Barfly's request / SAT 3-5-16 / Jimmy Carter's mother / Stain / Heavy duty / Bush native to the South

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Constructor: Roland Huget

Relative difficulty: Medium


 THEME: None

Word of the Day: CLORIS (19A: She played "Phyllis on TV's "Phyllis")
Cloris Leachman (born April 30, 1926) is an American actress of stage, film, and television. She has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards (more than any other performer) and one Daytime Emmy Award. She co-starred in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. As Miss Chicago, Leachman competed in the 20th Miss America pageant and placed in the Top 16 in 1946. Leachman's longest-running role was the nosy, self-centered, and manipulative landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on the 1970s TV series Mary Tyler Moore, and later on the spinoff series, Phyllis. She also appeared in three Mel Brooks films, including Young Frankenstein. She had a regular role in the last two seasons of The Facts of Life, portraying the character Beverly Ann Stickle. She also played the role of Daisy May "Granny" Moses in the 1993 film The Beverly Hillbillies, directed by Penelope Spheeris. In the 2000s, she had a recurring role as Ida Gorski on Malcolm in the Middle. She appeared as a roaster in the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget in 2008. (Wikipedia)
• • •
Hi all, Lena here covering for Rex while he takes a long nap because he's sick; he needs his Rex and Rexlaxation.

But maybe this puzzle would have actually been just the thing to lull him to sleep-- I'll be blunt: I thought it was kinda boring. TALCUMS (1D: Choices in the baby department) got my blood flowing, but only because I hate plurals like that. "Please help me choose from this dizzying array of TALCUMS!" I had IMBLUE instead of IMBRUE (8D: Stain), not knowing the film director ERLE C. Kenton, and certainly not knowing this archaic literary definition of besmirch. Thank goodness we've got a homophonous EARL (37A: Overseas court figure) to make up for my missing the first one.

ECH (11D: Level in an org.)? ECH indeed. ENOL ether? Diethyl ether is way more popular. CMDR ASWE ORL NCIS ITT are lurking in the shadows of an otherwise pretty clean grid. From a distance, this puzzle isn't bad at all-- SILENT TREATMENT (7D: Quiet after the storm, maybe) is a great marquee and BEER MUG (12D: A head might go over the top of it) is fun fill with a fun clue. I loved TAMALE with its wonderful clue (34A: Husky food?)-- definitely had KIBBLE there for a bit. ARM WRESTLE (56A: Try to win hands down?) is also good-- so what's my problem? Not sure. Like I said, from a distance, all filled in, it seems better than it did when I was actually solving it. Maybe it's grid-locked Stockholm Syndrome, idk.
 
I don't like BODS (44A: Gym bunnies work on them). I wasn't familiar with the term "gym bunny" and it got my eyes narrowing. The stereotype is that women go to the gym to lose weight, and men go to the gym to get strong. I like the idea of a woman working on her BOD to increase strength and fitness, but the word "bunny" here keeps it sounding really superficial. It's very easy to clue BODS in a gender neutral way, and I would have preferred that it had been.

Do they really play I LOVE LA [at Staples Center after every Lakers victory]? That's hilarious. Randy Newman is a raunchy, cynical, and dare-I-say deep songwriter-- not just the dude who did that "Toy Story" song. "Trouble in Paradise" is a great album and, well, I LOVE LA is no "New York, New York."



And to those who may have missed it, the CrossWorld REELS as it reacts to the bombshell that was dropped today regarding the plagiarism of NYT grids, clues and themes by Tim Parker, the "editor" of USA Today/Universal's crosswords. Because it's "just crosswords" this kind of crime tends to stay off the radar, but if you look at the numbers expertly laid out by Oliver Roeder and the folks at FiveThirtyEight, it's absolutely flagrant and shameful. Check out the article here.

Signed, Lena Webb, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Lena on Twitter]

97 comments:

Martín Abresch 2:51 AM  

This grid took a lot of work. Every time that I thought I was getting somewhere, I ran into another proper name that I didn't know. I'm rather proud of myself for slowly working my way through this, despite not having a clue on several answers.

Oddly, I did know I'LL BE THERE. Just yesterday, I was tried (and failed) to incorporate that answer into one of my own grids. (Side note: constructing crosswords is hard. Perhaps I'll just take a look at some past grids to find some inspiration. Maybe borrow an idea or two.)

I did not like the marquee SILENT TREATMENT. It has a low Scrabble score; it's been used several times before; and its clue just brought to mind unpleasant domestic arguments. I don't think that it's a BAD entry, mind you; it just seems like more of a side than an entree.

I only know PETER FALK through Columbo and "The Princess Bride." My crosswordese has improved to where I know that ___ Stanley Gardner is ERLE. I did not know I LOVE L.A. (which was deducible) or LOUIE or LILLIAN or TABITHA or THE HEIRESS. I couldn't remember if ARNE ended with an E or an I. I may not be BEET RED, but I am slightly embarrassed to have needed multiple crosses to get Patsy CLINE.

There was a lot of work put into the cluing, but for whatever reason I wasn't too fond of the tricks. One big exception: I *loved* the clue for TAMALE (Husky food?). I had TAMA__ and was saying to myself that the answer sure looks like TAMALE but it took me another few seconds to figure out why—at which point I smacked my forehead and laughed. :)

I'm sure that they'll be others like me who had trouble with the proper names. But, despite the considerable difficulty, I think that the puzzle was fair and solveable. I hope that other solvers enjoyed it!

jae 2:53 AM  

Easy-medium for me, knowing most of the names helped.

I had cUp (red Dixie) before MUG, Gorp before GEAR, and so to before AS WE.

Great clue for JEB which is actually 2/3 of my initials.

Hi Lena, thanks for filling in. I thought that stuff like YES SIREE BOB, I LOVE LA, SILENT TREATMENT, and BARE IT ALL was not only not boring, but more than offset the small amount of gluey fill. Id est, liked it a lot and not just from a distance.

Charles Flaster 3:00 AM  

Easy for a Saturday as the proper names were all gimmes pour moi--ARNE, LOUIE, CLORIS, etc...
PETER FALK was great as Abe Reles(?) -a hired killer -- a must watch from the late fifties.
So the proper name gods were with me.
Agree that TALCUMS was very stale.
Liked cluing for ARM WRESTLE, SILENT TREATMENT, and USUAL FARE which seems pretty unique to the NYT.
Write overs BODS for BunS ( although bunnies was clued ), ANOTHER for oNe more.
Notice that 9D , REELS nicely anagrams Reles.
Thanks RH.

Anoa Bob 3:25 AM  

When I started dabbling in xword construction in early 2008, I submitted a few to Tim Parker at USA Today. I got four accepted between Nov. 2008 and Sept 2009. Then I got an email from him, sent to constructors, saying he had enough puzzles in the queue and would not be accepting any more submissions for the time being, and that he would contact us to let us know when he would be taking submissions again.

After about a year or so I had not heard anything further, so I thought I would test the waters and send off a submission. Never received a reply yea or nay. To date I haven't heard any more from him.

During this time I was solving three or four puzzles a day, usually including the USA Today one. I thought I noticed a change in the puzzle quality, like seeing three themers which were consistent but a fourth that was way out of line, a real clunker. But I thought maybe that was just "sour grapes" thinking.

After that "not accepting any more submissions until further notice" email, I didn't recognize any of the listed puzzle authors. Also USA Today stopped appearing on the cruciverb.com list of publications accepting submissions from freelance constructors. I thought maybe Parker had recruited a small stable of regular constructors and that was the reason he wasn't accepting submissions from previously published constructors.

I would be interested to see if any of the listed authors on the dates where significant duplication occurred could be verified as actually existing. For example, did any of these authors have puzzles published in any other venues outside of Parker's purview, such as the NYT or LAT.

Wow. The evidence sure points in an Oh-what-tangled-webs-we-weave direction. Parker's explanations, if they can be called that, are pretty lame and do nothing to defuse this bombshell. Wow.





George Barany 4:11 AM  

Before all else, here's wishing a speedy recovery to @Rex, and our gratitude to @Lena Webb for stepping up on obviously short notice.

@Roland Huget's third published New York Times puzzle has a lot to recommend it, starting with its marquee entry of SILENT_TREATMENT and its tricky clue. I'm not ashamed to admit membership in the demographic that the puzzle seems to skew to. CLORIS was a gimme, and would have been regardless of how clued: to "Phyllis" (as actually done), to her role in Young Frankenstein, or to her appearance in "Dancing With The Stars" at the age of 82.

@Lena is spot on about TALCUMS and IMBRUES. However, my biggest quibble has to be with the ENOL clue. Based on nearly 40 years of teaching and research experience as an organic chemist, I have absolutely no problem putting ENOL into my grids, though I have friends who have had perfectly fine puzzles declined due to inclusion of the far more common ESTER and ETHER (yes, ETHER). But here's what gets me: ENOL ether is an advanced organic chemistry topic--one that I did not even learn until graduate school, and one that does not appear in most introductory organic chemistry textbooks.

Loren Muse Smith 6:50 AM  

Hey all you people who think any Saturday is impossible – keep solving, stick with it – you'll get there. A couple of years ago, I would've given up on this halfway done. I wanted to give up this morning a couple of times but persevered and finally got it. Well. Almost…

I had to choose between "Tabitha" and TABATHA and chose wrong. I figured that slogan could've belonged to AT&T. Heck.

"No way, no how" has the same number of letters, and the same position of the O's, as NO SIREE BOB. I can hear Frances McDormand saying that in Fargo, even if she didn't say it.

In James Taylor's song, you just call out my name. And then the guy comes running. To see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall. He'll be there, buddy. Took me a while to retrieve Jackson. Now I have a massive earworm. (Speaking of which, anyone here watch Survivor?)

My faux-hold was "so to" for AS WE.

Next was "pecs" for those gym bunnies. But then I figured those gym bunnies would be female and wouldn't be worrying about their pecs. Noticing that Samantha, Endora, and Serena didn't fit, I realized it was "Tabatha" and hence BODS. TAUT BODS who BARE IT ALL in the shower and you just hate them and their perfect little tamales.

Other early goofs:

"leap" for RISK
"daft" for TAUT. I guess I was thinking along the lines You big drumhead! It's TABITHA!
"cone" for CONK. Absolutely no idea why that seemed right.
"gorp" before GEAR
"coop" for COTE
"Elliott" for ELLISON, knowing his name had a weird spelling and today with spectacular disregard for his first two initials.

Lena – I like your "emblue" better. Feels more stainsome. Remember those pre-prewashed denim days? I emblued lots of favorite white shirts.

That puzzle theme-copying deal is stunning in its brazenness. Wow. Can "embruement" be a word?

Whitey 7:22 AM  

I didn't get tamale / husky food. What's the connection? Thanks.

Glimmerglass 7:50 AM  

Medium is about right, but I certainly didn't find this puzzle boring. I struggled in several places, but eventually prevailed, which is my definition of a good (for me) puzzle. One place that made me chuckle was the NW, where I didn't know Secretary Duncan's first name but thought it might be AnNE. That gave me the rather disgusting AnAL SEA. Luckily, it occurred to me that the vanishing ARAL SEA might be losing its status. Maybe that's like "desertifying" Pluto?

Aketi 7:57 AM  

Hahaha, I love that the Randy Newman clip that Res put u features a TWOTONEDCAR.

Feit like I needed to ARMWRESTLE my way through this one with a lot of help from Google.

I object to TALCUMS because it's simply not recommended for use on babies, it causes respiratory problems.

As the parent of a rather slovenly boy, "stuff in a backpack" is the subject of nightmares. I must have spent 10 minutes with all the four letter words I could have inserted in place of GEAR. I once took a picture of an item I found in the bottom of my son's backpack and posted it on Facebook asking people that guess what it was, No one figured out that it was a half eaten bagel that was close aged in a half inch layer of multicolored fuzz which I assume was mold. My son's fifth grade teacher once got so infuriated with my son's backpack that he took my son out ifthe classroom and dumped the entire contents of his backpack on the floor while my son protested that his fourth amendment rights. I should have warned his teacher that merely opening his backpack would result in exposure the some serious biohazards.

Alicia Setson 7:59 AM  

"Gym bunny" is a gender neutral term for someone who goes to the gym a lot to work on their (yes, "their") BOD. It may imply vanity and superficiality, but the term is used for both men and women. To ascribe sexism to the clue or to the answer shows sexism on the part of Ms. Webb, not on the part of Mr. Huget or Mr. Shortz.

DBlock 8:20 AM  

Easiest and fastest Saturday for me in a while but perhaps just a lot in my wheel house.
But very little clever cluing that make me smile as I sluice them out
Mostly proper nouns that I just knew
Not the workout I enjoy or expect on a Saturday
Beat my usual time by at least a half hour

Mohair Sam 8:38 AM  

Country music purists tell us that "Leavin' on Your Mind" is Miss CLINE's best. They are not crazy.

GILL I. 8:39 AM  

Well, yes...this solved like a murder mystery. you've got PETER FALK at the NCIS CRIME SCENE and the BODS are covered with TALCUMS. THE HEIRESS gives him the SILENT TREATMENT. He asks CLORIS BLEAKLY if she touched the BEER MUG... she turns BEET RED and declares NO SIREE BOB, LILLIAN did it. TABITHA decides to RAT on EARL and BARE IT ALL. He smelled of TAMALE and JASMINE, ANOTHER USUAL RISK, but will DENY it ON RADIO. I LOVE LA cries LOUIE as he's hauled off to the CONK.
What's not to like?

NCA President 8:45 AM  

@Whitey: A TAMALE is served wrapped in corn husk, and therefore "husky." Nothing to do with the dog.

I didn't like the cluing in this puzzle at all. Too too.

"Lack of punch" seems to me should be ANEMIc. A TINGOD isn't a dictatorial type...it is someone who thinks they are a dictatorial type. Quiet "after" the storm is not the SILENTTREATMENT...if there is that going on, you're still in the storm. A "wow-producing look" was just precious. Is TARE a weight allowance the same way a pound might be...or any other unit of weight?

I had sABrinA instead for a long time. Wasn't Sabrina the sister or some kind of relative to Sam? Elizabeth Montgomery played both roles, IIRC.

Bad puzzle. Bad.

As for stealing in puzzles...seriously? Is TParker so overworked that he needs to cut corners by stealing the work of others? He must have supposed that since puzzles ARE so similar from place to place that he could easily get by with it. How odd.

Teedmn 8:50 AM  

The NW filled in so fast, I thought this was going to be a rare easy Saturday but MENNONITE and VAST were the last easy ones. TABITHA and ANOTHER made the SW doable and an early "aha" regarding JEB! was my entry to the SE. The name of Jimmy Carter's mother was tickling my brain; kept thinking 'Miss' something but couldn't come up with it until I had the IAN.

When I finally saw I'LL BE THERE, I just groaned at my density but I still needed to see TIN GOD to finish off the NE to a double DNF at ElLa for ERLE. IMBRUE is a stain on this puzzle! :-) or at least on my ego. I will be IMBRUEsed by that for the rest of the day.

With 'Taxi' being one of the timeliest references, this skews old. But I did love the SILENT TREATMENT as a clue/answer pair even though I despise it as a conflict strategy. And TAMALE threw me off - I was left wondering if the Spanish for 'husky' was...ohhh, corn husks, got it.

So some fun, some groans, some WOEs, the USUAL FARE for a Saturday. I'm all up for rap stars and listicles next week!

Wm. C. 8:53 AM  

This puzzle was too obscure. It required me to know the names of several ancient actors, films, songs, and TV shows. Waa.

Jamie C 8:55 AM  

It's somehow linguistically beautiful that the answer LEERS would have been as equally valid as REELS for 9d. Also a shame that ORGASMING did not fit in 13d.

Drumpf 9:05 AM  

I'm entering the betting pool for how many people will answer @Whitey @ 7:22 by the time the next block of posts is published. I'm going with 5.

Maruchka 9:16 AM  

Well, thought this was easy going, until I made it up to the NE. Major errors ensued, I felt IMBRUEd, and was my face BEET RED! I really, really like @Bob K's where-it-went-wrong graphics, so here goes:

Bear rug >> BEER MUG
City morgue >> CRIME SCENE (nice NCIS cross)
Crtr (?)) >> CMDR

And WTF is ECH? Ach..

Did not know that Ralph ELLISON's middle name was Waldo. It scans sweetly.

Fav of the day - TAMALE clue. Thanks for the aha! moment, M. Huget.

Speaking of desertification - it's the 100th anniversary of the National Parks system. There's a couple traveling to all the parks this year, most recently to Death Valley and profiled on the NewsHour. I went just last month - incredible, diverse, beautiful. Plus masses of early blooms.

chefbea 9:19 AM  

I don't usually do Saturday puzzles or comment on them but when I saw BEET RED...I figured i'd give it a try.. Had to google a lot and I still haven't finished. And I am not Really embarrassed!!!!!

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

@Whitey,

HUSK = corn, tamales served in corn husk.

Hartley70 9:34 AM  

Lena's link leads to quite an appalling crossword expose. The name PARKER may well be tainted for the next few years in the Crossworld. Perhaps we should help Rex think of a new Nom de Guerre so the hate mail doesn't end up in his box.

I knew the people/movies/song so this went faster than my usual Saturday solve. NOSIREEBOB felt awkward and kinda/sorta works for me. I don't get the husky TAMALE. Is it a calorie or sports reference? The crosses gave it to me.

Favorite knowledge nugget of the day: Mennonites speak Waaaa? How do I even pronounce that?!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:06 AM  

Nice Saturday, Medium verging on Challenging for me.

31 A, TINPOT >> TIN GOD; but 28 A went LOUIS >> LOOIE >> LOUIE.

And yes, the R in IMBRUES was my last letter entered!

(@Whitey - A TAMALE is cooked in a corn husk.)

Nancy 10:06 AM  

It's rare that I can identify a single moment when a puzzle goes from being unsolvable without massive cheating to: Oh! Maybe I can solve this thing after all! In this case it was the wonderfully clued ARM WRESTLE (all the way down at 56A) that broke open the puzzle. Which is appropriate, because I was bound and determined to ARM WRESTLE this to the ground without Googling. But before ARM WRESTLE, I had soMeRsauLt. And that was no help at all.

I raced through the NW, thinking this was much too easy for a Saturday and then, bam, I hit wall. My entire MidEast to East was bollixed up by having CSIS instead of NCIS at 5D -- a very important answer placement. I don't watch any of these shows and, therefore, don't know one set of series initials from another set. I also had RASH before RISK at 53A and, based on the C from CSIS, I had CASE CLOSED instead of NO SIREE BOB at 5A. What a mess!

But I finished without Googling all the stuff I needed so badly -- from ERLO to LOUIE. And now, instead of feeling really bad about myself, I feel really good about myself. Which should be an object lesson to all you Googlers out there. Don't! You will never be more sorely tempted than I was today. And I'm so glad I didn't.

Sir Hillary 10:17 AM  

I solved today's puzzle while watching the absolutely thrilling Spurs-Arsenal match, so my distraction clouded any assessment of how hard the puzzle really was.

The grid is very solid, but my favorite part of this one is the clues. Lots of plain-old crunchy ones, and those for TAMALE, BAREITALL, ARMWRESTLE, SILENTTREATMENT and BEERMUG are just wonderful.

Three write-overs, all of which took a while to correct because they had at least one correct letter: dRyLake for ARALSEA, oNemore for ANOTHER and, worst, sABrinA for TABITHA. (Now that I think about it, Sam's ne'er-do-well twin was SERENA, wasn't it? So, I wasn't even in the same series.)

ERLE crossing IMBRUE? Yuck.

Tim Parker needs to work on his defense strategy. Although, given Trump's success, maybe he figures rote denial will do the trick. [Sigh!]

Chaos344 10:19 AM  

@LMS: LMAO! A day without laughter may be like a day without sunshine, but a day without LOREN and LEAPY is like waiting for your lost dog to come home!

@Alicia Setson: Thank you for saying what needed to be said!

@Martín Abresch: So, just the thought of two people having a "domestic dispute" is enough to put you off your Cheerios? They'd love you over at Wordplay!

Twangster 10:25 AM  

Whitey -- Tamales come wrapped in corn husks.

Z 10:25 AM  

@Alicia Stetson - You may well be correct, but "bunny" certainly suggests Playboy Magazine and female objectification. My first thought was that the term was akin to "dust bunny." My second thought was "is it ever used to refer to a guy?" Given my unfair stereotyping of anyone who goes to a gym to work on their BOD, I doubt it. I hope I'm wrong. I can't help but notice that your name has changed.

@George Barany - I translated "_____ ether" into "some sciency word I only know from crosswords." ENOL came easily despite my taking exactly one science course in college.

I can't help by wonder if I'M BLUE/ELLE was too, you know, "normal" for a Saturday. IMBRUE gets my newly created "Unnecessarily Obscure Word" Award.

@Aketi - You reminded me of my first year as a school administrator. As the rookie I pulled the locker clean-out duty. Besides collecting all kinds of clothing, recovering textbooks, and various other detritus, one locker stood out. We had tall lockers and this locker was half full with smushed brown bag lunches. I imagine some mom had been dutifully making a sandwich and packing a lunch every day only to have her kid put it in the locker and head over to Paisano's for pizza with their buddies.

Twangster 10:26 AM  

Whitey -- Tamales come wrapped in corn husks.

kozmikvoid 10:27 AM  

That's a fantastic story. Thanks, Lena, for sharing. Tim Parker is now the Donald Trump of the crossword community.

Malsdemare 10:33 AM  

@ whitey, in case no one else jumps in. Tamales are wrapped in corn husks. I read the Fivethirtyeight article last night and could hardly wait to see what REX and his followers would say. It's pretty mind-boggling.

I had to cheat for a couple of these (aka googling or "research") but got the marquee items. SILENTTREATMENT, NOSIREEBOB, BAREITALL, ARMWRESTLE were particularly good.

Thanks, Mr. Parker, for giving us some other tasty scandal to distract us from what's happening in the main tent these days.

Silas 10:43 AM  

@whitey:

Tamales are cooked and served wrapped in corn husks. Maybe one of the foodies here will post a recipe!

Z 10:52 AM  

PPP Analysis
* indicates Pop Culture that skews my age or older

ARNE
* I'LL BE THERE
* CLORIS
* ERLE
CMDR. Spock
MENNONITE
* LOUIE
* PETER FALK
JEB!
ANITA
ITT
*THE HEIRESS
* TEHRAN (as clued skews older)
NCIS
ORL
I LOVE LA
OISE
NATE
*LILLIAN Carter
* TABITHA
* ELLISON
* Patsy CLINE

22/70, or 31%
Combine the high percentage along with 10 of the 22 skewing towards older solvers and I'm predicting that the under 40 crowd will be challenged by today's offering.

BTW - I read the 538 article last night. This data can't really prove anything, it is circumstantial. The data is damning nonetheless. We've seen Rex rant against the occasional theme duplication within NYT crosswords. This is a whole different level of duplicity. Saddest to me is this is so unnecessary. I'm left to wonder what was going on that would lead to this sort of career suicide.

fiddleneck 11:01 AM  

@lms: Tamales are wrapped in corn husks.

soakley 11:08 AM  

Tamale wrap in cornhusk

Laurence Katz 11:12 AM  

imbrue
tare
cote
erle (if it's not Stanley Gardner)

Blech!

Wm. C. 11:12 AM  


@Whitey7:22 --

I too scratched my head for a while on this. Tamales are cooked in corn husks, which are then discarded.

Lobster11 11:13 AM  

The puzzle was okay, but the plagiarism article was way more interesting.

I was a little skeptical when I started reading, thinking that given all those puzzles published in all those places by all those constructors over all those years, we shouldn't be surprised if puzzles frequently contain similar or even identical themes, sections of gluey bits, grid shapes, etc. I figured that constructors must face a similar problem to songwriters, who often write something that they believe to be entirely original only to be accused later of stealing the melody or parts of the lyrics from another song. But then the data started rolling in and, hoo-boy, the data are damn damning.

John V 11:25 AM  

Save for NE, pretty easy. Not a fan of the ancient pop references.

Aketi 11:34 AM  

Sigh, I cleaned my glasses and am now offering up my autocorrect corrections:
"that Res put u" = "that Rex put up"
"half eaten bagel that was close aged" = "half eaten bagel that was covered"

@z, I think kids lockers, backpacks, and bedroom doors should only be opened wearing Hazmat suits.
As for GYM BUNNY, while it is possible that someone could use the term in a gender-neutral manner, most of the urban dictionary and wictionary definitions included gender- and sexual orientation-based stereotypes. I have to say that I enjoy how some of the men in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu turn gender stereotypes on their head by wearing hot pink tee shirts and much brighter yellow than JASMINE Gis. Nothing BUNNY-like about BJJ training.

David in Seattle 11:37 AM  

Bad clue for 10 down. If the answer is to be in Spanish, then the clue should have been in Spanish, i.e. "direccion," not "direction." As written, the correct answer would have been EAST, not ESTE.

Horace S. Patoot 11:45 AM  

I don't understand Animal shelter: COTE. Any help? Rib (fr)? Coast (fr)?

jberg 11:47 AM  

I was just happy to finish. My biochemist wife never heard of ENOL ether, but is willing to believe @George. I liked it mostly for the struggle to fill in those big corners.

mac 11:54 AM  

Medium for me, except for a small part of the NE. Cad instead of rat didn't help.

Plautdietsch! Why change Plattdeutsch?

Have to admit that I had a much more circuitous thought process to get to the not to be denied tamale.
Husky, sexy voice, hot tamale.

What an amazing article about the plagiarism. Wonder if the NYT will go after it.

AliasZ 11:59 AM  


I loved PETER FALK as Joy Boy in Frank Capra's "Pocketful of Miracles" (1961) for which he was also nominated as best supporting actor, as sidekick Max to Jack Lemmon's Professor Fate in "The Great Race" (1965), as Sam Diamond (à la Sam Spade) in "Murder by Death" (1976), as the ex-CIA-agent in-law to Alan Arkin's dentist Shelly in "The In-Laws" (1979): "Serpentine, serpentine!", and many others. The great thing about PETER FALK was his longevity, spanning a range of ages and styles, culminating in his trench-coat detective Columbo in his old Peugeot. This statue of him and his dog in Budapest, Hungary, is a touching tribute to his remarkable career. By the way, he was part Hungarian on his mother's side.

Oh yeah, there was a puzzle?

"Politicians are like diapers."
After finished with the wipers,
Use the best of all the TALCUMS
And you'll get some thank-yous, walcums.
[Thank you, Mr. Nash]

Great weekend, all!

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

A COTE is a bird shelter not an animal's.

jberg 12:02 PM  

Bra, I'm now feeling more sympathetic to all the times @Rec has complained that a theme had been used before.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:07 PM  

@Maruchka - I'm a great believer in "credit where credit is due," so allow me to state, regarding your comment. "really like @Bob K's where-it-went-wrong graphics," that I did not invent the ">>" notation. I only started using it after someone else created it, as simpler and shorter than "had X before changing to the correct Y."

old timer 12:08 PM  

I think it is a while since "gym bunny" was a thing, but 24-Hour Fitness and most of those other places would be out of business without the young women who are there to work on their BODS. At least one of my daughters used to always have a membership at one gym or another for that purpose.

I thought it was a very good Saturday puzzle, myself. Tough, but fair. The NW was indeed easy, and the SE would have been if I had not put in "so to" instead of AS WE speak. In the SW I did not actually *know* THE HEIRESS, but it seemed likely enough. I was delighted to see Patsy CLINE make an appearance. When I was in college I would sometimes listen to country music for hours.

My only cheat was looking up "Taxi" to get LOUIE. For some reason I had not come up with MUG, though I wanted BEER all along. Plus, I had "peak" in mind where CONK ended up. LOUIE was a great help there.

puzzle hoarder 12:09 PM  

I did the puzzle last night. It was fairly difficult even though I knew most of the names. The mistake streak continues unfortunately. I really thought I had a clean grid until I read the first comment and realized that Tabitha has an I in it. AT&T seemed a little suspicious given that the clue concerned engineering. This just goes to show that my spelling for names is as bad as it is for words.
TALCUM was my last entry. Are there really choices for it? 19A was much harder than 34D. I grew up on TV but quit watching it right when "Phyllis" came out. I went to college and was determined to improve myself. I'm familiar with the actress but have only a vague idea of the show.
@LENA thanks for the scandal link. Hey why pay constructors when you can just repurpose old puzzles. The rich have to make ends meet somehow.

Lewis 12:11 PM  

@Z -- I appreciate your PPPs, which have been instructive.

A good tussle, with some clever cluing: ARMWRESTLE, TAMALE, SILENTTREATMENT, JEB, ONUS, and ONRADIO. A solve that felt satisfying (as @nancy's was). Learned a few things, had some good ahas. Because I had to work so hard, it never felt flat. Thank you, sir Roland!

Andrew Heinegg 12:12 PM  

Nicely written review Lena; I would just about be willing to guarantee that Rex would have gone on a rant about the puzzle being dated but, in this case, I would be compelled to agree with him. Messr. Huget seems to have been fixated on the 70's to 80's in this effort, a time I remember well but maybe shouldn't be the core of a 2016 puzzle. But, it was still a decent Saturday solve. I hope Rex didn't get sicker from a simultaneous use of all the home remedies recommended in the blog!

Chuck McGregor 12:17 PM  

Yikes! Two triple stacks of 7 crossing two triple stacks of 10, two more triple stacks of 7 each crossed with a 9-letter answer, plus the full grid 7d crossed with the other 9-letter answer of 32a that also crosses the two triple stacks of 10. As well, there’s only four 3-letter answers, none being particularly easy gimmes (for me).

I just could not complete it without considerable cheating.

- clue rant -

I’ve worked in various capacities in several hundred theaters since my early school days, from designing to performing in them and everything in between. For whatever reason I’ve very rarely (i.e. a handful of times, if that, over 60 years of theater work) heard a stage being called the “BOARDS,” or people saying “tread the BOARDS” meaning to act on a stage.

While “TIERED” is also a legitimate description, in most of those theaters such seating was invariably referred to as “raked,” meaning “running in a slanting direction.”

Neither answer was used, even uncommonly, in my extensive theater work. This includes their use by actors, directors, stage hands, set designers, architects, theatrical consultants, musicians, et al, who were involved with these theaters.

FYI: The noun TIER I’ve invariably heard used to refer to an entire seating bank: e.g. “The lower tier of seating.” As well (e.g.), “The lower tier of seating is raked,” not TIERED.

- /clue rant -

The plagiarism story brought to mind: If it walks like a duck….etc. I think it absolutely ridiculous that even one of that “in-house team of 60” \would EVER do such a thing as even look at other puzzles, let alone copy them in some fashion. But that’s just the Timothy Parker in me talking.

The universally one-way street cited for similarities or outright equality is a solidly, telling statistic against the “coincidence” theory.

Cheers

PS @ Anonymous 12:00 pm said...“A COTE is a bird shelter not an animal's.”
Gee, guess I was wrong in that all this time (better part of 70 years) I was under the mistaken idea that birds were animals.

Barbara Bolsen 12:18 PM  

Pretty sure gym bunny is a gender neutral term.

mortality pie 12:24 PM  

Sorry to be That Guy, but the singular form of "Tamales" is "Tamal." Liked the clue though.

Nancy 12:25 PM  

Re: the crossword plagiarism scandal: Who knew? I hadn't noticed the link when I first came to the blog earlier today. And when @Hartley70 mentioned the scandal to me in a phone conversation just now, I joked: Who on earth would plagiarize crossword puzzles??? There's no money whatsoever in crossword puzzles, right? There must be something better to plagiarize, right? Monet? Picasso? But now I learn the guy has made...millions?! To which I have two reactions:

1)The RAT belongs in jail, however much he may try to DENY his guilt. The press needs to BARE IT ALL, and I'LL BE THERE, hopefully with many other outraged Shortzites, to testify in the HERE AND NOW at the VAST ink-IMBRUEd CRIME SCENE of plagiarized puzzles past. The ONUS is ON US.

2) I must hone my crossword puzzle-creating skills ASAP. No time to lose. Because sadly, BLEAKLY, I reveal a SAD truth: I am not THE HEIRESS.

evil doug 12:42 PM  

Animals are sheltered in corn husks, also known as "cotes". Or as my people say, "maize". Elizabeth Warren's people,too.

Chaos344 12:45 PM  

@Z 10:25: Oh Pu-leeze with all the "objectification" crap Z! Tell me you don't stare at all those hotties wearing halter tops and tight shorts when you go to Comerica Park!
P.S. Maybe Miggy will hit another homer today?

@ Jamie C: Great minds think alike. I had exactly the same thought vis-a-vis 13D. My first name is James and my last name starts with a C. Are you a Taurus too! LOL.

@ Drumpf said...

" I'm entering the betting pool for how many people will answer @Whitey @ 7:22 by the time the next block of posts is published. I'm going with 5."

9:05 AM

No cigar for you Sir! Not even close. I count 9.

@Aketi: Phew! Glad you got that second "J" in there!

Joe Bleaux 12:50 PM  

Crazy? Hu hu! Maybe not -- but I wouldn't be surprised to spot one out walking after midnight :)

mennoknight 12:51 PM  

Plautdietsch...the language of love. Pronounced PLOTE-deech where I come from.

Joe Bleaux 12:56 PM  

Some kind of bird cage (dove, maybe?) -- I think.

Wm. C. 1:14 PM  


@MikeD --

You're pretty clever, Bucko, posting as me for the past three days, just because I referred to you -- based on your posts -- as an self-absorbed idiot. Sure enough, you're proving the point once again.

As to the puzzle, Tamale clue was great; never heard of imbrue, though it was easily filled by crosses.

Tita 1:26 PM  


Thought the song was "You've Got a Friend". That section took forever.
Yes, I fell for Tyrant (Hmm...odd spelling for LyLLIAN), but realized it had to go after struggling a long while. Puzzspouse suggested TINpOt, which at least got me looking at the NE in a new way.
I couldn't let go of the "fuggedaboutit" meaning for 5A, so kept shoehorning NOproblemo, NOSweat... NOSIRrEEBOB flashed across my brain pan for a nanosecond, summarily dismissed since it wouldn't fit.


THEHEIRESS is a great movie. Olivia de Havilland is a great actress.

Liked learning about Plautdietsch - it took me a while to correctly place the corrupted spelling - a nice trip from Switzerland (Schweizerdeutsch) to Bavaria to Hannover, then finally to the USA.


@Z - Such Pop? Funny - it didn't seem overly poppish while solving.
Though I wouldn't include geographical names - OISE and ANITA are fine...or MENNONITE.

@Horace - I'll join the throng - Dove COTE. (I had treE and hOmE (as in the local
animal shelter might be called a home...)
Now, can someone explain ECH? ECHelon?

Nice tussle, M. Huget!

Fred Romagnolo 1:35 PM  

Birds are in the animal kingdom, they are not plants. The clue to Spanish spelling was in Sevilla, rather than Seville. I had tyrant before TIN GOD, but Miss Lillian cured me of that. My ease with TABITHA came from the Book of Acts, rather than the TV show.

Anonymous 1:42 PM  

@Alicia Setson, around here we have gym rats and gym bunnies. I agree with Lena. It is gendered.

Wileyfex 1:45 PM  

Thank you for pointing out that tamales are cooked in corn husks, not just served in them. A piece of dried husk is made in the a neat package around masa dough with either a savory or sweet filling, then steamed. A lot of bother, but delicious. Mr Google has the recipes.

OISK 1:47 PM  

@anonymous 12:00...Birds ARE animals, but I agree that "bird shelter" would have been a better clue. (insects are technically animals also, but one would not expect the answer to a clue like "animal shelter" to be "hive.") I really liked this puzzle, and not only because it completes a clean, no DNF week for me. Last letter to go in was the "R" of ERLE. I really liked the cluing here. Add me to the other chemists who find the clue ____ether for ENOL too obscure. I know what an enol is, but "Unsaturated alcohol" would have been better, I think. Two California clues crossing each other, I Love LA, and Santa Anita. Never heard of the former, but like any horseplayer, certainly know the latter!

"Leavin" on Your Mind is so popular that even I have heard of it, and can even hum the title line. Have heard of Patsy Cline as well, although I am unfamiliar with most of her work. @Z is right that this puzzle played a bit "old," but that works for me!

Evan Jordan 2:06 PM  

Would have been my fastest Saturday ever until all that was left was TARE and TIN GOD. I didn't know TARE, and I don't hear TIN GOD enough to ever remember it when it comes up. Rats!!!

Evan Jordan 2:32 PM  

I think ECH is echelon.

Wednesday's Child 2:42 PM  

I'm sure ARNE and ERLE had the same mother.

@Z - liked your pop culture list and evaluation.

@Drumpf - and they keep rolling in

Always check your grid 2:43 PM  

@Nancy - if you had ESTo/ERLo you had a DNF.

Z 3:10 PM  

@mortality pie - Only in Spanish. In English TAMALE is the singular.
@David in Seattle - I think the use of Spanish cities, instead of Milwaukee and Detroit for instance, is a sufficient hint that a Spanish word is the answer. I think your clue is more mid-week level of difficulty, while on a Saturday the solver is forced to ponder both the direction and the possibility that a foreign language is required.

@Tita - Even Aristophanes was pop culture at one time.

Thanks @Lewis. I started for my own curiosity, but it's good to see that at least some others find it interesting. Apparently I need to provide a daily explanation of my PPP analysis, I've gotten emails asking the past couple of days.
PPP explanation
PPP are clue/answer pairs involving Pop Culture, Product Names, or other Proper nouns. The math is the number of these types of answers divided the word count of the puzzle. Anything in the 25% range is not going to generate much hate. At 33%+ there is a high likelihood that some subset of solvers are going to dislike the puzzle. Which subset will depend on lots of other factors. Early week (easier) puzzles seem less likely to generate hard feelings.

@Chaos - I don't stare. Growing up near the beautiful beaches of West Michigan enabled my testosterone enriched younger self to develop more subtle techniques. I'm not sure what that has to do with whether or not "gym bunny" is sexist. Based on the definitions at Urban Dictionary "gym bunny" is pejorative in a very nasty way. It is a term I've never heard before today, but I am hardly surprised.

Alby 3:18 PM  

Saved my streak (118 days) by brute-forcing the T in TARE/TINGOD. Days like this, I realize I'd do worse than I think in the live tournament. Liked the cluing for ONUS and TAMALE.

GILL I. 3:28 PM  

Wow, just read the Tim Parker bombshell. As my favorite chef would say "coinkydink?"
Could it be that Mr. Parker just failed to do his due diligence? Did he just not bother to check up on puzzles being submitted to him? After all, with all the software available, I would think that would be a no-brainer.
On the other hand, if this puzzle appears again 5 weeks from now, I might say it looks familiar but I doubt I would remember exact similarities. Maybe that's what USA Today hopes for? Dumb people like me?

Dick Swart 3:32 PM  

Too hard for me out of general knowledge and/or vacabulary. Spent my time googling almost all specifics and still not getting 'imbrue'. Aaaargh ... too much time v getting my chores done!

MetroGnome 3:36 PM  

What the hell is "NCIS" -- and since when does "onus" have anything to do with "heavy-duty"? I'm assuming that "ECH" stands for "echelon," although I must say that over-relying on arcane/arbitrary abbreviations often seems to cross the line from legitimate misdirection to snarky "gotcha!" obscurantism, but maybe that's just me . . .

old timer 3:38 PM  

You know, it is entirely correct that in Mexico, if you divide a pair of TAMALEs in half, you have to TAMALs. But what you might not fully understand, ye grammar mavens is that TAMALE is one of the oldest Spanish words for a food in California and therefore in a sense, the USA. Long before there were tacos and enchiladas, California miners and migrants ate TAMALEs, so spelled,

In fact, one of San Francisco's older restaurants, a few blocks from my old home on Folsom St., is the Roosevelt TAMALE Parlor. Or was. They were going to close, and it was a place I never ate even 40 years ago, because while the history was great, the tamales weren't.

cwf 3:48 PM  

@Drumpf: I count 7. You were so close!

cwf 3:49 PM  

Oh, and nice work as always, @Lena. Feel better, @Rex.

Chronic dnfer 4:23 PM  

Alicia Stetson. I go to the gym everyday and certainly don't consider myself a gym bunny. Although one of the reasons I go is to look at the gym bunnies working out. Equinox is in its own class for this past time

Had nowhownoway also. Thought the oise clue in fare ( not if you google). Talcum a was pretty dumb. Dnf'd at tamali and kote. I'll take it for a Saturday. I would have given up if the weather had been better because I would have been out golfing.

Chaos344 4:29 PM  

@AliasZ:

Dueling "Nash Ramblers"?

Mama said, "Hand me the TALCUM.
Papa said, "O.K., but How Come?"
Mama said, "We don't want rash,
Upon junior's little ash!"

Papa said, "I know you care,
About his pristine derriere,
But why not use some other balm,
To soothe his tush and keep him calm?"

Mama said, "Pa, Go fly a kite!
Wash your truck, or tune your bike!
Watch some sports, or oil yer guns!
I'll take care of Junior's buns!

Pa, he tried to no avail,
Ma said the kite needed more tail.
Pa said, "what about last night?
When I asked for some tail, you said, Go Fly A Kite!"






Masked and Anonymous 4:58 PM  

Actually, this SatPuz had impressively solid fill. Some slightly desperate short stuff, but …

* Patrick Berry Usage Immunity (PBUI) group: ITT. OISE. ENOL. ERLE (and EARL). ARNE.
* Non-PBUI group: ECH (fave weeject of the day). ASWE. CMDR. ORL.

… So, ok. Actually, this puz had a kinda PB1 feel to it, somehow. Really oughta lose the ECH, tho.

I did the ATT/TABATHA mistake, also. (Should be cousin ITT.) Lost many fabulous bonus points.

Yo, @evil doug. Turn around. Good to see you're back!

Hate it, to hear that @009 is still so sick. Maybe ease up on the "tar water" suggestion.

Was shocked to read the USA Today Crossword Audit article; oddly, they didn't include the tally-up of all the runtpuzs that were borrowed from. Suggested editor punishment, if guilty as charged: Has to publish exactly the same puz in their newspapers, each and every day, for a year. Too brutal? Yeah, I kinda like the idea, too.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


**gruntz**

Norm 5:07 PM  

Sheep cotes are a thing as well; it's not just birds.

I count 10 responses explaining how tamales are husky foods.

Chaos344 5:21 PM  

@Z 3:10 PM:

Oh, C'mon Z? Surely you are perspicacious enough to recognize an obvious "Tongue In Cheek" response? You don't stare? Right! I don't inhale either!

I was born in Saginaw General hospital, but grew up on the beautiful beaches of eastern Long Island, New York. Most people now refer to that area as "The Hamptons." Dad took the family home to Saginaw every summer, so that we could visit his family. Uncle Jerry lived in Detroit, and I remember going to Tiger games at Brigg's stadium. My dad remembered Nevin Field.

So, you a verified SJW, or a ranking officer of the PC police? Good on ya mate! You keep riding that train!

Just remember all those summer nights listening to Ernie Harwell on WJAR. Al Kaline, Frank Lary, Rocky Colavito, Norm Cash, Charlie Maxwell, Jim Bunning, Paul Foytack,etc, because it will never get any better that that!

Mohair Sam 7:40 PM  

Feel better Rex - Vodka cures.

Easy Saturday for us. What didn't land in my wheelhouse landed in hers - PETERFALK, CLORIS, LOUIE, ILLBETHERE for me. ARALSEA, JASMINE, JEB, THE HEIRESS for her. And we were fairly sure of MENNONITE. How much of the puzzle was left?

Peter Falk has a marvelous line in "Murder, Inc." - "That's why God gave ya two good hands, so's ya could take."

@Joe Bleaux (12:50) - Very nice.

Took me two long decades to get Miss LILLIAN into deep memory storage (anybody else see "Inside Out"?) and this damned puzzle brought her back. Thanks Will Shortz, thanks a lot.

Lady Mohair thought the non-PPP cluing was terrific, I agree.

Now to read the Crossworld scandal - thanks for the link Lena.

David in Seattle 7:55 PM  

@Z -- point taken!

kitshef 8:43 PM  

'Round here, TAMALEs are served in banana leaves, so the clue thereto made no sense whatsoever. Filled it in anyway, as all the crosses were solid. Had to come here to find out the skinny.

Some really obscure stuff in here: ARNE, ERLE, ENOL in particular. But still a nice, crunchy Saturday puzzle with good crosses all around.

Mam'zelle 9:58 PM  

M. Andre Heinoeuf,

Monsieur, which means 'my lord' in French, in modern usage is used to simply indicate "Mister', and is commonly abbreviated as M., although Mssr. is also accepted. The plural 'Messieurs' is abbreviated as MM. or as Mssrs. It is only in Frenglish that one finds the intermediate 'Messers', and then it is frequently used in a mock-ironic or humerus vein, [see the Crosby-Sinatra duet "Well, Did You Ever?", from the movie High Society]

Z 10:42 PM  

@Chaos - PC Police? Hardly. People can say whatever they want, just be prepared for reprobation. And no, I don't stare, but I did inhale. Actually, I didn't just inhale, I held it. BTW - Halter tops? Not so much anymore at the ballpark. Fridays and Saturdays do bring out the inappropriately over dressed women (heels at a baseball game?), but tees and jeans predominate most of the season. Shorts appear June through August, but that's less than half the games.

Charles Flaster 11:30 PM  

Great team.
BILL FREEHAN ?
Mickey Stanley ?
Frank Lary aka "The Yankee Killer"
Great memories!! Thanks

Leapfinger 5:46 AM  

Well, dang, Look what the COTE drug in!!

I was thinking there are sheepcotes as well as dovecotes, but apparently there are sheep in wolfcotes. Or is it wolves in sheepcotes? Either way, they're all dug in.

The write-up today Rexcelled in Rexishness, which surprised, as I'd thought that trait was linked to the Y-chromosome. Lena's saying that Rex needed REXLAXation got me worried that his cold had turned basically half-assed. (That's just a little chemical pH ENOLphthalein humour, folks, based on a "run-in" with a "chocolate bar" at the 'tender' age of 4. TMI?)

Aren't gonna worry about gym-bunny BODy implications when a nuptick in old-style squabble comments shows what can get past a newbie moderator. Guess that means we can expect 6 more weeks/ months/ years of moderation and commentatus interruptus. (sigh) Wish I had a dang coconut for every husky explanation that came down the pike; I'm more of a malemute girl, myself.

Oh yes, the puzzle: I don't think anyone mentioned having ITS NOTHING for "Forget about it" and JONQUIL as their Yellow. Thought that ARMWRESTLE had an interesting run of consonants, and wondered whether there were any such longer than in say, droughtstricken.

Can't DENY I LOVE PETER FALK overlapping I LOVE VAS TREATMENT in the place of honour, but even more I LOVE The Heels recovering their honour on the playing fields of DOOK.

"Serpentine! Serpentine!"

Burma Shave 11:05 AM  

TINGOD GLAM

As USUAL, JASMINE, THEHEIRESS, while in the HEREANDNOW,
said, “My BOD’S ANOTHER Venus, so FARE, and now AISLE vow,
to RISK, and TARE my COTE off when SAD MENNONITE shifts call,
there will be no SILENTTREATMENT, ILLBETHERE to BAREITALL.”

--- CLORIS CLINE

spacecraft 11:16 AM  

This was far from medium for me; I almost crashed on Tyrant instead of TINGOD. As the saying goes, I had the taxes paid on Tyrant, I was that sure. Plus, it took me forever to come up with (duh!) TEHRAN, and that held me up unduly in my USUAL last corner, the NW.

Having losEITALL instead of the more suggestive BAREITALL didn't help. Hand up for Noproblemo, though at least I didn't commit that one to ink. CLORIS leads the yeah-baby pack today; any chick who can pull off wearing red sneakers to the Oscars is my kinda woman. Wifey would kill me for not naming her favorite Patsy CLINE...if she knew. Honorable mention goes to TABITHA King, just for being Stephen's wife.

This grid contains a mother lode of material for @BS; I can't wait. Somebody's gonna BAREITALL, for sure. IMBRUE--so rare that spell-check redlines it--is one of those real but oh-so-unnecessary words that reside in thesauri and nowhere else. And what can I say about ECH? ECH! CMDR has full Star Trek immunity, which is more powerful than PB immunity in my book. Gentlemen: RISK! RISK is our business! OK, enough of that. Liked NCIS (really, there's someone who asked what that is? Dude, come out from under that rock!) crossing CRIMESCENE. Triumph factor present: B.

Oh, just one more thing: thanks for the PETERFALK centerpiece.



rondo 12:39 PM  

This week has been better than USUAL for me, very few write-overs all week and only three squares of extra ink today. BEERcUp (red Solo, perhaps?) and aTT fixed themselves easily enough.

PATSy CLINE – what a voice, left us too soon.

Apparently Betty White and CLORIS Leachman took similar career paths by winning beauty pageants, yeah baby, before their acting careers. Don’t (yet) know about CLORIS, but there is photographic evidence that Betty would BAREITALL. Who knew?? Pardon me, I just TIERED up. What if CLORIS had been an “it” girl?? Sorry, I was TAUT better.

Had the office to myself today, but the boss is HEREANDNOW I must BLEAKLY get my nose back to the grindstone. There seemed to be a few odd clues, but mostly this Sat-puz was FARE.

rain forest 3:38 PM  

Good puzzle, and challenging for me. Like @Spacey, I was sold on Tyrant, until Lillian appeared (almost thought it might be spelled Lyllian).

If I went to buy powder for my grandson, I think I'd ask where the TALCUM is, not, "where are your talcums?". Or maybe I'd just ask my daughter to go buy it.

Before PETER FALK became obvious, I had USUAL CRAP, but he was hardly crap. Wonderful actor--good golfer, too.

I think ANEMIc works better than ANEMIA per the clue, but well, you take what is given.
Overall, a good Saturday workout to tackle while the Masters is on.

Diana,LIW 7:11 PM  

What a great week of puzzles for me. Not a clean finish every day, but at least "very close." Which I'll take any day after Wednesday.

Thought ANEMIA was odd - agree with @Rondo.

Saw TINGOD in another puzzle today. I often wonder if constructors get together and match clues/answers. Or if more of the Mr. Parker (not our Parker) thing is going on. I so often see a clue/answer in the nytp that is also in another puz that day or the day before/after. Not just the eppe, oslo, oreo, kinda stuff. Odd things, like tingod.

Checking out flights/rooms for the St. Paul tourney in June - there's a direct flight to/from, and a very nice hotel about a block from the tourney site. Tickets are not yet on sale on the website. Do y'all think there's any chance of a cancellation for the tourney? I doubt it, but don't want to get flight tickets 'till I'm certain. It would be so much fun to watch the pros in action!. Gonna try to post this paragraph on tomorrow's (Sunday) puz so I might get a response.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Tourney Info

rondo 11:43 PM  

@D,LIW - It's been my impression that the MN tourney expects more contestants AND more spectators this year. Maybe I can try to do some recon. Or maybe @GB will shed some light.
The St. Paul Hotel is the top spot to stay, has a great bar, and is only steps away from the tourney, if you're not too concerned about the price. There are a few less expensive yet acceptable lodging options within range if it matters.
I'm in St. Paul most days, so it's possible, depending on schedule, that I could be your airport shuttle. And, of course, the first round is on me.

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