Discharge from RAF / FRI 11-7-14 / Kierkegaardian concept / Title film character whose last name is Patel / University dubbed Country Club of south / Decisive board game victory / Alibi Ring Lardner story

Friday, November 7, 2014

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: GAMMON (3D: Decisive board game victory) —
1. n.
A victory in backgammon reached before the loser has succeeded in removing a single piece.
tr.v.  gam·monedgam·mon·inggam·mons
To defeat in backgammon by scoring a gammon.

[Probably from Middle English gamen, gammengame, from Old English gamen.]
2. n.1. Misleading or nonsensical talk; humbug. 2. Gammon See Shelta.
v.  gam·monedgam·mon·inggam·monsv.tr.To mislead by deceptive talk.v.intr.To talk misleadingly or deceptively.

[Origin unknown.] 
3. n.1. A cured or smoked ham.2. The lower part of a side of bacon.

[Middle English gambon, from Old North French, from gambe, leg, from Late Latin gamba, hoof; see gambol.]

4. tr.v.  gam·monedgam·mon·inggam·monsTo fasten (a bowsprit) to the stem of a ship.

[Origin unknown.] (thefreedictionary.com)

• • •

Yet another nice offering from Mr. Berry. This one gave me more trouble than his Fridays usually do, partly because I just woke up from something like 12 hours of sleep (hit the couch at 6:30pm, don't remember much after that), but mostly because of that NW corner, which I couldn't get into at all at the start and which I had to fight hard to bring down in the end. Never ever heard of GAMMON except as a suffix of "Back." I've probably seen Cary Grant's birth name before, but you'll forgive me if it's not tip-of-my-tongue stuff. He died when I was 15. Speaking of when I was 15, where's a good Robin LEACH clue when you need one? Champagne wishes! Caviar dreams! BIG BUCKS! "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" was crucial '80s viewing. I'd've nailed a Robin LEACH clue.

["Television's Unchallenged Authority on Wealth, Prestige and Success"]

["Di? Nasty?"]

So, yeah, you know it's gonna be a weird day when the first thing you put in the grid is DEMOB (6A: Discharge from the R.A.F.), a word I learned from crosswords. And that's what was weird about this puzzle—I'd get stuck, then I'd buzz saw through a section (following DEMOB, the whole N and NE), and then I'd just be stuck again.

Took me a very long time to get into the middle—BULLETIN BOARD, DESTINATION, and BLINDALLEYS were vaguely clued enough that even having their front or back ends in place didn't help much. But MELINDA was mine once I finally found her … in the grid … FINELY hid …

[from the BBC…]

FURMAN is a school whose existence is news to me, and man can I name a lot of schools. A lot. Not FURMAN, though. But if ELON weren't in crosswords all the time, I probably would've have heard of that either. But I got around FURMAN pretty easily. It's the NW that left me desperate at the end, even with THREEFOLD, ARMREST and LOOSE-LIMBED thrown in there. I know the "Harold and KUMAR" movies, but … they didn't pop into my head until I finally just guessed SCARS at 4D: Warrior's collection, and then the -AR gave me KUMAR, which gave me ALKALI, and I was able to close things from there. The proper noun stack of LEACH / KUMAR running through the unheard-of GAMMON really messed me up in a way no other part of the grid did. But I got it all done. Not an epic struggle. Just a minor one, offset by much easier patches. This one was not stunning, but it was definitely enjoyable.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Mohair Sam 7:57 AM  

Among the first to comment - most unusual.

Easy for us. Knowing LEACH cold and having a feeling about Keirkegaard's ANGST made the NW that troubled Rex a snap for us. The rest of the puzz just fell quickly, I guess we were on PB's wavelength today.

Loved @Rex's comment on MELINDA (another gimme here). Knew DEMOB too - and have no idea why, probably a crossword thing. Surprised Rex didn't know FURMAN - if I had known it had a country club rep I would have applied there.

Fun and clean (as always) Berry Friday, but would have liked a little more resistance.

Sir Hillary 8:15 AM  

Excellent Friday. As always, the hallmark of a Berry puzzle is the complete lack of junk -- none, nada, zero, zilch. If I were forced at gunpoint to identify an aspect I didn't like, it would be the inclusion of both FDA and DEA -- but that's it. Maybe DEMOB is too crosswordese-y for some (I got it only through crosses) but the fact that both @Rex and @Mohair Sam knew it tells me it's fine.

Liked that CBS was clued as such rather than as, say, "American channel".

"Solitary Man" is my all-time favorite Neil Diamond song, and @Rex nailed it with his Diamondesque rhyme about Melinda.

If this puzzle were a house, it would not be the flashiest or have the most curb appeal, but the quality of design and construction would allow it to stand for hundreds of years.

RAD2626 8:17 AM  

After yesterday being a disaster for me this was a total pleasure. So many great long answers and clues. Very few proper names. A total pleasure. Thank you Mr. Berry. Getting BULLETIN BOARD and PENALTY SHOT right away moved things along.

Dorothy Biggs 8:19 AM  

I moved to the south in 1995, I'd never heard of Furman before then. Now I know at least 4 alums from there. So Rex, move on down to the south and you too can learn about the Palladins of Furman!

This was about medium for me...forced to check answers only once. For some reason "LOOSELIbBEy" seemed, you know, reasonable. bELINDA was no problem...but coming up with some whitish dish as -REAy was disastrous. Discovered the problem and it all became clear.

Funny how that happens.

Lewis 8:19 AM  

Oh my gosh -- to me, Berry's strength is is cluing, and look at them here, the clues for BBC, MONEYCLIP, INDENT, BULLETINBOARD, MOOED, SCARS, and STAKEOUTS. Wow!

Leapfinger 8:27 AM  

@Rex, I'll trade you a dozen Robins for one Archie again and again and again!

Sounds asif I was kind of the anti-Rex on this one, since I finished the NW before moving on. Admit that it was a while before shades of "KUMAR and Someone Do Something" came to mind, and that I actually filled in SCALP before SCARS... I suspect I owe a massive apology in several quarters for even thinking that. OTOH, like @Rex, I remembered DEMOBilize, though no clue as to why the R.A.F. specifically. Also vaguely thought GAMMON some sort of Scottish specialty, similar to haggis.

I see we're back to "Honey soie qui SOMALI pense".

Might now need to attend a LECTURE on how to INDENTure paragraphs.

Absolute love a puzzle with so much DRY wit; always STEERS me into a good MOOED. Would love to see such Again and again and again and again...

Oh yes, don't want to forget thanks to @Z, Teedmon'n'off and ZenMonkeyShines for their late lyricism yesterday. No greater talents from Calif (OCEANSIDE) PTO MAINE (Bangor). Y'all are downright inspirational!

Ludyjynn 8:32 AM  

Solved this one from South to North. For some reason, this was the easiest Friday puzz. I've ever encountered. Lovely construction, as well.

Thanks, Rex, GAMMON was a new word for me, too. Knew it had to be right, as Archie LEACH was a gimme. IMHO, Cary Grant was and remains THE ultimate movie star. His acting was so effortless that he was taken for granted at awards time, and despite being nominated repeatedly, never won until he was finally 'granted' a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. Well deserved.

Cold front coming in this weekend. The start of wintery weather in many AREAS of the country. As BETTE Davis would say, "Fasten your seatbelts. We're in for a bumpy ride."

Very FINELY done, PB and WS.

Hartley70 8:38 AM  

I also struggled with the NW. I had to go to sleep and get up this morning to see ALKALI and then it was clear. I wanted scalp for SCARS. I have a penchant for gore. The only place I whined "unfair" was MELINDA. Neil Diamond is not my generation. But now that I think of it, whose generation IS he? Depression (ing) babies? Sorry Neil. I do know a charming French bulldog named Neil Diamond.

joho 8:39 AM  

This was another one of those smoooooth Berrys that looks unsolvable at first until it isn't. However, this Friday put up less of a challenge that I expected. Actually there were no BLINDALLEYS for me and I finished before the light went out. I'll take it! Nice not to be UPACREEK on a Friday.

Thanks, Patrick Berry, this puzzle is another example of why you make the BIGBUCKS!

Arlene 8:42 AM  

I had that Friday Fear Feeling - several times thinking that I just wasn't going to finish this one up. There were very few places to get bailed out with a Google lookup, so I was pretty much on my own here.

I knew LEACH, didn't know LORNE - and I think my favorite was MOOED.

And then that Fabulous Friday Feeling - finally finishing!

Unknown 8:43 AM  

@leapfinger - I wanted SCALP too, but thought, 'Nah, no way. Not in the NYT.'

Pretty similar experience to RP's - progress by fits and starts. It didn't help that I had SudAnI instead of the rather more obvious and correct SOMALI. That slowed me down even though the Neil Diamond answer was staring me in the face.

Furman is one of those schools which pops up in the college football scores, usually playing some other similarly-unknown institution. I had no idea it was THE country club school in the South. Doesn't that describe most of them?

Z 9:13 AM  

PENALTY SHOT, a thing the Red Wings are not particularly good at, opened up the south and made it easy, but the NW was a killer. I knew we were going basic/acidic but ALKALI was too buried in the SOMALI AREAS of my mind. LEACH co-starred in the perfect thriller, North by Northwest, but I only know him by Grant. ANGST is most oft associated with teens in my mind and I always picture Søren seeking truth in a bottle of wine so that was always going to be the last word in. Meanwhile, DEMOB (with a long E like yesterday's "tot?") has not yet taken up residence in the -ese- AREAS of my brain, but EMBARGOES made it sussable. Also slowed down by not knowing the gender of tar pits. 50% easy, 25% hard, 25% THREE FOLD cup of coffee worthy.

@LF - Hey, I've got that copy/paste thing down. Now, if you figure out what the H-E-double toothpicks I meant by "Klein bottle of Jewishness" be sure to let me know. Just thinking about it makes me feel all unbounded and Moëbian.

r.alphbunker 9:25 AM  

UPACREEK (or Upper Creek where I came from) could also be the name of a city that describes itself. Absolutely loved {Again and again} cluing THREEFOLD. I am going to use again and again is the charm next time I need to say third time's the charm.

The term for what you experienced is arexia.

wreck 9:30 AM  

I thought I was struggling, but when I finished, my time was pretty quick for me. Typical Berry puzzle that is very well clued, and you kind of do a head slap when the answers unfold.

Whirred Whacks 9:32 AM  

Very nice puzzle. Thanks Mr. Berry.

Like @Mohair Sam, knowing ANGST and LEACH made the NW a bit easier.

Loved OKEY DOKEY (sounds like something the Frances McDormand Fargo character Marge Gunderson would say. Speaking of Frances McDormand, I'm currently working my way through the HBO series "Olive Kitterridge" in which she plays an unhappy/unpleasant wife.)

@Casco Kid: 24 down "lines of reasoning that go nowhere" BLIND ALLEYS made me think of what you were going through two Saturdays ago when you were trying to figure out the final answer to Blindauer's META puzzle. It was interesting to have a window into your mental processes.

Enjoy your weekends everyone.

Unknown 9:36 AM  

A half hour and much wrongness into this puzzle, I had to pull back and get a grip. This is a Patrick Berry puzzle, I said to myself. You can trust the clues. Trust. Trust. So I did, and 50 minutes later, after substantial repairs, I emerge with a win.

Gimmes: LEACH
Missteps: aft? or atf? for FDA, mUlAn Patel
Things I'm happy to learn: ANGST in existential philosophy is Danish, not German, in origin.
Things I still done know: DEMOB? FURMAN? MOOED for bossy?
Anyone else go for escoNdIDo over OCEANSIDE? Hey, @Jae, "Where's Escondido, man?" Heh. Never gets old.

A deeply satisfying solve. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Charles Flaster 9:42 AM  

EZ for a Friday and for a Patrick Berry.
NW went first, unlike Rex ,Cary Grant was known as was ALKALI and NEURON.
PB's cluing is brilliant. His best clues were STAKE OUTS, BULLETIN BOARDS,UP A CREEK and INDENT.
Why is there ? after commercial blockers in 15A?? Didn't think it necessary.
Does anyone remember Frank Selby? Only player to score 100 points in a Division 1 basketball game!!!! Also led the country in scoring twice (I think) in the early fifties!!!!!
He played for FURMAN.
My aha moment has to be DEMOB as I do not remember seeing it before.
Hope DEgang is wid me on dat.
Thanks PB.

Unknown 9:49 AM  

@whirred Whacks
Regarding the recent PB2 meta, I tried and dispensed with the mapping of numbers to letters (the official approach) because I had one copying error and one ordering error. And because I would not have recognized the latin phrase anyway.

But my solution was the most common solution not planned by PB2, per Will Shortz's write up. Using the numbers as pointers to the super-secret Saturday puzzle, and using the first letter of every solution in that puzzle, we had 3 nice Roman numerals emerge, with the letter A separating them. Coincidence? Really? One solver (not me) added them up and got 3110, an auspicious date during the Halloween season. That's a pretty good meta!

As I said then, metas are under-determined. If you find something you like, then you win. In my case, the three Roman numerals looked like they could have been PB2's (rather mediocre) SAT scores. That was good enough for me. ;)

jberg 9:53 AM  

Took me longer than most -- but, as with @Casco, finally noticing who the constructor was got me going. I think his explanation is right -- I started to trust the clues more.

However, that didn't stop me from putting in India rubBEr, than changing the end to LIMBEr when I saw SLIME. That held me up quite a bit, as did sOul before CORE for essence, and OCEAN cIty before SIDE.

As for Cary Grant, if you'd asked me for his real first name I'd have said Archie right off -- but LEACH took a little longer to dredge up.

Fortunately 'pairs skating' didn't quite fit in at 42A, so that didn't hold me up as long.

I haven't lived in the South since I was 2, but I do have several political science colleagues at both FURMAN and Elon. Somehow the former group have never mentioned their country club status, though.

quilter1 9:57 AM  

LEACH was my first entry, then solved from the bottom up. When doing a Patrick Berry puzzle even if at first I wonder if I will ever get traction, I know he is a fair and clever constructor and that I will be able to solve it. This was no exception. Good Friday.

Nancy 10:06 AM  

Great puzzle with no pop names. I had one missing letter and one wrong letter in the NW, since I don't play backgammon and never heard of GAMMON. And I was sure that the Patel title character, whose nickname was Pi, had a first name that sounded like "pissoir", which was an embarrassment to him and therefore he changed it at school to Pi. So I had a P, instead of a K, at the beginning of 17A, which threw me off completely. DID ANY OTHER "LIFE OF PI" READERS HAVE THIS PROBLEM?
I had boMbs before DEMOB -- a term I also never heard of, but it eventually came in correctly from the crosses. Loved both the cluing and the lively fill. A very enjoyable Friday.

Maruchka 10:08 AM  

Always delighted to see PB attached. I also started in the South and headed North (Hi @Ludyjynn). NW hardest for me, too. Had to google 17A - kept wanting Piscine, tho it was clearly wrong, wrong, wrong. Who's this KUMAR guy? (kidding)

Do-overs - ATF for FDA, spin valleys (?) for BLIND ALLEYS, invent (thinking along i.p. lines, I guess) for INDENT.

One minor cavil on 30A- shouldn't 'bossy' be capitalized? A proper name, whether human or bovine or ending with 'ie' or 'y', is not necessarily an attribute. Unlike Bossy-Boots..yes, we know who we are.

Fav of the day - CHURNS. Clueing was sweet. I am in the MOOED for butter! (Hi @Arlene).

@Sir Hillary - A well-built house, indeed.

@Leap - Encore des mots d'heures!

Nancy 10:11 AM  

@Hartley70 -- I've been meaning to ask for months: I may have guessed your identity. Do you happen to be a very talented composer, lyricist and book writer from the BMI Workshop?

Carola 10:11 AM  

A real pleasure to solve. Medium for me, too. Initial scattered entries across the top - LEACH, EMT, MBA, FOURDOOR - gradually coalesced and led to a much quicker bottom half.
Missteps: Me, too, with SCAlp before SCARS, also Syrup before SLIME, and aUburN before FURMAN.
Especially enjoyed the clue for STAKEOUTS. TO DATE, I'd known GAMMON only as ham and only Pi Patel as a movie title character.

Some nice grid match-ups - DESTINATION mirroring BLIND ALLEYS, BREAD over MONEY CLIP, which has PESOS in its grasp, and which also mirrors THREEFOLD [wallet] as an alternative keeper for the BIG BUCKS.

mac 10:14 AM  

Fantastic Friday puzzle experience! No clue how I knew Leach, but I can trace the gimme demob to Foyle's War and similar programs.

Great clues, with "mooed" for "was bossy" the funniest!

Carola 10:17 AM  

@Nancy, @Maruchka - Looks like the "Pi" folks were all typing at the same time.

mathguy 10:26 AM  

I was trying to remember how I knew FURMAN until I read @ Charles Flaster. Of course! Frank Selvy's 100-point game.

I think that the original word for winning a game of backgammon when one's opponent hasn't taken off a single piece was "backgammon." To avoid confusion and to save breath most players simply say gammon. I just checked the authoritative book on the game by Magriel and he lists both words as correct.

I agree with @Lewis that Berry's cluing is excellent, but I also like his scrupulous avoidance of what we call dreck.

I got the whole puzzle except for one letter. I had to bring in The Closer to give me the K in ALKILI and KUMAR.

As usual a fine piece of work by Patrick Berry.

Whirred Whacks 10:36 AM  

@Casco 9:49 Thanks for your explanation of how you went about solving the Blindauer META.

What I found interesting (on that Saturday) was the remarkable candor you displayed in sharing in your false-starts (retreats from BLIND ALLEYS?). I think most of the solvers on this site have their own idiosyncratic problem-solving/creativethinking styles, but you had the humility to share which of yours weren't working, and also what was frustrating you. It was fun to watch!

I had the advantage of having more than a few years of school Latin, but I think our class was taught TEMPUS FUGIT in the first two weeks to show noun/verb agreement.

Leapfinger 10:37 AM  


@Z, I may need a refrESCHER course in Klein bottles, but I can sorta/kinda visualize it. Turning onesself outside-in is a well-developed Hebraic TRAIT, as is meeting onesself coming round the non-corner.

Moebius Dicte!


And for the penultimatude in Klein-bottle nerdiness:


I do hope someone buys the hat.
@ChasFlaster, where the EMBARGOES, there go I. Would say ? because block commercial traffic, not advertising commercials. Not 100% clear on rules on when ?s are required.

@r.alph, 'arexia'?? No no!
Gold star for TERSE DRY wit 2 U.

Unknown 10:37 AM  

Neil Diamond not your generation? Shakespeare isn't mine either, but I know who he is. Diamond is alive and just put out a new album! P.Berry always great!

r.alphbunker 10:42 AM  

@Casco Kid
"...metas are under-determined. If you find something you like, then you win."

Yes! My reasoning went like this. I checked the numbers (alphanumeric) of the squares that the X's appeared in. Square 21 contained an X in two different puzzles and this was the only numbered square with that property. The Saturday puzzle had the clue {Double crossed?} with answer XEDIN. 21 doubled is 42 and an X is a sort of cross. Anyone who has read "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" knows that 42 is the answer. Done!

Actually, I was fairly certain that 42 was not what PB2 had in mind but I was starting to feel like John Nash in the movie "A Beautiful Mind" finding significance in everything and I decided to stop there.

Curiously the familiarity with ASCII that helped with the PB2 I/O AV puzzle a while back was a hindrance here. The number I associate with a letter is its ASCII code, not its ordinal number in the alphabet sequence.

jae 10:47 AM  

Easy-medium with @Rex the NW a tad tougher than the rest until I remembered Harold and KUMAR Go to White Castle.

Erasures: wRY before DRY and THREEpeat (sports) before FOLD. 

Very smooth with a dollop of zip.  Liked it.

@Casco - Yes, OCEANSIDE was a gimme.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:48 AM  

Fine puzzle; Medium seems about right.

LEACH was my first entry, because, that age thing?

John Child 11:02 AM  

Easy-Medium here. Lovely words and delightful clues to turn even a bland answer into a pleasure, with almost enough BLIND ALLEYS to make it challenging. My ticket showed an arrival TIme, and the thing that was beneath my notice was some sort of guARD. But FINELY the INNER AREAS filled in, and with the CORE done I was no longer UP A CREEK and it was all OKEYDOKEY. Thanks Mr Berry.

John Child 11:05 AM  


Anonymous 11:14 AM  

@Sheila Bell, I knew Shakespeare; Shakespeare was a friend of mine. Neil Diamond is no Shakespeare!

There was a Sheila Bell in my grade school class @ Kensington Elementary.

@Mr. Bunker, hooray for John Nash!

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

Not sure whether this is more meta or more Kline bottle, but I like the way 24D turns into BLINDauer ALLEY, somewhat like the Harry Potter Diagon ALLEY.

Fred Romagnolo 11:28 AM  

To say "Neil Diamond is not my generation" is forgivable, to say "Shakespeare is not my generation" is not. @Mac put his finger on it when he cited "Foyle's War" for DEMOB; that and numerous other Brit shows have it; it's short for de-mobilized(Brit spelling). @Marushka is right on the need to capitalize (American spelling) Bossy, although one hesitates to criticize Patrick Berry for anything. @Ludyjynn: it's "bumpy night." @Leapfinger got it right (as usual) on the trade-off between the Leaches: to say that Robin Leach is not in my generation is understandable, to say that Cary Grant isn't is unforgiveable.

Embed Z 11:29 AM  

@John Child - Har!

Fred Romagnolo 11:29 AM  

slip of the finger on Brit de-mobilise; sorry.

Lewis 11:33 AM  

I just smiled all the way through this puzzle, so many humorous ahas. And yes, so little dreck. There was also a little money thing going on -- BREAD, MONEYCLIP, BIGBUCKS, and PESOS.

I will be away for a week, as we celebrate our anniversary in New Orleans -- any suggestions?

GILL I. 11:45 AM  

OKEY DOKEY, so this is what I think of Patrick Berry:
Everybody is invited to this fancy shmancy cocktail party and everybody is in a tux or a pearly gown. In walks PB in a pair of Eddie Bauer jeans, a light blue Orvis shirt, his black Jos.A.Bank wool jacket slung over his shoulder. He's drinking a Samuel Adams Noble Pils out of the bottle. I'll take Box Number One thank you very much.
Had no problema with this gem other than not understanding why CBS is a 1970s fad item...
This, like all of his puzzles, was like sweet butter smeared on a freshly baked baguette. White Bimbo bread not allowed.

r.alphbunker 11:49 AM  

CB = Citizen Band radio

When my wife drove cross-country to grad school in the late 70s her father insisted that she have a CB radio in the car for emergencies. This gave her a chance to listen to all the conversations that truckers had which she dutifully reported back to her father.

OISK 11:53 AM  

Enjoyable, and great cluing as usual from Patrick Berry. Unusual for me to run into a few Naticks…Never heard of "Gob" as slang for mouth, but finally remembered the LaBrea tar pits. Forgot whether Leach was spelled "Leech" or "Leach," and never heard of "Gammon," but it made more sense than Gemmon. Never heard of the Neil Diamond song, and originally had "Belinda," but fixed it. My Dad couldn't abide Neil Diamond, because he sang a lyric " songs she brang to me." ( He got upset with "for poor lonely people like you or like I" in a Christmas Carol as well.)
Two week long winning streak; but Saturdays often end such things.

Lewis 11:58 AM  

Factoid: FURMAN University (in South Carolina) was established in 1825 as a Baptist school. Some 140 years later, in 1965, it admitted its first black student.

Quotoid: "The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" -- BETTE Davis

Hartley70 12:03 PM  

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear Sheila. I am well acquainted with both Neil and Will. I just much prefer the latter to the former. I do, however, give BOTH men props for their longevity!

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:13 PM  

65 words, plus FURMAN. Supernaturally well done.

Could've had a balls-on near-perfect FriPuz, if PB1 had taken a different tack with that there FURMAN clue. Examples:
* Astor or Wolverine.
* PETA foe.
* Davy Crockett's milliner, evidentially.
* Reply to "What's a bikini wax remove, dude?"
* Nut-covered danish dude in an endless den of starving squirrels??

On the other end of the spectrum (included for instructional purposes only):
* Paladin's home.

M&A Exit Poll:
Did any of U nice folks ever utter this word in the last month (excludin yellin it at a crossword puz) ... ?


Robso 12:21 PM  

Somehow I had thought Cary Grant's real name was Archibald McLeish, just like the poet. This clears things up. Thanks, Patrick Berry!

Hartley70 12:23 PM  

Here's a hint @Nancy...I had to google the BMI Workshop. Close but no cigar. LOL! But it does sound like something I'd enjoy in my next reincarnation. I LOVE show tunes! Now that we're on the subject, you're not that cute Nancy who sat in the front row of my third grade class, are you?

Z 12:26 PM  

@Gill I.P. - What - you don't have this classic playing on your hi-fi?

@LF - The Klein Beer Mug is for me. But now I'm wondering if North by Northwest ends with a Klein Tunnel....

Moly Shu 12:35 PM  

Enjoyable PB, and solved like @Rex. The NW holding me up until I finally remembered the halcyon days spent playing backGAMMON at FURMAN. What everyone else said. Just plain old liked it.

@Lewis, Mother's. I think it's on Poydras. Sometimes the line is out the door and around the corner. Worth the wait IMO.

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

I can't believe that I am the only person who had sTars instead of sCars. I didn't remember Cary Grant's name, and Leath seemed plausible. Another beautiful puzzle by the master.

Busy Body 12:49 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo -- Only because you have made the effort to correct all previous posts, may I politely point out that it has been previously established that @mac (not @Mac) is in fact an elegant lady.

@OISK -- I don't think your Dad would have liked today's Biblical epics, either. It has been previously noted that in the recent "Noah," the title character tells one of his sons that eventually he "will have to bury your mother and I." And now we have the trailer for the upcoming movie "Exodus: Gods and Kings" in which a Biblical voice (at about the 1:45 mark) warns of dire events "far beyond you and I."

Chip Hilton 1:07 PM  

Berry good time, as usual. I'm with the majority opinion on the righteousness of the LEACH clue. While scanning through southern schools, I thought of Baylor, and said, "No way, it's Baptist and hardly a party haven." I guess FURMAN took a while to let its hair down.

Wonderful clues, top notch fill. What's not to like?

Hartley70 1:12 PM  

Of course, Nancy, from this post I now have an idea of who YOU are :-)

AliasZ 1:24 PM  

What I like about Patrick Berry is that he does not need to push the envelope. He IS the envelope.

We have an expert, professional puzzle today with plenty of freshness and some oblique cluing that made this one tough to start, but once I got on Mr. Berry's wavelength, it went fairly smoothly. It certainly put me in a good MOOED.

I especially liked the LOOSE LIMBED PENALTY SHOT, the THREEFOLD MONEY CLIP and DESTINATION: UP A CREEK. I also enjoyed BREAD right above the MONEY CLIP filled with TENSOR twenties.

- DEMOB sounds to me like an attempt to eliminate organized crime infestation in [name your preferred area].
- I never saw a penguin with only one WEB FOOT.
- As EMBAR GOES, so goes the nation.

I remember Cary Grant in His Girl Friday utter these famous words: "Listen, the last man that said that to me was Archie LEACH just a week before he cut his throat."

Buffalo Bill
Went up the hill
To fetch a gun for

Keeping within the Western theme, here is the Hoedown from Rodeo by Aaron Copland.


JohnV 1:26 PM  

Took a bit of time but got it all, no errors, always a nice thing on a Friday. But, I find I virtually aways connect with PB's puzzles. He may throw in strange, new stuff, but always, always makes fair crossings.

Good times.

Still learning 1:29 PM  

So what is it about a school that makes it a 'Country Club' school? Not sure whether that question indicates that I did/ did not attend one...

Z 1:41 PM  

That "country club" thing is an unreferenced deep cut from the Wikipedia article. Any South Carolinians care to confirm? Having read the campus description does lend some legitimacy to the name.

Encyclopedia Maskedanonymica 1:58 PM  

Almost forgot about MOOED. Note the subtle difference in cluing, dependin on the puzday of the week:
Mon: Made oral cow noises
Tues: Made cow noises
Wed: Was heard by the herd
Thurs: Called for some primo grass, perhaps
Fri: Was bossy?
Sat: Had a new low

Almost forgot about LEACH. Little-known factoid: Cary Grant (Archibald Leach) also considered the following stage names:

* Carlos Danger [taken]
* Rex Parker [taken]
* Masked and Anonymous [too runtyish]
* Ted Cruz [too conservative-soundin]
* Snoop Dawg [too close to "Asta"]
* McLovin [too superbad]
* Elvis Presley [too unbelievable]
* Swaybackhairless Bloodsucker [runner-up]



Brian B 2:19 PM  

Commenting just to say:

A frog he would a-wooing go,
Heigh ho! says Rowley,
A frog he would a-wooing go,
Whether his mother would let him or no.
With a Rowley,
powley, GAMMON, and spinach,
Heigh ho! says Anthony Rowley.

rex the great 2:30 PM  

Rex the great just HAS to put in that little jab at the end of his write-up, doesn't he? It's a crossord puzzle, rex. It's not supposed to be stunning. Entertaining, diverting, enjoyable, maybe. But stunning?! Get a life.
Great Friday puzzle with incredibly fulfilling fill. Much appreciated.

Bencoe 2:32 PM  

I grew up in the Carolinas (both North and South) and have been to the Furman campus a few times. I've never heard anyone call it "the country club of the South", although it is known for its beautiful landscaping.

Doc John 2:54 PM  

There actually is a difference between backgammon and GAMMON. A backgammon is kind of like a super-gammon. It's when one wins when the other player doesn't have any pieces in the final quadrant of the game board.

Nancy 3:03 PM  

@Hartley70 -- Thanks for your nice reply, even if you're not who I thought you might be. And I'm really sorry I didn't sit in front of you in third grade. I bet it would have been fun.

RooMonster 3:26 PM  

Hey All !
Agree with @Rex on that NW. Had BULLETINBOARD and the whole S done, put the N was fightin hard! Had atf for FDA in the NE for too long, finally got that section, although finished with errors. Had bOnE for CORE (which have me bOAT for 28D [sounded logical!]) Also, 12D, DETuRnED for DETERRED. The NW, had _____LIMBED forever, before finally sussing LOOSE. Then little by little got some more answers and got the corner! (Albeit with an E for LEeCH/GeMMON)

So, nice puz. Only 28 black squares, lots of open space, nicely filled with no dreck! Liked clue for CBS.


mac 3:47 PM  

Thank you, @Busy!wi

Fun comments today, and we didn't even start with a joke.

Mr. Benson 4:05 PM  

I knew Archibald LEACH from Cliff Claven's appearance on Jeopardy. "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?"

Ludyjynn 4:09 PM  

@FredR, right you are, mea culpa. Bette Davis quote, from "All About Eve", was "Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy night." Headslap.

@Lewis, some New Orleans suggestions: Hotel Monteleone Carousel Bar and Lounge; Aunt Sally's Praline Shop, 810 Decatur St. in the French Quarter; the French Market; Jackson Square landmarks, shops, and street artists; Café du Monde beignets and café au lait opposite the St. Louis Cathedral; Mississippi River paddlewheeler ride; and @MolyShu's Mother's Restaurant suggestion, esp. for breakfast; the streetcar ride out to Audubon Zoo and the Zoo itself. Could go on indefinitely. The cemetery on the way to the airport is renowned, but go w/ a group; The Court of Two Sisters, 613 Royal St., Jazz brunch; any Emeril or John Besh restaurant; Preservation Hall; Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World etc., etc. Have a wonderful time!

LaneB 4:36 PM  

Wonder of wonders, I actually finished a "medium" Friday with very little google assistance. Cause for celebration after a big Thursday DNF. Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you. The bear is tasting good today!

Lewis 4:47 PM  

@ludyjynn and @molyshu -- thank you for your suggestions!

mathguy 5:09 PM  

@Doc John: Thank you for the correction on the definition of "backgammon," the kind of win, not the game. But it's actually a little different from what you wrote. Quoting Magriel: "... (2) triple game or backgammon occurs when the winner bears off all his checkers before his opponent bears off any, and does so while his opponent has one or more checkers in the winner's home board." So if red wins, white loses a backgammon if he has a checker in red's home board. Red's home board is the quadrant in which a white checker has the longest way to go before bearing off.

LHS 888 5:49 PM  

Count me in with the NW-was-tough crowd. I had the same few words in the N as others (LEeCH, EMT, MBA, FDA), then nada, nothing, zilch. Misspelling LEACH made GAMMON impossible to see, and with no GAMMON no anything else for me. So I did what any self-respecting x-worded would do. I went South and worked my way North.

One Google: "The Country Club of the South" which yielded nothing useful.

Write-over: uturnS > STEERS
Hand up for trying to fit Pairsskater in for PENALTYSHOT
Favorite clues: lots of 'em including MOOED, STAKEOUT, EMBARGOES, CHURNS, CBS, BBC and BULLETINBOARD!!

What a gem of a puzzle! It made me think. It gave me several nice aha! moments. What more could one wish for in a puzzle? Thanks PB!!

Anonymous 7:18 PM  

I believe that Furman is also known for its excellent tennis teams. As in a country club.

GILL I. 7:38 PM  

Thanks for the CBS info....Duh, duh and duher.
@Z...CONVOY!!!! Yikes, worse than snakes in an airplane...

Teedmn 7:42 PM  

Country humor for which I'm indebted to my M-I-L: Why does a chicken coop have two doors? Because if it had four, it would be a sedan.

So you know what my first entry was today. This was a great puzzle fill- and clue-wise but nothing left me GOBsmacked.

@Nancy, et.al. Life of Pi was what I was racking my brain to come up with a name, but KUMAR finally was my main aha moment, and it was the last area for me, like many here, with the same hitches at LEACH, ANGST, etc.

A MONEYCLIP can hold a lot of MOOEDla. And a LOOSELIMBED person can probably mash into a THREEFOLD position.

And now on to Saturday. Windy and chilly here are the predictions.

Anonymous 7:59 PM  

Where is sanfranman? I don't read every day, so maybe I missed something? I hope all is well.

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

Am I the really the only one who had "Roach clip" for "green keeper"?

ZenMonkey 11:21 PM  

I have an unusual mnemonic for Cary Grant's real name: "Archie Leach" is the name of John Cleese's character in A Fish Called Wanda. Obviously this only works if you know the movie backwards and forwards and in your sleep. But there's even a moment where he corrects "Leash" to "Leach" so it's impossible for me to forget.

GILL I. 12:09 AM  

@Zen, Zen, Zen: WELL? why keep us waiting?
"I never left Gloria alone when she was a baby. Wherever I went, I made sure Edith was with her."

Anonymous 10:24 PM  

What a great puzzle! Chipped away all week until finally the NW fell. Definitely a 2-brainier.

D and A

Anonymous 10:41 PM  

Meant to say it's Friday 11/14/14.
Also meant to write 2-brainer but didn't get it past the auto-corrector.

D and A

rondo 12:25 PM  

Apologies to all those who think Mr. Berry's cluing is so cutesy, but a BULLETINBOARD is "behind" a notice, not "beneath" it. If the board was beneath your notice you'd be pinning/tacking your notice into a wall above the board. I am not wrong on this. EGAD!
The WNW was the last to fall because of the confidence in again and again being "redundant" crossing the T with the also confident "spent" for really tired. No correct letters in either wrong answer, so you can imagine the struggle there.

Lots of abbreviations that OFL made no mention of, FDA, DEA, BBC, CBS, MBA, EMT and even TSK. Gotta believe a less favorite son would have been hammered for using that many, but when you're a CORE constructor things like that get brushed off. Not that FINELY constructed taking abbr.s into account, IMHO.

No no.s to play today

Howz Painter 12:35 PM  

@rondo - So if you want me to put a primer coat beneath the top coat of your house paint, do you want me to put the primer only on the bottom half of the wall, or just spread it on the ground?

rondo 12:57 PM  

@Howz Painter - I would want the wall primer as the first coat on the entire wall, "behind" the final wall coat. If you want to paint the ground "beneath" your feet, do it at your house, I don't want any of it tracked into mine.

spacecraft 1:12 PM  

Another mindbender from the Wayne Fontana of all mindbenders. So many examples...take the two-person matchup on ice: I'm thinking pair skating, not hockey. So shoot me for not being Canadian. But it came after I finally figured out that the "green keeper?" was just a MONEYCLIP. See what I mean?

Unlike the FOURDOOR sedan, my entry into this grid was more two-door--and the first one, good ol' LEACH, led nowhere. But Alibi IKE and the PANDA did better. For 51a I thought: OKEYDOKEY? Really? You wouldn't. Oh yeah, he would. Thus went the SW.

I too went from south to north, finally aha!ing STAKEOUTS for another cloudy clue: "Observances of the law?" Of all the slang expressions for mouth, I've never heard GOB. Must be regional. That one nearly derailed me. GOB to me is a sailor.

At last in the NW I ended my ANGST by getting that word, and the old GAMMON was revealed. I'd been trying to make any sense of that board-game clue all along. KUMAR? If you say so. My last letter was the K of ALKALI--yet another cutesy clue, "Basic thing--" without even a question mark.

Your three-letter entries are not all gonna be gems; they're just not. A bit abbr.-heavy? Sure. So, I'll put a - behind the A.

Wow, BORNEO the third-largest island? Who says doing crosswords isn't educational?

11231: like today's puzzle, almost perfect.

Archie Tecked 1:52 PM  

What I really want is a base coat of paint and a finish coat of paint. I hope @Howz Painter doesn't get confused painting ceilings; the over/under says he does. BULLETINBOARDs are behind notices, not beneath. And there is uaually a wall behind a bulletin board, not beneath. And studs behind the sheetrock, etc.


DMG 2:00 PM  

Like all PB puzzles, this one looked hopeless, until it wasn't. GOB was new to me in this sense. Only know GOBsmacked in the sense of someone slapping his head in reaction to something. At any rate the wrong "lips" kept from seeing EMBARGOED for a long while, but eventually it became my final,fill. Favorite word was CHURNS. Didn't get it until it became obvious that had to be the word. Another look and I was, wait for it, GOBsmacked!

3004 Oh well, at least the addition was easy!

rain forest 2:03 PM  

I think @Nancy and @Hartley 70 should get a room.

I found this one easy for some reason. So smooth, so deft. I used to play a lot of backGAMMON, so that was a gimme, LEACH right behind, and KUMAR just appeared because I had all the others in that section.

Very enjoyable, but I ask, does a penguin have a WEB FOOT, or a WEBbed FOOT? Or does he surf the Internet with his foot? Just tell me to shut my GOB.

388 I'm definitely on a bad streak

Anonymous 2:53 PM  

Thanks all for the well-wishing. I really like and enjoy the Syndy comments. Sorta a distant family of .............word nerds.

Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA Outta here.

Dirigonzo 3:56 PM  

I failed on account of "Into very small pieces" which started out as shreds that quickly morphed into tobits and that in turn became tINiLY, which had just enough right letters to make me think it was right and the crosswords were plausible (at least to a desperate man). The correct FINELY is of course much smoother (i.e., Berryesque) and I might have seen it if the center of my grid hadn't been reduced to nearly illegible black squares by my earlier mistakes.

Here's an example of the effect of puzzling on my mind: when I first started doing xwords the only "Davis" I knew was BETTE, now Ossie and Geena come to mind first and today I needed most of the crosses to remember Bette.

730 - that's two or three days in a row that I've had the oowest possible score, but I won't be DETERRED.

leftcoastTAM 7:54 PM  

I was thinking this was a fairly easy Friday, but then it took more than a while to figure out FURMAN, LABREA crossed by GOB, and GAMMON and SCARS crossed by KUMAR. In the end I enjoyed the puzzle.

Anonymous 11:35 PM  

Medium? First time I ever finished a Friday. Loved it. INDENT and CHURNS helped this rustic agitator put right on paper. Very, very good Mr. Berry.

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