SATURDAY, Dec. 1, 2007 - Robert H. Wolfe

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: Odd Jobz and One Impossible Crossing

This was an old-fashioned, knock-down, drag-out, 15-round punisher. And I lost. By split decision. I look a mess, let me tell you.

That SW corner was one of the most torturous experiences I've ever had in my solving life. Some of it was devilishly clever, but one part was just sadistic, and, to my mind, plain unfair. I had no idea about either of the following clues:

37D: Dualistic deity (Amon Ra)
50A: Limestone regions with deep fissures and sinkholes (karsts)

These are specialized / exotic answers, the kinds you expect to see on a Saturday. What I don't expect is that they will intersect - or if they do, that they will intersect at a vowel, which makes it all but impossible to make even an educated guess. Now, if I'd truly been thinking about the deity, I would have thought, "Well, RA is a deity ... so why not guess 'A'" - but I figured AMONR- was one word (despite the unlikely "nr" combo) and KURSTS looked way better than KARSTS. So ... "U." Boo hoo. I actually feel somewhat proud that I whittled my problems in that corner down to just one square.

At various points, I had:

BOARDER for MOUNTER (42A: One who's getting on)
INTERNET for ON THE NET (46A: Where much info can be found these days)
AGE LINES for ACETONES (27D: Cigarette smoke byproducts)
TOP PRIZE for TOP SCORE (44A: Winner's pride)
ADONAI for AMON RA (37D: Dualistic deity)
TICK for TOCK (44D: Clock sound)
GABE for CABE (33A: "The Daughters of Joshua _____" (1972 Buddy Ebsen film))

What's interesting is how many of these mistakes you can have in the grid simultaneously. . . and yet I got SLAVERER (25D: Fawning type) off of just the "L"...

I like getting tested like this every once in a while. Just talked yesterday about how the 5x5 open spaces really test me, and then I get this puzzle, which has both 6x5 and 7x5 open spaces! Plus the grid design is such that you can not go on a run - only little passageways from one quadrant to the next, with the NW and SE particularly isolated. Sometimes the bar is set so high that I smack into it, as I did today, and that's alright. And yet, I have one serious complaint (besides the aforementioned Sadistic Crossing). And that is ... (surely someone out there has already guessed what I'm going to say):


  • UNITER (9D: Merger) - if this had crossed DIVIDER, I'd have let it pass...
  • ALTERER (21A: Veterinarian, at times) - I believe your animal would call that a "euphemism"
  • RUINERS (23A: Banes)
  • MOUNTER (42A: One who's getting on)
  • SLAVERER (25D: Fawning type)

FIVE! Five Frankenstein Nouns that you would (almost) never say. Again, a made-up -ER noun or two, is fine, but this is a @#$#-ing orgy. And I'm not even counting, let's see...

  • SPIDER (16A: Producer of fine threads)
  • REAPER (45A: John Deere product)
  • CREEPERS (48A: Producers of wall flowers?)
  • COPTER (38D: Skyhook dropper, briefly) - ... Really wanted KAREEM here.

In terms of difficulty, I'd rate the quadrants in this order: SW (hardest), NW, NE, SE (easiest ... and it wasn't that easy). Couldn't believe when first guess for 1A: Choirs' neighbors (apses) turned out to be right. Very lucky to entertain the very wrong BRU(I)TED for 12A: Publicized (billed) because the "B" made me see ABSCESS (1D: Sore spot), which I also saw yesterday, in the NY Sun puzzle, I believe (that puzzle was also brutal, though not as bad as this one). I honestly thought (for about a second) that BRUTED might be a word. I think BRUTED should be a word meaning "offended with the stench of cheap aftershave." Knew CEPEDA (18: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Orlando _____) but wrote out SECADA, briefly confusing the baseball player with a forgettable pop star of the early 90s.

Assorted Curiosities:

  • 6A: Lung covering (pleura) - wanted PNEUMA, but somehow knew this when PNEUMA became impossible. PLEURISY must have something to do with the lungs.
  • 14A: Phrase of interest (per annum) - Great clue!
  • 17A: Source of more pay or more play (overtime) - Another great clue! (and the answer is an even greater song, by Lucinda Williams)
  • 19A: Grapevine exhortation ("pass it on") - one of today's few gimmes, along with 51A: Call-waiting alerts (beeps), from which I got both 29D: Cookout item usually eaten with two hands (spare rib) and 32D: Dishes out (serves up).
  • 24A: Liliaceous plants (segos) - You say SEGO, I say SAGO, someday I will remember the difference...
  • 35A: Southern loaves (pones) - I balked at this, but my wife assured me that a PONE is in fact (or can be) a loaf.
  • 41A: He declined a Nobel Prize in Literature (Sartre) - disappointed in myself for not getting this straight away.
  • 2D: Something for Santa Claus to bite (pipe stem) - much better answer than "me"
  • 7D: Wolf _____, captain in Jack London's "The Sea-Wolf" (Larsen) - whatever you say!
  • 10D: Products of some "mills" (rumors) - wanted GIN or (less happily) PUPPIES; nice that this answer intersects "PASS IT ON"
  • 13D: Comments of annoyance (drats) - a very bad plural
  • 28A: Webers per square meter (Teslas) - blah blah blah blah physics = TESLA; such were my reasoning skills here.
  • 14D: Works with everyday objects (pop art) - on occasion, yes. This clue was hard in a good way.
  • 30D: Nancy's home (Lorraine) - "Nancy" must be a place name. Cute. For a second or two I was trying to recall where Nancy and Sluggo lived.
  • 36D: "The Prophecy of the _____" (Eddic poem) ("Seeress") - edumacated guess
  • 40D: Receive (incept) - ouuuuuch
  • 41D: _____ Gamp, nurse in "Martin Chuzzlewit" (Sarah) - just when you thought things couldn't get any obscurererererer.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


wendy 9:24 AM  

Bandages, everyone? Let Nurse SARAH dab you with soothing balm.

However, let me bitch right off about good old Nurse Sarah. I’m sitting here with Martin Chuzzlewit in my hand, the book open to the cast of characters list. The nurse’s name, according to the book, is Sairey. Whassup with that??? Is the puzzle dumbing stuff down now?

Second, I strongly object to the answer for grapevine exhortation. A grapevine is a phenomenon wherein the juiciness of the conversation inherently impels the information forward. No one has to prompt another to PASS IT ON. The cross with RUMOR is good, though.

Third, am I nitpicking, or are we mixing modifiers here with SEEDIEST and mangy? I deliberately didn’t put in the ‘correct’ answer because I think of mangy pertaining to a living thing, seedy to that living thing’s milieu.

Fourth, I guess I once knew but forgot that SARTRE had refused the Nobel; that hurt because I studied him in depth in college, but my brain had emptied that factoid out. That should have been a gimme, so I'm disappointed too.

Fifth, sadly, aloes are also liliaceous.

Yeah, the odd jobs were outa control today – people slavering, altering, ruining, mounting, reaping … jeepers CREEPERS, enough already. There really should be some Shortzian standards for that.

Age lines for ACETONES – Good one, Rex. Much preferred! And that Santa Claus thing was just - bizarre. "Me" has its merits, methinks! ;)

Parshutr 9:31 AM  

Less than 10 minutes to get to the giveup point, having guessed exactly three answers, of which only CEPEDA was correct.
Clearly, a sadistic, rotten puzzle, but once the grid is posted, I'll train for the next one by filling them all in.

Alex S. 9:37 AM  

is fine, but this is a @#$#-ing orgy

So, a future puzzle clue/answer pairing:

"Robert H. Wolfe on a Saturday, perhaps" - ORGIER

I got the SE corner without too much work. And after 30 minutes only had four other words in the entire rest of the puzzle. CEPEDA, LARSEN, TICK, INTERNET. As you can see, two of those were incorrect.

So I started googling and did not get a single additional answer.

So I waited until Orange's blog went up so that I could get single answers and see if they helped. By this method I put in SEEDIEST. No help. Then ELDER SON. No help. Corrected INTETNET to ON THE NET. Which allowed me to see ACCEPT, which turned out to be wrong because it is INCEPT which is not a word unless I am thinking naughty things about my sister and forget how to spell (before someone slings a dictionary at me; yes I know it is a word just not a word that would have occurred to me within the observable life of the universe, particularly with the much more obvious ACCEPT fitting as well).

Way too much attempted cleverness for my level of skill. Pairing odd jobs with twisted clues (really, "Veterinarian, e.g." and ALTERER?) is just horribly unfair (again, before someone slings that leather bound copy of the Constructor's Bible at me that proves this is well within the guidelines as lays out in bylaws section 43 the pedestrian acceptability of this puzzle, the horrible unfairness is from my perspective).

Finally, I have never in my life eaten a spare rib. Nor have I been to a picnic/BBQ where they were served. So when all I had was the final B I could only think of CORN ON THE COB which didn't fit and had me convinced for a while that on top of all the other impossibleness of the puzzle that it was a rebus as well.

Rex Parker 9:40 AM  

You all are making me laff. Other people's frustration can be very amusing.


Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Thank goodness for proper nouns. My first 4 entries were LARSEN, CEPEDA, TESLAS, AND SARTRE. I thought I remembered CABE, but held off entering it until I had a "confirmer." (There's another
-er word for ya, Will.)

NE was last to fall for me 'cause I had ESTIMATE instead of EVALUATE.

Very tough, but that's what I like on a Saturday.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Very tough but fair and square (except for SLAVERERS??)
Had a hard time giving up on
SAGES for SEGOS made me try and guess what kind of HAM Santa would be biting...
QUIETER for HUSHER gave me a very wierd looking across when I mis-guessed ACOTINE- a real word for a poison!
ANTIPOLE made me wonder where the HINLUS indians hail from.
CREEPERS was tough..Kept wanting to find some erstwhile prom decorations made from Crepe paper

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

Yeah, the SW was a bear. 3/4 of the puzzle went slowly but surely, and then, mea maxima culpa, I had to Google 33A (Cabe) to get into the SW. For another 45 min or so I made all the same errors Rex mentioned above, and finished the SW. Really, couldn't believe Slaverer (25D), sounds more like a starving wolf, not a fawning human. But it's all technically legit.

Spencer 10:37 AM  

I managed the SW first, or maybe second (SE might have been first). But I knew KARSTS, having driven through such countryside in Puerto Rico -- where the road distance is about 4x the crows-flight distance. (Here's a photo of karst in PR, and another in China. Both are not mine. I wanted a picture, but there was no where to pull off the road!)

I had so many wrong moves here, but they were totally outnumbered by the ones where I was just clueless. I put in APSES first thing, then took it out and put in NAVES, then when I got SLIPPAGE, went back to APSES. I had to Google CEPEDA -- baseball is one of my blind spots. TESLAS, on the other hand fell right in (Physics major in college helps occasionally). COPTER was a gimme, and I guessed AMONRA from the A and SPARERIB from the P. But SLAVERER sat there for a long time as __AVERER.

UNITER went in and out at least twice before it stayed. In fact, the whole NE took almost as long as the rest of the puzzle.

Other bad guesses
NORMANDY for LORRAINE (couldn't remember exactly where in France Nancy is), which made me question TESLAS, and it fit with SARTRE.
STRIPPED for SLIPPAGE (although the "part of speech" test failed here)

And I kept on putting in ERs, then figuring "no, that couldn't be" and then it was. And INCEPT! Oy vey!
Google define:incept turns up nothing. does give 2 hits.

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

hey there. nancy is a larger city in france, perhaps the third largest. it appears in the puzzle occasionally, so remember it!

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Being a geologist, I was actually excited to see KARST in the puzzle--it was the first thing I filled in in the SW. Unfortunately, this led me to TICK and BRAMHA, which are both wrong, so I still struggled with the rest of the quadrant.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

Loved the cross of Tesla an Prestige, read the book (The Prestige) last year.

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Odd Jobz quote from W - I'm a uniter, not a divider

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Yeah, this was rough. I got the NW and SE without that much difficulty and then settled in for a long slog. After a lot of work, I finally got the NE, but not without falling into the same PNEUMA-for-PLEURA trap. This part also took me a while because I had LET ME SEE for 14A. I had a nice feeling of ACHIEVEment after finishing this section.

But then the SW just killed me. Ironically, KARST was my only correct gimme (along with TICK and INTERNET). I eventually put in ON THE WEB, but never thought of ON THE NET, so doubted my correct BERETS. Also got HUSHES, but that was it. Stared and thought and considered various possibilities and finally just had to give up.

Usually when I do, I can just google a few things (usually names I didn't know) and finish it up, but even that didn't work. That gave me CABE, but I couldn't get anything else. So I finally just looked up actual answers on Rex's blog and filled in the rest of the grid with my tail between my legs. I was glad to find out that everyone else thought it was so hard, too!

Orange 11:32 AM  

This stymier, this vexer! It made for a lot of strugglers and cursers.

Anonymous 11:33 AM  

My copy of Martin Chuzzlewit has a line that's stuck in my mind: "Sarah Gamp looked at her with an eye of fire..."
I took kicked myself for not remembering that Sartre refused the Nobel. I should have got that one because I recall in Les Mots that he explicitly renounced literature and devoted all his energies to politics.
I also agree about 'seediest' being about places; mangy about animals with fur.
I've never seen the word 'slaverer' tho. Have you?
(I'm certain that Sartre did.)

Parshutr 12:01 PM  

On second thought, I decided that filling in the grotesqueries of this day's puzzle was pure mindrot.

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

I'm still laughing about Rex's remarks yesterday about Oldenberg's parents being asleep at the keyboard when they named him.
I got today's but it was hard.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

No comment

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

Except I object to slaverer.

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

INCEPT is not a word despite what anyone says. I dare anyone to verily say that he or she ever word the word escape another's lips. The "u" in MOUNTER made me determined to insert a "q" above it in order to insert QUELLS or QUIETS. Alas, not to be! All I can say is that Wolfe is a lupine SADISTER.

Unknown 12:57 PM  

It was nice to see admit you are human (at least partially).

Unknown 1:00 PM  

According to a slaverer is an idiot or driveler. There are fawners who are neither. Usually they are people who are smart enough to know how to keep their jobs.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

Drats! I could claim to have done a Rex-certified challenging Saturday puzzle without Googling, except that (as it turned out) one crossing was wrong. I was sure that 47 across was "arioso." That's what you see printed as a musical heading, and in fact that variant just slightly beats out "ariose" in a Google head-to-head. But then what's "seeross"? Gee, I dunno, some crazy old Nordic proper name?

The crossing about which RP complained, however, was no issue: karsts are all over Kentucky, which is why it's spelunking heaven.

SethG 1:54 PM  

On my first run through I had, in some order, SPARE RIB, POP ART, BEEPS, LARder, TESLAS, ONTHE_E_ (wasn't sure about web/net), FIRSTSON, SEEDIEST, TOCK.

Then RUMORS gave me PLEURi, which opened up the NE. Where "opened up" means I got it in just 10 more minutes or so.

I eventually (another 20 minutes?) got the SE after googling SARTRE. But neither Google nor I could get the west. When I saw FIRST was wrong I had no confidence in SON either anymore, and SPIRIT (instead of ESPRIT) kept ABSCESS away. And the bottom, well, I get nauseous just thinking about it.

I often get a bit demoralized when I look at how long it takes me to solve compared to some of you (ahem, orange) and I think I'll never be any good. I'm happy being (sometimes) one of the first 50 to solve online, knowing I'll never hit the top 10. That's okay.

But then a puzzle like this comes along and not only reinforces the fact that I'm not good but sucks away my will to ever be so. It was painful, it was frustrating, it was not fun, I just wanted it to go away.

Anyway, sorry to rant. I'm gonna go download the Thursdays-Sundays for the last year (I was out of town) to keep me happy during this week's jury duty.


Whitey's mom 2:39 PM  

Ghastly puzzle. My self-esteem has taken a beating. Aargh!

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

Got it after a long struggle, quarter by quarter. The NW fell last, the key answer being PIPESTEM.

Coincidentally, The Sea Wolf was an answer on Jeopardy! the other night with Alex adding the name of Wolf Larsen. Any source in a storm!

Alex - I can understand not eating spareribs, but no barbecue? Really?

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Ariose, ruiners and mental were my banes.
Liked that 12 and 14 together read across BILLED PER ANNUM.

Anonymous 4:03 PM  

Maybe a nit, but Acetone is specific compound, not a family, like Acid, Ketones, Alcohols, and others. There is Acetone, but there are not ACETONES. And what is with INCEPT ???

fergus 4:18 PM  

I go for the RIBS one-handedly so I don't have to dig at the nails of both hands, but that wasn't a problem in the SPARE RIB corner. Its ANTIPODE wasn't much problem either, with the Lively CEPEDA at bat and the SPIDER Stagnate in her web. And Rex, you must have been thinking of BRUIT'D on 12A.

The AMEN corner was difficult but I concur with Wendy that the Grapvine exhortation ANSWER is kind of missing the essence of a Grapevine. Started with DON'T TELL and went further to LET'S KNOW and then SPILL 4 ME, and growled at the "correct" answer. The POP ART connection with everyday objects was a bit tenuous as well, which is not to say that there aren't those objects in such a work, it's just that they aren't very defining. Well, tough luck for me, eh? On the salacious side, I had for 14A PER_N_UM going as a Phrase? of interest. Phase? Or what's left after the ALTERER was a RUINER of the STAG, costing him some PRESTIGE? Had to reEVALUATE ... .

So, what more can one say about the lower left infernal corner? I was stuck inside, so never even thought of a CREEPER on an outside wall. Liked OLDSTER for a while for One who's getting on. That SLAVERER Uriah Heep must have been refered to as such, or at least Slavering, multiple times in "David Copperfield." And I confess, I couldn't think of anything but INTERNET despite a fierce Satruday taboo against something so obvious. But hey, TOCK and BEEPS were there, too.

Anonymous 6:48 PM  

I've never been more prouderer to kick a puzzle's ass. So hard, but such winnerer's pride in finishing.

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

[wimpers] [slumps in seat]

Anonymous 8:02 PM  

NW and SE fell quickly. SW took a while in spite of knowing AMONRA...that ONTHENET thing really ripped me up. But, were I to spend the rest of my life, armed with a computerized random letter generator, the NE would never fall for me. Not happening. Pass it on.

Speaking of 15d (Gauge), the December issue of Model Railoader (!!!) features a story on Rod Stewart's HO gauge model railroad...pretty interesting (for me at least), incredible scale models, and a wild story about how he manages to build them in a Chicago hotel room while on tour in the US.

Anonymous 9:12 PM  

tWas so difficult - but I seemed to have problems with different clues. Couldn't believe the spelling of abscess, never noticed it; got spider right away without crosses, very odd. You're all right, too many -er's. Thought Santa biting anything but a cookie unsettling.
I'm off to London tomorrow a.m.; I'll get the xwp in the Herald Tribune, and will be back for the Saturday one in the US! What happens to that one in Europe? Let's just skip the Sunday puzzle.

PuzzleGirl 9:29 PM  

Hi everybody! I was out of town with no Internet to speak of since the day before Thanksgiving until this past Thursday. It's taken me until now to catch up on puzzles, read all the posts, and scream through the comments I missed. I feel totally overdosed on you guys right now but there's no way I would have skipped one word. I missed you!

Also watched a bunch of TiVo'd "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" and was excited to see a contestant named Amy. But, alas, it wasn't our Orange. When is that show going to air??

I didn't do well at all on the Thursday-Friday-Saturday puzzles this week or last because I was rushing through them. Yeah, that's it. That's why I didn't do well.

Only one comment on today's puzzle. I know there are other Sports Night fans here. ALL I could think of for 18A was Orlando Rojas. One of my favorite SN bits:

Dan: Elliott, did Orlando Rojas pitch this afternoon?

Elliott: He’s pitching tomorrow.

Dan: Did he pitch in the bullpen yesterday?

Elliott: Yeah, Kelly was there. She saw him throw.

Dan: How’d his fastball look?

Elliott: Should be crossing the plate any minute now.

Glad to be back and looking forward to the Sunday puzzle, which I expect to FINISH, dammit!

Anonymous 10:07 PM  

The different bits we get are so great. If we could all do a puzzle together I think we'd knock down the hardest Saturday in about a minute.

I got at least 10 gimmes in this one, a few that were gimmes by others, but others got gimmes that were pure stymies to me.

The same thing that gave me CABE, PLEURA, LARSEN, PASSITON, TESLAS, PONES, SARTRE, ARIOSE, CEPEDA, etc. (age) also made me draw a blank on other things I once knew and had a hard time remembering (KARSTS, AMONRA, INCEPT).

This is why I think the NYT CW is so great. It rewards age and mental agility (which I have to admit I am losing)

Aside: I thought yesterday's Sun was about twice as hard. It took me almost two hours to solve it in a number of sittings. Today's Times took 45 minutes, which for me is double great for a Saturday.

Anonymous 10:17 PM  


And another great weekend of puzzles!

Orange 10:18 PM  

puzzlegirl, I will surely mention it on my blog when my "MGC" episode is scheduled to air. Should be somewhere in the January/February range.

Green Mantis, I like your writing. You are clevererer than many!

Anonymous 10:35 PM  

After my first pass at all of the clues, I had little more than CEPEDA and a few esses and ars. I knew it wouldn't be long before I had to look on the web.

Like some solvers, I lost the battle with this xword. The SW remained about 7 squares shy even with the help of Google. Even tho I knew KARST (anag of STARK), I had INTERNET (after initially writing ON THE WEB) and never got the acrosses above KARST.

Even with the internet, this puzzle was tricky. Type in "martin chuzzlewit" "nurse" and "gamp," and all you get was that her name was apparently "Mrs." Well, eventually I found SARAH, but jeez!

You bested me this time, Captain Wolfe!

Anonymous 10:42 PM  

RE: Anon 12:39am (Incept is not a word . . . )

I think incept is a word. It shares a root with both inception and the more common interception.

Your reasoning on why incept cannot be a word is very philosophical. (If a tree falls . . . and no one sees it did it really fall?) Well, even if no one says a word it can still be a word in my view.

I love words and people!

Anonymous 11:08 PM  

i finally buzzed through His Excellency's comments after a day of picking up the puzzle and throwing it down hopelessly.
I feel better, but no more successful.
I guess it will always be easy for someone to make a puzzle i can't do!

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

Rex, YOU RULE for knowing Lucinda Williams' work!

Interesting that the NW, which killed me on Friday, was the first to fall on Saturday.

The NE came next. I once wrote a story about a tax shelter involving a movie version of THE SEA WOLF, so I remembered that the protagist's surname is "Larsen," though I couldn't remember if it was -ON or -EN. The NE had some of my favorite clues, too.

But the SOUTH! ARGH! Like you, Rex, I had INTERNET instead of ONTHENET. I wnated the producers of wall flowers to be something involving painting or stitchery. And I refused to google the Buddy Ebsen movie, the Nobel shunner, the Eddic poem or the dualistic deity.

Anonymous 3:22 PM  

Looks like I was in good (read miserable) company.

KARSTS was a slam-dunk, recalled from college geology (30 years ago). Then I dabbled with JABBAR for skyhook, before convincing myself CENTER was the better answer. Close, but no cigar. Thanks for putting me out of my SW corner misery with COPTER.

Anonymous 4:58 PM  

This puzzle was just fine until I got to the SE. Two medical terms for me today- ABSCESSES and PLEURA. Then- dead stop. What really got me was that each time I would divine an answer, such as ACHIEVE, MOUNTER, or even HUSHES, they didn't help me one effing bit!

Finally had to give up- had a T in the place of the C where TOPSCORE would have been so that was tainted in my brain forever.

And I agree with Dave, there is only one ACETONE- it's not a class of compounds.

A very evil puzzle- perfect for a Saturday (which is while it's Sunday as I'm posting this).

As for Santa's biting something, I was reminded of an old Saturday Night Live skit where the Coneheads are asked to name "something people like to bite" and they answer "the big one"! Which is what I did on this puzzle.

Anonymous 5:01 PM  

Oops, typing too fast again- ABSCESS.

Anonymous 6:52 PM  

I too am posting on Sunday. The official reason is that I did not have net access yesterday. The real reason is that I didn't finish it until about noon today. Problems in SW anyone?? I expanded my "ok to ask my wife rule" to included my sister who is in Palo Alto with me for her daughter's Ph.D defense (it went very well). She gave me KARSTS which really didn't help much. I finally put it all together without resorting to google but man it was rough!!

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

Didn't get to this puzzle until Sunday night. All I can say is "ditto." It reminded me of Saturdays of yore (pregoogle, preRex) when I would start, get a few words, put it down, pick it up, get a word, put it down... and keep working on it for days until I was victorious or defeated. Now, I am better at the process, but this kicked my butt along with everyone else's. Didn't love it any less, though, since for me the play is the thing.

Anonymous 5:18 PM  

I'm glad to see I'm not the only cheater that resorts to looking up clues on the inter-net occasionally. I consider any-thing goes on the Fri or Sat cross-word. (I only work Mon or Tues go-ing in one direction, though.) By the way I'm from Kentucky (I live about 4 miles from Carter Caves) and I have NEVER hear of the word

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

I usually suck at Saturday puzzles, but this one started out great! I got spider and cepeda on the first pass, which allowed me to polish off the NW in about 10 minutes. Then... nothing. I put Kareem down for the "sky-hook" clue and that was it for the SW - had a few dribs and drabs elsewhere and wasn't able to finish it off - even after I went to google.

There's always next week :-)

stehub 10:33 PM  

I ran into this blog while googling for a dualistic deity (Janus did not fit). I had all the same problems with this puzzle that y'all did--the SW corner especially. A medical background gave me pleura, and growing up a Giants fan gave me Cepeda, but otherwise it was cruel and inhuman to me. I was proud to have gotten the amen corners a couple of days ago, but this one taught me some (ie a little) humility.

rashid1891 1:01 AM  

Looks like I was in good (read miserable) company.

rashid1891 3:13 AM  

I too am posting on Sunday. The official reason is that I did not have net access yesterday. The real reason is that I didn't finish it until about noon today. Problems in SW anyone?? I expanded my "ok to ask my wife rule" to included my sister who is in Palo Alto with me for her daughter's Ph.D defense (it went very well). She gave me KARSTS which really didn't help much. I finally put it all together without resorting to google but man it was rough!!

6:52 PM

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