Small boat made of wickerwork / SUN 12-23-12 / Unhappy king of legend / 1970 hit for Neil Diamond / Lost-parcel inquiries / Revolutionary 1960s Chinese youth / Rapper who played Brother Sam on Dexter / Long-running TV show featuring Hortons Bradys / 1996 Olympian noted for performing on injured ankle

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Constructor: Joe DiPietro

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "Bywords" — circled letters form literal representations of "___ BY ___" phrases

Word of the Day: CORACLE (71D: Small boat made of wickerwork) —
A small rounded boat made of waterproof material stretched over a wicker or wooden frame.

[Welsh corwgl, from Middle Irish curach, from Old Irish.]

Read more:
• • •

Cute and easy puzzle. GO (by) TRAIN is weaksauce, but the rest hold up nicely. Would've loved to have seen ONE IF (by) LAND and TWO IF (by) SEA, but both ONE and TWO are already used in the grid. I wonder if you could make another puzzle with this identical theme, without repeating a single "BY" phrase, easily. TRIAL (by) FIRE? DEATH (by) CHOCOLATE? LEAD (by) EXAMPLE? The interesting thing about this grid is that the circled words do not exist as complete words in the grid. All the words are masked, embedded in words and phrases that have nothing to do with them, meaning-wise. This would probably be a lot easier to make if, say, TRAIN could've been a self-standing word. Now, this little added bit of difficulty does get you into an ugly predicament or two—witness LANOSE (16D: Woolly), which is hiding "a nose." But mostly I think the gambit pays off. The puzzle is easy as it is; if the circled words weren't truly hidden inside their answers, the puzzle would've felt both easier and flatter.

Didn't struggle much anywhere, but I'd say the NW and NE corners were, comparatively, harder than other parts of the grid. I wanted DARNER at 1A: Sewer, at times (now that I think of it, it's strange that the underground, sewage-related "sewer" never occurred to me when reading that clue), but changed to MENDER because of MIDAS (1D: Unhappy king of legend). No idea how REDID is acceptable  at 6D: Made de novo—that is a super-ugsome attempt to get a clue echo (see 43A: De novo). Why would you do that? "De novo" is Latin, so [Made de novo] implies a Latin answer. I know the response to that complaint is "but 'de novo' is in the English dictionary, so ..." to which I'd say, "raspberries." Clue should've been [Made 43-Across]. That, I could've accepted. As for the NE, well, there's LANOSE (wtf?), and then just a general vagueness about a lot of the clues leading into that section. Got someth-INGAT, but not the GNAW-. Got AT something, but not the WORK (though that's the only answer that makes sense, in retrospect). Not hard, just somewhat effortful, unlike most of the rest of the grid, which essentially filled itself in.

["Don't wanna live ..."]

I enjoyed a lot of the longer answers in this puzzle, like RED GUARD (59D: Revolutionary 1960s Chinese youth), KERRI STRUG (105A: 1996 Olympian noted for performing on an injured ankle), and "DAYS OF OUR LIVES" (54D: Long-running TV show featuring the Hortons and the Bradys). SCUM seemed a kind of harsh word to apply to people, esp. the [Dregs of society] (not sure whom that's intended to reference), but the word is certainly used that way colloquially all the time, so I can't complain too much. I thought Neil Diamond's "SHILO" had an "H" on the end (42A: 1970 hit for Neil Diamond), but that's a Civil War battle site, not the song. No idea what "F = ma" meant until just now, when I realized it's one of the first equations I learned in Physics: force = mass x acceleration. It's NEWTON's 2nd Law. On the other, non-scientific hand, I had no trouble with 100A: "Fish Magic" painter—either I've seen this clue before, or I've come to associate KLEE with fish, or with incongruous two-word titles. Never seen "Dexter," but I had MOSD- before I ever read 103A: Rapper who played Brother Sam on "Dexter" so I actually knew the answer (MOS DEF) before looking at the clue. I've heard MJ called "The King of Pop" (mainly by MJ and his sponsors), but I've never heard this so-called "Goddess of Pop" moniker allegedly given to CHER. "So-called," Ha ha.  By whom and where? These are important questions. I think of TRACERS as bullets, not [Lost-parcel inquiries], so that was another reason I had trouble getting into the NE. Read 49D: Hockey area in front of the crease as [in front of the goal], so my brain just kept going, "crease ... crease ... it's CREASE! Why won't it fit!?" (answer: SLOT). Finally, I feel like this day has been worth living if only because I now know that there is such a thing as a "classic two-line poem about fleas." "ADAM / Had 'em." I really doubt the veracity of the poem, but it *does* rhyme, so ... who can say?

Christmas Eve puzzle is by ... Me! So I won't be here tomorrow. But someone will. One of my sycophants, no doubt. So see you Christmas day! In the meantime, please accept these virtual cookies, courtesy of my baking-crazy daughter.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:18 AM  

Easy breezy.  Not bad for a circle puzzle, but a tad on the bland side.   Did the west side first and caught the theme which helped a bit, although this one didn't take much effort.

Zero erasures.   WOEs: CORACLE, LANOSE

Sad memory gimme: COSELL.  I was watching MNF when he announced that Lennon had been shot to death. 

Anonymous 12:22 AM  

Wow. I stomped this puzzle without mercy. Third fastest Sunday ever. 43:46 (I know, by most of y'alls standards I probably shouldn't even be allowed in here. You do the whole week in less time than that.)

One, lone write-over! MeSSY to MUSSY. Good thing I knew STRUG.

Had to have faith to let CORACLE stand. New to me and way cool. Word of the day.

Actually knew LANOSE as a gimme. We used to have sheep; hand sheared, prepared the fiber, spun yarn, did the weaving - the whole 'sheep to shawl' thing. Lana = wool. Lanolin is a fat found in the fiber in varying amounts. Some sheep secrete fairly small amounts. With others, handling them is like putting your hand in can of grease.

ADONAIS was the last entry down. Went with AH, ME instead of OH. Didn't know SHILO, so had to gamble on that vowel also. I escaped, but would expect a few bodies to pile up on this one.

Liked ROUST. Reminded me of Sergeant Schultz and Hogan's Heroes.

Loved the clue - Just _____ . . . or "Just '_____"

Knocked this out so fast that I didn't get to enjoy the theme until after it was done, but I'd expect most real people to enjoy it as part of the solve.

pooloniousmonk 12:45 AM  

Finished in 2 hours, but it took another hour to find my mistake, which was mEssy for mUssy. Only in crossword land could such a distinction be characterized as an error. Apparently, the need to identify Ms. Kerri Strug or Mr. or Ms. Kerristrug was a bit too much for me. Never heard of Lamb, either, but now I know she or he is an essayist. I play three Neil Diamond songs, but have no idea how Shilo goes. As for Cosell, I did not hear the news from him. I was studying. Somehow, I did get the word, and I cried all of that horrible night, then tried to take a major exam the next morning. It did not go well.

syndy 1:44 AM  

@poolonious I"m with you brother! I'm callin Raspberries on the MUSSY.I googled that and guess what -It means "MessY" no Sh*t!. Anyway the rest of the puzzles was cool I actually enjoyed the circles this time Who knew?

Anonymous 1:58 AM  

Another with the messy/mussy issue: "finished" in around 35:00, which probably would have been my fastest Sunday time (usually I'm around an hour). I then spent far too long figuring out that it was "SCAb/TAbS" not "SCAr/TArS" (hey, tars are linked with the sea, so why not run one up?), and then never did find mussy/kerristrug until this was posted online. When that was all done my time was no longer special-for-me.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:25 AM  

My one-letter write-over was to go from KERRY to KERRI.

I once knew a KERRY, who was male. Is there a standard gender distinction between KERRY and KERRI, or is this simply arbitrary?

OTD 6:42 AM  

Yes, easy for a Sunday. Didn't know CORACLE or LANOSE, and hung up a bit on MeSSY/MUSSY. So learned something new today, which is always good news.

Didn't pay attention to the theme. Didn't need to. In fact, became aware of it only after reading Rex's blog. So much for me and themes. Oh well.

Elle54 7:58 AM  

My mistake was ASSAY instead of ESSAY and didn't know KLEE. Got Yao at the end by going thru the alphabet til it made sense. Not familiar with OSO.
I liked the puzzle and tried to anticipate BY phrases as I solved. I was a,so looking for BY LAND or BY SEA.

Glimmerglass 8:17 AM  

My printer did a lousy job with the circles, and I never bothered to look at them until I came here. Cute, but I didn't need them. This puzzle was so easy that I filled in down the western quarter, then across the southern quarter, then up most of eastern side. For a while I thought I was going to be able to do the whole puzzle in a spiral, ending in the center. It wasn't quite that easy (I had hideS instead of MASKS until I could work back there from CIGAR STAND). I also had MeSSY, but I looked at "Kerri Streg" and remembered she was a STRUG.

Qvart 8:54 AM  

Easy breezy. Fun. 40 mins. Only real hang up was 11D and 42A. Started off with CIGARSTORE instead of CIGARSTAND so that didn't help.

Nice theme but didn't contribute to solving anything. Zig-zagged down the middle and worked SE, SW, middle, NE then that DAMN 11D section ("Whom Shelley wept for").

Didn't care much for YEASTY or FORERAN, but off of that clue came an answer that reminds me of most American macro-brews: NEAR BEER. Hehe. But hey, I like beer that not just blocks light from passing through, but actually sucks it in.

Time to pack and hit the road.



Unknown 9:00 AM  

Loved everything about this fun Sunday...especially the aha moment when the theme came to mind, which for me was with WIN by ANOSE.

Off to face the shopping masses!

And thanks for the cookies, sweet girl!

Carola 9:37 AM  

Neat theme, nice puzzle. But....AH, ME, I didn't get the linking "by" part until I was almost done, so used the theme only to get FOUR after I had the TWO. But fun to admire the other pairs after the fact.

Knew CORACLE from reading Treasure Island to my son about 25 years ago. Don't think I've seen it since. Was able to guess LANOSE from lanolin in wool.

@Rex - Congrats on tomorrow's puzzle and thanks to your daughter for the cookies. I'm just about to head off to the mixing bowl myself.

Qvart 9:47 AM  

Rex -

Didn't read all of your comments and missed the blurb about tomorrow's puzzle. Sadly, the NYT is pretty much non-existent in the part of the country I'm traveling to. Grrr.

Anyway, congrats!


joho 9:52 AM  

The puzzle was easier to solve than figuring out the theme! Don't know why it took so long for the light bulb to go on. Cute!

Mmmmm, those cookies look delicious!

B. Donohue 10:20 AM  

This puzzle was great.

I'm embarrassed to say that at first I thought of the wrong type of "sewer" and "Houston rocket center." That's not the first time this year for either of those gaffes.

I was stuck on the NE until a friend suggested TRACER, and the puzzle solved itself after that.

Thank you Rex!

MetaRex 10:29 AM  


Nicely done construction by Joe DiPietro...imaginative, hard to do, and easy on the all glided by me as I solved last night while talking w/ my returned-from- college son after a Christmas feast with my in-laws in southern NJ.

Agree w/ Rex on the clunky LANOSE--but the matching COSELL w/ its John Lennon clue is an excellent example of the goodness of this puzz...I had COURIC (yes, I should have known the dates don't work for her) and had a nice "Aha" when COSELL came clear as the answer.

chefbea 10:43 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Had some blanks 'cause I din't know oso or anc. Had to write down all the circled words...then got the theme.

@Rex cookies look yummy. What kind?? Look forward to tomorrow's puzzle

Tita 11:07 AM  

STReG/MeSSY may go donwwn in hte annals as the most shared istake ever.
I also DNFd with ShOT/hEADTO.

Theme did help me get some answers more quickly.
I was alittle misled, since my first completed circle fill was KNEW/HEART, thich had me looking for homophones for pop names (Bob Newhart, anyone?).
Then I mis-highlighted the next set as ON/ON... Just a minor hiccup.

Good stuff, Mr. DiPietro.

By the by, thanks for the cookies, young Ms. Sharp - they look great!

Milford 11:19 AM  

Pretty easy, lovely Sunday puzzle. The theme was discovered at SELL (by) DATE, but it was funny how the theme only helped me a couple places, where the rest of the time I had to mostly solve to get the phrase!

Had Rev. Run before MOS DEF, pic AXE before ICE AXE, and smiled at changing the Lamb clue from sataY to ESSAY. Good one!

So there really is shoe sizing EEEE? Where does it end?

Looking forward to Rex's puzzle, and your daughter's cookies look fantastic! Ginger snaps, maybe?

jackj 11:23 AM  

My first inclination was to grouse about how easy the puzzle was to solve but then, thinking of what an extraordinary effort it must have been to construct, a proper sense of appreciation took hold.

The puzzle plays as a super-sized themeless, creating a visual whereby certain words play the role of great white shark as they transport the true theme words, the remoras (sucker fish), that show up in the puzzle’s circles.

Eighteen sharks and sixty-six remoras, sounds inelegant and awkward but produces thoroughly charming “BY” phrases like KNEW(BY)HEART and TWO(BY)FOUR, with this first theme phrase riding on NEWYORKNEWYORK and THEARTS while the second shark was tagged as DAYSOFOURLIVES and NETWORK. Clever, as ever, is old friend Cakey!

As a passionate pro hockey fan suffering through the lengthy lock-out, seeing a clue asking about the area in front of the crease (the crease is the marked area directly in front of the goal), evoked happy memories of bodacious slap shots being taken by merciless defensemen from the “top of the SLOT”.

And, from the other side of my gray matter came a thought of praise for HANDEL being clued as the “Water Music” composer, in recognition of a wonderful work from the 18th century baroque master and not using the HANDEL default credit of “Messiah”.

Putting aside the nit-picks triggered by CORACLE, LANOSE and MESSY/MUSSY (that played havoc with Ms. STRUG’s last name), they are trumped by a host of goodies like the cleverly clued YAO and the unexpected answer to “Not yet out of the closet” for UNWORN.

Thanks, Joe, for another fun one!

(Puzzle-daughter's cookies look downright scrumptious!)

Sandy K 11:29 AM  

Enjoyed this puzzle BY Mr. DiPietro!

Liked the theme- IN ESSENCE it had a lot of FINESSE, except maybe the DE NOVO of DE NOVO.

Not knowing spelling of KERRy STReG BY HEART, slowed INCA and MUSSY BY a few, but for a Sunday, it was FINE BY ME!

@Rex- Looking forward to your puzzle and thanks for showing us your adorable daughter! BAKing runs in the family- YUM!

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

Got the puzzle without getting the theme. I did have 'messy' rather than 'mussy 'and my son gave me 'slot' Never heard of 'coracle' or 'yao' but got it from the fill.
Fun to do!!

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

thought mussy or messy and put down the wrong one and didnt think to correct. the theme made it easier for me so that i filled in the theme answers when i could and solved around them.i agree that it was a pretty easy puzzle but that is sweet sometimes.

Rob C 11:40 AM  

Like many, I found it easy. Threw down alot of the puzzle with no hesitation at all. A little pause until I figured out the theme, which helped complete the rest. Clever theme, executed nicely.

Just a few things that didn't quite land for me:
DO BY HAND - guess I don't use this phrase, this was the last section to fall for me because it never occurred to me that this was the phrase

House of the speaker for STEREO - I think of speakers as separate from a stereo unit. But I suppose in some (older?) models they were housed in the unit itself.

Santa's bootblack for SOOT? In what sense? Because he might get his boots dirty coming down the chimmney? In that case, you could call it his hair dye and make-up as well.

Not really complaining, Very nice puzzle.

Masked and Anonymous 12:14 PM  

SundaythUmbsUp. Primo theme idea. Solid fillins. Some nice little grid layout T's and +'s. SCUM on top. There's yer Christmas puz present with a bow, right there. Nice job, J.

Good lookin' cookies and offspring. Does that apron have a 1960 theme? Why 1960?

Merry Christmas, @31. May all yer holiday wishes come true. Peace on earth, good will toward MonPuz constructors.


lawprof 12:20 PM  

Although I don't clock myself, this was likely my fastest Sunday ever. (But I still can't get my head around those of you who do it < 10 minutes).

Initially I got nothing across the top row, but ICEAXE (19A) gave me MIDAS (1D), and with the first letters of the down answers in NW, the whole thing caught fire. The entire West Coast fell almost immediately before I even ventured into the eastern 2/3 of the grid, and by then I had enough letters extending in that direction that I didn't have to guess much. Oh, ok, DISPLAYcaseS before DISPLAYITEMS, MeSSY before MUSSY, but only momentarily.

Finished the grid before I understood the theme (which wasn't necessary to solving) and then had to read the puzzle's title again before the bulb flickered on.

Gotta concur with many commentators: easy, fun.

Rex Parker 12:35 PM  

Yes, ginger snaps.

Apron has a 1969 calendar on it (!?). That's the year I was born. I like to wear it when cooking. Close as I'm likely to come to cross-dressing. Makes me feel pretty.


John V 12:36 PM  

Easy, fun, save for NE. LANOSE? Screwed that spot, but that's okay. Good theme.

Looking forward to your offering tomorrow, Rex.

Milford 12:51 PM  

I hadn't noticed the apron, but I love it! Found a whole stack of those calendar dish towels at a garage sale last year and use them constantly. Best kitchen towels ever.

Doctor Colonel Mark 12:55 PM  

Grr. 19 minutes for me, but a screw up on mussy v. Messy. Never heard of ms or mister strug. And what the hell is penner? Rex, I count in you to call foul on this!

Mel Ott 12:56 PM  

There is an old medieval legend that St. Brendan sailed in a CORACLE from Ireland to a place called the Isle of Paradise in the 6th century. Some later identified the place as North America. Hence St. Brendan the Navigator.

Davis 1:13 PM  

Hrm, this was a slightly slow Sunday for me. I never really built up any momentum—every time I'd start plugging in clues, I'd hit a snag after half a dozen and slow up again. And I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to get the YAO/OSO cross (that was the last square I filled in).

Nevertheless, I thought this was a completely workable Sunday grid. I'd consider it pretty average, quality-wise—while it was neither enthralling nor disappointing, it was what a Sunday NY Times puzzle should be.

Sparky 1:58 PM  

Hand up for MeSSY. STReG seemed okay to me. Managed the SE and W, then stuck in the NW for a while. As much as I like CHER, and I do, I have never heard her called Queen of Pop.

Ignored circles at first but caught on later and found positioning of one word next to the other cute.

Not too hard, not too easy. Enough Sunday left to get things done.

Thanks for the cookies. My compliments to the sweet baker.

Looking forward to Monday puzzle treat from Rex.

jberg 2:25 PM  

I had to make an early run to the store to pick up the goose for Tuesday, so I just got to the puzzle this afternoon. Pretty easy, I agree, except that I had the KERRI STReG/MeSSY error. I guess if you muss someone's hair that person looks rumpled afterward - but I had no idea about STRUG. My wife didn't either, so we're guessing she wasn't a skater.

My best writeover was gOoSe before ROUST.

Everything has been said already, but to on @Bob_Kerfuffle's comment, what's really happening is that women are taking over men's names, regardless of the spelling. I get lost of female students named Allison, for example, and no male ones at all.

chefwen 2:26 PM  

I tried to post a comment last night, but right in the middle Blogger went berserk and sent me into never, never land. After I regained my footing, every time I tried to post it would just sent me back to the end of Rex's blog and his adorable daughter. I'm sure it was something I did, it always is. Turned off the beast, gave it an overnight rest and all is right with the world again (we'll see).

I always think mussy is someone in crumpled, wrinkled cloths, sporting bed head hair. Messy, would be a room/closet/house, think Hoarders, now THAT,S messy.

Finished the puzzle in record time for me. PTPP was a little disappointed that I didn't ask for his assistance.

Have good Sunday all.

chefbea 2:30 PM  

@Milford I too have a few of the calendar dish towel. They are 100% linen!!! That's what make them so great..and absorbant

retired_chemist 5:22 PM  

Easy. Moved like a Monday. Hand up for MESSY.

Proud of getting MOS' DEF from the M and D. What I really know about rap is ZERO.

Theme was irrelevant to the solve - might have come into play in a harder puzzle.

Thanks, Mr. D.

Unknown 6:58 PM  

I had ShOT / hEAD TO instead of SLOT / LEAD TO and it took me forever to find the error. OSO, by the way, is kind of a cheap shot, since it merely means bear, it is not truly related to Suth American zoos.

retired_chemist 8:57 PM  

@ Nicholas G -

You are of course correct but the style of cluing used was to indicate that the Spanish word is required.

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

Gail Bedicker all over.

JC66 9:21 PM  


you can learn how to embed your URL here

Ken Wurman 9:38 PM  

Never heard of "open mic"...appsrently short for open mike (why?)
Only time Howard Cossell made me cry.

Anonymous 9:47 PM  


Anonymous 11:16 PM  

Monday is Monday and easy is easy, and he doesn't like criticism, this was WAY too easy (though with some nice surprises).

sanfranman59 1:25 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 6:06, 6:14, 0.98, 37%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:06, 8:44, 0.93, 25%, Easy-Medium
Wed 10:27, 11:45, 0.89, 24%, Easy-Medium
Thu 15:17, 17:03, 0.90, 28%, Easy-Medium
Fri 22:16, 21:27, 1.04, 65%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 18:00, 24:41, 0.73, 7%, Easy (10th lowest ratio of 150 Saturdays)
Sun 24:08, 30:14, 0.80, 12%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:37, 3:39, 0.99, 39%, Easy-Medium
Tue 4:54, 4:59, 0.98, 42%, Medium
Wed 5:39, 6:32, 0.86, 14%, Easy
Thu 8:15, 9:23, 0.88, 23%, Easy-Medium
Fri 13:42, 11:57, 1.15, 74%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 10:26, 15:34, 0.72, 5%, Easy (8th lowest ratio of 150 Saturdays)
Sun 15:41, 19:44, 0.79, 15%, Easy

Milford 1:15 PM  

Wow, didn't know they were linen! Thanks!

Paul Abrahams 1:34 AM  

The OSO/YAO cross was the one really hard -- as in impossible -- part of this one. OSO isn't in most dictionaries, and I still don't see how YAO is a "Rocket center, once".

Wikipedia 6:46 AM  

Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980 in Shanghai) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played Center.

Spacecraft 2:30 PM  

The MUSSY/MeSSY question never reached me. The moment that KERRISTRUG stuck--STUCK, I say!--a landing on a broken ankle is etched into my memory forever. That moment was not about sports: it was about strength of character. The young lady will have my admiration forever.

Clever theme and execution. OFL's point about the "by" words NOT standing alone in the long downs is well taken.

I had a few glitches--I went to the CIGARSTore before I just stopped at the STAND--so I'd have to call it easy-medium. The YAO clue was really tricky. FORERAN? Even if that IS a word, who uses it?

Matt C 4:35 PM  

Knew coracle from The Hobbit (Gollum had one). Saw a special on how Cosell and the other struggled about whether or not it was appropriate for a sports announcer to pass that kind of news.

No trouble to speak of beyond having to switch CIGARSTore to CIGARSTAND.

Dirigonzo 7:40 PM  

This syndisolver has to say, "oHME my finished grid is pretty MeSSY" but in retrospect I should have known ADONAIS and MUSSY is a familiar but long-forgotten term for how my hair looks when I get up in the morning, so bad on me. I'm glad somebody explained YAO because I totally didn't get the reference. I was very glad that the clue for 113d, Heat org., wanted NBA and not that other group that "heat" suggests (but of course I fell for the misdirection anyway).

We in syndiland will get a delayed Christmas Eve gift when Rex's puzzle appears in 4 weeks - I like to think of it as extending the holiday season. Speaking of which, have a happy and safe New Year's Eve tomorrow.

A couple of days ago we had white trash in the puzzle (albeit as a playful clue)and today we have the dregs of society, SCUM - I hope we all can resolve to be a little more sensitive to the down and out community in 2013.

Bruce Small 11:05 PM  

Coracle I knew immediately because I read Treasure Island every few years.

Anonyrat 10:16 AM  

Toughest part of the puzzle: ADONAIS crossing SHILO. Didn't know either, but luckily guessed correctly. And shouldn't the clue for SOU have indicated somehow that it is French, or did I miss something?
Re 91D - If you're not too sensitive or P.C. or a huge Beatles fan - let me rephrase that - if you're "not a Beatles fan," (yes, I know, all the constructors and everyone here loves the Beatles, but as someone who thinks the Beatles were the prototypical "boy band" and that The Doors were by far the best band of the '60s, and perhaps ever, I'm gonna say it) check out "One Down, Three To Go" by The Meatmen. Again, if you're a Beatles or Lennon lover, don't do it! For those of you so inclined, here's a link:
@ chefbea 10:43 AM - How is it "fun" and "easy" if you "had some blanks"? It would totally cheese me off if I had OWS. America, the land of lower standards, I guess...
@ Doctor Colonel Mark 12:55 PM - Yeah, I could do it in 19 minutes too, if I got all the answers wrong.

rain forest 3:04 PM  

Sorry, @anonyrat, the Beatles blew the doors off The Doors, QED.
I clearly remember watching the Monday NFL game when Cosell made the announcment. I was absolutely stunned, and was hoping there was an error in reportage, but no. A very sad and tragic day.

The puzzle was great for a Sunday. I much prefer this type (and for me the theme was helpful in three places)to the one hour forced marches that too many Sunday puzzles become.

This is so late that no one will read it, but I still feel good about myself. Happy New Year to all the syndi folk and to all other blogger people.

Dirigonzo 3:32 PM  

@Rainforest - with email updates it's never too late to post and feel good about yourself. HNY to you too!

Tita 4:21 PM  

So true, @Dirigonzo...
Happy New Year to all syndilanders

Anonyrat 8:31 AM  

@ rain forest - I know it's pointless to argue something that is simply a matter of personal opinion and preference, so I won't. The only Beatles songs that ever did anything for me were Day Tripper and Eleanor Rigby. The rest of their stuff always struck me as vapid pop music. The Doors, on the other hand, I thought were brilliant. Unlike most Doors fans, though, it's not because of Jim Morrison. It's actually the keyboard playing of Ray Manzarek, a most underrated talent in my opinion, that made me a huge Doors fan.

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