Word from Arabic for struggle / TUE 10-15-13 / Quaff for Beowulf / Legendary lizard with fatal gaze / Japanese mushroom / Cru wine of highest rank / Gorilla pioneering in sign language / Journalist of Progressive Era

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Constructor: Patrick Blindauer and Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: MAC- to MUCK- vowel progression

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Subject of the book "Revolution in the Valley" (MACINTOSH)
  • 28A: Person who works with dipsticks (MECHANIC)
  • 37A: People in this may have big ears (MICKEY MOUSE CLUB)
  • 45A: Sioux shoe (MOCCASIN)
  • 56A: Journalist of the Progressive Era (MUCKRAKER)

Word of the Day: KOKO (58D: Gorilla pioneering in sign language) —
Koko (born July 4, 1971) is a female gorilla who, according to Francine "Penny" Patterson, is able to understand more than 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language, and understand approximately 2,000 words of spoken English.
As with other ape language experiments, the degree to which Koko masters these signs has been controversial, as has been the degree to which such mastery demonstrates language abilities.
Koko was born at San Francisco Zoo and has lived most of her life in Woodside, California, although a move to a sanctuary on Maui, Hawaii, has been planned since the 1990s. Koko is short for the name Hanabiko (花火子 lit. "fireworks child"?) in Japanese, a reference to her date of birth, the Fourth of July. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty standard vowel progression puzzle. MICKEY MOUSE CLUB makes a nice centerpiece, and MUCKRAKER's kind of a juicy word, but the rest of the theme stuff is just so-so, as is the fill. Too much crosswordese—all through the middle, and in that SE corner, and otherwise sprinkled throughout. Interesting move to float MECHANIC and MOCCASIN away from the edges by one square; that likely made filling the whole middle area much easier. Trying to drive 5-letter Downs cleanly through a 15 on either end can be a dicey proposition. Oh, wait ... now that I look at that middle more closely, I see that making those theme answers flush with the edges would've left a central Down answer with the letter pattern M-O-N, which is nearly impossible (MY OWN might work, though that's not great and also not in the cruciverb database). Flipping the positions of those theme answers wouldn't have helped either. So floating them away from the edge, even if the result is ENOKI (a piece of crosswordese I actually kind of like), makes the grid workable. It's awfully hard to drive a short answer through three theme answers. So the mess in the middle is somewhat understandable if you consider the technical problem of positioning these particular theme answers.


Really, really don't like KNEE preceding ON ONE. Awkward. Also don't like ADASH. At all. APINCH would not be legal, to say nothing of ATEASPOON, so ... no. I didn't know there was anything particularly cowboyish about GRUB, so getting started in the NW took an extra few seconds while I scrambled around until I found RITA. After that, very little resistance. I was very familiar with all the specialized crosswordese like ENOKI and CRU, and I once put KOKO in a puzzle, so nothing but my inability to spell MOCCASIN right the first time had any impact on my solving time. Finished just 3 seconds slower than yesterday's puzzle, and faster than any Tuesday I've solved in the past two months.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

56 comments:

Steve J 12:07 AM  

Themes like this essentially play for me like a themeless, so it's all about the quality of the theme fill. I thought it was good. MICKEY MOUSE CLUB is a nice long entry, and MUCKRAKER is great. The others were good, too.

I guess I didn't perceive the crosswordese bits as crosswordesey. Maybe it's because most of it was words I've actually used in conversations lately. Of course, I was just in Burgundy, so talk of Premier and Grand CRU wines came up a lot. And a lunch place near my office has a salad I love that includes ENOKI mushrooms. But, I can see that if you're not a foodie or into wine, those could be tougher. At least I didn't notice anything that's a word only in crosswords, nor did I notice anything that felt forced. Those are strong marks in a puzzle, especially early in the week (and especially compared to yesterday).

(Speaking of yesterday: @Loren - no apology was necessary, but thanks.)

Finished this faster than I finished yesterday's. But I also enjoyed it more than I did yesterday's, so no complaints about that at all.

JFC 12:11 AM  

"Really, really don't like KNEE preceding ON ONE. Awkward."

Rex, you won't believe this but I flew to Vegas and bet the ranch on you not liking that. Actually, I didn't much care for it myself.

But here is what I don't get. We have two seasoned constructors doing a Tuesday. It was okay but it hardly seems worth all that fire[power....

JFC

jae 12:24 AM  

Smooth grid, medium difficulty, solid Tues. theme, what's not to like?

Anoa Bob should thank you for not cluing 39d as "Myself and others" and 24d as "Three of these equal one dance."

mathguy 12:44 AM  

Didn't recognize the theme until I read Rex. I thought that it was zippy and fun. And I learned BASILISK and ENOKI.

Gill I. P. 12:48 AM  

Hey @Loren...AKITA...KOKO!!!!
I don't think you can get a better Tuesday than this. All the entries were gettable and yay, no three letter crap to be found all over the grid.
Bit of a mini food theme no?
My only huh was BASILISK but I'm not up on my lizards...
The CURTSY - oh dear lord...I, like every person I grew up with, took ballet because everyone else took ballet and at the end of a painful recital we all had to CURTSY to our dance teacher Mrs Ballarta and it's even more painful because I remember her name. EEK.
YEAH PB and ACME. This was fun and I DEED like it.

Evan 12:49 AM  

My thought process during the only time I got really tripped up:

Hmmm, MA-I-T--- at 20-Across .... "Revolution in the Valley" .... is it MAOIST ERA?!

I didn't actually write down MAOIST ERA, but damned if I didn't seriously think about it. Otherwise I thought this was pretty easy besides for considering EJECT before EVICT. Loved seeing BASILISK, though it'd have been cool for its clue to have been a Harry Potter reference (likely too tough for a Tuesday though).

Rex mentioned MECHANIC and MOCCASIN sitting one square off the edge. My question: I wonder why they put MACINTOSH in the fourth row when it could have fit just fine in the third row. It's not a big deal either way since this grid turned out pretty smooth. Just curious, is all.

Good job, Patrick and Andrea. The Vowel Progression isn't my kinda theme but it's executed well and should be palatable for new solvers to pick up.

Questinia 12:51 AM  

Liked EEK under MOUSE. Otherwise, I'm with @jae on this one.

Anonymous 12:54 AM  

There was no need at all to cross reference ON ONE to KNEE. I'll grant that. Rexy is wrong about pretty much everything else, though. Each day I try to find something that he's got right.

chefwen 1:22 AM  

Absolutely spot on for a Tuesday. BASILISK/MACINTOSH required some thought, but crosses filled it in nicely.

Had no problem with A DASH, I even have a set of measuring spoons where the two smallest are labeled A PINCH and A DASH.

One write-over at 41D CAR loanS before CAR SALES.

When I got to 58D I let out a awwww Andrea you got our kitties in there.

Wanted to contact you off blog Andrea, but when my computer crashed it wiped out my entire address book. Slowly trying to rebuild.

Great Tuesday puzzle, thank you Patrick and Andrea.

retired_chemist 1:30 AM  

Felt like a Monday. Did it with mostly acrosses, and some were wrong: bart => LISA, EjeCT => EVICT, nErdS -> GEEKS, MICKEY MOUSE hatS. All this took about 90 seconds to sort out, but my time was still good for a Tuesday.

Theme well executed but not exciting (to me - ymmv). Decent fill.

Fave fill - the Basilisk. The real lizard is fascinating since it actually walks (rather, runs) on water.

29D may be from Japan but "I'm proud to be ENOKI from Muaskogee" is today's earworm.

Thanks, Patrick and Andrea.

loren muse smith 4:56 AM  

I flew through this with the only hesitation being BASILISK. But it wasn't really a hiccough because the crosses made it completely gettable.

@Steve J – I used to be kind of underwhelmed with vowel progressions, but every once in a while I'll try to come up with my own, and it's really hard. So this puzzle evokes my reaction, "Aw heck. Why didn't I think of that."

Right, @Gil i.P. – KOKO!!!! If there are any big shots out there who could arrange for me to meet her, I would be forever in your debt.

Rex – GRUB was my first entry, and I was thinking that was what we called food on the boat I worked on in Alaska. Also, I knew ENOKI as Japanese GRUB before I ever tackled a NYT puzzle. Wheelhouses and all that.

@Questinia – good catch on the MOUSE hovering over EEK

So what's the difference between a DAIS and a pODIUM? To me, a DAIS involves a table with a white tablecloth festooned with red, white, and blue ribbons?

@Gil I.P. – Yeah! An AKITA is no CUR, right? I should clarify why they make me nervous. In NC, my across-the-street neighbor had one named Kochisse. One day we were standing in the street talking, and he was sitting next to her. After about twenty minutes, out of the blue, he stood up, bared his teeth at me, and growled this low, scary growl. I tried to CURTSY to him, but. . .

Liked the smarmy used CAR SALES vibe with LIAR, SKEWS, HOAX, and if you squint and look long enough, LEAS E.

I spelled the word JIHAD on a Broadway stage in NYC and I’m not making that up. Spelled it right, too.

Andrea and Patrick – nice one! (Did y'all flirt with MYCOLOGY or something? Probably too hard for an early-weeker, huh.) Easy peasy Tuesday!

MetaRex 6:57 AM  

What makes for a Tuesday instead of a Monday?

If this were yesterday, we woulda missed out on ENOKI CRU...probably woulda had to deal w/ ECOLI EEL.

Enjoyed messing up w/ CIA and NSA before NRA came into my sights.

jberg 7:26 AM  

This one felt pretty fresh to me, maybe because I think of ENOKI as culinary, not crosswordy. And you'd never see just DASH, rather than A DASH in a recipe, so I liked that one too. And having LIAR and CUR on one line, just to tell off the critics. So I'll take it, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH.

@Andrea, I seem to recall your identifying yourself as a Mondays-only constructor. Are you branching out?

Here's Koko with her pet kitten, All Ball: Koko with her pet kitten, All Ball.

Mohair Sam 7:30 AM  

Average Tuesday here, although got off to a slow start with the gimmes RITA and godzilla (4D).

BASILISK? On a Tuesday? After reading Wikipedia I discovered this is probably a Dungeon & Dragons reference (except for those of us who are up on our Natural History of Pliny the Elder). On a Tuesday D&D should have been in the clue.

Otherwise it's "What Rex said" on this one, right down to mispelling MOCCASIN.

joho 8:25 AM  

So many evocative, lively words! I got a kick out of reading a few lines across at MACINTOSH HEXED!, TOXIC MECHANIC and SEDER MUCKRAKER. Great headlines!

I also like: GEEKS ANEW EKED.(EEKed!)

MICKEYMOUSECLUB in the middle brought a great big smile and made me wish I had some of those ears around here.

I only had one rewrite at EjeCT to EVICT so yes, easy, but more importantly fun! This could have run yesterday.

Scrabbly, too, just missing a Q and a Z.

Loved it! Thank you Andrea and Patrick!

Bob Kerfuffle 8:28 AM  

We know constructors don't have the last word on cluing (or the final grid for that matter), so I will ask: Am I the only one who finds the equivalence of (43 A) "Criminy!" with EEK rather weak? To me, "criminy" is an expression of surprise in the "Who'da thunk it?" vein, while "eek" is an expression of sudden but mild fear.

John V 8:39 AM  

Kinda medium, nice Tuesday, folks. Thanks, Patrick and Andrea.

mac 8:43 AM  

Medium Tuesday for me, since I hopped about a bit instead of the steady NW - SE progression.

Now who thought of the Sioux shoe? Several references to the Beatles?

Fun puzzle.

Z 8:50 AM  

Felt tough to me, but mostly that was just me. Tuesdays are notoriously tricky, so I find this one to be one of the better examples of the breed. Played like a themeless while solving, but as soon as I finished I took a look and the theme was quickly obvious.

MICKEYMOUSECLUB across the middle is timely given some recent writings about the "Disney curse." Miley's antics don't particularly bother me. Some of the puritanical reactions to her antics do, though.

Using that Beatles' clue for 38D is probably a no-no given 63A.

I also wonder who wrote that NRA clue. Just how many organizations have headquarters in Fairfax? I had NsA first.

I didn't realize a crossword puzzle could be written without a sports clue/answer. I wonder how that happened?

TIME TRAVELING MEMORY TEST

@SiS - I was being modest and no PEDs required.

Milford 8:51 AM  

Agree with the easy-medium rating, even though I had several writeovers: knelt down combo before ON ONE KNEE and many govt initials before NRA, are a couple I remember.

BASILISK and ODIUM were tough Tuesday words. We had both an EEK and an EKED in the grid today.

64A made me think of the on-going nerds vs. GEEKS debate, but I thought the clue was good, and liked that it crossed SEGA.

I think vowel-progressions are perfectly fine, and this M-C one was as good as they get - thanks acme and PB!

dk 9:04 AM  

I often wonder what will happen when two who SOLO well perform a duet. It is a testament to professionalism when the pair compliment rather than compete. What we have in this puzzle is the solid clueing of Patrick and Andrea's "red thread" of whimsey in nearly perfect harmony.

I say the LISA Simpson quote alone is worth 4 stars. My only write over... and boy do I hate those was my misspelling of the shoe and the dog.... both Monopoly tokens I would point out.

�������� (4 Stars) May I have some more please from the KD Lang and Tony Bennett of x-word land?

OISK 9:25 AM  

Very nice Tuesday puzzle! Not a single rock-pop trivia clue, a rarity these days, and a very pleasant one for me. I never heard of Basilisk either, but that's fine.

Thanks, Pat and Andrea, love the Mickey Mouse Club clue, among others.

Mohair Sam 9:30 AM  

My wife just read my earlier post. She pointed out that I misspelled misspelling. Ugh

chefbea 9:41 AM  

@ Ails Curtsy Moccasin and @PB great fun puzzle. Never heard of Basilisk...basil yes!!!

@Chefwen I have a set of three measuring spoons= pinch, dash and smidgeon!!

Captcha is snexpot!! and the number 226 - my birthday

retired_chemist 9:52 AM  

@ dk - last night exactly what you asked about happened on The Voice. Solo performers had to do a duet with only one to be chosen to go on. They did splendidly IMO.

ArtO 9:54 AM  

Helped to have my 10 year old grandson in from Paris to give me BASILISK.

Nice Tuesday from our ACM Bolger and PBS.

Two Ponies 10:26 AM  

Very nice puzzle with just enough crunch to make it a medium for me.
Thanks Patrick and Andrea. Hoping for some back story details.

Susan McConnell 10:57 AM  

Oh, that KOKO and All Ball clip is heartbreaking.

Puzzle was appropriately Tuesday-ish. Smooth going. Like others BASILISK was new to me but not a show stopper given the crosses. KNEE before ON ONE was a bit awkward but no biggie. I most appreciated the lack of sports references! Unless you count EVEL Knievel.

Notsofast 11:00 AM  

I had fun with this one. KOKO made me think of poor George Costanza who wanted to be called "T-Bone"!

quilter1 11:17 AM  

Easy, easy, easy and also fun and fresh cluing/answers.

Masked and Anonymo8Us 11:17 AM  

Fun little basilisk of a puz. And "U Week" continues, today with eight of the little cockatrices. Color me clam-happy, with ADASH of GLAM GLO.

@Q. yep. Also liked EEK and EKED.

Only hitches in m&y giddyup today where:
* BASILISK. Where did people get this stuff? More on this, in a separate treatise.
* MES. Is this French? Does "mes amis" mean "my bro's a mess"?
* HOAX's clue. Has snopes.com heard of basilisks?
* CRU vs. a Fairfax org. CEU, CSU, CBU just didn't look right. CPU looked possible, but then NPA didn't do much for me. But -- lost valuable nanoseconds, tryin to recall all the letters of the alphabet.

Anyhoo, everything was easily got by criss crosses.

Thanx, Andrea darlin. Thanx, pauer. Good co-op work. My new fave construction company.

M&A
to be continUed

gifcan 11:22 AM  

Last cross spanned ENOKI (couldn't remember) and CRU-CHAS (didn't know). I guessed NRA and bingo!

@Z - Miley has reduced herself to a body.

DigitalDan 11:41 AM  

Eke eke eke eke eke . . . Eek!

M and A also 11:53 AM  

p.s.
Combo Word of the Day:
KOKO the BASILISK. Weird-ass critter that someone back in the dark ages somewhere somehow somewhy made up.
This bad boy left a trail of toxic exhaust (much like my Uncle Zeke), and could pick U off with one glance (sorta like Scarlet Johannson). It had a weakness for weasels made outa kryptonite. Far fuggin out, dude.

Top reasons why anyone would dream up Koko the Basilisk...
* Ted Cruz had ancestors.
* Needed BAS??ISK to complete a crossword puz grid. True story. Mohab of Cruciverb made puzs in the 14th century. Was beheaded for witchcraft, after tryin to sneak PEWIT into a grid; no one else felt lucky enough to pick up the gauntlet, after that. Til just lately. But I digress.
* Someone in a Jerry-mandered district was tryin to visualize and name the district's shape.
* Uncle Zeke had ancestors, too.
* "The dog ate my homework" excuse had already been used by the previous student lout. So Erik the Idler had to think fast.
* Loosely based on the Earl of Basilisk's mother-in-law.
* "Plan 9 from Outer Space" early draft idea.
* Nostradamus prediction. Scholars now believe he actually had had a vision of the Miley Cyrus twerk performance.

M&A
har

Jimi Hendrix 11:53 AM  

"You say your mama ain't home
it ain't MOCCASIN"

Carola 12:02 PM  

My first thought, that "Revolution in the Valley" referred to a cross-breeding coup in an orchard that led to the MACINTOSH and that we were therefore going to have a fall apple theme (Jonathan, Honey Crisp...), was corrected by MECHANIC. Thought MICKEY MOUSE CLUB was great, enjoyed guessing it would be followed by MOCCASIN and MUCKRAKER.

Liked it right off with GRUB, loved BASILISK. NAOMI joins JOSHUA as an OT figure, not sure if they'd ever figure in a SEDER.

Lewis 12:06 PM  

Grid gruel reading: LOW.

Spark level -- ACME, as usual, producing crackling energy. In Xword, Andrea credits the clues to Patrick, so she must be responsible for much of the words.

Not so sure about CARSALES. Seems like one of those things Rex talks about, kind of arbitrary, in an infinite list, such as BOOKSALES, VACUUMCLEANERSALES, DISHSALES, etc.

The spark, though, raised this puzzle to easily superior to the typical Tuesday. Thanks A&P!

Ray J 12:52 PM  

Fun puzzle – really LOVEd the LISA clue.

I’ve never tried constructing a puz but I always enjoy it when folks shed some light on the process like Rex did in his write-up today.

One of these days a constructor is going to put an eating apple in a puz and we’re gonna have to remember that Apple Inc. put the A in MACINTOSH.

LaneB 1:13 PM  

Also misspelled MOCCASIN at first which caused brief delay, but having seen the vowel progression early, the puzzle proved relatively easy. Always pleased to finish. That' probably why I like the early part of the week.

Bird 1:30 PM  

A nice puzzle from good team, though the theme revealed itself too early (after 2 themers I guessed it was a vowel progression) to make it any sort of a challenge.

Rex must be thrilled that it wasn’t a you-know-what.

Only needed to change WOES to AILS and NERDS to GEEKS.

Thank you Patrick and Andrea

Z 1:40 PM  

@gifcan - I am shocked, shocked, to discover that women are interested in sex and make art about it. I thought that was reserved for Men. Seriously, it seems like she gets a lot more grief than Robin Thicke. She wasn't exactly alone on that stage.

"You say your mama ain't home
it ain't MOCCASIN"


Thanks, Jimi.

gifcan 2:40 PM  

@Z - lots of things come to mind but I'll let it rest.

BTW, I was late to Sundays's blog and I must say I loved your YANNI/ONO hell comment.

Akita Curtsy Moccasins 5:12 PM  

Hi hi!
Thanks for the sweet comments! Glad those who enjoyed, enjoyed!

I have never understood the dislike for this kind of theme, which is one I sort of feel I helped pioneer!
"Vowel progression" is such a dull way to look at it!

I view it as an early-week, fun, bouncy, tone poem
mac mec mic moc muc that is quite challenging to make but is hopefully easy and enjoyable to solve and helps newer folks get a toehold!

However, for naysayers, never fear...I mean, this one was made three and a half years ago and I haven't had one accepted since, including a nice one that even had a nice sixth Y entry!

@jberg 7:26
Re: Mondays...Well, this according to XwordInfo (which I'll try and embed) is actually my 40th NYT puzzle, only 26 of them have been Mondays...

@lms 4:56 how right you are about MYC!

(was unable to embed the Xwordinfo...tried three times)
xwordinfo

(3 of my four Sundays and my sole Thursday have all been with Patrick). As I say, he always bumps up any ideas I have many many notches.

@dk, @RayJ, @Two Ponies

I don't want to dissect XACTO who did what, bec a collaboration is a collaboration, but of course the funny Simpsons clue was all Patrick...
(and I don't know from Dragons and Dungeons... BASILICK was something new to me, too!)

And, yes, @Mac 8:43 I imagine Beatles clues, the nonsportsiness overall, and my beloved Siamese KOKO sneaking into the corner were probably me.

@Evan 12:49
Supposedly it's a great book...check it out!
As for the musings about the shift of a square or third vs fourth line, um, that leaves me stunned into silence!
(Almost!) ;)

Right on, Funny Ms @Questinia 12:51 am
to have noticed EEK under MOUSE :)

fwiw, the KNEE /ON ONE pairing was not ours...but maybe was a shout out to the folks who solve from right to left ;)

@OISK 9:25 the original MICKEYMOUSECLUB clue referenced Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears!

We easily could have made this a pangram, but settled for 2 Xs and 7 Ks instead! ;)

Got to ADASH off now...
will check in later if there are more questions...or perhaps Patrick will chime in.

ahimsa 6:46 PM  

I loved the puzzle, many kudos to Patrick and Andrea!

I think these kind of themes are fun. Once I pick up the pattern I like to guess what will be the next word in the series before I read the clue.

And what great fill -- BASILISK, ENOKI (I did not know that was considered crosswordese), JIHAD, CURTSY, KOKO and others.

I've never played D&D (in spite of being a computer nerd!) but I had no trouble with BASILISK. I think I first learned that word from reading P. G. Wodehouse, perhaps Bertie describing his Aunt Agatha that way?

I, too, loved the clue for LISA. I wondered why @Rex didn't mention that one since he's a Simpsons fan (unless my memory is really playing tricks on me?). I don't remember that quote at all but I've probably only watched maybe 1/3 of the episodes over the years.

August West 9:01 PM  

Just got around to it now, after an early crash last night followed by a crazy, long day at work. So nice to finally sit down with the puzzle and find it to be just about a perfect Tuesday. Minimal crap, easy theme punctuated by some nice answers, and just enough crunch to give me pause to think. BASILISK, JOSHUA, ODIUM. ENOKI, CLUMP, NUCLEI, KOKO, even SEDER caused this goy a few seconds. Loved it.

sanfranman59 10:08 PM  

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

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

Mon 6:13, 6:07, 1.02, 61%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 7:14, 8:15, 0.88, 15%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:43, 3:46, 0.99, 38%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:24, 5:09, 0.85, 6%, Easy

cw stewart 10:59 AM  

Great Tuesday puzzle! Thanks Andrea and Patrick!

spacecraft 11:23 AM  

I am congruent with @bob kerfuffle on the clue for EEK. This did not help with a brutal center: ENOKI? Really? And on a Tuesday yet! Next to CRU? And not knowing what org. is HQ'd in Fairfax,VA made this whole area a natick. I finally decided that maybe, because of the use of the word "powerful" in the clue, it might be the NRA. That's right: I don't know who CHAS Addams is, either, but the A made as much sense (short for "Charles," I guess) as any other. I was pleasantly surprised to come here and discover that I'd guessed all that stuff correctly. Shouldn't have to put up with a cluster of unknowns on a Tuesday.

The theme? One person's "bouncy" is another's "meh." I mean, the entries themselves are fine; if they didn't all fit into a vowel progression they'd do perfectly well in a themeless. So would most of the fill.

Couple of nose-wrinklers: JIHAD is not a word "from the Arabic--" it IS Arabic. A word "from" another language, say, "vision," from the Latin "videre," to see, has been anglicized. JIHAD is just the unchanged word. It's still Arabic; we just adopted it.

Also, it's too bad that, especially with EEK already in the grid, that our friends had to resort to EKED, the oldest Xwordese chestnut in the book, in that SE corner. REDO that one, guys.

Overall this plays as a good Thursday themeless, with oh YEAH, MAC MEC MIC MOC MUC long entries. 'Course, you'd have to tweak some of the clues: "Opposite of exit" wouldn't fly in lateweek.

BedfordBob 11:34 AM  

Nice easy Tuesday. Surprised no one mentioned TROPE. I never heard of it.

I Before E 1:20 PM  

At least in the syndicated version, ON ONE KNEE was clued correctly, not KNEE before ON ONE. Perhaps they corrected it.

DMG 2:30 PM  

Smooth Tuesday. Never noticed the vowel progression, after all that effort by the constructors. Only had one do-over, GEEKS where I had nErds. Oh, and like Rex, not sure how to spell MOCCASIN. So I wrote MOC--SIN. And, contrary to my instinct it turned out to be two c's and one s. Sometimes leaving a blank is the way to go!

Ginger 2:52 PM  

Kicking myself that I missed the vowel progression until I came here. Need to be more observant.

Enjoyed this one a lot, good fun, YEAH. Thanks @acme and @pauer

@SIS Hawks are looking good. Daughter and SIL were there, he's a Viking fan, HAH.

Dirigonzo 4:06 PM  

I finished with OWS smack in the middle of the grid because I (over-)confidently entered NSA and didn't even notice the nonsensical cross it created. Grand CsU indeed!

Waxy in Montreal 4:36 PM  

That was fun even though I didn't notice the mac mec mic moc muc "tone poem" til arriving here. Learnt TROPE (probably not for the first time), BASILISK and ENOKI though all were evident from their crosses.

Toyed with the possibility of a Tuesday rebus (imagine) thinking that ON BENDED KNEE might need squeezing into the space eventually occupied by the more prosaic ON ONE KNEE.

@SIS, Seahawks Nation is expanding - on the West Coast, I noticed everyone from Salem, OR to Vancouver, BC were firm supporters. Now impressed immensely by the play of the likes of QB Russell Martin & RB Marshawn Lynch, my sense is that half the continent is behind them. Go Hawks!

rain forest 6:28 PM  

"Criminy! A mouse!"
I don't think so. I don't know from ENOKI mushrooms, so I considered EEP(?) and EEW(?) before putting in EEK, but I didn't like it.

Somehow, I think I first saw the word BASILISK in the video game Archon (years ago). He had a deadly eye shot, but was easily killed.

Percy Harvin is playing, the O-line is back, and all is right with the 'Hawks' world. Go, guys.

Solving in Seattle 7:16 PM  

Just back from a wedding in the O-regone Territory. Passed through @Ginger's town down and back. And yes @Waxy, 12 Nation is definitely catching on from Oregon to B.C. Go Hawks!

@Z, agree with you on Miley - she certainly has a new franchise. Cover your tween's eyes, mom.

My forehead slapper today was reading the clue for 26D as "Destination." Had me stumped. How is ODIUM a synonym for Destination?

EjeCT before EVICT. With @DMG; can't spell MOCCASIN.
When I read the clue for 4D I wanted the snakes in Medusa's hair to be right. Nope. Also learned TROPE. My ignorance has a name of its own.

Nice, clean puz, Andrea and Patrick. Enjoyed it.

Capcha: onshuro. Making landfall on Japan's major island?

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