McDreamy's first name on Grey's Anatomy / FRI 10-23-15 / Singer with 4x platinum album No Angel / Scientific discovery of 1869 / One named singer who was a muse for Andy Warhol / Acronym in casual dining / Rural activity in urban legend

Friday, October 23, 2015

Constructor: Evan Birnholz

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Jonathan PRYCE (7D: Actor Jonathan, whose name sounds like it's worth something) —
Jonathan Pryce, CBE (born John Price; 1 June 1947) is a Welsh actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime girlfriend, English actress Kate Fahy, in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s. His work in theatre, including an award-winning performance in the title role of the Royal Court Theatre's Hamlet, led to several supporting roles in film and television. He made his breakthrough screen performance in Terry Gilliam's 1985 cult film Brazil. // Critically lauded for his versatility, Pryce has participated in big-budget films including Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean, The New World, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, GI Joe: Retaliation as well as independent films including Glengarry Glen Ross and Carrington. His career in theatre has also been prolific, and he has won two Tony Awards—the first in 1977 for his Broadway debut in Comedians, the second for his 1991 role as The Engineer in the musical Miss Saigon. (wikipedia)
• • •

I got COWTIPPING straight away (1A: Rural activity in an urban legend), but none of those first three Downs was clear to me—in fact, of that first stretch of Downs, only TNT, INFO, and NEO were obvious to me from their first letters, so I did not come blazing out of that corner as I thought / hoped I would. Still, after some knocking about with OPART and ROLOS and the gang in the west, I came back up to that NW corner and took care of it without too much trouble. Rest of the puzzle was a lark, a romp, a walk in the park. It's pretty sports-heavy, so you will either like that or you will not like that. I mostly like it, though honestly I don't really know what an AMEN CORNER is, despite having seen it in puzzles many times. I feel like the first time I saw it, it had something to do with golf?? Can that be right? What am I thinking of? Yeah, it refers to a section of the course at Augusta. But that has nothing to do with "vocal supporters," does it? Oh ... I see it has a church meaning too:
a. A place in a church reserved for persons leading congregational responses.
b. A group of ardent worshipers in a church.
2. Informal A group of uncritical supporters of a leader, party, or policy, especially a controversial one.
I saw "vocal supporters" and thought "sports." The phrase clearly means little to me—just a phrase that's semi-familiar to me from multiple crosswords. Another word that means little to me: PELS. I got it easily, in that I know the New Orleans basketballers are called the "Pelicans," but ... a. I've not heard them referred to that way (perhaps this is because they just don't get as much coverage as many of the other NBA teams, despite having the best player in the NBA not named "LeBron"), and b. even if I had heard them referred to as PELS, no amount of arguing could ever convince me PELS is good fill. The more you look at it, the more it looks like a typo. 

PELS brings me to the editorial choices that were made with this puzzle. See, this grid was changed in multiple places after its initial submission. I wrote to Evan asking him "Dude, what is up with that BACK dupe?—that is glaring, and you always complain about that stuff in other people's puzzles." His reply was (and I'm paraphrasing), "Dude, that was not my decision." Then he showed me his original grid (yellow squares mark places the editors changed):

Now some of these changes seem reasonable. Craig EHLO's name is known only to fairly hardcore sports fans, I would think, so I have no problem ditching him. The problem is the BACK dupe. It's glaring. You've got STEP BACK in the grid, and you opt for I'M BACK at 11D???! Little dupes, nobody really cares, but two longish colloquial phrases that both end in "BACK"? I don't know if that's carelessness or bad judgment, but it's something. SNOT is pretty ugly, but then so is the "fix" (INOT). Keyser SÖZE is pretty old pop culture now, but I would've left that SW corner intact anyway. The changes are Not an improvement. LA RAMS, worse, and ALAW, much much much worse. Changing ENT to END (19A) ... I mean, sure, OK, I guess, but most of these changes are lateral moves at best. Why meddle if you can't clearly improve? And that "BACK" thing ... that just grates. Still, overall, this was enjoyable. Many SWEET SPOTS. Bouncy like a DANCE CRAZE. Check out Evan's independent puzzle site, "Devil Cross," for more of his (consistently good, frequently great) crossword puzzles (published weekly).

Three last things: 
  1. Don't McDonald's FRIES come in different sizes, and if so, how is 37A: McDonald's order with about 340 calories valid?  
  2. I do not consider making goo-goo eyes at and ogling to be the same thing (13D: Make goo-goo eyes at = OGLE). Not even close. The one is a dopey expression of besottedness, the other is a leering, wolfish, objectifying, occasionally dehumanizing or even menacing expression of sexual desire. Making goo-goo eyes can be reciprocal; ogling never is.
  3. I thought the [Actor Jonathan, whose name sounds like it's worth something] was Jonathan PENNY.  Then, later, Jonathan PENCE.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:28 AM  

Easy Fri. for me.  Put in COW TIPPING with no crosses and just kept going.  PLAYBOY MAG was a gimme also, as I was around when the " my heart" quote was news.  Plus, knowing all the proper nouns helped.

Here is the The Velvet Underground & Nico video that Rex didn't put in. 

A tad too easy but there was so much good stuff I @paulfan gotta like it.

jp flanigan 12:31 AM  

This was all easy for me except the NW corner. I think the clueing for FANTASYFOOTBALL is a little off. I thought of FF right away but it's a game, the exercise part threw me off. I spent a good few minutes trying to shoe-horn in MOCKDRAFTLOBBY (which is an actual exercise in building fantasy football teams.) That's all fine, that was my own mistake... but nobody drafts an END. It's a Tight End or really in FF it's only ever written out as TE. Compound all that confusion with my wrong guess for Jonathan BANKS (Mike from Breaking Bad), and i had a doozie of a time sorting out my mess up there.

I'm assuming AMENCORNER is in reference to the 11th, 12th, 13th holes of Augusta's where the biggest crowds congregate.

Also kept misspelling HAAGENDAZS

jae 12:35 AM  

Caveat - due to lack of instant feedback I have no idea if that link worked. I'll check tomorrow.

Tyler 1:05 AM  

I had BANKS as well. Messed me up for a while! Seemed so right haha

jae 2:31 AM  

Ok, it didn't work. How about The Velvet Underground and Nico

chefwen 2:32 AM  

After COW TIPPING, IHOP and SUZY Q I had to take a STEP BACK and seriously study this one. Nothing else was popping out at me. Jon came up with FANTASY FOOTBALL and PLAYBOY MAGAZINE (go figure) after that, as Rex said, it was pretty much a walk In the park.
Totally agree with OGLE and goo-goo eyes, two different looks altogether.

Whenever we visited the parental units in Wisconsin we would always bring back a different cow tipping t-shirt for our pet sitter. I think he has them all and wears them with pride.

Hartley70 2:56 AM  

Like Rex, I filled in COWTIPPING right off the bat, although I have been assured it is a real thing in the Midwest, not a legend, so I'm curious to hear the farm folk chiming in.

I thought the clue for DNA was fascinating. I thought DNA and it's double helix were both a 1950's discovery. I had never heard of an AMENCORNER, NICO, a SUZYQ, or DAD'S rootbeer, (I presume, since I have had Barq's). PRYCE was a gimme for me, but BARR was another unknown. Oh and I didn't know the PELS.

Now that I think of it, how the heck did I finish this? But I did, in average Friday time.

John Child 4:33 AM  

Despite dropping in COW TIPPING and PLAYBOY MAGAZINE quickly this played quite hard here due to clues that didn't evoke answers for me. In my orlop deck rather than my wheelhouse. POSIES could have gone right in but for the WOE of tussie-mussies. Never ate a SUZY-Q; didn't know Dad's root beer. No idea about an album called "No Angel." Etc., etc. I was pleased to finish cleanly and learn a few new things.

Very Scrabbly... 6 Ks, 5 Ys, 4 Ws, and 3 Zs. Lots of rarely-used words like DANCE CRAZE and GROUPONS. Tough but fair, though it felt more like Saturday to me. Was Groupon a flash in the pan? Their share price has tanked this year. Let's hope that twerking tanks too...

Love me a JUICY REUBEN though. AMEN to that!

Tyler James Young 4:39 AM  

I found this puzzle very enjoyable and nicely current for once! Fantasy football and Playboy are both in the news, and I was really happy to replace ecOUPON (bleh) with GROUPON (a thing! from now!) once I sussed that zone enough to suspect a gerund.

I'm glad others got COWTIPPING right away. I suspected cow abduction, then crop circles, then left it for later. Didn't the clue mention a legend?

ZenMonkey 4:56 AM  

My distaste for soda (or pop if you like) left me with a big ??? at BARQS. I finished despite not remembering BARR in the least, then Googled. Now I remember those ads: "BARQS has bite!" In retrospect I think "Dad's rival" was a great clue.

Also enjoyed YEW's clue.

Loren Muse Smith 7:04 AM  

@jae – I still am happy to be rid of the vermin. The worst part of the new system for me (aside from multiple answers to someone’s question because of the delay) is not being able to see a big goof, delete the post, and then repost the corrected one.

I thought this was a terrific Friday. And I totally missed the BACK dupe.
A couple of erasures: "runs off" before SUNDAES, “slide ove” for STEP BACK, "dancing fad" before DANCE CRAZE, and "no can do" before I CANNOT.

Evan – I’m loving your themeless puzzles! Bravo!

AliasZ 7:52 AM  

I was taken aback by I'M BACK and STEP BACK. How was this allowed? Tsks. That's why I left STEP_ _ _ _ incomplete for the longest time, trying to rebus 'aside' into four spaces to complete the phrase. The only time two BACKS should be allowed in one puzzle is when the answer is 'BACK-to-BACK', or if one of them is the 15th-century German painter JacoB ACKer. I normally enjoy Evan's themelesses very much, and knowing that he had nothing to do with today's double-BACK made me appreciate this puzzle more.

I don't remember ever seeing, hearing or using the word TRANSOMS until now -- another new entry in this old word repository. JEANS and TURKS spoonerized become teens and jerks. Actually if you take a step down after JE and continue in the row below, the RKS is right there. It's like looking at OPART crossing APART for a long time. It makes your head hurt.

Great fun for Friday. Thank you, Evan.

As a gift, let me offer this brief excerpt from the opera DIDO and Aeneas by Henry Purcell.

Jamie C 8:50 AM  

Lunch today: A JUICY reuben, a BARQ'S, and SUZYQ and HAAGENDASZ SUNDAES at the CAFE while I OGLE my PLAYBOY (sadly, no more nudes).

Mike D. 8:52 AM  

PRYCE sounds like "price." How does that "sound like it's worth something?" I mean Ari Gold, or Dollar Brand, or Penny Marshall sound like they're worth something. But PRYCE? Nope.

jberg 8:53 AM  

I have to work on being more careful. Now that I think back on it, I've heard of Jonathan PRYCE -- but I didn't know the singer, so somehow decided it was PRYdE/NIdO, and finished with an error.

Pretty nice puzzle, though -- despite the odd plural USAGES. I, too, got PLAYBOY MAGAZINE -- which I only read for the articles, I swear! -- right off.

jberg 8:58 AM  

And some thoughts on AMEN CORNER and how language evolves. The church reference is definitely the original meaning, after which the phrase became a metaphor (if not a cliche) for the location of any group of frequent cheerers. So it is interesting to see that several commenters know about the golf course section, but not where the metaphor comes from. It's a similar phenomenon to when my students, who have mostly never been near a horse but have heard the phrase, say that their supervisor has given them "free reign" to pursue some task as they think best. I think H.E. Fowler would cringe, but tell us that this is inevitable.

George Barany 9:18 AM  

Nice puzzle, @Evan Birnholz, even though this transplanted New Yorker has never encountered COWTIPPING after 35 years in the Midwest. Fascinating review by @Rex. I wonder if the BACK dupe could be a residue of "Back to the Future Day" from Wednesday.

Does anyone know what connection there is between the junk food at 38-Across and this CCR classic? (I do notice that the spelling is different).

Two weeks ago, @David Steinberg took us to the PLAYBOY_MANSION, even as it was in the news due to some long-ago activities allegedly involving Bill Cosby. Today, @Evan reminds us of PLAYBOY_MAGAZINE, even as it is in the news due to a decision to no longer publish photographs of fully unclothed women.

Quick scientific note to @Hartley70 (and undoubtedly others): The clue for DNA is correct. DNA was discovered by Friedrich Miescher in 1869, and Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty showed that it carries genetic information in 1944. Most people think of 1953, when Watson and Crick (based heavily on experimental data from Rosalind Franklin) proposed the double helix structure of DNA, as the date, but the history goes BACK a long way before that.

Carola 9:34 AM  

Enjoyably semi-tuff for me. I thought of COW TIPPING right off, too, but couldn't confirm any crosses so went on to the other Acrosses...and a lot of white SPACE. Following in @Rex's footsteps, I had a brief moment of success in the OP ART area but didn't really get on solid footing until I reached PLAYBOY MAGAZINE, which was recently featured in a Times article. Then I had the pleasure of one JUICY grid treat after another as I worked my way to the top.

GAZE and AWED seemed apt stacked (sorry) under PLAYBOY MAGAZINE.

Trouble spot: MAG? x P?LS. I thought the singular of magi was MAGus and wasn't sure what the single-vowel alternative would be. An "e" seemed most likely, but I had trouble believing that a pro basketball team would stand for being called PELicans, though PaLs or PoLiticians didn't seem likely either. After my "e" guess, I checked the dictionary and was surprised at all the literary references; I don't recall ever seeing it.

Leapfinger 9:38 AM  


I HOPe to say this is not the usual Birnholz we have come to know! Toned down by several notches, and becoming recognizable only late in the game with WUSSES, SKID marks and FBOMB.

Was that really going to start in with COWTIPPING? Umm... yup, and everything flowed smoothly enough from there on to make it a medium-easy Friday. Did think of Captain Kidd before KIRK, and also that the TURKS opposed the Reds; AWED that they then cropped up in the Crimean, eh? PLAYBOY_intervie...uh, nope.

Nice touches:
HAAGENDASZ, -DAZS (whatever!)... Always!
The SKATE/SKID cross
The TRANSOMS that we had at my elementary school; they were so cool, and much more fun to open/close than than erasing the dumb old blackboard
After ONAN and UNA, we finally get the Big FroMAGE and MEETHE "A" DON
The KNOBby triumvirate: DOOR, RADIO, KNEE
WEIGHT, WEIGHT! There's more!! In a cell nucleus, the BARR body is made of DNA. Cool.

Bottom line: I'll ALAW that EvanB is a breed OPART. Thanks for the Fun Friday and you can DIP thoseROLOS in my SWEETS_POTS any day of the week.

Nancy 9:40 AM  

So much to like here, even though I didn't quite finish and there were several things I didn't know. Most came in anyway; some didn't.

What I liked: the cluing for SWEET SPOTS, OP ART, FANTASY FOOTBALL, DOORKNOB, WUSSES, F BOMB.(I had A BOMB for the longest time, even though I thought that it was a lot worse than "impolite" to drop one!) Loved the answer COW TIPPING (which I never heard of, but came in, and I find cute) and AMEN CORNER, which also came in and I have heard of, sort of. Also loved the Armani quote.

But didn't know how to spell HAAGEN DAaS, leaving me with SUaY- for the candy name (and I've never heard of SUZY Q anyway.). Don't understand BARQS and I didn't know anyone named BARR ran for Prez. Roseanne? Anyway, those three squares were my downfall -- two unfilled and one wrong.

I thought this puzzle was pretty JUICY, actually and I think, once the comments start going up, you'll see the word employed here over and over again by all who liked the puzzle. (At the moment there are only 10 comments here.)

quilter1 9:48 AM  

Solved from the bottom up off Playboy. Enjoyable Friday although from my first scan of clues I didn't think I'd get anywhere. Also enjoyed the write-up and analysis of the first version vs. second.

Leapfinger 9:49 AM  


I also enjoy YEW's guise.

Sir Hillary 9:50 AM  

Fun solve, although PELS had me shaking my head. Interesting to see @Evan's original grid -- as an NBA fan of a certain age, I would argue that EHLO is no more obscure/forced than PELS. INOT like the published version as much as the original.

Hands up for PenCE.

Wonderful clue for PENS, which thankfully was not Pittsburgh N.H.L. team, informally even though PENS is way more "in the sports language" than PELS.

Is the Arabian Peninsula really referred to as a "boot" like Italy?

Mohair Sam 9:54 AM  

Got a big leg up on this easy-medium Friday with the gimme PLAYBOYMAGAZINE and getting FANTASYFOOTBALL of just a couple of letters. AMENCORNER and SWEETSPOTS filled quickly too, so we were able to build quickly from there.

Only holdup - didn't know if the actor would be PRYmE or PRYCE (both names indicate value) until Mrs. M. finally remembered NICO.

Didn't notice the double BACK's until @Rex pointed them out, but do agree with his criticism. Get enough BACK BACK from the terminally annoying Chris Berman on ESPN. PELS, btw, is often heard on sports reports.

Strange how Washington protected us from ourselves by banning online poker and now sits BACK by while the wolves fleece the lambs with FANTASYFOOTBALL. At least poker players knew the odds.

Ludyjynn 10:02 AM  

Fun fact for the day: There is a flower shop named "POSIES of Wellesley" located in...NATICK, MA!

Roseanne BARR for President sounds less peculiar today than it did in '08 when one considers the rest of the wanna be candidates.

I CANNOT believe PLAYBOY MAGAZINE went in first. Everybody does read the interviews, after all. Good timing for this "lust" clue, considering Hefner's recent decision to phase out the sexy centerfold.

Liked the Armani and FL Wright clues and the foodie sub-theme.

Hand up for the spelling woe of 12 Down. Had an 'S' where the 'Z' should be. O MAN!

Thanks for a JUICY Friday, EB and WS.

Charles Flaster 10:05 AM  

Loved this puzzle.
The original presented by Rex seemed much more reasonable than final edition.
Original thoughts that had to be corrected:
Fearsome foursome, Hires, Pryne, A bomb, BYOB and SST.
Very creative cluing for RADIOS, FANTASY FOOTBALL , and AMEN CORNER.
No CrosswordEASE .
Thanks EB.

Jamie C 10:06 AM  

I just got back from rehab at the MEETHEADON clinic.

Z 10:15 AM  

Exactly what Rex said for the NW (though probably four times slower). Dropped in COWTIPPING and thought "this'll be a breeze" and then stalled all the way down to ORC/ROLOS, and then blew through the NW. I agree with @TJY, current clues and answers (with nice balance for the not so young) and some fun stuff. That both FANTASY FOOTBALL and PLAYBOY MAGAZINE have been in the headlines recently added to the currency of this puzzle. Nicely done.

Interesting wading into the weeds on the changes. EHLO and SOZE are pretty obscure. I like IHOP (casual dining? More "diner" IMHO) much more than EHLO, but it's hard for me to say if it is enough better to justify a dupe. I agree that ABRAMS --> LARAMS is lateral, but I do think GAZE > SOZE.

As for OGLE, it has had multiple USAGES, and I think you can certainly find USAGES closer to "goo-goo eyes." I think the "dark and sinister" interpretation is more an artifact of a feminist perspective. There are other perspectives in the world.

GILL I. 10:16 AM  

This puzzle took several fits and starts. After about a couple of hours, I finally finished. I did Google to see if HAAGENDAZE was correct and whether SUZYQ is even something...I knew BARQS because every once in a while I'll get a hankering for root beer and BARQS is the best....Add a little "Made like no other" vanilla ice cream, maybe make a SUNDAE OUT OF IT, and I'm a happy camper.
The two BACKS just screwed me up the most. I so wanted F-WORD instead of the BOMB but I knew DEREK was right. What the hell ends in K that makes room?
I only got COW TIPPING because some time back it was an answer that a lot of people had never heard of. It led to lots of discussion and some very funny stories. I always remember an answer when that happens on this forum.
In the end, I really loved this puzzle. Regardless of the changes Will et al made, it felt very fresh and JUICY.
We just ate at IHOP the other day and I had a delicious Cuban sandwich...! Pancakes be damn!
Good job Evan. I'd like to see more of these puzzles from you.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:19 AM  

Excellent Friday puzzle, IMHO.

What could be more ripped from the headlines than FANTASY FOOTBALL?

Two w/o: 41 D, HEIGHT >> WEIGHT; 49 D, PADS >> PENS.

NEK 10:19 AM  

Cow tipping, definitely an urban legend--unlike fainting goats.

Roo Monster 10:23 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with the easy-medium rating. Wasn't getting anywhere at first, but then seemed to flow smoothly from one answer to the crossing answer. Don't you love it when that happens?

Some great clues. The Dad's one was cool. Almost forgot about both brands of root beers! Also, clue for WUSSES neat, the two skinny clues, 24 & 27A.

SUZYQ, what a great looking answer. ZYQ together, how odd, but cool! Thanks to Rex for the BACK dupe explanation. And funny how Rex avoided JUICY! Thought he'd at least throw in an ugh!

Got this puz 100% correct! Almost had my one-letter DNF, but at the last second changed WiND to WEND! Yay me! :-P


Arlene 10:43 AM  

I also solved from the bottom to the top, getting traction from PLAYBOY MAGAZINE. What a thrill to put in all those letters without any help from crosses. That rarely happens, so I'm still savoring the experience.
So I finished a Friday without Googling - YAY for me. I had one error - had MAGI for MAGE. I don't pretend to be perfect.

Robso 10:57 AM  

Were the "Tsars" opponents of the Reds? I'm pretty sure there could only be one Tsar at a time. Maybe "Tsarists" were against the Reds.
I thought this was a pangram but noticed there was no V or X. I wonder if the constructor started out trying for one, and then quit.

Anonymous 11:07 AM  

@quilter said "solved from the bottom up off PLAYBOY." Heh.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

There's something off about this puzzle. Maybe its the multiple reference to online has-beens, like Internet CAFE and GROUPON or maybe it's the one size fits all FRIES. And is COWTIPPING a legend? I thought it was a real thing.

mac 11:49 AM  

Very nice Friday puzzle, although I did not finish. Not up on sweets and soda, SuzyQ, Barqs and Dads meant nothing to me. I guess sports are a weakness, too, although I got Larams and LPGA because of the crosses.

A nice little tousle.

Joseph Michael 11:50 AM  

It's hard not to like a puzzle that starts with COW TIPPING and ends with SWEET SPOTS. Great job (except for the BACK dupe).

@Nancy, Dad's and Barq's are rival root beers.

old timer 11:52 AM  

Didn't see COW TIPPING at all! Didn't see more than a few short answers until I found the Carter interview clue,and put in PLAYBOY MAGAZINE at once.I think the changes to the little SW corner were all for the better.

I'm just old enough to think of "Hires"instead of Barqs. In fact, Barqs did not exist in California, I don't think, when I was a regular root beer tippler. GROUPONS INFO NEO gave me AMEN CORNER and,finally, COWTIPPING.

Finished in the ROLOS section, sat there and stared, and was asking, "What in Hell is an O PART?? Then it became clear, and I was able to OGLE the puzzle with some satisfaction.

Joe Bleaux 11:59 AM  

Very nice Friday diversion. I'm down with the bottom-up solvers starting with Playboy, and stalled up top until Fantasy Football opened up the field. One nit to pick: trying to connect Oman and the toe of a boot was like trying to touch my toes -- too much of a reach. Overall, a fun puzzle, though.
PS -- Ludyjynn: Roseanne instead of Bob Barr. Hu hu! Ain't it the truth?

Lewis 12:18 PM  

@rex -- thank you for presenting Evan's version versus the published one. Eye opening!

I, and I'm sure many of us, remember when Evan was so excited when Will accepted his first two puzzles, and I'm sure many of us remember his analytical posts here. I am not surprised at how his puzzles have shown more polish over time, because his posts showed him to be not only a thinker, but a smart one, as well as a dedicated worker. I'm sure he dwells on every clue and answer choice on the grid. There is no doubt that his puzzles will come out clean. Already he's in my top tier of constructors. For all his puzzle world renown, whenever I've had a construction question, he's always been quick to email a reply. Nothing but respect for Evan.

Great clues for RADIOS and PENS, and I liked the inclusion of DEREK McDreamy and AMEN CORNER. This puzzle was more medium/challenging for me due to knowledge deficits on my part, and I'm grateful for the learning. Thank you for another excellent one, Evan!

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

I gave up on this one.. .. cowtipping? amen corner? and with Haagendazs

ANON B 1:10 PM  

I wonder how many New Jerseyans have ever heard of cowtipping? Not I. Nor has my spell checker.

h_lina_k 1:16 PM  

Had Jonathan BANKS instead of PRYCE for a while and that made me much happier.

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

Have more consumers really been misled by Beck’s beer (brewed in St. Louis – recent $20 million class action settlement because of that alleged deception) than by Haagen-Dazs (established in the Bronx)?

A friend from Nebraska claims to have gone cow-tipping as a youth.

jae 1:21 PM  

@lms - I with you on the new system, it has its draw backs but it is clearly better than what was going on previously. One of my problems is that I'm posting with and iPad 1 which now doesn't recognize YouTube(among other obsolescence related problems)so, I'm kind of winging it when I try to post a link.

Teedmn 1:56 PM  

My solve paralleled @Rex's as far as the NW went except I put in Jonathon PRiCE right away.

@Hartley70, I grew up in cow country and I've never met anyone who has owned up to COWTIPPING. I suspect that if it is a thing, it became one because of the urban legend. On the other hand, I haven't read most of the comments yet so for all I know, dozens of people have detailed their COWTIPPING experiences.

What does MEETHE mean in Japanese? Yesterday we had Unadon and today,MEETHEADON. Some sea creature, perhaps SKATE?

OPART was a DOOK for me today, as was LARAMS. And for me 15A was going to be something to do with BACK up singers as vocal supporters. We could have gone for the triple BACK, if so.

I had fun on this puzzle. It was just JUICY enough to make me think but not so easy that I could just RADIOS it in. Thanks, EB.

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

I, too, like to look at PLAYBOY from the bottom up. A chaque son gout.

joho 2:30 PM  

"I'M BACK, STEP BACK!" Bad dupe but fun to say. Thanks for publishing the original grid, @Rex, enlightening indeed.

@Bob Kerfuffle, I had lEngth, hEIGHT! and finally WEIGHT.

I keep reading it as DOORK NOB and MEaTHEAD ON.

This was a little on the easy side for me but big on the enjoyment side ... what a lovely puzzle, Evan ... thank you very much!

Numinous 2:33 PM  

I had A and W before BARQS and was wracking my brain to remember Hires.
Took me a while to remember COW TIPPING which was funny until it was pointed out that it damaged the COWS and some kids, I think in California, were prosecuted for doing it. Boy was that a long time ago (ergo "legend"?).

This one took me a long time but I was distracted. We have a fourteen week-old pit bull puppy over that we are training. She learned to sit on command in about fifteen minutes on Monday, Today. we have been working on "wait", "down" and she's slowly figuring out "leave it". She's a real little sweetie.

I'm not sure how I know AMEN CORNER but I've known it for a long time. I used to sing this song, Jimmy Bell, by Koerner, Ray and Glover. Somehow I'd always Mondagreen a lyric and skew the meter to:
Jimmy Bell's in the pulpet,
His bottle in his hand
Watchin' them sisters in the AMEN CORNER cryin'
Jimmy Bell's my man . . .

I was surprised to see FBOMB but it was also right around that time that my wife gave me DEREK. She's a Grey's Anatomy fan and happened to be watching an episode on Hulu on her phone while the pitpuppy was trying to chew on her shoe.

Anoa Bob 2:35 PM  

C'mon people, COWTIPPING is a very real thing. We do it all the time down here in deep south Texas. Once a year we have a major competition, the Broma Grande Games, where participants (we have both solo and team events) are graded on time, technique, originality, and so forth. The highest score is when the approach is so stealthy and the TIPPING is so subtle that the cow doesn't even wake up until it hits the ground. Talk about some bellowing! Totally hilarious. If you decide to try this yourself, and I think you should, be sure you are TIPPING a cow, NOT a bull! Don't ask how I know this.

Chaos344 3:30 PM  


Is that really you Leapy?

It is I, Chaos344 from Wordplay. I have always been an ardent admirer of your wit,intelligence,and prowess as a wordsmith and cruciverbalist. There are only one or two other Wordplay posters that I hold in the same regard.

I am sooo done with that venue! I thought I'd come back to my blog roots here at Rex Parker. I may not post here every day, but it is nice to have an alternate site where Political Correctness doesn't run rampant. I am totally disgusted with overly priggish posters who fall all over themselves trying to prove who is the most gentile and Politically Correct.

Maybe Chicago John will join me back here? This is where we both started before the great "Jukebox Diner" argument with Rex. I'm having a hard time believing John's story on Wordplay. He claims he is bailing from Wordplay simply because the Cubs lost to the Mets. I'm sure it goes way deeper than that? Now, if we could just get "The Bard Of Quincy" over here, major fun could ensue?

What say you Leapy?

thedailycannibal 3:37 PM  

Pels. Sure. Along with the Clips, the Lakes, the Rocks, the Nugs, the Pists, the Horns, The Nugs and the Thuns.


Ludyjynn 3:39 PM  

Thanks, @Joe Bleaux (love your handle, BTW) for subtly correcting my mistake; I never heard of Bob BARR til your post; Wiki confirms he was indeed the Libertarian '08 POTUS candidate. But Roseanne BARR did run in 2012 for POTUS under the Peace and Freedom Party banner out of CA., also per Wiki. Live and learn!

Evan 4:09 PM  

Thanks, all. Interesting to read people's comments about the original vs. revised grids. Poor Craig Ehlo.


Even though this one had some pretty uncommon letters, I never strive for pangrams. My priority has always been smooth and lively fill. I don't put in high Scrabble letters like Z or Q unless I can do it cleanly and with no compromises.

deerfencer 5:06 PM  

Listen to this Ry Cooder track for instant explanation of an "Amen Corner"

Nancy 6:01 PM  

When I left the house on this absolute dream of a day in NYC, there were 10 comments up. Rex had not mentioned any of the things that were perplexing me and my various questions, therefore, weren't answered until just now.

Thank you @Joseph Michael for explaining the root beer clue. I never heard of either of the root beers and had no idea what 29D was about.

Thanks to the person(s) who explained that it was Bob BARR who ran for Prez, not Roseanne. How quickly we forget. The name rings a bell -- vaguely -- but I really don't remember much about him. I do think that perhaps he had a (rather ugly) mustache. Am I right?

COW TIPPING -- A third of you all mention it AND NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU EXPLAINS WHAT IT IS! @Teedmn -- I'm looking at you, girl. Please enlighten me -- either on or off-blog.

The comments today are great. Too bad I had to wait 7+ hours to see them. But the weather was so fantabulous, that I couldn't bring myself home until sunset.

Mohair Sam 6:09 PM  

That's great stuff @Anoa.

@Evan - Always enjoy your work, and love the fact that you take time to comment on our comments. I'm an NBA junkie, but Will was right on Craig Ehlo, btw. Maybe if he racked up those 8.6 ppg for the Knicks . . . . .

RAD2626 6:49 PM  

Thought puzzle was great even though a dumb dnf. Had lEnGth first and finally got to hEIGHT. Never even considered WEIGHT and hUSSES looked okay to me. Think PELS is a real stretch and like Greg Ehlo but really fun and great cluing: SUNDAES was my favorite.

UncleJohnC 6:56 PM  

I found this puzzle challenging, even though I was able to finish.

Speaking of USAGE - in 1A - is it still considered an "urban legend" when it occurs in a "rural" area.

I guess we all enjoy a good oxymoron.

old timer 8:12 PM  

O.M.G.!! The very best cut from the best of Ry Cooder's albums. Thanks,

Hartley70 10:42 PM  

@AliasZ every one of my classrooms, from kindergarden to high school, had a transom over the classroom door, so I'm guessing I learned TRANSOM at 4 years old. Next to the door rested a long wooden pole with a hook on the end that the teacher used to open and close the transom. I'm guessing you were educated in more modern buildings! It's fascinating to discover how words and architecture go in and out of fashion.

@Teedman My bestie Iowa farm girl assures me that COWTIPPING did indeed happen in her neck of the woods, right where high school intersected with six-pack!

Teedmn 12:45 AM  

@Nancy, COWTIPPING is as it sounds - people sneaking up on unsuspecting cows when they are sleeping out in the field standing up, and tipping them over.

@Hartley70, you are the only person on the blog with even a secondhand story corroborating the existence of said COWTIPPING. I think Iowa (and for sure Wisconsin) have more cows than we here in MN so I will concede it might be a real thing, but I don't think I ever heard of it until maybe 15 years ago, about 20 some years after I left southern MN. Did we just have better things to do than to TIP COWS? I don't think so :-).

Tom Rowe 2:26 AM  

I don't know about anyone else, but in my puzzle there was an obvious typo in the clues: DNA was discovered in 1969, but the clue reads 1869. Since no one else noted this, I wonder if my puzzle download is different (that is, error corrected from earliest version).

Bob Kerfuffle 9:25 AM  

@Tom Rowe - Here's a hint I hope you might find useful in the future: If you don't have time to read all of the Comments, which is easily understandable, before you complain or explain a particular word, use the "Find" function (on my Mac, "Command F") to see if it has already been mentioned.

If you do that with today's (10/23) thread, you will see that at 9:18, @George Barany gave a fairly complete timetable of our knowledge of DNA - dating back to 1869.

Tom Rowe 11:37 AM  

Thanks for the hint. I actually did go through the comments but missed that. This is a prime example of egg on the face.

Tita 11:57 AM  

Hey Evan...seems I'm always late commenting on your puzzles. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I CAN NEVER FINISH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This played really tough for me. Had to call in puzz spouse to collaborate, and we did finish without cheating, so there's that...

Internet memE at 1d, ssT for the [sonic] boom maker, and a wild guess at Jonathan goldE spelled doom for me.
And I really wanted COWTIPPING so bad...

Good one that broke my Friday streak.
Thanks, dude.

Raphael 10:01 PM  

Wasn't DNA discovered in 1953 (Watson and Crick) -- Mendel's work was in the 1860s, but he did not know what the mechanism of heredity was, only that there had to be one.

A minor quibble to be sure...

Evan 12:11 AM  


A few others have pointed out in the comments that Friedrich Miescher was actually the first to isolate DNA in 1869. That took me by surprise, too -- when I wrote the clue a year ago, I originally had the discovery date in 1953. Live and learn.

genius mchaggis 12:03 PM  

REX! you got 5 wrong on this one. SE corner 46 D isnt "snot" its IN OT as in "in overtime". 47 A the superbowl bowl is DIP. felt on a desk is felt PENS not lens. NW corner...3 D is WEND and 19A is end.

spacecraft 11:37 AM  

Yes, Fearless One, AMENCORNER does indeed have to do with golf: it's the 11th thru 13th holes at Augusta National--as in, if you get past there without a bogey (or worse) you go "A-MEN!" And you're probably hitting it on the SWEETSPOT.

I'd call this medium, maybe leaning toward the med-chal here and there. We do have some Fridayish clues, and yet here comes "Not together" for APART. Which, BTW, crossing OPART is...not so good. One writeover: my "felt" desk items were PadS at first.

I did notice the two BACKs--but at least they didn't MEETHEADON. This was an entry I had the devil's own time parsing. I thought it was "SEE THE..."-something,till I figured out TRANSOMS. Invevtive use of the Q; love BARQS Root Beer.

Shows you how closely I follow the NBA: I had no idea New Orleans even HAD a team after the Jazz left for Utah. PELS went in on crosses, as did BARR and DIDO. Did Aeneas record any albums?

This was kinda fun; mini-theme SPACE and KIRK helped. BARQS' symmetrical opposite, ROLOS, is also one of my favorites. Just not the two together. Well, you see, they ARE APART! B+.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Dear Genius above. You're looking at the wrong grid. Start at the top.

As usual, I disagree with the Pedantic Parker. I liked the puzzle including the fill. But, I would rate it a Medium. The misdirects were good, and, of course one would think of the current troubles in the Crimea instead of the official Crimean War. I filled in Mage not knowing if correct. I knew Pels had to be OK.

My hardest and last to complete was the NW corner. I worked this puzz from bottom to top and from right to left.

Rrrron Diego, La Mesa, CA (Off to Chemotherapy. Found out, late in life, smokers just thought they were cool back in the 50s).

Burma Shave 11:55 AM  


but her BUST and JUICY SWEETSPOTS soon will be gone,
then IMBACK to reality, we’ll nevermore MEETHEADON.


Keith Shapiro 12:08 PM  


Keith Shapiro 12:09 PM  


rondo 1:20 PM  

Lotsa goodness in this puz. First puz I’ve solved with an FBOMB in it! Slight slowdown in the SE with DIon and nUrSES. Liked that there were long and longish answers everywhere.

Always associate AMENCORNER with the Masters. The church thing must also be southern?

As promised, the recent SKOR v. Heath v. Hershey’s Nuggets w/ toffee and almonds:
#3 - SKOR – too sweet for my tooth
#2 – Hershey’s – too many almonds, not enough toffee
#1 – Heath – perfect blend of chocolate and toffee. I’ll stay with it.

DEREK could have been 10 yeah baby Bo.

I actually met a woman, in a family-ish bar/restaurant, who had posed for PLAYBOYMAGAZINE in one of the College Girls of . . . shoots. She wanted to go somewhere more “grown-up” for a drink, I obliged, and on the way back to meet her party we stopped briefly at my car. This story did have a happy ending. Too much INFO?

I did the FANTASYFOOTBALL thing back in the early 1980s when nobody knew of it. Played it for more than 25 years, but gave it up +/- 10 years ago. It can be a real timesuck.

This puz had a bunch of SWEETSPOTS, let’s see about Saturday’s and SUNDAES.

rain forest 3:07 PM  

I think COWTIPPING is an urban legend because we urbanites have heard of it, but I'm not sure it actually happens. On the high school golf team I coached years ago, one of my players talked about this activity, thinking it was a blast, but the rest of the team thought it cruel, as did I. Turned out he was making it up.

Loved SKID marks, though I don't love them...

Also years ago I participated in FANTASY hockey, but it ruined my experience of watching the games because I found I was rooting for the players on my team rather than the actual team on the ice. I know that happens with FF, and it's not a good thing.

Nice puzzle, and I totally don't mind the BACK dupe.

Teedmn 12:10 AM  

@Ron Diego, best of luck with the chemo.

genius mchaggis 4:50 AM  

OOPSY! cringe. embarrassing!

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