THURSDAY, Jul. 2 2009 — Pittsburgh-born poet who was subject Picasso portrait / Subject of 1999 best seller Dutch / Tangy teatime treats

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "{ROSE} IS A {ROSE} IS A {ROSE} IS A {ROSE}" (34A) — famous quotation by GERTRUDE STEIN (20A) that suggests a FLORAL DISPLAY (50A). Quotation expressed as a rebus, with "ROSE" written into a single square four times.

Word of the Day: ASIR (60A: Province of Saudi Arabia) — ʿAsīr (Arabic: عسير‎) is a province of Saudi Arabia located in the southwest of the country. It has an area of 81,000 km² and an estimated population of 1,563,000. It shares a short border with Yemen. Its capital is Abha. (wikipedia) [I don't think I've seen a place name written with an initial apostrophe before...]

A lovely little puzzle, though FLORAL DISPLAY seems kind of arbitrary as a theme answer. Plus, ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE suggests one flower, or one person stuttering while trying to ask a question about said flower. In fact, the bottom of the puzzle seems manifestly weaker in every way than the middle and top. The S and SW were toughest for me, with the MARCI / DSCS crossing being a near killer (59A: "_____ X" (2003 Lisa Kudrow film) / 53D: Mil. awards). I love Lisa Kudrow, but I somehow Completely missed "MARCI X," and as for DSC ... it feels like there are a million "mil. awards" out there, several beginning with "D" (DBE, e.g., lmnop, etc.). I figured MARCI was better than MARDI and DSC was probably Distinguished Service Cross. Am I right? [... looking it up ...] Yes! Woo hoo! U!S!A, U!S!A! In the SW ... SAK? (55D: Bag, in brand names) Really? OK. Last letter into the grid was the "S" in PSI / SENT. I am having trouble seeing the non-awkward way in which [Let fly] means SENT. Didn't know PSI (38D: Wave function symbol in physics), but the only alternative was PHI and ... HENT? No.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Pittsburgh-born poet who was the subject of a Picasso portrait (Gertrude Stein)
  • 34A: Famous quote by 20-Across ("ROSE is a ROSE is a ROSE is a ROSE")
  • 50A: Colorful decoration hinted at by 34-Across (floral display)
Other rebused answers:
  • 34D: Snow White's sister (ROSE Red)
  • 27D: Gloomy (mo ROSE)
  • 37D: Was revolting (ROSE up)
  • 24D: Writer Bierce (Amb ROSE)

Quotation is from Stein's poem "Sacred Emily." Context:

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Loveliness extreme.
Extra gaiters,
Loveliness extreme.
Sweetest ice-cream.
Pages ages page ages page ages.


  • 5A: Flower in Chinese embroidery (lotus) — don't know much about Chinese embroidery, but I know Buddha sits on a LOTUS sometimes, so it's a flower I associate with Asia generally.
  • 10A: Year the Chinese poet Li Po was born (DCCI) — I think this clue is recycled. Weird. Is this now the standard clue for 701?
  • 18A: Tangy teatime treats (lemon tarts) — my mom used to make these things called "Lucy Lemon Squares" that were amazing. Thin, with lemon filling on some kind of shortbready crust with powdered sugar on top. I always thought they were named after Lucy from "Peanuts," who was probably the only Lucy I knew at the time.
  • 39A: Who wrote "Can one be a saint if God does not exist?" (Camus) — yeah, that sounds like him. It's quotation day!
  • 55A: Carrie Bradshaw had one in "Sex in the City" (shoe fetish) — I'm sure I'm violating some New York code by saying I could never stand this show. This answer, however, is fabulous.
  • 9D: Twisted this clue's is (syntax) — HA ha. Yoda.
  • 21D: Subject of the 1999 best seller "Dutch" (Reagan) — super controversial, as it's essentially written as a novel and therefore messes with all kinds of assumptions about objectivity and truthfulness. I never got all the way through it, but I'm a notoriously lazy reader.
  • 43D: Tails partner (top hat) — wrote in TUXEDO.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS lots of entries rolled in yesterday for the contest I'm holding at my other website, "Pop Sensation." Still a full day left to enter. Check it out.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Denise 8:40 AM  

I had to run to Google -- did anything happen to Betty White? Oh, a Rose. That is how slow my brain approached the middle line of the puzzle -- I tried all sorts of ways to fit in "A rose is a rose." Until I got the right way.


joho 8:49 AM  

I really appreciate Mr. Gorski's puzzles and this one didn't disappoint. I also like rebuses, but was a little confused that only four squares in the middle were involved. I was looking to the corners for more.

@Ulrich: KOLN!

"There is no there there" is my favorite GS quote.

Debsanger 8:56 AM  

I was hoping you'd include the portrait itself (20 Across):

I hope the link works -- it's from the Met's website.

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Really enjoyed this one. Inspired me to go here:

She had some doozies.

Kurt 9:01 AM  

Great puzzle. Great write up. Loved SHOE FETISH, LEMON TARTS, SPYCAM and the bouquet of ROSEs. Thanks Elizabeth and thanks Rex.

DirtPile 9:15 AM  

Would have loved to see Rosencrantz in the puzzle!

treedweller 9:17 AM  

When I was a kid, my sister got this book, which included recipes with names like "Lucy Lemon Squares." I don't remember that specific one, but it's quite likely that your memory serves you correctly.

I didn't know the source of the quote, so the top half had me stumped awhile, but finally correcting webCAM to SPYCAM broke things open. I was like @joho, expecting more ROSEs, but by the time I got the center quote, I had the bottom done, so I didn't waste much time looking for them.

I wanted to complain that the poker was high-low, but google reveals HILO as the more common spelling. I guess when you're playing for high stakes, you don't waste a lot of time writing extraneous letters in the name of the game.

I liked the symmetry between TARTS and their FETISH.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Okay how exactly is 41D Cabbage = doremi? Google didn't help. That crossed with idest killed me (I had -DAST).

Dough 9:41 AM  

A delightful puzzle, Elizabeth! Thank you. It inspired me to have a shot of bourbon at this early hour, thanks to those four roses across the center! I never heard of Marci X and the crossing at the C didn't help (DSO, DSM, DSC, all them awards, is there a DSN? cuz Marni X looks good!). No matter. Great filler, great clues. (Great bourbon!)

Tony 9:47 AM  

I'M NO FOOL...the subliminal message in this puzzle is...Gertrude Stein pays tribute to Pete ROSE...heh

Norm 9:53 AM  

Anonymous: CABBAGE and DOREMI are both slang for money

des 9:54 AM  

I was fine with SENT as in throwing a pass way down the field.

The "quotation" slightly threw me since the more famous quotation, which she also said, was A ROSE IS A ROSE ... In other words, starting with A.

What's the rationale for using Roman numerals with an 8th century Chinese poet (other than crosswordese)?

Both Cabbage and DOREMI are jargon for money.

Anonymous 9:56 AM  

Lyrics to Woody Guthrie's song Do Re Mi here:

joho 9:59 AM  

My apologies to MS. Gorski who is definitely not a MR!

Anon 9:31 ... cabbage and DOREMI are both slang for money.

Glitch 10:03 AM  

@Anon, in case it's still not clear, parse it as DO RE MI, slang from the old gangster movies for moola, but nothing to do with the song of the same name from "The Sound of Music" ;-)

A [mini] rebus, no circles, 1 1/2 cupper, what more can one want on a Thursday?


Ulrich 10:04 AM  

I agree--lovely puzzle. Again, EG comes through with a trade-mark rebus. I lived in Pgh for over 20 years and learned to know the famous quarterbacks and jazz musicians that were born in the area (including our friend Earl FATHA Hines), but nobody ever mentioned GS! Got her name anyway b/c hers is the only Picasso portrait of a writer I know.

@joho: Thx for the shout-out--but Köln looks kind of naked w/o the umlaut.

@des: Good question!

I'm surprised that nobody asked how Snowwhite suddenly acquired a sister. It actually took me a few minutes as the Snowhite of the evil stepmother and the 7 dwarfs is called Schneewittchen in German, while Snowwhite, the sister of Rosered, is called Schneeweißchen--Rosenrot is the sister's name, and they both appear in a totally different story involving a talking bear (a prince under a spell, of course, who has to be delivered from his predicament) and an evil dwarf, who has his beard shortend repeatedly until he finds his deserved end (the Freudians would have a field day with the story). It must be better known in the US than I had assumed.

Elaine 10:09 AM  

I'm with des -- what's with the Roman numerals for a Chinese poet? Otherwise a fun puzzle. I do agree that the lower half was weaker than the top, but it was nice to see Eeyore in there!

Crosscan 10:23 AM  

I struggled with this one. SAK/KOLN and MARCI/DSCS were problems and other areas just went slowly. .....

Wow. Nothing else to say. Completely blank. Get me a guest-commenter, quick. PuzzleGirl, help!


Anonymous 10:25 AM  

Not having encountered any rebus based answers up through A34, and considering "Rose is a rose.." too simple for Thursday, I came upon "Exercise me I say, I say, ..." which doesn't quite fit. It channeled my late night brain to such a degree that I readily accepted AMBY as short for AMBROSE. It was all downhill from there. A fool is a fool is a fool.

Z.J. Mugildny 10:53 AM  

Just a flat-out great puzzle. I have yet to do a Gorski I didn't like.

John 10:55 AM  

Well at least I left the rebus squares blank, Only because I didnt know what the Heck to put in them!!!

The bottom half was easier than the top.

enjoyable puzzle overall!

jae 10:56 AM  

Delightful puzzle. I too was looking for the initial "A" and was sorta guessing at the MARCI/DSCS cross. Because of that cross and the SENT/ROSERED area this was more medium-challenging for me. A very nice Thur. workout!

PlantieBea 11:03 AM  

Great puzzle Elizabeth Gorski! I had trouble in the S with Marci and DSC's as well. And, I didn't see it was a rebus until the very end when my only blank squares were the ROSE squares. That made it perfect for a Thursday.

@Treedweller and Rex: Funny about that cookbook--the first my mother bought for us kids and the first I ever cooked out of. We were big fans of Franklin's jam tarts. I even let my kids make them when they were younger.

Many good answers today with SETTLE IN, CHOPIN, LEMON TARTS, LOTUS, SYNTAX, and my favorite of SHOE FETISH.

jeff in chicago 11:04 AM  

Ha! I kept seeing "Expensive pens" instead of the opposite. BICS certainly did not want to be the answer. IDOTOO looks like R2D2's cousin. I have a friend who gets physically ill if he merely looks at a POTPIE. Weird, eh? STOPPERS instead of DRAINERS for a while made the NE very tough. Lots of strange associations for me today, but a very satisfying puzzle in the end.

foodie 11:05 AM  

Rex, the reason 'ASIR starts with an apostrophe is that in Arabic it begins with a letter that English does not have-- a deep guttural sound like you're clearing your throat. 'ASIR, if I'm hearing it correctly, means "difficult" or "challenging". It must be pure desert. Like being from Hell, Michigan--you hope it portends nothing.

I thought this was a wonderful puzzle, except for that southern stretch with the random military medal. I love SHOE FETISH. I guess it must simply mean an obsession to purchase them in this context (never was a fan of this show)? That meaning of obsession confused me slightly, so I looked it up in both English and French dictionaries, and I think there is, once again, a French-English difference in nuance. In French it has the meaning of an object that has a supernatural power to bring happiness or benefits to its owner. No reference to the last definition you find in English, of "an abnormal or obsessive preoccupation".

retired_chemist 11:07 AM  

Thank you, Ms. Gorski. A fun puzzle. On target for Thursday. Enjoyable theme – wonder what July 2 has to do with Gertrude Stein. Anything? Never saw a rebus puzzle with all rebus squares only in one answer (34A) – now I have.

Sigh…. As Ulrich said, we need an umlaut in KÖLN (61A), meaning that one may receive medical care from an HMÖ (56D). Totally baffled by HILO poker (57A) – thought it was named for the Hawaii city until D’oh time set in – HI-LO. 60A - ASIR? If you say so, SIR.

Seems like there should have been something in the clue for 62A to indicate a foreign phrase. OK, not that foreign, but still…..

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Agreed, delightful puzzle. I actually appreciated that I didn't find the rebus until almost half the way through. I knew of no writer Bierce other than Ambrose, but hesitated thinking they couldn't have the first instance of the rebus that far in. Cute deception.

retired_chemist 11:14 AM  

@ foodie - is 'ASIR related to YASIR, as in Arafat?

Ulrich 11:17 AM  

..ah, forgot to mention: i actually see a rose in the black squares if I try hard enough, but that may be my too vivid visual imagination.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

My mildly long post about how I loused up this one didn't make it ... the short version is that "pisan is a pisan" turned out to be incorrect and I couldn't make heads or tails of the bottom right.

XMAN 11:32 AM  

Got the whole ball of WAX.

The E in EDUC/LIEGES was my last move.

I must have known the Camus quote at some time, because he came instantly to mind. Not that I trusted. No. I had to wait a long time for crosses to confirm.

I have had some interest in shipbulding, but am unaware of ELMS having any part.

As a Lisa Kudrow lover, I now must Netflix "MARCI X".

mexgirl 11:33 AM  

Thanks all for explaining CABBAGE/DOREMI.
I was puzzled to the extreme!

Clark 11:48 AM  

Thanks, @Ulrich, for the explanation about Snow White and Rose Red. I thought about Rose Red but rejected it before I even register the ROSE part because I thought it was a different fairy tale -- that is, not the Snow White story. And obviously ROSE IS A ROSE didn't fit. Must be something with I SAY I SAY. Man Oh Man Oh! From now on, I will say to myself before starting every post-Wed puzzle "Remember that it might be a Rebus."

I have gotten through life without ever noticing the DO RE MI as money thing. I like it. I don't got the DO RE MI.

The NW corner was the toughest part for me. Overall, it was a very enjoyable beating, a smart and sophisticated beating, that I received from this puzzle.

@Foodie -- Is the opening sound (and notation) of 'Asir related to the 'rough breathing' (also notated with an apostrophe) that precedes some opening vowels in Greek? Maybe the similarity only shows up when it is transliterated into a latin script? Whoever came up with that convention probably was familiar with Greek. The two languages are unrelated (Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic), but there was that long period when the Arab philosophers were the great interpreters and preservers of the ancient Greek texts.

Geometricus 11:48 AM  

AmbROSE Bierce broke it open for me. I had MARNI for the Kudrow film, thinking 'designations' for the military awards DSNS. This puzzle came suprisingly fast for a Thursday. I just going to start it, now the lawn and come back later, but 20 or so mins. later I had it done! So now out to the beautiful cool MN morning. Oh the smell of grass clippings!

still_learnin 12:15 PM  

Just about perfect for a Thursday. Things that slowed me down...

I've never heard of "do re mi" meaning money. Also, elms are not the trees that come to mind when I think of ship-building. Like many (most?) I'd never heard of Marci-X either. Finally I had "sieges" for 1-D and didn't notice the non-word "sist" for 1-A until the very end.

Still, once the coffee kicked in I made slow, but steady, progress.

Rex, thank you so much for the "Sweet Child of Mine" video. What a great song! It made me want start up "Guitar Hero II" and start shredding. Until my second cup of coffee, though, I couldn't figure out the connection to the puzzle.

foodie 12:19 PM  

@Clark, I don't know enough Greek to answer your question with any certainty, but I'd venture a guess that this Arabic sound is a lot stronger and comes from deeper in the throat than any sound made by Europeans. If you don't hear it/make early in life, I think it becomes impossible for people to emit (e.g my own kids).

@R-C, it's interesting you ask about Yasir vs. 'Asir. The way Yasir or Yasser is pronounced in English is pretty much the same as in Arabic. Yasser is the adjective for someone who enjoys "Yusr", a state of ease and well-being. Opposite of Yusr is 'Usr, a challenging situation (which is the root for 'Asir)! The two are often contrasted, and they rhyme. So, the Koran says: For each major difficulty ('Usr), there is a way to ease it (Yusr).

allan 12:26 PM  

Rebus is a rebus is a rebus is a rebus
This was no stinker.
Extra letters,
This was no stinker.
After yesterday's clinker.
Stein's fine Stein fine Stein fine.

dk 12:40 PM  

Favorite song from the 60's

and it is related to the puzzle.


Fun and fast T-day pour moi.

pednsg 12:49 PM  

Yesterday, Michael Jackson and today, ANOTHER Pete Rose puzzle??!!! Loved this, like all of EGs great work.

34D was also a theme answer. With regard to her famous quote...

As the quote diffused through her own writing, and the culture at large, Stein once remarked "Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying 'is a … is a … is a …' Yes, I’m no fool..."

Great day, all!

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

I don't like it.
Some of the clues were bad.
"Carrie Bradshaw had one"???
That could have been any one of a thousand things.
If you're gonna include rebuses (rebi?) then how bout a hint?
What I would really like to see is a puzzle based on Gertrude Stein's quote about Oakland.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

SHOE FETISH? Hmmmm, dont know about that one. I know all about foot fetishes. Carrie owned alot of shoes, but I would not categorize it as a fetish; which has a kinky sexual connotation ring to it.

sanfranman59 1:11 PM  

Early returns are that today's puzzle is stacking up to be (by far) the most difficult Thursday in the four weeks I've been tracking solve times. As of now, the median Top 100 solve time is 12:16, which is well above the average of the previous 3 weeks (all around 7:00). Although I enjoyed the challenge, it certainly kicked my rear, taking me 28:20 to finish. And even then, I needed to look up Snow White in Wikipedia to get the ROSERED/SENT cross and Lisa Kudrow to get DOREMI/MARCI/DSCS.

Noam D. Elkies 1:16 PM  

That "guttural sound" also starts the Arabia of "Saudi Arabia" itself, but I haven't seen the spelling 'Arabia. It appears in Hebrew too, but most dialects have lost the distinction between that sound (represented by a letter called Ayin in either Arabic or Hebrew) and the other glottal stop Aleph/Alif. The Ayin sound in either language is sometimes rendered as a G, as in Gaza, or Sodom's sidekick Gomorrah. I doubt that it's related to the Greek "rough breathing", which seems to become h (as in the numerical prefixes hemi-, hex-, and hepta-), and often s in the corresponding Latin roots; but I'm out of my depth here.


Doug 1:16 PM  

Call me the mint in a mojito -- I'm bruised and smelly.

Man, could not get traction last night and had another go this AM. Whew! Certainly not your average puzzle, I agree with that.

Rex Parker 1:23 PM  


rebus times are going to skew higher (I believe) because of people being slightly confused about how to enter letters in rebus squares and/or taking the time to put in multiple letters as opposed to just the first letter (which is fastest). So the higher avg time does not necessarily mean the puzzle was intrinsically more difficult than other Thursdays (though perhaps it was).


retired_chemist 1:42 PM  

Agree somewhat with RP's insight re rebuses (NOT rebi, as was discussed here ad nauseam a few weeks ago.

This one was easy for me because I has Gertrude Stein before encountering the rebus squares. They were then obvious if you knew the quote. My time relative to others was much better than usual, and doing much better on the rebus than I usually do is the most likely explanation IMO.

I wonder whether some (a lot?) of us just don't see the rebus coming and f**t around (suggest circumflatulate as a non-scatological synonym) with non-rebus attempts for quite a while. I certainly usually do. And this one, with only one Across answer containing rebus squares, would be a prime candidate for such.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:44 PM  

So nice to have a real rebus again! Seems like it has been awhile.

I must agree with others that it is odd to relate a date in Roman numerals to a Chinese poet. Not the calendar system used in his culture, not the numerals used in our culture, a real mixup. Better the dreaded "year in the reign of Pope Obscurantus IV"?

But I still loved the puzzle!

Ulrich 1:47 PM  

@Clark: I don't know if this is the translation you found. If you did, I want to point out a strange translation error right off the bat. The translation calls the two sisters "good and happy", while the original has "pious and good". I wonder if that made the two too goody-goody for the translator--it certainly does for me: I find the two nauseating in their too-good-to-be-true goodness.

edith b 2:07 PM  

I never saw a rebus like this one until I said to myself: "I can't believe the ROSEs are all in a bunch like that."

Then I had a D'OH moment as it occurred to me that a Gorski puzzle is apt to have a visual element to it and this one was no different.

fikink 2:22 PM  

@Debsanger, I, too, was hoping for the portrait. It gave me the puzzle today.

Haven't seen DOREMI for money in a long time, one of the FIL's and musical puns await me as he is coming to dinner this evening for Mr. Fikink's birthday.

Early on, Mr. F and I had a toaster which had to be soundly thumped to release the bread. Our Pop Tarts became known as Bang Tarts. A tart is a tart is a tart.

@foodie, I definitely think you should look at the brains of people playing Mafia Wars. Now, there's a dopamine dump looking for a study grant.

Enjoyed the puzzle, but I had an immediate leg up with the painting.

Hello, again, Allan!

Lisa in Kingston 2:22 PM  

Finally caught the rebus bouquet...but finished with an error:
I had VENT for 40A (let fly) and didn't even check the down clue.
@R_C, I simply Must incorporate circumflatulate into my vocabulary. IWGA!

archaeoprof 2:35 PM  

Good puzzle. Didn't see the rebus until there was nothing left but those four squares!

@foodie, clark, and noam d. elkies: I agree, there's no connection between semitic gutturals and Greek rough breathings. Here's another way I measure the difference: my American students can learn to pronounce the Greek rough breathing very quickly. But the semitic gutturals are much harder for them to pronounce. Many never really get it, until they spend some time in that part of the world. We English speakers just don't speak from that deep in our throats.

william e emba 3:22 PM  

Ulrich: as to Snow White and ROSE RED being better known in the US than you thought, I suspect not. I for one was scrambling trying to remember Cinderella's stepsisters' names. Good thing I did not remember the Disney version (Anastasia and Drizella).

But according to Wikipedia, Fractured Fairy Tales made a parody of Snow White and Rose Red, so maybe it is known. I, for one, have never heard of it before.

Noam D. Elkies 4:00 PM  

I imagine "do re mi" is a variation of the more familiar slang "dough" for money (though the musical "do" should be pronounced doh, not dough).

--CDE, er, NDE

chefwen 4:08 PM  

Thought this puzzle was going to be very difficult when I did my first run through, then stuff just started falling into place, the toughest for me was the northwest corner where I had tilt for LIST, webcam for SPYCAM, took EERIE out bec I don't know any words ending in EEE, except for your basic shoe width. Put it down in defeat, picked it up, thought maybe it's wilt not tilt, LIEGES came to mind and it all fell into place, let out a resounding WHOOP which sent the dogs into a barking frenzy. A satisfying ending.

Happy upcoming fourth to all.

Anne 4:09 PM  

Rex, I hear what you're saying about the puzzle being a rebus, but still this was hard. Usually, I can do Thursdays in one sitting, but not today. I had to come back repeatedly before things fell into place and even at that I was nearly finished before I even saw the rebus. A great puzzle with lots of clever clues. I loved it.

ArtLvr 5:09 PM  

Thanks to friends above for "Bang tarts" (tough to retrieve pop tarts), and bad Chinese verse = Li Po Suctions. Brighteners for the cold rainy spell in Michigan...

Also hurrah -- a rare shout out to me, CORNELIA!

Unfortunately, Calpurnia is more noted in history as the dominating wife of Julius Caesar, but the noble Cornelia, mother of the Graecchi brothers, became a legend and major role model in Roman times. Very nice, though, to see it in a puzzle. Thanks, Ms Gorski.

sanfranman59 5:30 PM  

@Rex: To some extent, I agree with your point about the times getting skewed by the fact that it's a rebus puzzle, but I think the impact shouldn't be as great for the Top 100 solvers. While I readily admit that difficulty is in the eye of the beholder, from my perspective, this was a much more difficult solve than other Thursdays and my solve time reflects that (28 minutes vs. the usual 10 to 15 minutes). In my case, it had nothing to do with entering letters in the rebus squares.

Clark 5:35 PM  

@Ulrich and @wee -- I came across Schneewisschen und Rosenrot during my first summer in Germany. I went there to immerse myself in the language and worked my way through many of Grimm's Kinder und Hausmärchen because the language was relatively easy. I'm sure the occasional fairytale-ism still slips into my speaking. I don't think I've ever encountered the story in English, though I admit to having been a fan of Fractured Fairy Tales.

Oscar 5:37 PM  

Great puzzle from LG, as usual.

She really rose to the occasion.

mac 6:41 PM  

My childhood was a lie - I find out there is another Sneeuwwitje!

I loved this puzzle, but I had to do it in drips and drabs because of other-things-to-do. No idea how long it took me, but I ended with no googles and no mistakes.

At 55A I was convinced it had to do either with Manolo's or Jimmy Choo's; I just admitted to a shoe fetish a few days ago, but I don't go as far as those prices!

I happened to know that painting, and I've always liked Gertrude Stein since reading "The Diary of Alice Toklas". My knowledge slowed me down, because I wanted the quote to start with "A rose".
@Joho: I also prefer the "there is no there there" and use it sometimes, for Weston, CT for instance (ducking).

The poker answer I had to get through crosses, since I only know of strip poker. I have never eaten a pot pie; talking about food: I'm preparing monkfish in white wine and artichokes (Lidia Matticchio) as I comment.

I'm going to let that "circumflatulate" roll around in my mouth a few times.

mac 8:07 PM  

No, I think I won't.

miriam b 8:33 PM  

@foodie: The chessmaster Paul Morphy had a genuine shoe fetish - among other quirks. I seem to recall reading that he couldn't retire for the night without first arranging a large number of women's shoes in a circle on the floor of his room.

And yes, a fetish can also be an object with mystical powers, such as the small carvings made by the Zuni.

@rex: I've been making those lemon squares since long before the acerbic Lucy lent them her name. Yes, they start with a shortbread base which is partially baked, covered with a lemon-curd-like mixture, then baked further, cooled, and strewn with confectioner's sugar. I don't even have a sweet tooth, but I'm salivating.

fergus 8:40 PM  

Yeah Foodie, I remember being being quite confused about 'un fetiche' reading a story for French class, where said object was sort of an evil talisman, and yet one could see where fetishism and fetichisme might cross over. Which reminds me of the Marxist term 'commodity fetishism' and wonder if a German speaker could clarify the implications there? Did Karl even use the term, or did this originate from one of his disciples? There are always good friends and bad friends in translation -- even from English English to American.

Puzzle was harder than it should have been since I thought I should be looking for Roses all over the place. POT PIE for POTATO was a good sucker misdirection.

miriam b 8:46 PM  

Stein's friends often noted that the painting didn't look like her. Picasso's response was, "it will."
May be apocryphal, bvut I love it.

foodie 9:31 PM  

Like others on this blog, I try to guess what the hot topic of the day will be. Today, I would have bet on the Shoe Fetish topic. But it took till after 8pm (EDT) for it to be really discussed!

@miriam B,that's what I was looking for!

(And that quote from Picasso was wicked funny!)

@fergus, yes to me the Marxist use of fetishism was more consistent with the idea of talisman or primitive religious attribution of magical powers. But I agree that one can readily see how it would not take much to get the broader English connotations of obsession with something, be it sexual or otherwise.

@NDE, I'm with you on everything you said except "the Ayin sound in either language is sometimes rendered as a G, as in Gaza". In Arabic, that G in Ghaza is depicted with a different letter-- a Ayn with a dot on top of it, which is called Ghayn. It comes out of higher part of the throat. The closest sound to it is how Parisians pronounce their "R", though not exactly...

Is this all esoteric or what!

miriam b 10:24 PM  

Obsessed with the Word of the Day, I Googled in search of its etymology and found myself here:

Really interesting, IMO.

How does one say 3 & out in Portuguese?

miriam b 10:24 PM  

Obsessed with the Word of the Day, I Googled in search of its etymology and found myself here:

Really interesting, IMO.

How does one say 3 & out in Portuguese?

fergus 10:35 PM  

It's probably a recognition that English seems to be a very accommodating language. Compared to French, which I know to some extent doesn't quite so welcome incursions. Sounds and meaning; putting them into symbols that others can decipher -- that's all we're doing. So I wouldn't say it's esoteric at all.

fergus 10:53 PM  

The image of a master chess guy arranging shoes is not surprising -- his choice of array in a circle is.

(miriam b, our posts must have crossed in passing, so I missed this.) I caught the story of Picasso, and that seems quite believable of them at their time.

Bill from NJ 12:18 AM  

It's ironic, I guess, that I paraphrased the " there is no there there" quote in my comment on Saturday June 20 in re: Paul Lemat.

sanfranman59 12:49 AM  

This week's numbers ... the number in parentheses is the number of solvers.

Mon (all) 7:07 (857) prev 3 week avg: 6:44 (907)
Mon (Top 100) 4:01 prev 3 week avg: 3:37

Tue (all) 8:40 (776) prev 3 week avg: 8:30 (878)
Tue (Top 100) 4:26 prev 3 week avg: 4:20

Wed (all) 11:56 (685) prev 3 week avg: 14:38 (641)
Wed (Top 100) 6:14 prev 3 week avg: 6:58

Thu (all) 21:34 (401) prev 3 week avg: 14:52 (640)
Thu (Top 100) 11:17 prev 3 week avg: 6:56

Anonymous 1:33 AM  

I absolutely hate rebuses. Especially because I never remember the possibility of encountering one. I always end up chalking the weird answers I end up with to an editorial mistake (AMBR in 24D, for example).

Aside from that, I am absolutely ashamed of not being able to remember GERTRUDESTEIN -- she's from my hometown, and she's a character in one of my favorite stand-up comic bits. I could only think of Gloria Steinem...

fergus 2:53 AM  

Sounds and meaning; putting them into symbols that others can decipher -- that's all we're doing. So I wouldn't say it's esoteric at all.

zoltania 6:51 PM  

Try these:

Elvie's Lemon Bars

1 box yellow cake mix or lemon cake mix
1/3 cup butter
a bit of grated lemon rind

2 eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
some grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter into the
cake mix and mix in the lemon rind. When mixture is
crumbly, spread in 9x15 cookie pan and bake 15-18 min.
until golden.

Beat remaining ingredients together for 2 min. Pour
over the hot baked layer. Return to oven for about
20 min. more. Cool and cut into squares. Sift
powdered sugar over top if desired.

WilsonCPU 11:54 AM  

VERY late comment from a reader in SyndicationLand:
@Noam D. Elkies said...

I imagine "do re mi" is a variation of the more familiar slang "dough" for money (though the musical "do" should be pronounced doh, not dough).
OK, I give up, how would one pronounce "doh" differently than "dough"? Does "doh" stay more open, and "dough" closes slightly? I can feel the difference perhaps, but I'm not sure I can hear it.

singer 7:40 PM  

Do re mi should be pronounced without a diphthong.

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