Mushroom layer of beef Wellington / SAT 5-30-15 / Trademark Isaac Asimov accessory / Footwear donned on camera by Mr. Rogers / Onetime Strom Thurmond designation / Noted employee of Slate / Spectator who got standing O at Wimbledon in 1981

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Constructor: Samuel A. Donaldson and Brad Wilber 

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: DUXELLES (17A: Mushroom layer of a beef Wellington) —
Duxelles is a finely chopped (minced) mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onionsshallots and herbs sautéed in butter, and reduced to a paste (sometimes cream is used, as well). It is a basic preparation used in stuffings and sauces (notably, beef Wellington) or as a garnish. Duxelles can also be filled into a pocket of raw pastry and baked as a savory tart (similar to a hand-held pie). (wikipedia)
• • •

Hello from outside of D.C. I'm solving this puzzle from the living room of my friend Angela (aka PuzzleGirl). Angela and Doug Peterson and my wife and I all solved it individually but simultaneously. The constructors are friends of ours, so it was like they were here too at our virtual reunion. I thought there might be more cursing or cooperative solving, but it was all over much too fast. Too fast because it should've been harder because it's a Saturday and too fast because it was really entertaining and I wish it lasted longer. The first thing we want to say is LESTERS is terrible. As I wrote it in, I said, "Oh, Brad and Sam are gonna hear about this." And now they have. My wife and Angela also expressed deep dissatisfaction with LETTUCES. I pointed out that the LESTERS had to eat *something*, but that was not a satisfying response to them.

Both Doug and I thought MOCS at first for 1D: Footwear donned on camera by Mr. Rogers (KEDS) and both of us figured out our mistake because of EMINENCE (15A: Prestige). It was interesting to solve sitting next to Doug, who is a legit speed solver. He solved on paper and beat me, but not by much. It was nice to commiserate in real time about great stuff. I kept saying stuff like "Oh, good clue on 36-Across (or 9-Down)" or "Oh, man, 27-Down (or 30-Down) is great." Puzzle is solid and (for a Saturday) light. DUXELLES seemed a strong outlier, in terms of general familiarity. I had DUXELLE- and didn't know, so Doug showed me his grid and I was like "Just an 'S' … huh." (I would've got it two seconds later from LESTERS). On the opposite end of the spectrum from DUXELLES is SNERT, which was, I think, all of our first answer. Actually, I went MOCS (wrong) SPIRE (right) SNERT (right) FETE (right). I had KIDS MENU at first, but then 7D: TV honor last presented in 1997 started "NC-" and unless there was an NC WYETH award of some sort, that wasn't going to work. Quickly changed it to KIDS MEAL. What else?

  • 25A: Danger in stories of Sinbad the sailor (ROC) — I thought this was a gimme. Angela went with ORC. Wrong book. 
  • 45A: Annual Vancouver event, familiarly (TED) — None of us were certain what this referred to. We assume it's TED Talks. None of us knew it was "annual" or that it was based in Vancouver.
  • 9A: Like TV's Dr. Richard Kimble, famously (FRAMED) — wife had the best wrong answer (or answer idea) here: PRE-MED.
  • 16A: Spectator who got a standing O at Wimbledon in 1981 (LADY DI) — Doug said, "That's a total Brad clue: it's tennis, it's trivia … and he's got the 'O' there so you know the answer's gonna be a shortened form."
  • 40D: "The Principles of Mathematics" philosopher (RUSSELL) — I had the RUSS- and still didn't know. Doug and I were both thrown by the "Mathematics" part. I know him as an atheist.
  • 38A: Trademark Isaac Asimov accessory (BOLO TIE) — Great clue. This answer made me think that a ROBO-TIE would be a great thing.
  • 1A: It may facilitate playing with one's food (KIDS MEAL) — if only KIDS MEAT was a term, we could've avoided LESTERS entirely. [Chicken nugget, e.g..] => KIDS MEAT? We are all now halfway convinced that KIDS MEAT is a thing. Or could be.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]
[Follow Doug Peterson on Twitter]
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter]


Z 12:18 AM  

Almost went with "one-armed" except that it is too long and that was the framer not the FRAMED.

I've been solving on the iPad this week and here's what I hate; I put in the U in DUXELLES and didn't know if I was done or not but the damn iPad chimed that I was correct. As far as I can tell there is no option in the two apps I have (Crux and PuzzAzz) to wait for me to decide I'm done before telling me if I solved the puzzle correctly. Fail.

31 minutes while watching the Tigers and drinking a beer. Definitely easy. Thought the Slate clue was referring to a modern ezine, not a 50 year old cartoon. Smile AT before SNARL AT and Sender before SHIP TO. All quickly fixed.

The notion of an ERUPTIVE ONESIE brings to mind my current favorite phrase, "not my kid."

jae 12:34 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:35 AM  

Easy-medium for me.  West side easy, East side medium, mostly because I fell for the on-line SLATE Magazine misdirect.

Erasure: sWIrilS  before TWISTS and me too for mocs. 

Wanted WANTED and CHASED for the Kimble clue but waited for the crosses before committing. 

Sorta (Rex covered the cringes) smooth, lively, fun Sat.  Nice one guys!

chefwen 12:40 AM  

@Z where was that picture taken, if I'm not being too nosy? Looks like Hawaii.

Puzzle took me some time to get into, but when I did, it seemed to have the domino effect. Love that on a Saturday.

Hand up for going with mocs first. Being a cooker you would think I would know DUXELLES, but I didn't and had to rely on crosses (she hangs her head in shame)

Good one Sam and Brad, thanks.

Great pictures Rex.

Whirred Whacks 12:41 AM  

The clue for TED "annual Vancouver event" was a tad unfair since TED has only been held in Vancouver in 2014 and 2015. It was in Long Beach for five years from 2009-13, and ran in Monterey prior to that.

ONESIE was a fun clue. It made me think of those late 2013 ObamaCare ads which a 20-something young man -- called "Pajama Boy" on Twitter -- was wearing a red ONESIE and drinking hot chocolate. Here's the link if you want to see him again.

Funny twist: My eyes read "Like TV's Richard Kimble" but my mind understood it as TV's Richard Chamberlin in Dr. Kildare. Both shows ran in the early sixties. So I changed pReMED to FRAMED.

MDMA 12:42 AM  

Easier than average for a Saturday. The almost-Natick at DUXELL_S and AC_AWARD was mitigated by inferring that it has to be a vowel and E is by far the most likely suspect, as culinary terms often skew French.

Z 12:50 AM  

@chefwen - Lookout Point, near Asheville, NC (@Lewis' neighborhood). I bet you can't guess which is me and which is my kid.

Anoa Bob 1:27 AM  

DIXIECRAT was interesting. Nothing else really jumped out at me. In some areas, the SW for example, it looked like someone spilled a box of one-point Scrabble tiles. Hard to hit the high notes with one-pointers. NONSTARTER & STATE LINE, I'm looking at you.

chefwen 1:54 AM  

@Z - pretty sure I can figure that one out, unless I'm totally whacked.

Anonymous 2:24 AM  

What, no complaints about fill? Then this must have been a good puzzle on the Rex Scale. I surely enjoyed it. Was challenged a few times but finished in about 30 mins. I kinda miss the days when a Saturday took a full hour (or more).


Brett Chappell 3:12 AM  

Also had PRE-MED prior to FRAMED and got a bit hung up on the NE corner. DUXELLES I have never heard of,
in the SW corner I put MAGE as an object of ADORATION, but they quickly realized that the Magi were the adorers- not the adored.
Didn't understand the hand-raising clue ASL. ESL, maybe, but perhaps that's because I live in Scandinavia.
My time was just shy of 27 minutes, which I found satisfying. I found the DIAMOND clue quite clever.

Moly Shu 3:26 AM  

Complete guesses at KEDS and BOLOTIES, and they both stayed and helped with the solve. onearm before FRAMED hi @Z. Very smooth, liked it a ton.

@BChappell, I had eSL at first and couldn't make sense of the clue either, but then thought of American Sign Language, where hands and arms and fingers are raised.

Dennis Hastert 4:44 AM  

Yet another homophobic, "family values" Republican caught diddling little boys?! Why am I not surprised?

GILL I. 5:12 AM  

Another sleepless night in Sacramento. I'm glad the lack of dream dust picked tonight to keep me entertained because this puzzle amused me no end.
KEDS!!! first entry. I was trying to remember which child in this family ever watched Mr. Rogers. I still don't know but I sure as hell remember he wore KEDS...
DUXELLES was my second entry. I've watched a lot of Gordon Ramsey and know all about his signature beef Wellington and those finely diced yummy mushrooms wrapped in his store bought pastry.
Dr. Richard Kimble was WANTED at 9A and that really did a number on my Speedy Gonzalez Sat. time...MYNAS and LADY DI took care of that mix-up.
Didn't our friend Isaac Asimov wear nerdy-like oversized eye glasses?
Clue for FLINTSTONE was the best but I do not understand TWISTS for an ice cream requests...
Thanks for the midnight hour you two. This was lots of fun.
Don't eat KIDS MEALs...They have lots of BACTERIA...

Carola 5:45 AM  

Not easy for me but rather deliciously slow. First in: DUXELLES, the pay-off from years of reading Craig Claiborne and learning from him about the ICONIC dinner party dish of the 1960s. Loved it sharing a quadrant with KIDS MEAL. I knew RUSSELL right off, but needed almost every cross before I saw (and laughed at) FLINTSTONE, the online Slate connection having completely faked me out (hi, @jae).

ERRorS I needed to correct: getting Richard Kimball confused with Richard Chamberlain (hi @Whirred Whacks), Send TO x niece, and Noun (which I'd entered with a "Ha ha, can't fool me, after IDIOM") before NAME.


Some snapshots from a lifetime: SEED - ONESIE - KIDS MEAL - WEDS - LABORERS - EMINENCE - INTER.

@Z - In my verson of Crux, under settings you can turn off Auto-Check.

@GILL I - For soft-serve and frozen yogurt, you can offen get a cone with chocolate and vanila dispensed together in a TWIST.

imsdave 5:48 AM  

@jae - you weren't the only swirler. I also had ADulAtion at first. 100% everything that Rex said (just thought I'd mention that as we haven't seemed to agree on much lately).

Have a great time at the tourney all - wish I could have made it.

George Barany 5:57 AM  

Nice puzzle, @Sam Donaldson and @Brad Wilber. You stumped me with DUXELLES, but it's always great to pick up new vocabulary. Everything else about my experience with your puzzle seems to have dovetailed what's already been said by @Rex and the commentariat, for example I fell into the SWIRLS to TWIRLS to TWISTS trap/dig-out-of-the-trap cycle. Very cool to have nearly parallel clues for adjacent 33- and 34-down (STATE_LINE and TIMESAVER). As a professor, I'll often write DO_NOT_ERASE (sorry, in real life, I don't do contractions) on whiteboards (we've eliminated chalkboards, and not a moment too soon, since I am somewhat allergic to chalkdust) as a way of discouraging the over-enthusiastic janitorial staff. And I love love the sneaky clue ("burn the midnight oil") for IDIOM. What next, "burn both ends of the candle" ...? Thanks!

Loren Muse Smith 7:31 AM  

Sam, Brad – terrific puzzle. That perfect solving experience where it seems hopeless to me at first but little by little I chip away until boom. Done.

@ims dave – me, too, for "adulation" first, but I had it crossing "twirl." Hand up for "moc."

And I offer up yet another wrong answer for Dr. Kimble – "blamed."

@Z – Hah! No need for a SMELL TEST if you're in a room with an ERUPTIVE ONESIE.

FETE was my entrée, then SNERT and "smiles at." Also "mtv" AWARDS. I'm an unabashed Bravo fan, myself, so some kind of mtv award seemed plausible.

Serendipity – yesterday I was talking about how when you cross certain STATE LINEs, the reduce part of the sign switches parts of speech. Description in some places - Reduced Speed Ahead, command in other places - Reduce Speed Ahead.

This whole "smiles at" vs SNARLS AT thing has always fascinated me. Both involve exposing teeth to another creature (just another mammal, I'm guessing), but the message is so radically different. When I watched this really cool show Survive the Tribe where an American, Hazen Audel, lived among people of all different kinds of tribes from all over the world, I was glued to the set, noting the times when the Samburu, the Kazakhs, the Huaorani smiled at Hazen, essentially showing him their teeth. In every instance I saw, the intent was friendly – not a SNARL. Samoyeds are famous for their smiles, but they can SNARL, too. Koko, my beloved gorilla who knows some ASL, often exposes her teeth, too, but it always seems happy.

Koko and Robin Williams

If there is any reader of this blog out there who could direct me to a book or an article that would enlighten me, I would really appreciate it. (Just click on my blue name and you'll find my email address on that page.)

Otherwise, I'll just run it by Desmond Morris next week. He, Patrick Berry, and I are catching a Pirates' game.

Rex Porker 8:01 AM  

The constructors are my friends, and I'm in a good mood because I've been drinking, so I'll just chuckle off LESTERS and LETTUCES, rather than berate them as I would any other constructor who'd dare to put such drivel in their grid. Also, I'd like to mention my friend is a superfast solver, but I finished almost as fast, because I'm awesome. LADYDI and BOLOTIE are obscure trivia, but they're my kind of obscure trivia (even though that means this puzzle is "dated," a term I use when I don't like a puzzle but is fine if it's my kind of dated), so I'll forgive those as well. Also, did I mention that I cheated on this one by looking at someone else's grid? Maybe I'll do that in DC as well...

r.alphbunker 8:01 AM  

At end I had DUXELL_S/AC_AWARD. Guessed E because ACE was a word and DUXELLE sound more gourmet like. Bingo!

You can do this. As you near the end of the puzzle, erase one letter that you are absolutely sure is correct. Enter all other letters. When you are ready to check if the puzzle is correct, enter the erased letter.

Chemists need white boards more than computer scientists.

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

How appropriate that we have Strom Thurmond, a nutty right-wing Republican racist who was screwing his black housemaid, a day after Denny Hastert, a nutty right-wing Republican homophobe, was caught fondling young boys. And the band plays on.

Charles Flaster 8:12 AM  

EZ and really agree with Rex' analysis. No excess fill and solved each corner first to work inward( no reason).
@George-- I also wrote DO NOT ERASE multiple times and went from chalk( skin infections) to white board and stained clothing with markers that were permanent on my shirts.
Writeovers (wrongovers?)---sWIrlS→TWIrlS→TWISTS,
Not familiar with ACE AWARD and DUXELLES ( DIXIECRAT opened that corner for me) .
Thanks SAD and BW

Michael Fuchs 8:15 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith, I think I can tell a dog smile from a snarl. It may be the same difference as in humans, stretching the mouth to reveal the teeth vs. moving the lips vertically to expose the teeth. But maybe I'm wrong about canine anatomy.

Also, how is this? "I like to solve puzzles, because dissolving them makes a big mess." Just made it up (I hope).

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

My IDOL had a pretty NAME,
they called her LADYDI.
by a guy in a BOLOTIE.

Leapfinger 8:33 AM  

Love the way Wilbur-Donaldson solves just flow:
The P[SPIRES] and F[FETE] let me change I'M HAPPY TO into IM UP FOR IT. The KIDS-D gave me DIXIECRAT, and if Icould recallStrom Thurmond, "they" should have, also. That X gave me DUXELLES, which is pretty specialized, but I read a lot of cookbooks.
And so it went, just a lovely flow.

Some hang-up over Asimov, since SIDEBURns aren't really an accessory, and i didn't remember him sporting a mOnOclE. The raft of OTTERS reminded me of those adorable YouTubes of the little guys floating around arm-in-arm. Will have to hunt those up again... But the best was DON"T ERASE, which dredged up a memory buried deep for hmm, I won't say how long. That [chalked warnings] entry is a nice nod to solvers 'of a certain age'.

LETTUCE now praise Wilson-Donaldber collaborations.

On a tangential note, let me remind all yawl that @Z recently posted a comment that could have been construed as a hope, a dare, or a challenge. Either way, it inspired some Rexvillians (Rexvillains?) of the Hungarian persuasion. Courtesy of the Magyar Mafia, we hope you'll try (and enjoy)
Up to Z Challenge: Some Beautiful Minds

Happy Weekending!

Judith Miller 8:37 AM  

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: "First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes."

Z 8:37 AM  

@carola - I've been using PuzzAzz lately since Crux seems to have stopped updating. Lo, when I checked I had Autocheck off. So it is just a PuzzAzz fail at this point. See what happens when you vent when you should be sleeping.

@r.alphbunker - an easy enough work-around as long as I remember to shift gears mid puzzle. Honestly, last night I was surprised when the chime went, I thought I had an open spot in the middle (forgot that the ERS/ORS question had been resolved by NON-STARTERS).

@George Barany - Thx for the email. We're doing a little hiking this morning, but this afternoon I plan to tackle the puzzle. I was wondering why you haven't shared it here.

evil doug 8:40 AM  

It seems that Denny Hastert partook of a KIDSMEAL.

Facts Schmacts 8:46 AM  

Richard Kimble wasn't FRAMED. In the TV series & the movie, his wive was killed as a byproduct of a different crime, Kimble was simply wrongfully convicted.

Maruchka 8:59 AM  

Can almost predict that @Rex and I will differ on difficulty. Yesterday's PB went easy-medium (it was delicious!) while today's went medium-easy, and pleasantly so.

A few do-overs, loved the Beef Wellington ref. Best ever was in Quebec (hi @chefwen, @Gill). TED stands for Truth or Dare? Will ask Vancouver friends for details.

Fav of the day - RUSSELL. Does anyone else remember Beyond the Fringe's Bertram's fireside-chat-parsing skit? "Moore, are there ANY apples in that basket?" 'No', he said, and smiled seraphically..."
I loved it.

DIXIECRAT was a close second. BOLO TIE came in third. Stories for another day. Dang.

@LMS - Alas, a large dog definitely SNARL(ed) AT me in the elevator yesterday. Then she leapt at my chest. Fortunately, I'm large too. Owner isn't strong enough to restrain her, had to report it. Sigh. And thanks for the Koko/Robin clip. When my 'puter catches up to the newest Adobe version, I'll watch it.

NCA President 9:02 AM  

I have absolutely no idea what DUXELLE is...nor am I up on my TV awards or Holt reporters. So it was a bit of there that (I'm so sorry I had to do that).

@WhirredWhacks: You and I clearly don't see eye to eye politically, but ever so weirdly, I went to the same place with the Kimble clue. I'm not sure if it was the Richard part or just mixing up my 60s TV doctors. Also, when I look at that clue another TV personality from the 60s pops into my head for no reason at all: Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. And then I jump to Marcus Welby, MD from the 70s. Adding in Fred FLINTSTONE and it's one big TV reunion Saturday for me.

Today was easy except for the pesky DUXELLES/ACEAWARD/LESTERS triumvirate of woe. My cheat there was finding the culprit by checking the puzzle, then just entering every letter of the alphabet until I got the happy jingle. I ain't proud of it, but I got the jingle. So sue me.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I had "gNARLSAT," thus convincing me that 5d ended in "ing," a synonym for fighting which wouldn't come. Can one "gnarl at" something? I don't think so. Stoopid me.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Me again. I think "gnarl" would be an excellent melding of "gnaw" and "snarl." My dog gNARLSAT her stuffed turtle often.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Once again, a similar solving experience to @Carola's and also @lms. Very hard until, suddenly, it wasn't. Lively, entertaining, with lots of variety. Loved the clues for 23A, 19A and 36A. Though I usually hate cross-referencing, I enjoyed the INLAW/WEDS cross a lot.

Talk about trivia NOBODY knows and where your age demographic is of no use at all: I'm willing to bet that no one on this blog knew that Asimov wore a BOLO TIE. Now, Asimov was a very popular writer in my day. Moreover, he may even have appeared in the flesh at one of the publishing houses I worked for. Moreover, I may have even seen him in the flesh when he may have appeared there. But I didn't know he wore a BOLO TIE and I would venture to say that not even the Science Fiction Editor knew it. And certainly, no one who is younger than we are could have possibly known it.

One last comment: @Rex Porker -- I thought you were especially funny today. Rex's write-up provided you with all sorts of unusual opportunities, right? A gift.

George Barany 9:32 AM  

@Z (8:37 AM), we thought you should get first "heads-up" but as it turns out, @Leapfinger (8:33 AM) put up the link almost at the same time as your post. In case @Billy C missed it, here's the info again: Up to Z Challenge: Some Beautiful Minds.

Back to the puzzle du jour, I also appreciated @Sam Donaldson and @Brad Wilber clues for BACTERIA and RUSSELL. Many images of Isaac Asimov's BOLO_TIE can be found here, and if you have an extra minute to spare, watch the late Chemistry Nobel laureate Bill Lipscomb (who was a Professor first at the University of Minnesota and later at Harvard) demonstrate how to tie a string tie (click here). Extra credit if you can identify the background music (two separate pieces have been melded).

just sayin' 9:33 AM  

OK so Rex admitted a DNF here, right?

Maruchka 9:37 AM  

@Nancy - Xactly. My favorite Asimov accessories were his fuzzy lamb chop whiskers.

Did I imagine it, or was a photo of TWISTed softie treat on the reCaptcha robot test today?

Whirred Whacks 9:40 AM  

Liked the Koko/Robin Williams video.

@NCA Prez
There was another TV doctor series in the early 60s that was extremely popular for several years but which is hardly ever mentioned anymore: BEN CASEY (starring Vince Edwards). Remember how it opened each week with the following symbols:


Anonymous 9:41 AM  

Sorry @Facts Schmacts, but here are the first 2 sentences from IMDB regarding TV's "The Fugitive:"

"Dr. Richard Kimble is framed for his wife's murder by a mysterious one-armed man. During sentencing Kimble escapes intending to catch the one-armed man and find out why he was framed."

I'll take their word for it over yours.

quilter1 9:50 AM  

Familiar with DUXELLES so that went in quickly. My Dr. Kimble was wanted so that held up the NE for a while. Overall a very enjoyable puzzle.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Democrats (see Clinton, Bill, and Edwards, John) just cheat on their wives with young, legal-age women. Republicans (see Foley, Mark, and Hastert, Dennis) go for underage boys. Chacun a son gout.

Steve M 10:01 AM  

My kind of puzzle-doable but literate

evil doug 10:07 AM  

@ Steve M likes his puzzles like he likes his women: "Doable but literate."

Bob Kerfuffle 10:10 AM  

Very nice puzzle.

Gotta love that FLINTSTONE clue.

Anonymous 10:16 AM  

I had the STONE. Was going through the Stones I knew--EMMA, SHARON, OLIVER (at least journalism made sense for him...). Luckily none of them had 5 letters.

Tita 10:22 AM  

Ha ha - I have a friend who worked at eZine Slate for years - so I never saw past that to get the joke...I just figured FLINT STONE was a writer I never read...

I just planted several different LETTUCES - it's legit, even if it is a PoC.

DUXELLES is a great way to avoid throwing away the 'shrooms that are about to go bad...make a batch and freeze 'em. Toss 'em in anything else later - an omelette, a gravy...

Thanks for the ASL explanation, @Moly.

Fun puzzle, even if Saturdays ought to be hard and this one wasn't. And great comments, as usual.

RnRGhost57 10:24 AM  

@evil doug (faux?) on a roll today.

Facts Schmacts 10:28 AM  

@Anon 9:51

Framed: (Merriam Webster)
a : to devise falsely (as a criminal charge)
b : to contrive the evidence against (an innocent person) so that a verdict of guilty is assured

In neither the movie nor the TV series did anyone contrive evidence, nor was there any attempt to falsely devise a criminal charge against Kimble. Wrongfully convicted <> FRAMED. IMDB is wrong here.

Nancy 10:29 AM  

@Tita -- WELCOME BACK! We've all missed you. Where have you been?

Ludyjynn 10:31 AM  

LESTERS went in at he ONSET, opening up the entire West for me. Sorry, Rex, this was a timely clue and a gimme for anyone who has followed the Brian Williams, anchorman, debacle. Holt was quickly elevated to this top spot and ratings so far have remained stable, leading some to believe he will retain the position even after Williams' 'suspension' has been served.

I've always said 'sniff'TEST, but SMELL fit, so in it went. Really liked the rest of the long Downs, too.

ATANYRATE, this puzz. was a lot of fun, w/ just enough TWISTS to make it a medium Sat. solve for me.

Writeovers: 'lewd' before RACY; 'adulation' before ADORATION; 'repo' before REDO.

Thanks, SAD, BW and WS. I'm off to LABOR in the garden. IMUPFORIT on such a beautiful day.

mathguy 10:34 AM  

Not easy for me. Had to call in The Closer. She got LETTUCES. That gave me RUSSELL (which I should have gotten directly) and that opened up the SE.

Jeff Chen admired all the long entries (over eight letters). They make solving more fun.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Re: The Fugitive"


"A doctor, wrongly convicted for a murder he didn't commit, escapes custody and must stay ahead of the police to find the real killer."

Hartley70 10:45 AM  

I had the opposite experience to @Nancy et al. This was very easy until suddenly it wasn't. I worked this like a clock face from one o'clock until I hit about ten o'clock and then I stopped short. That NW was a bear for me because I also used MOCS having managed to avoid Mr. Rogers while raising children, thankfully. His manner of speech would have driven me mad. I preferred the mostly silent Teletubbies, Tinky Winky especially.

No trouble with the earlier BOLOTIE, but I've never heard of the ACEAWARDS. Then I moved to bad smell, a real appetite killer, for KIDSMEAL. DUXELLES and DIXIECRAT just took a while to see because they were buried a little deep this morning and I had to drag them to the surface.

Ooh, a Ben Casey moment. I do remember that opening now that I see it. In doctor-drama he was The Rolling Stones to Kildare's The Beatles. He was a bad boy, brooding and a bit hirsute for my taste as a teenager. He dropped from view like a rock after that.

I've always been a solitary solver since no one else in the family is a Wordie, but Rex's solving party sounds like fun, especially on a Saturday when I almost always hit a snag. Cocktails would improve the experience much more than my usual sober state.

Billy C 10:45 AM  

Prof. Barany --

Yes, indeed, I missed it. I've noticed that you have been posting recently without using this blog to promote your puzzles, thankfully. Now you revert to form.

On another front, I see that some commenters above are reveling in the misdeeds of Republicans Hastert and Thurman. Good thing that the Democrats are squeaky-clean on the sexual behavior front! ;-)

Billy C 10:54 AM  

@Ludy --

On the Holt-versus-Williams issue, my opinions:

I think that people are mostly of the "forgive and forget" mindset, and my first thought was that a Williams would be back. But then two things changed my mind.

First, more episodes of a Williams' embellishments have emerged; and

Second, I find that Lester Holt is a very personable and credible anchor. I just enjoy watching him more than Williams. For me Williams is OK, but just OK.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

So you watched the TV show "The Fugitive" and you think the good doctor just "happened to be" wrongly convicted and nobody set him up? If so, you are a fool--probably one of the same people on this blog who believe that a) Zeke existed, and b) he is now dead.

Bill O'Reilly 10:58 AM  

At least I still have my job. "Embellishment" is rewarded on Fox News.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Anyone else for ERUPTIlE before ERUPTIVE? If "erectile" is a word...

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, where is the outrage that someone being blackmailed is indicted? What a gift to blackmailers all over the world. You can't lose, we'll destroy that person for you.

Nancy 11:07 AM  

@Hartley 70 (10:34 a.m.)-- It's my opinion that cocktails improve just about any experience, not merely puzzle-solving, but, oh, @Hartley 70, I really AM worried about you. Even today, when you solved later than usual, at 10:34 a.m., the sun is not yet over the yardarm. Close, perhaps, but not yet. And I know you must have begun this puzzle considerably earlier than that. Which is no time to be guzzling cocktails, @Hartley 70! Or to even be THINKING about guzzling cocktails. What's more, since you often complete your solve by 8:50 a.m., you might end up guzzling cocktails as early as 8 a.m., heaven forfend. You know the yardarm drinking rule, yes? If you don't, here's the info:

Just remember: friends don't let friends drink until the sun is over the yardarm!

old timer 11:08 AM  

I confidently wrote in "Democrat" at 3D, not noticing it was one letter too short. Replaced easily with DIXIECRAT -- old Strom (then a relatively young Strom) ran against Truman, Dewey, and Wallace in 1948. As a Democrat, Strom was an opponent of Civil Rights. Once the Voting Rights Act passed, a different face of things was seen. Strom started to hire African-Americans and campaign for a share of the black vote. But you can bet he never let on that he had a black family as well as the expected white one. Following in Jefferson's footsteps, I suppose.

ACEAWARD was a total guess. But the obvious "award" made me change "sneers at" to SNARLSAT. I had "time shift" before TIMESAVER. I kinda knew BOLOTIE, but when I met the great Asimov in 1959, his sartorial trademark was a bow tie. I suppose he found it *was* a time saver to wear a Bolo -- he needed to save time as he was writing book after book after book.

Raise your hand if you confidently wrote in "laugh test" before the crosses made you change it to SMELLTEST.

A first-rate puzzle. And it was fun to see today's blog, with a folksy family visit to PuzzleGirl, I think LETTUCES is perfectly OK. I have some overgrown lettuces in my garden just now. LESTERS I could do without. First name plurals are to me a sign of bad construction and should be a NONSTARTER.

jberg 11:11 AM  

My first entry was FETE, followed by the gimme DIXIECRAT. Only I misread the number of the clue, and spent too much time looking for a 4-letter synonym of FETE that started with C. I finally reread the clue, and the rest was fairly easy, especially once I remembered SNERT.

I've seen Isaac Asimov in the flesh, but did not remember the BOLO TIE -- possibly because I've spent enough time in Montana and other parts of the West that they don't stand out as unusual. So that was a learning experience! So was DUXELLES -- I knew the word, so got it from the UX, but had no idea what it meant, or that it went into Beef Wellington, which is not in my cooking repertory.

ORS is weak. Could have gone with the hockey player crossing the famous evironmentalist LESTER R Brown, but i suppose that would have drawn complaints. The latter might draw complaints, though. I checked to see if he had a TED talk, but all that comes up is some joint appearances with Ted Turner.

Oh yeah, I had both swirls and twirls before TWISTS. All just as good, IMHO.

So not all that easy for me, but definitely easier than yesterday's puzzle.

AZPETE 11:20 AM  

I believe Strom was first a democrat. Just to keep it fair.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Anon@11:06: Way to defend the child molester! Just like Huckabee defending Josh Duggar.

Aketi 11:47 AM  

@hartley70, now you've short circuited my gray cells going from my prior image of a white bearded Harley rider to a TInky Winky watching mom in less than a week. Never watched Mr Rogers, thought I'd go out of my mind watching TInky Winky. I much preferred Elmo.

As for the timing of your drinks, even if the sun isn't over the yardarm where you are, it is certainly over the yardarm somewhere else on the planet.

I still love the picture of my son licking one of the TWISTS I used to buy for him at the Bronx Zoo, entirely covered in paper napkins thar I covered him in, which were themselves entirely covered in vanilla and chocolate drippings. My dh still continued to try to convince our son to order off the less expensive KIDS MEAL menu even after he surpassed us in height.

@nancy, I have managed to procrastinate the morning away to the point that you probably have finished your run around the reservoir by now. Even though I've read most of his books, I had never seen a picture of Asimov so the BOLO TIE was a surprise.

@ George Barany, thx for the BOLO TIE pics.

@ Z and LMS, ERUPTIVE ONESIES are an occupational hazard for me. I once worked with a babe whose parents abilities were in sealing the INFANCY PANTS was exceptionally DICEY. I hit the trifecta that day. First with a little overflow of the sterile but still unpleasant fluid that was easily mopped up. Second, I weighed the baby without asking for a burp cloth over my shoulder which of course wiped out the back of my shirt. Obviously that one was on my, I know better. Then the finale was when the babe finished the meal and I swear everything that babe had eaten came right back out the bottom end through the diaper and ONESIE into my lap. i don't know what I was thinking for ever having trusted the parents to seal a diaper after the first episode. I literally had to excuse myself to the powder room to completely rinse out my pants completely. I should have asked for a blow dryer before I left because it was below freezing and my pants froze on the way to the subway.

wreck 11:59 AM  

Nice fun, quick puzzle! I have to agree with the assessment that it was "hard until it was easy." DUXELLES was a WOE, but came together with the crosses and I loved FLINTSTONES for "Slate" employee!

Hartley70 12:02 PM  

I appreciate your concern @Nancy, but it's my firm belief that a bottle of very good champagne is appropriate and appreciated at any hour of the day or night. Champers and eggs, dahling?

TITA!!! I worried that you'd made a wrong turn on the way home from your Stamford ACPT dinner party and ended up in the Westport pokey! I've heard they don't deliver the daily NYT to penal institutions, even in Fairfield County. It's what keeps me on the straight and narrow. I'm glad to see you again!

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Yes, @AZPETE, Strom was a southern Democrat in the 40's and 50's, which is the equivalent of a southern Republican now, i.e. racist.

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

@Aketi, are you familiar with the concept of over-sharing, my dear??

Anonymous 12:35 PM  

@Aketi is most definitely not familiar with that concept. Like many people, she is certain the rest of the world is either interested in or impressed with her boring stories.

Anonymous 12:50 PM  

I wonder how RP is doing in the tournament?

Lewis 12:52 PM  

Rex, terrific writeup. Once a month you should require Doug to solve with you, even if it's over the phone, and do a similar review.

Most of the puzzle went quickly. There were definite sticking points, but overall a little short of DICEY. Still, the puzzle was fun and felt lively. Loved the clues for KIDSMEAL, SPIRE, LETTUCES, and BACTERIA, and the long answers were generally delightful. I do like the word MELEES.

Very enjoyable start to the weekend -- thanks Samuel, Brad, and Rex!

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

Does a toddler who tantrums a lot have ERUPTILE dysfunction?

Bob Kerfuffle 1:13 PM  

@Anonymous 12:50 -- To see how Rex (aka Michael Sharp) and everyone else is doing at the Indie 500, here is the leaderboard, which I got from Evan Birnholz's blog:

GILL I. 1:21 PM  

@Leapy and @George.....phew, what a spelling work-out! I bet yawl had fun constructing this perfect Hungarian gem! @Leapy...was 9D your clue?
@Hartley70...I too am a firm believer in drinking champagne at all hours. It has to be a good one though or maybe even a Cava. My step-mom's mother ALWAYS had a bottle chilling in her fridge. Vive le France!
Anony 12:32 and 12:35...Go eat a KIDS MEAL! Leave @Aketi to her stories. I enjoy them just like I enjoy all the other stories shared on this blog.

mac 1:28 PM  

So sorry to miss the Indie 500, but we just arrived in Holland this morning and are happy as a clam.... Windy and cool, but bright and sunny. And WiFi, phone and everything works.

Medium for me, with problems in the South. I had a monocle for Isaac, which messed me up greatly, and "smell a rat" at 30D, ditto.

Still a great Saturday puzzle, thank you! I'm, of course, blaming jet lag. Going to the Chinese restaurant across the street now, tradition on our first night in Castricum.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 1:33 PM  

DUXELLES sounds more like small French she-quackers, to M&A. Had to slowly, carefully evolve it, solely from crossings.
PuzEatinSpouse, it turns out, knew about it. To paraphrase her explanation:
1. Dice up the two pounds of rooms into real small chunks
2. Put chunks in a towel. Twist and mash towel with all yer might, to squeeze out all the room juice
3. Add minced onion, herbs, butter
4. Cook up the whole mess to get a smooth, roomy paste
5. Be sure to get that there towel outta there, before steps 3 and 4
6. Dollop room paste on the beef hunks (most chefs mix in liver pate with the duxelles)
7. Put shell of pastry dough around entire rodeo
8. Bake
9. Return towel to bathrack

Why the towel twistin bit, U ask? Well, thankfully M&A asked. Because rooms have tons of mosture inside em. If U cook em up hot, all encapsulated in a buncha dough, the whole steamy sheebang might explode. Producin beef wallington.

Challengin fun, despite bein ganged up on by two constructors and the many she-ducks.

Great blog posts, today, Comment Gallery. yo,@63: I also worked this puz, in the company of a (competitent) constructioneer!



Lewis 2:07 PM  

Factoid: Sea OTTERS are the only marine mammals that do not have blubber; they keep warm due to their fur and high metabolism.

Quotoid: "When my shoes are killing me, I take a maxi pad and put it in the bottom of my shoe. It is better than any Dr. Scholl's INSERT. That fashion tip has saved me through some long nights." -- Hoda Kotb

okanaganer 2:08 PM  

While this was a pretty decent puzzle, the abbreviations kinda spoiled it for me. Especially ENL and ORS. They're like finding bits of egg shell in your omelet. Yesterday was so nice!!

TheGhostOfSomeToad 2:18 PM  

@Nancy: you would have a lost that bet. I, for one, certainly knew that Asimov wore bolo ties. (My age? 50-ish.)

@Billy C: the only downside to Professor Barany offering a link to one of his puzzles here is the predictable appearance of one of your monomaniacal, windmill-tilting, boring, off-topic gripes. Perhaps if you were to occasionally emerge from your mother's basement to "take the air" you might feel better about yourself and hasten your recovery. Or perhaps be locked out of her house and lose your computer privileges.

@EveryoneElse: my apologies for my (almost completely) off-topic post.

Leapfinger 2:46 PM  

@Gilly-fleur, the 9D clue was born of a greater wit than mine: the illustrious other alias in the triumvirate. My idea originally was to go easy with that top row of Down clues, so I'd suggested a puling "Hot pot for a stir-fry". It really was a lot of fun, though it was beyond me to keep track of all the different ideas and revisions as they poured in.

@Billy C, the Beautiful Minds puzzle wasn't a promotion of anything. It was a collaboration by some people who comment here, precipitated by a recent clever comment made right here, and with the plan to present it... right here. I don't see how it can get much more Rexvillian than that. So why not trade in that soapbox and pull up a chair? Would love to have you try your hand at the solve and let us know what you think.

JFC 3:01 PM  

@Rex, maybe you should write all your reviews with your wife and friends. This one actually had an elegantly humorous tone instead of your usual pithy, harsh quality. It was a fun read about a fun puzzle. I wonder why you didn’t also pick on LABORERS. WORKERS, yes. LABORERS, no. Maybe LABOR. But why labor over this?


Z 3:08 PM  

Caught up on the posts after a fun time.

1. Our whole constitutional system is predicated on the notion that Men (nor Women) should be trusted too much. I generally don't believe in holding peoples' sex lives against them unless they go around yapping about "family values."
B. I think Hastert is in trouble for the cover-up, not the decades old misdeed.
π. That Kimble was FRAMED was the entire dramatic raison d'être of the show.
4. Thanks for the towel explanation, @M&A. Don't Panic.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Hi People and Rhinos.

It is I -- Anonymous America -- from yesterday. I know I am beating a dead horse and a one-day-old dead horse at that, but the response I tried to write yesterday to Rhino and others (one of whom claims to live in San Francisco, yet obviously never listens to what the people around them are actually saying) got deleted by my work computer and I was thus not able to finish my pronunciation education lesson.

Here is my final attempt at getting you people up to date with the rest of your country. AC-DC, Black Sabbath, even The Eagles never went on tewer. They never went on tower. No, they never went on toor. They just went on tour people, "TOUR!" It is a fine one-syllable word just the way it is. It rhymes with four and tore and poor. It does not need, nor want, your regional bastardization attempts to turn it into an affected two syllables. Say it with me, like the roadies who do it every day. "The band is going on tour."

michael 3:32 PM  

I was all set to post how easy this was until I got stuck in the northwest and had to go to google. Lester Holt, duxelles, and the ace award were all new to me. After googling holt, I was able to finish.

Like others, I guessed that Mr. Rogers wore mods.

dick swart 3:52 PM  

I loved this puzzle because it made me feel smarter than I am for a Saturday.

The cluing was terrific … interesting, a bit obscure, but basically rewarding when I saw I actually knew the answer and that the answer wasn't obscure at all, but pretty every-day. OK, you do have to know your mushrooms.

Acyually finished with a bite of pain chocolate left to go!

Z 3:59 PM  

@anon3:22 - If you type in "tour definition" (omit the quotes) into the google machine it will spit back all kinds of neat things, including a little speaker icon. If you click on that little speaker icon (and your device has speakers) you'll hear the nice google man say "tour" for you (with an ever so subtle second syllable). Type in "four definition" and you will see that the nice google man says it differently. As for "poor", google lists two pronunciations but the nice google man only says the one that sounds like "tour," not the one that sounds like "four."

@GB, Leapy, and Laci Bácsi - Nicely done. I confess to cheating and looking up the spelling of a certain Hungarian's last name.

wreck 4:05 PM  

Now let's throw in "tournament." I have always pronounced like "turnament."

Nancy 4:09 PM  

Oh, no! I'm out of the loop again. I hate being out of the loop! This loop or ANY loop. @Leapfinger: Your 2:46 response to @GILL I leads me to believe that you are a famous puzzle constructor, appearing here in the guise of an alias. That many people here know your identity, even though I do not. That perhaps you were somehow involved in the construction of today's puzzle? I didn't pick any of that up from GILL's very subtle post, only from your response. But you can't be either S.A.D or B.W., can you? Or are they the REAL aliases? Could you perhaps be the significant other of one or both of them? What on earth did you or didn't you have to do with the clue for 39D? What exactly is it that I don't know? Such a tantalizing mystery -- even more baffling than the puzzle, itself. After all, I solved the puzzle!

MDMA 4:10 PM  

Anonymous @3:22,

Here is the Gilligan's Island theme song (YouTube video). An American TV show, you may have heard of it? Listen carefully to the words. There is a three-hour tour, not a four-hour tore. The lyrics even rhyme "tour" with "sure".

Give it a rest, this was yesterday's topic. There are many equally cromulent dialects out there and there's nothing special about yours.

GILL I. 4:50 PM  

@Nancy...sweat pea. Our friend and commenter on this blog @George Baraney provides a wonderful service for budding constructors. I met him when he and I collaborated on a puzzle for my son's birthday. It was the highlight of his special day. It also was an incredible experience for me and my husband...further, we got to be cyber friends with George.
@George does this often and the one today (see his post upstairs) was co-constructed by @Leapy and @AliasZ. It's fun...try it.
Don't listen to @Billy C because he always complains about the fantastic service @George provides to everyone and any one who loves crossword.
I'll drink a Pinot Noir to you...;-)

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

Question from a lurker: Been solving on an iPhone. Now have a kindle fire, but can't find an app for the NYT xword. Any input is appreciated.

Aketi 5:10 PM  

@Anonymous 12:32 and 12:35. I most certainly am and definitely committed the crime. I'm so flattered you noticed. I can now cross that off my bucket list. A big MWAH to you because you made my day. Don't tempt me to do it again.

wreck 5:42 PM  

Ok, very guilty of beating a dead horse -- I am going to start using "cromulent.!"

Joseph Welling 5:53 PM  

Anonmyous said:

"TOUR!' It is a fine one-syllable word just the way it is. It rhymes with four and tore and poor."

All of my many dictionaries disagree with you. The primary pronunciation is the one that rhymes with "lure" and not the one that is a homonym for "tore."

Anonymous 5:58 PM  

@Aketi, there was no evil intent in my question. The fact of it is, I've dealt with enough excresences, secretions and assortment of putrescence (some complete with infestations of maggots) to last me the rest of my life, so you won't find me breathlessly rushing across the room for more. So, even if you recall that incident with startling clarity and a certain amount of fondness, it struck no equivalent response in me (and possibly others)

I suppose I might have just said TMI, but this may clarify the point for you.

This from the first of your two Anonymi-du-jour

Nancy 6:12 PM  

@GILL I -- And I'll toast you right back, with a cabernet, Excelsior, (my go to house red), South Africa's finest. Since the sun's been over the yardarm in NYC for many hours now, it may not even be my first glass. Hic. Smooth, full, soft, affordable -- especially when you get your two main neighborhood vintners involved in a price war. Vintner X was charging me $112 per case. Vintner Y offered it for $105. So I left Vintner X for Vintner Y. Then, when I went into Vintner X for a bottle of vodka and he asked me why I'd left him and I told him, he said he'd only charge me $100 for a case of Excelsior. Did I mention it's a very nice wine?

Now I know that both you and Hartley 70 only drink the "best" champagne (and at breakfast, too, BEFORE the sun is over the yardarm!), so I may not be able to afford your favorite Pinot Noir, either. But in the event it IS affordable, summer is here and Pinot is lighter than Cabernet. So if you tell me what you drink, I'm all ears (not to mention mouth, gullet and stomach.) Oh, and thanks for the info about George B.

just wondering 6:22 PM  

does jour rhyme with tour?

Anonymous 6:27 PM  

I am truly trying to let this sleeping dog lie, but you keep sucking me back in. Use your ears, not your dictionary. When a band is on the road, does anyone you've ever heard speak say that they are on to-or? Be honest. Or at least get out more and go see a concert. We all say tore. That's just what we say, sorry it doesn't agree with your multiple dictionaries, but a lot of us as speak to other concert-goers in real life and if you called it a tewer no one would know what the hell you were talking about.

Billy C 6:29 PM  

@gill I et al. --

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The good Professor could put his name on the RexBlog's right-hand side with other constructors. Maybe you'd prefer that all those constructors also clogged up this blog with their self-promotions also?

Nancy 6:33 PM  

@just wondering: Mais oui. Exactement. Pas aucune question. Votre pronunciation est absolument sur le nez! Restez tranquil!

the count 6:44 PM  

You're still kind of new here--and everyone seems oh so happy to add you to the club--but perhaps you didn't catch the rule about "3 and out". So let me welcome you to our board, and earnestly suggest you shut the fuck up after three posts.
Thanks, and have fun!

Elephant's Child 6:46 PM  

L'amour, tour jour l'amour!!

Pore li'l Anonymore is all tore up, cain't find his moorings.

This may all be yesterday's news, but it still cracks me up

HappyToFinishASaturdayWithoutCheating 7:10 PM  

As an attendee at the annual Vancouver event in question, I had to roll my eyes at the fact that I needed two crosses to get TED. I am surprised that @Rex doesn't remember that it is an annual conference, since it was at TED that the alleged "magician" did a "trick" that involved asking a random audience member questions in such a way as the answers were preordained...and matched up with the answers and clues in that day's NYT puzzle. As I recall it was not a great puzzle, and @rex was pretty much apoplectic that it was so bad and that the puzzle was gamed for that particular stunt.

DFL 8:02 PM  

Clue for KIDSMEAT: Baby goat food, or Food from a baby goat? Too morbid?

Teedmn 8:48 PM  

Lots of comments today. Makes it hard to catch up as I have been off the grid and had 5 days of comments and 4 puzzles to finish to get up to speed.

No comment on the 36A from yesterday controversy except I'm in the MN dialect - took the quiz in the NY Times published awhile back and it knew where I came from, no question. One strange regional dialect I ran into was from a guy from the Allentown part of PA. He said "pull" like I say "pool". So I asked him to say "pool" and he said "pool". Then I asked about "pole" and it also was "pool". So Mary, merry, marry, it's all good in context, I guess.

While I was off the grid, camping in the BWCA, I was starting the morning with a shot of coffee liqueur in my hot cocoa. Since it was mostly raining, the sun never saw the yardarm and I wasn't about to wait for it! When you're on vacation....

Oh, yeah, the puzzle. Easy for me (for a Saturday). Fave mix-up was having FETE, ROC, ERRS and OTTERS, which gave me ____ECR_T for 3D. Blithely put in topSECReT, thinking it referred to some supression of his second family or some subcommittee he was on. DIAMOND fixed that and I was very happy to get a "complete" on a Saturday, so thanks S.A.D. and B.W.

@Tita, glad to see you back again, I was worried.

And I'm so sorry to hear about @Zeke; he'll be missed.

Tita 9:48 PM  

@M&A - you and PuzSpouse should write a cookbook!

To @ Aketi and others of us who occasionally blather on - please keep blathering. To those who object, I guess they haven't figured out that Down Arrow key yet.

Thanks for the welcome back...
A month spent getting the last four Départements of France (there are 96, not counting overseas), and a quick side trip to Lake Geneva, really ate into puzzling and blogging.
No trips to the pokey, @Hartley - though I'm still not certain that bringing raw milk smelly cheeses in is completely legit...!!

kitshef 10:01 PM  

Yes, too easy for Saturday. I like my Saturday puzzle to bleed into Sunday. I really think if @Rex did not already know he likes the constructor, he would have railed against this puzzle for being dates. Das Kapital, LADY DI, FLINTSTONE, SNERT, DIXIECRAT, Mrs. Theordore Roosevelt. Not only not current century, but a couple of those aren't even last century. Not that I have a problem with any of them - just that @Rex would, normally.

TIMEShift before TIMESAVER, RUSSeau (don't ask) before RUSSELL, hero before IDOL, rarEES before MELEES, mOnOclE before BOLOTIE. Thought I had learned a fun new thing about Isaac A. Turns out I did, but not the thing I thought it was.

Overall so-so as a puzzle. A lot of the longer words are either poor (LETTUCES, LESTERS, ERUPTIVE, SNARLESAT), or just kind of there (LISTENED, LABORERS, EMINENCE, IMUPFORIT). I did like the clue for WEST, had no idea what TED referred to, liked the 54A/55D combo.

Robert Konigsberg 10:03 PM  

Oh, man, I was positive the cartoon pet was Astro, but clearly in my mind's eye Astro wore Gazoo's helmet. What a time waster. I never would have gotten Snert at all.

kitshef 10:08 PM  

PS got a great laugh out of evil doug's 10:07 post.

Teedmn 11:39 PM  

@George Barany, @Leapfinger, @aliasZ, thanks for the Beautiful Minds puzzle. I started with trepidation, not knowing any Hungarian, but the crosses were very fair and it isn't all y'all's fault that I don't know my "Casablanca" inside out or had a near senior moment on French numbers. For some reason, I suspect @Leapy of 19A, though I can't say why, and I love the self-referential 36A. Lots of fun while waiting for Saturday to turn into Sunday.

Anonymous 11:39 PM  

@Nancy, you do go on, don't you?

Anonymous 12:34 AM  

Kimble was not frame. An intruder killed his wife and hastily fled.
There was no plot to frame him. From Ebert:
"The story involves a cat-and-mouse game between a man unjustly accused of having murdered his wife, and a law officer who tracks him with cunning ferocity. This was, of course, Hitchcock's favorite theme, touching on the universal dread of the innocent man wrongly accused. The man is Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), a respected Chicago surgeon, who returns home one night to find his wife fatally beaten by a one-armed man who flees after a struggle. All of the evidence points to Kimble's guilt, and his story of ..."

Rick Schindler 4:49 PM  

That was a Saturday? More like a Tuesday. Pfui.

Literate but Doable 8:24 AM  

Speaking of brief comments, I really liked @Schindler's last.

@Nancy, despite @Gill's calling you 'Sweat Pea', I don'tthink there's anything especially perspiratious about you.

(rof,laffing hysterically)

Stephen 2:12 PM  

Great fill.
Some way great clues.
Thank you SAD & Brad.

Burma Shave 11:41 AM  


her NAME had wide ADORATION, she RAN with the best.
It was DICEY at the ONSET, I thought I’d asked a NONSTARTER,
“IMUPFORIT”, she SNARLSAT me, she even TWISTS off her garters.
Wearing only a DIAMOND, her RACY EMINENCE far above the rest,
it didn’t MATTER, ATANYRATE, she still passed my SMELLTEST.


rondo 12:02 PM  

Didn’t find this easy. Write-over ink at OFL’s same mocS entry. Then MiNAS. More in the south with “veep” instead of ASST. All of those wasted time and effort. ATANYRATE I repaired them and finished.

LADYDI, DONTERASE my memories of her - definite yeah baby. Mae WEST, well . . .

I hope that LESTER’s got himself a permanent job. I’ve always LISTENED to him with interest.

LETTUCES? INTER it, please. DUXELLES? Only in a Sat-puz, only by crosses.

Great clue for FLINTSTONE, IMHO. Was thinking journalism for too long.

Is everyone else supposed to be too young for Ms. Piaf as clue for EDITH?

I have some ADORATION for this puz. It sure made me work.

Happy Fourth to all in syndiland. It's a gorgeous day here in MN. Plan to spend it on the St. Croix River.

spacecraft 12:33 PM  

Oh, how I hate it when I rack (wreck?) my brain down to its last dendrite, finally getting a completed solve--and then come here to find that the principal criticism of today's puzzle is that it's too EASY (???????!).

The NE was DICEY in more ways than one. Tennis + 6 letters + ends in I = AGASSI, no? No. Is ESITH a name? Don't think so. ____DI, then? Ghandi? Wait, that's Gandhi, isn't it? Yep, spellcheck says so. I thought of Princess DI, but that's too long. Never thought of LADY.

Then I couldn't remember the Slate employee. Thought maybe it was AGENT (Maxwell) SMART. What was Kimble? Hunted, for sure. Couldn't get that to work. And I thought MYNA had an H on the end. Guess not.

I finally worked around to the SE and then up; 9-down looked like *something*STONE. And now it hit me. FLINTSTONE. Of course. And unlike the more famous (now) movie, in which he was the intended victim, our TV Richard was FRAMED. Whew! But EASY? I'll kill ya.

I am an Asimov fan of the first water and never knew the BOLOTIE thing. That, like TED, went in on crosses. But there are Vancouver natives hereabouts; I'm sure they will enlighten me.

Amusing down bookends: KEDS/WEDS. I'm sure many a bride has thus saved her feet on the big day--if her gown was long enough.

Yeah, LESTERS not the best, but passable. OTOH, how many LETTUCES can you have? These defects put a minus on the A.

Torb 12:36 PM  

Finished it! Wasn't easy for me. Happy Fourth, Y'all!

DMG 2:48 PM  

Agree with those who didn't find this one easy. But, perseverance paid off. Well mostly. I ended with KIDSMEnu. Probably should have worked out the problem with uESTER, but I didn't. Along the way I had to replace ADulATION and sWIrlS. Beyond that got hung up knowing DUXELLE but found it a letter short. Eventually threw in an "s" in order to make it fit, Had almost forgotten he DIXIECRATs, and hesitated on LADYDI. Was it really that Long ago? Tempus does fugit!!

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

Sorry, Spacecraft, this was an Easy one for me and believe me I consider myself on the "Un-brilliant" side of the fence. Lady Di was my first choice but Flintstone was my last. I have no set pattern in doing the puzzles, such as all downs and then all across. For instance I had the ION before getting the adulation or adoration. It had to be one or the other. Duxelles was a newbie but it all fitted in and I guessed right, after checking the blog. So let's face it, you're either IQ deficient, dimwitted, or just plain dumb (He said, with a smug twinkle in his eye and after watching Lewis Black on Netflix last night for 2 hours). :) Love that guy even with all his crudity and F words.

Ron Diego La Mesa, CA (Not to be taken seriously)

Waxy in Montreal 3:18 PM  

The DUXELLES/ACEawards crossing caused major grief as did sticking with kidsMENU for way too long but otherwise must agree with @REX's EASY rating. Loved RUSSELL (anyone remember him these days?), DIXIECRAT, SMELLTEST, FLINTSTONE, the creative INLAW/WEDS crossing &, of course, LADYDI. Not so much ADORATION for ERUPTIVE, HIES (had HOPS) & BOLOTIE.

rain forest 3:23 PM  

Medium for me. I've learned that there seem to be many spellings for MYNAh,
especially in crossword puzzles. Yes, I'm a Vancouverite, but it took awhile to get TED. They've been held here the last two years, but I don't know that two years qualifies it for an annual event.

Most of my solve proceeded smoothly except for the end of DUXELLES, that award, and Mr. Holt, or is it Mr. Lester. Couldn't tell, but guessed right. I knew that Mr. Rogers wore sneakers, and had to work out whether they were Avia, Nike, or KEDS. SPIRE decided for me.

When I used to plant a vegetable garden, I put in Iceberg, Leaf, Red, and other LETTUCES. Seems reasonable to me.

Oops, timed out on the captcha. Hope I get numbers.

Nope, just drinks, one of which I think I'll have, but just coffee.

rain forest 3:26 PM  

Good to see you back, @Waxy.

Waxy in Montreal 4:34 PM  

Thanks @rain. Still lurk most every day but haven't had much time recently to post. However, should be around more over the summer.

leftcoastTAM 5:51 PM  

Solved it with spouse's help in the NW: KEDS opened it up.

Like many, I didn't care for Rex's rating of Easy. It wasn't, for me.

But that raises the issue of what standards does Rex use? His own level of difficulty with a particular puzzle in a particular situation like today's puzzle FETE with his speed-solving friend? His experience over time with many puzzles? His sense of what the "average" solver would do with it? And on.

I miss sanfranman's ratings. (Why did he drop out?)

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

Happy Fourth of July!
I read this blog everyday and always wished I could jump in! Even tried free trial of NYT but like my newspaper. Syndiland! How funny! Once someone said happy Father's Day and remembering their dad. (Me too, my dad off course) and wondered if anyone else reads this weeks behind.
Sorry for babbling, just happy to say hi!
Flintstones made me laugh. Took forever! Pirates place threw me. Kept thinking about real pirates or people pirating things. Never solved it. But happy I completed three quarters on a Saturday!
Fireworks in Las Vegas:)

leftcoastTAM 7:43 PM  

Welcome to Syndiland, @Cathy.

A Saturday 3/4 solve ain't bad.

Stay with us; we need recruits.

rondo 8:03 PM  

@Cathy = Indeed, stick around and toss in a comment even if it's short. Syndiland is very welcoming.
Might've been me on Father's Day. I can get off puzzle track some days

spacecraft 8:05 PM  

Yes, welcome fellow Vegasite! Not wilting under these triple-digit temps, I trust. Stay and play!

BS2 8:16 PM  


LETTUCESay our HIES now, we OTTERSay a warm welcome, too,
when you INSERT a comment, we'll have ADORATION for you.

--- Burma Shave

Anonymous 9:20 PM  

Thanks for replying!!

Really cool:)



Sunday tommarrow:)

A Cretan 3:42 AM  

Rex, you might dig LOGICOMIX by Doxiadis. It's got Bertrand Russell, The Oresteia, and it's a comic!

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