Pro-Church of England position / FRI 7-1-11 / Winthrop's affliction Music Man / Title girl 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon / Cousins of blackbirds

Friday, July 1, 2011

Constructor: Chris A. McGlothlin

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position)— word is broken up and rebused across the middle of the grid

Word of the Day: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position) —

Antidisestablishmentarianism [...] is a political position that originated in 19th-century Britain in opposition to proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England, that is, to remove the Anglican Church's status as the state church of England, Ireland, and Wales. // The establishment was maintained in England, but in Ireland the Church of Ireland (Anglican) was disestablished in 1871. In Wales, four Church of England dioceses were disestablished in 1920, subsequently becoming the Church in Wales. // The question of disestablishment of the Church of England is still current, often tied with the position of the English monarch as "Supreme Governor" of the Church (see Act of Settlement 1701). Those who wish to continue the establishment of the Church of England are referred to as Antidisestablishmentarians. (wikipedia)

• • •

Very hard for me. The times I'm seeing right now at the NYT site indicate that it was blisteringly hard for most folks. First off, you're not always looking for a rebus or trick or theme of any kind on a Friday. So there's that. Then there's the fact that it's just hard. I count at least nine answers that I flat-out didn't know (though a handful of those I'd vaguely heard of and could guess at with some crosses). I'm torn between admiring the puzzle (it's tough and memorable and there are some very cool entries and clues) and a general feeling of "I don't get it." Why that word? Why is it broken up? Is splitting or breaking somehow related to the word's meaning (seems a stretch)? Or is it just that this is a famous long word, so why not put it at the center and dice it and stuff it into little squares?

I had a sense early on that there was a rebus involved (at ARK(AN)SAS, actually / 28D: Home of the 42nd U.S. president), but I already had so much of the puzzle done, with no rebus squares in sight, that I figured Clinton must have some other "home" that ends in the same last two letters as his home state. Eventually, the general impenetrability of the center made it clear that something fishy was afoot (is that a mixed metaphor?), and the undeniability of JUST FOR MEN (I mean, once you get to JUST FOR [one blank square], your options are pretty limited) finally tipped me to the letter-cramming gimmick (8D: Popular hair care product).

Fill is pretty solid, except for that ALER / PLAN C (6D: Alternative fallback position) / HAHAHA patch in the NW. My main objection is to the ENTO- / TOE cross (9D: Prefix with -derm / 21A: It may be pinched). Never ever heard of ENTOderm (!?!?!) (is that when your skin is ... on the inside?), and I have never pinched my TOE (stubbed, sure, but not pinched), whereas I pinched my TIE just this morning before heading out to freshman orientation. It's how I get the knot to cinch up right. ENTO- is a terrible bit of fill anyway—don't call attention to it by getting cute with your crosses.

[Warning: some profanity]

Stuff I didn't know:
  • 17A: Florida's ___ Park Race Track (HIALEAH) — Who can forget the THRILLA in HIALEAH!? Classic. (15A: Start of a big 1975 sports event?)
  • 2D: An apostle (PHILIP) — of all the PHILIPs... come on. Boo. Boring.
  • 23A: Winthrop's affliction in "The Music Man" (LISP) — whose what?
  • 38D: Structural piece bent 90˚ along its long dimension (ANGLE IRON) — pfft. Next.
  • 50A: London borough with Wembley Stadium (BRENT) — again ... of all the BRENTs. Boring / obscure.
  • 65A: Chanel fragrance "pour homme" (EGOISTE) — sounds vaguely familiar, but I needed a lot of help from crosses.
  • 39D: Sheet music notations (TABLATURES) — I was trying to make this something like E NATURAL for a while...
  • 13D: Story from Joyce's "Dubliners" ("EVELINE") — never read Joyce. Not a word. Weird, right?
Not the most contemporary of puzzles, but that's OK. At least it has "DARIA," a great and highly underrated cartoon that was technically a spin-off of "Beavis & Butt-head" but is almost nothing like "Beavis & Butt-head" (27A: Title girl in a 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon). Smart, cynical girl trying to survive a modern Riverdale High School (her school's name = Lawndale). Recommended. Is the constructor an older man who really likes his hair, 'cause "A Little DAB'LL Do Ya" and JUST FOR MEN ... that's an odd coincidence.

  • 31A: Like many blog comments, informally (ANON.) — when I realized there might be a rebus in play, I briefly considered that the answer here might be A[NG]RY.
  • 36A: Cousins of blackbirds (GRACKLES) — black with a weird bluish sheen. We get them on our lawn quite a bit.
  • 40A: Creamlike paint shade (EGGSHELL) — big big help. Got this answer off just the final "L"
  • 1A: It often contains "lies" (EPITAPH) — absolutely fantastic clue. Just what a 1-Across clue should be. I also enjoyed 60A: Mama grizzly, south of the border (OSA). Are there grizzlies in Mexico?
  • 66A: Astronaut's favorite dessert? (MOON PIE) — piece of cake, just like the entire SE corner. Weird contrast to rest of the puzzle.
  • 26D: Class with Browning and Golding, say (ENGLISH LIT) — those of you horrified at my non-Joyce-reading will be happy to know that a. this clue was transparent, b. I've read both the authors mentioned, and c. I know enough about ENGLISH LIT to know that there is no one class that would feature both these writers (unless the topic of that class is "random books I pulled off my shelf"). Further, the first man who came to mind when I saw "Golding" was not the "Lord of the Flies" guy, but the Renaissance translator of Ovid. Arthur Golding. You heard me.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


PurpleGuy 12:24 AM  

@Rex - it's broken up by syllables, which I think is ingenious. Even if I didn't care for the puzzle as a whole.
Gotta love LISP crossing ETHELS an PHILIP. Makes me think of a scene from "On Golden Pond." Ethel Thayer.

Shanti -

Mark Murphy 12:52 AM  

I just barely remembered EVELINE (though I had it EVALINE at first); it's a female character's name.

In "The Music Man," Winthrop (played by Ronny Howard in the movie version) is the little brother of the main female character. Winthrop is very shy because of his LISP, so Professor Harold Hill teaches him the song "Gary, Indiana," the lyrics of which consist (mostly) of words that don't have the "s" sound.

Anonymous 1:21 AM  

Pinching your toe is what happens in pointy toed high heels. We can safely assume, based on his comment, that Rex has never worn them.

Anonymous 1:27 AM  

It's possible that there used to be grizzlies in Mexico. Here in San Jose, CA (at least in the mountains five miles away, there used to be grizzlies, but they were all killed off long ago. Too many people, and the grizzlies didn't have guns and the people did. Perhaps the same was true a few hundred miles south in Mexico, though it does seem kind of hot for bears there. Somehow I associate bears with cooler temperatures????

I skip M-W 2:06 AM  

I got antidisestablishmentarianism eventually (learned to spell it in fifth grade) but still, DNF, because of NE, specifically Just for Men (never heard of it) Daria, (same, had Maria) and ento (had ecto) was too lazy to see jeweler, unitive (never heard of this either, come to think of it. read Dubliners, but only remember "the Dead' but did get Eveline from crosses....
rest was hard but not impossible

jae 2:58 AM  

So that's what ANTI..... means.

Looked for a MEN rebus for a while.

Finally got it with (AN)GLEIRON.

@I skip - I went from ENDO to ECTO to ENTO when UCITIVE made no sense.

I liked this one a lot. It was clever, unexpected for a Fri., and a real challenge.

antidisest Cablish Mentarianism 4:31 AM  

enjoyed the struggle...

Did Winthrop have a liMp or LiSp?

Why does PHILIP have only one L?

Who is ETHEL Roosevelt?

Favorite moment was how smooth Jostled/ELBOWED felt, tho the AHA
(Actually ONE)
Moment was trying to make YESES and PARTISAN work.

HAHAHA and MOONPIE were my TOEholds.

Speaking of pinched TOEs, interesting that TOE is the girl answer, TiE is the boy answer. Whose answer is ASS? Italians?

Anyway, felt proud to finish, even tho I missed ALEd/ square got me again...I didn't check and I'd never have known sans Rex. No Happy Pencils for us paper people.

Anonymous 6:32 AM  


SethG 7:06 AM  

SW corner, that was the hard one.

TIL and JEWELER and UNITIVE and DABLL from the clues alone, everything else I had crosses. EPITAPH was indeed awesome.

Glimmerglass 7:41 AM  

@Rex: Joyce is mostly hard and sometimes inaccessible (Finnegan's Wake), but Dubliners is very readable and accessible. Eveline is a good story, but not by any means the best one in the collection. Give it a try, you'll like it. @Iskip: I learned to spell ANTIDIS. . . in about fifth grade, too. The rumor was that it's the longest word in English (untrue, I think), so spelling it was cool (to a fifth grader). Loved DABLL and the clue for EPITAPH. Great puzzle! The missing pieces in the down crosses slowly revealed the gimmick at 38A (like a slow-growing dawn in the mountains. Note: my word verification is actually a word (colitis). I guess that mist happen once in a while.

shrub5 7:41 AM  

Very clever! Had bits of the puzzle done (top and bottom areas) before figuring out something rebus-y must be going on in the center. I realized the AN in ARKANSAS had to go into one space. That helped me get RADISH, then YESES. Guessing EGGSHELL and GRACKLES with little to go on really helped me crack this open. Eventually hacked out the rest of the puzzle but it took a looooong time. Amazing construction!

DLB 8:03 AM  

One error for me. West Virginia had to be WVA and TABLATARE which for those like me ignorant of music seemed fine.

David L 8:17 AM  

Challenging indeed! Despite what Purple Guy says, I don't see the logic for the way the big word (I'm too irked to spell it out again) is broken up -- even if it's done syllabically, you can argue about where to make the syllable breaks.

The NE corner was rough. ENTODERM is supposedly a less favored alternative to ENDODERM, which is obscure to begin with. Then UNITIVE and EVELINE... I put in THEDEAD for the Joyce story, that being the one that came to mind first (great movie by John Huston some years ago).

Is EGGSHELL really a paint shade? I think of it as a finish, along with satin, gloss, flat etc.

captcha: bonsiest -- what this puzzle wasn't, IMO.

joho 8:27 AM  

Wow. I'm in astonishmentarianism that I finished this sucker.

I sort of figured it out at ARK(AN)SAS, but didn't write in anything until I got (AN)GLEIRON. Then quickly came PAR(TI)SAN and RA(DIS)H. I changed ayES to Y(ES)ES and then wrote in the total word which really helped me to get LIBERAL(ISM) and the NE corner which was the hardest part of the puzzle for me. DARIA/ EVELINE was almost a Natick, but I got it right.

Wow. Thank you , Chris McGlothlin, for a tough, tough Friday challenge which I loved!

No BS 8:29 AM  

What fun! This for some reason was an "Easy" for me. Must be the boomer age-group. Like the other commenters above who learned the word in 5th grade or so, I ran into the word as an urban legend among the 8-10 year old crowd: what's the longest word in the Enlish language? The game was to know it and to be able to spell it in a rapid, sing-song fashion, ala Mississippi (earlier in life). Later for some odd reason I found out sort of what it meant, as Rex illuminates in the write-up. Doing the puzzle the word came to mind early on, though it seemed impossible to fit. Obviously it wasn't.

A slight cavil about this brilliant puzzle (in a brilliant week of puzzles) is that as I understand it, eggshell is not a shade, but a finish texture, like gloss, flat, or matte. Creamlike color with an eggshell finish is a common combination, but not a necessary one.

Smitty 8:35 AM  

Good one...

What stumped me was the fact that all the multi-letter answers were in a row after almost the rest of the puzzle was filled in.
.. Made me doubt that ANgle iron was correct...once I got ArkANsas, it made sense.

I didn't like TOE either, Rex.

Wanted DARMA before I read cartoon.

LEAVES before i got "pads"

Squalled was a weird clue for CRIED

PLAN C was fair I guess because plan B would have been redundant (alternate fallback) but I missed it.


r. rauschenberg 9:19 AM  

Eggshell is both a color and a type of finish.

The color eggshell is a representation of the average color of a chicken egg. Since the color of chicken eggs may vary between pale brown and white, this color is an average between those colors, closer to white than pale brown since more chicken eggs are white than are pale brown.
The source of this color is: ISCC-NBS Dictionary of Color Names (1955)--Color Sample of Eggshell (color sample #92).

source wikipedia

retired_chemist 9:22 AM  

HTG. After about half. Knew ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM, rejected it because there was not enough space. Refused to consider a Friday rebus, despite being "sure" of 24D PARTISAN and 28D ARKANSAS and knowing the grid was one letter sort on each.

Hand up for falling for the PLAN B(C) trap, never having heard of a NATAL chart, not knowing EVELINE and DARIA, not knowing who the AL team in the 2008 World Series was, not knowing EGOISTE, and thinking UNITIVE, TOE, and ENTO suck.

I was not on this constructor's wavelength. Not even close. My pleasure at the good fill (of which there was a goodly amount) did not outweigh my frustration and consequent irritation at the puzzle overall.

jackj 9:24 AM  

Be still my heart; two beauties in a row!

Lots to like in this one, especially JUSTFOR(MEN) and EPITAPH, (which, per the men's hair dye's commercials you needn't fret about if you use their product).

It became obvious something fishy was going on with the Clinton residence clue. ARKANSAS was a letter too long and Chappaqua was a non-starter but, when PAR_SAN on the left hinted it only needed the TI it also showed that the abutting RA_H was ready for the salad if one just DIS(sed) it.

And, ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM reared its familiar head and there were huzzas all around for Chris McGlothlin's creation.

There's no complaining about the word; every elementary school student could (can?) smugly spit out the word at the drop of a hat.

Another reminder why the Times puzzles are the best!

jackj 9:25 AM  

Be still my heart; two beauties in a row!

Lots to like in this one, especially JUSTFOR(MEN) and EPITAPH, (which, per the men's hair dye's commercials you needn't fret about if you use their product).

It became obvious something fishy was going on with the Clinton residence clue. ARKANSAS was a letter too long and Chappaqua was a non-starter but, when PAR_SAN on the left hinted it only needed the TI it also showed that the abutting RA_H was ready for the salad if one just DIS(sed) it.

And, ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM reared its familiar head and there were huzzas all around for Chris McGlothlin's creation.

There's no complaining about the word; every elementary school student could (can?) smugly spit out the word at the drop of a hat.

Another reminder why the Times puzzles are the best!

mary 9:27 AM  

I'm feeling brilliant to have figured this out. And how else could you have fit antidisestablishmentarianism into the puzzle if you didn't break it up

jackj 9:27 AM  

Sorry; it doesn't need repeating. Maybe Rex can broom one of them.

hazel 9:59 AM  

I love love love this rebus twist. Very cool puzzle, what with all of its inferrable exotica. Plus BLOOPS MOONPIE DABLL HAHAHA LALA JUSTFORMEN - good times. Not a lot of stewing on this one so my time was well below my Fri. average. Go me! (the EGOISTE)

chefbea 10:12 AM  

Had no idea it was a rebus til I came here. Knew Just for men but it wouldn't fit. Of course I had plan B.
Sooo...Chef was the last word I got.

JayWalker 10:37 AM  

Sorry, but I have to come down on the side of: I hated this puzzle. No equivocation. No hesitancy. No mercy. I hated it.
Can I make that any clearer? Oh yes . . . I see: I HATED IT.

Jon88 10:49 AM  

Slight inelegance: The syllabification is wrong. But had they gone with the correct TAR/I near the end, that would have meant a rebus square with only one letter in it. Apparently somebody thought that would be worse.

jesser 11:09 AM  

I got ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM, but the puzzle still kicked my keister. At 44A, I had ibID, and that sucked, because I never let go of it despite knowing that TABLbTARaA could NOT be right for 39D. I don't know from ladies' perfumes, so I forgive myself for the 65A final letter. And I was Naticked as all get out at the intersection of 27A and 13D, which was complicated greatly by my having mysteriously assigned 8 RooKs to a chess board. I must have been drinking and seeing double. Ack. The other writeover was bHEF to CHEF at 25A, and I only made that change reluctantly and because I had to and because there was no choice and because I had to do *something* right in this puzzle. I need a MOON PIE.

Lindsay 11:37 AM  

Liked it.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the extreme misdirection (to me, anyway) at the beginning of the rebus. I mean, Church of England = Anglicanism, but once I mashed "angl" together in square #38, ANGLE IRON wasn't long enough to work going down. And no, I didn't have EGG SHELL in place, because here in Maine, eggs are typically brown.

Nearly got naticked at the Eveline/Daria crossing, but survived. On the other hand I had WVA at 56A crossing TABLA TaRES 'cuz what do I know from Latin?

Have a good weekend Rexonians.

David 11:57 AM  

A Friday-themed puzzle has stumped me before, ala the Friday April 1st offering, but I'm a very happy customer today. I got this one, and only because I have been familiar with the word ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM for years, just from curiously looking up long multi-syllabic words in the dictionary.

That said, it took a while to get there. I wanted LIBERALISM and ARKANSAS on the East end of the clue, and I had already tried to write in PARTISAN before discovering that AAH! it didn't fit....I also wanted RADISH and YESES, on the West end, so 5 north-south clues in the middle that were just not quite adding up told me something was going on thematically.

UNITIVE reminded me of EASEFUL (yuk), I wanted MEASURES for TABLATURES early on, had INA for ONE moment for a long time, which well hid ENROOTS (never heard of it) and INFESTS, which should've been easier.

Loved THRILLA for the 1975 sporting event and EGOISTE too (recalling some very loud ladies screaming EGOISTE!! over and over again in some provocative and scary TV ads)

Happy 4th!

OldCarFudd 12:15 PM  

WOW! What a beauty! Although I had the same error as
DLB. That matters not a whit - this was brilliant.

Sparky 12:18 PM  

DNF. Practically did not start. Had seven words. Put in The Dead for Joyce saw it was wrong but never went beyond RESOAKS in that corner. Actually thought of ANTIDIS... right away but since it wouldn't fit tried DIS... without the anti. Had a large patch of SE including MOONPIE, which I liked. Got my cranky pants on and said "I say it's spinach and I say to hell with it." I should have tried harder. (Or Googled.) I hope to have recovered my cool by tomorrow.

PuzzleNut 12:29 PM  

Loved it, but only because I was able to conquer it. Otherwise, I'm sure I would have been much harsher in my evaluation.
My solving experience was very similar to Rex today. Got the SW quickly, and knew ARKANAS, but didn't realized it was misspelled. That gave me ein for LES, which tells you something of my foreign language skills.
After that, things slowed down considerably. Had EGGSHELL and LALA penciled in lightly and uVa helped me with VOTE.
JEWELER in the NE saved my bacon and STROBES was just enough to crack that dicey area. Of course, LIBERALS seemed OK, so I was still looking for a MEN rebus. Had the LIT part of 26D and thought perhaps they were BRIT authors for quite a while.
NEVER heard of HIALEAH, but the crosses were kind.
Loved Rex's phrase that something fishy was afoot. My breakthrough was ANGLEIRON (which I "knew" early on, but discarded because it didn't fit). That was about the time I saw that ARKANAS was misspelled and I had my hAHAha moment.

syndy 12:35 PM  

Put me in the LOVED IT column-went ANGLE IRON nailed the rebus I had seen enough to get ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM and that answered any number of questions-of course I had write overs PAWN/RANK;ANY/INA?ONE=POPULAR(when PARTISAN wouldn't fit!26 d and 59d (CLASSY) a little pointed but hey!.JUST A LOVELY ELEGANT PUZZLE (Just painted my hallway in EGGSHELL in EGGSHELL)

Nick 12:58 PM  

MOON PIES. What a time to be alive.

Otherwise I got nothing. Gave up less than halfway through. This was seriously abusive.

Dan 1:11 PM  

Could someone please tell me how to enter multiple letters in one square on the NYT's "play against the clock" site? Thanks!

Blue Stater 1:15 PM  

I'm with JayWalker... hated it, hated it, hated it. Full of nonwords, naticks, a rebus on a non-trick day, ad infinitum. Definitely in the running for Worst Evah.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:39 PM  

Wow. Just, wow.

Great puzzle; loved it.

I will admit that I considered ESTABLISHED for 38 A, but didn't put it in since nothing crossed correctly.

acme 1:39 PM  

Shocked to see some of the negativity just based on the fact that it was unexpected to have a rebus on a Friday! SO I'd like to pop back in here for a second.

I see your Worst Evah and IRAISE as one of the best ever! It was very Patrick Blindaueresque with the middle line thing happening...

Just to even think of putting ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM in a puzzle is fabulous fabulous fabulous.

And I loved how the cluing skewed back and forth between men and women...

JUSTFORMEN, A little DABLL do ya, EGOISTE, pinched TOE, EGGSHELL as a color balanced the whole ALER, RAY, THRILLA, BLOOPS (I felt all clever with popuPS), WVU thing!

ANON B 1:40 PM  

There are no emus in the U.S. but we have a word for them.

TimJim 1:45 PM  

Gave up after finishing NW and SE, and after seeing the solution, I'm glad I did! Wish it had been on a Sat. so I could've had more time to grapple with it.

quilter1 1:46 PM  

Picking up puzzling again after being away and then a week of granddaughter's day camp. DNF today, but could only work on it a few minutes at a time. Got most of it except the middle which stopped me cold. Never suspected a rebus.

I'll comment on the Van Gogh headstone. He had an older brother who died before he was born, also named Vincent. Since his father's parsonage was next to the churchyard, every day the poor kid had to walk past a headstone with his name on it. Plus his mom always told him his brother Vincent was better than he was. No wonder the poor soul went mad.

Tomorrow promises to be a slower day, with time to solve.

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

I learned it as ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANIStically (in the manner of one opposed to the separation of church and state). Six letters longer, so there!


See 31A 1:51 PM  

Started in the SW corner and was sure that 39D was tablature. (Measures is the only other musical term I can think of that ends in URE and that was obvious wrong.) When Arkansas confirmed my feeling that the puzzle involved rebuses, the rest came quite easily. One of the better Friday puzzles.

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

As someone who just barely finishes most Friday puzzles, after reading this, I'm happy I didn't spend too much time on it. Never suspected a rebus on a Friday, which I would have on a Thursday, since so many logical answers didn't fit. I am in awe of those of you who finished it!

Anonymous 2:28 PM  

I finish Friday puzzles maybe 20 percent of the time. Not only did I finish this, I was delighted by it. Antidisestablishmentarianism is funny, because this is the one and only time in my life I will see it in a crossword puzzle, and I thought that was adorable.

jberg 3:08 PM  

Somebody already asked, but again, who was Ethel Roosevelt? Was she married to Fred?

I don't know what a TTOP is, either - my late Honda didn't have one, for sure.

Loved the puzzle, a great experience solving it. I looked at 38A, said "that should be ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM, that obviously won't fit, but I can make a joke about it on the blog" - then, like everyone else it seems, was led by ARKANSAS to see that something funny was going on with that line, and finally noticed that the joke was serious.

Is that really a rebus, though? Up to now, I though a rebus was where you put the same letter combination in more than one square. Whatever it was, though, it was clever! And it was the middle of the puzzle, legitimate to have it be a one-off. (Since I started with ENGLIsh at 26D, the other middle, I at first thought that you were supposed to take a right turn there, but that was asymmetrical so I didn't pursue the idea.)

So you can get EGGSHELL in satin or glossy? Or EGGSHELL eggshell? Weird.

The other weird thing was that, like Rex, I had no idea who Winthrop was, but has LI already and thought "well, a LISP is the only affliction that will fit." Luckily, LImP never occurred to me.

I did like the hair care theme, even though I no longer have enough of the stuff to care for.

Scott 3:10 PM  

Am I really supposed to believe someone solved this in 5:27? Couldn't you just look up the solution, turn on the timer and type it in then? I've seen times on some days that are so fast there's no way you could even READ all the clues that quickly.

jae 3:10 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle from yesterday. Thanks for checking on EVO (I have no idea how to do that) and confirming what I thought.

chefbea 3:17 PM  

Just came back from lunch at a cute restaurant that also has a gift shop selling games, candy etc from the past. Sitting on one counter as we walked in was a box of Moon Pies!!! I kid you not.

Eugene 3:24 PM  

Actually, Dan Feyer solved it in 4:42. Yesterday's took him 2:25. And last Sunday's? Over 5 minutes!

By 3 seconds.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:09 PM  

@jae - To see if an answer has been used before, how many times, and by what clue:

1. Go to Rex's list of Other Crossword Sites to the right of his daily write-up

2. Click on Xword Info (last on the list)

3. At that site, click on Clue and Answer Finder in right-hand column.

Also look around Xword Info for tons of interesting stuff.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:11 PM  

I actually considered that "Winthrop's affliction" could be LOVE. In a musical, it makes a certain sense!

long suffering mets fan 4:14 PM  


Mostly good cluing, but the twist with the rebus in the middle broken up by syllables -- BRAVO

light finally went off with RA__ "salad tidbit" with what I was 90% sure was the H in eggshell at the end

thanks for a real winner, Chris

Z 4:22 PM  

I don't know Dan, but, WOW.

Just like yesterday, I finished the NW and SE fairly easily and then slogged through the rest. First thought on 1A was some sort of golf traps, but the HAHAHA/EPITAPH light went on. MOONPIE/LOSTIT opened up the SE for me.

JEWELER went down immediately, but the whole NE came three letters at time, UNI----, DAR--, ELO (three letter rock group is now automatically ELO for me) until STROBES occured to me.

Like others, ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM was my first thought. "Obviously wrong" so I followed by trying various antipapacy configurations. JUSTFORMEN got me in finally. ARKANSAS never occurred to me like it did for others as I was trying to come up with some ranch for Bush I or II.

For future reference, Ethel R. was Teddy and Edith's youngest daughter and was known as The Queen of Oyster Bay (thanks wikipedia).

I fall in the "really like this puzzle" group.

jae 4:35 PM  

@Bob K. Thanks.

Cheerio 4:56 PM  

I loved this puzzle even though it was too hard for me. I was happy just with "eptitaph" and "moonpie."

The theme is great on so many levels. One might argue that the Anglican Church began life as establishment opposition to establishment. (I hope that comment is not offending - it's not meant to be, but could be ignorant.)

Tobias Duncan 5:03 PM  


DNEFCCTF this puzzle
I need a nap...

sanfranman59 5:05 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 32:36, 25:58, 1.26, 88%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 20:54, 12:46, 1.64, 99%, Challenging

Based solely on the online solve times, this is more like a Saturday than a Friday, but it's probably not going to finish the day as a total outlier. I found it to be quite challenging, but generally fair. Any time I can finish a Friday that Rex rates as challenging is a banner day for me. I dredged up endoderm and exoderm from the recesses of my mind, but ENTOderm didn't come easily. And the ANGLEIRON/EGOISTE/BRENT section gave me trouble. Being an amateur musician, I was embarrassed at how long it took me to see TABLATURES. I confidently wrote in 'measures' and stubbornly held on to it for way too long. EVELINE and NATAL were complete WTFs for me, but that's not surprising as literature and astrology are definitely not my strong suits.

chefbea 5:24 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle thanks so much for mentioning the xword info. Loved seeing the fotos of all the constructors. Now I can put a face with the name

Don Byas 5:56 PM  

Loved this puzzle.

Alan 2:21 AM  

One of the few answers that seemed certain on my first pass was 38A Anglicanism. I never recovered from that heresy.

sanfranman59 2:41 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 7:18, 6:52, 1.06, 76%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 8:40, 8:55, 0.97, 49%, Medium
Wed 13:34, 11:53, 1.14, 84%, Challenging
Thu 17:35, 19:04, 0.92, 40%, Medium
Fri 32:20, 25:52, 1.25, 87%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:48, 3:40, 1.04, 67%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 4:28, 4:35, 0.97, 48%, Medium
Wed 6:27, 5:52, 1.10, 78%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 8:29, 9:13, 0.92, 42%, Medium
Fri 20:30, 12:46, 1.61, 99%, Challenging (2nd highest median solve time of 107 Fridays)

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

What - no link to "RC Cola and a Moonpie"?

Couldn't find NRBQ's verison on YouTube here:

CypressRebel 12:11 PM  

Loved this puzzle. Thought Arkansas and radish should squeeze in and when I had C_ _ D for squalled, I knew CRIED had to go there some way. SE corner was actually last place finished because I had INA vs ONE and DOREME down for moolah, because that is the way Baus has it spelled under money DO-RE-ME, so didn't pay attention to mispelling of ENFEST "til" I saw someone talk about INFEST. Bah Baus! Still, loved this puzzle.

Anonymous 2:57 AM  

I loved this puzzle!!! It was a complete delight.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

Wanted "YESES" and "PARTISAN" and "CRIED", but had written "LIBERALs" and "ayES" and "ENGlISH", so it took me awhile to see the rebus, until I was sure enough of"ARKANSAS" to get it right.

Even that took some time, as I kept thinking Pres 42 was Bush not Clinton, and wanted ---texAS there...

Found it perhaps more straightforward than most once I tumbled to the rebus.

Benjamin Michael Bledsoe 8:54 PM  


As a member of The Episcopal Church (the US branch of Anglicanism), I took no offense, and you're pretty correct actually. Anglicanism began when Henry VIII broke with the Pope, declaring himself to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England, in order to grant himself a divorce. Can't get much more establishment than the King of England or the Bishop of Rome.

captcha: trisp - a triple LISP

Anonymous 12:32 PM  

Did no one yet point out that Bill Clinton was not the 42nd president?? GHWBush was...

Bob Kerfuffle 1:15 PM  

@Anonymous 12:32 - In standard reckoning, the Bushes held Presidencies numbers 41 and 43, which leaves 42 for Bill Clinton. As Wikipedia says, "George H. W. Bush
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the 41st U.S. president. For his son, the 43rd U.S. president, see George W. Bush."

JeopardyGeorge 10:55 AM  

It's okay if you don't know from ladies perfume. "Pour homme" is French meaning "for men".

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

Please explain "rank" as the answer to 33 across - one of eight in chess.

Z 1:16 PM  

On a chessboard a row is called a "rank" and a column is known as a "file"

Dan 2:37 PM  

Rex, I am a boomer who like you did not read Joyce; and, unlike you, never watched MTV. I got this puzzle completely correct with no crutches except for the "i" crossing at Daria & Eveline". I put "y" instead. I think it is poor construction to cross names in the first place. It is doubly poor to cross two obscure names. This puzzle was fun;, but overuse of names, foreign languages, and other obscure media trivia lessens my enthusiasm. These are to be, after all, cross"word" puzzles. Part of my motivation to spend time on them is to enhance my vocabulary. I'd like to see more use of the vernacular and less trivia.
By-the-way, this post is late because our daily paper only publishes the Friday puzzle about a month later.

Waxy in Montreal 3:06 PM  

From the syndicate: if you're ancient like me and remember the sometimes-fixed quiz show the $64,000 Question, then you probably also remember Gloria Lockerman, a 12-year-old Afro-American schoolgirl from Baltimore, who became an overnight sensation by successfully spelling “antidisestablishmentarianism" on the show in 1955. I have no idea if she was fed the answer or not but I do recall that after that virtually everyone learnt the word.

captcha-zooso, apparently the answer from an insecure elephant when you ask him where he lives.

rain forest 4:06 PM  

From out in syndication land--wonderful puzzle. Interesting to see the variety of ways the squished word was uncovered. In my case, I wanted "partisan", "radish", and "yeses", and when I read the clue about the structural piece I said to myself, "that sounds like an angle iron" (good clue I thought), and voila, I saw the entire word, and used the syllables to get the rest of the downs. A few problems in areas where others momentarily faltered, but I was proud to finish with a single write-over (Plan C).

Marc 5:22 PM  

What finally clued me in to the rebus was PARTISAN. I had PA, plus SAN, so what else could it be?

Once I got that, it was obvious where it was going and it broke the puzzle open for me.

Ironically, I started with PAWN for one of eight, and figured they were talking about Clinton's New York home ... but that got cleared up with the rebus.

Hardest part for me was the southeast, as DOREMI makes no sense to me for moolah (I wanted DINERO, but it clearly didn't work.) Finally got it right, though.

A lot of stuff I didn't know, but intuition and lucky crosses made it about average for a Friday, and I finished in my regular time.

Fun puzzle; really liked it.

EverAfter 5:29 PM  

Thanks @jesser and @TobiasDuncan for the hearty haha laughs today and @quilter1 for the sad sort of guffaw about poor Vincent having to pass his own gravestone every day. After struggling through this puzzle for way too long, it helps to have some good release!

Singer 5:47 PM  

The NW was a bear. Didn't know Daria or Eveline. Put Big Star, then B-Lister in for the cameo appearance for ever. Finally figured out Just for Men and Liberalism and it fell into place. I found 3/4 to be pretty easy once I caught onto the rebus trick, which was at Arkansas. I wanted partisan and radish early on, but they didn't fit at first.

Cary in Boulder 5:50 PM  

Cruel and unusual for me today, on so many levels. Overall a head-banging DNF.

ANGLEIRON finally tipped me off to the rebus possibility, but I still couldn't see what it was, even though I do know what ANTIDIS ... means. Having PAWN for "one of eight" helped obscure ARKANSAS. RANK didn't seem right, with me thinking that pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen and king only added up to six. So it's "Rank and file." Huh.

I'm a baseball fan and was thinking it might be Jason BAY, who is an OF'er. In 2008 the team was called the Devil RAYs, so a "for short" would have been in order.

Figured Winthrop's ailment had to be a LIMP. Poker player that I am, this really left me baffled. Also in that devious NW I had SONAR as a fishing tool (it can be). And while I got ETHEL as in the supposed atom spy, nevah hoid of her as a Roosevelt.

I thought the TOE reference might have been a reference to "this little piggie went to market." Can't remember if your toes got pinched or pulled in that one.

Does anyone actually listen to ELO, or do they just flail away in x-words? And finally, in a related word, ... what the hell is ETO and how did Normandy get in it?

Anonymous 6:26 PM  

ETO= European Theater of Operations--of which the Normandy landings were a part

Anonymous 7:19 PM  

Just when I was acquiring a little confidence doing these puzzles - WHAM - back to reality. I felt so much better once I read the blog and found so many others had difficulty. I actually had all the NW and SW but only a couple of answers in the NE and SE. I had ARKANSAS and PARTISAN and kept looking for a rebus but never found this one.

Found this very difficult but have to appreciate the clever construction. BRUTAL indeed!

captcha - codpi - Supper at the coast?

Anonymous 7:38 PM  

Having played Winthrop in "Music Man", LISP is the first thing I filled in. I got the NW and SE corners, then had to cheat before I was able to get the center line. Admirable. Not a fan of "trick" puzzles or rebuses, but this one is not bad.

JZ 11:21 PM  

I thought this puzzle was HARD!! I figured out something was up when I got Rad(is)h, Arka(n)sas and Nat(a)l. I must say, after a terrible work week, this puzzle didn't help much, especially since I didn't start until after 6pm. UGH. Now I am even more exhausted. And if it makes anyone feel better, I majored in science, anatomy and physiology my main focus, and entoderm doesn't ring a bell.

Anonymous 4:22 AM  

Uncle! Olly olly infree! I give! There was no chance for me to get this one. As the Fat Man said: "I quit, Eddie (Chris). I can't beatcha." I might have latched onto it through ARKANSAS, but not only did that not fit--its second letter is not P as in PAWN ("one of eight in chess"), which was indelibly inked in. That fatal error scuttled the whole NE for me, and the SW didn't fare much better. Oh well, I detest ENROOTS anyway. Where are these guys coming up with all these horrible EN-words that nobody ever uses? Bah, I say! Bah humbug!

Captcha=gyroxic: a poisonous pita?

Dirigonzo 7:32 PM  

I don't get the Saturday puzzle so I have an extra day to work on Friday's which is a good thing because I needed two days to figure this sucker out. I won't bore you with the details but even though I knew there was a rebus afoot from JUSTFORMEN I could not for the life of me see how it worked. Finally this afternoon after work, and a couple of beers, I realized that all of the rebus answers were in 38a, and everything fell into place.

Didn't we just have a couple of astronauts mooning us?

Anonymous 8:56 PM  

Killer puzzle, proud to have completed with no errors. Suspected rebus action all along the center when SE filled up without one yet ARKANSAS screamed for one. So I wrote on the top of the paper what I had. I wanted INTERNAL politics and NAVAL chart, so it looked like this:


I could slmost see it, but not quite. Breakthrough began with the A.L. team. RAYS looked likely but I needed a T at the start to get to INTERNAL. I went through every american league team in my head and when I realized I couldn't turn that R into a T I had to think of another kind of politics. PARTISAN! it all fell into place after that. ANGLE IRON, RADISHES, JUST FOR MEN and CRIED all fell at once, then I simply plugged a few holes and had a winner. Yay me.

@ PurpleGuy 12:24 AM
it's broken up by syllables
Isn't ISM two syllables? It is'n, isn't it?


O Cure amp, O Cure amp,
How lovely are your Cure songs

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP