Filmmaker Nicolas / SUN 8-3-14 / Loser to Pierce in 1852 / Film title character who likes to high-five / Celebrated Bombay-born conductor / Rider of war horse Babieca / Italian town with Giotto frescoes / Former Potala Palace resident / Record label co-founded by Jay-Z / Iroquois foe in Beaver wars / Chinese dynasty preceding three kingdoms / Kaffiyeh wearers / Home of Merlin in Arthurian legend / Ex-Disney chief Michael

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Constructor: Ian Livengood

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Chee Whiz!" — Add "chee" sound to the ends of words in familiar phrases, get The Wacky!

Theme answers:
  • WOUNDED NIETZSCHE (24A: German philosopher with an injury?)
  • FILTHY RITCHIE (30A: Guy who's covered in mud?)
  • BLACK TAICHI (51A: African-American martial art?)
  • THE LONE STARCHY STATE (64A: Only form that carbohydrates take?)
  • I GUESS SOCHI (80A: Unsure answer to "Where were the 2014 Winter Olympics held?"?)
  • TABLE FOR TUCCI (97A: Actor Stanley's dinner reservation?)
  • ARCHIE-RATED MOVIE (107A: Film reviewed by Jughead's friend?)
Word of the Day: ROC-A-FELLA (75A: Record label co-founded by Jay-Z) —
Roc-A-Fella Records is a record label founded by Shawn "Jay-Z" CarterDamon "Dame" Dash, and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. It operates as a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, being distributed by Universal Music Distribution. (wikipedia)

• • •

Livengood is top-notch, and if you see his name, it's really, really unlikely you're gonna get a tired puzzle. Today I thought the theme was just OK, but the theme answers he came up with were pretty funny, and since he let the the grid breathe (i.e. didn't try to cram a ton of themers in there) we get a nice overall solving experience. The non-theme fill is solid, even if there aren't That many longer answers on display. Short stuff doesn't have to be dull—I'm liking FIVE-O (which I had as FOUR-O at first … not sure why … I went through FUZZ and PO-PO and somehow "four" seemed like the number I wanted before that "O," but then, of course, "Hawaii FIVE-O"…) (98D: Police, in slang) and ZULU and BAWDY as well as the flashier, longer good stuff like ROC-A-FELLA and BATTLEAXE. I do have a criticism about the theme, though: I wish it had zagged more. That is to say, I wish the "CHEE" sound had been moved around the theme phrases more liberally. So many come at the end that I figured they all did. That made discovering LONE STARCHY STATE not thrilling (as it should've been) but annoying. I had three end-CHEEs by that point. Since there's only one more (that's 5 at the end, 2 not), those two stand out badly. If the CHEE had been sprayed around from the get-go … well, there'd've been more variety, and I would've preferred that to this. But I still liked this fine.

Today's write-up will have to be short, as I'm off again *early* tomorrow morning. Unless I get some volunteers pretty quick, I'll mostly be covering the blog myself while on Vacation 2 (The Shorter Vacation). So I got someone coming in tomorrow, but I'll likely be back after that. Or I won't. Who can say? Not me. Certainly not you. Alrighty then. Hey, wanna see something cool? Yes, you do. We were on our way to Ithaca to pick up The Daughter from music camp, and we stopped in Owego to get coffee (The Goat Boy—great place, look it up if you're ever in the neighborhood). Afterward we walked to ATM, and we walked past a used bookstore (Riverow: again, good, look it up), so of course we had to pop in. One quick peek in the bargain basement and … this was lying out. In plain view. Screaming at me. It's a 1925 magazine. A little "humor" magazine called Laughs & Chuckles, dated Feb. 1925 (!). Certain words on its cover made it, uh, stand out:

Those word? "X-WORD"! and "CONTEST"! Also, 1925!! I partly thought it was fake at first, but then … who would fake *this*? So I opened it up. And there it is: The Contest Puzzle. Un. Solved. I collect vintage paperbacks (two and three and four decades later than this magazine) and you virtually never find the crossword books at all, and if you do, they are usually at least partially solved. This one: untouched. And it's … let's just say we should all say a quiet thanks to Margaret Farrar tonight for taking the puzzle seriously and creating certain standards, because hoo-boy … good luck solving this (click image to enlarge):

I like 7-Down. I mean "7-Vertical". Great clue.

OK, see you soon.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:02 AM  

Nietzsche doesn't end in an E sound.

jae 12:14 AM  

Medium-tough for me and delightful.  Clever/amusing theme answers with some crunchy fill and a paucity of dreck.  A fine Sun.! 

No real erasures, but a lot of my first choices wouldn't work, e.g. ARONI for 1a or Car Chase for 42a. 

Tough cross:  ROEG/BORAT especially with the DR.'s misdirect. 

Nice new ( for me) clue for ERIE.

Mud is well worth seeing.  A Huck Finnish tale.


Nice one Ian!

Gill I. P. 12:35 AM  

This was a toughie - made more so because when I printed out the puzzle there was no title. After AGES of trying to figure this out, I peeked over at Wordplay and saw the CHEE WHIZ.
So, WOW...I'm duly impressed. Tons of write-overs though. Like @jae upstairs, had aroni then paper until FILTHY RICHIE's F led me to PILAF.
Could not understand YACHT for sound investment and still don't ditto for TENET for parts of a party line.
BANDE got me good although you'd think I'd know by now all those AND words...Favorite clue was Break ground for Oasis. Favorite chuckle inducing theme THE LONE STARCHY STATE. Actually, I liked them all.
Fun Sunday puzzle Ian. CHAI CHIE CHI to you (that means fare thee well in ZULU.

Oldbizmark 12:51 AM  

Ritchie with a "t" looks weird to me but I guess it is not. Otherwise clean easy Sunday fun.

paulsfo 2:43 AM  

@Gill I P: You invest in a YACHT in order to sail on a sound.
And TENET: 'a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.
"the tenets of classical liberalism"'

Does PEC = "little" because it's an abbreviation? Not fond of that. Also not fond of the clues for ESC and STS.

But I did like the several slightly misleading, but fair clues, including those for STEM, TROUT, YACHT, OASIS, and TRESS.

I agree that LONESTARCHYSTATE was the best theme answer.

Might have been my fastest Sunday ever, though one letter wrong.

Steve J 4:28 AM  
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Steve J 4:31 AM  

Agreed that an Ian Livengood byline usually is a sign of a very good puzzle. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case today.

Not that there was anything bad (well, other than APERY). It's always nice to see a Sunday-sized grid mostly free of excessive abbreviations, partials, forced plurals and crosswordese. But nothing stood out for me. I did the puzzle this afternoon, and when I came here tonight to look at Rex's writeup, I realized I remembered pretty much nothing about the puzzle, other than it had "chee" puns. Some of them are pretty well-executed, but ultimately the pony's got only one trick. Outside the theme, nothing stuck with me.

Granted, nearly flawless but not terribly exciting is an improvement over the moderately to deeply flawed puzzles that populate most Sundays. But I expect more from Livengood.

Anonymous 4:48 AM  

I found this puzzle to be a bit of a mess. As Rex commented, the theme involved the addition of letters making "chee" sounds to common phrases. Okay, let's look at "archie rated movie". Take out the added "chee" sound (spelled "chie" in this case) and you're left with "a r rated movie". Not a familiar phrase, just an ungrammatical one.

Now look at "filthy ritchie". Take away the "chee" sound (spelled "chie" here as well) and you're left with "filthy rit", no phrase at all.

It was those two answers that had me banging my head over this puzzle far too long. Did an editor even look at this thing? It's just terribly sloppy and unpleasant to complete as a result.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:58 AM  

I thought this was a fine puzzle, in classical Sunday style. Phonetically, all the answers work well for me.

But will there be even more discussion of Rex's find from 1925? The author clearly has mastered every nuance of the Runtpuz, which some of us thought was created circa 2013. Time travel! Or was M&A writing puzzles ninety years ago?

Bob Kerfuffle 5:00 AM  

Oh, yeah, one write-over at 46 A, LAST WILL before LAST WISH.

Danp 5:40 AM  

This puzzle should have been titled Cutting the Cheese. The theme stunk. It made all the long answers easy. My reaction to each themer was "Sheesh." And once again, these "wacky" phrases are clued by people who have zero sense of humor.

Moly Shu 5:47 AM  

Same experience as @SteveJ, overall fine, not exciting or memorable. I did like the clue for YACHT

@anon 4:48 has it right. All of the theme answers stand alone if you remove the chee, except FILTHYRITCHiE. A glaring oversight/mistake/problem imho.

Art F 5:51 AM  

A beverage ("HIC") named after a hiccup??? Seemed odd, but it fit the crosses. It was only after I googled "hic beverage" that I got it. Doh!!!

Susierah 7:22 AM  

Guy Ritchie is Madonna's ex husband. So, I had no problem with that. Dnf because I had to Google Nietzsche to get the spelling correct, but a pretty good Sunday!

Leapfinger 7:40 AM  

@Gilly, I thought the 'sound treatment' for YACHT was having it pronounced 'yawt' instead of a Germanic 'yakkhht', but maybe I was led astray by the sound treatment of the theme.

Took the AR in ARCHIE as phonetic, @Anon4:48. Puns, by definition, require an element of elasticity for acceptance. As with frogs, you dissect them, most will die

Liked your yest's end, @FredRom.

Davidph 7:43 AM  

@anon 4:48 -- good point about Guy Ritchie. But R RATED MOVIE works just fine, phonetically.

Wordbook pronounces Nietzsche with a long E sound, so that works too.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

Enjoyed much of it. Lucky guess on JOEYS.

Hartley70 8:24 AM  

I liked it fine, but perhaps not a memorable Sunday. Rex's write up however is outstanding! What fun and BTW who is this Rex? Enjoy your vacay and stay mellow Dude :)

loren muse smith 8:44 AM  

My version had no title, either, so I was mildly perplexed. I had fun with this one anyway – so many great entries.

Rex – how interesting to see that puzzle! Thanks for posting the picture. And safe travels.

@Bob K – me, too, for LAST "will" first.

We have the DYAD of ORR and ONO. And if you squint, add OTT. (It's always jarring to see DYAD. It's not really interchangeable with couple or duo as in They make such an adorable DYAD. or Laurel and Hardy were one of the greatest DYADs of all time.) And speaking of crosswordese, you know you're solving too many when you not only know it's ARAL or Ural, but you know confidently which one it is. That was a toe-hold for me. (And for some reason, I always say I "stumped" my toe, which could be pretty gruesome, I guess.)

Liked the clues for TROUT, YACHT (Hey, @Gill I.P.), TRESS, and SPOT.

I know an honest-to-gosh BATTLE AXE. Sheesh. Her picture would be in the dictionary next to the term. Her BATTLE AXE-ness is so unbelievably remarkable, it's almost caricaturish. Mom, I sure am glad you're not like that.

"Llama" before HYENA. HYENA was one of the enemies in my new favorite show, Survive the Tribe. This westerner goes in and lives with a remote tribe to learn their way of life. On the first one, he lived with the Samburu of Kenya. Fascinating. They erect big ole "fences" made of seriously-huge thorn bushes to keep the HYENAs and leopards away from their cows at night.

Obviously, I had to get NIETZSCHE's spelling only from crosses (Hi, @Susierah), and I tell you, I had to dig deep for that H in MEHTA. It was really the only good guess. NIETZSCHE's name has FIVE consonants in a row. Wow. It's hard to find English words (that are not some kind of compound word – that's easy) with five consonants in a row. Strengths is the only one I found. Too compoundish - offspring, worthwhile. Foreign - Angstrom, borscht, Rothschild. (FWIW, Louie Armstrong has five vowels followed by five consonants, but I don't know if he ever spells it that way.)

As usual, Ian, I enjoyed this one. Off to pet a cat whose LAST MEOWS, I’m told, are numbered. :(

mathguy 9:09 AM  

Wonderful puzzle. Delightful solve.

I liked all the theme answers very much except for LONESTARCHYSTATE. OK, but too contrived. No problem taking the chee sound away from FILTHYRITCHIE to get "filthy rich." This is a puzzle, not a doctoral thesis.

Mohair Sam 9:27 AM  
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Nancy 9:38 AM  

#mathguy: AMEN! I'm always amused by hose who critique the constructor down to the last syllable. You think it's so easy to construct a crossword, YOU try it! I'm only interested in the challenge and fun of solving. This wasn't particularly difficult, but it was cute and entertaining and I enjoyed it.

TokyoRacer 9:42 AM  

Umm, there is no 7 Vertical. Is that what makes it tough?

Arlene 9:58 AM  

This took me a while to solve - appropriate entertainment for a Sunday morning. That "sound investment" - area YACHT was the last to go in. No Googles, though, so I'm a happy camper.

As for the 1925 puzzle - seems that there is no 7 Vertical clue. And so, the need for quality crossword editors (and whiny complainers) makes its debut.

r.alphbunker 10:31 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Got ARCHIERATEDMOVIE first but needed TABLEFORTUCCI to see that it was R-RATED MOVIE. Details are here


It's a proto-runt all right! The cruciverbalists at have posted the solution here. We believe we have discovered the significance of the missing 7D clue.

Z 10:36 AM  

My issue with spelling KNEE CHEE was that S. Once I got ASSISI the NE filled quickly.

I had totally forgotten Guy RITCHIE, so was thinking the reference was to Lionel RIC{T}HIE. Now that I remember him is it okay to forget him again?

Continuing YESTerday's BAWDY MOTIF, we get TIGHTLY MEN drinking HOOCH on a YACHT in their underROOS. ADAM, SCOTT, HOWIE and JOEY(S) and FILTHY RITCHIE are today's STUDS.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Can someone explain Dr.'s relatives?

Mac Adam 10:53 AM  

A DRive is a relative of a STreet.

chefbea 11:00 AM  

Thanks for explaining STS...Tough puzzle but I slogged through it with a little help. Dis not like the title but I DO remember cheese whiz...Do they still make it??

OISK 11:08 AM  

A careless DNF for me, but others also complained about "Filthy Ritchie - what would filthy rit mean? So I left "Filthy Rat chie, because in Italian, scusa is also correct for "pardon me." (In this case, knowing some Italian cost me!) Still, my fault, not Ian's. Really nice, well constructed, clever Sunday puzzle. Pretty easy, despite my one error. (even the pop music clue, a record label from Jay-Z, whom I know only from his marital problems, was easily discernible .)

Mohair Sam 11:18 AM  

@chelbea - Yeah they make Cheeze Whiz. I always get Whiz wit at Pat's Steaks in Philly. You should too.

Medium-challenging here. Had @anon 10:53 problem with STS, but went with it anyhow - wife finally sussed. Also got stalled by old Stanley Tucci. There's a Tucci's Furniture in Syracuse that pronounces itself "two-cee" and we've always assumed Stanley did the same. Nope. But LYRICPOEM made him obvious.

Wife was shocked that SCOTT was a gimme here (I know you're impressed). Winfield Scott is one of the most interesting of the non-household names in American history, I'm a fan.

aroni before PILAF here (again) and hand up for LASTWIll.

Total agreement with @Rex today except we found it tougher than he - a good Sunday workout. And how 'bout the nifty discovery he made is little old Owego? - great find. And thanks for sharing.

Casco Kid 11:20 AM  

2:15 Slog. Vague clues. No googles. One wife. 5 errors: ARCANa/DaE and AlOt/lAXI/ZAtE.

The theme turns on vocalized expressions, which allow the constructor to squirrel in silent letters all around. Some were fun; some were disconcerting: the errant T in FILTHYRITCHIE is unpleasing.

My solve hit a long slow span through the middle where the vagueness of clues just did not yield until crosses filled in. There was a pathway, but it took a while to find. Relatively few rabbit holes, just a long hunt for openings in the thicket.

AliasZ 11:22 AM  

Leeann Evengood turned in another fine, if rather nichey puzzle today, that I thoroughly enjoyed because I just luh-hu-huve puns. But if Friedrich Nietzsche were to get a hold of it, he would be turning in his grave. What's next, Chee Guevara? Chee whiz, indeed. Thus pay Xara two straw.

There is so much good stuff and so little junk in this one, that one could write pages and pages about it, which nobody will read anyway, so let me skip straight to the musical portion of our programming.

There is Verdi's "Ernani, Ernani, involami" ARIA, then "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd: A Requiem for those we love" by Paul Hindemith, an endless list of LYRIC POEMs accompanied my musical instruments, "Der SchauSPIELdirector" by Mozart, innumerable pieces of music inspired by, and dedicated to, St. Francis of ASSISI, as well as many songs with the title "Come TOME," but the most obvious choice today is the OBERON Overture by Carl Maria von Weber.

Enjoy your weekend.

maruchka 11:27 AM  

Some nicely resonant answers. Liked FILTHYRITCHIE, as an old comic book fan (if diff spelling); TABLEFORTUCCI, re: 'Big Night'; WOUNDEDNIETZSCHE led the way!

I stumbled on PILAF (a-roni), ASSAIL (attack), PUNY (tiny). Misspelled SCUSI (scusa - as in 'Well, a-scusa me!')

Grids don't bother me. Is it a guy thing?

@ Loren - so, so sorry. They just aren't with us long enough, are they? Here's to the purr-balls we have loved.

Susan McConnell 11:28 AM  

Ditto @mathguy.

OMG I love Stanley Tucci so much. Mostly because I am a big Julia Child fan and he played her husband in the movie Julie & Julia and was so endearing. I cringed when I heard that he was going to play the bad guy in The Lovely Bones....he was good in it but, eew, creepy. I got over it though and I still love him. That is all.

Davidph 11:44 AM  

@ mathguy and Nancy -- nitpicking the puzzle is all part of the fun. It doesn't mean any less awe of the construction, at least not to me.

Random thought: anyone who spells his name with a TZSCH isn't thinking clearly right from the get-go.

jdv 12:06 PM  

Easy-Med. I liked it. Never heard of ADAM Driver, only Minnie. Really liked the clues for TROUT and YACHT. Had a hard time parsing HEREWEARE because I had TRACk instead of TRACE. I didn't like the wordplay/misdirection for STS. Abbreviations are hard enough; adding spin to them is brutal. Also, it invites unwanted attention to poor fill.

Steve J 12:40 PM  

@Anon 12:02 a.m.: You're correct that Nietzsche gets more of a schwa or "uh" sound at the end in German. However, the knee-chee pronunciation is well rooted in English speakers and is as common - if not more - than the correct pronunciation. The answer gets covered under poetic license, in my opinion.

@Anon 4:48 a.m.: Agreed on the problem with FILTHY RIT(chie). However, R-rated movie is a common expression, at least in some regions.

@Nancy: What a boring place this would be if all everyone did was come in and say "I did the puzzle, it was great" day after day after day. Some of these work better than others. Some are more enjoyable than others. And for me, one of the most entertaining things about the commentary here is seeing the wide range of impressions of and experiences with each puzzle.

And ability to do something does not mean you are or aren't qualified to critique. Using that logic, I can never note the bad food or service at a restaurant because I cannot run a restaurant, I can't criticize the overpaid sportsball players on my TV when they play poorly because I'm not capable of playing sportsball at that level, I can't point out that a song is bad because I can't write songs, etc. That's absurd.

@Mac Adam: Thanks for the head-clearing explanation on DRs/STS. I could not see that.

Carola 12:40 PM  

"Laughs and Chuckles" for THE LONE STARCHY STATE and I GUESS SOCHI (inspired!) and smiles for the rest. Enjoyed the zany theme and the tricky cluing. My YACHT ran aground on a few of the same shoals that snagged others -OASIS, LAST WIll, STS, HYENA (tried alphA first), and overall I found it on the challenging side.

I liked the EMT provided for WOUNDED NIETZSCHE and PLEA parked next to MEOWS (as clued).

@Susierah - Thank you for explaining Guy RITCHIE.
@Mohair Sam - I am impressed about SCOTT.

@Rex - Thanks for the bonus puzzle!

Masked and Unanymous 12:52 PM  

@63: Mucho thanx. This really encourages M&A. Someday, if I work extra extra hard, one my humble little puzs might have a chance of bein published in Laughs & Chuckles. Somethin to shoot for. My life has renewed meaning.

@Livengood dude: Very well done. TABLEFORTUCCI made me laugh (&chuckle) out loud, for some strange reason. Musta reminded me of "Death to Smoochy", or somesuch. Anyhoo... Pulitzer prize puz material here, to M&A. How anyone can make a puz this biiiiiig and this gooooood is beyond me (clearly).


p.s. Hey! Where's 7-D? And 8.5-A? Maybe I *did* write that 1925 thing, after a routine time machine trip from outa 2025. Sure reminds me of my work.

Cue Twilight Zone music...

Gill I. P. 12:53 PM  

@Rex: What a jewel of a find! Thanks for sharing...Does it go on the coffee table?
@paulsfo: thank you for the explanations. I really, really need to read between the lines!
@Leapy: So agree it should have been YAWT. I would have jumped for joy had it been.
We're off to beautiful Auburn for a week to baby dog-sit, do some hiking on the Hidden Falls Trail or maybe Lake Clementine and just generally to enjoy life.

mathguy 1:23 PM  

With regard to the 1925 puzzle. Rex said 7 vertical was a great clue. Was this a sarcastic way of saying that the clue was omitted? If I solved the puzzle correctly, the entry at 7 vertical is G _ D. Or is he making a theological comment?

M and A Help Desk 1:28 PM  

@mathguy: It *was* a contest puz. Maybe having no clues for that G?D/?S missing letter, in both directions, was the meta part?

But what was the meta?


jdv 1:34 PM  

@r.alphbunker I think 20d should read one seventh vice one sixth. Finished with one error at 8d. I'm not happy with that clue.

Numinous 1:36 PM  

Golly Gee. I liked this one A TON. I thought all the twisted clues were just wonderful once I'd sorted them. RITCHIE didn't bother me one bit, I knew I'd seen it before. Google and ONE finds RITCHIE Valens, RITCHIE Blackmore and RITCHIE Brothers Auctions; and that's just the Google drop down. I had to chuckle when I saw yacht. This past week I watched all the sailing around the world alone movies on Netfix. There was one thing that bothered me but I can't think of it now so it didn't bother me all that much and I'm too lazy to look for it.
I got a one letter DNF because I had aLLIS for ELLIS, didn't know the name.

Cheeze Whiz is a thing certainly but it came from Chee Whiz which comes from Gee Whiz. But why chee instead of gee? Well, it seems that a long time ago, people would say, "Oh Gee" instead of "Oh God." That would have been taking the lord's name in vain and in some circles that was frowned on. In those circles, simply saying, "Gee!" was as if saying "God". So Gee was replaced with Chee. which brings me to the 1925 runt.

I have to disagree with r.alph. While the missing vertical clue is very clever, I don't believe a magazine that advertises itself as "America's wittiest magazine of clean humor" in 1925 would use the word GOD as a solution for the reasons cited above. They might, however use the word, GAD as in "How to go about." I also have a problem with OS while AS works just as well and is cluable in 1925. Finally, I don't think Hell would cross HECK since the latter stands in for Hell anyway.

I could be entirely wrong, it wouldn't be the first time. But I don't feel bad discussing this runt since OFL posted it.

And finally, finally, I hope that with a brand new $1,000 check in his pocket, Ian will be Livengood for the next few days.

Mikey From ABQ 1:51 PM  

I guess Rex likes Ian, because normally Rex would have been all over the author for the answer "Filthy Ritchie," as it violates the theme. Remove the CHEE sound and you have Filthy Ri????, and not Filthy Rich.

Hey, I tried to complete the 1925 puzzle. Got all but the last across (20A: Expression attributed to farmers - I have "-EC-") and the missing 7-down (guessed GOD, but then author missed the two-letter cross after 8 across.

jdv 1:53 PM  

@r.alph my mistake 1/6 is correct for 20d. Also, $10 back then is about $134 today. Three and out.

Tita 2:00 PM  

Top-left last to fall - Puz-spouse chuckled with delight as he ran upstairs with the printed puzzle, saying he was off to a great start.
We had just finished a plate of Rice-A-RONI, so of course, I thought that's what he meant.
(A guilty pleasure - I adore Rice-A-Roni - though I use only about 1/2 of the "flavor packet", and often add onions/shallots/'shrooms - but no CheezWhiz.)

Nitzschpick - the proper pronunciation of NIETZCSHE should be niːtʃə.
@Steve J - I second every word you said!

@LMS - another eggcorn - you'll have to edit the wiki entry to include that gory-indeed one.
So sorry to hear about the cat - hope it gets plenty of tenderness right up till that moment.

@Rex - Those unexpected finds are true treasures. Priceless. Can't wait to solve it, and uncode the mystery of 7V.
(Maybe you should blog the solution for it, to give us a place to talk about IT without spoilers appearing here.

Thanks Mr. Livengood - just what a Sunday should be.

Casco Kid 2:16 PM  


I think I found an error in your solution of Rex's RuntPuz:

8V [Good jokes (abbr.)] is GJ not Gs!

I concur with your guess that the Almighty One was the answer to the the missing 7V clue [], although there may be a meta lurking somewhere to explain it. Calling @PB2!

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

Still gotta disagree on the Archie clue. Yes, " R-rated movie" is a fine phrase, but deleting the "chee" sound here leaves either "a" R-rated movie or "ar"-rated movie. And I'm not being picky. The least we can expect on Sunday is consistent theming and smart editing. Yes, constructing crosswords is incredibly difficult, but that's not a reason to accept subpar work.

Cover Commentary with M and A 2:28 PM  

@63: Neat cover art on the Laughs & Chuckles magazine...

* Dude has a kind of Dick Cheney snarl goin on. Also looks like he's carrying a lot of equipment or some such, under that vest.
* He has a metallic right hand?
* His right hand has been transplanted to his left arm?
* Shadows indicate a fierce source of radiation eminating from the bottles on the doormat.
* Is he carrying his shoes, or is that a bunch of bananas?
* Dude is checkin his pocket watch. Must be sneakin into the place very late. But hey, he did bring the bananas...
* Doorknob looks unusually flat and disc-like. Doorknob on a cold morning?
* Really cool but weird doormat. Or perhaps it is an unmarked grave for the neighbor's cat.
* Resolution: "Pee-yewww... Never again will I bury cats in the hallway!"


GAR 2:30 PM  

Initially I agreed with @anon 4:48 regarding Filthy Ritchie, but in the end I concluded that it is fine. The theme is to add the CHEE sound to familiar phrases to get the wacky answer. Filthy Ritchie works from that perspective. The fact that removing the CHEE sound from the wacky answer doesn't result in the familiar phrase in this case is irrelevant in my opinion.

I've been doing the NYT puzzle daily for a little over a year. I thought this was one of the easiest Sunday puzzles I've seen. I am not a speed solver, but believe it was my fastest Sunday puzzle ever.

Truly Puzzled 2:44 PM  

@Anonymous 2:16 - What difference in pronunciation do you detect between "R" and "AR"? Can you spell it out so we can understand your objection?

Peter 2:51 PM  

Didn't anyone else wince or grimace a bit at "BLACK TAI CHI" (African-American marital art) -- and not for the tai-chi part? Reads in 2014 like its pulled from some off-color joke (no pun intended), a distant relative of last week's TAKE MY WIFE, PLEASE!

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

Although I think he intended streets and drives for the STS answer, I also thought Dr and St are both titles, as in Doctor and Saint.

Mohair Sam 3:22 PM  

@numinous, @Casco, and @r.alph. Good thoughts on the GOD not being clued idea. However, if the missing clue is just an editing error and 7V is actually GAD, well, Rex may have uncovered history's first natick.

@Susan McConnell - Yes Tucci is great, and his "Big Night" is one of those terrific little films not many have seen.

Can't believe we had a Guy RITCHIE clue and nobody has mentioned "Snatch" the third best guy movie ever (behind Godfather's 1 and 2).

quilter1 3:46 PM  

Busy day but finally got to finish the puzzle. I really liked it. As for the vintage puzzle, a couple of years ago I got a NYT book of puzzles "throughout the ages" so to speak. The war time puzzles were very hard. They proved that people thought differently about many things than we do today. It was also OK to insult the Nazis and the Japanese.

Leapfinger 4:16 PM  

PUNY instead of PUNNY? Not in my book; I thought this as good a Livengood as ever. I was actually sorry to wrap it up, and I'm usually flagging in the home stretch of a Sunday.

My solve sort of dribbled a diagonal NW-->SE to start, so TABLE FOR TUCCI was my first, and I loved it! Him also, a truly versatile actor. Liked him a lot in the airport flick with Tom Hanks but then I have a weakness for that DP theme, Man Without a Country and all that, like Philip Nolan.

WOUNDED NIETZSCH was another favourite, but had a shadow over it on account of the history at WOUNDED NIE. Can't quite get rid of all the shadows: I was watching African Queen on the Late Show one night when they interrupted to announce that RFK had been assassinated. Haven't watched African Queen since...I suppose that means that now I shouldn't be reading any more NIETZSCHE.

Had some trouble at 39A/D; with the clues 'Models'/'Speed', it seemed ROLES/RACE would work before they had to become POSES/PACE.

Also, for the Potala Palace resident, I fancied LulA [da Silva], though Potala doesn't sound too Brazilian, and living in a palace isn't very populist.

Only annoyance was HERE WE ARE, as the saying upon arrival. Where we are is always 'here', every step of the way from here to there is just a series of sequential 'heres'. We've been 'here' all along. We're now just at the 'here' that's the 'there' we wanted to get to. THAT's the kind of nit I pick.

@Numinous, nice to see you back.
@loren, sorry about your little buddy. Been there too many times.
@Alias, I think you're wrong; I'm sure more than one nobody reads you. btw, you left out the TENET-CHEE VALS.

Livengood is the best revenge.

r.alphbunker 4:18 PM  

@Casco Kid
Your answer works. But arguably mine does also. I viewed a good joke as a "gag" and accepted G as an abbreviation of "gag" so GS works. So both your answer and mine works. This may be the world's first Schrodinger puzzle. What a find by Rex!

Fred Romagnolo 4:59 PM  

@Muse: I too have been there, all my sympathies; and he will appreciate the extra attention, I know. @Mohair: got SCOTT from the SC - old history teacher - if you get a chance to see "They Died With Their Boots On" (Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland), Sydney Greenstreet plays Scott. @Macadam: thanks for STS. @Steve J: You're always right, but too charitable - I insist on the schwa. I got ROCAFELLA from the crosses and inference, never heard of Jay-Z. Loved seeing DRYDEN in the same puzzle. LILAC was another nice gesture to us old folks.

Leapfinger 5:07 PM  

Barbara Fritchie (1766–1862), also Frietchie, and sometimes spelled Frietschie. At age 95, she reportedly waved the Union flag in the street, as Stonewall Jackson's troops marched through Frederick, VA. This was immortalized by JG Whittier:

'Shoot if you must this old grey head,
But spare your country's flag, she said.'

And, in a more general way, by Ogden Nash:

I'm very fond of Barbara FritCHI.
She always scratched when she was ITCHI.

mac 5:21 PM  

I only rarely really enjoy a Sunday sized puzzle, but this is one time I raced through it with a smile on my face. Lighthearted and cute, with some very good clues.

Have a great trip, @Rex!

LaneB 5:29 PM  

Back.from big family (31 blood relatives, spouses, boy and girl friends) reunion at Sea Ranch, CA, to enjoy a solvable Sunday puzzle which lived up to its "easy-medium" rating. Good group photo on my daughter Caty's (Brennan Cox) Facebook page. A memorable gathering. During our week I was delighted to team up with some of my grand kids to complete each days' Times x-words. May have made some young converts inasmuch they all enjoyed the process and looked forward to the collaboration every morning.

RooMonster 6:03 PM  

Hey All!
Haven't done this puzzle, as my local paper has last weeks puz in it. But, I have devised a plan! I will print out today's and d it tomorrow, ergo, I will be caught up with it by next week! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Because I know how much you all miss my commentary! :-)


Joe Dipinto 7:05 PM  

@anonymous 2:16 - the key is the pronunciation of the new phrase being the same as the original phrase, plus the "chee" sound. It doesn't depend on it having the same spelling (see knee/Nie-tzsche).

I do agree with all the objections to FILTHY RITCHIE, since only an "ee" sound is being added. But otherwise I enjoyed the puzzle immensely.

RnRGhost57 7:16 PM  

@Mohair Sam, agree with you: "Old Fuss and Feathers" a very interesting, and important, figure in 19th century history.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

It's odd how disparate the reactions were to this puzzle. I'm amazed Rex found it easy. Sure the theme took no time to get, but the cluing gave so little away. I know a clue is good when I smile or breathe a sigh when I finally get the answer, and this one had lots of those moments, e.g., 46A, 71A, 117A, 64D, 68D Also appreciated that one didn't need to know any proper nouns or trivia for a complete solve. Enjoyed it.

Ken Kurtz 11:31 AM  

Filthy rat.

spacecraft 2:47 PM  

DNF. Bad enough was BANDE, which besides taking the horrid letter-AND (written out)-letter form, does not even mean burglary, necessarily. Not the same thing. The entire entry, clue and all, gets the spacecraft flag.

But then when I ran into some roadblocks and came up on Jay-Z's record company, I just said nevermind, and quit.

Dirigonzo 6:19 PM  

My solving experience was delayed when the paper blew into the pool so I had to wait while it dried out enough to write on. Happily it's a hot sunny day in my little corner of syn-city so it didn't take too long. When I finally started the puzzle I immediately got off to a poor start by falling for the Rice-a-roni trap at 1 down and then my roast locale was at a luau, and so it went. I eventually straightened it all out, with only ROEG remaining a complete unknown despite going in on crosswords.

@spacy - I'm glad you stuck with it long enough to encounter BANDE, because I knew you would have a lot to say about that and you didn't disappoint.

Did anyone mention the homophonic pair at 108 and 109 down? ILE/EEL - pretty cool.

Dirigonzo 6:22 PM  

P. S. - There's a "super moon" tonight, along with a meteor shower, so if it's clear in your neck of the woods get out there and enjoy the wonders of the night sky!

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