Put down in writing / FRI 8-26-11 / Line in the sand? / 1956 movie monster / Romulus and Remus, to Rhea Silvia

Friday, August 26, 2011

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: REAL EASY. (1A: Like a snap.) Well, not for me, probably for someone.

THEME: none

Word of the Day: INDITED (37A: Put down in writing) —

Indite is an extremely rare indium-iron sulfide mineral, found in Siberia. Its chemical formula is FeIn2S4.

It occurs as replacement of cassiterite in hydrothermal deposits. It is associated with dzhalindite, cassiterite and quartz.[1][2] It was first described in 1963 for an occurrence in the Dzhalinda tin deposit, Malyi Khingan Range, Khabarovskiy Kray, Far-Eastern Region, Russia.[3]

From Wikipedia. Read more here.
• • •

Yah, I did not find this easy at all. I did find the right half of this easy (for a Friday!). My browser actually crashed about 15 minutes into my solve, and when I re-opened it again I filled in this:

My first answer: PICKET LINES. That's good, right? I mean, it's the wrong answer, but it's a pretty good one. (This is for 9A/46D: Strike zones, of course.) Fixed it pretty quickly with TORTE/A-TEAM, and the rest of the NE followed. NEATO/STETS started off the SE, GRAPE APE soon followed, and that was done too. Last to fall on that side was the middle, where I've never heard of the 39A: Deep orangish hue (MARS RED), had no idea how RENTAxxxx would finish, and I had NFL instead of NFC at first.

The West half: much harder. For 15A: Kind of stew (OX TONGUE), I had each of MERINGUE and MELANGUE at one point. Uh, yeah. Well, I said I had some trouble, right? And I wanted LOESS for LOAMS, because my mind for puzzle geology is like that for puzzle music--I can never remember which words are which, so if a word is from the right genre and fits, I go with it. But ATLAS was much better than GLOBE for 3D: What may hold a world of information?, and I eventually came up with REAL EASY and worked my way through the rest.

Last to fall was the SW. I tried about every French spelling I could think of for 43A: Hundred Years' War leader (JOAN OF ARC), without being sure that was even a French thing. I might have guessed South American, maybe 'cause I'm thinking One Hundred Years of Solitude? At least I knew she was French. I wanted ARMADA all along, eventually figured out the very-well-clued-but-I-should-have-seen-through-it-all-along 35A: Give a hand (DEAL IN), and was finally able to flesh out the long downs and finish up.

Oh, by the way, SethG here, sitting in for the vacationing Rex. He's actually vacationing a few miles from my house, so he could write this from my living room if he really wanted, but the man deserves a break. Because he works hard year-round writing this for us, sure, and I and the other guests can attest to the fact that it's not easy and it takes some serious time, but also because he bought me dinner the other night. If anyone else would like to buy me dinner sometime, let me know and I'll sub for you on your blog.

I'll sub for, like, anyone. Even for Brendan Emmett Quigley, who might need a sub for a bit. Read all about the reason, the adorable, 7 pound, 5 ounce, 20 inch long reason, at his most recent blog entry at http://www.brendanemmettquigley.com/2011/08/crossword-361-themeless-wednesday.html. You can solve the puzzle there, too. It's good.

  • 14D: Like Life Savers (TORIC) — Not to be confused with Lightsabers, which are more phallic.
  • 7D/8D: Absolutely! (SURE CAN/YES SIR) — I like it when they use the same clue for different answers, and having them consecutive is a really nice touch. Not so nice: Having it right next to 36A: Think that just maybe one can (DARE TO). At least they avoided having 41A be "Yes We Can" mottoist (OBAMA).
  • Opposites can be nice too, though I like it better when they're actual words I would ever use spelled the way I would spell them. Not so much with 17A: Eye openers? (DILATERS) or 54A: Like pupils that are too small (MIOTIC). These, and I think too much else of the puzzle, feels like words that fit rather than words that were chosen for their word-awesomeness. *cough*ALAMODES*cough*
  • I don't know if 55A: Big, purple Hanna-Barbera character (GRAPE APE) was chosen for awesomeness or not, but GRAPE APE is awesome.
  • 11D: Dollar store? (RENT-A-CARS) — Store can be plural? Or rent-a-car can be a noun? Yeuk.
  • 24D: Tiny amount (WHIT) — How appropriate!

    Every little bit helps. See here for details, or see Whit's page here. And, like GRAPE APE, Whit is awesome too.
  • 56A: Take stock? (INVEST) — This was not RUSTLE. How was this not RUSTLE? This should have been RUSTLE.
  • 33D: Hardly seen at the Forum (RARA) — "Rare", in the language of the Forum. Lotsa question-mark clues today.

  • 44D: Certain foot specialist (ODIST) — When you see "foot", you should think poetry. Anyway, I had an E at the beginning of 44D with my French spellings of JOAN OF ARC, so I guessed ELIOT. In my mind, poetry is also like geology and music. At least I feel bad about the geology part.
Congratulations, BEQ!

Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld


jae 3:17 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alamodes Carla McMichaels 3:19 AM  

He bought you dinner? Damn!
Was it at the State Fair? Was it on a stick?

My usual BEQ=DNF
Struggled for an hour, but never got that MidEast section:

Tried MAgenta, MArroon (I was desperate!) and had RENTAlcar to the bitter end along with NFl. :(

Proudest achievement followed by feeling sick-at-the-thought was OXTONGUE.

Worst early guess for "Like Hollywood": tINselllly

Guessing BEQ's new baby's favorite answer was HAVEATIT.

Boy, is she cute!


operapianist 3:23 AM  

Enjoyed this quite a bit, though I agree-- the western half was *tough*. It didn't help that I had the MI- of the "Like pupils that are too small" clue and tried to make MIDGET the answer. Figured the NY Times would never let that fly, alas; it being BEQ, I was secretly hopeful it was indeed the answer (disagreeing syntax aside...well, I *guess* midget can be an adj, no?).

Also thought COMMUNISM sounded pretty good for ""1984" activity", but was shot down once again. The thought of that as an activity made me smile though.

r.alphbunker 3:53 AM  

Had a real WTF moment with 16D RENTACARS. Shouldn't "Dollar Store" be plural? Maybe it's a typo in the Across Lite version.

And speaking of WTF moments.I think the expression on Tabitha's face indicates that she might of been having one also when the photo was taken. Or is that just a "Where's The Food" expression?

jae 4:00 AM  

I actually had this at very easy. My only write over was VARGAS for RENOIR (it's worth googling VARGAS). I mean, I did both BEQ puzzles this week and they were significantly harder than this one. (BTW congrats to BEQ and Liz on their new daughter TABITHA). Maybe I've done so many BEQ's I'm on his wavelength, but I think this would be a medium at best on his site.

Anyway, a fine but easy Fri. Also, nice write up Seth G

Evan K. 5:29 AM  

As far as RENTACARS go, think of Dollar maintaining a store[room] of the vehicles. So their store is of rent-a-cars.

Actually thought Renegade (41A) was PALIN. You know, because she coined Maverick for McCain. Bah, not quite.

Lots of TORI[C] lately!

dk 7:53 AM  

I came. I saw. I googled. Got Rodan and Grapeape right out of the chute. Quickly followed by the other proper nouns. Did not know Otello but did know Oxtongue. A typical BEQ puzzle pour moi.

As Andrea notes it is State Fair time here in the Mighty Midwest. I have made the County Fair circuit this year. Demolition derbies, truck pulls and pig races... Life is good. Not sure if I will get to the MN fair. But just thinking about food on a stick....

**** (4 Stars) A puzzle to Hone one's skills.

Note: all caps on an iPad is an alienating activity.

GILL I. 8:07 AM  

One day I just might finish a BEQ puzzle - but then again, probably not.
I was a happy camper though for finishing about 2/3rds of the puzzle....yay me!
There were lots of HUH's??? OXTONGUE - Yikes...What happened to Mulligan?
ALAMODE? I thought that was a dollop of ice cream you put on your pie.
MIOTIC - Whaaat? Where's Myopic or myopea or myopii?
GRAPEAPE - Sheesh...What happened to poor ole Barney?
Even though I didn't finish, I enjoyed the blood, sweat and tears.
Congratulations on the adorable baby; let the fun begin!
SethG thanks for the fun write-up; great stand-ins this week.

joho 9:00 AM  

Like @SethG ... LOesS before LOAMS and NFl before NFC. I also had eat before SEE but I did it! Yay, I finished a BEQ Friday puzzle!

Congratulations BEQ and Liz! Tabitha is adorable!

I'm with @Evan K ... what's up with TORIC? It's becoming ubiquitous.

This was far from REALEASY for me, but definitely a lot of fun.

Thanks, Brendan for the solve and, Seth, for the great write up.

Confucious 9:06 AM  

In all of life, the story of a difficult struggle ultimately solved is way more informative than the story of a simple task solved.

JaxInL.A. 9:13 AM  

Fun writ-up, SethG. Thanks for holding down the fort, oh Grand Vizier.

@jae, I thought my contribution to the blog today would be to point out Vargas as the artist of pinch able ladies. If he isn't the author of that quote, he should be.

Otherwise my experience was much like @G.I.Pollas: pleased to get nearly 3/4 thru a BEQ Friday, but foundered in that SE corner. Started with MADE music for 29D Played. Eventually got Joan's English name (insert pic of Amber Tamblyn as Joan of Arcadia), but Too Much I didn't know: INDITED, MIOTIC, EGESTS (not the more common EjEcTS even tho, what, three words end in J, all of Arabic origin?).

@dk, Re caps on iPad: go to Settings: General: Keyboard: Enable Caps Lock. Turn it on, then double-tapping the shift key will lock caps. No idea why they have to make that so hard to find.

This 4am insomnia stinks, but this is a nice way to fill the time.

Eric NC 9:15 AM  

Thanks for the write-up Seth. Good job. Humiliated to realize after reading it that I thought Odist was a foot doctor (podiatrist) that dealt with foot odors. Now will always think poetry as you suggest. Anyway, had it right but only because of the fill.

evil doug 9:18 AM  

Like jae, reallllly thought BEQ would be a Vargas guy. "Seals" worked with that for elite soldiers. Finally fell out of love with those and wrapped up the hurricane strike zone NE.

Egests and eliminates? Appropriate new baby words, and good BEQ imagery to go with oxtongue.


David 9:20 AM  

that was a lot of fun this morning, very smooth puzzle with 1 trouble spot and several tiny writeovers -

Had LOESS at first for LOAMS - fortunately the crosses weren't working and I really wanted DILATERS, so I kinda force fit LOAMS and it worked. Also had CENSURING for CENSORING, which made no sense and could have killed me, as it gave me JUAN vs JOAN, which seemed plausible. Last one was TAPIN for TIPIN - I confused sports, tap ins are "course" gimmes, not "court" gimmes.

I guessed on the R in MARSRED - just didn't hitch onto the Latin for rare as RARA, and didn't flash onto the synergy of RED and MARS. Fortunately, the one other option was MASSRED and RASA. And that was after finally settling on RENTACARS vs RENTACART.

Impressed that others who have posted so far knew GRAPEAPE! I got that one with no crosses, being an avid Saturday AM cartoon watcher many years ago, and thought that would give people a lot of difficulty.

And it felt weird to write in ELIMINATE as the synonym to WASTE. I've grown so accustomed to the phrase "eliminate waste".

Wade 9:22 AM  

The YESSIR/SURECAN pairing messed me around a bit, because i had Sure "MAN", which made the clue "Hollywood" point to "mini-" something, and I thought of the Hollywood Videos stores that are usually next to these particular convenience stores in Montrose--oh, never mind. Crosswords make you stupid. They're like acid for chickenshits. Otherwise this puzzle didn't give me much grief.

MacGraw was also in Love Story, right? That was the movie I was thinking of when I put her name in right off the bat, so I got the right answer from the wrong clue. In eight-ball that'd be scratched as a trash shot.

Thanks for the Whit clip, Seth, and writeup. That clip keeps hanging up on me but I'll check out his site and see if it works better there.

jesser 9:37 AM  

Brendan kicked my ass. This grid looks like my pen committed royal hari-kari: blue blood everywhere.

seals before ATEAM
rOund before TORIC
chip IN before DEAL IN
Wisp before WHIT
nEt before SEE
Brainy before BRIGHT
OwEd before OPEN

All of that straightened itself out, but in the NW, I was not smart enough to let go of LOesS. I eventually decided that a reasonably variant spelling might be LOasS, which allowed me to cram in DILATERS, but not knowing my movie villans or my scarf fabrics left me with _LAs_ES at 19A, and I stared and stared and finally... gave up.

My congrats to a) Brendan and Liz on the beautiful baby!; b) Brendan for a tough and engaging puzzle; c) Seth for a fine write-up; and d) all you bruisers who finished this one (especially the ones who rated it easy). I am humbled by all of you!

Happy weekend!

tptsteve 9:44 AM  

SethG is right- this puzzle was real easy for someone, somewhere, and knocked out a great write up, as was yesterday's.

I couldn't focus at all on this monster. I managed to pop in a few correct answers, but after a few minutes on the train, I arrived at my destination and put it away, not having landed a single, logical answer for more than five minutes- an epic fail all around, e.g., had never heard of the Grape Ape- all I could think of was Magilla Gorilla.

Whit's video had me laughing out loud, and brought back a lot of memories I keep reminding myself not to tell my kids about.

Congrats BEQ

jackj 9:53 AM  

How better to start one's day than with a healthy serving of Brendan ALAMODE. What, you say it's a glossy scarf fabric? Whatever; it will always be vanilla ice cream on apple pie to me, no matter its fabric or form.

Lots of fun, edgy, multiple word phrases like REALEASY, IGNOREIT, SURECAN, YESSIR, GLOATOVER and HAVEATIT, DARETO make this Friday crossword a poster child for the Will Shortz puzzle era.

Always nice to learn a new word, INDITED and will have to distinguish from the samely pronounced "Indicted", maybe with a mnemonic, "The ODIST INDITED that he wasn't "indicted". (Man, that's one lousy mnemonic!)

In any event, good stuff as ever from BEQ.

r.alphbunker 10:14 AM  

@Evan K
I get it now. I needed the second definition of store in my dictionary, "A stock or supply reserved for future use." I vaguely recall that early computer science papers would refer to computer memory as the store.

jberg 10:15 AM  

I did finish, but no snap - more like trying to button up a fly with lots of buttons and small buttonholes. Every time I finished a quarter - in the order SW, NW, SE, NE - I found myself stumped how to go on.

I tried OsAMA first at 41A, he seemed to fit the code name better, but once I got JOAN OF ARC that became clear. Also had CHILDREN at 59A, until MACGRAW came along. (For comics fans, today's "Dinette Set" had "Goodbye Columbus" as an example of a mediocre old movie - I never saw it myself, though I was dating a girl from Columbus when I read the book.)

Nice writeup, esp. the WOD!

Kurt 10:15 AM  

Classic Friday puzzle. Thanks Brendan. And congratulations (again) to you and Liz. Welcome to the world, Tabitha. It's a pretty neat place most of the time.

Mel Ott 10:45 AM  

I had to abandon the NW for awhile. Solved the rest of the puzzle kind of clockwise fashion, then got back to the NW through its soft underbelly.

I tried to figure out some way for "Take stock?" to mean INGEST so I could stack INGEST on top of EGESTS. But it was not to be.

Hurricane bearing down. Stay safe, everyone.

slypett 10:48 AM  

A CHARF is where you land in Parcheesi. And when someone lands on your CHARF, you get into a CHARF war.

That's how you make lemonade.

raptiona: where you go after the Rapture

chefbea 11:02 AM  

Good puzzle but DNF. thought WOD would be alamode - as in material.
Have made oxtail stew which is sooo good. Never with tongue.

Met Jamie Oliver when I was in Jamaica years ago with the radio station doing my what's cooking show.

Beginning to rain here and very windy. Let the fun begin

Bob Kerfuffle 11:03 AM  

{{~~very gentle admonishment~~}} To four commenters, and you know who you are: please try to remember the crossword rule, #whatever: Thou shalt not give away an answer to a crossword other than the one under discussion, like the name of Matt Gaffney's cat or BEQ's baby, which some of us may have printed out but not yet tackled. ~~ Thank you ~~

syndy 11:15 AM  

Although I did have JEANED'ARC;NFL;LOESS and EAT they all worked out in record time! I finished a BEQ fri in awesome time (for me 36 mins)I think in BEQ mode it helps not to worry about understanding too much ;) I've done beef tongue-do you need a special pot for OX? All the guest bloggers have been awesome so far I wonder who's on for tomarrow ? EVIL DOUG?

Cheerio 11:20 AM  

I learned 4 new words from this - not proper names - real words, not odd words, but words that might actually be in use. Amazing. The words:

Wow - can't believe I didn't know indite.

Thanks BEQ!

shrub5 12:01 PM  

Big fat DNF. For me, far from REALEASY. I was DOA.

I had so many guesses that were one letter too long that I started to wonder if this could be a rebus.

Irked at ALAMODES. [loud bronx cheer]
OK, I loved line in the sand.

Seth G: a fine write-up -- thank you. And thanks for bringing Whit's TP film project to our attention.

Congrats to the new parents! Prepare for the many EGESTS coming your way...

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Happy Baby, BEQ. Thanks for today's challenge. TATAMI? INDITED? Sheesh.

Happy B-day, Will Shortz. Thanks for the many challenges.

Matthew G. 12:46 PM  

It's been a long, long time since I used the Check Answers button to get me through a NYT puzzle, but today I had to. Hand up for PICKET LINES instead of TARGET AREAS, and for wrongly thinking myself clever for putting that in with no crosses. I just floundered all over the grid today, with only the SW feeling straightforward. The NE also wasn't horrible once I figured out TARGET instead of PICKET (and somehow I pulled TATAMI out of the recesses of my brain). But the NW and SE were lethal. Don't get why LOAMS is plural -- seems to me {Good earth} fits LOAM but not LOAMS, but I'm no gardener.

Ironically, my first entry in the grid was EXILE, but I didn't see OXTONGUE because I was sure it somehow involved the other end of an OX.

Loved the puzzle, though -- humbling and fun stuff.

John V 12:59 PM  

Well, I take solace that I'm in fine DNF company with ACME. Got stuck in NW with RODAN/DILATERS/ALAMODES - knew none of this. Like others, wanted LOESS until the bitter end. Missed CENSORING. MIORIC? WTF? Got none of the SE.


I think I did the last BEQ puzzle okay, but not this one, for sure.

Sparky 1:04 PM  

Easy for you, difficult for me. DNF. Barely started. And when I look at the answers they are all so right and obvioous. That's why I continue to attempt and enjoy BEQ puzzles.

Had ATLAS, LOESS, OBAMA, ARMADA, EGESTS, OTELLO, and a couple of others. Screeching halt after that. Like @shrub5 kept thinking of fine words just a letter short.

Congratulations and good luck Quigleys with the new baby (thanks @ BobK). Good job Seth. To Neville also as I didn't post Wed.

Stocking up for the big storm. Have a good weekend.

archaeoprof 1:15 PM  

Really challenging puzzle! Saturday difficuly, imho. Somehow managed to finish it.

My writeovers include all the ones already mentioned, plus "layin"/TIPIN, "hopeto"/DARETO, and "letsgo"/EGESTS.

Loved the crossing of OBAMA/BRIGHT.

Favorite clue: "line in the sand."

Two Ponies 1:53 PM  

Ala modes did me in.
Oxtail stew is quite familiar but I've only seen ox tongue in the cold deli case. Maybe it's a Mexican dish since I see it a lot in the grocery here in Vegas.
The rest was medium.
Thanks SethG.

foodie 3:19 PM  

Okay... the combination of something in the puzzle and something Seth G said leads me to tell you this story. If you have delicate sensibilities, please skip it!

You should hear all of this in an Irish accent, as this is happening in all-girl Catholic School in Ireland..

"Girls", says Sister Mary-Margaret, "We're going to discuss Anatomy today! Who can think of a bodily organ that can triple in size in 10 seconds flat?? Kathleen, do you know?"

Kathleen blushes and stutters: "I cannot say, Sister, I'm too embarrassed!"

Sister raises her eyebrow then looks around the class: "Anyone else know, girls? No? It's a PUPIL! It's called DILATION!"

Then she turns back to the hapless Kathleen:

"As for you young lady, I have two things to say. One, you have a dirty mind! And two, you're going to be sorely disappointed!"

Lewis 3:26 PM  

Had MustarD instead of Mars Red. Needed Uncle Google three or four times, and still found the puzzle to be the best kind of challenging, and proud to finish. Excellent, BEQ, and congrats!

chefbea 3:40 PM  

@foodie that was great

jae 3:58 PM  

Sorry Bob.

armada carla michaels 4:21 PM  

Love that even your "dirty" jokes are sophisticated and scientific...
like you!
(The Irish Catholic nun part, tho, not so sure)

@Eric NC
ODIST foot doctor for foot odor?!!!
Ha! If you were joking! (Come to think of it, HA! even if you weren't!)

Hi Seth! Still chuckling 12 hours later. :)

Glimmerglass 5:02 PM  

Re: Dollar store (11D). There is a rent-a-car company called "Dollar Rent a Car" or something like that. However, they charge more than $1 to rent a car. Anyway, the company has a store (quantity) of cars.

Matthew G. 5:03 PM  

Also, I had no idea scarves could be served with ice cream. The things I learn from crosswords.

Anonymous 5:16 PM  

A store of what kind of cars? "Rent-a" is not a type of car.

Security Guard 5:22 PM  

A rent-a-car is a kind of car like a rent-a-cop is a kind of cop.

retired_chemist 5:45 PM  

late to the party - but we had two new (canine) babies and no sleep last night. Which might account for the trouble I had with this interesting puzzle.

Like the fresh fill and the curveball cluing. Hand up for taking that too far (like several others) with RUSTLE, LOESS, and EAT.

PALTROW for 39D seems to be uniquely my error. Ditto IT'S WRONG for 51A, DATES @ 45D, and HOPE TO for 36A.

Disliked the unexpected plurals LOAMS and RENT-A-CARS. In fact, stuck with LOESS to the bitter end. HTG RO__N, and RONAN of course turned the corresponding acrosses from gibberish into obvious answers if I gave up LOESS and put- LOAMS.

Good one, Mr.Q. And congrats on your family addition.

Captcha remetime - almost ream time,which would have been an excellent captcha to go with this puzzle.

mac 6:18 PM  

Wonderful puzzle! Had one mistake: O'Hare for wharf, 24A. I don't know about NFC.... A writeover in the SW: ingest and egests looked good to me, too!

Fantastic clues (line in the sand is amazing, and all the two/three word in-the-language expressions (love tip-in).

I have to check out/google several things: Navi and alamodes as fabrics.

Eric NC and Foodie: you are so funny!

Thanks, SethG, and happy birthday, WS!

Anonymous 6:32 PM  

BEQ and I are never on the same wavelength. At least there were no rock/pop/rap groups here.

Really needed the obscure OXTONGUE and ALAMODES to get the NW, but no.

Not my favorite Friday.

sanfranman59 7:24 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 28:50, 25:53, 1.11, 75%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 13:42, 12:48, 1.07, 66%, Medium-Challenging

deerfencer 8:56 PM  

BEQ, Kudos on your bebe! The puzzle, however, was a c-teasing bitch.

As usual close but no cigar--but in this case we'll make an exception. Light'em up!

michael 9:21 PM  

Terrific end-of-the-week puzzle. Challenging, but gettable, I had the most trouble with the NW and see I am not alone. I am always amused when my wrong steps (yes I can, picket lines) are taken by others.

foodie 9:23 PM  

@SethG, I meant to tell you how much I enjoyed your write up. The way you treated INDITE, for example, was very funny in a backhanded way... And the illustration was perfect!
I know exactly what you mean about geology, poetry, theater terms...

@Andrea, thank you! But I imagine it's the ultimate geekimess, that my jokes are also about science...

On another front, at 6pm Eastern today, a friend who is in Japan said he had in hand the Sunday puzzle. That is weird...

miriam b 11:42 PM  

Remember the Squire in the Canterbury Tales? Talented guy.
...‘Well could he sit a horse, and faire ride,
He could songs make, and eke well indite,
Just, and eke dance, pourtray, and well write.’...

cody.riggs 12:28 PM  

Sorry, but it only took one word to ruin this puzzle for me: DILATERS. Unacceptable.

I put down the real word, DILATORS, early in the solve, which made AGED impossible to see. (AGOD was obviously wrong, and I assumed it was one of the letters *other* than the O.

Since when do we put misspelled words in the puzzle? [Var.] might have made me feel better, but it's not even a good variant!!! BOOO, HISSS, BOOOO! Unfairness is no sign of a well-constructed puzzle.

After that, I had NO patience for INDITE. I know, it's a real word, but after the clunker above it, I'd have far preferred INDICT.

Hope today's is difficult in a good way.


Foxhall 1:23 PM  

I was greatly humbled by this puzzle. Feeling better that I'm not alone in my displeasure over dilaters/dilators. Wish it were my only stumbling block. Most humbling moment, I wrote censuring instead of censoring. That gave me Juan across. Killing myself. How could there have been a hero named Juan in the hundred years' war? But of course my 15-year-old son came along to show me the error. now I know how Joan of arc felt as the flames rose to her Roman nose and her walkman started to melt.

bswein99 4:16 PM  

It's Saturday and I'm still feeling annoyed about rentacars. It would have been tolerable if the clue had been plural (Dollar stores?), but "a" can't be the article for a plural, even in a commercial name. Of course, I should have been prepared by "indited" (I can't even type it without wanting to put in a "c"), but I decided that rentacars couldn't be right, so I thought perhaps "rentacart" was the answer (i.e., a cart in a Dollar Store). But that left me with martred, which I knew couldn't be right...

Andrew 10:38 AM  

A much better answer for "Take stock" was "Rustle." I liked it so much that I left it in even after it was clear that it wasn't the answer the puzzle wanted.

Retired Copy Editor 12:12 PM  

(late, late post) Way to go @Bob Kerfuffle. I haven't done the BEQ puzzles yet, but I would have forgotten all about Tabitha if you hadn't underlined the error. Now I have to wait a while and hope my aging memory will lose it.

Anonymous 1:41 PM  

Successfully completed a BEQ Friday. Woohoo!

Player to be named later: aTtiLa became aTiLLa before becoming OTELLO.

I like my crosswords REAL EASY, my TORTE A LA MODE, and as for 57a, don't mind if I do! I mean, there must be 57 of 'em up there.

JBurne 8:51 PM  

Toughest puzzle of the year for me, Saturdays included. Got the S hemisphere OK, then flailed wildly. Finally admitted defeat and (oh the shame)Googled.

Unlike other un-finishable puzzles I can't blame crappy cluing or fill. BEQ is just much, much more clever and knowledgeable than I...

Anonymous 5:33 AM  

Spacecraft here. DNF, fatal errors at NFL and MAGENTA kept me at bay. I kinda thought magenta was more purplish-red than orangish, but have never heard of MARSRED, so could never get there. I wish I'd thought of trying NFC, which might've led me to CARAVAN. Wanted that V for GLOATOVER, but that would mean changing my color. Also, couldn't get past TOGA.
I have a problem with some of these words. LOAM is collective and should not be pluralized, Rental cars or Rent-a-car but NOT RENTACARS, the noun form of "censor" is censorship. The entry CENSORING is perfectly OK--but not as clued. But my loudest gasp has to be for 1a: REALEASY. As any middle-school English teacher will tell you, "real" is an adjective, whereas "really" is an adverb used to intensify the adjective "easy." For anyone to say "real easy" is to betray a coarse education at best.
I like BEQ puzzles; I learn a lot from them. My DNF was my fault entirely; I have no quarrel with him there. It just seemed as though he had to shoehorn a few words in there, taking too many liberties with this beautiful language. But then I don't DARETO try building one myself, either.

fogawag: A Stephen King double feature, The Mist and Cujo.

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