Title carpenter of 1859 novel / FRI 10-24-14 / Flowering plant named for Greek god / Henchman first seen in Spy Who Loved Me / Richard March inventor rotary printing press / One with short hajj

Friday, October 24, 2014

Constructor: Patrick Blindauer

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none — I mean, none on its own. There is, of course, the meta:

Word of the Day: Richard March HOE (25A: Richard March ___ (inventor of the rotary printing press)) —
Richard March Hoe (September 12, 1812 – June 7, 1886) was an American inventor who designed an improved printing press. […] In 1843, Richard invented a rotary printing press that placed the type on a revolving cylinder, a design much faster than the old flatbed printing press. It received U.S. Patent 5,199 in 1847, and was placed in commercial use the same year. In its early days, it was variously called the "Hoe lightning press," and "Hoe's Cylindrical-Bed Press," and was later developed into the "Hoe web perfecting press." (wikipedia)
• • •

Well, I don't think this puzzle has a theme, but who knows? I don't see anything "times"-related except a couple more "X"s (they're baaack…) and that lone watch clue for LCDS (4D: Watch things, for short). Maybe if I blacken all the letters in the word "TIMES," I'll get a picture of a beetle or a pterodactyl or Richard Simmons. I noticed that "ATE" appears 5 times (TIMES) in this grid. I don't think that means anything. I noticed "TEST" appears 3 times (TIMES) in this grid. I don't think that means anything either. I noticed that T.S. ELIOT is an anagram of TOILETS. You can do with that what you will. Mainly I noticed that this is the cleanest grid of the week, perhaps because it was the first one not required to do two things at once (i.e. have a theme *and* relate to the week-long meta somehow). Fill is mostly clean, and there's enough excitement in the SE corner for three puzzles. GIN JOINTS is easily my favorite answer in the whole damned puzzle.

Solved this one in a way that is increasingly familiar: slow start, then traction, *speed*, then slow finish (as, almost inevitably, the last place I arrive at in the puzzle is the toughest for me). At first I didn't have much besides EAU and STD and the incorrect FOBS (instead of LCDS). But for some reason [Patient looks?] all of a sudden became obvious (XRAYS), and that got me going. Never heard of an ORG CHART, but it was inferable, and so I was out of that corner pretty quickly after the initial push from XRAYS. Things sped up from there. The crosswordtastic LENYA got me into the SW and I destroyed that corner in a matter of seconds despite not knowing who UZO Aduba is (I guess I'll be seeing that last name in crosswords soon, too). LET IT BE instead of LET IT GO slowed me down a tad, but GANJA got me back in the game. EGOTISTS over ELITISTS at first (38D: They think they're special), but that didn't last long. Burned my way right up into the NE section, where I experienced my final, slower, push to completion after throwing up not CZARS but TSARS at 10D: Bygone emperors). This made ZIP UP and CRASS harder to get than they should've been. HOE was a mystery, but I expect he was designed to be. In the end, pressure from the words I did know in that corner forced TSARS to turn to CZARS and I was done.

Not sure why APTEST wasn't clued as an AP TEST, since we've already got one (even more strained) superlative adjective in the grid at SEDATEST. But I don't have any other nits, really. This was fine. Excited to see how all these puzzles tie together tomorrow. I've been asked not to comment on tomorrow's puzzle At All (because of the whole contest thingie …). I'll play that by ear. There will definitely be a post. Whether you'll get commentary or a grid, I don't know. Come back and find out, won't you?

Aw crap, I just realized that the first word of the first clue (1A: Times for speaking one's mind?) is TIMES so now it's back to that dimly lit room in my house where I keep all the clues and photos tacked to a wall and connected with pins and string like some cliché detective / serial killer in every hour-long murder drama on TV for the past two decades. I hate it in there!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:04 AM  

Easy-medium for me too with the SE being the toughest as I held on to SErenEST for too long.  My other erasure was CRude before CRASS, but that was fixed quickly by SURE OF. 

My first thought for 9d was Erhard Seminars Training.

OITNB is worth watching for UZO Aduba alone.

WOE:  The  clue for HOE.  Good thing the crosses were obvious.

This had a fair amount of zip...X RATED, GIN JOINTS, GANJA, SYFY, SPIDEY, UZO...and was pretty solid for a Fri.  Liked it.  I have no idea what this has to do with the meta or how it relates to all the TIME we've been exposed to this week. And yeah, I also noticed Times is the first clue word?

wreck 12:19 AM  

I stuck with WETSUIT for a long time, changed to AVISUIT (what a pilot would wear?) until SKISUIT finally came into view. I had a similar solve process with Rex - slow, fast, slow. Ended with a fast Friday for me.
I haven't really compared all the puzzles so far, but I'm in the "TIMES "X" camp as probably related to the meta.

Carola 12:23 AM  

Same here on easy-medium. ZIP UP went in first, followed by CZARS and RITA, which took care of the NE; then zigged and zagged on the diagonals, finishing with the Z in UZO. Stumbled on flo-CHART and REscue but managed to right myself. I don't recall ever seeing ANDALE, which I had to get from crosses.

Overlooked the "Times" and "Watch" clues.
Like @Rex, I noticed the TESTS and the strong school vibe with PTA, ORAL EXAMS, and GRADUATED and that Sir LANCELOT from a couple of days ago was provided some LANCES.
Liked learning the etymology of PEONY (physician to the gods) and its cross with AZALEA (which, thanks to crosswords, I no longer spell AZeLEA and have to correct).
And I thought the TURN LOOSE - GIN JOINTS - IT'S A BLAST corner was very nice.

Whirred Whacks 12:23 AM  

Blindauer seems to have a thing for Monica . . .
SELES. She was an answer on Tuesday as well.

Another James Bond reference as well: JAWS (henchman in "The Spy Who Loved Me"), and Wednesday's FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

ORAL EXAMS took me back to another life. I passed mine just fine, but the whole preparation was an ordeal.

Looking forward to the Finale. I'm sure it won't be as cool as the final episode of Breaking Bad, but I've got my hopes!

SenorLynn 12:32 AM  

Great Fri, since all the WTF's could be gotten with the crosses.
Can't wait for tomorrow!

Hartley70 12:50 AM  

I found the northwest the last to fall into place. I couldn't see ORGCHART and X-RAY for the longest time, though REDCARPET was a gimme. I liked the cluing much more today because it had some ZIP. I liked SERTA. SKISUIT felt awkward to me but probably because a parka and ski pants are a better choice in my opinion. This was the best of the week so far, but I'm not getting the meta at all here. PB is good!

Charles Flaster 12:53 AM  

Essy-medium here. Monday through Friday are all interchangeable to me with Tuesday the toughest.
Tomorrow has got to be challenging and hope the meta is not a disappointment.
Thanks PB.

George Barany 1:02 AM  

This puzzle provides ample evidence for why @Patrick Blindauer is one of the best constructors on this side of the Atlantic, and was honored with an invitation to create a week-long suite of puzzles. The HOE clue could well have been a WOE clue were it not for the crossings (*), and ORAL_EXAMS had an unusually fresh clue. Starting with @Rex and sure to be reinforced by other commentators, expect additional words of praise ...

(*) What's the difference between ignorance and APATHY? I don't know and I don't care.

Oh, and one more thing. Today, October 24, is the birthday of another one of North America's premier crossword constructors, well known to this group for his envelope-pushing themeless puzzles. A bunch of us put together this themed puzzle, inspired by our birthday honoree but not requiring any inside knowledge about him. We loaded up the puzzle with Friday-difficulty clues, and hope that some of you will enjoy the challenge.

Casco Kid 1:11 AM  

It has been easy-medium all week here. The only error so far this week was aBN/OVENMaTTS yesterday. I'm delighted by a clean Friday in under 50 min. At this point, I don't care if I blow the meta sky high (as opposed to blowing it out-of-the-water) as it is enough to have 5 puzzles with only one error. Gee, I wonder if the SatPuz will be gettable!? Naaahh! ;)

Today, I was strangely blind to STE_NS and PAM____A, so the SE took 20 minutes, 19 of which yielded up only STERN, at last, and 1 min for the rest.

I matriculated at PB2's CrossWord U as a precocious Rexite kindergartner last year. I paid my tuition and promptly failed out. I'd describe it as a set of largely doable puzzles, but totally wacked-out metas. So far this series is feeling pretty similar. This time, I'm making the grade on the solves, but I'm betting the meta on Saturday will be crazy, crazy, crazy.

Steve J 1:14 AM  

Some nice bits - GIN JOINTS, JULEPS, IT'S A BLAST - but I'm still not feeling this week's puzzles. There's just something ineffable that seems missing from all of them. Since it's ineffable (and to be gratuitously repetitive), I can't put my finger on what I'm looking for that's missing, but nearly every puzzle this week has felt like the shell of something with its insides hollowed out.

Hopefully the missing soul is filled in with tomorrow's boffo - well, not really revealer, since we all have to figure that out. Hope I can figure that out. And I'm looking forward to getting back to normal puzzles.

Ellen S 1:43 AM  

Well, first, let me say I have enjoyed Rex's posts this week better than any time since discovering this blog. Fun, funny, relaxed.

On the other hand, never heard of an ORG CHART? That is a man who has really led a sheltered life. Even academia has a hierarchical structure; do they never write it down?

I enjoyed this puzzle, too. Very easy for a Friday, as proven by the fact that I finished it. Helped by some brilliant guesses (PAMPLONA, ADAM BEDE) that surprised me by being correct. I am apprehensive about tomorrow, though. I hope someone will explain it when the contest is over, because I have no expectations of getting anywhere. I often come to grief on Saturdays anyway, at least in the last couple of years. See you on the other side!

Leapfinger 2:09 AM  

Just about the time I was filling in MONIES, I realized all those central black squares formed a big S, and joining the verticals made it a dollar sign. Ah hah! "Show me the MONIES!", and, as we know:
Time is MONIES!
[Dang POCs]

Of course, with some CRASS ENTS doing your ORAL EXAMS, some JOINT doctor ordering XRAYS of your hip (an A-P TEST and lateral is usual), and a RER-OUTER checking your STERN, you soon will need a money TREE. The best things in Life may be free, but that doesn't extend to ATEST order at your friendly health care facility.

Smooth solve, easier than expected [for a Friday 8-D]; only had to change tsars to CZARS, cuz the TS- was visiting -ELIOT. Liked the SAUDI with the short hajj, and GANJA, which I guess I picked up fro Jimmy Cliff. Friday grouse: APATHY can be expressed by a shrug, but it's the issue under discussion that elicits it.

@Carola, I don't remember the show, but there was a cartoon mouse, Speedy Gonzalez, who always said "Ándale! Ándale! Arriba! Arriba!"

Final pre-Meta thoughts: I do like STD NEET STERNS (don't you?) but how are RITA MEETERS made?

TGI Friday

Anonymous 3:33 AM  

31D clue is "$, € and £" according to http://www.xwordinfo.com/Crossword?date=10/24/2014 , but it's the more ambiguous "Pounds and such" in the iPad app.

It's a bit disconcerting if the print and online versions use different clues.

Anonymous 3:41 AM  

PS, the spelling "monies" makes about as much sense as "attornies", "chimnies", "kidnies" and "journies".

chefwen 3:48 AM  

ZIP UP was my first fill, ORG CHART went in second. With each one of these puzzles I kept thinking I was going to have Uncle Google help me out. Not once did I have to refer to him. As Rex stated started slowly, picked up speed and just kept going.

Have loved them all. Thank you Patrick B.

Clark 5:06 AM  

Hey, let's not forget to include Lotte Lenya in the James Bond mini-theme. She played Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love.

Moly Shu 6:34 AM  

The strange synchronicity between PB2 and myself continues. Blew thru this in 14 min. A Friday record by a mile. Most fri's take well over 40 and about half require at least 2 separate attempts. REDCARPET, JAWS, ZIPUP, ATARI, ENNIS, all straight in, no crosses. Only mistake was the easily corrected ANDoLE (mi español es muy malo). Liked it, there just wasn't much to it for me. Waiting for a humbling experience tomorrow.

Vive Le @NCAPrez

dk 7:29 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns - again)

This meta puzzle or puzzila as I call it better not use X's and time as i loathe Roman numerals and date systems. Supercilious rant aside... do not get me started on X marks the spot.

Felt like a Wednesday to this cowboy. Still chuckling that Mr. March invented the ho - who nu.

Hope to make Wichita today, Mineral Wells (home of Crazy Water) tomorrow and then on to the land of Moon Towers.

20 year old study showing that insurgent groups would turn to crime etc. for funding (modeled on LA gang structure and decision making that loomed large in my dissertation) is getting some airplay in certain circles. Also note that gang research drew heavily on the behavior of Mongol hordes and…. sigh the Crusaders (not the rock group). Imagine that: History repeats itself.

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

What the heck is SPIDEY sense?

Rick 8:06 AM  

Of all the Gin Joints.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

With inventor of rotary printing press, it's a Natick.

Nebraska doug 8:25 AM  

For Anyone working in corporate America, Org Chart is a household term. We seem to get a new one every few months as people are shifted from department to department, supervisor to supervisor. Total gimme!

Mohair Sam 8:26 AM  

Really enjoyed this one, played easy/medium here too. Has GINJOINT ever been used outside that scene? What a great line (& thanks @rick for posting the link).

@anon 8:04 - SPIDEY sense probably has something to do with Spiderman, we framinghamed there on the E, but guessed correctly.

Lots of nifty clues (loved JULEPS), ELTON was clued differently, we NBA nuts loved it, . . . and where does GANJA come from? Thank heavens it filled easily.

One day to go, and we're working on time connections . . holding puzzles back to back into a bright light. . . and reaching for crazy connections. Fun stuff.

NCA President 8:26 AM  

Probably the easiest Friday for me in a while. Things jumped out at me that I didn't even know lived in my head: GINJOINTS, PAMPLONA (I don't even know what "encierro" means...but, Pamplona!), LANCES (tilting windmills = lances...somehow), PEONY (I do not know how I knew that), NEET (as opposed to Nair), and ENNIS (saw the movie, but can't remember much about it except that it's sad at the end).

Had Hollywood (ambitiously) for "Spot for shooting stars." Thought it was kind of a dark clue for that...you know, "shooting" seems kinda, well, dark...but at least I was geographically close.

And of course, META. I'm now curious how this meta things pans out in the same way I'm curious to know if there were any survivors in a wreck along the side of the road. I believe it's called "morbid curiosity." It's what ultimately killed the cat, I believe.

Anyway, is the tomorrow the end of the meta week? It's like shark week only more, um, meta.

jberg 8:36 AM  

Not too bad. I'm in academia, and I know all about ORG CHARTs, but am always surprised that many of my colleagues don't know what ours is.

Two things held me up: Hollywood before RED CARPET (I was really proud of that one) and Nair before NEET. I also thought of rough/rajas at first for 10 A&D, but never wrote it in once I noticed RITA.

On to tomorrow!

Generic Solver 8:42 AM  

So I have two questions for the experts:

1. I thought Wanton Soup was an acceptable spelling, as evidenced by Wikipedia: "also spelled wantan, wanton, or wuntun in transcription from ..." so I got Naitcked on that UZO crossing. Do I have a valid beef (can't think of a "pork" pun now, sorry) about this ambiguity?

2. Is there any difference between a TSAR and CZAR, and if so, could someone explain what it is?

Thanks. I just can't LET IT GO on these two.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Surprised there are no complaints (or even mentions) here that "XRATED" is an answer in two puzzles this week. It is unusual to have an answer to repeat that soon, but when each puzzle has a different creator it's understandable -- since they cannot coordinate. That is obviously not rue this week, so I'm curious about why it was allowed...

joho 9:05 AM  

I had the most trouble in the NE with tsARS holding me up. Finally changed it to CZARS and got ZIPUP ... great clue and answer!

Lots of fresh answers here. As already noted the SE corner is fantastic, especially GINJOINTS.

I can't wait to get tomorrow's puzzle! I'll be at the computer promptly at 10 p.m. ... this is so much fun!

the redanman 9:27 AM  

Definitely easy Friday, still stumped about the meta

the redanman 9:28 AM  


Whatever the CW requires

chefbea 9:43 AM  

Easiest Friday in a while..though I did have to google.

Don't understand Ganja, elton ans spidey???

Hand up for noticing Times in the first clue!!

Bob Kerfuffle 9:45 AM  

Good puzzle, medium difficulty for me.

Two write-overs, 60 A, PANSY before PEONY (OK, Pan wasn't a god), and 37 D, PamploMa before PAMPLONA.

As one who worked 32 years in the printing ink industry, I didn't find the name of Richard HOE particularly strange, but in terms of this week's search for a meta, I was struck by his middle name of MARCH! (It's a month!)

Also bit odd to see ATEST and APTEST in the same grid.

quilter1 9:47 AM  

First entries were ADAM BEDE and TS ELIOT. Then slow fast slow as others have said. But I finished. We don't go to many movies, but we did see The Lone Ranger, yet TONTO was a snag for awhile. Awaiting the big reveal tomorrow.

Gill I. P. 9:51 AM  

@Rex...What a fun (and funny) write-up...
Lots to love in this easy (for moi) Friday puzzle. Brought back some good-o memories like PAMPLONA. I would have run with the bulls if they had allowed women but they didn't then (they do now) so I just watched on the sidelines sipping away at my "bota" at 6 in the AM.
@NCA Pres...Just for YOU and for your edification: The encierro is where the bulls are kept after they've been taken off the trains that transport them to Pamplona. They are kept in a corral a few kilometers from the bullring. At about 6AM a huge blast (cannon?) goes off and you have about 2 seconds to kiss your STERNS good-bye before they thunder through the cobbled stone streets looking for red hankies to gorge. ANDALE ANDALE!
I hated those durn ORG CHARTS. I had a boss that loved them because he was at the top. Every time someone got demoted or promoted (which was often) he'd have another elaborate one designed. In my office, we used them as a dart board.
I had AMANA instead of SANKA and that was my only re-do...GIN JOINTS, ITS A BLAST Patrick B...You've done did good so far...!

Norm 9:55 AM  

X means TIMES in math. Apologies if that's been noted already. It's been a busy week, and I haven't had much time to read comments. It just popped into my head as I was reading FL's commentary this morning.

AliasZ 9:58 AM  

"Lovely RITA, MEETERS maid,
Nothing can come between us.
When it gets dark I tow your heart away." - Paul McCartney

If given a choice, I'd rather be one of the meetees than one of the MEETERS. However I do prefer sashimis with wasabis.

Where did I hear:

"Neither MEETERS nor a meetees be,
For MEETERS oft lose both themselves and friends,
and meetees dull the edge of husbandry."

Whose effects will not last,
By the light of the silvery assed.

"Incy-wincy SPIDEY climbed up the water faucet." Such a catchy line, maybe I can turn it into something...

Whom are you calling a HOE, PB II?

Three options:
A - the meta reveal tomorrow will be JAWS dropping.
B - the meta reveal tomorrow will be bird dropping.
C - the meta reveal tomorrow will be - who cares?

Here is Satchmo and Mrs. Kurt Weill in a rare duet.

It's a Car Toon, People 10:00 AM  

Speedy Gonzales has a DVD all to himself in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection (2006). Just In Case some think he isn't PC, this from Wikipedia:

'Despite...controversy over potentially offensive characterizations, Speedy Gonzales remained a popular character in Latin America.[5] The Hispanic-American rights organization League of United Latin American Citizens called Speedy a "cultural icon", and thousands of users registered their support of the character on the hispaniconline.com message boards. Fan campaigns to put Speedy back on the air resulted in the return of the animated shorts to Cartoon Network in 2002.[6]

On the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD box sets, the Speedy cartoons are prefaced by a disclaimer[citation needed] that states:

The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were false then and are still false today. While the following does not represent the WB view of society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these prejudices never existed.'

I never meta faster mouse.

Z 10:00 AM  

@generic solver - variation will occur when one tries to go from one writing system to another. e.g. Peking/Beijing, Bombay/Mumbai, and today's two examples. So what @the redanman said.

@DK - just one man's opinion but the biggest mistake we made this century was treating terrorists like states instead of like gangs. Imagine how the world might be different if we reacted to them like the Mafia or the Crips instead of like the Nazis.

Challenging here, but we did a little Tap Room tour last night, so I'm generally moving slowly this morning. ENNIS? Is that a variation of Enos? MONIES also went in and came out a couple of times because I was sure some sort of Ebola SUIT would need goggles. Otherwise, a fine Friday.

@Steve J - what is amazing to me is the effort. Mad Men, Obama, Klingon.

Carola 10:01 AM  

@Ellen S - On "Even academia has a hierarchical structure; do they never write it down?" Not in the German department I taught in, home of Kafka and Angst.

@Leapfinger - Speedy Gonzalez - a BLAST from the past! I do remember watching and can hear the theme song in my head as well as the "Arriba!" "Andale" seems to have passed through without leaving a trace.

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Anonymous 10:23 AM  

One annoying definition error: An AZALEA is not a rhodendron relative, it IS a rhodendron, a member of the class rhodendron. A mouse is not a rodent "relative".

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

@Generic Solver

In real life, there is a difference:

"Tsar" = the guy who used to rule Russia

"Czar" = someone in overall charge of some government policy, e.g., "drug czar", "Ebola czar". A very outdated way to refer to the guy who ruled Russia.

But for crossword purposes, they seem to be interchangeable.

Nancy 10:28 AM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: I also had PANSY before PEONY. Where, pray tell, is the Greek god in PEONY??? That kept me from getting the very gettable SANKA, since I'm old enough to have watched Lucy. I therefore had SANKA rummaging through my mind, but because that would have ended 44D with ----AA, I dismissed it. And, not knowing JAWS or UZO and not having PEONY and SANKA, I did not finish the SW corner. Certainly not easy for me.

EL TON Hubbard 10:29 AM  

Hey. Howcum we have 'husbandry', but only get 'midwifery'?

As a mid-Generic Solver, I do love me some Wanton Soup, always like it with a Nubile Sandwich!

My GINJOINT is creaking, vodkan you do to TURN it LOOSEr?

'We also serve who only standand wait': What a PEON-Y thing to say!!

SANKA U all! Enough mentions here to have given me the meta, for sure!!

RAD2626 10:34 AM  

Thought cluing was really very clever throughout te puzzle, maybe because I was pleased I got ORAL EXAMS misdirection right away so X-RAYS solved itself. Thought NE was hardest. Brain cramp on RITA which would have helped. Had Nair for NEET for a *time* so that slowed things a little. Really nice puzzle.

Lewis 10:37 AM  

I liked all the words @jae mentioned (.X RATED, GIN JOINTS, GANJA, SYFY, SPIDEY, UZO), and loved the clues for LANCES, ATEIN, REDCARPET, GRADUATED, and PTA.

TURNLOOSE under the SEA made me think of a fisherman throwing his still-alive catch back in the water.

The NE was toughest for me, and for me it was medium for a Friday. Thank you Rex in advance for your restraint regarding tomorrow's puzzle and I love that wall with the pins and strings.

Steve J 10:48 AM  

@Anon 8:51 a.m.: Given that all of the puzzles this week lead up to one big, overarching (or meta) answer tomorrow that ties all the puzzles together, the fact that X-RATED has shown up twice is a big, flashing neon sign that it's probably related to the final answer (or a big, fat misdirection, but since TIMES appears to be a key part of the meta-answer, and X is the multiplication symbol (e.g., eight times seven equals), I'm betting it's a clue. You'll have noticed some other things (especially the aforementioned TIMES) have shown up multiple times this week.

Lewis 10:49 AM  

Factoid: In Portuguese, Italian and Spanish, the word TONTO means "fool" or "dumb," so the name was changed in the dubbed versions {of The Lone Ranger}. In the Spanish dubbing, TONTO is known as "Toro," meaning "Bull." (Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "Of all the GIN JOINTS in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." -- Rick Blaine (Bogart's character), Casablanca

Charlie 10:55 AM  

hmm...TIME, ad all those ESTs. Eastern Standard Time???

Z 11:18 AM  

@anon10:27 - Not so much. That we now misuse "czar" in our political discourse is a relatively recent development. Wikipedia places much of the blame first on FDR and later on Nixon for bestowing this faux title on administration officials. Personally I prefer less hyperbolic titles like "Secretary" or "Director."

old timer 11:21 AM  

I looked up the czar v tsar question. The source, of course, is old Julius Caesar, the first Emperor. After Caesar had a bad day in the Forum, his relative Octavian beat his rivals and became emperor under the name Augustus Caesar, and "Caesar" became the common name for a Roman emperor, or in later centuries, an associate emperor responsible for part of the Empire.

The ruler of Bulgaria adapted the name, and later the ruler of Russia did the same. The spelling in the Roman alphabet was czar, meaning Caesar, but Slavonic and Russian did not have a "cz" consonant. Did have a "ts" consonant and used that. Pronounced "zar" in any case.

The first books in Europe that referred to czars used that spelling, and "czar" was the most common English spelling for centuries. However, those who knew the Russian spelling started to use "tsar", and that became more common among modern writers and historians.

Loved the puzzle, BTW. Easier than a normal Friday, but normal Fridays are pretty tough for me. NW was the slowest. Especially loved the XTERRA answer, which blew that side of the puzzle wide open.

I'll have to wait till Sunday, maybe, to do tomorrow's, unless they have a Times at the Denver train station.

RnRGhost57 11:23 AM  

@chefbea: "ganja" is slang (Jamaican I believe) for marijuana

I believe the variation "czar" and "tsar" is due to a sound in Russian not easily transliterated in English, but perhaps someone who knows Russian can set us straight. As a historian, I know that "Tsar" was more commmon as of 50 or 100 years ago. But if you pick up a recent textbook on Russian history you're more likely to see "czar."

Martel Moopsbane 12:24 PM  

Early TIMES is the whisky of choice for a JULEP. You can get a shot of it at your local GIN JOINT.

Elephant's Child 12:30 PM  

More on the CZAR thingy.

In Latin, C-words carry the hard C sound, which makes the transition from Caesar to the Teutonic Kaiser perfectly reasonable. The odd thing is the transition to the soft C that we now use in 'Caesar'.

Fred Romagnolo 12:43 PM  

@old timer: slight disagreement: it's pronounced TSar in Slavonic languages, the "ts" letter pronounces both consonants; it looks like a square U with a tail. Blindauer knows better, maybe Shortz is to blame, but definitions should be clear in distinguishing between old rulers and modern political power-guys. Where is @Evil when you expect him: STERNS and ENNIS in the same puzzle, especially considering the subject matter of the movie! And how about ZIP UP! @Z: in the 40's Skinny Ennis was a well-known band leader. Is the NYT (or TIMES) behind this Meta thing? Is Blindauer assuaging us Tsarists with TSELIOT? If he had been appointed poet-laureate, would we now spell it C Z Eliot? I won't be CRASS enough to mention ORAL EXAMS, and JAWS in the X RATED comments I have made. I'll LET IT GO. p. s. ASSENTS? (heh heh).

Fred Romagnolo 12:49 PM  

@Elephant's Child: You'll be interested in Mr. Chips as a hold-out Latin Teacher who for a long time refused to adapt to the modern pronunciation custom of the hard C.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:59 PM  

Wow, @63... U are startin to come on all nutso conspiracy theory-like on that meta. Saves m&e the trouble, today. Except to note that..

I missed an X before, in one of the earlier metamembers, but they all continue to reside in:
* numbered squares (20, 5, 13, 16, 21, 19, 6, 21). Numbers are real handy when doin multiplications (x's).
* in the upper four rows of the grids.
* ... and HUARTE continues to plunge, in the meta polls. But I digress.

themelessthUmbsUp. fave weeject=UZO ( the new UZI/OOZO blend).

M et A

Mystery formula: ORALE x AMS = ?
But I obsess.

Leapfinger 1:06 PM  

@FredRom, at one time, our section had a great head secretary named Penny, who married a guy by the name of ENNIS. Will that do for you?

@jae, I like your rough/rajahs, vis-a-vis Teddy Roosevelt.

Our coursework had plenty on organizational structure, but never heard the abbrev to ORGCHART. Came this close to starting -LONA with Barce-

Howcum they did an AP-TEST when the doctor's order SED A-TEST? Me, I'm still holding out for the BudaTEST.

Safer to steer clear of JULEPS, @Fred

Martel Moopsbane 1:20 PM  

Hmmm. SPIDEY-sense is an attribute of Spiderman, whose secret identity is Peter Parker. Could the meta be pointing towards ReX?

Chip Hilton 1:40 PM  

Quick progress for a Friday until the NE slowed me to a crawl. SPIDEY and HOE were my last fills and were nothing more than a lucky guess. Not sure on the wording of the APATHY clue but, otherwise, found this one entertaining.

Casco Kid 1:53 PM  

@charlie EST starts a week from Sunday, alas. Excellent reach, though.

Lon in Austin 2:20 PM  

It's funny that Rex has never heard of ORGCHART, which for me was a gimme. I'm a consultant, and an entity's org chart is very often the first thing we request from a client.

Other answers that Rex and others find easy are unknown to me. Different strokes.

BillM 2:39 PM  

I wish Prof. Barany would stop using this site for links to his own puzzles.

dick swart 2:47 PM  

A passing parade note on "Jaws":


A role Kiel could sink his teeth into

RooMonster 2:48 PM  

Hey All !
Differing levels of puzziness today, got the NE lickity split, then the SE kinda easy-ish, moved on up to the NW, which was a bit challenging, but got it, then that nasty SW, holy cow, I needed to look up each of the three (3!) names in there. Then, one of the groups I was driving (limo driver, in case you forgot) took the puz and got JULEPS (yes, yes, I know, should have known that) and PIONY, and finally finished. To quote Miss Loren, sheesh!

Not sure how this one ties in with the others, liked Rex's guesses. There is an "X", though.


mathguy 2:51 PM  

I'm guessing that this puzzle was so easy because of the constraints the constructor had to set up the meta. Not that I know what the constraints are.

OISK 2:52 PM  

I seem to be just about the only negative voice. Haven't liked ANY of these puzzles - not Patrick's fault, just not my cup of gin. I found this one easier than yesterday's or especially Wednesdays, but still missed one square on carelessness, and pop culture ignorance. Spidey sense? Come ON! I never heard of Richard Hoe, nor of "SYFY", so I didn't fix "Spidee" to "Spidey." Brand names, (Xterra, Sanka, Atari, Serta, NEET) obscure (to me ) movie characters - Ennis , NBA - Elton. Sharknado??? Uzo Aduba?? Just a miserable week for me.

sanfranman59 2:57 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 16:02, 19:02, 0.84, 22%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Fri 11:13, 12:34, 0.89, 28%, Easy-Medium

Anonymous 3:05 PM  

Hi, @BillM2:I too protested Barany's constant self promotion & suggested that as a friend of Rex he could probably post a link to his site with the others on the margin of the page.

Soneone took umbrage and deleted my post. I wonder who objects to legitimate complaints and constructive suggestions here?..

Anonymous 3:32 PM  

Anony 3:05 PM

Maybe Rex himself, since he's the only one with such power?

Anonymous 3:33 PM  

Anony 3:05 PM

Maybe Rex himself, since he's the only one with such power?

Arbiter of Nothing 3:48 PM  

@Anon3:05, I don't find your posts legitimate or constructive. But if it makes you feel any better, I do find them tedious.

Hartley70 4:03 PM  

@Leapfinger I have a relative named Penny Ennis. Small world if you live in Hawaii!

Joe Dipinto aka Joey Ramone 4:29 PM  

Ba ba ba ba ba
Ba ba ba ba
I wanna be sedatest

Leapfinger 4:37 PM  

@Hartley70, too funny, but nope, I'm on a small island in mid-NC. I once thought my real-world name was pretty unique, but LinkedIn cured me of that ms-conception.

I think the world is still regulation-sized, but there sure are some small subsets, aren't there?!

LaneB 5:23 PM  

Despite never having heard of SPIDEY in the context of sense, I managed to get through all of this one save the NW corner where I failed because of the use of pieCHART rather than ORGCHART. Never thought to see "briefly" as indicating an abbreviation. . So even after filling EXAMS, CARPET and UATED together with the rest of the NW, I stupidly never could figure out ORAL, RED or GRAD. Thus not an unusual FRIDAY DNF.

Arlene 5:45 PM  

I'm late to the game here. Missed a few answers here and there - but loved getting the ORG CHART and RED CARPET and GIN JOINTS.

And had to giggle at ZIP UP!

On to Saturday -

bluer than blue 6:19 PM  

So there's this: I thought "blue" meant XRATED. Why the clue "more than blue" for XRATED?

Teedmn 9:03 PM  

Started with ASSENTS then headed SW with JAWS. Going counterclockwise from there, it went pretty smoothly. I guessed 37D would be Spanish/Mexican from the encierro (thanks @Gill) so I wanted - - X - - ONA for my first expected X sighting especially since I had ANDeLE for a while. TROUPES got that sorted out.

@Generic Solver, liked your naughty wanton soup.

@AliasZ, you're on a roll today!

Easy for a Friday here

Anonymous 9:44 PM  

Solved the meta. And it's great!

Anonymous 8:16 PM  

FIRST TIME I ever did a Friday in ink with no mistakes. Plus I did both ken Kens in ink with no notes or mistakes. Sorry I had to brag. I'm sure that the Meta was why this Fri was so easy.

LHS 888 8:04 PM  

I'm very late to the party. No internet access Thursday night to Sunday evening, so am playing catch-up. I found this puzzle easy/medium. I was able to finish with no googles or errors - rare for me on a Friday. ORGCHART was my 1st entry (total gimme), followed by REROUTES, REDCARPET & TSELIOT. The rest of the NW was finished quickly. ZIPUP and SPIDEY sense were my entries into the NE. MONIES was in and out a few times before it stuck.

Hand up for wetSUIT before SKISUIT and EgoTIST before ELITIST (the L in ELITIST/ANDALE was my last letter in the grid). Other write-over was rangO before TONTO.

Didn't know HOE or ELTON as clued, but they were fairly crossed for me. Had a hard time getting STERNS and SERTA from the clues.

An enjoyable Friday puzzle. Thanks PB / WS!

waleedgazdar 9:53 PM  

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spacecraft 11:45 AM  

Nice smooth one, roughed up by yours truly with CRude before CRASS, and SKImask before SKISUIT (is that a thing?).

Kicked off (insert fan cheer here:

Yay, Eagles! Way to ruin the Cowboys' Thanksgiving! 33-10--WOOHOO!)

with JAWS/JULEPS and the SW in short order. Never heard of GANJA, but when GINmills came up a letter short, it had to be JOINTS (thanks, Rick!)

The rest just kind of osmosed in. This is almost PB1 smooth! Gotta put a minus on the A for SEDATEST. Really, Pat? Crutch much?

My SPIDEY sense is now telling me the meta is 90% about the X's.

Hmm. Repeats of SELES and XRATED. Methinks our Patrick fantasizes about the star sans tennis whites.


rondo 1:44 PM  

This one filled really easily. Only one write-over at EgoTIST,but crosses cured that. So OFL had never heard of an ORGCHART?? Immediate gimme for me - maybe explains something about Rex? GANJA today and not long ago POT - let's go legal.

Does the NYT have some sort of anniversary coming up where all of the Xs - as RRNs - add up to something?

"aargely alternativates" no play on that captcha

DMG 1:53 PM  

Not my favorite puzzle. Too many names and strange clues. For example, did get ORALEXAM, but to me that's more a time to display ones knowledge of a subject than for "speaking ones mind" which I take to mean pointing out something that people would rather not hear. However, I somehow stumbled through the likes of UZO and GANJA and HOE for a lot of the fill.

Where I bombed was not seeing troUpeS, crossed as it was by two unknown brands and a role played by an actor who seems to make movies I prefer to avoid. Unfortunately, that left me without a much needed entry to the SE. Lots of ??? there. So I cheated and peeked at Rex's work, knowing I will probably need every square filled for any kind of a stab at tomorrow's conundrum. As small consolation, that one word was enough to let me solve the rest on my own. But still, a gigantic DNF!

And Captcha isn't being kind either! 573

Solving in Seattle 3:00 PM  

About, yesterday's TIMES SQUARE, very nice puzzle, Patrick. A formidable Thursday construct.

Today's puzzle had me grinning at GANJA crossing GINJOINTS & ITSABLAST. Also, in the NE with CRASS on top of ZIPUP, over XRATED & HOE.

Looking forward to the end of PB's mystery week tomorrow. Clever of him and Will to stage.

@Spacy, yes there are SKISUITs, usually one piece, which come in most handy when powder skiing.

The Seahawks vs. the Eagles next Sunday should be a great game. I have a feeling the Legion of Boom will CONK Philly.

105: Probably won't hold up. Belated happy Thanksgiving to you Syndies.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

What the hell is
Spidey sense?? Liked the puzzle but left the "e" out of spidey cause I didn't know Hoe, and never heard of spidey sense. Am I still on planet Earth? Anyway, I enjoyed the puzzle and thanks PB.

Ron Diego (Very late, no nos.).

Dirigonzo 5:14 PM  

The local paper doesn't publish on holidays so I was looking forward to seeing two puzzles today and I did, except they were both today's offering. I had a feeling something might go amiss but I was really hoping for them to get it right.

As for the puzzle, I found it easy with only tsARS>CZARS and SErenEST>SEDATEST marring my grid. Now I have to figure out what to do about finding the missing puzzle so I can take a crack at the "meta-challenge".

307 - Well doesn't that just figure?!

Waxy in Montreal 7:43 PM  

Testy little grid today what with ATEST, APTEST, SEDATEST not to mention ORALEXAMS. Meta-test tomorrow?

Not knowing SPIDEY sense, HOE and SYFY together with CRUDE at 10A all conspired for a DNF in the NE. OTOH, thought the excellent construction of the NW & SE corners REDEEMed the puzzle. In particular, loved the GINJOINT/GANJA nexus.

In English Quebec, we almost universally use the word organigram instead of ORGanization CHART, a clear bleedover from French.

2385-->9. Red Carpet, Black Friday.

L. L. 1:44 AM  

"Spidey sense" is from Spiderman comics, according to urbandicitonary.com, my go-to source for words I'm not young enough to ever hear.

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