Friday, June 27, 2008

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

This was everything a Friday should be - tough but not back-breaking, with lots of inventive and colorful words and phrases, from TIKI TORCH (1A: Luau lighting) to LOMA LINDA (61A: San Bernardino suburb - having lived in Southern California for a while helped here). Lots of linking answers, with mutually referential radio code word clues (47D: Radio code word before 43-Down - ROMEO - and 43D: Radio code word after 47-Down - SIERRA), a luau theme (HULA - 37A: Activity near a 1-Across - pointing back to TIKI TORCH), the clever pairing of JENNY and CRAIG (36A: With 46-Across, program pitched by Queen Latifah - ironically, a big, fat gimme). As you know, normally I don't much care for clues that refer me to other clues, but here's the thing(s): HULA referred me back to an answer I already had in place, so no problem; and ROMEO and SIERRA were right next to each other (or nearly so), so no having to leap back and forth between different parts of the puzzle. JENNY CRAIG was just easy.

There were, however, six answers that I flat-out didn't know. That's pretty high for a Friday (or any day); luckily for me, many of them were short and gettable from crosses:

  • 20A: Gernreich who invented the monokini (Rudi) - I'm sure he's a national hero of whatever nation he's from; I'm guessing Germania. Go Spain.
  • 58A: Repetition mark, in music (segno) - by far the most outerspacey-lookin' word in the whole puzzle for me. My brain desperately wants to change that "e" to an "i"
  • 27A: Footballer Ford (Len) - uh, OK. Who? Aha, he was a defensive end for the Browns back when they won things (i.e. in the 1950s).
  • 29D: "Le Comte _____" (Rossini opera) ("Ory") - OK, I take back the comment about SEGNO being the weirdest answer in the grid. This answer beats it.
  • 39D: Pining pantomime persona (Pierrot) - no idea. Zero. I had seen the name "PIERROT" before, which explains how I filled in missing letters - inference.
  • 54D: Francis _____, signer of the Articles of Confederation (Dana) - honey, did you know this? I sure didn't. But I never saw any of these little Downs in the SE - got 'em all with Acrosses.

What did I love? Well, AMISH BUGGY for one (26D: Sight in Lancaster County, PA) - was that a seed answer, or one that arose out of necessity. It's nice. I had AMISH and sat on it for a while, because the only phrase I could think of was AMISH COUNTRY (despite the fact that there are "Look out for BUGGY" traffic signs between here and Ithaca that I see on a regular basis). I generally despise the post 9-11 phenomenon that is the NEWSCRAWL (32D: Ticker with headlines), but it sure makes a good puzzle answer. I wish I could press some button to make it go away when I'm watching the news. I don't like it any better at ESPN. Loved the colloquial DON'T SHOUT (17A: "Tone it down!") and TURN TO MUSH (12D: Get all sentimental). Don't agree that a "potential player" "must" pass a SCREEN TEST (24D: What a potential player must pass). And while it's nice to see IRENE CARA getting puzzle work again (15A: Singer who plays herself in "D.C. Cab"), anyone who has seen "Fame" has got to be disturbed by seeing Ms. Cara's name here in such close proximity to SCREEN TEST. IRENE CARA played "Coco" in "Fame," and Coco's "SCREEN TEST" ... didn't go so well. I'll let someone else explain. Here's IRENE CARA in what appears to be an early, failed experiment at music-video-making. It's like a child got hold of the video effects machine.


  • 16A: "Any fool can make _____, and every fool will mind it": Thoreau ("a rule") - sounds more Seussish than your average Thoreau quote.
  • 22A: Legendary abductee (Helen) - spot-on. She is legend, she was abducted (or so most say)
  • 23A: "Per Ardua ad _____" (Royal Air Force motto) ("astra") - usually ASTRA gets clued via Kansas's state motto "Ad ASTRA per aspera"
  • 40A: Crew leader (bosun) - Thank you, Mr. Berglund - my 11th grade English teacher, who taught me "The Tempest," and forced me to learn every damned word in the play. BOSUN was one of them - it's right in the beginning, I think.
  • 32A: Bellies up to (nears) - Love the way the clue sounds, but it's got a pretty narrow frame of reference to be used as a clue for the very very general NEARS.
  • 34A: Schedule maker: Abbr. (mgr.) - see also the same clue at 42A, where the answer is I.R.S.
  • 38A: Workup locales: Abbr. (ERs) - somehow "workup" sounds a whole lot less urgent than "ERS" does.
  • 60A: Billet-doux suggestion (tryst) - a gimme for me, but history tells me that Many of my readers (or potential readers) do not know what "billet-doux" means, so ... maybe not so easy.
  • 6D: Canyon tones (ochres) - please enjoy these canyon tones:

  • 7D: "The Phantom of the Opera" suitor (Raoul) - whoops, should have added this to the "stuff I didn't know" list.
  • 8D: Neanderthal (crude) - wow, an adjective. Didn't see that coming.
  • 9D: With respectful humility (hat in hand) - great, original answer
  • 10D: Loungewear (caftans) - What are these again? Hmmm, some kind of loose-fitting robe / tunic / muu-muu
  • 22D: "_____ Cardboard Lover" (Norma Shearer film) ("Her") - this should win some kind of award for "Most Elaborate Clue for a Possessive Pronoun"
  • 40D: Give up on, in slang (bag) - this reminds me only of the line "Bag your face" in the 1981 (!?) "song" "Valley Girl" - if the IRENE CARA video didn't take you back, THIS will (not necessarily in a good way). "Solid Gold"! 7th grade!

  • 53D: Cherokee Strip city (Enid) - western ... four letters ... yeah, it's probably enid. Maybe OREM or RENO, but probably ENID. ENID is DINE backwards, I just realized.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Jeffrey 8:44 AM  

This may have been the weirdest solving experience I ever had.

I started with Irene Cara and I have no idea how I knew that. I only know her from Fame and Flashdance and not sure I ever saw D.C. Cab (was that with Mr. T?)

The first thing that popped in my head for "where to act on a gut feeling?" was TOILET BOWL, but I resisted the urge to fill that in.

Then I kept getting only the first words of answers. I had COURT; no ORDER. I had AMISH; couldn't get BUGGY. TIKI without TORCH. NEWS sans CRAWL.

I got ISLand of Montreal right away, but I was born there. Thought it could be ILE, but that's not an e.g.:Abbr.

Finally worked it all out except for IRS/JAR. Went through the alphabet (IQS?) to get the last letter. How could I know this? I only work for a tax organization and I have made schedules in my job.

Did I like this puzzle? I have no idea.

IRENE CARA gimme, IRS blank. Weird.

a very confused Crosscan

Unknown 9:15 AM  

Some years ago I did dine in ENID. A typical Oklahoma Buffet with three kinds of gravy. Rudi was Austrian but made his fame in New York where he was one of the founders of the Gay Rights Movement. What makes ELMERSGLUE big? and do I remember correctly that Elmer was married to Elsie the Borden's milk cow?

Wonder what artlvr will make of all of these pairs. Pierrot is a famous Watteau painting or I would not have known it at all. For a while I thought the answer had something to do with H. Ross. Speaking of wacky third party presidential candidates, When did Ralph Nadar get back from Mars?

Unknown 9:22 AM  

IRS took me forever, also. I was trying to get some type of human resources answer.

janie 9:36 AM  

"bellies up to" immediately had me thinking of the unsinkable molly brown and the lustily sung, "belly up! belly up to the bar, boys!"

had to complete this puzzle with the overnight treatment -- but oh, the clarity of morning. that tough (for me) ne -- which i feared i'd not be able to master, fell pretty swiftly once i was able to approach it anew. the success of this process (while obviously not an option for tournament solving...) still has the capacity to surprise and delight me.

cheers, all --



johnpag 10:21 AM  

Please Rex, please,

No more TV spectacular videos. They were awful!

johnpag 10:21 AM  

Please Rex, please,

No more TV spectacular videos. They were awful!

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Thanks for the encouagement, Philly, but like Janie I did this mostly late last night and only finished the NE by light of day! It was quite a workout but all finally fell into place! I still feel a bit punchy.

The NEWS CRAWL reminded me of a gal I met ages ago who claimed her grandfather invented the orginal tickertape machine, but never got the credit... Maybe he didn't BELLY UP properly to the patent office people, HAT IN HAND?

The AMISH BUGGY celebrates my first finding Rex's blog around Thanksgiving last year, when I put in a comment about passing three little trotters in a row -- jaunty despite pouring rain -- while on my way to dinner at a friend's in Cooperstown. Memorable AMERICANA, they made me TURN TO MUSH!


Seems I've lost my blue/orange...

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

p.s. philly is right about the PIERROT in paintings! For some reason many artists were attracted to this character in white clown costume with make-up including painted-on tears -- even Picasso did at least one, maybe more (my memory is hazy).


Bill D 10:35 AM  

Aaah - the Canyonero "commercial" really brings me back!

Loved this puzzle; not much black space in this grid! Got TIKI TORCH, AMISH BUGGY, TRYST, and AMERICANA right off, and IRENE CARA soon after but still had to plug away to complete it. Fell down only at the SEGNO/PIERROT crossing. I used an "A" instead of an "O", deeming PIER RAT (TURNing TO MUSH as the liner with his HON aboard sails off) made more sense than a misspelled Hercule Poirot!

Didn't Rudi G also "invent" the notkini, which, like Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent's home, is actually No Bikini Atoll?

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

Yes, Picasso did a series of PIERROT paintings, notably his son "Paul as Pierrot", a "Pierrot and Columbine", and a "Pierrot and Harlequin". All are early impressionistic works from around 1900, nothing like his later abstracts. One is in the collection at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, NYC), another at the Chicago Art Institute.


Bill D 10:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JannieB 10:53 AM  

Very nice Friday workout. I nailed tiki torch, Amish buggy and Irene Cara without a second thought. I liked "tide" for trend; hat in hand, wears thin - nice fresh cluing/fill. NE was the last to fall. Had "eatup" for do the dishes for a bit, once I figured out "restaurant" the problem was solved. "Elmer's Glue" seemed poorly clued but a good fill. And "segno" and "Ory" earn my WTF's for the day. Enjoy the weekend, all.

Bill D 10:57 AM  

I posted this inquiry late last night, so a lot of you probably didn't see it:

I wonder, can any mathematician here figure out how many different grids are available to constructors in the 15 x 15 format, using typical crossword symmetry and rules? (All letters must appear in both an across and a down answer, all answers must have at least three letters, and I think there is a limit on the number of blank spaces allowed.)

First you'd have 1 with no black squares and 1 with one black square, then 110 with two black squares and then 108 with three black squares, and then it gets difficult!

Any takers?

archaeoprof 11:04 AM  

Wow, this was a tough one for me. Never heard of PIERROT, and never thought of IRS in response to "schedule maker." But I'll take comfort in the fact that even Rex hadn't heard of some of the harder answers.

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

I wanted the place for a 'gut feeling' to be an operating room type of answer. Probably not passing the breakfast table test. Tripe, anyone?

Pierrot is part of the commedia del'arte with Scaramouche and Columbine, other classic crossword terms.

Sorry Mom, I didn't get the OSU clue. No football for me.

I had a hard time letting ECHOES get out of the canyon. The OCHRES were brilliant however.

Rex, I used to like the song Fame. Thanks for ruining it for me. Forever.

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

ORY and SEGNO were special WTF momens for me today. Enjoyed the alliteration of TIKI TORCH and symmetrical LOMA LINDA. Also pining pantomime persona PIERROT even though I had no idea who this character was. Needed crosses to get DANA.

Rex, my interpretation of the MOON UNIT - valley usage of "BAG that face" has always been more literal: "You are so ugly, please put a bag over your head" (anyone remember the Gong Show's Unknown Comic?) whereas the slangy use would be more like ditch, skip, quit.

Like, totally, Brooklyn

imsdave1 1:02 PM  

@rex - Robert Greenberg popped into my head on the Pierrot answer and it came back to me. He did a lecture on Schoenbergs 'Pierrot and Lunaire'.

Tough puzzle for me today - took a good 30 minutes. I guess the Jenny Craig commercials don't work on me as it took me way long to make that connection. I'm embarassed to say I new the D.C. Cab answer (quick quiz - name all the great Mr. T movies). Having a great uncle in Hershey PA certainly helped with the buggy answer. Helen should have been a drop kick, but I got stuck on more current events (Patty Hearst, BTW, should not be considered legendary for anything). Put in IRS for the first iteration of the schedule clue and couldn't dunp it until the second, which really slowed down the northeast for me. Post hoc means nothing to me, but that's probably just ignorance on my part. Good to be married to the daughter of a Shakespeare scholar for anwsers like Edgar. Put in Roger for Romeo instantly with a nice smug feeling.

Gone on way too long. Very nice blog today Rex.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

This one was really rough for me. Took me over an hour of staring at blank spaces to finish. I got the SE pretty quickly (like Rex, having been to San Bernardino/LOMA LINDA helped immensely). AMERICANA and WEARS THIN were pretty easy gimmies. I managed to get AMISH BUGGY, SCREEN TEST, and TIKI TORCH, but I had to work really hard for the rest of the long answers, particularly since most of the fill was unknown or obscure (e.g. RUDI, SEGNO, CAFTANS, etc.

Count me in also with folks who didn't get IRS right away. I actually thought "Schedule maker" was referring to a PDA, which is what I had originally.


This may not pass the breakfast test either, but when I saw 14D "Where to act on a gut feeling" my brain immediately started thinking of fish markets (i.e. someplace you would "gut" a fish). When that didn't work, my next thought was some variation on a gym (someplace you would go to get rid of your gut). Obviously came up empty on both counts.

again, tough puzzle for me since I was unfamiliar with most of the clues and/or fill. managed to slog through it though.

ronathan :-p

miriam b 1:24 PM  

Somehow I got right into this constructor's mindset and truly enjoyed the puzzle.

I thought at first that a potential player would have to pass a drug test of some kind.

The hapless Petroushka is the Slavic PIERROT.

Another malapropism (sorry): A friend of mine, pondering what to wear to a casual event, finally decided that her new "kafka" would be appropriate. This I guess was in the '70s or so. I actually still have some clothes dating from that era, but I never did own a CAFTAN.

jae 1:26 PM  

Medium for me also. NW and SE went fast but the other corners were tougher. I also tried EATUP, JAM at first for JAR, ROGER, PAJAMAS briefly for CAFTANS. I had no idea PIERROT was right until checked SEGNO with my retired Grinnell College music professor golfing friend. PIER RAT also sounded plausible?? Excellent Fri. puzzle!

janie 1:27 PM  

i'm not sure anyone responded to this one, so lemme put it out there:

big sticker? and how!



mac 1:47 PM  

Tough for me as well, but I admire it a lot, nice long words and good clues. I got stuck with several wrong words, like "echoes" and for Queen Latifah's program I thought of some charity thing like the "Penny Train"...?
I knew bosun but spelled it wrong, which hid the glue, got the torch but didn't know Tiki, and there were several other unfamiliar words and expressions. With only two googles I got it finished, but it was a hard slog! Great

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

Bill D: I'll step up.
There are at least three types of symmetry, reflexive left to right across the center column, reflexive top to bottom along the middle row, reflexive both top to bottom and left to right around the center square.

Lets model the last case, reflexive around the center square. We then only have to consider one 8x8 grid, say the upper left quadrant, with the center rows and columns attached, and all possible combinations of blanks/blacks are valid. The remaining 3 7x7 quadrants are all determined by what goes on in the uppper left 7x7 quadrant. The math for this is straightforward.

One would approach the left / right, top/bottom symmetries similarly.

Unknown 1:51 PM  


No one did answer and I appreciate that tidbit. Elmer and Elsie, what a cute couple. (think they had a calf together...t-bone or elroy or something).

dk 2:03 PM  

Miss me?

Re: Moon Zappa

When I was a real psychologist in Southern Calif. we had something we called the wrong valley syndrome. Thus is you were narcissistic, engaging in spouse swapping and shopping and lived in the San Gabriel Valley (e.g., LOMALINDA)rather than the San Fernando Valley and had attempted suicide or some other cide we would say his/her problem is living in the wrong valley.

Given my recent experience with Tiki Bars and a Reuters news story on the renewed popularity of Hula Hoops I got the those clues right away. IRENECARA was trouble for me and having jam instead of JAR slowed me down.

I like Big Mamma's line best where she pats the bed and states (while staring at Maggie) "This is where marriages are made or broken."

Saturday is tomorrow: woo woo

evil doug 2:13 PM  

Re the crawl: If you have digital TV, you might try the "zoom" (not to be confused with "wide", which would distort a normal picture) position. It's not perfect---it may chop off some of the useful picture, or not all of the crawl; but I find this particularly helpful in football season when I tire of the constant cycling of scores from other games along the top of the screen.

Speaking of enhancing useful space: Does anyone use the page 2-3 news synopsis? I suppose someone in a hurry to scan the Times might use it as a guide. But I know I'm going to more carefully digest the entire paper, so why waste time on the preview?

My suggestion is to put the crossword on p. 3---every day---and use the remaining space for ads (cleaning up the rest of the paper a little) and a shorter synopsis. And how about an additional crossword from the archives adjoining the new puzzle?

1. We always get the crosswords where we can find them quickly.
2. They're always on a page not requiring my dreaded fold back against the spine.
3. Two puzzles for the price of one---and at no additional cost to the Times. [Or: What does the paper pay for a puzzle? Would it break the bank to give us two new puzzles a day?]
4. Fewer of those irritating single-page orphan sheets that tend to slip out of the paper.


Anonymous 2:18 PM  

This was harder than an average Friday. I got it but it took over an hour.

SEGNO comes from Italian for "sign". In music it's paired with D.S. for Dal Segno: "from the sign". It's an instruction to the performer repeats a section of music marked by the sign.

ERS (Workup locales) Huh?!

TES (Your, in Tours)
What other 3-letter French pronouns should I know? Could anyone help me here.?

Unknown 2:25 PM  

bonjour dave rage,

toi moi lui soi eux qui que

you me him oneself them which that

Anonymous 2:41 PM  


Anonymous 2:43 PM  

@ dave rage,

I believe that the answer is ER'S, as in Emergency Rooms (which is itself a misnomer since nowadays most hospitals use the term Emergency Department, or ED, rather than ER). In any case, its a place you would go for a physical workup, i.e. a medical exam.

-ronathan :-)

imsdave1 2:47 PM  

@dave rage - ers - emergency rooms, and I wanted colon as the repeat sign.

Pythia 2:52 PM  

@ dave rage:

il y a aussi

mon, mes, ton, son, ses, vos, les, des, ces, cet

Pierrot Gourmand lollipops -- yummy.

Nice write-up, Rex.

A beautiful puzzle, challenging but fair. All the long answers are solid, and the shorter fill is clean. Not one -LY word today.

OSU -- finally a sports question I can answer.

Only thing I don't understand is the RESTAURANT clue.

A billet-doux from moi to all who made this what it is.

Anonymous 2:58 PM  

What about "Big sticker?"

I thought it was one of the most clever clues I've seen all year.

As for "TIKI TORCH" .... easy gimmee, please!

imsdave1 3:02 PM  

@jane doh - the restaurant clue - the gut feeling is 'I'm hungry' 3 and done - have a good day all

Bill from NJ 3:24 PM  

This puzzle was a combination of gimmes and WTF. I was on the this constructors wave length for all but the NE. I was able to get all 9 long clues outside the NE pretty quickly and stumbled through the rest of the 3 quadrents in relatively short order.

I was particularly proud of PIERROT and all 3 scheduling clues.

I stared for a long time at the NE and then went to bed. This morning, the puzzle presented itself in a whole new light. I was able to get RESTAURANT right out of the box and the puzzle fell quickly from there on out.

I'm familiiar with the expression "bag it", meaning to blow off either work or class from the 80s, I think

Bill D 4:03 PM  

@Humorless: Thanks for the leg up, I think...very little math is straightforward to me! The problem is not all combinations of black/white are acceptable in crossworld. Three black squares boxing off a single white corner, or any unconnected group of whites would be invalid. I think I could work it out graphically, but it would take a while. I originally thought you'd have to work it out for half the grid, but due to the special symmetry, only a quarter need be analysed, as you point out.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

My PIERROT came from "Au Claire de Lune" -- the French song that includes, I think, mon ami Pierrot, and there seems to be a bit of pining about the fire going out and having no candles left. Given the other origins suggested above, it looks like mine was just a lucky guess.

And further dealing with French: there are straight pronouns (je, tu, il, elle, etc); then the possessive pronouns (ma, mon, mes; ta, ton, tes, etc) so you have to be careful and restrictive with the context. I won't go on ... .

That northeast was made extra tough, having spelled the Loungewear KAFTAN, which led to KNOSH, like you would a knitsch, and having a Conviction of TRUTH. Choosing USC over OSU didn't help either.

My Future star was a COMET for a while, and my suburb was RIVERSIDE, even though that raises the question of which is suburban to what. And before TRYST I had AMOUR, which may or may not have been appropriate.

miriam b 4:16 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
miriam b 4:16 PM  


Quiuck & dirty synopsis:

Arlequin asks Pierrot to lend him a pen; his candle has gone out as has his fire. This begs the question: How is he supposed to write anything if Pierrot does produce a pen?

Pierrot says that he's in bed and in any case doesn't have a pen. He suggests that Arlequin go to the neighbor's, as she has apparently lit a fire.

Arlequin follows that suggestion and there ensues a verse which implies hanky-panky with the neighbor.

Anonymous 4:41 PM  

@Bill D: If you're going to insist on reasonable configurations, I quit. You don't want a stranded single blank space? Think of all the great cluing you could come up with for 'A'.

Anyway, I'm too busy to follow up on this. I'm putting together my own list of suggestions as to how the NYTimes should revamp themselves to satisfy my specific preferences. You know: no women's sports in the sports sections, restrict the business pages to companies I'm interested in, etc. I'm told I can send these suggestions to:


I really, really hope this works.

foodie 5:17 PM  

@miriam b
Since it starts "Au clair de la lune, mon ami Pierrot," I assumed that the writing would be made possible by the moonlight, no?

Lovely puzzle. I immediately got PIERROT, RESTAURANT, RUDI, AND JENNY CRAIG, and then like Crosscan got a bunch of halves, but mine were the second ones, TORCH, BUGGY, TEST, etc.

I like to keep track of my crazy guesses, and today's was while crawling my way to CAFTANS (which are middle eastern and should have a gimme for me). At one point, when I had -A-T--S, I confidently put down "PASTIES", thinking of a certain kind of lounge... Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen pasties or been to that kind of lounge. The puzzle triggers the weirdest free associations!

Finally, "canyon tones" really threw me (I wanted YODELS"), but I love the answer, because of a memory it evoked. Has any of you been to Roussillon in France? Definitely a place to see before one dies. The entire village is ochre..Check out the canyon road:

Jeffrey 5:21 PM  

@foodie: Sounds like we should be partners if they ever have a doubles category at the Tournament. I'll solve the first half of answers, you can do the second half.

I am now less confused and have decided I like this puzzle.

mac 5:33 PM  

@Foodie: we ESL-ers must think alike; I also thought of yodels, my first word was Pierrrot, and -test, -torch and restaurant came easily too. Once I figured the answer out, I wrote Kaftans, unfortunately. 10A is a great clue/answer, though.
It's true what's been said before, Rex, this was a great write-up.

mac 5:43 PM  

I just went to look at some Emily's latest drawings - they certainly are gritty! Can't figure out the elephant/mammoth, anybody? She is good.

Unknown 6:14 PM  


I have been to Roussillon a number of times and took my two daughters and husbands there for two week five years ago. I have an album full of beautiful pictures splashed with OCHRES. Since it is has a vibrant art community, I have several paintings on my stairways and they always make me smile. Cehfbea, mac et al, part of the fun was I got to cook almost every night from the local markets.

mrs. ji 6:34 PM  

you seem to be using more youtube videos in your posts lately... going multimedia!

interesting note about "pierrot"... as a kid growing up with korean-speaking parents, "pierrot" (in a korean accent of course) was the term i learned to refer to clownish-mime characters.

foodie 6:36 PM  

@Crosscan & Mac: Given how differently people's minds work, and especially differences in fund of knowledge between ESL-ers and native speakers, young and old, etc. working as part of a team might actually be really fun! I certainly couldn't make it in the big times on my own...

@Philly, you're making me think I need to go back and spend more time in Roussillon. They do have an amazing art community. And the food, omg. Wonderful idea for a family get together. Thanks! My kids don't know it, but their vacation plans may just have been altered by the NYTime puzzle and the Rex blog discussion!

@ChefBea, hope your mom is doing OK. We miss you, but Philly is keeping the food topic alive today!

green mantis 7:09 PM  

I second the bizarre solving experience sentiment. First I thought D.C. Cab was that taxi movie with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon that was out for about five minutes. Once I realized Irene Cara, who shows up a few clues down? Queen Latifah--AKA DANA Owens, no relation to Francis Dana.

Also wanted echoes for ochres which, as weird word brothers separated at birth, made me stare at Tiki Terch for way too long.

Finally, Mr. T and I have a long and winding history. I was in elementary school in Georgetown during the filming of D.C. Cab, and Mr. T showed up on the other side of the chain link fence during recess one day. It was a mob scene, and I think I might still have the imprint of the fence embedded in my cheek from the commotion.

Later that year I would go on to attend some sort of car show with my Dad where I would A) sit in the Kitt car from Night Rider, B) meet Heather Locklear and C) get a signed autograph from whoever played "Face" on the A-Team, Mr. T's original television vehicle.

Circle of life.

Anonymous 7:20 PM  

Rudi Gernreich was credited at the beginning of every season one episode of Space: 1999 as "Moon City Costumes Designed by"

Leon 7:45 PM  

Enid/dine is a semordnilap.

The others in this puzzle are:

jar/raj, bag/gab, enol/lone, tes/set, and tide/edit.

The puzzle also includes the palindrome TENET.

Doc John 8:10 PM  

Picked my way through the puzzle today. Some clues I got right away, like TIKI TORCH, and others just sat there mocking me. It did all finally fall together, though, after about an hour of solving time in total (interspersed with eating, answering email and finishing our damned waterfall).
Lots of good clues and fill in this one.

Nobody so far has mentioned using an E in the SEGNO/PIERROT combo. I thought it could be Pierre T and hey, segne sounds just fine to me. I've never heard that word used in my life! We just call it a repeat sign.

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

Finished... IN INK! (to all you late night on-line solvers, tsk tsk!) I remember seeing a Dateline special with Stone Phillips on SUV rollovers... Wonder what Stone Phillips is doing right now?

chefbea 10:02 PM  

@mac havent really had time to do the puzzle today but did put yodles also
my mom is doing much better and is out of icu - in her own room. I will be home on sunday - hopefully will the sunday puzzle on an airplane

mac 10:45 PM  

@chefbea, hang in there, your mother is very lucky to have you there.
Travel safely and good luck with the Sunday one!
@green mantis: so that's how we are going to recognize you in Feb.: a creature witht the imprint of a fence on its face wearing a tutu. Should be easy.
@doc john: you have waterfalls? We just had four of them start up in NY. Apparently there is a boat that will take you to see all of them, can't wait to do that on a really hot day.

green mantis 11:49 PM  

Wow, yet another unexpected benefit of worshipping the T (may I call you T?). Truly the gift that keeps on giving.

mac 12:05 AM  

@green: what's up with the West Coast puzzle competition? Have you and the other coasters signed up? Might be a wonderful test run for the Brooklyn tournament.

Anonymous 7:44 AM  

I didn't like the puzzle. I was stumped on "iron". I put it in and
took it out about five times. I
don't see it as an adjective.

Anonymous 1:31 PM  


Adjectival use of nouns is actually pretty common. e.g.: click on my name to see pictures of my golden retriever puppies - retriever is clearly not an adjective, and its usage is like iron in the 2D clue.

Must drive those who learn English as a second language up the wall. though..

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

I have a problem with "hon" for sugar: isn't this an abbr.?

Anonymous 4:54 PM  

Penny posted: "I have a problem with "hon" for sugar: isn't this an abbr.?"

It means "honey" and is commonly used - "Hon? Do you know what this clue means?"

MaryPat in Oregon

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