Sound effects pioneer Jack / FRI 9-16-16 / Girl adopted by Silas Marner / Longtime voice of New York Yankees / Gigli pici for two / Shakespeare character who coins term primrose path / Eponym of bible history / Retro stereo component

Friday, September 16, 2016

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Mel ALLEN (25D: Longtime "Voice of the New York Yankees") —
Mel Allen (born Melvin Allen Israel; February 14, 1913 – June 16, 1996) was an American sportscaster, best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. During the peak of his career in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Allen was arguably the most prominent member of his profession, his voice familiar to millions. Years after his death, he is still promoted as having been the "Voice of the New York Yankees." In his later years, he gained a second professional life as the first host of This Week in Baseball. // In perhaps the most notable moment of his distinguished career, Allen called game 7 of the 1960 World Series, in which Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run to win the fall classic for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is the only walk-off home run ever to occur in a game 7 of a World Series. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty typical high-quality work from Mr. Berry. Started out like a house afire in the NW (1-Across gimme in effect! 1A: Handle things (COPE)), but then encountered some pretty significant trouble trying to move through narrow passageways into other parts of the grid. Moving into SW obviously hard, given that there's just that one-square opening, and the only help you have is a terminal "S" at 28A: Feels deep sympathy (ACHES). Similar issue getting into NE—just the narrow slit of an opening, and there, a leading "S" that wasn't much help (22A: Anti-___ League (Progressive Era organization) (SALOON)). But those are mere structural issues. I had real content issues in the middle of the grid, though, where I hit a proper noun pile-up. The fact that the pile-up was dead-center meant that moving into Any portion of the grid became difficult. The overturned tractor-trailer in all of this was ALLEN (!?!?). He died 20 years ago. The name is vaguely familiar, now that I look at it, but without even "Mel" in the clue, there was no hope, none, zero, of my getting ALLEN from 25D: Longtime "Voice of the New York Yankees"; I won't be the only one for whom that is true. I think the puzzle thinks he's more famous than he is. I ended up actually knowing OLD BAILEY, FOLEY, and KING JAMES (how is this not a LeBron clue!?), but all of them were tough to pick up because of ... ALLEN.


Very wide-open corners were a bit of a challenge—an appropriately Friday-level challenge, it turns out. Clues were clever and tough throughout. 59A: Command that a dog shouldn't follow (STAY) was one of my favorites. 54A: One with changing needs (DIAPER BAG), also good. My least favorite was the clue on NERDS (46D: Brainy high school clique). "Clique" my ass. This makes it sound like NERDS are some exclusive / exclusionary bunch. I guarantee you that NERDS are more than happy to nerd out with you, no matter what you look like, how much money you have, etc. You don't have to be rich to rule their world. "Clique"! Boooo! Everything about the word "clique" is non-nerd.

I was really uncertain about SWIM (50D: Thick of things, in a a manner of speaking) and had to try saying "in the SWIM" several times before moving on. Even then, it kept coming out "in the SWIM of things," and I think I meant "in the swing of things," so maybe I don't understand SWIM at all. Berry's puzzles tend to play a little out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, and this may just be some expression I don't really know. Oh, here we go.

This makes the clue seem ... not very precise. But no matter. I got it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Scott 12:05 AM  

Mel Allen! Arguably the most famous baseball broadcaster ever save for Vin Scully, although admittedly past his peak recognition now. Still, he was the voice of This Week In Baseball for two decades covering the formative years of anyone who wasn't around for his Yankee years and is old enough to do the puzzle today.

A perfectly pleasant, but unremarkable Friday- the polar opposite of yesterday's excitement!

jae 12:07 AM  

Easy-medium for me, but then I knew Mel ALLEN.

wELDS before MELDS and COPs before COPE (reflexive input of an S).

Finally remembered how to spell HEIGL.

OLD BAILEY I knew for some reason. Got it off the O.

SURFS seems a bit untoward.

Same problem as Rex with SWIM.

Solid and smooth, but not much zip, liked it.

Mike in Mountain View 12:18 AM  

Mel Allen was easy for me, but I can imagine that @Rex won't be alone on that one.

Agree with @Rex on NERDS definitely not being a clique. We would be happy to talk with you even if you haven't read everything Isaac Asimov ever wrote.

Before HONORROLL I was thinking Systemically Important Financial Institutions, i.e. "too big to fail." But that was 'too long to fit."

Patrick Berry puzzles are always professionally done and a joy to solve. Thanks, Mr. Berry.

puzzle hoarder 12:24 AM  

What a relief after yesterday's fiasco. A good Berry puzzle and one that put up a fight. The NW was deceptively easy. After that I went counterclockwise with each quadrant becoming increasingly difficult. The NE was a real bear with some many names I didn't know. The other clues were workable however so a clean grid and a nice workout to go with it.

John Child 1:27 AM  

I found this quite difficult in the fun way. But I'm rusty from not doing puzzles for a while. I had just some word ends At first (at the end of the week I take the S and ED squares gratefully). I thought @m&e had hexed us yesterday by calling for a harder Friday puzzle! I eventually took a couple of proper-noun cheats and was OK. Only quibble: I don't think the plural of the noun SURF is surfs. That needed a verb clue, IMO.

Larry Gilstrap 2:13 AM  

I did the syndicated form of the puzzle for many years in the Santa Ana Register which never printed the constructor's byline, ever. Not until I stumbled on this blog was I even aware of this element, unlike many commentators here who are even chummy with them. Today, Mr. Berry comes through and restores my faith in my mental capacities and Shortz & Co. Growing up in a Bible teaching church, I grew to love and appreciate the language of the KING JAMES Bible, which led to a love of Shakespeare (Poor OPHELIA!), and a terrific background for my continuing obsession with Moby Dick. Did a bit of staring up around New Bedford, but THE POLICE sent me a Message in a Bottle and my sails filled. A bit of a hangover from yesterday messed up my spelling mechanism down around Tijuana, and HONOR ROLe set there for way too long. I feel much better.

Willie West 2:35 AM  

I'm sorry but this was just a terrible puzzle. Not even one anagram?

Anonymous 2:54 AM  

Another enjoyable one from Mr. Berry.

I reviewed Thursday's 200+ comments, but didn't see anyone identify the mistake in 83A. The clue is "Slit" which does not anagram to TILT. LIST does not work, or at least didn't in my app.


ZenMonkey 3:47 AM  

I agree the clue for SURFS is all wrong. Otherwise, a typically sweet Berry.

da kine 7:19 AM  

LIST from yesterday's works because when something lists (on the ocean)it tilts.

I think SURFS from today's puzzle is talking about the ocean itself, not the people riding it. It's a bit of an awkward plural, but it's legit.

I found today's puzzle to be delightful. I read 50D as a partial of the expression "sink or swim" rather than "in the swim" and got it pretty easily with that in mind. I'm not sure what Mr. Berry meant.

As far as the rest of the puzzle, it took me 15 minutes to solve most of the west (I had EMPTY SEAT for the longest time on 6D), then I sped through the east in less than two minutes. I probably should have done the east first.

Billy C. 7:39 AM  

I am a sad, sorry little man.

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

To Brennan - "slit" anagramed to "list", so the answer of "tilt" is something that tilts to the right, or it lists to the right.

Mike Rees 7:54 AM  

List is a rarely used synonym for slant, which in turn is a synonym for tilt.

Mike Rees 7:55 AM  

Think of a ship listing to port, for instance.

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

In puzzleland people were weary. Anagrams had made them all leery. But whoosh, in came the saint, Patrick Berry, and once again puzland was cheery. The End (til the next disaster)

Guck 8:17 AM  

Still harping about yesterday? My guess is that if some of you weren't so obsessed with your times or your streaks you'd learn to "puzzle" over something.
Us Midwesterners know Mel Allen as the longtime voice of "This Week in Baseball"

Anonymous 8:25 AM  

We midwesterners Guck.

Kevin Spacey 8:27 AM  

For those of you carping about the "incorrect" Oscars clue yesterday, here is Rex's FAQ #16a:

"16a. The clue says Marisa Tomei won the 1992 Oscar, when she clearly won it in 1993. I remember because I hosted an Oscar party that year. Why would the NYT make such a stupid error?

You are the one who has made the error. Oscars are handed out for achievements that took place in the preceding year. Thus, 1992 Oscars are handed out in 1993, but they are still 1992 Oscars. If your complaint is about a different awards show, chances are the same system applies."

Mr. Benson 8:36 AM  
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Mr. Benson 8:37 AM  

I thought Rex was a baseball fan who was a youngster/teenager in the 80s. He should be familiar with Mel ALLEN, who did "This Week in Baseball" on TV. Here's Mel in The Naked Gun, saying "how about that": Link

Lewis 8:38 AM  

Ahh, back down to earth after yesterday's excitement. This was a sweet puzzle. Not a single three-letter answer, not a loser in the answers, and as usual, Patrick was Berry playful in his cluing: A_CAPELLA, CEREAL_BOX, SNORED, SURFS, ISLET, STAY, OCEAN, PARKA, and DIAPER_BAG.

I found the NE tough, with its seven proper names, but HOI_POLLOI popped into my head from somewhere far away, the Azores maybe, and saved me.

My most comfortable outfit in the world, an old pair of jeans and a teeshirt that are like my second skin -- that good feeling they give is what solving a prime PB puzzle imparts, today absolutely no exception.

Twangster 8:47 AM  
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Twangster 8:48 AM  

Can someone please explain the diaper bag clue? Isn't the one with changing needs the baby or the parent, not the bag?

If the baby is the "one," then it's: "baby with changing needs a diaper bag," which doesn't make sense either.

I've changed a lot of diapers but I don't get it.


Mr. Benson 8:57 AM  

@Twangster - Definition 2 of need (noun) is "thing that is wanted or required." Think of the sign in the supermarket aisle that says "shaving needs" where they have the razors and shaving cream and such. So you can also say that a DIAPER BAG carries changing needs.

QuasiMojo 9:17 AM  

Perhaps I don't understand what an eponym is but wouldn't the answer be "James"? King is not part of his name -- it's a job description. And to my mind "King James" Bible is more of an adjectival phrase than an eponym. Victorian Era is an eponym. So is a Shirley Temple, for a drink. But is a "Bloody Mary" an eponym? I haven't had one in a long time. Someone please enlighten me. No doubt I'm wrong, but it rubbed me the wrong way, even though in my mind Patrick Berry can do no wrong. I always like doing his puzzles and this was no exception.

Z 9:35 AM  

I read Rex's words on Mel ALLEN and wondered how long until someone suggested that Of Course EveryOne Knows The Yankees Long Dead Announcer. 5 minutes. You're slowing down NYC. I am curious how old "anyone ... old enough to do the puzzle today," is. We have constructors born after ALLEN died, but apparently you need to be at least 30 to do a NYT puzzle.

@Several People - Talk about yesterday's puzzle in yesterday's comments! Didja ever think that maybe, just maybe, someone might not have finished yet but came here after doing today's puzzle? Didja? And now you've gone and spoiled the puzzle without so much as a spoiler alert?

SURFS/SWIM were my last entry. My other big hold up was throwing in wet diaper (hi @Twangster) before pulling it out. I had three or four of the crosses in before I grokked the clue. I'm with Rex on the STAY clue. Excellent. I'm taking a quarter out of my COIN PURSE and placing my bet that the ALLEN clue is Shortz's, not Berry's.

As oft happens with Berry, I was wondering where my toeholds were going to be, then all of sudden a whole section would be done. Firs the NW, then the SE, then the NE, and finally the SW. because of those narrow connectors, this really did play like four separate puzzles for me. ENGRAFTED still looks wrong to me. Isn't it just GRAFTED made longer for no particular reason? Still, a fun solve here.

Nancy 9:40 AM  

Patrick Berry! Unlike many solvers here, I rarely TAKE NOTE of constructors' names, but I do love this guy to death. Since I couldn't come up with COPE (or TEST for that matter), I was IN A STEW, as I wondered if this would be the 2nd day in a row that I went through the entire puzzle, without seeing anything I knew. Three names in the SE of all places got me in: ALLEN to NERO to ROEPER. Finished the SW. Bit by bit, I worked my way North, then West. No this wasn't Medium for me; it was Hard.

I got several long answers off very little: KING JAMES off the ES; HOI POLLOI off the final OI; ACAPPELLA (great clue) off the final LA. I thought PB threw in two curves: 13D, where ROom, not ROLE, seemed the right answer. (But never in the history of little girls has there been a girl named EPPIm.) And "Fuses" at 57A, which could have been wELDS just as well as MELDS. For "top of the winter," I was looking for SLEET or SLUSH (snow didn't fit), but the KA gave me PARKA. A lively puzzle with wonderfully tricky cluing. I loved it.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

Thanks to da kine for setting me straight Thursday's 83A! It was my last entry, and I got lazy. Mahalo!


Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Sorry, Z. Won't happen again.


Twangster 9:45 AM  

Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense. I guess I tend to think of "one" as referring to people, not inanimate objects.

I could also use some help with the STAY clue ... why shouldn't a dog obey this command? Is it because if the dog does obey the command, then you can get away from the dog and get on with your life, and the dog's stuck there doing nothing?

Mohair Sam 9:45 AM  

@Rex - Five'll get ya ten that more solvers know ALLEN than know FOLEY.

Solved like a typical Berry in this house: Impossible!, oh here's a guess (OLDBAILEY), maybe this off that (ALLEN), gradual build (ATRA, PASTAS, ELBOWROOM), . . . . . I'll be damned we're done! Always fun, never easy.

Read a short story by Mark Helprin just yesterday in which he said that Mel ALLEN's voice describing a Yankee game was "as comfortable to American ears as the sound of lines whipping against a flagpole on a windy day." Yes. The story also contained the word "quaquaversal" (twice no less) which was somehow missing as a themer last Tuesday.

Z 9:48 AM  

Vin Sculley reading a grocery list. It really is amazing.

@Teangster - Let me add to @Mr Benson's exposition; When we had small children we kept all our changing needs in the DIAPER BAG.

@Quasimojo - Eponyms work both ways, either the person giving their name to something or the object named after a person. So both KING JAMES and the King James Bible are eponyms. As for KING just being a title, sure, but it is how we know the guy. He's never JAMES RRN (is it James I? I don't really know).

Z 9:52 AM  
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Hartley70 9:52 AM  

Super Duper quick and easy despite never having heard of MELALLEN, and what a pleasure to solve! I didn't even notice it was a Patrick Berry until I came here but now I can say "of course".

@Lewis' excellent description of a PB puzzle is slightly different than mine. I think of it as opening a bag of donated clothing and finding a Chanel down at the bottom. There's usually a squeal of delight.

Thank you to Will for serving us some chocolate mousse after yesterday's gruel and water. My apologies, Ian. You are brilliant. I am not.

Nancy 9:55 AM  

@Twangster (9:45) -- If the dog "follows" the command, he isn't STAYing (put).

GILL I. 9:55 AM  

Some of it was Berry easy but the proper names made it Berry difficult. I needed WEISS badly but he was eluding me. Google to the rescue Again!
I conflate HOI POLLOI with hoity toity and I love both those words. I mean HOI POLLOI sounds like a bunch of snoots - not the ordinary NERDS who reside in a clique.
I would have liked this puzzle a lot more if not for that middle section full of ungettable names.
One day I will learn to spell HEIGL (Hi @jae).......

Z 9:58 AM  

@Twangster - The clue didn't say "shouldn't obey," it said "shouldn't follow."

@Brennan - Oh, it will. Not by you, but by someone. On the list of top ten awful things it's about #1,978,234,654 ... unless you're that one person who won't give up no matter how long a puzzle takes you to figure out. I'm not that person but they're out there.

QuasiMojo 10:03 AM  

Oh @Nancy, "stay my heart!" Good answer. And thanks @Z (wasn't there a great movie called "Z"?) -- but I'm still perplexed. The QE2 for instance is just the name of the ship, it's not an eponym. But the Elizabethan Age is. But no matter, I'll still an EpiPen into my brain and figure it out.

jberg 10:03 AM  

I worked through the acrosses and didn't get an answer until the Anti-SALOON League, but then went back and wondered why I had not seen COPE, TEST, or OTHER (well, I know the last one -- because I wanted extra, but didn't dare write it in.) My biggest problems were guessing dOLbY instead of FOLEY, and ON layaway before RESERVE. Great puzzle.

@twangster, the clue says 'follow' not 'obey.' The dog should obey the command to STAY, and therefore should not follow when you walk away.

I wanted a magazine rack, and then a game cupboard, before I finally figured out that Life was a cereal.

Mel ALLEN was OK, but how come no one is complaining about thie ROEPER guy?

Maybe SURFS are plural when they are ENGRAFTED.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

There are no sheeps or deers; there are no SURF{S}! Who says ENGRAFT? Didn't the HONORROLL not fail, almost? I'm glad somebody heard of FOLEY - who cares?

Bookin' the Cooks 10:09 AM  


Bookin' the Cooks 10:13 AM  

This one threw me, too, until I thought about it differently and realized "needs" was being used as a noun, not a verb: a diaper bag holds all the needs for changing a diaper.

Nancy 10:22 AM  

Re: Yesterday's much loved/hated puzzle. (No Spoiler Alert required). Based on Donald Trump's theory of Greatness, yesterday's puzzle was the Greatest Puzzle in the History of Puzzledom. It had 216 comments on the blog. I've been on this blog for about three years now, and I've never seen anything close to 216 comments about any other puzzle. Never mind that most of the comments were extremely critical. (Not mine, btw, but most.) But hey, according to the Donald, there's no such thing as Bad Publicity, right? There's only Publicity. And Attention. Lots and lots of Attention. And by that measure, yesterday's puzzle was an astonishingly, astoundingly great one.

johnny stocker 10:25 AM  

Nerds don't form cliques? Having been in a few of them myself I must vehemently disagree, sir.

Interestingly enough, I've found that the 'uncool cliques' can be just as mean and exclusionary as any jocks and prom queens, largely because they feel justified in that behavior because they feel like they're put upon by the 'cooler' crowd.

Joseph Michael 10:33 AM  

Ah! A welcome change from yesterday's arduous anagram fest.

Puzzle was difficult but not tedious and filled with great entries and clever clues. Especially liked the clues for ACAPPELLA, CEREAL BOX, and DIAPER BAG.

Thank you, Mr, Berry, for restoring my faith in the art of the crossword.

Bookin' the Cooks 10:37 AM  

This was a fun puzzle to solve, though I started off so very wrong in the NW with FEEL for "handle things," which led to FERNS for "section of a botanical garden. Right answers in a way, but oh so wrong for this puzzle.

My first correct answer was HOIPOLOI, but then I got stuck. Over in the SW I thought "ones coming ashore" was WAVES. It fit, but like my beginnings in the NW it was wrong.

Finally got some traction going in the SE, starting with NERO. Then like hopscotch they came, one skipping after another: ONRESERVE, ATTENDING, SEER, STAY (that one made me smile), LEGGY, ROEPER, NITE. From there it was so much easier to figure out the rest of that section!

Then nothing. Like Rex, the middle had me stuck and so prevented me from moving successfully into the other sections. Finally I caved, not being a New Yorker, and had to Google to find Mel ALLEN. The dam was cracked.

I used to read Dear Abby's column all through the 60s and 70s. Was there also a radio show? I had no idea, but it fit so there you go.

Yes, thank you Mr. Berry! This was challenging enough and fun enough to overcome yesterday's bad memory.

Maruchka 10:38 AM  

A Berry good morning! All quads went in smooth - except for SW, due to holding out too long for ATE FOR TWO in 51A (hi, @Jberg - yours is more likely).

SURFS are like surges and tides, no? Anyhoo, didn't bother me.

Fav of the day - EPPIE. Jeez, the older I get the better George Eliot reads. Has anyone seen the BBC video? There is a video of 'Daniel Deronda' that's worth watching.

@Scott - True, but let us not forget Red Barber. Loved his NPR interviews with Bob Edwards.

Bookin' the Cooks 10:40 AM  

Sorry, Anon! My entry above got posted as a reply. That was unintended!

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Didn't know Foley/fade so stuck with Joley/jade. Became dull =jaded, no?

Mohair Sam 10:57 AM  

@Z - Thanks for the link, he's still the best. When I was a kid I would grab my Philco portable and hop the ferry to Fire Island to spend a summer day at the ocean while listening to Vin Scully broadcast my Brooklyn Dodger games and/or Mel ALLEN (and Red Barber) broadcast my cousin's Yankees. ALLEN, Scully, and Barber (who worked with NPR for years afterward) are all valid Friday crossword entries IMO.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:02 AM  

James the 6th of Scotland became James the 1st of England became King James of the Bible.

Hartley70 11:12 AM  

I forgot to mention that Mr. Berry was talking to me this morning. It was just earlier this week that I mentioned how I was nostalgic for the phrase "by and by", and here it is today at 34a. This is a minor coincidence, albeit, but it's my third in a row this week and the others were corkers. I'm starting to hear Rod Serling's voice in my head.

mac 11:36 AM  

Typical good Berry puzzle, I enjoyed it. One thing: isn't Weisz with a z?

I noticed that "a list of the anagrams in yesterday's clues can be found at www.nyt......".

r.alphbunker 11:47 AM  

18A. {Katherine of NBC's "State of Affairs"} HEIGL from [F]EIGL

26A. {On the program} BILLED from _I_LED

35A. {Sound effects pioneer Jack} FOLEY from _ _L_Y

7D. {8:00-9:00 on TV, e.g.} SLOT from S[P]OT

I found this easy for a Friday even though I had to wait for 1A which got filled in under unusual circumstances. Details are here.

@Z The computer version of the puzzle had a note attached that could definitely be considered a spoiler for someone who hadn't started the Thursday puzzle. Don't you agree?

mathgent 11:57 AM  

@Lewis: Thanks for pointing out that there are no three-letter entries here. I hate them because they are breeding places for vermin like AAH, OOF, and their kin.

I used to count these Terrible Threes and would complain when there were a lot of them, sometimes more than fifteen. I can't remember ever seeing zero of them before. But then again this is the godly PB.

I'm with @Nancy, very hard. I needed help from The Closer.

Hungry Mother 12:02 PM  

I love finding out that I know things I didn't know that I knew. The "unknown knowns" of Rumsfeld, perhaps. This puzzle brought a few of them to the fore. I should have known EPPIE after struggling through "Silas Marner" in 8th grade, before I learned to love reading. Just one of the NERDS I guess.

Rick 12:06 PM  

I don't really get the significance of that Michener quote: "Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them."
Uh, yeah, that's the way it's supposed to work. What's your point?

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

I finished this puzzle in under two minutes, my best time ever!

Every answer was wrong, however.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

It's actually a very fitting clue. A surf, by definition (noun, 1. the mass or line of foam formed by waves breaking on a seashore or reef.), goes ashore (adverb, 1. to or on the shore from the direction of the sea.).

Chaos344 12:18 PM  

I'd say smooooth as Silk, but that would be Barry, not Berry. Great puzzle and the perfect follow-up to yesterday's debacle. Of course yesterday didn't bother me at all, because I didn't waste one minute on it.

As someone else mentioned, breaking into a Berry puzzle can be somewhat daunting. When I initially scanned the clues, there seemed to be so much I didn't know, or thought I didn't know. But once I discovered an orifice for my hallux at 22A crossing 11D, I was off and running. Everything just flowed, and the fair crosses allowed me to guess correctly at clues where I was totally blank. Gotta give the STINKEYE to SURFS, but other than that, my solve was pretty much the same as Rex and @jae.

Good thing Nathaniel Hawthorne wasn't a contemporary author. He would still have to use a quill when writing about Mr. Marner's adopted daughter. No one these days can afford an EPIPEN! "GROAN!" That one's for you Merl!

@Nancy: Hey Nance! I usually always enjoy your posts, and I don't remember you ever making snarky political posts in the past. I tend to notice those things, but I could be wrong? You've taken your one snarky political comment for the day. I'll give you a pass on that one, but let's leave it that way, okay? You don't what to throw down the gauntlet a second time in the same day. Trust me!

relicofthe60s 12:20 PM  

I don't understand the continued carping here about Thursday's puzzle. Indeed, I didn't understand Rex's criticism yesterday. When I finished the puzzle, I thought, Rex will like this; it's clever, challenging, and out of the box. Boy, was I wrong. I have to wonder if Rex so dislikes Shortz and the Times now that he looks for reasons to complain. What would his reaction have been if Thursday's puzzle had appeared on one his beloved indie sites? And I noted that reaction was much more positive over at Diary of a Crossword fiend.

Today's puzzle was typical Berry: hard to get into but doable and even easy in places, and fairly clued throughout. But even here Rex seems to be looking for things to carp about. Mel Allen certain seems a reasonable answer for a Friday, no more obscure than the pop-culture clues that Rex loves. And you've never heard "in the swim"? Come on!

Masked and Anonymous 12:39 PM  

1. Got ALLEN off the A.
2. Had same stinkeye look at NERDS clue.
3. Had similar trouble with that SWIM clue. The W was the last letter I plunked into the then-full-filled solvequest.

fave weeject: n/a (!)

fave desperate-lookin stuff, whether it is or not:
* INASTEW. Only applicable if anxious, at a Renaissance faire.
* ENGRAFTED. har. Better clue: {Like an ear that's now near??}.
* TELNET. See brainy high school clique, for explanation.

fave stuffins: SURFS. ELBOWROOM. LEGGY.

All I got. Pretty clean and smooth grid, really. Nice job as always, PB1. Thanx.

Masked & Anonymo1U


old timer 12:52 PM  

I did not notice this was a PB puzzle. Might have helped if I had. I did know SALOON right off, though, which made OPHELIA a good guess. Had to Google for HEIGL, who is a lot more obscure than the late Mr ALLEN.

OFL's theory is if you know a word that crosses the beginnings of many others, the solve is easy. I knew SODAS and so the entire SE was easy (also, knew WEISS).

My real problem was in the SW, where I had "COINPouch" before PURSE and 'welds" before MELDS and KING David before JAMES. Finished up top where I decided in all NYT puzzles a French sword is an EPEE and never a sabre. In real life, where swords are worn and used to sometimes be used, they are sabres. Epees are used only in sports.

Roo Monster 1:07 PM  

Hey All !
Like others, took me a while to get an answer I was sure of. Actually started my adventure in the SE, getting ORBIT, IVANA (correct guess), NERDS, then seeing DIAPERBAG, ATTENDING, iNRESERVE. Didn't have a smooth path, kinda jumped around to various other corners chopping away, often with lightly written in answers until I got some crosses that seemed to work. Here's a funny one for ya, had K____A___ (with an A from Change___[COINPURSE] and a N from DEnEgRATE[DESECRATE]), wrote in Karl Sagan!

Another odd coincidence, for ACAPELLA, had ___P__LL_, and wanted HOI POLLOI there! Even though spelling off, then found that answer at 11D. Weird. Managed to suss out all corners except NE. Had OtHELlo for OPHELIA, and never heard of EPPIE (again, I'm not a big reader), with THE POLICE with its mysterious clue. So Googed for EPPIE, which got me the rest, but still having OtHELlo, got me _LLLED for BILLED! A "Huh" was strewn across the ole brain until finally seeing PHONO and then the Aha OPHELIA.

Wanted wELDS first for MELDS, and then fWIW for SWIM, but that didn't fit clue. Did decide SWIw wasn't a word. :-)

So typical Berry puz for me. Slow to get into, some cool cluing, an Aha or two, and tougher in some spoys than others. Oh, really wanted wiggleROOM for ELBOWROOM!


Steven Wright 1:11 PM  

My dog's name is Stay

Joe Bleaux 1:12 PM  

Thank you, Patrick Berry, for partially restoring my self-esteem, which was crushed by that anagram orgy yesterday. Again today, I scanned clues for gimmes and found none, but went in anyway -- and found a toughly but cleverly clued, bona fide, Friday-level crossword puzzle, which I finished. Feels good.

John V 1:14 PM  

Thought this easy, save for NE, where OPHELIA/EPPIE/HEIGL did me in.

No problem with Mel Allen for this senior Yankee fan.

Teedmn 1:15 PM  

Not as PB smooth as usual for me - the PPP in Allen crossing Foley, TELNET, WEISS made this an 18 minute Friday.

I had the initial E of EPEEs in for 1A so I put in namE and wondered when Handle became a verb in that sense but PARKA got me out of that jam.

Was expecting a financial clue at 5A because I had put in bLOc (as in a bLOc of time) at 7D and with _EbT, assumed 5A would be dEbT. TEST made more sense when I finally read 5A's clue and helped me find TELNET.

A temporary mental hitch at 37A had me wanting KING John's but that problem FADEd with 35D. Thank goodness for HOI POLLOI and ENGINEERS for help breaking into the NE though OLD BAILEY was not a WOE due to the old English rhyme.

Thanks, Patrick Berry, for another in a series of well-ENGINEERed puzzles.

Masked and Anonymous 1:16 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masked and Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Setting: Athens, GA. A few short months ago.

As Patrick Berry toiled ever onward, steadily filling up his COPE/CACTI grid, suddenly the construction software program shattered the concentrated silence with a blaring alarm, as he typed that there potentially fateful "V" into the home stretch's SE corner. The klaxon was urgently warning him that he was now only 2 perilous letters short of a pangram, and to employ extra precautions, in selecting the remainder of his fill. Hopes for a proposed SODAZ/ZEER crossing were instantaneously asphyxiated.

Deftly, calmly, PB1 immediately mashed the "Avoid Pangram" auto-fill escape pod button, and the rest was of course history. His masterful grid fill was successfully completed; his spotlessly clean record remained intact. The Parkermeister would be pleased. Beer thirty time.


Yo, @Lewis: As @Z alerted m&e to, good catch on the lack of weejects. Evidently PB1 had also decided to mash the seldom-used "Avoid All Dayum Weejects" button, normally used only in high school mouse-clique emergencies...

Mike D 1:32 PM  

Nancy @ 9:55, that may be the worst explanation of a crossword clue I have ever seen. When you tell a dog to STAY, you are indeed telling him to follow your command. You are also telling them not to follow YOU, which is the point of the clue. Telling a dog STAY is equivalent to telling a dog "[you] shouldn't follow[me]." It's a BBC.*

*Brilliant Berry Clue

cascokid 1:35 PM  

Greetings, again, old chums! I hear Rex has turned off monitoring. The dialog is back, and so am I. Thanks for the encouragement to return. I miss you guys, too, QuasiMojo, John Child, r.alphbunker, and everyone's favorite Golden Gopher George Barany.

First, some updates: I am now a Rexworld second grader! I passed the 7-days-of-consecutive-clean-solves test with a nearly miraculous 10-day streak last spring. (I have not repeated it since.) As a second grader, I will show solidarity with the kindergarteners, but you can count on me to bully all the first graders I can find. Law of the jungle, you know. US immigration history gives copious evidence of the moral phenomenon that afflicts the recently successful: once you climb a ladder, you pull it up so the next guy doesn't have a chance. Hells, yeah!

Also, I improved in Stamford this year from bottom 1.5% to bottom 6%. And I did solve 1 puzzle (puzzle #7) entirely correctly.

As for third grade, I'll need a two-week streak and faster times: sub 10 minute Mondays, 15 Tuesdays, 20 Wednesdays, 25 Thursdays, 30 Fridays, 45 Saturdays and Sundays. Guess I'm going to have to get used to second grade. I may be here a while. And those third graders keep picking on me. Sigh.

Today's solve started and stalled with OPHELIA. After 20 minutes of stabs, I finally saw ENGINEERS and was on the slow climb from there.

dOLbY before FOLEY
shElf before OCEAN
INASnit before INASTEW
anON before SOON
amId before SWIM
COINrollS before COINPlatE before COINPURSE
wELDS before MELDS

I see many of us balked at [Brainy high school clique]. For my part, I struggled to see how to fit "Math Club" "Chess Team" "Forensics" "Debate" "Bridge Club" "Thespians" "Speech" "Student Newspaper" "Literary Society" "Model UN" into 5 letters. I did not think NERDS. I still don't. NERDS are not brainy; they are merely psycho-socially tone deaf. How a set of universally excluded students constitutes a "clique," I don't know. There are lots of well-adjusted, happy, brainy high school cliques, or so it seemed to me -- sitting there on the outside looking in. ;)

I finished after 90 minutes with an oversight at iNRESERVE/SiFAS. So the streak is 0. I'm OK with SWIM, and I really liked STAY. But it was a most excellent PB1 Friday. No hard feelings.


P.S., greetings to Slapshot, a Rexworld lurker (and friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, it turns out) whom I met on a Costa Rican trip last fall.

P.P.S. Comments on yesterday's puzzle to follow under separate cover.

cascokid 1:37 PM  

. . . dividing to beat the character count limit . . .

I worked hard on yesterday's puzzle. Indeed, I still am. As the anagram revealer was hidden behind a bunch of crosses, all of them obscured by anagrams, I was unable to reveal the revealer. Instead, I took "Trap" at face value and figured that these long clues were "trapping" multiple letters, as in long every-box-a-rebus entries. That was the simplest way to understand "Trap" in the clues for the revealer. I'm not at all sure how anyone went from "Trap" in the reveal clues -> ANAGRAMTHEFIRSTWORDINEACHCLUE. That is just a nonsensical connection.

So in keeping true to the clues as written: [Ignore] -> shun. [French veto] -> NON [Tenure] -> TIME crossed [Folgers concern] -> TASTE crossed [HADJI group, briefly] -> SHIA. Sadly, I couldn't get these to cross any of the revealers.

Clues like [Ink of the elite type] did suggest that there was a game afoot, but "Elite type" was much more likely the culprit that "Ink". So I thought of an kind of ink, say, India ink. Then I noticed that while India and Elite are not anagrams of each other, they are very similar in vowel and consonant counts. So, the theme was word-maps, maybe? In any event, Elite Indians are RAJA. So, in four letters [Ink of the Elite type] -> RAJA. I am sure Rajas used the power of the pen (and a spot of India ink) to maintain their elite status.

I'll go back and read what you guys wrote yesterday. I'm interested in learning what the revealers were for you. Gotta wonder what Ian Livengood thought would be the revealer. I don't think he had a plan. I think he was just spitballin' it, and Will went for it.


Steve Reed 1:41 PM  

Mel Allen played himself in one of the greatest spoof movies ever - "The Naked Gun". So he was at least famous enough in 1988 (OMG - I just realized how I now think 30 year old movies are current!).

On a side note, my grandfather, a lifelong NY Giants fan, took great pleasure in calling him "Al Melon".

Martín Abresch 2:24 PM  

What a pretty grid. 90° symmetry and no three-letter words. Corner triple stacks usually butt up against the edge, but this shows that there are advantages to moving them one row or column inward.

My entrance into the grid was HOI POLLOI (The ordinary folk) and ENGINEERS ("Scientists dream about doing great things. ENGINEERS do them": James A. Michener). I'm neither a scientist nor an engineer, but I would counter this bit of smack talk with the words of 19th-century pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce:

True science is distinctively the study of useless things. For the useful things will get studied without the aid of scientific men. To employ these rare minds on such work is like running a steam engine by burning diamonds.

As a sidenote, despite being an important American philosopher, PEIRCE has never appeared in a NYTimes crossword.

I knew OLD BAILEY straight away, thanks to playing a board game within the past year called Sherlock Holems: Consulting Detective. That's a game worth checking out, by the way. It gives you 10 cases to work through. Game elements include a map of London and the day's newspaper (which both contains clues and gives you historical flavor).

The clues for STAY (Command that a dog shouldn't follow) and DIAPER BAG (One with changing needs) are top-notch. I also enjoyed the clues for ELBOW ROOM (It's hard to find in a crowd), JET SETS (Lives the high life), and ORBIT (Cosmic path).

The only answer that I wasn't keen on was ENGRAFTED. The cleanliness of Berry's puzzles really is astounding.

The New York Times Crossword assumes that people know the name of the longtime announcer for the New York Yankees? My word. What is this world coming to.

Chronic dnfer 2:26 PM  

Dnf'd at hoi polloi. My spell check agrees. Couldn't come up with haigl although it does ring a bell.

Happy Pencil 2:47 PM  

@CascoKid, welcome back! I'm going to take credit for luring you back, even though it appears you haven't read yesterday's comments yet. I'll share the credit with @Lewis as well.

As usual, a master class from Patrick Berry. Just when you think, "I'm not going to be able to find my way in to this section of the puzzle," something falls in to place that opens everything up for you. I don't know how he does that so well, but it's a skill not many constructors seem to have.

By the way, Casco, I also had dOLbY for FOLEY for a while, and I considered DEnigRATE but already had the second E, so I soon saw that it was DESECRATE instead.

Jeff Chen says this didn't get his POW because there's a better puzzle coming, so perhaps that will end the week on a high note for all those who were so steamed about yesterday. Cheers!

QuasiMojo 2:53 PM  

Hey @Pencil! I want some credit for invoking @CascoKid too. I inquired after him on Wednesday, but no one that I am aware of responded. Glad to see he's back.

Anonymous 2:55 PM  

Once I get my foot in the door, Berry puzzles fall quickly for me. On that note, anyone up for some self induced misery, grab 12/12/98 from the Archive. Rich Norris is not my friend. Ted in Denver.

Anonymous 3:07 PM  

Re the continued carping. There were over 200 comments yesterday. Of those, I think it would be generous enough to say that no more than 20% liked the puzzle. So first clue to the continued carping, in this blog of seasoned solvers, the overwhelming majority found it difficult to the point of non enjoyment. Second clue, over 200 people felt strongly enough about it to comment, more than twice the usual number. That means it stands out from the usual fare signicantly, thus raising a lot of commentary and some lingering comparisons with a puzzle from a constructor whose known for setting g a certain standard. Now do you get it or would you like a clue for trap 3?

Bookin' the Cooks 3:23 PM  

😂 Classic Steven Wright.

Alex 3:30 PM  

I have always liked the word(s) HOI POLLOI because, Gill I, you are right that it sounds like hoity toity, but it means the opposite. So it gives me the opportunity to feel smug while using it correctly.

cascokid 3:37 PM  

Anonymous 3:07, I am still reeling from Jeff Chen's CUT ABOVE puzzle, now 2 years or so in the past. We joke about not getting the time back, but what we mean is that we scar, and dang-it, there's another one right there. Ian Livengood joins Byron Walden (ZOLAESQUE, unsolvable constructor), David Woolf (E=MC, ARIZONIAN), Jeff Chen (CCCC UUUU TTTT), Patrick Blindauer (TEMPUS FUGIT) as members of the Order of the Gash. I fear you all.

@QuasiMojo, your note did get passed along to me through back channels. (Yes, there is an off-line clique. Hint: our mascot is a Golden Gopher. ;) )

@HappyPencil, thanks for the good wishes. I think you stirred the ether, and viola! <--anagram that -- here I am.

I see @John Child just rolled into town yesterday. Looks like school's back!
(Rush party tonight at alpha-beta-gamma-delts!)

I'm looking forward to an excellent fall of crosswords.


Leapfinger 3:40 PM  

I figured both NITE and NERDS were too easy for a Berryesque Friday, so didn't put them in, esp since they conflicted with the ATTENDING inTErnIst that I wanted. Apparently was in an overly clinical frame of mind, as 'unconsciously disturbing' was SeizED before SNORED. Sigh.

My whole graduating HS class was wall-to-wall NERDS, sly drools and all, but I remain conflicted about any absolute definitions. I'm thinking of Paul G, nice-looking and personable, who stands out in memory as the one who explained me why Turandoe is Turandotte. Then years later he married an honest-to-Gawd Russian princess. Maybe she was a NERD also.

Remembered Houdini's last name because we have a WEISS branch of the family, but had Wither/WORSEN, herbs/CACTI and the old death or TAXES choice. WAVES before SURFS, yes. As I see it, it's SURF off-shore, WAVES when it washes up, so I didn't even think of it till forced. The plurality ought at least be SURVES -- it's the least we desurves. The mac 'n' cheesiness of ELBOW PASTA cheered me up.

Fine Friday offering, though I must say there was a wince with tha center cross of ALLEN (wrench) and FOLEY (catheter).

My 'pology for your ology...

Chaos344 3:44 PM  

100 of the 313 comments at Wordplay were probably made by a handful of regular posters. They don't follow any type of "three posts and out") etiquette over there. If Deb Amlen had to make that kind of a post on Wordplay, you can imagine how many people severely dissed yesterday's puzzle!

By and large, many WordPlayers look down their collective noses at Rexites. They grudging admit that we may be intelligent enough to solve a NYT crossword puzzle, but we're just a little too rough around the edges. Our language can be a tad salty at times, and we have the temerity to criticize constructors. The worst offense of course, is that Rex allows us to hold and express Politically Incorrect views. WordPlayers still think of themselves as the creme de la creme. The elite who are academically and morally superior to the (dare I say it) dep----bles!

I am well aware that there are crossover posters here. I apologize if I have offended anyone. I think of you as Rexites first and WordPlyers second.

Sorry for the length of this rant. Like I said, some of it is fact, but most of it is only my opinion.

Chaos344 3:46 PM  


Warning: (not of the trigger variety) This post is going to be long! Gonna have to do it in two parts. If you're not generally into reading my posts, keep on scrolling!

I've been doing a bit of research today. Allow me to offer an opinion or two, while pointing out a few things that are closer to facts.

Yesterday's puzzle garnered 218 comments on this site. I did not make an actual analysis by count, but its a FACT that the large majority of the comments were negative. By contrast, there were 313 comments at Wordplay. I won't bring Diary of ACF into it. I rarely if ever visit that site, so I have no baseline for comparison between the three blogs. I waste enough time on this blog without trying to keep up with two others.

Having said all that, I was a regular poster at Wordplay for many years. Eventually, I couldn't tolerate the censorship any longer and decided to come back to this blog. A few hours ago, I went over to Wordplay for the first time in months. I wanted to confirm what I suspected would be going on over there. I wasn't surprised by what I found.

The following "cut and paste" of a post by Deb Amlen at Wordplay, and the recently suspended "Era of Moderation" on this site, should serve as a stark reminder of the freedom Rex allows on this blog! Here then, the Deb Amlen post at Wordplay:

[Quote] "Maybe you cringed, but I meant every word of it. You didn't not see what was removed, and it's something that the mods and I deal with on a daily basis. This is by no means a first-time occurrence, so if it appears that I was talking down to people, then understand in no uncertain terms that they earned it.

It's no secret that part of my job is to maintain the standards that The Times demands of its readers. Heaven knows there are other sites that don't have those standards, and you are more than welcome to hang out there and not read Wordplay if that is your wish.

As far as I'm concerned, I sent an appropriate message to those who want to troll this column, and I owe no one any kind of apology." [End Quote]

Everyone with a pulse knows who Deb is referring to when she says, "other sites that don't have those standards," and she deludes herself when stating that vast numbers of people would waste their time "trolling" Wordplay!

Here at Rex, we call a spade a spade! We're not afraid to say a puzzle sucks if it has rotten fill, a poorly executed theme, or any other issues. Most people on this site are honest to a fault. We realize that constructors are a very talented and grossly underpaid group. We appreciate the effort that goes into providing us with great entertainment. We believe that constructive criticism is good, but unlike other blogs, we are not here to pump copious amounts of undeserved sunshine up you ass! Take the majority consensus as a way to hone your skills. It takes a long time to reach Patrick Berry status!

Chip Hilton 3:50 PM  

Proper nouns are all about the eye of the beholder. Since I grew up in the 50's, loving the Yankees, Mel ALLEN was the ultimate gimme in this puzzle. Heck, I wanted to BE Mel Allen! They actually paid him to talk about The Mick, Moose, Whitey, Clete, Ellie, Yogi, and the rest. Dream job, that.

Fun, appropriately challenging Friday puzzle from The Master. After yesterday, a soothing balm.

wgh 3:50 PM  

All was smooth sailing until NE, the difficulty of which was out of sync(hronicity) with the rest. Dear Abby clue irritated me. But then I remembered it's just a crossword.

OISK 3:52 PM  

Liked yesterday's, enjoyed today's. I didn't say I enjoyed yesterday's although I had a nice feeling of accomplishment once I finished. But I thought the entire concept and its execution were absolutely brilliant.

Today was just what I want on Friday. Very slow start, I never referred to the part of my stereo system as a "phono." It was a phonograph, or record player, or turntable....that gave me trouble. But I was forced to read Silas Marner in high school, and remembered little Eppie! I enjoyed Mel Allen's calls most when the Yankees lost, but I much preferred his professionalism and baritone to the calls from Phil Rizzuto.

Didn't know there was corn oil in biodiesel, and never heard of telnet. The former is interesting to me...

Lovely puzzle.

Chaos344 3:58 PM  

Sorry I got the posting sequence on my diatribe bass ackwards. The first shall be last, blah, blah, blah, and all that!

Aaron Keyes 4:25 PM  

@Chaos344, you are a pompous, self-important asshole. And yes, Rex, thank you for allowing me to say that.

John Child 4:49 PM  

Nice to have you back @Casco!

Chaos344 5:17 PM  

@Aaron Keyes:

Did I hit a nerve?

Thank You so much for the recognition! As my old Italian Great Grandfather was fond of saying, "Every knock is a boost!"

Pompous? Probably.
Self-important? Perhaps you mean overly opinionated? If you're going to attack someone, I would suggest that you take the time to formulate a sufficiently sarcastic or factual rebuttal! Just Sayin!

BTW, I will not be responding to any of your future posts. You don't represent much of an intellectual challenge vis-a-vis possible stimulating repartee?

Have a great weekend! ;-)

Z 5:53 PM  

@r.alphbunker - I solved both days using PuzzAzz. PuzzAzz had a "show explanations" once the puzzle was filled, giving a full list. Once again PuzzAzz is superior to the NYTX App. Incredible that they'd have a spoiler like that. Thoughtless, too.

@Chaos344 - In Deb's and Wordplay's defense, the corporation could be seen as responsible for their comments section and so the lawyers probably advised them to exert some control. While this group is generally better behaved than the vast majority, this comments section has had its less than proud moments. Still, I much prefer this clique to that clique.

@Quasimojo - Queen Elizabeth II is an eponym.

@Mohair Sam - You're welcome. Personally, I'm an Ernie Harwell fan. I also spent some time listening to Harry Caray since WGN's signal carries to Holland. Still, these voices are inherently regional. I knew Mel from This Week in Baseball, so it was getable, but hardly as widely known as, say, Woody ALLEN.

Tom 6:03 PM  

As with @Alex, love the HOI POLLOI entry. Got it off the I. Think I first saw it when I read Dante's Inferno, which scared the crap out of me.

As for yesterday, hard to let go, but the total count is not as high when you consider more than 20 people commented at least twice, if not three times, at least one even fource. That's one more than thrice. Anonymous entered over thirty comments all by him/herself!

To return to the present, read all the clues before putting anything in. Frozen pencil because of yesterday's puzzle (I solve on dead trees, basking in the west coast sun).

Then put in CACTI/COPE and was off to the races. Enjoyable Friday.

Sometimes Thursdays are so clever they're smug. Or like The Donald, overweening.

Chaos344 7:04 PM  

@Z: Regarding Deb Amlen, Well said! I have nothing personal against Deb, but I doubt she has much leeway when it comes to deviating from the NYT doctrine?

@Mohair Sam: Yes! Such memories! No doubt everyone has special memories about the specific sportscasters of their favorite baseball team. Mel Allen, Red Barber, and Phil Rizzuto were icons in New York!

In the mid-fifties, soon after transistor radios became ubiquitous, I can recall trying to pick up WJAR from Detroit for the Tiger games. Living on eastern Long Island, that wasn't easy. The weather conditions had to be perfect, and the signal would fade in and out. I remember sitting on my front porch in the dark, and listening to Ernie introduce a relatively unknown Detroit pitcher named Denny McClain. Denny came into the game and struck out the first 6 batters he faced. It was a record at the time. Several years later, he would become the last pitcher to ever win 30 games in a season, and the Tigers won the World Series. All that excitement was brought to me by the melodious Ernie Harwell, "voice of the turtle!"

QuasiMojo 7:29 PM  

Thanks @Z! Got it. And @CascoKid, glad to hear it. Looking forward to your posts.

Numinous 7:42 PM  

Ohhh Kaaay! Glad to have you back, @Casco. Very glad, in fact. Missed you.

It took me a while to remember Mel ALLEN. I don't know how I remembered him but I did (not that it's a big deal). Everything in this puzzle worked itself for me eventually. I was thinking Tatiana before OPHELIA and I wandered down a bunch of other odd rabbit holes. So, yeah, a PB puzzle is a wonderful thing to behold and eventually a wonderful thing to solve. My only problem with him is that he looks so smug in his photograph at xwordinfo.

Jack FOLEY gave me pause. I know who he is and exactly why he is famous. He is, in fact, one of THE eponyms in the motion picture re recording business. But I wonder how many of y'all know that. Do we all know what a FOLEY track is? What it does? Why it is necessary? When I worked for Hanna-Barbera, our rerecroding supervisor was named P. FOLEY. I wondered for a long time if they were related. They were not. Anyway, cartoons don't need FOLEY tracks even though we had them in some sort of weird default way. Seems any final mixes he supervised would have been nominally FOLEY tracks. I could write a 2,000 word essay on FOLEY tracks but I won't. I'm sure that any of y'all who are interested will be able to find plenty of explanation of this fascinating piece of motion picture rerecroding trivia through searching google. Suffice it to say that FOLEY tracks make it possible to market our films in foreign countries in language appropriately dubbed versions easily.

After yesterday, I'm feeling as if there is still some hope for me. Yesterday, I felt like I'd had a stroke.

Leapfinger 8:05 PM  

I had to unearth obscure sources to enfind this, so most people won't know that the clue for 31D was originally a rare Berry partial. Based on a trip the original famous Siamese twins took down the Mighty Mississipp (Huck Finn style), the clue read "Chang and _________ down the river".

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

Loved all the comments about sports commentators. Being from the left coast, I just gotta say we've been blessed with 3 of the best you could ever hear for many years. We are all sad that Vin is hanging up his mic at the end of the regular season. Not only did he cover all the play by play but also brought in so much information, not just related to the game, but all his "fill" that makes him just so damn entertaining to listen to and AMAZING. If you have never heard him, I BEG you, take the opportunity to try to listen to just 1 of the last Dodger games remaining. He would have done so very well on this blog. But, over 60 years of service is more than enough, but still...
We still have Bob Miller doing the Kings hockey games. He paints such a visual picture you don't even have to watch the screen to know what is going on. Listen to his call of "The Miracle on Manchester" playoff game between the Kings and the Oilers and you'll be sold.
Lastly, we lost the great Chick Hearn a few years ago. I know he "grated" on those non-Laker fans in BAA-ston, (sorry, cheep shot), but it was always COOL to have him put the game in the refrigerator. "The lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the jello is giggling and the butter's getting hard".
God Bless all those with the amazing gift, not only of just stat's, but of the gab we will always remember!!!!!

old timer 8:29 PM  

I have to say what amazed me about the record-level comments about yesterday's puzzle was the very large number of people who loved it. I didn't, but I won't repeat my bitter comments.

Here's a good song about engineers:

I chose that one because my wife and I were probably at that Frankie Armstrong concert at the Great American Music Hall,

There are plenty of other versions, some by Peggy Seeger who wrote it. And I doubt any person on this blog will deny this is the very best song ever written about equal pay for women. What you do to understand is that in England, an "engineer" was someone who operated factory equipment like turret lathes. We call them machinists. And people who drive trains are engine drivers, and I have no idea what our college-educated engineers were called in Britain.

Anonymous 9:28 PM  

@Aaron Keys, you too are a pompous, self-important asshole, just by virtue of the fact that you so freely hurl that label at a fellow solver. This from a girl from Pittsburgh who wonders why so very many male baby boomers on this site (make no mistake, that demographic encompasses all my favorite people)think Allen is someone we should all know just because they do.

AliasZ 9:35 PM  

A pleasurable solve is what PB puzzles always provide for me, and today's was no exception.

Two tiny nits though: the grid was more compartmentalized than usual for Patrick, with only OLD BAILEY, KING JAMES, ELBOWROOM, and DESECRATES straddling the sections completely. Otherwise, four puzzles, plus the rhomboid runtpuz in the middle. BUT: those four 9-letter entries were my favorites of the puzzle.

As I am typing DESECRATES, I am seeing Descartes, the guy who said "Cogito ergo sum." Which means I think, therefore I think I am, I think.

@Leapy, loved your Siamese partial, but if the clue were "Cheng's twin brother engaged in whitewater activity," ENG RAFTED would be a complete sentence, with subject and predicate.

The cluster of names in the center and NE almost did me in. I did not know FOLEY, EPPIE, and Ms. HEIGL came to me late, but knew OPHELIA, WEISS, and I knew Mel ALLEN whose voice still resonates in my memory from the multitude of Yankee games I attended under his booming voice.

Let me say good night with a gentle voice with this beautiful work for mixed choir A CAPPELLA by Zoltán Kodály: Miserere.

beatrice 10:30 PM  

Where is Chuck MacG when you need him? FOLEY is also an 'eponym' - I was familiar wit the term 'FOLEY artist' from reading (trying to) credits at the end of movies. I tend to look at them as they fly by because I've had friends who were movie NERDS, and, after all, the technical folk do all the real work. Anyway, I couldn't remember what this person did, but it's this: 'A Foley Artist 'recreates' sound effects for film, television and radio productions on a Foley Stage in a Post Production Studio.' Per Wiki: 'Foley artists recreate the realistic ambient sounds that the film portrays. The props and sets of a film often do not react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts.' I don't know whether Mr. Berry is a musician, but the puzzle ad a bit of a musical/acoustical vibe: PHONO, (TAKES)NOTE, FADE, SNORED, ROLE, and of course, A_CAPELLA. A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but not to me.

Seeing this last entry reminded me of a short bit in the old Andy Griffith Show; perhaps some other folks here - esp. my fellow Southerners - will remember it as well:

'Andy and Barney Sing A Capella'

These popped up on the side-bar(?). They are sung by local moonshiner 'Rafe Hollister'. All from the same episode, I think.

'Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms'

'The Lonesome Road'

Tim Pierce 10:49 PM  

Agree with other folks about SURFS and ENGRAFTED.

SURF is not a countable noun in any reasonable usage. It is not discrete. No one looks at a coastline and says "there must be at least three surfs coming in." No. That clue doesn't pass the smell test.

ENGRAFTED is a cheat.

Otherwise, liked it!

Anonymous 6:28 AM  

Big thumbs up on the spoiler alerts-- oh well, one for the Archive. I'll do it a few years from now

Laura Hoke 8:04 PM  

Anonymous, the anagram of slit is list, therefore "list" is your clue for the answer: tilt. When the clue is just one word, that's the first word. You missed a step.

spacecraft 11:48 AM  

Many welcomed PB as a relief from madness; I do so as icing on a tasty cake. (Tastykakes! Mmmm...Butterscotch Krimpets!) Suddenly I'm hungry.

The venerable Mel ALLEN was indeed my shoehorn into this one, followed by ATRA, [something]ROOM, and KINGJAMES. Leave it to OFL to lament the absence of Lebron in the clue--an athlete's nickname vs. a history-making monarch. Sad to see our values WORSEN so.

Hand up for dOLbY, but even after DESECRATE forced that out I had some trouble. "Become dull" could be jADE, while FADE doesn't exactly match the clue, but I opted for FOLEY because I seem to recall that word in movie credits (back in the day when you could still actually READ them instead of seeing a blur of microscopic print squeezed into a corner of the screen and scrolling at supersonic speeds).

The LEGGY (and OTHER-body-parts-y!) Katherine HEIGL is today's DOD, hands down. A PB is always a joy; no exception here. TD!

Burma Shave 12:26 PM  


She TAKESNOTE and says , “ISLET you play hard CORE real SOON,
but you’ll be INASTEW the longer we STAY in this SALOON.”


Syndyland Solver 12:43 PM  

ALLEN was one of my first entries AND I'm from Texas not NY.

rondo 1:00 PM  

Perhaps the cleanest, neatest grid I ever completed, no write-overs to DESECRATE it. A thing of beauty much like LEGGY yeah baby Katherine HEIGL. WROTE her in along with OPHELIA and all the rest went in no prob. What a difference a day makes.

Almost fell for dOLbY, but knew that was Thomas; apparently OFL didn’t know Jack (FOLEY).

Mel ALLEN a gimme, even here in fly-over country. OFL needs to read my Cicero quote from the other day.

Lebron may have had his mug on a CEREALBOX, but that would not be the best way to clue KINGJAMES.

Can’t ever see or hear Dear ABBY without thinking of the John Prine song which ends like this:

Dear ABBY, Dear ABBY...
Well I never thought
That me and my girlfriend would ever get caught
We were sitting in the back seat just shooting the breeze
With her hair up in curlers and her pants to her knees
Signed Just Married

Just Married, Just Married...
You have no complaint
You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood
Signed, Dear ABBY

This puz belongs on the HONORROLL.

rain forest 3:51 PM  

Late today - making wine from beautiful British Columbia Merlot grapes. It'll be great.

This puzzle was great, too. Good ol' reliable Patrick Berry. COPE was a nice gimme to start, quickly followed by TEST, SLOT, TAXES. Moving down, Mel ALLEN
ATRA, and FOLEY (see FOLEY artists in film credits). The SW came next, where I had many "possibles", most of which panned out. MELtS, before MELDS wasted a few precious nsecs (Hi @M&E). The North and Centre came next, and OLD BAILEY opened the NE.

Much slower in the SE until I wrote over SOapS with SODAS. With ROEPER and ORBIT in place, that was all she WROTE.

As always with PB1, some great clues, although using "clique" for a group of NERDS was clearly off.
Good Friday.

Larry Jordan 6:15 PM  

Not obey "follow".

leftcoastTAM 6:52 PM  

Didn't notice it was a Patrick Berry until I came here. Its smoothness, fairness, and fun factors were all high, so I should have known.

NW, as is often the case, was the last to go. ACAPPELLA opened it up, and CEREALBOX sealed it. And I'd put OLDBAILEY and DIAPERBAG on the HONORROLL.

Thanks once again, PB. You're a reminder of what makes these things worth doing.

Anonymous 5:08 PM  

THE POLICE songs, if anyone's interested, were "Regatta De Blanc" and "Behind My Camel." I own both albums and wore the out when I first bought them, but I couldn't hum either of those songs right now if you put a gun to my head. I guess it's time to pull them off the shelf and give them another listen (thanks Patrick!).

I suppose the votes are tabulated prior to the new year, but these awards weren't given until February of 1981 & 1982, so the clue is suspect.

Bart 2:45 AM  

Sundance?! The preeminent independent film festival held each January in Park City, Utah?
Yes, the very same, yes. If Lisa's movie gets in, we won't just be the school with the highest hamster mortality rate.
Ah, so young. We'll also have a kid who did a thing.
I call this cue "Homer's Lament."
What are you boys doing on the FOLEY STAGE?
Awesome-ing up your sound effects.
[THE SIMPSONS Any Given Sundance]

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