1972 Oscar refuser / WED 12-27-17 / Dinah 1958 hit for Frankie Avalon / Kind of mass in physics / Saxophonist Cannonball / Fearsome Hindu deity / Shout from coach driver / Media muzzler

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Constructor: David Kwong

Relative difficulty: Medium



THEME: sawing LADIES / IN HALF (8A: With 63-Acorss, what some performers saw in Las Vegas? ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) — get it? "Saw"? So ... famous "Ladies" are split in two, with half their names in circled squares on the far left of the grid and the other half on the far right:

The LADYs:
  • GA/GA (GAG ORDER / BODEGA)
  • GOD/IVA (GOD OF LOVE / SHIVA)
  • JANE/GREY (JANET / AGNES GREY)
  • CHATT/ERLEY (CHATTY / ADDERLEY)
Word of the Day: "DE DE Dinah" (10D: "___ Dinah" (1958 hit for Frankie Avalon)) —
• • •

Rough but ultimately successful outing here. Theme concept is solid and nicely executed. Themers are all ladies whose names have been *literally* halved, with each half flush to the side of the grid. Hurray consistency. Also, nice little play on the word "saw" in the revealer clue. Not sure why the ladies are sawn/seen in Vegas, but maybe Vegas magically denotes .. magic? Whatever, the theme concept works, and the execution is nice, except ... JANE GREY. She's not really cut at all. Her name already exists in two parts, so putting the one part on one side and the other part on the other side doesn't really created the same "what the!?" effect that sawing a lady in half would—that CHATT / ERLEY does, for instance. JANE and GREY already got space between them. No cut. No saw. One part just wandered off. I'd've maybe tried a different lady, like BIRD or DYNAMITE or something (I'd've said MACBETH, but you can't saw her name in *half*).




The puzzle wasn't too hard, but the few hard bits really cut my legs out from under me. The worst part was "DE DE Dinah." What the hell?! That is one of the worst partials I've ever seen. A 60-year-old #7 (!?) hit, the spelling of which can hardly be determined with one's ears ... and a partial. I had -EDE and wondered why anyone would want to CEDE Dinah, let alone sing about it. That this answer was next to the adjectivally odd INERTIAL (!) made that section doubly rough. The other answer I really struggled with was in the opposite corner of the grid: SHYOF. I had the "Y" and "O" and of course was looking for one word. And yet somehow, despite the fact that my struggles took place all over the revealer, the theme was still easy enough to pick up that my time ended up normal for a Wednesday. The very narrow openings connecting NE to E and SW to W also slowed things down. Without INERTIAL, no getting down from there, and with only SEND at 37D: Message from a short person? ("SEND CASH"), well, no getting down from there, either, for a bit. Oh, and I also made this error:

[4D: Ending with hard or soft]

Yes. Yes I did.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

95 comments:

andy 12:11 AM  

That's a downright rave from Rex. Enjoyed the puzzle and yes, it was on the easy side for a Wednesday. Illiterate that I am, I got stuck on Agnes Grey.

JC66 12:12 AM  

Agree with @Rex about JANE GREY, but i'm 78, so I knew DEDE Dinah.

Fun Puzzle.

NWBR 12:24 AM  

Yes, yes I did. and I both write software and make hardware.

Also, you may not know the term INERTIAL mass because there's no difference between INERTIAL mass and gravitational mass - there's just mass. No one uses the term.

Outside The Box 12:30 AM  

Got DEDE Dinah right away, ‘cause I remember when the song came out.

My big mistake was to initially answer “core” for hard/soft follower instead of “ware” (shows where my mind is!). That messed up Audi and whoa, but it was a quick fix.
Otherwise good puzzle. No problem with the split names, even though I never heard of Agnes Grey.

JOHN X 12:32 AM  

There's nothing odd about INERTIAL. Inertial restraints are on every single car and truck, inertial navigation systems are on every nuclear submarine, etc etc. The word is in common use.

chefwen 1:29 AM  

Top third filled in right away and I caught the theme with GA GA, lady GODIVA followed pretty quickly. JANE GREY and CHATTERLY were a little slower to come to mind. For me, easier than yesterday’s puzzle.

Always get messed up with BODEGA, want it to be BOgEdA, I have no idea why.

Larry Gilstrap 1:39 AM  

Finished the puzzle and noted that the LADIES were cut IN HALF. The revealer just didn't make sense. Why are the performers the only ones observing the magic trick? Why is this exclusive to Las Vegas? Then a very satisfying aha moment when it all made sense, well, not the Vegas part. Any ideas?

WIENER for frank took way too long. I was getting all serious and truthful, forgetting the food item that most people call a hot dog these days. Now that I think about it, Ball Park and Oscar Mayer use those terms, among others, I'm sure.

Glad to be reminded of both Cannonball ADDERLEY and Marvin GAYE who famously are associated with two great songs about Mercy. To offer mercy seems so contrary to a mentality that seeks to AVENGE wrong doing. One is a virtuous action and the other seems generally unattainable. I'll leave it to Karma.

Speaking of talented musicians, there is much more to Lady GAGA than most Auto-Tune enhanced pop stars and a meat dress. Also, thanks for reminding me to re-watch Teri GARR's unforgettable scene from Young Frankenstein. "Vould you like to have a roll in ze hay?" Yes, as a matter of fact, I certainly would.

Happy to see RBI sans any superfluous pluralization, but nobody else cares. I don't know my Brontes or the code for using an umlaut.

Nice puzzle and Wednesday enough.



John Hoffman 1:43 AM  

Easy Wednesday for me! Dede Diana was a snag.

Unknown 1:50 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurence Lesnak-Walton 1:52 AM  

It's not the word, it's the clue. All mass has inertia, so no sense in qualifying it.

Laurence Lesnak-Walton 1:53 AM  

Well, Lady GaGa did just land a residency in Vegas, but that doesn't explain the other three.

Theodore Stamos 2:00 AM  

Super easy Wednesday....which makes me feel a little better about yesterday's disaster.

Alex Wright 3:49 AM  

The performers aren't observing the trick, they are performing it. The other meaning of "saw."

Anon 5:37 AM  

Best theme in a while

nightjar 5:38 AM  

Had HONEST in early instead of WIENER which slowed me down quite a bit in the NE. Currently enjoying listening to DEDE DINAH (a new one for 26 year old me). I also love Cannonball Adderley, going to listen to some nice jazz today, methinks!

'mericans in Paris 5:57 AM  

Zoot alors!, I DNF. For some reason wrote AlDERLEY and accepted lAM as a barrier to salmon. Could not find the mistake so had to reveal it. Also, to be frank, I googled AGNES GREY. Had "long AGO" for the longest time, and "run" before AWE -- not that getting 41D and 43D would have gotten me AT ALL closer to Brontë's novel, though I did get the GREY part. Other write-overs were "guilty" before NO BAIL, and ALIve before ALIAS.

Got the NW and SE quickly, but like others got stuck on 21A ("Frank"), in part because my boss's name is Franck, and I hear "Let's be Frank ... har, har, har" at least once every work day.

Despite these WHOAs and MISPLAYs, I enjoyed the solve. Always nice to daydream about LADIES like Teri GARR in YF.

My one dislike was "I'M GOOD". Can't stand that phrase. I'm still not used to translating it as, "no thanks." (I'm thinking: Well, bully for you for behaving like an angel, but I'd still like a straight answer to my question.) Why can't people just answer YES or NO?

OK, with an AIR WAVE to all you good EGGs, I'm outa here. CACHES catch can.

'mericans in Paris 5:59 AM  

That was supposed to be an "L" not an "I", as in aLderley and Lam. Sheesh.

Smitty 6:45 AM  

LOL I knew Rex would chafe at DEDE Dinah, which (being ancient) I got right away.... Only I spelled it DIDI ...

Hungry Mother 7:54 AM  

Ignored the circles, but very quick solve. Knowing DEDE Dinah helped move things along.

chefbea 7:59 AM  

What does Las Vegas have to do with the puzzle??? I get that all the names are sawed in half. Did all these ladies appear in Las vegas???? Someone explain, please

Ben 8:03 AM  

You'd have to follow college football or be a fan of the Jaguars, but their rookie wide receiver is DEDE Westbrook. Gets rid of the partial and is slightly more current. Puzzle also has no sports clues outside of the gimme 1-across, so no worry about overdoing it.

QuasiMOJO 8:04 AM  

I got a BUZZ out of this one. Clever idea, well-executed. Loved the SEND CASH clue. The play on words with "saw" worked well. The magic act made perfect sense to me since Las Vegas is famous for its magic shows. Always has been as far as I can recall. At least since it became an entertainment capital. David Copperfield and all that jazz.

Rex, thanks for that hilarious video of Frankie Avalon (pre-Beach Blanket Bingo fame.) His lanky charm eludes me, though. I think he "dresses left" as they used to say. But great to see De De DICK (Clark) again. And talk about Bubble Gum music. Did you see how many of those kids (some of them literally children) in the audience were chewing it? I'd've hated to be the clean-up crew on that show.

Your twitter friend probably meant to say "Confidently" not "confidentially" btw.

Jamie C 8:08 AM  

Yes, Lady Chatterly is famous for riding naked on a horse down the Las Vegas Strip. Soft core, indeed!

ghthree 8:11 AM  

As a former physics major, I found INERTIAL mass a gimme. GRAVITATIONAL doesn't fit. I'll bypass the controversy about the difference between the two. If you Google "inertial mass" you will be taken to the Wikipedia page which will leave you screaming "TMI!"
I too had BOgEDa for BOdEgA, but my wife Jane (a former English major) corrected me. We solve cooperatively. Jane also complained about the expression "saw in half." She insists that one should saw in halves.(Or should that be "into halves"?) We HALF expected Rex to complain about that, but he didn't. Instead he found his necessary complaint of the day in LADY and JANE.
Also wrote confidently CORE for WARE for 4Down (ending with hard or soft). And I too have written software and made hardware.
Both Jane and I felt Naticked at the references to rock stars, but we got them through crosses. Gave us both a good feeling to start the day.

John Child 8:14 AM  

Strong puzzle that went down quickly. JANE GREY is tough to hide, but there aren’t a lot of better options. Lady Antebellum maybe, but BELLUManati is probably too obscure, though current. Only complaint is the highly segmented grid - put black spaces above square 26 and the symmetric square 51 and it’s two puzzles...

Nancy 8:19 AM  

This was a completely after-the-fact AHA for me, since, as usual, I ignored the tiny little circles while solving. I only became interested in the theme when I got the LADIES IN HALF revealer and said to myself: What in the world does that mean? And then, when I checked the filled-in grid, I had to admit that both the theme and the execution were pretty nifty. Always did like a sense of humor in my puzzles, and this theme is really amusing. Wish I'd noticed it earlier on, but better late than never.

Considering it's Wednesday, not all that easy for me. I had ALIve before ALIAS (24D) for the "wanted poster word", giving me OPERAe instead of OPERAS at 40A. (I was not pleased about that, as you can imagine, but it turned out to be my mistake, not David Kwong's mistake.) I also had AIR rAtE before AIR WAVE at 7D, straightened out by GOD OF LOVE. Anyway, ended up liking this one quite a bit.

Non Somuch 8:25 AM  

The question is WHY did we all so easily drop in core instead of ware? One we use every day, the other has something to do with computers. But still?

Two Ponies 8:26 AM  

Send cash sounds like part of a ransom note.

Like @ 'mericans I cringe when someone says I'm good.

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

Actually, it is a fundamental physics puzzle why inertial and gravitational mass are the same. They need not be, and there is a small community that does experiments to see if there are departures between the two quantities ...

Birchbark 8:41 AM  

It is -28 CELSIUS this morning.

29A row: GOD OF LOVE crossing I'M GOOD + "Fearsome Hindu Deity" (SHIVA) crossing EVIL.
33A row: FINE (What a judge also might order) + NO BAIL
42A row: JANE, JANET, AGNES
2D column: I'M GOOD, SEND CASH
18D column: OTTO PRE ATTA

mmorgan 9:04 AM  

In terms of the construction, I liked how each consecutive theme answer used one more circled letter than the one above it. Not a big deal, but a nice touch.

Wm. C. 9:06 AM  

@Chefbea --

One of the Vegas floor show magician's staple acts is to have his lady assistant get into a coffin in front of him, then saw it in half. The Lady's names in the puzzle are cut (sawn) in half and placed on opposite horizontal sides of the puzzle.

Personally, I found this to be a very difficult Wednesday.

mathgent 9:11 AM  

At one time not very long ago, many of the top shows in Las Vegas were magicians. David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, Penn and Teller, Lance Burton. I can remember being there when four or five of the Strip hotels were headlining magicians. However, all these modern acts had discarded the saw-a-lady-in-half illusion long before.

I liked the theme even though the Jane Grey was clunky.

All the charm of the puzzle was in the theme, unfortunately.


Robert A. Simon 9:19 AM  

I'm with @Nancy. I never use the circled letters as help in solving, but always as cornerstones of the AHA moment which, as far as I'm concerned, is the coin of the constructors' realm. This puzzle had many, as the cluing was sharp and fun.

kitshef 9:27 AM  

Nice theme, well executed. Hand up for it being post-solve aha, not an in-solve aha, but that is just fine with me. Never saw the clue for DEDE, or that would have bothered me. WARE went right in. I attribute this not to any moral superiority, but to having AUDI already in place when I got there.

Anonymous 9:28 AM  

A bit of Hindu Mythology (about GOD OF LOVE crossing SHIVA)
Shiva killed/burned Kamadeva (Hindu God Of Love in Hindu)
Story here

jberg 9:31 AM  

Very clever theme, I didn't really figure it out until seconds before coming here. I'd clicked on the link and was waiting for the page to load when I suddenly realized that "saw" was a pun. Very nice. JANE GREY, though -- not only is she parted without sawing, but GREY is hidden in GREY. But I'm not sure how many 8-letter ladies there are to work with.

Core instead of WARE never occurred to me. On the other hand, I got WIENER from the crosses, then looked at the clue and thought "shouldn't that be Anthony?"

Aside from that, my biggest problem ws RAGged before TAG.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

I too dislike “I’m good.” I do understand it as a straight answer — they don’t want what I’m offering; it’s not a brag about their virtue — but it doesn’t acknowledge the offer. It’s exactly like just answering “No” instead of “No, thank you.” So if you must say it, at least say, “I’m good, thanks.”

ArtO 9:35 AM  

Pretty tough Wednesday for me. SW corner a struggle. Kudos for a very clever construct.

Mohair Sam 9:55 AM  

Lots of fun on every level. Played medium for us too, got held up by the ALIAS/ALIve error, and "long" before AGES - but never made the WARE/core mistake. 10 Hail Mary's and 10 Our Father's for those of you who did - in the confessional you can tell your priest that the juxtaposition of Lady JANE GREY and Lady CHATTERLEY made you think it.

My age bracket doesn't get to complain about clues for little known rappers for six months after the inclusion of "DEDE Dinah" - a gimme here. Loved the clue for SENDCASH. Lady Mohair has her nose a little out of joint over her exclusion from the puzzle today - I explained that the constructor needed the "V" in GODIVA to make the whole thing work. She'll get over it.

GILL I. 9:56 AM  

Frankie Avalon can't dance. And what a strange song this DEDE Dinah which I didn't know. But I did remember BRANDO and his refusal to accept an Oscar for his Godfather role. I used to watch the Oscars AGES AGO and remember Littlefeather refusing on his behalf and reading this long list of things that Brando was bothered about and people booing and hissing and I kept thinking this was the funnest Oscar I had ever seen.
Tough puzzle. I wasn't liking it that much but when I got to the end, I sat back, looked at it and thought WOW...pretty nifty. I hate it when I have to finish a puzzle before I can really enjoy it. I want to enjoy as I go along.
I really liked SEND CASH IM GOOD. And I wish David had clued GASTRO with a pub instead of a pod. I would have gone on a rant about Tank House BBQ & Bar.... but you have been spared.
La BODEquita del Medio lays claim to being the birthplace of the Mojito cocktail. It was located on Empedrado in old Havana. My dad's business was on the same block and I'd go in with him from time to time. I drank lemon NeHi's...
Clever and different puzzle DK. I like how you sawed the LADIES IN HALF. I always wondered how magicians did that.
SWEET

Miss Manners 9:58 AM  

@I'M GOOD haters - Perhaps if you paid closer attention you would find that I'm good is most often used when the offer is unwanted, like the third time you're offering someone on a diet some desert, or someone who's clearly avoiding alcohol an alcoholic drink. So, you're right in one sense, that it frequently has a tinge of rudeness to it. A rudeness well earned.

chefbea 9:59 AM  

@Wm C Thanks

Roo Monster 10:11 AM  

Hey All !
Didn't catch the "saw" in the clue, so once finished, wondered why it was just LADIES IN HALF. Where's the sawn/sawed? Har.

Liked it overall. Fairly easy, for a WedsPuz. Liked @mmorgan 9:04 observation about the LADIES answers one more circled letter as they descended.

@mathgent 9:11 Copperfield and Penn and Teller are still performing here. Not too many others. Maybe two more. Haven't seen them, so not sure of the sawing IN HALF.

Shania Twain rode down The Strip on a horse when she first started her residency at Caesars. Unfortunately she was fully dressed. :-)

Stutterers plaint at a blowout - FFLAT.
RooMonster
DarrinV

Warren Howie Hughes 10:14 AM  

OMEN! This was AONE and Oh so SWEET! It definitely belongs in the WIENER circle!

Anoa Bob 10:17 AM  

Thought I recognized the constructor's name. A quick side trip to utoob confirmed that it is who I thought, David Kwong the professional magician. I don't think he saws ladies in half, but he does incorporate constructing a crossword puzzle into one of his acts. If you've got seven or so minutes, here's a nice video of that, along with some biographical stuff. Be sure to stay for the finale.

David Kwong, Magician & Crossword Constructor.

'mericans in Paris 10:22 AM  

Dear @Miss Manners: Perhaps that's your experience -- a response to insistence -- but not mine. I get "I'M GOOD" on the first offer to my son, and from many other people. I know of course that the person is not bragging, but it seems rather close to the answer one gets often to "How are you?". (To which the polite answer used to be, in the days of DE DE Dinha, "I'm doing well, thank you.") A universal response, in other words. I'm expecting to see it develop soon as a response at airports. "Did you pack this bag yourself, sir?" "I'm good."

Z 10:29 AM  

INERTIAL v gravitational mass.

Having spent too much time with family in the past 8 weeks, let me agree with @Miss Manners and note that for some that tinge of “please stop already you’ve asked me 5 times if I wanted another drink and the answer hasn’t changed in the past 33 seconds” rudeness goes right over some people’s head.

Why Las Vegas? I think purely to make the misdirection work better. If the clue went with “what the magicians saw” the word play would be less deceptive. That’s a good enough reason for me.

Kwong has been guilty in the past of being too clever by half. I really enjoyed this puzzle, clever and fun. More like this please.

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:46 AM  

I'm so happy to learn that I wasn't the only one who first put CORE in. I don't need to question anything about my life. Yay!

This one was OK to solve. OSS, RBI, TRE, GARR, ADOT, AONE aren't exactly pleasant and 3 & 4-letter words unfortunately passed my 50% limit, but it wasn't a sluggish fill. SW corner; with GARR, RIALTO, EDGERS, YESYES wasn't the freshest option out there and could have been avoided, I guess. When certain parts of your puzzle is gonna feel banal, liven it up with some funny, punny, smart clues. SENDCASH, GAGORDER, NOBAIL, INERTIAL, SHYOF were good answers.

Now, I agree with Rex on JANEGREY, but additionally I also didn't particularly enjoy that her name is hidden in two other proper nouns. I feel like that's a cop out. So decent-at-best idea, not so perfect execution.

Highlight of the puzzle: "Message from a short person?" = SENDCASH.

GRADE: B-, 3 stars.

Miss Manner(sles)s 10:59 AM  

@ 'mericans in Paris - Perhaps if you paid closer attention you would realize that your son didn't want you talking to him at all.

Joseph Michael 11:05 AM  

Liked everything about this puzxle except the halved JANE GREY. Not much magical about discovering GREY in GREY.

Aside from that, YES YES, this puzzle was fun from start to finish with clever clues and a witty theme. The increased number of circles in each new themer was an elegant touch.

After three days in a row that felt like Sunday, today finally feels like a Monday. Thank God the holidays are HALF over.

Two Ponies 11:13 AM  

Wow. So much about I'm good. To me it just sounds too casual, more like a response to Wanna 'nother brewski?

old timer 11:15 AM  

A delightful reveal, and I too found the solve difficult. WIENER was my last answer.

'mericans in Paris 11:21 AM  

@Miss Manner(sles)s -- Perhaps if you paid closer attention you would come to realize that you're about as funny and original as a box of generic corn flakes that was left out too long in the rain.

Anon 11:21 AM  

The theme helped in the solve. Once I saw GAGA and GODIVA, DEDE is a given. Also since i knew ADDERLY, then CHATTY and the rest of the tough SW corner filled in. Well done! Two good ones in a row.

jb129 11:27 AM  

This started out great for me but then struggled. Never got that "aha" moment.

Tom 11:28 AM  

Southwest was by far the hardest area. Three of the ladies are famously connected with nakedness/sexuality, so JANE GREY seems out of place. Any better candidates out there in literary land?

Masked and Anonymous 11:42 AM  

M&A "saw-ed" one U, all together. Not my fave part of the trick.

As others have wisely mentioned, neat how the performances got harder to pull off, as U progress thru the puz. Sawin Lady CHATTERLEY in half is quite a feat. Only thing harder: sawin Lady BUG in half.

Lady JANE+GREY was indeed the performance done with the most smoke and mirrors and desperation. Used nuthin but names [JANET, AGNESGREY], with the GREY just pasted back on as someone else's last name. Maybe this piece of the puz should have "stayed in Vegas".

100% what @Smitty said, about DEDE Dinah. Plus, I own a copy of the 45 vinyl. OK song, but not a fave.

Lots of subtly nano-second-voracious clues, such as: {Name} = LABEL. Liked.
staff weeject pick: HUD.
fave fillins: AIRWAVE. WIENER [Also with a toughie clue]. NOBAIL and YESYES.

Real glad the puz hit @RP's "IMGOOD" spot.
Thanx for the fun, Mr. Kwong … Good follow-up puzmagic challenge: Make a buncha INDIANELEPHANTS slowly disappear, somehow.

Masked & AnonymoUs


**gruntz**

John Hoffman 11:48 AM  

I googled the Brontë book.

apuzzler 11:52 AM  

Am I the only one that put in BALL for 4D?

Cal 11:55 AM  

I didn’t see any reference to the saw blade running across the layout

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

"Any better candidates out there in literary land?

Q: The younger son of Jacob and where he began his life:

A: JOSEPH IN EGYPT

Q: Bronze aspirants?

A: SUNBAKERS

Sorry; the best I could come up with for the moment.

JC66 12:08 PM  

@Cal

Check the clue for 8A.

tea73 12:13 PM  

Agree with the criticism that one of the answers is not like the others, but I saw the pattern early enough to fill them all in and then go back and look at the revealers. Had RAGged before RAGTAG and AIRtime befor AIRwave, but got that sorted out. While I am too young to have heard Frankie Avalon when it came out, I certainly heard that song on plenty of oldies stations.

Nancy 12:23 PM  

One of the great wonders of this blog is that you never know what's going to produce the Controversy Of The Day. Today, it's I'M GOOD, of all things. Who could have possibly guessed? It must be a fairly new coinage; certainly I didn't hear it growing up. But I hear it often enough now -- and just about always with a "thanks" or "thank you" attached: "I'M GOOD, thanks."

To me, it's actually a far more polite way of turning down food or libation than the simple "No thanks." A brusque "No thanks" can mean just about anything, including: "Do you think I could possibly want another glass of that revoltingly acidic wine-in-name-only swill that [world-famous cheapskate] you has been pouring?" Or: "I don't know how to tell you this, but for the last ten minutes I've been trying to hide those vile *meatballs* you made with -- [gag] -- tofu under my cauliflower. And now you're offering me more of them?" Whereas "I'M GOOD, thanks" might well mean: "You've plied me with such exceptionally wonderful food and wine tonight that I've stuffed myself to the gills and I'm insanely full and I don't know how I can possibly thank you and you're the most incredible host/hostess in all of America." Meaning that, therefore, you can say "I'M GOOD, thanks" to me as often as you like.

Birchbark 12:27 PM  

@Americans, I avoid this sort of debate as a rule. But I have never seen a box of generic cornflakes in the rain, and the image made me laugh -- ERGO sort of funny and original.

GHarris 12:31 PM  

I figure I have reached a new level of competence when I have difficulty in the same area as did Rex and also first entered core for ware. As to those who wonder about why the reference to Vegas; there aren't many venues where women are still sawed in half, Vegas probably being the leading exponent.

Carola 12:50 PM  

I loved this one. I had a sort of double reveal: after GA GA and GOD IVA, I saw that names were being split, but after JANE GREY, I suffered a sort of brain derailment and upon getting CHATTY went across the way to write in "Cathy," my hand stayed only by the fact that the crosses wouldn't work.... Ohhhhh! All of them a Lady, but why were their names split? The second revelation was in the "saw.". Ingenious.

I liked MISPLAY over OPERAS, the recent (in my view wrong-headed) production of "Die Walküre" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago coming to mind. Also liked the trio of DEDE, LALA, and GAGA, with MOJO trying to EDGE in but not quite making it.

Mohair Sam 12:57 PM  

@Tom (11:28) - Upon reading "LADY CHATTERLEY's Lover" you'll find "Lady Jane" qualifies on the sexuality scale.

Scrub 1:06 PM  

None of the proper-noun answers except LALA Land and HBO were from the past 40 years. I'm surprised no one else seems to have been slightly put off by that. It made the puzzle go a bit slower than usual for me, a Millennial/Snake Person.

Stuart Summit 1:18 PM  

Thank you for that information and video. Wow!

godfrey 1:42 PM  

isn't it GASTRO PUB not POD ?

JCV 1:44 PM  

Untrue. One of the seminal moments in the development of Classical Physics was the unification of the notions of Gravitational mass and Inertial mass. This designation is not only historically important but entirely correct in usage

howardk 1:44 PM  

CGI...
what is this. was no one stymied by this clue?

Trombone Tom 1:46 PM  

Pretty much what @Rex said. Figured out the theme on the second one, but wasn't really clear on the revealer. I guess what goes on in Vegas really does stay there as far as I'm concerned. And JANE GREY was a relative clunker.

I'm amused/amazed at the reaction to I'M GOOD. And kinda' puzzled that anyone thinks that "No, thanks" verges on rudeness.

A nice magical Wednesday.

travis 2:31 PM  

The theme bailed me out in the southeast. Not sure how I would have ever gotten AGNESGREY/GARR/RIALTO/ADDERLEY otherwise.

FrankStein 2:38 PM  

@howardk, CGI stands for Computer-generated Imagery. It's become standard in movies nowadays, alas.

GILL I. 3:35 PM  

@Nancy....as usual provides me with my LOTD (laugh of the day-to you @Miss Manners).....
What you forgot to say is that when you're stuffed to the gills and someone asks you if you want some more of the mushed up cauliflower, is [turning up to the host/hostess and smiling broadly]..."Oh, IM GOOD , this was delicious." Smiling, smiling.
@godfrey. Well...Duh. Why didn't I think of that!
@Carola. Hah! I wanted that Chatty Cathy as well. She always reminded me of this movie I had the unfortunate sense to watch called "Dolly Dearest."

Two Ponies 3:57 PM  

@ Anoa Bob 10:17, Thank you for the David Kwong link. Very cool.
If any of you have not seen it you may want to have a look. Pretty amazing.

John Child 4:35 PM  

LOL @Nancy - tofu balls feels dirty and revolting at many levels all at nce.

David Miottel 4:47 PM  

Magic acts are common Vegas fare, or at least they used to be quite common.

Barry Frain 4:55 PM  

This is a goddamned children’s placemat, not a xword puzzle. Pure putrid smegma.


Barry Frain
East Biggs, California

Anonymous 5:03 PM  

I’m good with knowing that some folks don’t like “I’m good.” Tough tooties.

Matsuo Basho 5:21 PM  

Days constipated
Finally a healthy dump
Nirvana abides

Fey Fop 5:22 PM  

Does anyone remember smegma?

Joe Dipinto 5:22 PM  

I liked it. Yes, Jane Grey falls a bit short of the others but not distressingly so. And while I loved seeing Julian Cannonball Adderley in the puzzle (@Larry G. -- nice catch on the "Mercy" connection with Marvin Gaye), I wish there would have been a way to use MONDEGREEN for the last entry.

Jimi 5:34 PM  

Yes! Lady Mondegreen would have been great.
Scuze me while I kiss this guy.

BarbieBarbie 7:34 PM  

@Jimi, har!
@mmorgan, not only incremented each time but in a sense the clues together say 2, 4, 6, 8... which makes me think they must begin a phrase about ladies that ends in “great.” So this must be agood puzzle.
@godfrey, a snail for example is a gastropod. If you were serious. I’m a fan of gastropubs, though.
Yes, me too for BALL at 4D. Clean sporty mind, that’s me.
I wasn’t sure whether OFL’s little Twitter friend meant to misspell or not. I mean, nothing is confidential once you’ve tweeted it, so that would be stupid, but I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.
CHATTY Cathy, wow... takes me back to Christmas Past, when the neighbor kids got a CC... a couple of days later her string was permanently stuck in the extended position and she was just a dumb doll with a string hanging out of her neck. Tressie was way better. You punched her in the stomach to get her hair to stop growing. Those were the days for sure.

Burma Shave 10:47 AM  

ODD ODE

AGEASAGO FINE men were SHYOF being GAYE,
but not AONE ATALL had BEEN too DAM surly
when the GODOFLOVE had made a MISPLAY
by sending them LADIES like GODIVA and CHATTERLEY.

--- TONY RIALTO

thefogman 10:58 AM  

Done in by DEDE Dinah. I guessed BOtEGA for 19A and didn't have a clue what the answer was to that obscure Avalon tune. Doubly wrong since Bottega (which is a workshop or a studio) has two Ts in it. That crossing was a little unfair. Naticks like this should only appear later in the week, in my opinion. The theme was a bit Jack the Ripperish. Not great, but I wouldn't rate it FFLAT - maybe a C. Acceptable for a Wednesday. My mini rant is over and IMGOOD now.

spacecraft 11:56 AM  

I was at SEA for a while with that "saw" misdirect. Luckily I remembered ADDERLEY, but could not for the life of me figure out why the ERLEY was circled. Put in longAGO, got stuck, and went elsewhere. Noticed the 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 circle patterns, then DOD JANET, leaving JANE in circles. This is the first moment the concept of "lady" occurred.

Which brought me back to the 2,2 and elicited GAGA. Okay, BODEGA...and suddenly good (?) ol' Lady CHATTERLEY aha'ed her way into my brain, unlocking the SW. And the sAw. Oh, groan: THAT kind of saw!

So, a fun theme (though I too wonder why Vegas? GAGA, sure, but the rest exist across the pond, and long--no, eonS--no, AGESAGO. Double writeover there.} Well and symmetrically "executed."

There was a price to pay in the fill. The right-hand column looks like a stutter: LALA YESYES. Um, nono. Plus letter-addons TNOTE and the dreaded RMK FFLAT. Then, too many ONEs at AONE, CONE, NONET.

Plenty of DOD competition today, with former titlist for whom I have a thing Teri GARR, and the zany Lady GAGA herself, but Marion Crane wins out. A fun solve, murky at first but rather easy after I "saw" what was happening. Fill defects knock it down to a par.

Diana, LIW 12:19 PM  

My brief residence in the Upper West Side of NYC taught me all about the BODEGA, so that was a gimme, tho I was surprised that the Times would use it w/o the typical cultural cues.

Same Natick as everyone, but it had to be DEDE, "it had to be DEDE. I wondered around, finally found, somebody who. Could fit in my puz, and sing Dinah's buzz." Yeah, well YOU do better.

Glad I "saw" the magic clue. And of course it's Vegas - where else do they still do such cheesy acts? Wisconsin? (Yeah, you do better.)

I'm off to do better.

Lady Di

BTW - got up 3 times last night to see the phases of the eclipse, and the fourth time got Mr. W up to see the red e-moon in all it's glory. Guess I've been moonstruck.

rondo 12:47 PM  

It was overcast here at the magic moment, and then promptly thereafter the sky cleared. So I didn’t get super-blue-blood mooned this morning, but did sweep up an inch of new snow at the appointed time.

A NONET is bigger than my octET and provided the only write-over. And I too at first didn’t SEA saw in that light. I think the last time LADIES were sawed INHALF in Wisconsin it had to do with Ed Gein.

Related to Ed is Psycho. Shower scene. JANET Leigh. Yeah baby. Regards to the other LADIES.

I didn’t go GAGA, but thought this puz was just FINE.

rainforest 2:56 PM  

I'm pretty sure the clue doesn't mean that *these* ladies are in Las Vegas. They are merely the ones sawn in half. The clue is generically about LADIES.

Puzzle was entertaining, and the theme easy/tricky wherein I had an AHA when I reread the revealer. Nice.

None of the fill bothered me in the slightest, but if I made it my aim to select a DOD or yeah baby, I'd declare it a tie between JANET Leigh and Teri GARR (Canadian!). I'M GOOD with either (or both).

No write-overs although I almost entered AIRtimE, but saw WIENER just in time.



Tom M. 7:06 PM  

Got this and enjoyed it except for the "Las Vegas" location of the magicians' acts confusing the theme, otherwise nicely enough done.

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