Biscotto bit / FRI 7-24-15 / Bisque bit / Quadratics, e.g.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: 9 minutes 20 seconds, average for Friday

THEME: none

Word of the Day: DARYL HALL (36A: Member of a pop duo whose debut album was titled "Whole Oats"

Daryl Franklin Hohl, professionally known as Daryl Hall (born October 11, 1946) is an American rock, R&B and soul singer, keyboardist, guitarist, songwriter and producer, best known as the co-founder and lead vocalist of Hall & Oates (with guitarist and songwriter John Oates).
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Hall scored several Billboard chart hits and is regarded as one of the best soul singers of his generation.Guitarist Robert Fripp, who collaborated with him in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has written, "Daryl's pipes were a wonder. I have never worked with a more able singer." Since late 2007, he has hosted the web television series, Live from Daryl's House. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. -- Wikipedia

 Someone in comments complained I had no bullet points. So today, 20 bullet points:

1) Patrick Berry, a byline you very much like to see.

2) Don't expect a vowel in the 1-box in a themeless/a.k.a. freestyle grid, do you? I didn't. Threw me off. INSIDE MAN (1a: Helper in a heist)

3) MAMET (22A: "The Cryptogram" playwright David). Amusing clue for a crossword puzzle answer, referencing a different puzzle type.

4) Misdirecting clue at (5D: Bankruptcy declarer of 2013). Not a company but the financially distressed municipality of DETROIT.


6) DARYLHALL as one word looks like a Norwegian surname.

7) MINIS (7D: Some M&M's) was misdirecting. I was thinking it would be a plural color.

8) You're a geography nerd if you had MA??ARA at 10-D and thought the answer would be MARMARA.

9) If you like variety cryptics, check out this Patrick Berry v.c., which I have not yet solved but which is getting extremely positive reviews in the Crucisphere.

10) Grid is a little compartmentalized. NW and SE corners only a little outflow. Very minor blot.

11) Never heard of COMPUWARE but I bet they're one of those companies things would be different without. 

12) Don't understand how the clue for ONE AND ONLY (24D: Perfect match) makes sense. One and only is a unique individual, like "The one and only Lionel Richie," while a "perfect match" is two compatible people.

13) Third best clue:  GHOST TOWN (32D: Nobody's home)

14) Second best clue:  CHASTENED (17A: Newly humble). Precisely and elegantly put.

15) Best clue: SWAT (3D: Try to beat the buzzer?)

16) ESPYS  (29D: Awards show since 1993). What, no Caitlyn??

17) Raise your hand in shame if you had O?AL and put OPAL instead of OVAL at first for (Like some lockets). But I feel that there are enough opal lockets around to make this plausible.

18) Five worst entries test: SOPS, ANG, GILDA, SACS, ET AL. Squeaky clean.

19) Unfairly left off the Best Three Clues list: (Wood choppers of old) for FALSE TEETH.

20) Runner-up for newly revised Best Four Clues list: (Classic pop) for NEHI.

Letter grade of A.

Signed, Matt Gaffney, Regent of CrossWorld for one more day


Whirred Whacks 12:01 AM  

It's always a pleasure to do a Patrick Berry puzzle. Patrick: if you're reading this, would you like to come and guest-host this blog for a week next time Rex goes away? There's your invitation!

@mathguy Happy Birthday to you! In your honor, I will share my favorite number with you.

It is "Phi" or the number behind the "Golden Ratio."
--The numerical value of Phi = 1.618
--Interesting enough, Phi squared = 2.618 or Phi + 1.
--Also curious is that 1/Phi = 0.618 or Phi - 1

More information about the Golden Ratio can be found here.

Many happy returns!

wreck 12:04 AM  

I might as well copy and paste my every other Berry puzzle comments!

jae 12:09 AM  

Easy for me except for the SE.  Put in INSIDE MAN with no crosses when wheel MAN didn't fit and just kept going until I hit the SE.   I know SWEET  N LOW but couldn't come up with it without  fair amount of staring.   COMPUWARE was a WOE, ANTI NOVEL was an educated guess, and FELIPE was not the first Alou that came to mind.   Plus I had GET it before ME. 

Also, sAnyO before CASIO.

My bride, she's my "one and only"...

Delightful Fri.  Smooth with SE providing some crunch.  Excellent 
long downs, fun solve, liked it a lot, but then PB.

Kevin Mcgue 12:29 AM  

20A is a nice misdirect. Many would think of Sanyo, which is actually based in Osaka, not Tokyo.

MDMA 12:32 AM  

9 minutes and 20 seconds? Hmmm. Took me a bit more than twice that, just under 20 minutes. I'm envious of the fast solvers. I lose time awkwardly one-finger typing on the iPad, but still.

Still quite a lot easier and faster than yesterday. With Patrick Berry the clues are as smooth as the fill, the word play can be challenging but it's fair. Unlike yesterday, where the clues were tricksy and not quite cricket, inspiring head scratches or outright WTFs when solved, rather than aha moments and smiles.

Terence Trent D'Arby was a gimme. Fancy name, but real, apart from the affectation of adding an apostrophe. He was kind of a one-album wonder but had a few notable songs like Sign Your Name. Somewhat reminiscent of a deeper-voiced Prince, not just in terms of style, but also high self-opinion and late-career name changes.

Music man 12:36 AM  

Man oh man did I love this puzzle! Easiest Friday I've ever solved somehow too. I actually first got going in the SE and before long had the entire east filled in [at this moment I am so excited about the puzzle that the other half could've been complete junk and I would still have loved this puzzle, thankfully it was not crap in the least]. The clue for FALSE TEETH was simply brilliant! Also enjoyed POTTY and MASCARA. Just great stuff here all over. I did have to run the alphabet for DEAR/DOLLS, was just blanking for sure there.

Agree with @jae, ONE AND ONLY is legit. My perfect match is also my one and only.


Z 12:40 AM  

45 minutes faster than yesterday. Sub 15 is Wednesday territory for me.

What, only 20 bullets‽

Besides DETROIT we also have COMPUWARE, so a double dose of SE Michigan. Re: The DETROIT bankruptcy, this is what happens when you let current "Republicans" run your state - you can't pay your bills.

chefwen 12:42 AM  

Hell of a lot better than yesterday's bang your head on the wall puzzle. Had a little problem in the NW where I filled in phat at 8D. Do people even say that anymore? I'M SO SORRY in/out and in again. Got it before GET ME was also a tripping point. Overall a fun (non banging head) head puzzle. Thank you, once again, Patrick Berry.

Anonymous 1:23 AM  

First, I want to mention that Gaffeney didn't promise to send me money in his post.

Second, I'm now banning "crunchy" from being used to describe puzzles. Enough with the crunchy!!

Third, I don't have a third.


jp flanigan 1:27 AM  

YES...I loved this one as much as I hated yesterdays. I had no issue with One And Only as a synonym for You are my PERFECT MATCH.

Anoa Bob 1:42 AM  

The ANG DARBY REEVE RYDER get-together in the SW nearly had me reaching for some ALEVE.

Tried to make the puzzle a one-square rebus by stuffing ANGST NOVEL into 52A "Literary term popularized by Sartre". Never heard of ANTINOVEL. When it comes to nay-saying existentialist writers, put me in the ILLITERATE column.

Brian B 2:24 AM  

First time I've ever solved the puzzle faster than whoever writes it up here. For some reason everything seemed to flow from start to finish -- once I got out of the NW I never even had to restart, every answer crossed one I already had. I expect that will happen again in 2037 or so.

I think you can get opal lockets in Opa-Locka.

David Krost 2:57 AM  

Matt -

Nice job this week. I think I like you better than Rex (Shhhhh!!)

But I am a little surprised about bullet point #12. You know, You are my One and Only, as in what lovers say to each other (in the old days, maybe). I think it is in lots of songs. Adele (you know Adele of course) has a song with that title and the relevant lyric is

"I dare you to let me be your, your one and only,
I promise I'm worthy, mm..."

Carry on!

jae 3:14 AM  

So tonight I'm watching The Daily Show from Wed. (I try to stay at least a day behind on pretty much everything) and there is Chuck Schumer holding up a pink packet of SWEET N LOW talking about how it's a Brooklyn product. My point being that If I cared about being current I could have saved myself some staring. And no, I'm not going to change.

Ellen S 3:28 AM  

I don't mind not having heard of "ANTINOVEL", but I worked nearly 30 yeears for IBM, most of them at a time when if you said "computer" you meant "mainframe" because that's all there was; Amdahl and Hewlett-Parckard were "Big names in mainframes" we could go to work for and make more money, but Big Blue promised us that what we lacked in top wages, we made up for in platinum benefits, like a stellar retirement plan and health care for life (hahahahahaha -- like warranties on cheap toys, "for the life of the toy", and health care for the life of the promise, which ended a while ago!). COMPUWARE? There's such a thing? Ohhhh, they're a software company, producing programs for mainframes, not a mainframe company. I can accept that. After IBM, I worked for three years at a software company called Boole & Babbage. I still have never heard of them, and I worked there three years. I've heard of George Boole, and I've heard of Charles Babbage, but "Boole & Babbage" isn't a thing, even though I worked there and have t-shirts to prove it. Maybe this COMPUWARE is the same thing.

Super fun puzzle, great clues as noted by everyone else.

jae 4:01 AM  

@Ellen S - If you haven't already seen it, you might enjoy Halt and Catch Fiire on AMC. Season 2 is already 8 episodes in but season 1 is available on Netflix streaming.

Charles Flaster 4:26 AM  

Medium Friday with many likable clues for--GHOST TOWN, FALSE TEETH, and SWAT.
Quadratics as an example of math is legit but quite a stretch.
Hand up for OpAL versus OVAL.
NW was time consuming as I was looking for an abbreviation-- N CAROLINA/ S CAROLINA.
Felt the clue should have read "United States ".
Thanks PB.

Anonymous 4:30 AM  

Hand raised for the OPAL/OVAL conundrum. That was my last square.

I really enjoyed your stint at the helm, Matt. Please do it again.


Loren Muse Smith 5:35 AM  

Neither fill-in-th-blank clue gave me a toehold, so my first two entries were I'M SO SORRY and DARYL HALL.

Then off an L, I snorted as I considered "ovals" for what a plangonologist collects because OVAL seems to be the darling of grids of late (at least in other weekly puzzles). Anyway, you would think, then, that plangonolophobia would be the fear of dolls, but it's not. I've just spent ten fascinating minutes scanning a huge list of phobias – who comes up with these words? – and the one I suffer quite terribly from is not even listed: globophobia. Harrumph.

Serendipity - Mom and Dad arrived yesterday afternoon for a weekend visit. When I made Dad a cup of coffee, I realized I had forgotten to pick up some SWEET N LOW for him. Not to worry: having eaten breakfast at Cracker Barrel and lunch at Bob Evans, they both stood up and began pulling all kinds of SWEET N LOW packets out of all kinds of pockets.


Look, I know someone will set me straight here, but the clue for INERT made me pause. The "unable" part had me thinking about this inability, which, for me, implies some kind of desire to be otherwise. Could you argue that "unable to be flat" could clue MOUNTAINOUS? Almost feels like Helium, say, secretly wishes that it could react. Could "reactive" be clued as "unable to be inert?" I wish I had studied more semantics. Whatever the case, if Helium, Neon, et al just sit there being all inert even though they wish they could react just this once… good for them. Quite a noble existence, in fact. (Aw c'mon – you had to know that was coming.)

The clue for EXEMPT reminded me of yesterday's ATIP. "Off the hook" – disatipped.

"coke" before NEHI
"blues" before MINIS (hand up, Matt, for going with a color first)

I cruised through this baby like nobody's business. Loved it. Thanks, PB. Enjoy your weekend, everyone, and may all the skeletons you stumble upon be inert.

Thomaso808 6:15 AM  

Lots of excellence on display in this PB puzzle.

Note to self: if the Alou answer is six letters, it's a gimme for FELIPE.

@Whirred, nice write up on the golden ratio, all new to me.

@MATHguy, Happy Birthday! You got your name in a PB puzzle! Were you a Giants fan when the Alou brothers all played outfield In the same game?

DrLee77 6:35 AM  

I add my thanks to Matt for his interesting write-ups this week. Like many others I like PB's puzzles and really was on his wavelength. This was my fastest Friday time ever at just over 15 minutes. @MDMA I share your envy. My Friday times are usually 30+. One silly write over MINtS for MINIS; quickly corrected. One serious write over having no contact in any form with "Brideshead Revisited"; TEARGASSEs crossing RYsER took a while to correct to get the solution on the NYT app. @ Loren Muse Smith I love your ILLITERATE GHOST TOWN string. @Anoa Bob and @Ellen S I also never heard of ANTINOVEL. Sarte is not in my ball park.
Thanks PB for a great puzzle and Matt for thoughtful write up.

Kris in ABCA 7:37 AM  

@Thomas808 - For the six letter Alou, my first thought was Moises - so FELIPE may not always be the answer.

RAD2626 7:39 AM  

What a pleasure after yesterday's pain. Definitely worth the trade off. Started with plaIn for M&M's, being color blind, but otherwise flowed smoothly. Did not understand beating the buzzer answer til I saw it in writeup this morning. Duh. SWATted myself on the forehead. What a terrific puzzle. Thank you as always Patrick Berry.

joho 7:58 AM  

Happy Birthday, @MATHguy! I also noticed the shout out to you at 22D. Maybe on your special day you can be MATHGENT and get your whole name mentioned!

@Lewis, your double letter fascination is rubbing off on me! 6 LLs, 3 EEs, 2 TTs and 1 each OO, RR and SS. Is this unusual?

Patrick Berry does it again! Wonderful answers and entertaining answers as usual. I wholeheartedly agree with Matt's A. I also agree with everyone who really appreciated your write-ups this week.

Thanks PB & MG!

Danield 8:00 AM  

Once again all is right in the universe as we have an easier-than-usual Friday following a harder-than-usual Thursday. I moved through this quickly once I picked up the PB flow, but got jammed at exemPt/soP cross. Coulda looked at that for a week and not seen it.

Counter Culture 8:10 AM  

Only having 2 3-letter words made this puzzle awesome.
Next request for puzzle data-miners out there:

1)What is the average number of 3-letter words in a puzzle?
2) How many puzzles have had no 3-letter words in the Shortz era?

Aketi 8:15 AM  
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Moly Shu 8:27 AM  

aspartame before SWEETNLOW, and I thought I was so clever. "Everyone else is gonna put in SWEETNLOW, and everyone is gonna be wrong. I'm the only genius". Then I panicked when it occurred to me that SWEETNLOW might be Saccharin (it is). "Oh, not quite as smart as you thought you were, but still plenty clever". Turns out, I'm an idiot. No big surprise, that. Typical PB1, smooth smooth smooth. Loved the clues for GHOSTTOWN and FALSETEETH. When SOPS and OOPS are the worst parts of your puzzle.....

Thx @MGaffney, I too have thouroughly enjoyed your Regency.

Aketi 8:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
AliasZ 8:43 AM  

This was one lovely PB & J puzzle (J for joy). I noticed that when all entries are clean, in-the-language words and phrases that we all know and use every day (except all the names), the solve flows smoothly, without having to stop and look at any of them thinking "this couldn't be," or "shouldn't be" or "are you for real?" etc. Today's gem is a perfect example of this. Well, perhaps not ANTINOVEL, you know the one about you existentialist auntie GILDA.

It helped that I watched GILDA with Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford on TCM just the other night.

- There were more names in this puzzle than there are FISHES in the sea.
- You can sing falsetto with FALSETEETH and falsies -- True or False? What if they fall out?
- Billboard ads that should be posted all over Michigan: DETROIT -- don't GOTOIT.
- People living in glass houses shouldn't hide SKELETONS in their closets.

Let's say good-bye to another work week with this lovely music for DOLLS, for piano 4 hands, by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924).


L 9:00 AM  

I have never completed a friday puzzle and today's puzzle is no different...except that I did solve a nice chunk today before hitting the blog for help. Great feeling to get at least halfway through on a friday! Woohoo!

Carola 9:27 AM  

Medium for me. After the easy-ish and delightful corners, I got seriously bogged down while trying to stair-step from DEAR down to ANG. I had no idea about DARYL HALL or about DOLL collectors, and I felt the "Hearty greeting" and "Omission statement" clues were taunting me with "GET ME?" I loved it when I finally did.

Now for the grousing portion of our program: I thought the pile-up of names in the LEAR-ALLAH-DARYL HALL-ANG-DARBY area was PB-unworthy - but the appended "OOPS!" to that section is so amusingly apt I guess I should forgive him.

Haiku Nerd 9:28 AM  


Hartley70 9:30 AM  

🎈🎊🎉🎁Happy Birthday @MathGuy and @Aketi!! (Age before Beauty) I hope you both enjoy your special day! Ahh, Summer of '69....sun, sand, summer job on Cape Cod.

PB does it again and makes Friday fun. There's just nothing not to like here.

@RAD2626, I too started with PLAIN, a level of sophistication above a color, dontcha think?

John V 9:34 AM  

Pretty easy stuff. Harder stuff was fairly crossed. Typical PB puzzle: lots of fun.

My hand up, too, Matt for having the pleasure of your company this week.

Lewis 9:35 AM  

@joho -- I counted 16 double letters (two more than you), which is high but not unusually high (over 20). I haven't tracked individual double letters (I do need a life), but six double-Ls seems mighty high!
@Matt -- excellent insights all week!

Yes, just two 3's in this puzzle, and as PB-usual, no junk, not a single ugly word. None. Deceptive cluing and clever cluing (MASCARA, FALSETEETH, GHOSTTOWN). I like having the RYDER crossing the backward RAIL, and the backward WONK crossing COMPUWARE. The East fell quickly for me, the West tougher. The puzzle had smile moments, spark, and riddles all over the place. What a great solving experience!

John V 9:52 AM  

@Counter Culture: Xwordinfo reports 55 grids with no three letter answers. Don't know about average threes, but it should vary by day, more in early week, fewer as the week marches on.

Nancy 9:55 AM  

A Patrick Berry puzzle for MATHguy's birthday! Bet you enjoyed the treat, MATHguy. I enjoyed it, too. And Happy birthday, Aketi. Two people on the blog with the same birthday -- how rare is that? Actually, I gather it's not nearly as rare as people think. Maybe MATHguy can tell us the odds?

Couldn't get a toehold in the NW, but INERT and two gimmes, LEAR and ANG gave me a toehold further down. The NW was the last section I completed and for me the hardest.

Like Matt, I loved the clues for GHOSTTOWN (#1 clue for me), SWAT and FALSETEETH. Like others, I wanted a color for the M&Ms, then I wanted MINtS (though I've never tasted a mint M&M) but never wrote it in. I liked the clues, also, for MAFIA and MASCARA -- the latter easier for me to see than the former. Like @Ellen S., I never heard of ANTINOVEL. Is an ANTINOVEL one that features an antihero?

Thank you, @lms, for the wonderful line: "And may all your SKELETONS be INERT." May I use it sometime? Perhaps in place of "and may all your Christmases be white." Only for Halloween.

A wonderful themeless Friday. But not, to my way of thinking, as wonderful as yesterday's mind-blowing challenge.

Campesite 9:58 AM  

Yesterday, on a flight, I rather smugly folded my Thursday NYT to the crossword, put it on my tray table ready to impress not only my row, but surely the people across the aisle as well. Then I ran into that weird rebus and was, ahem, chastened and had to put the thing away with a DNF. Today I did it at home, with no uninterested audience to sit in awe at my first sub-9 minute Friday ever. The ego may explain why I loved today's and not so much yesterday's.

Would have liked to see Radner as the Gilda clue, as that would have been two talented SNL women in as many days.

Aketi 10:15 AM  

@ math guy, happy birthday. (It's mine too). July 24, 1969 was the date when the Apollo 11 Team returned to earth after the first walk on the moon. Originally, the walk on the moon was scheduled for July 24th.

@ANOA BOB, I much prefer your ANGST NOVEL to ANTI NOVEL.

The MASCARA clue caused me to laugh. I once dressed up for Halloween as a boxer and used navy blue eye shadow and mascara to create a faux black eye. It looked so real that no one realized I was in costume. Reactions ranged from looking away to "you'll do better next time".

shaunreen 10:30 AM  

As per bullet #16, did you see how close "Espys" in the puzzle was to "Espys in the adjoining article?

Ludyjynn 10:33 AM  

Beautiful PB puzzle. Not an OOPS to be found.

The clue for FALSETEETH made me think of George Washington. I've been to Mt. Vernon several times, where there is a display of the dentures fashioned for him by Dr. J. Greenwood. They are not, as commonly believed, made of wood, but rather of hippopotamus ivory, human teeth, gold and brass! There is a wonderful website, "George Washington's Mount Vernon", which has interesting photos of the teeth, and much more. BTW, the private philanthropist who paid for half of the repairs to the Washington Monument has also donated a chunk of cash for the improvements which have continued to be made at this remarkable historic venue.

Thanks, MG, PB and WS for a SWEET Friday solve.

mathgent 10:39 AM  

@Whirred Whacks: Thanks for the material about the Golden Ratio. There's some controversy over whether a rectangle with those dimensions is the most pleasing to the eye, but it is certainly a fascinating number.

@Nancy: There is a famous problem in mathematics called The Birthday Problem. It concerns a randomly-selected group of people and their birthdays. If the group has at least 23 or 24 or 25 people in it (I can't remember the exact number), the probability is 1/2 that there are two in the group with the same birthday.

@joho: Thank you. Hereafter I shall be known as "mathgent."

Teedmn 10:50 AM  

Birthday greetings, @mathguy and @Aketi!

Like @Nancy, I found the NW toughest, with DETROIT my only entry there, since I took IM SO out of 4D, second-guessing as usual. But NEHI led to INSIDE MAN and all was well, albeit a 21 minute finish. But it felt easy, nevertheless.

@LMS, does 'globophobia, relate to 'moist' or 'spume'?

Thanks, PB1 and @Matt Gaffney.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

"S/he's my one and only" has the connotation of being one's perfect match, doesn't it?

Joseph Michael 10:58 AM  

The ONE AND ONLY Patrick Berry does it again. This puzzle is ACES: great construction and entertaining clues, especially the clue for FALSE TEETH.

Liked learning the terms PLANGONOLOGISTS and ANTINOVEL.

The best part about this puzzle is that it is totally accessible -- no junk or esoteric terms -- while still managing to stack four 9-letter words at each end.

@Matt, those were't bullet points. They were numbers :-)

Whirred Whacks 11:20 AM  

The Golden Ratio can be seen in many places: spirals, triangles, rhombi, as well as rectangles.

My favorite is the 30-sided polyhedron, the rhombic triacontahedron shown here.

The ratio of the long axis to the short axis on each rhombus face is 1.618, or phi. I think it is the most beautiful of all the polyhedra (it's also the basis of my Ball of Whacks).

MetroGnome 11:26 AM  

53 across -- brand name
54 across -- brand name
55 across -- name from TV show
56 across -- brand name

Is this a crossword puzzle or a trivia contest?

Airymom 11:28 AM  

Friends and family ask me, "why do you do the NY Times puzzle every day?"

This puzzle is why.

Leapfinger 11:32 AM  

Minor blot (per MG) in the NW meant I had nothing but IMSORRY and, by virtue of running the States for an M in the right spot, NEWMEXICO. Had to return at the end to rassle it to the ground. What great fill and clues, ESP'y those on @Matt's list!!

A plus.
AL, EVE, A HOYden, a Rep ANADEM walked into a bar.

"What'll it be, Ladies and GENTs?", asked the bartender.

"DANG, you're new, aren't you?", said Al Levy. "Who are you, and what have you done with our Louie?"

"My name is Al, AL LAHti, and Louie hasn't been here since he went a little POTTY. He'll be back when he's better, 'cause he's the front man, and I'm just the fill-IN SIDE MAN", Al quipped.

"Oh DEAR, I don't see Auntie Mame around either", said the Rep Artois.

"She's off writing another book", said EVE. "Claims it'll be the definitive ANTI Mame NOVEL. I hear she's just remarried, a fellow named Thibodeaux, and she now goes by Auntie MAME T."

"Remember that movie about her? I remember that MINI School they were running, where they taught the kiddies exactly how the GENT and lady FISHES GO TO IT."

"Yup, she's a good old girl. She always maintained that CHASTENED was wastened."

Never ILL to reITERATE; @MATHguy, this MATH's for you!

Cheers all around.

nick 12:03 PM  

Always a pleasure to be in the hands of a master. Great start to the day.

Roo Monster 12:06 PM  

Hey All !
Good puz, my hardest spot was the SE. Had the COMPU, but the WARE wasn't happening. GET ME got me as I had GoTit. Also, GHOSTlike, moises. So that corner took some time to ALEVE. :-)

COTTAGERS a new term for me. Some other writeovers: GOdOIT-> GOTOIT, eLSe-> ALSO, RYsER-> RYDER, CHASTizED. Liked alot of the clues, semi-misdirectional, but fun twists instead of brain twisting. One (minor) nit, kind of an odd themeless grid, maybe take out a block or two to open it up more. IMO. (Now ducking the thrown detritus heading my way by the PB1 defenders!)



old timer 12:17 PM  

Not easy, but not hard either. My first guess: ILLITERATE. PB is tricky but rarely *too* tricky, and as a result I have not a single writeover. No, I had one: "GETME" for "Get it". Almost lost it on COMPUWARE, which back in the day was a stock market darling. They may have abandoned the quest for endless growth, but if you supply software for mainframes, you are going to have a lot of steady, continuing business.

Did anyone else waste all sorts of time running down their mental list of state capitals on the eastern seaboard, only to say to himself: "Duh! New Mexico of course. Santa Fe!"

(You know, I would love a puzzle that had Atchison, Topeka *and* Santa Fe, plus the Jack Benny trio of Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu ... camonga. Three towns in L.A. and Orange Counties that are served by, or at least reasonably close to, the Santa Fe railroad.)

Cleverest clue: The one for GHOSTTOWN. Most elegant answer: CHASTENED.

Another first-rate puzzle, Mr. Berry.

jberg 12:23 PM  

Like @Loren, I put in Coke for the classic pop, and immediately confirmed it with 'accessory' at 1A. Fortunately, Colorado was too short for 15A, which had to be New Mexico. I didn't want to accept it, but once I did the NW was easy, and I worked my way down the Pacific coast without too much trouble (except for wanting Advil instead of ALEVE) -- but the other side was touch, had to start over again 2 or 3 times. I was doing all this on a subway ride across town, which didn't help -- and neither did the misdirect EmmYS at 29D. Like @Shaunreen, I solve in the printed paper -- but to do so, I always fold it into quarters, so didn't see it right next door in the review of "I am Cait."

It came together, though. Nice puzzle, nice bullet points, nice week from Mr. Gaffney.

Lewis 12:23 PM  

Factoid: Scientists haven't been able to pinpoint the cause, but PINE NUTs can cause a condition called "pine nut syndrome" or "pine nut mouth" which begins 1-3 days after ingesting and lasts from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, where everything a person eats tastes bitter. It does go away eventually on its own.

Quotoid: "A committee is a group that keeps minutes and LOSES hours." -- Milton Berle

AliasZ 12:26 PM  

@Leapy, LOL! And all the little FISHES go goup, goup, goup...

Here is a nice little waltz just for you, called "Je te veux", played by Jean-Yves Thibodeaux, er, Thibaudet.

@mathgent, Happy Birthday!

Not educated in your country 12:34 PM  

old timer, a quick scan down the Eastern Seaboard showed no state with the 4th letter being M. Since I had my money on IMSOSORRY for 4D, that's what I was looking for, and didn't have long to look.

Leapfinger 12:46 PM  

@AliasZ, c'est bien charmant, ca. J'y penserai.
A very nice little tie-in there that made me think of Satie 'n' DOLLS.

A correction to my previous post, addressing MATHguy instead of MATHGENT. Definitely a "closer" descriptor.

Masked and Anonymous 1:21 PM  

m@Gaffneymeister: Best. Writeup. Ever. A+. Mic drop. No more bets. Etc.
Agree, {Try to beat the buzzer} was epic clue. Wonder if PB1 wrote that one?
(Always kinda hard to tell, but I know he is a primo clue-constructioneer.)

Fun, fairly smooth solve, thanx. How M&A got in: NEWMEXICO. How M&A got out: Clean Livin.

Company that saved the grid from a shutout, today: compUware. Near alarmin, and near typical: E's get
27 appearances. U gets pine nuts.

Glad other folks in The Comment Gallery have established their own neighborhood weeject watch. Today's sightings: two out of 68. Harsh. Arid. Wee.



mac 1:30 PM  

Happy birthday @Matchgent and @Aketi! Many thanks to Matt, it was a good blog week.

I had the most trouble in the SE corner, everything else was smooth and fun. Great puzzle by
the master.

Thomaso808 1:41 PM  

@Kris in ABCA, good point. Revised note to self: if the "Alou brothers" answer is six letters, it's a gimme for FELIPE.

Masked and Anonymous 1:43 PM  

fave Patrick Berry Usage Immunity list new addition: COTTAGERS. Bravo. Long overdue.
M&A now lobbyin for: COTTAGECHEESERS.


Happy B-day, everybody! 22-D forever. Same for @Aketi, who's kinda in there, if U play Boggle wordsearch, startin at box 52.

Anonymous 2:06 PM  

One nit for an otherwise unblemished construction:
Someone said U gets PINENUTS, and I KNOW some of U may not GET ME on this, but it sure seems to me that... If Biscotto, then PIGNOLI/O.

okanaganer 2:14 PM  

@Anonymous 1:23 AM -- but this puzzle is extra crunchy. It has FALSE TEETH and a PINE NUT.

Tita 3:32 PM  

Just back from Cape Cod (Hi, @Hartley), where the weather, tides, and LOBSTER Bisques were ACES, though we did have to SWAT plenty of greenheads.

After much staring and false positives, got the NE, E, and entire SE, then said - OOPS, this is unfinishable!

But, I was ALEVEd to eventually, miraculously finish - on my own.

Nice puzzle, PB!

Abd Happy Birthday, @Mathguy...

Anonymous 3:51 PM  

Gee @Ludy, that is some interesting information about Mt. Vernon. You should be a tour guide or something. You know so much about so many places and you feel the need to share your insights with everyone on a crossword blog.

Fred Romagnolo 3:52 PM  

Happy birthday @Aketi; wished same yesterday to @Mathgent (formerly known as @Mathguy). @Metrognome (or is it @Metrotroll?), Brideshead Revisited was famous as a novel long before it was a TV show. No point in praising Patrick Berry, who has become our resident deity (except to @Metrotroll). Kinda funny having POTTY mouth in the same puzzle with MAMET who is South Park's favorite author, not to mention 31 down. If any of you haven't seen Rita Hayworth in her prime, it would be worthwhile seeing some of her oldies; she was ravishing: tragically died of Altzheimer's while only in her 50's. Her daughter is an actual princess, and she's not even from Monaco. Factoid (with a tip of the hat to our Lewis), you can buy SWEET N LOW in granular form at about half the price as in packets; it even includes an itty-bitty plastic spoon which exactly measures a tsp. of sucrose.

Tita 3:54 PM  

Congrats, @L - keep plugging away, keep reading the blog and comments, and put the puzzle down for 20 minutes or 2 hours or two days - you'll be amazed at what falls into place when you do that... (You won't win any speed awards, but lots of us care nothing about speed.)

Happy Birthday @Aketi.

And yes, @M&A - I wondered about the immUnity claUse on tUrning a blind eye re: COTTEGERS.
But with so many really spectacUlar clUes/fills, only a groUch would complain.

And thanks so much, Mr. Gaffney - it's been a great week - I learned lots, and hope you're tapped to fill in again.

Doug Garr 4:03 PM  

This must have been easy for most highly accomplished solvers. It's the first Friday I actually finished in a long time.

Anoa Bob 4:11 PM  

NEW MEXICO has the same number of letters as, and shares the first three letters with, NEW Jersey. Yeah, I tried Jersey first.

Even the great ones resort to Letter Count Manipulation (LCM) to get the grid filled. I think I have a better sense of when a themed puzzle leans a little too heavily on LCM's in the fill, but I did notice quite a few in today's PB1 themeless: CHASTENED, SELLS, SOPS, COTTAGERS, FISHES, LOSES, SKELETONS, TEARGASSED, MINIS, SACS, ACES, DOLLS, NODS, & ESPYS.

Most were POCs but a few, CHASTEN, COTTAGE, SKELETON, & TEAR GAS, needed some letter-count augmentation to fill their longer, marquee slots.

AnonyMatterOfFact 4:24 PM  

Isn't All crossword construction a matter of Letter Count Manipulation and Letter Type Manipulation?

Anonymous 4:28 PM  

This puzzle was Berry easy, Berry satisfying, and Berry smooth. See what I did there?

Ludyjynn 4:51 PM  

Dear @Anonymouse 3:51 pm (a/k/a Travel Troll): I will continue to write about what moves me on any given day in response to a particular puzzle. YOU may either skip my comments if they offend your sensibilities OR contribute something useful of your own to this blog OR continue to write bile-filled snark directed at me and/or others here. The choice is yours. Have a nice day!

Anonymous 4:56 PM  

You tell 'em @ Ludy. Maybe tomorrow you can give us some tips about Paris, or Lancaster, PA, or Boise, ID. Or maybe your own asshole, which seems to have been switched with your mouth at birth. Can't wait.

RAD2626 4:58 PM  

@mathgent aka birthday boy and @ Nancy. Your memory was good. The odds go over 50% at 23 people that two will have the same birthday. By 30 they are at 70% and by 40 they get to 90%. Since there are certainly more than 40 posters here, the odds were very good.

Anonymous 5:00 PM  

Interesting taker, @RAD, but I suspect there are about 10 posters here who use 5 different names each.

evil doug 5:56 PM  

Is an INSIDEMAN the same as a BACKDOOR man? Discuss.


One of @Ludy's fans 6:13 PM  

Hey, Anon 3:51 -- Ever heard the expression: "Water seeks its own level"? No? Ever heard the expression: "Thou shalt not cast thy pearls among swine"? @Ludyjynn is not writing TO you or FOR you, my dear Anonymouse. She is writing for those among us who might be lucky enough to share her humor, intelligence, charm, professional accomplishments and kindness. That leaves you...out. For the rest of us, we LOVE her posts and look forward to them.

Anonymous 7:18 PM  

@OO@LF: I am happy to hear that you like self-indulgent drivel. Have at it.

Anonymous 7:32 PM  

I wonder who the @6:13 anonymouse is who thinks they can speak for the entire board? Pretty presumptuous and pompous, but that seems expected for a fan of @Ludy.

Leapfinger 7:57 PM  

Having never heard the term 'plangonologist' before today, I was intrigued enough to browse around, and Mental Floss provides this list of 20 hoarders, OOPS, I mean collectors of things to HEAP around the house. I was chuffed to see @LMS' parents top the list.

1. SUCROLOGISTS collect those little sugar packets from restaurants.

2. DELTIOLOGISTS study and collect postcards.

3. PHILLUMENISTS collect matchbooks and 'match-related' items.

4. PANNAPICTAGRAPHISTS is an over-long name for comic-book collectors.

5. VEXILLOPHILES collect and display flags.

6. PLANGONOLOGISTS meant to collect dolls, though that plangon astray.

7. VELOLOGISTS collect and study expired specimens of the tax discs that British vehicles have been required to display since the beginning of 1921

8. ARENOPHILES collect sand samples from around the world. They particularly prize rare samples of black or green sand from certain beaches. Occasionally, they collect ARENOROCKS, and then argue about whether those are really STADIUMROCKS

9. TEGESTOLOGISTS collect coasters or beermats

10. LABEORPHILISTS are collectors of beer bottles. They should probably team up with Tegestologists, and hang out in bars

11. FALERISTS study and collect medals, badges, pins, and other military and civilian awards and decorations.

12. SCUTELLIPHILES are similar to falerists, but they collect souvenir patches and badges.

13. LOTOLOGISTS collect lottery tickets, both used and unused. In 2006 reports claimed that retired U.S. Navy diver Dennis Morse had one of the world’s largest lotology collections. It included over 250,000 losing scratch-off tickets.

14. ARCTOPHILES cuddle up with their stockpile of teddy bears.

15. GALANTHOPHILES collect various cultivars of the small white-flower-bearing plant known as the snowdrop.

16. TYROSEMIOPHILES collect cheese labels.

17. FUSILATELISTS collect phone cards issued by telecom companies. This term is used in the U.K. In the USA, calling card collectors are known as telegerists.

18. HELIXOPHILES study and collect corkscrews. Every party should have one.

19. BRANDOPHILISTS collect cigar bands, but sneer at garage bands.

20. ENTREDENTOLIGNUMOLOGISTS. Such people may not exist, but this term has been coined to describe collectors of toothpick boxes. [LF: I spose this term is restricted to collectors of wooden toothpick boxes. For toothpicks made of plastic,the 'LIGNUM' part would probably be replaced by some more petrochemical word root.)

I imagine every collection comes with its own collection of Pulvis Leporum.

Will we find out what @Aketi did on her birthday?

Anonymous 9:42 PM  

From West Coast Shrink

@LudyJynn and fan, you pass the quantified professional standards of the personality disorder spectrum analysis with flying colors. Congratulations. You're sane. You will enjoy great success in interpersonal relationships and communication.

@Anonymice, you've flunked and now are officially classified as NUTS! Treatment may be successful from a member of the American Psychiatric Association.

Anonymous 10:14 PM  

Wait since anonymous wrote the post @9:42, is it invalidated because he is NUTS! by his own reasoning? So confusing.

paulsfo 10:40 PM  

I've been familiar with Hall & Oates since the early 70s and, until I read the wikipedia blurb in the blog, the idea that D. Hall is a soul singer never entered my mind. Maybe they're talking about some other body of work; just can't see it.

Liked the puzzle. :)

kitshef 11:20 PM  

Beautiful puzzle with many great longwords and few short bad ones.

Yes strangely unsatisfying as it was too easy - Wednesdayish, I think.

On a normal Friday I have overwrites all over the place. Today, FrontS before FISHES and nose before INCH. That's it that's all.

Thumbs up for ONEANDONLY being acceptable.

@Ludy, you'll probably never see this as it is my typically late post, but I liked your Mt. Vernon info.

@LMS. Yes, the clue for INERT is peculiar of phrasing. It's like calling a salt shaker unborn. It may be true, but you wouldn't say it.

Andrew Heinegg 12:08 AM  

Ignore the obnoxious comments from Anonymous. Your post was interesting and informative.

Leapfinger 8:48 AM  

Any Doug Marlette fans still out there?

Thy Will B. Dunn, INERT as he is in Heaven.

Read his "Magic Time". Gone too soon.

old timer 1:16 PM  

"You know, I was educated in your country" said the man with a Japanese accent, "at UCRA" From an early Kingston Trio album. A joke like that would never be allowed today.

But I'm coming back with the classic funny story, inspired by one of the recent posts. Back in the 1930's, famed playwright Clare Boothe (later to become Clare Boothe Luce) and renowned Algonquin wit Dorothy Parker were at a party, trying to get through a door at the same time. The catty Boothe gestured that Parker should go first, saying, "Age before beauty." Without missing a beat, Parker swept through the doorway, and said, "Pearls before swine!"

andy 2:06 PM  

Boy, was I thrown for a loop when I saw this upbeat, fun blog entry. I thought Rex hit his head and/or had woken up on wrong side of the bed. Turned out to be a guest blogger, so I guess Rex is ok.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

DEAR me, PB1 is definitely the ATEAM


Wanted something like Shiva for ALLAH, gotta keep my gods straight.

spacecraft 11:00 AM  

Bullet point #10: I totally agree. ONEANDONLY one way intothose corners, and if you can say that's the worst thing about the puzzle, then the constructor did a helluva job. You can, and he did.

#12: I too was momentarily confused by the clue "Perfect match," which seemed to refer to both halves, but not necessarily. "He's the perfect match for her," etc. A lid for every pot, my grandma used to say.

Why does it seem so easy to solve this? Quad nines in two corners; side-by-side tens in the opposite ones--yet everything flows. No need to ask: just look at the byline. I would say, if you aspire to Mr. Berry's level of expertise, simply do one thing:

Make Sense.

Sounds easy enough. Right. I've never heard the exact term ANTINOVEL before, but what else would you call No Exit? I mean, "Hell is other people." If that's not ANTI, nothing is.

I do wonder about COTTAGERS. I'm an "apartmenter" myself. Used to be a "houser." Thank goodness I was never a "condominiumer." However, upon looking it up (post-solve, of course), I find that it is indeed a real word. I kind of knew it would be, else P.B. would simply never have used it.

#20: Yeah. A. No-brainer.

rondo 12:13 PM  

Not easy, but no write-overs. Certain constructors can be appreciated in that way. ATALL order that is.

Loved the FALSETEETH clue. Was surprised at NEWMEXICO, learned something there.

Saw DARYLHALL and John Oates in February 2002. Bitter cold outside but things got hot during the concert with a certain colleague from work who had the hots for me. It was our ONEANDONLY date, but she accomplished her mission. Now it’ one of those SKELETONS in the closet. OOPS!

Could have clued RYDER as Winona, yeah baby born here in MN.

Really nice puz, EXEMPT from criticism by me.

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

Great Friday puzzle and a relief from yesterday's connivance. No look-ups and only one writeover: Gotme instead of getme. New Mexico was a gimme. Santa Fe was the oldest state capital but at that time not part of the United States. When NM became a state it then became the state with the oldest capital. I faintly believe I was there when it happened.

Kudos for false teeth, minis, ghost town and mascara. You are one sly devil Mr. Berry and I won't play poker with you. Berry, berry nice puzzle.

Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA (Where all the mileage signs have been changed to kilometers and now it takes longer to get home).

eastsacgirl 1:46 PM  

SE was hardest for me. Had GoTit for the longest time. Much more fun than yesterday but still a DNF. Haven't done puzzle for 2 weeks due to surgery and it shows!

longbeachlee 3:24 PM  

Flirts before fishes

leftcoastTAM 5:53 PM  

Loved the puzzle until I HITandMISSed in the SE corner. COMPUWARE? Never heard of it. Sartre's term ANTINOVEL? Should have but haven't heard of it ATALL. SACS is pretty common crosswordese, but "Alveoli" was opaque to me. (Garnish or green vegetable anybody?)

I am duly CHASTENED. And this after yesterday's near MISS.

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