THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2009 - G. Whitehead (Conformation defect in a horse / Sainted king known as "the Fat" / English essayist Richard)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "SHRUNKEN HEADS" (37A: Primitive trophies ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme) - a "HEAD" rebus where "HEAD" is "SHRUNKEN" and shoved inside its own square six times throughout the grid

Word of the Day: WICKIUP - 1. a hut used by the nomadic Indians of the arid regions of the western and southwestern U.S. that is typically elliptical in form and has a rough frame covered with reed mats or grass or brushwood; 2. any rude temporary shelter or hut (W3I)

A clever puzzle with some not-so-great fill. It seems this theme really forced the constructor into a corner several times, most notably in the west and southwest, where the wheels get a little shaky. Except for SWELL[HEAD] in the north, all the HEAD answers feel crisp and clean and right ... until the SW, where AX[HEAD] and [HEAD]end feel like the last gasps of a dying beast. Worse than that, though, is the far west, where ... I just don't know. If I bred or showed horses or were a vet or maybe had read "Black Beauty" or "My Friend Flicka" recently, maybe I'd know what the hell EWENECK is (50A: Conformation defect in a horse). You are going to have a hard time convincing me that EYENECK is any sillier an answer there - and that's the answer I had, what with my having been a toddler when "Rich Man, Poor Man" was written and thus not knowing my SHAW from a SHAY in the ground. You'd think that when crossing the "W" in EWENECK, you'd go with George Bernard. Further, I'd heard people say "Karmann GHIA," but I'd Never seen it spelled, so I was damned lucky to get that "H," frankly. Just a train wreck in the west. I thought once I got RADIO[HEAD] (after thinking TALKING HEADS and actually writing in MOTOR[HEAD]), that the west would be done. No.

The heads were symmetrical, which was elegant, but also mildly disappointing, in that I could fill them all in with just the top half of the puzzle done. This is the problem with symmetry in rebus puzzles - its desirability is truly debatable.

Theme answers:

  • 1D: Macrocephalic (bigHEADed)
  • 20A: Split (HEAD for the hills)

  • 10A: Walking encyclopedia (egg HEAD)
  • 13D: One way to meet (HEAD on)

  • 9D: Egoist (swell HEAD)
  • 33A: All over (HEAD-to-toe)

  • 43A: Alternative rock band with four platinum albums (RadioHEAD)
  • 45D: Nut jobs (HEAD cases)

  • 54A: Traffic sign that indicates a possible temporary road closure (drawbridge aHEAD)
  • 49D: Lady Jane Grey's fate (beHEADing)

  • 58D: Chopping part of a chopper (ax HEAD)
  • 66A: Front (HEAD end)
I like the inclusion of PATE in this puzzle (36A: _____ feuilletee (puff pastry)), even if it is pronounced Frenchily, and not like an English synonym for HEAD. As for KWIK-E (51D: _____-Mart) ... see, I love "The Simpsons," and thus I love the KWIK-E-Mart, but ... something about this answer kind of hurts. It threatens to open up the floodgates for EMART. LEHI felt horribly wrong until it turned out to be right (62A: Where Samson defeated the Philistines). If it's so famous, why don't I see it in xwords more often? There must be lots of times it would come in handy whilst constructing. When you don't want to use Bert LAHR again, for instance. As for OMAHAN (48D: Certain Nebraska native), it feels like it's missing a syllable. Does it rhyme with MAN? Or Genghis KHAN? More importantly, does anyone anywhere actually refer to him/herself that way?


  • 1A: Opposite of someways (no how) - what dialect is this? I think Buddy Ebsen talked like this on "The Beverly Hillbillies" - you know, before he went on to fame as Uncle Roy in "Matt Houston."
  • 34A: 1990s war site (Bosnia) - I wonder if other war sites fit here. I had USN (30D: Seal's org.) and ANKA (31D: "My Way" songwriter) in place, so BOSNIA came easily.
  • 52A: Words on a Wonderland cake ("Eat Me") - a surprisingly common answer (and one that makes some of my readers the giggle, for some reason)
  • 2D: Sainted king known as "the Fat" (Olaf II) - Roman numerals are a very very common way to handle a terminal "I" in longer answers. Or, in this case, a terminal "II."
  • 39D: Wickiup, for one (hut) - learned "Wickiup" from puzzles, which seems hard to believe, but there it is.
  • 47D: English essayist Richard (Steele) - Because Addison was the magnet, and this guy was STEELE

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Jeffrey 8:21 AM  

I guessed right on GHIA but had SHAY/EYE NECK.

Clever idea, not so great fill. I tend to be agreeing with you more and more. Not sure if that's a good sign or a bad one.

Anonymous 8:21 AM  

"EWE NECK" sounds like the horse has a different defect, somewhere...lower.

Kurt 8:44 AM  

Pretty good Thursday puzzle except for the head fakes in the SW.

I knew SHAW right off, so EWE NECK came pretty easily. My only scare came from KWIKE. I sheepishly (EWE SHAME)admit that I don't watch The Simpson's and therefore had no idea what this MART wanted to be. Luckily I was saved by the crosses.

Anonymous 8:48 AM  

"Ghia" and such being total gimmes for an elderly person, I found this puzzle easy and fun. But when I saw your photo of Jack Nance, I felt major disappointment that "Eraserhead" didn't make it into the grid. But thanks for posting the reference on your blog!

Michael Leddy 8:56 AM  

HEADEND? The Merriam-Webster definition: "equipment or a facility which receives communications signals (as cable television broadcasts) for distribution to a local region.

I know that DRAW BRIDGE AHEAD signs exist, though I've seen them only in Google Image Search.

I liked GHIA -- I remember seeing Karmann Ghias around when I was in college. Their paint always seemed to be quite faded.

I would've liked seeing a clue for the HEADON that one applies directly to the forehead. As in "HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead," et cetera. But how to clue it without referring to "headache" and without either endorsing or denying the product's alleged curative power?

Kurisu 8:59 AM  

I had EYENECK also.

SERBIA can fit in the war site clue, which is what I had originally.

I had KWIKI originally instead of KWIKE, which made SEGUE hard to get until I realized my error.

jubjub 9:06 AM  

Creep=INCH is RADIOHead's most famousest single.

Minor typo: Macrocephalic is the clue for BIGHeadED.

joho 9:21 AM  

I had fun, no mistakes. Have decided that a EWENECK is a disapportionately short, sheeplike neck on a horse which would make his/her head look too big.

Oh, I hated the forced AXHEAD/HEADEND crossing.

SWELLHEAD is also off. A person can be swellheaded, but I doubt anybody says, "Hey, look at that SWELLHEAD over there!"


Thank you, Gary J. WhiteHEAD. Oh, now I get where you got the theme you SWELLHEAD, you.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

AndrĂ©as Voutsinaswas the real Carmen Ghia. but   here's Roger Bart.

Mike the Wino 9:31 AM  

Where are the DEADHEADS? What puzzle with small heads is complete without Jerry Garcia? He was always getting small, wasn't he?

The constructor's name is the way.

Mike the Wino 9:32 AM  

Oh nerts. You beat me to it, joho!

nanpilla 9:37 AM  

A EWE NECK refers to a horses neck being "inverted" from what is desirable. The neck is over-muscled below and dips above. This makes is very difficult to get the horse to move with its head down and relaxed, since it cannot use its neck and back muscles properly. It can be somewhat alleviated through training, but is undesirable conformationally speaking. For once, something is a gimme for me!

Also, had a friend with a GHIA in high school. Always thought they looked like mice.

Also hated the SW corner, but I guess he was constrained by his need for symmetry.

Didn't know STEELE or LEHI, but guessed correctly.

Jon 9:43 AM  

Two leaps of faith for me: The W in the SHAW/EWENECK crossing and the L in the AGLET/LEHI crossing. One frickin' day I'll remember AGLET and "aiglet" (lord knows they come up enough). I was lucky enough today that both darts hit the bullseye. I think that SHAW (I was considering SHAY too) came from somewhere deep in my subconscious: I have an image of his name in that rococo 70s-paperback cursive, so it must have been on my folks' bookshelf or something when I was toddling around.

I love me a Thursday rebus puzzle, but I too was disappointed with some of the theme fill. HEADEND just plain sucks. And SWELLHEAD seems a little forced for me; "swelled head" I've heard, and I think I'd even be OK with "swellheaded", but for some reason the noun form feels a bit lame and archaic. For me, lame and archaic are fine elsewhere in the puzzle, but I want oomph in my theme answers. Otherwise, though, a fun puzzle.

And, Rex, nice photo of Head Of The Class! I used to love that show. When I was very young and foolish. It's quite weird how a couple of the young actors in that show have gone on to uber-successful Hollywood careers. The kid who played the Sweathog-esque tough guy became a bigtime producer, and the kid who played the chubby comic relief guy (who also immortalized Ricky in Better Off Dead) basically invented the genre of tween sitcom that would find its apogee in Hannah Montana. I guess they really were smarter than the rest of us.

I don't know why I know this stuff. I attribute it to my NY Jewish genes; Hollywood trivia just floats into my head and I can't get rid of it.

Oh, also, was I the only one who saw the "Wikiup" clue and racked his brain trying to figure out what Wikipedia spin-off it was referring to?

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

Interestingly, Radiohead is named after a song by the Talking Heads.

Jon 9:54 AM  

I remembered where I got one of those pieces of HOTC trivia: a nice NY Times Magazine article.

xyz 10:00 AM  

As for an OMAHAN pity the poor Tampa, FL resident. When I lived there 20 years ago, there were billboards for a local bank quoting "Now's the time for TAMPANS to ... (something or other)" that were disturbingly odd to freeway drivers.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Rex, loved your write-up, and agreed with everything you said, and all the comments as well. I actually finished this puzzle with no mistakes - unusual for me to be brave enough to make a few guesses (SW and SE), and be right! Fun theme, though.

Ulrich 10:33 AM  

For some reason, I was expecting a rebus and consequently got on to the theme early on, which helped to make this one of the easier Thursday puzzles I've done recently.

Does anybody know if the Lehigh River in Eastern PA--and the university of the same name--get their names from the same biblical locale?

Another bit of trivia about the Karman Ghia: It was called in Germany "hooker Porsche" (Nuttenporsche) in the 50s--there must have been reasons for this appellation.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

While in France,I visited Versailles, which includes a grandiose palace that is slightly elevated so that visitors look up as they approach the building. The furniture inside is designed the same way, i.e. you must look up to see someone in bed. Another American - someone that I did not know - said, "No wonder they cut off their heads."

That's what I thought about as I did the puzzle, which I thought was a lot of fun. Not impossible to do but not simple either. I did not know wickiup but I did remember the run-in with yuan from the other day. Is it too early to start moaning about tomorrow?

chefbea 10:49 AM  

Got egg head right away so knew it was a rebus. But still had to look up a lot of things.

Was glad to have aglet make an appearance. It's been a while.

Yummm puff pastry

PlantieBea 10:49 AM  

Thumbs up for this puzzle. I figured out the rebus when I started with the down clues in the upper right corner. I had to guess at the L in the AGLET/LEHI cross, where I really wanted the correct letter to be N for AGNET and NEHI,reasoning that perhaps that's where the soda got its name, but for once I guessed right with the L. EWENECK was a gimme for this horse lover. Imagine the opposite of the typical arched Arabian horse neck. My least favorite answer was SWELLHEAD. Yuck.

fikink 11:08 AM  

Fun fast Thursday. I wish you had embedded some RADIOHEAD, Rex. THOM and YORKE are crossword-puzzle-worthy

santafefran 11:23 AM  

Re SWELLHEAD, check this out:

The things we learn from crosswords and this blog!

Now if I could only remember agLet, not agNet or agRet.

allan 11:26 AM  

As per ArtLvr yesterday(I think), I'm commenting before reading Rex's or anyone else's comments. I liked the puzzle. I thought it was a little easier than most Thursday puzzles, as for once I got the rebus very early (10a & 13d).

I found the SE the toughest part due to having beheadded at 49d. Finally realized that there could not be 2 d's and changed to the proper ing. The rest fell in pretty easily.

My least favorite answer was 1d. Bigheaded just seems so politically incorrect that I fought entering it. I just didn't want to be a bozo.

hazel 11:27 AM  

I don't really like rebus puzzles that much - I feel like we see too many of them (maybe it just seems that way). Anyway, they have to be really really clever to be fun. For me, this one was just a slog to find where the word HEAD would fit. When I finished, I thought kind of gruesome. Clever - not so much.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

Wouldn't 100 C-notes be TenG's (as opposed to TenG)? Or am I missing something.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

Anyone else think that beHEADing doesn't pass the breakfast test?

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

@Newbie: TenG = Ten Grand, not Ten Grands. We don't have $1000 notes.

foodie 11:43 AM  

We're driving to Arizona (wonderful, sunny weather along the way, in the 50's!!) and like Evil Doug, I'm stopping at Starbucks and getting the NYTimes.

Fun puzzle, in spite of the southwest corner.

I love the word "segue". People in my lab tease me for using it and "dovetail" for talking about conceptual connections.

Today, the head theme carried with it a head-related subtheme-- the ill-named EWE NECK, the unfortunate state of being "BRAIN DEAD", and even PATE, if you're thinking in English.

The clue for NO HOW reminded me of a question my son asked me when he was about 5: "What is the opposite of nevertheless"?

xyz 11:43 AM  

Lehigh River and U: Lenni Lenape Indians' name Lechewuekink meaning "where the forks are"

say that three times, forget about quickly ... (don't know the pronounciation)

Anonymous 11:46 AM  

Kuwait also works for a 90s war site.

allan 11:54 AM  

@Mike the Wino: You are correct sir! I kept waiting for deadhead to appear and was disappointed when it didn't. I was not disappointed that Rex chose to leave out one of the band's 20 minute drones. Too early for acid.

Jon 11:54 AM  

@Anonymous, 11:38: Grover Cleveland would be bummed that his currency has been taken out of circulation, (m-notes?) technically do exist. Still, your point is right on; 100 c-notes = ten grand, not ten grands.

@hazel: Respectfully disagree; not enough rebus puzzles for me! I love the bonus aha moment they provide. But agree, this one wasn't the best.

allan 11:59 AM  

@Jon and anonymous: Yet the term ten g's, or two g's etc. exists, so I can go either way on that one. I suppose that G is a reference to grand.

PuzzleGirl 12:03 PM  

Before this trend of commenting before reading the previous comments (or even the blog post!?) continues, I would like to share with you all the Lifehacker's guide to weblog comments, written by the fabulous Gina Trapani. She starts the article by saying that "Leaving a comment on someone's weblog is like walking into their living room and joining in on a conversation." Maybe others feel differently, but in the past few days when I've seen a comment start with "I'm posting before reading the other comments" I've thought, "Why would you do that? We're talking here!" I apologize if this is harsh — I'm sure foodie would have a much more gracious way of making this point — but the article has a lot of good information that I think would be useful to this community. Thanks, everyone.

Jeffrey 12:12 PM  

I agree completely with PuzzleGirl. Read the other comments first (unless of course, you are first to comment) and for goodness sake, read Rex! I will usually have my thoughts about my intended comment ready before I read the blog and other comments, but amend them to reflect what has already been said. Today, Rex said most of what I would have, so I deleted all the repetition.

Anonymous 12:15 PM  

@Jon - I thought they might have existed, though my only acquaintance with them is through Huey, Dewey & Louie's mega rich uncle. Thus, I discounted them.

evil doug 12:15 PM  

I think it's time to clue "eat me" as what the Deltas coughed at their kangaroo trial at dear old Faber. Or what was emblazoned on their Deathmobile.


Anonymous 12:23 PM  

I had the O and the S in 34 across, and without hesitation wrote in KOSOVO...

nanpilla 12:34 PM  

I also agree with PuzzleGirl. It's rude to break into the middle of a conversation with no idea of what has been said before.

@PlantieBea - Glad to hear there is another horse lover around here! My Arabian, of course, has a lovely neck. But my dressage trainer is really working with us to get him more "through" and round. Then maybe he will have the neck that you described!

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

Who is that in Rex's first picture?

I got the rebus on the EGGHEAD too. I was happy with the puzzle, I got everything correct although I guessed the EWENECK too. I'm amazed that I can get OTERI with so little clueing.

chefbea 12:47 PM  

@puzzlegirl I too agree. A good guide to weblog comments.

fikink 12:54 PM  

@Karen, Isn't that Edith Head?

Shamik 1:01 PM  

@foodie: Good weather is waiting for you here in Arizona!

@nanpilla: Thanks for the EWENECK explanation. I asked DH if he knew what it was having spent his 20's driving and training harness horses. He never heard of it. So, glad you could explain it.

Medium puzzle. Took me all the way to the south before figuring out it was a rebus....despite having SHRUNKENHEADS in early. Meh.

And does anyone else have a problem with an unheard word: "someways?"


allan 1:20 PM  

@PuzzleGirl, et al: Sorry, I won't ever do it again. Now may I please have dessert?

Bob Kerfuffle 1:26 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle; took a bit more thinking than usual as I worked from South to North.

Might have been slowed by a couple of Maleskas like EWENECK and (for me!) PATE feuilletee.

Temptations I avoided before writing included our old friend EEL for 11D, GAR, and ELAH for 62A, LEHI. (I was confusing Samson v. Philistines with David v. Goliath, something I only knew by virtue of having been one of the few people who saw the movie "In the Valley of Elah".)

But should 29A, Chinese dollar, YUAN, be better clued as "Chinese currency"? Or at least "Chinese dollar equivalent"?

chefbea 1:26 PM  

@allan how bout some tubers that we discussed yesterday - and of course other days

HudsonHawk 1:28 PM  

I'm not much older than Rex, but my first entry was SHAW. I remember the mini-series in the mid-70's was constantly promoted (or so it seemed) as "Irwin Shaw's Rich Man, Poor Man". And it's referenced in "Beautiful Girls", which I usually end up watching every time it comes on.

My second entry was GRE, and off of the RA_____ start I entered in RADIOHEAD. Probably the quickest I've ever detected the rebus. But I have to agree, while I enjoyed the puzzle, some of the entries were forced.

As for OMAHAN, I don't think the term is used much (and I lived in Bellevue, NE for three years). It's easier to just say 'Husker.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Include me with those who like the rebus: tho do agree with the double edge sword nature of their providing pre-solve potential. It gives me the sense of having to solve two puzzles in one. So I like. Tho I have enjoyed others more than this I do like this.
@Mike the wino - Gerry did get quite small quite often. He took many paths to smallville. Unfortunately he struggled with addiction to his death. A sad day indeed. Just recorded Grateful Dawg from HDNet the other day. Great documentary. Tons of great recordings as well. "What a long strange trip its been..."

PlantieBea 1:39 PM  

@nanpilla: I understand your work to get that impulsion with the horse on the bit. I have ridden two Arabians in dressage lessons that were definitely a challange for me--often having stiff necks.

There are other horse neck flaws, including the swan neck, the knife neck, the bull neck...Bring on the horse clues!

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Thank you Puzzlegirl, Crosscan, Chefbea, and Nampilla for saying something about how to post. I think some may assume new posters know what is going on. I, for one, don't or didn't, I suppose. Sometimes I see self-contained comments, sometimes I see conversations between people who seem to be talking about something other than this puzzle, and sometimes a lot of people are talking to each other. How can you tell what all that means - which is why I sometimes say I'm saying this without reading the comments. I think Allan and I are just trying to fit in here, so thanks for taking it seriously.

treedweller 1:41 PM  

I remember the first time I saw Cheri OTERI in the credits for SNL. I wasn't as devout a solver then, but I still made a mental note to expect her name in crosswords someday. Finally I am seeing the wisdom of that moment. This is at least twice she turned up recently. I wish my memory was as reliable when it comes to Japanese golfers and Middle Eastern leaders.

George NYC 1:42 PM  

Did anyone else misread macrocephalic as...oh never mind...

allan 1:56 PM  

@Anne & ArtLvr: Sorry for the misreference earlier. That's what you get for not checking your sources.

Wow, two apologies in one day. I've hit my quota for the month.

NOW may I please have my dessert?

jae 1:57 PM  

Fun puzzle but I agree with everyone about the forced SW. I knew SHAW, AGLET, and KWIKE so this went pretty smoothly except for having to convince my self the HEADEND and SWELLHEAD were really OK. Oddly I never saw the wickiup clue as I'd done all the crosses.

On a completely unrelated note I read in my local paper yesterday that the one veggie that Obama will not eat is the unmentioned one.

Ulrich 2:03 PM  

@the redanman: Thx

@Puzzle girl and followers: Thx for making the case. I also had the guest association: How would people feel if someone came in late for dinner, took a place at the table, and started to yak immediately w/o any knowledge of what was being discussed at the time, or what had been discussed before?

I also think we all can help in this by not answering questions that have been answered before, especially if they were already answered in Rex's post.

joho 2:09 PM  

Thank you, PuzzleGirl and all who share your thoughts (Crosscan, nanpilla & chefbea), as I do. I wanted to say something but was biting my tongue. I feel so much better now that you have spoken.

Doug 2:09 PM  

For some reason it didn't feel like a NYT puzzle. Maybe a New Year's resolution to mix things up? I don't know why, maybe the exclusions of EON and ERA, plus a lot of very unusual(and interesting) fill are throwing me?

Really like the ICONS clue. Remember EGGHEAD software? Had BUFFETT for Nebraska native.

I recall the Hardy Boys book The Clue in the Embers, in which six SHRUNKEN HEADS mysteriously arrive at the home of a friend. You English Lit majors will appreciate the page-turning prose of Franklin W. Dixon:

"I'll sure need some nourishment if I'm going to hassle with a lot of shrunken heads," Frank declared. "Joe, let's finish that clam chowder Mother made yesterday."
"It sure was good." Joe laughed. "Chet ate three bowls of it while he was here."
Chet Morton was the Hardys' chubby pal who often went along with them to follow up clues.

And so on--Great stuff!

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

Hi everybody!!!
WHat did I miss while I was gone?
Pass the salt please!

I loved this puzzle!

My favorite moment was at the end and looking up again at the constructor's name and noticing the head in Whitehead (I'm sure he had NO teasing at all in highschool!)

I solved my SHAW/SHAY dilemma (since I didn't think EWE could be right, by simply leaving BOTH W and Y in the box! Figured if I could squeeze all those little heads in there, why not WY?

(OHMYGOD, I just got Rex's squeezing heads joke, I think!)

LOVED SHRUNKENHEADS across the middle.

Everything felt all fresh and fun to me, I felt like every answer was an AHA moment and I'm not even in a good mood!

And altho I agree with Puzzlegirl and noticed the jumping in thing, I have to say it's tougher and tougher to read thru a million comments first, esp with all the new folks and then nightmares like me who write too much!

I know I have that prob when I first get to the blog at 11pm instead of 11 am!
But for godssakes, YES, at least read Rex first...and actually two or three times!!!

(HEAD)TOTOE looked like how Quayle spelled POTATOE ...
and since I got EGGHEAD first, I have to admit I contemplated DICKHEAD for 1A.

I was crazy about the symmetry, crazy about Carmen Ghia's
(Ulrich! say it ain't so NO HOW)
and finding it funny that a king was referred to as "the fat"!
How big do you gotta be that that's the only thing you are remembered by? Wow, even Henry the VIII wasn't referred to that way.

Speaking of Henry the VIII, I got the Lady Jane Grey clue by half- remembering that mnemonic about the fates of the six wives:

married, beheaded, dead,
married, beheaded, wed
(is that right?)

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

Guess I'm showing my age. Although Broderick Crawford was a little before my time, I can just hear him or Humphrey Bogart saying "That'll cost you Ten G's" in one of those old gangster movies. They would never have said "Ten G."

edith b 2:31 PM  

"Rich Man, Poor Man" was a highly publicized mini-series in the '70s that vaulted Nick Nolte to fame.

I remembered it and "The Captain and the Kings" from that era because of constant TV blitzkrieg advertising.

Pretty clunky stuff happening in this puzzle, particularly the AX{HEAD}/{HEAD}END crossing. There was also something funny about BE{HEAD}ED and BE{HEAD}ING in the same puzzle. More than enough stuff here for Will to reject this one. Oh yeah, and EWENECK.

dk 2:37 PM  

EWENECK (pronounced ewwww neck)is what my lovely wife sez when I suggest we, whoops not correct living room conversation.

@jae, Obama will not eat the tuber that shall not be named! While not one to beet a dead horse, that may be an imbeetchable offense.

I got the theme within seconds. EWENECK was my Waterloo as outside of lovely wife's comment cited above, I never heard of it. I did own a Karmen GHIA.

I fatheaded at first but even I found that unpc.

I cannot belive that posters would not read the comments or the Rexology. Both are a font of knowledge and often provide the best LOL momments of the day.

Insert the song "Stop Making Sense" about here

dk 2:49 PM  

Is the Lehigh (LEHI) valley where they once produced a lot of Steel (STEELE).

err, ah @Acme, more dreamboat than nightmare in my book.

@allen, it is never to early.

And was not Elvis the sainted king known as fat.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

Here's the Henry VIII poem:

Divorced, beheaded, died,
Divorced, beheaded, survived.

From Wikipedia: The six wives (queens consort) of Henry VIII of England were, in order: Catherine of Aragon (annulled), Anne Boleyn (annulled then beheaded), Jane Seymour (died, childbirth fever), Anne of Cleves (annulled), Catherine Howard (annulled then beheaded), and Catherine Parr. It is often noted that Catherine Parr "survived him"; in fact Anne of Cleves also survived the king and was the last of his queens to die. Of the six queens, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour each gave Henry one child who survived infancy — two daughters and one son, all three of whom would eventually accede to the throne. They were Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, and King Edward VI.

Gary 3:22 PM  

Aside from Hazel's comment, most of these make me want to keep constructing crosswords. Glad some of you found it entertaining.

More coming....


miriam b 3:25 PM  

@acme: Divorced, beheaded, died.
Divorced, beheaded, survived.

@Doug: Speaking of the Hardys, here's a rousing rendition of a very clever song. The artists are known as Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys. That alone is worth the price of admission, IMHO.

Nice puzzle, but as I was poised for a rebus, I found it super easy.

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

Beheading bothered me ... and I'm it bothered many more.

miriam b 3:32 PM  

OOPS. i forgot to post the link.

mac 3:41 PM  

I enjoyed my Thursday rebus. I'm always happy when I actually figure out the theme myself, not by going to Rex's place. This time I had the "shrunken heads" first somehow, which helped me get "beheading" and I was off. Have some problem with swell head and head-end, but the rest was good to great. Bigheaded sounds mild compared to the Dutch term for this condition..... (water headed). I think I may know about radiohead because you comments (!) right here over the last year and a half. So, yes, Puzzlegirl, completely agree with you and the article. I happen to work just like Crosscan, actually making little notes, some of which I discard after reading the comments.

@Jon: I also thought wickiup might be a Wiki spin-off.

@Treedweller: do we have to mind our language even more now you have become a devout solver? ;-)

@foodie: please, tell us, what was your response to your son? Was it "moreover"?

Gotta celebrate some more, maybe even days or weeks more.

chefwen 4:20 PM  

Miguel's recipe recommendation was for a unmentionable tuber and Radicchio salad with goat cheese. Looked good, printed it and will try it when the above said tubers are up.
Liked the puzzle and the rubus but messed myself up when for some unknown reason I put down HEADstothehills, so that NE corner was a head scratcher for quite a while.

Unknown 4:20 PM  

Thanks for stopping by...the puzzle was a HEADliner today. I enjoyed it, but I am devastated to read President B does not like the King of Vegetables.

allan 4:26 PM  

After PuzzleGirl commented about my lack of social graces, for which I have apologized, at least 7 others have commented on it.

PG also directed us to a page to read up on "rules" of blogging. I followed the link and read the rules. I suggest that those of you who have a problem with my error follow that link as well.

I've copied one of the rules, and present it here:

"Contribute new information to the discussion.

Twelve people saying the same exact thing in one comment thread is useless and irritating. Before you comment, read the entire thread and make sure your comment offers something new to the conversation. If you don't have the time or patience to read an entire thread, then don't comment at all. The longer a comment thread the more likely someone has already said what you're thinking, and the less likely it is to be read by future visitors anyway."

Granted the number has not reached 12 yet, but enough is enough. I have gotten the point, and have sworn never to do it again.

I don't mind being kicked, but once I'm down, please stop.

Anonymous 4:45 PM  

Thanks fikink, I don't think I've heard of Edith Head before. But I know her cartoon representation, Edna Mode, the superhero costume designer in The Incredibles. Rex's pic doesn't make that connection quite so clear.

hazel 4:58 PM  

@gary - I reread my comment, and it came across harsher than I intended. I think my comment stemmed from the whole concept of rebus puzzles, not yours specifically. (And I know I'm in the minority!)
Also, the fact that I had a brain MRI yesterday and have a massive headache may have colored my perspective a little....

So, I look forward to your next puzzle - I liked lots of the fill.

fikink 5:06 PM  

@Karen, thanks backatcha! I've not seen The Incredibles and knew nothing of Edna Mode. Good stuff! "Mode" - I love it!

@allan, you have the makings of a gentleman and a scholar. May I help you up?

green mantis 5:19 PM  

Hi everybody. Aglet is one of my favorite words. It seems...little but ready to fight. Puzzle overall was superfast for me, except that I kept staring at Teng wondering if it was some sort of very expensive zesty new powdered drink mix.

Public Announcement: Thanks to all of you who tried to do a certain very kind crossword-related thing for me. I don't know if all involved got my words of gratitude, so this is going on the permanent record. You're amazing.

And Allen, I don't think anyone was directing further remarks toward you personally, just relating that they had had similar thoughts about the phenomenon in general. Though I haven't read the comments, so I could be wrong.

ArtLvr 5:29 PM  

@ Allan -- welcome to the group here, and please note that Rex has another request: each of us should attempt to limit number of comments to three per day... It's another reason to read all the others before chiming in too, but sometimes you'll find two or more of us are posting something very similar simultaneously! (As an offical Blogger, you can also self-edit using the trashcan icon.)

Anyway, I noticed only about two comments saying "gruesome" or "breakfast test?" and had to laugh. (See my summary of the grim fill over at Orange's.) I suppose it was in anticipation of dental surgery early this a.m. -- I survived just fine, but it resulted in my never having had breakfast today! My apologies to Mr. Whitehead -- it was a good puzzle and do come back again...

I did listen to a Lutenist on the radio on the way home, and then a Pianist and Flautist, so I think it would be helpful to have a list from Philly showing other instances where just adding "ist" to an instrument for the player is wrong... And I agree, it's too bad the Big Red B veggie will be taboo at the new White House table, but never mind.

Special thanks to Nanpilla for the details on equine conformation -- At Christmas, I saw my young granddaughter experience her first fall from a horse -- and mount up again shortly thereafter. In my day, one would also have been presented with a Certificate of Initiation into the "Prince of Wales Club"! Does that ring any bells, or was it strictly a local honor?


Anonymous 5:31 PM  

"schmo" rears its [HEAD] again, this time as a clue, for 1A:BOZO. Cute clues for 3D:ZEROES and 23A:EIEIO. No clue about 41A:GHIA; I've heard the expression but always thought it was "Caremnguilla" as in "Quesadilla". Would have preferred gLia/sLaw.

Is 15A:NOHOW a nod to the "Nobama" crowd after the three recent Obama puzzles?...

Hoped to see Rex sign as "E-King of CrossWorld". Maybe next time 64A:EKING appears in the grid.


Glitch 5:48 PM  

@Ulrich 2:03

Rather than ignore already answered questions, I use one of my 3 (if available) to refer them back to the answer --- hoping they can take a hint.


yeah, some postings do go on a bit. Rex has threatened a limit, but so far you're safe. But watch out, at least one other has been banished for out typing Rex!


This is a very opinionated group, often not following the the "rule" you were referred to and cited in your 4:26 post.

Consider this you "15 minutes of fame" for soon you too will be ignored (this is not necessarily a bad thing).

Welcome to the unwashed masses.


Gary 5:51 PM  


Thanks, Hazel. Sorry to hear about the HEADache. Oddly enough, I've had one, too, since last night. This is all getting a bit HEADy and ridiculous!

allan 6:12 PM  

@fikink: Thanks.

Doc John 6:23 PM  

I go along with what everyone else said.

@ Gary- this is a tough crowd.

@ Karen- I LOVE Edna (and that movie in general). She's my favorite character. I was going to mention her but you beat me to the punch.

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

Agree with the comments on repetition. I read all posts just about every day and thoroughly enjoy them, especially when the constructor happens to comment also.
But, I do try not to add unless I have something new to offer or seem to be the first to disagree with a previous post.
Rex, keep up the good work, I'm starting to find some of the early week puzzles a little too easy so reading your opening comments helps brighten an otherwise dull day.
All - Please don't tell me to "get a life" - I'm already trying.


Mike the Wino 6:46 PM  

I didn't mention this earlier cuz I was caught up in the lack of a DEADHEAD answer, but I couldn't help thinking that the answer at 50A, which I had misspelled due to an incorrect crossing at 44D (and frankly I hadn't even read either of the clues), was a very strange way to spell "eunuch"...

...three and out...

foodie 7:52 PM  

@puzzlegirl, thank you for the excellent link. Actually, before I saw my name, I was thinking that you had done this very skillfully : ) The link was the perfect way to frame the issue. It's interesting that blogging is a new kind of social medium-- and together, by example or direct feedback, we are evolving a set of manners and a unique culture. My husband blogs with a bunch of EGGHeads about astronomy, and they have a very civil but much more technical and less personal style.

@mac: the opposite of "nevertheless" totally stumped me (which is why I remember the question after all these years). I think being a literal 5 year old, he was looking for "always the less" or "never the more", but he was also struggling with what it actually means. But what is the conceptual opposite? "Nothing Doing"?

@Shamik, so glad to hear that the weather in Arizona is great. That was the idea! (for some reason, I had you in New Orleans)...

jae 7:54 PM  

I meant to add that I finally rationalized HEADEND by reasoning that if the back of something is the REAREND then the front could be the...

Ulrich 8:00 PM  

@acme: The Carmen Ghia is a totally different story!

As to the other problem: the obvious solution is to move east--you can be the first to comment every day, i.e. you won't have to read anybody's comments b/c they are non-existent--besides, we could have lunch whenever we want!

Anonymous 8:20 PM  

@George NYC 1:42 I also did and couldn't believe my answer would be in the puzzle.

And it wasn't.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

@ several: EWE NECK is a flaw in show dogs, as it is in horses. Nanpilla's description fits both (all mammalian?) species.

@ several others: 6 letter 90's war site: BOSNIA, SERBIA, and BEIRUT (so far unmentioned) all fit. Maybe others.

OK< what am I missing (again)? I get HE.. in Across Lite, RP gets HE on top of AD. How?

A reasonable Thursday puzzle. Can't help wondering which number Olaf (2D) Snoopy's brother was....

Glitch 9:06 PM  

@Ulirich 8:00

You may have it backwards, the puzzle is released in EST --- west is best --- think about it.

(Had a cohort that adjusted the outside light timers fot DST, like the sun knew)


Bill from NJ 10:08 PM  

Wow, Rex's call for new blood has certainly sparked something. We were a small group talking to ourselves and, it seemed, relatively self-policed.

That part of it I marvelled at as good manners are hard to find on a lot of blogs. So it comes as no surprise to me that the new folks were not conversant with "da rules" and some things had to be spelled out.

But it still amazes me how civilized this group of Commenters appears to be.

Anonymous 12:04 AM  

Bert Lahr once said "not no way, not no how" in The Wizard of Oz.

Anonymous 3:03 AM  

Finally got sucked into "eel" for long fish; my
brother caught a gar and it's nothing like
an eel. Did anyone see "Alice's Restaurant"?
Had an "eat me" cake in one scene, tee- her,
Rex. As for other fill, I don't know a soul who
uses contact lens stuff. I'm glad "The Producers"
dug up that VW for the young 'uns.

ordinaryperson 3:49 AM  


Didn't catch on the symmetry, so I guess I solved it without the shortcut. Didn't hurt much, as I had done the whole puzzle in a very strange order.

Rex, the other war sites that felt good -- Kosovo, Kuwait and Rwanda All were maybes as possibilities go, because at least one letter in the crosses of those matched up. Two of them were in my grid at one point or another.

This is the second time recently that NO HOW has been in there, as in "No way, no how" and both times it has been clued awkwardly. EAT ME keeps recurring too.

EYENECK is still sitting in my grid, and I refuse to change it, because EWENECK is way grosser sounding and frankly, doesn't deserve to be a word because ewes and horses have nothing in common. At least horses have eyes (and necks).

Finally, I read "macrocephalic" as "microcephalic" and had PINHEADED for a while. Then I got GARE and it became PIGHEADED, which doesn't make any sense but is a word. And given my lack of scienciness, it felt quite believable (if only because I wanted it to be) that macrocephalic meant PIGHEADED, as if it were a medical condition.

Which perhaps it is.

Good day to all.

ordinaryperson 3:56 AM  

@ Andrea Carla:

Wikipedia says it's
"divorced, beheaded, died,
divorced, beheaded, survived"

...which is half-catchy.

I like "Divorced, beheaded, dead, divorced, beheaded, still wed"

Anyway, FYI.

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

5 weeks later - Does it not seem odd that so many of those who commented use the possessive "'s" to indicate a plural?

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