Freud disciple Alfred / SUN 5-25-14 / Rapture of Canaan author Reynolds / Ferrell's cheerleading partner on SNL / Stylist's goop / Cobbler's heirloom

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: "Change of Program" — homophones turn TV show titles wacky:

Theme answers:
  • DAZE OF OUR LIVES (23A: Stoners' memoirs?)
  • THE EX FILES (28A: Leverage in divorce negotiations?)
  • TWIN PEEKS (15D: Double takes?)
  • THE AWED COUPLE (46A: Dumbstruck duo?)
  • SECTS AND THE CITY (62A: Tale of metropolitan religious diversity?)
  • AMERICAN IDYLL (85A: Grant Wood portrayal?)
  • BRAKING BAD (99A: Having trouble slowing down?)
  • AWL IN THE FAMILY (110A: Cobbler's heirloom?)
  • MIAMI VISE (76D: Tight spot in South Florida?)
Word of the Day: "The BELLS" (30D: Poe poem, with "The") —
"The Bells" is a heavily onomatopoeic poem by Edgar Allan Poe which was not published until after his death in 1849. It is perhaps best known for the diacopic use of the word "bells." The poem has four parts to it; each part becomes darker and darker as the poem progresses from "the jingling and the tinkling" of the bells in part 1 to the "moaning and the groaning" of the bells in part 4. (wikipedia) [Diacope is a rhetorical term meaning repetition of a word or phrase with one or two intervening words. It derives from a Greek word meaning "cut in two" (wikipedia)]

• • •

Solid but somewhat bland. These "program changes" all involve perfect homophones, so the answers aren't That funny. I mean, I'm not the biggest fan of groany puns, but if you're going to pun, for god's sake, the groanier the better. Go nuts. These all hit the mark, but I don't really care about the mark, so it was overall a "Just OK" experience for me. Grid is solid and forgettable. I do feel that I should give a certain amount of praise for the solidity, though, as Sundays have a tendency to get pretty dicey in places. This one does have some iffy bits like ASYE, HAPS, ENS, OUTA, GELEE, and assorted short gunk, but it's spread out, and none of it is that jarring. Weirdly, I didn't even notice that all the theme answers were puns on television shows until I was done. The whole time I was thinking "So … they're respellings … why?" Now I see why. Everything works fine—it just didn't interest me much.


Turns out I have been pronouncing both IDYLL and VISE wrong all my life. Well, the former I've been pronouncing British, I guess (short "i"), and the latter I've been pronouncing "vize." But I looked them both up and technically they are, in fact, homophones of the original TV title words. This is the kind of puzzle where even the errors are boring. I mean, who wants to get bogged down in the T-BILLS T-BONDS T-NOTES thing. I may have invented T-BONDS … nope, they're real. Anyway, yawn. Is it ALIA or ALII! I'm on the edge of my seat. Oh, I had SEAT before SLIP. Also not exciting. Had SMALE instead of SWALE, lord knows why. What's a SMALE? Wordnik says:

  • A dialectal form of small. Chaucer.
  • n. The form of a hare.

Well that explains it. Eight years of constant Chaucer exposure has apparently left me susceptible to some kind of archaic word syndrome.

I did enjoy remembering LL Cool J. But that's about all I really enjoyed.


Puzzle of the Week this week could easily have gone to Peter Wentz for his fantastic themeless yesterday, but I have been somewhat under-hyping Matt Gaffney's Crossword Contest all year long, and it's about time I rectified that. See, it's a metapuzzle, and it comes out on Friday, but the answer to the meta isn't revealed until Tuesday, and it's in that intervening time that I decide Puzzle of the Week. If I haven't yet figured out the meta (it sometimes takes days), I don't feel like I have enough info to say "This Is The Puzzle Of The Week." So this week I'm gonna pick a puzzle from *last* Friday, just because the meta is so freaking fantastic it demands recognition. I did not figure out the meta. To be fair, I did not spend much time trying to figure it out. Still, it was hard. But really amazing once you figure it out / see it. And scores of people did figure it out, so it's not impossible. Anyway, the puzzle is called "We Built This City" (don't worry, the horrendous Starship song is in no way involved), and the answer to the meta is a world capital. It's up to you to figure out the answer based on elements in the grid and/or clues. Brutal test of pattern recognition. Often takes days to suss these things out. I figured the previous puzzle's meta out while I was walking in the woods. Literally shouted it out after it finally came to me. His puzzles are great fun, and if you can handle frequent frustration, you should be doing them regularly. Here's the puzzle (just scroll down to the end of the post). And here's discussion of "We Built This City" over at Crossword Fiend.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. nice article in Tablet Magazine this week profiling Ben Tausig and the American Values Crossword Puzzle (which he edits)

79 comments:

jae 12:09 AM  
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jae 12:10 AM  

Easy-medium for me too.  Only two erasures: abaft before STERN and Bravo before BAKER.

I like this type of theme on Sunday.  Reasonably amusing puns on well known TV shows, a low dreck grid, and a breezy solve.  Couldn't want much more!

A fine Sun. Dan!

Moly Shu 12:14 AM  

Most difficult Sunday I've come across in quite awhile. Couldn't get started and when I finally did, there was no flow, just jumping around. Got THEAWEDCOUPLE as my first theme entry, and it really helped. Started looking for TV shows and found the ones I needed.

raven before BELLS and SWAmp before SWALE were my 2 major errors. Maybe my only errors, just could not get into the flow.

Having said that, I really liked the puzzle. A challenging (for me) Sunday is always welcome.

L 12:32 AM  

I liked this one a lot. More than the usual erasures for me though - orange before indigo, bravo for baker, I'm bad for I need, and the list goes on. But still, I finished in reasonable time and figured out all the puns. Can't comain about that.

Mark 12:40 AM  

Oh, the tintinnabulation ( not tinting adulation, pace spellcheck) of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells that are not at all a raven. I'll raise you 7 voluminously euphonious bells for one nevermorish raven.

allan 12:56 AM  

I must agree with @Molly Shu. I found this harder than Rex did. Some of the same writeovers that were mentioned, but i finished with no errors. I enjoyed the puns. Considering some of the fodder that Mr. Shortz has presented, this one seemed crisp.

syndy 2:33 AM  

Yet the ear distinctly tells,in the jangling and wrangling, how the danger sinks and swells,by the sinking and the swelling of the anger of the bells! Swamp before swale which I thought was the side of a row boat-but enjoyable.thumbs up

chefwen 3:30 AM  

Easy Medium for me too. Liked it more that OFL, but I am easily amused. 23A made me laugh as I thought of my Woodstock attending brother.

We double teamed this one as we are wont to do on the weekends and we had a great time. My favorite, if I had to choose was AWL IN THE FAMILY, the AWED COUPLE was pretty cute too.

Two thumbs up Mr. Schoenholz

John Child 4:26 AM  
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Hartley70 6:43 AM  

Sure wish I could sleep, but since that seems out of the question, I amused myself for a while taking care of business here. The last two days puzzles were so crackerjack that this feels a bit tame, but it was a solid Sunday so I'm not disappointed. I found it odd that only one down clue continued the television theme. I would have expected at least one more for horizontal/vertical balance. Where are those knobs when you need them?

Hartley70 6:45 AM  

This is what happens to the sleep deprived....just saw the other one...zzzzzzzzz.

ArtO 7:11 AM  

Couldn't get started on top so worked my way around clockwise from STERN and everything fell into place. Thought it much dicier than Rex and liked the puns.

John Child 7:20 AM  

I liked this very much. The puns were pretty good - TWIN PEEKS and BRAKING BAD especially ticked my humor bone - and I only groaned a couple of times at (non-puny) answers.

I had all the writeovers already mentioned and then some. SlaTHERED for SMOTHERED went partially uncorrected for a DNF.

That sort of error is pretty common for me on Sunday. The size of the grid makes it hard to see one typo or uncorrected error when looking over the puzzle before declaring I'm finished. It is the same for you? Is there a technique to improve?

I wished AWAY WE GO had been clued by the great Jackie Gleason rather than by the insipid and vague [Comment upon heading off]. Is Gleason 'ancient history' to people under 50? That would be a shame IMO. I think The Honeymooners stands up well after 60 years. And Jackie, well, "you're the greatest."

I hope ERIC IDLE's placement symmetrically opposite the Gleason quote is intentional.

Best Sunday in a while. Thanks Mr Schoeholz.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

There are two vertical puns ..twin peeks and Miami vise

Arlene 7:29 AM  

This was just the kind of Sunday I like to do. Everything kept falling into place, and I loved uncovering the puns. A real classic!

orangeblossomspecial 7:30 AM  

1A evokes Duke Ellington's immortal 'Mood INDIGO'

I don't know how many BELLS Poe had, but the Browns had a major his with 'The Three Bells' based on a hit by Edith Piaf.

Gary US Bonds would relate to T NOTES.

Conrad 7:35 AM  

This was a really good Sunday puzzle. Very enjoyable puns with minimal crosswordese. My only hang-up was OYEz for OYER at 9d. I had _ _ _ E Z for the 26a Freud disciple and thought, "Could Freud have had a follower named Perez or Gomez?"

Glimmerglass 7:38 AM  

I had trouble getting started. Nothing except PAPUA was a lock ("certain punch" could have been egg nog; INDIGO could have been orange or purple; I wanted NORMAN to somehow be William of Orange). Once I saw where the theme was going via the NE corner, it went more quickly. I think Rex would have like the puzzle better if he'd grokked the TV titles.

chefbea 7:52 AM  

Started the puzzle last night and couldn't figure it out. Tackled it this morning and got the theme. A bit difficult

Joseph Welling 8:01 AM  

Even though I couldn't tell you anything about any of the TV shows, I could at least recall their names well enough to get the punny versions readily.

loren muse smith 8:12 AM  
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loren muse smith 8:14 AM  

I've come to really enjoy Dan's puzzles, and this one didn't disappoint. With themes like this, it's fun to jump ahead and see if I can guess the puns with few crosses. I could suss out a lot of them, and the ones I couldn't, I enjoyed exposing. I thought they were all good and had a fun time with the whole thing.

Rex – I wanted "t bonds," too, but never thought about "t bills." And "smale" can join "stoat" and "shoat" in our five-letter-S-initial crossbeast brace. Pod. I dunno – bevy?

@Mark – I bet we "Raven" people number in the thousands!

I agree – just a tad tougher for me than a lot of Sundays. I sniffed around for easier stuff after dispatching the fill-in-the blanks, and "taedium vitae"/ENNUI was the only gimme. Right. "Recently I find that I'm filled with this sense of taedium vitae at the way I talk."

Also – how the heck to spell that New Guinea place. I guess there are a lot of PAPUA pappillon pupae populating papyrus trees over there?

Wouldn't you think if you're taking all the trees away, it'd be "benudes?"

I know exactly nine dates: 1066 (My first thought was "Harold"), 1733 (I grew up in Georgia), 1519 (I have this creepy thing for Magellan), 1588 (I don't even remember why it was so cool to defeat that armada), 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009.

Hey, Dan – you engaged? There's quite a nuptial vibe going on. The BRIDE threw only TWO HISSY fits: her SLIP was in RUINS after it was caught in the DOORS, and the wrong GELEE resulted in an updo resembling TWIN PAPUA pupae. The bridesmaids COPED with the ghastly TEAL dresses and shoes DYED to match, but SOFIA's ARMS sported tattoos of EWOKs that upstaged the wedding gown (SEWN by VERA herself) out of YARDs of TABARD. Running late (as they all do), DADDY RUSHED his daughter to the ALTAR, and the AWED, FETED COUPLE STOOD there while the groomsmen, IMBUED with Jagermeister TURBOtinis OVER ICE from a generous BARKEEP, swayed, DAZEd. The HEAVIEST STOOD at an odd SLOPE but mercifully remained obediently ROOTed to his assigned spot, EARS bright red. BELLS ringing, RICE flying, the TWO jumped in a Ford GALAXY and yelled, "AWAY WE GO!" (The sign on the back, hastily scribbled by the BOMBed SOFIA and HEAVYman, announced "Just MARRED") Let's hope THE EX FILES don't follow.

At the risk of leaving you in a state of taedium vitae, my précis will be just that (now *there*'s a change) – really liked it!!

AliasZ 8:25 AM  


This was one SWALE puzzle, Dan Schoenholz. No child, NORMAN, NORAH woman can argue that. It was ARIEL joy for me to solve. The light and AERIE theme was AGHAST, but then I am pasha to puns. Today they were all ADD ARABLE. I SOFIA sorry for DOORS who do not appreciate them, usually AUSTERE clear of PAPUA like that.

Gay Muff Throwns
The King of Quince
Not Slanting
The Soap Rhinos
Charlie Sane Gels
The Fresh Prints off Bell Err
Sign Felled
The One Derrieres
Three Scum Punny

This I HOPIS enough.

Let us listen now to this wonderful interpretation of the Overture to the opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826). Too bad this video is so badly out of sync, by the end of the piece the sound gets almost 3 seconds ahead of the picture.

Enjoy your weekend.

Elle54 8:43 AM  

I really liked it too! Not too easy.. Don't like when it's over too soon

RAD2626 8:45 AM  

@loren muse smith. I bet you know 1492 as well. Fun puzzle. Thirty years worth of television shows so something for all ages. Got MIAMI VICE from the clue, but wanted desperately to spell it VIcE which made POISE and HAPS problematic. Most of the theme was gettable with few crosses which helped a lot.

Gerri 9:18 AM  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3PkojBDwoA&feature=kp

Phil Ochs song version of "The Bells"
well worth the listen.

Ludyjynn 9:22 AM  

Same writeovers as you all mentioned, for the same reasons. I also found this to be crunchier than Rex, more medium-well than not. My favorite misdirect was PRALINES for "turtle relatives"; yum-yum.
Also liked SALIENCE a lot.

AERIE crossing ARIEL is an interesting juxtaposition.

I may be the only person on the planet who has never seen a "Star Wars" offering, yet for reasons unknown, EWOK was a gimme!

Thanks, DS and WS. Looking over the completed grid, this was a lovely construction.

Z 9:39 AM  

Will Ferrell as a clue leaves with just one thing to say:

More cowbell.

Mohair Sam 9:42 AM  
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joho 10:08 AM  

You've got to love a puzzle that inspires funny stories like @Loren and punny comments like @Alias Z! Entertaining Sunday romp, Dan Schoenholz, thank you!

My favorite was SECTSANDTHECITY!

Carola 10:19 AM  

I thought this was a model Sunday puzzle - fun theme and hitting the "just right" spot on the difficulty scale. My first theme answer was THE EX FILES, which I didn't really understand, but then came DAZE OF OUR LIVES, with the aha and a laugh. I then went looking to see how many of the others I could get without crosses: only MIAMI VISE, needed some crosses for the others. Like @chefwen, I found AWL IN THE FAMILY the winner.

My favorite clue was the turtle one - totally got me. I also thought AUSTERE and SALIENCE were very nice. When I was just starting to do crosswords, my veteran solver dad taught me SWALE and sward, so of course I always think of him when they appear...and of him and my mom ensconced in their twin lazy boys, with twin Sunday puzzles (the second provided by a neighbor) on twin clipboards, being solved with twin yellow Scripto mechanical pencils ("Do you have 17 Down?").

Leapfinger 10:36 AM  

@AliasZ

I POISE on Ali know a very nice lady, orig from NJ, who realio trulio goes by the name of Muff. Between that and the potentially half-asp "One Derriere" et Aliyah that you provided, I am quite palpably demi-sated...er, Desi-mated ...uh, Oh, Lucy Balzac! you know what AMIN!

joho 11:10 AM  

@Carola, what a charming and sweet story about your mom and dad!

Mohair Sam 11:13 AM  

Hand up as part of the Raven crowd.

What @Rex said, except we have little time spent with Chaucer and the reminder of LL Cool J was a lowlight for us.

We coulda been naticked at the "R" in TABARD but wife found PRALINES somewhere in her memory banks and saved us.

Been reading this blog for about three years, finally found common cultural ground with Rex: The Starship song "We Built This City" is indeed horrendous.

jdv 11:14 AM  

Challenging w/2 errors. At 71a, rOOfs instead of DOORS. I question the decision to clue ADD as an abbreviation instead of a word. OVERICE, however, was my undoing. Completely fooled me. I liked the puzzle overall, but was unable to get into a smooth solving rhythm, and it took me forever to finish. This is the third Sunday in a row where I've submitted with errors. I'm starting to dread Sunday puzzles.

EAP 11:22 AM  

I

Hear the sledges with the bells -
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II

Hear the mellow wedding bells -
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! -how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III

Hear the loud alarum bells -
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now -now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

IV

Hear the tolling of the bells -
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people -ah, the people -
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone -
They are neither man nor woman -
They are neither brute nor human -
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells,
Of the bells -
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Leapfinger 11:23 AM  

Brought 2U straight from Canadian IDYLL:
Hey dIDYLL, dIDYLL
The cat and the fIDYLL,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport.
Adopt ASTRAY today.

I never met an ET,HOMEPHONE that I didn't like, but ADD-ADDL-ADLER initiated a curious response in me. Welcome to my world.

NEIGH not so, MrEd! I may ADD that you ADDL my pate more than ADLER, but I remember repeatedly that "MARREDer, She Wrote", and I shall not MARREDyr myself on yet another ALTAR EGOTRIP!! It's all too POSSE BELL to SLIP on the SLOPE of the BRIDE-L (BRIDal? BRIDle? Ls BELLS!)... I SPECS it's just suiCIDLE for somme, and I can't be making AHABit of it.

BARKEEP, anOTHER Rwanda over here! Cay TABARD the DOORS, what a SWALE party this is, I think I've DYED and gone to Heaven! But POISE on ALI, if your AGHAST at my house, the drinks are free.

Wishing to all ARIEL nice DEY, and TEAL we meet again I hope all DENUDES are good

Fred Smith 11:41 AM  

@Rex --

Aw, c'mon. It's a bit too much to believe that one cannot see the TV Program theme here:

1. It's Sunday -- there's a theme.

2. Title is "Change of Program". Kinda sounds like TV.

3. "The Awed Couple," "Daze of Our Lives" ... Homophones, yes, but who can miss that these are (were?) TV shows?

C'mon, Rex ...

-- Fred Smith

Leapfinger 11:43 AM  

To EAP from LEAP

ELLS' BELLS, that must have taken you f'rever to type in! I'LL USED to have that kind of patience but no more.

Burt Offerings 11:52 AM  

There aren't enough words in the English language to fully express my hatred for this puzzle. Every theme answer was a groaner, the cluing on the shorter stuff was beyond obtuse...in short, this was the least fun I've had on a Sunday in a long,long time. Rubbish!!!

Burt Offerings 11:59 AM  

And since when is Norah Jones affiliated with jazz in any way shape or form???? I could literally go through this puzzle clue by clue and tell you how and why I hated it, but I won't waste my time, or yours. I spent 36 minutes finishing this piece of crap...36 minutes I'll never get back. I'm so pissed I could spit!

Malsdemare 12:01 PM  

I, too, wanted Jackie Gleason as the clue for AWAY WE GO, but disagree that "The Honeymooners" holds up well. The 'One of the these days, Alice, bang, zoom' thing makes me cringe.

I like this a lot. And loved Carola's story about her folks. Stories like those are the reason the puzzle and this blog are part of my morning.

Curious in Philadelphia 12:06 PM  

In what part of the country is ODD a perfect homophone for AWED?

JenCT 12:22 PM  

I liked this too - my favorites were DAZE OF OUR LIVES and BRAKING BAD.

My avatar is a picture of an INDIGO bunting that visited my yard a few weeks ago.

Beautiful, sunny day here in CT.



JFC 12:41 PM  

This puzzle of the week thingie is intriguing but since I only do the NYT puzzle, it is superfluous to me. At first I thought maybe this was just another trick up his sleeve to denigrate the NYT puzzles but the longer he keeps it up the more serious I take him. I am wondering when Rex is going to change the name of his Blog to "Rex Parker Does the NY Times Crossword Puzzle and Designates Puzzle of the Week from All Sources"?

As for the puzzle, boring might be a bit much but close enough that I agree....

JFC

Jisvan 12:45 PM  

Fine Sunday puzzle, perfected by this lively string of clever comments, which leave me severely out-witted and pretty much wordless, luckily.
@LMS: Brava! One of your best, and so timely with the wedding season upon us once again.
@Alias Z: Where do you get them, and how do you sleep at night?
@leapfinger: Very funny! I am often AGHAST at my own house!

Casco Kid 12:46 PM  

Easy, accessible Sunday. 90 minutes, no googles, 3 errors:
[7A. Blanket] SMaTter
[9D. Legal hearing] aYER. Wanted oYEz but ADLER made that impossible. aYER had to do.
[11D. Star of Reality TV's "The Girls Next Door," briefly] tEF. Just a guess based on confident crosses.

Wanted, also, raven, SWAmp, Bravo, ALIa, [Not straight up] OnasIdE for OVERICE, joAd for AHAB (but that was Fonda in 1940, not Peck in 1956). Contemplated rebuses at moussE for GELEE, william for NORMAN.

I survived the Natick at VERO/SHERI.

My learning curve was steep this week. I was swept by Will Shortz & friends, in 7 DNFs, extending losing streak to 13. Thursday, Friday & Saturday this week were blow-outs.

Monday: SAGO, not SAGe, palm
Tuesday: LIRE, plural of LIRa
Wednesday: BUONA sera, not nUOvA sera
Thursday: HORSE's bag lunch, not HOuSE's & others
Friday: Zero is an OVAL, not eVen, and many others.
Saturday: Kawasaki makes JETSKIS, not J_biKeS & many, many others.
Sunday: SMOTHER with a thick blanket, not thin blanket or SMaTtERing

Onward!

Andrew Heinegg 12:47 PM  

Hey Burt, a couple of Valium might be helpful for you. It's a crossword puzzle! It is an attempt to make you think and perhaps amuse you. That it did not do so for you (it did not for me), should not be enough to bring out that kind of vitriol. Rex is right as usual though. If you are going to make pun puzzles, try to make them groaners. This one does not get there.

Steve J 12:49 PM  

Earlier this week I noted that while I generally don't like puns, I do appreciate them when they're well-constructed, clever and add something other than phonetic resonance. Today's theme delivered.

No, they're not amazing puns and they didn't push things too far from the original meanings, but the pronunciations weren't tortured (my most disliked kind of pun, where there's only a tenuous phonetic connection) and they were mostly mildly amusing (I liked BRAKING BAD best; AWL IN THE FAMILY was the most groan-worthy).

Fill was mostly good, but I got tripped up by a few oddities. Like many, I was stuck on SWAmp instead of SWALE for a while. Didn't notice (and DNF) that I had ADLEz, since I'm used to seeing OYEz much more than OYER. Ditto aMEND over EMEND. Like @John Child mentioned, it can be tough spotting those one-letter mistakes in large grids.

Solid Sunday.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

To Mr. Schoenholz:

Enjoyed it much more than I usually do a Sunday, esp. one w. puns. I will second @Steve's remarks re: puns.

Thank you @Gerri for including the late, wonderful Phil Ochs -- I was not familiar with this.

Cannot embed but will point out that Rachmaninov wrote a wonderfully evocative Symphony, "The Bells", for orchestra, chorus and soloists, based on a Russian translation of Poe. Said to be one of Rachmaninov's two favorites of his own compositions. Available on YouTube.

Beatrice

Fred Romagnolo 1:36 PM  

Laughed out loud many times. I love puns. When I taught junior high (later middle) school, my team teacher and I bounced them off each other, and sometimes the more imaginative students joined in. AWLINTHEFAMILY wins top prize, but the others were damned good. The composer WEBER of @Alias Z's Freischutz was Mozart's wife's cousin (can you say that 3 times fast?). And, of course, San Franciscans always appreciate any mention of TWINPEEKS (the Spanish originally named them something that translates as "Two Breasts." I'm guessing that "gel" is a modernized GELEE.

Mohair Sam 1:38 PM  

@curious in Philadelphia - Good point: Odd is AWED in Canada, maybe not so much in the USA.

Leapfinger 1:43 PM  

@Jisvan my sweet, I probably have you beat on all counts. Am trying to clean up my act so my heirs won't have to.

Some leftovers:
I hold no truck with Laurel&Hardy, but would pickup on a Stan ding ovation for Ed's Ollie Van. Ditto for an URNy Kovacs skit set in a crematorium. Any BOTANISTS out there collecting specimens might like the Carol BURR NET Show. OTOH, the Boston LEA GAL is quite Common.

Stopping now, because SALIENCE is Golden.

RnRGhost57 1:47 PM  

Xcllnt Sunday puzz. Even Mikey kinda liked it, and he hates everything.

Benko 2:47 PM  

@m&A: Come back already! Don't listen to the haters!

mathguy 3:39 PM  

AliasZ: I didn't get all of your punned TV shows but I admire the ones I got, like SIGN FELLED.

ADA: thanks for copying out Bells. It was fun reading it aloud.

Loved the puzzle.

EAP 3:55 PM  

@Leapfinger - Copy. Paste. Cowbell.

mac 3:57 PM  

I thought this was a perfect NYT Sunday puzzle.

I think I got the theme at The Awed Couple, then it was cute to find out the other ones. Lots of interesting words, which made it a little tougher than most Sundays.

Nothing to complain about. Just a little big.

mac 3:57 PM  

Is this the kinder, gentler robottest? I only needed to type in 3 numbers.

syndy 4:20 PM  

Okay the court procedure is really Oyer and Terminer (hear and decide) but how on earth do Phillies pronounce AWED?

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

ALII is masculine plural, refers to other men. ALIA is neuter plural and refers to other things.

Leapfinger 6:27 PM  

@EAP - I know. Not mumps, tongue in cheek.

Maureen Roe 8:24 PM  

I finished last and this weeks' puzzles in 20 minutes. I think I am becoming idiot savant.

LaneB 8:30 PM  

A pleasant Sunday complement to watching my Giants sweep the Twins. Some trouble in the Ne due to not recognizing the pun ay d15-- which made for an error at a45. Liked Mr. Shoenholz's work.

ahimsa 9:35 PM  

I liked it! I'm more of a visual person so just seeing the "misspelled" words along with the appropriate clues was good enough for me. And all the TV shows were popular enough that I recognized them.

@Rex, your line:

"Eight years of constant Chaucer exposure has apparently left me susceptible to some kind of archaic word syndrome"

made me laugh out loud! I only studied a little bit of Chaucer but luckily it was enough that I easily remembered the TABARD Inn for 88 Across.

RE: AWED vs odd, I say them both about the same even though I know that I'm supposed to pronounce them differently. I'm in Oregon now but I've lived in eight different states during my life. So, I have a real mishmash of different accents. I'm not sure where the "awed = odd" part came from.

Happy “Towel Day,” “National Wine Day,” and “Nerd/Geek Pride Day” to all!

http://holidaydoodles.com/?p=1290

Gill I. P. 9:52 PM  

What saddens me is the resounding "come back" we hear from those of us who miss fellow bloggers who have decided to take a leave of @Rex...@Foodie was my first sadness followed by @jackJ and my favorite smile inducing @ACME. I'm hoping @M&A won't be one of them..
I remember once asking @Evil if he had an "off button" and he came back with a compelling diatribe posing a question of whether he should be censored. The majority came back with a resounding NO. Power is a funny thing. If you have it you can do just about anything you want.
OK M@A...You give me my daily laugh....Are you going to let me down?

paulsfo 2:39 AM  

I liked it a lot.

I rarely do the "I had seX for LOX" thing but i must mention that, with only F and ILY to go on, I was thrilled to be able to fill in theliftoFreILY. [The Life of Riley, with William Bendix in the title role, is a popular American radio situation comedy series of the 1940s that was adapted into a 1949 feature film, a long-run 1950s television series, and a 1958 comic book.]
I love how many possible answers might fit for a given clue, depending on how loosely you interpret the clue.

I liked the clues for EGOTRIP, AROMA, and EARS (I kept trying U of NEBR opponents).

@Loren : "1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009."? I give up, unless these are the years that the Red Sox won the World Series or something.

Nancy 10:28 AM  

Cute. Easy-medium for me, too, and pretty enjoyable. Only real problem: MAZES are a feature of kids place mats? Really? I didn't know that. Which kept me from getting DAZE OF OUR LIVES (not helped by having -OVES instead of -IVES, since I wanted TWIN PEEKS to be TWo of something.) Other than that, smooth sailing.

Leighroi 11:55 AM  

So, what does Grant Wood have to do with anything "Idyll", American or otherwise? I'm familiar with his painting "American Gothic." Is there a newer Grant Wood who's producing TV shows?

Mark 1:18 PM  

@Leighroi My guess: Although "idyll" usually refers to a poem set in rural bliss, it can more loosely refer to a painting. "American Gothic" is a painting of rural bliss, with more than a soupcon of irony.

elisabeth love 3:07 PM  

I NEVER BELIEVE ONE DAY I WILL GIVE TESTIMONIES ABOUT MY RELATIONSHIP. IT ALL HAPPEN THIS WAY FIVE YEARS AGO, MY HUSBAND STARTED
CHEATING ON ME HE STOP CALLING ME, AND FIND PLEASURES IN GOING OUT WITH OTHER GIRLS, ANY TIME I CALL HIM THE TWO OPTIONS IS TO BOUNCE MY CALLS OR INSULT ME AND MY FAMILY. I WAS SO WORRIED BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND WE ALREADY HAVE TWO KINDS. THINGS WAS GETTING FROM BAD TO WORST, I WAS GETTING SICK EVERY DAY, EATEN WAS ALSO A PROBLEM TO ME, BECAUSE I LOST MY APPETITE COMPLETELY, ONE DAY I MEET A FRIEND AND DISCUSS IT WITH HER, SHE TOLD ME TO CONTACT (DR ODALO(, THAT HIS PROBLEM WAS WORST THEN MY BEFORE, THAT ONLY (DR ODALO) CAN HELP ME IN THIS SITUATION, AND I WAS A WOMAN WHO DOSE NOT BELIEVE IN SPELL, SO THE LAST TIME I CALLED MY MAN HE PICKED MY CALL, ALL I COULD HEAR FROM HIM IS TO TELL ME THAT HE HAS GOTTEN ANOTHER GIRL TO MARRY, AND THEY ARE IN SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP. I WAS SO CONFUSE AND I CALLED MY FRIEND (MARY) AND TOLD HER WHAT I JUST HAD FROM MY MAN. SHE STILL REMIND ME OF (DR ODALO) THAT HE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN HELP ME SOLVED MY PROBLEM BY BRINGING MY MAN BACK TO ME. SO THERE WAS NO OPTION FOR ME I TOLD HER TO SEND ME THE EMAIL OF DR DOVE. THAT WAS HOW I CONTACT (DR ODALO) FOR HELP. DR ODALO ONLY TOLD ME THAT IT WILL ONLY TAKE HIM 48HOURS TO BRING MY HUSBAND BACK, I WAS SO SURPRISE IN 48HOURS TIME MY HUSBAND CAME BACK TO ME AND START BEGGING FOR FORGIVENESS, AND I ACCEPTED ALL HIS APOLOGIES BECAUSE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH, WE ARE NOW HAPPY FAMILY AND OUR KIDS ARE HAPPY WITH US. THANK YOU DR ODALO FOR YOUR GOOD WORK, I WILL CONTINUE TESTIFYING FOR YOUR GOOD WORK, CONTACT HIM IF YOU NEED HIS HELP IN ANYTHING BOTH RELATION AND OUTSIDE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS EMAIL ADDRESS. drodalolovespell@gmail.com once again thanks. drodalolovespell@gmail.com
1. He can help you cast a spell to get pregnant.
2. He can help you cast a Death Spell.
3. He can help you cast a Promotion spell.
4. He can help you cast Lottery spell.
5. Spell of luck.
6. Spell of Finance, and lot more.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Any other old punk rockers out there think that "Huskers' targets" was referring to Husker Du? That band's aural assault was definitely targeted at ears.

spacecraft 12:17 PM  

What, NO one had hereWEGO? Or noTED? Those two kept me out of the north and west till the last.

I started actually in the SE, where I knew that BAKER was the old Bravo, and that OHARA wrote "Samarra." There's a mini-bit of tintinnabulation for ya.

I liked it; theme was not instantly gettable--but once cracked, most of them fell like matchsticks. And yes, the wackiness yielded a few chuckles.

I don't understand "Relatives of turtles" for PRALINES. That went in 100% on crosses. My only other beef: The coach is the coach, and the TRAINER is the trainer. Maybe in some school with a very tiny athletic budget they might be the same guy...but no. Not really. C'mon, man.

Incredibly, with nine digits to work with, I can still only muster two 8's and two 6's. Sad.

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

If you buy a box of candy, you have choices. You can buy a box of pralines or a box of turtles, which are caramel covered with chocolate if I remember right. Concerning Rex's puzzle of the week, I just ignore that whole section as I only do the NYT puzzle. I think that everyone west of the Mississippi would pronounce "odd" and "awed" exactly alike.

Dirigonzo 3:35 PM  

I was going to expound on the wedding sub-theme that I detected throughout the grid but @lms beat me to it (and I'm sure did a much better job of it). As to the rest of the puzzle I had ERRATA (which were ERRors at first) all over the place, all easily fixed except for that whole raven/BELLS section which took some head-scraching.

My seven digits produced three fives so I'll stay in for a while.

Anonymous 6:36 PM  

Kindly F Off!

Solving in Seattle 8:24 PM  

This sunpuz was fun but forgettable. Like @Spacy I had hereWEGO before AWAY, and SWAmp before SWALE. I caught on to the scheme with 23A and breezed through most of the rest.
@Diri, loved your alliterative sentence a couple of DAZE ago. Encore.
@Z, sorry about the series win.

Bad hand. Fold to three fives.

Z 8:43 PM  

@SiS - The announcers were raving about Elias. Cool customer, that one.

Solving in Seattle 9:18 PM  

@Z, yup, three hitter was impressive. Not likely the Mariners go all the way, so good luck this year. You've got to be snickering about Prince.

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