1980s Rowan Atkinson sitcom series / THU 10-20-11 / Insincere flatter in slang / Defender in bridge column / Sarcophagus lid

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Black and White — Eight symmetrical (!) rebus squares contain the word "WHITE" when read in one direction and "BLACK" when read in the other

Word of the Day: KAREN BLACK (43A: Best Supporting Actress nominee for "Five Easy Pieces") —
Karen Black (born July 1, 1939) is an American actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter. She is noted for appearing in such films as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, Rhinoceros, The Day of the Locust, Nashville, Airport 1975, and Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot. Over the course of her career, she won two Golden Globe Awards (out of three nominations), and an Academy Award nomination in 1970 for Best Supporting Actress, among numerous other honors. [She also starred in Return of the Roller Blade Seven and Decoupage 2000: Return of the Goddess] (wikipedia)
• • •

"CROSS" WORDS CONTEST week! All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Berry. Have your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, mail it to: crossword@nytimes.com. Please do not post your answers here on the blog and please do not mail them to me! Only answers e-mailed to the above address will be considered. Twenty-five correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 23, will receive copies of “Will Shortz Picks His Favorite Puzzles: 101 of the Top Crosswords From The New York Times.” Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners’ names will appear on Friday, Oct. 28, at http://www.nytimes.com/wordplay. 

• • •
One of my fastest Thursdays ever, but I see (by the times at the NYT site) that my experience was not quite the norm (if I'd solved on the applet, I'd be third on the board right now, as I finished in 5 flat). Rebus made things easier, not harder, and despite not knowing the phrases BANANA OIL (18A: Insincere flattery, in slang) or BEAN TREE (49A: Pod-bearing plant) (the latter of which caused me serious pain in the SE), I still sailed through this one with a well-below-average time. The crosswordy themes continue this week, what with yesterday's "Cross words" theme, and now today's B&W. The oddest thing about the grid is the poor interconnectivity; those NW and SE corners are connected to the middle patch only by a very narrow (one square) strip of land. I worked my way down into the western portion of the grid and realized I couldn't get out. Had to go back up. This slowed me down in the SE—didn't know BEAN TREE, as I say, and hadn't realized that the theme squares were symmetrical, so I felt trapped there for a bit when I couldn't make anything move. But once I put EMTS beside RONA, I was able to get moving again, and once VANNA came into view, the puzzle was pretty quickly done from there.

Theme answers:
  • B ADDER (25A: 1980s Rowan Atkinson sitcom series set in various historical periods) / W WASH
  • B BART (8D: Famously polite Old West stagecoach robber) / W NER (this is the one answer that just looks weird, due to the non-self-standingness of "NER")
  • BACK IN B (15D: Iconic AC/DC album with the song "You Shook Me All Night Long") / B and W / W MATTER
  • KAREN B / LILY W (31D: Untainted by corruption)
  • EGG W / JACK B (44D: Star of 2010's "Gulliver's Travels")
  • VANNA W (40D: Woman of letters?) / B ANTS (58A: Nest-building pests)

That VANNA clue was brutal, in that I thought there was going to be a play on the word "letters"—or ... more of a play, I guess. I thought it might be some word for "landlady." I don't know anything about bridge, except that directions are somehow involved, which was all I needed to know today. I was looking for some technical Greek word for [Sarcophagus lid]. A bit surprised by the humble SLAB. Wanted VINNY for 40A: Title role for Joe Pesci but took it out because of the odd placement of the Y in the fourth position of a five-letter word (or, an apparently five-letter word which ended up being a nine-letter phrase). Medievalist training made BEDE a gimme (16A: The Venerable ___ (old English historian)). "Hunger enhancer" is the kind of phrase you see only in crossword clues (AROMA). I don't remember the word "organic" being in the clue for TAR (21D: Organic sealant). "Sealant" was enough. I think BRAD is a word I learned a long, long time ago from crosswords (pre-Shortzian crosswords) (6D: Fastener in a punched hole). Lastly, KIA Sorento (43D: Sorento manufacturer) was more of a gimme than in might normally have been because I've been doing a lot of car research. Mine died. Or, rather, mine is sick and I have decided to put it down. The whole process is making me not want to drive ever again. I just want a car to magically appear in my driveway. I'm not a fan of spending big chunks of money, but I'm especially not a fan of details, paperwork, haggling, and overall hassle. If any of you all want to make a car magically appear in my driveway, feel free. Just ... not a Sorento, OK?

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


pk 12:24 AM  

I can imagine you driving a red Toyota Corolla.

North Beach 12:30 AM  

I am usually a staunchly morning solver but, I must admit, this PB tour de force has gotten under my skin (in a good way) and I invoked the California Advantage and couldn't help myself but solve the puzzle the night before.
Protip to Magmic solvers: enter BW in all rebus answers for your puzzle to be "accepted". Since I'll never be a speed solver, I choose to measure myself on the length of my streaks which works until life intervenes or a problematic puzzle like this comes along. There was some cursing when my BLACKWHITE rebuses were not being accepted. Trial and error got me to this outcome. For those keeping track, my best streak got me to 77th among Magmic solvers which gives me an admittedly false sense of accomplishment.
My guess for a (not so much of a) SPOILER ALERT: the PDF Friday puzzle will be of an unconventional shape that won't fit into the puzzle programs. It will be interesting to see Magmic handle it but I am resigned to stepping out and picking up the paper Fri AM and going Old School, with a pen, por favor.

pk 12:33 AM  

Lamp black/white sales crossing was really helpful. Ditto for Black adder/white wash. But still and all, a little dizzying.

Tobias Duncan 12:34 AM  

BRAD = obscure?Rex you are the least blue collar guy in America!

Smithers: "Sir we will just put a few brads in this trim piece and your desk will be good as new".

Mr Burns: Don't pester me with your fancy jargon boy just set you to your task!

jae 1:50 AM  

Just about right for a Thurs., so medium for me. Got B with BADDER and W when I realized that BSALES (unlike Black Friday) were not real events. Plus, this was another fine puzzle. Nice symmetrical rock/country juxtaposition with LEANN and AIMEE.

syndy 1:52 AM  

I did "CHECK" to make sure B/W was acceptable but nailed this in less than half a normal thursday time.Now I'd just like to sit and admire this spunky little beauty,the density ;the structure the lovey fill.but I'm starting to wait for patrick to lower the boom.

Anonymous 2:32 AM  

Rex, another story of your neglected childhood? Didn't you make a pinwheel with a BRAD in the center? Or a little paper animal with legs fastened on with BRADs so they could move? Come ON!

Check out a hybrid Ford Escape....only, see, when you go in to the dealership, be sure to pronounce it, 'Ex-cape' every time. Bet you the sales person never corrects you. Take your financial calculator with you and whip it out to check their math. Probably they'll pay YOU just to get you off the lot. You're welcome.

chefwen 2:49 AM  

I am so loving this week. Got it with W SALES and the rest was pretty much smooth sailing. When will the other shoe fall? B & W in the center for zebra crossings was the icing on the cake.

alors carney michaels 3:06 AM  

So cool!!!! I'm a sucker for these slash/rebuses or whatever they are called!
I remember a TRICK/TREAT one (Was that Patrick Berry?) and I think a HEAD/TAIL one, right?

This is so exciting seeing how masterfully he executes each day of the week so smoothly and exactly and suitably...evoking perfect metaphors from @Foodie and funny and totally uncranky praise from @Rex. It's great.

So flattered some folks want me to write a week's worth! If they only knew I've had but one Wednesday, one co-authored Thursday (with the OTHER PB, Patrick Blindauer), I could never do a Fri or Sat if my life depended on it (Thank god it has not come to that) and two Sundays (both co-authored, with my PB and Tony Orbach respectively...) but I wildly appreciated @Archaeoprof and @JenCT and others misplaced confidence in me! Happy to be Miss Monday...with occasional veers to other days with collaborators!

I don't know what color collar I am, but I've never heard of LAMP BLACK, nor BANANA OIL (I know Snake oil); but I do know when you write sitcom scripts, BRADs are those doohickeys you insert and flatten out to hold the pages together.

Kvelling that I've had happy encounters with both JACKBLACK and VANNAWHITE, so if they had crossed, I would have fainted.

And I believe I've already mentioned we actually had a maid in the deep South (well, Gainesville, Florida) circa 1964 named Lily White.

I will not retell my Jack Black story (tho I am itching to...I will save it for my future blog NAMEDROPPER.com which the guy who owns that domain wants to sell for $10,000, damn!) but I will re-mention that Vanna White is the least pretentious person you will ever meet, is great at her job, is genuinely sweet and has a head the size of a horse!

Having slammed "I am Sam" yesterday, I will mention that "Harry and Tonto" (I think Art CARNEY won an Oscar for his role) was wonderful, dim memories that I have of it...

shrub5 5:52 AM  

My first thought on the rebus was that some squares would be BLACK and others WHITE. Soon realized that each was both!! Very clever... loved the puzzle.

@RP, on my last car purchase I used a car-buying service located at my credit union. Relatively painless, but I probably did not get the best price that I could have. I specified the options, color, etc. and a match was found at a dealer about 100 miles away. It was driven to the credit union (not quite to my driveway.)

dk 7:20 AM  

The puzzle is cool. V

anna has a weird face and a nice butt.

Once i got the BW thing I sailed through this one.

*** (3 Stars) BW is where I get photo supplies.

Rex, another in a series of car buying tips. My grandfather owned a dealership in your state. His advice was to find the exact car you wanted, figure out what you wanted to pay and write that number down on a 3x5 card. Locate the car and go to the sales person and say: I want this car for this and hand him the card. Do not test drive the car, do not talk to the salesman or the manager after you present the card -- just point to the card. You will have done all your research before you got to the lot, arranged for financing and ensured the car lot offers a 90 bumper to bumper warranty on the car. You will not have a car to trade in. The logic here is you will always lose in a negotiation with the car lot. They do deals every day, they know all the tricks so you need to change the game. The most important part is just pointing to the card and keeping your mouth shut. The first time I tried this I failed as I could not keep my mouth shut. My grandfather praised me for a good try and pointed out what went wrong for me -- I was in a hurry, Yoda like he said patience my son.

I have used this admittedly very annoying approach ever since and I figure I have saved plenty. Most recently I went with my brother to buy a Ford Hybred Escape. The dealer had tacked on all kinds of extra charges and the car was tarted up with options. We went in 3x5 card in hand, suffered through 90 minutes of "salesmanship" and walked out (being prepared to wok way is important) telling the dealer when they were ready to sell the car for the price on the card we would be back... 3 days later the phone rings and the dealer tries to get my brother to pony up 3k more than was on the card. My brother politely asks the salesman to read the number on the card (staying polite is important) and the sales man goes "ok ok ok we will sell you the ffing car for what is on the card. If you try this be prepared to suffer all kinds of direct and subtile abuse from the dealer according to granddad you just keep your mouth shut and point to the card. The card is a far better negotiator than you will ever be.


dk 7:22 AM  

Actually it is Vanna and walk not wok. I hate the auto spell on the new mac operating system.

jberg 7:44 AM  

No advice on cars - when my 1990 Honda died last year I decided to do without - of course, I live in the inner city, my partner has a car I can borrow, and when I can't I use Zipcar. It avoids a lot of hassles, though.

Really great puzzle; everything has been said, I think. I got the theme from LAMP BLACK once I had AMP, figured with BLACK AND WHITE in the center it must be symmetrical, so yes, the theme was a big help in solving. My only hang up was the EAST and west- I couldn't get either at first, and didn't think of BLACK ADDER as a sitcom - more a genre unto itself. But once I had _ADDER, it was obvious.

As for spellcheckers, I journal I'm associated recently published an article in which Saul Alinsky's name came out at "Slinky." When I sent an email to correct it, Outlook made the same change. But the iPhone I just got is worse, it autocorrects like crazy.

opus2 7:51 AM  

hmmm, i'll try this again since Wordpress seems to have ignored by last attempt.

Like North Beach, I solve daily on the Magmic mobile app. I made an early assumption that the mix of black and white would lead to entering GRAY in each of the 8 rebus squares.

Knowing (since I built the mobile app) that the first letter of a rebus entry is usually sufficient to get the puzzle accepted, I placed G in the subject squares. No joy.

Then I tried GRAY; that didn't work. I visited this blog and tried BW and that was sufficient to get a win. I am confident (though I did not test it) that just using the B would also have worked.

Nice puzzle.

SethG 8:20 AM  

BANANA OIL? Never heard of about half the stuff in this puzzle. Filled it one letter at a time, excruciatingly slowly.

And I didn't catch the B/W until the very end...I figured WHITE BART was named because he was the anti-Black Bart, I don't know my ANT colors, JACK WHITE is a guy, so it never occurred to me that I had the wrong one, etc.

David 8:23 AM  

Very nice puzzle indeed. Got BACKINBLACK with no crosses which gave me what I thought was going to be an all Black rebus - fortunately the middle section of the puzzle fell quickly enough that the Zebra crossing clue revealed that the rebus would include WHITE.

From there, pretty smooth but not overly speedy sailing, so this was a Medium for me. Jack BLACK/Egg WHITE was the key, giving me the W/B aha all in one square. Was very happy that the rebus answers were symmetrical, probably chopped 5 minutes off my solving time. NW was the toughest - never heard of BLACK ADDER, was slow to get the excellent answer BE SEATED, and I was sorta fixated visually on SEAL instead of SLAB for 1D - Sarcophagus lid.

The Bard 8:24 AM  


Alas, 'tis true I have gone here and there
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new;
Most true it is that I have look'd on truth
Askance and strangely: but, by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worse essays proved thee my best of love.
Now all is done, have what shall have no end:
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.

Z 8:26 AM  

Like @Shrub5 I initially thought some black some white. BBC, ARAB, BANA... caused me all kinds of problems. Yet another feat of construction.

I currently have four cars for two drivers (with one kid in Spain and one kid at a school where frosh aren't allowed to have cars). Been procrastinating with trading in two of them for a new one. DK's gramps is a wise man. Consumers Reports offer a service that will get the dealer invoice for you. This is a pretty good estimate of the dealer's real bottom line. That's the number to put on the 3x5 card.

I'll probably buy a Fusion hybrid. I prefer my '06 Prius to my '10 Prius, and my '08 Escape Hybrid has better driver controls than either. A little concerned about the BAD reviews of Ford's new sync system. Although I like my Escape, I would not recommend it to anyone with kids. It is not roomy. Mom, Dad, three boys, two dogs, and a cat and all our stuff had plenty of room in our old minivan - not so in the Escape.

Good Luck @RP.

joho 8:39 AM  

I had a Black & White Ball with this one!

I am so impressed with Patrick Berry I can't express it.

Interesting to see both JACKBLACK and KARENBLACK in the same puzzle but wondered if that is a no no.

Can hardly wait for tomorrow!

joho 8:41 AM  

@alors carney ... "a head the size of a horse!" LOL

evil doug 8:44 AM  

[Bobby wants plain toast, which isn't on the menu]
Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee.

Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else?

Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules.

Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh?

Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.

Airport '75? One of the "50 Worst Films of All Time." Helen Reddy as a singing nun! And Karen Black as the, yes, stewardess, who saves the day!

Hyundai Sonata: Lotta car for the money. I'm a VW fan, and I hear the new Jetta and Passat are good values.

I literally cannot watch Rowan Atkinson. I kind of throw up in my mouth when I see him.


Wade 9:02 AM  

Karen Black was where I knew something was up, and Back in Black confirmed it. I did it in Across Lite but couldn't get it to tell me I was right, though I was.

I keep watching Five Easy Pieces because it's supposed to be so great, and I've yet to see what's so great about it other than Sally Struthers and Fanny Flagg being nekkid. Jack Nicholson as a master pianist! Ha!

My advice on car-buying is (i) don't buy a new car unless you're just a new-car buying kind of guy and (ii) don't buy a used car from a dealer. I.e., Craigslist is the way to go. You can get a mechanic to check it out before you buy, though nobody knows anything about cars anymore because of the computers and all. I need a new car too as mine has reached the "pouring money down a hole," and every trip to the shop is costing $400 (yesterday was power steering pump. A couple weeks ago was the lock on the back door.) The value of the car (ten years old) is not even $2,000.

Matthew G. 9:10 AM  

Picked up the theme pretty early on with BLACK ADDER, so this was mostly easy. No idea what WHITE SALES are or what they have to do with January, but that was easily gotten from the theme.

Unfortunately, I completely tanked the NE. Never heard of BANANA OIL (?!?) or CARNEY, did not know how to spell EDIE, and thought we were going for {Bank} in the sense of tilting to one side like an airplane, so tried LIST instead of RELY. Also tried WHITE GEL instead of WHITENER, and GOLD instead of NEON. I never got that upper corner figured out, despite having BANANA ___ and BW BART. Alas.

Matthew G. 9:12 AM  

Oh, and I'd never heard of BRAD in this usage before, either. I stared at that for a long time and wanted BEAD, which made ARAB hard to see.

dk 9:12 AM  

Banana Oil was often used by cleaners (back in the day) to remove grease and other stubborn stains.

d(font of advice today and buyer of used cars)k

Tobias Duncan 9:14 AM  

@ Andrea, Thanks for the correction, I had no idea those things were called brads.That is properly obscure (at least for this blue collar guy).

As for car buying advice, email every dealer within 150 miles asking for the best price on the car you want.Take the best number and email it to all the other dealers.Repeat.
I am with Wade though, I never buy a brand new car. I have helped others do so but only after really trying to talk them out of it.
I think Rowan Atkins is horrible as Mr. Bean but loved him in Black Adder and The Tall Guy.

tptsteve 9:18 AM  

Picked up the rebus quickly, but had problems with the non-rebus answers, particularly, banana oil, which was my last answer.(According to the Urban Dictionary, it's synonymous with horsefeathers and applesauce.) That aoi combination kept me off balance.

Didn't know Black Adder was associated with Rowan Atkinson- I think of it as a premium single malt. I like both.

@Evil- So you won't be at the Johnny English opening on Friday? Black Adder is

Nancy G 9:22 AM  

Whenever I see or hear the word 'brad" I can't help but say "asshole" in my head. Anyone else?

evil doug 9:29 AM  

Karen Black and Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion: Separated at birth?

Here's looking at you, kid...I think.


Anonymous 9:40 AM  

Did anyone notice that one of the colors in 6 of the 8 theme clues is a proper noun (capitalized)? I would have been even more impressed if that were the case for all 8.

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Friction tape is what you wrap a hockey stick with. On wires you use electrical tape. GBM

chefbea 10:05 AM  

I too thought some answers would be white, some black but Lily white and Karen Black solved it

As for cars...we love our 2 Saturns. Too bad they aren't being made any more.

Loved bud drinker!!

John V 10:21 AM  

(Enters driving a 2010 Toyota Yaris -- great word I've not seen in a puzzle.) No, @Rex, my experience did not track with yours. As BLACKADDER, BANANAOIL, BEANTREE, LEANN Rimes, WHITEMATTER were not on my wavelength, this played harder than usual for a Thursday, especially the South, DENSE/RATS crossing coming in last.

Really annoyed at long it took me to decode Gift On Arrival to LEI. GRRRR.

Favorite clue: Bud Drinker!

That said, I really loved this one. The rebus/black white them is f***ing brilliant.

(Leaves driving a 1951 Buick.)

GenJoneser 10:21 AM  

Got rebus at Jack Black/Egg White. Speaking of which...

@Andrea, I too have a Jack Black story (itching to tell) suitable for namedropper.com. I think I'll wait too...unless you want to swap stories???

@Rex I've never owned a car but have been driving since I'm 16. In non-NYC land that always gets a look of disbelief.

Good day all!

Jp 10:24 AM  

Failed miserably with this puzzle.
But I got some tips about buying a car. If you have no problems with a foreign car then Elantra or Sonata from Hyundai could be an excellent choice. The basic models come with most of the standard options so you do not have to haggle over options. My formula is this. The cost to the dealer is 0.89 to 0.91 of the MSRP. So if you can get the car for 0.94 or 0.95 of the MSRP then you are doing well.

Chip Hilton 10:32 AM  

@Evil: One of my top five fav movie scenes right there.

I loved this puzzle. Yet again, Mr. Berry challenges but fairly. It took me a while - KAREN and LILY provided the aha! moment - but once seen, it was fast and breezy. Last fill, the unknown to me BANANAOIL.

I can't wait for Friday and Saturday. Buckle up!

TomAz 10:50 AM  

This is a great puzzle.

I got very frustrated doing this on my iPad with the Magmic app. I had the BLACK/WHITE rebus thing but when I went to submit the puzzle it came back incorrect. I first tried BLACKWHITE, then BLACK+WHITE, then just BLACK, then B+W, and finally BW worked. I don't know many minutes I added to my time futzing around with that.

Two Ponies 10:59 AM  

As a rebus fan I was doubly tickled by this one.
For some reason I had the most trouble in the drown/sew/hen area.
Don't know Aimee Mann. Mann and rock together only gives me Mannfred.
At this point in the game not only am I intensely curious about the climax but I'm also already feeling sorry for next weeks' constructors. How do you follow a full week of PB?

mac 11:14 AM  

Easy-Medium for a Thursday, but a beauty. What an exciting puzzle week!

Had all the rebus squares filled and expected another in the middle. I thought 36D might be GREY matter, and I thought that was really clever! Not so.

I couldn't get Lovejoy out of my mind where I needed Blackadder. No Rowan Atkinson fan here, but I only know him from the Mr. Bean series.

I thought I had learned from crosswords that a brad was a finishing nail!

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

One of my slowest times for a Thursday, I think. Nothing that confused me and the rebus was simple to figure out. Some stuff I didn't know right off, but everything fell in with just a couple crosses. Still in the slowest third of NYT applet times.

Sometimes it's like that, I guess.

Evan 11:30 AM  


No, the TRICK/TREAT rebus puzzle with the same gimmick as this one was constructed by Ken Stern, published on Halloween 2007. It remains, to this day, Mr. Stern's only published submission to the New York Times.

A mighty fine offering by Mr. Berry today. I picked up the gimmick immediately with BLACKADDER, but slowed up a little trying to figure out where the rest of the BLACKs and WHITEs went. I've never heard of AMOR as a winged god, and like everyone else, never would have guessed BANANAOIL without a lot of crosses. It also took me an abnormally long time to understand how FIRETRAP could be "worthy of condemnation" -- I kept thinking, what did the house do wrong such that I would wag my finger at it?

The amazing thing about this puzzle is that there's basically no crap fill in it. Usually with a rebus puzzle you're forced to cram in some really obscure crosswordese or abbreviations somewhere, but I really don't see any of that here.

Masked and Anonymous 11:33 AM  

My jaw is dropping, watching PB pull this off, operating under some pretty heavy (as yet to be revealed) constraints. Don't quit yer day job, PB! [Y'all know he's a fulltime constructor, right?]

Since @31 thought the favorite puzzles book was weak sauce, surely the Shortzmeister can throw in a used Yugo to whichever contest entrant has the earliest submission date/time? So, best go ahead and submit that answer now, King of CrossWorld. Heck, you never know...

Martin 11:37 AM  

Re: Brads.

For most of us, brads are finishing nails -- thin nails with tiny heads. They don't go in pre-punched holes; they are "set" with a small punch called a nailset, so the work is not marred. And I drink a lot more chardonnay than beer.

But for all you macho blue-collar types: that has nothing to do with the clue! It is referring to craft brads, which are like cutesy paper fasteners. Any guy who owns a hammer knows this (if his wife has ever made him pick something up at the crafts store).

So Rex could have meant "I know what guy brads are but I learned from crosswords that scrap-book makers call their paper fasterners 'brads' too."

Larry I in LA 11:42 AM  

@Nancy G: My first date with my wife of nearly 30 years was the Rocky Horror Picture Show on 09/15/79. We attended a 35th anniversary screening about a year ago and "Asshole Brad" Barry Bostwick made a personal appearance. He stayed in character, calling us "degenerates" and then capping off his speech by dropping trou and giving us the "full moon". Guess I'm an old fart, now, because RHPS-goers seem to have morphed from rebellious non-conformists to something a lot more coarse and a lot less fun.

To keep this from being completely off-topic, easy but fun Thursday. PB is rolling, but I fear he is about to turn on us...

Stan 11:45 AM  

I had it all figured out right away. The AC/DC album is 'Back in Black' (which didn't fit) but the word BACK is actually IN BLACK, just like 'livery' is in 'delivery'. Needless to say, this flash of brilliance didn't get me far.

With dogs to transport and snowy winters, I'd say you want either a Subaru Forester or a Volvo Cross-Country (we love our XC-70). Make sure you get a Car-Fax and don't take the extended warranty. Follow the dk advice on negotiation. Good luck!

archaeoprof 11:49 AM  

Had heard of "gray matter" but didn't know WHITEMATTER.

Couldn't remember how to spell LEANN Rimes. Tried Leean first. Whatever happened to her country music career?

@Rex: how about a Prius? Driving past gas stations is fun.

jesser 11:50 AM  


I picked up the rebus at SALES/LAMP, but even so the puzzle was slow to emerge. The symmetry was a huge help. I did not know many of the proper names, so I was piecing things together in my (still caffeine-free) brain. (Speaking of which, I appreciate the advice from yesterday, and if I start to get headaches, I'll get a cup and taper, but for now, it's working somehow, and I don't feel any pain beyond feeling that the crosswords are coming much more slowly.)

Only writeover was thOR before AMOR at 35A, but WASH made that mistake pretty obvious. Flat out guessed at the D in EDIE/BEDE, and it was the last letter to fall. I'm smug to have been right.

And now, I shall BE SEATED at the other computer, where I do real actual work stuff.

Happy Thursday!

Gotta love a puzzle with a HUNK in it.

jesser 11:56 AM  

I have now learned that if you use those > < things facing the other way than they do in this sentence, Blogger makes whatever you put inside them invisible. I was just trying to whisper. Damn Blogger.

Anyway, the first whisper was to Rex: Jeep Wrangler Sport! You don't get to drive past as many gas stations, but you get to go places that Priusi shall never see. Next time I buy a car, I'm going all DK on those parasites...

Noam D. Elkies 11:57 AM  

Really clever rebus idea. Real pity that it relies on so many #@m^ names for theme answers. Pace anon @9:40, that's a bug, not a feature, especially for this rebus theme, because most anywhere that [BLACK] is a name [WHITE] would be an equally plausible name. 57A:RATS!


600 11:57 AM  

At the risk of being over the top, this is the most fun I've ever had doing a crossword! My time indicates it was about average for me, but it felt better than average in every way. I was certain of BlackBART but could not think of any toothpaste ingredient that could start with Black! When I came to LILY White crossing KAREN Black, I had it and I loved it.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a sucker for rebuses. Always disappointed when Thursday isn't one. The other fill was clever but neither too easy nor too hard. I pronounce it just about right.

Wish I'd been around for the TRICK/TREAT @acme mentions. Or the HEAD/TAIL.

@Wade--AcrossLite will give you Mr. Happy Pencil if you put B in every rebus square. I know. That didn't make me happy, either.

I completely agree with @Two Ponies: This is a fantastic, exciting week. I can hardly wait for the next two puzzles, and, now that @Two Ponies mentions it, I feel horrible for next week's constructors. It will be terribly hard to live up to these.

I'm kind of sorry that currently I drive a foreign car. I'm a union member and supporter from way back, but this last time around I didn't follow my principles. Having said that, I love my Subaru Forester. Can't recommend it highly enough--but don't get the navigation system. It sucks. (Sorry for the former middle school teacher vocabulary. Sometimes it just works too well not to use it.)

evil doug 11:59 AM  

[Jerry is counting on Elaine's relationship with Puddy to get him 'the insider's deal' on a new Saab. But they get into a brawl when Elaine calls Puddy's irritating 'high five' move 'grease-monkeyish'.]

JERRY: Did you two break up?

PUDDY: (While punching up numbers on a calculator) That chick’s whacked. We’re history. (Back to the transaction) I just left out a couple of things...rust-proofing...

JERRY: "Rust-proofing"?

PUDDY: (Reading off what he’s adding up on the calculator) Transport charge, storage surcharge, additional overcharge, finder’s fee...

JERRY: "Finder’s fee"? It was on the lot!

PUDDY: Yeah, that’s right. (Continues reading off) Floor mats, keys...

JERRY: ‘Keys"?!

PUDDY: How ya gonna start it?

jackj 12:08 PM  

Given the theme, I would have expected Patrick to at least give a nod to Truman Capote and his Black and White Ball, held at the Plaza Hotel in 1966, (if only to clue TRU).

Capote's party became a cause celebre among the smart set who felt that not to be invited would ruin their social life. So, a bitchily fun time was had by those who write about such things and Capote fed off the success of his Ball by variously calling it the "Event of the year" or "the decade" or "the century" or the millennium" or "of all time"; (modesty thy name was not Truman Capote).

In the puzzle, BLACK(BART) was apparent but BLACK(NER) didn't make a whole lot of sense but WHITE(NER) turned out to be brilliant and the rebus entries thereafter were relatively easy.

Like frosting on the cake, there were lots of little bits of clever fill especially, BEE, HEN, SEW, LEI, FOAL, SPUNK and TAILS.

So, it's on to the next step in the Patrick Berry Magical Mystery Tour.

Mel Ott 12:12 PM  

I really liked the theme. A bit much on the pop culture stuff for my taste, but a good puzzle overall.

I'm one of those who thinks of a BRAD as an itty bitty nail. Never encountered the paper fastener usage until today. None of my dead-tree dictionaries have this usage, nor does the online Merriam-Webster dictionary that I use. Maybe I need some new dictionaries.

miriam b 12:30 PM  

@mac and @Martin: I'm a non-blue collar non-macho non-scrapbooking Seven-Sisters-educated type. I restore antique wicker and frequently use brads and nailsets in the process.

I was taught in kindergarten that those crafty brass things are called paper fasteners - but that was in another life.

Also in another life, I used to build model airplanes with a male cousin, and we used BANANAOIL to strengthen the structures. Nice smell, low toxicity.

I have the impression that it was only in the dim and distant past - maybe the 1920's - that BANANAOIL had a slang meaning. Or has it been revived? Just askin'.

Off to the front porch to finish restoring a huge 1915-vintage chaise longue. Lunch first, I guess, before I am covered in glue.

Martin 12:33 PM  

@Mel Ott,

The unabridged Merriam-Webster lists square-headed brads that are countersunk. It also has an entry for "bradawl," the tool used to make holes for them.

JenCT 12:37 PM  

To all those having trouble with AutoCorrect, I just turn the darn thing off on my iPad.

Was convinced that BLACK and WHITE were in different rebus squares for waaay too long, like some others. Fun puzzle.

I usually solve in Crosswords on the iPad.

However, when I solve in Across Lite on my computer, it opens every time with the puzzle squished on the left, tiny, and with the clues on the right, only showing the Down clues. I can't seem to figure out how to get it to open full-screen and with the puzzle centered - can anyone help?

Arundel 12:41 PM  

Solving in Across Lite, as much as I loved the puzzle, it wasn't entirely satisfactory. Mr. Happy Pencil resisted me until I put in B/W for the rebus, as mentioned by @Syndy. I never tried just B or W, but other combinations didn't work.

I'm also of the never-buy-a-new-car school. Look for a good used one, get the CarFAX, and stick with your price. If go to a car dealer and come away feeling like you didn't get screwed, you did it right. I'm still pleased with our Volvo Cross Country, even if I was too lazy to sell my old car and they got some of it back on the trade-in!

600 12:43 PM  

@JenCT--Click on the "Options" button on the tool bar at the top of the puzzle. You'll see several possible formats. Choose one.

Sometimes--and I don't know why--my puzzle opens as you are describing, and for several days I have to go to "Options" and pull lines around to get it how I want it. Then it works fine, usually for months, before it decides to mess up again.

Good luck.

annoyed-by-hybrids car guy 12:50 PM  

My TDI VW gets better mileage than virtually every hybrid out there (some Priuses excepted). I frequently fuel it with biodiesel, which has low emissions comparable to hybrids, but I can get petrol diesel at most service stations--if it gets hard to find at local stations, I can just head to the interstate. Talk about passing gas stations--I can drive 600 to 700 miles on a tank. It only has the one standard 12-volt battery, so won't need a bank of expensive, toxic-to-produce replacements someday. Its engine is beefier than gas-powered versions (required by the higher compression), so it lasts longer. It is simpler than gas engines--no spark plugs, distributors, coils, etc. And it is fun to drive, especially on long hills, where it rarely requires downshifting because of its high torque. It is loaded with airbags (and sometimes the one GASBAG), earning high safety ratings. You can buy one with 100k miles on it (or more) and still have years of life in it, so no worries about that new-car premium.

You will find a lot of concerns out there on the interwebs that VWs break down a lot, diesels are expensive to repair, etc., but I find my cost of ownership to be comparable to gassers I've owned. A lot of the complaints about VW center around the electrical ignition components of the gasoline versions. It is a good idea to seek out a qualified independent mechanic, though, because even the dealership mechanics frequently screw up these precision machines.

I sound like a commercial, but my only affiliation with VW is the car I own.

@Wade $400 a month is still pretty cheap compared to most car payments. If it gets you around, it is still a good car, regardless of what someone might pay you for it.

foodie 12:56 PM  

Yet another wonderful offering in a fantastic week! The master's touch! And great comments!

@Andrea, when you get your blog, I have a couple of namedropper stories for you (e.g. a dinner I had with Richard Gere and Frank Gehry and their spouses (together at the same time...). That was like an alternate reality.

I shared @dk's comments with Puzzle Husband. He wanted to chime in with further unsolicited advice:

"Yes, one has to be very clear about what is wanted. I like the extended warranties as we keep cars in good shape and for a long time. The sales and service areas are pretty independent so you could negotiate with one, cheap dealer for purchase, and use a second, better dealer for repair."

I had no idea he was so wily!!

JaxInL.A. 1:07 PM  

Do you know the claymation characters Wallace and Gromit? You know Wallace's gesture of delight, putting his hands next to his shoulders and shaking them back and forth? When I got the first rebus, I did that.  Then I did it again when I realized that the squares were both BLACK and WHITE. What fun!

I LOVE a good rebus puzzle, and this one is better than good.  Very little icky stuff, can even accept NER in context.  Loved the clue for ARAB. Totally on the PB wavelength on this one.

Sorry, @EvilDoug, but I gotta disagree with you about Rowan Atkinson.  Each episode of Blackadder has at least two good big belly laughs (as long as you like absurd humor) and is worth checking out. For those who only know Hugh Laurie from the U.S. TV show "House," Blackadder will could introduce you to his long and very successful comic career. For more funny Laurie I also recommend "Jeeves and Wooster," based on P.G. Wodehouse's comic novels.

JACK BLACK is a major benefactor of a small theatre where I'm in the board.  Saw him just a few weeks ago, a real Mensch.  Looking forward to seeing his latest movie, improbably featuring the story of three competing bird watchers and their "big year."

JaxInL.A. 1:25 PM  

We have to buy a used car soon. All this advice is very helpful. Before now I have relied on my brother to do the search and check whenever I needed a car (I've only bought three in my life) but he's not available. I feel I'm missing an important adult skill, but feel quite stumped on where to start. We need to transport 5 people comfortably, and schlepp stuff as well. A minivan that gets good mileage? Something else? I would relish the advice from this crowd.

quilter1 1:27 PM  

Another great puzzle by PB. I got the rebus right away and finished fast. I just didn't get here right away.

Second Jaxin LA about Hugh Laurie. I don't enjoy him on House--stopped watching years ago since they kept doing things one would never do in a hospital setting--but loved him in Jeeves and Black Adder.

@Rex, we really like our Prius. 40-45 mpg consistently.

Michaela 1:34 PM  

Had to come here to figure out how to get the Magmic app to take the solution. Only, once I changed all the rebus squares to BW it still wouldn't take the puzzle until I deleted and reentered a random letter somewhere else in the puzzle. Buh.

I also tried entering "gray" (for "gray matter") but figured that didn't make sense anywhere else in the puzzle -- though if you want to get silly, zebra crossings are gray and white once the pavement gets old. Ahem.

Yay for Black Adder. I see Rowan has a new Johnny English movie out -- good that they're letting him speak instead of gurning around as Mr. Bean; bad that it's not a Black Adder movie instead.

santafefran 1:44 PM  

@Rex We have 2 Subaru Foresters; puzzle husband previously had a Subaru Outback which had 297,000 miles on it before it was ready to give up the ghost. So I would chime in with the recommendation to go used; get a Subaru since they can live forever.

Patrick Berry is the new BLACK or WHITE, as you please. Not much more to say about this fabulous puzzle except that I had PLUCK off of the U and K before SPUNK.

prereper--flirts with you before the Grim Reaper arrives

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

my dad always said you're in the driver's seat until you buy the car! was worried but found today's puzzle easy. hope i can continue rest of the week so i can try meta puzzle. this gives one a sense of excitement!

santafefran 1:50 PM  

@JaxinL.A. and @quilter1, not a BLACK ADDER fan but first knew and loved Hugh Laurie in Jeeves and Wooster and still watching House but was ready to abandon it this season during the prison episodes.

Ed 1:55 PM  

I liked this one, but on what planet is BANANAOIL slang for, well, anything?

For some reason I had a brain fart on ALORS (hello, seven years of French lessons).

I initially had the rebus as MAN, because I wanted Manfred Mann as 26D.

Also, I had trouble with the rebus on the iPad app, and the World Play blog was unhelpful. Long story short, you are limited to 10 characters in a rebus square on the iPad app, so you couldn't do BLACK&WHITE, but you had to do BLACKWHITE, but it would reject that. BW worked.

John V 2:06 PM  

All, beside my Yaris, we own a 2008 Prius and absolutely love it. Hatchbacks, such as the Prius, are superb for carrying stuff -- as much cargo space as many SUVs. And, 45 mpg is a pretty nice feature. We bought it new and it's been flawless.

John V 2:07 PM  

Make that a 2007 Prius.

annoyed-by-hybrids car guy 2:18 PM  

TDI Jetta Wagon or Passat Wagon will get you plentiful, easy cargo access, comfort (maybe a stretch for 5, though) and 40+ MPG. Older versions (pre-2006, and pre-2004 tends to be better still)) get better mileage than newer ones. My best tank in my 04 Golf (same motor and chassis, different shell) was 49 MPG, all highway. My average around town is 42.

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

solved on paper - filled the rebus cells in visually by drawing a diagonal line then blackening one half and leaving the other half blank (white).
The direction of diagonal was decide by which half of the cell needed to be which color. It made for a very attractive solution.

John V 2:36 PM  

@anonymous 2:31 PM: filled the rebus exactly as you did. Looks cool. A benefit of paper solving (finally!)

captcha braver: advice for Friday and Saturday?

sanfranman59 4:03 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Thu 17:16, 19:08, 0.90, 33%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Thu 9:49, 9:20, 1.05, 67%, Medium-Challenging

As is the case with most rebus puzzles, I think the online solve times on this one are going to be a little screwy. There are probably going to be a lot fewer solvers than is typical for a Thursday.

JenCT 4:05 PM  

@600: Thanks for the suggestions - yes, I've been in the Options tab, with no luck.

I think I just figured out that I have to open a few puzzles, drag the lines around to where I want them, close Across Lite, and then reopen the puzzles, and it works fine.

chefbea 4:16 PM  

Don't know if any of you Rexites do the Jumble. I just saw it in our Wilmington paper!!! Can't believe it. Don't want to spoil it for you.....

Go look

North Beach 4:32 PM  

For me, Hugh Laurie will always be Bertie Wooster and the jingle-writing husband in "Peter's Friends". Bring your hankie for the latter..

Lemoo: what Èlsie says.

Rube 5:44 PM  

Got the rebus immediately on the LAMP(Black)/(White)SALES cross and figured this was going to be easy... not so. Got the other rebuses right, left, top and bottom, but... this pop culture challenged guy did not know BACKIN(Black) or Jimmy SMITS, so guessed BANDs for the zebra thing resulting in a DNF.

On the bright side, got/guessed BANANAOIL from the crosses and VANNA(White) was a gimme. Never heard of (Black)ADDER and KAREN is illegible with all the writeovers.

Like @NorthBeach, Hugh Laurie will always be Bernie Wooster in my mind. Also, tx to all those who IDed Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean... a name to remember and avoid.

long suffering mets fan 6:01 PM  

Kick-ass, impressive rebus from the great Mr. Berry -- can't wait for tomorrow and Saturday

Rex, a friend of mine is parting with his '89 Yugo -- low mileage, original crank, hard to find puree speed option -- all the bells and whistles let me make a call and I'll let you know
One caveat -- the back seat is virtually useless since the mechanic you'll need on board at all times will be constantly occupying it.

Good luck --

I was really hoping for some Seinfeld dialogue from evil when Jerry is negotiating a car deal with Puddy while he and Elaine are breaking up -- believe same episode as George's 5th Avenue candy bar challenge -- one of the best Seinfeld's ever

Sparky 7:05 PM  

Google ate my comment. Sigh.

Got B with BLACK ADDER then KARENBLACK. Ah ha moment with LILYWHITE. That helped with all the others. Really enjoyed this rebus. The whole week has been great fun. Thanks PB. Have been printing out at night as can't wait.

I did a lot of reading, mostly of Consumer Reports, before selecting 3 models of used mini van to choose from. Went to a Ford dealer then CarMax. Did well but tripped on financing. We had very limited amount of cash per month for payments so ended up with a longer contract which meant more interest. So plan that out too. Good luck @Rex.

The blog has been fun too this week. People seem energized.

joho 7:20 PM  

@long suffering mets fan ... check out Evil's comment at 11:59 a.m.

Anonymous 8:51 PM  

Fun puzzle except knowing how to "enter" black/white on the magmic iPad program. Like some others, went through various permutations until I got to BW. Anticipating PB's Friday puzzle w/ excitement and dread!

Anonymous 9:09 PM  


I am in the market for a new car, so when you buy yours, please provide all details of price, down payment, trade-in dollars, and make, model and accessories on the new car. Thank you.

Cheerio 11:36 PM  

Awesome! Thank you Patrick Berry! I love how PB puzzles reward you for thinking harder for the answers. It feels like he's a teacher waiting patiently for you to understand. There's no tricks, just a challenge.

sanfranman59 11:44 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 6:47, 6:51, 0.98, 45%, Medium
Tue 7:47, 8:53, 0.88, 16%, Easy
Wed 10:45, 11:50, 0.91, 32%, Easy-Medium
Thu 17:16, 19:08, 0.90, 33%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:33, 3:40, 0.97, 40%, Medium
Tue 4:09, 4:34, 0.91, 20%, Easy-Medium
Wed 5:24, 5:51, 0.92, 34%, Easy-Medium
Thu 9:04, 9:20, 0.97, 54%, Medium

OK, OK ... enough with the earth shaking already! Two good bumps in one day is a first for me. Pretty creepy that this happened on the day of the annual Great California Shake Out.

Griffin Jackson 12:41 AM  

I am absolutely amazed. Anyone interested in this sort of A&E issues and trivia should follow and contribute at: http://wwwtahome.blogspot.com/

Grandma J 12:50 PM  

I don't get it. This is not even the same NY Times puzzle that was in my paper yesterday!

pessale 2:27 AM  

you have probably bought a car by now,but I can recommend Mazda 3. I had been driving the same Mazda 323 for 17 years when I decided to up grade so that it wouldn't die before me. My daughter is happily driving my 323, and I sail along in luxury in the Mazda 3

Dirigonzo 10:21 AM  

The publication of this puzzle today gives us syndicated solvers one more thing for which we can give thanks on Thanksgiving, another really fun, enjoyable puzzle from Mr. Berry. Discovered when I arrived here that I finished with an error at the cross of 16a/3d, as I knew neither Ms Sedgewick or the old English historian. Having wAx as the organic sealant had me looking at that section for quite a while.

And 5 years ago @Rex had this to say:
- "Solving time: approx. 17 minutes"
- "
Did this puzzle fairly quickly last night while sitting in "bed" [reader Andrew would have you know I don't sleep in an actual bed, but on a futon on the floor like some kind of 90's college student], after having eaten Thanksgiving dinner ... twice"
- "Hmmm, Playtex, Kiwi, and Hillshire Farm. That's quite a hand you're holding, Ms. Lee. Three-of-a-...kind? "Forget snack treats. I have seen the future, and it is, in order: tampons, shoe polish, and sausage." That has to represent the highest level of difficulty for an ad exec charged with creating synergy among a company's products.

PS somebody tell SARA LEE that despite the fact that she has appeared in the grid, in her entirety, at least twice in the past couple of months, 7-letter words are simply not allowed in the Pantheon."
- "I SEEM to recall that I briefly dated the sister of one of the Indigo Girls (Emily's sister, not AMY's). I just like to drop that odd bit of information into conversation whenever I have the chance, even though it's the saddest claim to celebrity proximity ever made by a grown man."
- "I have no real commentary to offer on this one. I just like the (apparent) incongruity of clue and answer. RICE-A-RONI is very good long fill. It's the San Franscisco treat that was often given away in large quantities as the consolation prize on game shows in the 1970's. Its cable car ads remind me, not surprisingly, of S.F., where I was born."
- As for VISTA, it's a fairly easy word, but I had only the "I," and I just knew somehow that the answer must be VISTA. I can't explain. It was this weird peek into how top solvers' minds must work all the time. Something weirdly Rain-Man-ish takes over and you see things that reasonable, intelligent people would not see, or not see so quickly. Sadly, this kind of instant divination happens to me far too infrequently to have a huge impact on my overall solving times. But it feels oddly magical when it does happen."
- The puzzle's creator, Dave Malesky, dropped by to add this (one of 8 comments):"I did a little research into the ROOSEVELT ISLAND clue (not having written that one myself) and it turns out that Mae West was incarcerated there for ten days in 1927 on obscenity charges over her play "Sex". But here's the kicker: at the time, it wasn't called Roosevelt Island - it was then called Welfare Island! (Pretty sneaky, Will!)"

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Anonymous 12:18 PM  

I come here expecting to see a Michael Jackson video and instead I'm treated to the dB's! I take back everything bad I ever said about you.

(That said, no Genesis?)

Quibble: "BE SEATED" is not a request, it's a command.

And speaking of seats, there are some who would say Vanna White posing for PLA_BO_ was an "unwise" move. But that picture sure is a nice payoff for those of us who enjoy solving at the crack of dawn.

Waxy in Montreal 4:07 PM  

Once the rebus was apparent (in my case from LAMP BLACK & WHITE SALES), this was an easy Thursday IMHO. Had the same problem with BANANA OIL & BEAN TREE as several posters 5 weeks ago but they evolved pretty quickly from the crosses.

Sad that at least one contributor isn't familiar with Art CARNEY, one of the best comedians (Ed Norton of The Honeymooners fame) & actors of the second half of the 20th century. Sic transit gloria, I guess.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all syndisolvers south of what used to be the longest undefended border in the world.

Dirigonzo 4:58 PM  

@Waxy - Is there now a longer undefended border, or do you consider our border no longer undefended?

Waxy in Montreal 5:21 PM  

@Dirigonzo: both, since security at the Canadian/US border has unfortunately been "thickened" significantly in recent years as a result making many European borders (say, France-Germany) where you no longer stop when crossing candidates for the title.

Anonymous 5:00 AM  

The Spacecraft rnjoyed this one despite a couple of hangups: had to erase PUNCHEDIN for CLOCKEDIN, and thought the specialty squares were all "white," having started them with VANNA and not knowing my ant colors (hand up, Rex). Even when I got to the KAREN/LILY square, I assumed it was all white.
Now, I know of Karen Black, but strangely, I remember her from a guest role in a horror series--a story about some Chucky-type doll.
But I figured, hey what do I know, there's most likely a Karen White floating around out there too.
Then we get to JACK (?). Well, I don't think there's both a Jack White and a Karen White neither of whom I've ever heard of, while the Blacks were familiar. And when I filled in the SW with EGG--well, if there's such a thing as "egg black" I think I'll pass. Smells like hydrogen sulfide to me.
However, I'm still wrestling with this in the middle; I've heard of DARK matter, but neither B or W, plus I am rather proudly ignorant of the titles of any AC/DC albums. Heavy metal accompanying screeching vocals is just not my cuppa tea. The zebra clue was just confusing enough to make me unsure, so I dropped it there and went on to the north.
Eventually, when I saw how all the B/W squares worked--and where they were (!! PB's mind is scary!)
the pattern was fixed.
Hand up for the BRAD confusion; I too know only the "guy" one. I can't argue the "request" part of the BESEATED clue; for an interview
it is indeed a request, while in court you just do it 'cause the bailiff (who is bigger than you and is packing) told you to. And church? Still not fully awake, you take any opportunity to get a load off. More hands up for BANANAOIL (as clued) and BEANTREE. Plant, stalk, pod...never came across a bean tree. I liked whiteWASH, and the offbeat clues for BABES, EDIE and VENTS.

Anonymous 1:16 AM  


Thanks to all on this Thanksgiving Day (actually finished the day after due to pressing obligations in the kitchen). Thanks to the constructor, the blogger and those who posted comments for a great experience.

Had to visit the Internet to find Black Adder, new to me ("Mr. Bean" also fits in six squares), and did not know Aimee Mann. Also made "slab" into something complicated, looking on Wikipedia for some fancy word. "Whitener" was my favorite.
I agree that the "aha" moment on a rebus is just the best.
@ Rex, by now you must have a car, but I will say in snowy Alaska (2 feet on the ground already), if you look around you will see loads of Subarus due to the all-wheel drive. Up here most of us also have studded tires. The combination is unbeatable IMHO. We used to be a VW family in the Midwest but up here we have converted.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP