Italian brewery since 1846 / SAT 1-28-17 / Gesture of razzle-dazzlement / Its logo consists of pair of calipers in oval / Classic novel written under nom de plume of Currer Bell

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Easy (6:40-something)


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: PERONI (23A: Italian brewery since 1846) —
Peroni Brewery is a brewing company, founded in Vigevano in Lombardy, Italy, in 1846. It has been based in Rome since 1864. The company's main brand in Italy is Peroni (4.7 ABV), a pale lager sometimes known as Peroni Red in export markets. However, it is probably best known worldwide for its premium lager, Nastro Azzurro (5.1% ABV), which was the 13th best-selling beer in the United Kingdom in 2010. (wikipedia)
• • •


Too many long giveaways made this more Friday- than Saturday-ish. With no crosses crosses, I got "JANE EYRE" "HE GOT GAME" ACHILLES, JOHN HENRY, and BON JOVI. That's handing me A FEW too many. I mean, thanks—I always feel quite amazing when I crush a Saturday—but my success today felt tainted a bit by the gimmes. The best solves involve succeeding by unlocking the tricky clues. That "JANE EYRE" clue made getting that answer (and the whole corner) into the equivalent of dunking the basketball ... by climbing a ladder on sitting on someone's shoulders. I do got game, but I didn't get to show it here. Too much just handed to me. Speaking of not feeling great about my success—let's look at another way that that happens, i.e. when I avail myself of my deep store of crosswordese to crack open a puzzle. I guess that is "game" (i.e. talent) of a sort, or at least the product of experience, but it still feels slightly cheap. For instance, first word in today: DEBAR. Who's gonna feel good about that? Then KIR over ECO—the former I'd never heard of before crosswords (today, instant gimme) and the latter I see clued this way ("Friendly" prefix) so often that I had no doubt about it. KIR over ECO + DEBAR got me BAD JOKE (1D: Something a bomber delivers?), and I was off. I wonder if you could've left the "?" off the BAD JOKE clue. It's pretty literal. And that would've made things a lot harder, probably. Anyway, gimmes + heavy reliance on crosswordese make me less than exultant today about my good time.


Only thing in the grid I had no clue about was PERONI, which I'm sure I've seen before once or twice. I think it might even have been the Word of the Day before. But it didn't take. I'm not sure it'll take now. I'm writing about it in the hopes that it'll take. PERONI was part of my mild solving problem in the middle. No initial "P" meant that for a while PLEDGING was hard to see (23D: Activity in a drive). Also, several of those Across clues didn't compute at first, namely 30A: " (INCHES) and 37A: Opposite of slow (FLYING) and 43A: A cry of relief (TGIF). The last one, I really should've gotten more quickly, as I had the "T," but no dice. Corners of this thing mostly went lightning fast, though SW was probably the toughest. Front end of 41A: "Gotcha" (SO I SEE) was a mystery. I wanted "OH, I SEE" or some such. And then there was AIR ... PIPE? Not HOSE? I knew ESPN was 100% correct (49A: "Outside the Lines" airer) so I discarded HOSE quickly, but PIPE? This was the one clue that provoked reaction on Twitter from a reader last night:


He then sent me a link to some SCUBA forum where this very "mistake" (I think it's a real mistake, I'm just being careful) had come up before. Good luck getting WS to change his mind on something like this. But even non-SCUBA me gave that answer side-eye. I also wasn't sure about the back end of SPIDER EGG (wanted SAC) or RED ROBIN (wanted ROSES, though in retrospect, that was a terrible want). Last minor (very minor) stumble was wanting IN A STIR for IN A SNIT (47A: Agitated). Second "T" in TRIOLET was my last letter (39D: Eight-line verse form). I liked the puzzle fine, but it was light-weight, and without a lot of sparkle. Maybe if I hadn't seen JAZZ HANDS before, that would've added something. BANG-UP JOB is nice. Otherwise, you know, fine.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

83 comments:

paulsfo 4:31 AM  

I agree about *very* easy. I usually don't even finish Saturdays. Today I finished in my fastest (Saturday) time ever, while also watching tv.

Charles Flaster 4:57 AM  

Agree wholeheartedly with Rex. Even easier than yesterday's offering. JOHN HENRY opened up the entire north. RED ROBIN and SUPER HERO did the same for the south.
Liked the cluing for BANG UP JOB ( had BANG UP try at first), ONE EACH, and VIOLA.
Other write overs were TGIF for Tada and A FEW for AlEs.
For 48D, a biker "takes" a SPILL.
My grandmother made delicious apple sauce to go with her scrumptious LATKES.
Thanks DG

Anonymous 5:45 AM  

I set personal records for Friday and Saturday this week. These were a little too easy. Maybe a lot too easy. Wednesday took me almost twice as long as Saturday. Thanks, as always, Rex - I love your blog.

Anonymous 5:47 AM  

Oops, I'm anon from 5:45. I meant Thursday took me twice as long as Saturday!

Anonymous 6:38 AM  

I absolutely loved this puzzle. Bunches of uncommon answers. Very few staples.

Dolgo 6:55 AM  

Okay. If you read my occasional comments, you know I hate whining. But the NW makes even me whine. I knew Bosch, but the rest just didn't follow from the clues for me no matter how hard I tried. Would it have helped if I had ever heard of "kir? Probably not. I'm still scratching my head over "jazz hands," and I maintain "bad joke" was just simply a bad clue. Also.uncharacteristically for me, I had 3DNF's in the last 3 days. Maybe I'm losing it--beginning to feel like it from the advanced age I turned a little over a week ago.
On the other hand, many of the clues were simply giveaways for us literary typed. I sailed through the NE.
Also, happily, insomnia has not appeared the last 3 nights, but I did drop off with a slight headache each night.
What makes a crossword fan happy? A real challenge, but one that gives you a feeling of a job well done, but also a sense of fair play. I'll accept Rex's analysis and get right back on the bike.
I promise to try not to whine any more!

Loren Muse Smith 7:07 AM  

Reporting much harder here from beautiful downtown West Virginia. I dispatched the top pretty quickly, but the whole bottom put up a terrific fight. “Hot head” and “air tank” really got in the way. HOT SPUR is a total woe.

Some other goofs –

“eff” for ECO (29A friendly introduction) One can only hope.
“wreck” for SPILL
“smooth” for SANDED
“a tab” for A FEW
“in a stew” then “in a stir” (Hi Rex and a cast of thousands) before IN A SNIT
“theaters” then “hot tubs” for WET BARS

You could argue that lots of luxury homes have fancy schmancy SUBZERO refrigerators.

Fun to see the AHA, SO I SEE. Yes. He is a pig. PIG PIG PIG.

BEEB and BOSCH went right in and when I got FAUVES I somehow felt cultured and classy. Wanted to run turn on some classical music and have a spot of Harney and Sons tea. Just lemon, please. I wanted my husband (away on business) to be here to admire that there’s more to me than The Real Housewives and Rice Krispy treats. I’ve said before, when I go to bed while he’s still up reading Toynbee or Halpern, I switch the channel from Million Dollar Listing to the history channel if he comes in to grab his glasses or something. But I’m not fooling anyone.

And to have SUPER HERO over ROBIN. Nice. And ACE over FLYING.

The TRIOLET/ELVER cross was tough, but, really, only an E would make sense. Fair enough. I’m not even gonna worry about the “three” part when it’s an eight-line poem. But I did kind of think maybe “octolet.”

I sure missed my linguistic buddy @Steve J when I saw the word DEBAR. That initial DE is superfluous. Debone/bone, inflammable/flammable… I love pairs like that.

@Dolgo – this puzzle was just what you said: “a real challenge, but one that gives you a feeling of a job well done, but also a sense of fair play.” But I knew KIR. Because I’m a BEEB FAUVES kind of person. Hah. And I never see you as a whiner; I always appreciate your comments.

Mr. Gulczynski – nice puz here. You got themeless game, buddy.

Glimmerglass 7:10 AM  

Yeah, this was pretty easy for me. But what @Rex considers gimmes might not be everyone's gimmes. The JANE EYRE clue, for example, requires knowing the Brontes' pen names, and not everyone remembers that Paris killed ACHILLES with a poisoned arrow (I first wrote in Mercutio, but that was Tybalt, not County Paris). I'm amused that @Rex pans puzzles that give him trouble (obscure -- to him -- names or things, unfair crosses) and pans puzzles that do not (too many -- to him -- gimmes). Not everyone knows Bon Jovi and Spike Lee titles. That said, I agree that this week's Saturday was easier than both this week's Thursday and Friday.

Dolgo 7:12 AM  

Upon further reflection, I think "jazz hands"was the crux of my failure. If I had gotten it, I would probably have finished.

Haatspore 7:12 AM  

My nephew's trespass may be well forgot;
it hath the excuse of youth and heat of blood,
And an adopted name of privilege,
A hair-brain'd Hotspur, govern'd by a spleen

King Henry IV, part I , Act V, scene II

phil phil 7:39 AM  

AHA SO I SEE. Rex's gimmees were not mine. Kir I know, a French enjoyment so aperitif in the clue may have been intended.
Wanted casey jones but couldn't pound the round peg into the square hole.
KIR and UNIX are my givens so I was happy to get through it all.

I liked it because SPIDER EGG could have been a rapper but it t'wasn't clued as such.

Even the ancient stuff was doable ACHILLES and RHEA.

My guess is most of the folks here will clock in as fun and easy.

r.alphbunker 7:44 AM  

I got my first answer, 44D {Matisse, Derain and fellow artists, with "les"} FAUVES, from a very unexpected source. I just learned this word last week. I have been sitting in on my wife's art theory seminar and one of the readings identified Matisse as a Fauvist. Les Fauves means "the beasts" in French. A critic coined the term after being offended by the bold colors of Matisse and others.

Details are here.

John Child 8:04 AM  

I was feeling clever because so much of this puzzle went down easily. Then I had to go back up th the NW. JiveHANDS seemed so right for dazzle-dazzle that I couldn't give it up. DNF for the cheat to complete the grid.

SPIDER EGG and the clue {Not dead yet} both seemed a little creepy. Does anyone know if the cloaks of ermine the British royal family wear are really called ERMINES? SUPERHERO over ROBIN is cute.

Hands up for HOThead and AIRtank.

Max Goolis is a lesser-known American hero than JOHN HENRY, but if you need a smile, here are The Limelighters.

Mike Nelson 8:05 AM  

Airpipe was last used on May 1, 2011. Since "component" is part of the clue, I don't see the issue.

Distancia Horticrux 8:06 AM  

Razzle-dazzlement = Chicago = Fosse. Nice clue for JAZZHANDS.

I thought a KIR was a dog? Oh, that's "cur."

I had estop before DEBAR.

Pleasant puzzle.

Jonathan Alexander 8:08 AM  

Wanted BADJOKE right off the bat and I was flying as soon as I checked the j and dropped JAZZHANDS....worked clockwise from NW and stuff just kept falling.

I will agree that what my be Rex's forte as far as answers go may not be everyone else's, so his "easy" maybe more difficult for others. I had no idea about Brontes pen name but was able to infer the novel at least from the crosses. This puzzle I thought was easy because there really were no Naticks for the more obscure clues across the board and I would venture to say that the majority of the long crosses are on the easy side for both cluing and the generality in terms of knowledge base for the solver.

That being said, I really dislike the 52A answer/clue pairing. Not how it works. Same with AIRPIPE - had to think if that was really a thing with scuba (in my mind I was saying "snorkeling?")

Teedmn 8:09 AM  

Am I the only person who puts in the wrong letter, making a word that I shrug off as possibly the foreign-language version of a word I know, when, if I just put in the word I know, the cross makes just as much sense as my new word? I'm not explaining this well. But FAUVES - I know this word because my Dad is an artist. The cross was _LVER. I don't know that word but for some reason I wanted aLVER so this gave me FAUVaS and I shrugged it off as the French for FAUVES. I later went back and changed the a to an E and saw ELVER and declared it good. But why did I even go for the "a" in the first place?

Since this took only 30 seconds over my time for yesterday, I'll agree with @Rex's easy rating. And for me, only the central part was hard. The top filled in off the gimme JANE EYRE/JOHN HENRY cross. The latter is a gimme because we had a bunch of Harry Belafonte albums and JOHN HENRY was one of his hits.

Hitting the wall at RHEA and LATKES (and having left off the P in PERONI due to uncertainty) I jumped to the bottom and the BON JOVI/BTW got that section polished off and prevented me from thinking IN A StIr.

So there was ___F as a cry of relief. "as IF"? Nah. but 27D, ACE IT was easy enough and gave me the T for TGIF. My best AHA today was seeing PLEDGING. The drive activities I considered involved washing the car and golfing and herding cattle. Hah, public TV and radio, nice.

Thanks, DG, for a nice Saturday puzzle.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

I wanted evil doug for 56A, but it didn't fit.

Also, I eat YOGURT with my hands so I was stuck there for a while.

Also I liked the shout out to D-John...SEXIST = pig. Yup.

BONJOVI is one of my FAUVES.

evil doug 8:16 AM  

Wow. Hard for me. Got Acura, ESPN, inches - - and not much else. John Henry finally lifted through the haze, then Achilles, and I had enough of a toe hold to angle out to the corners. Bosch, Jane Eyre, triolets and Fauves are not in my strike zone, but I found enough trial-and-error crosses to close the deal:

oh I SEE-->SO
BANG UP try-->JOB
A tab-->FEW
DEteR-->DEBAR

Not so keen on RED ROBIN--green-paintish. I'll take any robin as a satisfactory harbinger, or a robin redbreast....

One of those I-almost-gave-up puzzles that are truly rewarding to defeat.

Leapfinger 8:20 AM  

Enjoyed seeing ACHILLES today, hard on the heels of AGAMEMNON.

Remembered PERONI because I had my first one when I worked in a clinic that occasionally made the diagnosis of PEyRONIe's disease. Thought the similarity humorous enough to have kept the bottle on display above my desk for a while.

Speaking of BAD JOKE, a SEXIST and a couple of ASSES walk into a WET BAR... Doesn't the news sound more like reality TV every day?

Did some grasping at STRAWS, so wouldn't call the puzzle all that easy. Thought DG did a BANGUP JOB, quite SOIgnEE, so TYVM.



Leapfinger 8:25 AM  

@Distancia H, Yesss! That number from Chicago was EGGzactly what I saw in my mind's eye.

mathgent 8:33 AM  

Lately I've been rating puzzles by counting what I'm calling "plusses." A plus is an especially clever clue, a new fact that is welcome in my data base, a word which is new, or a word which I know that I'm pleased to be reminded of. This puzzle had fifteen plusses, the most I can remember since I started counting.

Not easy for me. I had to bring in The Closer for the NW. She had heard of JAZZHANDS.

George Barany 8:44 AM  

I tend to enjoy @Damon Gulczynski's puzzles, and the entertaining way he writes about them at his blog (click here for his own take on this one). @Rex, in his review, and several from the first wave of the commentariat, have already described aspects to the solving experience that mirrored my own. There were definitely entries that I got more from my experience constructing than from the solving challenges.

Not having heard of JAZZ_HANDS in the northwest and PERONI in the northeast definitely kept me from FLYING through, and the "trying-too-hard" clue for VIOLA coupled with unfamiliarity with both FAUVES and TRIOLET led to difficulties in the southeast. OPEN_DOORS today was evocative of OPEN_BORDERS from the day before.

I couldn't help wonder--suppose that the puzzle had run yesterday, those of you who were able to ACE_IT might then properly cry TGIF!

DJG 9:38 AM  

The only thing I take issue with in Rex's write-up of my puzzle is the implication that KIR is Crosswordese. It's not. Kirs are drink menu staples at French restaurants.

As for AIR PIPE, I'll defer to the professional and concede it's not a great entry. But I will say that I found it referenced on a website devoted to the history of scuba diving and on the website of a diving institute, so it's not totally made up.

More on this, and other thoughts from me about this puzzle you can visit my blog: scrabbledamon.blogspot.com. (Thanks, George, for the link as well.)

QuasiMojo 9:43 AM  

Isn't an airpipe what we have in our bodies? I think airhose is more correct although I am not a scuba diver.

I thought this puzzle was adequate but not thrilling. Some great words -- love Fauves, Triolet, Jane Eyre, SubZero, HotSpur and Achilles, etc. But these were somewhat diminished by junkier fill, HarHar, Rho, Hanging On, He Got Game. etc. LOVED Spider Egg and Red Robin.

What is a wetbar anyway? And are they really the domain of the well-to-do? Sounds like a place you get oysters.

I had "immense" before "titanic" and then "oceanic." I've never liked that word being used as "vast." It's a lot more than just that.

Lest you think I'm "In a Snit" let me add that I had "in a mood" first and perhaps that is more apt.

In closing let me quote Viola from "Twelfth Night" in light of this past week's events.

"What country, friends, is this?"



Z 9:50 AM  

Sure. Start with The Haywain Triptych, JANE EYRE, and a random auto manufacturer logo, see if we care.

After that 5 of 8 PPP* start to the acrosses I was ready to take DG off my "look forward to see his byline" list, but overall the puzzle came in at 18 out of 66, 27%, safely on the solvable side even if BON JOVI's oeuvre isn't ALREADY at your fingertips, so DG gets to stay on the list.

I also ended playing Whac-a-Vowel at the ELVER/TRIOLET cross. I have to disagree with @LMS regarding E being the most reasonable answer. A fish name? People are especially creative when naming beasts so any of the 6 are in play. And then a verse form. Italian, French, Latin, vowel migration. Nope, not a single reason to expect a verse form to be named in any reasonable way. I got it right, but I know the difference between being good and being lucky. I was lucky.

@Evil Doug - I was wondering if DG had a restaurant chain clue originally. The restaurant would not be green paint, but a product name, so a pick your poison moment perhaps.










*Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns, as a percentage of the puzzle >33% is not good.

AliasZ 9:51 AM  


It's a day late for TGIF -- and a dollar short.

The amazing Haywain Triptych by Hieronymus BOSCH, measuring 53x79 INCHES, is housed in the Prado, Madrid. The two side panels OPEN like DOORS.

-- SO, I SEE our SUPERHERO FLYING over RED ROBIN, who's barely HANGING ON below.
-- WET BARS: What you get in a prison cell during a heavy rainstorm.
-- Favorite words today: TRIOLET and Les FAUVES.

The middle name of Claude Debussy is... ACHILLES. Here is his Prélude à l'après-midi d'un FAUVES, presented today in honor of Maestro Georges Prêtre (seen in this clip) who passed away at age 92 a little over three weeks ago (January 4th).

Have hardy HAR HAR weekend.

Trombone Tom 9:55 AM  

Yes, it was on the easy side, but there were a couple of humdingers like PERONI and TRIOLET that I did not know and could only infer from the crosses.

As a musician, I appreciated the "bowing" clue.

I liked BANG UP JOB, but I don't hear that expression so much any more.

Also liked HE GOT GAME.

I enjoyed the smooth start to the weekend, Hope you do, too.

Maruchka 9:59 AM  

This was fun, with easy and tricky combinations. NE went down quick (hi @Dolgo) and then -- spotty pauses. Last to crack was NW when, finally, JAZZ was successfully retrieved from the archives.

Thanks, DG.

Fav of the day - 48D. Not the clue, per se, but the memories. Nasty SPILLs yield inevitable scrapes. Thankful for good steel toe boots, crash helmet, strong gloves and leathers. Vroom safely, y'all!

P.S. Has anyone else watched Rainbow Randy's 'alternative facts' video? Very pungent. And sweet.

jberg 10:05 AM  

Weird puzzle, as for a long time all I could get were the proper names. Finally got to ALREADY. It was all pretty easy except the NW, where I couldn't figure out how to cross BAD JOKE with either Munch or Monet, and figured that the logo was for Aetna. Finally I saw ECO, and somehow that let the rest appear.

As a birder, if a mediocre one, I have to say that there is no such thing as a RED ROBIN. First, they're mostly brown, with a little orange; second, they're called "American Robin." "Robin Redbreast" is traditional, and so acceptable, but red robin? No.

OTOH, neat way to slide an eel in there at 57A.

@quasimojo, WET just means it has a sink and plumbing, which is what makes it expensive -- as opposed to a dry bar, which is just a place you can pour drinks and set them out for your guests.

Z 10:11 AM  

@DJG - I was writing as you were posting. I remember a full throated defense of KIR from lovers of it when it appeared before. Personally, I've never seen it in the wild, but I tend to focus on the beer list. Also, from your blog, it seems we may agree on RED ROBIN. My issue is it is generally difficult to find a good burger anywhere these days. I don't know why ⅓ lb. has become standard, but I would like to point out that quality does not necessarily follow from quantity. And now lots of places that serve the kind of beer I like insist on serving hipster burgers. No, peanut butter is not a good burger condiment. /end rant

@Alias Z - Looking for a good image I ran across the Prado link I posted. They have a nice zoom function that allows a closer look.

GILL I. 10:12 AM  

Compared to yesterday's fiasco, this was smelling daisy's in the spring. First BOSCH and his 25 panels made my happy feet tippy tap. Then getting JANE EYRE made me think that flirting is a woman's trade and I must keep practicing. Only HANG up in the NW corner was me wanting JAZZ MATAZ which I'm pretty sure doesn't exist but I think I've heard it somewhere.
KIR is delicious. My step-mom is French and every single French food and drink that I know, I learned from her. Creme de Cassis and white wine. Yummmm.
Skipping on down to one of my favorite movements. Les FAUVES and Matisse's "The Joy of Life." Did BON JOVI experience the same?
Like @Rex, I didn't know PETRONI because, frankly, I didn't think Italians ever drank beer. EASY to suss out with the delish LATKES.
Fun, easy puzzle with quite a bit of RHEA class.

Loren Muse Smith 10:18 AM  

Hey @DJG - thanks for dropping by. I was curious to know if VIOLA originally had an Oscar-nominated actress clue?

Amie Devero 10:18 AM  

This is utterly tangential, but Rex, if you haven't ever heard of a kir IRL, I strongly suggest you sample a kir royale asap. Champagne with a splash of casisse (black currant liqueur). Done with white wine it's a kir. But kir royale is a favorite of mine, and so I suggest it to you for a Saturday evening aperitif.

Mohair Sam 10:27 AM  

Surprised so many don't know PERONI - a gimme here, favorite beer with the margherita pizza at Gio's.

Filled in JANEERYE and JOHNHENRY like most of you did and worked clockwise in a hurry. Got thinking I was pretty danged smart until I hit a wall in the NW. Woke Sleeping Beauty and she knew KIR, I guessed ACURA, hence BADJOKE, and we finally finished. JAZZHANDS? wtf? While I'm asking - wtf is razzle-dazzlement?

Don't know what a royal charter is, but it's nice that the BEEB has one. Would that be the BBC or Justin?

Killing time in an Atlantic City bar with my then new daughter-in-law (a Jersey Girl) while waiting for my son one summer afternoon I loaded the juke box with quarters and pushed the buttons for a string of BONJOVI tunes. She is my friend for life.

DJG 10:36 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith

I did not have VIOLA originally clued as Viola Davis. I admire her work, but a common complaint about some my past puzzles is that they contain too many proper nouns and trivia answers. So if there is a non proper way to clue an answer, I will usually go with it now.

Dan v. 10:40 AM  

Agree with Amie D. I've been in the restaurant business-fine dining-for many years (almost 18... Yikes) and Kir Royales are by far the more popular drink. Had maybe 2 or 3 Kirs ordered in all that time. Royales are a delicious start to a meal. FAUVES/ELVER cross almost got me, but I guessed right.

evil doug 10:44 AM  

How about, "It comes bobbin' along"?

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Ever notice that Grandmom's cooking is always better than Mom's! Was true for me, for my children, and now, for my grandchildren.

QuasiMojo 10:56 AM  

Thanks @jberg. (10:05am) As a non-"tippler" I was not aware of the difference.

Speaking of tipplers, I thought it bordered on synchronicity that the obituary of the great John Hurt today in the NYT called him one.

As for "Red Robin," that is interesting too. But isn't the clue referencing the song? "When the red, red, red robin..."? That was a sign of spring, I seem to recall. That ditty always makes me think of Ethel Merman and Mary Martin doing their legendary television show together. A true classic.

@DJG, kudos and thanks for stoppin' by.

Stanley Hudson 11:19 AM  

This one gave me more trouble than it did most of you. It wasn't unfair, just tough.

@DG, classy move to stop by here this morning. Wish more puzzle constructors would drop in.

Roo Monster 11:25 AM  

Hey All !
My journey through the puz was SW completed first, with SE next, although they kinda solved together. Then the NW, wanting BADJOKE but only writing it in lightly, and seeing JAZZHANDS off the light J and the H guess for HARHAR. Was proud of myself for that, and it opened up that NW real well. Died in the NE, however. Aggravates me when one corner flummoxes me when I get the rest of puz fairly easily and no writeovers. Had flED for APED, and really wanted YOGURT for 11D, but wrote in deseRT instead. So with the J in JOHN, and the wrong F and D, I had JF___D__, and plopped in JfkanDme. (Is that a novel? Or a book at all?) So that messed me up but good. Actually wanted to put UNIX in from the U in YOGURT, but figured it was wrong because I had deseRT there. Finally had to Goog for Lost Colony clue, thinking the correct answer ROANOKE, but thought that was too easy for a Saturday clue. Oof. So after I wrote in ROANOKE, all my original thought answers ended up being rewritten in. And yet still, had sPED for APED until the ole brain finally say the pattern for JANEEYRE.

So lots of ink wasted in NE, with rest of puz clean nd correct. I think it's psychological when you're expecting atough puz, which turns out to be easier than you thought, when you get to the last corner, your brain (at least mine) goes haywire. Man.

Liked it overall. Might have to go with first gut instinct pn these puzs from now on!

ALREADY FLYING
RooMonster
DarrinV


AZPETE 11:28 AM  

Had to google the NW. Wanted s-shiver for 3D.

puzzle hoarder 11:31 AM  

I was recently averaging my Friday and Saturday times from a random batch of 2016 puzzles and came up with a 50 minute average for Saturday. I noticed that there were no Saturdays under 20 and I couldn't remember any. I did today's puzzle in 14:18 that's how easy it was. What's really ironic is I did a Saturday from 7/15/95 last night that took 2 hours and required extensive cheating in all sections to finish. It's hard to believe both puzzles were put out by the same editor. Needless to say I much preferred today's.

jae 11:44 AM  

Easy-medium for me with the SE the toughest section. FAUVES and TRIOLET were WOEs so it took a while to fill in the crosses.

AIRPIPE looked odd to me also.

I think @DJG's original clue for ENO (from Xwordinfo) is much more fun: "Artist who can be seen by turning one around?"

Pretty solid Sat., liked it.

GHarris 11:47 AM  

Even though there were lots of gimmes for me, including Achilles, John Henry, kir,Roanoke and I quickly intuited Jane Eyre, I did not connect Bon Jovi with the clued song, did not know the painting by Bosch, never heard of triolet (and I deem myself a poet), and couldn't schuss the p in Peroni although I had all the other letters. So this was not easy for me and I had summon Google even as others call upon their "closer" (how is this different from my form of cheating?)

He Painted Fuel Injectors Too, Ya Know 11:49 AM  


I whipped through this puzzle in record time, except for the NW. I got killed in the NW.
I had to Google, AND I NEVER HAVE TO GOOGLE. I therefore had a DNF.

NW was just blank. Nothing. I had "immense" at 2D but I knew that was wrong because of the car-brand at 14A. In fact, 14A did me in, because there are only a few 5 letter car brands but for the life of me ACURA just never came to mind. If I had gotten ACURA I believe the NW would have fallen.

So I Googled "Haywain" which gave me BOSCH and that single answer gave me the rest of the NW. Which meant nothing as I had a DNF so I walked off the field in shame.

Following my humiliating defeat, my existence was meaningless for a good five to seven seconds. I was forced to consume a Snickers ice cream bar as part of my metaphysical recovery process.

Mohair Sam 11:51 AM  

@Z - This Tottenham supporter can think of a far better clue for HOTSPUR.

AZPETE 11:59 AM  

Have a problem with clue for 14A. Acura's own web site says there is "a caliper," not "a pair of calipers". And I'm having a hard time seeing an oval-shape in it!

Chinese Election Pollster 12:01 PM  

@Leapfinger:

"similarity humorous"? You have one sick sense of humor lady! But then, you already knew that, didn't you.

Just the thought of Peyronie's disease sends shivers down my spine and other areas of my anatomy. Your post conjured up additional thoughts of Priapism, which is another painfully hard topic to discuss.

Faced with an either/or situation between both afflictions, I'd probably opt for the later? You can have a lot of fun in four hours! Of course one has to pay the piper eventually, as the commercial for Vitamin V warns.

I'm curious. Did you have first hand er,um, let me rephrase that. Did you witness the malady personally, or was it just mentioned in some clinical paperwork that crossed you desk?

old timer 12:19 PM  

I thought yesterday's puzzle was Easy. No writeovers, and no problem coming up with the right answers. Today's was Easy in the NE and center. JOHNHENRY went right in, which made JANEEYRE obvious. After a simple search for Matisse I had FAUVES and the rest of the SE was quickly done.

The SW was another story. I had wanted "daffodil" where REDROBIN is (it fits, too). I put in "hothead" and then, desperately, "hotshot" before coming up with SPIDEREGG at which point HOTSPUR came into my mind. HOTSPUR was one of the nicknames of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. When the current Dukes of Northumberland were created, they changed their last name to Percy in honor of the original family. Their home, Alnwick Castle, is immense and well worth a visit as is the town of the same name.

Finished as I often do where OFL begins. BADJOKE seemed obvious but somehow wrong. Plus, I misread the tryptich as an "Hawaiian" one. When I saw "haywain" BOSCH became a possibility and with that SUBZERO came to mind. I still don't know what JAZZHANDS are though.

The original RED ROBIN was a tavern in Seattle. My friend Tom and I used to go there for the burger and a pitcher of beer, back when the only beer you could get in Seattle was a lager, possibly from the giant brewery Seattle once had, whose name now escapes me. No craft beers then!

Nancy 12:21 PM  

Late to the party, because I was watching the re-broadcast of the Venus-Serena match at 9 a.m. EST. (You really thought I was going to watch it in real time, at 3 a.m. EST? HARHAR.) Loved this puzzle -- nor did I find it "easy". I'm surprised by those who found it easier than yesterday; I found yesterday's puzzle very easy and today's puzzle "crunchy". Did some of it during the changeovers, which added to my time, except that I don't time myself. Never heard of JAZZ HANDS. Didn't know that 35D would be a proper name. Had to change brEW to A FEW at 33D. I like pork dishes with applesauce and didn't initially think of LATKES. JOHN HENRY was a gimme; BON JOVI wasn't. Loved the clues for ONE EACH (22A), SPIDER EGG (52A), SUPERHERO (56A) and especially SEXIST (16D). Found this a lot of fun. Agree with @mathgent as I usually do.

Malsdemare 12:25 PM  

I'm getting into the habit of commenting then reading. It allows me to think about the puzzle before I'm tainted by everyone else's much more trenchant observations.

This was HARD, a real Saturday, mainly because the clues didn't help me at all with stuff I knew: JANE EYRE, BOSCH, PERONI, UNIX, and on and on and on. Without toeholds, everything else was just a deep dark pit of murk. So I googled Currer Bell (I knew the name, just not the connection) and that helped tons by giving me JOHNHENRY. But damn this was slow. I loved JAZZHANDS (I have a fabulous picture of my adult children doing JAZZHANDS at the post-wedding brunch of my older daughter; makes me smile every time I look at it), told the REDROBIN to hurry up. I don't see WETBARS as a specific to luxury homes, but I'm perfectly capable of being wrong there.

I should commit KIR to memory, and Rex's point about "friendly" pointing to ECO is a good reminder for me. As I look back at the puzzle, I can see that it should have been easier; a lot of the fill is a little lame: ONE EACH, SO I SEE, IN A SNIT. But again, without those toeholds, they were impossible for me to see. Ah well, I did finish, with two googles. That's a disappointment as I've not had to get help of late.

@AZPETE Rocky was returned to his breeder (a dear friend) after he proved too exuberant in his first home. He's not show-quality (floppy ears) so after about 15 months of life in a kennel, interrupted by 3 in a household, he's mine. He's mostly a delight interspersed with craziness and some occasional growliness which we're working on eliminating.

Uncle Milford 12:32 PM  

Lots of gimmes in this one, but I love finishing a Saturday. Regarding Peroni ... well ... I can't think of another Italian beer so it was an instant guess. Also loved Jazz hands since it made me instantly gesticulate (I hope that is close enough to correct usage of that word). Red roses messed me up in the bottom until I gave up on it and had the aha moment of red robin. Also, "oh I see" gave me posess, only to realize thats not how you spell possess. Intersection of Elver and Fauves left me that 1 letter guess. To someone who has no clue of either of those, fauves and alver look perfectly fine to me.

Malsdemare 12:40 PM  

I love it when the author shows up. Thanks, DJG!

Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Yo! Knew BOSCH [also: FAUVES] off the Nuthin, becuz I am so refined and artsy-fartsy. (yo, @muse) Once I bellied up to DEBAR, the NW was my prisoner. HARHAR seems like a bit too much over the top of a good thing, tho. AGRIed? thought so.

AGRIe with @RP also, that the looong names were nice sittin duck gimmes today. Weren't familiar with ROANwhereKE/PERwhoNI, but guessed it correct, not succumbin to my usual U-default strategy.

@Evil: yep. Don't rightly know how many things M&A trotted out for that day-um 41-A: ??ISEE.
OHISEE. AHISEE. OKISEE. NOISEE. YOISEE. UHISEE [fave]. Correct answer SOISEE don't seem quite right in the head. It implies that the speaker already had got it, so didn't need to get it and thereby wouldn't need to say "gotcha". Woulda instead said "yep" or "drop it already" or just snarl or some such. AGRIed? Makin any sense? Is this thing on? [taps on mouse, tryin to use it as a mic]

staff weeject pick: KIR. Nginx! Most desperate entry M&A's old eyes have ever beheld! [har. Just messin with yah, @DJG. It's actually pristine mint fine. Thanx for the neat SatPuz, and especially for returnin to the scene of the crime.]

fave Moo-Cow Stampeder clue: {Activity in a drive} = PLEDGING. Clever. Few realize that each steer must sign a pledge prior to the cattle drive. Includes a no-poopin-near-the-chuchwagon clause. [--source: M&A Alternative Facts Help Desk.]

TRIOLET/ELVER. har har.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Bob K.'s 4-A protest is already on file for this pup:
**gruntz**
(no refunds)

Martín Abresch 1:13 PM  

It felt like the constructor was trying to construct a puzzle involving lots of Scrabbly letters. He had to have begun the NW with JAZZ HANDS. He put a J and X into the NE. He fit yet another J into the SE along with a conspicuous pair of V's. And the SW ... well, looks like the constructor threw in the towel there and settled for a bunch of S's and R's. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Joe Bleaux 1:18 PM  

Thanks, DM, for affording me the joy of completing a puzzle that, as I scanned the clues for toe holds, appeared quite daunting. I worked from the bottom up (SLITS and SPILLS were my -- finally -- toe holds), continually applauding the cluing (see comments above; I'm always late). Except for AIRPIPE, which may be technically sound, but I maintain simply ain't right. Having never heard of JAZZ HANDS, I slowed before finishing in the NW. All around, this was a dandy Saturday puzzle for me. @LMS -- And YOU got post game😏 ... really nice one today. @GILL I. -- smelling "daisy's" in the spring? Hu hu.

Carola 1:18 PM  
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Carola 1:25 PM  

The proper nouns made this one a very fast Saturday for me, with answers unspooling easily from JANE EYRE. The NW quadrant, though, failed to unfurl from BOSCH (hi, @Dolgo), and I needed the JAZZHANDS poking their way in there to get a grip. I also got tangled in an AIRhose and had to change HOThead.

I have a soft spot in my heart for HOTSPUR, the character that threw in switch for my daughter - I mean the one that governs what you want to do with your life. An inspiring high school English teacher directed her eyes to HOTSPUR's ...

By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
Without corrival, all her dignities

That was it: teaching and Shakespeare.

Moly Shu 1:32 PM  

Mostly easy here except for the NE. I'm just never going to get anything JANEEYRE related. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Enough with the Brontes, give me more rappers or death metal bands. The NE finally fell thanks to @JesusShuttlesworth. Without him, I'd have had no chance of finishing. I tried as many as I could, Inside Man, MalcomX, Do the Right Thing, Mo Better Blues, School Daze, etc. Finally, Mr. Shuttlesworth to the rescue.
Love how OFL just can't help himself from taking a swipe at WS. If we, (and by we, I mean me) could only get the two of them together for a steel cage match or an episode of Jerry Springer.

Numinous 1:41 PM  
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LindaPRmaven 1:44 PM  

Played like two puzzles for me. The East came pretty easy for a Saturday, starting with JOHNHENRY and JANEEYRE. Slow down at PERONI - do beer connoisseurs know this one? If a beer doesn't run commercials on sportscasts, I don't know it. TRIOLET was an educational experience gotten from crosses. The West? Rough and tough - ESPN was the only gimme - and DNF without help. But the enjoyment brought by SPIDEREGG, REDROBIN and JAZZHANDS made up for the struggle.

Numinous 1:49 PM  


RED ROBIN gave me an ear worm. Just thought I'd pass it on for @Loren.

@Quasi Mojo and @jberg, I believe the real luxury of a WET BAR is having the sinks under the bar instead of on the wall in back of the bar. In a real bar, three sinks are required but in a home, two will do. Additionally, having the BAR wired for electricity enhances the effect.

@Loren, HOT SPUR??? ". . . the HOTSPUR of the north, he that kills me some six or seven dozen Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, 'Fie on this quiet life, I want work'." King Henry IV, Part 1. Change your opinion of the clue any?

I know what KIR is though I've never had any @Gill I. As for white wine, my favorite is gweurtztraminer. That from the Hacienda Winery in Sonoma is absolutely wonderful. First time I had it, we had driven up to Sonoma to buy wine then went out to a picnic table in the town square and drank a bottle. Then, perhaps unwisely drove home. No mishaps though.

I must confess that I had more than one SPILL in the five years I only had a motorcycle. The worst was one evening after it had rained. I was changing lanes in a curve and hit some mud that had dropped off a dump truck and landed on the painted lane line. One second I was doing sixty miles per hour and then next I was behind my bike on the road sliding frantically toward the curb. Knocked the breath right out of me. Didn't notice for quite a while that I had dislocated my thumb. I did learn that if one is to slide on the road on one's butt, a wet road is preferable.

@DJG, Thanks for dropping by, I reckon a lot of constructors don't come here because they are scared. I would be too but I had the honor of being published on a website owned by Rex and Laura a while back. I liked your puzzle and its clues. It kept me thinking for a while. BAD JOKE occurred to me but I had a hard time getting to BOSCH even though I had assumed HAR HAR and had written it in. I wanted HOT Shot before the line from Henry IV came to mind. I always get a kick out of Spike Lee's Ebonics titles. ROANOKE was a gimme and ERMINES was an obvious choice. I could go on but, in essence, I had fun and appreciated what I hope were mostly your clues. The couple you mentioned seemed a lot better than the ones Will came up with. I'm sure M&A would love your clue for ENO. it is his style.

Numinous 2:00 PM  

JAZZ HANDS, look at Donald Trump when he speaks.

On the topic of JAZZ, lets not forget "death metal" bands. If you listen to the solos carefully you can begin to fathom the musicianship that goes into them. Metal and JAZZ require the same devotion to learning music theory and studying scales and modes to the point of becoming thoroughly ingrained in the performers thinking. In the case of JAZZ guitarists who play mostly chords, it's not just a matter of learning all the chords in a chord dictionary, it's learning the spelling of the chords and thier meaning in the harmonic structure of they music they are playing. Metal guitarists like Yngwe Malmstein and Steve Vai have the same nearly insurmountable task before them. I can't say I'm fond of Heavy Metal but I have to admit I admire the prowess of the performers. Too bad they don't just stick to instrumentals.

AZPETE 2:19 PM  

He's so cute! Thx for sharing.

Z 2:49 PM  

Who woulda thunk that JAZZ HANDS woulda been more obscure than The Haywain Triptych?

@He Painted Fuel Injectors - Metaphysical Snickers would be a great Death Metal Band Name, dontcha think?

@Moly Shu - Maybe I'm off base here, but you strike me more as an Eagles of Death Metal type.

@Numinous - Agreed on the skill, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to listen. Angry and fed up is the best time, so I may be listening to more in the near future.

@Mohair Sam - What can you expect from a table tennis aficionado? I watched Liverpool lose this morning. I do love the put up or shut up nature of English football.

@AZ Pete - Calipers always come as pairs, like pants, but "caliper" is also correct because English.

@LindaPRmaven - PERONI is the Miller High Life of Italy (the brewery is owned by SAB Miller or I would have described it as the Budweiser of Italy). I took a look at the reviews on BeerAdvocate.com and the most positive I could fine is "inoffensive and not very good." Pale lagers have a hard time getting positive reviews these days, though, so if you like typical American beers you'll probably like PERONI. Just get it at a place that sells lots of it. They use a green bottle that allows too much light through, so if it sits on the shelf too long the beer will develop off flavors (whenever you hear "skunky" it's almost always the fault of the bottle).

Larry Gilstrap 3:00 PM  

That Saturday effort was tough enough for me. Had never seen JAZZ HANDS or TRIOLET, for that matter, which didn't help the solving of those sequestered corner segments. Random logo clues can be challenging, particularly when one contains that confusing bit, to me anyway, about the "pair of calipers" when I see only one tool on an ACURA badge. Fair enough!

Folk music was popular when I was in high school, so JOHN HENRY was automatic. I attended more than one hootenanny back in the day. Check out some of the video from the TV show hosted by Jack Linkletter, Art's son. I especially like Ian and Sylvia.

My palate has been trampled by West Coast IPAs, so I find most lagers insipid, although I admire the history behind the vaunted European breweries such as PERONI and Moretti. It has gotten so bad that I rarely visit a Sushi bar because Japanese beers are not satisfying and I've never been able to get my head around sake. I know, I know...

Roo Monster 3:04 PM  

@Numinous 1:49
HAR, I'm the opposite. I'm a constructor who comes here all the time, but never has had a puz published in the NYT! Every one of my submissions have been rejected, no more in the pipeline waiting to be reviewed. Wanted to get one in the NYT before submitting elsewhere, but as it's not happening, I guess I'll start throwing them at LAT or WSJ.

RooMonster

Moly Shu 3:30 PM  

@Z, spot on. Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures. Anything involving Josh Homme, he's a SUPERHERO to me.
@Roo, keep trying man. I live my vicarious constructor life through you. But please, no JANEEYRE.

Mohair Sam 3:45 PM  

@Z - God help me, I sat through your entire JAZZHANDS link. Cleared things up perfectly(?). Caught the last few minutes of Wolves win at Liverpool, unreal - Wolverhampton was a powerhouse when I lived over there.
btw, I'd call PERONI more of a Bud, but your point is well taken.

@DJG - Thanks for dropping by. We're flattered, and we love to learn.

Harry Kane 5:16 PM  

@Mohair Sam and other Tottenham fans (like me) liked the fact that the impetuous HOTSPUR eleven survived and advanced in the FA Cup today by coming from way down to nip Wycombe, 4-3, thereby avoiding an upset of near-Biblical proportions. COYS!

chefwen 5:19 PM  

It took two of us to get her done, but we did it. Second weekend in a row "cheat free" WOO HOO!

First in was BAD JOKE followed by JAZZ HANDS, I've had a few KIR Royales and probably a few more PERONI's in my lifetime, so no problems there. My friend gave me JOHN HENRY which gave us JANE EYRE. Boom, second corner wrapped up. Messiest spot was friend taking out my WET BAR and me having to put it back in while saying "HAR HAR" told you it was right. Oh Yeah, and AIR PIPE over AIR hose.

Good Saturday, on to Sunday.

kitshef 5:29 PM  

Dahl had square candies that look round. This was an easy puzzle that felt hard.

Started off with massive for 2D crossing estop for 17A and pet for 29A, then gaia at 26A. At that point, I got my first correct word at ACEIT. But then JOHN HENRY went in, and from there I was FLYING.

@GILL I - I did not get Gwangi for Christmas, but I did get it for my birthday! It's cued up for tonight.

Mohair Sam 5:41 PM  

@Harry Kane - If you'd shown up for the bloody match instead of working on the New York Times puzzle perhaps things would have gone a bit better at White Hart Lane.

GILL I. 6:29 PM  

Happy birthday @Kitshef...Look for me in the parade. I'm riding in the parade on top of a horse twirling a rope....!

kitshef 7:20 PM  

Rope twirler and translator ... is there no end to your talents?

BarbieBarbie 7:32 PM  

Where's the Sunday blog? Puzzle is out and disappointingly easy.

Numinous 9:17 PM  

Was going to post it tomorrow but thought @Roo might like this. @Larry Gilstrap, I was once in a gathering of people sitting around with not a lot to do when one person suddenly asked, "what's a hootenanny?" Someone piped up with, "Think of it as a cross between and owl and a billy goat." A second voice chimed in. "No, that's a flying buttress." There may be a themeless seed in there.

I'm not kidding 12:00 AM  

@Numinous, that's cute, but we're looking at a case of sexual ambiguity. With 'hootenanny' and 'flying buttress', it wouldn't be the cross of anything with a billy goat.

Maruchka 12:52 AM  

@Numinous - Thanks for your biker tale. Something wonderful about avoiding death, aboard a machine filled with combustible liquid, that leads you toward it. We were on a Suzuki 750 in mountainous Montana. Paved road turned to gravel turned to mud. Many white crosses on the parameters. Rain, then sleet, then ice. When we at last reached the 'highway' and asked, why the crosses? response was (as expected) "That's where they bought it". I love bikes.

Leapfinger 8:50 AM  

@Chinese Election Pollster,

It first came up in a writing-in-the-snow contest, where one member complained of a neighbour's infringing on personal space.

To say more would be TMI.

Chinese Election Pollster 11:06 AM  

@Leapfinger:

Gotcha. Great image. Lol.

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