1920s-'60s Tennessee congressman B. Carroll - SATURDAY, April 11 - K.M. Tracey (Feature of 1925 opera Wozzeck / Historical decorum disdainer)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Theme: None

Word of the Day: ROSE APPLE, Syzygium is a genus of flowering plants that belongs to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The genus comprises about 1100 species, and has a native range that extends from Africa and Madagascar through southern Asia east through the Pacific. Its highest levels of diversity occur from Malaysia to northeastern Australia, where many species are very poorly known and many more have not been described taxonomically. ... [A] few [species] produce edible fruit that are eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies.... (Wikipedia)

Hey, everybody. PuzzleGirl here trying to keep things rolling while Rex is off in a tropical paradise. Actually, right now he's probably in an airport somewhere and if it's in Miami, chances are he just went through a door that took him out of the secure part of the airport and is right now, at this minute, trying to figure out how to get back through and wondering how the heck that happened. Not that that's ever happened to me.

So the kids are on Spring Break this week and it's been a loooong week. PuzzleHusband has a big thing going on at work so he's been leaving in the morning before I wake up and not coming home until after I'm already asleep, which means I've been single-parenting it this week. I honestly don't know how single parents do it. So the weather was kind of yucky today and PuzzleSon's neck has been hurting him so he didn't want to go swimming again, so we just hung around the house all day. The kids have decided that they want to learn to sing so they can audition for "American Idol" when they're old enough. PuzzleSon is particularly interested in the fact that there's a 16-year-old girl on the show right now who "must be missing a lot of school!" So they spent the whole day — and I mean the whoooole day — singing along to our Tivo'd episode of the "Top 9" doing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." They promised to keep practicing tomorrow. There's no way that song will find its way back out of my head until, I'd say, 2011. Luckily for me, it's a pretty good song (and the "Idol" contestants did a nice job with it). Hey, you know what? I'm going to let you judge for yourself:

Okay, okay, the puzzle. Have you done today's L.A. Times puzzle yet? The first thing I noticed about this grid was how cool it looked — and how similar to the LAT grid!

Speaking of the L.A. Times puzzle, you know there's a new blog about it, right? Check it out!

The second thing I noticed was Karen Tracey's name — yay! I think of Karen's puzzles, in general, as really smooth. What some commenters here call "tough but fair." And that's exactly what you want your late-week NYT, right? I blew through most of the left side of this puzzle and then came to a screeching halt. I say "most of" the left side, because that NW corner gave me a lot of trouble, despite the gimmes at 14A: SACAJAWEA (Her face began to circulate in 2000), 21A: ARNAZ ("Holiday in Havana" star, 1949), 1D: ASADA (Carne ___ (roasted beef dish)), and 3D: U. CONN. (Big East b-ball powerhouse). Seems like that should have been enough to make it fall, right? Wrong. For the longest time I thought Babar might be Mongolian for "hero" — you know, maybe that's why the elephant was given that name? I know. I was reaching there. But that kept ATONALITY (17A: Feature of the 1925 opera "Wozzeck") completely hidden from me for a long time. I actually had to Google both 6D: Child actor Carl who played Alfalfa (SWITZER) and 19A: "Lucrezia Borgia" composer (DONIZETTI) before I could make that corner fall. I'd like to believe I would have cracked it on my own had I let it sit overnight, but with the pressure to blog, I just didn't have that luxury.

What Else?
  • 5A: Equal measures?: Abbr. (TSPS). This one also contributed to my problems in the NW corner. At first I had nths, thinking that it just meant ... well, I don't know. I can't even make sense of it now. Because of the word "measures" in the clue, I did keep thinking teaspoons but couldn't figure out what that had to do with "equal." D'oh!
  • 9A: Undercroft (CRYPT). Never heard this word before. Undercroft, that is. I've heard of crypt.
  • 20A: 1920s-'60s Tennessee congressman B. Carroll ___ (REECE). I looked him up to see if there's any reason I would/should know him and ... nothing. Okay, he served in the House longer than anyone else in Tennessee history, but I'm guessing if you're not from Tennessee that's not a piece of knowledge that easily retainable. (And definitely not inferable. I mean if it was someone named Jackson or Gore or, I don't know, Parton or Presley — something you might associate with Tennessee.)
  • 22A: A Buddhist might be found in one (ZEN STATE). My first thoughts were temple and ashram. Once I got the -EN, I was hoping it would be ZEN-something, but it still took a while to appear.
  • 28A: Clip (SCISSOR). Ooh, that one hurts a little.
  • 32A: Enters gradually (SEEPS IN). I had slips in at first, but realized that would be more like entering unobtrusively, not gradually.
  • 36A: Historical decorum disdainer (FLAPPER). Okay, this is funny. First I had slapper, thinking someone who disdained decorum would slap an offending party, then realized, no, in that case the decorum disdainer would be the slappee, so I changed it to that. Eventually found my way to FLAPPER.
  • 38A: Outdated communications (TELEXES). Way back in the old days....
  • 39A: Dramatic exhalation (SIGH). PuzzleDad and I used to have a kind of contest to see who could make the longest, most pathetic sounding sigh. He usually won.
  • 44A: "Something to Talk About" Grammy winner, 1991 (RAITT). That's a great one, but here's my favorite Bonnie Raitt song:

  • 49A: Bum (MOOCH). Both words mean "to borrow."
  • 52A: Gut flora (ECOLI). I'm not going to say anything about this one.
  • 53A: Gut reaction? (DIGESTION). Or this one. Hello! Breakfast test!
  • 57A: Gershwin title character (BESS). As in "Porgy & ..."
  • 58A: Musical score abbr. (CRES.). Crescendo.
  • 4D: "Lost" actress Raymonde (TANIA). She plays Alex, the daughter of that nutty French woman and Ben Linus. Wait? Was she really his daughter? I watch that show religiously, and after every single episode I go, "What just happened?" It's very confusing is what I'm saying.
  • 5D: Related thing (TALE). Ooh, this one was tough for me to get too. I was thinking it meant "a thing that's related to something else," but it really means, "a thing that you would relate to (i.e., tell) someone else." Tricky!
  • 11D: Musical accompaniment to many a comedic chase scene (YAKETY SAX). Oh sure, why not?

  • 13D: River near Hadrian's Wall (TYNE). Again with the rivers!
  • 15D: Adds spice to (JAZZES UP). Nice jazzy entry.
  • 25D: Some a cappella music (MOTETS). I had notet at first, which isn't actually, ya know, a word. I was thinking nonet but already had that first T in there. Oops.
  • 30D: On one's game (IN A GROOVE). And a nice groovy entry!

  • 37D: Drumbeat (RUBADUB). I don't really know what this means. I put it on my list to look up so I could talk about in this write-up but now it's late and I'm exhausted. If you know what this means, please enlighten us in the comments!
  • 51D: Bucolic backdrops (LEAS). Bucolic is one of those words that doesn't sound like what it means. I think it's too close to colic to make me put it in the "pleasant" category.
Okay, I'm outta here for now. I'll probably be back tomorrow and then you'll get a break from me — for a few days anyway.

Love, PuzzleGirl


chefbea 9:10 AM  

first things first - great write up puzzle girl but the heading says Friday April 11th. Today is saturday

Never heard of carne asada. I'll have to look that up.

Also rose apple and I make lots of jams and jellies

PhillySolver 9:13 AM  

Hello all...back from Spring Break and see many others are still away. chefbea, try the asada, it is easy and tasty. Loved this puzzle and the struggle I had in the NE. slipsin and yaketyack (don't talk back) were HOARY errors for me.

John 9:22 AM  

I knew ASADA from Taco Bell comercials. A VERY enjoyable puzzle AND writeup. Thank You PuzzleGirl!

Parshutr 9:27 AM  

I shared the SLIPSIN problem, and tried INTHEZONE (better, to my liking than the "true" answer INAGROOVE.
But the puzzle was just a leetle hohum for a Saturday.
Off to the course, even though the temp hasn't risen to the 40s yet; I'll have a TUBORG afterwards.

Parshutr 9:27 AM  

Maybe a little CARNE ASADA with the TUBORG!

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

@ Puzzlegirl: Whatever you said a few days ago about not being able to multi-task, your write-up proves your multi-tasking skill are not only alive but in excellent condition.

Karen Tracey seems to have given us a bit of a musical theme today, with extra points for diversity: DONIZETTI vs YAKETYSAX; MOTET vs ATONALITY; plus CRES, JAZZESUP, and (Porgy and) BESS.

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

With tornados all around, we were sent to my church's undercroft twice yesterday during the noon Good Friday service. Crypt is a far cry from our undercroft, so I never made the connection. Also, despite living in Tennessee all my life, I never heard of Caroll Reece. He must be from West Tennessee.

bigredanalyst 9:48 AM  

I thought this was an excellent Sat puzzle (and write-up, tnx puzzlegirl) - looks impossible on first glance but eventually it's very doable.

TUBORG was a gimme and then nothing.

The NE and SW proved to be the hardest quadrants for me.

But the SW broke open when I guessed SOPHOCLES from _ _ PHO_ _ ES.

I'd rate the puzzle a solid "Medium;" thanks Karen.

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

I got the bottom fine but between the opera, proper names, and a word I'd never heard of (undercroft), I didn't stand a chance on the top.

It was interesting how the level of difficulty went this week (for me at least):
Mon: .1
Tue: .2
Wed: 1
Th: 2
Fri: 3
Sat: 9.9

chefbea 10:02 AM  

let's raise our Tuborg to Mac who is enjoying the tulips in Holland!!

Karen 10:07 AM  

The cross between TANIA and DONIZETTI at the 'I' felled me, I had an 'E' there. And I guess Ed ASNER wasn't in the Cuban movie? You never know with that guy. My gimmes were few and far between, but CALICO CAT gave me a good foothold.

Hereinfranklin, what do you all use the undercroft for?

PG, good luck for your kids tuning up their voices. And good luck to you while they practice.

JannieB 10:08 AM  

Really good Saturday workout. I had "put out" for bear fruit for way too long - that made the California section, including the entire SW, the last bit to fall. The NW was the easiest, once I gave up on Bulba (thinking Tarras, etc.) might be right.

Had many of the same rough spots as PG, and for many of the same reasons: tale, rubadub (someone please explain this!!!).

Nice write up. We're in good hands.

HudsonHawk 10:20 AM  

I rolled through this puzzle until I got to the NE corner, all the while thinking I should be having a tougher time with it. But with ___APPLE and _____SAX just hanging there, I was in a jam. CRAB and PINE didn't work for the APPLE and I didn't know a six-letter variety of saxophone. Once I figured out that undercroft had to be CRYPT, I was home free.

I jumped on the uptown 4 train after the Saturday afternoon session at ACPT this year. The woman sitting next to me had her yellow folder on her lap. We started talking and I noticed the name on her folder was Karen Tracey. She was very cool, but commented that her puzzles occasionally give solvers fits. I'm guessing this one will generate some dissenting views, but I really liked it.

PG, Bonnie RAITT is aweseome, and she often covers songs by two great songwriting Johns, Hyatt and Prine. I love the live version of Angel From Montgomery that she does with John Prine.

Leon 10:21 AM  

Thanks Ms. Tracey for a great work-out.

Thanks PG for the write-up. The videos in the compact size are clearer and thanks for all of them especially Yakety-Sax.

I join all in having a Tuborg today (Homer Simpson calls it The beer of Danish Kings in one episode.)

Whenever a beer is mentioned in the puzzle, I go out and get one. With today's inspiration, I will also make a Carne Asada.

Kurt 10:21 AM  

I liked the puzzle and loved the write-up. Thanks KT & PG.

I laid a big egg in the NW. Not knowing "Wozzeck", "hero" or "Raymonde", I was faced with A_O_ALITY. And so in went AMORALITY. And the crosses looked at least reasonable.

Then I'm thinking ... "Damn! An opera about amorality. I've got to see this one!"

Oh well, you can't win them them all.

Carl V 10:31 AM  

No firsthand knowledge about this, but the dub in RUBADUB made me think of Jamaican music. A quick google confirmed my guess. From Wikipedia: "Rub-A-Dub was adopted in Jamaican music as the name for the early D.J. "chatting" or "toasting" which later became known as Dancehall. It primarily refers to roots music mixed in a dub style, over which the D.J. talks or sings."

Megan P 10:31 AM  

Thanks for a great write-up! The puzzle was extra-easy, but I enjoyed seeing ATONALITY right on TOP of DONIZETTI.

The grid of the LATimes puzzle looked so alluring, I tried to get to it. And here's what always happens to me:

You don't have permission to access /puzzles/lat/lat090411.puz on this server.

Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.cruciverb.com Port 80

Does anyone have any advice? This server is the one that fetches the Onion puzzle and others. Thanks in advance. . .

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Eleven names in the puzzle, isnt that a bit much?

Carl V 10:36 AM  

@ Megan P
Any chance you're not signed in at Cruciverb? I just access the .puz so it's not a problem with their server.

Frieda 10:48 AM  

Rub-a-dub is evidently (dictionary.com) an 18th-century noun for the sound of a drum. Ok...a more ominous opening, then, for the men in the tub. Would not have got this, ever.

I don't expect to solve Saturdays (yet!), and this puzzle is a good example of why/how they can be difficult. "Saturday" to me means tricky, but that's part of the difficulty--(mis)using the day as part of the information about approaching the puzzle. SIGH, for example, ought to have been easy, but in the same grid with YAKETYSAX (which I didn't get) or DONIZETTI (which I did), on a Saturday, I wouldn't know.

Ooh, for SEEDER to have been TEDDER!

Glitch 11:07 AM  

I liked this puzzle, a 3 cup challenge.

I have a couple of nits to pick with some clues, but it would be just that, and probably only an excuse to post.

So having posted anyway, I'm off to get Easter dinner ready for later today (don't ask).


Anonymous 11:11 AM  

@Karen...offices and storage. It's been converted into usable space...the church is over 150 years old, so I imgaine lots of people have weathered storms there. There's even an external storm cellar door.

alanrichard 11:17 AM  

I blew through this puzzle till I hit the NE. I got Bonnie RAITT immediatelya and avalanche. Avalance is a grat word if you're playing HANGMAN! The entire south was easy through my own knowlege and contextural analysis but the NE was tough!!! Roseapple and Yaketysax hmmm???
The LA Times is easy and easy to access. You Google LA Times Crossword and you're there. Unfortunately the LA Times is very easy, although it does haves moments of cleverness but it in no way compares to the challenge or creativity of the NY Times.
I knew Saacajawea although I thought it was spelled sacagawea. I also figured out Donizetti. Hopefully the Turtles: Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael and Donatello will someday make their appearance in the puzzle!!!Heroes on a half shell - turtle power.

PlantieBea 11:31 AM  

Thanks for the write-up Puzzlegirl. I had many of the same problems and resorted to googling to get through this. I didn't know the beer, beef dish, DONIZETTI, or the opera WOZZECK. Definitely a difficult Saturday for me.

Eric 11:39 AM  

Agree with Anonymous. When I saw the number of names in the clues I was turned off

Denise 11:43 AM  

I didn't google, but I worked hard, and it took a while before I got "in." One of my first words was "Delano" which I visited in the early 70s -- it's where the Farm Workers Union began.

Are rose apples related to rosehips?

I couldn't have done the puzzle with noisy young kinds in the house! Good going, puzzleGirl.

I get to the LA Times puzzle by going to the newspaper web site.

fikink 11:45 AM  

Puzzlegirl, I enjoyed your write-up, the real deal.
I thought this puzzle bespoke Spring in clues and fill.
A real stumper for me in places, especially, like Twangster, up top. I always appreciate your challenge, Ms. Tracey, and usually have to read about something further, the real pay-off for me.

Doc John 11:59 AM  

I was just happy to get YAKETY SAX off of the ---AX! :) Alas, that didn't keep the NE from being the last to fall. Being so smugly confident about crab apple didn't help, either but getting HOARY finally did it for me.

I also refused to give up the G in SACAJAWEA, even though I had a feeling that JAZZES UP was what Ms. T was going for there. Also had energy for EMERGE and would have left it but fortunately, syeder just didn't look right (notets wasn't great, either, but more acceptable looking) so I recruited a few thousand more brain cells and finally set things straight.

Nice write-up, PG! I loved the "airport door" story.

nharb 12:04 PM  

Has anyone else noticed that the main crossword page hasn't posted an answer key to a puzzle since Wednesday? And when it is going to return???

obertb 12:12 PM  

@Megan P: as Denise pointed out, the LAT puzzle can be found at
latimes.com. The keyboarding is completely different than in AcrossLite and my fingers always have trouble remembering which is which.

Thought this was fairly easy for a Saturday, but did have to google SWITZER. SACAJAWEA was a gimme, but I didn't know how to spell it, so had to wait for crosses. Never heard of ROSEAPPLE, but it shook out thru crosses, as well. Sadly, had to google REECE, too. Not so much shame in that, I guess, if hereinfranklin, who lives in Tenn. didn't know it.

SethG 12:30 PM  

American Idol is group karaoke? Who knew?

Oh, right, virtually everyone in America.

I'm going to go watch Syzygy play Pop now.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

This was not one of my favorite puzzles but at least I was able to get some fills but the NW stumped me, Too many names needed; had to "cheat" and use this site. I stuck in "rub a dub" because it fit. I only remember the phrase from the nursery rhyme--rub a dub dub, three men in a tub... I had Fast for Pyle . Yaketysax was a new one for me and I enjoyed the video but as an accompaniment to car chases? Can someone give me an example?

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Anonymous 12:44
The clue just says chase, not car chase. I believe it's most well known for its use on Benny Hill, when he's chasing around young women (on foot).

Orange 1:08 PM  

@nharb, I believe the NYT is working on it. We all like to be able to get the happy pencil, but at least there are blogs where you can see the solution these days. Somebody somewhere has a website that posts the unlock codes (which can be figured out if you know how to make a computer try all the 4-digit possibilities until it hits the right one), but I use the applet rather than Across Lite so I haven't a clue what the URL is.

Orange 1:44 PM  

@nharb, here it is: NYT Crossword Answer Key

joho 1:56 PM  

Thank you, PuzzleGirl! Wouldn't that be something if your kids made it on American Idol? I actually love the show much to my husband's chagrin.

And thank you, Karen Tracey! Your puzzles never disappoint. I had to keep stopping and returning throughout the day to finally be able to finish. The NE was the toughest part for me. I know alto and tenor sax but never heard of YAKETYSAX. Undercroft was also an unknown to me. So, Googling CRYPT helped me complete that pesky corner.

I hope everyone who celebrates Easter has a lovely day tomorrow!

Greene 2:08 PM  

This was one of those rare Saturday puzzles that I was able to solve quickly. I almost immediately wrote in all the across answers in the NW. Two opera questions and a Desi ARNAZ movie? Who wrote this puzzle, me?

Likewise, the down answers in the NE just wrote themselves in. I can't hear YAKETY SAX without thinking of Benny Hill.

I had to work in the SW where I got RAITT easily enough, but had difficulty with things that should have been easy like ICIER and DIGESTION.

Every once in a while I get a puzzle like this which is just filled with things I happen to know. Most times I just stare blankly at the Saturday grid and feel stupid. Thanks for the ego boost today Ms. Tracey!

Oh, and excellent work as always Puzzlegirl.

jae 2:16 PM  

Pretty much the same experience as most of you. South was easy, NW a bit tricky, and NE challenging. My problem was that I had TRACT for "Plot" for way too long. This led to ROUGH for "grizzled" for a while. Not knowing what an undercroft was made this a tough corner. Finally worked it out when I gave up on TRACT. Other missteps were ENCINO and, like Parshutr, INTHEZONE.

I liked this one a lot. Karen Tracy does not disappoint. Nice write up PG.

Bob Kerfuffle 2:23 PM  

Excellent puzzle. Thank you, Karen Tracey.

Yesterday I looked at the grid and said, "Hmm . . only four three letter words." Today I looked at the grid and said, "No three letter words!" Is this commonplace, and I just haven't been paying attention?

But this one defeated me, in that I had to look in my dictionary and encyclopedia to finish that last four by four bastion in the NE. It didn't help that I had entered VALUELINE where it should have been PRICELINE, among the problems others have already mentioned.

I thought I had finally filled all the blanks correctly until I read PuzzleGirl's excellent write-up and found I had ARNEZ instead of ARNAZ. (TANIE seemed a reasonable first name for an actress named Raymonde.)

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

Thanks, twangster. Have never been a Benny Hill fan. It always amazes me how I can misread a clue. Forgot to sign in my blogger name. Alice in S. F.

Anonymous 2:47 PM  

Thanks for filling in Puzzlegirl;
esp. w/singing kids in the background.

Somehow did the puzzle from the bottom up to NW when google had to kick in, altho I really enjoyed
Tracey's style.

Megan P 3:19 PM  

Many thanks to you who helped me get to the LA Times puzzle. Making a direct approach to the newspaper web site had never occurred to me, of course.

fergus 3:24 PM  

What a completely engaging puzzle. Seldom does getting through the grid seem so satisfying. Though not a big fan of having many names in there, this one stimulated rather than exasperated.

Had CRAB- then PINE- before, what the hell, ROSEAPPLE. SPROUT wasn't a very good guess for Bear fruit. I remembered DELANO from several years ago, cheating with my Atlas.

Been a long time since I had a TUBORG Gold, which like Loewenbrau, we thought was the height of beer sophistication in high school.

edith b 3:38 PM  

Megan P-

I get the same Forbidden message and I am signed up at Cruciverb. I've emailed them several times but have yet to get a response. The workaround I use is to go to the website (www.cruciverb.com) and access the puzzle directly from the site. I've stopped emailing due to lack of response.

A have a fond memory of my husband and daughter giggling at "The Benny Hill Show" when she was young. You would have to know my husband who in his real life was a distinguished looking commodities broker to understand what I am talking about. YAKETYSAX was a neon and opened up the NE for me. I found most of the North to be accessible because of an inspired guess ATONALITY which turned out to be correct. The only time that course in 20th Century Music and Schoenberg came in handy.

I knew CALICOCAT and, again, guessed correctly with SOPHOCLES and built the SW out of whole cloth and the seepage from Flyover Country and gave me an entry into the SE. BOVINE helped produce AVALANCHE and I dribbled into the Florida Keys and CRES cemented this one as ICIER and THOSE led directly to endgame.

This was one of Karen Tracey's less taxing puzzles but all the Zs in the Northern part of the puzzle helped me out immensely in Flyover Country which was the key to solving my troubles in the South.

chefwen 3:41 PM  

Loved this puzzle, thanks Ms. Tracey.
I was in the camp of refusing to change my G in sacagawea, so Gazzesup stayed, so is's a new word. I was willing to change my anti to ABUT.
Finishing a Fri and Sat is a big accomplishment for me, so I had a great weekend, bring it on Sunday.

Carne Asada Tacos with extra onion and cilantro. mmmmmmm!

foodie 3:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
foodie 3:44 PM  

Thank you puzzle girl! Here I was thinking nostalgically of old Easter weekends when we colored eggs and I hid them all over the yard for the egg hunt on Sunday morning. And then I read your post and thought-- oh yeah, I remember that part now!

Syzygium, the first word in ROSE APPLE definition! Sounds like a set up for some nasty future clue. Never knew ROSE APPLE, sounds lovely! But I know Carne ASADA. Yum is right!

Do you know how many ways there are to spell SACAJAWEA if you've never learned about her formally and just heard the name? K in lieu of C and G in lieu of J for starters and I'm not even touching the vowels... That really messed up the northwest. Also never heard of YAKETY SAX.. And was really unsure that AVALANCHE could be a verb... Today the puzzle said to me: "You can be here for decades and there will always be stuff that most American born people know and you won't!"


Clark 4:09 PM  

Webster's Third says 'rub-a-dub' is the sound of drumbeats, and all this time I thought it was just three guys in a tub.

"The drummer beat a roll- a roll of joy. And the Drum said- the Fire-drum, that was beaten when there was a fire in the town: 'Red hair! the little fellow has red hair! Believe the drum, and not what your mother says! Rub-a dub, rub-a dub!'" -- Hans Christian Andersen, The Golden Treasure

andregewea carla michaels 4:48 PM  

Nice work (if you can get it), Puzzle Girl...;)
(You can always call me, what the hell would I be doing on a Friday night?!)

I wouldn't give up the G forever in SACAGAWEA and I STILL won't!
(That's even how it's spelled on the USmint site)

Had to look up IN A REAL DICTIONARY "undercroft" and then the rest fell.

As for too many names, well, when they are edifying, like DONIZETTI or a fun fact like SWITZER then I say "Yay! Bring 'em on" but when they are an obscure politician, that someone from Tennessee doesn't even know, that's less thrilling and casts a pall apparently for some solvers.

SACAGEWEA reminds me of how inane Regis Filbert could be on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"...

The question was "This woman was depicted on the new 2000 golden dollar coin"
and the choices were:

A. Susan B. Anthony
B. Eleanor Roosevelt
C. (I can't remember who)
D. Sacagewea

And they went over it with him about 8 times in rehearsal...
so he gets on the show, can't pronounce her name and finally blurts out:

(and it was the answer, no less!)

Bill from NJ 4:49 PM  


Whenever I run across SACAJEWEA in puzzle, I use the interchangeable Js-Cs-Gs method that you mentioned so I don't start with a strict spelling of the word amd try whatever combination works!

nharb 4:51 PM  

@orange - thank you so much for finding the answer key page!

treedweller 5:08 PM  

"tract" for CHART seemed wrong, but I could never come up with a good alternative. Even with YAKETYSAX (finally, from the X--anyone else keep trying to make "saxophone" work?) and PRICELINE, I could only get ASKIN up there. Finally, looking up "undercroft" (through a google "define:" search, where CRYPT was about eight definitions down) gave me the break I needed. Never heard of REECE or ROSEAPPLEs or TYNE, but they ebcame inevitable.

Didn't realize till coming here that I left the T off TUBORG--that and MOTETS were also unknown to me.

tough but fair sounds about right.

chefbea 5:12 PM  

@acme Regis Philbin . Filbert is a nut - guess that's what you were implying. I actually met him and his wife Joy. She is very sweet - You are right about him.

ileen 5:47 PM  

re: Lost. Ben wasn't Alex's biological father, but he raised her since she was a baby after he stole her from Danielle (her bio mother). If you haven't seen this past Wednesday's episode yet, sorry. If you have, how bad was that wig on Michael Emerson attempting to portray a 23 year old Ben?

foodie 6:15 PM  

@ Andrea, so I'm thinking there is more to this Filbert story-- i.e. how you know the behind the scenes part of it... Do tell!

@ ChefBea, also do tell more! Were you on a Regis show? Was he on the Cooking Channel? or was that some other event? Inquiring minds want to know.

@ Puzzle girl, this may seem off topic, but it all relates back to Sacky-Wacky..

Jon 6:22 PM  

Today's puzzle, particularly 11-D, reminded me of this fun site:


It allows you to make all sorts of fun/silly/inappropriate wackiness. Such as:


retired_chemist 7:02 PM  

What a fine puzzle! Thank you, Karen Tracey. Just what I like - tough but fair, lots of stuff you don't know but eventually reveal to yourself by solving.

1D ASADA was a gimme, because we eat at Mexican places often. 3D UCONN, because I like b-ball, and 40A TUBORG too, because I like imported beer. Other than BESS (57A) I had no other gimmes. Everything was doable with enough crosses, but it took a while to get the necessary traction.

32A was EDGES IN, then EASES IN, and only with more crosses became SEEPS IN. 35A DELANO first was FRESNO. I confused B. Carrol REECE with J. Carroll NAISH which made the Northeast a bit of a muddle for a while.

So many terrific answers that I learned a lot from. Never heard Wozzeck but had heard OF it - now I will always associate it with ATONALITY.

Once I got the "Grid completely filled" dialog box and started checking, I saw 11D YAKETY SAX and said it HAD to be wrong. But no! It's right. I did recognize the music if not the name when I found it on YouTube.

25 minutes of enjoyment. Thanks again!

fergus 8:19 PM  

I've got this little Reggae fragment going on: "In a rub-a-dub sky" and cannot place it, even with multiple Google enquiries. Probably a mondegreen, but maybe someone else shares this ear-to-ear echo, and knows either the right words, or the correct citation?

michael 9:07 PM  

I did this quickly until I got to the NE. Even after I got "yakety sax." I didn't believe it and tried to see if "yakety yak" would work.

miriam b 11:33 PM  

@fergus: Rub-a-dub STYLE, maybe? I don't have a resident audio fragment like yours, but the phrase itself seems familiar. Let me know what Googling yields.

Jeffrey 12:28 AM  

Well the bottom 2/3 of this puzzle were nice. I then entered a ZEN STATE and didn't EMERGE as everything above was a mystery.

acme 2:51 AM  

@foodie, chefbea
That should have been Regis Philbin, of course, I guess I agree I unconsciously think he's a nut.
I was on the show...twice! Didn't make it to the hotseat. Of course there's a lot more to this story!
Tune in Monday!

kathy d. 6:29 AM  

Hard puzzle, had to google six answers.

Can't decide if I liked it or not as opposed to Friday's which I enjoyed and had no problems with.

Enjoyed PuzzleGirl's write-up and Bonnie Raitt; thanks for that.
(I, too, couldn't have done all of this with American Idol-practicing children in the background, so that's even more reason to appreciate it.)

Kathy D.

Travis 1:16 AM  

First time reader, first time commenter. I have a suggestion about the "undercroft" clue, obscure as it may be. There is a popular series of video games (and now books and at least one movie) featuring a character known as "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider." It is entirely possible that a tomb, or a CRYPT, would be under "Croft"...

It's a reach, I know.

Puzzleputz 5:15 PM  

Thanks Puzzle girl. By Saturday, I'm toast. Give me the Monday and Tuesday puzzles and I'm Einstein.

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

Bit late for this now, I realize but Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, is not a shire!!

It's more properly considered a semi-autonomous UK crown dependency.

Guernsey Guy

Unknown 1:04 PM  

@orange: What's with hangman on NYT Crossword Answer Key? It's always "garbage bin" but the answers don't have anything to do with it.


penny 8:21 PM  

I feel like the ultimate failure today - so many answers that mean nothing to me. What is sacajawea? Why is flapper the answer to 36a? Why is undercroft a crypt? What has Benny Hill got to do with any of this? - he was a second rate, potty-mouthed self-styled comedian - don't get the reference. Normally, I enjoy Saturday puzzles, but this one just left me feeling down. Having enough health problems to make me miserable, this one just flattened me. Obviously, I missed an awful lot that would have helped. Sorry to sound so miserable, but I am reaching the end of being able to do puzzles as my eyesight fades, and this kind of thing really depresses me. It is most likely my eyesight that makes me miss the obvious, but that does NOT cheer me up!
However, it is still fun to read all your comments.

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