Norwegian novelist feminist Skram / SAT 6-12-10 / 1994 Kathleen Turner movie / Electronic product sensation 2005 / Tony's consigliere familiarly

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: EYE RHYME (14D: Wood for food, maybe) —

Eye rhyme, also called visual rhyme and sight rhyme, is a similarity in spelling between words that are pronounced differently and hence, not an auditory rhyme. An example is the pair slaughter and laughter. // Many older English poems, particularly those written in Middle English or written in The Renaissance, contain rhymes that were originally true or full rhymes, but as read by modern readers they are now eye rhymes because of shifts in pronunciation. An example is prove and love. (wikipedia)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. (Shakespeare, Sonnet 116)

• • •

A toughish Saturday, which is to say, a Saturday. This one leaned slightly toward "Challenging" for me (not surprising for a name-heavy puzzle), but not enough to take it out of "Medium" range. As is typical on Saturdays, I struggled up front, in the NW, when I might have made much faster headway if I'd started elsewhere. It was only after failing in the NW and then methodically taking out the NE that I finally saw the two fat gimmes that opened the whole puzzle up: SERIAL MOM (28A: 1994 Kathleen Turner movie) and ROXY MUSIC (36A: "Love Is the Drug" group, 1976). If I saw "SERIAL MOM," I've forgotten it, but I remember Ms. Turner's psychotic look on the movie poster, and I just generally love (director) John Waters (whose new memoir I just bought — hope to read a little of it this weekend). As for ROXY MUSIC—I listen to my Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music Greatest Hits album all the time. "Love Is the Drug" was a staple of college, when I first discovered who the hell ROXY MUSIC were, making this answer one of the longest, fattest gimmes I'm ever likely to see on a Saturday.


And still, I struggled the way one should on a Saturday. Most of the struggle was in the NW, which, as I say, I abandoned and came back to. It stumped me at first even though I was able to throw down ELP (21A: Aid, to Eliza Doolittle), FOAM (4D: Bud head), RIME (9D: Natural coat), and SLY (10D: Sneaking), all of which turned out to be right. Still, couldn't get anywhere, so abandoned it and ended up not returning til the very end. I had a wee moment of panic thinking I wouldn't be able to follow 7D: Things that get longer and longer for procrastinators back *in* to the NW. That answer was going to be my ladder, but when I'd finished with the middle of the puzzle, all I got was -STS to help me out. Luckily I remembered that Tony's consigliere, familiarly, on "The Sopranos" was S-L, and when that "L" flickered into view, so did LISTS, and thus TO DO LISTS. Since RIME and SLY were already in place, the "D" in TODOLISTS gave me THE ACADEMY (17A: Much-thanked group), which gave me EXHALE (2D: Release), which gave me EXXON-MOBIL (15A: Corporate giant based in Irving, Tex.).

Started in the NE wanting A-something for 20D: Strong as ___ (AN OAK), and using that "A" to get ALTAR (20A: Promising site). Then put in the fairly easy ASHY at 16A: Pallid and then got IS IT TIME? (12D: "Now?"), LIFE (18A: "That's ___), and FALL ILL (11D: Become sick) in quick succession. Though I'd (astonishingly) never heard of EYE RHYME, I managed to finish off that (lovely) corner fairly quickly. Then came the revelations of SERIAL MOM and ROXY MUSIC. ART MONK I was able to get off the "-NK," with a little thinking (33A: First N.F.L. player to record 100 receptions in a season). SW went down easiest of all, as ROXYMUSIC has some very useful letters. Wrote in INTO IT with only "T" in place, and that gave me YOU KNOW... (37D: "The more I think about it ..." — great clue/answer) and STRUTS (45A: Bars under cars) and thus everything else.

ROCK CLIMB (29D: Do some scaling) ironically provided the visual of a spelunking rope, dangling down into a cave—nothing else down there. Just cavernousness. Totally empty. Totally dark. "OK. Turn on the light. Look around. What do you see?" [Click of flashlight] "Not much. Just ... O dear god! No, no! Pull me up, pull me up, it's the C.H.U.D. Aaaaaa—" [sound of flesh being devoured]. Actually, it was all somewhat more pleasant than that. Just took some work to get going. Just as SIL helped in the NW, so ANKE helped in the SE (50D: Huber of women's tennis). ANKE + RAT (53D: Not a good confidant) got me "ASK ME LATER" (55A: "I don't have time to answer you"). Once again, didn't even see the clue for THE BREWERS until I'd struggled a bit. If I'd looked at it *first*, I'd have been off and running (57A: Miller Park squad). Had MLB for PGA (42A: Club wielder's club: Abbr.) and had to guess that "Goldilocks" were ASTERS (44D: Goldilocks and others). So, to recap, Bottom easier than Top due largely to big boost from SERIAL MOM and ROXY MUSIC.

Mysteries of the day:

  • BETSEY (1D: Fashion designer Johnson)
  • AMALIE (6D: Norwegian novelist/feminist ___ Skram) — most obscure person I've seen in grid in while; the clue made me laugh out loud.
  • EBEN (8D: Irving Bacheller's "___ Holden") — never heard of the book or the author.
  • ENCASH (5D: Covert at Barclay's, say) — ow, my eyes! My ears!
  • "Goldilocks" = flower
  • 19A: Sitcom character who said "Not many people know this, but I happen to be famous" (SAM MALONE) — Nice. I like all the double letters in the NW. The double-E / double-X box, with the double-M of SAMMALONE right underneath, adds a little visual flavor to the grid.
  • 35A: Homophone of 25-Across (ERE) — didn't see this til after I was done (solved it all from crosses). Aaaargh. Really would have helped me get into the NW, as it would have given me HEIR much more quickly (25A: A throne has one).
  • 39A: Certain match results (TKOS) — Other match results: 0-0. Hey, World Cup. Be More Exciting!
  • 54A: Electronic product sensation of 2005 (NANO) — iPod variety. I'd forgotten it was ever a sensation.
  • 32D: Spare (EXTRA ONE) — The ONE here is OK, but a little wonky, since "Spare" and "EXTRA" swap out perfectly. "Do you have a spare?" "Do you have an EXTRA?" You're using "Spare" as a substantive adjective but then asking me to pretend that "EXTRA" isn't one, i.e. that it's merely an adjective and needs the noun "ONE" to make sense. Not true.
  • 42D: Steiger's "Jesus of Nazareth" role (PILATE) — knew it was gonna be a bad guy, but could think only of JUDAS.

[this scenery-chewing scene made me laugh — warning: profanity]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


DataGeek 8:03 AM  

ACK. One Google, for ART MONK. Could NOT get the K - could not figure out what could be as strong as AN OX(E) (??? - alt spelling maybe ???) Once the K was there I was slapping my forehead for AN OAK. Surprised I finished with just the one peek - for a Saturday! Yay! Sam Malone - another flash back along the lines of The Rockford Files from earlier in the week. Enjoy your Saturday - I'm off to meet up with old friends and hoist a few later today.

Leslie 8:25 AM  

Hmph. I liked parts of it, but I had several "harrumph" moments of indignation. I don't get how SASH is the answer to 49D. What, on a beauty queen's sash or something? It would say "Nevada" wherever she was, right? ENCASH is guessable, but not a real word in my little universe. And what does MME mean in 30A? And I don't know who ART MONK is. And, and, and--hand me those damn crankypants.

On the other hand, 17A and 19A made me laugh, and I learned something from 44A.

Tinbeni 8:26 AM  

Guess I'm just not INTO IT today.

OK, the CPA IRS line has a familiar ring.

I like to SAMPLE THE BREWER'S FOAM and a BEEFEATERS would hit the spot.

But sometimes, YOU KNOW, the Ink Blot grid wins the day.

Relative difficulty: DNF

dk 8:32 AM  

Confidently rolled through the NW and SE. Free for 11A and ignoring my gut and not entering YOUKNOW ground me to a halt.

ROYMUSIC was my big fat baby fill.

Gray matter delays:

Ms. Turner = Body Heat
John Prine's song Lake Marie
Ipod Ipod Ipod

MONTREAL was my last real fill. I would go to their IKEA store when I lived in Burlington. EYERHYME was a complete guess along with POLITY. Sigh... I limped on home.

*** (3 Stars) Archetypical Saturday

Time for more World Cup. Yesterday started with lovely wife shouting GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL along with the Cinevision sportscaster as I left for work. I expect she had Negra Modelo for breakfast. I assume the French coach was beheaded while I slept.

Rex Parker 8:48 AM  

Good news. Today's soccer is much more exciting. Just watched an exquisite goal by South Koreans. Nothing focuses my attention like soccer. And I don't follow it at all on a regular basis. Weird.

Carry on.


foodie 9:08 AM  

LOL, Rex, re "Carry On..." perfect! I loved the way that dude said it.

BETSEY Johnson was my gimme. Interesting looking grid! Liked RH FACTOR, ASK ME LATER, but had to Google a couple of times to finish this baby. I have a new category that I call "retrieval google"-- as in I know it but cannot retrieve it, so I google it with the bits of knowledge that I have, not the clue itself. Example: SAM MALONE. I had SAM, could totally picture him uttering this quote, could not pull up Malone. So, I googled "Cheers Sam". Of course, I could have waited and it would have emerged. But I've got company to feed, dishes to cook for tonight (and Middle Eastern food at that which is time consuming).
I'll check back to see what you're carrying on about.

redhed 9:10 AM  

@Leslie: M for MME = Madame (fr). I am harumphing, too. Could not get in the puzzlewriter's head. A DNF for me and did use Google, then got some of it on my own. Another weed-pulling day and a hot one!

Ben 9:11 AM  

Joe DiPietro is the man. His puzzles consistently have tough, original fill with interesting clues.

For me it was the NE I had to return to later. I had SER_____ and could not remember SERIALMOM; had AIR for ERE; had __IN but couldn't get SPIN since I was stuck on an electron's negative charge; never heard of EYERHYME but it made sense.

Had ________IL for EXXONMOBIL and wanted something ending in OIL.

Had _OC______ for "Do some scaling" and wanted something like VOCALIZE.

Had __TERS for "Goldilocks and others" and wanted EATERS.

For the tech sensation, had ___O and wanted ELMO as in Tickle Me Elmo.

Re the arguably extra "one" in EXTRAONE, you could make a similar argument about MRISCANS vs MRIS. I don't mind either of these answers, just throwing red meat to the commentariat.

This one was tough but I just kept plowing away and gradually got there.

@Rex, I finished in 13:59. Is there a chance in hell I was as fast as you today?

Glitch 9:46 AM  

@Leslie & @redhed

30A One with an M.

Note the period after the M, signals an abbreviation.

Thus M. = Monsieur, who is often with his MME.

Not such a bad clue, for Saturday


Dough 9:46 AM  

A wonderful Saturday challenge. I somehow got Exxon-Mobil early on (was I looking for weird letters? Perhaps), so the NW was first to drop for me. I have vaguely heard of Roxy Music, so that fell nicely. My only objection is that both the NW and the SE sections are linked to the rest of the puzzle by a single square -- if you blacken that square they are isolated from the rest of the puzzle. That's a no-no, generally. However all is forgiven. Great entries, good cluing. @Rex, you can also bold the other eye rhyme (love / remove) in the sonnet in the first stanza:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove

To all the soccer fans (fair-weather and otherwise), enjoy!

Lauren 9:50 AM  

I think it's funny how Rex's gimmes = my Google's. The only Kathleen Turner movie I cold remember was Peggy Sue Got Married. And I guess I am too young to know who ROXY MUSIC is.

I got BETSEY right away which gave me EXXONMOBIL and so on...

Feeling good about today since yesterday was tough for me!

lit.doc 9:51 AM  

I definitely think that my blog comments totally suck way less than my solving performance. Took 81 minutes and three googles to finish. And Rex’s WOTD has gotta be CRAKE. [a.m. addendum: not. EYE RHYME was grad school paying for itself.]

An hour in, had NE down through the center, and lots of scattered fill. Ok, stuck. Googled “fashion johnson” for 1D to break NW. Had been looking at __CASH for ages, thinking “there are no two letters on this planet that make that a real word”. My feelings have not changed. SAL before SIL I’m ok with, as I don’t get HBO.

Googled “love is drug” to break SW. That one really vexed me, as I could hear the damned song in my head, and had ____MUSIC early on. SHAFTS to STRUTS, STAR to AEON (verbal flux), and EMAC to NANO. Argh.

Googled “miller park” to break SE. Definite article abuse, IMO, though I’m sure it’s not unusual for a Saturday puzzle. Had been jammed down there by STRIVE before SAMPLE, RIBS before SLAW, and VENDOR before GROCER.

File this one under “Learning Experience”.

David L 9:54 AM  

This was a struggle for me -- I got there eventually, putting in a whole lot of answers on a wing and prayer, only to discover at the end that I had settled on AMALAE/SAL in the NW. I figured every Italian drama has to have a character called SAL, and being oddly unfamiliar with this Norwegian gal I decided AMALAE was plausible. AMALIE is better, but then what kind of a name is SIL?

So this cross definitely falls into the Not Fair (boo hoo) class for me.

Also, what is the deal with ASTERS for Goldilocks and others?

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

had to google serial mom.

once i realized the "bud" in 4D was budweiser, and not some arcane botany term for the fluff on top of a flower bud (it could happen), i got the "BEEF" part of BEEFEATERS. (had to google an image of them after i got it to see that they do, indeed, wear red...i thought they were bluish)

joho 9:59 AM  

I got BEEFEATERS and SAMMALONE right away which took down the NW fairly quickly. All the rest went very slooooowly.

The hardest part for me was the SW. My last fill was the "K" in CRAKE.

Anybody else have Tie before TKO?

One error at SaL ... the Nowegian Skram crossing "The Soprano's" consigliere = personal Natick.

I loved seeing 3 "X's" and 5 "Y's."

Very enjoyable Saturday puzzle, Mr. DiPetro, thank you!

lit.doc 10:16 AM  

@joho, put me down for TIES before TKOS. Seeing ROCK CLIMB was the fix.

Leslie 10:17 AM  

Thanks for the 30A explanation, you guys! @Ben: It's scary the way your initial dead ends exactly mirrored mine. Also wanted something ending in "oil;" wanted "air" for ERE; wanted "eaters" for ASTERS. But dude: If you finished in 14 minutes, you did NOT "gradually" get there. I'm very impressed!!

ArtLvr 10:26 AM  

I took a quick look last night and wrote in RAT, RUTS, REMIT... and quit. My brain was not INTO IT.

This morning MME and MONTREAL got me started again, the latter familiar from riveting forensic mysteries by Kathy Reichs from which the pallid TV series Bones is derived -- the books are better by far!

Finishing the SW went fine, with a chuckle at the CRAKE, and the TKOS gave me a ROCK CLIMB and an OPENER to the SE. Seller and Trader tried out for the GROCER (just as well Vendor didn't occur to me). Loved Goldilocks ASTERS...

The ALTAR anchored the NE for me, with a smIle for the SNITCH and SPIN plus total awe at the RH FACTOR. That's actually LIFE-or-death in some pregnancies!

Back to the NW with belated gimme EXXON MOBIL to 'ELP unlock the last bits, with thanks to FOAM and THE ACADEMY. And kudos to Joe DiPietro.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Enjoy your soccer but I'd much rather watch paint dry, or watch grass grow. What a waste of time.

Different Strokes ... 10:32 AM  


Definitions of ENCASH on the Web:

To convert a financial instrument or funding source into cash

Yet you have no problem with EYE RHYME??


As I recall, you have oft commented about *connections*(or lack of them) between grid sections, like today's, as being a *no no*.

I don't believe that's true. Open and flowing grids may be nice, but they may also decrease difficulty.


Anonymous 10:34 AM  

Why is Beefeaters Red Guards?

Rex Parker 10:41 AM  


You needed to be 14 seconds faster :)


HudsonHawk 11:02 AM  

Surprised that Rex didn't mention that the crosswordy Brian ENO was once a member of ROXY MUSIC. I really wanted PH FACTOR, so that held me up a bit in the NE. Otherwise, this was an unusually fast Saturday for me. Totally on Joe's wavelength.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

@Anon 10:34 - The Beefeaters are the guards at the tower of London - dressed in a lot of red.

Stan 11:27 AM  

This was hard at first and required a team-solve with Mrs. Stan, but we got INTO IT, despite some head-scratching names. Really liked the block of long Acrosses in NW. Also the clues for GROCER, RIME, HEIR, and TO DO LISTS.

Speaking of which, I need to go ENCASH my paycheck and REMIT some invoices.

Jeff Chen 11:35 AM  

I finished, quite a rare occurrence for a Sat NYT, and sat smugly sipping my coffee. Then I realized with chagrin, RHFACCOR might not be a bygone typewriter company ("concern", right?) after all. And SMITE isn't that good of a synonym for "somewhat". Nor is OUTS for "furrows". The worst of it might be that "mighty as AN OAT" isn't terribly mighty. Or maybe that was the point!

No, the true tragedy for today is that Mr. SOTMONT, perhaps one of the greatest receivers of all-time, was honored in the center of my puzzle instead of the pithy ART MONK.

Humility smackdown! Good stuff. Thanks Joe for the excellent puzzle!


mitchs 11:37 AM  

Well, nuts. This was faster than normal for me - for some reason I guessed right at some of the long answers like TODOLIST. So I'm feeling real new and improved and I smirk a little as I read Rex's description of some of his difficulties. Then I see his time. Sheesh, I'm slow.

Two Ponies 11:51 AM  

Bird watchers rule for the third time this week!
This medium Saturday was lots of fun for me. The NE was a little iffy at first because of the RHF beginning of 13D. Eye rhyme and polity were new to me.
I was surprised to see two "the"s in the grid.
Salem's Lot is one of King's better stories and the movie is faithful and worth the time. In it I learned that Salem is a shortened name of Jerusalem.
I just saw the Beefeaters in person two weeks ago so they were sort of still on my mind.
Thanks Joe for an entertaining solve.
@ Rex, You recently mentioned the Swiss Family Robinson and all of the critters they hunted. I picked up a copy today at a garage sale for 50 cents so I could read about the carnage myself.

PuzzleNut 11:58 AM  

Aargh - my worst Saturday in ages. A DNF in spades. Lots of write-overs and false starts. ALTAR was my only fill for a while, but eventually struggled through the NE. Had RIME and SLY in the NW and guessed at deadLIneS instead of TODOLISTS. That didn't help much. FOAM was an early guess and thought about BEEFEATERS for a while, but I was worried about the EE in 2D and 3D. Finally saw EXXONMOBIL and that was my savior in the NW.
All kinds of misdirects in the SW. Guessed at INTOIT and then MRItestS, leading to tivO. The SE wasn't much better.
Finally hit the computer and checked out Miller Park (thought it was in St Louis). Learned about CRAKE (rather than dRAKE, which is a bird, at least).
A real humbling experience, and no real excuses.

nanpilla 12:12 PM  

Back from adventures in horseback riding in Spain. Oldcarfudd's wife sure knows how to plan a fantastic trip! Had a 10 hour delay in Barcelona on my way home - saved by BEQ's diagramless crosswords book - what a lifesaver! Kept me busy for many, many hours - highly recommend it.

Great Friday and Saturday puzzles to come back to. Thought for sure CRAKE would be WOTD. Had ERr before ERE. Yet another three letter possiblity there.

hazel 12:34 PM  

Goodbye cobwebs. Hello ARTMONK, SAMMALONE, ROXYMUSIC and SERIALMOM. As for ANKE and BETSEY - nice to meet you. And SIL, you old so and so, wish you were still around.

A clever puzzle that puts up a struggle, but makes me feel clever myself - why that's a good start to a Saturday.

@Rexville - meet my wonderdog Hazel! She makes her debut today, replacing my LiveStrong bracelet!!

chefwen 12:43 PM  

Checking in from beautiful (not), sunny, (not), warm (NOT) Menominee MI, gateway to Yooperville. Hi Clark, I salute you with a Pastie.

As to the puzzle, a big DNF! Had to come here to even get close. My big gimme was THE BREWERS for obvious reasons as I will be back in Brewertown on Monday, where I am hopeful for a little higher temp. Toooo cold here for this little wahine's very thin blood.

Nancy from PA 12:46 PM  

@nanpilla--ditto re: BEQ book. Guess I should go leave a comment on HIS blog.

Liked everything about this puzzle except ENCASH. Glad SLEW wasn't "scad." Parsed SALEMSLOT as "salem slot," thinking King had turned witchcraft town into Native American gambling town.

symabl: the way my two dyslexic kids would spell an icon or a musical instrument.

Clark 1:04 PM  

Chipped away at this until, with semi-puzzle partner's help on a few things, it came together. ROXY MUSIC was new to me, had dRAKE for CRAKE, 'ipod' for NANO, and just could not make sense of _ME. MRI SCANS cleaned it all up.

So, @Rex, was it prooved looved or pruvd luvd?

@foodie, I think there should be a 'company to feed, dishes to cook' exception to the normal crossword rules. The 'retrieval google' seems like a reasonable way to go.

@hazel, your Hazel looks all wise and sweet, an excellent combination in a friend, furry or otherwise.

@chefwen -- Enjoy the UP; dress warm. You remind me it's time for a batch of pasties soon. I'll carve 'CW' on one in your honor.

joho 1:12 PM  

@hazel, Hazel is adorable!

Jo 1:16 PM  

Big dud for me. Had to google a SlEW of names: ART MONK, AMALIE, BETSEY, and the SERIAL MOM. I think that did it, but unsatisfactory. Easiest was SW and NE. When finally got BEEFEATERS thought they were people who eat a lot of beef and so guard the red meat. Sort of anti-vegetarians. Obviously not INTOIT.

Jamie 1:17 PM  

Epic fail. I can't believe some of you breezed through this. Hats off to you!

SethG 1:40 PM  

For a long time I had nothing but the SE, which I'd finished in about a minute. Thank you, Anke Huber! Total puzzle time: I stalled completely, so made breakfast before coming back to it.

Eventually ended up in the NW. I guessed SAM MALONE with no crosses, which I'm not proud of but which finally got me going.

50 minutes to game time!

jae 2:03 PM  

Medium-challenging for me because of the same problems Rex had in NW. Needed my bride to give me BETSEY which finally opened it up for me.

@joho-me too for TIES, plus SUNSCREENS at first for la and SEEMELATER for 55a.

@Ben -- I also had OIL for a while.

@David L -- SIL is short for SILVIO Dante played by Stevie Van Zandt from the E Street Band.

Peter 2:07 PM  

This puzzle deserves some extra kudos for its construction. Four quad-stacks of quality phrases in a 66-word grid with a higher than average Scrabble average is no easy task.

There's maybe a few not so good short words, but those are largely outweighed by this puzzle's strengths. Great work and a tough challenge.

syndy 2:09 PM  

weepreep blogger hates me

syndy 2:15 PM  

Sure that one made it thru! no prob with the puzz today except for some HUH? answers ASTER? OAK? is an oak strong? ANKE? AMalye WHAT? still just marched on A fun fresh puzzle Giggled at final entry SLEW since SLUE yesterday was my downfall Thank you Rex for the Great vowel shift

Van55 2:21 PM  

Challenging side of medium for me, for sure. Didn't know many of the answers: CRAKE, POLITY(?), AMALIE, etc. Struggled to get the crosses for these as well. Nicely constructed puzzle!

mac 2:27 PM  

This was medium-challenging for me, what with all those names. I did know Betsey. I liked the CPA and IRS combo, and loved all the els in fall ill. I also got lucky with a couple of the long answers, such as "to-do list", "is it time" and "ask me later". Have to fess up to having ties before tkos. Tried to cram "went nowhere" into 53A.

Before I forget, there is an Otto Dix exhibition at the Neue Gallerie. No mention of Herr Onze.

@hazel: what a sweet face.

@foodie: mmmmm, Middle Eastern food. Actually, love all food around the Mediterranean.

Now I'm hungry again, and my captcha "scrod". Little late in the season, I think.

More soccer! There are roars coming out of most cafes, bistros, cantinas and pubs in NY! I'm loving it. I'll be in Holland when the final is played, have already planned a party. I've been told the whole country is dressed up in orange, and the team isn't playing until Monday!

lit.doc 2:33 PM  

@Jeff, LMFAO at "mighty as AN OAT". Will stand tall for that one whenever I hear "...amber waves of grain".

@chefwen, I'll trade you 10 degrees F. for 30 seconds off my next Thursday time plus a future draft pick.

@Hazel, your new avatar is a beautiful embrace of puppy life! (My wife and I had Irish Wolfhounds for years, and I never stopped calling them my puppies.)

@Nancy from PA, LOL re "Native American gambling town". I'll have to figure out a way to sneak that one in next year when I teach The Crucible.

@Clark...a batch of pasties?! Still stuck on 29D?

@Jamie, hi! Don't think I've heard your voice before. Welcome to the discussion, a discussion which has greatly abetted my CW skills (hard to tell, I know).

chefwen 2:35 PM  

@hazel - Your new avatar is adorable. All this time I thought your live strong bracelet was a golden ring, go figure!

MountainManZach 2:40 PM  

Excellent choice of a movie clip at the end of the post, especially because Harvey Keitel *did* play Judas in The Last Temptation of Christ.

thewertle 2:44 PM  

I thought NANO down in the SW was talking about nano pets and I was like "No WAY was that 2005!"

lol oops

retired_chemist 2:50 PM  

Congrats to all who found this one anything but monstrously hard, which was my own designation.

Like Rex, ELP, FOAM, and SLY went right in and then....... and then...... wow. Not much for a long time. Thought of RIME but also thought MINK, HOAR, and that there may be other 4 letter words I hadn't thought of. Pretty soon I was using all the 4 letter words I knew.

WAY too many names for me to do well. Finshed with two errors. The aforementioned S(A/I)L/AMAL(A/I)E crossing is, I maintain, a true Natick. I know SAL Maglie, Mineo, and Olimpio (my Tax accountant) but no SILs. AMALAE is at least as plausible as HAAKON, of which there were seven as Kings of Norway not even counting the current Crown Prince. How can you trust a nation whose kings sound like a Star Wars race to name its feminist novelists?

ANKE Huber I finally got, but it was luck. Did.Not.Know. SALEM'S LOT. ANKE was ELKE, ANNA, ENKE, even ELLE. This of course made the SE miserable. And as also mentioned before, AS_ERS for Goldilocks was a HUGE WTF. Alphabet soup focused 100% on Goldilocks as a person's name and 0% on flowers. Even considered an N, thinking Ed ASNER might have had a daughter nicknamed Goldilocks. Eventually settled for a K (=>ASKERS), thinking Goldilocks DID ask some questions. Worried about the three bears asking a lot more (Who's been.....) but left it. Skipped right over ASTERS (thought no, that would be ASTORS of natural (MINK) coat fame).

Other names etc. I didn't know: EBEN Holden, BETSEY Johnson, ROXY MUSIC, MR. ISCANS (oh, wait, that's MRI SCANS), CRAKE, SERIAL MOM, EYE RHYME. Some I did: SAM MALONE (but needed a LOT of crosses, since I did not know the quote), ART MONK (ditto, since I would have thought 100 receptions would have come LOOONNNGGG before his time).

All told a h**l of a workout. Separated the men/women from the boys/girls.

lit.doc 3:49 PM  

@retired_chemist, enjoyed your comments more than the puzzle! Me too re starting with HOAR and devolving into epithets.

Bob Kerfuffle 3:54 PM  

I did this beautiful Saturday puzzle at the beach today. Seemed perfect, requiring lots of time to look up from the paper and look around and think, even take a walk before finishing.

I finished with one wrong letter, as others did, at the SIL/AMALIE crossing, and don't feel bad about it. Also some write-overs, at least one shared with others: TIES/TKOS; did anyone else have FREE before FIRE or FEELILL before FELLILL? (If you become sick, you feel ill, right?)

But I made one mistake no one else has mentioned, and I can see why: I somehow read the clue for 27 A, Form of government, but I was looking at the line beginning at 28 A. I already had several letters from the Downs -- can't be sure which now -- and I put in SOCIALISM, which fit perfectly both in the space and with the letters I had. Of course, I later worked out that that was the space for SERIALMOM, but it took awhile.

retired_chemist 4:18 PM  

@lit.doc - thanks!

@ Bob K - LOL. Been there done that, but not so elegantly as you.

joho 4:22 PM  

@retired_chemist ... my family was just wondering why I was LOL at the computer ... thank you!

retired_chemist 4:50 PM  

@ joho - thank you, thank you - I'm here all week....

promed - is anyone anti-med?

chefwen 5:24 PM  

@lit.doc - I'll take you up on that fine offer.

retired_chemist - You are in fine form today, still laughing. Mr. Iscans, indeed.

Doug 5:55 PM  

Nice Saturday puzzle, but for the longest time I had "Tea Brewers," because SASE seemed a better answer than SASH and Anke? Anka? What's the diff? Kept trying to think which Apple "iProduct" came out in 2005, before realizing that it was the "iProduct" that didn't start with "i". Fun outing overall

Steve J 6:08 PM  

Probably my best Saturday ever. Had a good half to two-thirds of the grid filled before I had to start googling, and I had only a few writeovers (SACK instead of FIRE, AIR instead of ERE, and TIES instead of TKOS; I should have known better on TIES/TKOS, since Americans tend to say ties and game, while the Brits say match and draw).

Knowing ROXYMUSIC (like Rex, it was a staple for me in college) straight away definitely helped, and an educated guess with MONTREAL enabled me to knock out the SW quickly. That started giving me some traction elsewhere, as I pick up ARTMONK after crossing RUTS and REMIT, which got me TODOLISTS and some movement in the NW.

NE was the last to fall for me, largely because of SACK and AIR. Once I erased those, I started getting moving.

All of which is to say that not only am I pleased with myself for finishing a Saturday (which usually doesn't happen even with googling), but that I was pleasantly surprised to see others rate this difficult. I apparently was dialed in today.

I hope that between yesterday and today, this means I'm finally starting to be able to make progress with the late-week puzzles. Months of DNFs was getting to be tedious and discouraging.

michael 6:20 PM  

I slowly got everything but the nw on my own. But I had to google amalie and betsey to get the rest. I guess I should have gotten exxon-mobil on my own, which might have let do the whole thing without googling.

Betsey Johnson sounds vaguely familiar, but Amalie Skram! I'd like to know how many of you saw the clue and just wrote in "Amalie" without thinking....

JayWalker 6:28 PM  

This one just kicked my ass and then came back and stepped on me! Hats off from me to for those who finished it easily. I finished it (with one error - polito cause I had NO idea about eye rhyme) - but if I had googled one more answer I would have had to disqualify mySELF!! I do adore Joe DiPietro's puzzles tho. They drive me nuts but they are as good as his plays. What a writer!!!!

Tinbeni 7:57 PM  

You hit on the reason AMALAE/SAL looked good to me.
Hmmm, Norwegian author and feminist who died over 100 years ago and a peruse of the bibliography, wrote not one thing I have ever heard of.
That gets you a DNF everytime.

your average blank 10:57 PM  

thanks joe for a great puzzle; nice write up took me, my wife and son but we got er done

Citizen Dain 12:22 AM  

What a coincidence. I just saw "Serial Mom" for the first time this afternoon, and then got back and looked at the puzzle and saw the Kathleen Turner clue and got it right away. The Great Magnet strikes again.

andrea non-beefeater michaels 3:28 AM  

@citizen dain, @foodie
I'm still reeling bec the puzzle took me an hour, I loved it, and I was actually half watching a rerun of Cheers in the background at 1:30am when I got the SAMMALONE clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also had EXXON . . OIL and having the incorrect word OIL actually led to MOBIL...that's that thing I wanted to name, putting in a totally wrong answer that actually accidentally leads you to the right one due to synchronicity of the letters...
like mArrIoTt and lAquInTa last week

Got BETSEY immediately. Yay, for once, a girl clue...but then wrote in BOLSHEVIKS for BEEFEATERS. oops. That's what I get for being a pinko commie vegetarian.

andrea rime/eyerhyme michaels 3:49 AM  

and I concur a lot of unnecessary addons: (EN)CASH, EXTRA(ONE), EXXON(MOBIL), MRIS(SCANS),(FALL)ILL, (EYE)RHYME (could that be uglier words/concept?)

(For the last one, I wanted to thank THE little people)

Thanks for the Goldilocks explanation and the proof it should be pronounced Luuuuuuve...
and that Salem is short of (Jeru)Salem! That's the kind of thing I luuuuuve to learn!

I luuuved this puzzle with all the triple ten stacks plus 9 and the triple 8 stacks plus 7 and all the X's and Ks! fab-u-lous.

btw, it's late and maybe I haven't read carefully, but I didn't see anyone comment on the mafia-type sub theme with RAT, SNITCH, SIL, SERIALMOM and SLEW.

shrub5 4:24 AM  

I started this beast in the AM but, after way too long and with paltry results, had to get going on the rest of my day. Came back to it after dinner with renewed enthusiasm but hit the wall in short time. Joe DiPietro, you are just too much!!

Made all the same missteps as detailed by others and then some. Finally googled Irving, TX for EXXONMOBIL and dug around in some football statistics for ART MONK. I racked my brain trying to remember the Kathleen Turner movie "Body Heat" - but that wasn't it anyway.

Very challenging puzzle. Just about every answer in the SW portion is a write-over. Some are double write-overs. Ugly.

Got quite a chuckle at @Jeff's "mighty as AN OAT." Hey, Quaker could use that in advertisements.

@hazel: Cute new Hazel avatar!!

@andrea (everything but the kitchen sink) michaels: your posts make me laugh every time!

Well, I sure learned a lot today -- ENCASH? CRAKE? AMALIE Skram? EBEN Holden? We'll see how much sticks.

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