Pequod co-owner / WED 6-29-11 / Kapellmeister's charge / Bygone Las Vegas casino / Argentine soccer hero Maradona

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Constructor: Tony Orbach

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Short U => Long O — sound change in first (or last) word of familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Word of the Day: ALI Abdullah Saleh (20A: Yemeni leader ___ Abdullah Saleh) —

Ali Abdullah Saleh (Arabic: علي عبدالله صالح‎; born 21 March 1942) is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of the Republic of Yemen (unified Yemen). He is the longest-serving president of Yemen, ruling since 1978. // On 2 February 2011, facing a major national uprising, Saleh announced that he would step down in 2013. On 23 April 2011, he announced that he would be willing to step down in return for immunity from criminal prosecution. On 18 May 2011, he agreed to sign a deal with opposition groups, stipulating that he would resign within a month; however, he later reneged on this commitment. // On June 3, Saleh was injured in an RPG attack on his presidential compound. The following day, he was taken to a military hospital in Saudi Arabia for treatment, and vice president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi was appointed as acting President of Yemen.

• • •

I had a real wavelength problem with this one, as I often do with Tony's puzzles, for some inexplicable reason. Full disclosure: I know and like and have dined several times with Tony, who is the loveliest man you're likely to meet. He's a wonderful constructor, and yet for some reason, I often stumble through his puzzles—clues I can't quite make sense of, trivia I just don't know, etc., some combination of incidental stuff adds up to me flailing around and feeling lost much of the time. The theme concept here is simple, and yet I didn't pick it up until the Very end. So many -MB words involved in the theme answers that I thought there was some kind of letter switch—specfically, a B-for-E switch. Or a B-for-E switch up top and an E-for-B switch below ... I didn't really stop to think about it for long, since it's Wednesday and I'm busy tearing through the grid. But when I got to JAMAICAN ROAM my brain went from mildly confused to completely jammed. Finished that last bit in the NE and then looked over the theme answers to figure out what I'd missed. Grrr.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Balding person's directive to a barber? (COMB ON OVER)
  • 27A: Meandering trip from Kingston to Montego Bay? (JAMAICAN ROAM)
  • 43A: Covered stadium that's off-limits to bands? (DON'T-PLAY DOME)
  • 57A: Protection for a fairy-tale dwarf's brain? (GNOME SKULL) — the only one of the theme answers I really like
There were some proper noun crossings in the NW and SE that were pretty rough, if not exactly lethal. I've seen ENOLA clued in this "Waterworld" fashion before (2D: "Waterworld" girl), I'm sure, but that doesn't mean I remembered this character from a 15-year-old *horrible* movie. And I knew Saleh, but I did not know ALI. DIEGO (65A: Argentine soccer hero Maradona) crossing PELEG (50D: Pequod co-owner) was a bit easier for me (heard of both), but that cross will probably prove tough for some. People under 30 probably don't know Boz SCAGGS, whom I first heard of when my mom told me that the crazy 5-ft-tall, 3-in. thin hi-tech speakers she bought for her stereo in 1982 were the same ones Boz SCAGGS had (some salesman was doing his job that day) (22A: "Lido Shuffle" singer Boz).

I knew the Kapellmeister had something to do with a singing group, but I thought maybe his "charge" was a TENOR at first (nope, CHOIR). Wife got confused and thought Cassini was an OLGA instead of an OLEG. I think in some publications a TWO-STAR rating is quite good, actually (5D: Somewhere between excellent and poor, as a restaurant). Finally, I like the clue 44D: "Tommy" rockers (THE WHO) because it sounds like "(The) Tommyknockers" (the Stephen King novel). That's as good a reason to like a clue as any, I say.

And in case you didn't get it, 6D: January 2nd? refers to the "2nd" letter in "January," i.e. a SHORT A.

This website now has a Facebook page. I wanted to install a "Like" button here on the site, but, well, I'm wrestling with installing the code properly, i.e. I'm a technologically incompetent old man. Ugh. I expect I'll get it done in the next few days somehow. In the meantime, the page is here. I'll figure out ways to use it to complement this site. I have a biggish project I'm embarking on, one that will require some, let's say, audience participation ... so I'll probably use the FB page to help me with that ... but more on that later. Right now, if you're on FB, just go Like the page, dammit. I mean, please.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]


Anonymous 12:20 AM  

What we have is a series of puns for a theme and yet in Rex's entire critique nowhere is the word pun found. Curious.

Overall not a bad Wednesday and some fun puns. Favorite was GNOME SKULL.

PurpleGuy 12:34 AM  

I had a fun time with this one. Had no trouble getting the theme at COMB ON OVER. The girl from 'Waterworld" was gettable from crosses. Probably my best Wednesday.
Yes, I am over yesterday's crankypants.They were getting a bit tight.

Quite a bunch of things I can do in the puzzle.On my JAMAICAN ROAM, I BEAM,I HOP, SWAM and SKID. I LEANT my EASEL to DIEGO to sketch the BABE in the LOINCLOTH, but I MISSED the time and just had to HANG LOOSE.

Rex, great writeup. I've been to your Facebook page and posted on the wall as well as "liked."
We will all expect great things from our fearless leader.

Happy Wednesday - Hump Day All !!


Anonymous 12:34 AM  


thursdaysd 12:36 AM  

This was a slog. I hate puns. I also hate SHORTA type answers. Add in several people I've never heard of and I'm surprised I finished - I did have to change ENOrA/ArI at the end. Not much DIE-O could be except DIEGO, although PELEG looked odd.

jae 1:27 AM  

Exactly the same experience as Rex trying to figure out the theme. And, I'm still not sure it makes complete sense given the B in COMBONOVER. Medium for me too given I started with APTTO for 1a and had to play catch up from there.

Here's old for you. I had to click (it's an IPAD so I really mean touch) on the FB link to discover FB is Facebook (and yes I've seen the movie). I guess I'm not really a Facebook person, let alone twitter. Probably shouldn't get into politics or revolutions.

chefwen 2:07 AM  

It took me a long time to break into this one, too many mistakes getting going. Spelling SCAGGS with a K was just the beginning. Open the door to was let in before ADMIT, and so it went... Have no idea why but the NW was my sticking area. Ended up really liking this but it took me far too long for a Wednesday, not a bad thing, more to relish.

Off to the Midwest tomorrow to check up on Dear Old Dad and my MIL in the UP of Michigan. Will try to stay current.

andrea hangloose michaels 2:20 AM  

My LOINCLOTH was haIrshirt!!!!!
That summed up my whole experience with this puzzle.
I LOVE Tony, I don't care WHO knows it, but I didn't get this puzzle at all!

But there were moments:
Two Js, Two Xs...and how can you not love IXNAY?
Here's the thing, I wanted an extra letter on every other answer: MA(d)AM, ASIA(N), PE(G)LEG.

Head=NOB??? I LIVE on NOB Hill and didn't get that! (I tried Nut among other disasters)

Did I mention I LOVE TONY, tho?

CoffeeLvr 2:23 AM  

I was slowed down in the SW quite a bit while my ascetic wore a hair shirt. It fits. Then had sackCLOTH for a short time, until I put the Biblical quote back in.

Last area to fill was Minnesota; could not remember HOYA, or AYE AYE, Captain. The cobwebs eventually cleared.

Slow solve, but worth it.

I'll catch up with you all Thursday; going for a day trip tomorrow. Meeting my son in my college town, about halfway for each of us, since neither one of us really wants to do an overnight trip right now.

Z 7:46 AM  

@purpleguy - My turn for the cranky pants. Leant? Google tells me that it is chiefly British. Bah! Comb on over? Really? That's what the balding guy tells the barber? No, that's what the spouse tells the balding guy. Bah again. Pig Latin? Bah. And don't play dome? I had no way to come up with "DONT" from "off-limits." Bah

So, to summarize, Bah.

Torbach 7:50 AM  

Rex, I'm so happy my puzzles vex you! Anyone else on Rex's wavelength? I apologize. :-)

Thanks for the Boz SCAGGS clip - I never knew Will Ferrell played keyboards with him (it's worth the wait, toward the end of the clip). I was surprised to see that his hit album, "Silk Degrees", was 1976, not the same year as Steely Dan's "AJA", which was 1977 - I was thinking one or the other of those years produced both crossword nuggets. Wikipedia does say that BOZ toured with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald in 2010, so there is some kind of Kevin Bacon-y stuff happening after all.

Thanks for the write-up and meanderings, good and bad!

Enjoy the day and "You stay classy",
Tony O.

David L 7:57 AM  

Ugh. I also hate puns. Like fingernails on a blackboard. Don't know why, but there you are.

I took forever to get the DONTPLAYDOME/SKID/LOINCLOTH/KNOX section. The theme answer has two long O's, and I was trying to change the first one into a short U and make some sense of it. Failing mightily, of course.

Did I mention that I loathe, hate, abhor puns?

k2p2 8:04 AM  

Although it took me longer than a normal Wednesday I liked it - especially GNOME SKULL! Maybe living with teens makes one like puns - it drives them crazy (they forget that when they were ten they thought puns were oh so clever)!

My ascetic also wore a hair shirt first!

exaudio 8:04 AM  

liked the puzzle a lot. Why the picture of Sen. Levin (D-MI)?

Betsy Teutsch 8:14 AM  

He's a comb over guy. Why is January 2 = short a? Didn't get that one at all.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

@bpt - The second letter of January is a short a.

joho 8:29 AM  

I really enjoyed doing this puzzle even though I never did figure out the theme in any coherent way. In the margin I have: COMB=COME, ROAM=RUM, DOME=DUMB, GNOME=NUMB. Then I was more confused than ever!
Wait, it's all about the UM sound, right? No, the OM sound ...

Love the clue "Chambers of commerce?" for MALL.

@andrea hangloose michaels ... LOL "My LOINCLOTH was hairshirt!!!!!" I also loved IXNAY.

Thanks for stopping by Tony O! I thought it fun even though I felt kind of dumb in the end.

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

@exaudio - Carl Levin has the kind of hair style that goes with COMB ON OVER.

@ACME - we wouldn't expect you to associate nob with head because you don't have that kind of head....

People who hate puns are like infinity to me. Easy to understand but hard to grasp.

deerfencer 8:31 AM  

Liked it if only for the Salinger and Boz Scagg references (right up my power alley) along with the puns so bad they're good, but the January 2nd clue was one for the dung heap.

HANGLOOSE crossing ABOIL = big thumbs up.

And NOAM Chomsky on a play date with OPIE is a riot.

All in all a fun Wednesday--thanks, Tony!

jesser 8:40 AM  

I love puns!

It's cool to be back just as Fearless announces he's going all Facebook with the blog. I'm twitterpated!

I strolled through this puzzle with no writeovers but a lot of "aha" going on as the answers emerged. At 6D, I really wanted to fill in MY DAD'S BIRTHDAY, but it wouldn't fit. The SHORT A was a poor substitute (for me, anyway).

I loved WOVE IXNAY LORD down the center. I like a deity who enjoys a cocktail and goes for a meander.

I feel that THE WHO and The Doors are quite possibly the most over-rated rock bands ever, but I realize a LOT of people violently disagree. To each his/her own.

I printed out all the puzzles I missed and will be doing them throughout the week. I did, however, already notice the shout-out to LAS CRUCES in yesterday's offering. I am grinning beeg beeg!

Good to be back in the fold. Mazel Tov!

tptsteve 9:09 AM  

Liked this one, though I didn't pick up on the theme until the end. I had to run the alphabet at the IXNAY/XERS, which in hindsight, kills me. That X was my last letter.

Since Waterworld was a box office bomb, I now have a way to remember Enola.

chefbea 9:25 AM  

Don't mind puns!! Pretty easy puzzle.

Now to go to face book

jackj 10:02 AM  

Even the best and brightest can trip all over themselves when trying to protect a cherished theme. In this case, a theme which promoted rather tepid pun attempts but never even earned a defining groan of appreciation.

OLA, ASIA, ALIA, MAAM, OPIE, HOYA, IHOP, XERS, etc, etc, etc, then there was "Lord" in a clue and LORD as an answer. Yuck, such fill!

Tony deserves a mulligan on this one.

Tobias Duncan 10:11 AM  

NOB/head reminds me of this Ricky Gervais Show clip
I thought Boz SCAGGS was some sort of country singer or NASCAR driver or both.I dont know why.

Cheerio 10:13 AM  

I had all the letters in for Salinger except the L and kept thinking "an author named Sam Inger?" Chagrin.

Lindsay 10:23 AM  

Didn't get the theme at all. Like Rex said. Thought maybe the "B" was involved somehow. Oh. Puns.

Hand up for spelling Boz SCAGGS like Ricky Skaggs. But my biggest hangup was having hOVE for 6D "didn't go straight" which seemed unassailable as the past tense of heave, meaning to turn a ship. But I couldn't connect ShAM with a failure to sink, and eventually the light went off.

exaudio 10:23 AM  

Thank you, Rexites, for explaining the picture of my senator on rexblog.

retired_chemist 10:23 AM  

A good Wednesday puzzle. Medium.

I like puns, but these were just OK - not top drawer IMO. OTOH I very much liked a lot of the fill: BALEEN and PEQUOD made for a whale of a good time. [sorry :-)] BTW we had the PEQUOT WAR very recently.

PNEU, DIEGO, HOYA, SCAGGS (née SKAGGS, à la chefwen), and KNOX went right in. KNOX was an answer on a recent Jeopardy!, so I had a leg up there.

Flipped a coin between IBN and ALI @ 20A - guessed wrong, but it was easily fixed. Arabic speakers, feel free to explain why IBN was impossible there (if indeed it was).

Thanks, Mr. Orbach.

Sparky 10:24 AM  

Atilt before LEANT, ukes before LEIS, plural on 16A so threw in an S. Also GNOMEScone (like those orange traffic cones). Kept at it and things cleared up. COMB and GNOME gave me the pun sound. I went back and forth corner to corner on this one. ALI, RUDD, and DIEGO through crosses. Plesant solve. Thanks Tony.

marciem 10:28 AM  

I liked the theme but it didn't help me at all with the fill.

Had SACKCLOTH, LADY (for Sir counterpart), UKES (for Island strings) which all tripped me up. Baja I think is just bad cluing, no indication it was not among the US 50 states... so I had Cali for a while.

LOL, I thought the picture of the guy with the comb-over was a picture of Tony since it is right next to Rex's discussion of Tony. you have a combover? :)

Joe 10:36 AM  

Two lousy puzzles in a row. Ugh.
A little straight-forwardness, please.

The Boz Scaggs speakers--Magnaplanars?

Bob Kerfuffle 10:47 AM  

I Love puns, but I Did Not Finish this puzzle because I wouldn't spend the time it would have taken me to straighten out the NW. With ATILT at 1 A and LOO at 4D, no idea about 1 D or 2D or 29 A, and a partial __MOONOVER at 17 A -- too much of a mess.

Another HAIRSHIRT here as well, and I was halfway through reading Comments before I finally understood DONTPLAYDOME (Don't play dumb, right?); I was looking for some way to make sense of it by changing the vowel sound in DONT ! !

Mel Ott 10:56 AM  

Surprised there are no complaints about the sports name Georgetown HOYAs. It seeems the nickname has a decidedly unjockish derivation, however. From a HOYA website:

"What is a Hoya?

"Many years ago, when all Georgetown students were required to study Greek and Latin, the University's teams were nicknamed "The Stonewalls." It is suggested that a student, using Greek and Latin terms, started the cheer "Hoya Saxa!", which translates into "What Rocks!" The name proved popular and the term "Hoyas" was eventually adopted for all Georgetown teams."

It has been a long time since I studied either, but I think Hoya is Greek and Saxa is Latin.

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

@Retired Chemist - IBN means 'son of', so really can't be the first part of a name. It gets used in the form of Charlie IBN John

shrub5 11:07 AM  

I had the same experiences as @chefwen and @Sparky. Know Boz Scaggs as a local (No. Cal). Enjoyed working the puzzle but the theme didn't do much for me.
I have to put my two cents in about combovers: don't do it! It looks ridiculous (D.Trump, are you listening?). Balding is a perfectly fine look for men -- I don't see it as a negative at all.
@tptsteve: thanks for the waterworld/enola memory device.
Had a little chuckle at LOINCLOTH and HANGLOOSE in comparable areas of the puzzle.

Matthew G. 11:21 AM  

Medium-Challenging for me. I also was very not on the wavelength of this puzzle. My wife, like Rex's, could not help me with OLEG (the one form of cheating I allow myself without calling it cheating is to ask my wife for the names of fashion designers).

Needed every cross for SCAGGS even though I'm over 30.

I think the SHORT/LONG [vowel] clue goes down as my single least-favorite kind of crossword clue. I think it's because the clues always seem to have such promise of a mysterious, satisfying answer (2nd of January? Hmm, something that happens on the first business day of the year) ... and then you realize, oh. Just a letter.

I liked the theme better than Rex, though. Oddly, JAMAICAN ROAM was the one that jumped out at me the quickest and is where I picked up the theme.

syndy 11:40 AM  

I love puns but found no joy in mudville today DONTPLAYDOME? course I thought he was going for no fly zone or something-to be a pun the answeres have to work -Jamaican roam dosent -and GOING BALD maybe BALD you can't comb over!The fill was fine but the theme just IRKED me.Are we still going to be able to be REXITES if we don"t FB?

retired_chemist 11:45 AM  

Thanks, Anon 10:56, re IBN.

Karen 11:46 AM  

I love puns - good puzzle for a Wednesday. Consider me on your wavelength, Tony!

Lewis 12:06 PM  

I loved the clue and answer for 6D, unlike several here. It gave me a big AHA when I got it, and made me think all around the box, which for me is a crossword joy.

Matthew G. 12:12 PM  

@Lewis: I probably got a kick out of a SHORT A-type answer the first time I saw one, and maybe even the second. Now they're always a letdown -- the opposite of an "a-ha" (an "oh heck," I guess).

I'm not experienced enough a solver to have the right to be all that jaded, but I can safely say I've seen this particular type of entry enough times to have had my fill, no pun intended.

DBGeezer 12:18 PM  

I am sorry for those of you who think that those who use puns should be punished.

And did you hear of the king who got so tired of puns that he decided to hang his court jester? The monarch repented and told the fellow that he would forgive him if he never told another pun. Joyful for his liberation, but maintaining his own personality, the jester said, "Thank you, your majesty. No noose is good news!"

Stan 12:30 PM  

Fun puzzle, much crunchier than I expected. Had to jump around, getting stuck and restarting multiple times.

COMB ON OVER was the best pun. Also liked the 19th-century literature section at the bottom and the irregular past-tense verbs at the top.

John V 12:56 PM  

Running late, so brief (as usual). Played a tad harder then medium for me, but finished with no errors, albeit a tad slow. SE was had for me, as I inexplicabley had SEE for 55A (no idea). Thought the theme was fun!

Captcha = ematort. Wow, does THAT sound nasty!

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

Did not like this one. Struggled to think of a word for a person who tours with another. I guess the quotation marks mean something, but then "Tours" should have been possessive. "Leant" is a sorry word and the theme was barely cognizable. The wavelength issue was well-described by Rex and others. I finished, it was correct, and I was annoyed.

Z 1:14 PM  

I thought my senator appeared because he chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, so referencing Yemen.

WesIsland 1:20 PM  


Shouldn't the clue have been "Chamber of commerce?" for MALL...not "Chambers?"

Rube 1:24 PM  

My last corner was the SW where I had BABy for Dearie, was trying to use YoYo for bounce back, and was fooled with Tours, thinking travel. Eventually got ECHO and groaned at the French city.

Me too for SkAGGS. Also had LEANs and COMBitOVER. Saw the pun at JAAICANROAM, but it really didn't help the solve. After completing a theme answer had to look at it a bit to see the pun.

I'll bet that, (the long down), NOAM SALINGER would give John Barth a run for his vocabulary.

Good puzzle. I'm ambivalent about puns.

santafefran 1:39 PM  

I ECHO what many others said: my HAIRSHIRT was ATILT after I confidently threw down SKAGGS. Must have drunk too much JAMAICAN ROAM.

The NW was my nemesis; I don't seem to be on Tony's wavelength either, but I enjoyed the diversion from following news of the Las Conchas fire, now 3% contained. Husband has been going bonkers not being able to contribute to the effort but finally going to help man the Emergency Operations center for the next few nights. Rain dances would be appreciated.

Lindsay 1:53 PM  

@wesisland: A chamber is a room, so a mall has "chambers of commerce."

jberg 3:16 PM  

Started with IHOP (great answer!), then added the obvious Injure at 10D, which held me up in the NE for some time. Couldn't see it for quite a while, and figured that since French tire couldn't be PNEU, it must be some kind of misleading definition. It finally cam through, though, once I got the theme - which is, I think short um > long om, not just u>o (why DON'T doesn't change).

@tptsteve, your joke about how to remember ENOLA was brilliant - also so subtle that no one seems to have noticed. (Hint: what other way could one clue Enola?)

efrex 3:26 PM  

Much tougher than it had to be, thanks to being simultaneously too timid (resisted COMBONOVER until the NW was completely unsolvable) and too overconfident (SACKCLOTH and BEAU before LOINCLOTH and BABE). Didn't know from BPOE. Don't know why I know from Boz SCAGGS, but dug that one out right away.

Fair enough puzzle, just not in my wheelhouse.

sanfranman59 4:49 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)

Wed 13:27, 11:53, 1.13, 82%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:41, 5:52, 1.10, 87%, Challenging

Brian 4:58 PM  

Like a lot of you, it took me a while to get break in, but once I did it was fun. The puns were humorous the way a pun should be and not just stupid, which so many sadly are.

Well done, I thought. Loved IXNAY.

GNOMESKULL is great.

Thanks, Tony, for a fun one!

long suffering mets fan 5:06 PM  

Decent puzzle ah, Boz Scaggs and Steely Dan -- two of the best rock/jazz acts ever.
Jesser, I never understood the Doors appeal either -- some kind of Jim Morrison death fascination cult thing. I was a mild WHO fan until I saw them in person -- Roger Daltrey pounding out the vocals, Pete Townsend windmilling and Ringo's pride on drums -- fantastic but I digress:
liked GNOMESKULL & COMBONOVER and clue for BAJA didn't like SHORTA
thanks Tony entertaining write up as usual, RP

Sfingi 7:36 PM  

DNF Totally didn't get theme. For some odd reason, got IXNAY.

Also, like @Chefwen, had SkAGGS and like @Andrea, hairSHIRT.

This is a Should-I-buy-Thurs? Wednesday puzzle.

Baby sister was a WHO fan, after getting over the Beatles.

retired_chemist 7:44 PM  

@ efrex - BPOE - Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Sometimes referred to with the alternate reading of the acronym, "Best People on Earth."

JenCT 9:22 PM  

Never got the theme either; ultimately DNF, even though I got (and liked) many of the answers.

Anyone notice that the Who video never showed John Entwistle? The Who were a foursome, not a trio...

Like Boz SCAGGS.

@marciem: Tony definitely does not have a combover! :-)

+wordphan 2:00 PM  

Happy you're happy with the FB thing! FB really rocks on so many levels!

SCB in NYC 2:14 PM  

This is the second day in a row that MARS BARS has appeared in the puzzle—did the NYT cut some kind of product-placement deal with Mars, or what?

Deb 2:18 PM  

Someone help me figure this out: I wrote in SHERPA instead of SHORTA, because I recall some adventure novel wherein the main character's right-hand man (2nd) was named January. Am I thinking of Robinson Crusoe? Swiss Family Robinson? Anyone?

captcha=propyrge: PAC in favor of purging pyromaniacs.

Deb 2:24 PM  

Oops. Never mind - Google finally answered me. It was Robinson Crusoe, and the character's name was FRIDAY, not JANUARY. Doh.

Deb 2:24 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waxy in Montreal 2:47 PM  

From the syndicate: wow, glad the epitaph given this puzzle was "challenging" as I felt like a gnomeskull most of the time while solving it. Started out by confusing "Bananafish" with "Rumble Fish" so had S.E.HINTON instead of SALINGER. Then, since the French for whale is baleine, mispelled BALEEN. Also, never heard of BPOE which didn't help and had Henry CLAY for Henry KNOX, GENX for XERS and LOO for NOB. Despite all this misdirection, did eventually manage to finish so kudos to Tony Orbach for a well-constructed puzzle.

Anonymous 3:23 PM  

Found this one a bit of a slog but loved IXNAY and IHOP.

Like others I had hairshirt for ages so that really messed me up for that section. Don't like LEANT - it always sounds and looks wrong somehow.

@retired_chemist - thanks for the definition of BPOE - had to read through almost the whole blog before someone else said they didn't know it - I was beginning to feel like a real GNOMESKULL myself..

Dirigonzo 4:05 PM  

I must have mind-melded with Tony O because I absolutely blew through this one. I saw the gimmick down at GNOMESKULL which helped a lot figuring out the rest of the puns. Only missteps were "hairshirt" and misspelling Boz' name with a "k" which soon sorted themselves out.

I never want to hear a shooter say, "Oops!".

And now in keeping with the theme of the puzzle, I believe I'll enjoy a glass of something that might be clued as "One of 206 in the body of the man who killed Hamilton in a famous duel in 1804".

Anonymous 4:53 PM  

What time is it in your part of the world? A little early for "Burr Bone" where I live!

Dirigonzo 5:12 PM  

@Pippin - "It's five 0'clock somewhere" - including my little corner of syndiland. But still, the BURRBONE will come a little later. Nice to see that you figured it out, despite the omission of "?" to indicate a whacky clue! Thanks for playing along!

Anonymous 6:03 PM  

Total guess at BALEEN/AVIC natick. But I guess I'm starting to retain enough of these words from past puzzles to where I can see what looks right.

Didn't know BPOE. BROS would've fit the clue, and though I already had the P in place, thinking of that B gave me the BAJA I couldn't see.

Did a good portion of this puzzle while in San Francisco. Haight puns.

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

I actually liked Waterworld...

- - Robert

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