African Queen screenwriter / FRI 12-27-13 / Jennifer of Bound / Leader of Uganda's independence movement / Phishing lures / Oscar nominated film featuring dentist turned bounty hunter / Caustic soda chemically / Brown refreshers / Things employed to show passage of time a la Citizen Kane

Friday, December 27, 2013

Constructor: Ian Livengood and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: TINEA (16A: Dermatologist's case) —
Tinea (often called ringworm) is any of a variety of skin mycoses.
It is sometimes equated with dermatophytosis, and, while most conditions identified as "tinea" are members of the imperfect fungi that make up the dermatophytes, conditions such as tinea nigra and tinea versicolor are not caused by dermatophytes.
Tinea is often called "ringworm" because it is circular, and has a "ring-like" appearance. Tinea is a very common fungal infection of the skin. (wikipedia)
• • •

This grid is really very good. Long answers in the corner are eye-grabbing, fresh, and engaging, and the short stuff mostly stays the hell out of the way. Clues were suitably tough. Did *not* see "CALVIN AND HOBBES" coming until I (finally, after running the alphabet) got the "V" from BEAV (20A: '50s-'60s sitcom nickname). "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat" is the name of a C&H collection. It's especially ironic that I needed so many (well, six) letters to pick this one up, as I just tweeted about Bill Watterson today. Actually, I was tweeting about the most recent collection of Ernie Bushmiller's "Nancy" comic strips ("Nancy Likes Christmas"—Dailies, 1946-48, Fantagraphics Books), and remarking how I had laughed more in five pages of the "Nancy" book than all post-Watterson comic strips combined. For me, as far as comic strips go, there's Schulz, Watterson, Bushmiller, and then Everyone Else. This puzzle has inspired me to order "Homicidal Jungle Cat" and maybe another volume in Fantagraphics' "Peanuts" series. Tonight. After I write this.

Never saw "DJANGO UNCHAINED" (36A: Oscar-nominated film featuring a dentist-turned-bounty hunter), despite its having all the hallmarks of a movie I would see. I don't even know the basic plot, really, so despite the title's familiarity, that one was even harder for me to come up with than CALVIN AND HOBBES. Let's just say the letters string -GOUNCHA- looks, well, wrong. I had SKULK and SNEAK before I had SLINK (23D: Move furtively), which added to my struggles getting out of that NW region. Had TILT for LIST in the NE (a particularly nasty little trap) (21A: Cant). But this one was tough only in the cluing. Besides OBOTE (58A: Leader of Uganda's independence movement), nothing comes across in retrospect as particularly obscure or  recherché. DELOS, maybe? (44A: Island where Artemis was born) No, I got that off the "D." OSWEGO? Possibly. I live in NY and there's a SUNY-OSWEGO, so I got that one fairly easily (3D: Port on Lake Ontario). Got AUCKLAND easily as I have been there several times and with the "K" and "D" in place the clue is pretty transparent (40A: Home of Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere). Also, I'm reading "The Luminaries" and it's set in NZ, although, now that I think of it, I'm not sure AUCKLAND has been mentioned yet at all. Book takes place primarily (if not exclusively—I'm only 10% done) on NZ's South Island (home to hobbits and, in her youth, my wife).

ASHKENAZI is really the only way I want to see "NAZI" in my puzzle. Very nice answer on every level (65A: Like Albert Einstein, ethnically).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


retired_chemist 12:11 AM  

@Rex - how can Walt Kelly NOT be on your short list?

Terrific puzzle. LOTS of answers matured slowly, like fine wine. Opportunities for errors - iNaSEC for ONE SEC, tIlT for LIST, miDwives for DADS-TO-BE, and my personal favorite, VoiceOvER for VETO POWER.

Minor quibble: the class is CALCulus. Should have an indication of its informal usage.

Lively answers and interesting cluing made this time well spent.

Thanks you, Mr.Livengood and J.A. S. A. I seem to recall that this group produced a really good one the last time I saw their byline.

jae 12:33 AM  

Medium-tough for me and a DNF when I ran into a Natick cross in the SE.  Never heard of TAI ( wanted AHI) or SUAREZ (Ray really?) and guessed wrong.   Other than that I liked this a lot.  Plenty of zip from INSTAGRAM to OBAMACARE with DJANGO in the middle (I'd forgotten Waltz's character was a dentist) and CALVIN down the center.  

Only erasures other than the mess in SE were Lean for LIST and Tug for TIC. 

@Rex - I'm half way through The Luminaries and I don't see AUCKLAND coming up.  

Fun puzzle!

Steve J 12:47 AM  

I struggled mightily with this one, never really getting fully in SYNCH (which is just one spot where I wasn't seeing what the puzzle was showing me; I could not get the noun form of "accord" out of my head).

SW was toughest for me, in large part because I dropped MIDWIVES in at 36D and refused to let to for a long time.

I also took forever to see CALVIN AND HOBBES, despite the fact that I loved the strip and miss it nearly daily.

Lots of great fill in this one, very little unattractive fill, very little WTF obscurity. Even though it kicked my ass, this was one top-notch Friday.

Garth 12:56 AM  

Nice to see two positive blog entries in a row from Rex. From reading other comments in the past, I see that some readers actually enjoy reading the negative posts. I don't get that. I want to learn things (in this case, about crosswords) but if there's something that can be improved upon, I prefer to read direct but constructive criticism. An explanation of why a puzzle is well constructed (as in today's blog) is even more enjoyable (to me).

As to the puzzle itself, I found it hard for a Friday, i.e., DNF. I had trouble getting a foothold in several areas.

chefwen 1:18 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
chefwen 1:29 AM  

I had so many typos in my previous comment I felt it was better to just start over.

I usually say Yipee Skippy when I see Ian Livengood's name as a constructor as I did today, but this one kicked my A$$. Got about 3/4 of the way done before I started GoOGling. DJANGO UNCHAINED??? ADHKE NAZI??? OBAMA CARE - I wish I had some VETO POWER. 1A was my favorite GOOD CATCH - hope to hear that a lot at Sundays Packer/Bear game. Who are you rooting for @JFC?

Anonymous 1:45 AM  

Jeopardy!called. They want their puzzle back.

Jisvan 3:35 AM  

Loved it! Actually "finished" a Friday in under an hour with only three Googles! (I was not up on my caustic soda formula, Ugandan leader, or PBS newsman...) Oh and I read several pages about Albert Einstein looking for some weird ethnicity that ended with an i, before I remembered Ashkenazi. Great word. And now I know Einstein was a high school drop out who had a love child that either died or was adopted! (He married the mom later and they had more kids. The things you learn as a consequence of solving crosswords...) Thanks for the blog, Rex. It really adds to my enjoyment of the puzzle, as does all the commentary!

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

Didn't like clue for CALC(ulus). Calculus concerns itself with the study of curves and their GRADients (slopes), but the course itself is not "graded on a curve." The pun that the class scores will be curved/adjusted is cute, but again the course is not "graded"; the curves are. Case of a misplaced modifier here. I should know; I'm a high school calculus teacher.

Jim Walker 6:49 AM  

I really loved this puzzle even though I had a DNF owing to getting naticked at STUF FIERI never having heard of either. Also slowed down a lot since I did not know JANGO had a D and AUKLAND had a C. Also was sure Indonesia was in the Southern Hemisphere. Buy a globe dude! Lame. Also thought the potted physician was AQUAVITA.

Great write-up Rex. Thanks.

jburgs 7:08 AM  

Extremely tough for me. I sure know my cookies though and STUF and TAE were my only gimmes. I,m proud of getting ASHKENAZI with only a few crosses and that I spelled it right the first time

Highest tower I assumed would be in Asia or Arab country since they have been building various big things of late.

Having the CA at 8D, spent a lot of time assuming it might be CATWOMAN and something or other. Only when the V appeared did Calvin and Hobbes occur. My kids used to laugh hysterically at Calvin and Hobbes. I did not share their enthusiasm. I disliked that comic almost as much as Garfield.

I had to use the Reveal and Check buttons plenty on this puzzle. CALC/NAOH cross was unfair to many of us. I'm going to have to google to find out how STOAT relates to the clue.

Could someone enlighten me as to what OTOH stands for?

shari 7:20 AM  

What means the most at the end? EST????

===Dan 7:22 AM  

jburgs: "On the other hand" is a common abbreviation in text-speak.

shari: as a suffix.

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

And God looked down on the crossword solver who was beginning a puzzle by the great Noahus Trivialus and said, "Wowzers, I'm not sure I even know all of that s-*t."

Everyone should see Django Unchained if they have the chance.

Danp 7:43 AM  

I was surprised to see this as MEDIUM. I couldn't get a good toehold anywhere. For the Supreme Court case, I thought about the individual mandate and the Affordable Care Act, but somehow Obamacare never entered my mind.

Southern Hemisphere should have been an easy clue, Constructors prefer short clues, so it would have been Asian if it had been on the mainland.

AliasZ 8:36 AM  

Somehow this puzzle didn't sit well with me. Maybe I have a TINEA for the tune it was trying to sing to me, or maybe some of the STUF in it didn't sit well, who knows. I saw things like TAE and TAI, OTOH, OOHED, NAOH and STUF, and thought, is this great fill? The grid scanners were good, but I totally missed the movie DJANGO unbound or UNCHAINED or whatever, never heard of it. The only DJANGO I know is DJANGO Reinhardt, and the only unbound, Prometheus Unbound by PBS (Percy Bysshe Shelley). Similarly, CALVIN AND HOBBES sounded vaguely familiar, but I have no idea who they are or what they do. And I hope I won't see OBAMACARE in crosswords again, today sitting atop VETOPOWER. And REDSCARE above them. Enough already. And I am offended by ANGLOS. I am one of the "whites" but I'm no Anglo.

But I liked SHEAVE, AUCKLAND and ASKENAZI, the last one especially as pianist Vladimir ASHKENAZy. Watching this clip soothed my savage breast. Whenever something bothers you, listen to Mozart and all will be well with the world.

Happy Friday!

The two turtle doves are gone now, time for the three faverolles (French hens).

jberg 9:05 AM  

The cooking show/fish was a total guess for me, and I guessed wrong, ending with TAl/FlERI. I can live with that, but kicking myself for having MoST rEAD and not seeing MASTHEAD. If only I were up on my skin diseases, I would have got that one.

And I'm really impressed by those who got CALVIN AND HOBBES off the V. I got CALVIN off the V, but was still looking for a singing group until I finally figured out that 51A was a ship, not an assistant with divided loyalties.

I really enjoyed the puzzle, though, despite my failings. If only there'd been a Q.

Tita 9:19 AM  

Can you point me towards the series that Watterson did on the world before color film was invented? One of the best ever...

@aliasZ... I highly recommend you borrow a Calvin & Hobbes from the library...

Looked the puzzle... Did great until I choked...
Could not see SkulK, and not knowing the movie, kept me from finishing. Was wondering if Gordon Brown wrote a particular kind of cost...

One reason I did so well (for me, for Friday) is that my Italian colleagues selected Jennifer Tilley as their main end user for getting and demoing. Grazie!

When my brother was little, he looked so much like the Beav that my mother would get stopped when ever she was out with him.

Thanks Mr. Livengood and JASA!

FearlessKim 9:39 AM  

Absolutely loved every minute of this puzzle, and was actually sorry to finish: stopped for a moment to admire the longer fill and savor the way the solve unfolded.

One big help -- no surprise, as it spanned the grid! -- was slamming down CALVINAND HOBBES off the clue, no crosses. My kids and I are unapologetic lifelong (well, their lives, as I'm older than Bill) fans of Bill Watterson (good morning,@SteveJ!), own all the anthologies, including "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat," and picked them up nearly every day until the kids grew up and left home. That comic strip was seriously brilliant.

I'd also add Trudeau to Rex's list.

Thanks, Ian and J.A.S.A.!

Ω 9:45 AM  

@retired_chemist - "I have seen the enemy and he is us" is the single best line to ever be written in a comic.

Too much cluing as trivia for me. INSTAGRAM, TINEA, NEWSREELS, NAOH, DJANGO UNCHAINED, AUCKLAND, EVA, DELOS, BRIG, OBOTE, ASHKENAZI, OSWEGO, AGEE, CALVIN AND HOBBES, TILLY, UNOS, SUAREZ, OTTAWA, FIERI, TAI. That's a lot of trivial cluing. So, great grid but the cluing did me in.

Is SYNCH a homophone of 'cinch?' I see it as 'sync' these days, I cannot recall the last time I saw it with the H. I can't even recall the last time I saw it spelled out completely.

retired_chemist 9:51 AM  

Guy FIERI also hosted "Minute To Win It" for a while. Non-puzzle wife watches that sometimes, so I knew the name. Locking in the I for ??I the sushi fish isn't that much of a help - TAI could instead be ahI, unI or ebI, and maybe others. OK, so uni (sea urchin roe) and ebi (shrimp) aren't exactly fish. But they are sushi - and delicioua.

cacjac 10:02 AM  

One of the harder puzzles I've finished.(one wrong letter-Tully for TILLY, making tunea for TINEA also wrong). Gave up last night with very little done, but this A.M. took another hour and half. Figured 8D was rock band I never heard of like jberg, but loved the strip and got answer tho not familiar w/clue (seems fair).
Lots of long answers were so well clued; that meant I had to battle some very tough fill,so very rewarding to finish.
1A- Stayed w/ high dive answers for a long time.
17A- Thought i remembered calendars used in movie( for NEWSREELS),which went w/ INASEC for ONESEC.Then tried Datelines and headlines,wow.
DJANGO, great movie, but I too forgot character had been dentist, and took forever to see in that weird string.
Other spots also took groping things together until something fit.
And Ray SUAREZ! One -time Chicago newsman and long-time NPR host of TALK of the Nation; now PBS newsman/wiseman. Incredibly knowledgeable and a great interviewer. All the cable news network anchors combined can't carry his STUF.

cacjac 10:04 AM  

One of the harder puzzles I've finished.(one wrong letter-Tully for TILLY, making tunea for TINEA also wrong). Gave up last night with very little done, but this A.M. took another hour and half. Figured 8D was rock band I never heard of like jberg, but loved the strip and got answer tho not familiar w/clue (seems fair).
Lots of long answers were so well clued; that meant I had to battle some very tough fill,so very rewarding to finish.
1A- Stayed w/ high dive answers for a long time.
17A- Thought i remembered calendars used in movie( for NEWSREELS),which went w/ INASEC for ONESEC.Then tried Datelines and headlines,wow.
DJANGO, great movie, but I too forgot character had been dentist, and took forever to see in that weird string.
Other spots also took groping things together until something fit.
And Ray SUAREZ! One -time Chicago newsman and long-time NPR host of TALK of the Nation; now PBS newsman/wiseman. Incredibly knowledgeable and a great interviewer. All the cable news network anchors combined can't carry his STUF.

Loren Muse Smith 10:04 AM  

Rex – great write-up. "ASHKENAZI is really the only way I want to see "NAZI" in my puzzle." Good one. I don't even know what an ASHKENAZI is and will look it up forthwith. Looks like an enemy Obi-Wan Kenobi would want to PEG with a JUICE BOX.

I guess I'd rather sport a STOAT coat than a shoat coat, but right now it's so cold here, I'd take anything. I still get those two words all mixed up. Who uses'em? We have two piglets right now in a barn – my daughter and I can't bring ourselves to go meet them, breakfast sausage and all that. (We learned the hard way last time, when we would go to visit this adorable little shoat. . . he would see us coming and jump up, "Oh! Yay! Visitors! Let me straighten up here so you can come on in!" And he would retrieve this basketball in his pen and nudge it toward us for a quick game. GGGGG. I stuck to store-bought bacon for months after, but, really, what's the difference?)

Seriously, though. At the club – "Ma'am, may I check your STOAT stole for you?"

Rex, et al – me, too for "sneak" before SLINK. What great words. SLINK, skulk, sneak, sidle, steal – 5 five-letter words that begin with S, and three begin with an s-initial consonant cluster and end with a K. Are y'all writing this all down? To me, if you SLINK, you haven't done anything bad yet but are about to. Once you have and are caught and punished, then you skulk off to pout.

@retired_chemist – I'm gonna beg to differ, well at least start the process, on CALC. I think it's going the way of "math, "dorm," and "gym." I have a junior petroleum engineering major and a freshman biology major – both took CALC last semester, and discuss it quite often. I have never once heard either utter the word "calculus." Agreed – an 'informal usage" indicator would have been helpful, but I predict in a few years it'll enjoy the same accepted truncated status as SYNCH (huh?), mic, and BEAV.

@Steve J – after I erased "husbands" (surely along with thousands), I entertained "midwives" but never wrote it in. With "husbands" still there, I kept trying for creative spellings of Uruguay for that tall tower place. (I also kept making sure "Delphi" didn't fit for DELOS.)

@jberg -my MASTHEAD was a "must-read" forever. Makes sense, no?

@Tita – funny BEAV story! Was your mom in a suit, pumps, and pearls?

I guess you "bale" hay and never SHEAVE it? We hay twice a year here, and I know SHEAVE only from puzzles.

I recently, er, stumbled upon a pair of NAOt sandals – literally, I've stumbled several times – they were on the clearance table but are a half size too big. They're like walking on a cloud, though. I just can't dart around lest I do an entertaining face-plant for my students' delight.

Rex – me, too, for "tilt" before LIST. The boat I worked on in Alaska was an old beat-up tub that had been brought up from the bottom of the Pewit, er, Puget Sound (tried for 30 minutes to figure out how to do a strike-through) and, well, partially rehabilitated. We had a rusty hack saw hanging on the wall that was our way to judge if we were LISTing too much. Also – the port and starboard engines had been put back in in the opposite positions, *and* the boat had no depth-finder. This was problematic as our territory was the shallow "flats" of the Prince William Sound. We were all inexperienced boatmen, but resourceful – we would "tank down" (fill a couple of holds with water) to have the boat sit lower), toodle along until we got stuck on a sand bar, empty the tanks, float off, tank down again and toodle along until we got stuck again. Repeat process. Worked like a charm. Good times.

@Steve J said it for me – "Even though it kicked my ass, this was one top-notch Friday." Amen.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:31 AM  

Great Friday puzzle, though only Medium difficulty - took me 35 minutes to finish -- but, oops!, with One Wrong Square. Just didn't remember the name of the film, so I finished with my DJANGO ENCHAINED!

Re 52 D, FIERI, didn't someone mention his name just yesterday when IERI was an answer?

ArtO 10:49 AM  

Struggled for half an hour and managed to do three quarters before turning it over to my better half who, amazingly, always comes up with enough to help me even though she rarely attempts any puzzle beyond Wednesday. Still got stuck with TILLY and TINEA as my downfall in the NE.

Had same experience as Rex with the K and D landing AUCKLAND.

A most satisfying Friday.

r.alphbunker 10:49 AM  

Nice puzzle. The SE corner was a real melting pot of words and I needed to google the chef in order to finish it.

FWIW, here is a graph comparing my progress through todays puzzle, @M&A's Christmas puzzle and @Acme's NYT debut.

joho 10:55 AM  

Congratulations to Ian Livengood and J.A.S.A for creating such a great (but impossible for me) Friday puzzle!

I crashed and burned in the Mid to Southwest. I thought with CALVINANDHOBBES/AUCKLAND in place I should be able to figure it out, but no!

DAD something made sense but I never got STOBE. Never saw DJANGOUNCHAINED, either, no help there. But even with a DNF I sure can -- and do -- appreciate this grid.

quilter1 10:58 AM  

I was sure it would be midwives so the SW was the last to fall, but what a fun puzzle, good clues and answers. Never saw the movie and wish CALVIN AND HOBBES would return to my funny pages.

mac 11:28 AM  

Very good puzzle, played medium-hard for me because of Fieri, Suarez, stuff and tai, but with a couple of guesses I got out of it. Lots of great clues!

The dentist/bounty hunter clue made me think of Marathon Man. I remembered ….unchained, but needed crosses for Django. Just yesterday a historian friend mentioned the film, I need to find out about it.

Anonymous 11:32 AM  

Fun one. CALVINANDHOBBES was a foundational answer for me, as I have all of the books. Had SPAMS instead of SCAMS, which made ?UIPE?OX unintelligible for a long time. ASHKENAZI was an early one for me, but OBAMACARE was a late one. Go figure.

Good puzzle overall. I didn't like OBOTE or SUAREZ, but names are tough for me to remember.

Michael 11:50 AM  

Liked the puzzle and found it fairly easy (for a Friday), but dnf because of stuf and fieri and tai. (I did get Suarez early.)

Lewis 12:03 PM  

@aliasz -- TINEA pun made me laugh
@fearless kim -- Trudeau indeed! I second the motion.

Wondering how this collaboration works -- Ian, you want to check in?

The upper half went quicker for me. Popped in DELOS and OSWEGO without really knowing if they were right -- just words I've seen and might fit. SUAREZ/FIERI/TAI tough for me; my son knew FIERI and that's how I got through that corner. Loved the clues for MASTHEAD and EST.

Sandy K 12:13 PM  

This was a tough one for me.

Wasn't sure how to spell DJENGO, and uBOTE for a long time. When things started to fall into place, I was looking at BEAV and DADS TUBE and had NO Idea!! What Is this STUF??

Then it finally dawned on me- The BEAV! And DADS TOBE! That's it!!

Nope! Never parsed DADS-TO-BE, so I don't really feel like I finished tho technically I did...

Literally OOHED and aaHED over the clever cluing and long answers. GOOD job, constructors!

AliasZ 12:34 PM  

How did Santa TREAT everyone?

After watching the ASHKENAZy clip of the Mozart concerto, the puzzle appeared a little better than it did while I was solving it.

I did go to Lamaze classes as one of the DADS-TO-BE some 35 years ago. At the birth of my daughter my wife did not ACT ALONE, I was there with her all the way. She had to EXERT some pressure, OOHED a little, but luckily it took barely more than ONE SEC. When the doctor caught the beautiful little baby SLINKing out into this cold harsh world, I instinctively yelled out: GOOD CATCH!

I cannot pass this opportunity to present you the angelic voice of Catalan soprano Victoria DELOS Ángeles (1923-2005) in the Baïlèro from Chants d'Auvergne by Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957). Take the five minutes to listen to it, you won't regret it.

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

Great puzzle, slow time because the magmic app was misbehaving again (somehow the clock keeps going even if the puzzle is otherwise frozen!)

Lindsay 1:28 PM  

The hornets' nest for me was the NE where my saucers were SpoDe and my longshot ONEtoTEN. Those errors, combined with my ignorance of TINEA & TILLEY, put this puzzle in the set-it-aside-come-back-later category.

Finished with a blank: 57A TA? crossing 52D F?ERI. No idea. Also had never noticed that AUCKLAND has a "c" in it, so that took a while to figure out.

Anonymous 2:08 PM  

Rex, I suggest you get into Pearls Before Swine, the best current strip.

Ω 2:41 PM  


Pearls Before Swine


Get Fuzzy

Last Kiss (old comic panels with new dialogue)

xkcd (for the math/science/internet crowd but I picked this specific comment for the commentartiat)

Tree Lobsters

Yes, I spend too much time reading comics, but it keeps me from getting into pointless political discussions.

ESP 2:43 PM  

Loved the crosses in this puzzle from the Jewish Association Serving the Aging.

Mette 2:47 PM  

Rex, thank you for mentioning you ran the alphabet to come up with BEAV and for the shout-out for The Luminaries, which is on my Kindle.

My forehead hurts from the number of times it got thunked. Somehow mentally inserted a "c" into NEWSREELS to make screens, which made CANv gibberish BBES. DNF because of Ray SUrREZ (hi @jae).

My reading last month included Dennis Lehane. Think it was Gone, Baby, Gone where he mentions Natick a few times. Was really tickled that he used a neologism from a crossword blog before it was even coined. How prescient.

With my newfound knowledge of constructors, I have been solving (or not) old Saturday NYT puzzles, then going to the blog archives. Rex, even in 2007, your write-ups were helpful and entertaining.

Anonymous 2:57 PM  

Rex does not think this a very good puzzle, even a good one really.

I'm not going to elucidate except to say his opening sentence really speaks for itself.

Oh, and Rex may not tell you but, yeah, I'm really right.

Ray Ell

Mette 4:02 PM  

BTW, anyone feeling cocky should try Bob Klahn puzzle from Dec. 29, 2007 (@jae has been there). Rex rated it "infernal" and his write-up and some of the comments are hysterical.

Benko 4:33 PM  

How about my personal favorite comic classic, Krazy Kat? George Herriman. Before our time but ahead of it, really. Check it out.
Berkeley Breathed was pretty good too.

OISK 4:43 PM  

I am Ashkenazi, but since I DNF, obviously no Einstein. Might have gotten the movie title by asking my wife - it takes two to Django - but missed it because I had "SPAM instead of SCAM, and so didn't see the "juice" in juice box. Missed several squared in the SW, my first DNF in a long time. (I should have figured out "juice box," but although I know what it must be, I can't remember every actually hearing the phrase.)

Anonymous 4:52 PM  


Chris 5:25 PM  

TAI (what?) crossed with FIERI (who?). Huh??

Here's another vote for Krazy Kat and Pogo.

LaneB 7:08 PM  

Guessed correctly on the STUF, TAI and FIERIcross in the SE. Likewise the STOAT (terrible clue) and OTOH cross. Could have put anything in the T box
WHY is stress good for a METER?
If you GINUP something, do you add zip to it.?? Quite a stretch.
Hands up not knowing NAOH represented Caustic soda.

Always nice to finish a Friday, errors to the contrary notwithstanding.i


Always nice to Finish a 'medium' Friday, r

Aukland Carba Meters 7:12 PM  

Throughout the 20=25 minutes I kept repeating to myself "I will not Google. I will not Google. I will not google".

I made so many mistakes it's not funny, but eventually did not Google and finished and was so happy!!!!!!

Thank god I'm a Jew who eats Oreos old enough to have seen "Leave it to Beaver" but young enough to have not had to live thru the REDSCARE.

Loved the freshness of OBAMACARE and INSTAGRAM, not crazy letters, but great for puzzle making.

Making miDwives into DADSTOBE was my biggest challenge
and once again the Scrabbly J of DJANGO saved the day...but the whole time I was imagining that "Midnight Run" film with Charles Grodin.

Ian is fantastic and I really enjoyed this.

I do, however, sympathize with the folks who thought this was too trivia -name-laden:

As for NAZI being part of ASHKENAZI, WOW! I've never noticed that!!!! GOODCATCH, @Rex!

LaneB 7:23 PM  

The 'est' is the superlative suffix,e.g. Big, bigger ,biggest.

Ω 7:45 PM  

@mette - Thanks (I think). 47 minutes with googling and verifying letters. "Infernal" was right. Best quote, " Screw Santa Claus. People should believe in me." -@Orange. It seems Mr Klahn hasn't made an appearance in three years in the NYT although he just had a CrosSynergy puzzle last week. Are we due to be challenged again, soon?

GILL I. 7:56 PM  

Oh Pleeeze.
PICKLES by Brian Crane.......!

Anonymous 8:05 PM  

Southeast is Natick city for me. Rarely don't finish a puzzle anymore but 57A, 46D, and 65A were completely new to me.

Anonymous 10:00 PM  

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat made me squeal with glee. Because, you know, CALVIN AND HOBBES!

Answer Man 1:20 AM  

@laneb: Stress and meter as in the poetry terms.

Vincent Lima 5:21 PM  

Oh this was fun! For Lamaze, wanted husbands, but the D of "Morse bit" ruled that out. Was glad miDwives weren't demoted to Lamaze assistants. ASHKENAZI went straight in (with sephardic ready as a backup). MASTHEAD was also a gimme. All that made the rest easier but no less enjoyable. Loved seeing Calvin and Hobbes.

spacecraft 1:11 PM  

I nominate "Zits" by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman. The title alone is fantastic!

Very nearly DNF in the SW because of a misread. Small clue print occasionally defeats even these myopic orbs. I thought the clue for 23d was "More furtively," so with the SLI start I naturally made it SLIer. I had heard of DJANGOUNCHAINED but forgot it, and couldn't come up with a start for ___EGO. Nor did ___RLAND ring any bells. I too went for miDwives off the Morse D, but to no avail. CUBES? Nope.

Finally, as I was rereading other clues, I saw it. Not More, MOVE! Once I saw that, SLINK was obviious, and that triggered DJANGO--and the whole thing just came on down, like a Price-is-Right contestant.

No, I wouldn't call this medium. I needed every single cross to get ASHKENAZI. I don't quite understand the clue for 29d, "Brown coat." So, OK, STOAT is an animal with a brown coat, not the coat itself. Or are we calling the animal a "Browncoat" a la the British Redcoats? But it's two words. Con-few-zing.

Where is @the bard today? Well, I shall fill in for him. Hamlet, Act II, scene 2:

The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion smeared
With heraldry more dismal. Head to foot
Now he is total gules, horridly tricked
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons.
Baked and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrranous and damned light
To their lord's murder. ROASTED IN WRATH AND FIRE,
And thus o'ersized with coagulate gore,
With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
Old grandsire Priam seeks.
So, proceed you.

rondo 1:35 PM  

@spacecraft - made the very same misread, but kept going for SLYer, having YDS as the football answer.

Solving in Seattle 2:09 PM  

I'm down to two comics during the week (Dilbert & Pearls Before Swine) and four on weekends (add Foxtrot & Sherman's Lagoon). Loved C&H and The Far Side when they were active. you can probably tell that I was raised on Mad Mag. What, me worry?

Liked the juxtapositions of INSTAGRAM over NEWSREELS, OBAMACARE over VETOPOWER, DADSTOBE next to JUICEBOX and GOODCATCH and INTerception just a few yards apart. Something the Legion of Boom will be doing to Peyton Manning several times this Sunday.

Have a good Superbowl weekend, Syndies, and Go Hawks!

Capcha: Caius Spersh. One of the more famous Roman gladiators.

DMG 2:43 PM  

This one was not mine to finish. Mananged the top half and the SE, but in the SW everything below the unknown-to-me movie is pretty empty. Got miDwives off the D of Morse's Dit, Dot, or Dah. Wanted CALVIN to be part of some music pairing, the contraction to be Isnt, and gave up. Maybe tomorrow?

Agree with @Z about the plethora of trivia.

Three 8's and three 3's. Misdeal?

Dirigonzo 4:33 PM  

I made all the same mistakes others made so let me see if I can find one of my own - how about cOoED before OOHED, anyone else have that? Bark/BRIG, maybe; surely lots of folks had eel before TAI? But I still managed to get the grid down to OWS: FIERo, because I really didn't believe the JASA would let ...NAZI in to the puzzle in any context (but they did).

ACT ALONE: theme of the State of the Union Address?

Twos over eights.

Dirigonzo 4:52 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dirigonzo 4:57 PM  

From the "Shameless Self-Promotion" department, yesterday's late comment string included some nostalgic remarks by @Gill I.P., and for some reason she made me want to share this. (Maybe the link will work this time.)

GILL I. 5:31 PM  

@Diri...I commented on your blog....
I LOVE "Shameless....!"

rain forest 5:50 PM  

There was so much to like in this tough-but-fair puzzle, all coming down to my last square where I had a complete guess--the I at the TAI/FIERI cross.

Before I got there, though, this puzzle was like a flower gradually opening up and revealing beauty in so many places, crosses abetting other crosses all the way. Others have mentioned the great grid-spanners, and the clever cluing, but up until that final "I", where I was just lucky, it was almost like my pen was being guided. Wonderful.

Pogo. Lil Abner.

Go Hawks!

Dand 2:05 PM  

Hard for me to believe a class created this puzzle. Must have been like a bunch of senators & congressmen sitting around patting themselves on the back for passing legislation that benefitted only them and a few of their constituents. "Beltway mentality"

As previously mentioned, there were multiple Naticks and too many vague trivia references.

Puzzle may be OK for a difficult puzzle book, but not a mass media outlet.

Puzzle editor do your job! Get real!

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