Graz's land: Abbr. / SUN 3-30-14 / Where "hello" is "sveiks" / "Twelfth Night" duke / Ring Lardner's "Alibi ___" / "Eternally nameless" thing, in Eastern religion

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Musical Interpretation — The words of a well-known song are placed in the grid according to other words from the song title that indicate placement. If that makes any sense.

Theme answers:
  • 95D/89D: STAND [BY] YOUR MAN

Good morning, everyone. PuzzleGirl here with you again. This time I have plenty of time to write the blog post, so if it ends up short what the hell is my excuse going to be? Read on to find out.

Cute theme here from Mr. Peter A. Collins who, by the way, is a totally nice guy. Never met him in person, but the few interactions I have had with him have always been pleasant if not delightful. He's a teacher up in Wisconsin or Minnesota -- somewhere up there where it's cold and people are nice. Today he's treating us to some musical wordplay. Cute! I happened to hit SMOKE ON THE WATER early on, so no trouble with the theme.

After I found that lovely clip for you, this is what I saw at the bottom of my Google results:
Um ... no thanks.

I didn't have too many problems in this grid. Trickiest entries for me were:
  • 58A: Former Disney president Michael (OVITZ) - There was a Michael Eisner at Disney too, right? That's the only one I could think of.
  • 96A: Thumbing-the-nose gesture (SNOOK) - Learn something new every day!
  • 99A: Mideast V.I.P. (AMIR) - Not a fan of this spelling.
  • 43D: The "T" of Mr. T (TERO) - Feel like I should have known this, but didn't.
  • 100D: Inspector of crime fiction (MORSE) - Never heard of him but thanks for the excuse to post a picture of Michael Morse. You Giants fans are so lucky to have him! You're gonna love him!
Other Stuff Worth Noting:
  • 20A: Now and Again? (TWICE) — I have to believe this clue has been used before, but I don't recall ever seeing it and it's pretty cute.
  • 25A: Like Neptune among the planets in the solar system (OUTERMOST) — Poor Pluto.
  • 62A: Olympic leap (TOE LOOP) — Once I started thinking about track events, it took me forever to come around to figure skating.
  • 72A: Pond denizen (EFT) — This is one of those little pieces of crosswordese that you just have to know, right? There's nothing cool about it, kinda boring. But now whenever I see it I remember how it was a key part of an answer (or question, I guess) on Jeopardy when Joon Pahk was on the show. I remember seeing it and thinking "Oh he better get this!" and of course he did. (This is the part where I start watching Jeopardy! clips for God knows how long.)
  • 79A: Memorable series in "Psycho" (STABS) — Eww.
  • 101A: Meatless day in W.W. II: Abbr. (TUE) — Random!
  • 2D: Actress Tierney (MAURA) — And this is the part where I get sucked into watching videos of "NewsRadio" on YouTube. I'll be back in a couple hours.
  • 3D: Suffering (IN BAD SHAPE) — I always like seeing colloquial phrases in the grid. (See also 57D: Muff a grounder (BOOT IT)).
  • 67D: Former faddish exercise regimen (TAE BO) — When I was pregnant with my son I saw an ad for TAE BO and thought it looked super super fun. So I bought the tapes and ... well, then I had my son, and then I was a new mom, and then I was a mom of a toddler, and then I was a mother of two young children, and now it's 15 years later and where the hell are those tapes anyway???
  • 76D: Description on many eBay listings (RARE) — My daughter discovered eBay a couple days ago. She bid on some boots and asked if she could have an advance on her allowance for the amount she was short. I agreed. She won the auction (So. Exciting.) but realized that she had forgotten about the shipping cost. So she needed a little bit more money from me. Okay, no big deal, she'll pay me back. But the next thing that happens is she has to admit to me that she also won another auction. She had also bid on another pair of boots and "didn't realize" she couldn't "take her bid back." Part of me believes that she just made a mistake because, hey, it's her first time using eBay. Another part of me thinks I'm being swindled. Ah, the joy of teenagers.
  • 107D: Longing looks (LEERS) — I don't know about this clue. I don't really think of a LEER as "longing." I think of a LEER more as ... rude, crude and creepy. Who's with me?
  • 110D: Didn't stop in time, say (OD'ED) — This made me sad.
Of course there was a little bit of, shall way say, suboptimal fill here and there (you got your ORA, your GMT, your ERA, your ETA, your SYS, and your TSP, just to name a few), but it's Sunday, which means the grid is huge and what are ya gonna do? You do the best you can with a cute theme and some interesting fill here and there and you call it a night. That's what you do.

You'll have a couple other subs tomorrow and Tuesday. With any luck, Rex will be back where he belongs on Wednesday.

Love, PuzzleGirl


L 12:12 AM  

Woah! First to comment. I thought it was easy and totally agree about the Longing looks clue for leers - it doesn't work for me at all. Any time I can sort out the theme is a happy Sunday puzzle for me so it's all good.

Steve J 12:22 AM  

Cute theme that was executed quite nicely, even if I couldn't grok "A Teeneager in Love" (the only Dion song - apparently it was post-Belmonts - I know is "Runaround Sue"). It just looked like gibberish. Combine that with my not knowing "Alibi IKE" and not being able to suss out DIKE from DI--, and I had an easy puzzle with a DNF because I finally had to look up the Ring Lardner story to figure out how to finish the center of the puzzle.

The first few things I filled in included ASSOC, NTS, ORA and ACCTNO, so I was initially dreading a massive pileup of bad fill. Thankfully, the unatractive stuff was mostly confined to the NW, and the rest of this was pretty smooth. Particularly liked EMPIRICIST, STARDUST, LAUDATORY, LAMBASTE and DICK AND JANE.

Very easy puzzle (aside from the section I mentioned), and quite fun.

Steve J 12:24 AM  

(Oh, Puzzle Girl: Completely agreed about thinking Newsradio with the mention of MAURA Tierney. I loved that show. I pop in the DVDs to rewatch about once a year. Other than Dave Foley's suits, it's aged tremendously well.)

Anonymous 12:26 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. But the entire southeast is themeless fill. Did that bother anyone else?

John Child 12:46 AM  

I loved the clever theme idea -- on, after, by, in, and around. I don't think that "rising" quite made the grade though. Lots of nice long fill with no more drek than expected on Sunday. DNF at oNREVIEW / KoNER.

Davis 12:52 AM  

I know I've said this before, but I'm pretty confident that NTS is not a legitimate plural for multiple versions of Windows NT. If you're a Mac user, this would be like referring to Snow Leopard and Lion as "Xes" (rather than "versions of MacOS X")—it's something no one familiar with the software would ever say.

It looks like NTS as clued has made a number of appearances over the past decade. Notably, the first wasn't until 2004, long after Microsoft had stopped branding any OS with the NT label. Is anyone aware of any non-crossword support for this usage? (It's difficult to Google because NTS is also an abbreviation for NT Server and "non-thread safe.")

Not to harp on what is otherwise a solid puzzle, I'd just like to see NTS as clued go away.

Anonymous 12:57 AM  

The Teenager In Love had me for a while, then I realized LO- Teenager In -VE. Oh.

Wasn't quite as easy for me, but enjoyable, although I didn't get the Mr. T. reference at all. An also didn't care for "leer" def.


jae 12:59 AM  
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jae 1:00 AM  

Easy for me too.  Fun breezy Sun.  I knew the hits so it was all about sussing out Peter's grid play.  Liked it.  

Also a big NewsRadio fan.  MAURA also  had an interesting part on Rescue Me now available from NetFlix streaming.

Carola 1:09 AM  

Haven't yet met a Peter Collins puzzle I didn't like. Medium for me, with my Sunday routine of working only from entries I have filled in and not skipping around the grid. After getting ROCK (around) THE CLOCK easily, I wasn't sure what to do with ??A TEENAGER IN??, thinking that the missing "LOVE" might have to do with zeroes, because of the earlier circles. Caught on with STAND (by) YOUR MAN, and got the others mostly from crosses, as I wasn't familiar with the titles. Was it bad to have BAD in the grid TWICE, or was it okay since one was upsidedown?

I liked the other musical references - the beautiful STARDUST, Duke ORSINO with his entrance line, "If music be the food of love, play on," and maybe even the DOORBELL :)

Were primary school teachers DRIVEN MAD by DICK AND JANE, teaching "Run, Spot, run!" a TIME after TIME?

Thanks for the write-ups, Puzzle Girl, and the smiles re: TAE BO tapes and eBay auctions.

Moly Shu 1:15 AM  

Same problems as @puzzlegirl except OVITZ, somehow remembered him. That AMIR/MORSE cross was the last to go in. Other than that, fairly easy and the theme answers went straight in. Not the greatest gimmick, but still enjoyed it.

Thx for filling in, PG.

Casco Kid 1:37 AM  

It was a steady incline through the first 90 minutes. With the benefit of Mrs. Kid's wise counsel (she knew the damned song names), I picked up the trick at STAND BY YOUR MAN. BAD MOON RISING was a piece of cake, as was ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK. But Dion and the -- what was it again? Kumquats? -- was sooooo obscure that we had absolutely nothing but a pattern of crosses spelling LOATE. WTF?! TAEBO must be wrong, I concluded, so it became dAEBO/LOAdE..but the rest didn't budge much, and the puzzle stopped being fun. Crosses didn't help. We resorted to google (and then YouTube) after 2 hours to find what we had missed. So. A TEENAGE IN LOVE. Never heard it. Never heard of it.

Other woes requiring a google in hour 3: Ralph KINER. TWERK just didn't present itself until the K was in place. Mr T TERO as TOELOOP wasn't obvious until after the fact, Alibi IKE as DIKE was lost in the mess the TEENAGER made. I suppose I should have gotten those. But there was no way I could ever have gotten A TEENAGER IN LOVE. Oh well.

So it was a typical Sunday DNF here. I agree with the consensus by declaring it easy-unsolvable.

paulsfo 2:25 AM  

Fave clues were for NOOMDAB, ALADDIN, and BARK.

@Davis: I agree completely about NTS. I've been in the industry for 30 years and I bet that "word" hasn't been uttered 30 times. :)

@Casco Kid: Too bad about A Teenager In Love but I bet that, now that you've heard it, you'll never forget it. A pretty distinctive song.

George Barany 5:41 AM  

This was a fun romp by @Peter Collins. Cautionary tale about TAEBO, which made its debut on the New York Times crossword pages in 2002 and has now been used 23x. Starting in 2011, though, qualifiers like "former" and "once" started creeping in. I only wonder how long it will be before the same happens to TWERK, which burst upon the national consciousness last summer no thanks to some chanteuse named @Miley Cyrus, and makes its NYT debut today. Perhaps @Peter Collins can enlighten us on the timeline.

For those readers of @Rex still in a mood for more puzzling, my friends and I offer Start Spreading the News! and Putin on the Fritz. Both deal with current events, although the first is much more sports-themed. We hope you like one or both, and start spreading the news!

Bob Kerfuffle 5:43 AM  

Started very slowly (SUBSISTENCE farming isn't something I think about often), then proceeded with trepidation because I saw all the songs referenced by artists and dates, another weak point for me. But once I got ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK and saw that this was an exercise in wordplay, it became a real pleasure to solve. Fun puzzle!

One thing I learned: DICK AND JANE share a majority of their letters in the exact same positions as JACK AND JILL, my one write-over. And I would say not completely odd, since J&J was and is a magazine for primary age children.

But bite-my-tongue time -- there are people who don't know A TEENAGER IN LOVE?!? (I know, it's an age thing. I am one of those who was taught to read by Dick and Jane.)

Danp 6:06 AM  

I'm not sure what the protocol is for making the past tense of an acronym, but ODED or OD'ed strike me as wrong.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:40 AM  

Here's A Teenager in Love."

But wait, there's more! I couldn't have aTiL rattling around in my head very long without thinking of this parody song. (Warning: It's 6 1/2 minutes, and the Teenager only gets in at the very end. People my age could like [or remember] this one; others don't have to bother to tell me how much they hate it.)

Fax Paladin 6:55 AM  

Inspector Morse is, appropriately, a noted crossword puzzle fan -- albeit the other, cryptic variety (fun fact: his creator, a noted crossword author, named him after a rival clue setter).

Susan McConnell 8:07 AM  

Super fun puzzle, and super cute write up, Puzzle girl. I must say, I was so bummed (pun intended) to see TWERK, because surely it will be the first of many times now...groan.

I have to admit I did this pretty much top to bottom and when I completed the ROCK around THE CLOCK section at first I thought, is that it? There are no more circles. What the heck? Silly me.

My only snag was at DE_ODE/O_MEN...I just couldn't see it for the looooongest time.

Thanks, Mr. Collins!

Ted Cole 8:18 AM  

Anyone know how to get accrosslite windows 8.1?

Glimmerglass 8:51 AM  

Great puzzle. I loved it. The theme was fun (I caught on with LO TEENAGER VE). It was easier than I like, but the clues were often fresh. Nice mixture of old --pop songs, DICK AND JANE -- and new ZzzQuil, ILLER, BCC. Some quibbles (BED STRAW referred to bedding for animals, though people did stuff mattresses with straw). In general a very enjoyable solve. Although I loved the puzzle, Bob K's clips were even more fun. Thanks, Bob. You made my Sunday

Milford 8:52 AM  

Went pretty smoothly and quick for a Sunday, got the theme early with ROCK (around) THE CLOCK.

We used to make these types of wordplay puzzles for fun, e.g.:

(eggs over easy)

Are these technically rebus puzzles?

Liked LAMBASTE, IN BAD SHAPE, and the clever clues for BATON and BARROOMS. I also enjoyed the cross reference of SGT. BILKO and Phil SILVERS. Too young to know the show, but I can see his face clear as day.

Getting my errands done early today so I can watch the Michigan and State games later. Hoping for three Big10 in the Final Four!

Thank you, @PG, for the fun write up! I relate to your parenting adventures.

loren muse smith 8:58 AM  

PG – I really like your write-ups. Thanks so much for pinch-hitting! My TEEN AGE daughter is about to turn 20. Whew. It's startling how a TEEN AGER's sense of humor just vanishes for those few years. Funny ebay story!

I'm with @Carola – I like a Peter Collins puzzle, and this one did not disappoint. SMOKE ON THE WATER fell first, and I was delighted. I don't want to brag, but when Tori, Carrie, Kathy, and I danced to that in Carrie's bedroom, I was the best. Seriously.

I always scan for philosophy clues and Shakespeare aristocracy for my low-hanging fruit, so EMPIRICIST and ORSINO were my entrées.

"Listen, pal! SEE HERE. I feel your pain, but I really smell a rat, and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth." Pick a sense, any sense. Cool.

@Steve J – DIKE/IKE – naticked and hence had a dnf thanks to that K. Sheesh.

@Bob, @Carola - I saw Spot run. I saw Jane run. I saw Dick run. Heck, I even saw Sally run a few times.

"Drove nuts" before DRIVEN MAD. Often you just can't tell which past it is, and one just jumps out at you. (That's what led to me "sewn" the other day.)

PG – your first thought was Toe Loop. I'm with you – it fits better. Here's something I notice sometimes. It's AXELOOP. So AXEL and LOOP agree to share that L. So why don't BAR and ROOM share that R? Why is it hitchhiker and not hitchiker? bookeeper? partime? I've sniffed around google for a bit and cannot find a list of compound nouns that share the common letter and a list of ones that repeat the common letter.

ODED. I've just looked into it, and it seems that it was in the year 1819 that Keats ODED the most - Urn, Psyche, Autumn, Melancholy, Indolence, Nightinggale. . . (OK – it's not "nighting" but still.) So it's safe to assume that toward the end of 1819 he ODED on ODEs?

Peter – I really like physical themes like this. Good job. I wonder if you considered


Mohair Sam 9:07 AM  

Easy Sunday here, we sped through but nearly naticked on the first "O" in SNOOK. I always thought SNOOK was a person, not a gesture. Anyhow, we guessed right and came here to discover that CCR had not done a song called "NOAB Around OMD", but rather that we had missed a very clever theme entry.

How old are we? Heck, we cracked the theme with TEENAGER . . a clue that mystified many. btw @Steve J - I believe Dion was still a Belmont when the song was released. His first popular single alone in my memory was "Abraham, Martin, and John" in the 1960's. Wonderful song, changed the direction of his music too.

Liked CADENT clue. I remember the candence calls when marching to and from class in Air Force tech school - they made fun out of drudgery.

Never heard "SMOKE on the WATER", but it filled nicely.

Fun Sunday, maybe a little easy, but fun theme.

Z 9:16 AM  

Emir/AMIR/Ameer - along with K-B-B. Let's all play "Guess a Vowel."

TWERKing has been around at least since the mid-90's, although I think the term is of newer coinage. It does bring to mind the disdain in Mr. Taylor's voice (my late 1970's HS English teacher) as he said, "dancing is the vertical expression of the horizontal desire." Just remember, Puzzle Girl, that there is almost nothing more stressful for a parent than LOATEENAGERVE (with air-quotes around LOVE).

Beer-Rating - How about a nice PALE ale for a Sunday afternoon with the temperature getting near something like spring-like.

PETER 9:22 AM  

PuzzleGirl: Thanks for the write-up today. And it's not Wisconsin or Minnesota -- it's Michigan. Ann Arbor, in fact. Are we all cheering for the Wolverines in their NCAA game tonight? Are we hoping for a 3/4 Big Ten Final Four? Are we aching for a UM/MSU final (so we can give "Little Brother" a pounding)?

As for me being a nice guy, we'll see what my calculus students think tomorrow when I pass their tests back. Also, I think I just lost the MSU vote.

George: This puzzle was definitely fast-tracked. I mailed it in on February 3rd of this year. On the other extreme, I have puzzles that must've been put in Will's Guantanamo Bay pile, where they've been languishing for over two years.

Yeah, I wonder how TWERK will hold up. In ten years, will someone pick up a copy of a NYT puzzle book in a Barnes & Noble (if they still exist), flip to that clue/answer and go "What the -"?

- Pete

Z 9:38 AM  

@Peter - I am "rooting" for Michigan this weekend, but only because I have them in my ESPN pool to lose in the Final Four to Wisconsin. I have MSU winning it all and three Big Ten teams making it. Why, because I'm mostly a homer who knows relatively little about college basketball. My bracket is currently in the top 10% which amuses me no end. Why don't I follow college basketball more? I tuned in to the game Friday night with 35.9 seconds left in the game. Twenty-five minutes later the final horn sounded. People claim baseball is slow! Hah.

evil doug 9:43 AM  
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Dean r 9:44 AM  

Wow. I hated this puzzle so much that when my iPad crashed (the puzzle app has been acting weird lately) and I was 95 percent finished, I actually felt relieved. An absolute slog from start to finish. I'd give you examples of all the things I hated, but I'm too disgusted to care.

joho 9:47 AM  

Such a clever, fresh an,d most of all, FUN theme, thank you, Peter Collins!

I got it at TIME(AFTER)TIME and gleefully went looking for the rest after that.

R O C K (AROUND)THECLOCK is a delightful use of circles.

I think TEENAGER(IN)LOVE was my favorite.

Again, Sundays can be big, tedious and even a bit boring, not this one!

@PuzzleGirl, your write-up was just as entertaining as the puzzle ... thanks!

evil doug 9:47 AM  
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Done in by Mr. T. TERO is so obscure that it doesn't even appear in the Mr. T Wikipedia entry.

Casco Kid 10:17 AM  

It seems an opportune time to grouse about radio DJs' policy to play songs without announcing associated artists. I was a tween in the 70s and my musical education (apart from the dinner table classics that my father drilled into us) was Top40 radio and Oldies stations, but in neither case were the songs ever introduced with their performers. So, while I knew every song on today's "play-list" -- except for TEENAGER -- and every performer from made-for-TV movies & celeb exposes -- except for the Kumquats -- I would not have been able to match them up. Honest example: STAIRWAYTOHEAVEN is a classic great great song, and it is on the radio every day, but who performed it? Not Tammy Wynette. Leonard Skynyrd? Def Leopard? Aerosmith? Josey and the JuJu Beans? Google is my only recourse, unless Mrs. Kid is around. And she is. Aaaand . . . she has nothing on STAIRWAY. Same generation. Same too-cool-to-tell-ya DJs.

chefbea 10:19 AM  

Fun puzzle. got rock around the clock right away, then stand by your man. Of course knew Emeril!!

For a nursery rhyme - we could have Round and Round the Mulberry bush.

Steve J 10:20 AM  

@Mohair Sam: Every reference online I can find has "Runaround Sue" being post-Belmonts (and that's the song I was referencing; apologies if that wasn't clear).

@Bob Kerfuffle: Thanks for the link. I meant to look for "A Teenager in Love" on YouTube last night, but got distracted. Now that I hear it, I do vaguely recognize it. But for my generation (which would be X), it wasn't one that really registered. We did get most of our 50s rock-and-roll from Happy Days, after all (which was precisely why I got the theme initially with ROCK (around) THE CLOCK, with no crosses other than the initial R.

fo' realzzzzzz 10:32 AM  

No comment on TWERK? All the pop culture clues are there for the over 50 crowd, but I'm glad this one was thrown in there for the youth vote.

Benko 10:34 AM  

Heck, I was born 20 years later than when the song came out, but I still know "A Teenager in Love." Didn't you guys ever listen to oldies radio?
I was born in Ann Arbor but went to University of Florida, so there's my dream final.

VaBeach puzzler 10:38 AM  

PuzzleGirl, since you never heard of the British TV crime drama Inspector Morse (1987-2000), you might be interested to know that the melancholy detective had three great loves: crosswords, Wagnerian opera and ale. All helped him ply his way through the demands of crime-solving but the crossword in particular provided helpful clues. And here’s another crossword link: Morse’s creator, Colin Dexter, was an avid puzzler, naming the somewhat upper-crust chief inspector and his working-class sidekick, Sergeant Lewis, after two top British cryptic crossword solvers: banker Sir Jeremy Morse and the pseudonymous Mrs. B. Lewis.

Milford 10:46 AM  

@Peter - ohnoyoudidn't just make a "Little Brother" reference! You know how that's worked out for Michigan in football, right? ;)

I still liked your puzzle, though.

Old Curmudgeon 10:48 AM  

Totally unfair theme for puzzlers over 85. I had no clue about any of the so-called musical numbers referred to. Thus a most unpleasant Sunday morning. Please remember how many in their senior years enjoy and rely on crosswords. We hate to be totally left out in the cold.

AliasZ 10:49 AM  

TWERK, CADENT, SACRAL, SITKA, SNOOK, LAUDATORY, OVITZ. These are some fine crosswords except I never heard of TWERK, I thought SNOOK was a fish and I remembered Eisner but not OVITZ.

I stared at the east side of the grid a long time searching for song titles but none showed. Otherwise this was a fun theme and execution. My favorite: R-O-C-K around THE CLOCK.

But it was in the themeless east where some of the best entries showed up: STARDUST, SEATBELT, DOORBELL, EDITORIALS, LAMBASTE, DICK AND JANE. Other favorite entries: OUTERMOST, SUBSISTENCE, BOLSTER, EMPIRICIST, ISSUE DATE, DRIVEN MAD, ERSATZ and SGT. BILKO played by Phil SILVERS.

What is BED STRAW? As a kid I slept on a straw mattress but it had regular straw, not bed straw. Boy, was it lumpy! Bed straw must be specially harvested straw just for beds that I never heard of. Like pillow down is specially plucked for pillows only, right?

I missed:




and a few others.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Bill from FL 10:59 AM  

I found it mostly easy, but I had to struggle a bit around TOELOOP, BEDSTRAW, BOLSTER, AND BOOTIT. For a while I had ALOTEENAGERVE, which I think makes just as much sense in the (very fun) theme.

Anonymous 11:36 AM  

Can someone please explain how BARK (14D) is a medium for love letters?

Anonymous 11:37 AM  

You are much more entertaining than Rex. He seems to phone it in now, and is too artily critical.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

I found this easy medium and liked it except for 10d 'see here' and 46d 'no see'. The repeat of 'see' in both answers caused me to question my question myself for a minute or two.


Done in by Mr. T. TERO is so obscure that it doesn't even appear in the Mr. T. Wikipedia entry.

Kim Scudera 12:04 PM  

@Anon 11:36 -- BARK is where lovers carve their (initial) letters.

Loved @casco kid's description of this as easy/unsolvable! I raced through the west, then got completely mired in the NE, actually Googled (on a Sunday!!) to get a toehold, finished the NE, then DNFd at the DIKE/IKE crossing. Tried DIcE, DIvE (my favorite wrong answer; an unsupported bank could become a dive, if you're an aircraft, right?), then finally DIKE. Oy.

Yes, PG, a LEER has nothing of longing. Desire, yes; longing, no. Enjoyed your writeup!

Yes, @loren: DRoVENuts before DRIVENMAD.

Thanks, Peter for stopping by, and for a fun theme.

Ludyjynn 12:12 PM  

@Anonymous, people carve their initials in trees inside of a heart/arrow; ergo, love letters on bark.

@PuzzleGirl, you are a breath of fresh air! You can catch old BBC episodes of "Inspector Morse" and old and new episodes of "Inspector Lewis" on PBS stations any day of the week, and there is even a prequel series, showing Morse as a young man, which debuted late last year. Worth watching, although my favorite detective series from Britain is "Inspector George Gently".

@Peter Collins, thank you for a clever puzzle and your comments, above. I found it easy/medium and am now stuck with several earwigs in my head from the several decades of songs you utilized!

Bob Kerfuffle 12:24 PM  

@Casco Kid - You do seem to have a legitimate gripe with the DJ's of your youth. In my time (I was a tween, if the word had existed then, in the 50s) I seem to recall that popular music radio and WQXR, the classics station, would not only name the piece and the artist, but would also back-announce, i.e., give the same information after the track was played, in case you were wondering what you had just heard!

RnRGhost57 12:28 PM  

Excellent puzzle and write up.

Here's hoping March goes out like a lamb for all of you in cold climes who have endured a very long winter.

Masked and Anonymo8Us 12:41 PM  

Really really liked this SunPuz.
It was

Had to think six ways to Sunday, to solve the themers. Usin what M&A would consider double-?? clues/answers. This puz speaks to m&e. Even has a record label reference to a record I own. Glorious.

thUmbsUp, Collins dude. Am willin to bury the pewit, after this one. QED.


Casco Kid 12:47 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle, To illustrate the point: I can tell you that STAIRWAYTOHEAVEN plays on stations that describe themselves as "Album Rock of the 60s and 70s." But who performed the damned song?! OK, google says it was Led Zeppelin, which I perpetually mix up with Lynyrd Skynyrd/Free Bird, and associate with white-knuckled fear of junior high school bullies lurking in the stairwell by the gym -- a stairwell to hell, actually.

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Except for Fax Paladin's comment re Inspector Morse being a crossword fan, I didn't see comments about PBS's Morse. Why didn't Inspector Morse get a picture but Michael Morse (unrelated to the clue) did? Must be a generational thing...

JenCT 12:53 PM  

@Puzzle Girl: Your write-up made me laugh out loud!

Was so sure that it was MOIRA Tierney, not MAURA.

Yup, had the TAE BO tapes sitting on the bookshelf from years ago (when I could actually attempt doing them) - they finally made it into the library donation pile.

Liked the puzzle a lot.

@Z: Why, I think I will have a PALE ale, now that you mention it...

M and Also 1:05 PM  

day-um, @PuzGirl. Seventeen bullets! My kinda write-up. Sub of the year honors, to U.

Am so all-round delirious right now, may just root for them there Michigan teams, this afternoon.

This primo Platters hit, swathed in a Kiddie Pool runtpuz, seems like a good closin, for today...



Phil 1:15 PM  

Fun and easy.

NTS has never been thought, said, or written. Unacceptable, even in desperation.
@paulsfo - I would say not even one time.

J. D. KaPow 1:37 PM  

107D slowed me down for far too long because I refused to believe that the answer for "longing looks" could possibly be "leers". Rejected it several times before finally submitting. So yeah, I'm with you on that one.

Mark 1:49 PM  

TEENAGER IN LOVE was the first (and easiest) to fall for me. Thanks to Bob Kerfuffle for posting lyrics that often sing in my head: "Each night I ask the stars without fail, Why must I be a teenager in jail?"

Norm 1:50 PM  

I would have preferred [UNDER] MY THUMB to SMOKE [ON] THE WATER, but this was a fun puzzle. I especially liked how each of the theme answers handled it in a completely different way. Very elegant. And, I hope none of you geography-phobes were baffled by SITKA. That was actually one of the names I considered for gone-many-years-now KISKA, the cat who ended up being called GOOSE because she was silly as [and wasn't that a clue just the other day?]. Happy Sunday, all.

Gill I. P. 1:58 PM  

I almost stopped after SUBSISTENCE farming but it's Sunday and so I must forge on...So, I kept hammering away at the puzzle and the AHA'S and the OOH'S just kept falling out of my mouth.
When I finally got to NOOMDAB I shouted in my poached eggs and took another sip of Bloody Mary...
Did anyone else spell LOOFAS as LufFas? - probably not. Oh, thanks for the BARK expl...that was my biggest WTF Oh wait why is Boss Tweed's nemesis NAST or am I missing the obvious---Conde Nast?
Thank you Peter Collins...this was fun and made my brunch even more enjoyable.

red[x] 2:00 PM  

Hi all,
Just found this blog the other day after the magmic Beatles 'Side PI' debacle brought me here. Great site!

Agree 100% about LEER. Leer is more covetousness than longing in my book. ODED I've seen often enough but it just seems to me that the clue breaks good crossword convention by not implying shorthand. Am I wrong? TOELOOP/TERO was the last cross standing for me.

wreck 2:02 PM  

Got a late start on this one. I got the theme pretty quickly with SMOKE "on" THEWATER. The most trouble was LO-ATEENAGER-VE. That had me spinning for too long!

Thomas Nast 2:05 PM  

Thomas Nast

Gill I. P. 2:26 PM  

@Thomas Nast. That is by far the hardest head slap I've given my self in a long time...Thomas NAST has always been my favorite cartoonist because he invented the current look of our jolly Santa. Why, pray tell, did I get in my head that Boss Tweed was the name of a singing group? Too much Bloody and maybe not enough Mary.

mac 2:40 PM  

Great write-up, thank you, PuzzleGirl!
I felt the same about Pluto...

Nice puzzle, which got more fun when I figured out the theme. TimeTime and Rock around the Clock were my favorites.

@Gill I. P.: I considered inserting a U somewhere in loofas, because I thought, with just the D in place, that 42D might be drum roll. Good clues all around (stared at 14A and BIDET crossed my mind). Nice to have tetes and vue cross, and the German translation of beer.

I think I have seen all episodes of Morse, Inspector Lewis and Endeavor twice, at least.

Jim Finder 3:28 PM  

Bob Kerfuffle, thanks for the memories. I fondly remember both the original and the parody.

Nancy 3:30 PM  

Had to come here to realize I should have enjoyed it more and that it's pretty clever. But I never picked up the gimmick, even when I had LOATEENAGERVE. (Whaaaa????) And that was the only song title I knew anyway. It's not Peter Collins' fault, but I'm with Dave r. -- it was a slog for me too.

quilter1 3:45 PM  

Busy day but finally got to the puzzle and I'm so glad I did. What fun and the comments are really cute today.
So, a BEDSTRAW story. When my granddaughter Patty was visiting she got a tick while fishing. We got it off, quite an ordeal for her. Later we were reading The Little House on the Prairie. Pa had just finished the bedstead and Ma stuffed a tick with fresh straw and put it on the bed. Patty shrieked Whaaaat! Why would she put a tick on the bed??? Oh, the joys of the English language.
I was also chuffed to see svieks in the clue and LATVIA the grid. Easy for me as I married a Latvian and have said svieks many times to many people.

jae 3:47 PM  

Inspector Morse is also available on Netflix streaming. Its worth a look.

retired_chemist 3:51 PM  

Easy and fun. Got the theme a bit late since the Bill Haley song I was looking for was THirteen Women - the B side to the correct answer. Once THE CLOCK was in place I filled in the circles correctly, but still didn't see the exact theme until TIME (after) TIME. A TEENAGER (in) LO..........VE still flummoxed me momentarily, but once I saw it its brilliance was apparent.

There is a (perhaps apocryphal) story about a letter in the nineteenth century addressed as below. It was delivered correctly. Do you see where it should have gone?


Thanks, Mr. Collins, for a nice puzzle, and thanks to PG for a fun writeup.

nvm 4:08 PM  

why would a comment be removed? : /

Fred Romagnolo 4:36 PM  

Curmudgeon, I'm 82, knew some of the titles and guessed the rest, once I got the gimmick. but never could figure "Bad Moon Rising." I really liked the barrooms clue, also "Star Dust," and "Dick and Jane." Seem like sops to us old-timers. Same with Kiner. I also welcomed oldie "etnas." Does "between the legs" in the baton clue refer to legs of the race?

mathguy 4:44 PM  

I'm an 80yrold but I knew all the songs except Smoke Over the Water. I don't think I ever heard the Creedence song but I remember Berman on ESPN referring to the excellent NFL receiver Andre Rison as Bad Moon Rison.

Really enjoyed it. Happy to hear that the constructor is a math teacher from Michigan. I'm a retired math teacher who spent three wonderful summers studying in a National Science Foundation Institute at Central Michigan University.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:59 PM  

@retired_chemist - Can you answer the question asked by nvm as to why certain posts have been removed? (Usually it is the poster's choice, but that seems not to fit today.)

I had figured out two of Evil Doug's phrases (ring around the rosy, and the other one I forget) but I couldn't decipher the third.

I also don't know the Come down Come down Mary or whatever it is.

If you have the answers, please send them to Mr. John Underwood, Andover, Mass.


Z 5:01 PM  

@nvm - something odd is going on with your posts. Your question showed up in my email (I check off the email follow-up box) but I don't see your question, or any earlier post from you in the comments. Normally, posts are removed by their authors (if they have a google account) or very rarely by Rex. However, there will still be a "comment removed" comment in the original's place. At any rate, I don't think your comment has been removed by anyone.

M and A Help Desk 5:04 PM  

@retired_chemist dude:
I'da probably sent that letter to:

John Underwood,
Andover, Mass

Woulda charged extra postage, since no double-?? on the encrypted address.

Post M&Aster

billocohoes 5:23 PM  

I assume AliasZ was going for the Association's "Along Comes Mary" but I'm not sure it really works.

Anonymous 7:10 PM  

Thanks PG! For women LEERS are def not longing looks and I thank you for putting it up front. Thought MRPIBs was the drink and no help from "muff a grounder" as I had no idea what that meant (so sOOTIT) could've worked. Rest was super easy. Nice work, sub!

Arlene 7:27 PM  

I solve Sunday on Saturday - with pen and paper (so finished long before this blog went up). Song titles aren't my strong point because of my hearing loss history. But I finished - and thought this was a really cute themed puzzle. I also wondered about the lack of theme answers in the SE area, but if that's the price of including Dick and Jane, I'm fine with that!

OISK 7:30 PM  

Glad to have heard from @deanR, so I know that I am not alone in disliking this one. I don't like rock and roll, never did, so this puzzle was built around songs that either I've never heard of (Smoke on the Water) have heard of the title but have never listened to (Bad Moon Rising), have heard but dislike, (Rock around the Clock, Teenager in love, Stand By your Man, and one great song, "Time after time" that I certainly have never associated with Cyndy Lauper (not that I really would know her if I heard her). She actually recorded that great standard?? So, the puzzle evoked mostly unpleasant memories, where it evoked any memories at all. I dislike product fill (Mr. Pibb?? NYTOL, NTS, ) and never heard of "Twerk." In fact, although I had "Twerk" I was sure that I had an error, but no, my winning streak is intact. (three and a half weeks ago, I never heard of "Gchat") There was plenty more not to like, but I appear to be a lonely voice, and I have said more than enough.

Z 7:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 7:46 PM  

@OISK - Frank Sinatra and Eva Cassidy you might like, but hardly the same tune. I have my doubts that you would like the Cyndi Lauper version.

One should never "brag" about one's bracket. Karma will get you. Speaking of MSU losing today, where was our Obama clue. Shortz is slacking off on his left wing propagandizing.

{Sorry - I messed up the Sinatra link the first time}

michael 8:03 PM  

Surprised to see "subsistence farming" -- something I've written books about, but not the sort of thing I expect to see in the puzzle. I was going to write "poor Pluto," but Puzzle Girl (who used to live in my town) beat me to it...

Fortunately, I knew the songs, but this puzzle would have been hard for someone who didn't.

retired_chemist 8:38 PM  

@Bob K - I am not seeing any posts for either evil or nvm. Don't know why posts are missing. I am having trouble with Yahoo groups myself recently, which I am guessing has to do with tightened security. It seems to affect a few hundred users and they haven't fixed it in weeks. Perhaps Google Blogger has dome something similar.

Questinia 9:19 PM  

This puzzle nice Peter Collins.

Loved SUBSISTENCE. Live in a farmhouse once owned by such a farmer in 1800. Hardscrabble hinterlands. Big House-Little House-Back House-Barn.

OISK 9:28 PM  

@Z. Thanks. Of course I am familiar with the Sinatra version. It is in the film "It happened in Brooklyn", and I think he sings it to Kathryn Grayson, who nevertheless chooses to go off with Peter Lawford. Does Lauper sing an entirely different song, or does she just butcher this one?

Gill I. P. 9:55 PM  

@Questinia...I had to look up SUBSISTENCE farming because it was a new word for me. After I did, I kept thinking of "The Grapes of Wrath" - or is that on the wrong track?

Z 10:28 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 10:29 PM  

@OISK - Entirely different song. The Eva Cassidy version of the Lauper song might appeal to you. Click on the blue.

@Gill I.P. - Right tract, as it were.

Tita 10:32 PM  

Great fun - I am a huge fan of these kind of puzzles. The combination of visuals and words makes for some good flexing of those synapses.

Thank you Mr. Collins!

KFC 11:28 PM  

Awfully presumptuous to assume a singer you've never heard would butcher a song. You should check your front yard, I'm pretty sure there are kids on your lawn.

Lori 11:47 PM  

Maybe I'm cranky today, but this was not one of my favorite puzzles. As soon as Rock Around the Clock fell into place, I went looking for a similar word placement gimmick for the songs in the other clues - all of which were, I thought, very, very easy. (I'm probably just in the right age bracket - but all the titles were well-known to me.) Nothing wrong with the puzzle and it was still fun to solve, but I don't like to just be able to write in the theme answers without at least a little more pencil-biting. Thanks anyway!

Gill I. P. 12:26 AM  

@Z you get me every time...
@OISK... I always read you and you make me smile and laugh at the same time. I think dang, this dude has lived where??
I came to this US of A when I was 13 - back in the late 60's - then left again for 9 years or so and kept bouncing back between several countries before settling here but DANG, the things you've never heard of seriously amaze me...-)

nurturing 3:22 AM  

@quilter1 @3:45:

It's spelled 'sveiks', not 'svieks'.

Anonymous 4:51 AM  

My Name is johnson Wilson..I never
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name and her picture..i gave him
that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it
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casters and there was no solution…so when
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and after that he helped me with a
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Posting this to the Forum in case there is
anyone who has similar problem and still
looking for a way can reach him

Z 7:38 AM  

@Gill I.P. - "you get me every time" - I was just trying to be punny while letting you know that you are correct.

Gill I. P. 8:24 AM  

@Z that's what I meant...You are so isoteric ;-)

Lois 8:27 AM  

I'd like to slightly dissent from the unanimity on LEER. I initially agreed with you all. But when it had to be LEER, I decided it was a pleasant misdirection, that is, the misdirection was pleasant, not the thought of the leer. The clue and answer made one think a little out of the box, like the whole puzzle, which was great.

Anonymous 3:31 PM  

I agree the "leer" was misdefined, but it was close enough that it was easily gettable. What I liked about this puzzle was that it required no Googling, at least for me. It was a clear sail straight through, no pop culture trivia that I couldn't figure out. Puzzle Girl -- as for "Morse", PBS stations still re-run the series, which was tremendously popular amongst eggheads. If you ever want to feel so depressed about the world and human nature that you are almost suicidal, watch the Inspector Morse mysteries -- they'll get you there real quick!

Dave 5:48 PM  

Ripped through this one until I confidently wrote in JACK AND JILL. And except for JA and ILL, it worked fine. Finally did the mental reboot and was done promptly. (know I'm late - got way behind due to vacation and being enough of a stick in the mud to prefer puzzles on paper)

spacecraft 10:55 AM  

@Dave, you're not alone. I got my primers mixed up with my Mother Geese (?) and put in those tumblers as well. Shoulda known the CCR rebus sooner, but it just took a couple of longing looks--which I agree are NOT LEERS.

After yesterday's debacle, it's only fitting that MY era gets a hit. When ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK came out, I WAS, in fact, A TEENAGER IN LOVE. But when she didn't STAND BY her MAN, I felt a BAD MOON RISIN.' Then I went for a SMOKE ON THE WATER.

Yet it wasn't all nostalgia: TWERK is right up-to-the-minute. Proving, TIME AFTER TIME, that new is not necessarily better. Are you listening, Miley?

I used to work in a lab, but I never heard of "ETNAS." Maybe Mr. C. is referring to REALLY old, old burners.

This one was fun to do, with some nice cluing and not that much flotsam in the fill. Thumbs up.

Deuces full. YOUIN?

Dirigonzo 3:13 PM  

I loved solving this puzzzle for two reasons: if I have a wheelhouse those songs are in it (well, except TIMETIME but that came on the crosses) and I was able to sit in the sun on the deck with the barest minimum of clothing on: Yay, Spring! I remember when ILLER first appeared in a puzzle it caused all kinds of consternation here but now, not a peep; has it become crosswordese already? Hmm, I just noticed I finished with an error, but who cares? Not me.

I'm guessing that 4 nines will be good enough today, so yeah, I'm in.

Solving in Seattle 3:49 PM  

This Collins puz got better throughout the solve. Caught on to the gimmick with LOATEENAGERVE. They have these kind of puzzles in the back page of USA magazine that comes with our weekly free newspaper. Fun solves.

Au currant with TWERK and JLO crossing ILLER.

@Diri, sunny and low 60s today here too, so I'm heading for the golf course. Your four 9s is/are good by me.

rain forest 6:30 PM  

Nice puzzle by a (apparently) nice guy, nice write-up by the always perky PG, and mostly nice comments, except for a couple of curmudgeons. Really enjoyed the word arrangement thing, and what @Spacey said.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

Morse is a tightly-written detective series with an equally watchable sequel, Lewis--BBC offering on PBS. Worth your pledge $$. ;-)

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Carve your initials in the t tree!

RonL 8:52 PM  

Too bad 60A STARDUST wasn't part of the theme. That's the 1927 song by Hoagy Carmichael.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

Mr T NOT Tero
Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud; May 21, 1952

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Mr T NOT Tero
Mr. T (born Laurence Tureaud; May 21, 1952


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