Frenchy portrayer in Grease / SAT 1-10-15 / Cigar with both ends open / Scorer of first double eagle in US Open history 1985 / Masterpiece designated quasi una fantasia / Dingo dodger / Lemon 1984 Tigers

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Constructor: Joe Krozel

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none

Word of the Day: REYNOSA (17A: City across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Tex.) —
Reynosa is a border city in the northern part of TamaulipasMexico. It is located on the southern bank of the Rio Grande, directly across the border from Hidalgo, Texas in the United States. As of 2013, the city of Reynosa has a population of 672,183. If the floating population is included in the census count, the population can reach up to approximately 1,000,000. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be when I first looked at it. This is a very competent exercise in database management skills. Soon, robots will just make puzzles for other robots and we will pay to watch. Until then, this. Yes, there's some nutso fill (N STARs? REYNOSA? VENGE! ASS IN? ["Get your ___ here!"]), but seriously, almost all the interlocking 15s around the perimeter are solid. Only one (inevitable?) ONE'S answer in the bunch—easily the worst of the nine 15s (RESTS ON ONE'S OARS). I was surprised that a puzzle with this much white space was so (comparatively) easy to solve. I stopped a few times to take screen grabs (see below), and even then finished with a totally normal Saturday time. I credit this apparently normal state of affairs to the apparently normal, actual fill that populates much of the grid. Now, I hate the very phrase WASHINGTON STATE (it's just Washington—D.C. is the one that should be qualifying itself), and I am stunned to the point of being nearly almost completely AGOG that SAGEHENS got the clue it got (6D: Nevadans). I know for a fact that there's a Pomona College alum working right alongside Will on this stuff, and yet, when this one opportunity comes along to share our ridiculous mascot with the world, you pass it up? You Pass It Up? They should revoke your damned degree, Joel. For shame. No chirps for you.

So here's how you solve a daunting grid like this. Or, rather, here's how I solved it. Go straight for the short stuff. Had no hope at CTEAMS or ABOO or MIN, so I dove into the middle, where the odds of making something happen seemed higher. And I was right. I figured that's probably something-STAR at 14D: Many an old red giant, and then with that "T," that's probably ETHAN Frome, and pretty soon I had this:

It's a start. Then I figure [Nevadans] probably ends in "S," so I plug it in, then guess SWEDE (correctly) (34A: Celsius, for one), and then drive straight down through the middle to the bottom. Then … nothing. So pfft, OK, now I'm going straight for the NE, where I've got the front ends of some Acrosses. Thankfully, I take one look at 7D: "Such gall!" and can see clearly that it's "THE NERVE!" And then somehow I know CHEROOT (15A: Cigar with both ends open). No idea where that came from. REYNOSA is a total no-hoper, but once THE MRS. goes in, I get ROSIE THE RIVETER easy (I don't think I would've needed any crosses at all, honestly) (11D: Per a 1942 song, "She's making history, working for victory"). So then here's my grid at this point:

Right after I snapped that shot, I got MOONLIGHT SONATA no problem, and then things sped up considerably. Biggest issues between here and the end were that ON ICE was wrong (it was IN ICE) and so what was looking like TONTO ended up being PINTO at 48D: One with patches. Good thing, because … I was like "I … guess … TONTO had patches … on his … whatever he wore…" This helped me get EPI-, which was not on my radar at all. Other than that, no real issues. Had to go back and pick up the "Y" in REYNOSA, and had to carefully piece together T.C. CHEN (!?) (29A: Scorer of the first double eagle in U.S. Open history, 1985), but otherwise, as I say, having almost all real-word answers helped smooth out my landing. I'm not sure I really Liked the puzzle, but it definitely exceeded my admittedly low expectations. Not a DUD.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    jae 12:10 AM  

    Easy-medium Sat. for me.  The stacks were pretty straight forward except for maybe RESTS ON ONES OARS.  Had DATa before DATE, oN ICE before IN, and went through ate and HaD before HID.   Did not know DIDI CONN but knew the character.  

    My first entry was ABOO which was a total guess.  Nice when ARABIANS and SARONGS confirmed it, so my path was very different than Rex's.

    The intersecting triple stacks are impressive but this was kinda meh for me.   A tad too easy and nothing really stood out. 

    Anonymous 12:11 AM  

    Does Joe get paid by the word in clueing? What's the difference between "Gathering of stockholders" and "Stockholders" clueing HERDERS? (btw, fences hold stock. Herders get them there)

    Whirred Whacks 12:12 AM  

    Fun solve.

    I was intimidated by the 9 x 15-letter answers. Like Rex, I worked the center and the right. ROSIE THE RIVETER and STATION MANAGERS opened much up.

    Favorite clue:
    ORE is used so often in Xwords, it was refreshing to see this clue: "What may be taken in a rush."

    Enjoy your weekends.


    "If you can't laugh at your God, then you have a very small God." --Stephane Charbonier, late cartoonist

    Kevin 12:32 AM  

    TC Chen double-hit a chip shot in that same US Open and ended up losing to Andy North. That's got to be the only time a pro has had a double-eagle and a double-hit in the same tournament.

    Carola 12:40 AM  

    A pleasing challenge, though mostly of the "how many letters will it take before I see the phrase" sort. In with no crosses: SARONGS, ROSIE THE RIVETER, ASH, SWEDE, THEM, AS SIN...and (Arnold) PalmEr. Then a gradual accretion process until the other 15s snapped into focus. Liked ATTENTION GETTER, and MOONLIGHT SONATA was a nice surprise.

    Anonymous 12:44 AM  

    Lies and damn lies. We in DC are already are denied democratic representation. Don't deny us being the real Washington too.

    MDMA 12:52 AM  

    Everyone solves differently, I guess. Rex recommends starting with the short stuff, but I just go through the entire list of clues looking for gimmes, and then start solving wherever the crosses look promising.

    For me, SONAR, ONT, FDIC and ASH were practically gimmes, and then CASUALTIES OF WAR and EARTH SCIENTISTS came easily. The long triples were not so bad.

    Expected the perennial DEY for 28A "L.A. Law" clue, got Judge ITO instead. Nice.

    Got oN ICE, and then _ONTO seemed to imply TONTO. Couldn't recall him wearing any eyepatches in the movie though. Took 15 minutes for the EPI / PINTO crossing.

    Afterward, I learned from Wikipedia that epinephrine and adrenalin are the same thing. Would have been good to know earlier.

    clark 12:52 AM  

    WASHINGTON STATE can be clued as another conference foe of the UTES.

    Mike in DC 1:17 AM  

    @MDMA: I'm with you on dey before ITO.

    Impressive puzzle. Enjoyed it.

    And given where I live, I have no problem with "Washington State."

    Virginia 1:44 AM  

    I knew the "LA law" answer wasn't "Dey" because the l in "law" wasn't capitalized. But it took me till almost the end to dredge ITO out of my memory. That was a good one. Bad one: champagne is served "on ice," never IN ICE. Other than that, I found this puzzle challenging and reasonably satisfying. But can someone please explain to me how ORE is something you'd grab in a rush? I can't figure that one out at all.

    Carola 1:53 AM  

    @Virginia - I took it to mean something like "gold rush."

    Case matters 2:11 AM  

    @Mike & MDMA - Virgina is right. You need to read the clues carefully.

    Thomas808 3:23 AM  

    Isn't it a no no to use the same word twice in the grid, as in THE MRS and THE NERVE?

    I had ScalE before SWEDE for Celsius, which really threw me off for a while.

    I thought the black squares might be some weird theme pattern - maybe a space invader? Maybe a diving bell? Waited for something to develop, but nothing. That sure is a weird shape.

    Good clues for ONEG, ORE, and SONAR. Bad clue for INICE - it's definitely "on ice". How about instead "Mammoth whereabouts".

    I enjoyed the puzzle. The 15 letter entries look very intimidating a first, but then very satisfying when they fall pretty easily with a couple of crosses.

    Anonymous 5:29 AM  

    Pshaw! Ignore Rex's criticisms. This is a great example of a cutting-edge triple-stack puzzle. And believe me, I'm completely unbiased here.

    -Martin Ashwood-Smith

    John Child 6:06 AM  

    LOL @MAS. Nine grid spanning answers is pretty amazing. Intersecting them is wow. Excellent puzzle IMO. IN ICE was my only groaner, and several "oh nice" moments.

    I was worried by the unconventional mirror symmetry, but an easy-medium time here. Thanks Mr Krozel.

    Charles Flaster 6:08 AM  

    Medium solve. Would have been easy but kept scale for SWEDE and was hard to erase.
    Almost wrote IN ICE for 15D but my CRATE
    Would have taken much longer but 1942 made ROSIE THE RIVETER a gimme.
    Then worked clockwise to complete.
    WASHINGTON STATE would have been much trickier if U.S. was omitted from clue

    Friday and Saturday combined took much less time than Thursday!!
    Liked cluing for ORE, CTEAMS, SARONGS and CASUALTIES OF WAR. (Saw "Unbroken" last night).
    No crosswordEASE.
    Always like Joe Krozel puzzles and the 9 15's
    were an unexpected treat.
    Thanks JK.

    r.alphbunker 6:31 AM  

    Stalled for 9 minutes at the 18 minute mark with the puzzle 2/3 full. Snapped out of it when I got rid of MING and put in SONAR for the {Dolphin facility}

    Other false friends
    {Celsius, e.g.} SCALE/SWEDE
    {Sulk} POUT/SNIT
    {Noted preschool sequence} KLMNO/EIEIO (I see the pun now)
    {Chinese dynasty} MING/HSIA
    {Wrap around an island} MUUMUUS/SARONGS
    {Scorer of the first double eagle in U.S. Open history, 1985} PALMER/TCCHEN

    Sixty seven "screen captures" of my solve. It would be very interesting to see Rex use this program to record his solution. It in no way interferes with the solve.

    mathguy 7:16 AM  

    The puzzle made me feel stupid. I stared at _ONTO for ages. I knew that it couldn't be TONTO. No other letter made sense. So one of the letters O,N,T,O must be wrong. That's a lesson I've painfully learned over years of doing these damned things. And yet I wasn't able to let go of ONICE. Crap!

    Elle54 8:32 AM  

    Hand up for on ice and tonto.
    AS SIN... Was Rex joking about ASS IN?

    Ω 8:33 AM  

    This is the first time I can remember where a three letter error (hand up for missing that lower case "l" - haste makes waste) was corrected by a 15 letter answer. Having read a fair amount of speculation on the role of ROSIE THE RIVETER in creating an environment where feminism could advance, she was more or less automatic once I read the clue. As a result I built out from the mid-Atlantic states.

    It is eerie when Rex writes a nearly verbatim transcript of my thought process like he did regarding toNTO. Scary eerie. I also was wondering where I knew ClEROOT from when I wrote it in. My guess, the same place I learned about HSIA China.

    Wondering if CHAI TEA is also a hipster alternative to PBR, since it is only in the hipster universe that CHAI TEA is an alternative to Mocha.

    One minute faster Saturday than Friday which was faster than Thursday. Yep, that Thursday was tough. I've been solving iPad a lot recently because my Delivery Man quit and his replacement is inconsistent, definitely the D-Team. Some days the paper hits the stoop at 6:30. Some days 11:00. Two days this week not at all. Print is still the better solving experience in my opinion.

    Washington DC is nearly a 100 years older than WASHINGTON STATE, so I'm with the Columbians on this one.

    @CO late yesterday - Wowser. No idea how you got that last one. It is as if you added two plus two and got blue. I'm curious how you got that but this isn't the place to have that discussion.

    Ω 8:35 AM  

    @Elle54 - Yes. If you ever wonder if Rex is joking assume he is and you'll be right most of the time.

    Rhino 8:42 AM  

    Liked it fine and only had to cheat on my last letter, the n in Reynosa.

    I'm confused by pinto - is it 'pin to'?

    Also feel like it should be 'the missus', so that slowed me down.

    I for one welcome our crossword robot overlords!

    Anonymous 8:55 AM  

    Having grown up in Spokane, I can say "Washington State" is definitely a bona fide phrase I use all the time. If I just say I'm from Washington, most seem to assume DC, especially east of the Rockies.

    I enjoyed the puzzle because I was able to get it solved (great for me on Saturday) and relatively quickly. Knowing the Moonlight Sonata is what really got me going--then the volcanoes.


    Dorothy Biggs 9:00 AM  

    I am going to sound like a petty nitpicker here, but champagne is served ON ice IN an ice bucket. That left, for me, _oNTO for "One with patches." toNTO? Did Tonto have a horse named Patches? Was his loin cloth patches together? It wasn't until I did a "check puzzle" did I see that ON ice was wrong, leaving only INICE which led me to PINTO and so forth to the end.

    I too looked at the daunting whiteness of this grid thinking I would be here until February solving this thing. But lots of the answers were really needing no cross easy. MOONLIGHTSONATA and WASHINGTONSTATE were first...then with just a little help ATTENTIONGETTERS, STATIONMANAGERS and something, something IONDATE.

    Apart from the terrible champagne serving suggestion misdirect, this was a very easy Saturday for me.

    I liked it well enough, but dammit...if you're serving champagne in ice, you're doing it wrong.

    Blue Stater 9:09 AM  

    Another nasty puzzle. This has not been a good weekend for me. My version of the online version of the puzzle clued ASSIN not as "GEt your __ here" but as "Ugly __". For 57A, when, with no crosses, I entered HAWAIIANISLANDS instead of WASHINGTONSTATE, I was led down an erroneous path from which I never recovered. On my first time through the clues I got exactly ONE answer. That's an achievement (by JK) of a sort, I suppose.

    Ω 9:14 AM  

    Champagne oN ICE wins in a landslide. Of course, Shortz weasels his way out of this problem by adding "bottle" to the clue, signaling that it is not the common phrase.

    Fred Smith 9:16 AM  

    @Annabel --

    Since you'll soon be a Massachusetts resident (at Wellesley), I assume you'll be rooting for the Patriots against the Ravens this afternoon.

    Gabe Tuerk 9:36 AM  

    I, like others, had Tonto wearing some patchwork clothing, riding a horse named Patches. I began with Rosie the Riveter as well and had on ice for shipping option before I plugged it in (incorrectly) further south. I thought an on ice, in oil would have been nice pseudo-parallel.

    As sin was fruit (I know it's "ugli" but was this some clever variant?)

    Dansah 9:56 AM  

    PONTO: in Portuguese it means stitch (10th level definition). Hence, one with patches. I'm putting an asterisk on my DNF...or maybe that second coffee was a bad idea.

    Nancy 10:04 AM  

    My way in (not on!) was C TEAMS, which I saw immediately, then checked against 5D, which had to be either MAX or MIN. Didn't matter at that point, since either one gave me the M to prove C TEAMS was right. 1 Across is always a significant entry point. ETHAN, ASH and FDIC were early gimmes...and so, too, I thought was ON ICE. But when I realized that Tonto didn't have patches (and there was no other -onto I could think of) I thought of PINTO and "corrected" to IN ICE, grumbling all the way. Other than that, a terrific puzzle.

    Teedmn 10:08 AM  

    This one was as smooth as yesterday's, albeit twice as long a solve. I rarely commit anything to paper without a cross but put ScalE in for Celsius. Luckily the next clue I saw gave me EMU so that gave me SWEDE and from there I went counterclockwise with a few hitches here and there.

    ROSIETHERIVETER and THENERVE as gimmes really helped, as did WASHINGTONSTATE. The W on that one gave me 1D with WAR being so likely.

    @Z, I'm with you on liking to solve on paper. I have been using Acrosslite on my iPad since I left Syndi-land but after feeling so stupid for failing on Thursday's rebus challenge, I decided to go back to paper solving because I think if I had been able to write in what I did see of the rebus, the rest would have clicked. The two days since, done on paper, have gone swimmingly so there's your proof :-). (And I'm with you on how scarily my thought process echoed @Rex's on the toNTO/oNICE crossing).

    Had EenIe before EIEIO and thought Trojans must be a model of SUV until I read the comments (no college sports fan I).

    A fun puzzle, thanks, Mr. Krozel!

    Unknown 10:22 AM  

    Like rex, don't know why I knew CHEROOT but I did. Got ASSIN and guessed at ITO over DEY. Had DUD, CHE, and ASH, and guessed at _STAR. Also got THEM and tentatively went with OVA. That was enough to get the three long verticals in the east, which gave me the three long horizontals in the south. Stumbled over INNICE like everyone else, but got SONAR and thus could get CASUALTIESOFWAR. Another damn golf clue (could we have one golf-free Saturday puzzle, please?) slowed me down, but eventually (after getting CTEAMS) the rest came in. Fun puzzle, despite the one bit of obscure golf trivia.

    RooMonster 10:22 AM  

    Hey All !
    Wow, what a hard to construct puz. Geting all those 15's to cross, and actually make sense, is a feat. And hardly any dreck/glue holding it together. Granted, there's some, but you gotta let it slide!

    That said, for me was typical SatPuz difficult, again use of the Check feature. Had hawaiianislands first for WASHINGTONSTATE, made sense. kimonoS, muumuuS, SARONGS. iRAnIAN, ARABIAN. dey, ITO. betty for Ugly ___ before ASSIN. oNICE, of course. Wanted ROSIE RIVITER but wouldn't fit. Forgot about THE! I also put in the STAR first, wait for the (any) letter from the cross.

    Like I said, impressed with construction, wonder how long it took Joe with the ___MRS spot to say, "Heyyyy, what about The Mrs?"

    Liked Rex's clue for ASSIN better! And can someone explain ONEG? O NEG - ONE G? Huh?

    Oh, and a PINTO is a horse, with patches of color in its skin, for whoever asked before.


    evil doug 10:23 AM  

    Adding to the confusion: Tonto rode Scout--a pinto.

    From wiki:

    "Because Tonto means "foolish" or "silly" in Spanish, the character is renamed "Toro" (Spanish for "bull") or "Ponto" in Spanish-speaking countries."

    Problem solved, "in ice" is fixed, and the grid is perfect.

    Or, even easier, change the clue to, "How some sculpture is created."

    You're welcome,


    628125429201 10:26 AM  

    Once again Rex, your comments entertain almost as much as the puzzle itself. Are you this pretentious and fussy in real life? Haha

    Teedmn 10:29 AM  

    @Roo, ONE G is the gravitational force on Earth, hence "natural".

    Anonymous 10:31 AM  

    WASHINGTON STATE is used as a phrase all the time. Just as New York State is used to distinguish it from New York City.

    AliasZ 10:31 AM  

    Before WADING IN, the grid looked a little like R2D2 with a big grin floating on air.

    I gotta read clues more carefully. "How a champagne bottle may arrive" to the table or to the hotel suite, is not exactly the same as "how champagne is served." After watching hundreds of old movies in which the waiter dressed in tails brings the champagne bottle in a bucket filled with ice, I shoulda known better. IN ICE makes perfect sense, and it also clears up the ETI-TONTO mess. TONTO had patches? No, no, no, a PINTO has patches. EPI-pen. AHA!

    This Joe Krozel gem was my fastest, easiest Saturday puzzle in recent memory. I admire the three trip-stack intersecting one another, I only wondered why @MAS hasn't thought of it first.

    I got MOONLIGHT SONATA and ROSIE THE RIVETER only from THE MRS and LEI, STATION MANAGER came easily thereafter. The other 15's, all natural phrases, soon fell like a house of cards.

    Speaking of natural, why does a person with O-NEG blood type feel any more natural than one with A-POS, say? Oh, it's ONE-G. After two [insert arbitrary letter] entries with _TEAMS and _STAR, I doubted that Joe would go for yet a third one which, reading the clue in a different way, could have been ONE-F, TWO-E or ONE-L, a natural thing to the word "feel".

    SARONGS there is a crowd, there is always at least one ASSIN it.

    Let me humbly suggest "Fantasia (quasi variazione) on the Old 104th Psalm Tune" by Ralph VAUGHN Williams, as suggested to me by the clue for 10D.

    Hartley70 10:53 AM  

    I was totally intimidated by my first look at this grid last night, but the right half was fairly easy to complete. ROSIETHERIVETER and MOONLIGHTSONATA were my way in. I got stuck on the left so I went to sleep. In the morning I could see SWEDE for scale and WASHINGTONSTATE for Hawaiian Islands and I was off. I had a time under 50 minutes total and that's okay with me on a Saturday. I had a great time with this one!

    OISK 10:55 AM  

    How my aging mind works..."Wraps around an island" Oh, I know, that refers to that thing that Dorothy Lamour is known for. What is that called? Serape? No...SARONG!! Yes!!

    Just about right for a Saturday, like many others I filled in PINTO and INICE last. I still don't like "In ice" as the answer to that clue. Otherwise, I don't get "ASA" at all. Did someone explain it already? Plank insert?

    If I can get through tomorrow this will be a perfect week, reassuring after three DNF last week!

    Brilliant work, Mr. Krozel.

    old timer. 11:01 AM  

    Could find nothing at all to start with until I saw the clue for dear old Rosie. LEI, ITO, VAUGHN, THEM made the other long Downs easy. At the bottom I immediately wanted WASHINGTONSTATE. 49A could only be IVS, which led to the somewhat awful VENGE. Which is in the dictionary, though "archaic".

    Having WAR at the bottom of 1D gave me the casualties and the scientists, and my *next to* last entry was CHAITEA. Which if you ask me, should not be a phrase. What's wrong with plain old CHAI?

    Like everyone else, my final move was to correct "on ice" too "in ice", though I had always realized "in ice" was possible. Champagne should IMO not be carried in ice. It should be brought to the table, opened with a satisfying pop, and then be put on ice. But I certainly have seen it carried in ice, and the clue was perfectly fair.

    Seems to me 24 down is the lamest clue. I don't think I've heard of something being thick ASA plank.

    But it was a clever and satisfying Saturday puzzle.

    Teedmn 11:05 AM  

    No one has really commented on the grid today. Squinting, I thought I saw violin but it has no connection to the puzzle so I figure I'm just cloud-gazing. Anybody else?

    @old timer, you probably would have seen it if clued as "Thick brick insert."

    Fred Romagnolo 11:06 AM  

    I know my Beethoven, and WWII, so MOONLIGHT SONATA & ROSIE THE RIVETER were my first entries. Had to Rand McNally REYNOSA. Green paint inferrals: STATE & STAR. As with everybody else: "on" ICE. In Russian, CHAI means tea (all tea), so - to this half-Russian American - CHAI TEA is redundant. Loved learning that PinkABOO was a panther offering. Hands up for ScalE before SWEDE. Unfortunate timing on ARABIAN and the ghastly happenings in France. I fear innocent Muslims will suffer (in Europe, not here).

    oldActor 11:20 AM  

    I was told that a member of the Royal Family was visiting a large cattle station in Australia. The hostess instructed a new maid how to serve champagne. "This is an ice bucket in which you will serve the champagne."

    Later the maid enterned with the bucket into which she had poured two bottles of fine champagne. This, I believe would be champagne "in ice", so it is a thing.

    Nancy 11:38 AM  

    Re: IN ICE clue --
    So many objected, including me, to this clue, and it would have been so easy to clue in a much fairer and also slightly misleading way. To wit:

    "How ------ may be coated."

    Among the fill-in-the-blank choices:
    a windshield
    trees in Vail
    ski goggles
    Well, you get the idea.

    Ellen S 11:40 AM  

    @oldtimer, I think "thick ASA plank" is a Brit-ism. At least, it seems familiar and I read a lotta murder mysteries.

    I realized CHAI means "tea" when I saw some Czech movie with a Russian soldier trying to make friends with some kid (can't remember anything more about it, and even that is probably wrong, but the Russian guy kept offering the kid "chai", I do remember, or maybe he was asking for it). So I am wondering, what is CHAI TEA in the US? It is definitely not an alternative to Mocha!!!!

    Easiest Saturday ever. Lately you folks are on to the next puzzle by the time I finish.

    mac 11:42 AM  

    Medium Saturday for me, with a big holdup in the NW because of NOMADIC at 13A.

    Love Rosie the Riveter, I call a very handy friend by that name.

    Maruchka 12:05 PM  

    Comme ci, comme sa, ici (vive liberte, egalite, fraternite!).

    Two Ds came right away (ROSIE, STATION), so the East filled, somewhat. But DNF due to nomadic for ARABIAN, Palmer for TCCHEN, Hermosa for REYNOSA. Could not see CASUALTIES until the sigh-filled end.

    Fav of the day - VENGE. So there.

    BTW: There is a ROSIE THE RIVETER Museum in my hometown of Richmond, CA. Major shipyards and jeep/tank plant during WWII brought in workers from all over the country, radically changing its small city demographics. The museum (more a large exhibit) is housed in one of the well-restored old buildings. It's a lovely spot on SF Bay, and there's a decent restaurant, too.

    GILL I. 12:10 PM  

    Loved it....I'm a stackaholic and this one was easy for moi. My biggest hang-up was getting C TEAMS and being so sure of SAHARAN Bedouin.
    I just left PONTO in - no shame there.
    I always say WASHINGTON STATE because everyone assumes it's DC otherwise.
    Would have liked seeing CHET clued as a Huntley.

    Anonymous 12:19 PM  

    I'm just glad I saw "C Teams" before I wrote in "Rear Guard Action" for 1 down. That would have made things ass-ugly for a long time.

    bookmark 12:19 PM  

    Norman Rockwell based his Saturday Evening Post cover of Rosie the Riveter on Michelangelo's Isaiah on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

    shari 12:25 PM  

    How are sagehens related to Nevadans? Pomona College is in CA.

    Anonymous 12:31 PM  

    AS SIN, not ASS IN.

    Mohair Sam 12:34 PM  

    In tune with @Rex today, our puzzle solution pattern was almost identical today: ETHAN first, CHAITEA, HERDERS, and then why do I know CHEROOT?, followed by ROSIETHERIVERTER. We made the oNICE move for just a second when I (around horses part of my life) said if that's an "I" we've got PINTO - and the few extra letters gave us the bottom stack quickly.

    Medium rating seems right, might have called this an easy Saturday but I loved kimONaS for SARONGS and Johnny millEr for TCCHEN (thought the ever clever moi: they want us to guess Palmer, but only Johnny Miller hit 'em that far back in the day). Wife finally shouted "CTEAMS" so CASUALTIESOFWAR became likely, Johnny Miller died, and the puzzle finished in a hurry.

    Have son who lived in Tacoma for 7 years. Learned quickly to say "Andy is living in WASHINGTON STATE" to avoid confusion with DC, it's a common enough term.

    That Martin Ashwood-Smith guy had a good comment about the stacks at 5:29. Good that he's not biased.

    Speaking of stacks - 9 fifteens crossing in two corners, heck of job Joe Krozel. Great Saturday test. enjoyed thoroughly.

    Leapfinger 12:37 PM  

    Great looking grid, and something of a Rorschach test: I saw a bottle, either expensive liquor or expensive perfume. Then it turned into Henry from the comic strip; Remember him? That daunting perimeter of 15s had me sure I was la viande morte.

    Funny about those 15s: first thing I did was straightaway fill in 2D with ITEMIZED CHARGES, then took it out just as fast for SARONG and that great C-TEAM. Also half-off with CASUALTIES LISTS and REST ON ONES LAUR[?]. EARTH SCIENTISTS needed a number of crosses, but ROSIE and all the rest popped right in, no WADING.

    Had the requisite ON ICE, but being sure of EPI left me questioning PONTO, it just seemed SARONG. [Nice suggestion about the ice sculptures, @ED; reminded me of the Winter Festivals in Quebec City.] Tried SAGueroS for SAGEHENS, and was led astray by "We have met the enemy, and THEy is us." Fortunately, I was able to suss out that STATIONs don't have YANAGERS.

    Factoid: in Canada, the ASSINiboine are called the Stoney, and now live mostly West of ONTario.

    This solver, CHEROOT for the Panthers (not the Pink ones) who face the Seahawks in WASHINGTON STATE today -- Much better for them to be playing in Seattle than in Green Bay!

    A lovely Krozelesque mix today, and much enjoyed. How SWEDE IT IS!!

    Whirred Whacks 12:37 PM  

    @Gill 12:10pm
    Oh Stackaholic: how often (if ever) has the NYT done triple-stacked 15s all the around -- you know, like a picture frame? This one came close.

    With your name, Gill, you prolly did well with the rebus -- knowing 2 Gills make a cup. (I got it from the crosses: McGill and Gilliam).

    My wife and I got a female Corgi puppy this past Wednesday. (We have two older male Corgis.) We give her a new name every 3 hours waiting for one to stick. So far: Louise, Ruby, Wilma, Gina, Hera, Minerva (my daughter's name is Athena), and Carmen. Right now, I'm trying Rosie -- based on today's answer: ROSIE THE RIVETER.

    All name suggestions are welcome!

    Lewis 12:42 PM  

    The puzzle actually has one more word than yesterday's, but fewer black squares. Joe said he submitted the puzzle two years before it was finally published. I guess there's a bit of a Saturday backlog at the Times.

    Joe said he tried to make the puzzle so it could be solved without Google, that is, not many unfamiliar answers. I did need to Google twice. Once those big answers started falling this was a lot of fun. The cluing seemed generally straightforward but Joe said that Will livened up the clues quite a bit.

    "Not a DUD" -- This is a Rex rave!

    Leapfinger 12:52 PM  

    Forgot to say that I forgive Joe Kro for forgetting the second E in THEMeRS.

    Also noticed the piano in @Alias' VAUGHN Wms has Katin on the Keys. (Time to Boult, isn't it?)

    mortality pie 1:13 PM  


    Steve J 1:30 PM  

    This went much more smoothly than I expected when I first saw the grid, even if I DNF due to a couple personal Naticks (TC CHEN/SAGE HENS - the latter of which I've never heard of and the former of which I remember only upon seeing his full name - and EPI/PoNTO - like many, I had and persisted with ON ICE).

    Nice that all of the 15s are in the language and unforced. And not nearly as much ugly crossing fill as is common with triple stacks. It's rare for me to enjoy a triple-stack puzzle, but this one worked pretty well.

    @Ellen S: In Western languages, CHAI and, um, tea (or variants like thé) are the two primary words for that plant. If I'm remembering the details from a history on tea that I read some years ago, which word a language has mostly depends on where explorers/traders from a region first encountered the plant, since in the interior of China the word is similar to CHAI, and in certain coastal regions it's similar to tea. (In the US, CHAI refers to spiced Indian tea, btw.)

    Also, remember in that NYT Crossword land, "alternative" has nothing to do with whether anyone would actually opt for one over the other. It just means two things in the same (very broad) category. In this case, hot beverages.

    shari 1:37 PM  



    Masked and Anonymo3Us 1:46 PM  

    Always enjoy the Krozel style of Gridnastics. Especially enjoyed today's grid layout, which looks like a grasshopper undergoin acupuncture with a railroad spike.

    Also like the left-right symmetry. More of those, please. Makes the solve less routine, somehow. Altho, I reckon that @63 got the SatPuz difficulty just about right, with "medium". A NYT SatPuz rating needs some sorta extra pizzazz, tho -- how'bout "medium acupuncture with a railroad spike"?

    I started amongst the grasshopper jowls, gettin EMU and DUD pretty quick. (Call it my U-mining instinct.) That area rapidly grew and mutated, with AMI, TAS, EPI, SIDCESAR, ONICE with microscopic O, WADINGIN, ASSIN (!), and then the inevitable SWEDE-led purge.

    Finished, many nanoseconds later, at the TCCHEN/HSIA intersection of desperation.
    Knew HSIA, from somewhere. Good solve. Most fun I've had with a grasshopper, in a long time.

    Picture of M&A grid solve in progress:

    [railroad spike]

    Could not think of Vince Vaughn's name, for the life of m&e. No trouble, rememberin Jennifer Aniston, tho.
    And that was even a different day-um movie. Go figure.


    Lon in Austin 1:54 PM  

    ASS IN? ["Get your ___ here!"])

    LMAO. That actually had me laughing out loud. Thanks, Rex.

    Lewis 1:55 PM  

    Factoid: By the 17th century in Europe, spotted horses were quite fashionable, though when the fad ended, large numbers of newly-unsellable horses were shipped to the Americas. The color became popular, particularly among Native Americans, and was specifically bred for in the United States, which now has the greatest number of PINTO horses in the world.

    Quotoid: "I once saw a forklift lift a CRATE of forks. And it was way too literal for me." -- Mitch Hedberg

    jburgs 2:08 PM  

    Did anyone else first put in mRE at 40d (what might be grabbed in a rush)?

    Mohair Sam 2:27 PM  

    @jburgs. No, but that's a great answer - I'll bet some constructor will use that clue and your answer somewhere.

    RAD2626 2:42 PM  

    I am out of the mainstream totally here. I think of mixed drinks being served "on ice" and white wine and champagne being served "in ice". If I were a bartender and was asked for a glass of Chardonnay "on ice" I would grimace and put cubes in the glass.

    My solving experience was virtually identical to @Hartley70. I thought it was a great puzzle.

    @Whirred Whacks. I like Georgie.

    bswein99 2:53 PM  

    I had less trouble with this than the usual Saturday trouble--got all the long clues pretty quickly, except that for a while I had "rests and relaxes" instead of "rests on one's oars". But the one thing that stumped me was "One with patches" since I assumed the cross had to be "on ice" not "in ice." Champagne NEVER arrives "in" ice. Never, do you hear? It's like saying, "please pour some wine on my glass." Champagne is never delivered chilled in a box with ice around it. Never. Have I said "never" enough? Not the once in a blue moon that counts for crossword puzzles. Never.

    beatrice 3:17 PM  

    @Whacks -- Wilma? Are you all Flintstone aficionados? I like Rosie, though -- sweet name. How is it working so far?

    My first thought of an alternate clue for IN_ICE was "Where Oetsi spent the last 5,000 years". Doesn't seem (to me) too obscure for an NYT Saturday, but perhaps not in the style.

    LaneB 3:27 PM  

    @whirred whacks. Since the Queen of England has corgis, how about Liz (or some variation of that theme)?

    Managed to finish a Saturday--a big deal for me, but must confess to botching the ORE/EPI cross, using an O instead of the E.

    Again, some of the clues were problematical and arguable, but a win (relatively) is a win.

    Masked and Aintonice 3:30 PM  

    (Full disclosure: I had oNICE lightly penciled in, at first.)

    I guess a champagne bottle (clue does say "bottle") might be served ONICE, but then again, would probably chill better, if served INICE, in the sense of havin the ice surround the bottom and sides of the bottle, within the chillin bucket. At least, this is how it is done at Chez Shortzmeister.

    Most stuff gets served ON ICE, if ice is involved, I'd grant. Oysters. Manhattans and other glasses of refreshment. (As in: ON the rocks, not IN the rocks.) Sushi.

    Some stuff does get served IN ICE, tho. (Used) Hearts, Livers, Ova, Eyeballs. The Thing. Often the ice covers the tops, too, when IN ICE is requested. But, then, one can be standin knee-deep IN ICE -- yet rarely knee-deep ON ICE. So, there's that.

    Also, notice that the PINTO was served IN ICE, today.
    But, I digress.


    Ω 3:59 PM  

    @Shari - I'm not sure, but I believe the SAGEHEN's range is the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

    bswein99 4:07 PM  

    To M&A

    That's why I included the "pour some wine on my glass" comment. Wine can literally be "on" a glass, but we never say it that way. On the other hand, I can't figure out an alternative that wouldn't have required tearing the whole thing up and starting all over, so I guess I'll just chalk it up to the need for wiggle room when constructing a crossword.


    ON ICE 4:37 PM  

    "Mirrors on the ceiling,
    The pink champagne ON ice
    And she said, 'we are all just prisoners here, of our own device"

    Argument over.

    michael 4:39 PM  

    I did this very quickly for a Saturday, helped out a lot by Rosie. But at the end I was left wondering about cteays (crossed with yin) and ponto (much discussed here) were.

    Two mistakes...

    GILL I. 4:40 PM  

    @Maruchka...If you're still reading - have you tried Pikanhas Brazilian steak house on Richmond Blvd.? Lousy service but hoo boy, the food is great.
    @Whirred W. FESTUS...It means happy.
    Hey, Disney ON ICE presents "FROZEN."

    Ludyjynn 4:43 PM  

    @Whirred, may I suggest that your new corgi be named Queen, Queenie, Lizzie or Elizabeth, for the same reason as @LaneB, above.

    The east side of this puzz. went in as gimmes, starting w/ ROSIE..., but the west side was another story, causing a DNF already covered by others' comments. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the long stacks challenge quite a bit. Better luck next time.

    I drink my champagne 'chilled', solving the in/on ice dilemma!

    Thanks JK and DS.

    Leapfinger 5:00 PM  

    @Whirred, Georgie Corgi was downright inspiring.
    So, what do you think of Porgy Corgi? Next one could be Bess, and that would work in the QEII angle.

    Bet the little dude is a pack o' fun!

    Hartley70 5:01 PM  

    Interesting that some would find "thick as a plank" obscure. I can't think of an alternative. Maybe it's an East Coast/New England phrase, but it's certainly ubiquitous here.

    @whirredwacks Corgis are incredibly cute as puppies so I'm jealous of the fun you're having. I'm partial to Clementine myself.

    John Child 5:12 PM  

    Google "in ice" and you will see the cluer's problem.

    What is served at Starbucks and similar trendy shops is the milky spiced tea from the Indian subcontinent. It's CHAI, which means tea. You wouldn't order a latte coffee would you?

    Nancy 5:15 PM  

    Kelly, the Corgi?
    Katie, the Corgi?
    Maggie, the Corgi?
    Aggie, the Corgi?

    I always think alliteration is nice.

    Whirred Whacks 5:18 PM  

    @Gill I
    @Lane B

    Thanks to you all for your Corgi name suggestions. I will honor each of you by using your puppy-name for a three hour period. Maybe one of 'em will stick!

    This is our 5th Corgi since 1995. The others were/are named:
    --Ruby Dooby Doo
    --Razzbo Dogjoy
    --Ziggedy Zack
    --Wally Doodle
    --Baby female Corgi (9 weeks old)

    And yes, she's a trip! We've had her just 3 days, and she's learned so much already:
    --socializing/playing with older males
    --learning not to go after older dogs' food (they tell her)
    --beginning to learn how climb stairs
    --doing her "chores" outside
    --using her little teeth to give PIRANHA-like bites (adorably painful)
    --playing with dog toys

    mac 5:34 PM  

    @Leapfinger: I had the same Porgey -- Bess thought. I like Lizzie and Rosie best, though. Two syllables always work best with small animals, I have found. Even our Miles became Miley.

    Leapfinger 6:25 PM  

    @John Child

    But, but 'latte' means 'milk'. It's only the U.S. vox pop that has made 'latte' mean 'coffee'. Convoluteder and convoluteder, eh?

    dk 6:28 PM  

    🌕🌕🌕 (3mOOOns)

    Had mope for SNIT and thought snit was all wrong.... until i stopped moping over penning in Dey for ITO.

    Everything a Saturday should be..... NSTAR... THE NERVE 🙀

    Ω 6:37 PM  

    Of course,CHAI has a plethora of web pages (that last one is for all the right of center folk here).

    Starbucks, of course, has a "Classic Chai Latte Tea" which, if that first link is to be believed, is more or less what Indian Chai is.

    Me, I take coffee in my coffee and prefer Earl Grey, hot (or orange pekoe with honey if I'm under the weather).

    AnonyMama 6:43 PM  

    Anonymous 12:10, you're right in that stockholders only own stock. That's exactly why 'gathering' is in there, to indicate that there's herding going on.

    RAD2626, I see that you're not only the one who coined the name Georgie Corgi, but that you also like "Kavalier & Clay'. Apparently, you are both inventive and discerning. (I have a personally autographed copy, and thought it one of the best books I've read in decades,)

    M and A Help Desk 6:45 PM  

    @Whirred Whacks:
    we always named our budgies, after observin their behavior.
    * Stopwatch. Liked to pull the stem out, on my wristwatch.
    * Bob. Wild head bobbin, for little reason.
    * Radar. Flew into kitchen ink, landing in a soaking spaghetti sauce dish.
    * Carlos Danger. Don't ask.

    Now that U have outlined some of yer doggie's behavior, at least one name comes to mind, after hearin about her early stair-climbing interests: Uppie.


    Numinous 6:52 PM  

    OK, @WW. Corgis are Welsh, right?
    How about Rabbit as in Welsh Rarebit?
    But, then, Coney is another word for rabbit so?

    Unknown 10:12 PM  

    All guesses were wrong.

    This is Rex's best critique ever. he told us how he solved a didficukt puzzle. Extremely instructIve. My solve more-or-less followed his, but my susses/guesses were wrong.

    LMNOP for EIEIO.
    palmer for TCCHEN
    to name 2

    I gave up after 30 min and started goigling. I needed 15 googles to dig out of the wrongness. Rex didn't need any. Wow. Just wow.

    80 min. no errors.

    Maruchka 10:30 PM  

    @ Gill - OMG! Pikanhas Brazilian in my old stomping grounds, Point Richmond. I will try it next time. Usually, we go to the Hotel Mac for steak and shake nights - $5 steak and $5 (shaken, not stirred) Martinis. Obrigado.

    @Whirred - Sweet! Given the queen and her Corgis, what about Lillibet? Or, as pronounced in the South, Li'l Bit.

    abstractblueman 11:41 PM  

    Not a chance that I was going to get TCCHEN, but CHET was first in the grid. I was far, far too young to remember the 1984 Detroit Tigers, but if you grow up in Detroit you know about them!

    @Thomas808 The very first thing that pooped into my head when I looked at this grid was "That's a space invader!"

    Anonymous 11:12 AM  

    if you're shipping it's in ice, you don't ship on ice.

    Anonymous 11:38 AM  

    Why is Otto a good name for a chauffeur? And a BOTTLE of champagne is usually immersed IN ice.

    Ω 11:53 AM  

    @Anon11:38 - OTTO. Auto.

    pfb 1:46 PM  

    Was an easier solve than I anticipated but I got sloppy at the end and missed the Y in REYNOSA. ROSIE THE RIVETER was a gimme, and MOONLIGHT SONATA was almost one. I had to work for everything else.

    Anonymous 4:38 PM  

    What is an "nstar"?

    Ω 6:06 PM  

    @anon4:38Wednesday - A type of STAR in the Draper system of star classification. And I doubt if many solvers knew that. I just knew it was going to xSTAR from seeing that kind of clue/answer pair before.

    khuyen mai mobifone 9:04 PM  

    Chương trình mobiphone khuyen mai mới nhất. Hướng dẫn cách nap tien mobifone online. Đọc truyen ngan hay online hay nhất.

    spacecraft 11:48 AM  

    Not medium for this boy. Plugged in ROSIETHERIVETER, with LEI and ITO, then I stared at the grid for many minutes. Couldn't make anything of that little 3x3 area under the center bar using SCALE for "Celsius, for one" (well, wouldn't you?) so then I tried SWEDE and that worked.

    The rest of those longs took a while. Finally had enough letters to see WASHINGTONSTATE (I agree with OFL's green-paint assessment) whereupon the tumblers began clicking into place and I became "yegg for a day."

    Final sticking points were the center--CHAITEA had to go in on pure crosses--and that ORE/EPI/PINTO/INICE instead of oNICE thing. That combo nearly cost me a DNF, but at last I thought of EPInephrine. With my medical background I should have come up with that sooner.

    So, challenging for me. Clues were typically brutal: "Natural thing to feel" = ONEG. Brother! Finishing felt like a triumph. This was a tour de force, making all those 15s fit. Gotta give Joe his props: he's the master of the grid-spanner. Some stretchy fill--no wonder! A-.

    rondo 12:10 PM  

    Fastest Sat-solve for me in years! Must be on the same wave-length. Was afraid at first glance, all those 15s, but 1d and 12d fell in with minimal cross help and it was off to the races.

    Any puz with a SWEDE dead center has to be good, nej?

    CHAITEA is a redundancy in many languages as ONE would be saying "tea tea", but I get it for the gen-pop in the U.S.

    Always hear WASHINGTONSTATE used in order to clarify, esp. with the east coast bias so common.

    ITO piece of cake with no cap on "law". 20 years ago and Lance still makes the fill.

    For me this was a happy, snappy Saturday.

    Didn't see the grid, but in real time the V-day constructor is David Steinberg. Prepare for it.

    Burma Shave 1:25 PM  

    ITIS THEM that you want,
    not dopey Vince VAUGHN.

    So work up THENERVE
    and get your ASSIN gear,
    to serve UNTO OTTO,
    and ITO, and ITOO a beer.


    Idiotic pentameter and stream of unconsciousness provided with no sponsorship, for your enjoyment.

    rain forest 2:52 PM  

    @Burma Shave -
    I'll say it sweet and terse.
    I really like your verse.
    So IN ICE the bubbly immerse,
    And if DOM, a drink you should nurse.
    (Though it leave a dent in your purse).

    As for the puzzle-wonderful, and I guess medium here, starting with THE MRS, THE NERVE, CHEROOT, et al. I have absolutely no nits to pick, not even the obscure Chinese dynasty (they are all obscure to me).

    It's hard for @Rex to whomp up much enthusiasm for a Joe Krozel puzzle, which was apparent here, and so I guess "not a DUD" is high praise indeed.

    Anonymous 2:54 PM  

    Nice going, Burma Shave. Always enjoy you little tidbits.

    Today's was a DNF for me, because of the on ice epi, and pinto. So that's it. If I ever meet Joe Krozel, I'm going to give him a major "wedgie." Ron Diego doesn't like people who are smarter then he. chuckle!

    Ron Diego, La Mesa, CA.

    Ginger 3:28 PM  

    I got lucky, my first entry was ROSIETHERIVETER, then worked my way west. I needed a couple of Googles, so a technical DNF, but I'm really pleased when I can finish a Saturday without looking at a completed grid.

    WASHINGTONSTATE was a late entry, which is weird because I live there, and I can see Mt. St Helens from my window. BTW I have no problem with adding the STATE, it saves a lot of time. I also have to spell out Vancouver, as most seem to think it's in Canada even though we're several decades older.

    @ON ICE 4:37 Mmmmmmmm, 50 Shades of Gray is being released today in Syndiland.

    Anonymous 9:15 PM  

    How about a good Welsh name: Karys? Or I like Lizzy after QEII, who collects Corgis. Great dog breed!

    Joe in Montreal 10:31 PM  

    Syndicationland chiming in. I have to say that if I was in the mood for Mocha and there wasn't any, CHAI would not hit the spot.

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