Sugary punch slangily / WED 8-13-14 / Eurasian plain / Twain's New York burial place / Brat holder / Jenner of reality tv / Children's author Asquith / Caron title role of 1958

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: LANGUAGE BARRIER (64A: Foreigner's obstacle … or a hint to the hidden words in 17-, 29-, 37- and 49-Across) — A language appears inside each theme answer, as a kind of "barrier" between the first word and the second word in each phrase:

Theme answers:
  • ANGER MANAGEMENT (17A: Class for the hotheaded)
  • ALL ATINGLE (29A: Covered with goose bumps)
  • SHORT HAIR (37A: Result of a buzz cut)
  • THE BREWERS (49A: Miller Park crew)
Word of the Day: KRIS Jenner (63D: Jenner of reality TV) —
Kristen Mary "KrisJenner (née Houghton, formerly Kardashian; born November 5, 1955) is an American television personality, business woman and author who has appeared on Keeping Up with the KardashiansKourtney and Khloé Take MiamiKhloé & LamarKourtney and Kim Take New YorkGood Morning AmericaThe Talk, America's Next Top Model and her own short-lived talk show, Kris.
Divorced from lawyer Robert Kardashian, she has been married to Bruce Jenner since 1991. She has four children with Robert (KourtneyKimKhloé, and Robert) and two with Bruce (Kendall and Kylie Jenner). Jenner's autobiography, Kris Jenner... and All Things Kardashian, was released on November 1, 2011. (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, after 4 different flights this spring/summer, after 14 different take-offs and landings and one trans-Pacific voyage, I finally got a cold. Thankfully, I got it on *this* end of the trip (i.e. the after part), which has not always been the case in the past. My sister likes to point to vents and say "This is where the virus gets in!" And it did. Anyway, this sucks. But one things the horrible state of the world will do is make your cold look pretty ***ing trivial, so I'm hanging in there, mostly lazing around in a half-stupor, watching movies (tonight, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"), and reminiscing with my sister about how disturbing the lyrics to "The Piña Colada Song (Escape)" were to our 10- and 7-year-old selves. (If you've seen "Guardians of the Galaxy" with your kids, then perhaps you too have been asked questions about this song—something along the lines of "What's it's real title? It can't just be called 'The Piña Colada Song'" or "What is a 'personal ad'?"

This puzzle was about average. I'm surprised that it wasn't filled better—junk kind of abounds. I'm used to cleaner fill from this constructor. At least I think I am. See 'summer cold,' above. SLO EPT BRIC ONCEA and on and on—really, really rough. Also, THE BREWERS is a wicked bad theme answers. Theme answers need to land solid, and while the first two do, the third teeters badly, and the fourth faceplants. Not a fan of the THE. Actually, I am a fan of The The. Just not this the (the).

[College … I wore this song out]

Bottom part rocks a bit harder than the top. With the exception of ROS :( the SE is quite fine, and the BANG-UP / BEYONCÉ pairing is nice as well. Now I'm going to go watch late-night comedians remember Robin Williams (and maybe Lauren Bacall, too). See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Whirred Whacks 12:15 AM  

Breezy puzzle. THAI was the most difficult language to discover embedded after-the-solve. I liked that ANGER MANAGEMENT yielded GERMAN.

I watched "The World According to Garp" (1982) with a Robin Williams (so young). I read the John Irving novel in 1979. Still holds up pretty well. Interesting that Glenn Close plays Williams' mother even though she's only four years older. She did the same thing in the Mel Gibson "Hamlet" a decade later (she's only nine years older than Mel).

jae 12:26 AM  

Medium-tough for me and another fine puzzle! 

Let's see why tough? (1) tOkyo off the O in BROKAW without really reading the clue, (2) an S at the end of a misspelled STEPPE, (3) leaving off the THE in BREWERS and filling it in with nonsense, (4) and finally staring at MT_ debating between S and ? until I finally remembered that GOYA makes canned beans and I'd missed it in a previous puzzle.   That saved a DNF.

Lotsa good stuff here...BEYONCE, BUG JUICE, SHORT HAIR, YES WE DO...and not too much dreck.  Three good ones in a row .

@Rex - I assume it's safe to assume you've already seen Fistful of $$$ and A Few $$$ More.  They don't really need to be seen in order but I'm a purist.  These should be followed by Once Upon A Time In The West, perhaps the best western ever made (and, yes, Unforgiven was an amazing movie).

chefwen 12:39 AM  

Pretty easy for me. Thought the bottom was easier than the top. Did not like "THE" BREWERS, kept trying to figure out how to fit MKE in there. As I recall the bleachers used to have a sign that said TRUE BLUE BREW CREW, is that still there @Carola?

I have always called Soy Sauce BUG JUICE and have no idea why.

Had to go to Amy's blog to find out why GOYA was correct, don't buy too many premade Mexican products. My mind kept wandering to CPA's as in bean counters.

Anyhoo, fun puzzle that I quite enjoyed, thank you Mr. Schoenholz.

jae 12:42 AM  

Forgot to mention I'm on the first leg of our Canadian vacation today so having a couple of early evening cocktails may have added to the difficulty.

Zeke 12:44 AM  

There must be some sports metaphor for the stretch Rex came up with for how the embedded languages comprised 'BARRIERS'. Maybe Federer coming to the net, guessing left on a cross court volley to his right, leaving him in a split on the ground no man should ever do. Let's make that at the French Open, to complete the humiliation with him lying there in the clay.

'Twas a valiant try, but no one could have reached it.

Mark 12:47 AM  

Last time REI appeared in the NYT xword, several solvers complained about its obscurity; thus, it leapt to my mind quickly today. Probably didn't hurt that I strolled around in their flagship Seattle store a few days ago; what a happy place.

Further fresh-in-memory help came from a photo of a wall that my daughter sent me yesterday ( she sent the photo, not the wall); someone had painted "Liberté Egalité Beyoncé" (don't know if my accents aigus will show correctly) on that wall.

okanaganer 12:59 AM  

It took me a while to figure out why an IRE SIGN was a Work stoppage declaration.

retired_chemist 1:25 AM  

IRE SIGN - love it! GOYA - hate it. Never heard of it. Thought sOYA (beans) but MTs made no sense.

Anyway, a good, middling Wednesday. OK theme, decent fill. Didn't find many cool facts I didn't know, which when they're there always makes a puzzle much cooler to me. BUG JUICE was about the only one besides GOYA. Knew ELMIRA, LOD, and KOREA.

Thanks, Mr. Schoenholz.

Steve J 1:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve J 1:40 AM  

This puzzle was like the models I built as a kid: glue everywhere. Seeping out from in between pieces, fingerprints of it on the pieces, big globs of it in places there shouldn't be any glue.

Every puzzle needs some glue, of course, but as I was solving that's all I noticed. Doesn't help when one of the No. 1 answers is SMA. Or when the opposite corner up top has CEN and EPT side-by-side. Several others were already noted. Plus a very ungainly partial ONCE A. And some stuff that certainly looks a bit like green paint, such as SHORT HAIR and especially YES WE DO. Too much for my tastes.

Theme was ok, although I share the dislike of the "the" in 49A (crossword answers are typically written like headlines, meaning the articles are dropped; I'm fine with articles in the middle of an answer if that's part of a phrase, but at the start is awkward). ALL ATINGLE definitely was the best of the lot. But an ok theme wasn't enough to overcome all the gunk.

(Dumb moment of the night for me: I was sitting there wondering how in the world HAS worked as an answer for "is down with", as I could only think of the slang phrase. Took me minutes to realize that one could say that, oh, I dunno, Rex is "down with" a cold. In that he HAS one, not that he's cool with it.)

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

It's a pun I think. The languages are buried in the answer. Language "Buriers". I didn't say it was a good pun.

mac 5:30 AM  

OK Wednesday, with a couple of write-overs. Of course, of a at 41A. Thought the sweet punch might be julep. Every for once at at 58A. Thinking 12D might end in -ion ALLATINOLE was hard to parse.

Bang-up is great, and I did like Goya and anger management.

There seems to be a new Mac visiting. I'm the one with the tree and no capital.

Gill I. P. 5:35 AM  

Cute theme.
I didn't even mind all the 3 letter words circling around the sides of the puzzle.
THAR she blows always makes me laugh. If you've ever been inside a woman's bathroom during a concert intermission, you'd know what I mean.
GOYA certainly does knows his beans.
UNMOWN looks so wrong. Wanted to squeeze MOWed but TINGLE wouldn't let me.
Fun clue for Brat holder. Liked the answer BUN instead of MOM.

Mohair Sam 7:34 AM  

Very much in agreement with OFL today, right down to movie selection.

Wasn't at all down with the clue for HAS until I read @steve J's post. Had the same experience, but at least he worked it out for himself.

And yeah, GOYA beans are about the best.

REI remains crosswordese in this house, but reading @Mark lets me know that it exists verily. -And yes, @Gill - BUN was cleverly clued for sure. - Good old Leslie Caron, sigh.

James Dean 7:54 AM  

For me the reveals did not help solve the puzzle bcause all the long crosses were very easy as clued. But thought the fill was better than average.

Watched Dark Passage last night - Key Largo is on deck for tonight. Hate to say goodbye to one of the true legends of film.

NCA President 7:54 AM  

Please explain EPT to me? Is it related to apt?

Took me a while to get GOYA (I had to come here and find out...and then, "Oh, yeah...GOYA at Kroger." Gotcha.

I filled in THEBREWERS and just smiled knowing that it wouldn't fly with Rex.

Overall, I liked the puzzle. I felt like the languages chosen were random. In my HS we were taught German, French, and Spanish...kind of the mid century American triumvirate of languages. So I halfway expected at least another one of those. LATIN is a dead language, so it is an outlier in some ways compared to the others. THAI is, of all asian languages, kinda random. My friends who are into learning languages have set out to tackle Japanese and Mandarin and even Korean, I don't know any of them who have tried it, too, is a bit of an outlier in my estimation. And then there's HEBREW. If the goal was to find four languages that couldn't have the least bit of anything in common with each other, mission accomplished. Heh, maybe that's the point...?

Agree with Rex that the state of affairs in the world dwarfs many of the day to day foibles I experience. If nothing else, all the crap going on has made me appreciate what I have and where I live more than anything else. Looking at those last two sentences makes me wince...we Americans are so insulated. I certainly don't wish any of us harm, but our day to day lives are so removed from the chaos of the world (apart from serious, first-world type illnesses), that we need to be reminded often that safety, health, happiness, or life itself is not a given. When will we learn? But, to be fair, it's a hard lesson to learn given the ease with which most of us power through our lives.

RooMonster 8:02 AM  

Hey All!
Found this one mediumish. Was solving in a noisy room, maybe that was why! Like others, thought sOYA for the beans, completely forgot about GOYA products! And I used to work in a grocery store! (Stocking shelves, no less!) That's where I know BUGJUICE from, maybe it's just an east coast thing (in Connecticut when first heard it).

As an aside, I'm originally from Pennsylvania, then lived in Connecticut. Different words for stuff, which seems strange as those states are quite close to each other. One example is hoagie in PA, grinder in CT.

Two writeovers, had asa (___rule) before MOB, which made Ashante before BEYONCE.

ANDI SCRAWL away as I did a BANGUP job on this puz. No CLUTTER, no WEIRDO answers, just an ACE in the BRIC. ENGARDE! SEEYA!


RooMonster 8:06 AM  

Oh, forgot to add, REI is an outdoor store here in Las Vegas (sell stuff for outdoors, not an outside store! ) :-)

And @NCA Pres, I think he was trying for the EPT as opposite of INEPT, hence the facetious in the clue.


pauer 8:08 AM  

Yay for REI!

FWIW, I cohosted the xword tourney known as "Lollapuzzoola 7: It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" in NYC last weekend. If you missed it, don't worry: the puzzles are still available at (until August 16th), and you can still compete in the At-Home Division. For $10, you can get a PDF which includes instructions, the 6 tournament puzzles, a tiebreaker puzzle, and a 6-puzzle mini-extravaganza that I wrote especially for the occasion. The other constructors this year were Cathy Allis, Mike Nothnagel, Tony Orbach, Doug Peterson, Brian Cimmet, and Patrick Berry, so you know you're in for a real treat.

RAD2626 8:21 AM  

Fun puzzle. Easy theme answers fortunately since an imbedded THAI or LATIN would not be so easy to spot. Liked ANGER MANAGEMENT crossing with EN GARDE. That's one way to work out your frustrations. I do not mind THE when applied to sports franchises. "Are THE Dodgers still in Brooklyn? No you fool. Now it's THE Nets."

ArtO 8:23 AM  

@NCA president...EPT as opposed to inEPT.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Yes, I came to America a little over a millenium ago and I found it very difficult because those damn Yankees (Brewers?) didn't understand my Latin. Non illegitimi carborundum, Rex.

Tita 8:42 AM  

@BobK & @pauer - sorry to have missed Lollapuzzoolah - especially hearing that the wackiness is back. Bob - I remember you're telling me about that at my first one a couple of years back.

Synchronicity - "Maureen McDonnell was a nutbag." from her Chief of Staff. I had never heard that term before Jon Stewart highlighted it a few nights ago.
I'm more surprised, though, that a state governor's spouse gets a chief of staff.

Theme didn't do it for me. I did like ECLAIRS and DEEPENDS, even with their PoC. "! keymate" was cute too...
Thanks Mr. Schoenholz!

dk 9:04 AM  

OO (2 mOOns)

I dunno most pools have one deep end and a WISP is not really a formation or collective (e.g., a knot of toads, clew of worms, etc).

Finally, a silo is a component of a grain elevator or where an elevator deposits grain. In Canada elevators are sometimes known as wheat pools. A wheat pool only has a deep end. Did a photo series on silos a year or so ago and have a brain full of silo trivia. Grain elevators where first developed in Buffalo NY.

Hence, I echo the messy glue comments and I liked the puzzle.

Name dropping moment: Acme and I were discussing Cirrus clouds the other day as I prayed for lightening to strike her putter. Cirrus clouds at times portend storms. She was beating me a miniature golf and I was looking to wisps of clouds for salvation -- I lost.

dk 9:05 AM  

were developed

Z 9:09 AM  

I wonder if beans were the side for Saturn. And I must vehemently disagree with @Mohair Sam. My mom made the best beans. I'm sure everyone will agree.

@Mark - Since complaining about the obscurity of REI I have learned that there is one near me. I have still never visited one, nor Gander Mountain. Nevertheless, instafill this time around.

Lots of CLUTTER around Detroit freeways after some pretty substantial rainfall. I don't much like our governor anyway, but his "no one could have foreseen" line yesterday lowered him even farther. Policy differences aside, he is in charge of making sure the mechanisms of government, like the regular inspection of pumps, happen. I don't think his speech will help him much in the ANGER MANAGEMENT of his constituents.

Hartley70 9:21 AM  

I only paused at THE before BREWERS, so the fun was a little fleeting, but I had no idea what LANGUAGE BARRIER meant til I got here. Aha or OHO as the case may be!

chefbea 9:33 AM  

Fun easy foodie puzzle!! - Brat holder, eclairs, Goya.

And goya fits in with the pun I put on face book this morning...cuz I always use Goya beans

You can't sing with a mouthful of garbanzo beans, so hummus a tune.

John V 9:40 AM  

Easy. Hardest bit was parsing THAI, BHAT all ended well. Like Dan's puzzles.

Arlene 9:43 AM  

This puzzle was speaking my language. Every first guess or impulse was correct.

As for BUG JUICE - in summer camp, that was the beverage that was served in large pitchers - and the flavor was whatever was leftover/around. That fits the clue, so I assume the constructor went to summer camp. Watch out for COLOR WAR in any forthcoming puzzles! (You heard it here first!)

Anonymous 9:44 AM  


Did you mean .... Lower him "further" ... .???

Leapfinger 9:45 AM  

No kidding, Jon Stewart used the term 'synchronicity'? It's been a standby over on WordPlay for a couple of years, used to designate an off-topic word used in the comments that then appears in the next day's grid. (Guess who devised it?)

Bob Kerfuffle 9:53 AM  

One write-over due to carelessness: 6D, ELMONT before ELMIRA.

Charles Flaster 10:11 AM  

Monday easy(8 minutes) as the proper names were quickly done.Started on bottom and Language Barrier was also quick.
Loved all the comments so far.
THE was a stretch as was CART IN.
Went to summer camp in 1950 and bug juice was a staple then.Told my son about it when he went and will tell him about the puzzle.Does anyone know how bug juice got its name and is it still served?
Thanks DS and thought Rex's review was right on.

jberg 10:12 AM  

I had the same thought as @Rex about the BARRIER part, it doesn't seem like a stretch at all. I also agree the theme did not help getting the theme answers (except THE BREWERS, where it gave me the THE). It would be fun to work it with no crosses, trying to think of embedded language answers, but they were too easy to inspire that.

GOYA sells packaged dry beans as well as canned beans, not to mention rice, olive oil, and much more. I tend to follow Michael Pollan's advice to stay on the perimeter when I have to shop at a supermarket, but I've strayed from the true path frequently enough to know that most of them have what is basically an entire Goya aisle -- it's really not all that obscure.

I really wanted "yare," instead of THAR, but I now realize that yare is an adjective.

"YES WE DO" should have been clued as "response at a Moonie wedding."

Charles Flaster 10:13 AM  

Ah yes! I remember it well.

Z 10:16 AM  

@anonymous 9:44 - No. You might also want to read this. The notion that "farther" can only be used in the most literal sense is not really supported, whatever you may have been taught. Further, and more importantly, it seems you understood exactly what I meant.

Carola 10:28 AM  

I found the puzzle a real pleasure. The other day someone commented on how important the entry for 1A is in setting the the tone for a puzzle, and I thought this one got off to a BANG-UP start with STEPPE, along with BUG JUICE, MENIAL, UNION REP, TEN CENT, and ANGER MANAGEMENT (with its nice cross "EN GARDE!"). I definitely needed the reveal to see the theme and then lots of time to find THAI. Asked myself what foreigners found themselves needing Latin....the invading Visigoths? For whom language issues were not a BARRIER, however.

Snags: like others "asa" rule; also, I RESIst, leaving me to ??? over ALLATINsLE for a while.

@chefwen - I must admit to never having been to Miller Park, either old or new. I instantly wanted "Brew crew" for that answer, despite "crew" being in the clue and the "REW" I had filled in being in the wrong spot.

@Rex - Thanks for the Marcel Proust clip.

joho 10:40 AM  

I don't get what's wrong with THE BREWERS. If someone says, "Who's playing tonight? You wouldn't say "Brewers," would you? Or "Twins." It'd be "The Twins."

My only write over was asa to MOB rule which is so much better!

I really like puzzles with hidden words so this was right up my alley and I enjoyed it very much.

I also appreciated that the hidden languages other than GERMAN were not as familiar thus unexpectedly fresh.

Thank you, Dan Schoenholz!

Nancy 10:50 AM  

To: NCA President -- There's no word EPT; just INEPT. Hence EPT is a wee joke.

To: JOHO. I had AS A RULE first, also. It was my only area of difficulty in a puzzle I found easy.

Steve J 10:52 AM  

@joho: I mentioned in my earlier post why THE BREWERS rankles. To elaborate: Crossword answers are typically written like headlines, which usually omit articles. Think of all the times you've seen team names in crosswords: 90-some percent of the time, it's just the team name, with no article. When it does appear, it's a bit jarring (at least to some of us). The bigger issue is, you think you have the right answer and then second-guess, because it won't fit and you're not expecting to have to enter an article to get it to fit.

Regarding REI: I'm surprised that that's as unknown as it apparently is. They have stores in 30-some states and in most major metropolitan areas. They're not at every mall/big-box swarm, though, so they're not as prevalent as the usual suspects like Best Buy, PetSmart, etc.

@Anon 9:44 a.m.: @Z already pointed out that, no, it doesn't have to be "further" in that case. Further, it's an informal setting, and no one's writing things for publication here. Usage is therefore looser. Further further, it's frankly kinda dickish to point out minor things like typos and slight misusage in a setting such as this, especially when someone's meaning is clear. (Unless said typo or phrasing results in unintentional hilarity.)

AliasZ 11:01 AM  

Fun puzzle, if a little too many ANDI, ANAT, ONCEA, SMA, CEN, etc. types of entries. But I liked it.

I have a dear friend who had a severe LANGUAGE BARRIER many decades ago. He called people from the land of the rising sun Ja-PAH-nish, and those from Beijing, CHAI-nish. He also called WWII "whored whirl two" or something to that effect.

Do you think Ann SheriDANISHot in "I Was a Male War Bride" with Cary Grant? Me too. I picked up an old magazine with her picture in it at a fashion-MAGYARd sale. What do you call that woody vine that climbs up to the canopy of tropical forests? I call ITALIANe or a liana. The tiramiSUOMItted after dinner is a missed opportunity indeed.

We should be careful not to make this bloGREEK of putrefaction too, as so many others already do, aSWEDISH out our complaints to our kindergarten teacher: "Teach, Mikey said this, teach, Katie is doing that; hey teach, Loren and Lewis are having too much fun and I don't have a sense of humor, so it must not be allowed; hey Ralphie, stop that or I'll report you!..." etc. Have we been overtaken by a government agency? So sad!

Now let me graBASQUEgee and wipe the BUGJUICE off the windshield of this THAR blog, and hope this was just a triFLEMISHap and we can LETThe chips fall where they may.

Zeke 11:12 AM  

@Z - Never argue with anons whose knowledge of grammar exists solely because they watched Finding Forrester 20 years ago.

Leapfinger 11:17 AM  

As @Carola mentions, the start is all-important, and that SMA STEPPE [which the Asian STEPPEs aren't, big-time] had me ALL ATINGLE. It do aPIER that the same SMA STEPPE may be PART BRIC, as are the STEPPEs to my house, and perhaps also the LANGUAGE BARRIER.

Had a bit of a drinking problem; it's been forever since I had a CARTIN of BUGJUICE (apparently that's now a thing), so I visualized the Koolaid jug, triangulated in via Big Gulp and Orange JUlius. Noticed the ICED TEA was suffering a disconnect.

Strong theme, I thought, barring the format for THE BREWERS, nonspecific enough to suit THE Orioles, THE Lakers or THE Oilers. Would only work as a suitable format for DA BEARS, right, JFC?

AND I can't get over how RAW and Oniony the grid became drifting from SHORTHAIR into the SW. Of course, it all DEEPENDS on your POV, YA SEE.

Couldn't SEE the MOB rule for some time, EPT was Early Pregnancy Test, and ELMIRA gave me a dopey earworm:

Time for me to SCRAWL back under my ROCK NOW.

Given the Schoenholz, I knew it Wood be Nice: no LANGUAGE BARRIER there.

Lewis 11:35 AM  

@rex -- insightful and even funny writeup despite the cold.
@stevej -- I remember the seeping glue! And you expressed my puzzle reaction precisely.
@jberg -- good one re moonies!

I just thought because the theme languages were encased in other letters, they were"barriered". Having four random languages out of zillions gave me a green paint type of feeling. Maybe this would have been a better Sunday puzzle?

I liked the clue for BUN, and the zing of BUGJUICE and ALLATINGLE. That "p" at 26 could have been an "h", but to me the p is the best choice.

There are several words in this puzzle where you can drop a letter or two and the word still sounds the same -- DEEPENDS (e), STEPPE (pe), and EARN (a).

Leapfinger 11:40 AM  

@Alias, are we on the same break schedule?

I like Apple DANISH, love Cherry DANISH best of all, but never heard it pronounced Sherry DANISH.
Would not havepegged you for a MAG-YARDsale aficionado attila now.
Note: 'this yere' vs 'that THAR' for future reference, and let the ships fall where they may!

Ah me, I can't help editing, so SUOMI!

['Hopefully', I'm not having too much fun!]

retired_chemist 12:00 PM  

EPT brings to mind my favorite word, GRUNTLE.

DEEPENDS still looks like it means an undergarment for an adult with a certain problem...

AliasZ 12:12 PM  


I meant "...this THAR..." as a lame pun for "this darn" but obviously failed miserably.

This for those who are too lazy to copy/paste.

I just noticed I misspelled "...graBASQUEegee..." before. I consider myself lucky that Anonymouse didn't notice and pounce on it.

This yere link is to the Minuet of the Will-o'-the-WISP from the opera The Darnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz.

mathguy 12:15 PM  

I haven't seen Goya foods in the markets I go to here in San Francisco.

@NCA President. When I see the news from Gaza, I invariably wonder what I would be able to do to protect my family if I were there. Is there any way to get the hell out? By the way, where is Hamas getting the money to dig those tunnels and to pay for the thousands of missiles they are launching?

My wife's sister-in-law was born in Israel and now lives in a heavily-Jewish enclave in Scottsdale. She teaches Hebrew in a private elementary school there.

I printed up BEQ #277 from his website a few days back and solved it yesterday. I expected it to be tougher. It seemed like a Wednesday or Thursday. Was it an anomaly?

ZZZ-ZZZ 12:16 PM  

Things are so much more cheery here, since this Zeke and a couple of anonymous other grinches co-opted the social conscience of this blog.


Mohair Sam 1:04 PM  

@chefbea - Love that pun, I'm stealing it.

Zeke 1:18 PM  

@ZZZ-AAA Aside from from the fact that you just insulted the preceeding 49 commenters, I have to wonder, how did I prevent you from saying anything cheery, interesting, funny or insightful? Am I really that powerful?

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

Is Zeke, perhaps, an alias for Evil Doug?

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

I always hate it when I get down to the very last letter in a puzzle and have to gamble on whether I'm guessing right or wrong.

54-A strongly tempted me to write in an S to make it SOYA because GOYA was just a painter to me, but if 41-D was MTS was an abbreviation for a get-together, I couldn't imagine it, so I finally went with GOYA and MTG. I knew somebody on the blog would tell me what GOYA knew about beans, and once I saw the explanation it made perfect sense.

chefbea 2:00 PM  

@Mohair Sam go to pun of the day and sign up to get a pun every day.

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

"powerful" smelling?

Z 2:08 PM  

@Zeke - "Never argue with anons..." could be amended to "never argue with trolls." To be fair to my anon - s/he was articulating a distinction that others would assert to be true, and one I don't entirely disagree with. I just think metaphorical distances can be real, too. Ending sentences with prepositions, however, is not something I can cotton to.

@Anon1:43 - The Evil Duck may make an appearance to explain, but he has said more than once that he does not post things he does not what attributed to him. So, no.

@Leapy - I just assumed Alias was channeling an inner LATIN poet.

Anoa Bob 2:50 PM  

Am I the only one who tried SCROTUM for 69A "Nutbag"?

Re "Synchronicity", it's been around a long time, at least going back to the writings of Carl Jung.

SHORT HAIR for a themer? PEW.

LaneB 3:01 PM  

A little tougher than the usual Wednesday, particularly (for me) the NW what with SMA, ENGARDE (nice clue) and PARTB. Labored thru the rest and barely avoided the dread DNF.

RooMonster 3:07 PM  

@AnoaBob, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, holy smokes, that was priceless! !

I'll smile the rest of the day thinking about that!


Hartley70 3:07 PM  

I think the sugar content attracts bugs to the table. Think yellow jackets at a camp picnic table in August.

Tita 4:31 PM  

@Leap - no - he didn't mention syncronicity - it was Nutbag.

The synchronicity was mine - having heard the word for the first time ever yesterday (I tape the Daily Show), and then seeing it in the grid.

Though he is a cruciverbaphile (see Wordplay, the movie), and who knows - he may come to these blogs from time to time, and would then very possibly know the term as we use it.

sanfranman59 4:47 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)

Wed 10:02, 9:31, 1.05, 68%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Wed 6:34, 6:08, 1.07, 71%, Medium-Challenging

Z 5:22 PM  

Rex tweeted a link to this article on gender bias in CrossWorld. An interesting read.

Mohair Sam 9:38 PM  

@Z. Enlightening, thanks for the link.

Gill I. P. 10:19 PM  

@Z....Is that you proud papa? Happy Days!

Z 11:19 PM  

@Gill I.P. - Yep. The old guy. The young guy is #3, off to college in four weeks.

madsymo 12:11 AM  

Thanks for the musical nugget from two of my faves from the 1980s. I had somehow missed this collaboration.

sanfranman59 12:56 AM  

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 6:02, 6:02, 1.00, 50%, Medium
Tue 7:39, 7:54, 0.97, 40%, Easy-Medium
Wed 10:01, 9:31, 1.05, 67%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:08, 3:57, 1.05, 71%, Medium-Challenging
Tue 5:24, 5:21, 1.01, 53%, Medium
Wed 6:16, 6:08, 1.02, 58%, Medium

spacecraft 10:55 AM  

I thought "good with beans" meant counting them, and so CPAS. This coupled with (hand up!) ASA gave me fits with--up till then--a breeze. Saw GERMAN right off, and so I got ALLATINGLE from just the AL-. The top half went down like a Monday.

But several WOEs, aside from the western fubar, slowed me down. REI is a "Big name??" Can't be TOO big: I. Never. Heardofit. Nor of the twin threes at the bottom edges, LOD and ROS. That's a lotta NHO's for a Wedensday.

Fine theme, with the entries deteriorating from the top down, as OF described. I wouldn't call THEBREWERS a faceplant; THE is necessary for the the theme (see what I did there?). But it IS a defect, and the grading points were already fleeing with fill CLUTTER like CARTIN, CEN, EPT (really?) and the silly partials ANDI and ONCEA.

[Now I am saddled with a BAD earworm: "To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him, ANDI do (ANDI), ANDI do (ANDI), etc."]

Sorry, guys, if I have to suffer, so do you. This one struggles to a C.

More illegible captchas ending finally in 238. Wasn't worth the wait.

rondo 1:21 PM  

Five 2Ds make a rapper. Too many 3 letter fill words- don't like 'em.
383 - lose.

DMG 1:48 PM  

Solved this one, then came to see what LANGUAGEBARRIER had to do with anything! To make it even worse. I still couldn't see ...THAI.. until someone pointed it out! So much for my blind spots. I did DNF on the MTs/sOYA thing. GOYA products must be rife on the shelves somewhere in the States, but Mexico is the only place I've ever bought them. And I associate the name with juices (nectars?), bought for the wee ones, not beans. Maybe my brain is rattled by the unsufferable heat/ humidity thing going on here in So Cal. Wish it would end, but apparently there is another hurricane sneaking up on us. Reminds me of my Florida years!

Maybe 1133 can be some consolation as I crank the fan up another notch!

Dirigonzo 4:57 PM  

I came by to see what language SHORTHAIR might contain - OHO, Thai, got it. LL Bean is a big name in outdoor gear; REI, not so much, I think.

8149 - let me see, carry the one, add the digits in the sum and all I get is a lousy 4?! I RESIGN that! (I wonder how one would solve that using the "new math"?)

Waxy in Montreal 6:02 PM  

EPT is apt for today's theme as it stands for English Placement Test where I come from.

Only writeovers were ASA before MOB and MILBREWERS before THEBREWERS. Luckily for me Mrs. Waxy knew oblong pastries were ECLAIRS at 46D opening up the SE where I was having a wee, make that SMA, problem.

521=8 which got me ALLATINGLE until I noticed that @DMG had already achieved that lofty plateau.


sdcheezhd 12:41 AM  

I've been a Brewer fan since 1970. THEBREWERS is fine.

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