German port on Baltic / FRI 1-17-14 / Bowling splits in which 5 10 pins remain / 1969 role for Dustin Hoffman / Cars whose only color until 1952 was bottle green / Bygone station name / Herb whose name is derived from Latin for to wash /

Friday, January 17, 2014


The NYT appears to have printed the WRONG puzzle in the paper, or some versions of the paper. As you can see here (, today's puzzle is supposed to be the one by Kevin Der (discussed below). If you have one by Ian Livengood, I can't help you. Maybe that's supposed to be tomorrow's? Someone screwed up. Anyway, I blog the one I got, the one the NYT site *says* is today's: Kevin Der's. Please send your complaints to the NYT, not me. Thank you.

[UPDATE UPDATE: It's not clear what puzzle will be running tomorrow in your newspaper. The Livengood that dead-tree solvers got today was definitely *not* supposed to run today. It was from down the pipeline (not sure where).  Just got off the phone with Kevin Der, whose puzzle (see below) was run today on the website and was *supposed* to run in the paper today; he doesn't even know if, following this printing error, his puzzle will ever run in the print edition.  At this point, all I hope is that tomorrow we are all doing the same damn puzzle.]

Constructor: Kevin G. Der

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: JOANNA Gleason (43A: ___ Gleason, Tony winner for "Into the Woods") —
Joanna Gleason (born June 2, 1950) is a Canadian actress and singer. She is a Tony Award-winning musical theatre actress and has also had a number of notable film and TV roles. […] 
Joanne Hall was born in Toronto, Ontario, the eldest of three siblings born to television producer, and game show personality Monty Hall (né Monte Halparin), and his wife, Marilyn (née Plottel). […] Gleason appeared in several films in the 1990s, including F/X2Mr. Holland's OpusBoogie NightsThe Boys and Road Ends. More recently she has appeared in The Good WifeFathers and Sons, and The Wedding Planner. On television, she played the role of Nadine Berkus on the show Love & War (1992–95), several episodes of which she also directed. She played Joan Silver on Temporarily Yours (1997). Gleason starred in the Lifetime series Oh Baby as Charlotte from 1998–2000, also directing episodes of this show. Shortly following the end of this series, she starred opposite Bette Midler and Lindsay Lohan on Bette as agent Connie Randolph. She appeared in several made-for-TV movies, including If These Walls Could TalkFor the Love of AaronBorn Too Soon, and For Richer, for Poorer. Her numerous guest starring TV credits include episodes of The West WingThe PracticeKing of the HillFriendsTracey Takes On...,Murphy BrownEROuter Limits, and Diff'rent Strokes. (wikipedia)
• • •

Hey look, it's KIEL (23A: German port on the Baltic). It's (almost) good to see you again, buddy.

Very smooth grid, very professionally done.  So smooth, actually, that it felt a bit lifeless. Actually, that's not fair—but it did lack some spark, some personality, some Something  to make it snappy and memorable. For a puzzle with a word count this low (66), the overall quality of the fill is remarkable. It's just that the only answer that really pops for me, the only one that seems plausible as a seed entry, is "EYES ON ME!" (35D: "Now, look here!"). Maybe BLACK OPS, too, I don't know (11D: Some C.I.A. doings). However good the rest of the grid is (and it is), there's nothing else that really has a marquee quality to it. So I recognize that it is really well crafted. I just wish it had a little more zing, a little more, let's say, freshness. But it's good. You know when you *know* that something is good but you don't really *love* it, personally? That's how I feel about this puzzle.

The difficulty level on this one was really strange. Played very easy for me until the SW, and then it played like Saturday. A tough Saturday. This has Everything to do with the cluing on DIME STORES, and I am quite certain I won't be alone here (45A: Bowling splits in which the 5 and 10 pins remain). That is a real outlier, general knowledge-wise. I've bowled before. I've even watched a little bowling. But DIME STORES? Never heard it. It's cute—the connection between 5 pin and 10 pin, on the one hand, and (presumably)  "5 and 10" stores, or DIME STORES, on the other. But I had STORES and Nothing in front of it. Also had RUNS at 37A: Operates, as a booth (MANS), which meant complete stuckness at that end of the SW corner. On the other end, same deal. Didn't even know SAABS existed in the '50s, let alone that they came only in "bottle green," so no hope there, and no hope also on NO BOTHER (31D: "Don't worry about it"). Had the NO-, but that did nothing. And so that entire corner sat wide open for a bit as I futzed around with different answers. Finally I realized there was *no* "Herb" that started LU- (I ran the alphabet), so ditched RUNS. Then remembered Latin, thought of the "LAV-" / "wash" connection, and boom, LAVENDER (32D: Herb whose name is derived from the Latin for "to wash"). Still needed to push a little harder to get MEMENTO and LEVI, and then finally ON THE MEND snapped into view, and the corner fell from there. Puzzle appears to be playing quite hard (based on the times at the NYT applet). I wonder where other people are struggling. I gotta believe it's this SW corner, if not other places as well.

AGE TWO (41D: Terrible time?) is indeed terrible and should be banned outright from all puzzles, along with all other AGE [insert number here]. If you're not going to accept AGE THIRTY-ONE (and you're not), then goodbye AGE TWO.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


August West 12:03 AM  

Smooth, Yo. Downright Berryan. Look at those stacks, up, down, all around. Just outstanding.

jae 12:05 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said.  The top half was pretty easy, the SW medium, and the SE tough.  I've bowled in a number of leagues and never heard the term DIME STORES plus OP ARTIST was also new to me.  So, there was some staring. And the answers for 43a and 34d are a bit old timey.

Also arguED before RAILED, cOnic before DOMED, and SAndal before SABOTS

I'm with Rex, not much zip, but some of the cluing was very clever.  So a very smooth and crunchy (in spots) Fri.  Nice one Kevin!

George Barany 12:11 AM  

Won-DER-ful puzzle. Thanks, Kevin.

It should not surprise anyone that several prominent people have a birthday today. Readers of this blog have the advantage to recognize all names in this puzzle. 59-Across from the previous has the further distinction of having constructed a Constricted Crossword, which is being released today. Congratulations all around!

Carola 12:19 AM  

Fast and fun, lots to like - HONEY BEE, GYM CLASSES, BLACK OPS, MAKES OUT, EYES ON ME, DIME STORES. I liked the RELICS-EDSEL-AMOCO line-up and the typo-ridden look of OTO🔲MANS.

Garth 12:37 AM  

My experience, difficulty wise was similar to @jae's: easy top half, a little more trouble with SW and very difficult in the SE (dnf there). In the SW, the first answer I got was ON THE MEND which begat some crosses which led to BEETHOVEN. I enjoyed this puzzle. (I enjoy almost all of the NYT puzzles. I guess that's why I've been working on them for about 40 years).

Evan 12:48 AM  

I'm with others on the varying degrees of difficulty -- northwest easy, northeast easy-medium, southwest medium, southeast challenging. I made things tough on myself by writing in CONIC before DOMED (I must have passed over the igloo part of the clue), but fixing that error gave me STORM DOOR and the rest of that corner fell shortly afterwards.

That southeast, though -- very tough to get traction there. Didn't know the bowling term DIME STORES. Didn't know that "petting" could be a synonym for MAKING OUT. Didn't know JOANNA Gleason. Never knew JAKE was a slang term meaning "fine." I had LISS--- at 32-Across and could not remember that word. I really wanted ALARM before LATTE. And I have a nit to pick with the clue for RATSO: why use Dustin Hoffman's full name if your answer is just the character's first name? Shouldn't it be [1969 role for Dustin]?

The only thing that broke that corner open for me was, strangely, a mistake -- PLY before PAY at 38-Across. PLY seemed like a perfectly good substitute for [Be useful]. Even though it was wrong, it was right enough to give me EYES ON ME and OP ARTIST.

Overall, I really admire this grid -- no, there isn't anything super-flashy, but it's smooth as all get-out, especially considering just how wide open it is. So it made for a satisfying solve.

Steve J 12:53 AM  

This was like two entirely different puzzles to me. Top half came together well, but not easily. It was exactly what I'd expect with a good themeless: Grab a couple toeholds, and start spreading out from there.

Bottom half? I was the bottom half's roadkill. A few tendrils, but I couldn't turn them into anything. I didn't help myself with the fact that for many years now, I always want to spell LAVENDER as LAVENDaR. I have no idea why that is. It's one of the few words that I never, ever spell correctly. Anyway, big fat DNF down there.

Unlike Rex and @jae, I thought there was a lot of good fill here. Or, maybe better said, there were a lot of good clue/answer combos: HAS A SEAT (definitely the combo), GYM CLASSES (also the combo), LISSOME, BLACK OPS, EYES ON ME (although I wanted "eyes front" for a long time), ON THE MEND.

I always thought MAKES OUT simply meant getting to first base, and spending quite a bit of time there. Apparently it includes second base, too. Now I'm wondering if that's why I wasn't as, um, successful as I would have hoped to have been back in high school. I may have totally missed what was being suggested with a makeout session.

Quality Friday.

Steve J 12:54 AM  

Forgot to mention: While I've never heard of it in the context it was clued, DIME STORE is a absolutely brilliant bit of slang.

Questinia 1:18 AM  

Same gradient as others. Very easy top, easy-medium SW, and medium SE.
DIMESTORE was the interface of relative difficulty and opposite to @Rex, I had the DIME and not the STORE.
@Evan described the only real difficulty I had in SE. I put RIZZO first. Also had debit before ANION. OPARTIST, ironically, made the whole thing clear.

Agree with Rex re blandness but as far as I'm concerned a dash of BEETHOVEN dispels that right quick. BEETHOVEN be JAKE!

(also, LISSOME. What a great word).

Puzzle very appreciated Mr. Der! Thank-you.

Elle54 1:37 AM  

When I can solve a Friday, I'm happy. Like!

John Child 1:39 AM  
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jae 2:40 AM  
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jae 2:42 AM  

@Steve J - Fill was fine just not zippy. Clue/answer combos livened it up a bit, so I think we agree?

@Evan - I contemplated PLY (it made sense), but could run the alphabet forever and not make that work.

John Child 2:53 AM  
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John Child 2:57 AM  

In my (often vacant) wheelhouse, I guess. Quick Friday time for me, and quite smooth except for the SE. HOTEL BARS over ANIMAL FAT brought a giggle. Have you ever been to a Shriners' convention? AS I RECALL, LISSOME isn't the word for the attendees. EEK!

Fun, fun all around.

Amo Co Mementos 4:45 AM  

Ows : BLoCKOPS... No wonder running the alphabet didn't help, as I had misspelled SANAToRIA :(

With you on LAVENDaR...

Bleedover from yesterday : ODORS and GYMCLASSES lots of lockerroom humor vibe. Next there will be snapping TOWELETTES!

My biggest challenge was changing Sunscreen to STORMDOOR.

The main thing I loved in this was OPENMIKE, and that the grid was so purty.

INSUM, Kevin Der Alte strikes again... No DIMESTORE split for him.

QXZ nowhere to be seen, but NO BOTHER.
(NO BOTHER sounds like an illiterate motel sign, akin to no moleste to keep the maids out.

Loren Muse Smith 6:58 AM  

Well, shoot. I blew through this beautiful grid like nobody's business. Definitely one of my fastest Fridays ever. And unlike the majority of you, the NW was the last to fall, but I had the SE done in no time. "Pets," MAKES OUT – how old are you, Kevin? Both terms totally in the wheelhouse of this RELIC who used to shop at the DIME STORE. (Granted – it was new to me, too, as a bowling term, but it went in quickly with the crosses.) Alas, though, I had a dnf because I cannot spell – had "momento/give to/ govi." "Momento" makes more sense to me. A "momento" to remember the moment. But I have to agree with @Steve J– not only is this a smooth grid, but it has lots of zip imho : EYES ON ME, MAKES OUT, NO BOTHER, HONEY BEE, HOTEL BARS, OPEN MIKE. . .

I didn't follow the Shroud of Turin story, so I was thinking "hoaxes" first, and then trying to come up with some kind of expensive alcohol with an X there. Loved the clues for GENIE and PAY! And that sly shout-out was not missed. . .N DER!

Both my kids turned AGE TWO at around nineteen months. Good times.

I thought "klompen" was a muscle relaxer, but upon further review at Google Images, I have to appreciate the onomatopoetic name; who could walk in those without looking all muscle-relaxed? Anyway, they certainly look like something I would clomp in.

@Questinia – agreed. Love LISSOME, and I just came up with my New Year's Resolution – I want this to be people's go-to word when trying to describe me to someone else:

"Who are you talking about?"
"Loren – oh, c'mon, you have to know who she is - the nice, smiley, obviously very bright person with all the grammar/language t shirts (that no one really appreciates) at Planet Fitness? The really, really LISSOME one?"

I'm AFRAID, though, that it will always be more like:

"Who are you talking about?"
"Loren – oh, c'mon, you have to know who she is – the GYM CLASS reject who always walks like she's either ON THE MEND or sporting SABOTS. . . that STORM DOOR-shaped RELIC with those sad little DOMED ANIONs starting to grow out of both ONELS?"

So is a crack CIA guy a BLACKOPARTIST?

@M&A – I take it you have some experience in a classroom full of little ones? I do, too, but am totally out of my comfort zone with young children. Sometimes I leave my body, frown down at myself, sigh, and can't believe I'm actually saying, "One, TWO, three. . .EYES ON ME." But it works like a charm every time. It has such a remarkably hypnotic effect that I'm almost embarrassed for the truly gifted little trouble makers; part of me is always disappointed to see this handful of Inspired Disrupters fall for it so readily. The other trick that works, but I can rarely bring myself to do it, is the Five Claps: slow, slow, fast, fast, fast. Again – even the paste-eaters stop, look at me, and copy the clap, trancelike. Eerie.

Once I woke up to find myself the co-leader of a Girl Scout troop in that way that one minute your afternoons are filled with carefully taking down advice from Oprah to the next scrambling to come up with fall leaf ART projects and healthy snacks. Anyway, I had to attend these hideously tedious monthly chapter meetings of area troop leaders. The woman in charge (always wearing her girl scout vest, festooned with all the badges and pins), invariably, I swear, got the attention of this room full of grown women by first raising her hand and waiting for all of us to slowly shut up and raise our hands, too. But what's worse – when the Hand Raise failed, She. Did. The. Five. Claps. And we grown women copy-clapped back. Trancelike.

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

This is not the puzzle that is in my paper!

Anonymous 7:13 AM  

Print edition has a totally different puzzle!

Anonymous 7:15 AM  

Wait, wait! The MA version of the Times has a different puzzle, one by Livengood! Where can I find a redirected Rex? I need a little help, and this is a Friday morning wrecking ball!

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

What'cha need, Ed?

jberg 7:36 AM  

Me too with the Ian Livengood puzzle in my paper. And, like @anon, above, I am in Massachusetts, so I guess it could be a local oddity. Guess I better check the NY Times site to see if there's an explanation - I don't want to read any more here, in case I get the other puzzle eventually, and don't want to comment on the one I solved in case any of you get it!

bluesman 7:42 AM  

When I was in a bowling league we referred to the 5-10 split as the Woollworth's split, but never the dime store.

Glimmerglass 7:45 AM  

I agree with August West. This puzzle is the berries. Good, hard clues, a lot of head scratching, but doable with persistence. Excellent Friday puzzle.

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

I'm in Florida and my paper has the Live good puzzle also. WTFriday!

Anonymous 7:49 AM  

jberg -- this puzzle was banned in Boston

Anonymous 7:50 AM  

Also got the Livengood puzzle in Connecticut

gberg 7:50 AM  

hand up for livengood, paper version, Connecticut. how can this be?

Anonymous 7:52 AM  

Livengood in Ann Arbor Michigan as well (printed paper, refuse to pay extra for digital puzzle).

Norm C. 7:54 AM  

SE was the last to fall for me, not surprising since I had "muralist" at 33D for a while (which I still think is a better answer). Once that was fixed, it was enough to take me over the finish line.

And, oh yeah, STORMgeaR briefly before MEMENTO led me to the DOOR.

Overall a solid puzzle. Enjoyed it.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Livengood puzzle in print version in Atlanta. So this is widespread, not local.

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Also have the Livengood in print version. What 's up?

Sir Hillary 8:20 AM  

Here in Westchester County NY, my paper has the Livengood puzzle also. Hilarious that the NYT can't sync their print and online editions! Maybe us print solvers will get this Kevin Der puzzle tomorrow.

Unknown 8:22 AM  

Hard for me. No googling, but took a while. So many things I just couldn't see right off....too many to mention. But overall, a good, challenging puzzle.

Mohair Sam 8:36 AM  
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Nancy in PA 8:37 AM  

Also have Livengood in PA. But because we are print subscribers, we get TimesDigest online so I can print out the puzzle w/o paying the additional puzzle subscription fee. So I got to do both! Great Friday morning.

Mohair Sam 8:50 AM  
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Mohair Sam 8:50 AM  

Awesome Friday puzzle, loved it. Played medium for us. The SW which hounded @Rex had me beat until my wife came down stairs, looked over my shoulder, and said "39d is SABOTS". That made SAABS likely, ARGO a gimme, and BEETHOVEN a possible - the corner fell.

I don't bowl, but loved the DIMESTORE clue. I mean, the "5 and 10" is staring at you in the clue - but you just can't get it. Great stuff. Liked the LAVENDER clue, inferrable from "lav" base - and LISSOME found its way from some long lost memory here. I think Jim Carey uses "everything's JAKE" in about half his movies.

I'm with @SteveJ and @amoco - the world spells lavendar wrong.

Chuckling here to see that KIEL is back to get under Rex's skin. It's not a big city, but an important port for Germany much discussed in WWII history and about a zillion spy novels.

(how many times do you have to reread these post to catch all your typos?)

joho 8:51 AM  

@acme, I'm going to have to start staying up until all hours so as not to repeat posting the same thing you say! Today it's SANIToRIA. But I also had another mistake at rAKE think "Just dandy" as being rakish.

I thought this was a lovely Friday and not at all lacking sparkle.

Unknown 8:51 AM  

SE was the only struggle, and what a struggle. Had SHVE for LATTE, no idea who Gleason is, and DIMESPARES seemed to work. Finally saw OPARTIST, reluctantly left RATSO and ANION in place for lack of any better ideas. JAKE fell after a little plug-and-chug, and I finished saying 'Ohhhhhhhhh, it's all so obvious now!' A little faster than average despite wasting several minutes on the SE struggle, so I guess I can't complain.

Anonymous 8:55 AM  

This wasn't my puzzle in Manhattan: I had one by Livengood that was clever but hard. Maybe meant for Saturday?

JayWalker 8:57 AM  

Come on everybody! Are none of you familiar with the phrase "The Terrible Twos"?????? But like many others the SW was almost my downfall. I had "I am too" for 40D and was SURE that the start of 31D was "noT A _____" so I floundered there for quite a while. But it was a very good Friday workout for me. Terrific Kevin!!

ludyjynn 9:01 AM  

I also have the Livengood puzzle in Baltimore's print ed. of NYT. Finished it in record time for me for a Friday, but would like to check my answers. Where are they posted, please?

desi 9:05 AM  

Did anyone else notice that accoutrement was misspelled? I assumed the answer would as well.

I knew about Lavender and Beethoven, so I had those on the first pass. What tripped me up was the SW corner, as you predicted.

RnRGhost57 9:08 AM  

Livengood here in northern Cali

August West 9:14 AM  
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August West 9:27 AM  

@ Loren,

Happy Birthday! Loved your "Recreational Puzzle!"

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

Smooth grid, great fill, quick solve.

My only nit is with the clue for EYESONME. To me the phrase "Now, look here!" has nothing to do with literal looking. It means something like "I am in disbelief at the chutzpah/falesness/offensiveness of the comment you just made and I shall now offer a counterpoint." EYESONME would be better clued with something like "Attention up here, everyone!" Maybe it's just the teacher in me.

Lewis 10:06 AM  

Persistence paid off -- three visits to the puzzle. SE was murderous for me, and had to Google to get. But yes, smooth as can be. Nary a grid gruel to be found.

I would have preferred TWO to AGETWO, but AGETWO *is* known for and called the "terrible twos", which differentiates it from AGEthirtyone, so I disagree with Rex here.

Thank you Kevin -- I enjoyed this solve a lot.

Questinia 10:08 AM  

@ loren ~ Let's make it a dual GYM CLASSES resolution before my SAABS EEK out of my IBIS. Start the trance tapes:

1-2-3... EYES ON ME- LISSOME!- clap.....clap....clapclapclap
1-2-3... EYES ON ME- LISSOME!- clap.....clap....clapclapclap.........................

speaking of trance,

"Reason I'm not a surgeon"
Dramatis personae: 1. Me as a sleep-deprived third year medical student during a surgery rotation doing a pre-op physical exam on a 2. Very UN-LISSOME to-the-extreme patient upon the bed in the prone position.
Setting: Tertiary care hospital room, late afternoon, low sun streaming through large window.

Action: While slightly hunched and gently attempting to locate an orifice, any orifice, under the newsreels of flesh of my patient, I took the time to glance around the room. Spell-bindingly ordinary, except for the painting on the wall which I determined must be a reproduction of a Vermeer. How odd. Yet its serene stillness was unmistakably Dutch and its corpuscular timelessness bespoke Vermeer. And it was a Vermeer I had never seen before. I wondered how this could be. It could have been called "Young Dutch Laundress" until I realized the voluptuous white folds of the laundry began to twitch as I successfully slid my gloved finger into what I was looking for. I had been looking at a mirror on a wall hanging on the other side of the bed. It was exactly at that moment that I crossed surgery off the list.

Milford 10:16 AM  

Medium Friday and finished sans Google, which is always a good feeling. Looks like I am in good company in finding the SE to be harder to finish than the SW, although I had rewrites there as well with SAndal before SABOTS, and NO Biggie before NO BOTHER.

Thankfully what saved me in the SE was being absolutely sure that JOANNA Gleason was correct. She is in a couple Woody Allen movies, notably in Crimes and Misdemeanors as Woody's disgruntled wife.

I agree with the Anon above that EYES ON ME clued as "Now, look here!" feels a tad off, for the same reason he/she described.

Loved the LAVENDER clue, and the DIME STORE clue was tricky but fun to discover.

vespa before MOPED, and sits down before HAS A SEAT were a couple more of my typical Friday rewrites. ONASSIS' birthday was a couple days ago, same day as MLK Jr. and my now-10-year old.

@Loren - our elementary school uses the 5-claps and I'm always amazed at how effective it is, even in a huge crowd of kids. Grown women doing it? Bizarro.

LB 10:20 AM  

Our arts sections in Austin, Texsa are shipped in (while the news sections print on our local papers presses). We have the Livengood. I was struggling so that I decided to get a cheat or two here! Ha. Jokes on me.

r.alphbunker 10:21 AM  

Sorry. Whatever I was going to say vanished from my brain after I read @Questinia's 10:08AM post. It didn't help that I was still processing her DOTTED I post from yesterday.

r.alphbunker 10:27 AM  

Oh I remembered. I thought that Kevin Der's comments on were very interesting. Particularly

"The company I work at is researching methods for peer feedback. We learned the greatest factor in whether a team is thriving and successful is the ratio of positive to negative feedback. The best teams used 5x as many positive comments to negative — while average teams only used 2x. Sometimes the human brain works in unintuitive ways. Since then, I’ve tried to apply the 5x to rule to myself when constructing. It’s helped me remain objective about imperfections while still remembering the merits. I’ve found myself happier and more motivated to construct. As is commonly said, perfection is impossible to achieve."

Are we a team here? Are we successful at whatever we are trying to do? Maybe not if our purpose is encouraging new constructors. However we are very good at encouraging 100 year old constructors. :-)

Two Ponies 10:33 AM  

@ Rex, Thank you for the spoiler alert. I'm one of those who got Ian Livengood's puzzle. I'll catch up with all of you tomorrow.

Z 10:47 AM  

Well, that was a pretty easy "Saturday" puzzle, then. Time to shovel, then maybe I'll download the right puzzle and do it.

Jayke 10:52 AM  

Okay... I had the Livengood puzzle in my Times today. Am I understanding correctly that the Kevin Der puzzle was supposed to be the Friday puzzle and the Livengood was supposed to be the Saturday?

I don't time my puzzles, but my speed w/the Livengood would without a doubt be the fastest I've ever done a Saturday puzzle. So... bummer for me. I think.

Mr. Benson 10:58 AM  

Another Livengood in Bergen County, NJ. Are we going to see the Der version on Saturday? I looked away as fast as I could (fortunately, it was just a second and none of it really registered; I'm going to go away from this page now).

Mr. Benson 11:00 AM  

...and now I can see that I will indeed be getting the Der tomorrow. See what I mean when I say I looked away immediately? :)

Unknown 11:03 AM  

The absence of a seed kept me at the staring line until I surrendered and googled what was google able. Still, it was a DNF with my new 60 minute time limit. SW did not yield.

BOAS is nonsensical as a camp accoutrements. Quidditch is played with hATS, is it not? Natick, and dead.

fiAt for SAAB. Lots more like that. After the googles.

While I nearly always lose, I don't mind losing fair and square. BOAS is not fair and square.

MimaW 11:07 AM  

Got the Livengood one in Florida. Need help with 15 across!

Steve J 11:12 AM  
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Unknown 11:15 AM  

So, is BOAS supposed to mean Boy Scouts of America? And is that what we a supposed to accessorize camp sites with? And was that obvious to those of you declaring this was a glorious, smooth Friday?

The anomie. The anomie. *shakes head*

Steve J 11:16 AM  

@Loren: I also had HOAXES at first for the Shroud of Turin and its ilk.

@JayWalker: I thought "terrible twos" immediately for 41D. But the length of the answer threw me off, and I didn't think of AGE TWO for a long, long time.

(And while I agree that, in general, AGE X is something that shouldn't be used, when it's part of or hearkens to a well-known phrase, like this is, it's acceptable.)

@Cascokid: Don't think of "camp" as in a place where you sleep in a tent in the woods. Think of "camp" in terms of the adjective "campy", and the fact that BOAS are often associated with the campy (as opposed to the passable) style of drag queen. Definitely misdirection, but that's what makes it a great Friday/Saturday clue, imo, and totally within the bounds of fairness for Friday/Saturday puzzles.

Jisvan 11:22 AM  

@cascokid san: think "campy"...
Learned something new about Saabs! We are long time owners of the brand, but not that long.
I loved this one. Impressive grid yet ultimately doable. Liked the clue for 10D LATE. Goes well with 27A EEK! But others probably plan their families...

b 11:29 AM  

BOAS as in something worn by drag queens

JFC 11:29 AM  

Posted on Wordplay today:

Because of a production error, the crossword puzzle that was published in Friday’s print issue, by Ian Livengood, was published in error. The correct puzzle for this date, by Kevin G. Der, appeared online on Friday. The Livengood puzzle will be published online next Friday and the Der puzzle will appear in print that day.


Karen Coyle 11:31 AM  

As per puzzle mix-ups, when I was living in Europe in the 70's I recall getting a Sunday Herald in which the "errata" on the puzzle read:

"Due to a mix-up in the press room, the clues in last week's puzzle were not for the puzzle printed. We apologize."

My first thought: Contest! Who finished it?

Unknown 11:33 AM  

@Steve J, @b, @jisvsn

Thank you! Ok, I recant. I lost fair and square! :)

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

The CORRECT NYT puzzle is the one that actually appears in the printed newspaper - and that's that. (This did seem a little easy for a Friday, I have to admit.) But the NYT is still first and foremost a printed item on paper that you hold in your hand to read(or write upon, if one so chooses.)

P.S.: I don't think the prosecution would want me on the jury for the trial of the guy who shot the texter in the movie theater.

Masked and AnonymoUs 11:37 AM  

Evidently next week's FriPuz will be this one, in printed papers, and will be the Livengood one, in yer online editions. Solvers in Lower Mongolia will get the M&A all-E's puz, in both of the FriPuz printed editions.

Liked all of the puzs today just fine. Am a little spooked about bein a spoiler, if I discuss anything, so... let the digressin begin!

@muse: M&A has only limited experience teaching weeslers. Only as a guest speaker. I must somehow manage to be on their wavelength, tho, as they keep askin their teachers "when is the big kid comin back?"

@schlock movie fans: Tonight's M&A offering will be "Road Kill". Last week it was "Europa Report".

fave weejects: EEE and EEE (hi,@Mongolians)


GILL I. 11:40 AM  

I feel bad for Kevin Der....
Loved his puzzle though.
Hand up for BLoCKOP/SANaToRIA. Wanted Jackie Gleason but I didn't think he was ever up for a Tony.
@Questinia...I laughed at you post but just to be sure, I had to read it twice!
@Loren...Happy Birthday.

Mohair Sam 11:42 AM  

So some of us got the right or wrong puzzle today and then we'll be getting the wrong or right puzzle next week.

Somebody buy @Rex a drink.

My history teacher in high school had a '50 Saab. We thought it was the funniest looking thing we'd ever seen. I just Googled the old heap and it appears that it was about 40 years ahead of itself - resembles the half-grape shape introduced by the Taurus in 1986 that dominates sedans today.

Z 12:53 PM  

I did them both. The Livengood was easier for me. "Klompen" should have been easy, all of my girlfriends in high school were Klompen Dancers and my brother-in-law's dad appeared as a wooden shoe maker on an oft mailed postcard, but SABOTS is a new word for me. Then there was the self-inflicted LEVy and never considering Trompe l'oeil to be OP ART, and the entire south was a struggle.

For me, this is what OP ART looks like, about as far away from Trompe l'oeil as you can get.

Bird 1:05 PM  

So, I enjoy the Ian Livengood puzzle (I get home delivery here on Long Island) and prepared my comments. Then I come here only to find out the NYT goofed.

NYT says the puzzles will run next week (Ian's online and Kevin's in the paper).


AliasZ 1:12 PM  

BEETHOVEN and ONTHEMEND were my first entries, which opened up my SW in no time. The rest of the grid came soon thereafter, except I had SANaToRIA for a while. Come to find out, SANITARIA is a secondary, alternative spelling. The Latin root word SANA for "health" as in "Mens SANA in corpore sano," while the root word SANIT is the basis of "sanitary" as well as "sanity." So it seems SANA and SANIT are virtually interchangeable. The SE was the last to fall. Besides RATSO I had nothing for a long time.

Having never bowled, I had no idea that they called a 5-10 split DIMESTORE. I always enjoy learning new stuff, even if it has no impact on my life. I never heard OPARTIST quite like this, but it was inferrable. I wonder if you would call a barber a clip artist. I loved LISSOME. Does anyone remember HOTELBAR butter? I found nothing wrong with KIEL. Anyone who took part in a "geography b" would have no problem with it, any more than with Köln, Essen, or Ulm. I am glad for the geographic clue instead of "Jaws" player in, AS I RECALL, "The Spy Who Loved Me," Richard KIEL.

I really enjoyed this one by Kevin G. Der.

OISK 1:33 PM  

@mima. Wahine. Enjoyed the Livengood puzzle. THINK I finished it, annoyed that I will need to wait to find out!

GILL I. 1:37 PM  

@Z The OP ARTIST bothered me a bit too. However both op art and trompe l'oeil create optical illusions.

acme 1:40 PM  

I've never seen Kevin and Ian in the same room... just saying.
Or as KevIan would say... "Interesting."

THink of all the lives you saved by NOT becoming a surgeon!

Scarab 1:41 PM  

I learned the word SABOT from Star Trek. Kim Cattrall, as a Vulcan in Star Trek VI, explained the etymology of SABOTage, which had to do with workers throwing their wooden shoes into machinery. Unfortunately I can't find a clip online.

jburgs 2:18 PM  

Fun, challenging puzzle. Got everything until the SE which resulted in DNF. For the Dustin clue I thought for sure it related to the Graduate movie.

I googled Trompe l'oeil. Others unfamiliar with the term should google it and check the images. Amazing what can be done. I won't forget trompe l'oeil next time it appears.

Dick Swart 3:00 PM  

Given the xword birthday, its' populatity during the 20's, the penchant for old-timey language that exceeds the shelfdate of many of the oldest of fans, and the appearance this week of BUSHWA, JAKE, and PETTING, this catch-up primer.

I've got to ankle the blog, I need to iron my shoe laces!

MimaW 3:48 PM  

What did you get for 15 across if you don't mind my asking?

Z 4:07 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 4:07 PM  

cute remarks??

Anonymous 4:08 PM  

wahine for 15 across

Z 4:09 PM  

Livengood's 15A.

@Gill I.P. - That's what I decided, but it was a hard misdirection for me.

Anonymous 4:15 PM  

cute remarks in livengood's?

AliasZ 4:16 PM  

Here is some mind-bending trompe-l'œil (optical illusion) on city streets.

Z 4:35 PM  

Livengood's 1D. I'm over my limit so no more help from me.

sanfranman59 4:57 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Fri 21:23, 19:52, 1.08, 70%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Fri 13:21, 11:32, 1.16, 75%, Medium-Challenging

MimaW 4:58 PM  

Thanks! It was going to drive me crazy to wait and that was my only one that had me stumped.

Anonymous 6:12 PM  

For cute remarks in Livengood's, I put "aws," but I'm far from expert at these puzzles.

I find it hilarious that the author of this blog apparently refuses to do the print puzzle out of some sort of weird principle. Way to be stubborn!

Milford 9:25 PM  

Yeah, the guy who maintains and writes this free blog is deciding which puzzle he will write about. How weird.

Numinous 9:45 PM  

Trompe l'oeil, literally, deceive the eye. Think M. C. Escher. Z's posted link pales in comparison to the examples produced by googling the term though the opart examples are very good indeed.

EYESONME: yeah well . . . . It depends on how you read the clue. I've spoken three varieties of English in my life and I've done crosswords on three continents. I am by no means a genius when it comes to these puzzles but one thing i know, as everyone here should, including @Rex, the "wheelhouse" reading of any clue is not always what is intended. Y'all will call it misdirection from time to time when a simple misapprehension of the clue is the real fault. I love cryptic puzzles and do them whenever I can. The biggest lesson to be learned from them is, "Nothing is as it seems."
"now look here, look at me, look! See what I'm doing?"
Y'all are really bright, most of you probably smarter than I am. But sometimes, collectively, you get lost in a fog. These are puzzles and you have to think about them. How many times I've seen things like, "Somebody tell me what CCCCCC has to do with 'grab'. Oh GGGGG, now I get it!"
The wonderful thing about the English language is that there are so many ways to say things. The truly awful thing about the English language is that there are so many ways to misunderstand things.

When I lived in Geneva, every sunday I would ride a moped into France to by deux bouteilles de cote du provence et un kilo de beurre. In France, the butter was made avec sel, unlike in Switzerland. At the frontier I made them stamp my passport as I went each way. In those days, one could stay in Switzerland for three weeks without a visa. I stayed for a year. I got the stamps in the hopes of confusing anyone who might try to throw me out of the country. After a while, the border guards would just wave me through, "Him again?" Some time later, when leaving England, an immigration official was looking through my passport to find my entry to England and saw the pages of Swiss stamps. (I'd had to go to the American embassy to have extra pages affixed) and remarked, "GGGGG."

I really liked this puzzle and, yeah, I think BOAS, like Bette Midler, are pretty campy.

Tita 9:46 PM  

Banned in Boston - har!

@bluesman - one of the best puzzle-related stretches ever - from a "hmmm that's sort of interesting about DIMESTORE" to "OMG, it's also called the Woolworth split" stretches... Thank you!

Another LAVENDaR here.

THis was a tough battle for me, but a fabulous puzzle every step of the way, and the ANIMALFAT on the cake was finding the Medium-Challenging rating.
Yes, I freely admit that I take as much gluttonous glee from the (rare) times that a Fri or Sat that I finish all by my little LISSOME - er - lonesome, as I do when the much more common opposite occurs.

It took me from last night to a few hours ago, when the SE finally fell.

My grid is very colorful today - I highlight answers that I love, and this one is chock-ablock:
Loved learning the factoids about the EDSEL and SAABS. Pux-spouse owned two - neither were green.

Liked going from thinking there was no plant with the word "lave" in it to the aha MEMENTO of LAVENDaR.

All in all, thank you Mr. Der, and thank you Will for the mixup!

And I fully expect that I will have forgotten any of the Ian spoilers scattered about here by the time it shows up next week.

Tita 9:47 PM  

email me, oh google bots

Joe The Juggler 10:19 PM  

As a 1L, I very much liked 17 Across. Funny, some variant of that clue/answer has appeared probably half a dozen times since I started law school, and in my thirty-some years of avid puzzling, I swear it's never appeared before. ;)

sanfranman59 10:40 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 5:48, 6:22, 0.91, 12%, Easy
Tue 9:52, 8:15, 1.20, 90%, Challenging
Wed 8:46, 10:26, 0.84, 13%, Easy
Thu 14:44, 19:03, 0.77, 12%, Easy
Fri 21:05, 19:52, 1.06, 67%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:58, 0.90, 5%, Easy
Tue 6:21, 5:12, 1.22, 95%, Challenging
Wed 5:28, 6:11, 0.88, 18%, Easy
Thu 8:37, 10:36, 0.81, 16%, Easy
Fri 12:57, 11:32, 1.12, 73%, Medium-Challenging

Dave 11:27 PM  

Got the other puzzle in my Cincinnati dead tree version, the electronic digest has this puzzle.

LaneB 12:52 AM  


I'd be pleased to give you the answers [which I think are correct] to any of the clues you identify.

I managed to finally struggle through the Livingood puzzle--which was in the NYT in the Bay Area--notwithstanding some odd and difficult cluing. When this one is finally published in the future, I'll be able to do it in record time!

Anonymous 8:55 AM  

Just FYI. There is a theme, but it only relevant to the MIT Mystery Hunt, which is currently in progress.

mac 10:07 AM  

I never thought of op-art as trompe l'oeuil, but of course it is….

Nick 10:08 AM  

I had the Livengood puzzle (which was great, btw) and considering I solved it with just a single google (13D) I'm figuring the difficulty level was (very) easy. 6:18 PM  

I got the livengood version, out here in Portland, OR. But please explain to me what "dead tree solvers" are

William Randolph Hearst 11:42 PM  

@Andy Nelson - paper is made from wood pulp, which is gotten from dead trees. So those of us who solve on paper are "dead tree solvers."

David Glasser 4:21 PM  

To those curious why it was important to ensure that Kevin's puzzle was published Friday, (including the solution link) may be elucidating.

dk 8:15 AM  

*** (3 Stars) Fine Friday Fare

Anonymous 5:41 PM  

Kevin Ders' puzzle ran today. I live California so picked up the Northern California edition here.

Anonymous 12:28 PM  

The puzzle I just finished today, Friday 2/21/14, here in San Diego is authored by Ian Livengood. I'm assuming the Kevin Der puzzle was online. If so, why does Rex list Kevin Der as the author of the puzzle printed at the top? Oh, heck, I don't really care. Whoever composed the puzzle did a fine job and I rated it "Medium." I googled just once for the Gleason name but it was a big help for that corner.

Ron Diego 9:25 AM PST

DMG 2:06 PM  

Got the puzzle Rex printed, credited to "other author", another of the strange things that sometimes happen in the San Diego Union. Hi @Ron Diego! Wonder what we'll get tomorrow?!

First time through was ???? And then it started falling. Has to trade my FiAt for. SAAB, and change my command from EYESOpen to EYESONME. Overall, I enjoyed the challenge of dredging up,words that sort of lurk in the back of my mind,e.g. JAKE.

Dirigonzo 3:08 PM  

Well it appears that my local daily rag got things right by printing the correct puzzle and crediting the correct constructor. I finished in fairly short order (relatively speaking, of course) but I feel like I cheated by getting help from a "spoiler" that appeared in yesterday's comments - it related to DIMESTORE and sadly my usually totally unreliable short-term memory retained it; that "gimme" pretty much iced the whole corner although I did have to get rid of LIthely in favor of LISSOME on my own. Similarly, "sitsdown" obscured the NE corner until the crosses produced HASASEAT. Awesome clue either way.

There are BLACKOPS in ARGO, are there not? (I'd say "yes, ASIRECALL", but I haven't actually seen the film.)

Just in case @spacey comes to the table later, I have fours full of nines.

Solving in Seattle 3:29 PM  

Great clue for 28A. BOws before BOAS.

Had KIEL over TODDS over FOPS over an "S" for the 11D plural clue, giving me KOPS. Huh? Then parsed the OPS separately and reeled in BLACK. That was one of the fun parts of solving this Kervengood puz. These two should get together more often. INSUM, a very good construction coupled with Saturdayesque cluing.

Would an undercover CIA operative be a BLACKOPSist?

Now that Capcha has finally given me numbers the best I can muster is a pair of threes. Seriously!

Canada does it again, eh?

Solving in Seattle 3:34 PM  

BTW, wrote in SABOTS without crosses. Huge fleets of the little class sailboat with the shoe on the sail in Seattle and Vancouver.

Does my second post allow me to use the Capcha? Five fives, YESSSSS!

Shax 7:35 PM  

Der in St. Louis. Liked the puzzle, and found it pretty easy. 10 D surprised me!

Joshua 11:52 PM  

Here in Syndicationland, we got the grid for Kevin Der's puzzle with clues (presumably Ian Livengood's) that don't match that grid. I was relieved to find that this was a misprint, not a puzzle that was supposed to be beyond challenging.

Tom Korocz 4:15 PM  

Well, I'll add my experience. The Seattle Times (2/21/14) has same puzzle but credited to Ian Livengood.

spacecraft 10:43 AM  

My paper reprinted the Livengood one, both clues and grid. Never finished a Friday so fast!!

What's new is the statement below the comment window that reads: "Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author." Now, while I'm normally a frowny-face toward censorship, if this means no more spellcasting testimonials or ads for Indian escorts, I am foursquare FOR it!

spacecraft 12:11 PM  

Obviously I said something wrong. You are hanging on to my participation here by the most gossamer of threads.

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