Ancient Hellenic healer / SUN 10-6-13 / Hindustan capital of old / Southernmost province of Spain / Genoese delicacy / Seinfeld called him Picasso of our profession

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Toe Tags" — familiar phrases have the sound "TOE" added to the end, resulting in rewritten, wacky phrases, clued "?"-style

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Magic word that never loses its power? (PERMANENT PRESTO)
  • 28A: 1970s Ford on the move? (ROLLING PINTO)
  • 39A: Enthusiastic enjoyment of one's unhappiness? (GLOOMY GUSTO)
  • 41A: The Josip Broz Memorial Trophy? (CUP OF TITO)
  • 58A: Stingy snack vendor's special offer? (BUY ONE GET ONE FRITO)
  • 75A: Big Apple cop who's looking to bust Popeye? (NYPD BLUTO)
  • 77A: Learn all about the capital of Ecuador? (MASTER QUITO)
  • 88A: Portino of Dante's "Inferno" that was wisely excised? (GARBAGE CANTO)
  • 96A: Christmas decoration that automatically steers toward lovers? (GUIDED MISTLETOE)

Word of the Day: GAWP (88D: Stare stupidly) —
intr.v. Chiefly Britishgawpedgawp·inggawps.
To gawk.

[Variant of obsolete galp, to gawk, gape, of unknown origin.]

Read more:
• • •

Got the theme immediately (which is to say, before beginning the puzzle) and thought this would make for a very easy Sunday. And while the theme answers were indeed easy to pick up, my overall time was dead average for a Sunday. This is due to a. lotsa white space and b. vague / tough cluing. Thank god for cwm (!) because I was having Real problem getting the middle portion to come (!!) together at the end until WELSH came along and helped put all those 5-letter answers into place. To me, submarines and PO' BOYs are totally different things, so that didn't compute. 'NATCH—never say that, so 53D: "But of course!" was little help. Had SASSY for SAUCY (63A: Impertinent). Found the clue at 59D: Wine country surname completely cryptic. The country has a surname? Napa ... somebody? But it's just a winemaker's name, GALLO. And then SLATE for SHALE (72A: Rock used for flagstones). All those problems right in the center of the grid—that's where I made my last stand.

The grid is this oddly regular, semi-mesmerizing thing, with more 5-letter answers than I can ever remember seeing in a grid. Three big rivers of them running SW-to-NE (or vice versa). If you can keep up steady movement through them, those areas fall like dominoes. But hit a little hitch, and you can end up in real trouble. 5-letter answers are much much harder to get (on overage) with just one letter or no letters in place than 4-letter answers. Never got too hung up, but neither did I blaze through the puzzle the way I thought I would. Biggest screw-up: JUST DESSERT (37D: Fitting punishment). As in, [Brusque response to "Would you care for a salad or an entree?"].

Puzzle is creamily smooth and cute and easy. Theme answers manage to be pretty funny, though all Pintos are rolling (theoretically) and PERMANENT PRESTO makes no sense on any level, including wacky. I do like the idea of the GARBAGE CANTO, though, as well as the highly odd and seemingly parsimonious BUY ONE GET ONE FRITO. A breezy, likable Sunday affair. I have this weird feeling that this puzzle will play "Easy" for most solvers but "Medium" for speed solvers. It's easy, for sure, but somehow not built for speed speed. Real speed. Sprint speed. A certain vagueness in the cluing may be the reason. Some days, puzzles just play differently for different classes of solvers. I want to say "it's a mystery," but I'm sure someone somewhere has stats and / or data and / or a mathematical formula explaining why this should be.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:13 AM  

Yeah, mostly average time-wise. Finished at OVINE.

GAWP is interesting.
"fool, simpleton," 1825, perhaps from the verb meaning "to yawn, gape" (as in astonishment), which is attested from 1680s, a dialectal survival of galp (c.1300), which is related to yelp or gape."

dj1969 12:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 12:27 AM  

I wonder how many are going to complain that one (and only one) of the themed answers ends in toe rather than to, breaking the symmetry.

Z 12:50 AM  

This played hard for me, but I solved while watching the Tigers lose to the A's. I spent a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG time in the SE. raIL before BOIL, tried nAb for BAG, could not come up with BONO, MINI???S was a Huh? for the longest time (when is the last time I took a photo to a photo lab, mini or maxi? Never), -R-- couldn't be ORCA. I bet I spent 25% of my solving time in that little section.

Now, to go find out how "Like Lincolns" results in OVINE.

Gee Whiz - a fun puzzle.

Oklahoma State University Animal Science Department 12:53 AM  

Lincoln Sheep

chefwen 1:04 AM  

Puzzle was on more the easy side than medium for me. PTPP was a tad bit put out that I didn't need his input. I will have to be more aware of that In the future, and save some goodies for him.

Favorite was BUY ONE GET ONE FRITO. Very cute!

jae 1:30 AM  

Easy medium for me too.  No WOEs and just a few erasures: DiAN for DYAN, rewards for DESERTS, and hEEd for MEET. 

Stingy snack?  FRITO?

Not much to say about this one.  Let's see... workman like?

Anonymous 2:55 AM  

Why is stingy in the clue "Stingy snack vendor's special offer?".

I wanted the answer to be one word for "Magic word that never loses its power?".

And the wacky phrases just seemed...wacky. Maybe I need to do puzzles longer to acquire a taste for the themed ones.

Mike in DC 3:22 AM  

@anonymous: a single free Frito, as in one chip, is a bit stingy as a bonus.

jae 4:04 AM  

@Mike -- Thanks, makes sense now.

Kristen 4:57 AM  

JUST DESERTS is missing an S! There should be two -- my old English teacher helped us remember this one by saying you'd want two desserts but only one desert.

Anonymous 5:32 AM  

Exactly, Kristen. Bizarre error.

Doc John 6:00 AM  

Add me to the WTF OVINE list.
Also, am I the only one who's bothered by the fact that all of the theme answers ended in TO except the last one which ended in TOE? Or are we supposed to be OK with that precisely because it was the last answer?

Rex Parker 6:31 AM  

"The spelling just desserts is non-standard. It is sometimes used as a pun in, for example, restaurant names."

The theme involves sound, not spelling. It's not the addition of letters—it's the wholesale changing of words that's involved, i.e. not KEYTO but QUITO.

There is no inconsistency.


Ken Wurman 6:31 AM  

I had to look this one up... Desert (with one S) is also defined as "punishment".. so a person receiving his "just desert" is receiving his just punishment.. we were wrong about this

ZenMonkey 6:34 AM  

@Kristen, I hate to break it to your teacher but JUST DESERTS is more correct.

Fun puzzle. I found it zippier than Rex, but I tend to with Mr. Berry.

MetaRex 7:22 AM  

RUMBLE SEATS and JUST DESERTS with their penultimate Ts feel like answers that mighta been gridded by PB as potential themers. BUMBLE BEATO = OLIVER TWIST CHARACTER IS BLESSED IN ROME?...can't come w/ even a bad possibility in the JUST DESERTS hole.

11 themers w/ two downs triple-crossing across themers woulda been a shoot the moon construction...the actual one is plenty fine as is.

This played a bit easier than a usual Sunday for me. Then again MR is no sprint solver...Rex may be onto something about super-speedsters finding this one less straightforward than the rest of pace car sanfranman59 should have a verdict for us on that in due course.

chefbea 7:43 AM  

Easy puzzle and I learned way back when...the difference between desert (the dry areas) and dessert (yummies)...dessert has 2 essex cuz you want more!!!

Loved BOGO frito

jberg 7:55 AM  

I've learned so much about sheep breeds from puzzles! I'm no speed solver, and yes, this was fairly easy -- aside from that SAssy SlAtE, and wanting the manual in 4D to imply a HandBOOK, my only problem was thinking it was Mr. Peanut with the monocle.

BUY ONE, GET ONE FRITO was worth the price of the newspaper, even if I hadn't got it free from my hotel.

Milford 8:49 AM  

I'm no speed solver, but this played harder for me. May have been because I solved Saturday right before. Maybe my brain was just fried. And I had a few drinks.

I wouldn't say the MISTLETOE was wrong, just an outlier. I had gone ahead and put a -TO at the end of each theme answer, so it took awhile to figure that one out. Considering the puzzle was titled "TOE TAGS", maybe the rest were actually the outliers.


Thank you for the OVINE explanation, @Z. I thought maybe it was a Green Acres character I had never heard of.

Maybe it's a regional thing, but I've never been around people that use NATCH. I get that it's short for "naturally", but I've only read it in books.

"Driver's recommendation" for BUCKLE UP was kind of funny, gentle suggestion to please obey the law.

Kind of been a rough, challenging week of puzzles, but that's a good thing.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Is it just deserts because it means just what you deserve? Bmacg

Bunella 9:53 AM  

just deserts? or just desserts?

Gene 10:03 AM  

Permanent press as in clothing


Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Deserts...what you s. Just desserts...what you eat at cupcake party.

John Child 10:05 AM  

I so very much wanted "70s Ford on the move" to be Mustang Sally. I wrote it in confidently and was distressed to have to remove it almost immediately.

jburgs 10:07 AM  

I had difficulty understanding JUST DESERTS and Rex's and other comments weren't quite clear to me so I googled the following and learned an interesting thing thing. JUST DESERTS:(idiomatic) A punishment or reward that is considered to be what the recipient deserved.
It may appear that they're getting ahead by cheating, but they'll get their just deserts in the end.
Usage notes[edit]
Deserts here is the plural of desert, meaning "that which one deserves". "Desert" is now archaic and rarely used outside this phrase.
The spelling just desserts is non-standard. It is sometimes used as a pun in, for example, restaurant names.

Joe The Juggler 10:09 AM  

I buy Rex's theory that this one was a quick solve for mediocre solvers but relatively slow for really good solvers.

I'm in the former group. This was one of my quicker Sundays, but even if I had a list of all the answers in front of me, I couldn't even copy them in as fast as really fast solvers solve a fast puzzle.

Carola 10:12 AM  

I thought BOGO FRITO and the GARBAGE CANTO were priceless.
Liked the old-timey RUMBLE SEATS and CANOODLE, the pair of ancients GALEN and EUCLID, the pair of conveyances PINTO and PINTA, and BLOATED next to OBESE.
Not all that familiar with Richard PRYOR, but I think the BLEEP above him might be fitting.

@Rex - Tiny typo in the Dante's "Inferno" bullet: "Portino" (looks Italian :) ).

Z 10:31 AM  

@Milford - So. You don't think the OSU Animal Science Department answered my midnight call for clarification?

I'm always a little surprised to see answered questions asked again that were answered three hours prior. Two answers on the DESERTS/DESSERTS at 6:30 this morning so no particularly good reason to be asking at 10:00.

GUIDED MISTLETOE is the CIA's new line of drones.

I was a little grouchy when I first posted (17 scoreless innings do that to me) but this was a top notch Sunday. NATCH, since PB is the constructor.

DBGeezer 10:51 AM  

The explanation I found for Lincolns OVINE

The Lincoln is one of the world's largest breeds of sheep. Its fleece is the heaviest, longest-stapled and most lustrous of any breed in the world. Lincolns originated in a fertile area on the East Coast of England, bordering the North Sea and the county of Lincolnshire. They were first brought to the United States in 1825, where they contributed to the development of several commercially-important American breeds including the Columbia and Targhee.
Breed categories: long wool, rare

Distribution: Worldwide

GILL I. 10:53 AM  

My first theme entry was CUPOFTITO (pronouncing the TI as tie...) so i sure did a lot of head scratching. Finally got GLOOMY GUSTO (my favorite) and then slapped my head.
Like @Milford I happily went around putting TO at the ends of the themes only to find MISTLETOE intact....
Lots of misdirects and write-overs but finally got my last PRYOR entry to give me GARBAGECANTO.
I thought CANOODLE was to schmooze or something but it's a great word.
I think I liked the fill better than the theme but then again PB comes from the ATEAMS - so thumbs up.

Steve J 12:39 PM  

@Rex: We had a Pinto for a few years when I was a kid. Judging from our experience, and the experience of everyone else I knew with one, a rolling Pinto is indeed something that exists mostly in theory. One of the worst cars ever made, and it was in the shop more often than it was driven.

This played tougher for me than usual. I don't know how much of it was due to working the puzzle while doing other things (mainly riding in the passenger seat through a very boring drive), but I do know that I filled the middle quickly, and the corners took the longest time to come together. A few too many missteps, and a few too many times falling for misdirection traps.

Liked this one overall, although I am one of those who did find it a bit odd that all but one of the theme answers was spelled identically. Yes, I know they're all consistent phonetically, but that still struck me as a bit odd.

(@Z: Unfortunately, this is far from the first time I've seen that people clearly don't read - or even scan - previous comments to see if their question has been addressed, and therefore it shows up multiple times. That, along with googling stuff, appears to be a lost art.)

Nancy 12:46 PM  

When "ovine" came in at the last, I knew Lincoln had to be a sheep, but never heard of it before. And, like others, I was SO sure that JUST DESERTS was wrong; that the clue should have been: "A land with absolutely no water." But I looked up DESERTS and, son-of-a-gun, the clue is correct. You learn something new everyday. Did finish, but it wasn't easy, especially the NW section.

joho 12:49 PM  

I thought this to be a fun Sunday with just the right amount of DASH and SAUCY-ness! @Rex, me too with SAssY first.


@Carola, nice observations!

Patrick Berry, you hold the MASTERQUITO crossword construction!

JC66 1:27 PM  


The theme involves sound, not spelling. It's not the addition of letters—it's the wholesale changing of words that's involved, i.e. not KEYTO but QUITO.

There is no inconsistency.

6 TOs and 1 TOE ( which sounds like TOE) and there sure is an inconsistency (unless @Rex likes the constructor).

Questinia 1:29 PM  

I agree with @ Rex about the undulating, mesmerizing grid cause I solved in a Siddhartha- like dazed state with occasional FRITO enlightenment.

Also as @ Rex states there's something about the five-letter words. It made me feel like I was driving around in Levittown.

Also as @Rex, vague cluing made too many answers come up at once, so I'd leave one five-letter bedroom cul-de-sac community for another until the grid looked like a map of fore-closures.

So, it was like I was Siddhartha driving a PINTO in Levittown with @ Rex GAWPING for FRITOs of enlightenment.

quilter1 2:42 PM  

Although I couldn't get back to the puzzle until after lunch the small part I had left fell quickly. I like puns so I liked the theme a lot. I agree with the easy rating. Unlike @Rex and others I solved the middle first then tooled around the edges. Good Sunday outing. Now to start my niece's wedding quilt.

Unknown 3:07 PM  

Medium difficulty for me. I don't time myself, but this was slow going the whole way through. Rex is right about the vagueness of the clues. A few of the themers made me chuckle.

TOE was an outlier. Rex pointed out above that the theme involves sound, not spelling. It's not the addition of letters—it's the wholesale changing of words that's involved. True enough, but when all of the other themers contain TO and only one has TOE, by definition, it's an outlier.

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

Rex, you are still the King,
but if you have to struggle with a large tough center section then the puzzle deserves a rating of "medium," at the least.
Those are its just deserts. I think PB would agree.

D and A

Brookboy 3:16 PM  

I got the theme early on, and that helped me throughout, all except for GUIDEDMISTLETOE (96A), which, to me, did not fit the theme. I had confidently put in GUIDEDMISsileto instead, which seemed to me to honor theme more precisely. After a lot of head-scratching, it slowly dawned on me that perhaps it should be MISTLETOE instead.

Other than that, I enjoyed the puzzle, thought it about average for a Sunday.

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

BUY ONE GET ONE FRITO is not being stingy. It's a two-for-one offer, which is better than many sale prices. BUY TEN GET ONE FRITO would be stingy.

mathguy 3:54 PM  

Enjoyed it. Four clever clues. Learned six words. Upper left took some labor.

Anoa Bob 4:03 PM  

Fun puzzle. I thought the clue for GLOOMY GUSTO (39A) "Enthusiastic enjoyment of one's unhappiness?" was inapt. That clue calls for two nouns, one for "enthusiastic enjoyment" and one for "unhappiness". But GLOOMY GUSTO is an adjective and a noun. Seems "Unhappy enthusiasm?" would be more apt (apter?).

I owned a '73 ROLLING PINTO station wagon. I thought it was a fine automobile but the 4-cylinder, overhead cam engine was ahead of its time compared to the typical big-iron engines of the day and people didn't know how to drive or take care of the car, so it got an unjustified bad rep, IMO. (Disclosure: I also drove a '60 Corvair van for 14 years and only reluctantly sold it when I move overseas. It was still running great.)

Gentle note to commenters: You might want to read previous comments before you post, lest you repeat, or re-repeat earlier ones.

Mette 4:10 PM  

The OED has a definition of desert as an alleged name for a covey of lapwings (spelled desserte, but let us not be pedantic). What a Hitchcockian punishment that would be.

My golfer's obstacle was a TRap, which left me staring at c??ops for camp rentals and ??lat for a tenderloin cut. Figured that out and finished with OVINE. Thanks to all for an explanation. It did seem like a strange description of an automobile.

@Rex - good of you to highlight GAWP.

retired_chemist 4:18 PM  

What everybody said. There, does that repeat anybody, everybody, or nobody?

Bought a highly used Pinto station wagon in 1970 or so to use as a second car. it survived an Ithaca winter but I didn't dare keep it when we moved to Texas. That much rolling, no.

Never heard of Lincoln sheep before but the answer OVINE was clear from the crosses so NBD.

Last square was fixing the l in 14D SlIP OFF. SlIP is more surreptitious than SKIP. Bah. Presumably lATIE Holmes is a dilatory starlet. Must have been delayed by taking a bunch of selfies.

Liked the theme, thought the TOE ending 96A was non-Berryesque, had fun with a lot of the answers.

Thanks. Mr. Berry.

Unknown 5:03 PM  

This one felt harder than most of Mr. Berry's usually do...though I must admit I was somewhat hung over this morning while doing it. I was initially disturbed by the MISTLETOE outlier, but eventually calmed myself down by accepting that it was the sound, not the TO that Patrick was going for. The theme answers are fun. My fave was GLOOMY GUSTO., but NYPD BLUTO made me chuckle. I am also in the SAssY before SAUCY camp.

jae 5:32 PM  

I forgot to include SAssY and having to change the O to E at the end of MISTLETOE among my erasures.

I've always thought names for sandwiches on long buns were regional:

Grinders and hoagies = North East Coast
Po' Boys = South
Submarines/Subs = Everywhere else.

OISK 5:56 PM  

Never heard of miso soup, but apparently, most people have, and misspelled EMORY (EMERY). Didn't like the clue for ovine; once I got it I realized that there must be Lincoln sheep, but seems unnecessarily obscure to me. Nevertheless, it is a Berry puzzle, and a very good one. Plenty of fun for me. (missed a square Thursday also; but had no problems with the theoretically more difficult Friday and Saturday. ) Anyway, great job, Mr. Berry.

Anoa Bob 6:04 PM  

Yikes! Sorry if I stepped on your TOE retired chemist. I often don't have the opportunity to post until later in the day. I still read all the comments so that I don't waste others' time by repeating what has been said before. I think it's a simple courtesy that I wish others would do for me. Alas, this doesn't always happen, hence the attempt at a gentle reminder.

Or was it that I think the ROLLING PINTO was a better car than most give it credit for?

Unknown 6:15 PM  

I think NATCH may be less a regional thing than a generational one STS. I've heard it used live by only one person: my grandmother (b. 1914). It's a word I'd expect to hear spoken in a Fred Astaire movie by a SAUCY dame in a bit dance part, while "but of course" would be uttered by a matronly Dame in the same film.

I'm bent on bringing it back into fashion - only raised a few eyebrows so far. But of course!

Norm 6:18 PM  

I have a poster from the Lake District of "English Sheep Breeds" on my wall, and, sure enough, there we find the Lincoln Longwool: "Found in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Argentina and many overseas countries" -- which is very interesting (apart from the missing Oxford comma) to the extent that it implies that Argentina is something other than an overseas country. The poster probably dates back to the time of the you-know-what war (I shan't take sides by choosing one name or the other lest I offend anyone); perhaps the British Wool Society thought the outcome of the war would cover more than the islands.

Davis 7:38 PM  

One day in copyright class my professor had the term "just deserts" written more than once in his slides. I thought for sure I had finally caught this rather brilliant man in an error for the first time, so I did some research and found myself duly schooled.

The pedant in me then tucked that knowledge into an accessible part of my brain, knowing that somewhere down the line I'd be able to smugly correct someone for writing "just desserts."

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

Read Rex Parker's comments on the puzzle from Wednesday, January 30, 2013. There he complained about an "inconsistency" in a puzzle whose theme easily could have been argued to involve sound and sound alone. In that puzzle, the theme was to double the final syllable of an expression ending with an O sound (e.g., "Dr. No" became DOCTORNONO). R.P. was "bugg[ed]" by the fact that some theme endings involved "break[ing] [] words in the base phrase" while others did not.

I think both Will Nediger and Patrick Berry deserve praise for their puzzles; they shouldn't be sniped at for alleged "inconsistencies". Mr. Berry was spared, but Mr. Nediger wasn't. The only clear inconsistency I see is R.P.'s treatment of constructors on his webpage.

LaneB 8:43 PM  

Thanks, bloggers for the explanation of OVINE and the one s in DESERTS. The puzzle was fun an made for a pleasant Sunday. It compensated for the failures of
Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

retired_chemist 8:46 PM  

@ Anoa Bob - nope, no TOE stepped on here. All Pinto stories are fair game. Might have been even funnier if we owned Edsels.....

I didn't see your post before i posted mine 15 minutes later. It takes me that long to compose sometimes....

Z 9:26 PM  

Canary yellow '72 PINTO wagon. Do I need to say anything more?

I agree that TOE is an outlier, but also agree that it is not inconsistent. Of course, I still don't really believe that morale and esprit de corps are synonyms.

@Anon 8:26 - To be fair, that theme had nothing to do with changing sounds, and Rex's complaint was sometimes the last word was doubled and sometimes the last syllable of the word was doubled. This was his "complaint:" "There's nothing in this inconsistency to really diminish enjoyment of the puzzle, but it's bugging me nonetheless." This after starting the post with such deragotory terms as "cute" and "snappy." I imagine a whole bunch of constructors wishing they had been slammed that harshly by OFL.

Anonymous 10:45 PM  

@Z: No one said the theme involved "changing sounds". Both themes could be viewed as focusing on sound. In Mr. Nediger's puzzle, we ask:

"What does one hear when you double the final vocalized syllable of expressions ending with an O sound?"

In Mr. Berry's puzzle, we ask:

"What do you hear when you add 'TOE'---or however a linguist would render the sound using diacritical marks---to the end of select expressions?"

If you want to see either theme as inconsistently carried out, you can; if you do not, then you won't. My comment concerned that choice and the motivations behind it.

(As for R.P.'s praise of Mr. Nediger's puzzle, it has nothing to do with the point I made. To bring it up is just shitting in the swimming pool.)

Anonymous 10:45 PM  

If Rex doesn't understand "permanent presto," then he is giving away that he has never done his own laundry. LOL

Fitzy 11:25 PM  

Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, are Provinces of Spain that are SOUTHwest of Cadiz... one of the Tenerife islands is a bit southwest of the southernmost islands in the Las Palmas province...

pvg 8:18 AM  

A good fun slog, this one, though I could not in good conscience fill in the S at 3 dn., as I am apparently too inactive to know that tachometer is frequently abbreviated, and because "Sara" is no Tara, Lara nor Mara and certainly no "Tusk"...

Milford 10:36 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
John V 9:12 PM  

Way late to the party, of course. Easy, but I was quite surprised at 98A, ending in TOE. That came across as pretty blatant inconsistency; very surprising, considering the constructor. Kinda took the edge off for me.

Anonymous 1:45 AM  

So did no one actually post from 10:36 AM to 9:12PM, or did the blog crash under the weight of criticism?

Anonymous 11:24 PM  

it had to be Lincoln ovens. did someone goof?

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

I'm a NYTC newbie....been a Scrabble addict for so many years, wanted to return to crosswords after not doing them for SO long. Yikes. Feel like an empty headed dummy. Whoa. But having fun. Gotta thank you tho for introducing me to Nick Drake. I'm a musician/singer/actress and big folkie from the day, and can't believe I didn't know him. New fan.

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

"get one frito" is very stingy if what you are paying for is more than another frito, e.g., "buy one [entree], get one frito".

spacecraft 11:17 AM  

I'll try one. Simon hit about a mid-range singer? YOUCANCALLMEALTO. Our Mr. Berry has done it again, this time in the expanded Sunday grid. It's never easy to de-slog a 21x21--unless your name is Patrick. Fun stuff--and I didn't mind at all that the LAST theme entry (would have minded if it hadn't been the "toe") ended in E. In fact, GUIDEDMISTLETOE is the best one, for me.

A couple of clues seemed to be trying too hard to obfuscate: "Like Lincolns" and "Like sulfuric acid." When OVINE filled itself in on crosses--my last entry--I just assumed that Lincoln was a breed of sheep, but really. That's about the last kind of "Lincoln" that would ever occur to me. And there must be a thousand ways to clue OILY better than that. Is H2SO4 OILY? Yeah, but sheesh. Give a non-chem major a break. After all, Saturday is over. I know this because my Nittany Lions FINALLY beat Michigan in the 4th OT! WE ARE!!!

rain forest 3:40 PM  

May I add a groaner, reminding you that it's the sound of "toe" that is the QUITO this puzzle's theme?

Greeting to an ancient castle: HELLOOLDCHATEAU. I guess you had to be there.

Of course I had to change JUSTDESSERTS, wondering why there was no room for the last "s". I accept that, and the only twinge-inducing entry was SKIPOFF, which does not sound at all surreptitious to me. I considered slipout, slipoff, and skipout before the actual answer. An appropriate clue for SKIPOFF might be 'joyfully flounce away', or some such. So, I guess I'm with @ret chem on this one.

Otherwise, this was an example of why Patrick Barry is so well-regarded as a constructor. Very enjoyable Sunday.

rain forest 5:05 PM  

Scratch the beginning of my last comment. Wrong-headed from the start. Wasted your time, syndiland. Sorry.

Dirigonzo 6:01 PM  

When I see PB is the constructor I expect to have fun and this puzzle did not disappoint. Caught on to the theme at PERMANENTPRESTO and was not bothered a whit by GUIDEDMISSLETOE. I wanted Henry Ford to have woodenSEATS in his Model A and straightening out that section of the grid was where I finished. The BOGO offer by the snack vendor doesn't seem all that stingy, but who buys just one Frito? Maybe the reference is to a bag of them, not a single chip but that would make it even less stingy.

@rain forest - I chuckled at "QUITO this puzzle's theme" and laughed out loud at HELLOOLDCHATEAU, which really should have been in the grid! Comments like that are the reason I scan the early comments to get to the syndi-comments.

And hand up for SlIPOFF, but lATIE seemed unlikely so I changed it.

Dirigonzo 6:07 PM  

I meant to end with this: My driver's advice is HANG UP AND DRIVE, PEOPLE. Distracted driving due to cell phones (especially texting) causes as many accidents as DWI.

Captcha is goodscn, so Blogger must agree.

EpiscoPriest 9:02 PM  

Since GUIDEDMISTLETOE was the first theme clue I got, I wasn't bothered that it didn't "fit" with the others. But here is what did bother about this puzzle: Since when are "rend" and "rupture" synonymous? And since when is "epee" a sport? It's a piece of sporting equipment, but I never heard of it being a sport, itself.
Put down ORIGEN for teacher in Alexandria, though not very confident that that would be correct. Chuckled at BOGOFRITO. Edges were easier for me. Got bogged down in the middle--in part because I refused to believe that "rend" meant rupture and that "epee" was a sport.

Dirigonzo 10:12 PM  

@EpiscoPriest - from the (syndicated - 0906) Friday puzzle, "Only event in which Venezuela medaled at the 2012 Olympics" > EPEE. So yeah, it's a sport.

As to rend and rupture, offers this for REND(S): Synonyms
2. rive, sunder, sever, cleave, chop, fracture, rupture.

Learning new stuff is half the fun of doing the puzzle, don't you think?

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