Soul's 1970s TV co-star / SAT 4-2-11 / Start of dogwatch / New York find 10/16/1869 / 1980s TV private eye / Pee-wee's Playhouse mail lady

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Constructor: Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: RAKEHELL (16A: Libertine) —

A rake, short for rakehell, is a historic term applied to a man who is habituated to immoral conduct, frequently a heartless womaniser. Often a rake was a man who wasted his (usually inherited) fortune on gambling, wine, women and song, incurring lavish debts in the process. The rake was also frequently a man who seduced a young woman and impregnated her before leaving, often to her social or financial ruin. // The Restoration rake was a carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocrat whose heyday was during the English Restoration period (1660–1688), at the court of Charles II. They were typified by the "Merry gang" of courtiers, who included as prominent members the Earl of Rochester, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and the Earl of Dorset, who combined riotous living with intellectual pursuits and patronage of the arts. At this time the rake featured as a stock character in Restoration comedy. // After the reign of Charles II, and especially after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the cultural perception of the rake took a dive into squalor. The rake became the butt of moralistic tales in which his typical fate was debtor's prison, venereal disease, or, in the case of William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, insanity in Bedlam.

• • •

Felt mostly quite easy, but not knowing THE CARDIFF GIANT (or, rather, forgetting it until I had the THE CARDIFF part) slowed me down enough that my time was just average (34A: New York "find" of 10/16/1869). Strangely, the most befuddling part was the COURSE part of COURSE FEES (28A: Tuition portion). Had FEES and just couldn't think what kind of FEES could be involved. Also, I had a ridiculous fit of second-guessing after I dropped down ARE YOU KIDDING ME (off just the A--Y!) (7D: "Really?!"). I read the clue at 33A: Animal whose tongue is long enough to clean its eyelids and ears and thought "sounds like a GECKO" (actually, OKAPI). Then was *sure* it was a GECKO after that "K" got me "AKA" for 30D: Cover letters? I mean ... that's a genius clue for AKA. It's a pretty good clue for SPF, I guess, but it's *really* good for AKA. Anyway, this made me doubt ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Ugh. So tripping in the middle took me from what would probably have been a Thu/Fri time right back to a Saturday time.

No trouble at all in any of the corners. Little bit of mucking around in the SW when I put in ENGIRD (!) for ENCASE (42D: Surround). Proudest / most embarrassing moment (I can't decide)—knowing instantly that 19A: Soul's 1970s TV co-star was going for the brown-haired guy from "Starsky & Hutch." I knew that if I just got a cross or two, his name would come to me. And it did (GLASER). Also, in the same TV-of-my-youth vein, I nailed STEELE with hardly any effort at all (44D: 1980s TV private eye). And though I never played it, "Legend of ZELDA" feels like a gimme handed to me from my youth (or maybe young adulthood) as well (40A: "The Legend of ___").

[How did I remember this? How? I must have had some pretty profound encounter with Mr. Soul earlier in my life. He clearly left an impression ... of some sort]

VHS forced me to change NOONIONS to NOCHEESE (38D: Whopper request). TEENER came far too easily for being such a dated / weird word (45D: "American Bandstand" viewer). My crossword instincts / memory must be getting pretty well developed, because NITER came eerily easily too, despite my not really knowing what it is (48: Atacama Desert export). I had to look up Atacama very recently (what, two days ago?), so at least I knew what part of the world we were dealing with—not that that helped with NITER. Had to run the alphabet at DI-O to remember DIDO (23A: "Thank You" singer, 2001). DI-D'OH! Should've been easier, as she was a major pop star when I was in grad school.

First answer in the grid: "ADAM'S RIB" (7A: 1949 comedy about husband-and-wife lawyers on opposing sides of a murder case). As with Mr. Soul, I don't really know how I know this. I just do. I must have watched, or tried to watch, the movie at one point. My aunt lives in San RAFAEL, which didn't help until I had the "AE" part (lots of SANs in CA). Despite knowing about the "CHE" biopic of 1969 (from crosswords, naturally), I didn't pick up SHARIF until the "F" (11D: Guevara portrayer). It's just so weird what your brain will and won't do for you when you're in the middle of solving. The brain giveth, the brain taketh away, the brain getteth distracted by thoughts like "a TWO-SPEED bike? Really?" (39D: Like some Schwinns)

  • 31A: Voice of Fredricksen in "Up" (ASNER) — big fat gimme. ASNER is super common in crosswords, and he's also the most famous voice actor in that movie.
  • 49A: Wallis and Futuna (ILES) — whoa. This one was hard. Gibberish hard. Turns out they are (combined) a French territory in French Polynesia
  • 55A: "Doubt" co-star, 2008 (STREEP) — knew it ended in "P" before I ever saw the clue, so no problem (never saw the movie, but seem to remember that STREEP plays a nun, along with the Lovely Amy Adams)
  • 9D: Sharing common alleles (AKIN) — "alleles" is yet another word I learned from crosswords. Pretty shmancy way of getting to AKIN.
  • 56D: "Pee-wee's Playhouse" mail lady (REBA) — what a great REBA clue. Wish I'd seen it. Got REBA entirely from crosses before I ever had a chance to see the clue; figured it must be about the country / sitcom star.
  • 54D: Destructive 1966 hurricane (INEZ) — "Destructive" is weird. Redundant, I'd think. I mean, if it's a hurricane we might be expected to remember, then I'm guessing it was probably pretty "destructive."
  • 1A: Start of a dogwatch (FOUR PM) — is this related to "bells," i.e. metaphors for telling time in the Navy? Turns out, yes, sort of. "Dogwatch" = work shift, half the length of a regular watch (2 as opp. to 4 hours). Interesting info about etymology (related to Sirius? evolved from "dodging the watch?") here.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


blockhead 12:43 AM  

This puzzle is very unfair to the non-oenophile, non-foodie (zin/ziti) solver.

retired_chemist 12:50 AM  

Solid Saturday. Right down the middle of the plate.

Took me a LOT of trial, error, erasure, and retries to get this one. Usually I don't put in anything when I am stuck, but that would have left an expanse of white as big as the ATACAMA. Just kept at it and slowly it began to make sense.

33A was a lot of stuff before it was OKAPI: TAPIR [sic], SNAKE, SKATE sic], then finally OKAPI. 9D: TWIN before AKIN. 29D: San SIMEON before San RAFAEL. 42A: CANNERY ROW before EAST OF EDEN. 40A: ZENDA before ZELDA (oh, wait, that's a prisoner, not a legend).

Some stuff I didn't know for sure but which I had heard of and sounded right just came boiling up to surface: ADAM'S RIB; NITER; FOUR AM @ 1A, later changed to PM when the rest of 5D was filled in.

Uglies: TWO SPEED @ 39D (does ANYONE ride one?); TEENER @ 45D.

Cool Stuff: RAKEHELL (nice WOTD, Rex); EVITABLE (née EDITABLE); FUNGO BAT (Rangers' opening day today); NESTOR.

Thank you, Mr. Diehl. I enjoyed it.

Captcha eluviss - has he left the building?

retired_chemist 12:58 AM  

Forgot to put in: Rangers 9, Red Sox 5. I might actually care about baseball this year.

PurpleGuy 1:15 AM  

I had almost the same solving experience as Rex.
Knew OKAPI right off. Pictured a giraffe doing that, and bingo - OKAPI.
Hand raised for no onions before NO CHEESE.
ADAM'S RIB is a funny and great Hepburn-Tracy movie. One of their best.
My brother recently restored an antique Schwinn bike. It is his profile picture on Facebook(Ed Cain) with him dressed in vintage clothes.
Don't recall Dick Clark ever using the term TEENERS on American Bandstand, and I'm old enough to remember.

Thank you Mr. Diehl for the start of a great weekend. Hope the Sunday puzzle is better than the last few.
Thank you Rex for the commentary.

The cover for Memoirs of a Rakehell is very intriguing and strangely erotic... ;)


Anonymous 1:40 AM  

This puzzle has a theme, at least to those of us who don't know any better.

Bassetwrangler 1:53 AM  

I went for the Legend of Zorro but just recently saw a few minutes of the insufferable movie remake of Starsky & Hutch on cable where Glaser and Soul have a cameo. Alanis Morissette' Thank You eclipses Dido for me.

jae 2:45 AM  

I had this at easy-medium but I knew THECARDIFFGIANT. Did not know ZELDA (which apparently is a WII video game), so like Basse.. I went with ZORRO followed by ZENDA and then ZELDA when I had to spell DOODLE correctly. Ret-chem. is right, solid Sat.!

andrea cardiff michaels 2:46 AM  

Tonight is one of those nights where I feel you are recording MY play-by-play...
Started with ADAMSRIB (after a second thinking it was PAT AND MIKE and then ADAM AND EVE, so an AND rebus for a second) then getting the AREYOUKIDDINGME off the A--Y...
and knowing if I got a letter or two GLASER would come; and having to run the alphabet on DI_O; and not knowing till I saw CARDIFF; and not seeing the movie but remembering STREEP was in it... and NOonions before NOCHEESE...and not knowing NITER and trying to figure out what kind of FEES.

This had a ton of pop culture trivia, know it or you don't: GLASER, STEELE, ASNER, STREEP, REBA, SHARIF, ADAMSRIB...but happily I knew it (Well, not the REBA...I tried RitA first.)

I started out with TWOSPEED, then tried TEN and then ONE. Someone here once coined a RightOver for those moments, right? Where you talk yourself out of a right answer only to come back to it? Was that you @fikink?

Off the K of OKAPI, I was about to write in sKunk...but Roz Chast's speech burbled up from my subconscious and I threw in OKAPI.

Damn...I have an error :(
FUNGOmAT. I thought it was like an automat, where it's this machine that pops out pop-ups automatically...and convinced myself that mAIT was some variation of the sea-worthy word MATEY for chum!!!

So, questions for today... What is a RAZOR that you would buy with cream?
(Ohmygod, as I type this I realize it's a shaving ref, I thought it was some ice cream treat or latte drink I'd never heard of!!!)

OK, well, here is my other question. Why is Kilgore a DOODLE?
I mean, I know the cartoon, KILGORE WAS HERE and he has a big long nose...but does DOODLE just mean a cartoon here? Wasn't KILGORE a WWI soldier or something?

I'll bet San RAFAEL was hard for a lot of folks, bec that San ___, CA could have been anything. And even tho I live across the bridge from there, I could have sworn it was spelled with a PH.

Is a FOURPM Dogwatch a marine term to go with Devil Dog?

EVITABLE is like one of those words like CHALANT or RUTH. You need a prefix or suffix with it...
that is not a REBUKE, just an observation.

One moment of synchronicity, I am currently reading DAVE Egger's book ZEITOUN about Hurricane Katrina. Sad and interesting.

DJG 3:18 AM  

It looks like Kilroy is some sort of graffiti character -- usually there is a DOODLE with the words "Kilroy Was Here". I certainly didn't know this. Once I saw CHARACTERFROMASTYXROCKOPERA didn't fit I was pretty much at a loss on this clue.

Really, I was at a loss from the center of the puzzle through the northeast. Didn't know CARDIFFGIANT, RAKEHELL, ADAMSRIB, or the clue for BIKED.

chefwen 3:34 AM  

After yesterdays debacle I feel as if my brain was returned to me intact. It did take a while but I kept chipping away and was victorious, on a Saturday, amazing for moi. OKAPI was a gimme as it should have been after all the time I have spent at the wild animal park in San Diego. A great Saturday victory for me (they are few and far between) Thank you Mark Diehl.

I skip M-W 3:55 AM  

I guess i was a bit slow. Like @retired chemist i started with Cannery Row, then San Carlos, I knew Wallis and Fortuna were islands, but forgot they were French, but clued with "and", not "et"? somehow knew teener, though never watched bandstand, except as silly joke. Once I had ee, streep was obvious, and then remembered what "Doubt " was about, though never saw it. If I ever knew Sharif played Guevara, I forgot, but once had Sha, then was obvious. Never heard of Mr.Soul, but got Glaser from crosses. ( could have used "Nobelist in physics for bubble chamber" of something like that). Wanted Okapi to be some kind of anteater, but even pangolin couldn't be squeezed into space. Another puzzle with a whole lot of e's.

Liked evitable and sale item clues. Do two baseball answers not make a theme? I'd say they do.

(btw, everyone is convinced that the secret of yeterday's puzzle was April Fools day. I don't get why. There have been puzzles with backwards fill before. I thought it just had to do with the clever theme of roads, and oncoming traffic, etc.

too bad my friend Zelda isn't doing puzzles anymore, would have been a nice surprise.

Overall, nice writeup by REx, and nice puzzle by Diehl. good , but slow puzzle week for me.
I should probably eat more glycytes, my captcha

jae 4:05 AM  

@andrea -- It was Joho and the term was reright for when you erase a correct answer and then rewrite it. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I tried TEN before TWO.

imsdave 7:25 AM  

Put me in the eerily similar solving experience as Rex group.

Not sure why, but I'm strangely attracted to the EE mashup in the SE - TEEPEE, STREEP, CHEESE, SPEED.

foodie 8:30 AM  

The NW got me. Had no idea what FUNGOBAT is, and BAIT for chum at sea made no sense (I had MATE, which helped get ON A LEASH) and TEC?? If you don't know what Dogwatch is, you're done for...

Also, like Andrea, I don't get the DOODLE clue. I had POODLE for a while (at least I knew it couldn't be NOODLE :)

At least I knew the ZIN/ZITI bit, and one of the first books I read in English as a TEENER was the Prisoner of ZEnDA (My dad had me reading works way beyond my level...). But somehow it morphed in my mind to ZELDA so I got it right for the wrong reasons!

Speaking of Z books, Andrea, I really enjoyed reading Egger's Zeitoun. The word means "Olive" but of course it's just someone's last name here. Fascinating.

Smitty 8:37 AM  

Hands up for CANNERY ROW

CARDIFF GIANT is a racehorse, named for his sire GIANT'S CAUSEWAY. I didn't know there was a real McCoy, so I dismissed the guess.

Glimmerglass 8:37 AM  

Looks like the puzzle maker was going for a Genesis theme (ADAM'S RIB, EAST OF EDEN) but ran out too soon to qualify.

Pete 9:27 AM  

RAKEHELL was new to me, as I knew only rake. The definition fits my grandfather perfectly, a man well know as a rake, with the exception that he married the wealth he squandered rather than inheriting it. I have a major resentment towards him, what with him blowing the massive fortune that could be mine by now.
I also never new that FUNGOBATS were distinct from bats, but upon reflection, of course they are.

nanpilla 9:28 AM  

The Red Pony also has the same number of letters!

Gecko and AKA here too, Rex. I was so pleased to have come up with that, I was reluctant to take it out. In the end, it turned out to be a solid medium here.

@foodie - chum is a chopped up mess of bait that you either scoop out, or put into a chum pot and let slowly leak out into the water, forming a 'chum slip'. Fish come up to eat the chum, and you catch them on a baited hook that is fed out into the slip. Works best if the boat is anchored, and it is considered bad form to park your boat in someone else's slip. (pun intended)

quaters - parking money in Boston

PastelLady 9:44 AM  

KILROY, not Kilgore. People draw the little eyes/nose peeping over a fence....

Is shorter than a normal watch (on-duty time) and called the 'dog watch' because, as O'Brian's fictional Dr. Maturin observed, "It is cur-tailed."

The 'bells' aren't metaphors; they tell the time on board ship.

Marines are sea-going soldiers on board warships; they may engage in landings and battles supported by the ship's guns, or they may assist with a sea-battle by firing their weapons from the higher vantage points above the deck.

mmorgan 9:46 AM  

Got the whole SE right off (though it took me a bit to remember Reba the Mail Lady (56D) -- how could I forget?).

My bikes also had ten speeds and one speed before they settled on TWO.

Also had ZORRO. And IOU for Cover letters at 30D.

Never heard of the Cardiff Giant or a Dogwatch!

Ran out of time, had to throw in the towel, but I liked ZIN and ZITI and BAIT.

And I always find it strange that in everyday language -- unlike golf --ABOVE PAR is GOOD.

Thomas Hardy 9:50 AM  

Rake-Hell Muses

Yes; since she knows not need,
Nor walks in blindness,
I may without unkindness
A true thing tell:

Which would be truth, indeed,
Though worse in speaking,
Were her poor footsteps seeking
A pauper's cell.

I judge, then, better far
She now have sorrow,
Than gladness that to-morrow
Might know its knell. -

It may be men there are
Could make of union
A lifelong sweet communion -
A passioned spell;

But _I_, to save her name
And bring salvation
By altar-affirmation
And bridal bell;

I, by whose rash unshame
These tears come to her:-
My faith would more undo her
Than my farewell!

Chained to me, year by year
My moody madness
Would wither her old gladness
Like famine fell.

She'll take the ill that's near,
And bear the blaming.
'Twill pass. Full soon her shaming
They'll cease to yell.

Our unborn, first her moan,
Will grow her guerdon,
Until from blot and burden
A joyance swell;

In that therein she'll own
My good part wholly,
My evil staining solely
My own vile vell.

Of the disgrace, may be
"He shunned to share it,
Being false," they'll say. I'll bear it;
Time will dispel

The calumny, and prove
This much about me,
That she lives best without me
Who would live well.

That, this once, not self-love
But good intention
Pleads that against convention
We two rebel.

For, is one moonlight dance,
One midnight passion,
A rock whereon to fashion
Life's citadel?

Prove they their power to prance
Life's miles together
From upper slope to nether
Who trip an ell?

- Years hence, or now apace,
May tongues be calling
News of my further falling
Sinward pell-mell:

Then this great good will grace
Our lives' division,
She's saved from more misprision
Though I plumb hell.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:55 AM  

I've actually seen the Cardiff Giant, on a long-ago trip in upstate New York. Blogger permitting, more than you'd ever want to know here.

Also, at least at one time there was a restaurant near Sandy Hook, NJ, called The CHUM Box!

Same AKA before SPF as @Rex et al, but I held off on putting in Gecko because nothing else fit.

Otherwise fought my way through 1 A, FOURAM before FOURPM; 21 A, MUSE before RUSE (because I had _USE, had reference to a clue I hadn't filled in, thought, What else could it turn out to be?); 25 D, BLOWN before BEIGE; and, 41 A, NUDGE before ELBOW.

A good Saturday puzzle!

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

always nice to get a right answer that you never heard of (NITER) from a clue about some place you know nothing about (ATACAMA DESERT)

loved fungo bat and especially rakehell

and zin i got but it took me a while to figure out how it was an alternative to cab. had "zip" for a while, thinking it was an awfully citified puzzle to invoke the Zip cars, which we do use instead of cabs . . .

joho 10:34 AM  

Well, Zorro to ZendA to ZELDA, Vcr to VHS and taBle to ELBOW were what I was able to correct. I guessed the "K" in RAKEHELL because I knew what a rake is. But the NW corner did me in. Got BAT but never FUNGO. Have never heard of "OER The Water to Charlie." My personal Natick there.

@Foodie, I wanted pOODLE, too!

@andrea cardiff michaels, yes, Jae is right about reright. Happens to me all the time.

Good Saturday puzzle, thank you, Mark Diehl!

foodie 10:45 AM  

@nanpilla, thank you for explaining chum! No idea! My ignorance of such matters knows no limits...

@Rex, I was showing Puzzle Husband your profile as consultant steeplejack from Confluence, and noticed that you're still 44 on there. Becoming 31 might help the consulting business...

David L 10:49 AM  

A nice medium after yesterday's debacle. Cardiff Giant came into my head from somewhere, but I couldn't have told you what it was. Now that I've looked it up, I don't agree that it was a RUSE. A ruse is a dodge, a feint, a subterfuge, a deceptive maneuver, according to various dictionaries. An action, in other words, not a thing. So the Cardiff Giant, like the Piltdown Man, was a hoax, but I wouldn't call it a ruse.

Shamik 10:57 AM  

Lovely easy-medium Saturday puzzle over a good cup of coffee....only marred by some neighbor using a loud power tool nearby. Will have to close windows very soon due to temps again in the 90's. AC for the first time yesterday. :-( Too soon!

@aCARDIFFme: Didn't care for EVITABLE and agree it needs a prefix ala chalant.

Waiting for my non-crossword puzzle friends to stop asking me why I didn't compete in the ACPT this year....

retired_chemist 11:02 AM  

Thanks for the Cardiff Giant reference, @Bob K. I had never looked it up and thought it was from Cardiff, Wales.

JenCT 11:03 AM  

Saturdays are still too hard for me, but I'm trying...

Was so sure that Javier BARDEM played Guevara, had TENSPEED for too long, knew ZITI but couldn't figure out ZIN, etc., etc. Never heard of THECARDIFFGIANT, but geologist hubby knew it.

@Bob Kerfuffle: how do you put a link in the blog? I used to know it, but forgot.

No BS 11:08 AM  

Took me a while, but I got 'er done, never having heard of Dido (that one anyway), or Thank You, Frederickson or Up, Doubt or legend of Zelda. Familiar with Wallis and Futuna, but took a while to get to Iles from Isles. Adams Rib (took a minute to come up with it) saved my bacon for sure. I was all stuck with something internetish for pop-up generator, so took a while for NW to fall.

I believe the niter (used for fertilizer) and explosives among other things) derives from endless centuries of bird droppings (guano). My little village here on Cape Cod earned some fortunes in the guano trade bringing it here from Chile and processing it for industrial and agricultural use. Now that smelliest part of the then Cape is one of the toniest parts of the now.

Matthew G. 11:12 AM  

Average Saturday here. Thought I might do better than average when I threw down FOUR PM, RUES, and NAME IT in the opening seconds, but soon got slowed down.

Everything today seemed to either come with no crosses (EAST OF EDEN, ON BASE, ZELDA) or be extremely slow to come at all (RAKEHELL, SALE ITEM). Never knew that RAKE was a shortened form of a word when used in this way.

I really wanted the answer for "Irregular, often" to be SIDEKICK after I had the opening S. Was thinking of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Two Ponies 11:15 AM  

Considering how many answers were things I did not know I was surprised that I finished this one fairly easily. If I knew the story of the Cardiff Giant I probably would have had more fun. I cannot accept a two speed bike. I kept one speed for a long time and wondered what a Cardiff piano was!
What in the world is a fungobat?

quilter1 11:17 AM  

As someone said, kept chipping away until finished. A nice solve. I liked the ZIN and ZITI, CARDIFF GIANT (wanted Piltdown Man at first). Threw down BAIT then wondered if it could also be mate until crosses confirmed. Disliked TEENER. Who says that? I don't think our local stations carried PeeWee so I didn't know S. Epatha Merkerson was on that. I really like her. Do her friends call her S?
Good Saturday!

comere: slightly inebriate request

Lindsay 11:31 AM  

Too much pop culture for my taste. Of course, any pop culture is too much for my taste.

When I was a kid my mother had a TWO SPEED Schwinn Breeze. You back pedaled to shift from one gear to the other.

Writovers at 1D FUNorama > FUNGOBAT, 9D twIN > AKIN (despite having taken Intro to Biology not one, not two, but three times) and 30D the much-discussed aka > SPF.

Non-writeovers that should have been: 23A DInO & 40A ZEnDA. That left 24D as nOODnE, but I figured, hey, something's got to be WOTD.

***extendl --- isn't this a male enhancement trademark?

Mel Ott 11:41 AM  

I loved the two fifteens with an exclamation of skepticism crossing one of history's great hoaxes. I think that's a theme. I agree that HOAX would be more accurate than RUSE for 21A.

Time to get some clam and mussel CHUM and go out and try the flounder.

Still don't get ZIN.

nanpilla 11:42 AM  

By the way, that should be CHUM slick, not slip... D'Oh!

retired_chemist 11:52 AM  

@ JenCT - the format for a link is:

{a href = "the url you want, starting with http etc."}the text you want to show{/a}.

Replace the left curly bracket with the "less than" sign and the right one with the "greater than." I can't use the ones you need because then Blogger would see it as a link.

JenCT 12:11 PM  

Thanks @retired_chemist!!

Fungo Bat

Bob Kerfuffle 12:13 PM  

@JenCT - Sorry, I was listening to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, so retired_chemist got the correct answer up first.

I was going to say that Rex addresses this question in his FAQ #5, but I found a similar but slightly easier to understand explanation here.

I also would have said, copy the address of the page to which you wish to send people and paste into the quotation marks as shown.

Hope this clarifies instead of muddying!

joho 12:15 PM  

@Mel Ott ... ZIN as in Zinfandel.

Now I'm wondering if a RAKE is related to a ho?

JenCT 12:16 PM  

@Bob: Double thanks!

3 and out.

Sparky 12:17 PM  

So happy with Thursday my brain quit. Terrible Friday and today.

Wanted graffiti for Kilroy. @Andrea Cardiff Michaels: During WWII Kilroy was Here scriibbled all over Europe by US Soldiers, then dribbled down to High School kids like me. @BobK et al: The giant is in a Cooperstown museum. @JenCT: I, too, saw Javier Bardem not SHARIF.

Got ZIN and ZITI; ASNER; read animal as mammal so ruled out gecko. Cheesh.

The thing I like aout the blog is that even when I am completely out to lunch there are such nice people to read and learn from. Have a goood weekend.

Arundel 12:28 PM  

In my book this was a great Saturday, confirming all kinds of goofy personal knowledge. In my wheelhouse, as Rex says.

I actually saw the Cardiff Giant when I was in junior high school, and although I couldn't say the name of the town, (Carthage was my first guess from those Greek Revival era towns across Western New York) it popped up fairly quickly. I was also quite pleased that I got fungo bat just from hearing the clue read to me while I was driving, and then confirmed it with bait and four (although I thought it was a.m. and not p.m.)

And I would have to say that there is a certain fictional mystery theme going on here: Starsky & Hutch, Remington Steele, Kinsey Milhone, even stretching it a tad, Adam's Rib. Stretching it even further, possibly the Legend of Zelda? And all things considered, that could even include the gypsum giant in Cooperstown.

Mel Ott 12:30 PM  

@joho: Thanks. So I guess cab is short for cabernet as ZIN is short for zinfandel. Both usages are new to me. Sorry for torturing something that seems obvious to so many others.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Could someone remind me what the clue was for 3 down (answer USMarine)? I left my paper at the coffee shop and I am having total memory lapse. Thanks!

retired_chemist 12:41 PM  

@ Anon 12:33 Devil dog

mitchs 12:51 PM  

Much tougher for me than the average Saturday...wheelhouse issues I guess. Cardiff Giant took nearly all the crosses and the NW took forever. Wanted something AM, not PM and never heard the expression Devil Dogs.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

@Retired_Chemist 12:41


Stan 1:05 PM  

Liked it a lot.

Can't believe I spent so much time getting SALE ITEM since half my clothes are stamped IRREG.

Ran the whole alphabet for _IN before getting Z. Oddly satisfying experience.

Are deserts BEIGE? I'd say they're more TAUPE, or ECRU.

Skua 1:06 PM  

ASNER and "Up" being clued on March 27, 2011 certainly helped getting today's answer. Agree with Rex that Atacama being WOTD three days ago did nothing to help with NITER.

David Soul was really good in Tobe Hooper's TV version of Salem's Lot.

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

The "above par" answer is interesting and had me wondering.

I agree that the phrase is taken to mean "good" (the clue) but actually "below par" is better than "above par."

Right, golfers?

Whenever crosses form the "ei" combination I wonder if I've got something wrong since so few words have it and it just looks off.

This puzzle has three "ei"s --- "name it," "beige," and "sale item." So it's kind of an Old McDonald theme: E-I-E-I-O(KAPI).

Clark 1:35 PM  

I had a two-speed bike once, but it was not a Schwinn. My dad retrieved it from the family cabin in Northern Minnesota where it had been rusting for 25 years or so. It became a project to sand it all down, paint it red and reassemble it. It had balloon tires, and you shifted gears with a big metal lever that connected by a cable to the rear axle. I thought it was totally lame, and stupid, and that sanding it was boring . . . But once that bike was in operation for a while, I grew to appreciate it.

mac 1:37 PM  

I had a tough time with this one. In the SW I put in Jamaica Inn (I know now, Daphne du Maurier) and Mannix at 44D. I did clean that area up. My Waterloo came in the NE. I think I took biked out and put it back in 4 times; "beige" is my least favorite answer. Had to guess at Dido, didn't know doodle, Rafael and spf, so for a while I had The Carbite Giant running across, matched with Czar at 21A.

Adam;s Rib, rakehell and Sharif made my life hell up top.

Anyway, my problem, it's a good Saturday puzzle, I'm sure.
Have to start work on yesterday's extra puzzles now.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a9acdcd2312857c2 (just testing)

mac 1:38 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: now what did I do wrong?

captcha: misterio!!

syndy 1:43 PM  

Never heard of a FUNGOBAT or DIDO and if I ever heard of the CARDIFF GIANT it left no impression at all!Devil dogs a complete mystery! EVITABLE(are you kiddingme)TEENER!TEENER!NO!ACtually I kinda liked BEIGE for like desert sand but mostly seemed like openning macadamia nuts!TOO MUCH LIKE WORK!

andrea coursefees michaels 1:48 PM  

Right, I meant to write Kilroy (Kilgore Trout I see now is a Vonnegut character) and thanks for the explanation which I sort of knew...but I'm saying that I thougth DOODLE would be something you absentmindedly draw that has no shape necessarily, whereas to me, Kilroy is like graffiti or a cartoon, but would a cartoon = DOODLE?
I have a friend coming to visit in about two hours who is a cartoonist
(and writes for the Simpsons!) I guess I'll ask him! Plus now that I think about it, I think his syndicated cartoon is about a family named Doodles or something.
Oy, I need to be a better friend.

Now that I know CANNERYROW, EASTOFEDEN and THEREDPONY are all 10 letters, I wonder if someone has already done a puzzle with that
(of course you'd need a fourth...
STEINBECK is only 9! :(
Do you see why Thursday's puzzle was so magnificent???!!!)

Hey ABOVEPAR duffers out there, maybe COURSEFEES would make a good golf pun at some point.

Cathyat40 1:56 PM  

Loved this puzzle. Needed a little help from my significant other. I wanted Jan Michael Vincent but knew that wasn't right; sig. other straightened it out with Paul Michael GLASER. S.O. also knew what a devil dog was.

Hand up for NO onions before CHEESE; ten SPEED before TWO; had COUR__FEES and still had to stare at it for a bit to get the SE.

Unique boo-boo for me (?)- plied before PRIED.

Bassetwrangler 3:17 PM  

More recently it was Benicio Del Toro as the title character in Soderbergh's two-part Che which was cumulatively 67 hours long. Reba got laid off for Pee Wee's new Broadway show with the return of Mailman Mike.

Anonymous 3:35 PM  

for those struggling to hotlink:

@r_c said {a href="url"}text{/a}

Those quotation marks don't need to be there. Go to the site you want to link, copy the url from the browser address box, and type it (or ctrl-v for the copy-and-paste crowd) after the = with no quotes and no spaces around the =. Now I will see if that is a mistake or just an alternate way to do it:

test with quotes

test without quotes

Anonymous 3:37 PM  

so, yeah, works either way. Sorry, @mac, dunno what you did wrong. But click on the previous links to see the instructions again.

captcha: storbra--support for women who can't tolerate hand-me-downs and can't afford custom-made.

jae 4:07 PM  

Above par is not so good in golf but is OK in the bond market if you bought them at par.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:16 PM  

My sanity is rapidly escaping. Anonymous 3:37: I just read your comment with two links to the explanation of how to post links, which worked both with and without quotation marks around the address. I read it because I had it emailed to me. But when I come to the blog, your comment has been removed. The curse of Blogger strikes again! Yet my previous posts today, both of which had links in them, are still there. As someone said the last time, curiouser and curiouser!

michael 4:17 PM  

After yesterday's disaster, it was nice to see that I can still do some end-of-the-week puzzles. Helped that I knew the Cardiff Giant, though I was sure for too long that it was a hoax rather than a ruse.

evitable? I'm sure it's a word, but...

Nancy in PA 4:37 PM  

Didn't anyone else try to stick Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcyle Diaries--great movie) in for Che portrayer? Of course I didn't remember exactly what his name was, but I had Garcia in there momentarily. Fungobat killed me. And yes, I had Tenspeed, Onespeed, Twospeed. Otherwise fun.

I skip M-W 4:51 PM  

Thanks @BOB kerfluffle for link ot Cardiff Giant story, except for a bit of overt ethnicism, quite well told and delightful.

quilter1 4:54 PM  

@Nancy in PA: Hand up for Bernal at first. I forgot Sharif had ever played him.

PuzzleNut 5:11 PM  

A typical Saturday for me, slow going the whole way, but ultimately everything fell into place. I'm not sure why, but I'm much less likely to end up with errors on a Friday or Saturday than I am earlier in the week. Not sure if it is better construction, or that I go so slow.
So many clues/answers that were unknown, but just vaguely familiar enough that I felt confident of the final result.
Had D??O and could only think of DevO. Several other write-overs that others mentioned.
Spent most of the day with my son at Special Olympics, and the puzzle helped fill in some of the LOOONG waiting periods. He had fun, so it was definitely worth while. I had no idea just how many kids there are with special needs!

Alan 5:44 PM  

Thanks,@joho, for your ho-ticultural pun. In the essay "Roles in the hay (play)" (sorry my IPad doesn't have the right kind of brackets for HTML), there is a woodcut of women with rakes flirting with rakes, also Raquel (rake hell) Welch, also an image of a Thomas Hardy victim of a rake.
So right after ADAMSRIB I wrote RAKEHELL and then just with the AR... (are you kidding me?)

RE: 22A 5:59 PM  

(Note: -Charlie in the poem is Bonnie Prince Charles,
who lost his crown in the 1745 rebellion.)

O'er The Water To Charlie -
Robert Burns

We'll o'er the water, We'll o'er the sea,
We'll o'er the water to Charlie!
Come weal, come woe, we'll gather and go,
And live and die wi' Charlie!
Come boat me o'er, come row me o'er,
Come boat me o'er to Charlie!
I'll give John Ross another bawbee
To boat me o'er to Charlie.
I lo'e weel my Charlie's name,
Tho' some there be abhor him;
But O, to see Auld Nick gaun hame,
And Charlie's faes before him!
I swear and vow by moon and stars
And sun that shines so early,
If I had twenty thousand lives,
I'd die as aft for Charlie!

English translation here

Sarah 8:23 PM  

Absolute opposite experience to yesterday, which was close to impossible. So many gimmes: ADAMSRIB took a second to shake out of my brain but I could see Tracy and Hepburn in the courtroom and just had to summon up the title. AREYOUKIDDINGME was oddly easy as well, as were GLASER and BIKED. EASTOFEDEN felt so obvious that I assumed it was wrong and just wrote in it lightly. This puzzle required an unusual amount of googling (thank goodness I wasn't on the ILES of Wallis and Fortuna, or in the Atacama desert, where I assume the NITER interferes with wifi reception). I kept thinking "Cardiff man" and couldn't generate THECARDIFF GIANT on my own. Initially put "rubric" for METRIC, which made for some weird crosses; I think working in higher education has given me a permanent block on that word. At any rate, a really fun Saturday, and another Saturday that was considerably easier than the preceding Friday.

JaxInL.A. 10:17 PM  

@Alan, your iPad does indeed have the symbols you need for HTML. Tap the number (.?123) key on either side of the space bar, THEN the key on either side but one row up that has (#+=) on it. (Right next to the handy UNDO key in the number screen, which I didnt notice for ages.) That takes you to all the extra symbols you need. Took me forever to figure that out.

By the way, another handy thing for iPad users on this blog is the following:
Go to Settings: General: Keyboard
Turn on the Enable Caps Lock

Then if you double tap the shift key you can type the answer IN CAPS without having to keep touching that key.

aleph1=c? 3:13 AM  

I love how those words that always have prefixes can exist without them as well (EVITABLE). Some of my favorites are gruntled and ept. I wonder...could buke be a word?

Also, in my experience as an ex-Navy man all watches were the same length (4 hrs). The dog watch was by far the best.

Had DIon for 23A, but I didn't think it was spelled right and it didn't fit with 7D. Changed it to DInO (nickname for Dean Martin? 2001 seemed off). Didn't know how Kilroy Was a nOODLE, but I guess since you just see the top of his noodle...

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Please explain why TEC for Kinsey Milhone? DeTECtive?

Anonymous 11:36 PM  

You are terrific. Thank you.

Joshua 6:01 PM  

Anonymous: The word "tec" is indeed derived from "detective," but nowadays I think it's mostly just crosswordese. I don't recall ever seeing it outside of crossword puzzles.

Marc 7:43 PM  

I have never heard of a FUNGOBAT, so I wound up with FUNGOMAT (I also didn't think of BAIT as "chum" --- was still stuck on MATE and thought perhaps MAIT was a variant spelling.
Silly me.

The word pop-up, of course, makes one think first of pop-up ads. I also considered toast, but as the Mariners are terrible this year as usual I never thought of baseball.

I started off with ADAMSRIB and the NE fell easily. The rest of the puzzle was a good workout, in spite of getting EASTOFEDEN and AREYOUKIDDINGME right off the ah, fungobat.

I did look up dogwatch, as I was hopelessly stuck in the NW. That opened things up, except for that thrice-be-damned FUNGOBAT. Now I have to go look that up.

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