1983 Joel Schumacher film / SAT 1-17-15 / Johann opponent of Martin Luther / Gossipy affair / Michaels of rock reality TV / Figure also called crux ansata / Hip-hop's tha Kyd / First one opened in Garden City Mich 1962

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Constructor: Josh Knapp

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: SYD tha Kyd (39A: Hip-hop's ___ tha Kyd) —
Sydney Loren Bennett, known by her stage name as Syd tha Kyd or more recently Syd (born April 23, 1992) is a singer, producer and DJ from Crenshaw, Los Angeles, California. She is one of the main producers in Odd Future and a singer, producer and mixer in the Neo soul group The Internet with Matt Martians. She is the main producer for fellow Odd Future rapper Mike G and the older sister of non-musical Odd Future member Travis "Taco" Bennett. (wikipedia)

• • •


Oh, man, sometimes Friday nights / Saturday mornings are The Worst, blog-wise. If I come home wiped out and just want to go to sleep, I can't, or, I can, but then I'm looking at having to blog a *Saturday* puzzle straight of bed in the morning. If there is one kind of puzzle that you shouldn't do with foggy just-out-of-bed brain, it's a Saturday puzzle. This took me probably twice as long as it should have. I honestly have no idea how difficult it was on a normal fully-awake-human scale. Felt hard (for reasons I'll get to). But maybe less hard than I made it on myself. So "Medium-Challenging" is a best guess. First off (or, second off at this point, I guess), let me say the grid looks great. All kinds of fun stuff popping off all over the place. But it was the cluing on this thing that made it really hard to process. Well, that, and my two small but absolutely lethal errors. And the fact KAZAKH never crossed my mind (until the second "K" and "Z" showed up … late).

It's weird: I started and finished in the NW. When I finished, it all went down quite easily. When I started, I got nowhere. I blame this entirely on 6D: It might have decorative feet, and more specifically I blame it on my wrong answer, ODE. I thought there was something tricky going on with "feet" there. Because on Saturday I look for tricky. And I teach poetry. Bad combo (today). ODE made me want 1A: Polishes to end in ON. But then the Fibonacci clue made no sense and neither did anything else and I just sat. Stumbled around til I found BRET Michaels (which, I suspect, is how a lot of people find BRET Michaels), and though I didn't feel good about latching onto him (see previous parenthetical comment), he got me started. NE was my first corner. Then I couldn't do a thing with the middle. Well, I got FORCE MAJEURE (a phrase recently running around my brain because of the very cool-looking Swedish movie of the same name that I am definitely going to see). But otherwise, the middle was shot through with holes. I was able to ride CORIANDER down to the SW and (easily) finish off that quadrant, but then there I sat, with a grid that looked something (i.e. exactly) like this:

[Beethoven's lesser-known "ODE to JOIN"]

Look at cute little ODE up there, ****ing everything up. Adorable. You can see he has been joined in Errorsville by his younger sister, JOIN (34D: Come together). That—that right there, 34D—is a trap By Design. Clue is written to be valid for JELL but also to apply to a different, more common "J" word (JOIN). And, 6 in the morning, I fell in. And right next to invisible KAZAKH. Ugh. Disaster. I should also remark on RICHTER SCALE at this point, which is a great answer, with a Great clue (40A: Provider of shock value?), but even with this much filled in, I couldn't see it to save my life. Things that floated through my brain: RICHARD SCARY (misspelled), RICHELIEU, RICHIE RICH… I mean, JOIN wasn't helping, but still, you'd think I could pull it out of the fire with that much in place. No. I had to diver into the SE with no crosses (dicey) and try to find new footing. Wanted ACE, didn't trust it, then (luckily!) tested NICE and got a NEPAL crossing. New hope! At this point I retried ACE and then KEEPS ON (wrong, but a good start), and then, aha, it's KOJAK, with another good but Brutal clue (52D: Noted Greek officer). I *own* the first season of "KOJAK" and took forever to get this. So then, from KOJAK, I get the SE corner, which means I get KLATCH, which means I get JELL *and* LIONIZE *and* KAZAKH, bang bang bang. Then up to DECAMP ERIE FIGLEAF and we're as good as done. And it's URN. An URN might have decorative feet. Not an ODE, whose feet are without decor, it seems.

Hard clean fun. Well, less than "fun" for me, but that's not on the puzzle. That's on 6am.

See you tomorrow.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Glimmerglass 7:52 AM  

    Good morning. An URN has one foot, not feet. I had "tub" for far too long, which meant I finished the NW last of all. This was an excellent, very hard, Saturday puzzle. FROLIC finally bailed me out as I worked north from DECAMP.

    John Child 7:53 AM  

    Well, this was pretty tough. But despite long stares and a couple of despairs, it came in eventually. That’s just what a Saturday puzzle should do in my opinion: stretch the old brain.

    SIREN SONG reminds us that we are compelled to solve, and there’s a nice shout out to crosswords’ little sister, SCRABBLE. The seed pair are sweet, BIG MOUTH and ADULTERY feel straight out of Raymond Chandler, and there’s KOJAK.

    Who loves ya, puzzle? I do.

    evil doug 7:55 AM  

    Lots of ups?


    Danp 7:57 AM  

    Religious theme here? Figleaf, Kells, Jainism, Adultery, Ankh(?), Eck, Act of God? I'm surprised Hubbard wasn't clued as something about Scientology.

    evil doug 7:58 AM  

    ... and a couple of ats....


    Gabe Tuerk 8:06 AM  

    Bosporus got me off to a quick start in the northeast, which was Bar heavy. I wanted barCODE before upccode and sidebar on top stacked the barcodes nicely. Bret michaels was a bit of a stretch as "rock" so a good compromise would have been to clue "Syd" with Barrett and stick to my version of the theme.

    Liked: Force Majeure and Richter Scale in close proximity. Puzzle centered on Lionize (quite appropriate).

    Disliked: klatch, buffs up (superfluous)

    r.alphbunker 8:10 AM  

    {Team logo spot} JERSEY-->HELMET
    {Less stiff} SPRYER --> SPRIER
    {Come out of one's shell, perhaps} MATE --> MOLT
    {Not confined} UNCAGED --> ATLARGE
    {A little reading at the supermarket checkout?} UPCSCAN --> UPCCODE
    {Seconds} BACKUPS --> BACKSUP
    {Ten commandments subject} COVETING --> CUPIDITY --> ADULTERY
    {___ Air} IRAN --> IPAD
    {Act of God, e.g., in a contract} FORMEMAJESTE --> FORMEMAJEURE --> FORCEMAJEURE
    {Cilantro source} MORGANSER --> CORIANDER (thinking of MERGANSER - a fish-eating diving duck

    {Hearing at a hearing} SIDEBAR - a conference between the judge, the lawyers, and sometimes the parties to a case that the jury does not hear.

    Rhino 8:34 AM  

    Really tough; I had to cheat all over the place. I'm a Lutheran pastor so ECK should've been a gimme, but for the life of me (like rex, I also had just woken) I could not remember and needed all three crosses.

    Humbling puzzle.

    OldCarFudd 8:35 AM  

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. It took me 33 minutes. But, just as Acme in a Michaels puzzle can be a shoutout to Andrea, can all those brilliantly-placed Js and Ks be a shoutout to Josh Knapp? If so, well done!

    Nancy Klein 8:54 AM  

    It's funny that what I often find hard, Rex finds easy and vice versa. Finished this in near record time for a Saturday thanks to getting a quick start with Mungo Jerry.
    Obviously, I'm much older than Rex.

    Dorothy Biggs 9:07 AM  

    I enjoyed finishing this the same way I enjoy having a tooth pulled...painful, but sweet relief when it's over.

    The plethora of UPs definitely kept me second-guessing...especially up in the NW. I personally BUFF something out, not UP. I can see using the word UP, but it doesn't fall off my tongue like I've said it before as a thing. I actually wanted "it" in there, but my errant tub kept me from doing so. Finally caved and looked up Fibonacci. Oh, he's from Pisa. So PISAN started lots of the dominoes to fall.

    Can you take a long time to DECAMP? And if you take a long time, are you still leaving suddenly?

    Nothing like taking two words that end in -KH and sticking them together. Kudos for that.

    Otherwise, I have lots of nits to pick but I'll just say that it was a painful experience, but sweet relief when it was done...very satisfying over all.

    Sir Hillary 9:17 AM  

    Great Saturday puzzle! Crunch, crunch and more crunch -- but a pleasure throughout.

    My only error was rilEdUP, but it didn't last long.

    Thought 37D might be crossfit, but thankfully never wrote it in. Turns out, SCRABBLE is very apt for this puzzle, abounding as it is with high-value letters.

    Agree with @evil that the preponderance of UPs (four of 'em!) is notable. I find it to be more of a quirk than a weakness -- what do others think?

    Superb work -- thanks, Josh!

    Steve J 9:35 AM  

    Struggled mightily with this one. Failed mightily, too.

    My scattered footholds, even long ones, were scattered all over the place. Was able to drop UPC CODE, BOSPORUS and CORIANDER in pretty much straight away, but even getting short fill off of those seeds proved beyond my brain's ability this time around. Chipped away to see FORCE MAJEURE, fell for the JELL/Join trap, got further stuck. Had to resort to googling (e.g., to get MUNGO Jerry, whom I've never heard of even though I've heard the song; although, every time I read the clue, the song I had in my head was the vastly superior Sunny Afternoon from the Kinks, which, despite being titled differently, has "in the summertime" as its main refrain). Even after goggling things (also KELLS, which I'd completely forgotten about and never was going to recognize), I still got stuck in many spots. Longest, most cheaty Saturday I've had in quite a while.

    Unknown 9:48 AM  

    Book of KELLS was a woe. Never heard of it, but MUNGO Jerry was a gimme. Go figure. This puzzle was a struggle. Doesn't help that I am trying to concentrate in the cafe of a hockey rink in between games at my daughters' tournament. No Googles, so a solid win for me in spite of the struggle.

    DBlock 9:48 AM  

    a long slow slog and like Rex--had JOIN instead of JELL for way too long
    the other maddening thing for me was not remembering the source of Cilantro--as a serious cook I knew it but couldn't access it for about 20 minutes (brain fart anyone)--once those 2 fell, I got the whole bottom half
    And fortunately, I wasn't hindered as the more literate folks are and had URN in from the beginning, although wondered about the multiple UPS...

    AnnieD 9:55 AM  

    This was a fine Sat puzz for me...a medium to easy. Most of my problems were of my own making, mainly spelling. I wanted an H in BOSPORUS. I tried KLATCH with a C and an S and really wanted it to be KLATSCH. I thought JANISM before JAINISM. Never heard of KELLS but got BASKED. I think of GEL not JELL.

    Some of it was misdirection...had BUZZARD before HUBBARD. Wanted Ululate instead of UPHERE. Had SIRENCALL before SIRENSONG. Wanted ATEAMS instead of CLASSA.

    But in the end, the puzz was filled, but no happy song. Again it was spelling that was my downfall. I had SPRYER instead of SPRIER...

    All in all, a very satisfying Saturday.

    Nancy 10:05 AM  

    Really a slog for me, much of it due to pop names I didn't know like MUNGO Jerry, BRET Michaels, DCCAB (seen it before in Times puzzles, but never remember it, probably because I don't care.) Talk SMACK seems really vague to me. And I thought Fibonacci was a PASTA, not a PISAN, which kept me from seeing the very easy SNIT for the longest time. Finished with one wrong letter: ASADo crossing DCCoB. This puzzle represented suffering to me, but not the good kind, like yesterday.

    John V 10:10 AM  

    Way, way over my head. Never got a solid foot hold.

    Whirred Whacks 10:12 AM  

    Very good puzzle with some wonderfully juicy answers.

    I had BAHAISM before the KOJAK cross gave me the correct JAINISM.

    Cultural surprise: A few years ago, I visited a JAIN temple in Mumbai. I sat next to four elderly women pushing grains of rice around on the table in front of them. When I looked more closely, I saw that they were crafting Swastikas out of the rice (one of their ancient symbols). Each woman had reverently made a half dozen or so.

    Tim Stadler 10:13 AM  

    Seen the Book of Kells so that came fast... work in retail so UPCCODE started me off well... listing PLO as a group involved in diplomacy is a stretch, but OK.... ate Greek food last night and Telly's signed pic was on the wall, so KOJAK was quick.

    Mohair Sam 10:16 AM  

    Easy/medium Saturday for us. And a good puzzle indeed.

    Have studied enough contracts to make FORCEMAJEURE a gimme, cooked enough for CORIANDER gimme, love that silly MUNGO Jerry song, hadda be KMART, and if that's ROK then we've got SIRENSONG! Betcha thats UPCCODE, to which the wife said - "sure, and that makes ADULTERY a gimme" (hmmmmm). Yipes - lotsa free answers on a Saturday.

    Would have called this one easy, but NW had two we had to fill (APRIORI and KELLS) but the rest was not to difficult if you avoided Rex's ode mistake. SE gave us a headache until she yelled "KOJAK" as I yelled "NAPAL" and the corner filled.

    She was quick with HUBBARD, and I knew the Steinbeck quote making the SW a snap. Yup, it sure helps to solve with two.

    Good fill, long answers all fresh and fun, great cluing. Thanks Josh Knapp.

    Mohair Sam 10:18 AM  

    I wrote to difficult when I meant too. I really really hate that, but too lazy to delete and rekey.

    jae 10:25 AM  

    Medium- tough for me too.

    Quite a few WOEs: JAINISM, FORCE MAJEURE (although it seems familiar the spelling required many crosses),  Book of KELLS,  MUNGO ( tried MUNdO  at first),  KAZAKH (spelling again).  

    Erasures:  reFineS before BUFFS UP,   BAthed before BASKED, KEEPon before AT, took out ROK, ANKH, and UPC and put them back in. 

    Just finished The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Shacochis so BOSPORUS was a gimme.  Good read BTW.

    Just about right for a Sat.  Learned a couple of things and had to work for the solve...liked it.

    Moly Shu 10:30 AM  

    Big DNF here also. Got the bottom third, but the NW and NE were never going to come. Thanks to KELLS, BOSPORUS and APRIORI being unknown. My _Air was nike, so that gummed things UP even more. Agree with @ED.
    BRET SYD and MUNGO were my first 3 entries. Yikes.

    "You got women, you got women on your mind" - MUNGO Jerry

    Maruchka 10:31 AM  

    Hardy, hard, hard. Worth it, tho. Do-overs aplenty; three googles so DNF. Could not remember BRASS hat for the longest. Do not know BRET whoever he is. MUNGO Jerry made me smile and feel 23 again.

    Hands UP for Join/JELL. Anyone know what's talk SMACK? And ROK??

    Fav of the day - FORCE MAJEURE. Escape clause (first thought) extraordinaire.

    Clever, clueing Mr. Knapp.

    August West 10:47 AM  

    "Polishes on"


    Davidph 10:49 AM  

    Does UPCCODE bother no one? UPC stands for Universal Product Code. I'm sure people say UPC Code, but ick.

    Steve M 11:09 AM  


    Bob Kerfuffle 11:11 AM  

    Fine Saturday puzzle; felt Challenging.

    But between my very first entry, 58 A, HUBBARD, and my very last, 12 D, BOSPORUS, I took time off to take a friend to the airport, so hard to say just how tough. Any time away allows the brain to work on previously unsolved clues.

    mathguy 11:17 AM  

    The upper-left was a bear. I had FROLIC early but when I couldn't get anything off of it I crossed it out. A big problem was that I didn't know the French word for under. I was thinking ABAS. I think that DECAMP opened it up finally.

    I'm puzzled about KAZAKH. It refers to Kazakhstan, of course, but does the word mean a citizen of that country or is it an adjective meaning "of Kazakhstan"? Either way, the clue doesn't make much sense.

    I don't know why I didn't enjoy this one more. I finished on my own, it had fresh entries, it had some clever clues ("Provider of shock value?", "Cover of the Bible," "Call from on high"). Maybe because the Warriors went down in OKC.

    AliasZ 11:19 AM  

    Very UP-beat puzzle today: BUFF UP, UP HERE, BACKS UP, EATEN UP, UP CCODE. I was a little surprised Will allowed it so many UPs. Could be a mini-theme? I think two should have been the limit.

    Otherwise it was a quite pleasant, Saturday-tough solving experience for me. Luckily I was able to start each corner section with a pair of key crossings that I got rather easily: PISAN (my first entry) / A PRIORI in the NW, BOSPORUS / UPCCODE in the NE, ACCURSE / TAPIRS in the SE. The SW gave me the most trouble with only RICH(TERSCALE), SOB and ATLARGE for a long time. BRASS HAT? Sounds uncomfortable.

    Loved RICHTER SCALE, CORIANDER, SUBATOMIC, FORCE MAJEURE, BOSPORUS, KAZAKH, JAINISM and a few others. The Biblical pair FIG LEAF and ADULTERY (I tried idolatry at first) were fun to see also. But I wasn't up for all those UPs, KEEP SAT, ROK, BBS and a few others.

    BBS and SIREN SONG made me think of composer Benjamin Britten. The titles of some of his works reflect a playfulness associated with his BB initials: Billy Budd, Ceremony of Carols, The Prince of the Pagodas, Occasional Overture, Spring Symphony, etc. And of course, Symple Symphony, Op. 4, whose four movements are titled: Boisterous Bourrée, Playful Pizzicato, Sentimental Sarabande and FROLICsome Finale.

    Let's listen to this musical depiction of the ACCURSEd hunter by César Franck: "Le Chasseur maudit"

    Enjoy your weekend.

    abstractblueman 11:26 AM  

    Just yesterday I made the drive from upstate NY to Garden City, MI (my home town). At about 7:00pm I was passing the Garden City KMART and I pointed out to my girlfriend that it was the first. What a very eerie coincidence that this showed up in today's puzzle!!

    Tita 11:30 AM  

    @Davidph - I do feel a minor rankle whenever I hear 'ATM machine', 'PIN number', etc..

    Feeling especially superior today - I finished a Saturday that Rex rates hard. (His self-proclaimed impairments don't bother me a whit.)
    Well, I needed the slightest of all help to confirm my guess - I googled KAZACH to see if it was legit, cause I didn't think ROK could be right.
    Re: 29A - How is an entire country an "extra" on M*A*S*H?

    I've never said this before here - just 'cause I know something, doesn't mean everyone should - but I have to say that I am surprised that so many of you way-smarter-than-me folks have never heard of the Book of Kells.

    If you love old books, google it asap - Trinity College has digitized all the pages. It is actually better than seeing it in person, since the Library can show only two pages - they open the book to a different set of pages regularly. (At least, they did when I went there on my honeymoon a thousand years ago.)
    We found an artist in Galway who reproduced freehand all the letters of the alphabet and silk-screened them on parchment. We bought 2 for ourselves, and gifted others.

    Mr. Knapp - thank you. Beautiful words abound, great clues.

    Numinous 11:32 AM  

    To talk SMACK is to bad MOUTH which I thought about before I got BIGMOUTH. This took me, according to the iPad app, 23 minutes longer than average. Plenty of gimmies but then brain freeze. CORIANDER, HUBBARD, JAINISM, ATULTERY, BOSPORUS, ANKH, SNIT, ATLARGE all went in easily for me. I had to smile seeing MUNGO as it was only a few days ago I came across this, watch and remember (smile).

    Sadly this was a DNF for me as I had to google to discover that Fibonacci is/was a PISAN and the clue didn't refer to some sort of 'set'. Finally, I had FORCEMAgEUR and gELL which the app asked me to find and correct which I did without resorting to the "check puzzle" feature.

    I recently discovered that as I have a Blogger account, I can simply go to the "Publish Your Comment" button without bothering with the CAPTCHA.

    All in all, this was a pretty clever puzzle with virtually no dreck. I didn't really suffer in the solving and came away with a sense of statisfaction in spite of the google and corredtion.

    Teedmn 11:33 AM  

    Where do I start? This is the perfect Saturday puzzle but I couldn't enjoy it. And the splitting Chardonnay headache isn't even the main reason. Last night when I was trying to print the puzzle for the morning solve, the NY Times website was giving me trouble. First it said I didn't have a subscription. Huh, my account says I do. Then it kept trying to load but failed. I left my iPad going while I fired up the laptop. Looked at the iPad again and hey, there it is. Clicked print and got a weird pop-up. When tapping to get rid of it, I hit something that half-filled the grid in. (And I looked at it this morning, still can't figure out what I hit because it had two wrong answers pencilled in, and only half the grid, like it was channeling someone else's solution. Weird!) Before I could avert my eyes, I saw SNIT and FORCEMAJEURE.

    Couldn't drink it off my mind so knowing those two when I got to them made it so much less satisfying.

    The NE gave me most trouble - DCCAB and, ironically, IPAD air ( I'm holding one in my hands). I wanted some obscure Asian airline. And ASADA is a WOE for me.

    Thanks, Josh Knapp, for a wonderful Saturday. I just wish I could turn back the clock and get a second chance on it! Woe is me :-).

    Anonymous 11:35 AM  

    D'oh! [face-palm]

    Here I am trying to figure out who Rich Terscale is...latched onto shock comic for that one.

    Junief 11:40 AM  

    Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard was BARE. Not a bone in sight (and so her poor dog had none:() Doesn't anyone else think the clue should have been, "Mother with no bone to pick?"

    Hartley70 11:41 AM  

    Tough as nails for me. Musically I knew BRET from "The Apprentice"(ashamed) but I'd never heard of MUNGO or SYD. I didn't know BOSPORUS and I thought it had an H anyway.

    Egads, I just found out the Aral Sea was the 4th largest lake in the world in the 80's and now there's a puddle and desert thanks to the USSR diversion for irrigation, an Eco-oops!

    I didn't know Fibonacci was a PISAN and I've never heard of ASADA. ROK, huh? Korean Army, maybe. And I'm supposed to know the location of the first KMART? I don't think so! I could give you the cross streets for Saks, Bergdorf, and Bloomie's, though. Isn't that enough? Oh and Zabar's too.

    Three years of misery gave me the legal terms and otherwise I had a swell time this morning figuring out the stuff between the stuff I didn't know. Gotta love a Saturday!

    Anonymous 11:46 AM  

    Just the ER in Richter Scale led me to put in STICKER PRICE and waste quite a bit of time.

    old timer 11:47 AM  

    One of the best constructed and elegant Saturday puzzles I've seen in a while, and for a Saturday, easy. Easier than yesterday's in some ways. But oh, the traps! I, too, confidently wrote "keeps on" right underneath the correct ACCURSE, which kept me from getting the otherwise obvious HELMET and almost-obvious CLASSA. KOJAK was what broke the logjam in the SE, giving me JAINISM and making the error clear.

    The very first answer for me? MUNGO. Next: BOSPORUS and ADULTERY. All Catholic kids learn about adultery in kindergarten. Well, they learn the *word* and there must be a million misleading explanations about what it means.

    The NW was not so much of a problem, since SOUS was a gimme, URN seemed likely, and PISAN was (or certainly should have been) easily figured out.

    Leapfinger 11:57 AM  

    A fine refreshing Knapp. [Yup, no shame at all.]

    The FIGLEAF dropped right away, with SOUS and URN clothes behind, so I was totally thinking Wheelhouse... briefly. The I.O.R. sequence did let me deduce A PRIORI, but then I deduced a polished BEEFS UP, even though the BASKing is obviously better with the BUFF. TOPGUNS and BIGGUNS before SHOGUNS. Trouble in the midsection and SW, but that was hours ago, and now a blur. I do remember trying Sears before KMART. The SE was pretty breezy, because I worked with one Dr. JAIN on a South Asia health project, and NEPAL was one of our focus countries. In many cases where the fill wanted __UP and __AT, I reversed 'em.

    Appreciated the solve being low in proper names, but noticed several were in mufti: the fantastic Delores del RIO, SOUS Ste Marie, URNie Pyle, KELLS E. Grammar, Roy DECAMPanella, ANKH Lee, Dickens' knitter Madame ATLARGE and PLO Ziegfeld, Jr. I'm sure there are many I missed, and Chick Corea ROKs.

    Thinking Lèse-, I made 32A FORCEMAJEsté, and still can't see how FORCE MAJEURE relates to FORCE Capitaine or FORCE Generale.
    Other misleaders:
    LIONIZE doesn't relate to Tiger Eyes, nor the Eagles' Lyin' Eyes;
    SHOGUNS don't use BBS;
    ADULTERY does not always follow Minority;
    Sviatoslav RICHTER'S CALE goes uneaten; he doesn't like it. Nor kALE.
    And an ATOMIC SUB is no way SUBATOMIC.

    Despite being SMACKed around by all these diversions (and more), it all came through in the KLATCH and I loved every minute. KEEP SATurday AGRO-free by bringing back the Knapp!

    Ludyjynn 11:57 AM  

    No FROLIC, but MUNGO Jerry and BRET Michaels paved the way, opening up ADULTERY and the NE quadrant.

    This was a TALE of perseverance; each time I DECAMPed for a NICE break and then resumed, an entire quad would magically JELL.

    Moral of the story: KEEP-AT it, don't get in a SNIT or acCURSE, and a SCRABBLy puzzle will fully reveal itself.

    On the RICHTERSCALE, I give this a solid 8. Thanks, JK and WS.

    mac 12:23 PM  

    A great Saturday puzzle, although I DNFWG. Pretty rare, that.

    Wonderful words and clues, much I didn't know....

    Wood 12:38 PM  

    A really mean clue for 40A would have been "What an instance of 32-Across may be measured on."

    Benko 12:50 PM  

    MUNGO was one of the first answers for me too. My brother and I used to love that skiffle-revival song as kids.

    Leapfinger 1:09 PM  

    Ah, URNs that look like samovars can have 3 or 4 feet, and I love the idea of Fibonacci PASTA.

    Those ACCURSEd TAPIRS have no TALE to speak of, do they?

    Racing BUFFS will appreciate the nod to CALE Yarborough, and I appreciate the nod at the ANKH/KAZAKH crossing.

    Carola 1:09 PM  

    Beautiful. Loved all the vocalizing: SIREN SONG, "UP HERE!," SIDEBAR, KLATCH, SOB, ACCURSE (BIG MOUTH) and the FORCE MAJEURE - RICHTER SCALE pair...and all the K's.

    A thank-you to previous puzzles for ERIE and UPC CODE, to art history for KELLS (@Tita, thanks for the website tip), and to Swedish cinema for FORCE MAJEURE, which I saw last week.

    Didn't know SYD or MUNGO, but guessed the first would be a rhyme and the second could be from T.S. Eliot's "Cats."

    Danield 1:21 PM  

    Hey Rex,

    I'm a Sunday-to-Thursday kind of guy. I end up having to cheat at some point on Fri and Sat. Just want to say how much I appreciate your blog in general and, most recently, your posts in which you show how you attacked the puzzle, your missteps, thought process, screen shots, etc. I find it very interesting and helpful. Thanks.

    Your truly,

    R. McGeddon 1:27 PM  

    @Davidph, 10:49

    I agree about the redundancy of UPC Code. Like ATM Machine and PIN Number. It shouldn't be legal.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:32 PM  

    Naturally I blanked at BRET, SYD, and SMACK. I noticed the J's and K's early, so I looked at the author's name, and sure enough! I learned SIDEBAR and ECK. Some older atlases do spell it BOSPhORUS. I couldn't get SIREN SONG for a while because of my "fishy" thinking at the clue "lure." RICHTER SCALE brought a smile to this San Franciscan. I was tempted by Tibet for NEPAL. I hesitated at DECAMP because of the "suddenly" in the clue, and wanted an airline for IPAD. All in all, it was difficult, but Saturday worthy.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:36 PM  

    There was an excellent treatment of the Book of KELLS in the old 'CIVILISATION" TV series.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:36 PM  

    by Lord Clark

    okanaganer 1:37 PM  

    Oh, those sideburns!

    ArtO 2:12 PM  

    Pretty funny that the only section I could complete without help was the NW which fell hard for Rex.

    Quite a slog.

    wreck 2:45 PM  

    I struggled mightily as well! I got a big smile when "MUNGO Jerry" appeared -- he's running fodder on the local sports talk station here for obscure 70's musicians!

    Mette 4:26 PM  

    Took me hours and my experience was the opposite of @Rex. Got FROLIC off ERIE and that opened up the NW. Then nothing. Idolatry was no help. What an enjoyable tussle. What a gem of a puzzle.

    Ω 4:35 PM  

    @DanP - I've never considered "Adultery" to be a religious experience. Hmmmmm...

    @NCA PResident - No.

    @Whirred Whacks - The intensely negative meaning of the swastika is a recent development. It is an ancient symbol with generally positive meanings. Not that I'll be drawing any of them any time soon.

    @abstractblueman - I was thinking the Garden City clue had to be Little Caesars related. As I drive through I always wonder what happened to the "gardens."

    @Anon 11:35 - Rich Terscale is a great stage name for a Shock Comic. Way better than my writeover of electric eel in that space.

    Despite a plethora of missteps (barCODE, toy Story, KEEPSon, serie before PISAN(I know I know, series is both singular and plural)) this felt pretty easy for me. My big "that's wrong" moment is A PRIORI from "Deductive." I've only ever considered it as related to definition 2, never as in definition 1. To me it seems to be a contronym.

    Finally - That BRET Michaels cover must have broken the PhotoShopping machine. How could you, Rex?

    GILL I. 5:39 PM  

    Hoo boy....I tippy toed through this one until I got to HUBBARD. My grandmother use to read that book to me all the time and it made me sad. I could never understand that rhyme or why the old lady kept a bone in her cupboard.
    When I got to JAINISM I just knew that was right but I was hesitant to pen it in. During a very short period in my life (and just to be controversial) I studied JAINISM. I actually wanted to become a Jain and preach the virtues of that incredible religion. Alas, one of the vows included "Celibacy" and I just couldn't abide. I still don't kill little critters though.
    KAZAKH did me in. My cat Marmalade used to make a sound similar to that.
    Talk SMACK has been around for a while while APRIORI sounds like a cute little bee house that I knew nothing about.
    Lots of Google but now I know that BOSPORUS doesn't have an H.
    Good Job Josh. This was really quite cleverly constructed.....

    OISK 6:10 PM  

    Finished with one careless spelling error "clatch" so a DNF , but this was I good chewy Saturday puzzle, even though I never heard of mungo (candy gram for mungo?), Syd, or force majeure or Bret Michaels.

    I ought to keep track of a special category-one box DNF s.
    Getting more of those lately.

    michael 6:22 PM  

    A fine Saturday puzzle. Difficult, but doable. If I knew force majeure better (it finally came to me after staring at the letters I had for a while), it would have been a lot easier for me.

    Benko 6:31 PM  

    @Fanboy: I also enjoy Rex's new approach of showing his solving process.

    Ω 8:26 PM  

    @Benko - Given the relative solve times, we could all probably benefit from a blow-by-blow of your solve, preferably in super slo-mo.

    Benko 10:15 PM  

    @Z: Maybe one day! I have a fairly idiosyncratic solving style for a speed solver, though. There are a couple of good videos of Tyler Hinman and Dan Feyer solving on YouTube.

    tthax 7:23 AM  

    How is asada clued without Spanish or Mexican connection? I got it, but still...

    G.G. 11:03 AM  

    Challenging and educative (Jainism, Ankh, Kazakh, force majeure) puzzle.

    abstractblueman 12:40 PM  

    @Z You were right on with the Little Ceasar's. That's what I thought too when I first read the clue. It's not there any more, but the KMART still stands. I've also wondered about the lack of gardens in Garden City. I suppose it's just a flowery name! (insert groan here).

    Dave the ChE 5:59 PM  

    My sticking point was wanting "scare tactic" for shock value. Was sure it would work out eventually.

    pfb 9:10 AM  

    Two days in a row with a "close but no cigar". If I knew FORCE MAJEURE I would have felt good because I had it but didn't realize it was right. The M*A*S*H extra worked but made no sense to me (a country as an extra?). I struggled through this one and would have felt great satisfaction finishing, but I am surprised I got as close as I did.

    spacecraft 12:16 PM  

    Not even close. Too much I just plain didn't know--and then what I "did," was so obfuscated by the cluing that there was no hope. I mean, PISAN for "Fibonacci, e.g.?" No way.

    JAINISM?? KAZAKH?? And that French FORCE thingie? I'm amazed I managed to get SMACK off "Talk___," and good ol' lollipop-suckin' Theo KOJAK from "Noted Greek officer." But then there was RICH...leading out to the center, and it was impossible to parse RICHTER off that.

    We need not even mention yet another rapper--oh, excu-u-use me, hip-hopper: don't tell me the difference 'cause I SUPREMELY don't care--SYD the whatever.

    In the NW I did have SOUS and URN (at least there, I outdid OFL; URN seemed a gimme), but that allowed tribUNe to fit, so I never saw SHOGUNS. My other fatal error was barCODE instead of UPC. Actually, it should be UPCODE, since the C MEANS code. ATM machine, anyone?

    Finally, I'm more of a meat-and potatoes guy, so stuff like cilantro and CORIANDER lies way outside my wheelhouse. Silly me, I was thinking of a geographic locale.

    PISAN. That one has me EATENUP.

    rondo 12:57 PM  

    ADULTERY was the first to go in (can’t imagine why?!) so I went from Maine to California, then from Missouri to Florida. That whole NW took as long as the rest, in large part due to a tub having decorative feet (the old ones did). All in all a very challenging and enjoyable Sat-puz.

    MUNGO Jerry, what a gimme for those of us of a certain age.

    Besides SCRABBLE as an answer there seems to be alot of higher scoring letters scattered about.

    Like some others, I was looking for an airline of some sort instead of IPAD. Probably time to join the "device" world?!

    I can't talk SMACK about this puz. Liked it much.

    rondo 1:03 PM  

    Also agree with ED about doubling UP.

    Anonymous 1:45 PM  

    I'm leaning towards agreeing with Spacecraft. This was challenging and without help (3x) I wouldn't have kinged (i.e. one less than ace) it. The one blank was the s in Kells. Never heard of Book of Kells. All in all, I did enjoy the puzz because it was a real challenge. The only reason I got majeure cause I looked up force.
    Hey, I learned a few new things so it wasn't all to no avail.

    Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA

    DMG 2:17 PM  

    Got the west side of a a, but my east coast is mostly blank. Did get SUBATOMIC, but that's about it. No idea of the legal term, no idea of any of the proper names, Had "mELd" where JELL was wanted, so no help there. Would never have gotten the Greek officer- wanted Ajax or some other ancient. Did get KEEPSAT, but decided it would be futile to do so. And settled for a big DNF. On the other hand, did learn why a SOUS chef has that designation, and that Fibbonachi was PISAn, so all was not lost!

    That little robot arrow spurt keeps spinnin. guess I'll try anyway?

    Burma Shave 2:34 PM  


    Poor Mother HUBBARD’s ATLARGE
    with her sweet SIRENSONG.
    What about the ADULTERY charge?
    She says, “It’s a TALE, it is wrong.”

    and with BOOTS on the ground
    DECAMP in their BRASSHATs
    to track the BIGMOUTH down.

    With no time to FROLIC
    they hired a KAZAKH.
    That move seemed SUBATOMIC,
    since she’d been captured by KOJAK.

    “Guilty, CLASSA misdemeanor”,
    said the judge (he was NICE).
    “With BRET and with MUNGO
    you must sing the Eagles’ “LION IZE”.

    So she BASKED in the glory,
    and through all APRIORI,
    even though HUBBARD is whory,
    they all REPOSTED the story.


    rain forest 3:45 PM  

    I found it pretty tough, but got a good start by thinking that 1a would be ...UP, so PISAN and URN were next, and despite KELLS of which I know not, the NW was won. Three write-overs that were easily fixed: talk radio, idolatry, and Rko, of all things. I didn't dwell on those, however. MUNGO, NEPAL, HUBBARD helped a bunch in the South.

    BRASS HAT is a term I'm unfamiliar with, and so that whole SW section took the longest for me. However, I finished after a nice battle. Liked it.

    eastsacgirl 5:11 PM  

    Yowza! Was a long,long slog but got through almost unscathed. Officially DNF but got a lot closer than I thought I would at first glance. Great Saturday.

    Hand up for disagreeing with UPCCODE. And didn't understand ROK until I came here. Geezers.

    MUNGO was first to go in. Loved it.

    rondo 5:46 PM  

    Shoulda said triple UP.

    I remember ROK from 1960s era comic books such as Sgt. Rock and/or others, who were fighting hundreds or thousands of ROKs in the Korean War, that war of course a surrogate - as in M*A*S*H* - for Viet Nam.

    Pappy P 7:23 PM  

    Crushed this one. Counterclockwise from NE and. Then into the middle. Never heard of forcemajuere, but the crosses got it for me. Nifty puzzle

    Cindee Lande 7:40 PM  

    @Burma Shave - epic

    The Intrepid Fox 5:53 AM  

    This is a brilliant puzzle. Loved the fight.

    Freddie HUBBARD

    If you know jazz trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, and Miles Davis you gotta dig Freddie HUBBARD.
    Check out the Wayne Shorter album "Speak No Evil." "Straight Life" is great too. He also recorded great stuff with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and "Stolen Moments" off of "Blues and the Abstract Truth."

    Waxy in Montreal 10:56 AM  

    Great weekend challenge though the ASADA/IPAD cross became a personal nattick. Like @DMG, also searched far too long for a classical Greek officer - even with the KO in situ.

    Wondering if SYD THA KYD is a fan of the original Sid The Kid (Sidney Crosby of the Penguins)?

    LadyDi 12:33 PM  

    Bit of a slog but I was able to slay the Sat. dragon once again with only a Google check to see if "jainism" which I had never heard of was actually a religion. Being a former film industry Teamster helped with "force majeure" as that is the clause invoked when disaster strikes during production. Agree with complaints re: "upc code" and thought "eaten up" was a tad off as it usually refers to liking something as opposed to being bothered by it. Crunchy puzzle liked it.

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