Leader in electronic music with multiple grammys / SAT 4-25-15 / Bonus round freebies on Wheel of Fortune / Beacon of wise per Shakespeare / Notable features of David Foster Wallace books / Brand name with 2/3 capital letters in its logo / Group with motto self above service / 17-time all-star of 1960s-80s

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Constructor: James Mulhern

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: none

Word of the Day: György LIGETI (62A: Composer György whose music was featured in Kubrick films) —
György Sándor Ligeti (HungarianLigeti György Sándor [ˈliɡɛti ˈɟørɟ ˈʃaːndor]; 28 May 1923 – 12 June 2006) was a composer of contemporary classical music. He has been described as "one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century" and "one of the most innovative and influential among progressive figures of his time".
Born in TransylvaniaRomania, he lived in Hungary before emigrating and becoming an Austrian citizen. (wikipedia)
• • •

Very hard, but a weird kind of hard. The kind of hard that was mostly easy but then dead-stop. Then medium and then Dead-Stop 2: The Revenge. The dead-stops came, not surprisingly, in the dead-end alleys in the NE and SW. Those were like completely separate, self-contained, wholly different experiences from the broad swath of puzzle from NW to SE. Just brutal. And things started out so well. Here's what my puzzle looked like just 5 seconds in:

OK, yes, it's SKRILLEX, not SKRILLAX (1A: Leader in electronic music with multiple Grammys), but the fact that I was 87.5% right on that answer right out of the gate meant that I had traction galore. I figured this would just be one of those days where the constructor and I were on the same pop culture wavelength, and I would sea voyage to victory. This was before I enter chamber of horrors 1: the NE. I had the bottom part of that section from STRATEGO and SAME-SEX, but DFW clue (12D: Notable features of David Foster Wallace books) meant nothing to me and -AGE was zero help with 'ROID RAGE and … something BOX. I wanted SMALL. I then wanted SWEAT, but couldn't convince myself that was a thing, or a metaphor based on a thing. But the real super duper horrible problem for me up there was the horrible quicksand I fell into with a pair of wrong answers: LODGES for 9A: Elks and others (ORDERS) and LOP for 9D: Cockeyed (OFF). Yes, it's ALOP (if it's anything). I see that now. But it *really* felt right. So I sat a long time. Keep in mind that LODGES got me the "D" for DROOP, which only hardened my commitment to LODGES. Gah. Finally tore everything out and tried END NOTES for the DFW clue. From there, I brought back SWEAT BOX and everything worked out. Sigh.

Back to the fun middle! Sailed almost too easily around the bend in the SE and over to the entrance to the SW corner, which, like the NE, didn't want to let me in. Here, I have to quibble with the clues on the gateway answers (i.e. those Acrosses across the top of the SW section). [Space racers] is screaming for a "?" The U.S. and the SOVIETS were indeed involved in a Space Race, but no one in the world, let alone outer space, would call either party a "racer." Come on. That's nuts. And bananas. Banana nut bread, that is, without the deliciousness. And then "CHOCOLAT" (42A: 2000 film set in France that was nominated for five Academy Awards) … oh, actually "CHOCOLAT" is fair. Arcane, to me, but fair. It's the clue on ATLAS that irked me—34D: Global superpower? How? I get that it contains maps, which makes it kin to a globe, but what is this "superpower" of which you speak? It's a big book. It can't fly and doesn't have heat vision. In fact, it has no powers, beyond the powers that any books have. "?" is not saving that one [Ed.: Whoops. My bad. It's ATLAS the guy mythologically holding the "globe" on his back … clue is fine, brain is not. Carry on].

Even after I got the top part of the SW: trouble. If it hadn't been for the outright gimmes of AYN (45A: First name in Objectivism) and VONNEGUT (39D: Author who created the fatalistic optometrist Billy Pilgrim), I'd never have finished. Even with them: trouble. A bygone Secretary of Energy? A bygone movie music composer? A SCAPULAR?! And AD UNIT? Nixon memoir? I really wish the payoffs had been stronger in these tough spots. Instead of the exhilaration I felt early on, I ended up feeling exhausted. It was also unfortunate to finish up in the weakest part of the grid (which wasn't terribly weak, but still—no joy but VONNEGUT down there). I love the buzz and energy (and relative cleanness) of most of this puzzle, but ultimately found it slightly too proper-noun heavy overall. Still, it's only truly faulty in the SW. There are different kinds of hard. NE was Hard-Good. SW, Hard-Mean.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    P.S. Should "notable" be in the clue for an answer that contains the word "NOTES?"

    [Follow Rex Parker on Facebook and Twitter]


    Anonymous 12:06 AM  

    I think he meant Atlas the person, not the book.

    Martin 12:07 AM  

    The other day when AliasZ posted some Ligeti, I wanted to yell, "Not yet!"

    Moly Shu 12:08 AM  

    LIGETI coming out of SCAPULAR did me in. No chance I'm ever getting that. Happy I got SKRILLEX and DORAG. Liked ROIDRAGE and STRATEGO. Never heard of this PETER OSE guy though...... Oh wait.

    andrew 12:09 AM  

    most of it was surprising easy for me (Saturdays are usually DNF unless I go to RexWord).

    Atlas referred to the Greek god - holding up the world no doubt makes him a superpower!


    George NYC 12:14 AM  

    I think Atlas refers to the dude with the world is n his shoulders.

    jae 12:15 AM  

    Easy-medium for me with @Rex SW as the medium part.  Most of this I filled in non- stop while eating a piece of CHOCOLATe cake thinking this is a piece of cake. 

    Apparently, I'm ignorant on both ends of the music spectrum as SKRILLEX and LIGETI  (which held me up in SW) were both WOEs. 

    Erasures: Odd before OFF and  Ize before ITY.

    Lots to like about is one.  Plenty of zip and an interesting mélange of answers.

    Zeke 12:16 AM  

    Is there another name in "Objectivism"? I get First = AYN, Last = Rand, but is there any other name (known to anyone other than every teenager who thinks he/she's just so damned special) associated with "Objectivism"?

    I've read most of DFW and outside of Infinite Jest I don't recall end notes as a recurring motif. "1/4 of Infinite Jest" would be a fair clue, but if I'm correct as to the other books, the clue doesn't make sense.

    Clark 12:22 AM  

    I guess you could call Mozart a bygone movie music composer too since his music was used in Elvira Madigan. Ligeti, The Devil's Staircase.

    okanaganer 12:27 AM  

    Hey--today there are only 3 squares that share both an across and a down clue. Is that some kind of record? (By contrast, yesterday there were 15.)

    Fatalistic optometrist!!

    MDMA 12:42 AM  

    This was my most cringeworthy DNF.

    It turns out Peter Ouse has a long-lost cousin, Peter Os_ . And I didn't remember Wheel of Fortune's RSTLNE even though it was used just a couple of months ago.

    Anonymous 12:59 AM  

    Excellent puzzle. A couple of gimmes, got some traction in the right side and finished it right to left. It was actually easier than I thought it was going to be. Not sure why "ity" is correct. Anyone?


    DocRoss 1:08 AM  

    pluralITY. it doesn't make another word plural, but it can end the word plural.

    MDMA 1:08 AM  

    @Anonymous 12:59

    "Plurality" is a word.

    Questinia 1:13 AM  

    Like Rex I entered the puzzle at 1A only smugly, snootily and sneeringly at what I thought was the obligatory crossword answer: JOHN TESH.


    Exactly what Rex said about the dead stops particularly NE and SW. But my traction wasn't as filled with gripping friction.

    Nice wordage and clueage M. Mulhern.

    Unknown 1:22 AM  

    AYN and "ATLAS Shrugged": a mini-theme?

    wreck 1:23 AM  

    John Tesh on a Casio organ at the Holiday Inn lounge. Thanks, Questinia for that image in my mind!!

    DebinSac 1:47 AM  

    Ah, misery loves company. I smugly started with Brian Eno just because he is always in puzzles, and never did get all the letters of the correct answer. I also had some blanks in the SW. I figured I did well to almost finish. At least, like most of you, I did understand Atlas. A very good puzzle, but between cultural references I didn't know and a few words I hadn't heard of, I was doomed.

    Anonymous 1:49 AM  

    Who knows what Rexster considers challenging (an extra two minutes or something?) but I found this pretty easy. I knew a lot of the trivia outright or could figure it without too much help so that helped. lol Puzzles become soooooooo much easier when you know the trivia. It's like cheating.

    LAT was a good puzzle today.

    Perrak Xer

    OMG I'm visually pasta challenged!!! Someone call Chef Boyardee!!

    Anonymous 1:55 AM  

    The review was a really fun read btw.

    Perrak Xer

    jae 2:16 AM  

    @Zeke - ENDNOTES in The Pale King, not so much in The Broom of the System...and, I'm going on a 10 year old memory here, about 1/10 of Infinite Jest.

    Steve J 2:20 AM  

    Any Saturday I can finish without once resorting to Google or checking for incorrect squares makes me happy. Finishing one like this, where I had so many points I thought I was completely stuck, and where I thought I had no hope in the two mini-puzzles, is especially delightful.

    The NW came together pretty quickly thanks to REDDIT, SKRILLEX and some crosswordese with ESTOP (this is the first, and likely only, time I've been happy to see that). SE took a little more work, but before long I had this nice diagonal band all filled in. And all this white space in the corners.

    Finally got things to come together by trying one letter at a time in key spots. The NE fell quickly once I got ROID RAGE to give me an entry into the top part of the corner. SE took a lot of work, but it finally fell into place. Very satisfying.

    Lots of nice fill - ROID RAGE, SWEATBOX, TALLY UP, YOUR CALL, VONNEGUT - some nice cluing - the Huxley reference for THE DOORS, the allusion to Atlas the god, magazines for the NRA - and that quality in good themelesses where when you get the answer, it suddenly seems obvious. Enjoyed this a lot.

    chefwen 4:08 AM  

    I wouldn't know SKRILLEX if it bit me. It didn't even Google well. Got it from downs and some guesses . Loved 18A, I still miss @Foodie, wish she would come back, like @Acme, ah well!

    Tough one for us, but we got 'er done.

    Have been entertaining visitors for the past few days, little time for puzzles or commenting. It's fun, but I am exhausted. Getting too old for this stuff.

    GILL I. 4:23 AM  

    Loved it! OH YES I DO...
    SKRILLEX was my biggest woe because, now that I think of it, @Questinia's John Tesh makes more sense!
    Like @Steve J, I was thrilled to see ESTOP for the first time in my life because that gave me the end of REDDIT and then PREOP popped in and that gave me PANAM and after that I breezed through the middle.
    My arrows are more of the THWAP persuasion which gave me PiNTS on a saloon door sign. Easily changed.
    CHOCOLAT! One of my favorite movies. PETE ROSE...Boo!
    Fun Saturday.

    Thomaso808 5:36 AM  

    Great puzzle! OKD really the only fill to question.

    SKRILLEX was again a 1A WOE, but other than that the staircase down the right side was super easy.

    Interesting that the clue "Emphatic rebuttal" for me called for a negative, but I guess a rebuttal can just as fairly be an affirmative. AYN was a quick guess, but I struggled to figure out a negative response with a Y.

    @Kris in ABCA it took over an hour of comments for someone to point out ATLAS and AYN. Kudos! Rex missed it.

    @GILL I your comments are fun to read and I enjoyed hearing about your wrong turn to THWAP/PINTS (being a part-time Irish musician I regularly partake of a good pint) and don't think I missed your Juli comment yesterday right on top of mine, but please consider giving Pete a break. There was only one answer to 69A for a reason. He earned the name "Charlie Hustle". How does a guy get a nickname that actually has some other guy's first name?

    I really liked the Shakespeare quote, which was not familiar to me. DOUBT being the beacon of the wise -- I wish it were more true.

    Danp 6:07 AM  

    New rule: It's OK to quote Shakespeare. It is NOT OK to quote "Wheel of Fortune"!!! I have no idea why Pat Sajak puts those letters in that order, but it's not worthy of any crossword puzzle outside TV Guide, if that still exists.

    George Barany 6:51 AM  

    Can we take a break from the fun of crossword puzzles to express concern for one of our number, @JohnChild, who lives in Nepal? See this late-breaking headline. @John, we hope you and your loved ones are ok, and if any other @Rex-ite knows anything, please post about it.

    Unknown 7:41 AM  

    Did anybody have "views" for Internet statistic crossing Vonnegut? I was certain it was right and kept me bogged down in the SW for what seemed like an eon/aeon.

    Anonymous 7:51 AM  

    What about MIT? Why no indication that it's an abbreviation?

    Anonymous 8:00 AM  

    If it weren't for MIT in 61A this Saturday would have been for me a DNB (Did Not Begin). Hopelessly challenging.
    Clearly out of my league.

    Anonymous 8:05 AM  

    Terribly sloppy cluing. Not just "notable" in a clue for ENDNOTES but also the repetition of the word in 41A answer and the clue in 29D. I just stopped in disgust at that repetition: when a constructor cannot be bothered to check for word repetitions, I cannot be bothered to solve his puzzle.

    Loren Muse Smith 8:06 AM  

    I already had ENDED, so I really resisted END NOTES. Rex – good call on "notable." Once I filled that in, I finally sorted out that fiendish northeast.

    "Thwang" feels more like what an arrow would sound like for me. @Gill I – I like your "thwap," too.

    I had "total" up way before TALLY UP. TALLY feels almost exclusively like a card score word. Back in high school, during our epic Spades marathons, Linda W was always good for playing fast and loose with the TALLY. Whack her upside da head was my secret desire. Thwap.

    "That's a no" and then "OH no, no, no" before I realized that a rebuttal does not have to involve the word "no."

    "Rogue" before RAMBO, and before that, I even flirted with "Romeo," but I reckon he didn't run around acting like a reckless tough guy. He was much more reckful.

    SCAPULAR is a funny looking word. Hey, Joe Bob, where's yer durn scapular? I need to flip them eggs I got me cookin' up in the skrillex.

    I'm with @Steve J – any Saturday I can finish is a win in my book. Good one, James!

    pfb 8:14 AM  

    SKRILLEX kept me from getting a foothold on the NW corner. SCAPULAR was my initial thought in the SW corner and I should have gone with it because then I would have had USERS instead of VIEWS. ORDERS, FORNOW, FOODIE, and FONDA almost filled themselves in, but then I wanted FORD for the other Henry.

    mac 8:36 AM  

    I loved this puzzle, much easier for me than yesterday's. A write-over at macho for Rambo. Just lots of fun clues and answers!

    Hope John Child is ok. That was one huge earth quake.

    Rhino 8:40 AM  

    Loved this puzzle. Enjoyed every minute of it, even the parts where I had to cheat.

    Started with Daft Punk, but that was fixed with REDDIT. And I couldnt make it through very much of Infinite Jest so didn't know ENDNOTES (although I remember a book of his essays was filled with page long footnotes).

    Loved it, love Rex, love all of you.

    Mohair Sam 8:41 AM  

    Every letter of SKRILLEX had to fill, THEDOORS was a gimme. Guess how old we are.

    Gimme VONNEGUT in SW led to a gradual steady fill (that must by AYN Rand, remember CHOCOLAT?, gotta be ATLAS and so on) around the entire puzzle, so it played surprisingly easy for a Saturday.

    Liked a lot of the clues, but maybe just a little easy for a Saturday - or was it just "one man's meat . . ." again. Rare is the day when an @Rex rating of challenging strikes us as easy, but we've had two in a row. I guess we're gettin' smart.

    Aketi 8:52 AM  

    @anonymous 8:00am,
    DNB oerfectly describes what often happens to me when I first look at end of the week puzzles.

    AYN, ATLAS, and VONNUGUT dethawed my typical brain freeze. Proving once again that I was a hypocrite when I was grumpy about proper nouns because they saved me from a DNB this time

    I had stopped using the website word checker thanks to the influence of Nancy. I don't aspire the her skill level, but I don't have the be such a slouch. As a result I had a run of four gold stars and had delusions that I might progress to a yellow belt until I got SAND P from crosses and didn't see the so obvious S AND P earlier in the week. After that humiliation I was not tripped up by X SAND OS although I did try XE SAND.. and realized, oops that won't work

    @GeorgeBarany, that is distressing news. I really enjoyed John Child's discussion on neediness. Hope he and his family are OK. I still have Nepalese friends from grad school and visited Nepal in my former line of work. I once had a rather long conversation with a USAID officer about earthquakes and building standards there versus building standards in California.

    I suppose I have to get up and face the day since the puzzle is done and Charlie the cat has crawled under the covers searching for my pajamas as his prey.

    Hartley70 9:01 AM  

    I'm amazed to learn @JohnChild has been posting here from Nepal, and aghast to read of the earthquake's destruction. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to take the reach of the internet for granted. I hope he is lucky today!

    Like Rex, I was able to pop SKRILLEX right in and spell it correctly, not because I am too cool for school, but because an in-law is his agent. I downloaded "Bangarang" to see what his fame is all about and it actually gets this old girl hoppin' around the kitchen island.

    I liked this Saturday, although I too was stuck for what felt like ages in the SW. VONNEGUT was not a gimme for me because he annoyed me early on so I've skipped his work for the most part. SCAPULAR was the real corker for me! Does anyone else remember a SCAPULAR, in the 1950's of my childhood, being a little square of red felt with pinked edges and a holy picture pasted on, that good Catholic children wore on a string around the neck? As I write this it sounds utterly bizarre, so that may mean it was only a RI thing! Gosh, I love words! (Except that TNT business from yesterday!)

    Dorothy Biggs 9:20 AM  

    This was a puzzle I would consider challenging in the most positive way. It was difficult and took a lot of effort, but I never got into a corner where I had to Google (though I was tempted many times). I hung in there and answers, wee bits of answers, gradually emerged as I stared them down one by one.

    I felt like this was four different puzzles and my difficult (or most difficult) spots were in the SW and SE. For some reason I had no problem with everything above the Mason-Dixon line...Rex's trouble with the NE was child's play to me compared to what I went through in the south.

    Words I didn't like: ADUNIT, OKD.


    I didn't care for the clue to ATLAS. "Global superpower" doesn't quite match up. He is certainly a superpower holding up a globe, but because he is holding up a globe does not make his superpower global, it just so happens he is holding up the globe. It was using the global adjective to describe his super power that was bothersome to me. Meh. Whatevs.

    I liked the LGBT shout out with SAMESEX and the PREOP for gender transitioning. Just heard bits of an interview with Bruce Jenner. Hopefully, as gay and lesbian issues become more and more accepted, the red headed step-child of sexual diversity, transgender, will become accepted as well.

    We all can recognize the fluidity of sexuality in our every day lives...our preferences and choices are really all over the map if you stop and think about it and set aside the binary for a second. My prayer is for the newest generation of humans to embrace all persons regardless of how different they appear to themselves. Throw away the binary...it doesn't suit us any more.

    Imfromjersey 9:26 AM  

    Had BRIAN ENO for 1A briefly before Skrillex, got stuck in the SW also. Never heard of Ligeti and I stared at ??N for quite a while before Ayn came to me. Huge fan of Vonnegut, had the opportunity to see him speak twice.

    Anonymous 9:30 AM  

    In re "CHOCOLAT" How can a movie only 15 years old that won five Academy awards be considered arcane?

    Just because you didn't know it, Rex?

    Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:32 AM  

    Sou5thwest was the onoy part I got. lIGETI, sCAPULAR, vONNEGUT, Ayn, piece of cake.

    Denise Ann 9:32 AM  

    This was a true horror.

    Name that tune 9:41 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    I was in the pool! 9:44 AM  

    I had the AGE and really, really wanted SHRINKAGE for "possible effect of doping." AtLAS, it was one letter too many.

    RooMonster 9:45 AM  

    Hey All !
    Live in Las Vegas, so see SKRILLEX billboards alot! Not saying it was a gimmie, because it wasn't. Tough SatPuz, only way completed was by using Check Puz feature to see my wrongness! XS AND OXS neat, but a tad hard to parse. SW corner definitely hardest. Wanted Thwip (Hi @Gill and @LMS) for the arrow. Watch Blade 3, and tell me the scene with Jessica Biel fine tuning her bow that the arrows aren't Thwip-ing!

    So typical SatPuz, there were some gimmies, not many, and lots of wrongs! On to Sunday!


    Name that tune 9:48 AM  

    SKRILLEX, a band well known only to people who are into a certain niche segment of the music world, is a gimme and therefore a great answer; however, anyone who uses Bronko NAGURSKI, one of the greatest and best-known athletes of the 20th century, or CHOCOLAT, a famous and beloved film (that was, by the way, clued incredibly fairly and helpfully) in their puzzle is just using ridiculously obscure proper nouns.
    If I were a better man, I'd acknowledge the fact that there are some things in each of our wheelhouses, and some things that aren't even in our ATLASes. That mean's one man's (or woman's) gimme is another man's (or woman's) obscurity. But it doesn't make one better than another for crossword use.
    Sadly, I am not a better man.

    Z 9:56 AM  

    Lots of "controversy" in today's puzzle: Sex changes, SAME SEX marriage, AYN Rand, PETE ROSE, clueing MIT through one of her more infamous alums, the NRA. Lots to argue about in this one, but only two entries truly upset me, RSTLNEVIII. Sure, we get six proper names out of eight acrosses in the SW (with VONNEGUT as a down bonus), but it is still RSTLNEVIII that brings down this otherwise fine tussle.

    Speaking of "controversies," I am really tired of news for the Gladys Kravitz's of the world. I want to know a candidates positions and whether or not they can compromise. Their offspring getting a DUI is not national news. And I really don't care what happens, or with whom, in anyone else's bedrooms (unless you make a big deal about it - don't run on "family values" and then hike the Appalachian Trail).

    @John Child - Hoping all is well with you, yours, and your neighbors. Be safe.

    GeezerJackYale48 9:58 AM  

    Hey Mohair Sam: We don't care to guess how old you are, but we would like to know if you are using the royal plural in your comments - maybe because we are not amused.

    Anonymous 10:01 AM  

    The irony of your first sentence isn't lost on me. Just because YOU don't know SKRILLEX doesn't make him niche. he's one of the biggest names in music of the last few years. Your come here every day to mock rex for this kind of thing...

    Anonymous 10:01 AM  

    Come on, folks, now you're making me feel bad. Here I am with Southeast still looking like a Sunday morning parking lot, and nobody points to RSTLNE (Bonus round freebies on Wheel of Fortune) as the egregious folderol it is. Am I the only one feeling ROIDRAGE over that?

    Happy Pencil 10:02 AM  

    I'm always amazed when I learn that Rex has struggled in exactly the same spots as me. It makes me feel a little better -- although it doesn't quite erase the shame of reading "Billy Pilgrim" and somehow insisting on parsing it as "Scott Pilgrim." Ugh.

    This was a tough one for me. It took me over an hour to finish, and I agree with Rex that the tough SW was not quite worth the payoff and somehow tarnished what had been quite a fun puzzle up to that point.

    I echo the previous comments about @JohnChild and hope he is safe and well. I know him only from reading his comments here, and it is astonishing to think he's been posting from Nepal all this time. It sounds like a terrible disaster, but I hope we'll soon hear that he's come through unscathed.

    Anonymous 10:02 AM  

    Well it's easy to spot the politics of people who post here. Sex changes are "controversial" but Nixon's memoir, In The ARENA, subtitled "victory, defeat, and renewal" doesn't warrant a mention. Whirred and Z should consider a same sex marriage.

    Teedmn 10:03 AM  

    Yay, Saturday puzzle that made me work ALLOT and I was nearly UNBEATEN! With NRA, DORAG crossing DONORS and one big nasty error of tRans (for PREOP) as my only entries, I eventually whittled this down to a single mistake of bOOT in lieu of LOOT which I fixed with the help of the Check button.

    Definitely the NE and SW were hardest to get toe-holds in. But getting rid of that tRans was the key for me today. With nothing in the NE, I finally threw in ROOF in for 10D, got FONDA and that saved me there. Big dope slap when I saw TaB (had wanted iOS) since my pink can of said soda was sitting right in front of me as I did the puzzle, aargh!

    SW, I had SOVIETS and CHOCOLAT and suddenly my Catholic upbringing dredged up SCAPULAR and that section finally fell.

    I haven't gotten all the way through "Infinite Jest" but it resides on my iPad so I checked out the END NOTES. Some 150 pages of them so indeed 'notable'.

    Thanks, Mr. Mulhern, great puzzle.

    And from yesterday, congrats Annabel, on being so newsworthy. Glad you enjoyed my beloved BWCA.

    Just last night, a friend said that he wanted to go back to Nepal someday because he liked Katmandu and the people there so much. @John Child, we hope you are all right.

    Anonymous 10:11 AM  

    Well, anon @ 10:01, looks like you just proved Porker's point. To you, SKILLEX is "one of the biggest names in music" and seemingly should be a household name. To me, Bronko Nagurski is "one of the biggest names in the history of American sport" and should be a household name, and CHOCOLAT is "one of the most beloved films of the last 20 years" and should be a household name.
    I would most definitely take the bet that SKRILLEX would come in last in a poll of those 3 proper names given to NY Times crossword solvers, which is exactly NOT the point. The point is, to berate a constructor for using "obscure" clues just because they don't happen to be in one's wheelhouse detracts from ones credibility as a crossword critic.

    r.alphbunker 10:13 AM  

    For 1A {Leader in electronic music with multiple Grammys} I immediately wrote in BRIANENO so not a good start to the puzzle. Had to get rid of Henry ADAMS to open up the NE.

    @John Child I hope you are okay. What a tragedy.

    Steve M 10:13 AM  

    Tuff but fair

    steveo 10:15 AM  

    Ugh. Once I convinced myself that SKRI really was correct, I couldn't resist in Googling that (google autocompletes in my browser's address bar, @chefwen), which, of course always results in my giving up completely (because I already cheated).

    At least I enjoyed Rex's write-up.

    Maybe I'll go do a Saturday from the NYT archive as a punishment.

    Nancy 10:18 AM  

    @Aketi and @Anon -- I love the acronym you've coined: DNB. Very funny.

    For me, the only thing worse than having SKRILLEX as an answer is having it as an answer at 1 Across. I almost DNB :)

    I was also thrown off by having gONeR instead of DONOR at 30A. Anyone else? Probably not. It's a bit ghoulish, now that I think of it.

    This puzzle provided the challenge I always hope for, and I was also able to finish it. So those two things taken together means I should have enjoyed it a lot. But I didn't enjoy it all that much -- not nearly as much as yesterday's. And other than SKRILLEX, I can't really provide a reason. Sometimes, I suppose, we have reactions for which there really ISN'T a reason.

    Unknown 10:24 AM  

    Tough. I finished with a lot of guessing, but untold wrong ness. Here is my solution. It is officially wrong, but how wrong? I havent't checked yet. Note the time: nearly 2:30. Note also the pencil and pen, reflecting confidence in my solution. @wreck suggested I use pencil mode, so here it is.

    Shortly, I'll just capitulate and will see the answers, so I'm not aksing for help this time. But if the constructor happens along, he should see that this is *a* puzzle he clued.

    Z 10:31 AM  

    Anonymous and illiterate is no way to live your life. What Rex wrote was, "Oh, actually CHOCOLAT is fair. Arcane, to me, but fair." Toss in the notion that EDM is "niche" and that @Whirred Whacks and I have similar political viewpoints and you anonymice are not demonstrating a high level of reading comprehension.

    @anon10:01 - I'm guessing my post hadn't appeared, yet. I'm with you.

    Anonymous 10:32 AM  

    @Casco: your PROTEM is better than the correct answer. I'm glad I didn't think of it, or I would have entered it with pretty high confidence. And I think we can tell your frame of mind from "erring" and "poop" in the northwest.
    Don't give up yet!
    One thing I've come to accept in reviewing puzzles I know are wrong: there should be extremely little that looks like nonsense words I haven't heard of. If I see one, it's out. There is obscure usage, maybe a scattering of proper names like SKRILLEX (should be renamed SKILL REX?!) and LIGETI, but even these should sound like plausible names I just haven't heard of.

    mathguy 10:37 AM  

    Bill Butler failed to get the SW. I had to use my word finder on SCA????? to remember SCAPULAR. That put me over the hump even though I didn't know PENA and LIGETI. ADUNIT is bogus.

    @Hartley 70: At St. Monica's grade school here in San Francisco in the mid forties, many of us wore "scapular medals." They were called medals but they were two squares of brown felt with holy pictures sewn on connected with brown string. One square rested on the chest, the other on the mid-back. Pius XII was pope at the time and he encouraged the practice. The Blessed Virgin promised salvation to those who wore the scapular throughout their lives.

    Excellent puzzle.

    Anonymous 10:40 AM  

    Hey @ Porker--your points are well taken. It seems you have influenced OFL to tone down his posts a bit over the past week or so. Thank you for that, but maybe it's time you take a break?

    Nancy 10:42 AM  

    @Casco -- GONER is wrong, but since it's the same wrong answer that I initially had, I think it's a "good wrong answer." I also think that PLING, also wrong, is just as good a description of an arrow's sound as the correct answer. I like PLING a lot, actually.

    But, oh no, @Casco! APGAHS???? TOBHMA???? Wrench those wretched answers from your grid and redo the entire NE. The rest of your grid is rather impressive, I would say. You're not that far from finishing. Keep the faith.

    joho 10:44 AM  

    Great write-up, @Rex, love it when you do a blow-by-blow account of your solve, today complete with your initial take on ATLAS. Funny!

    @George Barany, thank you for telling us about @John Child. I join everybody who is sending good wishes to him and his family. And really to all who were caught up in this devastating earthquake.

    Lastly, thank you to James Mulhern for a terrific Saturday puzzle which I DNF. I congratulate all who were UNBEATEN by this beast! The "challenging" rating today makes me feel a bit better.

    (ADUNIT reminds me of "who dunnit.")

    Carola 10:44 AM  

    This was more like word-work than wordplay, but then, I'm always wanting a Saturday workout. First pass through the grid got me only the unlikely pair AYN and LIGETI. Had to work my way through the Slough of Despond to finish.

    I almost threw up my hands in the NW: I didn't know the electronic music group, the Huxley title, the meaning of "boodle," the fashion brand (when "beEnE" seemed very iffy), or the sound that other people think an arrow makes. Decided to go with LOOT and TWANG and wrote in LOEWE with a cartoon bubble over my head containing ??? - I'm the world's dorkiest dresser, but I read about fashion...I guess not enough.

    I liked learning "lutrine."

    Hartley70 10:46 AM  

    @Mathguy, RIers take pride in the smallness of the state, so it figures we would have used only the front half of the medal. Half a salvation would be better than none, I suppose.

    Anonymous 10:51 AM  

    @Nancy 1042: I can't believe you didn't know SKRILLEX. According to anon@ 1001 "he's one of the biggest names in music of the last few years," which implies that you are a troglodytic ignoramus if you haven't heard of him.

    PS--it's a "him?" I would have guessed it was a "band." I should be summarily executed for my ignorance.

    Anonymous 11:06 AM  

    @Casco and @Nancy--your incorrect "goner" cracked me up. It's a great answer. I suspect that would be too dark for Shortz to allow, which is, for better or worse, a guideline I use for "off-color" or "dark" answers pretty frequently.

    Name that tune 11:08 AM  

    I OTTER be more careful. Today's puzzle made me injure my TALLYwhacker on the lutrine.

    R. McGeddon 11:10 AM  

    It must be a function of age. I listen to LIGETI every day (via Pandora) but never heard of SKRILLEX.

    Wendy the former Snowperson 11:12 AM  

    Yesterday's puzzle and today's were two of the best. If I didn't have a college-age DJ son, I wouldn't have known SKRILLEX, that's for sure! Enjoyed the all-age-group challenges here, from FONDA to PETEROSE to THE DOORS, ROIDRAGE, CHOCOLAT. This took me awhile, but was a great no-cheat Friday and Saturday for me. Yay.

    Anonymous 11:17 AM  

    I was certain you were going to make up your own answer for "uncomfortably tight spot, informally." Possibly involving someone's mom. I am ambivalent about whether I am pleased or not that you didn't.

    R. McGeddon 11:18 AM  

    Also, although FOODIE is a perfectly good answer, I really hate that word and wish the clue had been something like, Kale smoothie maker.

    Anonymous 11:18 AM  

    @Casco Good work. I'm taking inspiration from you that I can solve and present my own version of the puzzle on Fridays and Saturdays!

    Steve J 11:21 AM  

    Didn't realize John Child was in Nepal. Indeed, I hope he and his family are ok. And I feel for the many who are not and who've lost lives, loved ones and homes.

    @Casco: Nancy brings up a good point: Crosswords - especially these late in the week - are often just as much about deduction as they are about recall and wordplay. Take a look at your NW. APGAHS, TOBHMA, MALOL. Saturdays can trot out lots of obscure words, but do any of them really look like plausible words? It's possible they could be real, but you're relying on a questionable cross to make them work - HEMOLAGE (note, you have some other errors in that corner, but they're at least in the plausible category). Those are good signs to erase and try again.

    Otherwise, your grid looks pretty good. There are a couple other errors, but they're in the plausible category, which makes them tougher to unearth. You also have them marked in pencil, which shows you're unsure. Take a look through those areas (being aware you have one area with a lot of pencil that's correct).

    @Aketi: Your "dethawed my typical brain freeze" reminded me of a conversation I had with my mom in the kitchen some years back. She said she was taking some meat out of the freezer to unthaw it. I asked her what the definition of "thaw" was, and she answered. "So, what happens when you unthaw?" It was fun seeing the look of sudden realization on her face. I bring this up because "unthaw" falls into this weird category of English words where a negating prefix is attached, yet it means the same thing as the unmodified root. Thaw/unthaw, flammable/inflammable. There are others I'm not recalling pre-caffeine. Loren and I have gone off on long tangents on these words before. I find them fascinating. I may be (nearly) alone in this.

    @Anon 10:02 a.m.: If it's easy to spot the politics of people here, you're doing a remarkably poor job of it. @Z is pretty outspokenly progressive.

    Bob Kerfuffle 11:30 AM  

    Great Saturday puzzle! Super Hard for me, but after a couple of annoying incoming phone calls (which actually seem to aid the solving process!), finished clean, no write-overs, so it obviously was *fair*.

    As several commenters have already noted, BRIAN ENO has the right number of letters to fit in 1A. I never entered it, since I couldn't find any crosses to confirm, but I was reminded that although ENO is a name I see in crosswords all the time, I have absolutely no idea what his music sounds like!

    Hoping all is well with John Child. When a short time ago he asked for test solvers for a crossword he had constructed, I gave it a try and sent him comments I hoped would be helpful. There were several answers in his grid referring to Hindu gods and Indian food, and I mentioned that there seemed to be "a sub-theme of the sub-continent." Only then, in his gracious reply, did I learn that he was living in Nepal!

    Anonymous 11:30 AM  

    Does any one out there believe the lowest recorded times @NYT puzzle site of less than two minutes?

    Kurt 11:34 AM  


    I also confidently wrote in BRIAN ENO for 1-Across. Interestingly, Eno has won five Grammys and Skrillex has won six.

    It was hard for me to work my way out of the "Eno Hole".

    ATLAS Shrug 11:37 AM  

    To me, the ATLAS clue demonstrates how beautiful clues can be. There is the clue itself, so first thoughts are "USA" or "Europe", then maybe something more abstract like "geothermal." The there's that "?" so you start thinking of tricks. Meanwhile, other answers make ATLAS look like a likely answer, but you can't (just like Rex didn't) figure out, even with the "?", why it fits. Then AHA!! Just lovely. And this all happens in a matter of seconds.

    Anonymous 11:38 AM  

    I would definitely take the other side of that bet.

    And I am making no statement that skrillex "should be a household name." Simply that he's NOT "only well known in niche segments," and clearly famous enough to be included in a Saturday puzzle. I understood his other points, I just took issue with his first sentence. which is why I only commented on that

    George Barany 11:42 AM  

    Since I was the one who earlier today called everyone's attention to the fact that @John Child is in Nepal, it is incumbent on me to update you with what little new I now know. John was able to get out the following: "Yes all OK here. Thx. Limited communications."

    I'm sure that once the situation stabilizes, @John will tell us more, in his own words. The many kind thoughts and sentiments expressed in this forum cannot fail to encourage him and his loved ones as they work their way through this ordeal.

    Anonymous 11:49 AM  

    This gave me a good smile -- thanks for sharing!

    I will say that the NE doesn't contain any out there vocab. Probably worth a restart there :)

    Thanks again
    James Mulhern

    Z 11:50 AM  

    @George Barany - Thanks for the update. Between Nepal and Chile we are again reminded of just what "global superpower" really looks like. The news about Yellowstone doesn't scare me only because it is too awesome to truly understand.

    @Steve J - "@Z is pretty outspokenly progressive," seems like an understatement to me, but then I usually edit my comments at least a little to tone them down.

    Teedmn 11:51 AM  

    @Casco, congrats on mostly making it, especially through the dreaded SW. In the NE, both prom and go bad are likely answers. But one aspect of 10D that might have helped you is that the clue does not have a ? at the end, which it surely should have if prom was the answer. That might have saved you in that section (at least, sussing ROOF there is what saved me). And loved pOOp for "boodle".

    RooMonster 11:54 AM  

    When people say "unthaw" I usually can't refrain from being a smart ass and saying something along the lines of, "Oh, so you're refreezing it?" Cause you know, thaw is unfreeze, so unthaw would be not-thaw, or refreeze.

    The punchline loses something in the explanation!


    Anonymous 12:00 PM  

    Know Nagurski and chocolat. Never before heard of Skrillex. Safe to assume puzzles will contain both known and unknown - particularly on a Sat.

    Anonymous 12:03 PM  

    Troglodytic? Or just not that into pop music... I sorta had the latter in mind, but your reply points more to the former

    Cheerio 12:18 PM  

    The rare Saturday that I finished without Googling! Stunned to see Rex thought it was challenging. I guess ithere's just big differences in experiences across people. I loved getting SCAPULAR finally. That's one you could puzzle out because it's just an anatomical description. Also fun to puzzle out ARENA. Had RENO for PENA for a while. One error at the final I in LiGETI.

    Wood 12:23 PM  

    Beautifully said.

    old timer 12:35 PM  

    Total DNF. I've never read any David Foster Wallace, so I had nothing there below END. Roid Rage? Not in my wheelhouse. SKRILLEX I got entirely on crosses. I stopped with the entire left side filled in. Would have written SANAA and thought about SAMESEX, but I got hungry and decided to make myself some leftover steak and scrambled eggs and potatoes and onions. Then I decided to come here.

    I liked Rex's review. It was fair, and he even made fun of his failure to get the ATLAS clue.

    Anonymous 12:42 PM  

    How can it be hard for Rex when it's easy for me? I only googled twice!

    steveo 12:42 PM  

    Re: my comment at 10:15 AM

    Okay; after my pathetic DNF today, I did Saturday, April 4, 2009 (which was mentioned in the comments here earlier this week.)

    Turns out it was, by far, the easiest Saturday I've ever attempted. (Would have been a fun Thursday.)

    Some punishment!

    Wood 12:50 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Charles Flaster 12:54 PM  

    Loved thus absolutely wonderful , erudite puzzle. Great for anyone trying to improve their game.
    Very few of the proper names were in my bailiwick so it was a challenge to complete.
    Clever how AYN and ATLAS( shrugged) are in close proximity.
    Liked cluing for ATLAS, VIII, YOUR CALL and SOVIETS.
    SOVIETS into VONNEGUT opened up the torturous SW.No unnecessary fill at all.
    BTW PETE ROSE should be in HOF.
    Sending best wishes to John Child.
    Thanks JM.

    Wood 12:55 PM  

    Surprised to find this easy (for a Saturday -- finished in 30 minutes, a normal Thursday time), especially when @Rex found it hard. Started in the NE and blazed through the whole eastern half in 15. Western half was crunchier, but knew LIGETI and somehow pulled out SCAPULAR. Toughest was the NW, due to SKRILLEX WOE (but I looked him up and the video for "Bangarang" is really great). "Boodle" also meant nothing to me so had SCRIBLEX and BOOT. Thought maybe "Boodle" was another British word for the trunk of a car? "Put the telly in the boodle." Sounds fine to me. I can't imagine a bank robber saying, "Let's go back to the hideout and count the boodle!" Maybe "kit and caboodle" is related? Is a stash of cat treats a "kitten caboodle?" OK I'm digressing. Due to this one wrong square, a technical DNF, but I'm calling it a victory.


    Unknown 12:57 PM  

    We've all heard of Grand POOBAHS with the Elks, Rotarians, Knights of Columbus and whatnot. Why can't APGAHS be some under-POOBAH that I've never heard of?

    HEMOLAGE is weird. Indeed, I wanted ADVANTAGE, which is a possible effect of doping, but it wouldn't fit. HEMOLAGE may be some kind of doping related blood problem I've never heard of.

    I did finally quit and call my expert solver buddy who, in characteristic fashion, said this was a) easier than yesterday but b) still took him most of half an hour.

    He granted me PROTEM as a credible answer, but wouldn't accept SMALLBOX as an uncomforatbly tight place to be. He also wouldn't accept EBS as literary initials, which put me in the awkward position of defending the significance of Elizabeth Browning Shelley's life and work. "But her initials weren't EBS," he said. "She'd only ever be known as EBB. EBS is a crazy, crazy guess. Why you just use the obvious answer?"

    The "obvious" answer, based on _B_ and running the alphabet on the first letter AB_, BB_ . . . came back as EBW, for EB White (of course), but when TESTS went in, I had to rationalize EBS, which I did. Why didn't I pitch the E? you ask. Well . . . I had already decided that DeRA_-> DeRAE must be the name of a bluray headset that rap and pop performers use. I guess Y could have fit, but YSB isn't a literary monogram AFAIK. Ysabel Allende ? . . . but probly not. DeRAe it was; I just had never heard of it. That's all. It turns out that DORAG is something else equally improbable that I have never heard of.

    Incidentally, I used the same rationale for LIGETI, PENA, SCAPULAR, ARENA, PETEROSE, RSTLNE.
    and the aforementioned APGAHS!!

    This is what happens when you put in the extra hours trying to suss what you don't know while simultaneously trying very hard to let go of what is probably wrong. For instance, LOEWE was probably wrong, I figured, as it runs together with the national chain theater brand and the Home Depot competitor. LOOT was possible, but also probably wrong, so out it went.

    In the NE, this much was pretty credible.

    p g a S
    p r o t e m
    o b h a
    m a l l
    d e l l
    T A B
    E G O
    S E X

    (The David Foster Wallace clue was a Hail Mary, but it patterned in quite nicely. So, right?)

    Indeed, it couldn't all be wrong?!? But it was all wrong. And I made the vain miscalculation that my time spent eliciting all that fill from the recesses and bowels of my mind was time well spent. Pride goeth before the fill, I mean fall.

    mac 1:01 PM  

    Have we heard from @Numinous lately?

    Unknown 1:04 PM  

    Trying again with a try at preformating by hand, as Rex's blog doesn't like the PRE tag

    p _ g a _ S
    p r o t e m
    o _ b h _ a
    m _ a l _ l
    . . d e l l
    . . . T A B
    . . . E G O
    . . . S E X

    Unknown 1:06 PM  

    Dictionary.com does not recognize LUTRINE. I call foul.

    Unknown 1:07 PM  

    Sign. Never mind.

    r.alphbunker 1:14 PM  

    In his book on the mathematics of infinity, "Everything and More, a Compact History of Infinity", David Foster Wallace used copious end notes which were labeled IYI for "if you're interested". In one he lovingly called mathematicians "nerdy little bow-tied fissiparous creatures." This was not your typical math treatise!

    Fred Romagnolo 1:14 PM  

    Atlas was NOT a god, he was a Titan - an uncle of the gods; a great subject in Renaissance art was the battle between the gods and the titans - guess who won! What am I missing? What has Nagurski to do with this puzzle? @Anon10:02: it's easy to spot YOUR politics. Why are X's AND O's chalk talk? Why is ROID RAGE a possible effect of doping? My own choice for the arrow sound would be thwip.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:20 PM  

    @Wood: actually, the brand of cat food I use IS "Kit'n Caboodle."

    Fred Romagnolo 1:22 PM  

    @Karen: my Websters 3rd has it.

    Hartley70 1:29 PM  

    @mac, no and I've been wondering about him with a tad of worry. @Tita has been awol too since the ACPT. I miss her voice.

    @FredRomagnolo ROID refers to steroids and the rage that is sometimes a side effect. I think the chalk talk refers to sidewalk games, a la tic tac toe, but I may be missing something there.

    Z 1:33 PM  

    @Fred R - "Chalk talk" is slang for what coaches do from back in the day when locker rooms had chalk boards. X's for the defense, O's for the offense, so X'S AND O'S.
    As for "doping," one of the other side effects of misusing steROIDs is a drop in emotional control, leading to steROID induced RAGE, changed to 'ROID RAGE as a play on "road rage."

    As for "lutrine," Merriam-Webster tells me it only appears in its unabridged edition, Wiktionary has an entry, and Google thinks I want the lAtrine. Yep, pretty arcane. Knowing the ways of the Shortz, I'm looking for lutrine to appear as an answer in the not too distant future.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:35 PM  

    @Hartley70: Thanks for the ROID, and for an educated guess at the chalk talk.

    Fred Romagnolo 1:37 PM  

    @Z: even you progressive guys are pretty damned smart - thanks.

    Maruchka 1:42 PM  

    Raking dead leaves of winter this morning, so late to solving and blogging. 101 hits? Wow.

    Another scary day of too much white. Odd/OFF, tallies/TALLY UP, Titian/TOMATO. 3 googles for PENA, LIGETI and SKRILLEX (couldn't get Brian Eno outta me mind).

    Fav of the day - ORDERS. Ah, the BPOE. I can hear Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire - "I just love lodges!' Don't we all. Fond memories of the Mystic Knights of the Sea lodge, too.

    Isn't there a Zen quote, "With the ideal comes the actual, like an arrow caught in mid-flight"? TWANG! Ouch.

    mathguy 1:44 PM  

    @Fred Romagnolo: I've seen "Xs and Os" used in both football and basketball. It has to do with designing plays. Last year's Warrior coach Mark Jackson was criticized (after he was fired) for not being an Xs-and- Os guy, good at inspiring the team but weak in the analytics of the game.

    Anonymous 1:47 PM  

    okanaganer: "...today there are only 3 squares that share both an across and a down clue. Is that some kind of record?"

    Anyone know what this refers to? Thanks.

    Lewis 1:53 PM  

    Thanks George for passing on that John Child is okay. He comes across as such a good soul.

    Rex, you are on a terrific roll with your reviews. Have you dropped lemons from your diet? You have been giving good criticism -- constructive, even -- without castigating. This is enriching your humor. From the comments I know I'm not the only one greatly enjoying this week's reviews.

    Much mention of the answers with spark, but not much about the clues, of which there was some excellence: DONOR, ROOF, and TREE for cleverness, and others for trickiness. I found it to be like Rex, where I flew through some areas and got stuck in others, notably the SW. There was lots of joy in this solve.

    @fred -- X's and O's are on the blackboard of the coach showing plays to the team.

    demit 1:58 PM  

    I imagine the XANDOS are the plays a coach runs on the chalkboard for his players.

    Hartley, we parochial school kids in Philadelphia wore our scapulars even to bed. The front-and-back kind; they would twist up overnight.

    Never heard of Skrillex but wasn't bothered by it. Nor am I surprised it's a person. I gave up on that long ago, ever since I assumed Jethro Tull was a person and Sting was a group.

    Mette 1:58 PM  

    Loved it. Had to Google for LIGETI and ARENA. Since I had only the first letter, briefly wondered if Nixon was self-aware enough to write In the Abyss.

    Joe 2:21 PM  

    Brian Eno also fits 1A, to my sorrow.

    Lewis 2:31 PM  

    Factoid: Shakespeare coined the phrase “SALAD days” – in which the greenness of salad carries the connotation of youth – in Antony and Cleopatra.

    Quotoid: "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." -- Kurt VONNEGUT

    Lewis 2:33 PM  

    @lms -- your scapular/skrillex comment was my best laugh of the week -- brilliant.

    Anonymous 2:48 PM  

    Not to play the know-it-all, but I think Ligeti, a major twentieth-century composer (top 20, famewise?), is fair. Kubrick used his music in 2001, but Ligeti was no more a composer of movie music than Beethoven. And his music is pretty dope--way doper than Skrillex's (whose name I was pleased to see in the crossword).

    Ludyjynn 3:09 PM  

    Once again, my solving experience mirrored Rex, but it ENDED badly for me in the SW which clearly was not in my ARENA. So close...

    I did appreciate much of the clever cluing others have noted. Also liked the "Scrabble" letter 'E' reference corresponding to the "Wheel of Fortune" freebie vowels next door.

    Nice to see Henry FONDA, the dad, clued instead of the usual Peter Fonda, the son, of "Ulee's Gold" fame.

    Some FOODIEs are just gourmands, sad to rePORT.

    I keep visualizing AYN Rand dropping in at "Cheers" and having Sam MALONE make her a hot CHOCOLAT in lieu of a cocktail. She then gets into an argument about Objectivism with Frasier Crane, but PETEROSE walks in and settles the dispute after Kurt VONNEGUT is unable to STOP them. Bibi Netanyahu is studying for final TESTS at MIT, so he misses all the excitement FORNOW.

    Thanks, JM and WS.

    TDavis 3:35 PM  

    Just a bit of nit-picking, but WHEN will people start realizing that ATLAS isn't holding up the globe, he's holding up THE HEAVENS!!!!!

    Sex Marker 3:47 PM  

    with the A and U of SCAPULAR, chAsUble was my undoing...


    Anonymous 4:20 PM  

    Hey has anybody pointed out that BRIAN ENO fits in 1a as well?

    Anonymous 4:23 PM  

    No way in hell SKRILLEX is known to as many people on this board as CHOCOLAT or Bronko Nagurski. Count me in for that bet.

    ATLAS the Titan 4:34 PM  

    Found this interesting: "Because the place where Atlas stood to perform his task was the westernmost end of the world known to the ancient Greeks, the ocean near him was called the Atlantic meaning the "Sea of Atlas" in his honor."

    GeezerJackYale48 4:35 PM  

    Anonymous, I agree with you about SKRILLEX. Never heard of it and not sure I care, but Chocolat and Bronko Nagurski - yes!

    ATLAS the Titan 4:37 PM  

    TDavis@ 3:35: When are people going to realize that the clue had a "?" ?! It's not a literal clue. Google images of "ATLAS holding up the globe" and you will find thousands.

    Leapfinger 4:57 PM  

    Well, I was kinda FONDA Henry Ford, he VIII less than the other one.

    No, really, when I had ---COLA- filled in, [clueless] I jumped to DulCOLAx instead of CHOCOLAT. Just to be consistent, my mind always has ROID follow 'hemor', so it seems to be an AYNal rut.

    Some interesting juxtas:
    Symmetry of ROTARY Club and BPORDER of Elks
    Placing STRATE GO over SAME SEX

    Residual questions:
    WhoDUNIT? ADUNIT? Shouldn't it be I DUNIT?
    OK'D makes me wonder whether the past tense of DOOK really is DIDOK?

    @MolyShu and @GILL, it's PETEROSE because he's a sugar. [Gag]

    @AliasZ, omg, unlike @Martin, I forgot LIGETI, tried to fit in SzIGETI, alasz. I knew, however, that it wasn't Gyorgy, your PAL. As usual.

    For now, this RADIO-ERA solver will let SKRILLEX just remain a style of skirt Emma Thompson wore, and be satisfied with a clue linking Jim Morrison to A Huxley.

    Ending the week UNBEATEN, somewhat Bowed.

    Anonymous 4:58 PM  

    Thanks Geezer@4:35: Here's the thing: I DO care. I like learning new things doing crosswords. What drives me nuts, however, is the pervasive arrogance of Rex and others on this site who constantly say things like, "How could anyone not know that, it's so obvious?", and the pervasive whining of Rex and others on this site who constantly say things like, "That clue is unfair! How could anyone have ever heard of that?"

    Anonymous 5:21 PM  

    Whether answers that can be argued as obscure are fair or not usually depends and how they're crossed, thus giving rise to Rex's term "natick."

    dk 6:29 PM  

    🌕🌕🌕🌕 (4 mOOOOns)

    Loved the Ayn Rand theme.

    BrainEno for 1a was a real problem. Coupled with the fact that I have never heard of the correct 1a.

    Alas that is why it is called a puzzle.

    Great time. Thanks James

    Anonymous 6:38 PM  

    Bugged me too.. Finally figured out that s/he was referring to clues #1, 9 & 37, which are the only three numbered clues to have both an across and a down answer begin in the same place (in the first spot). Probably not explaining too well, sorry.. :)

    Anonymous 6:44 PM  

    Thanks for answering my question and kudos to you for seeing what he meant.

    Leapfinger 7:45 PM  

    @I'm from NJ, Mother Night was my first VONNEGUT; a grad student in the dept thought it would make good reading when I had my baby. (Worth a 4-day hospital admission in those days.) The first page introduced a character called Khashdrahr Miasma (sp?): when I figured out how that was pronounced, I became a fan for life. Met the author hisself after a performance of "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" in NYC; after the performance, he came for a drink next door to the theatre, accompanied by William Hickey, who played "Looseleaf" Harper, former pilot of the Enola Gay. Still appreciate him as a writer of significant stature. (6'8", I think)

    Seeing some interesting associations for SCAPULAR; when I first came across this meaning of the word, I linked it to the bone in the shoulder girdle. One nugget I remember: scapular winging indicates a problem with the long thoracic nerve. And that's no Bull.

    The reports out of Nepal are appalling. I hope John Child and the million others we don't know are getting through it; waiting for good news.

    Steve A 8:07 PM  

    I've read some of the comments and find it strange that no one has said anything about "lutrine". Please... I have an excellent vocabulary but I've never heard that word used to mean otter-like.
    And 51 down, are those letters from Wheel of Fortune an actual sequence used on the show regularly, or are they just a random group? The lack of a consonant/vowel sense there made me doubt some of the answers that did prove to be correct.

    Arlene 8:09 PM  

    I'm late to the table here because I indulged myself and solved Sunday's puzzle first (print edition comes on Saturday).
    Today's puzzle was another of my "research projects" - and I was pleased to finish. I actually learned something useful - ROID RAGE. I had put in ROAD RAGE, making FOODIE into FOODAE - and thought that a bit strange.
    So I just looked up ROID RAGE and got a full education. I can't wait to impress someone with this new-found knowledge.

    RooMonster 9:38 PM  

    Someone did, they said it wasn't in their dictionary. Someone else said they found it in an unabridged one.

    And the Wheel letters are always given in that order on the final round where there is only one contestant. And then they pick three more consanants and one more vowel, then try to guess puz to win a big prize.

    Too much info? And I don't even watch Wheel hardly at all. :-)


    Teedmn 10:33 PM  

    Here is website that lists all your favorite animal adjectives - outline is there along with my favorite, odobenine, a walrus.
    I recommend memorization :-).
    Animal adjectives

    rudiger45 10:35 PM  

    I'm an experienced solver who appreciates a challenge, especially if it's fair. But this one had me groaning all the way through. ADUNIT? SWEATBOX? I've heard of the "Golden Age of Radio," but RADIOERA? No. "Checks" to me means stops or deters, not TESTS. And as was noted earlier, I, too, call BS on the random listing of letters for "Wheel of Fortune freebies." Last quibble: why has no one here slapped a "green paint" label on ETILES? Ugh. Couldn't wait to finish, and feel better now after venting than I did for actually finishing this.

    Arlene 10:52 PM  

    Just to note @rudiger45 -
    the letters for Wheel of Fortune aren't random.
    Those letters are presented every day in that order in the bonus round. RSTLNE - so perhaps memorize them.
    Reminds me of LSTMFT. Anyone remember those?

    Arlene 10:54 PM  

    Ooops - that should be LSMFT.

    Nancy 11:08 PM  

    @Arlene -- Lucky Strike means fine tobacco. (We, none of us, had a mute button in those days. Now, I haven't heard a TV commercial in years. Really.)

    @Hartley 70 -- I've been missing @Tita too. Wonder where she went?

    @John Child -- Very glad to hear you're OK.

    John Child 12:03 AM  

    Thanks to all for your concern and well wishes. It's very touching. Family and friends here are all OK. Considering the magnitude and ongoing aftershocks, the toll is remarkably low. Many bits of cultural heritage are piles of bricks, but few modern buildings were destroyed.

    Bless you all.

    Elephant's Child 12:15 AM  

    @Anonym 1002, I think nobody mentioned Nixon's memoir for the same reason that people avoid speaking the Devil's name.

    Until just recently, I thought the spelling was DEW-RAG.

    @Nancy, very clever of you. A donor could give a kidney or lung, or even part of a liver, but only a goner would donate a heart. There are Rules about that.

    Me-too for thinking my vocabulary pretty good, yet being caught unaware by 'lutrine'. Sounds like a hole one digs in the woods when camping rough in Great Britain.

    @CascoK, if we have astrolabe and hemorrhage, I see no reason against hemolabe. The existence thereof, anyway.

    @SteveJ -- flammable/ inflammable. Yet a flamer is not the same as aninflamer. (Except to the severely biassed.)

    @r.alph, Dang! First lutrine, now fissiparous! In OB-Gyn, they only cover nulli- and multiparous.

    Had cHinoS crossing Henry Ford and ESTOP in the NW, which helped me see THE DOORS, but otherwise only caused trouble. @Carola, beEnE was a good thought; I got no further than Fendi and Prada, no joy with either.

    This was one Saturday that did not go LIGETI split, but I DUN IT!!

    Z 12:26 AM  

    @Elephant's Child - I didn't mention RMN because there is nothing particularly controversial about him. Once maybe, but the only question of note these days is how RMN fooled so many Americans into voting for him back in '68 and '72.

    Elephant's Child 1:05 AM  

    I'm not so sure, @Z, RMN's 'rehabilitation' and reinstatement as a Grand Old Man within his party still makes me think someone somewhere made an unholy pact with someone. SOS = Sell Our Souls?

    On a lighter note: @Maruchka, I do like your twangy Zen saying. @Teedmn, that is a great list! I had no idea so many birds and fish have their own word.

    LF Ants Child
    (no relation to John, but so glad to have word)

    That DUNIT 1:13 AM  

    ATLAS Shrugged


    +wordphan 1:24 AM  

    So it goes, Rex-Not-Worthy-Not-Worthy. I had to dig a bit, but it came out a clean medium. Wha? I'm a Catholic Vonnegut-DFW-film/DOORS-mix. So there, then.

    Anonymous 8:26 AM  

    @Rudiger45: Congrats for winning "must ignorant comment of the day." Just awful. You should be embarrassed.

    GP 10:14 AM  

    So how long before any whiff of criticism from Mr. Parker gets someone up in arms? What's the end goal here? No More Negative Things?

    OISK 11:38 AM  

    Don't see what was wrong with @Rudiger's comment. I found this one very difficult, but did finish it correctly without help. What amuses me is that the clue Rex put in first, I put in last - the "R" of Skrillex (???) and "Reddit" , both of which are meaningless to me, although I think they have appeared in puzzles before. I saw Chocolat, and I have heard of Bronco Nagurski...

    old timer 11:53 AM  

    LUTRINE is a word of which I've heard the din afore. Maybe because I live in California and have seen the cut otters. Not that I remembered it, but then I gave up with the puzzle only half done. I am surprised it is not in the collegiate dictionary. But since it is not, it is fair to call foul.

    Clark 12:46 PM  

    @Arlene and @Nancy --

    Everybody knows that LSMFT stands for "Loose Strap Means Flabby Tit."

    Anonymous 1:41 PM  

    Just after David Steinberg redeemed himself with a puzzle that avoided pop culture and personal interests, there's this monstrosity by Mulhern! Sykrillex? Adunit? Chocolat? Reddit? A long-forgotten novel by long-forgotten Vonnegut? I wouldn't do this to YOU, why must you do this to ME? Stick to things everyone knows about, not just you and your little cadre of friends.

    Unknown 10:29 PM  

    My only complaint, which I have lodged before, is crossing 'n'(as in Vonnegut') with ñ (as in 'Peña'). Will Shortz lets this happen ALL THE TIME. N and Ñ are both letters in Spanish, and they are DIFFERENT letters.

    rondo 8:51 AM  

    The NE difficult? Absolutely not! The SW definitely. If I didn’t have a friend in the ROTARY I would have been lost there. Other than VONNEGUT, used to read him all the time while donating at the plasma center. Yes, that’s how I made my rent back in school.

    Broaden your horizons people. Even a relative old-timer like me knows of SKRILLEX. I detest their “music, but I know of them thanks to public radio’s 89.3 The Current here in the Twin Cities (stream it), they will even play THEDOORS and other oldies. BTW, THEDOORS are at least one million times better than SKRILLEX.

    RRN at 23a and ETILES will no doubt be irritations for @Spacey. I don’t disagree.

    I know we had the Henry mini-theme, but Jane FONDA (Barbarella, Cat Ballou, Klute, Coming Home) yeah baby!

    PETEROSE someday will get into the HOF, ya gotta believe.

    To the whiner rwgarding the N in PENA. Will and the NYT do the same with umlauted A and O and U from German and Scandinavian, which are also independent letters of those alphabets. Get over it.

    A toughie today, but satisfying to me.

    Burma Shave 9:24 AM  


    GENTS, your SAMESEX has ENDED if you are cheatin’,
    and I DOUBT you’ll be a sperm DONOR if you remain UNBEATEN.


    BS2 9:26 AM  


    I’m FONDA THEDOORS, I listened ALLOT,
    but FORNOW turn to SKRILLEX? I think not!

    --- AYN PENA

    BS3 9:45 AM  

    BTW - first verse subtitled TALLYUP

    spacecraft 11:25 AM  

    Re RSTLNE: In the long ago, there were no freebies in Wheel's bonus round, but of course everybody was picking the same letters time and time again, so the producers decided to "give" them those six and let them pick three more, plus the vowel. Why Pat says them in that exact ORDER, RSTLNE, I can't say, but that has invariably been the ORDER since they started that. And for this game show junkie, that was my way in.

    DOUBT haunted me everywhere, but I STROVE on. Finally came up with one of my favorite (before the gambling scandal broke) ballplayers ever, PETEROSE. When that hit, it was one of the major disillusion moments of my life. I still admire his all-out style of play.

    Tried FONDA for 22's Henry; that worked, so while I was on the F's I put in FORD for 23. (Had nothing else up there; SKRILLEX was way out of my wheelhouse and needed every single cross, while I had a brain freeze on THEDOORS (duh!) for far too long. Well, there was no such thing as a dONIC bond, but IONIC would make Henry's name end in I. Wha?? And then it hit: possibly the aha! moment of the year. VIII!

    I absolutely love all Kubrick films, but knew nothing of LIGETI. That final I was the last letter to go in, hoping that -ITY was a "plural" suffix somewhere (well, you idiot, how about human-ITY?). Brain not stroking on all eight this morning.

    That makes it a double wonder that I could finish this, with only the writeover at 23a. One clue I really wondered about: "Awaiting a sex change, say." It was just PREOP. Sex change?? Awfully specific. Something on the constructor's mind, mayhap?

    This was very tough everywhere for me. Yeah, different wheelhouses for different folks. This one was heavy on the proper name side, but contained several diverse "wheelhouses." Some spots helped me; others were WOEs. The next solver probably got stuck in other places. So it goes. To wit: OFL got hung up on 9 across, but as a lifetime Elk I knew that the O of BPOE is "ORDER." No problemo. There. THEDOORS were one of my favorite groups in the RADIOERA, so I give this an A-.

    spacecraft 11:31 AM  

    @ rondo: The RRN being so famous vis-a-vis Henry didn't bother me; neither did ETILES...well, only a little. XSANDOS, on the other hand, made the kerchief flutter, but I didn't pull it.

    leftcoastTAM 5:36 PM  

    I spent a lot of time looking at this one between entries. The last to go were LEGETI and SKRILLEX. Patience does seem to be a virtue.

    Anonymous 5:38 PM  

    Well, as Ronald used to say, it was a good puzzle but I just couldn't break the NE corner by about 50%. I would have NEVER gotten roidrage and the incorrect pro tem did me in. I had to look up Skrillex because of my ancientness but other than that I got the rest. I'd rate this a C Minus and hope Mr. Mulhern gets jock itch.

    Evil Doug & Burma Shave rate a B+ for their bawdy naughtiness. Rondo is falling behind. tsk, tsk.

    Ron Diego, The (nit) Wit of La Mesa, CA

    Can't wait for Hillary to become President. She'll be right up there with Thatcher, Merkel, and......possibly Imelda? (just kiddin)

    Anonymous 9:23 PM  

    Close, but is it worthy of a cigar? YOURbALL crossing bAR? YOUR BALL is common in sport when telling someone that they are responsible for the play. And of course mini BAR is a thing...

    Carol 12:35 AM  

    We out here in the hinterlands get the nyt puzzle about twp weeks after you mugs in NY, so it would be easy to cheat. However, I disdain to do so, but I do check in with Rex to see if the wierder answers are for real. Never heard of Skrillex or reddit but do know who Atlas was, with the world on his shoulders. Mythology is good to know. Pop culture? Maybe, but I will turn 80 next week, although I do play Angry Birds. No tats for me, though, thanks.
    Carol L.

    Longbeachlee 3:29 PM  

    Wheelhouse, wheelhouse, it's all about wheelhouse. Count me in Friday eas Saturday impossible crew.

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