Romanian Rhapsodies composer / WED 7-30-14 / Karmann classic German sports car / Rapper with 3x platinum single Hold On We're Going Home / Dress smartly in old parlance / Turbo Tax alternative for short

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Constructor: Jean O'Conor

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium



THEME: Recluing kitchen stuff — items found in the kitchen are clued ("?"-style) as if they are not items found in the kitchen, but some other items altogether.

Theme answers:
  • COOKIE SHEET (17A: List of user IDs?)
  • MEASURING CUP (22A: Undergarment fitting device?)
  • CAN OPENER (30A: Jailer with a key ring?)
  • MICROWAVE (43A: Hardly an attraction for a surfer?)
  • CUTTING BOARD (49A: Directors in charge of downsizing?)
  • CHAFING DISH (58A: Attractive but annoying date?)

Word of the Day: "Cookie" (COOKIE SHEET (17A: List of user IDs?)) —
cookie, also known as an HTTP cookieweb cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while the user is browsing that website. Every time the user loads the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to notify the website of the user's previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items in a shopping cart) or to record the user's browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited by the user as far back as months or years ago).
• • •

The theme on this one holds up pretty well. The fill really should've been edited into much better shape. It's rough and musty all over the place. Clearly someone got in there mucked with the cluing at 54D: Rapper with the 3x platinum single "Hold On, We're Going Home" (DRAKE), a clue that stands out like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake [simile stolen from Raymond Chandler] compared to the hoary quality of the rest of the clues. But rapping up one clue hardly constitutes serious editing. In America, we say "first grade," not GRADE ONE (55A: Elementary start). We also never say TOG UP ever. GHIA is horrible as a stand-alone answer (though KARMANNGHIA would be righteous). Many NEINS? Nein. Then there's your usual assortment of tired stuff like ISAO and ENESCO (the grid-friendlist 6-letter composer—can also be ENESCU: handy!). STELA SAXE OSAGES-plural. NUM! I mean, you've got two sets of cheaters* (SW, NE)—the fill in those tiny sections should at least be passable. How 'bout GHEE! GHEE is a thing. A real thing. GHIA wishes it were GHEE.


The theme clues felt a tiny bit tortured, though I got a kick out of the CHAFING DISH clue, for sure. Reasonable theme, weak fill. Pretty much par for the course, of late. Actually, a bit better than some of the stuff I've seen since returning from my time among the MAORI (6D: Most Cook Islanders).

One thing about the theme—seems like you could make a pretty funny Sunday-sized puzzle out of it. The options seem manifold, if not limitless: [Sex in southern Ireland?] (9), for instance.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*cheaters (or cheater squares) are black squares that do not increase word count, inserted primarily to make a grid easier to construct [today, black squares before 10A and below 12D, as well as their rotational symmetry counterparts]

96 comments:

wreck 12:05 AM  

So much for my comment last night about a "tough" week! This was 4 minutes faster than Monday and 10 minutes faster than Tuesday for me. I kind of enjoyed it despite some iffy fill.

Anonymous 12:09 AM  

Test

Steve J 12:09 AM  

Super easy. Finished this faster than I finished either Monday or Tuesday this week. This was comparable to a longish Monday time for me, and this filled in pretty well straight from top to bottom, with only a couple hops around the grid.

Thought the theme was quite enjoyable and pretty cleverly executed. The first couple clues felt a little clunky, but the others were fun (especially for MICROWAVE and CUTTING BOARD).

GETAWAY CAR was a very nice bit of fill, but otherwise nothing really stood out. And the Karmann Ghia remains one of the most gorgeous cars ever built.

Fun - if way too short - Wednesday.

Casco Kid 12:15 AM  

Pretty fast here too, until the SW where nothing clicked for 10 minutes. Then POSEAS clarified, then the rest came pretty quickly. INDRA and TOGUP are new. STENTS was hard to see. omanI before SAUDI. CApe then CAbo before CAMP. CHAFINGDISH is new, too. I was happy to sinch it down, finally.

But it was a DNF. DRAcE/ARc was clearly ARK, but I don't know DRAKE. And I bet on ENESCu and failed to note that uSAGES is no kind of Indian tribe name. Oh well. 33 minutes. 4 errors.

jae 12:23 AM  

Yep, easiest one so far this week.  

@Casco - My first thought was ENESCu, but it had to be OSAGES. 

Hey, a rapper with an inferable name.

I'm with @Steve J & @Wreck.  The theme gave me a chuckle, liked it.

Whirred Whacks 12:24 AM  

I liked the clue for 43 across: "Hardly an attraction for a surfer."

I fondly remember a clue from 14 years ago for the same word:
"Quick goodbye gesture or modern appliance."

The answer is: MICROWAVE

John Child 12:55 AM  

Monday's missing puzzle showed up finally. I liked this a lot. Six theme answers; bonus answers like CHEF, BEEF, DECAFS, and RINSE OFF; and a couple of nice long downs made up for the weaknesses Rex mentions.

John Child 12:59 AM  

TURNIP too!

Fugu 1:07 AM  

Downs-only(ish) report: knowing theme answers 1-5 did not help me intuit the mysterious C--FING-ISH. Never heard of a chafing dish. Made me question my downs until I finally caved and checked crosses. 53D made for a tough SE. I had the R from CUTTINGBOARD, so... RERUN? REDUX? REPUB? Wrong, wrong, wrong. GETAWAY-A- wasn't helping. CAR? MAN? VAN? But that's downs-only crossworld. High point: getting to finally read the amusing theme clues. They were like dessert.

Fugu 1:09 AM  

Good, tough clue on TVCHANNELS, btw

Blake Griffin 1:20 AM  

I thought the theme failed, though not epically. The relationships between clue & answer were more tenuous than I thought acceptable, and none were funny.

BTW, I really hate DRAKE.

okanaganer 1:26 AM  

@Fugu "Good tough clue on TVCHANNELS"?... not if you're my age, in which case it is a super-easy gimme. "What's on the other channel?" Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. "Eeew, change it back!" Clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk.

Kathy Miller 1:48 AM  

I'm still puzzling over Rex's proposed additional theme clue: "Sex in Southern Ireland." AHA! Just got it! Corkscrew! Nice.

loren muse smith 7:07 AM  

It always pleases me to revisit common phrases in a different light, and all six themers made me smile. In my dating experience, if guys are like gals, then CHAFING DISH is redundant. (Apologies to all you extremely good-looking people out there, but you really should try harder.)

Like @Casco, "cape" before CAMP. I don't play a lot of cards, and MELDS is a word that I know only from crosswords.

@John Child – nice catch! We could add ROE, SEASON, and BLT. (Also UNMADE for those two loaves of rye bread I keep meaning to attempt, and RANK for that block of Limburger cheese I just found in the back of the fridge.)

Another possible clue for BLOOM: "What any flowering plant given to Loren does, briefly, just once."

I really liked the clue for TAG.

@okanaganer - I'm old, but it took me forever to see TV CHANNELS. Ah, the days of getting off that ghastly green couch (Hi, Mom), walking across the room, and turning the knob to change the channel. When we got a TV that had little push buttons rather than a knob, I secretly thought we were rich and sophisticated.

MEASURING CUP – Look. If you're female and have not gone to Victoria's Secret to find out your real size (have you not seen Oprah, people?) then go!! Those employees really know what they're doing there, and it's actually not as embarrassing as you would think. They have a terrific system, and no one makes you feel stupid.

And since we're among friends, and no one's judgmental. . . I always eat about 50 grapes on the way back from the store, long before I do the perfunctory RINSE OFF at home. I heard all those chemicals make your hair thicker. ;-)

@r.alph – somehow I missed your "sandhi" comment earlier. Wow. Never heard of the term, but I didn't really study much phonology. Very interesting! I remember something similar from some French phonology class once, even though it's English: "I yay tuh negg a tate." I never figured it out.

I didn't study historical linguistics, either, so STELA for me was "stele" for a long time.

@Rex – I enjoyed your write-up; I always do and never say it enough. "Corkscrew" is great! And it's all fun and games until you notice a big ole tarantula on your angel food cake, right?

Jean – clever theme, nice puzzle. I'll be looking twice at the stuff in my kitchen drawers and cabinets all day. That's the sign of a successful theme.

Mohair Sam 7:13 AM  

Easy Wednesday. Liked the theme a lot, clever punning I think. But pretty much agree with @Rex on all else (except I was fine with GHIA). Also agree with Rex that this would have been a great Sunday theme - doubt his clue would have gotten by Will however.

@Steve J - I always thought the Karmann GHIA was kinda funny looking.

Susan McConnell 7:21 AM  

Yup, super easy. I was glad to use MELD in a new way after learning it last week.

Cheers to you, Rex, for coming up with the Ireland clue.

Leapfinger 7:58 AM  

@CHEF BEEF, what WOOD you say if @CHEF wENESCu about this puzzle? Better than OAK, eh? don't you think?

GET AWAY, CAR! is what you might say to Stephen King's Christine.

Enjoyed the theme a bunch, but then I've had more good times in the kitchen than I can remember. CHAFING DISH is a curious phrase, but I guess if you CHAFE your hands to warm them, that'll work for food also, though the action isn't the same. [Just looked this up: the French word 'chauffage' means 'heating', so there you have it, folks!]

@Rex' GHEE reminded me of living in university housing, lots of people from all over the world. Our friends from INDiA always had a bowl of GHEE on the kitchen counter. I'm pro Karmann GHIA, but what I really covet is a Volvo P1800.

@loren, we can discuss MEASURING CUP adventures when we get together in Raleigh. Over a glass of FUMED Blanc.

Don't mind that this was easier than yesterday's; I'd never TURNIP my nose at such a fun puzzle. Thanks, Jean O'C!

NCA President 8:02 AM  

Weird that just last night, not 10 hours ago, some friends and I were talking about Saxe-Coburg...how is it that something that random can come up in two very different places in the span of hours? What does it mean??

DRAKE...when I saw that it was a rapper clue, I halfway expected some outlier letter to be stuck in there somewhere. On the other hand, I've heard of DRAKE, but I didn't know he was a rapper. (He's a he, right?)

OHHI. Looks like a typo.

BLT. Is it me, or has this been in a lot of puzzles lately?

30D "Summer getaway" clue and 27D GETAWAYCAR is slightly inelegant.

Agreed that this is the hidden Monday puzzle...hiding out in the middle of the week.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Agree much easier than Monday or Tuesday. I am sure "Proctologist" would not have gotten by Will as clue for 30A either.

John V 8:12 AM  

MELDS/AVEO spot was a bit tricky but otherwise easy for a Wednesday.

joho 8:12 AM  

@John Child & @loren muse smith, between you two you covered every word on my bonus list except OSAGES. When you combine these with the cooking related theme answers the density really adds up! And don't forgot 45D, WOOD, is a shout out to our very own @chefbea.

This did seem more Monday than Wednesday but regardless, very enjoyable ... thanks, Jean!

r.alphbunker 8:14 AM  

10 minute meal

George Barany 8:16 AM  

Nice to see another puzzle from Jean O'Conor, first one since 3/27/15 -- which should really have been run on 3/14/15 (92683 ...) if I still remember my high school math, but I digress.

For those who have never heard George Enescu's "Romanian Rhapsodies" before, it's quite a treat (click here). This does bring us to a nit with perhaps the entire crossword constructing/editing community, myself included. The composer's name ends in a U, and in fact, if you try to google the spelling that ends with an O, the search engine "knows better." Nevertheless, for cruciverbal convenience, it seems, it always shows up as ENESCO (36x, including 19 Shortz-era) rather than ENESCU (zero, even under Maleska).

One other question, maybe it bothers others much less than me, but the wonderful GETAWAY_CAR answer for 27-down is followed just three clues later with "Summer getaway" to clue CAMP.

Robert Landman 8:16 AM  

fastest wednesday ever, broke the 10 min mark

AliasZ 8:27 AM  


Morning everyone, what's DOING?

It is a pleasure seeing Jean O'Conor back. I liked the theme just fine, albeit a but on the tough side to SEUSS out what she was going for at first. But it came to me soon enough: a continuation along the lines of yesterday's punny parsing and cluing. I could almost sense a barely noticeable suggestion of a wink on Will's right eyelid. My favorite was CHAFING DISH, which most dishes are, coupled with the charm of a meat cleaver and the mental holding capacity of a colander in which you RINSE OFF your spaghetti. They are not all that great at SAXE either. Good thing I keep my GETAWAY CAR parked around the corner.

The fill was OK too, I especially liked LITHE, Claire BLOOM, and all the male WOOD ducks (or DRAKEs) in AROW. But shouldn't the plural of decaf be DECAVES? The continuing GRADE-ONE German lesson is also fun, EINS yesterday, NEINS today. Tomorrow will probably be FAHRT.

Good REEF, what on earth would have been wrong with ENESCU / USAGES? Can someone please explain? Will? Bueller? Anyone? I'm just ASKIN...

In my line of work I write tons of Purchase Orders every day, and by the end of the week I am almost swallowed by POSEAS. The best thing I get for my efforts is a pat on the back, but it's just a SHO-PAT. They don't really mean it, or I would be making a STELA salary, and at least ten or ELEV percent yearly raise. But I don't LIV for my job.

Good to RE-C you Mr. Aoki, long time no-C.

TURNIP is a portmanteau word of turn and nip. It describes precisely what a Yorkie does when you approach him from behind while eating.

Good cheers, sunshine, blue skies and happiness to all on this beautiful Wednesday.

dk 8:32 AM  

OO (2 Moons)

Cute and fast. I look for something more challenging on Wednesday.

Packing up for the return to WI

Leapfinger 8:34 AM  

Aww. I thought of NUTCRACKER, then saw that @muse beat me to it. Da-DOINGg!!

Is EMI just a Latinized way of writing EMUS?
Don't mind if BLT shows up every day in AROW 'til SAT.
@George, We could always try for a U at the other end: UNESCO

A copilot is a big help at takeoff, but even more important as a COLANDER.

@r.alph, which one earned the 56 second stare time?

Anonymous 8:43 AM  

@lms

I ate an egg at 8:00

u r welcome

AnnieD 9:07 AM  

Reminds me of the old word game--did you ever see....

a kitchen sink?
a bread box?
a cork screw?
a bed spread?
a hand rail?

Barkle 9:09 AM  

BLT is 1A and on Sunday 1A was BLTS and I ate one last week.

Z 9:10 AM  

DR. AKE is DR. DRE's little brother who got lot's of sibling beatings as a kid.

@lms - I thought you liked guys. Ouch.

Was hoping WOD would be CHAFING DISH but was thinking COOKIE of COOKIE SHEET would win. INDRA was also a nominee. 41D also posed some difficulties because I read "summer coffee orders." Only thing worse than misreading a clue is misreading a number and putting the right answer in the wrong spot.

GRADE NEIN

quilter1 9:14 AM  

Fun puzzle. Easy but cute theme. OK by me.

chefbea 9:41 AM  

WOW - a puzzle dedicated to me and @Chefwen!! Thanks Jeanne O'connor.

@Leapfinger..good one

I too noticed all the other foodie things - turnips, decaf, BLT etc.

Great easy puzzle

Fred Smith 9:43 AM  

@Okan --

I too am dated enough to remember the clunking sounds. We also used to call them "stations." All was over-the-air broadcast then, with broadcast towers covering metro areas.

I never had four clunks, though. Our channels were 4, 5, and 7, so 3 clunks at most. Of course, there were extra clunks when I fought my brothers for which show to watch. ;-)


Thanks for the memories ...

jdv 9:51 AM  

Easy-Med. After the previous two puzzles, I was expecting a Saturday stumper today. Too many non-words in this. Got the theme at CANOPENER. Toughest area was due south with TOGUP and INDRA crossing the CHAFINGDISH.

jberg 9:51 AM  

I guess the fondue craze has passed, if so many people have never heard of a CHAFING DISH. Brilliant theme answer, I didn't like the puzzle until that came up, but now I love it. By the way, listen to The Eddystone Light and you'll never forget it again!

I confidently wrote in DR DRE at 54D, thinking "who says I'm too old to get rap clues?" Thank God for CPA and ARK to clear that up.

Unfortunately I also wrote in OH Ho at 19A -- "Oh ho! It's you!" sounded pretty good to me, and oSAO about as good as ISAO. I would've gone with HI if I thought of it, but I didn't.

TURNIP is pretty tough as clued, since pretty much any root vegetable has greens. Maybe not carrots, but radish greens are great. I guess it's OK, you just need a couple of crosses.

I've been TOGged out, but never UP. Only real fault in the puzzle.

When they closed SHEA Stadium, did the carry the letters over to Ashe Stadium to save the cost of a new sign?

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

ARK: What's left after you cut down an AardvaRK. Sort of a reverse portmanteau.

Word for the day: Tubulidentata, meaning 'adapted for eating tabouli'.

Back to work now.

RooMonster 10:03 AM  

Hey All!
I liked this puzzle. Agreed with most it was easy for Wednesday, but that's okay! Liked the TVCHANNELS clue, when I was growing up, we only had 4 channels, 16,22,28,44, and I was the channel changer because I sat closest to the TV! My dad would yell if you changed the stations too fast! It was a chore getting to that 44!

OHHI, said DRSEUSS. ASKIN for some BEEF and a TURNIP, he FUMED because the CHEF MICROWAVED the ROE and wouldn't RINSEOFF the CUTTINGBOARD. He flipped the TVCHANNELS and ended up with DOING DECAFS and a BLT.

RooMonster 10:06 AM  

Feorgot to add on that last post...

RooMonster
DarrinV
(Of course, probably figured it out with the cheesy writeup!)

Lewis 10:09 AM  

Loved the clue for UMP and was thinking of the other kind of jerks and couldn't think of SPASM at first. But I would have liked a few more clever or tricky clues on this Wednesday puzzle.

Props to Jean Oconor, though, for coming up with these theme answers. Rex seems to think there can be a lot more, enough to make a Sunday puzzle. Let's see if he's right...

POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP): Come up with more theme answer/clues for this puzzle. Share. Drop them in throughout the day, and let's see what we come up with.

I'll start:
POTHOLDER (Long toke taker?)

Not Quite 10:18 AM  

Rex's WOTD confirms my thought that a COOKIE is not a "user ID['s]".

"A list of surfing locations" might be better.

P>G>

Benko 10:26 AM  

CHAFING DISHes are still used all the time for catered events. Keeps the buffet food warm.

@lewis
MAORI
"___ is goin down to the general store tomorrow to git sum vittles"
TEX
Endless message?

Arlene 10:28 AM  

This was a fun solve for me too.
I especially liked seeing GHIA - and I see that no one has mentioned that a Karmann Ghia was a VOLKSWAGEN - a veritable sheep in wolf's clothing. Relatively inexpensive, no power, but great looks.

chefbea 10:38 AM  

@JBerg And we all know that BEETS have greens..as a matter of face I made them last night with beets from our garden

chefbea 10:57 AM  

should be matter of fact

mac 10:58 AM  

Easy but fun theme.

A friend has an old Karmann Ghia. The engine has an ugly, thin sound. She loves it, though.

I never saw NUM, a good thing.

Carola 11:06 AM  

Fast and fun. Especially love the clue for MICROWAVE.

I inherited an elaborate silver CHAFING DISH from my mother-in-law, but other than a failed attempt at cherries jubilee I haven't found a reason to get it out of the cabinet, alas.

@John Child and @loren - The comment on RANK prompted thoughts of a BLOOM of mold on a forgotten item at the back of the refrigerator. Also @loren, I'm waiting for Victoria's Secret to start offering styles in MICROCUP :)

AliasZ 11:10 AM  


@George,

I know a few composers whose names, first or last, end in -ESCO:

FrancESCO Cavalli (1602-1676)
FrancESCO Onofrio Manfredini (1648-1762)
FrancESCO Geminiani (1687-1762)
Gian FrancESCO Malipiero (1882-1973)
Mario Castelnuovo-TedESCO (1895-1968)

I am sure there are more, but these I remember because I own recordings of their works. The one common thread: they are all Italian. I do not own any by this Italian-sounding ENESCO fella. Never heard of him.

There is a Romanian composer by the name of George Enescu (1881-1955) who composed Romanian Rhapsodies, and is quite familiar to me. I will offer three documents: first, his diploma from the Vienna Conservatory, then his diploma from the Paris Conservatoire, and finally his own hand-written last will and testament requesting to be buried in Tescani, Bacău, close to his wife.

But hey, this is the NYT - we have mad our decision, don't bother us with facts. It is just another proof that if you perpetuate a falsehood long enough, it will supplant truth.

I could write an entire essay of why playwright Eugène Ionesco (born Eugen Ionescu, 1909–1994) and movie director Jean Negulesco (born Ioan Negulescu, 1900–1993) changed their names to -ESCO, and why during Enescu's stay in Paris he was referred to as ENESCO there, but why bother. I know 95% of NYT crossword solvers, many of whom may think that XZIBIT is related to Koussevitzky, couldn't care less one way or the other. They fill it from the crosses anyway.

But for the 5% who know, it is a slap in the face.

In the curiosity file: the front page of the "Roswell Daily Record" of July 8, 1947, has a picture in the right-hand corner with the heading: "Ex-King Carol Weds Mme. LupESCU". Do you see a pattern here?

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

A little weird, maybe, but MUCH better than yesterday.

Z 11:30 AM  

CHAFING DISH pictures.

@AliasZ - I see you were paying attention. I must admit to being far more likely to be found listening to Barenaked Ladies than either Xzibit or Koussevitzky. Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for the 95%, at 12 letters it is unlikely that we will see Koussevitzky in a puzzle any time soon (@MAS - that is not a challenge).

Masked and Anonymo6Us 11:41 AM  

OHHI!
Love that entry. Could do a whole theme of that...
* OHHIOH = "I'm surprised to see U ... and U brought my ex along, too!"
* OHHAROH = "I see, it's CHAFINGDIVA ... cute ... no, wait -- that can't be right..."
But I digress.

Real fun theme idea.
@PPP Lewis... GARBAGECOMPACTOR = {M&A runtpuz?}

Wowza... GHIA. INDRA. NEINS. TOGUP. But, hey... it was all worth it, to save GRADEONE. Also down thereabouts, was...
Best Weejects in a Supportin Role: SIMHPS. Which, spelled caddywhompus is SPHMIS, which reminded old M&A again of that strange Porno Sphere thingy that captcha has goin on.

@PPP Lewis: POTHANDLE = {Weed}. Actually, just a spinoff on yer excellent answer.

OHBYEOH = p.s.

M&A

SenorLynn 11:42 AM  

In keeping w/ theme, today's puz is a wonderful piece of leftover steak, with little bits of mold around the edges.
Didn't even need to suss DRAKE, NUM, others because crosses went so quickly. Poison ivy before OAK.
@Fred Smith I had stAtionS for CHANNELS, too. Austin, TX, in 1969, had 3 channels: NBC, CBS, & one that shared ABC & PBS.
@NCA President--for those unexplained coincidences--you should see the movie "I Origins".

the redanman 11:47 AM  

Ahh, Monday's Puzzle no longer lost, even easy for a Tuesday, ridiculous as a Wednesday, but not as bad as that Drake Video.

OHSOLAME Clued as Drake Video

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

CHAFINGDISH - Sexy, menopausal woman?

Z 12:05 PM  

Pipe Player recipe.

Leapfinger 12:15 PM  

Is it too late for compromise?
ENESQUE.

PPP: ICEMAKER, SUGARBOWL, SALTSHAKER, ROLLING PIN maybe CHEESEGRATER

mathguy 12:16 PM  

Enjoyable puzzle with neat theme.

@jberg: liked your line about recycling the letters on Shea stadium to the other stadium across the way.

I saw the new Woody Allen yesterday, Magic in the Moonlight. The reviews I've read don't do it justice. The best he's done in his new style, much better than Blue Jasmine.

Gill I. P. 12:25 PM  

@jberg: Every once in a great while, we will have a fondue party. 4 pots are laid out - two with heated Emmentaler and Gruyere and the other two with heated peanut oil for the bite size filet mignon. About 10 little Chinese bowls hold all the dipping sauces that all of us make. If you've never tried curry miked with MAYO and some other odd assorted condiments, you're missing out!
I only remember 2 channels. One that carried "I Love Lucy" and the other that showed baseball.
I guess I'm the only one who had Gretna instead of TURNIP...
Fun puzzle Jean O'Conor. Yesterday plants, today food, tomorrow sex?

retired_chemist 12:43 PM  

@ jberg - all they did was to move the A from the end of DHEA to the start of ASHE. :-)

Easy. Felt even easier. What I didn't know came easily by crosses.

Thanks, Ms. O'Conor.

M and Also 12:48 PM  

@PPP Lewis: Make it TRASHCOMPACTOR. 15 long, that way.
Of course, let us not forget ye olde
CORKSCREW. Blarney Castle quickie? Mighty surprised @Evil hasn't already chipped that one in.

M&A

............................. Runtvertisement ...........................

@muse has a real good new puz, over at the runtpuz.gov site....

.................................. runt fini .....................................

OhByeOh:
MEATCLEAVER = {"I is over visitin at the Beav's house"}. Too desperate?! I hoped so.

@63: har. This one's just for U...
BUTTERCHURN = {Ghee whizzer?}

TOFU SPHERE = ...?

Fred Romagnolo 12:55 PM  

@Alias Z:Magda Lupescu was king Carol's long-time mistress before he finally married her; many lifted eyebrows in the '30's. It was the introduction of UHF that expanded the number of channels. Back then it took a separate aerial from VHF. Then cable came along; wired at first, but sattelites added more and more. With the first pay toilets, a dime was the CAN OPENER; then a quarter. Didn't know ADEO, but there have been so many car models; did know GHIA. didn't know DRAKE but crosses took care of it. A GETAWAY CAR was a staple of '30's gangster movies. Didn't know LIV Tyler, but crosses again sufficed.

OISK 12:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Virago: MEATGRINDER

OISK 1:02 PM  

I have an old (vinyl) recording called "Rhapsodies," that has the first two Hungarian Rhapsodies on one side, and the two Rumanian Rhapsodies on the other. The composer's name on that album cover is spelled "Enesco." I was not aware of the preferred other spelling. I raced right through this until I hit an awful Natick at 54 down and 61 across. The problem was that for "Not an original" I had "Retro" instead of Repro." So I thought that the Turbo Tax alternative was the abbreviation for some competing product, "CT__". (computer tax wizard?) Down, I had DR_KE.
Of course, never having heard of the rapper, I thought it was probably Dr. _KE. An irresolvable Natick, since the last letter of the abbreviated product name and the third letter of the unknown rapper could be just about anything. Dr. Ike with CTI seemed good. But then, CPA snapped into my feeble brain. Ah, "Repro." Is that a word?? So, a pretty slow finish on an otherwise pretty easy and amusing puzzle. (KEEP RAPPERS OUT!! No, I understand they are meaningful for others..)

big steve 46 1:22 PM  

Every time this annoying ISAO AOKI shows up in a puzzle, I vow to memorize the name for the next time. And every time he pops again I've already forgotten him!

Oh well, old age, what can you do? I've been "wearing the bottom of my trousers rolled" for quite a while now.

P.S.: By the way, the guy only won one PGA event - its okay not to remember him.

M and OHBYE the Way 1:45 PM  

Make that "14 long".

Make that runtpuz.ORG... (OHHI, @r.alph)

ratfudge.

GRAVYBOAT = {Cruise ship full of sugar daddies?}
PUNCHBOWL = {Boxing arena?}
BREADBOX = {Fight with the Pillsbury Dough Boy?}
FRIDGESTICKER = {Three year old leftover cheese log, e.g.}
PILOTLIGHT = {Having no one left to fly the plane?}
CAKEPAN = {Scathing dessert review?}
POPUPTOASTER = {Unexpected wedding reception speaker?}

M&A
"Real Handy Just Outside the Kitchen"

Lewis 1:57 PM  

M&A -- you are on a roll!

Lots of good PPP answers; remember it asked for answers and clues.

PANCAKEMOLD -- Why some makeup shouldn't go past the expiration date

chefbea 2:07 PM  

Love all the PPP answers. You'd think I could come up with some

Sir Hillary 2:14 PM  

Fun theme. I laughed audibly at CHAFINGDISH. Still don't know what a STELA is...need to go look it up.

@M&A - LOL! BREADBOX should be {ATM?}, the reverse of a great BEQ clue pun.

---FRYINGPAN - Pipe-playing god too long in the sun?
---SERVINGFORK - Split in the road where you can get subpeonaed?
---MANDOLINE - Order from Tarzan to ingest cocaine?
---In my kitchen at least...JUNKDRAWER - Sketcher of male nudes?

Carola 2:37 PM  

@Sir Hillary, omg, funny!

Carola 2:48 PM  

RANGE HOOD - Mobster on the prairie?

Z 3:02 PM  

@Sir Hillary - I went with a more savory clue for fry pan.

Sir Hillary 3:16 PM  

@Z - Ah, I missed your FRYPAN among all the comments. Nice brevity in both clue and answer.

@Carola - RANGEHOOD is excellent.

chefbea 3:44 PM  

Serving platter = waiting on one of a singing group

sanfranman59 4:04 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)

Wed 8:31, 9:15, 0.92, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:25, 5:58, 1.07, 71%, Medium-Challenging

r.alphbunker 4:26 PM  

@Leapfinger

The animation will now answer your question if you select "Delays only" and then click the "Next" button. Clicking the "Next" button two more times will show the other stalls.

Please email me if you have other ideas about what information the animation should provide.

Anonymous 4:34 PM  

BLT...again?????

Lewis 4:44 PM  

SALTSHAKER -- Sect belonging sailor?

retired_chemist 5:48 PM  

ISAO AOKI - doesn't matter how (un)successful he is/was - his names have 3 vowels and one consonant each, each one cluing the other. You will see him in crosswords for a long time.

Martin 7:38 PM  

@AliasZ

Why bother with what Enescu was called in Paris? For one thing, it will help you find his grave. It's a tough crowd that won't recognize the name on a headstone as even a little valid.

sanfranman59 10:01 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 8:01, 6:01, 1.33, 100%, Challenging (highest ratio of 238 Mondays)
Tue 10:15, 8:14, 1.24, 92%, Challenging
Wed 8:23, 9:15, 0.91, 29%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 5:11, 3:55, 1.32, 100%, Challenging (highest ratio of 238 Mondays ... by far)
Tue 6:59, 5:21, 1.31, 98%, Challenging (6th highest ratio of 241 Tuesdays)
Wed 6:08, 5:58, 1.03, 59%, Medium

AliasZ 10:07 PM  


@Martin

As you probably know, I have tremendous respect for you.

But to be so blinded by the headstone in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, that one cannot acknowledge any of the other documentation to the contrary, from birth certificate on through what Enescu called himself, how he signed his name, and to how the entire world knows him today (except in France and in NYT xword puzzles), starting most importantly with his native country, is a concept I simply cannot wrap my head around.

Most people can barely find Romania on the map let alone having lived there. Their dependence on the NYT's word as truth should count for something. Clinging to a gravestone in Paris as proof and deciding factor in the matter therefore carries very little weight, certainly none at all for me, or other people who are familiar with the subject.

The composer's actual name never once appeared in a NYT crossword puzzle. I find that incomparably more unacceptable than not finding his gravestone in Paris "even a little valid." If it had appeared 25-75% or 50-50, or even 75-25 incorrect to correct, fine. But not even once? Even when the obvious OSAGES-USAGES opportunity arises? Wow!

Suffice it to say, you will never see a concert program in Bucharest or anywhere else (except in France and perhaps Italy) on which his name is printed as ENESCO. For the NYT to ignore this and all other facts is short-sighted at best, and intentional perpetuation of half-truths bordering on falsehoods, at worst.

But it wouldn't be the first time, and won't be the last.

Thank goodness he didn't compose any operettas.

Until next time ENESCO shows its ugly face again, I remain yours truly...

Tita 10:19 PM  

OHHI everyone!

@okanageer - TVCHANNELS did evoke a sigh... Million Dollar Movie and Wonderama. And playing TAG outside. @lms - was TAG in the puzzle today?

Kudos to all the additional contributions to today's theme. Youz guyz are awesome!

Puzzspouse and I are in the maelstrom that comes with redoing a kitchen - this puzzle is very timely! Kitchen items turned on their heads - yup - that describes things pretty accurately.

Thanks for the fun Wednesday, Ms. O'Conor.

Charles Flaster 10:28 PM  

Enjoyable,playful theme but overly easy puzzle.
Should be a Monday.
Liked TV channels.
Thanks JO.

Anonymous 11:28 PM  

A bit of respect for Isao [Aoki]. Won 77 tournaments world wide and he is in the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Z 12:23 AM  

@AliasZ - Hard to know for sure, but the constructor normally posts as anonymous and signs his posts as "mas." {presuming that is the source of your first sentence}.

Also, I'm wondering if the Romanian name is pronounced closer to the English U, the French U, or a long O or a short O. Is there a phonetic reason for the misspelling?

Leapfinger 3:22 AM  

@Z,

No, not Ashwood-Smith. There is another Martin on another blog, where he is the court of last resort for any disputed clues/entries. There are few if any topics he can't expound on, and I've only found one other entry he couldn't properly defend.

However, he isn't the decider about what goes into the puzzle; that's still Will Shortz.


Avo Boyadjian 8:22 AM  

Nice blog. thanks for sharing
Auto AC Repair

Bob Kerfuffle 11:12 AM  

TV channels: When I was a kid, we owned a two-family house. Our tenants upstairs got a TV before we did, and I distinctly remember not being able to imagine what a TV did! Later we got a Dumont with the doors to shut in front of the screen.

qtbluemoon 10:30 AM  

Dang it! I was pretty proud of myself today, because I struggled. Sat staring at that SW corner for a good while, then they finally started filling in. When I finished, I felt pretty darn good. Then I looked at the results here, and noticed I missed the CtA/REtRO cross. What the heck is repro? I figured, with all the competition these days, cta is another new brand of tax software. Anyway, another DNF for the week.

spacecraft 11:04 AM  

Throwing away today's puzzle? GARBAGEDISPOSAL. The fill was worse than musty: OHHI, ISAO! Where do you SHOPAT? Is it in AROW of stores? Why don't we TOGUP and POSEAS DRAKE (or is it DR. AKE? I really don't know--and wouldn't be surprised to find that either is correct)?

I was about to give this one an F--and then the absolutely marvelous CHAFINGDISH hit, and rescued it to a Peppermint Patty special: D minus.

153: A plus!

P.S. @qtbluemoon: REPRO is simply short for "reproduction," and is another piece of subpar fill, IMO.

DMG 2:00 PM  

Pun city! A little nonsense is a good thing now and then! Hoped that CPA was right because I couldn't believe anything as simple as DRAKE could be a rapper's name. Other than that only pause was TURNIP where I wanted some kind of salad thing. Mother made me eat beet greens as a little one, with the line "I bought them just for you". As a depression child I hated but ate them, and have avoided the like ever since-even in this puzzle until there was no alternative. Freudian revelation?

A losing 150

rain forest 2:09 PM  

I liked it a lot. I thought the theme quality outweighed some of the weaker fill of which there wasn't really that much. Nice to see a Canadian rapper in there, one of the few whose names I know instantly.

I found it medium, not a CHINESE WOK (Asian stroll?) in the park, and regardless of the day of the week, amusing.

Not so fast @Spacey! 198. Split?

Dirigonzo 5:15 PM  

I needed all of the crosswords for STELA, DRAKE and INDRA and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, then I punted it away on OHHo/oSAO. I may have to retake GRADE ONE of puzzle solving to sharpen my skills.

2240 - not good enough for a tie with the leaders.

leftcoastTAM 5:59 PM  

OHHO! I'm [so glad] to see you.
OH,Hi! I'm [not so glad] to see you.

Dirigonzo 7:45 PM  

@leftcoastTAM - or as Mae West famously said, "Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

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