Title French orphan of film / FRI 11-9-12 / Athlete turned actor Buster / Machine worked in Norma Rae / Bygone laborer / Fudge ingredient Alice B Toklas cookbook / One-named actor from Tel Aviv / Hawaiian smoker

Friday, November 9, 2012

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: NEAL Boortz (27A: Radio host Boortz) —
Neal A. Boortz, Jr. (born April 6, 1945) is an American radio host, author, and self-describedlibertarian political commentator. His nationally syndicated talk showThe Neal Boortz Show, airs throughout the United States on Dial Global (formerly Jones Radio Networks). It is ranked seventh in overall listeners, with 4.25+ million per week. The content of the show centers on politics, current events, social issues and miscellaneous topics of interest, which Boortz discusses with callers, correspondents and guests. Boortz touches on many controversial topics and refers to himself as an "equal opportunity offender." (wikipedia)
• • •

A fine grid, with some diabolical cluing, but way outside my wheelhouse. Felt like it was probably an older person's puzzle, which is fine—they can't all hit my sweet spot. No idea what a NEAL Boortz is, but he sounds classy. No idea what a TOPOL is (49A: One-named actor from Tel Aviv). Some idea what a LILI is, but just some (54A: Title French orphan of film). I don't know how old "Old SHEP" is, but a lot older than me, I'm guessing. Relationship between PIE / TIN and cobblers = mystery to me (61D: With 19-Across, item for many cobblers) [oh, the kind of cobbler you eat ... gotcha]. Machine worked in "Norma Rae"? That was a guess. I know Donny OSMOND, but could never have placed that quotation without a lot of crosses (first guess: EMINEM) (1A: He said "I don't want my album coming out with a G rating. Nobody would buy it"). EARLE Combs? I was thinking Puffy (53D: Combs of Murderers' Row). "The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook"!? Apparently they were all so high back then, they forgot how to spell "hashish" (16A: Fudge ingredient in "The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook" = HASHEEH). Even my gimmes were pretty ancient: NELL and CRABBE saved my bacon for sure (5D: Dudley's love, in cartoons / 44D: Athlete-turned-actor Buster). Without them, my list of gimmes is very small, indeed. Needless to say, this played far more like a Saturday than a Friday for me.

PAM Oliver is familiar now that I look at her, but that didn't help me guess her name (23A: Fox Sports reporter Oliver = PAMS). In addition to the names I'd never heard of, there was a lot of tough (but clever) cluing that kept me stymied in many places. The one that got me worst was 18A: Wave recipient? (OUTER EAR). I had OUT-REAR and still had no idea what I was looking at (this is where having *any* idea what "Old SHEP" was would've come in handy). [Dentist's #6 and #11] was also trouble. I thought maybe they were elements ... no, that makes no sense ... something to do with ether ... I don't know. Not until I got the back end of TEETH did I figure out what was going on there. I can't see making a spear out of an ICICLE—well, I guess if you had a reasonably thick glove ... but still, most icicles would break if you tried to spear anything of substance (17A: Temporary spear). I'm familiar with SHOESTRING CATCH in inverse proportion to how familiar I am with EQUATORIAL PLANE (37A: Where chromosomes gather between poles during mitosis). I know the latter phrase as a geometrical thing, not a chromosomal thing. Oh well, at least I had ESNE (56D: Bygone laborer). Good ol' ESNE. Loyal. Reliable. Eternal.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:09 AM  

You make cobblers in a much deeper dish than a PIE TIN.

I thought you were a hack if you used ROGETS, rather than a true wordsmith.

Everything after HASH___ is a waste of breath, or a waste of inhalation time.

NELL was the hottest cartoon character ever.

jae 12:10 AM  

I guess I'm one of the old persons this was aimed at.  For me it was much easier than yesterday's.   West side very easy, East side slightly tougher, but easy over all.  

Only erasure was OBITuary for OBITPAGE.

Not particularly zippy except for HASHEESH (which was a gimme if you grew up in the 60s).

Unlike Rex, TOPOL, PIE TIN (cobblers are crunchy fruit based desserts), NEAL, and SHEP were also gimmes.

No WOEs although I was unaware of the meaning of SAULT.

Briefly confused Norma Rae with Silkwood and wondered what a LOOM was doing in a nuclear power plant.

To bad 50a wasn't " Individual portrayed by a canned ham with glasses on The Colbert Report."  That would have upped the zip factor.

So, easy and a tad meh.

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

Apple Clobbler in a Pie Tin

Lonesome Cowboy 12:21 AM  

"Old Shep" is a cowboy ballad about a man and his dog. A kind of sick and sad one, as Shep had to die before the truth got out about long winter nights in a line shack.

syndy 12:46 AM  

Almost double naticked there in the center ATLAS/ROUTE/SAULT/STRING hashup.Had SHOES---INGCATCH and no freaking idea.OBITuary! Handaxe! ST anybody Egret, crane-so many rightovers !HASHEESH is no doubt correct: not that makes it any easier to swallow.butit took less time than yesterday's.ANyway Rex Fidder on the Roof ring any bells?

Mark Murphy 1:09 AM  

"Lili" (1953) was an MGM film, based on a Paul Gallico story, about an orphan who joins a carnival. She was played by Leslie Caron.

The film featured the song "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo," which became a hit, and the story was later the basis for a Broadway show, "Carnival!"

Aspireto Cabal Mainmenus 1:41 AM  

Yes, very much an old person's puzzle, as I'm now old and every reference felt from my childhood, and slightly before I was born.

TOPOL as Tevye, huge gimme for a Jewess whose teens were in the seventies...LILI making a star of Leslie Caron before GIGI, my grandparents talking about Buster CRABBE, NELL and Dudley, and on and on.

I imagine most folks who found this in their wheelhouse are long in the EYETEETH, have a BALDSPOT and use NEOLITHS.

The fact that I'm doing this while Andy Williams croons in the background on PBS makes me realize I might as well start preparing my OBITuAry. But I can't pass up his singing Bossa Nova.

I am held in THRALL till @dk writes in with his inevitable amusing HASHEESH anecdote.

You know who else has a flat top? That come together guy!

Barry, you're a BRAINIAC...nice puzzle!!! Now go get my slippers.

Clark 2:04 AM  

Easiest Friday in a while, which doesn't mean I did it quickly. I sat there staring at SAU _ _ for a while. River waterfall? Then it hit me. I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Now I know what Sault Ste Marie means. OBITuAry almost got me.

acme 2:17 AM  

I kept thinking SAULT Ste Marie too, thinking that was an actress! But I guess it's like sault as in somersault. (Summersalt? There has to be some puzzle in that!)

JFC 2:39 AM  

@Rex, You do not know Neal Boortz? Not surprised. He is not your cup of tea. He is a conservative talk show host who is in the buzz lately because of his commencement speech at his alma mater Texas A&M. You can read it here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/918246/posts

It really is worth reading, but only for college graduates....


George Barany 2:47 AM  

Great joke about EARLE Combs of Murderers' Row -- he batted leadoff on the 1927 Yankees, ahead of BABE RUTH and LOU Gehrig, among others whose names occasionally work their way into puzzles. As for TOPOL, I believe that he was left over from yesterday's fine puzzle, as per this clip (complete with subtitles, even though he sings in English) from the "Fiddler on the Roof" movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc The role of TEVYE was created on Broadway by ZERO Mostel, and perhaps someone else could enlighten us why the casting was changed for the film.

George Barany 3:35 AM  

(At the risk of repeating myself, since I thought that I posted something to these same effects earlier, but the post then vanished for whatever reason.)

I don't know a whole lot about rap, but kind of got the @Rex joke re Puffy COMBS -- very funny! However, the Murderers' Row referred to in the clue is the batting lineup of the 1927 New York Yankees, which had centerfielder Earle COMBS batting leadoff, and included other names well-known in the crossword universe, like BABE RUTH batting third and LOU Gehrig batting cleanup. All of them are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I know for sure that Ruth's uniform number was 3 and Gehrig's was 4, so I can only surmise that Combs' was 1. Interestingly, Earle's wife was named Ruth (learned minutes ago from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earle_Combs)

As for TOPOL, I have reason to believe that he was left over from yesterday's fine puzzle, as per the following you tube clip, complete with English subtitles even though the song is sung in English:


The role of TEVYE in "Fiddler on the Roof" was created on Broadway by the late, great (in more ways than one) ZERO Mostel, and I don't know why he was replaced by TOPOL in the film version. Perhaps another reader could enlighten us.

George Barany 4:20 AM  

p.s. Guess my improved skills at posting are being offset by a decline in proofreading acumen. The 2nd paragraph above should be rewritten, since EARLE was the answer word while "Combs" was part of the clue. And would it have been a spoiler to name the song from "Fiddler on the Roof"? Re the comment immediately before mine, the "Twelfth Man" concept appears to be important in Texas A&M football lore. We post ... you decide.

Anonymous 4:25 AM  

rex, icicles are spear-shaped and temporary because they melt.

Anoa Bob 4:33 AM  

Got sidetracked early on by 4D "Like many drugs, briefly", 21D "Weed eliminator, for short", and 16A's "Fudge ingredient in 'Alice B. Toklas Cookbook'" HASHEESH being underneath 7A SMASH HIT, so I tried MAUI WOWIE for 8D "Hawaiian smoker" and GANJA for 33A "India leads the world in its production". Dang, they didn't fit.

Another possible clue for 38D RAINCOAT; "Condom, slangily".

If you threw down EQUATORIAL PLANE and NEOLITHS right away, I'm guessing your SOCIAL IQ skews toward a "Low figure for a nerd".

OTD 7:48 AM  

My mother used to make the best peach cobbler in the county and she used a deep oven-proof dish, certainly not a pie tin.

Even though I'm Older Than Dirt, this puzzle was a medium to me. No problem with OBITPAGE, SHEP, TOPOL, NELL, CRABBE, etc.

Glimmerglass 8:04 AM  

I'm old, so this was easier for me than for Rex, but it was still a hard puzzle. "Old SHEP" is a tearjerker that gives country music a bad name. I change the station when it comes on (thankfully, rarely). I was slowed up by OBITuAry and gameSavING CATCH, and by the spelling of HASHEESH (but I knew what was in the brownies). I'm not quite old enough to remember EARLE (pronounced "Early") Coombs, but I've heard of him. Barry Silk is smarter than your average bear.

Sir Hillary 8:30 AM  

Crunchy Friday fun from a master.

My first entree was CRABBE but only after I almost wrote in KEATON -- what a disaster that would have been! No real solving ROUTE today, but a random-walk fill-in off some fortunate gimmes -- EARLE, BRAINIAC, PAMS, TOPOL and MOANA--A (can't even count the number of times I have hedged my bets on Hawaiian volcanoes). Only writeover was ROAM for ROVE.

Great job by Mr. Silk.

Sir Hillary 8:31 AM  

Oops. MAUNA--A, of course. MOANA is the Surfrider, a Waikiki grande dame hotel.

Smitty 8:48 AM  

Geezer here - but I agree with Rex's rating (for a Friday) I really loved this one - just the right blend of stuff you had to think about without the hight "huh?" factor.
Good job Barry Silk!

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

Yeah, count me in among the geezers, yesterday's was absolutely brutal, today's I finished in about five minutes or so, but a fun solve to be sure. The only hang-up for me was hasheesh, never seen it spelled that way, was thinking "has teeth, huh?", made sense crossed with "Old Step" I guess.

jberg 9:07 AM  

Old as I am, I don't read the OBIT PAGE very often, and my BALD SPOT has not been sunburned, but my bAre foOT has. Other writeovers were Snake before TETON, wOMAN before ROMAN (genertically wrong, I think, but I was getting desperate by that point), Atl before AST, and TIN before paN before going back to TIN. I also crossed out SUGAR at one point - but the crossed-out G somehow made GINGER fall into place (who knew? I would have put in cotton, but ROMEO was a gimme). That gave me the really tough NW. Definitely challenging for me -- but in now way did I LOATHE it. Just what I want on a Friday! Barry Silke, you're the (EM)BOSS!

Unknown 9:21 AM  

PIE TIN for cobbler....no way. What kind of skimpy cobbler do you make? SHEESH!

This was hard for me. I threw in TOPOL, ISAIAH, RAINCOAT, BALDSPOT, and NEOLITHS with no problem and then felt like I had to work for everything else. Never heard of SHOESTRINGCATCH.

jackj 9:28 AM  

Barry Silk shows once again that lurking below that (expansive) BALDSPOT is a bona fide BRAINIAC who can deliver puzzles that are a SMASHHIT, on a regular basis.

There were many places to begin this one, with the likes of AST, OTC, CRU, DEA (cute clue), SHEP and LOOM for example and then longer answers like CRABBE, ROTARY, UVULAE and ASPIRETO, that were more or less clued with no deviousness, joined in as well.

But then the fun began, with entries like ROMEO, that most certainly was supposed to be ROGER, the MAUNA question, is it KEA or LOA, RAINCOAT, cleverly clued but only revealed when its last letters, OAT, came through the crosses and, of course, there were the puzzle's clever beginning and ending entries of OBITPAGE and EMBOSS.

EQUATORIALPLANE filled in without too much strain but the one that had me briefly flummoxed was the nicely clued “Fielder’s dramatic play” that proved a mystery when my brain decided it was looking for Henry Fielding, he of “Tom Jones” fame, which was frustrating until “Doh” turned into “Aha” with SHOESTRINGCATCH and it was indeed a delight to behold.

SOCIALIQ, (the nadir for nerds), seemed familiar and sho’nuff, Barry used it in a Saturday puzzle, similarly clued, just 5 months back. (No big complaint since that sort of repetition is how toughies can become gimmes).

Another “no Googling necessary” winner from super puzzle pro, Barry Silk!

dk 9:31 AM  

Old! Too high to spell! Rex did you do Mitt's sound bites.

I doff my BOATER to Barry this am. A fine puzzle

One major error. Dudley's true love was his horse. Named Horse. This was a common theme throughout the series. Nell was in love with Dudley so the clue needs to be reworded to be correct. I am sure NYT will print a correction as that error is as bad a confusing Mango juice with a raspberry smoothie: IMHO.

🐎🐎🐎 (3 Horseys)

GILL I. 9:58 AM  

If I were a rich man....All day long I'd biddy biddy bum...TOPOL, my first entry and for a long time my only one. Picked up the puzzle this AM and sort of sailed through much of it. Was held up though at the top post because I had cemetery for that OBITPAGE. Like @Sir Hillary i did put in Keaton but BALDSPOT made me remember my grandmother's favorite CRABBE. I knew it was HASH(ish)SHEESH...that held me up as well. I thought Fielder's was the name of someone (7D) and MAUNA LOA was KOA.
Good puzzle UVULAE and all.

joho 10:04 AM  

This was challenging for me as I just now finished! But, as always with a Barry Silk puzzle, I was able to complete correctly by just keeping at it. That's why I love his puzzles.

The NW was the hardest part for me as I kept wanting Star or Spur for what finally became SHEP and SHOESTRINGCATCH took forever to enter my mind.

If tomorrow's offering is hardest than this I'm going to be in big trouble!

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

I am an oldie who loved the puzzle. My husband the biologist helped with 'equatorial plane'. As to the icicle, didn't Bruce Willis use one as a spear in a Die Hard movie?

Midj 10:48 AM  

Another Barry Silk puzzle that was hard but, in the end, gettable for me. It took almost an hour but by getting up to stretch my legs, make tea, let the dogs out, I was able to come at it with fresh eyes a few times over. Several write overs but in the end I solved it myself (unlike yesterday's).

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

I thought OBIT PAGE instead of obituary was evil. Just evil! Though shame on me, I should have paid more attention to the shortened "info" in the clue. Was not a fan of the spelling of HASHEESH. Pooh!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:52 AM  

Yet another old guy here, found the puzzle not really easy, but quite doable, unlike yesterday's.

Cute to see (42 A) the Random Roman Numerals in the clue rather than the answer!

Two Ponies 10:58 AM  

Fine fine Friday. I know more about chromosomes than baseball so that long down looked like it might be "game saving catch". It got sorted out finally but the phrase has no meaning to me.
Hasheesh should have had var. in the clue.
I remember my dad singing Old Shep to me and making me cry. I don't remember any of the lyrics. I just know the dog died.
@ dk, Dudley loved Nell but Nell loved Horse. Maybe Dudley was a little lacking in a certain area?

JC66 11:05 AM  

I was fortunate to read the clue for 1D as an abbreviaion (info) so didn't fall into the OBITuAry trap.

@George Barany

Per wikipedia: "The decision to cast Topol, instead of Zero Mostel, as Tevye was a somewhat controversial one, as the role had originated with Mostel and he had made it famous. Years later, Jewison explained that he felt Mostel's larger-than-life personality, while fine on stage, would cause movie audiences to see him (i.e., Zero Mostel the actor) rather than the character of Tevye.

However, I suspect it was really due to the lingering effect of the HUAC blacklisting which kept Mostel out of Hollywood.

lawprof 11:18 AM  

But if dogs have a heaven
There's one thing I know...
Old Shep has a wonderful home.

Check out Elvis' version on Youtube. If that doesn't leave you blubbering, then nothing will.

Sandy K 11:23 AM  

Found this challenging, but gettable. I was enTHRALLed to END IT with no mistakes.

Had OBITuAry before OBITPAGE= RIP? and was held up by SAULT, LOA or keA? and what kind of CATCH, but kept at it.

Knew #6 and #11, because, like Rex, I recently had TEETH issues.

Watched Fiddler on Sunday. Mankiewitz explained that casting TOPOL instead of Zero Mostel was controversial, but "TOPOL was only 36" at the time and was nominated for Best Actor Oscar. He was a SMASH HIT...

ASPIREd TO get this one and felt like BRAINIAC til Rex said it's cuz I'm old! What a CRABBE!

Two Ponies 11:25 AM  

@ lawprof, I can't bear to check out that song. And the more I think about it the more I think my old man was sadistic to sing it to me.
@ dk, I didn't mean to sound like Miss Knowitall. In fact I was so sure you were right that I looked it up.

Liz 11:30 AM  

Pretty challenging for me. Baseball crossing biology? Two things about which I know very little. Re: TOPOL, it is my humble opinion that Zero Mostel was fine on Broadway, but he kinda encompassed the stereotypical New York Jew, while Topol, being Israeli, captured the true Russian Jew during the days of the pogroms. in my mind, there is no other Tevye besides Topol. My husband has a BALDSPOT that I am very fond of. Loved the comment about any syllable after "HASH" being a waste of inhalation. Hehe.

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

So, SAULT is the French word for a river waterfall.

What's the French word for a puddle waterfall? An ocean waterfall? A lake waterfall? What, they don't have one? I wonder why.

Masked and Anonymo7Us 11:54 AM  

Silver Bullets:
* SOCIALIQ - I'm kinda philosophically opposed to words that end with a Q. Leaves one of yer best letters in the holster.
* PODIA - Latin lives today's-ville, but a terrific clue.
* OSMOND - not sure I'd buy the album, even if it was rated X. Speaking of which...
* ROMAN - Har. Clues with RRN's. Hard to top that. But...
* ESNE - @31: Nice, reflective salute to one of the kings of crosswordese. One of the few puz gimmes, other than...
* CRABBE - This dude did some really intense cliffhanger serials back before 31 was even an eye-teeth-twinkle. Flash Gordon, Tarzan, Buck Rogers. U name it.
* EQUATORIALPLANE - Far out. Mitosis on a plane. Sounds like the next Samuel L. Jackson blockbuster. Also sounds like that Romney dude could get a cameo. But we all know 31 doesn't wanna hear about that current events stuff anymore... Better use of a Q, btw.


Bassetwrangler 12:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob C 12:29 PM  

Plugged along and finally got through it. Just enough resistance to make it a fun Friday, but not too much.


Puzzle was a SMASHHIT not a piece of SHHIT.

Have a great weekend.

Merle, old as the hills 12:48 PM  

Really struggled, and didn't enjoy the struggle. Too many obscure clues and answers -- and no, Rex, not full of things older generation might get. I'm 70, and there weren't any "talking about my g-g-generation" gimmes for me. Yeah, I was in my 20's in the 60's, and no, we did not spell hashish as hasheesh. Sheesh, no. Got Topol without the Tevye -- just knew Topol. Name fit, that was it. Pam Oliver? Neal Boortz? Earle Coombs? Fuggedaboudit! Stone Age tools? oh yeah, I'm old enough to remember the Stone Age, and Neo and Lith add up to New as in New Stone Age and Stone as in Stone Age, so, not quite a gimme, but almost a gimme. Am I supposed to remember what Osmond said about his album and a G rating? Didn't listen to him ever. He's not Smokey Robinson and he's not Mozart. Oh, hey, Anonymous, you think Nell is hot? What about Betty Boop? Buster Crabbe wasn't a toon, but he was hot. Mixed up Old Shep with Blue for a while. "Blue, you're a good dog too." Couldn't get close and cuddly with the puzzle, though. Spear, icycle. Eh. Phone tree, main menu, nah. Man oh man, nowhere near as kewl and engaging as yesterday's puzzle.... Sheesh again, trying for the fifth time to prove I'm not a robot....

Anonymous 12:59 PM  

Probably was an older person's puzzle, because I handled it. But the SE corner definitely justifies your medium challenging rating. Good Friday puzzle. Just under an hour. Makes you feel like you got your money's worth

Anonymous 1:00 PM  

I'm with @glimmerglass and @two ponies - gamesavINGCATCH seemed more apropos to the 'dramatic' clue, but could not see how that 'g' was going to resolve when the next letter seemed like it had to begin with the 'M' for either MAUNALOA or -keA. When the HIT portion became clear, it had to be SMASH..., but it took me quite a while to switch the rest of those letters around.

Inner 12-year old noticed how close the venerable NYT came to cursing out loud, with SMASHHIT right on the top. Just try saying the answer out loud as quickly as you can...

Very far removed from high school bio-chem class, so the PLANE was under construction for a good bit of time.

I'd have to agree the puzzle skewed to the advantage of, shall we say, 'experienced' solvers. Speaking as a fairly recent AARP-eligible person, it's always nice when that happens. A struggle to complete, but no googling needed.


Sandy K 1:14 PM  

Just some examples of things that make me go hmmmm...or LOL!!

jae's alternate answer to ROVE

acme's another flat top- 'that come together guy'

JC66's Zero Mostel explanation

M&A's Samuel L. Jackson blockbuster- MITOSIS on a PLANE

Love to read the comments!

mac 1:24 PM  

This was challenging to impossible in the SE for me. Too many things I didn't know or didn't think of.

I once read Gertrude Stein's "The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook" and enjoyed it. One thing I remember, which I felt was true, was that she wrote that good cooks usually are a little overweight and tired-looking.....

quilter1 1:42 PM  

I had a friend who was "speared" by a giant falling ICICLE that fractured her skull and caused mild brain damage. Do not underestimate ICICLEs.

Hard puzzle but rewarding. So much I didn't know and I am old, @Rex.

OISK 2:19 PM  

Loved this one, especially after yesterday's badly clued (but cleverly constructed) disaster. Second time in three weeks I ran through a Friday after not finishing a Thursday. I am 67, and the "old guy" clues were right up my alley, and for a baseball-loving chemistry teacher, shoestring catch and equatorial plane were no problem. I had more trouble with "Osmond" and "main menu," which I filled in last. Thanks for another fine Friday puzzle, Barry!

Milford 3:37 PM  

Another tough day! But lovely. Made me crazy when I *knew* the answers for the pot brownies and the dentist numbers, but my brain is only coming up with wrong answers like maryjane and canines. Finally got HASHEESH (never knew this spelling) and EYETEETH.

Helps to live in Michigan to get SAULT. Science background helped get EQUATORIAL PLANE off the Q in SOCIAL IQ. I believe the chromosomes line up during metaphase.

Also thought of Bruce Willis in Die Hard II, with the ICICLE as a spear clue.

Had to google to finish, but maybe I just wasn't patient enough.

Dan 3:50 PM  

If you can make pickles into spears, you can make icicles into spears.

Bird 3:59 PM  

I liked this puzzle despite needing a little assistance in a couple spots. Some of the cluing presented a good challenge. Some I just did not know, but crosses helped me guess correctly. A few corrections here and there (OBITUARY, GAME SAVING CATCH) as the grid filled in so it’s not too pretty to look at.

@Anoa Bob – I haven’t heard MAUI WOWIE since high school. Ah, such good times.


Anonymous 4:00 PM  

I have a Ph.D. in biology and I have never heard anyone call 37A anything other than a metaphase plate in real life. Maybe it's also an old-timey term (under 30 here).

jae 4:50 PM  

If I'm remembering correctly the child molester/killer in Lovely Bones met his demise via an ICICLE in the book version, I never saw the movie.

Lewis 4:52 PM  

@bird -- I too had GAMESAVING CATCH.
@rex -- my first answer was EMINEM also.

I loved the clever clues in this one...

Tita 5:15 PM  

Finished in one sitting!
Did Leslie Caron only play women whose names have 2 i syllables? Gigi, LILI...did she play Mimi?
Crunchy and tricky.

Love all the hilarious comments today - thanks everyone.

ANON B 5:31 PM  

I still don't understand

acme 5:46 PM  

Sorry for your friend! But it sounds like one of those two minute mysteries where the killer uses an icicle as a spear, kills someone and then it melts so they never have a murder weapon but there is a suspicious looking pool of water around the dead guy.

@Masked and anonym7us
"Mitosis on a plane" as a sequal for Samuel L Jackson. Hilarious!!!! made on a SHOESTRING budget no doubt!

@JC66, George B, et al
Interesting about Mostel maybe getting the bump bec of lingering Blacklisting (wasn't he in the Woody Allen movie "The Front"? Maybe somewhat biographical?!)
I agree that Mostel is more NY Jewish and Topol more Russian Jewish...but what I can't get over is learning that Norman JEWison is not a jew!!!

Doc John 5:52 PM  

Well, since the TOPOL thing has been beaten to death, I'll just mention that "incisors" has the same number of letters as EYETEETH.
ATLAS was the last thing I wrote in. Somehow fitting, seeing as how I'm listening to the soundtrack from "Cloud Atlas" while solving the puzzle. I guess it was a love it or hate it movie. We are firmly in the "loved it" camp.

Z 6:18 PM  

Most of my stumbles have been mentioned, but apparently I'm the only one to consider sizes before ROMAN. Amazing considering my love of RRNs.

The slide guitarist in the Andrew Combs video is Paul Niehaus, who plays with Calexico. I strongly recommend this as a palate cleanser if you watched any of the NEAL Boortz links.

Al Rodbell 7:23 PM  

the three of us struggled. Wife came to coffee with zilch, not a word filled in. And then we dug into it.

Fielders dramatic play I knew was some kind of catch. Game winning, and several others were tried, but didn't fit with Bombs opposite, but Boffo, rather than Smash had been my guess.

Almost every word was a challenge, from relief=emboss, icicle=temp. spear, and then there was the answer Rove, on the day when there were unique clues that could have been perfectly delicious.

One of those puzzles that looking over provides pleasure in thinking about the struggle to solve.

Tita 8:24 PM  

French words every day since Dimanche...
(and even in this capcha (almost) - éloign)

Anonymous 8:47 AM  

Nobody dropped in cannabis right off the bat? And why again is this an old persons puzzle? You had to see the 1927 Yankees play to get Earle Combs?

Notsofast 9:06 AM  

A Classic! So many great clues! So many great answers! My only quibble: a "relief" map is DEBOSSED, not EMBOSSED. But really, an outstanding puzzle. More by Silk!

Notsofast 9:14 AM  

No. That's wrong...Silk is right. Great puzzle!

Steve Wolf 12:12 PM  

For most of the puzzle I had 18A (Wave recipient?" filled in as CUTE REAR. Changing the C to an O for OUTER EAR was close to the last thing I did.

Dave 11:26 PM  

Wanted "metaphase plate" for 37A, since that is the more appropriate biological term.

Got stuck because I wrote "Tevye", which was the character played by Topol in Fiddler on the Roof.

But a fun puzzle in the end.

Anonymous 9:42 AM  

Dentist's dream, I get. But dentist's heron?

Dr. Christian Szell 11:15 AM  

@Anonymous, 9:42 AM - The numbers 6 and 11 do not refer to the crossword grid.

Your teeth are numbered, and #6 and #11 are called the eyeteeth. Here's a diagram.

Please feel free to Google me if you need more dental help.

James 11:38 AM  

If you knew Buster Crabbe, the rest of the older peoples' clues should have come easy.

Longbeachlee 12:18 PM  

I thought I was a combination of clairvoyant and brilliant when I got shoestring catch right out of the gate and kept pulling stuff out of the hat. Then I read this blog and found out all I was was old.

Spacecraft 2:09 PM  

As I post this (first one from syndiland?) I am majorly distracted by breaking news of a horrific school shooting in Connecticut; 18 kids and 8 or 9 others dead. I simply cannot understand--never could--the hard line taken by the NRA. The "right to bear arms" NEVER meant this!!

Now to today's SILKen offering. I really like the horizontal "feel" of EQUATORIALPLANE, as well as the "reaching down to the ground" aspect of the vertical SHOESTRINGCATCH. With the SHO in place--thanks to a kind NE corner--I thought it might involve a SHOrtstop, but nothing in that vein worked.

"It might be worn in THE [emphasis mine] shower." Really, Barry/Will. THE?? Sorry, but "the" shower is what you step into in your home; you go out in "a" shower. I know it's Friday, but still...

Fortunately, that one didn't confuse me that much; the answer was pretty quickly obvious. Not so easy was the NW; I was confused for a long while by "Temporary spear." The aha! of ICICLE only reinforced my notion of OBITUARY for 1d, but who was U__ Oliver (or, Oliver U__)? Finally remembered PAM, and then oh yeah, of course, it's PAGE, not -UARY.

I thought the radio word for "R" was ROdEO, but then wondered what a Japanese film monster was doing with all those X's. Oh, it's an M. ROMEO/ROMAN. That makes more sense. Dang near missed that puppy.

HASHEESH is an accepted alternate spelling, though I agree: HASH says it all--just as SMASH is all you need for 7a. Ah, but then we wouldn't have that marvelous word THRALL--remember The Gamesters of Triskelion, Trekkies? Wasn't that white-haired chick UBER-hot?

I always get my MAUNAs mixed up--is it KEA or LOA? Even the natives don't know for sure. SCAR/SCAB; EVADE/AVOID/ELUDE. Gotta get some cross help.

TASSEL was my entry point, followed by ELSOL (recalling the opening scene of CE3K). Very pleasing, smooth (what else?) solve. I'm just so relieved that the answer to 1a wasn't some rapper.

DMGrandma 5:43 PM  

I found this puzzle tricky, but persevered and finally got it. Had a lot write-overs. Guess I'm older than Rex's older generation. At any rate, the only name begining with OS I could think of was OSgOod. As I've noted before, I know almost nothing about sports, so with S------INGCATCH, I tried Seventh something, "inning" didn't fit, and so it went. EARLE? PAM? DHL? HASHish, doesn't fit? Try two S's. Fortunately, I got called away, and when I picked the thing up a couple of hours later, it fell into place.

Now to prove I'm not too old for the Captcha-find it gets harder and harder to find numbers I can even see!

Dirigonzo 9:00 PM  

Combined age of PP and I is 102+ so yeah, we loved it. Our biggest groan came when we realized that "Give some relief" was EMBOSS (thank you, plural downs) - that's a diabolical clue for sure. SW corner was a mess because our old-fashioned phones were corded and out top place to get sunburned was BAldhead before it was BArefoot - my BALDSPOT (rumored, but since I can't see it I deny it's existence) came to the rescue. Barry C. Silk never dissapoints.

@Spacecraft - the news of yet another mass shooting is beyond tragic and I do not understand how we as a "civilized" society can permit this type of horror to continue.

Dirigonzo 9:03 PM  

Actually our combined age is 120+ - damn you, dyslexic fingers!

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