Limp Bizkit vocalist Fred / TUE 5-13-14 / Brazilian state northeast of Sao Paulo / Alaskan panhandle city / Enlightened Buddhist / Cousin of culottes / Spartan serf / 1971 Bill Withers hit / 1987 Buster Poindexter hit / Italian monk's title

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Constructor: Tracy Gray

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Tuesday*)



THEME: WEATHER FORECAST (37A: Local news feature suggested by the answers to 17-, 23-, 48- and 60-Across) — theme answers are songs that have words related to weather phenomena:

Theme answers:
  • "HOT HOT HOT" (17A: 1987 Buster Poindexter hit)
  • "AGAINST THE WIND" (23A: 1980 Bob Seger hit)
  • "AIN'T NO SUNSHINE" (48A: 1971 Bill Withers hit)
  • "COLD AS ICE" (60A: 1977 Foreigner hit)

Word of the Day: ARHAT (6D: Enlightened Buddhist) —
In Theravada Buddhism, an Arhat (Sanskrit: अर्हत् arhatPaliarahant; "one who is worthy") is a "perfected person" who has attained nirvana. In other Buddhist traditions the term has also been used for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle was dead in the water inside of five seconds. If you are making an easyish (in this case Tuesday) puzzle, you cannot (not not) have short fill That Terrible anywhere, let alone all crammed into a tiny section. There is no reason on earth for you to have BAHIA and AMIR and HRH and SITKA occupying the same area. They are individually less-than-great, with BAHIA (1D: Brazilian state northeast of Sao Paulo) being not-at-all well known in the U.S., thus bad for a Tuesday puzzle; AMIR being an abomination that should never be seen ever, *especially* in easy puzzles; HRH being a harmless abbreviation but why are we suffering through abbreviations if you've already made us suffer through AMIR; and SITKA being (once again) not-at-all well known (3D: Alaskan panhandle city). The geographical places … the main issue is not one of these answers individually (except AMIR), but their density. High-density sub-optimal fill in an easy puzzle makes me want to quit. The rest of the grid doesn't get much better. ARHAT!? Jeez louise. I learned that from crosswords, have only seen it in crosswords, and don't like seeing it in anything but perhaps a very dense and otherwise beautiful themeless grid. AFTS? INST? DURST? What year is it? DURST? (27D: Limp Bizkit vocalist)  HELOT? (25D: Spartan serf) When I got to HELOT I was like "Oh of course HELOT's here. He has to be. ARHAT would be lonely otherwise." ORIG over ETTE. ATTA crossing TATA. It's like the world's original Autofill program filled this thing.


Further, the theme doesn't really hold together. The answers aren't very representative or truly parallel or … exhibiting anything but the most general coherence. It's cold and windy … except in one answer. There are weather-related nouns at the ends … except in one answer. Only three of them are plausible "forecasts." AGAINST THE WIND is not a forecast. Further tons of other songs would fit the (very general) bill. I deeply enjoyed remembering these songs, though. I'm going to listen to some of them now to offset the unpleasantness of the puzzle.

[Don't touch me I'm a real LIVE WIRE…]

ERINS... ERUCT!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

83 comments:

Z 7:24 AM  

ERUCT gives me GAS. Double DNF with eMIR and ERUpT.

Stop Making Sense is the best concert movie ever made. Of course, I've always been a bigger David Byrne fan than Fred DURST fan.

evil doug 7:30 AM  

Can't argue with the nature of the fill, Michael, but at least it made the puzzle more challenging than even the late-week offerings in our last round.

Eruct, baler, OAS, sprig, Sitka(which I liked, Michael---your Jack Sikma, too....), arhat (not to be confused with ass-hat), the clue for 'epees', skort, heptagon, Scott Turow (much better than Grisham), nit....

Engine crossing gas, with ARCO nearby. No damn eco-cars in sight.

Good stretching exercise here,

Evil

joho 7:32 AM  

LOL, @Rex! ERUCT indeed! I like @Z DNF with ERUpT. I didn't know what AFP meant but didn't question that it's a thing. You know, like the now defunct American Pioneers Patrol. :)





John V 7:39 AM  
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Z 7:39 AM  

"As we get older and Stop Making Sense nothing is better than this. Is it?" There is not much to recommend the '80s, but a guy dancing in a giant suit... Wowzer. Jonathan Demme made that movie. Okay, Rex has successfully gotten me away from thinking about E-RUCT, which I presume is the online equivalent of burping. Thank you.

@Evil - My damn eco car gets the cash equivalent of 96 mpg around town, 55mpg over all. Yeah, V-8s are fun toys, but I like my money more than I like loud cars.

John V 7:40 AM  

Eruct raised my eyebrows. New word to me. Wanted it to be ERUPT.

Phil 7:45 AM  

Problem abroad. Blogspot goes to localized version only.
Anywho...
Didn't know eruct
Assumed erupt as a burp
Gave me AFP which i googled as 'americans for Prosperity' right wingers which i assume call themselves a patriotic group

I have to say reading clue and typing in a dead simple puzzle on magmic takes 11 minutes on iPad...so having trouble understanding posted times.

joho 7:55 AM  

Whoops, make that the American Frontier Protectors

John Child 7:59 AM  
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jberg 7:59 AM  

I always thought the verb form of eructation was eructate, but dictionary.com says I'm wrong, ERUCT is the more common -- so once again I've been educated by the puzzle.

I once stayed in the BAHIA hotel in San Diego, on a lagoon with a beautiful sandy beach in the moonlight (also in the sun, but the moonlight was really nice). If it's still there, you should all go there. As for SITKA, everybody must know that, surely. ARHATs are more limited to new-agey types, but it's still a word one sees quite a bit. AMIR needs a new clue, though, maybe "____ + __ or am I w?"

But ILIAD, a clue from 3,000 years ago. Musty, fusty, and dusty!

Help Desk Z 8:00 AM  

@Phil - I think you may have a PICNIC problem, you posted on Monday originally. Easy to do if one scrolls all the way to the bottom as blogger defaults to showing two days' posts.

John Child 8:01 AM  

This felt quite hard but actually only took a little longer than yesterday's puzzle for me. I enjoyed feeling stretched a bit on Tuesday, and I thought the weather related theme songs were cute as well as nostalgic.

But now that I know that I should have hated it, I do. (wink)

@Phil, you can take a few minutes off your iPad time with practice, but typing on a screen probably isn't the fastest way for anyone. It sure is convenient though. You don't even get out of bed!

Moly Shu 8:08 AM  

Changed nFl to AFC so ERUCT appeared for me. Still don't like it, or it's crossing with HELOT. ARHAT on a Saturday would be bad, but on a tue. , what gives??? Liked the theme OK, but the 3 above mentioned entries sucked the joy out of it.

Mohair Sam 8:14 AM  

E friggin' RUCT? On a Tuesday? And crossing a HELOT. Got it, but sheeze.

Agree with Rex's every complaint except about the theme which we thought was just fine, and kinda liked the cluing. Lot of "Greek" in here for a Tuesday we thought - ARHAT, BAHIA, DAP, vaguely remember STU. Not as troubled as Rex about DURST, however - a NIT we won't pick.

BALER brought back memories of making hay and battling with the stinger on the baling machine, the most confounding piece of equipment ever conceived.

Anyhow, enjoyed the theme - but not the fill.

L 8:26 AM  

I'm with Z all the way. Thanks for the Talking Heads clip. Made today's DNF (on a Tuesday?!? no less) more bearable.

Susan McConnell 8:30 AM  

Fell flat for me. Agree with Rex, especially about that Northwest corner, which gets the puzzle off on a really bad foot.

Wah...couldn't get Captcha numbers, only words, despite multiple refreshing.

Mohair Sam 8:30 AM  

That's a "stringer" on the baler, not a stinger. Can't blame the spell checker for that one.

Nancy 8:30 AM  

Hardest Tuesday I've ever seen, I think. Probably an age thing, as in: Don't get old. The arcane words are complicated by the pop songs of a younger generation, none of which I'd ever heard of. They all came in anyway, except for HOT HOT HOT (I had -O-HOT-OT and still didn't get it. For which I blame ARHAT and SITKA) Not very enjoyable for me, as pop singles make my eyes glaze over.

Casco Kid 8:38 AM  

Wow. Friday hard here, and I got slaughtered like a Saturday. I'm sure I know the songs to hear them, but as names? Associated with various acts? No way. Wasn't Foreigner a song by Survivor? Or did Air Supply write Eye of the Tiger? As noted before, Oldies stations don't mention play lists. Neither do top forty stations. Where does one go to learn song names? AliasZ's house? (Not even. Arias, maybe . . .)

And wasn't there a group called Weather Report? Missed opportunity there.

ERUCT? ERUpT works well and AFp seems innocuous enough, although AFC is a more obvious choice. Oof. But I also missed at OMNy/NyT (Picky pickers pick the New York Times, no?) and LIVEfIRE/ AGAINSTTHEfIND.

NACRE is new to me as well. How does DAP mean [Fist bump]? Final score: gave up after 50 minutes, 2 songs and NACRE googled, two errors found and corrected, and ERUCT inaccessible without the answer key.

Sir Hillary 8:40 AM  

ERUCT crossing HELOT on a Tuesday. Does anything more really need to be said?

As Robert Cray wrote...the forecast calls for pain.

Loved seeing the songs though, especially the beautiful Withers tune.

Loved seeing Sikma even more. RIP Sonics.

Arlene 8:43 AM  

I finished this - albeit with bad guesses for ERUCT and such. But my bigger problem is pop songs from the 1970's and beyond - as I lost my hearing as a young adult back then, so never heard any of this stuff. (Click on my name to learn more.)
Made finishing this crossword puzzle a particular challenge. One or two is never usually a problem, but four is pushing my good nature.

loren muse smith 8:45 AM  

Ok. I see Rex' point on that northwest, but that ??H?A at 1D serves up a tough row to hoe. My beloved SCHWA wouldn't have lead to a much better corner, possibly including two more abbreviations and "fatwa" instead of SITKA, which, as a total Alaskophile, I never have trouble with.

I have no big problems with this theme – cool that she found four songs ending in weatherish words and a 15 letter reveal. I'm as familiar with Steam Heat by Patti Page as I am HOT HOT HOT, but google doesn't support me at all on this one. I would have preferred four noun-final themers (all interchangeable in "Stay tuned for details – lots of {WIND, RAIN, ICE, HEAT} in the week's FORECAST." A while back, I kicked a WEATHER idea around ( BIRD BRAIN, BOTH SIDES NOW, CHIEF JUSTICE, BUCKWHEAT) but abandoned it because I thought, "Eh. Meh." See the difference here? Tracy's is so much better on two, uh, fronts – a good reveal and a theme is tightened up by putting real restrictions on the possibilities. I enjoyed it as a solver and took notes as a fledgling constructor.

My measuring stick for Mon/Tues difficulty is Dad. Those are the only two he tackles, and he really looks forward to them. Both yesterday and today he surprised me and didn't have too much trouble. If he gives it his greatest praise, "This was a pretty good puzzle" (read "I got almost all of it, even the hard parts, because of the crosses") then in my world it was a successful day. He was happy with yesterday's and didn't really object to today's. Mom is the only one who reads Rex these days, so Dad's reaction to a puzzle is pure, not swayed as it were by a negative reaction on the blog. I guess in the world of NYT solvers, people like Dad have to be legion, right? And we solvers here at Rex are but an elite microcosm? I dunno.

I'm sure I'm not alone with "Borat" first. Either way, "belch" wouldn't fit for ERUCT. Without this place, I would have lived out my life never knowing that I, too, had a dnf with "erupt" there. With all their conferences, groups, etc, "afp" just seemed like another sports abbreviation I didn't know.

"Capri" was still on the brain for SKORT, and as usual, I wondered if NACRE was in fact "lucre."

Hey, @Z – I'm actually not a snarky vocabulary/grammar snob at school; I just play one here in Rexworld. I should have added yesterday that when she said "nocturnal," I absolutely didn't leave her hanging. I said, "Not identical, right? Then they're fraternal." (Given the BRETHREN/brethern flap yesterday, maybe "farternal?")

evil doug 8:51 AM  

Muse: I thought we straightened out this "lead" vs. "led" deal....

D

Hartley70 8:58 AM  

Ridiculous Tuesday! I got the songs but dap (huh?), arhat, eruct, afc, were beyond me and amir was just annoying. I finished by guessing but it was a cranky start to any day, let alone a Tuesday!

TokyoRacer 9:00 AM  

Not only is Stop Making Sense the best ever concert movie, but for my money, it is the best album ever made.

Blue Stater 9:01 AM  

Just awful.

Stephen Grant 9:01 AM  

This might be the first Tuesday I never finished. I had BAJIA and SIMKA down and didn't know ARHAT. So I had no idea what JOMHOT_OT. Was supposed to be.

And I had ERUPT, and don't follow football so though it could be or should be any of AFC AFL NFC NFL . No idea with HELOT, so I wasn't even seeing BALER. I just gave up in frustration. First time I ever did that on a Tuesday.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

Does Rex ever LIKE more than one puzzle a month? This is supposed to be FUN! I guess he writes only for the people who are at his level, not for us dummies, who enjoy the puzzle.

George Barany 9:06 AM  

Add me to the list of those flummoxed by the ERUCT / ERINS crossing. I also did not know HELOT directly, as clued, but once I figure it out from the crossings, it brought back memories of this scene from a wonderful Frank Capra movie called "Meet John Doe."

loren muse smith 9:09 AM  

ED – Yeah. When I red threw it, I saw it was underlined and thought, "What the hail." (Whether theme and all that.) Yeah, rite. That last thyme I had an excuse. Today, not so much. Whale, heck - if you can't be a good example, then at least you can be a horrible warning.

pmdm 9:19 AM  

37A should have been clued "News segment suggested by the ends of the answers to 17-, 23-, 48, and 60-Across. I more often defend Mr. Shortz against complaints voiced on this blog, but this clue seems to me to represent sloppy editing. I'm not sure why "local" was included in the clue. Would not the content of a regional or national forecast be just as appropriate.

Odd and unusual words don't bother me too much - I kind of like expanding my vocabulary. I can't say the same about my reaction to obscure (at least to me) proper nouns. While it may be nice to have the Tuesday puzzle that is more challenging than usual, at least for me that doesn't justify the overall nature of the fill.

Early on, I filled in "not so hot" for 17A which fit quite well with 2D and 18D. I found the puzzle unenjoyable to me to not bother finishing up. Happy to read that my reaction isn't unique.

Questinia 9:23 AM  

The word is elegy to what it signifies.

(Robert Haas)

ERUCT.

Danp 9:27 AM  

ERUPT and AFP. AFP stands for Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party political group.

Norm 9:32 AM  

Rex doesn't want us to know our geography but random combinations of letters that rap "artists" use are just fine? I liked this puzzle -- especially the progression from top to bottom: hot, windy, overcast & cold. Very clever.

Elle54 9:36 AM  

Hand up for ERUPT. I guess I have to agree with Rex about the northwest..

Ludyjynn 9:37 AM  

Enjoyed the trip down memory lane coming up w/ some great '70s and '80s chart toppers to complete the theme, but I agree wholeheartedly w/ Rex and most of you regarding the questionable Tuesday fill. Must I commit ERUCT to memory for future crossword reference?! Yechh!


This being Tuesday,it brings to mind the Moody Blues song, "Tuesday Afternoon"(a/k/a "Forever Tuesday"), which has a lyric befitting the theme:

Tuesday afternoon
I'm just beginning to see
Now I'm on my way
It doesn't matter to me
CHASING THE CLOUDS AWAY...

@FredR, a belated thank you for the laugh you provided me referencing Sid Caesar and Immogene Coca's hilarious spoof of the beach scene I wrote about last eve. in this blog. When he passed recently, I saw a retrospective of his work which included that skit.

r.alphbunker 9:38 AM  

Limp Bizkit was formed in 1994, 20 years ago.

www.urbandictionary.com has the following to say about them "[Limp Bizkit] is a rap metal band which is either extremely loved by its fans, or is extremely hated by metal fans who don't believe rap and metal should blend. The only rule about Limp Bizkit is you either love them or hate them."

... or you have never heard of them.

HtH

Ludyjynn 9:43 AM  

@DanP, I had the same answers for the same reasons. Clearly, this was a puzzle w/ two acceptable, alternate responses @35D/42A. Thanks.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:52 AM  

@pmdm - The revealer clue specifies "local" because a weather report and forecast is a standard part of a local newscast. Weather usually only makes the national news when it is very, very bad.

I had no problems with this puzzle. I'm just not sensitive enough to most of the stuff that bothers some others here.

If there were one word that I might have had to struggle to recall, it might have been ERUCT, but that challenge was taken from me by an inappropriate comment posted at the end of yesterday's thread.

Which also prevents me from saying, "It's never too early," because in that case it was, but in another sense it's not too early: You can sign up for Lollapuzzoola 7 now at the BeMoreSmarter website.

RnRGhost57 10:17 AM  

HOTHOTHOT . . . . Think I have an ERUCTion.

AliasZ 10:24 AM  


I dunno, one man's ugly fill is another's welcome crunchiness. SITKA, BAHIA, HELOT, ARHAT, NACRE, SKORT, HEPTAGON, ILIAD, LIVEWIRE, SCOTT Turow, are all fine entries in my book. Even for a Tuesday. I especially liked the SLEEP IN - EDIT OUT symmetrical pair. Yes there were also UTES, AFTS, ERINS, ATTAs, ETTEs, ORIGs, INSTs and TATAs, but so what.

The weather related song title theme was also cute. Did not know HOT HOT HOT or COLD AS ICE. The other two came without crosses. There are many more songs that could have been used: Here Comes the Sun, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Stormy Weather, Windy, Who'll Stop the Rain, but I am trying to avoid any more earworm implants. OK, Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head.

Besides the theme, there were tons more musical references today: STU Sutcliffe, Fred DURST playing LEFTY PIANO with a banjo in his KNEE, the ELK playing the bugle and the violin with a bow (ARCO), all conducted by BRUNO Walter. Forget all that. Here is instead Lionel Hampton, King of the VIBES.

Enjoy your Ruby Tuesday.

retired_chemist 10:24 AM  

Did not know ANY of the songs comprising the theme, which made for somewhat slow going since I had to put in short fill after short fill. Medium on that basis, but it should have been easy for those who knew the song names. Yes, some of the fill is less than stellar, but I didn't hate it as much as Rex did.

ERUCT preceded by belch. BASH by gAla. AFC by nFl. Not much else.

On to Wednesday.

com'on 10:24 AM  

@Rex said: "ARHAT!? Jeez louise. I learned that from crosswords ..."

Don't you think the newbies should also be given a chance to learn such words? Or should they [words] just be banished from the contemporary scene as "old and passé".

Same logic should apply to Chaucer and Shakespeare in Lit classes, no? When's the last time you used "methinks" in normal conversation?

.../passé Rexfan

Steve J 10:30 AM  

First impressions definitely determined my reaction to this one today, and my first impressions were mostly positive. I started working the NE corner, where I liked LEFTY and LIVE WIRE. The theme answers fell quickly, with all the songs recognizable to me and all fitting the theme. I didn't notice - nor care - about AGAINST THE WIND not being a forecast; I definitely look for theme consistency such as if you have the key word at the end of all themers but one, etc., but there comes a point where you can way overthink things. Rex's analysis today is one of those times.

A lot of the clunky fill went unnoticed by me as I solved, as several of them filled in off of crosses. Agreed that there was a lot of obscure stuff for a Tuesday (all would have been fine later in the week). BAHIA is definitely late-week fare, as are ARHAT and NACRE. SITKA was gettable off of one cross. That one's easy if you're any degree of a geography buff.

At least AMIR finally got flagged as a var. I nearly fell out of my chair. I still wish it would go away.

Ultimately, I got tripped up by the same AFp/ERUpT trap that felled so many. Also had to play vowel roulette at NACRE/DAP (huh? - if it weren't for IDIOT, I'd have put tAP in there).

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

A nice clue for Amir is "The Kite Runner" hero.

chefbea 10:49 AM  

DNF didn't know arhat, eruct, Behia or Bruno

Gill I. P. 10:58 AM  

Oh my...Well at least a disparage from @Rex brings on some interesting comments.
I had HOT TO TROT and never changed it...HRT (her royal teen) seemed ok and ARRAT could be a Buddhist. Didn't know a slangy guitar player so I left AcMEN/PIc. I guess that makes it a major dnf for moi.
Except for ERUCT I certainly didn't find anything offensive. As a matter of fact, I had the good VIBES when I finished despite having lots of errors.

Fred Smith 11:16 AM  

I'm with everyone on eruct. I got it because the down HAD to be AFC (I'm brom Boston).

However, I don't agree that eruct would be OK later in the week. As others have opined before, no word that 90%+ (my opinion) of solvers have heard of, should ever appear.

-- Fred

Matthew A. Harmer 11:28 AM  

Had ERUPT/AFP for the longest time; I thought AFP meant "Americans For Prosperity" which, though probably more political (or conservative) than NYT puzzles get, sorta fit the clue "Patriots' grp." After all the crap in the NW, I thought it was a possibility.

SITKA I got only by virtue of having been there once for work a long time ago. AGAINSTTHEWIND, HOTHOTHOT, et al., from years of bosses who listened to Classic Rock radio at work (fun fact: "Buster Poindexter" is a pseudonym of David Johansen of the New York Dolls).

Under 10 today, but under 8 for the most part, with 2 mins of trying to figure out AFP/AFC and AMIR/BAHIA.

Jisvan 11:40 AM  

My WTF was ERUCT! I see now it is classic Crosswordese, but a piece that I have somehow escaped. Like everyone else, wanted ERUpT, which made the Patriots play for, oh I don't know, the American Frisbee Players or something. Most sports escape me too, except for bicycle racing! And speaking of which, the Tour of California, an 8 day road race, is now in full swing, and I have finagled a day off to go watch it in person. The WEATHER FORECAST is a very unusual HOT HOT HOT, which means it might reach the 80s along the beaches tomorrow. I'm sure it won't be hot for long, though, because we'll have a sea breeze in the afternoon. In fact, we are just about always AGAINST THE WIND. (But it never gets really cold, it's no SITKA!)
This was hard for me, about twice my usual time, but no Googles. Enjoyed the struggle!

Slow Motion 11:40 AM  

I also had Hot To Trot, so DNF for me, but I knew ERUCT, sort of. Odd sounding word. I think I'll start using it in sentences. "Say excuse me when you eruct!"

Masked and Anonymo4Us 11:46 AM  

@63: "Aint no sunshine when you're gone... It aint warm when you're away... Aint no sunshine when you're gone, and you're always gone too long... Anytime U go away..."
(play/pause)

GAS. ERUCT. WIND. Rodeo.

fave forecast: HOTHOTHOT. All those H's produce just the right supurb edge of desperation, in its forecast area, for the grid fillins.

Actually, the whole grid had some fillins that weren't yer run of the TuesPuzmill. Frisky. I'm with @EvilD: feisty is fun.

M&A
"Puzs by Amir Mortal"

JTHurst 11:57 AM  

Happy Vesak Day and for those of us celebrating, 'arhat' was a no brainer.

All of us are wired differently as I had no difficulty with the NW because 'among', 'ink' 'hrh' and bash fell out right away with the rest to follow. And when I had the letters "er' then eruct was an easy answer. I had more trouble with an 'ai' on George Takei's name and 'ai' on Tae. I really felt badly when I could not remember the whole title to the Bob Seger song.

As far as the greatest rock music concert movie ever made it is a toss-up between Jonathan Demme's Stop making Sense, Martin Scorcese's The Last Waltz, and the eponymous Woodstock. I prefer The Last Waltz because I like all of the Band's music.

Unfortunately I have been humming Bill Withers song "Ain't No Sunshine Since Your Gone" all day now.

Z 12:04 PM  

@jisvan - there is USAU (USA Ultimate), AUDL (American Ultimate Disc League) and the MLU (Major League Ultimate), but no American Frisbee Players. In fact, we don't even play with frisbees, using a disc made here in Michigan, Ultrastars by Discraft (except for the MLU, which uses an inferior disc made by someone else).

@lms - I imagined you saying nothing because of the temptation presented. If it had been your own child what would your response have been? My sons, having grown up with me as father, had a preference in HS for those teachers who got away with outrageous comments that went over the heads of most students.

Does anyone else note a certain 1984 Newspeak in the names of groups like Americans For Prosperity?

Dick Swart 12:13 PM  

It is the overtones of the words, the resonance of memories elicited, that is a lpart of the appeal to me of doing the AM crossword over tea and toast.

So SITKA was a familiar city from Michael Chabon's 'The Yiddish Policemens Union".

If you would like a view of an Alaska that isn't, in a murder mystery with end-times motivation written by a modern master, this may be your cup of tea!

Lewis 12:31 PM  

I'm placing ERUCT in the same bin as EYEPIT.

11 on my grid gruel list -- too many. I agree with Rex that AGAINSTTHEWIND doesn't fit with the other theme answers, as it's not a forecast.

I almost always like solving, and I liked solving this, but I knew as I was doing it that it would get excoriated by Rex. At least we didn't hear another chorus about the downfall of the Great Lady's crosswords.

I liked SPRIG and the way it neighbored ORIG. I count 21 T's -- that feels like a lot.

Steve J 12:53 PM  

@Dick Swart: I second the recommendation for "The Yiddish Policemen's Union". Very interesting and fun book. And from it I learned that there actually was a real proposal at one point to carve out the area around SITKA as a Jewish homeland in the '30s. The idea never got far.

Fred Romagnolo 12:58 PM  

I didn't know ANY of the songs, either; started with HOTTOTROT because didn't know ARHAT. Also didn't know DAP. Crosses saved the day on those, but ERUCT was a DNF; chose "erupt." @Bob Kerfuffle is spot on re the weather forecasts on local vs national news. SKORT also threw me for a while. Still don't know what it is. Isn't culottes French for shirts, as in "sans culottes?"

jdv 1:03 PM  

Medium. I've learned not to start NYT puzzles in the NW corner. It just seems, in general, to be more difficult there.

I accidentally did a google image search of culotte instead of culottes. Apparently that 's' is a pretty important distinction.

Fred Romagnolo 1:10 PM  

There was a Disney movie which featured the song "Bahia" during the war (the BIG one, thanks, Archie) I think it was called "The Three Caballeros," and wasn't Sitka the capital of Russian Alaska?

schmuzz 1:27 PM  

another one for DNF cuz of ERUpT---oh well

hey @Z - i went to the tiger game vs orioles last night- happy for the win-- my friends not so much....

Clark 2:15 PM  

I'm in the HOT TO TROT club. I remember going to see/hear Buster Poindexter in a jazz club in Greenwich Village, oh, it must have been around 1989. I'm sure he did HOT HOT HOT, but what I remember was his rendition of Mack the Knife.

The puzzle was kind of hilariously bad for a Tuesday.

sanfranman59 3:32 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)

Tue 9:05, 8:46, 1.04, 61%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:45, 5:22, 1.07, 66%, Medium-Challenging

Two Ponies 4:15 PM  

I also was hot to trot.

@ LMS, Yew are two funny.

Sfingi 4:43 PM  

Can't believe I finished w/o Google.

Didn't know much about any of the music. AINT NO SUNSHINE is an earworm w/o knowing MR. Withers.
As things filled in letter by letter (oh, yes, I've heard of that song) I said, well I guess the Brazilian state is BAHIA. I guess a fist bump must be a DAP. I guess the Cedar Rapids college must be COE...etc.

Rex made me laugh. The ARHAT might teach the HELOT to relax and accept his fate.

jae 4:56 PM  

Pretty much what everyone else has said.  Tough for me.  Liked the theme, knew the songs,  but the fill was way off base for a Tues.

nFl  before AFC but I was sure it had to be football  plus I've seen ERUCT before.

@Dick Swart &Steve J.  Thanks for reminding me about the Chabon book.  I somehow missed reading it and then forgot about it.  It's now back on my list.
And, if you haven't read it already, Telegraph Avenue is excellent.

Benko 5:35 PM  

I really enjoyed the puzzle. Two of my favorite singers (Withers and Seger), a childhood hero (Buster Poindexter), and a personal shoutout (COE). Pretty darn good.
@Phil: It took me exactly three minutes to do today's puzzle on the IPad, and it felt slow. The thing I like about magmic/iPad solving versus AcrossLite/keyboard solving is that it is a much more accurate reflection of my solving times on paper.

Jisvan 8:35 PM  

@Z, thanks for the disc lesson! There is no end to what I learn here!
There were a few crashes on the Tour today, but nobody coded while climbing the two highest mountains in the Bay Area on the hottest day of the year thus far. Tomorrow is sure to be cooler, with most of the route on Highway 1. Should be gorgeous with the wild flowers in full explosion. (Was going to write ERUCTion, but that would be wrong...)

Anonymous 8:58 PM  

Crikey, Rex, you're grumpy.

chefwen 9:14 PM  

In the HOT To Trot gang. Thought I was the only one until I got to Gill I.P.'s comment, now I see many more are coming out of he woodwork. PHEW!

Anonymous 9:44 PM  

Great puzzle for a luthier, especially one building a guitar with Sitka spruce top, a Bahia rosewood back, and a nacre inlaid neck for your favorite axman!

sanfranman59 10:38 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
sanfranman59 10:39 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 6:44, 6:04, 1.11, 87%, Challenging
Tue 9:10, 8:46, 1.05, 63%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:57, 3:57, 1.00, 45%, Medium
Tue 5:39, 5:22, 1.05, 63%, Medium-Challenging

Charles Flaster 11:05 PM  

Found it to be an easy puzzle without understanding 65across -Axmen.
Why do we need e.g. in 45 down ?
Erect is a good boggle word.

Anonymous 2:39 AM  

Tuesday not my good news day, but managed to get through most of the arcane stuff and generally clunky fill except for the SE corner where defeat came on the wings of UTES and DAP. What is dap (other than a fist ump, of course)? Agree w/Rex and many of the other comments.

Honeysmom 2:08 PM  

Too many NIT pickers, including the Great Rex! Today was fun and easier than most Wednesdays. Tuesday's was ridiculously difficult unless solver knew the songs.

Anonymous 9:27 PM  

Bahia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Just saying.

spacecraft 10:57 AM  

Didn't like it. Theme was less than tight, for reasons OFL cited. All those great "RAIN" tunes, and not one to be found! Me, I'd have even expanded to a 16-width to accommodate WHOLLSTOPTHERAIN.

And the fill shuttles between obscure (BAHIA, ARHAT, HELOT, DURST) to the hackneyed (ASEA, EPEES). There are, admittedly, some cool tunes here, but it just lacked polish. I'm afraid that the top tier of constructors has pretty much spoiled us.

Firecracker = LIVEWIRE?? That's a stretch close to the snapping point. Ah well, the sun'll come out tomorrow, betcher bottom dollar.

DMG 1:43 PM  

Had to get all the music stuff off the crosses, and perhaps got SITKA because I've been there. As for BAHIA, it just sounds Brazilian. At any rate got those and fell down at ERUpT. Sensed it wasn't right, but, with no help from AFwhatever, what's a gal gonna do? Add this one to my list of one square DNFs.

Dirigonzo 2:49 PM  

I muddled through because all of the songs were familiar and I refused to consider any possibility other than AFC for Patriots' gp. (Americans for Prosperity is most certainly NOT a patriots' group) so ERUCT stayed on sheer faith. But yeah, that NW corner was unsportsmanlike for a Tuesday.

Solving in Seattle 3:18 PM  

ERUpT/AFp? Had nFl to start. So, where @Diri made the correct choice, I went with the wrong one.
Wasn't my only mistake. My guitar players were AcMEN crossing PIc.
Hate SKORTS. Worst female fashion invention ever.
So, all in all, a tough monpuz followed by a tough tuepuz.

Is the US going to get past Portugal?

rain forest 3:51 PM  

Funny. I had no trouble with the NW. Thought 1A could be fete, fest, gala, or BASH. HRH, SITKA, and AMONG (gimmes) settled that, and watching the World Cup, I've heard BAHIA mentioned a couple times. I knew ERUCTation, so intuited ERUCT, which made me write over Borat. ARHAT (??) came from the crosses. Nice to learn that one.

I didn't find this particularly difficult or obscure, and I liked it.

Portugal over the USA, @SIS.

Totally indecipherable address below.

Joshua 8:41 PM  

Note to crossword puzzle makers: There is a completely valid spelling of the title of the rulers of Kuwait, Qatar, and the seven member EMIRates of the United Arab EMIRates. It is EMIR. Not EMEER, not AMIR.

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