Tenor Cura — SATURDAY, Nov. 14 2009 — Former Canucks coach Harry / 1998 film featuring Colonel Cutter / Russians call it Mother of Cities

Friday, November 13, 2009

[ERROR ERROR ERROR: There's an error in my grid. 18A should be UTES, 9D should be RES. And I checked the grid against the correct answers! Ugh. So ... you can ignore everything I say below about how easy this puzzle is, I guess. Man, that crossing is ... whatever. Too tired at this point to go on]

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Super easy for me, but I think that was a fluke, so I'm going to guess, I don't know, Easy-Medium in general

THEME: none

Word of the Day: Harry NEALE (2D: Former Canucks coach Harry)Harry Neale (born March 9, 1937 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada) is a hockey colour commentator, who currently works for the Buffalo Sabres on the MSG Network and WGR. He is a former NHL and WHA coach and General Manager. [...] During his coaching career, he was known for his dry wit, which came out in comments to the media. One of his most famous quotes came when he was coaching the Canucks during the 1981–82 season, when he quipped, "Last season we couldn't win at home. This season we can't win on the road. My failure as a coach is I can't think of any place else to play." (wikipedia)


Did this in under 9 minutes. Yesterday's puzzle took me 20. Not sure what allowed me to get through this in something like record time. Maybe it was being familiar with the movie title "MOON OVER PARADOR" (37A: 1988 comedy starring Richard Dreyfuss and Raul Julia). Or luckily getting "ARRIVEDERCI, ROMA" off only a smattering of letters pretty early on (38A: Song with the lyric "City of a million warm embraces"). Nothing in the puzzle is really in my wheelhouse, but unlike yesterday, almost everything was a word / name that I'd at least heard of, and the clues were far less tricky, or not as tricky as they thought they were. In the end, only NEALE and TREN (35D: One way around Spain) were new to me. Oh, and JOSE, though I was able to guess that pretty easily (61A: Tenor Cura). Just one of those days. Weird.

Started off fast with (to me) obvious 1A: Deserves a deal? (antes). Got ERN and SAT quickly thereafter, then ZEBRA went across, and with the "Z" in place, the whole section went down. Then, it was time to jump the canyon. But I balked and decided to creep up into the far N first. Guessed ENTER off just the final "R" (7D: It may start a scene) and AMEX off of nothing (8D: Charging giant, informally), and so that section didn't last long either. Then tried to build a bridge across the canyon. Had UN ... ABLE and ALO ... S at 25D: Not to be persuaded and 21D: Alternative medicine treatments, respectively, and from the back ends of those worked into the SW — SKID broke that corner open (49D: A screech may accompany it). So now I've got three little sections done and still No progress on the canyon (except for YOU PASSED IT, which floated down nicely — 6D: "That was the turnoff!"). But that SW corner gave me the BEEF I needed to get CORNED BEEF, hurray (34D: Something to make a hash of). Then I went SHE to NORAH and then ARRIVEDERCI, ROMA just slid right in. Had to change LEONIN to LEONID (24D: Russian writer Andreyev) to get MANDARIN ORANGES (39A: Pomelo relatives). Once that happened, I was flying toward the home stretch already.

Little detour up to the NE to pick up that small corner (no sweat with PRAIRIE DOG ramming right into that section, 11D: Natural tunnel creator), and then on to the S and SE. Here was my one real problem: couldn't get LA PROMENADE (28D: Renoir at the Getty). Knew it was LA PRO-something, but I put in VOLE without hesitation at 42A: Uninvited rooter, so I had LA PROV... PROVENÇAL? Ugh. Actually finished the puzzle with LA PROVENADE as my final answer, but knew that that wasn't a French word (not one I'd heard of, anyway). Then after mentally checking all the crosses, the VOLE/MOLE switch occurred to me. And VOILA, LA PROMENADE. And done.


  • 18A: 2009 Sugar Bowl champs (UTEP) — real problem up there was the REP. What "monitor" displays "REPs?" (9D: Monitor stat)[nothing to see here ... move along ...]
  • 22A: Hue similar to chrome lemon (maize) — "Chrome lemon" is a real color? Sounds super made-up.
  • 53A: Russians call it the Mother of Cities (Kiev) — four letters, with "K" in place, cinch.
  • 12D: 1998 film featuring Colonel Cutter ("Antz") — wanted "CARZ," but that was the wrong YEAR (6A: Many a Roman numeral), and wasn't spelled with a "Z" anyway.
  • 51D: 1993 standoff site (Waco) — grim.

See you Sunday,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


brendan 12:37 AM  

Definitely an easy one. A record time for me as well (though far off your pace).

Two things: "Arrivederci, Roma" killed me because I was convinced it was a phrase "Arrived in/at city name". Tricky.

18-across is actually the familiar Utes, not UTEP. Which makes 9-down the much more sensible "res". Sorry to point out an error, but it will probably be my one and only chance.

retired_chemist 12:45 AM  

Easy-medium works for me. After 10 minutes I had next to nothing filled in. The stack of four 15s looked daunting, but I knew: MOON OVER PARADOR, although it took me another several minutes and some crosses to remember it correctly; ARRIVEDERCI ROMA, after singing the song fragment over and over in my head until the opening bars came to me, again aided by crosses; guessed ORANGES as the end of 39A from two crosses and got MANDARIN from about 4 crosses; and by then got enough crosses to make INCOME STATEMENT clear. Masterfully constructed, well clued.

Bet I am not the only one who first had SETH for 27A (wrong - not 3rd gen. but 2nd), MESS HALL for 45A, EBONY for 49A, and and YOU MISSED IT for 6D.

Anyone know what if any significance attaches to the number of fleurs-de-lis on the Quebec flag? Crosscan?

Ben 1:32 AM  

Agreed, it was pretty straightforward solving with an impressive four-stack of 15s by Mr. Krozel. After last Saturday's brutal test, fairly smooth sailing that I solved in under 20 min. but nowhere close to your 9.

I commented at length on last Saturday's puzzle, but on Tuesday so no one will it except syndication solvers, so I'm jumping in early to say hi this time.

Brendan beat me to the UTES. Utah has been good the past few years. Their QB Alex Smith was the overall #1 draft pick a few years ago. I initially put in UTAH but eventually changed it. It's RES on the monitor as in resolution.

That was one of many plausible answers I had to change on this one: IMMOVABLE to UNMOVABLE, MITE to MOLE, YOUMISSEDIT to YOUPASSEDIT, MAYAN/YEARN to AZTEC/TAINT, AMOS to ENOS. But I wasn't married to any of these and it was pretty fluid solving.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Ben 1:34 AM  

@Retired Chemist: Forgot to mention that I had MESSTENT and MESSHALL before getting to MESSROOM. You'd think that MARNE_ would be enough for an English major but I never read that book and it just didn't hit me.

andrea a-maize-d michaels 3:03 AM  

You'll just have to do earlier-week puzzles!
Silas MARNER was in my puzzle just last week! On a Monday!!! ;)

I got 90% of this quickly but couldn't get the NW corner, fatal sports crossing for me: NEALE/ZEBRA and SAT (in a way, if he meant benched) Throw in ANTES and TBILL and I'm boyed out.

Saw MOONOVERPARADOR, so that was super helpful but -M--- for some clerics had me thinking EMIRS, AMAHS, and other sort of Arabic words before IMAMS came to me finally...bec I wanted "Overhead shower" to be something related to a planetarium...

Also had MIAMI for MUSEE for way too long.

So is YOUPASSEDIT just a random phrase that can be used in a puzzle? I mean can I put in YOUMISSEDTHETURN and have that a legit entry? I guess I'm still learning.
But I'm of course in awe there are four 15 letter phrases on top of each other. Seriously, how does someone do that?

Plus nice pangram. With an extra Z.

@Rex, Brendan, BEN
IF UTEP/REP is good (I had UTEX/REX!) maybe REP is a gym term for how many reps you did?
I'm assuming Rex has to be right and not the RES crowd, bec the grid would have said there was an error when you submitted it, right?

retired_chemist 6:36 AM  

@ a-maize'n Andrea et al. - Nope, Utah (the UTES) won the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Googled it to be sure. RES(olution) is the monitor stat.

JannieB 7:18 AM  

Hand up for "You MISSED it" and "Mess Anythingbutroom". That really jammed things up for awhile.

Not a very crunchy Saturday - every guess I made seemed to be correct - the NW corner especially. Some days you ride the wave and others you get Klahned.

Happy weekend all.

Ben 8:29 AM  

@Andrea "Maize and Blue" Michaels:

1. Being a dude I was OK in the NW; my several-minutes Waterloo was the SE, with ICANT instead of IQUIT. It worked with IMP and PEELS so I was in stasis there with ORIEL too rarely seen for me to remember. I had C_E for the fleurs-de-lis, knew it wasn't CZE, and had to regroup.

2. If you're all boyed out then think twice about YOUMISSEDTHETURN because that is also poker-speak for "the fourth community card didn't improve your hand" in Texas hold'em.

3. Creativity points for UTEX. Never seen that in a puzzle and most people shorten it to "UT" but it could help a constructor round out a tricky corner of a grid.

4. Your point about how Rex would have been alerted to a UTEP error might assume that he solves directly on the NYT site. But if he solves like I do, with Across Lite, he'd have no confirmation of complete correctness until the answer code came out a day later. That is one reason I visit Rex's site: it provides an instant first-day double-check (except in this extremely rare case).

5. On my comment diatribe from last Saturday's Klahn puzzle that I posted Tuesday so no one saw, I gave your Carlapi a Hahapodes.

ArtLvr 8:37 AM  

Medium for me, but it was a super grid -- not only was there that central belt of four stacked across answers, but also six long downs running through all of them!

The animals were fun, even if it took a while to see the the inverted hanger as a BAT! Add the MOLE, SABLE, ZEBRA and PRAIRIE DOG and it's quite a zoo, even if you don't count ANTZ and ERN var. And I liked the GNOME and ELVES too.

The one wrong clue was at 3D, since a T-BILL has a longer maturity than a T-note, but we've talked about that before... A very enjoyable Saturday anyway!

ArtLvr 8:43 AM  

@ r_c -- Thanks for "resolution" as the general monitor stat, because I was thinking "respiration" for a monitor in the hospital.


JOHN 8:50 AM  

MESSROOM BAH!!!!!!!!!!

dk 8:52 AM  

Stuck on convey as passing a message not GETACROSS, and weed instead of MOLE had me eating my words at Donner's Pass.

With the MESS anything but ROOM crowd for about 20 minutes till FRO popped up. Had no IDEE on the Renoir so I had to trust my crosses.

Remembered Deano singing ARRIVEDERCIROMA but spelling the first part: fugetaboutit.

In sum: Saturday, hard not soft like MAMA bear's chair

dk 8:56 AM  

oops its: fuggeddaboutit. My Italian (now that is un-PC) is not what it used to be. Ciao

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

Rex said it was super easy. So how is it he made a mistake?

move along 9:18 AM  

The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded

Bob Kerfuffle 9:30 AM  

45 minutes, which makes it Medium for me.

I agree with JOHN: MESSROOM does not sound right. Anyone with military background care to confirm or deny?

Noam D. Elkies 9:46 AM  

No comment yet on the super-sized grid? It's super-sized for a good reason, too: a stack of four in the middle of the grid requires an even number of rows. It's hard enough to construct a good 15x15 grid with only 34 black squares, let alone 16x15 !

(Which also makes an "easy" time more impressive since there are about 8% more squares to fill in.)


Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Hah, just figured out who "move along" is. You're the best!

HudsonHawk 10:08 AM  

@NDE, the first thing I noticed was that it was a 16x15. More puzzle to love, as it worked out.

As a military brat, MESS ROOM doesn't roll off the tongue like MESS HALL or even MESS TENT, but Google supports it, so I won't quibble.

Crosscan will surely appreciate the Raw MATERIALS crossing the INCOME STATEMENT...

Leslie 10:12 AM  

Hey, the line starts right here for those who put in UTEP and REP. That's exactly what I thought--that maybe newer pieces of gym equipment have a readout telling you how many reps you've done.

Count me in for having MESSROOM as a distant third after "mess hall" and "mess tent," even though I knew "mess tent" couldn't be right. The NW was the very last to fall for me--what broke it open was finally reasoning that when you watch kids, you babysit--or "sit" them, for short.

I should have filled it in faster, but I thought T-BILLS actually matured pretty darn slowly. Oh, well.

I'm going to have to google KIEV. I've read that "Mother of Cities" tag before, and am wondering--older than Moscow? More historically significant? Prettier?

Anonymous 10:12 AM  

Messhall,messhall, not messroom! USMC 62-66. Golfballman

joho 10:14 AM  

I had many of the same mistakes already mentioned plus Grinch before MARNER which gave me narc before MOLE. But everything was corrected pretty quickly.

The NW was the last to fall. @andrea a-maize-d ... I take SAT as meaning watched the kids as a babysitter.

Great construction, lovely clues, especially liked "Charging giant, informally." I went through every animal in the world before my aha moment. I also liked the clue for GNOME among others.

Plus, as @andrea pointed out, this is a pangram with an extra Z!

Thank you, Joe KroZel, you've done it again!

Norm 10:24 AM  

My least favorite kind of puzzle with long movie and song titles I never heard of or quickly forgot if I did. MESSROOM - never, at least not "on base" - just never. 7D "It" and ENTER do not agree grammatically - should have been ENTRY. Gee, can you tell I didn't like this one?

Meg 10:27 AM  

This was a FUN puzzle! I didn't get any of the long answers right off, so guessing from the crosses was delightful.

I can't believe I didn't get ZEBRA right off. Standard crosswordese.
My favorite clue was "overhead shower", only because there are so many ways to interpret/pronounce it.

I see now.... SAT for "watched" as in babysat. Nice.

All you Spanish speakers out there: Do people actually use the word TREN? Never heard of it.

Great puzzle!

JannieB 10:40 AM  

@Leslie - the equipment I work out on definitely counts the reps - so not being up on non-SEC football, I never realized I had an error at that cross.

@Norm - I took 7D to refer to a script instruction. Usually a scene begins with the command "enter" stage left, etc.

Never noticed the extra size or the pangram - impressive on both counts.

retired_chemist 10:41 AM  

@ Ben and Andrea - expect a friendly tongue-lashing re U TEX when treedweller arrives. It is UT. period. Remember the U CAL flap a few months ago? Same story.

@ ArtLvr - your rationale for RES works too IMO. Just a bit more obscure.

@ Meg - TREN is good AFAIK. At least from Spanish class 50+ years ago. Google translate agrees. You wanted ferrocaríl? That too.

slypett 10:52 AM  

I've become shameless. I run behind Auntie Google's skirt at the provocation. In my "defense": I went halfway through the puzzle with zero entries. Zero! as in nil. I paniced, in a calm sort of way and settled down to a session with Auntie. And still couldn't finish! Valuable=OFUSE? Seems like some sort of least lower bound of meaning. MESSROOM? That's like calling a dining hall a dining room.

Anonymous 10:54 AM  

To Meg---"tren" is Spanish for "train"

Glitch 11:00 AM  

Also has a problem with messROOM, but seems to be specific to the navy [per M-W].

mess⋅room –noun a dining room aboard ship or at a naval base.



Chorister 11:01 AM  

I have a little camel that I drag my saved puzzle across that tells me if I have an error. Don't remember where I got it tho. It's called CheckPUZZ.app

@andrea etc.-I NEVER worked out the NW corner even after I had ERN & SAT googled NEALE. When one corner takes as long as the rest of the puzzle the enjoyment quotient drops dramatically so I quit before I stopped liking the puzzle.

Made the REP/UTEP error as well - I thought he meant the ship, so I came here to find out what a rep was on a ship (and the missing corner)

Chorister 11:03 AM  

Somebody please verify MESSROOM, especially if it's Navy. I do NOT want to have to call my ex on this!

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

Bad day for Rex; he's got the dates all mixed up too!

Anonymous 11:08 AM  

Oops - no it's I who's got the dates wrong.

schwartzy98 11:22 AM  



Now provides the answers one hour after puzzle appears per the nyt's Wordplay blog the other day.

submariner_ss 11:23 AM  

Southeast was too hard for me. OF USE was a thought, but did not approach valuable. Tried RINDS and SCRAPS, but never thought of PEELS. Except for bananas and citrus I eat the entire fruit.

@ ARTlvr. T-Bills mature in 3, 6, or 12 months. T-Notes mature in from 1 to 10 years. Nothing wrong with the clue.

@Glitch and others. 20+ years in the US Navy and never heard of a mess room. On board ship there are the Crew"s Mess and the Officer's Mess. Didn't spend much time ashore, but can attest to never having heard the term.

HudsonHawk 11:52 AM  

@JannieB, an SEC fan should be familiar with the UTES. In winning the Sugar Bowl, Utah spanked the heavily favored Alabama Crimson Tide and finished the season 13-0, furthering the discussion about the stupidity of the BCS.

chefbea 12:45 PM  

Took a long time to do this puzzle. Started out slowly - went food shopping- came home and then everything fell into place. With several googles.

My husband the Marine says mess hall

Getting ready to make cheerio cookies with my grandchildren. They are coming for a sleep-over tonight

Ulrich 1:08 PM  

I'm so glad I could do this unusual grid w/o help (the whole center looked as if it had been swept clean with broom and all detritus pushed to the sides), even if it took me a while (those long titles in the middle almost killed me, and I proved really thick when it came to the song title--should have been able to get it from fewer crosses). Never mind, I could do it...

Soccer alert: Exciting qualifying play for the 2010 World Cup all afternoon by live video stream, and for all you Kiwis out there: New Zealand has qualified!!!

jae 1:27 PM  

Medium for me and a fine Sat. effort. I tried TNOTE but MARNER saved me from MESSHALL. In my Navy days it was just the MESS (or maybe mess compartment). I too had UTEP but didn't trust it so I erased the P and handed the grid to my bride who immediately said UTES.

Oh, and it looks like the time I spent memorizing Zora NEALE Hurston was for naught.

Shamik 1:52 PM  

Easy one here at 12:17. Given that i've been up almost 24 hours, figured i was just slogging and was quite surprised to find it quick for me for a Saturday. Put me in the MESSHALL category. MESSROOM is what happens here at the house when the kids have a big party.

Glitch 1:56 PM  

MESSROOM update:

After lots of searching, it appears that messroom is still the common name for the "dining facility" in Western Europe, notably maritime (including oil drilling platforms), and railroads.

It was in common usage in the US until the late 1930's when the "room" part seems to have fallen away.

The starship "Enterprise" (NCC1701D) has/had both an officer's messroom and crew's messroom.

We may not like it, it may be unheard (of)to us, but MESSROOM is a valid answer to the clue.


retired_chemist 2:00 PM  

@ Shamik - re MESS ROOM: my first thought, after giving up on MESS HALL and getting the answer, was what my daughter's room looked like from when she was about 8 until she was a teenager.

Leslie 2:07 PM  

I googled Kiev, as I mentioned upthread: "Older than Moscow? More historically significant? Prettier?"

Not having visited either city, I can't speak to their prettiness, but as regards age and historical significance, apparently Kiev does stand out.

sanfranman59 2:30 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Sat 30:37, 29:25, 1.04, 63%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Sat 19:35, 17:17, 1.13, 83%, Challenging

John in CT 2:44 PM  

I've eaten in a MESS HALL, a MESS TENT, but never a MESS ROOM.

hazel 2:55 PM  

I originally had MENSROOM instead of MESSROOM and TREX (thinking Jurassic Park) instead of AMEX.

Challenging one for me. The way it was laid out, it was like 5 separate puzzles - not much bleedover between the corners and the long 16s were nowhere near my rather small wheelhouse.

@Leslie - have you been to Moscow? If I had 20 words to describe Moscow as a city - pretty would not be one of them.

JK has an interesting comment about the puzzle's construction over at the Wordplay site.

Van55 2:56 PM  

I'm with the majority who think there's no such thing as a mess room, (except my stepdaughter's). I had MESSHALL all the way and would not give it up before sneaking a peak at Rex's completed grid. Otherwise, a pretty good puzzle, and I would rank it easy-medium as well.

Stan 3:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stan 3:17 PM  

Crashed and burned in both NW and SE [insert good excuses here].

Did like the clues for BAT, AMEX, YEAR, MOLE.

Clark 4:21 PM  

The website of the USS Orleck Naval Museum has a Navy Glossary (sourced to the Navy Bluejackets Manual (1944)) which includes “Wardroom - Officer's assembly and mess room aboard a Navy ship.” I called my dad, who was an officer serving in the South Pacific in WWII. He tells me that MESS ROOM doesn't sound familiar to him.

I got jammed up in Florida. Never heard of ORIEL, didn’t associate ‘grains’ with MOTES, and FRO would not come, even when I had the F. Still, getting the stack of 15s to fill in was fun.

edith b 4:57 PM  

MOONOVERPARADOR was a neon for me right from the start as were NORAH and IMAMS and I read "shower" correctly which produced INCOMESTATEMENT and I assumed I was on Mr Krozol's wavelength. Even when that bold assumption turned out to be incorrect, I was still off to a great start.

Because I approached MESSROOM from the back end, I nicely sidestepped that trap. Getting the SE allowed me to move up the East Coast smartly, picking up PRAIRIEDOG GNOME snd OTRAS on the way and picking up the rest of the quad stack in passing.

I spent half an hour on this one which is pretty good for me and the NW corner was the last to fall through the AZTEC/ZEBRA cross.

And, Rex, nine minutes with just one error is impressive to me and you should be congratulated, the smug satisfaction the Anonymouse at 9:05 took notwithstanding.

michael 5:00 PM  

I was just about to give up in the NW. I had zebra, but thought the ruins would have to end ic. _z-ic?

Just about to google when I thought of Aztec (which I should have earlier since I've spent a lot of time in Mexico) and finished the puzzle.

Seemed like typical Saturday difficulty -- challenging, but possible.

MsCarrera 5:02 PM  

@ chefbea - Where can I find your cookie recipe? Thanks

jimmy the geek 5:04 PM  

I don't get the hubbub over mess room; it's a perfectly cromulent phrase.

Ben 6:01 PM  

I like the way Snrub thinks.

@Schwartzy - thanks for the reminder. I actually saw that on the Wordplay blog the other day after paying my first visit in a few months. Wanted to see what Jim had to say about the tycoon with a reputation. Learned about the Xwordinfo thing there, but it didn't sink in as I am so accustomed to referring to Rex for all my Natick needs.

archaeoprof 6:01 PM  

Wow, tough puzzle. Had the same mistake as Rex.

Favorite clue of the day: "overhead shower" for INCOMESTATEMENT.

Ben 6:03 PM  

p.s. Didn't realize it was 15x16 until Andrea referred to using the clue YOUMISSEDTHETURN. My first reaction was, no, that's 16 letters, then upon closer inspection, saw that it would in fact have fit vertically in this grid.

sanfranman59 6:03 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:19, 6:55, 0.91, 30%, Easy-Medium
Tue 7:40, 8:36, 0.89, 21%, Easy-Medium
Wed 11:54, 11:47, 1.01, 57%, Medium
Thu 20:59, 18:33, 1.13, 80%, Challenging
Fri 28:26, 26:06, 1.09, 74%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 30:09, 29:24, 1.03, 61%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:22, 3:41, 0.91, 24%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:05, 4:25, 0.92, 29%, Easy-Medium
Wed 6:03, 5:47, 1.05, 68%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 11:14, 8:59, 1.25, 94%, Challenging
Fri 14:29, 12:27, 1.18, 85%, Challenging
Sat 18:06, 17:12, 1.05, 69%, Medium-Challenging

Alex 6:15 PM  

Rex (and others) -

I have it on good authority that Black Ink will soon be able to tell you if you have solved a locked Across Lite file correctly. So UTEP/REP shouldn't happen anymore (unless of course you can't find the error...)

slypett 6:46 PM  

jimmy the geek: 'Cromulent' is new to me. As it is not in my Webster's II, could you please elucidate?

hazel 7:05 PM  

@ darkman - not sure if this is the elucidation you were looking for but here's what dictionary.com had to say:

Main Entry: cromulent
Part of Speech: adj
Definition: fine, acceptable
Usage: slang

Rex Parker 7:10 PM  

Embiggen and cromulent

mac 7:12 PM  

It would be hard for me to rate this puzzle since I did it during a studio sale I worked at, and finished without outside help or mistakes.

It occurred to me that mess room could be a European term, because it came to me easily and I watch a lot of Masterpiece Theater(re?), such as Foley's War. Of course it helped that I had Marner and oriel already.

Had a few false starts, of course. Cam for 55D, dems for dels, slops for peels and meals for motes.

My last entries were in the SE, where peels opened it up, at last.

I thought this was a perfectly enjoyable Saturday puzzle with some very good cues.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:22 PM  

Individual episodes of The Simpsons have their own Wikipedia entries ! ! !

Who knew? Well, obviously Rex knew, but then, he knows everything!

Jeffrey 7:23 PM  

@retired_chemist: Not sure why 4 fleurs-de-lis. There is a white cross separating the flag in 4 quadarants so perhaps it is just for symmetry.

Didn't fall for shower, but fell for overhead so INCOME STATEMENT took way too long.

Great puzzle.

chefbea 8:23 PM  

@MsCarrera if you e-mail me I will give you the recipe for the cheerio cookies. They were yummy and my grandaughters had fun making them

Ulrich 9:07 PM  

@Glitch: I noticed your avatar--it reminds me of the absolutely best clue for a German word the NYT ever had since I paid attention: The word in question was NIE (never), and the clue was "when German pigs fly".

treedweller 9:14 PM  

@r_c it was very polite of you not to add that UT is called t.u. by the aggies, so I will refrain from using any of the ready adjectives that occurred to me right before typing "aggies". And, no, I will never accept UTEX as a valid entry, though I imagine I will see it again in a puzzle someday.

I never got the NW (ZEBRAs! D'oh!). Otherwise, I agree it was a pretty easy Saturday. Impressive, indeed, to see that center stack. Didn't notice the bonus row.

Doug E 9:37 PM  

Easy? Easy? Yesterday was easy. This one gut shot me and left me to crawl off and die in the SE corner.

Agree Income Statement was an elegant answer, but "Moon Over Parador"? Was that a straight to NetFlix release? I was actually pretty happy with everything, including my incorrect MAS instead of MAJ (what, you never heard of a MASter key?), because I thought SOSE was a good name for a tenor. Kind of a cross between Kaiser Soze and Sammy Sosa.

Landed in MESSROOM after trying the hall and the tent, but didn't get much further than that. Thought grains were MEALS and Valuable clued something more special than simply "OF USE". After ten minutes of bouncing around among the fleurs de lis and the kitchen waste, I QUIT.

Anonymous 3:02 AM  

The starship "Enterprise" (NCC1701D) has/had both an officer's messroom and crew's messroom.

shouldn't it be, "will have"? :)

MsCarrera 6:46 AM  

@ chefbea - I would need your address, please. Thanks

MsCarrera 7:47 AM  

@chefbea - I tried sending an email (twice) to the address indicated in your bio, but I get the response that it is undeliverable. Have you changed your address?

chefbea 8:04 AM  

@mscarrera .....chefbea1@yahoo.com

Ben 8:20 AM  

@DougE: Clearly you were not a pop culture-obsessed high schooler in the mid- to late-80s. I knew "Moon Over Parador" as soon as I read the clue and I never even saw the movie.

PlantieBea 8:43 PM  

I finally went back to finish this puzzle tonight. I fell for the overhead shower thinking it must be some kind of faucet, never heard of "Moon over Parador", and tried to spell Mandarin with an E on the end. Oh, and I misread the clue for 6D as "That was A Turnoff" so I figured the it you passed must have been gas. Yech. Besides the battle for the middle, and trying to force MESS HALL or TENT before settling in on ROOM, it wasn't a bad Saturday.

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

One of the easier Saturday puzzles I've solved in a while. Kind of a letdown in that sense, but the fill was enjoyable for the most part.

Waxy in Montreal 6:32 PM  

From the syndicate where, for me, the NYT crossword is taking second place to that annoying seasonal rite called Christmas shopping. Eventually solved it sitting on my ELL next to my ORIEL.

Advantage to those of us hockey nuts loose in the attic of the continent as NEALE crossing ZEBRA was an immediate gift which allowed the NW to fall quickly. Until I recalled Jessica Lang spells her name LANGE, Terri GARR wouldn't appear. But when she did, GETACROSS became the major key to the stacked 15-letter foursome (loved 'em).

Like most, MESSHALL messed up MESSROOM (wha?) for the longest span. And Jacob MARLEY (from A Christmas Carol) out-scrooged Silas MARNER for way too long.

Other gimmes were NORAH, KIEV, IDEE and, of course, QUE. No insight as to why four fleurs-de-lis appear on our provincial flag but Wiki says "The fleurdelisé takes its white cross from the ancient royal flags of England and its white fleurs-de-lis and blue field from a banner honouring the Virgin Mary reputedly carried by French-Canadian militia at General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm's victory at Carillon (now Ticonderoga, New York). Contrary to popular belief, the fleurs-de-lis are not taken from the banner of the kings of France, who used golden fleurs-de-lis." OK, I QUIT.

Anonymous 7:53 PM  

33 Down Singer Jones I wanted Grace

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