Joanie's mom to Fonzie / SAT 8-2-14 / Punch Out platform for short / Portmanteau bird / David had him killed / She came to Theseus' aid / Shakespeare character who asks To whose hands have you sent lunatic king / Perennial NCAA hoops powerhouse

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Constructor: Kristian House

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: VEAL OSCAR (17A: Dish with crab meat and Béarnaise) —
Veal Oscar is a culinary creation said to have been named in honor of Sweden's King Oscar II, who was especially partial to its ingredients. The dish consists of sauteed veal cutlets topped with crab or crayfish meat and bearnaise. Traditionally Veal Oscar is garnished with asparagus spears. Chicken can be used instead of veal to create Chicken Oscar. (wikipedia) [I would think anything could be substituted to create Anything Oscar]
• • •

10D + rotational symmetry counterpart 33D = Hello, Dolly! I'd've given the puzzle thumbs-up (as it were) on the basis of that little flourish alone.

Doesn't have the panache of yesterday's offering, but still holds up pretty well. Startlingly easy, though. I finished two minutes faster than I finished yesterday's, and pretty close to a Saturday record for me—somewhere in the low 5s. High word count + common answers + Fridayish cluing = breeze. Once I got a pace going, a bunch of the long answers just filled themselves in without much effort on my part. ROALD DAHL, for instance (44A: Subject of the 2010 biography "Storyteller"). I just looked at the letter pattern I had (which included the -AHL at the end) and just wrote it in. Got TURDUCKEN and ORWELLIAN after just a quick glance at each clue (62A: Portmanteau bird? and 32A: Like a Big Brother society, respectively). Had more trouble getting started than I did anywhere else, and even that wasn't too tough. I mean, what else is 2D: Operating without ___ (A NET) going to be?? Followed by 19A: Allen in history (ETHAN). Then NOAH (3D: Webster's first?) and we're off and running.

I would like to bench ENER RUY OWER ELEE VALS ANET PRIERS NES TSE and especially YEST, which is among my most detested alleged abbreviations. I would also like to bench, then fire, then exile the clue on NIECE (12D: ___-in-law). What's the word for something that is somehow simultaneously preposterous and transparent. A nice, actual clue there would've been very welcome. Only hiccups involved trying to come up with URIAH (16A: David had him killed, in the bible), thinking BUCKNAKED must be the answer in question, having to wait on crosses before spelling out KEBAB properly, and being forced eventually to change CLOP CLOP to CLIP CLOP (54A: Sound reproducible with coconut shells). Oh, and I wrestled with the BLUE part of BLUE STATE for like ten seconds, I think. And I blanked on SAVOIR, weirdly. OK, I think that's it. Fast, fun, and I'm not furious. That's what we call a "good day."
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:11 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jae 12:12 AM  

    Very easy for me too. Only stumbles were BUck before BUTT and IND before UNC.  

     I have mixed feeling about this.  On one hand you have... BUTT NAKED, SCARF, TURDUCKEN, ROALD DAHL, MAN ENOUGH...but on the other you have...YEST, VALS, PRIERS, NEONS, OWER, OKS, ENER, ENDERS...

    Not sure the good out weighs the bad.   I'll commit to a kinda liked it, but it needed way more crunch and a tad less dreck.  

    I just read what Jeff Chen had to say about it and seems he agrees.

    Carola 12:22 AM  

    Agree with @Rex about its being fast and fun, although my "fast" was 4 times longer than his. I join in the BuckNAKED crowd. Also went wrong with "upsuRGE" before ENLARGE, making that NW corner the most troublesome for me.

    One can TIE URIAH TO BUTTNAKED, in that David observed URIAH's wife, Bathsheba, bathing, the beginning to the affair that led to URIAH's death.

    Nice contrast of ORWELLIAN and UTOPIAN.

    Steve J 12:25 AM  

    Definitely a very easy Saturday. But lots of fun.

    Liked BUTT NAKED (even if I had BUck NAKED first), RENT-A-COP and TURDUCKEN. Great clue for SPYMASTER. A few minor blemishes - the partial E LEE and the forced OWER and extremely forced PRIOR - took a little shine off, but not excessively so.

    CLIP CLOP and its clue immediately made me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well. Great clip.

    wreck 12:29 AM  

    Very fast for me as well, though I did have one google (ROALD DAHL). I had one error -- I had KABAB instead of KEBAB as I did not know ARIADNE. I guess I should have googled that as well! There was some dreck, but it was dreck that I knew!

    okanaganer 1:05 AM  

    OK I Naticked at TURDUCKEN / SKAT. Realizing there was a K in that spot, I thought "Hey! That probably stands for TURkey/DUCK/chickEN... what the #$@ is that supposed to be?" So I Googled it...yuck(en)! I want off this bizzaro-world. Really!

    ONONEKNEE is also kinda bizarro. Only 4 different letters in it.

    OREWELLIAN: Years ago I read something attributed to Orwell:
    Interviewer: Are you surprised that the future you predicted in "1984" has not come to pass?
    Orwell: I was not trying to predict the future, I was trying to prevent it.
    (Provenance uncertain)

    AliasZ 1:28 AM  

    Reasonably good puzzle today, easier than yesterday, also more junk in it. I was aroar with laughter when I saw ANET, OTBS, TSE-tse flies, TIETO, YEST, ELEE, ENER, and a few other gems. I wanted to cry UNC, but I thought, it ain't OWER till it's OWER, so I persevered to get to the cool, substantial part of the puzzle: the TURDUCKEN main course and the ORWELLIAN BLUE-STATE PRIERS. Trust no one!

    Were you ever MAN ENOUGH to run BUTT NAKED through a busy mall featuring upscale SHOPS and lovely ATRIA until catching up with SPYMASTER George Smiley, get down ON ONE KNEE, BRAY like a jackass and beg him to slather LUBRICANT all over you, then taunt a BALD RENT-A-COP to try and catch you?

    Me too.

    A couple of weeks ago I was dining at NYC's famous Gotham Bar and Grill with some friends. It took serious effort to show some SAVOIR-faire which, TRUST ME, was not easy. The atmosphere, the prissy servers, the dishes served to our table as well as sitting around surrounding tables, were highly pretentious and outrageously overpriced, and the veal dish I ordered was covered with two different sauces that did not allow the taste of the meat to shine through, maybe because the veal itself was rubbery and tasteless. Good thing this time someone else got stuck with the bill. My dish definitely did not come even close to being nominated for the VEAL OSCAR.

    I have half a mind to post a link to the opera "ARIADNE Obnoxious" by Richard Strauss, but it's late and I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow, crystal blue persuasion.

    Good night, and good weekend.

    Mohair Sam 2:30 AM  

    Insomnia leads to rare wee hours solve . . . Very easy Saturday - liked it less than Rex, although liked the clues for SPYMASTER and SOTS a lot.

    Hand up for BUck before BUTT; and had to guess the E In KEBAB. Otherwise zipped right through this thing. I like a lot more resistance on a Saturday.

    This is sure to embarrass me, but can't get the joke involving John Madden's TURDUCKEN and a big suitcase - help me out.

    Mohair Sam 2:35 AM  

    Yup, I'm embarrassed. Just looked up portmanteau and found the second definition. Exposed as an idiot again (sigh).

    John Child 3:12 AM  

    So many nice words and pairings, e.g. @Rex and @Carola. I liked crossing pairs BUTT NAKED and RENT-A-COP, MAN ENOUGH? and ENLARGE, DETECTS and SPYMASTER, CLIP CLOP and OTBS, and almost every cross with TRUST ME.

    Under 30 minutes here makes it easy in my book. Good fun, Ms House!

    Moly Shu 3:32 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Moly Shu 3:39 AM  

    Yep, going to agree with easy. I put in BUTTNAKED hoping it was right, but ready to change it to BUck if needed. Glad it wasn't needed. A few errors, dystopIAN before ORWELLIAN, MRSC fixed that, and hoofbeat before CLoPCLOP before CLIPCLOP.

    Like @SteveJ, love the coconut shell scene. "It's not a question of where he grips it..." Always makes me laugh.

    Auto Correct: Gender Edition 4:37 AM  

    That would be Mr. House

    Gill I. P. 6:00 AM  

    Could not see TURDUCKEN for the life of me so my Saturday SAVOIR sans Google came to an abrupt halt. I always jump in a suitcase when I see the word "portmanteau" forgetting how bootylicious that "other" meaning can be.
    My other slowdown was not being able to see MAN ENOUGH for a long time. I had MANE - and NOUGH was hiding in idle GEAR.
    CLIP CLOP was fun to see. The old sound effects team in Western movies use to BANGS coconuts together to emulate the sound of horses galloping. What a job!
    When it was all said and done, I sat back, looked at the puzzle and said to myself that this was a pretty fun puzzle. Didn't mind the little dreck popping all around especially when you have ORWELLIAN in your puzzle.....

    RAD2626 7:56 AM  

    Agree with all the favorable comments. Easy (*for a Sat*) even though lots of clever cluing. Particularly liked SCARF, ALTER, BLUESTATE, AND SMOG. Only real groaner was PRIERS, and a cheap plural to boot. I had different problem with KEBAB than other posters; I always spelled KEBoB. Oh well. I know one when I eat one.

    chefbea 8:18 AM  

    Lots of food!! Yummmmm. Haven't had veal oscar in ages. I'll have to make it.
    Was absent yesterday...too tough
    Flood warnings here...been raining all day yesterday and today!!!

    James Dean 8:26 AM  

    Easiest Saturday for me ever, by far. Did not know the "word" TURDUCKEN so the SE was tricky, but the rest of the puzzle seemed to fill itself in. Thought the long answers were excellent and fresh.

    evil doug 8:42 AM  

    Man enough...
    Trust me...
    Tie to...
    Butt naked...


    NCA President 8:48 AM  

    @Mohair Sam: because you continue to learn doesn't make you an idiot. What it actually shows is courage. "Idiots" are people who not only refuse to learn but actually think they know all there is to know. I'm no expert to education, but I've come to understand "intelligence" as something you can isn't, as many believe, some inherent "gift" you get when you're born. So, TL;DR: building intelligence means coming face to face with your shortcomings of knowledge and being brave enough to accept it, learn, and move on. Good on you for learning (60% of what I know I've learned from crossword puzzles..FWIW).

    According to the NYT applet, I took 8 times longer than @Rex to solve this...of course, you gotta factor in getting another cup of coffee, spending several minutes greeting my cat for her morning scratch and then several more minutes for her to lay down, and of course oatmeal doesn't make itself...sooo...yeah. 40 minutes.

    BUT! no googling, no for me, though it took me a while, it was definitely easier than usual Saturdays.

    I like BUTTNAKED, VEALOSCAR, and ORWELLIAN. Thank the crossword gods that 1A wasn't ONONE(s)KNEE, which I thought it might be at first.

    MANENOUGH is just slightly and ever so sexist. There are many women I know who are hardly "wimpy" but very definitely womanly. Why does something non-wimpy (read: weak) have to be associated with being a male? Hey, I'm a male...but I'm starting to be embarrassed by so many males who think that males have the corner on the strength market. We don't. "Not too wimpy" could just as easily been "woman enough." The fact that MANENOUGH was the answer betrays our culture's patriarchy. It's time to jettison that crap and embrace both genders as equally strong and equally capable of weakness. /rant

    Susan McConnell 8:49 AM  

    Agree with @jae on this one. I wish I could like it more, but the clue for NIECE: WHY???? It is so unnecessarily, ridiculously random. Maddening. But yes, lots of other fun and tasty things to be found in this one.

    I know a great source for fantastic TURDUCKEN in southeastern CT if anyone is ever interested.

    joho 8:50 AM  

    @Rex, another great write up!

    I agree, this was super easy for a Saturday but in no way fill-in-the blank boring.

    My only write overs were pRomisE before TRUSTME and PUnk before PULP.

    Love the coconut clue for CLIPCLOP.

    @Gill I.P. even though I got MANENOUGH right away, MANE jumps out at me, too. I see a picture of a pony with just a wisp of a mane.

    Yesterday's almost perfect puzzle was a hard act to follow but I think this one did pretty well.

    Thanks, Kristian!

    (And @Will for BUTTNAKED!)

    Glimmerglass 9:09 AM  

    Easy for a Saturday, but still hard enough to be fun. I struggled in the SE, but finally remembered John Madden's Thanksgiving joke bird. (Cabela's will actually sell you one.) I had been looking for something like turkey vulture or sparrow hawk. I also lost time in the NW (where I usually begin) because I didn't know what's in VEAL OSCAR, and therefore needed a bunch of crosses. Some amusing clueing, too.

    Arlene 9:11 AM  

    I didn't fly through this, but got most of it before tracking down a few things via Google.

    But I must be getting grouchy (not man enough?) - and did not like NIECE - in - law. That's ridiculous!

    And don't even ask about BUTT NAKED. No lady would include that (or accept that) in a puzzle.

    I was fine with CLIP CLOP and put that right in. My brain must be gradually warping to Saturdays!

    Lindsay 9:17 AM  

    I tuned out at the ELEE/YEST cross.

    How is a webcam different than a telescreen? Not to mention the GPS in every pocket and every vehicle (but not my pocket or vehicle). Orwell failed to anticipate that ORWELLIAN dystopia would not be imposed by government, but purchased by the consumerat. (just made that up. Trying to portmanteau "consumer" and "proletariat" but maybe it's not working).

    Davidph 9:26 AM  

    The coconuts -- scene from Monty Python:

    r.alphbunker 9:28 AM  

    Clocked 6 Parkers with a Will Shortz at the end.

    Loved TURDUCKEN. Are there other portmanteau dishes? E.G., I am having raicrabroats for breakfast. (Oatmeal with raisins, cranberries and brazil nuts)

    loren muse smith 9:31 AM  

    Yeah, like everyone else, I blew through this one like nobody's business. Unbelievably, my very first entry was VEAL OSCAR, though I don't think I've ever eaten it, and something tells me it's a bit dated and cliché (@chefs bea and wen?) in a Beef Wellington kind of way, so I don't think I've seen it on Top Chef. Honestly, it just doesn't sound too great. I want my Béarnaise on prime rib and crab meat on a crab roll at Holbrooks in Cundy's Harbor, Maine. Now a TURDUCKEN OSCAR, on the other hand. . .why not just pull out all the plugs, right? Maybe some roasted pine nuts sprinkled on top? And a cranberry foam?

    The clues like the ones for SHOPS, A NET and NOAH always mess mightily with my mind on a themeless. I never, ever accept that it's so easy; in a way, those are actually some of the harder clues for me. Sorry, Kristian, but I'll take Ashton's and James' advice from yest - TRUST NO ONE. I didn't, so NIECE went in just fine. I guess I'm in the minority; I liked its clue and considered "uncle" first. I thought it was a good Saturday clue.

    My only stumbles were trying to fit some form of an abbreviation for "retired" in RENTA, and, mysteriously ignoring any crosses for help, I put in "ystd" for YEST.

    Well, actually, I had three problems, and the last one I didn't correct. Didn't know ARIADNE, so I had "Ariadna/kabab" there. Those damn mix-and-match vowels in KEBOB KABOB KEBAB KABAB.

    Ok, this is really dumb, but I invariably delight in singing "Alouette." Unlike other folk songs that I kind of sing resignedly just to be a good citizen, I really sit up and throw myself into "Alouette." No idea why.

    I found ENDERS and its clue a bit odd. "Well, I think we're about done here. Adriadne, can you open the door to bring in the enders? They've been really patient."

    I've been sitting here saying BUTT NAKED and "buck naked" for a few minutes. If a listener can truly hear the difference (when I say it because I don't try hard to sound correct and pronounce every single sound and people who do wind up drawing my attention to focus only on their articulation), and he probably can, then I'll start to believe that some languages indeed have over forty click consonants.

    The place where I was first introduced to Béarnaise was where I had my first job – Quinn's Mill near Atlanta. Back then, SCARF meant eat that last piece of lobster or prime rib off the guy's plate that you just "dragged" (cleared), especially if you were helping out a waiter who was "blown" (nowadays "in the weeds"). Everyone would scarf. It was not considered shameful, though one time a waiter named Harvey went back to the table with chocolate icing on his face right after he had dragged this guy's chocolate cake. Sheesh. If you're gonna scarf you gotta be careful. I. Loved. That. Job.

    Kristian – loved the puzzle, liked all the 9's, especially the stacked ones. Job well done!

    Z 9:33 AM  

    Randominity Hall of INFAMY

    Leo I - M
    Letter strings
    Xzibit and other Rap "spell" casters
    Grilled meat on a stick
    Western European spellings of Eastern European composers.

    Read the "lunatic king" quote and realized that wasn't much help in narrowing down the play. Love and power both make you crazy, it seems.

    I had the same take as ED on this puzzle's answer list.

    29 minutes with at least four of those looking at a completely empty SW until REGAN and FRONT showed me a SCARF and let me finish.

    I have decided that Tupac's Chopin is now my favorite philosopher.

    chefbea 9:45 AM  

    @Loren - you are right - beef wellington and veal oscar are from the same era!!

    Pete 9:47 AM  

    You know the one [anything]OSCAR you can't make? CRABOSCAR.

    @ED - You left out BANGS.

    RooMonster 9:56 AM  

    Hey All!
    I was MANENOUGH to conFRONT this puzzle. SKAT through the north and center, but EYED the south and was ONONEKNEE as it was an ACHE to DETECTS the PULP of it.

    That about sums up this puz for me. Got through the N and center in about 40 mins, which for me on a Saturday is great! Hard time in S, as I wasn't sure what poranteau meant, had to google that one.�� UTOPIAN took a long time to see. After I finally got it, then the SW fell. Had to change LUBRICAte to the right answer.

    Problem with BUTTNAKED, it's supposed to be BUCK! Come on, everyone knows that! Also, whenever the skewer food comes up, I fill in K_B_B, cause you never know if its KEBAB or KABOB. Same with the hit-the-dirt clue, SC_U_, could be SCOUR or SCRUB.

    Kudos to Rex for the Monty Python clip! Big fan of those crazy chaps!

    Oh,had DETarps before DETECTS, nice misdirection there. Liked BLUESTATE, answer and as clued. Had OTBS in, then took out, as that S was giving me trouble.

    So, �� enjoyed it for the most part. Nice to have an easier than normal Saturday.


    JC66 9:57 AM  


    I also ate at Gotham Bar & Grill recently...might have been the same night as you, but my experience was the exact opposite of yours.

    Great atmosphere and great food/drink. (I didn't have the veal).

    Leapfinger 9:57 AM  

    I was surprised by how smoothly this Saturday went down, but good fun while it lasted.

    It wasn't ON ONE KNEE that had me thinking it was pretty Onion-y: rather, it was the cross @ 4, the "rolled doll", the FRONT *and* BUTTNAKED....Whoever is running around that way, did someone SOUSA pants off him?

    @jae, IND before UNC? Really?
    @loren, think of "East ENDERS", but me2, on thinking about REtired COP!
    @AliasZ, I looked for ARIADNE 'Obnoxious' with RENTA COPBALDi singing the title role, couldn't find it. And I wasn't in the mood for ANET Funicello, PinkELEE, URIAH Heep or Phil OKS.

    I liked UTOPIAN/ ORWELLIAN and the BLUE STATE clue, YEST I did, but had trouble with CLIPCLOP. At different times, most of the vowels put in an appearance some place or other.

    Very cool to find a food & family theme: there's the tasty shout-out to BiL's cousin OSCAR in Toronto, hope VEAL see each other again soon. I always tell other BiL (who tends to SCARF food): "LU, BRI CAN'T be eaten cold. Let it come to room temp!". Then there's my sister, a VIRGO, who doesn't eat much,e and my one NIECE, with no descriptors. It'll be nice when we're all together IN FAMY over Thanksgiving again! A betting on no TURDUCKEN though.

    Speaking of which, I have it on good authority that the TURDUCKEN was invented by a former Matryoshka DAHL ARTISAN with a too-small refrigerator. He didn't want to leave the DUCK and chiCKEN out TAROT. TRUST ME on this.

    Thanks,KristianH, for giving us a BRAY-ACHE today!

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:09 AM  

    My one write-over, no one else has mentioned, 56 D, Trashy, in a way, PORN before PULP.

    NIECE-in-law had me saying "Wha?"

    E LEE had me wondering if commenters would be offering re-works of part of the grid.

    And I am surprised that Google Fight has BUTT NAKED coming out way ahead of BUCK NAKED. Not what I expected!

    Casco Kid 10:09 AM  

    Ok, guys, call it what you want, but here I call it my first ever SatPuz done with a clean line score 000 googles/cheats/errors in 1:33, and not without substantial drama as I went with [Let out, in a way] eruct for ALTER in the 90th minute. That only proved that FRONT and SCARF were right, so out it came. SAVIOR looked familiar (SAbOIR, then SebOIR first -- oh to know a little more French...)

    My list of crazy Shakespearean kings had gotten rather long, but Lear was there, so when REGAN crossed VIRGO, I was camping, happily. I had wanted hEnry Bolingbroke there as RII was a crazy mutha.

    SCARF down does not mean [Bolt down] in my book.

    FriPuz screamed "unsolvable" from the get-go. This one whispered "just do me" in dulcet tones. Glad to have obliged.

    Questinia 10:14 AM  

    @ evil doug


    Nancy 10:25 AM  

    SCAT for SKAT gave me TURDUCCEN, which I never heard of. But then I never heard of TURDUCKEN either. :) Otherwise easy and fun. Loved the clues for BLUE STATE, SCRUB, RSVP, and SOTS. Wanted THE OCEAN for CLIP CLOP, but wisely never wrote it in. Could I be confusing seashells with coconut shells? :)

    mac 10:31 AM  

    Easy but enjoyable Saturday.

    The blank - in - law had me trying to think of something legalese; it is Saturday, isn't it?

    Too bad about the enders, priers and yest. Plenty of nice words, though. The last one I filled in, "man enough", was also my favorite. A nice aha after MANEN....

    Veal Oscar sounds dreadful, I don't like the idea of mixing seafood and other meats, surf and turf. Turducken looks decadent in a bad way. Oh, and buck naked here too.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:32 AM  

    @r.alphbunker - You ask an interesting question: Are there other portmanteau food words?

    Let's get together to discuss the issue over brunch. They will be serving Beefaroni, with cronuts for dessert. Your choice of beverages includes frappuccino, an appletini, or just a mocktail.

    Don't forget to bring your own spork!

    quilter1 10:35 AM  

    I object to NIECE-in-law as well. All the kids are my nieces and nephews no matter who they belong to. That said, otherwise a puzzle I enjoyed. And how come I get the same captcha day after day?

    mathguy 10:52 AM  

    A very enjoyable solve. Fresh entries. Neat clues.

    I solved it while watching a DVD of ENDERs Game. Not a terrible movie.

    @okanaganer: Great quote from Orwell.

    @loren muse smith: Loved your scarfing story. Also, I've read about some innovative chefs using foams but I've never tasted one.

    What's Rex getting at with his remark linking BUTTNAKED, LUBRICANT, and Hello, Dolly? I hate it when I don't get a dirty joke.

    Hartley70 11:38 AM  

    Nice one. I had Saturday's torture a day early, so this was a justly earned reward. BLUE STATE was my grin of the day.

    Hartley70 11:39 AM  

    Oh and Whoohoo Casco Kid!!!

    John Child 11:46 AM  

    Way 2 go @Casco!

    jdv 11:47 AM  

    Easy. The puzzles this week didn't escalate in difficulty like I've come to expect. Finished this in the same time as Tuesday and Thursday. NW was the most difficult. Had OLEO before GEAR and took me awhile to parse MANENOUGH. Had CLoPCLOP and EDUC before ENER. Agree w/Rex about NIECE and I wasn't crazy about ENDERS. Overall, I liked it.

    Mohair Sam 11:59 AM  

    @Casco - Heartiest congrats.

    Tita 12:06 PM  

    @Lindsay - exactly my thought when I read @okanaganer's quote...

    @r.alph - your musing led me to the wiki page on portmanteau - "cheeseburger" is perhaps the most famous. @BobK - lol! Maybe for Lollpuzzoolah lunch, if we can get today's constructor to be there.

    Isn't BUTTNAKED a spoonerism for BUckNAKED?

    Sousa's father was Portuguese - his name was really João Felipe.

    @CiscoKid - congrats!!

    This was "easy" for me too. FWOG, and before 10am!
    I'm Ok with that - it was plenty crunchy, and I overall liked it lots. I need a break every now and again.

    Hey wait just a TERDUCKEN-picken' minute there...
    How is SAVOIR = knowledge? Verb ≠ noun. I cry fowl.

    Anyway, thanks Ms. House!

    LeapFinger 12:23 PM  

    @Z, yer welcome for yer new favourite philosopher. This Leo will be adding an I to her (I-M) post-nominal suffix in about a week or so. Oy, RUST ME.

    It really is BUCKNAKED;everyone else is Msinformed.

    Masked and Anonymo8Us 12:37 PM  

    @muse: Admired all yer food service industry jargonese, in today's comment. Think U may have a potential puz theme, there!

    @Evil & Questinia: Yes. Yes. Yes. SHOPS? Was there a USERFEE?

    OK. Puz itself...
    Very well put together. It went for the long balls, so it had to live with a couple of YEST-a-bloopers. But hey -- these dudes only get paid fifty cents an hour, yah know. I had plenty of good, semi-clean fun with it. Rodeo.

    Did tend a bit toward the easier side. Left (oested?) m&e plenty of time for post-puz reflection. Lucky you...

    BUTTNAKED is a primo bit of misdirection. Did leave M&A yearnin for:
    * BUTTMASTER. (exercise equipment!)

    This puz is much more trusting, than yest's.

    For my bullets selection today, let's conclude with some "more" fave (favorerite?) clues for NIECE...

    * Splinter, to Woody Woodpecker. (B. Silk)
    * Medea to Circe. (E. Gorski)
    * Cressida to Pandarus (R. Norris)
    * Girl in sort of a family way (M&A)
    * Relative who tries, but can't quite ever be nice?? (M&A)
    * Young gal who scores a Tiffany lamp and later struts it on Antiques Roadshow? (M&A)


    A snowman's wortha U's. BUttsUp!

    loren muse smith 12:55 PM  

    @r.alph, @Bob, @Tita. . . I remember reading that "cheeseburger" was a portmanteau.

    I think we should suggest our own ones. How 'bout a spamletini
    Spam (spiced ham, by the way) omelet martini. Yum.

    Andrew Heinegg 12:59 PM  

    This was a mixed bag for me. The niece in law and butt naked are indefensible. The niece in law is a non-existent term in usage. The butt naked is a good example of butchering the language. Does butt naked mean that only the rear end of the person is unclothed? I don't think so. If it were buck naked, you would have then 'clarified' the naked to indicate the individual had not a stitch of clothing on. Even that modifier might be considered redundant but, at least it is an attempt at language usage that is not misleading.

    Tupac Chopin 1:00 PM  

    It turns out that BUck NAKED might actually be racist in origin. Who knew?

    Dirigonzo 1:06 PM  

    It took about 45 minutes to reduce the grid to two blank squares - I had a 50 -50 shot at K(a/E)BAB and guessed right; TUxDUCKEN was a complete mystery but I finally decided on the correct letter on the theory that there should be at least one TURD(UCKEN)in every puzzle. Now I'm off to google to learn the real reason it's right.

    RooMonster 1:38 PM  

    Thanks @Leapy, that's what I wuz sayin afore! Get it right peeps!

    @M&A, your BUTTS made me split my pants!

    @lms, how bout some nachatonis? Nacho-rigatonis

    (Just made myself hungry!)

    jae 1:46 PM  

    @leap -- IND only because I thought 1a might end in ISH and was partially encouraged when HERE fit.

    Tita 1:52 PM  

    Oh the shame...I don't know my spoonerism from my eggcorn. Thanks Tupac for an enlightening link.

    My favorite is my mom's "jet leg" after sitting in coach on a long-haul flight.

    @lms, @r.alph, @roo...
    Cheekers (cheese & crackers)(you can eat them while BUTTNAKED)
    Prulon (Prosciutto & melon)
    Freans (Franks & beans)

    Oh heck, I have to cry UNC here - I'm no match for you wordmeisters...

    Though I am definitely getting hungry all over again, even though I just had a bowl of Leeshrod Chowdah (Leeks, Shrimp, and Cod - on oof puz-spouse's specialties.)

    Lewis 2:34 PM  

    Easy for a Saturday, but still not easy for me, though some large swaths went quickly. For a while I had REP as winners in the Blue States! One of the first things to go in was CLIPCLOP. I liked the clues for ACHE and RSVP. Feeling like Rex -- it felt good to flow rather than clunk through a Saturday, so good that I'm overlooking any negatives.

    @LMS -- you've made your first PPP! Following Ralph's lead, you've asked us to come up with portmanteau foods. So... SMORDAMCASS (smoked sardine edam casserole).

    POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP) -- Find 3X3 squares in this puzzle that have all crossword-legitimate words across and down.

    I've found three so far. If you wish, you can report how many you found. Later in the afternoon I'll share what I found, and certainly you can do the same then if you wish.

    O. Naturelle 3:15 PM  

    'Cheekers (cheese & crackers)(you can eat them while BUTTNAKED)'

    @Tita, let me tellyou a little story. Once upon a time,before their birthday suits were severely in need of ironing, this one couple adventurously took a trip to this 'nature camp' in the Poconos. People went about BUTTNAKED all over, except for sneakers on the tennis courts and shorts, which were worn to all meals in the dining hall.

    Experience teaches that it isn't a good idea to eat *anything* BUTTNAKED.

    Lap it up

    Lewis 3:31 PM  

    ORACOS -- Oatmeal raisin cookies

    chefbea 3:50 PM  

    Spagmebas = spaghetti and meat balls

    ANON B 4:05 PM  

    Can someone please explain
    Rex's comment:
    10D+rotational symmetry
    counterpart 33D=Hello Dolly

    ANON B 4:10 PM  

    Can someone please explain Rex's comment:
    10D+ rotational symmetry
    counterpart 33D = Hello Dolly?

    O. Naturelle, bis 4:10 PM  

    It has to be a fairly small chiCKEN that fits inside a DUCK, so by extension we can add


    to ED's list

    Lewis 4:29 PM  

    POST PUZZLE PUZZLE (PPP) solution:




    retired_chemist 4:46 PM  

    Easy-medium. Lots of time staring at white space I couldn't fill in, then ARTISAN, RCA, SKAT, TETE, OESTE, TAROT, and INFAMY gave me good footholds.

    Hand up for BUck NAKED.

    54A was hoofbeat - not even one letter right - at first. Fixed by OTBS. cOhan for 53D hid the SE for a while. eat up for SCARF slowed the SW down. shops eliminated eat up, except I had it at 61A instead of SHOPS at 14D.

    NIECE-in-law? Bah. YEST? Bah squared. E LEE? Bah cubed. But enough cool stuff here to allow some poor fill and still have a good puzzle.

    Thanks, Mr. House.

    O. Naturelle, bis[2] 4:48 PM  

    From the Acrosses:






    RDU- local airport


    Shall let someone else do the Downs.

    OISK 5:02 PM  

    Way to go, CASCO! Easy for me, too, although I was not confident that I had it right until I came here to happily find turducken! Really nice puzzle, and if it is a bit easy for a Saturday, no complaint from me Especially since a DNF would have been four in a row for me, and the other three were not the usual pop culture natick (unless you consider not knowing chaching a pop culture lapse), but were just failure to revise wrong answers once entered. At my age, four in a row would have been a dangerous, disheartening sign of impending senility, so THANK YOU Kristian!
    (also loved the clue for blue state)

    Carola 5:09 PM  

    @Lewis - Fun PPP. I found only 5 of you and O. Naturelle's 10.

    sanfranman59 6:08 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
    Thu 20:01, 17:37, 1.14, 75%, Medium-Challenging
    Fri 20:26, 20:26, 1.00, 51%, Medium
    Sat 17:04, 25:07, 0.68, 2%, Easy (5th lowest ratio of 225 Saturdays)

    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
    Thu 14:38, 10:49, 1.35, 87%, Challenging
    Fri 13:00, 13:03, 1.00, 49%, Medium
    Sat 10:54, 16:35, 0.66, 2%, Easy (4th lowest ratio of 225 Saturdays)

    mac 6:15 PM  

    I always found "spag bol" funny on the signs in front of the London version of diners. How about chalad, a chopped salad?

    Someone else 6:18 PM  

    PPPs from the Downs:





    And some overlapping runs:



    Put these all together and we couldbuild a really bad puzzle.

    ANON B 7:23 PM  

    Can someone please explain what these PPP's are all about and
    what Post Puzzle Puzzle Means.

    ANON B 7:31 PM  

    I think that nobody answered my question about Hello Dolly is because none of you got it.

    Mark 7:43 PM  

    I agree with those who objected to accepting BUTTNAKED in place of BUCKNAKED, but that's the way language works: if enough people say something "wrong," then it becomes "right." BUTTNAKED is about 50% there. Similar examples abound: the tone-deaf mistake "another thing coming" for "another think coming" is said by about half of us, as is "step foot in that place" instead of "set foot." Progress marches on.

    Anonymous 8:57 PM  

    I found it much easier than yesterday's (Friday's), mostly due to the clueing. . Despite several clever entries and the controversial, BUTTNAKED, it felt like a mid-week level of difficulty.

    Lewis 10:25 PM  

    @carola -- I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    @anonb -- Usually, Monday through Saturday I present a PPP (post puzzle puzzle), an extra brain teaser based on the day's puzzle. Today's was posted at 2:34.

    @Onaturelle and SomeoneElse -- Many excellent answers. I should have worded the PPP more clearly. My intent was for the 3x3 boxes' to make all the answers work across AND down, like


    as you had, SomeoneElse, and some of the answers both of you came up with do just that. Way to go!

    Lewis 10:25 PM  

    @carola -- I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    @anonb -- Usually, Monday through Saturday I present a PPP (post puzzle puzzle), an extra brain teaser based on the day's puzzle. Today's was posted at 2:34.

    @Onaturelle and SomeoneElse -- Many excellent answers. I should have worded the PPP more clearly. My intent was for the 3x3 boxes' to make all the answers work across AND down, like


    as you had, SomeoneElse, and some of the answers both of you came up with do just that. Way to go!

    Norm 10:53 PM  

    @Anon B Rotational symmetry means that the grid is symmetrical when rotated 180 degrees (clockwise or counterclockwise -- take your pick). Other grids can be symmetrical in a mirror way right to left or up & down. There are other variants (I wrote about this recently but forget when) but I think those are the main ones for crossword grids. There is actually a math/art crossover of studying these tesseracts (I think that's right).

    Norm 10:56 PM  

    Oh, as far as your "Hello Dolly" question, I'm not going to touch the BUTTNAKED/LUBRICANT "symmetry" with the proverbial 10-foot pole.

    Norm 10:59 PM  

    Louis Armstrong
    Hello Dolly,......well, hello, Dolly
    It's so nice to have you back where you belong
    You're lookin' swell, Dolly.......I can tell, Dolly
    You're still glowin''re still crowin''re still goin' strong
    I feel that room swayin'......while the band's playin'
    One of your old favourite songs from way back when
    So..... take her wrap, fellas.......find her an empty lap, fellas
    Dolly'll never go away again

    Fred Romagnolo 4:05 AM  

    Really late; computer failure for most of day. @AliasZ: I'm with you on ARIADNE obnoxious; I've had to sit through two performances of that bore (until the end with the appearance of Bacchus). I liked this one a lot, especially when compared to yesterday"s. Didn't have to google once. @casco: see, what everybody's been telling you, stick with it and you get better; it's the way to get to Carnegie Hall. I bucked till I had to concede to butt; but as I said earlier, I'm a little behind.

    Lewis 6:43 AM  

    @fred -- good one!

    Maruchka 10:40 AM  

    Checking in late. Liked that ARIADNE and REGAN are together at last - poor ladies. Well, ARIADNE, anyway.

    Love LeCarre, so SPYMASTER happened fast. Still don't get TURDUCKEN as luggage. Portmanteau... Is this some chef-y thing, Chef Bea?

    VEALOSCAR reminded me of yearly luncheon with my grandmother at La Bourgogne in SF. My favorite 19th century meat is still Tornadoes de Boeuf.

    Mmm. Time to eat sumpin'.

    spacecraft 11:40 AM  

    *For a Saturday* easy. I was disappointed we didn't get a video CLIP of the Stones' "Beast of Burden" ("Am I MANENOUGH...?"). That earworm, not unpleasantly, will be with me for much of the day, so House starts off with a plus.

    Grid got a little messy in the NE because my RENTACOPs were all REtirees. Well, aren't they?

    Hand up for BUck. Either way, the 10d/33d "connection" escaped me till pointed out by OFL. Disturbing.

    Plenty of PULP fill here, otherwise this might have made an A. Agreed that YEST is a real stinker. Also scowled at PRIERS. B-and I'm being kind for 1a. TRUSTME.


    DMG 1:22 PM  

    Didn't find this as easy as some, but I stuck with it and suceeded. First Sarurday in awhile. Lots of pauses along the way, but eventually things kicked in. So that's what SAVOIR means! Only actual write-over was replacing rEvEalS with DETECTS, which helped me with the peculiar poultry! I always find it amazing how an otherwise blank answer becomes obvious when just one letter appears somewhere mid word! The mind is a fearsome thing!

    3658. So much for so little!

    Anonymous 2:28 PM  

    As I slap my head, I left the "r" out of turducken, so DNF completely.
    After checking Google I see where it takes a min. 13 hrs. to prepare turducken, which was unknown to me in the first place. What a ghastly concoction.

    Liked the puzzle a lot and found it interesting and easy for Sat.

    Ron Diego 11:30 AM PDT

    rain forest 3:21 PM  

    One of the easier Saturdays we've had, but still a lot of fun. Tried to make 1A ----tOUGH for awhile, but NEONS fixed that. For a Canadian, Ethan ALLEN is not a gimme, btw. A few clunkers, I suppose, but overall I enjoyed it. @Ron Diego - 'ghastly' is the perfect description for TURDUCKEN, I think, and I do believe that KEBAB is the correct spelling.

    101 yuck

    Anonymous 4:59 PM  

    @okanaganer: The comment about trying to prevent the future rather than predict it seems to be most often ascribed to Ray Bradbury.

    (Orwell would not have been asked whether he was surprised that the future he predicted in "1984" had not come to pass -- he died less than a year after the book was published. However, had he experienced much better health and lived until the year 1984, the comment about trying to prevent the future does sound like something he would or should have said.)

    leftcoastTAM 6:49 PM  

    I was thrown off by what I considered too many simple-for-Saturday answers, particularly BANGS, SHOPS, and ENDERS, thus finally crashing in the northeast.

      © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

    Back to TOP