Swimmer featured in 2013 film Blackfish / SAT 10-26-13 / Spotted South American mammal / Tourist novelist Steinhauer / 2008 title role for Adam Sandler / 99+ things in Alaska / Penalty box to sports fans / Collection of green panels / Bell heather tree heath / Asian silk center / Olympic Tower financier

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Constructor: Barry C. Silk

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: ERICAS (46A: Bell heather and tree heath) —
(Bot.) A genus of shrubby plants, including the heaths, many of them producing beautiful flowers.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/erica-1#ixzz2in5m7xqW
• • •

Hello ANEMONE, my old friend. I had to clue that in a puzzle I made a long time ago, and for soooommmmme reason, despite my knowing little about botany and not having thought about that word for years, my first thought upon seeing 5D: Buttercup family member was "... wait ... is that ... it can't be ... is that you, ANEMONE?" And it was. Also, I nailed ERICAS, so I feel pretty safe calling myself a botanist now.

This puzzle was easy. Yes, I had ANEMONE to help me out up top, but I also had IRIS and USED / CAR and SIX A.M., which made CRUST easy to see, and I'd already been thinking PIZZA at 1A: Domino's bottom?, so bam bam. That corner was fried quickly. Middle was also a cinch; tore right through it all the way down to the OTTOMAN. Weirdly had trouble moving from middle to west because I couldn't remember which MOM Sarah Palin said she was. I remember GRIZZLY MOM and LIPSTICK ON A PIG and not a lot else. Eventually the phrase "soccer mom" came to me and then I thought Alaska, and so ... HOCKEY MOM (34A: Sarah Palin called herself an average one).

Might've been screwed in the SW had it not been for my brilliant guess of HYDE (as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr.) at 68A: Bad side of literature? That "H" made PHONE BOOTH pop into view clear as day, and that was all the handle I needed. SOLAR ARRAY was really hard to see—needed most crosses to bring it down. And OLEN? Shrug. But crosses took care of me. I don't really get how ITALIAN ART is an "ideal" (67A: Pre-Raphaelite ideal). All of it? From all time periods? There must be some kind of parameters for this ideal.  Otherwise I thought the cluing was pretty good. PHONE BOOTH clue was especially great (28D: DC transformation location)—I thought the misdirection was toward power, away from our nation's capital. But instead those were both misdirections, and what was meant by "DC" was DC Comics. Nice. I am not a hockey fan but I've certainly listened to a lot of hockey highlight coverage and have never heard SIN BIN (47D: Penalty box, to sports fans). Guessed it pretty easily though, with BIN in place. NOAM Pitlik won an Emmy!? Wow, really should file that away, as the only NOAM I know is Chomsky (56D: "Barney Miller" Emmy winner Pitlik). I assume a hailstorm is a PELTER because ... it pelts you? With hail? Mmmmmokay.

The worst thing here is -IERE, but you knew that.

Fun, easy puzzle.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


George Barany 12:16 AM  

Greetings Rexites. After you've enjoyed the Silk puzzle and still crave for more, some friends and I have constructed a 19x19 puzzle entitled Valvaithankoshtam, found at http://tinyurl.com/oct27birthpuz, which honors a regular reader and sometime commentator of this blog. Specialized knowledge about the honoree is not required to solve the puzzle. Hope you like it!

jae 12:26 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Child 12:38 AM  

I really liked his, but DNF at TRSTRA? Crossing ?ELTER, and where two WOEs, ALANA and DRAM, kept me from seeing OLDIE.

Easiest for me were the long downs west and east: SOLARARRAY was the Hurd or fourth answer based in just the S in the cutely-clued gimme PSA. Quickly across the center but ultimately got stuck.

jae 12:39 AM  

Another fine puzzle.  Medium for me with just about the right amount of crunch for a Sat.  NE and SE went relatively quickly, but the West side needed some effort.   CIPHER TEXT was the last piece to fall as it was a WOE and crossed both PACA and ZOHAN which need some memory DATA mining to bring to the surface. Also had sOCcEr before HOCKEY

What I didn't erase was NOnO for 23a which left me with nOYA which seemed OK.   Apparently GOYA has a bigger presence on the East coast than on the West.  So, DNF again.

This was a lot of fun!  Zippy clues, zippy answers.  Nice one Barry Silk!

Evan 1:00 AM  

I made the same initial mistake with SOCCER MOM, but also had SIT BIN before changing it to SIN BIN -- can't say I've ever heard of the correct answer, and SIT sounded just as plausible, because that's what hockey players do in the box. I ended with the same mistake as @jae with NONO/NOYA. I usually think of NO-GO as a noun, i.e. "The mission is a no-go," but even if I had understood it as an adjective, I may still not have seen it. That's because puzzles usually define it as canceled (by someone), not off-limits or forbidden (to someone). Strange clue, that.

Otherwise I thought this was good. I'm surprised I finished in a normal time considering that I had a blank grid for what felt like an uncomfortably long period -- just nothing at all until I dropped in MAN CAVE. I had very little in the northwest corner except for ASSAM and ZOHAN, but somehow, everything fell into place quickly when I got IRIS. Weird how some short filler answers trigger our brains to get the longer ones!

August West 1:30 AM  

Have really enjoyed Tue-Sat this week. Came down with a case of the walkin' pneumonia (and the Boogie Woogie Flu), and the meds have so knocked me out in the evenings that I just haven't been able to make it 'til Midnight ET to post. Then, on reading the blog the next day, everything I might have said...already had been said. Agree Tue & Wed probably should have been flip-flopped, although neither put up much of a struggle here. Enjoyed Thursday's gimmick and yesterday's quad stacks were hella fun.

Had a quick ball with this. Like Rex, I crushed this thang, although things that came readily to him gave me pause, and vice-versa. Needed all crosses for ANEMONE, but they came easily, as PACA and ASSAM both leapt from the ol' crosswordese data bank, I knew Palin was a HOCKEYMOM, and the ZZ from 3-4D, coupled with USED CAR and the RST run made the NW vaporize in nothin' flat.

I'm such a guy. I looked at 10D forever after I was done and couldn't for the life of me figure out what the hell a TST RAP was.

Clues for NOGO and KIT both seemed off. I think of a NOGO as an abort, a tabling, a shelving, for any number of reasons other than the activity so thwarted being "Off-limits." NOnO would have been a better mesh with that clue. Ditto KIT, which I think of as merely the, um, kit in which the widget to be assembled is housed.

In the SW, correctly guessed PSA when Smokey filled my cranium and, with BACKLIT, ORA, ORCA, TAIL and HYDE falling like, er, dominoes, PHONEBOOTH and SOLARARRAY came quickly to view.

The NE was easy. Dropped BFF off the clue, thought BLAB, and confirmed it with LOOKATTHAT and ARRIVELATE in succession. They gave me the X of Gore-TEX, and BATTERYBOX was a goner.

Loved the clues for CLEAT and OTTOMAN. Hated the answer WETLY.

SE was my slowest area, but I spent a lot of time in the SINBIN in my former life as a competitive hockey and lacrosse player. I love, love, LOVE Barney Miller, so NOAM was a gimme. Last entry was the R at the cross of IERE and ITALIANART. I have no friggin' idea what pre-Raphaelite means, nor do I care. Could have been my first sub-7 Saturday ever, but I mis-touched the Magmic submit button and wound up stopping the clock at 7:00 even. Pretty self-satisfied smirk on hearing the lead-in to The Six Million Dollar Man begin playing in my head. I'm getting better, stronger, faster than I was before. Heh!

Alana Car Mancaves 3:01 AM  

Sort of chilly subtheme what with Sarah Palin being the Venn diagram overlap for Alaska's 99+ ZIPS and HOCKEYMOM/SINBIN
(hand up @Evan for SItBIN, but that wouldn't be a very clever for someone who NAMESNAMES.)

@August West
I tried to get Elissa to rename the Crosswords L A tournament the LA Cross, but she thought it would get confused with Lacrosse.
Alack and alas! Hope to see a lot of folks there today!

Acme 3:03 AM  

Ps I associate BFF as a girl thing so that threw me. I think teenaged girls use it, not boys.
I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong! ;)

Carola 3:22 AM  

Challenging but doable for me, making it a "just right" Saturday. NW was tough: for "Domino" I could only think of the masquerade costume or singer Fats, so considered PIano bench; didn't know ZOHAN; forgot PACA. Finally saw ARI ONASSIS, leading to ZIPS and then done.

I liked the ARRAY of enclosures: BATTERY BOX, SIN BIN, MAN CAVE, PHONE BOOTH and the maternal pair HOCKEY MOM and BROOD MARES along with NATAL.

Charles in Austin 5:02 AM  

The Pre-Raphaelites, a brotherhood of painters, poets, and critics of the nineteenth century, are well worth investigating. They're easy to find on the Internet, starting with Wikipedia.

The paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites are often both realistic and magical, with a haunting quality.

Gareth Bain 5:19 AM  

SINBIN is the standard term in rugby, even though they just sit on the side of the field and glower.

The Bard 5:37 AM  

Othello , Act IV, scene I

OTHELLO: Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:
Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep;
And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
Very obedient. Proceed you in your tears.
Concerning this, sir,--O well-painted passion!--
I am commanded home. Get you away;
I'll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate,
And will return to Venice. Hence, avaunt!


Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
I do entreat that we may sup together:
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.--Goats and monkeys!

MetaRex 8:07 AM  

Nice. V. nice. Lotsa good gender stuff in the answers and the clues...HOCKEY MOM, BROOD MARES, T STRAP, BFF, CLEAT...guys and dolls abound...MANCAVE plus SIN BIN plus PHONE BOOTH is a nice related implicit theme.

Last answer to fall was ARI ONASSIS...had everything but the first, third, and last letters of his name and was thinking this was some petrodollars person I'd never heard of...was feeling the usual grrr, unfair!...then a v. pleasant O! at coming up with Ari...

Glimmerglass 8:13 AM  

One letter wrong. I misread the tense of "apprehended" and so wrote KNoW, which gave me PoLTER, when PELTER is perfectly reasonable. Maybe I was thinking of Amy Poehler. I never knew BATTERY BOX was a thing. I had the same trouble with sOCcEr MOM until PHONE BOOTH BAILED ME OUT.

AliasZ 8:20 AM  

I love Barry Silk puzzles, and this one's no exception.

FORA moment I thought it was going to be a NOGO. When I jumped out helter-PELTER and WETLY from my shower at SIXAM (it's AHABit of mine), I hesitated FORA second ORA minute, then called my OLE friend Len (it was APLUS that he was awake) and said: "OLEN, can you help me with this puzzle? It's a HOTPOTATO." He said, "Sorry, can't. NOAM calls again, please" and hung up.

So I called my other friend Otto: "OTTO MAN, I tried ERICA’S number but she's not answering. Well, NOLOS. She ZIPS up so well, I can't un-CIP HER TEXT files anyway. Can you tell me what A RION ASS IS? Never heard of that donkey. Also isn't Turner A LANA? And where is MAN-C AVE.? I thought it was Mancee or Mancey Avenue. Or does this one come right after Man-B Ave.? Also, I need a DARK room to develop some film. I already tried lab A but I got a NO ON first attempt, maybe I try the B-LAB now.

When I saw the name “Eliot” I didn't want to fall into that same old TS-TRAP again. And now I can't decide if I want to be a teacher or just an assistant. My gut reaction is to go FOR T, but help me out here: T OR TA? Finally, I am trying to decide if I should use an en dash or em dash in my doctoral thesis. I think I am going with AN EM ONE. Please call your OLDIE friend back as soon as you get this message."

A typical Saturday morning in the life of a crossword puzzle addict.

David 8:21 AM  

Can someone explain the 3D clue/answer?

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

I made a slog out of this one. For me, it played way above average, mainly because i couldn't make the obvious connection - what kind of CRUST for Dominos? Pie? Thick? Wheat? When at long last I changed CAVY to PACA the low voltage light started to flicker. SE was a challenge for me too. I think I have had the opposite reaction from RP to every puzzle this week. He sez hard, I say easy. He says easy, I say hard. Weird.

Bookdeb 8:34 AM  

@Davd: all ZIP codeS in Alaska start with 99

Tita 9:21 AM  

One of the exceedingly rare very easy (in the context of Saturday) Saturday for me! In fact, I think it's only happened once before, though that time was more satisfying because OFL and most here thought it was a hard one...!

ZIPS was awesome - had to stare at it for minutes before I apprehended the cleverness.

I usually 7D to events of any sort. Maybe if I didn't have BACKLIT keys, I would turn in earlier, and wake before NOON.

I also liked the clock-related pair, with NOON and SIXAM (though I thought it was SIXPM - maybe that's why I'm always 7D.)

Only one question - did you all agree in advance that no one would scoff at 7D "Letter string"? Is it an inside joke from Master Silk that I am not in on?

Agree aboutthe slantiness of ITALIANART and NOGO.
@AliasZ - love your story!

Thanks for an easy but clever Saturday that I could not only finish but finish early enough to stop by here!

Z 9:38 AM  

Did not play easy here. NW fell first, 'tho I'm not sure I know Mr. Onassis well enough to call him ARI. I agree with @ACME re: 11D - "Bud" suggests guys and BFF suggests middle school girls. All-in-all, though, the north wasn't too bad.

I caused myself lots of problems in the south, though. Clue says "Armenia" but I read "America," wrote cent, and didn't look at the clue again for several ages of Man. In a similar vein, plopped down SOLAR farms making that whole corner nearly impossible. Having no clue about OLEN Steinhauer or ERICAS did not help. Sarah Palin finally bailed me out enough to finish.

CIPHER TEXT and BATTERY BOX both seem a bit made up. CIPHER stands alone well enough as "Lines to be cracked," no redundant TEXT required. Likewise, I have a box of batteries. I call it a "box of batteries."

I have checked out the Pre-Raphaelites. Meh. @Rex, I don't really remember, but I'm guessing Italian Art before Raphael.

Beer Rating - Java Porter, mostly smooth and creamy, with just a little bite to keep you wondering.

Tita 10:14 AM  

Thouroughly enjoyable puzzle, @George - thanks!
And Happy Birthday to the "regular reader".

r.alphbunker 10:24 AM  

It was down to ARIONASSI_/T_TRAP and I could not see what the blank could be. I did a Hail Mary with a E. Once I saw that S was correct, the penny dropped.

Had PumA for PACA for quite a while. Gambled on PACA (because I have heard of alpaca) and was rewarded with CIPHERTEXT.

Then this morning I encounted PACA again in another puzzle, one published in the NYT on May 19, 1960 and clued as {Spotted rodent of Central America}. This happened because I am litzing pre-Shortzian puzzles. Hope to pass 500 entered today.

r.alphbunker 10:25 AM  

Technically your last comment was a spoiler. I now know the secret reader was not me :-)

mac 10:26 AM  

Love the Barry Silk puzzles, especially the clever clues. Such a good feeling to "get" it.

Write-overs: nono/noya, which was saved by the hockey mom (after soccer mom) and her y, noir for Hyde at 68. I also stared and stared at TSTRAP before I got it.

Did anyone try the puzzle mentioned in the first comment, or should we not open it?

Scarab 10:28 AM  

A lot of this went pretty smoothly for me. Even NOAM Pitlik was a gimme for me. For some reason I just couldn't see KNACK, though.

The hardest section for me was the NW. I had PIZZA CRUST immediately, but could only get a few of the downs right away. I had to fight with that corner for a while, and ended up cheating on the PACA/ASSAM cross. They may be standard crossword else, but I've only been solving regularly since March.

I thought this was fun and unusually fair for a Saturdwy, with a minimum of trivia.

Scarab 10:37 AM  

Forgot to add -- I was really pleased with myself for coming up with TOECAP from a couple of days ago. Pleased and also wrong, since that was where T STRAP ended up. Am I the only one?

Tita 10:39 AM  

@r.alph - actually, I thought it WAS you!! Wait - is it your birthday today too??

@George - just figured out the puzzle name trick.

Hi @mac- not sure what you mean by 'should we not open it'...
The link is perfectly safe - it's from our old friend Mr. Barany, who publishes lots of puzzles.
And the puzzle had some really great clues/fill, even if you don't know the honoree. Sure, a few inside jokes, which I didn't get, but it's a fun solve.

3 and out!

(My last 2 captcha pics have been of blank walls - are they messin' with me? Still answering 42...)

Bob Kerfuffle 10:44 AM  

Recent encounters with out-of-the-ordinary words can help or hurt my solve:

Just yesterday I was in a car whose driver turned off the public radio fund-raising and put on his CD of "Jeckyl and HYDE." (68 A) And recently, a question on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" referred to a Seinfeld joke about an empire based on keeping your feet up (or something like that) - Voila! OTTOMAN, 45 D.

But also recently I read a New York Times article about partially demolishing and partially re-purposing the old Domino Sugar factory on the New York waterfront, and at 1 A I couldn't think of anything but sugar! - Those two Z's were the last letters I put in!

OISK 10:49 AM  

Just like Glimmerglass (above) I misread the tense on "apprehended," and had polter (which made no sense) instead of pelter. Caught it as I wrapped up.

Nice puzzle, but easy?? Took me a half hour, compared with yesterday's 12 minutes. Enjoyed some really clever cluing, as usual in a Silk puzzle. Karaoke stand in? Make a fashionable entrance? Really fun for me. The last thing I got was the Pizza Crust. Maybe it is living in Brooklyn, (home of the world's greatest pizza in our unbiased hearts) but when I saw "Domino" I thought only of sugar! What kind of crust would form on the bottom of sugar, I thought. I have never tasted Domino's pizza.

Norm 10:56 AM  

Count me in for TOECAP. Took a long time to parse ARIONASSI_ and see that it had to be something else.

Opus2 11:03 AM  

Fairly quick solve but I had an error that I couldn't root out. Maybe it's just less popular here in the Great White North, but I've never heard of GOYA brands, so I had NONO crossing with NOYA which seemed pretty plausible.

Thanks Rex, that's the first time I've ever listened to Lucinda Williams, whom I enjoyed; reminded me a lot of Bonnie Raitt.

joho 11:04 AM  

Wonderful puzzle!

I had the same mistake as others at NOnO and also corrected sOCcErM to HOCKEYMOM. I think Sarah Palin talked about sOCcErMOMS regarding the "lipstick on a pig" comment. Ps didn't look right, though,where PHONEBOOK finally dropped in.

Loved BLAB/NAMENAMES and SIXAM/NOON as @Tita mentioned.

Fun, fun time today, thank you, Barry Silk!

r.alphbunker 11:09 AM  

The Barany puzzle is well worth the solve. Lots of really intelligent stuff in it. The clue 91A {Kind of bank where you lose interest after making a deposit?} is brilliant!

I knew it wasn't me.

Jody Bilyeu 11:25 AM  

Maria McKee came up on the shuffle of the establishment where I am now drinking coffee as I saw the Lone Justice clip--a sure sign that she'll be a NYTimes crossword answer within the week.

George Barany 11:29 AM  

Yes, the "regular reader" does indeed celebrate a birthday tomorrow, Sunday October 27. You do not need to know any inside information about him in order to solve the puzzle. The puzzle was a team effort (contributors listed on the puzzle's webpage), among whom Martin Herbach came up with the absolutely brilliant clue for 91-Across.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

@Z A battery box is not a made up term. They are used for car batteries. :)

Z 11:50 AM  

Is it schadenfreude to enjoy the misery of others when you suffered the same misery? Well, I am happy to see that Mr. ONASSIS gave so many others fits. No problems with GOYA because the Spanish painter is one of my favorites. Anyone who would put Kronos Devouring His Son in the dining room is alright by me.

I did the puzzle that @George Barany provided. Fun solve. I then started reading the bios and ran into @LMS's Recreational Crossword Puzzle. I solved it quickly but now I have to play Dark Side of the Moon as soon as I find the Doritos.

FearlessKim 11:51 AM  

Fun solve, tho not easy, more on the medium side, for this solver. HTG to break into the SE, which immediately fell, much to my annoyance: why does one letter from a cross make an answer jump out at you, when the answer has so successfully hidden behind that white space for so long? Grrr.

@Scarab and @ Norm: yup, ToecAP before TSTRAP. @August West, I'm no guy, but couldn't parse TSTRAP -- TS TRAP? TST RAP? -- for a very long while.

Managed our high school ice hockey team, lifelong fan of HOCKEY, never heard the term SINBIN until today. Love it, but I like the term I first put in the grid even better: "sin can".

Z 11:59 AM  

@anon11:38 - Thank you. My ignorance of boats is now lessened.

Master Melvin 12:51 PM  

@Z: BATTERY BOXes are especially useful on boats. They protect the batteries from water and, since they are anchored, keep them from bouncing around in rough seas.

Loren Muse Smith 2:22 PM  

I've been out of commission because I drove to Raleigh to adopt my mother-in-law's dog; she's in a situation where she won't be able to care for him. So I tell Tucker all the way back (as he trembles and pants at me because he's so scared) that he's going to love WV. He walks into the cabin where he'll stay and promptly ingests about a half cup of rat poison I didn't even know was there. I'm an hour away from any vet and really wanted Gareth's number! Luckily I reached a local person who told me to give him some hydrogen peroxide to get him to uh, egest it. Worked like a charm. Welcome to WV, Tucker.

I finished a Saturday! OLE! Barry Silk is one of those themeless constructors I know I can usually finish if I'm patient. Everything is so fair.

Briefly had "Osaka" as the silk center. Then "Asram" for some reason. Sheesh.

Fell for the "puma" trap, but resisted "yolk" for IRIS.

I was struck with all the connections:
NOON, SIX AM, (Hi, @Tita!) ORA
HOCKEY MOM (Palin), ZIPS (Alaska)

BROOD MARES – weird phrase. I worry so much about my two kids, I guess you could say I'm a BROOD mère.

@Jen CT – Can't wait to see the video of you and Justice!

@Z – that was the first grid I ever filled. Dedicated to someone close to me who shall remain nameless who was a huge party animal.

Barry – we've joked about your puzzles being smooth as glistening wet paint, so I just won't go there anymore. Nice job.

Anoa Bob 2:26 PM  

I always enjoy Mr. Silk's work and methinks today's is among his best.

I have a SOLAR ARRAY on my sailboat, (well, o.k., just two "green" panels), but they do keep the contents of the BATTERY BOX at full charge.

At 55A I got the A, next the N, and then (be still my beating heart) the O, and then.....dang! another N, and another opportunity lost!

Milford 2:46 PM  

Nice Saturday, took me a long time to finish, but, you know, it's Saturday.

Not much time to comment, but I wanted to mention that I really liked the OTTOMAN clue - "Raiser of dogs". And the PHONEBOOTH, as @Rex said, was one that required a 3rd level of reading the clue - but I loved it when it came clear.

It took me longer than it should have to get the SIX AM clue. SIN BIN - never heard of that term - was sure, like many that it was SIt-something. I think I actually wrote in SItter.

Lovely, A-PLUS puzzle.

Steve J 2:58 PM  

Great puzzle, with tons of delightfully clever cluing. I loved clues for CLEAT and OTTOMAN, and now that I get the comics connection, PHONE BOOTH is absolutely brilliant (I had thought it was referencing power somehow, since the phone system at least at one time ran on direct current; I thought maybe there was some sort of AC/DC conversion).

Only one time resorting to google, which is on the low side for me on a Saturday.

Biggest struggles were in the SW and Great Lakes area. Couldn't get TSTRAP (and had no idea what it was when I finally filled it) and couldn't get my head to shake "apprehended" in the arrest sense.

Very satisfying to finish this one with slow but steady progress. Lots of great a-ha moments. Exactly what a themeless should be.

mac 4:02 PM  

Thanks for the recommendation, I enjoyed the bonus puzzle a lot!

AliasZ 4:07 PM  

Should anyone be interested, there is a very nice puzzle in today's LA Times featuring three triple stack 15s.

Sunday 4:16 PM  

BEQ tomorrow!

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Bird 4:27 PM  

Couldn't complete without a little help, but I liked what I could get (except for WETLY).
28D is a great clue. And knowing 30D made the SW a breeze.
27D is a great misdirect - ALL-PRO & CAPTAIN do not fit
I got 26A easy, but was MANCAVE around the time of the Bundys?

Unknown 4:28 PM  

Oh, dear...poor Tucker! I hope he is ok.

This was harder for me than it appears to have been for you all. Eventually though things started to fill in. Delighted to see Lucinda Williams...will go listen to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road now.

mathguy 4:46 PM  

I'm in awe of all of you who thought it was easy. There was only one gimme, 13 entries I didn't know, and 13 clues that were opaque and/or unfair. It took me a long time. Partially because I couldn't let go of SOCCERMOM until the very end. Happy to have solved it without Google although my wife gave me three answers.

Sandy K 6:05 PM  

This wasn't so easy for me either.
Took a while, but thoroughly enjoyed the clever cluing and answers that had lotsa OOMPH!

Don't want to DIS NOGO, NOLOS, or IERE cuz Mr. Silk has a KNACK for displaying smooth ARRAYs of A-PLUS ZIPpiness that more than make up for a few WETLY PELTERs...

@Rex- A little wink to Simon and Garfunkel?
Hello ANEMONE, my old friend...

gifcan 6:06 PM  

Yeah, ToecAP at first but then TSTRAP. TSTRAP? Man, I couldn't get it. Finally, I called my wife in and she saw it right away, T STRAP!

I like a very doable Saturday every once in a while.

Dirigonzo 7:07 PM  

I threw down PIZZACRUST at the git-go, which pretty much gave me the whole NW corner - that gave me hope for the rest of the grid. About an hour later I finally got an entry into the SE corner with OTTOMAN (I knew the "dogs" were likely be feet, so that helped), I took a guess at ALANA and all of a sudden the long answers appeared and the puzzle was finished. Not "easy" for me, but definitely do-able.

@lms - I do hope Tucker suffers no ill effects from his encounter with the rat poison. I'm sure all of you will adapt quickly - it was good of you to take him in.

Anonymous 7:15 PM  

I thought this puzzle was excellent for the intelligent crossword lovers who aren't brainacs. I enjoyed it with only one google search. Got it done. Time wasn't in you people's range, but not bad for me at 20 minutes. Wish we saw more of these.

Lots of clever cluing, thanks Barry Silk.

Doc John 8:27 PM  

Is it wrong that when I hear the word "pelted" I think of this?

mathguy 6:18 PM  

Lots of good stuff here but also a lot of junk like MIAOWS.
And no connection of the names. Didn't leave me with a good feeling.

jberg 11:38 PM  

The previous comment was about the next day's puzzle, I think. I did both at the same time, since I was away over the weekend.

@Rex, @Z -- right, the Pre-Raphaelites' ideal was art before Raphael, but that makes the general answer ITALIAN ART just wrong -they thought Italian art after Raphael was not ideal at all. Of course, their real ideal was long-necked women, particularly Jane Morris.

I had a hard time with ERICAS because of my feeling that a heather would be a calluna -- but that turns out to be wrong, many are ericas (and all are ericacea). Something else I learned from crosswords!

I did love the clue for 49A, TEX.

'Nuff said, since this was yesterday's puzzle.

Reid 7:40 PM  

I failed to finish the SE quarter because I was sure the answer to 67a was Italianate (in the Italian style)which is actually an "ideal" rather than a subject. Oh well.

Unknown 6:42 PM  

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spacecraft 10:17 AM  

More spellcasters...but at least their tirades are getting shorter and there's fewer of them.

Oh, how I hate it when OFL says "easy" and I DNF. I did OK until the NW. Just too much I didn't know, plus clues I simply could not deCIPHER. 99+ things in Alaska? I could have LOOKedATTHAT for 99+ years and not come up with ZIPS. I did not know who--or what entity--financed the Olympic Tower. Lines to be cracked--well, that was another line I couldn't crack.

With the D of DARK I tried FORD LTD for the old wheels; that didn't help things. For "Domino's bottom?" I wanted FATS'FATASS, but although it was the right length, it wouldn't work. Finally, not an Adam Sandler fan, I couldn't have filled in ZOHAN if you'd given me any four of the five letters.

I get it all now, and even feel sorta stupid, but there is one gripe in today's grid: someone tell me how "Apprehended" twists itself around to come out KNEW. Tell me, and then we'll both apprehend. Even though I did that section, I'm throwing the flag. That clue makes no sense to me.

rain forest 2:35 PM  

DNF for me as well. Bloody South american animals! PAPA sounded good to me. After all TITI is another one, and PINTERTEXT seemed fine (have you ever read a Pinter play?)

Maybe one of the previous commenters explained ZIPS (zippers, or zip lines), but I didn't have time to read them. Going to a play.

@Spacecraft - I think that a definition of apprehend is "to understand, or perceive". I know the phrase "apprehended insurrection", and went from there.

My first thought for 1A was PIZZACRUST, but I initially could get nothing happening there, and so worked up from the botton.

I liked it, but failed :(

Solving in Seattle 6:05 PM  

@Spacey, you get my SiS LOL award of the day with "FATSFATASS."

@Z, drinkin' a Red Hook Long Hammer IPA while posting. Tasty.
My office was across the street from the original Red Hook brewery in Seattle, so we would end up there often after work. The afternoon Budweiser threw a bunch of money at them to buy majority ownership my partner and I went over and wrote "BudHook" on the menu chalkboard. The founder did not appreciate our humor, but it stuck.

Barry "Smooth as" Silk provided a very nice Saturday puz. Liked how he covered SIXAM to NOON.

Had no idea ARIONA'S SIS funded the Olympic Tower. Didn't even know she was in the real estate biz.

Gotta run to see the new Hunger Games.

Cary in Boulder 9:56 PM  

Weird. Watching the thrilling Ohio State-Michigan game when the announcer mentioned running back Carlos HYDE just as I was reading the clue for 68A.

This one made me work just the right amount, so I liked it a lot. DNF because I had CIPHERTEST and thus the meaningless SIsAM. Figured 60D must be ESTS, but stubbornly stuck with ITIALIANAte, which I actually think is a better answer.

Anyway, all pales in comparison to the finishes of the OSU-Michigan thriller, which was fantastic, and the Bama-Auburn game, which in Tour de France terms was hors categoire. Spellcasters were obviously at work in that one.

Ginger 2:12 AM  

@Cary Yeah, the Bama/Auburn game was a nail biter, it's one reason I'm so late to the party. That and the USC/UCLA game that I could have easily missed. I'm an old Hockey Fan, and SINBIN was a gimmie, though maybe that's a phrase used by certain announcers.

Actually I breezed through until the SW, which totally flummoxed me. Had cache at 35-D, and soccerMOM, I could not let go of either of them. Cheated to get KNACK, and then it finally fell.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

Can someone please tell me what PSA means in the context of a talking bear? 28 Across.

Smokey the Bear 12:06 PM  

@ anon11:52 - Public Service Announcement to prevent forest fires, maybe.

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