Basic linguistic unit / THU 10-13-16 / Magical creatures in Jewish folklore / French locale of fierce WWI fighting / Baked chocolaty treat / Part of NYC once derisively called Hell's Hundred Acres / Emily Dickinson self-descriptively / Old-fashioned fashion accessories

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Constructor: Don Gagliardo and Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: two-word phrases where second word is found embedded in the first

Theme answers:
  • MADE
  • PALE
Word of the Day: EARTH ART (25A: Creative works utilizing the landscape)

Land art, earthworks (coined by Robert Smithson), or Earth art is an art movement in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked. It is also an art form that is created in nature, using natural materials such as soil, rock (bed rock, boulders, stones), organic media (logs, branches, leaves), and water with introduced materials such as concrete, metal, asphalt, or mineral pigments. Sculptures are not placed in the landscape, rather, the landscape is the means of their creation. Often earth moving equipment is involved. The works frequently exist in the open, located well away from civilization, left to change and erode under natural conditions. Many of the first works, created in the deserts of Nevada, New Mexico, Utah or Arizona were ephemeral in nature and now only exist as video recordings or photographic documents. They also pioneered a category of art called site-specific sculpture, designed for a particular outdoor location. (wikipedia)
• • •

Sure, OK. I don't know. It's a puzzle. The theme was easy to pick up and not that remarkable. Some of the themers are cool (SHOUT-OUT!), most are dull, and MADE MAD is just made-up; only slightly less made-up than MADE ADE would be. Fill is not terrible, but also not at all interesting. Even coming up with a Word of the Day proved challenging. So much blah. NE and SW corners, wide open and very isolated, provided some challenge, but the rest was a cake walk.

I gotta make this short, as I have a long, early day tomorrow. I made a series of mistakes in this puzzle, some of which make sense, some of which don't. Firstly, I came right down the middle of the grid, from RAPS through a bunch of crosswordese and down to 35D: Halloween costume. Having H-- and thinking "clothing," I wrote in HAT (in my mind, it was a witch's HAT), and then off that "T" at 46A: Magical creatures in Jewish folklore I fairly calmly wrote in TROLLS. So those were errors 1 and 2. Error 3 was imagining that 31A: Cleaner brand (D----) was a drain cleaner and writing in DRANO. This error was compounded, badly, by two more errors (4 and 5) in that NE corner. Off the terminal "H" I wrote in SLOTH at 9D: One of the seven deadly sins (WRATH), and then "confirmed" it by writing in ALGERIA at 16A: French locale of fierce W.W. I fighting (ARGONNE). But themer up there was transparent, and so even with three errors (!) in one corner, I got out of there without too much struggle. Only other screw-up was spelling SPECTER Britishly (49D: Spirit). I think of a CARAVAN as something that goes across the desert, not on vacation, so that was puzzling (42D: Vacation vehicle), but the rest was Tuesday-easy.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Pete 12:06 AM  

SLOTH for me too, as it's my major deadly sin. I was going to complain about the misdirect, but it's just not worth the trouble.

mathgent 12:20 AM  

Positives: Pleasing theme, no junk, smart cluing, a neat reminder of an Emily Dickinson poem, only 12 Terrible Threes.

Negative: Little crunch (only two entries I didn't know).

Enjoyment grade: B plus.

George Barany 12:37 AM  

Always delighted to see the bylines of @Don Gagliardo and @Zhouqin Burnikel. Thanks for your comments, @Rex.

Yesterday, we had PALEALE in full, in the puzzle by @Jeff Chen; today we see PALE with the letters of ALE circled. What are the odds?

jae 12:53 AM  
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jae 12:54 AM  

Easy-medium for me too mostly because like @Rex & @Pete I had sloTH before WRATH and @Rex Drano before DYSON in the NE. Also tAILS before RAILS in the SW.

Cute theme, OK fill, liked it, but I can see why Mon. was POW.

Larry Gilstrap 12:59 AM  

The chances for PALE ALE in the puzzle two days in a row are slim, Prof. Barany, but the chances of IPA everyday in my life are extremely good. I caught the theme early and used it to solve, and that's not usual. Seeing RWANDAN over ARGONNE was a bit sobering. People killing people is not part of nature, but a result of what?, culture, nationalism, religion, fear, ignorance... Wasn't nineteen the AVERAGE AGE of the US Viet Nam war casualty?

Some have made the case that a NOBODY was perhaps the greatest American poet. And she couldn't even vote. I'd like to hear others make a case for whom?

Finally, EARTH ART as opposed to vandalism. Discuss! It seems to me that the wildland stewardship motto "Leave no trace" is not open to interpretation.

Martín Abresch 1:48 AM  

I liked the clue for MATINEE (Something never seen at night). That one took me a bit to figure out, especially as I had written GOLlem instead of GOLEMS.

CARAVAN was the last entry to go in. I'm still not quite sure on what makes a CARAVAN a "Vacation vehicle." Is it a reference to the minivan model, Dodge CARAVAN? Had no idea on the crosses OCS or IRMA. Also guessed right at the crossing of WHOOPIE and OEO. Never heard of a WHOOPIE PIE. Fun entry, though.

The THUNDER is a dumb team name. Naming a team after the weather just feels like giving up.

Several Seattle-adjacent clues. The THUNDER, prior to 2008, were the Seattle Supersonics. One of Seattle's nicknames is The EMERALD City. (A lame nickname that isn't really a compliment, considering that the fictional Emerald City wasn't all it was cracked up to be.) I almost wrote SOdO instead of SOHO: Seattle's SODO neighborhood is often thought to mean South of Downtown, but it really means South of the (now destroyed King)dome.

SLEEPY in Seattle

Anoa Bob 2:08 AM  

Only 29 black squares gives this grid a themeless feel. Lots of FREE space in all four quadrants looked auspicious but a load of POCs in the NW dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. It did SIMMERS down though, to a SPATS & RAILS here & a GOLEMS & MARACAS there in the other three, so I wasn't driven to commit one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

When I googled AGRObusiness (10D), it came back "Did you mean AGRIbusiness?

DOLOR (31D) can also mean a "Sorrowful state" in Spanish.

phil phil 2:35 AM  

TENTH as a baseball clue, that was just amongst us this week if I remember correctly

jae 3:12 AM  

@Anoa - Nine times out of ten it's AGRI, but I still wait for the cross, because crosswords

@lms - it's your turn....

Jennifer Freeman 4:35 AM  

A Carsvan is a popular vacation vehicle for Brits.
Enjoyed the puzzle.

Trombone Tom 4:36 AM  

@Larry Gilstrap is right on about EARTH(ART). It runs the range from cleverly done placements of rocks to massive mechanical rearrangement of the earth in remote areas that will be seen by few observers. The latter perhaps driven by a desire to play with large machines.

I didn't detect the theme until over half done with the puzzle. Definitely on the easy side for Thursday.

Never heard of WHOOPIE pies out here on the left coast, so nearly Naticked at the OEO intersection. Guessed correctly.

Nice little puzzle from these outstanding constructors.

Anonymous 6:44 AM  

Caravan is what RV's are called in the UK. Should have been noted that way in the clue.

Hungry Mother 7:04 AM  

Seemed hard, maybe because I only got half of the theme. I thought the three circles answered the clue by themselves and that the full answer was some random word. When I was finished, my time was Wednesdayish.

CFXK 7:15 AM  

A caravan is what the Brits call an RV

George Barany 7:22 AM  

OMG, a Minnesotan has just been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. Find out who by solving "The Answers My Friend ..."

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

I never got the theme but finished anyway. I guess "Whoopie Pie," like Edy's Ice Cream, is only available on the right coast (Sleepy in Seattle didn't get it either). But, as you all know, I'm against whining!

Dolgo 7:28 AM  

I seem to have lost my "Dolgo"moniker.

Irene 7:32 AM  

Loved it. Went fairly quickly for a Thursday, with pauses to chuckle over the clues. The theme fell easily, which made it even more fun to solve.

I've never had a Whoopie Pie, but know it as an iconic Southern food.

Irene 7:33 AM  

And by the way:
Did you guys know that Dylan just won the Nobel in literature?

evil doug 7:35 AM  

Clever (?) way to sneak 'hag' in without offending feminists....

'Lacy' Underall in the R-rated version of Caddyshack is more memorable than a tablecloth....

'Tooted' could have been coupled with 'thunder' for an especially loud bodily function....

Dolgo 7:38 AM  

In case you were wondering, short for "Dolgoruky."

CFXK 7:48 AM  

@ George Barany. Not just Minnesota, but HIBBING, Minnesota. The list of notables from this small town of 16,000 is almost freakish,_Minnesota

AliasZ 8:15 AM  

Today's theme is a fun trick. I also noticed TAN in S[TAN]LEE directly under INS[TAN]T, which was a little confusing. So I decided to look at all the 4+ letter long words in the puzzle, and guess what? 90% of them have a smaller word embedded in them: RE[PORT]S, AT HE[ART], AC[ED], T[HUN]DER, etc. A few of them stood out:

STE[FAN] - Edberg devotee
SE[GAL] - Arm candy for Erich
P[URI]ST - Pedantic illusionist
GO[LEM]S - Magical creature's Moon vehicle
RWAN[DAN] - Rather from Kigali
AN[GEL]OU - Hair goo for Maya
EM[ERA]LD - Age of precious stones
SO[HO] - [make your own clue for this one]

I could go on forever. My point? I don't have one.

One can never go wrong with J. S. Bach, in this case his secular cantata "Non sa che sia DOLORe", BWV 209.

Happy Thursday!

chefbea 8:25 AM  

Got the theme at whoopie...then the rest was easy. Did have to google a few things though

r.alphbunker 8:27 AM  

8D. {Lively piano tune} RAG from _ _ _

10D. {Prefix with business} AGRO from AGR_

24D. {Per ___} DIEM from D_EM

70A. {Chic} INSTYLE from _ _ST_LE

Details are here.

kitshef 8:30 AM  

Hand up for SPECTre before SPECTER. Hand up for AGRObusiness being bogus (it's AGRi). Hand up for never hearing of WHOOPIE(PIE). Hand up for thumbs down to EARTH(ART).

PedanT before PURIST, REdtape before REPORTS, tAILS before RAILS.

Overall, just too darn easy - easiest Thursday I can recll - and too many junk abbreviations (ELEM, AGRO, OEO, TNN, OCS, TTOP). I'll give a pass on NAT because GO NATS!!!!!

@Evil Doug - alas, it's 'Lacey' Underall.

evil doug 8:48 AM  

"@Evil Doug - alas, it's 'Lacey' Underall."

I know. No problemo. Just add one of them pesky "(var.)" deals. Or clue it "common misspelling error of teen hottie Underall's tablecloth-esque first name in director Ramis's Caddyshack featuring Chevy Chase and that actor playing Ted Baxter on Mary Tyler Moore's show". See? Easy fix....

George Barany 8:50 AM  

Thanks for the link, @CFXK, and they didn't waste any time updating it to mention the Nobel Prize.

Tita A 8:52 AM  

E[ART]H as a term was new to me. Does strip mining count? What arrogance. The "art" in the picture could have major impact downstream on that coastline. My art appreciation is inversely proportional to the amount of staff and/or heavy machinery required to create it...

Yay for a fun and clever Thursday. I really liked it at P[ALE].

Sure, it's easy to come up with words-within-words...
Slovenly love... Romance in a pigpen?
But try to find more examples that are fun phrases, like SH[OUT]. Not so easy now, is it??

Maybe too many lazy abbvs, but I still loved this.

Carola 9:03 AM  

I got the idea with GARBAGE BAG and enjoyed TESTing myself at how quickly I could get the others. My favorie was WHOOPIE PIE, followed by EARTH ART. Question for the linguists: are the theme's three-letter units PHONEMEs?

RAG got me RWANDAN (I'd wondered about ugANDAN), so sloTH wasn't an issue for me here (unlike in real life). It was a delight to be reminded of the NOBODY poem and to finally get MATINEE. One do-over: LACe before LACY.

Back to EARTH ART: I thought this article, "A Monument to Outlast Humanity," was interesting.

Tita A 9:13 AM  

Of course, Nazca lines, pyramids, and such have immunity. My knee-jerk affrontery is reserved for vandalism created in my own lifetime.

NCA President 9:15 AM  

Not too bad today. I kinda liked it....which, for me, is a glowing review. So yeah, thumbs up. The theme, while not exciting, was clever enough to keep me engaged but also helped solve the puzzle. So kudos for that.

I wonder if the Dodge CARAVAN is named for a desert caravan or for the British RV?

I had sloTH/AlGerie...yes, ALGERIE. You know, the French spelling of Algeria, which I figured saw some heavy fighting in WWII. Seemed legit at the time.

I don't know what a WHOOPIE PIE is. Never heard of DYSON. I got EARTH ART from just the look of -ART- and "landscape" though I'd never heard of it...i eyerolled when I got it. EARTH ART is a thing?

I know ORIGAMI because of a Little Ceasars commercial in the 80s.

Don McBrien 9:25 AM  

@NCA President: LOL! "Pterodactyl...whrah! whrah!"

QuasiMojo 9:27 AM  

So is Mount Rushmore (well, at least the sculpted part, which I consider an abomination) also "earth art"? I wasn't going to chime in today but Rex's semi-pan of this puzzle surprised me. As did his initial entry of "Algeria" instead of "Argonne." I thought it was an okay Thursday puzzle but too easy. And seeing "tsar" simply described as an abdicator rather than as a leader who was forced to abdicate and was then assassinated with his entire family (just so the constructor could find a new way of clueing this overused bit of crosswordese) strikes me as less than "ethical."

Z 9:35 AM  

Giving Dylan a Literature Nobel is Peak Baby Boomer. No wonder millennials are so often disgusted with us.

Played two games essentially savage (no subs) last night and my brain is just as creaky as my ankles and knees this morning, so big honking DNF/DNC this morning. The PPP* is excessive (27/72, 36%) and neither in my wheelhouse or particularly interesting. OEO, OCS, and TNN are just random ese. Then there is the PPP Clusterf#%k that is the NE. 39 squares, 32 are PPP. Seriously?

@phil phil - The almost exact same clue at 10D in the AVCX is probably what you are thinking of. What are the odds of that?

*PPP is Pop culture, product names or other proper nouns in clues or answers. 33% is my somewhat arbitrary point where it becomes problematic for some group of solvers.

Nancy 9:39 AM  

So I read Rex today before commenting, to see if he fell into the same trap that I did -- and he did. So did @Pete at the top of the blog, and for the same reason, it appears, that I did. While I sometimes get angry just like everyone else, WRATH is not my deadly sin. SLOTH is. (Evidently, it's Pete's, too.) And so I fell into the SLOTH trap. And then, like Rex, I fell into the ALGERIA instead of ARGONNE trap, because I had an L and not an R for the 2nd letter. And I'm thinking: I thought the fight over Algeria took place much later than WWI. Finally, 8A straightened me out, since 8D had to be RAG and 8A couldn't be RS-----. But problems aplenty for me in the NE!

I liked this a lot. The theme was fun and had the added benefit of making the puzzle even tougher in the spots that it was already tough. Nice job.

QuasiMojo 9:39 AM  


I probably should have said "executed" instead of "assassinated" re the Romanovs. But I see that there was a movie called "Assassin of the Tsar" starring Malcolm McDowell about someone who imagined he had killed the Romanovs. So maybe it's apt. And as for Bob Dylan, I just want to go on record as having met him once when I was about 12. I had no idea who he was then (I was too busy listening to "Spectre of the Rose" and other exotica, for a suburban teen in 60s America,) but he was very charming and gracious in spite of my ignorance. :)

evil doug 9:45 AM  
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Whirred Whacks 10:01 AM  

"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow"

Jane Thorne 10:17 AM  
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Hartley70 10:21 AM  

I didn't notice the little circles in the app grid and solved this as a themeless. It was quick and lively and I quite enjoyed it. Of course, now that I'm here see a theme, it's even cuter, but I don't think it would have made the solve faster. No harm, no foul.

I too fell for sloth, but not Algeria. RWANDAN and ARGONNE put me right. As I did a run through of the other sins, I was mindlessly shoveling in Cracklin' Oat Bran out of the box. The reminder of the sin of gluttony made me stop. Phew, close one.

Jane Thorne 10:23 AM  

An RV in Britain is a caravan.

Nancy 10:30 AM  

Oh, thank you, thank you, @Whirred Whacks (10:01 a.m.) for beating me to the punch! Except that you know how to embed and I don't. I had already chosen the exact same Dylan stanza from the exact same song to put up here, only I would have had to type it in laboriously by hand. So you've saved me a lot of work, which is a very good thing, prone to SLOTH as I am. But those gorgeous words -- along with so many others he wrote -- show why Dylan richly deserves the Nobel Prize. He is a Poet, @Z, and the words he has written often rise to "Literature. He has worked in the medium of his time -- and had a far greater influence on our age than, say, Maya ANGELOU. Or Sylvia Plath or Billy Collins or any formal poet working today. Had he been born into an earlier age, he probably would have written poetry, but songwriting in our time affords far more opportunity to someone blessed with a terrific ear than does the abomination of Modern Poetry, which has dispensed with rhyme, dispensed with rhythm, dispensed with form, itself. (As Robert Frost once said: "Writing poetry that doesn't rhyme is like playing tennis without a net.") So what has Dylan done? 1) He almost single-handedly defined the zeitgeist of our age and 2) He almost single-handedly wiped out the pop music pap of the '50s -- boasting lyrics such as these (which I have the great misfortune to remember):

I don't want a richochet romance,
I don't want a richochet love.
If you're careless with your kisses,
Find another turtle dove.

Now, go back and re-read Whirred Whacks's post. Get down on your knees and thank the Literary Gods for Bob Dylan. Kudos to the Nobel Committee for selecting him. Will Paul Simon be next? I hope so.

CDilly52 10:39 AM  

The British call travel trailers/campers "caravans" but why it was clued thusly for the NYT is a head scratcher, for sure. Easy today; way below my usual time (admittedly dreadful by pro standards).

GILL I. 10:46 AM  

I wanted SHOOFLY badly. Thank you RAW BARS
Did not relish the clue for DYSON. It's a vacuum brand. I also thought the clue for THUNDER was just plain mean.
I had NO IDEA what the hell was going on here and I was going to raise all kinds of stink (Hi ED) about MADE. I just stared at that answer for maybe an hour until the light bulb went off. Got it.. and that's when I began to enjoy the puzzle.
I love EARTH ART but I always knew it as Land Art. My favorite is what is done to some trees. Like walking under a canvas.
Like the HAG/GOLEMS/SPECTER image STAN LEE might have drawn.

Masked and Anonymous 10:48 AM  

WHOOPIE(PIE) was the hardest themer for m&e to fudge out, as don't think I've ever heard of it. This was a clever puz idea and a very well-constructed grid. thUmbsUp. Since no revealer or other kinda hint, ThursPuz seems about right, on its placement, week-wise. Maybe a couple more sneaky clues here and there coulda been a positive addition, but that's always guesswork, on how much clue "punch" is just right. Speakin of which …

* IRMA = {"___ la Douce" (1963 film)}. This woulda been a moo-cow eazy-E clue candidate, even if this was a MonPuz.
* RAMIS. This was moo-cow level, for M&A personally, as "Caddyshack" is one of his all-time fave comedy flicks. "Ohh … did somebody step on a duck?!…" [TOOTED]
* WRATH. Better clue. Suckered me into wantin SLOTH. SLOTH is M&A's strong suit, deadlysin-wise.
* OEO. fave weeject. Looks so … shapely. [Palindrome-wise, not Trump-wise.]
* ANGELOU. Also a gimme, at my house. One of M&A's fave poets.
* MADE(MAD). Nice faint bouquet of desperation, here. Nothing major. Just makes U look, twice, sans stink-eye. Taunted me to come up with a neat list of (better?) alternatives, like @Alias Z did. Tried to do it. Total mental block. Kept stickin on TRUMP(RUMP).
* The circles. Always appreciated. Now M&A is curious, tho … why did the puz use shaded areas yesterday, and circled areas today?

Thanx, CC and DG. Nice job, gangin up on us.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Roo Monster 10:54 AM  

Hey All !
EARTH ART is really bad when these assholes (Re: Arab Oil bazillionaires you have so much money they burn $100 bills to light their cigars) build excessively large "ART" out into waterways. Really messes up the ecology of the area. They want to leave a legacy because they think they are soooo important. Ass hats.

The puz was cool. Words in words. Actually figured it out at EARTH ART. Humph. Then saw MADE MAD and PALE ALE. Took a while to remember WHOOPIE PIE. Haven't had or seen one in quite a while. The NE was hardest for me. Had both REPORTS and ATHEART in, then took them out. BeN before BIN, and ___BARS were giving me troubles. Saw RAW, got rid of E in BeN, saw ETHICAL, and it all fell. Puz did apply pressure in all quadrants. Actually had to look up the Seven Sins to see qhat would fit. :-[

Liked the STAN LEE clue, was thinking stand-up comedienne. ORIGAMI had a cool clue also.

This weeks puzs seem to be a day ahead. Yesterday seemed Tuesday, today could've been Wednesday. Just sayin.


Roo Monster 10:56 AM  

NW corner, of course. Proof reading? Bah. No one's got time for that! :-)


old timer 11:04 AM  

I got the trick at AVERAGE AGE but most of the themers were not so obvious. I saw IRMA La Douce when it came out in 1963. Had never been to Paris, and though I probably had seen hookers in San Francisco or New York had no idea what they were. But that's why I started in the SW: I knew IRMA immediately.

It was a fun puzzle and fairly easy. Hands up for "sloth" before WRATH and "lace" before LACY. We have always used brand name GARBAGE BAGs like Hefty ever since one of those store brand bags broke while I was carrying the garbage down the back steps of our former apartment in SF (I'm actual a Glad man, myself).

I was a little mystified about the WWI battle site. Wanted LaMarne or LeSomme at first. But when I got RAG then I knew it had to be ARGONNE.

I wonder, did anyone else write in "the Nets" before THUNDER?

Charles Flaster 11:08 AM  

Agree with Rex especially Tuesday easy.
Liked cluing for MATINEE, FREE, and STAN LEE.
Never heard of WHOOPIE PIE.
Thanks DG and ZB.

Whirred Whacks 11:08 AM  

Here's a (cruel?) twist:

Today is Paul Simon's 75th birthday!

Simon probably went to bed last night thinking:

"Tomorrow, everyone the Internet is going to be talking about a certain aging singer/song-writer (wink, wink) who will be observing a big day and the radio stations will be playing his songs all day long."


Joseph Michael 11:19 AM  

Enjoyed this one a lot. Clever theme and solid construction.

Had fun figuring out the themers and was disappointed only by MADE MAD which seemed like a splat of green paint thrown in as filler.

Kudos to Mr. Dylan, one of my heroes.

old timer 11:19 AM  

I had to go read an article about Dylan's Nobel, then come back. I am very much in the generation that has his words and music buried deep in my brain, though often it was not he who sang the songs of his I know best. You may remember I quoted from "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" the other day. I learned it from Marley's Ghost. I learned another favorite, "Farewell Angeline" from Joan Baez. And of course we all remember the ones performed by The Byrds.

Gotta add, OFL really MADE me MAD with his inane obection to that perfectly ordinary phrase. The whole point of the theme is to show us ordinary phrases with repeating second words. WHOOPIE PIE is really the outlier, because not everyone has tasted them, though I have, and in California too.

AZPETE 11:26 AM  

Thx. Thought he was from NY?

Warren Howie Hughes 11:28 AM  

I'll SHOUT it from the ROOF tops, because ATHEART and for my DOLOR, this has BIN an above AVERAGE Thursday offering from the dynamic duo of Gagliardo & Burnikel, that was a sheer DELIght that definitely MADE my day!

Kath320 12:05 PM  

I don't get 'instant' as an answer to "What a spray may provide." Anyone?

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

I would have thought the eco freaks (and Rex) would lose their minds over EARTH ART. Messing with nature in their view is always wrong.

GILL I. 12:12 PM  

@Kath320...INSTANT TAN.

Anonymous 12:13 PM  

@Kath320 - How does the T-pig stay so orange? He gets an INSTANT TAN from a spray bottle.

@Pete - I see what you did there.

Lewis 12:27 PM  

Greatly in heaven over the deserving Dylan Nobel Prize, and @Nancy, spot on about him. Nice little "36-hours in" article in the NYT about my town Asheville. Just letting everyone know that I'm headed out on a mini-vacation -- a family extravaganza -- in Austin. I'll be back to this blog in about a week.

Kim Colley 12:29 PM  

Lived in Ky all my life and never heard of Whoopie Pie. I thought the clue was looking for some variation on Shoo-Fly Pie. South has Derby Pie, Chess Pie, and the aforementioned Shoo-Fly.

Z 12:51 PM  

Love him all you want. The Nobel is over-the-top and unwarranted. I can come up with a dozen song-writers off the top of my head that are as good as songwriters, and several more consequential. Carole King anyone? How about Ice Cube? Saul Williams? Maybe you've heard of Lennon/McCartney? Or Holland-Dozier-Holland? Great writers all. Poetic all. All at least as deserving of a Nobel as Dylan, i.e. not at all.

Leapfinger 1:32 PM  

Well, I kind of scattershotted out of the NW down the diagonal, so my first theme filled was PALE ALE, which alerted me to back-fill WHOOPIE PIE and EARTH ART, both of which I liked. Wasn't MADE MAD except for DYSON, where I also wanted DRANO. I spose GOLEM would be easier for anyone who'd ever read any Sholom Aleichem or Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. My car radio is set on NPR, which had  me mildly disappointed that 68A wasn't MO_RACAS, but the 6-year old in me did SO HOHO at TOOTED

Untagged themers abounded:
*Caddyshack director's Parisian friends
*Sykes' professes African origins
*Essentially, the protoplanet origin of our Moon
*Cheer for an animated mass
*Disease contracted on trains
*Maya's hair-product line
*Stroll down the supermarket detergent aisle
-- Proctor & GAMBLE AMBLE

No need to belabor STEFAN FAN, SEGAL GAL, COP OP or the teensy LABRAT BRA (which may be LACY). I'll just finish by saying I spent some time yesterday building up my collection of rocks for a rock garden, so I ended the day with a pretty good CACHE ACHE, and conked out as a SLEEPY LEEPY.

ps: Didn't we just have some recent comments from someone self-styled as @PURIST? As @GeorgeB said, What are the odds?

pps: I see now that much of the above has been pre-empted by @AliasZ by several hours, but what the hey, I had this all typed up. Who knows, there may be more to come, based on others' observations...

Teedmn 1:37 PM  

Tough one for me today - nothing was a gimme, it seemed. I put in "anger" at 9D, started mentally listing the 7 deadlies and realized it could just as well be PRIDE or SLOTH and crossed it out to wait for more information. I got the theme at GARBAGE (BAG) so that did help with some of the other theme answers.

The NW gave me fits - I was up to ACED on the one side and EARTH on the other with no idea who the two-time Wimbledon winner was and the "nos. at the beach" was eluding me completely but an aha there finally did break open the logjam as I was able to guess STEFAN and get TRIPE and then WHOOPIE PIE filled the rest in. WHOOPIE!

I just saw this photo this morning and it seems like it could qualify as EARTH ART" in a less invasive way than @Carola's link (though that looks cool too!)

Leapfinger 2:34 PM  

I'm with @Larry Gilstrap, @Trombone Tom et aliae on EARTH(ART). Along with Ozymandias, I can understand the concept and the desire, but at the end of the day, it's neither possible to improve on Nature nor to calculate the effects.  In a related vein, I'll add that motorbike-riding in the desert qualifies as an abomination, considering that almost all desert life relies on what exists in the top one inch of soil and takes ages to regenerate. What's that Szilard saying? Do not destroy what you cannot create.

Was also confused by CARAVAN, waffled on AGRi/O and roamed to the ETERNAL City before the EMERALD.

Calor, rubor, DOLOR. Just sayin'.

Having fallen into the elsewhere-mentioned NATionalist trap, I gotta add that the WHOOPIE PIE is crumby compared to the Mae West from North of the border. Just. No. Comparison.

Glad that I was able to sort out the Dylans, Zimmerman vs Thomas, and thanks for the many interesting links. I especially liked @Teedmn's hummocks, Dolores and the dog named Tomato Rose. And with that we ARGONNE.

JerzeeJazz 2:34 PM  

"Caravan" is Britspeak for little trailer, hence "vacation vehicle."

MetroGnome 2:36 PM  

Never heard of "WHOOPIE PIE" -- Too bad we couldn't have had the clue "bumped" or "sniffed" for TOOTED . . .

MetroGnome 2:45 PM  

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept dripping
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleeding
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warning
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazing
I heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughing
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you meet my blue-eyed son ?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what'll you do now my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
And the executioner's face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I'll tell and speak it and think it and breathe it
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it
And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinking
But I'll know my song well before I start singing
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall. . .

evil doug 2:59 PM  

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doing it again
You better duck down the alleyway
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coonskin cap, in the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills but you only got ten
Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A. look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don't need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows
Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
Try hard, get barred
Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail
Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid
You're gonna get hit
But losers, cheaters
Six-time users
Hang around the theaters
Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin' for a new fool
Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters
Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don't steal, don't lift
Twenty years of schoolin'
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't want to be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles

old timer 3:02 PM  

Back for a third and final time. I bought a book with the lyrics to all of Dylan's songs (up to 1985) and read through every song, the ones I remembered and the ones I never heard of. Poetry can give you a song, and tell you a story sometimes, too. Doesn't have to be the short stuff you see in the New Yorker. Indeed some pieces start out as poems and someone finds a tune and makes it a song. I think that happened with Sean O'Casey's "Since Maggie Went Away" and in the back of my mind a Yeats poem became a song. Definitely happened with Burns.

Burns is often rated as Scotland's greatest poet. I vote for Dylan as America's. Certainly one of our greatest living poets, and the best known outside the USA.

Homer Nods 3:10 PM  

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk,
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk,
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread,
You might be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.

Masked and Anonymous 3:18 PM  

Subterranean Homesick Blues. Excellent jukebox selection, @evil doug.

My quarter goes to …

"People are crazy and times are strange
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed"


jberg 3:33 PM  

Solved this long ago, despite sloTH and Routine before REPORTS. My only real trouble was with the ROOF/idle crossing. Took me the longest time to see that the latter was FREE.

Those comparing EARTH ART with Shelley's "Ozymandias" should go back and read Rex's WOD entry -- generally, Earth Art is meant to be ephemeral and fade back into the landscape.

Devin W 3:38 PM  

Wow.. that is really weird. I have ALWAYS used the term "on the up and up" in the British definition which is basically "steadily improving or becoming more successful". I've somehow never heard it used to describe someone as being ETHICAL. That messed me up

evil doug 3:48 PM  

I kind of have a thing for Marie Ozymandia, especially since she did that diet thing.

Happy Pencil 4:34 PM  

WB Yeats
Thomas Mann
TS Eliot
William Faulkner
Ernest Hemingway
Samuel Beckett
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Alice Munro
and ...
Bob Dylan?!

In the words of the immortal John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious!"

@Z, I'm with you on this one.

STAN LEE would have been a better choice.

Santana 4:37 PM  

After so many disappointments with the SANTAANA winds, I was hoping for a little redemption with CARAVANserai serai.

@EvilD, I'm gonne get you for that Marie Ozymandia crack.


Shel Silverstein 4:39 PM  

On deck

Leapfinger 4:51 PM  

@jberg, having raised Ozymandias, I'll say I didn't raze it as a fully congruent comparison with EARTH ART, but there are some specific points: (a) the desire to construct something hugely impressive within Nature and (b) wheather or no, everything will ultimately fade away.

Salton Sea

KFC 5:02 PM  

Seems like an odd mix of commenters liking and not liking Dylan. The 3 album run starting with Bringing It All Back Home was perhaps the most amazing music/poetry event of the last century.

But the funniest thing was
When I was leaving the bay
I saw three ships a-sailing
There were all heading my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn't drive a truck
He said his name was Columbus
I just said, "Good luck"

Hormone free? We're working on it!

Numinous 5:12 PM  

I'm a bit late to the party today, had a doctor's appointment and actually met her instead of my regular NP. Boy, is she hawt. I was dumbfounded. Wearing wedgie platforms and black stockings to two inches above her knees and a little tartan kilt to four inches above her knees. On top of all that, she had an excellent, professional manner. I was stunned to say the least.

I was surprised by the Britishism CARAVAN as well as the non-Brritish SPECTER (wanted SPECTre). (Hard to type with the puppy in my lap inspecting every movement I make). I thought the theme was pretty cool: embedded words to complete recognizable phrases. Others here found many more though they were not all three letter words.

Since nobody answered, @Carola, a PHONEME is the smallest recognizable unit of human speech in a given language such as a single letter sound or an utterance like "Ugh". (That's the way I remember it from my linguistics class years ago.) The word give rise to the anthropological views of a society, emic and etic. The former being the view of a custom from inside the society, the latter being the view of a custom by an outsider.

@Anon 7:24, Edys ice cream is only available in the right half of the country because it is Dyers from Oakland, California. They are one and the same. Dyer and Edy partnered in the '20s sometime, I believe.

@Anon 8:16 PM yesterday, I've queued more often than stood in line (at least to my way of thinking). When I cited the north eastern United States, I was quoting some web site or another. It is immaterial to me whether one stands in or on line. I just wanted to get to the thrust of the argument. My second wife was from New York and she stood on line. She also spilled stuff out of a glass instead of pouring it into the sink. Go figure.

Yeah, I enjoyed this puzzle. Criticism is an English professor's job. You can't blame @Rex for picking, even at the good stuff. It's his job. My job is to have the best time I can doing the puzzle. I'm sure many of us feel that way. Apropos of nearly nothing, I'd love to see someone try to nitpick a Sudoku.

GILL I. 5:23 PM  

Awarding the highest prize in literature to a pop star?
"You don't go to the hardware store for oranges, as they say, and if you want poetry, you don't go to Bob Dylan."

MetroGnome 6:00 PM  

RE: Dylan

He's certainly as influential, and as much of a genius, as the Nobel folks give him credit for. Does a pop star "deserve" the highest award in literature? Legitimate question -- it occurs to me that there might be a simple solution: As of now, there's no award for songwriting. Why can't gifted artist in a "vernacular" art form receive due credit? If that were the case, a Dylan (or a Leonard Cohen or a Gil Scott-Heron or a Joni Mitchell or a Nina Simone, let's say -- just for starters) could win an appropriate award without the kind of controversy that's brewing here.

Numinous 6:00 PM  

When I met Bob Dylan back in 1964 I was coming down from my very first acid trip, He was so stoned he could barely speak. He was going around telling everyone at the party that he and Joanie (Baez) had just got married. She was sort of following him around asking, "Did Bobby tell you we just got married?" Then she'd add, "Well, it's not true." She was so sweet, he was so out of control.

Oddly enough, my second wife was his cousin. Didn't find that out until well after we were married.

Seriously, if he got the Nobel, good luck to him. He always wanted to be a pop/rock star but he jumped on the folk music band wagon because it was easier to break in. In general, I think he was better at folk but what do I know?

evil doug 6:14 PM  

Every bit as legitimate as Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize....

GILL I. 6:42 PM  

Yeah, there's that too.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

Dylan may not have much of a voice, but poet he is. Puzzle was a bit of a challenge at the NW corner for me, but overall a nice Thursday .

Anonymous 8:29 PM  

Shut up.

Andrew Heinegg 8:34 PM  

Do you mean Dreyer's? Autocorrect is such a two-sided thing.

Z 10:11 PM  

@evil doug6:14 - I think Barry has been an outstanding prez, but agree with you 100%.

@MetroGnome - Not just here. The pushback is quite strong. My favorite Twitter joke of the day was to post congrats to Dylan with a picture of some other artist. Also common was the "Dylan winning opens the door for ..." (pick your favorite ludicrous suggestion (just saw a crossfriendly Flo Rida version)) joke. And there's also the more morose Dylan Rieder tweets (cancer sucks).

Nancy 10:35 PM  

Which of these lines strikes you as most "poetic"?

A. Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six-year darling of a pygmy size

B. And the ancient, empty street too dead for dreaming

C. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?

D...Romantic facts of musketeers foundationed deep, somehow,
Ah, I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

E. No motion has she now, no force, she neither hears nor sees,
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course with rocks and stones and trees.

(authors below)

A and E: Wordsworth; C: Eliot; B and D: Dylan.
I rest my case.

KFC 11:19 PM  

@Nancy Amen!

The naysayers bring to mind "Positively 4th street"

Still working on it!

Numinous 11:58 PM  

Yes, @Andrew, Dreyers! Autocorrupt. . . .

Mohair Sam 8:01 AM  

@Nancy - Hell, You wanna play that silly game, I'll find better than all that in Hoagy Charmichael.

Kohl Rich 8:49 AM  


In Xanadu did Kukla Fran
An Ollie pleasure dome decree.

What's your point?

rondo 9:43 AM  

Actually, I’d GAMBLE that the odds of finding PALEALE two days in a row are quite good. When Will picks the puzzles it seems that some entries are from very recent offerings, such as the recent appearances of “etoile(s)”. I believe it’s on purpose so you have some of those things in your memory banks and they don’t seem uncommon. It’s an editing thing, as are many of the clues.

As to the puz, two w/os – hand up for sloth, and in the SE STilLEr was my “comic” (which also gave me OFL’s SPECTre). Both correctable. And of course I thought it was AGRi – business, but didn’t fill in the i. Otherwise, ACED it.

Today’s ladies include Maya ANGELOU and perhaps WHOOPIE Goldberg, but I suspect @spacey will go back to the star of IRMA la Douce, when SLEEPY Shirley Maclaine was considered a yeah baby and INSTYLE. No HAG she. To EACH his own.

For another Thurs-puz better than a rebus, I’ll give a SHOUT OUT.

Burma Shave 10:01 AM  


When the GOLEMS ARGONNE and such EARTHy ART is not INSTYLE,
I’ll GAMBLE that NOBODY’s NEEDING any SPECTERs MADE for a while.


Larry Jordan 11:45 AM  

Carol King did not do lyrics.

spacecraft 12:20 PM  

@Pete, you are a riot! (Very first post) As to Dylan, I'm for him; glad he got this honor before "knock-knock-knockin' on Heaven's door." And I agree with many that Simon should get his before going homeward bound. The man's a genius.

This offering played on the easy side except for that tricky NE; I fell into the same traps as OFL. I was so sure it was SLOTH that I racked my brain trying to come up with something to fit _O_BAGEBAG. In the end I had to abandon it...but I don't even recall WRATH as being one of the seven. That inkblot-fest aside, the rest went pretty fast.

We had just recently given the DOD nod to Shirley as IRMA; so today let's go with WHOOPI (no E), as Guinan on STTNG. The actress may not regard this role as a favorite, but I thought she was as cool as the other side of the pillow (miss ya, Scott). Honorable mention to Ali McGraw in "Love Story."

A nice, tight grid with very little GARBAGE; we can forgive a TTOP or two. If this is the TENTH at Augusta, it's a long par 4 dogleg left; very difficult. I think it plays close to 500 YDS: birdie anyway. We are on a roll!

Anonymous 1:16 PM  

Second very enjoyable puzzle in a row. Fun!

Diana,LIW 2:02 PM  

Learned something new about SOHO. I mean, I know there's Hell's Kitchen in mid-town Manhattan, but little South of Houston?

Feel lie a dolt. Did not get the theme until coming here. Just thought there were random words in the circles. Even thought, whilst solving, that there needed to be a second wordfor the answers to make sense. And there they were.

And never heard of Earth Art. Leaves me feeling like a small test subject. Or maybe NOBODY. Don't tell. They'll banish us, you know.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

fakt chekker 2:39 PM  

@Larry J., one of many examples of lyrics she wrote - "You've Got a Friend" is a 1971 song written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album Tapestry. "You've Got a Friend" won Grammy Awards both for James Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). The Song of the Year award goes only to the composer(s) of the song that "must contain melody and lyrics and must be either a new song or a song first achieving prominence during the eligibility year."

leftcoastTAM 2:42 PM  

Took a while to see what was staring me in the face--words within words that completed the answer. And they all seemed to pop out at once.

From there the rest of it seemed easy, although getting the METE/MATINEE cross was harder to see. Of course, METEs and measures, not MEeTs and measures.

Heard of oyster bars, sushi bars, tapa bars, and what-not, but had to rely on crosses to get RAW bars.

Neat Thursday puzzle, liked it.

Z 2:53 PM  

@fakt chekker - I wondered about that post. King was a songwriter before she became famous as a singer. Here's more on her early career

fakt chekker 2:55 PM  


All songs written by Carole King except where noted.

Side 1
1."I Feel the Earth Move" – 3:00
2."So Far Away" – 3:55
3."It's Too Late" (lyrics by Toni Stern) – 3:54
4."Home Again" – 2:29
5."Beautiful" – 3:08
6."Way Over Yonder" – 4:49

Side 2
7."You've Got a Friend" – 5:09
8."Where You Lead" (lyrics by Toni Stern) – 3:20
9."Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (Gerry Goffin, King) – 4:13
10."Smackwater Jack" (Goffin, King) – 3:42
11."Tapestry" – 3:15
12."(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Goffin, King, Jerry Wexler) – 3:59

rain forest 3:47 PM  

A little late today. Sloth you know, which was my only write-over in this delightful puzzle.

I was momentarily stymied/confused at the E(ART)H entry, but when I was sorting out both (MAD)E, and P(ALE), I saw what was going on. Things went quite smoothly after that with the SW being the toughest section for me. As I've said before, if a puzzle is fun, then it has done its job. This was fun.

Amazing the conversation that has dominated today even though Bobby Zimmerman wasn't even in the puzzle. Call me old-fashioned but I always let the nice folks on the Nobel committee make the decisions. I certainly think they are more reliable than a bunch of crossword blog commenters. Dylan is a great poet and deserving of the award on a number of levels. Having become the first pop artist to receive the honour, I also believe that he may have paved the way for others in the future. Leonard Cohen, who died last week, comes to mind. Do they award these things posthumously? Anyway, good on ya' mate!

BS2 4:08 PM  

@rain forest - Spot on re: Leonard Cohen. Poet extraordinaire.

Blogger 7:27 PM  

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