Mariposa relatives / FRI 1-30-15 / Foreign fortress / Setting for TV's Mentalist / Chemical synthesis component / Eldest sister in classic 1868 novel / Heavy-metal band with #1 album "Far Beyond Driven" / Popular video game for wannabe athletes / Weapon in fantasy role-playing game

Friday, January 30, 2015

Constructor: David Phillips

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none

Word of the Day: SEGOS (9D: Mariposa relatives) —
The Sego LilyCalochortus nuttallii, is a bulbous perennial which is endemic to the Western United States. It is the state flower of Utah. (wikipedia) // Calochortus /ˌkælɵˈkɔrtəs/ is a genus of plants that includes herbaceousperennial and bulbous species. The genus includes approximately 70 species distributed in North America from south west British Columbia to northern Guatemala and east to Nebraska and the Dakotas. Calochortus is the most widely dispersed genus of Liliaceae on the North American Pacific coast. Of these, 28 species are endemic to California. The genus Calochortusincludes Mariposas (or Mariposa lilies) with open wedge-shaped petals, Globe lilies and Fairy lanterns with globe-shaped flowers, and Cat's ears and Star tulips with erect pointed petals. The word Calochortus is derived from Greek and means "beautiful grass". (wikipedia)
• • •

Someone tweeted at me that this was the easiest Friday he'd ever done. I saw the tweet before I did the puzzle, so naturally I thought, "well, now I'm jinxed." But no, it was, in fact, easy—not the easiest Friday I've ever done, but in the ballpark (a hair's breadth under 5). I got so much positive feedback on my posts where I walk you through my solve with screen grabs of the grid at various stages of completion that I decided to do it again today. Turns out that when I do this with a super-easy puzzle, the results aren't so interesting. I set the timer for 3 minutes and set out. When it went off, I was here:

Then I set it for another three minutes and was done well before the timer ever went off. For me, puzzles always look most chaotic in the first third of the solve. I actually started in the NW (where I got most but not all of that section), then jumped to the NE via "SCHOOL'S OUT" (where I got most but not all of that section), and then branched out from there. Filling in the top center put necessary pressure on my problem areas in the NW (where I had WANE for SHED) and NE (where I couldn't find SEGOS or REAGENT, partly because I don't really know what they are…). Once those early rough spots were ironed out, sailing was pretty damned smooth. I rolled tanks over the middle and bottom of this grid. As you can see from the partial grid, I've got NEF- and DRU- just locked and loaded; both of them went down the moment I looked at their clues (though I apparently need several attempts to spell NEFERTITI correctly—I went NEFRI-, I think).

I actually know what SEGO lilies are, but I had no idea "Mariposas" were also lilies. I thought butterfly. Then I thought, "Oh, these are tribe names I just haven't heard of." But no. Flowers. There were two moments that made this puzzle Really speed up. The first was getting that double-I in WII SPORTS. Obviously WII something (which gave me the "W" I needed for SHREWD), and then two seconds of thought tells me "probably SPORTS." The other quickening agent in this grid was BROAD AX. Got BROAD. Realized SWORD didn't fit. Tried AX. That "X" was all I needed for XEROXED, which blew open the E and SE. It also helped having pop culture gimmes lying around all over the place. "SCHOOL'S OUT" features strongly in one Richard Linklater movie. ETHAN Hawke features strongly in at least four others. So if you're a Richard Linklater fan, this was your lucky day. I never watched "GILMORE Girls" or "The Mentalist" (46A: Setting for TV's "The Mentalist"), but I had enough crosses in place to make the answers to those clues easy.

[Julie DELPY]

For a puzzle that went down so easily, it tripped me up a lot. Wrong answers included WANE (for SHED), FOAM (???) (for MOAT), LATTE (for CAFFE), OCTAD (for OCTET), A DOSE (??!) (for A DASH), and TEEN (for GEEK) (50D: Fanboy or fangirl). Overall, I liked the puzzle fine. There was some longer stuff I found less than enjoyable: EPEEIST, CARTOONED, ALLEMANDE, REAGENT. I like CARTOONED right up until the -ED ending, when I liked it less. The ADASH SEGOS REAGENT CEE-LO part is a bit weak. You'd say "IS THAT OK?" not "IS IT OK?" You'd say "IS IT OK if …" Little things like that grate. But overall, this thing has good bones, and the marquee answers are generally quite entertaining. It's weird to me that it's just 66 words, since it played like and looks like a 70- or 72-worder. I think this is a result of all the cheaters (black squares that don't increase word count—i.e. the black squares after SHREWD and before CASBAH, after "SCHOOL'S OUT" and before SACRAMENTO, after OFF HOURS and before PHARAOHS, after PASTES and before IS IT OK? Highly segmented grid, lot of opportunities to get a foothold, clues set to Medium-Low … all this made solving a breeze. A mostly enjoyable breeze.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. The indomitable Bernice Gordon has died at age 101. She was a long- (LONG-) time crossword constructor. Please check out her obituary (beautifully written by Deb Amlen).

P.P.S. Also read constructor David Steinberg's remembrance of Ms. Gordon, which is awfully touching.


John Child 8:22 AM  

This was my sort of puzzle - tough to start, but then a WEDGE of progress; a few things I didn’t know, but with FARISh crosses; and some rabbit holes ENTERed IN, but none very deep.

Bad guesses: AtwIRL for AWHIRL, rEbOXED for XEROXED, and aFter hRS for OFF HOURS. Good guesses: NEFERTITI from the N, and GILMORE from the I. Both of those clues were too easy, IMO.

The constructor notes (at the NYT official blog or are interesting. Thanks for a winning puzzle Mr. Phillips!

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

Yes easiest Friday in a long time. I'll try to brag less than Rex about my time. Won't be hard.

evil doug 8:26 AM  

No real issues except for the Bay Area. Really, really thought I found a praiseworthy entry with "lAmpOONED", but finally submitted when I couldn't think of a p-word for tine. Had "carESSES" for a bit, also adding to the confusion.


Mohair Sam 8:29 AM  

Pretty much agree with OFL this morning. Easy, but fun. We might have naticked at the R in the PANTERA/FARIS (both unknown to us) crossing. Wife wanted an L but I argued (correctly it seems) that no actress would name herself Falis. Hence we finished the puzzle clean and fast.

Always love the sound of Bonnie BEDELIA's name. Has a nice ring to it.

Zwhatever 8:30 AM  

Deb Amlen's Obituary for Bernice Gordon. Crossword Fiend and have more.

Zwhatever 8:36 AM  

Sub 20 here, which is easy. The NE with BEDELIA and REAGENT crossing SEGOS was tough. I also had to play whack-a-vowel for the middle vowel of SACRAMENTO crossing FARIS.

Did not know a CASBAH was a fortress, I always just thought it was a place to be rocked.

AliasZ 8:37 AM  

At 1A I automatically entered PARKER. Didn't everyone?

The ÉPÉEIST, together with the archist, is an Olympic competitor who, when he misplaces his gear, is called an anÉPÉEist. When that happens to the archist, he becomes an anarchist.

The ÉPÉEIST épéed with three opponents during the preliminaries, and cartoonist Al Capp CARTOONED professionally for five decades during which time he lampooned many a beloved stereotype. His work must have been XEROXED millions of times.

"YEAH MAN, that jalopy of yours sounds awful. When was the last time you had your CARTOONED?"

Once I tried to HOTWIRE a De Tomaso PANTERA but failed, so I took a BROADAX to it in revenge.

Do you ENTER IN or do you just ENTER? I normally just ENTER my "Personal Identification Number" number. But if you want to MIXIN ADASH of "IN" into ENTERIN, be my guest.

I have been called "boob" before but NEFERTITI.

One fine puzzle today, I really enjoyed it. Also one of the easiest Fridays in recent memory.

No DRUMSOLOS today -- please. But an ALLEMANDE, yes! Allow me to also MIXIN ADASH of Courante.

Happy Friday all!

Unknown 8:42 AM  

Yup, an easy Friday for sure. Made some of the same wrong initial guesses as Rex, but all were easily fixed.

Of course, the director Rex references is Richard LinkLATER, not Linkletter. I though Boyhood was too long...didn't hold my interest.

weaselsnark 8:43 AM  

Is it the same Anonymous complaining every time RP mentions his time? For why???
I actually wish Rex put in his time every day so I could gauge how easy/medium/hard the puzzle was for him in quantifiable terms. My times are not close (and nothing worth "bragging" about) but it would be interesting to see if they go up and down consistently with Rex's.

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

I think we are now seeing the source of Rex's strong biases. It's his gaping lack of knowledge in some very elementary areas. Yesterday it was PEKINGMAN and today it is REAGENT.

Would be great if he could evaluate a puzzle while understanding that there is a difference between stuff he doesn't know and stuff that no one knows.

Whirred Whacks 8:48 AM  

Our good buddy @OISK really dislikes product names as answers.

He's gonna be royally bummed with this commercial hat trick in today's puzzle:


joho 8:54 AM  

Very Egyptian with PHARAOHS, NEFERTITI and the lesser known deity, ISITOK.

I'm embarrassed to say I DNF in the NE with SilOS/REAlENT. I should have paid more attention there. Instead I convinced myself that Mariposas are indian SilOs. REAlENT looked good to me.

So it wasn't so easy to me. But I really enjoyed it. Liked HOTWIRE, SHREWD, FINESSES and SCHOOLSOUT. Thank you, David Phillips!

What a wonderful woman and wonderful life Bernice Gordon lived! She will be missed ... I'm hoping that Will still has a puzzle or two in the queue.

French kiss 8:56 AM  

Beaucoup de Francais here, non? DES, ETE, ALLEMANDE, BLEU, CAFFE (not, but close enough), RHINE (see CAFFE paerenthetical), FRERE. SacreBLEU!

Also, surprised NEFERTITI was not clued as "One-time lover of 21 across" or some such.

Fun, easy Friday. Waiting to be humbled tomorrow.

cwf 9:17 AM  

Only real glitch was lampOONED for CARTOONED (based on lattE for CAFFE). The former would have been a better answer.

Nice to see PANTERA!

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that The Mentalist is no longer set in Sacramento (now Austin). A fairer clue would be "former setting . . .."

George Barany 9:22 AM  

Nice to see @Rex spell out the Richard Linklater vibe in @David Phillips's puzzle. There was a lot for me to sort out in the NW, with several crossing names that are not exactly in my normal viewing/listening routines. REAGENT went in immediately, even though the chemistry-based definition is unnecessarily restrictive. I also see what the constructor/editor were going for with OCTET, since yes oxygen the element is number 8 in the Periodic Table, but the term octet is mostly used by chemists to refer to the complete outer shell electron configuration of atoms in ionic or covalent bonds (special case: duet at the very beginning of the Periodic Table). But then again, I don't go to the New York Times crossword page for a chemistry lesson.

In the rest of the SE (already anchored by OCTET, as described above), I did not know PANTERA, and it did not help that SANA is the less preferred (some might say not preferred whatsoever) spelling of the Mideast capital. However, at least one regular Rexite (hello @Gill) will be pleased to see her hometown, the capital of California, in the puzzle at 46-Across.

Unknown 9:24 AM  

The puzzles RP finds easy, I find hard, and vice versa. Must be because we have different backgrounds.

I'm older than RP, so I remember ancient pop culture references. Newer ones, not so much. I have a background in science, while RP seems to be pure liberal arts.

SCHOOLSOUT was a toughie for me, but I got REAGENT right away.

Shows why crosswords are the crossroads of the world!

Hartley70 9:28 AM  

I feel like a first time puzzler today because this was impossible for me. Don't watch Parenthood, Never knowingly listened to Alice Cooper. Never went to Starbucks and ordered anything. Just watched The Mentalist but it was set in Austin Texas. Never heard of Pantera or Mariposa. Don't know any video games after Pong in the early 70's. I'm in the corner wearing the dunce cap.

Bird 9:29 AM  

Not easy but I finished nonetheless. I like the hard rock mini-theme. I don't like CARTOONED (lampooned much better @Evil). LATTE, RIGHT ON and CLEOPATRA slowed me a bit.

Note: The solution to yesterday's puzzle in today's paper has the 6 above & below MANs in shaded squares. ???


Dshawmaine 9:29 AM  

A DNF Friday for me (the usual), but agree it was easy. My stumbling block was the SW - do not know any heavy metal bands except Metallica, geography is an Achilles Heel as well, and only know Anna Faris from "Mom" (she's v. good IMHO). So gave up at about 40 mins as I just get bored at about that point.
Think Rex's completion time is a fair point to make in the world of competitive crosswords - we morning CAFFE solvers can just sit back, tip our HATs, and HOPE Rex continues to write this blog (it keeps the coffee hour going!).

Tita 9:29 AM close... I was so happy to finally finish that NE corner that REAGENe sounded fine.

And not only lAttE, but also RHein, kept that section spotty for a while.

Lots of pop made this challenging. Favorite learning moment... mariposas are not just butterflies, but also beautiful flowers, as are SEGOS. (Was wondering what the Spanish for "moth" could be...)

Thanks for the tussle, Mr. Phillips. there any other word so lyrical across so many languages? Papillon (fr), Borboleta (pt), Farfalla, Mariposa (sp), Schmetterling, Sommerfogl(da), and of course, Butterfly...

wreck 9:30 AM  

Slow start with a lightening finish. For "Queen of the Nile," I penned in CLEOPATRA confidently, but was shocked when nothing worked with it. Finished in overall quick time (for me), but had BEDaLIA and SaGOS wrong.

Unknown 9:33 AM  

Fun puz, easy medium, but naticked at SaGOS/BEDaLIa. Minor starlet crossing botanical classification is a who?-what? in my book. Dope slap for SACReMENTO/FeRIS where minor starlet crossing state capital is no excuse. 46.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

I don't practice Panteria, I ain't got no crystal ball...

Unknown 9:45 AM  

Greetings Fellow Earthings!

It is I, UniCum.

Perhaps you remember me from my sorta-kinda-but-not-at-all debut in last week’s NEW YORK TIMES crossword puzzle.

Many people have been concerned as I haven’t left my house since last week- they assume I’m depressed after being upstaged by a Hungarian liqueur, but rest assured I am fine. It’s just… really cold outside. I don’t like the cold. Makes me feel small…

Lucky for me though, crosswording is an indoor activity!

I must confess, however, that I felt a bit put-off. I mean, I understand the common man’s desire to be punny… but the clue with EPEEIST?

Surely you jest.

What a missed opportunity for a great clue like: “One who doesn’t stand a chance with UniCum"

After all, I am the greatest sword fighter around. At least at one time… once.

What a memory.

Fangirl, but not a geek 9:50 AM  

LAMPOONED is good, @ED; carESSES not as much, kind of sexist, in fact, given the clue. Surprise, surprise.


RooMonster 9:55 AM  

Hey All !
I'm going to call this Fairly Tough (as in tough, but fair). After the initial run through, I slowed down a bit to let my brain catch up, and started filling in little by little. Many writeovers: anis-ouzo-SLOE, love-HOPE, Cleopatra-NEFERTITI, captioned-CARTOONED, bloodax-BROADAX, cafes-CAFFE.

Still a DNF, 7A & 17A, unknowns to me (heard of both, but not as clued), 9D also. 10D just a brain fart. I have heard, and like, PANTERA!
Good ole AWHIRL again! EPEEIST? Stretchy, that one.

Overall cool.


Gracie H 9:55 AM  

Ditto LampOONED and latte. Painful that these were unsuccessful since even an "easy" Friday is hard for me. Liked cluing of MOW and MRI. ENTER IN, really?

mac 10:02 AM  

Easy-Medium to me, with my stumbling block the pop clues. Got them almost all through crosses, but had to stare hard before getting PEP in the SW.

Another hand up for Cleopatra and latte for caffe. I put Meg in Mow's place to slow things down a bit.

All in all enjoyable. More snow in CT, this time sort of unexpected and a problem. Have lots of food shopping to do before the Superbowl party.

Ludyjynn 10:08 AM  

IMO, "The Mentalist" 'jumped the shark' after the resolution of the long-running, suspenseful Red John storyline. This puzzle must have been constructed/submitted prior to the last two seasons, which @Anon9:20 correctly noted have been set in TX, not CA. The lead actors have been phoning it in and the upcoming series finale is long overdue. Careless editing by WS for the clue.

@Casco, I would not characterize Ms. BEDELIA as a "minor starlet". She has had a long, successful film and tv career. If you don't believe me, check Wikipedia. I have never watched "Parenthood", but recognized the name immediately. Same for FARIS.

Agree w/ Rex this was an easy Friday, but for me an easy Friday is 20-30 minutes, not 5! Like Rex, my weak science background stymied me @ REAGENT/SEGOS crossing, but otherwise, an OK solve. Loved the clue for MRI.

@Z, thanks for the links last night and today for B. Gordon.

Thanks, DP and WS.

retired_chemist 10:14 AM  

Medium time, easy feel. Glad Rex liked it mostly - I did too.

What's not to enjoy about REAGENT? Well clued, yet I was slowed down by it because I thought there probably are other seven letter words which could fit, and so I waited for a few crosses. But there it was - D'oh! And in the cold light of day I have some seven letter alternatives but they are all stretches = no good ones.

Nice to know that ALLEMANDE has a meaning outside of square dancing. Same movement apparently, but it is an old French term for German (dance).

Thought the shorter fill was overall very good. ENTER IN was a bit awkward IMO, but nothing else I can recall. Longer fill was even better.

Thanks, Mr. Phillips.

Gracie H 10:19 AM  

PS. Thanks Deb Amlen for the tribute to Bernice Gordon. She was an inspiration! Another Bernice passed this month, Bernice Madigan, at age 115 in Cheshire, MA. Fifth oldest person in the world.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:26 AM  

Nice puzzle, but I finished with two letters wrong (or actually, undetermined.)

To borrow a style sometimes seen on the blog (but with a smile, :>), of course) I have no idea who or what the @#$% PANTERA is/are/was/were, and that, combined with the possibility that 56 A, Wallops, could be WASTES, PASTES, or BASTES (it seemed), left 51 D in limbo.

And not to pile on to the complaints about the out-of-date clue for SACRAMENTO, I think 15 A, referencing "Parenthood," should also be in the past tense, since I see in the TV listings that that show (which I never watched) had its series finale last night!

Dave C 10:34 AM  

Another one in the LAMPOONED camp - and once I gave up on it I thought about HARPOONED before CARTOONED. Should have given up on those first 2 answers more quickly, as 25D just had to be TINE, removing the P from consideration.

Saw CASBAH in a recent puzzle, not sure if it was an indie or an old WSJ Saturday puzzle (have been really enjoying some of the unusual archived puzzles). That and Bonnie BEDELIA, who I also know from Die Hard, were nice gimmes after a rocky start in the West.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

FUCK rap artists like CEELO. Don't like the F bomb. Look him up in iTunes and FUCK YOU is the first song listed. It even lists it as DELUXE SINGLE. How precious.

evil doug 10:45 AM  

Hey, my wife likes the way I finesse my caresses with varying stresses and presses. Different strokes for different folks....


Anonymous 10:54 AM  

Yes, Anon @ 0937, this puzzle was Sublime. Heh.

Maruchka 10:57 AM  

CARTOONED went in quickly, if unconfidently. Is this really a verb? Wanted some kind of bee keeper before EPEEIST. Points involved either way - en garde! Pinch for A DASH held up the NE until the surrounding fill corrected this recipe.

DRUM rolls for some clever clueing, Mr. Phillips.

Fav of the day - ALLEMANDE. Folk dance memory of 'Allemande left with yer left hand and a-right to yer pardner with a right and left grand.' And AWHIRL we go..

@Ludyjynn, @Casco - Bonnie BEDELIA was wonderful in 'Heart Like a Wheel'. No starlet, she.

grammar nazi 10:59 AM  

@David Cole 1034: I think you mean WHOM. :)

Fred Romagnolo 11:14 AM  

HELP ME! I've lost THREE blogs because I can't do the captchas. I need numbers!

mathguy 11:16 AM  

Like @joho, the NE almost did me in. I guessed BEDELIA , knowing her from the Die Hard movies but never having seen Parenthood. Didn't know CASBAH as a fortress (it's a Charles Boyer movie), CEELO, SEGOS, or SCHOOLSOUT. Was sure for a long time that 8D was PINCH.

So I'm pleased that I dodged the bullet.

Like @wreck, Cleopatra was my first thought for 31D but I rejected it because it was too easy for a Friday.

Tita 11:23 AM  

@FredR.. since you have a Google profile, you can simply hit captcha at all. You might have to do it one final time, but thanks to hints from others here, I have not been asked for captchas for ages.

Nancy 11:28 AM  

Grrrr. Why do puzzle constructors do this? This could have been a delightful Friday-level themeless -- look at the great clues for HOTWIRE, EPEEIST, and PHARAOHS -- and instead it's filled with tons of pop name trivia, all crossing each other, and offering many opportunities to Natick. I Naticked at all of them and what's more, I DIDN'T CARE. I'm in @Hartley 70 and other's camp: this puzzle was far from easy for me and not the treat it might have been. Instead...frustration and grumbling from me. (But I'm still basking in the great pleasure of yesterday's clever, clever, unusual trick puzzle.)
To @cwf, et al -- I also had LAMPOONED instead of CARTOONED. But was able to correct it because that section, happily, had no pop names. (It's amazing how well I can do when I DON'T have to know the names of heavy-metal bands.)

jae 11:30 AM  

Easy-medium for me and me too for lampOONED and latteE at first. A fine puzzle with some nice long it.

This could be a subtle good bye to Parenthood as Lauren Graham of GILMORE Girls also stars in the series?

Joseph Michael 11:38 AM  

IS IT OK? Yes, David. You done good.

Ellen S 11:48 AM  

I found it easy for a Friday. Only thing I noticed (I don't notice things like cheater squares) was MIX IN and ENTER IN. That seemed like "cheater INs". Oh, well, EPEEIST was kinda weird.

I've lived in SACRAMENTO for nearly 16 years, happy to see it in a puzzle. I'm not sure I ever saw it in The Mentalist -- I go to meetings in different parts of town, and pick people up from a lot of different neighborhoods to get them to those meetings, and I've never seen a location in The Mentalist that looked remotely familiar. It could have been in Austin all along, except that sometimes they would say they were in Sacto. I hadn't watched for a while, and didn't know the series had moved; watched a recent episode last night and didn't even realize it was in Austin. (Though I might have fallen asleep before the episode ended. It started with a "room-clearing" contest between the FBI and whoever Jane works for now. I thought it was John Cleese doing his Department of Silly Walks bit.)

Maruchka 11:51 AM  

@Tita - Been meaning to tell you that I love your avatar photo and caption! Black and white kitties are my everyday favs. Lovely (and fiercely) smart, critical critters.

GILL I. 11:53 AM  

Time schmime - sit back and enjoy the mariposas; drink a CAFFE and eat PASTES, fill your LUNGS with OCTET BEDELIA...SCHOOLS OUT and it's time to play!
Sacre BLEU, this was one fine crossword puzzle. Lots of fun and fresh words. Who, amongst you, wouldn't love to proclaim on your resume that you're an EPEEIST or even that you CARTOONED in your spare time while preparing for orals.
ONLY, and I mean ONLY little head bop was that I PINCH my salt and add a DASH of hot sauce to my bloody mary.
Nice job DP. I'll take more of these for my Friday....

Zwhatever 11:54 AM  

David Steinberg's tribute to Bernice Gordon.

old timer 11:57 AM  

I too confidently wrote in "Cleopatra". Also, thought Amy was the oldest of the "Little Women" girls. Changed that to MEG and was on a roll, because what Queen of the Nile ends in ITI?

For ____ Jacques, I confidently put in "Saint". But 5-9 had to be OFFHOURS, so FRERE it was. I wonder if he is still dorming.

I too put in Latte instead of CAFFE and was wondering, is there such a thing as Lantooning? Nitpicky, but a don't think baristas serve CAFFE in this country, though they do in Italy.

So by no means an easy Friday for me, though I loved HOTWIRE and PHARAOHS when I figured them out. Which I did with the help of Dr. Google, because I have never listened to more than ten seconds of Alice Cooper.

Gotta say, I've never heard of OREL. Would have put in "Kiev" there, snd would have been wrong.

RAD2626 11:57 AM  

Fun reasonable Friday. Fought some new words in NE and SW for a time but got through. Also fell into AtwIRL trap and cannot spell PHARoaHS So had BlOoDAX for too long.

In addition to the lovely tribute by Deb Amlen to Ms. Gordon, the comments are also quite nice and should be read. Heartwarming.

AliasZ 12:07 PM  

For Bernice Gordon:

Two ALEMANDEs by J.S. Bach in the keys of B & G minor:

ALLEMANDE from the French Suite No. 3 in B minor, BWV 814

ALLEMANDE from the English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808

Rest in peace!

The key signature sequence of Bach's English Suites 1 through 6, BWV 806-811, follow the sequence of the first six notes of his funeral Motet "Jesu, meine Freude", BWV227: A, A, G, F, E, D.

Anonymous 12:38 PM  

Can't spell PHARAOHS - DNF

Hartley70 12:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartley70 12:56 PM  

That was a beautiful baroque memorial. So lovely.


Pantera were amazing.

Dansah 1:15 PM  

I'd pop a cap in SANAcho and I'd slap her dowowowown...

Masked and Anonymo3Us 1:23 PM  

Mucho Thanx for the fun U provided to all of us, Bernice.
Miss U, already.


Thanx, David Phillips, for an excellent FriPuz.

Steve J 1:23 PM  

Medium here, both in effort and my perception of enjoyment/quality. There was lots of great cluing, but the fill wasn't quite up to the same level. EPEEIST and CARTOONED a rankled, and not much sparkled.

A couple missteps slowed me down for a while: I confidently assumed that a Russian city starting with an O had to be Omsk, and I stuck with it too long. I dropped a barista serving up a tassE fairly quickly. Lost some time hunting down a stupid SACReMENTO typo as well.

Steve J 1:24 PM  

Forgot to add: Very nice obit for Bernice Gordon. We should all live so well.

Aitch 1:28 PM  

Finally, some heavy metal (besides ORE) in the grid.

Thank you Mr. Phillips!

Carola 1:31 PM  

Easy-ish, except for the proper names/titles, most of which I had to get from crosses and guesses. Hadn't heard of SCHOOL'S OUT, BEDELIA, PANTERA, WII SPORTS, or FARIS but did know CEELO due to a previous DNF on his account.

Like others, I first wrote in lAttE x lAmpOONED, but I think I'm the only one so far who thought Mariposa was a place name in a Spanish-speaking country where relatives would be something like tias or tios.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Oh yeah!? Well I had sex with your wife!

Benko 2:19 PM  

I also had lAmpOONED and was happy to see one of my favorite words in the grid.
From "Peep Show", the great British sitcom:
Mark: You know Kerry, cancer Kerry, I need to find out, for a friend, the name of that Chinese doctor she was raving about, do you remember?
Jez: Sure. It was Doctor Ying Fu Yip... Wang Shong... Pang Fang Wang... Dang Dong Ning Po Ku.
Mark: Oh right. I see. I get it. You were lampooning me. It was a simple lampoon.

CEELO is more if a singer than a rapper. He was an original judge on "The Voice" and is famous for his songs "Crazy" and "Forget You" (the clean version).
I know Bonnie BEDELIA better from Die Hard.
PANTERA I know well, having read "Diamond/ Dimebag" Darrell's column in a guitar magazine when learning how to play. He was later shot and killed onstage.

Lewis 2:42 PM  

I like the high HOPE and high HAT. My only guess was the crossing of FARIS and PANTERA (guessed right, but still a Natick). The SW was the toughest area for me. ENTERIN to me is like EXITOUT or LEAVEAWAY.

Things were either easy or tough for me in this puzzle -- not much in between. But, overall, no regrets, and lots o' fun!

Martel Moopsbane 2:43 PM  

@Carola, I too looked in vain for tias, tios, abuelos et al while seeking Mariposa relatives.

I would have preferred the overly literal Amelia BEDELIA to Bonnie as the clue for 15A, but maybe that's not sufficiently Friday-ish.

Lewis 3:07 PM  

Factoid: The melody of FRERE Jacques is so thoroughly assimilated into Chinese culture that it might be widely regarded as a Chinese folksong in China. (Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "It AIN'T what they call you, it's what you answer to." -- W. C. Fields

OISK 3:10 PM  

@Whirred Whacks was right, I really disliked this puzzle, with WIIsports, and DrScholls. Did not mind Xeroxed, since that is used now as a non-product specific verb. Even more, like my friend Nancy, I disliked the heavy metal band I never heard of crossing some actress named Faris I never heard of. I had Pantena and Fanis, but changed it, and got it right. Just a lucky guess at a bad pop culture Natick.

However, my two week winning streak was snapped when I misspelled Bonnie Bedelia (never watched Parenthood, and had Bedalia and sagos. Should have known the lilies though, so I can't blame my error on pop culture.)

Schools out was another meaningless answer for me, don't know who Alice Cooper is or was, never watched Gilmore Girls, but heard of it.

I did like the clue for "hotwire" very much.

Oxygen does have 8 electrons, so the clue (43 down) is OK, but when a chemist says an element has an octet he/she usually means in the outermost energy level - i.e. neon and argon atoms have octets, while oxygen attains an octet by gaining 2 electrons to form an oxide ion.

All in all, too "hip" for me. No, man.

beatrice 3:20 PM  

@AliasZ, thank you, as always, for your musical contribution, and especially, today, such a fitting one. Also appreciate the explanation.

Before reading your post I had found an example I wanted to recommend, and since it is so different from yours, I thought I would include it here as well. I hope no one minds. (@Numinous, I spent several hours working with the website you directed me to for embedding videos, to no avail. Perhaps it is a limitation of Linux?)

This is of a live performance by Mischa Maisky, on cello. It does not identify the location, but it looks perhaps to be a castle. If anyone happens to check it out and knows where it is, I would be interested to know. The acoustics are lovely.

J. S. Bach Cello Suite no. 1 Allemande

Mr. Benson 3:52 PM  

Another hand up for the Natick at at SaGOS/BEDaLIa. Really, it could have been any vowel there, and A looked good to me. (I reasoned "sago looks a little bit like sage, so maybe it's a word imported from another language.")

But otherwise this one went down real fast by my modest standards.

Unknown 3:58 PM  

I agree it was a very easy Friday.

But can anyone tell me what I'm missing about the LUNGS clue? Does the clue "Air space?" work as anything more clever than simply a word associated with the word "air"?

Zwhatever 4:12 PM  

@Joseph Welling - "Head" only works if the cluist is being insulting, so the more straightforward LUNG is the answer for "the space in the body where air is kept."

@Tita - I had the same thought, but you beat me to it. I also see that Rex added a link to DS's tribute in the blog proper. I agree with @Steve J, "we should all live so well."

Atlantasolver 4:38 PM  

Please explain 12 down!

Emily Post 4:43 PM  

@Atlantasolver - Long ago in a more polite age, a gentleman would tip his hat to lady. Although this would mean that the lady was the one to whom the gesture of the "tip" was being made, in the weird world of crosswords one emphasizes that it is the hat itself which is physically getting a "tip", i.e., which is being tipped.

Atlantasolver 4:53 PM  

Fair enough, but a tip of the cap would have been more like it. Thanks.

Chip Hilton 5:00 PM  

nIrvanA > sANTanA (even though I knew they weren't Heavy-Metal) > P-NTERA. And that's as close as I got, having never heard of SANA. So, for me, a classic Natick which kept me from a perfect solve. I found this to be an enjoyable, reasonably easy Friday.

Tita 5:12 PM  

Not sure about Linux, but I have 2 versions of the same technique for including links on my blog's "Tips and Tricks" page...

It irks me to no end that Blogger won't automatically turn a simple cut/paste of a link in a comment into a live link...

Anyhow, not sure if it will help you.

I tried looking up the version you recommend, to embed it here, but found too many.

By the way, you can go ahead and do an ordinary cut/paste into a comment - it won't turn to a live link, but at least we can copy/paste it ourselves.

Tita 5:25 PM  

@Maruchka...I agree!! Here's Marz's older sister, Venus...
(Related only in that they had neighboring cages at the shelter...)
Though she prefers jigsaw puzzles.

4nOut-sry-couldn't resist

Nancy 5:26 PM  

@OISK -- Thanks for telling me (by way of SEGOS being lilies) that a Mariposa must be a flower. I didn't know that and thought it was a drink--sort of a cross between a Mai Tai and a Cosmopolitan. And thus I was trying to come up with a drink that fit S--OS. If I had known I was looking for a flower, I would have come up with SEGOS. Then, maybe I wouldn't have naticked on BEDALIA/CEELO.
And, as a small aside: I am so pleased to be your friend, OISK!

Elle54 5:41 PM  

Easy! Yay!

beatrice 6:18 PM  

@Tita -- thanks so much for the suggestions! I'll check it out.

Here it is my paste.


Teedmn 6:19 PM  

Easy for me, like many here. I might have had a record time except for SWE (solving while eating). My big write-over was MOoT for MOAT (if something is moot, isn't it water under the bridge?)


Thanks for the puzzle, David Phillips!

wreck 7:44 PM  

@Numinous (if you are still reading)

I got my wireless keyboard for my ipad today and just started playing with it. The virtual keyboard disappears for forums and such, but will it make the virtual keyboard on the NYT Crossword APP disappear as well? I can't figure out how (if possible)!

LaneB 8:23 PM  

Friday's are never "easy" for me, but today's must have been because I finished even after problem in SW corner first filling bAShES in lieu of PASTES. A fair puzzle IMHO.

Numinous 8:51 PM  

@beatrice. Tita's link provides a pretty good set of examples of how to embed a link. I'm not sure I could do any better but ask again if you are having trouble still. Linux won't be your problem, in fact, HTML has been written in unix (the parent of Linux) since practically forever.

@wreck, your virtual keyboard should just vanish all by itself the way it does with forums etc. However, there is a little key that looks like a keyboard on the VKB in the lower right hand corner that will hide it. Go into the calendar on your NYT app to check it out.

I'm not convinced I have anything to add about this puzzle except I finished it in 2/3 my average Friday time. I made a couple of the mistakes others here made like wanting Cleopatra for NEFERTITI. In general, I found this to be very easy for a Fri.

I can't sufficiently express how sad I am that Bernice Gorden has died. I believe she was an inspiration to all of us. I am also deeply touched by David Steinberg's relationship with her which demonstrates how crosswords can bring a broad range of folks together; just possibly including those who comment here. Ok, ok, so we don't always agree on stuff but we do get to share our interest in crosswords. Rest In Peace, Bernice.

Aketi 9:11 PM  

@ retired chemist
Completely agree with you about REAGENT. My poor son had his AP Chem midterms today at Bronx Science. He's only a sophomore and akready outstripped what I remember from both high school and college chemistry. Needless to say the exam was far more challenging than REAGENt.

wreck 9:17 PM  


Maybe it is my older ipad (ipad3), I can drag the VKB up via the >> arrow, but it won't disappear all together. I don't have the "little keyboard key" at all.
I did work an old puzzle using the new wireless keyboard, but I need to get the hang of using it after using the VKB for so long! I did an old Monday puzzle and it took me about 20 minutes!!

Anonymous 12:31 AM  

@beatrice, That is indeed a fine performance, but I listened to Rostropovich after and there is no comparison: he is still the Master. Based on appearance, I'd say Maisky recorded that in his 30s; very likely his more mature interpretations had greater depth.

Coprophagist 8:58 AM  

ENTERIN??? Come on folks, why aren't more of you upset with that.
Also 'Fanboy or fangirl.' How PC must we get with clues?

Jp 10:20 AM  

Impossible is my rating for this one. Other than 8 or 9 answers spread around, I could not get any foothold. Sure I could have googled a few clues to get me started but there is not much fun in that when you are staring at so much white space.
I have been a 30+ years NYT puzzle solver and still Fridays and Saturday regularly stump me. Quite humbling. Must be my brain is not genetically predisposed to remembering factoids.

Robin Ford Wallace 2:06 PM  

What about BYES for "seeds have them? I still haven't figured that out.

Google 2:12 PM  

@Robin Ford Wallace -

A seed is any of a number of stronger competitors in a sports tournament who have been assigned a specified position in an ordered list with the aim of ensuring that they do not play each other in the early rounds.

And a bye is the transfer of a competitor directly to the next round of a competition in the absence of an assigned opponent.

Zwhatever 2:14 PM  

@Robin Ford Wallace - In a sports tournament, higher "seeds" will have "BYES," rounds where they don't have to play.

Also, you seemed to have gone to the bottom of the blog and posted your question on the wrong day.

Unknown 2:16 PM  

Seeded contestants in a tournament are often given BYES early in the competition, until the field narrows to a power of two, and everyone has to compete each time.

DigitalDan 3:52 PM  

Without ever having heard of PANTERA, I had to run the alphabet (twice, with BASTES and PASTES) to get PEP for Bounce. I honestly don't think PEP is a synonym for BOUNCE. Ugh.

pfb 3:14 PM  

Just got the puzzle today and expected to only start it on a brief break at work but instead finished it rather quickly. Since I get several ARTS sections at a time, I had to double check to make sure this was a Friday puzzle. A correct guess on PANTERA and FARIS was about all that was keeping me from finishing in record time for a Friday.

rondo 1:03 PM  

Like so many above the slowest spot was lAmpOONED, probably in part because Nationl Lampoon was my favorite magazine for all the years it was in print, and their radio show - hilarious, I have the entire run on MP3. Other than that, no write-overs. And only four 3s.

SCHOOLSOUT a super gimme, PANTERA almost as EZ. People don't know who Alice Cooper is??? Branch out a little, just to see what's going on outside your box.

Never saw it and thought it could be Gilmour, like David of Pink Floyd who is 69 today.

EPEEIST. Huh. A longer form of the most overused xword answer.

Used to use alot of REAGENT in the old Speedy Moisture Meter. You'll have to google it; you'll learn something. Nasty stuff that REAGENT.

Liked this puz a bunch, even if I went longer than 5 minutes to solve. Still don't see where the pleasure is in speed-solving.

spacecraft 1:05 PM  

Strange that our "sharp" leader started in the NW; for me that was the last--and hardest--part. I just found it hard to believe that our person making pointed attacks could be EPEEIST. See? There's the red line. But lo and behold: it's a real word! I'd never actually USE it, of course: way too awkward, but there it is.

Also bothering were CARTOONED, also a word but shouldn't be, and the killer, ENTERIN. Come on now. I'd like to see someone enter something OUT. Maybe I can just exit out. By the time I'd gotten to MIXIN, I was getting annoyed by all these two-letter addenda that seemed out of place--but of course MIX IN is legit.

No problem at all with REAGENT; that's a proper term. This was, for a Friday, not that difficult. Didn't want WII---for 6d because of the -WD ending: forgot all about SHREWD till a late aha! hit. Then I was done. EPEEIST. I "EW'D." Give it a C+ for the great old Cooper tune.

rondo 1:06 PM  

BTW - isn't ALLEMANDE also a square dance maneuver??

Burma Shave 1:43 PM  


in their OFFHOURS, to hear some DRUMSOLOS.
While they AWAIT there’s AWHIRL,


rain forest 1:47 PM  

Except for the PANTE_A/FA_IS cross, which I lucked out on, this was very easy. It somehow seemed a little different from your standard NYT puzzle, but I can't really explain why.

Agree with others that CARTOONED and ENTER IN, are a little off. However, there are so many nouns-made-into-verbs that I suppose CARTOONED isn't so bad. It didn't take long for "blog" to become a verb as well as a noun, but the worst example for me is "couriered". I've also heard "GPSed" for Pete's sake. Language evolving, supposedly.

DMG 3:02 PM  

Rex's "pop culture gimmes" we're my downfall. Ended with two,blans, both involving a music something crossing an unknown actress. Other than that, crosses filled the blank spots in my knowledge once I dethroned Cleopatra and gave up my lAttE. Like HOTWIRE where I was originally looking for cab/busfaRE.

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Mini Parenthood theme for those of us that watched the show. Bonnie Bedelia for starters,but also Ceelo Green who appeared on several episodes and Gilmore Girls which starred Lauren Graham who later starred in Parenthood.

Anonymous 2:38 PM  

Am I the only one who had HOP crossing HOT TUNA at first? Am I the only one who remembers HOT TUNA? But not well enough to be certain they weren't a heavy metal band?

When I got bogged down in that SW corner I finally switched HOP to PEP, and saw PANTERA. I don't know that "Heavy" Metal is the correct classification of Pantera's music, but they're certainly closer to it than Hot Tuna.

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