Title before Sidious or Maul — WEDNESDAY, Jul. 22 2009 — Roger who played same role seven times / Neighbor of Slough

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Constructor: Patrick Blindauer

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: SLOPPY JOES (64A: School cafeteria fare ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme)
— theme answers are all guys named JOE, but in each case the JOE is rendered "sloppily" (i.e. with the letters in improper order)

Word of the Day: ANUBIS (61A: Egyptian god with the head of a jackal)

(West Asian mythology)

The jackal-headed funerary god of Egypt. Before the rise of Osiris, the other great god of the dead, Anubis was considered the chief deity to whom mortuary prayers were to be made. He acted as the patron of embalming and guardian of the tomb. (answers.com)

A clever Wednesday puzzle that was tough for about the first minute, then got quite easy. Here, catching the theme seems important, if not absolutely necessary. I wonder how long that period between starting and "aha" was for people. I started by throwing down ALEPH (1D: Jewish leader?) and MOORE (2D: Roger who played the same role seven times), but then saw the EO- beginning on 17A and without even looking at the clue, I knew it had to be wrong. I ended up taking everything out of that corner. Tried VITAL at 3D: Paramount. Nothing. Took it out. Tried LOLL at 14A: Just watch TV, say. Nothing. Moved over to next quadrant where I found two juicy gimmes: OXIDE (7D: Nitrous) and ROZ (6D: Cartoonist Chast) — ROZ is, or was at one point, a crossword enthusiast, so it's cool to see her name in the grid, which I don't think happens often (enough). Anyway, all that "X" and "Z" action opened things up, and made JOE FRAZIER the clear answer at 17A: Olympic boxing gold medalist of 1964. As the letter went in around JOE part, I finally realized what was going on. HAD to be ALEPH, so it HAD to be EOJ, so ... JOE is mixed up. Gotcha. Rest of puzzle was a breeze and I still somehow managed to finish in 5 flat.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Olympic boxing gold medalist of 1964 (EOJ Frazier)
  • 25A: Hero of Super Bowl III (JEO Namath) — my wife claims not to know who this is. Even though she's from NZ and not into sports, I have a really hard time believing her. Me: "But ... he was on the 'Brady Bunch' and everything ..." OK, I didn't say that, but I thought it.
  • 30A: 47th U.S. vice president (OJE Biden)
  • 45A: Oscar winner of 1990 (OEJ Pesci)
  • 51A: Singer on day three of 1969's Woodstock (EJO Cocker) — since when did we start qualifying Woodstock as "1969's Woodstock?" I know there have been other so-called Woodstocks since then, but come on.

Loveliest thing about the theme is its use of every possible anagram of JOE, with no repeats.

I finished the puzzle with the most ridiculous error of inattention. Well, probably not the most ridiculous, but considering I eat one of the answers on a regular basis, at least kind of ridiculous. I had FIJIS and ANIBIS instead of the correct FUJIS (55D: Some apples) and ANUBIS (61A: Egyptian god with the head of a jackal). Since FIJI and FUJI are both legitimate geographical names, I can never ever ever keep the apple name straight. I don't get the actual island of FIJI confused with Mt. FUJI, but somehow, when it comes to the apple, it always feels 6-of-1, half-dozen of the other.


  • 1A: It's found in chambers (ammo) — befuddling. Thought of hearts and judges before I ever got close to this one.
  • 38A: Abrasive soap brand (Lava) — does it have real bits of hardened LAVA in it? I've never used it.
  • 70A: Winter Palace figures (tsars) — about the prettiest clue that TSAR/CZAR/TZAR gets.
  • 2D: Roger who played the same role seven times (Moore) — forgot to mention it above: the role is BOND. James BOND.

  • 13D: Title before Sidious or Maul (Darth) — wife also didn't know this. Not that surprising. I don't think she's ever seen the "Star Wars" prequels, and (unlike our nephew) our daughter is not into Star Wars. She's more an Archie or Veronica girl (see 69A). [Update: just as I was formatting this for publication, wife walks into office and says: "Of course as soon as I get up and take one look at the puzzle, I get it." Me: "Get what?" Her: "DARTH." Me: "But you don't know who Joe Namath is." Her: "No." Silence...]
  • 22A: Steve Martin's birthplace (Waco) — so much nicer than other clues one might have used for WACO.
  • 34D: Three-time Keanu Reeves character (Neo) — from the "Matrix" trilogy.
  • 44D: Neighbor of Slough (Eton) — Guessed it off the "E," but have no idea what Slough is besides a place of stagnancy and despair (see John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" and its "Slough of Despond").
  • 52D: Half of Brangelina (Jolie) — the other half is on the cover of "Wired" this month. That issue is right beside my desk. The issue's title is "New Rules for Digital Gentlemen and Highly Evolved Humans"; the best rule is on the cover. The picture of Brad Pitt features him wearing one of those little phone earpiece headset dealies. Next to that picture, the caption: "Rule No. 52: Ditch the headset. He can barely pull it off — and you are not him."

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


genevieve 7:41 AM  

"...have no idea what Slough is besides a place of stagnancy and despair..."

Also the setting for the British version of "The Office." Your description is apt for that, too.


Drewje 7:46 AM  

Yes, Lava soap does have real bits of lava in it. Well, it's got pumice as an ingredient, which provides the abrasive powers.

Anonymous 8:05 AM  

Got a bar of Lava sitting right on my laundry tub in the garage. Been using Lava fo over 50 years, great soap. Best Wed. time ever and just loved the puzzle. Thanx P.B. Golfballman.

edith b 8:16 AM  

My husband always enjoyed working on his car and prided himself on being able to "change his own oil."
Must be a guy thing. My point is that we had a bar of LAVA hand soap at the workshop sink.

I got the point of the theme at JEONAMATH and it was smooth sailng from there. I liked the way ILLER was clued, recognizing there was something wrong with the word itself. Bravo, Mr. Blindauer.

And thank those of you who inquired after my health. Greatly appreciated.

bookmark 8:19 AM  

I also wrote ANIBIS instead of ANUBIS, Rex. Didn't see the mistake until I got here. And I, too, have FUJI apples in the fridge.

My "aha" moment came with OEJ PESCI.

PhillySolver 8:25 AM  

FIJI/ANIBUS error here... a good fruit salad could have yesterday's kiwis and my made up fijis.

I worked with a division of British Gas in Slough...it rhymes with cow. I got sleepy everytime I went there though.

PlantieBea 8:26 AM  

This has to be one of my ugliest Wednesday puzzles ever. I didn't get the SLOPPY part until all of my JOES were neatly penciled in and I had made numerous attempts to fit in OXIDE, DJs, OLE. Finally the aha moment of sloppy prompted many erasures and fixes.

Thanks Patrick Blindauer for this puzzle that had me puzzled.

retired_chemist 8:33 AM  

Took me longer than expected but it was worth it in the end. The theme wasn’t thrilling. The fact that each Joe could in principle be 5 different sequences (6 including JOE, but we know none would be unscrambled) could have led to serious Naticks. The constructor obviated that problem by giving us pretty unambiguous crosses. Nicely done, Mr. Blindauer.

Lost most of my time in the SE. Had OSIRIS @ 61A, and after some head scratching put A BOMB @ 56D (subconsciously in honor of Daniel Myers I suppose). That fit with SLOPPY JOES (64A) and clarified 61A – ANUBIS was deeply buried but was exhumed for the occasion. Of course that still left the rest of the SE SNAFUed. Eventually fixed, but giving up A BOMB for U-BOAT was hard to do.

LIT (23A) could be better clued IMO – “Under the table” means sub rosa to me, but the “intoxicated” connotation is also common. So no complaint really.

ILLER is just ugly, clued as dialect or not.

joho 8:36 AM  

Oh, I loved this puzzle ... just what a Wednesday should be.

I was so confused at first because I knew it was JoeNAMATH. I got the theme at OJEBIDEN and went back to write in EOJFRAZIER. COCKER and PESCI were quick to fill in. So much fun. And SLOPPYJOES is such a great theme line. Also makes me want to visit Key West again.

Thank you, Patrick Blindauer!


treedweller 8:53 AM  

I did not instantly go for ALEPH, so I had Joe FRAZIER first. Then I tried to make Elijah work, trying to find some kind of rebus. Finally I moved on, and figured out the theme (more or less) at Joe NAMATH (with OXIDE and TIEROD, I knew it was right). I kept wondering how it would all be explained right up until I got SLOPPYJOES.

I'm still not sure it was worth it. I grant now that it makes sense, but I can't help but wonder why. A too-easy Wednesday once the theme fell. Also, PITAS are pockets of bread. They are made from flattened balls of dough. I don't know what pockets of dough would be.

nanpilla 8:55 AM  

Loved that he managed to get all six permutations of JOE in one little puzzle. Never heard of SIENA college. Nice shout out to riders with SPURS, TROTS and off to the races. I'm off to the barn to hand walk my ailing little guy -recovering from laminitis - ouch!

ArtLvr 8:56 AM  

SLOUGH rhymes with through, and is familiar from childhood winters as the favorite natural expanse of frozen backwater for ice skating in the Forest Preserve in River Forest, IL, second village due west of Chicago's Loop after Oak Park. Our access for parking was the old Victorian estate on the banks of the Des Plaines River, now the venerable Trailside Museum housing a variety of native small animals and rescued birds -- Imagine my surprise in finding out years later that it once belonged to my McFarlane relatives. They commuted to the city from their home in the then-wilderness by means of an early electric car which they took to the westernmost station of the famous elevated trains, the Lake St. El. That was between 1910 and 1920... The nearest street parallel to the museum acreage is loaded with early Frank Lloyd Wright residences.


ACME 9:06 AM  

running to the airport, hoping to snag Young Patrick's puzzle on an empty seat there or to grab one from the clutches of some unsuspecting traveler!

And for those of you who missed "Dinner Impossible" first time around, it's being repeated tonight on the Food Network at 10pm...
maybe THIS time I won't go looking for coconut milk in the dairy aisle!

(See if you can spot Rex...twice!)

Common thread: neither Patrick nor I will be receiving residuals for our labor (of love?)!

Shameless plug (NOT for me... for once!)
Peter Gordon at the set Sun will be publishing a nice collection of ALL the Patricks' work!
(Yes, apostrophe not misplaced, you'll see!)

dk 9:08 AM  

I was so happy to see my name (DECAY) in this puzzle. ALAS the paramount fill was not Acme.

I got SLOPPYJOES early on making the jumbles a TROT in the park.

Saw Watchmen last night with the twins and it has an ANUBIS whose duties match Rex's description. Dark movie 2.5 stars (out of 5) IMHO. Great sound track.

ENOLA and UBOAT provided a mini WW2 theme.

I am a Borax boy as opposed to LAVA. Lovely wife has been experimenting with natural cleaners: Borax and Vinegar is about 1/100 the cost of powdered and cream cleansers and does a better job.

So far this is an easy puzzle week. No doubt my hubris will be rewarded with a late week trouncing but for now....

Thanks Patrick.

Orange 9:11 AM  

Patrick Jordan and young Patrick Duggan, too, Andrea?

There are many sloughs south of Oak Park, ArtLvr—in the Orland Park/Palos area. Fishing, boating, desponding—they're good for all of that.

I first thought the theme was backwards first names thanks to EOJ FRAZIER up top. Then it turned out to be all Famous Guys Named Joe Who Have Won Impressive Things, Except for Joe Cocker. Oh, wait! He won a Grammy for the duet "Up Where We Belong." So he's not an incongruous loser—too bad the clue didn't mention his Grammy so the sloppy dudes were all winners.

ArtLvr 9:20 AM  

p.s. SIENA College was familiar also, as it's about a half-mile north of me in Loudonville NY, first suburb due north of Albany... They did an art sale of deaccessioned works from their holdings and donations about ten years ago, which uncovered many odd surprises. It turns out that some people used to donate questionable works as genuine to get a hefty tax deduction for charitable gifts, so there were a few of those -- but there were also some great finds!


Denise 9:24 AM  

I had the FUJI/FIJI error --- could not submit my darned good time & could NOT find the error. Oh well.

One thing about this puzzle business is that there is a new day ahead!

That puzzle was GREAT. I started with "How could Biden's name be something besides JOE?" My sister was madly in love with JOE Namath. They are all friends.

Great puzzle and blog.

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

"wait... OJ was never Vice president of the United States.... OH, now I get it"

Great Puzzle Patrick, really enjoyed it

spyguy 9:31 AM  

I liked the puzzle, and was good except that the NW gave me some problem. I had the "EOJ" pretty quickly, but didn't get (and still don't get) ALEPH.

My BIGGEST peeve with the puzzle, as a chemist, is with 32D. Things DO NOT "disappear" when they evaporate. They change state, go from liquid to gas, but do not disappear. Grrr!

John V 9:43 AM  

Had exactly the same error re: apple type. Grrr.

joho 9:43 AM  

@spyguy ... ALEPH is the leader of the Jewish alphbet.

@ACME ... so nice to hear from you so early in the day! Hope you have a great flight (or is that an oxymoron?!

Glitch 9:45 AM  

@nanpilla & ArtLvr

Siena College also conducts respected political / opinion surveys and its results are oft quoted in the news these days.

The fact that I grew up and went to college near there, plus my brother is an alumni, didn't hurt either ;)


Wayne Rhodes 9:46 AM  

A fun and clever theme!

My only quibble is 1 down. "Jewish leader". First thought was (of course) "rabbi", but none of the acrosses made sense. Eventually worked out "aleph". So the clue should have been "HEBREW leader". Maybe that would have been too obvious (could have been "Moses"), but Hebrew and Jewish are not the same thing.

PIX 9:50 AM  

@Spyguy: The Raiders where ahead 24-7 but by halftime their lead had evaporated (disappeared). Knowing too much science does not help with these puzzles.

archaeoprof 9:54 AM  

Do sloppy joes have beets in them?

Fun puzzle!

Unknown 10:04 AM  

@wsrhodes: jewish is a language aka yiddish, so aleph qualifies as Jewish leader

Brendan Emmett Quigley 10:08 AM  

After I couldn't get the JOEs to work, I just put in the last names and got it from the crossings. Weird puzzle.

Two small things:

WTF is up with that Fugees videos? There were nobodies when that song came out, and yet Columbia OK'd that big-budget video? Outrageous. The music industry is so screwy.

As for Joe Namath, why didn't you post this video? http://is.gd/1HE5R

JC66 10:18 AM  

@ Orange

Could be Berry & Blindauer, no?

Dough 10:19 AM  

I got curious about the word ILLER and Googled it. Eminem has a song "No One's Iller Than Me," and Google reports 4,710,000 hits for the word ILLER, many being hip-hop references. There's a DJ in NYC named Barney Iller (cute) and a song call ILLER by a guy named Amon (get famous fast, please and write a song called "Anubis"). There's also a river in Bavaria and a biking trail somewhere. Anyway, I'm happy it was clued as it was! Nice Wednesday puzzle!

slypett 10:21 AM  

Had the puzzle, all but the NE. I said to myself, I am not amused," then noticed I was definitely amused. This was a fine and enjoyable Wednesday outing. Thanks.

@PIX: Your example of evaporation is highly colloquial, which is not to say it's wrong. But, to EVAPORATE is to 'turn into vapor,' which is less substantial yet really there. So, I have to agree with the chemist. A better word, perhaps, for 'disappear' is 'evanesce' (prettier, too).

Anonymous 10:39 AM  

Best line of the review:

"But he was on the Brady Bunch." Thanks for the laugh.

Jeffrey 10:51 AM  

Sometimes its better to post a little later. How else would I know that today we're playing Name That Slough.

Deas Slough. You cross it just before entering the Massey Tunnel on the road north to Vancouver.

Despite ROS/FRASIER/ANIBIS/FIJIS, an excellent puzzle.

HudsonHawk 10:53 AM  

The theme came to me when I wanted either NEO or TED for 34D, but neither ended in a J.

SIENA has a very good basketball program, and it's on the rise. Made the big dance this year, and looks good for the upcoming season.

Loved the "New Rules..." cover from Wired. A few weeks ago, we were a table over from a couple obviously on a first date. He was wearing his BlueTooth headset the entire time. We decided that a second date was very, very unlikely.

Tigger 11:06 AM  

Had fuji and changed to fiji for no good reason.

After seeing the correct fill, my first thought was, "where would I most likely find such an apple, Fiji or Japan?"

My second thought was, "why didn't I think of that before?"

My conclusion: I'm going grocery shopping this evening and hope to find some Fuji apples.

Ruth 11:15 AM  

Loved the 007 clip. The great thing is that in those days there was no CGI so some real person actually made that jump! Probably less death-defying than it looks, but I sure wouldn't try it. Special effects back then look a bit primitive but were more "special" I think.

poc 11:20 AM  

Liked this one. Good for a Wednesday.

@ArtLvr: in the UK, SLOUGH rhymes with bough, not with through.

@Retired_Chemist: I think sub rosa means "in confidence", whereas "under the table" has a connotation of illegality, but that's me being pedantic.

I've heard of JOENAMATH, but associating him with a Superbowl was a guess. It could have been clued as something from a World Series for all I know :-)

Anonymous 11:26 AM  

It took me forever to get the Joe scrambles...in part because, knowing I'm terrible at Hollywood names, I was looking at the IMDB Oscar page for 1990----"Goodfellas" was made in 1990, but Pesci won the Oscar for it in 1991.

Two Ponies 11:37 AM  

I thought this was lots of fun.
The NE was the last to fall because I had ECHO chamber from the O and don't know Hebrew letters even though I knew that's what was needed. I had to use the process of elimination to fill in the last Joe arrangement.
Probably lots of acid dropped at the Roxie Theater.
Add me to Fuji/Fiji error.
I had a chuckle when my first thought for Canine Order was "Wolf Curry?"
Wired is right, if even Brad Pitt looks stupid with that ear thingy why even pretend you're looking cool with yours?
@ nanpilla, Hope your little guy gets better soon.

gjelizabeth 11:38 AM  

@retired_chemist: Here's Dorothy Parker in defense of "under the table" meaning "lit":

I like to take a martini.
Two at the very most.
Three and I'm under the table.
Four and I'm under the host.

jeff in chicago 11:43 AM  

Good puzzle. Liked the theme. But somehow lacking sparkle. Maybe it's just me.

@edith b: Your "Chicken in a car" song yesterday? I didn't move to Chicago until I was in my 40s, so I have to say I never heard that little ditty. Cute, though!

Shameless plug: This tyro constructor (to used the appropriate x-word word!) has a puzzle in the September Games World of Puzzles Magazine. Go buy it! Next step -- the NYT (or whoever else will buy the next effort.) After getting better at it, of course...

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Fun puzzle, Mr Biden opened it up for me. I am confused about one answer, IANA for 68A, can someone please enlighten me. TTFN

retired_chemist 11:49 AM  

As a chemist I have no problem with usage of EVAPORATE separate from its literal use in chemistry/physics. Wouldn't let freshmen chem students get away with it, but y'all in a different context..... no prob. It's in my dictionary as "cease to exist" anyway. Consider it metaphoric if you like.

Stan 11:50 AM  

Nifty puzzle, entertaining theme (once I 'got' it).

Thanks, Patrick!

retired_chemist 11:51 AM  

@ gjelizabeth: Hurray for Dorothy Parker!

Orange 12:07 PM  

@JC66: I assumed Blindauer and Berry. But ACME said "all," not both, and Jordan and Duggan are the other crossword Patricks I know.

Ulrich 12:12 PM  

Rex's start mirrored mine, for once. Once I got onto the permutation thing, it actually helped b/c I could eliminate those already in the grid--I trusted PB not repeat any. Had fun all the way through.

@phillysolver, Artlvr and pc: each of you has given us a different pronunciation of Slough--could the three of you get together for a pow-wow and straighten this out?

Susan 12:24 PM  

@Ulrich: the Slough of the clue (the one near Eton) most definitely rhymes with cow. We visited my husband's cousin there a few years ago. And we walked from their flat to a restaurant on the river in Eton! The fact that "The Office" is set there kind of says it all, with apologies to Scranton, of course...

@ anonymous: -iana goes at the ends of authors' names like Spenser (Spenseriana) to mean "Spenser and all sorts of things associated with him." I found this one befuddling the first couple of times I saw it in a puzzle, too!

@Rex: I did fijis / fujis, too. Weird. And Joe Frazier should really spell his name Frasier. And whoever that cartoonist is could just become Ros, as I had it, instead of Roz. That would be the easiest solution -- much easier than my remembering either one correctly...

Peter 12:30 PM  

@BEQ -re: Fugees

I was wondering the same thing. The internets told me that video followed "Killing Me Softly" remix, which was #1 or #2 on most charts. "The Score" album was 6x Platinium, so that would explain the big budget.

-P. Abide

Karen from the Cape 12:33 PM  

I think the shoe dropped for me at NEO at 34D, I just knew that one had to be right. And OLE at 30D confirmed it. I just filled in the last names and let them ride, figuring the explanation was further down the grid.

I spent five minutes looking at the puzzle for my mistake, and had to look at Orange's solution to see the FRASIER/ROS cross was off.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

ILLER is just plain painful to look at.

chefwen 12:37 PM  

Oh great, now my husband wants Sloppy Joes for dinner, YUCK. I can get the puzzle at 4PM HAST and always work on it over evening wine and cheese. Must remember not to discuss the puzzle with the husband if it includes childhood food.

Loved the puzzle after the 10 minutes or so of figuring what the catch was.

Am I the only one who put in imacs first for the apple? If I am I feel really silly.

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

"Slough" by Sir John Betjeman
I loved this poem when I was a kid, and I had no idea where Slough was or how to pronounce it either.

and read by David Brent

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Since when is a tie "No Win Situation" considered "Drew"? How wouls you uise that in a sentence? They drew thgame because they saw no end in sight.

JC66 12:49 PM  


As usual, your crossword knowledge, as well as your ability to read the comments accurately exceeds mine. I thought ACME meant two Patricks, and although I'm famiiiar with Jordan and Duggan, Berry & Blindauer are tops on my list.

Thanks for clarifying.

still_learnin 12:54 PM  

It took me forever to see what was going on with this puzzle. Even after I had SLOPPY JOES, I didn't make the connection with EOJ, etc. I eventually "got it", but by then most of my JOES were already filled in with crosses.

ArtLvr, thanks for the memories. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and once went swimming in the Des Plaines river. What was I thinking!

poc 1:01 PM  

@Ulrich: from ArtLvr's comment, I suspect he's talking about a different Slough, somewhere in Illinois, so I wouldn't be surprised that the pronunciation is different. As PhillySolver says, the town near Eton is definitely pronunced to rhyme with "cow", or as I said "bough" (it's the same sound).

Something that drives non-native English speakers crazy is the -ough ending. Through, though, bough, hiccough and enough are all different.

Clark 1:08 PM  

I had the EOJF... at 17A and figured it was some crazy sports name I’d never get in a million years. My aha was Joe Biden. Joe has to be right. Ole has to be right. Aha!

@spyguy et al -- I am with @retired_chemist, approving the clue for EVAPORATE, but for different reasons. Things that EVAPORATE often do disappear in the literal and commonly used sense of the word disappear, ‘to pass out of sight’. No need for them to cease to exist, though that is a secondary meaning of 'disappear'.

@chefwen -- Sloppy Joes does not have to be a yuck. Try the recipe in Sheila Lukins USA Cookbook. A bit of cinammon, chili powder, and, and, yum.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:27 PM  

Before I got too far into the puzzle, I looked at the clue for 64 A, "School cafeteria fare . . ." etc, and all I could think of was, "Mystery meat." Neither helped nor hindered the completion of the solve. (Will we get a complaint about mixed languages in "No, mein Herr"?)

Ulrich 1:39 PM  

@poc: thx--my bad. As you said, I didn't know how to pronounce "bough"--thought it rhymed with "bow". Wife thinks it's cute--I don't...

Susan 1:43 PM  

@Anonymous: LOVED the Slough poem! Thank you.

@poc: non-native English speakers? Those endings drive me crazy, too.

@other Anonymous: you say, "They drew to a tie," or, "It was a draw." I think "drew" is a stretch but I found it kind of clever.

mac 1:50 PM  

I had a blank square at APRS/anubis, which means, I guess, that this was a challenging puzzle for me. What is APRS?

I think I got the trick at the second name, but it made for some odd situations. Patrick is not calling the VP Ole Biden, is he?

Nobody fessing up to "pots" at 1A?

Great puzzle, Patrick!

poc 1:58 PM  

@mac: APR = Annual Percentage Rate

@susan: an amusing collection of orthographic pitfalls can be found at http://www.madore.org/~david/misc/english-pronunciation.html

chefwen 1:59 PM  

Just Googled Sloppy Joe's to find a decent recipe and the first thing that popped up was Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, turns out that it was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. Been around since 1933.
Gotta go find that Sheila Lukins recipe now. Thanks Clark.

chefbea 2:03 PM  

A yummy puzzle. Got the theme with Pesci. Couldn't fit Joe in.

Love Fugi apples

@chefwen @Clark try adding some beets as was suggested earlier.

If anyone is still hungry after doing this puzzle... Do the LA Times

ChemProf 2:16 PM  

One more chemist with no objection to EVAPORATE. OED has "To become missing, vanish from sight or existence." as one of the subdefinitions (albeit for use in describing persons).

OXIDE crossing JOENAMATH = two answers I knew were right that didn't fit. Throw in JOEBIDEN crossing OLE and I figured it out. All was smooth after that (I also eat lots of FUJIS and knew ANUBIS, so no problem there). Fun puzzle for me.

ArtLvr 2:22 PM  

@ Ulrich -- in the Chicago area, a slough is a slew homonym... i have no doubt the place in the UK is pronounced differently, whether it refers to a nearly-stagnant backwater or something else.

My Waterloo is "sough" as in the wind soughing and sighing through the trees: the secondary pronunciation is "soo" as I'd thought for years, but the preferred pronunciation turned out to be "suff". As in Tough Enough!


ArtLvr 2:50 PM  

p.s. Thanks to anon for the Slough poem and to POC for the poem on the various joys of English pronunciation and spelling.

Ulrich -- you aren't wrong in saying bough sounds like "bow" if you're making a bow to an audience or facing forward in the bow of a ship, or hearing the bow-wow of a dog... There are unfortunately other meanings for the same word, and it's "bo" with long O if you're using a bow and arrow -- or if you tie a decorative bow on a gift! So you can explain to your wife that you were both at least half right! Ow.


retired_chemist 2:55 PM  

FWIW "beets" was an answer on today's Jeopardy.

Two Ponies 2:55 PM  

Once as a bystander in a London pub I heard an American tourist order the Ploughman's Lunch pronouncing it Pluffman.That got a huge laugh from the locals.

jae 3:17 PM  

Caught the theme early so it went pretty fast. Delightful puzzle with a clever theme. Unfortunately, I debated the FIJI/FUJI problem and went with FIJI. Nice to know I'm in good company. We will be traveling on the east coast (Boston, New Haven) for the next few weeks, so my somewhat sporadic contributions will be even more sporadic.

poc 3:48 PM  

@Two Ponies: nice one :-) When I lived in Edinburgh it was fun hearing tourists try to pronounce Buccleuch (hint: buck-LOO). And of course let us not forget such memorable surnames as Featheringstone-Haugh (fanshaw) or Douglas-Home (duglas-hume).

nanpilla 3:56 PM  

@ Two Ponies: Thanks for the good wishes. He'll feel a lot better when he can be turned out again.
P.S. I've always loved your name! Even though I only have one "pony".

PIX 4:12 PM  

"The lead evaporated when Sal Lascari was pinned at 1:53 by David Greenwald." Clarion University web site report of a wrestling match. (11/23/08)

By the way: FUJI apples are very tasty; much better than the usual supermarket tasteless mush.

Betsy the midwife 4:26 PM  

hsd trouble with the northwest corner, ammo just didn't come up.
got all the last names and filled in the scrambled joe's last.
Fun puzzle, had to work at it.
If we didn't need to think it wouldn't be fun.
Was away last week and had to stoop to throwaway low difficulty puzzles, Monday-10 or less in difficulty on a 13 hour flight. We are so lucky to have constructors who tease our brains rather than have us copy letters into boxes.

Blackhawk 4:29 PM  

Great puzzle. As I mentioned over on the Worldplay blog, the most interesting part for me, as an American history buff, was discovering that there have only been 47 vice presidents.

Since four presidents have been assassinated and one resigned, all replaced by their vice presidents, plus the resignation of Spiro Agnew over a Maryland political scandal, I had thought there would be at least 44 (obama's presidency) + 4 + 2 = 50. Plus others had died in office, like Harrison.

But it turns out the U.S. vice presidency has been unoccupied 16 separate times, sometimes for as long as 4 years.

It wasn't until the enactment of the 25th Amendment that the Constitution has required the post be filled.

File this under, "the things you learned from crosswords."

HudsonHawk 5:39 PM  

@Blackhawk, that is interesting. FDR alone had three VPs (Garner, Wallace, then Truman).

Anonymous 5:49 PM  

too bad "OEJ Pesci" didn't win an oscar in 1990. He won a golden globe. nice clue.

retired_chemist 6:14 PM  

@ Two Ponies and poc: Auchinleck, pronounced Affleck....

Clark 6:33 PM  

@Anon 5:49 -- Semi-puzzle partner (and Oscar geek expert) tells me that Joe Pesci did win an Oscar for the 1990 film Goodfellas. It was a 1991 Oscar, but SPP says get used to crosswords cluing this either way. he did not win the Golden Globe that year, though he was nominated.

poc 7:12 PM  

@retired-chemist: Dalziel, pronounced dee-EL. Also Menzies, pronounced Mingus. Both Scottish of course :-)

Unknown 7:45 PM  

Clever clever clever puzzle. I enjoyed it. Southeast was hard for me. I just couldn't see Fujis or Of Use.

ArtLvr 8:28 PM  

@ jeff in chicago -- Belated Congrats to you on your success, with your crossword to appear in the September Games World of Puzzles Magazine! Is this your debut? Best wishes for more to come.


Anonymous 8:48 PM  

A clue like "Cheri of Scary Movie" just makes me nauseous. Why would anyone care to know this? If a puzzle maker can't come up with a better word or clue than this, then he or she should just find a new line of work.

mac 9:57 PM  

@jeff in chicago: congratulations on the acceptance. I'll be looking for it!

dk 10:18 PM  

@mac and joho from yesterday

Mac - the answer is yes.

Joho - I am betting the tuber fans on this blog can make beets you will find more than acceptable.

Back to today

I have a beet query: A few years ago I had a cold Russian beet soup at the City Market in Burlington, Vermont. I seem to recall it had oranges and perhaps raspberries in it. If this rings a bell with any of you email me your recipe.

@twoponies, that tourist was me after a hit of 10a. Favorite Pic. Circus pub: The Rat and Pigeon.

Clark 11:09 PM  

@Andrea -- I just saw you on Dinner Impossible. You were terrific! There was way too much chaos in that kitchen for me. You held up fabulously. I'm sorry to report to you, in case you missed it this time, that you did go looking for coconut milk in the dairy aisle. Glad to hear you live in SF rather than LA. That's so much closer to Chicago.

andrea joe michaels 11:40 PM  

Hi from Boston!

LOVED this puzzle!!!!!!!!!!!
That he had SIX entries and EVERY conceivable combo of JOE???!!! Do you know how hard that is???? and all those J's and yet didn't skimp on Z???????
And that COCKER and NAMATH same amount of letters and PESCI /BIDEN...AND JOEFRAZIER and SLOPPYJOES???????????????
It's genius and luck and great skill.

I'm in awe, bec I came at it backwards... I had MATH and ESCI so got JOENAMATH and JOEPESCI and SLOPPYJOES and thought "hmmmm not exactly sloppy, unless the JOE was scrambled...why would Will let him get away with just JOE this JOE that???" (I hadn't done the downs yet) so nice AHA moment! Bit of a drag as I do in pen.
But this is why Patrick is such a genius and not all show-off-y!

@Orange, jc66
Didn't mean to tease...was being a bit cagey bec halfway thru writing that sentence about the PatrickS, I thought it might not be my place to say anything about a book that hasn't been released yet and didn't want to miff anyone....I, um, have a slight loose cannon behavior, I am told, which I'm trying to rein in...

Ironically, couldn't get ROXIE as I had in AMIDO (!?) instead of OXIDE bec I thought it ended in O, having not scrambled my JOE yet...
And I go to the Roxie all the time...last of the rep theatres, in the Mission, barely hanging in there...champion of small art films. Brink of bankruptcy every few months :(

Didn't know FUJI/ANUBIS/SIENA actually anything in that whole SE corner, so did it with my MOTHER, first time in my entire life!!!!!! She knew FUJI without blinking...
well, sort of blinking.
me: "Mom, do you know an apple, four letters N_J_?"
(as I had ONTAP instead of OFUSE)

Mom: Macintosh?
me: Four letters and the N might not be right.
Mom: Granny?
me: MOM, FOUR letters...something something J something.
me: is that an apple?
Mom: I love Fuji apples...why would that be in a puzzle?

(Let me put it this way, I did not get my "puzzle" gene from the maternal side of my family!)

foodie 12:40 AM  

@Andrea, your interaction with your mom made me laugh. At least she came through in the end! My husband has that same tendency of saying random things in response to my crossword queries. It's like all this info about length and sequences is irrelevant. I've learned that either he comes up with the perfect answer immediately (usually some scifi related clue) or forget it. And sometimes, I might get a mini-dissertation on one of those wrong answers... you know Granny Apples originated in... It's good inoculation against the urge to cheat.

Anonymous 1:28 AM  

"every possible anagram of Joe"

-you forgot the trivial anagram, 'joe'.

Orange 7:48 AM  

Anon 1:28, why, that one's right there in SLOPPY JOES. To include a sixth name and spell it JOE wouldn't work because that guy would be an orderly JOE rather than a sloppy one.

Singer 1:32 PM  

I thought this puzzle was quite easy for most of it. Got that Joe was not spelled in the correct order with Joe Frazier, which was the first Joe I got to. After that it was a matter of putting in the last name and using crosses to get the sequence of letters. I didn't notice that there were no repeats, though. Anyway, the puzzle was easy until I hit the SE. I am not an apple lover, although I have heard of Fuji apples - never heard of a Fiji apple - I couldn't pull it from my brain while looking at nuj*s. I tried on tap instead of of use and couldn't remember Anu*is was ANUBIS. Ultimately I had to use Google to find types of apples, and it fell from there. At least I didn't google anubis, which would have been easier to do. I knew I should know what the last letter was!

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

From syndication land again: I saw that there were some responses to my comment. There are lifeforms here. Anyway, this was fun. My moment came when I knew Ole was right, jar had to be right, and Joe Biden was the VP. I already had sloppyjoes, but it took me a while still to get it.

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

From syndication land again: I saw that there were some responses to my comment. There are lifeforms here. Anyway, this was fun. My moment came when I knew Ole was right, jar had to be right, and Joe Biden was the VP. I already had sloppyjoes, but it took me a while still to get it.

Singer 12:06 PM  

Anonymous @ 5:24 from syndication land: Nice to see that someone else posts five weeks later too. I guess I am too cheap to order the on line subscription, plus I like to solve in ink on paper, but it is somewhat painful to post so much later than everyone else. It feels like being at a party and thinking up the correct witty response to someone the next day.

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