Big name in California wine / SUN 6-19-11 / Green-skinned god / Kipling poem about Burma / Runcible spoon feature / Panhellenic Games site

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "Say What?!" — familiar phrases reimagined as strange phrases addressing inanimate objects (i.e. reimagined with commas in them, following this pattern: "[exclamation or command], [inanimate object]!")

Word of the Day: TRUTV (56D: Cable network with the motto: "Not reality. Actuality.") —

truTV is an American cable television network owned by Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner. The network launched as Court TV in 1991, changing to truTV in 2008. Its programming has traditionally been live homicide trial coverage and other criminal justice programming; however, the network has branched out into more "caught on video" reality programs, or as truTV calls it, "actuality" television. (wikipedia)
• • •

Theme is not hard to uncover. Not mind-blowing, but cute in a way that I found tolerable. What I enjoyed today was the fairly challenging fill. I kept running into things I just didn't know, or running into clues that were simply befuddling until I figured out how clue words were being (cunningly) used. I often find Sunday puzzles a bit boring. Mechanical, fill-in-the-grid affairs. Once you tumble to the theme, Sundays can often feel like house guests who overstay their welcome. But today, the puzzle never let me get into a comfortable groove, so I was constantly being challenged by a combination of stuff outside my knowledge base and cleverly worded clues. I barely noticed the theme, but I enjoyed the somewhat challenging solve nonetheless. Here's a short list of stuff I Just Didn't Know (or couldn't figure out without significant assistance):
  • 19A: Weapon, e.g., in military-speak (ASSET) — I've heard weapons spoken of in this way, of course, but that clue just doesn't allow you to plunk down an answer until you've got several crosses in place.
  • 21A: Something well-preserved? (WATER) — I had the entire word solved from crosses and still didn't get it. And then I did. WATER is "preserved" in a well. &%*%. Good one.
  • 27A: What you might get by moving a head? (PEZ) — again, &%*%. Just a great clue. [apparently some of you have never heard of PEZ (!?). You dispense candy from its plastic casing by tilting back the head on top. See pic at right]
  • 68A: Explorer Richard Byrd's plane (AMERICA) — no hope. Just waited for crosses to point to something name-like.
  • 82A: Australia's Lake ___ National Park (EYRE) — ditto.
  • 89A: Philip with a 1975 best seller on C.I.A. secrets (AGEE) — rings a faint bell. Very faint.
  • 95A: Big name in California wine (MASSON) — ugh, I grew up in CA and figured I'd nail this one. But no. Again, faint bell, but only faint.
  • 3D: Diesel engine manufacturer (ISUZU) — no idea they were well known for that.
  • 11D: "___ Pearl" (Jackson 5 hit) ("MAMA'S") — what the what?

  • 16D: Kipling poem about Burma ("MANDALAY") — no idea. Was able to guess it from the clue, even if I did misspell it at first.
  • 18D: James of "X-Men" films (MARSDEN) — yet again, no idea. Can't even picture him.
  • 37D: Soprano pineapple and others, briefly (UKES) — gibberish to me. I figured it had something to do with "The Sopranos," but no. Here's more than you'd ever want to know about the instrument.
  • 42D: Green-skinned god (OSIRIS) — I know this god's name, obviously, but "green-skinned" is new to me.
  • 56A: Cable network with the motto "Not reality. Actuality." (TRUTV) — I now remember that this is the network I first heard of during March Madness: they carried some of the games. I remember being like "do I even get that network?"
  • 57D: Panhellenic Games site (NEMEA) — I know NEMEA only from Hercules' labor with the lion.
  • 80D: Fictional island in two Alistair MacLean novels (NAVARONE) – is this "The Guns of NAVARONE?" That title is familiarish, but I needed most of the crosses to guess this one.
  • 97D: Runcible spoon feature (PRONG) — is this a spork? Because "Runcible spoon" is a Complete mystery to me.
  • 106D: Home of Hallivard's ruined cathedral (OSLO) — no idea, but to my credit, I put in OSLO immediately based on its being four letters long. Just felt right.
That is a Long list, even for a Sunday. I never got well and truly stuck, but in almost every section of the puzzle I had to whack my way through with a machete. Occasionally I'd have brief flashes of speed, but those never lasted more than a few words or so. Overall, a welcome challenge.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: "I've heard enough, retail outlet!" ("SHUT UP, SHOP!")
  • 25A: "I agree completely, dog-eared bit of paper!" ("AMEN, CORNER!")
  • 28A: "Stop right where you are, picture holder!" ("FREEZE, FRAME!")

  • 44A: "You're in danger, tall hill!" ("LOOK OUT, MOUNTAIN!")
  • 54A: "The chair doesn't recognize you, steakhouse and chophouse!" ("SIT DOWN, RESTAURANTS!")
  • 76A: "I'd be miserable without you, tapestry!" ("DON'T LEAVE ME, HANGING!") — my favorite answer
  • 85A: "Goodbye, place I used to live!" ("FAREWELL, ADDRESS!")
  • 104A: "Just keep doing what you're doing, suitcases!" ("CARRY ON, BAGS!") — my second favorite
  • 110A: "I read you loud and clear, breakfast meat!" ("ROGER, BACON!") — my favorite clue
  • 112A: "It was all my fault, gun attachment!" ("SORRY, SIGHT!")
  • 34A: Alaska purchase negotiator (SEWARD) — He of the Folly.
  • 29D: Old West gambling game (FARO) — one of those "I'll-always-associate-it-with-crosswords" words. See also SHTETL (43D: Old Jewish community).
  • 48D: Acronymic weapon (TASER) — Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle. I know sometimes I post ridiculous comments that aren't true, but that ridiculous comment is, in fact, true.
  • 50D: "Mr. ___" (1983 Styx hit) ("ROBOTO") — now is the time on Sprockets when we dance ... but we've heard "ROBOTO" recently, so ... something else 1983 ... this'll do:

  • 77D: Giveaway at the poker table (TELL) — Nice clue. Once I ruled out "gift bag," the answer came quickly.
  • 111D: "Incidentally," in chat rooms (BTW) — stands for "by the way." By the way, do "chat rooms" still exist?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. the bestest, funnest crossword tournament in America is coming up on the calendar very soon:

Lollapuzzoola 4, Sat. Aug 6, 11am-5pm, All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Ave., NY, NY. Hosted by Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer.

Get more info and preregister now at the tournament's website. This is a tournament for everyone, *especially* people who love crosswords but think tournaments aren't really their thing, i.e. the non-competitive among you. It's more of an extended comical nerdy good time than a high-powered tournament (though if you like high-powered, you will have competition, and there will be prizes). I'll be in NYC for several days leading up to the tournament, talking to New Yorkers (and whoever else is around) about their crosswording habits. More on that later (I'm hoping to talk to some of you...). I really hope to see many of you there. ~RP


jae 12:30 AM  

Solid Sun. Had much the same feelings as Rex did working through this. Cute theme and crunchy clues and answers. BTW TRUTV used to be Court TV.

hazel 12:46 AM  

Everything i look for in a sunday puzzle (except ASTA).  Love the idea of talking to all those things - a friendly warning here LOOKOUTMOUNTAIN! a little pep talk there CARRYONBAGS!  Just loved it.

Plus OSLO affords me the opportunity to mention an awesome Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo whose detective novels are set in The Capital of Crossworld. I blame The Devil's Star for my poor performance on Fri. and Sat.'s xwords. I smoked the Sunday, though - theme phrases practically jumped off my fingers. I got SHUTUPSHOP on the first pass - unheard of for me.

Goodnight Moon! 

CoffeeLvr 12:56 AM  

@Hazel, nice one.

I was ripping through this puzzle until I got stuck for the direction or comment to the CORNER. All I could think of as a lead in to Corner was Pooh, and obviously didn't enter that. Walked away. Ran back to keyboard thinking "Same" Corner, wouldn't fit. I couldn't see much else below AMIGO either. Finally, saw ADS, then AWARD and I was done, except for finding my errors. I had one true fat finger typo, and had failed to completely erase another wrong answer.

@Rex, thanks for taking time out of your Father's Day weekend for this blog. And to all the Dad's reading this, a Happy Father's Day to each of you.

retired_chemist 1:12 AM  

This is a masterful puzzle. Along with Joon’s Saturday, this made for one of my favorite puzzle weekends ever. Ten theme answers, each worth a chuckle, very little dreck, lots of fresh fill. Who could ask for anything more?

1A WAILS first was CRIES, then BAWLS. 58D, TWELVE before TWEENS. Tried MOPES at both 44D and 68D. Wrong and wrong. Still don’t get FOLEY (36D) and PEZ (27A). The former I never heard of, so OK. The latter, WTF? Does a PEZ dispenser have a head you move to open it?

A passel of proper names, each slightly esoteric but all gettable: MANDALAY, NAVARONE, MASSON, OSIRIS, GAUTAMA, MARSDEN, AMERICA (as clued).

Thanks, Mr. Berry. Great job.

Anonymous 1:33 AM  

roger bacon???? i finished the puzzle but don't get this.

santafefran 1:34 AM  

What @retired_chemist said about masterful. Loved this puzzle and was delighted to see Mr. Happy Pencil!

Had WRENS first before WASPS which led to NOD before PEZ but ISUZU set me on the right path. My first thought was FAREWELLTO... but I couldn't find the correct ending and had to backtrack.

Don't get FUR for skunk. DONT LEAVE ME HANGING--anyone? My favorite theme answer BTW.

Thanks Patrick--you never fail to entertain!

santafefran 1:43 AM  

@hazel--thanks for the reminder about Nesbo; I had jotted his name down and then forgotten to follow up on his novels. In a Scandinavian mood after Larsson and Mankill.

retired_chemist 1:59 AM  

@ anon 1:33 - it is a code. R is K, O is E, G is V, E is I, and R is also N. So, KEVIN BACON, a 13th century English philosopher.

jae 2:12 AM  

@r_c A FOLEY artist is a sound effects expert.

@sante Skunk FUR is used to make stuff (hats?) just like mink and ....other critters.

chefwen 3:41 AM  

Like @santafefran had wrens and nod before I figured that wasn't going to work. My give away at the poker table was grin before TELL. 79D went from obese to grand to giant. A lot of other write overs, too many to mention. This one took me a long time to wrap up (I'm going to blame watching a movie at the same time the culprit) but it was a fun solve.

Never heard of a FOLEY artist and I am pretty sure I won't be sporting a skunk fur boa anytime soon, or anything else made of skunk.

Octavian 5:02 AM  

Absolutely loved this one -- fantastic theme.

Thought it would be rated "super-easy." Probably my fastest Sunday ever. Just sped through it, chuckling all the way at the phrases.

Really a masterful puzzle. Thanks Patrick.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:40 AM  

Re: 26 D, FOLEY, I once went to the movies with a friend who worked in construction, and when the credit for "FOLEY artist" came up, he said, "I know what that is -- he's the guy who drives the forklift." He could have been right, but he was wrong.

Glimmerglass 7:47 AM  

"Just keep doing what you're doing, ladies." The clue for PEZ was excellent. Some of the fill was hard, but the theme was easy, so there were a lot of crossing letters available. I'd call this medium.

joho 7:55 AM  

Delightful Sunday! Lots of theme anwers and not a dud in the bunch. And I give the cluing an A+.

Does Patrick Berry ever disappoint? I think not.

Gerri 9:46 AM  

Orson Welles wine commercial

Matthew G. 10:00 AM  

There are only a handful of people who should actually bother making Sunday-sized puzzles. Mr. Berry tops the list of people who can hold my interest through 441 squares. Loved this, and my solving experience was pretty much like Rex's, including, BTW, WTF/OMG moments at the clues for PEZ and WATER, among others.

My favorite theme entry, by far, was DON'T LEAVE ME, HANGING! I let out a long, satisfied guffaw at that one, and enjoyed the rest as well.

I finished with one unfortunate error: NAVARONo/LoSS instead of NAVARONE/LESS. The irony is that, not knowing either NAVARONE or MASSON, I felt some Natick panic four letters above the square I had wrong. Correctly guessed the A, unaware my error was elsewhere in the same word.

Teresa in Detroit 10:01 AM  

The crossing of Skunks (fur) and ___ artist (foley) did me in, but I enjoyed the puzzle. Very solid.

JenCT 10:05 AM  

Totally agree with @Rex - lots of unknowns crossing other unknowns, but I happened to guess correctly at them.

Loved the clues for: PEZ, WATER, AMFM, SODA, NOAH.

Fun puzzle & writeup.

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

"Runcible spoon" appears to be a nonsense phrase from Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat," with a definition having been attached later. Also, it's the name of a bakery in Nyack, N.Y., popular as a stop for bicyclists in the NYC area. Also a place by that name in Bloomington, Ind.

jackj 10:24 AM  

72 down, cluing “Michael of “Juno”, makes him sound like the high mucky-muck of Elea but, there is as much chance I know his name as there is of my knowing who is First Violin of the Cleveland Symphony.

Getting the name means trying to sort out EY_E at 82 across by hoping that the Australian lake was named by a homesick settler pining for the good old days back in Blighty, when Jane was flipping out for her boss and for 71 across, a run of the alphabet shows the only letter which seems sensibly nonsensical to fill out S_AT is C and it then seems that the honored Michael of “Juno” is, in fact, one Michael CERA and the puzzle is done.

Even when Patrick Berry is in a rotten mood he gives us a great puzzle, though, as noted above, I almost had to plead, DONTLEAVEMEHANGING.

(For the record, a search indicates that the Cleveland Symphony’s First Violin is William Preucil. Take that, Michael Cera.).

DBGeezer 10:37 AM  

Many of you enjoyed the clue for PEZ, but no one has explained what it meant. P lease E xplain to the gee Z er

DBGeezer 10:53 AM  

Thanks, R.P., for editing your blog to explain PEZ

retired_chemist 10:56 AM  

@DBG - apparently PEZ dispensers, other than very old ones, have heads that you have to move to access the candy. They change the heads frequently and the dispensers are collectibles. But I too, as a fellow geezer, didn't have a clue until I checked with Wikipedia entry. has pictures of a number of dispensers.

poc 11:01 AM  

I knew PEZ from a Seinfield episode.

On the road to MANDALAY
Where the flyin'-fishes play
And the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

Kipling had a great ear even if one doesn't always like his politics.

Z 11:08 AM  

A fun solve that I'm just a bit surprised I finished with no errors. 36A was _u_ for the longest time. Picked _UR after trying to remember if it was FAdO, FAlO or FARO from earlier. Plopped in the F and hoped.

Also spent a long time in the SW, the last section to fall for me. Once I tried EVE everything began to fall. Had FEbORAL, but thought it was wrong. My wife is the anatomy expert and she gave me the M.

@DBGeezer and others, PEZ are a small oval candy that are sold with a dispenser. The dispensers are topped by a head that you tilt back to dispense the candy. The heads are various famous people or characters.

alan 11:11 AM  

Had cur instead of fur.Who ever heard of a skunk hat? Never heard of a foley artist.Triple grr.Only square I got wrong.

hazel 11:13 AM  

@santafefran -didnt read Larsson (saw the Swedish movie of Tattoo and was creeped out - I've heard it is darker than the books, but its put me off). I love Henning Mankell, however!! If you like him, Nesbo will not disappoint.

Glitch 11:19 AM  

Knowing what a Foley Artist is, I hesitated to put it in because it's a post-production function, not a *crew member*.

FWIW, a Foley Artist re/creates all the background sounds and effects that were not recorded properly (or at all) on location.

[Think coconut shell clip clops on the old radio programs --- to the nth degree.]

Highly specialized, and named, I believe, after the original, Mr. Foley.

.../Glitch (Overthinking)

chefbea 11:44 AM  

No time to day to work on the puzzle. Did most of it then came here. Loved the Pez clue

Hand up for wrens and nod.

Having house guests for the next few days but I'll try to do the puzzle and stop by

davko 12:05 PM  

An enjoyable, if somewhat typical Sunday. Once I caught on to the theme, I was able to complete nearly all its pertaining answers with very few crosses. Most were clever and fun, keeping me engaged in what otherwise could have quickly turned to boredom.

The puzzle's real hallmark was its interesting fill, which did not give me fits as it did others, but nonetheless put one's powers of deductive reasoning and concentration to the test. I like answers that can be inferred this way; that is, when you know you're right even when total ignorance about the meaning or facts rules. Great examples included MANDALAY (16D; didn't know the poem, but was able to place the bay), OSIRIS (42D; seeing letters that fit the god was good enough, but who knew about the skin?), and NAVARONE (80D; recognizing the eponymous movie title was good enough). I divined the nicely clued EYRE (82A) in similar fashion: while having never heard of the lake, I certainly knew the name of the famous rock.

I do admit FOLEY (36D) might be a bit arcane for anyone outside "The Biz," but it's an integral part of sound design for any motion picture. Watching a good Foley artist at work can be mesmerizing, as these folks can come up with some wildly creative ways of re-creating natural sounds in a controlled studio environment. Two of my favorites are a leather pouch filled with corn starch for the sound of crunching snow, and stuffed coconut shells substituting for horse clops.

PanamaRed 12:08 PM  

@alan - ditto

Lewis 12:22 PM  

Just one error -- TILL instead of TELL -- as I'm not a poker player (but learning about the game through the puzzles). I'm thrilled, especially after hearing that this puzzle wasn't a piece of cake.

And speaking of food, chefbea, I live in Asheville, and we are big into beet season, red and golden...

David L 12:48 PM  

Loved it! The theme clues managed to be silly and clever at the same time -- made me laugh anyway.

I have one objection: the SL_LY/E_RE cross. SLILY is a legitimate alternative to SLYLY, and if your knowledge of Australian lakes is minimal, as mine is, then EIRE and EYRE seem equally plausible. I guessed right, however, so hooray for me.

syndy 12:54 PM  

Osiris was a dead body his wife put back together and got pregnant from-he was green and stinking like a piece of cheese.Now Mr. Berry is the god of crosswords and he don't stink a bit!Gorgeous sunday puzzle wove my way up and down back and forth usual write overs TWELVE WRENS=slowed down in south west till femoral dawned and whispered PAUL MASSON and the LATE Great Roger Bacon!

Lindsay 1:02 PM  

[cut 'n' paste Matthew G's third 'graph here] Didn't know the fictional island, got lucky with the wine, but thought one settled for a LoSS.

I found the theme cloying, but obviously in the minority there.

KarenSampsonHudson 1:28 PM  

Loved the theme and with help from a few easy fills, finished quickly---fairly quickly that is--still a novice.
Lewis, I like summer borscht! Ever make any?

The Raven 1:37 PM  

davko: It's Ayers Rock, not EYRE.

Made one error--TIDE rather than RIDE for 61a ("Lift provider"), which gave me TTUTV for 56d. Didn't know TRUTV.

thursdaysd 1:43 PM  

Well, that was a lot of fun. I got the theme off SHUT UP, SHOP, which helped a lot with the fill, with all those unknown names. Still a little puzzled by ROGER, BACON as all the other theme answers are phrases.

Had trouble in the SW as I started with PortendS crossing redo, googled to check that FOLEY was right as FUR seemed so unlikely, and totally guessed the SCAT, CERA, EYRE section. Another who's never heard of PEZ.

Interesting to see Kipling back so soon, but love the poem. "One if by land..." is no doubt unintentionally timely.

Masked and Anonymous 2:09 PM  

Gettin' old. Almost everything about this puz confused the tar outta me. Even @31's write-up. Howcome the extra N in NAVARONNE both times? Are you goin' Frenchy artsy-fartsy on us?

FUR/FOLEY -- ouch. CERA/EYRE -- yikes. ROGERBACON -- yow. GAUTAMA, MASSON -- uncle!
Sad, crossword Jesus! [blueberry]

retired_chemist 2:17 PM  

@ thursdaysd re ROGER, BACON - Roger in radio communication means "your message has been received and understood." I assume you didn't watch a lot of WW II movies in the 50s, as I did.....

Sparky 2:34 PM  

Finished and happy. Started last night then slept on it. FRAME first and FREEZE later. The light dawned and had fun as I went along piecing the two sides together. Merlot before MASSON, elan before BRIO, little slips. Patrick Berry always fun to work on. Enjoyed Joon yesterday though solved only NE. Crisp and clean. New week acomin'.

mac 3:01 PM  

Fantastic Sunday puzzle. I got left hanging with the slily/Eire part, fur/Foley and the SW was a puzzle in itself.

Don't leave me hanging was my favorite.

On to the spanakorizo and marinated lamb, father's day dinner.

chefbea 3:05 PM  

@Lewis I've been buying them at the farmer's markets here in Wilmington. yummm

edmcan 3:15 PM  

I'm with everyone who liked this puzzle. By far, my fastest Patrick Berry. No one was more surprised to see the happy pencil than me, without breaking a sweat!

Masked and Anonymous II 3:16 PM  

On second thought, a far better clue for blueberry:
"Colorful, Patrick!"

Don't want the dude to think I didn't have fun, bein' pummeled.

jp 3:39 PM  

I like Patrick Barry's puzzles very much but this one is one of the weakest that I can remember. The theme is quite lame in my opinion and it left me underwhelmed. I found this puzzle as tedious as many recent Sunday puzzles.
It was also relatively easy to solve except for a few areas that needed some googling.

Whacker 3:58 PM  

Why is USAIR a former carrier?? Are they not still in business?

Roger is affermative in radio- speak.

It's a "TELL" in poker?

retired_chemist 4:11 PM  

@ RW Bush - US AIR became US Airways in 1996. It had been Allegheny Airlines before (since 1953).

A TELL is a mannerism that gives away your hand in poker.

I learned these facts (except for Allegheny) from crossword puzzles.

santafefran 4:40 PM  

@hazel Don't be put off by the movie; reading the books is another experience entirely. Once you start, it is hard to lay down these tomes and I think you would find them fascinating.

clumpoty--what they might export from Assam.

Cool Dude 4:43 PM  

You will never forget MASSON after watching this:

thursdaysd 4:53 PM  

Retired Chemist - yes, I know that's what ROGER means, but what's it doing with BACON? All the other theme answers make well-known phrases without the comma, but the only Roger Bacon I know about was a medieval scholar.

Rex Parker 5:00 PM  

All puzzles are "easy" when you google.

jberg 5:03 PM  

Very nice enjoyable Sunday. I was about to complain about the clue for 54A, when it suddently came to me. I'm still not sure about the clue for 71A, though -- scat singing involves nonsensical syllables, but the notes themselves should fit into the music; improvised, like much in jazz, but in an appropriate key, etc. That's a minor quibble, though. (Also, I thought it was skat, so finished with an error -- all that FARO talk put card games into my head.)

Stan 5:12 PM  

Cool the way the wordplay here does not involve changing spelling or sounds, but just adding a pause to change the meaning completely. If I knew more about linguistics I'd mention Speech Act Theory.

"Guns of Navarone" is also a song by the Skatalites. Those early ska guys loved American action pictures.

Appreciated the glosses on FOLEY Artist from @Glitch and @davco.

jberg 5:44 PM  

Btw, wasn't that Kipling poem (or rather, its title) the inspiration for all those Bob Hope/Bing Crosby/Dorothy Lamour "Road" movies?

I knew FOLEY only from watching the credits at the end of movies, so I was really glad to have it explained here. Just hope that future puzzles will include KEY GRIP or BEST BOY.

davko 7:16 PM  

Oops. Thanks for that. So much for my methodology working for that clue -- I just got lucky, I guess.

retired_chemist 7:43 PM  

@ thursdaysd - I guess the fact that only this theme answer is a name and not a phrase is what is bugging you. All I can say is that it didn't bug me. De gustibus.....

jae 8:21 PM  

I'm wondering if the movie crew cluing of FOLEY is more or less obscure than say, the Kids in the Hall guy, or Eddie Murphy character, or type of catheter or ....?

tedequity 8:24 PM  

I never heard of shut up shop. Can anyone use it in a sentence that would make sense to me.

retired_chemist 8:27 PM  

@ jae - Kids in the Hall guy I knew (Dave), also the catheter. The clue used and the Eddie Murphy character, no. But learning is what this blog is about, right? So, fine.

language maven 8:44 PM  

@tedequity - its a British idiom which means to close up shop. Ye Olde PEZ Collectible Shoppe was forced to shut up shop because they weren't getting enough customers.

Mary Morse 8:47 PM  

tedequity, I think you might be looking for something deeper than it is: "Oh look, 5:00 pm. Time to shut up shop."

Or: "We haven't sold a single painting in 3 weeks. Time to shut up shop, you think?"

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

I really wanted "tide" for 61A, as in "a rising tide lifts all boats".

Loved "PEZ" which I knew when I got the Z.

Loved the puzzle theme. It was fun just trying to guess the theme answers without knowing any of the letters.

Anonymous 10:34 PM  

i'm with thursdaysd re: roger bacon. i understood but i don't think it goes with the other theme answers. i am surprised it is rex's fav.

Red Valerian 6:53 PM  

@Anonymous 10:34: I believe Rex liked DON'T LEAVE ME, HANGING best. But I agree that ROGER BACON is a little obscure. Francis Bacon, not so much, but that would hardly have made a phrase!

Still don't see how skunk is FUR. What else would qualify? Coyote, dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, ...???

But I liked the puzzle well enough, even if I got a bit Naticked with FOLEY and FUR. Thanks to those who explained FOLEY.

One quibble--isn't the term "elementary school" (in 58D) outdated? Oh, and is Trini Lopez (115A) really a pop singer?

As to 97D (runcible spoon feature), this is very timely for this syndi-solver. @Deb@RoomscapesDecor,com included a nice quotation from The Owl and the Pussycat when talking about quinces this past (to syndi-solvers) Tuesday. Her quotation, to make the connection obvious, included “runcible spoon.” I’m rather disappointed that the current meaning is something like a spork, when that clearly is not what Lear intended, on the basis of his drawing and on the fact he used it (the word) as an adjective for things that clearly don’t have prongs. So, make that one more quibble, but about English, not the puzzle. FWIW: Runcible

@Deb--saw your post. Enjoy the book!

Red Valerian 7:00 PM  

That link seems not to be working. Sorry! (I did succeed once before, so I guess I'm getting cocky.) Try this: Runcible Or just google the word!

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

re 110 across - Please Google "Roger Bacon", aka "Doctor Mirabilis" and learn why it works so well.

Dirigonzo 2:05 PM  

There was much I didn't know in this puzzle (SHTETL -really?) but I was able to suss out most of the long theme answers with only a few crosses and this gave me enough of a leg up to finish with a few write overs but no errors (even though I was really, really uncertain of SHTETL and GAUTAMA required a couple of lucky guesses.) I questioned a couple of phrases that have already been mentioned by the prime-timers, but I guess I'm alone in not knowing AMENCORNER as a common phrase.

@Rex - super musical selections (although I would have preferred Trini Lopez over the Jackson 5 - that video represents a period in my life I would really just like to forget) - thanks for taking time out from your Fathers' Day festivities to find them!

@Red Valerian - Thought of you immediately at 97d as I had just received the link you sent a day or two ago (in syndication time. I forgot it was @Deb who originally brought the term up so I'm glad you gave her a shout out to give credit.

@Anony 1:14pm - I took your advice, and that's a much better explanation than any of the earlier comments provided. Thanks.

Anonymous 2:33 PM  

Water is pre-served because they serve it to you before you order.

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

They say Sundays are supposed to be comparable to Thursdays, but whereas I complete most Thursdays without errors I can only say the same for about four Sundays a year. Surprisingly, this was one of them. I saw so many ugly crosses early on that I actually said aloud, "I'm not going to finish this one." And yet in the end the guesses weren't too difficult and everything fell into place. That's great cluing.

"Touch 'em all, baseball man!"

Deb 4:35 PM  

Ha! I was pickled tink to see "runcible spoon" in this puzzle, Red! Talk about your synchronicity, eh? Loved this puzzle to death, though both "Roger, Bacon" and "Amen, Corner" are unknown to me. Got Masson right off the bat because it was the "house wine" in most places I tended bar in the late 70s. My only write-over was "suds" for "soda," and I was apparently in good company at being held-up forever on "fur." My favorite theme entry had to be "Look out, mountain" if only because the Lookout Mountain at the base of the Rockies west of Denver was where I ended up "neckin' in the back seat" after senior prom.

Oh - and about Trini - my mother had one of his albums back in the 60s (Lemon Tree will now be stuck in my head for days), but he pretty much fell off the radar after that decade.

Dirigonzo 6:58 PM  

Just saw a full-length skunk fur coat worth $400 on "Antiques Roadshow", so all you nay-sayers about skunk fur, take that!

dave 7:17 PM  

If you like this puzzle, check out those of Merl Reagle. Equally entertaining.

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