Violinist Leopold / WED 10-1-14 / Apollo Daphne sculptor / Robert Redford's great 1975 role / Lexicographer James who was OED's first editor

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Easy



THEME: INSIDE DOPE (61A: Lowdown … or a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 53-Across) — letter string "DOPE" hidden inside four theme answers:

Theme answers:
  • GRAND OPERA (17A: Genre of Verdi's "Jérusalem")
  • AVOCADO PEAR (24A: Guacamole base, in British lingo)
  • PRIED OPEN (36A: Used a crowbar on, say)
  • WALDO PEPPER (53A: Robert Redford's "great" 1975 role)
Word of the Day: "The Great WALDO PEPPER" —
The Great Waldo Pepper is a 1975 drama film directed, produced, and co-written by George Roy Hill. Set during 1926–1931, the movie stars Robert Redford as a disaffected World War I veteran pilot who missed the opportunity to fly in combat and his sense of dislocation post-war in the America of the early 1920s. Margot KidderBo SvensonEdward Hermann and Susan Sarandon round out the cast. […]  Leonard Maltin noted that the film disappointed at the box office … (wikipedia)
• • •

Wow, the bulk of this puzzle must've been waaaaay on the easy side, because I finished with a Tuesday-like time despite not having any clue about two of the theme answers (AVOCADO PEAR, WALDO PEPPER). Why would add the "PEAR" part, British people? What other kinds of AVOCADO are you distinguishing it from? Puzzling. As for the Redford movie, you have to be reasonably old and/or a Big fan of Redford (and/or aviation) movies to have heard of that movie, I think. I was alive in 1975, but at six years old, not really the target audience for the Redford movie (I'm guessing). I love doing Liz Gorski puzzles because I know I'm in the hands of a pro. If you're a fan of hers, or if you're just looking for another good easyish (M/T-level) puzzle to do each week, you should really check out her Puzzle Nation puzzles (subscribe here). She is perhaps the only independent constructor I know dedicated to making good Easy puzzles.


This puzzle didn't excite me as much as some of her other puzzles, for a number of reasons. The short fill is too often quite stale and the longer Downs don't have as much character as I'd like (though the NW is pretty decent, and I like the pair of longish Across answers that she manages to squeeze into the grid: BRUCE LEE and LIME TREE—not easy to do in a grid already crowded with five themers). Also, this theme was overly familiar to me. I've seen a version done with INFO (it was a Sunday puzzle actually titled "INSIDE DOPE" from five years back). I then wrote a response-puzzle with a similar title ("Inside Dope, Part 2"), but with a completely different theme (you can get that puzzle here) (or just read about it here). So the theme didn't strike me as original—but I do a ****-ton of puzzles, so that's not that surprising. As an example of its kind (the hidden-word theme), it's nicely done. Only non-theme answers I had trouble with were MURRAY (which I got entirely, albeit quickly, from crosses), BERNINI (whom I confused with Roberto BENIGNI and Brunetto LATINI and whoever BELLINI is simultaneously), and OWLISH (which is … not a word I know) (47D: Studious looking).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

96 comments:

Steve J 12:09 AM  

Serviceable but not terribly exciting. Decent theme, well-executed, and a couple nice clues, but this didn't have much verve, especially compared to many of her puzzles.

And then there was UNMEANT. I'm sure its out there somewhere, but I can't recall ever running into it in the wild.

JTHurst 12:12 AM  

Facing the pitcher, so to speak. I really liked this puzzle. My answers flowed from the center down to the south east where I saw 'inside dope' and the theme opened up for me. Like Rex said the Northwest also caused me trouble and I could not scope out 1 and 2 down and 13, 17, and 23 across. So I DNFed.

I hope AliasZ or someone can explain to me are there Minor operas? I thought all operas were Grand.

Mike in DC 12:17 AM  

I smiled when I saw the constructor's name. Liz Gorski builds first-rate puzzles, and this was no exception.

The Great Waldo Pepper is, the late Roger Ebert wrote, "a film of charm and excitement." It is also "a most appealing movie" and "healthily romantic," wrote the late Vincent Canby. It isn't Redford's best, but it is still good, wrote I.

Thanks, Liz.

Whirred Whacks 12:25 AM  


It's always a delight to have DNA as answer. Here's my all time favorite example of DNA. Take a look:

Miss Cleo's DNA Test

Fun puzzle, by the way.

JTHurst 12:35 AM  

@Whirred No Miss Cleo doesn't lie, that little dimpled chin is his. That is the best belly-laugh I have had in a while. Thanks Whirred

wreck 12:37 AM  

Easier and faster than Tuesday for me. Maybe my expectations are too low, but I thought this was a just fine and appropriate Wednesday puzzle. I thought fill was decent for the most part.

Multitasking while watching a GREAT ball game --- Go Royals!

LHS 888 12:38 AM  

This must have been easy, else I'm getting better at these things. BERNINI was the first word I dropped in. (I was lucky enough to see this sculpture close up at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Absolutely stunning!) From there it was a march around the grid filling in answers as quickly as I could read the clues. I knew The Great WALDOPEPPER from having seen the film years ago. One error I had to go find before Mr. Happy Pencil: ISAIDsO before ISAIDNO. Going too fast, I guess.

Awkward words: STEEPEN, UNMEANT, TEENER.

Liked clues for INORBIT, ANGELIC, COO.

Favorite word: UNCOUTH

Liked it. Thanks ECG!

jae 12:39 AM  

Not easy for me. Instead, mostly medium except for the NW which was tough.  I did not know BERNINI, guessed at the Madonna song, had trouble with the LII clue, and had DOPERA and...nothing.  OVATION and vaguely recalling NEVA from past puzzles got it straightened out.

WALDO PEPPER OTOH was a gimme.

Erasure: SwEEtEN before STEEPEN

A Wed. I had to work for with a low dreck grid, liked it.

LHS 888 12:48 AM  

@Whirred - I just got a load of the Miss Cleo clip. What a hoot! Does that make it or me OWLISH?

OldCarFudd 12:51 AM  

There are also light operas, comic operas, soap operas and horse operas.

Martin 12:55 AM  

Recently we had opéra-comique, which doesn't mean comic opera. Likewise, grand opera has a very specific definition and historical context.

Anonymous 1:04 AM  

Just guessing, but I suspect that Rex may have his AVOCADO PEAR question backwards. The Brits are probably distinguishing it from other pears, not other avocados. My guess is that they were probably originally marketed that way when they first were imported (way back when) and the name stuck. So you can probably blame it on some small greengrocer's stall in London's Covent Garden (market). Anyway as a Brit/Canadian I've often heard both used. Alligator pear, not so much. Whatever the case... they're delicious!

-MAS

Martin 1:13 AM  

Brits distinguish between the avocado (a tree) and its fruit (avocado pears). It's perfectly logical.

AliasZ 1:18 AM  


I love a Liz Gorski puzz on a Wednesday.

I had easy access to the INSIDE DOPE today -- I have connections. I just stepped on the crescenDOPEdal and used the standarDOPErating procedure to dig up my knowledge of InDOPErsian languages and with my minDOPEned, made easy work of this puzzle.

Gian Lorenzo BERNINI (1598-1680) was an Italian artist and a prominent architect, and the leading sculptor of his age, credited with creating the Baroque style of sculpture. He also painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. His best known work is as the Chief Architect of St. Peter's Basilica, and within it, the Baldacchino, the likes of which have not been seen before. It was an excellent choice having his name next to ANGELIC. BERNINI himself couldn't have chosen it better, as these angels on the Ponte St. Angelo can clearly prove.

For some music, instead of a GRANDOPERA, Leopold AUER or ADAM Lambert, let me offer the Legend No. 2 St. Francis of Paola walking on the water by Franz Liszt, as performed by VlaDOPErlemuter (1904-2002), Lithuanian-born French pianist.

Hartley70 1:23 AM  

I've heard AVOCADO PEAR used years ago, before they became widely eaten in New England. I like her puzzles but I was unhappy with UNMEANT and TEENER, too forced and made me wince. WALDO PEPPER came easily but it made me smile to remember what a heartthrob Redford was in those days. I liked STEEPEN a lot because it feels a bit obsolete to me. BERNINI was nice for a change, let's mix that marble up!

chefwen 1:43 AM  

I signed up for Elizabeth's Crossword Nation right from the beginning because I truly love her puzzles. This one was not an exception. It's fun to get my weekly "bonus" puzzle. Not too difficult, not too easy, just right.

At the bottom we have DOPE over ROPE which is was my husband called our cat who used to take walks with us and the dogs wearing a leash. "DOPE on a ROPE" He was one great cat, a Morris kitty who made it to 20. He used to standing OVATIONS when he walked in to the Vets office sporting his leash.

chefwen 1:52 AM  

Kitty erased my comment AGAIN!

I signed up for Liz's Crossword Nation from the onset. I love her puzzles and this one was not an exception. It's fun to get my "bonus" crossword puzzles every Monday afternoon. They are not too difficult, not too easy, just right.

I loved having DOPE over ROPE at the bottom. My husband called our Morris kitty "DOPE on a ROPE" as he used to take walks with us and the dogs wearing a leash. The big guy (20 pounder) would get standing OVATIONs when he would walk into the vets office on his leash.

Cute puzzle, Liz, thank you.

Let's try to publish this before the saboteur strikes again.

Virginia 1:53 AM  

I was a TEENER when "The Great WALDO PEPPER" came out. Redford was some STUD back then, although I thought his later movie with the magic BAT would never end. Also, it's nice to see all these cheerful comments with no UNCOUTH folks getting into a SNIT.

Bottom line: Easy and fun! I'm becoming a huge Liz Gorski fan.

chefwen 2:06 AM  

Sorry about the dupe, thought kitty had erased my first comment, apparently not. Tried to erase one of them, but the system won't let me. Sorry to bore you with the same story. Sigh...

ZenMonkey 3:20 AM  

Very enjoyable.

One exception: TEENER was the worst thing, possibly ever, as clued. A "teener" is also slang for 1/16 oz, generally in reference to cocaine or heroin. A teener of each makes up a speedball (1/8 oz).

This is not from experience, but it still made me laugh, clued the more innocent way as it was.

Loren Muse Smith 4:49 AM  

Seeing words embedded between phrases always pleases me to no end. (More than once, I've considered "inside scoop," got as far as "Chris Cooper," and then just called it a day.)

I agree that Liz' puzzles are always great. "Couth" comes to mind – she usually has art and music entries, and I just feel so pleased with myself when I get things like AUER and GRAND OPERA.

Alas, my couthness only goes so far. I had a dnf because I didn't know BERNINI, and "Vernini" worked just fine for me, crossing Madonna's "Take a Vow." Oh well. In retrospect, I could have gone with Cernini or Sernini; Madonna's oeuvre is as inaccessible to me as Bernini's.

@LHS 888 – I thought of "I said so" first, too.

Liked SAUDI, DESERT, PLO, DUST all in one grid. I received an email yesterday from an old undergrad friend who is now an Arab specialist at Michigan. He told me that my first-ever linguistics professor, Dr. Lowell Bouma, had died. RIP, Dr. Bouma. Your enthusiasm for language was contagious and altered the course of my life.

Liz – your puzzles neva fail to entertain. Do kids still use the word "dope" for "great?"

Charles Flaster 5:03 AM  

EZ ---7 minutes but fun.
CrosswordEASE---AUER,CONDE,NEVA.
Enjoyed ANGELIC and UNCOUTH.
Agree with most of previous comments and nothing to add.
Thanks ECG.

Doris 6:46 AM  

Whenever I see the word UNCOUTH, I can't help thinking of Judy Holliday's memorable delivery of the line in "Born Yesterday" (1950), " You're just not COUTH!"

Davidph 7:23 AM  

PLO is Gaza grp? I thought Hamas kicked the PLO out of Gaza.

Mohair Sam 7:30 AM  

Always enjoy Liz Gorski puzzles and this was no exception. Maybe a little easy for a Wednesday, but the constructor does not pick the days.

BERNINI a gimme here, but for a different reason. When I was very young my father had a boss named Mr. BERNINI. At least twice a week dinner table conversation started with Dad saying, "That goddamn BERNINI." Later I learned about the Italian genius, and the name has stuck forever.

@Whirred - thanks for the Miss Cleo link, she's the best.

Usually like Redford's work, and usually agree with Ebert reviews - but not today - The Great WALDOPEPPER is a terrible flick.

RooMonster 7:45 AM  

Hey All!
Medium over here. That NW corner was a bit hard. Last area to fall. I see she used some cheater squares. Triple stack corners are nice, however. The big question is TEENER?? Are we making up words now? Just so you can get a fill? UNMEANT is another shaky entry.

Writeovers:
maD for ODD
fIlm for CINE
ISAIDsO

PrESTO, I'm out...

RooMonster
DarrinV

Casco Kid 7:46 AM  

Tough for me, but a successful exercise in sussing. Things I didn't (and really still don't) know
Take ABOW, the Madonna "hit"
STUD formal wear
NEVA river
GRANDOPERA (smacks of green paint, frankly. I prefer GREATOPERA, myself. Actually, I don't. Opera is at its best long after the fat lady has stopped singing.)
BERNINI the sculptor
James MURRAY
WALDOPEPPER
Leopold AUER, the violinist
AVOCADOPEAR, the British fruit

The puzzle was ultimately doable because I made relatively few missteps on what I did know, so sussing was possible.
gEnyER before TEENER. Is TEENER a thing? No. No, it isn't.

So, a sigh of relief for this clean solve in nearly twice my regular Wednesday time.

JohnV 8:17 AM  

2d/3a cross snagged me, knowing neither the river nor the sculpter.

RAD2626 8:17 AM  

Thought it was a good Wednesday puzzle. SW harder for me than the apparently harder NW for everyone else. Did not know WALDO, PALM OIL, or DELTA right off so took some staring. Sad commentary on me that I got the American IDOL clue yesterday immediately but struggled with Biblical IDOL today. No idea how long puzzle took since I did it while watching great KC/Oakland game and kept getting distracted.

@Whirred. Great clip. May use Miss Cleo in the rough Friday or Saturday puzzle moments.

Lewis 8:21 AM  

With so much theme, you have to allow for an occasional teener or unmeant. There was very little grid gruel besides. Didn't shine as brightly as some of Liz's puzzles, but had that standard quality feel that they always impart.

It's just the way my brain works, but there were an extraordinary number of words whose first and last letters made very common words: AW, BE, IT, UH, HA, OH, ON, WE, MY, and AM. There are more in the puzzle, but these were the most common.

Rex, looking at your review yesterday, a follow up question: Did today's puzzle qualify for the NYT "gold standard"?

joho 8:22 AM  

Does a STUD go to the PROM wearing ABOW tie? Needless to say, this puzzle got me off to a fun start!

Moving on down the grid I saw the script direction, "ENTER BRUCELEE."

These are just added amusements to the already entertaining puzzle.

Yes, @Loren Muse Smith -- glad to see you! -- Liz's puzzles often include art and music and, I think, oftentimes food, too. I could see a beautifully lit pic of a perfect AVOCADOPEAR salad with fresh PESTO on the side and perhaps a LIME just off the TREE.

I also like SAUDI next to DESERT.

Very nice Wednesday, thank you Ms. Gorksi!



Z 8:35 AM  

Why do the French call a potato a "pomme de terre" (apple of the earth)? Because language flows from the logic of people. I got the PEAR part right away and was mildly disappointed that the Brits hadn't come up with something more colorful.

INSIDE DOPE is familiar, but straight DOPE is what I wanted first. I had STR down before I realized I wasn't going to have enough squares.

I lost track of Madonna's oeuvre soon after Like a Virgin. Vogue was also enough of an earworm to make it into my long-term memory, but those two songs, being from metro Detroit, and conical bras is pretty much the extent of my Madonna knowledge. Taylor Swift has been around long enough that some of her TEENER fans are now young adults.

Very sneaky way to clue the RRN. LII demerits anyway.

@Davidph - Your statement, put in an American context, is like saying "I thought the Republicans kicked the Dems out of Texas."

Lewis 8:35 AM  

Factoid: Time Magazine called BRUCE LEE one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Quotoid: "To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities." -- BRUCE LEE

Arlene 8:36 AM  

I like when I can get the titles I don't know from the crosses - so satisfying not to have to Google them.

But I did know BERNINI - my favorite college courses were my art history electives. That info seems to stay with me over the decades.

Glimmerglass 8:42 AM  

I've never been fond of AVOCADO or the green slime made from it. However, my mother loved then. She called them alligator PEARs (c. 1960). They are sort of pear-shaped, and the skin might be described as reptilian.

Z 8:56 AM  

@M&A - @pauer shared this on Twitter, obviously with you in mind.

Andrew Morrison 8:59 AM  

WALDOPEPPER brings to mind that horrible president who was so horrible and I can't believe the puzzle would have anything to do with that horrible man or his party or anyone who voted for....wait, no. Nothing like that. As you were.

Easy. Fun. Not sure the word TEENER has ever actually been uttered, but no matter.

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

I just can not get excited by Ms. Gorski's work. We are told endlessly how difficult it is to construct good, easy puzzles, and no doubt it is true. But in the end, it's still an easy puzzle and not much fun to solve.

Jeff 9:19 AM  

Rex states: "[Gorski] is perhaps the only independent constructor I know dedicated to making good Easy puzzles."

I would like to add that I'm really enjoying Andrew Ries's crossword service, which he does easy puzzles every three weeks. This last week's puzzle, for instance, was a perfect example of an early-week puzzle. Aries doesn't have the name recognition of Gorski or others, but if this year is any indication, he's certainly talented enough to be in the conversation.

RooMonster 9:21 AM  

Nice! Did you catch that it is in the Southern part of the Northern Territory in Central Australia? Trippy!

RooMonster

dk 9:25 AM  

OO (2 mOOns)

Fun but a little 18d.

I wanted the opposite of GRANDOPERA penny opera… but that was wrong

What Hartley70 wrote except I am not a fan of STEEPEN --- that is what my afternoon tea does whilst I be awaiten.

Picken green tomatoes today after a bit of predictive modeling.

quilter1 9:25 AM  

Happy to see the Gorski by-line today. I liked OWLISH--conjures an image of a kid in big glasses reading a book. BERNINI fell easily, also disliked TEENER, but what the heck. The rest was good.

chefbea 9:34 AM  

Fun puzzle but DNF. Never heard of waldo pepper. Have seen many Bernini's in person in Rome. Have 2 small replicas sitting on our mantel.

TBSP - two days in a row!!!

Fred Smith 9:36 AM  


Hartley70, re: Redford Heartthrob --

My wife grew up on the same street in Westport CT that Paul Newman (Redford's buddy) lived on.

Each morning when visiting (fairly often), RR would take his morning constitutional by walking down the street toward the drug store on the main drag to get newspapers.

Funny how all the women on the stree liked to do their front-yard garden work early in the morning. ;-)

Ludyjynn 9:40 AM  

I see a secondary theme: the color green. Witness: AVOCADO, PEAR, PEPPER, LIME, TREE, DOPE, PALM, PESTO, DRAB (as in olive green).

Nice mid-week puzz. Learned two new names: MURRAY and AUER. Hope to commit them to memory. We shall see!
Thanks. ECG and WS.

jberg 9:45 AM  

Nice theme, OK puzzle I felt -- too many OTOES (who were in Oklahoma last week, and have now moved up to the Platte Valley), RRNs, etc. And STEEPEN. And I'm with @davidph on Gaza and the PLO.

My major problems were 1) Not wanting to give up Alligator PEAR, and 2) having the final PER at 53A and confidently adding the do, then trying to figure out what kind of great DOPER Redford had been. (@Rex, I was 32 in 1975, and I never heard of the movie either.)

@Casco, your question about opera had been answered in earlier comments.

Not really a fault of the puzzle, but LIME TREE jarred a bit -- there were all these British clues, and what the Brits call a lime tree is what we call a sycamore, whose fruit we don't pick at all.

Fred 9:53 AM  


DavidPh

Israel wants the PLO in Gaza, see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/opinion/thomas-l-friedman-order-vs-disorder-part-4-.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

I LOVE it. A boring theme that rex has seen before, an easy puzzle, and weak fill, but because rex is intimate with the constructor he gives it a thumbs up.
I sloppily DNF because I thought "Take a VOW" fit more with Madonna's whole "like a virgin" motif. I should go DOPEnance.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

There's no definition of "tone up" that means to build muscles. Muscle tone refers to tension in the muscle.
"Bulk up" is a similar term that does mean to build muscles.

Leapfinger 10:04 AM  

As noted, this ECG showed a few signs of a-fib, bt still had remarkably good output: as we used to say, a cardiac cockle-warmer! Nice working in the ROPE-a-DOPE, and plenty of fun clue-entries. COO, the gall of BRUCE LII is growing on me! Liked ONEBC, and I think OWLISH R US.

Neat subtheme of Middle Eastern entries, as noted by @several. Before reading the 15D clue, the partial fill had me thinking it would be SANDY... SANDY Arabia? I kind of like that.

CINE Coup d'Oest
PAL MOIL, Bud Toil
STREP UNTO ADAM, Staph UNTO Eve; the Serpent must B. cereus, and LINUS not into DELTAtion (PALM 23)

@lms, happy to see you back.
@Lewis, Am loving your Factitious Quotients, and look for them every day.
@Alias, wondering whether Vlado is Lithanian for WALDO? It seems those Frenchies have been ATIT again, changing the original VladU. And Perlemuter? Definitely must have been Perlmutter to start!
For my part, I have no nit with VlaDO's Ravel'd Sleave of Care at Couperin's Tombeau

PHASERS On!

Hartley70 10:14 AM  

@FredSmith I know that street! Paul once walked up behind me at Baskin Robbins as I was being handed a cone and I promptly dumped the ice cream on the floor. I behaved more appropriately when his wife Joanne sat next to me at the salon. Oh and Redford walked up to me on 57th St in NYC, patted my golden retriever and said, "Nice Dog!" Who needs Kevin Bacon and 6 degrees when you've actually laid eyes on that golden trio.

Leapfinger 10:29 AM  

@Anon 10:03, you're right, I forgot my nit about that. I had wanted Build muscles to be 'bulk up'. Toning works as much on stretching and loosening as it does on building up: more reps, less weight.

old timer 11:15 AM  

It was a good puzzle and not easy at all if you did not know some of the names. I thought Rex would like it because there was very little dreck in the fill.

Except for OTOE. I know genocide is a horrible crime, but if some evil person had wiped out the entire tribe a couple of centuries ago, crossword solvers like me would have been grateful.

And TEENER, which is. not. a. word. Besides the dope unit, it seems to exist almost entirely as a category of youth baseball.

Z 11:23 AM  

@Leapfinger - in many sports too much muscle bulk is viewed as a negative, and so the goal is to "TONE up." This is especially true in sports like baseball, soccer, and ultimate, any sport where the fast twitch muscles are more import than the slow twitch muscles. I first thought of "bulk" as well, but it was a quick correction when I saw STREP. Definitely a usage I've heard often.

AliasZ 11:47 AM  


Why is UNMEANT any less acceptable than unintended? We all have experienced unmeant comedy, gestures or insults and their unintentional consequences. In many cases UNCOUTH behavior is unmeant.

I meant to tell you something else too but I changed my mind. I unmeant it.

If NLer, CBer and AOLer are acceptable, we should have no problem with TEENER. One can never be too rich or too teen. The TEENER the better.

On another matter, to "build muscles" in the broader sense definitely means to TONE up. Toning up, to define and shape the muscles, absolutely builds them. A muscular arm looks well toned, rather than a string of spaghetti, no? We are not talking musclebound bodybuilders here.

I cannot get Mr. VlaDOPErlemuter, DOPE INSIDE and fingers a-leap, out of my mind. I simply must offer you this Chopin Etude. The tomb of Couperin was also marvelous -- it had no veil draped over it. Thanks, @Leap fingers.

And for those who weren't interested enough to read the entire article on GRAND OPERA that @Martin was kind enough to provide, I thought a picture is worth a thousand words. The following snippet will give you an idea what that sounds like, although I am sure most of you already know. Here is the Finale of Act II from Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer (born Jacob Liebmann Beer, 1791-1864).

JenCT 12:28 PM  

@Whirred Whacks: I remember that commercial! Here's an update on Miss Cleo: Where's Miss Cleo now?


@chefwen: You said it, Liz Gorski puzzles are "just right." (She's also super-nice in person.)

Fred Romagnolo 12:30 PM  

Call me a patsy, but TEENER didn't bother me, and UNMEANT is perfectly correct in usage. If there's any spoken dialogue, then technically it aint GRAND OPERA. Bernini IS Rome, he's everywhere, not just in musems, fountains, architecture, etc. Very familiar with Alligator PEAR. I thought the Brits called Sycamorers "plane trees." STUDs are little pearl or rhinestone pins you stick on the front of your dress shirt. (could be diamonds, rubies, or pearls if you work in Silican Valley, abt 35 miles south of S. F.)

Victor Hugo 12:34 PM  

Je remplirai tes petits bras
Et peut-etre tu souriras

:)

Fred Romagnolo 12:34 PM  

That's SilicOn Valley

Anonymous 12:51 PM  

Alligator pear is the only possible usage if you grew up in the fifties and learned to cook by reading the Joy of Cooking. Puzzle was so bad I drove my wife out of the room because of my ranting. Very unfun.

Steve J 12:54 PM  

@AliasZ: "Why is UNMEANT any less acceptable than unintended?"

Because people actually used "unintended", while"unmeant" is hardly ever used (4.86 million results in Google for the former, compared to 107k for the latter).

Personally, I like my crosswords to feature language actually in use. That's why UNMEANT (as well as TEENER) were problematic for me, and probably for others.

AliasZ 1:36 PM  


@Steve J

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Anonymous 2:01 PM  

Even for a Wednesday, this wasn't easy.

Zeke 2:20 PM  

Of all the definitions of GRANDOPERA proferred, none are as good as my working definition: One I've never been subjected to any part of.

retired_chemist 2:41 PM  

"Je remplirai tes petits bras
Et peut-etre tu souriras"

First translation :

I remember your small bras
And possibly your sisters.

Nope....

Nice puzzle. Had opera seria before GRAND OPERA, but the crosses quickly told me OPERA went at the end. Had not heard of the PEAR part of 24A - learned something. Yay.

PALMate before PALM OIL. Sodium Palmate is indeed a substantial component of many soaps. Once a chemist, always a chemist, I suppose.....

St. Petersburg's river - went through a lot of four letter rivers before crosses gave NEVA to me. Probably none of the others were anywhere near St. P. geographically.

Thanks, Ms.Gorski.

Offenbach in a Minute 3:07 PM  

Now is the time for all good men to come to the Aida the Grand Opera.

Senza vernice Verdi.

Z 3:28 PM  

@retired chemist - I think you have a future as a translator.

To Victor Hugo the Spoils 3:31 PM  

@retired chemist, I was afraid something like that would happen.

:)

sanfranman59 4:09 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)

Wed 9:36, 9:29, 1.01, 58%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:42, 6:12, 1.08, 72%, Medium-Challenging

Whirred Whacks 5:12 PM  

Looks like a lot of Miss Cleo fans here:
@JTHurst
@LHS 888
@Mohair Sam
and special thanks to @JenCT for update on Miss Cleo!

I wonder what the future holds?
Will Thursday's X-word have a rebus?

Fred 7:09 PM  


Hartley70 -

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were both very down-to-Earth people. They lived in a fairly average house, and gave lots of their support, time, and money to community causes.

geordiegirl 9:03 PM  

@davidph - The PLO is still officially represented at the UN.

Z 9:06 PM  

@Deleted Anonymous - Never. However, the functionality exists to block specific posters, even anonymice are blockable. So Rex certainly could have blocked you from posting. If you are the one responsible for certain recent trollery the rest of us are thankful. Doing a quick search and seeing some posts no longer show up in my search results, 👏👏👏👏👏 (Those are clapping hands).

LHS 888 11:42 PM  

Still L-ingOL @retired_chemist's marvelous command of the French language. It has been the gift that keeps on giving. ^_^

sanfranman59 12:20 AM  

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 7:15, 6:03, 1.20, 96%, Challenging (12th highest ratio of 247 Mondays)
Tue 8:11, 7:50, 1.04, 64%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 9:39, 9:30, 1.02, 59%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:55, 3:57, 1.24, 98%, Challenging (6th highest ratio of 247 Mondays)
Tue 5:22, 5:21, 1.00, 50%, Medium
Wed 6:37, 6:12, 1.07, 69%, Medium-Challenging

Anonymous 8:16 AM  


Z

I remember there was a flareup invoving some posters about George Barany's promotion of his xw sites here. Was it these people who are blocked. GB has posted a few times since, but no references to his sites; tnx, george, keep it up,

Jeffrey Dowling 4:07 AM  


Thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family?

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.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, 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 http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,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.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

Jeffrey Dowling 8:37 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.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, 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 http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com,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.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks.

Kim Rice 6:28 AM  

POWERFUL SPELL CASTER HERE IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!

Oh Geez! A POWERFUL SPELL CASTER HERE IN THE UNITED STATES!!! i never believed that i would get my Andrew back! i was never really a fan of spells but when i was hit with reality seeing my man being taken away from me by a fellow woman i had to seek help.. i was scammed by spell casters from Nigeria and South Africa all to no avail until i tried LORD ORANGAN TUTU who just relocated to the United States! i was like yes i can deal with this as he is here in my home Country, he got to work and I GOT RESULTS IN DAYS!! NO GIMMICKS! Need a POWERFUL SPELL CASTER? Text him via his mobile (+1 512 758 4614) and also send a email via (orangantutu@gmail.com). Trust me! so far all other Spell casters are FAKE!!! Don't waste time and money and also Trauma you will go true! Take My humble advice and contact him..FOR ANY TYPE OF SPELL. As far as its a spell? Lord Orangan Tutu Can handle it!! (orangantutu@gmail.com).. You will be glad you did! Thank me later!!!

james mack 1:49 AM  

My name faith i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to Dr ogboni who brought back my love that has left me for 6years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get this boy back to my life because i love this boy with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to Dr igbalu and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my love back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my loves voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to leave for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address : ogbonispelitemple@hotmail.com , you can still contact me through my email to know more about him.this is my email adress: ogbonispelitemple@hotmail.com .

Name:faith

Country USA

drezal 4:32 AM  




My life almost got destroyed drezal from los angeles califonia, Thanks to the God sent DR NICE who rescued me out of my marriage problems NOW, to achieve all that you desire in life to live a happy life, contact great Dr NICE temple for a betterment of life. i am very happy today to tell the world how great he is because how of much he help me, bring me out of shame and make me smile again just when i thought my life has be concluded in pain and miserable because my man left me when i was two week pregnant then i was advice by my doctor not to work due to my health challenge else i will lose my baby. so i use all the money i have to take care of my unborn child and my self till the seventh months of my pregnancy then i was broke and in pain. life was so difficult till i melt an old college friend who told me about her past life problem and how great Dr NICE help her. then i ask her how to meet or contact the man and she gave me drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com to contact him. though i never believe he can help me because i have meet some persons before now and they did not help me. Dr NICE demanded for items to help me bring my man back though i was broke i have to meet my mother to help me because i really love my man and he is working and earn well. so did all that DR NICE ask me to do, I was very shocked when Daniel called four days after i sent Dr NICE the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i should allow him back to my heart. sincerely i am very happy that we are together and my child now know and also live with his dad. sir the Great Dr i am very grateful and happy for what you have done for me. To those that have marriage, relationship or health problem, I will advise you to contact Dr NICE now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com because he has done wonders in my life and i believe he can help you out in any problem.
contact him now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com

drezal 4:33 AM  




My life almost got destroyed drezal from los angeles califonia, Thanks to the God sent DR NICE who rescued me out of my marriage problems NOW, to achieve all that you desire in life to live a happy life, contact great Dr NICE temple for a betterment of life. i am very happy today to tell the world how great he is because how of much he help me, bring me out of shame and make me smile again just when i thought my life has be concluded in pain and miserable because my man left me when i was two week pregnant then i was advice by my doctor not to work due to my health challenge else i will lose my baby. so i use all the money i have to take care of my unborn child and my self till the seventh months of my pregnancy then i was broke and in pain. life was so difficult till i melt an old college friend who told me about her past life problem and how great Dr NICE help her. then i ask her how to meet or contact the man and she gave me drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com to contact him. though i never believe he can help me because i have meet some persons before now and they did not help me. Dr NICE demanded for items to help me bring my man back though i was broke i have to meet my mother to help me because i really love my man and he is working and earn well. so did all that DR NICE ask me to do, I was very shocked when Daniel called four days after i sent Dr NICE the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i should allow him back to my heart. sincerely i am very happy that we are together and my child now know and also live with his dad. sir the Great Dr i am very grateful and happy for what you have done for me. To those that have marriage, relationship or health problem, I will advise you to contact Dr NICE now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com because he has done wonders in my life and i believe he can help you out in any problem.
contact him now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com

drezal 4:36 AM  




My life almost got destroyed drezal from los angeles califonia, Thanks to the God sent DR NICE who rescued me out of my marriage problems NOW, to achieve all that you desire in life to live a happy life, contact great Dr NICE temple for a betterment of life. i am very happy today to tell the world how great he is because how of much he help me, bring me out of shame and make me smile again just when i thought my life has be concluded in pain and miserable because my man left me when i was two week pregnant then i was advice by my doctor not to work due to my health challenge else i will lose my baby. so i use all the money i have to take care of my unborn child and my self till the seventh months of my pregnancy then i was broke and in pain. life was so difficult till i melt an old college friend who told me about her past life problem and how great Dr NICE help her. then i ask her how to meet or contact the man and she gave me drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com to contact him. though i never believe he can help me because i have meet some persons before now and they did not help me. Dr NICE demanded for items to help me bring my man back though i was broke i have to meet my mother to help me because i really love my man and he is working and earn well. so did all that DR NICE ask me to do, I was very shocked when Daniel called four days after i sent Dr NICE the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i should allow him back to my heart. sincerely i am very happy that we are together and my child now know and also live with his dad. sir the Great Dr i am very grateful and happy for what you have done for me. To those that have marriage, relationship or health problem, I will advise you to contact Dr NICE now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com because he has done wonders in my life and i believe he can help you out in any problem.
contact him now via email drniceharbelhealinghome@gmail.com

baba ukaka 9:10 PM  

My name is Marie Tiller, I am from the USA never beleived I could be happy again because my life became a mess by my husband called Roland Helm after 11 years of marriage with two children, who loved him with all my heart but I pulled myself just because of another woman, since I've never been because I love my car tiller and I think about him every second of my life, so I can not let go because I know well that he is the love of my life, so I decided to go into research Internet on how to get back lost lover. In the blog ?? hot mail was the way I saw a woman who witnessed the great things that Dr. Baba Ukaka Earth did for her after reading I was convinced to give it a try to see Dr. Baba Ukaka if I can help too. And that was how I ukakaspellhome@gmail.com contacted and told him my problem. So when I told him my problem he just told me not to worry that I'll have the tiller back within 48 hours after making the necessary things that he told me to do it, so I did and to my greatest surprise he called me and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened,. I was so surprised and was short on words, because I could not believe what I was hearing. And so it was that the serpent came to me and now we are living happily ever. My friends out there who need help going to advise me to contact Dr. Baba Ukaka You can reach support by: ukakaspellhome@gmail.com contact him if you need help in the following Down

(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you ever have bad dreams.
(3) Want to be promoted in his office.
(4) women or men WANT to run after you.
(5) IF YOU WANT A CHILD.
(6) you want to be rich.
(7) you want to tie your spouse BE YOUR FOREVER.
(8) IF YOU NEED FINANCIAL HELP.
(9) CARE HERBS.
MAIL IT NOW AND SEE THE POWER OF A REALLY caster Dr.Baba Ukaka in: ukakaspellhome@gmail.com

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

Good puzz: Fast, easy, fun. No complaints here. I'm all forski, Gorski.

Ron Diego La Mesa, CA.

703=1

spacecraft 11:13 AM  

Oh no, the spellcasters are back. And I wasn't in the best of moods coming here, after today's easy (?????) offering. I get it: a grid with half Monday and half Friday clues averages out to a Wedensday. I mean, cluing MURRAY as that OED guy? Outside of his descendants, there must be five people who know that--and four of 'em are teaching at Columbia. (There's always the photographic-memory freak who knows EVERYTHING.)

UNMEANT? STEEPEN?? These are WORDS? YEA. That anyone EVER uttered? ISAIDNO!

Know how I managed to get this done? By happening to notice that the first two theme entries contained the -OPE- string, and putting that together with the revealer clue led me to DOPE. I did not know the definition of GRANDOPERA, or what Brits call the avocado; guesses helped there. When UNMEANT filled in, I actually looked back at the byline and said, "Can't be. Not HER." But it was.

More unknowns: the natick at sq. 66. Geez, don't I know anybody? I'm beginning to feel like an UNCOUTH (by far the best entry in here!) slob.

This thing just fought me everywhere. *For a Wedensday* medium-challenging. There were moments of enjoyment--how could there not, with Ms. G.--but I can't muster up more than a C+.

I kid you not, my captcha is a solid black bar. Movin' ONUP, we find 3651, a DRAB 6. C+ again.

DMG 12:40 PM  

Had to get the Madonna title from the crosses, but otherwise a smooth solve, though I had to force myself to write that final "r" in TEENER.

13483. so much for so little!

rondo 1:20 PM  

HOLA! Thought this to be particularly easy for Wed. Filled in the gimmees and the names etc. just fell in. Have never seen nor heard TEENER. In the earthmoving biz we often have to STEEPEN slopes to make things fit.

201 - LETME out

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

I had a hangnail and a blister on my foot, along with sagging eyelids and a boil on my left rear. Also my cat died, my friends all turned against me and a tree fell on my garage. That not being enough, this morning there was a worm in my orange juice. Thank goodness I called Dr. Ouji who corrected all, and it only cost me $39.00 monthly for the next 7 years. Note to Spacey: Same black bar occurred last week for me. Ron Diego

Waxy in Montreal 4:22 PM  

Shaking the rust off after a month or so on the school board campaign trail and notice the spell casters are omnipresent between realtime and syndiland. Return of the Zombies? All of us!

Unremarkable puzzle - especially from renowned constructor Elizabeth Gorski. Unliked UNMEANT. When did TEENER become a word? - spellchecker's certainly not fond of it. Otherwise a reasonable TONE-up for the usual Thursday challenge.

I see the numbers are still with us. OK - 1838 = 20 = 2. Will not take A BOW.

Anonymous 4:36 PM  

The Great Oz was just a little old man from Kansas!
Now begone from our blog and take your phony soothsaying with you! Grrrrrr!

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

Lolololol!!!

Dirigonzo 4:44 PM  

I especially like "Good-looking?" for ANGELIC and "Making the rounds?" for INORBIT; "Engraved letters?" for RIP was clever, too. OWLISH went in with no crosses - must be an age thing.

208 - seriously?

Anonymous 5:30 PM  

My name is Helen Roy, am from USA, what a wonderful and a straight forward spell caster that has brought back joy and happiness into my life after i saw a post on how he helped a lady called Sarah,i decided to contact him for help when i told this God sent man Dr Aluta on how my lover left me for 2 years without calling nor texting me,When i shared this my sad experience with Dr Aluta he said everything would be okay within 2 days i was like am i sure what this man is saying is real,So i decided to give a try and i what even surprised me the most at first i was also thinking he was a scam i taught he was like other spell caster who come online to add pain to peoples pain not knowing there feelings but to make money,But this great man Dr Aluta is never like that his own is for good and make people to be happy with the one they love,Am just so happy,Even before the 3 days i just got a call from a man who has left me for 2 years saying he his sorry and that he wants me back to his life i was so happy,He invited me for a dinner which i meant him there and we bought talked and he said he wants to prove that he would never leave me for any other lady he engaged me and also make me had access to all his account am so happy all thanks goes to this great man Dr Aluta a man who has brought back joy to my life,Please friends that needs help i would advice and swear that Dr Aluta is the right man and not those fake ones who are online to make money and not to help here is Dr Aluta "his private email:alutalovetemple@gmail.com

Anonymous 5:33 PM  

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micheal victor 8:49 PM  



I am Mrs. VANISSA DANIEL from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband, and i love him so much we have been married for 4 years now with three kids. when he went for a vacation to RUSSIAN he meant a lady called SANDRA, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I met my friend miss joy and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called prophet jeremiah omoto who is man of God for her ex and bring him back to her after 2days. Miss joy ask me to contact prophet jeremiah omoto I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the God of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great MAN OF God did for me and my husband, you can contact prophet jeremiah omoto on any problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his EMAIL contact: prophetmercyland@gmail.com or watch him television marcylandtv com or +2347055176617 .

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