Architectural crossbeam / SAT 10-11-14 / Benson actor Phillips / Tourist city on Yamuna / Biblical land in what is now Yemen / Force to walk with arms pinned behind / Country that includes islands of Gozo Comino / Best Director of 1947 1954 /

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Constructor: Evans Clinchy

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TRAVE (2D: Architectural crossbeam) —
  1. [Architecture.]
  2. A crossbeam.
  3. A section, as of a ceiling, formed by crossbeams.
A wooden frame used to confine a horse being shod.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin trabs, trab-.]

Read more:
• • •

Yes, this will do. Higher word count than yesterday, resulting in more interesting fill, with only a modicum more junk (the more 3- and 4-letter words, typically, the more junk). It's been a big week for Laotian currency—who would've guessed? (46A: Laotian money = KIP). But honestly, the only words that grated at all were YER, LII, ATME and ADP (!?!?!). Oh, and TRAVE, but that didn't "grate" so much as "expose my ignorance of a word." Rest of the grid felt quite clean, though the vibe is a bit … vanilla? Can a vibe be vanilla? I like the contemporary feel of stuff like "BREAKING BAD" and KEVIN DURANT and SMART PHONES but none of that felt particularly daring or inventive. I found myself more nodding in approval than cheering. Except with FROG MARCH. Pretty sure I cheered for FROG MARCH.

I also like GREASE THE WHEELS, but I don't really understand the clue? Or, rather, I don't know why the clue went all literal. I didn't know wheels were literally greased (to make them roll … more smoothly?). I know the term GREASE THE WHEELS only as an idiomatic expression, usually referring to bribery or other forms of possibly illicit coaxing. Puzzle made me wonder whether that was right, or whether I had just imagined it because "greasing palms" is a bribery expression. But no, I didn't imagine it, GREASE THE WHEELS does have a meaning that skews in that direction. My point is I've never heard the expression used literally. Why you go literal over idiomatic, esp. w/ a "?" clue, I don't get. But I also don't think this is a big deal. Just a matter of taste. I still like the answer, and the puzzle as a whole. For a debut construction (… unless "Evans Clinchy" is a pseudonym, which it Really sounds like it is, but almost certainly isn't ...), this is fine work.

One thing, though: the puzzle was Way too easy. Your 1-Down is [Austen's "Northanger ___"]??? That's only one notch tougher than [The Beatles' "___ Road"]. If you'd wanted to stay literary, you could've gone with Wordsworth's "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern ABBEY." Or, I don't know, some harder clue for ABBEY that relied on its actual definition. That 1D was a total gimme, and when you Gim Me the first letters of all those long Acrosses, right off the bat, that's giving me a lot. Even the dreaded TRAVE / YER crossing couldn't keep me from blowing right through that NW section. Nothing much after that slowed me down either. SOC.—that, I didn't get. I'm guessing now that it refers to the SOCialist Party? I wouldn't call it a [Third party label: Abbr.]. It's way down the list of parties. 6th party, maybe. I went with AMIR at first for 31D: Eastern leader (AGHA). Thank god that was wrong. Jimmy BAIO is pretty damned obscure, but crosses were easy and BAIO is certainly a showbiz name, so that didn't slow me down either. ADP = super-icky and also unknown to me, but I didn't even see it, so easy was that SE section. Had TEAKS and TANDEM and DIVA and EMIR in place, so got all the long Acrosses easily and never had to look at those little Downs. Finished a shade over 6, without speeding at all—that's a helluva Easy Saturday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:08 AM  

Medium for me but I think I was dense tonight.  Took me forever to see OPEN TABLE.    Bottom half easy-medium, middle medium and NW tough as I was thinking Nielsen not critics for BREAKING BAD.  Should have read the clue more carefully.

Erasures: cApra before KAZAN, DogG before DAWG, MISplAy before HEAR, and Soy before SER. 

I gotta like any puzzle with BREAKING BAD, FROG MARCH, SHRECK... in it, but this seemed a bit spotty...LII, ADP, ARI, SOC, YER, OKS, TEAKS...
Still a solid debut, but I'm with Rex on the "vanilla vibe."

Fugu 12:26 AM  

Did I imagine that DANG has a slang meaning related to marijuana? I overwrote DANG for DAWG, "Bud, slangily." Burmese may as well have been Martian for all the good the MEW cross did me. I'm not mad, just curious, cause I just looked for evidence of dang as cannabis slang and found nothing. Anyone else heard this before? Or am I high?

okanaganer 12:41 AM  

I solved it fairly fast, but with two mistakes, cuz I had HANDS instead of PANTS for 48D...gauchos are (cow)hands, right? Annoying, since both KIH and KEVIN DURAND sounded quite plausible. Now if KIP had been clued as "Napoleon's brother" (even without the Dynamite)...

Rex didn't know TRAVE? Well neither did I, which is embarrassing because I have a master's degree in architecture. I had BRACE at first, and didn't clue in until that V popped up because architrave I have heard of. Trave by itself?...never.

Casco Kid 1:01 AM  

Same as @Okanaganer here, same errors, same reasons, but it took 100 minutes. Tough clueing. Lots of deep suss. Lots of wrongness along the way. Okana struggled with TRAVE? So did I, and I struggled with WEBER. Shame on me, there. Medium challenging, but almost doable. Damn.

Trena before IRENE
Nova before DIVA
Ind before SOC
tesla before WEBER (shame!)
ncos before SGTS
Lumet before KAZAN
Openseats before OPENTABLES.
Babysisters before BABYSITTERS
Doh before DUH
AtALowPrice before ATWHOLESALE
Lots of 3digit Latin years before LII.

No, not an easy puzzle at all.

Anonymous 1:18 AM  

The word you're thinking of is dank, not dang.

Ravini 2:22 AM  

Kept wanting "steady the wheels" and that added way too much flailing about. Grease the wheels. Really? No.

Also had "eras" instead of eves, like pre-war era for an apt. maybe. Oh well..

Have already filed away frogmarch for future weird word dropping.

AliasZ 2:25 AM  

As impressive as a Saturday debut may be for Evans Clinchy (related to Maeve Binchy?), this one had just too much iffiness about it truly to impress.

Is KEVIN D'obscURANT someone we should know? What's a D-LIST or TRAVE, and who is Jimmy BAIO? This, and the fact that LII, YER, ACME/ATME and a few others, plus the 18 threes, are not really Saturday-worthy, took much of the joy out if my solve.

However, there was plenty of decent stuff in it, like: FROGMARCH, SEMISWEET and TERRARIUM, although none of them truly outstanding. The 11's were less interesting to me than the 9's. AT WHOLESALE, A DIME A DOZEN etc. are hardly exciting or sparkling. Neither are ESTEEMING and MATURATES. The latter sounds to me like orientates or conversates. I did appreciate seeing ACME however, even though I would prefer seeing her name among the commenters. Some of the cluing was tricky and superb, "Manhattan architect" for BARTENDER winning the gold today.

I forgot what comes AFTERMATH, arts or phys ed?

Let me say good-night with this somewhat obscure work by Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826): his incidental music to the play Turandot by Friedrich Schiller. And just for fun, here is also the symphonic metamorphosis of WEBER's lovely, exotic and bouncy music into a 20th-century jazzed-up version (esp. starting at 4:15 of the clip) by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963).

Enjoy your weekend.

Gill I. P. 5:26 AM  

Good gravy @Rex....a shade over 6???
It took me about 15 to get my first entry MALTA and that's only because I've been there...
I must be the other 1 on who has never seen Breaking Bad (I only watch The Price is Right) but I did get it because of HAYS and OKS and because every one on this blog watches it.
The only BAIO I know is Scott, wanted Sanaa or Mocha for SHEBA and looked at ADIMEA for hours before I got the DOZEN.
OK, so the dreaded Google beckoned because I wanted to learn things like FROG MARCH and DAWG. Then I sat back and pondered this puzzle and decided I was ESTEEMING its construction.
Good job Evans Clinchy. You done got me good though.
p.s. @AliasZ....Wow, I had the same Maeve Binchy Circle of Friends reaction!

Danp 6:05 AM  

@AliasZ - Yes (wags finger). Kevin Durant may be the best basketball player in the world right now. It will be on the test!

Every party other than Dem and Rep is a "third party", no matter how obscure.

I always thought Sheba was somewhere south of Egypt. The Wikipedia entry only adds to my confusion.

The only time I ever heard FROGMARCH was when I Valerie Plame's husband talked about his hopes for Karl Rove.

Ethan Phillips looks vaguely familiar, but his name is totally DLIST to me.

Susierah 7:04 AM  

Well, rex, 1down was not a "total gimme" for me. Dnf because of that and trave and weber. And what is a frog March?

mathguy 7:12 AM  

Bravo to Rex and the rest of you who zipped through it. Very tough for me.

Even though I'm a big pro basketball fan, I was sure that Lebron James was MVP last year.

Didn't like the clue for BABYSITTERS. i suppose that is what the sitter tells the parents when they ask how the kids behaved. Did anyone fill in that entry without the crosses?

Feel good that I was able to solve it even though I had to look up Kevin Durant. He's an amazing athlete.

Mohair Sam 7:50 AM  

Very nice debut puzzle. Clean, well-clued, minimum of "-ese". Nice debut Evans Clinchy.

I see not everyone found this as overly easy as we did (and @Rex). Then this one just hit our sweet spot because it was probably our fastest Saturday solve ever. Printed it out and eyes went straight to the all caps NBA clue, a super-gimme for this NBA junky. And things just filled one after the other from there. Only pause was ghENT for TRENT which quickly corrected with semi-gimme SHREK and the then obvious TSK.

Tip of the cap to OFL today for not getting angry at words he didn't know (especially ADP which is known by almost anyone who's operated a small business, ADP also advertises regularly on radio). Makes the blog even more enjoyable.

Blasted @AliasZ beat me to the inevitable Maeve Binchy comment.

Glimmerglass 7:52 AM  

Medium for me, and a mistake as well. I got the hard ones and missed what should have been easy for me. I blew the TARA/TORO cross. Two misdirections ("spread"; "ring"), but I should have worked out at least one of them!

Lewis 7:58 AM  

Yes, Lebron James has the same number of letters as KEVINDURANT. My stubbornness there held me up there for a while. I'm not a fan of HAYS but I liked the clue, "Makes bale?" I also liked "Green piece" as a clue (twice), and yes, the clue for BARTENDER was stellar.

Can someone explain SOC?

Harder than easy and easier than hard for a Saturday. Thank you Evans Clinchy!

Lewis 8:11 AM  

Factoid: (From -- If you've dissected a frog in a high school biology lab, that's your clue to the frog in FROGMARCH. Earlier the term meant to carry someone, such as an uncooperative prisoner or a drunk, with arms and legs spread out, each limb held by a person, just like a frog pinned down on a tray. Today the term applies to someone walking upright, but arms held behind the back.

Quotoid: "Beauty is WORSE than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder." -- Aldous Huxley

r.alphbunker 8:19 AM  

Hand up for sweet spot. This went down in half the time of yesterday's puzzle. Had perpMARCH for a while.

SMARTPHONEs can be swiped in three ways.

1. Stolen
2. Passed over a UPC reader (like is being done in airports). Every time so far that I am behind someone who is doing this it doesn't work and the gate attendant has to do something manually.
3. Move your finger across the phone to change the screen. This is replacing the Next button.

Moly Shu 8:23 AM  

Very difficult here. Never heard of TRAVE, WEBER, or FROGMARCH. Didnt get the clues for ENTER and WORSE. No shot at SER and MEW. HAYS??? really???

Luckily, ghENT and noVA have the last few letters correct or this would have been a complete disaster. ADP was one of the few gimmies, so at least knowing that I got something that @Rex wouldn't have, gives me some satisfaction. Knew an ass kicking was coming for me, kudos to those who found it easy.

Doris 8:24 AM  

Old Americanism: "The squeaky WHEEL gets the GREASE."

Mike Rees 8:33 AM  

First pass at the acrosses got me DLIST and SWAB. Thank God they were overlapping, I built my whole solve from there. Hung up a bit at the chocolate clue, I had the SW I previously mentioned, and wrote in SWiss hoping the rest would fall into place. Also had TRuss for TRAVE.
All told, a fun and relatively easy Saturday. No googles, only the two overwrites.
I don't get why people lament so loudly about finding crosswordese in crosswords. Isn't that a lot like complaining about finding alcohol at a bar?

jackj 8:54 AM  


SOC.= Socialist party

GAR 8:56 AM  

Fairly quick for me. Didn't know Weber or trave, and eve was a guess for me. Probably not a coincidence that there actors from both Soap and its spinoff Benson were clued. I watched both back in the day, but didn't remember these actors' names or which characters they played.

evil doug 9:06 AM  

It's like finding stale beer at a bar.


Matt 9:08 AM  

@MikeRees It's like going to a classy bar and lamenting that Natty Lite is on tap.

Sir Hillary 9:25 AM  

Can someone explain how "Times in classifieds" are EVES? Not getting that.

The cluing annoyed me today. "Many an exploding star" is brilliant given the misdirection for noVA, but a lot of the other clues felt too cutesy by half.

ADP is not "super-icky" -- many people who work for large companies have their payroll processed by ADP, which is itself a large company. Would IBM be similarly "super-icky"?

Nancy 9:37 AM  

I find myself agreeing with just about everything Rex says. ABBEY in such a key spot was a gimme and made the puzzle much easier. Still, it was a medium for me (though easyish for a Saturday.) Never heard of TRAVE. Almost naticked at the ADP/KEVIN DURANT crossing, but guessed at the "D", since Durant is not an unusual last name. My favorite clue was "Manhattan architect", which I got immediately. (Hic.) Wanted RHO for OHM, so TERRARIUM took a while to come in. And wanted PATH for the last 4 letters of AFTERMATH, so was slow there, too. All in all, an enjoyable puzzle, filled with lively colloquialisms, rather than a lot of names.

NCA President 9:39 AM  

Very challenging for me. As a literary illiterate, I did not know ABBEY. I suspected it, but did not know it. And that is pretty much how the puzzle went. I suspected a lot of things, but nothing gelled quickly.

Millions of people swipe credit cards or debit cards, I don't think of smart phones being swiped...unless you're stealing them, in which case I don't think millions are being stolen each day. I'm not sure what I would call the gesture that gets me from screen to screen, maybe "wipe?" I don't know, maybe it is swipe but it was waaaay out of my awareness. I knew KEVINDURANT because I watch Pardon the Interruption often...they talk about basketball a lot on that show. A lot.

I had truss as a brace/support beam...from my pig barn building days, I remember putting up trussing and then the beams that connect the trusses become rafters. Never heard of a TRAVE. EVES seemed tortured anyway.

Had Nicea before TRENT.

Not sure how Key key? (?) = ENTER. I had B-flat to start since the SSB is usually played in B-flat. I felt pretty good about that answer so it stayed a long time.

Western towns? What about El Paso? No? Tombstone's too long...Albuquerque? Flagstaff? Yuma? Oh, LAREDO. I wonder if they wear overalls there...

Anyhoo, a rare mismatch with Rex's rating system. This one was a bit of a rasslin' match that took me a while to pin down.

Carola 9:59 AM  

It happened that the first clue my eye set on was "Cartoon supplier," so I loved the puzzle right away (big Roadrunner fan). I'm in the "found it easy for a Saturday" camp, thanks to...
1. previous crosswords: KIP; not being fooled by Burmese (having previously been flummoxed by "Egyptian")
2. college: TRENT, TRAVE
3. hearing everybody talking about BREAKING BAD (hi, Gill I.P.)
4. the array of crossword stalwarts: AGRA, AGHA, SER, EDSEL, ECO, EMIR....

I loved FROG next to TERRARIUM and thought the clue for 6D was hilarious.

Z 10:15 AM  

75% Easy, but I'm with @NCA Prez on ABBEY, so the NW took a bit. Having modEL before EDSEL sure didn't help. I also think of AT WHOLESALE as marketing, not actually less expensive. I probably spent 75% of my solve time on that 25% of the puzzle.

@Gill I.P. - Never saw an episode. They lost me at the initial description. Generally, any show that is so obviously going to be a War on Drugs propaganda piece is going to end up in my "don't waste my time" file. (BTW - I hear this is really well done by lots of smart people. That's not why I won't bother to watch)

PANTS? Why the plural? Curious minds want to know.

Nancy 10:31 AM  

@ NCA President: key key as in important (computer) key. You have to press "Enter" to accomplish just about any task.

Horace S. Patoot 10:37 AM  

Metaphors come from somewhere. I can assure anyone who's interested that I had a tube of bicycle grease in my hand yesterday. Although I didn't do so on that occasion, I can assure you that I have greased wheels many times using that very tube. It happens.

jberg 10:43 AM  

DNF-- despite having gone to the ADP website only yesterday to confirm taht I was paid the right amount, I put in AtP instead, and then not knowing basketball players and misspelling KAZiN, I ended up with KEVIN tURINo -- could be, huh? If I'd though of PANTS, (LOL, @Z) I'd have been OK, but I didn't.

I was annoyed with it anyway -- between needing to know the Laotian currency, the birth year of Trajan, and what country the Yumano river (which sounds so Japanese) is in, I just didn't have the patience to sort out the mess in the SE. Not saying I would have been able to, just that I didn't want to bother.

Everyone asking about ENTER -- it's the key on your computer keyboard; hard to function without it.

Anyone else have eGgS before SGTS?

RickA 10:49 AM  

Sorry, could someone please explain "eves" as "times in classifieds"? Thanks.

Z 10:58 AM  

@jberg - I knew none of them, but put them all in quickly. KIP was in yesterday. Four letter tourist city = AGRA. RRN means I, V, X, L, C, D, or M. D and M are both too late. Had CII for a bit. I think that L finally exposed WHOLESALE to me. One man's frustrations are another man's toeholds (I have never held anything in my toes but I have greased wheels).

Answer Man Z 11:01 AM  

@RickA - In newspapers you paid by the letter, so instead of evening one would use EVE in one's ad. The S is a POC.

quilter1 11:16 AM  

Having chores to do I solved this by going away and coming back, but got it done. My political party was ind. for a while, but otherwise nothing too taxing. It did take me some time to remember FROGMARCH, just skittering around the edge of memory. Good word.

dk 11:19 AM  

πŸŒ•πŸŒ•πŸŒ• (3 mOOONs)

Creditcards for 60a
Thinking Manhattan project for far too long
Penning sumo for TORO

Otherwise a delightful time.

R. McGeddon 11:20 AM  

Hand up for hANdS at 48D. Never heard of Gaucho PANTS.

Fansince1939 11:36 AM  

Well, I knew the Villager clue had to be Edsel, but knew there were several other Ford models called "Villager" like Comet in the 60's et al. So being fussy, I was annoyed - so annoyed that I kept trying to use "path" or "swath" in 31 across, and credit cards or smart cards or identicards or something on 60 across. I should also admit I have never swiped a smartphone. My phone is only smart enough to talk and text, mainly because I refuse to have it in front of my face all day long instead of have the world in front of my face all day long.

Maruchka 11:44 AM  

Tough one here - grid looked fine, but solves went very, very slowly. Felt like a word-a-whirl.

Do-overs: Ghent for TRENT; an abundance for A DIME A DOZEN; nova for DIVA; afterpath (Hi @Nancy) for AFTERMATH (? Thinking of charts, I guess). Several googles too, SOD it.

Fav of the day - FROG MARCH. Thanks for the history, @Lewis.

@Gill - Add me to your 1%. Much fear and grief follow meth.

@Z - P'raps PANTS is a nod to yesterday's PANTY controversy? Seems it went on late into the night..

@NCA Pres - Haha! for LAREDO-types and their PANTS. It is a nice song, tho, Kingston Trio not withstanding.

jdv 11:55 AM  

Easy. Usually the NW is the most difficult, not today; ABBEY and WEBER were gimmes. Had CHEF before CHET. DLIST felt extremely desperate. Is there a ZLIST? Nice quotoid @lewis.

Leapfinger 11:56 AM  

OHM I, if I had to give this puzzle a title, it would be "No, U turn!", because I took almost every wrong turn imaginable. Starting with some simple littles like NOVA for DIVA, WAG for WAR and MRES for SGTS... given that there are more MRES than SGTS in the mess, yes? The big ones were fewer but WORSE, notably (like NCA Prez) CREDITCARDS, and thanks to @r.alph, I now see why SMARTPHONES can be swiped just as much.

My favourite wrong turn, however, was GALAPAGOS, downright pitiful how pleased I was with that turtle locale, even though it led me to SPAIN instead of MALTA (sorry, @Gilly). I can't have been the only one!

Got in a Clinchy with plenty of other clues, like 'key keys' sending me to locks or Florida islands, 'angels' sending me to putti or Broadway show backers. Resorted to WAGs in some cases, choosing between AMP/ADP/ATP. However, there was enough fill like ABBEY, TRENT and SHEBA scattered around that I finally got her done.

Have to add that after yesterday's PANTY marathon, there was no way I'd be fooled by those Gaucho PANTS, even if they aren't the Laci kind.

Good 'Eavens, I wish puzzles like this were A DIME A DOZED!

Dirigonzo 11:57 AM  

I never did finish last Saturday's offering (I finally threw in the towel on Thursday, I think) so it felt good to plow through this one with relative ease. As usual there was lots I didn't know but was able to intuit (which sounds so much better than "guess") with the help of some crosswords. ADP stands for Automated Data Processing, I believe - they've been around for a very long time (technologically speaking, anyway) and are located in South Portland, Maine, about 20 miles from me.

RnRGhost57 11:58 AM  

Pleasant Saturday puzz. Yowsa, Yowsa, Yowsa

Lewis 12:01 PM  

I like ACME neighboring ATME, and is there any difference between MATURATES and matures?

OISK 12:04 PM  

Nice puzzle, but a DNF for me because I don't follow the NBA. Still, Kevin Durant is well known enough so I should know his name . I had "Morant." Forgot about ADP, ( I hate product clues) and "DOH" made as much sense to me as "DUH," but of course, it really doesn't. DOH!!

Lots of very clever cluing. Who is Tom Petty?

Leapfinger 12:05 PM  

Forgot to say how much I liked 32D. I'm thinking to FROGMARCH my turtle from its TERRARIUM to MALTA. On a HORSE.

Also, I dropped my Green pieces and Eastern leaders in the wrong spots, both times, SOD it.

MEW crossing DAWG was cute, and yes, BARTENDER clue was the best

RooMonster 12:12 PM  

Hey All !
Tough 'un for me. Had to use "Check" feature many times. :-)

@AliasZ, your earlier comment on D-List. Kathy Griffith is famous for her bit, "My Life on the D-List", means celebrities people either don't care about anymore or have forgotten. (Or were you being sarcastic again, and I fell into your trap once more?)

Definately heard of KEVINDURANT, though took some sussing of surrouding words to get it. Like others, TRAVE new, was thinking Mercury for the Villager before EDSEL.

Agree that HAYS is bad, also the clue for WORSE. Clue makes the answer should be WORSEN.

With PANTS on (thankfully!)

mac 12:13 PM  

Yes, that Abbey was a nice gift. Nice Saturday puzzle, with a strange vibe. Wonder if Evans is from somewhere other than the US.

A couple of stumbling blocks: couldn't get Broadway or theater out of my head at the "ones in praise of angels). I had Trier instead of Trent for a while.

I tried to put in "al(l)ign the wheels, but that didn't hold up long. Amazing how helpful Ohm at 59A was (and my husband for giving me Kevin Durant).

We had a plumber who used the term "going South" when telling me something had been stolen from the construction site.

old timer 12:18 PM  

I found the puzzle fairly difficult, and essentially Naticked at EVES/TRAVE. That is, I guessed TRAVE but did not understand EVES until -- well, until just now.

My nitpick: Laredo is not a town associated with Westerns. Cattle were not run there, as they were to Dodge City, etc. Now "Town in Western song" would have been OK.

And, really, D List is pretty desperate.

Zeke 12:27 PM  

No one involved in agriculture would have any problem with HAYS, it's commonly used as clued. Further, you all should know that because hay is a major CASH CROP.

I didn't like TEAKS, and figuring out how to torture common sense into making it seem ok (I used a straight grain teak for the frame, a crotch teak veneer for the top) gave me a headache, so I still don't like it.

Andrew Heinegg 12:40 PM  

@Oisk, Tom Petty is a mega rock star/singer/guitarist over the last 40 years or so and has one of the highest in numbers of album sales ever, reputedly 80 million. I was a bit hung over and really slogged through this one. Never heard or read the term Frogmarch and neither had my word checker.

Leapfinger 12:40 PM  

Dang, @Lewis, I forgot to moan about those Crazy 8s. MATUR8, best I know, is just a back-formation from MATURATion and means the same as MATURe [the verb]; similar to what's happened with orientation/ orient/ orient8. If there's a reason other than increased grandiosity, I don't know it. Just adds more to disambigu8, strikes me as proflig8 with words. Next thing, we'll have 'place' turn into 'placate'.

Teedmn 12:41 PM  

Wanted rotateTHEWHEELS first. That section was the hardest for me because of pATH for way too long. Mad because ACME was clued the same way not that long ago and I was so pleased at myself that time for getting it right off.

The rest kind of filled itself in with all the common rewrites that many had. Am new to Acrosslite as I was a syndicated solver up until last week and punching my iPad makes it seem more of a slog than with my trusty black Bic (no fancy pen for me).
I suppose I will get used to it eventually.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Waiting for the Evil One to point out that MATURATE is missing a couple of letters.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

ADP pays 1 in 6 American workers (24 million people) and is in the Fortune 250, so it's widely known if not a household name.

Cheerio 1:15 PM  

Easiest Saturday I can think of. I liked the clues for BARTENDER and DIVA. A lot of the cluieng was nice today.

Ludyjynn 1:57 PM  

OPENTABLE went in first. This is also a website where you make restaurant reservations online.

@Rex, ADP stands for Automatic Data Processing. In addition to being a huge payroll co., they offer a service for extra cost to represent employers at state unemployment appeal hearings. They appeared before me hundreds of times when I worked as an ALJ.

@Leapy, I made the same "wrong turn" as you at the outset. Took AFTERMATH (a lovely entry) to smack some sense into me.

This was one of those rare weeks when I completed every puzz! Although in my world, today's solve was med-chall., certainly not easy.

Like everyone else, loved BARTENDER. If the Os don't win today, I will need a strong drink.

Thanks, EC and WS.

SenorLynn 2:08 PM  

My 36 min. made it a medium, & I was surprised. Had my finger on the google button for film director, NBA star, Gozo country when I started to get some of the crosses.
But how do you get rid of jerks with grease? Noise doesn't mean abrupt movement, does it?

Fred Romagnolo 2:24 PM  

@Fan'39: same kind of fone 'cept mine also has an FM radio, which is what I principally use it for when I walk my dogs; KDFC available on internet. I liked this one, had to look up KEVIN DURANT, didn't know ADP; hadn't heard D LIST, but Laredo did it. When I was a boy we had a saying indicating you have to speak up to get things done: "the squeaky WHEEL gets the most GREASE." I, too, place SHEBA S of Egypt. Yemen is SE and on a different continent. Good to have ARI not be a Greek shipping magnate - husband of Jackie. The clue for WORSE is proper grammar. @Anon 12:58: good one re the Evil One. I knew archiTRAVE, as did others, shamefully never checked it's etymology; live and learn. Never heard of FROGMARCH, interesting term. No one's mentioned that "Catch badly" is a damn good clue for MISHEAR."

Fred Romagnolo 2:28 PM  

Go Giants!

Masked and Anonymo3Us 2:37 PM  

Wow. A debut that's a SatPuz? Braindrainin.
Normally, I'd advise the dude now to make several runtpuzs, until he got his grid-constructin nerve back. But -- day-um, this is smooth work. Feisty, yet fair. Funky, and with a fine bouquet of weejects: YER leading the DAWG pack.

* 3 U's.
* 2 CH's.
* Easiest part: black squares. Hardest part: white squares.
* fave entry: ADIMEADOZEN. Honrable mention: FROGMARCH. Wanted bRiGMARCH. Then dRaGMARCH. Never did get desperate enough to try tRiGMARCH, tho.
* M&A solve time: Couple of hours, with an asterisk. (Was watchin an old episode of MST3K, during my solve). Got the mini done, with zero asterisk-wipes, in 0:44 seconds, tho.
* themelessthUmbsUp. Proud of U, @Evansmeister.
* Now the crucial @63 question: EVANSCLINCHY = pseudonym? M&A ruling: Mildly Plausible. See possible name anagrams, below...


Better quit, before autocorrect launches a missile.



Numinous 2:46 PM  

@Lewis, Matures dates back to the 14th century. MATURATE dates to 1622 according to M-W 11 CD. And, yes, they mean the same thing.

@Leapy, Orient means, among other thngs, to align with the current situation. M-W11CD says 1741. Orientate, 1848, means to turn to face the east. So either of these terms are not new, unlike conversate and I think this is enough conversating re these particular words. BTW, I hated seeing MATURATES.

I couldn't get into this one today, googled here and there. Never would have gotten Kevin even though I grew up on Durant Ave.
I woke up this morning with a temp of 102+ which may have been the problem. Kept thinking I was hating this puzz but upon reflection I've decided that maybe it was me that was bad here and not the puzzle at all.

RooMonster 3:03 PM  

Ouch! Sorry to hear of your high temp! Stay in bed! Hope you feel better soon.

Also, wanted to say with the SMARTPHONES/swipe thing. You have to physically swipe the phone with your finger to unlock some. That's how mine is, of course I'm in the 2% of people who don't have an iPhone.
iPhons, scmiPhone. :-)


M and Also 3:06 PM  

(Screw this. Doin research on PANTY was far easier, altho not much more rewarding.)

@Numinous: Get to feelin better soon, amigo. Drink lots of cold beverages. And consider a high-end cinnamon roll, or two. What the hey.


Pete 3:22 PM  

WTF is ESTEEMING? Is that the result of offensive email, as in the torrent of texts you transmitted left me ESTEEMING? Shouldn't it be ESTEaMING?

Anonymous 3:42 PM  

MATURATES sounds as weird to my British ear as "Burgarize", which in the US has taken over from the original verb "Burgle".

Z 3:52 PM  

Here's a Swipe gesture tutorial for an iPhone. Yes, swiping up, down, and all around all do different things.

LAREDO by Band of Horses. "Oh, my love, is that you on the phone?"

As for the actual clue, how about this? LAREDO as a setting for a western. Who knew? Google.

Anyone else see the news? Victoria Secret is opening a panty sniffing area for gauchos! All part of their new "panty of the month club" initiative.

Elephant's Child 3:56 PM  

@FanSince39, I've seen 3 teenagers sitting in different parts of the same one room and texting each other instead of talking face to face. I suppose that's a advantage against eavesdropping adults, but Strange New World. I'll keep on with your version to my last breath.

@Roomie, thanks for giving DLIST legs. Until you reminded me of KGriffith, I was firmly in the AliasZ camp on that.

@Numi, thanks for the MW info, but I'll bet 3 beans against a taco salad that people saying 'orientate' in this century don't mean to be facing East. Meanwhile, take deep breaths and don't let the Colorado PD get you.

SVEN YLANCCI, definitely an import...

Numinous 5:01 PM  

@Elephant's Child; I'm pretty sure you have the right of it. Since learning the difference between the two, I've been careful how I use those words (LOL, maybe as much as three times in my life). I used to be fond of orienteering which is navigating over the ground using topographical maps.

Thanks for all the well wishes!

M and A Rheasearch Lab 5:31 PM  

Speakin of BREAKINGBAD, I took a look at Evans Clinchy's picture, over at He looks just like Aaron Paul, who played Jesse on the series. I'd grant it's a little debatable, since he is attackin the mother of all sandwiches, hidin half his face. Semi-masked!

In today's special expanded weeject coverage: was it good enough for Patrick Berry (PB1) to use? We exclude the four balls-on solidly real words: OHM, SOD, TEN, WAR.

This leaves the following RRNs, grunts, animal noises, abbrs., and foreign currencies...
Nopes (5): SOC. YER. SER. LII. ADP.

No judgments, here. M&A does not hold it against PB1, that he hasn't honored YER with a NYTPuz appearance.

U learn so much, here.

"Not Just Yer Panty Rheasearcher"

Joe Dipinto 7:56 PM  

My only Huh?: How is "tandem" "one-after-another-question-mark"? In tandem means at the same time as, or along with, I thought.

I do agree that the "abbey" clue made the northwest ridiculously easy.

Supposedly when the Beatles were trying to name the "Revolver" album, Ringo suggested they call it "After Geography", since the Stones had just titled their newest album "Aftermath".

Arlene 8:11 PM  

I just don't know as much as Saturday speed-solvers - so Google and I had an enjoyable time finishing off this puzzle today.
I'm late to the table because I was at the Met Opera being simulcast into the movie theaters - Verdi's MacBeth. Quite an amazing opportunity - and tickets for a song.

Anonymous 8:22 PM  

As a medium novice, I finished this one, but I've gotta say, a bunch of the clueing seems poor.

Ones in praise of angels? Is this sarcasm?

Manhattan architect?

Surely you mean Manhattan builder. Architects create things while builders put pre-made plans into production. Last I check, manhattans are nothing new.

As an architect, I've gotta say, trave is a new one on me. Just an obscure word to force other things to fit

Ludyjynn 8:24 PM  

@Joedi, I think TANDEM refers to a bicycle built for two, where one sits directly behind the other cyclist.

Loved your Beatles story!

Zed the Answer Man 8:26 PM  

@Joe Dipinto - Think TANDEM bikes or TANDEM tractor trailer

Cuban Pete 10:24 PM  

"Soap" and "Benson" clues? Somewhere, Diana Canova and Missy Gold are smiling.

Fred Romagnolo 10:31 PM  

@Arlene: Nebtrenko is a stunner, hope you agree.

Joe Dipinto 12:37 AM  

@Ludyjynn and @Zed the Answer Man - thanks for the explanation, it seems that somehow I've never come across that term before though it's obviously been existence for quite awhile.

@Arlene -- I was at the Netrebko Macbeth HD broadcast today too! She brought down the house, didn't she?! The sleepwalk was intense! Lucic, Calleja and Pape were all amazing too. Definitely glad I decided to go. Figaro next Saturday!

Jeffrey Dowling 8:29 PM  

I want to testify that my wife is back after a Divorce !!!

Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in Texas,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{} , Thanks.

LHS 888 12:47 PM  

Back to my normal late-week solving prowess (lack thereof). Had to solve south to north. Official DNF due to 5 Googles: MALTA, DURANT, BAIO, ETHAN, WEBER

ind > SOC
joule > WEBER (shame! - Hi @Casco!)
emir > AGHA
ncoS / SGTS

Agree with @AliasZ & @Leapy re MATURATES. Surly, that isn't a proper word (ref. orientates, irregardless).

It took me forever to see ACME. (shame on me)

Hand up for BARTENDER as best clue.
Hand up for TRAVE as WOE

Nice, challenging puzzle. Thanks EC / WS

spacecraft 12:04 PM  

I just HATE it when OFL says "easy" and I DNF. I could not get the top at all. 15a never occurred. I have personal reasons for that, not to be gone into here. But TRAVE as a coossbeam? Yikes. Horse holder, sure. HAYS? You kidding? Did you HAY today? Hey, then it's your HAYday. DAWG? And apparently, a Burmese is a breed of cat. Not one of the many I ever heard of, though. How many people do you know who own a Burmese? I didn't think so.

And he calls this easy. So then, you knew that a weber is a hundred million maxwells, without looking it up? Horse hockey. To borrow from yesterday: YOUCHEATED.

2940. When it ain't yer day, it ain't yer day.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

Trave is not in my dictionary but I understand it is part of transverse (crossbeam). Goofy and not nice. I found this puzz hard and had too many look-ups, but I did finish(?). Dlist? Key,key?

I'm getting dumber by the hour.

Ron Diego La Mesa, CA (no nos.) P.S. Hey Jeff, get rid of the Bitch

DMG 1:50 PM  

Too much for me! Down south the ball player crossing
A?P left me with a Narick. In the NW too many whatever's. I didn't know the crossbeam, the maxwells reference, the RRN year. Ended up with my times being
EenS and my angel people being B----SISTERS. All this left me with a lot of blanks, so a big DNF! Did like the clue for BARTENDERS. and remembering OHM made me feel pretty good, so, all in all, a good Saturday.

706 leaves @Spacecraft in the lead, unless someone has posted while I,write this. Always seems to,happen.

roondo 2:12 PM  

I can. 't imagine anyone calling this one easy. I did finish, but it was a struggle, however not in a bad way. Made the same ghENT and diVA writeovers as so many above. Also stormpATH. I must say I really liked the puzzle. Especially the FROGMARCH next to the TERRARIUM.

no no.s for me either TSK. Can't understand why Mr. Dowling would want to put up with the witch.

ecanarensis 2:31 PM  

@Roondo, for me the bigger mystery is why the witch would put up with the illiterate gullible blabfest that is Jeffrey.

I had to google the year of Trajan's birth (can't believe I didn't have that on the top of my head!), & survey sez he was born in 53 BC. Year before that would be 54 BC, wouldn't it --LIV?

@Carola (or somebody) why is that clue hilarious? Did I just totally miss the boat with that one?
--wails from syndic land

Longbeachlee 3:19 PM  

Grease the wheels makes sense, although it's hard to imagine a wheel bearing so frozen that it would make the ride jerky..

Z 3:52 PM  

@ecanarensis - The answer is a random Roman numeral. The clue pretends to be a clue, but really it says "Hey solver, you're look for a RRN." I'm sure someone, somewhere actually knows when Trajan was born. Most of us didn't worry about it. Whether or not you find such blatant non-clues humorous is a matter of taste. Also, That's 53 CE, not 53 BCE.

rain forest 4:00 PM  

Can't say this was at all easy for me, but I did complete it.

Started pretty fast with TRENT, KIP, KEVIN DURANT, and KAZAN which pretty well took care of the SE. Pretty slow after that, though, as I worked upward. Took a looong time to realize that the trumpet player was not Stan Baker.

In the NW, BREAKING BAD went right in (great series. I wonder what @Spacey's problem with it is).

TRAVE had to be right given everything that I was going with in the NW. Nice to learn something. All in all, a tough but decent debut, Evans.

1962 Yes sir!

ecanarensis 8:41 PM  

Okey dokey, wasn't really hip to the RRN idea. Had to teach RNs to young kids a lot so they lost whatever potential humor that may've been intrinsic to 'em...also, I came from a history teacher who was into precision. Ah well. I screwed up the before/after anyway, so had a rough time all round on that one. Thanks for the explanation, tho.

Waxy in Montreal 10:27 PM  

Do agree with OFL that this was easy for a Saturday. Finished it quickly other than a TRAVE/EVES nattick where a lucky guess prevented a DNF. Writeovers included ETHEL before ETHAN and OPENHOURS before OPENTABLE.

Guessing if I'd watched BREAKINGBAD, it might have scored 100%. Sorry.

Evans Clinchy apparently is a Scrabble champion and also covers the Boston Celtics for ESPN. That being the case 1) I'm surprised there weren't more 7-letter words and 2) 58A was a natural.

2837. Yesterday a webber, today a maxwell. Such is life.

Anonymous 9:17 PM  

It's dank

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP