1975 U.S. Open winner Manuel — THURSDAY, Sep. 24 2009 — Rapid to Rossini / Thule distant unknown land / Publisher of fictional New York Inquirer

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: S-ENDING — "S" added to ends of familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: ULTIMA Thule (5A: _____ Thule, distant unknown land)Thule [...] is, in classical literature, a place, usually an island. Ancient European descriptions and maps locate it either in the far north, often Iceland, possibly the Orkney Islands or Shetland Islands or Scandinavia, or in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance Iceland or Greenland. Another suggested location is Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea.

Ultima Thule in medieval geographies may also denote any distant place located beyond the "borders of the known world." Some people use Ultima Thule as the Latin name for Greenland when Thule is used for Iceland. (wikipedia)

Also, a Swedish rock band:


I thought add-a-letter themes were on Brendan's list of "10 Bullshit Themes," but no. That's good, because while "add-a-letter" puzzles can be dreadful, they don't have to be, as this one proves. Simple concept (add "S" to the end) yields great theme results. That this puzzle is not any better than the average puzzle Brendan cranks out three times a week at his own site says a lot about how good those puzzles are. I now expect anything of his that appears in the NYT will be stunning, and this was just OK for me, dawg. Theme worked out, but some of the fill and cluing felt off. Sub-BEQ. Dropping a tennis obscurity with a convenient name down the middle of the grid feels like Fail, though ORANTES did make that middle of the grid tough in a way I normally appreciate on a Thursday (25D: 1975 U.S. Open winner Manuel) (ORANTES are also praying figures in Christian art ... too tough? Too easy? Too boring?). SATIATE (24D) and [Gorge] feel inequivalent to me, though I'm sure some dictionary somewhere says not — ah, I see the secondary meaning of "SATIATE" is "fill to excess." That's weird that one word can mean "fill to satisfaction" and "fill to excess." "I was satiated, but then I just kept eating to the point where I was ... satiated." OK. Don't know that I've ever seen LOGGIAS pluralized (well, I rarely see LOGGIA at all unless it follows the name "Robert") (26D: Open galleries). So middle was definitely MEATIEST part of puzzle (39A: Having the most substance), but not liking any of the big Downs there took some of the pleasure out of the puzzle. I did love the longish Acrosses in there, esp. WHAT A GUY (30A: "Gotta love him!"). My main issue today is RE-. RE- RE- RE-. Three times? Three RE-words, all in bottom half of puzzle? REMOVALS (36D: Parts of some appliance delivery jobs) is a perfectly good word, not forced at all, but put REHEM next door (49D: Take up again, e.g.) and now my RE-quota has been reached. After that, RESAW feels like a glaring, ugly excess (50A: Cut again). I have also seen BABA WAWA in puzzles one too many times now (4D: Classic "S.N.L." character who spoke with rounded Rs). USA USA USO? US no. On the whole, this is good stuff, solid Thursday stuff, but ... if you like it, you really really should be doing the puzzles at BEQ's site, thrice-weekly. On average, they are even better than this.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Band without a drummer? (The Beatless)
  • 24A: "See ya, idiot"? ("So long, ass") — this one killed me. Base phrase is a conditional phrase ... really hard for me to pick up, and made the middle that much harder.
  • 35A: Mission of an Army officers' school? (training brass)
  • 47A: Nice touch from Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend? (Who caress) — aren't they "THE Who?" And I know the other members are dead, but still ... Pete and Roger do not WHO make.
  • 54A: Playful kiss on the Discovery? (shuttle buss) — adorable.

  • 1A: Former "Meet the Press" moderator Marvin (Kalb) — total WTF to me (see also the next Across, ULTIMA Thule).
  • 11A: "_____ Boys" (1886 novel) ("Jo's") — Alcott.
  • 19A: 1989 one-man Broadway drama ("Tru") — it's three-letter drama day today. See also "HIM" (31D: 1927 E. E. Cummings play).
  • 20A: Divine creature with six wings (seraph) — no idea it had that many. Freaky.
  • 27A: Goddess with a cow as an emblem (Hera) — often referred to in mythology as "cow-eyed." Pretty sure it's a compliment.
  • 59A: Cryptozoology figure (Nessie) — some qualifier like "familiarly" probably needs to be in this clue somewhere.
  • 8D: Quebec's _____ Rouleau crater (Ile) — I know from personal experience that Brendan hates the answer ILO. Apparently ILE is just fine. ;)
  • 28D: Publisher of the fictional New York Inquirer (Kane) — as in Citizen. Very nice tie-in with "Rosebud" (52D: Beloved object of 28-Down => SLED).
  • 38D: Lallygagged (dawdled) — surprised to find that this is an acceptable alternate spelling of "lollygagged," which is the word I know.
  • 63A: Like this puzzle ... not! (easy) — not a fan of this kind of winky crap. The supremely dated "Not!" joke makes it all the worse.

Have a nice Thursday. Signed,

Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Elaine 8:22 AM  

I'm baa-ack.
And up way early, waiting for Rex to finish his puzzle and blog. I kept second-guessing myself by thinking, "Nah, too simple." Not especially challenging for a Thursday. But I did not get SMOKED/USO and didn't notice the unfinished bit until later.

And I was not pleased with MOSSO; huh? It's not a common musical term, so far as I know, though the cluing implies it is.

Wouldn't an English prof mention the poem "Ultima Thule?"

Mike Lewis 8:32 AM  

An easier-than-expected puzzle from BEQ - maybe I psyched myself out after his warnings on his own blog about the puzzle being Saturday-level. BUSS was new to me, and SHUTTLE BUSS was the first theme entry I approached, so it took me a bit longer to get than THE BEATLESS would have.

KARO was a gimme, but only because I read Rex's blog.

nanpilla 8:43 AM  

I started at the bottom, since I didn't know Thule or Kalb, and after seeing -USS, -ESS and -ASS, I just assumed the other two would involve an -ISS and an -OSS. (KISS, BOSS?- ideas, anyone?)
Liked JETPACKS. Funny that KARO comes up today after your write-up yesterday, Rex.

dk 8:59 AM  

Leave it to BEQ to rate his own puzzle :)

And, he dances around Rosebud* with busses and caresses.

*read any Hearst bio for not for breakfast test (in some households) details.

I smote this sucker, but then I like BEQ's work.

Off to work on my LATS at Southside Kettlebell.

ArtLvr 9:08 AM  

I found myself agreeing with nearly all of Rex's comments. ORANTES should have been clued with Praying Figures, too much RE-, and so on.

@ Elaine -- yes, MOSSO was UBER-obscure.


Laura 9:22 AM  

Liked it, for the most part, in general. Except for Solon gas (so, long, ass). I have no idea what that is.


JannieB 9:23 AM  

More Saturday like for me - but ultimately gettable. @Nanpilla - I shared your first thoughts about the theme and also tried adding "ass" to the end of all the theme entries (hey, it's BEQ - why not?). For some reason the Beatless was the last one I caught - in fact, the Dakota region was my nemesis today.

Way behind on my BEQ puzzles, but plan to catch up soon. They are consistently challenging and fun. "Approved"

Bob Kerfuffle 9:35 AM  

I thought this would be a really toned-down BEQ, since it started off with three gimmes, beginning with the (fatted?) calf at 1 A, no thought required at 5 A, and an easily gettable 11 A. Of course, it slowed down considerably with some of those already mentioned: MOSSO, ORANTES, etc. Still, thank you, BEQ, for leaving out the usual musical references to which I have no clue!

Have to give a pass on LEERER, but who ever heard "Let's eat!" announced by "Soup, son!"?

treedweller 9:38 AM  

I finally googled ULTIMA (again). TIL is an unacceptable variant according to some teacher I had sometime; ILE could have been anything; even 40 years of piano and seven years of school band and occasional stabs at guitar did not prepare me for MOSSO. But I got the rest, which is pretty good for me on a BEQ. I wonder if WS reined him in on the indie bands and (semi-?)obscure baseball players. Or if BEQ tried to clue RESAW the way he did on his site recently.

ORANTES was also obscure to me, but crosses made it inevitable. I first saw THEBEATLESS scribbled on a bathroom stall in college (the second 's' having been added by someone who was not as big a fan as whomever put up the rest, presumably). SO LONG ASS (@Gramatrick, in case you weren't joking, parse the original phrase "so long as") was the trickiest to get. I liked TRAINING BRASS the best. I still had to blink when I realized this was an add-a-letter theme, given BEQ's list referenced by Rex. But, as he says there, the tired themes can be acceptable if they do something interesting. Fun puzzle.

slypett 9:42 AM  

When the N and NW fell in a heartbeat, I thought, "Aha! Gotcha!" only to be held up in the SW and, in spades,the NE. In fact, I had an
awful moment, when I discovered that I'd closed that corner and was stuck.

Puzzle was more fun than most, got a chuckle from TRAININGBRASS and SHUTTLEBUSS, which went nicely with JETPACKS.

High fives, Mr. Quigley!

PlantieBea 9:45 AM  

Challenging but solvable in the end. I thought I'd be smoked by some of the obscure answers, but it was the easier NE corner that gave me trouble. I wanted AIR PACKS for JET for a long while, forgetting about Little Women's JO and her boys.

I liked the themed answers and viewed "Who Cares" as a possible alternative Who album name, like "Who's Next". Karo today, Argo yesterday...a steady march of corn the conquerer crop.

Thanks BEQ for the puzzle and Rex for the write-up.

Smitty 9:59 AM  

Like this puzzle....not!

The Corgi of Mystery 10:05 AM  

Was feeling nervous after BEQ's warning on his website yesterday, but this turned out to be more or less an average Thursday for me. Weirdly enough, though, I've been defeated by 4-letter corn products crossing 7-letter names two days in a row this week...ARGO/TSONGAS was new to me yesterday, and KANO/ONANTES was a total guess today.

Borat 10:08 AM  

I think the "Not!" clue was tongue-in-cheek. As in Borat's inability to grasp the idea of "not"

As demonstrated here:


hazel 10:12 AM  

Thought the puzzle was a pretty good one from the master. Didn't feel the effort in the hipness the way I do on some of his website puzzles, which is a good thing.

Good OBSCURE clue for ENO. How to make ASTA obscure, I wonder?

Also as a bleedover from yesterday, I don’t think LEERING and OGLING are synonymous. I think of one as sort of googly-eyed and flirty and done by relatively normal teenagers, the other more lecherous and done by old goats. You know which is which.

Like the grid layout - looks like a little blob alien doing a victory dance.

PlantieBea 10:14 AM  

@Borat: Ha ha. I thought of the clip you posted too. The gentleman teaching the joke in this movie is my cousin. Yes. So. Or whatever the opposite of the NOT punchline is.

Dough 10:15 AM  

Being old enough, Bernard Kalb was a gimme for me. But, seeing that Brendan wrote the puzzle, every clue thereafter felt like I was at the doctor's office wincing and waiting to get stabbed with an injection of pop, sports, or video games. As it turns out, it was mostly a sugar cube. I thought it was a somewhat lazy puzzle, with the short entries offering roadblocks rather than being the gateway in. The trio of LAT, TIL, ILE (followed by the wtf MOSSO) and crossed by the remarkable ULTIMA is all just lame. And then the LEA and ENL stack offering no assistance. The theme is cute and the entries were fresh, so I survive until my next visit with Dr. Quigley.

HudsonHawk 10:16 AM  

This was definitely a tougher Thursday for me, but I liked it a lot. Nice work, BEQ.

I moved pretty slowly from the South up, finishing in the difficult NW. Didn't help that I had THE BANGLESS briefly for 17A and I wanted 1D to end with an S.

@BobK, not sure if you were being facetious, but in my household growing up, it was SOUP'S ON!

Stan 10:27 AM  


Kurt 10:31 AM  

SHUTTLE BUSS was worth the price of admission all by itself! Well done, Brendan. Thanks.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

For what it's worth, ORANTES was one of the first answers I entered after scanning the clues. Sometimes devouring Sports Illustrated as a kid in the 70s pays off. Lots of good ethnic names from that era ... Nastase, Goolagong, Gerulaitis, etc.

I enjoyed solving the puzzle, although I see I ended up with an error: ULTIBA and BOSSO.

Stan 10:36 AM  

BEQ's website? I can't find it in your links! Am I blind?

Two Ponies 10:47 AM  

I thought the theme answers were very funny.
The fill was rather lame and I wonder how BEQ would have rated this one if had been someone else's work. Still, it was worth the price of admission.
Besides the bleed-overs mentioned above we also have the Discovery.
The central north got me but I hope to remember Ultima the next time.
Thanks for a good laugh BEQ and thanks Rex for an objective write-up of your friend's puzzle.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I had the terminal B of 1A and was thinking Herb.
That had me hoping 1D would be hideous. Nope too long.
I really hate garden gnomes.
Squeek the anonymouse

fikink 10:52 AM  

"Now, don't DAWDLE, Amaryllis, play your exercises: Sol do la re ti mi...a little slower, and please keep the fingers curved as nice and high as you possibly can. ..."
[The Music Man]

Happy to see a BEQ that is more English, less boss-speak. And some real beauties! BUSS, KITSCH, SERAPH and my personal - favorite, DAWDLED.
I had "dallied" for too long.

Agree with Rex on the too cutesy bit of EASY.
I DOFF my hat, Brendan!

Anonymous 10:53 AM  


joho 10:58 AM  

I had day before TIL and heaviest before MEATIEST ... other than that I just moved along, much more easily than I was expecting to.

Did not like RESAW.

I did like the puzzle with it's cute theme. That BEQ, WHATAGUY.

@Smitty ... what a face on your avatar!

william e emba 10:58 AM  

I must say Rex's comment about KARO versus ARGO yesterday helped immensely at breaking the middle logjam. I'm pretty sure I would have eventually remembered the stuff all on my lonesome, but it was nice not to work at it.

I was looking at -----GASS for a bit, guessed it must be SO LONG ASS, and for the longest time, I didn't like that because there's no such thing as SOLON GAS. And I was right!

Hah! I mentioned E E Cummings and his play HIM a few weeks ago (the PATMORE puzzle), commenting on someone's almost correct answer for Rudyard Kipling's KIM.

I thought ULTIMA Thule was common knowledge. It's the title of a book by some nobody I have somewhere on my bookshelves (unread), and it's also the title of a poem by Longfellow, and a short novel by Galsworthy.

As for a SERAPH having six wings, it's from a famous passage in the Bible (Isaiah 6:1-3): In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting upon a high and exalted throne, and His train filled the sanctuary. Seraphim were standing above Him. Each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called unto the other, and said: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory."

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

RESAW is actually a term in woodworking - one cuts veneers from a board on a band saw by RESAWing. It really doesn't mean when you cut a 2x4 to 8'4' then cut again to 8'. It would be less objectionable if it were clued as such. Not much less, just less.

They must have shown Miguel ORANTES winning the US Open in '75 at least 100 times during the previews to this years US Open Men's Finals, as he was the most recent Argentinian winner. If you thought that might have help me, well you were wrong.

Retired_Chemist 11:05 AM  

Definitely a Saturday level of difficulty for me. As others said, I started off gangbusters and then it got very hard very quickly.
I did finish without googling but it sure took me a long time. Before I got the theme I had CREATING BRASS for 35A and thought 24A SO LONG ASS was just an oddly insulting choice of words. I was working off phrases that end in -SS as a hypothesis. Asked non-puzzle wife if Daltrey and Townshend were in the WHO? Even so I wasn't instantly clued in to 47A.

A fine workout in any case. Thanks, Mr. Q.

Anonymous 11:26 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle. Let's eat is not Soup, son or daughter, (have to include both sexes!), but SOUP'S ON

poc 11:29 AM  

How is ORANTES obscure and KEN not? I knew the first but not the second (is there no better clue for KEN, seriously?)

The theme was cute, though I didn't much like prepositional phrasing in SOLONGAS(S)

SALSA is not a dance. It's a style of music that people often dance to.

I ground away at the whole thing except SMOKED/USO and just couldn't be bothered any more. Adequeate Thursday level, but not a lot of fun.

Guy Who Points Stuff Out 11:44 AM  

There's a link to BEQ's website in the first par. of today's write-up ("10 Bullshit Themes"). Also, under "Rex Recommends These Puzzles!!!" in sidebar.

william e emba 11:44 AM  

Of course there are "better" clues for KEN. But today is Thursday, so medium obscurity is what you are going to get. Look up Ken Whisenhunt on Wikipedia: he was head coach for Arizona, which almost won the Super Bowl earlier this year.

obertb 11:54 AM  

MESSO looked better than MOSSO for [9D Rapid, to Rossini], which left me with TAILER for [15a Pin-up figure], which I rationalized as having something to do with Pin The Tail On The Donkey!? Duh. Other than that bonehead error, a pretty smooth solve. Fun puzzle, happily devoid of BEQ's über-obscure (for me, anyway) indie band references.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:57 AM  

@HudsonHawk and Anonymous - I apologize. I meant to add an emoticon, then forgot to do so. Just trying to add a soupçon of humor.

Clark 11:59 AM  

I was grateful for the 3 RE...s. Without RESAW and REHEM I might have gotten stuck. I resisted MOSSO for quite a while, thinking it refers more to motion than rapidity. Appearing in conjunction with other words, meno mosso, piu mosso, poco mosso . . . It comes out to be equivalent to _____ rapidly, I guess.

Fun puzzle.

@poc. SALSA is a dance (as well as a style of music). (See, e.g., Random House Dictionary, see also, My Trip to Brazil .)

Eli, the dancing bear 12:03 PM  

Man, I'm glad I feel bad for someone going to any of the thousands of links to salsa dancing, or the how-to videos, or try out for the world salsa championship because the fools don't realize there's no such thing.

HudsonHawk 12:05 PM  

@BobK, I thought that was probably so. Nice touch with soupçon.

@poc, I'm guessing BEQ just likes to say "Whisenhunt". It's fun!

Ulrich 12:06 PM  

@poc: I'm totally with you re. Orantes--He was on TV a lot recently during the US Open, and I saw his mug when I walked down the portraits of past champions during the one day I actually went there--can't say this for the Ken guy.

@hazel: I love your take on the grid--I had a similar reaction.

And I liked, of course, seeing KITSCH spelled the correct way--it was my first entry and I prayed that it would be correct--I have always had such problems with BEQ puzzles that I kept my breath all the way through (the generational gap seems at times insurmountable)--I made it in the end w/o help, but it was NOT EASY!

poc 12:15 PM  

@william e emba: clearly obscurity is relative, that's all. I don't even follow tennis, but I knew Orantes. Maybe it's an age thing.

Greene 12:18 PM  

I thought this was one humdinger of a puzzle. Great example of how an expert constructor can take a tired theme (add-a-letter) and make it fresh and funny. I got THE BEATLESS pretty early on followed quickly by TRAINING BRASS. Each theme entry brought a big grin or a laugh. WHO CARESS? Brilliant! SO LONG ASS? Hilarious.

The puzzle was quite tough for me and took a long time, but was so worth the trouble. Definitely more conservative the web-based BEQ, but this really spiced up a sort of run-of-the mill puzzle week for me (Well, Tyler's Onion puzzle yesterday was actually pretty lively).

I'm surprised about the grousing over MOSSO. True, I'm not accustomed to seeing it as a stand-alone term, but surely the musicians out there have seen the phrase MENO MOSSO to denote a gradual slowing of tempo. That's fairly common musical jargon.

Took me a long time to get KITSCH. That's such a terrific word. I never really thought of garden gnomes as kitschy, but actually, that's exactly what they are.

@Fikink: Why on earth would somebody from Iowa be quoting The Music Man? P.S. I had DALLIES too.

Jim in Chicago 12:19 PM  

I love it when the puzzles all blend together. Just yesterday we were talking about KARA/ARGO/SEGA and now here it is again. Ditto for Discovery, which I was so hoping would turn out to be a reference to Henry Hudson's ship.

The only problem I have with the puzzle is the last word. I find it insulting and self-congratulatory for the puzzle creator to decide whether its hard or easy, that's for the solvers to determine. I know he was trying to be cute, but it fell flat for me.

My mother always said "soup's on" so that was a gimme for me.

The Seraph with the six wings always brings to my mind a glorious Charles Wood anthem on the text:

'Twas in the year that King Uzziah died,
A vision by Isaiah was espied;
A lofty throne, the Lord was set thereon;
And with his glory all the temple shone.
Bright seraphim were standing round about
Six wings had every of that quire devout;
With twain he awesome veiled his face, and so
With twain he dreadful veiled his feet below.
With twain did he now hither, thither fly:
And thus aloud did one to other cry:
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth,
Full of his glory are earth and heaven, both.
And at their cry the lintels moved apace,
And clouds of incense filled the holy place.

I'm especialy fond of the use of the word twain. Compare this text to the schlocky praise songs we're saddled with today along the lines of "I just get all warm and fuzzy when I think of Jeeeesus" and I just shed a tear for what we've lost.

Elaine 12:29 PM  

I have been away for 2 weeks plus, so missed Rex's KARO lecture (will have to go back and look for it.) However, ANY self-respecting cook from the South knows that both light Karo and dark Karo are basic pantry necessities. I mean, great gimme!

Am still pouting about MOSSO.

I was surprised that "So long, ass" made it past the censors! Have been enjoying the novel mis-reads... And I hate to tell this on myself, but I thought Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey sounded like football players, so I asked my husband if he knew what team they were on or what positions they played....He told me they were "rock musicians or something." Got the answer anyway, mostly via crosses.

HM editor 12:31 PM  

Sad little puzzle. Glad that others thought the "Like this puzzle...Not!" clue was weirdly dated. Roger Daltrey's name is misspelled in a theme clue.

fikink 12:33 PM  

@BobK, Nice one, nonpareil !

@Greene, the really sad part is that I have been singing it since I awoke this morning! Why should ANYONE listen to anybody from Iowa, "even if she has read Balzac or Shakespeare or all them other high-falutin' Greeks"?

KITSCH and KALB was my favorite KROSS.

Jeffrey 12:34 PM  

Another good one. A+

Blanche 12:43 PM  

@Elaine, please don't pout; just accept MOSSO for what it is, an extremely common musical term. I am a professor of music and see the word every day, though, as was pointed out, not usually by itself.

Blanche 12:43 PM  
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Glitch 12:43 PM  
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Glitch 12:45 PM  
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Glitch 12:47 PM  

For those that missed the satire of @Eli, the dancing bear:

The World Salsa Dance Federation

As to the puzzle, thought it was a pretty good Thursday workout (assume Will thought so too).

Looks like BEQ has mastered the "acceptable for NYT publication" vrs "wow 'em on my website" distinction ;)


Rex Parker 1:09 PM  

To be fair, you can't call something "extremely common" and then in next breath say "I am a professor of the field in which said term is extremely common." Second point totally undermines your first, and makes you look like you are extrapolating your narrow professional POV to the world writ large. Many things are "extremely common" to me, as a professor, that I would not call "extremely common" generally (ORANTES as praying figures, for instance, or John Lydgate or David Goodis or Lollards or Joseph T. Shaw and on and on). I think MOSSO is fair game, but be realistic: as musical words go, esp. if you are not yourself a musician, it's obscure.

Anne 1:11 PM  

I've been away and managed to do most of the puzzles but I missed all of the discussion. I knew the constructor was BEQ a minute into this one even without looking at at his name. His puzzles are always fresh and challenging and usually funny. I loved it.

Anne 1:18 PM  

Because I've been away, I went back to read the comments on last Saturday's puzzle - Puns and Anagrams. I just want to say how relieved I feel because I ended up throwing up my hands in frustration, the first time that has happened in a long time. That's one of the benefits of this blog - validation.

John 1:19 PM  

Had to google "ULTIMA Thule" so missed TIL, Despite the Existance of that awful Zombie movie of the same name (which I have seen)! Never heard of MOSSO either Dont follow tennis so it had to be either ORANTES or ARANTES. A totaly enjoyable solve! Four Stars Mr.Q!

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

Who misspelled Daltrey's name in the clue? Hmmm.

Rube 1:54 PM  

@w e emba -- fyi, Solon Gas is a perfectly acceptable phrase here in California... this is in re to our fine senators in Sacramento. Also, think of the Sacramento Solons of the old Pacific Coast League, (I'm from Seattle).

joho 2:01 PM  

@Crosscan ... when I finished the puzzle this morning I wondered what Rex would say and also if you'd be giving it a grade today. Thanks for not disappointing!

poc 2:12 PM  

@Glitch: Did I say that there is no such thing as salsa dancing? No, I did not. I live in a country (Venezuela) where people dance salsa all the time, but if you ask any of them what salsa is, they'll tell you it's a kind of music. They won't say "it's a dance". That's the only (trivial) point I was trying to make. The sarcasm (not satire) is uncalled for.

edith b 2:18 PM  

"Challenging but doable in the end" was precisely my thought, Plantie Bea.

I had little trouble in the North as KALB was a neon for me, being of a certain age. I always like it when I can get 1A/1D from the beginning. It gave me the theme staraightaway but I bogged down at SOLONGASS for failure to parse and an inability to see ***ASS as a legitimate NYT word.

I had to piece together the entire South a word at a time as I wanted BLUNDERBUSS at 54A. It fit in two spots USO ATREMBLE and, after correction of SAMBAS to SALSAS, 3 spots. I held on to that wrong answer far too long.

Like fikink, I thought "don't dawdle, Amaryllis" right away and got the SW pretty quickly.

That left just the thouroghly discombobulated SE and the trouble in the NE to fix. I finally had to start from scratch in the SE to fix my problem there working around a total blank at 54A to finally disabuse myself of the notion that is was BLUNDERBUSS.

I finally parsed 24A as SO LONG AS(S) to a solve.

Hardest time I ever had on a Thursday, all due to "the nut behind the wheel", as my mother was fond of saying when blaming herself

MikeM 2:20 PM  

Totally SMOKED me today. Had to google MOSSO (although I play piano)and ORANTES and still messed up. I had WHATABOY crossing with LOBBIES and just couldnt undo these errors. WHen you put pen to paper and have 2 errors crossing you just sink. I am sunk. On a Thursday :( But loved the theme and love The Who. Cheers

Clark 2:24 PM  

people like to say "salsa"

CoolPapaD 2:29 PM  

Put me in the "loved it" camp. Adding an S to get these hysterical phrases is terrific. Like others, when the man himself warned of a Saturday difficulty, I was counting on hitting the G-spot a lot, but didn't end up needing Sergey and Larry for this one!

When are we ALL going to get JETPACKS? When I was a kid (late 60s, early 70's), we were assured that they'd be along soon. Liars!

Two Ponies 2:31 PM  

@ Clark, I did not click on your link but I'm betting it's from Seinfeld. Funny because that scene played in my mind when I wrote that answer. Am I right?

Anonymous 2:43 PM  

I liked this one. I ended up with a couple of incomplete words but on the whole it was enjoyable for me. I suppose we of a certain age remember Marvin Kalb. Wasn't there a brother, also a media person?


chefwen 2:53 PM  

Yeah, I got smoked too, couldn't even finish it last night, had to look at it with fresh eyes this a.m. and it finally came together w/a little help from Google.

Don't know about the dance, but I make a wicked salsa, to die for.

63 Across really irked me.

Clark 2:55 PM  

@Two Ponies - It would set a bad precedent if I were to reveal what was behind the link. Let me just say,
we all had ponies.

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

@Babs: Yes, Marvin's brother is Bernard Kalb.

----> Joe in NYC

schmidtenor 3:17 PM  

I really wanted ADHERE to be COHERE. "Rapid" not the best clue for MOSSO, which means "with motion", not necessarily RAPIDO or PRESTO, etc. MOSSO is usually coupled with meno or píu, to indicate which way we're going.

AV 3:23 PM  

Agree with Rex re: delightful Thursday for the "simple" theme that leads to fresh answers.

SATIATE, ORANTES and LOGGIAS cut through three theme answers and two long entries! And the three stacked verticals in the NE and SW are wonderful. Great grid management!

Also loved the Dusk-Dawn clue - sneaky that it didn't have a ? at the end.

Since BEQ is not here to grade his own puzzle, I give this an A for theme, and an A+ for execution. :-)

mac 3:23 PM  

I just lost my comment and I'm out of time. Liked the puzzle a lot but ran into trouble in the Ultima/Mosso region; worked from the South up. Loved all the theme answers and "atremble"!

Glitch 3:51 PM  


If you reread my post you will note it was directed to @Eli not you.

I understood your position from your first post, choosing not to comment directly (as others have).

Sorry for any misunderstanding, unless you're also posting as Eli.


fergus 4:00 PM  

"Poor Ringo he never gets any respect," was a line in a Newsweek article I read yesterday. And at first, I thought BEQ was opening with another snide remark until the SS asserted itself.

poc 4:14 PM  

@Glitch: not at all. I did understand you were referring to Eli. Sorry for the confusion.

jae 4:26 PM  

Medium for me except for the ULTIMA section which took a while to unravel. I'm with those that liked it but I agree with Rex that this is not up to the many good ones on the BEQ site. That said, I thought the theme was fun/funny and the puzzle overall a good Thurs. workout for a NYT!

BTW I've found the just typing "brendan emm" into google gets you there.

Chip Hilton 5:18 PM  

@anonymous 11:04
This is awfully late for a correction but ORANTES was not the last Argentine to win the U.S. Open before this year. Orantes is from Spain and was a Davis Cup stalwart for his country for years. I believe you're thinking of Guillermo Vilas.

Anon 11:04 5:21 PM  

@Chip Hilton - Maybe that's why it didn't help!

Chip Hilton 5:50 PM  

@anon 11:04
Taken in the proper good spirit. lol

mac 6:03 PM  

A friend just allerted me to the fact that Will Shortz runs Word or Game weekends at Mohonk. Has anybody been?

Charles Bogle 6:46 PM  

well, again I'm reminded of my limitations..sounds like a terrific puzzle from a true master. Someday--

Cow-eyed Goddess 8:14 PM  

Terrific puzzle w/ minor flaws. It's one of those where you just have to smile at the cleverness of the theme. A great 7-minute diversion from an otherwise humdrum day.

Stan 8:51 PM  

Seven minutes? You are a goddess, Hera...

Elaine 9:19 PM  

@ mac
There is NO WAY that there is such a place as Mohonk. Crosswords or not!

The South has every bad-name place in the EARTH... (and I have a receipt from a grocery in Possum Trot, Kentucky right in front of me this very minute!)...SO Back OFF!!!...and don't even TRY to take that title.

We've got KARO, and we know how to use it!

Sfingi 10:47 PM  

Totally bombed. Even after massive Googling. When I saw Rex's answers was more shocked than self-flagellating. I can talk trashy, but the NYT?! Did like the collection of imaginaries - Hera, Nessie, Seraphim, jetpacks, Rosebud, gnomes.

@Elaine - Mohonk is in the Shawangunk Mts., I believe. NY has a combo of English, Dutch, Woodland Indian and Greek Revival names.

Went to bed too early to respond to yesterday' queries (hope this doesn't break rules):
My Dutch teacher told me to read Krakatoa. I bought a 2nd hand copy, but still haven't read it. She was in a Japanese camp in Indonesia during WW2 and was forced to witness a beheading.

The full title of the song is "Istanbul, not Constantinople." But that's nobody's business but the Turks.

Bill from NJ 12:13 AM  


Funny you should mention Possum Trot KY. When I worked in Mobile Home Financing in Eastern Kentucky I remember being told that Paducah was between Monkeys Eyebrow and Possum Trot and there was not way I could miss it. And they were right.

andrea atremble michaels 12:46 AM  

One of the first puzzles of BEQ I've ever been able to solve, much less so quickly...
so I was taken aback by the last word, and felt mildly insulted but couldn't figure out by whom or why.

Granted, even tho I not only didn't know half the answers, when I filled them in by crosses I didn't parse them correctly AGAIN
(Is there a school for this? I mean I know there's schoolin' for this...)

I mean, having never heard of SOLON GAS I read is as SOLANGAS, thinking they were some sort of dresses from Tonga that Dorothy Lamour wore...and didn't get how that was common, but whatever.

Fun trivia question:
What African country can be found entirely inside another?


So many bleedovers it's become a blood bath.

The Beatles and (The)Who almost together again.


Robin 12:47 AM  

I love this blog

Robin 12:58 AM  

I have printed out Friday's puzzle and I have only four answers. Was so proud of self for solving BEQ's allegedly Saturday level puzzle on Thursday with no problem...but can't begin to solve Robert Doll's (what a cute name) Friday puzzle. BEQ, if you want to know what brutal really looks like, take a look at this thing.

Laura 2:10 AM  

So, I don't usually get to do my crosswords until the end of the day (I get the paper delivered to my work)- I usually do them on the subway ride home. I looked at this puzzle and thought, "oy, vey" and then saw that it was a BEQ puzzle. But, slowly and steadily, I began to build, starting in the northwest corner (thank you, Baba Wawa!). I did not Google once, and ended up filling in the entire puzzle, with one error (for 12D, "Torrents" I had OnGushes instead of OnRushes, which of course, I realized left me with "Tgu" instead of "Tru" but I thought maybe it was a weird name.
This will carry me through the week!
Also, the Orantes clue I guess is interesting, because I think he is the only Spaniard to have won the US Men's Singles title.

liquid el lay 5:12 AM  

I think this might be my first BEQ puzzle, though his reputation precedes.

There are some nice words: KALB I like for whatever reason (I think it's close to DOG in arabic, which is kind of funny- "Yo, DOGG!"); IDEA, nicely clued, THEBEATLESS I enjoyed because I dislike the beatles (btw, what a dumb and precious name...); CREWS is clued ugly- what about the author, or, "ships compliments", or something? I like ULTIMA being top and center.

GUITAR PIC morphed over long effort into WHO CARESS, and EAT IT UP! slowly became SATIATE.

I ultimately completed the puzzle.

I am willing to take time with the NYT because the efforts are always rewarded with an elegant, pretty solution that makes you feel good about... everything. You never have morning-after remorse; it was worth the play. Almost all the time.

Not quite this time. It seemed clunky and dis-jointed and odd. No music. I've come to expect more from the NYT. It's an incredibly high standard, but I'm regularly amazed at the quality of the puzzle.

I must say, though, I liked the funny business in the florida keys. EASY? ...not!

Anonymous 7:00 AM  

I wish you health and happiness every day!
Ich wunsche Ihnen Gluck und Gesundheit jeden Tag!
Je vous souhaite sante et bonheur chaque jour!


Singer 12:33 PM  

Syndication land weighs in:

1. As a musician I take exception to those saying that MOSSO is not a common musical term, however I agree it was not clued correctly as MOSSO simply means movement or motion and is used with a modifier (piu mosso - more motion or faster; meno mosso - less motion or slower). I wanted 'presto' for the answer, which has too many letters. When I had 'm' as the first letter I reluctantly put in MOSSO.

2. KALB was a gimme

3. Got the theme on the Beatles, but still had trouble parsing SO LONG AS(S). Thought it was Solon Gas (which exists, but is very uncommon IMHO)

Hardest for me was the south where REHEM, NESSIE, SMOKED and SHUTTLE BUSS just didn't want to come. Finally took a little break, came back and SHUTTLE
BUSS opened up (I was too fixated on Henry Hudson for too long). Last to fall was MEATIEST, mostly because I never heard of the e.e. cummings play HIM.

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