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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Constructor: Sam Trabucco

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: LLOYD Price (47D: Price of R&B) —
Lloyd Price (born March 9, 1933) is an American R&B vocalist, known as "Mr. Personality", after one of his million-selling hits. His first recording, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", was a hit for Specialty Records in 1952. He continued to release records, but none were as popular until several years later, when he refined the New Orleans beat and achieved a series of national hits. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. (wikipedia)
• • •

This grid is original, though part of that originality involves rolling with words and phrases that are unfamiliar or odd or new or otherwise kind of head-cocking / "?"-inducing. Every long Across in the NW, for instance—I don't have complaints about those answers, but every one of them had me going "Is ... that a thing? Is that spelled right? I know those words, but do they really go together?" Otter pops are a real things, so OTTER PUP made me wonder ... and then the spelling of PUH-LEASE ... felt right, but obviously there's no real authority there ... and I have never heard of an UBER POOL, though I can infer what that is, I guess (like a carpool for people who don't own cars?). "YEAH, DUDE" also falls into this "O...K" category. I know what a beta test is, obviously, but haven't seen BETA TESTER. I'll just take your word for it that DATA TYPE is a thing. Also ARM BAR. But in the end, LLOYD Price was the only thing that was a total "?", and the crosses were all solid, so no sweat. The whole thing felt like work, but I never got seriously stalled. Finished just under 8. I think that's Medium. I'm not sure.


I can picture Simone BILES but I totally forgot her last name and BILES just looks weird in isolation somehow. When I say it, I know it's right, but when I look at it, again, I'm making that "is that right?" face. The opposite phenomenon happened to me with Sylvia SYMS, i.e. I can't picture her at all, but her name just came to me and felt right (51D: Sylvia of jazz). Parsing a number of these answers was very hard, starting with PUH-LEASE and then continuing with MS DEGREE and especially P.E. TEACHER, which looked like a "pet ... something" (36D: One with whom your relationship is working out, briefly?). People are complaining on Twitter that because CHASE UTLEY was not a Dodger when he "won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards beginning in 2006," that clue is inaccurate or at least misleading (13D: Dodgers second baseman who won four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards beginning in 2006). I took one look at the clue, then one look at the "L-Y" already sitting at the end of that answer, and had zero problems. Also, if you don't know who CHASE UTLEY is ... you picked a bad week to skip the Friday puzzle (back-to-back Utleez!). Most embarrassing moment was having -AINES and going "HAINES? ... GAINES?" Then I remembered what the letters in LBJ stand for. Ugh (44D: Presidential middle name).


Wrong answers I had:
  • BLAT (2D: Big blow for a musician? => TUBA) 
  • ILL (60D: Trouble => ADO)
  • PGA (7D: Tour grp. => USO)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

98 comments:

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

I had problems with the SE corner when I guessed MARRIAGE for 62A, postgrad goal, maybe. I guess that’s not a goal, maybe

Anonymous 12:22 AM  

I've had frequent heartburn the past few days and today had to take a break from solving to do something about it - 1/2 tsp baking soda baking soda in a little water and you're good to go. As I was sitting down at the computer to finish the solve I was reflecting on what pleasant little burps this remedy caused - no Pardon Me's for me, just relief.

jae 12:23 AM  

Medium seems right. My major problem was Oslo treaTY before LABOR PARTY, so the middle was the last to fall. Pretty good Sat., liked it.

George Barany 12:27 AM  

@Rex's review of @Sam Trabucco's puzzle cut right to the CHASE ... UTLEY that is (echoing Friday's puzzle by my friend @Zhouqin Burnikel). If Utley ever makes it to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, it won't be wearing a Dodgers uniform. [He is already in the Mets Hall of Infamy; see this.]

My generation doesn't stand a chance with the marquee grid-spanner at 37-Across. Carl ICAHN could have been clued for shenanigans far more recent than the 1980s.

29-Down reminds me of a chemistry joke that I learned in BYGONE DAYS: Question: How many atoms in a bowl of guacamole? Answer: Avocado's number. Another joke (inspired by 28-Across): Question: Can you name competing OPTIONs to a 62-Across chemistry student on a Friday night? Answer: LAB OR PARTY.

Hope the above elicit a few HAHAHA moments. Until next time, here's a friendly TATA.

Randall Clark 12:28 AM  

I'm 52, but somehow my first get was GOTTACATCHEMALL, which was a nice way to start. Last to fall was PIED, which at first made no sense (pied like Pied Piper?) until I got it and thought: ah, clever.

Trombone Tom 1:02 AM  

Started out in the SW and worked my way around to the NW where I completely stalled out for a while. Got _____PUP and went through all the canines I could think of before recalling those cute sea otters.

UBERPOOL looked right, but I am not familiar with that term. That finally did break open the rest of
the NW.

Had no idea what the Pokémon slogan might be, but the crosses made it clear.

Also I had yEAR before WEAR.

Will the verb SCOTCH be considered pejorative by the Scots?

A nice Saturday from Mr. Trabucco with spots of real resistance (crunch?).

Larry Gilstrap 2:37 AM  

Could not think of a Britishism for shags in three letters. Oh, the hairstyle. Anybody love the cross referenced clues? Yeah, me neither. Eventually it all fell into place except for my slapstick comics were often PIES. I know, makes no sense.

I had a struggle, with two g's, but according to that calendar on the wall it's Saturday. Fair enough. Our one grid spanner is something I'll take your word for. Anybody really like that one? Pokemon people, I'm all ears. Fancy Italian strings are AMATIS or STRADS in puzzles, why do I hold out for STRATS?

I was born and raised in the Nazarene Church, so I know my college options. At the time, Pasadena College was the closest, but they moved to Point Loma in San Diego, about the time my faith waivered. My long-time pastor went to seminary in NAMPA. Great man and mentor to me and his congregation. I have no regrets from all those years in the church. I learned more about being a good person than about hateful dogma.

I follow baseball and grew up in L.A. so 13D eluded me, but I figured that the crosses would reveal a duh! moment. CHASE UTLEY won none of those Silver Slugger Awards as a Dodger, amirite? I know ball players move around, but that clue was messed up, IMHO.

puzzlehoarder 3:09 AM  

Very easy Saturday. The NE corner filled in at a truly Monday rate. The funny thing was my first guess for 1A was TROUTLET. I checked the three letter entry at 6D came up with PAO immediately and took off from there.

There were some minor issues in the middle. Even with the BI in place I couldn't remember the gymnast's name. The write overs I can recall were ICHAN/ICAHN, ROSA/RASA and STRATS/STRADS.

SYMS was an unknown. PIED was hard to get because the clue was good. EPIC was delayed because I expected 35A to be MOTE. PETEAC_ _ _ was hard to read correctly.

These problems were all minor. Using my phone to solve was a bigger impediment. I'm in the midst of three days in a row at the firehouse. This means I can't do the Sunday puzzle until I get home on Sunday morning. I can't do a Sunday on that little phone screen.

I'm up late because I had to wait up for a city mechanic to come out and fix our rig. It was a fuel line problem. A real mess. The fire engine I drive is 20 years old.

Anonymous 3:12 AM  

I liked this one. Very little garbage. Speaking as a computer programmer, DATATYPE is definitely a thing and it's used correctly. Data types are how you treat a piece of memory as, say, an integer or a rational number or a string. UBERPOOL is an Uber where you might share a ride with another Uber user. It's a bit cheaper than a regular Uber.

puzzlehoarder 3:16 AM  

I meant the NE corner was Monday easy. One more thing I forgot was ARMBAR got me thinking that we haven't heard from @aketi lately.

evil doug 5:36 AM  

Cross-referencing "partner of" against "partner of" with no other info is a chickenshit move. And all for ADAM & EVE? Pfui....

evil doug 5:39 AM  

SCOTCH and EL ROPO? A good way to end the day....

Loren Muse Smith 5:51 AM  

A big dnf. Two different sections: _ _UTELY/DAUB/BILES area and the LLOYD/BAINES/SYMS area. I had no idea about the presidential middle name, and I put Barnes. A noble guess, right? Never recovered from that goof. And I just plumb forgot DAUB.

I’ve never seen that quote, Hope lies to mortals/And most believe her. Not me, buddy. I’m a veritable Eeyore. Seriously.

SCORE PAD. Hah. A real lothario’s apartment. Sure thing, baby. C’mon up! Say, do you know how long a cubit is? Well….

The first time I was invited back to someone’s score pad was in college. He asked me if he wanted to see these face mask thingies he was working on because he was studying to be an undertaker, and I’m not making that up.

“bygone time” before BYGONE DAYS.
“bump” before BURP.
“dog tag” before DEWLAP. Bet we’re legion this morning.

Rex – I feel like I’ve seen a couple of fb friends who are constructors who have put out a request for BETA TESTERS.

So are the people profiting from an AD SALE the people who came up with the ad or the people whose product is bought because of the ad? Either way, this ad is brilliant.

@George - LAB OR PARTY - good one!

Nice puzzle, Sam.

Lewis 6:35 AM  

Five gimmes, five out of my wheelhouse. Fair cluing, though brutal at times. Just enough cracks of light to keep me going. THIS is what I want -- and got today -- in my Saturday puzzle. Beautious!

Two Ponies 7:30 AM  

I did not stand a chance at the intersection of two sport proper names and the slogan of a children's game.

HaHaHa is another chickenshit answer.

Too many cross-referenced clues annoy me.

Surprised to see tabula rasa in the complete form.

Pied? Give me a break.

First thought for 1A was mud puppy.

Kdunk 7:48 AM  

Exactly my experience, right down to the confusion about the piper and eventually seeing the face full of pie. 43, here, and no personal Pokémon experience. Thank God for all those crazy people following their phones around my neighborhood last year, I guess.

TomAz 8:09 AM  

I liked this. It took work, but the work paid off in an enjoyable way. No clue on the Pokemon thing, but after (a lot of) crosses it was gettable. Took me a while to remember LLOYD Price -- I was trying to fit someone more recent in there, dunno who. Never heard of Sylvia SYMS but I worked it out.

First to fall were 6D, 8D, 7D, in that order.. so I had PUP right away and then I ran through aquatic mammals in my head til I found the right one. the NW fell pretty fast after that.

The clue for CUBIT made me chuckle.. at the answer that popped into my head. I'm in my mid 50s but I think I'm still a dumb boy sometimes.

Good puzzle.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Great puzzle. Rex is an ass four complaining about originality.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

Great puzzle. Rex is an ass for complaining about originality.

Phillies fan 8:14 AM  

The Chase Utley clue is perfectly accurate.

QuasiMojo 8:18 AM  

Except for "Puhlease" which I have never ever seen or heard used (it's usually spelled "Puh-leeze!") this was an engaging, if at times, exasperating puzzle. Funnily enough, I was toying with SHAG for "icebreaker" but then saw the hair-do clue and was saved from mortification. Wanted GYM PARTNER before PE TEACHER (which seems pretty weak to me.) Having CHUCK UTLEY held me back (yes, I know, he was in yesterday's puzzle but I had a brain BURP.) I also blindly threw in LIKUD PARTY before LABOR.

I have no idea what Pokemon is so that was a major hurdle.

But I did manage to finish and was not TEED off, nor felt that it was all mere DRUDGEry.


Old Lady 8:35 AM  

No idea what Pokemon slogan was, so I was suspicious of my answer - GOTTA CATCH EMALL. I guess EMALL may be a thing, so I went with the downs I had and accepted it. Oh - GOTTA CATCH EM ALL. Now it makes sense.

Sir Hillary 8:39 AM  

This was hard, like Saturdays are supposed to be. Answers vary between oldish (LLOYD, SYMS, SCOTCH) and newish (UBERPOOL, RETAG, BILES) and everything in between.

Hilarious that CHASEUTLEY gets an at-bat two days in a row. Deliberate move by Shortz, I assume.

Great clue for AVOCADOPIT.

I can't read ARMBAR without hearing Gorilla Monsoon use it to describe a seemingly innocuous hold that, say, Brutus Beefcake used to cause, say, Tito Santana to wince in "pain". YEAHDUDE, pro wrestling in the 80s was the best.

@LMS -- My youngest is obsessed with sloths, and we're huge fans of the GEICO ad. "Tandem bicycle" -- awesomely random and funny.

Best thing I've read today is the very first @Anon comment.

mmorgan 8:47 AM  

Really nice workout, fun and challenging. The stuff I didn't know I was able to get from crosses. Biggest hangup was in NE -- really wanted UBERPOOL and TUBA but I had OHPLEASE and couldn't get things to work. Finally took out OH and it fell into place. Easier than some Saturdays for me but fun and impressive.

Hungry Mother 8:57 AM  

Not bad for a Saturday. I co-authored a couple of books about data structures, so DATATYPE was easy. As an ex Yellow Cab driver in Philadelphia, I eschewed Uber until I had the need to get from the Hilton Bonnet Creek hotel to Epcot for a pre-Dopey Challenge dinner. Hoping for rebuses tomorrow.

clk 9:19 AM  

So much more fun than yesterday!

I briefly had GOnnACATCHEMALL but knew that GOTTA was an option. I feel like this is just something out there in current culture, because neither I nor my kids are into Pokemon.

Like Rex, I knew BILES but it looked weird to me and made me doubt myself.

Is EL ROPO really a thing?

kitshef 9:24 AM  

Tough, but not in a good way. When an area is giving you a lot of trouble (the NW), and you play around a lot, putting things in, pulling them out, and you finally get it, the feeling should be a mixture of 'aah' and 'aha!'. Today, the feeling was oh pLEASE (or PUHLEASE).

The only thing I got any pleasure from in that NW was UBERPOOL, with which I was unfamiliar so nice to learn something. Every other entry was between meh and gawd.

GOTTA CATCH EM ALL may be the ne plus ultra of lousy seed entries.

DATA TYPE – bleah. YEAH DUDE – ick. HAHAHA - ugh. And so on.

2nd puzzle this week I've come here hoping for a classic Rexplosion and been let down.

Mohair Sam 9:37 AM  

Normalizing CHASE UTLEY as a Dodger is upsetting for this Phillies fan, very upsetting.

That sin aside, this was a nifty Saturday. Played on the easy side in this house, our first guess was our best guess on an awful lot of clues - unusual for a Saturday. Plopped in ICAHN, guessed REPAIRMAN and AVOCADOPIT off that and we were off and running. Got good old CHASE off USE and SEE and PETEACHER off CUBIT, which came with a BURP. Didn't leave much to fill.

Learned UBERPOOL today, good idea. Learned what a SHANDY consists of too, not so good an idea. @Quasi has a point on PUHLEASE, maybe you ought to misspell it all the way or not at all. Wondering if Will is going to feature Jimmie Rollins or Ryan Howard next week?

@Rex - Thanks for the "Stagger Lee" link.

kitshef 9:38 AM  

@George Barany. Welcome back. You've been missed.

Teedmn 9:43 AM  

A typical Saturday solve for me, including that panicked, flailing, OMG I don't know anything feeling which led me down to AVOCADO PIT and my entry into the puzzle. I'm among those who didn't know the Pokemon tagline but once it was half-filled in, it helped me correct my 21D's "EAT dirt" since GOTTA CATd_____ was obviously wrong. TABULA RASA off the final A and the CHASE plopping right in when UTLEY appeared due to yesterday's puzzle (take that, sports clue, hah!), made the puzzle seem easy in places but the NW got the upper hand.

___ERPUP had to be OTTERPUP. I knew this. I also knew that 15A had to be ohpLEASE. Trying to imagine 3D as Tp__, I did consider tPer. Anyone who TP'ed my front lawn would be an antagonist, but it needed to be plural so....try again.

I've never seen an episode of Survivor; everything I know about it is from the media. My NW was bordered by PIED and REPAIRMAN. So ____A could be Omaha or Sana'a or, or, SAMOA, ding, ding, ding, ding! That aha saved me, because THEM was now visible and the last section filled in.

I was actually reading the comments here before the real meaning of PIED came to me. Brilliant clue, which hit me like a PIE in the face, d'oh.

Thanks, Sam, for the mental workout!

Nancy 9:46 AM  

George Barany (12:27 a.m.) is so right when he says "My generation doesn't stand a chance with the grid-spanner at 37A." His generation is my generation, and I didn't stand a chance either. And thus I had a Natick on the 1-letter cross with the gymnastics superstar (33D). And that's the trouble with PPP -- when you don't know a thing, you don't know it. End of story.

Other problems that I managed to sort out. PE TrainER before PE TEACHER (36D) kept me from seeing CUBIT and YEAH DUDE. DATA TaPE before DATA TYPE (25D) kept me from seeing BYGONE DAYS, which was already adversely affected by PE TrainER. But there were a lot of clean, well-clued answers that I liked: AVOCADO PIT; TABULA RASA; REPAIRMAN; SCORE PAD. I've never heard of a SHANDY (9D) and it sounds like a fairly revolting drink. GILL? I think it would have been nice to cross it with a liquor-related clue for SCOTCH (9A). Anyway, remove GOTTA CATCH EMALL and BILES and I would like this puzzle a lot more. Nor did I know CHASE UTLEY. In fact, I think I was pulling an @Hartley in my problems today with sports trivia.

Questinia 9:49 AM  

I'm a believing mortal to whom Hope tries to lie. When I downloaded the Pokemon Go app and caught a pokemon in my bedroom right away it was proof-positive for the existence of Hope telling the truth. Then I deleted the app. Because I want to own Hope. Not the other way around. Catching one pokemon is catching em all. But then I started getting spammed by Pokemon Go to Hope for more. I don't Hope for more. I am happy with finding Hope's moist niblets and calling it a day on my terms.

Example of Hope's moist niblet---> CHASE UTLEY. Never would I have believed I could have caught that one.

This puzzle had chew but was sufficiently saucy to get down.

Nancy 9:59 AM  

@kitshef (9:24) -- GOTTA CATCH EM ALL may be "the non plus ultra of lousy seed entries", but it sure beats GOTTA CATCH EMALL. I think this may be my worst (or best, depending how you look at it) DOOK ever!

RooMonster 10:03 AM  

Hey All !
Wonder if CHASE UTLEY is getting compensation? Har.

Kind of a wonky puz here. Had no shame today using the check puzzle feature online! Lots of wrongness that I never would've got otherwise. I see little black corner wedges all over my puz!

UBERPOOL gets you cheaper rides if you are willing to share the car. FYI. No LIES. :-) Also, anyone else have morn as the partner of EVE?

GOTTA CATCH EM ALL. And we wonder why the youth aren't learning the language properly...

EPIC TATAs ;-P (Sorry if that failed the breakfast test!)
RooMonster
DarrinV

Carola 10:04 AM  

Solved from NW to SE at non-warp speed = a medium Saturday for me. Like @puzzlehoarder, my way in was PAO; that followed by USO got me the OTTER PUP. Loved getting to write in TABULA RASA. Also appreciated Will Shortz's joke: HA HA HA crossing CHASE UTLEY, whom I'd never heard of before yesterday. The cross with CARDS is good, too (as in, people who are a riot). I was interested that @Rex hadn't heard of LLOYD Price. In 1959 "Stagger Lee" had a galvanizing effect on the 8th grade me.

GeezerJackYale48 10:11 AM  

Your generation might not stand a chance with 37A, and mine even less - if I had not been with my 57 year old daughter-in-law, watching her capture critters in competition with my grandkids.

Laurence Katz 10:26 AM  

Lloyd Price is a deserved member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though his name recognition did a rapid nosedive starting in the '60s. Still, a legendary musical figure. And he has remained an interesting, outspoken man. You might enjoy an interview I did with him in 1998.
http://thekatztapes.com/lloyd-price-1998/

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

"PUHLEASE" is spelled PUHLEEZE like it sounds which is why it is spelled PUHLEEZE.

How does UBERPOOL save money over carpool?

GILL I. 10:44 AM  

I'll take SCOTCH over SHANDY anytime of the day. I needed one last night when I tried to use my pen to write something - anything into this puzzle. I managed PAO and USO then went to bed. Not much better in the AM.
I stared at 33D. I knew her first name was Simone because I love that name. I also knew she had an unfortunate last name that everyone mispronounced. Why couldn't I remember BILES? Why didn't I know anything about Pokemon or who boolean is and why did I read the clue for 5D as "One with a wrench in his PANTS?". Disaster all around and not pleasant to boot. I thought PETE ACHER was the name of someone you had a relationship with sorta like PUH LEASE. Why didn't SEX fit in the shag slot and when I'm forced to backpedal, I EAT dirt...not the poor crow. And so...it went. BYE BYE.
@Anony 12:22. HA HA HA. I promise you that if you take a Tbs of apple cider vinegar, your heart burn will go away. It works every time...
@Larry G. My paternal grandparents were Nazarenes. Granddad was an evangelist. I loved going to service with them when I was quite young...the gospel songs, the revival meetings were all magical to me AND, my grandmother's fried chicken (probably rabbit) always awaited us after we'd come home happy and full of HOPE.
@Questinia... Can I have some of what you're having...;-)

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

A SHANDY is delicious notwithstanding Nancy. Try it you might like it.

Two Ponies 10:49 AM  

If you order a shandy in England it is beer and 7-Up. Another Britishism is calling a lemon-lime soda lemonade. The drink itself is not bad at all. In order to keep up with my hard-drinking friends I learned to have a shandy instead and save face.
In Switzerland I had a drink made of beer with a dollop of Grenadine. I believe it was called a Riviera. That was pretty good as well.

Andrew Heinegg 10:53 AM  

I figured it out but, I needed a not to pick, so here goes. I don't like the PE teacher answer. A phys ed teacher is an instructor in elementary or high school. You don't have a relationship with that person. You go to a class in a gym and are directed to doing stuff there like run laps, play basketball, etc.

You do have a physical relationship of sorts with a physical trainer. Petty me.

Hartley70 10:53 AM  

Thank you Friday for CHASEUTLEY today. Otherwise I wouldn't know this guy from ADAM.

No happy noise today. I ran the alphabet and the P in PIED made no sense to me. I can't fathom "to pie" as a verb. To cake the bride?To kumquat a pal?

I also naticked in the SW where I really, really wanted a B for bOT and a D for DO. Unfortunately life is full of tough choices, isn't it?

Welcome back @George and I love the levity even if I have to ponder awhile on the first joke. The second one was my fav.

Andrew Heinegg 10:56 AM  

Nit, not not. Self correcting programs!

Adam 11:10 AM  

YEAH, DUDE, between the UBERPOOL of PE TEACHERS smoking EL ROPOs and BETA TESTERS in ARMBARs (and CHASE UTLEY in the back, nursing a SHANDY), this was an EPIC bro puzzle and evinces the LEGIT need for some non-dude puzzle creators.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

This was my first ever Saturday solve without any assistance or Googling! Took me five years to get here, and my time’s a full hour over Rex’s, but... baby steps. Big milestone for me!

jberg 11:28 AM  

@anon 12:14 AM, if he or she won't marry you unless you get an MS, it's probably not a good match.

After getting held up for too long by a really creative mistake: 'nAnd gate" instead of DATA TYPE, saved by BYGONES eventually -- I was sunk by BILES/PART I. Neverr heard the name, so I went with BaLES/PART a. Somewhat unfair cross, IMHO.

I wasn't fooled by the riot thing, but I went with 'guffaw' at first. Only in my head, though.

And somehow, while I didn't get that EMALL thing right away (actually thought of GOTTA adopt EM ALL because of the aforementioned nand gate), I somehow knew it when I thought of it. I'll be 74 tomorrow, FWIW.

Despite my failure, I really enjoyed this one.

Kimberly 11:31 AM  

Beta Testers were common (and sometimes coveted) roles before software companies stopped giving a crap. Superusers were often given pre-release copies for free in exchange for bug notes and opinions of features. I guess it was only a west coast thing, but it was so common it felt universal.

JC66 11:32 AM  

@Adam

Just wondering why the UBERPOOL couldn't comprise and the PE TEACHERS & BETA TESTERS couldn't be women?

mathgent 12:03 PM  

I went to bed last night with over half of the grid a sea of white. Sometimes when I get up the next morning after whiffing the night before, I get a flurry of entries. But not this morning. I had to fight for everything. Guessing LABORPARTY and having it work with the downs was a breakthrough.

I'm not sure what I liked about the puzzle besides its fine crunch. As @evildoug (5:36) eloquently pointed out, splitting ADAM and EVE unclued is terrible. Some junk (HAHAHA, TATA, IDA). Only 14 red plusses in the margins, low for a Saturday.

But there was some really outstanding stuff: PUHLEASE (although I had never seen it spelled that way), DEWLAP and its cute clue, the TAROT CARDS even though they were split up, the Houseman clue, the clue for AVOCADOPIT.

Maybe I liked it because I sensed Sam Trabucco's personality coming through the puzzle. He seems to be a person I would like. Bright guy interested in things I'm interested in.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Two mistakes... Cloyd/dewCap (thought "Hound of the Baskervilles" hat name) and lieD/Dyms. Excellent Saturday. Just need to brush up on my Jazz and R&B....

Fred Romagnolo 12:20 PM  

@jberg: Sonny, I got you beat by 12 years, FWIW. I was in despair until I caught on to the cleverness of the clue to AVOCADO PIT; then I carefully worked my way around everything. DNF because I wanted M. A. DEGREE and figured EaC was a modern slang (or text slang) thing. I, too, welcome the good professor back. Macbeth: "We have scotched the snake, not killed it." Folio I reads "scorched."

GHarris 12:21 PM  

Needed to google for Syms. Every thing else fell into place. However, since I had part A I naticked Bales and had puhleese (which is how it should be spelled) so naticked on peo. Sea otters don't swim in streams so we have to be speaking about a different variety.

Fred Romagnolo 12:28 PM  

I knew there was a singer named Sylvia SYMS because there was a British movie actress named Sylvia Sims, and I found that fact interesting; as I recall she was considered quite attractive, good thing she came along before Weinstein.

Two Ponies 12:32 PM  

@ Anon 11:11, Congratulations. I don't remember the exact Saturday that happened to me but it certainly was after I started following this blog. I may not remember the day but I definitely remember the feeling.

@ GILL I, Your post reminded me of Mae West. Is that a wrench in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Theodore Stamos 12:33 PM  

Is STRADS really a thing? I mean, come on. Who would ever shorten that word? "Dude, I dig your strad, mind if I play it?"

Fred Romagnolo 12:34 PM  

Shoulda said the Macbeth quote was from Act III, Scene 2

Adam Frank 12:41 PM  

I live in Manhattan and use Uber Pool (and Via) quite a bit, although not if I'm short on time. They're great, inexpensive alternatives to regular Uber or Lyft.

I know Simone BILES from the Olympics but really remembered her name because of her guest turn on Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me! last year.

Loved the puzzle today, especially the Pokemon clue and PUH-LEASE. Fun Saturday.

Alison 12:47 PM  

Great puzzle (except for inclusion of despised Chase Utley). Thanks Sam!

Stanley Hudson 12:55 PM  

I tentatively put in LLOYD because of all the early rock n rollers Price is one of the most overlooked. Glad to see him get some recognition.

@Lawrence Katz, thanks for the interview link.

@George B, good to have you back.

Nancy 12:58 PM  

Some comments I really enjoyed today: @Hartley's (10:53) on PIED as a verb; @Gill's (10:44) on "a wrench in his PANTS"; @Two Ponies' (12:30) Mae Westian response to Gill; and @Loren's (5:51) wicked definition of a SCORE PAD, which I liked a lot more than Sam Trabucco's.

I completely missed the pun on the word "hardest" in the AVOCADO PIT clue (29D). I was thinking "hardest" as in: I-can't-tell-you-how-many-knives-I've gotten-embedded-in-the-stupid-PIT-that-I-couldn't-then-get-out-when-trying-to-unPIT-the-stupid-AVOCADO.

The Ridger, FCD 1:09 PM  

People magazine?

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

Hey puzzlehoarder, puhleez give us more boring details about your job!



Said no one ever.

Oh, remind us again, are you a firefighter?

Nancy 1:34 PM  

Oh, boy, do I hate to see this!!!! To attack @puzzlehoarder, of all people!!! @puzzlehoarder -- you have always seemed like the very definition of a Renaissance Man to me. Smart and educated and clever enough to solve the toughest crosswords. Brave and strong and selfless enough to run into burning buildings and carry people out of them. You are a credit to the blog and I can't fathom anyone who wouldn't respect and admire you. I hope that I'm never in a burning building, but if I were, I'd want you on the scene to carry me out. As far as the vile, gutless troll is concerned -- I don't think he'd have the courage to carry a wet noodle out of a can of Campbell's. I love all of your comments, @puzzlehoarder -- especially the ones about life at the firehouse. Please keep them coming.

old timer 1:49 PM  

Jeeze Louise, @Nancy! You wash your hands with soap and water and dry them too. You chop your cilantro and red onion. Then you cut your avocados in half and use your fingers to remove the pits. No knives need be harmed. Next step: Put the avocado flesh and cilantro and onion in your plastic bowl, use your chopper to cut up the avocados, add lime or (in my case lemon juice because my wife hates the taste of lime), chop up a Roma tomato and season to taste. I use mild red taco sauce but others use real hot sauce. A little salt and a tiny amount of sugar are essential IMO.

I am a fervent Giants fan. But the great thing about baseball is you see all the teams in your league, and a true fan of the game comes to appreciate and admire the great players on the other teams. So I have long loved CHASE UTLEY and I trust there are some Phillies fans who feel the same way about Buster Posey,

Charley 2:14 PM  

The clue on Chase Utley is very misleading. He wasn’t a Dodger at the time referenced. And on behalf of Ruben Tejada and Met fans everywhere a big middle finger to him.

Z 2:22 PM  

I spent a chunk of my morning with my father-in-law in emergency (Hint: if you are 81 and on blood thinners try not to fall on the gym equipment), so I got to this late.

I was right of the middle of thinking “who the hell was the Dodger’s 2nd baseman in...” when the light flickered. Clever misdirect. If clever misdirection bothers you I don’t understand why you do puzzles? I do, however, have much empathy for Phillies fans. I rooted for the Astro’s this fall and was especially piqued at the lack of run support in game six.

I googled UBERPOOL before coming here and discovered it is in fact a thing, and like all things UBER, an awful idea. Let’s see, screw investors by losing billions of dollars, screw over employees by making them “independent contractors,” screw customers with surge pricing. If there has ever been a textbook case for the failures of the “free market” it is Uber.

@Nancy - a SHANDY is just as awful as it sounds. It is to beer what Boone’s Farm is (was?) to wine.

@LMS - “Do you know how long a cubit is?” Har!

evil doug 2:34 PM  

"If there has ever been a textbook case for the failures of the “free market” it is Uber."

There's *no* sound argument against a free market. If it's as bad as you say, Uber'll fail under its own weight. Drivers we've used at Uber and Lyft have been happy to earn some extra cash, positive, timely and an inexpensive alternative. Where the govt flexes its muscles--absurd charges for cab medallions, for example--that's where we see serious burdens on workers.

Hope he's okay, Z.

puzzlehoarder 2:52 PM  

@Nancy, thank you for your support but did you hear what they(gender neutral singular) called me? PUZZLEHOARDER!!! The internet is good for something after all.

@Gill I, outstanding(or is that upstanding?) misread on 5D.

@Carola, thanks for the shout out. I hope you like the Tracey Letts play.

Joe Dipinto 3:07 PM  

This was fairly smooth sailing once I got going. The problem: it took a long time to get going. I plunked in SYMS and PAO and then spent a long time...staring at blank boxes, scanning clues, not knowing...anything really. (Had I noticed the Price of R&B clue sooner I might have gotten LLOYD right away, but I'm not even sure about that.)

Anyway, eventually AVOCADO PIT seemed perfect for 29d, bringing EVE and ADAM together, and I was on my way. For some reason I was remembering Simone's last name as DAWES, but clearly that wasn't gonna work. BILES seemed sort-of right, but then I was reading the Pokemon slogan as GOTTA CATCH E-MALL, like there was an electronic mall involved somehow (I'm Pokemon-ignorant).

All in all a good solve. I like that Chase Utley showed up again. The shag cut of the early 70's (David Cassidy, Jane Fonda) was one the ugliest hairstyles ever.

BBPDX 3:23 PM  

Adore your willingness to drift into R-rated territory.

David Fink 4:10 PM  

Clueless stumper for me. Whipped me. Humbled.

Buggy Bunny 4:13 PM  

with the news this week, of course a tour is USO. just ask Al.

Joe Dipinto 4:16 PM  

@me -- one *of* the ugliest...

Anonymous 4:31 PM  

@Fred R - the first folio / second folio wording is not so strange. We still call scorched butter "butterscotch." Etymology is fun.

@oldtimer - nice recipe for guac but you left out the extremely important squooshing of two cloves of garlic!

Z 4:32 PM  

@Evil Doug - Thanks. I think other than the frustrations we all feel at not being able to do what we once did easily he’ll be okay. The blood thinner he’s on is designed to prevent clots and is doing a great job of preventing a scab from forming. More scary looking than actually dangerous, but at 81 it is better to be overly cautious than brave. The irony of getting injured at the “health” club should lead to lots of good natured ribbing over the Thanksgiving turkey next week.

As for UBER, it’s being propped up much in the same way the dot coms were in the 90’s. Saying the free market will take care of it is sort of like saying the free market will take care of people doing 100 mph on I-75... sure, but how many innocents get killed in the crash? It is hard to balance regulation against innovation, but we still need governments to make rules against stupidity. I just hope my retirement funds aren’t too heavily invested in Uber.

Anonymous 4:39 PM  

@Nancy, You sound like a "fairly revolting" person.

Anonymous 4:43 PM  

Yeah and those stupid laws requiring clean water and air. Suck the government!

GILL I. 5:13 PM  

@Two Ponies...HAH! I always thought it was a hot house cucumber!
@PUZZLEHOARDER...I was about to tsk @Nancy for assuming you were a male! My husband falls a lot and I have to call the fire department to come and help me pick him up. I jokingly tell them I have a spare room and they can bunk at our place any time. My favorite firefighter is a female named Sarah and she can lift my 170 lb husband up like a sumo wrestler... and she's a petite thing....!
Love you guys/gals. If you lived in Sacramento, you could taste the deviled eggs I take to the Natomas department every Christmas!

Jim Finder 5:41 PM  

I guess I gotta forgive Sam Trabucco for 54D, "unpatentable thing" = IDEA, because you hear this wrong cliche all over the place. But ... I'm a patent attorney and I don't know what it means. Was not the Wright Flyer an idea, and was it not patented? Was not the Morse code an idea, and was it not patented? I could go on.

Jim Finder 5:51 PM  

PS. Despite the one criticism in my post at 5:41pm, I really enjoyed the puzzle. Sorry I left that out.

Joe Dipinto 6:18 PM  

@Jim Finder -- I've worked in copyright and I know you cannot copyright or patent an "idea" for something. The "idea" has to be generated into a tangible or demonstratable object or system before it can get protection under the law, which both of the things you cited were.

Joe Dipinto 6:23 PM  

I think the correct word is demonstrable. My bad.

evil doug 7:06 PM  

C'mon, Z. I'm not proposing anarchy. Govt has useful purposes; thwarting capitalism and free market principles isn't among them....

Remember the early years of Amazon? I never thought that hairbrained idea would amount to anything....

Ron Fish 10:17 PM  

Didn’t get 58A,62A, 64A so DNF. As a lifelong Dodger fan the clue at 13D really killed me as I couldn’t remember a Dodger who won those awards then. Of course, then he was a Phillie.

Anonymous 5:54 AM  

Anyone else think that Lloyd Price "Stagger Lee" rocks?

BarbieBarbie 6:12 AM  

Anon from 5:56 Monday: think of a shaving cream pie in the face.

Jim Finder 11:25 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Finder 11:27 AM  

Re: The patent comments above.
So, folks, when you get an idea for a new combination of parts, or a new device, or a new chemical compound, or anything new that may have commercial value, describe your idea thoroughly in writing, with examples and drawings if needed. That's what we call drafting a patent application, which is the first step toward protecting your idea with a patent. Bring it to a patent attorney who will put it in better form to describe and protect your idea even better. Then the application gets filed in the US Patent and Trademark Office, and if all goes well, the Patent Office will decide your idea is patentable (which means it's new and not obvious), and will issue a patent that protects your patentable idea.

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billy 10:17 AM  

Not that you'll ever see this, but you NEVER add a sauce to guacamole. You use jalapenos peppers to add the kick.

spacecraft 11:45 AM  

@Mohair Sam: YEAHDUDE, I'm with you. Chase was a Phillie during his best years--including those mentioned in the clue. He was instrumental in bringing a rare world championship to the City of Brotherly Love.

Lots of nose-wrinkling clues today--as befits a Saturday--but the PUHLEASE moment is "Home of Northwest Nazarene Univ." Now WHO is gonna know THAT?

This was daunting at first look, but my man CHASE gave me a huge way in, and HARE was a second gimme that pretty quickly whipped the NE--and by cross-cluing, opened up the west with EVE. Surely 29-down was AVOCADO-something. Oh yeah: PIT. After that, the answers just started appearing. I agree with the medium (for today) rating. LLOYD Price was no problem for this early rocker. SYMS I've heard of, but never seen. DOD candidate? Maybe, but the sash goes to winsome Simone BILES today.

Just to finish and avoid the DNF trifecta would be enough for a birdie. And so it is. TATA!

Burma Shave 12:14 PM  

TATA PARTI

For ADAM and EVE in EPIC BYGONEDAYS
TIEDYE was no OPTION for THEM to WEAR.
As BETATESTERs in the TABULRASA phase,
they had no IDEA who MITES SEE their HARE.

--- LLOYD "DEWLAP" BAINES

rondo 12:34 PM  

Let me be the first to mention that our own yeah baby TEED - as in teedmn - made the puz today. Did nobody else SEE that? Except for gAmeI before PARTI, no w/os for me, series being a sports thing for me.

In BYGONEDAYS I USEd to DATATYPE of gal that had an MSDEGREE. Warning: It'll be one of those BAINES that WEAR on you to "SEE" a therapist.

I just measured my CUBIT. 18.5" - does size matter? If you didn't know, it's from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger. Now go measure.

Yes, I bought that SI swimsuit edition with yeah baby Simone BILES and her pal Aly Raisman. And we can mix it up today for the gals with a YEAHDUDE in CHASEUTLEY, though he seems more like one of those "Aw, shucks" kinda guys.

Last EVEning there was a PARTY in LABOR as I became a first time grandpa. SO I'm off to SEE the granddaughter. TATA.

Diana, LIW 1:13 PM  

Didn't finish without a bit of cheating. HAHAHA. As ever, the proper names SCOTCHed me up, along with SCOTCH for that clue.

Haven't yet read Rex, but in recent days I see he is his nit picky self.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Anonymous 1:38 PM  

Stop with the yeah baby already

thefogman 4:35 PM  

I'm still stuck on this one. Definitely not in my wheelhouse. I'm afraid it's another DNF coming up.

rondo 10:14 PM  

@anon 1:58 - apparently you have not been around for the last 5 years of yeah babies, it's nothing new. And I've been told, in person, that this blog is read to at least one person of some degree of disability, and she looks forward to see who will be rondo's yeah baby of the day. And she pays enough attention to my family anecdotes to actually understand and connect them. So your request, actually your attempt to command (where's your manners?), will fall like water off this duck's back. Try to manage your own behavior, not others'.

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