Hoopster Stoudemire / WED 8-22-12 / Wall St. stat / Humanoid of Jewish folklore / Babes in Toyland composer / Wings in zoology / Remainder in Rouen

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Constructor: Peter A. Collins

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: STURM / UND / DRANG (38A: With 40- and 41-Across, 18th-century literary and musical movement) — it's just this phrase across, and then its translation running down (7D: WIth 36- and 53-Down, translation of 38-/40-/41-Across => STORM / AND / STRESS), and then the author "associated" with the phrase: JOHANN / GOETHE (45A: With 47-Across, writer associated with 38-/40-/41-Across). Grid has mirror rather than rotational symmetry, and is 15x16, presumably to accommodate the theme answers.

Word of the Day: Rio DE ORO (41D: Río ___ (African region)) —
Río de Oro (Spanish for "Gold River", Arabic: وادي الذهب wādī-að-ðahab, often transliterated as Oued Edhahab), is, with Saguia el-Hamra, one of the two territories that formed the Spanish province ofSpanish Sahara after 1969; it was originally taken as a Spanish colonial possession in the late 19th century. Its name seems to come from an east-westriver which was supposed to have run through it formerly. The river was thought to have largely dried out - a wadi, as the name indicates - or have disappeared underground. (wikipedia)
• • •

Yeesh. I had to put this one down at 35A: Golfer Aoki and others (ISAOS), which I think is, possibly, the most absurd plural name in crossword history. Breathtaking, in that way that getting punched in the stomach is breathtaking. And this was before I had any idea what the theme was. I am going to say that, conservatively, 90+% of crossword solvers could not name a second ISAO. Thus, while more than one surely exists in the world ... no. Just no. ISAO on its own is already the worst kind of crosswordese, the stuff you use only if you're desperate to hold something good together. More than one? I'm trying to imagine the answer ESAIS. And failing (here: you can try it yourself—just look at 65A: Morales of "Caprica" (ESAI) and then imagine an "S" on the end).

You can't condemn a puzzle on one answer, however mind-blowingly bad. Sadly, the theme is not at all strong. It's just a phrase and that phrase's translation and then the author associated with that phrase. It's all very pre-Shortzian in its non-playful- and non-cleverness. It's like the boring puzzles that contain an author's name and some novels she wrote or a singer's name and some songs he sang, only here, I guess there is some value added by the grid-muckery. Criss-crossing and enlongifying and what not. Not enough value added for me, though. The grid has a couple of stellar pillars in the long Downs DRAUGHT BOARD (25D: Place for an English king?; nice clue!) and "IT HAD TO BE YOU" (27D: One of Sam's tunes in "Casablanca"). But, even if you give the ordinary crosswordese a pass (which seems reasonable), you've got the truly junky set of ANES, ISAOS, DEORO, OYER, RHOMB, MONDE/RESTE, ALAE and OEN to contend with. Which is to say that outside the long stuff, it's not a pretty grid. Oh, I liked TECATE (54D: Mexican beer brand), because it felt new and interesting. Also liked clue on MARCO (same reason) (62A: Sen. Rubio). So it's not all bad. Just not nearly enough good.

  • 16A: Hoopster Stoudemire (AMAR'E) — sic
  • 17A: Humanoid of Jewish folklore (GOLEM) — I've known this word for a while, but I don't think it really settled into my brain for the long haul until I read Michael Chabon's "Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," where a GOLEM figures prominently.
  • 30A: "Babes in Toyland" composer (HERBERT) — the one answer in the puzzle about which I truly had no idea at all. Couldn't tell you the guy's first name. (Well, now I can: it's Victor)
  • 32A: Wall St. stat (P.E. RATIO) — another good answer; really threw me. I briefly thought the answer would be PER AGIO (!?) and I think I would've just called it a night at that point.
  • 70A: Moor growth (MOSS) — briefly thought the clue might be going the "Othello" route ("... Did Othello have a beard ...?"), but no.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. hey you guys, did you know that the NYT crossword had Dr. DRE in it the other day?!! It's ... big news! I mean "news": See for yourself.


JFC 12:09 AM  

On August 8 last Peter Collins had another puzzle published and then I commented:

"Interesting commentary by Rex. My recollection is that Rex in general has not been kind to Peter Collins' puzzles. So this one is pretty good construction-wise and Rex takes off on its theme."

I did not care for this puzzle, mainly because I'm illiterate. But, that notwithstanding, I knew Rex, who is literate, wouldn't care for it either....


Anonymous 12:32 AM  

I think the puzzle was *totally* saved by the black squares forming a rock-em sock-em robot flailing his arms in over the top emoting.

jae 12:36 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:38 AM  

Most of this was Monday easy.  The Midwest was tough.  Did not know DRAUGHTBOARD and was iffy enough on crosses like ALAE, HERBERT and STURM (had STruM at first)...that I needed to guess my through it. 

Also had reINED for JOINED (is EST a direction?) for a while.

Zippy stuff...TECATE, ITHADTOBEYOU, GOLEM (the Chabon book is worth the read)...

This was OK  except for all the cross referencing.    

Anoa Bob 12:40 AM  

This one felt like a pop quiz on material I studied 40 years ago. Was able to dredge it up but it was a drudge.

Rex, add GERMANY at 26A to the theme entries.

I get that DRAUGHT (spell checker doesn't like that) is the British version of "draft", but what's the angle with "king" and BOARD?

The 31D BERRA quote provided some much needed lightheartedness.

TomAz 12:42 AM  

Maybe I don't get the joke but... Surprise (not Rex's) at DRE but ongoing unquestioning acceptance of, say, ASTA? Is the xword community really that conservative?

syndy 12:57 AM  

@ANOA BOB Daughts = Checkers in england. I finished this in Monday time so all the self referencing didn't have a lot of time to annoy me! You could have smacked me with a feather to find that GOETHE had a first name :) I needed the crosses for that.also had TERRE instead of MONDE-isn't that world?

Tobias Duncan 1:10 AM  

Bunch of stuff I dont care at all about was the theme AFAIAC. Well MAMET and TETRAPODS were nice but way too many proper names and really crappy sports stuff.I think I may not be a fan of Mr. Collins work.

Rube 1:52 AM  

Didn't know the translation of DRANG nor Goethe's first name. MAMET, AMARE, and ROXIE were complete unknowns. Throw in ESAo and MONDo and I'd call this "Challenging".

(Had a great time at Lake Powell for the last two weeks, but hurt my back and have been gimping around the last week. Fishing was OK. Anyone have bass recipes?)

retired_chemist 2:52 AM  

Kind of clunky but not too hard. Easy-medium.

I knew ISAOS was going to get a slam, and deservedly so. Had trouble parsing P/E RATIO, which came entirely from crosses, even after I had it right.

STURM UND DRANG crossing STORM AND STRESS centrally was a nice touch. Just noticed that the grid was 15X16 to accommodate that. Mirror symmetry but not rotational symmetry - atypical.

55A was ENO for a while - messed up the SE for a while.

chefwen 3:09 AM  

@syndy - Husband called foul on 39D he wanted terre as in pomme de terre, apple of the earth. Groused that MONDE was world, as you said.

German speaking Dad used to quote GOETHE quite often, I think he just liked to pronounce his name correctly to impress us.

Didn't sail through this one as easily as others, but we got the job done.

@Rube - Sorry about your back. I'm not sending you any more Bass recipes until you try the one I already sent to you. Just take a deep breath, push your sleeves, dive in and give it a shot. You can do it.

chefwen 3:12 AM  

Lets try push UP your sleeves or pull, your choice.

Jeremy Mercer 4:52 AM  

How about some French pedantry this morning?

I'd argue TERRE is the more accurate translation of EARTH. MONDE translates to WORLD, hence it is the name of the major Paris newspaper, Le Monde, and is used in phrases like 'tout le monde connait ...' or 'the whole knows ...' TERRE is used both for the planet we live on and the soil in our garden, so it is a much better match for EARTH.

Loren Muse Smith 6:27 AM  

I bet this is the kind of puzzle non-puzzlers would expect is the typical NYT crossword. Highbrow! I dnf by a mile – too many unknowns to me to even try to list. STURM UND DRANG is fairly familiar whereas STORM AND STRESS rings no bell.

Highlights – OASES and DESERT SUN, DOG STAR next to ORBIT, the two ANDs crossing, and IMBUE crossing OSMOSIS.

I like the way WATER RATS looks. I’d like to write a novel - The Revenge of the Water Rats.

RHOMB curves to the right to give me what I would have thought: RHOMBUS!

I picture (enviously) the person who dispatches this puzzle effortlessly - setting it aside and going off to curl up with Proust, Haydn playing faintly in the background – maybe a cup of Handley and Sons tea? Me, I set it aside, unfinished, and skulk off with a John Grisham novel, Simon and Garfunkle, and a diet coke.

Fine puzzle, Peter. I just wish I knew more fancy stuff.

Z 6:34 AM  

@Jeremy Merecer - I have no argument with your French, but your English I take issue with. "Earth" can mean either the ground, the planet, or the world (a quick check listed the last usage as the fourth definition). I'd put that clue in the "nice misdirection for the expert" category.

Liked this more than Rex. I have to agree that it is more Goethe than Simpsons in its pleasures, but I thought it an enjoyable change of pace. I love the central phrase and lots of the fill as well. DESERT SUN, TETRAPODS, IT HAD TO BE YOU, DRAUGHT BOARD (A++), MARTYR, GROUND SPEED are all great answers. Plus we get the quote worthies, BERRA, MARCO Rubio, MAMET, and ASSAD (the last one I quote while shaking my head in disbelief).

Some of the other fill was pretty ughly, with ALAE, ISAOS, THAN threatening to vie with OOXTEPLERNON for ughly. But I liked it over all.

jberg 7:54 AM  

Mostly easy, but DNF - what language is ERI TU? I didn't know the basketball player and have never seen "Chicago," so I guessed ROsIE Hart and never thought of what should have been the obvious MAX.

While I got it, I was thinking it should have been DRAUGHTs BOARD - where you play draughts. But I guess we play checkers on a checkerboard, not a checkers board, so the parallel probably holds.

Despite all that, I liked the puzzle. I just tried a Google search, and ISAO Aoki came up as the fourth-most-likely Isao, fwiw.

Summer grades are due today, so that's it for me!

dk 8:05 AM  

I felt like I was retaking my SATS -- except 200s this time.

Red star for DOGSTAR was my Waterloo. I dined on liver and onions with Fat Tire last night and for the life of me I could not recall TECATE…. sigh age and alcohol are not conducive to solving.

The one is oddly likable as in sensible shoes. ISAOS just sucks but the rest is you know… puzzling.

🇩🇪🇩🇪🇩🇪 (3 26A Flags) Peter there is nothing wrong with being obtuse. Just ignore Rex and Tobias 😜

jackj 8:17 AM  

Crosswords that call for the solver to go through the motions of, say, insert tab A into slot B and reconcile the joined pieces to 7, 36 and 53 down to gain a hint to 38, 40 and 41 across that relates to a country at 26 across and a writer at 45 and 46 across and then, having driven the solver to a fever pitch of anxiety, with WATERRATS gnawing greedily on the nearest TETRAPODS, undo tab A from slot B and insert tab A to learn who is the puzzle’s true antagonist by solving 27 down and, surprise, ITHADTOBEYOU.

So friend Peter, the master of excess, finds a new way to rattle our cages and in the telling reminds us that the ideological grandparent of Occupy Wall Street was none other than those pesky 18th century Germans who just had to vent by way of an angst ridden STURM UND DRANG movement, (STORM AND STRESS to you English speaking hangers on), a social revolt played in high dudgeon that eventually evaporated into GOLEM(s) LOOFA and was then co-opted by Paris Hilton, writing in the DESERTSUN using the pseudonyms of AMARE MAMET on Tuesdays and ESAI BERRA on Thursdays.

Aaaargh, let me out of this nightmare!

John V 8:28 AM  

West did me in; no idea about DRAUGHTBOARD, which felt truly Maleskian. Had WILT for MELT. CMD, ALAE, all crossed by DRAUGHTBOARD is Natick City in my book.

I, for one, could not name ONE ISAO; had ISAUO, crossing UND with UND.

Save for above, actually easy, but finished with a couple of mistakes. Much STURM UND DRANG; ala, "Dog Day Afternoon" 40th anniversary (see the Times), didn't even get kissed after this one, is what I'm sayin'

Foggy in Charlotte today.

joho 8:43 AM  

The highlights of this puzzle for me were ITHADTOBEYOU and Billie Holiday singing it. DRAUGHTBOARDS was really nice, too. Other than that, while the theme is well laid out, it made me wonder why this was a theme in the first place. Sometimes just because you can successfully execute an idea doesn't mean that you should!

I'm sorry, I usually defend Peter's puzzles over @Rex's criticism but today I actually agree with him. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate Mr. Collins' work because I do, and I look forward to more from him.

Oh @loren muse smith ... I, too, loved RHOMBUS turning the corner! Nice touch!

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

While I feel stupid for having "Rohann Grethe" as the author, it seems that "Reined/Est" fit the clues in the southwest.

I got the meta 9:00 AM  

DRAUGHTSBOARD in a Wed Puzzle?
ISAOS anywhere?
Is SOT a euphamism for a sexual act so that the line GOLEM SOT ROXIE is actually funny, rather than garbage?

I'm sorry, I try to take a reasonable tone here, behave as a gentleman would, but this puzzle was just too much. I know it was the same for all of you. Quit with the reasoned responses, let your inner animal out - Do Something! I'm not talking emails to Will, I'm talking true, gut level action! I don't know what form this action would take, I'm so indoctrinated in political correctness to have lost the ability to act, but there has to be something to be done, someone out there who is still a man, still a beast, who knows how to react! Do it, damn it, do it. Be that beast!

MountainManZach 9:00 AM  

That Observer article is crap. Snoop changed his name to Snoop Lion like a month ago on account of him believing he's the reincarnation of Bob Marley (despite being born 10 years before Bob died). No joke.

Jeremy Mercer 9:08 AM  

@Z - Of course! How could I forget that famous advertising campaign 'I'd like to buy the earth a Coke' ...

Otherwise, you've put your finger on the issue: it's a little bit of a misdirect, which is unusual for a translation clue. Not out of bounds, in my opinion, just noteworthy.

orangeblossomspecial 9:12 AM  

@Rex: Thanks for Billie Holiday.

ISAO is no more unusual an entry than MAMET or ROXIE, and I'm sure there were many MAMETs and ROXIEs. Surely there are multiple ISAOs in Japan. I guess it depends on what you know or don't know, what you like or don't like.

Victor Herbert composed operettas and show pieces. Here is Beverly Sills singing 'Kiss me again', which isn't from "Babes in Toyland".

Here is 'March of the toys', which is from "Babes in Toyland". Even Rex should recognize this song.

NakitaB 9:21 AM  

For a Wednesday, this puzzle rocked. Thanks @anonymous, for pointing out the Rock 'em Sock 'em Robot structure. You're absolutely right!

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

Got most of it! A little more intellectual than the usual Wednesday puzzle

chefbea 9:40 AM  

Tough puzzle. Did not like and DNF. Never heard of draught board. Knew Sturm und Drang from xword puzzles but had no idea who wrote it..

Loofa again!!

Ulrich 9:59 AM  

First of all, Drang does not mean "stress"--it means "rush", or "urge", or "impulse". That's not the puzzle's fault, though--I never understood why the German phase is always been translated as "Storm and Stress"--the alliteration perhaps? But there is none in the German phrase!

I cringe at JOHANN GOETHE, though. Nobody in the States would say Edgar Poe, right? It's always Edgar Allen Poe or Poe. Same with Goethe--it's either that or Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe. Same with Mozart or Bach--It's never Wolfgang Mozart or Johann Bach...

Ulrich 10:10 AM  

Oops--Edgar Allan Poe!!!!

quilter1 10:12 AM  

I liked it more than most of you. I enjoyed teasing out the theme answers until the aha moment. When I came here I realized I neglected to write in the E of PERATIO, so dang, technically DNF. Oh, well, it was fun. I have no real objection to ISAOS, but random Japanese golfers are a bit irritating.

Cathyat40 10:22 AM  

Too many proper names in NE, all of them sports/entertainment references.

Carola 10:32 AM  

The Sturm und Drang was my favorite literary period to teach, so it was a delightful surprise to see it as the theme.

Also liked the "desert" theme: Desert Storm/ desert v. water/ desert + oases, the SOL and MONDE in ORBIT, and the German OST beneath JOHANN.

@Ulrich - Same reaction here to "Stress." It misses the connotation of almost explosive energy in "Drang."

@jberg - Eri tu = Italian for "It was you," an aria in Verdi's A Masked Ball. Good luck with the grading - the part of teaching I don't miss.

@loren and @joho - Awesome on noticing the RHOMBUS. (Loren, I'm drinking Harney and Sons tea as I type :) )

EA 10:33 AM  

when i got to ISAOS in the grid, i 1) yelled at my computer, 2) finished the puzzle, and 3) opened up your blog, only to find, eloquently worded, exactly what i was feeling at that moment. you have a gift, rex.

jae 10:37 AM  

@ Anon 8:50 -- I had the same problem with reINED. And, to answer my own question, yes, EST is a direction.

@lms -- If it's "The Boxer" you're listening to you'll be OK.

Milford 10:45 AM  

A DNF on a Wednesday is humbling, but it was a nice workout, picking out the solution letter by letter.

The whole Oregon section was a mess to figure out, for the same reasons listed by others: HERBERT, DRAUGHT, WILT (meLT), STURM (STroM).

My DNF was actually for the GOLEM/SOL at the "L". I've never heard the scale as anything but "SO" (as in "sew", a needle pulling thread"). And because I didn't know any mythical Jewish creatures, that was my Natick.

I guess some people who are irritated by GLAM, DOPE, APU and the like might love this puzzle more? Personally, I'm fine with some puzzles filled with stuff I don't know, and I can accept that there is plenty of things I am ignorant about.

I think the grid looks like a smiley face on top :)

thursdaysd 10:45 AM  

Didn't care for this at all, and not only because I hate referential clues. Although I managed to sort out the STORM AND STRESS interconnections I was totally defeated by the north-east corner.

I vote with the "terre" not "MONDE" crowd, and had "terre" for a very long time. Also, I grew up British, and I have no idea what DRAUGHTBOARD has to do with English kings. Did appreciate MARTYR rather than sAinte misdirection.

It was nice to see WATERRAT(S) - from "Wind in the Willows

evil doug 10:49 AM  

jackj: 200 words, in two sentences. And you call the constructor "the master of excess"? If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it possible. "Let me out of this nightmare", indeed....

It only takes me one word to name the puzzle's tune:



GILL I. 10:52 AM  

Felt quite foreignesque (foreigny?) but I preserved and finally finished.
Everyone has pretty much said what I would have (@jackj loved your post...I never understand the insert A to B to get a headache)
I will say though that I appreciated the clue at 27D. We always get a Ugarte or Laszlo or Ilsa for "Casablanca." I've watched that film so many times that I know all the words to all the songs. Knew it was IT HAD TO BE YOU off the IDS. ADS would have given us "As Time Goes By."
TECATE is quite possibly the worst beer sold in this MONDE. (I'd throw in Modelo as well) I seem to only drink beer when I go to Mexico so I'm not an expert. I do like Pacifico though.

John 10:53 AM  

Just could not get "It Had to Be You". I put "As Time Goes By" which also fit, which completely messed me up.

WAY WAY WAY too many foreign words in this one for me.

Heavy. Joyless. German.

Milford 10:56 AM  

@Tobias - besides the obvious ISAOS, what else was crappy sports stuff?

ksquare 10:56 AM  

Was suspicious of 'As Time Goes By' which also fit 27D as I didn't remember anything else Sam played in Casablanca. Incidentally, no one in the movie ever said 'Play it again, Sam'.

OISK 11:06 AM  

Oh, right in my wheelhouse. Loved this puzzle. Nice to see an operetta reference (Herbert) instead of "Drdre." I minored in German, so Sturm und Drang was a gimmee, and we actually discussed how best to translate it when we talked about Goethe and Kleist (IIRC, that was in 1963). Did not understand Draughtboard until I visited this site, but all of the across clues were plain enough to lead to it. Quite a relief after last Wednesday, which was my first DNF (blew about 5 boxes) in at least a decade. Rex called that one easy, and this one medium-challenging!
I do agree that the NE has too high a concentration of popular culture names. "Eri", as in Eri tu, though, has appeared in countless puzzles, which is why I knew it. Still, a very enjoyable Wednesday morning for me. Thanks, Mr. Collins.

J Joyce 11:10 AM  

@ED - Sometimes the style of the prose is as important to making one's point as the content.

Just 'cause you don't like it doesn't make it either wrong nor bad.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:44 AM  

Countdown now at 4.

thUmbsUp for the wonky grid layout. Not too often you get just the lower two corner squares blacked out. Layout must prove it is not a robot.

Fave fillins: Sorry. Gotta say ISAOS, folks. Laughed out loud. Good way to start the day. Also partial to UND. Them krauts really know how to dress up a conjunction.

Fun puz. Not too sure what it was talkin' about, but it solved nice. This isn't about opera, is it? Or rap?

Gerrythek 12:22 PM  

I don't remember the last Wednesday puzzle I enjoyed LESS. 35% of the answers (29/83) were either proper names or foreign words.

Carola 12:47 PM  

@John -
“Heavy. Joyless. German.” To counteract the “heavy” and “joyless,” if you have a couple of minutes, check out Goethe’s joyful May Song, set to music by Beethoven. No translation is provided, unfortunately, but the images do a good job of conveying the meaning: Spring is busting out all over, love rules the world and the poet’s heart. Three lines of the poem consist only of exclamations: “Oh, earth! Oh, sun! Oh, happiness! Oh, joy! Oh, love! Oh, love!” - the joyous side of Sturm und Drang.

Two Ponies 1:02 PM  

I prefer my puzzles in English.

Doc John 1:47 PM  

Phew! Glad it wasn't just me!
I so wanted "Time for both hands to be up" to be "top of the lift hill" but I just couldn't get it to fit.
Onward to Thursday!
P.S. Have I mentioned my dislike for captcha?

Lewis 2:04 PM  

ISAOS doesn't bother me. We're used to have "______ and others" with names all the time. Is this so ugly because it is a relatively unknown name? And yet, depending on the wheelhouse, other times the names are relatively unknown, or have been to me. I don't see why this is different.

I liked the puzzle, actually. More scholastic than usual, but sometimes it's nice to veer off into non-usual territory, as long as it isn't too arcane. And, in my opinion, Sturm Und Drang isn't.

Tobias Duncan 2:10 PM  

@Gerrythek said...
...35% of the answers (29/83) were either proper names or foreign words.

And there you have it.

@ Milford AMARE might as well have been random letters.And surrounding it with proper nouns like that is just bad form.

Ama're Chas Martyrs 2:11 PM  

odd puzzle, causing much STURM UND DRANG but worth it for me to read Ulrich's comments.
Only highlight for me was ATREE. Which is not ideal for a puzzle...but with very little prompting, if you say the word "tree" around my 100 yr old grandmother, Maidie, she gets a faraway look inher eye and then quotes the whole poem, complete with arms raised for branches.

She doesn't always know where she is from day to day, but at that moment, she is a little girl again, in front of a classroom, exclaiming the Kilmer poem.

I challenge, or rather invite, any one to witness this and not walk away with a tear. Afterwards, she collapses back into her wheelchair and resumes her less than ideal 100 yr old existence.
Wish I could embed a video. Instead, I'll act the bard and quote:
Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918
I THINK that I shall never see  
A poem lovely as a tree.  
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest  
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;  
A tree that looks at God all day,          
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;  
A tree that may in summer wear  
A nest of robins in her hair;  
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;  
Who intimately lives with rain.   
Poems are made by fools like me,  
But only God can make a tree.

Masked and Aokimous 2:15 PM  

P.S. Alternate clue for ISAOS.

"...'niyas tsuj saw ___ "

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

@Lewis - Name another ISAO. That's why. If the constructor can't come up with two people well enough known with that name (without resorting to the internets), it shouldn't be permitted.

Bird 2:32 PM  

Saw the constructor’s name atop the grid and grimaced. Tried to complete the puzzle, but in the end DNF. Should this puzzle have been a Fri/Sat offering (foreign words, proper nouns, misdirections)? I just couldn’t get enough crosses to help fill in the stuff I didn’t know. Then there’s all the cross-referencing.

I wonder how this puzzle would do in Europe.

No idea what STURM UND DRANG is, but got most of it from the English translation. Didn’t know JOHANN’s first name. With REINED (thought EST was the direction) entered at 45D I was thinking ROLAND. 25D was impossible – S*AUG*TBOARD?! Similar write-overs and nits as others.

CMD is awful. ISAOS is awful. Learned that you use a LOOFA or a LOOFAH in the bath. MAX is not slang to me.

Highlight was the grid, which I thought was some kind of spider.

M and A – Great clue for 35A!

Happy Humpday!

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

Apropos theme today...
My dentist said "IT HAD TO BE YOU,
for a root canal!" Uy Vey!!

Anonymous 3:06 PM  

For the computer scientists among us, Michael Arbib is credited with the variation:

I think that I shall never see
A string as lovely as a tree.

edmcan 3:18 PM  

Didn't particularly care for this puzzle, though I slogged through it. To me, terre= earth, monde=world. I can see the connect, but think it's stupid.

PETER 3:30 PM  

To all: Yeah, as I look back at this puzzle (which I wrote over two years ago), I see the fill is rather drecky. If ISAOS isn't the bottom of the barrel, it's getting close.

To ACME: I'm glad your grandmother has made it to 100, but I'm sorry the quality of her life is on the decline. I also have a grandmother who's still with us. She turned 102 this summer, and still lives on her own. She's a feisty one -- and she's never done a crossword puzzle in her life. She was on the Detroit local news this past winter because some lowlife broke into her house and roughed her up a bit. On the link below there's a portion of her 911 call. She called the cops while the guy was in her house. Sorry about the lead-in commercial.


- Pete Collins

GILL I. 4:23 PM  

@PETER: Oh lordy, that breaks my heart. Now I'm so angry! Did they catch him? @Andrea, I'm just glad that the word "senescence" is quite lovely to say.

DBGeezer 4:39 PM  

I found this a fairly easy Wednesday. With G and YI knew it had to be GERMANY. Then since there were three words, STURM UND DRANG, STORM AND STRESS, JOHANN GOETHE leaped into place and the rest of it followed. Our culture helps or hinders. TV or modern music clues lose me. Todays clues made it easy for this old geezer

Sheriff Joe Arpaio 4:43 PM  

Attacking the defenseless (elderly, young, disabled, etc.) is such a horrendous and cowardly act. Throw that guy in the general population with murderers and gang-bangers - he will get his due.

I would also like to throw the captcha guy in jail.

chefbea 5:02 PM  

@Peter..what a lady!!! Hope they found the guy.

my captcha is ymothr...your mother

Loren Muse Smith 5:10 PM  

@Carola. Right. Harney. Have you had their Cinnamon that’s sweet without adding sugar?

@Peter Collins – Vielen Dank für schtoppink bei! (How’s that, Gill I.P.?) That video made my blood boil.

And @ Gill I.P. – I’ve never had a bad beer!

And I forgot to add that it was cool to have Rouen in a clue for a puzzle whose MARTYR was Jeanne D’Arc.

GILL I. 5:37 PM  

@Loren: Ich spreche kein Deutsch - husband is fluent but I'm the Romance Languages aficionado.
"Stringa lui dalle palle."
Try TECATE without lime on an empty stomach.

Loren Muse Smith 5:45 PM  

@Gill - That sentence was a German/English one like that hilarious "weendo" one you gave us from Miami.

"Try TECATE without lime on an empty stomach" I sense there's a really good story there.

Non capisco il tuo italiano. Scusa!

Z 6:18 PM  

@Ama're Chas Martyrs - Wonders are all around us ready to surprise us.

@Jeremy Mercer - I've been wondering all day why MONDE didn't cause me a hesitation since "earth" as an equivalent for "world" isn't a very common usage. My current hypothesis is that the usage is less uncommon in science fiction, where the notion of a planet wide culture is common. Which reminded me of the LeGuin story,The Word for World is Forest. Now that's an interesting usage. I'm still not convinced by my own theory.

@PETER - I remember seeing the story. Happy to hear that your grandmom is still feisty.

Ulrich 7:18 PM  

@loren: Vielen Dank für showink dass Djerman ist nicht joylos!

Sfingi 7:19 PM  

Goethe: Literature as Picasso: Art. By that, I mean he went through a few genres. What a guy.
Agree with Ulrich, of course; I thought "impulse" or "urge" for DRANG but am used to translators trying for equal syllables.

One of my grampas was from Germany, and the other believed it was important to learn German for science!. No longer true.

Of course, the German stuff was leicht for me. Y'all got to admit we put up with French a lot, so sometimes it's our turn. And, even here, we had MONDE and RESTE.

Managed to do it all, except the 3 first names in the NE corner w/o Googling. What do you call a 3 x 5 Natick?

There are other ISAOS. It's not an uncommon name.
But, doesn't this Collins like first names - ROXIE, AMARE, TERI, JOHANN, MARCO, ESAI..

Carola 7:21 PM  

@Loren - Thanks for the tip about the Cinnamon - will add it to my next order. I'm a fan of the East Frisian, also want to try the Kenya.

Z 9:15 PM  

@Sfingi - An Index Card Natick.

Generally speaking, the captcha complaints have increased. My current one has something that could be an "I," a "T" or an "l." I'm cycling through 3 to 8 to find one that is decipherable on a regular basis. Three clicks (nope-five clicks and a captcha fail) this time to find one. Maybe the captcha robot is mad at me for always entering "31" for the pictured number and is getting even.

mac 9:32 PM  

I've been here three times today, then had to run off again and again.....

Pretty enjoyable puzzle, because a lot of it was known to me, but I didn't like having to jump to different locations.

Wonderful, moving comments. Celebrate the bright old things!!

Anonymous 12:23 AM  

it makes my blood boil to hear of an aged woman being attacked and burgled. in nyc a 9 year old buying soap for his mom was mugged for his money. these thugs lack humanity.

Anonymous 1:20 AM  

Well ISAOS is just a plural name like we see all the time; sorry if it isn't yankee-doodle amuriken enough for this crowd.

Why don't people save some of the hate for ANES? It is simply impossible to create a sentence with that using the clued meaning ("hydrocarbon suffixes"). Much better if they found somebody named "Ane" and plural-clued it ISAOS-style!! Or "French for donkeys" would be reasonable. But I know that those clues would be lambasted in this blog and forum, while the nonsense clue actually printed passes unremarked.

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Dear Mr. Collins, Please disregard all the negative nabobs nesting on this blog. I, for one, totally enjoyed solving the puzzle and quickly finished with only one error. Thank you for an extremely clever workout.
Ron Diego

rain forest 1:22 PM  

Probably it is unwise to pluralize suffixes or odd first names when the rest of the puzzle is really very well constructed and, in my opinion, interesting. Sturm und Drang, Goethe (unsurpassed), tetrapods (I originally thought it was referring to putts in golf), dogstar, martyr, P/E ratio, etc. were all great. But if you want to get your shirt in a knot over such trivial matters, go join those with similar lack of perspective in outrage over the replacement refs in NFL football.

DMGrandma 2:48 PM  

ISAeS got me. Affter all, TETRAPeDS looked reasonable. Beyond that I slogged through the conglomeration of foreign words and first names. Was stumped for a bit by DRAUGHT, even with BOARD in place, but that was partly due to first writing STruM.

Thanks to @Ulrich for supplying Wolfgang to GOETHE's name. I knew something didn't seem right, but couldn't have said what. I agree it's the Edgar Allan Poe usage thing. Thanks also to all those who made me feel a little less language impaired for confidentially, if incorrectly(?) using "terre". I need all the help I can get with languages, even at times my own!

Spacecraft 2:52 PM  

Go figure. To me this was an easy to (a couple spots) medium. I thought it a beautiful, tight piece of work marred only by the (necessary?) ISAOS. Here comes OFL, picking on that unfortunate entry and using it as a launching point for an almost totally negative review.

Yes, the long downs were fresh. So, IMHO, was nearly every entry in the grid! YOU make two 3-word phrases plus the author's two names flow like that, go on!

In my paper the constructor's name was printed all in caps: PETER A. COLLINS.

Deservedly so.

Ginger 3:54 PM  

This puzzle would have been a lot easier if I could spell. GOErtE needs an R, and I tried to give it one. I also had no idea of his first name, tho I was able to get that with crosses and a lucky guess. Had shuBERT before remembering Victor HERBERT.

I liked this better than #31 did. Found it to be mentally challenging and a good work out this morning. I was familiar with the STURM UND DRANG phrase, but until today had no idea what it meant. Thanks, Mr. Collins.

Now to the really REALLY Important stuff..NFL Replacement Refs. ? Former sports comentator, Keith Olbermann used to call sports 'the toy department'. A lot of STORM AND STRESS over trivial matters.

Dirigonzo 4:11 PM  

Hand up, over and over again, for every mistake already mentioned, and unlike many I did not manage to get them all corrected.I finished with MAnET and ROsIE in the NE and convinced myself that nAs, as in a shortened form of "nasty", could actually be a slang term for peak - I really need to brush up on current slang usage.

I put a question mark beside each clue for which I had no idea as to what the answer might be - there were 9 of them in the end. I worked some out through the crosses and made a couple of lucky guesses but a couple a evaded me in the end. All in all, I enjoyed the challenge (but thought it a bit much for a Wednesday).

@Rain Forest - ironically, the NFL referee situation has become a bit of a political sideshow with a couple of prominent Republicans who would otherwise eliminate all unions rushing to the defense of the referees' cause. Amy Goodman did an interesting piece on "Democracy Now" about it.

Solving in Seattle 7:37 PM  

Clever comments today: jackj, ulrich, ACMe, Loren, Rain Forrest, et. al.

ACMe, thanks for the poem. My mother-in-law is 88 with Alz. Sweetest person on earth and her quality of life sucks.

Peter Collins, like the NFL replacement refs who are doing the best they can, you don't deserve the criticism you got today. It was a fun puzzle. Liked RHOMB/BUS crossing. Also the English and German themes crossing in the middle. Anything Casablanca peps up a puz. The symmetry was pleasing, too.

Z 10:45 PM  

I was getting a little confused today since both today's NYT puzzle and the Syndicated Puzzle are by Peter. Toss in that those refs come up in lots of comments for both puzzles and The Syndicated Time Warp was almost too much for my puny human brain. At least the captchas are getting a little saner again.

Dirigonzo 11:26 PM  

@A - Not to worry, according to Yahoo! News all is well with the world again: "As it turned out, the NFL's nightmare scenario -- a team losing a game it should have won -- was all it took for the league and the NFL Referees' Association to get back to the bargaining table and wrap up a new deal. Negotiations picked up momentum after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers, 14-12, on Monday Night Football on a touchdown catch by Seattle receiver Golden Tate that was highly questionable." So what do you think it will take to get Congress back to work?

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