SATURDAY, Feb. 14, 2009 - J Krozel (Bygone emporium / 1941 Disney film based on a Kenneth Grahame story / Cousin of a greenwing)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none (that I can see)

Word of the Day: YURT - a circular, domed, portable tent used by nomadic peoples of centr
al Asia (

Due to my straitened computer circumstances, today's grid is stolen from another crossword website. I hereby take an OATH (45A: It's taken in court) that I was able to finish today's puzzle unassisted (though I just had a long conversation with my professional fact-checker host about what the hell "ONEC" is).

Pardon me while I go to Amy's site to find out what the ##$ "ON EC" or "ONE-C" stands for. I have been Googling variations for minutes now, looked in one military dictionary, and can't find squat. "1C?" "ONEC?" Well, Amy has it parsed as "ONE-C" and says it's totally unfamiliar to her. I've never not been able to Google an answer in the puzzle, or even confirm the existence of an answer. Very weird. I actually considered ONYC in that space because OGRY seemed a semi-fine answer to 57A: Fee-faw-fum (ogre). "Look out, it's the horrible Fee-faw-fum!" No, that is not scary. 

I really like 53A: "Tell me more ..." ("Please, go on") because it could also have been clued as ["Kindly discontinue your pummeling of me, thug"] 

This puzzle was relatively easy because once you make a minor dent in a 15-letter answer, you can do a lot of damage quickly. I came down out of the NW and threw the first two 15-letter Acrosses down instantly. The third one started out as ROLL OVER ... and then GROUND became clear, so I just waited out the middle until ROLL ON THE GROUND became clear (38A: What some dogs and flaming daredevils do). Despite the "daredevil" part of the clue, I am still imagining burn victims trying to keep from dying. Unpleasant. Kind of being killed by some guy who was driving into ONCOMING TRAFFIC (37A: Bad thing to drive into). It's got a morbid middle, this puzzle.

In the end, the trickiest parts of the puzzle were, not surprisingly, the tiny nooks in the NE and SW. I was watching them out of the corner of my eye the whole time, dreading the moment I'd have to crawl in there and see what puzzle-imploding surprises were waiting for me. Despite an incorrect initial guess of SAP at 8D: Autumn arrival (nip), I did OK up there. Strangely, NO MSG (8A: Notice in a restaurant), which was probably hard for some folks to parse, was the answer that finally cleaned that corner out and got me to change SAP to NIP. Good ol' reliable SNIT was a great help as well (11D: Tizzy). Educatedly guessed the "PARIS" part of "I LOVE PARIS" (18A: "Can-Can" song). Never heard of "IRENE" (16A: 1973 musical for which George S. Irving won a Tony for Best Actor). Wanted "ANNIE." But merciful crosses took care of me.

Then there was the SW, my last stand and the only time when solving the puzzle that I truly came to a halt. I was sure that when I threw PLEASE GO ON in there, I would be done instantly. SLY came quickly (54D: Apt to trick), but then, nothing much. In retrospect, I should have nailed OATH right away, but I didn't (45A: It's taken in court). Coincidentall, NO MSG's symmetrical counterpart, DALLY, was the miracle answer down there (59A: Do nothing worthwhile). My success with DALLY illustrates the power of the Scrabbly letters, and shows why I tend to work crosses where high-value letters sit first. "Y" isn't terribly remarkable in a terminal position, but here it was enough. Higher-value letters tend to dramatically reduce answer possibilities. If I've got a bank of four-letter words to fill in, and all of their last letters are in place, and two of those are "E"s and the other is a "Z" - it's obvious what clue I'm looking at first. [/unrequested lesson]


  • 1A: Unpleasant face covering (egg) - surely someone uses EGG in some facial treatment, somewhere
  • 4A: "O Fortuna" composer (Orff) - I always want to make him ORFE, insofar as I want to make him anything
  • 15A: Fifth-century pope called "The Great" (Leo I) - first thing in the grid. I don't know What that says about me. I almost feel sad.
  • 22A: Member of a NATO land since 2004 (Lett) - this blog helps me, too, sometimes. Conversation about this word several weeks ago made this easy to uncover
  • 26A: Old Mideast org. (UAR) - if it's not "old," it might be UAE
  • 27A: A long one is 12% "longer" than a short one (ton) - can something you don't really know be a gimme. If so, here's an example. "Knew" it before I'd even seen how many letters the answer had.
  • 28A: Emulate a woman, in "I Am Woman" (roar) - HA ha. Great clue.

  • 32A: Aggressive guarding option (man-to-man defense) - glad this didn't involved "enhanced interrogation"
  • 42A: Plasma alternatives, briefly (CRTs) - one of those abbrev's I always forget like LRT or LST or CTN or just tons of other crap
  • 51A: Added power (soup) - mmm, soup
  • 55A: Coin with twelve stars on both the front and back (euro) - as far as I'm concerned, the EURO is like Maine, in that I have never seen it and take its existence on faith.
  • 61A: Surprise winner of 1948: Abbr. (HST) - one of the few things that seem like flat-out gimmes in this puzzle
  • 4D: Number between scenes (olio) - NOT familiar with this definition. I was imagining someone throwing sticks of margarine at the audience - then I realized I was thinking of the wrong OLIO / OLEO.
  • 5D: 1941 Disney film based on a Kenneth Grahame story, with "The" ("Reluctant Dragon") - never seen it. Grahame wrote "Wind in the Willows"
  • 6D: They're sold in oversize rolls (foot-long hotdogs) - I had HOAGIES
  • 7D: Bygone emporium (five-and-ten store) - I think "five-and-dime" is more familiar. Not that this answer is wrong / bad. It's lovely.

  • 32D: Third baseman Melvin (Mora) - he's second-tier baseball crosswordese. First tier = ALOU
  • 35D: Tiny fraction of a foot-pound (erg) - ERG and NSEC (60A: Miniscule part of a 34-Down) are in my crossword utility belt. Luckily, I don't really have to know how to define them in order to be able to use them.
  • 36D: F on a physics exam (farad) - back-to-back physics answers. Daring.
  • 42D: 1969 Omar Sharif title role (Che) - learned it from xwords
  • 44D: Nomadic dwellings (yurts) - there was a ... cafe? hangout? man, I don't even know what it was ... called "The Yurt" at a neighboring college known for its belief that every year is 1967, man. Ironically, my sister went there, and she is the furthest thing from hippie you can imagine, short of Gordon G. Liddy. Well, way short of Liddy, to be fair to her.
  • 45D: Piece of punditry (Op-Ed) - one of my four-letter nemeses. I routinely have trouble parsing it.
  • 46D: Book of Mormon's longest book (Alma) - had no idea
  • 47D: Cousin of a greenwing (teal) - first thing I wanted, and I know virtually nothing about birds
  • 52D: Blog bit (post) - this one is over

Signed (from Plattsburgh), Rex Parker, King of Crossworld


Jeffrey 9:15 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
edith b 9:21 AM  

A rhyming couplet, the Barrymores and a pope, opened this puzzle for me, GREATUNCLE and LEOI. The RELUCTANTDRAGON was a neon for me as I had read most of Kenneth Grahame before I ever saw a Disney movie.

Another rhyming couplet, baseball and the bible, dropped me into the middle of this one as MORA has been in the news and ANOX I knew from Vacation Bible School. This gave me a good start on the triple stacked acrosses, MA**etc and ON**etc and the two guesses I made, MANTOMANDEFENSE and ONCOMINGTRAFFIC, turned out to be right.

I was able to move both North and South to get Fly-over country in a couple of surprisingly easy clumps, a double series of 3 and 4-letter words like CLAN TON UAR and AXEL DON CRTS and pieced together the small closed-off SW, getting the OPED/OATH cross and needing all the crosses for ALMA, not being a Mormon and all, as EMAIL and DALLY came to me by way of SLY. The long PLEASEGOON in the SW got me FOOTLONGHOTDOGS. There was blood in the water and I could smell the end.

Of course, it all broke down in the NE. I spent twice as much time straightening out the mess I made in that small area than I spent on the rest of the puzzle.

Legwork was how it was on this Saturday puzzle. I kept at it and at it and each letter I filled in allowed me to fill in yet another. SOUP YURTS EURO SGTS were all built this way.

EGG LEAK ETAL GORES were built the same way. Nothing obscure, I had seen them all at one time or another.

In the NE, however, I had TRUE for ORAL, TEST for GEST, ESTN (I know, I know) for LETT and no idea about 10D: Simple, could not parse the Can-Can clue or the Tony one either.

I blanked out that whole section and started over. Thank God for Across Lite!

As I stared at the blank space, I actually flirted with the idea of I LOVE NAZIS, you know, France, WWII, which, as it turns out is the flip side of the STARE AT IT method, and it turned out to be the key to this one because I was able to see the correct answer which got me NIP and ORAL and the rest fell neatly into place.

I really do love Paris, Doctor Greene.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

I had a similar experience as Rex. I got a few of the long ones (GREATUNCLE was my first entry) and that opened up vast expanses of the puzzle.

Also like Rex the NE and SW were the last to fall.

I think ONEC refers to draft classifications. Showing my age a 1-A meant you were bound for Vietnam shortly. 2-S meant you could finish college before going to 'Nam. I was 3-A (married with a child) and so missed the entire experience. But I still remember the classifications because it was literally a life-and-death issue in my youth.

Only slip-up in the puzzle (and I'm kicking myself for it) was crossing LURTS with DULL. I remembered that there was an Asian tent that ended _URT but couldn't retrieve the Y. And DULL sounded reasonable for "As required."

So I'll agree with Rex's "Easy-Medium" rating.

Jeffrey 9:23 AM  

Blogger hates me today. Take three.

Plattsburgh is where I did my cross-border shopping in my youth [followed by Buffalo and Bellingham].

Trouble are was upper North (west of Plattsburgh, say Massena); ORFF always looks wrong. I do like the double-double F's in the puzzle, like you find in Jeffrey.

Crossword utility belt should be a sunday answer - Batman's solving aid?

Not my favorite Krozel, but a good Saturday.

JannieB 9:34 AM  

I feel lucky to have solved this one. Definitely not easy for me. I had a few quick gimmes and once again, did a lot of staring. Had no trouble in the NE, sort of worked clockwise from there with the Dakotas the last fill (Orff, Olio Outer). I think Five & Ten store is awkward - should be either Five & Dime or Five & Ten CENT store. Loved the clue for EGG.

Since One-A is a xword staple, I knew the military thing was One-??; I just waited to see what the letter was.

I thought this was a great workout for a Saturday. Thanks, Joe.

Kurt 9:37 AM  

Well, I seem to be back from the alternate universe, although I would rate this as more easy then medium.

Many long answers seemed obvious and came quickly. NO MSG, I LOVE PARIS, ONCOMING TRAFFIC, MAN TO MAN DEFENSE, GREAT UNCLE, PLEASE GO ON. Everything else seemed to follow pretty nicely.

My only debate came at the ORFF/OLIO cross. But Mr. Orff emerged from somewhere in the dark recesses after a minute or so.

It's good to be back in the real world.

Puzzle Girl, did you make it back?

Happy Valentines Day!

Bill from NJ 9:40 AM  

bigredanalyst is correct. In the Vietnam era, ones draft classification was everything.

This article explains it all.

I was originally 2S because I was in college, then 3A when my daughter was born.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Was anyone else besides me thinking of rolls of some sort of paper in 6D? And "LEDS" (TVs) for 42A?

Coop 10:02 AM  

If you check out Selective Service System under Wikipedia you find the classification system includes status one-c meaning "on active duty"

jubjub 10:12 AM  

So YURTS is a word ... I figured I'd just made a mistake somewhere in the crosses ...

I liked the long answers, as I would get them in pieces. GREAT??, FOOTLONG??, ??DRAGON, ROLLO??

I didn't make it all the way through the puzzle, though, as I couldn't get any traction in the NE.

ArtLvr 10:12 AM  

This took me forever! 42A seemed to be Sera as the Plasma alternative, not CRTS. 29D, Away in a way, was In the rough, not ON FURLOUGH. The dogs and daredevils I saw as trying to jump througn (flaming) hoops, not ROLL ON THE GROUND, etc.

I finally worked it all out, but had to google IRENE to clear up the mess in the NE. I put DST for the Autumn arrival (Rex, sap comes up the spring!) and I wanted Lark for an Adventure, not GEST. So yesterday was lots easier for me, all in all...


ArtLvr 10:18 AM  

p.s. The triple stacks crossing the center top-to-bottom and side-to-side deserve special mention! Thanks, Joe...

chipperj 10:24 AM  

I may get "egg" on my face for saying this, but let's Carl the whole thing "Orff".

I thought that the North Sea (NSEA) was a minescule part of Finland (FIN)..oops I guess a "MAN TO FAN DEFENSE" is less than aggressive.

chefbea 10:25 AM  

Was hard but not as hard as yesterday. Speaking of which, I went to the grocery store after doing the puzzle and the first thing I saw in the produce department was a large display of pomelos!!

Wanted wind in the willows. Knew nomsg. I love soup and now I learned a new meaning for the word.

My husband lived in Plattsburg as a child. I have never been there

Having foot long hot dogs tonight with my grand daughters.

Happy valentines day to all

Pythia 10:37 AM  

Love YURTS. They're also available as shelters for nomadic skiers in Colorado.

FIVE AND TEN STORE seems just plain wrong. Five-and-ten-cent store, five-and-ten, five-and-dime = yes. Five-and-ten-store = no. Google shows almost nothing for this one and lots for the others.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.


Rex Parker 10:37 AM  

@edith and everyone else,

Likelihood that readers will read (and possibly respond to) your comment is inversely proportional to comment length. Or nearly so. In a Comments section, concision is a virtue. Thanks for listening.


Anonymous 10:39 AM  

This also took me forever, and finally my husband said I was taking too long and that we had things to do. So I googled Orff, I Love Paris, and Irene and was able finally to get out of the NE corner. I must say that in spite of that I thought the puzzle was doable and perhaps I could have finished given some more time. And it was a fun puzzle with some clever clues.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

@Liquid - At one time I had this image of the typical NYT crossword solver sitting by the ocean, quickly writing down each answer (in ink), so that he could continue his study of Socrates or whatever. At that time, it never occurred to me that I could solve one as well. So thanks for answering, and I hope you find the perfect sitution for solving. And Happy Valentine's Day.

joho 10:55 AM  

I can't believe I finished without help!

Had a lot of misstarts: Out To Lunch & Out of Touch for ON FURLOUGH. Hor for ACR. Tree for CLAN. LCDS for CRTS. Sep. for NIP.

Eventually I fixed everything and ended up loving this puzzle: thank you Joe Krozel, as always, you rock.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

I started poorly by reading 'Unpleasant face' covering, instead of Unpleasant 'face covering', so I put in BAG instead of EGG. Does that make me a bad person?

xyz 11:16 AM  

1-C is a draft status, something you young-uns don't have a clue about.

You wanted to be 4-F from a knee injury, that was a good one

the clue wasn't fair, that's all, just not crossword-easy enough.

Those little white cards put some of us to tough decisions

Signed #42

Leon 11:18 AM  

Thanks for the puzzle Mr. Krozel.

RP linked O Fortuna in his June 29, 2008 write-up.

Quite a bestiary today: OGRE, OX (not hugs and kisses-referencing the behemoth in Job), DRAGON and GOON (PLEASE GOON if you parse it wrong.)

I was # 266 in the 70's draft lottery which saved my 2-S.

Doug 11:22 AM  

This is a link to a site featuring Bentonville, AK's "Walton's Five and Ten Cent Store." Colloquially it's "5 and dime" and although "five and ten cent store" is outdated now, it's legitimate. If anyone is interested, here's the origin of the word dime.

Had to google for the NE (IRENE, PARIS, ORFF) and otherwise found it very challenging yet doable. Man, it must be hard to find 6 x 15-letter answers like that.

janie 11:48 AM  




"ev'ry picture tells a story, don't it?"

and a great puzzle, too!!



Shamik 11:53 AM  

Wow...i'm in the minority today thinking of this one as challenging. And I was Naticked with OLIO/ORFF making it an ALIO/ARFF. This was quite a slog, although I am happy for new fill that isn't often seen. Am surprised how many are unfamiliar with YURTS.

Other mis-steps:
SERA for CRTS (wrong plasma)

Not an easy one for me by a longshot.

edith b 11:53 AM  

I've heard of the "five-and-dime" and the "five-and-ten-cent store" but I've never heard it referred to as a "five-and-ten store."

I don't think that last one is "in the language."

Chorister 12:08 PM  

@Shamik - maybe it's the nice weather but I had troubles too. Some of the same ones you did. I had a big blank at NOMSG, got EGG pretty quickly, and had LCDS for CRTS.

Greene, Greene? You out there? I'm waiting for something on that Musical Comedy Corner. Where I tried to put Alloutte, by the way, falling neatly into Krozel's trap.

treedweller 12:09 PM  

I guess I'm not the only feeling lucky that Wind in the Willows would not fit. I got DRAGON pretty early, but took a long time finding RELUCTANT--never heard of it.

I looked at grass-eating and tried to make a cow work for awhile, but found ANOX immediately after AXEL.

When the cancan wasn't sabre dance, I was clueless. Trying ILOVEmusic made that last corner impossible, and I finally googled IRENE. That gave me "true" for ORAL, which meant no NOMSG, and I ended up copying off of Orange's paper just to be done with the thing. ORFF! After more than an hour, with plans to go out to a friend's as soon as I finished, I just wasn't that into it anymore.

But I did enjoy the long ones (though I'd like to see a man-to-fan defense, per @chipperj, and the puzzle overall. thanks, JK and WS.

@opus2 I had bag for awhile, too.

@joho I was also out to lunch awhile.

Orange 12:12 PM  

Stop, picture thief! Sorry I let you down by not spending any time looking up ONEC. I'm pretty much hoping that entry won't be used in future puzzles and I won't need to know what it means.

Oh, yeah—Rex is right. My comment tolerance runs about two inches. If the first paragraph grabs me, I might keep going, but if the comment is five to ten paragraphs, I usually start scrolling to the next comment.

My mom says they called 'em "dime stores" and "five and ten stores" or, more so after the '81 play/'82 movie Come Back to the Five and DIme, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, "five and dimes."

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

It's been noted that ONEC is One-C the selective service service classification for active duty. But Rex's parsing also sort of works because ON E C is an abbreviation for "on extended call-up," which is basically a reserve on active duty.

hazel 12:23 PM  

@SHAMIK & CHORISTER - you're not alone. I didn't think this one was particularly easy either (easier than y'day, but for me, that's not saying much).

Now that One-C has been cleared up (I also flirted with OGRY/ONCY) - here's the 411 on FEE-FAW-FUM. The dictionary defines it as something ogres say. But this weird (gaming?) site at site describes a fee-faw-fum (fum for short) as a dangerous little imp that enjoys isolating and terrifying trespassers. They have large eyes, which glow with an eerie orange-green light. Their flesh is oily and black, and they smell like tobacco juice. They hide in the shadows and claw intruders with their needle-nailed hands.

So, pretty disgusting - like an ogre.

chefbea 12:24 PM  

We just said "I'm going to Woolworths"

PlantieBea 12:40 PM  

This was a challenging puzzle and I was only able to solve it using the group method here on sunny Captiva. Had to google IRENE--had EVITA, but then the last NE corner resolved.

We are planning on moving into a YURT in Wisconsin (very affordable we hear) once last child is in college. Plans can be found in Mother Earth News...

Anonymous 1:07 PM  

the 15's are nice, though the one-way-in NE corner really wasn't great for me. the real issue is that the entry I LOVE PARIS stops at the LOVE / PARIS word boundary, so even if you get the first two, that third word could be anything if you've never heard of the song. this is unlike the SW corner, where you can at least get the E of PLEASE even if you don't have anything in that corner.

poc 1:11 PM  

Never heard of "fee-faw-fum" as an OGRE. I do remember "Fee-fie-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman" from Jack and the Beanstalk, but that's *said* by the ogre (or giant).

I also had doubts about OLIO, but it turns out to be correct, if not the principal usage.

foodie 1:13 PM  

YURTS seem big in some parts of California. Best YURT I've been in--in Big Sur, atop a hill, where you can take some Yoga classes (Great restaurant nearby with the most amazing views ever).

That 3x3 cross at the heart of the puzzle was awesome and I agree with Rex, made it easier to solve once you got a foothold. Corners were more of a struggle, but I loved EGG (and Opus 2's BAG alternative :)

alanrichard 1:22 PM  

I got roar and built off of that. I was probably motivated by my wife yelling at me!
Just when i thought there was a tie in with OGRE and PleaseGOON, I realized there wasn't - ha ha.
This was another easy Saturday and I agree that YURTS was the new word of the day. There were loads of gimmies inthis puzzle, which included ALL the long ones.

HudsonHawk 1:47 PM  

Nice puzzle, Joe K. It was about a medium for me. I had just read the Michael Lewis cover story in the NYT Magazine on Shane Battier and bringing Money Ball to basketball, so the MAN TO MAN DEFENSE was in the forefront of my brain and was my first long entry.

With ONCOMING TRAFFIC next, it confirmed my suspicion about GREAT UNCLE and I was flying. But like Rex, I slowed down in the SW and finished in the NE. I did struggle a bit with FOOT LONG HOT DOGS as I was also thinking along the lines of toilet paper, not buns...

fergus 1:54 PM  

Kinda want to call a foul on ERG today since it's a Metric unit Clued by a British one. Technically true but inelegant. Also, the SOUP business seemed wrong, but I'll have to assume that after you've Souped up an engine it's got Soup.

The top corner regions were very sticky for me today. Almost left in PORT for Battery since that could work. SPOT stuck for a while as Tizzy, and GEST (which gets spell-checked) seemed a little dubious. Archaic in my dictionary -- any stage of a journey.

OUTER took a long while coming, only to yield the thud of OLIO. I was heading toward the pain-erasing interpretation of Number, at that point.

With my company VIPs as SCTS I tried OUT TO LUNCH before deferring to the FURLOUGH. That's what public employees in California are forced to go on, at the moment.

The 15s came through with good Saturday satisfaction. Only glitch there was DIG for Get into, but that switched to DON without a hitch. It's a bit Sadistic, but I do find it amusing to picture a flaming daredevil thrashing about on the ground.

fikink 2:08 PM  

Enjoyable, steady puzzling this morning, bathed in ROARing sunshine: SOUP brought to mind Brother Dit and glass-packed mufflers; heard "Away, in a way" in my "veil-of-tears" mother's voice and threw in OUT OF TOUCH; and wanted UNCHARTED WATERS for "A bad thing to drive into," but isn't driving a boat a little like pitching a basketball?

jae 2:16 PM  

Easy-medium for me too, except for NE and the ORFF/OLIO cross which I got but had no confidence in. Interesting to see OLIO, GEST, and TEAL again a day later. I also tried SAP even though I was pretty sure maple trees are tapped in late winter/early spring. Never heard of ORFF or IRENE. Must not have been paying attention back in June 08.

I got to be ONEC in 65 when my dad turned me into the draft board after I got kicked out of college.

jae 2:18 PM  

Oh, and I liked this one. Nice meaty Sat.

George NYC 2:25 PM  

I take (minor) issue with CRT. Nowadays, LCD is clearly the alternative to PLASMA in that those are the two options once you've decided to go flat-screen. CRT really refers only to computer monitors of old. Otherwise a solid puzzle.
PS: My mother used to say "let's go to the five and dime STORE." Maybe it's a Boston thing.

mac 2:31 PM  

Greene is going to have a good time today!

For me this puzzle was tough, certainly tougher than yesterday. I probably should have given it a little more time, but I've got things to do. Only know "Wind in the Willows" and tried to take a letter out to make it fit; instead of one-C I had on a.d. (active duty), with the rolls I immediately thought of yesterdays stamps. Gest two days in a row? Also had "dig" for get into.

It's an impressive piece of work, but somehow not very enjoyable today.

evil doug 2:37 PM  

The world changed when S.S. Kresge became K-Mart.

What fun wandering Woolworth's, Kresge, Ben Franklin. Always a necessary stop when we rode our bikes uptown. Penny candy at the bike shop. Cherry Cokes at the drug store counter. Check out the 45's at the music shop. Then model cars, Mad Magazine, Archie comics, cheap toys and "notions" at the dime store, separated in little bins by glass dividers with prices clipped on top.

Won't get caught dead now in Wal-Mart, Sam's, K-Mart or the other soulless big boxes.


Doug 2:41 PM  

For the longest time I had ONKP as in Kitchen Patrol. With "Currently serving" I thought it was a great clue and answer. Oh well.

SethG 3:09 PM  

NO MSG was my first answer, then nothing else in that corner 'til the rest of the puzzle was complete. The only thing I LOVE is a parade--never heard of the song or the musical up there. That's certainly a tough stacking for some of us.

Still not quite sure how the LETT clue should be parsed--isn't a LETT just someone from Latvia? Am I a "member" of a NATO land since 1949? When did I join? Where's my newsletter? If I ever have to go 1-C, I'm totally gonna try to become a member of the NOAA.

I used to think I was AN OX, but I'm a rat. Egg is used.

Paul 3:49 PM  

I gave up on this puzzle after sinking in Maine (I had SEATS, ANNIE, SAP, and bupkis thereafter). This was a toughie overall for me, even with several gimmes including YURTS.
Apparently yurts are a left-coast phenomenon. Here in Oregon we have them in some of our campgrounds. Since this state is not significantly populated by Mongol descendants I can only assume yurts have other, practical benefits for those seeking a semi-outdoor experience.

Oregon's Yurtic Accomodations

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

If you fill in a 15 early, you can, indeed, get excellent traction. My first two fills were ORFF and LEOI, so on the strength of FI- I confidently wrote in FILENESBASEMENT for 7D. That left me staring at a lot of empty space for a very long time. As a firm believer in the "If you stare at it long enough, it will come" method of solving, I did eventually fill in the blanks, but I agree with all the above comments about the clunkiness of FIVE AND TEN STORE.

chefwen 4:12 PM  

@opus2 LOL

Had a lot more fun today than the bloodbath I went through yesterday.
Had to do a minor bit of googling, but with my Friday and Saturday skill level being what it is, it's necessary. Filled in ROAR first followed by NO MSG (usually found in Asian restaurants) then, don't ask me why but I put down granduncle, HUH? What the heck is a granduncle? OH, greatuncle, well that makes everything easier.
Enjoyable and doable puzzle.

Anonymous 4:19 PM  

I don't know if I am getting better at this or if the Saturdays are getting easier. Anyhow, I got through this one without trouble, though I puzzled over lett for a while.

I am old enough that draft classifications are all-too-familiar, but have to admit that I never knew 1-C.

Debsanger 5:12 PM  

My father used to sing to us:

"I found a million dollar baby in a 5 and 10 cent store"

Here's Bing doing it:

Anonymous 6:23 PM  

A gram is a tiny fraction of a pound, just as an erg is a tiny fraction of a foot-pound. But, hey, you shouldn't be allowed to mix scientific and English units. No fair.

Anonymous 6:54 PM  

Yes, joaniejaya, I too thought 6D would be rolls of newsprint or giant-sized Charmin.

My biggest problem was 21A Edgy? which I was convinced was "outre" -- thereby messing up the much-debated fiveandtenstore (7D).

Now that we've seen Orff (4A), I challenge a constructor to use ORF in a future puzzle and give some publicity to Norfolk International Airport, which isn't very international but uses ORF as its listing name.

Greene 7:05 PM  

Wow! Two puzzles in a row that seem to have been custom written with me in mind. It's enough to make me want to come to the puzzle competition in Brooklyn. But I know this is just a fluke and come Monday, we'll be back to the sports clues and pop music clues I know nothing about. It sure has been a great weekend for me though.

Even I was surprised about the IRENE clue. Who the heck would know that except musical freaks like me? Incidentally, George S. Irving won the Tony for Featured Actor in a Musical, not Best Actor as the clue suggests. Best Actor in a Musical that season went to Ben Vereen for Pippin.

The early 1970s was a strange time on Broadway. Rock music had consumed the culture and Hair had demonstrated that rock music could be effectively used on Broadway. This led to a barrage of really bad, incoherent rock musicals like Dude and Via Galactica that horrified traditional theatre goers.

Then in 1971 this really snazzy production of No, No, Nannette came to town (yes, Nannette, and it was pretty good too) and the nostalgia flood gates opened. This led to the 1973 retread of Irene which starred Debbie Reynolds and featured Mr. Irving as Madame Lucy, an effeminate clothing designer played for gay laughs. While the original Irene (1919) was an intimate period peice with ethnicity politics satirizing society hypocrites, the 1973 version was just a slick piece of product, completely devoid of period charm, and featuring a cobbled together score from disparate sources that was later characterized as "show-biz body snatching."

I LOVE PARIS seems like fairer game as the song has been widely recorded and even haters of musicals still hear it in elevators from time to time.

@EdithB: I LOVE NAZIS? Is that from The Producers? I'm still laughing over that one and Cole Porter is turning over in his grave.

SethG 7:40 PM  

So you made me curious Greene, and I listened to the song. I...uh, well, I guess I'm glad I don't ride many elevators. Didn't Muzak just go bankrupt?

Orf is also a viral disease widespread in sheep and goats, and ORF won the Twin Cities Ultimate League's 2008 Fall league championship.

Greene 8:32 PM  

@SethG: I can't understand why you wouldn't like I LOVE PARIS. It was all the rage in 1953. Your grandfather would have loved it! :)

For you hipsters, try this rendition featuring Frank Sinatra. Theatre traditionalists will probably prefer Patti Lupone at Encores! I love 'em both.

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

Can someone pls. Explain 27A? Ton?

Ladel 11:23 PM  

@anon 10:46

Ton as in weight measurement, go here for more info.

treedweller 11:29 PM  

@anon 10:46
only because I read Orange's blog yesterday, I can tell you a ton in North America is AKA "short ton" and is 12% smaller than the UK's long ton.

treedweller 11:31 PM  

By the way, be careful when you go to Orange's site if you don't want to accidentally see spoilers for Sunday's puzzle, as she has already written about it.

dk 11:58 PM  

@anon 10:46,

The British ton is the long ton, which is 2240 pounds, and the U.S. ton is the short ton which is 2000 pounds.

Both tons are actually defined in the same way. 1 ton is equal to 20 hundredweight. It is just the definition of the hundredweight that differs between countries. In the U.S. there are 100 pounds in the hundredweight, and in Britain there are 112 pounds in the hundredweight. This causes the actual weight of the ton to differ between countries.

To distinguish between the two tons, the smaller U.S. ton is called short, while the larger British ton is called long.

There is also an third type of ton called the metric ton, equal to 1000 kilograms, or approximately 2204 pounds. The metric ton is officially called tonne.

Orange 12:04 AM  

Treedweller is only half right. Yes, I've blogged about the Sunday puzzle already. But if you go to the main page for Crossword Fiend, you will see exactly zero spoilers unless you click a "Read More..." link. I keep the spoilers behind that wall so that folks who are a day or two behind on their puzzles can visit my blog without running into spoilers for newer crosswords.

treedweller 12:20 AM  


. . . but someone who just ran over to your site and clicked on the first entry might be surprised, so I still maintain one should be careful.

The link I provided goes straight to Saturday, BTW, so it would potentially spoil the puzzle. But I assume anyone clicking on that link already did Saturday's puzzle.

But I didn't mean to imply you fail to take due diligence to protect those who don't want the spoilers--thanks for your efforts.

mac 1:00 AM  

@Greene: I knew you were going to love today's puzzle. I didn't fare too well, didn't have much time, so a disappointing puzzle day for me. I did go to your link to hear "I love Paris", and I'm so happy I did. It was familiar, and I like it a lot!

liquid el lay 3:49 AM  

Maine, and, I guess, vermont and new hampshire were left unpopulated, though I had ..PARIS.
Also, in the area of the dakotas I missed the O of ORFF and the L of LEOI.

I suppose I should have studied on the meanings of OLIO and GEST which were in yesterdays puzzle, and I got, but only through crosswords, and I didn't bother to find out what they mean!

On ergs and foot-pounds: when you are crossing measurement systems "fraction" is the best word. Within a system "division" would be better.
An ounce is a division of a quart but a fraction of a liter.

FIVEANDTENSTORE was my favorite

ROLLONTHEGROUND was very nicely clued. It was my first long answer and it cracked me up.
(by the way, flaming daredevils rolling on the ground is not morbid- if they're running with their arms flailing it is.)

Solved it (almost) with a neophyte friend who got a kick out of the humorous long answers too.

poc 8:35 AM  

@dk: the differences in units between US and British (or Imperial) also occurs with fluid quantities. An Imperial pint is about 20% more than a US liquid pint, and so on. Important to remember when following recipes :-)


davko 9:07 AM  

I was cruising along with the promise of perfection in sight until I ran into the minefield of the NE corner. I stubbornly clung to SAP for 8D -- it just seemed too good a fit -- before reluctantly abandoning it for a surprising number of candidates, including HAY and EAR (of corn), before arriving upon the clever NIP. And I too had trouble parting company with ANNIE (16D), vaguely remembering a play called "My Sister Irene" and wondering if it had become source material for a musical. No matter if it did; the down crosses fit just fine.

Stan 11:04 AM  

@opus2: My wife laughed out loud at BAG. She says you are not a bad person.

thornibus 11:56 AM  

I'm with opus2 - nailed Greatuncle first, BAG had to follow. Loved ZIT though. Now there's a bad person !

Unknown 1:33 PM  

King Rex-drop your ego down a few notches and you may see the correct answer faster. They say the ego is always at the wheel, ergo blocking the neuronal light.

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

Actually G. Gordon Liddy or George Gordon Liddy but we get the idea.

Dr. DAN 1:00 AM  

Hi guys first time poster, just want to see if this thing works ?. I slogged my way thru this puzzle even after great uncle fell .In the nw it never occured to put egg, thought about bag,goo,rag,gag. a fri. or sat. is considered successful under ten cheats. Yesterdays puzzle was way easy compaired to today. The whole damn thing is a learning experience even though it drives up my BP. and makes me nuts. Oh what sweet masochism. Dr. DAN

Dr. DAN 1:11 AM  

OKKKKKKKK I see my post,how about any else out there in this ether mess please say Hi

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