FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2009 - F. J. Healy (Sci-fi hero whose home planet is Corellia / 1966 hit from the album "Sounds of Silence" / City founded by Ivan IV)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: DO-RAG - A scarf or kerchief worn as a head covering, often tied at the nape of the neck.

JANE FONDA (1A: Big name in exercise) came to me right away, and I think that is pretty much the entire story of this puzzle. With the first letters of all those Downs in place, I was able to wash down over the grid with very little bouncing around. I confess to snickering like a ten-year-old at GROIN, mainly because of the clue - 19A: It's sometimes pulled while running. I don't think that's proper running form. PLIOCENE (12D: Epoch when the landmasses of North and South America joined) is a word I've heard, I guess, here and there, maybe on science shows or museum tours where I wasn't really listening. Thankfully, the crosses were all rock solid. I had HUNTU for BANTU (30A: Zulu's group) - is a HUNTU something? Uh, well, it appears to be something in Finnish, as a bunch of pictures of this lady came up when I Googled it:

The thorniest part of the puzzle has to be the SE, where ancient clues cross and we're expected to know the name of That Guy on That Show that used to be on - KARN (46A: "Home Improvement" actor Richard). My last square was the "A" in KARN - somehow KERNAK didn't sound right, so I went with "A" and KARNAK (41D: Site in ancient Thebes). Bingo. Weird that I had any trouble down here, as ORIOLE (42D: A.L. East player) and KYOTO (46D: Former capital of Japan) were big fat gimmes. I had no idea what 49A: Modern home of ancient Ebla was all about, but SYRIA was easy to pick up from crosses.

I should wrap this up, as I am on daughter patrol this morning, and though she's ridiculously responsible and is probably just reading ("Archie" comics) quietly right now, I feel mildly guilty not being with her. So, straight to ...


  • 15A: Dessert skipper's declaration ("I'm on a diet") - Please don't explain to me why you're not having dessert. I don't need to know. Oh, and all diets fail, so good luck with that.
  • 18A: Sofia, por ejemplo (reina) - I gather that this Sofia was some kind of queen. Good to know. I was thinking of "Sofia" as "Wisdom" and trying to figure out what Pantheon of Qualities "Wisdom" belonged to. Graces? No. Muses? No. Deadly Sins? No ...
  • 20A: 1966 hit from the album "Sounds of Silence" ("I Am A Rock") - I had an English teacher in high school (whom I adored despite (because of?) his occasional sadism) who once lectured us about how this song was wayward in its sentiments. I think we were reading the "Tempest." For a guy who knew a lot about irony, I'm surprised he took the song at face value. Or maybe he was just testing / baiting us. He was an evil genius.
  • 26A: Transports near stairs (els) - elevated trains. I guess you take the stairs to get to them because they are [cough] elevated.
  • 31A: Sci-fi hero whose home planet is Corellia (Hans Olo) - this gives me the opportunity to play for you a viral video that is highly amusing if you know anything about the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.
["Hans? Hans?"]

  • 36A: Bits of créativité (idées) - The French words IDEE and TETE are common in American xwords, and are often clued in interrelated ways, the latter as the source for the former. Also, as someone commented recently, the puzzle seems to like the word "Bean" for "Head." I know that my comments here are only tangentially related to the clue.
  • 51A: Term of address used during an argument ("Your Honor") - great clue. I had much more profane stuff here at first.
  • 5D: Forest issue (fawn) - I wonder if anyone went with FIRE. I enjoy Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a FAUN," which is a different character altogether, I realize. Homophone!

  • 10D: It might be worn under a cap (do rag) - I know of these only insofar as they are worn (and mentioned) by rappers
  • 11D: It has a lip and a mouth but never speaks (ewer) - ugh, riddles
  • 13D: A call used to go out for this (ten cents) - another very clever clue, but this is the point at which I start to find my "clever clue" tolerance being tested
  • 23D: City founded by Ivan IV (Orel) - an alternative to [Pitcher Hershiser]
  • 28D: Where Manhattan is: Abbr. (Kans.) - that is one letter too many for any self-respecting state abbrev.
  • 37D: Blockhead (schnook) - all those consonants up front really threw me at first. Kept the word hidden for a bit.
  • 40D: Rally speaker's emphatic response to his own rhetorical question ("I say no!") - this should get some kind of award for creative cluing. Makes me believe this is a crossworthy answer.
  • 52D: Armagnac article (une) - Thought "Armagnac" was a guy at first, like ... who's that Musketeer? D'ARTAGNAN. He's French. He probably said "UNE" a lot.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Greene 8:23 AM  

This was a fun puzzle and seemed just right in difficulty for a Friday. I do not think of JANE FONDA as a big name in exercise any longer, so I was slow to get that answer. It did not help that I initially had NONE FOR ME for 15A. After I threw that out I put in FIRE for 5D, which while wrong, at least gave me the F for FONDA and then the northwest fell quickly. There's something amusing about JANE FONDA atop I'M ON A DIET crossing with JIGGLE. I'll just END IT right there before I get in trouble.

I had difficulty in the southeast too, mostly because of the KARN, KARNAK crossing. Fortunately, I knew KYOTO and ORIOLE, so I was finally able to figure it out. Like Rex, my last letter in the grid was the A in KARNAK and that was a total guess, likely more influenced by my memories of the late Johnny Carson than by my knowledge of ancient Thebes.

Glitch 8:28 AM  

Question for the medicos:

Can you pull a "groin", or is it the muscle located there?


Anonymous 8:37 AM  

The groin isn't a muscle, it's a body section (like the shin). I'm not sure exactly what muscles...probably the vastus muscles and the quadriceps.

Thanks for the Star Wars video Rex, it made me laugh.

I wanted ALSO RAN for the track has been, but OLD NAG was good too.

Wasn't KARNAK the name for Johnny Carson's ESP gag?

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

I loved this puzzle, it was full of clever clues, i.e. forest issue, small beef. Good stuff.

I groaned when I saw Jane Fonda, the way I used to groan when I tried to follow her exercise tapes. Today at 71, she looks great, and it's probably all that exercise. And as Greene noted, Jane's above I'm on a diet, they both crossed with jiggle which crossed with groin pull. I think that about says it all.

I thought Kentucky Derby was the theme for a minute. Old nag crossed with May and silks showed up a few lines down.

And to end on a hostile note, I hate okey dokey.

JannieB 9:20 AM  

I shared Greene's enjoyment of the fill in the NW corner - a mini-theme all its own - then too, the horse racing triad and we have themes within a theme-less. Fun!

I must admit my first reaction to do-rag was oh no, here we go again. But hopefully that discussion fits into the horse theme (as in beating a dead one...)

Lots of things to like about this puzzle, but it was definitely an easy Friday for me.

Orange 9:22 AM  

@Anne: Well, Jane Fonda also had some plastic surgery during her Ted Turner era.

@Rex, three things:

1. I laughed and said "Hans Olo" out loud. Well played, my friend. Well played.

2. Do Calif. and Penna. piss you off more than Kans.?

3. Thank you for the picture of The Rock. Like a magpie, I like shiny things.

Daryl 9:26 AM  

Really FONDA this puzzle, right level for Friday, plus it has some great lines reading across: I'M ON A DIET, OWLET is vaguely "see you later, alligator", plus the obvious next line OLEOS? NONE AT ALL. And the tabloid headline HOR GASHES KARN. Lots of fun.

Anonymous 9:34 AM  


Carson ESP bit might have been spelled Carnac, but pronounced the same.

Thought of yesterday's blog immediately when it looked like 43D might be SNARKY, but eventually cross changed the K to L.


treedweller 9:39 AM  

I still have much to learn, Master. I actually thought KeRN sounded right, based on vaugue memories of (guilty confession) watching That Show. KeRNAK seemed off, but I failed to let the Force guide me to the correct A, largely because of the Johnny Carson character mentioned earlier by Karen.

Discounting that, I managed to plod through this one without much trouble, which used to be almost unheard of for me on Fridays. My time was high, but so was my enjoyment.

I thought HIGHSPOT would get slammed here for being a random phrase. Unlike ISAYNO, I did not think the clue justified it. But who am I to quibble?

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

@Orange - I'm sure she had plastic surgery but her good posture and ease of movement and the way her arms and legs look, for instance, comes from exercise, and eating well. I could be wrong of course but I hope all that exercise was not for naught. I'm getting ready to do my daily jog.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Don't hate okey-dokey as much as okle-dokle.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

Along with the KARNAK/KARN crossing I had trouble in the top right, mostly because I thought DEPTS was ATTYS and "it has a lip but never speaks" was going to be some kind of body of water.

I learned DORAG from "Scrubs."

Carisa 9:58 AM  

1. I am ashamed to say I got KARN as my first word. I guess I'm all about the pop TV culture. But that led to KYOTO, then SYRIA and SHAD and before I knew it the SE was filled.
2. Also thought "Scrubs" whan I filled in DORAG.
3. I can't believe we actually had ELS and ELLS in the same puzzle. That's a little too close to being the same, isn't it?

Alex S. 9:58 AM  

Two false gimmes out of the gate made the NW harder than it should have been.

Had I'M STUFFED as the reason for skipping dessert and the correct I prompted JIGGLE instead of WIGGLE. Eventually worked it out but it was a while before I stopped being pleased with myself for I'M STUFFED to see that it was wrong.

Not fond of ELS and ELLS being in the pulls together, especially since I hate letters spelled out as words (and so two of them, ELLS and CEE is kind of really annoying). I assume that if Mr. Shortz transcribed the alphabet song it would look like "Aye, bee, cee, dee, eee, eff..."

But overall a fun puzzle.

ArtLvr 10:06 AM  

Lovely puzzle, and I got it all without a major hitch -- though slowly. TICKLE and JIGGLE were fun, but I wanted "regale" for the former at first. Also tried "upset" for UPEND, with Omsk for OREL and APOs for GPOS... GREEDY finally cleared that mess up...

SE wasn't so bad after I DECIDED the only thing to fit 41A was KOS, and SCHNOOK led to YOUR HONOR instead some opponent! Oh yes, the "near" idea was in the 34D slot first, until I got the NEAR BEER.

Lots to LIKE today, left me in GASHES -- I mean stitches.


Bob Kerfuffle 10:15 AM  

Nice puzzle, more of a Medium for me, probably because Rex's gimmes were my Huh?s and vice versa. Still, worked it all out with only one write-over: Based on several confirming letters, I had INMYROOM instead of IAMAROCK. (Have I mentioned that I am not good at pop culture?)

So, okeley-dokely, off to Austria for a week.

edith b 10:24 AM  

Pop culture held me in good stead today, starting with IMAROCK and HANSOLO to start.

I worked in the South to begin, getting NEARBEER in the easy SW. Not too crazy about HIGHSPOT but it worked as I moved into the Florida Keys. I originally had SNARKY also in honor of our host and it held me up for a time as I tried to work something out of *****TALK but the crosses disabused me of that notion as I creeped up the East Coast but all kinds of mistakes kept this from being easy as I figured 12D would end in AGE which kept me from the ZULU clue for quite some time.

Had a hard time time parsing Not far from into LIKE but I finally saw LEANEST and slid into northern Flyover Country with OLDNAG which left just the NW left to solve.

I've had this problm for a while - being unable to start in the NW and ending up with that corner last. I was able to free-associate from IMONADIET thru the short downs until I finally saw JANEFONDA/JIGGLE cross(which produced a giggle) and the puzzle fell.

Not much in the way of neons so I had to puzzle this one out the hard way. Without names and the like I always have a harder time but I had the chance to work on other skills to solve this one.

I am getting better with wordplay as time passes and getting more comfortable when I don't have neons to build off of.

And on that awkward note, I will sign off.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

Once again, TYROS was the first thing I put in the puzzle with any confidence (though this time it was spelled correctly). Me and that word just get along, I guess.

And I thought it was KORN. Nu metal, anyone?

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Re Sofia--Is, not was, la reina de España.

Unknown 10:50 AM  

Thought it was a fun puzzle, but easier than most Fridays I come across. Did anyone have GOLDENAGE or GILDEDAGE before GOLDWATCH?

I got SCHNOOK from GoodFellas. The scene at the end.

A comment on DORAG and BANTU (and yesterday, for that matter); they didn't come to me right away, and I'm less White than the typical crossword solver. In fact, I had JAMIEFARR before I realized the theme, and corrected it to JAMIEFOXX. Good day, all.

HudsonHawk 10:59 AM  

Like many have mentioned, I immediately thought of Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent as I wrote in KARNAK. Along those same lines, Sam Malone's sportscaster rap song came to mind, with his GROIN injury.

I hesitated a bit with GRAD for 38A, because I wasn't sure whether the celebrants had something to do with MAY or the Kentucky Derby.

As for Sofia, my first thought was the capital of Bulgaria, but that made little sense with the cluing en espanol. As for NEAR BEER, ick.

fikink 11:20 AM  

Thanks for the Retold Star Wars, Rex. This is the first time I am admitting publicly that I, too, always thought his name was Hans, and am always reminded of my perverse thinking when he appears, as today, in the puzzle.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

Most of the puzzle fell quickly, what I didn't know quickly came easily from crosses.

Although I got YOURHONOR quickly, the rest of the SE took longest. Since my knowledge of pop culture is limited KARN was a non-starter. But I had heard of KARNAK although I was vague on the spelling. So OKEYDOKEY (which I hate) took too long.

I agree with others that would rate this as "easy" for a Fri.

But I've been doing Stan Newman's "Saturday Stumpers" as a tune-up for ACPT and those are giving me a new standard for "challenging." And every other rating keys off of that.

imsdave 11:23 AM  

Liked the puzzle - hated HIGHSPOT and DORAG. Plopped in FAWN as my first entry, and in an unusual moment of spelling clarity, got it right. Off to the races until the SE. Should have gotten ORIOLE immediately as a long time fan but got fixated on other clues and never saw it (is that just me?).

Tomorrows the big day for us Nutmeggers (sounds a lot better to me than Constitution Staters - I love the origin of Nutmeg State - look it up if you don't know it) with the Westport tourney. Gather around ChefBea with her crossword puzzle t-shirt so I can find you all.

@HudsonHawk - reminds me of the old chestnut:

The presidents of Budweiser, Coors, and Guinness are having dinner together. The waitress asks for their drink orders. The Bud guy says "I'll have a Bud Light". The Coors guy says "I'll have a Coors Light". The Guinness guy says "I'll have a Diet Coke"

The others ask "Why not a Guinness" and he replies "If you gentlemen aren't going to drink beer, then neither am I".

jae 11:25 AM  

Liked this one. Lots of good stuff from JANEFONDA to OKEYDOKEY.

@Phila -- Had both GOLDENERA and GOLDENAGE before WATCH kicked in.

@ArtLvr -- I too went with OMSK at first.

Seems like there's a mini racing theme with SILKS, MAY, and OLDNAG.

Anonymous 11:29 AM  

Except for the SE, I found the puzzle easy/medium. My only false start was ROOT BEER for NEAR BEER. Since I don't drink alcoholic beverages at all, mostly as a matter of having a 4-year-old's taste buds, I've never branched out into any of the fakes. So the alternative non-BEER BEER didn't occur to me. Adam's Ale did, simply as crosswordese.

But I got slowed down in the SE. Looking at --NOA----, I filled in NONOANDNO. The first NO was correct, and let me finish the western SE. But I had trouble filling in the rest. The last letter was KAR- crossed with S-ARLY. There was absolutely no chance of me getting the Richard, but I did end up with SNARLY as the least obnoxious possibility for unknown synonym to "cross".

We've had KARNAK a few months ago. Once again, I'll mention the real reason I know KARNAK is that he is one of the Inhumans from Marvel Comics. I mean, I've come across KARNAK as the Egyptian site often enough, but it sort of blurs when I try to recall it. But the short super-duper martial artist, now that KARNAK always comes to mind instantly.

archaeoprof 11:52 AM  

KARN was my first answer. And JANEFONDA was my last.

Why oh why did we ever think legwarmers were sexy??

Rex Parker 11:58 AM  

Daughter loves legwarmers. Thankfully, this has nothing to do with delusions about their "sexiness." And she's never seen "Flashdance," so I have no idea what is going on there.


Jon 12:06 PM  

Nothing like this blog to give me a daily dose of humility. Once again, I struggled (45min+) to finish a Friday puzzle, thinking at last--AT LAST--I have conquered a difficult Friday puzzle, only to find the usual chatter about how ho-hum the experience was for everyone. I feel like the fat kid on the cross-country team. Oh wait, I was the fat kid on the cross-country team.

Seriously, though, I have been very grateful for advice from this blog, particularly some comments steve l made two weeks ago to me about solving Friday and Saturday puzzles. Thanks very much, everyone, for making such a fun and helpful community.

In terms of this solve, I too thought the presence of both ELS and ELLS was a little dicey. JANE FONDA came late, that seems, by this point, and incredibly dated (even pre-Yakov Smirnoff) reference. KARN was, embarrassingly, my first entry. I liked the cluing for PTERO (didn't know that), OWLET, DO-RAG, TEN CENTS and GOLDWATCH particularly. I didn't like 55A; NONE AT ALL doesn't feel very in-the-language to me: "Nothing at all" seems kosher to me, but I can't imagine ever saying/hearing/reading "none at all".

And just last week saw TransSIBERIAN, an nice little sleeper of a noir film from last year. Highly recommended.

Ulrich 12:09 PM  

@archaeprof: B/c they remind us (me at least) of boots, which are supersexy, to me at least, when I listen to my GROIN.

Anonymous 12:10 PM  

I finally figured out SNARLY, the last word I got, and that very reluctantly. I thought it was SNAR-LY, an adverbial form of some Scot or something, but no, it's actually SNARL-Y, an easy-peasy word that I suspect everyone else saw right away.

fikink 12:26 PM  

@Jon, do not be discouraged - remember, you don't see our sausage-making. Here is some false fill I had today:
[They're green] CARDS
[Plan to catch a criminal] SETATRAP
[Term of address...] MYDEARSIR
[valuable piece of time] GOLDENERA
["sure"] CERTAINLY
Ugly, no?

jeff in chicago 12:37 PM  

Did not care for this one. CEE, ELS/ELLS, OLEOS, EROO, SNARLY, HIGHSPOT, ISAYNO...ugh. Some groaner cluing (IMO). The puzzle and I just weren't a match today.

George NYC 12:40 PM  

Do-Rag reminds me of the sadly departed (from Boston) Manny Ramirez, whose unique style of outfield play often caused the exposure of same under his Hub Cap.

Shamik 12:48 PM  

@imsdave: LOL on the beer joke...hadn't heard that one but can relate.

@Jon: we've all been the fat kid on the cross-country team when solving. Time. Practice. Change in pop culture. And if it's any consolation...gotta call this one a medium-challenging today. Completed it, but my time puts it there for me.

Mis-starts (several similar to others mentioned)
JITTER for fat kids on the cross-country team despite the word JIGGLE.

Shamik 12:48 PM  

Ooops...that's despise

Orange 12:54 PM  

Foodie's comment late last night on yesterday's post made me want to tell her this: "I want to be you when I grow up." I haven't got her e-mail address so a comment here will have to suffice.

Doug 12:58 PM  

I turned on the TV this AM and the first person I saw was ... YAKOV Smirnoff as the Russian astronaut in 2010. Helen Mirren is the Russian captain -- Pop culture buffs know she speaks fluent Russian due to her father's Russian family and her real name is Ilyena Mironov. Now, back to John Tesh.

@imsdave: DORAG is firmly part of American sports culture. My kid got one about 5 years ago when he was 9 and I'd never heard the term, but now hear it all the time. Of course I always thought it was DEWRAG (as in "sweat") instead of hair-DO RAG, but now that I'm 44 I'm showing my increasing age.

@Orange, many of us have read the NYT-ACPT article on you. Your protective peel has been removed :)

Perfect Friday puzzle, well done indeed.

xyz 1:18 PM  

Still pretty new to taking these puzzles fairly seriously and Friday/Saturday is a big struggle for me, only got maybe 15-20% of this one. I refuse to Gooogle.

At least I can clarify:

A GROIN pull is a strain of an adductor muscle; those are along the inner thigh inserting on the ischial tuberosity (Ischium + Ilium + SACRUM = A complete Pelvis). Mostly a groin pull is a euphemism for a scrotal injury. That's sports medicine for ya.

There's an old Bill Cosby routine on "Wonderfulness" that'd'a made a fine YouTube ...

fergus 1:48 PM  

My SIBERIAN was briefly ALEUTIAN in a sort of reverse migration. I even went to CANADIAN, before the slight embarrassment that I should know Yakut right away by now.

Thought about USURP for Topple, since I was very leery about DECIDED for Unquestionable. SASHES instead of GASHES could have worked.

The most economical CLUE reminded me of how the word Parsimonious was the height of complimentary criticism in reviewing academic Economics papers. I never could get over the pejorative associations. I suppose that was fitting for a profession that was vainly struggling to excise any value judgments from the literature.

I almost entered STOPWATCH, due to the question mark in the Clue. Thinking maybe if you could stop time you would be at an advantage. Kinda worked for Nicholson Baker in "The Fermata."

HudsonHawk 1:54 PM  

My first attempt at creating a link. It's almost two minutes in...

GROIN Injury

Chip Hilton 1:56 PM  

Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow in Westport. If the puzzles hammer us, at least we can talk golf (although my wife will want to know more about Mumbai...India being her passion).

It was hardly ho-hum for me today, if that helps. Fridays can be real trials....and Saturdays....yikes. Hang tough.

Bill from NJ 2:01 PM  

I am reminded of the nice Jewish boy who applied for a job as a radio announcer and when his mother asked him why he didn't get the job, he said, "Anti-sem-sem-sem-itism."

mac 2:15 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, but guessed an E instead of an A for Karn/Karnak.

I played with Riga and Omsk, mainly because greedy didn't feel right for the poor pig. Thought 17A would start with "golden" for a bit. I liked a lot of the clueing, as in 13A A call..., 51A Term of address...., and I tend to like multiple word answers; there were quite a few in this one. My husband had to explain the do-rag to me after I got it, and the schnook is a new one for me. I started with ....ook, to make it even harder.

Whenever I'm told some sports figure is injured, I ask: Groin? It seems to happen a lot, poor guys.

Near beer is a great term, but I cringe when I hear okey-dokey! And tummy, and boo-boo, and... don't get me started.

@imsdave, chip hilton, chefbea, Ulrich and Karen, I'm looking forward to the party, oops, tournament! Love nutmeg, and use it on many vegetables. In large quantities it may cause hallucinations, especially in young children.

@Orange: great interview, and success with your new carreer! Completely agree with you re. Foodie! Too bad she can't make it to Brooklyn this year, would love to meet her.

green mantis 2:20 PM  

Is it safe to come out now? Re: Stuff White People Say About How Things Should Be: god help us.

In other news, I'm not sure if I should feel secretly pleased or openly horrified that my brain has compartments for the likes of Richard Karn. I mean, I HATED that show with a hot passion. Meanwhile, I can't remember my license plate number.

chefbea 2:21 PM  

Great comments and jokes today Thanks imsDave and Bill from NJ.

I wanted Jack LaLane or Richard simmons for 1A but they wouldnt fit. Had I am stuffed also.

@ the Redanman thanks for clarifying the pulled

See you Nutmeggers tomorrow

Bill from NJ 2:26 PM  


It is never ho-hum for me on Fridays and Saturdays. On these days of the week it is not about how much you know but how well you can manipulate the language. All those question marks in the clues?

You have to think outside the box, open your mind to possibilities. It's not about how fast you think but about how well you think.

evil doug 2:29 PM  

Jane Fonda is a big name in treason.

From Snopes:

“…in July 1972 actress Jane Fonda arrived in Hanoi, North Vietnam, and began a two-week tour of the country conducted by uniformed military hosts. Fonda posed for pictures in which she was shown applauding North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gunners, was photographed peering into the sights of an NVA anti-aircraft artillery launcher, and made ten propagandistic Tokyo Rose-like radio broadcasts in which she denounced American political and military leaders as "war criminals." She also spoke with eight American POWs at a carefully arranged "press conference," POWs who had been tortured by their North Vietnamese captors to force them to meet with Fonda, deny they had been tortured, and decry the American war effort. Fonda apparently didn't notice (or care) that the POWs were delivering their lines under duress or find it unusual the she was not allowed to visit the prisoner-of-war camp (commonly known as the "Hanoi Hilton") itself. She merely went home and told the world that "[the POWs] assured me they were in good health. When I asked them if they were brainwashed, they all laughed. Without exception, they expressed shame at what they had done."

“To add insult to injury, when American POWs finally began to return home (some of them having been held captive for up to nine years) and describe the tortures they had endured at the hands of the North Vietnamese, Jane Fonda quickly told the country that they should "not hail the POWs as heroes, because they are hypocrites and liars." Fonda said the idea that the POWs she had met in Vietnam had been tortured was "laughable," claiming: "These were not men who had been tortured. These were not men who had been starved. These were not men who had been brainwashed." The POWs who said they had been tortured were "exaggerating, probably for their own self-interest," she asserted. She told audiences that "Never in the history of the United States have POWs come home looking like football players. These football players are no more heroes than Custer was. They're military careerists and professional killers" who are "trying to make themselves look self-righteous, but they are war criminals according to law."

“It is also undeniable that some American soldiers came to harm as a direct result of Fonda's actions, an outcome she should reasonably have anticipated. “


fergus 2:39 PM  

Dear E. Doug, I would prefer to call it freedom to be a knucklehead, and not (high) treason.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

Well-expressed, E.D. I like how you have the courage to say what we're all thinking. A man's man!


evil doug 2:47 PM  

Sure, fergus. Just a silly little mistake by a goofy gal....

Aiding and abetting the enemy isn't being a "knucklehead". If it was your dad, or husband, or brother coming back from Hanoi, maybe you'd feel different....


ziggy martin 3:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
PlantieBea 3:15 PM  

Fun puzzle, but I had a few missteps--the E instead of A for KARN, KARNAK. I also didn't know or remember TYROS, so I struggled a tad in the SW corner. Does anybody use TYRO for newbie?

I knew DORAG after taking my son to the SAT where students were instructed to remove all caps, hats, hoods, and DORAGS. These items can disguise an earbud, I suppose.

fergus 3:20 PM  

I'll resist the temptation to deal with alternative political interpretations. Let's just acknowledge that they exist, that most objective arguments tend to be demagogic (mine included), and drop the topic. Rex might be sharpening his excision tool, by now anyway.

Ulrich 3:21 PM  

In 78, during my first term at SUNY Buffalo, we joined a group of people interested in food who would take turns preparing meals at their house and serving it to other members in the group. One evening, the host was one with a military background, and as we walked in, who were they talking about? Jane #$%^& Fonda! Apparently, members of that demographic are still talking about her, which gives "obsession" a whole new meaning.

Anonymous 3:32 PM  

Don't mention the war!

allan 3:54 PM  

Oh boy, here we go again! From someone who has recently been there, guys, take a step back. Let's not relive the 70's again. Too many painful memories.

I had so many misstarts today, that it wasn't funny.

1. At the zoo for 20a
2. My dear sir for 51a
3. Llama for 18a
4. Final act for 31d
5. Advanced for 32d
6. Schmuck for 37d

I could go on...

Once I got by all those, I said to myself: "Self, this was much easier than you thought."

BTW, did anyone else have difficulty with A.L. East player not being an abbrev.

@ steve I said: Her wiki page differs with your statement.

@ imsDave & Bill: Now that's funny.

bye for now

green mantis 3:54 PM  

Don't feed the evil.

miguel 4:04 PM  

The fill 'LIKE" in this puzzle belongs in front of each of the differently constructed I phrases:
Like, I'M ON A DIET.
Like, I SAY NO!
Like, I'M A ROCK?
A very likable puzzle with like, good stuff in it.

BTW, the cultural wars of the 70's are over. Bringing up 35 year old crap is in worse taste than posting about your solving experience on last week's puzzle. 4D, dude.

Mike the Wino 4:11 PM  

@ziggy, yes, I did have a problem with the ORIOLE not being an abbrev. Can someone explain why this clue is okay?

I knew Richard KARN right away as he was born in my home town and was in my sister's graduating class at Roosevelt High in 1974, three years ahead of me. Also, I like plaid shirts.

Mike the Wino 4:16 PM  

WTF? By the time I posted my comment, ziggy's comment was deleted, and it showed up in Allan's. What happened?

George NYC 4:18 PM  

Because the full name is Baltimore Oriole? Just guessing..

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

Because AL is such a common abbreviation that it really isn't thought of as such any more.
New York NFL Team in 6 letters? You would expect that to indicate an abbreviation?

Mike the Wino 4:39 PM  

@Anonymous @4:30, I see your point, and even concede it, but I just didn't think the clue met standard crossword cluing protocol...

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Started right off the bat with JANEFONDA, only to nix it when it didn't work with NONEFORME. Should trust those instincts more.

My mom used to do Jane Fonda workout videos when I was little, so it was a complete shock when I came across one of her movies ("Cat Ballou," maybe?). Had a similar reaction when I found out Elizabeth Taylor did more than hock perfume.

fikink 4:48 PM  

@Mike the Wino, Allan was reinventing himself as a Dylan aficianado.

Orange 5:14 PM  

@Mike the Wino: Part of me can't help thinking that since Will Shortz is the single most prominent individual in the crossword business, "standard crossword cluing protocol" might well be defined as "what Will is OK with." Maybe Margaret Farrar or Eugene Maleska would take a different stance, but they both died long ago.

@The '70s: Man, what a decade. I learned to read and to ride a bike. Don't get me started on that two-piece Bicentennial romper outfit, either. (It was awesome. Stars!) Plus disco!

Doc John 5:15 PM  

Lots of mis-starts on this one (except for I'M ON A DIET) but finally plugged on through.

OKEY DOKEY, so where's the picture of Hannibal Lecter?

Had Joe Weider instead of JANE FONDA but that gave me the J- a mini-malapop, perhaps?

I also thought DO RAG was spelled "dew".

TYROS was completely new to me. I'll have to try to remember that one.

Richard KARN was the "bear" pin-up guy for quite some time. I don't think he was too happy about it, either.

Mike the Wino 5:36 PM  

@fikink, thanks. I just blew some really good Cabernet out my nose and fried my monitor. Had to go get a spare out.

@Orange, I like "WWIOW" as the protocol. I've done many Farrar and Maleska puzzles and found them too rigid.

liquid el lay 5:47 PM  

No gimmes on this puzzle- had to really muscle through it.

Had some success with the diagonal zone east of the missisippi then got the southwest corner, liking HIGHSPOT, not liking HANSOLO, and then made very difficult progress with the other corners.

KYOTO tipped the SE, but it wasn't pretty

OWLET popped open the NE, and REINA made me go back to REE and go REY, OKEYDOKEY. That made SNARLE (a tangle?) want to be GNARLY, but then I saw the workableness of SNARLY, which was good because I really liked KOS.
I had been trying to work with TWOCENTS up in the NE and clearly it wasn't enough.

About the NE: JANEFONDA? I tried to fit GATORAIDE.. a dozen other things.. JANEFONDA? Man that bummed me out.


Wanted TREE for "forest issue"

Anonymous 6:42 PM  

@allan--What are you talking about? Queen Sofia of Spain, as stated on Wikipedia: Queen Sofía of Spain (née: Princess Sofía of Greece and Denmark; Spanish: Sofía de Grecia y Dinamarca; Greek: Βασίλισσα Σοφία της Ισπανίας; born on 2 November, 1938), is the Queen consort of King Juan Carlos I.

Queen consort of Spain
Consort November 22, 1975 – present
Spouse Juan Carlos I of Spain

I think you're still sore about TIA.

SethG 7:03 PM  

Hola, steve l, me llamo SethG. Y usted, como se llama?

Tom, you might be in Pittsburgh, but you can't possibly be from Pittsburgh. It's "okel-dokel", and you should love it.

GPOs? Just no.

chefwen 7:06 PM  

Really liked the puzzle, usually struggle a lot with Fri and Sat but kind of breezed right along with todays. IMONADIET went in first.

@imsdave - loved the joke, reminded me of an old friend who used to sell crowns to breweries, his favorite saying was "drinking lite beer is like making love in a canoe, &*#@ing near water"

@evildoug - now I know why I never liked that wench.

Anonymous 7:10 PM  

Dorag makes me think of Manny Ramirez but not in a good way. As a Red Sox fan I have nothing but contempt for him. I notice no team has yet signed him.

Rex Parker 7:27 PM  

Any self-respecting Red Sox fan loves Manny and knows that without him, those two recent World Series wins would likely never have happened. He's a post-season hitting terror with the Sox (incl. 11 HRs). He hit over .500 with four HR and slugging over 1.000 for the Dodgers in the post-season last year. He's off-the-charts talented and entertaining as all hell. I miss him. He's overpriced, but so is another great right-handed hitter I could name (who has two fewer rings than Manny).


allan 7:45 PM  

@Mike the Wino: It's all that wine, dude.

What happened was that my boss used my computer to post to his new blog, and I didn't realize I had posted under his name. When I realized it, I:
a) Copied the comment.
b) Deleted the comment.
c) Pasted the comment after signing in under my appellation, and then posted it again.

I was hoping no one noticed.

@Rex: Would that be Arod or Texiera? Oh that's right, Tex is a switch hitter. And what will you think of Manny when he gets his third ring wearing those fab pinstripes?

bye for now

Mike the Wino 8:05 PM  

@allan, sorry for noticing, but thanks for the explanation...I thought I was losing it. Besides, it was just my first glass!


Ulrich 8:18 PM  

@Mike the Wino: "glass"? Puleeze! Any self-respecting wino I know drinks from a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag.

Jeffrey 8:37 PM  

All the World is Disney to me now.Wanted Monorail for ELS since one keeps going past my hotel room every five minutes.

HAN SOLO - Star Wars ride.

GROSS - how you feel after the Star Wars ride.

SCHNOOK - that guy over there in the goofy hat.

KYOTO - Japan pavillion at Epcot.

JIGGLE - that girl over there...never mind.

TEN CENTS - what will get you absolutely nothing here.

OKEY DOKEY puzzle.

chefwen 9:46 PM  

Just looked at my Get Fuzzy calendar and noticed that it is Waitangi Day in New Zealand, so Happy Waitangi Day Mrs. Rex.

Stan 11:47 PM  

This one was not at all easy for me: lots of staring at large blocks of whiteness before a few cracks appeared. But I did finish, with my last letter being the correctly guessed A in KARN/KARNAK. Needed to consult my oven to replace WARM with BAKE.

Liked the way both DORAG and IAMAROCK made no sense on the page until my brain inserted the spaces.

@Rex: excellent defense of Manny...

George NYC 12:51 AM  

Manny consistently produced when it counted--a big deal for red sox fans who, you might remember, saw the sox lose in 86 without Clemens winning a game. He had a great year at bat, on the bases and even fielding in 08 until he let his inner demons get the best of him. The sox were smart to get rid of him then, but, as Rex said, he was a huge element in the sox's breaking through to end their winless world series series string.

Unknown 1:35 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly 1:36 AM  

it's probably too late for me to expect anyone to read this, but great quigley today, yeah?

jae 2:19 AM  

@kelly - Yeah!

Anonymous 3:43 AM  

@kelly, jae
Hey, why not start your own Quigley blog?!

re: this puzzle:
Jane Fonda has always been a hypocrite/chameleon. Never mind the 60s and 70s... During the whole video exercise era she later admitted she was both bulimic and she's had plastic surgery, etc. so so much for all the workouts....
Like Madonna, tho, she does reinvent herself every decade and I suppose you have to give her props for that.
Personally, I not fonda her but she was great in "Klute". And some fabulous character Bree Daniels.
She's a prostitute who wakes up with a dead guy in her bed...
I hate when that happens!

I once saw (or hallucinated?) on Wheel of Fortune a puzzle that had J_NE F_ND_ and they did that horrible bell sound indicating only vowels left and the guy said "Jane Fondu?"

In other news, I'm carpooling down to Morgan Hill for the Silicon Valley Puzzle weekend to give a workshop and compete, both SUdoku AND crosswords...should be tons of fun( with young Tyler Hinman and THE Byron Walden...
so let's hope no crash or there will be a slight hole in the whole Wordplay galaxy!

Daryl 8:46 AM  

@Rex - this Red Sox fan thanks you for the Manny defense. (Defense and Manny don't always go together, as an aside...) One of my favourite hitters to watch, and a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

WilsonCPU 12:31 PM  

I know this is way late for the _real_ NYT solvers, but from us in Syndication Land - HUNTU is Finnish for VEIL. (Many thanks to and their Translate feature.)

Waxy in Montreal 7:59 PM  

KO'ed in the first round by "THEBOXER" which wasn't even in "Sounds of Silence"! Adroitly went downhill from there.

And Jane Fonda - wasn't she the ingenue in Tall Story with Anthony Perkins? Whatever happened to her?

Unknown 8:44 AM  

Misdirection galore here. I was thinking Omsk too, so got stuck with "smelly" for the pig, and 8D and 9D thus "ending" in IDL_ and ANL. Foo.

Got totally false-started in the SW - LEGOS instead of OLEOS, UHF or VHF instead of HOR, and tried to fit AMERIND where SIBERIAN goes (spelled it with two E's, dingit).

NEAR instead of LIKE flummoxed me - I started to put REGALE where TICKLE goes, but SILKS and TAI chi saved me.

I love the double entendre in "A call used to go out for this" - a phone call once cost ten cents, but I actually got it by thinking of "Brother, can you spare a dime?"

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