Apologies in Apulia - FRIDAY, April 17, 2009 — Corey Rubin (John Wayne title marshal of 1973 /Slow-smoked Southern grub / Crack of dawn, old-style)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Theme: None

Word of the Day: IMARET(S) (15D: Near Eastern hospices) — A type of hostelry for the accommodation of Muslim pilgrims and other travelers in the Turkish empire. (answers.com)

PuzzleGirl back with you again with your late-week puzzles. Wow. I really liked this puzzle! This was exactly the kind of solve I'd like to have every single Friday. Bit by bit, I keep plugging away ... a few hiccups here and there ... one wrong answer I finally let go of and then BAM! It's done. The first thing I popped into the grid was MIRANDIZE (17A: Read rights to, as a perp). I could hardly believe my luck. I almost never get a long answer like that right away to get me started on a late-week puzzle. The Z made BOZEMAN (12D: Montana State University setting) appear effortlessly. Then BSMT. (25A: Rec rm. locale, often) and LEAS (28A: Picnic places) brought QUESTS (13D: Story lines of Indiana Jones films) into focus, but that would made 6 Across end with "BQ." That couldn't possibly be right! What did I do wrong? Ohhh ... [Slow-smoked Southern grub]. It doesn't just end with BQ, it ends with BBQ! Awesome! (It took a little longer, but I finally got the whole answer: TEXAS BBQ. And speaking of Texas. I heard today that there are a few people in Texas who don't really want to be part of this great nation of ours any more. Wade: What the heck is goin' on down there??)

The only missteps I had were at 18A: Work in a gallery (OIL), where I initially entered art, smirking to myself "Well, that's pretty easy for a Friday!" And 36A: Like lumber in a mill (SAWN), where I had hewn. Does that even make sense? I don't feel like looking it up. Saw and hew are related somehow though. I'm pretty sure. I also had Gatorade where POWERADE was supposed to be at 31D: Coca-Cola product. And I thought SET out was a pretty good answer for 1D: Depart, but the right answer is SET OFF.

This was a quick solve for me. I started keeping track of my time at the beginning of this year, so I decided to look back and see if this was my fastest Friday so far. Turns out it's my second fastest. My first fastest was back on March 6 on a little puzzle constructed by ... Corey Rubin (his debut!). Rex rated that puzzle Medium-Challenging, but a quick scan of the first few comments reveals that not everyone had as much trouble with it. So either (a) Corey Rubin creates objectively easy puzzles, (2) I'm always on Corey's wavelength, or (c) something else. In any event, I thought this puzzle was awesome. Here are the answers I particularly liked:

  • 32A: Appt. book headings (MTWTF). Don't recall ever seeing this in a grid before and it rocks. (I have no idea where I picked it up, but I always abbreviate Thursday with an R instead of a T, to distinguish it from Tuesday. Does anyone else do that?)
  • 37A: Information, slangily (FOUR ONE ONE). This strikes me as hip, which probably means it was hip about ten years ago. Plus ... slangily!
  • 53A: Our neighbor's nickname, with "the" (RED PLANET). I'm all "The ... Canada? The ... Mexico??"
  • 25D: Overwhelmed and destroyed (BLITZED). Sure, why not?

  • 34D: Crack of dawn, old-style (DAY-PEEP). Never heard of it. But I like it.
  • 1A: Apologies, in Apulia (SCUSE). Italian!
  • 15A: "No, no, this one's on me" (I'VE GOT YOU). I'm going to let this one slide because I love the rest of the puzzle.
  • 26A: French kings' emblem (FLEUR DE LYS). Not to be confused with Beethoven's "Fur Elise."

  • 29A: Dark times abroad (NUITS). French!
  • 34A: It can be cracked (DOOR). Anyone like code for this one?
  • 35A: Frijoles go-with (ARROZ). Spanish!
  • 48A: Letters in some church names (AME). We talked about this recently. Hope you remembered that discussion.
  • 55A: On the lookout (OPEN-EYED). I'm gonna let this one slide too.
  • 56A: Fast results? (PANGS). That's fasting as in not eating. Clever.
  • 2D: John Wayne title marshal of 1973 (CAHILL). Tagline: "Break the law and he's the last man you want to see. And the last you ever will."
  • 11D: Per se (BY ITSELF). Latin!
  • 10D: Not an upgrade: Abbr. (STD). I should say not.
  • 20D: Depths of despair (NADIR). This word always makes me think of frequent commenter Badir, which I also don't know how to pronounce.
  • 23D: Podiatrists' concerns (BUNIONS). I am simultaneously tickled and grossed out by this answer.
  • 30D: "Lost" character Jin-Soo _____ (KWON).
  • 37D: Park since 1912 (FENWAY). I miss Rex.
  • 38D: How some people shop (ONLINE). There's another way?
  • 40D: Kind of ceremony (NAMING). I think of this as a Jewish tradition, but I'm guessing there are other types of naming ceremonies. Anyone?
  • 47D: Certain sub (TEMP). Raise your hand if you were going through the list: "Grinder, hoagie, hero...."
See y'all back here tomorrow. If you've done the L.A. Times puzzle today, you should check out Orange's thoughts on it here.

Love, PuzzleGirl


bigredanalyst 9:11 AM  

I agree with your comments, PG. I also thought it was an Easy/Medium for a Friday.

Started with two long gimmes, FLEURDELYS and MIRANDIZE which opened up huge segments of the puzzle.

The rest seemed straight-forward; although I also thought that SAWN and DAYPEEP were kind of forced.

I especially liked the cluing for MTWTF (which I have seen recently in another puzzle) and FOURONEONE.

In general, a good start to the week-end, puzzle-wise.

SoWal Beach Bum 9:16 AM  

PG: thank you thank you thank you for Ballroom Blitz first thing on a Friday Morning. I'm set now for a rockin' weekend...

Kurt 9:18 AM  

Nice write-up, Puzzle Girl. I tracked your progression almost exactly. Maybe it is a wave length deal.

I loved RED PLANET, MIRANDIZE, TEXAS BBQ, & BLITZED. But DAY PEEP had to be my favorite. What a great word/term/phrase (What is it?)

Unfortunately, the ARROZ/KWON crossing nailed me. I didn't know either and an "A" makes as much sense to me as an "O".

A fun Friday for me. Thanks Mr. Rubin & Ms. Girl.

Matty 9:19 AM  

I remembered the conversation about it but not the answer!!! Made that little corner hard to unlock until I changed DMIN to DMAJ and got EJECTS. Never again...

nanpilla 9:21 AM  

Hey, everybody! Did you miss me? I'll bet none of you even noticed I was away. (sigh).

Loved this puzzle, because it was easy for me, and I need an occasional ego boost on a Friday or Saturday.

Loved TURN ON A DIME, because it makes me think of Stop on a Dime. And of course, that makes me think of: "Unfortunately the dime was in Mr. Rococo's pocket." Anything that makes me think of FST makes me very happy indeed.

Did not like: IVE GOT YOU. Does anyone actually say that? I've got it - yes.

Also loved words that ended in unexpected letters:

I missed you all! Great write up Puzzle Girl!

davidb 9:31 AM  

Fantastic puzzle! I’ve mostly agreed with Rex that pangramatic puzzles usually feel forced and sacrifice their freshness to achieve the feat. But not so whatsoever with this one.

Brilliant stuff: UVULAE hanging down right over BUNIONS, MTWTF, FOURONEONE, BLITZED, REDPLANET, FENWAY.

My only question is DAYPEEP?

imsdave 9:35 AM  

Boy, are we on the same wavelength today PG. Ditto on everything (including the "I forgive you"s because the rest of the puzzle is so cool.

One minor (groan) slow down was confidently plopping in DMIN. I didn't remember the symphony, and it's Mahler for goodness sake, Mr. Gloom and Doom.

I missed you NANPILLA - welcome back.

Steve in Boston 9:39 AM  

Why no love for I'VE GOT YOU? I use it all the time and think it's great to see in the puzzle. I would use I'VE GOT IT for a single item like a restaurant check, but I'VE GOT YOU is perfect for paying for someone else's movie ticket or cup of coffee.

Doug 9:40 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle. My favorite was the "MTWTF," which I had never seen before, either. This puzzle was weird, I kept getting long answers half done and had to go back to work to finish them up. In the NE, I had "Texas---", "I've got---" and "miranda--" before getting "quests" and cleaning up the details. In the SE, for the downs, I got "dayp---", "power---", and "sand--" (couldn't remember his name exactly), then going across I got "deals----" and "open----". That finished the downs; but then I needed "fenway" to finish those acrosses. I think the only long entry I got in one piece was "fleurdelys." A little fun moment was the Mahler: Knowing that the 4th letter had to be j or n broke "ejects" -- I don't think I would have thought of it otherwise; that made "ame" the choice rather than "lds" and the corner filled in, ending with the joyous "t" of "temp" as a delightful little surprise.
Great writeup, PuzzleGirl.

GlobalPittsburgh 9:40 AM  

I smiled at FENWAY, because I remember the bleachers, and because I know Rex smiled too.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

Orange 9:42 AM  

I'VE GOT YOU is what you say to the kid you're helping to get down from the tree he climbed.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Had a lot of fun with the puzzle! Great friday exercise.

Great FST reference! Nick Danger, Third Eye!

John 9:44 AM  

OOPS! That was Me!

HudsonHawk 9:46 AM  

I started a little slow, but moved fairly nicely from North to South once I got going. At first I thought it might be a rebus (even though it's a Friday) because the only John Wayne title marshal I could think of was Rooster Cogburn and I really wanted Great White North for 53A. Who knew Canada was known as the RED PLANET? PuzzleGirl did and beat me to it.

As for NAMING, I thought that was a shout out to ACME...

Glitch 9:57 AM  

Not a great day for me, ran out of coffee before I ran out of puzzle.

The SW really did me in, SANxxx and DAYPxxx never came, leaving their crosses uncertain.

As usual on Fridays, I'm "out of sync" with the majority --- generally having an easy time with the puzzles that raise the most complaints and vice versa.

Have to talk to my shrink about that ;)


treedweller 10:00 AM  

Hmm, maybe I'm grouchy today. I was prepared to lay into this as a terrible offering, but when I saw the other opinions I looked back and really couldn't find anything to be really upset about. But I still am.

First, hand goes up for the sandwich parade (I had ETHIC and went for "hero"). Still up for "hewn", which makes complete sense, BTW. That gave me "dewpeep," which is 100% as familiar to me as DAYPEEP, which led to complete bafflement at "Side for passage" (hallways? travel fares? maybe "side as in __dish?). Since I didn't know Boticelli's first name, I was dead in the SW.

Next, SEG? I tried "sec" (as in sector or section) but couldn't understand what SEG was until I did some cogitatin'. Add to that my mistaken reading of "Galley work" for "Gallery" (which led me to "oar", which I realize now makes no sense, but how many times has oar been right lately?) and you get a big mess in the NW. Naturally, I also tried "trees" for EAVES, which didn't help.

Finally, my pet peeve, TEXASBBQ clued as "Southern" fare. There are parts of Texas that could be considered southern and parts that could be Mexican, but barbecue (which also fits, in case you didn't notice) strikes me as being decidedly western. I might be less surprised, except when I went to the ACPT I was placed in the Western Division, despite registering in the South (reluctantly). I know there is "Southern barbecue," but I would not place it in Texas.

Which brings me to secessionism. Texans have been talking about our theoretical right to secede as long as I can remember. "Texas Monthly" magazine used to have a perennial ad for stickers and shirts that said "Texas Secede!" We like to think of ourselves as fiercely independent and above all that Yankee stuff ya'll have going up there, except when the entire Mexican army happens to be beating down our doors and one of your presidents offers to come push them back across the Rio Bravo. There will always be Texas secessionists, just as there will always be Americans who claim the IRS is unconstitutional, but every legitimate opinion on the matter seems to be that it's all a bunch of crap. I think the whole thing is illuminated greatly by the fact that this came up at a speech where Gov. Goodhair was speaking to "Tea Party" protesters after they dumped millions of tea bags to protest wasteful spending (thank you, Jon Stewart). Speaking for myself, a 6th-generation Texan, I was all for seceding when I was in high school; now that I've seen a couple more decades of Texas politicians, the thought of President W.'s return (or his equivalent) scares the hell out of me.

nanpilla 10:05 AM  

@ Orange: MUCH better way to clue I've got you! Love it.

Jeffrey 10:24 AM  

Random thoughts.

I MIRANDAED so a slow start. The French connection of FLEUR DE LYS and NUITS speeded things up. BUNYONS slowed it down as I stared at _YER_ for a long time. HEWN here. MR RIGHT next to TROTH. KWON + ARROZ = vowel error. Q and J in the righthand column, cool. I’VE GOT YOU better clued as what Superman says after catching Lois Lane falling off a building.
Ballroom Blitz gets four Acmes!!!! Jewish girls get naming ceremonies. Boys get a different ritual, shall we say (Ouch!).

Great puzzle.


PhillySolver 10:34 AM  

I found this puzzle challenging. I find CrossCan funny, Orange clever and nanpilla back. No word from mac?

Jeffrey 10:38 AM  

Superman says it 4:19 into this


Two Ponies 10:52 AM  

Glad to hear someone else thought of FST while turning (or stopping) on a dime.
MTWTF had me stumped for the longest times because I wanted 32A to be some abrev. for meetings and for 30A all I could think of was yummy Chinese dishes called "hot pots" on the menu. I've never seen Lost so that little section was a problem.
33D had me thinking of Daffy Duck lisping some line about "Pledging my troth."
No problem with 15A although I'd usually say "I've got you covered." Close enough.
Great Friday.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

Since Texas BBQ is typically beef, I wouldn't call it Southern. Down here barbecue is AWAYS pork. Also had NOIRS instead of NUITS for way too long.

Chorister 10:58 AM  

My 80something dad says "I've got it" when he picks up the check (and he always does) if he says anything at all. Usually he grabs and glares if anybody else dares stretch out a hand. On the other hand, my 20something children and their friends say "I've got you" when somebody at the table admits to being a little short. You notice I never say anything in this situation because while I sometimes treat, I have never in my life grabbed for a check. Wait, I lie, once my dad made me grab the check FOR HIM because I was closer to it.

I read gallery as galley and had row and then oar for awhile.

MTWRF was first seen (by me, anyway) as an undergrad on college schedules when computers started taking over the earth. This was shortly after dinosaurs roamed the earth. Because prior to this Thursday was abbreviated TH, but the computer didn't like it.

In every quadrant I had some sort of problem that seemed insurmountable but when it all came together nothing seemed all that hard. Except daypeep which is surely made-up.

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

What? No comments on the rapping thugs?
I thought not.

Ruth 11:19 AM  

@Nanpilla: wait a minute--don't you want this doorknocker? (sad number of hours wasted in 1971 listening to Nick Danger over and over and over. . .)
@Two Ponies: even if you're a Lost devotee, nobody would know Jin's last name (I'm pretty sure when they showed his gravestone it was all written in Korean!). It all came from crosses.

Noam D. Elkies 11:23 AM  

So did anybody get the last three letters of 32A and think "WTF?!"? ;-) I'm reminded of the recent PRNDL. It will probably be a while yet before WTF appears in the puzzle (though SNAFU is reasonably common).

Would you buy the alliteration between the symmetrically-placed long entries 26A:FLEURDELYS and 37A:FOURONEONE [liked that one] as a theme of sorts?

Apropos Fleur de Lys... normally I welcome classical selections on the blog, but oy, why that version of Für Elise? Ludwig and Elise must be somersaulting in the grave. As Harold Schonberg would have said, Viktor played Beethoven and Beethoven lost :-( Admittedly F.E. is one of those pieces that's so familiar to anybody who's ever been made to take a few years of piano lessons (or share a room with such a piano student) that it's hard to find even a legitimate performance that you'd want to listen all the way through...


mac 11:31 AM  

Last evening before I fly back to all of this (and family). I enjoyed the puzzle, no problems.
I'm cooking this evening, for my sister's family, tomorrow on the plane!

Chorister 11:35 AM  

Oy, I couldn't bring myself to click the link. You don't have to be a piano student to know the opening phrase. EVERYBODY in the entire world knows the opening phrase of the melody. I am so sick of the opening phrase, it is against the rules of my classroom to play that particular song unless you can play the whole thing, both hands, with pathos. Students warn other students of this. In the film Beethoven Lives Upstairs, when the landlady plays it, Beethoven says, "Beethoven, Beethoven, what a donkey." Enough said.

BTW, the reason I'm lallygagging about the house at this time of day reading blogs is because my educational group is stimulating the economy (and furthering the education of the youth of America) by giving us all the day off with no pay. Perhaps I will start a blog about it. Meanwhile, I'm doing Xwords.

archaeoprof 11:48 AM  

@chorister: but surely you enjoyed the peformance by Schroeder in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" ...

Lisa in Kingston 11:52 AM  

Re BBQ: the Carolinas, Kansas City, and St. Louis, among others, are all famous for their 'Q!

Chorister 11:58 AM  

@archaeoprof - Well, Schroeder is a genius, a prodigy, incomparable. He doesn't count!

jae 12:04 PM  

ART, HEWN, and NOIR for me too. But pretty easy other than that. I also seem to be on Mr. Rubin's wavelength. I've said IVEGOTYOU before so no problem with it (like Chorister's dad I'm usually the one picking up the check). SANDRO and DAYPEEP were new to me but easy to get/infer from the crosses. Very nice Fri. puzzle!

ArtLvr 12:10 PM  

Wow -- I invented R for Thursday for myself long before the computer age, thought I was the only one to use it! Very surprised to hear others have gone there...

Did the puzzle early, just at peep of day, happy to get it all teased out in the end even if rather slowly... Then I went back to sleep. Little BoPeep was probably up before DAYPEEP and too groggy not to lose her sheep.

I knew SANDRO and SAWN, (who'd try hewing down a tree in a mill?), but I did try some other missteps noted above. My last fill was changing "thucs" to THUGS. Favorite funny answers included UVULAE and FLAB, fasting PANGS and the RED PLANET.

Corey is cool, and so are you, PG!


Corey 12:15 PM  

"So either (a) Corey Rubin creates objectively easy puzzles, (2) I'm always on Corey's wavelength, or (c) something else."

We can test this. What number am I thinking of right now?

slypett 12:19 PM  

@Puzzlegirl: NADIR is pronounced NAY DEAR, accent on 2nd syllable.

fikink 12:31 PM  

@NDE, if SNAFU has appeared in the puzzle, is FUBAR fair game?

@dave, did the exact same thing in thinking of Mahler

I didn't realize there were still so many FST fans around.

Clark 12:39 PM  

(I'm going to go until the period, but the word of interest comes much sooner than that:) "The honest gardener, that ever since the day-peep, till now the sun was grown somewhat rank, had wrought painfully about his banks and seedplots, at his commanding voice turns suddenly about with some wonder; and although he could have well besteemed to have thanked him for the ease he proffered, yet, loving his own handywork, modestly refused him; telling him withal, that, for his part, if he had thought much of his own pains, he could for once have committed the work to one of his fellow-labourers, forasmuch as it is well known to be a matter of less skill and less labour to keep a garden handsome, than it is to plant it, or contrive it; and that he had already performed himself." -- Milton

Old style it is.

@puzzlegirl -- thanks. I always enjoy your write-ups. I also do MTWRF, and like Chorister, I am pretty sure I picked that up from college registration schedules.

Greene 12:45 PM  

@IMSDAVE: Doom and gloom Mahler. I love it. Actually four of his symphonies are published with titles indicating they are in major keys (#1, #4, #8, and #9) although this strikes me as arbitrary. Mahler is quite harmonically adventurous and each symphony wanders through a number of keys and modes. Big chunks of the first symphony are actually in D minor and the third movement (a funeral march based on Frere Jacques of all things) continually vacillates between major and minor. The symphony does end with the longest and loudest D major chord in the history of music, so D major it is (I guess).

Frankly, by the time you get to the 10th symphony I don't know why Mahler even bothered with the formality of a key designation. The music has become so chromatic and at times atonal that I get no key sense whatsoever.

Great Friday puzzle Corey. I appear to be one of those solvers on your wavelength, although I have no idea what number you might be thinking of.

Orange 12:46 PM  

I have no idea what FST is. But don't tell me! Keep it an inside reference.

XMAN, my dictionary says NADIR is pronounced like Ralph Nader's last name, more like NAY dur. But I'm guessing the emphasized "dear" second syllable works for Badir.

If you're a Northerner, Texas is Southern. Pretty much everyone south of the Chicago area has a drawl. Texas is still a red state? Oh, yeah. It's in the South.

fikink 12:59 PM  

@Orange, nothing arcane.
FST = Firesign Theater, mentioned often here. Nick Danger was a PI featured on one of their albums.

Rex Parker 1:14 PM  

Internet Explorer in Costa Rica hates the NYT puzzle - applet hasn´t worked on any computer I've used since arriving here. Thus, no puzzles. No new puzzles, anyway, all week long.

Coming home tomorrow. Blogging again (to your delight or chagrin, whichever) starting Sunday. Mil gracias á all my fill-ins, esp. PG, who runs the whole show when I can´t.

Oh, and PG, could you make sure the ¨Syndicated Puzzle¨ link is updated? I´m getting mail, a lot of it, and ... not all of it ... happy.


Bob Kerfuffle 1:21 PM  

@Corey - 47.

Right or wrong, I liked this puzzle a lot. A perfect Friday.

I, too, expected MTWRF, though I can't recall where I picked it up.

Welcome back, nanpilla. Now where has SCOTUS ADDICT gone?

chefbea 1:33 PM  

Had a terrible time with this puzzle. Had to come here to see the finnished product.

What is Bozeman???

I did miss you nanpilla. Hope you were somewhere nice and warm.

Also where is peninhandinga? missing also. Glad Mac will be back this weekend.

treedweller 1:35 PM  


If you're a northerner, Texas is south of you. I still contend that does not make it part of The South. We have a drawl, but it is not the same as the Gone-With-the-Wind drawl. Did New Mexico just leave The South? They voted for Bush in 2004, but went blue this time. They are south of Chicago, but they are not Southerners.

Is Texas still red? Maybe, but Obama won the major urban areas (DFW, Austin, Houston, San Antonio) and most of the border counties. Now that we don't have a "home town boy" in the running (though I must reiterate, none of the Bushes are actually from Texas), I think more Texans are going back to their roots and voting Democrat. Maybe I'm kidding myself, but I think we might see a Democrat as our next governor, and then, who knows?

treedweller 1:37 PM  

Correction--Obama took Dallas, but not Fort Worth.

treedweller 1:43 PM  

Correction 2: I think Jenna and Barbara might actually be from here.

4 and out.

Orange 1:48 PM  

Treedweller, you may be a self-loathing Southerner. I know Texans want to be special and different but...frankly, from my perspective Texas doesn't seem all that different from the rest of the South. I'm sorry, but it's true. Also? I hear y'all have giant bugs down there, and snakes. Eek!

Chefbea, Bozeman is a town in Montana! I like to think it's also what Bozo the Clown's frat buddies call him.

Orange 1:49 PM  

P.S. Oh, hi, Rex!

Pete M 2:11 PM  

Anyone else have PANTS for PANGS? Seemed to work just as well, as it's a result from (going) fast. This and STE instead of AME for church letters really slowed that corner down for me.

@pg: I made some of the same missteps -- ART, HEWN.

treedweller 2:18 PM  

Back in. Sorry, Rex.

Orange, you might have just missed the fact that the Texas mythos is tongue-in-cheek for most of us. But there is a distinct difference between the various parts of Texas. There is certainly not a lot of difference between East Texas and the rest of the South, but West Texas looks like New Mexico or Arizona, as does a good bit of South TX. Going back to the secession thing, we actually were brought into the union with the possibility of being split into 5 states.

We do have bugs and snakes. I wasn't aware that they were particularly huge, but maybe I just haven't seen many Yankee bugs or snakes.

I promise I'm done now. You may all bag on Texas as much as you want. We still know that we're bigger than all of you (Alaska doesn't count, because it's melting and will be smaller than us soon enough). With a few exceptions, we're bigger than any 5 of you. In Texas, size does matter.

Jim in Chicago 2:31 PM  

Well, a huge improvement over yesterday.

I had a fair number is misstarts today, however.

My favorite is that I decided Mr. Olympia was without a flaW, which is a perfectuly reasonably answer with the unfortunate result of leaving one's foot with Wunions!

For "Sends packing" I had EVICTS, which makes a better answer than EJECTS, but left Mr. Mahler's output in the key of "D MAV".

I never knew Botticelli's first name number today, and won't know it next time appears either!

My anglicized spelling of fleurdelIs was quickly correctly

My biggest problem was just my own stupidity. I somehow managed to get 35D and 38D confused multiple times. I thought I was answering 35D (Like some classes and books) as ONLINE (a perfectly reasonable answer) but filled it in an 38D (where it also worked, correctly) and then got back to the still emply 35D and said "I answered that already". Much needless confusion ensued.

I just find the word OMAHAN to be one of the uglier words I've seen of late. Apologies to any Omahans out there - nothing agaist your perfectly lovely city.

FOURONEONE made me blink a litle, since I've never seen it spelled out as words, always 411. I'm not too happy about that, but I'll let it pass.

edith b 2:54 PM  

I started in the Upper Midlands with FLEURDELIS and moved down the Eastern Diagonal towards Baja California and crossed NPR with DAYPEEP, a word I don't think I had never seen before but was vaguely aware of, probably through some Lit course I took in college. I moved across the South through "4-1-1" which I got, strangely enough, from just the F and U, buzzed quickly through the SE into the Florida Keys and jumped into the NW through THUGS and stepped gradually into the NE where I met with a lot of trouble.

Once I corrected the I to Y at 26A where I started this whole shebang, I saw XGAMES which gave me TEXASBBQ and led to the end of the puzzle, TVIDOLS being my last entry.

I really liked MTWTF which broke this puzzle wide open as I was able to move through the Western Diagonal into the NE and approach the long answers from the south, and along with 6A, got that whole corner in a pincers movement.
The diagonals through the Midlands were the key to this puzzle and from a sheer solvers perspective, I enjoyed this one alot and felt a certain amount of pride when I brought it down.

Doug 3:11 PM  

Super puzzle today, and super-dee-duper writeup as Barney would say. Speaking of another Barney, the dinosaur-sized attendant in the movie Hannibal, Julianne Moore says "Barney has not been MIRANDIZED" from which I immediately got the answer today.

Had to peek at Orange's blog last night because I couldn't close out the NE, so some BBQ and call to 411 solved all my problems. Thanks Orange.

The puzzle had a really different, and good feel about it. Nice to see the constructor here, and don't get tricky with us--"zero" is not a number!

nanpilla 3:46 PM  

Thanks for all the welcome backs. I was in the Florida Keys, but I didn't see edith b buzzing by! So great to know that there are still people who love FST. I usually just get blank stares when I throw out a quote.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  


your review and the puzzle seem to have these minor discrepancies -
the word of the day is IMARET(S) plural in the puzzle and is 15 D (down) not A (Across)


Nebraska Doug 4:07 PM  

Medium/challenging for me, took longer than normal. I got horribly stuck in the SW and south central(Texas) until FOURONEONE finally came to me, then FENWAY, after those two, everything else fell in place. DAYPEEP - never heard of it.

foodie 4:13 PM  

Well, with Rex in Costa Rica, Mac in the Netherlands, Andrea in Malawi, I thought I'd round it out and send this from Beirut, Lebanon. I bought the Int. Herald Tribune at De Gaulle as I was making a mad dash between terminals so I could solve this on the plane here.

Not that I did well, in fact I did terribly. But I'd like to imagine that I would have done brilliantly if I had had more than a couple of hours of sleep. IMARETS threw me for a loop, I never think of this word as associated with hospice. Like Crosscan the French helped a great deal, especially that I was on a French flight, so I was in the groove.

Anyhow, objectively, it's a lovely puzzle with great entries and cluing. Has sort oF a tough guy aura (DEAL WITH, EJECTS, TEXAS, THUGS, MIRANDIZE, CAHILL. Too bad I did not bring my brain with me. Cheers all!

edith b 4:13 PM  

Glad to see you back, Nanpilla. My husband and I just retired to New Jersey so add one more member to Team New Jersey.

Opus2 4:18 PM  

The GREATWHITENORTH doesn't fit, but the TRUENORTH fits, and that's what I originally put in.

It's even in our National Anthem (O Canada! our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!...)

TEXASBBQ was a great entry, but I think DAYPEEP is completely made up.

@PG If you put an R in your agenda, doesn't that look like fRiday or satuRday? Why not an H for tHursday?

John 4:36 PM  

@nanpilla, I still have my original LP and more importantly, a Turntable to play it on! You cant get there from here!

ArtLvr 4:40 PM  

@ Clark -- Many thanks for the Milton excerpt! The sun has not grown rank yet, but we'll see. The crosuses are in full bloom.

@ Greene -- Also thanks for the Mahler recap, which rings a bell... especially the dirge using "Frere Jacques" trudging along mostly in the minor.

And welcome home to those who've been away!
Corey's number is 411!


Two Ponies 4:54 PM  

The only bumpersticker on my car says "I think we're all bozos on this bus."
Shoes for industry!

SethG 4:59 PM  

@Corey, Nice puzzle, dude.

I was well on my way to my fastest Friday ever 'til I totally stalled in the NW. I'll raise my hand for OAR, for not knowing Cahill, for SEG being three random letters, for not being sure that Apulia even indicated Italian...almost seven minutes for that section alone, and still one of my fastest ever...

And I waited on the xxWN 'til I had the vowel--either could have worked.

Rex, welcome soon to be home. With a transition to or from a Sunday the syndication solvers would need to figure out which week to look up on the side menu, but otherwise there's a link to the 'Newer Post' at the bottom of the page.

fikink 5:19 PM  

More Sugar!

Jeffrey 5:31 PM  

@treedweller - Yeah, Texas is big. Not as big as Quebec or Ontario or British Columbia though. O Canada!

Badir 5:38 PM  

@PuzzleGirl, thanks for another fun write-up! But I guess if you're going to refer to me as a "frequent commentator", I'd better get cracking and comment! As Orange indicates, "Badir" is pronounced "buh-DEER", so, for instance, one might call me "Badir, ma' dear". :)

For 6A, I kept wondering what sort of insect larva would be slowly smoked. Obviously, in some funky part of the South, not Tennessee, where I was born and lived several years.

I thought of both OIL and "ART", but held off. And I entered SAWN, but wrote little H and E in the first two squares, just in case. So, PuzzleGirl and I think alike!

imsdave 5:51 PM  

@Badir - or as Flanders and Swann might have put it, 'Have some Madeira Badir' (M'Dear for those who may be uninitiated - seek them out!)

Bob Kerfuffle 6:58 PM  

@imsdave - for those too lazy to seek them out, here are Flanders & Swann.

fikink 7:27 PM  

So who is going to introduce Beyond the Fringe to the conversation?
(Good thing Rex is in absentia.)

John 7:33 PM  

Ive been thinking, doesnt HEWN involve an Axe???

foodie 7:37 PM  

@badir, if the origin of your name is Arabic (as I've alwasy surmised) then it should be pronounced (buh-der-- both very short), which means the full moon or, more typically, good looking, like the full moon:)

But buh-der would be almost unpronounceable for English speaking people.

Nader (Naah-der) means rare and special (In case y'all were wondering... )

We talk about Nadir in circadian rhythm research... I've heard it pronounced like Ralph Nader, but it seems like I hear most people say Nay-deer (rhyming with neither Nay- der or Buh-deer).

I've long thought English needed accents to indicate the length of those blasted vowels. I guess they're there to confound the foreigners...

John 7:41 PM  

HAH, It does! And Nobody Is going to use an axe inside a sawmill, except Jack Nickelson in a sequel to the Shining!

Anonymous 8:01 PM  

Balsa wood is hewn before it's sawn.

Clark 8:14 PM  

@Nanpilla, @Two Ponies -- My mother was a bozo-ette at school.

Orange 8:43 PM  

Badir, I had a roasted (not barbecued) insect larva in New Orleans. With cinnamon and sugar. It was a tasty little snack.

Treedweller (and Crosscan), you're counting vacant land? California has 50% more people than Texas. If you're just going by area, heck, Wyoming is in the top 10 and it has a smaller population than any other state.

Bill Dugan from Abilene 8:53 PM  

@treedweller, Texas is something every a**hole who's seen "Dallas" feels qualified to opine about. Illinois? Beats the hell out of me. It's one of the I states, I guess. (But you're right, Texas is not the South. Restaurants don't serve sweetened iced tea here without warning you.)

michael 9:24 PM  

On the Texas question -- All I can say is that I was slowed up answering 6A because I at first ruled out Texas as "not really being in the south." I've lived most of my life in the East and Midwest, but there was a period when I went to Texas regularly. And a lot of the places I went to in quite different parts of the state (Corpus Christi and parts south to the border, Austin, the area near Big Bend) just didn't seem "southern" to my northern sensibilities. Sure, there are many parts of Texas that are similar to neighboring southern states, but I still found the clue misleading.

Gary K 10:19 PM  

@treedweller (or anyone else)

So what was the result of the cogitatin'? I'm still scratching my head over SEG clued by "div."

michael 11:10 PM  

@gary k

division -- segment?

jae 11:44 PM  

I spent some time in El Paso once. More like Mexico than Alabama.

Lisa in Kingston 12:44 AM  

OK, day is almost done (on the west coast anyway), and nobody has commented on what a bizarre-looking grid this puzzle inhabits. Cheater-squares, anyone?

kathy d. 12:57 AM  

Great write-up, Puzzle-Girl.

Interesting, fun, good musical videos.

These write-ups and blogging add so much to the puzzle, which I thought was okay, was able to do it without google, but wasn't at much fun as Thursday's.

Kathy D.

fergus 1:11 AM  

Another solver who PANTS after going fast. I never liked that entry and PANGS was so much more clever. Mybe since I did the puzzle after dinner, PANGS weren't as relevant as they may have been before.

Not that I did the puzzle fast, though. As most people seem to agree, this was a good, tough challenge, but very clear in the end. Most illustrative was dealing with the red planet, open-eyed.

Big mistakes were INSIDE DOPE where 411 finally fell in, and PORK RIBS instead of TEXAS BBQ.

A really fine hodge-podge Friday by an ace constructor.

andrea carla michaels 1:23 AM  

Was it 7 and then you quickly changed it to 3???
Loved your puzzle!!!!!!!
(ESPECIALLY MTWTF is my new favorite answer of all time!
Like NDE I had ..WTF first and smiled.)
SO glad you posted so I could click on your blog-gy thing and read all about you...
I had sort of felt on your wavelength but reading your bio, that shocks me, as we overlap almost not at all (what, no Beatles???!!!!)
Tho more so with film/books..."The Catcher in the Rye" and Vonnegut, but even for me that was 30 years ago, at least 5 before you were born!

(And yes, "The Conversation" is awesome, you should come to SF and check out where it was filmed! Early early early Coppola...and with Teri Garr!)

We're both Boars, tho! And, you will be happy to know, my mother's last name is...Cleveland!!!!!!!

(Doug, those !!!!!!! are for you...as I actually agreed with your comment today word for word)

@ Chorister
FUR ELISE triggers lots of childhood memories, as both my older sisters were pianists (my hands were too small to even reach an octave) and the oldest is actually named Elyse, so it was played a LOT!!!!!!!

How fabulous to never HAVE to pick up a check...boy, do WE have different dads!

I was gonna suggest Sonny and Cher for "IVEGOTYOU (Babe)" but they sing "I got you" which has to be grammatically incorrect, no?

@Jim in Chicago
I concur about OMAHAN...I had OILMAN in there forever.
(And by "forever", I of course mean for 6 and a half minutes or something! I thought this puzzle took me a loooong time, but I enjoyed every second of it and in the end it was less time than watching "The Office" which I had taped...so how long could it have been?)

@Hudson Hawk
If NAMING was a shout out to me, I must be losing my hearing bec the M was the last thing I filled in!

And yes, the naming ceremony for little Jewish baby girls seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon to balance boys getting circumcised
(Which I just accidentally spelled circumSized which I think is more apropos, no?)

(insert old joke here about why Jewish men don't like parties...
at their first one, they get strapped to a board, given a taste of wine and the next thing you know...)

liquid el lay 3:11 AM  

This puzzle didn't move me but I do like the REDPLANET both for itself and for its cluing. It's a neat looking word.

Here's a headline:
What's cool is how REDPLANET looks as one word.

FLEURDELYS NUITS I like as well.

MRRIGHT was hiding (I dig chicks anyway) but he was revealed with INLIGHT. That allowed ENDIT and TROTH.

ON A DIME is stong, fun language:

The shape of the grid is insect-like. Kind of freaky. It keeps looking like it's going to move on you. And those things kind of look like pincers. A little unsettling

oh yeah- don't SETOFF CAHILL.

Southern Ma'am 2:59 AM  

Well done, PGirl. I cannot spell "fleur de lys" to save my soul! Always get it wrong. Pretty good for a Friday; didn't pull out any hair or have a conniption .

Jan C 11:30 AM  

This was one of the best Fridays I can remember. No googling, which I usually have to do on F/S. Hard, but doable. Great puzzle.

And treedweller...even if half our state melts, Alaska will still be bigger than Texas. :)

Unknown 8:55 AM  

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