Onetime MTV reality stunt show / WED 10-28-15 / 1950s mideast hotspot / Big name in 1980s jeans / Ouzo flavoring / Confident counterclaim / Political group unlikely to be swayed

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Constructor: Jay Kaskel and Daniel Kantor

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Wednesday*) (not sure why, but my time was sky-high)

THEME: FOOD COURT (34A: Legal setting for 17-, 25-, 45- and 53-Across?) — food products clued as if they were involved in court cases (thus playing on the first, descriptive word in the food's name):

Theme answers:
  • CANNED CORN (17A: 34-Across case involving ... wrongful termination?)
  • SPLIT PEAS (25A: ... divorce proceedings?)
  • DIRTY RICE (45A: ... political corruption?)
  • BAKED BEANS (53A:  ... marijuana possession?)
Word of the Day: "JACKASS" (1D: Onetime MTV reality stunt show) —
Jackass is an American reality series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002,[2] featuring people performing various dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks. The show served as a launchpad for the television and acting careers of Bam Margera, Steve-O, and Johnny Knoxville, who previously had only minor acting roles. // Since 2001, three Jackass films have been produced and released by MTV corporate sibling Paramount Pictures, continuing the franchise after its run on television. The show sparked several spin-offs including Viva La Bam, Wildboyz, Homewrecker, Dr. Steve-O, Nitro Circus and Blastazoid. (wikipedia)
• • •

Cute idea, but the themers are inconsistent, arbitrary, and kind of dull. Foods really seem forced, conscripted, into the theme. The idea of a (literal) FOOD COURT is amusing, but there has to be a way to make this tighter / more amusing. Getting canned or split is not a crime, but being dirty or getting baked is (though ... do people go to court for simple possession still? Also, simple "possession" does not get you BAKED ... or so I understand). Lots of things are CANNED—CANNED CORN doesn't feel special or tight. Feels like it was just a "canned" answer that fit.  Also, DIRTY RICE is a whole dish, where the others are just single food items. Fill-wise, it's rough in many places, though you do get some occasionally interesting things in those giant, weirdly sequestered corners in the NW and SE.

I took a screenshot part way through when I got weirdly stuck. Looking back, it seems impossible that I couldn't instantly get SPLIT PEAS from this ...

... but my mind was racing to try to find types of peas. Like SWEET. Split is a form of processing. Brain just wasn't tilting that way. This brings up another inconsistency: no one eats SPLIT PEAS. As soup, sure, but just on their own? No. You could eat the others as they appear in the grid. But nobody eats just SPLIT PEAS. Google [split pea...] and all the suggestions are for soup. For A Reason.

  • 32D: Unidentified hostile aircraft (BOGEYS) — had trouble with the plural part, but not with the answer in general. This is because I just watched "Top Gun" (on Saturday night). BOGEYS everywhere. Also oiled man-bods. Venetian blinds. And fans. Ceiling fans. Metal-cage desk fans. Just ... blowing. Lots of blowing.
  • 47A: North Dakota city (MINOT)— fourth-largest city in the state! Which puts it under 50K. Not sure how I semi-remembered this. But I semi-did. Not great fill. I mean, beats ENERO and OUSE, but not by a ton.
  • 9D: Stop for water (DAM) — clues like this one (a good one) are why this puzzle played a little hard for me. This is a tough, hard-to-read clue. It's got that whole "what does 'stop' mean?" thing going on. I was trying to decided if it was a verb or noun, but I was imagining a totally different form of noun (like an oasis). Tricky. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I made today's Buzzfeed crossword (a themeless). You can get it here. I would love it if you solved it. Thanks.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Mark Trevor Smith 12:06 AM  

Not that I'm a typical eater, but I often do cook split peas so that they are merely mushy, not soupish. I think I'll have some tomorrow.

Rob 12:19 AM  

Greetings from Minot, ND :-) We just hit 50k but we need a new census to confirm our status as a metropolis! Growing leaps and bounds doncha know. Love the perspective this blog brings to crossword community. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous 12:24 AM  

Agree. Oddly difficult. Not sure why. Took forever to fill it in. When I got done I still couldn't suss the theme. I'll check the NYT blog in the morning and see what they say.

Da Bears 12:27 AM  

AHN-WEE is one of my favorite words, so I give a pass to any puzzle that has it. Not ever having had any mary jane, I had a hard time understanding BAKED BEANS. Silly me thought of moot court before food court, but that's just me. Liked the puzzle more than Rex (thought he was a tad harsh on theme - why does Rex like foolish consistency?). Oh, @Rex, I think the theme has more to do with why the foods are in court, not necessarily criminal court, so I have a hard time with your indictment of the first two themers.

George Barany 12:33 AM  

Nice to see the byline of fellow Minnesotans @Jay Kaskel and @Dan Kantor.

SNO (6-Down) has appeared over 130 times during the @Shortz era, invariably clued as the prefix to balls, cat, or cone. This is the first time it has ever been clued as a chemical formula. How do others feel about that?

jae 12:34 AM  

Medium for me with the center the last to fall.  I'm never sure if it's BONEY or BONY.  I just checked and the answer is both are OK.

EvaDE  before ELUDE and NabS before NETS but no WOEs.

Fun theme and any puzzle that opens with JIG/JACKASS (Steve O was just arrested for a SeaWorld protest stunt) has my vote.  Liked it.

chefwen 12:45 AM  

I'm not sure how to comment on this puzzle. I got it, I understood it, but i didn't get it. When I finished I just said yeah, o.k., what's the point? I must be missing something, but what? I hope it's not just me, but I find nothing humorous or clever about this one, just nonsensical.

John Child 1:57 AM  

I didn't entirely grok the theme today, even when done. OK... A possible court matter and a food. Cute, but the clues didn't make me laugh exactly. BAKED BEANS was the best, I thought. I really liked a lot of the crossing downs like SNIPERS, WIRETAP, AMIDES, JACKASS, and MANIACS. And PSYCHIC through three theme answers is lovely.

My time was also quite slow, and I think the segmented grid was the reason. It was pretty hard to get from point A to point B at times. But a little workout on Wednesday is nice, and I found it the best puzzle of the week so far.

In honour of an important fall event some illustrious friends and I offer up a 21x puzzle - Citi-zens United: Enjoy!

Dolgo 3:34 AM  

I finally finished it, and pretty quickly, but it just didn't make a lot of sense. Rex seemed to have the same reaction, but for different reasons. I guess, when all was said and done, the "food court" theme was just plain . . well, er. . . DUMB!

Anonymous 4:25 AM  

Theme felt plenty tight to me. The predicate adjectives involved can be easily understood as playfully alluding to court cases, criminal or otherwise. Agreed that the relationship between CANNED and CORN is somewhat arbitrary, but it's perhaps bolstered by alliteration with creamed. Cute enough.

Chaspark 7:53 AM  

Can someone explain how Dirty Rice is political corruption?

Mike D 8:20 AM  

Yes Rex, possession is still a crime in most states, and people still go to court and to jail for it, and they're disproportionately people of color. You need to leave your ivory tower once in a while.

Z 8:35 AM  

@GB - What? SNO isn't a chemical reference in those foods?

All the themers "work." The food is in court for these matters. Courts handle more than just crimes, so if a PEAS couple SPLITs they go to divorce FOOD COURT. Still, groan.

My time was also sky high, Fridayish.

Rex should be hitting the intertubes any second. Time to puzzle.

Old Lady 8:43 AM  

Didn't we just see IODINE?

jberg 8:50 AM  

It was OK, not too exciting. I didn't really like seeing RICE in there with all those vegetables, but there it was.

I've never been in MINOT, but used to see its name on signs twice a year, so it was OK with me.

Ludyjynn 8:52 AM  

Hand up for ENNUI as the best word in the puzzle. Two reasons: I just love the sound of it and the clue itself. Despite getting the theme quickly, I was left with a WHATEVER! reaction to this midweeker.

We never played I SPY. Our standard road trip game was AMERICA. Dad started off by naming a town, river, mountain, state or other American place; let's say, New Jersey. Next player had to come up with a place starting with a Y, like Yuma. Next player used the A. And so on. Believe it or not, this game would distract us for hours as we traveled the highways and byways of this beautiful country, watching the sights roll by til we reached our destination. Cannot recall anyone ever naming MINOT! No ennui, though.

Thanks, JK, DK and WS.

Nancy 8:55 AM  

Wish all Wednesdays had this much challenge. No stale fill at all (well, maybe OPE, ENERO, and I CAN TOO), and look how subtly such answers as DARTS, WIRETAP, DAM and TSETSE are clued. Ah, but then we get to the theme, which, because it is completely unrelated to the 2nd part of the answer, doesn't make any sense at all. But if, like me, you tend to solve these things as a themeless, then it shouldn't bother you much at at all. The solving experience was fun.

This makes two early week puzzles in a row that I've enjoyed. Always an unexpected pleasure.

Smitty 9:00 AM  

well for one thing, "prepares another round of shots" should be "another round of shot".

Unknown 9:02 AM  

Charles at 7:53, I thought of Condoleeza Rice (DIRTY RICE). But could be Susan.

Z 9:08 AM  

@Rex - Fresh long answers Current. Two thumbs up. The Manga clue slowed me, otherwise fairly easy for me. I just listened to 53A on WDET a couple of weeks ago and follow him on Twitter. Still stumbled on spelling his damn name.

@Everyone - Rex's puzzle is worth doing.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

Anybody else have "cannery row" before "canned corn"? Makes for a better theme. DBNY

GILL I. 9:26 AM  

Oh...I really enjoyed this.
@Rex, you can buy split peas...Goya has some green or yellow ones, I guess if you hate PEAS that might lead to a divorce?
GITANO...! I think I still have a pair hanging around somewhere. Not quite as comfy as the semi-elastic slinky ones worn today.
@Ludy. When I first came to this country, I was in awe of the automobiles. My mom drove us cross country in a Chevy Impala (SPLIT PEAs green!) and our game was to identify the cars that we flew by. Probably the most boring game on this earth!
I love the JIG is up! I used to say that to my dad every time I saw him sneaking white bread into the kitchen to make a mayo sandwich. He wouldn't allow that vile non-tasting bread at our table!
MOD MOB SNO SOL...what's not to like. Very doable but it took me longer than most of my hump day's do.
Cute and different theme. AMADEUS AND ADONAI TO ALL!

chefbea 9:43 AM  

Didn't understand the theme at all til Rex explained it. Have eaten in many food courts and don't think I have had any of these foods. I like all the foods though...especially split peas...time to make some soup

Unknown 9:48 AM  

Great job on the buzzfeed puzzle. Very fresh fill! Thanks for steering me over there.

ArtO 9:50 AM  

Tough cluing and an obscure theme equals challenging. PSYCHIC threw me, SLUGS instead of SWIGS, SOIL vs. SAND kept the middle a mess

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

Please explain what "baked" has to do with MJ

Unknown 10:07 AM  


The first word of the other theme answers relate to the legal issue in the clue:
CANNED (termination)
SPLIT (divorce)
DIRTY (corruption?)

How does "BAKED" relate to "... marijuana possession"...or possession of anything else for that matter? Actually can't think of anything where "BAKED " would be a legal issue.

As to other cooking methods that could be legal issues, they could have used STEWED (beef?) or FRIED (clams?), maybe with DUI, OUI, or whatever as the legal issue. (Would obviously have required redoing the Southeast.)

This wasn't an easy solve. Then again, that's more the norm for me, even with oft employed cheats. It's nice when I don't need them, but never too proud to use them to finish :>)

Cheers (not BOOS)

quilter1 10:07 AM  

Printed out Prof. Sharp's puzzle and am intrigued by the black corners. Now to solve. Today's NYT puz was medium challenging for me and the center was the last to fall. I liked so many of the clues/answers I can't name a favorite.

Gracie H 10:26 AM  

Wednesdays are usually just my speed. This was tough, DNF. Got the theme, but didn't help much. Oh well!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:28 AM  

Agree with the feeling that trickier than usual cluing made this puzzle Medium-Challenging.

No write-overs, but when I read the clue for 53 A, "...marijuana possession?," I thought we might be going into the kitchen of the FOOD COURT for POT HOLDER.

I had the wrong idea, had to look in the dictionary post-solve to see that a 36D SNIPER does indeed take a "potshot." I thought a potshot was careless or random, but see the definition includes shots taken from ambush.

(Typed 10:28 AM)

Joseph Michael 10:38 AM  

I was not on the wavelength of this puzzle. Had a hard time filling in the grid and didn't find the theme consistent or amusing. Seemed like an old idea from "Highlights for Children."

However, I was happy to discover the CROSS that was missing from yesterday's vampire puzzle.

Unknown 10:38 AM  

@ Charles Parkhurst

My problem with the theme (my earlier post) is it missed being complete.

There is FOOD & COURT. Three of the four theme answers were literally just that: a FOOD and a COURT (issue). BAKED didn't fit "my" mold. DIRTY (corruption, a legal issue) and RICE (a food) do.

drubytue 10:44 AM  

I struggled through your Buzzfeed themeless in 29:09. I appreciate a new outlet producing quality puzzles, but I find all the modern pop references and weirdly arcane clung to be off-putting. I know I'm not the BF demographic but I strongly prefer a good NYT puzzle.

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

According to Urban Dictionary, BAKED BEANS refers to stoned Mexicans.

(Please don't shoot the messenger.)

Benko 10:51 AM  

Just did your BuzzFeed, Rex. Favorite parts: the cluing for 7-,25-, and 42-Down. Least favorite part: the entry at 49-Across, which I can't imagine you were very happy with.

Unknown 11:03 AM  

Don't get me wrong. Love BAKED BEANS -- B&M made here in Maine. Each batch is hand-stirred in huge, open, iron kettles and eyeballed until "the bubbles are just right." Takes about 7 hours. This is the same method used for "real" BAKED BEANS since colonial days. FYI Bushes et al are typically steamed in the can (automated), not actually "baked."

Mohair Sam 11:10 AM  

Seems like a lot of folks took a long time on this one and don't know why. Well we took a long time and we do know why:
SpiN for SOAK
StO for SNO (ST is better, work on that you chemists)
EvaDE before ELUDE
and ADONAI is new to us.
Anyhow, we worked through all that and ended up besting a challenging for us Wednesday.

@George Barany - Thought it was great to see the change in cluing for the over-abused SNO.
@ludyjynn - Joining you in the ENNUI club, and for the same reasons.

Looked at the clue for 10d (Famous middle name that means "love of God") and grumbled that it was Saturday impossible, thought for a second, and then had a nifty aha moment. Good stuff.

I assume the W.H.O. approved this red meat free food puzzle, but we're with @Rex and the majority here who thought the theme could have been tighter.

mac 11:13 AM  

@Mark Trevor Smith: if you want your mushy peas you can probably get dried peas. They have the skin still on and don't fall apart so easily as the split peas, whose skin is removed and is meant for soups.

Odd puzzle, I wondered a few time if this was really a "Wednesday". It all fell into place pretty easily, but the theme is still vague to me. Don't know the term "baked" as in 53A. At the dirty rice I thought it was rude to talk about ambassador Rice this way!

Carola 11:19 AM  

Goofy fun. I enjoyed envisioning a can of Niblets pleading its case in FOOD COURT, while the SPLIT PEAS await their turn to be heard.

I reallly tore my hair out over the center of the puzzle - didn't know BOGEYS, couldn't see BASE or BONY, couldn't think of a noun that ended in -CHIC. Not to mention that I was thinking of a SeeD bank (Midwesterner) - once I erased that, things sorted themselved out.

thfenn 11:24 AM  

I'm happy. Took me forever but I got through it. Got through NW and SE, struggled with NE and SW (had to look up ADONAI). The middle was toughest for me - just couldn't sort out BONY (had lean and thin in there at one point), SAND, PSYCHIC etc..NABS and EVADE for me too, first. Had BOGIES before BOGEYS. Had SEED bank, thinking that went more with the theme, which threw me off for a long time. AMES also a town SE of MINOT...but I suppose SNEAK, SLY, ELUDE, PLOT, and Aldrich Ames kind of hang together.

Enjoyed the theme - in court for being canned, split, baked, and dirty seemed fine, rice a little jarring with corn, peas, and beans, but all would see their cases FOODCOURT I guess.

Ludyjin, we called your car game GEOGRAPHY and played for hours, my parents being prone to road trips. Roadside Cribbage (points for animals), Alphabet, 20 Questions, as well. But never ISPY, my own kids taught me that one.

chefbea 11:34 AM  

@Richard Besser..Welcome. Don't think I have ever seen your name here before. I watch you all the time on TV

mac 11:40 AM  

Nice Buzz puzzle, and haha!

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

To all those who are stuck on "baked" - in it's usage here it's slang, and means the same thing as stoned or high.

So "canned corn" is corn that was fired.
"Split peas" are peas that are getting divorced.
"Dirty rice" is rice (the food, not the person) who is politically corrupt.
"Baked beans" are legumes that are stoned.

Constitutionally it is not a crime in and of itself to be stoned, baked, or high but possession of MJ is still criminal in many places. I guess we can infer that beans possessing MJ are stoned.

r.alphbunker 11:57 AM  

I just solved Rex's BuzzFeed puzzle. It is a very current, well crafted puzzle. If you can do a Fri NYT you can do this one. Here is my report on the Sharp BuzzFeed puzzle

Re NYT puzzle. I know Minot. I rode my bicycle cross country when I got out of college and went through Minot on Route 2. It has the only hill that I remember in North Dakota. Some guy in a pickup truck offered to carry me and the bike up the hill.

Carol S. 11:57 AM  

Funny - this was one of my quickest solves, and I'm no Rex.

Liked your Buzzfeed puzzle!! Not a super quick solve, learned a thing or two (two excellent books I'd never heard of and will now check out... er... well, maybe not the 75 pound one). No further comments for fear of being a DUMBASS (please someone clue this word sometime) and revealing unintentional SPOILERS.

Lewis 12:03 PM  

Well, the JIG is (literally) up and we also have ACES high. Kinda cool.

The clue for DETESTS threw me. I kept trying to think of reasons why someone could not stand. And there were a couple of other clues like that which gave this puzzle good crunch. Not to many clever clues, though I did love the one for DAM. The SE and NW were like mini-puzzles, not very connected with the rest of the puzzle, which added some crunch as well. The theme was so weirdly wonky and silly that I loved it, loved it enough to overlook any inconsistencies. All in all an excellent solving experience.

Z 12:03 PM  

Wow! What were you people not smoking in college? "BAKED" is another colloquialism for being impaired after ingesting THC, usually through inhaling marijuana smoke. If I'm recalling correctly, BAKED is higher than "high."

As for DIRTY RICE, any corrupt public official, e.g. cops, restaurant inspectors, politicians, Scott Walker, are said to be DIRTY. RICE, like CORN, BEANS, and PEAS, refers to the food, not a person, here.

For those who want to discuss Sharp's puzzle, I suggest going here.

AliasZ 12:05 PM  

In a crossword puzzle I never expect the consistency, precision and focus of a scientific treatise because it isn't one. The point is playfulness. I guess one can expect precision, but it ain't gonna happen -- most of the time. It could have been a SMALL CLAMS court, and it still would've worked for me.

This puzzle was fun. As I stumbled across the grid from one segmented area to another and kept uncovering SPLIT PEAS kind of entries for a FOOD COURT decision, I kept feeling the hint of a smile sneak up on me.

CANNED CORN or "can of corn" is a familiar baseball phrase for an easy fly ball caught in the outfield, like Grandy did in the 14th inning last night. I heard it explained by NY Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto many decades ago: the shopkeeper would reach up to the top shelf with a hooked stick and knock a can of corn right into his waiting apron below. Why canned CORN and not canned ASPARAGUS? Because corn has been the most popular canned vegetable in the USA ever since metal cans came into existence.

Let me therefore pay homage to American composer Charles Ives with this fun piece, GENERAL "Putnam's Camp, Redding, Connecticut" from his Orchestral Set No. 1, "Three Places in New England." In this section you can hear two or three different military bands competing for the attention of the audience.

Happy Humpday.

Andrew Heinegg 12:14 PM  

I am with RP on this. It took more time than usual for a Wed. but, it was not a particularly amusing or informative puzzle. The idea seems like a good one but the execution of the theme turned out odd and stilted and, maybe most importantly, not rib-tickling. If you are going to have a pun based theme, you need to make them groaners. See this past Sunday's L.A. Times for a decent example of this. 'Knight's comment when he was mistakenly put in the corner?': Imnotarook.

RooMonster 12:18 PM  

Hey All !
Thought I'd come here and see Rex rate this easy! Happy to see it med-challenging, cause it was for me also. Still a one-letter DNF, with gETS/ADOgAI. Always thought it was just Yahweh. Had troubles in the SW, with nabS for NETS, SodaS for SWIGS. And not knowing ADONAI. Also, the NE when put in AbArham thinking it was Abraham! Dyslexic much? Also EvaDE first. Some great clues, TSETSE was a groan/laugh once I figured it out. FIST another good one. S'more, but y'all know which.

So enjoyable, worked the ole brain a bit, light dreck. Good WedsPuz, JK & DK!


Unknown 12:20 PM  

@ Anonymous 11:48

To make a fine point, "possession" does not equate to being or meaning one is "baked."

Also, I've never (literally) heard one say, back then (60s) to now, they're "baked" after using MJ. (Let's just say that includes a rather large number of such instances.)

One over 3 posts and done.

Tita 12:39 PM  

What @Chefwen said...and agree with Rex in that it seemed like a contrived way to get to something that I really just didn't ... get ...

@GB...Noooo....I don't want more like that. There are a handful of said symbols that I know, another smaller handful that I can maybe infer based on Latin roots or some such...but this one I got simply due to the kindness of crosses...

I thought clue for DART also smacked of "let's try hard to find a clue that's not been done", but this one I liked. Alternate clueing could have something to do with Click and Clack...I would like that too.
This was tougher than normal Wednesday for me...SeeD bank and OPn hid what should not have been hard crosses in the SW.
I liked realizing the meaning of AMADEUS...had never thought about it.
Reminded me of when living in Germany, my boss, whose Emglish was at least as good as mine, being gob smacked to learn that the word "laptop" meant atop one's lap...he had never made the connection until he asked me why PDAs were called palmtops.
Until then, laptop was just the sounds you make to signify that thing.
(Ironic that a German would not catch on to the whole compound word thing, no!)

Teedmn 2:02 PM  

I used to work at a canning factory - the two most agonizing summers of my life - to make money for college (I managed to find a job in the city after my sophomore year) and we did pea pack in June and July and then switched to sweet CORN in late July through September. We canned everything and the corn was cream style corn. So CANNED CORN was not as green paintish for me as for @Rex.

It felt I like I was going at TURTLE speed, but it turned out to be a typical ten minutes for a Wednesday. I enjoyed it a lot. I was starting to get worried when I hit the SE - GITANO was far from a gimme and that corner, like the NW, was very isolated, but REBEL popped in and MINOT was easy so no real problem.

I loved the clue for AMADEUS 'cause I was scratching my head and when it became obvious I wished I had tried to figure it out using my rudimentary knowledge of Latin. Oh well.

ADONAI next to SNIPERS is an odd juxtaposition and I don't think anyone eating often at the FOOD COURT stays BONY. FIST crossing SWInGS, tiny DARTing eyes :-), all this left me with no ENNUI.

Great puzzle, thanks JK and DK.

WA 2:05 PM  

And this was tortured than the prisoners at Gitmo.

Nancy 2:10 PM  

I thought I remembered that, when I saw the play AMADEUS, the theme hinged on the meaning of Mozart's middle name and Salieri's envy that Mozart was loved BY God, or, synonomously, "loved of God", as I thought I remembered the quote. So I checked and at first found out that the preferred meaning is (as you all stated), love of God. That is: Mozart is doing the loving, not God. But that weakens the play considerably. So I Googled some more and found out that the precise Latin translation is: LOVED OF GOD. Here's the link to the site; I don't know how to put it in blue on the Rexblog, though it would come in in blue on my email. Anyway, take a look.

P.S. Holy cow, that's a lot for you all to type in! Maybe if you just Google: Latin translation/loved of god/amadeus. Or some such.

Lewis 2:20 PM  

Did Rex's puzzle and it's a good one, as I would expect. There were answers, including long ones, that weren't in my knowledge bank, but the crosses were fair enough to where I got them all. I would say it is a TH/FR difficulty, with some clever cluing. If this puzzle had been made by someone else and it was published in the NYT, I think Rex might have given it one of his once-in-a-blue-moon raves.

@Z pointed to a site where people have commented on it, and they are interesting to read...

gifcan 4:22 PM  

Wow, no one had FOOD Chain at any point? It doesn't fit with the theme but initially it seemed right.

I thought the flying transmitter was a great clue for TSETSE.

UNC? Really? Not my cup of tea.

We recently drove a stake through the heart, today we drove an EXTERRA through the cross.

Nice puzzle.

Numinous 4:42 PM  

This one took me longer than a Wednesday puzzle should have too. Wrong wavelength.

@Tita: Don't you think, in the German compound word fashion, laptops should be renamed "Kneescorchers"? When I worked at Hanna-Barbera, the machine I used to edit music on was a Movieola, a machine that was, in the past, notorious for shredding the film running through it. I gave mine a name which I inscribed in very careful black letter on a long piece of paper tape. Der Clitishclackenforvardundbackenfurgelisteninundlookinundsprocketkaputinmaschinen".

And now, since Rex did it, I'm gonna do it. Especially since it was Rex who published
my little puzzle on the Little High 5 website .

bwalker 4:47 PM  

I put in SeeD bank. Couldn't get past it and those screwy crosses BeSE and BOeY, so DNF. The rest of the puzzle went quickly. I liked the theme. BAKED BEANS! Ha!

Nancy 4:59 PM  

Never heard of BAKED defined as "high" until today, but I'm 62 and don't get high. This was a very challenging puzzle for me.

It gave me a nice stretch. I usually can't solve Friday thru Sunday. I looked at this Wednesday puzzle as a training exercise. Thanks.

Hartley70 5:09 PM  

I like the idea of Wackadoodle Wednesday and here we have our first entry. Come on WS, bring the silliness on! I thought it rated an easy designation even though I've never heard of BAKED used that way. Perhaps it hadn't been coined back in the late 60's when every college party I went to had that distinctive smoke wafting about.

Best moment: AMADEUS because who ever considered its meaning?
Worst: JACKASS because it took trash tv to the moronic level.

@ChuckMcGregor thanks for the BB erudition. I'm a B&M girl born and bred, but lately I've been seduced by the Bush golden retriever. I'll go back to my roots for the sake of Maine pot stirrers and their jobs, but perhaps a Coon Cat kitten might be in order as a mascot. I hear there are more cats than dogs in America!

Mohair Sam 5:25 PM  

@Alias Z. Didn't need no Phil Rizzuto to explain "Can of Corn" in my life. My big sister and her husband owned a deli in which the entire family helped out. As a kid I used a contraption (not a hook) that was a long pole with a a trigger like device near its base. You'd squeeze the trigger and a two-pronged "hand" atop the pole would close around the can high in the shelves. When you released the trigger the can would fall, of course. No self-respecting kid would use his apron to grab that can out of the air, we one-handed it. The first time I heard Mel Allen (or was it Red Barber?) say that Hank Bauer was drifting under a "can of corn" I knew exactly what he meant.

Anoa Bob 6:20 PM  

Solid puzzle. I agree with others who feel that CANNED, SPLIT, & DIRTY are colloquially synonymous with "wrongful termination", "divorce proceedings" & "political corruption", but that the same cannot be said of BAKED & "marijuana possession".

I called up my Evil Twin Brother, Anoa Blob, for some expert opinion on this matter (trust me, he would know). After I convinced him I was not conducting a criminal investigation but was actually looking for an amicus curiae of a sorts, he volunteered that BAKED is one of several levels of marijuana intoxication that falls along a continuum going from buzzed to high to stoned to ripped-to-the-tits to BAKED to catatonic. His opinion to the FOOD COURT was that BAKED does not equate to "possession".

I also agree with others who felt that, in spite of that slight infelicity, there was plenty of good stuff to make it an enjoyable solve.

Teedmn 7:09 PM  

@Numinous, nice little puzzle, similar to M&A's "Runt" puzzles though not as twisty, clue-wise. I liked the look of the grid.

@Rex, I commented over on Lena and Ben's blog but I don't know if I was successful. In any case, I wanted to congratulate you on a very elegant looking puzzle with timely fill and minimal dreck.

Anonymous 9:25 PM  

DNF, because I had gets instead of nets in the SW corner and I don't know jack about Hebrew.

Also, it took me about two hours.

Charles Flaster 9:32 PM  

We called it GEOGRAPHY. Great car game.

Nancy 10:12 PM  

To the new @Nancy in blue at 4:59 pm. Hi and welcome. But did you know that there is another Nancy in blue, who's been a regular on this blog for lo these many years? That would be me. I'm wondering if you could perhaps throw in a last initial to avoid confusion. Of course, I could throw in a last initial, myself, if I weren't such a Luddite and knew how to edit my Google profile. But I truly don't. I would be really, really grateful. And anyway, if you're at all technically proficient, you absolutely would not want to be confused with a Luddite like me. It could ruin your reputation. And I do tend to talk about my technophobia a lot. Thanking you in advance for your help!

kitshef 10:19 PM  

Weird, but easy PEASy here. On the chemical element cluing for SNO, applause applause. A nice puzzle in what has been a disappointing week. And our car game was the alphabet game - where you have to find all the letters in order on signs, license plates etc.
Liquor stores and 'authorized vehicles only' signs were highly prized.

Anonymous 10:36 PM  

@Anony 9:25, to be correct, you don't know Ya'akov about Hebrew.

S'awright. It may be the first time ever that the idea was largely to find ADOshem via crosses.


Tita 11:27 PM  

I got to do both extra credit puzzles... @Numi's was a frolic...thanks!
Rex's was mostly fun...though hard not to apply the same rigor post-solve. But let me not highlight the mustiness or dreck...
40a was cool...are you the first to use that reference? Liked 37d, and 14a raised an eyebrow till I's not the nyt.
Oh, who am I raised 2 eyebrows...I have always been in awe of people who can control their eyebrows independently... Is that something one can learn??

David Streever 9:21 AM  

This one was incredibly hard for me, too: took me an hour! I'm not a speed demon, but a typical 'tough' Wednesday is 25 minutes or so for me, with an easier Wednesday being closer to 10 minutes.

spacecraft 9:07 AM  

I'm with @anon 9:25. When neither JAHWEH nor YAHWEH would work, I was dumbfounded. ADONAI?? Total WOE. Didn't make a whit more sense to me than ADOgAI, so I lose. Why not that for Word of the Day? No, we have JACKASS. You want to make THAT your WOD? What does that say about you? (What does it say about anyone who ever watched that crap?)

As to the rest of it, I tried to take the themers a step deeper. The corn was canned because it was too...corny. The peas split because they couldn't live in the same pod. What was Condoleeza up to? And: the BEANS that were baked were stoners' HEADS!

And now will someone please explain CULT of personality???? This phrase makes absolutely no sense to me.

Burma Shave 9:21 AM  


Justice OCONNOR was DAM SLY with her AMES,
her WIRETAP SET on GENERAL Powell was not nice.
But Condoleezza DETESTS those SNEAKy ISPY games,
And the JIG was up when the PLOT caught DIRTYRICE.


rondo 10:09 AM  

The Silt in the SAND bank put me in mOOtCOURT and it took a while to fix it because of the very loose theme. But the DIRTYRICE is making me hungry for some Southern cuisine. And BAKEDBEANS.

Speaking of BAKED, it’s been a long time since I’ve been that as clued. I was more of a REBEL back in the day.

I suppose with the Cosby kerfuffle we can’t clue ISPY that way anymore.

Severe lack of a yeah baby today, though Sandra OCONNOR sure had a lot going for her.

Funny xing of SWIGS and BOOS.

Again, all that FOOD talk made me hungry. You get the GIST.

rain forest 12:44 PM  

I liked this one a lot, and like many others, I spent a lot of time on it, mainly in the BONY/BASE/PSYCHIC area. Felt quite stupid for awhile.

Speaking of BAKED, about 20 years ago, when I should have known better, I thought I'd try some MJ because I remembered that back in the 60's, I would laugh uncontrollably when I tried it. Well, I got well and truly BAKED. I almost couldn't move nor actually discern where I was. Unpleasant.

The theme seemed pretty tight to me, and there were many excellent clues/answers, with fill that I can't quibble with. Good one.

I only do the NYT puzzle, so I pass on OFL's invitation. One puzzle a day is sufficient for me.

leftcoastTAM 7:00 PM  

Much more time than an average Wednesday for me. Got hung up on the ADONAI/DIRTYRICE/BOGEYS crosses for a while but finally worked them out.

The "dirty" response to the "political corruption" clue seemed inapt to me. There are too many forms of dirt in politics that are part of the debased game but not generally considered corrupt, at least not in any legal sense.

She-boy-gan 11:14 PM  

Just watched an All In the Family marathon and realized a simple yet SLY clue for O'CONNOR could be "Bunker player"!

Regarding the 4th themer: when BEANS (people) are charged with possession, they usually get BAKED before court to make the experience more tolerable. This is good for Visine sales, too.

@Nancy 2:10- you MUST be baked if you think people type out URLs.

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