Composer Arensky / SAT 7-6-13 / Dressage half-turn / Moses novelist / Red pottage in Genesis / Neighbor of Telescopium / Finnair alternative

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Constructor: Martin Ashwood-Smith

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: CARACOLE (25D: Dressage half-turn) —

A half turn to right or left performed by a horse and rider.
intr.v. car·a·coledcar·a·col·ingcar·a·coles also car·a·cols
To perform a caracole.

[French, from Spanish caracolsnail.] (
• • •

Saw Martin's name and thought "So this'll be a quad stack." And it was. Gah! Not typically a puzzle structure that leads to pleasing fill. But today—I really like this one. I have no doubt that some of my contentment is due to my relatively quick time for a Saturday (7-ish). I've notice in myself, and I've *definitely* noticed in comments, that Easiness (esp. in a later-week puzzle) will make people forgive a Ton of stuff (the obverse is also true).  So, correcting for the feeling of elation that always follows a deft slaying of a Saturday, I still think this works. For one, none of the quad members stinks or feels made-up or forced. But let's be honest, this puzzle had me at "I WANNA BE SEDATED" (38A: 1978 punk classic). I guessed it early, it was right, it's a great answer. From there on out, the puzzle would've had to completely Tank for me to think ill of it. Also love ATOM EGOYAN (35D: "Chloe" director, 2009), though I suspect this is the name that is going to *kill* some people today. ATOM is not a common name in the States. In fact, this ATOM is the only ATOM I know. And it's not as if he's Spielberg-famous. But he's very accomplished and eminently puzzle-worthy, IMHO.

I love TINA TURNER (57A: Acid Queen player in "Tommy") on top of EDDIE MONEY. The clues on both of them are *way* too easy, but still, that is one awesome '70s / '80s sandwich (I'm putting Tina in that time period because that's when I first came to know her—during her whole "What's Love Got To Do With It?" comeback). There really wasn't much to hold me up today. Had most trouble in the north, where CUBA (5A: Home to Morro Castle) and ANTON (8D: Composer Arensky) were unknown to me, and where BENJI was ambiguously clued (7D: Dog star). But JOLT / COLA (43A: With 5-Down, bygone beverage) helped me change FREE MARKET to OPEN MARKET, and then that whole section just went down. Never heard of CARACOLE but got it all from (very fair) crosses. The toughest single answer for me was IN AN ASYLUM (27D: Put away, maybe), which is a roll-your-own kind of answer, but holds together well enough, I think. I had INANASY- before I could parse it correctly. What else? Not much. Good fun. I have a bet with myself about how long it will take before something happens in the comments section—let's see if I'm right (I really hope I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I won't be).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Rookie 12:16 AM  

Easy-medium? Really? This one pretty much annihilated me. And now I am even more deflated to see that it was a relatively easy Saturday.

Questinia 12:51 AM  

Inanasy was exactly where I was too until it got pulled out to in an asylum. "I wanna be sedated" was in an archived Saturday puzzle that I did not too long ago and after filling it in that mesial portion of puzzle, the rest came quickly but not seven minute quick, more like fifteen minute quick.
Loved Atom Egoyan and Me Decade (1970's). Never heard of Caracole for dressage half turn but I remember an area of Barcelona called Los Caracolles so I figured it may be related. Getting the clues means being loose and associative.

retired_chemist 12:54 AM  

Medium-challenging here, more challenging than medium. To give Mr. Ashwood-Smith his due, the tough stuff had enough gettable crosses that I could finish. A fair puzzle and a good Saturday challenge.

Unknown: CARACOLE, the last letter of which was the L in SALE. Someone tell me how a SALE is a blowout....

Didn't know from the clue: LENTIL SOUP, ME DECADE, LENE (Lovich), EDDIE MONEY, TINA TURNER. Crosses worked. Amazing how a few crosses and pattern-recognition type thinking can draw stuff out of you.

From my subconscious AFAIK: ATOM EGOYAN. I think I saw that name before in a puzzle. After sevral crosses it just seemed right.

No idea to start with for 59D - had FATS in place, so I tried UFO, which led to a substantial waste of time.

ASCH and CUBA went in immediately. CUBA went away when I tried DENEB for 7D. 15A was frEe MARKET at that time. It came back after JOLT COLA and OPEN MARKET emerged, exactly as it happened for Rex.

Are BO'S'NS really rigging experts?

Thanks, Martin.

Anonymous 1:27 AM  

Why are "rafts" "tons"?

Mike in DC 2:00 AM  

@Anonymous: A "raft" of stuff is a lot of stuff, so "rafts" are "tons."

@Retired_chemist: A "blowout" is slang or ad-speak for a "sale." An online dictionary definition is "a quick sale of retail merchandise at very low prices."

I had the same solving experience as Retired_chemist. It wasn't easy, but it was fun and fair.

Brendan McNamara 2:47 AM  

This puzzle is really good. Very impressive construction. Both challenging and rewarding to solve. Wow.

jae 3:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 3:02 AM  

This was kinda feast or famine for me.  NW and SE went quickly, but NE and SW had me thinking DNF.  Fortunately dredging up JOLT COLA gave me a toe hold.  So, medium for me.  Looking back over this one the across answers are pretty straight forward.  The downs on the other hand are A WEE bit out there...CARACOLE, ATOM EGOYAN, LENE, CANVAS TARP, IN AN ASYLUM, BENJI, UPEND, OXIDE...

And speaking of the downs I thought the 1980's were the ME DECADE.  The 1970's were the Disco Era.   I'm pretty sure of this because I was there. 

So, liked it a lot.  Just enough crunch and TINA TUNER on top of EDDIE MONEY plus The Ramones gimme  I WANNA BE SEDATED... well enough said about zip!

syndy 4:09 AM  

ATOMEGOYAN left me wondering if it was two names or three ATO MEG OYAN? INANASYLUM was my last fill=way harsh dude!CAROCOLR dredged up from somewhere(OLYPICS?) off the C! ENRON field seems like a name you'd WANNA lose. thanks Martin good one

John Child 4:14 AM  

Four proper names I'd never met before slew me. If I'd recognized two or three of them I think I would have completed the puzzle in under an hour, which makes me happy on Saturday. But resorting thrice to outside aid and still taking 1:07 puts this very much in the challenging category, IMO.

"Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours to go" will be in my head all day.

Anton Cola Mainmasts 6:21 AM  

IKETTES yesterday, TINATURNER today...
But even that fab video you posted would make her clearly pre 70s/80s, tho she is pretty timeless...maybe all time!

@rex you are lucky you tried IWANNABESEDATED first, because GODSAVETHEQUEEN has same amount of letters!

Lloved the QX couple of Js, couple of Ks.
Helped me solve for BENJI, JETER and SHAQ.
(sorry @Z, no love for you again!)

Interesting to have both ASTRO and BENJI, WANNA and GONNA.
I think of the 70s as the DISCOERA (it fit) and the 80s as the GREED/
Also spelled Lovich : LENa.

SAYI/TRYA were AWEE bit shaky partials, but the whole musical vibe was pretty dense and cool:

EDDIEMONEY, TINATURNER, FATS Domino, LENE Lovich, IWANNABESEDATED, Just SAYI Love Her, TRYA Little Love, GERE in Chicago (as opposed to his nonmusical roles)...this puzzle sang!

Plus a quad stack of 15s totally makes me swoon. Very very very cool, Martin Ashwood-Smith! SAYONARA.

Acme 6:27 AM  

Oops, forgive me but i inadvertently repeated your comment. We are in sync about the decades, so what is up with that? How did the 70s become the ME DECADE in this puzzle?!?
I don't know how old MAS is, but presumably Will lived thru both the 70s and 80s too! Odd.

Anonymous 6:36 AM  

From Wiki:

"Novelist Tom Wolfe coined the term Me decade in his article "The 'Me' Decade and the Third Great Awakening", published by New York magazine in August 1976 referring to the 1970s. The term describes a general new attitude of Americans towards atomized individualism and away from communitarianism in clear contrast with the 1960s."

FYI: MAS is 55 years old.


Unknown 7:16 AM  

Anyone else try to use "Malt Duck" for 5d/43a instead of "Jolt Cola?" I guess you had to be there.

retired_chemist 8:21 AM  

@ Mike- thanks.

Norm C. 8:22 AM  

Any Saturday puzzle that I can finish under an hour without feeling like a YO-YO is OK with me.

"ryeS" and "gInS" before NIPS, but otherwise a clean but slow solve. Liked the clever cluing.

Milford 8:44 AM  

Medium, but very fair Saturday. Liked the SEDATED entry, and JOLT COLA (considered Nehi Soda at first), and the TINA EDDIE duet. BENJI was a caNis for a very long time.

Just back from a week at Lake Michigan. Water was still icy, but food and beer was aplenty. @Z - had many Oval Beach Blondes - good stuff.

Trying to figure out if @Rex's prediction has come to light, yet.

Danp 8:47 AM  

This puzzle was comfort food for the MTV generation. Loved it except for the Limbaugh clue.

Matty 9:03 AM  

Had GODSAVETHEQUEEN for...SEDATED! But good old ATOM helped me sort that out. What a great puzzle.

Doris 9:08 AM  

If you want a REALLY obscure source—for CARACOLE I at first had the ballet step CABRIOLE, which doesn't usually involve turning, just beating legs. However, there is a now lost Balanchine ballet, CARACOLE (1952), the existence of which I finally remembered though I never saw it. However, they probably did multiple, not half, turns in that one. Apparently the costumes made some reference to horsemanship. I think Mr.B just liked the word.

Zwhatever 9:19 AM  

@ACME - thanks for thinking of me. A recent archaeological find at Pompeii discovered that Roman Ramones used "Z" as a RRN for "zillion." I anticipate frequent use of my favorite letter in future puzzles as a result.

@Milford - Oval Beach Blonde must be a Saugatuck Brewing Company creation. I'm guessing water temps in the 66-68° range. You just have to run and dive in, and you adjust right away.

Hand up for free before OPEN and disco AgE before ME DECADE. Otherwise a fun Saturday solve. That SE just killed me, though. I had AByss for "drop-off" which made seeing FATS Domino nigh impossible. ATO MEGOYAN is not in my database anywhere, and I was wondering who did a movie about Bobby Orr in 2006 for the longest time.

@MAS - If you want corporate sponsorships you have to stop using defunct products/corporations in your puzzle. ENRON and JOLT COLA ain't going to pay you a penny these days.

Loren Muse Smith 9:21 AM  

“I saw Martin’s name and thought,. . .” Ah me. Oh well. I crow that I can finish a NYT themeless but don’t elaborate that it can’t be a Walden, Quarfoot, MAS, Gamache. . . I’m with @John Child - this one slew me.

Flirted with “hard C” for NEURO.

“fug” for YEGG ;-)

Did not parse ME DECADE until I came here. Sheesh.

After ASTRO and BENJI fell, I went, uh, sniffing around for a 6 or a 9, expecting a “Lassie” or “Rin Tin Tin” because Martin is just that good.

One of my early entries was “MISmeasure,” and I felt so clever. Hah! Take *that* Martin!

Here’s what really got me – I kept misreading the number for down clues and saw “Mizzen neighbor” all over the place. I did the same thing for “Granny, to Gretel” on the acrosses. I wonder if that’s connected to the fact that I’m starting to stutter and am experiencing “tip of the tongue syndrome” all of the time now. Seriously. Any NEUROlogists out there? Could this be one of my last posts?

In Japanese, it’s common to say “shitsurei shimasu” instead of SAYONARA. It translates, roughly, as “I’m about to commit a rudeness” and I’m not making that up. Unfortunate spelling in Romanization. And in the same juvenile vein –I figured out in grad school that if you say “Sai no onara” really fast, it sounds like SAYONARA but means “most honorable rhinoceros fart.” I’ve tried that on a couple of native Japanese people, and they didn’t really get it, so be warned.

ASCH, BOSNS, RESTS, EDDS – 18 letters. 4 vowels. Your day is now complete.

Thanks, Martin. But YEGGot me!

jberg 9:22 AM  

Isn't a CARACOLE a snail in some language or other? If so, that could be the source of a lot of these terms.

Even though I got that one, I gave up in the SE -- just didn't think of RYAN, no idea about FATS, was taking yo-yo literally, or else as a metaphor for changeability -- so I was torn between thinking the movie was about Bobby Orr, or that gonitis attacked the feEt. Just one of those mental blocks. I struggled through the rest, and would have felt good about it if I'd only finished.

Arizona has the same number of letters as EL NORTE, btw. And I thought 7D would be either a star (it's Sirius, not Deneb, so I too tried Canis) or else the name of a canine actor -- BENJI is the name of the character played, isn't it? But since I got that one, I won't DING it. It was all those intersecint show biz answers in the SE that killed me.

jberg 9:27 AM  

Finally figured out FATS! Now I'm blushing. Also, another error - ASCe, figuring Executive Quarters. Just not my day.

Wikipedia 9:33 AM  

The BOSNS' job includes dealing with all kinds of rigging, along with lots of other duties.

MetaRex 9:44 AM  

A great puzz.

Dealing w/ the taste issue w/ OSAMA by bringing in Rush Limbaugh and Obama to make a triple hot button clue and answer is a creative idea. But whether one likes Rush-baiting or not, the Osama-Obama letter duplication is inartful.

"Afghan girl in a 2003 film" is one reasonably straight-up way to clue OSAMA that seems to me not too offensive regardless of one's persuasion. Or if ya wanna be edgy, ya could try "Seal prey?" Perhaps a Rexean w/ a gift for listmaking (mebbe M & A, flying in from cUba?) could come up w/ a good roster of ten SFW(ill) and NSFW(ill) clues for OSAMA...

jackj 9:52 AM  

Friday we were tested with ABRI, MESIAL, DEVAL, TAMLA, et al; today we have been challenged by ATOMEGOYAN, ANTON, IWANNABESEDATED, LENE and CARACOLE, et al.

Sadly, a favorite constructor, Martin Ashwood-Smith seems to have joined the ranks of the “pimp my puzzle” constructors who casually lace their puzzles with impossible clues seeking “knowns” that are actually Rumsfeldian “unknown unknowns”, at best.

Someone recently commented on something we can all relate to, the fairness of being challenged by puzzles seeking things that we can deduce by “thinking”, as opposed to puzzles that demand we “know” certain things if we are to solve them.

As I flail around in my parallel puzzling universe, this problem is hammered home with the realization that the “knowns” I wondered about today seem to be routine information for some people (perhaps of a certain generation with compatible interests) but those of us who are not of that group and are mainly primed for “thinking” our way through puzzles, will always be flummoxed by the reconditeness of such as ATOMEGOYAN while being delighted by the likes of INANASYLUM.

And never the twain shall meet; I only wish that MAS hadn’t stuck his toe into the waters of the dark side.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Wow, I thought this was as hard as yesterday's.

I wanted the punk classic to be "Goin Underground." But I was a couple of years early right?

Also, "Permanent Record" underneath it reminds of another classic of that era, "Add It Up" by the Violent Femmes.

"CARACOLE" and "SALE" was the hardest part for me and the "L" was the last letter I filled in, begrudgingly acknowledging that a "blowout" could be a kind of "SALE." Hated that clue.

Best, gpo

Milford 10:05 AM  

@Z - yes on the beer locale. And I wish the water had been 68 F - was more in the 60 F area for a couple days. Did one polar bear dunk and I was done.

wordie 10:06 AM  

Super hard for moi. HTG. A lot. I know we all expect a certain number of POCs, but I find ETES (54D) to be just too much. Not sure why, but it just feels wrong. It's not because I didn't think of it as a possible answer, right away, because I did. It . . . Just feels so yech. I also take issue with "Speilberg title role" as it seems to call for a role he played, not Matt Damon. I did not like that movie's story.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:13 AM  

Great puzzle!

Hand up for FREE MARKET before OPEN.

Rex's gimmes were mostly unknowns to me, but as noted, everything was fairly crossed and gettable.

BTW, I wish to make up for an unaccountable lapse. We have recently had a new group of visitors to the blog, and no one has welcomed them. I would now like to correct that omission, with the aid of Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Merle 10:16 AM  

Hard puzzle for me. What we know is what we know. Jberg had no idea about Fats, and Fats was one of my first gimmes in the puzzle. I danced to Fats Domino songs in the 1950's. We don't forget the music and musicians of our teens. I also read the entire Bible when I was 13, out of curiosity. Therefore, lentil soup also a gimme -- Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, I knew the pottage was made of lentils, and I knew of red lentils, so the answer was obvious.

Had -asylum and struggled with the lead-in, "in an". But got it.

Never heard of Lene Lovich, or Jolt Cola. But I definitely knew Degas, Eddie Money, Tina Turner and the rock opera "Tommy". What we know is what we know. Why on earth did I recognize "I Wanna Be Sedated"? No idea, but I did. Don't have a clue what it sounds like, though.

And what we figure out can be really weird. Didn't know Telescopium is a constellation, but figured out it must be, because Ara is.

I knew yegg. Why? I must have read a detective novel or two once upon a time. Don't follow any sports whatsoever, yet recognized that Jeter fit. Why? I don't know. But I know what I know, and I knew Jeter. Maybe a newspaper headline here and there.

Interesting, challenging puzzle. So much not in my wheelhouse, and just enough in my wheelhouse. And a lot of easy to figure out answers, including that dreaded four-stack.

Word of the day? Two words of the day, Caracole, as Rex said -- and gonitis.

Merle 10:21 AM  

Yo, shout-out to MetaRex for mentioning the movie "Osama" as the basis of a clue for the answer Osama.

Yes, the Rush slur on Obama's name is politically charged. Well, puzzles aren't politics-exempt, are they? And the movie "Osama" is a searing, brilliant indictment of the terrifying suppression of women by the Taliban. So the clue MetaRex suggests does have political meaning, political overtones, if you know the movie!

I hope that MetaRex's comment inspires people to rent the movie!

Unknown 10:26 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle, but the palindromic trio of EXE, SAS, and ARA is just horrendous. But a great quad stack with lots of long fill passing through it--very nice constructing feat.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

Had I WANNA BE YOUR DOG but was off by several years before I figured it out..

Unknown 10:42 AM  

Top half was harder than the bottom half. CARACOLE was new to me, had to guess on the L, and ATOMEGOYAN is just a bunch of letters.

When I first finished the puzzle and came here I knew something was wrong because Rex's puzzle didn't look anything like the one I just finished. Turns out while I thought I was doing this one, I was actually doing the Fireball "Double Or Nothing". :-/

Campesite 10:46 AM  

Haven't been able to comment in a while though I still read 'em everyday, but had to chime in: this is my favorite Saturday puzzle of the year. Probably, as Rex accounts for in his open, because I blew through it.

Tom 10:50 AM  

OK, apologies in advance for this comment, but I've been trying to "solve" Rex's last cryptic statement, and I think it's this: Tina Turner on top of Eddie Money?! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

GILL I. 10:51 AM  

I thought this was constructed beautifully. Every time I would get just one little answer I would go WOW!!! - and that's about all I had.
Didn't know ATOMEGOYAN, EDDIE MONEY LENE, JETER and the list goes on....
I got FATS ( I love those sneaky clues) but thought Gonitis had something to do with your gonads? KNEE just seemed to be in the wrong anatomical area.
Loved seeing CUBA as Morro Castle's home. I only know CARACOL (without the E). I've done some dressage in Spain (you need a fine steed). Friesian dressage will leave you trembling...Hi @chefwen.
Although I needed to Google the proper names, I did finish after several sittings. Still, loved the finished product.
Thank you British sounding MAS...

Carola 10:57 AM  

I remembered being pretty badly pummeled by Martin Ashwood-Smith's last puzzle, so I approached this one with some trepidation. Did better than last time and had fun grappling with it, but still DNF: ATOM EGOvAN x ivAN - didn't have the SENSE to consider a last name for the title role.

Also unknown to me: I WANNA BE SEDATED (I first had SEDucED, which sounds more appealing to me), CARACOLE, LENE, EDDIE MONEY. Was grateful to a recent comments discussion about Chicago that got me GERE. Also liked TINA TURNER after yesterday's IKETTES and the sailing- related BOSN, MAINMAST, CANVAS.

"Mr. Jones, I'm afraid the flare in your gonitis means that you'll have to be SEDATED while I remove a CLOT and accumulation of FATS from your KNEE before your start having NEURO issues."

@retired_chemist - Pattern recognition took me a long way on this one: ME DECADE, IN AN ASYLUM, NATIONAL AVERAGE, PERMANENT RECORD....

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

I just want to ask what the red square in all your puzzles means.

joho 11:12 AM  

Hey, @Rex, you were waiting for someone to mention that because this puzzle is just short a Z it's not a pangram, right?

@Acme touched on it but didn't mention your dreaded pangram. Now I want to know if I win a prize.

Speaking of the puzzle, what a beauty! A Saturday is never easy for me but this one did get solved a little faster than normal and I loved every minute of it.

Thank you, MAS!

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Easy 25% then direct to challenging for the remainder. Fifty minute solve time on paper. Spent a lot of time trying to remember the MLB triple crown winner from last year (even though 'hits' is not one of the stats) and was overjoyed when Cabrera popped in as that was going to validate Cola at 43 across.....then realized that was a big swing and a miss. Other major time consumer was at 11 down. Had the last letter and was trying for a long time to work in Bagel as a 'toasting' option...its right below Waffles on my toaster.

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

Put in I wanna be seduced, and left it as correct. rrrgh! Carucole sounds more like French to me, and Acome Goyan made sense to. Ah well.

Sir Hillary 11:27 AM  

Nice crunchy Saturday. Great clues for BENJI and FATS. Hands up for thinking first of "God Save The Queen" -- thankfully, I never wrote it in. ATOMEGOYAN was ironic for me because just yesterday I read Russell Banks's "The Sweet Hereafter", and Egoyan directed the acclaimed film based on that novel.

7700 11:36 AM  

ANON square is the last letter filled in

Sandy K 11:40 AM  

Got a real JOLT when I came here and saw that what I thought was nonSENSE, and didn't want on my PERMANENT RECORD, was actually right on the MONEY!

Never heard of I WANNA BE SEDATED, tho I've been known to say it here and there...or the opposite- JOLT COLA- a guess, LENE who? CARACOLE- from crosses, I have teaching degrees- but EDDS? And ATOMEGOYAN- man, I didn't even know how to parse that one...

So challenging, but somehow gettable for me.

@Carola- Never would've known why TON was right. The more I thought about it, the def. wasn't fair. It's not a common American term and it was an Independence Day puz!
How about 'Rafts, in the opinion of a Wild West sidekick'? Or something weight related?
BTW- I was a sun worshiper too and used baby oil. Uy!

@Acme- I must've seen you on "Win Ben Stein's MONEY". We watched it every night. Seemed like Kimmel got all the laughs and was GONNA go places- "The Man Show"- a bad detour. Did you think so?

Orange 11:52 AM  

If you are erudite enough to be solving the Saturday NYT crossword, you are certainly erudite enough to be familiar with ATOM EGOYAN's movies. "The Sweet Hereafter" won three awards at Cannes; it's excellent. (Egoyan received two Oscar nominations for the fil, too.) "Exotica" is a little creepy but also good; won a prize at Cannes. I haven't seen "Felicia's Journey" or "Where the Truth Lies," but both were nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at Cannes.

To answer Anonymous's question, the red square is the lucky winner square. If that's the last square you fill in when solving electronically, you'll hear a fanfare of horns and confetti will shoot out of your computer or tablet.

Ellen S 11:56 AM  

@Gill, I reckon a KNEE in the gonads is the perfect anatomical area for fending off unwanted advances. Maybe you can get GONITIS after too many dates gone horribly wrong.

I like to watch dressage exhibitions and competition but don't know any of the terms. CARACOLE looked right, though. Kind of onomatopoeic. (Auto-correct insists that's the word, and who am I to argue?)

I first encountered that "Dog star" trap about 30 years ago. Spent hours trying to fit Sirius into a four letter space. Finally discovered it wanted ASTA. Fool me once...

I highly recommend you watch "Ararat," which I think is ATOM EGOYAN's finest film, and one of my all time faves. It's about the Armenian Genocide, and present day Armenian-Americans and Turks and Turkish-Americans making a movie about it, and trying to come to terms with their history and their families and it's really splendid.

@Loren, if you are noticing more frequent "tip of the tongue" syndrome, I don't think you should wait for a doctor from this blog to tell you to go see one in real life. I'm only a retired computer programmer but it doesn't sound good to me. And sure, we all (meaning me) sometimes fill in an answer in the wrong space, but if you're doing it MORE OFTEN that's not a good thing.

DocRoss 12:00 PM  

I recall a SNL Weekend Update bit in 1980 when Al Franken (my brilliant senator!) declared the 80's "the decade of me, Al Franken".

Loved this puzzle for that and The Ramones.

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

Not knowing either 25-D or 36-D, I guessed at IWANNABESEDUCED for 38-A as being more likely for a punk title. So I thought I had finished another Saturday puzzle, only to discover here that I had not done it correctly. Oh well.

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

Pretty easy; "caracole" was the only word I had to look up after I was done. Very sad to hear "I Wanna Be Sedated" and know that three of those four guys (The Ramones) are gone.

Anoa Bob 1:27 PM  

Anyone notice it's a 15X16?

IN AN ASYLUM (Do they have those anymore?) had an ad hoc, roll your own feel to it. If this kind of entry is okay, how about something like IN AN OFFICE or ON A BUS?

The last shred of my delusion of erudition got completely atomized by my not knowing ATOM EGO YAN. Guess I ain't such a smarty-pants after all.

As any BOSN, or BOSNS if you need a second opinion, will tell you, a "Mizzen neighbor" (23D) can be either a sail or a mast. This old tar woulda clued MAIN MAST "Sailboat's tallest spar".


GILL I. 1:49 PM  

Sigh....and now my goal in life which was to become erudite has been foiled by the dastard ATOMEGOYAN...
@Ellen - thank you very much for that visual...Are you still sweltering in Sack of Tomatoes? We head back manana.

GILL I. 1:52 PM  

@Anoa Bob...Like minds? Aren't the two of us a bunch of sad imbeciles.

Masked and Anonymous 1:59 PM  

@4-Oh: Nice little metamystery at end of the blog. re: What U made a bet with yerself would come up in the comments section, but U hoped not. Intrigues the M&A...

Top "bet" possibilities:
* Puz is just a Z short of a pangram. This has to be the pre-race favorite.
* That ATOMEGOYAN anagrams to M&A TOE AGONY. This would be yer major longshot.
* That there's gotta be a hidden puz theme conspiracy, including INANASYLUM and IWANNABESEDATED, and some third elusive entry that is an anagram of MISGOVERNS. This is yer total afternoon-waster entry in the field.
* That there were only three U's in the grid. (New construction mantra: "if you ain't got ten, don't say 'when'."

Tempus. Fug it.

syndy 2:01 PM  

thank you @ANOA BOB I had MAINsail at first but was embarrased to mention it-wiki did not seem to support me at all but I HAD thought that it could be either!

Lewis 2:02 PM  

@jackj -- well stated and I'm with you completely

The puzzle came in bits and piece; it actually felt easier to me than the typical Saturday puzzles. I look forward to those big stacks because I like trying to figure out the long words from just a few letters.

The only word in the puzzle today that I learned only from crosswords is YEGG. SHAQ over TONS makes sense to me, whether about weight or money. I also like the OPEN MARKET LENTIL SOUP.

Could have avoided OSAMA completely by changing the S into an R and cluing it "Commercial suffix" or something more clever. Would have left us with the ugly SHOER, though.

I had fun with this one. I didn't Google but I did check a couple of guessed letters. I am impressed at how relatively smooth the stack is...

Mike Rees 2:16 PM  

Easy-medium my a**. I got exactly one correct answer on my first pass, EDDIEMONEY. After that, this one played out horribly for me. Too many things I don't know. Spent twelve minutes or so conferring with Wikipedia (I research my "dunnos" instead of just Googling answers) and managed to get it all done in 22 minutes total. I'd rate this as challenging by the most relaxed of standards. Perhaps the blogger could rate them by how hard they are for the average solver, as opposed to the average crossword wizard so we average solvers wouldn't feel like complete dopes. ;)

OISK 2:16 PM  

Bah. After four weeks of flawless solving, missed pop culture references yesterday Ikettes???" and today. Since I never heard of the Ramones outside of the Times puzzle, nor of Atomegoyan, and carelessly wrote EEDS instead of EDDS, I was doomed. Don't know who Eddie Money is either, and although I have heard of Tina Turner, "Tommy" was nothing more to me than a show, rock opera??, that I managed to avoid. Never heard of "Try a little love" either, although I got that corner. Just too much pop culture for me, and I wouldn't have enjoyed this one any more if I had finished it correctly. (missed two squares) Never heard of Lene Lovich either. Just a fatal overdose of rock. Awful. D-

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

I had an awesome anesthetist once whose ringtone was "I Wanna Be Sedated."

DigitalDan 2:36 PM  

CARACOLE and ...EGOYAN crossing ...SEDATED was a Natick for me. I tried ...SEDUCED, it made sense enough for a punk song, and the crosses worked just as well. Without Across Lite's checker I would have stopped there. I like movies, but not enough to care who directs them. Got no patience for dressage at all. Punk rock -- no brass, no interest. Natick.

ACME 2:45 PM  

@MAS, Gareth, Wiki...
Stand corrected about MEDECADE, but I wouldn't have heard the term till late seventies and it certainly bled all thru the 80s!

What's popular in Cannes many times does not even reach these shores! I happen to like ATOM EGOYAN films but would say they are relatively obscure and it's been quite a while since he was a media darling (for about a year around "The Sweet Hereafter".)

I'd even have to mildly disagree with @Ellen S over "Ararat", good history lesson about the Armenian genocide, but sort of a bore as a film.
I sympathize that his name would be quite unfamiliar to many, very difficult to parse and even if you knew him, tough to spell.

I liked the write up today as I had many of the same missteps and thoughts, even private betsss tho the total opposite experience with INANASYLUM. I had the -----SYLUM part first, which looked crazy, but literally led to the answer! :)

Wish I could find the tape... I had shaved peroxide blonde hair...but they were mostly tearing into the middle guy, a Merl Reagle lookalike named Sven (?) who owned 20,000 comic books and a 6 ft + tall Shelly Long lookalike, so I got off unscathed.

I won the game, but lost to Ben in the lightening round like 6-3, it was TOUGH... I didn't know FONTENELLE among many other things, which is what I get for not having had a baby!

Mr. Stein then bombarded me with emails asking to tie me up and make a super Jeopardy! baby with him. He was married with lots of sexual harassment suits already filed against him, so he was lucky I wasn't the type to go to the tabloids! Ah, the 90s!

(Now it's the 2010s... I'm in the "Me Decayed")

Carola 2:47 PM  

@Sandy K - I like "Rafts"!

jschimpf 3:08 PM  

Los caracoles (snails in Spanish) was a restaurant just off the Ramblas. Went there in 1973 after I got out of the army.

Delaware 3:15 PM  

Easy-Medium?! Not for me. JackJ I totally agree with your comment. Give me a good cleverly clued puzzle that can be solved by good creative thinking. Not this which depends on knowing a ridiculous number of proper names which, as you may gather, I didn't know: Red Pottage, "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Moses" novelist, "Women Ironing" painter, Acid Queen player, "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer, home to Morro castle, Dressage half turn! "Chloe" director, singer Lovich, neighbor of Telecopium. People know these things? Darn. I thought I was doing well. I guess I'll do tomorrow's just to get some self-esteem back.

LaneB 3:20 PM  

I didn't have to Google ATOMEGOYAN [being sort of a fan of his], but got help for TINATURNER, EDDIEMONEY, DEGAS, ENRON and CARACOLE [which could have been a woman's name.] Still it took me TONS of time what with strange fill like EXE, BOSNS, ARA ,OMA and AIT. The three-letter stuff is always a problem. I fear my solving skills are way below the NATIONALAVEERAGE, and having gotten all fired up about Saturday's edition and having come close to coming up with NADA, and also suffering from a toothache, now IWANNABESEDATED. Really.

Hats off to all the non-Googlerrs! I do admire you.

Rex Parker 3:29 PM  

I was waiting for someone to be outraged (in some fashion) about the Rush / OSAMA clue. But it didn't happen. Good for you people.

Actually, it did happen, in an incoherent rant email I got from someone going off about how the NYT is slurring Rush, and how Ted Kennedy made the same "mistake" etc. etc. Why I replied, I have no idea.


Two Ponies 3:33 PM  

Very enjoyable puzzle.
Not knowing dressage terms or German made that intersection a roll of the "vowel dice". @ Nanpilla hasn't dropped by lately but the equestrian term reminded me of her.
Hopefully Edward Snowden will be In An Asylum soon.

Sandy K 3:51 PM  

@Acme- Wow! What a story!! So it's more like "Wanna Be Ben Stein's Honey?" these behind the scenes revelations. Ever meet Letterman?

@Carola- There's a fun PB puzzle in today's WSJ.

Oh, and I say erudite shmerudite.

Sandstress 3:58 PM  

Difficult for me, but delivered enough delightful "aha" moments (NIPS of the NEUROtransmitter dopamine--a puzzle sot's shots?) to make it worth the struggle.


Wanted 33D to be LYLE Lovich for a second (is there such thing as New Wave Country?).

And whenever I see Derek JETER I think of his massive Tampa house--known (familiarly) as ST JETERSBURG.

joho 3:59 PM  

LOL I hereby award myself the booby prize!

Danny 5:24 PM  

I can go to my local Rite Aid and buy Jolt Cola. So...bygone?

jae 5:54 PM  

@Acme -- I like your bled over into the 80s rationalization.

I mentioned CARACOLE to my bride this morning and she said @ jschimpf & jberg that it means snail in Spanish. She went on to say she had briefly dated a bull fighter whose ring name was El CARACOLE during her semester abroad in Madrid. Not clear if that is complement or not?

michael 6:33 PM  

Not easy for me, but I got it. Maybe average difficulty for a Saturday. I got stuck thinking that Egoyan's first name was Adam. Atom isn't exactly the most common first name out there. Perhaps more common than "Molecule."

LaneB 6:49 PM  

@ acme I don't seem to have an email address that works. Tried but had my note sent back to me. Suggestions?

Anonymous 7:09 PM  

Rex says:

"Actually, it did happen, in an incoherent rant email I got from someone going off about how the NYT is slurring Rush"

It's amazing how you can slur Rush by simply quoting him.

-Martin Ashwood-Smith

John V 7:36 PM  

Easy? Nope. Finish? Nope. Easy? Ironic. One day I may connect with Martin's puzzles, but not today.

NYer 8:19 PM  

I had a student who was named Atom. He eventually married and named his son Quark.

Gene 8:45 PM  

I had MEDECODE; thought it was a medical coding. Couldn't parse the correct answer until I entered it In Google and looked at it.

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

what was your bet Rex? How do you square it with yourself? What if you don't honor it? Pretty sure you'll figure it out in less than 7, clever dog.

GeeGee 9:28 PM  

rookie, i'm with you! i gave up. this was another one that was geared to an age i'm not. but perhaps you too will someday zip through one that rex calls challenging. it's happened to me! once.

Anoa Bob 12:39 AM  

Anonymous @7:09, no surprise to me. I've always thought that rush, in addition to being a pompous blowhard, was a caricature of himself. Just mention his name. That will do.

I was remiss earlier not mention how much I like LENTIL SOUP (hmmmmmm) and how much I enjoyed watching TINA TURNER do her thing on top of EDDIE MONEY.

Good stuff, MAS.

acme 3:49 AM  

My name is andreacarla.michaels

Re: Letterman...not yet! ;)

So CARACOLE then is a bleed over from yesterday's SNAIL.
The joke @dk alluded to was a variation of this one:
A snail was moving along the beach when he happened to look back behind him and saw three turtles wearing leather jackets.
After moving along for about four weeks, the snail looked back again and saw that the three turtles were still there and closing in on him. So, the snail picked up his pace.
After about six more weeks, the snail looked back again, and saw that the turtles were still chasing him. And they were getting closer and closer! So, he kept on going as fast as he could.
After another few weeks, the turtles finally caught up with the snail and mugged him, took all of his clothes and the keys to his car.
After another couple of weeks, the snail got to a pay phone and called the police. "I`ve been mugged by three turtles wearing leather jackets! You need to get down here and take a report or do something!" he said.
"Can you give us a description of the turtles?" asked the police officer.
"No, I can`t. It all happened too fast!" cried the snail.

Wait, forget that...your wife dated a matador????!!!!!

August West 4:50 AM  

Got to this one late. After working all day to clear decks for vaca this week, my wife and I went to dinner and then danced the night away at SOBs.

Man, what a difference a day makes. Oh, I was so full of myself on the Fourth, what with my personal bests, and asterisks, and snark. Well, this thing killed me. Looking back on it, filled, everything is eminently fair. But the short fill was not in my wheelhouse, I'm not erudite enough to know Atom, and DISCOERA went in - BAM! -with such confidence (and nothing yet else around it) that I sabotaged myself for quite a while.

IWANNABESEDATED, TINATURNER and EDDIIEMONEY were (well appreciated) gimmes, but UPEND not really matching/fitting its clue, Dog star and DING slayed me in the north. Dog star is great. But, if you've knocked one for a loop, you've stunned, or awed, or kayoed them. You haven't "upended" them, Boo. In, without cheating, at 27:47. Blecch.

Dirigonzo 7:45 AM  

I quit for the night with the bottom third of the grid pretty much blank. When I picked it up this morning the puzzle fairy had filled in a couple of short answers and it took me about five minutes to finish the rest. Sadly the "Chloe" director was a total mystery (apparently making me eligible for the non-erudite club) and for all I know DumAS could have painted "Ironing Women" - it created an unlikely cross but I decided to leave it in to increase the "U" count for m and a.

Notsofast 9:04 AM  

Way too many obscure answers for me. But I guess that's one way to make a puzzle difficult.

spacecraft 12:26 PM  

Wow, didn't know I was in bed with all these uber-intellectuals. Not only have they HEARD of Mr. EGOYAN--they rave about his talent! WHO???

I, alas, had no idea about the double-natick. Not up on my punk, either, I guessed that 38a might be IWANNABESEDucED. Personally, I'd prefer that over sedated any day. So that's how I left it, a 2-square DNF.

Too bad, too, because I roared out of the gate in the SW with gimme after gimme. Only thing: how is EXE "English channel feeder?" Is there really some river called the EXE??

I, too, got hung up with the "Dog star" clue. So sure it was Sirius that for a while I thought we had a rebus going on, with a double letter in a square somewhere. But I finally figured out the Sharks' place (duh! shoulda happened a lot sooner) to be SANJOSE, which closed the deal on BENJI. Also had foreMAST before MAIN. CANVASTARP smells like green paint to me. Ya got a tarp, it's dollars to donuts it's canvas.

I hate it when he says "easy-medium" so cavalierly.

Cary in Boulder 2:08 PM  

Easy-Medium, eh? Guess that's what it takes for me have even a solid DNF on Saturday.

After the Ikettes yesterday, TINATURNER got me my first traction here. Guessing JETER from there (the old guy really led the league in hits?) got me JOLT and COLA, but unlike Rex, if I was off to the races it was the turtle races. Still, I'm pretty proud of myself for getting all four of the 15-letter crosses.

It was the NW that completely did me in. After originally wanting TARPAULIN (too short) for 3D, I simply could not come up with anything for ____ASTARP. Had BINGO for ASTRO -- a baseball reference there would've suited me better than a '60s cartoon I never watched. Clues Rafts=TONS and Gun=REV were total misdirects.

Took forever to see BOSNS at 9A, even though I had everything else in the NE. Is it kosher to give no indication that the word has an apostrophe? I guess so. And can we please leave any dressage references for Anne Romney?

@ACME ... I expected you to show up today as Ato Meg Caracole Enron.

Finally, a giant shout out to Sam Cooke, one of the greatest singers ever. Although his pop music phase, which is what 99%+ of what most people know him for, was just slumming for $$$ compared to his true artistry in gospel music with the Soul Stirrers. Here's part one of a terrific video, "Deep Soul: The Uprising of Sam Cooke" that chronicles his career:

Cary in Boulder 2:48 PM  

One mo' thing. At the time I hate, hate, hated punk music. But that Ramones song has been the one exception, and it has special resonance for me as I continue to ever so slowly recuperate from surgery. A real pain in the butt (literally). I asked my wife, "Can't I just be put in a coma for the next few weeks?" Sedated would work just fine, thanks.

rain forest 4:21 PM  

This was definitely not "easy-medium" for me. Very tough, but I managed to complete it correctly. I remembered seeing the name ATOM EGOYAN, and guessed correctly enough times, apparently, but it took a couple of hours.

Write-overs included IWANNABESEDucED, which I knew was not a punk tune, and then ATOM saved the day. I too was surprised that JETER led the majors in hits last year. Didn't like the thought that INANASYLUM was the answer to "put away". Sad but true, I guess.

Ginger 4:23 PM  

@Anoa Bob and @syndy I also had MAINsail, which held me up a bit. What the heck, it and a few others, held me up a lot.

Had A--ON for the composer, so put in RR, sounded good to me. I know very little about pop bands or labels after the Big Bands, nevertheless, I persevered and managed to almost finish.

All that said, I really liked this puzzle. The quad stack is a piece of beauty. Thank you MAS

DMGrandma 5:06 PM  

Didn't enjoy this one at all, too full of pop culture. As I've said before, and to echo @jackj as seconded by @Delaware, I prefer puzzles that allow you to deduce answers rather than just plug in facts. Particularly the kind of facts used here. I got about half the answers and decided to quit. It was that or spend part of this beautiful day researching stuff that I have no interest in and probably wouldnt use again. For those for whom this was a happy trip down memory lane, I'm glad you enjoyed it. For me, let's have more language based challenges. Sorry to sound so grumpy, but some days are like that.

Dirigonzo 8:14 PM  

@spacecraft said, "Ya got a tarp, it's dollars to donuts it's canvas." I'll take that bet - poly tarps (the blue or green ones) outsell canvas tarps by at least 100 to 1 where I work. (Maybe it's been a while since you went camping or covered a wood pile?)

@Cary in Boulder - speedy recovery.

Anonymous 8:41 PM  

Easy medium? had a tough time with this. I take exception to 20 across ding, never ever heard it used in that context always zing.

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

I started with the punk song: had to be either I WANNA BE SEDATED (which I don't really consider "punk") or GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (which I was pretty sure came out in 1977). LENE Lovitch confirmed which one...unfortunately I mistakenly inked LENE into 32d instead of 33d, and that confirmed the wrong one. I eventually realized what I had done and finished with no errors, but that middle section was an inky mess.

Incidentally, "God Save The Queen" WAS in fact a 1977 release, so the clue should have ruled that out as I originally suspected.

Anonymous 12:37 AM  

@Anonymous 10:03 AM.

I also thought of the Femmes when PERMANENT RECORD came into view.

Did not consider the Jam song for 38a though.

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