Title princess of comic opera / SAT 8-27-16 / Monogram for Christ / Yasmina two-time Tony winning playwright / Political pundit Perino / Postcard printing process for short / Biblical name meaning exalted father / Set of seven countries informally / Way down in Wayne Manor /

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Constructor: Jim Page

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: IHS (58A: Monogram for Christ) —
In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram became "IHS" or "IHC", denoting the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, IHΣΟΥΣ, iota-eta-sigma, or ΙΗΣ. (wikipedia)
• • •

Piece O. Cake, that is. My 1-Across Theory of Solving Difficulty continues to pan out, as today's 1A: Where to belt one down and belt one out (KARAOKE BAR) was completely transparent, and I ended up with a time in the low 6s. Saturday average is more in the 8-10 range. Today's puzzle made me miss yesterday's puzzle. I think this one has the slight edge as far as interesting quadrants (I liked the stacks in one quadrant yesterday, I like them in two today (NE, SE)), but the fill is kind of yucky. Like, the yuck is real yuck. Not just the sad, common yuck, but the "ew, no" kind of yuck. KETT yuck. REUNE yuck. SHEB yuck. Triple &%$^ing suffix yuck (-OIS *and* -EAN **and** -ATOR!? That is completely terrible. Massive deduction). Long Acrosses toward the center give this one some added sparkle. But, come on, ESCS are not "keys"; there is an ESC key on my keyboard. One. Singular. It is not pluralizable. See also ALTS and CTRLS and FNS. All the fun answers in the world won't matter if you're using some off-brand pseudo-Elmer's to hold it all together. Way too much junk short fill. Poor craftsmanship. Back to drawing board.

I had a couple moments of struggle, first in trying to get into the NE. No idea on IDA (22D: Title princess of a comic opera), so couldn't swing Acrosses into that quadrant. Had the bottom Acrosses, but it's really really hard to solve long answers from the back end (or can be ... statistically harder than solving them with same amount of information on the front end), so I stalled a bit. But NOV gave me OZONE HOLE, and then I slowly clawed my way into and out of that section. ATOR! [Most of the way through the alphabet?] Ugh. Also had issues with IHS / SQMI. And then I found the long Down clues in the SW all pretty hard. But the Acrosses weren't (I've actually listened to Brian ENO's "The Ship," so that was a surprise ENO-gimme). Done, ho-hum, moving on.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Ellen S 12:06 AM  

Nobody wants to say anything? Or are we back to being moderated?

I liked it because a) it's a Saturday and I could finish it! Yeah that meant it was easy, but I take what I can get. Also, b) I thought there were enough clever clues/answers that I wasn't bothered by the glue.

jae 12:07 AM  

Easy for me too. The 1994 Sat. puzzles are definitely tougher. So, if you are looking for a challenge hit the archive.

KIDDO might have been tougher with a Kill Bill clue.

TESS in the Clooney version, Beatrice in the Sinatra one.

ATed before ATOR and SEATO (does this still exist? just checked and the answer is no - dissolved in 1977 due to lack of interest, plus it was 8 nations) before STANS.

I can never remember if it's SHEB or SHEp. WINS pIG sorted it out.

I think I now know what SUR Le Table means.

Liked it. A bit more lively than yesterday's (especially the SE corner), but @Rex is right about the fill.

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

Ok, so I'm like 125 and crabby as hell, but no, just hell no to RONCO. The one, the only Pocket Fisherman was made by Samuel Popeil, not by little Ronny Popeil of RONCO fame. Little Ronny compared to S.J is like Shrub Bush compared to Papa Bush. In Papa Bush's war, he made over 60 bombing runs over Germany. In his war, Shrub made over 60 tequila runs to Mexico. Papa only came home late once, but that was when he was shot down. Shrub was late at least 10 times, all when he had to get shots for the clap he got the last time he went to Mexico. S.J invented the Pocket Fisherman, Ronny invented a way to shove two chickens into his oven instead of just one (if you get my drift).

mathgent 1:21 AM  

Rex says that ESC is not pluralizable because each computer keyboard only has one. So I suppose that the word nose is not pluralizable because each human only has one.

I thought that this was an excellent puzzle. Lots of crunch, clever cluing, a lot of uncommon entries. The two tri-stacks of tens, the two tri-stacks of nines.

Anonymous 3:19 AM  

Having GRILL instead of GRATE for "Hibachi feature" gave me fits in the NE.


Larry Gilstrap 3:33 AM  

So we went out tonight, again, and spent some time in a KARAOKE BAR and my wife and I tore up "Love Shack." Everybody there, like twelve people, was in awe. When I was in high school in the 60's, we stood outside and watched EISENHOWER and Mamie drive by in a convertible on their way back from Palm Desert to LA. Thom Yorke apparently heard about that Atoms for Peace gambit, but I digress. That same school, Glendora High just had its fiftieth opportunity to REUNE. Kinda stress inducing, actually. Lots of old people, but it's still a great town. Is it "LET IT SNOW" or "Baby it's Cold Outside" that is the creepy date rape Xmas song. or both? I, myself, never took anything that was not freely given. Speaking of trashy fill, the Gulf Coast stack seemed a bit racy to my sensibilities, particularly since I have no idea what SINE QUA NON means even with the clue and it's getting late. I always feel smart when an answer like SQMI just drops in. Mr. Page, good Saturday!

Dr. Bunger 3:39 AM  

Spent some time near the ROSS Sea, but we were headed north into the Pacific sperm whale fishery. Bloody cold there, as well.

Hungry Mother 3:58 AM  

Very fast and easy today.

Dolgo 4:17 AM  

Why do some of these clues appear twice in the same week (viz. Ronco)? Several others have occurred recently.

Marty Van B 4:41 AM  

Really enjoyed this puzzle. That is save for the SE. Holy jeepers, Batman! The Sominex brand name (new to me) crossing IHS (new to me) which crosses SINE QUA NON (new to me) were brutal blows *POW*WHAP* that I couldn't manage to overcome.

And speaking of Batman, BATPOLE was a fun answer for "Way down in Wayne Manor". Did anyone else plop down BATcave? Luckily, PORTRAIT saved me. I also like how PORTRAIT is vertical in the grid. BATPOLE should have been too now that I look at it.

Is way too early Christmas stuff also invading our puzzles now? LET IT SNOW (or is LE TITS NOW? -- in which case, it totally gets a pass and probably deserves to be a Celebrity Jeopardy category on SNL) was a mind bender for August in Texas.

Larry Gilstrap 4:51 AM  

In retrospect, I never should have included the phrase,"date rape" in a comment on a crossword blog. I apologize for trivializing this serious violation of anyone's personal rights. Creepy Xmas song would have sufficed. I hit the little trashcan but couldn't delete the comment. Sorry for the offense.

George Barany 4:51 AM  

@Rex, what may have been easy for you in @Jim Page's puzzle was Natickville for me. I remembered enough of my high school French to guess at SUR, but STANS? (OK I googled now: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, so maybe that's on me). But then ROTO/RONCO (shame on my short-term memory, that brand was previously used just two days ago), and KETT/TAL (where's the chess champion when we need him?). Also, don't ASK me how I worked out the crossing of DANA/ABRAM, but that was seriously hard on those of us not up on the latest from right-wing punditry or Biblical etymology. Other answer words like SHEB and IHS were unfamiliar, but I hardly noticed because the crossing words were OK.

The puzzle did offer several pleasures in the cluing for SITINS, EISENHOWER, SEX_PISTOLS, PORTRAIT, and ALMANACS, among others. MARS_ROVER was terrific, especially with "Opportunity, e.g." as a clue. Music clues for IDA, PIANO_WIRE, and DRUMSTICKS hit my SWEET_SPOT, and it was interesting to notice "Essential element" on two consecutive clues and neither of the answers came from the Periodic Table.

Aketi 7:28 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 7:36 AM  

@George Barany, I spent far too long contemplating chemical table options before conceding to the obvious responses.

I liked finding the MARS ROVER and the OZONE HOLE.

CREAM CICLE above SEX PISTOLS? No comment.

Now I have an ear worm of the ad song that I haven't heard since my GRAMMA (yep, pronounced it that way) and grandpa used to babysit us and force us to watch Lawrence Welk. Long before there were KARAOKE BARS you were supposed to follow the bouncing ball on all the words of the lyrics so you could sing along at home, apparently even to Sominex ads


@Nancy, since you were able t use HTML fior italics, I thought I ought to be able to use to put in a proper direct link, but it was a fail.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

Anonymous 8:46 AM  

Liked this a lot, as did many here. Agree with @Ellen S -- there were so many good clues and answers that I barely noticed the glue. Rex was way too hard on this very nice (if a bit easy) puzzle.

Tim Pierce 9:09 AM  

Funny. KARAOKE BAR was not at all transparent to me -- it was one of the last to fall, in fact, as I circled back around to the top -- but I got OZONE HOLE, MARS ROVER and PIANO WIRE almost immediately and filled them in after sanity-checking a couple of crosses.

Fair criticism on the fill but it really didn't detract from my enjoyment on this one -- really outstanding long stacks and beautiful clues generally.

Loren Muse Smith 9:10 AM  

I can't be the only one who put in "strop" 52A first.

Make America GRATE again.

Yeah, I saw the suffix triumvirate. (You could argue that 36D could be "Mass ending?") Also stopped to consider the BE prefix in BECLOUD. I kinda like that one and enjoy seeing just how far you can stretch it.

What are you gonna do with all this cornmeal? I think I'll bepone it. Have you bebuttered the cream yet?

Then you can relook at the word begin.

Nigel – Good sir, what in bloody hell are you planning to do with all this juniper?

Agreed this was pretty easy, though I had some trouble with the HIS/SQMI/SINE QUA NON part. Got'er done, though.

First thought for the fabric finish was "hard C."

@jae is so right. Those themelesses from the '90s are brutal. And not in a fun, good way. I rarely finish a Saturday from back then.

@Aketi, Nancy, here you go.

JP – I liked all the corners. And getting SPACE CADET, MARS ROVER, and OZONE HOLE. Right in the sweet spot.

jberg 9:16 AM  

First word I got was GLOM, which made me expect to love the puzzle; but I was tired of it by the end. I think EAN was my tipping point -- almost a random three letters, since iAN,cAN, and probably many others would have worked. Then when we got SQMI, I thought the constructor must be going for a pangram, but not even close.

@Aketi, not just at home -- I went to many a movie where the audience followed a bouncing ball on the screen to belt out some song or other. They ought to bring that back, give people a reason to go to the theater instead of getting the movie at home.

By the way, there are instructions for embedding links (or rather, a link to the instructions) in @Rex's FAQ.

True confession: I actually wrote in BAT hOLE before POLE.

Fun fact: Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" is a group PORTRAIT in landscape format.

SHO nuff.

AliasZ 9:30 AM  

The clue for 1A was half past too clever. I saw right through it and entered KARAOKE BAR without giving it a second thought. Trying to be too cute and misleading often backfires like this. When I got 1A so easily, I thought this will be the easiest puzzle ever for a Saturday.

Not so fast, KIDDO.

The rest did not go quite so smoothly, but eventually I managed to subdue this bad boy -- and loved most of it. I found it a classic, well proportioned and well crafted puzzle, betraying the constructor's decades of experience and love of words. Today, I think Jim Page got the ball on the SWEET SPOT of the bat.

-- BECLOUD is a lovely, evocative word. I shall try using it more often.
-- But I call those wires inside the piano strings, not PIANO WIREs.
-- Odd that REZA wasn't Pahlavi and TAL wasn't chess champion Mikhail.
-- OIS, IHS, EAN and ATOR was as bad as it got. I can live with that.
-- RONCO Thursday, RONCO again today, but at least there was no BET HERE.
-- EVIAN spelled backwards describes the person who believes it is Swiss mineral water.

Favorites: MARS ROVER, SPACE CADET, SWEET SPOT and SINE QUA NON. And as far as I am concerned, I had enough summer heat, can't wait for the weather outside to be frightful. LET IT SNOW -- and bring on the spiked eggNOG!

mac 9:30 AM  

Easy most of the way, with a few things I had never heard of: IHS, SQMI, batpole. I never would have thought of the grebe if a friends hadn't just had one flying around her house.

I'm with Loren, I like "becloud".

Oh, now I get the batpole!!

Carola 9:32 AM  

KIDDOs, I saw KARAOKE BAR when the puzzle came out of the printer and had it finished before I sat down on the couch. No, not really, but it did go awfully fast. I especially liked the clues for SIT-INS and ANNOTATES. My one re-do was Ouija before the impossible vowel-consonant series made me erase it for OMENS. The OTC drug entries this week have been a trip down memory lane: first Anacin with its pounding hammer and now "Take SOMINEX tonight and sleeeeeep....."

Teedmn 9:38 AM  

Ach, self-induced DNF today. I saw CHEAP at 51D but wrote in CHaAP. This left me with SINa__ANON in 62A. I didn't think of USS Midway so I put in SINa_cANON. I also decided that Luxembourg must have a small population of SaMI people, even though that is not an abbreviation. Ah well, sliding down the BAT POLE of cruciverbalism seems to occur on a weekly basis for me. Cheers!

Carola 9:43 AM  

@Teedmn, don't feel bad about your SaMI in Luxembourg, where they're at least on their home continent. In a previous puzzle I transplanted Tuareg from MALI to bALI.

Nancy 10:01 AM  

I really hate coming her and finding out I'm dumber than just about everyone else. I, too, saw KARAOKE BAR immediately and zipped through the NW in no time at all, already ready to come here and say it was too easy for a Saturday. And then...Yikes! I crashed and burned in the SE. BAThOLE instead of BATPOLE kept me from seeing PORTRAIT at 41D. (What in heaven's name could HOR---IT be?) And although I had SINE-U--O- at 62A, I just didn't see it. Never heard of RONCO: I was wondering CISCO??? AMOCO??? I hate product names. Wanted LITH instead of ROTO at 60A, but I also wanted PONES at 55D, so I ended up filling
in...nothing.Hadn't a clue as to IHS (58A), so, even though I had --MI, I couldn't figure out SQMI. There were definitely things I could have and should have seen -- but I didn't. A bad DNF for me.

Leapfinger 10:01 AM  

@Mathgent nose whereof he speaks (chortle). Yep, a quick KARAOKE_BAR, STRoP first, and I liked what the @Hungarian Mafia liked. Sometimes I becloud, more often I bedim.

I kept having to remember there ARNO SUR things on a Saturday. Por ejemplo:
*one cannot iNNOvATE a SPiCECADET
*MARS_RiVER is not a Thing
*the speech to the UN General Assembly wasn't made by EILENesomebody
*FabricATED/ATES; the clue shoulds been "Allig____"

Snatch a WINS_BIG the jaws from.
(@Aketi, behave yourself)

There SUR was aton of SINEQUANON on this Page's GRATE PORTRAIT, and glad we weren't hit with a PITH ON the aspidistra. That would have made me SQMIsh.

Are we a GREBE on this?

cwf 10:07 AM  

<a href="https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MUupnvWbcFw">link name</a>

Wm C. 10:15 AM  

@Anon12:51 --

Re: GW Bush (Sr.).

He made 58 bombing runs, not "over 60". And as a Naval Aviator he certainly did not fly in the European Theater of Operations ("over Germany").

And for those who care, "Stan" is an Urdu word meaning "place of," or "home of."

Mohair Sam 10:17 AM  

Sooo close to a DNF on this easy/medium Saturday. Figured one misdirect was enough for "Essential element" with PITH and sat here for a full 5 minutes trying to justify the element SINEeUANON. You see, there can't be more than 1,000 SeMI's in the tiny country of Luxembourg, can there? How clever were we? Actually aha'd SQMI before the Latin legal - so we got a twofer on the ahas.

Agree with Rex and others that the NW was incredibly easy for a Saturday, the stack practically filled itself. My oldest sister owned a deli, hence on hot summer days I feasted on CREAMSICLEs as a kid. Is it just me or are all Congressmen just some form or other of Jubilation T. CornPONE?

Am I in a parallel universe today or did I actually parse the phrase "I liked the stacks . ." from an @Rex sentence?

@LMS from yesterday - Your "dogeeseseegod" link has us howling here. Weird Al is a genius. Our youngest dragged Lady Mohair to a Weird Al concert many years back and she still laughs about it.

lg 10:30 AM  

As usual, the easier a puzzle is for Rex, the harder it seems to be for me. My easy ones are usually deemed medium by Rex. That's something I have yet to figure out.

NE corner proved very difficult for me and SINEQUANON crossed with SQMI was just torture. cOMtrEX instead of SOMINEX didn't help matters either. Also wanted SWEETShOT instead of SWEETSPOT, as in a hockey/lacrosse/etc. goal may be a "great point".

Very disappointing time, and far from easy.

QuasiMojo 10:30 AM  

@Nancy, "Ronco" was in the puzzle just the other day. So I am sure you have heard of it. :) I too was a bit squeamish about "sqmi" -- weird abbreviation and one I seriously doubt you'd find in Lux. I wanted Opera or Theatre Bar instead of Karaoke Bar, but not to be. As for Princess Ida, Rex, she is pretty standard crosswordese. Surprised you did not know her. I'd have preferred Ida Lupino. OreIda...

howardk 10:33 AM  

Roto printing is for long runs like magazines not postcards.

howardk 10:33 AM  

Roto printing is for long runs like magazines not postcards.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

@Anonymous 12:51AM

I loved everything about your post (especially the shout-out to Sam Popeil), HOWEVER:

George H W Bush was a carrier-based aviator in the Pacific during World War II. If he was making bombing runs over Germany he was getting insanely good fuel mileage out of his Grumman TBF Avenger, and he probably wasn't torpedoing Berlin either.

Otherwise great!

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

[Re: theme] For many, the academic year is beginning this Monday. The puzzle has a nice mix of consonants. But there is an odd feature. Jim Page must be a teacher, and he will distribute this puzzle to his students. Being an old-fashioned teacher, he will sternly tell them: and remember, this is the last time you will see no Fs.

Cheerio 10:59 AM  

Will someone please explain SQMI and what it has to do with Lux?

Floregonian 11:01 AM  

I had BAT CAVE before BAT POLE. I just misread "way down" to mean "far down" instead of "method down." GRILL instead of GRATE, too. And I can't look at SQMI any more. What an ugly, ugly abbreviation.

I also had the weirdest time with OZONE HOLE. I'm in my 40s—so was in school right through the middle of the OZONE HOLE scare, but I never once remember it being called that. "There's a hole in the ozone," people would say, "and CFCs are to blame." I knew full well that everyone was going to have to give up their Aquanet hairspray, but I didn't know that it was a fully normalized, capitalizable thing. But then I looked it up on Google, and there's a National Geographic article that has the Ozone Hole in the title. How did I miss this?

The crazy thing, too, is that that was my way into the NE, same as Rex. I saw "OLE" and threw it in there. But when I did, I thought, "this can't be right, but I guess it is." Color me corrected.

Tim Pierce 11:09 AM  

@cheerio: Luxembourg ("Lux." for short) has an area of about 1,000 square miles (SQMI for short).

Cheerio 11:16 AM  

@Tim Pierce, thanks! Pretty sneaky. Didn't see that period. If I had, I wouldn't have thought of Luxembourg . If I had, I would not have known its size and I wonder why you would measure it in British units . Then there is the misdirect to the SI unit for lux. Yikes!

Mike Rees 11:17 AM  

@Nancy, it's not just you. I came here expecting the puzzle to be panned, but the "easy" rating set me back on my heels. I was DNF all over the damn place. NE and South Central. BECLOUD? REUNE? These are words? Also got jammed at SQMI, also had GRill for GRATE, and Grip for GLOM. That song lyric rattled around in my head for hours before the eventual aha.

For me this was both ugly and impossibly hard. Just not in my sphere of knowledge.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Lux is Lux., i.e. Luxembourg, and its sqmi (square miles) is 998, according to my Funk and Wagnalls. I complain constantly about the NY Times puzzles (too much pop culture, etc.), but in the better ones, like this one (too easy for a Saturday, however), I learn a little something, e.g. that Eisenhower gave an "arms for peace" speech, and that Luxembourg has about 1000 square miles. To be sure, this information is for me now useless, but one never knows.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Pianos have STRINGS not wires!

old timer 11:34 AM  

Nothing wrong with SHEB. Of course OFL was just a gleam im his father's eye (if that) when Purple People Eater came out. I was in junior high and remember the song well.

Started Easy for me too, thanks to KARAOKE BAR which went right in. The entire NW would have been done in a few seconds except I misread where the Spanish clue was and put in "Pasa" in 19A before going to TAL in 20A. DANA I got only on crosses. In the SW I foolishly wrote in PIANO "keys" before remembering that the keys move the hammers that hit the WIREs. d

Hands up for having BAT "cave" before POLE.

Gotta say, this puzzle was a dream for those of us in our 70's. SHEB Wooley, "LET IT SNOW" EISENHOWER, SOMINEX, even the SEX PISTOLS whom I at least read about in Rolling Stone.

Hartley70 11:35 AM  

Nope, I'm dumber @Nancy, but I do it with style. My first entry was CarlyleBAR, even though I knew it was a Cafe. KARAOKE was the last correction I made. I know KARAOKE exists because of television but I've never seen one, kind of like a quark, but less exciting.

I made all the aforementioned errors. BATcave to hole to pole. Sami (hi Teedmn!) to zip because I never got SQMI at all and had to take a DNF. Didn't get past the blasted periodic table that I still haven't memorized because I still haven't ironed. I stared at SINEQUANON for a ridiculous amount of time trying to sound it out as an element. Why can't I ever remember the initials used for Jesus? I have the I then go blank, despite having spent countless hours staring at an altar.

A pox on all of you who pronounced this puzzle easy. Actually, I'd rather see pox as fill than OREO used one more time. There is nothing more to say about that poor cookie.

If I had some SOMINEX, I'd take it and have some "restful sleep, sleep, sleep".

Floregonian 11:36 AM  

@anonymous 11:21 Its actually quite commonly called "piano wire." String is perfectly acceptable, too, but there's nothing wrong with "wire" instead.

Cheerio 11:37 AM  

I was able to do the puzzle today except for that Lux SQMI area. My family is sitting here joking away that they figured the puzzle must be easy since I got as far as I did.....

seanm 11:39 AM  

surprised again to find out so many had such an easy time with this one. definitely in the medium challenging for a Saturday category for me. and this is after for once having my fastest Friday ever yesterday while hearing it was hard in the comments. this one took me more than 3 times as long as yesterday's (22 vs 72 min). I'm thinking it has to do mostly with the amount of crossword glue, and for the old pros they can stick them right in without thought, but for me just coming up on my first year of cruciverbaling they're not quite second nature yet

Barbara B. 11:39 AM  

If we're going to be discussing the taxonomy of Shrubs, I'd like to suggest the strain thinned considerably after B. prescottiensis.

Cheerio 11:47 AM  

@seanm - your assessment is probably correct

Leapfinger 11:54 AM  

I had always thought IHS stood for 'In Hoc Signo'. Oh well, L and L...

(P'raps now we can switch from politics to religion.)

Alysia 12:00 PM  

Square miles in Luxembourg.

Rex Parker 12:03 PM  

Long anonymous political screeds, if I find out about them, get Dee-leted. Post haste. Stop being the comments section cliché, old white guys. Please. Thanks!


Alysia 12:07 PM  

Can someone please explain ATOR to me? The way it's clued, I would assume it's a suffix of some sort. But I've never heard of satinator or cottonator. And "fabric" ends with a "c," from which I absolutely cannot parse ATOR.

I was half hoping that as I typed this, the a-ha! moment would come. No such luck today.

John Lydon 12:09 PM  

@Anonymous 11:16AM/George Wood, come November I'll be glad to offer you a hearty "vaya con Dios."

Rex Parker 12:13 PM  

FABRICATOR ... is a word, sadly

Alysia 12:15 PM  

As in...one who fabricates. Holy crap. It was really that simple...and I was reading into it far more than necessary.

Thanks. :)

Lewis 12:17 PM  

Like others here, I found some clues (KARAOKEBAR, DRUMSTICK, SITINS, PIANOWIRE) and answers (GLOM, SWATHE, CREAMSICLE, and SWEETSPOT) quite pleasurable. I also like the backward NAIVE crossing I_BELIEVE_SO.

There were some quick-to-fill zones and some trudge territory. The overall experience was of a nice workout, the work of not a Saturday sadist, but of one who, after throwing some significant flak in the way, happily lets the solver win.

Masked and Anonymous 12:17 PM  

Solvequest seemed to go awful smooth, for a SatPuz, at our house. I ain't gonna knock SHEB, as that was our first entry to the board. SHEB Wooley also sang "Purple People Eater", btw. Then we tried URSA instead of ASIA, due to the when-in-doubt-use-U rule. M&A knew GREBE (maybe from one of Mr. Page's 20th-century puzs), greased up the BATPOLE next, and away we went.


PIANOWIRE had a neat clue.

ATOR. wow. Gives a certain desperate "gloss" to the rodeo. [yo, 35-Down ... for some unknown reason?]

Superb litter of weejects: EAN. Better clue: {Dean whose head just ain't in the game??}. OIS. So … Quebecois is a thing? Can it be cured? IHS. Actually, it was originally ΙΗΣ. Close enough, I reckon. Also stands for "Illinois High School". SHO. Flix. har. These cable dudes can't spell any better than M&A does.

Thanx, Mr. Page. Big SEXPISTOLS fan at the KARAOKEBAR, huh?

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Maruchka 12:20 PM  

More teas-y than eas-y, here. I mEAN, so iffy. Struggled to find a common PITH wheelhouse with Mr. Page. Made me feel like a SPACE CADET. I guess just barely finishing earns a low C.

Fav of the day - SINE QUA NON. I've loved 'QUA' since 'Godot'. Crrr-itic!

@LMS - LOL. this election year makes my brain GRATE.

@Nancy - boy, do I hate 'em too. Bor-ing..

Chaos344 12:22 PM  

Agree with Rex for the most part, although I liked it a bit more than he did. Some of the fill was atrocious, but most of it filled easily from crosses. There were several big "wheelhouse" clues for just about every generation spanning the last 70 or 80 years. One of those clues was 1A, and like Rex, I filled it in immediately.

Multiple posters have been mentioning the fact that as of late, we are seeing the same puzzle answers appear two or three times in a very short span. There was a theory that Will recently ran amateur week to encourage more participation by younger people. I theorize that Will is doing the same thing this week, by bringing attention to the fact that, (depending on the day) the same puzzle answers can be made easier or more difficult by the cluing. We went through a three day WET spell. It probably caused a great deal of consternation on the part of @LMS, our resident MUSE? By her own admission, the word WET makes LMS feel "Icky." I guess you had to BETHERE? She did post that she was happy the period of precipitation had past. Today RONCO appears again, and @Anonymous 12:51 AM is super pissed at the clue! These three examples are just off the top of my head. There have been a spate of others. Anyone think my theory holds water, or am I just ALLWET?

@jae: I think the archives have proved that the "era difficulty level" issue has been laid to rest. Pretty much everyone agrees that the late week puzzles of 15 or 20 years ago were much harder to solve. Those going back to the Maleska era are even more difficult.

@Anonymous 12:51 AM

Dude! You need more sleep! Stop trying to solve late week crosswords in the wee hours. Take a SOMINEX and go to bed. While I'm at it, stop trying to blame your age. I'd be surprised if you are much older than I am.

First of all, the clue for 53D says the "MAKER" of the Pocket Fisherman. Not the inventor, designer or creator. It is logical to assume that the company started by Samuel Popeil's son might hold the patent or marketing rights to his father's creation, but aside from that, the clue is still correct.

Secondly, stop putting out bogus information on this blog! As little as today's Millennials know about history, a young solver might take what you say as actual fact. George H.W.Bush was a naval aviator who flew all of his combat missions in the Pacific theater. He was shot down and pulled out of the drink by my fellow submariners on the USS. Redfin. He never flew a single combat mission over Germany, let alone a bombing run! I seriously doubt that any naval aviator did, since naval combat aviators in WWII were almost exclusively fighter pilots deployed in the pacific.

As far as Bush The Younger is concerned, it's obvious that you are still suffering from BDS, aka Bush Derangement Syndrome. Don't worry! If you haven't succumbed to it by now, you're probably out of danger. If you're on any other age related medication relating to brain function, I highly recommend more diligence in following dosage requirements!

You're turn codger! ;-)

Chaos344 12:31 PM  

@Anonymous 11:21 AM. Ever heard of anyone being garroted with a PIANO STRING?

phil phil 12:35 PM  

Soprano's option maybe

It was tougher for me because though it filled in, I didn't see SINE QUA NON until reading the comments here. Throughout the solve and after solving I was looking for some new quarky physics particle ___ON like boson or gluon etc.

I liked it because the misdirects and such were aha moments and I finished, yea! Though KETT TAL was a guess. Wasn't Kett a cartoonist?

Nancy 12:37 PM  

Thanks, @Quasi, for reminding me about RONCO appearing in a very recent puzzle, but it turns out that my short-term memory is no better than @George B's. RONCO (whatever it is) seems to be something that my brain has absolutely interest in remembering -- so I fully expect to forget it again, whenever it raises it's arcane little head. @Mike Rees and @Hartley -- Thanks for reassuring me that I'm not all that dumb. I had begun to worry.

I forgot to say in my first post that I have a real problem with ANNOTATES as the answer to 35D. If I want to give something I've written "a gloss", I'll polish it -- just as I would glassware, silver or shoes. If I want to give the reader additional information, background, or details, then I'll ANNOTATE it. In fact, heavily ANNOTATED prose can be some of the most tediously unglossy prose you've ever read. I even went to my Webster's to see if I was mistaken. But I'm not mistaken.

phil phil 12:37 PM  

LUX? Shouldn't that answer be in hectares. I think a non metric country would be a correct clue

Charlotte 12:38 PM  

Please, please stop that silly grading system! It's the antithesis of everything that makes puzzles so much fun. I remember a social studies class senior year in high school. Sister Theresa Marie had us all subscribe to the National Observer and would give us an hour to read the paper. For me it was heaven as I'd use the hour to work the crossword. One day I was deep in the puzzle and didn't notice Sister standing there looking over my shoulder. I turned around expecting to be chastised for my un-studious activity. But no, she thought it was amazing I could do that puzzle, in ink! At graduation I got the social studies award and I'm convinced it was the puzzle and not my test grades what done it.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Long, yes.
Anonymous, no. George Wood
Political, yes.
Screed, your opinion.
Fabricator, or what?
@John Lydon 12:09 PM, I guess if she wins I'll give you a hearty, "vaya con Diablos."

Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Long, yes.
Anonymous, no. George Wood
Political, yes.
Screed, your opinion.
Fabricator, OF what?
@John Lydon 12:09 PM, I guess if she wins I'll give you a hearty, "vaya con Diablos."

GILL I. 1:05 PM  

Ooof...Not so easy for me....But I Loved This Puzzle. I give myself lots of time on a Saturday. Cup of coffee, maybe a bagel with a schmear of whatever is on hand, Academix pen in hand, favorite chair and at least an hour all to myself to hopefully smile and aha my way around the puzzle. Well, that is what happened today.
KARAOKE BAR may have been the grand entrance for lots of you. For the life of me I could not get Max's Opera Cafe out of my head. I had the OIS and the KETT but the light bulb remained dim. Onward to my favorite SPACE CADET and MARSROVER. I had to work hard - letter by letter- in lots of places, but I didn't mind at all. This was a very gettable Saturday even if I didn't know any of the proper names other than KETT. This kind of puzzle I just love. Not even the ESCS bothered.
I watched Rawhide a few times back in my pre gerontolgy age. All I remembered was Clint Eastwood. SHEB wasn't as handsome.
Qhe TAL?....muy bien, gracias.

Alysia 1:11 PM  

@nancy - an alternate definition for gloss is "A brief explanatory note or translation of a difficult or technical expression usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text or manuscript".

Used in verb form, 'tis almost an exact synonym for "annotate."

Aketi 1:17 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
r.alphbunker 1:19 PM  

In the north, I entered GRill for {Latch (onto)} and GRab for {Hibachi} and then headed south where I prospered.

I feel your pain because I finished with a blatant misspelling of IBELIiVESO after confusing Eartha KiTT with Etta KETT which can only happen in a crossword puzzle. Here is the full story

Aketi 1:29 PM  

Blogger Aketi said...
@LMS who put in the direct link and @jberg many thanks for the help. I tried to thank you earlier but my post didn't take or perhaps because our internet was a bit fussy or because I drifted into to OT territory?

I see in the meantime there are a hug number of new posts that I started to skim and I noticed some offered more suggesstiond. Again thx.

FYI, I actually did read how you're supposed to do it first, and I triple checked my entry but it kept objecting to the "https://" part of the weblink. I eventually will get it right, but not today cuz it looks like there are a ton of comments to read.

Joe Bleaux 1:37 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 1:38 PM  

BAT POLE and STRAP, Again no comment.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Fun! Enjoyed it far more than fearless leader if for no other reason than I minced through it Zorro style in personal record time. For what seems like a first in 15 years, *everything* was in the wheelhouse. Some great cluing on the prime fill, but my inner Zorro picked up on every feint and misdirection..

Joe Bleaux 1:53 PM  

@Weird Al, re yesterday's geese: DOH! The old palindrome! I shoulda got it without help, but thanks much!
PS -- To anyone who cares: Sheb Wooley indeed recorded "Purple People Eater," but you may well have heard him at the movies. A stock male scream that's been used in more than 250 films is believed to be his voice; Google some combo of Wooley/scream/movie/Wilhelm.

Numinous 2:11 PM  

@Aketi, @Beatrice, and anyone else who wants to post a direct link, read this.
It's raeally very easy and there is only a little bit to remember and you can bookmark it if you forget.

Passing Shot 2:19 PM  

BATcave before BATPOLE, GRILL before GRATE, hItSBIG" before WINSBIG. Liked MARSROVER. Learned a new word -- GREBE. An okay puzzle but too much filler and SWEETSPOT /= "great point."

Leapfinger 2:36 PM  

@Aketi: Point taken. I'll stop telling you to behave.

I gather from your university-visiting jaunts that the Aketi-scion has crossed Dook off his list? Too bad; we could've had fun when you came down to visit.

Aketi 3:02 PM  

@Leapfinger, DOOK is still in the top two of a list of 12 that remain on his list out of the 22 he visited. I visited 19 with him. I felt like such a SPACE CADET on the Midwest tours that I was more than happy to stat home and let him visit Boston with his friends and their parents. As a result he visited and an extra school to his already lengthy list. I'm hoping that the sheer volume of "supplemental essays" required by many of the universities on the list will eventually inspire him to whittle the list down to 8-10.

rorosen 3:03 PM  

I like the precision of this grading system.

Numinous 3:28 PM  

When I went back to Australia in 1989, everybody was worried about the OZONE HOLE which was directly above and it would appear that. Australia is the world capital of melanoma. When I worked as a news film editor, we cleaned the fil that was about to go in air with rags soaked in freon. So, I guess I did my part (but in the late '60s and early '70s, who knew?).

I did just great until the NE. KARAOKE BAR went right in KETT did too. I knew the name from the funny papers but have no idea about her.
I had to smile at the aha that came with SQMI since I'd thought of SaMI too. But SINE-UANON cleared that one up. I utterly blanked when I got to the NE and after taking a break decided to google for REZA. I already had ----SNOW, HOLE, and OVER. Getting REZA gave me OZONE and the rest opened up from there.

I guess I posted the a href=" link too soon. I still don't get how folks find that difficult but then, I've written buggy code myself in the past and had a terrible time trying to find the error.

I thought this was pretty good and didn't mind the glue. In fact, I appreciated it as it gave me big hints to the longer answers. Jim Page seems pretty old school to me but with 153 puzzles over 42 years, should I be surprised? But for solutions like MARS ROVER, OZONE HOLE, KARAOKE BAR, SEX PISTOLS, and SPACE CADETs I might have expected him to be the Oisk of constructors. BTW, over at xwordinfo, he has a nice little mini essay on the early days of constructing.

Anonymous 3:38 PM  

To Nancy at 12:37. The notion of glossing as annotating was deeply rooted in Medieval (and others') culture. Whenever you see a Medieval manuscript with annotations in the margin (or interlinear ones), those are glosses. Sometimes the glosses would be written up into whole new works. If the new work had an impact, it then in turn would be glossed. In the Renaissance and Reformation, humanists and reformers complained about intellectual culture as being glosses upon glosses (as they said we should get back to original sources). To be sure, the humanists and reformers could not resist the temptation to gloss themselves. The term "gloss" derives from a Greek word for a foreign word or the tongue.
The more common notion of "glossing" as polishing has a whole other history, with the term, I believe, Scandinavian in origin.

Dick Swart 3:43 PM  

A very nice Saturday!

For some reason, I find the long sets of three downs in the NE and SW, and the long sets of three across in the NW and SE to be very pleasing just in the sound of the words.

Kenneth Shinozuka 3:50 PM  

Strongly disagree with you on this one, Rex. This was probably one of the best Saturday puzzles I've ever solved, though my crossword experience is certainly more limited than yours. There's not a single drab entry in any of the long acrosses and long downs (with perhaps the single exception of LET IT SNOW), and I was incredibly satisfied when I finally got KARAOKE BAR, MARS ROVER, SINE QUA NON, and I BELIEVE SO after a fair - but not inordinate - amount of struggle. The clues for those answers were also remarkably clever, the mark of a truly experienced and astute crossword constructor; who would ever guess on their first try that a PIANO WIRE is something that hammers hit, or that the "gloss" in "gives a gloss" refers to an annotation? SPACE CADET takes advantage of a rather arcane definition of "airhead," making it perfect for Saturday-level difficulty. The term OZONE HOLE might seem frustrating because of its obscurity, but is rendered enjoyable by the amusing clue "opening for an E.P.A. worker?" Also, shout-out to BATPOLE for its youthful snappiness.

Chaos344 4:18 PM  

@12:03 PM, Rex Parker said:

"Long anonymous political screeds, if I find out about them, get Dee-leted. Post haste. Stop being the comments section cliché, old white guys. Please. Thanks!" [End Quote]

Many kudos to you Rex! May I humbly suggest that you expand your edict to include any political screed, anonymous or otherwise? You might even consider expanding said oversight to include posts that aggressively promote a particular agenda, or proselytize about certain ideologies that attempt to define the very wide spectrum of Political Correctness and Social Justice?

I realize that my later suggestions might hit a little too close to home, since you often use your position as blog owner/operator to champion your own views on those exact issues. Hell, if I owned a blog with your readership, I'd probably do it too! It still wouldn't be right.

Having said that, I've come to realize that you obviously love and respect the concept of free speech, as opposed to only the speech that you agree with. I have seen you allow posts that personally attack you in the most vehement manner. It's nice to be able to listen to the choir in another church and appreciate it, right?

Great job Rex!

Anonymous 5:08 PM  

The strings in string instruments are made of various materials. The piano is a string instrument. Its strings are made of piano wire. Once the wire is in the piano it is a string. In the context of the puzzle the hammer hits the string. The definition of PIANO WIRE is "strong steel especially for piano STRINGS". Yes Chaos344 it would be hard to wrap that piano around somebody's neck.

Anonymous 5:09 PM  

Amen brother. George Wood.

Chaos344 6:48 PM  

Anonymous@5:08 PM:

Lighten up my friend. Have you ever heard the expression "tongue in cheek?" Should I have put a winking Smiley Face after my post?

I never said that the clue was technically incorrect. Nor, as you projected, did I claim that you could "wrap a piano around someone's neck" I said, that it would be difficult to strangle someone with piano string. It would also be very difficult to drive a nail with a piano hammer, and its also very unlikely that a fly would lay it's eggs on catgut, no?

stevie pic 8:02 PM  

Yeah, well...there are only two ways the strings get played on the piano...the fingers strike the keys...and the hammers strike the strings. Sounds a lot like a percussive situation to me...

Black eyed Susan 8:12 PM  

I'm discouraged. I've been doing these darn things for going on three years. I circled 12 clues that were proper names that I had no idea about. I'm older and educated but ROSS sea? Yasmina REZA? (and I go to the theater often). I get that you're supposed to figure those out from the crosses, but Saturday clues are pretty hard. Give me a puzzle with no proper names or at least fewer. This just wasn't fun. And I am in awe at how many of you found it easy, Oh well, I'll keep slogging away. Thanks for the entertaining (and instructive) comments anyway.

Rex Parker 8:57 PM  


Thanks for the kudos, but you are one of the most frequent screed-writers yourself. You are not generally a mean-spirited person, but you hold forth at length, repeatedly, and appear to enjoy demeaning those opinions you don't agree with as "SJW" (a truly stupid and useless term used, as far as I can tell, by *very* sensitive people who don't like it when others demonstrate sensitivity). Calling my friends "minions" also does not speak well for you. You could try to be more tolerant, more decent, more nuanced in your manner of disagreement. So could everyone. Political opinions in comments sections are fine by me, but sneering dickishness really isn't.

My dad's a conservative, my mom's a liberal, so I'm used to getting along with very different kinds of people, largely because I'm used to people showing respect for one another. Comments sections tend to be taken over by people who can't let Any opinions they disagree with go, and who Loooove the sounds of their own voices (overwhelmingly older white men) (see the data involved in NPR's recent decision to ditch comments entirely). Only <1% of my readers ever comment, though some slightly greater percentage certainly peruse the comments, so I don't want to go full NPR. But I wish everyone would consider, before going after someone, if they aren't just making the atmosphere worse for everyone. And if you're gonna go after someone, for god's sake go after me. Going after people who are covering for me while I'm sick, or while my daughter is sick ... that is a terrible look.


Nancy 9:35 PM  

Thanks to @Alysia, @Anonymous 3:38, and @Mathgent (off-blog) for your "gloss" explanations. My mistake was in assiduously checking the word ANNOTATE in my Webster's, while never once thinking to check the word "gloss." Now, after reading you all, I went to my (1979) dictionary and son-of-a-gun, there it is: the "annotate" meaning of gloss. Clear as a bell and very well established in the language. Not some awful Internet slang that I was prepared to inveigh against. You learn something new every day, and I certainly did in this instance.
Special thanks to Anon 3:38 for taking the trouble to provide such a scholarly, historical and interesting explanation.

Giovanni P. 9:41 PM  

18:35 for me with a couple of errors. Some nice long stuff for sure, but 8 can see how the fill would be questionable. I shall get these puzzles solved consistently clean one day...

Nancy 10:23 PM  

Old white guys, Rex???? Really???? Are we reading the same blog? While I don't know the ages of most of the commenters here, there's a sizeable list of men who have copped to a reasonably advanced age. And every single one of them is as as polite, as tactful, as considerate, as soft-spoken, as gallant (in the courtly, medieval sense of the term) as you could possibly want. Shall I embarrass them by naming a few of them? Let's see: There's @Mohair Sam & @Mathgent & @oldtimer & @Fred R. & @Geezer Jack & @the Yale alumni, whatever his blog name is. If I haven't mentioned any of you other charming and delightful older men, it's 1)because I don't have a memory like everyone else and 2)because I may have no idea whatsoever how very old you really are:) If you are old, as well as charming, delightful and unfailingly pleasant, please forgive me for leaving you out. But, Rex, don't generalize, please, about the men of my generation (or thereabouts). Most of them have done nothing to deserve it.

Nancy 10:26 PM  

Oh, and I forgot @OISK. Please forgive me, OISK.

Anonymous 10:40 PM  

Sorry folks. One day blogger. I can hear the applause from here.
@Chaos344, at least you tried! I never did get a response about what I FABRICATed as a FABRICATOR.
@ Rex
Totalitarianism is also a word. Your blog, your rules. Got it. My mothers family escaped Hungary during the '56 revolution trying to escape this kind of nonsense. Grandpa drilled it in so I wouldn't forget. They hiked out of Hungary, to Austria, and beyond, a la Sound of Music. They came here LEGALLY in 1958. Don't give me your whining. And to think I stumbled onto intellectuals.

Karl Bradley 11:09 PM  

First of all, as another commenter noted, the Pocket Fisherman was a Popeil product, not Ronco. Secondly, Usually when I have a DNF, it is due to one stubborn letter. The NE in this puzzle was my personal storm of ignorance. REZA? ATOR? GLOM I had, but deleted because I could not get anything going in that corner. The downs were just as inscrutable for me...

Reading carefully is a good thing 11:12 PM  

@Nancy - Rex is referring to comments sections of blogs in general that have been taken over "by people who can't let Any opinions they disagree with go, and who Loooove the sounds of their own voices (overwhelmingly older white men)". He is not talking about all older white guys, just those who frequent blogs looking for something to disagree with. As you point out, the vast majority of contributors to this particular blog do not fit that description and I'm positive that Rex was not talking about them in his post.

Anonymous 11:41 PM  

Don't listen to them. "Reading carefully is a good thing" is just a surrogate for Rex. Again, my post was taken down and my question as to why was never answered. I have never posted on ANY blog before today. I don't go around looking to be offended. It is projection on their part thinking that people do the thing they would do. Keep taking a stand against people who need to control everything, no matter who they offend. That includes people of all sexes and ethnicity. George Wood

Andrew Heinegg 11:51 PM  

LMS, it is way too late for anyone to see this post but, I absolutely loved your make America grate again. Thanks to the Trumpster, we are grating all the time.

I confess that I took forever to finish this puzzle that so many others found almost too easy for a Saturday.I liked many of the answers including space cadet, sine qua non and Sex Pistols although I admit to thinking they were trash as music makers. Finally, I thought Rex was too harsh by some with the C rating. While there were some yucks as pointed out, there was more good than bad and, unlike so many others, I had to persevere to succeed. I like to do that.

Andrew Heinegg 11:52 PM  

LMS, it is way too late for anyone to see this post but, I absolutely loved your make America grate again. Thanks to the Trumpster, we are grating all the time.

I confess that I took forever to finish this puzzle that so many others found almost too easy for a Saturday.I liked many of the answers including space cadet, sine qua non and Sex Pistols although I admit to thinking they were trash as music makers. Finally, I thought Rex was too harsh by some with the C rating. While there were some yucks as pointed out, there was more good than bad and, unlike so many others, I had to persevere to succeed. I like to do that.

Anonymous 12:56 AM  

Most of you are great! However, some are the most vile people I've had the displeasure to read. To the open minded, good luck here. To the others: Veni, vidi, vomiti.

paulsfo 5:46 AM  

I agree with mathgent about escs being fairly similar to noses but, beyond that, Rex said " ESCS are not "keys"; there is an ESC key on my keyboard. One. Singular. It is not pluralizable. See also ALTS and CTRLS and FNS."

On a PC keyboard it is *standard* to have two ALT keys and two control keys. Of course, since PCs didn't exist 1000 years ago, I can't expect Rex to know this.

Giovanni P. 5:52 AM  

Jesus Christ with that totalitarianism comment. AND accusations of shilling! WTG man.

Sorry, I couldn't resist chiming I'm again, but you'd think this was 1984 by that comment.

kitshef 11:15 PM  

Easy, but not much fun.




Good stuff: CREAMSICKLE, clue for SEXPISTOLS.

Z 8:58 AM  

@rainforest - From two days ago... I take your point. However, I always found it easier to tap into the hidden idealist in a cynical veteran teacher than the non-existent experience of a rookie. As long as they still liked kids I found most of the cynicism could be be valuable perspective.

spacecraft 11:57 AM  

I find it hard to believe that anyone who ventures onto this site--presumably well-educated souls all--would be stumped by SINEQUANON. Latin is a SINEQUANON of a good education. OTOH, I had no clue that the SEXPISTOLS had won a Grammy, let alone refused it. I kept trying to fit the Steve Miller Band in there...of course the year isn't right, but you'll recall how much of a SPACECADET I am regarding timelines. IMO, the SMB remains one of the best bands of the R&R era.

Speaking of rockers, our constructor couldn't be the Led Zeppelin guitarist...could he? Now THAT would be fascinating.

OFL's easy rating raises my IRE. Personally, I think anybody who finishes this baby WINSBIG. Hand up for the GRill-before-GRATE confusion. I will go along with OFL on some of the suffix-y fill, and lemme tell ya I stared at SQMI for a while, certain I had fouled up somewhere, before it hit me. #headslap

Triumph factor again huge; short fill...well, I don't know how much of that you can fix and retain all those marvelous long entries, but I bet PB1 could "clean it up." DOD TESS (Julia Roberts) was to Matt Damon--and to me--"the best part of my day." Big first down; woulda been more if the guy hadn't stepped out of bounds. I haven't seen this constructor's name before--I would've noticed!--so kudos if this is a debut.

[I didn't take anything off for KARAOKEBAR. It remains my opinion that Karaoke is the single worst entertainment idea ever invented.]

Burma Shave 12:16 PM  


in his MARSROVER car.
Don’t ASK if they’re SINEQUANON for SEXPISTOLS licks
down at the KARAOKEBAR.


RONdO 12:46 PM  

Yeah, the 1a gimme, but another hand up for Grill and an obscure BlotOUt for BECLOUD before fixing. If I hadn’t seen that IHS every Sunday for 20 years there coulda been trouble down there. SEXPISTOLS a gimme for real music fans.

Once again RONCO just edges me out of being an answer. And this puz fell on my birthday 5 weeks ago. Don’t ASK how many.

The award winning yeah baby Yasmina REZA is closer to my age than the TESS playing Julia, so she’ll win that SWEETSPOT for today. Isn’t REZA usually clued something to do with a Shah? IBELIEVESO.

The Ryder cup is fascinating. And you can see just how nice Oct 1 can be in MN. Not a frozen tundra. Tomorrow there may BECLOUDs. Just a few.

There ARNO big complaints except maybe those suffixes. Loved the clue for SITINS.

BS2 1:35 PM  

BTW - if memory serves and the math is correct, for days with consecutive verses IBELIEVE today is #600

leftcoastTAM 3:52 PM  

Not a good solving day, but Rex made it interesting with his comments on commenting etiquette.

Had to cheat my way out of the NE, and wanted BOXINGRING instead of KARAOKEBAR in the NW. It didn't work.

Trouble elsewhere with ESCS plural and the unknown SHEB.

There were some things I liked about it, but still no fun.

leftcoastTAM 4:24 PM  

@BS2--Congrats on your DCth (non-random RRN) verse.

Diana,LIW 4:42 PM  

Stop - hey - what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down

The sound is my forehead hitting the desk as I discover, here, the SQMI SINEQUANON cross. Of course! Again, I doth doh! I was focused and fooled by the essentially elementalistic nature of the clue. Trying to be all scientific like.

So after wrastling this to the ground, I was quelched by a Q. Qwazy!

I could not believe GLOM was appearing in the NYTX, but finally tried it and liked it.

And now, the news. Did you know the Peeps peeps were on strike? They're back on the job, but still negotiating. And the author of, "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner" has passed away at age 87. And another sad note, NYC's famed Carnegie Deli is closing its doors at the end of the year. No more Nova from them...

I have reread my post, and find it to be pithy and polite, or politic, in a non-political way.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords and Election Day

rain forest 5:04 PM  

So much from which to refrain comment today. I happen to love political screeds I agree with--hah, but I do know enough to not argue politics. You can never change anyone's mind. You can only smile quietly to yourself and feel smugly superior.

Well, I could not let go of GRill, did not know that the MARS ROVER was called "opportunity" (or was it?), couldn't get my brain to go from -ATed to -ATOR, and even with OZONE HOLE in place, I died in the NE. Big fat DNF. So the NE was too much for me, but the rest of the puzzle was about medium, and I liked it a lot. Q: Does 'gives a gloss' have anything to do with a 'glossary'?

@Z - Spot on. Does the teacher like kids? The SINE QUA NON of teaching. Yes, I too have worked with those veteran teachers with a crusty coating, who inside are sensitive, insightful and effective educators. There gave been many times since I retired when I have missed being in the mix of kids and teachers.

spacecraft 5:57 PM  

@rainy: yes. Latin to the rescue again! Root gloss- means tongue, thus "glossary," a mini-dictionary dealing with terms discussed within a work ("tongue" taking on the meaning of "language"), so "gives a gloss" can be ANNOTATES, a term applied to margin notes giving further explanation and/or historical context to the text. See "The ANNOTATED Alice," Lewis Carroll's classic explained. Marvelous and eye-opening.

rain forest 1:00 AM  

@Spacecraft - I will do that. I love Carroll.

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