Heavenly figure in Hesse / THU 3-6-14 / Singer with 1986 #1 album Promise / Tullius in Marcus Tullius Cicero / Land name before 1939 / Paris-based grp since 1945 / Honey-soaked dessert / Some kind of Dick Van Dyke comedy

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Constructor: Daniel Raymon

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: SOAP BOX (37A: Platform … or something that appears four times in this puzzle?) — rebus puzzle where four squares contain the names of four different bar soaps:


Word of the Day: BIBI Andersson (56A: Actress Andersson) —
Bibi Andersson ((Swedish pronunciation: [ˈbɪ.ˈbɪ ˈandɛˈʂɔn]); born 11 November 1935) is a Swedish actress. […] After completing school, she agreed to join the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, which she was associated with for 30 years. Her first collaboration with Ingmar Bergman was in 1951, when she participated in his production of an advertisement for the detergent "Bris". In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, she starred in more than ten Bergman-directed pictures, including The Seventh SealWild StrawberriesBrink of LifeThe MagicianThe Passion of AnnaThe Touch and Persona. (wikipedia)
• • •

My difficulty rating may be due partly to my illness hangover, but I do think this one was tougher than normal. I knew something was wrong when I couldn't get decent traction anywhere, and then I saw that there was something going on with BOX, so I figured out that it was a rebus at PISTON ENGINE, but at that point I didn't have the SOAP part of SOAPBOX, and I had no idea that TONE was even a soap brand, so I fumbled around a bit more until finally SOAP fell into place. After that, the first thing I did was go looking for DIAL—a true godsend for my truly messed-up NE corner, where I had had FATE for [Lot] and ACRID for [Sharp], and simply no idea about [Prima ___]. The worst hole I fell into, however, was BROCADE where BRONZESTAR was supposed to go (4D: Military decoration). I feel certain that some military uniforms feature BROCADE as a decorative element. Maybe I'm thinking of the gold rope stuff … attached to epaulets? Whatever the rationale, BROCADE stuck for a while. Only got into that section, finally, by working my way up from LABOR. Finished things up in the SW, which was harrowing, as I had no idea about the [Capital on the Danube], even after getting BR-, and so I was basically staring at a blank 4x5 grid down there. A lot can go wrong in that small a space. But OTIS and RUBIK were gimmes, and somehow off just "O" I guessed KABOB, and everything kept falling into place until I finally had that last damned rebus square cornered.

Have to go to bed now. Need more recovery sleep. Need to teach tomorrow. Above all, need to be healthy for my trip to Brooklyn this weekend. Which reminds me, I should really get a blog sub for Saturday and Sunday … I always forget until the last minute. PuzzleGirl won't be able to do it 'cause she'll be in Brooklyn with me. Speaking of, a million thanks to her for covering for me on almost no notice last night. My wife was actually the one who had to ask her to fill in for me, because *I* was in one of those illness-stupor-sleeps that cannot be stopped by mortal hand. Sleep paid off. Much much better today. Hoping the trend continues tomorrow.

And so to bed.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:04 AM  

Delightful rebus Thurs.  Easy-medium for me.  Tried STRaus before STROHS but was short an S and then realized it was a local brew.

Crossword only knowledge: ARN, OKAPI, ARIE, AGAR, ANIL


I'm finding myself taking Andrea's point of view these days.  If the puzzle's Gestalt feels good I don't really care about the glue it took to make it work.  That said, a sloppy glue job can ruin the Gestalt.  So, this was a fun solve.  Nice one Daniel!

A speedy recovery Rex!

wreck 12:16 AM  

I struggled solving each rebus thinking "platform" would somehow relate to each one of the four. I got LAVA first then TONE second and could not make a connection between the 2 until I got SOAPBOX. After finally finishing, I thought SOAPBOX would have been better as SOAPBAR. I think of soap boxes as laundry detergent.
I think it would have also helped to somehow have the shared rebus clues and answers relating to "getting clean."
Other than that, the majority of the puzzle seemed pretty easy.

Aroma Crosser Moonstones 12:38 AM  

Yes, detergent, but think GETOFFYOURSOAPBOX, And the rebus square is the "box". Love it, crazy clever.

Like @rex i didn't know TONE was a soap...and that was the first one I got too
(as I didn't know what a PIS ENGINE was! Didn't even want to imagine!)

Despite now having the earworm "ZESTfully clean ZESTfully clean, you're not fully clean till your ZESTfully clean"...I'm happy!

Loved the crunchiness of the X and Z. No Q or V as far as I could see,
Five Ks + JINX and JAMBS right out of the box was super cool!
but I'll come "clean" I don't actually care if things are pangrams or not, but when they are, it's just an extra moment of fun, esp for those of us who love Scrabble.

Odd it's become a club for crankies to wield, all this misplaced spite over something that is just an extra dollop of fun and gives, um, THE X Factor some puzzles have. :)

BAKLAVA/BRATISLAVA is one of the most sophisticated crossings/rebuses I've ever seen.

And that BRONZESTAR/SEIZETHEDAY runs a close second!!!

This puzzle, Mr. Raymon, ROKS!

Moly Shu 12:51 AM  

Nice one. Medium-difficult for me. Had ONEON/OKAPI/KOS and SPRINT and nothing else, and knew I was in for a tussle. Like @Rex (glad you are feeling better) first 2 rebuses were TONE and ZEST, got the connection, and SOAPBOX fell. This was a case of the theme helping me finish. After I got DIAL, I knew it had to be LAVA, but where to put it? Finally got it and put the F in RAFT as a final keystroke. Still can't figure how that works for lot. Someone please enlighten me, don't let me wallow in my own stupidity.

Thx to listening to Rammstein, got ENGEL. Maybe an acquired taste, but they rock.

Liked the workout a lot, thx Daniel

wreck 12:58 AM  

I think of "raft" as 'a raft of knowledge' or a 'raft load of manure' -- meaning a great deal of.

Steve J 1:01 AM  

Couldn't get into this one at all. My brain is fried after a stressful day at work, so maybe that was it. Whatever the cause, even though I suspected a rebus early, and knew it was coming when I got SOAPBOX early on as well, I just couldn't find where the damn things went. I didn't help myself with several missteps, like giG instead of MEG, cAr TIRE instead of RADIAL TIRE (you'd think I'd notice that cAFT wasn't anything), CROSSEd instead of CROSSER, 24-seven instead of -KARAT, etc.

Also wasn't helped by having no idea what a NOMEN is.

Anyway, I made enough of a mess of things that there's no way I could judge whether this was any good or whether any opinion I had was doomed to be tainted by sour grapes.

Acme 1:02 AM  

@moly shu
This comes up every time raft/lot is used. Think "a raft of things" = a lot of things... It's just not used a lot. I mean, a raft of times. No, I mean, a lot!
Look up a raft of otters if you want to see a raft of cuteness!

Acme 1:04 AM  

Well, as long as I'm still up... NOMEN I think is just latin for name, like NOMENCLATURE and NOMINATE (name a candidate) and, well, name!

chefwen 1:38 AM  

I made a hot mess out of this one too. BAba at 65A, thought to self "no that's soaked in rum, not honey, and you call yourself a chef, try again" wanted Budapest for 42D, not to be. Light bulb clicked on and I came up with BAK(LAVA), o.k. smarty pants, now you've got your recipes right, and BRATIS(LAVA). Still had no idea about the soaps until I got the ZEST box. O.K. were talking soaps here, cute! I started looking for DOVE, which is what I use, but had to settle for DIAL (a little more harsh) but still gets the job done. That corner almost did me in as I was loathe to change prima donna at 12D.

As most of you know REBUS puzzles are my favorite and this one filled the bill. Thanks Daniel Raymon.

Glad you are feeling better Rex.
Knock 'em dead at the tourney and instruct someone to take a lot of pics.

AliasZ 2:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliasZ 2:06 AM  

IHADA great time solving this puzzle despite ARN, ANIL, ANUT, AGAR and AÇAÍ. Plus ROKS, ONEON, ONEND and the MED-MEG pair. But if these were necessary to make an otherwise sparkling puzzle, SOBE it.

I caught on to the rebus at the BRATIS[LAVA]/BAK[LAVA] crossing when most of the top half was still blank, which then immediately gave me SOAPBOX with only three letters. After that it was the hunt for the other three rebi. My favorite was the SEI[ZEST]HEDAY / BRON[ZEST]AR crossing. Ingenious! I was looking for DOVE, LUX, CAMAY, IVORY, SAFEGUARD, IRISH SPRING, LIFEBUOY, et al., because I never heard of [TONE] soap. Oh, well. I can imagine how hard it would've been to come up with two phrases having any of the other soap brands incorporated in them: HAN[DOVE]RFIST, KOMO[DOVE]NOM, CASTORANDPOL[LUX], ACID REF[LUX], etc.

I loved the BRUSSELS, BRATISLAVA on the Danube, PASADENA, IONIA and SIAM geographical references. Even A ROMA fit.

I had DADA first, since I remember reading somewhere that it is the most common first word out of the mouths of babes. Besides, DR GREEN looked as good to me as MR GREEN does. What do I know? But NOdEN didn't make any sense. Oh, it's NOMEN! It looks like a door sign for the ladies' room. The A at the WPA/ARN crossing was a guess. Luckily, the alphabet starts with A, so I didn't have that far to go. For "Prima ___" I started with DONNA, then VISTA only because Louis comes before Prima, not after. FACIE came with the help of [DIAL]ECT.

Perfect music for an early Thursday morning: the fifth movement of Symphony No. 3 by Gustav Mahler, to the text Es sungen drei ENGEL (There were three angels singing).

Nice one! JaNX, Daniel.

Happy Thursday!

I skip M-W 2:32 AM  

@Rex, hope you feel better soon..
Very clever puzzle. Even with the clue at 37 A and knowing it was a Thurs. ,, I didn't think rebus until soapbox appeared, and then dial fell in. Never heard of TONE either; tried STON first ,but made no sense. I wonder whether a classicist would tell us that nomen refers specifically to a Roman's middle name?

JTHurst 2:34 AM  

I dislike rebus puzzles and with this one I had a raft of problems. I knew it was a rebus with the bac'lava'/Bratis'lava which I got quickly but then I went looking for other 'lava' junctures. Realized it was 'rubik' and Valiant's son arn dropped out easily with WPA and changed prima 'donna' to 'facie' but could never link up to 'raft'.

My major dissatisfaction was that I knew the medal must be bronze star, and the chocolate city was Brussels having bought many boxes in the airport and knew that cajun French was creole or dialect. I had the 'ct' so I assumed it must 'lect' an abbr. Never got the 4 different soaps. Got the SE and SW areas and knew it was Unesco so engine fell out, but!

I would love some guidance on how you use words you are pretty sure of but can't make the crosses work. How do you know when it is a singular rebus word or a multiple?

I would like to seize the Thursday rebus puzzle someday but I have a lot of work to do.

jae 2:35 AM  

To further clarify NOMEN:
Nomen, the middle part of Ancient Roman names indicating the gens to which he belonged, for example Marcus Tullius Cicero.

jae 2:42 AM  

@I Skip -- I'm obviously not a classicist, but I just did. Thank you Wiki.

John Child 4:09 AM  

I had two DIALs, the tire and then ra[dial]eNGINE, And thought, "Can he use 'radial' twice? Are they all going to be radials? Progress slowed for a while until he lovely LAVA cross fell and the second DIAL came out.

Never heard of TONE soap, so that was a second slow down. Saturday-like time here. Excellent fun.

Danp 5:49 AM  

Never played Clue, so I guessed Dr Green. M made more sense in Nomen since NOM means name. Then I'm thinking, "Oh, please. Don't tell me he uses 'First word' as a clue for that stupid song, Dama Lama Ding Dong!" That's kinda how this puzzle made me feel.

Couldn't think of any Asian desserts except fortune cookies. Never heard of Sobe or Bibi Anderson. Now my goal is to learn the capitals of new countries. This will be a learning experience. Great puzzle. Humbling, but great.

jberg 7:47 AM  

Amazing how many capital cities are on the Danube. I didn't think of BRATISLAVA until I got the rebus from SOAP BOX, BRONZE STAR, and DIALECT. I guess I have heard of TONE, too, though not very often. Maybe this product placement will help get them going.

This was tough for me, mainly because I was set on giG at 3d. MEGs are so last year.

My other problem was obscure-to-me proper names, like BIBI and ARIE, not knowing where in Texas Amarillo is - had to be W, but I was thinking SW. Thank God for ARN, or I might still be stuck!

Oh yeah, "New Deal inits." You might as well say "three letters."

@Jthurst-- I solve on paper, so for me the cue that it's a rebus is a) it's Thursday, and b) parts of my grid are all messed up by excessive writeovers.

ACrid, ACute, ACERB!

evil doug 8:04 AM  

For those of you who praise every puzzle--or feel obliged to defend your own--a truly superior effort such as this might get lost in all the hyperbolic prose. This is a first rate puzzle in design, execution and fill--pangram or not.

Jambs, rigor, usurped, Cecil (I'd go with Beany), Siam, haste, Sprint, soot, Pasadena--and for a change, the words and phrases which pivot around the theme answers are all clever and fresh.

And while I hate to kick him while he's down, even a shout-out to Michael Acerb....


AliasZ 8:25 AM  

Please forgive the length of this historical diversion.

BRATISLAVA (Ger.: Pressburg, Hun.: Pozsony) had been a very important city of Hungary, with a mix of German, Hungarian and Slovak inhabitants, throughout its long turbulent history. In the 10th century, the territory of Pressburg (Pozsony County) became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The city later developed as a key economic and administrative center on the kingdom's frontier. Its strategic position destined it to be the site of frequent attacks and battles, but also brought it economic development and high political status. Pozsony was granted its first known "town privileges" in 1291 by King András III, and was declared a free royal town in 1405 by King Zsigmond of Hungary.

During the occupation of Buda (Budapest today) by the Turks in 1526, the crown jewels of Hungary were taken to Pozsony, and the city was designated as the capital of Royal Hungary in 1536. It was the meeting place of the Hungarian Diet from 1542 to 1848, and the coronation town for Hungarian kings and queens from 1536 to 1830. Bratislava was also an important political and cultural center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of WW I, when it was annexed by newly-formed Czechoslovakia as a result of the Treaty of St. Germain, 1918. It became the capital of Slovakia upon its separation from the Czech Republic on January 1, 1993.

Famous natives of Bratislava include German composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778–1837) and Hungarian composer Ernő (Ernst von) Dohnányi (1877–1960). It was also the town where W.A. Mozart gave his only concert in Hungary in 1762. Franz Liszt often performed here and loved the city.

The best way to close is with a few Symphonic Minutes by Ernő Dohnányi, the picture of Bratislava providing the visual background. You may CLAP when it's over.

Susan McConnell 8:27 AM  

Hard, but a fun challenge.

Side note: my husband nearly killed an OKAPI at the San Diego zoo years ago. Suffice it to say, when the sign says "Do Not Feed The Okapi", do NOT feed the okapi.

Mohair Sam 8:43 AM  

Lotta fun with this challenging (for me) Thursday. If I solved alone this would have been a disastrous DNF. Before my wife came down to breakfast I had 6 gimmes and no traction. One gimme was MRsplum, one was eland (giraffe thing), and another was cAReT. I was going nowhere. She arrived with "That could be MRGREEN, that's OKAPI, and you've misspelled KARAT.

Hands up with the TONE soap? group. Actually said aloud "That should be PISTONENGINE but there's no TONE soap." Again thankful for solving partner.

If you like reading mysteries try going back to one of the originals in "The MOONSTONE", but not until you've read "The Woman in White."

Glad @Rex is feeling better, shame on those who suspected hooky.

Terrific puzzle Daniel Raymon, thanks.

Norm C. 8:46 AM  

Expecting a rebus before I even started the puzzle, as soon as I put in BRONZE with one square left, I convinced myself that the rebus word was STAR. You could say that slowed me down a little bit.

My main complaint with the cluing was "Traction provider" for RA[DIAL]TIRE. Up here in the NE, radials don't offer that much more traction than an ordinary tire. Radial has to do with the tire's construction, not its tread.

Now, a _snow_tire or _winter_tire or _all season_ tire: those would provide traction. You can't imagine how much I wanted to fit [Ivory Snow]TIRE into the grid for that answer.

Other than that the south central was the toughest spot for me.

Spring any day, now!

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

I haven't had this much fun in ages!

joho 8:59 AM  

This was everything I want and love in a rebus ... I struggled but was able get it bit by bit. Even with ZEST figured out, I didn't have SOAPBOX so the penny didn't drop. I got TONE next and that didn't click as a soap. Next was DIAL and the AHA was had! LAVA followed quickly because it had to be BAKLAVA. This was absolute heaven!

Well, somebody's got to say it, thank you, Daniel Raymon, for today's good clean fun!

Suzy 8:59 AM  

Tough puzzle-- brought no joy, even with the occasional Google-- look forward to Friday!

joho 9:00 AM  

Oh, and @Rex, I hope you get better quick!

Glimmerglassf 9:16 AM  

Challenging for me, but if I can solve the puzzle, that's the kind I like best. I thought the unusual rebus-crossings were clever.

OISK 9:27 AM  

Have visited Bratislava a couple of times, during the bad old days when there was barbed wire on the Danube to keep the locals from escaping to Austria. Since I dislike product references in general, a puzzle based on them is never going to be my cup of soap. Still, had to admire the cleverness. I had some trouble due to not knowing who or what Sade is, and forgetting the Clue characters, and having double crossed, then double crosses, instead of crosser.
Despite my personal misgivings, (there is a brand called "Tone"?) a very worthy Thursday.

ArtO 9:32 AM  

Usually like rebus puzzles but after LAVA was looking for Dove and Dial but couldn't break through. That said, kudos for a well done, challenging effort.

Moly Shu 9:44 AM  

@AlphaCharlieMike, thanks for the raft/lot explanation. Never heard of raft used that way. Duly filed away in my brain. Ah , the things one learns on the RP blog

Questinia 9:49 AM  

Same mental condition as @ Steve J and Rex. Doing Thursdays on an iPad on a rollicking late night train out of NYC tends to be migraine-inducing as is but yesterday I added a giant hot salt pretzel to the mix. Carbohydrate-induced drastic IQ reduction with bleary-eyed, perseverative tendencies ensued.

I wanted Dove. I scoured the grid for Dove. I went looking for Dove in all the wrong spaces. There was Zest, Dial, Tone and Lava. So instead of Dial I put in Dove just to even out the boy and girl soaps and I didn't care how it read. Did I mention I can get a bit cranky?

Z 9:54 AM  

Was happy to see the "challenging" rating because that was what it was for me.

NO NAMES / NOMEN - cute.

Writeovers were lead to PART for my tenor, PacS to PTAS for my fund-raisers, UNicef to UNESCO, and chAI to ACAI for my yogurt. Hand up for not believing TONE is a soap. KABOB slowed me down because who knows how it will be spelt today.

BIBI was a WOE until I filled it and it looked vaguely familiar from other puzzles. BRATISLAVA looked plausible (I could not place it accurately on a map). If not for RUBIK and OTIS Redding I would have had a DNF.

So, if the founder of the company was an immigrant it is fair to describe the company/product as being from the same country as the founder? That's the only way I can reconcile Detroit's STROH'S as a "German Beer." STROH'S is a pilsner, which is a Czech style beer. How does this clue work?

@Evil Doug - you make a great point starting with your 16th word, I would have deleted the first 15.

TONE 10:00 AM  

Tone Skin Care

Carola 10:04 AM  

Very nice! Me, too, on having a tough time getting traction anywhere, but way down in the SW corner BAKLAVA and BRATISLAVA popped into focus. That allowed me to finish up SOAP BOX and understand the rebus idea, but it still was a fun challenge to figure out where the other three SOAPs were. BRONZESTAR x SEIZE THE DAY - genius. I second @Evil Doug re the RAFT of other very nice entries.

@Moly Shu - Awesome to get ENGEL from Rammstein!

@Rex - Glad you're feeling better.

@Evan and @Puzzlegirl from yesterday - I wasn't able to post but wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the puzzle (super cute idea and great execution, Evan) and the write-up (esp. Carolyn Keen lore, Puzzlegirl).

@loren from yesterday - I have a copy of the Dana girls' first, By the Light of the Study Lamp, of the same vintage as your Tapping Heels, a treasured possession. Glad to hear girls are still inhaling Nancy Drew.

Casco Kid 10:20 AM  

1:45. Treated myself to 5 googles after an hour. Still ended with 5 errors. A typical Thursday, so I'd call it moderately unsolvable. Good news: I got all 4 soaps, kicking and screaming. Nothing fell easily except perhaps SOAPBOX itself.

Errors: USUallD not USURPED, which mean that MRGREEN, OKAPI, NOMEN were mangled. Also CROSSEs not CROSSER further mangling poor MRGREEN.

Rabbit hole report:

donna then oliva before FACIE. JoinS before JIBES. ploT for RAFT. French Cajun was a multiply rebus-able cuisine before a DIALECT. TITOS was the anchor there. Everything lose was fluid, fluid fluid.

Belgrade and Budapest, with any manner of odd rebuses before BRATISLAVA.

I had different rebuses going for each of SEIZETHEDAY and BRONZESTAR, until I noted the proper tense SEIZES and things got better.

Things do get better, don't they? Yes they do! Mrs. Kid, the In-Laws Kid and I are off to EIRE and CYMRU Saturday. Pilgrimages to the Kid homestead/pile-o-stones in Bryncrug near Tywyn and Dylan Thomas digs in Swansea. It's gonna be a CEILIDH.

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

This just in, Strohs beer is an American brand of beer, not German.

Steve J 10:28 AM  

@Z: I was wondering the same thing about STROHS. It's not a German beer. It's American, in style and origin (I would not equate it with a Czech pilsner). No matter how I try to twist my brain around it, I cannot come up with a way in which that clue is correct, unless we're now calling all beers with Germanic names German.

RnRGhost57 10:29 AM  

Tough, smart rebus puzzle. Though like @Anonymous 10:21, pretty sure Strohs is American.

Mohair Sam 10:29 AM  

@Z - As I filled STROHS I thought I had just learned that the beer was from Germany, not Detroit. Good catch.

John V 10:35 AM  

Got killed. Very difficult. Also, never heard of TONE soap. Got the revealer but that was no help. Only got lava.

Will be in Brooklyn and hope to meet some folks, diseased or otherwise.

North Beach 10:39 AM  

RILEY'S steak. Surely that's a thing, yes?
....Oh, right.
Don't call me Shirley, Riley.

schmuzz 10:44 AM  

i put in STROHS and took it out after i reread the clue....and then popped it back in
(loved going on that brewery tour!!-very sad when it closed)

i couldn't remember TONE so PISENGINE stayed...
and i will now commit ARN to memory

mathguy 10:48 AM  

This is the first rebus I can remember where the words filling the single squares were all different. The first I got was DIAL and the second was TONE so I thought that the revealer had something to do with telephones. So the puzzle was a real challenge for me, which I like. There were enough gimmes and semi-gimmes to make it solveable.

When I was taking NSF institutes for math teachers in Mt. Pleasant Michigan I drank a lot of Stroh's beer. But I think that it has always been brewed in the US. The only thing German about it is its name.

Beautifully-conceived puzzle!

Two Ponies 11:03 AM  

I loved this twist on the usual rebus square. I knew bronze star had to be right but had to come back to it later. The SW nearly did me in.
Bibi who?
Wish I could go to Brooklyn.
Nice job Mr. Raymon!

lawprof 11:05 AM  

THIS is why I do the puzzle in pen on paper. Nowhere to hide. Can't erase. Can't type over. In the end the grid is a goopy mess. But I'm left with the rubble of a tough, satisfying journey.

LABOR gave me the initial "B" for a capital on the Danube, and BRATISLAVA dropped right in, so the rebus was spotted early on. Kept looking for "Tide," which never appeared. PISTONENGINE was slow coming because I've never heard of TONE soap. Similarly, ZEST and DIAL (which were familiar) emerged out of the gloom.

Along the way, though, I was slowed by a number of writeovers: rAilS/JAMBS; sECT/DIALECT (my apologies to all you Cajuns out there); PacS/PTAS; lonI/BIBI (did'nt notice the extra "s" in the clue); teaL/ANIL; donna/FACIE; haveA/IHADA.

All in all, a great Thursday workout. Thanks, Mr. Raymon

Sir Hillary 11:09 AM  

Wow, what a nifty puzzle! Superb rebus crosses and lots of freshness. And dare I say the fill is very, um, clean?

I poreD OVEr this one for a while, filling in a few entries here and there (TITOS, LABOR, OTIS, SPRINT, IONIA). The Danube capital confirmed the rebus, but my first assumption was that it was Budapest. I'm a pen-and-paper solver, and I had that awful feeling of not wanting to write anything in until I was sure of the answers.

Finally, SOAPBOX and [DIAL]ECT revealed themselves and thus the theme, and the rest fell pretty quickly. Last square filled was [TONE] because, like many other, I did not know Tone was a soap.

Thanks Daniel!

Bob Kerfuffle 11:21 AM  

From Bibi Andersson's biography, as quoted by Rex: "Her first collaboration with Ingmar Bergman was in 1951, when she participated in his production of an advertisement for the detergent "Bris". "

Not a very large Jewish community in Sweden at the time, I take it?

Ludyjynn 11:27 AM  

Loved it! I guess 'clean' living pays off, as the soaps theme revealed itself immediately through bronZESTar response. A gettable, medium-challenging Thursday.
Did I mention that I loved it? So clever.

Thank you, Daniel Raymon.

Nicorico 11:37 AM  

Stroh's is NOT a German beer. It's an "American-style lager"(wiki) from Detroit. Sure, the guy had a German grandfather, but...
Splitting hairs? Maybe, but I thought of Stroh's and didn't put it in because it's NOT A GERMAN BEER!

Mary Rivers 11:47 AM  

Arrggh! I got all the hard stuff, though not without a fight, and entirely missed BAKLAVA, unforgivable since I used to make it! So I ended up at the cross of Marcus Tullius Cicero and the inning thing, figuring it couldn't be ONEON / NOMEN because I needed a fourth rebus.

Big slap upside the head.

Casco Kid 11:49 AM  

By now we've noticed that fact is not a prerequisite for clueing under current NYTXW editorial standards. It is enough for a clue to reflect common misunderstanding, where "common" need only refer to spatiotemporal ignorant minority. STROHS, shmoes, I say! Pour me a something cold-and-local.

Numinous 12:15 PM  

I'm the oldest person to have ever competed in the National Debate Tournament. I was 50 and competed in the 50th NDT. Why am I telling you this? prima FACIE was a gimme for me. BTW, my partner and I finished last. Oh well; it's still better to be the worst of the rest than the best of the rest.

I was surprised when I opened Rexworld and saw his rating of challenging. I'd thought it challenging early on but found it got easier and easier as things began to fill themselves in. My iPad shuts off after five minutes. I had to breaks that shut it off but my time even with ten minutes idle still came in at a low medium time for me. ARN was another gimme for me but that's from puzzles. I got SOAPBOX before I got any of the rebi. Then, suddenly, looking at BRO__AR gave me ZEST. I wanted turbINE somehow but Daniel wouldn't cooperate with me. Looking at PIS _ _ _ INE gave me TONE and consequently NG. Hands up, no real recollection of TONE as a soap. Mucked about in the SW and put in lonI first but when I fugured out RUBIK (I was trying to remember his first name) BIBI came back to me. I've seen a lot of Bergman films in my life. I wanted sECT for the Coonasses. I figured it could probably be a RAFT but didn't put in the R. A bit of deep introspection and a sudden flash of insight and RADIAL seemed to glow before my very eyes to finish this really fun puzzle. I enjoyed the Brief world tour of B capiitals and the visit to the Rose Bowl Parade.

Thanks Daniel (Day-Lewis) Raymon.

dk 12:18 PM  

🌕🌕 (2 Moons) Not my cuppa as I do not know soap brands. I use Kirk's and have for a long time.

The theme fill was always just beyond my reach. Sigh.

Tommy to Dick: You know the song, it is very popular, you can do it. Dick to Tommy: perhaps if you hum a few bars I could fake it. Tommy to Dick: Soap, Soap, Soap.

Apologies to the Smother's Brothers.

Z 12:23 PM  

I'm taking a guess that I am the only commentator here who has a copy of Brewed in Detroit: Breweries and Beers since 1830 on their bookshelf. On pg. 58 author Peter Blum writes about Bernhard Stroh's ancestors: "A grandson of one of the four bakers, Johann Peter (1746-1810) branched out to keep an inn, where home-baked bread, home-cooked meals, and home-brewed beer were served. Town records showed him to be living in Kirn with his family in a house with adjoining brewhouse beginning in 1775. The brewing tradition of the Strohs had begun." Does this make the clue correct?

I am not convinced but have learned from hard experience to take great care before calling a clue, "wrong."

Karl 12:28 PM  

Didn't care for a couple of the clues in this one (e.g. doesn't ine have a BOUQUET rather than an AROMA?) but overall a fun solve.

Karl 12:28 PM  


Numinous 12:33 PM  

@Casco Kid, Glad to see you worked out your google+. And yes, it DOES get better. Would like to share something cold and local with you if only I could when you get back from the land of room temperature ales. Think of me when you have one in Cymru and I'll drink to you from here. Have a great vacation.

@NOMENclature: prenomen, nomen, cognomen. Gaius Iulius Caesar. They named him Gaius, his family was the Iulii. Caesar was that particular branch of cousins. Cognomen relates to cognizant; how that particular bunch of folks was known. I've read a ton of historical novels and because I like to check stuff, a bunch of Roman history too. No, I'm not a classicist either but my mother sort of was and would gossip to me about various characters from Greek and Roman history. Iulius was her hero . . , she died on the Ides of March. I write Julius with an I because I like to recall the influence Latin had on Germanic languages: ya for j, eye for ae and I like that Kaiser is closer to what we understand early, not church Latin sounded like.

AHWAY (ave) Y'all

Masked and Anonymo3Us 12:39 PM  

Figured out the ZESTbox fairly fast (by non-Feyer standards). Went on a quest for other lemon parts, but... no soap. Sure enjoyed the journey, tho. 99.9% pUrethUmbsUp fUn.

fave weejectae: ARN. The extra-special Woyal Weeject. WPA. Stands for Weeject Pawing ARN.
fave partial: IHADA. As in: ___ suspicion this was a rebus, when I first beheld that compact ThursPuz grid.

Epic stuff.
Only... next time, use My fave soaps: ZUST. DUAL. TUNE. LUVA.

U Luva,

Anoa Bob 12:44 PM  

If your vehicle ever gets stuck in some dirt or sand, let out a lot of air from your tires. This will cause them to get softer and wider. A fAt TIRE will give you more traction and may get you unstuck.

fAt TIRE also fits in 10D and makes the rebus there harder to suss out.

M and Also 12:50 PM  

Musnt forget UVURY soap. bhar.

mac 12:57 PM  

Brilliant puzzle! When I couldn't get a toehold easily, I looked for the reveal and was on my way. Zest was the first one to show up, but @Questinia, I also wasted a lot of time looking for Dove.

I lived in Germany for three years but I could not think of brands of German beer. Just the different kinds of beer. If I asked my husband he would probably rattle off a few.

Packing up to go to NY, meeting lots of Rexites tomorrow evening! My favorite weekend of the year.

KarenSampsonHudson 12:58 PM  

Feel better soon, Michael!

Milford 1:05 PM  

Mihi NOMEN est Milford, and I loved this puzzle. A struggle, and a rebus, makes for a great Thursday.

This week has been full of K-heavy puzzles, no? Love it. Also loved JAMBS, RIB-EYE, and PASADENA.

We had TONE soap in our house - it was an oval, light yellow bar, I believe.

We make BAK[LAVA] every year from my husband's yia-yia's recipe.

@Z - thank you for pointing out that STROH'S was a Detroit beer! I appreciate your research, but I'm not convinced. Unless the clue intended for us to take it as German-style? Which is still kinda wrong as you pointed out by the Czech/pilsner comment. Oh well.

@chefwen et al. - I was also looking for Dove to be one of the SOAPs.

@Moly Shu - I loved your reference of ENGEL to Rammstein! My husband has been to one of their concerts, and he said it was the best concert he has ever attended.

@Alias Z - I also had the whole dAdA/dR.GREEN/NOdEN mess as well, until the bitter end. I think most babies make their "d" sounds first.

Like @Rex I had ACute before ACERB. Feel better @Rex - hope the drugs don't slow you down too much.

Milford 1:11 PM  

@Anoa Bob - I considered (pre-rebus realization) fat TIRE for the "Traction provider", also, because of the reason you stated. I can also point out that it's a delicious, non-German, and non-Detroit beer that we can have with our STROH'S, BAKLAVA, RIB-EYE, and A NUT.

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Enjoyed it and finished it - but no happy pencil for me! Looked and looked, then had to give up. Turns out RUBIc and BAcLAVA were my downfall. I can never remember how to spell his name, and always get confused between C & K in BAKLAVA and BALACLAVA.

Z 1:21 PM  

I hesitate to post this lest it seem that my entire life revolves around beer, but RealBeer.com reports that Pabst is up for sale. If only I had a spare half billion.

And, as @Milford pointed out, Fat Tire is a fine choice when your car is stuck. Crack one open and call a tow truck....

Bird 1:21 PM  

Clues too difficult for a Thursday. Either that or my brain is on vacation.

Unable to get enough fill to get the theme so DNF.

Mark 1:47 PM  

Vaguely remembering cognomen and prenomen, for a while I had a rebus GNOME in SE, which did not help much. But Gnome soap would be as good as Tone soap, wouldn't it?

Fred Romagnolo 2:25 PM  

Like Rex, I had fate for raft, when I finally figured it out, I finished. Also never heard of Tone. As a historian, had no trouble with nomen; for "gens" think "clan" Gaius (or Caius): given name; Julius (Iulius): clan name; Caesar; family name. The yogurt flavor was new to me.

retired_chemist 3:04 PM  

Hand up for fate @ 10A.

Finished with one error. Had CROSSEd for 55A, perfectly correct given the clue. Had I looked carefully I could have realized that MR. G. dEEN (Perhaps Paula's husband) was not a likely Clue character, but who knew? Colonel Mustard is the only one I actually know.

Also do not recall TONE as a soap,but it sounded sort of right so I figured....

Four four-letter rebus squares, all different but interconnected words. Very nicely done!

Thanks, Mr. Raymon.

Lewis 3:26 PM  

Q - "I went looking for Dove in all the wrong places"... priceless

Hi, Evil!

I had a hard time with this -- the clues weren't on my wavelength -- but I ended up loving it nonetheless. In the end, it was fair. Never heard of TONE, and it doesn't sound like I'm alone. Could be the biggest weakness of the puzzle?

I would have thought the airport selling the most chocolate would have been in Switzerland. Why BRUSSELS?

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

Belgium is known for fine chocolate.

sanfranman59 4:19 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Thu 21:22, 18:35, 1.15, 77%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Thu 14:36, 10:36, 1.38, 88%, Challenging

retired_chemist 4:34 PM  

Belgium - Godiva chocolate.

LaneB 4:44 PM  

Delighted to figure this one out after getting the SOAPBOX tell. Recognized ZEST, LAVA and DIAL but was not familiar with TONE.. Survived lots of write overs-- SPRINT.(after "series"), CROSSER (after "dresser), BOBI (after Loni). Pleased to see the Challenging designation, too. My day is made and I also enjoyed my morning at the Marin Humane Society.. Carpe diem!

Renee Downing 4:47 PM  

Hope you continue to feel better. BTW, one of last week's puzzles - Friday? - had an Italian beer, Peroni, that you commented on because you'd never seen it/heard of it. (I vaguely had. ) Entirely coincidentally, I went to see The Great Beauty (Best Foreign Film Oscar) the next day. One Whole Scene in the movie (in a dive-y bar) was decorated wholly in the Peroni logo - boxes, signs, tables, you name it. It was like the crossword gods were laughing.

wreck 5:20 PM  

I remember Tone Soap. I think it might be actually owned by Dial.


retired_chemist 5:48 PM  

@ wreck - Dial Tone? LOL!

Gill I. P. 6:01 PM  

Ok, so I opened the puzzle and stared at it for several minutes... Nothing, nada, not a JIBE in the house. Well, it's Thursday so it's a Tricky Dicky. Headed south then hah!... BAKLAVA/BRATISLAVA - Eureka! Just go find all the LAVA's in the puzzle. LAVALIERS, LAVATORY, FLAVANONES - the list is endless...
SEI[ZESTHE DAY. OOOH I got it. I'm so damn happy and loving this puzzle. Then like @Questinia and others, I'm dancing with ANITA, BIBI and OTIS to the tune of a TITO and CELIA Cruz salsa looking for a DOVE. PISDOVENGINE?

Haven't been this entertained in a long time. Please come back more often Daniel Raymon

mac 6:02 PM  

Suddenly it's coming back to me: Becks, Loewenbrau, St. Pauli Girl.

I am not fond of Belgian chocolate; too sweet and it melts too quickly.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Heard of Lava, Zest, Dial. What the hell is "Tone" soap??? Never heard of it.

chefbea 7:52 PM  

Late to the party!!! Tough puzzle but am watching jeopardy.....and the question is...what is an ETUI...

Notsofast 8:08 PM  

Easy for me, and challenging for Rex. Good. That makes me feel good.

BigSteveSF 8:43 PM  

For West Side Story, I kept thinking Maria --
Then I remembered
the upcoming:



RITA MORENO Live In-Person!

8:00 PM- Main Gala Event
1:00 PM - Sing-Along WEST SIDE STORY

Emmy, Tony, Grammy & Oscar winner Rita Moreno takes center stage at the historic Castro Theatre for an all day celeb-ration!

Plus special 1 PM matinee event
Sing Along WEST SIDE STORY Introduced by RITA MORENO!
The Oscar winning star of WEST SIDE STORY Rita Moreno- Anita herself- takes center stage at the Castro to introduce this very special sing-along to the all time musical classic WEST SIDE STORY- winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno.Hosted by SF beloved comic Marga Gomez, this presentation features on-screen lyrics for all the songs so that audiences can sing along! In addition to belting out the great Bernstein/Sondheim tunes including TONIGHT, MARIA, AMERICA & OFFICER KRUPKE, goody bags will be handed out to everyone and audience members can add to the fun by dressing up as a favorite character from the film!

Z 8:48 PM  

Hey foreign language mavens, I was 0 for 5. Portuguese is not right for any of them.

Nancy 9:21 PM  

A clever puzzle that I couldn't finish. Never heard of TONE or LAVA either for that matter. But I knew it had to be TONE to fit both clues. So now I'm thinking that it's not about soaps at all. Had SOAPBOX, had ZEST, should have had DIAL, as I had E-T at the end of 19A. Guess I've been using Ivory too long. It floats, everyone.
Why does TLC = TRIO? Because there are 3 letters? Makes no sense. Anyone?

Mark 9:25 PM  

@Nancy TLC had (has?) three singers

Mark 9:27 PM  

T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli

wreck 9:32 PM  

T-BOZED?? ;-)

Ann Heil 9:32 PM  

I grew up in Ann Arbor and spent most of my weekends as a teenager with a Strohs in my hand. Put em in the fridge and you've got.... a cold local beer. I too was so sad when the brewery closed. The local radio station made a song about it..."my love for you will still be strong, after the brewery on Gratiot is gone..."

Loved the rebus. I caught on at the bronze star and managed to sniff out the other three after a lively struggle. Kept me occupied during an otherwise not-so-lively meeting :-)

OISK 9:41 PM  

Is there any good reason, in this generally fine puzzle to clue "TRIO" with TLC, some obscure (relatively) group of pop singers? How about "middle of a Scherzo" for a slightly higher level clue? Or the Andrews Sisters? Like Nancy, I had no idea what Trio had to do with TLC; and never heard of Bibi Andersson. And what is SOBE? Bad enough I need the names of soaps, now a Pepsi product? Phooey. And yet, because these bad (for me) clues were not concentrated in one section (as were the GCHAT and Celia yesterday) this remained a solvable and enjoyable puzzle.

Vevo 9:41 PM  

TLC's Waterfalls video

sanfranman59 10:25 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 6:04, 6:18, 0.96, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:07, 8:16, 0.99, 49%, Medium
Wed 10:46, 10:14, 1.05, 66%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 21:36, 18:35, 1.16, 79%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:47, 4:00, 0.95, 19%, Easy
Tue 5:10, 5:13, 0.99, 44%, Medium
Wed 6:09, 6:14, 0.99, 45%, Medium
Thu 14:12, 10:36, 1.34, 85%, Challenging

Anonymous 11:40 PM  

Quite tough, but BIBI was a gimme.

Elle54 12:30 AM  

I ve bought TONE. I think it has cocoa butter in it.

Jim Pauley 3:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave 5:42 PM  

Stumbled through this until I hit the lower right quadrant - it all fell into place and left me with "Pisengine" and the rebus finally hit me. Was a little slow, but maybe I'm getting over the same bug Rex had.

Dave 5:44 PM  

Actually "pis_ngine", but you get my drift.

spacecraft 11:20 AM  

Is "PISTONENGINE" a thing? Looks like green paint to me. Anyway, my light bulb turned on at BRATIS with one square to go. 'Course, my SOAPBOX was just a Bar at first, and my tenor was a lead. Despite these difficulties, this puzzle "came clean" to me. I liked it because it flowed like LAVA; its TONE was pleasing, so I DIALed up the solution with ZEST.

I will stop now, I "Promise." To continue would emulate DeSADE. Now, wasn't I a smooth operator?

Dirigonzo 3:12 PM  

I've been lamenting the lack of a solid Thursday rebus lately but this puzzle scratched that itch real good. I actually spotted the ZEST box early on but left it empty until the reveal cleared things up. I've heard of TONE but it took a while to find it because gaSENGINE was working just fine for me. I hesitated on KABOB until the crosses let me know what variation of the spelling was needed. Yesterday's UPEND brings us today's ONEND; will there be NOEND?

@Z - if you crack open that Fat Tire in your stuck car while you wait for the tow truck in Maine, you will have some 'splainin' to do to the state trooper who will undoubtedly stop by to check on you (they're very helful that way) as open containers are prohibited in vehicles - whether you are moving or not.

999/88 (in the event a poker game breaks out).

rain forest 3:37 PM  

I was lucky on this one. First entries were ALI, RIGOR, PART, PASADENA, TITOS, and RAFT, and they all stood up!

If I were a self-timer, I might have been a contender. Even the soap *Tone*, which I didn't know, revealed itself, because PISTONENGINE needed it.

So, I didn't find this challenging at all, but I enjoyed the solve. Very little crud and lots of good stuff.

Z 4:08 PM  

@Dirigonzo - Unless the wind were blowing hard, I'd be sitting on the hood. Or does Maine have a law about drinking in public, too?

Steve J 4:10 PM  

@spacecraft: There are pistonless engines - Mazda has produced several cars using the rotary engine (also known as a Wankel engine) over the years - so I guess PISTON ENGINE can be considered a thing. But yeah, I would think that gets trotted out only when needing to provide a contrast to a rotary engine, which happens close to never.

Solving in Seattle 5:46 PM  

Caught on to a rebus (always have my antennae up for thupuzs) at MOONS-S and figured I was looking for three other TONEs. Then got the LAVA cross ok and the light bulb went on over my head. Threw down SOAP to join BOX.
Gotta say this was a slick puz, Daniel. Took me all of Letterman to solve.

My three pair lose to the boat.

Anonymous 6:42 PM  

Got to this late in a hectic day seeing to sick daughter and antsy grandson-I'm too old for hours of entertaining, feeding, whatever a six year old. Just came to see what I was missing, and skipped to Syndiland to say "Hi!" At any rate, I managed most of it except for the rebus parts. Knew there was something going on, but couldn't hack it. I would never have thought of bar soap because I think of a soap box as the thing that people stand on at Hyde Park Corner. Off for a cup of tea and a quiet moment. see you tomorrow.

DMG 6:44 PM  

That was me above, the elves grabbed my comment before I could sign it!

LongBeachLee 7:22 PM  

How to get really messed up. Start with soap box, see the rebus, change soap box to soap BR(AND). Long time to recover.

strayling 8:17 PM  

That was *so much fun*. I didn't finish because I don't know all these brands - or possibly I should bathe more. Anyway, even though I made a mess of the NE the lively clueing kept me interested and entertained. Nice job, Mr Raymon.

strayling 8:30 PM  

I think he was going for a common usage where piston engine refers specifically to steam piston engine. At any rate, that's how I got the answer.

Dirigonzo 8:43 PM  

@DMG - I'm sure your daughter and grandson were grateful that you were there for them when they needed you. Enjoy your tea and quiet time, and I'll bet you nail the puzzle tomorrow!

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

I guess it's soap now, but when I was growing up I learned (from watching too much TV) that Zest was NOT soap. It was cleaner than soap.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP