Eternal water-pourers in Hades / FRI 7-22-16 / Shakespearean duel overeseer / Enfantines composer / Book film title character surnamed Gatzoyiannis / Abstract expressionist who married Jackson Pollock / Big name in Renaissance patronage / Follower of diet system / Much-photographed mausoleum site

Friday, July 22, 2016

Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith and George Barany

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: DANAIDES (36D: Eternal water-pourers in Hades) —
In Greek mythology, the Daughters of Danaus (/dəˈnɪdz/; Greek: Δαναΐδες), also Danaids, Danaides or Danaïdes, were the fifty daughters of Danaus. They were to marry the fifty sons of Danaus's twin brother Aegyptus, a mythical king of Egypt. In the most common version of the myth, all but one of them killed their husbands on their wedding night, and are condemned to spend eternity carrying water in a sieve or perforated device. In the classical tradition, they come to represent the futility of a repetitive task that can never be completed (see also Sisyphus). (wikipedia)
• • •

The 15s / 16s hold up pretty well; the rest ... doesn't. The top and the bottom are full of gunk that made this puzzle icky to move through. Improbably, the quadstack felt like the smoothest part of the grid. Sure, it has a few predictably less-than-ideal crosses (I see you, ECASH), but there's not nearly as much bad short stuff in the middle as there is everywhere else. This makes almost no sense, as one would expect the reverse to be true. Quadstacks put strain on a grid, so that should be where the strain should show. Instead, ADM REA ELENI (!?) DENTE chunk is up top, in the place where the puzzle should be cleanest. And the bottom is even rougher, with PAREE MERLE AAS AREOLA NO FEES AERO being a cavalcade of blah, and ERY APEAR EAPOE (all up against the very tough DANAIDES) is a flat-out disaster. It's as if two different people made this puzzle. Oh ... look at that. I wonder if that had anything to do with this. I won't speculate. Martin's not usually so careless with the tops and bottoms of his centered quadstacks, is all I'm saying. The three 16-letter Downs do add perhaps somewhat more strain to the grid than one might otherwise see in a quadstack. Still...

JAPAN was wickedly clued (1D: Follower of a diet system), especially crossing JAGS, which for some reason I don't think of as [Sharp projections]. They're cats, for short, or they're crying spells, or maybe some kind of generically handsome TV military lawyers, I'm not sure. What "Gear" does OIL protect? Oh, the actual gear of a car? One of many gears? OK. I had many different answers where AHASH (blargh) is supposed to go. Started with A MESS, then went to A MASH, which worked swimmingly ... for a while. I've read a lot of classical literature, but the DANAIDES somehow got by me. Virtually no part of that answer (except the terminal "S") was inferrable to me—this made the (ugly) southern section by far the hardest. Oh, except for the [___ College] / [Cannery row?] crossing. I wrote in COE College, which is a place, and it worked, except ... CARS? Are there rows of CARS at a cannery? Turns out, there are not. JOE College, 20x ugh, who says that anymore? That's some '50s-era stuff. And again down there with the EGRET and ESTE and ORES—really weak fill where it shouldn't be. I did enjoy the longer stuff. I just don't get the quality discrepancy.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:10 AM  

@Rex, the "Sharp projections" clue at 1-Across was a shoutout to you.

@Martin and I have created a bonus puzzle, called Eight Across. We hope you like it.

CLB 1:13 AM  

Many of the clues didn't sit right with me. Instead of thinking "cute", I kept thinking "that's not really correct". A Pat isn't a stroke (got it right away and didn't write it in because it was clearly wrong). Oil protects gears not a gear (with only one you don't need oil). Why would a cannery have a row of jars any more than anywhere else? Also, pretty sure Diet as used has to be capitalized. I refused to write it in for a while. That's a major error to me because it makes the misdirection just plain wrong. Friday is usually my favorite day so disappointed today :-(

jae 1:32 AM  

Mostly easy for me. The quad stack went pretty quickly as did the down 16s with the exception of the YEARS part of 11d. The SE corner was a tad tough. Me too for cOE but cARS made no sense and an alphabet run got me to JARS which made slightly more sense.

@Rex DANAIDES was a WOE.

I remembered LEE KRASNER from the movie. She was played by one of my favorite actresses Marcia Gay Harden. I'm hoping Code Black gets a second season.

Liked it, but agree with Rex on the fill.

Martín Abresch 2:04 AM  

Congratulations, George!

An impressive grid. When I see a quadstack, I immediately expect SCARLET_TANAGERS and something with the word STATE in it (STATE_DEPARTMENT or THESIS_STATEMENT). Here, every one of the seven long answers is a quality answer.

After thinking about it for a minute, I managed to pull GREAT_BARRIER_REEF out without a single cross. The clue was interesting (Only living thing that can be seen from outer space), but I'm not sure if it bears scrutiny as written. Wikipedia states that it is composed of billions of tiny organisms and that it is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. Does that make it a living thing in a different sense than, say, the Amazon Rainforest is a living thing?

Most of the other long answers came to me rather quickly. I had a bit of trouble with the clue for AFRICAN_ELEPHANT (One with a smaller Indian relative), though that answer seems perfectly obvious in retrospect. The one tricky answer was TEN_THOUSAND_YEARS (What "Banzai!" literally means). I had the THOUSAND, but I didn't know if it was ONE, TWO, or TEN THOUSAND. YEARS was a complete mystery, locked away in that SE corner.

The tops and bottoms were rough and it was DNF. I got stumped with JARS/JOE/ESTE. I was stumped with RPM/PEKOE/MERLE/LEE_KRASNER. RPM had a clever clue (78 letters) that I should have figured out. The other three I had no chance on.

I did enjoy a great many of the clues. My dad is a Lutheran PASTOR (Service provider). I remembered that the Taj Mahal is not a temple or mosque but a mausoleum, built for a ruler's dead wife. I did not remember (at least, not for some while) that Geneva is a font. A love a good quotation clue, and SEINFELD did not disappoint (Who called a date "a job interview that lasts all night"). It's definitely been SEINFELD week, what with NEWMAN and UNCLE_LEO also appearing recently.

Finally, the word PIED (Blotchy, in a way) always reminds me of one of my favorite poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins:

"Pied Beauty"

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Martín Abresch 2:43 AM  

One more thing. I know that my opinion isn't worth much, but for what it's worth ... I did not like, Rex, how you threw shade at the co-constructor, a person who you know to be a frequent (and invariably polite) commenter on this blog.

r.alphbunker 3:32 AM  

Even though JOE got me, I loved the puns in the SE corner (Cannery row and Western Union). I was very doubtful of CARS but COE had to be right even though I was vaguely concerned about the omission of its location in the clue.(xwordinfo confirms that COE the college has always been clued with its location). After failing the check I verified that the C was wrong and a careful alphabet run produced JARS and then I made sense of JOE.

My solution

Marty Van B 4:15 AM  

Medium Hard for me.

Very little enjoyment out of it with virtually no fun AHA moments.

Hope tomorrow better matches the challenge with entertainment value.

Trombone Tom 4:20 AM  

I thought I might be setting a record-breaking time when I started this. I ripped down the GREAT BARRIER REEF and then rode the ELEPHANT in a HURRICANE and AMASSED the STICKS AND STONES and then . . . dead stop.

I was stuck in the NE corner because I put in ADAMs instead of ADAMA. It took me some time to figure out ASH.

Most of the rest went quickly via the crosses until I, too, foundered in the SE with cOE College. JOE College was the last to drop.

Very impressive stacks in the middle. Some of the fill around the edges not so much. I think of a CAD as someone less than unrefined.

Never heard of DANAIDES but the crosses revealed it. I did try "Three Pieces in the Shape of an eAR" but that obviously wan't going to let me have EAPOE!

A good workout from Messrs. Ashwood-Smith and Barany. Thank you, guys!

Paul Rippey 5:10 AM  

I got the center stacks, which I thought were brilliant, got the long verticals, and still DNF. Stared at Al ______ for a long time. Arabic? I'm pretty good there, but got nothing. Finally figured it was a sportsperson. Spent some time convincing myself it was Al DaNky, probably won the Indy 500. Oh, DENTE! Duh.

I got LENTS, but no one ever says that, or "Ramadans" either. Did you observe LENT when you were a child? No S.

tkr 5:50 AM  

Ugggh. Unsolvable in the top unless you know 3 obscure names for the crosses - REA, and SATIE, annnnddd ELENI.

To be clear - Geneva is a font developed for the Mac. Aerial was a font made popular for the PC. Until recently, neither was an alternative to the other unless you switched computers. The clue might as hell have read "alternative to cuneiform".

Just really really terrible. Didn't anyone edit this? The quad stacks don't justify the rest.

TokyoRacer 5:51 AM  

Yes, the Japan clue was tough, nearly impossible. I don't think many Americans know that the Japanese legislature is called the Diet. I live in Japan, but even so, that answer didn't occur to me. (Would you say America is the follower of a senate system?)

Loren Muse Smith 7:07 AM  

TEN THOUSAND YEARS. Kept trying to end it with something ridiculous like "bunny ears" or "pointy ears." Sheesh. I was stuck on the fact that you shout "Banzai," so I was going with the loudness factor.

So then, continuing with my aural fixation, I had that that SATIE musical piece in shapes of "an ear." (Hi, @Trombone Tom.) The "Helen" in E A POE's clue threw me into thinking it was something Greek and hence something I didn't know.

Like Rex (and thousands, I bet) " a mess" before A HASH, which led me to think that to show celerity meant to "sue" someone. So I put that in and did a side-stink-eye at AMASSED A FORTUNE, CAD. SAD REPTILE.

"Emt," "vet," then NET. Nice. Also noticed the anagrams POSSE and POSES.

And for the nursery rhyme pair, I went for people first, thinking immediately of that wicked tongue twister about a "sheik" and his sick sheep. Mercifully that line of thinking never got legs.

The death-blow was putting in "Elena" for ELENI and hence seriously considering "Sean Penn" for the guy who said that about dating. Kept taking out the F in FORTUNE to play around there. Can you amass a "pork pie" or a "pottage?" Nah.

@CLB – I liked the clues for OIL, PAT, and JARS. A lot.

Because I didn't know A HASH, DANAIDES, OSRIC (shame on me), and SEINFELD, I finally threw in the towel and started hitting the nifty little "check" button that I would totally overuse all the time if I had to solve online every day. I think if I had sat with a printed version of this and my trusty Bic mechanical pencil (hi, @jae), I could've wrestled it to the ground eventually.

MAS, George – nice job! I loved MAKING AN ENTRANCE. Once in the '70s, Mom and Dad got all fancied up and went to a lounge at the Regency Hotel in Atlanta. Yes, this ends badly. Mom tripped on her heels or gown or something and fell into the room flat on her face.

I'm gonna go stand with @Martin Abresch (and add that you look for instances of "ones," too, in quad stacks – STONES). I agree with your comments.

Mark 7:19 AM  

It was very strange solving the middle first. I think Rex is right about the odd stuff at the top and bottom and this made for difficult fill

tb 7:28 AM  

Dreck. MAS has really lowered himself.

Nancy 7:55 AM  

A real challenge for me and a real feeling of satisfaction when I finished it. AMASSED FORTUNE -- which I got off just the first A and the N -- let me in. When I first looked at this, my heart sank, because nothing came easily. I didn't know the GREAT BARRIER REEF was "a living thing." I thought that maybe living things resided there, but that the REEF itself was as dead as a rock. I wanted vET before NET at 23A. I wanted IN all before IN ONE at 31D. I wanted An EAR before A PEAR at 49D.

I thought the cluing was wonderfully deceptive, Loved the clues for AFRICAN ELEPHANT; STICKS AND STONES (was looking for two evil people); DRAWL (48A); POSSE (53D); LENTS (32D).

And of course the middle stacks were wonderfully constructed. Enjoyed this one a lot.

Suzy 8:06 AM  

Amen! Tacky, Rex!

Rex Parker 8:07 AM  

It is very interesting to hear that I should deliberately favor constructors who frequent my blog. Tell me more about that.


Hartley70 8:10 AM  

Delightful surprise this morning when I saw the center stacks and checked to see if it was MAS, (Hooray!) only to discover GB was the co-constructor. It made this a very memorable Friday and I waded right in with "Giant Redwood Tree"! Unfortunately it took me a while to see that only the G, a T and an E were correct. That "Giant" error and the frustrating DANAIDES wrecked my time.
GREATBARRIERREEF was my reasoned second choice, but DANAIDES stumped me til the very end.

I was familiar with all the real people in the grid, even MERLE, and I too had to change Coe to JOE, which I liked much better. I took a guess at YEARS. My Japanese needs work.

I love a stack and this did not disappoint. "Smooth" is what comes to mind when I consider a MAS work. The remainder of the puzzle isn't as smooth and there in lies the disconnect, perhaps. It didn't bother me in the least. The top and bottom sections are freshly clued and challenging as a good Friday should be, and it's fun to spend a few minutes in sync with GB's mind. Hi, George! Thanks, guys. It was swell!

D 8:15 AM  

tough one for anyone who ever dated a Coe College grad. thought 78 would be RST... from a phone keypad. and had windy over wordy,so i was dnf. thoughttit would be a snap since i filled most long ones quickly.

kitshef 8:22 AM  

After reading @Rex's reveiw, I do have to admit some of the fill was not so hot, but I did not notice that at all while solving - when you are wrestling the crocodile, you don't notice the leeches.

ARIAL/SATIE was a near-Natick. worried over ARIeL/SeTIE for ages.

Inordinate number of WoES today: ESTE, DANAIDES, SATIE, ELENI, OSRIC, MERLE (we all know how that should be clued), LEE KRASNER. Although SATIE and ELENI were stacked, and LEE KRASNER crossed two other WoEs, everything was inferrable and that demonstrates good construction.

@CLB - Diet does not need to be capitalized - it is when referring to a specific Diet (e.g. the Diet of Worms), but not when referring to a generic diet.

Had Three Pieces in the shape of An EAR for a while ... which seems to make only slightly less sense than A PEAR.

NCA President 8:34 AM  

cOE College/cARS was the sticking point. The rest of the puzzle was challenging, but doable. But that crossing was ridiculous. I believe I actually said the full version of AYFKM when I finally found out that was where my problem sure was I of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. An otherwise okay Friday for me was completely spoiled there.

LEEKRASNER? She is known by her marriage to a man? I'm going to pull the misogyny card and wave it around as a warning, not an indictment, mind you, just a warning. I know of very few women these days who enjoy being known (or probably clued in a xword puzzle) by their spouses. Ladies and gentlemen, Mrs. Jackson Pollock, who, we guess, does art on the side as a side hobby.

I did not know ADAMA but it was gettable. ORES is close to OREO, POSES is close to POSSE. AMASS is close to AHASH. Sketchy fill.

That said, apart from JOE College ::eyeroll::, this was a decent Friday. I felt sufficiently smug in getting some of the long answers with little help from crosses.

Mary Perry 8:40 AM  

I liked it!

Ellen S 8:47 AM  

@Martin Abresch, for what my opinion is worth, I agree with yours.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

Eleni and Satie are not obscure names! Again no one in this space seems to know anything about classical music.

Joseph Welling 9:10 AM  

CLB said: "A Pat isn't a stroke"

A PAT on the back is a figurative "stroke" (meaning encouragement or recognition for a job well done).

Anonymous 9:11 AM  

Note to self: avoid "dreck". Luckily, I've also avoided "TB", although I hear it is contagious.


Unknown 9:20 AM  

Thank you @martin abresh, for reminding me, Pied Beauty. Haven't thought of it since college.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

Exactly, @CLB.

Anne Meilof 9:28 AM  

Thanks for the bonus puzzle, George!

Ellen S 9:40 AM  

@Martin Abresch, for what my opinion is worth, I agree with yours.

@Rex, it's not that you should favor constructors who frequent this blog, it's that you don't have to go out of your way to be snarky. (I know it's not going out of your way, seems to come as easy to you as breathing.) See, when Dorothy Parker did it, it was clever. Probably not any more fun for the objects of her disaffection, but at least you can't deny the cleverness. Being a critic doesn't have to mean JABbing at people.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:54 AM  

Just a little personal note: I had to throw together a post-concert reception in a hurry yesterday, for desserts I got a big tray of Baklava from a local Lebanese bakery plus a big package of OREOs. By the time I was through playing, the Baklavah was all gone, that, I realized, was what all those people were doing who were wandering around at the edge of my vision, they were scarfing addictive honey pastry. And I brought home lots of OREOs. So I was eating OREOs while solving this puzzle. And I still needed three crosses to get the word.

QuasiMojo 9:55 AM  

I've not been commenting much recently because a couple of my last remarks were not accepted, even though they were completely inoffensive to anyone. But -- I did want to say that it pains me to think that in a decade or two the Great Barrier Reef may still be visible from space but it probably won't be a living thing anymore. Enjoyable puzzle, George!

Jamie C 9:55 AM  

I confidently entered AMAZONRAINFOREST for 3-down. Found this puzzle to be great and satisfying challenge.

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

DNF at Coe/Joe Cars/Jars. The long entries were a delight, and came quickly, but the gluey bits left me unglued. Not a happy solving experience. Sigh.

Sheik Yerbouti 10:02 AM  

I agree with Rex's criticism of the fill, particularly north and south. But I also agree that the swipe at the co-constructor is unnecessary (unless you actually know that it was the co-constructor's doing). The criticism of the fill is valid on its own, without the ad hominem addition.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

A truly impressive construction feat. Could not get any traction but the grid challenged me enough to want to uncover the long answers. Needed much googling but in the end I got all the long answers correctly. Cluing was very tough but once I found the answer it all made sense.
Thought that Rex was too harsh on the junk fill. Not sure why ECASH or APEAR is worse than ADAMA or ELENI. For the likes of me this was a good puzzle to develop my Limited skills.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

@ Martin Abresch

I was so tickled to see a fellow lover of Hopkins. I thought it made my day. Turns out it was second comment that made it. Rex and his ad hominem attacks are getting tiresome.
I love this board, but Rex is a creep. Or at the very least terribly impolite too much of the time.

Geometricus 10:18 AM  

DNF because I had to look up LEEKRASNER, ADAMA, and the YEARS part of Banzai. But nice stacks in the middle George and Martin.

I agree with Rex about JOE College. Also had COE there. That C and the P of PASTOR and PAT were my sticking points. I had tAT for "back stroke".

Z 10:19 AM  

@Rex Parker - I've been reading and commenting for awhile and the one thing I know I will get is your honest assessment. Thank you.

@Martin Abresch - I like both constructor's work. I follow one on Twitter and have shared numerous emails with the other. They are talented and interesting people. They are both capable of handling an honest assessment of their work. They will decide if they agree or not, just as the rest of us will. Well, except for that one asshole but what can you do when someone hates you for no apparent reason?

You do raise an interesting philosophical question. You and I are also composed of billions of organisms (think intestinal flora here) and yet we are each clearly A living organism. I think we all agree that the Amazon Rain Forest is not a single organism. Where does the distinction occur? I've heard the "Only organism visible from space" factoid before - is it a true fact, or is it only true under specific definitions of "organism?"

@CLB - Think of "diet" like you would "congress." Capitalized when referencing the specific and lower case if talking about the generic (as in the clue). This allows for the misdirection. Likewise, if OIL is protecting two gears, it is also protecting each gear.

@tkr - I couldn't quickly find anything more specific than ARIAL shipped with Mac OS X. If it shipped with Cheetah (which I think it did but couldn't verify) it's been an option to Geneva for Mac Users for 15 years. Given the penchant of Microsoft and third party developers to rip off ideas from Apple, I presume you could get Geneva for a PC for much longer.

That extreme SE corner is a K.I.L.L.E.R. I had no idea about Isabella d'ESTE, no clue which bird might be the target of plume traders, and didn't grok the POSSE clue or whether "row" was going to be a fight or a line of something.

Other problems included thinking "Dixieland" was going for something musical (given the constructors a perfectly reasonable guess), and wondering if a tRilL was applicable, having no idea that anyone married Jackson Pollack, and that AREOLA could be clued via "Iris." A very tough south all around for me.

Like Rex, was 50% done and was a little surprised that my struggles were in the smaller areas. The Quadstack fell easily. I haven't counted up yet, but I'm going to hazard a guess that taking out some of the PPP would have helped the north and south feel smoother.

Peptide McKnight 10:22 AM  

Best puzzle of the year. Course, I'm partial to quad-stacks. Very well done. Way to go George!

Appropriate that your clue: "[Michael] Sharp projections" leads to "Jags." Off the beaten path.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Rex doubles down. Awesome!!Besides the ad hominem attack, he treats us to condescending sarcasm. Stay classy Rex.

AZPETE 10:24 AM  

I dunno I liked it. Thx and thx for all the free puzzles.

Sir Hillary 10:26 AM  

Fun to have some Friday stackERY. Congrats to MAS and Prof. Barany.

The short dreck didn't bother me as much as the choppiness in the top and bottom, which made for some cul de sacs that were hard to suss.

Biggest almost-disaster was MAKINGAbigsplash, which thankfully I did not actually commit to paper. I would still be solving if I had (finished 3 hours ago).

All in all, a fun puzzle worth the time.

jberg 10:29 AM  

@George and @MAS, Congratulations! I liked this one a lot. I agree with how good the 15s and 16s were -- and was proud of myself for getting three of them right away! -- but I didn't think the short fill was all that bad.

Of course, I spent two summers working in a cannery, which helped. Mostly we packed cherries in 30-pound cans to be frozen and shipped to commercial bakeries, but when the harvest was over we shipped to canning jelly and jam in JARS, which were indeed put in a row as they went through the machines.

I knew what BANZAI meant, too. I think Japanese soldiers shout it meaning they're likely to die, but the Empire will last 10,000 years. The Diet, not so much, probably. There's a story that when the Great Wall was being completed there was a prophecy that it would be successful only if 10,000 people were buried underneath it. Taken aback, the powers that were instead found some poor guy named Won (same character as the Japanese word, slightly different pronunciation) and buried him.

My biggest problem was not the long answers, but the upper midwest-- the only 5-letter French composer I could think of was Bizet, and not knowing ELENI I wanted Zorba there (although I think that his surname was Zorba!) All those Zs looked great, but fortunately I didn't put them in, and then MAKING AN ENTRANCE gave me INK-STAINED, thereby confirming DENTE.

@Rex, thanks for the explanation of who the DANAIDES were. I get them confused with Danae, the shower-of-gold woman. But I think her children turned out better. (Wait, it turns out that Danae was the great-grandaughter of one of the DANAIDES -- no wonder I get confused!) I was going to link an image, but NSFW.

GILL I. 10:34 AM  

MAS and George Barany...Yay!
Getting GREAT BARRIER REEF with that little BOA crossing seriously made my evening. Our daughter and her boyfriend were visiting and I was churning out daiquiris like some pro bartender in a MUFTI. Ergo, I went to bed full of limes and sweet dreams. Finished this morning but had two mistakes. DANAoDES, and I could not get LEEK RASNER. The long answers were very doable and that's what I liked.
Down-loading lots of MAS and GB puzzles helped me today with SATIE and A PEAR......
New clue for OREO...good-oh.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Got through it all but not without fixing a few mistakes caused by BRASS instead of DRAWL at 48A.

Stanley Hudson 10:39 AM  

This was a fine Friday puzzle.

@OFL, apparently you don't understand the difference between tough but fair criticism and snarky innuendo. We'll explain it when you grow up.

AskGina 10:41 AM  

Thanks Mr. Barany. I loved getting the cleverly clued long answers. But I object to the NW corner because it was a reminder that I might not be as smart as I think I am.

Carola 10:43 AM  

Fun to solve, well, almost solve: I had a double DNF: cOE and a forgotten-about blank square in A?IAL x ?EA. The grid spanners are GREAT, and the blotchy PIED INKSTAINED line is cute. I was surprised to see ELENI and ESTE get dusted off and brought our of the back storeroom. Liked learning DANAIDES.

Wm. C. 10:45 AM  

Like others, I thought the quadstack and two of the long verticals (NOT Tenthou...) were very good. Had trouble elsewhere, but in hindsight I think these (mostly ... LeeKrasner???) were fair for a Friday. A great feat of construction, without unduly stumping the solver, IMO. Tnx, guys!

AskGina 10:54 AM  

Thank you Martin, "He fathers forth ..." will go through the day with me.

Mohair Sam 11:00 AM  

First - Congrats George, neat to see your name in lights.

We dnf'd today with YEs instead of YEP and ESTa instead of ESTE which left us wondering what the hell a SOSSA is. Turns out it isn't. Looks like lots of folks zipped through the center stacks just as we did, and then went to battle in the north and south. So proud to know SATIE at 21A, but yelped when expected to know APEAR from him at 49D (wanted AnEAR there for a while like @Nancy and others).

Hand up with the Coe for JOE crowd. When I visit my sister-in-law in Water Mill, New York I'll take her to her favorite shops in East Hampton and she'll always point down a certain lane and say that Jackson Pollock's widow used to live down there, they've got a museum. But she never names her - hence we had to fill. ARIAL clue tough, especially when you don't know ELENI. Agree with all that DANAIDES was just wicked.

Politics Alert! @Z only

@Z - So I reference Qutb's "Milestones" and you think I need a link to Wikipedia's interpretation of Wahhabism? And then you tell me about your Muslim friends - be careful there, I may beat you on a Muslim friend count (when I go into my local Muslim-owned pack and ship that I got funded a decade ago I'm greeted like Norm at Cheers, and it takes me an hour to get out of there). I think we're arguing at cross purposes - I'm as upset as you about the general anti-Muslim tone set by Trump. My problem is the left assuming every American terrorist is killing in the name of religion, although, like McVeigh and Roof - they themselves give different reasons. And I hate this argument because I am a weddings and funerals only Christian who finds himself at the occasional bris due to intermarriage.

Z 11:03 AM has some history of the construction which people may find interesting, including that DANAIDES allowed the symmetrical inclusion of SEINFELD.

PPP Analysis
Pop Culture, Product Names, and Proper Nouns as a percentage of the puzzle

26 of 73 for 36%. Any time a puzzle nears or exceeds the 33% level it is likely to cause some subset of solvers problems.

The List:
(* for skewing old, ** for skewing young)

*Chris REA
GNP (a coin flip three letter answer with GdP)
*RPM (When was a 78 RPM record commercially produced?)
Isabella d'ESTE

**ECASH (via Google Wallet)
TAHOE (Midwest bias here but when I think "big water" I think Lake Michigan)
*MERLE Norman
*Three Pieces in the Shape of A PEAR
*JOE College (although Joe does rate an (clean) entry in the Urban Dictionary)

AliasZ 11:23 AM  

The excellent quad stack crossed by three 16s was quite an accomplishment, with only a smattering of iffy glue.

@Martín Abresch, not only were SCARLET_TANAGERS not seen in the quad-stack, but A_LOT_ON_ONES_PLATE wasn't there either. Always a good thing.

I absolutely loved the SATIE - "Three Pieces in the Shape of A PEAR" cross reference. A can't not honor it by linking to it. The funniest thing is, "Trois morceaux en forme de poire" are actually seven of pieces, composed for piano four hands.

Great fun. Thank you @MAS & @George Barany. As a special gift, let me offer you this beautiful poem titled "The DANAIDES" by Hungarian poet Mihály Babits (1883-1941). It reminds me a little of EAPOE. The translation is surprisingly acceptable.


Frank Vlasic 11:41 AM  

You know what they call a processing plant where food-stuffs are packed in JARS? A bottling plant. That's what it's called. If you put things in cans, it's a cannery. If you put things in bottles, it's a bottling plant. Yes, I know if you preserve fruits and vegetables in your kitchen you're canning them, but that doesn't make your kitchen a cannery. CARS/COE was the way to go at that crossing.

Chaos344 11:52 AM  

What Rex and jae said. Thought the quad stack was too easy. Very few crosses needed to figure them out. 3D and 11D were also pretty easy for the general knowledge category.

Didn't really appreciate having to waste an extra several minutes trying to figure out why MHP would not appear. I figured CARS were probably cars of a freight train waiting to be loaded with TEN THOUSAND YEARS worth of sardines? Finally did the mental alphabet run and saw JARS. Did anyone ever have a jar of sardines? Yeah, yeah, I know! The clue was technically correct, so kudos for the devious trap.

Other than that, Meh!

Joseph Michael 11:55 AM  

Congratulations, George and Martin. Impressive puzzle!

Z 11:57 AM  

@Mohair Sam - Your Qutb reference flew right past me unnoticed for some reason. But even if it hadn't I'd have included a link to Wahhabism because it is widely unknown in the US. I don't think the "left" assumes every American Terrorist does it for religion. What pushes my buttons (and was the source of my initial post) are statements that Islam is somehow inherently violent while presuming that Christianity isn't. Religions are not inherently anything. Plenty of people will find a way to use their religion to defend their actions, though. The classic American example is how both abolitionists and slave holders defended their positions by quoting the same Bible.

old timer 12:06 PM  

OFL really did not have to go out of his way to dis one of the most loyal and interesting contributors to this blog. I really think an apology is in order.

I do agree that some of the short fill top and bottom is less than glorious, with OREO REDO ADAMA at the top and CAD ERY ORES EGO at the bottom. JARS is perfect, though, and so are PEKOE and MERLE. Home canners always use JARS, but they are also used where mayonnaise and pickles and applesauce are produced.

I liked the puzzle a lot. Got the GREAT early, and NOFEES gave me BARRIERREEF. I have no idea who ELENI is, so that was 100% on crosses. Fortunate that I knew SATIE and type my correspondence on a Mac, using ARIAL. And I considered both "a mess" and AHASH and wrote down the latter when it seemed clear there was a HURRICANE in the grid.

My only real hangup was in the NE, where a confidently wrote in a back "rub"and figured that "uphold" would be the answer in ADHERE's place. I don't think a PAT on the back is any kind of stroke.

A technical DNF because I did not see AAS and had aes instead, with "areole" instead of AREOLA. My bad.

GeezerJackYale48 12:13 PM  

Frank Vlasic: you are right. I struggled with a lot in this puzzle, but eventually felt pretty smug that I had solved it. That was before I looked at this blog and discovered that the very first thing I had entered: COE College, was wrong. I agree, I agree, jars have NOTHING to do with cans. Nothing. Joe College? Give me a break. That expression predates me, for gosh sakes, and I turn 88 next Wednesday. Otherwise, it was a hard slog, but that's the fun of it.

Nancy 12:23 PM  

@kitshef 8:22) -- I just love your "When you're wrestling the crocodile, you don't notice the leeches" comment. It's absolutely true for me when I solve, too.

@Mohair (11 am) -- I also had YEs before YEp and I was wondering what the hell a sOSSE was.

@lms (7:07) -- I also thought of A MESS at 33D but, unlike you, didn't write it in because I couldn't confirm it at 42A, only three letters. (Confirming it at any of the stack answers would have been impossible at that early point in my solve.) @Sheryl -- this piece of advice is for you. Writing down A MESS in such a pivotal place as 33D would have been much worse than waiting and writing nothing down. @lms seems to have recovered just fine from jumping the gun, but I might not have.

Anoa Bob 12:39 PM  

More SEINFELDia! I long ago gave up finding a rerun that I haven't seen before. Now I hope to find an episode I haven't seen at least twice. That's becoming increasingly rare.

I've heard BANZAI (not to be confused with bonsai) in the wild. I regularly took the trains when I was living and working in Japan in the 80s. Once, when I was waiting on a platform for my connection, a group of kids emerged on the platform across the tracks. They were in their school uniforms, complete with matching backpacks, and marching with a precision that would have made my boot camp company commander swoon with admiration. On a word from their leader, they squatted down with clockwork synchrony. After a short monologue, the leader, probably their teacher, shouted something and immediately all the kids yelled BANZAI! in perfect unison. They repeated this sequence two more times and then a train pulled in and I saw them no more.

Because of that I've always thought BANZAI meant something like "Hurrah" and what I had heard was a "Hip Hip" then "Hurrah" call-and-response, three-cheers chant. That memory is still crystal clear in my mind, so you can imagine how evocative TEN THOUSAND YEARS and its clue were for me.

Well, it came down to the last puzzle. Four out of the last nine grids had an "S" in the lower rightmost square and I only needed one more to win my bet on July 12 for a Labatt Blue that at least five of the next ten grids would have one there. It was close. Several "Ss" lurked in the vicinity, including JARS & ORES. But no cigar. So for all y'all who accepted the bet, have one on me. And, oh yeah, tip your server generously!

Lewis 12:39 PM  

@kitchef -- great alligator/leech line!

Okay, so I see the ASH of Ashwood and BAR (in "Barrier") of Barany, but I'm guessing it wasn't intentional.

This was a lot of fun for me. Filling in 15s and 16s, especially with just a few letters in always makes me feel like I deserve a PAT on the back. And figuring out tricky and smile-producing clues -- RPM, ASH, PAT, DRAWL, JARS, ARIAL and STICKS_AND_STONES -- always feels good. On top of that I learned a meaning of MUFTI that I didn't know, the meaning of BANZAI, and a new phrase ("making a hash of"). All this good stuff easily outweighed the few examples of iffy fill, and -- are you kidding me? -- a quad stack crossed by three grid spanners!

Not only did I have a grand old time, this was one of those puzzles that made me think hard from beginning to end, that wonderful kind of solving/thinking that gives my brain a buzz. Thank you gentlemen!

konnofromtokyo 12:41 PM  

agreed. quad stacks good but elsewhere awful. words no one uses. cosmetics franchise? please. danaides? blah.

Martín Abresch 12:48 PM  

@Rex Parker - Speaking for myself, I did not say that you should deliberately favor any constructors. I am glad that you give us your honest evaluation each day, andI have no problems with your assessment of this puzzle. I just didn't like the shade you threw with this non-speculation speculation: "I won't speculate. Martin [Ashwood-Smith]'s not usually so careless with the tops and bottoms of his centered quadstacks, is all I'm saying."

Masked and Anonymous 1:23 PM  

M&A's solution ended up a few moo-cows short of a complete rodeo, somehow. Was tryin to solve it upsides-down with the PuzEatinSpouse, in a booth at the local pancake house, tho. So … gimme a break, fast.

@RP: U maybe oughta probably encourage aspirin (make that aspiring) constructioneers whenever possible, but its yer blog, so let it rip, I reckon. I think that Barany dude might do enough encouragin for the both of U, anyhoo.

One U for each constructioneer, today. Strict rationing! Thanx for the fun, U two.


Anonymous 1:33 PM  

You know what else will fit perfectly in 3 down if you misread the clue? GREAT wall of china. After which the west side gets seriously blotchy.

Masked and Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Almost forgot: we eventually thrashed and feisted and changed-up booths once (other one had a ceiling leak), which temporarily slightly-obscured the SE part of the FriPuz grid), and got the whole puzshow filled in, but had an error. Alas and ahar.

Didn't parse EAPOE quite right, so … ended up with EAROE, thinkin maybe it was just somebody we hadn't heard of much before (yo, DAN AIDES!). Besides, "Three Pieces In The Shape Of A REAR" sounded pretty day-um good, to our ears.

Wrong again, M&A breath...

Charles Flaster 1:48 PM  

Loved it but very challenging , one error and one Natick.
Liked creative cluing for ASH and HURRICANE SEASON.
Write overs--RPM for Rca and IN ALL for IN one.
Learned a whole lot.
Thanks MAS and GB

Teedmn 1:58 PM  

A GREAT BARRIER REEF of a puzzle today with the central quad stack probably visible from space (though not living). I was pretty sure I would breeze through this since that 3D answer was something I just learned this past week and I plopped it right in. But it was not meant to be. The SW-South central section did me in. I was with @LMS and others with 49D being An EAR - after all, isn't music for the EARs? My "circumlocutory" was WinDY, my 59D camera cells had to do with "res"olution so LEE's surname was KariNEn.

And where did the 'i' come from in KariNEn, you ask? I had DANAID__ crossing _AniE at 56A and I didn't know Helen from ADAMA so I threw in DANAIDri thinking of Lorelei, a water spirit. None of this ever got fixed, so a pan-DNF. I'm just lucky I finally made 51A YEP so as to see POSSE and somehow thought of JOE College so my Cannery wasn't making cARS, like @Rex's.

Did anyone else have EL___ at 24A and decide EL CID's surname might have been Gatzoyiannis? At least I fixed that one. I hope to not create another such train wreck out of my solution in Banzai!!

Thanks, MAS and GB, it was fun to attempt this Friday challenge.

Fred Romagnolo 1:58 PM  

The way I heard it was: Debussy criticized SATIE as having no form in his music, so he responded with "Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear." The TEN THOUSAND YEARS answer was obvious to anyone who is familiar with the libretto of Puccini's Turandot, it is sung by the chorus more than once:"Dieci mille anni al nostro imperatore." i.e. Ten Thousand Years(of life)to our Emperor. I'm with @Martin Abresch and @Ellen S on the gratuitous attack on the good Professor; a man of never-ending graciousness.

Suzy 2:05 PM  

@George-- Thanks for your ever intelligent comments and your puzzle contributions! Today's was a fun extra!
Odd that we never see any puzzles by Rex, or does he have a pseudonym??

Suzy 2:13 PM  

Actually, one usually uses jars to "can" fruite and jellies.

Gene 2:32 PM  

Agree the quad stack was fine, the lower right got me. And, even though I got it, shouldn't 1D have a ?

Anonymous 2:38 PM  

Mohair Sam,

Why the surprise? Z is forever providing gratuitous information. He's a tool, providing crummy info as if it were a revelation. Linking to a wikipage? That tells you all you need to know about dear old Zed.
He and Rex deserve each other. Two know it alls.

Martin A.,
G.M. Hopkins is sublime. That would've made my day, but for your even keener observation about Rex's lousy ad hominem attack.


Sympathetic in Philly

Roo Monster 2:45 PM  

Hey All !
Tough one for me. Cracked most of it, but had to give up in SW, 54, 58, 61A left blank. Lots of PPP crosses down there, also more throughout puz. Did manage to get DANAIDES, all through crosses. But the JacksonPollock/ColePorter/___Norman trifecta did me in. Haven't even looked at correct answer grid yet, or read comments. Did like seeing the quads, with three Down grid spanners. Tough to construct and still get all the fill to make any kind of sense. But, have to agree with Rex on the outlying dreck.

Had JAred at 1D first! Tidal-TAHOE, PortOR-PASTOR.

Bruised the EGO a skosh. YEP.

IN ONE ADHERE and out the ERY

Joe Bleaux 2:58 PM  

No reply@Frank -- I accidentally keyed "reply" and, for whatever reason, couldn't exit. My comment was going to be "Oh, happy day!" Not only did I come within a letter of finishing what was for me a tough puzzle, but also didn't feel like an idiot when I read the comments and discovered I wasn't the only solver caught in the JOE/COE/JARS/CARS thicket. Fun Friday!

Lobster11 3:26 PM  

Sorry @George and @Martin, but I felt the same way as Rex about this one. I really liked the stacked grid-spanners (and cluing thereof), but the rest just contained too much icky fill and (at least for me) too many arcane PPPs.

On the other hand, I just did the "bonus" puzzle that @George linked above, and liked it much better than this one. Much smoother and less painful despite having two quad stacks!

Numinous 3:32 PM  

I had to google to get LEE KRASNER. DNF at sOSSE. The rest of it, I managed.

I greatly enjoyed seeing Monsieur des Pauvre, "The Velvet Gentleman." I speak, of course, of the author of "Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire", The inspiration for both Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie. He was, as you know, the inventor of "Furniture Music" which is now known as elevator music, the ubiquitous ambient music we hear constantly. Hell, most of us probably have some in the background even now.

I was not greatly stressed by the gluey bits as the cluing was challenging. That being the case, the quality of the solutions was inconsequential. TEN THOUSAND YEARS, gave me quite a pause and I only got it after a few crosses made it obvious. The rest of the seven long answers were pretty easy to intuit. So, I felt good about this puzzle.

Have a groovy weekend, y'all.

Alysia 3:49 PM  

I don't think you should and don't think that anything you said was "throwing shade." I feel you gave an honest, objective, impersonal critique as you would for any puzzle/constructor.

Just so's ya know.

beatrice 5:57 PM  

George B. And MAS - terrific puzzle! and I look forward to tackling 'Eight Across'.

@Martin A. - once again I agree with appreciate your articulate comments (both posts). I was about to despair at reading so many negative comments when the sun came out, bringing many expressions of enjoyment and/or appreciation - sometimes even when a section 'was a reminder that I might not be as smart as I think I am' (A_LA @Ask Gina). And ME_TOO on PIED. I first learned the word when an English Professor - also a devotee of Hopkins - assigned the poem. Still a favorite word (also 'dapple') of mine, and poem. An epitome of starkly elegant 'beauty'.

Re: the GBREEF clue kerfuffle - the only source for this clue that I saw online was on, otherwise it's called largest 'living (reef) system' or 'structure', Australian websites call it the 'largest living thing' on earth. Here is what Wiki says: 'The term organism first appeared in the English language in 1703 and took on its current definition by 1834 (OED). It is directly related to the term "organization". There is a long tradition of defining organisms as self-organizing beings.There has been controversy about the best way to define the organism and indeed about whether or not such a definition is necessary. Several contributions are responses to the suggestion that the category of "organism" may well not be adequate in biology'. That said, the clueing here that riles some commenters is, IMO, very nice wordplay; as someone here has said, clues are often hints rather than definitions. This is quite distinct (to me) from the frequent clueing in the NYT which is a fifth or tenth definition that no-one has used for a century or more. Or clueing that is tone-deaf to present-day attitudes, or to the nuances of English language, or just plain 'off'. And infinitely preferable to puns.

As to LEE_KRASNER - the movie 'Pollock' and the book it is based on are both excellent. And yes, Lee Krasner apparently chafed at her husband's fame that became GREATer than her own, but she also 'managed his estate and ensured that Pollock's reputation remained strong despite changing art-world trends'. There was a retrospective of her work in '84, and a biography of her was published in 2011. What I've seen of her work online I find compelling. But as the way(s) of the world would have it, she long was and still is known as his muse and champion.

Finally(!) I hoped our Mr.Z would come through on SATIE and his PEARS, and he did not disappoint. Since the composer is being high-lighted in today's puzzle, why not another video - the equally mysteriously named 'Gnossiennes' (1-3). Both Satie and Pollock were brilliant, eccentric, original and alcoholic. And it seems somehow impossible to imagine the 20th century without them.

Tom 6:36 PM  

Got everything but the SW corner. I wouldn't let go of YEs for 10-4. That kept me from sussing POSSE. Had ESTE and EGO and YEARS, but forgot about the many Peanuts cartoons where Snoopy wore dark glasses to play the part of JOE College. First DNF in a couple of months, and I never, ever Google or search in any other way.

Good challenge. Starting my streak again tomorrow!

Peptide McKnight 6:45 PM  

Rex's comments about this puzzle reminded me of Ted Cruz's behavior at the RNC this week.

Both Rex and Ted spoke from conviction, and both displayed the same social obliviousness that makes them look like the proverbial skunk at a picnic.

Michael 7:26 PM  

Like many others, I got the four-stack quickly but had trouble with other parts. In my case, I had problems with both the southeast and southwest. I had to google Lee Krasner's first name to get the sw. I eventually did get the se. Even though I live near Coe College and know someone who teaches there, the thought never occurred to me to fill in cars/coe. Why would cars be an ok answer for cannery row? While one might question "jars," at least it is plausible.

Agree that Rex's jab at the co-constructor was uncalled for. Just unnecessary and pointlessly snarky. But not surprising.

Tom 10:26 PM  

Aww, c'mon. Rex is the ninth master. If you have never run a blog, you wouldn't have any clue about how intense, demanding, and time consuming it is. I have. So just be thankful we have someone who cares enough to put the energy into it that we get daily free entertainment. I just sent Rex five bucks via PayPal to show my appreciation.

Let's have a little love out there!

Z 10:54 PM  

@Martin Abresch et alii - Let me acknowledge that your interpretation of the offending quip is understandable, it can be read as throwing shade. However, we could take Rex at his word. "I wonder if that had anything to do with this. I won't speculate. Martin's not usually so careless with the tops and bottoms of his centered quadstacks, is all I'm saying." I get exactly how this can be interpreted as shade, but it wasn't how I read it. Why does nearly everyone presume that "I won't speculate," means "I'm speculating?" Assume Rex isn't speculating and the next sentence is a simple statement that most of us seem to agree with, @MAS is not careless with his fill. Rex even adds "is all I'm saying" almost as if trying to forestall the "shade accusation" (I know, or winkingly acknowledging he is throwing shade). Only Rex knows what he intended and I suspect he ain't telling either way.

@MAS - I see what you did there. I approve.

Anonymous 12:00 AM  

Not sure why Rex had so much trouble with 1a. Must not have jagged rocks in neigborhood streams nor jagged edges on the knives in his kitchen. They are jagged because they have jags.

George Barany 6:00 AM  

With a good night's sleep behind me, I've had a chance to revisit @Rex's review, and the many interesting and diverse contributions from the commentariat. Thanks to so many of you--too many to single out--for your supportive comments, either expressed above, or communicated to @MAS and me off-Rex. They mean a lot to us.

Participation in these discussions is part of the fabric of my life in the crossworld, and I invariably come away enlightened, edified, and/or amused. Just about everyone involved is passionate about puzzles, and @Rex is to be congratulated for building and fostering this community. Honest, incisive, and respectful critiques are the path to improving the cruciverbal arts. @Rex does not owe me any favoritism because of my contributions to, and support of, his blog.

Crossword construction, particularly when collaborative, brings to mind the well-known idiom about making sausage. We provided a "peek behind the curtain" about this specific puzzle elsewhere [note that the puzzle was constructed two years ago], and I have written about it more generally here and here; see also this overview of the editorial process.

As for the quality of the fill, we thought that was handled for a past April Fools' with Stacked Dreck.

Mlle Gateau 7:06 AM  

Also wrote in Coe and got all excited since my father is an alum, but sadly no.

George Barany 8:43 AM  

Apologies for reposting, but version with hyperlinks might have bounced so they have now been removed. Contact me off-Rex if you are interested in them.


With a good night's sleep behind me, I've had a chance to revisit @Rex's review, and the many interesting and diverse contributions from the commentariat. Thanks to so many of you--too many to single out--for your supportive comments, either expressed above, or communicated to @MAS and me off-Rex. They mean a lot to us.

Participation in these discussions is part of the fabric of my life in the crossworld, and I invariably come away enlightened, edified, and/or amused. Just about everyone involved is passionate about puzzles, and @Rex is to be congratulated for building and fostering this community. Honest, incisive, and respectful critiques are the path to improving the cruciverbal arts. @Rex does not owe me any favoritism because of my contributions to, and support of, his blog.

Crossword construction, particularly when collaborative, brings to mind the well-known idiom about making sausage. We provided a "peek behind the curtain" about this specific puzzle elsewhere, and I have written in more general terms about quad stack construction, overall crossword construction, and the overall editorial process (all links available upon request).

As for the quality of the fill, we thought that was handled for a past April Fools' with Stacked Dreck.

Gregory Schmidt 5:38 PM  

LEEKRASNER crossing DANAIDES and APEAR resulted in a DNF for me.

spacecraft 10:53 AM  

The problem with this otherwise-easy puzzle is the lone opening into the SE corner. Of course the same can be said of the NW, but there we had the biggest gimme ever, size-wise: 3-down. Now coming to the other corner, what does "Banzai!" mean, 10,000 what? I couldn't get ANYTHING going in that damnable corner until I finally took a flyer on YEARS. Then it was YEs...I tell ya that corner is tougher than all those big 15s laid end to end. My first "thing that can be fed" was the pot, as in poker. You can feed an emu, or an elk...none of that seemed right. Then the EGO/EGRET light came on, but I still had no idea about the name in the last across. So here I am trying to figure out a "Western union?" with SO_S_. And the third letter rates to be an S as well, so SOSS_. It took me more time than the whole rest of the grid to come up with POSSE, and now I had the final natick. CARS really gave me pause, but nothing else made sense. In it went, so I'm left with a single-square DNF.

JARS? In a cannery??? OK, when you "can" things, out on the farm, sure, you put them in JARS. But the old farmstead is NOT a "cannery." A cannery is a factory where food is put into, get ready...: cans! I cry foul on that clue, to the extent that I refuse to accept the technical DNF. Man, JOE College? Yeah, he's the guy who swallowed the goldfish. Come on, man. Here's the entire football schedule for that time: Harvard at Yale; Yale at Harvard. End. Don't blow the dust off JOE College, or you'll change the pollution index to "high."

I'm not takin' it. I finished. My conscience is clear.

Burma Shave 12:39 PM  


ELENI had AMASSEDAFORTUNE in ECASH, ALA a very high roller,
and had a PLAN for MAKINGANENTRANCE INONE church while paying NOFEES.
With a WORDY DRAWL she’d flash the PASTOR APEAR of AREOLA,
then spend TENTHOUSANDYEARS in hell with a POSSE of DANAIDES.


Sailor 4:16 PM  

It took me all too long to identify ARIAL as an "alternative to Geneva." Duh. I never use Geneva, myself, but it has been around since practically forever as a basic Mac typeface. Dedicated PC users, I'm guessing, might have had a hard time with this. I do word processing on both systems, and just checked my Word font list, found 200+ fonts installed, but no Geneva. Pages has fewer fonts installed, but includes both Arial and Geneva.

Like others, I found the grid-spanning fill far easier than the rest of the grid. First time I can recall that happening. I'm thinking the PPP had something to do with that.

Speaking of which:

@Z, I believe ELENI needs to be added to the list, which pushes the calculation up to 37%, all of it outside of that central quad stack, which makes it pretty concentrated.

Also, I'm wondering why SATIE is included in the "skews old" category, when EAPOE and ESTE are not. Satie may be less well-known than DeBussy or Ravel, but he is far from obscure, and his music can be heard daily on most classical music stations. The Marchesa of Mantua, by contrast, is likely to be known by very few who have not studied Renaissance history. Just sayin'.

Diana,LIW 4:29 PM  

Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear...

A few, longer, woes kept me from getting anywhere near a clean solve. But then, I get to learn some new info/names.

And the long downs and the stack made for a fun run.

Hey @Spacey - I was at the 100th anniversary game of college football many years ago - Rutgers (Go Scarlet) vs. Princeton. Now you know the extent of my sports trivia.

@Tom - thanks for the Snoopy "Joe College" reminder!

Didn't think there was much "dreck" either while solving or after reviewing. All seemed fairly used, but I'm somewhere around the 90,000th best x-worder currently alive.

I love, love, love gnarly, gooey, misdirecting clues cause when I get the answer, I yell out "Yippie Skippy!" You probably have your own favorite response.

Today was a great example of the 10,000 types of responses amongst the commentators. Never ceases to amaze.

To each...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 4:39 PM  

What @spacey said, almost exactly, METOO. Never thought twice about cOE College because I’ve heard of it. And I made AmeSs of AHASH before HURRICANESEASON set in, so it was rather INKSTAINED over there. Along with TAHOE and PEKOE there is the much disliked EAPOE, to which it is time to say Aloha OE.

In golf league play I did once have a hole INONE.

47 YEARS ago today I played in a band that opened for JohnECASH. First ever SRO of 25,000 at the MN State Fair Grandstand. YEP.

We used to have a local band called BARRIERREEF. One of the band member’s wife was a high school flame of mine and she had caught him fooling around. At the start of the second set one night she invited me out to her car, I suppose to prove that it could work both ways. MAKINGANENTRANCE back into that dance hall was perilous, but I would REDO it in a heartbeat.

If a capt. Was in the Army he might want to be a Maj., Col., or Gen. And that 60 square still bugs me. I looked up JOE College comics, you can read the first two issues online. 1949 cornball stuff. SAD.

Z 4:40 PM  

@Sailor - I can't be sure, but I count only 25 in the list I transcribed so I think I did count ELENI. I do think you are right that SATIE fits in more with POE and ESTE in the "timeless" category than the "skews old" category.

rain forest 5:05 PM  

A nice romp in gridland today. Really liked it.

Like everyone, I found the stacks the easiest part of an overall "medium" puzzle, and the three long downs were great. I'm just wondering how you can cram TEN THOUSAND YEARS into "Banzai". I have no beef with the JARS/JOE cross. Joe may be old, but he's someone I've heard of. But again, in the wondering vein, those places where they put mayonnaise, jam, and mustard into JARs, should they be called JARrerys?

Hmm, MAS isn't usually so careless with his fill. But, I see he had a collaborator. I won't speculate. The message is clear.

A very nice Friday puzzle, and even if I had tripped up at the JOE/JAR cross, I would like it. Liking a puzzle shouldn't depend on whether you can finish it.

leftcoastTAM 7:38 PM  

Coming late and "finishing" late.

@spacecraft: Good critique.

As for me? PPPs too obscure. Indirects and misdirects too clever. Problematic clues and answers too many.

And too cheats to a big DNF.

But I'll be back.

leftcoastTAM 8:51 PM  

Yeah, I'll be back, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed because of "finishers" and "solvers" who have digitally-enabled helper apps that help make puzzles, like today's, for instance, otherwise DNFs.

For the record, I'm a pen and pen and paper solver, and believe that's the only way--without any helpers, digital or otherwise--of finishing them without cheating and, if I do cheat or have help of any kind, saying so.

Or maybe digital dumbing-down methods have become the new norm. If so, okay, I'll have the think about that.

Diana,LIW 9:29 PM  

@Lefty - I, too, post and tell when I cheat to finish. I still learn a lot with the rest of the puzzle.

And I solve with paper and PENCIL and eraser. Tried the digital route for a while and HATED it on so many levels.

So - don't think digital is the new norm for any particular thing.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for s computer to actually help!

rondo 10:24 PM  

@lefty, and the rest of us - I only solve in ink and would guess it is at a 95%+ success rate. If I have a DNF I admit it, like today's cOE. Any help whatsoever is a DNF in my book, except I once got a pass (I think from Ron Diego) for using a ketchup bottle. If the digital crew needs help, or a check, or however that works, that's a DNF. Can't do that in a tournament. I'm in it for the challenge which usually shows up about Friday, and the entertainment value which shows up to differing degrees every day. A finish with a cheat is not a solve, but as D, LIW said, to each . . .

leftcoastTAM 12:34 AM  

@lady di, @rondo:

I don't think I have made myself clear. My problem is with the "add-ins" that are part of the digital app versions of puzzles, like spell checks, error notices, "happy pencils", and the like. Such things are "helpers" that aren't usually acknowledged and are not used by or available to paper and pen/pencil solvers. Solving digitally, per se, is not a problem, even if it may speed things up.

rondo 1:05 AM  

@lefty - I think I got it. If I was solving digitally today, I would maybe have gotten an error message, or I would NOT have gotten a happy pencil, which would then have made me look for, or shown me, the error. THAT part of digital is a cheat. Not sure if digital solving is actually faster; can't imagine it would help my times.

leftcoastTAM 1:24 AM  

@rondo: Right.

Diana,LIW 1:50 PM  


You were clear. The "hints" are cheats, and make digital solving a DNF if you don't turn off the "helpers." (Which you can do.) I just went beyond the helpers to state that all the rest of digital solving...blechgh! IMHO D,LIW

Fabian 3:50 AM  

Really!? I'm disappointed in the CrossWorld. No one mentions The Suppliants, (a.k.a. The Suppliant Maidens, or The Suppliant Women,) a play by Aeschylus. The DANAIDES form the chorus and serve as the protagonists. They flee forced marriages and seek protection in Argos.
- My cunctation is due to syndication-

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