German port on Baltic / FRI 1-17-14 / Bowling splits in which 5 10 pins remain / 1969 role for Dustin Hoffman / Cars whose only color until 1952 was bottle green / Bygone station name / Herb whose name is derived from Latin for to wash /
Friday, January 17, 2014
The NYT appears to have printed the WRONG puzzle in the paper, or some versions of the paper. As you can see here (http://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/index.html), today's puzzle is supposed to be the one by Kevin Der (discussed below). If you have one by Ian Livengood, I can't help you. Maybe that's supposed to be tomorrow's? Someone screwed up. Anyway, I blog the one I got, the one the NYT site *says* is today's: Kevin Der's. Please send your complaints to the NYT, not me. Thank you.
[UPDATE UPDATE: It's not clear what puzzle will be running tomorrow in your newspaper. The Livengood that dead-tree solvers got today was definitely *not* supposed to run today. It was from down the pipeline (not sure where). Just got off the phone with Kevin Der, whose puzzle (see below) was run today on the website and was *supposed* to run in the paper today; he doesn't even know if, following this printing error, his puzzle will ever run in the print edition. At this point, all I hope is that tomorrow we are all doing the same damn puzzle.]
Constructor: Kevin G. Der
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
Word of the Day: JOANNA Gleason (43A: ___ Gleason, Tony winner for "Into the Woods") —
Joanna Gleason (born June 2, 1950) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is a Tony Award-winning musical theatre actress and has also had a number of notable film and TV roles. […]
Joanne Hall was born in Toronto, Ontario, the eldest of three siblings born to television producer, and game show personality Monty Hall (né Monte Halparin), and his wife, Marilyn (née Plottel). […] Gleason appeared in several films in the 1990s, including F/X2, Mr. Holland's Opus, Boogie Nights, The Boys and Road Ends. More recently she has appeared in The Good Wife, Fathers and Sons, and The Wedding Planner. On television, she played the role of Nadine Berkus on the show Love & War (1992–95), several episodes of which she also directed. She played Joan Silver on Temporarily Yours (1997). Gleason starred in the Lifetime series Oh Baby as Charlotte from 1998–2000, also directing episodes of this show. Shortly following the end of this series, she starred opposite Bette Midler and Lindsay Lohan on Bette as agent Connie Randolph. She appeared in several made-for-TV movies, including If These Walls Could Talk, For the Love of Aaron, Born Too Soon, and For Richer, for Poorer. Her numerous guest starring TV credits include episodes of The West Wing, The Practice, King of the Hill, Friends, Tracey Takes On...,Murphy Brown, ER, Outer Limits, and Diff'rent Strokes. (wikipedia)
Hey look, it's KIEL (23A: German port on the Baltic). It's (almost) good to see you again, buddy.
EYES ON ME!" (35D: "Now, look here!"). Maybe BLACK OPS, too, I don't know (11D: Some C.I.A. doings). However good the rest of the grid is (and it is), there's nothing else that really has a marquee quality to it. So I recognize that it is really well crafted. I just wish it had a little more zing, a little more, let's say, freshness. But it's good. You know when you *know* that something is good but you don't really *love* it, personally? That's how I feel about this puzzle.
DIME STORES, and I am quite certain I won't be alone here (45A: Bowling splits in which the 5 and 10 pins remain). That is a real outlier, general knowledge-wise. I've bowled before. I've even watched a little bowling. But DIME STORES? Never heard it. It's cute—the connection between 5 pin and 10 pin, on the one hand, and (presumably) "5 and 10" stores, or DIME STORES, on the other. But I had STORES and Nothing in front of it. Also had RUNS at 37A: Operates, as a booth (MANS), which meant complete stuckness at that end of the SW corner. On the other end, same deal. Didn't even know SAABS existed in the '50s, let alone that they came only in "bottle green," so no hope there, and no hope also on NO BOTHER (31D: "Don't worry about it"). Had the NO-, but that did nothing. And so that entire corner sat wide open for a bit as I futzed around with different answers. Finally I realized there was *no* "Herb" that started LU- (I ran the alphabet), so ditched RUNS. Then remembered Latin, thought of the "LAV-" / "wash" connection, and boom, LAVENDER (32D: Herb whose name is derived from the Latin for "to wash"). Still needed to push a little harder to get MEMENTO and LEVI, and then finally ON THE MEND snapped into view, and the corner fell from there. Puzzle appears to be playing quite hard (based on the times at the NYT applet). I wonder where other people are struggling. I gotta believe it's this SW corner, if not other places as well.
AGE TWO (41D: Terrible time?) is indeed terrible and should be banned outright from all puzzles, along with all other AGE [insert number here]. If you're not going to accept AGE THIRTY-ONE (and you're not), then goodbye AGE TWO.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld