Plantation owner in Cat on Hot Tin Roof / FRI 10-2-15 / Sun King's infamous declaration / Cattle drive destination in Lonesome Dove / Senor seen on Ed Sullivan Show / 1930s film canine / Typical bulldogs fan / Promiscuous guy in slang / Dogpatch yell

Friday, October 2, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: NED Land (18D: Land in a nautical adventure) —
"Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land," a character in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (wikipedia)
• • •

Wide open, smooth, and wicked easy (except for the NW, which I finished last and which gave me brief but discernible fits). It started oddly, with ALOU being the only thing I could muster in the NW. And then there was the out-and-out, absolute, I-can't-believe-anyone-doesn't-think-this-is-a *gimme* at 29A: Breakfast dish with hollandaise sauce (EGGS BENEDICT). I had crab cake benedict just last weekend in Minneapolis, but I think I would've nailed this regardless. So after a little bit, my grid looked very, very strange:


I usually build on the answers I already have, and I almost never get a long answer with no crosses in place. So the above grid is freakish-looking to me. Then it gets slightly weirder, as I manage to drop BIERCE (gimme) (30D: "The Devil's Dictionary" author) and LENTIL SOUP (gimme) (28D: Food that Esau sold his birthright for) and then move straight into the SE. So ... strike out in the NW, and then *torch* the puzzle from the middle, down, and over.

[I am pretty PASTY. I am not (I hope) "cadaverous"]

You can see how WENCES got me quickly into that SW corner. That is a gimme for those who are Xers or older, probably, but just as probably baffling and arcane to younger folk. An answer like that can probably be the difference between breezing through a corner and struggling a little. Also, WENCES is never going to look right to you if you don't know it. But I knew it, so ... hurray? Got the brilliant L'ETAT, C'EST MOI and moved easily up the grid and into the NE. That left just the NW, which, as I said, was a totally different puzzle for me. Those two "?" clues side by side meant that I had to work much harder up there, despite having ALOU, and EGGS-, and correctly guessing ERRED and MEDLEY (though I kept doubting the latter). I had the back end of STAGNATION, but couldn't find the front. [Threads] looks plural, though even after guessing it referred to clothing, I could think only of WEAR (?). [Material problem] is exceedingly vague clue for TEAR. Wasn't sure what "Base" meant in [Base players], or what "bill" meant in [It's read for a bill]. But the real toughies were the "?" clues, 2D: You again? (ALTER EGO) and 3D: Fits on a hard drive? (ROAD RAGE), good and great clues, respectively. Good way to slow me down is to bunch up your "?" clues. Drives me mad. With Rage. Of the non-road variety. But the puzzle was undeniably lovely overall.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

79 comments:

jae 12:06 AM  

Very easy for a Fri.  My only erasure was PAlid before PASTY. 

Two weekends with long French quotes.  This one I kinda knew.

I'm currently working on a PB puzzle in one Peter Gordon's Fireball books. I've spent twice as much time on that one and so far I only have 5 answers filled in, 2 of which I'm not sure of (to be fair there seems to be a fiendish gimmick involved).

So, let's just say I was hoping for more of a challenge when I saw the author.  Plus, while very smooth, this was a bit meh.  Tepidly liked it. 

I mean LENTIL SOUP pretty much says it.  Not Gazpacho, not Chicken Posole...LENTIL....

Whirred Whacks 12:11 AM  

I love Patrick Berry puzzles because he makes me feel clever. And the same is probably true for most of you.

A lot of nice clues and answers. L'ETAT C'EST MOI was my first entry.
"Black winds" for CLARINETS was delightful. As was "Colorer of papers" for "MEDIA BIAS".

Lots of fun!

Jim Walker 12:20 AM  

Very easy, 13 minutes, but fun. Señor Wences brought back childhood, black and white TV memories. Recently we have featured both Louis 16 and now Louis 14. Perhaps tomorrow will bring Louis Louis. Or maybe not.

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

After finishing this much too easy Friday, I just sat back for a few minutes admiring the grid, and looking for something to fault. Only then did I look to see who authored the puzzle (I normally look at the author's name first, but didn't today). Once I saw the author's name, I stopped looking for bad fill and just admired. For several minutes.

I would have preferred tougher Friday cluing, but that's a minor complaint when having the opportunity to solve such a magnificent grid as Mr. Berry graced us with this day. Well done, sir!

Glad to be in agreement with your review. I can't add to it. Again, well done, sir!

-Brennan

August West 12:28 AM  

GARB, ALOU .. GAS METER!!! -> Run!

So clean. So nice. So sorry to see it go so fast.

John Child 12:36 AM  

Agreed - easy and fun. I also stumbled in the NW because the clues were tougher and I couldn't accept NED until it just had to be.

Here's another take on the land of Ned... https://www.nationstates.net/nation=the_land_of_ned

wreck 1:06 AM  

It wasn't as easy for me as most of you, but still pretty fast for a Friday. Not much not too like. It seemed like I had the right answer often, erased them and put them right back in again later -- fun!

Wade 1:50 AM  

Senor Wences I remember mainly from a scene in the very funny and not much remembered "Tin Men," the movie about feuding aluminum siding salesman. "Guy's got it made. You need a hand, a magic marker. No overhead!"

Kevin Mcgue 3:09 AM  

This was a nice puzzle, and restored my faith after yesterday's EUROS (the plural is euro).

Where I live, my gas meter is still read once a month by a person who then slips the bill through the mail slot, so that was one of the easiest clues for me. I could get BUGLERS by thinking of the movie "Taps", which is set on a military base.

Loren Muse Smith 4:08 AM  

My faux-hold was "down" for HERE. Next entry was L'ETAT C'EST MOI, so I was able to dispatch the southeast easily. My love for LANCOME mascara helped me sort out the southwest after that.

EGGS BENEDICT went in with no crosses. The appeal of this dish escapes me. Ick.

And that ROE under EGGS has to be a deliberate flourish. Oh my gosh this guy is gifted.

Sussing out 26D finally led the way to triumph. "Reduces" then "deduces" – both perfectly defensible – and then finally DEDUCTS.

Like many other southerners, I called my grandfather BIG DADDY. My mom is Bigmama to my kids. When they have kids, she'll be Great Big Mama. More EGGS BENEDICT, Mom?

I tell you what – it's currently STAG NATION around these parts; when I drive to work before sun-up, there are bucks everywhere. Everywhere. They stand right off the road and stare as I drive by. Stick one hoof out as if about to run in front of my car and then laugh hysterically when I wence. I star in my own private Gary Larson cartoon every morning.

I've never bought a lottery ticket, but if I had, yesterday I would have been a LONGER. I WISH. Two days ago I was chatting with a student, talking about what we would buy with 300+ million dollars. He said he'd probably donate most of it. Yesterday I come to learn that this student lives with no running water and no electricity. Showers every morning at school.
Cafeteria ladies try to send food home with him when they can. An artist would be able to paint a picture, write a poem, a song, to express the emotions I experience teaching in this poor, rural county. Man. I can't even find one word to describe the poignancy.

Superb puzzle, Patrick.

Anonymous 4:34 AM  

I forgot to mention the joy I experienced when I saw NED Land. I once had the vinyl of Kirk Douglas perfoming as Ned Land on a Disney record that went with a "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" book. I wonder whatever happened to that? So many years ago...

-Brennan

Anonymous 5:47 AM  

A fine puzzle, but didn't we just have one with APRES_MOI_LE_DELUGE and now we get L(')ETAT_C(')EST_MOI?

And the latter is called brilliant, but the former was panned, as I recall...

Anonymous 6:39 AM  

LENTIL SOUP not a gimme ! I had LENTIL STEW

GeezerJackYale48 8:30 AM  

Although "medley" had to be correct, the only vision my mind could create was some nursery-rhyme characters floating toward the land of "nod". Thank you, Rex for acquainting me with Ned Land.

John V 8:34 AM  

NE snagged me, what with LOVECRAFT, MEDIABIAS and TOMCAT not wanting to cooperate. All in, though, typical PB offering: fun get-able.

No problem here with NW.

joho 8:38 AM  

How can you not love a puzzle where you make up a whole new country and word? It was all beautifully smooth sailing until I entered the NW last. That's where the country of cALAU rose in the ocean confirming that ScAm was putting the "fix" on someone. The Land of NoD was already there so my new word of the day was MEDLom!

I really did this. Had to run knowing it wasn't right but was so pleased figuring out ScAm I didn't care!

Such a beautiful puzzle ... again! ... Patrick Berry! Thank you!

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

Had same experience as Rex except that I needed to google first a few of trivia questions. I love PB puzzles. Even for the less accomplished solvers who need help, he provides enough challenge in his construction and cluing to make the effort truly enjoyable. Thank you Mr. Berry.
My rating? If I can finish a Friday (albeit with help and a couple of "oops") then the puzzle is easy and/clever.
Good start for a sun-free day.

joho 8:45 AM  

I also thought ORIGINATED, CREATE and LOVECRAFT all so apt descriptions of Patrick Berry.

Lobster11 8:53 AM  

Geez, am I the only one who didn't know who the "Sun King" was, much less his "infamous declaration" in French? No matter how many crosses I got, I never saw anything but a string of random letters in that row. And so down I went.

Otherwise, I always love PB's cluing. "Fits on a hard drive" is a classic!

Jimmy 8:56 AM  

I wanted 18D to be NOD and thought 5D was SPAT then suddenly MEDLEY popped into focus which left only BUGLERS as answer to 4D.

I just couldn't get the clue so I came here, thank you Kevin Mcgue, it is so obvious in hindsight.

George Barany 8:56 AM  

What's not to LOVE(about @Patrick Berry's)CRAFT, which put the FUN into FUNGICIDE?

So refreshing to see a scientifically accurate clue for RNA. Continental DRIFT ahead of SHELF, but got the right 4-letter movie dog, ASTA, ahead of TOTO.

EGGS_BENEDICT always brings to mind this classic Woody Allen schtick (one and a half minutes). Enjoy!

jberg 9:08 AM  

I don't really like FUNGICIDE on my EGGS BENEDICT, but in a puzzle they're fine. This was a bit slow for me -- couldn't suss out the NW until I finally thought of ALTER EGO. Read 'base player' as bass, then when I got the spelling I wanted a base 'runner' at first. Only writeovers, though, were continental drift before SHELF, and starting to write in H.P. LOVECRAFT until I saw it wouldn't fit.

Me too for wanting Stew and NoD, but I had enough doubt to leave them blank for the crosses.

Personally, I loved both French royal quotes.

The Rhino 9:11 AM  

This was pretty great. Had a fast start: LOVECRAFT, BIGDADDY, MONTANA and EGGSBENEDICT were all gimmes. Like an earlier poster, I'm not sure who the Sun King was and had never heard the quote - although I had no problem filling it in.

I'm surprised LENTIL SOUP was a gimme for so many. I know the Bible pretty well, could certainly tell you the story is from Genesis 25, but needed a few crosses to see it was made from lentils (and that it was soup and not stew).

And I also found the NW the toughest area to get traction. Had DRIFT above SAMOA for awhile which certainly didn't help.

Z 9:12 AM  

Jesús Alou - Last appearance in an MLB game was 1979.
Merlin Olsen - Last appearance in an NFL game was 1976, last acting appearance was 1988, last announcing appearance was 1991.
Omar Sharif - Known in Bridge circles, but biggest roles are all from the 1960's and '70's.
Señor Wences - Evokes memories of Black and White TV.
ASTA
H.P. LOVECRAFT died in 1937, but he is still pretty current, so he is actually more current than all of the others above.

Lonesome Dove is the most recent pop culture reference, so this puzzle would have been current in 1986. I liked this puzzle a lot, but a little balance in the cluing to let us know we made it to the 21st century would be nice.

French Kings - such humble creatures. Reminds me of Machiavelli, "It doesn't matter how big of a dick you are as long as you govern well." (That's paraphrased, obviously)

John Child 9:12 AM  

"Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage." That's the phrase I remember, but it's not actually in the bible.

Genesis 25:29-34 King James Version:
And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Porridge or stew perhaps better interpretation than soup, but small difference.

@Rex, I greatly appreciate your posting moderated comments more often. That makes commenting and following comments more fun. Thank you.

Mohair Sam 9:13 AM  

Oui! MY three years of High School French finally paid off this week. Maybe tomorrow we can "Let them eat cake" and be done with this madness.

Easy Friday, and surprisingly easy Berry. Had about six gimmes, four of them seven or more letters, so we flew through this one. But we'll agree with the majority here - fun cluing and really clean.

Are we getting on Patrick's wave length when we quickly fill the "?" clues at 2D and 3D off gimmes ALOU And EGGS . . without looking at another across?

Friggin' LENTILSOUP. Doctor ordered a sharp drop in meat input about a year ago so I discovered LENTILSOUP (among other veggie things). Interesting it balanced FUNGICIDES in this puzzle because I suspect the taste is similar.

Thought it was neat to see IAGO here with his mendacious "I will wear my heart upon my sleeve", just across the puzzle from BIG DADDY who defined mendacity so well in "Cat . . ".

Hartley70 9:27 AM  

You describe the poignancy beautifully, Loren. Your students are fortunate in their teacher, if not in other things, and sometimes that can make all the difference.

The puzzle was perfection for me. Reasonable difficulty and clever misdirection should have revealed PB, but I waited to check the info button. No surprise there!

Stressful weekend here! Daughter getting married tomorrow by the water on an island with rain, wind, and flood changing every plan we've made. The puzzle was my moment of sanity before the chaos starts again!

Tita 9:40 AM  

DNF, emanating from certainty about NoD.

My promiscuous guy was a TOyboy for a while, since my sports team was RAyS. Once you SPAY that TOMCAT, he becomes less promiscuous.

Nice catch on the EGGS and ROE, Loren...

Thanks Patrick. Liked all the CRAFTy clues - you know which ones I mean.

Maruchka 9:41 AM  

Delightfully smooth except for the NW. Rags/GARB, expiration/STAGNATION? A muddle. Desperation that I'd have to cheat. So, I did, and - head slap! Mr. Berry is the bomb.

Fav of the day - ROAD RAGE. The clue mis-directness is exceptional.

@LMS - Love your stories, the people and places are made vivid and alive. Have you published?

quilter1 9:44 AM  

Berry's puzzles are always fair and gettable, but sometimes you haave to work a little. I had to work on SPAY and BUGLERS. GASMETER came easily as did the breakfast dish and royal quote. Agree with fun and easy but crunchy enough to be worth the time. I have begun to do the WSJ puzzles and find them also worth the time.

mac 9:49 AM  

What a pleasure to do this puzzle on a rainy morning!

@loren: A cafetaria lady I know told me about a homeless senior at her school, who also was given food to take with him after school. Very polite, smart kid who graduated and got scholarships to college. And this
in prosperous Fairfield County.

Appalachia Trails 10:05 AM  

'An Occurence At Owl Creek Bridge'?

So @Loren gets to say "Down, boy!" alot. No surprise there, I don't guess.

I agree, the discrepancy in the extremes, haves vs have-nots, is appalling. Which group, d'you suppose, has more better people?

GILL I. 10:06 AM  

Well of course I loved this....and I love French quotes and I also love Ambrose BIERCE and his funny quotes:
"Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth."
Ed Sullivan...Yes! Glued to the television every Saturday (or was it Sunday) Although Sr WENCES made me wince.
@Loren, I'm with you on EGGS BENEDICT. I love EGGS; I eat EGGS just about every day. My favorite is soft/hard boiled. But dang, you put that soupy canned stuff on my eggs and me no likey. Although I make a pretty good hollandaise if I say so myself.
Like @Rex, GARB was my biggest hangup. I want to frame the clue for BUGLERS, I was so in love with SHARIF, LOVECRAFT gave me the heebie jeebies and I too use LANCOME mascara (Hi again LMS)
I just might go and make myself another coffee and stare at this wonder.....

Nancy 10:23 AM  

Also found this easy for a Friday and easy for a Patrick Berry. Favorite clues were for MEDIA BIAS and ROAD RAGE. The most inept and inapt clue I thought was for ACROBAT: His "schedule" isn't flexible; his body is flexible! Awful. (I must go back to see if others said this; I imagine they have.)

The only writeovers I had were SPOT instead of SPAY for "fix", and NOD instead of NED at 18D. (I've never heard of NED, but I've certainly heard of NOD; again I need to see what others have said here.) Oh, and I don't get PASTY for cadaverous; PASTY to me means pale, ashen, and not thin. So, while this puzzle was enjoyable, I have rather a lot of nits today. Now off to read the rest of you.

LindaPRmaven 10:30 AM  

Most welcome PB puzzle after yesterday's unsatisfying slog. Fast Friday for me and, aside from the long gimmes (BIGDADDY, EGGSBENEDICT, LETATCESTMOI (goodness two MOIs in two days), great clues for BUGLERS, ROADRAGE, MEDIABIAS, topped by a PANAMA HAT. Thanks PB!

Paul Johnson 10:31 AM  

I was sailing along until WENCES and LANCOME. I loosely remembered the ventriloquist, never heard of LANCOME. And a big boo to ACROBAT. Sure it helps to be flexible, but isn't required to fly around on trapezes. Still a big shout out to RNA finally correctly characterized, rather than equating it with DNA or "genetic material". It is involved in genetics and IS genetic material in viruses but does not code in man or eucaryotes. As an EX-microbiologist I just had to say that.

chefbea 10:45 AM  

What an easy Friday puzzle. I usually don't do Friday but being rained in...figured Id give it a try. Hand up for remembering Señor Wences (just noticed - the tilde is over the n) Love eggs benedict!! Might make some lentil soup today...cold and rainy

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Also enjoyed the puzzle, but see some media bias in neglecting to criticize "asta" crossing "apses."

Wednesday's Child 11:09 AM  

I forgot to go back an rework the bottom center. I DNF'd with PASse, GIs and PITe.

I was not familiar with the Sun King either but I managed to get the quote with the crosses.

I, too, did not notice that it was Patrick Berry until the end. "Aha," I said, "no wonder."

Loved the answers to you again? and black winds.

Anonymous 11:10 AM  

Oh, wow! Easiest Friday, by far, that I have ever done. And it's by Patrick Berry. Am I awake or am I dreaming?

Numinous 11:27 AM  

I found this amazingly easy with answers like ALOU, ASTA, LOVECRAFT, EGGS BENEDICT and BIERCE just dropping into place with no trouble at all. I wound up doing this on in less than half the time usual for me for a Friday. I'm in awe of Patrick with over two hundred NYT puzzles published in the past sixteen years. Sixty seven Sundays, sixty four Fridays and only six MTW puzzles. Who knows how many others in other places? I have to say he's proof that practice makes perfect. And this was a near perfect puzzle.

I have only one nit to pick and the comb I'm using is excedingly fine. As a long time worker in leather, to me, and I emphasize to me, TAN is a reddish brown. True, usage dictates meaning, But the things TAN is used to describe are, largely, not TAN at all. Ecru, buff, beige are all things people call TAN. Khaki is a yelowish brown. In Hindu, khaki means dust or dust colored. When the crosses filled that in for me I just sighed. Even when we TAN through sun bathing, the color often has a reddish cast. For a clue, I would have preferred "cure" as in to TAN leather. I'll admit this is a really small issue but it nagged at me.

Still, solving this one was a fun and, overall, rewarding experience.

chefbea 11:28 AM  

Meant to ask before..why ned=land in a nautical adventure?

Mr. Benson 11:40 AM  

That must have been some really good lentil soup.

nick 11:47 AM  

Loved it. Each time I hit something awful (wences; really??) there would come something beautiful (practically all of the cluing) and when I finished w/o a google and then saw Patrick Berry's name, I knew it would be rated as 'easy'. Still, almost naticked on the entire. Great start to the weekend.

Nancy 11:58 AM  

@Mohair and @chefbea -- Back in the day, whenever I had home made lentil soup, it was always a puree and it was fantastic. Definitely one of Life's Great Soups. You would never confuse it with fungicide, @Mohair Sam. Nowadays, the way lentil soup appears (mostly in restaurants; who can afford home cooks anymore?), it is a thin, tasteless broth with a lot of lentils floating around in it. It is decidedly NOT fantastic. Now, if we can get @chefbea to whip us up an extra batch of old-style puree while she is preparing some for herself, we will both be very happy campers. Is that, indeed, how you prepare lentil soup, @chefbea?

Masked and Anonymous 12:12 PM  

IWISH…

1. … that M&A was smarter. Lots of these PB1 clues outsmarted me, for way too long. {You again?} next to {Fits on a hard drive?} in the NW delayed my puz entry by multiple precious nanoseconds.

2. … that the GASMETER/{Black winds}/{Like the small intestine vis-à-vis the large intestine} theme could've been expanded into a stupendous burst of themed-FriPuz-iness.

3. …that everything in this puz had been as easy as WENCES.

4. …that I could give this marvelously filled and clued and 5-U-ed masterpiece a themelessthUmbsUp, but … nope. 36-Across was 12-long and written in code. Again, this is as palatable to m&e as a 12-letter abbreviation. My god, Palau Berry… at least throw us a bonemeal, when U are going to speak in tongues. Example:
{Sky King's famous declaration (anagram of "I talc me totes")}.
Fightin chance, PB1. Fightin chance. All M&A asks.

5. … that EVERT was a real word.

6. … that such a neat puz coulda been 17x17. Thanx, Mr. Berry. But may-urd non on the French, dude.

7. … that LOVECRAFT had founded the HP printer company. Then we would have printers that like to taunt us after midnight ...

8. … that the FriPuz moo-cow clue winner: {1930s film canine} had had a gotcha answer (M&A's surprise better answer afar below)

M&A
"IWISH bullets are his equivalent to a thank-U notes shtick"





Better {1930s film canine} answer = FANG (As in: Dracula, or Scarlet O'hara when angry).

p.s.

Lewis 12:33 PM  

@hartley -- Congratulations! Godspeed on the last minute changes.
@loren -- terrific post

This is a 66-word, 30-block puzzle, and clean as a whistle. Try making one of those sometime, with the addition of witty cluing (ALTERED, MEDLEY, UNFIT, CLARINET) and lovely answers (LOVECRAFT, BIERCE, FARCES, ALTERED, LETATCESTMOI). I should mention, because I am the resident alphadoppeltotter, that this puzzle has a very low double letter count (4, and anything below 5 is unusual) -- still waiting for that non-double-letter themeless, which has yet to appear in the NYT.

Furthermore, we have NATED crossing NATED (right at the T), a top SHELF, a high HAT, and a down HERE. May have been a touch easy for a Friday, but what a polished gem, a work of beauty. Thank you, PB, and bravo!

AliasZ 12:33 PM  


In one way this PB puzzle disappointed me. We normally see a more flowing grid design from him without segregated corners. Today we have three PB's for the price of one, not that there is anything wrong with that. Each of the three mini puzzles were a delight onto themselves.

How can you not love clues like "Fits on a hard drive," "Worker with a flexible schedule" and "Black winds"? How can you not love entries like L'ETAT C'EST MOI (after last week's "après moi le déluge"), MEDIA BIAS, FUNGICIDE, EGGS BENEDICT and LENTIL SOUP?

Great Friday exercise that will be difficult to top tomorrow.

Tita 12:35 PM  

@Gill, @lms - come on over for brunch one of these days...
PuzSpouse and I will make you our own version of Eggs Benedict...
Phil is a maître of the sauce Hollandaise...no soupy cans in sight...a thin slice of Irish bacon, atop a bialy (for that little bit of onion flavor...), and L'ETA, C'EST MOI! I mean - Voilà!

Oh - and I wanted togs or duds for Threads.

Congratulations on your daughter's wedding, @Hartley - everyone will tell you rain on your wedding day is good luck. They did to me... It doesn't really help, but what's important is for the hapjavascript:void(0)py couple to have fun celebrating with friends and family.

old timer 12:38 PM  

Not the easiest Friday I've ever done, but doable. Like OFL, I finished in the NW, where it was a long time before I got BUGLERS and STAGNATION. For 9D I had many different answers -- herbicides? pesticides? It wasn't until I got PANAMA that I also got HAT, and realized that the country that uses the Dollar is not Samoa but PALAU

I'm just old enough to remember Senor WENCES. Many Latinos, many people in general, detested that character, even though they might laugh like the rest of us at other comedians with a Spanish accent.

I think one answer that actually skews younger is EGGSBENEDICT. They were more of a legend than a reality in the 50's and '60's, but now there are lots of places that will make you a Benedict. Crabcake Benedict is the most sinfully rich, I think.

I think when I was 10 or thereabouts, my birthday party was a trip to one of the big theaters in Hollywood to see "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". For a long time, I thought Kirk Douglas, who played Ned LAND, was more of a singer than an actor, because of "Whale of a Tale", the song he sings below decks.

chefbea 12:52 PM  

@Nancy My lentil soup is thick and creamy with carrots, celery and onions. I do not puree it.
And on another note - @Tita I too make a great Hollandaise sauce..use it with artichokes and asparagus.

old timer 1:02 PM  

Just read yesterday's blog, and it is more convenient to comment in todays.

(1) The plural of Euro or euro is "euros". Ask any Irishman. For that matter, ask any Spaniard or French person, or try Googling "deux euros" or "dos euros" and see how much more common the plural form is than the singular.

(2) I can think of one R-R word besides the often-used RUR that ought to be acceptable in a late-week puzzle: RER. Anyone who has been to Paris has probably ridden on the RER, the Reseau Express Regional that connects Paris to the suburbs, and is the most affordable way to get from Charles de Gaulle airport to the center -- and the fastest and cheapest way to connect to Orly airport.

ANON B 1:06 PM  

As Senor Wences said, " For you easy, for me deefeecult "

Roo Monster 1:07 PM  

Hey All !
Hands up for not knowing Senor WENCES, never watched the show. Also, in the camp who didn't find this The Easiest FriPuz. It was medium-to slightly hard.

Not knowing WENCES, and not knowing BIERCE, qualifies as a Natick to me (and others, I'm sure). Tried BIERCh, wrong! And with LANCOME also crossing, a triple Natick is possible. Luckily I hear of and remembered the mascara brand. How?
Ya got me! :-)

Also, a big 5 letter cluster of wrongness in the NW. STArvATION, MEDian, BUriERS, vaD, SPAn. Ugh. Had nice misdirectional writeovers, drift->SHift->SHELF, TorNAdo->TSUNAMI, obese->UNFIT, and tried IRONsideS first!

Overall, a smooth answers-puz, with some cool cluing. I WISH it didn't tax the brain so much, though. Agree with the ACROBAT oddness clue.

I'm going to EBB away now.

UNFIT ALTEREGO
RooMonster
DarrinV

GILL I. 1:08 PM  

@Tita...You're on chiquita. If not for the Irish bacon alone.!
I made EGGS BENEDICT for my daughter (husband is allergic to eggs) and we spent about an hour in the kitchen following Ann Burrell's very complicated recipe for the hollandaise sauce. It was one of the most delicious things I ever tasted (can you see me reaching over my back and patting it to death?) I've ordered them in restaurants for brunch and I swear they make the sauce a month in advance plus they probably poach the EGGS the night before. So...Ugh (lest I show up at your home and dip my fingers in the Irish chefs sauce!)
@Hartley....I'm praying for that rain to come our way...but @Tita is right - rain brings a ton of good luck as long as you always carry an umbrella. Sending best wishes your way.

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  

my very brief p.s., continued…

I had meant to thank @old-timer in advance of his doing it, for explaining the NED = {Land in a nautical adventure} answer. But then, I stopped, just in the nick of future time, when I realized that @009 had already done that, in his WOTD.

But, I regress.

While I'm here in future-past space/time … fave OID of the Day: IRONCLADS (Boat rares). fave weeject: GIT. fave EVERT-ED answer: LONGER (it's like LONG, only LONG-ER!) fave intersectin rhyme: PALAU/LAO. fave blogmeister: @009. fave editor: The Shortzmeister. fave movie: tie between "The Fifth Element" and "Joe vs. the Volcano". [now I will stop, before I become a faving lunatic]...

Masked & Anonymo5Us

no p.s.

Teedmn 1:53 PM  

Hah, LOVECRAFT, EGGSBENEDICT and MEDLEY dropped right in with no crosses. If you ever attend a SciFi-Fantasy convention (and I was at several in the '80s) someone is bound to tell a Cthulhu joke. It looks like a perfect "runtz" answer for M&A and now maybe has Patrick Berry immunity?

Three writeovers, flaw before TEAR,StAY before SPAY and a misspelling of EMiNATED (where did that come from?) I liked seeing the French phrase bookending last Saturday's phrase (which in my opinion,could as easily have been said by XIV as XV's mistress). A TSUNAMI and Pacific Island pairing, great clues for 2,3 and 4D and like many, was expecting something harsher than a zephyr at 38A.

Thanks, PB, I liked this puzzle from STEM to stern.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 2:18 PM  

Loved this. No googling needed, but it made me think ... And laugh ( with joy when I "got" the misdirecting). Happy!!! NW was last to fall for me as well.

TonySaratoga 2:18 PM  

Northwest was clued wonderfully--horizontals and verticals. Whole puzzle was terrific (except the way too easy Eggs Benedict).

OISK 2:26 PM  

Berry's puzzles are almost always right in my wheelhouse. Thought I would finish in under 10 minutes, but ran into trouble at "NED." Had "SPOT" for fix (as in a tight spot), and "Nod" for land. Thought fits on a hard drive was "ROID RAGE." That many errors will slow you up. Also - advancing age. I knew exactly what Patrick was going for with "Mixed numbers," and could not come up with "Medley," ( I kept thinking "melange." Too many French clues...)

Eventually, as it always does in Berry puzzles, it all worked out. Thanks Mr. Berry. Always a pleasure.

Numinous 2:34 PM  

@Hartley, All the best and pray for rain. I WiSH the very best for the happy couple.

@Appalachian Trails and LMS: when I was at The London School of Film Technique (No the London Film School), the French made movie based on An Occurance at Owl Creek Bridge was one of the films we studied extensively. I must have watched that film twenty times. There is a cleaner version on YouTube but it has newer music. This film won Best Short Subject at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival. and won the 1963 Academy Award for Live Action Short Subject. We learned many details about the film, for instance, when the rope dropped, the actor broke his leg in the shallow creek. The underwater shots were done in the Medeterranian with his cast painted black to resemble a boot. The camera operator had to stop shooting to help the actor with his ropes so he wouldn't drown. We analyzed that film to death. Still, It's terrific to watch, even if I do know a bit too much about it. Thanks for the memories

Leapfinger 2:55 PM  

@Hartley, by your description, I'm guessing SC? My daughter just drove to Charleston for the Fresh-boy's first Parents' Weekend, and found that all events are now cancelled. Never you mind; have a drink, float through whatever happens, and you'll have great stories to tell for years to come.

I LOVE CRAFT that borders on Art, andgot it here in SPAYeds. Only grump was the chokehold on the two corners (hi, @Alias!) that made the NW particularly difficult for metoo. Shot myself in a couple of feet with the Continental Fault, and, like others, gave the NOD to Samoa, herbertCIDE, etc, but all eventually fixed, or MENDed. Started with LENTIL SOUP, reduced it to a STEW, then had to add more water. (I just let itsimmer till itpurees on its own.) The cluing, of course, was non-pareil; apologies to all who loathed the second dose of French. BTW, wasn't it Anne Rice who wrote LESTAT, C'EST MOI?

Admit it, that took some SANG froid.

Thought G-FORCE was a bit G-ARBitrary, and wasn't familiar with ORIGINATED being used in that active/ transitive way, instead of saying that something had originated somewhere, but those are mere nitlets. No aversion to eversion: amoebae EVERT their vacuolar contents all the time.

Now I need to find out whether Elks are permitted to join the STAG_NATION.

Skip to m'ALOU.

Bronxdoc 3:01 PM  

Fine puzzle, although not easy for me. Would have been lost without eggs Benedict, l'etat c'est moi, Asta, and those ubiquitous Alou brothers. Thanks Patrick Berry.

Mohair Sam 3:13 PM  

@Nancy - I actually do the from scratch thing on LENTILSOUP, and like @chefbea I do the thick and creamy thing, don't puree the lentils - I add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, crushed tomatoes, spinach, pepper,a little vegetable broth . . . Mrs. Mohair loves it. I still think FUNGICIDE.

@LMS - Agreed on EGGSBENEDICT, totally.

Speaking of recently coined E-cig. I discovered the term Ejuice here two days ago as part of @rex's public apology to Finn Vigeland. So today I go to the Philadelphia Outlet Mall to buy a couple of shirts (winter is moving in fast, real fast) and a cell phone kiosk there is suddenly an E-cig kiosk complete with signs advertising the hitherto unknown Ejuice and also Eliquid. Learn/do/teach I guess, pretty soon I'll be smoking the things.







RAD2626 3:30 PM  

Like M&A and Rex, had real trouble in NW because the clues were just too good. Great aha moments with almost every "?" clue: ROAD RAGE, CLARINETS, ALTER EGO. Just great, great clues. Had LENTIL Stew before SOUP so that slowed me down and I am certain I am the only dope who had HAL tertop before PANAMA HAT. No constructor would ever do that, let alone Mr. Berry. But I did sort of like the look of it. Terrific puzzle.

Leapfinger 4:04 PM  

Elicited by @Loren's closing vignette:

A few years ago, I saw a program on network TV, joined it midway, so I don't recall the broader topic it was dealing with. What I do remember is the case of a high-school student in NJ, I believe it was Trenton that they described as having the highest prevalence of poverty of any city in the country. This boy was a very good student, and was doing well enough to qualify for a full college aid program if he only attended some regular after-school program throughout his senior year. His home situation, however, was fairly grim: the mother had taken a powder, leaving only the father to care for a number of children, which included two infants. The father was disabled, and the whole family was living on his monthly disability check of $600.

In any event, the boy decided to forgo the college program, and instead took an after-school job at a fast-food place in a nearby town. It meant a one-hour bus-ride every day he worked, but earned the family an extra $45 weekly. As an extra benefit, he would bring back a small bag of coffee-creamer cups every time, to supplement the babies' formula.

Seems to me that if we sell this country's children down the river in this way, we're selling the nation's birthright, with not even a mess of pottage to show for it.

Jamie C. 4:11 PM  

The ease of EGGS BENEDICT on a Friday, from Berry, is stunning.

Elephant's Child 4:31 PM  

I descry the implicit sexism in PANAMA HAT as clued.

foxaroni 5:36 PM  

I also plugged in "NOD" right away. However, the nursery rhyme near the end declares that Wynken and Blyken are a child's two small eyes and Nod is his little head. I always mix up Wynken and Blynken with the Owl and the Pussycat, who went to sea in abeautiful pea-green boat. Off to Nod, no doubt.


I recently watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Kirk Douglas's song, "A Whale of aTail (Tale) was omitted. Anyone know the story on that?
Thought "you again?" Was PLEASE GO. Seemed logical...

Great puzzle...thanks, PB.

Billy C 5:48 PM  

@Elephant's Child: Is PANAMA HAT clued differently in the paper version? Because on line, there is nothing sexist about the clue.

Teedmn 7:25 PM  

@LMS, good catch on the EGGS over ROE except it should be inVERTED. In Sweden, they love Kalle's Kaviar on eggs for breakfast. I always joke, "Oh, eggs on your eggs, hmm?" (I don't actually partake - it's mostly a salty addition though there is the inevitable fishiness also.)

So I was quite tickled when I saw the article in the NY Times this summer chronicling Kalle's new ads. The link takes you to the NYT article, which in turn has links to the hilarious ads where a mild-mannered Swede gives samples of the product to people from Japan to Eastern Europe.

Eggs on Eggs

@Hartley70, congrats and best of luck.

@Leapfinger, what you said. Let's hope that boy made good in the end, he sounds pretty enterprising, but such roadblocks to success are criminal. I'd take LENTIL SOUP over the mess we have any day.

kitshef 8:59 PM  

So ... is it Tuesday? Sure felt like it flying through the SW-NE corridor. Only real hiccup was my irrational guess of bANAnAHAT for the 44A/6D combo.

Lovely puzzle of course.

Cheerio 12:05 PM  

"Black winds" is my favorite clue ever.

Burma Shave 9:52 AM  

ALTEREGO BONEMEAL MEDLEY

ASTA when this world was CREATEd and Adam ORIGINATED,
there was no one HERE to INTRUDE on his LOVECRAFT situation.
Then it all was EVERTED when Eve EMANATED,
PITY, it was no LONGER a mere STAGNATION.

--- NED “BIGDADDY” BIERCE

rondo 10:09 AM  

I’m hungry! For (gimme) EGGSBENEDICT and LENTILSOUP, both of which I can CREATE. I have no write-overs, so maybe it was easy, for a Fri-puz, but it didn’t come all that quickly. Had to ponder some of those answers a bit.

During H.S. I was chosen to be one of the BUGLERS for “Taps” (usually the echo) at local military funerals. Got me out of school for an hour at a time, but what sad situations. Took a shot of whiskey with the gravedigger once.

Happy Birthday @Ron Diego. IWISH you to be around much LONGER!

Again no yeah babies, so I’ll just mention that Sally Field is 69 today, heh heh.

LANCOME is no stranger to me, due to the wife’s propensity to visit the cosmetics counters at Macy’s and Herberger’s.

Lotsa fun long answers today. Berry good.

spacecraft 10:56 AM  

Not far into this, I didn't even have to look at the byline. It just flowed. Constructors, it is Patrick Berry's world (LETATCESTMOI) and you're just living in it. This grid is so clean you could eat off it.

It does make for an easier-than-usual Friday, but loads of fun anyway. I recall with a smile Senor WENCES ("'S all right?" "'S ALL RIGHT!"), and that's where I started. Plunked down IWISH and IRONCLADS and hit the ground running. 36-across was giving me parsing fits--as it would if you're trying to read English. I somehow placed the Sun King in China...

Wanted (Continental) DRIFT, but couldn't come up with any T__GICIDES. Every time I see crop dusting I think of old George Caplan--er, I mean Roger Thornhill, hiding amongst the cornstalks. What a convoluted way to carry out an assassination--and how grossly incompetent to have missed ALL those shots--and then stupidly flying into an oil tanker. I mean, I love Hitchcock and all, but really. Terribly weak plot there.

Digression over. I guess I'm contracting curmudgeon-itis; I have to be bitching about something, and there's NOTHING IN TODAY'S PUZZLE to enable that! Sort of a fragment theme: -RCE (BIERCE, FARCE, GFORCE). Working back and forth with PANAMA HAT helped in both areas. Not sure what happened in the NW, but I just "saw" ROADRAGE and GASMETER right off; the rest soon after. The final aha! was for "Base players." Oh, THAT kind of base. Both ears and the tail today, Mr. B. A+.

leftcoastTAM 3:39 PM  

I agree with most of what Rex says about this fine puzzle, including hang-ups in the NW. My downfall was BUrLERS (?} and vED (??) crossing STArvATION (???)

Otherwise, I enjoyed the play.

rain forest 4:19 PM  

Way late today, and a no-show yesterday. My syndi license might be revoked...

DNF yesterday, for those who care. Didn't know MODS, or DREDD. Shoulda.

Today's was much easier and I guess smoother because that's what everyone says about a Patrick Berry puzzle. Regarding ROAD RAGE, a "hard" drive in this context would be a long winding narrow road. Dealing with perceived idiots in traffic is not a hard drive. Frustrating maybe, but not hard. To me, "cadaverous" implies unhealthily thin, deathly, etc. PASTY doesn't really do the job. Also, ASTA/APSES? Tsk, tsk.

OK, OK, I never nitpick, but someone had to do it. I liked this puzzle a lot, as did everyone else, and I don't care that it seemed easy for a Friday.

Anonymous 8:24 PM  

I thought this puzzle was clever, fun and pretty easy for a Friday.

But for the record: The Hebrew "nā·zîḏ" is ALWAYS translated "pottage" (in the Elizabethan style) or "stew" (in modern English). There is not a single English translation of the Bible that I know of, whether Roman Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, that says Jacob gave Esau soup. Either "red pottage" (Gen. 25:30) or "lentil stew" (Gen. 25:34) would fit at 28 D, and would have had the great advantage of being accurate. It seems unfair to alter the quotation simply to suit the constructor's purposes.

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