Fashion designer behind fragrance Rock Me / SAT 7-20-13 / Famed kicker born with clubfoot / 1993 hit with lyric Keep plain that song all night / 1957 Dell Vikings hit / Audi model retired in 2005 / Orfeo composer Luigi / He hit more home runs than Barry Bonds / Successor to Gibson on ABC World News

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Constructor: Tim Croce

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ANNA SUI (61A: Fashion designer behind the fragrance Rock Me!) —
Anna Sui (born August 4, 1964) is an American fashion designer. Sui is one of the most celebrated names in fashion history, known for her timeless designs and ability to transcend eras with historical and culturally inspired collections. She was named one of the "Top 5 Fashion Icons of the Decade"  and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), joining the ranks of Yves St LaurentGiorgio ArmaniRalph Lauren, and Diane von Furstenberg. Her worldwide luxury fashion brand includes clothing, shoes, cosmetics, eye-wear, and accessories, as well as her renowned line of signature fragrances. Anna Sui products are sold through her free-standing stores and distributors around the world in over 50 countries.  In 2006, Fortune estimated the collective value of Sui's fashion empire at over $400 million. (wikipedia)
• • •

I should like this a lot more than I do. The grid is certainly interesting, and mostly clean. It's just that I found the cluing really, really irksome. Again and again. If a puzzle is challenging (as this was), I like it best when the struggle seems worth it; I don't like struggling, getting an answer, then finding that I'm making a face and thinking, "yeah ... I guess." Good tough cluing is stuff like [Big spinning effort] for PR BLITZ. Had me mystified til the very end, but when I got it, I could not deny the aptness and cleverness of the clue. Now, that answer did run through what is probably the crappiest part of the grid (ONER + NEB) (57D: Standout + 62D: Tortoise's beak), so I don't like that ugly crosses were part of the problem, but still, that clue is undeniably wonderful. But too many of the clues were just deliberately obtuse in this way that I thought was more faux-impish (or dickish) than truly clever. "Setting" in [Setting of "Love Me Do": Abbr.] (G MAJ.) represents an absurd use of that word. [Ends up short, maybe] is slightly torturous for ERRS (and we have to endure it why? so that, what, we get to experience the vastly over-rated "identical successive Across clues" trick? Pass.). ADRENAL is no longer an adjective, apparently (63A: Hydrocortisone producer). Not sure how that works. An EGO is "feedable"? Only by ridiculous contortions. 42D: Gets hot led to an obvious (in retrospect) and thus probably deliberate and thus definitely annoying trap—if you have the first letters, SEE-, the obvious move is SEES RED. But no, it's SEETHES. MIA HAMM is a "kicker" only because other sports have "kickers," not because anyone would ever call her that ever (plus, she's intersecting another soccer clue and you *don't* exploit that?) (59A: Famed kicker born with a clubfoot).

As I say, the grid is good—I just thought the cluing obtuse and kinda lousy. Not enough P.R. BLITZ-type payoff. I do love "HEY MR. DJ" (1A: 1993 hit with the lyric "Keep playin' that song all night") and RIGHT HAND MAN and "COME GO WITH ME" (46A: 1957 Dell-Vikings hit). I even love SADAHARU OH (9D: He hit 106 more home runs than Barry Bonds), despite my frustration at not knowing how to spell it (took a while to convince myself that that first name did indeed end in "U"). I fell into two terrible holes (in addition to the SEETHES one). The first was LYCÉE for ÉCOLE (2D: Place for une faculté). If I were ignoranter of French, I'd've been fine. But no. The worst mistake I made though, was a twofer—Had [SO TO speak] and so went right to MISTS UP for 37A: Shows some emotion (TEARS UP). When you confirm one mistake with another mistake, bad times follow. Hard to go anywhere S or W of that region with MISTS UP in place, primarily because GRECO-ROMAN was occluded (28D: Some-holds-barred sport).

This is a good grid, but I didn't enjoy solving the puzzle. This rarely happens. My dissatisfaction is not due to toughness, but to the way toughness was achieved. But I realize that this is largely a subjective matter.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jackj 12:16 AM  

After his recent dallying with Monday and Tuesday puzzles we had reason to hope that it might mean we could expect a kinder, gentler edge to Tim Croce’s themeless constructions.

Today our wait was over and Tim passionately responded with an unlikely, (if ungracious), non-profane expletive of sorts, FUHGEDDABOUDIT!

So, we’re back to coping with entries that end in DJ or TZ or MM or OH (or begin with YK, TS or GS).


I was determined from the outset to enter ECOLE and cross it with ICKYPOO but didn’t think that Tim would be an ICKYPOO kind of constructor so I moved on to start with the clue that will likely outrage the Leathernecks among us when MARINES are tabbed as “Blue dress wearers”.

That upper right quadrant proved the easiest of the solve (except for a bit more time needed to pin down the Japanese slugger SADAHARUOH) but it only meant that there were more serious battles to be fought like ANNASUI (that only came to fruition through the good graces of the recently departed Amar BOSE and the recently stricken Teresa HEINZ Kerry).

But, groping my way back to the upper left, it meant actually entering ECOLE and then making an audacious guess that “See what I’m talkin’ about?” could be YKNOW which would give me a reason to go with ICKYPOO and the rest somehow came to pass, (but if things had gone totally cold at that point I still would have felt like a winner).

Happy as a clam at high tide, it inspired a bit of poetry, (with apologies to Robyn Weintraub), “Roses are red, violets are blue, I finished the puzzle and it included ICKYPOO!”.

Tim, old son, ease up; you’re giving me headaches again!

jae 12:26 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 12:28 AM  

Kind of agree with Rex on this one.  Very tough puzzle for me with two major WOEs:  SADAHARU OH and ANNA SUI.  The first one I got, the second led to a DNF.  I went with ArRGH for AARGH (they seem synonymous as far as Google is concerned)  and had ANNe SUI.  That gave me TERBELL which made no sense, but I couldn't see past it.  So, missed it by two squares.  

That said, I do like a tough puzzle.  And, a lot of this was just fine including some zippy stuff...COME GO WITH ME, ICKY POO, TS GARP, PR BLITZ, RIGHT HAND, mostly liked it, but Rex has a point.

chefwen 2:03 AM  

Got off to a bad start with Martini off the M at 4D. Plywood at 25A when that turned out to be a shout out to Avatar with PET HAIR (the most shedingest dog on the planet) Things went downhill from there and this one turned into a Googlefest, my least favorite way to solve a puzzle. Too many unknowns for me.

Thinking pirouettes at 66A, too long but maybe something similar??? ANNA SUI??? Not a slave to fashion, never heard of her. Nailed ICKY POO, yeah for me.

Looking forward to Sunday, this one was a bust for moi!

Karl 3:09 AM  

I did solve it, but concur with RP. Too many of the clues were tremendous stretches. ADRENAL should have been paired with GLAND as GRECOROMAN should have been with WRESTLING. In my lexicon, those are not stand-alone words...meh...

syndy 3:18 AM  

Not sayin it was ICKPOO but ,,, I had RU*H at the bottom of 9 down and I'm all What was the Babes' Name? but no, It turned out to be some random collection of letters! I suspect that as a family WE did not yet have a color set so the JETSON factoid was lost on me!I remember the early color sets being kinda dubious.

Brendan McNamara 3:20 AM  

Tim Croce themelesses are about as tough as they come for me. I just don't think on his cluing wavelength. This one was especially tough, since the one long I knew was SADAHARUOH, but I had no confidence the spelling was correct. His clues just make it so hard to get a foothold anywhere. So many are vague in a way it is impossible to feel confident about even when you have the right fill. Just not fun or fulfilling. Totally agree with Rex on this one.

jae 4:55 AM  

What a difference a couple of days make in the comment count.

Anyway, I want to file an amended post.  I still had a DNF but I did ask my bride if she had ever heard of ANNe or ANNA SUI (she was watching Project Runway at the time).  She had no idea.  I then asked her for an "Infusion aid" starting with TE.  She said TEA BALL which, of course, is correct.  This would have given me an assisted DNF instead of a total face plant (yes, there are subjective levels of DNF some of which allow you not to feel as D'oh!).  Unfortunately, I heard T-Ball and wondered what kid's baseball had to do with infusion.  So, the moral of this amended post is if you are going to DNF by asking for spousal assistance at least make sure you have a clarifying conversation.  ID EST, communication skills are important in a marriage, although I really didn't want to interrupt Project Runway.

Gareth Bain 6:48 AM  

I can confirm that medical types often drop the "glands" and refer to them as "adrenals".

GILL I. 7:00 AM  

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my first entry was ICKYPOO....and that was it!
Managed to eat away at some of the answers that didn't involve a song title, a sport or some highfalutin name. Never, ever, not once in my life have I, in my existence, heard of SADAHARU OH. Baseball is the one boring sport I don't follow.
ANNASUI???TSGARP???. At least I didn't make Kazantsakis a CRETiN.
Audi made a car named ATWO???
this puzzle was way out of my league YKNOW.

Loren Muse Smith 7:26 AM  

Well, heck, Tim. I SAW YER name and thought, “I SPEC I’m in for a HEINZ-kicking.” I never stood a chance.

Got DIET, TEARS UP, and PUMA and went off to see what my dogs were barking at. Returned, put in “calls in” for REELS IN, CRETAN, RIPTIDE, AND “cat hair” and was quite pleased with my progress.

@Karl - I bet I went back and checked four times that “wrestling” did indeed not fit there.

@jae – me, too, for “arrgh” first.

@chefwen – me, too, for “martini,” though I prefer olives.

It’s a REEL SIN that I wasn’t more patient in the southwest. If I had changed “sees red” and inferred HIDE, I think I could have finally seen fellow Tar Heel, MIA HAMM.

Like @jackj touched on – lots of unexpected consonant clusters, a lot owing to all of the initials: HEY MR DJ, PR BLITZ, G MAJOR, TS GARP, G SUIT. In the first across and the last across, there are 12 consonants and only 2 vowels.

I agree with Rex – really nice grid. Really tough clues. I’m going to go lie down. My EGO was just put on a DIET.

astroman 7:57 AM  

Completely agree, Rex. ICKPOO.

Danp 8:04 AM  

Diamonds are Forever didn't need an apostophe (Thursday's puzzle?), but YKNOW does. Mia Hamm and Sadaharu Oh were beautiful misdirections, as was Martini/Mystery. And I liked the Jetsons clue. But the puzzle was an Aargh, though that word means "Ugh" to me, not "why me?"

Dean 8:09 AM  

Clueless cluing. Exhibits A through F:

- Marines wear dress blues, not "blue dress." Not interchangeable. I asked a marine.

- Écoles do not have facultés. A faculté is what we call a department or a college in an insitution of higher education. It does not mean "faculty." And école never, ever refers to an institution of higher education.

- "Love Me Do" is "set" in G Major? With the lone F# appearing in the middle 8 and treated like an accidental, and all the other F's natural? If it's in G anything, isn't it in G Mixolydian? And why do we never see GMIXOLYDIAN in a puzzle?

- Just as nobody in the English-speaking world has ever said "Pass me the oleo. It's over there in the middle of that olio. Don't looking at me like I'm speaking Erse," nobody calls a standout a "oner." (Is an oner onerous?)

- Noun clues for adjectives. Just because some professionals nominalize them as on-the-job jargon does not give puzzle constructors license to do the same. ADRENAL, GRECO-ROMAN.

- NEB? NEB? Really? Google "Tortoise neb" and tell me what you find.

evil doug 8:31 AM  

Couldn't disagree more, Michael (and most everybody, so far).

Started with (Tom) 'Dempsey' as the club-footed kicker---former Saint with the 63-yard field goal---although his medical issue was a different sort of toe-less birth defect. Nice trivia on Mia.

Gotta love tonsils by guillotine, Heinz' 57 varieties,the Dell-Vikings, PR blitzes, pet hair, riptide, Cretan, ghetto, 'ruh-roh' Astro and the Jetsons, Audi A-2, aero (could have gone w/Saab to pair up with the Audi), the quite fair Marine twist on blue dress uni's (coulda been Monica and her fellow interns?) and seethes.

Terrific workout.


Anonymous 8:36 AM  

dempsey fits where MIAHAMM sits.

SADAHARUOH...i casually follow baseball. did not know who this was.

ROSSI...monteverdi is a the tom dempsey of orfeo composers. but clearly, monteverdi does not fit.

two song titles in the extreme decades of my knowledge. i don't know a lot of 50s music and i stopped following pop music closely in 1990.

this was one of those puzzles that, when i finished, i was just angry. not only did i like it, but with no real payoff to the struggle, i felt like my time was wasted and the joke was on me. glad to hear i wasn't the only one who felt that the difficulty in cluing was gratuitous.

Smitty 8:38 AM  

@Gareth Bain I agree "adrenals" is legit, but not the singular. I thought it might ADRENAE but the check didn't correct ADRENAL

Glimmerglass 8:52 AM  

Defeated by the NW. I had ECOLE . . . then zero. Finally gave up and came here. The rest was hard, but with a sensible guess (ROSSI), it all finally fell. That much was fun and satisfying. I'm not happy with ICKYPOO, though I see now it could be right. I still don't get TONSILS (is there a surgical device called a guillotine?). I was looking for cooking tool. I'm a bit angry at myself for not getting MYSTERY, but I don't think the corner would have fallen even if I'd gotten that.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

didn't like a lot of it
e.g. one reels in after the fish is on the line;
one leg would be more apt;
errs is weak as is bean;
"in terms of" doesn't work;
"with (to)" would have been nice with ascribe

Mohair Sam 8:57 AM  

Great puzzle Tim Croce. Being of just the right age and a baseball fanatic COMEGOWITHME (dom, dom, dom, dom, doobie, doobie, dom . . )and SADAHARUOH were gimme's and gave me a great head start.

I disagree almost totally with Rex and some posts here on clue quality. OK, they're right about the hated ONER and the stacked clues (ERRS), but beyond that the cluing was clever, witty, and tricky. Fun.

Liked "kicker" MIAHAMM crossing MLS, and have no idea why Rex complained about the Mia clue - it is a Saturday after all. And I thought the "Love me Do" setting clue was excellent - The song is set in the key of G major, what's the problem? AARGH

btw Mr. Croce. I will be haunted by the opening lines of the Dell Vikings hit for about a week, thanks, thanks a lot. Woe, Woe, Woe, Woe.

Sir Hillary 9:29 AM  

Well, I longed for more obtuse cluing in yesterday's puzzle, and boy did we get it today. This is the rigorous Saturday workout I was hoping for this week.

I made the already brutal damn near impossible by smarmily dropping in JOSHGIBSON as the home run king. 90 uninterrupted minutes later, I was finally done. The last bit was the SE, where ONEa and REinSIN almost had me convinced there was such a thing as a TEABAnd and that a Pa_dITZ was some sort of ballet maneuver.

I'm not sure I could handle a toughie like this every week, but it sure felt good today. Thanks, Tim!

Merle 9:42 AM  

I agree with Dean -- too many stretches that aren't accurate, like blue dress instead of dress blues. ickypoo. He's absolutely right in f (lagging the problem with "école" as an answer to the 2D clue "faculté". And Dean's response to the answer "GMaj" for the 54D clue is priceless. Conceiving of the very early Beatles' song as keyed in a Mixolydian mode gave this dulcimer player a shiver. It's been quite a while since I've tuned to Mixolydian. Dean's comments are much more interesting than the puzzle.

And I hope I never see the truly obscure stuff in a puzzle again -- Sadaharuoh -- really?

To give Tim Croce credit -- after all, he's given us some fine puzzles -- the "shed material"/"pet hair" pairing was fun to discover. And I enjoyed the evocation of the Del Vikings and "Come Go With Me". I was a teenager in 1957, and really loved that song. Whqt's not to love?

Since I'm strolling down Memory Lane, I'll comment that the 1A answer, the 1993 song "Hey Mr. D.J." causes me to lament -- I far far far prefer "Having a Party" by Sam Cooke, which has the line, "Hey hey, Mr. D.J., keep those records playing, 'cause I'm having such a good time dancing with my baby".

Re 54 A -- I hope some day a puzzle constructor will come up with this clue for "ghetto" -- "Duane Stephenson lyric 'real ______ pain' ".

Re retired Audi model -- since I know nada about cars -- is the A Two answer correct? Did Audi call the model A Two or A-2?

Ω 9:54 AM  

COME GO WITH ME - well, make up your mind.

I know all the other designers in ANNA SUI's mini bio, but I can't say I have ever heard of her. Really looks like something yelled at a hog calling contest to me. Crossing her with NEB and Luigi ROSSI was beyond my ken.

GITANO is vaguely familiar, Calvin Klein was too long, Lee's too short. Other than that the cluing seemed pretty typical for a Saturday to me. Hard, stretching the meaning of words, with an occasional factoid tossed in. Rex nailed it with his "largely a subjective matter" observation. One less factoid in the SE and I'd be raving about this puzzle.

Captcha - zzedted - me after three beers.

Richard 9:54 AM  

I liked this one a lot although it was difficult. The cluing was tricky but fair. At least as important to me, it gave me enjoyment because some of the answers were funny and/or struck a personal chord. On the latter, one answer that I loved was CHIEF JOSEPH, which I got right away. Our younger daughter was asked to write about a famous/brave American in 3rd grade and she chose Chief Joseph. He really was quite a leader. Her teacher was less than thrilled though with her choice because she said he was not an American!!!!

I also liked COME GO WITH ME and got it right away as I was loved the song when I was a teenager.

My favorite clues were for PRBLITZ and PETHAIR.HEYMRDJ was a very interesting letter combination.

Thanks, Evil, for reminding me about Tom Dempsey. My first thought was about an NFL kicker but could not remember his name

Peter t 9:55 AM  

Went all wrong on this one. Had "come go with me" right away, and just saw the "babe Ruth story" on TV, so thougt iI was real smart to put "George Ruth" in at 9 down. Also fell for "Dempsey" and "Martini". Big mess to fix after all that!

Milford 9:56 AM  

Found this difficult for sure, had to Google to finish. I think on the first pass I was only "sure" of T.S. GARP and the misdirected MarTini.

The baseball player was the most difficult one to suss out.

That TONSILS clue is terrifying.

Time to go enjoy a day that isn't so suffocatingly hot.

MetaRex 9:58 AM  

Was in fear when I saw that my better tushnet had taken 30 minutes for this one...promised MetaSpouse I would google 25 minutes in so we could get on with our day. Turned out to be a comparatively smooth solve by MRian standards...the key was looking for scrabbliness, which helped give me DJ and ICKYPOO in the NW, ASCRIBE in the NE, JETSONS in the SW, and PR BLITZ in the SE.

Now off to find MetaSpouse at the Chestnut Hill farmer's market, and then on to the Philadelphia art museum...after surviving a Tim Croce Saturday, gotta run up the steps 50 times a la Rocky.

jberg 10:01 AM  

DNF in a big way, thanks to not knowing SADAHARU OH and starting with Henry AarOn in that place. And having diaLS IN for REELS (which, I agree, you don't do until after the fish is already on the line.) Had ASUI, but no idea about ANNA. Apparently both she and Mr. OH are famous, so that's my fault. But the REELS... I did think of calLS IN, which would have given that tortoise an alB, maybe.

@Dean - How about the Ecole Polytechnique? (sorry, I can't figure out how to type the accents here).

I think the puzzle was fair enough, except for that one clue, and if ASCRIBE had occurred to me, as it should, I'd probably have been OK. I got a lot further than I thought I would. Now off go drown my sorrows.

Nancy 10:03 AM  

My HEY JUDE across the top NW screwed up that whole section for me (what is a JYSTERY?)I never heard of SADAHARUOH (thought it was one word) so there went that section. Didn't know NEB and couldn't piece together PR BLITZ, even with most of the letters in, so there went that section. All I can say is AARGH, like so many of the rest of you!

retired_chemist 10:05 AM  

Agree totally with Rex. Nice grid, reasonable fill with some notable exceptions (especially ONER and NEB), but the cluing was nasty. GRECO-ROMAN and ADRENAL clued as nouns irritated me. Ditto Blue Dress wearers, although there presumably are women Marines who wear them.

The NW went in easily, sort of. Couldn't believe ICKY-POO stayed, ever when JOSEPH confirmed the final O. HEY MR DJ was an unknown, as was a lot more in this puzzle, but I got it correct because it at least parsed sensibly. The rest of the puzzle was a lot worse.

SADAHARU OH cost me a great deal of time. First off, I didn't know it. Googled Barry Bonds to find out how many home runs he had hit, and when I found out he was MLB's #1, I had to erase ROGER MARIS. HTG for the correct answer, then made the silly error of putting it in 12D, with one less letter, instead of 9D. Now the Japanese name Oh can also, I believe, be transliterated as an O with a macron. And I thought the surname could go first in Japanese. So, played with both SADAHARU O and O SADAHARU in the wrong column. My bad.

ANNA SUI, ROSSI, COME (and) GO WITH ME (knew it but wanted the and), A TWO, the NE'ER in the Othello line, the CSA motto, and more were so far outside my wheelhouse that I was sunk.

BTW did anyone else have OY VAY or OY VEY for 50A?

Bottom line: this could have been an enjoyable experience but for some sucko cluing. I am glad this puzzle does not represent the Saturday norm. I would probably find something else to do with my time.

evil doug 10:17 AM  

Marines wear dress uniforms that are blue--hence, blue dress uniforms--that they call "dress blues". Q.E.D., you whiny panty-waisted pickers of nits. We've all been around long enough to know the difference between an erroneous clue and a clever/devious application of constructor's license.


Jeremy Mercer 10:30 AM  

@Dean and @jberg - Since I had kids and needed some stable income, I've started teaching English as a sessional at the local university here in Marseille - first la Faculté des sciences du sport, now la Faculté de droit et de science politique. From what I've learned, an 'école' can technically be home to a 'faculté' but holy cow is that not part of the common language. A 'faculté' is almost universally at a 'université' and in fact 'fac' is accepted slang for being at university, as in 'Je suis à la Fac' for 'I'm at university'. I guess an apt parallel considering today's puzzle would be having an 'institute' as a place for a 'faculty', which is technically correct because of places like RPI but not really of the language ...

The puzzle was quite the workout but satisfying. It would have been difficult for any constructor to follow yesterday's masterpiece ...

retired_chemist 10:31 AM  

Still do not like it. Again the use of dress in the clue is as a noun but the sense in your explanation is adjectival. See GRECO-ROMAN e.g.

Questinia 10:46 AM  

A totally clunky slog in a jalopy trying to pass itself off as a Jaguar. Or maybe a Jaguar trying to pass itself off as a jalopy.

I follow fashion but thought it was Cavalli before ANNA SUI. No biggie,

I know ADRENAL can be used, but usually only by a surgeon operating on one of the glands while explaining what's being done to an assisting resident.

But otherwise, I agree with Rex on this one. The clues were misleading in such a way that when one got them, there was rolling of the eyes as after a bad joke.

captcha: ogresui 37 or what Anna Sui turns into roughly a half hour before her show opens during New York's fashion week.

Carola 10:49 AM  

Finished, but it certainly didn't go off without a HITCH. Like @Rex, went with SEEs rED. Wrote in ICKYPOO right away and then erased it because I didn't believe the K and Y could be right with crosses. caTHAIR crossing eAT (for GET) had me hopping on a toe. Yes, AARGH, which I misspelled ArRGH until I saw TEABALL. My tortoise had a NiB for a while.

Also had ad BLITZ, and even when I changed it to PR BLITZ, and knew ANNA SUI, it took forever to get TS GARP, mainly because I just couldn't see EGO. Felt like my BEAN was the size of a PEA after filling in the last space with the G.

Fun along the way: COMEGOWITHME (loved that song), learning about MIA HAMM and SADAHARU OH and TONSILS getting guillotined (weird that it's over CLOT and HEWED...shudder).

@retired_chemist - I'm your partner today in filling in the wrong spot: I wrote ICKYPOO in 17A, which made "lycee" right. For a while.

Mohair Sam 11:17 AM  

@All Nitpickers. . . There are four marine dress uniforms one of which is called "Blue Dress", informally called "dress blues."

Called my old college roomie who is a retired Marine officer. He said he used the term "blue dress uniform" whenever speaking formally or putting the dress requirements in writing because "Blue Dress" is the correct name and the more commonly used "dress blues" is slang.

The clue is perfectly correct, and darned clever too.

600 11:17 AM  

I didn't like this puzzle. It felt unfair (SADAHARU OH? Give me a break) and some of the clues didn't feel right (REELS IN,) but I did love PR BLITZ.

Most of what I experienced others have already said, but on 25A (Shed material?) I took the misdirection in a way I don't think anyone has mentioned (unless I overlooked it in my perusal of the comments)--did no one else try UNDRESS and DISROBE? Then, as the owner of three lovely, hairy dogs, I loved the answer when I got it.

Gene 12:16 PM  

Agree with most of the grammatical complainers. SADAHARUOH was a gimme, as was (I was sure) Tom DEMPSEY.

Anonymous 12:23 PM  

I'd prefer to have SADAHARUOH clued "Who did the Beastie Boys claim to have more hits than?"

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

Hey Dean at 8:09,

Yes. To everything you wrote.
But truth be told ,I liked the puzzle anyway.

joho 12:42 PM  

I enjoyed the struggle. The SE was the most difficult for sure so I was delighted when I finally got PRBLITZ ... @Rex, perfect clue and tough to get and most satisfactory answer! Perfect spot to end the puzzle, too.

However. First I had iKNOW which made no sense but heiMeDJ sounded sorta Beatle-ish. I finally settled on HEsMyDJ thereby creating a new phrase, "SKNOW" which translated means "Just so you know." And, of course, the famous school, yPI.

I got all the rest even though I hadn't a clue what the answers meant, esp. SADAHARUOH.

I know fashion but hate to shop so ANNASUI didn't come quickly and was only vaguely familiar.

This puzzle at times made me feel like a CRETiN which I really appreciate on a Saturday. I only wish I had known that song at 1A!

Anonymous 12:46 PM  


According to Merriam Webster (via google), neb is the beak of a tortoise.

joho 12:47 PM  

I meant, "what *some* of the answers" ... not all of them!

Hope you all have a nice Saturday!

Lewis 1:44 PM  

@dean -- excellent points and post. I'm thinking if we had GMIXOLYDIAN as an answer, there might be a revolt in crossworld.

@Mohair Sam -- you too, excellent points and post. You've taken the positive spin, with @dean taking the other side, and I, with positive and negative reactions to the puzzle, agree with you both.

This was a hard puzzle for me. I would have all but one or two letters in an answer and still be stumped. But the kicker is that when I would finally get the answer, it wasn't a happy "you got me!" to the constructor, it was simply an "oh, ok". This happened too often for me to enjoy the puzzle.

But has Mohair and ED point out, there were things to like as well.

Unknown 1:48 PM  

I totally DNF, but for one amusing moment I had MONICAS in there for Blue Dress Wearers, and it seemed to fit and all was wonderfully cheeky. I even convinced myself that being near a clue from 1993 (HEYMRDJ) was relevant, and we were having a general 90s flashback that might play out as the puzzle went on. But no, and no to the wearer of THE infamous blue dress. Oh well!

Michael Hanko 2:00 PM  

I initially found the misdirection in the GMAJ clue to be delightful and clever. I thought that it was an abbreviation added to the difficulty, because I was looking for abbreviations of place names like Ft. Something or St. Something.

But the more I think about it, the more I agree with Rex that, for at least two reasons, it is not a fair kind of deception, especially to those of us who are seasoned musicians:

1) In my experience, no fellow musician has ever referred to a key as a "setting" or used the verb "to set" to indicate a key choice. We say, "let's PLAY it in G Major," or "SING it" or "PUT it" or "DO it" but never "Let's SET it in G Major." (Maybe this is a genre-based variant. Do rock musicians or other groups use "set" or "setting" in this way?)

2) Unlike a symphony or a piano piece, which is almost always performed in the same key in which the composer "set" it [Aha! There is an acceptable usage. I stand partially corrected.], a song is not generally thought of as being "IN" any particular key. Different singers will perform it in different keys to suit their voices. You could say that a particular performance of a song was in such-and-such a key, but usually the tonality of the song itself is considered to be a fluid thing.

In any case, even with the sometimes irritatingly tricky clues, I enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit. I sometimes enjoy having to use my brain in ways that it is not used to or even comfortable with.

But now how do I get that Madonna song out of my head....?

Anonymous 2:20 PM  

"But too many of the clues were just deliberately obtuse . . ."

Hardly unusual on Friday and Saturday.


Glad to see that this was trouble for a lot of people, as it was surely trouble for me. After 45 minutes I had maybe eight entries down and I wasn't positive on any of them.

SE eventually cracked and the rest of the bottom followed. Got the top bit by bit, but finally decided to sleep on it.

Finally finished it off by getting IN TERMS OF from "Concerning", and RIGHT HAND MAN from "Friday, e.g.".

On the plus side - no darts. I was sure that the solve was correct.

Anonymous 2:37 PM  

Wow, this was an etxremely tough one.

I did agree with Rex that a couple of clues were pretty bad, like "ends up short" and "cortisone producer" -- there is no such thing as an adrenal, in my opinion. Could have said "cortisone-producing" and I would have been satisfied.

But mostly I am glad I finished this mother. Took me over my self-imposed one-hour Saturday maximum but I was riding in a car so whatever.


Bob Kerfuffle 2:41 PM  


This puzzle killed me, figuratively speaking.

Had a difficult time getting started, but finally filled in RIPTIDE at 11 D, giving me something to work from.

Although I considered giving up altogether at least twice, I completed most of the grid with write-overs only at 4 D, which looked like __STORY before the MYSTERY was solved; and 25 A, where I couldn't decide between CATHAIR and DOGHAIR.

But the very last two entries in the SE never resolved for me. I didn't recognize T S GARP, couldn't decide between NIB and NEB, and somewhere along the line had decided that 45 D was TEABAGS. I even though 66 A, Big spinning effort, had something to do with an ORB spider (is there such a thing?), and finally quit with gibberish in 64 A and 66 A.

Citizen Zeus 2:58 PM  

Sometimes the self-referential cleverness and challenge a puzzle maker sets for himself get in the way of a meaningful solve. Kinda like a tortuous but arty film noir: You can appreciate what the film maker was trying to do but leave feeling like a victim of method over story.

Chip Hilton 3:08 PM  

Defeated by the SE corner, thanks to ANNASUI and.PRBLITZ. For the latter, I had L-TZ and got locked in on LuTZ thinking there must be some obscure prefix for an iceskater's leap. Otherwise, I enjoyed the workout, struggles with the spelling of Mr. OH's first name aside. Did not know of MIAHAMM's condition, like others, I went right with Tom Dempsey. (Remember Alex Karra's on-field reaction as the record-setting 63 harder went through the uprights?)

Martin 3:30 PM  


It's more than slang among medical types. "An adrenal" is a thing in ordinary English.

jae 3:32 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle -- "Quit with gibberish" -- exactly. I know how you feel.

I Skip M-W 3:46 PM  

Great puzzle! I had to use crosses to get Sadaharu Oh, but so what.
@Dean, the French speak of Grand Écoles, which include the very most elite universities, so you're mistaken.
Agree with@Evil Doug. I certainly don't pay much attn to fashion, but got Anna Sui from the Sui part.
Have never seen the Jetsons, but easy to infer. Wanted Lord Byron for the club-footed, but was delighted when Mia Hamm showed up.
At first , puzzle seemed hopelessly hard, but stick-to-it-iveness eventually paid off which is just what I like.

Davis 3:51 PM  

This puzzle was one big WTF for me. It took me forever just to get a toe into the puzzle—many of my initial forays into the grid turned out to be wrong.

Things I really didn't like: NEB (huh?), ANNA SUI (who?), SADAHARU OH (zero of those letters are inferrable), GRECO-ROMAN as a noun (bad entry without "wrestling" attached), ADRENAL as a noun (bad entry without "gland" attached), A-TWO (it's "A2", not A-TWO), ROSSI (who?).

I would have forgiven those entries given that this is a Saturday, but the cluing was so obtuse as to make this one infuriating.

John V 4:05 PM  

Got nothing. That's it.

michael 4:10 PM  

The first clue I wrote in was Sadaharu Oh. Then I equally confidently wrote in "Dempsey." One for two... Really hard puzzle. Had to google in nw and se. heymrdj, annasui, and neb were news to me. prblitz is great, but I couldn't see it.

ANON B 4:11 PM  

I wonder how Tim Croce would do
on Jeopardy.

Too old to care 4:29 PM  

Too hot and too late in the day to write much. Yes very difficult. Not much in the way of cute clues. Yes very good puzzle, but a few very generational clues that forced me to rely entirely on crosses and syntax. Worst was the first - 1A.

Haven't read that many comments, but I'm sure someone has addressed dress blue wearers. Claiming expertise based on my military career, I say thay that blue dress wearers belong at the debutante ball. DRESS BLUE uniforms are worn by the marines, army and of course the navy. Blue dress uniforms are not in the mix.

Sean Dobbin 4:32 PM  

Find myself disagreeing with @Rex and agreeing with @Evil today, almost completely. Whoa!

Did the same DEMPSEY thing. Didn't know SADAHARU OH, but should have, and glad I do now. Perfect Saturday for me, except for the NEB/PRBLITZ crossing.

Unknown 4:38 PM  

Yes to everything Rex said.

I accept that I am going to have to encounter a sports clue I don't know or like every now and then. But SADAHARUOH will never be more than just a jumble of letters to me. Useless, frustrating, annoying.

LaneB 5:27 PM  

Cluing is everything, of course, and this bunch was particularly obtuse and IMO sometimes unfair, e.g. the use of noun clues for adjectives [see Rex] and a couple of non-words like AARGH and ONER. Also some pretty obscure names like SADAHARUOH, ANNASUI and GITANO.

Did OK on the eastern half until I confidently used DEMPSEY for MIAHAMM and that pretty much did me in.
Lost my motivation and ceased caring. I surrender with high praise for those who completed the thing with or without Googleaid.

OISK 6:01 PM  

Sadaharu Oh was a gimmee, but I wasn't sure how to spell it. Finished correctly, and happy to see it called "challenging." I thought of "adrenal" immediately, but like others, hesitated because I had never seen it as a stand alone noun. When I first sat down with the puzzle, and saw as a first clue some completely unfamiliar lyrics, (HeyMRDJ???)I just wanted to throw the newspaper across the room. Fortunately I knew Chief Joseph, so I was able to work it out. The puzzle actually contains 3 pop songs I don't know, although I do recall hearing "Domby doo dom" in Junior High. I don't like "YKNOW" as an answer either. Interesting to me how some object to the inclusion of an extremely famous (in baseball) Japanese player, but are fine with "HeyMrDJ." Different strokes...

Still, despite the pop songs, slang, and auto product, I enjoyed the challenge, and felt good about solving this one. I've pretty much liked the entire week's puzzles, including Thursday's. Well done, Mr. Croce.

Elle54 7:07 PM  

At first I had for blue dress wearers "Monicas"
Hee Hee Hee ...

Anonymous 7:22 PM  

I think it is acceptable to have adrenal as a noun. . .it is the adrenal gland that produces hydrocortisone.

Mrs. Sadaharu Oh 7:28 PM  

@Susan McConnell: How would you like it if someone said that a member of your family "will never be more than just a jumble of letters to me. Useless, frustrating, annoying." The man may have been a professional athlete (and a damn good one), but that doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings. He was devastated by your comments, and I've had to spend the whole afternoon reassuring him that you didn't mean them, it was just the frustration talking. In the future, please be more considerate.

Sean Dobbin 7:39 PM  

@Susan McConnell:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Frustrating and annoying maybe, but useless? The most home runs ever in the world? That's some high-quality knowledge!

bayonne 8:32 PM  

I thought this one was much like that Boston AL team. Wound up getting all but the interface of the beak and the designer. Pfaugh!

Dirigonzo 9:49 PM  

"Uncle!" When your best answer for "Paris Hilton, e.g." is bralESS you can be pretty sure it's going to be a DNF, and it was. We got PETHAIR, though - that's a frequent topic of discussion around the household.

Atlantasolver 4:59 PM  

Chief Joseph was closer to a secretary of state for the Nez Perce than he was a war chief. And the tribe does not have an accent in English.

Unknown 2:09 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
spacecraft 12:06 PM  

DNF: the SE. That whole area is blank. TS...I must have tried fitting ELIOT into four squares at least five times. Was it a rebus? Some trick with a letter in the margin? Had NO IDEA of GARP's initials. TE_____ = infusion aid? Now seeing the answer, I ask: TEABALL? HUH??? WOE is that? Sounds like a combo of two upper-crust social events, first the afternoon tea, then the evening ball. And then there's ANNASUI. Well, I guess I must have been living under a rock (me?) all these years. Despite Wiki's insistence that she's world-renowned, I. Never. Heard. Of. Her.

I suppose, if I had conitnued to stare at it for ANOTHER hour, I might have latched onto HEINZ, after which there might have been a faint chance. But I just got tired--and hey, I'd just gotten up!

Worked out the rest of it, even though I had ______RU_H for 9d and couldn't get RUTH out of my head...GEORGERUTH fit, I supposed, but no one ever called him that without also the middle name Herman. When finally the dawn broke over my brain. I knew Mr. OH right away--but was convinced his first name was SAtAHARU. Had RedTIDE, but AtEdTAT was clearly wrong. Fixed that. Then there was SEETHES--which I actually had in first!--then changed to SEEsrEd, then back again when the JETSONS lightbulb came on. The great MIAHAMM born with a clubfoot: wow, what an amazing fact! From now on, all excuses seem feeble.

INTERMSOF cluing, I agree that even for Saturday, some of this stuff was over the top. Oh dear.

I have just made a feeble excuse.

DMG 3:46 PM  

This one was way out of my league. Got a scattering of words, but not enough to build on. To quote @spacecraft, "some of this stuff was over the top", particularly for one not into sports and whatever era music memorabilia. Add to that the commented on "mis-clues" and I'm out of here!

Waxy in Montreal 4:35 PM  

Mr. OH was a gimme, though spelling his first name proved a major league challenge. Had similar trouble with GARP's initials. Thought (Tom) DEMPSEY was also a gimme at 59A which slowed solving in the SW to a crawl. Eventually had to google HEYMRDJ to deCLOT the NW (had ICKYPOO but didn't expect it was right in a NYT puz). Overall found it a tough but very fair and fun Saturday slog.

Anonymous 6:03 AM  

Agree, completely. Succinctly said!

Andrew K 6:18 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Too many easy puzzles lately, so nice to finally get a real workout.

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