohair Sam 8:01 AM  

Yippee! Grumpy Rex is back. I thought we'd lost him with his tender moment yesterday - but he's more than compensated today. Great comments Rex, loved the closing TREEN rant. One disagreement - we thought the mimosa clue was about the best in the puzzle.

For some reason this one didn't give us too difficult a time for a Saturday. Being sports fans we got gimmes at PAWPRINT, ITISNTSO, and BARTOLI. Had to help.

Why is 35A a "fun fact"? TIMESINK?, silly phrase. And yes - TREEN is awful. However we really liked the TSHIRT and ENTICING clues.

mathguy 8:12 AM  

I agree that it was a good workout -- a fight to get each corner. Only four gimmes and eight words I didn't know. But seven clues were cuties led by "Something with round parts" for BOUT and there were several other charmingly misleading clues. I don't remember ever having seen MIGNONETTE before but somehow it jumped into my head when I saw that it ended ETTE.

I've been part of this conversation for a couple of months and I can't figure out what makes a puzzle enjoyable for Rex. This was a good one for me.

Glimmerglass 8:18 AM  

Very Saturday, which is not a bad thing. For me, the formula is hard plus solved (or almost solved) equals fun. Unlike Rex, for me the time is not a problem. I thought this was an enjoyable puzzle. Rex, you can't complain about the constructor when YOU misread the clue (IT ISN'T SO).

Carola 8:21 AM  
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Carola 8:25 AM  
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Carola 8:31 AM  

Tough! Took me almost an hour....and now I see I DNF: BARTaLI x THERMaSET (yes, @retired_chemist, why couldn't it have been Cecilia?). It took about as long as from the BIG BANG to now for me to cross the barrier between the space-by-space "what letter could reasonably go here?" to the lovely answer-to-answer flow. But unlike @Rex, I enjoyed this workout and liked the cluing a lot.

First in: POTTIES and PIE TIN. Not sure what that says about my life. Then established a base camp in the SE with GERMAN, BERNE, BERETS, GARNI - which told me that, yeah, it was going to be RUNTIEST. The -ETTE at the top of that quadrant jarred MIGNONETTE loose from deep memory recesses and that was my BIG break into the middle and the rest.


Sir Hillary 8:50 AM  

I'm not into JK's stunt puzzles (cruciverBATICs?) but I liked this one. Yes, TREEN is obscure, but how does that make it "absurd" or somehow unfair?

Rex, instead of ranting about one entry you didn't know, just admit that this one beat the crap out of you (as it did me) and move on. ITSISNTSO hard.

Horace S. Patoot 9:03 AM  

I really enjoyed this one a great deal. I'm very impressed that it contains so many long crosses without some of them being hopelessly obscure or phrases no one would say in real life. I guess it just "clicked" with me.

retired_chemist 9:58 AM  

TREEN is in the dictionary. Means just what the clue says. Still bah.

captcha macreau - a French computer term.

Susan McConnell 10:05 AM  

"Very hard puzzles should be fun." Enough said.

Z 10:14 AM  

If anything, I think OFL was too kind about this puzzle. I circled six downs that range from "gratuitously difficult" to "absurd" to wrong.

GD - REMISE and TREEN. With all those Wheel of Fortune letters one would expect these to be crosswordese. That they are not says all anyone needs to know about the quality of the words.

Absurd - AEROBATIC? TURN A LOSS? The passive (and therefore aggressive) EATEN INTO? Just yuck, yuck, yuck.

Finally, the SOC BIG BANK is just as execrable as any POC since it's clue is so wrong. Occupy wasn't opposed to any bank, but to the anti-Robin Hood nature of our financial system and politics (steal from the poor to give to the rich). BIG BANKS or BIG BANKING would be fine as clued. As a singular, just wrong on a deep level.

Were there things I liked? Yes. But they were overwhelmed by things like crossing an obscure dead Chinese politician with an even more obscure non-phrase. googlefight says TURN A LOSS is even more obscure than TREEN. Wow.

Z 10:14 AM  
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Lindsay 10:33 AM  

TREEN was my first answer in the grid. I point this out so Rex & others will get a whiff of how some of us feel about obscure (and they're all obscure to me) pop culture personalities. treenware = wooden forks, knives & spoons. SHEESH. As I said in the wake of the "toby" rant, drop in on some tag sales or auctions. Good entertainment, and you'll learn helpful words.

One writeover, 12D "Continental abbr.": ArR for AFR. Can't imagine I'm the only one to make that error.

John V 10:41 AM  

It may happen one day that I will come upon a Joe Krozel puzzle that I like. Not yet. Miserable way to start a Saturday.

jberg 10:56 AM  

Am I the only one to notice that BREAKFAST DRINK would fit in 17A? Something held me back from writing it in, but not so with mantle, and mascaras for "Eyeshades?" at 26D (thinking 'horrible POC' as I did so). And of course May 1 is also Law Day, so I wrote that in as well. Also DEo gratia - not sure that works grammatically, but there's some song where the men voices repeat that phrase over and over.

For me, all those misdirections did make this a fun puzzle, once I got it. But it sure took a long time to get.

@Retired_chemist -- you mean they're different people? I figured maybe Cecilia played tennis in her spare time.

jberg 11:00 AM  

SHEESH, I forgot to say two things - sign of senility? Another sign is that if I were in a restaurant ordering oysters (as I do whenever I have the chance) I would be sure to specify MIGNONETTE -- but it took me half an hour and plenty of crosses to come up with the word in the puzzle.

Finally, why the ? after 33A, Beginning of time? That's literally what the BIG BANG is (or was). That kept me from putting it in until I had no choice.

Master Melvin 11:19 AM  

SHEESE! It's Saturday. The puzzle is supposed to be difficult. I would expect a tough Saturday puzzle to have at least a couple of words that I don't know.

A good Saturday morning for me is a challenging puzzle that I'm able to solve. I think I need to get a life.

Nancy in PA 11:23 AM  

Hand up for "mantle" even though my first thought was pie crust! PIEplate didn't fit. Also think TIMESucK is a better answer. I confidently entered MIGNONETTE with no crosses, remembering how on two separate occasions guests who were eating our home-grown oysters called it Minuet Sauce. Tried to make REMand work at 5D since it's a legal term I've actually heard. Had lots of fun with this!

ArtO 11:41 AM  

Genius cousin visiting so the two of us managed to finish despite the toughness. Don't understand the criticism since it's Saturday and clues/ answers are usually obscure/misleading.

Joe's puzzles are always a workout and exceptionally well done. Kudos.

Z 12:05 PM  

The difference between MIGNONETTE and TREEN is that the first has some interesting letters and an inferable suffix. Double S, N, orT, were all possible. So, even though it is unknown to me, I could deduce it from knowing a little about language. TREEN is just a bunch of one point letters each of which has to be gotten by the crosses. As M&A is wont to say, there is the sweet smell of desperation in that corner.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Mignonette and garni are on menus even here in Kentucky. Mimosa trees are gorgeous (my grandmother called them formosas). I liked the puzzle...I am not a fast solver and sometimes I fail...but this one I finished without googling. I didn't think it was challenging, Rex. You need to get out more and read more...sometimes I'm amazed by what an English major doesn't know. And I need to learn more about sports and pop music.

Gill I. P. 12:12 PM  

I loved this puzzle despite not being able to finish. I put it down 3 times and still could not come up with PIGMENTS or the easy PIETIN.
@jberg - I too had LAW day. I went to my trusty wall calender and there in great BIG letters was LAW!!!!
The only Mimosa I know has a little umbrella sticking out of it. AND, the only way to eat raw oysters is plain ole RAW ala rawnonette!
Ok, was I the only one who wrote in PRObOScis for the ring accompaniers? Probably not because it's so stupid.
Anyway, I had fun with the struggle and learned about TREEN.
@Richard - add me to the thumbs up. As @LMS said 40 miles is tough but the cause is so worth it.

Ray J 12:14 PM  

I sometimes spend 2 hours on a Saturday puzzle and finished this one in about 40 minutes. My fastest Saturday is around 20 minutes. So I’d say this was medium for me.

Didn’t know PLATENS, REMISE or TREEN, so had to trust the crosses. Spell checker doesn’t recognize treen. I hate legalese in puzzles but all’s fair… I suppose.

OSSIE seems to have overtaken Bette and Geena in xword usage lately.

Coeur d’Alene = Hudson’s Hamburgers. Belly up to the counter and have it your way - if your way is a burger with pickles and onions. No fries, no sides, no straws. Good pies though.

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Fun puzzles are dances. This was a slugfest.

JFC 12:40 PM  

I know from bitter experience that everyone here likes factoids. So here is one. 53A [Say] IT ISN’T SO is reminiscent of “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” the plea legend says was uttered by a kid after Shoeless Joe testified to participating in the Black Sox Scandal. That supposedly occurred on September 28 (1920), today’s date, which explains why Will published the puzzle today....


Hey, Chefwen how 'bout dose Bears? I hope you'll be rooting for them against the criminals they call the Lions.

Masked And Anonymo3Us 1:15 PM  

La TREEN. Bella. Partial potties!

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

I guess there's no rule against it, but I find it inelegant when crossing words are too similar. To wit: …TREES with TREEN, and CERT with CERTAIN.

Tough, not fun puzzle. I'm more of Rex's grumpy mind than usual with this one.

Lewis 2:08 PM  

@lms -- KROZONE -- good one!

I think this puzzle has a higher percentage of words not common to crosswords than most, so crossword memory isn't as much a help as usual. This can be good or bad, but today's I think is mostly good.

Although I don't like RUNTIEST. That may be in the dictionary but it sounds like a word made up because you can't think of a better one -- I'd be kinda embarrassed to use it.

An easy fix to RUNTIEST would be to turn it into WITTIEST, and change the G in GERMAN to an M. Then you would have TWI at 49D, BOIT at 46D ("drinks" in French, not great, but better to me than runtiest), you'd have MARNI at 43D and MERMAN at 43A. All these words can be satisfyingly clued.

Lewis 2:09 PM  

Oops -- MARTI at 43D, I meant to say.

M and A also 2:14 PM  

Sorta like that there "[fun fact!]" play-by-play editor color commentary (PECCers) experimentation feeler dealy. We will be the judge of the [!] part of it, tho...

Top other suggested PECCers, for this here puz:
* "Capitale europeenne" [Move on, M&A -- nothing usable for you, here]
* "Woodenware" [not Trojans] [might rhyme with "europeenne"]
* "Beginning of time?" [in non-Creationist dinosaur museums]
* "Angry Birds or Tetris, e.g." [or readin M&A comments]
* "See red?" [Trick clue alert!]
* "What the French think?" [this is funny stuff, dude][not]
* "See 43-Across" [har. Allow me to jerk you around]
* "Davis of Hollywood" [write in BETTE. Oh please. Please.]
* "Release a claim to, legally" [hi, Rex]


p.s. Fun puz, btw. Thanx, JoeK.

mac 3:08 PM  

I thought this was a more conventional Joe Krozel puzzle than we usually get. It was hard work, but I feel very satisfied that I got it done without outside help.

I complicated my life tremendously by writing in "mousseline" instead of mignonette. Spelling is wrong, too, I think. I love oysters, but find mignonette sauce very harsh (for such a pretty name).

I'm surprised there isn't more of an uprising about the two bigs.

Hand up for "it ain't so", and I learned time sink. That's one expression I will use.

I know mimosa as a Mediterranian bus with little yellow ball flowers and apparently vicious ticks that burrow into your flesh.

H_Bob 3:11 PM  

The other "fun fact" about those two (and which fits as an answer) is DRUGDEALER. Cameron only remembers Snoop because he sold her weed.

Anonymous 3:54 PM  

I'm surprised that an educated fella such as yourself had never heard of "The Cremation of Sam McGee." It's a wonderfully wry poem. A sample:

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Norm 4:34 PM  


okanaganer 4:56 PM  

I too had a tough time letting go of MANTLE for "..beneath the lower crust". But I also had PULLUPS for "Toddler seats" which well.

Also had POUT for "Something with round parts"...yeah, it's a stretch.

Note that LEI and DEI abut.

dm3000 5:49 PM  

I LIKE a challenge - and this one was. After doing (easy) NYT Sunday puzz + variety puzz + WSJ Blooms whatever, all relatively easy, this one was the challenge. Weird answers, but isn't that what tough crosswords are supposed to be? Time was when they didn't all take 3 min to solve and you could sink your teeth in. Not a bad thing.

joho 5:53 PM  

@Gill I.P... PRObOSciS .. funny!

I don't know, I always expect Saturdays to be hard, not necessarily entertaining, so I thought this was great and I was delighted to finish correctly. I did have help from my husband with PAWPRINT.


If my house is made of wood is it TREEN? This is one new word I will never use in a sentence. @mac, TIMESINK I might.

I look forward to Sunday which I very much hope will be entertaining.

Beadola 8:41 PM  

One of the few gimmes in this puzzle was the so called "fun fact". My kids went to the same high school: Long Beach Polytechnic - home of scholars and champions and entertainment stars!
Go Jack Rabbits!

Sanford Meyersfield 9:21 PM  

How does big bank= occupy opponent?

retired_chemist 9:28 PM  

Occupy => Occupy Wall Street

Dirigonzo 9:31 PM  

Very late starting the puzzle because I had to go to the pet hospital after work to retrieve my retriever, who seems glad to be home and mostly recuperated from what ailed him. I spent about an hour reducing the grid to two blank squares which were doomed to remain blank because I also had a couple of wrong ones that kept me from seeing AFR (which should have been a gimme) and TREEN, about which enough has been said. And I still think Nutsy is a better answer than NEEDY for "Attention-seeking, say". Goodnight.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

Fun puzzle.

spacecraft 9:50 AM  

Fatal DNF, on account of two "gimmes" that weren't. (1) If I've ever read a perfect definition for PREFERRED, it's "Like a customer who may get special notice." Naturally after that was inked in, I was a goner. But even worse was "Inauguration recitation, maybe." That, of course, given three letters with middle letter D, would be IDO. Ode? ODE??? To extend the tennis theme, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! Oh, I don't doubt that, at some inauguration or other, somebody recited an ode, but really! That has to take first prize for the most unfair clue of the year. This is beyond penalty flags; this is worth a game ejection. If constructors could be fined, we should levy a hefty one here. ODE indeed. Ridiculous!

I do not wish to discuss this abomination any further. With those two entries in place, I never stood a chance.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

This was tough because I couldn't believe the answers that popped into my head. PIETIN, THERMOSET snapped to mind, but would they really be used in a crossword? Apparently so.

DMG 4:16 PM  

Well, yesterday's comment ("a Friday I can do means a Saturday I dread") proved true. One scan on each direction on this one left me with about four words and a couple of maybe "s" spaces, and no desire to start looking things up. This puzzle and I are clearly on different wave lengths. So, see you Monday. Think my Captcha says something about all this, but at this point I'm not even challenged to,figure it out.

LongBeachLee 4:49 PM  

Re: treen; There should be a punishment when the constructor needs for some letters to be a word, looks it up, and is saved by something that in his heart he's ashamed to use. Or maybe Joe has neither a heart nor shame. Just kidding Joe, I'm sure your acquaintances and family love you.

Waxy in Montreal 4:52 PM  

Usually find myself on the same wavelength as Joe Krozel and today was no exception. It did take a while but finished this one without too much angst. Count me in with the early IDO, MASCARAS & MANTLE adopters but actually had more of a problem with PAWPRINT than anything else.

captcha = dremyHel where I'm sure I'm heading someday...

Solving in Seattle 5:03 PM  

Picked up the puz, looked at the clue for 1A and threw down tigeRpaw. Then, remembered my property class in law school and filled in REMISE for 5D. and, SHEESH, did it take me awhile to fix the Northwest. NINS was the key to correcting it.

My business partner of twenty years and I are huge raw oyster fans, and we have lunch together at least once a month at one of several restaurants and oyster bars in Seattle that serve fabulous oysters on the half-shell. My favorite oysters come from Westcott Bay in the San Juan Islands, but alas, they sold their waterfront to a developer and are out of business. Current favs are Shigoku oysters from South Puget Sound. Yum! My sauce of choice is MIGNONETTE, which after many years, I still cannot pronounce correctly. I can, however, spell it.

Had EATENaway before INTO. may before LEI. I, too, held my nose at RUNTIEST. Learned TREEN (crossing ---TREES) entirely from crosses. Loved the clue for BOUT.

Wonder if there is a BISCAYNE oyster bisque loaded with cayenne pepper?

@Spacy, game ejection? Really? How 'BOUT just a fine? Don't let it ruin your day.

Go Hawks!

eastsacgirl 6:03 PM  

Was thrilled to see puzzle deemed challenging! Missed 2 letters but was pleased with the effort. Got the longest clues pretty fast then just slogged through the rest. Decent personal week for me.

eastsacgirl 6:07 PM  

Go Niners ;-)

Solving in Seattle 6:25 PM  

@eastsacgirl, nice to see you back. It seems you've been gone for awhile.

The Dec 8 Hawk/Niner game in SF is shaping up to be the conference championship decider. (If W could use the word, so can I.)

Capcha: notlof. Vat I have vor da Niners.

rain forest 6:44 PM  

My comments the last two days just disappeared, so I have no idea what will happen today. But, I want to comment, because I got this sucker! Even though Rex always expresses disdain for Krozel puzzles, I love the challenge. Lotsa time spent on this one, but PAWPRINT, PROPOSALS, GERMAN, LIT, PIEpan(later changed to PIETIN, and BERTOLI helped a lot. TREEN and REMISE took some time, but then changing GEENA to OSSIE got the top and the bottom part actually felt, not easy, but very doable. Really liked BIGBANK crossing BIGBANG. Like a few others, I found this fun. I guess you could call that a fun fact.

eastsacgirl 8:18 PM  

Still solve everyday. Just space out jumping on the site!

Went to the Cards game 3 weeks ago. May be last trip to the stick:'(

Hope we can give you a little of bit of your own medicine back on the 8th ;-) Hopefully will have most of our players back.

You get TB this week right? Lucky you.

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