City known as Salisbury until 1982 / FRI 3-18-11 / Carpaccio base / Pretty ballerina in Abba song / Jules Verne harpooner Land

Friday, March 18, 2011

Constructor: Patrick Merrell

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: HEC Crighton (30D: ___ Crighton Trophy (Canada's Heisman-like award)) —

The Hec Crighton Trophy was presented to the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union in 1967 by the board of directors of the Canadian College Bowl, to be awarded annually to the athlete deemed to be the most outstanding university football player in Canada. The trophy is named after the late Hec Crighton, who was a coach, referee and teacher, and author of the CIAU Rule Book and the Official Football Rule Book. The first recipient of the Hec Crighton Trophy in Canada's Centennial Year of 1967 was Mike Eben of the University of Toronto. Like Eben, most winners have gone on to professional careers in the Canadian Football League. The 1987 winner was Jordan Gagner of the UBC Thunderbirds. St Mary's Huskies quarterback Chris Flynn became the first player to win the award 3 times (1988-90). Two-time recipients in the 1990s were the University of Western Ontario's Tim Tindale (1991, 1994) and Eric Lapointe of the Mount Allison Mounties (1996, 1998). (The Canadian Encyclopedia)
• • •

A bit out of my wheelhouse much of the time, but a fine puzzle overall, I think. I especially admire SLOW NEWS DAY (6D: When there's nothing doing) and HIGH AS A KITE (24D: Wasted) — always good to go for fresh, original material in your themelesses, I think. Screw low word counts—give me a lively, well-filled, interesting grid over a stunt grid any day of the week (well, especially Friday and Saturday). Weirdly uneven solving experience today, as I destroyed the NW corner in a matter of seconds only to peter out completely in the middle. Then GENII (48D: Guardian spirits) gave me the entire SE corner pretty quickly, and I sort of hacked my way slowly through the W and SW, ending up in the central NE (which was the toughest part of the grid for me by far). The "L" in LEERS AT / BALE was the last letter in. I couldn't see how a BALE was a [Farm delivery] (wanted FOAL or CALF) and the "Surveys" in the LEERS AT clue was a total curve ball (18A: Surveys, usually with negative responses). Thought it was a noun. Then thought it was a verb relating to the asking of questions. Bah. I think the lynchpin up in that areas was HEC (not great to have such a terrible piece of fill be such a crux, but oh well). *If* that had been remotely gettable, I would finished much sooner ("C" and "H" would have been valuable, answer-revealing letters). But no. Though BELIED was DENIED, though CHARIOT was ... uh, CHORIST? (38A: Part of an ancient procession) Is that a thing? Couldn't see how PIE was an [Organizational figure], and don't know TOE-IN as [Wheel alignment]. So, yeah, that whole big white area was rough. If only I could have come up with KEELHAULS sooner (29A: Severely rebukes), but the damned "H" was hidden, and the "K" took me forever—KOREAN is [Ethnic cuisine]? I mean, yes, it is. But clue may as well have been [Random ethnicity]. Boo to clue. But I'm basically at the stage where I'm getting annoyed at any clue that makes me work for more than a few seconds—I'm heading to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) tomorrow, and I'm in fighting mode. Any answer I can't knock to the floor instantly only *$&%es me off.

Apparently I don't know what "carpaccio" is, as RAW FISH came into view while I furrowed my brow and silently said "huh" to myself (1A: Carpaccio base, maybe). I think I thought it was something to do with mozzarella and basil and tomato. Or maybe some kind of deli meat. Turns out carpaccio is raw meat / fish pounded flat and served as appetizer. Didn't like FLANS as a plural and especially didn't like the CREME tie-in. CREME is an Oreo word. Never seen it anywhere near a FLAN (or a flock of FLANS, for that matter) (4D: 23-Down caramel desserts) [wait: I know "crème caramel'=FLAN in French, but if that's the way "CREME" is being used here, then "desserts" seems redundant. Like [Gateaux desserts] for "CAKES"]. Loved the clue on HARARE (7D: City known as Salisbury until 1982), but mainly just loved that I had heard of HARARE before—only city I could think of that started HAR- in six letters. Heard of NED Land (47A: Jules Verne harpooner ___ Land), but never heard of NINA the ballerina. Heard of Fernando ... and Chiquitita ... but NINA? Looks like "NINA, Pretty Ballerina"'s great claim to fame is that it "reached #8 on the singles chart in Austria" (wikipedia). That's some serious pop cred right there. I guess the puzzle needed an answer that would make GINO Vennelli look well and truly famous (48A: Singer Vannelli of 1970s-'80s pop).

  • 16A: He succeeded to the Chrysanthemum Throne in 1989 (AKIHITO) — the current Emperor. Dismal times for Japan right now.
  • 25A: Ulysses S. Grant was its eighth pres. (NRA) — figured it probably wasn't CSA, and this seemed the most natural option.
  • 28A: State sch. in Kingston (URI) — So ... not Jamaica?
  • 52A: Standard with the lyric "Ain't these tears in my eyes tellin' you?" ("AM I BLUE?") — I learned this song from a TV ad in the 70s/80s, but which one I cannot remember. It's kind of killing me right now, actually.

  • 59A: Beady-eyed and sneaky (RAT-LIKE) — seems right.
  • 26D: Home to more than 5 1/2 million Arabs (BAGHDAD, IRAQ) — this is how I ended up changing DENIED to BELIED—solving this answer from the bottom up.
  • 53D: La ___ (Hollywood nickname) (LIZ) — I've also seen this moniker applied to crossword constructing legend LIZ Gorski. Like the little pair of Old Hollywood answers down here (LIZ next to a Marilyn-strummed UKE) (54D: Marilyn Monroe played one in "Some Like It Hot").
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I have somehow not made any arrangements to have someone cover blogging for me the next couple of days (I'll be in Brooklyn, as I indicated above), so ... whatever you get will be a surprise, to me as well as you.

P.P.S. I have today's Wall Street Journal puzzle ... ooh, look, it's already up. Download a .pdf version here.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


retired_chemist 12:08 AM  

I found it easy-medium. One of my best Friday times recently.

AKIHITO was a gimme, as was RATITE. SLOW NEWS DAY, HIGH AS A KITE, RENEWABLE, EQUINOX, THRILLERS, MISSISSIPPI - all fell with only a few crosses. 35D: ST and a 3 letter name - gotta be LEO.

Thanks, Mr. Merrell.

syndy 12:16 AM  

yup to denied being slowly outed by baghdad actually baghdad open up whole middle nicely except unlike Rex never heard of harare but N-A could only be so many things and happy said yes!Best time for a friday in a long while!

Tobias Duncan 12:19 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tobias Duncan 12:22 AM  

19a made me think of Penn Jillette.
He says it all one word just like it appears here and his pronunciation rhymes with sewage.
Easier for me by far than yesterdays, but still very tough.I feel like I have gotten worse this year instead of better. Definitely in a slump. What I really need is some intermediate puzzle advice.Anyone got a good book title or online primer for me?

Good luck to Rex and everyone else competing this weekend.
Give em hell !

dan 12:30 AM  

For non-foodies like Rex, creme caramel is French for flan.

jae 12:34 AM  

Rex pretty much covered my solving experience and difficulty judgement. Tough time in NE and SW. Had BALE and took it out because I too was looking for a baby something and the clue for LEERSAT took some time to unravel. Great Fri. challeng for me. Good luck to all at ACPT.

chefwen 12:37 AM  

So close I could almost smell that ceegar, alas, a DNF for me.

Knew that Carpaccio base was usually meat so I really wanted sirloin but it didn't fit with the few downs that I already had in place. Had sEAlS at 45D and strong for 45A, it took me forever to sort that mess out. Like Rex and others dEnIED before BELIED, but it was the doubled II'd GENII and the MAFIOSI that done me in, they're known for that, right?

The Bard 12:39 AM  

Macbeth > Act V, scene V

SEYTON: The queen, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH: She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

[Enter a Messenger]

Thou comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.

Mickey 1:14 AM  

Severe dislike.

16A. Don't you have to succeed SOMEONE? Or can you just succeed to a throne?

4D. FLANS is a horrible plural. Who uses this word? It's either one flan, or many people eating flan or a whole dessert buffet full of flan or something. What, does someone say "We need twelve flans out here?" Ick.

8A. Bad clue. It sacrifices actual meaning in order to be a pun on a store. I've seen Patrick Merrell do this before, and I don't like it.

31A/32D/46D. Too much RE-. Also, REGROW? That's what a lawn does? I guess it's also what fingernails do, what my fat stomach does at Thanksgiving, what my paid-off credit card debt does... How do these inanimate objects DO anything?

56D. A suffix is... just the last syllable to a word? So can we clue ELL as [Merr suffix]?

9D. Hated the clue... Boring crossword word in EKE, clue just drew attention to the bad fill.

So not fun. I love being made to feel stupid two days before the big game. Ugh.

Anonymous 1:38 AM  

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Anonymous 1:42 AM  

On the one hand FLANS is certainly legit. On another hand, swapping in FLASS and taking SEWAGE for NEW AGE would have been appropriate for Friday, and cool for Batman fans, and inferable for those that don't know it.

It don't make no nevermind; I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous 2:39 AM  

As dan indicated, if you know people that wouldn't be caught dead eating FLAN, serve creme caramel and they'll be in love and never know they've been had.

I skip M-W 3:05 AM  

Have fun at tournament, lucky ones. Maybe it will be a thriller, something Akihito could use right now, if not a little me time. I confused Vanelli with Vanilli and put in Mili, which made me think it was a Pope with a number, but when it turned out to be St. someone tried Eli, before reluctantly going with Leo. Had raw beef before fish, so sue me.

Had UWI befroe URI, but thought Creme caramel was cleverly clued. The graave accent saved it from beign an oreo fill. Much prefer mallowmars. Andreigha, could you bring some back to this deprived part of world, where all we get is rain and radiation?

What the hell. It would be nice to have a slow news day about now.

davko 3:36 AM  

Could someone please explain how PIE (44A) is an organizational figure? If it had been PI, I might be able able to make a case for it, but as written? Clueless.

I agree with Rex that the cluing for KOREAN is imprecise, as the answer meets the criterion for only one type of ethnic cuisine.

Otherwise, kudos all around, with lots of originality and some sweet answers. Just when it seemed words were going wildy astray with a few oddball letters, they'd morph into something recognizable and obvious with their next hard-earned cross. One glimpse of the SE cluster (MAFIOSI, GENII, EQUINOX, TOFU) and you'll see what I mean.

After I hammered out the SW in short order, it was indeed the SE, running all the way up the Eastern Seaboard to BELIED (26A) that gave me fits. Letting go of DENIED helped matters, ushering in BAGHDADIRAQ (26D), then LEGREST (27A). This took the mystery out of the infernally weird-looking E----IL for 27D's "Kind of pass." The revelation of EURAIL made for the best clue/answer combo on the grid.

Clark 4:17 AM  

I knew what 26D was, but I couldn't for the life of me remember if it was BHAGDAD, BAHGDAD or BAGHDAD. And I'm a total news junky.

fikink 6:58 AM  

@Mickey, I always have the same question re: suffixes when presented this way. I've also seen OON clued as a suffix for ball. Seems wrong-headed to me.

Agree with you, Rex, on the KOREAN clue.

My solving experience was a lot of "hurry up and wait."

Entered BALE immediately - right in my backyard.

Anonymous 7:01 AM  


PIE as in Pie chart!

Olivia Perez 7:44 AM  

Bale was amazing in The Fighter. He really earned that Oskar.

Nancy 7:55 AM  

Definitely a challenging puzzle. Can someone explain 58D to me? B.O. buy is tix? B.O. as in railroad?

joho 8:06 AM  


Because this was rebusless is was much easier than yesterday for me. I finished pretty quick for a Friday but had one error at NsA figuring it was the opposite of CSA and I didn't know HARARE which sounds like a poison you put on arrows.

MISSISSISSIPPI was one of the first words I learned to spell when we moved to Minnesota when I was seven.

I really liked RATLIKE, SLOWNEWSDAY, HIGHASAKITE and seeing all of BAGHDDADIAQ. Fun Friday, thank you, Patrick Merrell!

Good luck to all at the tournament!

joho 8:08 AM  

That would be IRAQ.

r.alphbunker 8:14 AM  

@Nancy B.O. as in box office

I went to URI and UMass so the Kingston and Hampshire clues were gimmes.

Faster than usual Friday. Bogged down a little in the middle but then KEELHAULS broke it open for me.

37D Tar-->TON
20D hAte-->GALL
56D ist--OON
26D sAudiArabia-->BAGHDADIRAQ

 1 *******
 2 ****
 3 ************
 4 **
 5 *
 6 **************
 7 ****
 8 ********
 9 ***********
 10 *******

DJG 8:17 AM  

-OON is in the dictionary as a suffix, it's not just a random the last syllable. It's not great fill, but legitimate.

Stella 8:34 AM  

@Nancy -- B.O. is common show-biz abbreviation for "box office". It's often found in publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Stella 8:45 AM  

Even though I worked in the entertainment industry and got 58D quickly, my very first thought was "Huh? I don't know of any three-letter words for 'deoderant'!"

foodie 9:03 AM  

I liked it a lot, thought it was on the easier side, even though I had spots of struggle...

I know CREME Caramel and FLAN, but CREME FLAN(s) seemed redundant to me. Yet, Google says it exists! Need to look at those recipes to see how it's different. And I need to turn in my foodie avatar and call myself traveler... I'm elsewhere as usual.

Good luck to all the Rexites at the tournament. And good luck Rex, may your number drop even though 44 does have a ring to it.

nanpilla 9:19 AM  

The tomato, mozzarella and basil appetizer is a caprese salad.

This would have been faster if I had spelled BAGHDAD correctly the first time....

Looking forward to seeing everyone this afternoon in the bar!!

Blackbird 9:25 AM  

Clue: "organizational figure". Answer: "Pie." Explanation: "pie chart", visual aid in planning.

jackj 9:30 AM  

We often have, "How do I love thee?", as the preface to one's comments, let me try the flip side, "How do I hate thee?".

2, 3, 4 and 5 down, ARE, WAN, FLANS and IATE are so obvious as to be gimmes. EKE in 9 down is topped only by EEKA in 49 across (this one is Monday level, not Friday).

Even the long answers, such as RENEWABLE and MISSISSIPPI required no thought and rubbing a little salt in, how did you like SEAANIMAL cluing dolphin. Yuck.

It wasn't a total loss, METIME and SLOWNEWSDAY helped this otherwise weak effort keep a soupcon of dignity.

Looks like all the goodies went to the ACPT and we're getting the orts.

quilter1 9:32 AM  

Kept chipping away until I finished, then came here and found that 1A was RAW FISH. I had cat fish after deciding that my first thought, RAW beef wouldn't work. Boo. You can't over think these things.

But, overall it was a good solve, a nice tussle. I liked it fine.

jesser 9:44 AM  

Well, I completely threw down the west coast, and made pretty good time in the south, but the NE took for-freakin-ever, because I confidently entered tHe magi at 38A, and it took a while to unravel the resulting mess. But I did unravel it, and I was so proud of myself.

Then I came here.

Where I was astonished and heartbroken to find that the carpaccio base is not, as I had surmised, cAtFISH. I say it's a reasonable mistake that is arguably correct. Anyone want to dispute that cTS could be 'centers', who are indeed linemen; and tAN is not the same as ruddy; and cAtFISH can be as raw as any other damn fish?

Loved the clue/answer pairing at 45D, because it reminds me of John Irving, and I love John Irving.

I have to get to work now. I can promise all of you that I will be having cAtFISH for lunch! With FLAN for dessert!

Evitu! (What Caesar said after Evi stabbed him) -- jesser

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

All you CATFISH carpaccio lovers out there - Do you know anything about catfish? They're bottom feeders in swamps/stagnant pools. If you're going to eat raw meat, at least opt for critters with a predictably low parasite load, e.g. free range beef or deep sea tuna, not creatures that live in and feed on filth.
Or, better yet, take advantage of the efforts and wisdom of your forefathers, and use that wonderful invention, fire.

OldCarFudd 10:06 AM  

I thought this was pretty easy, despite being a dnf for one stupid error. I had sneered for 61A, couldn't see to change it despite having no idea what La Lir might be.But lots of unusual answers, lots of good misdirection, fun!

jesser 10:14 AM  

@Anonymous 10:05: You eat the fish you want; I'll eat the fish I want. And I'll also eat the worm at the bottom of the Mezcal bottle. And I'll have bowls of menudo. And bring on the Rocky Mountain oysters! And I'll sample the balut whenever I'm in the Philippines. My guts are tough, and my palate is adventurous. You can have your safe fare, but don't denigrate what I find yummy!

Tobias Duncan 10:28 AM  

@Jesser your stock just went way up in my book.
In New Mexico our stomachs are annealed at an early age with obscene amounts of fiery green chili(honestly they give it to us in grade school in cafeterias run by abuelitas).
Consequently we can eat anything.It is our superpower.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:48 AM  

Bad omen for tomorrow: I failed this puzz, and after reading all comments so far, I would say in my own unique way:

I was prepared to complain about a Natick at the crossing of 40D and 47A. That was because for 43D I had MY TIME instead of ME TIME, the kind of mistake I could look at all day and not catch. NINA seemed inescapable for the Ballerina, but NYD Land for a Jules Verne name? Well, proper names can be anything, right? Especially in French novels!

Oh, well, now to catch the bus to the Port Authority Terminal and the "A" train to Brooklyn to the ACPT!

Matthew G. 10:49 AM  

I liked it. KEELHAULS! I've heard the term many times, and getting it early was a huge help today, but only now did I go to Wikipedia and look up exactly how keelhauling was done. It sounds like it was ... very unpleasant.

I had exactly the same reaction to Rex to the clue for KOREAN. Boo on clue, indeed.

@Mickey: You can definitely "succeed to a throne." I've seen the usage countless times. "Succeed" (when referring to inheritance of something) can be either a transitive or an intransitive verb.

Matthew G. 10:50 AM  

Oh, and good luck to all at the ACPT. I can't make it this time, but I hope to make 2012 my rookie year.

Two Ponies 10:52 AM  

Easier than yesterday but still felt like a Friday.
I was a bit surprised to see Eke and Eek a in the same grid as well as ratlike and ratite. Just looked strange to me.
Before mafioisi I had minions so that screwed that corner for a bit.
For a second I couldn't remember if Marilyn played a sax or a uke.
Finishing this felt good.
Thanks Patrick.

GenJoneser 10:53 AM  

Ah "flans"...reminds me of the late great Mr. Carlin...
"Flammable, inflammable...and non-flammable. Why are there three? It seems like two words ought to be able to handle that idea. I mean either the thing flams or doesn't flam, right?"

davko 10:56 AM  

@Blackbird, Anon 7:01, et al - Thanks... and duh! Cerebral lock-up on my part.

@DJG - Played bassoon in jr. high and h.s. and thought the clue was bogus. Thanks for the -OON insight. It's definitely legit.

@r.alph bunker - Like your rating system (if that's what it is) for the crossword equivalent of false friends. Is this your own? You should codify it and get the rest of us to use. Speaks volumes about the quality of a puzzle.

mmorgan 10:58 AM  

The whole west fell quickly but the whole east was a slog.

They may be Naticks for some, but I was happy to see Kingston (not far from where I grew up) and Amherst (where I live)!

First had armRESTS at 33A and SAUDI ARABIA at 26D.

I have no idea what linemen are (1D), but I was sure that 1A was not sAWFISH.

Finished with two errors: IRONOUs at 55A, which seemed bizarre but plausible, and MAFIOSa at 60A, which seems acceptable. That gave me saX for 58D, which I couldn't explain.

Good workout! I don't disagree with some of the nits picked here, but this had some very fresh stuff. Thanks! And good luck to all at ACPT!

archaeoprof 10:59 AM  

Challenging and fun.

Nautical sub-theme today with RAWFISH, KEELHAULS, SEAANIMAL, NED and RATLIKE.

Good luck to all at the ACPT. May you do better than our Wofford Terriers did in the NCAA!

Greene 11:18 AM  

No foodie here. I only know Carcaccio as a Venetian painter (and dimly at that), so I was looking for some kind of paint related answer for 1A. Got RAWFISH through crosses and went Huh? Post-solve trip to Wikipedia revealed two different stories about how the painter's name became associated with the dish, one slightly more preposterous than the other. I've been an internist for over 25 years and I'm still trying to figure out what doctor would recommend that a patient only consume raw meat.

Greene 11:20 AM  

Duh, I clearly meant Carpaccio.

Mel Ott 11:40 AM  

Unfortunately the awful news out of Japan helped me in the NE. Yesterday I saw a brief clip of Emperor AKIHITO addressing his people, so his name was still in an accessible part of my brain.

I liked the puzzle. Kind of a medium Friday for me.

Sparky 12:06 PM  

DNF, no surprise on Friday. Lots of blank spots in SE from LEGRESTS on down. Also mIli/pope #1. RATITE such a harsh word.

@Rex. See Sita Sings the Blues for great rendition of Am I Blue by Annette Hanshaw.

@Sfingi. I just went to Rocco's Bakery in Greenwhich Village for two St. Joseph's, one cannoli and one regular filling. Happy Birthday to your son. Wish you were at the ACPT.

Anonymous 12:17 PM  

For the Grant clue, I thought the answer (without any crosses) would be GAR or some similar veterans' organization. But I was okay with the NRA because the NRA wasn't always the way it is now.

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

finished, with two uncertainties that turned out to be right

pie as "organizational figure" and toe-in for "wheel alignment," I wrote and crossed my fingers

thought it might be "poe" (there must be an Edgar Allen Poe society) and "toe-on," but finally, pie and toe-in both seemed less of a stretch

had not heard of the ratite and am impressed by those who found it easy

hazel 12:45 PM  

@jesser - now you've got me curious.  have you actually eaten catfish carpaccio or is it something you would try?  I live in georgia and have seen ALOT of catfish, but never ever thinly sliced and raw. many restaurants here won't even serve oysters raw in most months because of the threat of lawsuits -  i'm thinking the bottom-feeding mud bugs wouldn't stand a chance of ever making it to a menu raw.  so you've got me curious.

Coincidentally, I just finished a book about the evolutionary origins of cooking with fire, and how that advancement is thought to be associated with a massive increase in brain size and development of family/social networks. It was an interesting read. 

As to the puzzle, I echo @archeoprof - fun and challenging.

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to cram MILLI in for 48A: Singer Vannelli of 1970-'80s pop.

Greene 1:04 PM  

@Rex: Just finished your WSJ puzzle "Pimp My Ride." Terrific puzzle which was great fun. Having learned a bit about what you like in the grid and knowing your sense of humor were assists in the solve. Can you create a space for discussion here on the blog, please?

Spencer 1:06 PM  

Did you know that BELUCHISTAN has the same number of letters as BAGHDADIRAQ? And they both start with B, and it seemed conceivable that BELUCHISTAN had Arabs in it. Alas, the H is in the wrong place (which was the next cross I got).

Two Ponies 1:20 PM  

Nice job in the WSJ today Rex.
Well played. I enjoyed it.

william e emba 1:35 PM  

Hampshire College hosts a famous Summer Math Camp, home of the notorious Yellow Pig cult. It seems half my friends went there--but I went to Arnold Ross's SSTP program in Chicago instead. All these years, and it never occurred to me that I had absolutely no idea exactly where Hampshire College was!

Some major mental blanks were NEWA-E and NR-. It wasn't until I filled out --LL to GALL that I got them, and then I had to think real hard to figure out what I was looking at. And I honestly thought the "standard" was AMI BLUE, about some sad girl named Ami. Haha me.

This was a slow and steady solve, with the major rewrites being bile->GALL and even OUT->IRON OUT. And best of all, for 61A "Was irritated and made some noise about it?", I originally answered SNappED.

jesser 1:46 PM  

@ Tobias Duncan: thanks for the elevation in rank. I love those abuelitos of my youth, and when in Taos I generally haunt the restaurant (North side?) just north of the Pueblo entrance, because they are not afraid to use the HOT green chile!

@ Hazel: I doubt that I've had it, but heck yes I'd try it. I'm a big fan of ceviche (although I'm not sure how to spell it), too!

Three and out, and out of here to get some fried catfish and flan!

pizzatheorem 2:01 PM  

Spent a long time on this hoping it would be my first Friday solve without help. Did finish but with a couple errors. Think I might be the only one with 33a. BAGRESTS as that whole area gave me trouble having never heard of KEELHAULS. I put in 30d. MAC giving me KEELMAULS and convinced myself that GALB meant something. EURAIL was a satifying get. Did not have trouble with FLANS or BALE but having SEAMAMMAL instead of SEAANIMAL gave me trouble for quite a long time. Getting EQUINOX dispelled the slightly implausible SAUDIARABIA. Had REGGAE instead of NEWAGE for a while. Liked SLOWNEWSDAY, HIGHASAKITE, RATLIKE, HARARE and the topical, if sad AKIHITO. Didn't mind KOREAN even though I had INDIAN in there for a while. Never heard of RATITE.

chefbea 2:28 PM  

Did some of the puzzle but DNF. Don't really like flan, thus have never made it.

Good luck to all at the ACPT. Know you'll have fun. Look forward to hearing all about it and seeing fotos.

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

Finished (after a VERY long slog) with a couple of errors - CATFISH at 1A and SOX at 58D. Might have fixed the latter if I'd noticed that 60A was plural.

Still not buying PIE (as in "pie chart") as an "organizational figure." Maybe it relates to something else.

quilter1 2:36 PM  

@Rex, just completed your WSJ puzzle. Great! Thanks! I can see your progress as a constructor. Think I'll stick with quilts :)

mac 3:05 PM  

Liked the puzzle a lot, and having finished it with no mistakes it makes me feel good about Brooklyn!

Love keelhauls, had Indian for Korean, and unfortunately the news yesterday made Akihito a quick gimme.

Beluchistan? What a coincidence, there's an article on the same page as the puzzle about Maira Kalman, who created the map cartoon for the New Yorker (with Rick Meyerowitz), including New Yorkistan, Bronxistan, Khandibar, Kvetchnya and Khakis for a Southern Connecticut suburb.

Creme flan might be an real thing. Flan is usually made with milk (and eggs, sugar, sometimes cornstarch), Creme caramel with cream. With flan the caramel is at the bottom, creme caramel has caramelized sugar on top.

I'm just about ready to take the F
-train to Broolyn. meeting a whole bunch of Rexites!

demit 3:14 PM  

For 12D 'United States divider': I had two of the S's and the C of CEO (or CFO) for 'organizational figure'. Counted out CENSUS TRACT and it fit! I was brilliant! For awhile. Still slightly disappointed. Mississippi seemed so tame an answer after that.

sanfranman59 4:09 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)

Fri 27:14, 26:15, 1.04, 61%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 16:53, 12:55, 1.31, 91%, Challenging

Ralph 4:19 PM  


Please email me at rbunker[at]lisco[.com]

ksquare 4:55 PM  

@I skip M-W If you had paid attention yesterday you'd have discovered (as I did) that there's no W in MALLOMARS. But I still love them!

Cubby 6:40 PM  

Wished the clue for 15a was "Selby's Trollop."

Matt 7:07 PM  

I wonder if I was the only person who thought that the "B.O." in the clue for 58D referenced body odor. I couldn't figure out what on earth that clue was asking for, thusly the SE was the last to fall. Not seeing MAFIOSI at all didn't help. Enjoyable all around otherwise.

JaxInL.A. 9:56 PM  

Rex, I loved the WSJ puzzle. Congrats. As @Greene said, learning about your style and sense of humor here definitely helped, though I still got stuck in the NE and HTG. I have gotten used to sharing solving experiences here, and I find it a bit hard to resist talking about my favorite crossing (the two comic guys) and other stuff since I don't want to spoil it for others. Maybe I'll just pop over to the Crossword Fiend and get it all off my chest.

michael 10:27 PM  

got it, but very slowly. Not yet about to try the tournament (aside from having to work).


Loved the bottom row having words ENDING in Z, X and Q...thought that looked cool.
Not happy tho with REMAN and REGROW and REMAN and BESTMAN, and EEKA I thought Rex would scream about...but then again I had KEELSover forever and thought it was another use of the expression I wasn't privvvy to. (I never know if Privvvy is one v or two so I'm going to play it safe and spell it with 3!)

But yes, SLOWNEWSDAY, HIGHASAKITE were way cool.

SO much trouble getting BAGHDAD as I had IRAQ at the bottom but kept thinking the city had to end in I, misreading the I in IRAQ as the last letter. You know? Does anybody know? Hello? Is this thing on?

Thanks for the perfect Carlin to go with today's puzzle!

I'm no foodie, tho I LOVE Salmon carpaccio, which is very lox-like but thinthinthin and even I have to say it would be a bit gross to have catfish raw, tho you have a good point that each a son gout, or whatever that expression is. But I feel sorry if you then have to eat anything mentioned in the puzzle! That would be a VERY random diet...rawfish and creme flan, ick. Then you'd have to go off and KEELHAUL someone.

That said, i had a mini-puzzle lunch with Patrick Blindauer and Steve Salitan (who have THIS Monday's puzzle) and Brian Cimmet...and we indeed had RAWFISH.
In an amazing puzzle coincidence, as I was waiting for them for lunch, Mike Shenk walked by (Mike is the WSJ puzzle editor and all around modest genius, who has had a puzzle in EVERY ACPT but one...AND even showed up two years ago while in the midst of passing a kidney stone! Now THAT's dedication).

I mean, we were no where near Brooklyn, no where near anywhere, middle of NY, and Mike Shenk just strolls by! I'm sure it meant SOMETHING. He couldn't join us for lunch as he had to pack for the ACPT (apparently it wasn't that random as we were one block from his apt! Still, I prefer to think something magical was at work!)

Did make it down to the ACPT for all of an hour and saw some of my constructing pals, but no Rexites, save Mac...hope to do better if I can get down there for an hour or two tomorrow, so I can't really report anything. But people seemed in a good mood.

mmorgan 11:45 PM  

@acm: wow. May you never run out of pseudonyms.

I'm finding Rex's WSJ puzzle really hard!

ACHS me 11:47 PM  

also hand up for thinking till this moment that Gino was just the Vanilli of Milli Vanilli's real first name.
Even when I saw the video in Rex's blog, I just thought he looked white in that picture and now had a comeback and a big 'fro instead of long dread braids or whatever those guys had.

@saintpeg 12:01 AM  

Would've liked to have seen NINA the ballerina clued via Black Swan rather than Abba.

NotalwaysrightBill 4:31 PM  

Syndi-lated paper solver.

COOKED fish has RAWFISH as its base too; but prepared ceviche is no longer raw.

Mixed response to this Fripuz. Some of the answers were fun (METIME, AMIBLUE, MAFIOSI, SLOWNEWSDAY, others). But some of the clues just sucked; think I can make a case that LEERSAT is not a type of surveyance. Won't touch "Strapping"/BRAWNY.

Happened to be vacationing in Puerto Vallarta when the news broke that LIZ died. She (and AVA) practically built that town with "Night of the Iguana." And with LIZ placed right next to Marilyn Monroe's UKE, now I'm curious to know how many Hollywood celebs have been popularly and singularly refered to by their first or nick- names. Think I'll make a little mental list of them. The DUKE, ZHA ZHA and AVA (but not EVA) and MEATLOAF and LIZ and now I'm drawing a blank.

captcha: "hordiste":
Ghengis Khan sitting in a yurt softly singing "La Cucaracha" to himself as he "remembers" being reincarnated as Pauncho Villa in a later life (note their striking resemblance): once a "hordiste," always a "hordiste."

Dirigonzo 9:39 PM  

Wait a minute, it's not Salisbury anymore?! How come no one told me? I suppose next you'll tell me it's not still in Rhodesia, either. It's a good thing I do these puzzles so I can keep up with global affairs.

What's up with @ALAX who has been posting what looks to me like gibberish lately? Rex? Anybody?

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