2009 Star Trek villain / THU 3-14-13 / Showy bloom to flower enthusiasts / 1940s quartet with #1 hit Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall / Wood in Tolkien films / Cerium samarium are rare ones / Allegheny plum

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Constructor: Mike Buckley

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: quote from ALBERT / EINSTEIN — "CREATIVITY / IS THE RESIDUE OF / WASTED TIME" (18A: Beginning of a quote by 3-/31-Down on which Stephen Colbert commented "I hope teenagers aren't watching this right now")

Word of the Day: DHOTI (30D: Indian attire) —
The dhoti also known as panchapanche or veshti is a traditional men's garment worn in IndiaPakistanBangladesh and Nepal. It is a rectangular piece of unstitched cloth, usually around 4.5 metres (15 ft) long, wrapped around the waist and the legs and knotted at the waist, resembling a long skirt. (wikipedia)
• • •

Under five minutes on a Thursday is pretty dang good for me. The thing that confuses me most about this quotation is the clue. It needs context. Without it, I don't know what the joke is—is it that teenagers are already lazy and don't need encouragement? Most of the teenagers I know are fantastically over-scheduled, so the "teenagers waste time" thing doesn't ring very true. But I like the quotation. It's a nice sentiment. You don't see quotation puzzles that much any more. I tend to like them funny, when I like them at all, but as pithy, motivational quote puzzles go, this is fine. Solving-wise, I just had some minor hiccups here and there—nothing that held me up much at all. If I've heard of a DHOTI before, I forgot about it today. That one answer made the SW slightly hard to get into, just as RHODO (WTF-O?) partly blocked my entry to the NE. I do not think of "Rock, Paper, SCISSORS" as a "kids' game" (13D: One of three choices in a kids' game)—adults play it. Hell, some adults play it competitively. Yeah, there are tournaments and everything. So that answer took some effort. I also forgot BARI existed, so I had to hammer it together from crosses (59A: Italian port). Nothing much else here to remark on. Oh, I saw OSSIE Davis in "The Cardinal" (1963) the other day. I bet not many of you can say that.

NERO was a gimme (daughter is a newly minted Trekkie who just watched the 2009 "Star Trek" movie for the first time last week) (37A: 2009 "Star Trek" villain). There wasn't much in my wheelhouse, but I was oddly proud of my ability to pull the olde-timey stuff out of my bag of tricks quickly today. Got SAHL instantly, with no crosses (51D: Comic who said "A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now"), and got INK SPOTS off just the IN- (33D: 1940s quartet with the #1 hit "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall," with "the"). You know, I've never actually seen "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"—weird. Anyway, if the crosses hadn't prevented it, I'd probably thrown down TIM CURRY at 11D: Player of Eddie in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (MEAT LOAF). He and Susan Sarandon are the actors from that movie that come to mind most readily. Bummed at my slowness picking up SEÑORITA (34D: Eligible one in El Salvador). Something about the election of a pope from Latin America today put my brain in the wrong frame of mind on that clue.

Puzzle could've used a little toughening up (Actress Sorvino? Actor Davis? Really?), but it was interesting and inoffensive.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


JFC 12:04 AM  

"Under five minutes on a Friday is pretty dang good for me."

@Rex, it's a Thursday....


Anonymous 12:14 AM  

For a Thursday, I crushed it, as in 16:54 is pretty awesome for me.

I put up with yesterday's wacky wackiness without plaint,so the 'quote themes suck' folks can suck it.

I get the theme clue, but I would have thought they could do better.

Had to gamble on the O with NERO / DHOTI. The A was looking mighty attractive.

Albert Capn Meatloafs 12:27 AM  

Loved the quote, but as a 2D (Patient cheerful sort) LIBRA, I would!!!

Would not call "Actor Davis" easy, as I tried BETTE and GEENA first...you know, how actresses nowadays are calling themselves "Actors"...
Then again the Sorvino clue had Actress in it, so that should have been a tip off.

What happened to lovely Mira Sorvino? I vaguely remember something about her arrying an Italian half her age (Right on, Mira!) and moving off to Italy?
But she was a bright gal (Harvard Chinese scholar) and a good actress, so odd she fell off the screen.
I blame Woody Allen somehow.

Plus I had ESSSa, DROWzy...so OSSIE was extry hard to see.

Mort SAHL was one of those idols-till-I-met-him and he was a mean prick (can I say that on TV?) but smart.

Zero idea on SHUN, RHODO, DHOTI and CAMARO (as I had soU, which I believe is another form of the word ECU) And EARTHS = ick.

@Rex, see "The Rocky Horror Show"...classic...and MEATLOAF will surely come to your mind much faster than Susan Sarandon ever will.

Loved the triple stacked 8s in the corners. Nice puzzle. Also impressed that SCISSORS wasn't at all on the sides...

retired_chemist 12:31 AM  

This patient, cheerful sort (LIBRA) liked it. About 10 minutes means medium for Thursday here. But it felt easier. Flowery, with PRIMROSE crossing LAUREL and RHODO(dendron?). Ethnic, with SLAV, HOPI,and YENTL.

I think Colbert meant that the quote gives wasted time a positive spin (Hey, Einstein thinks it leads to creativity) that teenagers will use as a response to demands to get their a**es in gear and do something.

@ Tita - 12A was PITA between PEST and the correct PILL. Hall of shame candidate?

Thanks, Mr. Buckley.

jae 12:33 AM  

Not too bad for quote puzzle but it's still a quote puzzle.  Easy for me too.  I almost never miss Colbert and the quote seemed to ring a bell.  Nice musical bookends with MEATLOAF and the INK SPOTS.  

So, a bit too easy for Thurs. and a quote.  Other than that...

sanfranman59 12:33 AM  

@acme ... for any heterosexual male with a pulse, I seriously doubt that MEATLOAF will ever come to mind before Susan Sarandon. I saw Rocky Horror multiple times when I was in college oh those many years ago, forgot that Meatloaf was in it (until I got a couple of crosses) and definitely remembered that Susan Sarandon was. I confidently filled in Tim Curry before I had any crosses.

Anonymous 12:45 AM  

I love how an Einstein quote is spiced up with a Colbert quote. @Rex instead of overscheduled, overachieving teenager, think of your sterleo typical unmotivated teen who doesn't want to do chores and hangs out listening to music.
I dropped in SARA smile (1976) without blinking (thanks to tween years glued to radio) and thought no way could I be right.
Smooth overall and the unknows were getable from crosses. My undoing was the ESSe / eSSIE crossing. Who knew there is an Essie and an Ossie Davis? Not me. I don't know either actor (actor to me = male or female).

Rachel 12:54 AM  

Um, guys? Maybe I'm just being crude here, but I'm pretty sure the Colbert quote is a masturbation joke (come on, "the residue of wasted time"??). At least, that would be hilarious if it slipped its way into the NYT. I'm gonna go ahead and believe that.

JFC 1:34 AM  

"Under five minutes on a Friday is pretty dang good for me. The thing that confuses me most about this quotation is the clue. It needs context."

@Rex, the thing that confuses me most is how you are confused about what day of the week it is.


@Acme, I could say something crude like ... no, I won't go there because I'm a Libra....


chefwen 1:58 AM  

Thought it was very easy for a Thursday. Didn't start off that way as I am not fond of quotation puzzles and was hoping for @joho's and my favorite a rebus puzzle. Once I was underway I was finished way before I wanted to be.

Checked out Rex's rating and printed out a copy for Jon to test drive tomorrow. He's never tackled a Thursday on his own. He's helped me out on occasion, so this will be interesting. He doesn't get it that I have been doing these for 40 some years more than he has. If he finishes without assistance he will be high fiving everyone in town. Thank God it's a small town.

Anonymous 2:06 AM  

"wasted" refers to the use of, or in this case the suggestion not to use, marijuana by teenagers.

Evan 2:11 AM  

I'm back from the ACPT/Research trip to Columbia U! I had to catch up on all the week's previous puzzles yesterday, so I didn't have time to comment on them or the ACPT here. I'll just say that I had a blast, yet again, and did better than the previous year. I met lots of cool people, made some friends, and yes, @Loren, I did get that picture of Will Shortz that I wanted. In fact, it's my new avatar right now!

I actually just found out that one of the young puzzlers I met at the ACPT was a recent Haverford grad -- my alma mater! -- and though she has lived in Philly for a while, she's moving out to Oregon this weekend, so we had a drink to wish her well. Even weirder, she invited a friend of hers who just so happened to be a classmate of mine in a political history seminar last semester. Small world that just keeps getting smaller!


Alright, today's grid -- yeah, very easy. It's a bit smaller than normal (14x15) which probably accounts for a little bit of my fast time, but I think that has more to do with the clues being pretty simple with a cross or two. I got SENORITA off the S, and once I had ALBERT, I just filled in EINSTEIN instinctively. The only thing that help me up was POPE instead of SLAV -- seems timely that POPE would be my only write-over today. You can tell that I was still in ACPT Mode when the second P of POPE made me think that 16-Across was CAP'N spelled backwards.

I join @acme and @retired_chemist as a LIBRA, though I'm not always the most patient or even cheerful sort!

Elle54 2:11 AM  

Today's my birthday so I really wanted to solve this one! Hoped it would have something to do with Pi day. Anyway, hand up for NERO/ DHOTI cross ( guessed right). Oh, just remembered! Albert Einstein and I share a birthday, so today is his birthday!
Having 3 teenagers, I agree with @retiredchemist... They default to laziness!

Evan 2:20 AM  

Oh, and I totally forgot to shamelessly plug this 1,000 times, but you know what you should all do? You should purchase the Twenty Under Thirty crossword set. It's 20 puzzles edited by Ben Tausig, $5 for the whole thing, and the best part is, one of them puzzles is mine! It's my debut crossword publication, so I'm excited as all hell about it. The other 19 puzzles are awesome, made by some very talented young constructors, and they're Rex Parker-approved (he helped judge and select them, after all). So get on it!

Happy birthday, @Elle54.

Carola 2:44 AM  

Agree with Rex's "easy" - the puzzles have been getting steadily easier for me since Tuesday. I don't expect the trend to hold for tomorrow, though! I liked the quote. Like Rex, I have the sense that many teens are overscheduled and could stand to have some time to waste and daydream.

I also liked the array of EARTH'S flora: SLOE, PRIMROSE, LAUREL, RHODO. However, I would SHUN the SPAM (M)EATLOAF in the NE corner.

@Elle 54 - Happy Birthday!

Ellen S 3:15 AM  

Easy for me, too. My time according to R.alph's app was almost 23 minutes, but I have a paper one that took me a week so this was like lightning. No Googles, no cheats, and, be still, my heart--no eels!

Thank you Mr Buckley.

Jack Lee 5:27 AM  

Found this one fun, even though I couldn't solve the NW (problems with SLAP and PILL -- I had PALL and couldn't think what _ABRAS could be). Learned that YAR(E) refers to an easily handled ship!

Loren Muse Smith 5:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
imsdave 6:12 AM  

Nice to have a little stroll in the park after 3 straight days on the tough side. Too bad it had to come on a Thursday, but it is a solid puzzle, so no complaints.

I can't think of rock, paper, SCISSORS w/o adding lizard, Spock, thanks to Jim Parsons.


Z 6:14 AM  

Overbooked, masturbating, weed smokers. I'm sure none of us were like that as teens.

Yesterday opera puns, today MEATLOAF and SARA Smiles and Star Trek and Lord of The Rings. So much WASTED TIME out there for us to enjoy.

Been deep into contract negotiations for the past two months, so AGREED TO (which we did a lot of yesterday) was too appropriate.

@Elle54 - Pi Day and Albert Einstein is great natal synchronicity.

Z 6:19 AM  

@imsdave - I always pick scissors over at Tree Lobsters.

Loren Muse Smith 6:41 AM  

Fairly easy here, too, except for the DHOTI/NERO cross (I guessed correctly) and the triple Natick whammy of BARI/ELIJAH/TESLAS – I didn’t even try to guess, so a dnf. Seeing it now, I feel silly that I didn’t finish.

Prig, punk, pest, pain, poet (!). . .PILL. Plaid or PLEAT?

@jae – I noticed those bookends, too.

@Rex – MIRA Sorvino is never a gimme because I get all mixed up with Mena Suvari. And let’s not talk about Uta, Uma, Sid, Cyd. . .

I immediately went to some kind of animal instead of Zodiac sign and dug my heels in. When I ridiculously considered “zebra” (but mercifully didn’t write it in), I finally saw LIBRA.

@Acme – I went with Bette, too, and then Geena, and then noticed that that Italian word’s not gonna end in b or g. And thanks for noting that SCISSORS would have been a lot easier over on the east edge. Gems like that are why we appreciate a seasoned constructor’s take.

I really liked the multicultural north with SLAV, HOPI, and YENTL. Was YENTL SLOE-eyed and SHY?

@Rex – I really loved your comment -“Hell, some adults play it competitively. Yeah, there are tournaments and everything.” For the past couple of days, I’m sure a lot of us have had friends say, “You went where and did *what*???”

Last Friday morning on the plane in Charleston, WV, I took my seat next to a lovely woman. She glanced at my clipboard, and said, “Oh I’m doing that puzzle, too!” I lowered the puzzle, turned to her and said, “You’re doing the NYT Friday puzzle?” She said, “Yes.” She had it on her tablet thingy that I don’t own or understand yet. (I have to note that she was a lot further along than I was.) Well, we were fast friends – I told her about the tournament and this site, and I want to give her a shout out and hope she’ll join us soon. . . HELLO, L!!! HOW WAS THE SHOWER?

Mike, I guess you’ll hear it all day – I generally don’t like quote puzzles, but I enjoyed both this puzzle and the quote!

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

As a teenager, I can say with confidence that the Colbert quote is a masturbation joke. "Residue of wasted time"

GILL I. 7:20 AM  

I like quote puzzles but I like them funny. This kinda felt like I WASTED my TIME.
I didn't know MEAT LOAF from the INK SPOTS. SENORITA took me forever because I wanted soltero to fit and damn, I speak Spanish in my sleep!!
That YAR there was a yaw and my showy bloom was wHODO. Anyhoo, I was SHY a few letters but didn't really care.
Happy B day @Elle54.......!

Smitty 7:39 AM  

Up in Canada they say RHODO

Down in the US we say MEATLYAF

webwinger 7:45 AM  

Googled for MEATLOAF to finish the NE, though in retrospect think I might have gotten it with a little more patience (I’m not a LIBRA). Otherwise agree pretty easy for Thursday, with about average time. Glad to know it’s Pi Day (must have heard about that somewhere before, but completely forgot), and birthday of A. E. and @Elle54. Comments above about teens and masturbation, marijuana took me by surprise, and added much to my enjoyment of the theme, which I’d initially found just mildly satisfying.

MetaRex 7:49 AM  

I like! Then again, part of me is an unreconstructed Maleskan who loves quote puzzles...

Crossworld and CrossOver buzz ratings at Temps perdu

Coming tomorrow: the results of the "How bad are MetaRex's Ethics?" poll on whether it's ok or not for a solver on the timed NY site to use Google...

joho 7:59 AM  

@chefwen, I do always look for a tricky rebus or some other wicked twist on a Thursday so found this super easy and a bit of a let down in that respect. But in the end the quote really did make me think. And I do agree that the most innovative ideas can come to you in those relaxed moments when you're not staring at the computer screen trying very hard to be creative.

RHODO didn't seem complete to me so I made it RHODOcop.

If WASTED does refer to pot then SPACED at 1D. fits right in.

Thanks, Mike Buckley, for your thought provoking puzzle!

Glimmerglass 8:01 AM  

Got INKSPOTS off just the I. Pretty easy puzzle, but I'm never under five minutes, not even on Monday. But I do usually know what day of the week it is.

OTD 8:03 AM  

Easy for Thursday. Liked the quote. Tried Pole first, then realized it was SLAV.

Boy, do the INKSPOTS bring back old memories! Loved their records in my youth. Still do, in fact.

Although I'm a Libra, I also don't consider myself especially patient or cheerful. Some of the time, I guess, according to the wife.

Onan 8:16 AM  

As a male I can definitively say it was Colbert wasn't making a masturbation joke. Masturbation a waste of time? Are you serious? Is breathing a waste of time?

John V 8:20 AM  

Easy 'til the NE, where I got skunked. MIRA/MEATLOAF/RHODO did me in. Had YENTA to boot. Easy puz, NE ugly.

jackj 8:22 AM  

If a constructor was determined to equip his puzzle with a bona fide “Natick”, he might think that a down entry of YAR tying in to an across entry of RHODO would nicely do the dirty deed and many solvers would likely agree.

Now, Mike Buckley doesn’t look like a vindictive type so let’s assume that he had to do it to finish his otherwise excellent puzzle and we can forgive his testing our tolerance levels.

The theme was just a quote, (quote puzzles being Crossworld’s version of the evil stepsister), but here made more tolerable by the Colbert connection.

The puzzle really shined with its fill, starting with SLAP, dekeing into SLAV, learning that an “Allegheny plum” is just a familiar SLOE and then shifting into SWEPT.

Moving right along, Mike made us realize that the clue “Cerium and samarium are rare ones” was actually looking for a continuation of the word “rare” by adding EARTHS and the first guess of GASSES just wouldn’t fly, a nice bit of misdirection.

After leading us down the PRIMROSE path, we AGREEDTO abide MEATLOAF, which allowed us to head for the “French flag” (that came surprisingly easy as TRICOLOR) and to wind up with Mort SAHL crossing bon mots with Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” and took us home to happily exit stage right.

A lively, good-hearted, clever bit of fun that likely mirrors the Buckley countenance; thanks, Mike!

dk 8:33 AM  

Feed me Seymour! Just get my horror shops and shows confused.

Happily I used this quote for the intro to my dissertation: Decision Making Models and their Relationship to Innovation and Creativity. I can assure you it has nothing to do with any activity also banned in the old testament. Do the math!

Psst @Evan: A copy is in the mail. It is over 30 years old and no one remembers schema and scripts anymore: Just sayin!

While our dear leader is disoriented to time… this one went down easy for a Thursday. No idea on DHOTI or NERO as both topics are unknown to me. Although when out with Andrea I used the line: Resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated. She chuckled, right - you have as much chance of that as I do in finding Cerium. Sad to say we were by a pool supply store…. you can guess the rest.

🌟🌟🌟 (3 Stars) Knit one, purl two. Thanks Mike

BethCT 8:35 AM  

The Albert Einsten quotation is actually "Creativity is the residue of time wasted". Did the constructor change it to make it fit in the puzzle?

retired_chemist 8:43 AM  

I find it hilarious that the exegesis of eight words by Steven Colbert is the leitmotif of today's blog.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Thursday? Friday? Who cares?
As a retiree, every day is Saturday!

Pete 9:08 AM  

Does anyone actually call Rare Earth Elements Rare Earths?

chefbea 9:44 AM  

Fairly easy puzzle. Took longer than usual but I did finish.

My son in law is from Bari so that was easy.

@elle54 Happy birthday.

Anonymous 9:47 AM  

Slap bass was one of the cooler answers I've seen in a while, especially for a bassist solver. There are actually two types of slap bass, the old rockabilly style of literally slapping an upright bass as a rhythmic embellishment, and on electric bass, rotating your wrist so the thumb strikes the string against the fretboard, making a percussive sounding note (or a dead note with no pitch). The electric slap technique is credited to bassist Larry Graham, but has been used by countless great players such as Stanley Clarke, Mark King, Victor Wooten.

joho 9:55 AM  

OGM @anonymous 9:47, I thought SLAP was referring to a fishing technique to catch a bass fish! Thank you!

Milford 10:09 AM  

Didn't find this quite as easy as everyone else, but I was tired after a long day. Plus I really thought 22A should be rare Elements, so I thought maybe? there would be a rebus mixed in with the quote. Agree that rare EARTHS sounds just wrong.

Not familiar with either the EINSTEIN quote or the Jabberwocky quote, so it all just slowed me down. It's very cool that today is EINSTEIN's birthday, makes me like the puzzle more. Happy birthday, @Elle54! Have a slice of pi.


NYer 10:24 AM  

Couldn't get away from inacTIVITY so finishing up the NW was a bear, until I gave up and Googled the quote. After that everything fell into place. Cheating on an otherwise easy puzzle! Bad, bad.

Ella Fitzgerald 10:32 AM  

How could anyone not have known Slap that Bass?

Two Ponies 10:37 AM  

Rhodo is some pretty lame fill.
I'm going with wasted as the result of smoking weed.
Quote puzzle on A.E.'s birthday is fine with me.

Notsofast 10:43 AM  

This BASS had no fight at all. Not many interesting or unusual words, either. Not bad, but too easy for a Thursday. And "Sara Smile" is a great song; just too short!

jberg 10:44 AM  

Never heard of Pi Day, but I guess I can look that up; and @Rex had corrected the day by the time I got here. As for the puzzle, easy but fun. I had the Pest/PILL writeover, and YENTa for just a moment; also EStO before ESSO (those gassy Italians).

@jackj, the way I think of it an ordinary word like YAR can't be a Natick, whether one knows it or not - only proper nouns, such as place names, that people from other parts of the world, or other cultures/subcultures, would be very unlikely to know. (Natick itself is about as well known as Ojai, I should think, but there it is).

I liked the twinned clues "Indian attire" and "went out with." I always enjoy those.

lawprof 11:07 AM  

Like @John V, I too had YENTa before the cross at LAUREL set me straight. That's always a writeover for me, and it does come up from time to time.

YAR was a complete mystery to me, not being into sailing, but the crosses put it away.

All in all, a pretty easy and satisfying Thursday, although the Einstein quote and the Colbert response left me like, "huh?"

Anonymous 11:16 AM  

I'm baffled. I thought it impossible for Thursday.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

just a lovely thursday puzzle, i usually find quotes more difficult but today it went fairly smoothly. @Rex:i'm always surprised when you haven't seen a culturally popular film. it's like you want to be different.see rocky horror it's fun.my captcha is tmentaxi.

Unknown 11:48 AM  

Super easy for a Thursday...which is good since I didn't have much time for it today. Funny,mi was just thinking the other day that we don't see quote puzzles much any more and here we are.

Mel Ott 11:51 AM  

@Rex: Thanks for the Ink Spots clip. They were an early crossover group and a forerunner of the great doo wop groups of the 50's.

Unless I'm mistaken the female voice is Ella. Doesn't get much better than Ella and the Ink Spots.

Spell Check doesn't like 'doo' but 'wop' is OK. What's up with that?

quilter1 11:52 AM  

Easy yet enjoyable with rarely seen words. Ghandi used to wear a DHOTI and that's how I know it. I hear he was a bad husband. I actually enjoy saying RHODOdendrons in its entirety, although in Iowa they are commonly called azaleas. Good puzzle.

mac 11:53 AM  

I guess I like quotes, especially if I know (of) the person who is quoted. This was fun, but not easy. Pest for pill at 12A messed me up and made me move away from that area. Jabberwockey always scares me because I don't know it well, but this was pretty straightforward.

I ended up with a hole: the O in Dhoti and Nero. It was nice to see two Indian pieces of clothing in this little puzzle!

Happy birthday, @Elle54!

MikeM 12:24 PM  

I didnt really think it was easy either. I finished but halfway through I stared at it and said to myself ""damn, Im not going to finish this one" Started off w SARA and INKSPOTS and the SW fell easily. I got to ___STEIN and was thinking I needed a Jewish comedian. Once I got that ALBERT fixed my Pest/PILL problem. Quite enjoyable and certainly not a WASTE of TIME. Thanks Mike Buckley!

Masked and Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Hey! Meatloaf! Best meatloaf in Sedona is at Red's. Across from the movie house. But I digress.

Five U's is pretty good, for a puz what's missing a column. Einstein was real partial to U's. Also meatloaf. Oops -- digressin'.

Fave fillins: RHODO. MIRA. ECU. BARI. They all look like they're missing their last letter. Dude! The missing column! Mystery solved. Think Rhodo was a gal on the Mary Tiler Mooro show, btw.

Fun solve. Liked all the ThursPuz-level confusion that Colbert and the teenagers added. Mighta even confused Einstein.

Fave clue: L i k e t h i s. Outstanding. Maybe a sequel someday, when the answer word is DENSE: "Like x", where x is a big, multi-strike letter splatter-dealy?

Miette 12:53 PM  

Mira Sorvino starred in the movie "Like Dandelion Dust" in 2010, along with Barry Pepper. (It was based on the Karen Kingsbury book by the same title. Karen is my favorite Fiction Writer.) Mira did a bang-up performance!

syndy 1:48 PM  

How could YAR be a natick? Think kate hepburn in Phildelphia Story!This puzzle would have made a fantastic Monday my only writeover was Fool for PILL oh yeah and Pope over SLAV

Bird 1:52 PM  

Talk about WASTED TIME (as @BethCT pointed out it should be TIME WASTED), I did not like this puzzle. The quote is unknown and the crossing clues/fill were also unknown or obscure. I got the last two parts of the quote and its author, but not enough help up top to get the first part. Being from Poland means you’re a SLAV? I had POPE (thought POLE, but I had CPTN at 16A), which prevented me from seeing SLOE and HOPI and thus CREATIVITY. Quick to the helm = YAR? And DHOTI crossing NERO?!?

Love Rocky Horror. If you haven’t seen it in a theater, you should make the attempt. But be warned – the audience gets into it with props, shouts at the screen and such. Much fun. And I don’t know how any fan can confuse Eddie with Frank N. Furter. Janet on the other hand is unforgettable.

If someone hadn’t just watched the movie, would NERO still be a gimme?

Happy Pi Day.

@elle54 - Happy Birthday!

Joseph B 1:56 PM  

All of the gardeners I know shorten rhododendron to "rhody," not a RHODO. In fact, they have something called a Rhody Run out here (western Washington), a 12km race which coincides with the local Rhododendron festival, as well as the annual Rhody Flower Show, etc. So that held up the NE for me, having never seen RHPS.

Otherwise, an easy Thursday. (Just under 16 minutes: fast for me.)

Thoracic 2:09 PM  

Solid week so far with nary a google for me. That is a victory in itself. Was very happy with 22 mins as my Thursdays and Fridays can vary wildly. Don't know where I pulled ink spots from with only the K and P but clearly my brain knows some things it doesn't let me in on. I thought this week I was getting smarter, but it sounds as if the puzzles are getting easier. Either way, I'll take it!

webwinger 2:46 PM  

@MikeM – Fun fact: The real name of Jewish comedian par excellence Albert Brooks is actually Albert Einstein.

Airymom 3:18 PM  

I bought the "20 under 20" collection and just finished the first puzzle. If Eugene Maleska saw the revealer, he would turn over in his grave. Maybe twice! This is going to be fun.

retired_chemist 3:20 PM  

Yes, the term RARE EARTH is common among chemists. I have no problem with it, nor did my colleagues when I was active. Neither do China or American news media. Here is an example of the latter.

sanfranman59 3:40 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Thu 12:20, 16:58, 0.73, 8%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Thu 7:14, 9:56, 0.73, 7%, Easy

Elle54 3:41 PM  

Wow! Everyone thanks for the birthday wishes! I'm having a great day. Since I'm the only cake baker here, I ordered myself cupcakes from Sprinkles. They arrived and were on the front porch and a squirrel ripped, chewed and got into the bag. He was foiled by the heavy cardboard box however! You guys are great!

Lewis 3:58 PM  

Maybe SPACED refers to the WASTED TIME?

Rex, I wish you would post all your times. It looks like when you're not happy with your time, you don't post it, and when you are, you do.

I don't mind quote puzzles -- uses a different area of the solving brain. I had trouble in the northeast corner, couldn't come up with answers. On my third visit, it opened up.

Nice to see an ESSO quote that doesn't have to do with old gas stations.

jackj 4:02 PM  


I'm certainly no expert on "Naticks" but, using Rex's FAQ's as a guide (see below), RHODO is being put forth as a proper noun (short for Rhododendron) and YAR is hardly a "reasonably common word".

But, if I'm stretching things, we can always call YAR/RHODO or their equivalents, "Framinghams".

NATICK PRINCIPLE — "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names."

quilter1 4:03 PM  

@Elle54: So glad your cupcakes survived. Have a great birthday.

ksquare 4:22 PM  

I thought I was a LIBRA being a Sept. baby but learned that an earlier Sept. birth made me a Virgo, so I changed my personality.

Bob Kerfuffle 4:30 PM  

Hand up for finishing with YAW/WHODO. I was ready to swear that I had never seen YAR before, but thanks to those who have pointed out the meaning, reminding me that I have seen it before. Just one of those words that refuses to stick in my vocabulary.

Not quite as long a day for me as the past two, but my head is still spinning a bit. I've read all comments today, and I'm not going to go back and do it again, but I got the impression that many commenters were attributing the EINSTEIN quote to Colbert. Or maybe I just read them wrong.

@BethCT - is the quote originally in English or German? If the latter, there could be some leeway in the translation.

joho 4:31 PM  

@Elle54, let me add my best wishes for your birthday complete with cupcakes!

3 and out.

LneB 4:59 PM  

NW corner caused failure of imagination on this "easy" one. Never got 1a and 12a and didn't see the spaces in clue d1. Otherwise OK with a couple of google look-ups [DHOTI, SHUN, INKSPOTS] . Thought Bass was either a voice or fishing clue; and used Fool instead of PILL. Better on Friday?

Chris 5:37 PM  

YAR: Bleah.

JenCT 6:49 PM  

The midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the 8th Street Playhouse in the Village was always a good time in the late 70s (now I'm dating myself!) I used to go regularly, complete with props: Prop List

mac 8:39 PM  

Actually, we say rhodies as well. We had a lot of them at a former house, this one is more or less owned by the deer so no rhodies and azaleas, or a whole lot of other shrubs.

Amazing how this happens: we ran into some friends this evening who told us they had just picked up their Tesla! We took a look at it and it is more attractive than a Prius. Apparently is fast and very quiet, with everything done with a touch screen. Sounds boring, no vroom vroom!

sanfranman59 10:02 PM  

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 6:44, 6:14, 1.08, 82%, Challenging
Tue 10:18, 8:23, 1.23, 89%, Challenging
Wed 11:32, 10:59, 1.05, 65%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 12:23, 16:58, 0.73, 8%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:07, 3:42, 1.11, 88%, Challenging
Tue 5:59, 4:54, 1.22, 94%, Challenging
Wed 6:41, 6:22, 1.05, 62%, Medium-Challenging
Thu 6:56, 9:56, 0.70, 5%, Easy (9th lowest ratio of 168 Thursdays)

Rex Parker 10:24 AM  

TIME WASTED!!!! Now *that* would've made the Colbert line funny.


J.aussiegirl 10:14 AM  

Nice Thursday puzzle - and I don't mind quote puzzles as they add an extra workout to the memory and creativity cells. Mostly the quotes are unknown to me but inferable/gettable from acrosses and downs. Only write over was to correct "Meatleaf", when I saw that the showy bloom should really be "Rhodo". Thanks folks, and to Mr. Buckley.

Spacecraft 11:54 AM  

Not easy for me; I make it medium. Took me forever to get LIBRAS. I just do not think in terms of astrology, which I put on a par with seances. Ask me what my "sign" is and I'll flash you the peace sign. Wouldn't it be great if THAT caught on.

It's a wonder I got out of the NW, with "Hard-to-tolerate sort" turning out to be a PILL. Hard to swallow, I'll buy, and in some contexts that can mean hard to tolerate. But NOT pill. Poor clue.

Gee, I don't have a SPAM folder. What, you're supposed to SAVE that crap? Who knew?

Fell into the "renter" trap, in which the word can mean BOTH one who supplies the rental as well as the customer.

TTOP again. I didn't like this the first time I saw it. It's on an ever-growing list of fill that, IMO, should be utterly banned.

Ah, but the INKSPOTS--whose iconic "If I Didn't Care" opened one of the greatest films of all time: The Shawshank Redemption--that was worth all the trouble.

Good, enjoyable puzzle--but I don't get "Quick to the helm" = YAR. As I recall, Tasha was tactical, not helm.

Lurking, Just Behind You 1:15 PM  

Dammit Janet I love you.
Dammit Janet You're a slut.


JenCT 1:33 PM  

@Spacecraft: I think they mean the 5th definition of PILL:

From The Free Online Dictionary:

pill 1 (pl)
1. A small pellet or tablet of medicine, often coated, taken by swallowing whole or by chewing.
2. Informal An oral contraceptive. Used with the.
3. Slang Something, such as a baseball, that resembles a pellet of medicine.
4. Something both distasteful and necessary.
5. Slang An insipid or ill-natured person

Syndi Solver 2:11 PM  

I don't see where anyone has posted this link yet so here's the Stephen Colbert interview about the quote in this puzzle.

I could not believe how fast this was for me. I can see how it could be hard for some but so many of the answers just happened to be easy for me. I saw Rocky Horror several times as a college freshman (way back in 1979) so I wrote in MEATLOAF without hesitation. (Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul!

I thought that usage of YAR was always spelled with an E (yare). I'm used to YAR entries being clued as something like "Babi ___" (although Spacecraft has offered a good Star Trek clue!). I guess YAR is now an accepted variation for YARE?

@Spacecraft, a SPAM folder generally exists only when the user has some software that automatically removes it. The spam is usually put in a folder, rather than deleted automatically, just in case the spam filters made a mistake and flagged some legit mail as spam.

Dirigonzo 3:17 PM  

I malapopped saris in at the first appearance of "Indian attire" at 30d, had to remove it when it appeared again at 55a. DHOTI needed all of the crosses. I knew 2d would be an astrology sign but it still took a long time to get because I can never remember what they are. All the discussion of masturbation as a possible meaning of the Colbert quote reminds me that a common expression among teenage boys used to be (a very long time ago), "Don't let your MEATLOAF". It seemed funny at the time, but we weren't known for our CREATIVITY. GTO yesterday, Camaro today - it was right around the time that this week's puzzles originally appeared the the USPS announced the issuance of its classic muscle-car stamp series. Coincidence, or product placement?

Solving in Seattle 3:46 PM  

I know I'm not the first, but I've got to say it anyway - thumbs down on quote puzzles.

And... "EARTHS?" Is that really an acceptable way of saying "rare earth metal?"

And... "RHODO?" The rhododendron is like everywhere in Western Washington. There's a billion of them per square mile. No one, and I mean no one calls them RHODOs. They're rhodys, or rhodies, but never rhodos.

Over and out from the grumpy LIBRA.

DMGrandma 4:33 PM  

Ah, Thursday, and my return to DNFville. I started the quote with relATIVITY which doomed any chance of this LIBRA solving the NE. Continuing the quote, I got as far as ISTHERES... and blanked out, wondering where it could
RESide. YENTa didn't help..My other no-no was the far east where I tried MEATball, which made me think ASTA must have had a cinema rival. All in all, I have to hope for a better go tomorrow.

My Captcha: acetings, which I certainly didn't do!

strayling 7:50 PM  

Never heard of SAHL, but I took a guess at OLE Missssissippppii and got lucky. Fun and quick.

Mark M 4:22 PM  

I guess I'm the only one who had __NSTEIN for 31D and confidently wrote in BENSTEIN. What else could it be? Eventually got it though.

Unknown 4:30 PM  

Can someone explain how John Paul II is a Slav? He was born in Poland - never heard of them referred to as Slavs before nor do I think I ever will again except in crosswords.

Dirigonzo 5:49 PM  

@Thomas R. Gray - From M-W.com: "Slavs are customarily subdivided into eastern Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians), western Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Wends, or Sorbs), and southern Slavs (Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians, Slovenes, and Macedonians)." So John Paul II would be a western Slav, but still a Slav, no?

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

am back and better
I promised to tell the world about him that's why am posting this here...all thanks to DR JADULA...there are so many fake spell casters out there I was more than scammed heartbroken and almost gave up all hope until I met with him...now am so happy...
If you have issues mail jadulaspelltemple@gmail.com...he sure would help you he casts all kind of spells

J Dubs 6:27 PM  

Late to the party - wondering how an Allegheny Plum is a SLOE. Plums and SLOEs are similar, but not the same. It's akin to a clue of 'red raspberry' with an answer, 'blueberry.'

Blade 10:06 PM  

Pretty sure she was a Weinstein casualty.

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