Japanese porcelain / SUN 3-15-15 / Belligerent in Britspeak / Lucy star in tabloids / Long unbroken take in film lingo / Quechuan hello / Legendary weeper / Sleipnir's master in myth / Like light that causes chemical change

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Constructor: Dan Feyer

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Making Connections" — "IN" is added to beginning of familiar names & phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are clued "?"-style. Whole theme tied together by 117A: Popular website whose name is a hint to this puzzle's theme (LINKEDIN)

Theme answers:
  • INLET LIE (23A: "You can never moor a boat here"?)
  • INSURE ENOUGH (24A: Provide sufficient coverage from risk?)
  • INFIDEL CASTRO (39A: Atheistic Cuban leader?)
  • INBOX SEATS (46A: Desk chairs?)
  • INCAN OPENER (60A: Quechuan "hello"?)
  • INJURY TAMPERING (67A: Removing a Band-Aid too early?)
  • INFIELD GOAL (74A: Covering first, second and third base?)
  • INDUCT TAPE (91A: Add to the Video Clip Hall of Fame?)
  • INTAKE CONTROL (97A: Diet?)
  • INFANCY PANTS (112A: Diapers?)
Word of the Day: IMARI (39D: Japanese porcelain) —
Imari porcelain (伊万里焼) is the name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita, in the former Hizen Province, northwestern Kyūshū. They were exported to Europe extensively from the port of Imari, Saga, between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century. The Japanese as well as Europeans called them Imari. In Japanese, these porcelains are also known as Arita-yaki (有田焼). Imari or Arita porcelain has been continously produced up through the present day. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't have any problem with an ultra-simple concept like this, but a. it should yield really entertaining results, and these were just OK, and b. it should not be so predictably repetitive. Quickly became clear that I could stick "IN-" at the beginning of every theme answer, which gave away info about the crosses (obviously) as well as info about the theme answers. The IN- addition just doesn't change things enough to give the resulting themers a truly wacky jolt most of the time. INFIELD GOAL practically sounds like a real thing. Same with INTAKE CONTROL. And INSURE ENOUGH *is* a real thing. The only one of the themes that made me go "Good one" was INFANCY PANTS. The "IN-" addition really makes that base answer swerve—you get a pronunciation change, and, well, there's not much that's "fancy" about "diapers," so you get a tonal shift as well. Good one. The rest I mostly shrugged at.

Fill-wise, this is probably above average, in that it's mostly average, with some great spots. Love this section:

 I love the clue on HYPHEN (101A: Jack-in-the-box part) for its great misdirection, and I love the word PUSHBACK (84D: Resistance), which is dynamic and vernacular and feels quite fresh. I also adore SCARJO (no HYPHEN) because it's dead-on and dead awesome (it's short for Scarlett Johansson, which you probably knew or guessed by now) (102A: "Lucy" star, in tabloids). As with yesterday's OCR and (esp.) NSFW, I love when shortenings are very much in-the-current-language. I recently posted/shared on my Facebook page a link referring to this potentially great new clue for (otherwise ridiculous) ONER, and looky here (14D: Long, unbroken take, in film lingo). What a coincidence. Cool. I also love the clue on adjacent CERTS (13D: Roll by a cashier), largely because I *hated* it (had CENTS, then got CERTS and thought it was short for "certificates" and then thought "that is bull*%&t…") but then I got it. It's CERTS the breath mint. Two mints in one. Its by a cashier in that it's in the checkout aisle of your supermarket or drugstore. Probably. The best kind of surprise is when awareness of your own ignorance slaps you in the face, and you can't help but go, "yeah … good one."

The Spielberg Oner - One Scene, One Shot from Tony Zhou on Vimeo.

One little but major issue with a certain crossing: namely, IMARI / A FLAT.

Dan's a professional pianist, so the "A" in A FLAT is probably a no-brainer for him (48A: Most common key of Chopin's piano pieces), but for many of us less musically inclined people, that letter is a crap shoot. It's A or B or C or D or E or F or G and who knows, so you wait for the cross. But the cross is this obscure piece of crosswordese, IMARI (39D: Japanese porcelain). That "A" was a flat-out guess, as I'm certain it will be for many if not most solvers. Now, IMARI was the only thing that sounded Japanese, but … I'm not even sure what that means. IMERI and IMBRI seem at least remotely plausible. The problem is that you have exotic crosswordese and can't really *confirm* it in the cross. Boo + hiss.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Anonymous 12:49 AM  

    I thought it was cute and fun. Rex, no love for INJURYTAMPERING? INCANOPENER was nice too, IMHO.

    I always thought the old-fashioned way of making money was "to inherit it."

    PUSHBACK as an answer and Back the other way in the clues? No longer verboten to do that?

    Thanks, Dan and Will!

    Steve J 1:04 AM  

    Very much 40D for me. DNF largely because I hit a DNC (did not care) point. Simply slapping IN on the front of everything didn't signify linked to me, nor was I entertained by all but maybe one or two of the theme answers.

    Rex, thanks for the CERTS explanation. Didn't get that, also thought it was short for certificates. Nice clue, in hindsight. Didn't redeem a slog of a Sunday, though.

    (@Nancy from yesterday: Thanks for the I Believe link. I don't remember that one. When it comes to Frankie Laine, my familiarity pretty much begins and ends with Rawhide and Ghost Riders in the Sky.)

    Anonymous 1:06 AM  

    IMARA and AFLAT were both gimmes here! Funny how different our wheelhouses are.

    Anonymous 1:23 AM  

    Anon @1:06AM, thanks for posting that AFLAT is a gimme for you. I've always wondered if those clues (or the "SSW" direction ones, or the Roman numeral date ones) are actually possible for many people, rather than inferred - which I assume is the case for most of us.

    I did guess the IMARI/AFLAT cross correctly, but another problematic vowel cross had me a DNF: I had SLUSHEE/ACTENIC rather than SLUSHIE/ACTINIC.

    Unknown 1:34 AM  

    @SteveJ I'm with you on this one, but my DNF/DNC came in the post solve when I couldn't find my error. Evidently Dan Feyer and Will Shortz think SLUSHeE is a misspelling. Actually it isn't. Not to go all commercial on you, but www.slushee-usa.com is a thing, just not this thing. Who knew? Who cared?

    I guess I do care about ACTINIC, but ACTeNIC didn't look so bad, and I wasn't going to find it as an error without looking it up.

    AFLAT/eFLAT IMARI/IMeRI. Flip a coin, or have the domain expertise to know one or the other. HARRUMPH, two days in a row.

    A slog here, but much closer to being solvable than anything Tyler Hinman ever constructed (that I have ever tried.)

    Who thinks this is a ACPT pitch puzzle? Who wants to bet we get a Hinman next Sunday?

    paulsfo 1:55 AM  

    @Steve J: here in the Silicon Valley it's common to hear "I can't tell you unless you sign an NDA" (non-disclosure agreement). I've often joked that someone's company secrets are safe with me because I DNC.

    @Anonymous at 1:23: I agree that SLUSHIE could be (or is, I guess) spelled either way and I don't think I've ever seen the word ACTINIC before (have others seen it?), so, Natick for me.

    Three pretty clever clues, IMO, which is low ( 65A, 68D, and 101A ).

    jae 1:56 AM  

    Easy-medium for me too. Parsing INLET LIE through me off a bit but once I caught on it went pretty smoothly.   I actually knew IMARI from crosswords.  The iffy  cross for me was @Casco & Anon 1:23 SLUSHIE /ACTINIC.  I wasn't  sure if it was an E like in SLUrpee as ACTINIC was a WOE.  So, I checked with (texted which is the best way to connect after 8:00 pm) my granddaughter, who has been known to down a SLUSHIE or two, and she gave me IE.  Yes folks, that technically is a DNF, but hey, it's my granddaughter...

    A mild liked it as some of the theme answers were somewhat mildly amusing.

    paulsfo 2:12 AM  

    Hi all, I have some questions about comments on this blog (and, yes, I have read the FAQ):

    1) What does "WOE" stand for?

    2) What is a "runtpuz"?

    3) What is up (or "was up"? not sure if i've seen it lately) with someone's obsession with the number of "U"s in the puzzle?


    Steve J 2:23 AM  
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    Steve J 2:25 AM  

    Add me to the SLUSHeE crowd. This is the first I've encountered the word ACTINIC, so I had no clue that the puzzle was looking for an I. I'm guessing this will be the most-frequent error today (along with the IMARI/A FLAT cross).

    John Child 3:03 AM  

    Good questions @paulsfo.

    What On Earth - WOE - is a polite WTF, something that the comment or didn't know and couldn't infer.

    Runt puzzles are smaller-than-normal crossword puzzles that break some rules (like the three-letter-minimum for answers) and can feature outrageous clues with, perhaps, a double question mark at the end. See runtpuz.org.

    Uuu: We're a weird bunch sometimes. @M&A has a U fetish. @Lewis tracks the number of double letters in puzzles. @'mericans in Paris has had a running riff on noir film going for a few weeks. Several regulars pun around. It's all part of what's so fun about this blog.

    'mericans in Istanbul 3:16 AM  

    Medium difficulty for Mrs. 'mericans and me. She, originally from the Keystone State, wanted SLUSHIE. I, who was born in the Pine Tree State and then, at the age of 8 moved to the Sunshine State, insisted it was SLUSHeE, on the logic that I must have consumed more of them in Florida's hotter weather. (No INTAKE CONTROL during that period of my life, either.) So, I was wrong. But I want to thank Casco Kid for providing a web site which shows us that this great debate is not over yet.

    No time to write an installment of Matt "Deadeyes" Esquare today, as we're traveling. If I change my mind I'll post a link back on Monday.

    chefwen 3:27 AM  

    All in all I liked it. Kept putting it down to do other stuff,just because I wanted to last the evening, it was pretty easy.

    After you filled in all the in's it was a cake walk. Pretty cute, however. Agree FANCY PANTS took the cake.

    Thanks Dan, a great Saturday night outing.

    Carola 3:35 AM  

    Medium for me overall and an enjoyable theme to puzzle out. I appreciated the help from the introductory INs and the repeated little light-bulb moments when the phrases popped into view. Especially got a kick out of INJURY TAMPERING, INCAN OPENER, and INFANCY PANTS.

    I liked the theme even more after finishing and looking over the grid. It can't have been easy (can it?) to find two-word phrases that work in a zany way if you add IN to the first of the words.

    Add me to those who got caught at ACTeNIC x SLUSHeE. I remembered IMARI from previous crosswords.

    I liked the nod to Russell CROWE in connection with the two "Gladiator" clues.

    GILL I. 5:16 AM  

    Did this puzzle in bits and pieces. We had friends over for a BBQ that included TRI TIP and we all had a hand in filling IN. It's fun when you see an answer that you've just consumed.
    I think Herb Caen would be turning over in his grave if he saw FRISCO referred to his coinage. I miss him!
    Saw the trick at INFIDEL CASTRO...Will he ever pop his socks?
    I asked my Britspeak husband about that belligerent clue. He said he'd rather die than use the word AGGRO.
    The CAPERS in my jar are a brownish color so that green deli stock took the longest.
    Why is a VIG a bookies charge?
    Fun Sunday romp Dan Feyer....I learned that NECKED means made out.

    Bob Kerfuffle 6:08 AM  

    Today I find myself more in agreement with @Rex than usual, except that I caught on to the great clue for CERTS quicker. Some good stuff, but not very exciting.

    Some write-overs: 4 D, SHERIE (Oh, that looks bad when I type it out!) before SHERRI;7 D, tried putting in EVEN ODDS before COIN FLIP; and, 96 A, SLURPEE before SLUSHIE.

    I learned 39 D, IMARI, at last year's ACPT, when it prevented me from making any headway in a diagramless puzzle that was part of a suite of off-contest games on Saturday night.

    (I plan to be at the ACPT in Stamford in less than two weeks. I usually stand out a bit, so you can approach me and say Hello, or easily avoid me!)

    pmdm 6:21 AM  

    Because of the cross, would be easy enough for all solvers to eliminate the "consonant flat keys" for the Chopin clue. [C-Flat is a enharmonic key signature for the key of B. I can't think of any piece written in C-Flat Major rather than B Major.] So the first letter is fairly obviously either A or E. Even though I've played through all of Chopin's music, truthfully I did not know which of those two signatures comes up more. I don't think that type of information is what one stores when learning pieces of music. So I do believe the cross is extremely unfair and just a coin toss for the loads of solvers who don't know the Japanese word. C'est la vie.

    I am one who doesn't care if the theme answers are humorous. I just want them to seem untortured. And according to that criteria, this was a great puzzle.

    Anonymous 7:04 AM  

    Ditto on ACTENIC/ACTINIC. I had SLUrpeE first and then realized from crosses the rp was wrong. Changed it to SLUSHeE without considering the ending. I'm familiar with ACTINIC but not enough to notice the spelling. It took me 10 - 15 min. at the end to find that error.

    - Jim C. in Maine

    chefbea 7:35 AM  

    Took a while to get the theme but once I did...just filled in all the "ins"

    Love my little green capers - use them all the time - especially with chicken.

    I too do not understand vig??

    @John Child..you left out that some people like to discuss red tubers!!!

    Lewis 7:53 AM  
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    Lewis 7:55 AM  

    The clue for EYEEXAM was especially nice.

    This felt like a competent, confidently made puzzle, with sufficient crunch to keep me involved. I'm with Rex mostly on this one, except I don't require excitement from a puzzle. I love it when it happens, but I sure don't want it to happen all the time; then the excitement would become diluted. Excitement should stand out.

    I don't know where I pulled NIOBE out of. One of the great gifts of crosswords is that they make you find things you had no idea were stuck in your head.

    @gill -- VIG is short for vigorish, which is the term for a bookie's cut. I see in Wikipedia that it originates from the Russian term for "winnings", which is "vyigrysh". i also agree with you re FRISCO.

    Lewis 8:12 AM  
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    Anonymous 8:13 AM  

    I'm quitting because Rex has become too nice. Can't take it any more! Post-solve experience is RUINED for me.

    Lewis 8:18 AM  

    Factoid: The HYPHEN, which originated in Greece, was originally placed lower than the text; Gutenberg moved it to the middle of the line because his tools didn't allow for the lower one. (Wikipedia)

    Quotoid: "AGE is a very high price to pay for maturity." -- Tom Stoppard

    Arlene 8:20 AM  

    I'm a LINKEDIN fan and user so loved this puzzle. Was a fun solve - and yes, I knew IMARI.

    Loren Muse Smith 8:55 AM  

    INFANCY PANTS was my first and very early themer, and I laughed. I struggled more than usual for a Sunday but stumbled and lurched to a near finish. I had "carts" for CERTS (figuring someone here would enlighten me about the lack of plural agreement with the clue), didn’t know the film meaning of ONER, have never read any AUSTEN (There. I said it.).

    And didn't see/understand FAIR USE until now. Hah. I've always wondered if someone could steal characters from different novels and have them meet. Maybe Anna Karenina and Scarlett O'Hara team up for some Thelma and Louise ish capers?

    @jae – we have a lot of the same spelling issues; do you wait to see if it's a G or a J in MAJESTY? A G there would have resulted in the punch line about the car painted with S's zipping around…"Look at that S car go."

    I was also in the Slushee/actenic group. And also no idea about VIG - (Maybe what Ivana wanted Donald to buy because his comb-over is so much VERSE. Seriously.)

    Some mistakes:

    "bone up" for READ UP
    "taste" for TRY IT
    "landed" "loaded" for LORDLY
    "it now" for I EVER

    Favorite clue – the one for ODIN. I can't let it go. Can you imagine having Sleipnir as your name? "And these are my dogs, Buddy, Hank, Molly, and Sleipnir."

    @paulsfo – somehow posts about the runt puzzle site have escaped @Billy C's wrath. Again, I have a bit of a stake here, but, anyway –
    these can be fun (with some outrageously desperate clues)

    All you Fighting Irish – how do you beat the Tar Heels in the ACC Tourney? You EARN IT. Well played, and congratulations.

    Hey, Dan – nice one. I see you construct, but have you ever tried your hand at solving? I bet you could get pretty fast with some practice.

    Mac 9:44 AM  

    Can someone explain NNE answer for the Uptown clue?

    Leapfinger 9:45 AM  

    @paulsfo & assoc: Yup, ACTINIC keratoses.

    @Gill, @Lewis: same thing,but I knew it as VIGgerish. As per UNCA RING Lardner.

    @AliasZ, is your friend Gyorgy (George) a FARCE-y Pal?

    INFANCY PANTS, Har! on it's own merits, and INDUCT TAPE because DUCT TAPE is INherently funny. LINKED IN, get it? [CHESlEY almost got me IN FAlCY PANTS]

    @LMS, I MAYN'T be ready to congratulate anyone for a while; am nursing a CERTain soreness over last night's IN ACC-uracy.

    C U L8er, have fun

    Unknown 9:50 AM  

    Heading uptown in NYC you're going North by Northeast. Dumb clue.

    Unknown 9:51 AM  

    Can someone explain 68D? MNO? Three on a 6?

    pfb 9:51 AM  

    I had ACTINIC/SLUSHIE but was not sure of either-spelling for SLUSHIE and WOE is ACTINIC. I kept thinking Green Deli was eco-friendly and wouldn't consider CAPER for some time.

    I liked CERTS, used to buy them. Are they still around?

    jberg 9:56 AM  

    About 10 years ago my wife and I were in Fukuoka for an academic conference, had a free day, and decided to take a side trip to see Arita, where they make the pottery (the craft originated when they kidnapped some korean potters). Nevertheless, I confidently wrote in IMARu. So for a while I thought the theme would have IN-, UN-, DIS-, etc. But that "quechuan" clue forced me out of that.

    INLET LIE is pretty bad, but the rest of the theme answers were ok to good. I liked INDUCT TAPE a lot, despite the ongoing duck vs. duct debate.

    I don't know what to make out of NECKED crossing EGG DONOR, though.

    How to get 48A if you have no idea about 39D:

    1) from the crosses, it has to be a vowel - E or A.

    2) Chopin liked flats (he moved a lot); so go with A because it has one more.

    It worked for me.

    Cary Grant 9:59 AM  

    @Ed Chanda -- NNE is not the same as North by Northeast, which is not an actual direction. If you are going to call a clue dumb, get your facts straight!

    Per Wikipedia,
    The eight half-winds are the points obtained by bisecting the angles between the principal winds. The half-winds are North-northeast (NNE), East-northeast (ENE), East-southeast (ESE), South-southeast (SSE), South-southwest (SSW), West-southwest (WSW), West-northwest (WNW) and North-northwest (NNW). Notice that the name is constructed simply by combining the names of the principal winds to either side, with the cardinal wind coming first, the ordinal wind second. The eight principal winds and the eight half-winds together yield a 16-wind compass rose, with each compass point at a 22 1⁄2° angle from the next.

    The sixteen quarter winds are the direction points obtained by bisecting the angles between the points on a 16-wind compass rose. The sixteen quarter-winds are North by east (NbE), Northeast by north (NEbN), Northeast by east (NEbE), East by north (EbN) in the first quadrant, East by south (EbS), Southeast by east (SEbE), Southeast by south (SEbS), South by east (SbE) in the second quadrant, South by west (SbW), Southwest by south (SWbS), Southwest by west (SWbW), West by south (WbS) in the third quadrant, and finally West by north (WbN), Northwest by west (NWbW), Northwest by north (NWbN) and North by west (NbW) in the fourth quadrant.[4][5]

    The name of a quarter-wind is typically "X by Y", where X is a principal wind and Y is a cardinal wind. As a mnemonic device, it is useful to think of "X by Y" as a shortcut for the phrase "one quarter wind from X towards Y", where a "quarter" is 11 1⁄4°, X is the nearest principal wind, and Y the next (more distant) cardinal wind. So "Northeast by east" means "one quarter from NE towards E", "Southwest by south" means "one quarter from SW towards S". The title of the Alfred Hitchcock 1959 movie, North by Northwest, is actually not a direction point on the 32-wind compass, but the film contains a reference to Northwest Airlines.

    George Barany 10:04 AM  

    Nice to see my friend @Dan Feyer on the constructor side of the table. Some of his clues were intriguing. "Made out" for NECKED brings to mind a quip attributed to Groucho Marx, "Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy." To understand the MNO clue, have a look at your phone. Before the phone's memory retained all the numbers you could conceivably ever want to dial, the alphabet/number keypad allowed for some useful mnemonics.

    I do want to second, or third, or whatever, earlier shoutouts to runtpuz.org, which is a labor of love by my friend @Ralph Bunker, along with a few co-conspirators. Great fun, requiring a lot of out-of-the-box thinking (fortunately, the boxes tend to be on the small side).

    Anonymous 10:07 AM  

    @Ed Chanda Telephone keypad number 6 has letters MNO.

    Dorothy Biggs 10:11 AM  

    Well, FWIW, I am a pianist and have played a few Chopin pieces...that there was a "common" key he wrote in was news to me, that is, I hadn't ever run across this little tidbit before. My guess was D-flat...or 5 flats (which would include B-flat minor). Next guess, given the cross of IM-RI, was E-flat because I've played a few of his works in three flats (including C minor). Finally landed on A-flat...third time's a charm, I guess.

    For the record, C, G, and F were pretty much out of the question...that's what music learnin' will get ya.

    My biggest obstacle was the ACTeNIC/SLUSHeE crossing. I thought that the brand name of DQ's (?) slushy drink had two EEs...like an Icee. Smoothie has the IE. Anyway, I have never heard of ACTINIC so that E worked both ways for me. I had to check the puzzle to find the error because the error was so concealed.

    ASTAGE? Seriously? Add that to amain, apace, afixin', and agog for words that have an A- start.

    Anonymous 10:13 AM  

    This puzzle sucked balls.

    Anonymous 10:16 AM  

    Vig is short for vigOrish, the loan sharks cut.

    F.O.G. 10:19 AM  

    A fun puzzle. Was halfway through when Windows decided it was time to update my laptop and restarted my session.

    I don't know Britspeak, but guessed AGGRO because G was the only cross letter that made sense.

    Got SCARJO, but I don't read tabloids and didn't understand who it referred to until I googled "Lucy." Liked her in "Lost In Translation."

    Does it bother anyone else that OARED isn't spelled "oarred" or am I alone?

    Coincidental to see KONA because I picked up some Hawaiian coffee yesterday.

    I think it's good that students MAYNT drink SODAS. Too many kids with Type 2 diabetes, and they need help with their INTAKE CONTROL.

    Whirred Whacks 10:27 AM  

    My favorite ONER is the "Russian Ark" (2002), a 100-minute dramatic quasi-historical tour through St. Petersburg's Hermitage museum. A rich visual experience!

    Also very much liked the closing five minutes of Antonioni's "The Passenger" (1975) when Jack Nicholson is murdered, and the opening seven minutes of Altman's "The Player" (1992).

    Also, this year's best picture Oscar winner "Birdman" gives the illusion of being a ONER until nearly the very end.

    Interesting that the star of "Gladiator" (which has two answers, EPIC and ARENA) is Russell CROWE. But the clue-writers for 108 across (CROWE) gave the clue to director Cameron.

    Like many others, I had SLUSHEE before SLUSHEE.

    I thought of last Sunday's "PI-day" puzzle yesterday!

    Z 10:34 AM  

    Two Whac-A-Vowel COINFLIPs. Got IMARI right - Got SLUSHeE wrong, so I didn't beat the odds. I'd like to blame starting with SLUrpeE, but I can't. I'm pretty sure I've only ever seen SLUSHeEs being sold.

    Isn't LINKED-IN going the way of MySpace?

    Again a WOE question. That has to be five times in the past two weeks.

    Numinous 10:39 AM  

    I knew IMARI because my first wife is a potter who works in porcelain. I too wanted SLUrpeE first but changed it to SLUSHIE b/c of crosses. ACTeNIC looked totally wrong to me as I vaguely know of ACTINIC thought I don't know how.

    After reading Dan Feyer's comments at xwordinfo I decided I'd have to like him. He says he created this one simply to annoy Jeff Chen. Har. Jeff ignored that completely in his comments on this puz.

    I had thought CoinS before CERTS became clear. When I got it, I thought how cool is that? VIG was a gimme as I used to bet on the weekend games during football season where I worked. I'm not sure about a TORERO taking the bull by the horns. I think the bull taking the TORERO by the horns is of greater concern.

    Anonymous 10:50 AM  

    what in the world is a skort?

    Teedmn 10:50 AM  

    A jerky solve for me today. It took a long time for me to get my first themer, INFIDELCASTRO, and the crosses weren't falling for me as easily as usual for a Sunday.

    SCARJO/TRITIP was a WOE for me, CERTS was dimeS for a long time though I did get an aha moment when it did come, as per @Rex. And LINK me in with the SLUSHEE crowd, though I knew I was possibly making an error there so when I didn't get Mr Happy Pencil, I promptly plunked down an "I" there and voilà, cue the music!

    INFANCYPANTS, INTAKECONTROL, INDUCTTAPE were all great theme answers in my book.. Liked the clues for EYEEXAM and SPF. Nice puzzle, Dan Feyer!

    RAD2626 10:50 AM  

    Wrong on both guesses. Had IMbRI and SLUSHeE. At least I am not alone. Like others, thought CERTS clue was very clever and liked INCANOPENER best of the themers.

    Ludyjynn 10:58 AM  

    Medium slog for me because of my own intractability. Had Bronte for AUSTEN way too long; likewise, cointoss for COINFLIP and putrid for POTTED.

    Disliked the antiquated, sexist answer for 20A. and the ugly abbrev. FRISCO. IMO, the word should only be used to indicate a place in TX, not CA.

    Liked HYPHEN clue. Have spent my life explaining to folks how to spell my hyphenated name. You would not believe how many people do not know the word. For them, I finally say, you know, 'dash'.

    GROTTOES looks ODD to me w/ that 'e' thrown in. And yes, OARED could use another 'r'.

    Had INJURYselection before TAMPERING, ring before REEF. This puzz. was writeover city!

    Spears (as in pickles) before CAPERS. Love 'em w/ my lox and bagels, tuna salad or salmon. Yum.

    Won't be putting on my FANCYPANTS to start some garden cleanup, my GOAL for today.

    Thanks, DF and WS.

    Ludyjynn 11:02 AM  

    SKORT, a cross between skirt and shorts, a/k/a culottes.

    billocohoes 11:02 AM  

    NCA Pres:

    ASTAGE is two words, not one.

    "As You Like It", Act II, Scene VII

    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts...

    chefbea 11:04 AM  

    @Anon 10:50 a skort is a cross between a skirt and shorts. ...a skirt with shorts underneath

    Rabi Abonour 11:06 AM  

    Glad I'm not the one for whom imari/a-flat stuck out as an unfair cross.

    Otherwise, pretty standard, passable. Infancy pants was solid. The NW corner gave me a weird amount of trouble.

    Hartley70 11:07 AM  

    On the easy side for a Sunday. My toughest spot was deciding on SCARJO since the movie was an unknown. The worst theme answer was INLETLIE, the best was INFANCYPANTS. I knew VIG, CERTS and IMARI. To me, it's always a slushee, but I saw the change. It was a convivial Sunday experience.

    Steve J 11:11 AM  

    @Whirred Whacks: The opener for The Player is one of the great ONERs in film. For me, the best by far is the long, single overhead take to start off Touch of Evil.

    @Z: LINKED IN isn't close to My Space's fate. Quite the opposite. Still growing and doing well.

    @LMS: I've never read any Austen, either. And yet I seem to know so many of the characters. Amazing how much of her work I've picked up by osmosis (probably from the 90s trend of making movies based on her novels).

    R. McGeddon 11:13 AM  

    Hand up for IMeRI. What is possibly Chopin's most famous piece is the E-flat Nocturne.

    Agree with Rex about the variable quality of the theme answers, but INFANCY PANTS alone was worth the price of admission.

    Nancy 11:39 AM  

    Pun puzzles are fun puzzles, but also pretty easy generally. I avoided some potential snags by not writing in COIN toss too quickly and waiting till the FLIP became apparent. I wrote CEnTS in in very light ink at 13D until INSURE ENOUGH made clear that it had to be CERTS. (Clever misdirection). Except for SCARJO and TRITIP (????), everything came in pretty effortlessly. I thought I knew all parts of beef, sort of, but this one I never, ever heard of. Chefbea? Chefwen? Like @Carola, my favorite puns were INCAN OPENER,
    From yesterday: @OISK, for me, too, the songs of my youth -- not especially pop, but show music and folk music --are the best songs, much better than today's. @Steve J: I'd forgotten all about GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY. I absolutely loved that song back in the day. I may even start singing it again. Who knows?

    Anonymous 11:41 AM  

    i still don't get iss for person of the year…imari was easy

    Z 11:43 AM  

    ISSue as in Time's Person of the Year ISSue.

    Dan 11:47 AM  

    I do apologize for the SLUSHIE/ACTINIC crossing - didn't realize it would be so annoying due to SLUSHEE being equally valid. (I certainly didn't know the word ACTINIC before making the puzzle.) That southwest section, which Rex highlighted, is by far the best so I didn't want to change it, despite ACTINIC and ERIEPA and IEVER.

    I do not apologize for the IMARI/AFLAT crossing - my original clue for AFLAT was specific and foolproof (i.e. something about "G sharp"). I'm a pianist but I could never have told you that detail about Chopin!

    AliasZ 11:48 AM  

    What if IN actually LINKED two words, rather than just being slapped on to the front? Like so:

    ASIAN INCONTINENT - A Mongolian with diarrhea?
    COLLEGE INTUITION - ESP for higher education?
    TITLE INDEED - Is "HIS HONOR" a mayor's appellation?
    RED INCARNATION - Birth of a communist?
    AUTHORIZED INVERSION - Licensed transposition?
    PRINCESS INDIANA - Miss Hoosier State?
    RELIGIOUS INSECT - Praying mantis?

    I had fun with this puzzle, IMeRI|eFLAT and SLUSHeE|ACTeNIC notwithstanding. Is it expected that the overwhelming majority of NYT crossword solvers know Japanese porcelain and the science of light?

    For a light diversion let's listen to a little Niccolò Paganini. Why Paganini? Because like Columbus and the salami, he was GENOESE.


    Whirred Whacks 11:49 AM  

    @Steve J You are right about "Touch of Evil" -- great ONER opening. One of Welles' very best (and under-appreciated at the time) films.

    Also, agree with you about "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." When I was a HS junior in mid-60s, I read all of Ian Fleming's James Bond works. That was my very favorite. I, too, was disappointed that Sean Connery wasn't in the film (Australian model George Lazenby got the part).

    RooMonster 12:03 PM  

    Hey All !
    I liked this puz, once I figured out the INS, it started flowing nicely. Fav is INFANCYPANTS. Before I knew the theme , had INFANT YRANTS, thinking it shared the T, because already had LINKEDIN. Get it? Even though INFANT TYRANTS had nothing to do with diapers! After INCANOPENER (also a good one!), I said Wha? That's not even a thing! Til I saw CAN OPENER and went Ohhhhh, now I get it! Went back to my Infant Tyrant, and then parsed it as FANCY PANTS. Fun stuff!

    Started in south, worked my way around, east, west, finally north. Got stucj in N center. Didn't know 9A, 21A, so just a mess there. Unded up with cRIStO and mUlTaN!! Couple others, nothing with IMARI, sneaky suspicion it was MOO, but didn't put in the M. Left the _FLAT also empty. Fell for the SLUSHeE/ACTeNIC also. Hell, since so many had the E, I say it should count as correct!

    SEA WAR is odd. Had eatIT first for TRYIT, then got EATSAT, so knew one of the EATS was wrong. Stinko=POTTED, was a Huh? Thought GROTTOES didn't have an E. Coupla other offish things too lazy now to look for!

    Overall, cool puz, only 66 black squares, low for a SunPuz. Kudos, Dan Feyer.

    Disappointed no VERSE from @'mericans today. Would attempt my own, but they're never good! (As I see people NODding in agreement!)


    old timer 12:20 PM  

    I thought most of the theme answers were delightful. Only INLETLIE was awful. I don't see the problem with having all the themers begin with IN, since you can figure that out sooner or later and *still* have no clue what the answer is. INJURYTAMPERING was the one that made me smile most.

    I put down BFLAT on the theory it is a common key and Imbri looked OK. But with a little thought I should have realized that Japanese words are always consonant-vowel-consonant, with a few diphthongs like "KYO" counting as vowels. So IMARI was the only choice.

    I was not tempted by "actenic" somehow. ACTINIC looked scienc-ey to me.

    r.alphbunker 12:22 PM  

    I loved the revealer and the theme answers which were not farfetched at all.

    At the end, I grappled with TRITIP/SCARJO and SLUSHIE/ACTINIC and guessed right but missed CREWE/EDIN which was a no-brainer. Details here

    Zeke 12:29 PM  

    IMARI was no problem for me, though I thought the ACTINIC/SLURPIE cross was horrible. This was confirmed by Dan confessing that he'd never heard of ACTINIC. Rule #1 of creating a puzzle should be to never include an entry you've never heard of.

    What was inexcusable was the SCARJO/TRITIP crossing. First, I've probably butchered more cattle than anyone regularly commenting here, and I've never heard of TRITIP. However, that's not the issue, the issue is someone thinking of calling Scarlett Johansson SCARJO. That is a true obscenity.

    Hartley70 12:35 PM  

    Sweet of you to apologize, Dan, but SLUSHIE/slushee is such a minor quibble that you may now be short listed for the "Nicest Constructor of the Year" prize.

    Samantha 1:22 PM  

    Am I being over-sensitive in finding HISHONOR slightly offensive? There are female mayors these days, so YOURHONOR would be more appropriate unless the "his" is somehow official usage regardless of gender...

    pat 1:52 PM  

    Dial phone face #6

    Unknown 1:53 PM  

    Maybe Rex is tired of daily fluff in some puzzles?

    pat 1:54 PM  

    A shirt that has built-in shorts.

    pfb 1:57 PM  

    @anonymous: ISS is for issue--person of the year issue of the magazine.

    Masked and Anonymo10Us 1:58 PM  

    Any puz that has Scarlett Johansson in it, has my undivided actinism. Fun to learn about ACTINIC, a principle used in the whole xray imagin rodeo. Plus, if you remove the IN, U get ACTIC, which is almost several different recognizable things.

    Duct tape! Well, now there's yer universal fixit solution. Just apply to any malfunctioning item. Or to yer fave political windbag.

    "Lucy"! Now there's a schlock flick and a half, folks. Scarlett becomes a super being with near infinite intelligence. Develops a thirst for fifty shades of M&A. (That last part is a minor suggested rewrite.) Anyhoo, highly recommended. Which reminds m&e...

    Last FriNight Schlockfest:
    1. "The Chinese Cat" (1944). Charlie Chan mystery. Pretty good, but only has "number 3 son" along.
    2. "Lost City of the Jungle" serial (1940s). They finally started walkin around in the jungle, in last few chapters. Or at least a real bushy, big backyard.
    3. "She" (1935). Great! By the dude that made King Kong in 1933. Stars one of the first Congresswomen.

    Thanx for the fun solve, Mr. Feyer. Break a leg, at the ACPT slugfest.


    Nancy 1:58 PM  

    In PROSPECT Park
    I GAVE a start.
    Again, I checked.

    Such CAPERS as
    One MAYN'T heed!
    I looked again --
    God, do I need

    An EYE EXAM?
    Or am I LIT?
    Dreaming it?

    But no, this SLUSHY FARCE
    Is true!
    And I, for one,
    Say "OYE" to you!

    In SPARTA time
    Or AUSTEN days,
    YOU'd never see
    Such wanton ways.

    So from my perch
    I hike my SKORT
    And SNEERING, leering
    Give a snort.

    Now should I blab?
    Here's my excuse:
    For what I've seen,
    I plead FAIR USE.

    (Dedicated to Roo Monster, at 12:03 p.m., who seemed to crave a VERSE -- albeit from one of the other solvers.)

    pat 2:02 PM  

    Read "morn's counterpart as "mom's counterpart" and have been going a bit mad at "een" answer, and wondering why no one else was confused. Time for new glasses.

    Steve J 2:28 PM  

    @Nancy & @Zeke: TRI-TIP is pretty much a California thing. I never heard of it until I moved here. The cut's triangular, giving it the name.

    It's a great, versatile cut, working both roasted and grilled. The most popular preparation seems to be Santa Maria-style, which involves a dry herb and garlic rub, grilled over wood.

    Apparently in New York, it's sometimes known as "Newport steak".

    @Samantha: Offensive for mayor/HIS HONOR? No. Outdated and tone-deaf? Yes.

    Benko 2:30 PM  

    VIG is something I know primarily from gangster movies and TV.
    Did anyone else think "Rope" might be the answer for ONER? It was the first thing I thought of, due to the famous Alfred Hitchcock direction.

    Benko 2:32 PM  

    I don't think "HIS HONOR" implied that the mayor was by necessity male. But plenty of mayors are men, and "HIS HONOR" is the correct way to speak of them. I think this might be an instance of looking for sexism bias when none was intended.

    'mericans back in Paris 2:48 PM  

    OMG, @AliasZ & @Nancy. Those flights of inspiration were incredible! Many thanks!

    mathguy 3:02 PM  

    I have to run, but I just want to vote with the minority this morning. I thought that it was an absolutely terrific puzzle.

    Leapfinger 3:05 PM  

    @Loren -- Hester Prynn and Scarlett O'Hara.

    Numinous 3:10 PM  

    I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you, shocked! A SKORT is a pair of shorts with a flap in front to give the appearence of a skirt. Only rarely does the flap go all the way around. They are popular as sports apparel for women, especially lady golfers. I juat had to chime in because none of the definitions above seemed sufficiently accurate.

    Almost Pointless Observation Department: A NO vs. AN yO. While things like tildes are often ignored in crossword puzzles it seemed a nice touch for David (if it was his clue) to have gone for the Portugese for year, ANO instead of the Spanish which would have been AÑO.

    I enjoyed this puzzle. I didn't struggle much with it at all. I found it easy enough as it took me almost 20 minutes less to solve than the one from the other coast.

    Ludyjynn 3:14 PM  

    @Benko, 'The Honorable' is the correct reference to a mayor of any gender.

    'Your Honor' is the correct reference to an American member of the judiciary.

    'Hizzoner' is an outmoded term still occasionally heard in NYC, Chicago and a few other municipalities around the country, harking back to a time when only a man was the mayor.

    Babs 3:23 PM  

    Vig is a mob term, it's the usurious interest payment you are privileged to pay your lender or else........ Don't ask how I know that - fairly new to crosswords but enjoyed this Sun. Wanted a bit more from the answers yet loved INFANCY PANTS. Never heard of FAIR USE but maybe just due to lack of crossword experience. Looking forward to next week.

    GILL I. 3:27 PM  

    I was about to chime in on TRI-TIP but I see our guru friend @Steve J has given you the scoop...I might add that it's an inexpensive cut of meat from the bottom of the sirloin. If it's properly marinated
    and fire-grilled, it's delicious.
    WOW @Nancy...you go girl! You've got some serious poetry chops on ye....

    Fred Romagnolo 3:29 PM  

    SCARJO and YAKOV were my naticks. Didn't get CHESNEY for a while 'cause 1. never heard of him, 2. had Slurpee. "Even odds" prevented my getting the NW at first, 'til COIN FLIP became obvious. You can guess my feelings about 9A. Much more offensive then 20A, at least in this part of the woods. Dan's admission that he hadn't known ACTINIC before the puzzle demonstrates my point that constructors look things up, so it can't be "cheating" if solvers do. So there!

    submariner_ss 3:32 PM  

    I posted a comment in the time period just before Aunt Bea, but it never appeared. Too lengthy to repost. I did not remove it.

    Is there censorship in the blog? There was nothing improper in the post other than pointing out that everyone who lives in Massachusetts knows where Natick is.

    Stolichnaya 3:43 PM  

    After one of his stand-up routines, comedian YAKOV Smirnoff was asked by a lady in the audience: "Is Smirnoff really your name?" to which her replied: "No, it is Jack Daniels."

    Fred Romagnolo 3:55 PM  

    @Gill I: apropos of the Webster II (from Thursday): still the best, even if outdated.

    M and A Help Desk 3:58 PM  

    FAQ,s, Annex.

    Q1. What's up with U obsessions?
    A1. U is a 1-scrabble-point vowel that hardly ever gets its fair share of usage in crossword puzs. F, at 4 points, does about as well. This is known as the F-U Principle, which was first proposed by Rodney Dangerfield. Like Rodney, U wants more respect.

    Q2. What is a runtpuz?
    A2. It is sorta like a runt-sized crossword, except with clues like: 1-A & 1-D: What do you get when you cross an emu with an eel? (Answer: 1-A = EMU. 1-D = EEL)
    Runtz are free, but have a very strict no refunds policy.

    M&A, contributor to the confusion.

    fave weeject stack, in today's NYTPuz:
    * ABU. Better clue: {About about??}
    * VIG. Better clue: {Vhat you get vith Viagra??}
    * ETH. Better clue: {Luce's neighbor friend??}

    fave clue: "Hello, Hadrian!". Primo. Could do a whole runtpuz theme, on that kinda stuff. thUmbsUp.
    Sample: "Hello, hello, Duncan!" har

    Bob Kerfuffle 4:27 PM  

    @submariner_ss -- On very rare occasions, Rex will remove comments, but they must be exceedingly offensive for this to happen. On the other hand, many times commenters report that their posts have failed to appear or have disappeared, for totally unknown reasons, seemingly due to vagaries of Blogger, browsers, the gnomes of the internet, or whatever. Which is to say, don't take it personally, you are not being censored, just having a bit of bad luck!

    Bob Kerfuffle 4:30 PM  

    And for those who wonder what I am talking about, there was a post at 3:32 PM from @submariner_ss to which I was responding -- but now I see that it has disappeared! It was in my gmail, I swear!

    RooMonster 4:51 PM  

    Awesome Nancy! I'll take your VERSE anytime if it's this good!


    Anonymous 5:16 PM  

    The only way "Mayor's title" as a clue could cause offense is if the solver reflexively entered HISHONOR, instead of H__HONOR and waited until the crosses provided the answer.

    Anonymous 5:27 PM  

    Classic crossword blog comment of the day from @ nancy: "The songs of my youth are ... much better than today's." And you kids get off my lawn! She is in perfect sync with rex and so many of the other DOTTARDS on this board. The arrogance of youth is matched only by the arrogance of old age.

    HISHONOR the mayor 5:38 PM  

    Better clue for 20a: "title for mayor Lee of 9 across."

    OISK 5:47 PM  

    I am with @Nancy, of course, and not the hostile Anonymice. For Nancy..."If you want to save your soul from hell a riding on our range, then cowboy change your ways today or with them you will ride..."

    But my favorite version is Nelson Eddy's. ( a favorite of my parents)

    Nancy 5:56 PM  

    When I was young, our songs were better. And we got a better education. And TV was better. And we dressed better. And our language was better. And everything was rainbows and unicorns! I am a caricature of an old person.

    'mericans in Paris 6:01 PM  

    ... and people managed to write articles, letters, critiques and books without using slashes (/s) in place of conjunctions and punctuation marks.

    F.O.G. 6:06 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    jae 6:11 PM  

    @lms - Lese Majeste, which I learned from crosswords, mostly resolved my J vs. G confusion (I did, however, double check the SCARJO cross just to be sure).

    @Steve J - You're right about TRITIP being a CA thing. The local (San Diego) COSTCOs sell them already marinated - very tasty.

    @Dan - I appreciate the ACTRINC cross apology. Still a DNF but it was fun to include my granddaughter in the process.

    Thomaso808 6:22 PM  

    Check Rex's blog for Oct 30, 2009. The word of the day was VIG. That puzzle is a link in the FAQ section on the Rex home page under the definition of OOXTEPLERNON. I was revisiting the FAQ page yesterday wondering why WOE was not listed (should add it, Rex), then browsed over to the above cited puzzle blog. Today when returned to the Rex site, that blog was still open, featuring VIG as the word of the day, but I didn't realize at first that I was not looking at today's blog. Very weird feeling!

    FRISCO, ugh! The funny / sad fact is that people who use that word are trying to imply a familiarity with SF, but in fact citizens of The City never use that term and cringe when they hear it.

    Nancy 6:44 PM  

    To:@GILL I; @'mericans in Paris; and @Roo M, the inspiration behind the poem -- Many thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them!

    TO: OISK -- I didn't recognize that lyric. Is it GHOST RIDERS or some other cowboy song? Once I know what it is, I'll listen to the Nelson Eddy version you prefer.

    To the hostile, seemingly troubled guy posing as "Nancy": Please don't take my name in vain. I don't take yours in vain. (I wouldn't take it in vain even if I knew what the hell it was.)

    Hartley70 7:56 PM  

    Nancy!!! That was superb.

    Hartley70 7:58 PM  

    Multiple thumbs up!

    Z 8:20 PM  

    @submariner_ss & @Bob Kerfuffle - I saw it too, at least the second post.

    @submariner_ss - try a different browser, I think that has worked for people in the past.

    Regarding HIS HONOR, I wrote in H - - HONOR and waited for crosses. In real life I think the more common honorific is "that jerk." This has the dual benefit of being non-gender specific and more accurate.

    Nancy 8:27 PM  

    @Hartley 70 -- Thanks so much! I really appreciate it a lot.

    puzzlecrone 8:39 PM  

    It's really only Manhattan. Island does not run due north south having been put here by geologic forces and not mapmakers.

    evil doug 9:17 PM  

    TITRIP sounds painful. Oh, wait.


    Tita 9:46 PM  

    @Ludy...I've told this before, but apropos to your hyphen woes...a customer service rep asked my mom to spell her name...she began... "D, apostrpophe, A, N..."
    "Whoa - hold on - how do you spell 'apostrophe"?

    Puzzle? A meh for me - the theme was too repetitive, and not enough bang for the buck.
    Then, getting the "revealer", even though I had gotten all the themers by then, caused a huge groan...
    Oh no - it's just an advert!
    Can I please have a refund for my March payment, oh gods of LinkedIn?

    OISK 10:03 PM  

    @Nancy - that was the last verse of Ghost Riders.
    It ends "a tryin to catch the Devil's herd, across these endless skies. Yippee eyeh, Yippee eyoh, (etc)

    Charles Flaster 11:40 PM  

    Just got to it.
    Finished in 50 minutes so medium it is.
    Loved--EYE EXAM and its misdirection.
    Has VIG ever appeared in NYT prior to today??
    Thought Rex was right on for third day in a row but I enjoyed it much more than he did.
    No real crosswordEASE.
    Thanks DF.

    kitshef 11:41 PM  

    Managed to finish entire puzzle, and it never occorred to me that the theme clues all start with 'in'. Thought the 'linkedin' reveal was pathetically weak, as my theme was somesort of fake portmanteau words, and 'linked' 'inked in' was weak and told me nothing about the themes.

    paulsfo 12:09 AM  

    @John Child, Loren Muse Smith, Leapfinger, George Barany:
    Thanks for all the interesting answers! I will check out runtpuz's (sp?).

    TRITIP: "Otto Schaefer Sr. first introduced it to market in Oakland, California... in the late 1950s... The roast is most popular in ...California... and has begun to enjoy increasing favor elsewhere."

    VIG: If you've watched any mafia movies, or watched the Sopranos, you've almost certainly heard this word multiple times. Really not an obscure word.

    three and out.

    Anonymous 12:51 AM  

    Low = MOO... ????? This puzzle broke a 29-day streak for me.. Boo.

    'mericans in Paris 1:56 AM  

    @Anonymous 12:51.

    Cows low. Definition No. 2 here.

    Hugh 11:13 AM  

    As a Recruiter who lives on LinkedIn, I should have liked this more, for some reason it fell a bit (A) flat for me. Got the "IN" theme fairly quickly at 39A - INFIDEL CASTRO (cute but easy) but took me a while before I got 117A - LINKEDIN. I kept thinking it would be a dating site (you know, connections...) E Harmony has the same number of letters!

    The other theme answers fell eventually - some I liked, INFANCY PANTS (the best one), INBOXSEATS (good cluing) INCANOPENER (also good cluing). The rest were a bit meh. Really did NOT like INLETTLIE.

    The fill was fine (and in some places great - like Rex, really loved the HYPHEN clue) there was just so much of it I couldn't get. A big DNF for me but not beating myself up too much as I (for whatever reason) lost interest fairly early on -and I usually don't. Not sure what is was about this one that didn't excite me....not a bad puzzle, just not for me this week...

    Anonymous 10:20 PM  

    Why is EEN the answer to 31D "Mom's counterpart"?

    Anonymous 10:30 PM  

    D'OH! Never mind on Mom's counterpart! I just saw an earlier comment that the clue was actually Morn's counterpart

    Let me tell ya having DAD instead of EEN in there caused no end of troubles...

    Anonymous 5:11 PM  

    Actually its a sKirt with built in shorts.

    Ray - O - Sunshine 11:42 AM  

    "All the world's a stage" one of Bill S's quotes

    Burma Shave 12:24 PM  




    rondo 12:51 PM  

    Nothing EATSAT me like AFLAT puz.

    SCARJO is the highlight; ultimate yeah baby.

    spacecraft 1:39 PM  


    We went to the FARCE in FRISCO.
    We sat INBOXSEATS but she GOTSORE
    When I got POTTED and started a SEAWAR.

    No, I did not "know or guess" anything at all from SCA_JO crossing T_ITIP. That was a total HUH??? square. The only reason I wound up with an R in there is because the other 25 letters made EVEN LESS sense! Don't forget, when you say "Lucy" to this septugenarian, you're talking Ms. Ricardo. I only hoped that TRITIP was a thing. What a natick!

    And now, 'splain how ??? = PHIS. This was the last word I entered; there I go again, finishing up in the NW. Weird.

    I agree that INFANCYPANTS is the star of the show, but INCANOPENER and INFIDEL (well, I bet Isis thinks so!) CASTRO aren't far behind.

    The fill is fairly spicy; love that YAKOV. What a country! It was kinda fun; I'll give it a B.

    rondo 1:50 PM  

    @Spacey - in my paper there are 3 Greek letters PHI. Non-recognition by your paper?

    Impy 5:28 PM  

    Snore zzzzz

    Paul S 10:56 AM  

    Yeah that was my question too ... My 1 down clue was three question marks ... .??? - so I didn't understand the answer was phis

    Also in Canada, I believe another title for a mayor is "Your Worship" which I could never get myself to buy into in the present era.

    Like most other comments, I held off on judgement for His honor vs. her honor until the cross clues tied in so I don't think it can be considered a slight.

    Anonymous 4:44 PM  

    Even if you read morn instead of MOM "e'en" does not make sense. een if you look up on Whiki or thesaurus is old English for even and has nothing to do with EVENING.

    British Dictionary 4:56 PM  

    British Dictionary [we speak English, too] definitions for e'en
    adverb, noun (poetic or archaic)
    a contraction of even2 , evening
    Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
    © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
    Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

    Anonymous 9:59 PM  

    I was surprised and mildly put off by the 'his' honor as well

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