Art supplies since 1903 / TUE 10-13-15 / Looney Tunes character with strong Southern accent / Ali G portrayer Baron Cohen / Back to Future hero Marty

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: —  both words of two-part names and phrases occupy same space in grid (so you have to read the Across twice to get the full answer). The two parts mostly share letters, and where they don't, two letters share the same square, with the letter from the first part coming first in the Down cross, and the letter in the second part coming second. So with HERMAN'S HERMITS, the answer is HERM--S ... then just write "A" and "N" in the top halves of the remaining two boxes, respectively, and "I" and "T" in the bottom halves. This will make the Downs make sense.

Theme answers:
  • CRAYOLA / CRAYONS (17A: Art supplies since 1903)
  • FOGHORN / LEGHORN (18A: Looney Tunes character with a strong Southern accent)
  • CHARLIE / CHAPLIN (39A: Director with three films on A.F.I.'s list of 100 greatest movies, all of them silent)
  • HERMAN'S / HERMITS (41A: "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" band)
  • LILLIAN / HELLMAN (63A: "The Little Foxes" playwright)
  • WASHING / MACHINE (66A: Laundromat feature)
Word of the Day: LILILAN HELLMAN (63A: "The Little Foxes" playwright) —
Lillian Florence "Lilly" Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was an American dramatist and screenwriter known for her success as a playwright on Broadway, as well as her left-wing sympathies and political activism. She famously was blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) at the height of the anti-communist campaigns of 1947–52. Although she continued to work on Broadway in the 1950s, her blacklisting by the American film industry caused a precipitous decline in her income during which time she had to work outside her chosen profession. [...] Hellman's reputation suffered after her veracity was attacked by Mary McCarthy during a 1980 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. Hellman sued McCarthy for libel. It was revealed that Hellman's popular memoirs such as Pentimento were rife with errors, but that the "Julia" section of Pentimento, which had been the basis for the Oscar-winning 1977 movie of the same name, likely was a fabrication based on the life of Muriel Gardiner. Martha Gellhorn joined McCarthy in the attack on Hellman's veracity, showing that Hellman's remembrances of Gellhorn's ex-husband Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War were wrong. Tagged with the onus of being an unrepentant Stalinist by the staunchly anti-Stalinist McCarthy and others, Hellman remains a divisive figure of American letters. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is wonderful, but it doesn't feel like a "New Idea." It feels like a nice Thursday puzzle that is dressed up in kids' clothes. Words are all really easy and common, so that's Tuesday, but the concept ... isn't. Nice to introduce early-week solvers to the idea of the wacky rebus-type puzzle. But if the idea is to do things that have "never been done before" (and it is), then it's hard to see how this puzzle, good as it is, fits.

This is definitely a puzzle that works better if you solve on paper. My sofware can put both letters in the same square, but it can't put one on top of the other. That is possibly the most interesting thing I have to say about this puzzle. The difficulty was *entirely* in figuring out how to write in the Downs that crossed the double-letter squares. Everything else was vanilla. I always pause at DO-SES because I can't remember if it's "W" or "U." I thought MANETS might be MONETS, of course. Uh ... yeah, honestly, that's all I got. It's a very clever concept, but once you've explained it, there's not much else to say. Non-theme stuff is just too plain. If anyone gets stuck in this thing, it'll probably be in the tiny latter section of HERMAN'S HERMITS. I know them, but did Not know they sang "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," so until I figured out that that was a theme answer, I didn't know what to do there. BOAT seemed like a reasonable answer to [36D: Fisherman's purchase] (BAIT). But ultimately, all was gettable.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Peter Noone once wrote me hate mail. He thought I had slagged on him and his band. He'd confused me with one of my commenters. Surprise.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:13 AM  

@Rex, you should be pleased that no one wrote hate mail. Interesting choice for your featured word -- it reminds me of Mary McCarthy's jibe about Lillian Hellman: "every word [she] writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." Didn't we just learn a few days ago that Charlie Chaplin's autobiography was entitled "My Autobiography"? Anyhow, always nice to see @Patrick Berry's byline, and most thoughtful of him to get your last name into the grid (see 24-Down).

Hays 12:15 AM  

I don't know if this is going to end up being "the point" of this week, but these last two puzzles have gotten my younger brother pretty hooked on the crossword, at least initially. Today's took him a long time, and a couple hints--more assurances he was on the right path--but when he finished, he was very excited and wanted to do some more right away.

I still enjoyed doing both puzzles, despite their ease and non-groundbreakingness, respectively. As always, thanks Rex for the blog.

George Barany 12:17 AM  

BTW, a regular contributor to this blog just marked a special event, as memorialized in "It's a Stretch."

Geometricus 12:19 AM  

Solved this while on the phone with BestBuy trying to buy my daughter (who is away at college) a new phone for her birthday. The puzzle was not nearly as frustrating as "I'm sorry, Mr. G, but our new system won't allow me to...blah blah blah". The clues were easy enough, but figuring out where the double letters go was a challenge. Hung up the phone empty-handed but at least I solved the puzzle!

wreck 12:29 AM  

yes, definitely a Thursday! Fun, but took awhile to suss how theme worked - fun!

Anonymous 12:34 AM  


Anonymous 12:40 AM  

Lost some seconds putting in and then deleting slashes between the rebus-ed letter pairs.

jae 12:53 AM  

Medium for a Tues. except for sorting out the trick which pushed it into Thurs. territory time wise but not difficulty wise, or what Rex said.

Peter Noone rocks!

Clever, PB smooth, shout out to Michael,   Got to like it!

Steve J 12:59 AM  

Enjoyed this a lot (although I agree that this doesn't feel at all like it's never been done). Took me a while to grok the idea of reading across twice, so this was definitely on the long side for me for a Tuesday. One nice thing with this one was that, even once the concept is apparent, it wasn't just an automatic exercise of plopping down rebus squares. The locations of the theme answers varied enough, and the clues didn't give things away, so that it was still a nice journey of discovery unearthing each double-across. Really a lot of fun to solve.

Carola 12:59 AM  

Maybe the concept isn't ALL NEW, but still, I had an oh-my-gosh moment when I got FOGHORN LEGHORN, really agape at how neatly it worked. I'd been at sea for quite a while, having (to mix metaphors) gotten off on the wrong foot with SAsHA crossing s[pr]AYO..., which I thought was somehoe a reference to spray paint - how apt that the [pr] cross was with ERROR. Once I caught on, understanding the theme helped me see the CRAYOLA CRAYONS and saved me from thinking a fisherman needs a BoAT. Very nifty, very fun to figure it all out.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

It took me long time to figure out which little square was going to get the double letters. I was very happy with just the first or last name ie. CHARLIE and HERMITS until the downs didn't work. Lightbulb moment! The rest was just fun, fun, fun.

It's been a long day and I am in need of a few laughs, time to dig up some FOGHORN LEGHORN clips. That should do the trick.s

Elaine2 2:09 AM  

I had a lot of fun doing this.

Got the gimmick immediately off "Foghorn Leghorn," and after that it was not hard at all. So, although it's true that a rebus is unusual on Tuesday, it felt pretty Tuesday-ish to me.

jp flanigan 2:11 AM  

Theme was twice as hard as the non-theme. I was having a very hard time for a while. Satisfying when finished, but a bit uneven.

travis 2:19 AM  

I finished with MONETS/OLEO. I was a little confused as the EO seemed to be backwards in the rebus, but I just shrugged. When it didn't give me the confirmation, I wasn't sure if I had something wrong or was putting the rebuses in wrong. I also pretty much filled in every square without getting what was going on except that some of the downs were missing letters. Finally dawned on me when I was finishing at Charlie Chaplin.

Eejit 3:10 AM  

That was kind of tough for a Tuesday, took about 50% longer than usual. What did Peter Noone say? How did he construe an insult out of that? Why are we all in pre-mod? It's it cos of that Rex Porker bloke?

Anonymous 6:01 AM  

Too clever for me--I did not catch on, despite seeing HERMANS/HERMITS and FOGHORN/LEGHORN dualities. Herewith ends my streak: I knew I was going to hate this week! No tricks, please---make the clues harder, but play it straight.

Loren Muse Smith 6:35 AM  

Hmm. I’m with @Elaine2 - caught on to the trick very quickly, like, within a couple of minutes. Once I spelled SACHA right (morning, @Carola), the CRAYOLA CRAYONS just jumped up and popped me on the nose. I loved it. Sure it’s a rebus we all know, but it also showcases phrases whose spelling differs by only two or three letters. What a hoot. Seriously.

@old timer - I was thinking that if Fred Piscop solves, he'll nail this one. These themers work in a Split Decisions kind of way. The thing is, though, that of the six themers today, five have proper nouns, and Fred won't include those in a Split Decisions grid. So WASHING MACHINE is one we should keep our eye out for.

Rex – "I always pause at DO-SES because I can't remember if it's "W" or "U." I never pause; I spell it with a U every time and then have to go back and change it. Around here, it's called "witching for water," and I tell you, man - to watch that peach branch torque downward… it feels like witchcraft. Creepy.

I blew through this like a bat out of hell, but my snag was not HERMAN'S HERMITS. I faltered at the LILLIAN HELLMAN part. @jae – I was sure you’d trip up here, too. I was trying to get the rebus squares in the INCLUDE line until I played around with the &^%$ H in DELHI and finally saw how it worked. Turns out I had the H in the right place all along.

@da bears (from yesterday) – Solving as fast as I can holds no appeal for me, but I guess many solvers time themselves, try to get faster, for some reason or another. I think one benefit of Rex's fast solving is this blog. He has a real job and a full life. For me just to solve and then comment is time consuming (yeah, yeah, insert windbag joke here; mea culpa). I'm grateful that he can sprint through these puzzles so that he can get to his write-up. I cannot imagine the time he has to put into this blog day in and day out, and I'm wondering if one incentive for him to go fast is so that he can just get'er done and go to bed. More time, then, for people to complain about his complaining, to be disdainful if he doesn’t know something, to complain that he can't run a blog on a decent schedule. On those rare days that he's late, it just highlights how big a part of my day this place is, and I'm reminded that I shouldn't take this free site for granted. I recently sent a "tip" his way. It wasn't much, but it sure wasn’t as much as what I spend every month to watch vapid TV or keep up my The Week subscription.

So I echo @Hays – thanks for this blog, Rex.

Patrick Berry, as always, a pleasure.

Anonymous 6:47 AM  

Best Tuesday ever. Can't wait for Wed. My guess is Sat will be a M-Sat meta. That, team, would be sweet.


Lewis 6:56 AM  

No, the concept isn't something that hasn't been done before. But I'm guessing it's never been done before on a Tuesday, and thus giving Tuesday solvers a brand new twist, certainly fitting the week-long never-been-done-before theme.

As Rex notes, the difficulty was in figuring out where to put the double letters, but that for me was a significant difficulty, and enough for Rex to call this puzzle Challenging. Three sets of double- seven-letter theme answers -- beautiful. The only themer I haven't heard of was FOGHORN LEGHORN. That made the top half difficult for me, because CRAYONS all by itself could be a legitimate answer for 17A. So even with all the non-theme clues/answers being Monday or Tuesday easy, this was, for me, difficult to suss.

Need I mention how clean this grid is? No, that will always be a given in a PB puzzle. Brilliant and beautifully executed theme and puzzle, if you ask me.

Tax Guy 7:00 AM  

This is horrible. Never picked up on the fact that I was making two words in the a crosses. Just couldn't figure out where to put the damn "half-rebuses" that were needed for the downs. I had decided that the "cute new idea " was randomly omitting a few letters. There really is absolutely nothing to let you know that the crosses are two word answers. In every case one word would be a plausible answer any other day: CRAYONS, FOGHORN, CHAPLIN, HERMITS, HELLMAN, MACHINES.

And on a Tuesday?!!!

furpurrson 7:01 AM  

Sorry, but I can't get into rebus puzzles. If you have more letters than squares, build a different grid. I'm just old- fashioned, I guess.

joho 7:32 AM  

Well, this has never been done on a Tuesday before so that's a first. I don't remember seeing this extra rwist on a rebus before, either. And because it's by Patrick Berry it's one of the best Tuesday puzzles I've ever had the pleasure of solving. What a treat!

AliasZ 7:52 AM  

This "doing something that has never been done before" thing? So far so good. I really enjoyed today's puzzle a lot. The difficulty level was smack-dab Tuesday, although the conceit appeared more Thursdayish, if for nothing else, but that we have been conditioned to see rebuses only on Thursdays (and Sundays).

The concept itself is not really new, it was done before: on (Thu., Sep. 1, 2011 and Sat., Apr. 1, 1995). In these two, the same letters are entered twice in the same square, resulting in either repetitive phrases (EXCUSES, EXCUSES!), or a phrase starting with the word DOUBLE (REED, TEAM, BED, ROOM). All three version of the idea work well, but I liked PB's the most because it has an ALL NEW twist: the rebus entries do not simply repeat the same letters, resulting in full names or two-word phrases. How clever! LILLIAN HELLMAN was my favorite. Funny that all the times I have seen or thought of Charlie Chaplin or a washing machine, I never considered that both words are the same length and only differ in two or three letters. It takes someone like Patrick Berry to notice those things and exploit the idea to the fullest.

Not much else to say about the puzzle, except that the fill is super clean, if a bit simple -- par for Tue. really. I liked the echo of Sunday's universally pooh-poohed ELHI in DELHI, and the SEISMIC ARMHOLE in the NW, which is what you get when someone tears you an ALL NEW one.

Let me leave you with this IMAGE painted by another Impressionist in an entirely different medium than MANET or Monet.

NCA President 7:52 AM  

This one was pretty easy peasy for me too. When I figured it was a rebus (FOGHORN/LEGHORN was the very early tip off), I thought there would be some "unique" take on it. I solve on the Times' website applet so the only thing that was required was that the rebuses all had to be in a specific order.

So, is the "uniqueness" that two words of a name of something/someone occupy the same space? If that's the case, then I agree with Rex that it's just a nice Thursday concept.

As for Peter Noone, I was a relatively big fan of the Herman's Hermits growing up and 'En-ery the 8th was a favorite as a kid..."Second verse, same as the first..."

Nice to see my near-native home/flyover city get a shout out. OMAHA was the big city I went to for fun and extra special Christmas shopping. Oh, and the CWS. I had my first McDonald's cheeseburger there too.

My only nit is the NNW/SSE dreck. Might as well clue MIA as "Aim, spelled backward."

chefbea 8:08 AM  

Figured out all the two letter squares but then thought the extra letters had to spell something. Didn't realize they were two word answers.

@Nancy from yesterday. I just copied and pasted the nursery rhyme as I am sure everyone did. Maybe you can send me an e-mail and teach me how to imbed.

GeezerJackYale48 8:11 AM  

Good fun. Seemed novel enough to me to classify as never been done, but I bow to Rex's experience. Does he categorize it as challenging because of the rebuses, or because today is Tuesday? Clues were pretty easy, I thought.

joho 8:12 AM  

I was just admiring the puzzle and the expertise it took to create when my eyes landed on W/M A S/C HIN G/E. Not only does this answer have three boxes with stacked letters, but it almost looks like the answer is agitating like a real machine.

Lobster11 8:17 AM  

Most fun I've had doing a Tuesday puzzle in... well, ever. I don't mind if the idea isn't truly ALLNEW. It would've been a shame to ruin this puzzle by trying to force it to be something other than what it wanted to be.

One of these days I'm going to train myself to read the byline before rather than after the solve. It would be nice once in a while to see PB's name and think, "Oh, this is gonna be good" instead of "Oh, that explains why it was so good."

Jamie C 8:38 AM  

I liked how WASHING MACHINE ended in GE. That is all.

RAD2626 8:45 AM  

Enormously clever as is usual for Patrick Berry. His construction facikity is truly amazing. How to assemble such clever word pairs of the same length in a constrained grid is to me at least just remarkable and makes me feel like I really have accomplished something when I finish solving it. Lots of fun. HERMAN'S HERMITS; FOGHORN LEGHORN; CRAYOLA CRAYONS. all a hoot. Week is off to a great start.

Ludyjynn 8:56 AM  

Would you believe Peter Noone was only 15 years old when he fronted HERMANS HERMITS? That clue opened up the whole puzzle for me. The band's oeuvre INCLUDEd many other hits along with Henry VIII, but the catchy tune is what makes that particular song memorable. At least to some of us, Rex! I read that Noone now has a radio show on Sirius.

Very nice for a Tuesday solve. Thanks, PB and WS for mixing it up. I can see how this could challenge someone who is unfamiliar with Thursdays.

Jennifer Freeman 8:59 AM  

I'm sure that I'm a small minority but the Looney Tunes character and the movie name were a Natick although I saw the movie ages ago. Were this a normal Tuesday I might have guessed correctly but couldn't negotiate the rebus. Otherwise it was a fun puzzle.

jberg 9:07 AM  

@travis, I'm having fun trying to imagine that oleo-based lotion! It might draw flies, I think!

My experience was like @chefwen's, except that I had the one-word CHAPLIN before I figured it out. Also CRAYOLA, with the rebus squares in NEEDY, trying to figure out what to to with the extra N and S. It was only FOGHORN LEGHORN that made me see what was going on; after that it was a snap.

I think the "never been done before" here is just "rebus on a Tuesday" (assuming that that is the case; I have no idea). Anyway, fun puzzle!

Billy C. 9:14 AM  

@Geometricus--seems like your mistake was trying to buy your daughter at Best Buy!

cwf 9:24 AM  

The inability to position rebus letters in AcrossLite was also a problem with the last Fireball xword, which was also by PB. For me at least, the last step was to go through and re-order them following an explicit rule, which got me the happy pencil.

steveo 9:25 AM  

But has there ever been a rebus on Tuesday? Maybe that's the new idea.

GILL I. 9:28 AM  

Well if he wants, Noone can drop me a hate line because I thought if I ever heard that enery the eith one more time, my head would explode. It nearly did because that damn song was everywhere in Europe...EVERYWHERE!
Loved the puzzle....I could do these all day. Took me a bit by surprise because, after all, it's hateful Tuesday. Maybe that's the surprise....a rebus on the stepdaughter's day!
LILLIAN HELLMAN was the only thing that gave me some trouble. Fun to see her sharing some space with IMUS. My grandmother hated anything remotely communist and she'd sit me down and name all the commies to avoid. She was really a nice woman when you got to know her though - and one of the smartest I knew...!
I hope that the newbies don't have their brains exploding because this really is a wonderful intro to fun and different puzzles.
Can't wait till tomorrow.....

Nancy 9:39 AM  

The best Tuesday puzzle I've ever seen, AND I DIDN'T GET IT. It's so brilliant, but I never thought to read the answer twice, each time with different letters. So I only wrote down one of the two letters each time, thinking that it was somehow silent letters, as in silent films. But that wasn't working. Yes, the A is silent in CEASES and the 2nd L is silent in ILLNESS, but the F is not silent in MCFLY. Nor the T in ONTO. What the bloody hell is going on here? When I got here, I was GOBSMACKED by the brilliance of both the conception and the execution. So this is why everyone loves PB1 so much. Really, really nifty. Kudos. Wish I could have solved it.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

Coming back to say that now I see if I'd known FOGHORN LEGHORN like so many commenters so far (3:10 a.m. only), I would have gotten the trick. I was quite happy with just FOGHORN (how did I know?), just as I was quite happy with just HELLMAN and quite happy with just CRAYONS. Oh, well.

quilter1 9:53 AM  

Just kept throwing the letters down with a big smile. This was so fun and interesting to do. Berry is always great, fair and gettable while entertaining.

Z 9:54 AM  

I like the list of animals, FOGHORN LEGHORN, HOG, ASS, BOA, IMUS. (hey, IMUS, I'm not Rex). Was mildly amused at Noone mistaking a commenter for Rex. I recall someone once speculating that @Alias Z and I were the same person. I know this is just a crossword blog, but critical reading skills are still sometimes required.

Typical Berry. Neat idea, well executed. Theme symmetry without rebus symmetry gives it just a little extra challenge. Good clean fill with zero xoterica. I got past CRAYOLA without getting the trick because the thing is a CRAYOLA or a CRAYON, never a CRAYOLA CRAYON. I left the NW wondering how ILLNESS and CEASES were going to fit. FOGHORN LEGHORN clued me in. A fun Tuesday.

Hartley70 10:01 AM  

My iphone NYT app has not worked with the Monday or Tuesday puzzle. I had the gimmick today and at some spots a rebus was accepted and at other the program would only accept one letter per space, ie wasine machine. It fell in love with E and wouldn't let me add G. Oh and no rebus was allowed on the top half of the puzzle, so ILLESS had to stand as it was. Very annoying. Yesterday I had no pictures, only large black squares. This week of tricks is swell, but if the Times is selling online subscriptions, the puzzles need to work in both mediums.

ArtO 10:07 AM  

What a really fun Tuesday rebus. Patrick Berry is the best. Biggest problem after correcting SACHA was figuring the right square to put the two letters in.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:17 AM  

Finished correctly, eventually, but definitely smashed the record for "Most Side-Notes for a Tuesday."

Wondered if we could categorize this puzzle as some variant of a Schroedinger, but perhaps not because both letters in the double-Acrosses are needed to make sense of the Downs.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Death to gimmicks!

Proud Mamma 10:23 AM  

I knew there were 2 letters in some squares, but never figured out why. Am i the only one?

John V 10:25 AM  

Pretty easy stuff. Got snagged a bit in the CRAYOLA spot but, yeah, this was an easy Thursday rebus, made fun by PB. Okay here.

Waiting to get crushed as the week moves on.

Numinous 10:32 AM  

This was fun. I had CRAYONS and then LEGHORN without thinking about it too much. I figured the downs would eventually sort themselves. What tripped it for me was realizing that WASHING and MACHINE could interchange. I'd sort of thought that at LEGHORN but
"sort or" dismissed the thought. Then I went back to look at the downs again and it all fell into place. What I liked was that the rebus squares for the downs had the missing letters in the correct order. I'm sure we've seen this sort of thing before. I just can't recall when. I don't think it was to the level of this either, six themers where the words changed two or three letters to be come a two word phrase. I had never looked at CHAPLAN before and thought, change two letters and you have his first name. This took me five minutes longer than my average. I probably would have done it faster if I'd actually left the rebus squares blank or maybe had used the pencil option for just those squares. Does anyone know if using the pencil in one square of a completed grid will prevent it from popping up the completion box in the iPad app?

Jeff Chen says this week has not one but two POWs. This is not one of them. I'm waiting with BAITed breath. Can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week brings.

@Nancy, I had thought the same thing after reflecting. My second post must have been awaiting moderator approval while you were writing your comment.

Re my comments on whisky vs whiskey yesterday: For years I'd been under the impression that Irish whiskey was spelled with an e to distinguish it from scotch. As it happens, the first mention of Irish uisga was in 1409 and the first reference to the Scottish uisca didn't come until around 1484. I suspect Those words changed to the W spellings before or during the settlement of the American colonies. Here's the thing. When I began to teach Elizabethan pronounciation to Renaissance Faire actors and participants, I had been reading some books from the period that were reproduced with the original spellings. What I liked about them was that I could hear the writers' voices as I read which helped me cement thier pronounciatiaons in my head. Spelling had not been established in the 1600s. Now those spellings may have been dictated in the nineteenth century but they were certainly not any part of the early history of those spirits.

Captain Digression

Mohair Sam 10:38 AM  

@Rex - How can you possibly tell us the Peter Noone thing without showing us the hate mail and whatever predicated it? Jeez!

Fun puzzle - agree with most that it was a Thursday rebus with Tuesdayish clues. Last to fall for us was CRAYOLA/CRAYONS and we live within 25 miles of the factory, go figure.

Correction on the history posting for Ms. Hellman: HUAC did not blacklist her, Hollywood did - HUAC cited her for contempt. Google her letter to Congress explaining why she would not testify - classy lady.

Andrew Heinegg 10:53 AM  

I can only infer that RP has become sensitive about the critiques of his critiques cuz this trumpeting of the crosswords in the NYT this week as what the people have been asking for is hokum and, so far, he has been rather kind and gentle about it. I presume he wants to give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being. In any event, this was a fun little exercise made more enjoyable by the coincidence of the wisecracking, terrifically voiced (by Mel Blanc and successors) Foghorn Leghorn being my all-time favorite cartoon character and part of an era when cartoons appealed to children of all ages, so to speak.

Roo Monster 10:58 AM  

Hey All !
Cool puz. Did it online today, so couldn't put the two letters in one square, but it actually turned out to be okay, it made figuring out the theme seem cooler! At WASHING MACHINE is where I figured out the ruse, then had to figure out where the "missing" letters went. Example: everyone knows (right?) MCFLY, so which letter to leave out/rebus?

Funny thing is, once completed, online Almost There message popped up, so I hit Reveal Puzzle, and got letters crossed out for CHAPLIN and HERMITS, so apparently in the non-rebus way of completion, the first word has to be in. Didn't know LILLIAN HELLMAN, so cheated on DELHI, which I didn't know. (Yea, yea, I know that shoulda been a gimmie!)

Agree this isn't a new concept, remember the BOBDOLE/CLINTON one?), but I believe it's probably the most dense themed of this type. Plus to get mostly clean answers is very hard to do! Only PB1 could pull this off! Kudos!

Found a new put down, ARMHOLE.! Har.
That guy is an idiot. Yeah, what an armhole.


Jim in Chicago 11:01 AM  

I finished in "almost Tuesday" time after a bit of a slow start. I was thrown by the SSE Under what was obviously ILLNESS and CEASES and tried to do something with moving some of the letters to the SSE, failing miserably.

I actually couldn't decide if 17A would be CRAYOLA or CRAYONS when suddenly everything fell into place.

From there on it was just figuring out which of the across answers were the double entries, and found that they were easily solved one I put in a couple of the obvious short crossing down/across answers. For example, I knew that 16D was ASCOT, and once I quickly filled in OMAHA, ANOINTS, and NETCOST, I knew that the SC were the letters in the double box. From there on the entire corner fell.

Joseph Michael 11:07 AM  

Best puzzle in quite a while. It may not have been groundbreaking, but it was very cleverly constructed and fun to solve. And it was a treat to have a rebus on a Tuesday.

Got the theme at HERMAN'S HERMITS and enjoyed figuring out the other themers after that. Had a lucky guess at FOGHORN LEGHORN since I knew neither him nor MCFLY.

Great to have CHARLIE CHAPLIN and LILLIAN HELLMAN in the same puzzle. Encore!

old timer 11:33 AM  

I actually found the puzzle so boring I did not want to complete it, though I did. I started out with SASHA and therefore had the mysterious word, srayolnas. Therefore I could not figure out what was going on. But when I had --GHORN written in, it occurred to me that it might be simple set of rebuses. Where I went to school there were movies in the gym every Saturday night, each with one or two cartoons before the feature, and FOGHORN LEGHORN was a favorite character (though not as much of a favorite as Wile E. Coyote).

Once I got the trick, the rest was tediously easy: Just write in the matching letters across, and solve the downs by putting the letters in the required order. I was surprised at the end to see PB's moniker at the top. I expect better of him.

Masked and Anonymous 11:44 AM  

M&A eyes saw "Puzzle by Patrick Berry", and M&A brain thought, "What would this dude like to do that he's never done before? … " Bein a relatively unfocused brain, it took right on off in several directions:
1. Pangram! … nope.
2. Chock full of crud fill! … not hardly.
3. PEWITs! … thank goodness, nope.
4. 80-worder with a rebus on a Tuesday with a snootload of U's!! … yep, except only 2 U's.
5. Runtpuz! … when pigs mcfly.
6. Grid is numbered usin Crayola crayons! nope. That'd be major cool, tho. Like yesterday's cartoons, it would really draw in the younger crowd, as they'd be wonderin who tagged the crossword.

Another real fun Weird Puz Week (WPW) solve. Thanx, Mr. PB1. U are now officially weird.


**(WPW) gruntz!**

Nancy 11:47 AM  

@Anons 6:01 and 10:17; @Tax Guy, and @furpurrson: For me, solving a puzzle without a gimmick is like eating an egg without salt. This one got me but good, fair and square, and I LOVED it! Don't wish us back into the Dark Ages of puzzles requiring only a lot of (mostly) useless information. It's these clever and imaginative kinds of puzzles that make the crossword-solving experience truly sing.

@chefbea 8:08 (re: yesterday): I should teach you to...what? "Imbed"? MOI??? I don't even know how to copy and paste, which is why I didn't yesterday. You DO know you're speaking to a Luddite, don't you?

@Roo Monster (10:58): I believe with all my heart that "You're a real ARMHOLE" may become one of the most adorable insults of all time.

Hartley70 12:04 PM  

I was so busy griping about the app this morning that I neglected to mention what a wonderful Tuesday puzzle this is. While I didn't have to hesitate at any of the answers, which is fine for a Tuesday, it took a few minutes to see what Berry was doing. WASHING/MACHINE confirmed the trick for me. How clever he is and how this proves the dreaded Tuesday never needs to be dull. Kudos, Mr. Berry!

Campesite 12:32 PM  

I was curious about the Peter Noone hate mail, and it being procrastination Tuesday, I searched the blog and the worst thing I found was this dumb comment that I wrote from Thursday 12/27/2007.

"The Peter Noone joke was humorous, except now I've got two extremely annoying tunes competing for attention in my brain: "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" v. "I'm Into Something Good." Sorry to pass this same torture to anyone else."

Karmasartre suggested listening to "Henry the VII" to help.

(Rex's joke: 49D: Who has won an Oscar for Best actor three times (Noone) - that Peter NOONE; he'll surprise you.)

I really hope that silly exchange did not prompt Mr. Noone to sit down and write hate mail, but if so, my apologies (to Michael).

-- Mark

Tyler James Young 1:06 PM  

Rex is referring to the note attached to this puzzle, which discloses the theme for the week as responses to the question "what would you like to see in a puzzle that has never been done before?". Unprecedented gimmicks like today's and yesterday's are likely to continue spelling trouble for non-paper solvers as one-off graphical or spatial quirks will not have been accounted for in the design of any software one might be using.

Teedmn 1:44 PM  

Ach, I missed the elegance of this puzzle altogether until I got here. Not noticing the double phrase part of the theme, I just penned in the missing letters and kind of circled them, thinking there would be an anagram to solve. Whenever I'm faced with mysterious extra letters, I think anagram, probably because I'm not very good at anagrams and I tend to expect the worst. I came up with ANSWERS OF ILING. Mm hmm, think I'll go check what @Rex has to say about that.

Anyhoo, nice puzzle and concept. Someday I'll remember IMUS in the morning. Someday I'll take the time to study the puzzle and figure out the theme before running for help. Thanks, PB and @Rex.

MIEinMA 2:48 PM  

Loved this one. I realized what was going on with Herman's Hermits. Where the hell was Hermits supposed to go? And then bait worked. I was happy with just Crayola and Leghorn but knew that I needed more letters somewhere for the crossing downs.

I did this about as fast as I ever do a Tuesday. Just a little slower than a Monday. I solve on newsprint and maybe that was easier than in an app as @Rex said.


Tita 3:55 PM  

AMen to needing to solve this on paper...
I finished (that is, I had all squares filled) but never ever understood the rebus till Puzzazz showed the letters correctly aligned only AFTER all squares were successfully filled in...

Had I solved it on paper, I'm pretty sure that I would have seen what was going on, since of course I would have put the letters in atop, or diagonally, which would have made it more visually obvious.

This was great fun - I love these kinds of puzzles! The kind that cause me fits of jealousy in not having thought of it on my own.

Most of the answers were okish to me as singles - CRAYOLAS, HERMITS...
Like @chefbea, I kept looking for the extra letters to spell or anagram something.

@Lobster - why would you want to sway how you feel about a puzzle - I try to avoid seeing the constructor's name till I'm done.

Thanks, Patrick, for a frustratingly cool puzzle.
(Though I do hope the rest of the week will stay truer to the "never been done before" promise from Will...)

Anonymous 4:01 PM  

Rex banality strikes again.
Time to throw in the towel, mate.
All the bad karma you produce will ultimately consume you and the ones you love.

chefbea 4:16 PM of our fellow bloggers sent me directions on how to imbed. Have no idea what they are talking about. I learned that you have to use< and>...but don't know where. My daughter who lives in Italy is coming to visit in February. She can teach me

Da Bears 6:25 PM  

@Loren, thanks for the reply. I actually agree with much of what you said. I'm never sure how many people appreciate the commitment it takes for Rex to do what he does. I certainly do. I think he speed tests himself to prepare for the ACPT (which I think he stated a long while back). But this wasn't the only time Rex has missed a note because he rushes headlong into the puzzle (and no doubt will not be his last). My point is that there are trade-offs to speed solving and Rex shouldn't be complaining about something that is totally within his control but for his rush to solve. But, OTHO, it's Rex's Blog and he can complain about whatever he wants. And we can complain about his complaining....

Anonymous 7:06 PM  

There goes @Barany again, using this blog to promote one of his crosswords. Have you no shame, Professors?

John Child 10:05 PM  

Hi @BillyC 7:06 pm. Did you know that George Barany made a puzzle for you too? It's here...

Leapfinger 11:30 PM  

@Jamie C, nice pickup that the WASHING MACHINE ends in G/E. It also looks as if someone got their ASCOT in the wringer. And how about that MIA HAMS??

This was a pure delight to solve, great fun to figure out how the missing letters sorted out between the Acrosses and Downs. I think some of the elegance came from using three sorts of theme entries that would trigger different responses.
1. The ones that could seem satisfactory with just a single-word fill: either CRAYOLA or CRAYONS alone would seem fine, as would CHAPLIN, which I suspect most people 'saw' first (though I saw some mentioned starting with CHARLIE).
2. FOGHORN LEGHORN and HERMAN'S HERMITS (if you know them) are an automatic two-word phrase, so I suspect these are the ones where most people caught on to the trick.
3. CHARLIE CHAPLIN, LILLIAN HELLMAN and WASHING MACHINE are those for which one word doesn't automatically demand the other; which don't have a syllable in common for the two words (like -HORN or HERM-), and which have rebi that are both non-adjacent and involve more consonants. I think that probably made them tougher to think of for PB1, and would have been tougher for solvers to catch the trick if all had been type 3.

Noone sent hatemail? I don't see the gripe, if nobody's doing that. btw, it's 'doUSE' if U have water U can USE, 'doWse' if you Want Water with a Witching Wand.

@Numinous, I've always liked the word 'Uisquebaugh', but will stick to Glenlivet when I must.

Now to go meet Wednesday's Child.

Leapfinger 11:49 PM  

"Suh! I say, Suh!" I've been conjuring up memories of Foghorn offering up his bulk for Henery Chickenhawk to drag away.

@1005, there's a wonderful dynamic on this blog.

Greg Falcon 9:05 PM  

Delightful. I didn't figure out the gimmick until close to the very end. All I knew was that a lot of the downs were short a letter, and it had to be some sort of rebus.

At various times I had FOGHORN and LEGHORN in as the Looney Tunes character. The moment of discovery that the correct answer was both was such a pleasure.

spacecraft 11:04 AM  

Hmm...a rebu--AH SAY, a rebus, on a Tuesday. I'm with OFL: this looks like Thursday's child got lost. OK, the rest of it is pretty simple, but I'm sure a little clue-bashing coulda fixed that. I was whippin' right along in the NW with SEISMIC ARMHOLE CRAYONS (now try to describe THEM!) when the downs snagged me. What is ILN__?, ETC. We need a...holy Jeff Spicoli! It's rebusiness! And the game was, as 28a might say, afoot.

Things went swimmingly, with the pattern being two double-duty squares adjacent, until CHA R/P LI E/N. So, they can be separated. O-kay. On to the gimme playwright, who required THREE such squares. It felt as though thos puzzle was evolving, and if it went MUCH further we'd have two totally different--but related--words, where every square would be doubled.

I note that PB had to play the immunity card with the RD at 25-across and the awkward SAGEST, but he's still the SAGEST constructor around, so I guess that word's not as awkward as it looks. Fun as always. A-.

rondo 1:35 PM  

Not usually a fan of rebus type things, but I kinda liked this one. Started writing over CRAYOLA with CRAYONS before all of the downs told me it was both. A bit of a challenge of where to fit in the other themers, but in a good way. Had to make the gray matter work harder than usual for a Tues-puz.

Can never see DÉJÀ Vu without thinking about the CSNY album. Simply fantastic.

Finally a yeah baby in MIA Farrow. Glad she shows up regularly.

Well, if we get this on Tuesday, the rest of the week could be interesting.

moderniste 1:38 PM  

As a syndicated solver, I knew this week was approaching, and was looking forward to it. Monday's puzzle was...ok. But this one was pretty darn awesome. I just like the kind of mental gymnastics that went into finding phrases that fit the rebus's form--being able to see the possibility of how the layout of, say, WASHING MACHINE allows for such symmetry.

And there was a pleasant lack of crossword-ese. Sure, there were a few--ADE and ALT, I'm talking 'bout you here. But what could have been an awkward crossword-ese clue/answer was nicely avoided with HIC actually being HI-C. All in all, I had a nice smile on my face after finishing this one.

Burma Shave 1:59 PM  


FOGHORN LEGHORN once told me, “Son, I say, son,
Don’t fall INLOVE unless SHE CEASES being a nun.”


leftcoastTAM 3:14 PM  

Thursday tough for me.

I saw the rebus but couldn't make sense of it not knowing that Mr. FOGHORN had a last name, and if he had one, would it be LEGHORN?? This made things more difficult than they should have been. DNF.

Another great contribution from Mr. Berry. How can tomorrow's match this one? I'll stay tuned.

wcutler 2:45 AM  

I never got it at all, even though I had most squares filled in with something, and came here to find out what about the missing letters. But I liked it a lot, even more now that I know what I was supposed to be enjoying.

And thanks to @Jamie C for the bit about the GE washing machine.

Robert Fronczak 1:46 PM  

The Baltimore Sun reprints the NYT puzzles about a month in arrears, so I just solved the puzzle last night (11/17). Being an old boomer, I caught Herman's Hermits and Foghorn Leghorn immediately, and I was off and running. Had a bit of difficulty with Lillian Hellman but was able to work through it.

As I'm a month behind, it takes a great deal of discipline to not check here when I hit a rough patch!

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP