KNO3 in Britain / SUN 3-24-13 / Baja vacation spot informally / Tolstoy O'Neill heroines / Traditional enemies of Kiowa / Tellico Dam agcy / Two-time ice-skating medalist Brian / 1994 film based on SNL skit / 1804 symphony that includes funeral march

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "You'll Know It When You See It" — famous people's answers to the question "WHAT IS ART?" (67A: Classic question answered six times in this puzzle)

Theme answers:
  • 24A: Answer to 67-Across, per John F. Kennedy ("THE GREAT DEMOCRAT")
  • 32A: Answer to 67-Across, per Yeats ("BUT A VISION OF REALITY")
  • 49A: Answer to 67-Across, per Malraux ("A REVOLT AGAINST FATE")
  • 88A: Answer to 67-Across, per Beethoven ("SELFISH AND PERVERSE")
  • 107A: Answer to 67-Across, per Nietzsche ("THE PROPER TASK OF LIFE")
  • 116A: Answer to 67-Across, per Emerson ("A JEALOUS MISTRESS")

Word of the Day: HORAE (68D: Greek goddesses of the seasons) —
Horae ('), in Greek religion and mythology, goddesses of the seasons; daughters of Zeus and Themis. Although they controlled the recurrence of the seasons, they also attended other gods and had no cults of their own. The number and names of the Horae differed from region to region. According to Hesiod, there were three Horae-Eirene or Irene (peace), Dice or Dike (justice), and Eunomia (order).

Read more:
• • •

First, the title of this puzzle refers to porn, not art. Actually, not porn exactly, but obscenity. One of the better known phrases in U.S. Supreme Court history. Anyway, not terribly apt. Second, I wouldn't call "WHAT IS ART?" a "classic question." "IS IT ART?," yes. That is a question. A commonly occurring question you can find all over the place. "WHAT IS ART?" is "classic" only insofar as Tolstoy wrote an essay with that title, I guess. I'm nitpicking a bit, but when you hang your whole puzzle on this stuff, it better hold. My main issue with the puzzle, though, is that the answers are essentially a series of aphorisms or bumper stickers or email sig file quotations or motivational posters. Beethoven's quote is kind of interesting, and Kennedy's has at least a little bit of non-hackneyed flavor to it, but the others are a blur of banality and vagueness posing as wisdom. In short, they're just boring. Now, they were not easy to pick up always, which means that at least at the level of solving, I was not always bored. That is to say, I was sufficiently challenged. And the fill, in general, is really quite solid. Fine, clean work. But the theme just doesn't have any sparkle.

I had one major (and I mean Major) sticking point in this solve. DISH for FISH, LEO- for UNI- (75D: Lead-in to -tard), and thus SELDO- opening the Beethoven quote. Naturally, I figured the phrase was SELDOM something. And there I sat. When everything else was done, there I sat. And sat. Now it turns out I was misreading the clue at 68D: Greek goddesses of the seasons (HORAE). I kept reading it as singular. Had I processed the damned plural, it is Highly likely H---E would've led me to HORAE. But I saw singular, and thus could do nothing. Also --DUP for 84D: Reach, with "at"? Just nothing. A huge blank. Would not compute. Eventually, I somehow decided 83A: KNO3, in Britain could be NITRO. This did the trick (I mean, it's NITRE, but NITRO got me unjammed). I looked at what I had for the Beethoven: SELDISH AND PERVERSE. Then had my big "d'oh!" moment. FISH does make better sense than DISH for 89D: Menu heading, but I never questioned it. Saw -ISH, wrote in DISH. The end. Almost. Everything else in the grid seemed to be clued at average to slightly above-average difficulty, but the real problem was that the theme answers were the sort you had to hammer out from crosses, which meant that you couldn't move very easily or freely from section to section. I had to keep pulling up stakes and moving to new sections where I had nothing, instead of building on existing answers. This was the source of all my pre-freefall difficulty.

  • 5A: Tolstoy and O'Neill heroines (ANNAS) — familiar with the first (from one of my favorite novels), not so familiar with the second.
  • 19A: Baja vacation spot, familiarly (CABO) — San Lucas. The very name reminds me of Sammy Hagar. Maybe he owns a restaurant there? I don't know. But my brain feels there is some connection. Aha. Yes. Cabo Wabo.
  • 58A: Oranges and lemons (TREES) — an old trick I fell for badly. Needed many crosses to pick up this should've-been-easy answer.
  • 60A: 1994 film based on an "S.N.L." skit ("IT'S PAT") — love Julia Sweeney, but this character was Never my favorite.
  • 70A: Camera shop item, informally (ZOOM) — without the "Z," not the easiest answer to pick up.
  • 122A: Iona College athlete (GAEL) — Go GAELs! Oh, too late, they just got crushed by Ohio State. Better luck next year GAELs!
  • 2D: Mediterranean salad with bulgur wheat, chopped tomatoes and parsley (TABOULI) — no excuse for blanking on this one. Had the T- and terminal -I and could think of nothing but TAHINI, which I knew wasn't it. Ugh. Stupid brain.
  • 13D: Like most Bluetooth headsets (ONE-EAR) — 'Cause STUPID-LOOKING wouldn't fit.
  • 14D: As easy as pie, say (SIMILE) — I can't be the only one who had SIM- and wrote in -PLE. I just can't.
  • 25D: 1804 symphony that includes a funeral march ("EROICA") — one of the first pieces of classical music I ever heard played live. A very common 6-letter answer.
  • 63D: Traditional enemies of the Kiowa (OSAGE) — I had OTAMI, by which I think I meant OTOMI, which I only just learned the other day, and which is All Kinds of Wrong.
  • 72D: Christiansen who founded Lego (OLE) — literally ugh-ed at this one. For some reason I resent having to know this guy's name. I just don't think he's famous. And look, you put OLE in your puzzle, just cop to it. Quit trying to make it Euro-fancy.
  • 108D: Two-time Olympic ice-skating medalist Brian (ORSER) — he was an UNSER for a bit. Sports-wise, that answer was way, way, way off.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. an important update on my post from last week about reader Jen CT and her efforts to raise money for her new service dog—readers of this blog were so generous that in less than four days (!?!) her $9500 funding goal had been met. The people at NEADS wrote me to tell me they'd never seen such an overwhelming response to a fundraising drive. They also invited me to visit their facility in central Massachusetts, where I am told there is a "house full of puppies," which means that if I go, I may never return. If this blog goes dark, you'll know why: I am in the puppy house and I am never ever leaving. Anyway, Jen and NEADS and I thank all of you who donated to her cause. Jen wanted me to inform everyone that, unfortunately, her first service dog Ollie was not a good match for her, but a new dog is being trained as we speak, and Ollie will find the human he's meant for, so things are fine. Better than fine. To anyone who meant to contribute but never got around to it, Jen's raising money toward the cost of an accessible van here. Again, your generosity was truly astonishing. Thank you.


Unknown 12:02 AM  

So...tricky. Knew the general direction from the title, but had not heard of any of these quotations before. I was slowed down quite a bit by the single letter that changes SIMpLE to SIMILE ("As easy as pie" - how ironic!). My only other snag was with NITRE/END UP....Just couldn't see END UP for the longest time. Some fun answers thrown in there (WELL I NEVER, AS IF), and cute clueing (End an engagement?). I liked it very much!

jackj 12:07 AM  

Every thinking soul has a view of WHATISART but they likely have not tried to articulate their thoughts much beyond the puzzle’s title, ergo, “They know it when they see it”.

Dan Schoenholz, though, has no problem giving us suggestions, as he plucks six memorable statements from notable persons of the past who didn’t hesitate to sound off with their views on the subject.

Dan takes the high road by featuring the likes of Nietzsche and Malraux, for example, with intelligent but rather humorless declarations that made me wish for a lighter touch that would have brightened his piece.

Take these quotes that demonstrate that whimsy is tolerated when reflecting on the topic:

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance” ~Calvin and Hobbes.


“Sex is like art. Most of it is pretty bad, and the good stuff is out of your price range.” ~Scott Roeben

And then there is a fascinating quote from Pablo Picasso that states:

"Art is a lie that helps us to realize the truth."

Picasso helped focus this view when, after he had finished a portrait of Gertrude Stein, he was told by his friends that it failed because it didn’t look like her at all, to which Picasso famously said, “Oh, it will; it will”.

(Today that painting is universally noted as the quintessential likeness of Gertrude Stein).

There is a lot to like in Dan’s puzzle, especially the charming surprise answer to “End an engagement?”, GETMARRIED; the cleverly clued DARKHORSE and my favorite, a nice smile inducer, “What’s nothing but problems?” for MATH.

Now, if Dan will just lighten up a bit and let his playful side emerge, he’ll be cranking out 5 star beauties at will (and for Will).

Pete 12:24 AM  

Art isn't anything, but if you put a frame around anything it's art.

See, any idiot can come up with an aphorism about anything.

Anonymous 12:38 AM  

I would expect the fail rate for the average solver to be very high and the puzzle not a lot of fun. (TROTH / NOVO took me out.)

Sandy K 12:54 AM  

Seeing the title, first I thought, like @Rex, that it referred to the obscenity court case, but GASP, that
didn't seem likely. Then I thought-punny answers with "IT"?

WHAT IS ART might have had some snappy answers, but only Emerson's reply had any panache to it. Even JFK's didn't sparkle like his usual quips.

There were plenty of medical terms strewn about: ASTRINGENT, ABED, STENT, ANGIO, STITCH, TRAUMA, SCABBED, MERCK, ORS, MED, GLUTEN, SMEAR, ONE EAR, and END UP. Ouch!

Liked 'End an engagement?', 'Nightmarish thoroughfare?' and WELL, I NEVER.
Mostly this was up to the eye of the beholder.

jae 1:13 AM  

An educational Sun. that was medium for me except for the AUDIO/DIS/NITRE area where I had leo for UNI for far too long.  Also, sockS for HOLES,  mAR for TAR, and Tbar for TRAM. All easily remedied.   And, after an error free week, I too DNF on NuVO/TRuTH. (@M & A -- It would have to be a U).

Interesting new (in that I don't recall seeing it before) clue for OLE.

I only knew one of the theme answers but they were gettable from the crosses. 

Liked it more than Rex did.  Always nice to learn stuff.  Beethoven seems to have a dark view of the subject.

Brendan McNamara 1:22 AM  

This was very slow going for me despite filling WHATISART very early. Just couldn't recognize the quotes and, as said, was unable to move through the puzzle quickly. Really didn't like the theme. Just not a fun puzzle to fill.

Carola 3:46 AM  

Thought it was a very good Sunday, liked puzzling out the quotes, which I found hard to get even with a fair sprinkle of letters. Also thought many of the other entries were very good, especially DARK HORSE, WELL I NEVER, FUSSPOT; liked the clues for MATH and STITCH. New to me: SNELL.

Nice that there's TROTH + GET MARRIED and EROICA + the Beethoven quote.

@jackj - I like the Picasso quote a lot.

Anonymous 3:54 AM  

I got "a jealous mistress" early on, which completely misled me, because the quote I'm familiar with is that of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who famously said "The law is a jealous mistress and requires long and constant courtship." But "what is law?" made no sense anywhere else in the puzzle, so I sorted things out pretty fast. I haven't been able to find out when Story made that statement, but Emerson said art was a jealous mistress in 1860, eleven years after Story's death, so I'm calling Ralph a copycat.

chefwen 4:00 AM  

@Brendan McNamara - Ditto on your thoughts. I found myself nodding off at times. I don't remember a Sunday puzzle that has bored me so much as this one has. I kept handing it off to my PTPP saying "you work on it, I'm sick of it".
Usually I hog the Sunday puzzle.

Sorry Dan.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:23 AM  

Must join @Carola in saying 110 D, SNELL, was new to me.

Was helpful for 15 A to remember having been told that all Shakespeare plays are in five acts!

Fitzy 6:31 AM  

ANNA was a gimmie for me... not only from the Tolstoy part of clue, but b/c I am a bit of a Eugene O'Neill fanatic - O'Neill won a Pulitzer for Anna Christie ... and for 3 other plays

Milford 6:35 AM  

Pretty good Sunday puzzle, amazingly one I could finish. No small feat, considering I am familiar with exactly none of these phrases (I've heard the JEALOUS MISTRESS part, I just didn't realize the ART part). The puzzle note actually helped.

Thankfully, the down crosses and educated guesses saved me. Loved ELM STREET, ASTRINGENT, the tricky SIMILE/ABC pair ( yes, had SIMpLE first), and DARK HORSES.

Nice shout out to @ Bob K. at 95A. Thought the TROTH/NOVO cross was a bit tricky. I knew KNO3 is potassium nitrate, and kept thinking potash (?) so NITRE took forever and a day to see.

GAELS! Just learned their name the other day watching them vs. Ohio State. So funny to have that clue pop up today!

Outdoor soccer tournament kept me busy and freezing yesterday. (today, thankfully, it's an indoor dance competition). But I wanted to tell @E.D. I was was happy to read of good baby news.

And still so happy for JenCT! We rock.

Loren Muse Smith 6:38 AM  

Tabouleh, tabbouleh, tabbouli, TABOULI. Love the stuff.

I liked ANGIO/STENT, WAGE/WAR, and STITCH crossing those darned HOLES. Saw immediately that Boitano had too many letters but couldn’t remember ORSER. I can’t watch figure skating (or the balance beam); I get too TRAUMAtized if someone falls.

Hand up for “simple,” “truth, and “leo.” I can always spell REIN, but never LIEN (or niece, siege, seize. . .) Weird.

Because I read 15A as “Where MacBeth dies,” because I plopped in “pie” instead of ABC, and because I’ve never read the play, I kept considering the place of his demise as a “pond,” maybe? Jeez.

Which leads me to why this theme held my attention: ART frightens me because I don’t think I really understand it. Music, painting, sculpture, literature, poetry. . .Yikes! I’m too literal, surface-oriented, shallow, if you will, to infer meaning from a great many styles of art. If it’s an end in itself – a Van Dyck, the Revolutionary Étude, a good limerick – fine. I get it. But show me a Kandinsky, play me some John Cage, ask me to read Sarraute. . . I feel utterly lost and lacking. It’s funny - this is the very reason that I secretly feel I don’t really belong here with all of you learned people who *have* read MacBeth and know he didn’t drown in a stupid pond (who had STURM UND DRANG at your fingertips), and yet I feel fairly comfortable saying this. What a nice group of people here in Rexville.

Once in a while I get this deep yearning to express something ineffable – remembering the joys of my childhood, despising the ugliness of bullying – and for a fleeting instant I think I may understand the pull a true artist must live with all the time – the pull to express something almost inexpressible.

So anyway. Enough soul BARing. . . I read and reread each quote and still don’t get ART!

Nice puzzle, though, Dan.

Ted Cole 7:12 AM  

Liked this on a lot. Fell into the simple/simile trap,too.

MetaRex 7:32 AM  

What Rex said on the solve, plus a silly problem with ROPE as well as SIMPLE...

Deep reflections on the nature of human creativity at The Great Sewer Worker

lymank 7:48 AM  

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments much more than the puzzle itself.
@chefwen... I'm curious to know what PTPP stands for..
@loren muse smith... sounds like a poet is in there somewhere..
@jackj... thanks for adding some insightful comments on the topic at hand. Loved the Picasso quote.

chefbea 8:02 AM  

@Chefwen and@Brendon McNamara..agree with you. Not a fun puzzle and I did not know a lot of the theme answers. But they were easy to get from the crosses.

Ex-husband was/is an art dealer. He represented many of the modern artists of the 60's and 70's. People always said."Is it art??? I could have done that"

baja 8:39 AM  

DNF - didn't really enjoy the quotes - always feel I'm missing something! But as always I enjoy the discussions and comments

Harrison 8:57 AM  

@LMS - Art is like comedy. Fundementaly, if a joke makes people laugh, it's a good joke.

If it makes one person in the room smirk, thinking "ah, good one on Kierkergaard's argument with Lichtenstein", while everyone else is standing there with blank expressions, it's an absurd attempt to impress an absurd few.

Never feel bad that you're not among the absurd few.

Paul Keller 8:59 AM  

Rex, for a brief moment in time we have been kindred souls. I spent a long time with:
LEO- for UNI-
SELDO- (implying SELDOM) for SELFI-
--DUP staring me in the face,
and wondering where I'd gone wrong in the area I'd written:
SIMPLE for SIMILE. That clue is a neat trick

@jackj - I'm 90+% sure (I'll bet you dimes for dollars) that I've previosuly seen GETMARRIED clued by "end an engagement". And I'm fond enough of MATH to have felt a twinge of resentment as I saw that it answered "Nothing but problems?" IMHO, math solves problems more than it creates them.

joho 9:16 AM  

I kept wanting to jam "But is it art?" into 67A so I was happy to see that @Rex had the same reaction to "What."

This puzzle brought back memories of old when we had a lot of quotes to figure out, some really obscure. The only one here familiar to me is AJEALOUSMISTRESS but the others appeared with crosses. I liked learning them.

TbAr before TRAM and NuVO before NOVO/TROTH ... yes, that had to be the thorniest spot in the puzzle. I was saved there because I finally remembered that one pledge's one's TROTH when GETtingMARRIED.

I, too, fell for the leo trap until I realized that leo would be clued, "Sign of summer" or "MGM lion" rather than with "-tard."

This wasn't a ton of fun but it was an interesting solve where I could ENDUP with Picasso's quote, thank you, @jackj, and an image of his painting of Gertrude Stein freshly in my mind.

Thank you, Dan!

webwinger 9:27 AM  

Agree with what seems to be consensus that this was a good but not very lovable puzzle. Not much to add re specifics. TRuTH stuck around until the bitter end—I thought it was a nice touch crossing the central question phrase, reminding me of the oft-cited quote from ODIST Keats, which almost could have been a theme answer, “beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Speaking of quotes, thanks for some dandy ones, @jackj. And appreciate the soul-baring, @lms.

Join others in relief for @ED. I haven’t felt the experience personally, but know well that few anxieties equal those of a family confronted by the possibility their beautiful new baby may have a serious problem. I can say from my own experience, few professional rewards match those that come from fixing such a defect—though far better there was no need for it here.

Sandy K 9:50 AM  

PS. Surprised Rex didn't have a picture of a Simon and Garfunkel album cover- to lighten the mood.

Garfunkel is my favorite ART.

Glimmerglass 10:01 AM  

I was hoping somebody would explain why Kennedy said art is THE GREAT DEMOCRAT. Art who? Congrats to all of us for helping JenCT reach her goal. I'm sure Ollie will be great with someone else and the next dog will be right for Jen.

Lindsay 10:28 AM  

I actually kind of like quote puzzles, but got dreadfully hung up in the 70/78 Across area today and was unable to extricate myself. I was certain that the "Camera shop item, informally" was fOto, which lead to 73D orD, where my dispensary was dispensing bombs. Then I convinced myself that "Like good water for snorkeling" was AfiRE because it was filled with luminescent creatures. That meant that "Stiff drink, maybe" had to be De-icer, except it didn't cross with OBI, at which point I gave up and came here.

What a horror to think that I had a square or 2 wrong, and then discover I had SEVEN mistakes in that sector alone, plus plus plus the popular TRuTH/NuVO screw up. Not to mention AmnIO >>> ANGIO, SIMpLE >>> SIMILE, TbAr >>> TRAM & Rope >>> REIN, all of which I had managed to ferret out and fix.

Perhaps the acrostic will go better. Have a good weekend everyone.

Noam D. Elkies 10:48 AM  

66A:MATH and its clue's "nothing but problems" are bonus theme entries.

quilter1 10:52 AM  

Well, I thought I finished until I came here. I had THE PROPER TAlK OF LIFE, never noticing lNELL (don't know SNELL either) and reasoning that people talk about art all the time so it made sense to me.
Also hand up for SIMpLE before SIMILE, which fits the art theme. I am a fan of all the arts and serve on the Arts Visioning Committee at church, which is a leader in our city of arts events of all kinds. So much fun.

jackj 11:14 AM  

loren muse smith@6:38AM-

I should have known better, thinking you had misspelled Seurat or Sartre when you mentioned "Sarraute".

Google set me straight and I thank you for the introduction to this Russian/French writer, Nathalie, whose work has been labeled as "difficult". She seems to have all the earmarks of another James Joyce (or vice versa).

(And, with all those vowels in her name she should be a prime candidate for inclusion in someone's Saturday puzzle).


jberg 11:22 AM  

Finished with an error -- TASK never occurred to me, so I figured Nietzsche had said that art is THE PROPER mASK OF LIFE. Pretty profound and Niteschean, huh? AS IF!

Anyway, that kept me from seeint STITCH, and I couldn't remember CELIE, to I put a T in there instead -- figureing maybe there was some comedian who spelled Smith funny (as Wodehouse did with Psmith).

If an ABE is a fiver, then ABED could be clued "tipped the valet parker?"

FUSSPOT? Isn't that a fussbudget who is also a tosspot?

As for the theme -- I have heard a lot of artists and art critics (especially) discussin the question of WHAT IS ART? The general art-viewing public, not so much. Arthur Danto maintained that art was anything offered as such by anyone regarded as an artist, but you couldn't get that into the grid.

The thing here, though, is that these are statements that could, grammatically, be made in response to the question "What is art?" - but they are not really meant as definitions. Rather, they are simply statements about art. That makes it a little more fun, for me - but still, knowing the theme doesn't really help a great deal in getting the answers.

Oh yes, SNELL. The word finally came to me, but I used to fish a lot and where I saw the phrase was on packages of hooks, labeled "SNELLed hooks." I never knew what that meant, but I looked it up just now, and the snell is a short piece of gut or nylon used to attach the hook to the line. If you don't fish, you might call that short piece a line as well - but no angler would. (For that matter, an angler would very probably attach the hook to a leader, not directly to the line- fish can see lines.) So I don't think that clue is quite right.

Well, I don't want to be a FUSSPOT, so I'll drop that objection.

Better clue for 60A: "What the camel did."

lawprof 11:25 AM  

Although I "got" the theme, I didn't really "get" it. For example, if JFK ever said that "Art is a great Democrat," I'd never heard it, and I don't quite see how it fits. Art Garfunkle? Did he mean that art is accessible to everyone and therefore the great leveler? (If so, then it's "democrat" small d). Just guessin'.

Not familiar with the Emerson observation about art, but I do know the aphorism, "The law is a jealous mistress," variously attributed to Supreme Court Justices Holmes and/or Story. For me, nachos is a jealous mistress. What's yours?

Hand up for SIMpLE. Just too whipped at the end of this grind to go back and check carefully, so chalk up a DNF for me.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

I ended up with a mess in the lower middle area. Didnt know AEREO for word on mail in spain, nor CELIE for whoopie in color purple nor SNELL nor SIE. So i didnt get STITCH which is a terrible clue. So im looking at THE PROPER ---k OF LIFE and im stuck. LOOK? WORK?MASK? BOOK?MARK?
Otherwise worked out the same problems everyone else had.

jae 11:54 AM  

Maybe the whole quote will help?

"Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color”

Thomas Wolfe does a nice riff on the Miami art scene (Basel Miami) in his new book "Back to Blood."

@lms -- Don't feel like the Lone Ranger.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

JFK made the quoted comment during a speech made on 11-29-62 in support of The National Cultural Center. Here's an expanded segment:

"Moreover, as a great democratic society, we have a special responsibility to the arts, for art is the great democrat calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color."

Bencoe 12:31 PM  

Also confused by the word "fusspot". Never heard that one, but wasn't hard to guess.
It's funny how nobody seems to like this puzzle. I didn't either. Plodding, laborious solve. Not very artful.

Tita 12:58 PM  

I thought today's puzzle ws a fun solve, but really took me forever to even get the central question.

When I got enough crosses to guess DEMOCRAT, I popped in SenATE where the tail end of AGAINSTFATE lives.
But I liked the struggle, and the theme idea.

Also must comment about one gimme -, and for me, another theme answer - STAVE...
There was a cooperage on Cape Cod that used to sell imperfect became such a hot item that they started purposely manufacturing them just for ARTists. Anyone who knows anyone in my extended family has seen many such painted STAVEs above our doors, and if really lucky, has received one as a gift from my prolific Mom, the ARTist who inspires me.

@Jen - as for your perfect dog, You'll know him when you see him!!

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Had the same problems as Rex with Dish, Leo and wanted seldom also until I figured it out. Just wasn't awed w/puzzle.
Glad to see we got Jen her dog though!!!

Nigel 1:18 PM  

49 minutes but a dnf because I had TBAR in the NE corner - knew it was wrong because the cross couldn't be BABE but forgot to go back and look. And got tripped by the NUVO/TROTH cross too. Oh dear. For the darner I had socks and heels before HOLES, sigh. And yes, I found the "theme" boring - because the quotes were so boring (c'mon, Art is "THE GRtEAT DEMOCRAT" - how political. I get it but I still think it's a stinky answer and not particularly inspiring.

mac 1:23 PM  

I thought it was a solid but not very sparkly Sunday puzzle, and enjoyed figuring out the quotes. That Beethoven, what a sourpuss.

I had the amnio/angio switch as well, plus truth/troth, which never got fixed. Ole is a very common Danish name, so that was not a problem. I parsed 60A as "It spat". Can expect anything from SNL.

One year in high school our music teacher must have discussed ad played "Eroica" to a lot of classes, since you could hear people humming its theme in the halls and the stairwells.

Carolyn S 2:37 PM  

Had to study Rex's filled-in grid really hard to find the letter keeping me from a Well Done. It turned out to be trOth, not trUth. I had no chance of knowing Novo

JenCT 2:58 PM  

LOLs to:

@Pete 12:24 am

@mac: "IT SPAT"

@Rex: "Never ever leaving" the puppy house

@Tita: those painted staves sound interesting

Found this puzzle too much of a slog, so quit before I finished.

Sad about Ollie (the trainers called him "Too much dog for me") but looking forward to the next companion - they think they have my perfect match in the pipeline.

Thanks again for the wonderful support I've received from readers of this blog - I'm so grateful.

MetaRex 3:02 PM  

When in doubt, substitute MASK for TASK...

Thx much to jberg for his Nietzsche mistake! It's a definite improvement on Friedrich's actual we need a diff't Tita Hall of Fame category for mistakes that are a lot sharper than the actual answer?

Unknown 3:06 PM  


syndy 3:09 PM  

Made all the usual mistakes.I fixed everthing but NuVO/TRuTH. I'm pretty sure a TBar is used where a tram could not be.Agree that Ludwig was a major FUSSPOT!ASTRINGENT was my favorite answer-it kept me quessing!A very matte puzzle

okanaganer 3:28 PM  

Doing the downs first, for 14D: "As easy as pie, say" I immediately entered TRIFLE! You know..something easy; also a dessert...

Is there an accepted term for this? (an answer that you like better than the "correct" one.)

GILL I. 3:49 PM  

I sometimes like quotes but they are like poetry to me. Most of the time I don't understand them. The only one familiar to me was A JEALOUS MISTRESS. Come to think of it, THE GREAT DEMOCRAT JFK might have coined that one...
CABO Wabo!!! brings back lots of memories. If it's your birthday and you go there they serve you a little cake with a cactus on top that looks just like a little pecker.
Same write-overs as those mentioned above; just CHUGGED ALONG but nothing popped out for me today.
Gorgeous day here - hope the rest of you are enjoying your Sunday.

Sparky 3:55 PM  

Hand up for SIMpLE which left me with Rope not REIN. Tripped on TRuTH/Novo. And a few blanks at 103,109,110D. It was slow going. Liked CHUGGED, ZOOM, End an engagement? clue. In MATH you solve problems so that's a wordplay, not a put down.

In and around my medical experience you take your meds, pick up your meds, change your meds. Lucky if you have only one MED.

Thanks for the update, Rex. It's hard to match a person to an animal. Jen, I am sure your newbie is on the way.

Feeling very sedate. Maybe I'll have a Manic Monday.

chefwen 4:13 PM  

@lymank - PTPP = Part time puzzle partner, aka Jon.

Carola 5:00 PM  

@jae and @anonymous 12:24 -Thanks for the expanded Kennedy quote.

I went looking for the German versions for Nietzsche and Beethoven. For Nietzsche, I found that the phrase translated as "the proper task" is "die höchste Aufgabe," which is much less prosaic - more like "the highest/ most exalted mission."

For Beethoven, I found, "Echte Kunst ist eigensinnig." I think "selfish" is too negative a translation. I think it's more like "True art knows its own mind/ has a mind of its own." @Ulrich?

Ellen S 5:42 PM  

Keep trying and failing to get here early enough to add my good wishes to Evil, and joy that the grandbaby is okay. (has been OKED?) JenCT, sorry about Ollie; I think my latest rescue is too much dog for me but we're stuck with each other.

@Loren -- I used to work with a woman whose husband, a perpetual student, was getting a master's degree in some really obscure poet. Not obscure in the sense that nobody has ever heard of him (also true), but in the sense that ordinary civilians could not understand him. Only people in post-graduate seminars could come close to understanding how little they could understand him. That stuff ain't art.

And @Jae and anonymous, thanks for the expanded Kennedy quote. It's sad, because even though much talent resides in the populace, without regard to race, gender or economic status, the sad reality remains that only the privileged have access to the training that will allow their talents to flourish and brighten all our lives. (And if sometimes someone from the "underclass" breaks through despite all the obstacles, that only shows how much we are missing.)

As for the puzzle, what everyone else said. All the same mistakes. I had SIMpLE and couldn't see anything else, thought the cross might be REpo, which would give me OoIT, so I gave it up. Saw that error when I checked, and didn't even notice that I had ended with the TRuTH/NuVO error. Ah, well, nice coming here anyway,

Without a clue 6:29 PM  

Had the same 'stupid looking' answer for bluetooth until I saw it was only six letters. Spent a few secs amusing myself with six-letter words for stupid looking. 'dopish'? but then moved on...

JenCT 6:33 PM  

@Rob W: you just reminded me that I laughed out loud at @Rex's "...'cause STUPID-LOOKING wouldn't fit."

sanfranman59 7:31 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 5:51, 6:10, 0.95, 25%, Easy-Medium
Tue 8:20, 8:20, 1.00, 52%, Medium
Wed 10:16, 10:37, 0.97, 43%, Medium
Thu 13:38, 16:58, 0.80, 16%, Easy
Fri 28:53, 22:30, 1.28, 91%, Challenging
Sat 25:13, 25:08, 1.00, 59%, Medium
Sun 34:53, 29:14, 1.19, 85%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:41, 0.97, 29%, Easy-Medium
Tue 5:06, 4:57, 1.03, 60%, Medium-Challenging
Wed 6:11, 6:16, 0.99, 44%, Medium
Thu 7:39, 9:56, 0.77, 11%, Easy
Fri 14:32, 13:21, 1.09, 65%, Medium-Challenging
Sat 15:09, 14:48, 1.02, 61%, Medium-Challenging
Sun 23:05, 19:26, 1.19, 80%, Medium-Challenging

Slowly but surely, the number of online solvers is dwindling. There were only 199 today (compared to an average of 283 before the new billing policy was implemented last July and an average of 238 since). I like to think that the Top 100 solvers is a relatively stable sample. And I think there are still enough solvers each day to continue running the "All Solvers" numbers, but the diminishing numbers make this group's stats more difficult to interpret.

(Go Buckeyes!)

Tita 10:34 PM  

@jackj & @jae - thanks for the additional quotes.

The Hall of Fame is for answers that are either hilarious OR "better" than the intended answer.
I shall try to update it with these highbrow gems, but I need to be up early tomorrow!
(Feel free to add them yourselves as Comments... in fact, I encourage folks to do so - just read the criteria at the top!)

Angela 2:27 AM  

So I guess I'm the only one who saw "Kennedy" and immediately leapt to the conclusion that the oft asked question was WHO DONE IT...


adult story 8:32 AM  

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Stevlb1 6:06 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stevlb1 6:10 PM  

Now I feel better......I had DISH and LEO also.......for a long time!

Rookie 8:09 AM  

I recognize that I'm not in the same league as the puzzle fans that post on this great site. However, when does a puzzle receive a "really hard" rating. Putting aside that you had to piece together each of the theme answers who is Wim Wenders? Angio is short for angiogram? Really? Ria, horae, snell, greek vowels....jessh!

Spacecraft 11:21 AM  

I have to say, this is the closest I've ever come to giving up without doing it. This bad boy took me two and a half hours--OK, there was a bit of a nap in there--to get done, and by golly, I got 'er done. Including the natick at PLENA/NOVO, which I just hoped was N because it made a common foreign word in NOVO. Legislative assemblies? HUH?

There were two near-fatal missteps for me: FADE for "Wane" and FAITH for "Fidelity." I can't believe no one else did this. Those nearly scuttled my Cutty SARK.

I was convinced from the outset that the subject of our theme was love, not art. The standard question is one letter too long, but I hung on to it, figuring it might be "WHAT'S LOVE?" Of course, then we'd have to have Elmer Gantry's "Love is the morning and the evening star," and other sappy sayings. After filling in AJEALOUSMISTRESS, I really thought it was love.

Well, all got straightened out, and since yesterday's was a DNF, I was particularly gratified I could get this one. Remember when Sundays were Wedensday-easy?

rain forest 2:25 PM  

@Spacecraft--yes, I long for Wednesday level Sundays. This was a slog. I started across the top and got about 2/3 filled in, with a number of blanks in the first two theme entries, so I went after the revealer at 67A. That took awhile, and I had to infer the WHAT, but realized the question was WHAT IS ART? To tell the truth, that wasn't a lot of help, but I CHUGGED on, almost letter by letter in places, writing-over, running the alphabet, and flat out guessing, ending with guessing the E at the CELIE/AEREO cross. Yes, I completed it, didn't give up like I did on the last difficult Sunday, and will on future ones. Just too much sweat required, and the day is too nice to spend it on a puzzle.

Dirigonzo 3:56 PM  

My solving experience was pretty much what everybody else said. Strangely, it was EDIE Brickell who triggered my breakthrough as she gave me HORAE (although I had HeRAE for a while) and ENDUP to open up the last section where I had been stuck for a long time.

I still don't see how "Beside" yields WITH as an answer. Anybody?

All of the restaurants I go to list "Seafood" on the menu so FISH took a while.

The Princess Bride 6:22 AM  

The proud father walked up the aisle BESIDE his beautiful daughter.

The proud father walked up the aisle WITH his beautiful daughter.

J.aussiegirl 3:35 PM  

Medium-challenging for me too. Needed to google to sort out KNO3, which gave me uni and selfish instead of my original leo and seldom. 30a rake instead of rein held up that area for a bit as well. Overall, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a snowy early April Saturday.

NM Robin 2:41 PM  

I almost finished this puzzle. I had one mistake which I did not correct. I had put in SIMPLE and left it. I didn't see that REpN did not make sense. Oh, well!

I usually do not even attempt Sunday puzzles - too long and tedious. I did liked this one as I knew the JFK quote. The rest of the quotes I got with the crosses.
And the Emerson quote I always heard it as the law is a ...... so it took me awhile to FISH that out.

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