Actor with line Rick Rick help me / FRI 10-31-14 / Topping for skewered meat / Anthrax cousin / Inuit's transport / Adam's apple coverer / Like words hoagie kitty-corner /

Friday, October 31, 2014

Constructor: Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none except a vaguely spooky Halloweenish vibe created by the two "Cask of Amontillado"-related answers near the grid center... —

Word of the Day: AWEIGH (26A: Barely clear, in a way) —
adj. (of an anchor) raised just clear of the sea or riverbed.

Read more:
• • •

Grid itself is solid enough. I liked NO-BRAINER, and the clue on METALLICA (44A: Anthrax cousin). But the solving experience was less than enjoyable, for a host of reasons. First there's the clunk. Not the KLINK. The clunk. That's the sound of the off-brand word COGNOSCENTE. It's a word. But you never hear it used in the singular. Like, ever. I guarantee you a  majority of solvers had no (or little) idea what letter to put at the end there, or had an idea and it was wrong. I considered "O." Graffito, graffiti … it seemed logical. Anyway, COGNOSCENTI is the word everyone uses. Plural. And then there's the massively Variant SATE SAUCE. In case you haven't put it together yet, that's "satay sauce." The way I know it's "satay" is a. every crossword version of the word ever (incl. four times in the NYT since I started this blog, vs. zero times for SATE), and b. this product:

(I should note, however, that Fireball Crosswords editor and future NYT crossword editor (I assume / dream) Peter Gordon appears to like the SATE spelling; he is the only editor, per the cruciverb database, to clue SATE via the "Asian" "appetizer")

Then there's the wild unevenness of the puzzle, difficulty-wise. I had that NW corner done in about 30 seconds (ROCK BANDS was my first answer). And while the middle took me a while, the lower corners were easy enough that I could just jump in there, plant a few gimmes (TOONS and KERI in the SE, LES and NOBIS in the SW), and polish them off without too much trouble. But then there was the NE, where I had RAW TALENT and TSA and then nothing. It's possible that knowing that AWEIGH fit its clue would've helped, but I sure as hell didn't know that's what AWEIGH meant, so I just stared at AWE--- wondering WTF. [Book after Hosea]? Blank. Even with terminal "L," blank. That one-off Oscar nominee guy … I had the "T" and could think only of TEVYE (is that right?). I think that's the character name. No hope on Sea-TAC without any crosses. Long Downs and JACK just wouldn't come without sufficient help from crosses. So I sat awhile, until I just guessed that SEPIA was an "effect" of Photoshop and JOEL was maybe a bible book. And that was that. AWEIGH. Ugh. Admittedly, my problems with that corner might be idiosyncratic. It was the difficulty *imbalance* that was bothering me, more than the difficulty itself. Also, TOPOL, yuck. Also, problems up there were related to the whole last letter in COGNOSCENT- problem (above).

But the worst thing about the puzzle is the factual error at 32A: Like Fortunato, in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." I can see how the constructors or editor really really wanted (for some reason) to link the not symmetrical but somewhat centered answers BURIED ALIVE and HORROR STORY. But here's the thing. Two things. A. if you want to go horror, go one or three or none. This 2/3 bit is just awkward. But more importantly B. don't force a common clue term on disparate answers unless the answers can handle them. Now, there are HORROR STORYs out there that feature people being BURIED ALIVE. I'm sure of it. It's just that "The Cask of Amontillado" isn't one of them. Being immured, walled up, is not (not) (not not) the same as being BURIED ALIVE, however underground the walled-up chamber might be. Lots of sites on the Internet will use the phrase BURIED ALIVE to talk about what happens to Fortunato, but, like many if not most things on the Internet: wrong. Wikipedia? Wrong. I kept trying to make WALLED UP fit. Look, I'm sure the clue is defensible, but immurement and being BURIED ALIVE seem to me very, very different things. It's the difference between (quick) suffocation and (somewhat less quick) starvation/dehydration. Both gruesome, yes, but different. Fundamentally different. My friend Amy seems to think you *could* suffocate in a walled-up chamber if the mortar seal were tight enough. Admittedly, murdering folks is somewhat out of my purview. Still, I'm standing by my primary contention, which is that the dude gets walled up, not "buried." Needless to say, the middle was difficult for me not because I hadn't read "Cask," but because I had.

Off to (re-)read Poe. Tis the season.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Carola 12:06 AM  

    Nice Halloween puzzle! Besides DARK ART, BURIED ALIVE, HORROR STORY, the gallows TREE, and INCARNATE recalling various ghastly entities taking on human form, I wondered if NO BRAINER could refer to the result of some ghoulish event or procedure - zombie attack? The LORRE - HORROR cross nicely recalls some of his movies. Themewise, I was a little sorry that the constructors hadn't chosen to go with WEIRd instead of WEIRS, but then perhaps there will be some little ETS out trick-or-treating.

    Medium for me, with a similar solving experience to @Rex. After the RWANDA - NEONS cross helped make short work of the NW, I had to skip around to piece the rest together. Also wanted "walled...something," got fooled by "Anthrax," discovered I didn't know the meaning of AWEIGH (even considered a cryptic clue from "in a way"), learned the singular COGNOSCENTE, and had my "d'oh" moment filling in Sea-T?? to finish.

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

    jae 12:09 AM  

    Easy-medium for me with @Rex theNE being the tough section.  I had hoPE??? for 11d until I did the SW.   And, TOPOL took some dredging. 

    SATE SAUCE was my last fill...@Rex I also thought it was SATay, but Xwordinfo says not really.

    Not sure I get COINAGE?
    Liked the TV mini theme with KLINK, LAMONT, BOOB TUBE and KERI as well as the ROCK BANDS, METALLICA pair.

    In fact, there's a lot to like here and I did. 

    Zeke 12:19 AM  

    My problem with the puzzle isn't with BURIEDALIVE (BTW,it's the nature of your entrapment, not the amount of room you have) but with JACK, specifically JACK clued with DIDDLY SQUAT. JACK is an abbreviation in the phrase JACK SQUAT, or, without the euphemism, JACK shit. Jack is an adjective meaning small or insignificant, as is Diddly Jack and diddly modify "squat". Diddly clues JACK. Diddly squat clues JACK shit.

    Bill W 12:21 AM  

    In my book, SATE SAUCE is anything that's at least 80 proof in 1/2 gallon quantities. Anything less wouldn't satisfy.

    Questinia 12:27 AM  

    NE was what AWEIGHed me down. KLATCH clutched it. Easy and appealing.

    George Barany 12:38 AM  

    This puzzle just might support the premise that a little bit of knowledge is not necessarily a good thing. Add me to @Rex in scratching my head at the E ending to 29-Across. I haven't read the Edgar Allan Poe story since high school, and had forgotten most of the salient points. So while there was a lot to wrestle through the middle of the puzzle, I have to tip my hat to @Mary Lou Guizzo and @Jeff Chen for their courage to try to work in a mini-theme [read more about their thinking, and @Will Shortz's editorial judgments, at].

    The 1-Across answer took a while to tease out, given that UGANDA seems as good a guess for 1-Down as the correct RWANDA. Ultimately, the answer was delightful to one who doesn't know a lot about rock, and then there was a sense of deja vu when Anthrax was used to clue METALLICA. So little things like knowing that @Jeff most likely flies into Sea-TAC, and that TOPOL was the surprise replacement for Zero Mostel in the role of Tevye when they filmed "Fiddler on the Roof" ... all added up. Last summer, we were in Australia for my son's wedding, and saw both dingoes and koalas in approximations of their natural habitats, but only in this puzzle do I find out that the latter are prey for the former. Google tells me, unusual but not unheard of. But never having heard of SATAY_(sic)_SAUCE worked to my advantage on 31-Down, since I was at the mercy of the crosses and it never occurred to me that this could be problematic.

    Lindy Chamberlain 12:42 AM  

    @George B - Thanks for reminding me. I kept trying to fit MYBABY or MYKID or BABYS in for 47A.

    Doc John 12:50 AM  

    Speaking of Amontillado there's this
    And what was the deal with Up? Is up suddenly a verb?

    Previous Fake Lindy Chamberlain 12:55 AM  

    Holy shit, I just found out that that post was way inappropriate. Sorry about that

    Casco Kid 12:57 AM  

    Medium here. 55 min. Clean solve with several sticking points. COGNOSCENTE was curious as I wasn't at all sure of the singular version of the -i form, or even if the clue was demanding singular, in which case the I would figure into the cross as an English dept course #. I had COINAG_ and just stared and stared until the penny finally dropped. (@jae, Natick was introduced to English when @Rex coined it.) I'd kept thinking Co-in-ago? co-in-age? But what I wanted was Something like Novel I, an intro course. COINAG-I?

    Similar blindness for RAWTALENT. I'd wanted Real____. I made some good guesses in the SE that held up: CDS, SEARED, INCARNATE.

    AWEIGH in this context is new. So is SATESAUCE.

    nAda before JACK. dikes before WEIRS.

    Mike in DC 1:26 AM  

    @JAE: re COINAGE, to coin a phrase is to create it, so COINAGE (verb) is the introduction of the phrase to English, or a COINAGE (noun) is a phrase that is an introduction (in the sense of something introduced) to English.

    No, COINAGE wasn't an easy one, and it helped make the NE tough. I got the NE corner much like Rex did, though I probably got TOPOL a hair quicker.

    Liked the puzzle a lot more than Rex did.

    jae 2:04 AM  

    @Casco & Mike - Thanks. I do know what COINAGE means but I was fixated on some sort of prefix. Sometimes crossword conventions can lead you astray.

    Moly Shu 2:05 AM  

    The COGNO_CENTE/_ATESAUCE was my last square. Dropped in the S, as it seemed the only plausible fit. It worked, but both new to me. Don't know the Poe story, so no problems there, just solved with crosses. Channel before COINAGE (English Channel) what was I thinkiing? nAda also hi @Casco.

    @PFLC, I so wanted something baby also.

    My nit, Chicago and Boston are not ROCKBANDS in my world, maybe crapBANDS. I'll reserve rock for METALLICA and Anthrax. I'm sure @Oisk would agree with me.

    Ellen S 2:33 AM  

    @PFLC -- yeah, me too. I never heard of Dingoes eating anything but children.

    @Jae, you said, "I do know what COINAGE means but I was fixated on some sort of prefix." Yup. Even after I had it firmly written in, and got the little happy chime of completion, I had no idea what I'd done.

    @Doc John, on UP being a verb, how about UPping the ante?

    Totally agree with @Zeke re: diddly shit.

    My problem is with WHALE BOAT. I thought Inuits used kayaks. Wikipedia, wrong about the Cask, maybe wrong about this, suggests them to be of Viking origin, then adapted by European types. No mention of Inuits/Eskimos/Aleuts or other native northerners. Or did I give up reading too soon?

    2:04 AM

    chefwen 2:34 AM  

    Any Friday that we can solve without cheating is a good Friday. O.K., I lied, I did look up JOEL, but that was it.

    47A made me sad. Poor little Koalas.

    New kitten and puppy are still in the learning stages of COEXISTing
    , I'm hopeful that this is a stage that will pass quickly. We are too old for this.

    Danp 5:31 AM  

    I wonder if anyone thought of Hogan before Klink. Nah, probably not.

    mac 6:41 AM  

    I had the most trouble in the NE as well: FAA at 15d really messed it up. Also, I would usually add an S to my Klat(s)ch.

    No problem with the sate sauce,a very common condiment in Holland, where I happen to be right now. We write it with an accent egu on the E.

    Lessen for loosen was another write-over. Plenty of beautiful words in this puzzle, though! And mouse over is very good.

    Laszlo Lowenstein 6:44 AM  

    I wasz szo heppy to szee Col. KLINK in the string szection!!

    LHS 888 7:04 AM  

    Count me in with the "NE was hard" group. I polished off the NW, SE, SW and up the middle (with 2 holes in COGNO-CENT-) in ~10 min. I inferred the S. In the NE I had RAWTALENT, TSA and TOPOL, then... squat. Hand up for nAda, although I also tried none. I was sure of sea-DOO. After an hour of nothing working, including running the alphabet in every blank square, I gave up and hit check all which showed the errors on nADa & doo. I googled JOEL which gave me JACK, and the rest fell pretty quickly.

    In the end what surprised me was not the difficulty of the NE, but the ease of the rest of the grid. I'm used to DNFs on Fridays. Was I being toyed with?

    Lots to like in the grid. I can't seem to decide on a favorite word or clue. Thanks MLG & JC / WS.

    Anonymous 7:27 AM  

    Its a common belief among capitalists that English was developed during the Coin Age.

    Anonymous 7:28 AM  

    When one is certain that TEVYE had the Oscar nomination, there is no way to get into the NE. No f'ing way. It totally defeated me.

    Susan McConnell 7:31 AM  

    On the easy side for me. I liked being able to pop in some of the long answers right off the bat: ROCKBANDS, MOUSEOVER, COEXISTED. I'm pretty sure we've had the TOPOL conversation before, so he was a NO BRAINER, I appreciated the couple of Poe clues as a kind of wink to the holiday. The fact that, HORRORs! there were only two! didn't even cross my mind.

    Looking forward to seeing all of the little goblins later.

    Montresor 7:33 AM  

    The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but
    when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.

    Nemo me impune lacessit !

    Gill I. P. 7:51 AM  

    Without blinking an eye, I penned in CONNOISSEUR, patted my back, and AWEIGH I went to nothing because I couldn't do JACK shit with anything else.
    I agree with @Rex on BURIED ALIVE but it was so darn good right there in the middle that I didn't care.
    METALLICA didn't fool me like that Expert did upstairs (which took me forever to correct) and MOUSE OVER made me smile.
    You say SATay, I say SATE.
    Took longer than it should have because of the error of my ways, otherwise, this was filled with some pretty darn good, fresh and fun words.
    Good job Mary Lou and Jeff.

    PuzzleCraig 8:03 AM  

    This one tied for my fastest Friday since ACPT at 6:06. I don't know why I was so in tune with it, because I didn't think it was a strong puzzle either. And I agree that being immured is not the same as being buried alive.

    NCA President 8:18 AM  

    Final fill was in the Missouri Valley with the S at the SATE/COGNOSCENTE crossing. Complete and utter guess. Originally I wanted some derivative of cognition, or cogni-something. I liked the idea of an SC pair there, but with COGNO-CNT- (COINAGE was the second to the last to fall), I just didn't know. Not to mention the doubt over SATE. Ran the alphabet a few times and nothing worked. Finally figured that SATE was kinda like sake is that it could have two syllables...and thus SATE became vaguely close to a word I don't use very often...satay. And boom goes the dynamite, done.

    As for the immured/buried debate...I read the story a long time ago and recall that Fortunato was placed into a tomb of brick while we was still breathing with the intention of getting him to stop breathing. So call it what you will, he was, at the very least, figuratively buried alive. Much the same way I get buried alive each April 14th or when work gets crazy and I have no time to breathe or etc. Fortunato/closed in space/death = "buried" alive.

    I got it immediately which probably shows a weakness of intelligence. Or maybe I just managed to not overthink it. I got BOOBTUBE, CURS, LORRE, REGIONAL, and NOBRAINER fairly quickly...BURIED seemed pretty obvious.

    Anyway, no googling, just a minor dictionary check on WEIRS to double check my crosswordese memory word data base (CMWD).

    evil doug 8:20 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    evil doug 8:22 AM  

    Woman: Are you going upstairs? Tell my fiance I'm looking for him. I have
    lost my fiance, the poor baby!

    Elaine: Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

    Woman: What?

    Elaine: The dingo ate your baby!

    "My gal is red hot, your gal ain't doodly squat!"
    --Billy Lee Riley, 1957


    joho 8:25 AM  

    Nice puzzle!

    I, like @Carola, went looking for a Halloween theme and found RAISE the dead, HORRORSTORY, BURIEDALIVE, Peter LORRE, the DARK prince, a JACK O'Lantern, hanging TREE and, BOO!the devil INCARNATE.

    I wasn't sure how COGNOSCENTE should end but it couldn't be COINAGi, could it? So fair enough.

    Thank you, Mary Lou and Jeff!

    Mohair Sam 8:28 AM  

    Easy/medium for us, and loved it - Rex's rant be damned. How could he not say (as we did) "oh, COGNOSCENTE must be the singular"? It's Friday, your crossword answer just may be a word you don't hear a lot. And for those of us who remember Fortunato's misfortunato: BURIEDALIVE is just fine.

    Just like @Anon 7:28 we lost a little time with TOPOL/Tevye mixup. But having family in TAComa, and having recently looked up AWEIGH's definition we had two gimmes that gave us KLATCH and killed Tevye.

    COINAGE (12d) clue a classic. METALLICA also a beauty.

    @Mac - hand up for LesSEN/LOOSEN.

    @Moly - also "S" as last letter, never having heard of SATE or SATay sauce probably helped.

    @Zeke - I use the term "JACK" all by itself to mean diddly-squat, all the time.

    @Ellen S - Agree with your take on WHALEBOAT, never heard it attached to Inuits - I tried to make kayakBOAT work for a minute, but that made no sense.

    Sir Hillary 8:29 AM  

    I liked this one. Unlike our host, I felt a consistent level of resistance in all sections of the grid -- goes to show how solver-specific those impressions are.

    I was fooled by the Anthrax clue for quite a while. Very nice.

    The inclusion of "a way" in the clue for AWEIGH made me chuckle.

    LesSEN at 34A slowed me, but not for long -- the BOOBTUBE (my favorite entry) fixed that.

    Agree that COGNOSCENTE and SATESAUCE are unusual, but both of those Es were imminently getable via crosses, so no big deal.

    Good lead-in to the weekend.

    NCA President 8:34 AM  

    BTW, and FWIW, this year is Fiddler on Roof's 50th anniversary having opened on Broadway September 22, 1964.

    Nice shout out to the show...even though it was the film version.

    jberg 8:36 AM  

    For the love of God, Montresor-- give us a break up there in the NE. I must have stared at AWEI_H for minutes before figuring out how AWEIGH made sense, and even then I had a hard time believing COGNOSCENTE -- wanted --ense or ence there before that. I even toyed with APPETIsE (desire as a verb, though it's wrong) before I finally accepted the correct answer.

    So apparently 31d should have been clued "Dutch topping for skewered meat?" I'd have got it right away then!

    Well, I got it, and there's much to admire, and I guess dingoes can eat KOALAS if the latter fall out of eucalyptus trees by accident. And probably the Inuit now use whale boats, just as they use snowmobiles. so all is well!

    BB 8:38 AM  

    Maybe splitting hairs, but Fortunato probably did suffocate (from the burning torch that was tossed in at the last minute).

    Nancy 8:43 AM  

    @chefwen -- I also looked up JOEL. Other than that found it easyish for a Friday. And I enjoyed it -- few proper names and the ones that were there were worth knowing. I also loved NO BRAINER (which I got immediately with no crosses) and the clever clue for COINAGE.

    dk 8:44 AM  

    OOO (3 mOOOns)

    As a forensic psychologist i assure my clients victims would not have quibbled over walled v. buried. A well motared wall may result in mumification rather than decomposition preserving trace evidence. I knew you would want to know..

    My solve was also uneven with the sea TAC fill and lessen for LOOSEN as my purloined letters.

    Living under a Moon Tower here in Austin. Great to be back in a city. The other day I got to hear the National Anthem played on a Formula One car -- TRES weird.

    Off to work.

    Whirred Whacks 8:48 AM  

    Favorite answers:

    CAVORT Hope you're all up for some cavorting later.

    MOUSE OVER First time I'd seen it a a X-word. (Maybe that's what Donald Duck says when he's in a sociable mood: "I think I'll ask the mouse over for tea.")

    Also, I noticed that DALI is "buried" in BURIED ALIVE.
    (But he's more surreal than ghoulish.)

    Enjoy your day!

    Lewis 8:50 AM  

    I think "Diddly" would have been a better clue for JACK. I've often heard them both by themselves.

    For "Prefix with -graphic" the first thing to pop in my head was porno, then I thought nah. I like MOUSEOVER, COGNOSCENTE, BURIEDALIVE, and KLATCH, and I liked the clues for ROCKBANDS and METALLICA. I remembered TOPOL because my mother had the album when I was a kid, and I remember seeing it on the cover.

    It felt easy for a Friday except for the NE where I had "doo" instead of TAC and had no idea what AWEIGH meant.

    I do like the KOALA sitting under the TREE.

    he's at it again 9:00 AM  

    Hey, Rex didn't know a word. Ergo, to wit, this was a bad puzzle. QED.

    Lewis 9:02 AM  

    Factoid: BESS Truman, who died at 97, is the longest lived First Lady in U.S. history.

    Quotoid: "Weather forecast for tonight: DARK." -- George Carlin

    Anonymous 9:08 AM  

    Why is there an apostrophe in 36A?

    Whirred Whacks 9:12 AM  

    @Lewis's Factoid: "Weather forecast for tonight: DARK." -- George Carlin

    Actually the full Carlin quote is: "Weather forecast for tonight: DARK. Partly bright by morning."


    Casco Kid 9:16 AM  

    @anon9:08 NYT Style dictates the apostrophe.

    Kathy D. 9:31 AM  

    I echo the hassles in the NE corner. Didn't know Topol. Coinage stumped me because I had written cognoscenti, like other solvers.

    It was a fun puzzle, fit for Halloween with a few annoyances.

    Ludyjynn 9:32 AM  

    Hand up for Uganda before RWANDA and Nada before JACK'. @MollyShu, hand up for "crapbands"!

    I had the pleasure of seeing the 2004 Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" w/ Alfred Molina as Tevye. He was awesome, nominated for a Tony award. I preferred his portrayal over both Mostel and Topol.

    Speaking of EA Poe, if you're in Balto., don't miss a tour of the Poe House and Museum located downtown on Amity Street (irony, anyone?) Open weekends.

    One of my favorite bumper stickers presently sported on a lot of cars is the COEXIST message w/ various religious symbols comprising the lettering. If only.

    Thanks, MLG, JC and WS for a good solve.

    Jeff Anderson 9:48 AM  

    I agree with you 100% Rex on the Buried Alive answer. It needed to be walled up or something similar or clue it differently. Anything but that.

    Leapfinger 9:50 AM  

    BURIED ALIVE, LIVE, LIVE, LIVE! BURIED ALIVE!! There, that's out of my system...

    OH DEAR, some of the kahn-nyo-shen-tee thought this much more of A MISHmosh than I did. Maybe LOOSEN up a bit, people? I wanted sealed in/walled in myself (immured is perfect, TY @PuzzleCraig), but I just wasn't going to blow O'FUSE over it. Ditto the WHALEBOAT, which maybe went out 1-2 times a year; certainly wasn't used to shop at the neighbourhood iglu. In actuality, I think the Inuit are into using Ski-dus nowadays.

    Joining the DittOSCENTi on the NE: Had been fortunate to see TOPOL on his final Fiddler tour, but TWA (moderately likely) made me WEPIA, and the NADA gave me NOEL, which I realized was unlikely to be following Hosea. So...fixable, but I still don't know what is Sea-TAC. On the plus side, I've learned that 'Anchors AWEIGH' means to RAISE the anchor just clear of the seabed.

    The NE hint, ROCKBANDS ADVISABLE, should have tipped me off to METALLICA sooner: time wasted running B. anthrax, B. subtilis, B., no. Thought the SE primo for RAW TALENT: some great long fill, and potential for Gallows humour, too.

    Frosting on the pumpkin to have the holiday subtheme, well detailed by @Carola (loved your NO-BRAINER, lady!). Long before DARK, my street gets a REGIONAL invasion; last year, one neighbour counted 900 hits before turning out the porch light, so I'd BESS batten down the hatches.

    Happy CAVORTing, all you Hobgoblins!

    chefbea 9:55 AM  

    Too tough for me and no time to read all the comments. Wanted tea towel for 20 down but wouldn't fit...and I too spell 31 down satay.

    Happy halloween everyone. Have fun trick or treating!!!

    Ludyjynn 9:56 AM  

    @Leapy, SeaTac is Seattle/Tacoma Airport, located between the two cities.

    j88keys 9:56 AM  

    NE was a fail for me... even after turning on the cheats. I liked the rest though!

    However... I take issue with Poe's work being categorized as "horror." I always saw his tales as psychological suspense and think of "horror" involving monsters and whatnot.

    "Cask..." is about one guy tricking and getting revenge on another guy. Murder, yes, but horror?

    Hartley70 10:09 AM  

    Oh that Northeast! What's wrong with Tovah? Didn't she wear a kerchief and get an award at some point? It took me forever to see TOPOL who was buried alive in some dark recess of my mind. I wanted SEA Bee. I had JOEL right away but not JACK, and by the time COINAGE fell into place I was past understanding. Thanks for the def @Casco!

    I kept trying to fit peanut and sauce on that skewer of meat because I spell it SATAY! A Dutch friend lived across the street for 20 years and I might miss her satay even more than her. No no, not true Toos!

    In shame I admit I wanted baby too. C'mon we all did.

    The touch of Poe was perfect for today, so I thought it was a great Friday.

    NCA President 10:28 AM  

    @j88keys: it was horror for Fortunato...

    Twangster 10:33 AM  

    I might have had a chance at the NE corner if the clue for TOPOL had been "smoker's tooth polish." Instead I ended up with NADA.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:36 AM  

    Fun puzzle for me; medium difficulty.

    Here is my favorite theme music for being walled in or buried alive. (Sensitive souls be warned: The music is beautiful, but this is an old piece and the visuals are definitely not PC.)

    mathguy 10:44 AM  

    I got MOUSEOVER from the crosses. I just Googled it and learned that it is one word. I read the Wikipedia definition but still don't understand what it means.

    A very nice puzzle IMO. I think Rex is a little cranky today. Since when should all sections of the puzzle be of equal difficulty.

    Leapfinger 10:46 AM  

    Thnx @ludyjynn (judylynn?)! Me, with greatnephews living out there! [headslap]

    @Sir Hillary, good eye for 'away'/AWEIGH; slipped right by me.

    @chefbea, only TEAtowel? I had the C, but ran through TEACosie/Cosys/ Caddy/Candy... almost considered Cadiz

    If we all MOUSEOVER together, is that a MICEOVER?

    One co-worker had a baby fairly recently, still retreats to the office after lunch to... you know, pump. Have to admit, ever since first observing that process, I have a new and indelible interpretation of BOOBTUBE.

    RAD2626 10:57 AM  

    Hand up for NE woes and nAda for JACK. Even SEPIA was not much help.

    Wanted clever garden of paradise answer for Adam's apple cover but did not get it. Would have been good - although I am sure impossible - if COGNOSCENTE could have been Poe or horror clue.

    Overall thought puzzle was pretty hard. METALLICA clue was terrific.

    Anonymous 11:03 AM  

    Oscar nominee can't be Tevye- that's the role, not the actor.

    Agree with @Rex- except for remark about TOPOL- thought he was terrific.

    Never saw Molina, but TOPOL sure gave Zero Mostel a run for his money- "If I Were A Rich Man."

    Fred Romagnolo 11:07 AM  

    My first reaction to BURIED ALIVE was the same as @Rex's (obligatory apostrophe) then I figured, hey it's a crossword. As is usual with me, METALLICA & ROCK BANDS could only be gotten by acrosses. I really liked the clue for COINAGE. I played Tevye just before the TOPOL film, so that and LORRE were my first entries (makes up for no knowledge of rock). Wanted COGNOSCENTo because the clue didn't (apostrophe required) imply plural, but then I'd (apostrophe required) wind up with COINAGo. For a bit, I flirted with hair styles for "natural." First Africa, then ugANDA and finally RWANDA. Good, clever puzzle.

    John V 11:16 AM  

    Good puz, easy, but dnf NE.

    Anonymous 11:17 AM  

    Yes, a good, clever puzzle, and I think what makes it so is that anything that wasn't known directly could be attacked in a number of different ways.

    old timer 11:38 AM  

    The Amontillado! The Amontillado! I love that Poe story and wanted the answer to be something like "inebriate" I always wondered what Fortunato did to deserve such a fate, which in common parlance is being buried alive though really being walled in like that is worse. You'd suffocate pretty quickly if buried in the ground.

    A couple of decades ago we used to go to a Thai restaurant that an American couple had started after they returned from a year or two in Thailand. They called the sauce SATE. I've never even heard of SATAY. Must be a New York thing.

    The puzzle played Friday-hard for me. The bottom half came quickly enough, the tip corners, not. It took me a long time to come up with rock bands (great clue, though), and while I wanted METALLICA early, I had and have no idea who Anthrax is or was.

    I wanted AMOS in the NE and had to Google for JOEL. Likewise for the (for me) forgettable Mr. Topol.And I still don't get COINAGE, given the clue. But I have no problem with an expert being a cognoscente.

    OISK 11:43 AM  

    Really enjoyed this one! Patting myself on the back for knowing that Boston and Chicago are rock bands.Then became even more self-congratulatory when I figured out that Anthrax must also be some kind of rock group, and got "Metallica." (not that I have any idea what "metallica" is) SE fell last, as "mouseover" seemed a bit contrived, but a very well constructed, well clued, difficult but not impossible Friday puzzle. I agree with Anon 11:17 entirely.

    Z 11:49 AM  

    In my neck of the woods all skewered meat is on a kabob/kebab, so I briefly considered dATE SAUCE for my last letter. Blew through the NW and thought this was going to be exceptionally easy. No such luck, with the NE and SE both giving me long pauses.

    As for the BURIED ALIVE bit, the guy is walled up in the wine cellar/family crypt. The assertion of wrongness is wrong. Yes, he was walled up. That was the method of his burial. He was still BURIED ALIVE. For example, we spent some of our time in NC walking through the beautiful Riverside Cemetery (where O. Henry is buried). A fair number of people there are BURIED in small mausoleums, not even underground like Fortunato. More, look up immurement and you find, "to build into or entomb in a wall." I don't know about the rest of you but the difference between "entomb" and "bury" is JACK to me.

    @George B - Thanks for the link yesterday. A fun solve.

    Benko 11:58 AM  

    While Americans seem to prefer the "satay" spelling, according to @rex, every single time I've eaten SATE sauce (quite a lot, as Indonesian cuisine is very popular in the Netherlands) it was spelled SATE. Yum, Gado Gado!

    AnonyMortician 12:04 PM  

    @Z, I hate to further lash a running argument, but it sounds to me as if those Riverside denizens aren't BURIED, so much as 'enctypted'. No?

    AliasZ 12:05 PM  

    A dear friend gave me a beautiful bottle of Amontillado about six months ago, which prompted me to re-read the Poe story at the time. I had forgotten how masterfully the story is weaved through the crowds at the Carnival, and how smoothly and innocently it flows down into the wine cellar. An exquisite tale, from beginning to horrifying end. One could not HOPE FOR a better HORROR STORY on Halloween.

    My first entry was DARK ART. How appropriate!

    It was interesting to read Jeff's notes @ xwordinfo: "I was a little skeptical of SATE SAUCE, but a quick check with some of my Malaysian friends came back with the result that SATAY SAUCE in fact was the "incorrect" one (along with some appropriately snarky comments about how they wouldn't eat our Americanized Asian foods if they had been BURIED ALIVE and it was the only option)."

    Loved the puzzle. Mary Lou and Jeff, you done good.

    And to show my appreciation, here is a little gift from Herr Mozart: Regina coeli in C major, K. 108, containing the movement "Ora pro NOBIS."

    AnonyMortician 12:08 PM  

    'encrypted', grr

    Masked and Anonymo3Us 12:35 PM  

    Top Masked Thoughts:

    1. Great puz by two of my fave griderati people to ever gang up on m&e. semithemelessthUmbsUp.

    2. Better clue for REGIONAL: {Like Wise Potato Chips and the word at 29-Across}.

    3. For BURIEDALIVE HORRORSTORY works, pretty hard to bet Poe's "Premature Burial". But usin that title in a clue for BURIEDALIVE would be pretty funky. So, what the hey -- just wall the sucker in thar, and get on with it.

    4. Yep. That NE corner was some tough cookie dough. Got SEPIA and RAWTALENT without a fight. Then TSA checked in ok. Finally switched from TEVYE to TOPOL, then tried JOEL, which gave me JACK... er gave me the 10-Across answer pretty quick. Rest was clean up.

    5. Happy Halloween, to all my lil buds. And to Snark-nado@63.



    pmdm 12:37 PM  

    AliasZ: In response to your wonderful classical music links, I'll tease you with a question. A hint: some would say the correct response is related to 32A.

    Yesterday, I attended the last NY Philharmonic concert in which Ravel's piano composition Gaspard de la nuit was performed in the orchestral arrangement by Marius Constant. (Ravel wanted to do the job himself but never found the time before he died.) Here is a link to a recording of one of the three movements: I am willing to bet everyone reading this post is extremely familiar with one of Constant's original compositions. What is that composition?

    Give up? The answer can be found in the concert programs notes:

    Martel Moopsbane 12:44 PM  

    I fiddled around for awhile with Bikel instead of TOPOL. Should have paid attention to Oscar, but didn't. I guess I'm not a COGNOSCENTE of the filmic arts.

    Anonymous 12:52 PM  

    Never have Rex's comments been so on the money for me. Experienced exactly the same irritation because I know Poe's story well, left the last letter of cognoscente blank, ands then struggled with the NE. Might have been one of my very best Friday times but for aweigh and Topol...
    Loved the cluing for the rock 'n roll answers!

    E Jermek 12:56 PM  

    Kirkby has an incredible voice, just floats through the registers.

    Resurrexit et ff

    Masked and Amontillado 1:00 PM  

    Item #5 shoulda read "... to all my lil puzspook buds."
    For some reason, autocorrect just plumb rips into almost everythin I try to cypher out.


    RooMonster 1:18 PM  

    Hey All !
    Late today, as have to work, and a FriPuz. Managed to get 3/4 done, however, the NE and two of the sraggerers in the middle are giving me great amounts of fits. Got the NW first, then SW, then SE. Had Lionel for LAMONT for a while (wasn't he a character in a sitcom? ) Wanted some kind of gas for Anthrax clue, but had META_L from the crosses, so figured out the bands answer.

    Going to try and finish without Googling or cheating. (Haven't looked at the answers [or comments ] on here yet) :-)

    BOOBTUBE (heh-heh, he said BOOB)

    Anonymous 1:19 PM  

    Could somebody explain the logic on
    COINAGE? Arkie

    Dead horse beating Z 1:35 PM  

    If those enctypted bodies aren't "dead and buried" what are they. To echo my comments yesterday regarding "kind" and "type," English is far more malleable than a COGNOSCENTE would like. Now let's immure this dead horse (unless someone is doing "sexy dead horse" for Halloween).

    Anonymous 1:36 PM  

    Sorry to intrude, but a Friday puzzle I can finish without Google is EASY.

    Raoul Duke 1:36 PM  

    @Anonymous 1:19
    A couple of posters explained it above, but when you "coin" a new word or phrase you're "introducing" it into the lexicon.

    So, for instance, Heinlein was engaging in COINAGE when he introduced "grok" to English.

    Lewis 1:47 PM  

    @Z -- I live a block and a half from that cemetery...

    Steve J 2:06 PM  

    How many angels can dance on the head of a burial vault?

    Liked the puzzle overall, with a few moments of disgruntlement (like NEONS) that didn't outweigh the incoming tide of good stuff here.

    Found this mostly easy, although I had a harder time getting traction in the northern sectors. As a result I essentially filled this in from bottom-up, which was a bit weird to see as the grid took shape.

    Amusing error: I had COGNeSCENTi. The middle E resulted in having EDS as the answer for "Some E.R. cases". Which I figured was plausible, since the commercials do say to seek immediate medical attention if the Viagra is having its desired effect for more than four hours.

    Throb 3:04 PM  

    Best BURIED ALIVE HORROR STORY out there? Dolan's Cadillac by Stephen King.

    mac 3:37 PM  

    @Hartley70: don't tell me that was very tall Toos in Stamford!

    mac 3:48 PM  

    Hey, Benko is back! I just had sate babi two days ago.

    AliasZ 3:54 PM  

    @E Gyermek,

    Someone noticed!

    Col. KipLINK

    Hartley70 3:54 PM  

    @mac: LOL, no, very tall Toos in Wilton!

    john towle 3:55 PM  

    Ahoy, Rex!

    Anyone who goes down the sea in ships knows what the word AWEIGH means. The Special Sea and Anchor Detail has been set and the capstan is mightily heaving in the anchor. Nothing will shiver your timbers more than putting to sea, whether for the first or twentieth time.



    Charles Flaster 4:17 PM  

    Loved it. Medium. Ten minutes for most of it but twenty for SE corner.
    Loved clues for ROCK BANDS.BURIED ALIVE,RAW TALENT and COEXISTED which enabled me to finish.
    No easy fill but recently watched Casablanca and Fiddler in one long evening. Love both.
    Thanks MLG&JC.
    Relatively easy week to date.

    Ludyjynn 4:32 PM  

    @RooMonster, Lionel was George and Louise, a/k/a Weezie, Jefferson's son on "The Jeffersons", a spin-off from "All In The Family". They were originally Archie Bunker's blue-collar black neighbors, but 'moved on up to the East Side to a deluxe apartment in the sky' after George's dry cleaning business took off. Don't ask me how I remember this stuff when I can't remember what I did on Monday!

    @SteveJ, your ED explanation cracked me up, thanks.

    WestCoastTom 5:09 PM  

    Easier than usual Friday for me. Like most, finished last in the NW corner, also got fooled by the I/E for COGNOSCENTE, but understood AWEIGH right aweigh once I got it. Maybe ora pro NOBIS is what the constructors did after they threw in those two misleading "TE" endings!! Disagree with those who say JACK can't stand alone. Have often said "I got JACK." when asked if I had any success after a fruitless day of rabbit hunting.

    Anonymous 5:19 PM  

    Different people have different "gimmes" -- I immediately wrote JOEL for 10-D, but the only thing I could remember about "The Cask of Amontillado" was that something horrible happened to the guy, and since I saw the beginning of HORRORSTORY at 33-A, BURIEDALIVE seemed quite plausible (even if not true).

    I believe 49-A originated in computer languages as "mouse_over" -- the action that results from hovering the mouse over a link.

    I never did understand METALLICA as the answer for 44-A. I assume that ANTHRAX was a rock band, to be avoided as much as possible. (Pop culture is always a killer for me in crosswords.)

    I've known AWEIGH practically forever because of the Navy song, but never knew its real meaning until today.

    Anonymous 5:42 PM  

    I agree with Rex that being walled in and being buried alive are different in kind. It strikes me as very strange that the cluing for both was to The Cask of Amontillado, when a perfectly good replacement, also by Poe, was available in The Fall of the House of Usher. Equally horrifying, if not more so. Actually involves someone being buried alive.

    For any sick pathologist 7:02 PM  

    Given the likely dankness of the enclosure and the high proportion of fluid in the human body (even with etoh dehydration), I would suggest mummification to be highly improbable.

    Arlene 8:26 PM  

    Late to the comments here. I slogged through this, thinking that I might not even finish. But Googling turned up some interesting things - helpful, actually - and I got it all.

    Was this a trick or treat puzzle?
    Not a treat for me. I was hoping for some candy corn.

    JenCT 8:45 PM  

    @Moly Shu: Send me an email; I have a message for you.

    @dk: Forensic psychologist! Sounds interesting...

    @BB: I had forgotten about the burning torch.

    @M & A: I find Autocorrect to be such a PITA that I keep it turned off.

    Got some "gummy brains" at the local candy store; the kids love them.

    Happy Halloween!

    michael 8:59 PM  

    Like lots of others, I got stuck in the northeast. I eventually had to google Topol and after that was able to finish. Never heard of Sea Tac and didn't understand aweigh until after I had all the letters. Cognoscente looks like a misprint even if I know it is right.

    Anonymous 11:44 PM  

    ain't never seen Thai sauce spelled any other way than sate, except for Rex' can sauce. Signs of the Times.

    Noam D. Elkies 11:50 PM  

    Apropos 29A: Every maven should know the singular of "cognoscenti". As in the lyrics to Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony:

    Is ready
    To eat, everyone:
    Every cognoscente
    Knows al dente
    Means that it's done!

    (and the plural of "maven" is alas just "mavens", though word comes from Hebrew via Yiddish and this should pluralize to something like "meyvinim".)


    Anonymous 12:31 AM  

    So, show of hands. How many of you have actually gone gorilla trekking in Rwanda within spitting distance of Dian Fossey's grave? Ahh, I didn't think so. Back to your blog world.

    Mary 10:11 AM  

    Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, jonah, micah,... That was a total gimme. I remembered that Fortunato was WALLED up, and I agree with Rex that being buried alive is something else. I haven't been to Australia, but I immediately rejected koala as dingo prey and wasted some time trying to think of some other five-letter victim. I don't think it should count that koalas are often run over by cars (they probably look the wrong way when crossing left-side-drive roads) and dingos are known for eating roadkill.

    longbeachlee 12:46 PM  

    Walled up, cognoscenti; I don't always agree with Rex, but I am Rex on these, and this puzzle in general. A kudo to Miss Browning my English lit teacher 67 years ago. She made Cask so memorable that that I got a quick foothold on this puppy. The other English lit teacher at my high school was Miss Kerwin, who inspired Maya Angelou to write (according to The Caged Bird)

    spacecraft 12:53 PM  

    DNF. Got the bottom part, but couldn't get into the top half, even with NOBRAINER leading in. Now that I see the answer to 1a, I give myself a big forehead-slap. Duh! Boston and Chicago are two of my favorites! That shoulda been a 7d!

    And I had the ending -CLOTH, but I never--and I spent three years in England--ever heard of a TEACLOTH. What a dumb name. What're you supposed to do, spill tea on it?

    Ask poor Fortunato what the difference is between being BURIEDALIVE and walled up. I don't think he'd see any meaningful distinction.

    1634=5, just over halfway there--like my effort today. *sigh*

    Anonymous 1:57 PM  

    Yeah, finished the grid and enjoyed it for its broad and varied cluing. I did have to look up the spelling of cognoscente. Never heard of it but happy I do now. That really helped.

    I personally didn't care for Parker's ongoing and as usual critique. IHO this was a perfect puzzle and I am biased. I like Jeff Chen. Sorry I don't know the lady. Anyway, I say to Parker life is good, try smiling once in awhile. Or, better yet, turn this blog over to someone fresh and positive.

    Old Man, Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA

    Dam, no nos. again.

    DMG 2:28 PM  

    Really struggled with this one, but one by one the long fill came, and I sure needed them for the short stuff. Real breakthrough came when I realized 1A referred to someBAND and went looking for "music" references elsewhere, thus realizing METAsomething wasn't referring to some strange disease. Andso it went Hold ups were STirS for STEWS, nAda for JACK, and unfamiliarity with the term MOUSEOVER. Also had to accept AWEIGH just because it fit! Glad I didn't quit, glad earlier posters explained all the things I wasn't sure of!

    rondo 3:34 PM  

    This one practically filled itself in by itself, all except the last letter to fall which was the SATE "S". I don't time myself but this had to be one of the quickest Fridays ever for me.
    I think I'm older than most, but it's amazing to me how many posters to this blog don't know names of rock bands - METALLICA has been around forever. And 1a, what a gimmee!! Maybe some folks are more genteel than I, but come on, and take no offense please. I'm just surprised; to each his/her own I guess.
    I'll bet the dingos only prey on KOALAs when they have a cold, the eucalyptus, you know.
    KERI Russel, yeah baby.
    Why not clue the 1960's football star Tommy NOBIS?
    And for LES, Guitar master Paul (instead of more French mumbo jumbo)?
    This whole puz seemed like a NOBRAINER to me.

    185 - a tie with @spacey as I post

    rondo 3:37 PM  

    Sorry - Latin mumbo jumbo

    Dirigonzo 4:47 PM  

    My solving experience was eerily similar to @Rex, except: 1. I took a lot longer (no idea how long, maybe somewhere just shy of an hour?); and 2. I enjoyed it a whole lot more. The cluing seemed to have an extra level of playfulness, which I like.

    700 - well, the math is easy but will it hold up?

    Waxy in Montreal 6:41 PM  

    @space, must be a REGIONAL thing as I've always used TEA CLOTH interchangeably with TEA TOWEL.

    Who wouldn't like a puzzle requiring one to be cognizant of COGNOSCENTE? Not to mention Col. KLINK of BOOBTUBE fame and that odd couple BESS and JOEL. Loved it - except for 31D where my HORRORSTORY was trying forever to produce a 4-letter var. of BBQ to fit into where SATE eventually went and 43A where I wanted HUMOR. OHDEAR!

    1708. Ties @Diri, but he was there first.

    J Howard Boyd 5:05 PM  

    Me. I just thought Klink was too obvious and Hogan fit. Made NW really difficult for me.

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