Hands-in-the-air phrase / SAT 3-17-12 / Secrecy, with "the" / High clouds? / Etiolates / McCarthy cohort / War cry of the '60

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Constructor: David Quarfoot

Relative difficulty: Hard

THEME: Earmuffs!

Word of the Day: SEX TOYS (11D: Stock in an adult store) —

A sex toy is an object or device that is primarily used to facilitate human sexual pleasure. Many popular sex toys are designed to resemble human genitals and may be vibrating or non-vibrating. The term can also include BDSM apparatus and sex furniture such as slings, however it is not applied to items such as birth control, pornography, or condoms.
• • •
Hey, SethG here again, filling in while Rex and the gang are in Brooklyn for the ACPT.

So, how do I write about this puzzle? Cannot...must...resist...the urge to...4th grade boys...PORNSTAR (40D: Actor who might grin and bare it?).

You know how sometimes some of the commenters use words from the puzzle to weave together a story that's really just an attempt to incorporate as many words from the puzzle as possible in a story? You know, something about taking your chicken to the store to buy some licorice and a soccer ball and you stop at the mosh pit to tat some lace with Fabio and Carol Channing or something? Well, I defy those commenters to find anything coherent to say here.

Story elements:
  • Yoko ONO (61D: Conceptual art pioneer) reading the Marquis DE SADE (49D: "In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice" speaker).
  • A LATE DATE (62A: Time near the end of a time range) on the
  • DOWN LOW (43D: Secrecy, with "the")
  • with a PORN STAR.
  • POT SMOKE (1A: High clouds?)
  • and POPping A PILL (1D: Medicate oneself, say).
  • Somethings must be SOWED (52A: Spread).
  • Someone must PRAISE GOD (46A: Hands-in-the-air phrase).
  • Ang LEE (35A: "Brokeback Mountain" director) will direct.
  • We'll call it ODE TO MAN (65A: Sophocles tribute that begins "Numberless are the world's wonders ...")
  • AND...SCENE (41D: Director's cutoff).
But your story won't make any sense. No, no sense at all.
Here's a 1985 video:

David Quarfoot is so good.

Aside from the mental story, this was actually very difficult. Much trickier cluing than yesterday, lots of one-word clues, with some flashy entries and some yuckier stuff (STEROL. ILEA. A few others.) to hold it together.

  • PPPS is a (23A: Thought after an after-afterthought: Abbr.), while PPPs is more than one PPP. In other words, PPPPPP (46D: Rare dynamic marking seen in Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony). Heh. He said, "P".
  • I don't know anyone who wears ERMINES (8D: Fur sources). I don't know anyone who wears OTTER (6D: Fur source). Gross.
  • I guess if Fantasia is stuff from fantasy, and Oceania is stuff from the ocean, REALIA might be (47D: Objects from everyday life). And this sentence is blogia.
  • REBEL YELL was a (30A: War cry of the '60s). The 1860s. I was gonna make a comment about how it's also a reference to Ole Miss and how their basketball team was upset yesterday in the tournament, but that was Missouri. (Also, Duke. And Michigan.)

    Here's another 1985 video:

  • UPA (39A: ___ tree) used to be the Ultimate Players Association, but now it's USA Ultimate. And the original Frisbee was a PIE TIN (64A: It might have a crust). DISCUS (9A: Ancient pentathlon event)!

Good luck in Brooklyn, all.

Signed, SethG, Royal Vizier of CrossWorld


r.alphbunker 8:03 AM  

Somewhere between an ow and a wow. At some point I just said I want to finish this without revealing any answers and began googling. One nice moment was when my non-puzzle wife came over to see what was going on (I had been sitting there a long time groaning) and noticed that I had _sharp for the unusual musical notation. I wanted p sharp and asked here if there was such a thing. She said no but there is ppp and then said maybe its all P's. I did not believe her!

MaryBR 8:26 AM  

Found this to be easy - one of my fastest Fridays ever. Guess I was on the same wavelength, though what does that say about me? I plopped in POT SMOKE in 1a with no crosses and POPs pills (quickly amended to the singular after looking at crosses) off that first (of many) P.

evil doug 9:00 AM  

Mark this date: 17 March 2012. The day the breakfast test died. Say Hallelujah!

For a guy with a Q in his name, this puzzle sure has copious p's. Have no idea what pppppp means, but with Plinko, Pell, and pie tin I just went with it. Had 'pop pills' for a while---no idea where the island was, zone-wise---but eventually went transcontinental from Pacific to Atlantic and voila.

So good that I'll even overlook 'Ono'....but just this once.

From the Best. Movie. Ever!...
Otter: Mine's bigger than that.

Woman in grocery: I beg your pardon?

Otter: My cucumber, it's bigger. Vegetables can be really sensuous, don't you think?

Woman: No. Vegetables are sensual. People are sensuous.

Otter: Right. "Sensual." That's what l meant. My name is Eric Stratton. They call me Otter.

Woman: My name's Marion. They call me Mrs. Wormer.

Otter: We have a Dean Wormer at Faber.

Woman: What a coincidence. I have a husband named Dean Wormer at Faber. You still want to show me your cucumber?


Sue McC 9:14 AM  

Ok, so there really is no theme, right? Just a whole lot of Ps on the left side?!?! It was challenging, but once done, all I have to say is "Huh?"

Paper and Pen Solver 9:24 AM  

Surprised Rex didn't rate this medium. Not one I flew through, but a good, steady solve. Some refreshingly new words and phrases such as "realia". Loved "Praise God" and "sex toys" in the same puzzle, very Jim Bakker-esque.

Ulrich 9:30 AM  

... and a golden opportunity to expand on the theme was missed: An S at square 18 would have made 9D an "Article in Aachen" (much better than what we have), and the clue for 18A would've needed only a slight adjustment--ach!

Since I'm at it: An AST is a "Branch in Berlin"--also better than the abbr. we have at 19A--or would this be too outlandish (!) even for a Saturday?

Any Saturday I can finish, even if it takes three attempts, is easy in my book.

Merle 9:41 AM  

Rebel yell answer for war cry is not from the 1960's. It's from the 1860's, American Civil War.

Doh 10:14 AM  

...as Rex said in his write-up

joho 10:17 AM  

@Ulrich, LOVE your edit!

I also loved this puzzle. I am intimidated by David Quarfoot so was pleasantly surprised to finish with no errors.

Had to trust that REALIA/PASHTO was right. Struggled in the NE until SEXTOYS jumped out at me.

Most delightful Saturday!

@Seth G, nice job, even though I couldn't make sense of anything you said!

ArtLvr 10:23 AM  

Shocked: what next? Is Will on vacation or going senile?

Anonymous 10:35 AM  

Finished this in about an hour...medium/hard.
Thought CATTLE ("name-brand targets") and SILENTH ("chorus member?"clever. I suppose "AND...SCENE" is related to "and...cut!". DOH! is an interjection. "Doughnuts!" is a line.

chefbea 11:02 AM  

Too tough for me and DNF. Busy cooking for St. Patty's day dinner. Just made the Kiwi lime pie and it does have a crust!!

I have never heard of hot dogs and ham related.That is WRONG!!!

Wonder what puzzle they are on now in Brooklyn

archaeoprof 11:15 AM  

@Ulrich: I actually wrote S in square 18, and didn't realize the error til I got here! Thought it was part of the theme...

Nice article on page one of today's NYT about Dr Fill and the ACPT.

JC66 11:15 AM  


Someone doing something "over the top" in athletics is called a HOTDOG; on stage, a HAM.

jae 11:25 AM  

Wow!  It's been way too long between DQ's.   Super zippy puzzle with a perfect Sat. pitch.  NW easy,  N and SE medium, and SW tough.  I mean PLINKO ... who watches that show?  

Lots of erasures in SW.  @Ulrich, Artlvr I had SEXTME for a while.  Unfortunately DAS didn't make it as a slang pronoun.

Not sure why the French TETE works for 58d?

Thanks David.  Best Sat. in quite a while!

GILL I. 11:28 AM  

So many P's, so little time.
I thought this might be Nam related and wanted Hey, Hey, LBJ at 30A. My ALEAST was originally Mekong but DAT was a mistake.
Fun, fresh puzzle that gave me time to become acquainted (again) with Google.
Favorite clue was 40D. How does a cornster grin and bare it?

r.alphbunker 11:29 AM  

I guess that {department} is a bona fide French word.

foodie 11:44 AM  

Hey, folks, this was Seth G writing the commentary, not Rex. Just sayin...

Seth, you SLY dog, you crack me up. I am one of those people who would have written the story about the chicken in the mosh pit and tatting lace with Carol Channing.

Now, this baby here has so many possibilities, as implied by Seth-- with TEXT ME, POP A PILL, POT SMOKE, WE'RE HERE, SEX TOYS, REBEL YELL and ending with PRAISE GOD! ODE TO MAN could be worked in, and even LATE DATE, LEGATO, TLC and KEEPER. But let's hope not TEPID nor IRATE. DE SADE can be our author.

Still and all, this was one tough workout for me. I had to cheat in almost every quadrant in order to finish. But hey, it doesn't have to be easy in order to be fun.

chefbea 11:47 AM  

@JC66 thanx. Thought it was food related. Doh!!

Z 11:50 AM  

I think I need a shower.

Highlight is the Marquis DeSade discussing virtue crossing PRAISEGOD.

@jae - Departments are French government administrative divisions.

chefbea 11:50 AM  

@All Rexites...Poor Rex. Just read on face book. He's sick and in bed. Maybe to much Conga line?

@Rex. feel better so you can enjoy the tournament.

jae 12:09 PM  

@r.alph & Z -- Thanks, I guess I thought Department in French had an e on the end or an accent mark or something?

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

SW just killed me. Got ppppp, but the rest? DNF

Loren Muse Smith 12:29 PM  

I worked this very early and then headed off to my daughter’s lacrosse game before anyone had posted. I was certain to come home and read about how hard everyone thought it was! I’m stunned that this was easy for ya’ll! After poking around everywhere, my toe hold was PASHTO, to reveal “Oh no!” ONO and then SKIT and then I came to a grinding halt.

I finished, but it was a real slugfest. I know they’re not popular here, but I love clues like “chorus member?” Mom and Dad fish a lot, so KEEPER didn’t bother me.

I, too, got a kick out of all the P’s and the “hot dog’s relative”/HAM thing.

@Ulrich – great post!

Mel Ott 12:30 PM  

Brutal for me. PPPPPPPP?

I was really proud of myself when I threw down DONT SHOOT for the 'Hands-in-the-air phrase'.

Interesting article in today's NY Times about sometime constructor Matthew Ginsberg's crossword solving computer program, cleverly named DOCTOR FILL. Several references to the contest going on in Brooklyn.

ksquare 12:30 PM  

Re: 58D do they actually call a Department HEAD in France a TETE?
Just askin'. Any French speakers on the blog?

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

ODE TO MAN on blog (not Rex)

a bit obscene?
Or is this the new REALIA??-ONO!

Martin 12:39 PM  

"Department" is an English word that means administrative division of France. (It's a translation of d├ępartement).

It's unusual that an English word, not a foreign word, serves as a foreign language signal but it's not unheard of ("Gallic girlfriend" for AMIE, for instance). Very suitable for Saturday.

jackj 12:42 PM  

I would hazard a guess that those who do the NY Times crossword puzzles are intelligent, mature, sophisticated people who are familiar with all the aggressive entries used in today’s puzzle.

That being said, there seems no earthly reason why they should be emblazoned in this puzzle’s grid like scatological phrases being proudly writ large on the boy’s room wall by snickering tween-age boys.

We know all the words Will, please spare us this sort of fecal smear of demeaning verbiage. Leave us to get our fix of smut by peeking through the tabloids at the supermarket should we so choose, not have it foisted on us as a condition of our relationship with the New York Times.

Scott 12:53 PM  

The comment above is why this puzzle is awesome. It's also one of the very few Saturday's I finished on my own.

evil doug 1:06 PM  

Yes, Will. Please submit all potential puzzles to jackj so he can censor them as he sees fit. Even though he admits we are "intelligent, mature, sophisticated people", we are obviously not capable of deciding for ourselves what we should be exposed to in our daily amusements.

jackj: Nothing is more 'demeaning'---or arrogant---than you presuming that you are qualified to decide what is fit for me to find in the puzzle. They're just words, jack---the same words you'll find in the newspaper's articles and editorials, and significantly less objectionable than the unfortunate human behavior described therein---not a suggestion for you to partake of some device or act that you find "lewd" or otherwise unacceptable.

Let's take all comers in our wonderful potful of words to keep our puzzles lively and original. To do otherwise---to artificially limit the constructors' options based on your, or my, personal preferences---would simply lead us to a hopeless debate on whose standards should be the benchmark.


jae 1:25 PM  

And thanks @martin for the further clarification.

@Evil -- Nicely said (dang, I hate it when I agree with you). I'd put a smiley face there but I don't do smiley faces.

Ulrich 1:27 PM  

To add to ED's comment: To me, one of the characteristics of "intelligent, mature" people is that they don't find sex dirty or something to be ashamed of. It can be talked about openly and therefore can be made fun of--snickers come from stupid, immature people.

Back to WS: Yesterday, I sent the organizers of the ACPT a question by e-mail about how to get the puzzles if you're not participating and expected an answer by some assistant. But the answer I received today was by none other than the man himself--I'm impressed.

Anonymous 1:35 PM  

Very well put Jack.

There was a time long ago when grade school teachers would solve the Times puzzles each day with their students. A good time was had by all.

Don King 1:50 PM  

Fight! Fight! Evil is gonna meet Jack outside the ACPT after the last puzzle.

I'm giving 2-1 on Doug.

North Beach 1:52 PM  

@SethG: Earmuffs?

Two Ponies 1:56 PM  

Well, I got my ass handed to me today but had fun anyway.
@ jackj, I usually enjoy your posts but you lost me today. What @ED and @Ulrich said.
I really enjoyed all of the "recreational" words and phrases.
I'm not sure a musical note with 6 P's is even within my range of hearing. For some reason I feel the need to go to the bathroom.
Leslie Nielson was Mr. Magoo?

quilter1 2:03 PM  

@jackj: then you would not have liked Acme's guest puzzle a week ago Friday on the BEQ site. But I did.

DNF today but enjoyed what I did get. No Oreo, just an ONO.

Bird 2:12 PM  

Thought this was a great puzzle despite not being able to finish. Did David Quarfoot go to UC Berkeley? I for one agree with Doug. I consider myself an intelligent, mature person and didn't mind the words in the grid. It made it a fun solve.

Okay, now I'm going to light a bong, take a lude, head to Times Square and catch a peep show. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
Anon 1:35 - It's a good thing this is a Saturday puzzle.

Double captcha "ofecan tionamb" morphs into "Of inane combat"

foodie 2:16 PM  

I'm reading a novel by Amor Towles called: "Rules of Civility: A Novel".

Ran across this passage and thought I'd share it, especially with @archaeoprof in mind, but also with good wishes to all the ACPT participants and to the recovering Rex:

"What a transcendent diversion the crossword can be. A four-letter word for solo beginning and ending in A. A four-letter word for sword beginning and ending in E. A four-letter word for miscellany beginning and ending in O. ARIA, EPEE, OLIO— no matter how vestigial these words are in the body of common English, watching them fit so neatly into the puzzle’s machinery, one feels as the archaeologist must feel when assembling a skeleton— the end of the thighbone fitting so precisely into the socket of the hip bone that it simply has to confirm the existence of an orderly universe, if not a divine intention."

Rex Parker 2:19 PM  

I liked this puzzle.

There's no way that REBEL YELL answer didn't have a Billy Idol clue originally.

I am indeed sick (stomach-wise; horrible), but apparently on the mend. May socialize some this evening. Being sick in the hotel room is soooo booooring. Even March Madness feels "meh."


Lewis 2:21 PM  

I for one am fine with SEXTOYS and PORNSTAR and POTSMOKE in the puzzle. Where do we draw the line? With four letter words? Probably. But it's a fuzzy line, and so people will disagree. Myself, I don't believe any offensive line was crossed today.

And I loved the puzzle! A treat for us that might be missed by our brethren and sistren at the contest. I loved the PPPPPPs and the SILENTH, and TEXTME. Terrific puzzle, David. And excellent writeup, RV of C.

He Who Shall Not Be Named 2:24 PM  

Wow, sounds like somebody pooped in JackJ's Grey Poupon. Fight the good fight, old chap! Fisticuffs at dawn with Tennyson intoning on the Victrola!

Killer puzzle! Took me almost 45 minutes and had two wrong letters--vowels, so they don't count.

Seth, FYI, Rex is pretending to be you again and signing your name to write-ups. Luckily these eagle-eyed readers know the score and see through Rex's guise.

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

Took me a little longer because I couldn't trust pornstar or sextoys... Will put me on my toes today.

I liked the puzzle, but I find myself agreeing with @jackj. I enjoy doing the Onion puzzle as an alternative to the NYT so I can get a little off-color amusement. If they become indistinguishable, my life will have become just a little (very little) more monotonous.

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

PPPS is not multiple PPPs, but in fact a Post-Post-Post-Script, as in the thing you forgot to include in the letter after two other things you forgot to include.

A rampant post-scripter, one who holds the unverified world record of 422 P's and one S.

SethG 2:41 PM  

He, you make me laugh. In case anyone didn't know, down low describes men who have sex with other men but do not identify as gay or bi.

My mom's name is Bunni.

Ulrich 3:06 PM  

Just checked the results of the first puzzle at Brooklyn--must have been a doozy b/c some well-known people apparently couldn't finish.

Here are some of the people I know from this blog and where they stand:

Howard B. 1 (with 5 others)
Adam Cohen 7
Doug Petersen 7
Karen from the Cape 28
Puzzlegirl 85
imsdave 148
Nanpilla 148
Sandy 346
Tita 546

archaeoprof 3:28 PM  

@Ulrich: thanks for the update.

@Foodie: that's beautiful!

@Rex: get well soon. Last night's Duke loss gave me an upset stomach.

Loren Muse Smith 3:50 PM  

On this Mapplethorpian discussion -I see both sides. Dad won't work a Saturday, but he probably would have taken offense. I didn't even really notice the stuff that people are finding objectionable; the puzzle simply had a lively fill.

I wouldn't want Will's job. One man's idea of art is another's of crap.

@archaeoprof - one man's cause of an upset stomach is another's. . .well, I'll spare you.

quilter1 4:19 PM  

Get well soon, Rex.

I'm feeling productive. I finished a quilt top today, made chicken stock and finished the invitation to granddaughter's baptism. Time to relax. I am only posting because I can read the capchas.

jae 4:27 PM  

@foodie -- I'm reading the same novel and the line "...I suspected that some display of sororal sympathy was in order;..." is the second time this week I've encountered SORORAL. Which makes for a total of twice in my life.

And the crossword passage was delightful!

Wood 4:28 PM  

Both forms of pork?

Z 4:32 PM  


Z 4:37 PM  

PPPPPP refers to pianissimo

Wood 4:39 PM  

The SW was tough, but to my surprise I finished in my second-fastest Saturday time ever. Loved the off-color stufff too! Guess I'm not really very intelligent or sophisticated.

Sir Hillary 4:50 PM  

Hi there. My name is Duke, and Mr. Quarfoot has Lehigh'ed me. My most difficult NYT solve ever, got the top half OK, but the bottom got me. After hours of pain, I carded a DNF with a good 30% of squares still white. And no amount of time would have helped, as PPPPPP, REALIA, PLINKO and LEGATO are out of my three-point range. Being a #2 seed ain't all it's cracked up to be.

North Beach 5:00 PM  

@Z: Ha! Thanks. Unfamiliar usage pour moi.

Anonymous 5:19 PM  

This one was tough. While you're doing old song vids, how about Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell"?

John Hoffman 5:37 PM  

No comments on "check that's inked". TESTPAGE. What could this mean?

Ulrich 5:42 PM  

The field at Brooklyn starts to spread out. Here's where you can see for yourself.

@John H.: I took that to refer to the page I'm supposed to run through my ink jet printer to calibrate--but I may be totally off on that...

JFe 6:10 PM  

@foodie@jae...loved the story
@bird said...see you there!

sanfranman59 6:12 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 6:45, 6:50, 0.99, 52%, Medium
Tue 8:07, 8:51, 0.92, 29%, Easy-Medium
Wed 10:30, 11:49, 0.89, 26%, Easy-Medium
Thu 19:41, 18:56, 1.04, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Fri 19:38, 25:07, 0.78, 15%, Easy
Sat 34:33, 29:41, 1.16, 82%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:40, 1.00, 50%, Medium
Tue 4:02, 4:34, 0.88, 13%, Easy
Wed 5:32, 5:52, 0.94, 37%, Easy-Medium
Thu 10:44, 9:17, 1.16, 80%, Challenging
Fri 8:28, 12:26, 0.68, 7%, Easy (10th lowest median solve time of 142 Fridays)
Sat 19:49, 16:53, 1.17, 84%, Challenging

foodie 6:26 PM  

@Jae, yeah, same here! I chuckled when I so "soraral"-- thought hey, I know that one!

@SethG, I knew the expression "on the down low" as meaning a closeted gay person, but didn't know whether it ever has a broader meaning of "secret", as clued here.

GILL I. 6:36 PM  

I'm with @Loren on this so called "scatalogical" puzzle. If my Dad were alive and plugging away at this, he would have been upset at some of the clue answers. The closest he EVER even came to swearing was saying "malarky." I frankly don't care. The puzzle was just too darn good and words of any kind rarely bother me.
I would imagine that many of our friends are cozing up to the bar about now. I hope they are having lots of fun. @Rex I hope you're better and have joined them.

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

@Foodie - 'Keep it on the down low' has come to mean keep it secret.

Damn, this comment isn't worth the captcha I've got, but what the hell, I'll give it one shot.

orangeblossomspecial 7:35 PM  

This was a no-brainer for me. As in I didn't have one. Got the east side but not the west.

michael 8:04 PM  

great puzzle -- As I filled it in, I kept thinking "this is in the puzzle, hmmm, the unwritten rules have changed."" but why not?

Dirigonzo 8:50 PM  

The entire SW corner of my grid remained blank (except for SILENTH - I was proud to get that) because PRAISEGOD never occurred to me. The drug- and sex-related long answers let me complete the rest of the grid with no problem. I wonder what that says about me?

GILL I. 9:11 PM  

@Diri: Are you playing with PLINKO again?

Dirigonzo 9:42 PM  

@GIP - I have sent a wildly amusing and highly inappropriate reply off blog - I'm pretty sure there are limits on what is tolerated here. Thanks for your concern.

Anonymous 10:52 PM  

What on earth happened to Rex at the ACPT? Last placw with zero points??

Willie Nelson Mandela 11:17 PM  

Relax, anonymous 10:52. Rex always gets the yellow jersey on the climbing stages.

Anonymous 11:57 PM  

To all who are complaining about the "blue" content of the puzzle. Wasn't too long ago that DAMN would have raised an eyebrow when spoken on broadcast TV. Then came along ASS and SH*T. Now we hear worse and see nudity. As the song says, "The times they are a changin'."


Larry I in L.A. 12:25 AM  

It sounds like Rex was too ill to compete. I empathize completely, having missed a "big game" as a teenager due to an untimely flu bug. Guess he'll have to quarantine himself in the week leading up to next year's ACPT.

Changing the subject (and jumping the gun), the Sunday puzz took me more than two hours! Only 64 people had finished it as of 12:15 a.m. EDT, and 16 were slower than me! To those of you who get into any sort of rhythm with this thing, I doff my hat.

Deb 2:05 AM  

OMG, Larry, thank you for sharing that! It took me an hour and 18 minutes and that was after resorting to Google for a couple of answers. Killer puzzle!

I can't wait to see all the pics of the tourney and, Rex, I'm sending mega-good-health-vibes over the ether to you.

Deb 2:17 AM  

Didn't read up high enough since I came here looking for the Sunday write-up. (Saturday night of the ACPT. Silly me.)

@Dirigonzo, I entered PLEASE GOD (!) because that and "Oh, dear God" (said in disdain) and "Oh, for God's sake" (said with rolling eyes) are my only other uses of the word "God." And I likewise aced the less lofty stuff. High-five, kindred spirit.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Why post any comments at all about the Sunday puzzle?

Deb 3:31 PM  

Why not?

jberg 4:50 PM  

Tried and failed to finish this one on the plane home from Florida after spring break. Tough puzzle, but the SEX TOYS and PORNSTARS didn't bother me. Still, if they bother @jackj he's got a right to say it.

FearlessK 9:53 AM  

Two Googles and 40 minutes later, finished, wiped sweat off brow, patted self on back, waited for the "Well Done!" and.... Nothing. Incorrect cell at the UPA/ANDSCENE crossing, where I'd punted and gone with upe (see ipe)/endscene, which actually seemed perfectly reasonable at the time. Had to come to the blog for enlightenment, as is so regularly the case :)

Nice medium Sat solve from 1a on a clean diagonal to the SE, where I began to run into some serious resistance. Luckily the association between vice and deSade surfaced. Then music education (hear that, public schools?!) kicked in and PPPPPP and LEGATO slid into the grid. And yet, HTG for PASHTO, which just wouldn't leave its room (in my brain) and the definition of "etiolated" (which apparently shares a place -- on the DOWNLOW? -- with PASHTO).

So thanks, DQ, and Seth and Rexville, for a very satisfying solve!

Pizza Guy 3:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pizza Guy 3:10 PM  

Regardless of whether anybody "ought" to be offended by any of these answers, the fact is, some people will be. I use a lot worse language than anything in this puzzle. But if I were a constructor I would try to be more sensitive to my audience as a whole, and to avoid using some of these answers. Just because you can use certain words doesn't mean you should.

Anonymous 2:25 PM  

Personally, I don't care what you earthlings do in the privacy of your mutually acceptable carnal engagements. But I take offense at so-called sophisticated, mature, and educated persons broadcasting, printing and using language and phraseology with connotations of a much lesser intellect. I see no beauty in it. Signed, GOD

Solving in Seattle 3:27 PM  

I DQ'd on DQ's PPPPPPuzzle. Musta been overserved last night. Only a SADist would like this one.

Capcha: outrugyi. How I feel?

DMGrandma 3:57 PM  

Wow! Came up short on this grid. Words I didn't (still don't) know, unusual uses (and scene), and I DNF. Still don't get it all. Is realia really a word? And the word is that Sunday's is worse! Oh, maybe that isn't our tomorrow puzzle here in Syndieville-or is it? Who knows! Maybe it's time for me to go back to the TV Guide puzzle-only never could do that because I don't watch enough of the network shows. Help!

Anonymous 4:13 PM  

@DMG You're in the ballpark with most of us. The Constructor has done his best to befuddle, obfuscate, confuse and generally confound the solvers. The Constructor's REAL NAME is hidden in the puzzle. Try 49D. I finished all but the NE corner. Couldn't waste any more time. I feel your pain.

Lola505 5:06 PM  

This was a very difficult puzzle for me. Managed the NW to SE okay, with a smattering in the SW, and nothing at all in the NE. I don't allow myself to look up answers and still say I finished a puzzle, so I DNF.

I wasn't going to mention being offended by several of these answers, but since others did, even those who weren't personally offended (@Pizza Guy), I will. I was.

Ginger 6:03 PM  

I think this was a real hoot. Lot's of fun, even though DNF. Very confidently entered soprano for 42D, which killed the SW. It didn't help that I've never heard of PLINKO.

The rest of the puz, after much sloggiing and 'really???', 'OH my' type thoughts, I did finish.

The TIMES, it is and they are a'changing, and I think for the better. Is anyone else here old enough to remember Jack Paar being censored, and quitting, over his use of "W.C."? (water closet)?

I believe that an open mind, and tolerance for others, makes life more enjoyable. So.....Thank you DQ, and thanks too, to @evil for putting it so well.

Spacecraft 6:48 PM  

I try really hard, any more, to finish NYT puzzles without Googling--and for a while there today, I thought I'd have to break down. But I persevered, and--hours later, after taking an exercise break--came through at last: no Googles, no mistakes. Woo hoo!

I could not disagree more with @loren muse smith. I absolutely detest SILENT (whatever letter) entries. Same with "buying" vowels, like ANE. If I made crossword laws, I would ban them all unconditionally. I groan enough in life. From all the REALIA. New word for me, but it is "real" enough (I looked it up, post-solve.)

This resident of "Sin City" can still appreciate all the raised eyebrows out there (I lol'ed at Seth's "theme:" Earmuffs!) SE was a bit thorny--oh, hell, the whole damn grid was--but there, in particular, I had never heard of a director finishing a scene with anything but "Cut. Print." When _NDSCENE came up, I naturally thought of "End scene." But what kind of tree was a UPE? Does it bear fruit? What do UPEs taste like? Finally, last thing I did, I parsed 39a into UP A, leaving me with "ANDSCENE." Well, I did remember hearing "...And, cut!" So with a shrug, I left it that way.

I wonder how one would play a passage PPPPPP. Would he whisper across the mouthpiece? Threaten to get the bow closer to the strings? Wave the tympani mallet menacingly in the air? The mind boggles.

A very satisfying (absent 42 and 45d) solve, David. And [11x18]-rated, too!

Solving in Seattle 6:58 PM  

@Spacecraft, KUDZO's to you for finishing without Larry and Sergei helping. There were too many arcane one word clues for me to conquer this one.

I, too, went to the gym, but to work off the frustration of my first NYT DNF in weeks.

64 and no "high clouds" in Seattle today.

DMGrandma 7:39 PM  

Anon 4:13 was correct, the constructor's name was at 49D!
But, by the timeI got there, I saw it as Desade and wondered if I was supposed to have heard of him! Wwhat can I say?

Red Valerian 9:51 PM  

I loved it! Needed, or at least asked for and took, help from my sweetie, who is a classical music buff. Once I had three of the 'p's, he got it. (Apparently, there's a very soft gong or something in there, which he mentioned when I had only the first p... yes, the mind boggles, @Spacecraft)

No idea what "Plinko" is (and haven't googled it, so don't worry about enlightening me--apparently, I don't care).

I adore brussel sprouts (take that, lms!). Grew them a couple of years ago--what a bizarre looking plant!

Okay, off to eat dinner, then more hauling out of dandelions. It's +15 (as though you wouldn't realize the "+" wasn't needed), though with high cloud now. It is so spring, as it must for you, @SIS. I love this time of year--everywhere, a miracle. (Ahem--so to speak. I've read my David Hume, eh.)

Anonymous 3:53 AM  

Worst puzzle I have ever seen!!!
Potsmoke, Sex Toys, Pornstar!!!

I thought at least I could expose my children to crossword puzzles instead of the front page, but this is worse!!!

David Quarfoot has a Queerpenis and obvious sexual frustrations/issues. I hope
Will never publishes trash like this again.

If he does I hope it includes the clue of: location of a davol colon tube. Ans: Up your ass.

Clean up your acceptance requirements......or at least retire soon!!!

Anonymous 6:09 AM  

That is great! "Pot smoke" shows up on 4-21 in the syndicated puzzle! Only a day late for 4/20 but close enough.

I don't have a problem with it. We're all adults here.

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