Painter Uccello / SUN 2-22-15 / Four-legged orphans / Comic actress Catherine / Physicist Rutherford / Finnish outbuilding / City of Light creator at 1893 World's Fair / Greenlandic speaker / start crowding the crotch / Team with mascot named Orbit

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Constructor: Patrick Berry

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Flip-Flops" — overlapping theme answers have letter strings that sit atop one another (signified by circled squares), and they flip-flop, i.e. the top letter string goes "down" and the bottom letter string goes "up"; the letters in these strings are clued by clues appended to each theme clue, such that the letter string makes sense as a free-standing answer if you supply the "down" or the "up" (respectively). Thus SALIERI over TENDER-HEARTED becomes, in the grid, SAENDRI over TLIEER-HEARTED because END has gone "up" and LIE has gone "down"—with END [UP] and LIE [DOWN] clued by the bracketed clues at the ends of their respective theme clues (in this case [finally become] and [go to bed]). Whole thing tied together by central answer: 65A: What each group of circled words in this puzzle does (GOES UP AND DOWN)

Theme answers:

  • SAENDRI (23A: Narrator of "Amadeus" [go to bed])
  • TLIEERHEARTED (26A: Compassionate [finally become])
  • RECATCHAS (21A: Turnpike turnoffs [intimidate, in a way])
  • PURINASTAREOW (24A: Pet food brand [recover lost ground])
  • ELACTPAD (45A: Skateboarder's safety item [salaam])
  • STALBOWITE (53A: Point at the ceiling? [misbehave])
  • ARUNUS (51A: Goodbyes [abate])
  • BDIEETTE (55A: She's not light-headed [amass])
  • WARIDEPAPER (85A: Office trash [resign])
  • STSTEPNT (90A: Loud and harsh [start crowding the crotch])
  • PRIMUSEG (83A: Activity done in front of a mirror [clearly define])
  • NAPINA (89A: Upset stomach [consume])
  • SCROPMOUNTAIN (114A: Granite dome in Georgia [moderate])
  • ATONEEOLIS (119A: Athens landmark [arise])
  • SELFRESTANTET (109A: Control of one's actions [fall in great quantities])
  • BRAINRS (117A: Converses à la Tracy and Hepburn [pay in advance])

Word of the Day: PAOLO Uccello (17D: Painter Uccello) —
Paolo Uccello (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo utˈtʃɛlo]; 1397 – 10 December 1475), born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artistswrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his study trying to grasp the exact vanishing point. He used perspective in order to create a feeling of depth in his paintings and not, as his contemporaries, to narrate different or succeeding stories. His best known works are the three paintings representing the battle of San Romano (for a long time these were wrongly entitled the "Battle of Sant' Egidio of 1416").
Paolo worked in the Late Gothic tradition, and emphasized colour and pageantry rather than the Classical realism that other artists were pioneering. His style is best described as idiosyncratic, and he left no school of followers. He has had some influence on twentieth-century art and literary criticism (e.g., in the "Vies imaginaires" by Marcel Schwob, "Uccello le poil" by Antonin Artaud and "O Mundo Como Ideia" by Bruno Tolentino). (wikipedia)
• • •

This was way harder to describe than it was to grasp. I could see very quickly that the letter strings had swapped places, but I didn't get the relationship to the appended, bracketed clues until I got to this point:

Aha, STARE "down"! So … CATCH "up"! Then I looked back at the NW and there it was: END "up" / LIE "down." After that, this thing was a cake walk. I had exactly two places where I encountered resistance: in and around TWIT (which I only ever use in noun form) (38A: Ridicule) and at the DOGIES / DANA crosses (don't know DANA, forgot "motherless or neglected *calves*" were called DOGIES—was wondering who allowed this horrible perversion of "doggies" into the grid…) (80A: Four-legged orphans / 80D: Writer Richard Henry ___). Thought the relocation of those letter strings throughout the grid would at least put some speed bumps into the solving, but the themers were often long enough to give me enough information to get the right answer before I even dealt with the circled parts, and since the Downs all worked normally, I could often just drive Downs through the circles and the themers would jump right out.

Despite the apparent presence of nonsense in the grid (i.e. BDIEETTE = !?!?), the fact that I can just look "up" or "down" where appropriate and have the answer work out means that I am not as bothered by this as I might otherwise be. My only issue with this puzzle is that the fill wasn't more interesting—there's not much great, marquee fill. I like the conceit, and the grid is Berry-clean, but I rarely went "ooh, good one" in my head. ELBOW PAD / STALACTITE was probably the nicest long pairing. The rest were just OK—they were answers that worked. This puzzle wasn't about dazzling fill; it was about a pretty neat idea, nicely executed. Wish it had more bite, but I'll take smart and clean any day. And dense. I left out dense. There's Soooo much theme here. Pretty impressive.

  • 33D: "Taxi" character Elaine (NARDO) — at first I just saw "Elaine" and thought "… well, it's BENES … why don't these crosses work?" Then I thought PARDO. You could pretty much feel the hamsters in my brain spinning away.
  • 11D: Physicist Rutherford after whom rutherfordium is named (ERNEST) — oh, *that* physicist Rutherford. Gotcha. 
  • 37D: Estrangement (RIFT) — have we seen "Oculus RIFT" yet? If not, we will… 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


allan 12:04 AM  

I thought that this was an excellently conceived and executed puzzle. I’ve encountered several similarly themed puzzles on some of the independent sites lately, and this one worked better than most. Usually, the bracketed parts of the clue just clue the circled (or in the print version of this one) shaded squares. This theme had the extra ups and downs added to those answers. I struggled for a long time trying to figure out how the circled letters related to the bracketed clues. The lightbulb finally went on, and it was much respect for Mr. Berry.

Additionally, I thought the fill was strong, as many of Berry’s puzzles are. Finally, I am often a critic of Mr. Shortz, for all the reasons that @rex has stated quite often lately, but he got this one right.

Carola 12:07 AM  

Clever and fun. I was much further into the puzzle than @Rex before I really understood what was UP. While I saw how the blocks of letters were flip-flopped, I accepted them "as is," without an added UP or DOWN - END, LIE, CATCH, STARE, DIE, and BOW seemed fine as stand-alones, although I did have some misgivings about RUN and ACT, for the latter of which I even wondered if it shouldn't be "ACT out." Finally got it at RIDE [UP], then went back and enjoyed the earlier UPs and DOWNs and had fun figuring out the rest.

I also amused myself with some of the nonsense words that resulted from the flipping. I liked the sound of the ATONEOLIS and the NAPINA (a small NAP?).

JFC 12:24 AM  

I got it sooner.


Steve J 12:25 AM  

Clever? Check. Well-filled? Check. Well-clued? Check. Impressive construction? Check.

Fun? Um, I'm not sure about that. The theme reminded me of cross-referenced clues, which I'm not a big fan of. I didn't like all of the jumping up and down to figure out the parts I wasn't able to fill in off the downs or immediately suss from the bracketed clues. It all felt rather herky-jerky. I admire the ability to get the letters in the shaded/circled areas to form words in their own right while fitting into long answers - I'm super impressed by that, actually - but I just didn't have the visceral enjoyment I so often have with Berry's puzzles.

Despite feeling quite slowed by the up-and-down aspect, I finished this several minutes faster than my normal Sunday time, so I guess I wasn't slowed down by the theme as much as I felt like I was.

Mark 12:30 AM  

The relative ease of this puzzle was complicated for me by the very light, almost invisible, shading (no circles) on my monitor. Certainly no big yuks in the content here, but the intersecting smoothness was enjoyable.

jae 1:29 AM  

Mostly easy after I figured out what was going on (a bit slower than Rex did). Impressive construction but slightly annoying to solve (see @Steve J above for details re: annoying).  Maybe I was just feeling lazy?  Gotta like it though for cleverness and execution.

'mericans in Paris 2:29 AM  

Clever, dense theme, well executed. Lots of clean fill. Just right for the further adventures of ...


"Kiss my ASS, O’HARA!"

O’HARA regarded me with a SNARL. "You’re a hard man to PIN DOWN, Esquare. IT’S pay day, TWIT, so ANTE UP!"

I felt the XACTO knife in my pocket and thought about making a LUNGE. But my L’IL blade was no match for his Remington. EVEN SO, the idea was tempting.

Man, how I despise a bent NARC.

O’HARA had discovered my "FUEL" addiction a few months back and, rather than RUN me UP to the STATE pen, he reckoned it was much more lucrative to shake me DOWN from time to time.

Above our heads a window lifted and a bald head emerged, blinking into the darkness. "Hey, TONE it DOWN, will ya? I DANA about you guys, but I gotta get UP for work in a few hours!" The window slammed shut.

I STAREd at O’HARA. Finally I held out both palms, slowly reached for my billfold, pulled out a C-note, wadded it UP, and threw it at his feet. Turning back towards my door I muttered, "Take a BOW, you bloated TICK," and let myself in.

Once inside, I let out a loud EXHALE. My DOGIES were tired from a day of pavement, so the first thing I did was kick off my shoes. The house was in the same slovenly STATE as I had left it. My pad was in the middle of a long row of DUPLEXES — aptly named, as it was mostly DUPES like me who had invested in them. Constructed only a decade ago, they already looked fifty years OLD.

From my right I heard a familiar thud. "Well, hello, SALIERI!," I exclaimed, picking up the purring ball of fur. "Time for your PURINA CAT CHOW, eh?" I dropped the feline to the floor and we both headed at a TROT towards the kitchen. As soon as the CHOW hit his bowl, SALIERI attacked it in EARNEST.

When I opened the refrigerator door, however, a wave of NAUSEA swept over me. "EGADS! SEAMS my choice is between a Mr. PIBB that’s lost its fizz and a jar of MOE-ldy TAPENADE, OLD friend." I OPTed for a warm beer instead.

I hooked the bottle over to the table and picked up the Sunday crossword puzzle. "What’s an eight-letter word for 'Activity done in front of a mirror'?" SALIERI pretended to ignore me and licked the inside of his paw. "Ah, PRIMPING!" I guessed. "Thanks, buddy!" That word LED TO nothing, however, so I decided to turn in early.

(Continued below)

'mericans in Paris 2:37 AM  

(Continued from above)

I was DEAD to the world when my cell phone rang. Not a ring TONE that I recognized. It certainly wasn’t my Aunt TILDA. "Who’s this?!," I demanded, stifling a YON.

"MARIA ACROPOLIS," said the voice, with a hint of smokiness. "You helped me get safely home last night."

"Oh, right. The dame with the nemesis." Greek. That explained a lot. "Wait, how’d you get my number?!"

"You’ve RUN several ADS in the local newspaper. With your photo. And telephone number. Don’t you remember?"

"Mmm, those." My bills for the ADS were long past DUE. Not something I wanted to think about at the moment. "SOWS, what’s new?"

"Could you come by my place for dinner tonight? I have a proposition for you."

"HUR’ON. What kind of proposition?"

"Never you mind. See you ANON. BE THERE, or BE SQUARE."

"Hey, that’s last week’s phrase!" But she had already hung UP.

I showed UP at her place at around seven, parking my TESLA around the corner where it couldn't be seen. It wasn't exactly a DATE, but I wasn't totally at EASE either. When she opened the door my mouth fell AGAPE. She looked younger, and was much more SLIM, than I had surmised during our first encounter. She stepped closer. As she fingered the LAPEL of my SUIT her gaze slipped southward. "Is that a STALACTITE in your pocket, or are you just GLADE to see me?"

I proceeded to answer her question. ASWAN does. SIN BAD? Not where I come from.

(To be continued next week.)

paulsfo 2:40 AM  

Hated it. One of the two or three easiest solves ever for me, but mostly just no fun at all. Note to constructors: it matters not at all if it was clever to construct unless it's also interesting or fun to solve, and this one was neither.

Anonymous 2:46 AM  

I half-figured out the trick very early, but I was doing it the wrong way around! I'd filled out most of the top half, but with the down answers as inverted nonsense, and the across answers as is - so, for example, I had SALIERI crossing FULE, OMIN, and ROED.

Thanks Rex for explaining DOGIE. I wondered what was going on with that one.

I enjoyed this one. I wished it had been a little more difficult, but the construction was very impressive.

George Barany 3:17 AM  

On this, the real George Washington's birthday, @Patrick Berry provides us with an impressive construction feat. I have little original to contribute that goes beyond the analyses of @Rex and the first dozen or so commentators, so let me just tell you about two of my young friends.

@Hayley Gold has chosen today's Sunday New York Times puzzle as the starting point for her latest webcomic, whereas @Alex Vratsanos makes his Los Angeles Times debut today with an offering called The '60s. The latter was edited by @Rich Norris, and I expect that later this morning (still in the wee hours), my friend @C.C. Burnikel will blog about it over at the L.A. Times Crossword Corner. Enjoy!

Unknown 3:40 AM  

Wow. Easiest Sunday in ages. Solved it half my average Sunday time. Got the theme at the same point as RP, so from that point things fell into place. I can't say I like the disjointed nature of the resulting fill. Clever? Yes. Smooth? Debatable. I assume the constructor was boxed in a bit by the theme, because there wasn't any of the usual head-scratching Sunday stuff today. Still a pretty impressive feat of construction IMHO.

Bob Kerfuffle 5:27 AM  

Made my head spin. Not necessarily in a good way.

Loren Muse Smith 6:04 AM  

Well, heck. The extra UPs in dUPlexes and dUPes just ruined the whole experience for me. Sheesh, Patrick. Really?

Seriously – I loved this and had a satisfying aha moment at about the same time/place Rex did – at STARE down and CATCH up pretty early on. Agreed – after that, it was easy, and I had no trouble jumping up and down on the phrases to suss them out.

"Grove" before GLADE, "roastee" before HONOREE, and "growl" before SNARL were my only hiccups. Oh, and, yeah, and like Rex, I didn't know TWIT was a verb, too. Kinda makes you revisit the word "twitter." Or create sentences like

Twice, that twisted twit twitted my twin's twelfth tweet. Two-bit twerp.

'Twill be a cold day in hell when I buy FUEL before camping, camping snob purist that I am. Just give me a saw and axe (and drop me in a GLADE where there are birch trees with peeling bark), and I'm good to go.

Weird – I just recorded Amadeus and The King's Speech.

I love using AFFORD this way. Makes me feel eloquent.

There is a smattering of oldspeak: "EGADS! YON SWAINS will ANON TWIT LIL Kim's TAT!"

RIPE OLD TAPENADE... NAUSEA...TROTs. There was this one time in Innsbruck...

As @Rex said – "There's Soooo much theme here. Pretty impressive." I have to add - *and* not only are there all the necessary double stacks, but at the top and bottom, those stacks themselves are stacked. Cool.

So, Patrick, this one I'll chalk up as yet another PB cruciverbal touchdown!

chefbea 7:07 AM  

Almost finished the puzzle but could not figure out the theme. I'll go see what Haley Gold has to say...and then I'll look at the new New York Times Magazine

GILL I. 7:12 AM  

@'mericans in Paris. STALACTITE in your pocket....My sides are hurting!
I don't even know how to describe this kind of puzzle except that it was a visual nightmare for me. I caught on to the up/down at PURINA CAT CHOW and REST AREA but I didn't catch on to the up/down words in the shaded area until I read @Rex.
I drew my answers in which helped a bit but EGADS, this wasn't that easy.
Must have been a real bear to construct.... Thanks @George for Hayley Gold's drawing. She pretty much depicted what I felt.

Sir Hillary 7:20 AM  
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Sir Hillary 7:22 AM  

Third NYT Sunday in a row that I've really enjoyed, which is probably a record. The theme density on this one is remarkable.

Conrad 7:41 AM  

Are @Anon2:46 and I the only ones who thought it perfectly okay for the acrosses to be normal and the downs to be switched? The app disagrees and wouldn't play its happy tune until I reversed the shaded boxes. Other than that a good solve, exactly as I'd expect for a Sunday.

Anonymous 7:48 AM  

I never did get the fact that the words in the boxes made sense with the words up and down added. I had lie on the top and end on the bottom. Stare on top and catch on bottom etc. I used the title flip flop as my solving clue. Oh well.

Anonymous 7:52 AM  

Hated it!

CFXK 7:58 AM  

Would have preferred not to have the "up-down" theme squares shaded. The cluing already alerted us to theme answers. Knowing WHICH squares within the theme answer went up or down made it too easy - I found myself solving those squares (which cames quite quickly because you know it is an ***-up or ***-down phrase with a fixed number of letters) and building out from there. Result: fastest Sunday time ever.

John Child 8:14 AM  

Wow, wow. This was on the easy side, but I think mostly because you can trust PB1's clues. Even if you don't see it on first try, the answer is there when you reconsider.

I started out slowly on paper, trying for no write-overs. (Four, in the end) A bit faster than normal, so I agree with Rex's rating.

I'm not a fan of many Sunday puzzles. If they aren't clever then they are just time-consuming Wednesday puzzles. This gets four (prehensile) thumbs up from me.

John Child 8:14 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glimmerglass 8:15 AM  

I filled the grid in the opposite way from Rex. I wrote the theme acrosses correctly and mentally transposed two letters in each crossing down answer. So I had SALIERI and TENDER-HEARTED, but FULE, OMIN, and ROEDO for the downs. I wonder which way PB envisioned the answers? It seems that both are logical. Both methods yield nonsense answers somewhere. I solve on paper, so I don't know what Across Lite says.

SandySolver 8:22 AM  

About to get this *brace* = 2 thing *down.*

F.O.G. 8:33 AM  

Finished in just over an hour, but it took me quite a while to catch onto the theme. Unlike Rex, I jump around the grid looking for the gimmies -- or in this case, the TAPINS. Like Rex, it was the northeast corner "CATCH up" and "STARE down" that provided that "aha moment."

But even then I didn't notice "CAT CHow" and "reST AREas" until most of the grid was solved. The complexity and density of this puzzle is tremendous. Thank you Messrs. Berry and Shortz.

Favorite clue: "start crowding the crotch"

Unknown 8:36 AM  

Fast, error-free SunPuz here. 1:09. I got the string swapping, but didn't pick up on the "up"/"down" entry appendages. Nor were they necessary for a complete solve. Was this hard to construct? Lessee:


(OK, doesn't seem so hard to do.)

Regardless, PB1 -- The Solver's Constructor -- does it again! :)

Zwhatever 8:48 AM  

Impressive. The visual representation of the "up" and "down" half of the phrases puts this way over the top. As is usual for me, I think the print version with the shaded squares is more pleasing to the eye than the circles. If I were to complain about anything it is that the grid is chopped up so that it seemed like I was solving 8 runtz, but why would I complain about solving 8 runtz?

Beer Rating - Hopslam - Complex to brew, and not for everybody, but tasty and well worth acquiring a taste for.

mathguy 8:55 AM  

It was like a forgotten box of Wheaties found at the back of the cupboard. Crunchless and bland.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

First Sunday crossword I didn't care to finish - it's a hot mess.

sustayyou 9:02 AM  

Been reading this blog, very much enjoying the comments, and solving the NYT puzzle for years. First time commenting (hello gang!)...

I'm with glimmerglass - I paper solved this one and transposed the down answers.

The cluing does seem ambiguous, and both fills are logical. Nonsense either down or across... it's going to happen here.

Dorothy Biggs 9:22 AM  

I'm glad to see I am not alone in not liking this puzzle. It seems PB is the ante-Steinberg in that Steinberg gets immediate criticism just for being in the byline while PB gets immediate love just for being in the byline. I'm certainly guilty of the latter, but I don't quite get the former. Lots here, including Rex, seem to be happy with the puzzle by virtue of the fact it was constructed by Mr. Berry. As though that were enough.

I didn't like the conceit at all. Just read Rex's explanation of it. If you have to go to such convoluted gyrations to explain a theme, you've got a problem. The point isn't that it was hard to grasp, the point is that, when reading Rex's explanation, there was no single salient point he could point to that explained the whole thing. The theme just kind of wobbles with no main point. The "goes UP and DOWN" part is supposed to be the revealer, the clincher, but it almost appears just coincidental that the themed squares conform to the revealer.

The resulting gibberish words are the distraction and what made the theme inelegant. Otherwise, it was really just taking some letters from this phrase and swapping them out for some other letters in an adjacent phrase.

TL;DR: The conceit was just a perfunctory exercise in swapping letters out. A better theme execution would have been that the "Goes UP and DOWN" theme would result in the swapped letters working both UP and DOWN along with the tagged on UP and DOWN words.

AnnieD 9:24 AM  

I always enjoy a PB puzz. Played like a Wed for me. I enjoyed the flips and the flops. Caught on the word switch at first...only later did I catch on that they were phrased with up and down. Very nice.

I never knew TWIT was a verb.

I never knew that brace was a PAIR. So when you tell a guy to "brace himself" you're telling him to "grow a pair"?

Zwhatever 9:24 AM  

Apropos of an earlier discussion, Carl's Jr or Hardee's? If you're into maps, Vox has lots of maps that explain things.

@sustayyou - Welcome. What makes the down read correctly and the flipping having to be on the acrosses is that there is an embedded second answer that is being represented visually, e.g. END {up} or RIDE {up}. If leave the acrosses so that the down answers are gibberish you lose the Ups and Downs.

Maruchka 9:29 AM  

It's up, down, and all around. Agree with @Rex that the fill lacks bite but I didn't care, for once. It's a merry-go-round and I enjoyed the ride.

ATONEOLIS - compulsion to make amends
STSTEPNT - patron of sidewalk dog-doo victims
ELACTPAD - online breast feeding wipe
RECATCHAS - savorin' good ol' times

@LMS, Carola - Wasn't until I read @Rex's comments that the extra-special cleverness was revealed. Doh.

@'mericans - HEHE. Your serial reminds me of a tiny (literally) magazine titled P.I.M. (Public Illumination) from NYC during the early 80s. We all had pseudos and much fun was had with many genres. Noir lives!

Whirred Whacks 9:30 AM  

Patrick Berry wins the first Oscar of the day! Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle.

Maruchka 9:30 AM  

Oh, my. Just noticed that the 'I'm not a robot logo' is reCAPTCHA!

Nancy Klein 9:33 AM  

I finished in about my usual time for a Sunday, but with a headache. I agree with those who do not appreciate all the jumping around and the resultant nonsense words in some spaces.
@Steve J said it best.

Mikey 9:33 AM  

I thought this puzzle sucked. Clever idea. Horrible clues. And I usually love Patrick Berry's creations.

Teedmn 9:34 AM  

Oh when I die
Take my saddle from the wall
Put it on my pony
Lead him out of his stall
Tie my bones to his back
Turn our faces to the west
And we'll ride the prairies
That we love the best

Ride around little dogies
Ride around 'em slow
'Cause the fiery and the snuffy
Are rarin' to go

("Old Paint" traditional song)

My mom used to sing this song to herself (she couldn't carry a tune so she was self-conscious about singing) so dogies was a gimme.

As so often happens, I didn't get the last part of the theme, the addition of the up or down to get the bracketed clues, until I got here but it looks like I wasn't alone :-).

A smooth Sunday from Patrick Berry. And thanks to @mericans in Paris for the on-going Sunday saga (obviously a profitable business if he drives a TESLA).

Questinia 9:42 AM  

@ Mark shared a similar experience to mine. A lit monitor obscuring the shaded boxes made my ganglia twitch. *Herky-jerky* @ Steve, indeed.

*Flip-flop* also misled me as I associate flipping and flopping occurring on a similar plane. This crossed over, so more like trans-something. Guess it would be hard to find a cutesy theme name to go along with that...

I'm totally with @ lms on the camp fuel/white birch. Was just looking at a beautifully curled piece of paper birch in my kitchen which I plan to use to start a fire. A Bic in every available pocket, some birch bark and you're good to go. Perhaps bear spray... a moose has been using my cross-country trails (along with other free-loading critters) and I fully expect to round a corner and... EEK!!

joho 9:43 AM  

Patrick Berry is sick and twisted in a good way ... a brilliant way.

With theme density like this on so many levels to make any sense at all is amazing. I think Patrick goes into a Zen state when constructing.

Solving this puzzle may have made your head hurt and your brain register "TILT" but, to me, it was totally worth the mental effort.

Bravo, Patrick!

Unknown 9:54 AM  

Agree with Rex on everything except: I found this to be the worst example of the "nonsense in the grid" factor that I have seen in a long time and it really degraded the experience for me.

Maruchka 10:02 AM  

@chefbea - I checked the Magazine section revamp. The many, many ads make it more like a fashion mag with real estate inserts. Oh well, hope it helps to bolster the NYT bottom line..

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Like Glimmerglass and sustayyou, I filled in so the longer across words were "correct" and the downs were nonsense. The New York Times computer app tells me that this is wrong. Sorry New York Times, I am not going to flip all the short words just to get Mr. Happy Pencil. Don't have the time for such nonsense. Just get an application that will give you Mr. Happy Pencil that recognizes both, please. Fastest Sunday solve in a long time today.

Ken Wurman 10:19 AM  

What a heavy new magazine! Thank god they kept the puzzle in the same place. Why did Rex list the theme answers with the clues (thus making no sense).. Fun Fast Easy ...

Ken Wurman 10:19 AM  

What a heavy new magazine! Thank god they kept the puzzle in the same place. Why did Rex list the theme answers with the clues (thus making no sense).. Fun Fast Easy ...

Andrea 10:24 AM  

Very clever and very enjoyable.
For me, having the challenge of looking at words one has to flip flop in your head in order to read them correctly in another direction, is a big plus and a great mental workout!
Patrick Berry never disappoints.

chefbea 10:28 AM  

As to the Magazine..had to get to page 30 to get to the magazine...29 pages of ads at the beginning

and I weighed it...13.9 oz. now that's heavy

Josh 10:37 AM  

Man, you are some jaded puzzle solvers. This was pretty well constructed IMHO. I would be hard pressed to create something like this. Enjoyed the "a ha!" moment very much.

Fred Romagnolo 10:52 AM  

I must say that I thought it a tremendous achievement; to balance all those concepts simultaneously! I caught on early with SALIERI and CAT CHOW, and just went sailing from there. There appears to be developing a rivalry among solvers between Berry and Steinberg. Put me in the former camp, Berry is always fair (if you think about it). @Barany: not G.W.'s birthday in the Greek Orthodox (or Julian) calendar, but you knew that. 11 days difference (from the Gregorian) then, 1732, 13 now.

pfb 10:53 AM  

It took me a while to figure out what the theme was, and then I only half got it (as evidenced by having the shaded answers upside down). Nonetheless, the real challenge was making some sense of it all, and once that came, it went pretty fast.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

To all the people who think it's just the same if the "nonsense" words are across or up-and-down, you aren't paying attention. They have to be across to solve the bracketed clues and complete the puzzle accurately. ACT has to be up. TONE has to be down.
I loved it

Fred Romagnolo 10:57 AM  

@teedmn: my mom sang "Get along, little dogies."

Fred Romagnolo 10:59 AM  

@Maruchka: STSTEPNT - brilliant!

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

Methinks Natasha is a TWIT!

Fred Romagnolo 11:03 AM  

I didn't know the ingredients of a TAPENADA - I'll bet Chef Bea did.

RooMonster 11:09 AM  

Hey All !
Put me in the "This was an awesome puz" group! How hard this was to fill cleanly! Also, let me add that you had to change the Acrosses, not the Downs, because the second part of the clue [bracketed clue ] had to be flipped to get the UP and DOWN. So if you had ADIEUS & BRUNETTE in regular, then you end up with DIE up and RUN down instead of RUN up & DIE down, which is how it's supposed to be.

I caught the theme in same place Rex did. Weird! Took me a second or two to twist my brain around how it worked, but then the lightbulb clicked on, and said "Cool!"

Wondering how PB came up with this. Apparently he had a bunch of UP & DOWN phrases and instead of straightforwardly (is that a word?) putting those in the grid, said, "What if I were to switch the middles of longer phrases to get xxxUP and xxxDOWN" Just sayin'...

The NW messed me up a bit, had tDS, dorm, tent in 1 2 3 D, finally revisited all three clues and got the correct answers. Only two other writeovers, gman -> NARC, king -> TWIN. So, this was a fairly mediumish to easy SunPuz. As in Medium till get theme, then got easier. :-) A couple of clues seemed stretched, don't feel like going back through them to point out. One good example is the TWIT one.

Cool puz, cool theme idea, and cool story from @'mericans! STALACTITE was awesome!


old timer 11:16 AM  

I've been hoping for a riff from 'mericans in Paris for a while now, and this time we got a double dose of zaniness.

This being the day for the rollout of the new version of the Magazine, I was wondering who would do the inaugural puzzle. I'm guessing word came down from on high, "Will, you need to save a Patrick Berry puzzle for our first issue."

And the only real problem this week was the the magazine is so *thick*. Hard to hold. That probably won't last.

Once I got the trick, the puzzle became quite easy, thanks to those short "up" and "down" phrases. No AHA moments, but good clean fill, as Rex says.

Steve M 11:20 AM  


Tita 11:23 AM  

Loved it. Oddly, I got The whole theme immediately, when the downs across SALIERI weren't working. Was actually disappointed that the struggle was over so soon.
But with so many themes, it just turned into a fun romp.

Just watched Grand Budapest Hotel on the plane. When TILDA Swinton's name scrolled by, I thought... "hey...she's a puzzle star...remember her Iname..."
Did it help? NoI
Dürer created his famous rhinoceros in 1515 to commeImorate one sent to the king of Portgal, who later re-gifted it to our puzzle-friendly pope LEO X. Sadly, poor uprooted rhino never made it, as the boat sunk.

Nice to see you back here, @lms!

Thanks, Patrick!!!!!

chefbea 11:25 AM  

@Fred never saw the word tapenada

Anonymous 11:26 AM  

Wow, half my usual Sunday time, with no errors and no trips to Google. That's pretty much the definition of easy.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

Tired of the "uniqueness" of these trick puzzles. Save that b.s. for Thursday's. What's next? No clues and try to mind-meld what the constructor is thinking? Oh and yes I solved it

Blue Stater 11:36 AM  

Even with the explanation I still don't get it. How, for example, do you get "go to bed" out of SAENDRI and TRIEEL... whatever. I just can't understand this, and so had to "reveal" the whole puzzle and give up on a Sunday, something I've never ever done in nearly 60 years of doing these. My worst experience *ever*, and there have been a lot of bad ones in the WS era.

mac 11:36 AM  

Well, at least I wasn't the only one spelling out the across words right, and staying very consistent!

I figured out the up and down additions, so it was extra dumb I didn't switch them around.

Nit: Durer should really be Duerer.

Steve J 11:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tita 11:42 AM  

@'mericans - I'm hooked!

@FredR - TAPENADE is soo easy to make - in fact, I just remember I have lots of olives in the fridge - fire up the cuisinart!!!!!!

Steve J 11:43 AM  

@Anon 10:03 a.m.: It's not an issue with the app not accepting both of two possible correct solutions. It's that there's only one correct solution, and changing the order of the downs is incorrect. The letters in the shaded/circled areas have to work as "___ up" or "___ down" phrases (e.g., "end up" and "lie down" in the NW corner). All of the downs have to read as normal words.

@Fred & @chefbea: It's TAPENADE, with an E at the end. And it's delicious.

@mac: I had the same nit regarding DURER. DURER and DUERER are not the same word, nor pronounced the same. However, since crosswords typically leave off diacritical marks (think of the age-old año (Spanish for year) and ano (Spanish fo anus) mistake that shows up in crosswords frequently), I guess this can be seen as simply a non-marked version of Dürer.

Nancy 11:44 AM  

Agree completely with @Steve J, @jae, @Bob Kerfuffle, et al. Found it quite easy, as I grasped the trick right off the bat, and I admire the cleverness of the construction and the fact that it was interesting to solve. A bit TOO interesting. Like the above-mentioned people, I found all the jumping up and down exhausting and not much fun. And we Nancys can be delicate. @Nancy Klein says she had a headache when she finished. As for me, I was dizzy and may have had a touch of vertigo.

Joseph Michael 11:50 AM  

Has anyone got an aspirin? My brain hurts.

Terry B. 11:58 AM  

Tedious and annoying. The "get" in the puzzle wasn't fun, it was precious.

BTW, did anyone else have trouble with the new paper? Two felt tips gave up after just a few fills.

Moly Shu 12:00 PM  

@NatashaJohnson, I read your story, and let me assure you, you're no @'merican. Heck, you didn't even use answers from today's puzzle. Please try harder next time, thx.

What @SteveJ said concerning the puzzle.

Blue Stater 12:14 PM  

Further to my earlier rant, for which apologies all round (but I do *hate* these gimmick puzzles with a hard and brilliant flame, especially on Sundays), I reset today's puzzle, caught on, and finished with only one google. But it was a complete waste of time. Could we please, please, please not have these word-games on Sundays. A classic crossword puzzle will be just fine. Thursday is Gimmick Day. No encroaching.

Mr. Grumpypants 12:31 PM  

"Despite the apparent presence of nonsense in the grid (i.e. BDIEETTE = !?!?), the fact that I can just look ‘up’ or ‘down’ where appropriate and have the answer work out means that I am not as bothered by this as I might otherwise be.”

Shouldn't that be "... might otherwise have been."

Masked and Anonymo10Us 12:41 PM  

PB1 sure had to keep a lot of balls goin in the air at once, to construct this puppy. And over and over, in a bigger than snot SunPuz grid, too. Constructamadness (sp?) could ensue. Be sure and get outdoors and interact with people a lot for a coupla months, PB1. Visit the ACPT. Buy some fuel and go campin. Have a fling with a Kardashian. Get a gym membership (not necessary to go there, much).

@Z, you magnificent beast. har. Man, if M&A ever plopped out eight runtz in a row with this same theme, they'd be a-throwin a net over m&e.

PURINASTAREOW. Primo. Sounds like the perfect gizmo to play the Cats musical soundtrack on. Go for it, PB1. But get out, a little more...

ROEDO. Well, there's yer rodeo!


** gruntz, bigtime **

fave weeject: LIL. Plus, all the lil uppers and downers, within the themers. thUmbsUp.

Only 5 more puzs to go, PB1... be sure and smell the outdoor roses, tho...

Maruchka 12:46 PM  

@FredR - Shucks! Glad you liked it.

Re: TAPENADE. Best I've ever tasted comes from a market here in Brooklyn, and a friend is bringing some over tonight - yum. I'll be thinking of you, @Tita. Great with 'tinis.

ArtO 12:47 PM  

Love PB. "gimmicks" on Sunday as well as Thursday are commonplace and add to the fun. Not only does PB not have any "crud", he also avoids obscurities. All in all a terrific, clever, well constructed puzzle with added complexity. Highly satisfying solve.

schwartzy98 12:51 PM  

So early tweet from Rex sent me to the puzzle. Seemed to take a looping time to get any traction. Luckily wifey was solving in the NYT app. I looked over before she started and said "why do you have grayed out squares?"

I was solving on iPad on Crux app as I do. No note, no grayed or circled squares. Once I twigged to that I breezed through it even without the circles. Under an hour all told, so better than average time for me.

'mericans in Paris 12:57 PM  

@Moly Shu:

"@'merican. Heck, you didn't even use answers from today's puzzle. Please try harder next time, thx."

Huh? Only used one from last week (OHARA appeared in both), and that was clearly intentional. Or were you being sarcastic?

Carola 12:59 PM  

@'mericans - I BOW DOWN!

@Maruchka, @M&A - Thanks for the definitions! I tried, but just couldn't get there (e.g., my E-LACTPAD was for an e-nursing bra, which made no sense). The STAREOW is so delightfully close to mEOW.

@teedmn - I thought of you yesterday when I did this cryptic puzzle. Right up our Midwestern alley, esp. MN (19A).

Paul Mazz 1:06 PM  

I agree. Makes more sense to have the long answers spelled correctly and the downs flip flopped.

Maruchka 1:13 PM  

@'mericans - Think @Moly was responding to the dreaded Natasha's "story" and compared yours as by far superior, yes?

@Rex - Is it sussable whether "Natasha" is a robot?

Norm 1:16 PM  

@Paul Mazz, I don't understand your comment. If the long answers were spelled "correctly," then there would be no flip-flops, and "tone," for example, would not be [down] and thus would not fit the secondary clue.

I loved this puzzle, although I'll concede that it was a bit of a headache. I think my enjoyment grew when I wrote it up for my own records using red & blue font colors, which made it much easier to see the progressions. Maybe this is one that NYT should have encouraged people to print out and solve with a couple of highlighters on hand.

Leapfinger 1:16 PM  

@'mericans, you gotta watch for the punchtuation!
@MolyS was telling @Natasha that she is no @'mericans.

Not to worry! We all think your Saturday Night Specials AIR COOL. Vairy COOL!!

Zwhatever 1:17 PM  

@NCA President - "If you have to go to such convoluted gyrations to explain a theme, you've got a problem." I know I have felt the same way in the past, but I have to disagree. Today we have an inverse example of "a picture is worth a thousand words." Here, it takes a thousand words to explain the picture. That doesn't make the picture bad, it just shows the limits of language.

@M&A - I'm thinking of making T-shirts with Z the Magnificent Beast scrawled across the front.

Interesting complaints today; "too easy," some variation on "nonsense in the grid," and "I didn't get it." For the "too easy" crowd, give these a go. As for nonsense in the grid group I suggest trying to be a little less linear, let down your hair, and don't take it personally. This is supposed to fun. I'm just glad we don't have to figure out what Super Bowl is being played in 2347. As for "I didn't get it," this is never a valid critique of a puzzle, hence the word "puzzle." What I find so interesting is that we get some "too easy," some "too hard," and a lot of "just right." I guess we should call this a Goldilocks puzzle.

'mericans in Paris 1:20 PM  

@MaruchKa and @Leapfinger

Oops! I was reading @Moly Shu's note too fast, skipping over the first line. Yes, I assume your interpretations are correct.

By the way, I missed the most obvious word to use: BRUNETTE. Wish there was an edit button!

Hugh 1:21 PM  

Figured out half the theme fairly quickly (knew something was up when Rex posted something on his Facebook page), so I figured it was moderately clever to have to "flip-flop" the shaded squares to get the theme answers - clever but not especially fun. It was only much later that I got the "up/down" theme with the bracketed clues - I mostly left them alone as, for instance, "ANTE" and "RAIN" can pretty much stand on their own without the UP or DOWN added. But with that added dimension, much more impressive.

Totally failed in the NW - had ADORNES (??) for 1A
so had RITZ for 4D (Luxury hotel chain) which made that area all but impossible (and pretty embarrassing). Struggled mightily with "WASTEPAPER/STIRDENT (had the misspelled GLEN with two "N"'s instead of Glade - another embarrassment, so that took a while to clean up as well.) Other theme answers fell pretty easily with the help of some good crosses, even without getting the "UP/Down" gimmick.

Didn't love it, didn't hate it, mostly respected it at the end - it outsmarted me fair and square. So time well spent before another day of shoveling my long, steep driveway in New Jersey.

Also needed a sturdy kitchen table to do this one on rather than leisurely laying on my couch- the darn NEW magazine is crazy thick and heavy this week!


Anonymous 1:56 PM  

If you solve the puzzle as Rex did, you end up with nonsense crosses no matter what you doe with the letters in the shaded area. If you do the opposite, flipping letters in the downs, you end up with sensible crosses and sensible downs when you flip the letters back. This seems to retain more meaning in the puzzle.

Numinous 2:06 PM  

@Tita, my discovery process was similar to yours at SALIERI and TENDER HEARTED. I didn't fill in END or LIE. I wasn't sure quite what to do with the downs, FUEL, OMNI and RODEO, not liking FULE, OMIN and ROEDO so I left it. I did the same with the grey bits in 21 & 24 As. It wasn't until I got to COLIN Firth that I actually looked at the title of the puzzle and decided that the downs had to be entered correctly. I went back and filled in the grey squares felt ok. The rest of the puzzled came together for me with about the same difficulty as any other PB1, the only hitch being the mental gymnastics on the parallel bars of the remaining themers. I enjoyed doing this and especially enjoyed the pondering of the first three sets of shaded squares. I had considered leaving them for last but the penny dropped and it was all but over. I got this in about half the time I spent on yesterday's puzzle and a few minutes less than my Sunday average which is typically longer than my Saturday average.

@Teedmn, when I was 12 or so, I used to sing "Get Along Little Dogies" with a Tex Ritter yodely twang ala his Blood on the Saddle. I'm not entirely sure but I believe I learned that song from a 45 by The Weavers which had This as a B-side.

I believe I've always known TWIT as a verb. After all, its been around for nearly 500 years. It seems funny to me that I've always had the belieff that if I knew something, nearly everybody knew it. A shame I had to wait so long to figure out that isn't the case.

Thanks @'mericans for your wonderful ESQUARE NOIR Ala Big John and Sparkie, I won't "fail to miss" the next exciting episode.

wreck 2:12 PM  

I am on the side of those that thought the puzzle was exceptional, but a real pain to enter correctly. The NYT ipad app used the shaded squares, but when you highlight a clue, you lose the shaded effect. Circles would have worked better (at least for me). I too finished faster than my usual Sunday time, but it felt much longer.

Anonymous 2:14 PM  

I left the crosses as they stood and just had the down answers invert their letters... FUEL becoming FULE. etc. Mostly because the downs were shorter and altering the crosses made my head hurt

Nancy 2:24 PM  

@Numinous; @Teedmn -- "Wimoweh " was the B-side???? The Weavers' biggest hit, maybe ever???? I never heard either that song or "Get Along Little Dogies" on a 78; I heard all the Weavers' songs on LP albums (and still own most of them.) I went to your link, Numinous, to find out what the B-side of "Dogies" was, but found that old 78 so scratchy, I had to quickly turn it off. Like you, I sing "Dogies" AND "Wimoweh and just about their whole repertoire. I'll even sing for you if you ask me. You probably won't.

Teedmn 2:29 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo and @Numinous, now that you mention it, I think I remember Get along, little dogies but I had Googled it to enhance my memory and there seem to be many versions so I picked one that mostly matched mine.

@Carola, thanks for the link. I haven't given up on my ambition to conquer the Cryptic but progress is slow :-).

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

Glimmerglass and others:

I too put the correct answers across and had the mental rearrangement on the vertical answers. Makes more sense to me.

And I vote with the "fun but awfully easy for Sunday" crowd.

Numinous 2:45 PM  

@Nancy, You should listen to that version all the way through, it's very different from those with the lyrics, ". . . the lions sleeps tonight." I do recall that it was a B-side when I had it on a 45 rpm disk. I think but I'm not really sure it was on the other side of "Whoopie-Ti-Yi-Yo" but that seems to be the way I recall it. I was shocked to hear the version about lions when it came out in the 60s. The version in my link above is from 1952. We could always sing about DOGIES together.

mathguy 2:47 PM  

For those who wanted an Oscar theme today, try the Acrostic. It's a good one with a tip of the hat to the Oscars.

DulcimerSong 2:53 PM  

I loved this puzzle.

Anonymous 2:54 PM  

Not only do felt tips not work on the new paper, the ink on the front page comes off and dirties your hands.

Hugh 2:58 PM  

Any thoughts on Patrick Berry's other puzzle in this week's Magazine over the Acrostic? Is this a first? A constructor having two puzzles in the same Sunday Mag?

Leapfinger 3:03 PM  

I listened to Western Swing on the radio after school, so also sang "Get a long little DOGIE" myself, instead of having Mama do it for me. For years, my mental picture was of a dachshund.

Like @Conrad, GlimmerG, sustawho?, mac and assorted Anons, I upended the Downs, and thought that PB1 was perhaps losing his edge. Too easy, with the Across clue-within-a-clue! Only after getting no final jingle did I rethink things, but I had to lie first on my right side, then on my left, then finally stand on my head and cross both eyes, just to discover that it was the solver losing edge. Impressive bit of layering, there.

Had to go looking for nits, just to salve the ego.
Remember the 'ants in the pants' mnemonic? The Mites go up and the Tites go down, right? So it MITE not be a STALACTITE that points *at* the ceiling. So which one was in your pocket, @'mericans?
Also, have heard that some sarongs are sewn into a tube, so some have SEAMS, very Sari.
Now I feel better.

@Maruchka, your ELACTPAD was a total let-down, Yikes!
@'murricans, waiting for your next installment to find out does a REEL GAL SINBAD. Kudos!

Play time:
Remember that INASENSE is no excuse before the law
Forward all mail to SELF RESTANTE
IT'S SPAN decks for a SLIM line in EXHALE's Navy.
Stopping now, cuz I MAX out, BRAIN R Sore


beatrice 3:07 PM  

A clever abomination. But, having subjected myself to it to it's hideous conclusion, I have somewhat consoled myself by discovering an example of it's opposite.

The name PAOLO Cima (c.1570-1622) was familiar to me, his music was not. He is a lesser known contemporary of Monteverdi and Frescobaldi, meaning he wrote in the 'transitional' period spanning the late Renaissance and the early Baroque. Per Wiki, 'his church music was generally conservative, but his instrumental works were more innovative, and he was the first composer to publish trio sonatas'.

Here is one of them.

Mamma Ree 3:16 PM  

'T-shirts with Z the Magnificent Beast scrawled across the front'...

Har! A judiciously placed R (or two) should double your sales.

ChefManque 3:21 PM  

@Tita, please don't blender your TAPENADE!! Much better to chop or mince nd preserve that interesting texture!

Nancy 3:54 PM  

@Numinous: I was much too hasty. I listened to the entire 45 (I see it's not a 78). It got less scratchy in the non-instrumental portion and I loved this more authentic version. FYI, if you don't already know the history of the song (which you may), here's an interesting link:
I'll sing with you anytime, though I'd rather do "Wimoweh" than "Dogies." I'll be generous and let you have the falsetto part.

jberg 4:00 PM  

I solved this early this morning, then had to go off to work -- meeting possible members of next year's entering class to tell them how great we are. So I just got here. I wrote the top two pairs without figuring which way they should go, but when GLADE didn't work I figured it out -- but I just left those 4 written as they were, rather than writing them over on top of each other.

As for the fill, I did like SINBAD (always makes me think of Bertie Wooster, which is worth doing), and TAPENADE once I figured out it wasn't -ADa. Pretty much all the places you could put some nice long fill were already occupied by theme answers, so there wasn't much more he could have done.

@Natasha Johnason, really you are better off not using that potion -- right now you want your ex-lover back, but if you ignore that you will wind up with someone much better for you.

But @Rex, maybe you can block the spam somehow?

L 4:07 PM  

Add me to the group who inverted the down answers. Makes more sense to me AND you still get the up/down riff. It works for me. I thought this was easy and a lot of fun. Solved it on my flight home without the benefit of any internet assist. Good solid win!

RooMonster 4:12 PM  

I want @Natasha Johnson back...

(I want my baby back, baby back....)

crossvine 4:17 PM  

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who solved this with the long acrosses making sense and the downs as gibberish. When I wasn't getting my "Congratulations" and my music, I was frustrated. Finally I just hit "Check" for the whole puzzle and was told that all my entries in the shaded boxes were wrong. So I took that as a win.
Wasn't crazy about the puzzle. Seemed like a lot of extra mental exertion for not a very big payoff.

Moly Shu 4:17 PM  

@Maruchka and @Leapy, correct, thank you.
@'mericans, much disappointment here when I realized you don't read my posts as thoroughly as I read yours. In your defense, my posts aren't nearly as entertaining as yours. Or @NatashaJ's for that matter (Insert sarcasm designation here )
Eagerly awaiting next weeks installment.

Anonymous 4:55 PM  

Really? You don't get Rex the Asshole's immediate criticism with Steinberg? Sure you do.

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

Best tapenade comes from a tapenade factory in l'Isle sur la Sorgue.

Hartley70 5:26 PM  

Faster solve than my usual Sunday hour, but most enjoyable once I cottoned onto the inversion. That didn't take long because I saw it with SALIERI AND TENDERHEARTED. I'm just as happy to have a "gimmick" on a Sunday 'cause Thursday's my fav of the week!

@mericans, keep 'em comin' puhleeze! Forget the Maltese Falcon, there's a Parisian Pigeon with your name on it in the film noir genre.

AliasZ 5:31 PM  

One thing I learned by solving Sunday puzzles for over four decades: It is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. Just go with the flow. That doesn't mean that occasionally they don't misfire. The Titanic puzzle for instance was a titanic failure in my view, but most of the time we get an extra layer and/or twist that keeps us on our toes.

This one did just that for me. Besides, the fill was exemplary in its cleanliness and its lack of AXER end ENCHAIN type of groaners, which is a lot more difficult to do in a 21x21.

Oh yeah, the theme. Loved the UP and DOWN phrases almost as much as trying to find long words or phrases that contain shorter ones that can be used as UP and DOWN phrases. I got it at
EL[ACT]PAD = the BOW (slipped) down.
STAL[BOW]ITE = ACT (slipped) up.
Aha! So that's what the shaded rows do: replace each other vertically. How cool is that!

For those who still depend strictly on linear thinking:

WARIDEAPER: Imitator of a car trip in Seattle.
ARUNUS: Recently-discovered moon of Uranus.
BDIEETTE: "Bidet" misspelled.
PRIMUSEG: Word that can complete the Latin phrase "____ inter pares" among others.
PURINASTAREOW: Feline gaze accompanied by the sound of reaction to being kneaded on.
SCROPMOUNTAIN: Range named after Beauregard S. Crop, fictitious explorer of the 16th century.
SELFRESTANTET: Insectoid alien capable of auto-hypnotic relaxation.

I had great fun with this one. Thanks, PB.

Giovanni PAOLO Colonna (1637-1695) was an Italian organist and composer of mostly sacred music in the style of Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674), but also looking forward to G.F. Handel's chamber cantatas. Here is his Laudate Dominum.

Mohair Sam 5:35 PM  

So SALIERI and RODEO were gimmes and the title was "Flip-Flops" so we got the theme right off and flew through this thing as fast as we could write in the answers. I understand that this format had to be one hell of a challenge for the constructor, and also understand how other puzzle constructors are suitably impressed. But the fun just wasn't there for these two solvers - once you caught on to the theme it was a very easy Sunday.

Had @Rex's experience on DOGIES, great clue, great word. My sister had a dachshund and sang versions of that cowboy tune to the poor animal all the time.

I may have never before agreed with @NCA Pres' comments but did today. So there's that.

And keep 'em coming @'americans - we're loving it here.

Anonymous 5:48 PM  

A subscription to the online NYT crossword means I'm now up to date and not lagging a week behind. And I'm getting daily puzzles as opposed to once-a-week on Sunday (we're too rural for home newspaper delivery). All of which means I feel more current on the comments.

I look forward to a Sunday puzzle that makes me work at figuring out the gimmick - thanks, Patrick. Without wanting to sound like a "back in my day life was harder" oldster, it seems to me that Sunday puzzles have lacked that extra wrinkle in recent years. An example that stands out involved flags of different countries and their colours, with three layers of solving before it all came together.

I'd love to see more of those head-scratching challenges - that's why I guard my Sunday rituals: coffee at my side, cat on my lap, dogs at me feet, and a printed version of the crossword.

M and A Welcome Wagon 6:52 PM  

Welcome, to all the new names chimin in at the Comments Gallery, lately.
And welcome back, @muse.
The more, the merrier.

ZTMB T-shirt rules.


bwalker 9:53 PM  

Grrr!!! Like so many others, I switched the letters going down leaving the acrosses readable. What a disappointment when I finally hit the reveal. My girlfriend and I worked on it off and on through the day, and neither one of us caught the mistake. Liked the clues and the concept, I was just WRONG. Ugh.

I appreciate the shaded boxes which are much easier to see than those teensy circles which blend into the squares.

I'm gonna go do the Monday puzzle to ease the pain.

Anonymous 10:13 PM  

Yep. Me too. Still works just fine.

Bad Hair Day 10:19 PM  

The reference to dogies reminded me of a song from grade school oh so long ago.

Settle down little dogie. Stop milling around.
Just stretch away out on the wide open ground.
My horse is leg weary and I'm kind of tired.
If you get away I am sure to be fired.
Lie down, little dogie, lie down.
High Ho High Ho High Ho.

Or something like that. I used to sing as a lullaby to my daughter.

Night all!

JamesBMac 11:19 PM  

@ LMS and Questinia...I took the precamping purchase of fuel to be white gas for the once ubiquitous Coleman lantern. It was always on my checklist at least.
Liked the puzzle once I "got it."

Numinous 9:05 AM  

Apparently, if one is planning a backpacking trip in the national forests, one needs to buy fuel for one's backpacking stove as building campfires is no longer permitted so a purchase of fuel (white gas) woulde be a necessity. When I used to backpack with my grandfather, we would build fires with what we called "squaw wood" (great crossword answer), which were the lower dead branches on the Sierra Nevada pines. In some places which were popular camp sites along the trail, wood gathering required going deeper into the woods to find any dead branches at all. Eventually all the reasonably available fuel got used up and an atmosphere of conservation prevailed.

RVnutz 10:36 AM  

This damn thing is just too confusing. A waste of time.

Miss Priss 58 4:46 PM  

Conrad-I did the same thing--acrosses read normally and downs were the oddballs. In that way, the puzzle read properly, end and then go up. Lie and then go down for down. Made better sense to me that way.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

I love Patrick Berry puzzles! This one was just tricky enough to be fun without me having to throw in the towel like last Sunday.

Anonymous 10:09 PM  

I finished it completely without ever having understood the clues in brackets -- in fact, after reading Rex's explanation, I STILL don't understand the brackets. Well, at least I finished and did so with no Googling. Thanks PB for another puzzle free of unnecessary pop culture trivia and for not imposing your personal interests upon me. Notwithstanding, I agree with Rex that the cluing was uncharacteristically straightforward for PB, making it a bit too easy.

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Anonymous 3:57 PM  

"Natick Foul!", he cried! Salieri / Durer? Really?

rondo 12:22 PM  

Well, that's some constructioneering for sure. Got the gimmick up top but still had to watch my ups and downs when completing the answers. Kind of a mind-bender in a way. Guess I'm more linear than I thought.

A PAIR of braces recently. Not re: teeth.

So the mod puzzles have gone from Diamond LIL to LIL Wayne now. A sad sign of the times IMHO.

Agree with some above that this was an interesting construct and solve, but I didn't find great happiness at the end.

Wow, an aerial view of Madrid for captcha.

spacecraft 12:51 PM  

Interesting. My solution, which I maintain is just as valid, has the across entries in their proper place and the crossing downs looking a bit weird. One way or the other, you're going to have some nonsense. Like most solvers, I'm simply across-biased.

Here I was, fearful of yet another slog, when who comes to the rescue but Sir Patrick, lance duly sharpened. This was a romp, not a slog.

Difficulty-wise, it's sort of a two-tiered question. Figuring out exact [-O] ly what was UP carries a rating of, say, medium: it's not immediately apparent. But after that: easy-peasy.

There were a few outLIErs--PAOLO, TILDA and NARDO (though for me,that last one was easy because Marilu Henner was--AND STILL IS--one helluva hottie), but by and large this one almost filled itself in. [THAT'S how you know you have a good builder!] A: what else?

BedfordBob 12:59 PM  

A Patrick Berry Masterpiece!! I think he is head and shoulders above all puzzle creators.

I have been doing these for years and it was easy but I'll bet there are a lot of novices who got to enjoy solving a fabulous puzzle!

rain forest 2:25 PM  

Kind of a two-part approach by yours truly. Like @Spacey and others, I entered the acrosses as clued, and mentally flip-flopped the downs--for the first three theme sections. Then I got the revealer, and saw that the words 'up' and 'down' could be appended to the shaded words. I wondered then if the downs should be written as clued and the shaded across words should be moved up or down. Get it?

Anyway, I was unwilling to write-over 22 squares, so I completed the remaining 5 theme sections with the amended strategy. In terms of understanding the gimmick, I think either way is acceptable. I suppose if you solve on a tablet or computer, the writing over is easy, but, again, I don't think it matters.

I have a correct solution, in my opinion.

Oh yeah, I did enjoy the exercise. Not a slog, and no crap fill.

Burma Shave 2:40 PM  

REEL GAL (together in the middle)

Take your DATE to a SAUNA
if she TALKSTO you cute.
CHAT that you wanna
check her birthday SUIT.

Ease her in SLO,
it’s a TWIT that I ain’t”.

So you BOW to her needs
and ACT like a clown,
‘cause your AURA feeds

It’ll END in a LIE.
She’ll CATCH that STARE.
Then it’s RUN or you DIE
‘cause you’ve seen that LIL PAIR.


Anonymous 9:54 PM  

I did that too! And it works if you add down to the first shaded answer and up to the second. So the down clues I reversed shaded letters etc. twin bed became wtin, Colin: oclin and that way worked as well with the nonsensical words going down vs across. A challenge to do but rewarding! Kudos to Berry! He's my favorite constructor!

Steven S. 7:47 AM  

Isn't it a stalagmite that "points at" the ceiling (mnemonic: a stalagmite "might" reach the ceiling in time; a stalactite hangs on "tight" to the ceiling)?

DOGIES didn't seem at all suspect to me. "Git Along, Little Dogies," and all. But I'm of western ranch stock, so it's a word I've long heard.

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Anonymous 3:23 PM  

Since my paper neglected to include shading or circles and some of the grid did not have he proper number of squares this was impossible. Got the up and down clue rather quickly,but had no idea where it applied. Hate misprints that ruin my Sunday puzzle.

jmsx3 11:16 PM  

Agree with Anonymous above. My paper printed the puzzle with black squares, so that Salieri became SA-Black-Black-Black-RI. Impossible to get the theme. I'll just have to send a note to my little Muskegon Chronicle!

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