Neologism coined by Cole Porter / FRI 5-5-17 / 1962 Organization of American States expellee / Scoopers for taramasalata / River bisecting Orsk / White notes in Monopoly

Friday, May 5, 2017

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: GNEISS (51A: Banded metamorphic rock) —
Gneiss (pronunciation: /ˈns/) is a common distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks. It is often foliated (composed of layers of sheet-like planar structures). The foliations are characterized by alternating darker and lighter colored bands, called "gneissic banding". (wikipedia)
• • •

I feel like some of the zip has gone out of Patrick Berry's puzzles of late. They are still elegantly made, but they feel staler and more plodding. I love YOU'RE FREE TO GO and I GOT THIS, BANG BANG and SOUNDBITE, but that middle stack, with an -ING over an -ING and ... whatever SHIP OF THE LINE is (?!?) ... is just dull. The corners don't add much to the party either. He's still the greatest living constructor, probably, but it's been a while since I went *Damn*!. Felt like I struggled a lot, especially in the area of SHIP OF THE LINE (again, ?!?) and MISDO (a word I hate So Hard, as no one uses it or says it ever ever ever)—really really wanted the latter to be MINCE, and even changed 32A: World's oldest currency still in use to FRANC STERLING just to make it happen (briefly). Yes, I am serious. And yet somehow I finished in 5:39, which is definitely on the fast side for me, for Friday. Not lightning, but snappy. Strange to have that disconnect between feeling (struggle) and actuality (speeding).

To me TRUMBO is the Orioles' DH, so I was really unsure filling in 7A: Title role for Bryan Cranston in a 2015 biopic. Last biopic I remember him in involved ... maybe LBJ? Or was that on stage? Ooh, looks like stage *then* TV movie. TRUMBO is the blacklisted screenwriter guy, right? Yes. Dalton TRUMBO. Anyway, I had TRU- and wrote in TRUMAN. 2/3 correct! Didn't know what the first vowel was in DELOVELY, but RESIN solved that. Couldn't understand 34A: Grate catches? even after I got it down to HEE-S. Even now I'm not sure. Do you "catch" your (high?) HEELS in "grates" ... on the sidewalk? My first answer here was ASHES, and this will also be true for tens of 1000s of solvers today. Grates catch ASHES. That's just what they do. ASHES was a crossword reflex. Anyway, I don't think I MISDO'd anything else.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Charles Flaster 12:23 AM  

I felt this was PB at his best. Challenging clues but easy to finish,
Creative cluing:
YOU'RE FREE TO GO--to put 13 letters in puzzle's midsection as a quote seems quite
HEELS-- yesterday you could slip on Black Ice and today you can catch your heels. I've seen many a heel catcher on NYC grates and on Atlantic City boardwalks.

I would have clued 25 down as Firth so as to slightly misdirect.

DELOVELY , as a movie, was one of the most heart wrenching experiences for me.
Thanks PB

Mike in Mountain View 12:27 AM  

I call foul on the clue for OUI: "Word of agreement that sounds like a pronoun." It's a misdirect for AYE, AYE think.

Je suis desole, mon ami, mais <> c'est un mot francais. Ca ne vas pas.

Jamais encore, s'il vous plait.

Robin 12:42 AM  

This wasn't bad. Started real easy in the NE, but then I got the ING to finish the currency name and figured it was some sort of SHILLING and got stuck. Then worked up from the SW and figured out where I'd gone wrong.

Loved the cluing for MARS. (BTW: Happy Martian New Year. It is Ls=0, for those of you who know what I mean.)

OSOLEMIO may be overused in c/w puzzles, but the clueing for it today was much better than usual.

Hah, no ACNE in today's puzzle.

Finished this one in about 60% of my Friday average.

jae 12:44 AM  

Easier than yesterday's for me and easier than this week's 2/5 difficulty AVCX puzzle (which might have been easier had I been more familiar with the theme).

@Rex, yep, Mince before MISDO and asheS before HEELS, plus a couple of tries at spelling HOULIHAN.

Very smooth but, @Rex again, a bit bland, liked it.

Whitey 12:53 AM  

I liked SHIP OF THE LINE. I think I first heard the term in that Russell Crowe movie with the British vs. French naval battles. I liked it then and I like it now.

puzzlehoarder 1:59 AM  

One of the many things I enjoyed reading about, as a kid, was sailing ships so SHIPOFTHELINE was the easiest of the Long entries. I started in the NE and was all set to put in HILLSIDES to start the SE when the possibility of ASHES made me hesitate. Having a RESTSTOP/RESTAREA write over further screwed that section up. I wound up filling in the whole bottom tier of the puzzle before the middle section. MISDO was a problem because it's so bad I forget it exists. In the NW RESIN was the key piece. That section should have come together instantly after that except that I had a DELITELY/DELUVLEY write over. MOLES fixed that. All in all a fun solve.

Loren Muse Smith 2:38 AM  

Top half pretty easy. Bottom half - a struggle. It didn’t help that I had a kinda dumb “both” SIDES for that summit meeting.

So that H in “both” gave me “piths” for the stuff caught in grates. After I got HILLSIDES, I confidently put in “peels” being caught in grates. Terrific clue, imo.

Best clue – “instructions on where to go?” I kept going back to that clue, thinking that our word “go” is such a great euphemism for, well, elimination.

Hey, Eugene – finish up that Big Mac; we gotta get back on the road. And a heads-up – there’s no REST AREA for an hour an a half. So we better go before we leave.

I also get a kick out or our “use the bathroom” -

Our dog likes to use the bathroom on the new rug in the living room..
Mr. Trumbo just used the bathroom in his pants.

I can’t even imagine English-learners getting their heads around beauts like that.

I don’t know from gefilte fish, but I sure wouldn’t have led with CARP as the kind of fish that gets gefilted. Who knew?

DEBAR – removing all the alcohol from the basement rec room bar before the girls’ high school lacrosse team sleepover.

@Mike in Mountain View – liked your “aye” mistake. Works perfectly.

I GOT THIS. Love, love, love that GOT is a full-on present tense verb meaning “have.” I long ago stopped scrambling to add the ‘ve before it. Join me, why don’t you?

PB - another one of de lovely puzzles I’ve come to expect.

Larry Gilstrap 2:53 AM  

I read Moby-Dick, so I'm glad to hear that SHIP OF THE LINE is truly a thing when we speak of an armada. Yankee Whalers worked ALONE. Cole Porter worked ALONE, as well. His Centennial in 1991 featured a ton of tribute albums. They weren't lost on me. I first heard DELOVELY in a De Soto commercial on TV. I swear!

I'm no economist, but there's something about that POUND STERLING that rings true. And something about Mother NATURE probably wishes that we got the hell out of her business. I've seen an ICE CAP from a plane. D*#n BAR CARTS clogging up the aisle.

Geology baffles me, and I live in an area where a geologist is hiding under every rock. Exaggeration. GNEISS appears in crosswords on a regular basis for obvious reason. Embrace the rock!

Cassius Clay was a boyhood hero and contemporary of me and my friends. I heard some of his early great fights on the radio, and they were riveting. Then he found his foil in Howard Cosell and the magic happened on ABC TV. I went to college to use my student deferment and, guess what? In four years I had a degree and then I was drafted. ALI OPTS out of conscription, loses his title, and still eventually becomes an American icon. A paradox I've never understood. Talk amongst yourselves. We liked him, but our dads didn't.

I admire all constructors. Some are better than others. Great Friday effort.

chefwen 4:12 AM  

Started off slowly. Like @Loren thought the top half was easier than the bottom.

Hand uo for REST stop before AREA. Dad always said "anyone need to make a pit stop? Speaking of parents, Mom loved, loved, loved Gefilte fish, she also loved Lutefisk, I guess there is no accounting for some people's taste.

Seems to me that ashes fall through the grate and are not caught by the grate.

Knew GNEISS, couldn't remember how to spell it. Could have sworn that there was an O in there, somewhere.

Other than those small nits, enjoyed this a lot, as I do all PB puzzles.

Aegean Carpa Misdos 4:48 AM  

hmmm, no one's mentioned my misdos, so I''ll throw out there
Gogetter for GADABOUT , with celLI needing guts (for strings) so the group was ACDC But VAULT and AVE put me right. took me an hour tho, not 5 minutes!

Had a lot of fun trying to figure out what assent was a pronoun.
Tried to figure out how OUr worked...and the MARS clue made me run the alphabet three times, before I realized I was correct.

And the inevitable PB Civil War clue! I know my entirety of Civil War History thru "GWTW" and Patrick Berry.
7 Mines? 7 Vines? 7 Lines?

IcandoIt PROLONGed this puzzle for me... even tho YOUREFREETOGO went in without crosses (pat pat) IGOTTHIS didn't.

FWIW TRUMBO is quite the terrible film despite my never-ending love for Bryan Cranston. One of those things that the director or someone decided "Let's explain the Blacklisting thru the teenage daughter "Daddy why are these bad men doing these things?" and lead the audience in... Blech. Stilted. Patronizing and wasting big opportunities. Tho BC was good in an over-the-top way , which I can only assume the real guy was.

HEELS clue DELOVELY... a little female vibe in there...
and glad it was BANGBANG, not gANGBANG!

John Child 4:49 AM  

@Mike in Mountain View, AYE agree completely. @Whitey and puzzlehoarder, SHIP OF THE LINE went right in here too.

Sparkliness or cleanliness - which is closest to puzzle godliness?

Anonymous 5:39 AM  

Make TAPAS the new ACNE.

Anonymous 6:17 AM  

I kind of liked ship of the line. I'm going to a rally and holding up a sign.

Anonymous 6:57 AM  

"I struggled a lot...yet somehow I still finished in 5:39." Gotta love the humble brag. Rex probably still wonders why he kept getting stuffed into lockers in junior high.

BarbieBarbie 6:58 AM  

Hard for me but still average time, so I agree with Rex on the dissonant feel.
But NO, ashes do not get caught in grates. Ashes are what go through the grates. Cinders and other junk get caught in grates.
Long, long ago, I was on a job interview wearing what I thought were sensible pumps, and we took a tour of some installed equipment in an area with a catwalk. I had to do the whole thing on tiptoe to avoid getting caught in the grate. I ended up actually injuring my toes as a result. Many ways to define "sensible."

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

Love the perfectly symmetrical cross of "housetraining" and "you're free to go." Touches like that make Berry the best.

Glimmerglass 7:20 AM  

Another good Patrick Berry. Could it be that @Rex is bored by excellence? This one was a bit easier for me than usual, but it had its little traps and misdirections (aye turned out to be OUI, for example;). I couldn't enter in the NW (natron didn't fit at 1D; MOLES "trap" earthworms?), but the NE fell quckly, despite not knowing TRUMBO. When I got . . . LINE for 28A, I confidently wrote in SHIP OF THE. . . . @Rex must not have read Patrick O'Brien or C.S. Forster. Any fan of novels about the British navy or pirates would fnd that a near-gimme. A fun Friday workout.

Irene 7:26 AM  

Beautiful puzzle with great cluing.
I stalled a long time at necromancer. First thought it was a liar (romancer, see?) then realized it had something to do with wizardry. Ergo, sages, of course.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

Opposite of my usual Patrick Berry experience. Normally, stumble around the grid, making very little progress and wondering how I’ll finish, until a few things come together and then it all comes in a rush.

But here, flew through 80% of the puzzle – all but the SE peninsula. Had 14D ending in FREEdOms and 38D as torsi before pulling out the entire section and starting over. Realized 14D had YOURE, not just YOUR, so FREEdOms didn’t make sense. Changed it to YOU’RE FREE, TOGO (note: TOGO became independent from France in 1960), which led to GADABOUTS and OVERALLS and ECOLI etc.

Opposite of @Rex on the vowel in the RESIN/ DELOVELY cross, where I did not know if it would be RESIN or RoSIN until I got the cross. Lots of vowel trouble in general in that NE, with O SOL(e/o) M(e/i)O there, too. In the former case, AVow/AVER complicated things even more.

Great puzzle.

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

I guess you don't wear high heels. Grates are hazardous!

jberg 7:33 AM  

Only 15 comments, and already 2 have beat me to the punch about ashes' slipping through grates. But I still didn't think of HEELS, got it from the crosses.

My MISDO was MIx-up. Boy, did that get in the way!

I knew SHIP OF THE LINE from reading all the Horatio Hornblower novels as a lad. They're called that because if you can get them lined up stem to stern (if that's the right expression) you can deliver devastating broadsides to an enemy fleet. They were basically floating gun platforms, but only a few of the guns could shoot forward or backward.

One ING over another, true, but only one is a participle, so that's ok, I think.

Hardest part: remembering the rock isn't GNEISt.

jberg 7:51 AM  

Here's a better "Bang Bang," IMHO

CDilly52 7:55 AM  


Tim Pierce 7:58 AM  

This one was brutal for me, in part because I got three outright wrong:

sUmup -> RUNTO
aye -> OUI

The AYE/OUI headfake was the cruellest.

Great cluing:
* "Golf cart foursome" for TIRES made me laugh out loud.
* "Things mailed without a label?" had me thinking that the pun was going to be in "mailed," and I was running through suits of armor, knights, etc. Getting DEMO TAPES and seeing that I had it exactly backwards was oddly satisfying.
* Likewise, "Things that take guts?" led me to thinking about puns for "guts," which got me thinking about "gut courses" in college, and with EC--- I wondered if it could actually be ECOLE or something similar, but that seemed like such an odd answer I didn't trust it. When I finally filled in ECOLI I was mystified for a moment.

Hungry Mother 8:00 AM  

My usual Friday slog. A rainy morning keeping me out of the swimming pool allowed me to figure out OUI and MARS.

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Anonymous 8:11 AM  

I'd have clued 41A as "One for whom facts don't matter."

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

Can someone explain why the answer to "end of a cause" is "lib" - I don't get it?

Aketi 8:30 AM  

@Anonymous 8:24 am, eg "Women's LIB"

Hartley70 8:40 AM  
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Hartley70 8:47 AM  

There's nothing like PB to brighten up a rainy Friday and he's hit another home run. It looks impossible at first, then comes together so beautifully that the solver hurts her arm as she pats herself on the back.

I haven't read any historical sailing fiction, but I had SHIPOFTHELINE from LINE. Did anybody miss "Master and Commander"? It was playing in the multiplex right next to "Titanic" and I could hear the roars when Leo and Kate were snogging, as the Brits so elegantly say. We had to RUNTO the adjoining theater and see that flick too, it sounded so exciting.

My last two entries were OUI and MARS, which is exactly what I say when I get offered a Snickers bar. I'm a sucker for coconut though, so I wish they'd add some in the mix. I guessed OUI correctly, not "aye", and I RaNTO home plate for the big score. Look at me talking all basebally and "not an Ott" to be found!

Lewis 8:47 AM  

I like the cross of TIRES and REST_AREA, love the clues for MARS, ICECAP, and HILLSIDES, and the answers GADABOUT, IGOTTHIS, and YOUREFREETOGO. But most of all, I love seeing PB's name at the top of a Friday or Saturday puzzle. My heart slows down, my brain goes to a serene place, and I know that this portion of my day is going to make me feel good through and through. And once again it did, and he did.

Nancy 8:50 AM  

I found this one of the hardest Fridays I've ever done, was feeling brilliant to have solved it, and am feeling very deflated to see that Rex and others found it so easy. The NW was impossible for me and I had to come back to it at the end. I wanted ALONE for 2D, but could only think of HILTON or WESTIN, rather than RAMADA at 1A, and therefore couldn't come up with the A. If I'd been able to think of a 4-letter synonym for "Dummkopf"... Not being able to do so makes me a DODO, right? (Don't answer.) Looking back, this whole section could have been a lot easier, I suppose.

Other sections: Oh, Patrick, you are a devil, aren't you? You knew we'd think of AYE, not OUI, at 46D. It was deliberate, wasn't it, you fiendish, fiendish man?! And that kept me from seeing NATURE at 49A. I wanted NATURE -- I didn't know the Montaigne quote, but what else could "she" be, after all?

For a while I was wracking my brain to try and remember if Bryan Cranston had ever played TRUMan. Then I went and put "Opportunity" (42D) on the Moon. UGG.

I think perhaps I need more sleep than I had last night. But PB -- It's a beautiful puzzle, crunchy (at least for me) and completely fair, as always. And, as always, with no junk.

mathgent 8:58 AM  

Some great comments today. Especially LMS (2:38) and Anon (6.57).

When we visit Olga's family in NYC, we eat at some of their wonderful Greek restaurants. (Sadly, Pappa George's in Astoria has closed.) They all serve taramasalata, the delicious appetizer made from red fish roe.

Another great comment was from jberg (7:33) explaining SHIPOFTHELINE.

I struggled with it. I kept on thinking that the proclamation was from the person declaring his freedom, not the person giving the freedom. I was looking for something like "You're not the boss of me." Also, I'm not familiar with the phrase HOUSETRAINING.

As usual, the cluing from The Genius was the best. (I'll bet that he hates MISDO as much as we do, but it was the price he had to pay for the triple stack in the middle.)

Blue Stater 9:07 AM  

Not up to PB's usual speed, I thought.

Wm. C. 9:08 AM  

@Mathgent --

When you get a puppy, one of your first duties is HOUSETRAINING him to GO outside.

QuasiMojo 9:17 AM  

GNEISS job, Patrick Berry. DELOVELY. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle even if was not perhaps the SUMMIT of his oeuvre. I'm amazed at Rex's "speed" since it took me nearly a half-hour today. As for ashes, I fell for that misdirect too. But upon second thought, a grate does not actually catch ashes. It lets them through preventing the larger remnants of a fire. I'm not sure what those are called, embers? from passing down.

Two "O Sole Mio" entries back to back. And am so glad the "Sun" aspect is being underscored. A lot of people sing "O Solo Mio" thinking it's about being ALONE.

My first mistake today was putting in MOTEL 6 (don't ask). And later Hot Lips HOOLIGAN. (Maybe I was thinking of Mrs. Hannigan from ANNIE.) I also had RATATATS before BANG BANG. I also wanted something about HELL instead of dogs and cats doing their thing when being told where to GO.

Somehow I can't see Patrick Berry in OVERALLS. It's not in his NATURE. He is too urbane, has too much ESPRIT. Some might CARP about "you're free to go" or even the perfectly cute MISDO. But I will say one thing (for a change), Mr. Berry is TOP OF THE LINE.

Jim Finder 9:17 AM  


Aketi 9:21 AM  
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Aketi 9:24 AM  

FREE TO GO was right next to the REST AREA, but it was crossed by HOUSE TRAINING even though NATURE may have been calling.

TMI alert
The saddest thing about having pets without a back yard and a door flap is watching our Charlie scratching the floor around the litter box instead of the litter in the box. The most annoying thing is when he decides to use the sink as his litter box, only seconded by his ability to drag a clean towel off the rack and cover the litter box with it. The most gratifyiing thing is when my son drops his dirty clothes on the floor for weeks at a time and Charlie chooses to select dirty clothes instead of clean towels to hide his poop. .

@LMS, your DEBAR story about the girls lacrosse team and my son's label of being a buzzkill are making me feel guilty for my MISDO yesterday. I was feeling all proud of myself yesterday for being the only parent to come to a game that was almost at the end of a subway line. Even Kyle's mom (no one know's her real name) who has attended every single game for the last four years wasn't there. There was only one bleacher on one side of the field. The girl's lacrosse team was practicing In the narrow space between the sidelines and the bleachers with balls flying all over the place including into the bleachers. So I asked the coach of the home team where I should sit to safely watch the game, hoping that I could sit on the other side of the field which was closer to the players. Instead of the desired response, I alerted the coach to the fact that the girls weren't supposed to be practicing on the field. So he made them go inside to practice in the gym. Kyle's mom actually did show she's still undefeated in the perfect parental attendance category.

Rachel 9:28 AM  

Grates catching HEELS is most definitely a thing. I think everyone who wears heels in the city has experienced the awful moment when your foot dips lower than you expected it to and then catches on hard metal, throwing you off-kilter and letting you know you've just massively gouged the back of your beloved shoes. . . and has done the ridiculous tiptoeing-in-heels walk when there's no way to get around said grate and you're trying desperately to avoid getting caught in those evil little slats.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Lovely puzzle, a tad easy for a Friday, but Patrick Berry is awesome. Loved it!

Aketi 9:29 AM  

@jberg, I liked your version of BANG BANG!

Sir Hillary 9:39 AM  

Like @Nancy, I found this very challenging, the toughest PB1 Friday I've ever done. I'm happy about that, as my gripe about his Fridays is generally that the cluing is too easy.

-- I smiled at HOULIHAN. M*A*S*H was the greatest.
-- With OHIOAN as my first entry in the south, I missed the OUI/aye misdirect. Thank goodness.
-- My only MISDO was sUmTO, but it held me up for a long time.
-- Is 14D what the French said to one of its West African colonies in 1960?

64 words, smooth as silk. All in all, a very GNEISS lead-in to the weekend.

kitshef 9:41 AM  

@QuasiMojo - I laughed (out loud, even) at your Motel 6 and Hot Lips Hooligan.

Maruchka 9:56 AM  

DE-LOVELY! and very, very GNEISS. I GOT THIS done slow and well-savored. No CARPin', here. A minor PB still beats most for master layering and contextual possibilities.

Dolt/DODO, Hoolihan/HOULIHAN, petas/PITAS only do-overs, and the last two were real doh moments.

Ellen S 9:58 AM  

Loved the puzzle and the corresponding high quality of the comments. @Aketi, great cat and lacrosse stories. Everyone else, GRATE stories.

@Loren, I never got a chance to comment yesterday, but when I saw your name on the byline, I thought, Aha, a celebrity puzzle! You're my favorite poster girl. @Tracy, thanks for making this happen.

Anonymous 9:59 AM  

@Tim - Thanks, l knew there was a phrase I was much more familiar with (the past participle HOUSE bRoken), but it was escaping me.

@Anon 7:19 - Har. I first read your post as, "love is the perfectly symmetrical cross..., etc." So, not a warm puppy then?

old timer 9:59 AM  

Got DELOVELY at once -- and yes, the chorus was turned into an ad for DeSoto. Got SHIP OF THE LINE off just as few crosses, since I have all the Patrick O'Brian books. Big problem was in the SE where I confidently wrote in Route instead of HOUSE, before TRAINING. I was pleased as punch when the right answer became clear.

I thought this was an above average PB construction. OFL has fond memories of his very best efforts, but I don't think his imagination has dimmed or fallen off. Not everything Austen wrote could be as funny as Pride and Prejudice or as socially accurate as Emma.

Mr. B 10:03 AM  

I found this anything but dull...and bought back some fond childhood memories.
Before I knew of MAGES as characters in board games...even before I learned how to earn
white ONES in friend & I used to play a Milton Bradley game called Broadside.
A naval strategy board game which featured miniature sailing vessels . The SHIP-OF-THE-LINE were the strongest pieces.

So i found this puzzle anything but dull. Like others have said...UGG, at first glance seems almost
impossible to finish but as you chip away...a GNEISS here, and a RESIN there...and OUI OUI...all done.
Having finished this faster than my normal Friday time I have nothing to CARP about.
Have a great weekend all!!!

Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Patrick Berry,
I cant recall you ever visiting here, at least not under your own name. But on the off chance you do pop in, thanks for yet another gem.
I can't agree with Rex's assertion that your work has fallen off at all. Then again, he was unfamiliar with ship of the line. If you picked that phrase up from another Patrick ( O'Brien) I'm assumiong we can look forward to more maritime phrases in puzzles to come.


cwf 10:05 AM  

Liked it a lot. I also spent a surprisingly long time trying to figure out what variation of LBJ went into 7A given the fact that I made the website for TRUMBO.

Roo Monster 10:13 AM  

Hey All !
Rex pretty much nailed what I was going to say. I did like all the sly misdirectional clues PB1 threw in this puz. Third-deep-dictionary type clues. Like the OVERALLS clue, e.g.

Had grind for MISDO, throwing me off for the long crosses. When I do a PB1 puz, I usually write the answers in lightly, today they seemed to be right most of the time. Put in RESTroom off just the R, smugly thinking I was all smart. Drat.

Overall, another nice Berry puz.


cwf 10:16 AM  

Oh, and here's a great interview with DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh from last week.

relicofthe60s 10:29 AM  

Always amazed at the stuff Rex doesn't know. Obviously he has never read the novels of Patrick O'Brian or C.S. Forester (one of which is called "Ship of the Line") or anything about the Napoleanic Wars. A ship of the line is a battleship of two or more decks from the age of sail. In major battles they fought in a line, hence the name. More powerful but less nimble than a frigate, which has only one deck.

Nancy 10:38 AM  

@Quasi (9:17) -- I bet if both Richard Hooker (the author of the novel MASH) and Larry Gelbart (the screenwriter) had a do-over for their MISDO, they would re-name their female lead Hot Lips HOOLIGAN in a New York minute. It just has a certain ring to it. Also thanks for letting me know that O SOLE MIO is about the sun. I'm one of those opera-ignorant people (and maybe Italian-ignorant, too) who did think it was about being ALONE. On the other hand, I've never sung it, never even tried to, so there's that. Am I excused? Nor do I think of it as a "song." "IT'S DELOVELY" is a song. O SOLE MIO is an aria. To me, they are two different things. I sing songs, I don't sing arias. (Well, I have tried to sing "Habanera" from Carmen -- but never when there was anyone around to hear me.)

And thanks to all the punsters who used GNEISS as a stand-in for "nice". For the first time, I now know how to pronounce it.

CDilly52 10:41 AM  

A Patrick Berry delight from soup to nuts! @LMS, you make me laugh out loud. I did fall for ASHES (despite my somewhat disastrous history with grates-story follows), was so proud that I knew GNEISS, and was punished for my hubris by stumbling on MAGES (and the grate, as it happens).

Wrong initial vowel on DELOVELY until RESIN and in general had to think long and hard to get on Mr. B's wavelength. I adore his cluing cleverness and by the way, the clue for HEELS is brilliant. I quickly got it (after I realized that I had fallen for the "trap") because "bicycle tire" was too long and HEELS fit perfectly. My two most dire face plants occurred by virtue of my skinny bike tire catching in a grate at the bottom of a ramp into a parking garage/basement entrance to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the U of Illinois (I was on my way to perform in the orchestra for Madame Butterfly), and my high HEEL catching (and breaking off) while I was racing to make a hearing in Denver at the 10th circuit. Late both times, and a bit the worse for wear, and I watch for those grates carefully!

Fun filled and challenging Friday. Great comments as well.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

Economy added 211K jobs and unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%. Thank you Mr Trump.

phil phil 10:58 AM  

Too many partial fills gave me trouble but I finally got thru it.

With last 'O' emancipation proclamation was a sure 'let my people gO' more demanded then proclaimed I guess.

Then somethingFirELINE as armada-ish
Cause end 'way' made me remove my good 'I' in HOULIHAN

Knew 'O Sole Mio and I quickly correct MR T for ALI

Enjoyable puzzle again by PB
No green pain phrases no celebs except for Cranston's Role, no sports or hiphop outers.

GILL I. 10:58 AM  

I guess I'm the outlier today. Not only did I find this difficult, but I'm in agreement with @Rex.
I saw Patrick's name and I began to lick my lips in anticipation of a yummy Friday. Instead, the cluing was just strange - and they weren't all that fun. It felt as if he was in a gotcha mood and I wasn't having any of it.
As I was filling in all the "S's" (that's how I started this) I kept saying to myself. This is like going to my favorite steak house and anticipating the juicy filet mignon I'm going to order only to be told they were only serving chicken.
DELOVELY should have improved my mood as well as O SOLE MIO but then I got to DINERO and I felt like a DODO. Whaaat? Seeing TAPAS in a cantina also got the UGG emanation because I always think Mexico when I see "Cantina." So I said to myself "Those better not be TACOS" and besides, you spell it "cerveza."
The ING's got me back in a bad mood but then I saw my beloved CUBA and she's sitting atop a DORAG!!!! Is that what you use to clean up the HOUSE TRAINING missteps?
Ah yes....the HEELS in the grate syndrome. The very last time I wore those death by design things was here in Old Sacramento. To keep the place looking like a wild west tourist trap, they've kept all the old wooden boardwalk planks and if you catch your HEEL in between one of those things, you might as well leave your Manolo's right there in Dodge City.
I want my ESPRIT to come back.....

Mohair Sam 11:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 11:08 AM  

I am willing to bet my hat, ass, and snow shovel that this puzzle was built around 31A: Instructions where to go? HOUSETRAINING. That clue and answer is so definitively Berry.

Played easy/medium here. There were a few early week gimme clues (CUBA, COLIN, HOULIHAN, ONES, OPTS) that opened each section - so we got a toehold. HOULIHAN led to POUNDSTERLING and we were off and running. Struggled some in the NW, but I knew my Cole Porter and Lady M loves her Pavarotti so we made it through. Eye roll on the BANGBANG clue (Reports of gunfire?), c'mon. And yucky clue for ECOLI (Things that take guts?), don't ya think?

Easy to tell that @Rex hasn't spent a lot of time walking with businesswomen in the city. Lady M got HEELS off one "E".

@ Ellen S (9:58) - Tip of the cap and a deep bow. Your comment to Loren Muse that you thought her byline on Thursday indicated another Celebrity Puzzle was priceless. I'm awarding you my "Why didn't I Think of That" trophy.

Disagree totally with Rex - PB has lost nothing over the years. OFL's main gripe today was that he didn't recognize SHIPOFTHELINE, a common enough phrase to most of us. Beyond that Rex offered nothing. I find PB's cluing (his true genius) as delightful as ever, his puzzles still -ese free - as clean as they come.

QuasiMojo 11:15 AM  

@Nancy, I wish I could hear your Habanera. No doubt hearty. Actually "O Sole Mio" is a song, not an aria. It's Neapolitan. Although not when Elvis sang it as "It's Now or Never."

Carola 11:15 AM  

De-lightful, but over too soooon! The only spot that slowed me down was ????ETRAINING - why wasn't POTTY going to fit?

A nod to the olden days of grade-school rote learning: GNEISS, one of Wisconsin's metamorphic rocks. Another one is Baraboo quartzite, which the New York Times once referred to as "Baraboo courtside" and I'm not kidding. Must have been a phone interview with the geologist.

I thought I knew SHIP OF THE LINE from my onetime fascination with the fate of the Titanic, a ship of the White Star Line, so thank you, @jberg, for explaining the phrase.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 11:28 AM  

Ah, for once I had a Doctor's appointment on the right day of the week! I didn't quite finish the puz before they called me in, I still had a chunk of it to work on while waiting for check out. My only quibble is that as a performer I am ONSTAGE an awful lot without there being any audience there.

Stanley Hudson 11:28 AM  

since I'm HOUSETRAINed, and I was FREETOGO, the first thing I did this morning was OUI.

r.alphbunker 11:29 AM  

47A. {Restless sort} VAGABOND-->GADABOUT

46D. {Word of agreement that sounds like a pronoun} AYE-->OUI

20D. {Lay-by : England :: ___ : America} RESTSTOP-->RESTAREA

Details are here.

kitshef 11:53 AM  

@Mr B - thank you!!!! I could not place where I originally heard SHIP OF THE LINE. The Broadside game it is.

The same company (I think) had another game involving air battle. Dogfight?? From which I learned the word Jagdstaffel, which I think should be worked into a crossword asap.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

Unemployment rate lowest in a decade. That was a nightmarish eight years, but looks like we're gonna be ok.

Laurie 11:59 AM  

Agreed. I recall it from historical novels

Bob Friedman 12:01 PM  

Being from NYC and having lots of grates (Con Ed, Subway,etc.) heels was what I thought of first. Have seen it happen.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

Please leave via the lighted troll exit sign. Thank you.

Nancy 12:10 PM  

@Quasi (11:15) -- Thank you for correcting me so gently and so kindly. Whenever Pavarotti sings something, I always assume it's an aria. MEA CULPA -- my Latin (which I studied) being a lot better than my Italian (which I didn't.) As for my Habanera -- I would have preferred the review: "stirring" or "exquisitely rendered." But if "hearty" is the best I'm being offered today, I guess I'll have to settle for that. :)

Lewis 12:19 PM  

@nancy -- It sounds like you suffered doing this puzzle! This must have made you very happy!

Andrew Heinegg 12:31 PM  

I am on all fours with the regulars today. I thought this was yet another wonderful PB puzzle. Just the right amount of double entendre and, after completion of the answers thinking:'yes, that is a proper answer for that clue but, I wouldn't have thought of it at first', e.g., ice cap for pole topper.

At least one bit of interesting trivia re the Pound Sterling being the world's oldest currency still in use; and a reminder of France's patron saint being Denis;

The most important aspect of PB's puzzles to me is this. When you complete the puzzle, your reaction to the puzzle as a whole is that it made you think and entertained you rather than made you think you have been tricked or misled into finding an answer to the clue that either did not make logical sense or gave you a feeling of the constructor trying to hoodwink you. Bravo.

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Trump whipped Hillary. Whipped her good.

Cassieopia 12:37 PM  

@hartley70 expressed it perfectly - puzzle looks impossible at first then comes together and makes the solver feel smart, even if this solver googled a few things to get a toehold. 34 minutes which makes me feel like a recreational athlete who finishes a marathon in just under 5 hours while the pros are looking to break 2.

MARS was the one that I filled in and took a bit to "get". Love that flash when things click! And this puzzle was full of click moments - thank you PB!

Mr. B 12:51 PM  

@kitshef--yes, my friend & I played Dogfight too!!!
Although, I must say I don't recall Jagdstaffell...probably because I'm sure I didn't know how to pronounce the damn word...
unlike SHIP OF THE LINE...and would surely stump me if ever I come across it in a puzzle... but now that you mentioned it
*files away Jagdstaffell for future reference*

It's funny how I don't see Broadside or Dogfight in the stores anymore... but a game like Battleship endures, which I found
sort of a bore. At least in Broadside you can move your pieces around and blow your opponents sails off with your
SHIP OF THE LINE... but in Battleship... your ships were just...stationary... like sitting SMEES

Malsdemare 12:56 PM  

I thought this was terrific. It was very slow to come together and that's what I want from a Friday puzzle while I recover from neck surgery. I knew SHIP OF THE LINE instantly because Mr. Mare builds ship models. And before anyone says "how cool," I will tell you that finding space for 3 ft by 4ft glass museum cases containing the product of four years' work is a nightmare. We have four ships in the house at the moment, with another under construction, and four more that have been palmed off on children and friends. He keeps saying, "this is the last," but I no longer believe him. But to look at these and imagine them bow to stern, guns blazing, smoke everywhere, ships heaving under the blast, crew racing to put out fires and cut sails free of masts shot down; it's an impressive movie running through my mind.

@CDilly, I'm so excited to know there's someone else here familiar with my tiny city. It would be a joy to play for "Butterfly." I've sung, once, at Krannert, in the chorus for Bernstein's "Mass." Great fun.

I liked everything about this puzzle. I agree that grates don't catch ashes, but I totally missed the misdirect for aye as I already had the U from NATURE. We'll be getting a three-legged puppy in two months so HOUSETRAINING pretty much jumped out at me. And the rest put up a fight but didn't leave me sore and swearing. Thanks, Mr. Berry.

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

Not all because of Trump, dumb ass.

Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

GNEISS try, in the SW corner. Everything else is cleaner & solider (yawwwn) than snot.

@RP: yep & yawp ... *Exactly* what I thought U would say, about the puzfill. Has its moments, but when yer words never ever take a J, K, Q, W, X, or Z out for a spin, said puzfill has almost plumb gone over to the wine-dark side. [Really liked IGOTTHIS, tho.] M&A says "almost", due to the very nice U-count, which PB1 musta sensed was all that stood between his low-scrabbly bacon and the dreaded dork side.

Cluing was excellent. Got yer {Grate catches?} here, and yer {Reports of gunfire?} there, etc. Made the FriPuz fun, despite its lack of grid edge. Altho, one neat "edgy" thing about the grid layout: it has them impressive jaws of cheater squares, and plus the two lights-out NW & SE corner square splatzes. Real different. Different is definitely grate.

Moments of Desperate Zen are mighty hard to find in a PB1puz, but M&A soldiered on, and sorta found something…
* MISDO. Kinda sounds like a HOUSETRAINING failure involvin a pristine-mint new white couch.
* DORAG. Kinda sounds like a MISDO cleanup aid.
* DODO. Kinda sounds like MISDO DNA evidence.

staff weeject pick: UGG. Nice Ugg plug, there.

Thanx, Mr. Berry. U sure are good (and persistent) at this. Do U maybe have tons of non-perfect, partially-filled grid-candidates-in-progress paperin yer walls, kinda offsettin yer 222 NYTPuz successes? Shoot -- I do, and I my puz-success-count ain't got near as many twos in it. Makes m&e wanna belly up to DEBAR. (DE cinnamon roll BAR, mostly.)
But, I digress.

Masked & Anonym8Us


Teedmn 1:22 PM  

GRATE puzzle - too bad I had a DODO DNF - serves me right for not re-reading clues before moving on to the next section. I filled in the NW, skipping all around 3D and when I suddenly thought of DELiVELY, I filled it in and left the worms to the MiLES. :-(

Initially misspelling HOoLIHAN gave me "tot up" at 33A and only POUND STERLING helped clear that up.

I loved the HOUSE TRAINING clue of where to go OUI. And after putting in OVER____ just from a guess of AVE at 48D and then taking it out again and then re-reading "Agricultural outfit", har, OVERALLS was a fun aha. Super clue.

I left TRUMBO in against my better judgement and was relieved to see it was right (yes, TRUMan first). TRUMBO a total WOE.

Great alt-answer of pEELS, @LMS. Thanks, PB1, nice Friday puzzle.

Nancy 1:22 PM  

@Lewis (12:19) You are so right! I suffered exquisitely and enjoyed every single moment of it. As I am also enjoying your keenly observant and completely unexpected shoutout. Thank you, Lewis.

@Malsdemare (12:56)-- OMG! In the midst of what sounds like a horrendous trauma to me, you come up with a colorful and witty blog post on ship model-building and husbands -- not necessarily in that order. Terrific post. I'll be contacting you off-blog today or tomorrow, because neck issues are something we have in common. I am sympathetic, empathetic and extremely hopeful you're recovering well. Which, remarkably, it sounds as though you are! (Of course, you may be braver than I am. It's not a high bar.)

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

Re: St. Denis, the patron saint of Paris. Sadly, the St. Denis neighborhood of Paris is the sketchy northern section of the city.

Joe Bleaux 1:53 PM  

Gathering info by phone is dicey business indeed: An Atlanta paper once reported that fourth-graders on a field trip would visit a "sperm bank" --they actually were bound for the well-known "Fernbank" museum.

Joe Bleaux 1:56 PM  

Do you enjoy knowing how loathed you are by so many?

Two Ponies 1:58 PM  

Just what I love for a Friday and a PB puzzle as well.
Lots of fun, clever misdirection, plus I learned a couple of new things. What's not to like? Misdo was far out-weighed by the pleasure I got from the rest of the grid.

Too late to the party yesterday to comment but thanks and congrats to our LMS. I love a good rebus puzzle and before service dog I was struggling.

Anonymous 1:58 PM  

And when you lose your health care, and can't pay the bill, come back and be as loyal.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

I bet he also whipped his then illegal immigrant wife, too. Hypocritic.

Anonymous 2:08 PM  

Coming from someone who can't see past their own ass.

John Doe 2:32 PM  

I don't agree with Rex's observation about GRATES catching ashes. Grates let ashes fall through so that the fuel can burn. They aren't designed to catch them.

Dick Swart 2:36 PM

It's delightful, it's delovely, it's Desoto". BBDO-Detroit 1955. TV plus spot radio.

Heels? The best use of a grate is the Marilyn Monroe shot from "The Seven Year Itch"!

Joe Bleaux 2:42 PM  

It's always as good as the last time: First an entry point only after a thorough scan (and there it is: ONES, opening up the NW). Then, a series of "Hmm, could it be ... ?" and "Yes!" after the likes of DEMOTAPES, BANGBANG, TIRES, DORAG, OLDS, HEELS, OUI, OVERALLS, and sooner than I'd expected, I've actually finished without a mistake or a single Googling. Once again, Patrick Berry has me believing that I might actually be good enough to hang with this crowd.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

I assumed "HEEL" was the heel/rind of the cheese hitting a cheese grate(r). This is a shameful amount of mental gymnastics for someone who has gotten her heel stuck in an NYC grate on more than one occasion.

First time commenter, I apologize if this went through twice.

AZPETE 3:34 PM  

No way this was "easy-medium!" Challenging for me with a DNF at "mages" (WTF?).

CDilly52 4:14 PM  

Some of the best years of my life were at the U. Was an undergrad when Krannert opened, got to see the Chicago Symphony make a Mahler recording there, met my husband doing crosswords at the T-bird restaurant and did post-mortems of many a performance over watery beer at Treeno's bar! Ah the late 60s and early 70s! We hardly recognize the place now.

CDilly52 4:25 PM  

What a wonderful example of how our minds work to solve these things! And I find very few people who (as I do) call it the "heel" of the cheese. My Gran called the ends of bread and cheese the "heel."

Big Jim 4:31 PM  

Ship of the line was a "gimme" for me...having read Patrick O'Brien and Forester - of course it refers to ships in the line of battle. Usually I agree with Rex's hard line on the quality of the puzzles here… But not today. The great thing about Patrick Berry's puzzles always seems to be that if I just keep working through them I know I'm never going to hit something that really pisses me off. Everything is reasonable and doable and yet still challenging.

Aketi 6:05 PM  

Thanks to the many comments about GRATEs and HEELS today, I started thinking about that pediegg I bought a long time ago. It literally GRATED the callouses off my HEELS and if I wasn't paying attention it would go beyond just the callouses.

Anonymous 6:24 PM  

Finished without a blemish. Unusual for me on Fridays. Enjoyed it!

This puzzle reaffirms my belief that the editor tries to weave in answers from previous puzzles of the week. This week? O Sole Mio. It's the second time this week...

Leapfinger 7:20 PM  

Hah! I didn't think of AYE, so OUI seemed to have a lot of jenny say coy, bien sir!

Naryana Gora 8:31 PM  

I had to work at it. Eventually I prevailed. Liked the golf cart clue. Really liked @Rachel's "evil little slats" comment.

BarbieBarbie 8:44 PM  

Ok Anon @6:24, I crown you Wittiest Commenter of the Day. I was about to agree with Part Two of your statement, and add that I thought Ye Ed also looked for groupings with some common filler theme, this week's being ACNE, except for today which didn't... OMG, you already said it in Part One. Please make a puzzle!

Anonymous 9:38 PM  

There have been several repeats this week.Occam's razor leads me to believe iunfortunate coincidence more likely than weaving.

OISK 10:17 PM  

I love Berry puzzles, so it was strange today to get my first DNF in nearly a month. I didn't know how to spell Houlihan, so I had Houl_han crossing L_B. I figured it was LIB or LAB. I guessed wrong. Had someone here not explained how "LIB" was the answer to the clue, I would never have known. Not just because I missed it, but because there are SO many better, inventive ways to clue "Lib," I am really disappointed. "Ex con?"

I even find it difficult to believe that Mr. Berry came up with that clue. Otherwise, fine Friday puzzle, as usual.

Xensen 10:26 PM  

Slow for me. But enjoyable. Was pleased to finish, finally.

Punctuated equilibrium 10:35 PM  

My first DNF in a while, and worst Friday ever. I had an impossible time with this puzzle, even though I started it in high anticipation of a PB treat. Mistakes galore, trivia that wasn't even remotely familiar to me --- sometimes even after filling in the word from crosses. Sigh. On to Saturday.

5wksltr 10:46 AM  

Hungry Mother who skipped swimming because it was raining made me laugh. Didn't want to get wet, I guess.

Burma Shave 11:40 AM  


IGOTTHIS thing for DELOVELY Valeria,
we met at DEBAR to PROLONG our ESPRIT,
but when NATURE calls to RUNTO the RESTAREA,


Diana,LIW 1:06 PM  

Who? What? Who? Where? What? Huh?

Sums up my first reactions. Small toehold. Got some done. dnf Too much woe for me.

But some fun PB answers - YOUREFREETO GO he was telling me. HOUSETRAINING - hah!


Diana, LIW to go to Minnesota

spacecraft 2:04 PM  

Even with PB1, OFL manages to damn with faint praise. But how could you dis Cher by putting the Sinatra cover of BANGBANG on the page? I was going to make Laila ALI--or even ALI MacGraw--DOD, but we must repair the insult: CHER wins! Nancy Sinatra...yougottabekiddingme.

No faint praise here: the Berrymeister has done it again! Clued suitably hard for a Friday, it was tough, but IGOTTHIS! I'd say GADABOUT skews old, old enough for u-no-hu to complain about, yet he let that one go. SHIPOFTHELINE could be taking on a little water, but the rest of that big center is TOP OFTHELINE.

GNEISS job, Patrick! Eagle!

Joe in Newfoundland 2:10 PM  

syndication land chiming in; I agree with Mike in Mountain View that OUI was out of bounds. There should have been some indication that a foreign language was involved. TIRES for "golf cart foursome" - really? weak.

rondo 3:00 PM  

Misspelling HOoLIHAN was my only gaffe. Otherwise IGOTTHIS puz pretty straightforwardly. When the 1a and 1d fall into your lap it’s always a GNEISS start.

How about yeah baby Sally Kellerman as the original Hot Lips HOULIHAN?

What more to say about a REAL nice PB1 puz? It’s his NATURE.

rain forest 5:10 PM  

I've been away for three days on the stunning West coast of Vancouver Island, but I came back in time for LMS and Tracy Gray's fine effort, and then good old reliable and accomplished PB1.

I have to laugh at the people who say "not up to Berry's standard". Who's kidding whom? They couldn't construct a puzzle if it bit them in the ass, to mix metaphors.

This puzzle was GRATE, which, by the way, lets ashes fall through while it catches the chunks which didn't completely burn.

SHIP OF THE LINE is a beautiful and evocative term, heard in the DELOVELY song by Gordon Lightfoot, "Ghosts of Cape Horn". Listen to it, it says here.

So, two excellent puzzles in a row as we approach Saturday. Will there be a climax?

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

Solved it without hints but it took awhile.

You solved in less than 6 minutes? Incredible.

My major mistake was Mitts instead of Pitas. So two letters off on that.
The other two were Soundsite instead of Soundbite and Derotape not Demotape. So four wrong letters without hints. Have done others better and faster than this puzzle.

Did Patrick Berry use Devo in another puzzle a month ago?


Moonlighting 6:17 AM  

Good luck

Moonlighting 6:38 AM  

Good luck

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