Worker in medium of torn pasted paper / FRI 3-5-10 / Journal to Eliza author 1967 / Figure seen on lunar surface

Friday, March 5, 2010

Constructor: Louis Hildebrand

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: HANS (Jean) ARP (47A: WOrker in the medium of torn and pasted paper) —

Jean Arp / Hans Arp (16 September 1886 – 7 June 1966) was a German-French sculptor, painter, poet and abstract artist in other media such as torn and pasted paper. // Arp was a founding member of the Dada movement in Zürich in 1916. In 1920, as Hans Arp, along with Max Ernst, and the social activist Alfred Grünwald, he set up the Cologne Dada group. However, in 1925 his work also appeared in the first exhibition of the surrealist group at the Galerie Pierre in Paris. // (When Arp spoke in German he referred to himself as "Hans", and when he spoke in French he referred to himself as "Jean". Many people believe that he was born Hans and later changed his name to Jean, but this is not the case.) [why this info is in parentheses, I don't know] (wikipedia)
• • •

Interesting 66-worder. Love the butterfly-shaped grid, of course. The fill, however, was just OK. The Central 6 (as I will call those central 3 Acrosses and 3 Downs) are impressively smooth — always nice when you can get big blocks of intersecting answers to work out at all, let alone as common phrases everybody knows. The problem for me was that everything was just *too* common. There's no real point of interest anywhere in the grid. I admire the general smoothess, but plain yogurt is smooth and there's a reason I don't eat it. I like flavor. And texture. Here, after you see the grid shape, it's all downhill from there, excitement-wise. The clues are fine, but again, a bit plain. Best moment of the day: THUNK! (38A: Conceived in a nonstandard way). Worst: RUB-A-DUB (35D: Drumming sound). RUB-A-DUB is the sound of three men in a tub, not the sound of drumming. PA-RUM-PA-PUM-PUM or RAT-A-TAT — that's the sound of drumming.

[an encore presentation ...]

NW was the toughest section for me because I plunked down DEMAND with great confidence at 1D: Not just request (BEG FOR), and then solidified it with the correct ENTERED (13A: In the database, say). I then got a couple of answers, but nothing solid. Considered putting in DUKES for 25A: People may be put out if they're not put up (RENTS). That felt too wonky, so I abandoned ship and headed for the NE, which went down fast. Ditto the SE. The SW gave me some trouble because of (stupid) RUB-A-DUB. Eventually worked my way back to the NW and figured it all out, heading back in from the rear of GESTAPO (16A: Brutal force). Last stand was annoying and sad. I just stared at -ANSAR- at 47A: Worker in the medium of torn and pasted paper for many, many seconds. Knew that last letter was an "L" or a "P," but couldn't think of a word in the English language that could fit with either. Reason: answer is not "in the English language." It's HANS ARP. Oof. Figured I was looking for a general term, not a specific person (because that's exactly what the clue was trying to get me to do — you win, I guess). Also, I know a JEAN ARP; I don't know HANS ARP. Turns out I knew only half a guy. His French half. I want to go back to that time of blissful ignorance when I believed he had only one name. Things were all so much simpler then.

  • 21A: Lifesaver, briefly (CPR) — Not thrilled that "saver" is in the clues and in the grid (at TIMESAVER — 33A: Multitasking, e.g.)
  • 30A: Figure seen on the lunar surface (NEIL ARMSTRONG) — more "I'm going to trick you into thinking something general when really the answers is a specific person" cluing. Can't get enough of that.
  • 40A: White House girl (SASHA) — good for her! Someone should keep a MALIA v. SASHA puzzle appearance count. SASHA would be the underdog in that contest, I would think, what with MALIA's extra vowel. But who knows ...
  • 5D: Gunslinger's cry (DRAW!) — good clue.

  • 55A: Safari jacket feature (EPAULET) — Hmmm. I guess there's ... something going on on the shoulders of those jackets. A buttoned-down flap of some sort. I think of EPAULETS as more decorative (militarily decorative).
  • 6D: Quaint photo (SEPIA) — a total gimme, though normally I think of SEPIA as an adjective.
  • 9D: "A lie that makes us realize truth," per Picasso (ART) — another total gimme. Got it before I even looked at how many letters I was working with.
  • 12D: "Journal to Eliza" author, 1767 (STERNE) — Laurence STERNE of "Tristram Shandy" fame. Never heard of the work in the clue, but the date was enough to give me STERNE (a name loaded with the least Scrabbly letters imaginable, and thus a name worth knowing).
  • 26D: They were brought down by Olympians (TITANS) — spent one second thinking athletes, and then reoriented myself to mythology. Daughter is way into "Olympians" via the Percy Jackson books. I can't wait to take her to see the rebooted "Clash of the Titans." First I gotta show her the original. "I swear, honey, these were state-of-the-art special effects in 1981..."

  • 29D: Members of the genus Troglodytes (WRENS) — ugh, "genus" clues. Better than "genus" answers, I guess.
  • 34D: Cruise vehicle ("THE FIRM") — More attempted confusion. This attempt didn't work.
  • 41D: Carol's first word (ADESTE) — also transparent. From "ADESTE Fideles."
  • 47D: Roles, figuratively (HATS) — had to run the alphabet on that first letter. This was what revealed JEAN's evil twin HANS to me.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. new article, "Crossword puzzles in the modern age," and Interview with Will Shortz, by Hayley Gold at The Hofstra Chronicle (Thursday, 3/4/10)


Parshutr 7:39 AM  

Except for the SW's forced and just plain wrong stuff (rubadub, triste, emboss) an enjoyable romp.

Deb Amlen 7:43 AM  

I kind of agree with your assessment of the RUBADUB clue, unless Louis was thinking of jazz drumming, which is distinctly less RATATAT.

On the other hand, I was flummoxed by STERNE, which my brain parsed as ST. ERNE, which is, of course, the patron saint of birds of prey.

Ulrich 8:07 AM  

I found this a very agreeable Friday, difficulty-wise. Grid-wise, too--had the constructor found a way to get rid of the two cheater squares, it would have perfect symmetry.

TRISTE appears in my two favorite French book titles of the fifties, Tristes Tropiques (Sad Tropics) by Claude Levi-Strauss and Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan.

GESTAPO BTW stands for Geheime Staatspolizei (secret state police)

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

A nice solving experience for me; the long downs opened up much of the grid for me. SW was problematic.
Favorite misdirection was Goalkeepers guarded area- couldn't get past crease for the longest time.

Hated 24D- I'm tired of phonetic answers

joho 8:36 AM  

I looked up ARP when I had _A_SARP because I knew it was Jean! HANS in parens set me straight so I learned something but I didn't like it.

I hated RUBADUB.

I eventually got everything right which always makes me feel good on a Friday, but the cluing in this puzzle left me less than gleeful.

My word today is wrize ... wrize and shine!

ArtLvr 8:48 AM  

This was a two-parter for me, half last night and a refreshed finish this a.m. THUNK was one of my first fills, plus the Cruise vehicle and Like some cruises.

More hockey stuff, with a goalie's SHIN guard rather than the erstwhile mask, while the REACH IN came only with crosses. Altogether, quite mild sports details!

NEIL ARMSTRONG, DON'T TREAD ON ME and the TEAMSTERS broke open the rest soon enough, but that DE_ at 39A was a teensy pain -- could have been DEL for delegate, DEP for deputy, but no. DET for Detective. Some shamus I am!

As for drum sounds, there's also a very old Rat-a-plan in French, with "plan" closer to Plongh. Maybe the root of our "plunk"?

I didn't get GESTAPO right away, until crossed with DRAW, good one. And KISSERS crossing DRIPS was rather funny. Trickiest was the WRENS' genus -- who'd a thunk Troglodytes for a little songster?

"Give some relief" cluing EMBOSS was neat, as was Picasso's ART quip -- and HATS off to HANS ARP! I couldn't picture an EPAULET on a Safari jacket, though... seems like a stretch?

Have we met constructor Louis Hildebrand before? Thanks, this was a worthy Friday, all in all.


paloma p 8:51 AM  

@parshutr, what's wrong with EMBOSS? that was my favorite clue/answer.
I also liked THUNK, and had the same quibble with SEPIA as Rex.
A very nice grid though!

SethG 8:59 AM  

I agree with everything Rex said, except BEG FOR was my first answer and I confirmed it first with FAD. And with everything he pictured--without the extra dub, rub-a-dub is reggae.

THUNK! first appeared on Feb 24, 1966. You can find anything on the internet! Also, they have it on computers now.

I didn't wear a safari jacket when I went on safari, just a jacket. It had no epaulets, I still came out okay.

lit.doc 9:02 AM  

I’m really curious to hear how this one went down for everyone else. For me, it was an exciting challenge, and maybe my best Friday time ever.

Only misstep that was actually a significant impediment was 44D LEAKS before DRIPS. No surprise, though. The breakthrough “Aha!!” moment (“OH SH*T!” is closer to the truth, but hey, this is a family show) was at about 25 minutes when I got 15D from GR___SAL___KE. Then I read 20D “Semi [SPACE, you moron!] pros” correctly, and finally was able to connect N to S and get to work on the equator.

All but SW was done by 30 minutes, but it seemed like forever before my brain accepted THUNK (In the NYT? Who’d o’ thunk it?) and RUBADUBdub, three men in a tub. Two more “Aha!” moments (see note above) at 47A HANSAR[LSAT or PSAT?] when I again saw the space and read ARP, and at 34D when the movie clue clicked. Then just a quick “ESE”? “A”? Oh, “O” for EMBOSS, and done in 40:45.

Morning notes:

@Rex - butterfly, eh? My capacity for not noticing the obvious flutters into view again.

@Parshutr, much as I don't like it, "triste" is ok without a foreign-language hint. Checked my American Heritage and, pronounced "treest", it comes to us from ME < OFr. Had to erase my snarky remark re the clue.

Anonymous 9:03 AM  

Other than "Rubadub" (which stunkadunk), I loved this puzzle. I thought the fill was clever, surprising and quite enjoyable.
Loved "Gestapo" (though not so much historically)
And I loved the "Don't Tread..."/"Great Salt..." roadway being driven by the teamsters.
Very NIce.

jesser 9:20 AM  

Rex and I had nearly identical solving experiences, with demand at 1D and rat-a-tat at 35D, which mucked things up a bit until the crosses gave clarification. Big difference is: Rex succeeded and I failed. I looked at HANSAR_ for the longest time and figured HANSARl must be the Japanese word for the person doing the origami. I thought I had learned a new word, but no! I THUNK wrong! I learned that Mr. ARP has two effing names! That nut! F him!

I will GLARE AT this puzzle a while and then take the beat in STRIDE and wait for Saturday to dawn.


Gammodam! (very nearly the word that escaped my lips when Mr. ARP came to town to play.) -- jesser

Parshutr 9:22 AM  

OK, Emboss was clever; never read the clue, filled it in with crosses. Got triste as well I should have after several years studying the language, but lists it as French.

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:28 AM  

Just saying: Sasha will win out easily over Malia because SASHA is already in everybody's (read: cruciverb's) databases. So Sasha'll have a major head start before Malia makes her debut

poc 9:38 AM  

I too went for DEMAND, which also messed up the NE for a long time. Worse, I had TENTS instead of RENTS (think about it) till I decided to back off and regroup. My problem with HANSARP is that HANSARD is the official record of the UK Parliament (torn and pasted paper? could this be a joke?), though I did eventually get it.

Quite a nice Friday puzzle, though I agree about RUBADUB.

Ulrich 9:52 AM  

Re: Arp. He was born Hans (short for Johannes--it's basically the German version of Jack) Arp in Alsace when it belonged to Germany before WWI. When it fell to France after the war, the French required everyone to adopt a French name, and Hans had to become Jean. He used his French or German name depending on where he was at the time (I've said all of this before...)

And I do associate Kurt Schwitters more with cut-and-paste art than Arp--this held me up till the end.

retired_chemist 9:57 AM  

Similar solve to Rex's: DEMAND, RUB-A-DUB, _ANSAR_. Tried to think of how MANSARD could fit the clue. Last two fills were the H (D'oh!) of HATS and then the choice was the L or P of HANSARL (WTF?) or HANS ARP (WHO?). Double D'oh! Figured Hans was a lesser known Arp - pleased to find out I knew him, just not as Hans.

Started with a quick trip through the acrosses which afforded basically nothing, other than RED TAPE. The gimmes ADESTE, SASHA, and KISSERS in the SE got me going and I worked off that.

Wanted EPAULET too but at first ruled it out, exactly because it is ornamental and not in my mental image of a safari jacket. Picture was a mid-twentieth century Central American strongman in a safari version of his uniform, with fringed and filigreed epaulets. Anyway, EPAULET returned in good time.

Had CROSS-ATLANTIC for a while. Smiled at THUNK. Also at SHORT A. Duly impressed by the long central stacks and especially by their crossing.

Ignored the 4 letter (plus an S) cave dweller until crosses made the cavedwellers WRENS. WRENS are troglodytes? Who knew? Thought they were passerines. They are both: the latter is their order.

Thank you, Mr. Hildebrand. A solid and enjoyable Friday workout.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:09 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
edith b 10:15 AM  

I knew HANSARP and JEANARP were the same person as I recall the last time I saw his name, it was as HANS and I looked him up and realized that as JEAN he appears in early week puzzles, clued as Dada founder, and in late-week puzzles as HANS, clued more obscurely.

I had more of a hard time than Rex on this puzzle and was forced to cherrypick earlier than usual. In a curious kind of way, the ARP answer helped me produce NEILARMSTRONG as I realized that the constructor clued this puzzle generally but specificity was required from the solver.

This insight into the puzzle's architecture may not make sense to others but it help create a Domino Effect that got me GESTAPO from just the AP in place which got me away from DEMAND at 1D and got me to BEGFOR and allowed me to see BUILDS at 1A. And on and on into the night.

All this may seem tenuous but it held me in good stead today

JenCT 10:19 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle - actually, the American Crow is Corvus brachyrhynchos; the Winter Wren is Troglodytes troglodytes. I actually knew the scientific name for the wren from an old Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, believe it or not. I think it was one of his puppets.

Boo for RUBADUB; I also had RATATAT.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:26 AM  

@JenCT - You are absolutely right, of course. I have no idea where I got my wrong idea. I have deleted my original comment, and gotten into a morass of Google passwords, etc!!!!!

What I originally said was: Good, solid Friday puzzle. Killed me, in that I finished, pen on paper, with HANSARL, thinking this must be some Japanese designation of a particular artist!

One write-over: had STEELE before STERNE.

Couple of times I was tempted but thought harder: Wanted MEDALS before TITANS; and {I knew (?) CROWS are Troglodytes troglodytes, so it wasn't too surprising to see that WRENS are related.} {I "knew" it but it wasn't so!}

PlantieBea 10:29 AM  

Nice Friday. Had to write over I AM DONE, Arab-ISLAMIC, and the RAT-A-TAT. Really liked THUNK, DON'T TREAD ON ME, WRENS, and EMBOSS. One google for the completely unknown STERNE.

One WHINE: I am tired of being had by the phonetic clues. Grrr...took me forever to finish with SHORT A; the S was my last entry.

Zeke 10:34 AM  

Three men in a tub go RUBADUB[DUB]. Little drummer boys go RATATAT[TAT]. It's definitive, universal, and copywrited. Major boo here.
I agree with Ulrich about the cheater squares. I (almost) never notice such things but today their presence leapt out at me as without them the grid would have been perfect.
We have a large urn in the entry alcove to our house which has been taken over by a winter wren. It's a major hassle for us, as we defer to the poor guy trying to find a warm roosting spot, so we find ourselves standing out in the snow/rain rather than hanging out in the alcove, just so we minimize the extent to which we disturb him. Now I know I'm being deferential to a troglodyte. Seems emasculating somehow.

Elaine 10:36 AM  

Hand up for DEMAND and DUKES--put 'em up!--and also RATATAT, plus DRONE for 29A; (if your engine is whining, it's not good.)

@poc, believe it or not, I tried HANSARD, hoping to think up a plausible DSAT exam....ultimately put in the P.

Never saw HANS ARP as separate until I checked WordPlay around 5 a.m., when I finished. I really enjoyed this puzzle.

There's no gluing in origami!

'ectaphy'--thrilled protoplasm?

Rex Parker 10:38 AM  

It's not fair to call those black squares "cheaters," as the word count here is already very low and the puzzle would have been like DEATH to fill (and solve) if he'd tried to eliminate them. Be grateful those squares are there. That's why this grid is so smoothly filled.

retired_chemist 10:41 AM  

@BOB K - ditto for STEELE. Rejected it when SLOT (off the S) appeared in my mind as a synonym for CREASE, which it isn't. Was taken aback, after REACH-IN and MAPPING appeared, by SHIT @ 24A. The Gray Lady surely wasn't going to leave THAT in.

Zeke 10:49 AM  

@Rex - I actually thought about that for a while and saw that it was likely impossible to get rid of them. It just would have been gorgeous without them, and didn't know what else to call them.

Two Ponies 10:53 AM  

Dukes is a better answer than rents. I wish I had thought of it.
Nice flow of long answers and some almost-too-cute misdirection made for a (mostly) fun morning diversion.
Has anyone found a real example of rub-a-dub in reference to drumming?
I'm not buying that one. For all the effort of constructing this puzzle it's only small chance at being memorable will be this flub-a-dub. Too bad.

jesser 10:53 AM  

@ Elaine: Thanks for the (gentle) reminder that origami is only about folding, not about gluing. My Dope Factor is high today.

@ Anyone: Every single time I try to pull up the comments, I get a SECURITY WARNING that reads as folows: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely? This webpage contains content that will not be delivered using a secure HTTPS connection, which could compromise the security of the entire webpage!

Below that rather ominous message are three choices: More Information, Yes or No. When I opt for Yes, I lose all the avatars, so I always opt for No. The More Info tab is useless.

Does this happen to everyone? Is there any way to turn this off so that I don't have to endure the warnings?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Otionsu! (a Japanese art form employing torn paper and glue. Lots of glue.) -- jesser

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

@Jesser - The only way I've found to avoid that is to move to Firefox.

M. Helpful 11:11 AM  

Here's how to deliver the warning.

Or just click on the post title to see the entry and all comments on a single page like this.

Glitch 11:17 AM  

@jesser & Anon 11:0

Assuming IE,

Go to "Internet Options"
Click on the SECURITY Tab

About 1/2 way down find

Change from PROMPT to ENABLE

Click on OK, Yes you are sure, then OK.

One way to get to the I'net Options is to hit the ALT key to bring up the top menu, select TOOLS, select I'net Options at the bottom of the list.

(Also solves for other sites using https)


JF 11:21 AM  

Nice, pleasing, straightforward Friday. After all the talk of goalie masks, I really wanted 24A to be CHIN. But, then, I could not imagine the country that celebrated CHORTA every January 2.

Years ago I built and ran a test-prep company, so keep these easy College Board clues coming! I knew the LSAT didn't have two reading sections, so my total obliviousness to Hans Arp was rendered moot by the crosses.

And when I had APO for 16A, I really, really wanted it to be EL GUAPO. Not exactly brutal, I suppose.

Really liked EMBOSS. Great clue.

lit.doc 11:26 AM  

@Rex, @Zeke, @Ulrich, or whoever, a teachable moment. Could someone please explain "cheater squares" to a non-constructor?

@retired_chemist, I like your initial solution to 24A lots better than the CHIN I was stuck with for awhile.

@Jesser, that "Do you want to display the insecure items?" thingy is a Windows "feature". Just click yes and move on (N.B. the wording on my home computer's version of XP reverses the yes/no logic of the question, FWIW). And why on earth anyone's avatar should feel insecure is beyond me.

d(on another computer)k 11:28 AM  

I used to show people abstract pictures in which they may have seen butterflies. They got extra points if the subject was in motion. That said I see no insects here.

I had ratatat, changed it to ratadat, the little grey cells triggered THEFIRM, followed by THUNK and the west was won.

Best of the lot for this week. Still middle of the road for a Friday. I have had my cranky pants on all week. Perhaps I will walk the step-dog and we can GLAREAT some squirrels.

** (2 Stars)

jesser 11:30 AM  

I love this blog! Thanks, techies!

Three and outta here (without a warning block. Yay!)

leaus! (I hate to lea you, but I must!) -- jesser

Rex Parker 11:33 AM  

"Cheater" squares are black squares that do not affect word count (and that don't come at the beginning or end of a theme / very long answer). Squares in question today are above "26" and next to "45" in the grid. Called "cheaters" because they make the grid easier to fill — should be called "lazy" squares, if anything, as there's nothing "illegal" about them. But "Cheater squares" just sounds better.

Two Ponies 12:04 PM  

@ jesser, Thanks for asking that question. It has always bugged me.
Most of all, thanks to Glitch for helping me fix that constant source of irritation. Yay! It's gone!

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

For those of you who object to the 'cheater' squares, you could always take the grid, clear out the 'cheater' squares, erase the content, and then construct your own puzzle. Maybe you could even get it published.

Stan 12:22 PM  

I really had fun with this because I was essentially stumped by every misdirective clue, then got a few letters and realized what was going on. Props to Louis and Will!

Thanks to Glitch and Helpful for the tech support.

Spring is coming and I really hope the Troglodytes return to our birdhouse. Before the young ones 'fledge' (great word) they make an ungodly racket in the nest while both parents fly back and forth nonstop carrying food.

Van55 12:27 PM  

By contrast to one of the puzzles last week, I found this one's misdriection clues clever without being overly clever to the point of obtuseness. Really enjoyed TEAMSTERS, EMBOSS, LET, and ALERT and the clues for them.

I confidently wrote in DEMAND. When that didn't work out I switched to INSIST. Had a bit of a struggle up there.

RUBADUB is just mis-clued in my opinion.

Over all quite an enjoyable puzzle for me.

Rube 12:36 PM  

Thanks @glitch for the MS IE lesson. I've been going to investigate how to get rid of that annoying ms.

Me too for demanding that DEMAND be 1d. Ended up having to do the NW last because of it. My only Google was, after finishing, to find out what a HANSARP was, (since I was fairly certain the LSAT would not have 2 reading sections). I didn't have the Jean/Hans problem because I only knew him as crosswordese ARP from several months ago here.

Wanted pockets for a safari jacket, but quickly had to give up that idea.

When I saw RUBADUB I thought 3 men in a tub... upside down tubs could be used for drumming (with wooden spoons) and maybe that's where the "rub-a-dub" came from... lame, surely, but I've seen stretches like this in xwords before.

Also, tx @Rex for explaining the cheater squares thing, (again).

Any Friday I can finish without Googles has to be an Easy. A fine puzzle, but I am getting really tired of ATEAT.

Ulrich 1:00 PM  

Jeez, people--read what I wrote. I explicitly said that I liked the grid, and I did not "object" to cheater squares--I just mused about the fact that the puzzle was so close to having perfect symmetry. I used the term "cheater square" b/c it's shorter than "the squares above 26 and next to 45".

And I do not take "Do it better" arguments seriously. If there were any value to them, we could not criticize anything that takes skill to produce, a wine, a painting, a play, a crossword puzzle...get a life!

retired_chemist 1:01 PM  

@ JF - CHORTA is the feast to celebrate healing of the Festivus bruises and cuts.

I THUNK about disposing of those cheaters:

We could have had OTOE and E-TITANS (clued by Gates et al.) for the one in the NW. The other one is less felicitous. Best I can do is SHORT AD (cheapest way to go in the classifieds) and DRAD (= 0.1 RAD).

Mr. Hildebrand's version is much better.

The use of the unit RAD, BTW, is now strongly discouraged in favor of the gray and the sievert.

Moonchild 1:16 PM  

I had no problems with epaulets on the safari jacket. The coats are so useful with all of those pockets. While I have never used them for this, I think these epaulets might be designed to keep those pesky shoulder straps from slipping off.
I liked the way Beg For was clued. Everyone assumed the answer would be more assertive but the real answer was more like a puppy asking for a treat. Clever.
Wow, a Friday with no sports, opera, or pop trivia?
Wrens seem very un-trogloyte in my mind's eye.

Elaine 1:30 PM  

Maybe a percussionist could chime in here on 'rubadub.' The fact is, drumming actually has some pretty interesting names for the actions/sounds--paradiddle, for instance--but I am pretty sure RUBADUB is not one of them.

LOL on your captcha. There's no crying in baseball; there's no gluing in origami, but in oti-onsu, anything goes.

Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Google shows no connection btwn rubadub and drumming.
Reggae style (now dancehall) is the only musical connection.
Everything else relates to the song/rhyme we all know with the exception of Cockney slang for pub and Bart Simpson sayong grace "Rubabdubdub, let's eat the grub."

Two Ponies 1:43 PM  

Au contrare Anon 1:39
It's in the dictionary "imitation of a drumming sound."
Sorry, you lose.

lit.doc 1:55 PM  

@Rex, thanks for explaining "cheater squares".

@Glitch, thanks for the tech support.

andrea arp! michaels 2:01 PM  

wow, word for word what Rex said again, including exact same process of DEMAND/RATATAT with confidence, P vs L debate, and on and on.

I think I lightly wrote in L and went to bed annoyed, knowing it was wrong and woke up this morning by shouting ARP! to no one in particular, unless, pathetically, you count my cats.

It was like a scene straight out of "The World According to Garp" without a nurse being mounted atop me ;)

HATE the word "Cheater" or even "Lazy" for those squares...bane of my Monday construction existence.
Deep down, I get the whole visual elegance thing, but theme theme theme!!! And there needs to be 46 black squares rather than 42, who cares?!
(Actually, I've learned the hard way...editors AND hardcore solvers AND lateweek constructors and crossword collaborators care.
But my mom doesn't!)

Clark 2:14 PM  

Yea for RUB A DUB! (I tried 'rat a tat' first, and it held up the SW for me, but there is nothing wrong with the clue.)

"With my RUB A DUB, row de dow, rattle away,
See the army all drawn out in battle array;
How sweetly they come to the sound of my drum."
(Dibdin, “The Irish Drummer")

Two Ponies 2:38 PM  

@ Clark,
Thank you finding a real percussion reference for us.
@ Rex, Thanks for the links to those articles. The interview with WS touches on his backlog of submitted puzzles saying he sometimes holds them for weeks or a few months. He does not talk about holding a BEQ puzzle for 10 years though. (I'm still curious how that came about.)
3 & Out

DataGeek 2:40 PM  

@Rex - thanks so much for the links to the article and interview. Very interesting reading. And also thanks @Glitch for the tech support - changed my settings and no more annoying warning. I enjoyed today's puzzle (minus the Rubadub)and got EPAULETS immediately. Had a crazy uncle who wore one of those old safari hats (Pith Helmet?) and jacket - not your average Colorado attire, but he was a fun guy.

Fun Friday-doable but challenging.

william e emba 3:09 PM  

I first learned, way way back, of HANS/Jean ARP having two first names from Tom Stoppard Travesties.

Joyce: Grasping any opportunity for paradox as might occur, in what way is the first name of your friend Arp singular?
Tzara: In that it is duplicate.
Joyce: Namely?
Tzara: Hans Arp. Jean Arp.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  


It's hard, since it took an extra word in the search parameters and you have to go all the way down to the second result to find what you're looking for.

archaeoprof 4:12 PM  

@Ulrich: I read you loud and clear. Sometimes the comments here can tend in the direction of a Crossword GESTAPO...

I enjoy the clever banter so much more.

A RUB-A-DUB weekend to all!

Martin 4:14 PM  

I get that people sometimes hate clues they didn't know. I get that people don't like relying on the dictionary, even when, as with "rub-a-dub," it supports only one definition.

But I don't get statements like Google shows no connection btwn rubadub and drumming.

BTW, the nursery rhyme we know is heavily bowdlerized. The original went:

Hey! rub-a-dub, ho! rub-a-dub, three maids in a tub,
And who do you think were there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker,
And all of them gone to the fair.

In this vignette, the first line is a bawdy side-show being advertised by an 18th-century carny with a drum. Three upstanding citizens were caught with their pants down, as it were. Nothing much has changed, except we've lost the meaning of the poem.

jae 4:35 PM  

This was an OK Fri. for me but a bit on the easy side. Only place I got hung up was HANSARP, of course. I too ran the alphabet for the H and reasoned that the LSAT would not be heavy on reading sections. I then googled HANSARP to see what the deal was and lo and behold there was Mr. Dada himself.

Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker 4:46 PM  

Ch. Tempo'sRub-a-Dub Dub (=Splash) isn't one of mine but is a really pretty girl. Scroll down (second to last on this page) and enjoy.


SethG 4:55 PM  

Those of you who went with the P because you knew that the LSAT does not have two critical reading sections are correct. It has four sets of reading comprehension questions.

Glitch 5:24 PM  


I welcome your contributions and agree with your observations.

I tried playing your role a year or two back, but gave up when I kept running into "If all you have is a hammer everyting is a nail" responses.

The "hammers" were Wiki, M-W, and simple Google queries.

For example, adding a simple prefix to a google serch creates another "tool":

Click Here: Rub A Dub

There are many more "tools", but I'm off to fix the ice maker in my 'fridge --- but first have to find my hammer.

Keep up the noble work.


Glitch 5:29 PM  

PS: It also works in a google seArch :-)


Glitch 8:29 PM  

Is it me, or has it been 3 hours without a post???


Clark 9:07 PM  

You mean, is it you or a Glitch? I would say, no and yes.

Rex Parker 9:10 PM  

All is fine. Traffic is strong as ever. People are just ... quiet. Which is just fine.

Glitch 9:25 PM  

Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent office, 1899 ... "Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Paraphrasing, "Everything worth saying has been said"

.../Glitch 2010

PS: The 1899 citation is an "Urban Myth"

Glitch 9:28 PM  

PS: But that's never stopped anyone here, until tonight ;)

Night Night ...


sanfranman59 10:45 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 7:39, 6:55, 1.11, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 10:22, 8:48, 1.18, 88%, Challenging
Wed 9:37, 11:50, 0.81, 10%, Easy
Thu 17:27, 19:30, 0.89, 23%, Easy-Medium
Fri 25:30, 26:07, 0.98, 50%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:18, 3:41, 1.17, 85%, Challenging
Tue 5:23, 4:30, 1.20, 89%, Challenging
Wed 4:27, 5:48, 0.77, 10%, Easy
Thu 7:02, 9:19, 0.78, 7%, Easy
Fri 11:35, 12:34, 0.92, 32%, Easy-Medium

the redanman 10:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
the redanman 10:41 AM  

Got the top half incredibly easily for me for a Friday, but




were both drown-em-quick UGLY, I don't care how crosswordy-excellent it is supposed to be.

So those two duds made it easy to just say NO! after a while. And TRIESTE was a writ-it-in gimme for me.

Tina 1:00 PM  

ok. I too had trouble with the rub-a-dub but am glad to hear it's actually correct. Love the real nursery rhyme.
But what is LET and why does it get replayed? No one else has asked this so it must be something embarrassingly obvious. Got it from crosses, But Still.

Google 1:16 PM  

@Tina -

Definitions of let on the Web:

* make it possible through a specific action or lack of action for something to happen; "This permits the water to rush in"; "This sealed door won't allow the water come into the basement"; "This will permit the rain to run off"
* actively cause something to happen; "I let it be known that I was not interested"
* permit: consent to, give permission; "She permitted her son to visit her estranged husband"; "I won't let the police search her basement"; "I cannot allow you to see your exam"
* get: cause to move; cause to be in a certain position or condition; "He got his squad on the ball"; "This let me in for a big surprise"; "He got a girl into trouble"
* leave unchanged; "let it be"
* Lashkar-e-Taiba: a brutal terrorist group active in Kashmir; fights against India with the goal of restoring Islamic rule of India; "Lashkar-e ...
* lease: grant use or occupation of under a term of contract; "I am leasing my country estate to some foreigners"
* a serve that strikes the net before falling into the receiver's court; the ball must be served again

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