Actress-turned-nun Hart / SAT 2-25-12 / Yarn identifier / One in stag's litter / Guideposts magazine founder / Of atoms spatial relationships / Hebrew Hammer of Cleveland Indians / Korean War weapon / JFK speechwriter Sorensen / 1950 sci-fi classic / Mini successor / Mark of successful gunfighter

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: DOLORES Hart (43D: Actress-turned-nun Hart) —
Rev. Mother Dolores Hart (born October 20, 1938, Chicago, Illinois) is an American Roman Catholic nun and former actress. She made 10 films in five years, playing opposite Stephen Boyd, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton and Robert Wagner, having made her movie debut with Elvis Presley in Loving You (1957). (wikipedia)
• • •

This one's chronological epicenter was at least a decade before I was born, but I still finished in less time than it took to do yesterday's. There are a couple of junky bits (TNTS? over EELED?? over DYE LOT??? — to say nothing of STERIC) (9D: Of atoms' spatial relationships) but overall it's a solid grid. Familiar shape, mildly interesting fill. Saturday. There it is. Take it or leave it.

Every corner had some long, low-hanging fruit, which allowed me to work my way through even toughish parts. ON THE MONEY in the NW (I got that off the "NT"), KOSHER DELI in the NE (off the "K"), STOLEN BASE in the SE (off the nothing—too easy; 30D: One of Henderson's record 1,406), and REGISTERED in the SW (off the "D"). Not to say that there wasn't some flailing around. I really lucked into that first "N" in ON THE MONEY when I wrote in IN NO at 15A: Beginning of time? (ONE O'). I was half right. Oh, I also guessed SO NICE off just the "S" up there. But I couldn't get MOBS at all (1A: Crowds around noisily), and BEER BOTTLE took a good long while to come into view (3D: One in a stag's litter), and MOST WANTED was originally LIST MAKERS (1D: Like some top-10 people); that clue just made no sense to me at all. EELED I dropped in without blinking, but I couldn't get below it, so followed FAKES OUT up into the NE—by far the easiest portion of the grid. KOSHER DELI, then NED (really TED, but who cares?) IBEX NILE STIR, all in a row. The "LR" combo helped me think of AL ROSEN (he was once the A.L. MVP, and his last name appears in the grid from time to time). Then STOLEN BASE took me down the east coast, then I moved inland to fix some errors—had SHAH for SADR (45D: Abolhassan Bani-___ (first president of Iran)) and THE FOG for I, ROBOT (59A: 1950 sci-fi classic). SE looked quite hard, but REGISTERED proved a great guess, as did (a bit later) DOLORES, and those gave me enough traction to work my way up to the Nevada region of the grid, where I finished things off with the mysterious DYE LOT (47A: Yarn identifier).

  • 5A: "In the Still of the Nite" doo-wop group, with "the" (FIVE SATINS) — this is what I meant when I mentioned the puzzle's chronological epicenter. That section alone has this answer, TED Sorensen, AL ROSEN, and the 1969 ILO.
  • 19A: "___ the brinded cat hath mewed": Shak. (THRICE) — pretty dang easy, esp. given a cross or two.
  • 22A: Reagan-era teen, e.g. (XER) — Reagan took office when I was 11 and left when I was 19, and yet somehow my initials (MDS) weren't the right answer here. 

  • 63A: Mini successor (NANO) — My first thought was of the Mini Cooper. Then the skirt.
  • 64A: Spy's query at the start of a meeting (ARE WE ALONE?) — even this seems like something out of the '60s. A '60s spy novel. Not to say that I don't like it, 'cause I do.
  • 8D: Fifth element, per Aristotle (ETHER) — had the "TH," and from there it was an easy guess.
  • 50D: Russian playwright Andreyev (LEONID) — Lots of "Names of the 20th Century" today. See also Norman Vincent PEALE (52D: Guideposts magazine founder).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jackj 12:07 AM  

Barry Silk wouldn’t know me from Adam but I know Barry Silk. After being fed a steady diet of his delightful head-bangers over the years, his style and wit have become as familiar as vanilla and as comfortable as old shoes when it comes to solving his creations.

Today’s puzzle was no exception; a thoroughly delightful treat with witticisms to please the most demanding among us. How about “Cut bits from, maybe”? Why that would be CENSOR and that is just the first of many special treats to appear, followed quickly by “Bar lines” which in lesser hands would likely be “What’s your sign” (or worse) but with our master of the moment it is LEGALESE. Solvers don’t get to feast on many entries better than that!

At least not until the tough upper left corner gives out BEERBOTTLE as “One in a stag’s litter” or MOSTWANTED becomes Silk’s version of a top-10 group. (I’m so smitten with these entries, I’ll even forgive the questionable TNTS and AMOEBOID clues).

Finally, at 43 down we have the reason, perhaps, that this puzzle was selected to run today. DOLORES is the answer and “Actress-turned-nun Hart” is the clue and this Sunday will see Mother Dolores Hart taking the stage at the Academy Awards to acknowledge a short documentary of her life that has been nominated for an Oscar.

Elvis Presley’s first film love interest will certainly bring them to their feet in admiration and wonder of the enigma that is this Catholic Reverend Mother, the only nun to be a voting member of AMPAS.

Thanks, Barry, for another grid of pleasures.

jae 12:09 AM  

Easy-medium again for me.  It helped that Ricky Henderson played for the Padres towards the end of his career so, 30d was a gimme.  Pretty zippy long downs in NW plus IROBOT, FAKESOUT, DOGTIRED...  but TNTS?

Odd clue for AERO.  

@LMS -- Had to erase FAIL for FLOP.

When do we run out of novel clues for OREO?

Solid Sat.!

r.alphbunker 12:24 AM  

Darn! Finished with DELORES and didn't see DYELET. I loved the puzzle though. I counted 17 clues that had me thinking in the wrong direction, e.g., {Kitchen drawer} for which I had icer for a while. MOSTWANTED was particularly inspired. I really wanted that answer so I could finish the NW.

Are the CAPTCHAs getting easier as the week progresses. I am not looking forward to Monday!

JoeTheJuggler 1:19 AM  

Stag: "When you wanna chase a beer with a beer, bring on Stag!"

I fairly flew through this puzzle, but then got stuck the same way r.alphbunker did: had DELORES and DYELET (which I imagined to be some little tag on the end of a piece of yarn).

I was born in 1961.

Even after I got it, I never really got "ONEO". I guess I still don't, really. (As in "one o'clock"? How is that the beginning of time?)

chefwen 2:05 AM  

OREO balls??? Never have seen them but I want some.

This one treated me better than yesterdays, I felt I couldn't even comment on yesterdays bec. I failed so miserably. I think my two glasses of wine with lunch had something to do with that. Guess I'm getting too old for that nonsense. Might have to switch to Margaretas.

Have no idea why I knew 47A as I have never worked with yarn, but with the Y in place it just popped into my head. Must have come from my craft working MIL.


Thanks Barry for another (I'm not going to say it) great puzzle.

chefwen 2:11 AM  

I love it when our own Mr. Kerfuffle gets a shout out. Hi Bob!

Amoeboid cOWEL Mindreaders 2:20 AM  

@joe the juggler
I don't get One O either! Help!

DOLORES is on TV right now on "inside edition" total synchronicity...I'll bet Will has no idea that she is in a doc nominated for best short with the best title ever "God is the bigger Elvis"! And I'll bet that that is 80% of why it was nominated!!! The power of a good name!!!

Damn! One letter wrong AMOEBOIc/cOWEL. Don't know a cOWEL from a it the round thingie with all the little holes in it?

By the way, mediums (media?) have many 10 letter relatives, among them SoothsayER, palmREADER, and MINDREADER. big family...if only I could have read Barry's mind!

It would be fun to have question mark "?" after AREWEALONE just to draw attention to it's fabulousness.

Don Byas 3:02 AM  

Not familiar with OREO balls.

Do they count as low-hanging fruit?

Sped through the 4 rightmost columns. Fast Saturday. Although DeLORES / DYELeT got me.

Read recently that the TED Sorensen/JFK quote; "ask not what your country can do for you..." was something that JFK heard from a headmaster at CHOATE. The headmaster had picked it up years earlier from a dean at Harvard.

The Bard 7:56 AM  

Macbeth > Act IV, scene I

[Thunder. Enter the three Witches]

First Witch: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch: Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch: Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch: Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch: Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch: Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Glimmerglass 8:29 AM  

@Rex. You were born ten years too late; I was born ten years too early. Not easy for me, but a doable "medium." Don't buy ONE O' or AERO either. IS AN is easy but silly.

evil doug 8:38 AM  

"The last time Dolores Hart walked the Academy Awards red carpet — in 1962 — she was the blushing starlet who had given Elvis Presley his first screen kiss....After a whirlwind rise to stardom, the 23-year-old beauty had secured a $1 million contract and roles opposite some of Hollywood’s leading men....But this Sunday she will finally return as the woman she chose to become —-Mother Dolores, prioress of a cloistered nunnery in rural Connecticut, a Benedictine nun who has spent the past 50 years living a life of hard manual work, contemplation and prayer."---I could not respect a person more.

Totally dog tired of the ubiquitous Oreo---in the cookie aisle and in crosswords. Find some other useful multi-vowel words, will you?

Dye lot is on the money, a relatively common---if easily overlooked---term on many garments with little crossword exposure. Nice twist on paste as fake diamond, too. Glad to learn O neg (which I much prefer to "One g", as in gravity) is the universal donor---I thought it was O pos. Self as a common portrait subject is clever---had the -e-- and ---f and thought of 'leaf' first.

Not difficult, but [Five] Satin[s] smooth.


Leslie 8:42 AM  

AMOEBOID gave me fits, but since I knit I was fine with DYE LOT. Andrea, I only know DOWEL as "dowel rod," which I guess could mean either that dowel and dowel rod are the same thing, or that the dowel is that little jobbie with the holes in it that the dowel rods fit into. ???

Brinded cat 8:49 AM  

12 ten letter words, pretty cool.

joho 9:10 AM  

I loved it. Lots of great clues yielded little aha moments when the answers dawned.

Error at RaGe instead of RISE and STERaC and ALROgEN. I really wanted ALROkEr! I also had jewishDELI before FAKESOUT gave me KOSHER.

@Amoieboid cOWEN Mindreaders, I, too was watching the "Today" show this morning and was writing in DOLORES at the exact moment a story came on about her! I love it when that happens! I'm also in the dark about ONEO ... anybody?

Fun Saturday, thank you Mr. Silk!

Nancy in PA 9:16 AM  

All of us knitters know DYELOT though it didn't leap into the grid for me. None of this was easy but all of it ultimately satisfying. Kept trying to cram in dellSATINS (they were a group, right?) and put in and took out so many answers the paper started to shred. A great workout.

Lindsay 9:31 AM  

I found the NW more difficult than the rest by a factor of a zillion, give or take. Don't know my Shakespeare, and had humanOID shape-shifters. DYE LOT is a perfectly good phrase, also applicable to wallpaper and such, but I was looking for a "yarn identifier" along the lines of "lie detector." Bah.

Have sent in my ACPT entry, and reserved a room, so maybe I'm taking the slow spots more seriously than I should.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

It's that lot of times begin with one o... like one o clock, three o clock, etc.

I think.

Campesite 9:40 AM  

I guess the beginning of audibly saying the time we say One O'clock in the morning, but the clue seems arbitrary to me.

I was at the Oakland Coliseum when the hilariously egocentric Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock's all-time stolen base record. The game stopped, and in an on-field speech that weirdly reminded me of Lou Gherig's, Rickey proclaimed, "today, I am the greatest of all time."

JC66 9:53 AM  

Today took me twice as long as yesterday's even though the NE fell fast ("In the Still of the Nite" was my steady & my song when I was a hi school senior circa 1957).

The rest was a real struggle, but very enjoyable.

quilter1 9:56 AM  

I liked seeing DYELOT, very important to anyone using fibers. As they are dyed they get a number so yarns, etc., can be color matched.

I got the NE first, then the SW, then worked from SE to NW to finish. Very nice experience.

AnnieD 10:01 AM  

Delightful puzz for a saturday from Mr Silk with just the right amount of brain strain.

I smiled when I saw Banda. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I think of the Isle of Banda, which on April 2, 1778 on the same day had a typhoon, an earthquake and a volacanic eruption. However my day is going, it is not as bad as a bad day in Banda.

Anonymous 10:10 AM  

Not as thrilled with this puzzle as others. Flowerlady9

imsdave 10:11 AM  

Back in my youth, I managed a tile store, and if you didn't pay attention to the DYELOT's, you could end up with a huge repair bill for your customer.

Yesterday was a flat out easy for me (a Friday under ten is unusual here). Today, I rated it medium-challenging (see Lindsay's comment).

Re: the ACPT - organizing a dinner for Friday night - have about 10 Rexites and other crossworders so far. If you're interested in joining us, please contact me via my email address, available by clicking my blogger ID.

GILL I. 10:11 AM  

I enjoyed this "old time feely" crossword. I couldn't remember the FIVE SATINS name but I can sing "In the Still of the Nite" word for word.
RHINESTONE is such a nice name for paste jewelry. I wonder how it got it's name.
The poor amoeba seems to get raked over the coals. Now we can add an OID to it's name. Come to think of it, an OID crossword might be fun.
Speaking of decades...Bani-SADR brought back memories of the late 70's early 80's. It was he who tried unsuccessfully to secure the freedom of the American hostages who were taken from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. Remember the IRAN-US hostage crisis? They were released 444 days later, minutes after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office.

Tobias Duncan 10:12 AM  

How anyone could find this easier than yesterdays is beyond me.I just could not get a hold of this one until I got to the southwest.Some bits came easy but this guys cluing is brutal.

Rookie 10:14 AM  


STRIKEOUTS instead of STOLENBASE until I finally remembered who Rickey Henderson was.

It always amazes me when such probable, but unusual, answers fit in perfectly.

Loren Muse Smith 10:26 AM  

My parents are still visiting, and I print out two puzzles so Dad and I work together. He pitched for Wake Forest, so our low hanging fruit was STOLENBASE and ALROSEN. "Jets" and "Jewish delis" jammed us up for a bit. I really, really wanted "The Blob" for IROBOT and briefly thought about adding another square to make it fit. Loved AMOEBOID. Now that's a word.

Big Natick at the SADR/STDENIS cross.

DOGTIRED. @Ulrich - maybe this can be a lexical exploration for your blog. Isn't it the same in German?

"(THRICE) — pretty dang easy," Right. For a literature professor. For me it was a thirty foot shimmy (shinny?)up the coconut tree.

Thank you, Barry. Crisp crisp crisp.

retired_chemist 10:32 AM  

Easy here except for the NW which took a LOOONG time.

Wanted KATZ'S DELI (on Houston) @ 18A but it didn't fit (unless you use the apostrophe). AL ROSEN a gimme - big Indians fan in the 50s.

Reluctantly put in NILE @ 13D because MISSISSIPPI didn't fit.

You do not want to put yourself in a position to get OREO BALLS. Or GRAPE NUTS. In any case ONEO, OREO, and AERO are almost a short word ladder.

Personal taste: nice to see ST. DENIS with the I instead of the Y.

Thanks, Mr. Silk.

David 10:46 AM  

Easy-Medium in the Eastern half, Medium-Challenging in the West. Took way too long to get the gettable MOSTWANTED and REGISTERED, and let's add AREWEALONE to that. BEER BOTTLE had me baffled even after I filled it in,

Had WHEEL for DOWEL for a bit, which slowed the NE, but SUMOS was the key to the puzzle in the middle. Once I got that the skies cleared and everything that had me stuck for so long was completed in about 2 minutes.

One website forum I occasionally frequent has something called RHTPF, or "Rickey Henderson Third Person Friday", where anyone who posts must refer to themselves in the 3rd person. What an amazing, goofy ballplayer.

archaeoprof 10:52 AM  

Finished with one careless error: wrote DeLORES and never checked the cross. Alas.

RE: Rickey Henderson. How many of those stolen bases helped the team win a game? In today's "moneyball" Rickey doesn't really look all that great.

David 11:14 AM  

His SB numbers are go gaudy that they threaten to overshadow some other career stats that I would say are amazing in any era - most runs scored, over .400 on-base %, 2nd most walks (behind Bonds, who had tons of intentional walks during his wild HR years), over 3000 hits, nearly 300 HR as a leadoff man, even over 1100 RBIs.

Norm 11:15 AM  

Easy-medium except for the NW. Like many others, I stalled there for the longest time -- even with THRICE, WEBCAST, EELED, and STEN in place, Just could not grok the clues for the longest time and did not know what on earth to do with ----BOID. Finally got it. Tough workout but enjoyable.

mac 11:15 AM  

Very good Saturday, tough in several areas for me.

I too saw a little clip of Dolores on tv this morning. Write-overs: palm reader, Polish deli, podcast and the funniest one: kiss at 7D instead of visa.

Looking over the grid now, there are not a lot of esoteric words in this puzzle. It must all be in the clues.

Italian on the Brooklyn Friday!!

KRMunson 11:16 AM  

Even though I finished, I still don't get "beer bottle" for part of a stag's litter. Is "stag" a brand? If so, shouldn't it be capitalized? Didn't understand why rhinestone is a bit of paste, either. Can someone please edify?

Wish I was going to the ACPT. Have gone 3 times and it is a blast!! Gotta hang in the midwest this year.

Loren Muse Smith 11:21 AM  

@KRMunson - think detritus from a stag party.

KRMunson 11:24 AM  

Thanks to all who posted yesterday on why "salute" was incorrect for 8D. I had no idea the rules were so complex!!

Also many thanks to @loren muse smith for clearing up the "stags litter" mystery...a great bit of misdirection from Mr. Silk!

David L 11:25 AM  

Way harder than yesterday for me. Couldn't finish the NE without googling for "five satins." Had JEWISH deli, then when that didn't work tried POLISH... Don't know ALROSEN... Etc etc.

Also, TNTS? As, how many TNTs do you need to demolish your neighbor's garage? Don't think so...

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

Unlike Rex, I pulled out my STEN, posted the puzzle as a bull's eye and blasted away endlessly. But in the end I was ON THE MONEY and Mr. Silk's 10x12's went down like a RHINESTONE cowboy in a shootout at a KOSHER DELI. Ken Holtzman was my favorite Jewish baseball player and Sid Luckman my favorite Jewish football player but AL ROSEN was a gimmie, as was that thief Henderson's STOLEN BASE record. Miss (NPI) Dolores HART from "Where The Boys Are" and, unlike ED, was hurt when she went to the convent. Will be interested in seeing her this Sunday. As Paul Simon wrote, still crazy after all these years....


Sue McC 11:30 AM  

Just ok.

Am wondering what Rex thought of the OREO clue, given that he was asking about that recently.

a person 11:32 AM  

Once again it looks like Friday is the new Saturday and Saturday is the new Thursday as far as these puzzles are concerned.

I did find "start of time/one o'" and "Reagan era/X-er" to be refreshingly clever, however.

Ulrich 11:46 AM  

Just finished w/o googling after watching my home team lose their fifth in 6 matches--hundemüde (dog-tired) of the whole thing (thx @loren for reminding me--in my reduced state, I didn't even think of it).

Anyway, whenever I can finish a Saturday, I expect an "easy" rating. Still, it's not enough to drown my sorrows in. And what's with this NANO thing--if there's a mini golf, there must be a nano-golf, no? Perhaps that's what the atoms play, sterically speaking...

JoeTheJuggler 12:03 PM  

We don't say "one o' time" though. And the beginning of the day isn't 1:00 by any measure. Maybe if the clue were "the beginning of a time".

I feel as if there is something else going on in that one that we're all missing!

If it's just weak, it's forgivable because the rest of the puzzle (other than TNTS) was very nice.

Atlantasolver 12:09 PM  

I am new to this community bulletin board and I have a question: do y'all Google the answers? I thought the point was to solve the puzzle without help.

wyonative 12:27 PM  

I finished the puzzle and there is still some morning left, definitely a triumph for me and a satisfying end to an overall good week. Loved beer bottle, legalese, dog tired. Don't know why I know St. Denis: Catholic upbringing, maybe.

r.alphbunker 12:33 PM  

There are seven blemishes to the solution of a crossword puzzle.
1. Was stuck, paused and resumed puzzle later.
2. Had to google, use a reference book or ask another person
3. Incorrect letters at the end that were fixed without looking at answer
4. Checked answer with crossword puzzle program.
5. Revealed one or more letters with crossword puzzle program.
6. Looked at RP's solution
7. Unfilled squares at the end.

If I get through with only blemishes 1, 2, 3 I consider that I finished the puzzle. Think of the blemishes as soft spots in a piece of fruit. You can enjoy a piece of fruit even if it has a couple of soft spots.

However, I feel most satisfied if there are no blemishes at all. My most common blemish in #3

poc 12:37 PM  

I'm another one with no idea of what ONEO means. Some enlightenment anyone?

Tobias Duncan 12:45 PM  

@Atlantasolver I consider any help from google or anywhere else to be a DNF.Very common for me on Saturdays.

Mel Ott 12:49 PM  

The 5 Satins were a group from New Haven. One of them sang regularly in the choir of the church I attended there in the 60's. One or two of the others joined us for the big holy days.

Good puzzle (except for pluralizing TNT - I find it hard to forgive that one).

Loren Muse Smith 12:54 PM  

@Ulrich - I think it has to do with Ipods. I used to have a nano.

@Tobias Duncan and r.alphbunker - I agree. I consider googling and and using crossword dictionaries DNFs but have no compunction soliciting help from friends and family. Where do ya'll come down on getting a rap answer from a 19 year old son, a science (STERIC) answer from a smart scientist husband, or an obscure Old Testament clue from a best friend who's a rabbi?

r.alphbunker 1:19 PM  

Previous posts indicate that you have been a teacher (e.g, grading Japanese exams in Starbucks). If you gave an exam that students were supposed to do on their own and one student googled an answer and another got it from his friend's test would you penalize the googler but not the looker?

Wine Diver 1:32 PM  

Between BEE and TLE I was sure there was a beetle in there somewhere. Bugged the heck out of me.

jae 1:36 PM  

@lms - For quite a while input from friends and family was OK for me. I'm at a point now where any outside help is a personal DNF.

That said, anyone who completed the latest "PuzzleExpress" puzzle on the Crosswords IPad app without resorting to google/outside help deserves great admiration.

Masked and Anonymous 1:39 PM  

Trouble spots...
The STERIC-ALROSEN-ENOL staircase. ???-Gack.

Wanted humanOID for 27-A. Made the down stack, coming out of the NW, pretty darn cryptic.

Missed chance: first reaction to 1-A was MOBS, but it didn't feel quite right for the clue, so didn't ever write 'er in. Wrong again, M&A breath. Out-psyched by the SatPuz.

Finally sued for peace, handing puz over to the mighty PuzSpouse for resolution. She snarled at it for a while, but it eventually snapped. She ended up with two X's (bad NOTCHes) by the Shortzmeister's name. One X for ONEO, the other X for TNTS. One more X, and... well, we don't wanna think about that...

Norm 1:39 PM  

I fail to see the difference between consulting Google or an atlas or Roget's and asking "a 19 year old son, ... a smart scientist husband, or ... a best friend who's a rabbi." It's either your personal knowledge or it isn't. That said, I'd rather Google than leave a puzzle incomplete. Whether I count it as a personal DNF or not depends on how unfair/fiendish I think the constructor was. You know, my house; my rules. Each of us can make out own. ;-)

barbara 2:01 PM  

One o is the beginning of one o clock

r.alphbunker 2:01 PM  


@jackj mentioned a while ago that he feels that we are entitled to as many Googles as the constructor used during puzzle construction.

Masked and Anonymous II 2:06 PM  

Just in case ACME Darlin' and Leslie never got a good answer, DOWEL is a stick part, in the TinkerToy construction biz.

Would go to the ACPT party for Rexites mentioned above, but would have to wear a brown bag over head, to preserve my sign-in tagline's integrity. Sucks, for drinkin' brewskies. Wonder if Die Antwoord DJ guy would lend me his primo mask?

chefbea 2:31 PM  

Too late to the party so haven't read all the comments but I do have a nit..don't know if anyone mentioned it. 58D. No one has ever come into my kitchen and said.."What is that odor?" It's aroma that draws you into the kitchen.

Now to try and make some oreo balls!!

DigitalDan 2:38 PM  

Wanted OOOO for beginning of time. But that's the digital in me.

In the beginning, as I recall, crosswords were created with the intention of forcing one to consult reference works and learn new things. Of course, in the age of Google, this is arguably too easy. But it's fortunate that most of us can make our own rules for what constitutes a blemish.

foodie 2:42 PM  

@chefbea, I'm with you. While technically speaking we smell ODORs of all kinds, in regular usage the connotation of ODOR is not always appetizing. Aroma is definitely more attractive!

@Ulrich, I love the rhythm of hundemüde! There is something about it that makes you want to lie down...

Hobbyist 3:05 PM  

So clever to have included "satin" by Mr. Silk.

Lewis 3:20 PM  

Barry, can you come in and explain to everyone's satisfaction 15A? Would be greatly appreciated.

I agree with JackJ about the outstanding quality of Barry Silk's puzzles, always yielding delights.

Was stuck in the NW like so many others. I loved many clues and answers, i.e., 23A.

Loren Muse Smith 3:21 PM  

@jae, r.alphbunker, norm- You have completely changed my mind and I will now declare defeat before texting Rabbi Cohn!@r.alphbunker, your test analogy was spot on.

@chefbea - unfortunately someone HAS come into my kitchen asking,"What is that odor?" Probably more than once.

Z 3:33 PM  

Twangster (anon @ 9:31) I think has the ONE O right... One "O" begins "o'clock."

Like many others, I found the east easy and the NW down into Kansas neigh on impossible. Silk often has my number, so I'm pretty pleased with the effort today.

As I recall it was Father Google Natick that first brought me to this blog. I do google (or yahoo) on occasional Fridays and Saturdays. I don't usually confess my sins because A) I'm not big into confession, B) I do this for fun, C) none of you are my Father Confessors. I'll leave it the the Great Google Spirit in the Sky to determine whether or not I've atoned for my crossword sins.

Anonymous 3:51 PM  

Tough one for me, took almost an hour.

Didn't mind EELED or DYELOT, but TNTS? TNT simply doesn't work as a plural.

Had JEWISH and CORNER for a long time before I realized it was a KOSHER DELI. Duh!

I don't think an ODOR is a drawer to anything unless you're trying to find a place to drop a deuce. An AROMA draws one to a kitchen.

STERIC was all crosses for me.

The Korean War made the STEN famous? Srsly? I fought putting that down for the longest time...

Wickedly clever clue for RHINESTONE.


Larry I in L.A. 3:53 PM  

Hats off to Barry Silk. Of course, I might feel differently if baseball and music weren't my two favorite pastimes, as FIVESATINS and STOLENBASE made great toeholds for my solving experience. Also serendipitously glanced at an L.A. Times article this week regarding DOLORES Hart. Another week and her name would have likely dissipated into the ETHER.

Only real sticking point was DELI type, as I first tried jewish and then corner. Grimaced at the plural TNTS, no idea about ILO, and like AMOEBOID much better than its clue, but overall a top-NOTCH Saturday.

Atlantasolver 3:59 PM  

Thanks r.alph and others for notions of what is and isn't kosher in solving aids. Seems to me that blemishes 1 and 3 -- pausing and correcting errors unaided -- are entirely proper, while the others constitute getting outside help. But I like the idea that each solver is to be guided by his/her conscience: i personally also believe in spousal immunity!

John V 4:21 PM  

Well. I think a lost a few puzzle synapses on the rock-and-roll flight from Charlotte to LGA last night; three hours late but landed with all the bits that were on the plane when we took off.

So, this played challenging for me but I could see that in a different frame of mind it would have been easier. Not easier than yesterday by any means, for me. Finished with no errors, a perfect week, and I have absolutely no idea how that happened.

Most fun for me was Rickey Henderson; brought back funny memories of when he played left field for the Yankees. My son and I were seated in left field fair territory along side some real hooples, who kept taunting, "Riiikey, RIIIICKEY", to which Henderson kept giving them the finger behind his back. Fun for all, it is an hysterical memory, triggered by the estimable Barry Silk. Thanks for that unexpected moment.

And, oh yes, the NE was still hard, even though I knew the FIVESATINS growing up.

Larry I in L.A. 4:22 PM  

Sorry, @archaeoprof, but regarding Rickey Henderson I honestly can't be more diplomatic than this: you don't know what you're talking about. Henderson was probably the greatest leadoff batter in major league history, and is one of only seven players to reach base via hit, walk or HBP more than 5,000 times in his career. (The top 7 are Rose, Bonds, Cobb, Rickey, Yaz, Musial and Aaron.) The stolen bases (with a solid 80 percent success rate) were just icing on the cake.

michael 4:29 PM  

I found this easier than usual for a Saturday, but agree with the general puzzlement about "one o." I came to the comments to try to figure this out, and still am not satisfied with the suggestions about "o clock."

mac 5:04 PM  

@chefbea and @foodie: right on. The odor in my kitchen is of white bean chili. My husband may secretly consider it an odor rather than aroma, he's not crazy about Mexican-ish food.

Unknown 5:13 PM  

My only gimmes: DOLORES (she's been in the news a lot), AREWEALONE, St. DENIS, KOSHER DELI. The rest I got VERY slowly, since I'm still a (kinda)beginner. Loved the BEER BOTTLE clue.

Some of you guys are so fast! I don't think I'll get there, I'm too old already...Still it's fun.


retired_chemist 5:24 PM  

@Atlantasolver said: I like the idea that each solver is to be guided by his/her conscience.

Exactly. It isn't even a matter of conscience. We each do a puzzle for personal enjoyment. Like many, my own highest enjoyment comes from solving the puzzle in one sitting with nothing but my mind to rely on. But if I have to Google (maybe once in two weeks) or ask non-puzzle wife for a pop culture or rock and roll answer (more frequent), that's fine too. How else to learn?

And if you Google every freakin' day, that too is fine by me. One learns, one gets better.

Sparky 5:51 PM  

Did better yesterday than today which isn't saying much. Almost zero in NE but did have shout out to Bob. Don't get ONEO either. Thought O Pos universal donor. (My blood type.) Had ICBM not STEN. Deli doesn't have to be KOSHER or Jewish to carry knishes, at least in NYC. You can buy Hamantashen at the Itlain Bakery all year round in the Village. TNTS-Nope.

Yet I always like a Barry Silk puzzle. Clever cluing. @M&A-I wanted Bill the Cat for my avatar but chickened out and opted for the peaceful head shot. Thanks for the Gacks.

Sir Hillary 6:02 PM  

Lots of bruises from this one. Got about halfway through my newspaper copy in an hour this morning, had to split for a bar mitzvah, then afterward came home and took another hour to finish. But I did so on my own, which looked doubtful for awhile.

Excellent Saturday fare - very tough but very fair. Easiest part was SE, but got held up for a bit with MART at 63A. Brilliant clues at 49A, 3D, 7D, 32D andf 58D. Like the "Sabbath theme" cross of KOSHERDELI and ALROSEN, who is clued as the Hebrew Hammer (coincidental that the current Hebrew Hammer, Ryan Braun, has been in the news lately). My only beef is with ONEO, which doesn't live up to the rest of the entries.

All in all, a great workout.

I skip M-W 6:20 PM  

Took me forever, but I finished correctly. As to the knish niche, my secular Jewish upbringing didn't include it. When I lived in Noe Valley,SF, in the early 90's, there was a place that sold nothing but knishes. It was run by a very nice Iranian refugee family, and those were the first knishes I ever remember having. Nothing Kosher about them.

Was teenage in the late 50's, but not into pop music, so don't recall 5 Satins. Agree about TNTS and one-o.
Stag litter was clever misclue.

Cheerio 6:27 PM  

Knowledge of crosswordese feels like cheating to me, but not something I can control.

Bob Kerfuffle 7:21 PM  

Here's a wacky coincidence - I just looked at the syndicated puzzle for today - from 1/21/12 - and it contains the answer ARE YOU ALONE, while today's puzzle has ARE WE ALONE. What are the odds?

mac 8:56 PM  

I wish you had a "like" button, @Bob Kerfuffle!
Will you be in Brooklyn?

ksquare 9:34 PM  

Retired Chemist might correct me, but I believe there may be isomers of TNT, i.e. different arrangement of the nitrates on the toluene molecule, in which case there could be TNTs. It's been many years since I studied organic chemistry.

davko 10:26 PM  

A perfect Saturday puzzle, keeping me engaged throughout the day as I left and returned, chipping away at it a little more each time. Terrific span of subject matter, with just enough ambiguity and double-meanings in the clues to keep one off-balance, and hence, on one's toes. Nice to see a clue for STEN that didn't include a reference to British weaponry, for a change.

sanfranman59 1:41 AM  

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 7:34, 6:49, 1.11, 91%, Challenging
Tue 8:35, 8:52, 0.97, 46%, Medium
Wed 13:03, 11:50, 1.10, 77%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 19:13, 18:59, 1.01, 55%, Medium
Fri 22:07, 25:12, 0.88, 26%, Easy-Medium
Sat 27:29, 29:44, 0.92, 34%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:05, 3:40, 1.12, 91%, Challenging
Tue 4:32, 4:35, 0.99, 52%, Medium
Wed 6:42, 5:52, 1.14, 88%, Challenging
Thu 8:45, 9:17, 0.94, 45%, Medium
Fri 10:43, 12:28, 0.86, 28%, Easy-Medium
Sat 16:31, 16:55, 0.98, 51%, Medium

Dirigonzo 1:47 PM  

Did not finish because the long down answers in the NW eluded me, possibly because I had the made-up word robOTOID (Hey, transformers are robots, I think?)at 27a. About the only thing I had correct in that whole segment of the grid was EELED.

As to ONEO at 15a, here's my take on the clue: one o'clock is a random "time", the beginning of which is "ONEO"; if Mr. silk had needed "twoo", "threeo" or whatever number one through twelve-o he could have used the same clue.

Anonymous 7:21 AM  

Turns out Dolores Hart was in the Times over the weekend, elsewhere:

jberg 9:02 AM  

I'm posting 2 days late, so will just say I finished with an error, as I went with DeLORES, and never thought of DYELOT.

But what is a "brinded cat?" I'd always read that word in my mind as "brindled."

Tita 3:39 PM  

I'm posting late too...
Just had to post one of my favorite wrong answers of all times...
A fellow puzzler had BabyBeeTLE as One in a stag's litter...


(Oh - and I tried to hurry through this, but the NW slayed me. Liked it much, in spite of DNFwoG)

Bob Kerfuffle 10:53 AM  

Just a test.

Dave 10:21 PM  

Pulled my hair out on this. Arrangement of molecules in space meant "chiral" to me that just blew up the NE corner. Steric? No. Dislike. Nothing I tried worked and I couldn't come up with the 5 Satins, not being *quite* that old. Oh well.

James Lovell 4:03 AM  

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Libby 11:13 AM  

I'm a syndicated solver, so just did this today. Wanted to chime in with the rest of the knitters that DYELOT is not an obscure term, although it took me a while for it to click in.

Spacecraft 12:49 PM  

DYELOT no problem for me, as wifey is part of "Yarnstormers!" (Look that up.) Gotta match dyelots if you're doing a multi-skein job. I'd rate this medium-challenging, namely, the rest of the puzzle being medium and the NW a nightmare! I have seen the explanation for ONEO and all I can do is shake my head. Should be clued as "Beginning of cat?" Also, TNTS doesn't work. That section was just awful to fill in; when done I had that ONEO and despaired that it could ever be right--but since nothing else worked any better I left it in, thus finishing correctly with no help.

Loved that Mr. Silk bearded his rival fabric with the FIVESATINS.

OK, XER has now become overused. Let's give that one a rest, can we?

jimzbookz 1:09 PM  

what do beer bottles have to do with stags -- is stag some kind of beer? never heard of it, here in Caif.

Solving in Seattle 2:06 PM  

My hand's up on the ONEO Beginning of time clue. Huh?

Had an easy time with this one - smooth as Silk.

One problem was 1D, where I started with wanTedlist. Took a while to work it out.

I'm a little embarrassed that, as a former member of the California Bar Assn., the last thing I figured out was LEGALESE. Great clue.

boardbtr 2:16 PM  

@jimzbookz - Stag is/was a beer brand,however a previous suggestion that the beer bottle might be the trash from a stag party might be more realistic. On another note, I was not a perturbed by the plural on TNT as I was by the lack of an indication of an abbreviation.

connie in seattle 3:42 PM  

Could ONEO have to do with the year time began on earth, as opposed to One B.C. or One A.D.?

I propose another good answer for the "shapeshifter(?)" clue - SPANX.
Hey, it works!

connie in seattle 3:43 PM  

Could ONEO have to do with the year time began on earth, as opposed to One B.C. or One A.D.?

I propose another good answer for the "shapeshifter(?)" clue - SPANX.
Hey, it works!

Lola505 3:54 PM  

This was a pretty easy Saturday, except for the FIVE SATINS and its crosses, ILO and VISA.
I liked the long-but-gettable downs, but had a bit of a pause when I tried PALM- for MINDREADER.

@Connie in Seattle, I thought ONEO referenced one o'clock, myself, but you could be right.

DMGrandma 4:51 PM  

Managed the SW and SE with a few "what else could fit" guesses Then was working the NE and hit another music group I haven't heard of. tried "takeout" for 5D, thinking the group might be"the" somethings, then having no idea what the first letter of steric was, I abandoned the chase and went west to disaster. Couldn't bring myself to wirite in mobs as I couldn't make any of the downs work. After all, stags don't have litters, does do. And so it went. Still find amoeboid as strange as oneo. And I thought today would be better!!!

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

Hated beer bottle. It is refuse, garbage, but not litter until somebody throws it on the side of the road. And most stags, while not fancy, WILL have a garbage can AND be indoors. HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT

Beginning of Time 8:28 AM  

ONEO parsed is ONE O' as in one o'clock. Not very silky.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Once I learn to spell Dolores I'd like to have another crack at this puzzle. Felt pretty good about having fought my way through this (PODCAST messed up my NW but good) until I came here and saw that O where I had an E.

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