Contemporary of Columbus / SAT 8-18-12 / Lillie with Tony / Cagney player on TV / Sarah Palin self-descriptively / First name among exotica singers / Crockett Hotel's neighbor

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Constructor: Dana Motley

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: John CABOT (1A: Contemporary of Columbus) —
John Cabot (known in Italian as Giovanni Caboto; c. 1450 – c. 1499) was an Italian navigator andexplorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the mainland of North America since the Norse Vikings visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. The official position of the Canadian and United Kingdom governments is that he landed on the island of Newfoundland. (wikipedia)
• • •

Whoa ... faster than either Friday or Thursday. Played somewhere between Wed. and Thur. for me. Very frustrating, then, to get to the very end and have to make a blind guess at a letter. I don't know who this CABOT guy is. Sincerely, never heard of him. Or, I *have* heard of him, and completely forgot about him. One or the other. At any rate, I guessed the "T" in his name because CABOT is a recognizable name, unlike CABON, the other answer I was entertaining. Only after I finished the puzzle did I see how TAG = [Put out, in a way] (baseball). I would be put out of someone kept NAGging me. But that was the only scary moment. Otherwise, I started with OSSIE (once crosses ruled out GEENA) (46A: Davis of "Bubba Ho-Tep," 2002), and worked off crosses straight through the whole damned puzzle. No jumping around or rebooting or nothing. HALTER TOPS off the HA- (57A: Summer wear for women). REEBOKS off the -KS (22D: Alternatives to Filas). NUT TREE off the -EE (28D: Almond, for one). Just not Saturday hard. Given the clue, BETSY ROSS (33D: A 1952 3-cent stamp honored her 200th birthday) was a cinch w/ just a cross or two. Few letters at the end of LADY GODIVA and she turned right up (17A: One barely riding?). There are no obscure or even strange words in the whole thing—which I guess is a plus, but somehow it all felt a little boring. Maybe the cluing was what was lacking. Maybe SPIELER (42D: Pitching ace?) next to ONE SHARE (37D: Minimal market purchase) and AMATOL (45D: Powerful explosive) is just snoozy stuff. Maybe I don't like the idea of more than one KROGER (38A: Some markets = KROGERS). Dunno. But this didn't do much for me, despite its smoothness and solidity. At 72 words, I expect some zing. With a few exceptions, or w/ slightly different cluing, this puzzle could've been from 30 years ago. Maybe more. Themelesses usually have seed answers—stuff the puzzle gets built around because it's Awesome. I don't know what those would have been today.

Lots of actresses today, only one of which I knew (13D: Cagney player on TV = GLESS). ALANA (14A: Actress De La Garza of "Law & Order") and BEA (33A: Lillie with a Tony) were new to me, but easily gettable via crosses. YMA is common crosswordese, so that was a gimme (50A: First name among exotica singers), and MERL is uncommon crosswordese, so ditto (63A: Keyboardist Saunders). No idea what Crockett Hotel's neighbor was, but it sounded westerny and I had enough crosses to make ALAMO the obvious choice. I guess "Rendering" is in the clue 31D: Rendering on Connecticut's state quarter is there because "Tree" would be too easy ... ? But I hardly think it mattered, and "rendering" is ugly (and long) as a clue word. There must be some happy medium between "tree" and "rendering." Improbably, I wanted SATIE at first for 48D: "The Liberty Bell composer" (SOUSA). I *always* want SATIE for a 5-letter composer (esp. starting w/ S). He's reasonably common. So is SOUSA, it's true, but I'd rather listen to SATIE, so ... SATIE wins, clue wording be damned.

I really like the clue on MAVERICK (8D: Sarah Palin, self-descriptively), but it's a Wednesday clue—if not outright obvious, certainly obvious after a cross or two. Whole puzzle suffered from this pushover quality. If there were such a thing as a Wednesday themeless, this would be a good example and I would've enjoyed it a reasonable amount.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:16 AM  

Halter tops are summer wear for men, worn by women.

Anon 12:16 12:18 AM  

Oops, I forgot our lesbian friends. My bad. The clue was correct.

syndy 12:29 AM  

I liked this better than Rex but I guess I like Sousa better as well!Yes It yielded promptly to light pressure but still fun.something old something new,a little borrowed a little blue. Does not the KROGER family own multiple chains of Grocery stores? Also I believe J Cabot was the illustrious ancestor of Henry Cabot Lodge of Boston fame.

jae 2:22 AM  

OK, way easier than yesterday's, but still an easy-medium Sat. for me. @syndy -- I too liked it better than Rex. I mean FREEPASSES to see LADYGODIVA in something less than a HALTERTOP or PINSTRIPES...sign me up! Plus DAWG crossing DORAGS and MAVERICK (also a fine '60s western) when mama grizzly wouldn't fit, you've got to like it.

But Rex is right, no tough crosses (CABOT I knew) unless you are unsure of how to spell AKITAS.

Only real erasure was edited for REDACT.

Amatol Calif Maestros 3:54 AM  

I messed up 1A big time...had ColON, as in Cristobal Colon ..even tho I knew Colon = Columbus...
Would never have gotten CABOT in a hundred years.

DAWG/DORAGS seems somehow trying too hard. Like a nerdy person doing an awkward rap.
But I love OPALs as an October baby.

Hand up for Geena before many Davis actor/esses: Bette, Brad.

I feel iffy about IMAX being a NAMEBRAND...I guess so. Somehow NAMEBRANDS seems redundant and this is my profession, but i can't put my finger on What's wrong.

Snow had to become OREO... MESSY.

Acme 3:58 AM  

Hmmm, as Iressed send, a commercial came on to buy NAMEBRAND that's my prob...NAMEBRANDS seems more suited for appliances rather than cookies and types of films.

Gareth Bain 5:10 AM  

@Acme: Around here our biscuits (and other food products) have name brands and no-name, made for the supermarket, knock-offs so it makes sense from this corner...

Clark 6:16 AM  

I give FREEPASSES to easy Saturdays. Semi-Puzzle Partner helped. How does he just know stuff like YMA and GLESS? I knew BEA right off. That's cause Thoroughly Modern Millie is a movie I have come to appreciate. SPP loves it and has seen it about a thousand times.

r.alphbunker 6:35 AM  

This was much easier than yesterday's for me.

First answer entered was {9D shot} STAB. I have seen STAB clued this way before. The A got me LADY GODIVA. And so it went. The impression redirect {11D Impressionistic work} had tricked me in last Saturday's Saturday Stumper so I saw right through it this time.

Some creative writeovers were
10D Wear banned in many schools [thonGS-->DORAGS]
32A Evidence of bodily harm [SCAr-->SCAB]
18D Boozing it up [ONAbingE-->ONASnoot-->ONASnort-->ONASPREE]

Milford 7:33 AM  

Solved faster than Fridays, but felt like a medium. Glanced at the puzzle last night and barely had anything, but this morning it was completely doable. I liked the EGGOS clue.

I live exactly between a KROGER and the local high school, whose mascot is the MAVERICK, so I liked that they crossed.

For the "alternative to white" I had WH_ _ _WH_ _ _ and for a moment was thinking, white-white? As in, really, really white?

Anonymous 7:46 AM  

Strangely enough, I immediately dug into yummy Froffles, which led me---with some needling by America's seamstress---to complete the right half of this ho-hum finger exercise in about a minute. Had no trouble with the west except for CALIF, which irritated me even after the crosses demanded it. Krogers is the name on every Krogers you like to see "banana's" for sale at your Piggly-Wigglys's??? Not a Saturday puzzle, not by a long shot. Wish I had some amatol.

Glimmerglass 8:22 AM  

I loved this puzzle, but I'd never describe it as "easy." (I don't love easy puzzles.) It was maddenly frustrating, as I knew several clues were hovering just out of my reach, but I couldn't get them for a long time. One example is WHOLE WHEAT, which I didn't see for ages, even with several crosses (I was trying for race, cleanser, or Vanna -- Duh!). Similar wrestling matches with PARASITE, BAD APPLES, FREE PASSES, LADY GODIVA, FILTER, and PINSTRIPES. CABOT, I knew. HALTER TOPS, I got off just the H. Never heard of MERL, SIMI, or KROGERS. AKITA and DAWG (get it?) were really obscure. Anyway, this took me a very long time (which is good, on Saturday).

Lindsay 8:36 AM  

Wasn't McCain the MAVERICK? I needed most of the crosses for the Palin clue because I was thinking of Barracuda, or Mama Bear (which fit) or Mama Grizzly (which didn't)or something like that.

Where is yesterday's AMNESIA when you want it?

Jim Walker 8:48 AM  

Have to agree on the ease, but thought the puzzle was clued well. Just didn't take enough of the morning (50 minutes). Now I am available for honey do's. Drat!

Bill from FL 9:02 AM  

Even if it was "easy," I need to add an asterisk. My grid was blank and I was starting to get that sinking feeling until I reached OREO, WHOM, and HALTERTOPS. After that, I had an "easy," but very enjoyable, path back to the top, with a short delay in the NE.

jackj 9:09 AM  

This was a strange puzzle. At first blush it looked like the impossible dream and eight or ten minutes later it was complete, as one answer after another flowed into the grid and the puzzle lost its imputed luster; not a Saturday by any stretch of the imagination.

ONYX and IMAX got things started, followed quickly by OPAL and WALDO. Next, BEA begat BETSYROSS which triggered a love couple, YMA and EROS while cheapskate MAESTRO sprang for a paltry ONESHARE purchase and LADYGODIVA gave her all to live up to her cutesy clue.

The rest was filling in the blanks and enjoying the occasional incidence of clever wordplay for the remaining entries like TEAR and its Latin anagram, ERAT or those clothing choices that covered all the usual suspects (and most places) in PINSTRIPES, DORAGS, HALTERTOPS and REEBOKS, even one in a birthday suit, but in the final analysis, the overriding question for the puzzle was “Where’s the beef?”

Maybe it would have played better if it was rejiggered as a mid-week themed puzzle with NAMEBRANDS as the reveal; there are certainly plenty of them in the puzzle from CABOT (cheese) to (Dodge) RAM, with additional logos sprinkled like Burma Shave signs throughout the grid.

GILL I. 9:22 AM  

I enjoyed it in a strange sort of way because I kept missreading the clues. I read Homey at 10A as "Homely" so I immediately plunked in DAWG and dang, it was right! No way was I going to be fooled by DORAGS and WALDO this time around. Then I thought the clue for 43A were diapers (I must have been thinking Huggies) so I had skivvy for our AKITAS but after a few MOPES, BETSY ROSS came to the rescue.
I think they should have kept the name "Froffles" instead of naming the waffles EGGOS. Also toyed with "nuvorich" for Palin. Doesn't she have trubole spelling or something?

JoshS 9:22 AM  

DAWG / GLESS and MERL / AMATOL and CALIF / CABOT? That's a little NATICK-y, no?

joho 9:26 AM  

This was MUCH easier than yesterday's puzzle. I had the same momentary pause wanting nAG for TAG but knowing CABOT solved that.

Now I just have to get the image of LADYGODIVA and BESTYROSS hand-in-hand in matching HALTERTOPS out of my head!

orangeblossomspecial 9:29 AM  

Once I got past the SCAr/SCAB confusion, things went pretty smoothly, although I didn't know the AMATOL/MERL intersection. I had v as in AMATOv, closely related to the Molotov cocktail. That way MERv made sense.

I also kept wanting Rialto to be in Venice or Italy, where it originated.

John Cabot was an explorer at least as recognizable as Vasco da Gama, Hernando de Soto, Ponce de Leon or Ferdinand Magellan. I didn't know that he was Italian, however.

50A YMA Sumac is an acquired taste.

The Osmonds recorded 3D "One BAD APPLE".

46D SOUSA marches are always inspiring. Only Molotov-tossing commies could fail to appreciate a Sousa march.

quilter1 9:32 AM  

I liked this puzzle because it had things I knew like SOUSA, BEA and CABOT. But it made me think outside my little box with DAWG and DORAG. I'm catching up after being away.

orangeblossomspecial 9:35 AM  

@ Mel Ott: Thanks for the correction yesterday. Y A Tittle played at LSU, not Ole Miss.

Tyler Clark 9:36 AM  

Still took me a half hour to get through, mostly because I just didn't know these names: MERL, OSSIE, SIMI, GLESS. I had NAMEBRANDS pretty early, or rather I had BRANDNAMES, which stayed in place for too long. Just did not know AMATOL, and SPIELER was awkward, so the SW took a while to get through.

Sue McC 10:04 AM  

Gets a big old' meh from me. And what's with all the SSSSSes? Sheesh! I count 17 in the bottom half alone.

Sue McC 10:10 AM  


Sue McC 10:12 AM  

And ACER,& ALAMO....

Sue McC 10:13 AM  

...& CABOT.
OK, I'm done now. Letting it go....

Z 10:38 AM  

Hand up for MERv/AMATOv. Can a puzzle with an error ever be considered truly easy? No - so medium in my book.

@Gill I.P. - I misread the clue for 10A as HORNEY - is that m or r-n? With LADY GODIVA and HALTER TOPS it seems an appropriate clue for the puzzle.

John V 10:40 AM  

Easy, but screwed up the South; OREO blizzard new to me, had WHAT not WHOM (duh), didn't know AMATOL. Likewise like many didn't get CABOT, so couple of mistakes in the NW.

Thought the clue for RPMS was a bit weak, spurious.

A good Saturday, good compensation for tennis rain out.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:45 AM  

One write-over: 10 A, Homey, had SNUG for a long time before DAWG. Valid answer, just not what the puzzle wanted.

As @Tyler notes, it may be that some of the problem ACME and others (including myself) had with NAMEBRANDS is that BRAND NAMES comes so much more easily to mind.

Masked and Alanamous 11:01 AM  

10. (really shoulda been 9 yesterday, I guess)

Puz did seem a bit easier than yesterday's. Are RPMS really a big-time DVD stat? Do they vary by individual disc? Is round also a DVD stat? I've got some that vary on that.

@jae-Yep. Primo western, but...
@Lindsay-that's the way I recall it, too: McCain was the MAVERICK, Palin was the ROUGE. Or ROGUE. Or soccer mom. Or pit bull. Oh hell, I don't know. Can even count backwards from ten right...

Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Homey = Dawg? Not in my vocabulary.

Milford 11:03 AM  

Similar to the BRAND NAME/NAME BRAND issue for me was TREE NUT instead of NUT TREE.

Also, saw the Crockett reference and thought miAMi before ALAMO. Wrong dude.

Carola 11:04 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carola 11:09 AM  

Not as easy as it should have been, as it took me forever to get the long Across answers, even with plenty of letters in place. I started off promisingly in the NW with IMAX/ONYX and the ALAMO, but then couldn't do anything with it. I had to go to the far SE for ETTE/EROS and crawl my way back across the continent - but with plenty of smiles along the way to keep me going.

Incredibly, I couldn't remember the description for Sara Palin. My first try was MAc tRuCK.

@jae - love your riff on the FREE PASSES.
@orangeblossomspecial - me, too, on wanting Venice.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

Liked John CABOT and the NAMEBRANDS
Really had no gripes...
Faves were BETSYROSS, LADYGODIVA, and my Homeys- The PINSTRIPES!

Wanted to put PARASITE where MAVERICK should be,
Both seem like BADAPPLES
who fell off the NUTTREE.

Merle 11:27 AM  

Cultural frame of reference is what it's all about, all you Alfies who got what I didn't and who didn't get what I did. Sure, Homey and Dawg -- both synonyms for Bro. Hello? Yo Bro, yo, Big Dawg! Oreo Blizzard? Egad and yikes and yuck, glad I never heard of it before, never want to hear of it again. Ossie Davis would come to my mind after Bette but before Geena -- so guess how old I am. My name is Merle, and I thought I knew all the Merles, but Merl Saunders I didn't know. Gimmes -- akita, Yma, opal, at sea (overused!), eros. Scar and scab --sure, scar is usually the answer -- and scabs come before scars! Got Godiva from Lady. Halter top, well, okay, got it. Alana De La Garza -- who? Ah well, if she ever turns up again, I might remember the name. I'll give puzzle maker Dana Motley a 44 A free pass, but, Dana Motley, a motley set of clues and answers. Not inspiring, but adequate. I bet your next puzzle will be more interesting, though! Enough -- now I have to prove I'm not a robot. Lemme see if I can overthrow the machine....

Not Jane Curtin 11:43 AM  

Dear Mr. Parker:

Last Saturday, you addressed
"@Neville- you ignorant slut..." and critiqued his comment with references to admissions of failure/ignorance.

I noticed that he has not returned to this site.

Is it possible that the young man was not acquainted with this SNL retort and your wittiness went over his head. Perhaps it sounded harsh and scared him away?

Yet another reason to stay anonymous? Just wondering...

mac 12:12 PM  

Easy-medium but very enjoyable. I too had snug for a while at 10A, then Dowg.

The Midwest fell in a minute, the rest had to be pieced together. Scar for scab for a bit, and the NW came last.

IMax and Oreo are brand names, but it's hard to think of IMax as namebrand as opposed to generic. New clue for Oreo: horse that bolted in Manhattan.

retired_chemist 12:24 PM  

Medium. Lots of good clues, solid Saturday. EGGOS and RPMS were in and out two or three times. eLeNA - a bad guess at 14A - was easily fixed. PINSTRIPES had me going almost until the end - smiled when I got it.

The first IMAX I was ever in was a block from The ALAMO, which not coincidentally was the title of the movie we saw. As historically accurate as is possible, they said. Not far from the Crockett Hotel, I suppose, though I don't recall seeing it.

AMYTAL before AMATOL - I don't use either.

Check our Sousa's "The Liberty Bell". You may be surprised at where you have heard it before (nudge nudge wink wink).

Wanted MAmajerK for 8D at one point.

Thanks, Dana.

JFC 12:34 PM  

Thank you Not Jane Curtin. Went back and read (re-read?) Rex's message to Neville. For those who come here to watch train wrecks it was very entertaining. Some people might read Rex as saying he agreed with Neville's criticism even though Rex liked the puzzle. Some people might view Rex as engaging in a blistering attack on Neville. Some people might think Rex was really criticizing the know-it-alls who recite their gimmies. What I like is that Rex knew OZAWA and ALMODOVAR then but not John CABOT today, which begs the question, who is the ignorant slut this week? Obviously it's me because I didn't find the puzzle easy....


Sandy K 12:44 PM  

This was challenging, then medium to me. Being in a Saturday frame of mind, I expected it to be much harder than yesterday's, but it all fell in.

Unlike Rex, the ___OT from ONYX and TAG gave me CABOT. Didn't know if John or his son Sebastian was the Columbus contemporary.
@Google- it's either. I should know- I used to teach this stuff.

Biggest HOLDUP @KROGERS- must be a regional thing?

Good weekend to all!

Not Dan Akroid, but then who would want to be Dan Akroid, John Belushi was the cool one 12:56 PM  

@Not Jane Curtin - Try a joke among friends.

Unknown 1:05 PM  

I always thought the July (Cancer) birth stone was ruby. Sure messed up the NW for a while. Liked the cluing for PINSTRIPES and PARASITE.

Lewis 1:08 PM  

Just goes to show how the different wheelhouses go -- I found yesterday's puzzle easier than today's. I liked this one and learned some new things. Have a good weekend, all!

Anonymous 1:15 PM  


The real question is how did Neville view the comments.

After reviewing, I would pick your "Some people..." answer #2
because he never came back.

I don't believe that anyone should be called an ignorant slut, esp. for not knowing a puzzle answer- altho' Cabot does seem much more gettable than Almodovar or Ozawa.

I think that Rex was just being Rex.

Masked and Anonymo2Us 1:19 PM  

@quilter1: welcome back. Did U go to that Coeur d'Alene quilt store this trip?

@31: WHOLEWHEAT and LADYGODIVA seem like pretty neat seed entries, to me. But who knows? Dana M. (anagram of M and A!) mighta started out with AOXOMOXOA, but then backed off, when it didn't play nice with others. Or maybe this started out as a women in history themer, with BETSYROSS and LADYGODIVA, but then LADYGAGA wouldn't fit in, so scrapped it.

My 11:01 commentary shoulda said "can't", instead of "can". Jeez.

Susan Gardos 1:31 PM  

I think one's age/generation has a lot to do with getting the clues. I'm clearly 20 years older than Rex. Learned about John Cabot in fifth grade. Thought that Davey Crockett died at the Alamo. Maybe the curriculum has changed. On the other hand, I never heard of dorags and dawg. I'm 72, and heard Yma Sumac back in the late forties or early fifties.

Not Jane Curtin 1:34 PM  

@Not Dan Akroid

I can take a joke among friends, but sadly, I don't think Neville got that it was a joke.

That's my point- that quip is probably before his time. I just felt sorry that he joined the blog and then disappeared after that day.

Maybe I'm wrong and he's on vacation in the Bahamas...laughing it up.

Loren Muse Smith 1:44 PM  

I thought this was about as hard as yesterday’s. “Faucet” for FILTER held me up in the SW, the last area to fall.

I liked the symmetry of LADY GODIVA and HALTER TOPS. We have an ASS, a LOUT, and some BAD APPLES. DO RAGS crossing DAWG – cool.

AKITAS scare me, but there again, huskies do, too. I’ve never had either on a sled dog team, though.

I put in SPIELERS just to be funny and was pleased when it turned out to be right!


I, too, thought Rex and Neville must be friends and that it was all in good fun. Nice to be reminded of those SNL days.

Thanks, Dana. I certainly didn’t TEAR through it, but I SHORE liked it.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

Dan Aykroyd

GILL I. 2:32 PM  

@Z - Hah! I like your attentional dyslexia (AD) better than mine.
A very good friend that I've known for years and has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Linquistics calls me an "ignorant slut" all the time. It never fails to make me burst out laughing.

Neville 3:28 PM  

@Not Jane Curtin - Counterpoint: Rex & I are friends, and I did catch the reference. I usually lurk around here anyway, since there's usually far more for me to read than add - I typically comment when I'm completely awed, at sea or abhorred; there hasn't been any of that this week (though I did immensely enjoy P. Berry's Sunday). I certainly got the reference and wasn't offended at all! It's nice to know why I should know certain things - turns out that I've seen OZAWA, but the Tanglewood reference meant nothing to me at the time. Oh well :)

This comment thread could use some more cowbell, though.

retired_chemist 3:44 PM  

@ Susan Gardos - Davy Crockett DID die (as a hero) at the Alamo. I presume that is why the hotel is named after him.

Anonymous 4:15 PM  

homie = dawg
not homey

quilter1 6:07 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous: Thanks. No, we went our southern route to hit Phoenix and visit our daughter and came back via Denver. Some family problems mad it necessary to hurry--early school start in LA and last month my mom had a big stroke and we must empty her apartment while she goes to a nursing home. Quilting and puzzles keep me sane.

Dirigonzo 7:06 PM  

Had all of the same mistakes mentioned by others plus some of my own: BADActorS before BADAPPLES, NUTTypE eventually became NUTTREE, and "WHat the gods would destroy" seemed perfectly reasonable until the crosses required it to be WHOM. But, "all's well that ends well" as they say, and I was pleased to learn that EGGOS were once called Froffles - I can understand why they changed the name as "Leggo my Froffle" just doesn't have any pizazz.

I'm glad @Neville showed up to put all speculation to rest.

Not Jane Curtin 9:16 PM  

@Neville and @Rex

Sorry about that!
Guess the joke's on me!
And we all know what that makes ME now!! ;)

GILL I. 9:48 PM  

Hey Diri! "My foffle tastes like offal!" :-0

GILL I. 9:51 PM  

Oops should that be Froffle because it sounds so awful? Ok back to the 49 game.

Dirigonzo 10:21 PM  

@Gil I.P. - I was going to write, "I would love to taste your foffle, you ignorant slut", but I was afraid that would get me banned from Rexworld forever so I decided not to. What the heck is th "49 game"?

tea73 10:40 PM  

I had NeuTRal instead of NUTTREE and still think it's a better Saturday answer.

GILL I. 10:42 PM  

Diri you made me spill my Zin, and for your information, my foffles aren't for sale.

Deb 11:07 PM  

Saturdays are NEVER easy for me and anyone who finds them so is an ignorant slut.

@Dirigonzo - "all that speculation" came from one person in disguise, altho' I think you know who it is.

Dirigonzo 11:40 PM  

@Gil I.P Wherever did you get the idea that I wnated to purchase your foffles - I've never paid for foffles in my life!

@Deb - love your avatar, funnel cakes are my favorite! In re "all that speculation", that is my point, exactly.

Spacecraft 11:56 AM  

Gotta disagree with OFL on this one. I thought the cluing was up to weekend level. Searching aroundfor a foothold (I somehow missed 17a, a rare long gimme), I found WHOM. That suggested HALTERTOPS, and I was on my way; still, nothing reminded me of the fill-in-as-fast-as-you-can-write syndrome of early-to-midweek.

When I got to the NE, I knew 13d wasn't Daly--but didn't Sharon GLESS play Lacey? Or am I misremembering? Guess I can Google it if I really care.

Also in the NE--my last area to fill--I arrived at a natick: _ILE/DO_AGS. I have never heard of DORAGS in my life, so had to run the alphabet for "Put out," and RILE seemed the only choice. So you say that "Put out" isn't a Saturday clue for RILE? Well, buddy, it ain't a Monday one, that's for sure.

Thus finished, with no help or errors--and I feel every bit as proud as I did yesterday. Very good, fresh puzzle, with a minimum of junk. I don't recognize the name, but I can fast become a member of the Motley crew.

Ginger 2:38 PM  

EASY? Not for me. It does look easier after it's filled in and the answers are familiar, but they didn't fall quickly for me. Wrote in LADYGODIVA off the a in ALAMO and felt rather smug, than quickly second guessed myself. Googled ALANA and then on seeing her picture realized I should have known her. From there, slowly, things fell into place. Hang-ups the same as has been mentioned. Good challenge to start off the weekend.

Now, I'm going to work on the Friday puz. (Yeah....I'm behind)

Wishing you fellow syndilanders a fine week-end.

DMGrandma 6:40 PM  

Couldn't get started, just scanned through saying "no way"- and then I got Sousa and everything fell into place. Odd what one letter or word can do to the memory! Didn't make the MERv error because somehow I have heard of AMATOL, but I still don't really know what it is. another question mark for me is DAWG. Why is it "homey"? I originally had "snug", but the crosses saved me. Didn't know what Filas are, but now I guess they are shoes?

Being able to finish a Friday makes me fearful for what the morrow brings!

Dirigonzo 7:06 PM  

@DMGrandma - fret not, this was the SATURDAY puzzle!

And I'm not the right guy to answer the question, but I think "homey" and "DAWG" are both terms urban youth use to address one another. And yes, FILA(s) is a brand of shoe.

Happy first day of Autumn!

DMG 8:47 PM  

@Diri: Thanks for the heads up. Wonder if I would have figured the day out when tomorrow's paper comes with colored comics? This getting older has it's drawbacks!

Dirigonzo 9:56 PM  

@DMG - I think not knowing, or caring, where one is on the time line continuum is an advantage, not a drawback, of getting older. It's all relative and as long as we are having a good time, who gives a damn what day it is? But I do love the Sunday comics!

Ted Kaczynski 3:59 AM  

Easy if you've heard of AMATOL. Even I have never heard of it.

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