Physicist Mach / TUE 3-3-15 / Flagmaker Ross / 1982 double-platinum Duran Duran album / Treat similar to Yodel / Neighbor of Ricardos / Foot for Greek god Pan / Space station that crashed in 1979 / Likable prez / Event featuring motocross snocross /

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Constructor: Kristian House

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: HUNTER S. THOMPSON (35A: Author of 50-/55-Across) — some answers related to the late writer

Theme answers:
  • JOHNNY DEPP (18A: He played one of the lead roles in the film version of 50-/55-Across)
  • GONZO JOURNALISM (23A: Writing style popularized by 35-Across)
  • "FEAR AND LOATHING / IN LAS VEGAS" (50A: See 35-Across)
Word of the Day: SKYLAB (9D: Space station that crashed in 1979) —
Skylab was a space station launched and operated by NASA and was the United States' first space station. Skylab orbited the Earth from 1973 to 1979, and included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems. It was launched unmanned by a modified Saturn V rocket, with a weight of 169,950 pounds (77 t). Three manned missions to the station, conducted between 1973 and 1974 using the Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) atop the smaller Saturn IB, each delivered a three-astronaut crew. On the last two manned missions, an additional Apollo / Saturn IB stood by ready to rescue the crew in orbit if it was needed. […] Plans were made to refurbish and reuse Skylab, using the Space Shuttle to boost its orbit and repair it. However, development of the Shuttle was delayed, and Skylab reentered Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated in 1979, with debris striking portions of Western Australia. (wikipedia)
• • •

Straight-up info puzzle. Just as I enjoyed remembering "The Sound of Music" on Sunday, I enjoyed remembering HUNTER S. THOMPSON today, but as puzzle themes go, this type always feels blah to me. (And, to be fair to Sunday, that had the whole musical scale thing going on, even though, as a very experienced puzzle-maker friend of mine pointed out, SOL should not have been the rebused note in that puzzle, since the lyric is not, obviously, "SOL, a needle pulling thread…" But I really, really digress) Nothing here elevates this theme above the literal plane: this is a man, he did this, he wrote this, this actor played him. The fill is pretty smooth, and there are lots of zingy little answers (HAD A GO, HELL NO, CUDDLE UP, X GAMES), so solving it was in no way an unpleasant experience, but themewise, it's a bit flat. Luckily, the themers themselves are inherently lively, so the puzzle doesn't feel as boring as it might. It's worth noting, also, that, though Kristian House (today's constructor) has published many puzzles in the NYT, this was the first one he ever had accepted (!), way back in 2008 (!?). He actually asked for it back about a year ago so he could clean up the fill some. Good for him for taking that initiative. And as for the editor's holding a puzzle for that long … I don't know, man. I just don't know.

  • 1D: Tried (HAD A GO) — this answer, and my initial answer of SEALAB (!?!?) for SKYLAB, and my balking at MERTZ because I thought the clue suggested a plural (it doesn't) (41D: Neighbor of the Ricardos on "I Love Lucy"), meant that my time came out relatively average, rather than well below average, which is what I thought was going to happen. When with only minimal initial help from some crosses, you can fill in the entire set of theme answers without thinking, that puzzle falls under the "Easy" category, no matter what my time says. 
  • 1A: Treat similar to a Yodel (HO-HO) — Wasn't entirely sure. Brain got stuck in between and wanted YOHO initially. 
  • 8D: Aristocrats (GENTRY) — this answer may also have added slightly to my time, as it was a plural clue with a non-"S"-ending answer. Throwing "S" down quickly ended up being the wrong move there, obviously. See the flip problem at 33A: Fragrant neckwear (LEIS), where an apparently singular clue has a plural (and "S"-ending) answer.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. please enjoy this ironic picture I took of my television screen last night:


Whirred Whacks 12:04 AM  

Fun 'n' breezy. This GONZO puzzle pretty filled itself in -- just like THE SOUND OF MUSIC one did on Sunday.

I liked Thompson's early stuff -- especially his work about the Hell's Angels (some of which took a lot of guts). Later on, he became a screwed-up cartoon version of himself.

@Annabel (the guest blogger): did you notice that WeLLesLey also has 3 L's? Coincidence? I think not.

I will probably never construct a xword puzzle, but if I did, here's a clue and answer I'd want to include:
"Association of paid assassins?"

Enjoy your Tuesdays.

jae 12:08 AM  

Very zippy theme.  Easy-medium for me.  I thought this was going to be tough when I started between drawing a blank in the NW and all the cross referencing.  But, I caught the theme fairly early and filled in the remaining answers, which made what was left pretty easy.

Liked it except for NAV.  Jeff Chen has a better clue but it's definitely not suitable for Tues.

Steve J 12:11 AM  

Very straightforward theme, and a very gettable one for me, resulting in my fastest Tuesday ever. I guess that's bound to happen when the four longest answers in the puzzle get filled in within the first 30-45 seconds of working on the puzzle.

Downs in the NW corner were my favorite part of the puzzle, with three strong answers at 1, 2 and 3D.

Zeke 12:22 AM  

The reason it took 7 years is that it wasn't until yesterday that the commercial tie-in with Final Jeopardy took place - Who wrote the book with the first line: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

See, everything has its reasons. Usually crass commercialism.

Zeke 12:23 AM  

The reason it took 7 years is that it wasn't until yesterday that the commercial tie-in with Final Jeopardy took place - Who wrote the book with the first line: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

See, everything has its reasons. Usually crass commercialism.

Zeke 12:28 AM  

See, blogger has eaten, previous to the above, my last 6 or 7 posts. I get the "your comment has been saved... and the comment is there but when I come back, poof!, it's gone. Kind of as if Google has taste or standards or something like that. So, I switched to a different browser to see if that made a difference, but in my annoyed state I seem to have become a fool, incapable of saying the Final Jeopardy answer was "Who wrote the book...."

Carola 12:28 AM  

For me, this was an instance of a little learning being a helpful thing, as I know nothing of HUNTER S THOMPSON other than the phrase GONZO JOURNALISM and the title FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. So, a very quick Tuesday.

I liked the mirroring of CUDDLE UP and THERMALS - two ways of trying to cope with this endless Midwestern winter we've been having.

JTHurst 12:48 AM  

Since i do not have access to ding dongs, ho hos, etc. I did not relate the clue to food and put in echo as the answer to 1a and calico for 2d, which slowed me down for a time.

While Rex thought 'hadago' was cute I find those multiple word answers tedious. But with three 15 letter theme answers it must cause constructor brain freeze doing the fill.

Since I have no opportunity for tweets or texts I am unfamiliar with the shorthand nomenclature and thus 'naticked' on Utne and OTOH.

Did anyone feel uncomfortable with the clue and answer for 46d. Famous flops to me denote multiple flops and the Edsel is singular unless you count every Edsel coming off of the assembly line, saying, "There is another flop." As each one exits, thus Edsels are multiple flops.

This puzzle reminded me of how much I feel sorry for those of you not reaching maturation during the 1965 to 1975 decade, the most socially poignant since the 1865 decade and previously the 1765 decade. Gonzo journalism, 1968 in Chicago, psychedelia, women's rights, Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, the draft, oral contraception, long hair and facial hair, tie dyes, Age of Aquarius, etc.

Jisvan 1:11 AM  

Nice and easy, except my 61 A: Flim flam was a ShAM, not a SCAM; crossing that famous BBQ franchise RIBhUT! Anyone, anyone else at all? Sigh...

chefwen 1:45 AM  

@jisvan, made the same error , Jon insisted that RIBhUT was an actual thing and ShAM looked just fine.

@ Carola, I feel your pain. About to send brother Mark back to the frozen tundra. He'll be kicking and screaming the whole way. You may pass in the air on your way here. It took us two weeks to thaw him out.

Puzzle was not easy for me, totally out of my wheelhouse. Got the puppy done sans cheating, But it took me longer than any Tuesday in recent memory.

Thomas808 1:49 AM  

@Jisvan, as one of the TApE/FLAp victims from Sunday, I sympathize, but today I started with RIBeye and somehow recovered to avoid your fate.

@JTHurst I indeed felt uncomfortable with EDSELS -- strained fill for sure. No mention by Rex? Must be because the rest of the fill is pretty good.

Never heard of UTNE Reader, but I can't think of anything else that could link HUNTER... and FEARAND...

I started trying the strategy mentioned by Rex of going like crazy with only the down clues (to me like a reckless kid skateboarding down a long handrail) instead of my usual engineer approach of carefully checking crosses as I go. Wow, two days in and two best times ever! We'll see, maybe it works for the easy days, but gets you in deep, deep s--t for the Th - Sat puzzles. Anyway, it's a rush!

I agree with Rex this puzzle lacked a little zip, but it was based on three solid thematic 15's matched with two other long themes, rounded out with good fill. Maybe it took 7 years, but it was worth it.

Ellen S 1:57 AM  

Easy for me, for a change. I had RIBeye, but SeAM didn't look right for flimflam, so I changed it to SCAM which gave me RIBCUT (whatever that is).

I have a friend, or maybe an acquaintance, who "chooses not to have a computer", or a cell phone which means people have to mail everything to her. but also, she'd be stumped by OTOH. It's very important to spend thousands of dollars on technology so you can work these puzzles, don't you know?

Ellen S 1:59 AM  

(I'm not going to say anything about the EELER. Except, thank you @Andrea for not having any EELs in your puzzle. You're a gentleperson and a scholar.

Benko 2:20 AM  

HST and a Cocteau Twins video by Rex! Good day in Xworld.

GILL I. 4:07 AM  

I feel a bit lightheaded. You'd better be careful.... there's plenty of vultures out here... they'll pick your bones clean.
Gaaah, I actually watched that movie twice and each time I hated it even more. Well, except for JOHNNY DEPP.
HOHO took forever. Wasn't eating that the cause for Dan White to go on his assassination rampage?
Strange and a bit difficult Tuesday. I thought a bunch of heads might explode if you didn't know HUNTER S THOMPSON or his movie but everything was really gettable.
CUDDLE UP is new to me...I don't UP when I CUDDLE...
Interesting Tuesday Kristian. Why does Will hold on to these for so long?

pfb 5:02 AM  

Very fast solve aided by HUNTERSTHOMPSON being the Final Jeopardy question last night. Of course, with the pressure on and the Jeopardy think music playing I couldn't get the name out but did say Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. No such vapor lock this morning.

djogba 5:23 AM  

"33A: Fragrant neckwear (LEIS), where an apparently singular clue has a plural (and "S"-ending) answer."

In Hawai'i, where I live, we don't say LEIS (unless you wan' get stinkeye from da locals fo sounding like one stupid haole). In the Hawaiian language the plural of "lei" is -- "lei. (J'like you'd never say "neckwears") Rex is right to feel there's something wrong.

Thomas808 5:52 AM  

@djogba you are so right, from one stupid haole who's only lived here for 16 years. Did you have the same autocorrect problem I had with "haole"?

Anonymous 6:22 AM  

Fast solve and you could tell Rex took the day off yesterday. Surely he would have commented today that the MEAN OCELOT made an appearance two days in a row.

Elle54 6:23 AM  

Well it isn't "Spell Across America Day!" So don't complain! hahaha!

George Barany 6:29 AM  

Many good comments here, to go with an interesting recap/analysis by @Rex. The four theme answers filled in very quickly with just a few crossing Down words; this despite being unfamiliar with the movie and a brief hiccup trying to disremember another one that also has a title ending in LAS_VEGAS. JOHNNY_DEPP's drug-addled character is named Raoul Duke, while his attorney played by Benicio Del Toro is called Dr. GONZO (journalism implied??).

A good puzzle like this one inspires the solver to do a bit more research, and what better place to start than HUNTER_S_THOMPSON's New York Times obituary. Also, I wonder how well it is known that Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" character "Uncle Duke"was modeled after Thompson, right down to the trademark cigarette with its holder.

Loren Muse Smith 7:21 AM  

Rex – I've had the same thought on SOL, but even worse, I bet Rodgers and Hammerstein will always hate that they had to resort to "LA, a note to follow SOL." Sheesh. All the other notes have a mental image. So maybe they could have gone with:

“SOL, a needle pulling thread
LA – he played a witch's foe?”

(Hey. If FA is a long, long way to go. . .)

@JTHurst – “Since i do not have access to ding dongs, ho hos, etc.” You poor, poor soul.

Our &^%^$#% printer is acting up, and as a result, my clues were all cut off at the bottom. For 38D, I had _ H E _ M _ L _ and was certain it would be THE SMELL. How could you clue that one?? "How I know when it's time to eat the Brie I put on the counter (and not in the fridge) last week while putting away groceries." When I smell ammonia, I know I'm in for some good eatin.

All in all – a fine start to my Tuesday. Nice one, Kristian.

Aketi 7:24 AM  

Would have solved in record time (for me which means less than halfway through my first coffee) with no cheating and no checking - except for one typo, Not going to ask the purists if typos are given a pass since I have embraced my amateur status.

When I was in college, a male friend and I read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to each other. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend in the same crowd of friends. Even though we did nothing other than read the book to each other, it somehow felt enticingly illicit.

Lewis 7:32 AM  

I like REX conjoining FEARANDLOATHING which might be how a constructor feels the day HE/SHE is published in the NYT. I also like HE/SHE in the same puzzle with DRAG. Additionally, I like the contra-cross of ALLIN and HELLNO. The puzzle had zip (KUDOS, CUDDLEUP, HELLNO) and was scrabbly, and a mini theme of the long o sound -- there were 18 instances of that in this puzzle!

@jthurst -- I respectfully disagree. I think that multiple word answers make a puzzle more interesting than single word answers.

@rex -- I have a hard time with you calling a theme flat after you enjoyed the theme last week of four capitals of the Midwest. .

Very nice Tuesday puzzle and very nice to be back!

Dorothy Biggs 7:41 AM  

From the "It's always the last place you look" department, my hangup was in the SE and the last to be conquered. I had RIBleT which resulted in SlAM and HeGE (don't judge). With no happy jingle, I figured this area was my problem...but RIBleT looked so, you know, delicious. Then I saw that a Leviathan can be HUGE in addition to being "hege" and from there I had to erase the L from my delicious ribLet and SCAM finally showed up. FWIW, I like riblet better than ribcut.

Even having grown up in Nebraska, I still get those indigenous peoples confused...There are the Oto, the Ute, and the Otoe. I had uTe to start but abandoned it early figuring the 1D answer would be more successful ending in O rather than U.

I had no problem with the plural form of EDSELS. Collectively, they were flops...all of them. It's kinda like saying that my favorite candy bar is a Snickers Bar by saying, "i like Snickers Bars." Maybe. I dunno. FlopS didn't bother me.

Spoiler Alert 7:44 AM  

Guess I don't have to finish the Sunday puzzle. Thanks a lot, jerkface!

Lewis 7:48 AM  

Factoid: IKE was responsible for adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Quotoid: "If Sunday is the Lord's day, then Saturday belongs to the Devil. It is the only night of the week when he gives out Free passes to the Late show at the Too Much Fun Club." -- HUNTER S. THOMPSON

Hartley70 7:50 AM  

Solved very fast for me too, despite knowing the name HUNTERSTHOMPSON somehow, except for the S, but having no idea what he'd written or what movies had been made of his work. When I got GONZO I filled in journalism although it might have been a Muppet clue at that point, or even a red wine stain remover. It was still very solvable from the downs, and made much more interesting by my probably appalling lack of knowledge.

dk 7:56 AM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

Commemorative poster from Hunter S. Thompson's passing is on the wall behind and signed by many who were a part of his life, including Mr. Depp.

Had occasion to meet Mr. Thompson on a couple of times while working as a young photog or faux-tog as my supportive son would say. A quiet man.

Anyway, puzzle was a pleasant breeze and that make two in a row.

chefbea 8:06 AM  

Never heard of Gonzo journalism
Never heard of Fear and loathing in las vegas
Never heard of Hunter Thompson...until last night

So all in all was a tough puzzle for me DNF

Had stew last night made in my slow cooker...yummm

Hartley70 8:08 AM  

Feeling empathy for the lack of ding dongs in your life, but also curious as to how you've avoided such temptations. Could it be you're a resident of Supermax? Or an Antarctic expedition member? Or even a contestant on one of those torturous Weight Loss TV shows?

And I agree, THOSE were the days, except for the unfortunate few with low draft numbers. We can't forget them. A trip to the memorial in DC can bring me to tears even now.

Numinous 8:21 AM  

JOHNNY DEPP has played HUNTER S THOMPSON characters in at least two movies: FEAR AND LOATHING and The Rum Diary. The latter at HSTs request. There seems to me to be a certain irony in that the Rum Diary character is younger than the FALILV character but was played by a much older DEPP.

Hands up for RIBeye though I only thought it. I've never heard of RIBCUT so that one looked odd to me. LEIS also looked odd. I don't usually care about POCs but LEIS and EDSELS just elicited a couple of Southern "That ain't riiiiight(S)" from me.

I did this one last night, was done by 10:15. I didn't exactly pounce on it when the notification that it was ready popped up on my iPad. Still, it was one of my fastest Tuesdays ever. I almost entered uTe for OTO but I tend to solve using @Thomas 808's engineer approach in order to avoid write-overs.

@jae, I never even saw NAV and had a hard time finding it until I read Jeff Chen's comments. I agree that clue should be saved to put solvers to sleep on a Thurs. or Fri..

Even though this was seven years in the making, it was not exactly a Cecil B DeMille epic. It was a reasonably fun solve though. Good job, Dr. House.

AliasZ 8:25 AM  

What an odd little tribute puzzle, more like a Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit game than wordplay. What I learned about today's honoree was that he rode with the Hell's Angels, he was best friends with JOHNNY DEPP, he hated Nixon, loved illegal drugs and alcohol to excess, and his ashes were shot out of a cannon. The funeral ceremony was attended by Jack Nicholson and John Kerry. A real American hero and worthy role model. Even though I knew the term GONZO JOURNALISM, I haven't heard of HUNTER S. THOMPSON until today, and now that I have, oddly, I don't feel any different. One more bit of trivia.

Outside of a few interesting entries like XGAMES, BELIE, SKYLAB, USSTEEL, HE/SHE (for those who can't make up their minds), and CUDDLEUP in THERMALS to the NOBLE GENTRY, the rest of the fill was less than inspired or inspiring, not helped by the coincidence of OCELOT appearing the second day in a row. The clunky-sounding POC's EDSELS and LEIS didn't help things either, nor did the sniggling EELER. We have two DOOK candidates today: DABSAT (the past tense of DABSIT) and HADAGO sounding like a Spanish NOBLE.

You may enjoy this organ work titled LUXE Aeterna by Finnish composer Joonas Kokkonen (1921-1996).

I have to finish, I can't spend any more time right now. HELLNO, HADAGO.

Happy Tuesday all.

jberg 8:30 AM  

My only problem was reading the 2D clue as "Spoiled cat" (yes, my annual eye exam is coming up soon!) This brought back nice memories of Rex's Spoiler Kitty, whom we have not seen recently, but impeded getting OCELOT. It didn't last long, though. And once I got to Big Papi, with his terminal Z, the theme just filled itself in.

Overspecified clues: "woes of society," when "woes" would ahve done; and the date of the NON vote in Quebec, since they all turned out the same way.

What I learned: the author of The House of Mirth had multiple MBAs.

Unknown 8:46 AM  

I'm surprised that RP didn't comment on the dated nature of the fill. OTOH was about the only recent entry. SKYLAB? Talk about yesterday's news!

Screamin' EZ puzzle. Only hiccup was that doggone RIBeye, but the crosses were so obviously wrong that I had no problem fixing the glitch.

Ironic? 8:56 AM  

So Rex's time was PAR for the day?

Q: why is the picture Rex posted at the end of his blog considered ironic?

Unknown 9:02 AM  

Original movie version if FALILV starred Bill Murray and was titled "Where the Buffalo Roam."

Bird 9:03 AM  

Liked it. Forgot that I had heard 23A before so the top was a little slower than the rest.

No room for a Q on the grid?

Isn't HADAGO a new and upcoming pop singer?

Ludyjynn 9:05 AM  

On the same NYT Arts page as the xword is a summary of a Maggie Smith interview in which she insists the 6th season of "Downton Abbey" will be her last portraying the NOBLE Dowager Countess character. Hmmm... Also, the creator, director and writer, Julian Fellowes, in a recent NYT interview was evasive as to whether the serial about the landed GENTRY would continue, with or without him, after the upcoming season. Wondering whether they are both angling for raises!

Okay Tuesday pour moi. Writeovers: Dell before ACER, I'm out before ALLIN.

One of my favorite HILO memories was buying cheap souvenirs at Wal Mart and seeing the refrigerated glass case holding racks of fresh LEIS for sale. You open the door and are assaulted by the amazing fragrance. In the checkout line, the Hawaiian lady in front of me placed tin after tin of SPAM mystery meat on the belt. We engaged in a lengthy discussion of all the recipes the locals make w/ this product (I hesitate to call it 'food'). Very interesting!

Life w/o a HOHO or its ilk is not worth living. Just kidding, but I am getting a chocolate itch thinking about the treat. Could use it as we hunker down for yet another onslaught of bad weather coming in over the next 3 days. UGH. @ChefWen, would you like another house guest?

Thanks, KH and WS.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

@Ironic? It's Dr Seuss, not Dr Suess as in the pic

Rug Crazy 9:15 AM  

The clue on 47 across should have been:Crossword blogger Parker.
Otherwise perfect

Bookdeb 9:19 AM  

@LMS when I was a kid, I thought the lyric was "law, a note to follow so" as in obey the letter of law just it created a mental image like one of the Schoolhouse Rock films for me.

@ironic Theodore Seuss Geisel didn't flip his vowels when he wrote as Dr. Seuss.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

People like aliasz embarrass themselves with their willful ignorance. Dismissing a man who created an original strain of writing as "trivia" shows an incredible lack of curiosity. "If I never heard of him, he must not matter, and he definitely doesn't deserve to be the theme of a crossword puzzle." A perfect member of the rex cult.

mathguy 9:26 AM  

@pfb: Like you, I was trying to come up with the Final Jeopardy answer in front of the TV and couldn't do it. I kicked myself because I've read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson. And then, minutes later, I printed up the puzzle and there he was again. Eerie.

It would have been more fun if the cluing hadn't been so direct. "Flagmaker Ross'" e.g.

don't burn the locals 9:32 AM  

"There was every reason to believe I was heading for trouble, that I'd pushed my luck a bit far. I'd abused every rule Vegas lived by—burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help. The only hope now, I felt, was the possibility that we'd gone to such excess, with our gig, that nobody in a position to bring the hammer down on us could possibly believe it . . . When you bring an act into this town, you want to bring it in heavy. Don't waste any time with cheap shucks and misdemeanors. Go straight for the jugular. Get right into felonies. The mentality of Las Vegas is so grossly atavistic that a really massive crime often slips by unrecognized."

oldbizmark 9:34 AM  

easiest/fastest puzzle for me ever. not NYT material in my opinion. Sundays at least had a rebus going on to make it interesting. this was earth junk.

Unknown 9:35 AM  

@Rex: children's books author from a Mideast canal...

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

I love that in the last week we've had Spinal Tap, Sound of Music, and Hunter S Thompson. Praise and thanks to WS and the NYT for such a wonderful variety of puzzles!

pfb 9:50 AM  

@mathguy: this has actually been happening to me a lot lately--not being unable to get the words out (which is a constant issue), but thinking about something that shows up in the puzzle a few days later.

Numinous 9:59 AM  

Almost random thought: I would like to have seen 6 D clued as "Miss India, Rochelle ___" and 7 D clued as "'Oh!' German" giving us:

Just a thought . . . .

Steve J 10:07 AM  

I also had the ShAM/RIB hUT error. But, since I solve the puzzle using the iPad app, I was told I hadn't finished the puzzle without errors, so I was able to fix that quickly.

@JT Hurst & @Thomas 808: Nothing wrong with EDSELS - e.g., "Dealers were stuck with thousands of unsold EDSELS sitting on their lots." It's weird only in relation to the clue.

@JT Hurst: And I feel sorry for that subset of Boomers who not only think they lived in the most significant period ever, they can't stop congratulating themselves for it 50 years later. Yes, a lot of stuff happened in that decade. A lot of stuff - primarily Civil Rights - happened in the decade before. The 1930s did more to reshape the country than any decade since the Civil War. The teens caused the collapse of Europe's social order and political systems that had existed for hundreds of years. Etc. Most every era has tremendous change.

RooMonster 10:23 AM  

Hey All !
Put me in the Easy catagory. Shame couldn't get the Q in there! UTNE/OTOH crossing seems off for a TuesPuz. Had the ShAM/ RIBhUT cross, thinking where are these delicious sounding restaurants?

THE R MALS could almost be another neighbor of the Ricardos! And when does the USS TEEL sail?

HAD A GO (HAD TO GO would be an interesting clue...)

Arlene 10:25 AM  

This was an interesting solve for me, as I really didn't know the subject matter. But since it is a Tuesday, I finished it all without resorting to "research". So the "fun" today was educating myself about something that evidently had eluded me, for a variety of reasons.

I consider this experience quite a revelation - realizing I knew more about Yodels than Gonzo journalism.

Nancy 10:34 AM  

Another hand up for RIBeye. The thing about early week puzzles, though, is that mistakes self-correct quickly. For those of you who solve on paper, the most interesting thing on page C3 of the Times isn't this puzzle. It's the fact that Maggie Smith has announced she will leave DOWNTON after next season. "As for her character's age, Ms. Smith, now 80, said: 'I mean, I certainly can't keep going. To my knowledge I must be 110 by now.'"

Z 10:42 AM  

RIBeye --> RIBleT --> RIBCUT. Otherwise easy.

@LMS - Are you printing the "Newspaper Version?" Try "Empty Grid" instead.

@Lewis - Without checking, I thought it was more House Republicans who pushed it and there was no way Ike could/would veto God.

Unknown 10:47 AM  

“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

old timer 11:02 AM  

I had "riblet" myself. Which was wrong. And it took me a while to figure out the author's name. Once I did, the rest was easy. I was pretty much a charter subscriber to Rolling Stone, which serialized much of the great man's work.

"Las Vegas" was Thompson's first work in his new style. But "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" was his true Gonzo masterpiece.

John V 11:18 AM  

Kept reading clue for 52d as PRONOUNCE with a slash. Nice. Har.

Don McBrien 11:26 AM  

Nice, fun puzzle and clean solve for me.

Also, can't resist:

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine and a whole multicolored collection of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers . . . Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Lojman 11:50 AM  

I read Fear & Loathing after an overnight Trans-Atlantic flight during an 11-hr layover in the Warsaw airport. No illicit substances were needed to enhance the hallucinogenic nature of the book.


Leapfinger 12:01 PM  

@Andrea O'jeda, Dr. Suesz, great way to mix it up!

Welcome back @Lewis. You sound nice & refreshed!

@various, most every era has significant changes; not all are pleasant (for the majority) to live through.

Interesting theme. Having GON__ in place immediately gave two grid-spanners, and had me on the look-out for Zonker's Uncle Dook. (Hi @GeorgeB, that's a gimme for any Doonesbury fan!). Must admit my awareness of this HST increased by an order of magnitude with his '05 suicide.

More opportunity to stray than usual for a Tues, I thought. Had JOSH (Billings?) CUDDLED UP to OTIS Redding to start; the RIBeye, of course; and wasn't sure whether Horst or ERNST.

Some nitpickers' grumps in the clues:
The double Aristocrat clues were cute, but GENTRY denotes good social position,'gentle' but not NOBLE birth.
THERMALS are something that soaring birds ride, that gliders use to gain altitude. To my ear, nounifying the adjective
for underwear and blankets Just. Sounds. Wrong.
La Belle Province had three secession referenda that I remember. All resulted in a NON (or NONS), sew why pick 1995?

Neither I NOR NORA is(are?) ever sure whether O TIS OTO ORTIZ OTOH.
Also curious that BELIE and BELay have such avast difference in meaning. Not sure which should BEspoke in what BE setting.

Had fun with this puzzle. Happy to have this KHouse at KHome.

SINO Evil today

Joseph Miichael 12:10 PM  

Another day, another OCELOT.

Thought this puzzle was too easy since the theme practically filled itself in. Never heard of a RIBCUT and didn't like NAV, but did like HELL NO, THERMALS and the clues for 5A, 19D and 62A.

Is HE/SHE now considered a singular pronoun? Thought it was two pronouns joined by a slash.

When I was a kid on vacation in Hollywood with my parents, we had lunch at The Brown Derby in hopes of seeing some celebrities. The only star there was William Frawley who played Fred MERTZ. We walked out with his autograph on a souvenir menu.

djogba 12:19 PM  

@Thomas808 at 5:52

Yeah, haole becomes Halle (hehe). Suppose they're thinking Halle Berry?

Dorothy Biggs 1:03 PM  

Are those of you who think this puzzle seems like a trivia exercise actually just missing the puns? Because I kind of liked it for that very reason.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 1:14 PM  

@muse: Lil M&A always admired the lyric for LA the most, in that Sound of Music song. It just came off as so wonderfully... desperate.

Speakin of which, better clues for NAV=
1. {Van goghing in reverse??} Elementary runtpuz cluing, plus tasty pun.
2. {3/4 of a navy??}. Math refresher quiz.
3. {Naive, that is lacking??}. Cryptic.
4. {Sodium vanadium, to its Periodic Table chiums??}. Better cluing thru chemistry.

@63: Top reasons for Shortzmeister holdin this puz for seven years:
* Wait until M&A reads somethin by Hunter S. Thompson (Will finally gave up).
* Tryin to come up with a better clue for NAV.
* Waitin for OTO and OTOH to have puppies. OTIS!
* Lookin for an EINE/UTNE/ETES lull.
* It just seemed like the Kristian thing to do.
* Waitin to use YODEL two days in a row.
* Sent back for more work on the U count.
* To coincide with the 43.4 - year anniversary of the book.

Anyhow, challengin fun puz for M&A, since he had no earthly idea what any of the theme was all about. Plus, throw enough U's at me, and I'm easy.


** gruntz **

M and Also 1:36 PM  

@63: Excellent write-up! Lotsa good material there, plus the all-important Bullets section is back. U have done quite well, to learn from and emulate the style of Blue'Bel.

"Fear And Loathin In The Thermals"

Lewis 2:06 PM  

@Z -- Prior to February 1954, no endeavor to get the Pledge officially amended succeeded. The final successful push came from George MacPherson Docherty. Some American presidents honored Lincoln's birthday by attending services at the church Lincoln attended, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church by sitting in Lincoln's pew on the Sunday nearest February 12. On February 7, 1954, with President Eisenhower sitting in Lincoln's pew, the church's pastor, George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon based on the Gettysburg Address titled "A New Birth of Freedom." He argued that the nation's might lay not in arms but its spirit and higher purpose. He noted that the Pledge's sentiments could be those of any nation, that "there was something missing in the pledge, and that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life." He cited Lincoln's words "under God" as defining words that set the United States apart from other nations.

President Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian very recently, just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. (Wikipedia)

gonzo music tap 2:13 PM  

The hills are alive with the smell of ether that goes to 11!

Andrew in Drag 2:17 PM  

Speaking of DRAG:


chefwen 2:23 PM  

@ludy - Come on over, plenty of room!

Leapfinger 2:41 PM  

@SteveJ is right. There apparently was nothing wrong with EDSELS. Maybe there was something in the design, a bigger something in the marketing that kept it from catching on. I've read that it really was a good car. Wasn't much aware of it at the time: Montreal always had excellent public transport, so cars aren't HUGE in day-to-day life.

Hard to o.d. on OCELOTs, imo. OTOH, time was a friend's aunt kept an OCELOT for a pet, till one day it got to feeling persnickety and took a chunk out of her calf (leg, not livestock). I spose the lesson is: Do not keep a feral feline in a Manhattan high-RISE.

Sometimes I have SAT with my elbow on my KNEE.

schmuzz 2:50 PM  

i wanted skylab to fall on the student services building
while i was in college. they were the holder of my 90 day short term loans and they would get quite cranky with me and my payback system...
of course, i didn't want anyone to get hurt, mind you.

Soren K 3:14 PM  

Fear and loathing here,
Fear and trembling there.
For fEELERS of the fear,
THE noRMALS just don't care.

[rhyming metiers are no cinch]

Teedmn 6:27 PM  

I didn't see Jeopardy last night but around midnight, I caught a few minutes of a profile of Ralph Steadman, HST's long time illustrator. He has such a distinctive style.

Thanks for the (long-delayed) puzzle, Kristian House!

Anonymous 7:32 PM  

First time in ages I didn't do the Sunday puzzle on Saturday night or Sunday. Wasn't expecting a spoiler in a Tuesday write up. Very disappointed.

Anonymous 7:58 PM  

Hey bonehead anon @ 1932: don't read the blog unless you are up to date on your puzzles. Nobody to blame but yourself.

Anonymous 2010 8:10 PM  

Anon 0923,

HST2 may be known for a certain style of writing; he may have utilized, popularized or even exemplified it, but I sincerely doubt it's correct to say that he 'created' it. I'd be interested in how you think you can substantiate that statement...if you think it's possible.

Z 8:51 PM  

@Anonymous 2010 - I can't speak for @anon 0923, but I think Wikipedia is a good place to start. I might even check a source. I might then discover that GONZO JOURNALISM and HUNTER S THOMPSON are very much linked, the latter being the creator of this sub-strain of New Journalism. From the number of quotes posted above, I would guess that @anon0923 is not the only poster surprised to learn that anyone doesn't know Hunter S Thompson.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

Yeah @anon 2010, you're right. Thomas Paine and William Shakespeare were famous for "Gonzo journalism." As were Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. GETACLUE.

Anonymous 9:06 PM  

Anon @ 2010, way to double down on your ignorance. Always a good strategy.

Anonymous 9:29 PM  

Is a MISSUSA* something one would find on the doorposts of a Kristian House?

*As expressed in yesterday's blog commentary, and Spoilers be damned!

Anon formerly known as 2010 10:36 PM  

It's surprising to me that anyone gleaned from my note that I didn't know who HST2 was, and with a fair (though not encyclopedic) amount of detail. I guess if you want to jump to conclusions, you're allowed to choose which conclusion to jump toward.

Z, there's always a source, but how good is the source's source? How sure are you they meant to be answering the question at hand, and that across all eventualities and historical contexts? Good old Wiki, where I've never found a single error or statement grounded in opinion...

Yes, Anon1702, those were the four leading contenders I had on my list. How clever of you to divine that. Now go polish your Captain of Debate Tam Medal.

So pleased to see that Fuzzy Math has Fuzzy Thinking as well as Fuzzy Reading for Comprehension to keep it company.

And so to bed.

Ironic? 11:00 PM  

@Anon905 and @bookdeb - thank you re Dr. Seuss.

@bird re Q - fear of Rex retribution in las vegas

Dorothy Biggs 11:03 PM  

Are those of you who think this puzzle seems like a trivia exercise actually just missing the puns? Because I kind of liked it for that very reason.

Elephant's Child 11:33 PM  

NCA President, I noticed that you mentioned that earlier and wondered, because you have said, I believe, that you don't favor puns. It's nice to know that there are exceptions. Is it the style or the setting, do you think?

Anonymous 12:15 AM  

And so he triples down on his ignorance. I'm shocked.

bwalker 12:33 AM  

Travel today, so I HAD A GO late. For me, a record Tuesday just two seconds short of fifteen minutes, faster than yesterday. I read HUNTER S. THOMPSON's FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS when I was in high school, so the theme was a gimme.

Tomorrow is National Pun Day.

Anon formerly known as 2010 7:43 AM  

So clever, Anon12:15, your talent for opening your mouth in order to show your own behind,
But you really are barking up the wrong tree.

nick 12:18 PM  

I'm never as put off as Rex re: the niceties of theme consistency so in that regard this was fine. Loved learning 'fiasco', was happy to see binge-watch. But having to know the title of a 58-year-old song and the other musty trivia trumps all and sucks out the joy.

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spacecraft 10:38 AM  

Ha! Amusing pic there. SUESS: a female attorney? Lots of Scrabblicious fill today, including at least one gratuitous one: AXE/LUXE. I guess LUXE is all right, though it is another example of Words That Nobody Ever Actually Uses, abbreviated WTNEAU--or "What now?" But the cross could have been completed with B, C, D, G, P, R, or T. Maybe even K. So, yeah, gratuitous.

I'm not a big fan of any of the theme elements, but they are all familiar enough that they practically filled themselves in. I did like a lot of the fill, even if two bleedovers, OCELOT and LAN (cripes, I've forgotten already what that...oh yeah, Local Area Network, right? Is that right? Agh, my brain hurts) snuck in.

Still, OK for a Tuesday. B-.

Anonymous 1:10 PM  

I usually don't start puzzling until Wed. but today I had some early time to kill. Really enjoyed this one - all gettable without lookups. The last to fill was the NW. Hard corner to crack. I knew the expression Gonzo Journalism but my little grey cells were a bit black. I don't care for RuPaul at all but the movie clip was funny. Thanks for a fun puzzle, K. House.

Ron Diego La Mesa, CA

DMG 1:17 PM  

I guess @chefbea,@M&A and I are the only ones who haven't read Mr. Thompson's works. In my case, this lack left me with a big DNF looking at acrosses telling me that someone named Thompson wrote something having to do with LOATHING and GAS. YUK! Time to quit!

Burma Shave 1:28 PM  


Here’s an ODE to a NOBLE scribe,
When he HADAGO, he was ALLIN.
I MEAN, did it DRAG him down to imbibe?
HELLNO! And KUDOS to him!

rondo 1:53 PM  

I subscribed to Rolling Stone for years, but the only issue I’ve ever saved was the one featuring HST after his passing. I read Fear & Loathing all those years ago and much of his work all through his career – he was one of a kind and is dearly missed. Oh, here’s the RS now – Issue 970, March 24, 2005, so it’s been 10 years gone. Miss you, dude.
What else to say ? Best Tuesday since . . . well a long, long time.

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

Who the heck is Hunter Thompson? [Excuse me for being a bit illiterate]

rain forest 3:47 PM  

I had certainly heard of GONZO JOURNALISM, and HUNTER S THOMPSON, and so it went well and quckly today. Some complaints about the straightforward clues--this is Tuesday, no?

Someone up there made a reference to "neither NOR nor NORA..." which reminded me of Walt Kelly, viz. "Oh roar a roar for Nora, for Nora in the night, for she has seen Aurora Borealis burning bright."

Doesn't get much better than that, QED. Hey, there's your Q.

rain forest 3:52 PM  

Forgot. @Spacey--SUESS--brilliant. I'd say LOL, but I hate textage.

Still not a robot, so I have that for which to be thankful.

rondo 4:45 PM  

Former Minnesota Twins manager was frustrated to no end that David ORTIZ – “that big donkey”, Kelley’s words not mine – would not learn to slap the ball to the opposite field, so he got rid of him. And over time ORTIZ has become a legend in Boston. Another reason we here in MN are considered to live in fly-over country.

rondo 4:48 PM  

Former Twins manager Tom Kelly that is.

Teedmn 7:37 PM  

@Rondo, maybe with Molitor (and Torii Hunter for luck?) we'll get back to Kelly's best days of '87 and '91.

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