1937 film based on Gershwin musical / SAT 6-14-14 / Ornament at top of spire / River of Hesse / Teatro Costanzi premiere of 1900 / First person outside NASA to receive moon-rock award 2006 / Gathers on surface chemically / Ching preceder

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Constructor: Alex Vratsanos

Relative difficulty: Medium 



THEME: none

Word of the Day: MONTE (30A: National card game of Mexico) —
Monte BankMountebankSpanish Monte and Mexican Monte, sometimes just Monte, is a Spanish gambling card game and the national card game of Mexico.[citation needed] It ultimately derives from basset, where the banker (dealer) pays on matching cards. The term "monte" has also been used for a variety of other gambling games, especially varieties of three-card poker, and for the swindle three-card monte. (wikipedia)
• • •

I liked this grid pretty well, though it feels a bit crustier and olde-fashionede than yesterday's offering—except GO ROGUE and ZONK OUT. Those are great. The rest is fine, with come clunkers here and there. The DENARII bridge from DANO to ITAS was probably my least favorite part. Though it will seem minor, my greatest coup was getting EDER (23A: River of Hesse) off the presumed -ED at the end of what turned out to be JILTED, and then getting ONEIDA off of that. Four-letter European rivers, long a staple of crossword puzzles, remain a confusing morass in my brain, lo these x many solving years later, so nailing EDER feels great, even though EDER is not what you'd call great fill. I needed that boost, because this puzzle had me frustrated from 1A: "Diamonds and Rust" singer, 1975 (JOAN BAEZ). In retrospect, I have seen this exact clue (or something close to it) before, but the only singer I wanted was Neil Young (who didn't fit). Why did I want him? What does he have to do with diamonds and/or rust? I think it's the rust/rush similarity from "After the Gold Rush" that threw me, though Mr. Young also has an album entitled "Rust Never Sleeps," but since I only just discovered that now, I don't think it had any influence on my initial wrongness.


Had SASH at 26A: Wound around the body? (GASH) and PENTE (!?) for MONTE early on, despite knowing that PENTE is a game played with stones, not cards. But back to MONTE—I'm dubious about the clue, largely because the wikipedia entry has a big "[citation needed]" next to the "national card game of Mexico" bit (which this puzzle just lifted verbatim). If you google "national card game of Mexico," the results aren't promising—mainly game apps and other sites all using identical language. NYT puzzle's own blog shows up on first page of results. I'm not saying clue's wrong. I'm just saying the immediately available sources aren't exactly resplendent with authority. Anyway, in case you needed reminding, wikicluing is the worst. Trust, but verify.


Worst self-maiming moment of the day: spelling IDIOSYNCRASY with a terminal -CRACY (undoubtedly inferred from the common governmental suffix). It's an odd spelling, I think. Do other words end -RASY?

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

108 comments:

Karl 12:06 AM  

Wow I am the first commenter! Liked the puzzle except for OLEASTER and still not getting (or maybe just not liking) the clue for POINT OF ORDER. Fun puzzle overall.

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

Aah, SCHAEFER beer - The one beer to have when you're having more than one. Brings back so many childhood memories, mostly of confusion. When did anyone ever have just one? One case, maybe, but one single beer? Not in my house.

There's no banging of ANTLERS. Antlers are for wrestling, not banging.

r.alphbunker 12:38 AM  

JOANBAEZ was a gimme. During the solve I never even considered it could be some other artist but post-Googling revealed that Judas Priest did it too.

Surprise! A kalash is a FINIAL. I have a kalash on my house.

I initially had the O.T. God as fiERcE --> ETERNE

I wound a sAri-->GASH around the body.

Hand up for missing the idiosyncratic spelling of IDIOSYNCRASY.

Finished with DENeRII/ROSeLIE. And I was so happy to remember the II.

Anonymous 12:39 AM  

Bang for the buck? Wow, that's some INNUENDO! I blush for the Grey Lady. :-)

Loved the puzzle. Tough except the NW, with the JOAN BAEZ gimme (I'm old), but I got it, finally. Great Saturday!

jae 12:41 AM  

Medium-tough for me. 

WOEs: SCHERZO, DANO, MONTE (as clued), DENARII, and  OLEASTER (had OLEAnder at first)

Spelling challenge:  IDIOSYNCRASY @Rex & r.alphbunker

Significant erasure: riskING before STAKING

Very solid Sat.  Some great clues, plenty of crunch, and a bit of zip...EDWARD NORTON, GO ROGUE, JOAN BAEZ, ZONK OUT, MOJOS, IDIO...

Liked it a lot.  What a Sat. should be!

Andrew 12:55 AM  

I recommend giving "Rust Never Sleeps" a listen. Definitely one of Neil's better albums.

Questinia 12:58 AM  

Knew "Rust Never Sleeps" so definitely wanted Neil Young. Also went with the terminal -CRACY. Should be IDIOSYNCRAZY.
Wanted some form of doe for 3D cause, well, just look at that torrid NW.

Fairly straightforward cluing put this in the easier-but-fun category.

SenorLynn 1:00 AM  

DNF because of DANO/DENALII. Didn 't like POINTOFORDER for the clue. Doesn't that mean a clarification, or objection?
Never seen ENHALO.
Guessed TOSCA and IVO.
Is Morsi an ISLAMIST?
Wanted 2 effs in SCHAEFER, but you have to stop at one, right, anon 12:21?

okanaganer 1:07 AM  

- Unlike Rex, JOAN BAEZ got me off to a roaring (or maybe warbling) start.
- Never ever heard of SCHAEFER or knew there were CRANBERRY BOGS on Cape Cod or considered (NOVEL)IZE could be a word (but I guess it makes sense).
- Fondly remember Walter CRONKITE commentating the moon missions.
- Really wanted 131D to be OLEANDER. Just cuz OLEASTER sounds wrong. In fact, Firefox is agreeing with me by underlining the latter and not the former.

Now I have Bob Seger in my head singing KATMANDU.

Congratulations L.A. Kings!!! What a nerver-wracking overtime.

Moly Shu 1:46 AM  

My SCHAEFER memory is es la mejor, cuando se toma más de una. Or something like that, huge in Puerto Rico.

Liked the puzzle mostly except for JOANBAEZ. What is that, folk music? And I use the term " music " loosely. To me it's just noise. How anyone can listen to that crap is beyond me. How am I supposed to know some folk artist from 40 years ago?
How'd I do, @SteveJ, @Benko and at @SirHillary. ????

Seriously now, difficult solve, couldn't see IRS for the longest time. Had TimEX ??? before TELEX. Guessed DANO and SCHERZO. My aunt lives on CRANBERRY hole rd., so I had no problem with the BOG. Great entry. Liked it very much, even if it was a major struggle.

Steve J 1:54 AM  

@Moly Shu: Fantastic. Meanwhile, how the hell am I supposed to know or care where some random opera premiered? (Oh, wait, TOSCA's hardly some random opera. Move along. Nothing to see here.)

I was so far off this puzzle's wavelength, I was pretty much a flat line compared to its sine wave. Several missteps, like having Twins be a tEam, not BEDS, going through Pile ON, then PACK iN, then finally PACK ON, having fRaNK somebody getting the moon rock. And like many, I had IDIOSYNCRASY with -RAcY.

The one that irritated me most was me ignoring my own rule not to expect the NYT puzzle to be accurate or flag variants, and refusing to fill in KATMANDU because the correct KATHMANDU wouldn't fit.

Liked INNUENDO, ZONK OUT and IDIOSYNCRASY. Did not like plural MOJOS or the clue for POINT OF ORDER. Didn't like the mess I made of this, either, but that part's all on me.

Steve J 1:56 AM  

Oh, @Moly Shu: I also had the inexplicable TimEX in for a while before having a "duh" moment and correcting it to TELEX.

George Barany 2:13 AM  

The clue for TOSCA is a useful reminder of how few of the staples of the opera repertoire had their debuts in the 20th century. Yet, when listing Puccini's dozen operas (counting "Il Trittico" as three) chronologically, "Tosca" is not even the median.

Another dramatic way to make the point: Most culturally literate Americans have heard Nessun dorma, the signature aria from Puccini's last opera "Turandot," and (as discussed yesterday), Enrico Caruso is one of those tenors whose name is likely to come up in crossword puzzles 50 or 100 years from now. Yet, Caruso never recorded "Nessun dorma." Any idea why not?

Moly Shu 2:35 AM  

@GeorgeBarany, because opera sucks? Sorry, couldn't resist.

chefwen 3:06 AM  

I believe the most CRANBERRY BOGS are in Wisconsin. @Carola - Correct? I will have to consult Herr Google.

Easier than yesterdays, for me. Had to Google a tad to squish my toes in the door, but after that it all seemed to fall in place. I also wanted sASH for wound around the boy. A whole GASH around ones body sounds awfully painful. ENHALO was pretty questionable too.

Hey, it's Saturday and I finished, albeit with some cheating, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I'll do some major celebrating when I can finish a Saturday unaided.

Marguerite 3:32 AM  

@GeorgeBarany : Because Caruso died before the premiere of Turandot. But then again, so did Puccini.

George Barany 6:13 AM  

Well done, @Marguerite. Besides having the misfortune to die before "Turandot" was completed, Caruso was an eyewitness to the San Francisco earthquake, as documented here.

Back to "Tosca," visit this site for some wonderful anecdotes about performances of this opera.

loren muse smith 7:04 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gill I. P. 7:17 AM  

OK - here's the difference [for me] between yesterday's and today's [ahem]...
The cluing was sassy and fun. Most of the answers I didn't know [SCHERZO - had SCHemas - DENARII - never heard that one) were gettable.
Some of these I got with just one letter which always makes me want to do a happy dance. JOAN BAEZ off of JILTED and IDIOSYNCRASY off the I in STAKING...woo hoo.
The only let down was not seeing a rapper name.
15A reminds me of @Evil Doug. ENHALO sounds like something you'd say in Hawaii. Agree on the KATMANDU spelling but then again, we see these variations all the time: HAVANA/HABANA.
Thanks Alex for a Sat. that I finished sans Google. ENHALO to you from California.
p.s. @Milford for a time there I thought maybe you had gone off to Pamplona to ready for the running of the bulls! Glad you're back...

Danp 7:43 AM  

I wanted Lash for Gash. Not sure why "around the body" was in the clue.

Overall, the puzzle was too tough for me, but lots of interesting tidbits like Oleaster, Boreal, and Cronkite. Somehow I associate cranberry bogs with Martha Stewart, but not Cape Cod. And Sojourn with the trip rather than the rest stop.

Evan 8:23 AM  

My other favorite and not-so-favorite DANOs (I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which):

1. Hutch Dano -- a young actor who was in "Ramona and Beezus" and who's worked with Selena Gomez, I guess?

2. Paul Dano -- the guy who took a vow of silence in "Little Miss Sunshine."

3. Royal Dano -- the guy from "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" who did THIS.

Gareth Bain 8:27 AM  

FWIW, Neil Young's new Americana album is also definitely worth a listen!

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Score another one for the Baby Boomers music mavens! Joan Baez was a gimme and the whole NW then fell easily, another example of how YMMV in your solve depending on your life's experiences.

evil doug 8:30 AM  

What I'll tell my doctor at my annual physical next week: "Not in MY endo."

Love the Mae West "gun in your pocket" line. I thought it was from one of her early movies, but she claims it was to an escorting cop in the 30s.

Evil

Davidph 8:31 AM  

Argh! I was one silly vowel away from my first no-Google Saturday solve! I had PACK iN instead of ON. Sigh.

loren muse smith 8:35 AM  

It was a fight, but I wrestled all but the southwest to the ground. In the Dark Days before all of today's spendidly vapid reality fare, I watched All My Children and sometimes One Life to Live. I guess I browsed once or twice in the check-out line at those small soap magazines because DANO kept oozing forth from my ericakanezian brain. I just couldn't believe that I actually knew her name.

Sewing up my demise in the sw, I erased IRS to put in "Boston" for that historic venue crossing "Michelob" for the beer. Then I just stared at it all. Tried "rafts" for HOSTS and some kind of "_ _dial" for FINIAL, erased'em and stared some more. Off the K in EKE, I kept checking that "Hawking" didn’t' fit. Finially, I just gave up.

Like others, I kept wanting "sash" but figured it was a noun and had nothing to do with "wound" as a noun.

@Questinia – I didn't see the story in the northwest. See what you mean about "doe". Never met a buck who would turn down a ONE NIDA.

@Moly Shu on JOAN BAEZ - Ya got me. I totally fell for it, thinking, "Wow. We all have such different tastes in music."

So unbelievable serendipity – last night my daughter and I had a long drive back from a dinner where I had three grape Tootsie Pops (and thinking I could eat them all day everyday) while winning a game of Balderdash. In the car I was commending her on a definition she made up that totally tricked me – some kind of special mud hut that Native Americans used for the wedding night. She was saying she had been trying to think of the name of a real tribe, and I was offering up suggestions. ONEIDA was about the third one I offered up. Theeennnnnn, we moved on to another go-to car activity - play a Joan Baez' concert version of Amazing Grace to practice the harmony. I'm a very, very good singer, and my daughter is coming right along. (Warmed up, we always next practice two Josephine Cameron duets and argue the whole about which part is whose.)

PENNE/PACK ON. Yeah. I guess so. Poor wheat farmers. I know so many people who just don't eat pasta anymore. No wheat. Heck – I just bought a 25 lb thing of spelt flour on line. And I eat Tootsie Pops and keep bacon fat in the fridge (read: I'm not yet an extremist.)

To anyone who cares, - yeah, you there at your kitchen table – David's puzzle yesterday eviscerated me. I checked, and my daughter knew that SOULJA guy (and also the Grand Ole Opry question from Learned League.) I just had a bad grid/quiz day yesterday. Yesterday SOULJA, today SOUJORN... What. We on some kind of "s_ _j_ _" subject vibe?

Alex – nice job. The CRANBERRY BOG/SCHAEFER cross got me in the end.

And I'm not really a good singer.

Leapfinger 8:42 AM  

Interesting. I just found out that the premiere performance of Turandot included only Puccini's music, and the only the second performance presented the full opera as completed by Alfano. And the first performance was conducted by TOSCAnini (wow). Am betting there were afficionados who attended both.

In HS, it was a point of smuggery among some to know the pronunciation wasn't 'Turandoh'... as would be more natural in la Belle Province de Quebec. Vichysswah for dinner tonight.

David Fink 8:52 AM  

Oleaster ? Really? Couldn't give up oleander. Otherwise a breeze.

Michael Langlois 8:56 AM  

What about KATMANDU? Isn't it KAT "H" MANDU?

Susan McConnell 8:59 AM  

I tend to not have much of a love connection with Alex Vratsanos puzzles and this one was no exception. I did it, but it was a chore. No specific gripes, just no zing for me.

Old fogie 9:02 AM  

@moly shu & @stevej
TimEX not that far off ... For years sponsored the nightly news with John Cameron Swaze (sp?).

First network news, 15 minutes, in black & white.

..PG

Jim Finder 9:12 AM  

"PACK ON"? Is this a real phrase?

Hartley70 9:16 AM  

Any Saturday I can do under an hour is a good Saturday to me! Took me forever to get the beer. I kept wanting to stretch Schlitz into that spot. Got me thinking about all those old commercials and brands...The Miss Rhinegold contest! And how my Dad would pour the 6 year old me a juice glass of beer to share when he watched THE GAME. Who would do that today? Luckily I emerged unscathed with nary a desire for a "High Neighbor, have a 'Gansett"!

mathguy 9:17 AM  

Liked it but a number of off definitions kind of spoiled it for me. In fact, the clue for EKE doesn't seem to be correct. Didn't like the clues for POINTOFORDER, STAKING, and GASH. Like @Danp, I've always thought that SOJOURN was the journey, not the visit.

The clue about the buck reminded me of the long-ago magazine ad campaign for Soring Maid sheets. The tag was something like, "a buck well spent on a Spring Maid sheet" and it showed a young American Indian boy climbing out of a hammock made out of a sheet in which there is a pretty young Indian girl. It ran for years until there were too many complaints.

Glimmerglass 9:31 AM  

@evan: "Book 'im Dano"? Pretty typical Saturday for me, which is a good thing. One error: I misspelled IDeOSYNCRASY, which left me DUe for the insurance hike (shrug -- why not? the bastards use any excuse).

Mohair Sam 9:33 AM  

Great Saturday. Pretty much agree with Rex, although it played easy-medium here. Made Rex's "C" mistake in IDIOSYNCRASY, but decided that Morsi probably wasn't a clam digger.

Enjoyed JOANBAEZ and TOSCA as payback to you rap fans for yesterdays Souljaboytellem. Fun dig @MolyShu, thanks for the chuckle - although I wonder if your knee-jerk reaction to folk music doesn't have disturbing undertones.

Debby Weinstein 10:07 AM  

No. Cranberry bogs are a New England thing.

AliasZ 10:11 AM  


I learned a lot today.

- KATMANDU is misspelled.
- Boreal is the opposite of austral.
- OLEASTER is not the opposite of ol'wester and is not oleander.
- DENARII is the plural of denarius and is unrelated to Denali.
- "Cat man do" is the required official hairstyle for judges at CFA shows.
- JOAN BAEZ is not a rapper.
- EDER is not Oder.
- IDIOSYNCRASY looks odd, and it is not a portmanteau word meaning idiotic synchronicity.
- A feline-lover's big bachelor party is called a CATMAN DO.
- If you try to bang with your ANTLER, you may encounter serious protests by the doe populace.
- Prorogue means to postpone a meeting, hence GOROGUE must mean to restart it, right?
- If you are not sure how to treat your kitten, ask yourself, what would a cat man do?
- SCHERZO means "joke" in Italian.
- Styes are EYE SORES.
- SCHAFER is the last beer to have when you're having one more than none. Or something.

Composer Josef Suk (1874-1935) was a member of a distinguished Czech musical family, and the son-in-law of Antonín Dvořák. His Fantastic SCHERZO, Op. 25, is a perfect example of the light, playfully humorous and at times grotesque nature of SCHERZO.

Happy weekend.

Dirigonzo 10:14 AM  

I started with oNeliNer which had just enough right letters to keep INNUENDO hidden for too long; likewise GOwrong for GOROGUE. Still I was able to piece it all together bit by bit which makes it a good Saturday puzzle by my (admittedly low) standards.

@Jim Finder - I tend to PACK ON extra pounds during the winter months, so I think the phrase is real.

Article in the news today about a man in France dying and others injured as a result of taking DARES posted on facebook. I'm not sure what that means.

Norm 10:14 AM  

Thanks to John McPhee, I associate cranberry bogs with New Jersey, Has BEACHCOTTAGE at first, but that led nowhere. OLEASTER was a total mystery, so count me as another PACKIN. ILEASTER seemed just as likely, but I was probably thinking of ILEX.

Casco Kid 10:16 AM  

Brutally hard. Undoable, but to be fair, I'm limited to 30 minutes of solve time as I'm traveling on business, so I cannot invest the normal 100 minutes.

Today, I managed to google for EDWARDNORTON and JOANBAEZ thinking that these were supposed to be points of entry (they aren't for me) but that disrupted the Mae West ONELINER which was really all I had on my own. Deeply disappointing.

Googling for IVO gave me PRIMES? of Life. But that knocked out Morsi DICTATOR.

ALLEGRO symphony movement gives me the nonsensical "Novel _R_" so I went with NovelLAS and let the symphony part be _ _ _ _ _ AO, also strange but so is Latin. Neither had any sustainable crosses.
So both wrong?

Very much like yesterday's puzzle when I went with BUFFALOSOLDIERS for the Marley hit and ALBUNDY for the famiky guy, and ended after 30 minutes with 75 percent white space.

I have newfound respect for the Friday Saturday solvers with regular solve times under 30 minutes.

Pretty sure my report card will have me repeating Rex's kindergarten. We'll see tomorrow.

Carola 10:33 AM  

It's always nice when 1A goes right in (JOAN BAEZ fan), making the NW a breeze. Ran into trouble with OLEAndER (Hi,@okanaganer), erased IDIOSYNCRAcY because I couldn't believe the Y as a second letter, and got BOGged down when "come to ORDER" wouldn't ft. Adopted the "ignore and come back later" policy and got back into the swing of things with SUER. Worked my way west to the beer and then went back to clean up the mess in the middle.

I liked the crossing SCH's with their different sounds and linguistic origins and the puzzle-bracketing "dumps," one a verb and one a noun (running Down and Across to show different parts of speech. Just kidding.).

@chefwen - You betcha on the cranberry production! Massachusetts comes in a distant second to Wisconsin.

@Moly Shu and @Steve J - because I misspelled DiNARII at first, my bringer of old news was TiLEX. I don't want to tell you how long I spent wondering how a bathroom cleaner fit the clue.

@loren - ONE NIDA - tooooo gooood! You are a riot.

John 10:34 AM  

Several quite strained clues and answers. When do people actually use "enhalo"? It's in the dictionary, but jeepers. Also, very few cranberry bogs are on Cape Cod. The largest concentrations of cranberry acreage in MA are in Carver, Wareham, Middleboro, Plymouth and Rochester counties, together making up 62 percent of the state’s cranberry acreage. A "point of order" is a call ""at" a meeting, unless you torture the word "for." Couldn't get oleaster without a Google, but otherwise ok, tho annoying.

Leapfinger 10:36 AM  

Started with a bang and zipped around 3 quadrants in about 15 minutes, then hit the SW, which took longer than everything else put together.

There was this one trip driving North on I-85, a sunny morning, when JOAN BAEZ came on with "Diamonds and Rust". In about a microminute, my eyes teared up so bad I had to pull over. I'd heard it before, but it had never hit me quite so hard. Not something you forget. I also like "Diamonds and Rust", so maybe it's the Fe2O3.

Thought that IDIOSYNCRASY was pretty meta --- seems to be the only one doesn't end -cracy. It's just like @Questinia says. Fixed that as @Mohair Sam did: Mohammed Morsi wouldn't be doing clams, esp not in the mist.

Why did the SW quadrant give me Krankheit?
First of all, to me, he's ED NORTON; even when I had EDWARD___TON, I couldn't see the NOR.
I reely, reely wanted COME TO ORDER
Tried REFORMS and a HOST of others before REPENTS
Conflated 'dinero' with DENARII; till I fixed that E, couldn't 'see' TELEX.
There's probably 6 ways to spell SCAEFER
HASTENED implies hurry; acceleration, not so much
"Empire of the ANTS"? Sorry, HGW. I tried GODS

By the time I figured that out, I felt like a SCHERO in the cornfield, but did like the CRANBERRY BOG.

What I learned: a FINIAL isn't just indoor hardware. Nice to know it's also the cross on a spire, and the whatever on @r.alph's house.

A TON of good stuff to abSORB, Alex V; today we could have used some more of those AV AIDS.


WS 10:41 AM  

Ah, Massachusetts! RED SOX, CRANBERRY BOGs! And didja know JOAN BAEZ went to Belmont (MA) High School? Fun puzz, found it easy (I'm looking at you, ROSALIE!) because of all these.

Z 10:51 AM  

DNF thanks to the SW. I know my symphony parts about as well as I know my randomly spelled rappers. God from the old days... Angry? Avenging? Sadistic? Ambulatory? Violent? Murderous? (Seriously, who can read the Old Testament and not view god as a punk who needs a time-out or some serious jail time?) Schaefer is one of those beers that was $4.99 a case back in college. Haven't seen it since then. I'm not up on my Cape Cod geography. Yep, that whole corner was a big WOE.

Speaking of heresy... I went to Fenway once. Hated the place. Wrigley? Fantastic. Old Tiger Stadium? Fantastic. The Big A? So very California. Old Comiskey? Run down but cool. Old Busch? Not bad. Fenway? Left me cold. Of course, if you make me leave my seat and wait in line to get over-priced swilly beer you are never going make my top 20 list.

jdv 10:54 AM  

Challenging w/4 errors. REcaNT before REpeNT and ulE before iZE. This is probably one of the most painful and tortured puzzles I've seen in awhile. POINTOFORDER feels made up. SCHERZO? It took me 13 minutes to track down the errors. DENARII crossing DANO was probably the only thing I guessed right. Had ASHGABAT before KATMANDU. Did not enjoy this one.

Nancy 11:01 AM  

Challenging, fun and fair. JOAN BAEZ was a gimme for me, too, which made the NW easier than anything else. Never heard of CRANBERRY BOG and couldn't initially get BOG even when CRANBERRY came in. I was expecting something about the ocean or the sea of the shore or a lighthouse -- isn't that why people go to the Cape? I had SASH before GASH, so could make no sense out of the UE ending for "disobey directives": what on earth is S--O-UE? When I finally got GO ROGUE, I loved it! Best answer of all, I think.
Pour IN for PACK IN stymied me in the NE for the longest time. And like so many others, I had TimEX for TELEX. I had to cheat once, looking up FINIAm only to find it was FINIAL, before changing to TELEX and solving.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Yep, Rex, I got done in by that c in IDIOSYNCRAcY. Plus, had EnO instead of EMO- what kind of rock is that?

Morsi was an IcLAnist. Can't believe I left that in!

mac 11:20 AM  

Very nice Saturday, easier for me than yesterday's.

I also started out with one-liner @ 15A. Joan Baez was not a gimme, but I got zonk out and that z gave it away.

In the East I had a cat at the door and was I the only one with a rash?

r.alphbunker 11:31 AM  

@Leapfinger

I have read your posts very carefully and realize that I have my work cut out for me.

The answers in [ ]s below are the ones you are referring to obliquely.
[TOSCA] And the first performance was conducted by TOSCAnini
[EDWARDNORTON] "First of all, to me, he's ED NORTON; even when I had EDWARD___TON, I couldn't see the NOR."
[POINTOFORDER]I reely, reely wanted COME TO ORDER
[SCHAEFER] There's probably 6 ways to spell SCAEFER
[SCHERZO] By the time I figured that out, I felt like a SCHERO in the cornfield
[SORB] A TON of good stuff to abSORB,

This line refers to yesterdays puzzle and to the constructor (AV AIDS is nice!)
[AUDIOVISUALAIDS] today we could have used some more of those AV AIDS

And you are using SW to refer to a set of answers.
Why did the SW quadrant give me Krankheit?

You do help out a little by capitalizing the words referring to answers so that I can do a pattern match on the real answers to find the closest one. That is very nice of you.

And then there is the Turandot problem. @George Barany's post links "Turandot" with TOSCA (which he mentions). But then @Marguerite mentions "Turnadot" without mentioning TOSCA. I should bump the TOSCA count because of that comment. And you mention "Turandot" but with a weak reference to TOSCA(nini). And if this causes a flame war about opera vs rap all those posts should bump TOSCA even though they don't mention him.

Anonymous 11:36 AM  

This was a hard one for me. I saw the clue for 21 down and immediately plugged in ORALFIXATION, which set me back quite a bit at first.

Ended up with a DNF even, with PACKiN and iLEASTER. Never heard of OLEASTER, an I seemed just as likely and pack in is much more of a normal phrase than pack on.

Benko 11:38 AM  

Payback? I love classical music, including opera, and studied classical piano for years. Grew up listening to folk music, too--it was my dad's favorite. No reason to stick to one genre, or to waste the emotion of hatred or contempt on any music...

RnRGhost57 11:45 AM  

True story: a nice interview with JOAN BAEZ in a recent issue of the UK music mag, MOJO.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:11 PM  

Good puzzle; challenging.

dls 12:16 PM  

I blasted through this -- one of my two fastest Saturdays ever -- but finished with mistakes, including iLEASTER (not a thing), sENARII (a thing but very different), and some wrong letters in FINIAL which I've never heard of.

Looking at the times in Gamecenter, looks like a lot of the usual suspects at the top of the leaderboard had mistakes today.

Leapfinger 12:21 PM  

@r.alph

I reely like your style, but I can see I'll have to be very, very careful around you. The SCHERO was a mistake, anyway; my Z is sticking and may have some crumbs under it.

btw, I looked up that not-a-FINIAL on top of your house, and it seems your abode is wearing some type of Iranian/Pakistani headgear. Do I have that right.

Wanted to add to the JOANBAEZ collection: A couple of summers ago, she came to Raleigh for an outdoor concert, and one of my birthday presents was having a group of us to go hear her, as I've loved her for half a century. It was a sight to see the audience streaming in from the parking fields. Streaming isn't the word --- I've never been to a concert with so many wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, oxygen tanks and orthopedic appliances of all types!! Such a hoot.

But it was lovely to sit under the trees and see that little lady, white-haired now, and let that marvelous voice (not quite what it used to be) roll back the decades.

r.alphbunker 12:33 PM  

@Leapfinger
http://www.abundanceecovillage.com/about/design-philosophy/
Search for "kalash". The pointy thing on the roof in the nearby image is the kalash.

Andrew Heinegg 12:43 PM  

Problem is, the Mae West line was a flashlight in your pocket, not a gun, and much more appropriate for the sexual innuendo of the joke.

joho 12:52 PM  

I've been gone all morning ... took the puzzle with me on a SOJOURN and loved it!

JJJs are to me what UUUs are to M&A, so nice to see two. Joho's MOJOS has a nice ring to it!

This was soooooo much easier than yesterday ... thank you, Alex for restoring my faith in my solving ability!



Maruchka 1:03 PM  

Sweet and simple, with a laugh from MOJOs - got mine workin'.

REPENTed writing 'recanted'. What's a 'co-nt of order'?

@r.alph - Ed or Edward, they're both fabulous NORTONS. Concur with @Leap, which brings me to:

@Leap - Takes guts to show up with old age aids in tow. And so glad that all y'all saw Joanie. Hope you've seen the American Masters bio. Bobbie waxes rhapsodic about D & R.

@Gill - Love your connectivity skills - maHALO!

Carpe diem and seize the fish, too.



Maruchka 1:10 PM  

Oops, shoulda wrote BobbY.. where's my memory at?

Fred Romagnolo 1:15 PM  

@Oldfogie: I think it's Swazey. @Evil: although she was incredibly far ahead of her time in her movies, even she never went that far; but I believe she did use it on stage, remember, she was actually jailed for things she said on the stage. @Molly Shu: I'll bet you were really Puccini'd out in the blog today; not only Tosca, but Turandot. I actually enjoyed the tour of Fenway Park, in January when the field was covered with snow. Beethoven's Third is so great for so many reasons (some date "modern" music from it, others all of Romanticism) it's also the first time a SCHERZO was used in a third movement in place of the traditional minuet. I almost dnf'd with kONKOUT. It was hard , but still more in my ballpark than yesterday's. Have any of you ever seen ROSALIE? I've been trying for years, the legend is that it was involved in so many law suits that it had to be permanently shelved. Tried Netflix and YouTube: no luck.

Fred Romagnolo 1:16 PM  

@Oldfogie: I think it's Swazey. @Evil: although she was incredibly far ahead of her time in her movies, even she never went that far; but I believe she did use it on stage, remember, she was actually jailed for things she said on the stage. @Molly Shu: I'll bet you were really Puccini'd out in the blog today; not only Tosca, but Turandot. I actually enjoyed the tour of Fenway Park, in January when the field was covered with snow. Beethoven's Third is so great for so many reasons (some date "modern" music from it, others all of Romanticism) it's also the first time a SCHERZO was used in a third movement in place of the traditional minuet. I almost dnf'd with kONKOUT. It was hard , but still more in my ballpark than yesterday's. Have any of you ever seen ROSALIE? I've been trying for years, the legend is that it was involved in so many law suits that it had to be permanently shelved. Tried Netflix and YouTube: no luck.

Masked and Anonymo4Us 1:20 PM  

Like with the FriPuz, big trouble in the S. Central. Last letter to timidly go in was the correct guess of a D? at the ?ENARII/?ANO intersection.

Biggest trouble, as I often have with a SatPuz, was just gettin a toehold -- any toehold. My initial breaking and entering (sic) attempts included...
* risKING at 20-A.
* oNEG at 10-D.
* ERODE at 25-A.
* ker- at 11-D (with zero pride).
* IRS at 55-D.
* ITAS at 52-D.
About as much chance buildin a rodeo out of that gunk, as startin with a milk cow and a pony that operates on dimes. Ate a lotta dust, tryin to bust this bronc. Most of the dern clues were free-range.

MONTE Walsh. Great flick. Great Mama Cass theme song.

IZE. This has no shame. Primo weeject.
Ditto, on DUI. (Y'all know by now, how M&A would insist on cluin up DUI, right? Thought so.)

Thanx, @r.alph, for all yer extra work, makin those latest .puz and .pdf files for my runtscherzo over at runtpuz.org. Am likin yer new honrable mention word list thing, also. Encourages m&e to tack on my own faves, which were: SOJOURN, INNUENDO, GOROGUE, ZONKOUT, IVO/EMO/DANO/ENHALO.

Lastly, big thUmbsUp to my bride, who both made me pizza and took me to a schlock movie (p.s. Edge of Tomorrow; four stars), for our anniversary. I feel luved with a capital U, darlin.

M&A

Lewis 1:28 PM  

Joan a gimme for me as well, which got the puzzle off to a rousing start. For me, medium for a Saturday.

Alex has some thoughtful and interesting comments about the puzzle on Xinfo.

Loved the clues for ANTLER, BEDS, and IRS. Never heard of OLEASTER and didn't know the meaning of boreal, so the Boston area was tough. How old did I want the news bringer to be? My original answer there was "crier".

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™): There are 10 answers in this puzzle that share a particular quality of letter composition (including 4 three-letter answers, 2 fives, 3 sevens). Only one of the 12 six-letter answers has this quality. What is its last letter?

M and Also. 1:35 PM  

@Lewis... I'd guess A, since I end with that.
M&A

Lewis 1:36 PM  

PPP p.s. -- Make that 11 answers with the quality, including 5 threes)

Day-Um, That Threesome Went Fast 1:42 PM  

@Lewis... Oh! Well, in that case, E.
M&E

OISK 1:45 PM  

Last thing I got was Baez. I had Conkout. Joan Baec did not seem right somehow, so I went through the alphabet…OH! I remember her! Didn't know she sang that particular song…
Dana with Denarii was an informed guess, since I know that Dinar is a foreign currency. Never heard of Finial, but learned something. I found this one very difficult, took me longer than yesterdays pop-fest, but was ultimately more rewarding. Dvorak was a master of the scherzo, IMHO. Schaefer sponsored my beloved bums, so anyone who calls himself "OISK" should certainly know it - but for some reason I thought there were two 'f's. For me, such a delightful change from yesterday - Rosalie, my darling, Rosalie don't be shy… (but not by Gershwin!) Va, Tosca...

CR in MN 1:47 PM  

First time posting; haven't had the nerve before. Anyway, recent Friday puzzles have thrown me, but Saturday's been almost easy, finishing in around an hour with no googling. I first put down Bob Dylan instead of Joan Baez. It fit nicely and there was actually a connection.

Now that I've taken the plunge, maybe I'll enter the local crossword puzzle tournament coming up this month, but probably not.

lawprof 2:26 PM  

Finished with one error after facing two potential naticks: the DENARII/DANO crossing (guessed right) and PACKiN/iLEASTER (guessed wrong).

Anybody see the TOSCA - SCHAEFER beer connection? That would be Robert Merrill, the great star Metropolitan Opera who sang the archvillain, Scarpia, from Tosca on many occasions. But what about the beer? My favorite TV commercial of all time was from the late 1960's:

A Western Union delivery boy walks up to the front door of a residence and rings the bell. Robert Merrill answers the door. The boy announces that he has a singing telegram, clears his throat and proceeds to croak out the Schaefer Beer jingle in a little nasal soprano:

Schaefer...
Is the...
One beer to haaave...
When you're haaaving
Moooore thaaaaaan one.

Merrill frowns, takes the telegram from the boy's trembling hand and says, "Lemme show you how it's done, kid," and proceeds to belt out the jingle in his full-voiced operatic baritone.

No Super Bowl ad has ever come close IMHO.

Outlaw M and A but just a correction 2:43 PM  

@Lewis. Nope. Upon further review, neither of my PPP(tm) theories work. Sorry.

M&whatever

Casco Kid 2:49 PM  

I'm surprised that no one is standing up for YUENGLING as the very well known and celebrated "America's Oldest Beer." Now THAT was a gimme, but it didn't fit, so the answer had to be some random beer. Really no one complaining? @Z?

Weren't the CRANBERRYBOGS of Cape Cod closed when jet fuel was found in them, due to aquifer contamination from the nearby Air Force base? O HAI, from 2011,

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111009/NEWS/110090321

Yes, DOD had to buy all of the contaminated Falmouth cranberries.

Wouldn't you prefer some nice Maine cranberries? I know I would!

Blue Owl 3:16 PM  

Sorry, guys: it's "Swayze". As a tyro, this Sat. was completed only by reference works.

Anonymous 3:20 PM  

Originally thought of Neil Young, then of Neil Diamond (whose famous recordings in the late '70s-early '80s included, respectively, "Rust Never Sleeps" (which includes the two part song "Hey Hey My My" and "Love on the Rocks," rocks being an old slang term for diamonds or other precious gems, before the term "bling" became ubiquitous, and then of course there's the second Neil's surname). Led me to free associate to the guest musicians who played at The Band's famous Last Waltz concert in 1976, which included both Neils as well as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and a number of others but not Baez. Baez of course was the important "new" voice in folk, 1961-62, until Bob Dylan rose to prominence and eventually overshadowed her. They were in a relationship in '64 into early '65 before Dylan's first marriage and again, briefly, in the 1970s after Dylan's marriage broke up, which he chronicled in painful detail in his album "Blood on the Tracks," which came out in '75, the same year as Baez's song "Diamonds and Rust." Baez has stated specifically that the song is about Dylan. On the other hand, many thought, and Baez has stated, that the song "Visions of Johanna," originally released on Dylan's 1966 album "Blonde on Blonde," was about her and the end of their relationship (Dylan wrote it in 1965, a tumultuous time for him, to put it mildly), while Dylan has flatly denied the song is about Baez. Denied by Dylan and snubbed by the band, ignored by the critics as a songwriter after Dylan's emergence- poor Joan Baez can't get no respect.

Lewis 3:25 PM  

But you had it, M&A! You had it!

Ray J 3:44 PM  

Years ago we had a place in the Rockies with a dense stand of OLEASTERs separating the cabin and the outhouse. We always called them Russian Olives. Could have been worse. Clue could have said “Wild olive genus”, which is Elaeagnus according to the dictionary.

@r.alphbunker: curious to know if words like realize and seize will throw off the IZE count? Same with Elaeagnus and NUS?

@Casco Kid: yes to Yuengling. Those quotation marks must mean Schaefer (falsely?) advertised that way.

Steve J 3:54 PM  

@Casco Kid: I started putting in Yuengling too, until I quickly noticed it didn't fit. I didn't grip about it (like I did the incorrectly spelled KAT(H)MANDU) because while Yuengling is the oldest continuously operating brewery in the US, I don't know if they always brewed a lager from the start. They began early enough (in the 1820s), that they may still have been brewing with ale yeasts. Lager brewing really took off in the mid 19th century, so it's possible that Schaefer started a lager before Yuengling did.

I also didn't protest because it's an advertising slogan. Working in advertising, I know firsthand that the truth is a highly malleable commodity.

Sir Hillary 4:07 PM  

Posting late today, but a great puzzle.

@Fred R - after our back-and-forth yesterday, I laughed out loud when I entered TOSCA this morning.

@Moly Shu - outstanding!

Reason I'm posting late is that I just got back from the 9/11 memorial museum. It is absolutely stunning, and I strongly recommend it anyone who can get to NYC. It brought back some tough memories (I was down there that day) but it is an amazing space and a great museum.

John Child 4:15 PM  

@Gill I.P. And others - KATMANDU isn't a var. in this case because the NYT persists in misspelling it. Kathmandu is my home so I've noted the Time's arrogance on this matter scores of times over the years and was able to fill this in on a couple of crosses because of that.

Most of the rest of my objections to peculiar clues and answers have been raised already, so I'll just say that this wasn't much fun despite several stellar answers.

r.alphbunker 4:32 PM  

@Ray J

Capitalization of part of a word is a signal that it is an answer or similar to an answer. So I will count the IZE of realIZE but not realize.

Z 4:33 PM  

There is evidence of brewing long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, hence the need for the quotation marks..

@John Child - while the H may be preferred, it is really hard to "misspell" a transliteration from a foreign alphabet. Is it pronounced with a diphthong?

Leapfinger 4:39 PM  

@Maruchka, enjoyed your 'seize the fish', it;s a nutritional plus to have fish on a daily basis.

Seeing the old folks there was heart-warming (lots of young 'uns, too). I like to think that some of the ills and aches abated for a few hours. Sometimes, memories make pleasure that much finer.

@r.alph, I found the kalash; might have been expecting a kalabash, but it looks just like a finial. Interesting site.

I'll argue that TOSCAnini wasn't a weak reference; I'm calling it serendipity with intent. Again, not trying to aggravate you *needlessly*, but your search missed Krankheit for CRONKITE. You might want to rethink careful readings, go back to quick&dirty. (Apologies that my H also seems beset by crumbs.)

@A-Z, I checked out your SCHERZO, thoroughly jealous that both your H and Z seem to be working properly. It may have been the skeletons in the video, but it reminded me of Danse Macabre.

Very impressed with what-all can be done with KATMANDU, but you won't Suk me into playing with what a KATH MAN DU... Will just say that Birgitta wanted to marry Sven, but OLE ASTER.

Your Pal, Katica

Lewis 4:55 PM  

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™) answer:


The quality that the words share is that they each have more vowels than consonants. To only six letter answer with this property is ONEIDA.

This, I think, was a Saturday level PPP!

Lewis 4:55 PM  

Arg! "The" instead of "To".

Gill I. P. 4:55 PM  

@John Child...I feel your pain. I grew up in Habana but in the U.S. it's Havana so I use the v although I don't like it.
You live in Nepal? That is pretty damn cool. A place I've yet to visit.
Now I'm going back to the World Cup but I'm sad because Spain lost yesterday and Suarez isn't in for my favorite Uruguay team who is now losing big time. Oh well, we'll see what England/Italy will do. Guess who will win that one...?

Steve J 5:02 PM  

@Z: Good point on transliterations, but if you have a widely accepted spelling, you can't just go with something else because it's convenient or without flagging it. KATMANDU is like having Moskau or Penom Pen, from where I sit. The various dictionaries I looked up note the spelling without the H as a variant and outdated.

And the IPA spelling (i.e., the pronunciation) for Kathmandu does indeed include a slight pronunciation of the H (more or less; it's an aspiration of air between the T and M sounds).

Mohair Sam 5:18 PM  

@lawprof - Yes! I remember the Robert Merrill / SCHAEFER ad. Great stuff, thanks for mem-jog.

@Casco & SteveJ - same Yuengling error here. I live about 1 hour from their original (and still operating) brewery. Every time family from far away visits I get to take the Yuengling tour again - so different from the shiny brewery buildings of today.

@ SteveJ - well said on Kathmandu, I actually told my wife the NYT would not allow the word without a (var). As bad as Penom Pen for sure.

wreck 5:39 PM  

KATMANDU should have been clued as the Bob Seger hit

michael 6:30 PM  

I thought this was quite easy for a Saturday. It helped that I could write in Joan Baez right away (unlike Souljatellem yesterday!)

Not hard to guess my age...

Arlene 6:39 PM  

I'm a little late to the game here - I actually had other things to do today! I finished, albeit with Googling songs and movies clues. I did know things like SCHERZO and SCHAEFER.

As for SCHAEFER - they were sponsor of the weekly Tuesday night fireworks at Coney Island, from barges on the water that you could see from the boardwalk. There was always a barge that had a big SCHAEFER sign, and they lit it up with red fireworks, which burned out by the end of the pyrotechnics show. I just looked it up - they sponsored from 1949 -1968.

Another bit of important trivia gleaned from our crossword antics.

sanfranman59 8:06 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 5:48, 6:04, 0.96, 29%, Easy-Medium
Tue 7:21, 8:46, 0.84, 8%, Easy
Wed 9:53, 9:46, 1.01, 56%, Medium
Thu 17:37, 17:32, 1.00, 54%, Medium
Fri 25:21, 21:06, 1.20, 84%, Challenging
Sat 24:58, 25:25, 0.98, 47%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:48, 3:55, 0.97, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 5:10, 5:21, 0.97, 37%, Easy-Medium
Wed 6:22, 6:11, 1.03, 59%, Medium
Thu 11:23, 10:40, 1.01, 52%, Medium
Fri 16:35, 13:00, 1.28, 86%, Challenging
Sat 17:09, 16:43, 1.03, 61%, Medium-Challenging

jberg 8:31 PM  

Coming home from a week of conferences, I solved this one in the car late this afternoon. Hard, but not impossible. I liked it, mostly.

A few points:

both Wisconsin and Cape Cod have CRANBERRY BOGS, and compete with each other fiercely.

POINT OF ORDER is something you call out in a meeting, so that was OK by me. EKE is wrong, though.

I don't really like cluing one ING ending with another at 20A.

I misread the clue for 34D as "America's coldest lager beer" -- just figured it was some ridiculous advertising slogan.

my main problem was having seen this exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art in early 2013, and having forgotten that the game in question did not involve cards. Really held me up.

Back on my normal schedule tomorrow, I hope!

r.alphbunker 9:17 PM  

Music is the big winner today. 3 of the 4 top references were music related. Nobody mentioned CHA {ching} which appears to be the noise a cash register makes, but who uses cash registers any more?

joanbaez(29)
tosca(21)
schaefer(18)
scherzo(17)
cranberrybog(16)
dano(11)
pointoforder(12)
oleaster(10)
katmandu(10)
letsdown(9)
packon(9)
idiosyncrasy(8)
finial(8)
lastexit(7)
denarii(7)
enhalo(6)
edwardnorton(5)
telex(5)
ize(5)
gash(5)
gorogue(5)
innuendo(5)
rosalie(5)
mojos(4)
zonkout(4)
irs(4)
sojourn(4)
staking(4)
cronkite(3)
ivo(3)
antler(2)
oneida(2)
dui(2)
monte(2)
emo(2)
beds(2)
ton(2)
eke(2)
jilted(1)
repents(1)
redsox(1)
dares(1)
hosts(1)
islamist(1)
eder(1)
hastened(1)
eterne(1)
ants(1)
penne(1)
erode(1)
itas(1)
nus(1)
suers(1)
sorbs(1)
eyesores(1)

neater(0)
scotts(0)
aneg(0)
mat(0)
fob(0)
elec(0)
revise(0)
cha(0)
elixir(0)
til(0)
anote(0)
aisle(0)
northern(0)

Steve J 9:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 10:17 PM  

I'm surprised there wasn't A NOTE about SCOTT'S NORTHERN, usually found in the Paper Products AISLE. Always useful, and Charmin' too.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

Finally finished it! Hands up for PACKIN- just figured it was another plant that I hadn't heard of. I thought that the Dano/Denarii shared D was challenging. Took me a long time to commit to that D...

spacecraft 12:20 PM  

@Evan: Of course, in your DANO list you forgot Book'em.

Hand up for the Seger earworm.

I enjoyed this one. It seemed suitably tough--nearly inaccessible in fact--at first read-through, but I hacked my way in over the iconic Green Monster, thence to TELEX and TOSCA. Wanted [something] CANDY for the Reagan/Kojak thing, which caused some trouble coming up with LASTEXIT, but all sorted itself out in the end. I bet 999 out of a thousand solvers filled in OLEAndER at first; I'm one of 'em. MONdE seemed fine, but then GAnH?? Couldn't buy OLEASdER either, so I stuck a T in there. Whew!

Thank goodness this is a democraCy, where you can eat all the Jellybeans and lollipops you want. Two good guys, one fictional and one non.

Nice, scrabbly (unforcedly so) entries, maybe a little heavy on the proper-noun side, and mostly clean fill. The clunker is EKE, but that letter combo is so useful it's no wonder it keeps turning up. As do my thumbs.

7046 = 17, good but beatable.

Anonymous 1:17 PM  

.After yesterday, this was a refreshingly good puzzle with a lot of fun words. I did create a new wild olive (ileaster) and left it in. Oops!

Ron Diego 10:15 PDT

As to yesterday, I say gather the posse and constructor and string em up.

Waxy in Montreal 3:20 PM  

Since I have a JOANBAEZ CD leading off with Diamonds and Rust loaded on my car CD player, guess that tells you a lot about my age and musical preferences. So, 1A was a gimme whilst SCHERTZO was never gonna happen.

CRANBERRYBOG didn't readily come to mind about Cape Cod either even though I've seen them there many times. Looking for something more touristic. Count me in the SASH camp too which meant I didn't GOROGUE until arriving here.

Were FINIAL, DENARII, ETERNE, ISLAMIST, ENHALO, AISLE and HOSTS a religious mini-theme?



rain forest 4:20 PM  

I found this puzzle to be towards the easy end of my admittedly idiosyncratic difficulty scale. I was able to get the entire North in very short order, and with SCHAEFER as a gimme, dogged determination got the rest. MUCH easier than yesterday, and MUCH more enjoyable.
PS Had to guess the D at DANO/DENARII.

Captcha is the identical Photo Sphere I had two days ago. Maybe I am a robot.

Anonymous 8:39 PM  

We have cranberry bogs here in Washington state too!

Anonymous 8:41 PM  

Book em!

Anonymous 8:54 PM  

Saturday's fill me with dread and a sense that I am dumb and dumber.
I've been doing crosswords for 10 years and have yet to finish a Sat without googling. Sigh

bananfish 6:40 PM  

Frankly, this one seemed somewhat Maleskaesque to me, with the amount of obscure trivia involved. Too much stuff I never heard of or that just did not make sense to me in this one ... CRANBERRYBOG, SCHERZO, FINIAL, ETERNE, GASH (what was up with that clue?), DENARII, DANO, the movie ROSALIE, OLEASTER. A rare DNF for me (at least not without the help of Google).

I almost got there, but ultimately the SW corner did me in - much of the obscure stuff was concentrated there. And largely because, having never heard of a CRANBERRY BOG, I confidently wrote in GLENGARRY BOG, which definitely sounded like a real thing - I mean, glengarry is a very Scottish word (Google says it is a Scottish hat), and to make scotch, which is Scottish, you need peat, which is grown in bogs, and glengarry certainly sounds like the name of a scotch (e.g., here are some actual names of scotch: Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glengoyne), so a glengarry bog, well that has to be an actual thing, right?

Bunthorne 3:29 PM  

It's rare for a clue to be outright wrong but the music for Rosalie was written by Cole Porter, not Gershwin.

Cole Porter 3:50 PM  

Gershwin did one, too.

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