Dutch chess grandmaster Max / SAT 2-4-12 / Fratricide victim of myth / Billet-doux recipients / 1980s-90s hip hop show co-hosted by Fab 5 Freddy

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley and Caleb Madison

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

 THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Max EUWE (2D: Dutch chess grandmaster Max) —
Machgielis (Max) Euwe (last name is pronounced [ˈøːwə]) (May 20, 1901 – November 26, 1981) was a Dutch chess Grandmaster, mathematician, and author. He was the fifth player to become World Chess Champion (1935–37). Euwe also served as President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 1970 to 1978. (wikipedia)
• • •

Fell asleep before the puzzle came out last night and only just finished (7:30am EST), so this will have to be quick.

Of course I love this. It's a *little* heavy on proper nouns, which bothers me not at all (I tend to have significant culural-frame-of-reference overlap with these guys), but which can be a problem for the general population, especially when you put two longish contemporary actors' names on top of each other (AMY ADAMS, SETH ROGEN) and cross them with another actor (ASNER), or put two artists on top of each other (ERNST, DEGAS ... actually, those guys are puzzle standards, so not as big an issue there) (60A: "Pietà or Revolution by Night" artist + 63A: "L'Amateur d'estampes" painter). Clues were tough and clever, answers were fresh and lively, grid was mostly LUSCIOUS (except the far west—what's going on there with all the grunting: UHUH AHAS AHH?).

I need to hand in my English teacher credentials because I dropped in CASE at 1D: Subjunctive, e.g. (MOOD). Between that and the mysterious chess guy, the NW took me longer than I would've liked, but after I got it under control, I then tore through a large chunk of the grid unimpeded. Paused at -NISIA because I could not think of any place that ended like that (25A: "Patton" setting = TUNISIA). My mind was in the Pacific, for some reason, with INDONESIA and MICRONESIA. -ISIA just looked wrong. NE would've proved very difficult had it not been for the big phat gimme of "YO! MTV RAPS" (18A: 1980s-'90s hip-hop show co-hosted by Fab 5 Freddy). That answer made that corner go instantly from rough to easy. SW was pretty easy despite a terrible ONION-for-BACON error (46A: Salad bar offering) that left me wondering where my French went (couldn't think of potential [Billet-doux recipients] starting with "N") (AMIES). Finished in the SE, which I found very hard until yet another '90s pop culture clue saved my life. I watched "When We Were Kings" many years back and remember very well that it concerned the "Rumble in the Jungle" (in ZAIRE) (58A: Setting for the 1996 documentary "When We Were Kings"). That "Z" led instantly to GLAZED and RAGWEED, and then I was done.

Thought [Navajo terrain] would be somewhere specific, not a general landform (MESAS). Very briefly contemplated whether PINTO meant "pounded" (24A: Food whose name means "pounded" = PESTO). Not a big Marx Bros. fan, so didn't get HARPO til I had that -RPO ending (40A: Noted entertainer with a whistle). Got LISTERINE off just the -TE-, not sure why (56A: "Bad for bacteria" brand), as I've never used it in my life and can't remember last time I saw an ad for it. STEVE NASH is like the Delaware of the NBA, in that when the time comes to name the 50 greatest NBA players of all time, he will be the last one remaining and the one I can't turn up, despite the fact that I know very well that he exists (3D: First N.B.A. player to light the Olympic cauldron). I just taught the Aeneid this week, which means talking about the foundation of Rome, so you'd think REMUS would've jumped into my head faster (8D: Fratricide victim of myth). But no. Couldn't get Cain/Abel out of my head. I don't know why THUNDER rolls across "fields" any more than it rolls across anything, but that's an interesting clue. LAWN CARE seems like a *type* of business rather than a business (38D: Business that's always cutting back?). I can't explain why, but the distinction seems important. It's more a filed. You wouldn't use the phrase w/o "business" if you were describing your business. I run a LAWN CARE ... something! As opposed to I run a barber shop or a smeltery or what not. I haven't thought of the name AMIGA in forever and had no idea they had anything to do with CD-ROMs (49D: Computer that pioneered in CD-ROMs). Nice "King" motif with the clue for ZAIRE as well as the clue for REV. (27D: King, e.g.: Abbr.) and the answer ROI (20D: Échecs piece).

The End.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Loren Muse Smith 8:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raúl 8:49 AM  

PARM , a restaurant in Nolita, was recently reviewed in the NYT.

Loren Muse Smith 8:52 AM  

I've been doing BEQ's Mondays and Thursdays, and I thought today's was a lot easier than I was expecting. @Rex - MOOD was my toe hold! I guess you're more on the literature side of English than grammar? More power to you.

I found the NE really tough - CIG and CIAOS - dastardly! I drove my daughter and her friend to a Lady Antebellum concert last night but didn't attend myself. That I don't really know their music (and didn't know YOMTVRAPS) makes me feel over the hill.

The quasi-lexical UHUH, AHH,and AHA I liked a lot. Flirting with PUSHingTHEENVELOPE.

I don't understand this Westport thing, but I wish I were there. Viel Gluck! Buena Suerte! Gambatte, ne!

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

How is TAPA part of a bar order? Tapas at a salad bar maybe?

Leslie 8:55 AM  

The generational differences always make me smile. YOU MTV RAPS was not an "instant drop in" for me as it was for Rex, so I gave myself a mental cookie for getting that one. Totally agree on all the grunting in the far west, and what a funny way to express it!

The northeast took me a bit of pondering even without the MTV reference. I solve with paper and pen and didn't want to drop in PSY and PARM at first. PSY is "psych" in my head, not PSY, and PARM, short for "Parmesan," made me hesitate because I was wondering if it was okay to put that abbreviated version in there.

But yes, this was a clever puzzle. Fun seeing BEQ and Caleb Madison work together.

Gareth Bain 9:05 AM  

Easy-medium!!? The bottom maybe? I suspect the bottom was CM's as I dismantled that relatively well for a Saturday: I'm usually on his wavelength. The top was fiendish - as I elaborated elsewhere if YOMTVRAPS had been a gimme rather than a I-need-every-letter it might have been different. Ended up with a time twice my Saturday average last year!

@LMS: Funny, I'd consider Lady Antebellum's style to be more aimed at older folk: country/light rock.

Glimmerglass 9:06 AM  

Easy for you young punks -- challenging for me. I puzzled through at last (the kind of xword I like best), but I was very short on gimmes. MOOD and HARPO were two, but I'd never heard of AMY ADAMS or SETH ROGEN, so that corner was hard! BACON could have been any five-letter thing on a salad bar. I know EARNST and DEGAS, of course, as artists, but the specific works? Then I had raisED doughnuts/eyes for awhile, so that corner was hard. The NW was hardest of all. Never heard of EUWE (the etui of proper nouns, I suppose), and I don't follow basketball. Lastly, YO MTV RAPS is completely off my radar (I was sure Yom TV Raps had to be wrong, but I was stuck). Easy? Uh uh.

foodie 9:11 AM  

UH UH- AHA I like it!

I'm amazed but I too found it on the easy side...Miracle of miracles, I came up with SETH ROGEN and AMY ADAMS.

But did you know that sOultRAin fits where YOMTVRAPS goes? I knew it was wrong even as I was trying... But you know how it goes on Saturdays...

Bob Kerfuffle 9:14 AM  

Never looking back to see if 6D made sense, I finished on paper with 18 A as TOM TV RAPS!

ArtLvr 9:32 AM  

Yo, Rex -- if you don't think of LAWN CARE as a business, you're probably not following the Romney views on guest workers in the USA. "Cutting back" was quite amusing!

jackj 9:38 AM  

If you spend time in Eastern Massachusetts, you have to appreciate that virtually no one who eats knows the popular cutlet dish by anything other than chicken PARM. Chicken parmesan? Must be a New York thing.

Keeping on with the regional thing, seeing LUSCIOUS was a jarring reminder of smart-alecky days in grammar school when the adjective du jour was LUSCIOUS; everything was LUSCIOUS, (unless it wasn't) and, like acne, we outgrew it's hold on us.

With AMYADAMS, SETHROGEN and, especially, YOMTVRAPS, I'm rudely reminded that, proper noun-wise, I'm an unapologetic dinosaur. But, as Rex tells us, my condition is actually worse, and I'm just another cog in the wheel of life as part of "the general population".

I'd hoped for better; even "civilian" would have been a step up from such an ordinary, demeaning descriptor. Ah, well, at least they probably had to struggle a bit with our gimmes of HARPO, EUWE and TUNISIA.

acmeofepitome 10:00 AM  

Never heard of Chicken PARM nor YOMTVRAPS, nor GESSO, nor Meet the METS, so NE corner was impossible for me. A very New York-urban-centric corner, evidently.

Raúl 10:05 AM  

Harpo and his Whistle.

Loren Muse Smith 10:07 AM  

@anonymous - I think it's called a Tapa(s) Bar - lots of appetizers. Spanish maybe?

@Gareth - of course we listened to Lady Antebellum all the way to Huntington, and I was pleasantly surprised. Very nice for a Simon and Garfunkle kind of person. When it comes to radio, I just listen to NPR -Syvlia Poggioli, Ira Glass, Carl Castle, and the gang. (Does anyone remember the game "My Word" with Dennis Norden et al? They were brilliant.)

I DO know every single word to "Drop it Like it's Hot." I memorized the lyrics when my son was in seventh grade only to horrify him. It worked. The look on his face when I started in with "I got the rolie on my arm and I'm pouring Chandon. . " was worth the effort. Poor kid.

r.alphbunker 10:10 AM  

If coyotes solved crossword puzzles they would solve todays the way that I did. Had long periods hunting for toeholds and then feasts filling in letters as fast as I could type.

Post-googling revealed it was YO MTV RAPS rather than YOM TV RAPS which is how I parsed it. Maybe YOM TV RAPS is the version shown on Israeli TV.

David L 10:25 AM  

Mainly easy except for the NE, which defeated me -- I got to _OM_VRAPS, but htg to complete it. Never heard of chicken PARM or meet the METS, and don't understand why PSY belongs to liberal arts...

foodie 10:33 AM  

Quick & Dirty Index puts this in the EASY range.

I just realized that I had misread the clue for EUWE as Dutch CHEESE grandmaster! I thought it was amusing his name was EWE-like, and thought the Dutch were so civilized to honor their cheesemakers with grand titles... And while we're on the mistaken topic, I've recently discovered Vella Monterey Jack cheeses (from Sonoma). Good stuff, and they use solar energy!

I figure the grunting corner is their way of PUSHing THE ENVELOPE.

BTW, my psychology friends would argue they are a Social Science...

Good luck in the tourney, New Englanders! It's today, right? I don't love tournaments, but I wish I could be at Mac's soiree, and meet a bunch of Rexvillians. Knowing Mac, it will be lovely!

evil doug 10:41 AM  

More twists and turns---and reasons to stop, step back and take a long look---than the Pacific Coast Highway. Just what I expect from these boys. So many logical possibilities that sounded good to the ear when I had no real clue.

Pack member: Cub? CSA? No, cig. I could use one...

Pasta? No, pesto.

Beets? No, bacon.

Michael Jordan? Larry Bird? Kareem? No, Steve Nash.

Combine? No, thunder.

Yo! MTV sucks! Was so brilliant in the early days with video after video---the improving art and creativity just exploded. Now try to get me to watch...

One explanation of "push the envelope": When engineers design aircraft they graph what they believe will be the limits of the plane---say, speed vs. altitude. These graphs often look like open envelopes, with the pointed flap at the top. Test pilots are tasked with vigorously wringing out the new jet to see if it can remain airworthy beyond these expected limitations---hence, "pushing the envelope".


NS Blube 10:42 AM  

Steve Nash is Canadian. For those of us solving north of the 49th parallel, he's hardly a Delaware. More like a New York, California and Texas all rolled into one.

mitchs 10:52 AM  

Got PARM form The Sopranos

Cathyat40 10:58 AM  

Hand up for trying sOultRain! Eventually figured out YOMTVRAPS, but don't think I've ever heard it before. I tried mOMTVRAPS first. I also think of Psychology as a science (B.S) rather than an art (B.A.)

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

Agree with NS Blube. I believe Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution. That would be a better analogy for Steve Nash, MVP twice and almost a perennial all-star for the past decase. Nash made everyone around him play better, the ultimate point guard. Hardly the chopped liver that will be remembered last....


mac 10:59 AM  

I loved this puzzle, and it was easy for me. Very artsy, but very evenhanded with clues on many subjects, contemporary and old.

The nuns were a great help in the NW, Remus just showed up in Jeopardy last night, I think, and everything I didn't know came up fine through the crosses. I parsed 18A Yom TV Raps as well, and had a malapop with ass at 42A.

Is it unusual to have just one 15 in a puzzle?

Just a little more than an hour before Karen, Ulrich, Dave, Jan and I meet Tita and John V, who both are bringing spouses. It'll be a good time, the bartender has arrived and the hors d'oeuvres are ready.

Norm 11:10 AM  

Ugh. Did not like that NE section. Never heard of chicken parm. Never heard of hip-hop TV show. Went with chicken farm and tom tv raps and hoped that FST was some acronym I'd never heard of. Fail. I give the puzzle a thumbs down for that part alone.

r.alphbunker 11:14 AM  

To me PSY is an abbreviation of the abbreviation Psych. Speaking of abbreviations the latest Fireball puzzle had the clue "Abbreviation that saves nine syllables" for a three letter answer.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

@Rex said: "Nice King" motif...."

Forgot to include NOPEE KING....


Sir Hillary 11:16 AM  

What a wonderful puzzle -- the most fun I have had with the NYT since Patrick Berry's meta-series a few months ago.

You know Rex likes it when he doesn't mention the cheater squares, and he's right not to in this case.

Fresh answers all over -- SETHROGEN, AMYADAMS, ADMONISH. Even the partial OWEME felt new. Interesting consonant strings -- PVCP, MTVR, SHTH, WNC -- that didn't feel forced. Great mix of words lengths. Loved loved loved the clue for STEVENASH. Yes, one could quibble about the far west, but why bother? I certainly didn't it notice when solving.

My only gripe is the clue for METS. Seems a bit provincial for those not in New York and listening to WFAN, but I suppose it's easy enough to get with crosses and the "major league" reference. It's such a nitpick I feel a bit silly even bringing it up. Oh well.

The only answer I don't understand is GESSO -- can someone help me out?

All in all, an awesome start to the weekend.

Sir Hillary 11:21 AM  


archaeoprof 11:28 AM  

@Foodie: PSYchology is a discipline with an identity crisis. Some want to be social scientists, others (who run rats and pigeons through mazes) believe they can be natural scientists.

Anthropology has a similar problem.

IMO it's about access to federal grants. NSF is big money; other sources not so much.

archaeoprof 11:29 AM  

PS: I enjoyed this puzzle, especially the SW.

hazel 11:37 AM  

Tale of two puzzles for me. Loved the bottom. Hated the top.

Sometimes i think highly googleable puzzles skew easy in the statistics and this one had some plum googleable locations, though i resisted - so the top was challenging, but somehow not satisfying.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

I kept reading "Bad for Bacteria" band. I even googled it since I did not know the "song". But did not get any results. Eventually I got LISTERINE from the crosses but still wondered what a strange name for a "band".
It is only when I got to this blog that I read the actual clue correctly.
I am so embarrassed I shall be forgiven for signing this time as "anonymous"

joho 11:41 AM  

Fantastic puzzle which I DNF!

I just couldn't solve the NW corner. Also I opted for cOMTVRAPS as in a play on Comedy TV, which surely doesn't exist. I had PARM and changed to fARM when I choose the C. My bad.

Still, a wonderful puzzle.

@mac, I am SO jealous!!!!

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

In addition to REMUS, GLAZED was also on "Jeopardy!" in the last day or two - with essentially the same cluing. Took me way too long to see the answer today.

@loren muse smith - first time I heard "Drop it Like it's Hot" was when someone was playing it (softly) at work. I heard it as "Park it Like a Saab." I got grief about that for a while.

r.alphbunker 11:54 AM  

@Sir Hilary.
Amazing. That is not it but it does indeed save 9 syllables. Beware of posting another answer in case it is correct and someone here is taking a leisurely stroll through the puzzle. I have posted the answer here:

BTW The abbreviation WWW takes 9 syllables to pronounce and it is an abbreviation of a 3 syllable phrase. This saves typing but not breath.

Donkos 12:01 PM  

At first I grimaced at all the proper nouns. My first pass through the southeast had me feeling that it was going to be impossible but I got all the proper nouns on crosses. Embarrassed that I didn't get Zaire right off since I was born there.

@evil Doug: you're description of pushing the envelope is the correct origin of the term. In engineering, an envelope has come to mean any performance curve although it originally meant the performance curve of aircraft.

Masked and Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Fun SatPuz. The boys make a good team. thUmbsUp.

Musta spinned our wheels forever in the "salad bar" area. Wanted oniON, lemON, melON, spoON. Then we got silly (aprON, bisON, talON[mm-mm, yum]); then we finally got BACON, like it was the last thing on Earth one'd eat. Go figure.

We do need a ruling on acceptable grunts, for future reference:
1. AHH=OK (assuming plurals are OK, too)
5. HUHUH=?
6. NUHUH=?
7. ARGH=?
8. HMMPH=?
10. HMMM=?
13. PTUI=great!
14. KAHOPTOOEY=? (Var. spellings?)
15. GRAK=?
Thanx in advance, for any assistance (or additions) you might be able to provide.

r.alphbunker 12:08 PM  

How about Bill the Cat's PFFT?

Evan 12:08 PM  

Smashed my personal record for a Saturday NYT puzzle. I felt so cultured today, solving it while listening to Mozart's Requiem on headphones and finishing before the famous Lacrimosa ended. That northeast section was pretty beastly though. I needed just about every cross to get both YO MTV RAPS and PVC PIPE, and I was convinced for a long time that 10-Down was either OBITS or ELEGY. Something to do with death, anyway, and not just a literal definition of the word "goodbye."

And Rex, I completely disagree with your assessment of Steve Nash = Delaware of the NBA. Sixth all time in assists and will probably finish in the top three at least before he retires. Even if he never wins a championship, I'd have no hesitation putting him in the top 35. As of right now I'd put him among the top 5 point guards of all time, behind Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, John Stockton, and Oscar Robertson (okay, maybe top 6 or 7, if you put Bob Cousy or Jason Kidd ahead of him). Twenty years from now, we'll revisit this and maybe put Derrick Rose and Chris Paul ahead of Nash. But he's no Delaware.

Two Ponies 12:11 PM  

BEQ and I never see eye-to-eye.
This grid certainly required casting your net very far. Four French clues, a bit of Latin, some Roman history, fair enough.
I stopped watching MTV long ago. When it no longer was about music I tuned out.
I got 18A from the crosses but it looks like a random letter string to me.
I will be at @mac's party in spirit.

Z 12:14 PM  

Dropped in case and then said "wait, "case" is nouns and "subjunctive" is verb tense." Started with Dream Teamers like Magic Johnson, then thought "no way." Thought of huge in China Yao Ming (well, he is huge anywhere he is, but he's popular, too.) Finally figured out Mr. Nash when I got MESAS.

Wanted Chicken fARM even though I had PSYcholgy already in. I assumed PARM was short for PARMigiana, not PARMesan. Either way, not a phrase I've ever heard here in the mitten (of course, Italian is about 4th on my list of favorite ethnic cuisines so it could just be ignorance)

RP had Patton in the Pacific, I had him fighting in Italy (maybe dining on Chicken PARM?) so took me forever to get Tunisia. This was partially because I had AHAS and AaH written in but didn't believe both would stay. Once TAPA went in I finally was convinced to keep on grunting.

TAPAs are indeed Spanish in origin. Once small dishes served at bars, there are at least two places in the mitten whose menus only have tapas. Both are great places to go with medium sized groups to share lots of different dishes.

Did the puzzle around watching Robin van Persie score a hat trick for Arsenal this morning. Van Persie, Max Euwe, a great morning for the Dutch.

Wyonative 12:22 PM  

The NE corner defeated me. Had cub for cig, but I don't think I would have made much headway even if I had cig. I'm pleased anyway because I solved all the rest. For the past year or so, I have been making steady progress with the Saturday puzzles by exercising more patience, belief, and intuition.

At the four state schools I've been associated with, PSY makes no sense as an abbreviation, nor would PSYCH be characterized as a liberal art. Perhaps the liberal arts colleges identify it that way?

Lewis 12:33 PM  

Smooth as silk, got the day off to a terrific start. Thank you, gentlemen!

Mitt Romney 1:01 PM  

Swept through the South like Sherman, got slaughtered in the North. Hope it's not an omen.

Jenny 1:22 PM  

Liberal arts colleges identify *everything* they teach as a liberal art. Including biology, and physics. Trying out PhY was actually my problem with 6D.


FearlessK 1:40 PM  

@ Sir Hillary: gesso is a primer used to prepare a surface for paint or other materials in the 12D: Artist's supply. Hope that helps!

FearlessK 1:45 PM  

Like @Mitt Romney, swept through the South and got pummeled in the North: HTG both STEVENASH and YOMTVRAPS as the crosses weren't there for me today, either. Ah well, there's a Saturday for you! And BTW, thanks to all who regularly post here, and especially Rex, for teaching me enough about solving to attack a NYT Sat at all!

Syd 1:50 PM  

Nice one, Mitt.
I did fine until the northeast corner, which is probably easier if you live in the northeast. As it was, I got all but the p and y in psy, and the v in pvcpipe... Anyway, I finished quite handily after I googled Fab 5 Freddy... Rex and I are almost opposites in what we consider gimmes...

jae 2:21 PM  

Again, tough call for me.  Probably medium but it felt a tad easier because AMYADAMS and SETHROGAN were gimmies, which really helped in SW.  Plus, lots of write overs including erasing CIG for OBITS  at 10d and then rerighting (@ joho) it.  I liked this a lot.  More zip than we've had in a while, e.g. LUSCIOUS following DEVOUR,  rolling THUNDER, obscure MTV show,  AMIGA instead of ATARI (which was my first stab), ASS,  the delightful AHAS - AAH pair, a WTF Dutchman and ...   Nice puzzle guys!

Wood 2:55 PM  

TAPA was a WTF for me, until I realized: Ohhh, sure... TAP A, TAP B, TAP C... Part of a bar order!

Mitt Romney 3:05 PM  

By the way, is there a simile for 'got slaughtered like...' fit for polite company?

archaeoprof 3:16 PM  

@Jenny: not quite. "Liberal arts" is short for "liberal arts and sciences." In such colleges, there are three divisions in the curriculum: natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Physics is in the natural sciences.

David 3:36 PM  

Step right up and greet the Mets!
Bring your kiddies,
bring your wife;
Guaranteed to have the time of your life
because the Mets are really sockin' the ball; knocking those home runs over the wall!"

Aaaah, Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy....those were the days, even though as a budding Cubs fanatic way back then I hated the Mets.

I have also been doing BEQ's twice a week, maybe that's part of why I was all over this puzzle today, no slow ups at all. Took me a bit to remember ol' Fab Five Freddy and YO MTV RAPS, and this ended up as a big Saturday record, well under 20 minutes.

Anonymous 3:56 PM  

Is this an English-language crossWORD puzzle? Not very much.

Here are the non-"English word"s. Debate any you wish to (and the multi-word phrases are legitimate, though not "words" per se), but the overall situation is clear.

Parm (unclued abbreviation of an Italian proper adjective)
steep fine
owe me
Yo' MTV Raps
pesto (Italian; probably English by now)
push the envelope (but it's great!)
AA Milne
Amy Adams
rack up
Seth Rogen

Steve Nash
soeurs (French)
ciaos (Italian, but OK English by now, except that the plural stinks)
PVC pipe
roi (French)
tapa (Spanish, and normally pluralized in ordinary English usage)
no peeking
ipse (Latin; has anyone ever heard or seen "alter ipse amicus" despite 24,200 Google hits?)
lawn care
amies (French)
Ursa (Latin)


If this mishmash had been submitted by an unknown or novice constructor, I doubt that it would have been published -- ever -- or how @Rex would have felt about it. But, following his lead, most everyone here seems to love it.


chefbea 4:27 PM  

Didn't have time for the puzzle today.
Busy making the other chili (no typo today) with meat, getting all the paper products etc together and of course making the center piece/dessert.

Guess the Westport tournament is over and everyone is enjoying themselves at Mac's. Look forward to seeing fotos

rockon&on 4:52 PM  

I run a grocery store, is it not a business? I also have electile dysfunction, who in the hell do we vote for? You people talk about everything so why not give it to me straight?!!

jae 5:30 PM  

@Lurker0 -- I can't speak for anyone else but I wrote my comments last night around 8:45 pm west coast time while waiting for Rex to wake up, do the puzzle and post.

Kristin 5:36 PM  

Only thing I didn't get was TAPA. that's Polynesian wood bark cloth isn't it?
Have to ask for a TAPA at the bar. I'm such an idiot I didn't get the clue.

quilter1 5:47 PM  

I got up early, did the puzzle, came to the blog and commented. I should have been #16, but when I came home from work, found my comment missing.

Oh, well, liked the puzzle, though I could not finish the NE due to Cub rather than CIG and other errors. Spouse taking me to dinner before the Drake game tonight so I can't whine too much.

Noam D. Elkies 5:55 PM  

Glad I'm not solving Saturday puzzles these days. 18A:YO_MTV_R*PS looks like a misspelled Yom-Tov something, and the nearly symmetrical 59A:SETH_ROGEN looks like a misspelling of ESTROGEN. is 19A:DEVOUR/24A:PESTO/46A:BACON (and perhaps 29A:SHEEP) some kind of mini-theme?

Next time you visit Amsterdam, you can play chess in Max-Euwe-Platz with supersized pieces on a chessboard tiled into the sidewalk. (If you go to the Hard R*ck Cafe you can't miss it.)


stix2metunesmiffin 6:49 PM  

This puzzle was a joy! Crashed in the mideast with NIH. My head jsut couldn't surrender NSA, thinking they were preparing for cyber war!

jberg 7:10 PM  

Never watched YOM TV - confused about the Congo/ZAIRE issue - wanted a hint for the shortening of Chicken PARMagiana - and anyway, we're up in Woodstock, VT for the weekend and had to get outside and do some x-c skiing. So this one took me till 6:30 PM. I did like it once I finally finished.

Cheech 8:01 PM  

@Noam - Next time I visit Amsterdam I'll just stay inside one of the cafes, just as I did last time.

Doc John 9:59 PM  

Not much to add to what Rex already said but I will say that if I can do a Saturday in one sitting, it must be easy.
Also (and I'm surprised that nobody else noticed this):
"...but the distinction seems important. It's more a filed." I think you mean "field", Rex. Actually, there's kind of a synchronicity in your making that error. When I was doing the puzzle, I initially thought of "fired" instead of FRIED.

Stan 10:18 PM  

Fab fun, with consistently punchy diction and clues.

Blogger ate my last three comments, so I`m keeping this short, and not previewing.

geordiegirl 10:37 PM  

I really enjoyed the way this puzzle's areas intertwined, giving a toehold that allowed me to have a little insight into the next block - forgive the mixed metaphors! Because of this I managed to finish without recourse to Google - quite a feat for me on a Saturday.

Tita 10:40 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.

Rex, I think the reason that the clue about what "rolls across fields" mentions fields specifically is because someone was trying to trick you into entering TRACTOR instead of THUNDER off that initial "T."

Jenny 12:44 AM  

@archaeoprof: Respectfully disagree. When a place like Amherst calls itself a "liberal arts college," that encompasses humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences - and generally some fine arts fields as well. I see no problem with the clue (and I'm a social scientist).

Piglet 4:48 AM  

AHH, loved this puzzle! I wonder if anyone else in the world considered chicken hAwk and his(tory) for 6A and 6D? Favorite answer: AAMILNE. Most surprisingly hard-to-get answer: DART (was stuck on nouns like nada).
Finished with no mistakes and no outside help (except REMUS from my spouse). But plopped in allergy before RAGWEED, and CDC before NIH... plus another hand up for sOultrAin.
Sussing out YOMTVRAPS was a challenge; got RAPS first then MTV, and finally figured out the YO. The M on PARM / METS was my last letter entered... after running the alphabet twice.

Dirigonzo 9:03 AM  

I am part of the "general population" that Rex so accurately predicted would have a problem with AMYADAMS and SETHROGAN. I struggled (in a fun way) through the rest of the grid but those names would not come to me even after I slept on them.

@Tita - very nice photo. It's nice to have faces to associate with the names we see here every day.

On to the (syndicated) Sunday puzzle.

E.J. Copperman 10:27 AM  

I objected to HARPO on principle: I'm a big Marx Bros. fan, and think of Harpo as an entertainer with a horn, not a whistle. Perhaps I pick the occasional nit.

delsner 11:12 AM  

I finished the whole puzzle and had to go back to figure what the gimmick was.

Tita 11:56 AM  

My early comment got tossed too...

I LOVED this puzzle! Why? Because I aced it - is there a puzzle equivalent of a perfect game? Well, almost perfect...

I had only one mistake- eeMILNE, quickly corrected to AA.
I sailed through it for my fastest Saturday ever!

My first tournament was a blast. I had no delusions of winning, except perhaps in the penmanship category, but I was delighted to meet so many Rexites and others, including Will.

Mac and her husband were the most gracious and welcoming hosts, making the after-party great fun, and dinner was a great continuation of the event.
Here are more pics from the Library.

Thanks to all, including the organizers and Will!

I have updated this link with more photos, and removed my friend's garage sale pics!! ;)

Dave 3:17 PM  

The West side made perfect sense to me, the SE took some time. The NE was a pain. I didn't care for PARM or STEEP FINE, had to back into the MTV show - I'm old enough to remember MTV as a station that played rock music videos. Worked in an art supply store in grad school, so GESSO was in my databank. Once I finally filled in PVCPIPE, the rest fell into place.

In addition to being the best "assist" man on an NBA court in recent years, Steve Nash was also the trick/incorrect answer for our annual NBA trivia question - "Who is the best white NBA player from the US?" He's Canadian.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

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Del Mar Grandma 2:45 PM  

Too old for this puzzle. While I dropped in Tunisia (Paton was there at the same time as my Dad), Harpo, and AAMilne, I have never watched MTV. Or heard of Euwe, Nash or Seth whoever. Adams I got because what else would fit. As a result this was my first DNF in months. Still don't understand 27D, king=rev???

Spacecraft 3:26 PM  

Quite the opposite for me as for O.F.L. (For future reference, I shall refer to Our Fearless Leader by these initials). I told you before: if you want to stump me, just give me anything at all to do with rap and/or hiphop. I am serenely content to die without any knowledge whatsoever of those areas. Thus, the NE was the major sticking point for me--after I finally let PARM stay in for "Chicken____." Really? An abbreviation without any in the clue? Isn't there some ordinance against that? It's never just "parm," it's "Parmesan." Or the more accurate Italian spelling "Parmagiana." Anyway, to the NE. Stared at this section long and hard, looking for a wedge in. Finally hit on PESTO, which I just guessed at because of PESTLE, the thing you "pound" into the ol' mortar. This led to an old c-word fave, GESSO, and I worked the rest out. Last letter was the Y, a pure guess. Right, even after having _OMTVRAPS, I still did not know what the first letter was. Wound up deciding that PSYchology was probably a liberal, rather than a fine, art. God forbid it should be called a science. I liked the freshness of NOPEEKING.

from WEB's NY Times Crossword Solution 4:47 PM  

@Del Mar Grandma - You missed the "e.g." -

27. King, e.g.: Abbr. : REV
I remember listening to the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's "I have a dream ..." speech not long after I moved to this country. I think I am man enough to admit that my eyes misted up as I listened to the words. I also recall thinking how lucky I was to have been invited to live in this great country, which was facing up to some of the sins of its past.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

Del Mar Grandma 5:53 PM  

Thanks to @web--- Should have gotten that as I too remember MLK. As for the rest of my comments,@spacecraft said it better than I could.
Will try to post this it those "prove you're not a robot words are really hard to read with these old eyes!

Jessica White 9:35 AM  

Being a Canuck had advantages & disadvantages in this puzzle. First of all, we get the puzzle five weeks, yes five weeks later. This puzzle appeared on Sat. March 10th, 2012. Second,I'm not quite as fluent in American pop culture so clues like 6 across and18 across were total blanks to me. However, on the plus side, I had no trouble with 3-down (Steve Nash), and all the French words. Yes bacon for salad bar offering threw me off too. I've yet to see a salad bar with bacon on it. However for a Saturday, I found it relatively easy and very enjoyable.

Anonymous 8:25 PM  

TAPS, as in tap beer, par of a bar order.

Dirigonzo 8:34 PM  

Damn, @anony 8:25PM - I do believe you are the only one to get that clue, or the only one to explain it here. Good job! Beer TAPS are most certainly a part of a bar order - how could I (and apparently everyone but you) have missed that?

L. Cid 9:26 PM  

Huh? Maybe everyone missed TAPS because the correct answer was TAPA, which, unlikely though it seems, is the singular of TAPAS.

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