Wyoming senator Mike / TUE 8-19-14 / Deals buyable via tap on app / Goldsman Oscar winning screenwriter Beautiful Mind / Charge of 1% against occupy Wall Street

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Constructor: Sam Buchbinder

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

THEME: YELLOW BRICK ROAD (58A: Path taken by 37-Across to find the ends of 17-, 26- and 44-Across in [circled letters])— path taken by DOROTHY (37A: 23-Down of a classic L. Frank Baum novel) to find a BRAIN, COURAGE and a HEART (for characters not available in this puzzle) in OZ.

Theme answers:
  • ARTIFICIAL BRAIN (17A: IBM's Watson, essentially)
  • GET UP THE COURAGE (26A: Embolden oneself)
  • NEAR TO ONE'S HEART (44A: Dear)
Word of the Day: AKIVA Goldman (30D: ___ Goldsman, Oscar-winning screenwriter of "A Beautiful Mind") —
Akiva J. Goldsman (born July 7, 1962) from Manhattan, New York is an American film and television writer, director, and producer.
He received an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Goldsman has been involved specifically with Hollywood films. His filmography also includes the films Batman Forever and its sequel Batman & RobinI Am Legend and Cinderella Man and numerous rewrites both credited and uncredited. In 2006 Goldsman re-teamed with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard for a high profile project, adapting Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code for Howard's much-anticipated film version, receiving mixed reviews for his work. (wikipedia)
• • •

Everyone loves "The Wizard of Oz," so building a theme around it seems like a good idea. And probably could be. I didn't think this idea worked very well, though. Even more than yesterday's, today's theme just isn't tight, clean, crisp. Dorothy wanted to go home … right? Am I remembering that right? To say that DOROTHY went to OZ to find a brain, courage, and a heart is to abbreviate the plot of the story in an absurd way. She wants to find those things *only* because of the three characters she meets on the way to OZ. In fact, when she sets out, those items are Not on her mind at all. So without the Scarecrow and Tin Man and Bert LAHR, this theme feels hollow, incomplete, weird. Nevermind that IBM's Watson seems like it should be "artificial" intelligence (a real phrase) instead of ARTIFICIAL BRAIN (a phrase I've never heard) and that all ONE'S make me a little queasy. The DOROTHY / HEROINE bit in the middle is kind of a nifty trick. I wonder if HEROINE wasn't one of those dumb-luck discoveries that constructors sometimes stumble into—a bonus theme-related answer you realize belatedly that you can build around existing themers.

I'm realizing now that I would've liked ARTIFICIAL HEART a lot better …

The fill is a mixed bag. The bottom half of the grid is pretty nice. There's a barrage of fine fill down there, with HECKLE and RUBLES and NAKED EYE and CLASSISM and KLUTZY. With the exception of BIALIK (15A: Actress Mayim of "The Big Bang Theory") and GROUPONS (16A: Deals buyable via a tap on an app), the middle-to-top part feels a bit more gunked up, and I will never understand why someone chooses AKIVA in that position. Why are you picking an obscure proper noun there? At first I thought there might be some pangram aspiration—that shoehorned "Q" seemed like strong evidence, as did the double-proper-noun (and also shoehorned) "Z" at ENZI / ZAC. With those bits already in play, the AKIVA EXERT area looked like more evidence that the grid was being tortured for pangrammic reasons. (Remember, the problem isn't the pangram per se, it's what chasing one makes you do to the grid) *But* … a. the letters in AKIVA are all found elsewhere in the grid and b. this puzzle isn't a pangram after all. No "J." Now I don't know if that's the editor's doing or the constructor's or what. But I almost wish there was a "J," because at least then I'd *understand* what AKIVA's doing here. AKIVA is a name you might reasonably consider for a Friday or Saturday, if it helps you hold some very impressive section of the puzzle in place. Here, it just doesn't belong. That section's just too easy to rebuild with more familiar words / names.

Clue on CLASSISM feels off (66A: Charge of the 1% against Occupy Wall Street). "Class warfare," sure. But I've never heard a rich person (on camera or in person) accuse Occupy of CLASSISM. Not saying it has never happened. Just saying it's not common enough or representative enough to warrant the clue. The Occupy/1% clash deals with broad, serious issues of systemic economic inequality, not with whether someone eats quinoa or drives a pick-up.

Lastly, DAT'S what I'm talkin' about!?!?! (37D).  No. DAT is what *you*'re talking about, and only if you are speaking Brooklynese. *I* say "That's what I'm talkin' about." I really do. I say it a lot, because I quote "Dazed & Confused" a lot. I never — ever — say DAT'S. Can't say strongly enough how wrong this clue feels.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


pmdm 8:05 AM  

What's up? No one here?

Isn't the 46D 54A cross a bit rough for a Tuesday?

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Hard for a Tuesday. Flower lady

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Doesn't one "quell" a riot, but QUASH a subpoena?

And UPREAR? Who uses that?

Generic Solver 8:15 AM  

@pmdm Writeup was just posted 7:51 AM this morning, so you are the lucky first poster!

Congrats to the puzzle author on his debut. For me, multiple Naticks, not just the one Rex mentioned. How about Groupons/CGI? Puzzle generally made me feel as though I live on another planet, as every pop culture reference was seemingly something I've never heard of.

dk 8:19 AM  

OO (2 mOOns)

UPREAR? I am in an uproar.
SKIHAT? Schuss

chefbea 8:20 AM  

Gosh...Im really early!!

I too natiked at enzi/Zac

I guess uprear makes sense...something like coach up

Tough for a Tuesday

evil doug 8:20 AM  
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Mohair Sam 8:26 AM  

@anon 8:13. Yup. And yup on UPREAR too, unless that's what a horse does.

Very much what REX said today.

Seth Kaplan 8:29 AM  

Dats what I'm talking about! Couldn't agree more

First Gen 8:30 AM  

I don't get the ski hat clue, although ingot the answer. Also, what is CGI?

joho 8:31 AM  

I thought this puzzle was absolutely charming. DOROTHY, our HEROINE, was on the YELLOWBRICKROAD searching for the Scarecrow's BRAIN, the Lion's COURAGE and the Tinman's HEART while in OZ. This is all true, not a stretch.

I love the word QUASH, so I'll take that "Q." AKIVA was unknown to me but the crosses made it easy to get. ENZI also an unknown, but ZAC a gimme.

@Rex, I do agree with you about DATS!

And is yesterday's COACHUP today's UPREAR?

I really enjoyed this one, thanks Sam Buchbinder, and congratulations on your debut!

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

Also, tin doesn't rust

Z 8:37 AM  

LIFT UP and UP REAR. I can imagine the latter being used in a porno flick, but have never run across it out in the wild. An UPREAR PDA could be the poster tag line, I suppose. LIFT UP is right there with COACH UP from yesterday, I've heard them, they seem to have very specific meanings, but I get why the phrases might rankle. (@ED from late yesterday - one would coach a team, but coach up an individual or small group, so a "necessary" redundancy for emphasis).

Same concerns as Rex re ARTIFICIAL BRAIN and CLASSISM. If I hadn't noticed WEw looked very wrong I would have finished with CLASS war, one of those double speak creations of the "Right" with equal grounding in reality as the War on Christmas and the War on Whites.

I don't know which puzzle has more three letter words, yesterday or today's. Today's are clustered, though, so they really bring attention to themselves. Yesterday it seemed like there were hardly any TLWs, but when I looked closer there was the usual complement, they were just sprinkled throughout the grid.

Decent enough Tuesday in my opinion.

ArtIo 8:40 AM  

A great big DITTO for all the negative comments - both those already and those sure to come. Cluing and obscurity run rampant.

Too much for a Tuesday.

Zed the Answer Man 8:43 AM  

CGI = Computer Generated Imagery

If it is winter and you are in the Rockies your "top" might be a SKI HAT or as opposed to one of these. Although a toque might be more popular in Colorado these days.

evil doug 8:43 AM  

A distinction without a difference, Z. Take "up" away, and what a coach does works just fine--be it a team, an individual or a small group.


Oscar 8:46 AM  

Too many UPs, two of them crossing even! Boo.

Didn't have a problem with the theme, but the OZ circles seemed random and tacked-on. Would have been better with a symmetric partner like EM.

Blue Stater 8:51 AM  

SKIHAT? UPREAR? Rusting tin? Who edits this stuff? But I repeat myself....

Fed Up in Peoria 8:53 AM  

This one is the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back as far as I am concerned. I have been doing puzzles for over 50 years now, and have managed to accommodate a wide variety, particularly in the past decade, of insults. I have not complained to Mr. Shortz about the indignity I feel when I cannot solve a puzzle because I do not have the name of ever.single.crotch.grabbing.rapper that ever lived.

This puzzle I cannot and will not let go unchallenged. Yes, I know that the left leaning NYTimes is ever so PC, but to place the lesbian proselytizing Wizard of Oz front and center is just inexcusable. The Wizard of Oz has turned more impressionable girls into full-blown lesbians than anything Gertrude Stein ever did, said or wrote, any song ever sunk by k. d. lange or Melissa Etheridge . Definitely a hell of a lot more than Ellen. Hell, she probably straightened out more than she converted.

The sole purpose of the book was to convince young, barely pubescent, girls than men have no hearts, no brains, no courage and that anyone who thought they could change that was a fraud. But oh the good witches (guess what that rhymes with). They will take care of you. Take care of your every need. Stick with the good witches. Perhaps each of you should read other of Frank L Bauhm's works, namely Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz or The Lost Princess of Oz ( I will spare you the details of what happens with Dorothy and the Princess. Hint: the Munchkins are involved, several scenes take place in a field carpeted in poppy seeds. Oh hell, you're all so ignorant, so blinded about not offending anyone about anything, it's about drugged out (on HEROINe) carpet munching. Do I have to spell out everything to you people? This is what you want in a puzzle? This is what you want your children to think is OK?

So, Mr. Shortz, that is it for the Times puzzle. From now on it is BEQ or nothing.

Z 8:54 AM  

@evil doug - Agreed. But then we also have unnecessary things in the vernacular like "you" and "you all." I managed to get by for 20 or 30 years without knowing some people made that distinction with little confusion on my part. What is one* going to do, though? Criticize people for coining unnecessary terms or revel in the language's "color." Well, maybe not revel, maybe just a shake of the head with a wry smile.

*That one is for Rex.

ArtO 9:10 AM  

@fed up in Peoria...sorry, but your comment is the most twisted piece of gibberish imagineable. Nobody "turns girls into lesbians," let alone Mr. Baum.

Z 9:17 AM  

@ArtO - I believe that was an attempt at satire.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Dear Fed Up In Peoria:

i highly recommend annotated version of "The Wizard of Oz" by Glenn Beck... it's lavishly illustrated with full page blackboard diagrams.


Arlene 9:25 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle's theme - made me think, of course, to the movie. In more recent years, I could relate more closely to the Wizard presenting the Tin man with "a testimonial" because I received an actual testimonial (with all the WHEREAS wording) in 2010 - and I felt just like the Tin man!
Want to see it? Just click on my name on this comment to get to my website, then click on "Awards" in the menu and scroll down to "Joint Legislative Resolutions" and click on that. TA-DA! An actual testimonial!
Ah - the adventures of crossword puzzlers!

Whirred Whacks 9:33 AM  

Today's puzzle was pleasing enough, but the real entertainment value came from "Pissed off in Peoria's" comments.

Lewis 9:34 AM  
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mathguy 9:37 AM  

I was also annoyed at SKIHAT but upon Googling it discovered a wide variety of headwear from REI titled "ski hats."

Agree with most of the negative comments including the OZ throw in. Not a lot of fun considering that I love Wizard of Oz.

Lewis 9:39 AM  
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Carola 9:41 AM  

I'm with @joho all the way. Delightful.

Bump in the ROAD: QUell until the very end, when I finally saw the lovely HEROINE crossing DOROTHY.

ArtO 9:42 AM  

@Z ?..I considered the possibility of satire but dismissed it given the lack of any sense of irony.

Lewis 9:44 AM  

@ Rex -- I hope you're feeling better!

@Rex -- The clue doesn't infer that Dorothy went to Oz to find a brain, courage, and heart. It just says that the Yellow Brick Road was that path she took in the story to find these things. It doesn't imply that she set off initially on that path to find them either, simply that it was the path she took to find them, which it was in the story.

Basically guessed (right) on the K and H in SKIHAT, and the Z in ENZI. Loved KLUTZY, NAKEDEYE, QUASH, and HECKLE. And I thought it was a good take on the OZ theme.

For some reason, I'm always looking for interesting formations in puzzles, and found two here:
1. A place where two abutting words are anagrams of each other. (LAS over ASL)
2. A place where a 5-square "plus sign" has the same word across and down. (The ASH in CASH crossing the ASH in QUASH)

RooMonster 9:48 AM  

Hey All!
Interesting comments so far... I thought it was mostly easy, had some challenging words, but overall flowed freely. I agree with the DAT haters, it's "that", even on Scrubs when Turk said it all the time in various ways. Not thrilled with the 3 (count 'em) UPs, and like @Oscar said 2 crossing! ENZI, WY Sen. was hard, who's hears of him unless you're from WY? I also agree with UPREAR as a non-word. @Z, I loved your definition!! There were a couple of neat clues, 45D, RUBLES, and 10D, TUB. I see ASL again, I know what it is now, though! Two writeovers today, QUell for QUASH, uTes for OTOE, and I finished with no mistakes.

I SEE THA ENDS with my NAKEDEYE, DATS why IVE CUT and RUN through the STACKS of clues, a STAB here, an ERASE there. I EXERT my BRAIN and COURAGE to QUASH this puz. Oh, and USE CASH on a DATE, never GROUPONS! Gonna take my rubber ducky to the TUB now. BYS!


Punch 9:49 AM  

I wouldn't assume a "tin man" would be all tin in every detail -- I'd assume that tin, a softer metal, would be moldable in a way that would be good material for creating the body, but that the joints and working parts would contain iron or steel and be subject to rust. Isn't that probably what they used to do with a lot of "hollow body" tin toys in Baum's day? As I recall, the tin man does get rusty in the story and needs Dorothy to use an oil can to lubricate his joints.

Carola 9:50 AM  

About tin rusting (or not), here's the Tinman with RUST and without a HEART.

quilter1 9:53 AM  

Was it easy or not? I finished with everything correct, didn't really struggle much but still got much from crosses, such as GROUPON. I don't have a multitasking cell phone so that isn't in my vocabulary. SKIHAT is an ok answer but I thought the clue was kind of lame. The theme was ok, but I've always thought the movie, not the book, was scary for a little kid.

Gill I. P. 9:56 AM  

@Peoria: Hee hee....!
Well, I liked this puzzle. It grew on me. Didn't much like the 4 UP's but really, after I was done, I thought this felt just right for a Tuesday.
Except for PDA. What does the Pennsylvania Dental Association have to do with smooching?
Oh, and I was wondering why I didn't know ENZI so I looked him up....YIKES!
We drove through the southern part of Wyoming a couple of years ago. I judge a State by their restrooms. Tennessee has the best, Utah the absolute worst and Wyoming doesn't have any. Well, maybe in Laramie and Cheyenne. So, I figure a State with no restrooms would be happy with Mike ENZI.
I enjoyed your puzzle Sam Buchbinder. Don't let the HECKLErs get you up or down.

Pete 10:00 AM  

There's no excuse DAT not being clued other than as a reference to DAT Dere, one of the best songs ever.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:07 AM  

Definitely more challenging than the usual Tuesday, but an OK puzzle, except possibly, to paraphrase an opinion from yesterday, thumbs down to UPREAR.

mathguy 10:08 AM  

Talking about superfluous "ups" as in "coach up." In today's San Francisco Chronicle Michael Morse, the Giant outfielder, is talking about Joe Panik, the second baseman who was slightly injured Sunday. "It's a good thing we've got a day off. Hopefully, he can heal up."

Lewis 10:09 AM  

@Fed up in Peoria is right. When I was very young, I did read The Wizard Of Oz, and it made me believe in my inadequacies as a man. Soon I became involved with My Little Pony, and not long after, I became a lesbian.

Steve J 10:10 AM  

Too much clunkiness in this one for a good-not-great theme to overcome (ARTIFICIAL BRAIN aside - 305,000 results for that on Google, compared to 26.5 million for "artificial intelligence").

Agreed with @Lewis that Rex missed the point on what the theme's describing. Dorothy's quest started off simple - get home - and became more complex as she journeyed. As happens with every quest story.

The clunky bits overwhelmed my impression of the puzzle. ENZI/ZAC (even though I know of both), AKIVA, the offness that Rex mentioned with the clue for CLASSISM, DAT'S, UPREAR (@Z: it's even more porny when you add in its clue).

I did like KLUTZY, HECKLE and NAKED EYE. Otherwise, this was just ok.

Steve J 10:12 AM  

@Lewis: I nearly spit out my coffee with your response to the (obviously satiric - tons of irony in that post) @Fed Up In Peoria. (A rare necessary "up" - Fed In Peoria just wouldn't be the same.)

NCA President 10:13 AM  

I actually didn't consider this challenging at all...must have been the Wheaties I had for breakfast.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a nod to Elton John in the puzzle. That would have been a nice touch. And no Toto. Shameful.

I would have thought it was the 99% who were crying classism...because that's what I've personally been crying for some time. The haves have and won't throw any bones to the growing number of have-nots because, well...class privilege.

Like @Rex, "ONES" is a bothersome convention. It's not bad enough to really bother me...there are a lot more things in life that are more important...but still.

I had QUell before seeing QUASH.

I don't know how KIX can be an alternative to Corn Pops. KIX is an alternative to Coco Puffs because they're basically the same cereal only one is chocolatey..as, you know, an alternative. Corn Pops really has no equivalent alternative. And if Corn Pops were chosen as some random cereal alternative to some other random alternative cereal, then that's a lame clue, IMO. If we're going random alternative, then I would have gone with something truly different...Grape Nuts, or granola, or even Wheaties, maybe.

SKIHAT?? Speaking of random...

RooMonster 10:28 AM  

Ah, thanks @NCA Pres, I forgot to add that about KIX. There's no way in this universe that KIX is the same as (If that's what the clue in inferring) Corn Pops! KIX are puffs of (rice, corn, wheat, air? not sure), but Corn Pops are puffs of Awesome!


Casco Kid 10:35 AM  

I sussed the hard ones, but blew it at ecOUPONS/CeI/AcA and CLASSISt/REt. 35 minutes on the deep suss to get the weirdos UPREAR AKIVA SKIHAT BIALIK.

So, did I learn anything today? YES I DID. I learned that @r.alph bunker a) has a corporeal existence that far outstrips the rest of you Max Headrooms and b) is most excellent dining company. Ralph is ESTIVATING in greater Portland, Vacationland, and made time for breakfast with this acolyte. It there's one thing Iowans know it's how to treat Grasshoppers, and I am a better solver for having mediated a bit TETATET with the Master. We're going to try to plot parallel solves using a new graphic to be implemented at crucimetrics. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, the door's open. To the extent that you are ambulatory, do perambule your way up here. The blueberries are in season.

jdv 10:57 AM  

Easy. Had SKICAP before SKIHAT. AKIVA, ENZI and WEI are all Saturday level, but they were fairly crossed. UPREAR felt desperate. Good, contemporary clue for DRE. Puzzle was just OK.

John V 11:21 AM  

Congrats, Sam, on your debut! BIALIK and ZAC were rough spots but a compromise to feet in such a dense theme. Theme worked fine enough for me.

Numinous 11:22 AM  

Eight, count 'em, UUUUUUUUs. Ya gotta wonder if @M&A finally got a puzzle accepted. Then I looked at the byline.

UPREAR, really? Can anyone come up with a sentence that has that in it? I sure can't come up with a convincing one but maybe the batteries are dying in my flashlight.

I very much appreciated seeing SYNC. After working more than 25 years in an area of the film industry where SYNC is of primary importance and any time I ever saw the word written, it was that way. Never did anyone SYNCh a film, not even with a lead pipe (SYNCh was the original American spelling of the word "cinch" from the Spanish "cincha").

@Carola, Thanks for that little trip down Youtube lane. I can never resist checking some of the suggested clips listed down the right side of the screen on Youtube. Seems there is lots of material regarding, The Wizzard of Oz, Judy Garland, and even Mickey Rooney. A treet I would never have come up with on my own.

@fed up in Peoria's comment: Having read http://wellbehavedmormonwoman.blogspot.com/2014/02/movie-frozen-gay-homosexual-agenda.html#.U_NpM8yCOSM all the way through, I had to wonder. Googling "Frozen lesbian subtext" has led me around to seeing the possibility of satire. Good one, that.

I thought the theme was fun. Yeah, there were some rough bits in the fill, all of which have already been remarked. HEROINE/DOROTHY cross, @Rex, don't seem like afterthoughts to me considering how central they are. If this is a debut puzzle, I reckon it's pretty doggone (missing Toto) good.

I have to give Sam Buchbinder a kudos.

Karl 11:26 AM  

Like Rex, I did not care for DAT, either. And UPREAR? Please. This one did not resonate with me.

Hartley70 11:51 AM  

Lewis killed me by the time I got to My Little Pony! Too great and definitely spit worthy! Awesome to see we've moved into cereals..no age discrimination issues there. Like who eats Corn Pops in the era of Kashi and groats? 65 year old ME! I'm starting to worry that I know all the pop singers and rappers of today. I don't listen to them but somehow the worms get into my psyche. Could it be the Corn Pops for breakfast? I thought the puzzle theme was cute except I hated the ski cap clue.

Andrew Heinegg 11:53 AM  
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Hartley70 11:54 AM  

I got auto checked. It's ski hat, but actually I would have liked ski cap better.

Punch 12:23 PM  

@Numinous, you asked for examples of a sentence with “uprear” in it. I found one from “Paradise Lost” by Milton: “Then [he] strait commands that … he upreared His mighty Standard.” And a couple from 19th century poems, including “The Proud Ladye", by Spencer Wallace Cone: “Lay him upon no bier,/ But on his knightly shield;/ The warrior’s corpse uprear,/And bear him from the field.” And there is a blog that seems to be rekindling interest in the word, including one example in this passage: “UPREAR, really? Can anyone come up with a sentence that has that in it?”

AliasZ 12:23 PM  

I UPREARed to children but never heard of BIALIK, AKIVA, ENZI or GROUPONS. DATS THA story today, and I am sticking to it.
Is UPREAR the same as bringing UP the REAR?
I almost fell off a horse once because he UPREARed.
Every time we go camping, I am put in charge of UPREARing the tent.
I still remember my son's UPREARor set. I had so much fun with it.
What man hasn't suffered from UPREARile dysfunction at times?

Charles-Valentine ALKAn (1813-1888) was a French Romantic composer and pianist. Let us listen to nos. 1, 2 and 3 of his Douze études dans tous les tons mineurs, Op. 39 (12 etudes in all the minor keys).

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Isn't 61-Down BYS a grievous error in using "by plane" also in the clue? Seems very lazy at a minimum...

Z 12:50 PM  

@Numinous - That is some powerful shit that woman is on. I'm thinking some combination of mescaline, LSD, and PCP. I mean, how else do you account for the hallucinatory imagination and paranoia. Wow. I think she should change her blog name to "Fear and Loathing in Utah."

Corn Pops? Give me Sugar Pops or give me death! At least the old name was honester.

@Steve J. - Consider the Downs near UPREAR - POL, TUB, UPREAR, ROAN, ENID - I detect a sub-theme here. Then lower we get POSH DUTY and GIVE EXERT. Talk about promoting the Homosexual Agenda....

@Punch - Comparing the Commentariat to Milton will only get you so far. Nice research, though.

@ArtO - Not knowing what set @Peoria off (i.e. lack of context) made me doubt the satirical nature of the post. But @Peoria ends with, "From now on it is BEQ or nothing." BEQ is known for edginess, so that was a huge red flag to the satirical intent. Others think the attempt was very successful, I less so.

Over the limit and out.

jae 1:05 PM  

Tough Tues. for me too.

Yes to SKIcAp and CLASSwar 


ENZI  I kinda knew because of the Cheney challenge.

ZAC,  UP REAR, ATOI...seem a bit brutal for Tues.  Throw in an actress with difficult name and a relatively obscure clue for DRE and you're in medium-tough Wed. territory.

That said, I mostly liked it.  Grid that seems like a path, OZzy theme..stuff like .GROUPONS, QUASH, KIX, KLUTZY... and Fed up in Peoria's rant put this in the plus column.

Posted from my iPad on the way to Victoria.

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Felt almost like a Saturday to me. Akiva Goldsman? I know who Sylvia Nasir (the author of "A Beautiful Mind" and former NYT reporter) is- I read the book long before I saw the movie- but never heard of the man. I stopped paying attention to the Academy Awards around the time "Patton" won for best picture (I was 15 then) except to skim the articles in the following day's Arts section of the NYT, then forget the winners about five minutes later (I still read the paper- and do the c'word- in print).

LaneB 1:22 PM  

Too much Googling for a Tuesday but managed to get through despite stuff like UPREAR, SKIHAT, the misuse of QUASH, PDA and AKIVA. I admire anyone who gets a puzzle accepted @ the NYT but I sometimes must ask: Why? Many do not seem to adhere to the published "rules".

Where is LMS? I miss her comments, etc.

Leapfinger 1:37 PM  

Very nice when at Tuesday puzz puts so many of all y'all in a swivet! UPREAR shoulda been UPROAR, just to see the reaction to ONDS. Whatever held UP OFL till almost 8a.m. apparently put him in a ****ier mood than usual, don't know about la plupart du commentariat. Figured that *someone* was finally going to hone in on that [Erect] clue!

I want to know what they're munching on in Peeoria, have some of that with my KIX for breakfast. Seems @Lewis already had a bowlful.
@Zed the A-man, loved the 8 Essential Hats of a Yooper; noticed several were Nit HATS. Was ready to sign up, but my inbox is already full of GROUPONS. Which I never even look UP. Or DOWN.

In toto, I thought the sesquipeds worked just fine, and the central cross DOROTHY/HEROINE smacked of genius. Even though li'l TOTO has gone astray (as did yesterday's pups), we have Auntie EM disguised at the bottom of Column 8, as well as those famous ROO BY Slippers (hi again, @ROOmie)

Liked QUASH, KLUTZY and CLASSISM, too Sirius too discuss in depth, but interesting to note it was called by the 1%, after practicing it on the 99% for quite some time, in their own WEI. BTW, whatever happened to OWS after the Winter hiatus? Seems suspicious, DATS what I say.

NAKED EYE, HUNGRY EYE, EVIL EYE, LAZY EYE...Any others? These EYEs don't seem to have good connotations.

Thought this a most enCOURAGing debut. Buchbinder in the STACKS, Ha!

Numinous 1:43 PM  

No LMS and no M&A today, Suspiciouser and suspiciouser.

@Punch. Thank you, that was illuminating.

@Z. Do the google I tried and you'll find lotsa folks taking the same drugs as the Mormon woman.

Anti Em 2:11 PM  

Hard, And It's Hard, Ain't It Hard.
Ole Zeke is hard up, I run into him hard down by the old General Store, and he tole me all about it.

@EvilD, did it take you three tries to get it right at the end of yesterblog?

@G.I.P, PDA = Public Displays of Affection

Still snorting over My Little Pony.

bswein99 2:28 PM  

Rear up is fine but nobody says uprear. (I'm even getting a little red squiggly line under it). And that cross could have easily been uproar/odd/road instead. So there was absolutely no reason for such an odd word.

Did anyone catch the hidden Toto (too)?

AnonAnon 3:01 PM  

@bswein, there's TO-TO-TO just south of DORothy.

Anonymous 3:07 PM  

im sure odds/road was rejected because of ROAD duplication, just like those multiple UPs should have been.

as long as we are accepting duplications, uproar next to roar would require 21A to be "Chic. airport and others"

changing the top to costumes lets you use odds if you think 12D "SF cultural attraction" works on a tuesday (or even a sat).

R. McGeddon 3:22 PM  



a. trans. To raise up, elevate, erect, etc.

a1300 E.E. Psalter cxliv. 14 Lauerd raises alle þat doune falle, And þe hurt he vprers [L. erigit] alle.
c1400 R. Gloucester's Chron. (Rolls) 6509 (MS. α) , He..chirchen let vprere þat were arst as uorlore.
1563 W. Baldwin et al. Myrrour for Magistrates (new ed.) sig. R ij b, The Percian kyng..With his huge host that..Dismounted hilles, and made the vales vprere.
1596 Spenser Second Pt. Faerie Queene iv. x. sig. K5, Next to her sate goodly Shamefastnesse, Ne euer durst her eyes from ground vpreare.
1597 T. Beard Theatre Gods Iudgements i. xix. 70 Ieroboam..as he had..vpreared a new kingdome: so..vpreared also a new religion.
1638 F. Junius Painting of Ancients 67 The great Lampe of light up-rearing his flaming head above the earth.
1667 Milton Paradise Lost i. 532 Then [he] strait commands that..be upreard His mighty Standard.
1718 N. Rowe tr. Lucan Pharsalia i. 259 So in the field..Uprears some antient Oak his rev'rend head.
1748 J. Thomson Castle of Indolence i. xxxi, Ah! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing?
1818 Byron Childe Harold: Canto IV xlv. 25 For Time hath..uprear'd Barbaric dwellings on their shattered site.
1843 G. Borrow Bible in Spain II. viii. 159 Millions of maize plants upreared their tall stalks.
1898 T. Watts-Dunton Aylwin v. ii, A cobra uprearing its head to spring at her.

RooMonster 3:22 PM  

@LaneB said, "I admire anyone who gets a puzzle accepted @ the NYT..."

I do too, although, I personally have sent in a bunch of puzzles, most of which come back as "This didn't excite Will enough", and which I think at least 1 or 2 were better than some I've seen lately. I'm no master constructor, sure, but with the help that Mr. Shortz gives some of the constructors, I feel a little left out. I know, poor me, right? :-)

However, if you would like to sample a puz of mine, head over to runtpuz.org and look under the "Puzzles that didn't excite Will Shortz" section, there is one by me, and two by @LMS. (Unedited by Mr. Shortz, natch.)


Benko 3:36 PM  

"Tin roof. Rusted." --Kate Pierson

Cindy Wilson 3:54 PM  

that was me. not kate.

r.alphbunker 4:41 PM  

@Casco Kid

If a picture is worth 1000 words then our meeting was worth a 1000 comments. Thanks for breakfast, the tour of your beautiful neighborhood and the answer matrix suggestion. I will be in touch.

BTW, my guess is that the initial entry of your friend Paul(?) was QUell instead of QUASH for {Put down an uprising}

Fed Up in Peoria 4:42 PM  

@MAS - Martin, if I may call you such, Martin; I will admit that I have not been kind to you (under a different identity) in the past. In fact I have often been cruel. I have mistaken you for, and unloaded on you as if you were, the other Martin. I have taken great glee in trashing your puzzles from time to time, much more so than was merited, if it were meritted at all. I believe that I have questioned your mother's morals, something I know nothing about, I was just being cruel. I know for a fact that I've accused her of bad parenting, what with her repeatedly dropping you on your head, on several occassions. Again, I have no dispositive evidence of this, I was just trying to make you miserable for no good reason. For these offenses, I apologize, truly and sincerely.

This being said, what have I ever done to you that you should think I ought to watch that Glen Beck video? Do you not understand the whole point of an eye for an eye? It's about proportionality, not vindictiveness. That, my friend, was way out of line.

Casco Kid 4:54 PM  

@ralph. That was precisely his error. ;)

OISK 5:11 PM  

Can't remember the last time I had a DNF on a Tuesday; I had little trouble with last Thursday's "difficult" but brilliant underpass puzzle, but blew it today. I got "Zac" with "ENZO" although it was a guess, but never heard of "Groupons". E Coupons made sense. What is CGI ? And so I had ACA instead of ARA, even though I have seen ARA in puzzles before. Not a suitable Tuesday puzzle, I think, although I get annoyed at a DNF any day of the week.Got Akiva from the crosses. Bialik is a gimmee for Big Bang Theory fans, but she has also been in the news recently; she was a guest on Bill Mahre, and was interviewed in the NY papers. I am sure that when someone explains CGI I will kick myself...

OISK 5:12 PM  

update - I see that CGI was explained. Nope, never heard of it.

wreck 5:28 PM  

I think I got my interest in crossword puzzles from my grandmother. In fact, her very own hand compiled "crossword dictionary" was handed down to me several years after her death. Although it is considered crosswordese by the regulars here -- both sets of my grandparents were from ENID,OK. I never tire of seeing it in a puzzle and it always goes right in!
This Tuesday had some odd answers (as mentioned frequently today) - but still a nice puzzle.

sanfranman59 5:57 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Tue 9:01, 7:54, 1.14, 83%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:48, 5:21, 1.08, 71%, Medium-Challenging

Leapfinger 7:17 PM  

@R. McGedden [har], you had me at Gloucester's Chron:'...let vprere þat were arst as uorlore.'

Back to the good OED days. CLASSy!

Anonymous 7:29 PM  

This is the best description of the Wizard of Oz, by Rick Polito: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

Anonymous 8:33 PM  

Dear Fed up in Peoria:

Trash away my friend, trash way... me, my mother, and my puzzles can take it.

Also, thank you for crediting me with my psychic ability to see through your other aliases.


the redanman 9:07 PM  

Debut Puzzle? Really? Should have been rejected and seriously re-worked. T'was no fun and generally crap.

David G 9:54 PM  

@Anon 12:44pm:
That's what I thought. If BYS being clued by "by" is OK, I'd like somebody to explain the rules.

Also, other than Israel, and apparently the Times puzzle, nobody accepts that the GOLAN Heights are "Israel's". I guess they know their demographic, though, if it hasn't raised any hackles here.

sanfranman59 10:53 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:45, 6:02, 1.12, 88%, Challenging
Tue 8:58, 7:54, 1.14, 81%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:36, 3:57, 1.16, 93%, Challenging
Tue 5:36, 5:21, 1.05, 62%, Medium-Challenging

AnonYisroel 10:56 PM  

That's right, @David G. I still draw my map of Israel with the Sinai Peninsula attached.

RAD2626 1:35 AM  

More than 80. comments and no one apparently had the same scary moment I did. Got ZAC/ENZI with no trouble, had no issue with CLASSISM, and agree with sentiment that DAT was not DAT good. I, however, had to guess at the A-TOI/O-OE crossing. Fortunately I guessed T as being from the French second person. I should probably learn my Native American tribes although Ute seems to work most times and rarely does Menominee fit.

Puzzle was well constructed.

On Borrowed Time 6:25 PM  

MAS probably doesn't care to say it but @Fed Up in Peoria sure sounds a tad bit Evil.

spacecraft 11:52 AM  

I'm always happy to see Baum's famous story mentioned. Makes me think of my favorite book, "Wizard and Glass," by my favorite author, Stephen King. Folks out there in Hollywood, you really need to get on the stick and start a "Dark Tower" movie series--and you can do no better than to kick it off with W&G. You can even get Rhea Perlman to play Rhea of the Coos; she'd be a natural!

Much as I enjoyed this (unlike OFL, I see nothing wrong with any of the theme entries, and picking on the plot inaccuracy of clue 58 seems petty), I still must object to UPREAR. As noted earlier on this page, examples abound in literature--though half of them so old as to spell it with a "v"--but in 2014? NOBODY says that.

Or DAT, except a character in an Uncle Remus tale. I'm with ya on that one, @Rex.

Mr. Obscurity #1, AKIVA, perhaps shouldn't have that monicker. Certainly for me it had to go in 100% on crosses, but the guy DID do some well-known stuff. Now, #2 is another matter. With my sincere apologies to the good citizens of Wyoming, Sen. ENZI just does not meet the minimum standard for fame. (Maybe he should...is he the only POL who ISN'T involved in some scandal?) In any event, neither of these gents should be appearing in a Tuesday puzzle.

LIFTUP is bad enough; it's like "jump up and down." Of course, one never actually jumps back down; gravity takes care of that. But people say that all the time. It just lifts me down. But UPREAR? I gotta do it: FLAG!

Now to the natick. I don't know whether Lil Wayne is male, as in Li'l Abner, or female, as in Lillian Wayne. Either way, I surely don't know any album titled "___Carter III." So, top of a mountain, run the alphabet. I can see where "mountain top?" could come out to SKIHAT, though on a Tuesday that cluing is clearly out of place. But "Top OF A (emphasis mine) mountain?" No. Ridiculously unfair, and the recipient of my second flag today. I did put in the H, only because every other letter makes even less sense. I have no idea what "THA" is supposed to mean. I guess I don't speak rappese.

I agree there's some great fill: KLUTZY is marvelous. Hand up for QUell, my only writeover. A real mixed bag this time, hard to grade. I'm giving it a B-. For a two-flag grid, that's pretty darn good.

So, too, is 359. Just not perfect.

DMG 1:42 PM  

Lots of weird clues in this puzzle, but somehow I staggered through all of them only to Natick at CLASSISt/REt . Done in again by the modern music world!.

So close, it yet so far 3915.

Dirigonzo 2:22 PM  

Who knew "The Wizard of Oz" was so controversial? I managed a correct solve although ZAC and THA definitely weren't the slam-dunks that I hope for in 3-letter fill. A couple of wrong turns led to QUell for QUASH and, less understandably, literS for RUBLES. AKIVA = all crosses which were mercifully obtainable.

An earlier commenter noted the absence of @LMS and @M&A in comment thread - could "Sam Buchbinder" be a pseudonym, I wonder? (I'm sure that's been answered by now but I love a little mystery so I'll wait to see how it plays out).

@DMG - I'm not sure why you're not claiming your prize; 3915 = 18 = 9, no?

On the other hand, 595 = 19 = 2?

rain forest 3:37 PM  

Thematically, this puzzle was pretty tight, even with the gratuitous OZ.
I was pleased with myself for seeing what was going on when I put in the COURAGE line, having already entered BRAIN in the first themer. I actually knew AKIVA, and so the only falters were a w/o of QUell, and a few precious nanoseconds lost at the ENZI/ZAC crossing, but sort of had heard of the latter. UPREAR went right in, because it had to, but what th'?

@Spacey "..don' speak rappese." LOL.

9036 I would've stopped at the first card, but it turns out a winner, or at least a tie with @DMG.

Anonymous 5:03 PM  

I am a 77 year old man living in San Diego, with 4 grown children who live all over the U.S. But I must confess: After seeing the movie "Wizard of Oz" in my youth I became a lesbian temporarily, until I watched two John Wayne movies and that straightened me out. :)

Ron Diego

DMG 5:32 PM  

@Diri: not only can't spell, can't add! But then, I'd say your 595 = 19 = 10 = 1, so maybe it's just the weather?

This one is a sure loser: 609.

Waxy in Montreal 8:53 PM  

Will second everything @space said above including the QUELL writeover. So nuff said.

1679 = 5. As it always says on any scratch cards I receive - Try Again! (Much more polite than - you're a loser, again!)

Anonymous 9:04 PM  

61A BYS : Fly-___ (close passes by plane) ... answer appears as word in the clue. Never seen this before. Supprised no one has picked this up yet.

Anonymous 9:16 PM  

This seems deluded at best, not that there's anything wrong with that.
But will it sell in Peoria

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