Enlightened Buddhist / FRI 11-30-12 / Wir leben Autos sloganeer / Hybrid tea's ancestor / Subject of 2007 youtube sensation / Longtime headlines reader / L Word producer Chaiken / Rotarian relative / Friend of Frodo

Friday, November 30, 2012

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ISADOR Coriat (25A: Early psychoanalyst Coriat) —

Isador Henry Coriat (December 10, 1875, Philadelphia – May 26, 1943, Boston) was an American psychiatrist and neurologist. He was one of the first American psychoanalysts.
He was born in Philadelphia in 1875 as the son of Hyram Coriat and Clara née Einstein. He was of Moroccan-Spanish descent on father's side and German on mother's side. He grew up in Boston and attended Tufts Medical School, graduating in 1900.
He was one of the founders of Boston Psychoanalytic Society, the first secretary in 1914 and president in years 1930-32. Coriat was the only Freudian analyst in Boston during the period after James Jackson Putnam's death.
Coriat worked with the Rev. Elwood Worcester, served as the medical expert for the Emmanuel Movement and co-authored Religion and Medicine; The Moral Control of Nervous Disorders.
Coriat married Etta Dann in 1910. He died on May 26, 1943, after a brief illness. (wikipedia) (this is the entirety of his wikipedia entry, excluding bibliography)
• • •

Even though I finished in a perfectly normal time, I never felt like I got traction with this one. Very choppy solving experience. Took me a very long time to get any of the 15s. I think CLAIRE MCCASKILL was the first one I got (a gimme), and I had traversed the grid completely at that point. Never got on to the puzzle's wavelength. [Order confirmation?] = SECRET HANDSHAKE because ... people in fraternal orders have secret handshakes? Is that it? No idea what BIG A is or means (it's Aqueduct Racetrack, whatever that is). Never heard of CHINA / ROSE and don't even know what "hybrid tea" is, let alone what its ancestor might be (5A: With 1-Across, hybrid tea's ancestor). Thought the grid too chock full of those weird names that seem only to exist to be in crosswords. your ILENEs (34D: "The L Word" producer Chaiken) and your SADAs and your LENAs and GENAs and MATA Hari and that ISADOR guy (???). When I look at the grid, I see very nice long answers (15s) and kind of ugly everything else. I mean, while I wasn't getting the 15s, I was busy picking up stuff like OPEL (14A: "Wir leben Autos" sloganeer) and TERN and ARHAT (51A: Enlightened Buddhist) and ENOS (54D: 1961 space chimp) and TRE and EELED and N TESTS—not fun, I assure you. The 15s offered some payoff, finally, but not as much as I'd've liked.

[17A: "Turn me on, dead man," supposedly, in the Beatles' "Revolution 9"]

AS A SET is depressing me, for some reason. It just seems so inadequate and makeshift and not up to the task up actually being crossword fill. AS A FRIEND, AS A FAVOR, AS A JOKE ... those seem borderline, but passable. There's something just not-quite-tight enough about a random adverbial phrase like that. I never did care about the PIANO-PLAYING CAT, a reference which might at one point have seemed fresh, but in internet time now just feels dated (36A: Subject of a 2007 YouTube sensation). I did have one good aha moment in this puzzle—with STEVIE Nicks at 23A: Nicks producing cuts? Not a fan of partials, but if you gotta do it, why not go with Keanu (34A: "There ___ spoon" ("The Matrix" line) (IS NO))?

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:07 AM  

Didn't really have much trouble with this one so I'll say easy-medium with an emphasis on the easy.  No erasures and no WOEs although, I  hadn't heard of ISADOR Coriat or ILENE Chaiken.  The L Word yes, her no.  

Random observation:  Females out number males in this one 7 to 4 not counting the space chimp.

Liked this one. The 15s were pretty zippy  which, for me, made up for some of the clunkier fill.

Tougher clue for LANDRY:  Bobby Hill's school.

And, speaking of the 15s, if 11d was not a gimme for you, you might want to consider a different hobby.

Michaela 12:09 AM  

PIANO PLAYING CAT is properly referred to as Keyboard Cat, so that took way longer than it should have. It didn't help that I had the ING filled in and could *not* get Ceiling Cat out of my head, even though there is no way Ceiling Cat and his unseemly activities would make it into the NYT crossword.

I liked SECRET HANDSHAKE because it reminded me of the Monty Python sketch about some ways of recognizing a a Mason.

Anonymous 12:28 AM  

I kicked the #@!$!% out of this one. Got in the grid right off; pretty unusual for me on Friday or Saturday. Threw down three of the six 15s early on with almost no crosses. I just knew everything either immediately or close enough to it. Almost no write-overs, also unusual for me on Friday or Saturday.

NE went last, finishing with a guess on ISADOR and the ATOI / SADA crosses.

BAT AN EYE is kind of marginal for me. Except for PASS ON, that corner is pretty sad.

Arhat Claire McCaskills 12:34 AM  

Wait, CLAIREMCCASKILL was not a gimme so, @jae, I need a new hobby? Or was that for @Rex?

I found this really pretty hard, ironically my only gimme, besides TRE was LANDRY! (Off the L in LENA)

Yes, lots of names, lots of women so that's something...even a ladybug!

What was interesting for me was while trying to crack the 15s. I had DRIBSANDDRABS and two tohers had the pattern: ??????AND????? (56A and 3D) so I was looking for phrases with "this AND that", but one was hANDshake and the other stANDstill!

Even for the BACKWARDMESSAGE I had ?????AnD??????? too!

Re: DRIBSANDDRABS, I initially had DRIpS, so thought BATANEYE might be pATANass!

Oh, damn! One wrong square...I have PCpS/pIGA :(

Anyway, hard, especially repurposing audi into OPEL!
And luge had to morph to SLED. (Is the SLED not called a LUGE? Or is that just the sport's name?)

So, overall, for me MESSY but a nice challenge. It was WEIRD(o), SO not on his wavelength, but was perversely intrigued by that.

Octavian 1:51 AM  

Found this insanely easy.

I am incredibly tired, with only 2 hrs sleep in the last 48 hrs, but somehow every answer just leaped up to me. I thought possibly I had downloaded a Tuesday puzzle -- the Beatles clue was an automatic, and then Stevie, Opel, Claire McCaskill, Arhat, lots of just factual items -- almost more of a trivia game than a regular puzzle.

Would have liked to see LENA clued with DUNHAM. why does it always have to be OLIN. Looking forward to the new season of "Girls." Recent interview with her re her characters: http://tinyw.in/AZpQ

Anonymous 3:12 AM  

I liked this one. It felt fresh.

JackLee 5:36 AM  

Rex, a "hybrid tea" is a variety of rose. But someone explain 2-down to me?

GILL I. 6:43 AM  

This took For ever and EVER. Amen to getting a new hobby because I've never heard of 11D. That really held me up. Also didn't know ISADOR (is that a he or a she?)nor ILENE. How is OLDS (65a) intrigue?
Anyway, after I finished, I decided I really liked it. INDRIBS ANDDRABS is fun to say, STEVIE Nicks is a WEIRDO and now I will have to look at that PIANOPLAYINGCAT.

Evan 7:04 AM  


It actually turns out KEYBOARD CAT and PIANO-PLAYING CAT are two distinct internet memes, though both were made famous via YouTube videos in 2007. I'd be interested to find out which one Gary Cee was referring to in the clue. But in terms of familiar phrases, I agree that KEYBOARD CAT is more familiar than PIANO-PLAYING CAT. The latter feels more like an arbitrary title -- an apt description of a meme more than anything else (like Lightsaber Swinging Kid) -- whereas the other feels like a recognizable name (like Star Wars Kid). Plus, PIANO-PLAYING CAT gets just 700,000 hits in quotation marks on Google compared to 2.3 million hits for KEYBOARD CAT.

@Anyone else who may be curious:

I've been avoiding commenting the blog for about a week, and sadly, I'll have to stay away for about two more. My finals are absolutely crushing me right now. If any of y'all out there with PhDs in the humanities have any tips about how to survive a five-paper death march, please feel free to chime in.

Anonymous 7:06 AM  

2down is op art, an art style that makes use of optical illusions

Z 7:10 AM  

@JackLee - OPtical ART is shorthanded to OP ART.

Liked this more than OFL. I had enough fun piecing together than longs that the fill didn't bother me. I had a couple of writeovers from entering in the wrong squares, but otherwise just muON to PION and SAra to SADA. CLAIRE MCCASKILL was a gimme except for the CC. Couldn't remember if it was MacC, MacK, MCK, or MCC. Deciding that it had to be two L's eliminated the first two wrong ideas, but it wasn't until I figured out that it was computer crashes, not car crashes, that I finally got MCC.

I've never understood internet sensations, whether they be cats or dogs or pop songs redone ad infinitum. But I suppose a whole lot of people wouldn't get commenting on crossword puzzles either.

Milford 7:31 AM  

Not at all easy for me, DNF. I'm one of those that needs a new hobby, apparently.

Not really the proper names that got me, but things like OLDS and ARHAT and PION and BIG A. Never really hear IN DRIBS AND DRABS personally, but sounds fun. CHINA ROSE took forever, since I was sure it was ROot for the longest time.

I liked the STEVIE clue, and I remember SADA from "Family" in the 70s. AS A SET makes me think of dishes.

I've never actually listened to the entire Revolution 9 backwards, so thank you, @Rex.

Glad it was easy for many, just wasn't my puzzle. I probably had mine earlier this week with Jimi.

Kathy 8:09 AM  

@Gill I.P. An Intrigue was a car model by Oldsmobile.

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

Doesn't 'bat at eye' mean immediately, in a second? And, batting eyeLASHes mean flirting? Just asking.

Sheila 8:30 AM  

I'm doing better atJeopardy lately or at lest enjoying it more than some of these puzzles.

JackLee 8:32 AM  

Ah, thanks to all!

C. Ross Word 8:40 AM  

Seemed between Thursday and Friday in difficulty, so fine in that regard. Had ON DEMo cD for 43A not realizing, at the moment, movies are on DVD; so cross at 37D was PLoT which was reasonable but cross at 34D was ILEcE which was not. Still a fun puzzle.

dk 8:41 AM  

I am on the easy side this AM. Went through this one like a hot knife in buttah as my relatives might have said.

I thought the message was Paul is dead, did try to play the LP backwards on my beloved AR turntable although the influence of the oft appearing in the grid LSD may have rendered certain cortexes… well MESSY.

My tough spot was CRAVEN as I equate it with sacrilegious rather than chicken livered.

This is an old refrain for me this week: easy is good. I see a t-shirt….never mind.

🎶🎶🎶 (3 sets of 3 eighth notes) This one is fresh as some else ha already written.

Another math day disproving some commonly held views as to why people resist healthcare even when they are sick and have insurance. It seems if care is not SLATED in your schedule you do not do it. The movie What About Bob and baby steps is becoming more relevant everyday.

I see the robots are sleeping in today.

Suzy 8:45 AM  

This puzzle had me at a standstill, only got it
in dribs and drabs, must have forgotten the
secret handshake or gotten the message backward--
off now to get the cat off the piano and trim my
hybrid tea roses. Sigh...

Unknown 8:59 AM  

This was weird, in that the 15's were the easiest parts of the puzzle for me. Lots of names I didn't know and had to get from crosses. Why I knew OPEL right away is beyond me, but it felt like there was a lot of obscure stuff packed in here.

evil doug 9:02 AM  

China crossing Nam---should have been down in the grid's Southeast (Asia)---recalls the weapon/advisor support Hanoi received from their Red pals.

From the 'Time to Put to Rest' department: Sada Thompson, n-tests, ABCs, PCBs, Leno, Lena, either Mauna, Mata Hari, Sten gun, eats and eeled.

From the 'Better Clue' department: Yes song Yours---Disgrace.

I remember the flight of 'Enos'. Tougher, and better, clue than 'Slaughter'. I bet most of you needed the crosses....

From the 'I needed the crosses' department: Isador, Sam (never into that Frodo thing), Ilene.

Seriously easy Thursday and Friday. Consecutive days of a straight north-to-south Sherman-esque march of no resistance.


jackj 9:10 AM  

It’s one thing to have a Wednesday puzzle that should have been issued on a Monday, but to get a Friday puzzle that is nothing more than, “Read the clue, fill in the answer, move on to the next clue”, in rapid repetition through completion, is truly disappointing. Such is today’s Gary Cee “effort”.

The first few across clues initially looked vaguely hairy but the down attachments were so easy that SECRETHANDSHAKE, INDRIBSANDDRABS and then the Beatle’s fabled BACKWARDMESSAGE were shoo-ins, just sitting there waiting to be plucked.

Anyone who paid attention to the recent elections should have had a sufficient knowledge of Missouri’s female Democratic senator running for re-election, CLAIREMCCASKILL, who ran one of the most brilliant campaigns of all time.

She was a major underdog at the start but had her campaign actually pay for television ads promoting the candidacy of the weakest of her potential Republican rivals in the GOP primary, helping him win the nod, whereupon, with McCaskill’s prescience in full flower, Rep. Todd Akin idiotically preached about “legitimate rape” and the election was over right from the get-go.

There were some individual pieces not to like in the puzzle, PION, ARHAT, the LENO/LENA conjoined entries and the three “dog” clues that gave us YEAH, EATS and APSO (Lhasa Apso that is) and a few to like such as CRAVEN, ELATED, ONDEMAND and STEVIE, but there wasn’t much more of note.

Makes one want to holler, “Where’s the beef?”

John V 9:12 AM  

Medium/Challenging here. Had BY Dribs and Drabs form 7D, so screwed up the north a bit. Otherwise, liked the 15s, feeling a touch dense that 11D was not a drop in, but crosses were okay. What @Rex said about ASASET. ARHAT? WTF?

No mileage rating today; Friday=WFH

Carola 9:30 AM  

Liked it very much. Struggled at first to get a grip in the ROSE area, but once I caught on to the flower rather than the drink, the SECRET HANDSHAKE got me into the entire West, and from there the PIANO PLAYING CAT brought me across the continent.

Loved filling in IN DRIBS AND DRABS for the phrase and CLAIRE MCCASKILL for the fond memory of her victory over the "legitimate rape" guy.

Thanks, Gary Cee! 🌹

Sparky 9:57 AM  

Finished fairly quickly last night, which was refreshing, so it's probably easy. Agree with @Anon 8:24. Batting one eye is a wink which could be flirting. 3D fell right in then ELK next to it.

The Backwards Revolution was interesting. Thanks @Rex. So, if you play that backwards, does it sound like Revolution?

My favorite is the cat and the copy machine. Tee hee. Refreshed, on to Saturday.

JC66 10:03 AM  

Hand up for EASY!

@ Anonymous 8:24 AM

Fast = In a wink of an eye


You may be confusing your gRAVEN with your CRAVEN.

chefbea 10:04 AM  

I agree. Easy for a Friday. I too had by dribs and drabs so that fouled up china tea which I had never heard of.

Went to the grand opening of Trader Joe's here in Wilmington. I think there were about 200 of us standing out in the bitter cold (39 degrees) waiting for them to cut the ribbon. Love that store

Bob Kerfuffle 10:10 AM  

Random Musing: Re: 21 A -- Had EV__, began reciting The Lord's Prayer. Now, when I was in grammar school (public school, in New Jersey) we said the Lord's Prayer every morning, along with the Flag Salute and a Bible reading(!)

"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." [Here some of the kids may have been trained to say "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us," but they went along with the class.] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from EVIL [I'm sure all the Catholic kids stopped right here, but we Protestants continued], for Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, forever and EVER. Amen"

So I was not only forced to choose between EVIL and EVER, but I also had the question, Is AMEN really considered the last word of the Prayer, or would it make more sense for it to be the FROM?

@dk - "Thou shalt have no CRAVEN images" (Exodus 20:4)?? :>))

jberg 10:43 AM  

Any art museum with an Asian collection probably has lots of images of ARHATs, but non of them are CRAVEN!

Hard to start - I couldn't figure out that a hybrid tea was a rose (even though I know that well and have grown the things) until reading Rex's complaint, and then thinking 'of course!' But that it had to be a plant, so that was still pretty easy. My biggest problem was remembering the end of the Lord's Prayer - for awhile I had 'thy will be DONE, Amen." instead of EVER, making 18D 'odd one' and blocking TERN. Fortunately, ernes don't really dive, or I would have been lost.

My biggest disappointment, on the other hand, was finding out that sniggling is another term for eeling - I had hoped that it was like snogging, only a little racier.

I liked a lot of the terms better than @Rex - auction items are often sold AS A SET, and I totally don't get the objection to BIG A - I mean, the clue says it's a nickname for a NYC racetrack, what else could it be? Time to read a little Damon Runyan!

My only other writeover (after done/EVER) was StATED before SLATED. 44d fixed that.

Two Ponies 10:57 AM  

Not recalling Ms. McCatskill's first name and never having heard of the psychoanalyst made the NE a struggle. Those names might have been Elaine or Isabel for all I knew. I finally threw in the towel.
@ Evil Doug, I like your "is no" clue much better. Never saw the Matrix.

Sandy K 11:23 AM  

Medium-hardish for me. Solved it IN DRIBS AND DRABS. (Always thought it was DRIpS...)

Was AT A STANDSTILL with words like ARHAT, IrENE or ILENE, DRIpS or DRIBS, CHINA ROSE, loA or KEA, AS A SET, and how to spell MCCASKILL, but acrosses and parsing helped me finish.

New York advantage for knowing the BIG A is Aquaduct Racetrack.

Felt ELATED to finish. Fave clue- STEVIE Nicks!

GILL I. 11:59 AM  

@jackj: I paid plenty attention to the recent election. California had 13 ballot propositions in 2012 one of which was Jerry "Moonbeam's" sales and income tax increase.
Missouri only held my attention because of that idiot Aiken. So, good for MCCASKILL...
@Bob Kerfuffle. I too recited the Lord"s Prayer every morning - Cathedral Presp in Havana. I can assure you Amen is the last word and you had better say it very loud.......

GILL I. 12:08 PM  

I just realized that I wrote about two topics I swore to avoid!!!!!

mac 12:20 PM  

Easy-medium Friday, with a couple of crunchy areas. PCBs/BigA needed some staring, and real/Arhat was a guess.

China rose could have been stock rose for me. I liked 60A cake, unusual, and I somehow remembered the odd name Isador. Must have been in a puzzle.

I had craven for brazen a few days ago, but here it was! Didn't know the term chicken-livered, though. I learn something almost every day.

syndy 12:26 PM  

Not so much Gimmees as paper tigers. once I got a cross the thing fell. I did have Root but for RENT.EVER seemed WEIRDO but I went to parochial school and we ended with doug.It took forever to finger out BEAT A STA-D--IL_?on the other hand Batting eyes and their attached lashes seem to be the same.

Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Somewhat offended by the first comment about giving up the hobby I have had for years - I knew McCaskill but not being from Missouri thought Elaine fit quite nicely.

Had some very comical missteps by not paying enough attention on this - generally in the same vicinity as Elaine. Had DriPs and Drabs as noted by others here, which led to the logical PAT A REAR. Maybe that was more harassment than flirting though.

Having attended Catholic school like Kerfuffle, I started out with FROM (evil), since I always thought of AMEN as a kind of period ending the prayer. Then realized it had to start with EV and figured AMen counted, and changed it confidently to EVIL. Needed crosses to straighten me out on it, but I think the cluing should have been a little more specific.

Rest of the puzzle seemed easy, but as you can see the northeast popped my balloon.

Carola 12:58 PM  

@jberg -
On "My biggest disappointment, on the other hand, was finding out that sniggling is another term for eeling - I had hoped that it was like snogging, only a little racier" - this clip from The Sicilian Clan makes just that connection between sniggling and snogging (only racier).

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

What is realty reference plat??

afrogran 1:35 PM  

I won't admit to how many of these clues were beyond my ken. I also wondered about plat. Here's the definition.
PLAT - A map or chart of a lot, subdivision or community drawn by a surveyor showing boundary lines, buildings, improvements on the land, and easements

retired_chemist 1:51 PM  

Easy here. A few writeovers: LUGE => SLED, ACROSS (opposite of down) => ELATED, LOA => KEA. Good guesses: PCBS instead of DDTS, IS NO @ 34A, RENAL @ 15A.

CLAIRE MCCASKILL took a few crosses to remember - too many. My bad.

Could not parse BAT AN EYE until all letters were in from crosses.

Thanks, Mr. Cee.

Bob Kerfuffle 2:00 PM  

@Anonymous, 12:53 PM -- It's my age, not my religion. I had hoped I had made clear that I went to school - public school - so long ago that we were doing Bible readings and The Lord's Prayer every morning. I was counted among the Protestant majority then - now I am a fully committed Agnostic.

OISK 2:10 PM  

Really liked this one, although my prayers are strictly old testament, Beatlemania completely eluded me, and never heard of Stevie Nicks. I have spent many happy afternoons at the Big A, plant tea roses, and knew McCaskill from the "Mc". It took me a while, as a good Friday should, but all of the crosses were fair. I've enjoyed the entire week except for Hendrix Tuesday, and there was nothing wrong with that puzzle either; it just didn't sing to me. I really don't understand any of the complaints about this one. Well done, Mr. Cee!

Anonymous 3:21 PM  

@Kerfuffle - I do apologize for my post being misleading. On looking back, I realize I put the comma in the wrong place. It should have read, "Having attended Catholic school, like Kerfuffle I started out..." Did not mean to imply you also attended Catholic school, as you clearly stated in your post that you attended public school. Was just appreciating your musings on whether it ended with EVIL or EVER and whether AMEN was applicable towards the word count. My bad.

Mr. Benson 3:40 PM  

Early on, I thought maybe SECRETHANDSHAKE and BACKWARDMESSAGE were part of a theme, something about things that were encoded or that only those in the know could discern... but alas.

sanfranman59 3:54 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 17:31, 24:19, 0.72, 10%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Fri 10:01, 12:09, 0.82, 24%, Easy-Medium

Bird 3:56 PM  

Nope. Not for me. Too much I don’t know or care to know crossing too much stuff I don’t know or care to know. I did like the long Acrosses and the two long Downs I was able to complete. 11D was unfamiliar (don’t pay too much attention to out-of-state politics) crossed some unknowns, but I don’t think I need a new hobby. Throw in a few WTFs and I’m left with empty squares.

BAT AN EYE? Thought it was BAT AN EYELASH. Now I have to remember Mauna KEA, too?

Same thoughts on the EVER/AMEN quandary. I consider AMEN to be the period, and not in the word count. Anyway, my first entry was FROM thinking EVIL was the last word (the extra paragraph comes later during the service). What does Benedict say?


retired_chemist 4:16 PM  

Fascinating to look it up. The Catholic version of TLP does indeed end with the "deliver us from evil"phrase. Never knew that.

Acme 4:16 PM  

@mr benson
Yes cool sub theme, just needs one more!
Perhaps Gary Cee had intended to do that theme of SECRETHANDSHAKE. And failing to find a third, made it into a themeless Friday instead...
But now I realize I didn't notice just how many crossing 15s he had and how impressive that is constructionwise, crisscrossing each other like that... 3 going down AND three going across!
I couldn't do that in a hundred years!!!
Plus something as timely (and "legitimate" ) as CLAIREMCCASKILL!
Was too caught up in my mistakes to have stood back and looked at what Gary Cee had created!

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

Aren't Sherpas a proper noun?

joho 5:50 PM  

I couldn't get the puzzle until this morning right when work starts ... something wrong with the NYT link. Nobody else? Anyway, finally got a chance to do it just now and enjoyed it a lot.

I was surprised to be able to write in INDRIBSANDDDRABS right off the BATOFANEYE then CLAIREMCCASKILL right after that. Very unusual for a Friday.

@dk, I also thought it said "Paul is dead."

@Andrea, you're right, those crossing 15's are impressive!

My favorite clue was for STEVIE.

Thanks, Gary Cee!

sharon nyc 7:04 PM  

Ohhhhh! I got China Rose, because I know the tea, but I really didn't get the clue. Thanks!

Elle54 7:04 PM  

In real estate, the plat is the drawing of your property with all property lines and longitude and latitude.
And it really should be BACKWARD MASKING Not MESSAGE. That threw me for a while

michael 8:51 PM  

I knew Claire McCaskill right away, but to say that someone not knowing this ought to give up crossword puzzles is ridiculous.

syndy 8:59 PM  

Oh and Piano playing cat (nora) is MUCH better than Keyboard cat!

Ellen S 9:09 PM  

@JackLee OPART is supposed to be optical illusions, though I think of just hypnotic spirals rather than hidden or changing images (probably I'm missing all the fun). I don't understand how OLDS is Intrigue. Oh, there was a car. Intriguing, but not as much so as the Chrysler Crossfire. Who would dream up such a name, let alone approve it? They must have all been on LSD.

Like almost everyone, I found the puzzle easy, or except I cheated and googled ISADOR Coriat, just too CRAVEN to try for the crosses I guess. CLAIRE MCCASKILL wasn't a gimme but easy to get with a few crosses since her name was famiiar (I was only paying attention to Akin; the Republicans really outdid themselves this time), while Coriat was still a "Who?" even after I read his bio.

I'm with @Evil Doug on no more Sada, n-tests (or a-tests), ABCs, PCBs (though I don't see them as much), Mauna anything, Sten gun, eeled -- or sniggling. Include Adit, Ern(e), Aloe while we're at it. At least on Friday or Saturday.

Does one stumper make the puzzle hard? because the rest was very non-Friday easy. Audi before OPEL, but the voices in my head were screaming OPEL even before the crosses. Last week's syndicated Saturday I couldn't get but three answers, couldn't even think what to use as search arguments on Google. Maybe a few Erns or Sten guns would have helped.

Noam D. Elkies 11:06 PM  

The cat-on-a-keyboard meme is older than the piano, to say nothing of Internet memes. Look up "cat fugue" on Wikipedia or Youtube.

joho 3:37 PM  

That was a lame and unhelpful email answer from the NYT. I will not write.

To those who say just do it on paper in the newspaper ... guess what? The NYT doesn't deliver to my town. I could get dressed, drive to the nearest supermarket that carries the paper and if I'm too late miss it anyway. (I think they get about 2 or 3 papers.)

I can't access the puzzle on Cruciverb, either.

So, all in all, I'm getting pretty cranky now because it looks like my Sunday morning treat will not be available.

I am so disappointed. :(

Anonymous 11:34 PM  

Thanks. Didn't come up for me on Google.

Spacecraft 11:25 AM  

I didn't find this as all-fired easy as many, despite having worked in the flower industry and so knowing 1a (but not the CHINA part). It played more like a medium for me.

Excuse me, but just what, other than simply being elected, is CALIREMCCASKILL supposed to be famous for? Never heard of her. The whole thing came in on crosses.

Hand up for loving the STEVIE clue--and STEVIE herself! I was grateful for the gimme actresses, along with one of the most respected men in sport, Tom LANDRY.

In my memory, you were supposed to make out "I buried Paul" in the Revolution BACKWARDMESSAGE. Great days. Had some trouble with the extra space after WEIRD till I remembered that "Eccentric" can be a noun as well as an adjective. Dislikes: too many hackneyed xwordese entries--two of them crossing (LENA/GENA), also ELATED/SLATED. NTESTS (ugh!). Likes: well, it was certainly educational. I learned about ARHAT, ISADOR and ENOS (as clued), and that ladybugs eat APHIDS.

Only one writeover: my particle started out as a muON, but I guess that one can't BEATASTANDSTILL. Go figure.

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

How can I find an easy way to find this site? Sometimes hard to find on google.

DMGrandma 3:03 PM  

This puzzle wasn't easy for me- a lot of names that must belong to some generation other than mine. Never heard STEVIE Nicks, but left it because nothing else fit. Finally remembered something about a record being played backwards, though I cant imagine how you could do that. At any rate, I slogged through it all, only to end up with a musical '"ape". No, it didnt fit the crosses, who says YIpH, but by then I didn't care, and the Senator's name could have been MAcASKILL. Maybe tomorrow?

@ Annon at .12:36. I have had all kinds of problems finding this site on my iPad, after my bookmarked address starting producing others that were hard to navigate. However, one day was I was fiddling about, the good one just popped up, and I have hung on to it rever since. Just save it and click on "newer post" each day. If, like me, you are in Sindiland, the Sundays will be wrong, but another click will bring in Monday's post.

One other way to get a post fairly easily, though generally not the "original " is to enter "Rex Parker xxxxx" where x is an unusual word from the puzzle.

Waxy in Montreal 4:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waxy in Montreal 4:32 PM  

@anon 12:36 & @DMG: if you head to rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com, it should connect to Rex's blog for today's NYT puzzle. Then click on the Syndicated Puzzle button up top and you'll usually find yourself in syndiland.

Red Valerian 6:22 PM  

I had fun!

Embarrassed to say that my PION started off as a PuON. (Hey, it's a little-known mongrel). That gave me _uANO which had made, sadly (for more than one reason), thinking Guantanamo....

Loved the STEVIE clue (Nicks producing cuts?) and the APSo clue (Tail of a dog?). Had to guess at ISAdOR and SAdA, but that was not such a hard guess.

To find this page, I do what @DMG suggests. That way, I don't get a glimpse of the puzzle five weeks hence. As though I'd remember!

rain forest 6:47 PM  

As many have said, some puzzles are simply in one's wheelhouse, and for me this one was/is. I was heading out for an appointment and I thought I'd just start it and then come back to it later, but there was no later. I just zipped through it, even Claire McCaskill, whom I didn't know, as I'm Canadian, but the last name rang some bell. I always thought the Paul is dead (or buried) was hidden backwards in some other song. So, I don't know if it was easy, looking at the completed puzzle, but I certainly had NO TROUBLE with it. Nice when that happens.

Dirigonzo 7:04 PM  

The CHINA ROSE is the best Chinese restaurant in town (maybe the only one) - our family tradition is to get take out there every Christmas day and gorge on chicken lo mein, moo shi pork and crab rangoon all afternoon. I had an Opel when I was in Germany in the late '60s - they used to make a model that looked like a mini-Corvette that I always wanted but never got.

@Spacecraft - Claire McCaskill is not as famous (outside Missouri, anyway) as her opponent, Todd Akin, was notorious for his outrageous remarks concerning "legitimate rape".

Red Valerian 9:02 PM  

I confess to not knowing 11D, Missouri's first elected female senator. In my defence, I though this would be serious HISTORY! As in, not topical.

For whatever it's worth, I DID hear about that "legitimate rate" stuff, but I did not file names away.

I wish I could claim Canadian impunity from sleazy dealings, but we have our omnibus Bill somethingorother (35?). Argh

Dirigonzo 9:43 PM  

@Red V - I think human nature makes sleaze a universal condition, but recent events in US politics have elevated it to a whole new level. This is not the forum to go into the particulars, but it certainly provides a lot of fodder for a blogger hack like me. But I totally agree with your first post - the puzzle was fun!

Anonyrat 2:09 PM  

@ Dirigonzo 7:04 PM - That was the Opel GT. My brother had one. It was a very cool little car.
Out in Cali, "The Big A" is (or at least was) Anaheim Stadium.

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