Bride in Gondoliers / SUN 7-31-11 / Sally teacakes / Noted diamond family / Huntee in game / 2003 Affleck/Lopez flick / Switzerland/France separator

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Constructor: Pamela Klawitter

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "Separate Checks" — theme answers are common phrases that, when taken literally, describe words that are "separated" (i.e. in two parts, separated by a black square) in different parts of the grid. "Separated" words are in circled squares for easy identification.

Word of the Day: "IL RE Pastore" (42D: "___ Pastore" (Mozart opera)) —

Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) is an opera, K. 208, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by Metastasio, edited by Gianbattista Varesco. It is an opera seria. The opera was first performed on April 23 1775 in Salzburg, at the Palace of the Archbishop Count Hieronymus von Colloredo. (wikipedia)
• • •

I found this more difficult than your average Sunday puzzle, due largely to the fact that you had to pick up some of those circles before you could begin to have any hope of filling in the theme answers. Also, perhaps because the theme was so ambitious, many of the answers were nuts, e.g. IL RE (it's the king, alright—King of the Uglies), PIS (which I still don't get) (oh, it's P.I.s, OK; 47D: Some tails, for short), ANA'S (!?) (18A: "___ Story: A Journey of Hope" (Jenna Bush best seller)), LUNNS (99D: Sally ___ (teacakes)), etc. That ENDE / LUNNS crossing was potentially *lethal*. Never heard of either ... except I had, in fact, seen ENDE in puzzles before (doesn't mean I remembered him) (113A: "The Neverending Story" writer), which allowed me to educatedly guess the "N"; otherwise, puzzle death. Multiple ALDAS, multiple RNAS (?), someplace called LEMAN (46D: Lake ___, Switzerland/France separator) (I want to go to there, just so I can point at it and shout, "You LEMAN!"). Lots and lots of slightly creaky stuff. I admire the theme's complexity, though I'm (once again) 90% certain I've seen this theme, or one like it, in the not-too-distant past. I've definitely seen words split by black squares before. Still, for apparent level-of-difficulty alone, this one gets a mild thumbs-up, though I do have to say that BEAR PIT pretty much ruins the whole happy vibe of the puzzle (59A: Place for some animal baiting). You can put all the sex and dirty words and body parts you want in my Sunday puzzle, but animal torture just does not pass my personal breakfast test.

Theme answers:
  • TORN ASUNDER (this one confused me at first—wondered how ASUNDER was going to fit in just those four squares ...)
My last letter was the "V" in TIVO (102D: Program coordinator?) / AVES (114A: Upper class?), which required me to run the alphabet, and even then I still didn't get AVES. My only guess, now, is that AVES is a "class" of animal that is "high" because its members, generally, fly. To cross that "?" clue with the TIVO "?" clue seems over-the-top. I mean, I already had to suffer through the terrible ENDE / LUNNS crossing. Gimme a break with the AVES.

  • 24A: Bride in "The Gondoliers" (TESSA) — ??? Probably seen it before, but still, ??? Crossing NISI (7D: Not yet final, at law) was a bit scarifying. Seriously, that's three dicey crosses in this thing, at least.
  • 25A: "What the Butler Saw" playwright, 1969 (ORTON) — wanted ODETS. Saw this in Ashland, OR circa 1982. I remember it being some kind of sex farce where people were on stage in their underwear. But I was 12, so my memory could've been quite skewed by a single scene, for all I know.

  • 26A: Noted diamond family (ALOU) — they are mostly "noted," these days, in crosswords.
  • 32A: Title character in a 2009 Sandra Bullock crossword film (STEVE) — hey, it's terrible movie day in Puzzle World. "All About STEVE" in a twin bill with "GIGLI" — suddenly BEAR PIT doesn't seem quite so bad ...
  • 52A: Panamanians and Peruvians (LATINS) — took me forever. I would never refer to them as LATINS (I'd say "LATIN AMERICANS," if anything), but it's valid.
  • 76A: Huntee in a game (HIDER) — "Huntee" is a pretty dumb-looking word, but I got this instantly, so can't grouse too much.
  • 94A: French CD holder (ETUI) — wait, I have a picture here somewhere, hang on ... yeah, here we go:
  • 98A: Techie's hangout (PC LAB) — I have antipathy toward PCLAB as an answer. It's not entirely rational. No one calls the computer labs this, possibly because there are Macs there. A techie would, presumably, hang out anywhere there was a computer, or energy drinks and Cheetos.
  • 40D: Definitely not Felix Unger types (SLOVENS) — wow, you can be a sloven? I knew you could be slovenly, and I knew you could be a SLOVAK, or SLOVENE, but a SLOVEN—that, I did not know.
  • 57D: Pulitzer-winning Sheehan (SUSAN) — no idea. Wanted GAYLE, but that's "Sheehy," and her name's spelled "GAIL" anyway.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


syndy 12:05 AM  

Thank you REX for doing this Puzzle so that I didn't have to. so many circles so many self referencing clues I just could not force myself to continue!Still see no reason to.

George NYC 12:11 AM  

Had the same (minor) gripes as Rex, but generally enjoyed puzzling this one out. I liked that the circles actually related to the solving.

Noam D. Elkies 12:17 AM  

You do impicitly know 40D:SLOVEN as in "slovenly" (using the less common adjectival -ly of "fatherly", "miserly", etc.). Acording to, it's from "Middle English sloveyn slut, rascal"!


[captcha = phoraver = how long it might take to fix a misspelled entry? Or I suppose somebody praising or ranting about Vietnamese soup…]

Clark 12:32 AM  

Lac Leman, otherwise known as Genfer See or Lake Geneva. Do go there, Rex, and shout whatever you want. You won't regret it.

chefwen 12:41 AM  

Pretty funny write up Rex. 57D is SUSAN 61D is CAROL.

My last fill was the L in ANATOLE and EGAL, guessed right for once, purely luck. Started out at 8D with meAndERS, took a long time to change that.

I loved this one, it's what I remembered ordering yesterday. The gimmick really helped in many areas.

chefwen 12:43 AM  

Oh, and I totally agree with @Clark,
Lac Lemon is totally worth the airfare.

retired_chemist 12:50 AM  

The theme ensured a slow solve time - cross-references are not my thing. Right away I saw it would take me some time, and it did. I liked it, though, and the theme answers were fun to figure out.

Rex pointed out some of the obscure stuff and dicey crossings, most of which I had trouble with but eventually thought my way past.

Had SFORZA as the Medici's enemy - wrong. A long time since I read Machiavelli.

21A was SANTÉ before VOTRE and 87A was MÊME before EGAL, but CURIE and ANATOLE were gimmes. A lot of French today....

First tried LATINO @ 52A, adjectivally describing Panamanians and Peruvians. Easily fixed.

60A was ACUITY - hung me up because it was half right and thus hard to give up. Finally saw REMUS and the center then fell rapidly.

Thanks, Ms. Klawitter.

CoffeeLvr 1:01 AM  

After the initial frustration of not being able to fill much in without the circles, as Rex commented, I really got into this.

Until the end when I had to run the alphabet and cross my fingers at TESSA/NISI and at AVES/TIVO. I solved on paper so no cheating!

Even though I didn't really "solve" yesterday's puzzle, I did get TS GARP by looking him up, which really helped me get a hold tonight.

PCLAB as a techie hangout sounds like Middle School, where you can come in early or stay after if you have a supervised place to be, but you can't really just wander around freely.

Have a good Sunday, all.

jenn 1:31 AM  

We had PC Labs in college--as opposed to Mac Labs.

retired_chemist 1:37 AM  

I think "PC Lab" is a commonly used generic term, whether they have Macs or not. Kinda like all tissues are "Kleenex" or, at least in Atlanta where my daughter lives, all soft drinks are "Cokes."

Michaela 2:22 AM  

I'm embarrassed to say that the V in TIVO was the last letter for me as well -- extremely embarrassing as I have worked at TiVo for the past ten years. Never gonna live that one down.

jae 2:54 AM  

This was on the tough side for me also. The NISI/TESSA cross was an educated guess, TIVO I rerighted because AVES seemed odd if not wrong, and, for LUNNS/ENDE I needed help from my bride, who said they are more breads than cakes. I liked this one. A clever tricky Sun. that took some effort.

bucksix 3:29 AM  

Is aves sort of a slang pronunciation of "haves"?

adrianstephens 5:36 AM  

Went to Sally Lunn's in Bath a couple of weeks ago. Very surprised to see it in my NYT crossword, but a rare gimme for me!

exaudio 7:22 AM  

Two points for the "pays to be raised in a Gilbert and Sullivan family" front. Knew Tessa from The Gondoliers, and knew Sally Lunns from Sorcerer, where it is repeated many times in the chorus of "Now to the banquet we press."

Bob Kerfuffle 7:32 AM  

I guess I've just got to get out more. I've never heard of Sally LUNNS, and I thought ERDE was a better possibility for the author than ENDE.

Otherwise, interesting puzz.

Chautauqua Glen 7:33 AM  

I think Bucksix has a point. Clue for "Aves" could have been Cockney upper class.

imsdave 7:44 AM  

Loved this puzzle. All of the reveal answers are so in the language. I think my only erasure was ERG for ION. (I know Andrea has named this phenomenon, but I can't remember it to save my life).

Hoping to see many of you next week at Lollapuzzoola!

exaudio 7:55 AM  

ETUI was my vote on the Facebook page for words that should be banished, and now we've got a new definition AND a picture. I looked it up and it turns out it is not pronounced "ehtooey," as I have been saying in my brain.

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

Thanks for solving TIVO/AVES. I gave up with TICO, figuring you'd explain what it meant, because ACES is so obviously the answer to "upper class."

What a stinker! In retrospect, each clue and answer seem acceptable, but this was way too much of a chore.

Exit. Pursued by a bear 8:03 AM  

Merry Wives of Windsor > Act I, scene I

SLENDER: I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised
my shin th' other day with playing at sword and
dagger with a master of fence; three veneys for a
dish of stewed prunes; and, by my troth, I cannot
abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your
dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?

ANNE PAGE: I think there are, sir; I heard them talked of.

SLENDER: I love the sport well but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?

ANNE PAGE: Ay, indeed, sir.

SLENDER: That's meat and drink to me, now. I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shrieked at it, that it passed: but women,indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favored rough things.

Macbeth > Act V, scene VII

MACBETH: They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But, bear-like, I must fight the course. What's he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.

Twelfth Night > Act I, scene III

SIR ANDREW: What is 'Pourquoi'? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing and bear-baiting: O, had I but followed the arts!

M07S 8:29 AM  

Could someone clue me in on Rush igniter : ORE?

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

Gold Rush

mmorgan 8:59 AM  

I wish the circled letters had been synonyms for the theme answers. I'm not a fan of using the same words twice in the puzzle.

jackj 9:10 AM  

When I began, the circles, the cross-references and the tight cluing seemed daunting and called for the skills of a bookkeeper or a civil engineer or, at least, someone with special skills beyond those of a word nerd with a blank puzzle and a trusty Bic pen.

After some initial frustrations, then, it was back to basics and solving the puzzle sans circle worry or cross-reference concern. This saved my sanity and the final blank spaces were easily filled in to wrap up the puzzle by then using the puzzle's gimmicks.

There were lots of toughies like NISI, PIS, AVES, ENDE, ANAS, etc but all were confirmed through the crosses and were offset by the excellent INANITY, SLOVENS and the charming CAROL clue.

Ms. Klawitter was too kind in using a straight clue for the GIGLI entry, which rode right on by the fact that the movie is generally felt to be one of the worst Hollywood movies of all-time, rivaled only by Ishstar.

"Bennifer's bomb?" might have been more appropriate.

Thanks Ms. K for a meaty Sunday offering, (for a nice change).

Z 9:45 AM  

I. too, finished with AcES, never going back to check TIcOS. HTG Neverending Story to get ENDE, which got me off cLaSS for my graceful word and the L in PCLAB/LUNNS was my last entry.

I was maybe a third of the way through the fill when I finally got ??RNASUNDER and knew what to do. I found the solve pleasant enough despite the sometimes ugly fill.

captcha - psyment, what you owe your therapist after a puzzle of cross-referenced circles.

joho 9:57 AM  

I thought this definitely harder than usual for a Sunday and also more interesting than many.

I generally find cross referenced clues frustrating but not today as they really helped me solve.

This puzzle provided me with a wonderful Sunday morning on the bed with coffee and pen in hand.

@Rex, thanks for your take on AVES because I didn't get it even though I got it.

Loved clue and answer for SNIVEL.

Thank you, Pamela Klawitter!

Smitty 9:59 AM  

Don't think I've ever hated a puzzle that turned out to be so enjoyable

Yes it was annoying to search for the "clue" clues. Yes some of the answers were clunky, But others were fresh and there were lots of aha moments.

Fun solve

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

It's sure nice to have one definite answer in a grid like this, which for me was TESSA from Gondoliers. I was in a light opera company in college that did Gondoliers last year. Ran through the names (Casilda, nope, Tessa, yes, Gianetta, definitely not) and inked it in. I definitely won't finish the grid, but it's nice to get one.

thursdaysd 10:14 AM  

This was especially enjoyable after my difficulties the last couple of days. I don't usually like referential clues, but found these enjoyable. Even useful, as I solved a couple of the reveal answers before filling the related circles.

I was another hanging on to ACUity far too long, but I dredged up NISI from remembered references to divorce decree nisis in period English detective stories, and thought TIVO cleverly clued - although I had no idea what AVES was doing (ah, Bing says it is indeed the class of birds).

Rather too many proper nouns for my taste (ALOU! TESSA! STEVE!) but I got lucky. I did keep trying to fit in Lake Geneva, wondering if Genev could possibly work, before getting LEMAN - and it is a lovely, if expensive, area.

jberg 10:40 AM  

Yeah, I liked TIVO too - but not RETOTAL (73A) or HIDER (76A) the latter because the clue is so weird.

This was easy for me once I saw the gimmick. As soon as I got enough crosses to see, e.g., SP__T, I could say, 'ah, split- does BANANA fit? Right!" and then fill in the circles. It would have been tougher, and more satisfying, without the circles -- i.e., "see some letters in 76- 109-Down" Maye that would have been too weird, though.

@Rex, I can't imagine Odets putting characters on stage in their underwear! Joe ORTON was an Angry Young Man, so it was right up his alley.

Eric 10:59 AM  

Enjoyable. Major gripe was the clue best___ . I assumed if the answer were to be a two word answer it would have had two dashes. Took me forever to figure out the answer was "of all".

poc 10:59 AM  

I'd rate this reasonably good fun but more Medium than Challenging as I actually did it without benefit of the circles (my crossword program doesn't show them), so I also had to figure out what was going on. And only a couple of sports clues, yay!

Lindsay 11:23 AM  

I don't say this often, but I'm sayin' it today ..... What Rex Said.

IL RE? Ick. LUNNS/ENDE? Ick ick ick. AFTRA? What's that F doing in my razor? Or that R doing in my aftershave?

Plus, BOATEL? BOATEL? Self-respecting sea-farers are accommodated in BerThs.

Not to mention, "think" and "think different" are slogans, not mottos. "Vacationland" is a slogan. "Dirigo" is a motto.

That's all. Have a good what's-left-of-the-weekend.

sheryl k 11:31 AM  

Glad others found it hard because I definitely did. Fun, though. Agree that using the same words twice is against my religion - also hated the Boatel. Really?

David 11:34 AM  

fun, fun puzzle. CRACKEDWINDOW was the first theme answer to fall, and from that I got BANANASPLIT off of the B in BAN.

Two problem spots, one major - I basically guessed on LUNNS, it was either LUNNS or LURNS, Lunns sounded better. Whew......

and BORGIA nearly wrecked me, on 4 (!) of the letters. Simply because it fit I initially whipped in BOLEYN. OLE seemed meekly plausible instead of ORE for Rush Igniter, thinking of a bull rushing at the matador or something. NFTRA could be right, I guess? And I just figured GIGLY was spelled that way. But ELERECO wasn't holding up, and it took me a minute to finally flash on EL GRECO, once I got the sandwich board answer. Then the logical other correct letters became clear.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Eric, Two dashes are never used for two words when part of a phrase is missing. At least, I don't think so. In the puzzles themselves, there is no indication of the number of words in an answer, so there wouldn't be one in the clues either, usually.

Loved Il re, even though it's a partial. (Don't mind partials, anyway.) What's ugly to one is beautiful to another. It was Il re that pulled me in. I wanted to wait to do the puzzle on the train tomorrow, because I'm supposed to be busy today. But the Mozart opera clue was not to be delayed. "Re" means "king." Fun puzzle, although I didn't complete the lower-right corner.

None X 12:01 PM  

I thought this was very clever. I'm with the others on "aves"

In England, which is fairly class conscious, there are 'aves and 'ave nots, with the 'aves being the upper class.

Mel Ott 12:21 PM  

LUNNS/ENDE got me.

Don't mind circles, but I really hate cross-referenced clues.

Anonymous 12:35 PM  


Those with no droppings in Soho?

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Could someone explain "Lie" in 51 Across?

Rex Parker 12:50 PM  

Absolutely positively cannot be 'AVES (vs. 'AVE NOTs). Clue would have to signal that elision, and it doesn't. I considered that possibility for half a second, then discarded it.

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

Anon, that's LIE as in "That's nothin' but a pack of LIEs".

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

Am I crazy or are you? There is no PIS in this puzzle! I've spent WAY too much time looking for I after seeing two people reference it and not remembering it.

slypett 1:15 PM  

For long, forlorn I wandered in the Slough of Despond. I experienced hellish despair. I wondered if there were a way out, and, if there were, would I find my way to it? Gradually the fog parted and I was able to find the path to blessedness--only to be felled by dragon ENDE/LUNNS.

Karen 1:16 PM  

@retired chemist: they call all colas Coke in Atlanta because the Coca Cola company is headquartered there. They wouldn't have it any other way :-)

ronald krauss 1:17 PM  

what are the 71 down answers?

Stan 1:28 PM  

@imsdave: I believe Andrea has named this phenomenon a 'malapop' (wanting a word one place in the puzzle and then having it turn up somewhere else). Ours was HIGH for Dry's partner...

rosette 1:41 PM  

Thank you, Rex, for explaining "PIS" and "AVES" - I had them filled in but didn't understand why they were right.

David 1:46 PM  

@anonymous 1:08, check out 47 Down - Some tails, for short...

@ronald krauss, there are 71 clues in the puzzle whose answers go Down...

syndy 1:58 PM  

Okay you all didn't hate it so I gave it another shot and finished it! and I still hate it! all that work and the payoff is you get to repeat the same words? kill me now! GOD knows the BORGIAS had a lot of enemies but the MEDICI? NO! NO! not friends but NO!ROVERE okay pretty much any Family in the Romania YUP! Pardon me if I vituperate.

Lewis 2:05 PM  

Totally agree with Lindsay. Boatel is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen.

retired_chemist 2:18 PM  

@ Karen - I know. But it isn't only colas. "What kind of coke do y'all want? Ah just put the Fanta in the cooler but the 7-up is cold already."

WesIsland 2:53 PM  

The trouble with doing these puzzles in Hawaii (I know, insert world's smallest violin here), when it's now already 3pm on the East Coast, is finding something clever or new to say on this Comment's site.

Both Rex's write-up and the above comment string seem particularly good today to me and I was OK with the puzzle with noted exceptions.

Great way to start the day...thanks everyone, Rex and Pamela.

retired_chemist 3:09 PM  

@ WESISLAND - do them the night before. The puzzles come out at 10 PM Eastern time, which I think is 5 PM your time.

nasafemme 3:12 PM  

Hated it. Would have been easier on paper, but no fun at all on the iPad.

Lewis 3:12 PM  

Never would have completed this one without Uncle Google, and Rex, your writeup made me laugh out loud today.

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

Unusual situation where I think there are 2 correct solutions:
89D picker / picked
117 RNA / DNA

Rube 4:05 PM  

HTG this toughie, mostly because I get impatient doing some of these long Sunday puzzles. Had high before WASH, ACUity before ACUMEN, and BLISS before BLESS among others. Since ended up with ENDi, had a technical DNF. Did get the theme early on and it definitely speeded up the solve, but still took a long time.

I think I've seen GIGLI in a xword before and the same comments about how crummy a movie it was were made. Went back to look at SALESROOM several times before I got it. Kept thinking baseball or ewers. Shouldn't the clue have been "Lac ___" as LEMAN is, I believe, what the French call it while everyone else calls it Lake Geneva.

Still, did enjoy the puzzle.

WesIsland 4:14 PM  

Thanks for the idea @retired_chemist, but I MUST do puzzles when I first wake up.

And we are six hours behind NYC in the summer.

mac 4:17 PM  

This seemed a slog when I started out, but then, poof, it was done. Had some write- or think-overs on the way: etat for etui (thought they might be government CDs), bull pit for bear pit, and dare (as in a card game?) and Ressa.

I think I would have like it better if the circled words and the corresponding part of an answer had been different, synonyms. I like boatel, just happen to love that kind of play on words.

46D should have said Lac ...., Swi... etc. The English Lake asks for "Geneva". It's not called Lake Leman. This makes me think of Anita Brookner's "Hotel du Lac" and the film with Charlotte Rampling. Both great.

JenCT 4:43 PM  

@syndy: LOL "kill me now."

@Rex: LOL "A techie would, presumably, hang out anywhere there was a computer, or energy drinks and Cheetos."

Having baked Sally Lunn bread maybe 100 times, I actually spelled it LUND. D'oh!

Avatar is my first Monarch hatch of the season.

Challenging for me. After the last three days, I'm ready to give this xword thing up. (Not really, but I hope Monday is a goodie...)

Shamik 5:02 PM  

Medium-challenging at 22:24 and was ambivalent until I read the comments. Sometimes it's ok to just get the fill on crosses and not let your mind dwell on it. But then Anonymous 8:33 wrote that "Rush igniter" was ORE. I've gone from shrugging to mild annoyance. No gold rush was ever ignited by hearing that ORE was found. This one's a stretch and I tour about the Klondike gold

The Seattle newspaper in July 1897 did not read "Ore! Ore! Ore!" when 68 miners disembarked with over two tons of gold.


slypett 5:03 PM  

mac: I love Charlotte Rampling. Ever since I saw her in "The Swimming Pool", I just swoon for her.

tiongin: all this remonds me of is the Tonkin Resolution--the single most hateful piece of legislation in my generation.

Sparky 5:11 PM  

I've been in Florida for a week and lost the knack. Fri. and Sat. disaster. Spent yesterday solving Sunday, July 24: Nine baseball themes--arrgh.

This morning, when I saw circles and double number cross refs, not happy. Filled in a little bit; I think CURIE my first entry. Almost just chucked it. Went back and got it when CRACKED WINDOW meant 6D could not be high. My ah hah moment. After that kind of fun noodling back and forth, little by little it fell.

On the whole I prefer a puzzle where I don't need an extra sheet of paper to keep track of things.

Enjoyed write up and comments. It's good to be back y'all.

retired_chemist 5:29 PM  

@ WESISLAND - got it. My compulsion is to do them the night before, while non-puzzle wife is catching up on CSIs (14A) among other similar fare.

Did. Not. Know. that you didn't have DST (67A).

captcha chigrad = A U. of Chicago alum.

mac 5:37 PM  

Welcome back, Sparky!

Anyone else notice "adamantine" in Maureen Dowd's column?

Anonymous 5:57 PM  

Word of caution for people reading Rex's write-up:

You MIGHT like that exciting guitar part in Beth Orton's "Stolen Car"

You MIGHT read somewhere that it was supplied by Ben Harper

You MIGHT go out and buy a lot of Ben Harper CDs

You WILL be disappointed.

chefwen 6:00 PM  

@WESISLAND On Saturday and Sunday we can download the next days puzzles at noon during the summer, 1 PM during the winter. Makes for a nice leisurely solve for a long Sunday puzzle.

Anonymous 7:37 PM  

Aves is the scientific name for the class of animals known as birds. From it we derive such words as aviate, aviary, aviation, all words having to do with flight or birds. This was also the last cross I filled in by running the alphabet. Once I saw aves Upper Class made sense as a clue for a word meanining a class of animials the flies ie in the upper regions.

Lewis 8:42 PM  


Good point!

Anonymous 9:31 PM  

Not a good point. There is a "separate check" on that square because of the theme. It can only be R.

jburgs 9:47 PM  

Here in Canada we bait bears all the time. It's not torture though rex. You dig a hole four feet deep then criss cross the opening with twigs covered up by leaves and moss. A half dozen Tim Horton donuts are placed in the middle. The look on the bear's face as he tumbles in is priceless. We get a good laugh and he still gets to eat his donuts. We are not allowed to have guns in this country so this is our way of having fun in the wild.

Matt 10:01 PM  

This one was a rough go and I didn't enjoy it very much. A bit too heavy on French as far as I'm concerned. I also really dislike BOATEL; though I see that it's been used in the NYT previously four or five times, it still seems like a made-up word. Not a big fan of SALESROOM either; my first thought was SALESTEAM and I clung to it for quite a while. Even the cluing seemed a little off. "Michael Jordan, e.g." for IDOL? Correct, yes, but there are better clues for that answer.

Sarah 10:56 PM  

A fair amount of Googling on this one: the only Swiss lakes I know are Zurich and Lucerne. HOTROLL felt sort of weak to me, although I did dig the crappy movie subtheme (I would have liked a trifecta with "Hudson Hawk"). To be honest, it felt like a slog.

michael 11:06 PM  

I completely agree with Rex's comments, which is hardly ever the case. A hard Sunday for me, but possible and ultimately enjoyable.

Anonymous 1:10 AM  

Re: RNA/DNA it's very difficult to do the cross-references on an IPhone and DNA/picked seemed perfectly fine until the Well Done failed to appear. Even checking all the individual answers failed to yield the error. Should have noticed the (damn) circle and found the clue that referred to it. That would have required overcoming my innate hatred of cross-references

chefwen 1:15 AM  

@jburgs - What are you going to do next, drive down to Wisconsin and tip a few cows?

smoss11 4:30 AM  

I am surprised that only Matt had the same problem with"salesroom" as I did. I have heard of a sales floor as in a car dealership but a sales room doesn't make much sense.

I also thought that "Lass" (48A)was not clued properly. A lass is a young female and has little to do with a relationship. I might refer to my significant other as "doll" as a term of endearment but if I called her lass, i think she would vituperate.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

I still don't understand 71 down answers. Aren't there 111 DOWN clues? What am I missing here? (other than 40 Down answers)

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

@Anonymous 9:05 - There are only 71 down clues/answers. Count 'em.

Guessed correctly at Lunns, didn't have a clue why "aves" was right until coming here. Otherwise pretty easy, considering that the circled words were all repeated in the answers to the reference clues.

jburgs 10:28 AM  

Re: Chefwen 1:15 am

Do you know when the season opens?

Ol' Man Keith 3:36 PM  

I'm glad I found this blog. I never would have guessed the meaning of PIS, and I think Rex nailed it. (I was stuck on the wacky notion that numerical "Pi" is a distinctly long and never-ending "tail.")
The hardest part of this was having to delay on so many answers until the circled letters came through. I just gave up doing it that way, so made lots and lots of stabs that had to be over-written. But it all came through in the end, so counts as a very satisfactory puzzle.

Frank 8:48 PM  

The PIS answer for "some tails" refers to "private investigators". It's a stretch.


ANON B 9:01 PM  

Don't all you ANONOMI(plural of
anonymous) think it might be a good
idea to attach a distinguishing
letter or number as I do?

Z 9:52 PM  

@anon b et al. - or even go beyond anonymous and give yourself a name.

rain forest 12:56 PM  

Well, on many if not most puzzles, one can pick out a clue or an answer that doesn't sit right. But the venom that some express is ridiculous. This puzzle was difficult in places, as mentioned, but overall the theme and the solving were complementary, and carried off with aplomb. Some Sundays are just a slog--this one was light and lively.

Captcha: opransot Drunk at

Anonymous 1:47 AM  

"Huntee?" Wow. Makes me think of good ol' Edwin Newman ("Why couldn't they catch the escapee? Because he was a fast runnee.") Got AVES with no particular fuss, and everything else in this entertaining puzzle without help, except for the Natick of death at ENDE/LUNNS. I reject the argument of a double correct solution via RNA/DNA. Cherry picked? Cotton picked? Don't think so. Now put PICKER in there and you have two familiar phrases.
I wish, if you're going to include ISAO into yet another grid, take this challenge: put in his last name, AOKI. I'm tired of seeing ISAO. And that goes quintuple for all five of those ubiquitous ALOUs. Why not try a newer family? As they say on ESPN, "Name that Molina." Thanks for playing.

captcha=ingsida: the type of trading that brought down that big insurance company.

Anonymous 2:37 AM  

I don't understand why so many people have difficulty with AVES. The basic Linnean classification is Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species. Thus the Animal Kingdom is actual scientific terminology, not just a turn of phrase. The first division is then chordates (nervous system/spinal cord) and non chordates, and the divisions we all know from our first grade school biology class are Class distinctions--Mammalia, Reptilia, Aves, etc... That's perfectly reasonable science to expect for a Sunday.

That said...really? You have TI_O and the V isn't the first thing you think of given the clue? Really?

Red Valerian 10:30 PM  

I thought this quite challenging, though I am brain-numbed from camping for three nights with my 8-year-old nephew, followed by a visit from my brother (nephew's father), SIL, and other nephew, that entailed my beloved and me sleeping in the basement on an inflatable (well, initially inflated) mattress that chose to deflate slowly as the night wore on.

Was amused at the answer to 44D ("inches for pinches" = flab), though thought some might find it somehow offensive. (Bring it on, Evil Doug! :-) I liked the clue at 55A ("Radii, e.g.") though the answer was not an abbreviation. I was thinking geometry.

Was a little puzzled at 44A as a phrase--things fall apart or fell apart, but when oh when do we say they have fallen apart? (OK, I can see it, but the phrase is more of a stretch than the rest.) Did not like "boatel," even though it gave me a (pained) grin. But I did enjoy the solve.

@jburgs and @chefwen: up/over here on the West Coast of Canada, the bears are offered lattes after they climb out of the pits, and we tip the baristas.

Cary in Boulder 8:04 PM  

It's Thursday and it's taken me this long to finally throw in the towel on this one. Took forever to get a foothold, but too much that was out of my ken. I'm only writing to say THANK YOU, Rex, for the Soul Stirrers clip. That's music that is right down the heart of the plate for me. And I know that the story of "Jesus and the Bear Baiters" must be somewhere in that there bible.

Cary in Boulder 8:05 PM  

It's Thursday and it's taken me this long to finally throw in the towel on this one. Took forever to get a foothold, but too much that was out of my ken. I'm only writing to say THANK YOU, Rex, for the Soul Stirrers clip. That's music that is right down the heart of the plate for me. And I know that the story of "Jesus and the Bear Baiters" must be somewhere in that there bible.

Cary in Boulder 8:05 PM  

It's Thursday and it's taken me this long to finally throw in the towel on this one. Took forever to get a foothold, but too much that was out of my ken. I'm only writing to say THANK YOU, Rex, for the Soul Stirrers clip. That's music that is right down the heart of the plate for me. And I know that the story of "Jesus and the Bear Baiters" must be somewhere in that there bible.

Cary in Boulder 8:06 PM  

It's Thursday and it's taken me this long to finally throw in the towel on this one. Took forever to get a foothold, but too much that was out of my ken. I'm only writing to say THANK YOU, Rex, for the Soul Stirrers clip. That's music that is right down the heart of the plate for me. And I know that the story of "Jesus and the Bear Baiters" must be somewhere in that there bible.

jd1row 12:42 PM  

Thanks to whoever pointed out that although there is a clue for 111 down, there aren't actually 111 down answers, but 71. 30+ years of solving crossword puzzles and I never realized that. Loved this puzzle by the way! Also thrilled to discover this blog. Thank you Rex Parker!

Emma 12:02 AM  

Read through the blogs and agree with most.

Am I the only one who found the author of The Neverending Story's name to be Michael Ende ironic?

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP